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 The Chargers (1-1) have called runs on 37.5 percent of their plays the first two weeks, which is the fifth-lowest percentage in the AFC. Despite that, they are averaging 116 Youth Andrew Whitworth Jersey yards, which is above the league average of 104 yards.In other words, Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler aren't getting a lot of carries, but they are making the most of their plays."They've been very effective," offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said. "It's been a tremendous help for us because it opens up other things like play action."Gordon has only 24 carries, which is his lowest total for the first two games in his four-year career Womens Rodger Saffold Jersey , but he is tied for the team lead in receptions with 15. Gordon had the second three-touchdown game of his career in last week's 31-20 win at Buffalo, with two TDs coming on catches. He's also gained over 100 yards from scrimmage in six of his last eight games dating to last season.While the quarterback matchup between the Chargers' Philip Rivers and the Rams' Jared Goff is attracting plenty of attention, the running back battle between Gordon and Todd Gurley is tantalizing as well. Both were drafted in the first round in 2015, with Gurley having the advantage so far. He led the league in yards from scrimmage last season with 2,093 while Gordon was fifth (1,581)."We compete. It's not like we hate each other. We both want to prove we are the best back and it happens that we compete in the same city," Gordon said.Ekeler had a career-high 77 yards on 11 carries in last week's win at Buffalo. Three of his longest carries came on runs off the left side.Whisenhunt continues to find different ways to use the second-year back. In the opener against Kansas City, Ekeler caught a 13-yard touchdown while last week he was getting most of the carries."They are starting to use both of us in different ways and it has been working ," Ekeler said. "It's going to be important again this week because they have a real solid front five. If we can get the run game going early that can help us in play action."The Chargers have a lot of experience facing a Wade Phillips defense. They faced Phillips twice a year when he was with Denver in 2015-16.The Rams have one of the best interior pass rushes in the league with Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald at the tackles. They also have gone 12 straight games without allowing a 100-yard rusher.One of the best matchups could be center Mike Pouncey going up against Suh. The two went up against each other often during practices in Miami the past three seasons."That's going to make things a lot easier for me and a lot of other guys," Gordon said of Pouncey. "You have a bully like that up front that ain't scared to back down, that gets them other guys going."Pouncey, who is in his first season in Los Angeles after seven seasons in Miami, said getting the run game going early is going to be vitally important this week."Any time you can run the ball it keeps us on schedule," he said. "We have been over 100 yards in each game, which is something to build off of."Follow Joe Reedy at joereedy Can the Undefeated Rams Really Make a Run at 16-0? | The RingerWe all want this. But can it actually happen? We’ve got a tough road ahead, this article does a great job of breaking down why could go 16-0 , and also covering the very important why not’s.Aaron Rodgers ‘Hot’ After Ty Montgomery Fumble Cost Him Last Shot at Win | Bleacher ReportThank you Ty Montgomery. Just know that not everyone is mad at you.Week 8 NFL Team of the Week | PFFAaron “The Sackmaster” Donald makes the list this week. Duh.Rams QB coach Zac Taylor listed as favorite to be Browns’ next head coach | Rams WireAfter losing their collective minds in putting the highest odds on Sean McVay becoming the next Cleveland Browns HC, they seem to have decided to take a more realistic approach. If this turns out to be the case, next season would be Goff’s third QB Coach in three years.Sean McVay: Cooper Kupp has a “very good chance” to return for Rams this week | Pro Football TalkReynolds has done a nice job filling in, but it’ll be good to have #18 back.The Winners and Losers From NFL Week 8 | The RingerMy favorite line from this piece:Rams listed as underdogs for first time all season vs. Saints in Week 9 | Rams WireWhen we did our season Win-Loss Staff predictions here at TST, I had the Saints down as our first loss. At this point, I stand by that. The wins have come on thinner, more tenuous margins as the season has progressed, and with the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees Youth Aqib Talib Jersey , you can’t flinch. I hope we pull this out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the perfect season ends here.L.A.mbeau Field? Packers fans invade Coliseum, only to see their team lose to Rams | OC RegisterThe Packers fans were loud and proud during the game on Sunday. But in the end, it didn’t matter.

