The Atlanta Falcons keep their postseason hopes alive with a 34-31 win over the Seattle Seahawks:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Atlanta Falcons went to the Super Bowl a season ago but if they lost to the Seattle Seahawks making the playoffs would have been much tougher. While there is six games left in the season and plenty of time for Atlanta to get hot the NFC playoff picture is really heating up. You have teams like Seattle and Detroit who are trying to snatch up the final wildcard spot and Atlanta couldn’t afford to fall behind. Luckily for the Falcons they were playing a banged up Seahawks team and Matt Ryan made enough magic happen to pull off a win. Ryan finished the contest with 195 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions looking poised throughout the game. While Tevin Coleman did all he could do in Devonta Freeman’s absence, Coleman racked up 1 touchdown and 43 rushing yards on the ground. Mohamed Sanu and Levine Toilolo both caught a touchdown pass from Ryan through the air. If Atlanta can continue to find a way to put 30 points on the board good things are certainly coming for this football team. Adrian Clayborn also continued his remarkable hot streak for the Dirty Birds. After posting a 6 sack game last week Clayborn managed to scoop and score a fumble for a 10 yard defensive touchdown. By getting big plays on both sides of the ball Dan Quinn was able to turn the tide against Pete Carroll. That’s not to say the Seahawks didn’t have some big plays. Russell Wilson threw for 258 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Wilson was also impressive on the ground rushing for 86 yards and 1 touchdown. Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin both hauled in touchdown receptions but there wasn’t enough defense from Carroll’s team. Bobby Wagner gave all he had in a losing effort for Seattle he had 8 tackles. Sheldon Richardson was pretty tough upfront too he went for 6 tackles and 1 sack. The Falcons were led by Robert Alford who recorded 9 tackles. Desmond Trufant added 4 tackles and 1 interception in the victory as well. 

Charity of the day: International Peace Institute

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Mark Ingram is a big reason the Saints are 8-2 this year, he is playing some of his best football ever right now:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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New Orleans Saints Running Back Mark Ingram is in his 7th season of NFL action and believe it or not the former University of Alabama alum is playing better than ever. Ingram is on pace to shatter his career highs in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and yards per carry average. Those stat lines let you know Ingram is in peak form and this guy has really been the lifeblood of the Saints this year. With Mark Ingram wearing down opposing defenses early on and Alvin Kamara taking advantage of a tired defense after. That one two punch has been so vital for Sean Payton’s offense and when you can run the football effectively anything is possible. Time of possession is so important in this sport because it keeps your defense on the sideline resting while the other team’s defense is on the field expending their energy. When the fourth quarter rolls around suddenly an exhausted defense will start to miss tackles and make mental errors. We seen that late in the Redskins game when Jay Gruden’s team completely unraveled against New Orleans. Ingram put up 134 yards and 1 touchdown against Washington and he did that off only 11 carries. Imagine if the Saints handed this guy the ball 20 or 30 times like the Steelers do with Le’Veon Bell? The truth is the Saints will never do that because they like the aerial attack with Drew Brees. The dual running back approach with Kamara and Ingram also lightens the load for both players and it keeps them fresh throughout the season. Ingram has 806 yards for the year and 8 rushing touchdowns so he is certainly having a big impact and expect Coach Peyton to ride Ingram’s legs as this team heads into the final six games. There’s no doubt this team will end up in the playoffs too it’s just too hard to imagine them collapsing.

Charity of the day: International Peace Institute

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Vikings make a statement by beating up on the Rams 24-7, Thielen goes over 100 yards receiving:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Everything seems to be clicking for the Minnesota Vikings after they picked up their sixth straight win against the Los Angeles Rams. What made this win so compelling for the Vikings is the fact that the Rams were one of the hottest teams in football entering this contest with a 7-2 record. Both of these teams are jockeying for position in the NFC and a victory will go a long way for Minnesota’s confidence. Maybe the most key factor for Mike Zimmer’s football team is their ability to play lights out defense week in and week out. The Rams are one of the highest scoring offenses in football but Eric Kendricks, Harrison Smith, and the rest of that group came to play like they always do. The result was Los Angeles failing to produce a 100 yard rusher or receiver and Jared Goff didn’t throw a single touchdown pass. On the other hand Case Keenum finished the day with 280 yards, 1 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. So Keenum continues to play above expectations and the former University of Houston quarterback has been so crucial in this team’s winning streak. The other player who has really starred for Minnesota’s offense is Adam Thielen. Thielen’s talents were on full display against the Rams defense and the 4th year receiver finished the day with 123 receiving yards plus 1 touchdown. Latavius Murray helped the Vikings establish a ground game as well he put up 95 yards and 2 touchdowns. When you look at these stats it become apparent the Minnesota Vikings are the real deal and they certainly could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl if the keep playing like this. The NFL is a physical sport and Mike Zimmer’s ball club plays a tough brand of football. They can just wear you down with their big hits and suffocating presence.

