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 Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:26:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bills Head to Miami Looking to Continue Hot Streal Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:26:45 +0000 In an inner-division matchup, the Buffalo Bills will head to Miami to take on the Dolphins. Coming in fresh off of their fourth straight victory at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers the Bills sit at (4-2) while the Miami Dolphins upset the Pittsburgh Steelers to pick up their second win of the season as they improved to (2-4). The Bills currently are second in the division and as it stands right now would make the playoffs, as a wildcard while Miami is third in the division and on the outside looking in. This will be the first of two matchups between the two teams this season, a season series that the Bills swept in dominant fashion outscoring the Dolphins 74-31.

Over the past four weeks, the Bills have quietly been one of the best team in football as the only team with a longer winning streak thus far has been the Minnesota Vikings. The most recent win, that a 45-16 victory over the Bills over the San Francisco 49ers was their most lopsided of the season. The Bills outplayed the 49ers in nearly ever aspect of the game, relying on the same winning formula of ground and pound and a stiff defensive front. This old school style football has truly suited the Bills nicely as they currently rank first in the league in rushing yards with over 160 yards per game and rank in the top five in points scored and given up.

The run game on Sunday looks to be an area where the Bills will look to take advantage of, as the Bills will go up against former Bill, Mario Williams and the Miami defense who has given up 147 rush yards per game good enough for near dead last in the league. “Some of our issues as far as what has happened to us on defense is we’ve done such a poor job on offense that we left those guys out on the field,” said Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase. “When you’re taking on the blockers that they are the amount of times they are, I think our guys got worn down a little earlier than what we needed to.”

The Dolphins defense may have caught a break as LeSean McCoy has been ruled out for the game with a hamstring injury. McCoy, leads the team in rushing to this point as well is second on the team in receptions and receiving yards. Currently second in the league in rushing yards on the season McCoy has been picking up huge chunks of yardage for the Bills with 5.6 yards per carry. “Definitely losing a player like Shady definitely hurts the team. Anytime you lose a guy with his type of ability on the field it definitely hurts, but I think he will be okay and we also have running backs back there; Reggie, Mike, Jonathan that are ready to step up and take the challenge,” said Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Backup running back Mike Gillislee looks to be the feature back with Reggie Bush and Jonathan Williams picking up carries in McCoy’s absence.

As the Bills offense prepares to lose its table-setter in McCoy, the defense looks to be gaining one of its own back in the potential debut of Shaw Lawson for the Bills. Lawson, the Bills first round pick in this year’s draft has been hampered by a shoulder injury. In his absence, Lorenzo Alexander has stepped up to lead the league in sacks on the season essentially playing in Lawson’s position. “You’ve got those guys, Jerry (Hughes) being here for a long time, and Zo just got here. But them two guys are unstoppable. Learning from those guys will help me be a better player in the long run and things like that. Us three together on the field, me with those guys, it might be special,” explained Lawson.

With an 8-plus-turnover differential, the Bills defense has been exceptionally strong at making plays this season. Going against a Dolphins offense led by Ryan Tannehill, who has already thrown seven picks compared to only 6 touchdowns on the season looks like a dream scenario for this defensive unit. Without their top offensive performer in McCoy and perhaps also being without top receiver Robert Woods, the Bills defense in terms of necessity to carry the load may have their toughest matchup of the season against the Dolphins. Though with a win on Sunday the Bills can make the AFC East a two-team race for the division title with them remaining one game behind the Patriots.

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Broncos Look To Get Back To Winning Against Former Quarterback Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:24:37 +0000 The Denver Broncos are feasting on their Monday night matchup against the 4-2 Houston Texans and quarterback Brock Osweiler.

The Broncos are now 4-2 after losing their last two games, but going up against Osweiler in a primetime game may help them get back on the winning side.


Osweiler signed four-year $72 million contract with the Texans in the offseason. He was projected to become the Broncos starting quarterback in 2016 after Peyton Manning retired, but decided to head to take his talents to Houston. Players have not forgotten Osweiler’s decision to take the money and play for another team.

“There’s no ill will toward Brock. I am happy he got paid,” said Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall. “But it’s competition. We want to kill him.”

The Broncos may know more about Osweiler than his current team. Osweiler did not even speak to his head coach Bill O’Brian before signing his huge contract. He spent his first four years in the NFL with the Broncos sitting behind Peyton Manning.

In 2015, Osweiler went 5-2 after starting for the Broncos. His role was to not mess things up and let the defense lead the team. Now with the Texans, Osweiler throws the ball around the field in more and that means more opportunities for the secondary.

“He’s like a gunslinger right now. He’s throwing the ball a lot,” said Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. “He’s throwing it everywhere and he’s also forcing a lot of throws so there’s a lot of opportunities to get picks.”


Osweiler has not been impressive so far. He’s inaccurate, holds on to the ball, and turns the ball over at a high rate. Osweiler is only completing 59 percent of his passes, 27th in the NFL. To go along with his low completion percentage, he is not throwing it far, even with his big arm. Osweiler only throws the ball about six yards per pass attempt, ranking 29th in that department.

If Osweiler continues his style of play, he will be playing right into the Broncos hands. The Broncos rank first in passing yards given up at only about 182 yards per game to go along with the league leading 21 sacks as a team.


“We know that Brock likes to hold the ball so I fell that we can get a lot of good pressure on him,” said Marshall. “Just watching their offense, I think this can be a great week for us, I can say that.”

Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak is also returning. After missing a week with migraines, Kubiak has returned to the Broncos. The Texans fired Kubiak in 2013 after spending eight years as their head coach. This will be the first time Kubiak faces his former team as a head coach for another team.

The 11-day rest could not have come at a better time. The Broncos had time to refocus and rest after. They are a championship team and know they need to get back on track. Facing Osweiler just adds to their motivation.

“It’s the same Brock Osweiler that we have come to know and experience. Tough game and looking forward to it,” said outside linebacker Von Miller.

This should be fun.

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Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones out for the season with shoulder injury Wed, 19 Oct 2016 22:36:11 +0000 At 2-4 after their first six games, the Miami Dolphins obviously haven’t had the best of seasons. Now, their last 10 games are going to be even tougher without one of their best players on defense.

Safety Reshad Jones is officially  out the rest of the season with a rotator cuff injury. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase confirmed Jones’ status in his press conference with the media before the team placed him on injured reserve later on Wednesday.

Jones attempted to seek a second opinion on the injury, but he will require season-ending surgery. Miami will likely count on a committee of players to try and replace Jones production.

“We got to have the next-man-up mentality,” Gase said on Wednesday. “It’s tough when you lose a player of his caliber, not only as far as a player, but as far as a leader. He has done a great job of showing guys the right way to do things. The way that he goes about his business on and off the field, he does it right. It’s unfortunate for him and for us, because he was having a good year. I know it hurt him a lot for the fact that he wasn’t going to be out there with those guys anymore.”

It goes without saying that Jones could be the best safety in the NFL. In six games this season, Jones is second on the Dolphins in tackles with 50 as he also has a half a sack and an interception on the year. Last season, Jones racked up 135 tackles, five interceptions and two sacks.

Reportedly, Jones had been dealing with pain in his shoulder for weeks.

Against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, it will be some combination of Michael Thomas, Isa Abdul-Quddus and Walt Aikens.

