OTFB Fan Forum: Free Agency 2021

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Every few weeks during the regular season, and every month or so during the offseason, I chat with a group of fans from all around the NFL to ask them a question. This month’s edition focused on free agency as that is the hot topic of the month.

Fans often have a very different perspective regarding moves their team makes than the general media does. Fans look at their team with emotion and heart. The media, or more cynical fans, tend to focus more on statistics and grades given by random websites.

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The impact of social media on sports journalism

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

As we prepare for the new NFL league year, which officially starts March 17, the league will continue to follow the current Covid-19 protocols put into place in 2020, holding all NFL team meetings and press conferences virtually. Beat writers and major network journalists are limited to virtual interviews only, bringing the importance of social media platforms to a whole new level.

As we continue to face challenges due to the 2020 pandemic, the one thing that has become crystal clear is every sports super fan has started a sports podcast and sports page. So what (if any) impact does this have on those that spent their lives working and earning sports journalist degrees?  I reached out to two sports journalists and asked them each the same question. One is from the good old print-only days, while the other is a little younger but can still remember newspapers.

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Saints roll past the Bears

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

The Chicago Bears limped into the playoff with an 8-8 record, mostly due to back to back losses by the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears drew quarterback Drew Brees and the NFC South division champion New Orleans Saints.

Let’s face it, not many people had the Bears coming out on top in this week’s wildcard round. However, the Bears stayed around to make this a very winnable game for them going into the 3rd quarter, where they only trailed the Saints by 4 points.

The Bears failed to take advantage after receiving the ball in the second half. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense could only muster up 27 total yards during their first drive of the second half, ultimately punting the ball back to the Saints.

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Midseason check in with the OTFB Fan Forum

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

We are halfway through a season we weren’t even sure we were going to get. It seems almost impossible, but the NFL has kept on track during the pandemic and for some teams, things are going quite well. Others…not so much.

I reached out to our fan forum to check in with them to see how they felt their favorite teams were doing 8 weeks into the 2020 season.

Matt Cullen is a new member of our fan forum. He is a long-suffering New York Jets fan, and at the halfway mark, is ready for a change.

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A tough NFC West got even stronger in the Draft

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West/AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

The NFC West is a battleground. In order to win it, you have to beat some of the best in the league in just your divisional games. The 2020 NFL Draft made one of the best divisions even better.

While all four teams got great grades on their drafts, a few players really stood out as fantastic picks. And while there weren’t a lot of holes in this division, each answered a few questions that surrounded their teams.

Let’s take a look at their picks and which draftees should stand out in a division full of stars.

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Miami Dolphins Draft assault continues Day Two

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303

As the Miami Dolphins approached rounds two and three of the 2020 NFL Draft, they held two picks in the second round (39-56 picks overall), followed by the 70th pick in round 3.

With the 39th pick, the Miami Dolphins selected Louisiana tackle, Robert Hunt. This guy is a beast. At 6’5″ and 323 pounds, Hunt played mostly right tackle for the Ragin Cajuns. Miami was sure to add more protection for their star pick, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who just happens to be a left-handed quarterback.

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Owners vote yes to new CBA, now heads to NFLPA

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @lj1303

The conversations surrounding the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) have brought up two major proposals this week. Changes we could see as early as the 2020 NFL season.

According to multiple sports outlets, there is a proposed a 17-game season instead of the 16 game schedule in place now, and a major change to the playoff system.

The thought of a 17 game season is appealing to some fans, just as long as it comes with the elimination of a preseason game. It is being reported that the majority of the owners are in favor of this and are pushing this forward. While most players have opposed this due to the increased risk to players’ health and safety, that has eased up some due to negotiations in exchange for financial and other concessions for players.

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Titans vs Ravens. What will this divisional round bring?

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

We are headed into week two of the NFL playoffs. Saturday’s match-up between the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens will showcase two different types of offenses.

The Ravens have quarterback Lamar Jackson and his style of offense, which includes his dynamic ability to escape and run out of the pocket. While the Titans have more of a play-action pocket passer in Ryan Tannehill. Either way, both these teams will try to establish a run game. So expect a lot of smash-mouth, in the trenches, football.

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A Battle Brewing: A big week in the race for AFC West

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West / AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

There is a battle brewing in the AFC West. A battle that not anyone, except the most die-hard silver and black fan, would have predicted. The Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) are sitting at the top of the division, just like those who do preseason predictions thought they would be. Yet, sitting right behind them are the Oakland Raiders (6-4). With the Chiefs on a bye week, could the Raiders pull even this weekend, setting up a race for the finish line? Week 12 in the AFC West may set the pace for that race.

The Chiefs beat the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football in Mexico City, putting them at 3-0 in the division. Both teams now have a desperately needed bye week. The Denver Broncos (3-7) are heading up to Buffalo to play the Bills (7-3), which with the way the Bills have been playing, will be a difficult task for the struggling Broncos.

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AFC South takes an unexpected turn

Lisa Johnson
AFC South AFC East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @lj1303 

Heading into week 10, with the Texans and Jaguars on byes, the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts looked to try and gain ground on division-leading Houston Texans.

The Titans opened up week 10 against the Kanas City Chiefs, which saw the return of Chiefs MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

And he looked every part of that during the opening drive, going 6 of 8 and hitting tight end Travis Kelce for a 3-yard touchdown pass. While the Chiefs offense and Maholmes got off to a great start, the Chiefs defense struggled with the Titans ground and pound run game.

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