Whats happening around the league: Week 17

Photo credit: Rich Schultz / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Chip Kelly is fired by the Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly has been fired by the Philadelphia Eagles just 1 game shy of completing his 3rd season in the NFL. Kelly who was an outstanding coach at the University of Oregon finished his tenure in Philadelphia with a 26-21 record. A brilliant x and o’s guy Kelly struggled with personnel and managing marquee talent. For all his ability to put people in a position to succeed on the football field. Kelly had an equally detrimental habit of alienating the people around him off the field. That wasn’t limited to just players but also other coaches and other employees in the building as well. One thing I will say is Chip Kelly made moves that cleared a lot of cap space for the Eagles. So as much as we knew he shipped away talent it was only going to get brighter later on for the Eagles. That cap space would of been mighty useful for bringing in players that fit Kelly’s overall scheme. Now the next coach will get to use that cap space and will look like a hero. Yet if Kelly truly irked as many people as the rumors were saying. It just goes to show that maybe ownership preferred a more likable personality at their head coach position. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a talented football coach cast out because of being unlikeable. Jim Harbaugh was in a similar situation just a year before. We know how that panned out for him. Regardless of what the popular opinion is in the Philadelphia area the Eagles might come to regret this decision.

Peyton Manning’s accuser recants statements about Manning’s HGH use

The Al Jazeera reported that Charles Sly had a hidden camera investigation that observed Peyton Manning receiving HGH supplements shipped to his house. The shipments were apparently during the year Manning was recovering from neck surgery in 2011. Charles Sly is now backing off those statements saying that never happened. You have to wonder if Al Jazeera had second thoughts of making those statements after Manning’s legal team threatened to sue them. Manning was clearly frustrated with the allegations saying “they are garbage and completely made up.” That is the problem with the generation today anyone can have a voice. When people use that voice to do harm like slander someones name for their own personal gain. Sometimes they forgot those actions have consequences. Sly and Al Jazeera’s creditability are forever tainted and they got put in their place quickly. They should think twice about making irresponsible statements about someone’s character and credibility.

Revis says Jets General Mangers Mike Maccagnan should be up for Executive of the Year:

Darrelle Revis has came out and stated that he believes his teams’ General Manager should be up for the Executive of the Year honors. After Mike Maccagnan brought in big name talents like Brandon Marshall, Darrelle Revis, and Ryan Fitzpatrick the Jets have became relevant again. Now with the end of the season looming the team is looking poised to make a playoff spot. They will need a win Sunday to really solidify themselves and claim that spot. Regardless after a 4 win season in 2014, a 10 win season with a game left in the season is much more promising. Revis believes much of the praise must go to Maccagnan. It’s hard to argue with him.

Charity of the day: Partners in Health

Go donate! www.pih.org

Week 17 Power Rankings

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Author: Joey Carr

 

  1. Arizona Cardinals
  2. Carolina Panthers
  3. New England Patriots
  4. Denver Broncos
  5. Kansas City Chiefs
  6. Seattle Seahawks
  7. Cincinnati Bengals
  8. Minnesota Vikings
  9. New York Jets
  10. Green Bay Packers
  11. Washington Redskins
  12. Pittsburgh Steelers
  13. Houston Texans
  14. Atlanta Falcons
  15. Oakland Raiders
  16. St. Louis Rams
  17. Indianapolis Colts
  18. Philadelphia Eagles
  19. Buffalo Bills
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  21. New York Giants
  22. Detroit Lions
  23. Chicago Bears
  24. Miami Dolphins
  25. New Orleans Saints
  26. Jacksonville Jaguars
  27. San Diego Chargers
  28. Baltimore Ravens
  29. Dallas Cowboys
  30. Cleveland Browns
  31. San Francisco 49ers
  32. Tennessee Titans

