Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall make up talented wide receiver duo:


Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall

The New York Jets put together a talented receiving duo when they landed Brandon Marshall this past off-season. The Jets only had to give up a 5th round draft pick to acquire Marshall a very cheap price considering how productive Marshall has been in the past. They pair him next to Eric Decker who was acquired by the Jets a year earlier in free agency. In his one season with the Jets Decker has been serviceable contributing 5 touchdown receptions and 962 receiving yards to the Jets offense. With the addition of Marshall, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has two weapons that he can count on with the game on the line. In preseason action this have been very noticeable, the Jets are looking much better through the air. In fact Fitzpatrick was able to throw for 2 touchdowns against the Giants. One of those to Decker on a post route from the x receiver position. It’s clear that the Jets are looking to form a new identity under coach Todd Bowles. The team has moved on from Geno Smith as the starting quarterback and Fitzpatrick is clearly an upgrade at that position. The old Jets under Rex Ryan were a ground and pound team meaning they focused more on the run game. The Todd Bowles Jets have a little bit more finesse and much of that is do to the addition of Brandon Marshall. With everyone stating the NFL is a “passing league” now. The Jets made the right move by bringing in talented playmakers on the edges. Look for both of these players to see a spike in production but more so Marshall. After getting out of Chicago Marshall most likely will benefit from the fresh start. A new team and a brand new environment can reinvigorate a player and Marshall seemed to be getting burned out in Chicago. As the teams clear number 1 receiver he seems to have taking a liking to Fitzpatrick and is upbeat about football again. A recipe for success for the 10th year player out of Central Florida. Both players however will make up a large portion of the Jets offense and that is why they’re one of the best duo’s in the league.

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Andre Johnson will benefit from a change of scenery:


Photo credit: Christopher Brown

The Indianapolis Colts got a heck of a free agent signing when they inked Andre Johnson to a 3 year 21 million dollar contract. The former Houston Texans receiver was exceptional during his time with the team contributing 7 seasons of at least 1,000 yards receiving. Now entering his 12th season Johnson will be catching passes from the best quarterback he has ever played with in Andrew Luck. The results have already been promising with Johnson catching a touchdown pass in the preseason against the Rams. What had to be most appealing for the Colts organization on that play was the fact that Andre Johnson was showing glimpses of what he used to be. Paired along with T.Y Hilton the Colts offense will be more dynamic than it has been in the past. They also added a proven veteran in Frank Gore, and return Deion Branch. All of these other offensive options will likely take pressure off Johnson and allow him to have an up year. Johnson had only three touchdown receptions last year and that number surely will go up this season. At the end of the day the new environment might be enough to help resurrect Johnsons career. He was clearly getting burned out mentally his final few season in Houston. This was evident by the fact at the end of his time there he asked to be released from the team a few different times. Maybe turning a new leaf might be what Johnson needed and from his body language it seems to be working. He might be someone to keep an eye on with a later round fantasy football draft pick. Any time you combine a 7 time Pro Bowl receiver with a top quarterback in the league good things are going to happen. The formula seems to be one that will pay dividends in the Colts future. Johnson will also reap the benefits.

Charity of the day:  LiveStrong Foundation

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Are the Bills for real?


Photo credit: Erik Drost

With the Buffalo Bills thrashing the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday in the Bills’ third preseason game you have to ask the question “are the bills for real?” They added a proven head coach in Rex Ryan who they appointed as their savior. So far that has been a good move for Buffalo due to the fact that since adding Ryan they were also allowed to lure in other promising NFL talent ex. Shady McCoy. With a whole new roster with much more talent this time around, Ryan is in a position that is far superior than he ever had in New York. Tyrod Taylor, E.J Manuel, and Matt Cassel seem like a better option at this point in their careers than Mark Sanchez was as a rookie for Ryan and the Jets. Not to mention all the young talent the Bills are loaded with the season such as Sammy Watkins, Marcell Dareus, and Robert Woods. It is clear that the Bills have made the most noise this off-season and on the field we are starting to see that translate into success. When the talent level at ever position goes up from yout head coach all the way down to your punters. Then typically good things are going to happen and that is exactly what we are seeing in Buffalo. A much more talented group that will offer the city of Buffalo a true pro football contender for the first time since Jim Kelly has been in town.

Look for this team to improve in the AFC East but they still are in a division with the New England Patriots. The team who won the Super Bowl just a year ago. And also with Miami inking Ndamukong Suh there still will be a challenge with the Dolphins as well. Yet don’t be surprised when the Bills upset a few teams. They were able to sneak 9 wins in last year with a less talented cast, we should be able to see 10 this year.

Charity of the day: Wildlife Conservation Society

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Odell Beckham Jr: The level of the bar has been raised

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Photo credit: A.P photo

With all the off the field hype that is surrounding Odell Beckham Jr. right now, he has reached that level where he is almost adding pressure to himself on the field. This is where the true test of how great of a player Beckham truly is will happen. Many times pro athletes create a level of excitement in the media and news that they can’t keep up with in their professional line of work. It’s that defining moment where an athlete turns into a diamond or just another rock at the quarry. If they can handle all the pressure of being a star athlete and the whirlwind of distractions that come with the role. Then that athlete is truly deserving of that reputation they earned, and they live up to the expectations. This is where Odell Beckham finds himself. After contributing a 1,3000 yard receiving season and 12 touchdown receptions the second year New York Giants receiver should be aiming to smash last years production. However many times an athlete will actually regress after an up year because of the psychology of the athlete. When things are going well for an athlete they typically receive more praise and because of that they’re less determined when it comes to developing their craft. It’s the same reason why you see Super Bowl teams have that Super Bowl hangover and not even make the playoffs the following year. You get too caught up in the spoils of victory and sooner or later it becomes a weakness. The commercials, the endorsement deals, and all the web articles let you know Odell is everywhere you turn your head right now. He knows he is all over the media headlines and all over the cover stories going on outside of football. It’s up to Odell to prove that he can back up all that hype again, and prove all over again that is indeed a marquee player. Beckham was able to show he can do that in high school, college, and at the pro level. The question is can he do it consistently do it at the pro level. We’ll find out in the regular season.

Charity of the day: Wildlife Conservation Society

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Brady starts off slow before bouncing back in Patriots 3rd preseason game:


Photo credit: Keith Allison

Tom Brady started off slow in the preseason game the Patriots had last night against the Carolina Panthers. He had two interceptions in the first quarter of action and was looking shaky out of the gate. You have to wonder if all the off the field distractions from “deflategate” are starting to get to the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Randy Moss said it best when he said “Tom is human” just like everyone else. With the NFL forming a witch hunt and smear campaign against Brady anyone would be feeling the pressure a little bit. Yet Tom Brady was able to block out the two interceptions he had early and the distractions of Roger Goodell and the NFL. Finishing his limited action off with a touchdown pass to Scott Chandler. More importantly showing that he can still persevere through the adversity, just like he could in his younger years. Like many other aging quarterbacks in the league Brady must constantly go out and show he can still play at a high level. This is a league where you are only as good as the success you’ve had recently and while Garoppolo won’t take Brady’s spot. He still needs to maintain a high level of play not only for his personal legacy, but also for the Patriots future success. With his suspension looming over the team Brady will also have to stay sharp away from the team. While some players might regress missing action Brady likely will be on a mission to overcome this challenge. The guy has been a winner his whole life and is a world class competitor. After having his personal life sabotaged and picked apart by the media all off-season. Brady is going to do his best to get his revenge. The only downside is that revenge might night even be possible until week 5.

Charity of the day: Veterans Assistance Foundation

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