The final countdown for the Broncos season

Official Denver Broncos Reporter

 

By Julie Dixon // @ABroncoNole

 

The Chiefs have secured their playoff spot and a win or loss changes nothing in their seeding. They can sit or start whomever they want for however long they want. On Sunday, their only known starter will be rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes. This could make it tough to game plan for Denver IF they really want to win.

For Denver, they could be playing to lose because general manager John Elway is scouting quarterbacks and the best way to get a top one is to lose. However, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas needs 108 yards to reach 1,000 for the season and running back CJ Anderson needs 54 yards to reach his 1,000. He’s averaging 63 a game so that one should be easy. 108 yards for Thomas will be tougher, as he’s only had one game all season over 100 yards which was against the Giants.

With two QBs only having three starts between them, it’s tough to scout this game. However, since head coach Andy Reid drafted Mahomes and wants him as his future (ironically, he wanted quarterback Paxton Lynch, but Elway moved up to take him away), he’ll put a game plan together to give him every chance to succeed and win.

With that said, It sounds like Denver will be starting their top defensive guys. This should help get the ball back to Denver quickly since Mahones hasn’t faced a defense like the Broncos. Getting the ball in Lynch’s hands will be instrumental in Thomas getting his yards. Plus Elway needs to see Lynch throw more than the ten times he did against Oakland a few weeks ago.

Head Coach Vance Joseph has said he wants Lynch to run.  If he bases a game plan around Lynch running and not his arm, the Broncos may be doomed to lose at home because of his injured ankle. WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer, receivers #2 and #3 look to be out, leaving Thomas, Jordan Taylor and Bennie Fowler as the three. Taylor and Fowler will need to be at the top of their game in order to pull coverage away from Thomas so he can get his yardage if they let Lynch throw.

Kansas City has an offense built around the run, so if Denver shows up to win, they should be able to stop it and force Mahones to throw. He’ll want to toss it deep as the gunslinger he is and since defensive back Aqib Talib may not be back next season, he could make sure Mahomes remembers his name.

If tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill play, Mahones has a chance, if not, it’ll be a long day.

The key to both sides is the same. Stop these strong-armed quarterbacks from throwing deep and to their top receiver. The difference will be that Mahones has nothing to lose.  If he misses, throws interceptions and incompletions, his job is secure, so he should be able to play with no pressure. The press, fans, and Reid are behind him and will excuse a new starter’s mistakes.

For Lynch, the opposite is true. Denver press has portrayed him as the enemy because they championed for QB Trevor Siemian, any mistake he makes will be ripped to shreds by the media and fans who follow them. In addition, head coach Vance Joesph is clearly not a fan.

This will put massive pressure on him to perform. If he does well, they’ll say it was against second stringers, if he stumbles, they’ll say how crappy because it’s against second stringers. His key will be to shut out the outside world and just play. A tough challenge when he could be playing for a job.

Hopefully, Joseph puts Thomas, Anderson, and winning over a handful of spots in the draft. Fans deserve it and after this crappy season, and it would be a good reward for the players. Go Broncos!

 

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The Jaguars vs the Titans, week 17 preview

Official Denver Broncos Reporter

By Julie Dixon // @ABroncoNole

 

The Jacksonville Jaguars have locked in their spot in the playoffs, so there will be no change if they win or lose. However, head coach Doug Marrone has said they’ll play to win and will start the ones. Some may think this is foolish, but this tough guy mentality is exactly why they’re the #3 seed.

Tennessee, on the other hand, must win or have both the Chargers and Bills lose. Based on this, they will be going full bore. If the Jaguars do indeed show up to play, it might not be enough.  It’s in Jacksonville’s best interest to lose because the Titans would travel to Jacksonville and they’d be the easiest of the three teams they could face.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has been all over the place this season due to injuries. He beat Jacksonville week two because Jaguars QB Blake Bortles turned the ball over five times and the defense looked as if they just gave up. Up until he did that though, Jacksonville defense looked good. Plus, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus hadn’t been signed yet.

With Mariota far from being at the top of his game, Tennessee has one weapon and that’s their run game. While Jacksonville is 21st in stopping run yards, they’re tied for 8th in allowing rushing TDs at 9.

Tennessee, on the other hand, is tops at stopping the run and not allowing TDs. Running back Leonard Fournette will have his work cut out for him. Luckily for Jacksonville, the Titans are ranked 25th at stopping the pass, so if the run isn’t successful, the pass is there.

Bortles has 18 TDs and no interceptions in the red zone. Last season, Mariota was a leader in this category, but no more and that’s where Bortles can really hurt the Titans.

For the Titans, they’re facing the number one pass defense in the league whereas Mariota is ranked 21st, so this is not a good match-up for them. Combine that with Jacksonville leading the league with 52 sacks and Tennessee allowing 32, that’s another bad matchup.

Even though Jacksonville has had a series of injuries on their offensive line, Bortles is among the least sacked at 22.  The Titans, however, are 5th in sacking the QB. Tackle Cam Robinson is listed as questionable. It will be tough to see Marrone starting him with the playoffs next week, so that’s where the Titans could attack.