This Sunday marks the Kansas City Chiefs’ home opener against the San Francisco 49ers , and it is a day that will be like “a dream come true” for Xavier Williams. A native of Grandview, Missouri, Williams grew up cheering on the Chiefs in the stands at Arrowhead Stadium. This Sunday, though, Williams won’t be joining his family members in the crowd. Instead, he will be down on the field playing in front of them in his first regular-season home game as a Chief. “It’s gonna be big,” Williams said about the game. “My family is going to come out and see me play and it’ll be their first time seeing me play in a NFL game. My whole family’s from here. I don’t even think words can describe how excited they are. My mom’s been getting ready for this since the day I signed.”However, his mom isn’t the only one getting ready for Sunday. Williams also anticipates a more energized Chiefs football team given the preferred and long-awaited environment that is Arrowhead Stadium. “Everybody loves playing a home game, get a home cooked meal, hang around your family before and after the game,” Williams said. “I think the whole team is going to feel more lively playing in front of the whole crowd especially for the first time. [We’ll] get Arrowhead rocking.”But aside from all of the excitement and emotion, Sunday, at the end of the day, is another opportunity for Williams to go out and continue to push himself to help his team. “I think it’s been a pretty good season so far, but feel like it can definitely get a lot better of me personally,” Williams said on his personal evaluation of his play. “It’s only the first two weeks of the season, so there’s plenty of time to still improve and get to where I want to be, but being 2-0 you can’t complain to much.”Patrick Mahomes Week 2 film review: something good and something bad This is part one of a three-part weekly film analysis on the performance of Patrick Mahomes.It was a truly monumental Sunday in the history of the Kansas City Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes surpassed great 2006 third-round pick quarterback Brodie Croyle on the all-time touchdown pass list. If Croyle’s career had gone the way he’d wanted it to, it’s very realistic that he would’ve started under center against the Steelers on Sunday. But it didn’t Womens Harrison Butker Jersey , and he wasn’t. Instead, he was just another guy that wasn’t “our guy.” A 34-year gap separated Chiefs first-round quarterbacks Todd Blackledge and Mahomes. So far, the wait has been well worth it.Mahomes has played unconscious to start his reign as the quarterback of the organization that desperately craved the moments they are experiencing right now. The six-touchdown pass performance felt like an exorcism of demons like Blackledge, Steve Bono, Croyle and Tyler Palko. No one in their wildest dreams thought this fan base would be richly rewarded in the first two weeks of the season.This is unprecedented.The second-year quarterback has thrown the most touchdown passes (10) in the first two games of a season ever. Mahomes has done nothing in this small sample size to indicate that his remarkably high ceiling should be lowered at all. In, I won’t say it. Let’s just leave it at this: Chiefs fans have more than plenty to be excited about.It wasn’t all perfect. There are still a few things to work on, but it was mostly just amazing. Here’s part one of the weekly Mahomes review.Something goodI’m doing everything I can to keep this play from getting lost in all the things we saw in Pittsburgh.This play is not remotely easy. For another quarterback, this would probably be his best play of the day. The Chiefs have two tight ends lined up attached to the offensive line and into the boundary. Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins are lined up to the field. Watkins motions into the boundary with the tight ends. The Chiefs run play action with one tight end staying in for a six-man protection.The Steelers are Cover 1, or man-free coverage. The action gets cornerback Artie Burns to bite. He’s late to get to Watkins, who is running a vertical route, so he sprints to catch up. Mahomes’ eyes get out of the fake and he sees Burns trailing and not looking at him.Mahomes wisely elects to throw a ball on Watkins’ back shoulder. He was early and decisive in delivering it. He delivered the ball with excellent anticipation because he knew the corner had no chance to make a play on the ball. The ball is placed well, as Watkins is able to just adjust to the throw without having to slow down enough for Burns to contest it. He pulled him away from the defender.There was enough zip on the ball that no one came close to catching it but Watkins. It was a little low but didn’t affect the play at all. Watkins was able to get the yards that were there on the play. This isn’t even mentioning the fact that Mahomes threw it off his back foot. His ability to throw off platform allowed this kind of play to happen. It was such a quick-hitting play that he needed to throw it athletically. An all-around great play by the young signal caller.Something badThere really wasn’t that much to be disappointed in from the game two performance. This is about it.The Steelers are playing cover 0, straight man-to-man coverage with no safety. With Burns chasing Hill across the formation, Mahomes knows they’re in man coverage. They will send six rushers on this play. After the (copyright pending) joystick motion by Hill, the Chiefs have him, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt lined up into the boundary. Mahomes wants to work that side of the play. The Chiefs are in a five-man protection.I think he should have slid the protection to the field (he should’ve had the offensive line account for No. 51 Jon Bostic, who will blitz and force Mitchell Schwartz to take, leaving an unaccounted for T.J. Watt). If the Steelers send one unaccounted defender to his left, then he is hot (he has to beat the blitz with a throw). If he had been hot to the boundary , then he has Hill, Kelce and Hunt one on one. Had he slid the protection to the field, Mahomes would’ve seen Kelce uncovered for a touchdown.Mahomes keeps the protection lined up into the boundary. On the snap, Mahomes looks like he peeks over there to the field, but I’m not sure he saw the free rushing EDGE player, who eventually brings him to the ground. He would’ve benefited from sliding the protection and possibly didn’t feel the pressure to his front side. Those two things aren’t great, but, in addition, the throw wasn’t where you would like it either.Quarterbacks have aiming points in the end zone. If you’re throwing to the front line of the end zone, you want the ball to be low so that nothing gets tipped and intercepted. If you’re throwing to the back line, you want the ball to be high so that it falls out the back of the end zone if it gets tipped. Mahomes delivers a ball high on the front line of the end zone. Luckily there wasn’t someone there to catch his overthrow.To be fair to Mahomes, I think this was a broken play by Kelce. I don't think that was the route he was supposed to run. He ran to space and when he realized he was unguarded, he went for the end zone. He could have been anticipating Kelce continuing towards the back of the end zone, but regardless, the play shouldn't have happened even if we give Mahomes the benefit of the doubt on that piece of it. Quarterback anecdotesEvery week I’m going to add a quick note about something I’ve picked up about the quarterback position through my time learning and playing the game.Things won’t always go right when you’re up against a 40-second clock. Let’s say there’s a play where the call gets in late and it has pre-snap shifts and motions. If time is running out, quarterbacks will yell for skill players to line up where they’re supposed to be after the shifts and motions, aborting any pre-snap movement to get the play off in time.

