Will the week 7 “bye” hurt or heal these teams?

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

The “Bye Week” couldn’t come soon enough for the Carolina PanthersCleveland BrownsPittsburgh Steelers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

All four of these teams need this break to heal and regroup. What’s interesting to me, is the startling similarities between these four teams.

Two from the AFC North and two from the NFC South. Two struggling with first-year head coaches and sub-par quarterback play, while the other two are dealing with injuries that have taken out their starting QB and left their entire offenses struggling.

But I wonder… will this “Bye” week hurt or heal these teams?

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Is the AFC East becoming more competitive? A look at week 7

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
AFC and NFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

When you think of the AFC East, you think about the New England Patriots. They have won the division title every year since 2003, with the exception of 2008. That’s a lot of years of dominance. But with the Reign of Brady coming to an end, and with the other three teams either revamping their teams, is the AFC East becoming more competitive? This season could be a preview of what’s to come in the future.

With that said, the Patriots still have a stronghold on the division, which is no surprise to anyone. Taking a look at week 7 and beyond, what can we expect from the AFC East?

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Big changes happening in L.A. with the Rams

Lucy Rendler-Kaplan
LA Rams Reporter

By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan // @LucyRK78

So many people fear change, but it’s so different as a football fan. We know how needed change is and we welcome it! Hi, Los Angeles Rams.

The first loss, ok, every team has to lose a game. Two in a row? Concerning. Now we’re at three consecutive losses and change have to be made.

Thankfully, all of a sudden on Tuesday afternoon, the Rams started making moves.

The first move sent cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens, in exchange for linebacker Kenny Young and a fifth-round pick in next year’s draft. I like it. Peters play seems to go down each season and I like the stats I’m seeing for Young.

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Miami Dolphins partner with University of Miami to tackle youth concussions

Lisa Johnson
AFC South & East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

With so much emphasis on the NFL and their concussion protocol, one newly developed program now will focus on High School Football and student athletics.

During recent studies, it is now known that the rate of concussions in high school football is 2.01 for every 1,000 games.

Concussions can be particularly hazardous to high school and youth football players because the frontal lobe of the brain is still developing.

Leading this new program is Gillian A. Hotz, Ph.D. who is a research professor at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine and a nationally recognized behavioral neuroscientist and expert in pediatric and adult neurotrauma, concussion management, and neurorehabilitation.

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Detroit vs The Refs

Sonja Greenfield, Detroit Lions Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

I’ll get this started by saying this: I may be covering the NFC East and all of the NFC North, but it’s still #OnePride all day long over here. And I’ll be even more honest, it’s sometimes really hard when I have to play nice and write good stuff about the NFC North rivals. After Monday night, it got even harder.

It’s been almost 24 hours since the infamous Monday Night Game that I’m writing this, and it’ll be almost 36 hours by the time you read this since the latest travesty in the saga between the Lions and the referees.  So, I’ve had time to cool off.

Apparently, I needed it, because I went on a mini-rant at work yesterday.  And that never happens. Well, me ranting in regards to Lions football anyway. Continue reading “Detroit vs The Refs”

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A huge win, a couple of losses headline Week 6 for the AFC South

Lisa Johnson
AFC South & East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

A huge win and a couple of lopsided losses highlight week 6 for the AFC South.

The Indianapolis Colts had a Week 6 bye, but the other three teams fought hard, with varying results.

Houston Texas
Deshaun Watson certainly didn’t need to explain to reporters about coverages following Houston’s Sunday come back win against the Kanas City Chiefs. Watson threw for 280 yards with one touchdown pass and scrambled for two more.

Running back Carlos Hyde padded his stats as well. Running for 116 yards with a touchdown of his own. Hyde was traded by the Chiefs to the Texans before the start of the regular season and you could tell this was a bit of a revenge game for him.

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NFC East – Injuries, Ugly Losses and a Stand-out Rookie Receiver

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield  // @Mom23RN

Well then.  It’s been a rocky couple of weeks for the NFC East.

This was to be the week that they all got it back together. For the most part, anyway.

The Eagles were in a good matchup against the Vikings, and it was to be a statement game for them. Overall, this division isn’t shaping up the way most thought at the beginning of the season, and that is giving rise to some concern for the teams.

Let’s go around and check in on the teams.

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Could the Chiefs lose the top spot in the AFC West to the Raiders?

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
AFC and NFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Before the season began, everyone and I mean everyone, had the Kansas City Chiefs running away with the AFC West, and possibly the Super Bowl. Six games in, things have changed and the door to the top spot in the division seems to have opened.

Injuries happen, and there is no question that the Chiefs are suffering from them. Superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes injured his ankle early in the season and has reaggravated it, in some way, in almost every game since.

There has been a noticable difference in his play, mostly in his ability to leave the pocket to escape pressure brought by the defense. His signature move, those long, beautiful passes, has also been more difficult to complete since he can’t always plant his foot. What this equals to is the once unstoppable offense has become, well…easier to stop.

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Dolphins drop a close one to Redskins.

Lisa Johnson
AFC South & East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

All tanking talk aside, the Dolphins actually put themselves into a position to win their week 6 game. With under a minute to go in the fourth quarter, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game with the Dolphins down by 7. He did so after starting QB Josh Rosen was benched in the 3rd quarter.

Fitzpatrick drove the Dolphins down the field to a potentially tying touchdown. With only seconds left. Fitzpatrick found wide receiver DeVante Parker in the back of the end zone. With no hesitating what so ever. The Dolphins offense stayed out on the field, setting up for a potential winning 2 point conversion.

By the reaction of the crowd at Hard Rock Stadium, all seemed on board with the call. As Fitzpatrick took the snap and tried to hit running back Kenyan Drake on a quick slant. Drake bobbled and dropped the ball, failing to get the 2 points and the win.

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Backup QBs and head coach concerns tell the tale of the NFC South

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Week 5 saw a whole lotta offense in the NFC South! Apparently, it’s defense that is most lacking in this division.

The New Orleans Saints (4-1) remain atop the division after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3). The Carolina Panthers (3-2), with backup quarterback Kyle Allen under center again, got a victory keeping them in second place. The bottom spot is for the Atlanta Falcons (1-4), whose awful record may be the biggest surprise in the entire NFL.

Falcon quarterback Matt Ryan is the only starting QB left from pre-season due to injuries to Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Nick Foles, so you’d think they would have some kind of edge. Yeah, not so much. Head Coach Dan Quinn’s job may be in jeopardy if they don’t find a way to turn things around quickly.

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