Panthers Good, Bad, Ugly and Beautiful

Official Carolina Panthers Reporter

By Kristen Swift // @kswift_RN

Saints 34  – Panthers 13

Charlotte, NC–  Entering their third game of the 2017 season, the Carolina Panthers had defensive momentum on their side.  That momentum dissipated quickly on Sunday.   After two impressive first series, that momentum disintegrated into two field goals. Here is the Good, Bad, Ugly and Beautiful from Sunday’s game.

The Good:  Running back Jonathan Stewart ran extremely hard on Sunday. He now only trails former Carolina Panther running back (breast cancer advocate extraordinaire) Deangelo Williams by 46 yards for the franchise record.   Running back Christian Mccaffrey had the first 100-yard receiving game by a running back in Carolina since 2011. ( Hey, Stewart!!)

Wide receiver Samuel Curtis has the longest rush of the season for 30 yards.  

Only one penalty for each team.  Kicker Graham Gano is 8 for 8.  He should be 9-9 (see the bad)

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NFL Teams Issue Statements Regarding National Anthem

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.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

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The Pride Report: Week 3

Official Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //  @Mom23RN

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. Continue reading “The Pride Report: Week 3”

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The Pride Report: A Chat With The Opposition

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

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.

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Patriots Right the Ship vs Saints

By Traci MCartney // @traciamc

Sunday, September 17: 36 – 20 Win 

After the home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on the national stage last week,  the New England Patriots needed  to come out of Week 2 with a convincing win. They completed that task with a win in New Orleans over the Saints, 36-20.  Tom Brady looked like well, Tom Brady, throwing for over 400 yards and three touchdowns, completing 30 of 39 pass attempts, earning him an impressive 139.6 passer rating.

With Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola out on offense, and Dont’a Hightower out on defense, it was unclear how the team was going to perform. But faith in Bill Belichick and the rest of the coaching staff insured that the Patriots, even on the road, would bounce back from their loss the week before.

The offense really came to life, with three touchdowns in the first quarter, with passes to Rex Burkhead, Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan respectively.  Brady even played referee, making a case for the crew to pick up the flag thrown for an illegal pick since the block was within  one yard from the line of scrimmage limit. Mike Gillislee scored a fourth touchdown in the second quarter following fullback James Develin into the end zone, and with a 28 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal, the Patriots had 30 points by halftime, allowing only 13 for Drew Brees and the Saints.

But as good as the offense was, there was a price – injuries. Rex Burkhead and Rob Gronkowski both left the game with rib and groin injuries respectively. Gronk’s injury was particularly concerning, as it looked at first like he might have reinjured  the back which caused him to  miss the end of the 2016 season and the Super Bowl. Continue reading “Patriots Right the Ship vs Saints”

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Saints Versus Vikings Week One 2017 NFL Season

Official New Orleans Saints Reporter

By Christy Chauvin // @WhoDatWarriors

Vikes! Yikes!!

It all went terribly bad quickly on a bad, bad, terrible night in Viking land.

Shades of Brett Favre and the 2009 NFC Championship game haunted this game when comparing how the franchises seem to be going in opposite directions.  Even memories of the famous kick by Garrett Hartley could not make this game palatable.

Not only was the loss of Zach Strief and Terron Armstead felt but Max Unger and Larry Warford both struggled mightily according to Profootball Focus (PFF) stats.  The run game was non-existent (Adrian Peterson–come on down) and the loss of Willie Snead was felt.  Most players stayed in on offense to protect Brees leaving precious few wide receivers against the Vikings secondary.

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New Orleans Saints Sign Orlando Franklin to One Year Deal

Official New Orleans Saints Reporter

By Christy Chauvin // @WhoDatWarriors

The New Orleans Saints break out into a rendition of “O, Canada” once again as they sign Canadian raised Orlando Franklin to a one-year deal.

Franklin is a Jamaican-born professional football guard raised in Toronto who now plays for the New Orleans Saints.

This veteran guard started all 16 games for the San Diego Chargers last year. Franklin’s release this offseason by the Chargers was seen as a cost-cutting move. But the truth may lie deeper than that.  Prior to being on the Chargers roster, he was an offensive lineman for the Denver Broncos.  With the Broncos, he excelled in their zone-blocking scheme; whereas the Chargers employ a power-gap scheme.

