It’s the first Monday Night Football of the 2019 season, it will be a doozy of a doubleheader, and not just because of the play on the field.
One team starts their quest to revenge what they see as a stolen NFC Championship, and two teams that had some offseason drama. And then there are the Broncos, who are just trying to right the ship. Add to this what will hopefully be great games on the field, and we should have a fantastic kick-off to Monday Night Football.
Houston Texans vs New Orleans Saints 7:10p ET
I’m sure when the powers that be scheduled this matchup, they saw a team that felt cheated out of a possible Super Bowl, the Saints, and a team with a young, talented quarterback and a stout defense going head to head. And we could still get that game, but a few things have changed.
Its been often said that week 3 of the NFL preseason is the dress rehearsal for the season. As I mentioned in my NFC West injury report, Rams head coach Sean McVay has turned that theory on its head but sitting his starters, and a few other teams are following suit. This gives some unknowns extra time to shine, and increase their chances of making the team.
In the AFC West, we all know the major superstars that are starters, but who are the new guys? Who is making a strong case for themselves?
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.
With the Oakland Raiders on HBO’s Hard Knocks this season, any and everything associated with the team and its players generates buzz amongst sports media. The mishaps reported between episode 1 and 2 have Raiders Fans excited for more.
This season Hard Knocks is the perfect hype leading up to the season opener on Monday, Sept. 9th against the Denver Broncos at the Black Hole in Oakland.
This week’s episode began with a team meeting, in which head coach Jon Gruden immediately captured the attention of his players (and the audience) by dropping a couple of F-bombs. He also exclaimed that he wants ‘better execution and etiquette in practice’. He then hypes up the players by telling them to “Pick it up!” and stick their foot up somebodies [expletive].
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.
As a Raiders fan for over 25 years, the pirate theme is one that resonates with all of us. Much like pirates, Raiders fans have often attempted to justify a horrible ending season with a curse of some kind, or misfortune.
From quarterback curses to tuck-rules, you can imagine my reaction when I learned The Oakland Raiders were chosen to be featured on season 14 of Hard Knocks.
On May 13th it was announced that former Kansas City Chiefs head coach, and former Chiefs, Raiders, and Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham had passed over the weekend.
For the Lions, he served as both a defensive coordinator under former head coach Jim Schwartz and then a defensive analyst for the Lions when he retired.
Born in Germany, he came to the United States as a child, shortly after World War II ended. At the time, he didn’t speak English but used football to help get acclimated to America. He ended up having college coaching stints at Oregon, California, Stanford and Arkansas.
After his college career, he spent some time in Canada in the CFL. In 1982, he came back to the States and began his NFL Coaching career; first with the Colts, then moving on to Kansas City.
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.
Let’s just all admit it. The minute we saw that John Gruden had been paid an insane amount of money to become the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, we knew we were in for a wild ride. While his first season didn’t live up to the hype, it has been nothing but Must See TV ever since the season ended.
Let us quickly recap.
First, the disaster that was the 2018 season. With a record of 4-12, Gruden’s first season as head coach was underwhelming to say the least. In a year where the AFC West was a stand out division, the Raiders were the bottom dwellers. The tone of the season was set very early with the trade of linebacker Khalil Mack to Chicago, then later in the season the trade of wide receiver Amari Cooper to Dallas. Gruden didn’t hide the fact he was completely overhauling the team and managed to get some great draft capital in the process. While fans weren’t happy, the value received was fantastic.
The Miami Dolphins have taken over the top spot in the AFC East. Yes, it’s only game 3 but honestly, most of the national media had written this Dolphins team off as one of the worst in the league.
Well, that worst team in the NFL has found themselves alone at the top of their division.
Offensively, during the first quarter, quarterback Ryan Tannehill struggled to find any rhythm. “Sometimes it’s not gonna be pretty but we all hung in there together and we found a way to get it done,” Tannehill said. I said this the whole offseason once the Dolphins signed Albert Wilson (my former hometown kid).
This is the guy head coach Adam Gase was searching for. Wilson brings a whole new skill set. He is fast and very versatile. He is a Gase guy. Coach said that Wilson, along with another explosive player, Jakeen Grant, have a whole set of plays designed just for these two players’ skill sets.