Another tough game to watch for Browns fans. While most seemed surprised at the blow-out, if you look at their schedule up until now (Jets, Colts, Bengals), it’s only going to get harder as the season progresses. Visions of an 0-16 record loom large in the minds of even die hard fans. And the fear that getting the first pick in the draft (again) will only bring disappointment as the front office seems to struggle with player selection and analytics is very real.
Week after week fans see players the Browns released making plays, like wide recievers Willie Snead in NO or Travis Benjamin in Los Angeles for the Chargers. They see players they passed on in the draft wining games; quarterbacks Carson Wentz PHI and Deshaun Watson HOU being the most popular benchmarks so far. And they question the ability of the front office – and analytics – to put together a football team. Rightfully so.
Yes, you read that correctly. No, this isn’t an article from 2016… or 2015…. or 2014…. or, well, you get the drift. After making a landmark trade to acquire quarterback Brock Osweiler in the offseason, drafting Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer in the 2nd round, waiving Osweiler, watching Kevin Hogan come into preseason games and move the ball effectively, and sending Cody Kessler off to oblivion, the Cleveland Browns decide to start Kizer.
Fans were happy. Rebuilding was starting. The franchise quarterback was here. And then the season happened.
The Week 5 match-up versus the New York Jets started off on a high note; the Browns won their first coin toss of the season! I know you think this is not really something worth noting, yet as the losers of the toss for the first four weeks, opponents have deferred. This forced a shaky young offense to take the field first, ending in 3-and-outs or blocked punts and eventually the depressing fact that they were the only team in the entire NFL to have never had a lead at any point in a game. Never.
What a way to come back from a disarmingly bad loss last week against division rivals for the Baltimore Ravens to play like they did on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. The Ravens played excellent on both sides of the ball.
After being criticized by both fans and press alike, the Ravens came out playing fast and smart. When given good protection and time to throw we see a completely different team. We see a team that has the ground game and passing game in sync. Coming into this game we didn’t know which Ravens team was going to show up Sunday.
Glad to see the preparedness for the Raiders was on display. Quarterback Joe Flacco looked comfortable in the pocket. He didn’t throw one interception and was not sacked at all. Despite some injuries to some players we still managed to escape mistake free.
After years of tough competition and league-leading stats, the AFC North seems to have fallen on hard times. Through four weeks, the Pittsburgh Steelers are at the top with a predictable 3-1 record. They are currently ranked 5th on the Bleacher Report Power Rankings. Then, there’s the REST of the division. Down at #22 we have the Baltimore Ravens (2-2), at #23 the Cincinnati Bengals (1-3), and, pulling up the rear as usual, my Cleveland Browns (0-4).
Pittsburgh’s only loss so far came in overtime vs the Chicago Bears. They look good. Really good. Going to the Playoffs and maybe the Super Bowl good. (Man it hurts just to type that!). They host a tough and improving Jacksonville Jaguars team this week but their offense, which has put up a division-leading 90 points so far, is up to the challenge.
30 of the 32 NFL Teams have issued statements regarding the current events taking place during the National Anthem before games. Whether they chose to stay in the locker room, kneel, or join arms, the teams want us to understand where they are coming from. At this time, no statements have been issued by the Dallas Cowboys or the New York Jets. Here are the links to each team’s statement.
This game wasn’t going to be easy from the start. Green Bay was playing without several key starters: wide receiver Randall Cobb, defensive end Mike Daniels, left tackle David Bakhtiari, defensive back Kentrell Brice, cornerback Davon House, and linebackers Jake Ryan and Nick Perry. Adding to the stress of injured players, the temperature made this game the warmest in team history.
If you haven’t been following Cincinnati’s season, you wouldn’t know they came into this game at 0-2. They were aggressive from the start and had a 21-7 lead come halftime. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sacked five times and hit more than 10 times, and most shockingly, the Bengals forced a pick-six when cornerback William Jackson intercepted a pass from Rodgers to wide receiver Jordy Nelson, leading to a 75-yard touchdown. It’s pretty impressive when you think about it. Rodgers has been in the league for 10 years, and this only the second time he’s thrown an interception that’s turned into a touchdown. Another impressive stat? With this win, Aaron Rodgers has now beaten every NFL team. Except, of course, the Packers.
This was one of those matchups that was a no-brainer when it came to winning; every single sports media outlet had Steelers pegged to win. Against an elite passer such as Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, there was a doubt that the Chicago Bears secondary could stop him. But the Steelers didn’t quite understand the dual threat of Bears running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. Together, they masterfully carved up the Steelers defense with precision and grit.
Howard rushed for 138 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns, the latter in a 19-yard sprint in overtime to seal the deal. Cohen, Howard’s partner in crime, rushed for 78 yards on 12 carries. Another rookie that emerged was tight end Adam Shaheen, who not only pulled in his first TD but ran alongside Howard in the overtime hustle, blocking to keep his lane free.Continue reading “Chicago Bears Win in OT, But the Call is Still Out for Trubisky”→
What a game ladies and gentlemen! I suppose the Packers like to have some emotion and it doesn’t matter what time of the season it is. All us Packer Fans clearly remember the last two seasons. The Packers tend to not have good starts to the regular season. The season really gets started for the Packers after the fourth week. It’s almost like the first games are an extended preseason.
After those first four games, something happens and the team gets stronger and more confident on the field. All the players showed a sort of excitement, confidence and a different spirit during the game, training and the whole league. I know that nobody in Lambeau stops believing in a victory before the game has finished. And I believe that is what happened yesterday.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) will head to Soldier Field to make it a 3-0 start against the Chicago Bears (0-2), who look to overcome a horrendous outing last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Though sports media networks and sports writers have given their opinion and assessment of this matchup, it seems only right to ask fans how they feel about their team in this game.
To share their opinion on these two teams is Bear Fan extraordinaire and Editor at Windy City Gridiron, Lester Wilfong Jr., and Raymond Vega, Los Angeles Sheriff and Steelers fan.
Since the game is being hosted in Chicago, let’s start with Lester.
Q: Lester, as an Editor for WindyCityGridiron.com you try to be objective. But through the eyes and heart of a fan, did you expect the Bears to start off the season 0-2? L: As much as I thought the Bears would be an improved team over a year ago, I still had them opening up with a loss to Atlanta and a loss to the Bucs. Atlanta is the defending NFC Champ, and Tampa Bay was a 9-7 team last year with some good, young talent. I didn’t expect them to look as lost last week, however. Unfortunately for us Bears’ fans, this team may be looking at another double-digits in the loss column.