NFC North looking to fight for the top

Wanda Wiedman,
NFL Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

The 2018 season was presumed to be a lock with the Green Bay Packers on top of the NFC North and the Chicago Bears in last place, according to most sports affiliates.  But no one expected the opposite. Granted the Packers fell into third place in the division, finishing with a 6-9-1 record. However, no one expected the Bears to win the division with a 12-4 record led by a wicked defense and the Coach of the Year in Matt Nagy.

The Bears are fighting to keep that division title but their rivals are nipping at their heels, or so it seems on paper. Running backs, corners, safeties, defensive players and wide receivers are the focus of each team. Here is what the NFC North teams have done so far in free agency to fix some holes:

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Did Lions GM Bob Quinn get inspiration from Ariana Grande?

Sonja Greenfield, Detroit Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

If you have a child that is 9 years old or older, or if you’re just into the what the kids are listening to on the radio/iTunes/Spotify, etc. you more than likely have gotten a chance to hear Ariana Grande’s song 7 Rings.

In it, she talks about how she likes to buy stuff.  While it can get a little repetitive (“I want it, I got it, I want it, I got it, I want it, I got it”), one of the lines makes me laugh.  “Happiness is the same price as red bottoms.”

Well apparently, Bob Quinn either has a kid that is around my daughter’s ages or he’s just an Ariana Grande fan. Cause he wanted it, and he got it.  Quinn got the free agency negotiation period started with a bang.

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Grading the Dolphins 3rd preseason game vs Ravens

Lisa
Official Reporter Miami Dolphins

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

Dolphins 10 – 27 Ravens

In preseason game #3 we saw the starters play the entire first half.  Earlier in the week, Head Coach Adam Gase wasn’t sure if we would see running back Frank Gore or not.  It was announced shortly before the game that Gore would dress for the first time this season.

Gore saw very limited action.  He only carried the ball 1 time for -2 yards. Then he caught a short pass out of the backfield for 1 yard.  The rainy conditions and wet field probably made up Gase’s mind to end Gore’s night after that.

The offense started out slowly, which was a disappointment considering Ravens Coach John Harbaugh sat all of his starters.   Later in the second quarter, however, quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the offense put together some nice drives.

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Miami Dolphins Preseaon Game 1

Lisa
Official Reporter Miami Dolphins

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303 

Tampa Bay 26 – Miami 24

Football is back y’all!  Preseason game 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is in the book. 

Here’s what I took away from Thursday night’s action.
 
The return of quarterback Ryan Tannehill:  Following Thurdsay nights game, Tannehill had this to say during his post game press conference.
 

How do you think you did and how do you think the first-team offense did tonight?
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Brady, Amendola Lead Patriots to Super Bowl

Official Patriots Reporter

By Traci McCartney //@traciamc

Jacksonville 20-24 New England

For the 8th time in the 16 years that Tom Brady has been a healthy starting quarterback for the New England Patriots with Bill Belichick as his head coach, the New England Patriots are going to the Super Bowl.

Let that sink in. It’s amazing, astonishing, and sounds impossible, but it’s true.

The Patriots beat the #1 passing defense in the AFC Championship game, 24-20 to advance to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis where they will take on the NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles after their rout of the Minnesota Vikings.

All week, the media was talking about two things: Jacksonville’s defense and Brady’s injured throwing hand. Despite the 12 stitches at the base of this thumb, Brady was able to engineer his 11th game winning drive to seal the Patriots’ victory.

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Patriots Roll Over Dolphins

Official Patriots Reporter

By Traci McCartney //@traciamc

Patriots 35 – Dolphins 17

 

Division rival Miami Dolphins came to Foxborough Sunday to take on the Patriots.  The Patriots, who had won six in a row, were returning from their win over the Raiders in Mexico City.   Division games are always difficult.   They’re heated and emotional. Even though the Dolphins were without their starting quarterback Jay CutlerMatt Moore is one of the better back up QBs in the league.   All week I heard about Moore’s great connection with wide receiver Kenny Stills.  It still wasn’t enough to beat the Patriots.

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Patriots Mount Comeback…But it’s Not Enough

Official Patriots Reporter

By Traci McCartney // @Traciamc

 

There was a time when a victory at Gillette Stadium for quarterback Tom Brady was almost guaranteed.  That time has passed.  Brady’s record at home before this season for regular season games was 101-16. So far this season, the Patriots have played at home 3 times – and lost twice. They lost their second home game of the season to quarterback Cam Newton and his Carolina Panthers doing what Brady normally does: running out the clock and putting his time in a position to win the game in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.

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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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Patriots Shocked in 42-27 loss to KC Chiefs

By Traci McCartney // @traciamc

Thursday, September 7: 42-27 Loss

It was supposed to be a celebratory night. The New England Patriots had prepared a spectacle to unveil the brand new Super Bowl championship banner from their unlikely victory against the Atlanta Falcons this past February. They brought back standout players from each victory before, and the atmosphere was electric at Gillette Stadium.

The first game in a new football season is always so exciting, and a home opener after winning a Super Bowl just takes it to another level. The Patriots with Tom Brady at the helm are, after all, almost unbeatable at home.  They had seemingly had a great offseason adding some offensive weapons to Brady’s arsenal, especially important with the season ending loss of Julian Edelman to a torn ACL in preseason. But Thursday night was like going to bed and having the best dream, to being woken up from a nightmare.

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