 “We’ll go through this week of practice and kind of figure out what our best personnel package will be back there, Gase said. “We have a lot of moving pieces as far as what we like to do with defensive packages. We play a lot of different guys.”

Last season, Thomas started 13 games at free safety as he recorded 85 tackles. In 2016, Thomas has split time at nickel corner and safety and he has 20 tackles, a sack and forced fumble on the campaign.

Abdul-Quddus, who has 32 tackles and two interceptions, could move to strong safety with Jones out. In his five prior seasons in the league with the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions, strong safety was Abdul-Quddus primary position.

Twitter: @antwanstaley

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Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito has gone from a pariah to one of the league’s best players Wed, 19 Oct 2016 21:46:46 +0000 In 2013, after their Thursday night, 22-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, who started all eight games for the team was suspended for what is now known as the Bullygate scandal.

Following the Bengals game, Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins for the rest of the season and subsequently never played another down for the team. Prior to the Cincinnati game, Dolphins tackle at the time Jonathan Martin left the team on October 28 after he had said Incognito, guard John Jerry and center Mike Pouncey used racial slurs, vulgar language and bullied Martin on and off the football field.

After being blacklisted for the entire 2014 season, Incognito signed with the Buffalo Bills on February 7, of 2015. In his first extensive interview with the South Florida media since his departure, Incognito said he hasn’t spoken with Martin since the incident.

“Zero conversation with Jonathan Martin,” Incognito said. “He’s reached out and tried to speak a few times, but I have nothing to say.”

Incognito also said Dolphins owner Stephen Ross hasn’t talked with him.

“Mr. Ross never reached out to me,” Incognito said. “And I haven’t had a word with Stephen Ross since the suspension.”

At the time of Bullygate, Ross made it clear that he thought it was Incognito’s fault for a lot of the things that happened in the scandal. So that’s probably the reason Ross and Incognito have not spoken since the 2013 season.

Incognito went from one of the best players on the Dolphins roster in 2013, to an outcast.

“It was nuts, man,” Incognito said. “It got turned upside down. You guys (reporters) had a front-row seat to the circus…. The whole incident went down. I’m a pariah in the national media and basically turned radioactive there for a few months.”

Since signing with the Bills in 2015, Incognito has reclaimed his place as one of the best guards in the NFL. Last season, Incognito played in all 16 games for Buffalo as he was rated the second best guard in the league by Pro Football Focus and the best left guard in the NFL.

Following the 2015 season, Incognito was selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career.

“He has been unbelievable here,” Bills coach Rex Ryan said. “He’s a leader here. Every teammate respects him, and he’s earned that right. People in our community look up to Richie. Everybody loves him. I can’t speak to what happened in the past, but I can tell you what he’s doing right now. He’s been outstanding on the football field, in the classroom and in our community.”

Incognito has always been held in high regards to not only his current teammates but still to some of his former Dolphin teammates. He says he stills keeps in touch with a lot of his teammates and even keeps a close eye on them.

“I speak to guys routinely,” Incognito said. “It is tough during the season because we are doing our thing. I spoke with (Kraig) Urbik last week, I saw Tannehill last time I was in town. So, I’m still close with a lot of the guys.”

Incognito says he is still trying to find the lessons and answers in the Bullygate scandal as they’re different sides to the story.

“I don’t know,” Incognito said. “I think I’m still searching for the lesson in all of it. Everything went down the way it did and I think there was what happened in the media and then there was actually what happened. And only me, Jonathan Martin and the guys in that locker room know exactly what happened and that’s it. So as far as a lesson, I think it’s tough.”

Twitter: @antwanstaley

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Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi named AFC Offensive Player of the Week Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:17:16 +0000 During the Miami Dolphins preseason, Jay Ajayi was the team starting running back on its depth chart. After a less than stellar preseason where Ajayi fumbled and dropped a pass in the team’s last preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, he was demoted in the Dolphins depth chart.

Ajayi has now gone from being in inactive in the Dolphins season opener at Seattle to being named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. The league officially announced Ajayi as this week’s offensive player of the week in the AFC on Wednesday morning. He received the honor after his superb performance in the Dolphins 30-15 upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday.

Ajayi said he felt great being named AFC Offensive Player of the Week

“It’s huge, Ajayi said. I found out today (Wednesday) in the team meeting. “It’s a great feeling and at the same time, I don’t want to get too caught up on it. Credit to the offensive line and the receivers blocking for me. “

Ajayi rushed for a career-high 204 and two touchdowns on 25 carries. His previous high in a game was 48 yards on six carries against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.

In Week 1, Ajayi was in Dolphins head coach Adam Gase’s doghouse because of the way he handled himself after the team announced Arian Foster was going to be their starting running back. Gase made Ajayi inactive and left him back in South Florida as the Dolphins traveled to Seattle.

All season, the Dolphins have been searching for answers in their running game. The team was 31st in the NFL in rushing coming into their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. After Ajayi’s performance on Sunday, it appears the Dolphins have found their solution at running back.

It also helped that the Dolphins finally had all of their starting offensive linemen healthy. Tackle Branden Albert, guard/tackle Laremy Tunsil and center Mike Pouncey have all missed games this season due to injury. Getting those three players back should help the team’s offensive line going forward.

Even with his amazing performance last Sunday, Ajayi still believes he has a lot to prove in the league.

“I think I have a lot to prove, not only to myself to a lot of people, Ajayi said. “As you’ve seen, I’ve down a lot better, but I want to keep pushing forward because I know I can do a lot more.”

Twitter: @antwanstaley

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Arizona uses 3 scores by David Johnson to beat down the Jets Tue, 18 Oct 2016 04:06:22 +0000 The Arizona Cardinals used three touchdown runs by running back DAVID JOHNSON and an attacking and stingy defense to shut down the New York Jets 28-3 at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cardinals (3-3) let the Jets self destruct on offense which included a mid-fourth quarter change at quarterback from RYAN FITZPATRICK to GENO SMITH, and used 396 yards of their [Cardinals] own to have one of their more complete games in recent memory.

Johnson put together his second three-touchdown run game tonight, as he was super helpful in short yardage situations for his team tonight. He carried 22 times for 111 yards and of course those three scoring runs.

Ageless wonder LARRY FITZGERALD didn’t score any points tonight, but his 6 catches for 49 yards helped the Cardinals move the ball down the field. Plus, his limited night helped open up opportunities for seven other Cardinals pass catchers. Larry Fitzgerald 350

CARSON PALMER had a solid night as he didn’t even have to finish the game. His backup DREW STANTON, came in late in the game to throw one pass and hand the ball of to backup running backs ANDRE ELLINGTON and STEPFAN TAYLOR. Palmer finished the game with 23 for 34 efficiency for 213 yards and 1 touchdown pass.

Fitzpatrick couldn’t find his receivers on a consistent basis or of course manage to get the Jets (1-5) into the end zone. So h ended up being replaced and relieved by Smith (4 of 6 for 31 yards and 1 pick), who came in late in the game to complete some passes on out patterns and seam routes. But Smith he wasn’t all that effective either in getting the Jets into the end zone or even inside the 20-yard line. For Fitzpatrick, he finished 16 of 31 for 174 yards and 1 interception on the night.

