Pro Player Insiders NFL Players Exclusive Lifestyle, News and Under the Helmet Access Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:37:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Aaron Kampman: The Best of Times and the Worst of Times Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:30:09 +0000 Devout Faith, Love of Family and Strength of Character Have Seen Him Through the Best of Times — and the Very Worst of Times

Aaron Kampman remembers vividly the moment a few years ago when he received the shocking news that his high school coach, Ed Thomas, had just been fatally shot. The event was inconceivable to nearly everyone affected by it. As Aaron explains, “Parkersburg, Iowa is a town of 1800 people. Things like this just don’t happen there.”

Aaron Kampman 350The tragedy of losing his friend and mentor – a man who generated four professional football players from a tiny Midwest high school — cemented in Aaron’s mind the powerful lessons that Coach Thomas had taught him over the years, lessons reinforced by his solid Christian upbringing in a two-parent home. “One of the great lessons that Ed taught was that when adversity strikes, it’s not at that moment that you develop the capacity to handle it.  Your character is cultivated over time, so that when adversity does strike, you have the ability to handle it with grace, dignity, and perseverance.  It doesn’t take away the pain but it gives you the ability to manage it.”

Growing up as the second of three boys, Aaron believed his childhood was typical. “I grew up in a small rural town in Iowa. It was a great way to grow up. But it was also a little bit of a bubble. When I got to college, I first realized the blessing of coming from a two-parent home.”

Not only the closeness of his family but also the model his parents put forth regarding community service had a powerful influence on Aaron as he was growing up. “My dad owns a lumberyard.  My mom is a registered nurse who works for the county and travels around and takes care of people, particularly elderly people.  So from a very young age I saw both of my parents demonstrate an ideal of service and a work ethic that became deeply ingrained in me.”

During their eight years in Green Bay, Aaron and his wife were deeply entrenched in the community, volunteering frequently for charities, food pantries and fundraisers. His prodigious generosity has not gone unnoticed in the athletic community. In 2003, he was Packers finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. He was named one of the NFL’s “Good Guys” by The Sporting News and received the “Nice Guy Award” at the 2004 Doug Jirschele Sports Award Banquet in Clintonville, Wisconsin.

His Christian faith has also led this two-time Pro Bowl selection into a series of missions overseas. He and his wife traveled to Mannheim, a military community in southwestern Germany, with the Christian organization Unlimited Potential Incorporated to share their faith with U.S. troops stationed there. In 2007 the couple took a two-week tour of India as guests of Gospel for Asia. Two years later their destination was Kenya, where they visited Christian humanitarian missions in rural communities.

Even as he devotes his time and energy to aiding the impoverished, Aaron never overlooks the importance of his local fan base. After signing with the Jaguars, he paid for a large ad in Green Bay area newspapers to thank residents for their support. He was a tireless role model to his team members and other football players. He notably used the misfortune of an injury at the end of the 2009 season to demonstrate the difference a good attitude can make.

Observing the actions of the late Coach Thomas’ family in the year since his death has cemented Aaron’s belief in the strength to be derived from faith and community. “Joy, I believe, is something that is deep seated in your heart and gives you the eternal perspective that no matter what happens in this life, it’s okay. It’s an ability to see beyond the present circumstances.” Thomas’ sense of character had a ripple effect that would reach more than just his football team. Recently his widow and sons accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, presented at ESPN’s ESPY Award Ceremony. Thomas’ wife and sons have founded the Ed Thomas Family Foundation in partnership with the National Christian Foundation to benefit those causes that Coach Thomas’ family believes will extend his influence and honor his priorities of faith, family, character and integrity. Aaron serves as a board member for the Foundation.

His Christian faith and insistence on living out his ideals, as well as his unflagging charitable outreach and respect for his fans and fellow humankind, makes Aaron Kampman an Insightful Player® team member worth emulating.

Instant replay of Aaron’s guiding principles:

  1. Never lose sight of your faith in God. Your relationship with Christ should be the compass that guides you through life.
  2. Take time to seek out silence and stillness. These moments are what help you to build inner character strength and foster your spiritual growth.
  3. Embody your principles in how you treat others: your family members, your community, your team members, and the less fortunate to whom you minister.
  4. Be an integral part of your community. Reach out to others, and stand in for anyone who needs a role model or a source of emotional support.
  5. Recognize the opportunities you have been given, whether they are great or small.
  6. Leverage your advantages – physical strength, spiritual awareness, the love of family and friends, or whatever you have been given – while finding ways to overcome your weaknesses.
  7. In times of greatest crisis, remember you are not alone.
  8. Understand the difference between happiness and joy: happiness is the pleasure that come from positive circumstances, but joy is rooted in the knowledge that God is in control, even in the face of adversity.
  9. Follow the spiritual imperative to forgive those who have wronged you or others.
  10. Let your deeds and actions ceaselessly reflect your most dearly held principles.


The Insightful Player® series is brought to you by Coach Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified Personal and Business Coach and Author of INSIGHTFUL PLAYER: Football Pros Lead A Bold Movement of Hope.  Chrissy has been deeply inspired by her father, the late Coach Walter Carew, Sr.  Her father is in several Halls of Fame as a high school football coach and baseball coach (as well as high school and college athlete). He used sports to help kids build strong character and teach them valuable life skills.  The Insightful Player® initiative was created to help make our world a much better place by inspiring youth. To contact Chrissy Carew visit or call 603-897-0610.

©2010  Insightful Player, LLC

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Learn to find god in everything. In the the rubble of our broken & fragmented lives, light will always find a way to shine through. @caleb_campbell Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:30:02 +0000

Learn to find god in everything. In the the rubble of our broken & fragmented lives, light will always find a way to shine through.

— Caleb Campbell (@caleb_campbell) October 15, 2014

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Sammy Watkins Last Second Touchdown Propels Buffalo to a 17-16 Win Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:20:26 +0000 It doesn’t always matter if it is pretty, as long as it’s a win in the scoring column.Marcell_Dareus_1

The Buffalo Bills certainly didn’t deserve to beat the Minnesota Vikings today at Ralph Wilson Stadium, in an ugly, turnover filled game between two teams that couldn’t get much of anything going on the offensive side of the ball.

When it came down to the wire, the Bills got the ball back with just over three minutes left to play, down six. Kyle Orton would lead the Bills on a 15-play, 80-yard drive that included a 4th and 20 conversion from Orton to tight end Scott Chandler to keep hope alive.

Just four plays later after the fourth down conversion, and after a bad intentional grounding on Orton pushed the Bills to 2nd and 20 from the 30 without any timeouts remaining, Chris Hogan would make the play of the day, coming up with an acrobatic jump ball victory near the goal line in heavy coverage that set the Bills up at the 2-yard line with just 5 seconds remaining.

Sammy Watkins, who was split out far left in the formation on the Bills last play, ran an in route before reversing field and working back towards the back left pylon. Orton found the young wide out with a bullet, and Watkins managed to drag both feet in to give the Bills the game-tying touchdown.

Kicker Dan Carpenter would make the win official, knocking through the extra point to put the Bills (4-3) on top over the Vikings (2-5), 17-16.