Charity of the day: American Humane Association

Go donate! www.americanhumane.org

Hottest teams in the NFL right now: Cardinals, Chiefs, and Jets

Photo credit: Peter G. Aiken / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs both enter week 17 with a 9 game win streak. Stop and think about that for a second. Nine consecutive games both the Chiefs and Cardinals have been able to beat out their NFL opponents. It’s so hard to just get one win in the NFL and that is why 9 wins is such an impressive feat. The Chiefs got their last win in week 16 over the Cleveland Browns. Where they were able to hold Johnny Manziel in check for most of that outing. The Chiefs have success by playing fundamental football. That is the whole philosophy behind Andy Reid’s approach. He is a coach that is going to do the little things right. That traditional approach has paid big returns for this Chiefs football team and they will get the privilege of measuring themselves in the postseason. The Cardinals are another story. They have success by lighting you up on the scoreboard. The Cardinals can make good competition look lackluster. Overwhelming you with their vast collection of weapons who can put up points quickly. Carson Palmer has been playing at such a high level that the Cardinals are a serious Super Bowl contender. There is an old saying in football that goes “you’re only as good as your quarterback.” Fortunately for the Cardinals they have an outstanding quarterback who has thrown for 34 touchdowns and 4,542 passing yards. When you also factor in the Cardinals have a pretty impressive defense as well, you understand just how talented this team truly is. The final team that deserves an honorable mention for hottest team in the NFL is the New York Jets. The Jets have managed to achieve 5 straight wins and seem to be clicking at the right time. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is a big reason for that success throwing for 29 touchdown and 3,724 passing yards on the season. When you also take in account the other playmakers on this team like Brandon Marshall who has contributed 13 touchdowns and 1,376 yards receiving on the season. You understand just how dynamic this Jets attack has been recently. The Jets also have a very stout defense who have a habit of making opposing quarterbacks crumble. This team is similar to the Cardinals but not quite as dynamic or explosive. Truthfully all three of these teams are a match up nightmare in the playoffs for any team. Look to see if they can keep blazing the path towards the Super Bowl like they’ve managed to do this far.

Charity of the day: American Humane Association

Go donate! www.americanhumane.org

Osweiler outperforms McCarron as Broncos take down Bengals in overtime:

Photo credit: Doug Pensinger

Author: Jon Kuzma

Two young quarterbacks faced off looking to prove their worth in Monday Night Football last night. For the Denver Broncos it was Brock Osweiler who took over the reins for the Broncos after Peyton Manning was sidelined with an injury to his foot. Osweiler has managed to impress in his short time as the Broncos starting quarterback earning a record of 4-2 over that span. On the opposite sideline former Alabama quarter A.J McCarron made the start for the Bengals. McCarron impressed early on looking sharp on several passes. The Bengals even had the Broncos defense on their heels early on. That was before the Broncos defense slowly started to come alive later on in this football game. After surrendering 14 points in the first half. The Broncos defense would tighten up and only allow a field goal in the second half. McCarron finished the day with 22 completions out of 35 passing attempts for 1 touchdown and 200 yards. A mediocre performance after how hot the 1st year player was able to start early on. On the other hand Osweiler stepped up and made the plays that he had to, to win the game. He finished the game with 27 completions out of 39 passing attempts for 1 touchdown and 299 yards. Osweiler’s rating of 100.3 compared to McCarron’s 87.8 shows that extra efficiency from the quarterback position goes a long way. Other notable performances for the Broncos were turned in by C.J Anderson who finished the game 73 rushing yards and a touchdown. Emmanuel Sanders was the Broncos main receiving threat. He finished with 4 receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown.  At the end of the day the headline of this match up is the Broncos being able to persevere and soar back against this tough Bengals team. Give credit to the Broncos defense for overcoming adversity and making the the necessary adjustments when they needed to. Also give credit to Brock Osweiler for showing he can be a big time player when his team needs him to be.

Broncos win 20-17.

