The Cleveland Browns take the first step towards a massive overhaul by firing VP Sashi Brown:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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There’s still four games left in the regular season but the dominoes are already starting to fall in Cleveland Ohio. The Browns decided to part ways with Vice President Sashi Brown today and that move makes sense because this team has struggled with a 1-27 record over the past two seasons. That’s been the worst two year stint we’ve ever seen in the history of the National Football League which quickly prompted team owner Jimmy Haslem to make a change. The idea behind the move is that the Browns will get a better talent evaluator heading into this off-season. With Cleveland heading towards the worst record in football that would mean this franchise would have the first overall pick in the draft. Obviously Jimmy Haslem wants someone in the front office who can make the most of that selection. One interesting note from this whole situation is the fact that Haslem said Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson is safe. It’s hard to believe the man pulling the strings though because firing Jackson would cause a lot more chaos than firing the VP. The coach has so much to manage that removing Jackson from the mix would cause things to unravel into anarchy. It makes much more sense from a stability standpoint to keep Hue Jackson until the end of the season and then turn the page. Don’t believe Haslem’s pokerface it doesn’t feel like Hue Jackson will make it through this off-season because the Browns are looking to begin a whole new era. This team wants to omit the 2016 and 2017 seasons from their memory, the best way to do that would be by completely cleaning house. The next guy in charge will likely come in and use the number 1 overall pick on a quarterback. Which will most likely be Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, or Josh Allen.

Charity of the day: American Brain Tumor Association

Go donate! www.abta.org

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Todd Gurley has been one of the best running backs in all of football this year, he is 2nd in the league in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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First year Rams Head Coach Sean McVay has done a terrific job of turning around Los Angeles’ offense and a big part of that has been getting the best out of Todd Gurley. Gurley who is in his third season of professional action has been outstanding under McVay rushing for 939 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns. Only Le’Veon Bell has more rushing yards than Gurley and only Mark Ingram has more rushing touchdowns. It’s clear based off those stat lines that Gurley has been incredible in 2017 and that’s in complete contrast to last year when Jeff Fisher’s offense was nonexistent. It’s not just the running game that has been better either, Gurley has also caught 563 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns too. So McVay has also done a great job of utilizing Gurley out of the backfield which has resulted in a positive output for this football team. When you actually plug in the game film and watch the former Georgia Bulldog operate it becomes evident that opposing players have a hard time bringing Gurley down. First the Rams running back breaks defenders down with his juke moves and then if someone does get their hands on Gurley he has such good balance which makes him extremely hard to tackle. It’s that rare skill set which makes this guy a premier player in the National Football League and Gurley has also hurdled a number would be tacklers throughout the year as well. What that lets you know is McVay has one of the best athletes in the entire league at RB and that’s why Gurley has been such a key component to Los Angeles’ success. This organization has a huge game this weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles which is an NFC juggernaut match up. Todd Gurley needs to be at his best in order to give his ball club an edge and that means we need to see the 23 year old running with authority for all four quarters.

Charity of the day: American Brain Tumor Association

Go donate! www.abta.org

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After waiting for so long Philip Rivers is finally getting his moment to shine, the Chargers have a legitimate shot of going to the playoffs:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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It’s been almost five years since the Los Angeles Chargers went to the playoffs but things are looking more promising than ever with LA in a tie for first place in the AFC West. Rivers’ competitive spirit has uplifted this team during some of those darker times in Chargers history. Finally though Los Angeles’ front office put enough stand out pieces on the defensive side of the ball to keep this team in football games. That has given Philip Rivers a chance to put more wins on the board and the 35 year old quarterback hasn’t disappointed with his individual play either Rivers has had a passer rating of over 100 in seven games this season. Defensive Coordinators know they’re going to have their hands full when they go against the 14 year veteran because Rivers has the ability to dissect a secondary rather quickly. At 6’5 Philip Rivers has a big frame and has always known how to beat defenders with his precision passing. When you factor in the passion that the former North Carolina State alum brings to table as well it’s easy to see why this guy has been such special player for over a decade. Rivers also has some dynamic weapons that help him execute Head Coach Anthony Lynn’s game plan. Keenan Allen has been an overwhelming force at the wide receiver position. While rookie Mike Williams is starting to get acclimated in the offense too, he had 5 receptions last game. Then you have Tyrell Williams as a role player and keep in mind he went for over 1,000 yards in 2016. It’s clear that the talent around Philip Rivers is much improved and that’s ultimately why the Chargers Qb has been excelling particularly in the win column. Even though Rivers is aging he is still the perfect leader for the rest of the players in LA’s locker room and it will be interesting to see if he can make it to the Hall of Fame or not?

