Pro Player Insiders Executive Editor Melissa Mahler Behind the scenes look at lives and lifestyles of NFL players and their families plus sports news, interviews & events Tue, 18 Sep 2018 02:30:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Week 2′s Sunday’s Super Seven Tue, 18 Sep 2018 02:30:29 +0000 The Sunday slate of games in the NFL in Week 2, provided over 11 hours of entertaining action. But for those who missed out any of the terrific moments and stories, lets take a look back in this week’s version of Danny’s Super Seven. So for those who are reading this for the 1st time, this weekly article goes over some of the most interesting stories, plays and moments that happened in the 13 games that go on Sundays.

7.  Arizona’s Offense Has Been Offensive In The Opening 8 Quarters Of The Season

Has anyone noticed that the Arizona Cardinals have only scored 6 points in 2 games? Yes, 6 points total. One touchdown last week and this week’s awful showing on the field against the Los Angeles Rams. Now granted it was one of the best defenses in the league, but to have a grand total of 137 yards of total offense and not even break 100 until the 4th quarter screams a team needing help. With a roster that has future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald and one of the best all-purpose backs in David Johnson, being able to get the ball down the field shouldn’t be this hard. I know it’s Steve Wilks’s 2nd game on the job, but it could be an alarming note that he didn’t consider putting in rookie Quarterback Josh Rosen into the game on Sunday. I know that he’s a rookie and it might not be the best defensive to start his career against, but Sam Bradford went 17-27 for 90 yards.

If you put that into context, he averaged less than 3 yards an attempt or less than 6 yards a completed pass. It is time for a change in Arizona after 8 quarters, because you can’t be competitive when your team is a grand total of 4 for 20 on third downs this season.

6. Keelan With The Cole Blooded Catch

5. Vontae Davis Decides To Retire… At Home In The Middle Of A 28-6 Game At Halftime

In one of the most bizzare things that I have heard of in my years writing on sports, an former Pro-Bowl player decided to retire during a game. Vontae Davis decided that enough was enough and his NFL career was over during the Buffalo Bills loss at home to the Los Angeles Chargers. Davis asked to be taken out of the game, informed the coaching staff of his retirement, got dressed and left the stadium. In a post game statement his said

I can understand that you are not playing to the level in which you are used to being at on the field. I’m just as hard on myself as a writer, but to walk out on your teammates, coaches, organization and fans in the middle of the game is not even cool. At least finish the game and then retire during the middle of week. Just don’t do it during the game.

4. Kickers Missing The Target Again This Week 

After a week, where kicking was the story in the Pittsburgh/Cleveland tied game. NFL kickers collectively had a a day they would like to forget. In the 13 games played on Sunday, the 25 regular kickers (The Rams Greg Zuerlein was hurt in warmups and missed the game) missed 11 field goals and 7 extra points. So based on the number of missed kicks, there was an averaged of at least one missed field goal or extra point in every Sunday game. In the Cleveland/New Orleans game, there were 5 missed kicks ( 3 field goals and 2 extra points) and the Green Bay/Minnesota game there were 4 missed kicks (3 field goals and an extra point).

If Mason Crosby, Daniel Carlson or Zane Gonzalez makes any one of those 8 they missed combined, we would have avoided another tie game and the Browns losing streak would be over.

3. What Was The Better Moment?

Ryan Fitzpatrick in 99% of seasons would be the MVP based on his opening two weeks worth of stats. He has had two games of over 400 yards passing and 4 total touchdowns in each game. His team is undefeated and leading the NFC South. All this from a quarterback who has been underrated in this writer’s eye for years. In their win against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 2, Fitzpatrick had a tremendous game and 3 moments stood out. Which one was your favorite?

1. Ryan On The Field 

2. Ryan Off The Field

Either way we are winning.

2. Could This Have Been A More Perfect Pass?

1. Andy Reid Does It Again

It seems like everytime current Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid puts his hands on a Quarterback, that player turns into something special. Go all the way back to Reid’s days in Green Bay, the list of Quarterbacks he’s has tutored, mentored and developed can be talked about for days. But what he has now in 2018, could be the most talented one of them all. 2nd Year signal caller, Patrick Mahomes. not only has picked apart two of the AFC’s best teams, but the numbers he has put up in both games has been historic.

After throwing for 256 yards and 4 touchdowns in Los Angeles last week, Mahomes decided to turn the Steelers home opener into his own national coming out party. In the opening quarter, he threw 3 touchdown passes and put his team up by 21 points after 15 minutes of play. When it was all said and done, he finished with 6 touchdown passes (Yes, 6 touchdown passes). Now after 8 quarters as a starter in the NFL, he has 10 touchdown passes and an 18.2% touchdown rate (To put this in persepective, the league high last year was 7.5%). Oh by the way, Mahomes’s 10 touchdown passes are the most through 2 starts in league history.

Do you agree? What are your thoughts? Leave the comments below and lets talk all things NFL. Follow me on twitter @danny3thompson and listen to the Pro Player Insiders Podcast on Spreaker.

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Jaiden2Fast; Young and Hungry Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:23:33 +0000 Seattle, WA- Jaiden2Fast is a young boxer that is spreading his name across the nation by winning fights with his speed and power He has won 11 fights with only 6 losses. With each loss that Jaiden has taken, he accepted it as a learning lesson. “I know I have a lot to learn, but that is what makes you better. Losing a match challenges you to find out what you did wrong and correct it to improve your craft.”

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Jaiden has been fighting at an early age and his dad is his biggest supporter. His dad used to fight and he uses the knowledge that he has to help his son improve his craft and make his dream come true. “I have a lot of knowledge and fighting skills that I use to help Jaiden,” says his dad. Jaiden is a counter fighter and is very good with his defense. His idol is his dad, as well as Floyd Mayweather. “Mayweather is not looking to get hit but shows you different looks that can mentally get you frustrated. I like how quick and fast he is with his hands and his footwork is very good.”