Mike McCarthy will be coaching for his job in Week 8 when the Packers travel to Los Angeles to face the best team in football. And again in Week 9 when Green Bay heads back on the road to face the Patriots. This team doesn’t have to win those games — in fact Cheap Josh Jackson Jersey , they shouldn’t be expected to — but they can’t have their pants pulled down ... again. The 2018 season sits cantilevered on a precipice for McCarthy and Co. at 1265 Lombardi Ave. We’ve seen them shake off slow starts to seasons in the past, namely in 2010 and 2014, the two best recent vintages of the NFL’s most storied franchise. If this team falls however, and they’re more in danger of slipping than at any time in the McCarthy era, the Packers could be looking for a head coach this offseason. And unfortunately for the team, the coaches, and its fans, the ‘18 Packers are beginning to look eerily similar to the 2015 team. McCarthy survived that season. He won’t survive a repeat. Coming off the heartbreaking conclusion to the 2014 season, the Packers made wholesale changes to the secondary through the draft but did little else to boost them closer to contention. A Jordy Nelson torn ACL should never have doomed this offense, but it did. Injuries to Davante Adams and Randall Cobb further cut into the playmaking talent on Green Bay’s team, but Mike McCarthy’s decision to give up playcalling went about as well as Mason Crosby’s Week 5 and the offense sputtered all season. As the talent ebbed, McCarthy showed an inability to mitigate the issues with scheme. Rodgers play, coming off his second MVP season, likewise waned and they never consistently found a rhythm. They played just well enough to get into the playoffs, but lost a Week 17 for the division against Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings. Rodgers' magic nearly led the Packers to the NFC Championship once again, but the defense collapsed in overtime against the Cardinals and Green Bay’s trying season came to a merciful conclusion. The seams showed on an offense lacking imagination. Rodgers became jumpy in the pocket, not trusting his protection or his receivers — none of whom were ever open. Coming off a painfully conservative NFC Championship Game against Seattle David Bakhtiari Jersey , McCarthy failed to push this offense forward. Excuses were ready-made. No Nelson. Adams wasn’t ready. Lacy had fallen woefully out of shape. The rookie cornerbacks just weren’t quite ready for primetime.When the team comes back healthy, they’ll be fine. And they still have Aaron Rodgers. Fast forward to Week 11 of the ‘16 season with the Packers sitting in the locker room after getting blown out against Washington. With their record 4-6, Rodgers uttered a phrase that will become canonical in Packers history and just might have saved McCarthy’s job. But Rodgers hasn’t forgotten how they got to the point of needing to Run the Table鈩? For most of the early parts of ‘16, the Packers offense didn’t look markedly better. Injuries at running back forced Green Bay to move Ty Montgomery from receiver, but he was never deployed in the kind of devastating way one might expect Josh McDaniels or Sean McVay would. Despite a healthy Nelson and a maturing Adams, the Packers scored 30 points just twice through 13 weeks of the season, and won just one such game.Rodgers bailed out a stale offense in 2016. The defense bailed it out in 2015. At some point, the Packers have to decide if they’re better off just leaving McCarthy in bad offense jail. Putting up nearly 1,000 total yards of offense the last two weeks for the Packers resulted in just 55 total points. A red zone offense that had been automatic in 2017 looks flaccid in 2018. There’s no accounting for how McCarthy has utilized Aaron Jones (or not) in this offense, or the predictable playcalling. Oddly, the scheme has been pretty good. There are more combination routes, fewer iso routes, and more favorable matchups, but it’s clear Rodgers doesn’t trust it. Doesn’t trust McCarthy. It’s the only explanation for him consistently missing open receivers, failing to work progressions, and preferring instead to play backyard football. On a fourth down against the Bills, the Packers ran a pick play for Davante Adams to the left side of the formation and Adams broke wide open. It would have been an easy pitch-and-catch first down. Instead Cheap Jamaal Williams Jersey , Rodgers looked to rookie Marqueze Valdes-Scantling and nearly threw a pick-six. The play was designed to go to Adams, but Rodgers didn’t even look there. He has to take some of the blame for his own poor play, but go back and watch Rodgers early in his career. There are fewer second-reaction plays and more on-time throws. He played in rhythm and on time because McCarthy’s offense fit the incredible set of skill players the Packers could put on the week every week. They don’t have that advantage anymore. The Bears don’t have better skill personnel than the Packers, but Matt Nagy made Mitch Trubisky look like Peyton Manning against the Bucs last week (though in fairness, the Bucs helped). It’s not hard to look around the league at offenses churning out huge plays with