Pro Player Insiders Executive Editor Melissa Mahler http://proplayerinsiders.com Behind the scenes look at lives and lifestyles of NFL players and their families plus sports news, interviews & events Sun, 25 Sep 2016 23:32:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Miami Dolphins barely defeat the Cleveland Browns in overtime http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/miami-dolphins-barely-defeat-cleveland-browns-overtime/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/miami-dolphins-barely-defeat-cleveland-browns-overtime/#comments Sun, 25 Sep 2016 21:03:30 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166792 Both the Cleveland Browns and the Miami Dolphins entered Sunday’s game at Hard Rock Stadium winless on the season at 0-2. When it was all said and done, the Dolphins were the team that got off the schneid and entered the winner’s circle for the first time this season.

Miami defeated Cleveland in overtime 30-24 as the the Browns rallied from an 11 point deficit to force overtime. With less than a minute in the fourth quarter,  tied at 24. Corey Lemonier sack and stripped quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Then with four seconds left in regulation, the Browns had a chance to win the game but kicker Cody Parker missed a 46-yard field goal.

With 8:26 left in overtime, Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi scored an 11-yard touchdown to win the game. He finished the game with seven carries and 28 yards.

After struggling with two interceptions in the first half, Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill finished 25 of 39 for 319 yards and three touchdowns. Receivers Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker both had receiving touchdowns on Sunday. Landry finished with seven catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Parker recorded three receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown.

In his first start in the NFL, rookie Browns quarterback Cody Kessler was 21 of 33 for 244 yards. In his South Florida homecoming, former Miami Hurricanes running back Duke Johnson rushed for 69 yards on 10 carries for the Browns. The Browns player of the game was Terrelle Pryor who caught eight passes for 144 yards.

The Browns player of the game was Terrelle Pryor who caught eight passes for 144 yards. He also rushed for 21 yards and a touchdown.

Miami got off to a rocky start because, on the second play of the game, Tannehill threw an interception to former teammate cornerback Jamar Taylor at the Dolphins 30-yard line. Then on a third and nine play at the Dolphins 32-yard line, Dolphins defensive end sacked and stripped Browns Cody Kessler. Miami defensive end Jason Jones then recovered the football at the 39-yard line.

The very next drive, the Dolphins took the ball 61 yards down the field as Tannehill threw a 26-yard pass to receiver DeVante Parker to take a 7-0 lead.

With 13:47 left in the second quarter, the Browns kicker Cody Parker got the team on the board with 46-yard field goal to make the game 7-3 Dolphins.

Later on in the second quarter, Tannehill’s pass to Kenny Stills was intercepted by Briean Boddy-Calhoun as he returned it for a touchdown to give the Browns the 10-7 lead with 7:01 left in the second quarter.

At halftime, the Browns were up 13-10.

Cleveland received the ball after halftime, but they were unable to capitalize on it. Parker missed a 42-yard field goal that would have extended their lead to six points.

After the missed field goal, the Dolphins went on a drive that resulted in a Tannehill 42-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry to take the lead 17-13 with 5:29 left in the third quarter.

With 14:17 in the fourth quarter, Tannehill threw another touchdown pass, this time to running back Damien Williams that extended their lead 24-13.

Then the Browns drove down the field on a nine play, 83-yard drive that ended in a Pryor touchdown run. Then the Browns converted a two-point conversion on a pass from Kessler to tight end Gart Barnridge to make the score 24-21

Kessler was injured on that drive as he took a hit from Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake. The officials took Keesler out of the game to check for a concussion, but he was later cleared.

Late in the fourth quarter with 3:14 left, the Browns tied the game with a 38-yard field goal.

In four days, the Dolphins will be back on the field again as they will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. Cleveland will also be on the road in Week 4 as they will play the Washington Redskins.

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New Life for Bills as They Fly Over Cardinals for the Win http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/new-life-bills-fly-cardinals-win/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/new-life-bills-fly-cardinals-win/#comments Sun, 25 Sep 2016 20:21:48 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166794 Sunday September 25, in front of a crowd of 68,647 as jets flew overhead the Arizona Cardinals found themselves in a showdown as the Cardinals traveled to Buffalo to take on the Bills. Coming in at 1-1 while the Bills entered at 0-2 this game quickly took the feel of a prove it game for both sides. The Cardinals entering with Super Bowl aspirations while the Bills look for much needed answers to a team that has faced multiple questions so far this season. A homecoming of sorts for the Ryan brothers as they started their coaching career in Arizona under their father, Rob Ryan the former head coach of the Cardinals.

 

Following a week, which saw the changing of the gears for the Bills as they removed Greg Roman from offensive coordinator replacing him with two-time super bowl, champion Anthony Lynn, and head coach Rex Ryan being put on the hot seat the Bills needed to come out strong. Come out strong they did as the Bills looked like a new team in the first quarter compared to their first two games.

 

The defense exhibited all the characteristics of a Rex Ryan defense as they picked up a key sack on third down on Carson palmer and nearly removing any sort of passing game in the first quarter for the Cardinals. Following an early trend the Cardinals were held scoreless in the first quarter, just as they were the previous two games to begin the season. The Cardinals went into the second quarter having picked up no first downs and two total yards.

 

As expected the eyes were on new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn early as it was the Bills offensive that had a different look to it early. Passing the ball early and often, something Ryan spoke about that he wanted to do earlier in the week the Bills threw the ball 11 times to four different receivers in the first compared to only 7 runs. A 49 yard run by quarterback Tyrod Taylor was the real difference early on setting up a Dan Carpenter field goal to go up 3-0 early. The run was the longest by a quarterback in Bills history. As big as that run by Taylor may have been it was not even the most impactful run of the first as a LeSean McCoy 24-yard touchdown run in the first extended the Bills lead followed by a 5-yard run in the second to put the Bills up 17-0 early. The two early touchdowns were the 49th and 50th respectively of McCoys career.

A late David Johnson 4-yard touchdown run with under two minutes before the half gave the Cardinals their first score and productive drive of the game cutting the deficit to 17-7 heading into the half.

An all around performance in the first half for the Bills, they seemingly outplayed the Cardinals in all facets of the game. An offense that struggled to open the season came out of the gates firing on all cylinders as the Bills looked to have gotten away from the vanilla offense featured under Roman. A new look offense that featured quick passes, wildcat runs, and notable option plays for Taylor. On the defensive side of the ball except for the lone Cardinals scoring drive and some key penalties the defense looked sharp as they swarmed to the ball making plays.

 

The second half was much of the same for the Bills as there well-rounded attack was relentless against Arizona. Stopping the Cardinals on their first possession of the half the Bills easily thanks to their run game marched down the field for a 20-yard Taylor touchdown run off of a broken play. A little bit of luck never hurts as the ensuing Cardinal possession saw the Bills execute on the miscues of Arizona’s special teams. A botched field goal attempt recovered by Aaron Williams of the Bills went for 53-yards and a touchdown.

 

Both the Cardinals and the Bills looked reliant and dominant on the ground game. McCoy and Johnson each contributed two touchdowns apiece as they proved to be the offensive workhorses in this one. Even without number one receiver Sammy Watkins the Bills offense was able to make plays. In Watkins place Robert Woods stepped up playing the role of number one for Tyrod Taylor reeling in six catches. Notably in this one the leg of Chandler Catanzaro showed up as it often does as he nailed from midfield a 60-yard field goal in the 4th quarter.

 

Following a late comeback attempt by the Cardinals negated by a crucial Stephen Gilmore and Corey Graham interceptions the Bills would hold on in this one by a score of 33-18. The Bills pick up their first victory of the season and move to 1-2 and will face the Patriots next week. The Cardinals after falling upset victims to the Bills move to 1-2 and will face the Los Angeles Rams at home.

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Cardinals face off with Bills In Buffalo http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/cardinals-face-bills-buffalo/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/cardinals-face-bills-buffalo/#comments Sat, 24 Sep 2016 17:25:33 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166768 In a week three matchup the Arizona Cardinals head to Buffalo to take on the Bills. The Cardinals come in with a record of 1-1 fresh off their first victory of the young season after taking it to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bills on the contrary are still in search of their first win of 2016 coming in at 0-2 after falling to the New York Jets on primetime Thursday night. The Cardinals will be the first of four games the Bills will play against the NFC West.

 

The Cardinals and Bills, two teams trending in very different directions. Following a 37-31 loss to the Jets in week two the turmoil that is the Bills began to go into motion, firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman, rumors of head coach Rex Ryan on the hot seat, and numerous Bills injury reports. Sundays contest will be the first look at the offense under Anthony Lynn the newly appointed offensive coordinator. “He’s a tough coach. Demands a lot of respect. He’s really big on the small details. He wants to win. I mean he’s one of the coaches that played the game. You know he brings that attitude of urgency. You know, we’ve got to win and every possession matters,” said Lesean McCoy.