Outside of Boxing, Jaiden has a love of music and he is a hip-hop artist. “I love Hip-Hop and the messages that it sends to different people. I love rapping because it gives me an outlet to let people know how I feel on certain topics. I love the energy and how it makes me feel.”

Jaiden is very active in his community by giving back, as well giving encouraging words to people who look up to him. “Everyday you have to improve and just make sure you have a good source of positivity around you. Make sure that you listen to people who only want the best for you.”

Jaiden is a talented and intelligent young man that has shocked a lot of people in the industry for some time. With his guidance from his father and community, the world is endless for him.


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Bills vs. Chargers Recap, Where’s Vontae? Mon, 17 Sep 2018 22:59:21 +0000 For the Buffalo Bills, a win at home was ideal for Josh Allen’s first career NFL start. However, as we’ve seen from sports in the past, things often don’t go as planned.

The Bills played in a scorcher against Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers, who were coming off a 38-28 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs, found what they wanted in a struggling Bills team, as a whole.

Entering his 15th season, number 17, quarterback Philip Rivers, picked apart a struggling Buffalo defense, impressing with 256 yards and three touchdowns. Yet, it was clear that running back Melvin Gordon led the way with three scores on just nine carries and six receptions.

Entering his 1st season, number 17, quarterback Josh Allen, had his ups and downs in his first tilt as a starting quarterback. His 245 yards, made up of a touchdown and two interceptions was far from perfect. However, there were flashes of efficiency shown by Allen that should prove to be promising. His arm strength was on full display, most notably his deep 57-yard pass to Zay Jones, as well as his missile to Kelvin Benjamin in the end zone late in the game, making the final score 31-20 Chargers.

Adding to the unpredictably of the sport and in one of the most bizarre moments the NFL has ever seen, Bills cornerback Vontae Davis, suddenly retired from the NFL at halftime. Angering many of his teammates, Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander commented on the situation and said, “Completely disrespectful to his teammates.”Vontae Davis

With or without Davis, the team has struggled on both sides the ball. Was the sudden retirement selfish? Maybe. Will the retirement make a big impact on the outcome of the season? Probably not. While the retirement of Davis makes for interesting headlines in an already predictable Buffalo Bills season, the Bills will have to regroup and decide on who will be able to fill the hole and be a bigger leader for their perplexed defensive unit.

It’s a work in progress for this Bills team. With Allen slowly but surely gaining more comfortably in the pocket, there’s hope that the progression will steadily increase over the course of the 2018 season.

There’s no guarantees in this league; however, the core of Josh Allen, Tremaine Edmunds and Tre’davious White could be a bright one. The organization just has to keep putting together the pieces to the puzzle.

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The Champs celebrate in Seattle Mon, 17 Sep 2018 22:27:47 +0000 Seattle, WA- The Seattle Storm swept the Washington Mystics 3-0 to earn their third title in Seattle’s history. It was an amazing run from the Storm and their leaders stepped up to the plate when it counted. Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart put the team on their backs when it counted. Yesterday the team celebrated with their fans, as well as family bringing the trophy back to Seattle.


“Coming into this season, she really just changed her mindset. She had specific goals,” Bird said of Stewart. “Obviously, the kid knows how to win. Sometimes it just takes a couple of years to really figure out yourself in this league, because it’s a very tough league to play in. And now here she is. She’s figured it out. It’s probably going to get a little harder from here, to be honest, but I think she’s ready for it.” 

“I can read Stewie’s mind sometimes,” Auriemma said. “It’s like she’s just thinking, ‘Hey, one’s going in.’ It’s unbelievable. She just plays like everyone else thinks it’s a big deal, but she doesn’t.”The bigger the game gets, the lower her heart rate gets, it seems. Most players get really excited or nervous. For Stewie, it’s like everything is in slow motion for her. It’s a big game, and it’s like, ‘When do I prove to everybody that I am who I am? I’ll do that now.’ That’s just how Stewie is.”

The Storm had to overcome obstacles against the Phoenix Mercury in the do or die game when Bird came up huge in the fourth quarter to take her team to the finals. The Storm outplayed the Mystics and swept the series. Some players, as well as coaches, speculated that this may be the last time Bird would play, but Bird said she has one more year in her tank.

“It’s really special to win, but to bring a championship to the city and share it with them, it’s amazing,” said Bird. “That’s the plan, I’ll be back next season.”


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Bills Show Fight, but Fall to Chargers 31-20 Sun, 16 Sep 2018 20:41:08 +0000 At halftime it looked like we were watching a rerun of week one, but Buffalo came out scrappy in the second half and held the Chargers to only three points in the final 30 minutes.  Josh Allen drove Buffalo down the field in their first drive of the second half which ended with a Chris Ivory one-yard touchdown run.  The score seemed to ignite the home crowd and the Buffalo defense, leading to three-and-outs on the Chargers next three drives. However, the 28-3 halftime deficit was just too much for the Bills to overcome. LeSean McCoy would exit the game and not return after he suffered a rib injury in the third quarter when one of his own lineman fell on top of him at the end of a play.  Hopefully it isn’t serious, but it certainly didn’t look good.

Allen may have not won the game, but he showed promise throughout. At times he certainly looked like a rookie – especially the under thrown ball to Jason Croom that resulted in a costly fourth quarter interception – but other times he looked like a poised veteran standing strong in the pocket throwing darts down field. Allen was able to throw his first NFL touchdown with 38 seconds left in the fourth quarter when he hit wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin with a bullet from three yards out.