less talent than Green Bay possesses, especially at quarterback. There are no more excuses for McCarthy and this offense. The blueprint is out there. Just flat out steal plays if that’s what it takes. Everyone else is already doing it. Some better health and better play from Rodgers could cure what ails this offense, but at what point does Mark Murphy look at this team and believe it’s better to treat the root cause of the problems rather than the symptoms? If Mike McCarthy is a highly successful football coach, this is where he has to show it. Be willing to change, show an ability to evolve, or simply go quietly into that good night because if he doesn’t do the former, he will almost certainly do the latter. When your team wins by 19 points over an opponent with a better record, the topic of firing a coach is not usually part of the usual Monday morning quarterbacking.In the case of the Green Bay Packers, today is one of the exceptions. While the team did win 31-12 over the Miami Dolphins to keep their playoff hopes alive, there was one phase of the team that was all out of sorts once again and this time it was not the offense.Special teams mistakes kept the game much closer than it should have been and given the track record of the unit in 2018, it’s time for special teams coordinator Ron Zook to go.Zook arrived in 2014, replacing the much maligned Shawn Slocum. The unit finished 22nd that year in defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) according to Football Outsiders but it was a mishap by the kickoff team on an onside kick that cost the Packers a Super Bowl trip. Brandon Bostick made a gaffe that should never have been made and that’s on the coach as well as the player.From 2015 through last season, the Packers finished 17th Cheap Mike Daniels Jersey , 21st and 14th respectively. The rise last season was in part thanks to Trevor Davis’ emergence as a returner including his 65-yard return that set up the game-winning touchdown against the Cleveland Browns.Then 2018 started, with Davis on injured reserve, and the wheels came off. It’s not exactly a hidden secret that the Packers’ special teams has been atrocious all season. The statistics are clear on that Green Bay is currently ranked 25th in special teams DVOA (entering Sunday’s game against the Dolphins). They have been in the bottom quarter of the league all season.Recent memory will point people towards Ty Montgomery’s fumble that cost the Packers a possible win over the then-undefeated Rams and yesterday’s blocked punt against the Dolphins, but the unit has been sloppy all season. It seems like every game there is a penalty on special teams that backs the offense up even more, which isn’t good for an offense that has had problems itself. People think special teams are inconsequential for the most part unless you have an electrifying returner, but they can act like an albatross if their performance is poor. The Packers have lost over 120 yards on 12 special teams penalties, according to (five of which occurred against the Lions). The team as a whole has committed 64 penalties which cost them 585 yards. Special teams makes up 18.75% and 20.5% of those numbers respectively. This of course is just the statistical part of the equation. Once you start to look at the videotape, things become even more clear.They have no effective returner until Davis is back and even he had issues last season taking the ball out of the end zone much like what happened with Montgomery (except Davis’ choice wasn’t mutinous like Montgomery’). Then when they get a decent return, they still turn the ball over as was evident by Tramon Williams’ fumble early in yesterday’s game.When the team drafted JK Scott, he was supposed to be a weapon, which is really the only reason you’d draft a punter in the fifth round. He has had his moments, but he’s also been wildly inconsistent as is proven by his 26th ranking in the league in total yards and 17th in average and 16th in net. Sure, he’s a rookie but for someone with a leg like that there has to be some accountability with the coaches as well. The bottom line is that the evidence is pretty damning for Zook. Under his guidance, the Packers have only been in the top half of the league once and the performance this year has been downright awful. One could even make the case that Zook should have been fired after the debacle in Detroit. Special teams is where young players drafted in later rounds can make their impact and earn more opportunities. They have to show they are fundamentally sound as well as athletic enough to make it in the NFL. Terrell Davis earned his spot with the Denver Broncos by making some big special team tackles as a rookie and now he’s a Super Bowl MVP enshrined in Canton.For as much preaching as head coach Mike McCarthy does about fundamentals, they’re lacking on special teams. Montgomery’s open rebellion plus the penalty issues show a unit that is undisciplined and incoherent.For those levels of malfeasance, the coach must pay the priceGreen Bay has been Zookered and they need to course correct now before the special teams cost them a game that could torpedo a chance to make the playoffs.