 

In his first test Lynn will look to pump some life into an offense that is 30th in yards per game and 22nd in points per game so far through the season. Not an easy test in his first game to go up against an Arizona defense that is fifth in the league in points allowed per game. A new look on offense can’t seem to hurt this team so Bills head coach Rex Ryan believes, “I think there would be an advantage though initially because, if you don’t mind a baseball analogy, sometimes these pitchers come in and you don’t necessarily know what you’re getting. There’s no book on them, as you mentioned. So I do think there is an advantage. How long that will last, I’m really not sure.”

 

Offense has been the least of the Cardinals concerns this season as they are scoring at a rate of 31 points per game while picking up 380 total yards. Carson Palmer and David Johnson have led the charge offensively. Palmer looks to be having another solid season having thrown five touchdowns without an interception with a rating of 114. “I’ve seen Carson Palmer since I was like eight years old, so he’s definitely going to be a challenge. He’s going to find a way to get the ball out to his guys. He has a lot of receivers that are going to go make plays on the ball, go vertical. Larry Fitzgerald is everywhere, they got good running backs, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge but I know our guys are ready to come back after a challenging week,” said Bills linebacker Preston Brown. Johnson meanwhile has over 130 yards receiving as well as rushing so far in the young season.

 

Three of those Palmer touchdowns this season have gone to the way of Larry Fitzgerald who received high praise from the Bills. “I recognize this guy, he’s in the top three or four receivers in the league and he’s been that way for probably his whole career. The guy’s an amazing player, unselfish player, I mean (he) blocks, he does everything. I mean about as good as it gets. And I’ve met him in person. The guy’s—you think, what’s wrong with this kid? No, he’s a great person too. So, he’s got a heck of a lot going for him obviously,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “You can put all your attention on him, and then the other guys are killing you. That kind of happened to us last week. It’s tough, there’s no doubt about it, and it starts with Carson Palmer and then you got, oh by the way, the great Larry Fitzgerald. Those other kids can run and they got size and that (John) Brown guy, the only one who’s not very big, is explosive, so we’ve got our work cut out for us and we understand that.”

 

Although they have gotten off to a slow start with a win this week it could be a sign of things to come. Although the numbers would be against them, last season numerous teams were able to come back from 0-2 to make the playoffs, something the Bills hope to accomplish to put an end to their playoff drought.

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Big Concerns for the Panthers’ Defense http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/big-concerns-panthers-defense/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/big-concerns-panthers-defense/#comments Fri, 23 Sep 2016 22:15:05 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166774 dean

The Carolina Panthers, who has a record 1-1 will have to be without their Safety Dean Marlowe  for the rest of the year. Last week against the San Francisco 49ers, Marlowe had aggravated his hamstring, yet again. Before the start of the season, Marlowe had problems with staying on the field consistently, because of his hamstring. This will be a huge blow to the Panthers, because Marlowe was a very good safety that could cover receivers down field, play physical in bump and run situations, and covers ground pretty good with his close out speed.
The Panthers have three safeties that could be called on, but none of them really have that much experience in the NFL. The Panthers would either have to have faith in the three safeties that are on rooster or find a veteran replacement for the team.

As of right now, the Panthers have not disclosed any information on what they will be doing with adding more depth to the safety position or who will be the replacement for Marlowe.
Coming into this week against the Minnesota Vikings, Carolina has been having problems with stopping opponents from scoring and opponents’ net average has been 24 or more points scored on the Panthers ‘defense. This is happening to a defense that was first place last season and some of the criticism has been placed on the secondary at times. It is very early in the season, but if they do not tighten their defense up in the next few weeks, the Panthers will not get as far as they did last season.

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Jacoby Brissett and LeGarrette Blount Spearhead Patriots Shoutout Win http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/jacoby-brissett-legarrette-blount-spearhead-patriots-shoutout-win/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/jacoby-brissett-legarrette-blount-spearhead-patriots-shoutout-win/#comments Fri, 23 Sep 2016 04:23:45 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166770 Rookie quarterback JACOBY BRISSETT started the first game of his NFL career tonight versus the Houston Texans.  And that first career start ended up being a success as he, running back LEGARRETTE BLOUNT, and the Patriots defense spearheaded New England’s 27-0 shoutout win over the Texans at Gillette Stadium.

Brissett who started tonight’s game due to his own preparation and of course also due to a right shoulder injury that JIMMY GAROPPOLO suffered last week versus the Miami Dolphins, had a solid game. Brissett who went 11 of 19 for 103 yards passing (he also added 48 yards on 8 carries and 1 scoring run tonight), wasn’t asked to carry the Patriots (3-0) offense. He was simply asked to not make mistakes and play within himself, and he did that.

Then there was Blount, who lived up to his last name as he punished the Texans (2-1) defense with 105 yards on 24 carries and 2 scoring runs. Both of those scoring runs were major, because they helped take away much of the fight of the Texans.

As for the Texans, one can blame their lack of consistency showing up in the scoring zone (from the 25-yard line to the end zone) for the reasons why they didn’t score any points. But one MUST give credit to the Patriots defense, because they pressured Texans quarterback BROCK OSWEILER and cut off much of the running lanes of the Texans running game. The Texans got their yards but they had earn every single last one of those yards. Osweiler went 24 for 41 for 196 yards and 1 interceptions. He also was sacked two times.

Moving on to game action, on 1st and 15 late in the second quarter, Brissett took the snap and then play-action faked to running back LEGARRETTE BLOUNT. Brissett seeing he had room to his right, took off down the sidelines nearly untouched for a 27-yard score. With 1:54 to go in the first quarter the Patriots increased their lead to 10-o. That touchdown run was the first scoring run of any kind (running or passing) in Brissett’s young career.

Blount furthered his teams’ lead when he followed his fullback JAMES DEVELLIN into the end zone on the left side for an eventual 20-0 Patriots lead. That play took place with 5:41 to go in the third quarter.

Then Blount took it upon himself to help put the Texans in a further crunch. On 2nd down and 4 from the HOU 41 yard line, Blount took a Brissett handoff and then he ran through an open hole on the left side and from there Blount coasted to an easy touchdown. With exactly eleven minutes left in the game, the Patriots took a 27-0 lead which ended up being the final score.

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Bills Look For Improvement Under New Offensive Coordinator http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-look-improvement-new-offensive-coordinator/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-look-improvement-new-offensive-coordinator/#comments Thu, 22 Sep 2016 23:05:31 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166743 Through two games in the 2016 NFL season the Buffalo Bills have picked up two losses, gone through two offensive coordinators, and rank near the bottom in every offensive category. A season that shined with hope has seemingly already put the Bills in panic mode as there toughest schedule is all but in front of them squaring off with the Arizona Cardinals followed by the New England Patriots. The Bills troubled start can be credited to numerous sources, yet the lack of offensive power leading to the firing of Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman leaves reason to believe the offensively need to pick it up. Roman who led the Bills in 2015 to the top ranked run team and 13th ranked offense overall will be replaced by assistant head coach Anthony Lynn.

“I think the spin in the offense is going to be immediate, some things that we’ll do from a tactical standpoint, I think we’ll see immediately. Changing the verbiage and playbook and all that stuff—we’ll pull from the same place. It may be an occasional play here and there, but we’re still definitely keeping the verbiage and everything else that’s already in place,” Said Head Coach Rex Ryan. “We’re going to put certain things out there. Sitting in the offensive meeting, already we’re talking about certain situations that will be played differently, challenges to our players, so we’ve already started looking at that. And I think we will be putting some of that into play in today’s practice.”

Through the first two games of the season the Bills offense is 24th in the league in rushing and 30th in overall yards per game. An offense with weapons such as quarterback Tyrold Taylor, Lesean McCoy, and Sammy Watkins have seen early dips in their production as well. McCoy has picked up 117 yards on the ground while Watkins has been battling injury to stay on the field. While on the field though Watkins has been less than his usual productive self-only accounting for six catches for 63 yards on the season.

“He looked good. I mean I know he’s out there battling. He has his own thing going on, as far as he played through his issue he’s got going on. He’s battling, he’s out making the plays, so I appreciate him battling and working each and every day,” said quarterback Tyrod Talor. “During the beginning stages of a long season, all season, it’s definitely not how you want to start the season off with 14 or more guaranteed wins, so we have to do whatever it takes to get back on the right track and get that first win and continue to grow from that.”

Perhaps the biggest x-factor missing from this team offensively has been its play running the ball. Having been thoroughly outplayed in terms of time of possession as it has been big play or bust so far this season including two touchdowns of over 70 yards against the Jets. Having lost the time of possession battle in their first two games 36:02 to 23:57 the offense just has not been able to sustain drives. A big part of the run game in 2015 came down to the legs of Tyrod Taylor whom ran for over 500 yards. It appears now teams are game planning for and beginning to figure out the mobile quarterback. “We just have to keep him in the pocket and make him be a quarterback. We gave up a couple big plays and one was broken down coverage where the receiver got behind us. But other than that, you know, I think we did a great job,” said Jets safety Calvin Pryor on Taylor.