Charity of the day: National Audubon Society

Go donate! www.audubon.org

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The sky is falling for the Kansas City Chiefs after losing 4 straight games:

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire

Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the hottest teams in football at the beginning of the season but now Andy Reid’s ball club can’t even win a game. The Chiefs got knocked off by the Jets this past weekend 38-31 and the blame has to fall on the defense. 31 points is more than enough points to win a football game but not if your defense can’t get the stops it needs down the stretch. Clearly Kansas City’s defense couldn’t do that and it’s a shame because offensively they really stepped up. Alex Smith was amazing against New York with 366 passing yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions believe it or not that was the best performance by any quarterback in week 13. Tyreek Hill was also more productive than any other receiver with 185 yards and 2 touchdowns so if the Chiefs can’t win with this high octane offense it really has to make you worry. It’s very hard to score 31 points in a contest, most football games end up in the 20s. Reid’s team will likely score less than 30 points in more than a few of their following four games so if this defense doesn’t make significant upgrades soon things are going to become disastrous. A catastrophic collapse which could entail losing the division and missing out on the playoffs won’t sit well this franchise. However there’s only so much this team can do right now to adjust their roster. The trade deadline has passed and there isn’t any free agents that are going to come in and immediately uplift this 30th ranked defense. Kansas City already tried to bring in Darrelle Revis to improve their secondary and halfway through the Jets game Revis was standing on the sidelines watching the action on the field unfold. Things just aren’t working out too well for the Chiefs Kingdom at the moment and it’s definitely concerning to see a team with so much promise completely unravel.

Charity of the day: National Audubon Society

Go donate! www.audubon.org

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Pittsburgh Steelers comeback to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in one of the most violent football games ever:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The AFC North is known for it’s hard hitting football and the Steelers / Bengals game didn’t disappoint. This contest was so violent that two key players were knocked out of the match up. First Steelers Linebacker Ryan Shazier went to the hospital with a back injury and then Vontaze Burfict was decleated by a hit from JuJu Smith-Schuster. It was apparent that every single player had to keep their head on a swivel and as much as you want to see action you hate to see anyone get hurt. As far as the actual score went the Steelers managed to comeback from a 20-10 deficit in the 4th quarter due to 13 unanswered points put up by the Pittsburgh offense. The Steelers got hot at the right time and their defense also did a great job of keeping Cincinnati out of the end zone in the final quarter of play. Ben Roethlisberger was facilitating the offense well like he usually does throwing for 290 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Le’Veon Bell had himself a night too rushing for 76 yards and also recording 106 receiving yards plus 1 receiving touchdown. Antonio Brown was explosive for the Steel City as well, he finished the night with 101 receiving yards and 1 touchdown catch. Andy Dalton actually played good for Cincinnati despite the loss, Dalton threw for 234 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Giovani Bernard was the leading rusher for the Bengals with 77 rushing yards for the evening. A.J Green was simply dominant for Marvin Lewis’ team Green put together a 2 touchdown and 77 yard masterpiece. When things were all said and done though Cincinnati couldn’t get that go ahead score with the game on the line. Mike Tomlin’s team was the exact opposite they seized the moment and showed why they are one of the best teams in all of football. The defensive stands outs in this game for the Steelers were Vince Williams and Sean Davis. Williams chipped in 9 tackles and 1 sack, while Davis ended up with 7 total tackles. Cincy was led by Dre Kirkpatrick who contributed 7 tackles and Vontaze Burfict who compiled 6 tackles before exiting the game.

