Preseason week 2 for the AFC and NFC West

 

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
AFC and NFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

One of the nice things about covering both the AFC and NFC West teams is in the preseason is they usually play each other. It makes it easy to do a weekly preseason round up, but it also makes for a very long article. Stick with me, people.

Week 2 of the preseason gave most fans a good look at their backups. And yes there were lots of mistakes, but…its preseason.  Let’s take a look at the games played so far.

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How the AFC West looked after the first week of preseason

 

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
AFC West NFC West

 

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

We all understand that preseason games are rarely an indicator for a season’s success or failure. For half of the AFC West, they really hope that statement holds true. While Kansas City looked as dominant as many expected, no one expected the Raiders to roll over the Rams.

Of course, most teams were without their starters, and it was obvious that coaches were holding back as they should, but let’s not let that stop us from going over a few talking points about those first games.

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Football is BACK! Pro Football Hall of Fame Game 2019

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor Reporter AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

It wasn’t pretty. And the final two minutes may have been the biggest mess I have ever seen. (Three false starts? In a row? Are you kidding me????)

But – it was FOOTBALL!

At times, it wasn’t much fun for fans of the Atlanta Falcons or the Denver Broncos.  At times it was amazing.

If you’ve missed it as much as I have, then knowing that the season is finally here was enough to keep you excited throughout the game.

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Pat Bowlen: PFHOF Class of 2019

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor Reporter AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Pat Bowlen shaped the Broncos into one of the most storied franchises in NFL history during his 35 years as an owner. As a Browns fan, believe me when I say that I’ve seen first hand what his impact was on those teams!

With Bowlen at helm, the Broncos have advanced to playoffs 18 times, won 13 division crowns, seven AFC championships and three Super Bowl titles (XXXII, XXXIII and 50).

Sadly, he passed away on June 13th, 2019, but football fans will have the chance to honor him at this years Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival where he is a member of the Class of 2019.

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Champ Bailey: PFHOF Class of 2019

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

When we were dividing up the articles for the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, I jumped on the chance to write about Champ Bailey. Most of you know I am a lover of defense, and Champ was in a class by himself.

Cornerback Champ Bailey was drafted in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft. It almost seems impossible that it was that long ago simply because it feels like he just left the game yesterday. Champ spent his first five seasons with Washington, then moving on to Denver in 2004.

His stats are staggering. Impressive from the start, Champ had five interceptions in his rookie year, including three against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct 17, 1999. In Denver, he had three division titles, started in two AFC Championship games, and one Super Bowl. 52 career interceptions, returned for 464 yards and 4 touchdowns. First Team All-Pro 4 times, Second Team All-Pro 4 times, voted to 12 Pro Bowls and named in the All-Decade Team for the 2000s. He holds the NFL record for most consecutive games with an interception (5).

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Saying goodbye to Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

The NFL lost a legend last week in the passing of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.

This news is even sadder because Bowlen was scheduled to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this fall as a Contributor to the game. This annual ceremony is one of my favorite sporting events. It’s a shame Mr. Bowlen will not be there in person to accept the honor but it will give the league a great platform to recognize an important figure in the game.

The 75-year-old native of Wisconsin purchased the Broncos in 1984 and lead the ship on an epic run. As a Browns fan, I know this first hand!

During his tenure, the Broncos have seven AFC championships and three Super Bowl victories. They have also made the playoffs 18 times since he bought the team, making the Broncos one of the most successful NFL franchises of the past thirty years.

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Mentor or Adversary: The NFL Veteran’s Dilemma

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

 

We hear it all the time… “That veteran will be mentoring the young guys, showing them the ropes.” But is that really true? And even more, is it really fair to expect a veteran who wants the starting job to spend any time at all helping the rookie who wants to take his job?

That seems to be the big story in Denver this week as quarterback Joe Flacco is taking heat for saying it’s not his job to be a mentor to newly drafted QB Drew Lock.

And I don’t blame him.

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Future playmakers found in the late rounds of NFC/AFC West drafts

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

When people talk about NFL stars who were found in the late rounds of the draft, there are a few names that are always brought up. Tom Brady, Richard Sherman, Bo Jackson, Terrell Davis… it’s a long list. The western divisions in both conferences have a tendency to find these players regularly and turn them into superstars. Let’s take a look at this year’s picks and see if there could be another future star.

You can find an entire list of AFC draft picks for each team here.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs have found some fantastic late round steals in the past. KR Dante Hall, DE Jared Allen, and most recently G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. This year late round gem could also be an offensive line player.

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The Eight “Rookie” Head Coaches of 2019

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

 

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

This season an unprecedented eight NFL teams will have new head coaches. And for six of these coaches, it will be their first time running the whole show.

Bruce Arians has stepped out of the booth and back onto the field in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have floundered recently and Jameis Winston hasn’t grown or flourished the way we expected him to when he was drafted in 2015. Perhaps promoting former NFL QB turned offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will be the first step in turning Winston around.

But the seven other coaches have their work cut out for them. Let’s take a look at these “rookies” and, maybe the biggest key to their success, who will be under center as they take the field.

This week’s Blitzed Insider’s featured article!

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Marlin Briscoe: The first African American quarterback

Marquita Quinones OTFB reporter

By Marquita Quinones // @LatinLove729

To look at the NFL today it’s hard to imagine it without the diversity it displays, but there was a time when there wasn’t. In honor of Black History Month, we will look at the changes the NFL has gone through as it pertains to African American players.

Let’s begin with a pioneer in his own right, Marlin Briscoe.

African Americans have been a part of the American Football evolution as far back as the 1920s with players like Fitz Pollard and Bobby Marshall leading the way. The position of quarterback had not been a position that was openly offered to African Americans, but in 1968 that all changed with Marlin Briscoe.

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