Having already faced two of the top defenses in the league in the Ravens and Jets respectively the road for the Bills does not get much easier as they go up against Super bowl hopeful Arizona in week three and then the Patriots in their final game without Tom Brady. “Well right now it looks daunting against anybody. We got to get better so we got to look at the tape and realize it starts with us. We have to get better before we look at specific opponents. We have to get better,” explained Bills coach Rex Ryan.

On a Bills team that has battle injury and suspensions early on they will look to rely on the veteran talent of the offense in the upcoming weeks. Only two games into the season it seems almost premature to declare anything as of yet, but the Bills will need an overhaul specifically on the offensive side of the ball to keep any hope of ending their playoff drought alive.

 

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The Miami Dolphins aren’t worried about their running game yet http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/miami-dolphins-arent-worried-running-game-yet/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/miami-dolphins-arent-worried-running-game-yet/#comments Thu, 22 Sep 2016 20:55:25 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166763 If someone would have told the Miami Dolphins prior to the season that after two weeks quarterback Ryan Tannehill would be their leading rusher, I’m sure they would have laughed. But Tannehill’s 52 rushing yards does in fact leads the team as the Dolphins rushing attack as been abysmal to say the least.

Free agent acquisition Arian Foster rushed for only 38 yards in the team’s 12-10 opening season loss to the Seattle Seahawks. In Week 2, Foster injured his groin and only rushed the ball three times for nine yards in last Sunday’s loss to the Patriots.

In their first two games, the Dolphins have rushed for a combined 134 rushing yards which ranks 27th in the NFL. Dolphins Offensive Coordinator Clyde Christensen said he isn’t too worried about the lack of the production of the running game so far.

“I wouldn’t use the word worried yet; but I feel anxious that we get it going,” Christensen said. “It makes everything easier. It’s really, really important. It’s important for our defense. I think we have not supported our defense. I know (Head Coach) Adam (Gase) said the same thing to you, but you almost can’t judge the defense in the fourth quarter because we haven’t done our part in the first three-quarters to keep them rested and fresh so they can play that fourth quarter.”

Jay Ajayi, who was once the No. 1 running back on the Dolphins depth chart has been a huge disappointment. After struggling in the preseason, Ajayi was inactive in Week 1 due to the decision of Dolphins head coach Adam Gase. Against the Patriots in Week 2, Ajayi finished with 14 yards on five carries and he fumbled on the Dolphins first drive after halftime.

“Jay knows that he can’t lay it on the ground, Christensen said. “That’s the first drive of the last preseason game and the first drive of the second half of this game. Those are big drives. Those are deflators. Those are turnovers plus. There’s no good time to have a fumble but the first drive of a game and the first drive of the third quarter, as the young guys say, a buzz kill. They are a buzz kill.”

During training camp, Christensen said the Dolphins wanted one player to win the running back instead of having a player by committee situation. Because of the lack of production in the first two weeks, Christensen’s status has changed.

“Yes, it probably has by necessity,” Christensen said. “It’s just kind of been an odd deal between injuries and different things coming up. I still think there’s nothing like continuity. We all know you have to be able to plug people in and go; but I think it still starts with continuity. The more guys can play together, the more looks I think a running back – kind of like a hitter in baseball – the more looks you get at it, the more you get in a game – the more throws a quarterback gets, the more into it he is. I think right now it is going to be by committee.”

Kenyan Drake receiving playing time last week against the Patriots is probably the only positive in the team’s running game. While relieving Foster last week, Drake scored his first touchdown of his career.

If Miami’s running game continues to struggle, there’s a chance the team could decide to put Drake in there just to see if he can get the team any positive yardage in that department.

Injury report for Thursday

Just like on Wednesday, Dolphins center Mike Pouncey and running back Arian Foster did not practice. Pouncey has still been bothered by a hip injury that he suffered during the second week of the preseason. Foster is still recovering from a groin injury.

Miami head coach Adam Gase said Pouncey is aggressive in the way he goes about rehabbing and that he has been telling the coach he is ready to play. If Pouncey cannot go, expect Anthony Steen to make his third straight start at center.

Cornerback Xavien Howard (knee), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (knee), defensive end Jason Jones, linebacker Koa Misi (shoulder), receiver DeVante Parker (hamstring) and linebacker Spencer Paysinger (neck) were all limited in practice on Thursday.

Twitter: @antwanstaley

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Carson Wentz and Ryan Mathews Combine to Punish Chicago http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/carson-wentz-ryan-mathews-combine-punish-chicago/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/carson-wentz-ryan-mathews-combine-punish-chicago/#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2016 04:39:47 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166760 Let the CARSON WENTZ love begin. For the last two weeks the rookie out of North Dakota State, has put together some efficient games. In his latest game, he again used his arm, his feet, and of course his brain to help turn back the Chicago Bears 29-14 at Lincoln Financial Field.Carson Wentz 350x350

Wentz who went 21 of 34 for 190 yards, 1 touchdown pass and no picks, didn’t have to have a stone-cold big game. This was because he had help from the likes of running backs RYAN MATHEWS and DARREN SPROLES, and receivers JORDAN MATTHEWS and NELSON AGHOLOR.

Mathews who isn’t exactly setting the world on fire as far as yards and touchdown runs, does his part in short yardage and goal line situations. And right now those situations are all the Eagles need him to be efficient in. He carried 9 times for 32 yards and 2 scores tonight. Sproles was exciting here and there in this game and he had a quiet game. But he did keep the Bears defense on their toes when he had the ball in his hands on much of his 14 touches (12 carries and 2 catches).

Matthews and Agholor between them didn’t have any end zone prances tonight, but they did give the Eagles some balance on offense and were effective targets for Wentz. Those two are vital to Wentz’s long term development in the City of Brotherly Love.

As for the Bears, both of their quarterbacks in JAY CUTLER and BRIAN HOYER were efficient as far as completion percentage, but neither one of them threw a touchdown pass tonight. They combined for 29 passes and 235 yards and 1 interception for the night.

The Bears scored the first touchdown of the game, when second-year running back JEREMY LANGFORD followed some blocks on the left side and then he snuck into the end zone for a 1-yard run. With 11:16 left in the second quarter the Bears took a 7-3 lead. Jeremy Langford 350x350

But late in the third quarter, the Eagles started strong-arming the Bears and began to really put this game away. On 1st down and 3 from the CHI 3 yard line, Mathews took a Wentz handoff up the middle and couldn’t get much traction there. So he ran to his left where he found more room and the end zone. That 3-yard touchdown run gave the Eagles a 16-7 lead with just 53 seconds left in the quarter.

Then not too long after that Mathews’ touchdown run, the Eagles defense added to the Bears misery with a big play of their own. Fifth year Eagles linebacker NIGEL BRADHAM jumped in front of a Cutler pass at the CHI 30 yard line, and proceeded to rumble down the sidelines to the CHI 2 yard line where he was pushed out of bounds by Bears rookie center CODY WHITEHAIR.

That Bradham theft set up a short toss from Wentz to tight end TREY BURTON that the latter took into the end zone for a 2-yard score. With just 32 ticks left in the third quarter, Philadelphia had a 23-7 advantage. Burton finished the game with 5 catches for 49 yards and 1 score. By the way tonight’s performance was the best game of Burton’s three-year career as he hasn’t had a game like this since he played college ball for the Florida Gators.

Later, Mathews scored his second touchdown of the game when he took a Wentz handoff and swept to his left where he found the end zone and an eventual 29-7 lead for his team. That play took place with 10:36 left in the fourth quarter.

Bears WR/PR/KR EDDIE ROYAL gave the home fans something to smile about late in the game. Royal received a DONNIE JONES punt sort of deep in Chicago territory. Royal then navigated his way forward and then to his left and then to his right, where he ended up taking the punt down the sidelines for a 65-yard punt return for a score.

That was Royal’s first punt return for a score since 2011 and the third punt return for a score of his nine-year career. Meanwhile with 5:09 left in the game the Bears trimmed the Eagles’ lead to 29-14.

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Chargers Rout jaguars 38-14 http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/chargers-rout-jaguars-38-14/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/chargers-rout-jaguars-38-14/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2016 18:22:44 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166741 The San Diego Chargers came out fast in their home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. If there was any doubt of their being a hangover after last week’s collapse, the Chargers laid it to rest early. They jumped out to a 21-0 lead against a talented Jags team, which most believe should be improved. The difference between this week and last week’s 21-point lead is the Chargers finished in every aspect. They finished in the red zone on offense three of their five times. They converted on seven of their thirteen third downs. They finished on defense as Jacksonville’s offense crossed midfield only six times and committed three turnovers. They would go on to beat the Jags 38-14.

Offensively, the Chargers answered the bell with Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead sidelined. Melvin Gordon and Travis Benjamin stepped up big in their absence as both scored touchdowns. Gordon rushed for 102 yards on 24 carries to help San Diego control the pace of the game. He was decisive as he hit the hole and his footwork was so smooth a tap dancing enthusiast might have been moved. Gordon credits his progression to the rigorous training he did this past offseason with superstar Adrian Peterson. Benjamin and Tyrell Williams seem to be the featured receivers in this offense as they combined for three touchdowns. Philip Rivers was Philip Rivers as he kept the Jags defense off balanced by spreading it around to six different targets. Rivers threw four touchdowns including his 78th to Antonio Gates. He looks more comfortable in Ken Whisenhunt’s offense as opposed to the last two years where he was asked to throw more. This balanced attack could help the Chargers make a run in the AFC West as it has worked for the first two games.