Charity of the day: Grameen Foundation USA

Go donate! www.grameenfoundation.org

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New York parts ways with Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese the Giants are hoping to rebuild from the ground up:

Photo credit: Thearon W. Henderson

Author: Jon Kuzma

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Today New York Giants Co-Owner John Mara made it clear that his team is heading in a new direction. Mara decided to relieve Head Coach Ben McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese of their duties. A move that paves the way for new leadership and hopefully a rejuvenation of the Big Blue brand. New York has stumbled falling to a 2-10 record in 2017 and it felt like McAdoo was losing control of his team. Not only were several players in the locker room disgruntled, it got to point where the Giants were deactivating healthy players (Eli Apple). Then there were concerns about the players giving no effort, one example was Janoris Jenkins who was questioned at times. So you can see how all this negativity swirling around the franchise began to become toxic for everybody involved. After all of this stuff went down Coach McAdoo had another huge blunder when he made Eli Manning take the fall for the team’s shortcomings. Manning was benched last week in favor of Geno Smith and the backlash from that move was another black eye for the Giants. With so many hits taken in one single year Mara decided that enough was enough eventually leading to today’s major shake up taking place. As far as Jerry Reese goes it seemed like this team didn’t bring in enough good pieces this past off-season to maintain the success they had in 2016. The only real free agent this team brought in was Brandon Marshall and he didn’t even record a single touchdown for this offense. That $5 million dollar salary could have been used on younger players who would infuse more youth into the roster. Hindsight is always 20/20 but now it’s clear the Marshall acquisition was a bad move that didn’t add up. While Evan Engram was a great pick and the rookie Tight End should end up as a star that draft pick alone wasn’t enough to save the Giants season and it wasn’t enough to save Jerry Reese’s job. It just goes to show how short of a leash these coaches and general managers are on when it comes to winning or lack thereof in the National Football League.

Charity of the day: Grameen Foundation USA

Go donate! www.grameenfoundation.org

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The Seattle Seahawks make a statement by beating the Philadelphia Eagles 24-10 and put the league on notice:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Seattle Seahawks were banged up entering a showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles but Pete Carroll’s team pulled through. The Seahawks defense swarmed Carson Wentz and company holding Philadelphia to just 10 points. It’s defensive performances like this which could lead Seattle back into Super Bowl contention. Russell Wilson was also in the zone for the Seahawks he threw for 227 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Wilson has been good all year and that’s been huge uplift for this franchise up to this point. Mike Davis led Seattle’s rushing attack with 64 rushing yards and looked good at times carrying the ball. Doug Baldwin was his usual self pass catching wise hauling in a team high 84 yards. Jimmy Graham, Tyler Lockett, J.D Mckissic all caught touchdowns for Carroll’s offense too and it was the perfect performance against the red hot Eagles. Carson Wentz threw for 348 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception in a losing effort. Philadelphia falls to 10-2 on the year and will have to pick themselves up after the letdown. One bright spot for this team however was Wide Receiver Nelson Agholor who grabbed  7 receptions for 141 yards and 1 touchdown. If Agholor continues to progress at the rate he has this season the third year pass catcher will be one of the better receivers in the league soon. Alshon Jeffery was also decent in this match up he ended up recording 61 receiving yards. Really that was it for Philly when it came to offensive production. Bobby Wagner and Frank Clark were the top two defenders for the Seahawks, Wagner had 13 tackles while Clark contributed 2 sacks. Doug Pederson’s defense on the other hand was led by Mychal Kendricks who made 9 defensive stops. Brandon Graham was also impressive compiling 5 tackles and 1.5 sacks for the night. Seattle played their most convincing game of the year against the league’s best team. There’s no doubt this was a statement game for the Seahawks organization and all the fans in Washington have to be ecstatic with their team’s effort.

Charity of the day: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Go donate! www.lls.org

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Tennessee Titans stay hot with a 24-13 win over the Houston Texans, Mariota and company improve to 8-4:

