Things got shaken up in the NFC South this weekend. The Carolina Panthers are winless while the other three teams are tied up in the standings at 1-1.
The most startling news is the thumb injury to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Early reports indicate 6-8 weeks of recovery but if it really is “Gamekeepers Thumb,” he may be out all season.
Are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Atlanta Falcons poised to take over the division? Let’s see what happened to them this week.
The Baltimore Ravens sit alone atop the AFC North after one week due to surprising losses by the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cincinnati Bengals loss to the Seattle Seahawks was only surprising in that the game was so very much closer than anyone predicted.
The Ravens looked amazing, but is that because the Miami Dolphins are worse than advertised? And after all the pre-season hype, are the Browns really this bad?
No one was surprised to see the New England Patriots man-handle the Steelers, yet the complete beat-down was unexpected. And quarterback Andy Dalton put up better numbers than Russell Wilson!!!! How did that happen?
Editors Note: OurTurf Football has had a great, long-time friendship with Russell Baxter and we were honored when he asked a few of our writers to do team season previews for his website, PFG Vibe/ProFootballGuru. OTFB’s Kate Arhar wrote up her thoughts on the upcoming season for the Cleveland Browns. The article was originally published on Aug 27, 2019, and can be seen here.
Even with a first-time head coach, new offensive coordinator and new defensive coordinator, the Cleveland Browns have never engendered higher hopes among their fans than they have in this off-season. While a 7-8-1 record is not usually something to give one much hope, the Browns were a combined 1-31 for the two previous seasons.
Their woes at the quarterback position are the stuff of legend – and ESPN film reels. But the drafting of quarterback Baker Mayfield seems to have changed all that. For the first time in my memory, and I’ve been following the Browns since 1975, the talent on this roster may actually be up to the challenge of meeting the fans expectations.
Week 3 of the NFL Preseason may just be an indication of how the entire season will finish up in the NFC South.
The New Orleans Saints had a commanding victory, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squeaked one out with a game-winning field goal and both the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers struggled to find any offense at all.
Panthers QB Cam Newton suffered a foot injury and while x-rays have come back negative, seeing him in a walking boot has to put quite a bit of fear into the hearts of Carolina fans!
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported this morning that Dalla Cowboy running back Ezekiel Elliott will sit out the entire 2019 season if he doesn’t get a contract extension.
While we knew he was “vacationing” in Mexico and not attending training camp, I don’t think anyone believed that he wouldn’t eventually get himself to Dallas.
But he reportedly told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones back in January that he wouldn’t play a single game without an extension and regardless of how many fines the team/league heap upon him, it sounds like he was serious.
Each year, I look to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festivities as the start of football season and a warning that summer is coming to an end.
It’s something I love to attend every year, whether as a fan of this amazing game or, as I was this year, a member of the media. As I drive down State Route 77 and finally see Tom Benson Stadium in the distance, I get chills. Every single time.
Every class brings me something to look forward to; a player I loved or a team I hated, it doesn’t matter. And this year’s class is no different.
The 2019 class of enshrinees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame included four defensive players, two offensive players, and two front office gentlemen. And, as always, each one gave a speech that left a solid imprint in my mind.
Any good businessman will tell you that once profits have stabilized or plateaued, the next step is expansion.
In the case of the NFL, “expansion” can have very different meanings and complications.
Adding more teams seems to be a quick response, but that might just dilute the talent pool, along with spreading around fan dollars. Besides, I love having exactly 32 teams and I’d hate to see that change.
They’ve tried expanding into new markets with the current teams, which is why we are now seeing games played in England and attempts to play in Mexico. But to me, that is really more a way to increase the customer base as opposed to an actual expansion of the offered product line.
Which brings me to the most recent idea to get some traction: expanding the regular season from 16 to 18 games.