Defensively, Melvin Ingram and Casey Hayward played out of their minds. Ingram had two sacks and a forced fumble that was recovered by Corey Liuget. Hayward is looking like a free agent steal as he helps create a formidable cornerback trio featuring rising star Jason Verrett and savvy veteran Brandon Flowers. The defense held TJ Yeldon in check in the run game and Blake Bortles struggled with his accuracy. This is a Jags offense that features explosive players like Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and Julius Thomas. Credit John Pagano as his group is flying around this season as they await third overall pick Joey Bosa.

With the win, the Chargers have won six in a row against the Jaguars dating back to 2007. They have to travel to Indianapolis to play a desperate Colts team looking to get their first win. 

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]]> http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/chargers-rout-jaguars-38-14/feed/ 0 Ram Beat the Seahawks 9-3 http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/ram-beat-seahawks-9-3/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/ram-beat-seahawks-9-3/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2016 18:08:56 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166736 The Los Angeles Rams stunk on offense today in the red zone. They constantly teased the 91,046 fans in the Coliseum with big plays that made people think they would punch it in for their first touchdown of the season. The Rams showed a lack of discipline committing penalties that made fans scratch their heads. You know what? WHO CARES! They beat their NFC West rival the Seattle Seahawks 9-3 behind the powerful leg of Greg “Legatron” Zuerlein. He scored all the points for the Rams in an emotional battle on a hot Sunday afternoon. This game had Los Angeles fans on the edge of their seat as doubt started to creep into their mind when Seattle tried to score at the end. Defensive captain Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron met an oncoming Christine Michael to force a fumble with 57 seconds to go. Ogletree would recover it and preserve the first win in 22 years for Los Angeles.

The offense played well against a proud Seattle defense. Case Keenum threw for 239 yards on 30 drop backs, but the important thing was that he did not turn the ball over today. He was sacked three times today; however, he had enough room to make plays in the pocket as opposed to Monday night. Kenny Britt, Lance Kendricks, and Tavon Austin each averaged over 10 yards a catch and had a reception over 25 yards. Todd Gurley struggled against an aggressive defense with just 51 yards. Again, the Seahawks are a proud defense and they pride themselves on stopping the run. Rob Boras has to find ways to get his star player going to help ease the pressure off Keenum.

The Rams defense is to be respected as a unit as well. They frustrated a hobbled Russell Wilson and swarmed Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael in the backfield for negative yardage. Robert Quinn, Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, and William Hayes exploited a bad Seahawks offensive line. Quinn and Hayes were able to corral the ever so elusive Wilson to the ground for a sack. If it were not for a 53-yard bomb to Tyler Lockett, the Rams would have kept the Seahawks off the board.

The Rams have a game next Sunday against the mercurial Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The performance they put on today is what LA expects from their team. It was not a pretty game, but it definitely had a “Hollywood ending” and a win is all that matters.

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Trae Waynes Saves The Day For Vikings http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/trae-waynes-saves-day-vikings/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/trae-waynes-saves-day-vikings/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2016 04:40:12 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166717 For over three hours during tonight’s Minnesota Vikings 17-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers, Vikings cornerback TRAE WAYNES got it——disrespectful and ignorant comments——from NFL fans and the media on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Minnesota Vikings fan forums, and etc. But it was Waynes who got the last laugh as he picked off Packers quarterback AARON RODGERS just after the two-minute warning to help send the Vikings to their second win of this young 2016 season.

On a night when the Vikings lost their gifted running back ADRIAN PETERSON to a right knee injury, they needed some good news or for someone on their team be on a “next man up” binge.Vikings vs. Lions

Waynes (4 tackles and 1 interception) was flagged for three pass interference penalties and he was responsible for the 5 catches for 73 yards and 1 score night provided by Packers star receiver JORDY NELSON. But the second-year cornerback out of Michigan State showed with that game-saving interception, why he was selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Waynes is a ball-hawk, he’s aggressive, confident, and he’s a heck of an athlete. But it was one of those traits (aggressiveness) that got him in hot water for much of tonight’s game and which could have helped the Pack win this game.  But it was that crucial interception that saved his hide and gave the Vikings only their third win in this series of the 2010s decade. Since 2010 the Vikings are 3-10-1 (including a 2012 playoff loss to the Packers) versus the Packers.

It was players Waynes (when he wasn’t being flagged), receiver STEFON DIGGS (9 catches for 182 yards and 1 score), and the newly acquired SAM BRADFORD (22 of 31 for 286 yards, 2 touchdowns and no picks) who came up big tonight when they had and are players that the Vikings desperately to perform and to help make up for the loss of their franchise quarterback TEDDY BRIDGEWATER (done for the season with an ACL tear in a late August 2016 practice). Stefon Diggs 350x350

Diggs is an up and coming superstar and he proved that tonight, with his big game and propensity for getting open and helping out Bradford. As for Bradford, tonight was a validation game for him because when he’s healthy and he has the requisite offensive weapons around him, he can be one of the most efficient NFL quarterbacks there is.

Rodgers had an off-night (for him that is) as he went 20 of 36 for 213 yards, 1 touchdown pass and no interception. He was also sacked five times and received numerous pressures from the likes of Viking defenders such as defensive tackle LINVAL JOSEPH and defensive ends EVERSON GRIFFEN and DANIELLE HUNTER.

Meanwhile, a blocked punt by backup wide receiver TY MONTGOMERY and two pass interference penalties on Vikings cornerback TERENCE NEWMAN, gave the Packers all the help they needed to score the first points of the game for both teams. On 2nd down and 1 from the 1 yard line, Rodgers took the snap and then waggled to his left, with him then throwing a 1-yard scoring pass to Nelson near the left corner of the end zone. With 5:39 left in the first quarter the Pack had a 7-0 lead.

Early in the second quarter, the Vikings were able to answer that Nelson score with one of their own. And the score came courtesy of their marvelous tight end KYLE RUDOLPH (3 catches for 31 yards and 1 score) who beat Packers safety MORGAN BURNETT for an 8-yard touchdown catch. With 10:14 left in the second quarter the score was tied at 7-7.

Near the tail end of the first half, the Vikings had their first lead when kicker BLAIR WALSH booted a 44-yard field goal through the uprights. Walsh’s 126th successful field goal of his career gave the Vikes a 10-7 lead with 27 seconds left in the fist half.

Diggs gave the Vikes their second lead of the game, when he got behind the defense for a back of the end zone 46-yard touchdown grab. With 2:11 left in the third quarter the Vikings took a 17-7 lead.

But the Packers as they are apt to do in situations like this, began their comeback. Early in the fourth quarter and on a 3rd and 10 situation, Rodgers decided to take matters into his own hands. Seeing no one open short or in the end zone, he evaded multiple sack opportunities for Viking defenders and traversed down field for an eventual 10-yard touchdown run. Near the twelve-minute mark, the score moved to 17-14 Vikings.

 

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Cardinals Back To Their Winning Ways, Arizona 40 – Tampa Bay 7 http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/cardinals-back-winning-ways-arizona-40-tampa-bay-7/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/cardinals-back-winning-ways-arizona-40-tampa-bay-7/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2016 00:48:43 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166718 Carson Palmer It was party time once again in Arizona as the Cardinals dismantled the Buccaneers and the Pro Bowl QB Jameis Winston.

The Cardinal players considered this game a must win, the sense of urgency & dedication to preparation skyrocketed after last week’s tough loss to New England.

But the football gods favored the Arizona Cardinals today, blessing them with a victory, a Rams victory, a 49er loss, and a Seahawk loss. This resets the NFC West scoreboard, putting all four teams at 1-1 in the standings. In fact, the Seahawks and the Rams have losses within the division, which is even better if you’re pulling for the Cardinals.

But back to the Buccaneers: The Arizona defense flat out bullied Jameis Winston, forcing a lost fumble, 4 interceptions, and one returned for a TD.

Jameis-Winston Markus Golden and Chandler Jones both had sacks, again. Patrick Peterson and D.J. Swearinger had interceptions, but the day belonged to Marcus Cooper.

This recent acquisition looked both promising and comfortable in his Cardinal debut. The 2 interception and the PICK 6 also came with a great overall game as far as coverage goes. Bruce Arians said that they “liked him on film”, and that “Coop had a heck of a ball game.”

Tampa Bay was also limited to 85 yards on the ground, albeit Doug Martin did leave the game early. But what we primarily witnessed today was a flustered quarterback. I get it, Jameis Winston is very talented, but the Arizona defense keyed in on him, especially after Martin was sidelined with the hamstring.