Johnson kick started the scoring when he took a Palmer handoff, then he followed some helpful blocks by right guard EARL WATFORD and Fitzgerald, with Johnson then scooting down the left sidelines to finish off his 58-yard scoring run. With 9:51 left in the first quarter the Cardinals took a 7-0 lead.

For Johnson’s next touchdown run, he took advantage of an open hole in front of him to score a 2-yard touchdown run. With 6:43 to go in the second quarter the Cardinals extended their lead to 14-3.

As if the Jets weren’t getting sick of Johnson, he gave them some more aggravation with another up the middle 2-yard scoring run. That was his third touchdown run of the game which gave him eight scoring runs on the year———–he scored eight touchdowns runs in his rookie year of 2015. That scoring run gave the Jets a 21-3 advantage with 5:24 to go in the third quarter.

Then receiver MICHAEL FLOYD finished off the night’s scoring, with a 9-yard near the back of the end zone catch right in front of Jets  cornerback DARRYL ROBERTS. That play gave the Cards a 28-3 with 8:20 to go in the game.


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Miami Dolphins Host Yoga Night With The Fins For Breast Cancer Awareness Mon, 17 Oct 2016 19:59:35 +0000 About 1 in 8 women (about 12%) will develop breast cancer sometime during their lifetime. Every October, the NFL raises money and brings awareness to breast cancer. On Tuesday, October 4, Miami Dolphins alumni and Women’s Organization Members, in partnership with the Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC), hosted an evening of yoga with cancer patients and survivors in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

More than 60 women participated in an evening of yoga at the Nova Southeastern University campus with Dolphins alum Troy Drayton Elmer Bailey, Arturo Freeman, Lousaka Polite and Twan Russell and  members of the Dolphins cheerleaders squad. The group performed a number of yoga poses with music in a very relaxed setting.

At the beginning of the event, women received pink Dolphins Breast Cancer Awareness shirts and were invited to take pictures in a DCC themed photo booth. Then Dolphins Cancer Challenge Director of Operations and Logistics Amanda Chase, pancreatic cancer survivor & DCC participant Camille Moses and Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida Oncology Exercise Physiologist Joann Santiago spoke about the event and how important exercises is to cancer survivors.

“Exercise was considered to be taboo during cancer treatment, not only in breast cancer patients but any cancer patient,” Santiago said. “More studies are emerging on the benefits of exercise and yoga in relationship to breast cancer patients. They’re starting to see that cancer patients can benefit from participating in physical activity. It’s exciting to be a part of an event like this and it’s something that I’m very passionate about.”

“The Miami Dolphins and DCC are committed to fighting cancer of all kinds,” Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs Jason Jenkins said. “We are happy to host this event for the second year in a row and invite those who have been affected by cancer to come together and take part in a fun and relaxing evening centered around yoga.”

According to, besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2015, it was estimated that just under 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women would be breast cancers.



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O.J. and Chanda Brigance: Overcoming ALS Mon, 17 Oct 2016 12:29:53 +0000 OJ

Faith is something that you can’t see, but emotionally feel. It can be exemplified as an emotional attachment that keeps individuals pushing forward in their daily lives, even though certain events are happening throughout their lives that could alter it or keep them grounded in patience. Wife of Baltimore Ravens O.J. Brigance had to be grounded within faith, while her husband was going through the emotions with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Chanda Brigance remained by her husband’s side and their faith helped them get through some of the tough times. “Faith and Patience was something that kept me rooted and helped me along the way. Without having faith, we could not do it.”

O.J. had a great career in the AFL and moved up the ladder to the NFL. He started off with the Lions, played three years, and earned his best season in 19993 with 20 tackles. After his three years was up with the Lions, O.J. played for the Baltimore Stallions, where he was an All Pro, and recorded seven sacks to help his team secure the Grey Cup Championship. In 1996 he started his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins.He played there for four seasons, and left there to become a Baltimore Raven. He helped the team with his leadership ability and the way he could change the game on special teams. He was very quick and could change direction any time he felt. In 2000, the Ravens won the Super Bowl and O.J. was one of the factors that helped the team. The Rams picked O.J. up and he played around two seasons, then he played one game with the Patriots, and decided it was his time to step away.

While he was a player on the field, he was a hero to everyone he touched. He had the ability to encourage others by using what he had to go through to get to the NFL. He was admirable and when he spoke, people took in the advice that he was telling others. Both of the Brigances have been involved with helping the community. They have been involved in a number of different community organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Daily Food Bank.

Each of these organizations grew in knowledge, faith, and helped others who are dealing with certain issues and needed guidance. “O.J. was just a person that liked to help everyone and everybody who could out. He had this thing about himself that made everyone flock to him, because he was such a generous person.

Brigance was honored with the NFLPA’s Unsung Hero award in 1999, as well as receiving the Ed Block Courage Award in 2007. Most recently, OJ was presented with the Rice University 2012 Distinguished Alumni award.
great 123However in 2007, O.J.’s health to a turn for the worst. He was diagnosed with ALS and it was something that altered both of their lives. “We had to make sure that he was comfortable and that he was in peace. His happiness is my happiness, because he deserves it all. I mean all of the support that the Ravens’ organization has given all of us has been generous. We are very thankful, because the Ravens’ organization treated him like family. No words could say how grateful that I am to have all of these supporters who supported us.”

In addition to the foundation, Chanda has stepped in has been very involved with making sure that individuals understood what the foundation meant and how they could help others with ALS. “I have always reached out a helping hand to help others with this disease. I would want to make this foundation worldwide, because people have to understand how serious this disease is, how to make their family comfortable, and just having a support system that is very encouraging.”

“We were like, who can afford this, who can live, continue living with having a disease like this with so much equipment and supplies and things. OJ and I — we were so blessed and we have the resources and people here — let’s be there to help others.””Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and that’s what OJ and I are fighting for. There is a way that we can continue to still live, maybe in a different way than what we’re used to, but we can. They still can live after being diagnosed.”

“We never would have imagined 20 years ago that we would be sitting in this position, but since we are here, we’re gonna look at the glass halfway full, instead of halfway empty. We’re gonna say here’s where we are, here’s where the road of life has taken us, what can we do positive, how can we make a difference.”

This year Chanda was named “Woman of the Year.” “I couldn’t believe it, and then I cried like a baby.” She was very thankful to be honored. In the upcoming weeks, the foundation is planning a birthday party for her husband.

On Friday October 21 2016 the foundation will be throwing O.J. a birthday party within a charity event. Top 40 artist ESNAVI will be there to perform a live concert.

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New York Jets vs Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football Mon, 17 Oct 2016 00:40:23 +0000 The New York Jets will search for just their second victory of 2016 on Monday Night, against the Arizona Cardinals, who have had some struggles of their own this season.

These two teams should know what to expect from each other. The Jets head coach (Todd Bowles) is the former defensive coordinator for Arizona, and Arizona still runs the Todd Bowles defense. Head Coach Todd Bowles. Photo by Jeff Zelevansky.

Both (defenses) are very aggressive when it comes to blitzing. This game may not be an offensive gold mine for fantasy players. Both of these defenses, in all likelihood will be taking this game personally, or at least that is what one should expect.

The Jets (1-4) are already in desperation mode. New York brought back (QB) Ryan Fitzpatrick after a decent year in 2015, the opinions that Geno Smith should be starting are growing by the week, but with an offense ranked 18th overall, and a -9 turnover ratio, the Jets are staying with Fitzgerald for now.

