The Black Hole

By Teverly Lazenby // @TeverlyL

 

It had never been my life endeavor to become a sports writer.  I just kind of fell into it.  Several years ago I was approached by Liz Panucci, the founder of a site called NFLFemale.com.  She asked, ‘Do you want to write about your Raiders?’. The next thing I knew I was the Official Fan Reporter for the Oakland Raiders at NFLFemale.

My love of football began when I was a child.  My father coached football at a local high school.  Since I was a “Daddy’s’ Girl” I was either with him while he was coaching, or with him and his friends watching USC football or The L.A. Rams.

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The Broncos have a Giant task ahead.

Official Denver Broncos Reporter

By Julie Dixon //@ABroncoNole

 

If you think beating the Giants in Denver is the task, you’d be incorrect.  The task is showing that they can play as well in the second half as well as the first.  Even if the score is 52-0 at the end of the first half.

Denver is the worst team on third downs in the fourth quarter. How bad? 15% bad. Not only that, the run average and passing completions drop in second halves. Playing with a big lead against the Cowboys may have skewed the numbers a tad, but not that much. Denver has scored once in the 4th and it was a pick six against quarterback Dak Prescott.

Two things are happening. There is a killer mentality missing on offense in the second half of games. When that happens, the defense has to spend more time defending the pass. The offense is dominating the time of possession in first halves. That number drops to only 26 minutes out of a possible 60 in second halves. Split it in half and you have four minutes less than our opponents. Considering all but one turnover has occurred in the second half, you can see why.

Even so, Denver’s defense has done a pretty job. Only four TDs have been allowed in a second half and two were from quarterback Phillip Rivers in week one.

The four interceptions and a fumble lost, all happened in second halves.  In their last two games they went from 83% on third downs to 34%. 0 conversions on goal to go.

The 0-5 Giants have a hurt quarterback Eli Manning, are without four starting wide receivers, they have an open gate for an OL and a defense that is ranked in the bottom of the league.  They don’t have more than a sliver of a chance of winning. It would take the offense handing them the ball through many mistakes.  With New York missing cornerback Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and having to use a previously benched cornerback Eli Apple, yeah….it’s probably not going to happen.

There’s only two ways to have a shot of doing it themselves. First, Manning needs to keep chucking the ball (without any turnovers) and hope a DB slips a couple times to get some scores and secondly, they can generate some kind of pass rush, or at least constant pressure.  Also, make quarterback Trevor Siemian throw to the sidelines. Take away his comfort zone which are passes beyond ten yards and the sidelines.

The Giants can’t give up. Be prepared for the offense to come out swinging and put up some points. The second half is when they need to know they have a shot and play like it. In addition, the Giants need to use three tight ends and just dump and go and repeat. Use them for pass protection and as slots. Denver isn’t great against tight ends.

The Broncos need to know that Manning isn’t what he once was, but he’s pretty smart with the ball.  All the young defensive backs, Justin Simmons, Will Parks, Brandan Langley and Bradley Roby must mentally be on their toes. No one has been able to run against Denver, so Manning will need an air attack, even if that attack is four yards at a time.

Giants defense have allowed 19, 24, 27, 25, and 27 points in their games. They faced Prescott, and quarterbacks Matthew Stafford, Carson Wentz, Jameis Winston and Rivers. Two running teams and three passing with good QBs. They didn’t play a mile up, though. While first half Siemian could be mentioned with the above group, second half can’t. Fortunately, the second half is when defenses get gassed in Denver.

The key, easier said than done for the Giants, is to keep within a score and harass Siemian. For Denver, the key is to remember Manning is like Rivers. They hang around in games and wait to find your weakness and then they attack it. Making sure the offense shows up in the fourth is how to keep Manning from having time to mount a comeback.

 

Talk Broncos with Julie on Twitter // @ABroncoNole

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Baltimore Ravens vs Oakland Raiders

Official Ravens Reporter Yvette James

By Yvette James // @lissalisa29

Baltimore 30 – Oakland 17

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.

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Chief Fans Get A New Perspective from UK

By Neta Davis // @ND622

Kansas City Chiefs 29 – Washington Redskins 20

“OK, that’s good, now look down at your feet and remember the place where you are at.   You’ll need to hit that spot when we come out for pregame,” bellowed the coordinator.  How could I forget?  I looked down at my feet—32-yard marker on the field of Arrowhead. I looked up into the empty stadium, 3 hours before the Monday Night Football game between Kansas City and Washington.  I scanned the faces of my new and old Arrowheads Abroad friends, all scattered about the edges of the United States-shaped flag.  We were all grinning, not believing where we were and what we were going to be doing on national TV.  This was the beginning of the end of a perfect long weekend that seemed too good to be true, even by Hollywood standards.

It all started on Friday, when they each landed in Kansas City, after at least half a day or more of travel from the UK.  The unusually warm weather was as if they had ordered it so they could get the most out of every second they were here.