Larry Fitzgerald 350 Arizona’s Balanced Offense Returns to True Form

Larry Fitzgerald scored TD reception number 101, putting him 3 away from tying Antonio Gates (104), and 7th for most in NFL history.

Carson Palmer played a clean game, 0 picks, 308 yards, and 3 TDs. Michael Floyd was the recipient of one TD, the other was a 51 yard bomb to Jaron Brown.

The offensive line held Tampa Bay to a single sack, and pushed their way to Arizona gaining 100+ on the ground. The Cardinals ran the ball 29 times between David Johnson and Chris Johnson, with Carson Palmer throwing 31 passes, it doesn’t get much more balanced than that.

rsz_justin_bethel_arizona_cardinals_photo_credit-_arizona_cardinalsDavid Johnson continues to light up defenses for big gains, you never know when it’s going to happen, you just know it will. D. Johnson has 284 combined yards thus far, but fantasy players aren’t very happy with the single TD. I don’t mind it at all, I’m pretty sure the Cardinals don’t either. All and all it was a good day in the desert.

Defensive dominance, offensive production, winning the turnover battle, the Cardinals regained some much needed focus and confidence today. But it’s on to the Bills in Buffalo now, the Bills will be playing some desperate football after a 0-2 start.

Desperate is dangerous, the Cardinals will have to keep the new found intensity for the winning record to begin. That’s it for me tonight, thanks for reading, same Bat time, same Bat channel…

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Oldest Football Rivalry West of the Mississippi http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/oldest-football-rivalry-west-mississippi/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/oldest-football-rivalry-west-mississippi/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166688 Long before the great rivalries of the NFL, a high school football rivalry found its roots in a small steel worker’s town at the base of the Rocky
Mountains.  Pueblo, Colorado will host this year’s 116th game between the
Central High School Wildcats and the Centennial High School Bulldogs in what has become the oldest prep football rivalry West of the Mississippi.  

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The two schools met in their first clash in 1892 and with each generation the rivalry– and bragging rights– has grown.  In 1950, the victor gained more than just bragging rights when an old train bell from the town’s Colorado Steel & Iron Company was donated to the victor.  Each year that bell makes its home in the school– and colors– of the winning team.

Bell Week– the week leading up to the historic clash– hosts many events for the schools and the town including spirit days, assemblies, and rallies.  The celebrations are not limited to the high school campuses as the Bell is toured through the halls of elementary schools and nursing homes alike.  Those in the nursing homes reminisce about their days fighting fo the Bell and the school-age children dream of the day they will have their turn to capture the covted Bell. BELL!2

All of the celebrations culminate under the Friday Night Lights where a sell out crowd of 15,000 painted in the schools’ colors of red vs blue will once again watch the Cats and Dogs battle it out at Dutch Clark Stadium.  Central High School brags more wins through the centuries with 56 wins to the 50 held by Centennial High School (nine ties).

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The bell spent the last year housed by the Central Wildcats after they broke the Bulldogs’ five-year winning streak.  In the fashion of a true rivalry, the bell was recaptured this year by the stunning 31-7 victory of the Centennial Bulldogs.

The Bell will “Ring Red” for another year and all the bragging rights that come with it.  Next year, both High Schools will play meet again before the sell out crowd under the Friday night lights of Dutch Clark Stadium.  The Wildcats will have one thing on their mind– to bring the bell home.  The rivalry represents more than bragging rights and definitely more than a football game.  The Bell Game is a constant in an ever-changing world and is steeped in rich tradition felt through schools, families, and a town that has seen so much of its own change over the centuries.

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Photos Courtesy of Centennialight

 

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Bills push panic button in Week 2 http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-push-panic-button-week-2-continue-run-laughing-stock-nfl/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-push-panic-button-week-2-continue-run-laughing-stock-nfl/#comments Sat, 17 Sep 2016 13:14:39 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166709 I’m sorry, I’m a little confused, was Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who was let go by the team yesterday, the one to allow for Ryan Fitzpatrick (yes that Ryan Fitzpatrick) to throw for 374 on his and his brother’s defense?

Was Roman the one who doesn’t understand the basic concepts of clock and game day management in the NFL?

Yet Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula, who were embarrassed so much by the below-average football team they watched over being assembled against the Jets on Thursday night, a change just had to be made right?

I have loved everything the Pegulas have done for the city of Buffalo, but making decisions on roster and coaching moves should not be one of them.

So they fire the guy calling the plays, despite putting up 31 points, almost 300 yards passing and just under 400 yards of total offense?

Because no one circles the wagon of mediocrity like the Buffalo Bills.

This move just stinks as trying to find a scapegoat, but no one is buying it.

And now the product on the field is going to suffer even more, as it’ll take weeks to adjust to someone else calling the plays. How does this make the team better?

It doesn’t, but it takes the heat off of head coach Rex Ryan for a week, who is very much in his last season with the team.

His defense against the Jets? It allowed 493 yards, 28 first downs and allowed the Jets to score on each of their first four possessions.

When you don’t have a superstar quarterback, you need your defense to rise to the challenge to win some games and Rex hasn’t had his unit step up regularly in two seasons now.

Rex talked a big game, telling his team at the beginning of traning camp “and if it doesn’t work, I’ll be the first mother f***** that goes.”

And yet he’s still here, with the Bills sitting at 0-2 and in full panic mode in Week 2 of the season.

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Tampa Bay Vs Arizona – A Must Win in the Desert http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/tampa-bay-vs-arizona-must-win-desert/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/tampa-bay-vs-arizona-must-win-desert/#comments Sat, 17 Sep 2016 03:34:08 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166699 Carson Palmer_Arizona Cardinals.

There’s been a lot of talk this week about the proverbial “0-2″, and the 88% of teams not making the playoffs that go with it.

While this is not a death sentence, it is still a 6 foot type of hole that one does not want to find one’s self in. And this is especially true when the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson are within the division.

So please, pardon my french when I call this game a must win, because in all sincerity, the Seahawks (1-0) are playing the Rams on Sunday. If you watched the Rams play on Monday Night Football, you know what I’m talking about.

But enough of that hoopla, let’s talk about this week’s match up.

Jameis-Winston

The Bucs have already won on the road against the Atlanta Falcons in week 1.

Jameis Winston threw for 4 TDs, 281 yards, posted a QBR of 91.8, and completed 23 of 32 passes.

99 of those yards went to Mike Evans, along with a TD. Many are speculating that Mike Evans may be covered primarily by Patrick Peterson, but we’ll see what happens. On the ground, it’s the Doug Martin show for Tampa Bay. Last week Martin only managed 62 yards on 18 carries (3.4 ypc), but he also had 34 yards receiving on 5 receptions. The Cardinals will have to account for Doug Martin at all times, particularly when Arizona blitzes.

On defense Tampa Bay played the run extremely well, limiting the Falcon running backs to 42 yards on 18 carries, and zero runs of 10+ yards. The Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander will be one to watch on Sunday, whether it’s sacks or tackles for a loss, he is trying to make his money in the back field.

The Tampa Bay secondary however, might be where Arizona can do the most damage. The Buccaneers gave up 334 yards via Matty Ice last Sunday. Four different receivers went for more than 50 yards. A big day may be had for the Arizona trio, and the man known as Carson Palmer.

Bruce Arians HC Cardinals Melissa Mahler Pro Player Insider

Stick to the plan man:

Arizona and Bruce Arians will be tempted to throw deep often in this game, but the truth is the Cardinals are at their best when they run a balanced offense. Last week the Cardinals handed it off for a total of 17 times. Arizona basically doesn’t lose when they run for 100+ yards, I’d look for David Johnson and Chris Johnson to get 20+ carries this weekend, even if just to keep the defense honest.

arizona-cardinals

On defense the Cardinals will have to improve on the 3rd down plays, and get off the field. The Patriots went 10 for 16 on third down vs Arizona. Not only did this put points on the board, New England also dominated the time of possession.

Also, some pressure on Jameis Winston wouldn’t hurt. The Cardinals secondary feasted off of pressure in 2015, not sacks, but quarterback pressure. Arizona’s 19 interceptions was good for 4th best in the League.

One area of concern this week will again be the play of rookie (CB) Brandon Williams. This cat is physically talented enough to do the job, but the mental lapses that come with every rookie (especially at CB) might be targeted by Tampa Bay, especially with Sir Patrick Peterson hanging out on the other side.

Another area of concern will be the Cardinals punting/kicking game. (P) Drew Butler suffered bad sprain in last week’s outing, but he practiced all week. As far as field goals go, I’m not worried about Chandler Catanzaro. It was just a bad snap, a bad snap that happened at the worst possible time.

Last but not least we have the offensive line, I’m not sure if Evan Mathis will be a go this week, it’s one of those game time decision deals. But I believe (G) (T) (C) Earl Watford can step in, if need be, and do a solid job.

patrick-Peterson-Arizona-Cardinals3

Prediction:

Whoever wants this game more will win. Whoever makes the least mistakes will win. The Cardinals claim to have a different energy this week, a new found focus if you will. I hope so. Because starting out 0-2 in this division smells like a wild card birth at best.