The big surprise has to be the Jets defense this year, which is ranked 23rd (overall). The Jets pass defense has primarily been the problem, ranking a pitiful 31st in the league. When they are playing poorly, they are giving up points like the Washington Generals.

Arizona comes in with the 13th ranked overall offense, and this is without scoring a point in the first quarter all season long. The Cardinals have benefited from their defense (ranked 8th in NFL), but the performances on both sides of the ball have only equated to two wins this season. Seattle (4-1) currently holds the lead in the NFC West, so this game is more then crucial for Arizona.


This Week’s Match Up

I’d have to say Arizona has the better QB, the better running game, the better defense, and I’d say that these teams are even on special teams. One of the big issues for Arizona has been injuries on the offensive line this year. The Cardinals have had good protection from their back ups so far, but some double tight end sets may further help the cause.

On defense, expect to see a lot of (CB) Patrick Peterson on (WR) Brandon Marshall. This should be a quality match up, but if we could see a lot of Markus Golden and Chandler Jones on Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Cardinals should be in a good position to win this game. Golden and Jones have combined for 10 sacks already in 2016, but more importantly they are creating game changing turnovers with their constant disruption.


~Give Me the Keys Playa~

Time of possession and keeping the Arizona defense off the field: Give David Johnson the ball, a lot. Finish drives in the end zone, not on third downs or between the uprights. Get ahead early and stay ahead. Leaving the door open has burned the Cardinals this season, and playing from behind is a recipe for disaster.

The Trio: Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John “Smokey” Brown all have to have a solid day to exploit the Jets secondary. Arizona hasn’t been productive with the deep shots down the field as of late, this needs to change on Monday night.

Turnovers: I hate to say it, but if you play against Ryan Fitzpatrick, and you don’t win the turnover battle, you kinda deserve to lose the game. I’m looking for that pick six, I’m looking for those fumbles, a dominant day by the #BirdGang would really help me sleep well at night.

Carson Palmer_Arizona Cardinals 33

~Give Me The Key Players~

Carson Palmer coming off of a concussion has to be a serious concern. Concussions are known to linger, minimizing the contact on Palmer is a must. I’d love to see a clean uniform at the end of the game, but it will take a complete team effort.

David Johnson raises the bar every week. It used to be all about the “Air-izona” offense in the desert, but this young running back brings the balance that Bruce Arians can suffocate NFL defenses with, especially in fourth quarters.

Patrick Peterson is playing some of his best football ever. If he can shut down Brandon Marshall in front of a live national audience, the rest should be smooth sailing for the Arizona defense.



Things can get out of hand when you come in just “expecting” to win. Arizona knows this all too well. There are no easy games in the NFL. Execution and focus, playing for all 4 quarters, and never letting up has to be the game plan. The Cardinals are heavily favored to win this contest, but they have to play their best if they want to stay alive in the NFC West.

The Cardinals can’t afford another bad loss at home, or that’s where they will be when the playoffs start, watching like the rest of us. Arizona needs the type of win that builds confidence, the kind of win that ignites a team moving forward. A win in dominant fashion is exactly what the Cardinals need.

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The Cowboys Collect a rare win at Lambeau Field Mon, 17 Oct 2016 00:08:56 +0000 The Dallas Cowboys went into Lambeau Field and shut down the Green Packers offense and ran over their defense en route to a 30-16 victory. This decade, the Cowboys have went into Lambeau twice and were beaten by a combined score of  73-14. But today, the Cowboys were a different team than those 2010 and 2015 teams.

Also, this was one of those type of games where that old adage that it’s all about the team, was really put into perspective.

It wasn’t just about DAK PRESCOTT and EZEKIEL ELLIOTT today, the Cowboys needed so many of their front line and complementary players to step up today. And they did.

One of those complementary players was receiver COLE BEASLEY, who caught two touchdown passes today which was the fourth time in his five-year career that he has caught two touchdown passes in a game.  He caught 6 passes for 58 yards to give him 33 catches for 390 yards and 3 scores on the season. He is on pace to have his best season in terms of catches, yards, and touchdowns in his career. Cole Beasley 350 Dallas Cowboys

And kicker DAN BAILEY put together a three field goal day, with one of those field goals helping to put this game out of reach for Green Bay late in the fourth quarter.

That Cowboys offensive line which includes: center TRAVIS FREDERICK, left guard RONALD LEARY, right guard ZACK MARTIN, left tackle TYRON SMITH, and right tackle DOUG FREE paved the way for Elliott to gain 157 yards on 28 carries and to help the Cowboys run out the clock late in the fourth quarter with a series of Elliott runs.

Prescott once again showed off his talents as he was 18 of 27 for 247 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 pick. He didn’t have to run much today as his protection allowed him to be a passer only today.

The Packers heard the boos for much of this game for their conservative play calling and the lack of points being put up on the scoreboard. AARON RODGERS almost threw for 300 yards (294 yards on 31 of 42 accuracy) but he also only had 1 touchdown pass which is an anomaly for him. He also threw one interception which was caught by Cowboys safety BARRY CHURCH. That Church theft lead to a successful field goal by Bailey in the third quarter which gave Dallas a 20-6 lead.

Meanwhile, Beasley gave his team the lead, when he took a Prescott pass and then dove into the beginning of end zone for a 1-yard scoring play. With 10:03 left in the first quarter Dallas had themselves a 7-0 lead.

Dallas receiver BRICE BUTLER, was the recipient of Prescott’s second touchdown pass of the game, when he got behind the defense for a top right corner of the end zone 20-yard touchdown reception. With 27 seconds left in the second quarter the Cowboys improved their lead to 17-6 over the Packers.

Beasley got his second touchdown of the game by way of a 4-yard back of the end zone catch to boost the Cowboys lead to 27-9 with 10:26 left in the contest.

RANDALL COBB gave the Pack some breathing room when he took a Rodgers pass near the DAL 5-yard line, and proceeded to sprint into the end zone for a 6-yard scoring play. With 6:53 left in the contest the Pack cut the Cowboys lead to 27-16. Cobb finished the game with 7 grabs for 53 yards and 1 score.


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Miami Dolphins stun the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-15 Sun, 16 Oct 2016 20:55:30 +0000 After beginning the season 1-4, many people didn’t give the Miami Dolphins much of a chance to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Some of the Dolphins players were criticized by coaches this week because of their poor play in their first five games. As the famous phrase goes, that’s why they play the game.

Miami came into their game against the Steelers seven-point underdogs, but they came up victorious 30-15.

After being chastised in his first five games of the season, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was 24 for 32 as he threw for 252 yards and had zero interceptions.

Miami’s biggest star of the game was running back Jay Ajayi. The second-year player from Boise State rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns. Ajayi became the first Dolphins running back to rush for over 100 yards in a game this season and the first since last December against the Baltimore Ravens.

Ajayi also became the first Dolphin to rush for over 200 yards in a game since December 18, 2011, when Reggie Bush accomplished the feat against the Buffalo Bills

Jarvis Landry also had a big game against the Steelers as the receiver caught seven passes for 91 yards. His longest reception was a 39-yard pass in the second quarter.