Charity of the day: American Humane Association

Go donate! www.americanhumane.org

How the Atlanta Falcons were able to humble the Carolina Panthers:

Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox

Author: Jon Kuzma

Defense defense defense. That is how the Atlanta Falcons beat the Carolina Panthers yesterday ultimately ending the Panthers dreams of an undefeated season. When you build a team it’s always important to prioritize defense and focus on the running game. The Falcons took away the Panthers rushing attack and then they kept Cam Newton in check in the passing game. Newton finished the day with 17 completions out of 30 passing attempts for only 142 yards through the air. Effectively keeping the M.V.P frontrunner candidate in check like no other team has been able to do up to this point. Not one Panther was able to rush or catch for a 100 yards either. So when you have such a strong defensive effort collectively good things are going to happen for your football team. Robert Alford was the leader of Atlanta’s defensive efforts with 7 total tackles. Vic Beasley Jr. also added 4 tackles and a sack in the match up. Offensively for the Falcons Matt Ryan was phenomenal as well. Ryan finished the day with 306 passing yards and 1 touchdown on the day. Finding Julio Jones for that touchdown reception. Jones was absurdly effective against the Panthers defense as well. He recorded 9 receptions for 178 receiving yards. Showing why he has easily been one of the best wide receivers in the league this year. Devonta Freeman also contributed 73 yards rushing and a touchdown to the Falcons offensive efforts. When you look at this games’ stats it becomes alarmingly clear that the Panthers didn’t run the ball enough. The Panthers had 20 rushing attempts to the Falcons 30 rushing attempts. When the Panthers were at their best earlier in the season they were running the football effectively and asking Cam to make the play when he had to. Yesterday the Panthers took the offensive approach of just putting it all on Cam’s shoulders. The team has been clearly missing the absence of Jonathan Stewart and will certainly get a boost offensively when they can get him back. For the Falcons it was a good win but this team has to be feeling the letdown of missing out on the playoffs. After starting off the season red hot the Falcons stumbled down the stretch. Resulting in another wasted season for Matt Ryan and company…

Charity of the day: American Kidney Fund

Go donate! www.kidneyfund.org

Bill Belichick makes a foolish decision that cost the Patriots the game:

Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky

Author: Jon Kuzma

When the Patriots kicked the ball in overtime yesterday against the New York Jets it wasn’t the first time Bill Belichick chose to kick the ball in overtime rather than receive. Belichick made the same exact call back in 2013 against the Denver Broncos however when electing to kick in that game his defense 3 and outed the Broncos offense and the Patriots were able to win the football game after receiving good field position. Against the Jets the strategy didn’t pay off so rewardingly. Ryan Fitzpatrick continued to live up to his moniker “Fitz Magic”. Fitzpatrick was phenomenal in overtime doing what he had to do to get this Jets team the win. On that drive in overtime Fitzpatrick was able to complete 3 passes for 74 yards. Eventually sealing the game with a 6 yard pass to Eric Decker for the game winning touchdown. Fitzpatrick finished the day with 3 touchdowns and zero interceptions for 296 yards. Impressive numbers for the former 7th round draft pick out of Harvard. Fitzpatrick has managed to hang around the NFL long enough to become an outstanding player. Showing that hard work and perseverance are still the keys to success in the National Football League. Brandon Marshall also had an outstanding day for the Jets offense hauling in 2 touchdown receptions and 115 yards receiving. Marshall had a day against a tough Patriots defense and was a huge factor in this victory. The Jets defense was also impressive and they were able to finish six plays behind the offensive line of scrimmage. 2 sacks and 4 tackles for losses making it tough for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense to get in a rhythm. That has been the recipe for success all season long for the Jets defense. Get pressure on the quarterback with the defensive line and blitz. While the back 7 players get to flow and make plays. Another big factor was the fact that the Patriots were nonexistent in the running game. Their leading rusher on the night Brandon Bolden finished the game with only 30 yards rushing. A problem the Patriots will have to fix moving forward. You can tell they are hoping Steven Jackson can fill that role already being handed 7 rushing attempts. However he only produced 15 yards on those 7 attempts showing that he has to get back in game shape. At the end of the day this game came down to Bill Belichick’s bad call and miscalculation. He will have to man up and admit he was wrong to the team and commit to never kicking the ball in overtime again heading into the future. Coaches have to evolve and elevate themselves just like players are asked to do so. Belichick is no different.