Going 0-2 is never fun and a week three matchup in Minnesota next week will be even tougher, but hopefully the second half momentum the Bills were able to generate will continue next week against the Vikings.

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Chargers Rolling in Buffalo, 28-6 at Half Sun, 16 Sep 2018 18:46:32 +0000 Phillip Rivers and company brought some of that California sun to Buffalo and are looking to take a win back to Los Angeles as they are up big at half, 28-6. The Buffalo faithful came out as they always do – loud. The Bills stuffed the Chargers on their opening drive holding them to a three-and-out, but it’s been all Bolts since. Rivers has gone 15/16 for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns. His running backs, Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon both look like potential Pro Bowl candidates as the Chargers have also rushed for 106 total yards.

In what little time Bills quarterback Josh Allen has had to pass, he’s struggled to connect with open receivers. Allen has showed promise in moving the ball though and finishes the half 8/14 with 126 yards passing. Two of his drives have led to field goals by Stephen Hauschka.

If Buffalo wants to get back in to this game they are going to need someone to step up and make big plays on both sides of the ball. Los Angeles seems to be keying on LeSean McCoy so it will be up to Allen’s receivers to help the young quarterback get rolling. Just before half Allen chucked it deep and Zay Jones made a beautiful adjustment to come down with a 57-yard gain. With Allen’s arm strength and Jones ability to catch the ball, Head Coach Sean McDermott should continue to fuel that connection in the second half. Buffalo will also need to make a big play on defense as the Chargers have seemingly done whatever they want. Tre’davious White or Tremaine Edmunds need a take takeaway to prevent back to back blowouts to start the 2018 season.

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Arizona Cardinals: Week 2 Flight Plan Sat, 15 Sep 2018 19:39:08 +0000 In week one there weren’t many teams that looked as bad as the Arizona Cardinals.  Well, buckle up Bird Gang because the “experts” don’t think it’s going to get any better this weekend. The Arizona Cardinals will head to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to take on the Rams this Sunday. At this moment, the Cardinals are 13 point underdogs, and rightfully so. In a 24-6 loss against the Washington Redskins at home in week one, the Cardinals couldn’t do anything. If they couldn’t do anything – or stop anything – against the Redskins, what’s the Bird’s flight plan to pull off a win against a team many feel will be in this year’s Super Bowl? Let’s take a look.

  • Plan 1 – Forget about last week. Do not let the disappointment in week one affect you mentally in week two. You’re facing a division rival who wants to make a statement about who currently runs the NFC West. If you come in soft, the game will be over before halftime. With leaders like Larry Fitzgerald in the locker room, this shouldn’t be an issue. In fact, when asked by the media if as a leader he needed to talk to his teammates about putting week one behind them, Larry and his pearly whites simply responded, “what happened last week?”Larry Fitzgerald
  • Plan 2 – Hold the ball. Yes, when facing a defensive front that includes monsters such as Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh that is easier said than done but the Cardinals found out last week just how important controlling the clock really is. In week one the Redskins had the ball nearly 17 minutes longer than the Cardinals – that’s more than an entire quarter. As great as they are, you can’t depend on Patrick Peterson or Budda Baker to score points for you. Head Coach Steve Wilks will need to do whatever he has to do to move the chains and chew up the clock to prevent the Rams from controlling the game. You do this by using your superstar running back, David Johnson.David Johnson
  • Plan 3 – Throw everything you’ve got at Todd Gurley. The Rams have a handful of weapons on offense and Head Coach Sean McVay does an excellent job of utilizing them, but Gurley is the heart of that offense. If there was one bright spot for the Cardinals in week one, it was that the Cardinals secondary prevented Redskins receivers from doing any damage. Outside of running backs and tight ends, Jamison Crowder was Washington’s leading receiver with only three catches for 32 yards. Make quarterback Jared Goff be the one that has to beat you in week 2.
  • Plan 4 – Do everything you can to keep Josh Rosen off the field. In fact, deactivate Rosen this week so that regardless of what happens he isn’t able to come on to the field. This clearly isn’t a key to winning this week, but it’s a key to winning for the next decade. Should the score get out of hand or Bradford suffers injury, Mike Glennon should be QB2 this week. You don’t throw your rookie in against a vicious defense like the Rams, especially on the road.

Even with a perfectly executed game plan, the Los Angeles Rams will be tough to beat. If the offense can’t muster up any help for the defense, the Cardinals flight plan is going to experience a lot of turbulence in L.A. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05pm, Pacific Time.

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Pick Six: Tennessee Titans vs Houston Texans Sat, 15 Sep 2018 18:00:45 +0000 The Tennessee Titans played in the longest game in NFL history last Sunday. The unfortunate thing is all that time invested did not end up in a win for them. Now they head back home to see the Houston Texans, who lost their season-opener to the New England Patriots. Both teams come in trying to avoid an 0-2 start and with the Titans having homefield advantage, it should be good for the home team. The Titans, however, cannot depend on just having homefield advantage to pull even at 1-1 on the season. Here are six things they must do well in Week 2 in order to get a mark in that win column.




1) Time to get physical

The Tennessee Titans offensive line was not as physical as they were last season in Week 1. The running game got going as the game went on, but they should have started pushing around the Dolphins from the beginning. In this one against Houston, they have to set the tempo up front from the get-go. The more they are able to get it going on the ground, the more the Titans will be able to control the game and that could mean trouble for the Texans.


2) Handle with care

The quarterback delivers the package, so accuracy is big. With Marcus Mariota last weekend, he was accurate for a stretch, but once that elbow injury occurred, his accuracy went out the window. He threw two interceptions and ended up leaving the game with the injury. It’s expected he will play this game, so the Titans are hoping he gets the feeling back when it comes to throwing the football and that he keeps turnovers to a minimum or maybe even doesn’t have any at all. The more he is able to protect the football, the better the chances of Tennessee beating the Texans.