Photo credit: Frederick Breedon

Author: Jon Kuzma

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Tennessee and Houston met up for an AFC South division clash and the Titans would walk away victorious with a 24-13 victory. Mariota had a decent day throwing for 150 yards, 1 touchdown,  and 0 interceptions. Tennessee’s quarterback also rushed for 23 yards and 1 touchdowns as well. The other big story line for the Titans’ offense was Derrick Henry who went for 109 rushing yards and 1 touchdown. It appears Henry has eclipsed DeMarco Murray as the starting running back for Tennessee and the former Alabama alum has really helped set the tone for Mike Mularkey’s football team. Delanie Walker had a big day catching the football too, the tight end hauled in 63 yards and 1 touchdown reception. This wasn’t an onslaught by Tennessee by any means but they did make more big big plays than the Texans and that’s all that matters. Tom Savage got the nod as Houston’s starting quarterback and threw for 365 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. DeAndre Hopkins was the Texans leading receiver with a team high 80 yards. Stephen Anderson put together a solid day for Bill O’Brien’s ball club too he recorded 79 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. On the defensive side of things Kevin Byard really stood out for the winning team. Byard had 9 tackles and continues to impress in his second year of NFL action. DaQuan Jones was the Titans other stand out defender he registered 5 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Benardrick McKinney did all he could despite his team coming up short he tallied up 7 tackles and 1 sack. Andre Hal was pretty good for the Texans as well he put together a 5 tackle and 1 forced fumble outing. The stage is set for the Titans and Jaguars as the AFC South continues to wind down. Tennessee currently leads the division and refuses to stumble as we enter the final four games of the regular season. You have to tip your hat to everyone in Nashville for the effort these guys have brought to the table week in and week out.

Charity of the day: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Go donate! www.lls.org

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2017 has proved once again that DeAndre Hopkins is one of the most elite receivers in the world:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Houston Texans have a prolific pass catcher in 5th year wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins has been so good that he has already chalked up his 3rd season of 1,000 receiving yards with five games remaining for Houston. When you also add in that the former Clemson wide receiver has hauled in 32 touchdowns since turning pro it’s obvious this guy has a tendency to make big plays. Hopkins really got a boost from rookie Quarterback Deshaun Watson in the beginning of the season but even after Watson’s injury Hopkins has continued to produce. In the last three games alone the Texans’ top receiver has hauled in 312 receiving yards and it just goes show that the 25 year old can get it done against the best in the world. Obviously this organization took note of that because they just handed DeAndre Hopkins a 5 year $81 million dollar contact this year. That commitment lets you know they want the former 1st round draft pick in the Upper Texas Coast area for the long haul. Based on Hopkins past track record that’s a smart move because not many other players in that locker room bring it as consistently as the South Carolina native does. Tom Savage knows he can trust the fade route down in the red zone because Hopkins has made a living off winning those 50/50 ball match ups. At 6’1 the receiver known as Nuk isn’t that much taller than opposing defensive backs but he knows how to high point the football extremely well. His timing and jumping ability allow that to happen and there’s just so many positive things you can say about this receiver. Houston will also be much better when they get Deshaun Watson back from his injury next season. Watson was flat out electrifying at the start of the year and getting him back on field will create a lot of opportunity for DeAndre Hopkins in the future. Those two will be a dynamic tandem for years to come and next time you’re watching a Texans game just sit back and watch number 10 make it look easy out there.

Charity of the day: American Rivers

Go donate! www.americanrivers.org

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The Packers would be foolish to rush Aaron Rodgers back, there’s just too much at risk:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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There’s a lot of Green Bay fans that are ecstatic about the fact that Aaron Rodgers has returned to practice today but the Packers should be extremely cautious. While it’s a good sign that Rodgers’ recovery is going smoothly this team still has to avoid rushing their franchise quarterback back too soon. The Dallas Cowboys found themselves in a similar situation back in 2015. Then Cowboys starting QB Tony Romo broke his collarbone in a week 2 game only to rush back for a week 12 match up towards the end of the season. Romo would actually go on to break his shoulder again and it just goes to show that sometimes these teams and their doctors don’t do a good enough job of looking out for their athletes. Green Bay wants to make the most of this year but the truth is the Packers are 5-6 and on a two game losing streak. Brett Hundley could get hot and knock off the Buccaneers this weekend. However you can’t expect a back up quarterback to elevate this team into a playoff contender, especially since Hundley has struggled for the most part. The Packers shareholders should be doing everything they can to prevent Aaron Rodgers from stepping back on the football field this season it doesn’t seem like that’s the case though in Green Bay. Everyone in Wisconsin wants Rodgers to comeback and put together a hero type of story. What the fans need to remember is these players are human beings which need to be treated with respect more than just the gladiator mentality and it’s up to the people running the league to make sure these athletes are protected from themselves at times. You would hope that the Packers do the right thing and tell Rodgers to shut it down for the year. Although it seems like the temptation of winning will cause Green Bay to go the other route.

Charity of the day: American Rivers

Go donate! www.americanrivers.org

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