Charity of the day: American Kidney Fund

Go donate! www.kidneyfund.org

Beast in the east: Redskins claim division title and playoff spot with win over Eagles

Photo credit: Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Washington Redskins have been having a great year. They started the season off with a lot of question marks on whether or not they should stick with Robert Griffin as their starting quarterback or make the switch to Kirk Cousins. Ultimately the Redskins decided the change to Cousins would be a move that would best suit this football team. That decision has paid off big time now that Cousins has led the Redskins to an NFC East division championship and a playoff birth. Cousins was brilliant in last nights match up against the Philadelphia Eagles and he did a great job of showing why the Redskins have been the more talented team all season. Cousins finished the day with 4 touchdowns and 365 yards through the air. Showing that he can handle the pressure and keep his poise in the big game. You really have to give Cousins praise how he left no doubt about his own personal performance with 4 touchdowns on the day. When you factor in he plays the most important position in the game of football. You begin to realize just how vital he was to this NFC East championship and playoff appearance. The Redskins are a legitimate football team for the first time since 2012. Other notable performances for the Redskins were Jordon Reed who hauled in 2 touchdowns and 129 yards receiving. Reed looked very impressive against the Eagles defense and is developing a great connection with Cousins. Look for him to keep developing as time goes on. He is already the teams leading receiver. Defensively for the Redskins Deangelo Hall was able to contribute a defensive touchdown after scooping and scoring on a 17 yard fumble recover for touchdown. For the Eagles Sam Bradford was able to finish the day with 380 yards and a passing touchdown. While Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews both went over 100 yards receiving on the day. The loss eliminate the Eagles from playoff contention. While the Redskins go marching on to the postseason.

Charity of the day: Scholarship America

Go date! www.scholarshipamerica.org

Score predictions for each week 16 game

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Author: Joey Carr

Redskins vs. Eagles: Saturday December 26th 8:25 p.m.
Prediction: WAS 30 PHI 22
Kirk Cousins: 280 yards 3 TD’s
Demarco Murray: 4 yards 4 carries

Colts vs. Dolphins: Sunday December 27th 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: MIA 20 IND 17
Lamar Miller: 115 yards rushing 1 TD
Matt Hasselbeck: 200 yards 2 INT’s

Bears vs. Buccaneers: 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: TB 27 CHI 17
Jameis Winston: 250 yards passing 2 TD’s
Doug Martin: 100 yards rushing 1 TD

Browns vs. Chiefs: 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: KC 34 CLE 20
Alex Smith: 300 yards 3 TD’s
Charcandrick West: 80 yards rushing 1 TD

Patriots vs. Jets: 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: NE 27 NYJ 23
Tom Brady: 310 yards 2 TD’s
Ryan Fitzpatrick: 280 yards 2 TD’s 1 INT

Cowboys vs. Bills: 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: BUF 20 DAL 13
Tyrod Taylor: 250 yards passing 2 TD’s
Sammy Watkins: 110 yards 2 TD’s

Panthers vs. Falcons: 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: CAR 28 ATL 23
Cam Newton: 250 yards passing 3 TD’s
Julio Jones: 100 yards 1 TD

49ers vs. Lions: 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: SF 23 DET 21
Blaine Gabbert: 200 yards passing 2 TD’s 1 INT
Calvin Johnson: 60 yards

Texans vs. Titans: 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: TEN 21 HOU 20
Brandon Weeden: 180 yards 1 TD 3 INT’s
Zach Mettenberger: 230 yards 2 TD’s 1 INT

Steelers vs. Ravens: 1:00 p.m.
Prediction: PIT 34 BAL 14
Ben Roethlisberger: 340 yards 4 TD’s
Antonio Brown: 170 yards 2 TD’s

Jaguars vs. Saints: 4:05 p.m.
Prediction: JAX 26 NO 24
Blake Bortles: 260 yards 2 TD’s 1 INT
Allen Robinson: 110 yards 1TD
Drew Brees: 250 yards 3 TD’s

Rams vs. Seahawks: 4:25 p.m.
Prediction: STL 24 SEA 23
Todd Gurley: 140 yards 2 TD’s
Russell Wilson: 230 yards passing 2 TD’s 1 INT

Packers vs. Cardinals: 4:25 p.m.
Prediction: ARI 31 GB 28
Carson Palmer: 300 yards 3 TD’s 1 INT
Aaron Rodgers: 280 yards 3 TD’s