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Quick 5 With Christy Chauvin, Saints OR

Official New Orleans Saints Reporter

Come chat Saints with me // @WhoDatWarriors

NF: Where did you learn about football – When? and from Who?

CC: I learned football on my Pop’s knee. He was a semi-pro player, and our family went to football games all the time.  It is woven into the very fibre of my being. We went to high school games on Friday, Tiger Stadium on Saturday and before the New Orleans Saints came into existence, we rooted for the Detroit Lions.  

My Dad took us to the first Saints game in Tulane Stadium, and he has been a Saints ticket holder since day one.  He would put two TVs side by side to watch two games at once and have the radio on as well.  He is a wild man when it comes to football.  On Thanksgiving he and my younger brother come over and we watch football all day together.  

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The Atlanta Falcons Brotherhood Just Got Stronger

Official Atlanta Falcons Fan Reporter

By Allison Smith // @FalconAlley

While there is no actual football being played, football season is in full effect with the NFL Draft completing this past weekend. The Atlanta Falcons traded up, then back and ended with six picks this season, split evenly between adding to the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. The big splash will be defensively, but is that a surprise for a Dan Quinn coached team?

Falcons 2017 Draft Class

1 – 26: Takkarist McKinley, DE from UCLA; 6’2, 250 lbs
3 – 75: Duke Riley, LB from LSU; is 6’0, 232 lbs
4 – 136: Sean Harlow, T from Oregon State; 6’4, 303 lbs
5 – 149: Damontae Kazee, DB from San Diego State; 5’10, 184 lbs
5 – 156: Brian Hill, RB from Wyoming; 6’1, 219 lbs
5 – 174: Eric Saubert, TE from Drake; 6’5, 253 lbs

Takkarist McKinley, will forever be known as the emotional, cuss word dropping draft pick with the new Falcon catch phrase, “Fine Me Later.” While some may be concerned about his language seconds after being drafted, my take away was that this kid WANTS to play and prove himself and is full of passion. As he was leaving the stage, he also mentioned something about getting to the quarterbacks. I assume he knocked down a couple of prospective quarterbacks around back stage. Please note, Takk, in class act fashion, has apologized for his unplanned, emotional language. Can this rookie be my new favorite player already?

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New Orleans Saints Select Al-Quadin Muhammad

Official New Orleans Saints Reporter

By Christy Chauvin // @WhoDatWarriors

The New Orleans Saints selected Al-Quadin Muhammad with their last pick of the 2017 NFL draft.  There was faint expectation for this pick given its position in the draft but the Saints, who never fail to surprise, pulled off a bit of an upset with the selection of Al-Quadin Muhammad.

His ESPN draft profile reads like a dream for a pass rusher.

Pass Rush Skills 3 Shoots hand inside and jacks up blockers with initial punch. Above average initial quickness and flashes ability to win with speed to power. Tracks quarterback as he works upfield and sheds in proper direction. Average bend and adequate closing speed. Room for improvement when it comes to double and quick inside moves. Appears to have long arms and gets hands up when doesn’t get to the quarterback.
Versus the run 3 Flashes ability to shoot gaps and disrupt plays in the backfield. Lean lower body and gets overwhelmed at times but does a better job of setting edge than other edge defenders with similar size. Strong and plays with good pad level for the most part. Shoots hands inside and stacks much bigger blockers though needs to shed quicker at times. Effective wrap-up tackler between the tackles. Some tightness in hips and concerned about ability to regularly make open field tackles. Good effort and sound angles but quicker than fast and struggles to chase down backs on a straight-line.
Versatility 2 Ideally fills out frame but best long-term projection is at LDE. That said he is a 3-4OLB candidate with experience lining up in two-point stance and off the line. High-cut and more effective attacking upfiield but has experience dropping and has enough range to hold up in underneath coverage.
Instincts/Motor 2 Plays with a chip on shoulder and good fight taking on bigger blockers. Relentless would be an overstatement but good effort chasing the run and average to slightly above average effort rushing the passer. Flashes ability to fight through double teams.

Al-Quadin Muhammad’s issues off the field have hampered his ability to develop on the field.  He has missed two of the past three seasons because of a suspension and dismissal. The University of Miami suspended him for the 2014 season after he allegedly punched a former student in the face in the Hard Rock Stadium parking lot. Al-Quadin Muhammad was dismissed from the team because the university believed a Miami Beach car dealership gave him free use of an exotic car, which is an NCAA violation.

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