Charity of the day: Center for Community Change

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Matthew Stafford throws for 299 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Detroit Lions to a 27-24 win against the Bears at Soldier Field:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Things didn’t start well for the Detroit Lions who were in the Windy City taking on the Chicago Bears but in the end Jim Caldwell’s team was able to pull out a victory. Detroit trailed after the first quarter 10-0 but that’s when Matthew Stafford started to heat up. Stafford led Detroit to a 21 point second quarter which would wind up being instrumental in the Lion’s win. Stafford put up 299 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions for the day and it’s clear he is the x-factor when it comes to Detroit’s playoff hopes. Even beyond Matthew Stafford’s outstanding ability to throw the football he has shown amazing grit when he continuously plays through pain and that’s the reason why this franchise is a contender. Marvin Jones was up to his same old tricks as well hauling in 85 yards and 1 touchdown reception, that’s Jones 5th touchdown catch of the year. Ameer Abdullah was also able to haul in a Stafford pass for a score and it was definitely the passing game that helped Detroit climb back into this contest. Mitchell Trubisky showed glimpses of greatness for the Bears but you can tell the rookie is still a little green. Trubisky threw for 179 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions. The first year QB also showed the ability to make some big plays with his legs too. Jordan Howard is hands down the Bears best player he recorded 125 yards and 1 touchdown. As far as defense goes, the Lions were led by Tahir Whitehead who had a team high 9 tackles. Tavon Wilson was all over the field as well he finished with 7 tackles. The Bears on the other hand were led by Christian Jones who contributed 8 tackles and 1 sack. Nick Kwiatkoski had a big day also he added 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble for Chicago’s defense. John Fox’s team actually had a chance to tie the game with 8 second left on a field goal attempt but that kicked was shanked and Detroit heads back to Motown with a big road win.

Charity of the day: Center for Community Change

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The Seahawks will have to find a way to win without Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor for the rest of the year:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Seattle Seahawks secondary is in rough shape after Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor were both lost for the entire season. Sherman is suffering from an achilles injury while Chancellor has a banged up neck, which is going to really hurt the back end of Seattle’s defense. Chancellor is a big loss because not only is he a field general for this team he is also a freak of nature athletically. Chancellor is an oversized safety that can deliver bone crunching hits and he has developed a knack for making big plays in clutch situations. Without Kam Chancellor someone else on this team has to be the vocal leader as far as alignments and coverages go. To make matters even worse the Seahawks will be without their heart and soul motivation wise in Richard Sherman. Sherman was always the guy that this team looked to on the sidelines to set the tone for what needs to be done. Richard Sherman also blanketed one half of the field and was usually a match up nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. Rookie Shaquill Griffin will have to elevate his play in order to reduce the loss of Sherman. Griffin has shown glimpses of greatness in his first year of action now he has to put it all together and create some turnovers for Pete Carroll’s ball club. The other key factor will be Earl Thomas who is returning from a pulled hamstring. If Thomas can get back to top form he can be a guy that forces a bunch of takeaways and significantly increases Seattle’s chances of victory. It’s going to take a collective effort from a number of different players to make up for the absence of Sherman and Chancellor though. You can’t say enough good things about those two players and it’s sad to see them sidelined right when the Seahawks need them the most.