Right off, many of them began their BBQ odyssey, starting at Char Bar in Westport, which has a great outside patio.  Saturday, they toured the National WW1 museum and Liberty Memorial.  Several of them also made their way to see the lovely architecture of Union Station, and ambled around a bit in town.   Continue reading “Chief Fans Get A New Perspective from UK”

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The Eagles Are #1

Official Eagles Reporter

By Roxaan Herrera //@roxaaneh

Eagles – 26 Chargers – 24

Well, they’re #1 in the NFC East.  And only as of right now. But I’ll take what I can get—the good with the bad. For example, they have allowed the fewest points in the first three quarters of games so far this season, however, they have allowed the second-MOST in fourth quarters. Meaning, they don’t know how to finish a game and that’s not what wins Super Bowls.

Fortunately, head coach Doug Pederson has been calling more run plays, and according to an article on NFL.com, the Eagles ran the football 39 times on Sunday, the most in three years. THREE YEARS?! But it is only Week 4 and as long as they take advantage of running back  LaGarrette Blount, the playoffs will definitely be a certainty.

Anyway, I originally wanted to write this entire article about Philadelphia’s stats against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, but because I actually attended the game, I decided to pen something a bit more personal.

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Denver vs Oakland review.

Official Denver Broncos Reporter

A win is a win, even when it feels like a loss

By Julie Dixon// @ABroncoNole

After watching the Chiefs and Redskins duel, I decided against what I wanted to write because we’re in a bye now and some changes are needed.  Needed quickly. The above match-up felt like what we should’ve seen in Denver. Two bitter rivals ripping each other to shreds, with the quarterbacks leading the charge.

Instead, we saw a lackluster game that was barren of heat or passion. No fights. Only a couple really hard hits (one by safety Jamal Carter). Knock on wood, but our total injuries were a couple sprains. No broken noses, bloody jerseys or pants. This was no WWE Smack Down or Cage Match.  It mostly felt like a pillow fight.

I take that back. The Broncos did break quarterback Derek Carr. He joins a growing list of top QBs we have sidelined. Some have yet to completely bounce back. That intensity needs to hit every position group. Not to knock players out, but to be as focused as Von Miller and Derek Wolfe–heat seeking QB misslies.

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It’s Raider Hater Week, thoughts on the game.

Official Denver Broncos Reporter

By Julie Dixon // @ABroncoNole

Believe it or not, I’m super nice to most people and try to do the right thing, which is why I’m glad the Raiders are kind of good again. They let me release my inner she-devil. It’s like The Purge, only twice a year. So what are you hoping happens to Oakland? I’m hoping cornerback Aqib Talib completely neutralizes wide receiver Michael Crabtree so he doesn’t get a single carry.

This is an AFC West division game between two long-time rivals, and both teams are 2-1 with losses last week against teams many thought they should have beaten. This game could have serious implications on any playoff run either franchise hopes to see. I expect it to be nasty and dirty, and reffing could be a factor.

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Buffalo Bills and Trusting the Process

By Mary Pesarchick // @HeyMom418

Since taking over the leadership of the Bills, General Manager Brandon Beane and Head Coach Sean McDermott have begged both players and the fan base to “Trust the process.” Trust them during the NFL draft, when they swapped their No. 10 spot with Kansas City and dropped 16 places in exchange for the Chief’s 2018 first-round pick. Trust them when they traded starting cornerback Ronald Darby to the Eagles for wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick. Trust them when they absolutely stunned both the fans and even the Bills players by trading wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E. J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round draft pick.

Beane assured Bills fans that their plan was to do everything necessary to get to the playoffs this year. But, at the same time, they traded away established players for future draft picks. Confused? Just trust us, they say.

The first two games of the 2017 season were a shaky win over a “tanking” Jets team, and an abysmal offensive showing in a loss to Carolina.  These did little to inspire confidence in the new regime. Fans were quickly resigned to the idea that the 17-year playoff drought would eventually turn 18.

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What happened in Buffalo? A Denver Fan’s Take

Official Denver Broncos Reporter

By Julie Dixon // @ABroncoNole

Bills 26 – 16 Broncos

The perfect trap game? We won’t know until Denver plays a few more. A trap game implies or infers, depending on if you’re reading or hearing it said, that a bad team surprises a good team.

Whether Denver got out played by a better team, or shot themselves in the foot, we will know soon enough. For me, it was about being out coached.

Rick Dennison knew exactly how to beat Trevor Siemian and Mike McCoy either had more faith in his quarterback than it warranted or he got out coached. In my keys to the game with our Buffalo Bills reporter Mary Pesarchick,  it was exactly what Buffalo needed to do. They loaded the box and made Siemian throw where he’s not comfortable. The loaded box stopped the run (sort of), but also stopped the short pass game because the receivers couldn’t get YAC (yards after catch). This forced Siemian to take chances that weren’t successful.

They also gave him Emmanuel Sanders for much of the game until he became Siemian’s first read and then starting jumping his routes. The result was two interceptions, as well as two dropped ones, but Siemian was also off on most of his throws all day. This could be because they played Zone and kept giving him one look pre-snap and then changed it post snap.

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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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