Another chance and a sad end: Tampa Bay moves on

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

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

It was dubbed the “Old Man Battle”. Two quarterbacks, both over 40, both first-ballot Hall of Famers. But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs the New Orleans Saints game was about more than just aging QBs, it was about two teams with something to prove. A chip on their shoulders. Two teams that had been written off and came back swinging.

I’m not going to go over these men’s careers. As I said, Buccaneers QB Tom Brady and Saints QB Drew Brees are first-ballot Hall of Famers, we all know the impact they have made on the league. However this was more about the impact they could make in this particular game, and Brady came out on top.

During the regular season, it was New Orleans that had the upper hand in this matchup, winning 34-23 and 38-3. However, that was prior to Brees breaking 11 ribs and puncturing his lung. While his return to the field was miraculous and insanely fast, Sunday’s game showed that he wasn’t at full strength. He seemed to struggle during the game, definitely not the Brees we have gotten used to seeing.

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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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Aaron Rodgers is Back and the NFL Needs To Take Notice

Lucy Rendler-Kaplan
Green Bay Packers Reporter

By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan //@LucyRK78

The minute we saw the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints on the schedule, we knew we were in for a true primetime game. The first real test for the Packers brought the meeting of two legendary quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.

Both headed for the Hall of Fame, they have faced equal scrutiny over the past few seasons with fans wondering “where has THE Rodgers been?” and “is it time for Brees to hang up the cleats?” Adding to the nervous excitement of the game was the fact that both teams would be without their stars, as wide receivers Michael Thomas and Davante Adams were sidelined.

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NFL Free Agency: The QB Frenzy

Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

The off-season is upon us and, for once in a couple of decades, my Cleveland Browns are NOT in the market for a new quarterback.

However, there are quite a few teams that definitely need an upgrade at this position and there are quite a few notable names up for grabs.

The top six names at this point are, in no particular order, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott, Ryan Tannehill, and Jameis Winston. Now, I don’t for a minute believe Brees, Prescott or Winston will be hitting the streets, doing the interview tour and trying to find a new team.

The Dallas Cowboys will be re-signing Prescott. It could take a while, but it will get done. Same with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Winston. While he wasn’t stellar last year, I think they’ll stick with him a little longer.

So that leaves Brees, Brady and Rivers looking for new homes. Hmmm.

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NFL Wildcard Preview

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

This year’s NFC Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs will start on Sunday, January 5th.

The first matchup will feature the New Orleans Saints (13-3) hosting the Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at 1:05pm EST.

Then, we’ll have the Seattle Seahawks (11-5) heading to Philadelphia to face the Eagles (9-7) at 4:40pm EST. Frankly, I’m still not sure how the Eagles get home-field for this game but that’s how it worked out.

 

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NFC South: what surprises will they bring for Week 8?

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Week 7 was a bit quiet for the NFL’s NFC South Division. With Carolina and Tampa Bay enjoying the rest that comes with a Bye week, that left only the New Orleans and Atlanta seeing action.

In what seems to be a trend so far this season, the Saints won easily while the Falcons lost heavily.

With all four teams back in action for Week 8, and their quarterbacks being the most talked about subject on the mind of fans, let’s take a look at the upcoming matchups and see if there might be any surprises in store for the competition…

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NFC South: Week 2

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

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.

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NFC South: preseason week 2

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

In 2018, the NFC South produced one playoff team and three others who woefully under-performed vs expectations.

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints took a 13-3 record into the post-season and lost in what many fans still call an egregious error by the officials.

The Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers both finished with 7-9 records, which was definitely not what most pundits predicted when the season began.

And finally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a dismal 5-11, are still struggling to live up to the promise that drafting quarterback Jameis Winston showed back in 2015.

Will this year see a shake-up in the rankings? Let’s see how they look so far…

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Checking in on the New Orleans Saints

 

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

Their season ended in a heartbreaking manner: so very close to the Super Bowl, only to be stopped by a controversial call.

I decided to go ahead and check in on the Saints this offseason, since we here at OurTurf hadn’t talked about them too much.

I asked one of our good friends and obviously, huge Saints fan Greg Barber about the team, offseason changes, their quarterback and his thoughts on the 2019 season.

 

SG:  How’s the offseason going for the Saints?

GB: How is the offseason going for the Saints? I think the Saints offseason went good for the most part. They didn’t suffer many major losses.  Not that losing [former Saints running back Mark] Ingram and [center Max] Unger were not major losses, but they managed to keep the main core players together.

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The impact of a “possible” 2021 lockout on today’s contracts

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

It was announced that the NFLPA and the league were going to start talks about the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement. Yes, there are two years left on the current CBA. The fact they are starting now should give you an idea of how complicated this is going to be.

Let’s be real. I put the word possible in quotes because the probability of there being a full NFL season in 2021 is slim to none. The players are feeling their power, as they should, and many are already talking about the upcoming CBA negotiation. Owners, at the same time, are trying to hold on to their power, yet please the players. We know that probably won’t happen quickly. Therefore, we need to prepare ourselves for a lockout.

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