3) Make it quick

The Patriots are known for mixing up their speeds offensively and that can give defenses problems. The Titans are very capable of changing speeds and that could cause the Texans some problems. The Titans and Matt LaFleur should try to tire out the Texans on what should be a hot and humid day on Sunday. The faster they are able to run their offense, the more the Texans will be sucking wind as the game goes on and by the fourth quarter, the Titans would have the edge offensively.





1) Dance with Deshaun Watson

Watson is one of the premiere young quarterbacks in the NFL even after limited action on the field. His quickness, speed and his understanding of the position make him highly dangerous to face. To keep him in check, the Titans will need all hands on deck. Mush rushes along with potentially having a spy on him at all times will be key in making sure Watson does not light them up like he did last season when the two teams met in Houston.


2) Malcolm’s time

Malcolm Butler made a huge play against Miami last week, picking off a pass in the endzone and saving a touchdown. The challenge for him this week is a little bit different because he faces one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in DeAndre Hopkins. The battle should be a good one, but for the Titans, they will need Butler to bring his best. The less effective Hopkins is, the better the chances the Titans have to win the game.


3) Filling the gap

The Titans were a very solid run defense last season. This season start in that facet of the game was not as good. The Titans gave up an average of 4.1 yards per carry and veteran running back Frank Gore was doing anything he wanted. The Titans don’t have to face Gore this week, but they do face a younger, more explosive former Miami Hurricane in Lamar Miller. The Titans better show up more this week stopping the run than they did last week.


This game is huge for both Tennessee and Houston because neither wants to start their season 0-2. The home crowd should be a good thing for Tennessee, but they cannot solely depend on it to get them through. They have to play well and they have to do most if not all of these points to win this pivotal game.



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Bills vs Bolts: Keys to a “W” Sat, 15 Sep 2018 15:00:13 +0000 While unfortunate, last week was last week and the herd is heading home. The Buffalo Bills will kick off their home opener in week two against the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday at 1pm Eastern Time. If the Bills Mafia thought this week was going to be any easier – it won’t be. Phillip Rivers and the Bolts are touching down in Buffalo as seven and a half point favorites. If the Bills want to prevent themselves from starting the season 0-2, there are a few things that need to happen:

  1. Pressure Phillip Rivers – If Joe Flacco looked elite last week, what can Rivers look like this week? Last year Rivers finished second in passing yards, trailing only Tom Brady. All he’s done to start this season is carve the Chiefs defense up for 424 yards and three touchdowns in week one. 20-year-old rookie linebacker Tremaine Edmunds looked everything like the Bills hoped he would after a week one performance that netted seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, but he will need help from his counterparts to apply additional pressure.

    Tremaine Edmunds

    Tremaine Edmunds

  1. Utilize LeSean McCoy – Last week Shady finished the game with only seven carries for 22 yards and added one reception for a loss of a yard. Granted, Buffalo was only able to disperse 33 touches in total last week, but McCoy needs to be used early and often. He’s the best player on the team one of the most dynamic playmakers in the entire NFL. Don’t abandon the run and include him in the pass game. With an aggressive pass rush like the one like Melvin Ingram the Chargers will bring, successful screens could end up putting points on the board.
  1. Allow Josh Allen to use his athleticism – For his size, the rookie is a tremendous athlete. It will be his first ever start in a match-up that features a great pass rush and a suspect offensive line, so the Bills should have a few plays designed to allow him to use his mobility. Some of the flashes Josh has shown have come when he is on the move and throwing on the run. If he’s able to extend the play with his feet maybe his receiving core can finally find some separation.

    Josh Allen

    Josh Allen

  1. Contain Keenan Allen – Let’s be honest, stopping him all together is unlikely, you can only hope to contain him. Last week Allen went for 108 yards and a touchdown on 8 receptions. Rivers is good enough to make any wide receiver or running back a weapon but if you slow down his favorite target, it will in turn slow down the game. The Chiefs may have had the firepower to win a shootout against the Chargers – Buffalo does not. Tre’Davious White could shadow Allen but there should be safety help over the top wherever he may line up.
  1. Win on special teams – Special teams won’t just help win the field position battle, it will help win the game. The Chargers special teams looked atrocious last week. They allowed Tyreek Hill to rip off a 91-yard punt return for a touchdown, fumbled on their own two-yard line late in the game, and missed a field goal that would have put them within striking distance of the Chiefs last week. One big play will ignite home-field advantage in a big way.

These are no small tasks, but they are necessary if Buffalo hopes to compete against a team that can light up the scoreboard. One thing that won’t be standing in Buffalo’s way this week is the weather. The high for Sunday is 82 degrees – mostly sunny.

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Josh Allen, the “Right Move” Thu, 13 Sep 2018 19:00:12 +0000 Well, that didn’t take long. On Wednesday, Buffalo Bills Head Coach, Sean McDermott, announced that rookie quarterback, Josh Allen, would start in week two against the Los Angeles Chargers – Buffalo’s home opener.

When asked to explain the change in starting quarterbacks after only one week of regular season football, McDermott didn’t feel the need to go in to detail. “Yeah, look, I don’t feel the need, honestly, to elaborate. We talk a lot in house about decisions and things and what we need to do and the right move at the right time. Right now, this, with all respect to your question, is the right move for us”, Sean said. In his time at the podium, McDermott would tell members of the media that starting Allen this Sunday is the “right move” a total of 14 times, but anyone who watched the game this past Sunday wouldn’t need to hear it more than once to understand. Nathan Peterman’s play against the Raven’s is the only explanation needed. Peterman would finish his day going 5/18 for 24 yards and two interceptions. His Total Quarterback Rating was 0.7. Even scarier, that wasn’t Peterman’s worst game of his career.