Charity of the day: Prevent Cancer Foundation

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Jerry Jones’ accomplishments are leaps and bounds superior than Roger Goodell’s, the commissioner is running the NFL into the ground:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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There’s been a lot of media hype lately between Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Most of the controversy surrounding both individuals is due to the fact that Goodell suspended Ezekiel Elliott after telling Jones he wouldn’t. That has set the Cowboys owner into a frenzy and now the only thing on Jerry Jones’ mind is getting revenge. Now to be fair if you compare both individual’s accomplishments it’s pretty obvious that Jones has the edge. The first example is the fact that Jerry Jones took over a Cowboys team that was losing $1 million dollars per month and now Dallas is the highest valued sports franchise in the world. On top of that Jones has won 3 Super Bowls and was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame. On the other hand Roger Goodell inherited the National Football League in 2006 after Paul Tagliabue retired. It’s safe to say pro football already had a lot of momentum under their belt at the time and that’s why it’s absurd the league (NFL) is considering extending Goodell’s contract. It’s no secret that the ratings and fan base has been diminishing recently and any other leader would be held accountable for that regression. Instead the owners seem adamant about keeping Goodell around which is certainly a bad omen for things to come. If you ask any casual football fan what’s wrong with the NFL they will usually respond with an answer like “they don’t get anything right anymore.” Which is a statement usually made about how poorly discipline has been handled recently. Nobody wants to hear Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended and then reinstated thirty different times throughout the season. Not only did that happen with Elliott and Tom Brady the league seems to be heading down that path with Jameis Winston now too. It’s not the games that are destroying the National Football League, game day is as exciting as ever and the action is unrivaled. Instead it’s the off the field antics by the league office which has lowered the NFL’s value and finally Jerry Jones has had enough. Every football fan should be on Jerry Jones’ side because if not one man (Goodell) could single-handedly destroy the most powerful sports league in the world. New leadership is needed more than ever and hopefully Jerry Jones is the man that causes that change.

Charity of the day: Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

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Ben Roethlisberger was in top form against the Titans he threw for 4 touchdowns and led the Steelers to a 40-17 win:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was outstanding last night against the Tennessee Titans throwing for 299 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. It’s performances like that which could help the Steelers win the AFC side of the playoff bracket because when Roethlisberger plays so well this squad is on another level. Antonio Brown had a big day at the office as well, the Steelers receiver recorded 144 receiving yards and 3 touchdown receptions. Pittsburgh Tight End Jesse James got in on the scoring action too he hauled in 21 yards and 1 TD reception. As you can probably see from the stats this was mostly an aerial assault by Pittsburgh and Steelers fans have to be more confident after the struggles Roethlisberger had earlier in the season. Marcus Mariota had a very poor performance against the stout Steelers defense. Mariota threw for 306 passing yards, 1 touchdown, and 4 interceptions which ultimately doomed Tennessee. Rishard Matthews was the Titans most notable player he hauled in 113 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. Delanie Walker also chipped in 92 receiving yards but overall there just wasn’t enough offense or defense from Tennessee to get it done. Artie Burns had a big day for Pittsburgh’s secondary he had a team high 8 solo tackles. Sean Davis was pretty good in this contest too he finished with 3 tackles and 1 interception. Adoree Jackson played extremely well in the Titans losing effort, Jackson registered 11 tackles and 1 forced fumble. Jonathan Cyprien contributed 10 tackles for Mike Mularkey’s defense as well. Overall the Steelers were completely dominant in this match up it was their most impressive win of the year. Pittsburgh had yet to score 40 points in a single game but it’s safe to say this team is hitting their stride heading into the final stretch of the regular season.