Quick Slants

  • Bills play-by-play great Van Miller was honored today, as he became the 29th member of the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame for his contributions to the team as the “Voice of the Bills” from 1960-70 and 1978-2003. Miller is well know around Western New York with some of his famous calls of the Bills greats coming in the early 90’s. The most memorable call that comes to memory would be “The Comeback” game in which a Frank Reich led Bills team erased a 32-point deficit to win 41-38 in a playoff game against the Houston Oilers. “Football is the greatest game in the world,” Miller would say in a statement. “It was the thrill of a lifetime to do something that I loved while making so many wonderful memories alongside Bills fans listening in each Sunday. Thank you, fans, for giving me that honor and inviting me into your lives. Seeing my name on the Wall of Fame next to football giants leaves me more than humbled; thank you to the entire Bills organization for this tremendous privilege.”
  • I think it is about time that the Bills stop dressing kickoff specialist Jordan Gay every week. Kickoff specialists are allowed on deep, winning football teams. The Bills need to stop wasting a roster spot on a guy to just kick it out of the end zone. Gay couldn’t even deliver this week, as he squibbed a bad kickoff (even though it was the coach’s call, not his) and also only reached the 8-yard line on another boot. I know that Cordarrelle Patterson was back there returning kicks and you want to keep him from doing that, but you know what the simplest way to stop that is? Kick the dang ball out of the back of the end zone. The Bills lost both starting running backs and couldn’t turn to inactive Bryce Brown when they really could’ve used him off the bench for a spark. It is so dumb to waste a roster spot to a guy who kicks the ball maybe 3-4 times a game. Enough is enough Buffalo.
  • Speaking on Buffalo’s running game, they lost both starters Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller to injury. Jackson injured his groin on a running play right before the end of the 1st quarter and it did not look good for the veteran running back. He was able to make his way back to the bench, but the cart would pick him up there and take him back into the locker room for the rest of the game. It is unsure the severity of his injury, as a MRI will have to be taken as soon as possible to see how much damage to the muscle there actually was. Jackson covered his face as he went into the tunnel, and showed pain like I have never before seen from the veteran. Spiller was also hurt in this one, as he took his first carry for a 53-yard game before coming down hard on his shoulder Cj_Spillerarea. It didn’t look too bad, until you realize that this was a player running at top speed before his legs were cut out and he fell on his shoulder with his full body weight. It was learned that Spiller broke his collarbone. A timetable for his return is not yet available, and to put it in perspective Green Bay Packers quarterback missed about two months worth of time with a similar injury just last season. Both injuries will test the running back depth on the Bills, as they were struggling to establish a strong running game even with their top two backs.
  • Sammy Watkins not only caught the game-winning touchdown pass, but he also eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark for the second time in his young career. The Bills made it a priority to get Watkins involved, and he delivered with 9 receptions on 14 targets for 122 yards and two scores. Watkins looked all the part of star wide receiver in the making in this one, as he caught passes all over the field. This trend needs to continue as the season goes on. Watkins is too good for most teams to leave him out there one-on-one with a corner, but is also very fast and good in finding the soft spots in zones. He will find a way to burn you and get open against just about anyone in the league. It is up to Orton to continue to find the young playmaker in space.
  • While both teams played ugly, it was good to see the Bills as the team without the young rookie quarterback playing in this one. The jury is still out on what kind of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be in this league but for right now he is not an effective one. Bridgewater, who was playing in just his third NFL game, did not look good in his 15 for 26, 157 yard, and 2-interception performance. He did make a few good throws today, but overall looked very shaky in the pocket.
    He didn’t have a great feel for the pressure the Bills were bringing, which lead to five sacks for Buffalo’s defensive unit. There was a reason the Vikings went with Matt Cassel before his season ending foot injury cost him his season just a couple weeks ago; Bridgewater just isn’t ready. With no Adrian Peterson to help him out, I expect the Vikings offense to struggle mightily in trying to get anything going. Bridgewater holds onto the ball too long and makes too many bad decisions right now that are going to make them a successful unit. The blueprint of stacking the box and making Bridgewater beat you with his arm is one that he is going to have to go against for the rest of the year until he can make teams account for him. Very tough day for the rookie quarterback.
  • Head Coach Doug Marrone was happy with the victory, but that is the only joy he got out of this game. After the game, he really stressed on how much work this team has to do. He was mostly unhappy with the turnovers and bad penalties that saw his team almost throw the game away.  “I told the players that before,” Marrone said. “I’m the worst at this.  My mind is already going ahead and it’s my responsibility.  To come in here and B.S. you, come on.  We’ve got to get some things done.  We’ve got to push and fight and push and all of those things.  I’ve said those words before.  Am I going to be going home and be happy and smiling on my face?  Me?  No.  Now, do I want the players to?  Absolutely do.  Do I want the coaches to?  Yeah, I do.  I do.  For those of you who don’t know me that well, I’ve always been like this.  It’s always been difficult for me.”
  • Another notable from his press conference was the fact that the Bills are happy with their running back depth. Bryce Brown is going to get an extended look during next week’s game, as he will be activated for the first time this season. Marrone noted that Buffalo had no plans to pick up a running back off of the free agent market saying “We have Boobie (Dixon) and then, obviously, we have Bryce (Brown).  It’s not like we have to go out on the street to get somebody to come in.  I have no problem in bringing up Bryce.  We talked about him last week, which I hope wasn’t a jinx”.
  • The Buffalo Bills rushing defense has really taken a step back as an entire unit. I was shocked to see how easily the Vikings were able to move the ball. It’s nitpicking from a group that had good pressure all day (5 sacks) and two interceptions, but their rushing defense was really a liability and it is so concerning because this is the second week in a row that this group had trouble. Overall, the defense kept them in this game and stopped some big Viking scoring drives in holding them to field goal attempts, but when you’re coming in as the top ranked rush defense, it isn’t good to watch Minnesota run for 158 total yards.Marcell_Dareus
  • The Bills pass rush continued to show why it is one of the best in pro football.  DE Jerry Hughes continues his great season, racking up 1.5 sacks in this one to bring his season total up to 5.5 on the year.  DT Marcell Dareus had another monster game, as he was all over the field for Buffalo.  He added 2.0 sacks of his own, giving him seven already on the year from the DT posistion!  Mario Williams also registered a sack, bringing his season total up to 5.5 as well.
  • Hughes also seemed to sum up this game best, stating “No mixed feelings at all.  A win’s a win and we’re all ecstatic.  We’re happy.  We’re going to enjoy this for tonight and then we’re onto the next one, getting ready for the (New York) Jets.”
  • How about the 4th and 20 conversion that kept this game alive in the first place?  Kyle Orton seemed to rush the team to the line of scrimmage that didn’t allow the Vikings to get everyone in place like they would have liked to.  TE Scott Chandler ran right down the middle of the fielding, faking right before going back left in his seam route, and found himself right in the cushion between the middle linebackers in front of him and the safety help over the top.  Orton delivered a strike right where it needed to be and the Bills picked up a huge first down.  Without this conversion, we are talking about a Minnesota Vikings victory right now.  It was nice to see Chandler step up and make a play when his team needed him most, something that hasn’t always happened in the past.  Orton had enough confidence in his big target to throw him this pass even though he dropped a pass his way just two plays before.  “I think that’s what being a teammate is all about” Chandler said when asked about how good it felt for Orton to call his number again just a couple plays after the drop.  “You got to trust the guys around you.  If you don’t trust the guys around you, that’s not what a teammate is.  I want him to know that I’m going to make the next play and I think we all feel the same way about each other.”
  • The biggest negative from the Bills game today would arguably be the play of the offensive line.  It is quite clear that what they have right now isn’t working.  I wanted to review the game again before I spoke too much on this topic, but to just look at it as the fact that this starting group allowed five sacks today and if you take away the Spiller 53-yard run (which was very well blocked and it allowed Spiller to use his speed and hit a cutback for the big gain) only averaged 3.6 yards a carry on the other 18 carries in the game.  Yes they lost their top two backs, but there haven’t been too many open holes for the entire season.  This type of play can’t continue moving forwards, because it won’t keep them in a lot of ball games if it does.  It will be interesting to see what shakeup Marrone could have on his mind, if any.
  • Boy, was I wrong about Mike Williams possibly being a factor in this game.  It is quite clear now that the Bills strongly view Chris Hogan as an upgrade at the position, and once Goodwin returns Williams could hit the inactive list again.  He is strongly slotted in the 5 spot on the depth chart right now if the team was fully healthy.


Stats to Like

Sammy Watkins, 9 Receptions for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns

Can’t say enough about his game. The first touchdown fade route was a thing of beauty as well, as he torched his man at the line, and pulled in the pass right before the safety could try to help out. Look for more performances like this as the year goes out. This guy is an extreme talent.

Stats to Dislike

Minnesota Running Backs rushing for 148 yards on 27 carries

Take out a run by Bridgewater and one by Patterson and the Vikings ran for almost 5.5 yards a carry. Matt Asiata is the first running back to gain more than 90 yards against the Bills defense, as he rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries. The group was at least able to keep them out of the end zone, as this made seven straight games the Bills haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown against them.

Game MVP

Sammy Watkins

It’s easy to give the MVP to the player who scored the game winner, but Watkins truly was Buffalo’s most explosive player on the field this week.   The Vikings didn’t have the answer on how to cover him, and he burned them for another 100-yard game. We are starting to see, when the ball gets to him, that this kid is really going to be something special.

On Tap for Next Week

The Buffalo Bills (4-3) travel to New York to take on the Jets (1-6) in a pivotal division game for their playoff aspirations.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 PM (eastern) at MetLife Stadium.


If the Bills make a playoff appearance this year, this game really isn’t going to be one that people remember other than the fact that they won it. This is a game that the Bills love to give away, but I give them credit for fighting through to the very end and coming away with a big victory. The season is still alive and they head to New Jersey next week to try to knock off a better than their record shows Jets team. If they want to continue to take the next steps, this is a game that they will need to have.

Sammy_WatkinsPhotos by ProPlayerInsiders’s Derek Zeller


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NFL Week 7: Seven Statistical Highlights Mon, 20 Oct 2014 03:47:55 +0000 SEVEN FROM SUNDAY – WEEK 7


A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 19, the seventh week of the 2014 season.

  • The DETROIT LIONS overcame a 14-point deficit en route to a 24-23 come-from-behind win against New Orleans. It marked the 10th time an NFL team has come back from a deficit of at least 14 points to win in 2014, already tied for the second-most such comebacks through Week 7 of any season since at least 1970.

    Wide receiver COREY FULLER caught the game-winning five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD with 1:48 remaining in the fourth quarter, marking his first career touchdown catch.

  • Dallas running back DE MARCO MURRAY rushed for 128 yards and one touchdown in the Cowboys’ 31-21 win against the New York Giants and became the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 100 yards in each of his team’s first seven games to start a season, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN (six games in 1958).
  • Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS passed for 255 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 154.5 passer rating in the Packers’ 38-17 win against Carolina. The performance marked Rodgers’ fourth consecutive game with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions, tied for the longest such streak in a single season in NFL history (TOM BRADY, 2007).

    Rodgers is the only player in NFL history with at least 18 touchdown passes and one or zero interceptions through his team’s first seven games to begin a season.

  • Indianapolis quarterback ANDREW LUCK passed for 344 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 105.7 passer rating in the Colts’ 27-0 win against Cincinnati. Luck has passed for at least 300 yards in five consecutive games, tying PEYTON MANNING (2009) for the longest such streak in franchise history.

    Wide receiver REGGIE WAYNE had four catches for 15 yards and became theninth player in NFL history with 14,000 career receiving yards.

    AHMAD BRADSHAW, who had three catches for 36 yards and one touchdown against the Bengals, leads all NFL running backs with six TD catches this season. He is the first running back with six touchdown catches in his team’s first seven games of a season since San Diego’s GARY ANDERSON in 1986.

    The Colts improved to 5-2, earning the 500th total victory in franchise history. Indianapolis’ all-time record is 500-444-7.

  • Buffalo rookie wide receiver SAMMY WATKINS had career-highs in catches (nine) and receiving yards (122) with two touchdowns, including the game-winning two-yarder with one second remaining in the fourth quarter of the Bills’ 17-16 win against Minnesota.

    Watkins is the first rookie with at least 100 receiving yards and a game-winning touchdown catch with one second or less remaining in the fourth quarter of a game since 2009 (Tennessee wide receiver KENNY BRITT vs. Arizona on November 29, 2009).

Buffalo cornerback LEODIS MC KELVIN recorded interceptions on consecutive defensive plays, becoming the first Bills player to do so since KIRBY JACKSON on October 29, 1989 against Miami.

  • Miami quarterback RYAN TANNEHILL completed 25 of 32 passes (78.1 percent) for 277 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a career-high 123.6 passer rating in the Dolphins’ 27-14 win at Chicago.