Sean McDermott

Sean McDermott addresses media on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

For many the choice to start Peterman week one was also the “right move”. A year ago, he was only a rookie and unnecessarily thrust in to the starting lineup against a Los Angeles Chargers team that would finish the season third in passing defense – the same game Peterman would throw five interceptions. Since then, he’s had some time to mature. There was hope that after a full offseason, and what appeared to be a pretty good preseason, Peterman could at least be a bridge starter giving Allen more time to learn. Well, that bridge burned in just over a half of football and it is now Allen that will be the rookie quarterback being thrust in to the starting lineup against the Chargers.

Nathan Peterman

Nathan Peterman takes a sack against the Ravens

In limited action versus the Ravens, Allen showed promise. Granted, it didn’t have anyone thinking Buffalo was headed to the Super Bowl just yet, but in a league where the average tenure of a head coach is under four years, the rook showed enough to understand the need for such a quick change. On Allen’s second drive, he marched Buffalo inside the five-yard line before a string of penalties and sacks forced them to settle for a field goal. He showed flashes of why Buffalo was willing to trade up and take him with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. At times the rookie looked like just that – a rookie.  Other times he stood poised in the pocket and on a few plays used his athletic ability to escape and fire darts that even guys with good arms wish they could throw.  Allen would finish the game going 6/15 with 74 yard and add another four carries for 26 yards rushing.

For Allen the potential is there, but in place like the NFL everyone has potential and it means nothing on paper. This Sunday we’ll find out if Josh Allen fairs any better than Nathan Peterman did in his first start against the Chargers.

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Seahawks’ losses Doug Baldwin in opener Mon, 10 Sep 2018 13:20:36 +0000 Seattle, WA- After a 27-24 loss to the Denver Broncos, the Seattle Seahawks learned that their star wide receiver Doug Baldwin may be out for some time with a sprain MCL. In the first quarter, Baldwin was running his route, when apparently his leg gave out. He was tended to momentarily by the medical staff but walked to the sidelines on his own power. However, Baldwin was walking with a noticeable limp in the second quarter, but on a route that he was running, his leg gave out. After the second time he left the field, the medical staff reported he was done for the day.


Baldwin was not effective against the Broncos and did not catch a ball the entire game. With Baldwin out of the game, Brandon Marshall, who is the number 2 receiver had to step up and make big plays for the team. He caught 3 passes for 46 yards in the defeat.

Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll did not have an estimate on when Baldwin will be back to play. “He’s got a little MCL sprain in his other knee, and so we have just got to see what that means,” Carroll said. “He went back in the game and played some, but we just eventually kind of talked him out of playing because he wanted to keep going. We just want to make sure we take care of him.”

Without Baldwin in the game, the Seahawks have lost a consistent playmaker that took the pressure off of Russell Wilson since he has been the go-to person in critical situations. “Doug is a true playmaker. He’s done it for years. I know he’s going to do everything he can to get back as soon as possible,” Wilson said. Despite Baldwin’s injury, the Seahawks had to pull a couple of tricks out the bag in the second half to make it a game against the Broncos, without Baldwin in the game, the Seahawks had to find other ways to get the ball to their other playmakers. They utilized their tight end, did more end around, and more corner routes to try to get Denver to Bite and get their receivers more spacing.

Baldwin is known to be a blocking receiver and at times Brandon Marshall missed his blocking assignment, which is why Baldwin is important to the team. The Seahawks have been in this situation last season with key players being injured, but they found a way to keep winning. It is only the second week of the NFL, so the Seahawks are not hitting the panic button just yet, but losing Baldwin for a couple of months will sting.


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Cardinals vs Redskins: Key Matchups Sat, 08 Sep 2018 01:58:41 +0000 The Washington Redskins are headed to Glendale to take on the Arizona Cardinals in the first ever game at State Farm Stadium. Ok, maybe that sounded a little more exciting than it actually is – it’s the same stadium the Cardinals have played in since 2006, but was formerly known as the University of Phoenix Stadium until State Farm bought the naming rights just last week.

Arizona and Washington will be introducing their new quarterbacks in Sam Bradford and Alex Smith. Both veteran QBs have continued to be paid handsomely for their services, but while receiving those big game checks they have also been passed off as they guys who couldn’t get it done for much of their careers. Both quarterbacks will look to revive their careers with major question marks within their supporting cast. Outside of future Hall of Famer, Larry Fitzgerald, there’s not another receiver on either team’s roster who has ever had 1,000-yard season. In fact, many of them are so young they don’t even have 1,000 yards in their career.

What both teams do have are elite running backs. After a season ending injury to second round draft pick, Derrius Guice, the Redskins went out and signed Adrian Peterson. Peterson had a short stint in Arizona last season and showed flashes of his old self before being placed on the injured reserve due to a neck injury. He too will look to revive his career with his newfound home.  With 37 yards rushing this Sunday, Peterson will move into 10th place on the all-time rushing list, surpassing Marshall Faulk and Jim Brown. Adrian Peterson

On the home sidelines stands David Johnson, an elite running back who hopes to crack the top 10 in rushing himself one day. He too returns from a season ending injury and still wants to prove that his 2,118 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns in 2016 were not a fluke. His new Head Coach, Steve Wilks, has made it clear that he intends to run the ball, and run it often.