Charity of the day: Starlight Children’s Foundation

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The Bills have lost two games and surrendered 81 points since trading Marcell Dareus, yet Tyrod Taylor is the one taking the fall:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Society can be cruel at times specifically in the fact that we like to scapegoat people who often times have nothing to do with a situation’s failure. One of the most recent NFL players to go through such circumstance is Tyrod Taylor from the Buffalo Bills. Tyrod Taylor has recently been demoted to a back up quarterback role after the Bills front office made the mistake of trading away Marcell Dareus. Even though Marcell Dareus wasn’t putting up gaudy numbers it’s obvious now that he had a bigger presence than given credit for and that’s why we are seeing a complete meltdown of the Buffalo Bills on the defensive side of the ball. Sean McDermott used that scenario to put a spin on things in Western New York and it’s really unfair to Tyrod Taylor. The Bills former starting quarterback (Taylor) has thrown for 10 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions for a rating of 91.4, he is also responsible for all 5 Bills’ wins. So to use the bad trade as a way to bench Taylor is a very risk move for Buffalo and don’t be surprised if McDermott losses some respect in the locker room. As good as Nathan Peterman has looked in limited action it’s hard to believe that he will be able to give as much output as Taylor can right now. Tyrod Taylor has much more experience and he has had to bounce back from adversity before. We don’t know what Nathan Peterman brings to the table and it feels like Taylor should have at least one more season at the helm. Sean McDermott has been pretty good strategy wise up to this point but he thought every trade would work out in his favor after the Jordan Matthews and EJ Gaines deals. That wasn’t the case with the Dareus trade and now it feels like McDermott is digging a deeper hole by punishing Taylor for the front office’s hiccups. One thing is for certain if Buffalo falls apart it will because of their own undoing.

Charity of the day: American Civil Liberties Union

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The San Francisco 49ers can sleep easy after getting their first win of the season:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The San Francisco 49ers have struggled all year but at least Kyle Shanahan can sleep easy knowing he won’t go 0-16 in his first season as a head coach. San Francisco beat the New York Giants 31-21 this past weekend and really it was the offensive output that got this team the win. It was the second time in 2017 that the 49ers have put up over 30 points in a contest and once you start scoring that many points it greatly improves your chances of winning football games. C.J Beathard in particular was very impressive for Shanahan’s offense Beathard threw for 288 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. The rookie was one of the top performing quarterbacks for week 10 and only four other QBs threw for more yards than Beathard. Look, it all starts with the quarterback position and the 23 year old out of Iowa played well beyond his years against the Giants. It’s safe to say San Francisco is in good hands until Jimmy Garoppolo takes over the reins and when that happens C.J Beathard will make a solid back up. Carlos Hyde was also very effective running the ball for the 49ers. Hyde finished with 98 yards on 17 rushing attempts for an average of 5.8 yards per carry. The quarterback and running back tandem was definitely in full effect for this franchise and Hyde can be one of the best in the business when he gets enough hand offs. Defensively Ronald Blair was the best defender for San Francisco. Blair put together an outstanding 4 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble performance. It’s plays like that which will elevate this defensive unit and Ronald Blair is starting to make a name for himself in his 2nd season. Collectively all three players led the charge in the 49ers win and now this team has to build on this positive momentum November 27th against the Seahawks.

Charity of the day: American Civil Liberties Union

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The Minnesota Vikings have to stick with Case Keenum at quarterback and it’s really not even up for debate:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Recently the Minnesota Vikings have gotten Teddy Bridgewater back from a knee injury and that has caused speculation about who the starting QB should be moving forward? While it’s easy to debate whether Case Keenum or Bridgewater should be the guy for this team one has to remember that Keenum has led the Vikings to a 7-2 record. When Sam Bradford went down this team faced a sink or swim moment and Keenum kept this team’s head above water in Bradford’s time away. All those repetitions in training camp and in games have prepared Case Keenum well and that’s why it’s clear he has to remain at the helm for the rest of the season. As great of a comeback story as Teddy Bridgewater has been he still has to get reacquainted with the game speed of the NFL. That transition will take a little bit of time and Minnesota can’t afford to stumble while Bridgewater gets up to pace. The Vikings are currently leading the NFC North and there’s an old saying “if it’s not broke don’t fix it.” Mike Zimmer surely understands this and that’s why it’s almost absurd to think that there is a quarterback controversy surrounding this team at the moment. Keenum has put together an impressive 11 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions for the season. There’s no doubt if Case Keenum wasn’t the Vikings back up when Bradford went down this team would have been in a lot of trouble. So based on everything Keenum has been able to accomplish it’s obvious that he has to lead this team for the rest of the year. Bridgewater has to keep working towards becoming a starting quarterback in this league again and that’s going to take longer than just recovering from an injury. On top of that Keenum is putting up better numbers than Bridgewater did before he got injured so it’s really a no brainer for the Vikings at this point.

Charity of the day: American Civil Liberties Union

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