After Miami scored the first points of the game in the first quarter by an Andrew Franks field goal, the Steelers receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey rushed for 60 yards for a touchdown. Pittsburgh went for the two-point conversion and the Steelers made it as the score was 8-3 at the time.

In the second quarter after Miami kicked a field goal to make it 8-6, Dolphins safety Reshad Jones intercepted Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the Pittsburgh 30-yard-line. Miami scored another field goal to make it 9-8.

On the interception, Roethlisberger hurt his knee and had to come out of the game. Backup quarterback Landry Jones replaced Roethlisberger for a drive and he only threw one pass and that was an incompletion.

Right before halftime, Miami ran a nine play, 71-yard drive that resulted in a Damien Williams one-yard touchdown run. That was Williams first touchdown run of his career. That touchdown made it 16-8 Dolphins at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Dolphins continued to rush the ball with Ajayi as he scored his first touchdown of the day on a one-yard run to extend the Dolphins lead to 23-8. Later, he would rush for a 62-yard touchdown to make it 30-8.

Roethlisberger returned to the game in the third quarter, but the Steeler offense was unable to get anything going. On the day, Roethlisberger struggled as he was 19 for 34 for 189 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

Pittsburgh added a late touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to receiver Cobi Hamilton to make it 30-30, but it was too little, too late.

Antonio Brown was held to four catches for 39 yards the entire game. Running back LeVeon Bell rushed for 53 yards on 10 carries.

After the game, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase was able to enjoy the victory a little more than he did his first coaching win in the NFL against the Cleveland Browns last month.

“That was good team football right there,” Gase said. “That’s what we’re looking to do. I’m sure there’s going to be some things we’ll want to clear up, but that’s what we need to be consistent with.”

Next week, the Dolphins (2-4) will host the Buffalo Bills at Hard Rock Stadium. Pittsburgh (4-2) will return home as they will face the New England Patriots at Heinz Field.

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Bills Keep Rolling, Topple 49ers in Buffalo Sun, 16 Oct 2016 20:48:25 +0000 The San Francisco 49ers came into hostile territory as they played the Bills hot off of a three-game win streak while the Niners came in losers of four straight. The Bills entered with a record of 3-2 on the season while the 49ers were 1-4. Two teams trending in very different directions as the Bills have relied upon their identity of a power run game accompanied by a stingy defense while the Chip Kelly led Niner’s were looking for any spark they could to ignite their season.

All eyes were on Colin Kaepernick in his first start of the 2016 season as the Buffalo faithful poured on the boo’s early and often. Not having thrown a single pass all season and playing sparingly in the preseason, Kaepernick looked the part as on his first drive overthrew and open Torrey Smith in the end zone and looked reluctant to run with the ball.

It was, however, the 49ers that would start the scoring as they turned a fumble recovery caused by their Oregon counterparts, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner into a Phil Dawson 33-yard field goal. Buckner and Armstead would finish with a combined three sacks and two forced fumbles with one fumble recovery. The Bills though as they have done so often in recent weeks answered back with an 11-play 75-yard drive topped off with a LeSean McCoy touchdown for his fourth rushing score of the season.

As quick as the Bills took the lead it was quickly erased on a 4-play 75-yard drive by the 49ers. Kaepernick in the second quarter though would begin to shake off the rust. Connecting with receiver Torrey Smith to take advantage of a blown defensive assignment for a 53-yard touchdown pass, his first of the season.

As big of story Colin Kaepernick and his first score of the season was, in this one the spotlight was all on LeSean McCoy who ran wild in the first half. McCoy, taking on his former head coach Chip Kelly, who traded him to Buffalo prior to the 2015 season. Adding on to his big first half with runs of 38, 24, and 12 yards to go along with a score, McCoy giving the Bills the ground game they have been reliant on. McCoy, has accounted for over 100 yards from scrimmage in all of the Bills wins this season, proving to be a real offensive catalyst for them.

The Bills and Niner’s would swap field goals and go into halftime with the Bills up 17-13. Ending the first half the Bills picked up 164 yards on the ground, 106 of them coming courtesy of McCoy before he suffered a knee injury to end the half.

The defense for both of these teams showed up after the half. In the first half, the two teams combined for one turnover and no sacks, while the numbers on the defensive side of the ball may not have been there the big hits certainly were. It was not until a third down scramble for 29-yards by Kaepernick did any of the offensive units show up later in the third. Showing the great ball carrier vision and athleticism that at one point made him a star in this league, Kaepernick showed glimpses of his potential escaping defenders and making plays upfield. Kaepernick would finish his season debut with a respectful stat-line of over 180 passing yards and a score while leading the Niners in rushing with 65 plus yards on the ground.

It was the newest Bill making his name known the home crowd, however. Justin Hunter, bringing in his second catch and the second touchdown as a Bill on a 30-yard strike from Tyrod Taylor in the back of the end zone. Hunter, was signed by the Bills earlier this month after beginning his career with the Tennessee Titans. The balance offensive attack as in recent weeks under offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn kept on rolling for the Bills. Although they have week in and week outranked near the bottom of the league in passing stats their run game has provided all the offense they have needed to keep the attack balanced. Adding on the damage on their first drive of the fourth the Bills put together another successful drive resulting in McCoy’s third touchdown of the game. A forced fumble by the reigning AFC defensive player of the week, Nickell Robey-Coleman, on the ensuing kickoff recovered by Buffalo put this one all but out of reach as the Bills would hold on for the fourth consecutive victory and their fourth win of the season. The Bills move to 3-0 over the NFC West on the season following the victory and the Niners fall to 1-5 following Colin Kaepernick’s season debut.

The Bills as a team finished with over 250 yards on the ground as the Chip Kellys run defense was non-existent. Another late touchdown pass for the Bills gave them a 45-16 victory. The Bills will move to 4-2 and will head to Miami next week to take on their division foe the Dolphins. With their four-game win streak, the Bills are undoubtedly one of the hottest teams in the league as they are one of the only teams in the NFL to have a four-game win streak in 2016.

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Minnesota Vikings are Sitting Pretty at NFL Week 6 Sun, 16 Oct 2016 16:54:44 +0000 The Minnesota Vikings are sitting pretty at their week six bye as they remain the only undefeated team in the NFL after beating the Houston Texans handily last Sunday. The week off will provide ample time for the coaching staff to get their newest free agent acquisition, former first overall pick Jake Long, ready for his debut next Sunday at left tackle against the Philadelphia Eagles. It will also provide time for banged-up players like receiver Stefon Diggs and tight-end Rhett Ellison to get healthy.

In spite of all the injuries, Head Coach Mike Zimmer likes where his team stands through five weeks.

“I think that this team has a chance to be pretty special,” said Zimmer. “They understand the things you have to do to win football games, but more importantly they know how to practice, they know how to prepare, they know how to study. We’re doing a lot of good things. We’re not turning the ball over offensively, and we’ve been getting some turnovers defensively. Those things always help.”

Never completely satisfied, Zimmer still sees facets of the game that can be improved upon, namely the offense and their ability to move the ball.

“We have to do a lot of things more, but the most important thing is that we figured out ways to move the football,” he said. “Some days are going to be easier running and some are going to be easier throwing. There’s a lot of work to do. We have a lot of new guys in there offensively, we’ve been getting guys hurt, so we just have to keep going.”