Key Matchups:

  • Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones vs Redskins left tackle Trent Williams – Jones led the NFL in sacks last season and Williams is one of the most dominant offensive lineman in the NFL. Last season Trent played 10 games with a torn tendon in his knee and still only gave up two sacks.
  • Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald vs Redskins cornerback Josh Norman. Last season Norman occasionally shadowed opposing team’s best receiver. It’s unknown if that will occur on Sunday but anytime these two go heads up it’s a great show.Arizona Cardinals
  • David Johnson vs Redskins rush defense – Johnson could be in for a big day as the Redskins ranked dead last in rush defense just a year ago. Washington spent their 2018 first round pick on defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne to address the issue so it will be interesting to see how the battle in the trenches goes. The last time Johnson faced the Redskins in 2016 he rushed 18 times for 84 yards and a touchdown. He also added 9 receptions for 91 yards and another score.David Johnson
  • Adrian Peterson vs Cardinals rush defense – Peterson continued to show flashes of his Minnesota days this preseason, but he will be up against a defense that finished sixth against the rush last year. The Cardinals will also be adding an additional down lineman with the new 4-3 scheme that Coach Wilks brought with him.
  • Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford vs Redskins quarterback Alex Smith – granted, these two won’t be on the field at the same time actually dueling each other, but the winning quarterback will likely be the one who makes the fewest mistakes. Both quarterbacks share nearly identical career completion percentages at 62.5% for Sam, and 62.4% for Alex. Neither QB takes much risk, so one turnover could be a major advantage.

This will be the third straight year the Cardinals and Redskins have faced off with the teams splitting victories in their last two matchups. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25pm Arizona Time this Sunday, September 9th, 2018.

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NFL Preseason Finale: Buffalo Bills Fri, 07 Sep 2018 17:38:55 +0000 One of the few preseason games worth talking about was owned by the Buffalo Bills VS the Bears on Thursday night. A game in which they made headlines by making a head-scratching move to start AJ McCarron. AJ is a person whom many thought would be the Bills regular season starter. Oddly enough it looks like the Bills already had their collective minds made up and decided they would move McCarron but start him in hopes of improving his trade value. However, after a shaky 13 for 34 on his passes with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions they were only able to receive a 5th round pick for the quarterback.


Bills QB AJ McCarron sacked by the Bears defense.


There really wasn’t much to see in what seemed like a very meaningless 4th preseason game. Few starters played and if they did it was for a very short period. After going a satisfactory 2 - 2 in the preseason, the Bills have made it very clear they are in a major rebuild mode. Although, they have high hopes in Rookie Quarterback Josh Allen, they made the correct decision – in my mind – to keep the rookie off the field for a little bit longer and allow the game to come to him, instead of rushing his development. With older offensive/defensive personnel it’s clear to me that the Bills organization will not repeat and make back-to-back postseason appearances this year. Don’t fret Bills fans, think of the positives going into the season. For the first time since Jim Kelly there is finally a plan in place at the Quarterback position and with a possible high draft selection this year the Bills can start surrounding Allen with a supporting cast in order to make that jump back into the postseason.

Siran Neal, Ryan Nall

Bears player running in a touchdown.


The Bills will open up the season on the road versus the Baltimore Ravens. Coming into the game this week the Bills look to be a 7 point underdog. Try not to expect much this year Bills fans but instead have your hopes set towards the future.

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Peterman to Start Against Baltimore Thu, 06 Sep 2018 20:20:59 +0000 Week one – a clean slate for everyone, including Nathan Peterman. Peterman has gotten the nod as Buffalo’s week one starting quarterback and will lead the Bills in to M&T Stadium to take on the Baltimore Ravens. Both AFC teams finished the 2017 regular season at 9-7, but due to a tiebreaker that relied on strength of schedule, only Buffalo made the playoffs. Had it not been for the Ravens catastrophic meltdown in the week 17 loss to the Bengals last season, it would have been the Ravens going to the playoffs with a record of 10-6.  The Ravens won’t soon forget the viral videos of the Bills celebrating down in Miami after watching Tyler Boyd end Baltimore’s season on 49-yard touchdown with just 44 seconds left in the game. To salt the wound, less than two weeks ago Bills fans gave Bengals quarterback, Andy Dalton, a standing ovation in Buffalo to thank him for the playoff bid. Make no mistake about it, the Ravens are kicking off the season looking for revenge.

Andy Dalton

Andy Dalton receives standing ovation in Buffalo

Peterman will head to Baltimore trying to prove the Bills playoff bid – and his preseason statistics – were anything but a fluke. Peterman finished the preseason going 33/41 for 431 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, and a QB rating of 124.7. He will have to prove that point against a top 10 pass defense that is returning all of their starters from a year ago. Baltimore only gave up 18 passing touchdowns last season and led the NFL in interceptions with 22.  They were one of only five teams to have more interceptions than touchdowns.

Peterman’s preseason might have went well, but his room for error is minimal. Rookie quarterback, Josh Allen, who the Bills traded up for and selected seventh overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, is waiting in the wings. Whoever ends up being under center for the long haul will need a lot more help from the receiving core. Buffalo finished second to last in passing yards last season. Former quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, certainly wasn’t a risk taker, but much of the teams passing woes can be contributed to Bills receivers failing to get open. Buffalo’s leading receiver in 2017 was tight end, Charles Clay, who finished the season with only 558 yards. Their second leading receiver wasn’t a receiver either – it was running back, LeSean McCoy. In fact, you would have to combine Buffalo’s top three “receivers” just to surpass what Chargers receiver, Keenan Allen, did all on his own last season (1,393 yards). Buffalo traded for receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, midway through last season and they will need him to come on in a big way. If anyone wants to contribute, it’s certainly Kelvin – he is in a contract year.

Baltimore RavensBaltimore may have revamped their entire receiving core with the additions of Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead IV, but the keys to winning for both teams will be within the tackles. Last season Buffalo finished 29th in rush yards allowed and gave up more rushing touchdowns than anyone in the league (22). The Bills added defensive tackle Star Lotulelei in free agency, but until they prove they can stop the run teams will continue to try and pound the ball to control the clock. The Ravens can expect the same. With questions at quarterback, Buffalo will continue to lean on LeSean McCoy. Shady finished the 2017 season as one of only nine running backs with over 1,000 yards. His 1,138 yards were good enough for fourth in in the league.