The key for the Titans is to run the ball and keep Bortles from scrambling. He’s a bigger guy than people think and doesn’t go down easy. This has allowed him from being sacked often even with a hurt offensive line

The key for Jacksonville is to stop the run and get in Mariota’s face. He’s playing scared because of the injuries and will want to dump the ball quickly.  This has lead to a season of interceptions.

While it would benefit the Jaguars to lose, I can only see this happening if Marrone plays the second string. Jacksonville is a better team on every level and will want to beat their division rival.

 

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Is Firing Caldwell Racist?

Official Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

Yesterday an article was posted in the Detroit Free Press.

I read it.  And I paused.  And I thought about it.  And I must respectfully disagree.

Continue reading “Is Firing Caldwell Racist?”

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Fantasy Football 2017 Season Recap

Fantasy Football Reporter

By Liz Panucci // @PanucciLiz

I won! I won a championship!

My theory going into the 2017 NFL fantasy football season was to play the numbers. I drafted the highest I could when my turn came, focusing on wide receivers and running backs in the early rounds. Five of our six leagues did not have a kicker on the roster.

Each week, my starters were selected by using the players who had the highest projected stats going into the week’s games. When a player was injured and out for the season, I then replaced said player with the top player available in that position on the league’s list.

Continue reading “Fantasy Football 2017 Season Recap”

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Patriots Eyeing #1 Seed in the AFC

Official Patriots Reporter

By Traci McCartney //@traciamc

 

It’s that time of year again – Christmas is over, New Year’s Eve is approaching, and everyone is anticipating a fresh start and the new year.

For football fans, the playoffs are approaching and the excitement of the possibility of your team going to the Super Bowl is growing. For Patriots fans, dreams of another Lombardi Trophy are dancing in their heads.

But, in true fashion, Coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots are focused on the next game.

Continue reading “Patriots Eyeing #1 Seed in the AFC”

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Eagles Clinch Home Field Advantage

Official Eagles Reporter

By Roxaan Herrera

Eagles 19 – Raiders 10

 

All wins are not equal. Sure, a win is a win and it’s a step closer to the ultimate goal.  However, how you win does say a lot about a team. Monday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders was one of the most embarrassing wins I’ve witnessed in my fourteen years as an Eagles fan.  Have there been some prior to 2003? Of course, but I didn’t see them so it doesn’t count. We’re talking about my feelings here.

Continue reading “Eagles Clinch Home Field Advantage”

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Minnesota Vikings Shutout Green Bay Packers for First Time Since 1971

Official Green Bay Packers Reporter

By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan // @LUCYrk78

Vikings 16 – Packers 0

AND they did it AT Lambeau. It could be said that the Packers did well at only keeping the Vikings to 16 points, but that would be one of those statements where you’re really stretching to find something positive to say about this game.

I don’t think any die-hard (realistic) Green Bay fan truly expected us to win this game, but I am pretty sure that we didn’t see a shutout coming. According to Bleacher Report, “Saturday’s loss marks the second time in the past six games the Packers have been shut out. They hadn’t been held scoreless in a game prior to this season since 2006.” Continue reading “Minnesota Vikings Shutout Green Bay Packers for First Time Since 1971”

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How the Seattle Seahawks defense saved Christmas for their fans

By Shannon Sanchez //@ShannonSanchez3

Seahawks 21 – Cowboys 12

 

Right before kickoff I quickly listed a few things that I hoped the Seahawks would give to all their fans for Christmas. My list included:
1. Stop the run.
2. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin and tight end Jimmy Graham with quality and successful targets.
3. A clean game for guard Germain Ifedi.
4. A run game of our own.
5. A touchdown on our first offensive possession.

I thought it was a pretty good list.

Continue reading “How the Seattle Seahawks defense saved Christmas for their fans”

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The Improvement of Eric Ebron

Official Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield @Mom23RN

The Detroit Lions picked a tight end with their first pick in the 2014 draft, Eric Ebron out of North Carolina.  Most were surprised.  At the time, the Lions had just signed tight end Brandon Pettigrew to a 4-year deal.   He proceeded to put a lackluster year together with lots of drops, just like Pettigrew.

In fact, most of his career he has been plagued with drops.  He would go back and forth with Lions fans on Twitter about that issue.  As his career went on, he wouldn’t argue as much, but he did change his tune.  He promised to work on the drops. Continue reading “The Improvement of Eric Ebron”

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Week 16: Detroit Lions Pride Report

Official Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

Bengals 26 – Lions 17

Handle your business and win.  Get some help from a couple of teams, and the Lions could get into the playoffs.  Easy enough.  In their last 4 games, the Lions faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chicago Bears, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Green Bay Packers.  They were favored in all of them. They beat both the Buccaneers and the Bears.  Today they had to go on the road and face the 5-11 Bengals who were thoroughly beaten by the Vikings and the Bears.

This game should be no problem.  Despite a slow start from both teams, tight end Eric Ebron scored on a pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford.  Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay was getting calls, breaking up passes.  But the game took a slow turn.  The Bengals scored a touchdown in the 3rd quarter to make the score 13-10.  Lions fans just started to get “That Feeling”.  That some way, somehow, this team was going to lose to the Bengals. Continue reading “Week 16: Detroit Lions Pride Report”

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