The action picks back up next Sunday when the Vikings travel to Philadelphia in hopes of coming home 6-0. With the additional week to prepare, there is little doubt that Zimmer will have some tricks up his sleeve for the Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz.

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Calais Campbell Supports Phoenix Community with “Calais’ Kroc Stars” Sat, 15 Oct 2016 01:38:37 +0000 Calais-Campbell-Kroc-Story

You’ve probably seen a lot of Calais Campbell in the headlines this past week. Two sacks, an interception, and a safety (all in the same game) tends to get people talking.

Campbell is coming off of a monster Thursday Night performance, so of course he’s been busy making appearances on television, doing radio shows, all that good stuff.

But the Arizona Cardinals all time sacks leader still finds time to help out in the Phoenix community. He and his charity, the CRC Foundation (named after his father, Charles Richard Campbell) continue to support the city they now call home. Campbell funds programs, hosts celebrity dinners, each year he takes kids on shopping sprees for Christmas, he’ll even make a donation to the charity of your choosing if he catches you wearing his jersey.

We caught up with Calais on his latest endeavor at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, in Phoenix, where he is kicking off a program called “Calais’ Kroc Stars”. This is a tutoring program that is geared to provide students with some time well spent after school is out.


The CRC Foundation has provided funding to expand the Kroc Stars program, and allow for 60 students to receive access to more robust homework assistance, literary coaching, financial literacy, college/career readiness, and also self-esteem and leadership programs. It is offered to students in grades K-8, through scholarships.

“Through the generosity and shared vision of the CRC Foundation we’ve been able to expand and enrich our after-school program,” said Major Gwyn Jones, Corps and Community Center Officer. “Students participating are offered a meaningful curriculum to grow and increase in self confidence that will lead to better life opportunities. We are grateful to Calais Campbell and his commitment to his community.”

The Kroc Center is a beautiful facility that provides the perfect setting for both work and play. While the barbecue was heating up, Calais took the opportunity to meet each child individually, and then it was “outside time” where the laughter and good times were literally contagious.


After Calais finally took a break from reading with the kids, throwing the football around, and listening to advice from a 10 year old on who the Arizona Cardinals should start at quarterback (that was the best), Pro Player Insiders asked him what he enjoys most about helping out with the community.

“Really, it’s just knowing that these kids have an opportunity to be successful, and I’m trying to give them direction. It’s important to see the kids’ potential, and the smiles on their faces. They bring pure energy and love into the world. I just try and help direct them, get them doing what they love to do, I figure this is the best way to do it.”

We agree Calais, and kudos on all the good that you do, sincerely.


About The Salvation Army South Mountain Kroc Center:
Administered by the Salvation Army for the purpose of building community, The Kroc Community Center is a 147,000 square-foot, multi-purpose facility. The Center includes an indoor aquatics center, three NBA-sized basketball courts, a 348-seat theater, meeting facilities and a fitness center. The Kroc provides opportunities for people from all walks of life in metropolitan Phoenix to work, play, serve and celebrate together within a safe and non-discriminating environment. For more information please visit:


About Charles Richard Campbell Foundation:
The CRC Foundation was founded by NFL player Calais Campbell, his mother and seven siblings. Together, the Campbell Family utilizes CRC Foundation to continue the legacy of service left by patriarch Charles R. Campbell, who passed away in 2003 and for whom the foundation is named. The CRC Foundation is committed to the enhancement of our community by teaching quality life skills to assist with the development of young people. Through sports, the enrichment of creative talents, vocational skills, guidance of positive financial skills and quality health and nutrition The CRC Foundation seeks to empower and provide self -awareness for our future leaders. For more information please visit:

Pics by Mike Yduarte ().

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NFL Contributes $300,000 for Hurricane Matthew Relief Fri, 14 Oct 2016 14:58:23 +0000 The National Football League Foundation will contribute a minimum of $300,000 to aid in international and domestic relief efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Matthew.

The NFL Foundation’s contributions will support various relief organizations, including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and UNICEF. A total of $100,000 will go to the Salvation Army and UNICEF to support relief efforts and assist victims in impacted areas of the Caribbean, including Haiti and the Bahamas. The NFL Foundation will provide an additional $100,000 to the American Red Cross to aid in relief and recovery efforts in impacted areas of the southeastern United States.

In addition to these contributions, the NFL Foundation will help to restore youth and high school football programs in impacted areas of the southeast. Committing a minimum of $100,000 to this effort, the NFL, together with USA Football, will replace damaged or lost equipment and uniforms, as well as address other needs, in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. The NFL and USA Football will work with area athletic organizations to determine which local programs are in the most need.

Several NFL teams and players have pledged to assist relief efforts in their communities and beyond. NFL players with Haitian ties, including CLIFF AVRIL (Seattle), NICKELL ROBEY-COLEMAN (Buffalo), LEGER DOUZABLE (Buffalo), ELVIS DUMERVIL (Baltimore), PIERRE GARCON (Washington), RICKY JEAN FRANCOIS (Washington), and NFL Legends, including JAY FEELY, have personally provided aid and support in Haiti.

Below are a sample of ways NFL teams are supporting Hurricane Matthew relief efforts:

Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals President MICHAEL BIDWILL contributed $25,000 on behalf of the team to support the Hurricane Matthew disaster relief efforts of former Cardinals kicker JAY FEELY and Mission of Hope Haiti.

Atlanta Falcons
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has made a $25,000 grant to CARE and will be making a $25,000 grant to the Mission of Hope to support Hurricane Matthew disaster relief efforts.

Carolina Panthers:
Carolina Panthers Charities is providing $250,000 in grant funding to assist high school athletic programs in North and South Carolina that have been adversely impacted by Hurricane Matthew and the storm’s aftermath. Grants will assist in the replacement or repair of equipment, supplies or athletic infrastructure lost or damaged due to Hurricane Matthew.

Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Jaguars Foundation will make a $25,000 contribution to the Northeast Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross. The Jaguars will evaluate opportunities to offer continued support as relief and recovery efforts evolve in the coming weeks. This donation is designed to support the immediate short-term needs of those on the First Coast who are in need of assistance. The Jaguars also plan to recognize and salute area first responders at their next home game on Oct. 23 against the Oakland Raiders.

Miami Dolphins:
The Miami Dolphins organization contributed to a series of relief efforts, including a $100,000 contribution from its foundation to support efforts in Haiti, Cuba, The Bahamas and communities in Florida impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Funds will provide much needed support in both the near and long term for impacted areas. Dolphins fans also have contributed to the cause: all proceeds from game day 50/50 raffles at Hard Rock Stadium on 10/9, 10/16 and 10/23 will go toward relief efforts. Additionally, ticket holders can donate supplies at stadium gates throughout the month and fans can visit the Dolphins’ website to donate directly to relief organizations, including the Miami Foundation (Caribbean Community Relief Fund), American Red Cross (Hurricane Matthew), Jamaican Red Cross, Surge for Water, UNICEF and Salvation Army.

Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins Owner DAN SNYDER and his wife Tanya personally delivered much needed hurricane relief supplies to The Bahamas this past Saturday following the passage of Hurricane Matthew. The Redskins flew in a private jet filled with relief supplies, including batteries, food, blankets, candles, non-perishable food items, and children’s games. The Snyder family also donated their plane to Redskins players PIERRE GARCON and RICKY JEAN FRANCOIS who traveled to Haiti on behalf of the team to provide medical supplies from the team’s athletic training staff to people in need.