    Tannehill, who also rushed for 48 yards, is the third player in NFL history with at least 275 passing yards, a completion percentage of 78.0 or better and 45+ rushing yards in a single game. He joins KEN ANDERSON (November 3, 1974) and JEFF GARCIA (December 14, 2003) and as the only players to accomplish the feat.

  • Kansas City running back JAMAAL CHARLES rushed for 95 yards and one touchdown in the Chiefs’ 23-20 win at San Diego. Charles now has 6,113 career rushing yards, surpassing PRIEST HOLMES (6,070) for the most in franchise history.

    ANDY REID improved his career record in games following a bye week to 14-2 (.875), the
    most victories of any NFL head coach in games following a bye week

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Ravens vs Falcons: Rapid Review Mon, 20 Oct 2014 00:45:05 +0000 flacco_falconsThe Baltimore Ravens dominated an NFC South opponent for the second game in a row. They handed the Atlanta Falcons a 29-7 loss on Sunday. The Ravens got off to a fast start once again as they jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half. Their defense held the Falcons to a total of 61 yards in the first half and a total of 254 yards on the day.

The Falcons continued to struggle with third and long situations and were only able to convert on 26% of their third down conversions. The Ravens had five sacks on the day including two by both Pernell McPhee and Elvis Dumervil. Terrell Suggs also had a sack for a safety in the fourth quarter.

Torrey Smith got involved in the passing game and is proving that he is still a legitimate deep threat. He had three receptions for 81 yards including a 39 yard touchdown reception on a 4th & 9 in the fourth quarter. Smith also drew a pass interference call early in the game that put the Ravens in position to score their first touchdown. Smith now has four touchdowns on the year and three in the last two games.

Owen Daniels also came on strong with six receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown. Daniels has become a very reliable target for Joe Flacco especially in the middle of the field. “He gets one on one running across the field, he’s a nice big target. He knows when to sit in holes. You can trust when he’s doing something that you can put the ball on him. He makes catches in traffic and often makes the catch with two guys hitting him. I have a lot of confidence throwing him the ball.” Flacco said.

Random Notes

- The Ravens five sacks gives them back to back games with at least five sacks. Elvis Dumervil has seven sacks on the year including 3.5 in the last two games.

- Long snapper Morgan Cox suffered a torn ACL and will be out for the year. John Harbaugh said that the Ravens will be looking for a new long snapper. Haloti Ngata filled in as the long snapper on an extra point attempt on the Ravens last touchdown.

- Linebacker Daryl Smith ended up with eight tackles on the day but had seven in the first half.

- Wide Receiver Steve Smith Sr. had 67 yards receiving which game him a career total of 12,837 yards on his career. That puts him ahead of Irvin Fryar for 15th on the all time receiving yards list.

- Falcons wide receiver Roddy White had a 23 yard touchdown which made him the franchise’s all time leader in touchdown receptions.

- The Ravens were able to convert on two out of four red zone visits and were 100% on goal to go opportunities.

- Joe Flacco had two touchdown passes on the day. He has seven touchdowns in the last two weeks and has thrown a touchdown in every game except for the loss to the Indianapolis Colts.


“We just came out, played with a lot of energy. We did some good things, the rush and coverage where hand in hand. We are just getting started. Great things are expected from this defense. Our motto is that we are just getting started.” Elvis Dumervil

“They threw everything at us. We got every blitz, every look but our coaches and Joe were able to figure out what they were doing and made them pay. Joe made some big throws, he has a lot of responsibility out there.” John Harbaugh

The Ravens will go back on the road next week as they travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals. They sit atop the AFC North and have won two out of three games on the road.


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Week 7 Highlights: Rams, Packers, Ravens, Colts Sun, 19 Oct 2014 23:31:40 +0000 Baltimore Ravens 29 (5-2), Atlanta Falcons 7 (2-5)

The Ravens physically dominated a reeling Falcons team that has now lost four straight games, 29-7 at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.

On its first possession of the game, Baltimore drove 52 yards in 6 plays, with Joe Flacco finding tight end Owen Daniels for a 5 yard touchdown pass with 11:47 left in the first quarter. The score remained 7-0 until late in the first half, when Bernard Pierce ended a 10 play, 59 yard drive with a one-yard run with 2:38 left in the second quarter.

After a missed field goal from 57 yards by Matt Bryant, the Ravens went 33 yards to set up Justin Tucker for a 38 yard field goal to go into halftime up 17-0. After another Tucker field goal in the third quarter, Atlanta tried to rally, with Matt Ryan leading a 10 play, 90 yard drive, and throwing a 4 yard touchdown to Roddy White to cut it to 20-7 with 7:12 left in the fourth.

But a Terrell Suggs sack in the endzone for a safety, followed by a Flacco 39 yard touchdown to Torrey Smith in the final four minutes sealed the game. Flacco wasn’t perfect, finishing 16 of 25 for 258 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, but made for a great compliment to a Baltimore ground game that ran for 123 yards, including 95 from Justin Forsett.

Ryan was 29 of 44 for 228 yards, a touchdown, and a lossed fumble, going to White 8 times for 100 yards.

Washington Redskins 19 (2-5), Tennessee Titans 17 (2-5)

Despite having to go to their third quarterback this season, the Redskins were able to overcome that and a lackluster offensive first half to beat the Titans, 19-17.

After the teams exchanged field goals in the first half, Washington took the lead with a 10 play, 68 yard drive that ended in Kai Forbath’s second field goal of the game to make it 6-3 with 7:34 left in the half. On Tennessee’s next possession, Charlie Whitehurst was intercepted by Bashaud Breeland, but Kirk Cousins threw a pick on the next play, and Whitehurst threw a touchdown to Kendall Wright from 14 yards out with 1:04 to go to be up at halftime, 10-6.

After going 10 of 16 for 139 yards, an interception and a fumble in the first half, Cousins was benched in favor of Colt McCoy, who threw a 70 yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon on his first throw with 12:27 left in the third quarter. After McCoy’s first touchdown in two years (last was in October 2012), another Forbath field goal with 13:27 left in the fourth quarter made it a 16-10 advantage.

But Whitehurst finally answered, leading an 8 play, 80 yard drive, and going to Derek Hagan for a 28 yard touchdown pass to take a 17-16 with 7:41 remaining. Washington had the ball from its own 19 with 3:14 to go, and drove 76 yards in 10 plays to set up Forbath for a 22 yarder as time expired for the win.

McCoy finished 11 of 12 for 128 yards and a touchdown, while Whitehurst was 17 of 26 for 160 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.

Jeff Fisher St Louis Rams 350

St. Louis Rams 28 (2-4), Seattle Seahawks 26 (3-3)

After surrendering 14 or more point leads twice this season, the Rams were able to hold on with an 18 point advantage over the defending champions, squeaking out a 28-26 victory.

After a Steven Hauska field goal  for Seattle, St. Louis answered with a 75 yard kick return by Benjamin Cunningham to the Seahawks 31′ where rookie running back Tre Mason scored his first NFL touchdown six plays later on a six yard run to go up 7-3 with 5:19 left in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, the lead was increased with a 9 play, 74 yard drive concluding with an Austin Davis 5 yard touchdown pass to Cunningham for a 14-3 advantage with 13:12 to go in the half.

After a stop on defense, the Rams tricked Seattle with a two returner set up on a punt, with one player faking to catch the ball on the right side, and Stedman Bailey catching the punt on the left side of the field, and running 88 yards for a touchdown, and had control of the game at 21-3 midway through the second quarter. Haushka cut the lead to 15 with a field goal right before halftime, though, and Wilson took the Seahawks 82 yards in 12 plays, and ran for a 19 yard touchdown to make it a one-score game with 4:22 left in the third quarter.

On the next Seattle possession, Wilson scampered 52 yards on a 3rd and 9 scramble, and found tight end Cooper Helfet for a 19 yard touchdown pass, but a missed two-point conversion try left St. Louis with a 21-19 lead with 9:44 remaining in the fourth quarter. Davis tried to finish off the Seahawks, as an 8 play, 80 yard drive ended with the quarterback going to Lance Kendricks for a 4 yard touchdown to make the score 28-19 with 5:36 to fo.

But in little over two minutes, Wilson cut the lead again on an 80 yard drive, finding Doug Baldwin for a 9 yard touchdown to make it a two point game. But the Rams were able to run out the clock, converting a 4th and 3 late with a fake punt, with punter Johnny Hecker throwing to Cunningham for an 18 yard gain.

Wilson had a historic day, rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown, and passing for 313 yards on 23 of 36 and two touchdowns, finding Doug Baldwin 7 times for 123 yards and a score. But Davis was efficient, completing 18 of 21 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns, and Mason rushing for 85 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL start.

blake bortles

Jacksonville Jaguars 24 (1-6), Cleveland Browns 6 (3-3)

With the thought of a potential half season without a victory, the Jaguars put a stop to that talk, and physically dominated the Browns, 24-6, to get their first win of the season.

It didn’t start off well for Jacksonville, however, as rookie Blake Bortles was intercepted by Tashaun Gipson, setting up a 40 yard field goal from Billy Cundiff to give Cleveland a 3-0 lead with 6:30 to go in the first quarter. Following another Cundiff field goal in the second, Bortles was 3 of 3 on a 76 yard drive, finding fellow first-year player Allen Robinson for a 31 yard touchdown with 27 seconds left in half to go into the locker room with a 7-6 lead.

After forcing and recovering a Brian Hoyer fumble in Browns territory, Josh Scobee extended the Jaguars’ lead to 10-6 with a 30 yard field goal five minutes into the second half. After a muffed punt recovered at the Cleveland 8 yard-line, Denard Robinson ran into the endzone on the next play to make it 17-6 Jaguars with six minutes to play.

On the second play of the Browns’ next possession, Hoyer was intercepted by rookie linebacker Telvin Smith, who took it to 7 yard line. Two plays later, Bortles’ backfield mate at Central Florida, Storm Johnson, ran for a 3 yard touchdown, ending the scoring and the game at 24-6 with 4:35 remaining.