I see the Cardinals playing their best football this week. They are just too loaded with talent and good coaching to drop two in a row at home. But as they learned last week, all four quarters matter, and in most cases so does every play. I’d bet a million Bucs that the Cardinals feel the same way.

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment here or hit me up on twitter at @ShawnRivard777 .

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Border Battle 2016: Vikings-Packers http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/border-battle-2016-vikings-packers/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/border-battle-2016-vikings-packers/#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2016 21:43:50 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166678 The game that Vikings (and Packer) fans have had circled on their calendars since the day the schedules were released is now just days away.  U.S. Bank Stadium will be opening its doors for the first installment of many border battle matchups to be played at the Vikings’ state of the art new stadium. Sunday will mark a new chapter in the long and bitter rivalry that has turned the Minnesota-Wisconsin border into battle lines.  Here are some keys to victory for both sides of the rivalry.

Green Bay Packers

The key to victory for the Packers is to win battles at the line of scrimmage in order to let Aaron Rodgers go through his reads or buy time and improvise as he’s prone to do so well.  So much of the Packers offense is about timing, and when the timing is thrown off mistakes are made.  That’s exactly what happened in week 17 of last season when the Vikings battled the Packers at Lambeau with the NFC North Division Title at stake.  The Vikings kept the pressure on Rodgers throughout the game and forced him to throw a costly interception late to clinch the Vikings victory.  Unfortunately, Rodgers isn’t the only one the Vikings have to watch out for.

Eddie Lacy has had an up and down career since being drafted back in 2013.  Questions about his weight were the focal point throughout the 2016 season as the reason for his drop off in production.  By all accounts this season, Lacy appears to be back in playing shape and ready to wreak havoc on opposing defenses once again.  That means the Vikings defense needs to be prepared as Lacy is one tough player to bring down. Add in the fact that Lacy has always saved his best performances for games against the Vikings makes Lacy an extremely important factor in leading the Packers to a win.

Minnesota Vikings

While a starting quarterback has yet to be announced, it’s fairly safe to say that newly acquired Sam Bradford will get the nod.  In order for him to be successful in this offense, the Vikings offensive line will need to give him the same sort of pass protection that Shaun Hill had in Tennessee last week.  Like Hill, Bradford has very limited mobility and thrives inside of the pocket.  If the the offensive line gives him the same sort of protection and allows him to be comfortable inside the pocket, Bradford can pick this defense apart like a surgeon. If he is unable to stay upright, it could be a very long day for this offense.

Not only will Bradford reap the benefits of a good offensive-line showing, Adrian Peterson can blow this game wide open if the line can create some holes for him to run through.  Last week, the offensive-line struggled to create running room for Peterson as the Titans stacked the box.  This week, the Packers will be faced with an ultimatum of either stacking the box and making Bradford beat you with his arm, or defend against both and run the risk of Peterson trampling the defense all day.

The Vikings offense will need to be sharp in this matchup, but the real pressure will be on the defense to stop the aerial and ground attack of the Packers.  In order to do this, the Vikings will lean on their defensive line to keep Rodgers under duress and force him to be off his game.  When the Packers run the ball, the Vikings defense will need to gang-tackle Lacy as he is one of the toughest in the NFL to bring down without help.  This is a tall-order for any defense, but one that the Vikings are more than equipped to accomplish.

Final Prediction: 28-24, Vikings

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NFL Events Hispanic Heritage Month http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-headline-news/nfl-events-hispanic-heritage-month/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-headline-news/nfl-events-hispanic-heritage-month/#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2016 12:30:43 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166663 32 Hispanic Leaders Recognized Through the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards

The National Football League and its teams will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a series of special events during Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15).

The theme of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month recognition is “Feel the Orgullo.” In Spanish, the word “orgullo” means pride. Latino players, fans, and coaches have a strong sense of pride not only in their culture but in their team and the NFL. During Hispanic Heritage Month, the NFL and its 32 teams will amplify the rich history, heritage and tradition of Latinos, and honor the positive impact they have had on the game and country.

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, fans can visit www.NFL.com/HispanicHeritage for a look at the personal stories of Hispanic players, past and present, who have left a lasting legacy on the NFL. Follow @NFLEspanol on Twitter for details on a user-generated photo contest during which fans will be encouraged to join the conversation and share their pride with the hashtag #FeelTheOrgullo on Twitter and Instagram. Through September 26, participants will be able to submit photos according to unique themes related to game day rituals, family, team spirit and more!

NFL teams will enhance the celebration with local efforts throughout the month including in-stadium themed elements and local community outreach in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

32 LEADERS RECOGNIZED THROUGH THE NFL HISPANIC HERITAGE LEADERSHIP AWARDS
For the 2016 celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the NFL and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) have partnered for the sixth annual NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards. The awards recognize the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market. Each recipient will select a non-profit organization of their choice that serves the local Hispanic community to receive a $2,000 donation.

NFL PLAY 60 CHARACTER CAMPS IN NINE MARKETS
NFL PLAY 60 Character Camps were held in 8 NFL markets this year, with a 9th camp coming up in Los Angeles. The camps are presented in partnership with the Muñoz Agency and USA Football and are part of the NFL’s year-round Hispanic outreach initiative, focused on offering youth opportunities to play and experience the game of football while emphasizing exercise and reinforcing the importance of character in athletics and life.

The Los Angeles Rams will host the next NFL PLAY 60 Character Camp on September 22 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

THE NFL EN ESPAÑOL
Thursday Night Football is available in Spanish via SAP (Secondary Audio Program) on CBS/NBC/NFL Network.
Sunday afternoon games are available in Spanish via SAP on CBS and FOX.
Sunday Night Football on NBC provides Spanish coverage via SAP with Telemundo’s sportscasters Rene Giraldo and Edgar Lopez calling the action.
Entravision Radio broadcasts Sunday Night Football live in Spanish on their owned and operated radio stations with Tony Nuñez and Ricardo Celis handling play-by-play.
ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio are home to Monday Night Football in Spanish. The Monday Night Football broadcast team for ESPN Deportes features Spanish-language Emmy-nominated play-by-play voice Álvaro Martín, analyst and former NFL kicker Raúl Allegre, and sideline reporter John Sutcliffe.
The season will culminate with Super Bowl LI live in Spanish on FOX Deportes and Entravision Radio.
For the latest NFL news in Spanish, visit NFL.com/Espanol powered by Univision.com and follow @NFLEspanol on Twitter.
Team events include:

Arizona Cardinals
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Arizona Cardinals Spanish broadcast team of Gabriel Trujillo and former Cardinals guard Rolando Cantu stepped from behind the microphone to in front of the classroom as they read in Spanish to students from the Arizona Cardinals Preparatory Academy. Additionally, at their September 18 game against Tampa Bay, the team will host special pregame festivities on the Cardinals Flight Deck and feature Hispanic in-game entertainment including national anthem singer Andres Martinez of the Ritmo Latino Band and a halftime performance featuring Alma De Mexico Danza. Finally, the team will also recognize State Representative Tony Rivero as the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award recipient.
Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons will present Anibal Torres, Executive Director of the Latin American Association, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens will recognize Dr. Perla Guerrero, Assistant Professor of the Department of American Studies and U.S. Latina/o Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, as the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award recipient at their game on October 2 against the Oakland Raiders. Additionally, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, more than 100 youth from Centro de la Comunidad and Education Based Latino Outreach have been invited to participate in a PLAY 60 Festival on September 26 at UTZ Field in Baltimore City.
Buffalo Bills
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Buffalo Bills will honor NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award recipient, Michele Agosto, Supervisor of Curriculum for Art Education, Buffalo City School District, during their September 25 game against the Arizona Cardinals. Agosto will partake in a pregame on-field recognition ceremony that will be shown in-game on the scoreboard.
Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers will present Rocio Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Month Leadership Award on September 25 when they face the Minnesota Vikings. Panthers Spanish Radio Flagship, WGSP FM, will do a pregame broadcast from the Panthers in the Park location adjacent to Bank of America Stadium. Additionally, the Panthers’ Spanish Radio Network has partnered with Nationwide, to present four weekly awards to local businesses who contribute in various ways to the Hispanic/Latino community across the Carolinas.
Chicago Bears
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Chicago Bears will present Elba Aranda-Suh, Executive Director, National Latino Education Institute, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award on September 19 when they face the Philadelphia Eagles. Elba will be welcomed to the field pregame. The Bears will also honor Elba via a story on VamosBears.com, in a La Raza newspaper advertisement, and through the @BearsOutreach Twitter account. In addition, the Bears will participate in various community events during Hispanic Heritage Month including four Hispanic festivals and attend West Chicago High School’s homecoming game. All efforts are part of the team’s ¡Vamos Bears! fan platform, a year round engagement tool designed to educate, engage, and grow the Bears relationship with the Hispanic community.
Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals will honor Tillie Hidalgo Lima, President/CEO of Best Upon Request Corporate, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award on September 25 when they face the Denver Broncos.
Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns will present José Feliciano, Partner at Baker & Hostetler, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award during their September 18 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Throughout the year, the team and the Cleveland Browns Foundation supports the Walton School, which has a strong Hispanic population, to provide wrap-around services that integrate community services in school, to help kids reach their academic goals by reducing barriers to learning such as hunger, unstable living situations and unresolved medical conditions. The Browns 2016 Hometown Huddle will also be hosted at Luis Munoz Marin School, which has a significant percentage of Hispanic students.
Dallas Cowboys
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Dallas Cowboys Rookie Club will visit Pearcy Elementary in Arlington, Texas to go through NFL Flag essential skills and activities with students in the heavily Hispanic community. Later in the week, Cowboys alumni players are scheduled to visit Richardson Elementary in Dallas for a Futbol Americano clinic with a goal of showing both boys and girls the fun of football. On September 25, when the Cowboys host the Chicago Bears, the team will activate with several Hispanic performers and mariachis on the plazas and will recognize Dr. Marco Navarro as the recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award during pregame. Gameday performers include Ballet Folklorico and a mariachi band, both from San Antonio, performing on stage in the East and West Plazas. The national anthem will feature a parade of flags featuring representatives of each Latin American nation on the field with their country’s flag, and halftime will feature a flag football contest with local youth teams comprised of predominantly Hispanic Youth. Additionally, Cowboys media partners La Grande, Telemundo 39, and Al Dia are each conducting contests to select a winner to represent their media outlets on stage in a new contest, Somos La Familia Cowboys. Families will demonstrate to the crowd why they are the #1 Somos La Familia Cowboys. The best family of fans will be selected by fan applause and the winning family will receive pregame field passes. The media outlet represented by the winning family will receive the Somos La Familia Cowboys Media Trophy for 2016.
Denver Broncos
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Denver Broncos will present Angela Davidson, Vice President and Regional Operations Manager for the Southwest Region, U.S. Bank, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award on September 18 when they face the Colts. The Broncos are also hosting a series of events including the third installment of Broncos Carne Asada on September 16, where the Broncos will visit three Colorado communities and provide free food to the first 500 fans. On September 23, the team will host Broncos en Espanol, the team’s annual fan fest for Spanish-speaking fans which is focused on family-fun activities where fans can learn about and practice football. On September 27, the team will host a football vs. futbol clinic held in partnership with the Colorado Rapids. Denver area kids will participate in the clinic which highlights the similarities and differences between the sports. To conclude Hispanic Heritage Month, on October 18 the Broncos will host their inaugural Latino Hall of Fame Gala to honor Latino leaders who have made impactful contributions to the Denver community, including Angela Davidson.
Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by awarding Camilo Suero, Executive Director, Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award on September 18 when they host the Tennessee Titans.
Green Bay Packers In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Green Bay Packers will present Griselda Aldrete, President and CEO, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
Houston Texans
The Houston Texans and H-E-B hosted a special cooking class in honor of NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award winner Armando Perez, Senior Vice President, Houston Division of H-E-B, on September 12. Perez spoke to teens from the Houston Boys & Girls Club about the importance of working hard to achieve their goals prior to a cooking class led by Chef Juan Gonzalez. Teen Club members were surprised by a visit from Texans Guard Xavier Su’a-Filo. The Texans will present Armando Perez with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award on September 18 when they face the Kansas City Chiefs. Ballet Azteca will provide pregame entertainment at stadium entrances and members of the Texans Hispanic Fan Club, Toros Bravos, will hold the Texas flag during pregame festivities. Houston Grand Opera singer, Octavio Moreno, is scheduled to perform the national anthem.
Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are joining the NFL’s national celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting a free youth football camp for more than 200 youth ages 7-17 on September 27. Colts players, will be on hand to interact with the students and help them run through football drill stations. On September 17, the Indianapolis Colts will join La Plaza for FIESTA Indianapolis at the American Legion Mall in downtown Indianapolis. The Colts PLAY 60 Zone will be on-site to allow children to run through football drills. The Indianapolis Colts will continue their celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at their game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, September 25 by presenting the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award to Miriam Acevedo Davis, local community leader, during pregame.
Jacksonville Jaguars
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Jacksonville Jaguars will present Dr. Susana Urbina, Professor of Psychology, University of North Florida, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
Kansas City Chiefs
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Kansas City Chiefs will host an Arrowhead Art Collection (AAC) workshop, led by AAC Featured Artist Jose Faus, in the Scout Investments Club Level at Arrowhead Stadium on September 20. Faus, a native of Bogota, Colombia and longtime Kansas City resident, will instruct local students from Alta Vista High School in the techniques he utilized for his AAC painting, Unbearable Lightness. The students, who will be accompanied during this exclusive opportunity by members of the Chiefs defensive line, will then engage in a breakout session where they create their own pieces of art in a similar style. Additionally, team Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt will honor Mayra Aguirre, Executive Director for the Hispanic Development Fund, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award prior to kickoff of the Chiefs game on September 25 versus the New York Jets.
Los Angeles Rams The Los Angeles Rams will host a PLAY 60 Character Camp on September 22 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. PLAY 60 Character Camps are part of the NFL’s year-round Hispanic outreach initiative, focused on offering youth opportunities to play and experience the game of football while emphasizing exercise and reinforcing the importance of character in athletics and life. On September 29, the Rams will introduce the Character Playbook education initiative at the Santee Education Complex, a LAUSD high school in South Central LA with a student body that is more than 90% Hispanic. The Rams will present Pilar Pinel, President and CEO of Embracing Latina Leadership Alliance (ELLAS), with the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award on October 9 when they face the Buffalo Bills. Pilar will serve as the coin toss captain for the game. In addition, the Rams, Univision and Corona will host a special tailgate celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month prior to the game.
Miami Dolphins The Miami Dolphins in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month will host a Dolphins Blitz at Meadowlane Elementary in the Hialeah neighborhood on September 20. Dolphins players, alumni and cheerleaders will host students as they participate in several fitness orientated stations and learn the benefits of hydration and staying physically active. This is in coordination with a Fins Frenzy, hosted by Dolphins Alum Twan Russell with mascot T.D. The Dolphins will highlight the importance of education, physical fitness and positive choices. Additionally, the Dolphins will present South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Liliam López with the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award at a home game at Hard Rock Stadium this season.
Minnesota Vikings The Minnesota Vikings will present Braulio Carrasco, Race Equity Organizer, Education Minnesota, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award on October 3 when they face the New York Giants.
New England Patriots The New England Patriots will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring Patricia Montes of Centro Presente with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award winner. The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will make a special visit to the nonprofit to present the organization with a grant and to celebrate the work of Patricia and her peers. She will also be featured in the Patriots’ Spanish language newsletter and Patriots GameDay magazine.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints will host three Saints Junior Training Camps at schools with the highest Hispanic populations in the New Orleans area; Marie Riviere Elementary and JC Ellis in Metairie, and Esperanza Charter in New Orleans. At their Hispanic Heritage game on September 26, the team will have representatives of LatiNOLA and Our Voice Nuestra Voz volunteering as the Gate Giveaway Crew, and will honor Dr. Juan Gershanik, Medical Director of Newborn Services and Vice-Chair of the Pediatrics Department at West Jefferson Medical Center, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award during a pregame presentation.
New York Giants
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the New York Giants will present Zoraida Saldana with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award at a press conference on September 30 announcing their upcoming extensive social media campaign for domestic violence awareness month. Zoraida is the Program Manager at My Sister’s Place, whose mission is to engage each member of society in their work to end domestic violence.
New York Jets
The New York Jets will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month during their October 2 contest against the Seattle Seahawks when they present J.W. Cortés, Marine combat veteran and Actor on Gotham, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders have a number of activations planned to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. In honor of the Raiders playing a home game in Mexico City in November and Hispanic Heritage Month, the Raiders will host the champion NFL Tochito (NFL FLAG) team from Mexico to watch a walk thru and take a tour of the Raiders Practice Facility on September 16. The NFL Tochito team will then attend the Raiders September 17 game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Tochito team will take part in a pregame ceremony on the field and stand on the sidelines next to the players during the national anthem. On October 3, the Raiders will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by partnering with a local Ballet Folklorico performance group to educate underserved youth from the Oakland community about the history of Ballet Folklorico and its significance to the heritage of Mexico & Latin American culture. Additionally, the group will put on a traditional Ballet Folklorico performance. The event will also tie in PLAY 60 messaging with dance being an easy and fun way to exercise, and have an interactive workshop for the performance group to teach some of the traditional dance moves to the kids. On Sunday, October 9, the Raiders will honor their NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award winner, Olga Talamante, with an on-field presentation when the Raiders take on the San Diego Chargers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Philadelphia Eagles In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Philadelphia Eagles will host NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award recipient Felix Agosto, Founder and President of MVP360, during their September 25 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Eagles continue to support MVP360’s leadership and development programs, which includes an Eagles flag football league that aims to educate student-athletes and youth of all ages about essential life skills necessary for personal and professional advancement, both on and off the field of play. The communities MVP360 serves includes primarily Hispanic populations new to the game of football.
Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a variety of elements during the team’s October 9 game against the New York Jets. The team will present Ron Alvarado, President and Founder of Novus Group, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. The team will show a recap video of the Steelers Youth Football Camp that took place in Mexico City in late May. The Steelers will also honor a local soldier of Hispanic descent as this game’s Salute to Heroes honoree.
San Diego Chargers
For their Hispanic Heritage Celebration, the Chargers will honor Raymond Uzeta, President and CEO of The Chicano Federation, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award on October 13 when they face the Denver Broncos. Halftime festivities will feature performances by Mariachi Real de San Diego and Ballet Xochitl, a traditional ballet folklorico group.
San Francisco 49ers
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the San Francisco 49ers presented Robert A. DeJesus, Assistant Chief Probation Officer (Ret), Santa Clara County Office of Probation, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award at their August 26 game against the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers’ Community Mondays program is a season-long program designed to reach out to local underserved populations. During Hispanic Heritage Month, the Community Mondays program will focus specifically in assisting Hispanic youth who are socio-economically disadvantaged.
Seattle Seahawks In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin and mascot Blitz, along with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, Deputy Chief Carmen Best and members of the NW Premier Junior Football/Police Athletic League Flag Football Program, surprised Sergeant Adrian Diaz with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award on September 13 at a team practice.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers On September 9, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continued their tradition of partnering with Hillsborough County to host the “Eat at Joe’s Latin Style” event in downtown Tampa at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square. The event featured live Latin music and performances by the Buccaneers Cheerleaders. Nearly 300 students from local schools celebrated with the Bucs Street Team and enjoyed activities like PLAY 60 drills in the Bucs Squad Experience and tours through the Bucs Street Team RV. On October 2, when the Buccaneers host the Denver Broncos, the team will present Maritza Astorquiza, Managing Partner of Coda Sound, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
Tennessee Titans
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Tennessee Titans will present Jose Gonzalez, Co-Founder and Finance Director of Conexion Americas, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award during an on field pregame presentation at their game against the Oakland Raiders on September 27.
Washington Redskins In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Washington Redskins will present Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, Executive Vice President, Government and Corporate Affairs, Univision, with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award on September 18 when they face the Dallas Cowboys.

