This week, the road to Super Bowl 52 brought the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons to Detroit. This was going to be a great showing of how the 2-0 Lions would match up to some of the best talent in the division. At first, the game almost looked like Atlanta was going to run away with it, but safety Glover Quin got the Lions back in the game with a quick pick six of Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan. It looked like quarterback Matthew Stafford was up to his usual 4th quarter come back antics, however a crazy, arbitrary rule kept wide receiver Golden Tate from scoring a last second touchdown. The Falcons came away with the win, and handed the Lions a heartbreaking loss.
King Of The Pride: Safety Glover Quin. Quin’s pick six pretty much kept the game from getting out of hand and gave life to the crowd at Ford Field. It appeared that he came out of nowhere to intercept Ryan. Honorable mentions go to kicker Matt Prater and corner back Darius Slay. Prater was perfect on his field goals including two from over 50 yards away. Slay was able to pick off Matt Ryan twice in the game. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Matt Ryan had previously gone 309 passes without an interception, but had 3 today.
Not King Of The Pride: Tight end Eric Ebron. King of the Drops is more like it. He dropped several passes today, and had he actually hung onto them, it probably would have made a difference in the game. The good thing is, he took ownership of it on Twitter and committed to doing better next week. I’ll take that as a positive sign.
Poor Performance by me. I have to learn how to deal with adversity throughout the game. I’ll be on my grind all week see y’all next week
Up Next: Next week the Lions travel to Minnestoa to take on their division rival Vikings. Hoping that the team can come up with a way to contain rookie running back Dalvin Cook and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Lets face it, the Lions just went toe to toe with the reigning NFC Champions. The Vikings shouldn’t be a problem……Should they??
It has been a very emotional week for the NFL to say the least. Last year a young man privately took a knee during the National Anthem in what he believed to be a personal statement of the oppression of his fellow human beings. One year later a response from the President of the United States has forced every single NFL team to respond with a sign of solidarity.
Early this morning in London, England, the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars answered the POTUS by several players taking a knee and others standing, but all locking arms in unity. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan stood pregame, locking arms with his players as he was the first owner to show his support. Following the game he made this statement:
“It was a privilege to stand on the sidelines with the Jacksonville Jaguars today for the playing of the U.S. national anthem at Wembley Stadium. I met with our team captains prior to the game to express my support for them, all NFL players and the league following the divisive and contentious remarks made by President Trump, and was honored to be arm in arm with them, their teammates and our coaches during our anthem. Our team and the National Football League reflects our nation, with diversity coming in many forms-race, faith, our views and our goals. We have a lot of work to do, and we can do it, but the comments from the President makes it harder. That’s why it was important for us, and personally for me, to show the world that even if we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation.”
Every team participated in support in one way or another. For example, all the players for the Pittsburgh Steelers did not leave the locker room during the national anthem, with the exception of left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, an Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan. He stood at the edge of the tunnel standing with his hand over his heart. As for the Chicago Bears, they stood, arms locked as a team with the full support of their coaches and owners.
I asked Mary Pesarchick her thoughts on the upcoming game. Denver (2-0) travels east to take on the Bills (1-1) in an early 1:00 game (10:00 MST). She interviews me for hers, so make sure to read Mary, too.
Jules: Which of your players who may miss Sunday are you most concerned about?
Mary: Left tackle Cordy Glenn definitely. Unfortunately, he’s been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Our O-line is much better when he’s in there (even on a bad ankle) and given Denver’s defense, I’d feel better for quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back LeSean “Shady” McCoy chances if he was in there.
For this edition of #PrideReport, I decided to try something new. Can’t say that it will happen every game, but I figured I’d try it out and see how you liked it. Hit me up and let me know what you think!
Aaron Freeman (@Falcfans) who is the host of Locked on Falcons Podcast and co-host of the @FalconsPFC podcast, was nice enough to chat with me, and let me ask him some questions about Sunday’s game against the Falcons. It is early, but at the same time, it’s a pretty good test for the Lions to see if they really are who we think they can be!
Me: What one thing do you think the Falcons have to do to get a win??
Aaron: Stick with their identity. Which is being aggressive on both sides of the ball. They have an explosive offense that thrives off pushing the ball down the field with play-action passing. And their defense is as fast and athletic as they come in the NFL, so not being afraid to get physical at the line of scrimmage with the Lions wide recievers and also mixing in a healthy dose of blitzes to help offset the absence of [linebacker] Vic Beasley are good ways to continue that aggression on defense.