Both quarterbacks struggled, with Bortles going 17 of 31 for 159 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions to increase his league lead to 10, while Hoyer was 16 of 41 for 215 yards, an interception and a lost fumble, finding favorite target Andrew Hawkins 5 times for 112 yards.

Indianapolis Colts 27 (5-2), Cincinnati Bengals 0 (3-2-1)

The Colts rode its dominant defense and efficient offense to a 27-0 drubbing of the Cincinnati Bengals, who have not won since week 3.

Indianapolis forced 8 three and outs in the first half, and did not allow a third-down conversion in the entire half (0-8). With 33 seconds left in the first quarter, a 10 play, 68 yard drive set up Adam Vinatieri for a 23 yard field goal to make it 3-0.

In the second quarter, Ahmad Bradshaw concluded a 5 play, 68 yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run, giving the Colts a 10-0 lead at halftime. In the third quarter, Andrew Luck ended an 8 play, 85 yard drive with a 32 yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Allen, putting the game at 17-0.

In the fourth quarter, another long drive (13 plays, 85 yards) on the Bengals defense was finished by Bradshaw, scoring on a 10 yard throw from Luck to put the game out of reach at 24-0. At the time of the score, Indianapolis had 443 yards of offense, compared to only 47 yards on 38 plays for Cincinnati.

Luck was 27 of 42 for 344 yards and two touchdowns, finding T.Y. Hilton seven times for 107 yards. Dalton was 18 of 38 for 126 yards, and was sacked four times.


Buffalo Bills 17 (4-3), Minnesota Vikings 16 (2-5)

Despite four turnovers and Kyle Orton being sacked six times, a last-second touchdown reception by rookie Sammy Watkins on the second-to-last play of the game gave the Bills its first win under new owners Terry and Kim Pegula, 17-16.

After a Blair Walsh field goal late in the first quarter, the Bills next possession resulted in disaster, as running back Fred Jackson was carted off with a groin injury. In the second quarter, after a Leodis McKelvin interception at the Minnesota 26, Orton went to Watkins on the next play for a touchdown pass to take a 7-3 lead with 9:28 left in the half, thouth fellow running back C.J. Spiller was also carted off later in the half with a shoulder injury.

After two interceptions to start the game, Bridgewater game back with an impressive drive, taking the Vikings 60 yards in 5 plays, and throwing a quick screen to Cordarrelle Patterson, who ran in from 4 yards out to take back the lead, 10-7. Buffalo responded with a drive to set up Dan Carpenter for a 31 yard field goal to tie it with four minutes left, but an Orton interception in the final two minutes in the half allowed Walsh to hit a 55 yard field goal to give Minnesota a 13-10 halftime lead.

An Orton fumble in the redzone in the third quarter again took potential points off the board, while Walsh hit a 33 yarder with 11:45 remaining in the fourth quarter to make it 16-10. Buffalo had it from its own 20 with 3:06 left, but were down to 4th and 20 from their 40, but Orton found tight end Scott Chandler down the middle of the field for 24 yards and a conversion with 1:18 left.

Orton converted a 3rd and 12 from the Vikings’ 38 with an 18 yard pass to Watkins, and got down to the 2 yard line with a 28 yard pass to Chris Hogan, spiking the ball with 5 seconds left. On the next play, Orton went to Watkins on a quick out, with the young receiver toe-tapping with 1 second to go for the win.

Orton finished 31 of 43 for 283 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and a lost fumble, finding Watkins nine times for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Bridgewater was 15 of 26 for 157 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, with rookie running back Jerick McKinnon rushing for 103 yards.

NFL: Preseason-Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Miami Dolphins 27 (3-3), Chicago Bears 14 (3-4)

The Dolphins severely limited a very talented Bears offense in Chicago, and rode a great performance from Ryan Tannehill to win their third game of the season, 27-14.

Miami started off great on offense, as Tannehill threw to a wideopen Charles Clay in the endzone to conclude an 8 play, 81 yard drive with just under seven minutes left in the first quarter. In the second quarter, a drive in Dolphin territory ended when Jay Cutler was intercepted by safety, who returned it to the Bears 23, with his fumble being recovered by teammate Koa Misi.

Three plays later, Tannehill found Mike Wallace on a 10 yard scoring pass to take a 14-0 lead into halftime. On Chicago’s first possession of the second half, Cutler led a 12 play, 8o yard drive that took seven minutes, ending with a 10 yard touchdown pass to Matt Forte.

On the ensuing Miami possession, however, the Dolphins went 83 yards in 13 plays, with Lamar Miller running in for a 2 yard touchdown to again make it a two-touchdown game at the end of the third quarter. A Caleb Sturgis field goal in the first minute and a half of the fourth quarter made it 24-7, but the Bears would score midway through the fourth quarter with a Forte one-yard touchdown run.

But the Miami defense shut out Chicago the remainder of the game, limiting star receiver Alshon Jeffery to just nine yards on two catches on seven targets. Tannehill had his best game of the season, completing 25 of 32 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for 48 yards, while Cutler struggled, going 21 of 34 for 190 yards, a touchdown, an interception, and a lost fumble.

Matthew Stafford

Detroit Lions 24 (5-2), New Orleans Saints 23 (2-4)

With a chance to have sole possession of first place in the NFC South, the Saints blew a 13 point lead with just over three minutes remaining, losing 24-23 to Detroit.

Late in the first quarter, Matthew Stafford threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted by Keenan Lewis, who took it to the Lions’ 29. Four plays later, Drew Brees went to fullback Austin Johnson, who ran in from 13 yards out to go up 7-0 with 13:56 left in the second quarter.

The teams exchanged field goals to make it 10-3 at halftime, but just over a minute into the third quarter, Brees went deep to Kenny Stills, who hauled in the pass from 46 yards into the endzone to give New Orleans a 17-3 lead. On the ensuing Lions possession, they drove 80 yards in 12 plays, with Joique Bell running in from a yard out to cut the lead to 17-10.

After two Shayne Graham field goals in the fourth quarter to again make it a two score game at 23-10 with 5:24 left, Stafford took only six plays to keep Detroit it, going to Golden Tate on a 77 yard touchdown with just under four minutes left. The Lions defense stepped up with a Glover Quin interception of Brees to the New Orleans 14 with 3:10 remaining, and Stafford found Corey Fuller on a five yard touchdown with just under two minutes left, giving Detroit the win.

Stafford was 27 of 40 for 299 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, depending heavily on Golden Tate, who had seven catches for 154 yards and a touchdown. Brees was 27 of 45 for 342 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, with Marques Colston (six grabs for 111 yards) and Kenny Stills (five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown) being his primary targets.


Green Bay Packers 38 (5-2), Carolina Panthers 17 (3-3-1)

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense completely overwhelmed a struggling Carolina defense, while Cam Newton was held completely in check in a __ to ___ victory at Lambeau.

The Packers started hot, with Rodgers finding an open Jordy Nelson, who cut to the inside, faked a defender, and ran for a 59 yard touchdown with just over three minutes gone in the game. With just under six minutes left in the first quarter, Eddie Lacy ran into the endzone from five yards out to extend the lead to 14-0.

With just over two minutes left in the first quarter, Green Bay continued to run through the Panthers defense, with James Starks rushing for a 13 yard touchdown. In the second quarter, the offensive efficiency continued, as Rodgers led a 9 play, 94 yard drive, going to Randall Cobb for a touchdown from three yards out to make it 28-0 before a Carolina field goal cut it to 28-3 at halftime.

After Newton failed to convert a 4th down and 1 on a quarterback sneak, Rodgers went to rookie Davante Adams for a 21 yard touchdown, essentially ending the game. Rodgers was 19 of 22 for 255 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the first quarterback to throw three touchdowns and no interceptions in four consecutive games since Tom Brady in 2007, while Newton completed 17 of 31 passes for 205 yards, a touchdown and an interception.


Kansas City Chiefs 23 (3-3), San Diego Chargers 20 (5-2)

In his career as a head coach, Andy Reid is 14-2 after a bye week, making adjustments over the break to help his teams win, which he did on Sunday to help his Chiefs beat the AFC West-leading Chargers, 23-20.

San Diego struck first, though, with Philip Rivers finding John Phillips on a one-yard touchdown pass to end a 5 play, 51 yard drive with 3:15 left in the first quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, Kansas City answered with a 16 yard touchdown run from Jamaal Charles to conclude a 6 play, 66 yard drive and tie the game.

After a Cairo Santos 28 yard field goal with 3:11 left in the half, Rivers drove San Diego 80 yards in the final minute of the half, finding Antonio Gates for a 27 yard touchdown, the 67th scoring strike between the pair, which is a record for a quarterback-tight end tandem. After a Santos field goal in the third quarter, Alex Smith led an 11 play, 70 yard drive, and threw a screen pass to fullback Anthony Sherman, who reversed field and scored from 11 yards out to go ahead 20-14.

In the fourth quarter, Rivers led a pair of long drives that resulted in Nick Novak field goals to tie the game with just under two minutes left. But Smith took the ensuing Chiefs possession 62 yards in 9 plays, including first-down passes to Dwayne Bowe and Travis Kelce, setting up Santos for a career-long 48 yard field goal, which Santos snuck inside the right upright with 21 seconds left, and a Rivers interception by Kurt Coleman sealed the win.

Smith finished 19 of 28 for 221 yards and a touchdown, and Charles ran for 95 yards. Rivers had his biggest struggles this season, completing 17 of 31 throws for 205 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Carson Palmer

Arizona Cardinals 24 (5-1), Oakland Raiders 13 (0-6)

In his second game back from a shoulder injury and a rematch against his former team, Carson Palmer continued to his hot start to the season, helping the Cardinals defeat the Raiders, 24-13.

Midway through the first quarter, Palmer began leading a long Cardinals drive that went 88 yards in 11 plays, ending the drive with a two yard touchdown throw to Stepfan Taylor. In the second quarter, Palmer found Michael Floyd open deep for a 33 yard touchdown to increase the lead to 14-0 with 5:37 left in the half.