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New York Jets pass Bills for the win http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/new-york-jets-pass-bills-win/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/new-york-jets-pass-bills-win/#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2016 12:30:04 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166682 People expect to see a good show during Thursday night football and the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills delivered on that. Both teams went in with a 50/50 shot at winning with literally no clue who might take the game.

The Jets decided they would lay the dominoes out first by scoring a field goal half-way through the first quarter. The Bills were not going to let it go unanswered, they scored a TD less than a minute later.  It was an 84 yarder by Marquise Goodwin that shocked even the Jets fans.

The second quarter definitely was the Jets dominating time and the Bills didn’t seem to be able to stop them one bit. By the start of the third quarter they were ready to get back to work. It must have been a heated lecture happening during halftime.

Less than a minute into the third quarter the Bills were driving down the field with a 71-yard passing TD by Greg Salas. They did not want to get left in the dust, yet even with fumble recovery TD by Nickell Robey – Coleman that shocked the fans.

They were not able to hold on to their lead for long, with the Jets scoring two TDs and 1 field without the upmost reluctance from the Bills. In the end, the Bills were able to score one last TD bringing the score to 37-31 but it wasn’t enough. The game had some spice and flare at moments but the end result was a lost the Buffalo Bills.

They fought hard but did not have the ability to hold on to the lead they had for part of the game. Goodman gave an amazing show though with his 2 receptions for 108 yards and 1 TD.

If the running backs and other wide receivers can follow in his footsteps and Tyrod Taylor can connect with his receivers then next game should be a good one to watch. Catch them at New England on Sunday October 2 at 10 a.m.

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Bills Fall On Primetime To Division Rival Jets http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-fall-primetime-division-rival-jets/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-fall-primetime-division-rival-jets/#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2016 03:40:12 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166674 Football proved to be alive and well in the newly renamed New Era Field as the Buffalo Bills faced off against their divisional rival New York Jets in their home opener on primetime Thursday night football in front of a crowd of over 70,200. A game that featured numerous memorable moments, many of which had nothing to do with the product on the field. From the echoes of Bruce Smith chants through the stadium as his famous number 78 jersey was retired, to London Fletcher leading the Bills out of the tunnel, and the inaugural game for Twitters live streaming of the NFL.

 

Quick from the get-go the Jets marched down the field scoring on the games opening possession putting together a fifteen-play sixty-five yard drive resulting in a Nick Folk field goal. Second year receiver Quincy Enunwa stepped up when it mattered putting together five catches for 90 yards in the first half alone including a key third down reception on the first drive. This would become a common theme for the Jets, as they were able to put together multiple long drives scraping away at the Bills defense.

 

The Jets and Bills were night and day in this category as the Bills relied upon the big play early and often. Three plays into their first offensive possession the Bills fired back with a score of their own. An 84-yard touchdown toss to speedster Marquise Goodwin on third down. A key play as not only did it open the scoring for the Bills but it was the longest home reception in Bills history, and on no other than the Jets Darrelle Revis.

 

The Bills offense found little else offensively besides a field goal late in the second quarter in the first half. After touchdowns by Matt Forte and Erick Decker as well as a Nick Folk field goal the Jets would go onto a 20-10 halftime lead.

 

A first half that was all Jets as they lead in key categories including time of possession, first downs, and the penalty margin. The Jets would almost double the Bills in time of possession (19:46 to 10:11) in the first half. Cause for concern early though for Jets fans as star-wide out Brandon Marhsall was seen limping off the field into the locker room after a big hit in the second. A scare is all it would turn out to be, as Marshall would return later in the second to reel in a pass for 21 yards finishing with six catches for 101 yards.

 

Following an emotional halftime jersey ceremony for Bruce Smith the Bills came out circling the wagons scoring quickly twice in the first five minutes of the third quarter. A 71-yard reception for Greg Salas and a 36-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Nickel Robey-Coleman saw the Bills take a 24 to 20 lead.

 

As quick as the Bills took the lead was as quick as they saw it slip away. The big arm of Ryan Fitzpatrick attacking the Bills secondary in particular corner Stephen Gilmore proved to be too much. Fitzpatrick who had previously struggled against Rex Ryan defenses got the best of him in this one finishing with just under 400 yards passing and one touchdown toss.

 

Truly making a name for himself in this one was big offseason addition for the Jets Matt Forte who found himself running wild on the Bills depleted front seven. Forte would go on to score three touchdowns and prove to still be the difference maker offensively that he was during his days in Chicago.

 

A late score with less than two minutes from Tyrod Taylor to Mike Gillislee the Jets would bring the game within a touchdown but that is as close as it would get, as the Jets would go on to defeat the Bills 37-31. The Jets move to 1-1 while the Bills remain winless at 0-2.

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Bills Honor Legendary Bruce Smith With Jersey Ceremony http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-honor-legendary-bruce-smith-jersey-ceremony/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-honor-legendary-bruce-smith-jersey-ceremony/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=166649 It feels like it has been only inevitable, an eleven-time pro-bowler, two-time AP defensive player of the year, and of course a hall of famer. You can now add Bruce Smith to even more elite company as he Joins elite Chad Kelly becoming only the second Bill to have his Jersey retired. Any future Buffalo Bills players will no longer wear the iconic number 78 that Smith donned throughout his storied 19-year career.

“On behalf of Kim and Terry Pegula and the entire Bills Organization, we feel this is a tremendous opportunity to honor Bruce and his Hall of Fame career,” said Bills Managing Partner and President Russ Brandon.

In a classy halftime ceremony speaker Chris Berman led the charge introducing Bruce Smith to the Buffalo Bill faithful. As a teary eyed Bruce Smith took the podium it was obvious just how much this moment meant to Bruce. His likeness and number represented on the field while the crowd transformed into a mirage of Bills blue and white with Bruce imprinted. A truly great ceremony for a deserving player.

“I’m humbled beyond words,” said Smith. “Where this fits I think is right at the top with being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I’m very grateful and thankful.”  Having also stated, “you know, in Canton, there are six or seven guys that are actually being voted and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but this particular case, it’s just me.”

During the ceremony Smith thanked many people for this honor, including Russ Brandon, Terry and Kim Pegula, and of course the fans. Repeatedly calling Buffalo his home as he fully accepted the warm embrace of the fans.”I am absolutely nostalgic and humbled by the idea that in this great city of buffalo number 78 will always be synonymous with bruce smith.”

Apart of the Bills Organization as a player for fourteen seasons Bills fans have fond memories of Smith. Cementing his legacy as not only a Bills great but an all time great in the league Smith is ranked by NFL films as the thirty-first greatest player in league history. Smith, would go on to become Buffalo’s all-time sack leader after only his first four seasons with a whopping total of fifty-two. Later going on to nearly quadruple this number becoming the first and only player to ever be welcomed into the two hundred-sack club.

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