Baltimore heads in to Sunday favored by 7.5 points. Kickoff is scheduled for 1pm Eastern Time on Sunday, September 9th, 2018.

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NFC Preview Podcast Wed, 05 Sep 2018 13:00:05 +0000 With the 2018 season ready to kick off on Thursday night, Pro Player Insiders will have a weekly podcast discussing all of the games that will take place each week during the season. But before the season begins, host Danny Thompson (@danny3thompson on twitter) wants to give you his thoughts on each of the 16 teams that make up the NFC in the debut edition of the Pro Players Podcast. Danny will answer some of the hottest questions in the conference, names a few players you need to watch for, and most importantly give us his picks for each of the divisions, the playoffs, and who will make the SuperBowl in Atlanta in February.

Some of the topics discussed on the podcast are:

1. Are the Eagles ready to repeat?

2. Can the Saints march themselves to Atlanta?

3. Will Dallas and the New York Giants find themselves back in the playoffs?

4. Who is the team everyone should watch out for in 2018?

And more!!!

Leave your thoughts below and let him know what you think.

Listen to “NFC preview” on Spreaker.

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AFC Preview Podcast Tue, 04 Sep 2018 17:56:43 +0000 With the 2018 season ready to kick off on Thursday night, Pro Player Insiders will have a weekly podcast discussing all of the games that will take place each week during the season. But before the season begins, host Danny Thompson (@danny3thompson on twitter) wants to give you his thoughts on each of the 16 teams that make up the AFC. In the debut edition of the Pro Players Podcast he answers some of the hottest questions in the conference, names a few players you need to watch for, and most importantly gives his picks for each of the divisions, the playoffs, and who will make the SuperBowl in Atlanta in February.

Some of the topics discussed on the podcast are:

1. Can the Patriots repeat as AFC Champions?

2. Will the Browns win a game?

3. How wide open is the AFC West??

4. Who is the team everyone should watch out for in 2018?

And more!

Leave your thoughts below and let him know what you think.

Listen to “AFC Preview” on Spreaker.



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NFL Preseason Week 3: Arizona Cardinals Edition Mon, 03 Sep 2018 00:26:34 +0000  

The Arizona Cardinals put on football clinic Sunday night versus the Dallas Cowboys, defeating them 27-3. With an outstanding 8 forced turnovers, it seemed as if the Cardinals had an answer for everything the Dallas Cowboys offense was throwing at them. Although, the Cowboys offense was missing two key starters in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot, the Cardinals still took care of business in a beat down type of fashion. In reality, the Cardinals offense didn’t give as much as I would have liked, rather it was the Cardinals suffocating defense that laid the Cowboys to rest.


The one thing that stood out – and was quite unexpected – in my opinion, was the emergence of Cardinals Rookie Running Back Chase Edmonds who had 55 yards on 11 carries averaging 5 yards a carry. The Rookie standout from Fordham University continues to raise eyebrows with his violent Running technique. Regarding Edmonds I feel like he comes off as a grinder in terms of work ethic or a player that will do the dirty work, that can come in handy when the regular season gets rolling.

Chase Edmons

Cardinals Rookie Edmonds breaks free vs the Cowboys.

Defensively, take everything that happened with a grain of salt. Remember the Cowboys were missing their two biggest offensive threats in Quarterback Dak Prescott and Running Back Ezekiel Elliot. However, that narrative can go both ways. For example, how would we feel if the Cardinal defense struggled against an offense that was missing two key starters? Like most fans I was very impressed by the Cardinal pass rush that is still without outside linebacker Markus Golden. The Cardinal Defense looks sharp and ready for the Regular Season.


Patrick Peterson takes a pick all the way for 6 points.


The Cardinals will simply not dress many players in this week’s Thursday night showdown versus the Denver Broncos in a meaningless week 4 preseason game. Fair warning, whether the Cardinals blow out the Denver Broncos or get simply demolished, don’t think anything of it. A lot of players in this particular game won’t be on the active 53-man roster come the start of the Regular Season.

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It’s Dede Time In Jacksonville Mon, 03 Sep 2018 00:21:19 +0000 5991fb861d192.image

For the second straight season, the Jacksonville Jaguars lost a key starting member of the wide receiving core to a season-ending injury. After losing former Pro Bowler Allen Robinson in the season opener last season, the Jaguars lost Marquis Lee on Monday to a season ending knee injury. Even though the team added former Indianapolis Colts receiver Donte’ Moncrief in the off-season, losing their top receiver puts a huge hole for a team that needs every healthy member on the roster.

But before Jaguar fans start calling for existing free agents like Dez Bryant and Jeremy Maclin, there is one player on the roster who could make up for Lee’s absence. This player is not only explosive, but was less than 2 years removed from being a Heisman Trophy finalist in college. Dede Westbrook has all of the talent and now has the chance to elevate himself into a starring role on a team that has a chance to make the SuperBowl.

Last preseason, Dede made a name for himself in the 3 games he played. He had 13 catches for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns. As he was transitioning to the final 53 man roster with a larger role, Westbrook suffered his own injury (Core Muscle) that place him on injured reserve for the opening 10 games of the season. Instead of learning on the field, he had to spend that part of the season waiting patiently for his turn to help his teammates.

After returning to the team in week 9, Westbrook had little time to get readjusted to the offense because the Jaguars were so depleted at receiver. At one point, the Jaguars had Robinson, Rashad Greene, Shane Wynn, Arrelious Benn, Larry Pinkard and Jaelen Strong all on injured reserve. Allen Hurns and Lee were also hurt and it left Westbrook and Keelan Cole in the leading roles as the Jaguars made it to the AFC Championship game.