Me: Yeah, good ol [Falcon’s Head Coach Dan Quinn] DQ is really turning your defense into a machine out there. The Lions defense really came around Monday night against the Giants. We know that the Falcons are a little but better, but…Do you see the Lions defense taking [quarterback] Matt Ryan off his game and maybe losing some of that identity???
Aaron: It’s possible given some of the question marks the Falcons have on the right side of their O-line. [Right tackle] Ryan Schraeder might miss the game with a concussion and the Falcons already were trying to overcome new starting [right guard] Wes Schweitzer after a rough performance in Wk 1 vs. the Bears. If Schraeder misses the game, his replacement (either right tackle Ty Sambrailo or right tackle Austin Pasztor) could cause the right side of the OL to be an area where the Lions choose to exploit with stunts and blitzes to catch the two least experienced starters on the team unaware, pressure Ryan and slow down this Falcons offense.
Some losses are not pretty and other losses are just ugly. Sunday’s loss to Kansas City falls somewhere in the middle. Playing against a team that had 11 days of rest was no easy task but I think the Eagles, and second year quarterback Carson Wentz, played a very decent game despite two huge turnovers and an offensive line that failed to protect him during key plays.
I can’t blame the o-line, though, because they actually have improved and more often than not gave quarterback Wentz a lot of time to throw the ball. I would have loved for him to get rid of it instead of holding on to it for as long as he did, which caused him to get sacked or fumble the ball.
Overall, Wentz showed NFL fans he is able to put the game on his back and run with the ball if needed and he threw for a total of 333 yards, completing almost half of his attempts at 25 of 46. I am not a big of that those numbers but I am happy that we were able to utilize wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith who both had better games than the last, with 92 and 66 receiving yards respectively.
Eagles veteran tight end Zach Ertz has been a great option, being able to finish big plays and added 97 receiving yards as well. Admittedly, I am getting a little impatient with the lack of use for our running backs. Darren Sproles has been nothing short of amazing, always a dependable back and great for special teams, but we need to start using our big guy, LaGarrett Blount. I don’t want another DeMarco Murray on our hands…we all know how great that turned out.
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.
Two weeks into the 2017 season and the Kansas City Chiefs have won two very different games. One an offensive juggernaut against the current Super Bowl Champions; the other, a nail-biting defensive battle that was up for grabs until the last seconds of the game.
The Chiefs are presenting themselves as a cohesive, focused team whose sum is greater than the total of its players. At times playing to their potential; other times having to fight back by calling upon every bit of reserved spirit left in them. Players drop the ball (literally and figuratively) and their teammates make up the shortcoming.
My mind goes to two players, especially in these first two games—tight end Travis Kelce and quarterback Alex Smith—each having very different moments. Kelce continues to amaze and confound. Providing a third major offensive option to running back Kareem Hunt and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, his presence, and skill are a large part of Kansas City’s success since he joined the team.
However, on the other side of the coin are the immature antics that are racking up unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. While none of them can yet be linked directly to a loss, they have created unnecessary hurdles for his teammates and coaches to overcome.
This year I have three fantasy teams, two where I play with strangers and one with former co-workers. Regardless of PPR or standard league, there are some players being overlooked this season. This week we will review who were the top dogs on my teams and sleeper picks for week 3.
The off-season was a mess of trades, cuts and new recruits. This can make fantasy picks a bit tricky this year. Also, knowing who is injured is critical in a fantasy match up. Team injuries are always updated here.
The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Tennessee Titans in Week 2, but it wasn’t all bad for fans of the team. Coming off a big win in Week 1 over AFC South rival Houston Texans, the Jaguars were poised at the top of the division. Alas, it was doomed not to last as they fell to the Titans 37-16.
It is still early and they can certainly rebound with a win in London, England over former AFC Central foe the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are currently undefeated and sit atop the AFC North but as the saying goes any given Sunday. The Ravens defense is playing lights out but their offense has suffered several injuries. It remains to be seen who takes the win across the pond.
In the meantime, we are here help Jaguars fans feel better heading into that tilt. So, here are three things Jags fans can take away from the game to make them feel better.
Rookie running back Leonard Fournette is the real deal. The former LSU product is fifth in the league in rushing yards at 140 despite having a lackluster game (14/40/1). He is second in the league in rushing attempts only trailing to Denver Broncos CJ Anderson at 45. He has been everything fans could have hoped for and then some. Just watch this grown man run versus the Titans.