Giants vs. Vikings: 8:30 p.m.
Prediction: MIN 25 NYG 20
Teddy Bridgewater: 210 yards passing 2 TD’s
Adrian Peterson: 105 yards 1 TD
Eli Manning: 230 yards 1 TD 3 INT’s

Bengals vs. Broncos: Monday December 28th 8:30 p.m.
Prediction: DEN 21 CIN 17
Brock Osweiler: 220 yards 2 TD’s 1 INT
A.J. Green: 80 yards 1 TD

Charity of the day: Witness for Peace

Go donate! www.witnessforpeace.org

Charles Woodson is capping off a remarkable career:

Photo credit: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Charles Woodson has officially announced he is retiring from pro football after this season. The former Heisman winner and NFL defensive player of the year has truly put together a remarkable career. Woodson is the only primary defensive player to ever win the Heisman in college football and he won the award by beating out Peyton Manning. Now after 18 NFL seasons Woodson has decided to move on to the next chapter of life. He has 65 career interceptions heading into his final game of the season. Along with 11 defensive touchdowns. Patrick Peterson recently tweeted that Charles Woodson’s 18 seasons of work are his “career goals”. Meaning that Peterson hopes to aspire to Woodson’s level someday. A very tough feat when you consider the longevity of his body of work. Not many players will be blessed enough to finish their career with 18 seasons of professional football. Peyton Manning is on his 18th season as well but unlike Manning Woodson is still flourishing. Woodson could easily play 2 or 3 more seasons, but Charles Woodson is a family man now. He would like to get back to spending more time around his children. He also gets to walk away from the game with no major injuries. Something that is becoming rarer and rarer in today’s age. Raiders owner Mark Davis has already stated that “Woodson can comeback and work in any capacity”. Expect Woodson to come back and work for the Raiders in a role that will help this team improve moving into the future. He told the fans “he would never leave them” maybe he was hinting at taking a gig as a scout or G.M for the Raiders. Only time will tell but it seems like he is interested in starting his work as a football executive with the silver and black.

Charity of the day: Witness for Peace

Go donate! www.witnessforpeace.org

 

Raiders are able to knock off Chargers 23-20 in California showdown:

Photo credit: Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Raider and Chargers met up in a Christmas eve showdown in California on Thursday Night Football. These teams might be sharing a stadium in Los Angeles next year but they are still rivals on the football field. Yesterday was another example of why the Raiders are slowly emerging and why the Chargers need to be more balanced in order to win football games. Derrick Carr and company were able to notch the victory in overtime on a 31 yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal. Notable performances for the Raiders included Michael Crabtree who finished the day with 6 receptions and a touchdown. While Latavius Murray was able to contribute 79 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground. Still this Raiders attack all starts with Carr. The former second round draft pick out of Fresno State has been slowly resurrecting this Oakland franchise. Carr put up modest numbers in yesterdays match up with only 204 yards passing and 1 touchdown. However it’s his leadership and ability to make plays downfield that have breathed life into the silver and black. With the foundation they’ve laid the Raiders have put themselves in a position to succeed in 2016. They just have to add a few more pieces to the puzzle and do their best to retain everyone this offseason. Defensively Malcolm Smith had a tremendous day for the Raiders. He registered 14 total tackles and two tackles for loss. Showing he can be a dominant force for this defense moving forward. Ben Heeney was also able to finish with 9 tackles and a tackle for loss. For the Chargers it was another night of Rivers throwing the ball an absurd amount of times. Rivers had 49 passing attempts against the Raiders. If this team wants to get back to playing winning football, they first must learn to become a balanced football team. Woodhead needs to have more than 11 carries on the evening. If this team can get their number 1 running back to have 20 carries a game heading forward good things will happen for this team. On top of that they should spell a back up running back for at least 5 carries a game. Doing so will take pressure off Rivers and keep the Chargers in games. Notable performances for San Diego were Dontrelle Inman who finished with 82 receiving yards and a touchdown. While Denzel Perryman led the way for the Chargers defensively with 11 tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss. The Raiders improve to 7-8 while the Chargers fall to 4-11.

Charity of the day: Child’s Wish Foundation

Go donate!  www.childrenswish.org

 

 

 

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