On the ensuing Raiders possession, Derek Carr found Brice Butler for a 55 yard gain to get into the redzone, and Darren McFadden finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown run with 1:56 left. After Palmer was intercepted by Charles Woodson, who returned it to the Cardinals’ 13, Sebastian Janikowski hit a 29 yard  field goal to make it 14-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter, a 53 yard field goal by Janikowski cut the lead to 1, but Arizona finally answered, as an 8 play, 80 yard drive that included 56 yards from Andre Ellington was capped off by Taylor on a 4 yard run with 2:55 left in the third quarter. A 41 yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro with 29 seconds left in the fourth quarter sealed the win.

Palmer was 22 of 31 for 253 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, with Ellington rushing for 88 yards and catching 6 passes for 72 yards to lead the team. Carr was 16 of 28 for 173 yards.

Demarco Murray Dallas Cowboys 350

Dallas Cowboys 31 (6-1), New York Giants 21 (3-4)

The Cowboys continued their hot start to the season, winning their sixth straight game and first divisional game in a 31-21 victory over the NFC East rival Giants.

On Dallas’ first possession, an 11 play, 76 yard drive concluded with a 15 yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo to tight end Gavin Escobar ten minutes into the game. In the second quarter, the Giants responded with a 10 play, 71 yard drive of their own, ending in an Eli Manning touchdown pass to rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr..

On the next Cowboys possession, Romo threw deep for Dez Bryant, but the receiver fell, and the ball went straight into the arms of Prince Amukamara, who took it the Dallas 27. On the next play, Manning went to Daniel Fells, who broke two tackles to score to take the lead, 14-7, with just under eight minutes to go in the half.

But Romo drove the Cowboys 80 yards in 10 plays, and spun away from pressure to find a wide open Terrance Williams for an 18 yard touchdown to tie it with 2:17 to go in the half, with the score remaining the same heading into the locker room. In the second half, Bryant began to assert himself, with Romo finding him on a 44 yard pass on a 6 play, 93 yard drive in which Escobar again scored, this time from 26 yards out to take a 21-14 lead with 6:15 to go in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Romo found Bryant for a 24 yard pass on 3rd and 8 to the Giants’ 1, with DeMarco Murray punching it in from a yard out to extend the lead to 28-14 with 9:11 left. Manning and Beckham Jr. connected on a 5 yard touchdown with 5:28 remaining to make it a one-score game, but Dallas finished off New York with a 49 yard Dan Bailey field goal with 59 seconds left.

Romo finished 17 of 23 for 279 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, going to Dez Bryant 9 times for 151 yards. With 128 yards rushing and a touchdown, Murray became the first player in NFL history to rush for 100 or more yards in seven straight games to start a season.

Manning was 21 of 33 for 248 yards and three touchdowns.


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Game Notes: Washington Redskins Get Their Second Win Against The Titans Sun, 19 Oct 2014 22:14:11 +0000 The Washington Redskins (2-5) have finally broke their losing streak with a 19-16 win against the Tennessee Titans (2-5). It was a sloppy game by both sides early on and after two turnovers Washington benched Kirk Cousins. However, the Washington Redskins were able to leave with a win — something they needed badly.

The Good:

  • DeSean Jackson is ridiculous. The Eagles were nuts to out-right release a talent like Jackson. He’s always been a good hands catcher, but he’s caught more contested balls this year than I can remember him ever doing. For the first time in a long time the Redskins picked up a player who is in the middle of his prime. His sweet spot is now. Although he didn’t catch many balls Sunday, his impact was felt — especially on that final drive. Without Jackson, I don’t think the Redskins would have won.


  • Pierre Garcon came up big on his 70-yard touchdown. That’s the Pierre Garcon Washington knows. He’s a yards-after-catch beast. For some reason, he just doesn’t make many plays with Cousins at QB.


  • There’s three defensive players that continue to stand out to me. The first is ILB Keenan Robinson. He led the team with 14 tackles Sunday and he’s just a consistent player. He doesn’t often get beat in coverage and he makes plays upfield. Robinson is still a young player with room to grow, but I like where he is so far. For the past two games, Will Compton has played next to Robinson and I see no reason for the team to remove him as a starter. Sure, he only got his opportunity due to Perry Riley’s injury. But I’ve thought for a while now that Compton had more potential than Riley. He’s been solid in coverage and in the run game. The other player who has impressed me is rookie corner Bashuad Breeland. He’s not afraid to stick his head in the trash and make tackles. He had a nice interception on an overthrown ball. I do, however, continue to believe Breeland has a future as a safety. He can be a good corner, but his skillset is screaming free safety to me right now. I’ve been more impressed with Breeland than any Redskins’ defensive back so far this season.


  • Colt McCoy came in and played a poised football game. As the third QB, he doesn’t receive many practice reps at all. When he does, it certainly isn’t with the starters. So he did a great job stepping up and helping the Redskins win a football game. He was decisive and I liked the fact he made a few protection changes at the line of scrimmage.


  • HC Jay Gruden had a key decision to make Sunday. He needed to make a move that would give his football team a spark. During halftime, he did that when he decided to bench Kirk Cousins. This is a move that could have happened in past weeks. It absolutely needed to happen Sunday after Cousins turned the ball over twice.


  • Although it’s like a roller coaster when watching Washington Redskins kicker Kai Forbath attempt field goals, he nailed four on Sunday — one being the game winner. They literally wouldn’t have won without his services.


The Bad:

  • The Washington Redskins continue to struggle running the football. I spent time last week watching film on this and it’s attributed to several things. The interior line — specifically the guards are losing at the point of attack. They are also struggling to get to the second level. In-line blocking tight end is also a problem. But another issue I continue to see is Alfred Morris is only getting what’s blocked for him. He isn’t creating plays on his own. He’s not making as many yards after contact as you’d like to see. Not to mention, he appears to be slow to the hole and his lateral movement skills are not showing. It’s clear that Morris benefits from having Robert Griffin III at QB with the threat of zone read. Morris has yet to run for 100 yards this season. This is something the Redskins need to fix.


  • Not sure what’s up with Andre Roberts but he’s struggled the past few weeks. He’s dropped some balls and he hasn’t done much of anything on special teams. He looked great early in the season but has fallen off as of late.


  • Ryan Clark has not been a good player for the Redskins this year. I don’t see his impact as a vocal leader on defense and I don’t see him making many plays. It’s almost as if the Redskins re-signed the 2012-2013 safety version of London Fletcher.



  • Brian Orakpo appears on this list every week. In fact, there’s about $11.5 million worth of reasons why he deserves to be on this list every week. He missed several tackles Sunday. He continues to be a non-factor in terms of pass rush. Not to mention, he now has a pec injury that the team fears could be season-ending. This would be his third pec-tear, if it proves to be that. That’s a lot of money going down the drain. Washington should not re-sign him in the off-season. But even if they don’t, they’re a year too late. And that’s why this team continues to struggle adding talent.


  • Lastly, Kirk Cousins. I’ve been hard on Cousins since day one. He has exceptional character and is a very great guy. However, Cousins doesn’t have what it takes to win in this league, right now. When he turns the ball over, he’s noticeably shook-up and in his feelings. That’s not good for him and it’s not good for the football team. I think you’ve seen the last of Kirk for the foreseeable future. It will be either Colt McCoy or Robert Griffin III starting against the Dallas Cowboys. Gruden says Griffin has a chance at practicing Wednesday. With the game on Monday night, there will be an extra day for the team to evaluate how Griffin reacts to practice. But either way, I think it’s between those two players for that game.


Follow us: @Manny_PPI | @PlayerInsiders

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Your lifestyle can contradict your message. People want to hear and see. #justhinking @napoleonkaufman Sun, 19 Oct 2014 12:30:59 +0000

Your lifestyle can contradict your message. People want to hear and see. #justhinking

— Pastor Napoleon (@napoleonkaufman) October 15, 2014

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Into & Over #NFL Week 6 with @Cagaddis Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Into:

Thursday night game worth watching:
In typical Thursday night fashion the Colts jumped out to a twenty-four to nothing lead causing many people to reach for their remotes for what has become a Thursday night tradition; channel surfing. The Texans proved the old adage true “it’s not over until the fat lady sings”. They clawed their way back to within 5 points of the lead with 10 minutes in the fourth quarter and had a chance to take the lead on a two minute drive before the Colts defense got the best of them. It only took five weeks but hopefully Thursday night blowouts are a thing of the past.

Fake spike play:
I grew up in Miami watching Dan Marino play quarterback for the Dolphins. I remember him making the fake spike play famous against the Jets in 1994. Its only fitting that Aaron Rogers and the Packers used the same play against the Dolphins last Sunday to set up the game winning touchdown. It took guts to run this play with less than 10 seconds in the 4th quarter and no timeouts – thats what makes Rogers fake snap impressive. If the wide receiver doesn’t get out of bounds the game is over. Perhaps the best part is that no one knew the play was coming, not even Davante Adams he was just the fastest to react.spikerod.0

Cowboys Offensive line:
DeMarco Murray added another 100 yard rushing game to his streak this weekend – while this is an impressive feat its time to give credit where credit is due. The big boys up-front have done a great job paving the way for Murray and the Cowboys offense to move the ball up and down the field. The biggest factor in the Cowboys success this season has been their ability to dictate the tempo of the game; knowing that the other team can’t score if they don’t have the ball. They are second only to the Colts for average time of possession this season. When you see Tony Romo, Des Bryant or DeMarco Murray make a play remember its all thanks to the front five doing the real work in the trenches.

Mike Pettine and the Cleveland Browns:
The Browns are 3 and 2 and on a 2 game winning streak and no its not thanks to the rookie magic of Johnny Football; who has only seen the field a total of 5 snaps this season. Last week the Browns put together a complete game versus their arch-rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers beating them for the 2nd time in 20 games. There were a ton of questions about the Browns coming in to this season and the expectation was that it would be another rebuilding year but this is turing out to be a promising season. If Browns’ head coach Mike Pettine can keep this up he’s a shoe-in for Coach of the year and there will be plenty locker room dance



Games ending in a tie:
Herm Edwards said it best “Hello! you PLAY to WIN the Game!” No NFL game should ever end in a tie. Since the NFL changed the overtime rules in 2012 there have been 1 tie a year and thats one tie to many. Overtime is one of the most exciting thing in any sport – watching a team win in overtime is exhilarating watching two team play for four hours and end in a tie just feels like a waste of time.