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Chargers Get First AFC West Win Since 2014 Fri, 14 Oct 2016 12:29:01 +0000 The San Diego Chargers finally held on and sealed the deal with a fourth quarter lead against the Denver Broncos as they won 21-13 to improve to 2-4. Sporting their immaculate all blue uniform, they certainly lived up to the old adage “look good feel good play good.” Aside from a few late game mishaps this team played a complete game on offense, defense, and special teams. For the sake of keeping it real, any team would be nervous and have a few mishaps after blowing four fourth quarter leads. San Diego had a botched catch on a punt return twice and failed to secure the ball on an onside kick late in this one. Even the Chargers head coach Mike McCoy could not bear to witness the final four minutes of the game as he kneeled with his head down in disbelief. He knows winning will cure all the bad moments they have experienced. After the game, McCoy said, “There’s nothing like winning, especially beating a good team in front of our fans.”

The Chargers were up 21-3 following a holding penalty that resulted in a safety as they were on the verge of sealing the game a lot earlier. Interim head coach Joe DeCamillis, the Broncos special teams coordinator, did a good job coaching all game in the absence of Gary Kubiak. He activated some wild plays, which I call “DeCamillis Ball.” Following the safety, the Broncos punted the ball really short forcing Chargers offensive lineman Kenny Wiggins to fair catch it. Wiggins did everything, but catch the ball. As a result, Denver recovered it and proceeded to score. Then, on the ensuing kickoff, Brandon McManus executed a beautiful rolling onside kick where the Chargers only had two guys to recover. The Broncos recovered it and it looked as though another fourth quarter collapse was imminent. The Chargers defense stiffened and helped the club to snap their 10-game skid in the division.

Offensively, Philip Rivers could do no wrong as he made key throws that helped get his offense down the field. Rivers passed Chargers legend, Dan Fouts, for the most passing yards in franchise history. He connected again this week with Hunter Henry for a touchdown in the first half. Henry looks really comfortable on the field as he led the team with six catches for 83 yards. The Arkansas product has the looks of a special talent at tight end. Rivers spoke glowingly of the rookie as he said, “Gosh, he’s going to be a heck of a player.” Ken Whisenhunt elected to slow the game down this week as he called an even game. The Chargers ran and passed the ball 29 times each. Melvin Gordon had tough sledding against that vaunted Broncos defense, but he had a big 48-yard scamper in the third quarter.

How good has the sixth round pick out of Akron, Jatavis Brown, been? Through six games, Brown has to be in the defensive rookie of the year discussion with 42 tackles, 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. He has been a steal from this May’s draft especially in the absence of Manti Te’o and Denzel Perryman. Brown and the defense completely shut down CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker. The pass rushers forced a bunch of holding penalties by the Broncos offensive linemen. Trevor Siemian struggled as he threw it 50 times for 230 yards and a touchdown. It does not help when your guys, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, cannot get open. The Pro Bowl receivers were held to nine catches for 75 yards. The improved pass rushing over the last few weeks has helped the Chargers corners in coverage. Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, and Jerry Attaochu continue to find ways to embarrass offensive tackles.

Overall, this was a big win for McCoy and the Chargers. The season is still young with a lot of games left on their schedule. Sometimes a big win like this could catapult a team and get them going in the right direction. These are NFL players and millionaires, but they are not exempt from another old adage “hard work pays off.” This team has to continue to grind, trust in one another, and finish games.

The Chargers head to Atlanta to play the Falcons next Sunday.

Follow us on Twitter @realdt_ @playerinsiders

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Bills Look to Stick to Winning Ways Against 49ers Fri, 14 Oct 2016 12:08:14 +0000 The Buffalo Bills look to keep their three-game winning streak rolling as the San Francisco 49ers will come to Buffalo to take on the Bills. The Bills have pushed their record on the season to 3-2 while the 49ers currently sit at 1-4 good enough for the last place in the NFC West. The Bills come off of a 30-19 victory; their third win of the season coming at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams. A game that saw the Bills continue their dominant play on each side of the ball. This the same Rams team whom the 49ers defeated in week one for their first and only win of the season. This matchup will feature two teams trending in very different directions as the Bills come in winners of three straight and the 49ers losers of four straight.

This matchup will feature two of the top ten run teams in the league as the Bills currently sit third while the 49ers are eighth in the NFL. The Bills run game has been in large part carried thanks to the play of LeSean McCoy who has shown no stages of slowing down even after eclipsing the 8,000-yard rushing milestone for his career last week. On the season McCoy is currently fourth in the league in rushing with 447 yards on the ground, while also leading all rushers in the top in yards per attempt. McCoy explained, “One of the biggest things I think is tempo. Coach Lynn is big on tempo, get on the line of scrimmage, getting the calls, getting the checks, having enough time to do that.” The play of McCoy is definitely not lost amongst his teammates, as quarterback Tyrod Taylor has taken notice of the rejuvenated back. “He’s definitely playing with an extra burst, and you could tell last year like you said, the hamstring was definitely bothering him on certain runs,” explained Taylor. “He couldn’t get back to some of the holes that he was trying to get to, and I think this year he’s definitely seeing them and getting back to them with his feet as well.”

On the opposing side, the 49ers defense has struggled, to say the least as they rank near the bottom of the league in most defensive categories, most notably ranking thirty-first in rushing yards allowed per game. Though most importantly for the 49ers in this matchup will be their play on the offensive side of the ball. Making a change at quarterback from Blaine Gabbert to the well known and former super bowl starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick has made headlines. Most notably Kaepernick has been known for his actions off of the football field. As far as the on-field product the 49ers greatest strength thus far has been their run game, something that can take a hit due to the quarterback change. Gabbert thus far is second on the team in rushing on the season with 172 yards on the ground and leading the team with 4.4 yards per carry. With Kaepernick at the helm coming off of injury his willingness to run and take hits is something that remains to be seen as well as just how often if any Chip Kelly will want to see his new quarterback running the ball.

As strong as the Niners run game has been the Bills defense in recent weeks has been nearly impeccable giving up only 12 points per game over their winning streak. The play of Lorenzo Alexander, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and Zach Brown has truly catapulted the play of this unit. Lorenzo Alexander currently leads the NFL in sacks after coming off of a three-sack performance against the Rams while only to be outdone by the AFC defensive player of the week Robey-Coleman. Robey-Coleman brings home the hardware a week after Brown giving the Bills back-to-back DPOW awards for the first time since 1991 when Cornelius Bennett and Nate Odomes earned back-to-back honors—also in Weeks Four and Five.

The play of Alexander, a free-agent signing in particular has caught the eye of the coaching staff, “We had him as a guy who was going to be a leader on special teams, almost a Pro Bowl type performer on special teams which by the way you can check that box he is still continuing to dominate on special teams and have some kind of role for us on defense, and that was all we told him. And when he came in here he just outplayed everybody and so he earned that job, he took that job,” said Bills head coach Rex Ryan.