Even though Cole lead the team in receiving yards in 2017, Westbrook has all of the skills to become the team’s big play threat. Going back to his last year at Oklahoma, Dede averaged 19 yards a catch and had 17 touchdowns with Browns rookie Quarterback Baker Mayfield behind center.

The best way to use Westbrook it to let him use his sub 4.4 speed and his solid size to beat opposing defensive backs. Another idea would be to allow Dede to be in the slot. Employing that idea would allow him to move around the entire field, putting him in areas where he could be a mismatch.

Now if Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone allows for Blake Bortles to throw down field with consistency, Westbrook could become the 6th player in team history to finish with 1000 receiving yards in a season. So before Jaguar fans start to think to add another receiver target, they should take a long look at Dede Westbrook’s potential as he attempts to get in the starting lineup.

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Huskies Drop game opener against No.9 Auburn 21-16 Sun, 02 Sep 2018 19:16:27 +0000 Seattle, WA- The University of Washington was stunned by No. 9 Auburn 21-16 in a defensive game that had a playoff-like intensity, as well as some gutsy play calling by both coaches.


The Husky had many opportunities to put pressure on Auburn with their play-action calling down in the red zone in the first half, but they could not capitalize off the good field position that they had. The Tigers’ defense played big in the red zone and halted in productive drives that the Huskies had with getting into the end zone. The Huskies had to settle for a couple of field goals, while Auburn came out the gate with some deep throws down the field to get the Huskies’ defense uncomfortable. It worked to perfection because Auburn picked up some big chunks of yardage through the air and put the Huskies down by two touchdowns.

By the end of the first half, the score was 13-6.

Jake Browing and the Huskies’ offensive coordinator decided to utilize Myles Gaskin a bit more. He gashed up some yards against the Tigers, as they marched down the field to get a score. While going for a score Gaskin broke a record that was held by Napoleon Kaufman for some time. Gaskin only needed 50 yards in this game to break history with him being the all-time rushing leader. “I’m very thankful to the O-line and all of the O-lines I’ve played behind,” Gaskin said. “It means a lot to be afforded the opportunities that I’ve had here. I’m just happy.” He finished the game with 75  yards, but that drive help put points on the board. The Huskies punched the ball in the end zone, closing the deficit to two points. 

After the Tigers missed a field goal attempt, the momentum switched back to the Huskies’ sideline. The Huskies’ capitalized off the great field position. They scored a field goal, which put them up 16-15.

With the Tigers down by 1, they rallied during adversity. They threw a couple of passes down the field, which put them in the red zone. On a third and seven,  JaTarvious Whitlow shot up the middle and scored the go-ahead score. 

“Sometimes it’s how you win a game that can help you later in the season,” Malzahn said in what he hoped would be a bit of foreshadowing for the season.


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Seahawks fall 31-19 against the Raiders Fri, 31 Aug 2018 05:20:15 +0000 Seattle, WA-  The Seattle Seahawks came into their last preseason game against the Oakland Raiders with a little intensity, coming off a shocking loss to the Vikings last week. Most of the Seahawks’ starters sat down for the most part. Russell Wilson sat out this game, while back up QB Austin Davis started in his place. In the first quarter, penalties killed any produce drive that the Seahawks had going for them. In the first two series, Davis looked great.

Image may contain: 1 person, playing a sport, american football, crowd, stadium and outdoor

He was very poised when the pocket was collapsing, threw a couple of accurate slants throwing off his back foot, and was not careless with the ball. He completed 6 passes or 40 yards, with his longest pass going for 17 yards in the first quarter.

After a couple of promising drives that were cut short because of the Raiders’ defensive front were making it difficult for Davis to get any passes to his receivers down the field, Seattle’s defense sparked a lift for the offense. They got the Raiders off the field on third down conversions and gave the Seahawks’ great field position After a couple of scores from the Raiders, the Seahawks had to do something to get back in the game late in the second quarter with their backs against the wall 17-6.

Davis, as well as running back Mike Davis took the team down the field and scored before the half making it a 17-13 with a 1-yard touchdown by Mike Davis.

The first half was a mixture of seeing what running back will be productive and get the starting and second string spot. Mike Davis has been the underdog in the running back line up but was very effective running between the tackles. He was very productive in the first half averaging 5-yards a carry and finished the half with 45 yards.

Chris Carson, who is expected to be the starter this season for the “Hawks” had a rough first half, he only carried the ball twice for a minimal of 5 yards.

In the second half, the Seahawks let Alex McGough start. On his first possession, he threw a 52-yard touchdown that was called back, because the receiver did not drag his second foot in bounds after he caught the ball in the end zone. The overturned touchdown took the momentum that the Seahawks were building. Instead of a touchdown and taking the lead over the Raiders, E. Manel marched the Raiders down the field and threw a beautiful back-shoulder pass to his receiver for a  touchdown to go up 23-13.

McGough has shown improvement in throwing the ball out of bounds and looking over his reads. In his last two games, he has had problems with his progression in reads. Against the Raiders, when the yards or throw was not there, he just threw the ball out of bounds and lived to fight another down.

Down 30-13 late in the fourth quarter, McGough tried to lead his team down the field to somehow get some type of positive motivation back on their sidelines. He capped off a 6-minute drive with a touchdown, which brought the Seahawks within 11 (30-19).

After this loss, the Seahawks have dropped all four preseason games, but they might have fixed their issues with their offensive line, as well as found their one, two punch running backs in Chris Carson and Mike Davis.

The regular season starts next week, so we will see if the preseason losses will have some type of effect on the Seahawks.

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