Angry” Doug Baldwin being Angry:
After going off on Russell Wilson at the end of the game Doug Baldwin decided that he would also let the media know exactly how he felt about the Seahawks offense. Baldwin used his post game interview to voice his frustration with the offense not moving the ball against the Cowboys. While he did point out issues with the offense as an entire unit and refused to let the blame be placed solely on Russell Wilson there is a time and place for calling your teammates out and this isn’t it. At the end of the day you team is your family and you take care of this in-house before you bring it to the public no matter how mad you are. I guess they don’t call him “angry” Doug Baldwin for nothing.


Live Coverage of Adrian Peterson’s court appearance:
Maybe it was just me but I found this completely unnecessary during the week. It was surreal to see Adrian Peterson in a courtroom siting across the aisle from inmates in jumpsuits but after the initial shock my next thought was…Why do I need to see this and who cares?

Vontaze Burfict Ankle twist
There is an un-written rule in football; never try to intentionally hurt your opponent – play hard and smart protecting yourself and your opponent. There is a fine line between playing with an edge and going over it. Vontaze Burfict went way over the edge on Sunday when he intentionally twisted the ankles of two of his opponents Cam Newton and Greg Olseon, after the play. The NFL fined Burfict $25k after reviewing the two plays but if you ask me this wasn’t enough I agree with Olseon – Burfict should be suspended this is inexcusable and he should receive a harsher punishment. If player safety is an important issue the NFL needs to show it – this isn’t the WWE its the NFL.burfict.0.0

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Chef Plum’s Top 5 Game-day Condiments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 13:40:57 +0000 I believe when it comes to awesome gridiron grub the options are a plenty. Sausages, burgers, dogs, all great choices but they all have something in common, one of those few chances in life to indulge in condiments! Sausage is great but what is it without good mustard? Burgers are great but even better with ketchup, and hot dogs, whats a hot dog without relish or chilli? Here are my top five game-day condiments that can even get the worst turnover ratio back on the positive side.

  1. Blue Cheese dressing: You love this mainstay on wings (I am not on the Ranch team) but try a good blue cheese on a nice spicy burger, it is to die for.
  2. Beer Mustard: This is one of the best things you can get and so versatile! Try it on dogs and of course sausage, but try mixing this with a little melted butter and serve it over pork chops! Three dishes one condiment!
  3. Salsa: Do I need to say more? Who does not love chips and salsa? But try serving it over some grilled chicken, or melt some jack cheese on a burger and top it with salsa. (its the little things folks)
  4. Ketchup: Not a cop-out I promise, so many uses. Add some canned chipolte to make it spicy, maybe a little bourbon and brown sugar to kick up those fries.
  5. BBQ sauce: SSSooo simple right? But try making you grilled foods with a Carolina style sauce (more vinegar less tomato) Change up your BBQ but adding some crushed mango, or cilantro and lime.

Just a few ideas to get your game day routines, not so routine, let me know how it goes for you on twitter @chef_plum and in the meantime check out this video on grilling burgers!

BBQ Sauce Beer Mustard Blue Cheese Salsa Ketchup ]]> 0
Do the things that you want to do and be the person that you want to be no matter what, that the only way to be cool….. @menzie24 Sat, 18 Oct 2014 12:30:54 +0000

Do the things that you want to do and be the person that you want to be no matter what, that the only way to be cool…..

— De'Quan Menzie (@menzie24) October 15, 2014

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Domestic Violence: A Victim’s Perspective, Why Does She Stay? Sat, 18 Oct 2014 12:30:01 +0000 The video of Ray Rice punching his now wife Janay catapulted domestic abuse to the forefront of NFL news. Outside of the questions of who knew what when, the big question people ask is why didn’t Janay leave. How could she marry him? Mildred Mohammed has a very personal answer to that question.

When a sniper began shooting in the DC metro area, it did not occur to her that the shooter could be her ex-husband, John Allen Muhammad. Like everyone else, she was looking for a white van, barely taking notice of the blue Caprice parked in front of her house.

Melissa Mahler of Pro Player Insiders is joined in this discussion by Andrew Willis, Stop Abuse Campaign; Tony Richardson, former NFL player; Eileen King, Executive Director of Child Justice; and Mildred Muhammad former wife of the infamous DC sniper. In this episode the focus is on the victim’s perspective and answering that often asked question, “Why does she stay?”

In the United States, one in every three women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Janay is one of 1.3 million women who will be the victim of physical assault by a partner this year alone. Still much of the media and public’s focus is not on how to change this statistic but on blaming the victim.

During a press conference held by the couple in May, the Baltimore Ravens tweeted, “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the accident.”  That tweet was later deleted after the release of the video, but it is a reflection of a common point-of-view.

With domestic violence in the forefront of the news and pop culture, it’s time to use this opportunity to change the question we ask from “how does she let this happen” to “why does this happen and how can we stop it.”

For more information you can visit:

Stop Abuse Campaign

Child Justice

Mildred Mohammed 

On twitter follow @Melissa_PPI



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Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills: Match Ups, Game Notes & Predictions Sat, 18 Oct 2014 12:19:15 +0000 The Buffalo Bills (3-3) are looking to bounce back this week, as the Minnesota Vikings (2-4) come to Ralph Wilson Stadium this Sunday for a 1:00 PM (eastern) kickoff.

Broadcast Information

National TV: FOX and NFL RedZone

Radio: Sirius XM, Locally on WGR550 AM in Buffalo

Here is what I am most interested in looking for come Sunday.

Teddy Bridgewater against Buffalo’s Defense

Last week Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater took a step back from his 317-yard performance the week before and turned in a dud against a very good Detroit Lions defense.

The Lions made the young quarterback look like someone who was playing in just his third career game and forced three interceptions and a forced fumble against the rookie signal-caller.

He will face a lot of pressure from Buffalo’s defense again this week, as the Bills already have 19 sacks this year.  Their defensive line is one of the best in football and is looking to bounce back from an up and down game last week against the New England Patriots.  They will be pinning their ears back against a Vikings offensive line that just allowed eight sacks the week before.rsz_teddy-bridgewater-atlanta-falcons-v-minnesota-l2ufc9y08m8x

I like Teddy Bridgewater as a young developing quarterback, but I don’t think that the Bills offer him a very good matchup in this one.

They are very stout against the run (the best rated rush defense only allowing 67.5 rushing yards to opponents per game), and I imagine them stacking the box early on in the game, making the Vikings go through the air and put all of the pressure on the rookie quarterback to make the offense tick.  If they turn one-dimensional into just passing the ball, it will be a long day at the office for the Minnesota offense.

Unlike last week against Tom Brady, this is a good week for the Bills to just rush four and drop everyone else back in coverage.  They are going to be able to generate good pressure from just their offensive line and Bridgewater has tended to hold onto the ball just a little too long in the pocket so far this season.

I don’t see the Vikings offense having much success in this one, as turnovers should be aplenty for an opportune Buffalo defensive unit.

Bills Rushing Attack against Vikings Front Seven

The Buffalo Bills rushing attack has been on the free-fall for sometime now.  The 2nd ranked group from last year started off the year strong but has now fallen to 22nd in the league in rushing offense, averaging slightly over 100 yards per game.

Fred Jackson has looked like the more productive between him and CJ Spiller (who is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry on his 68 attempts).  It isn’t fair to put all of the blame on the running backs, as the Bills offensive line has been downright dreadful in opening up holes.Fred Jackson entering the end zone Photo: Derek Zeller

It seems that even when the hole might not be there, Jackson still dives ahead for 3-4 yard carries every carry (as his 4.4 yards per carry would illustrate).

Spiller is such an explosive player but the problem is the Bills haven’t been able to get him in enough space.  Coming out in shotgun and running dive plays for Spiller up the middle is not something that he is going to have a lot of success doing.  Some screen plays along with some stretch plays to the outside will allow Spiller to get the ball in space and allow him to try to make some guys miss, something else he hasn’t been all that successful in doing this year.

Minnesota is 19th in the league in rushing defense and has allowed opposing teams to rush for 118.2 yards per game against them.  There will be some openings for the Bills backs to try to take advantage of this weekend.

The only encouraging thing about the running game is that the team hasn’t gotten away from it despite the struggles.  It is still very much a part of their offense and while it doesn’t look great now, not giving up on your running attack is going to pay off great come late November and December when snow starts to hit and it is your backs that will play a big role in those crucial, late-season ball games.

Kyle Orton against the Vikings Secondary

If the Bills rushing attack can’t get going, the Bills will look for veteran quarterback Kyle Orton to lead the offense again.

In his first two starts, Orton is averaging 303.5 yards passing per game but will be facing the league’s 6th best passing defense (a group that allows only 213.8 yards per game).

He will have to make sure he is careful with the football, as the Vikings have five interceptions on the year, and are lead by safety Harrison Smith who is tied for the NFL lead with three interceptions.

I have been very impressed with Orton so far, as he really has just started to get back into the schedule of starting football games again.  Minus a few bad throws (mostly just a bad interception and costly fumble last week), Orton has really looked pretty sharp in running this Bills offense and is giving them much more consistent play than EJ Manuel was delivering.

The flow of the offense along with the right reads being made on plays has also seen an increase for the better.

Even with the touch matchup, I expect the Bills to be able to move the ball through the air again this week.

If the running game doesn’t show up, they won’t have a choice.

Buffalo’s Secondary Attempting to Slow Down Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson

On paper, the Minnesota Vikings have two good wide outs in veteran Greg Jennings and youngster Cordarrelle Patterson.

The results haven’t been the same on the field so far this year.