The key for the Bills in this one will be sticking to the same winning formula that they have had for the previous three weeks, stingy defense and a strong run game. As far as the 49ers they are looking for any momentum they can pick up on the season and are hoping that the change at quarterback can breathe fresh air into a struggling team. Early on though the numbers are swinging far in the Bill’s favor, something Rex Ryan and the Bills are sure to like.

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Dexter McCoil’s knock down of Hail Mary pass, preserves Chargers victory Fri, 14 Oct 2016 04:22:05 +0000 The San Diego Chargers held off a late rally from the Denver Broncos in their 21-13 victory at Qualcomm Stadium. It took a last play of the game pass breakup by first-year Chargers strong safety DEXTER MCCOIL, to really put this game in the books as a win for the Chargers.

The Chargers (2-4 overall, 1-2 AFC West) really needed this win as to help save their head coach MIKE MCCOY’s job, and because they were amid a three-game losing streak, which is like a death sentence in the win at all costs NFL.

McCoy has been on the hot seat since 2015 due to the Chargers’ 4-12 record that year. And this year his seat got hotter because of the Chargers 1-4 record coming into tonight’s game and the fact that they blew leads in four of their last five games.

As for McCoy’s offense, Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS was so-so tonight. But he was lucky the Chargers defense was stingy and the fact that the Broncos had an off night offensively. Plus, he received help from second-year running back MELVIN GORDON. Gordon carried 27 times for 94 yards, and many times he took the Chargers offense on his back.

Rivers finished the night going 18 of 29 for 178 yards with one scoring toss. Philip Rivers 350 c

As for the Broncos (4-2 overall, 0-1 AFC West), they were bereft of offensive consistency for most of the night. And it was only on their second to last drive of the game where they actually showed a pulse.

Broncos quarterback TREVOR SIEMIAN (30 of 50 for 230 yards, 1 touchdown pass and no picks) was sacked twice tonight. But he was under siege from the Chargers defense all night and he should have been sacked more than twice.

The Chargers scored first when Rivers fired a laser pass to rookie tight end HUNTER HENRY (6 catches for 83 yards and 1 score), who caught the pass in the back of the end zone amid tight coverage from Denver cornerback CHRIS HARRIS. That 5-yard score gave the Chargers a 7-0 lead with eight minutes left in the first quarter.

With that touchdown catch, Henry continued his three-game streak of catching a touchdown pass in a game. That streak dates back to October 2, 2016 when San Diego lost 35-34 to the New Orleans Saints in Week 4.

Because of the Chargers’ inability to score in the red zone, kicker JOSH LAMBO came in and connected on his fourth field of the game which was from 32 yards. That field goal gave the Chargers a 19-3 lead with 3:11 left in the third quarter.

BENNIE FOWLER (3 catches for 22 yards and 1 score) was the recipient of Denver’s first scoring play after almost 53 minutes of game clock time, when he caught a Siemian pass at the back of the end zone from 5 yards out. With 8:08 left in the game the Broncos cut the Chargers lead to 21-10. That was the first touchdown catch of Fowler’s three-year career with Denver——-he was a member of their practice squad in 2014 as a rookie.

The Broncos got to within 21-13 when BRANDON MCMANUS sent a field goal 47 yards through the uprights with just 27 seconds left in the game. Then a play later,  McManus’s onside kick rolled to the SD 46 yard line where rookie free agent and Broncos receiver JORDAN TAYLOR recovered the ball. But on the last play of the game, the Broncos rally was squelched when McCoil knocked down a Siemian Hail-Mary pass not too far from the end zone.

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Panthers are Helping Schools by Funding Fri, 14 Oct 2016 00:42:16 +0000 cam d

With the horrifying destruction that Hurricane Matthew has caused in the East Coast. Many members from different communities are coming together to help out the communities that was impacted by the storm. In Carolina the Panthers’ organization has come to an agreement to give 250,000 dollars in grants for high schools that have been impacted by the storm.

“The recent hurricane and subsequent flooding events has been devastating for many communities across the region with many high schools sustaining loss or damage to athletic equipment or facilities,” said Riley Fields, Carolina Panthers director of community relations. “The Carolina Panthers hope this grant funding will enable schools, and the communities they serve, to return to a sense of normalcy by helping meet the important basic needs of high school athletic programs.”

High schools around the state of Carolina have the opportunity to apply for the grants by the Nov.11. 2016. The application can be found on With all the destruction around the world and damages to communities, it is very admirable that the Panthers could step in and help those in need.

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Broncos Look to Get Back to Winning Against AFC West Rival Fri, 14 Oct 2016 00:37:52 +0000 Typically, NFL players do not like to play in Thursday games because of how tough it is to play two games days apart from each other. The Denver Broncos may not mind playing on Thursday as they look to get rid of the bad taste of losing when they face AFC West division rival San Diego Chargers.

The Broncos played horribly in week 5 against the Atlanta Falcons and looked a step behind. Rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch did not look prepared and the Falcons exposed a few holes in the Broncos defense. They are now 4-1 and will look to avoid another mishap against the 1-4 Chargers.

They will look to win without their head coach. Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak was taken to the hospital for flu-like symptoms on Sunday and was kept overnight. The next morning, it was revealed Kubiak has a complex migraine condition that caused fatigue and body weakness. He will not coach the team this week as special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis will serve as interim head coach for the week.

Quarterback Trevor Siemian has a good chance of suiting up for the Broncos after missing one game due to a sprain in his non-throwing shoulder. According to reports, Siemian has progressed since his injury and will look to return Thursday versus the Chargers. He was limited in practice on Monday. In his absence, he was definitely missed.

NFL: OCT 02 Broncos at Buccaneers

During Siemian’s absence, the Broncos gave up a season high six sacks. It was a combination of Lynch holding onto the ball and the offensive line being over matched. Falcons’ edge rusher Vic Beasley Jr. dominated the Broncos offensive line and right tackle Ty Sambrailo as he racked up a career high three and a half sacks.

The blocking may improve as the Broncos look to get back right tackle Donald Stephenson and blocking tight end specialist Virgil Green. Both Stephenson and Green missed the last three games due to calf injuries. Each player practiced fully on Monday and will, hopefully, help bolster the run game.

“It’s huge,” said running back C.J. Anderson on Green’s return. “It just feels good to have your guy back–that’s prideful in blocking and what he wants to do, the way he moves people, even catching the ball.”


Anderson has struggled without Stephenson and Green paving the way on his rushing attempts. Anderson averaged only 42.3 yards a game when Stephenson and Green did not play compared to 83 yards per game when they did. The running game will need to have a solid game to take the pressure off Siemian’s shoulders, as he is not 100 percent.

The defense will also need to bring their A-game against Philip Rivers. Rivers is a fierce competitor and is not scared to take chances throwing the ball deep. The Broncos may have the best secondary, but some holes were exposed in the Broncos pass defense. Rivers will look to exploit them with his Brett Favre-esque gunslinger mentality.


Falcons’ running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman had there way against the Broncos linebackers, combining for 167 yards receiving. It will not be a surprise if the Chargers and Rivers duplicate the Falcons game plan and try get there running backs in one-on-one coverage against the Broncos linebackers.

It will be difficult to win without Kubiak, but the Broncos must find a way to win and avoid losing two games straight. The Chargers have not started the season well, losing games in heartbreaking fashion and losing key players for the season due to injuries. The Broncos hope to continue the dominance over the Chargers, winning five out of the last six matchups.

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