Jennings has 20 catches for 268 yards and a touchdown in six games this year but just five catches for 64 yards the past two weeks.  Patterson hasn’t fared any better, and hasn’t gone over 61 yards receiving in any game so far this year.  He has just 6 catches for 61 yards over his last three games played.

Neither player has been able to beat coverage this season and the Vikings, as a receiving group, hasn’t had a touchdown reception since the first offensive drive of Week 2 against the Patriots.Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Vikings 350

It isn’t all their fault, as the Vikings have already been through two quarterbacks, lost their starting tight end, been without Adrian Peterson, and don’t feature a lot of other talent on the offensive side of the ball.

The Bills still need to make sure that these guys are covered as Jennings can still move the sticks and Patterson has the game breaking speed to turn a pass into the flats into a 80-yard score if contain is lost on him.

I see the Bills defensive line making it tough for Bridgewater to have a lot of time in the pocket.  If this is the case, expect another below average game from the two wide receivers.

Game Notes

No Goodwin for Buffalo

Buffalo will be without deep threat Marquise Goodwin, as the wide receiver has already been ruled out for this weekend’s game.

The Bills use Goodwin as their field-stretcher, so look for the starting wide receiving group to now consist of Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Chris Hogan in third-wide sets.

We could also see a receiver return to the lineup after being a healthy inactive just the week before with this development.

Will WR Mike Williams be Active?

With the injury to Goodwin, I believe that Williams will make his way back into the lineup as the Bills fourth wide receiver, even with the limited practice time that he has received so far this week.

It should be a good move, as what Williams lacks in speed lost by Goodwin, he makes up for in size and jump ball ability.

In limited times this season we have already seen the playmaking ability of Williams with his 8 receptions for 142 yards and a touchdown (good for a 17.8 yard per catch average).

A fired up Williams could be what the Bills need to help them make plays downfield and turn a couple red-zone trips into touchdowns.

Is Another Breakout Day for Sammy Watkins on the Horizon?

It is well documented by now the troubles that the Buffalo Bills had in getting rookie Sammy Watkins the ball last week against Darrelle Revis and the Patriots secondary.

In review of last week’s game, it didn’t seem like the offense revolved around getting Watkins the ball, as he was a lot of clear out routes for other receivers on the team.

You didn’t draft the young talent fourth overall to be your decoy receiver week in and week out.

I think the Bills will realize the mistake they made and will look to work Waktins over the middle again, an area he has had some great success in early in the season.

While the go-route (streak) is great, I would like to see Watkins running a lot more crossing and dig like routes that utilize getting the ball in his hands as he is reaching top speed.

It is no denying that the talent is there.  The Bills need to make sure that they get Watkins the proper amount of targets this week.  It will make it that much easier on everyone else in the offense.


The Bills look like the better team coming into this game, and need a win to try to stay on pace with the leading New England Patriots in the AFC East and the rest of the AFC playoff picture.  An early road game in a hostile environment, against a very good defense, will make it a forgettable week for Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings.  Buffalo wins this one 31-17.

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Jarret Johnson: Unsung leader for Chargers Sat, 18 Oct 2014 12:08:15 +0000 Jarret+Johnson+New+York+Jets+v+San+Diego+Chargers+l7QE6fbcMODxSan Diego Chargers linebacker Jarrett Johnson, is not a name that is mentioned much in the NFL media. His statistical numbers are not at the top of the charts and you won’t find many of his plays on Sports Centers “Top 10 of the week.”

Johnson has never been an advocator to the spotlight. The cameras, press headlines and highlight reels are not important. Instead he carries a much bigger value to the gridiron, a contribution to his team that sometimes goes unnoticed to people outside of the Chargers organization.

Personifying what it means to be a leader, Johnson carries his message both on and off the field. “He’s a hard worker” said Chargers inside linebacker Donald Butler. “He leads not only in the weight room, but also the meeting room and also on the field. So you couldn’t ask for any more out of him.”(Henne)

Leadership is a quality that has been entrenched in Johnson’s football career since childhood. Coming from a family of commercial crabbers and fishermen, Johnson was the first male on his father’s side to not make a living on the water.

Born in Homestead Florida, Johnson grew up in a small town with very little social activity, school and church were the cornerstones to his life as a child. In 1989, a week before Johnson’s 8th birthday, his father Ludwig Johnson, went out to fish for crabs at sea never returned…

“He’d go out, way offshore, and stay overnight sometimes. We lost contact with him. They found the boat, but they never found him.” (Murray)

The death took a tremendous emotional toll on Johnson. His mother Aida, was forced to return to a full time job and go back to nursing school in order to support Johnson and his sister. Perry Rogers, one of Johnson’s father’s closest friends, came down from his work on the Alaskan oil rigs when he received the news to lend support Johnson and his family.

Rogers immediately filled the void of the father figure that Johnson was missing. “He basically raised me; I never met him before,” Johnson said. (Murray) In the wake of his father’s death, Johnson made the choice to not lead a life at sea and his mother moved the family to Chiefland, when Johnson decided that he wanted to play football.

It was the beginning of a journey that would take Johnson to University of Alabama where he became the only two-time team captain in the prestigious history of The Crimson Tide. Johnson was drafted to the NFL in 2003 where he converted from nose tackle to an outside linebacker for The Baltimore Ravens. Johnson capped off an eight year career in Baltimore playing in 129 straight games, including 80 consecutive starts.

Even now, entering his 12th season in the league, 3rd with The Chargers, Johnson’s love for the game has not diminished. Words like dedication, hard work, toughness, passion, energy, have defined Johnson’s character as a child and throughout his career.

Johnson’s tutelage and guidance resonate in the locker room, his value to the team comes from his battle tested experience. Johnson’s leadership qualities cannot be overlooked and his knowledge carries a presence that has Chargers players both veteran and rookie reaping the benefits.

“You can tell them all you want but they have to do it on their own,” he said. “I’ll teach the technique stuff, but as far as the mental stuff you’ll have to learn on your own because there is no way to learn it except to experience it. The physicality and how intense it is.” (Henne)

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True Happiness by Rev. Jeffrey Hagan Sat, 18 Oct 2014 12:07:34 +0000 Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 “Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. If clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to [...]

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Portrait of smiling mother and daughterEcclesiastes 11:1-6

“Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return.
Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
If clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well” (NIV).


If anyone tried to find happiness outside of God it was King Solomon. He looked high and low for happines in this world. Eventually, he discovered that happiness is found in a relationship with God, living life as God wants.

Four Key Ingredients:

In the above passage, we find four key ingredients for finding happiness:

1. Give (v.1) – Give of yourself, your time, your goods, your finances. One day you will be repaid by the Lord, but never have that be your motive. To be truly happy one must be truly selfless.

2. Give generously and frequently (v.2) – The idea here in this verse is to give sacrificially and to do so often. Happiness nor success are measured by the size of your house, or by the size of your car, or by the size of your bank account. Happiness and success are measured by the size of your heart and by one’s obedience to Christ.

3. “Get up and ‘at em!'” (v.v.3-4) – The point here is to be active and stay active. I’m not talking to the point of burn out and overload, but there is much good in being and staying active. The picture here is of a person sitting around and doing nothing. Be sure and enjoy life, don’t just watch it pass you by. Even if one plans on retiring from a job, never “retire” from life.

4. Trust God (v.v.5-6) – There are some things in life that we will never understand this side of heaven. Happiness comes when we trust God completely, regardless of how the results may seem to us.


The way to happiness is by giving God control of our lives, surrendering ourselves to Jesus Christ, and by following the Holy Spirit. The outflow of that will be trusting in Him to meet all our needs.

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Breaking: Percy Harvin Traded to New York Jets Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:39:44 +0000 A year and a half after the Seahawks traded 1st and 7th round picks in the 2013 draft, and a 4th round pick in the 2014 draft for Percy Harvin, who was a key player in the Super Bowl win against the Broncos last February, has already been jettisoned.

According to Fox Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer, Harvin has been traded to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick. Harvin signed a six year, $67 million contract when he was traded from the Minnesota Vikings to Seattle in March of 2013, and currently has 22 catches for 133 yards, and 11 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown.

The move gives the Jets a speedy wide receiver to pair with the physical Eric Decker, a huge addition for a team that is 30th in the league in points per game (173.). The timing of the trade allows New York to have more than a week to work Harvin into the offense before a divisional match-up on Sunday, October 26th against the Buffalo Bills.

Update on compensation:

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Persistent Prayer, What I’ve Learned From My Dog Fri, 17 Oct 2014 20:17:59 +0000 By: Kelly Cobbler Over the last couple of days I’ve been pretty sick and it’s been quite tough to give my dog the 24/7 attention she thinks she desperately needs. If there is one word to describe my sweet Abbey, it’s unrelenting. She has a bold personality and once she sets her mind on something, [...]

The post Persistent Prayer, What I’ve Learned From My Dog appeared first on Christ Centered Home Magazine.

Senior woman prayingBy: Kelly Cobbler

Over the last couple of days I’ve been pretty sick and it’s been quite tough to give my dog the 24/7 attention she thinks she desperately needs. If there is one word to describe my sweet Abbey, it’s unrelenting. She has a bold personality and once she sets her mind on something, she can’t be stopped and she will unrelentingly beg, whine, and come up with clever ways to get it.

Last night, around 3am, she decided she wasn’t tired and wanted to play. Well, as you could expect, I wasn’t in the mood and refused to acknowledge her pleas. You’d think that after a good 30 minutes or so of being rejected, she’d get the hint and give up but that wasn’t the case. Instead, she amped up her strategy and pushed harder. For two hours, my dog and I were at a standoff and we both weren’t backing down; I refused to get up and play and she refused to be ok with it. Once she realized that cursing me in her doggy language was ineffective, she pulled from her arsenal the noisiest toy in the house, a squeaky ball. I know this was an intentional act of war because she only squeezed it when it looked like I was sleeping. If I moved or pretended to get up, she stopped and looked me straight in my eyes as if to say “come and get it”. It was at this point when I realized that she had won this battle. She understood my distaste for the ball, in fact, I loath the day my husband brought it home. My annoyance with this toy forced me to get up out of bed and fight it out of her mouth – thus playing her favorite game, tug of war. What a clever dog.

Today, after a few extra hours of sleep, I laughed and could appreciate Abbey’s tenacity and determination. It reminded me of the parable of persistent widow in Luke 18 and I realized there was a lot I could learn from my little dog.

In the parable, Jesus describes an unjustly wronged widow who tried to present her case before a wicked judge. The judge couldn’t have cared less about her plight and turned her away over and over, but each time she returned to him with the demand that he give her justice. It says the judge became so annoyed by her persistence that he gave her what she wanted just to get rid of her. It’s an odd parable but Jesus uses it to teach us about how we ought to pray – like the persistent widow (or in my case, the persistent dog).

“Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” – Luke 18:6-8

There are times when I feel like my prayers only go as high as the ceiling before falling flat on the ground. It even gets to the point sometimes when it seems like the more I pray for something, the worst the situation gets. It’s quite discouraging and I have to remind myself of the reality that God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way or the timing we want or expect, but the truth is that he will answer and it’s always better for me. I say it to myself over and over until I believe it.

As Christians we are called to persistent prayer, a life spent in constant communication with God. However, unlike the wicked judge in Luke 18, God is just and loving and as we pray his heart, we can and should expect to see Him move in miraculous ways. We shouldn’t grow weary if God’s timing or response doesn’t meet our standards; but in times when our prayers feel as dense as lead, we ought to pray more fervently, search the Word for what it says about our requests, and declare it over them.

Jesus relates our prayer life to our faith (vs. 8). When we fully understand the authority and power of our prayers, only then will we live a life of prayer and witness God moving in greater capacity in our lives. It’s cyclical and it’s God’s way of relating to us and drawing us closer to Him. It’s only through prayer that some blessings and breakthroughs are released. Prayer is a necessity and a lifeline that we must never let go.

I like how Charles Spurgeon explains it: Sometimes when we do not receive comfort in our prayers, when we are broken and cast down, that is when we are really wrestling and prevailing in prayer.

Don’t give up…
…and thanks, Abbey.

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FAQ: The Super Bowl Droughts Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:37:10 +0000 J.J. Hardy tapped a grounder to first base and the Kansas City Royals became champions of the American League. The Royals will host game one of the World Series on October 21 and end a nearly 30 year World Series drought. The excitement in Kauffman Stadium got me thinking about the scene inside Arrowhead Stadium if the Kansas City Chiefs could end their own championship drought. The Chiefs haven’t appeared in the Super Bowl since SBIV when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7. Do the Chiefs have the longest Super Bowl drought? Will it end soon? We have the answers to the frequently asked questions about Super Bowl droughts.


Q: Who has the longest Super Bowl drought?

A: The Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, and Detroit Lions have never appeared in the Super Bowl. The Lions won their last championship in 1957 and the Browns last championship was in 1952. The New York Jets haven’t appeared in a Super Bowl since they won SBIII in 1969 and have the longest active drought. The Chiefs are next followed by the Minnesota Vikings who haven’t appeared in the Super Bowl since losing SBXI to the Raiders in 1977.

Q: Do any other teams have a drought longer than 20 years?

A: Yes. The Miami Dolphins haven’t appeared in the Super Bowl since they lost SBXIX to the San Francisco 49ers 29 years ago. The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t appeared since losing SBXXIII to the San Francisco 49ers in 1989. The Washington Redskins have a 22 year drought, last appearing in SBXXVI when they defeated the Buffalo Bills.

Q: Forget appearances for a second. What three teams have the longest active Super Bowl/Championship droughts?

A: The Arizona Cardinals have the longest active championship drought. The Cardinals haven’t raised a trophy in 66 years. Their last championship was won in 1947 when the franchise was based in Chicago. The Lions haven’t won a championship in 56 years followed by the Philadelphia Eagles who are the proud owners of a 53 year drought.

Q: Forget the teams for a second. What active NFL player has played in the most games without appearing in a Super Bowl?

A: Phil Dawson. Dawson has played in 237 games and has never had the pleasure of kicking in a Super Bowl. Peyton Manning (245) and Adam Vinatieri (280) are the only active players that have played in more games than Dawson. Manning has appeared in two Super Bowls and Vinatieri has appeared in six. Tony Gonzalez played in 270 NFL games before retiring at the end of last season without ever making a Super Bowl appearance.

Q: What team mentioned in this column for having a long drought without a championship or Super Bowl appearance do you think has the best chance of ending their drought this season?

A: I think the team with the best chance to end a drought this season is the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have never appeared in a Super Bowl and haven’t won a championship since 1952. The Browns probably won’t win a championship this year, but they could end their Super Bowl drought. The Browns are 3-2 and their next three games are against the Jaguars, Raiders, and Buccaneers. The Browns could head into their week 10 matchup against the Bengals with a 6-2 record. The Browns will be positioned well to win the AFC North or at least a wild card. The AFC is wide open this year and any team that makes the playoffs will have a shot at the Super Bowl. If it doesn’t work out for Browns the Eagles would be a good answer to this question. The Eagles are 5-1 and haven’t played their best football yet. They will have a look at the Super Bowl but it will be much more difficult to get there in a loaded NFC.

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NFLPA Community MVP: Tramon Williams Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:32:21 +0000

This week’s @NFLPA #CommunityMVP is Tramon Williams, whose Second Annual Powder Puff Game raised funds for breast cancer research.

Editor’s Note: The NFLPA Community MVP recognizes players who are making a positive impact in their local communities. Each week, the NFLPA will celebrate one player who recently demonstrated his commitment to giving back to his community, and will make a donation to the player’s foundation in support. This week’s #CommunityMVP is Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams, whose Second Annual Powder Puff Game raised funds for breast cancer research. Williams holds many charitable endeavors to benefit the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer research.

During the month of October, the color pink populates the landscape of the National Football League. Players, coaches, and referees don pink apparel, all in support of the effort to raise breast cancer awareness and focus on the importance of screenings.

For some players, breast cancer has a very special meaning. Tramon Williams, the starting cornerback for the Green Bay Packers, is one of those players.  Williams and his family have been directly impacted by the disease.

“My wife lost her aunt in 2001 as a result of breast cancer,” Williams told “Currently her mother, maternal grandmother, and another maternal aunt have been affected by breast cancer.”

Williams himself lost an aunt to the disease. He knows all too well the toll it can take on a family.

Together, Tramon and his wife, Shantrell, found a way to make a difference. Last Tuesday, Tramon hosted his Second Annual Powder Puff Game at Joannes Stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The event brought together Packer’s players, along with their wives and girlfriends, for an evening of flag football fun. The wives and girlfriends split up into pink and white teams. Tramon coached the pink team, and teammate Davon House led the white team as spectators cheered for both sides.

“We thought it would be fun to have the spouses and significant others of the players switch places for a day and come together for a great cause,” Williams said. “Cancer is often spoken about in a somber manner. The powder puff game allows us to bring awareness in a fun, uplifting platform, which allows us to reach and appeal to a larger audience.”

The powder puff event involves the local Green Bay community as well. Despite a cold, windy Wisconsin evening, roughly 200 people showed up to support the event. Fans were charged seven dollars for tickets to watch the game and mingle with the players, with total donations surpassing $2,000.

“The support locally in Green Bay and from around the country is surreal,” Tramon said. “The support from the community and my fellow Packers means the world to us. Their support is not just for us or for the powder puff game, it’s for all of the survivors nationwide, their families, and for a future cancer-free.”

In addition, 15 breast cancer survivors were present as guests, and each received a personal gift bag from the Williams family. The bag included Green Bay Packers pink socks, a Green Bay Packers pink autographed helmet, a photo of Tramon, and a Green Bay Packers pink window cling. Survivors also had the opportunity to take an on-field picture with Tramon.

When asked about his favorite part of the evening, Tramon mentioned his meeting with the survivors first and foremost.

“Their presence speaks to the true essence of hope, strength, and survival,” he said. “This event is all about them.  It is dedicated to celebrating their continuous triumph and raising awareness so that cancer will be a thing of the past for our daughter and the next generations to come.”

At the end of the night, Tramon’s team came out victorious with a final score of 19-18. The game was fun for all involved, and served as an opportunity for the team and community to come together and rally around a cause that touches so many lives.

All proceeds raised by the powder puff game will go to the American Cancer Society, who helped put on the event in conjunction with the Williams’ and 38 Reasons Foundation.

“We are extremely honored and thrilled to work with Tramon and Shantrell,” American Cancer Society representative Amy Jo Steinbruecker “Their passion to help raise awareness and find a cure for breast cancer has been unmeasurable!”

Tramon’s work with the American Cancer Society to support breast cancer awareness is not limited to the powder puff event. The Tramon Williams 38 Reasons Foundation will serve as the flagship sponsor for the Green Bay Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk outside Lambeau Field, pledging $10,000 to the cause. The walk is hosted by the American Cancer Society.

“38 Reasons Foundation has several things planned around physical activity, cancer awareness, and character building not just in Green Bay but also in our hometowns in Louisiana,” Tramon said. “We’re excited about the things to come.”

Tramon also donates generously to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk fundraisers. This year, he is contributing a 2013 locker room signed football and a jersey signed by he and his wife. His final donation to the fundraiser, and perhaps the most popular, is an intimate dinner for two with Tramon and Shantrell at Curley’s restaurant at Lambeau Field.

Clad in his pink cleats, towel, and gloves, Tramon plays for more than himself or his team. Before the season, he vowed to donate $1,000 to the American Cancer Society for every interception he records, and $500 for every pass deflection. So far, Tramon has one interception and six passes defended. The charitable effort is just one more way he is making a difference.

For additional information about Tramon Williams and his foundation’s upcoming events, please visit To make a donation to the American Cancer Society,

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Feeling good, feeling great. @KerryTaylor15 Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:30:06 +0000

Feeling good, feeling great.

— Kerry Taylor (@KerryTaylor15) October 15, 2014

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