The Bengals added some drama to Day 2 of the draft when they completed a trade with the Chiefs. Cincinnati gave up their 46th overall pick and their 100th overall pick in exchange for the Kansas City’s 54th and 78th picks. After moving down eight spots , the Bengals used their new pick to select one of the best safeties in the draft.The Bengals clearly wanted more out of the back end of their defense this offseason. They first tried to woo Kurt Coleman, then when he signed with the Saints they almost signed Eric Reid. They made it even more obvious that they expect Bates to create change when they released safety George Iloka following the Bengals’ second preseason game. This paves the way for Bates to become the starting safety along side Shawn Williams. Bates will be the first defensive rookie to start for the Bengals in Week 1 since 2009 when Rey Maualuga started at linebacker.After bringing in Teryl Austin as defensive coordinator from the Lions, the Bengals have been trying to manufacture more turnovers. The Bengals were tied with the Raiders for 30th in takeaways with 14; only the Browns had fewer with 13. So Austin wanted to make some changes with the defense.That’s where Jessie Bates comes in. Bates is athletic, rangy, instinctive, a good tackler, and an electric playmaker. Since he’s been drafted he’s been drawing comparisons to Reggie Nelson, who was a key player in the Bengals’ great 2015 defense Cincinnati Bengals T-Shirt , which was second in scoring and third in interceptions in the league that year.Bengals are hoping that the combination of Austin and Bates will create more turnovers in the back end of the defense and give the offense more scoring opportunities. Jessie BatesHeight: 6’2”Weight: 200 poundsCollege: Wake Forest Hometown: Fort Wayne, INExperience: RookieCap StatusBates signed a four-year deal worth $4,947,814, according to His cap hit is only $899,602 in 2018.Jessie Bates exclusive: Get to know the Bengals’ second round pickBackgroundJessie Bates was a three star recruit coming out of Snider High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana and was selected to the All-State team his junior and senior year before going to Wake Forest for college.He redshirted his first year and made an instant impact as a freshman in 2016. He made the first team Freshman All-American after posting 100 tackles, 5 interceptions Cincinnati Bengals Hats , and two touchdowns.In 2017, he recorded another 77 total tackles, an interception and a punt return touchdown. After only playing for two season at Wake Forest, he decided to come out early and enter the NFL Draft.The Bengals took him in the second round with the 54th overall pick.Bates was the first defensive selection made in Teryl Austin’s tenure as the Bengals’ defensive coordinator. Marvin Lewis really let Austin reconstruct the defense with the selection of Sam Hubbard, Malik Jefferson, Darius Phillips and Davontae Harris later on in the draft and bringing in Preston Brown as a free agent. So it figures that Bates will have a huge role in the new defense.Bates will walk in to training camp as the most versatile safeties on the roster. George Iloka didn’t have the same free safety skills or athletic ability, so it makes sense that if the Bengals wanted a safety with range that they went with the rookie. AnalysisThe Bengals don’t have a ball-hawk safety like Bates. They brought him in for a specific role, and they clearly have no doubts about whether the NFL will be too big of a stage for them. It is rare the Bengals will start a rookie on defense Cincinnati Bengals Hoodie , and especially in the secondary. The fact they dropped Iloka to give Bates this opportunity speaks volumes about what this team expects for him. It’s been a tough two weeks for the Cincinnati Bengals, but they have a shot to get to a respectable 5-3 at the bye week. That period of rest is needed, as the team is really limping right now. On this week’s Orange and Black Insider, the crew takes a look at some of the major problems the team is facing and offers up possible solutions. We also had Gene Thomas of the “BucWhatYaHeard” podcast to give us an entertaining look at Week 8 between the Buccaneers and the Bengals. Here is some of what was on tap for discussion this week:How much are the injuries to blame for the recent struggles?Is Marvin Lewis or Teryl Austin more of a scapegoat for the two-game losing streak?Do the Bengals need to re-assess their free agency and draft-centric approaches in the offseason?Are some of the recent high draft picks truly pulling their weight?What has been the difference for the Buccaneers between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston under center?Is Ronald Jones II poised to start breaking out his rookie year?All of this, plus listener questions! Since we also had Scott Schulze back, we got a little Fantasy Football insider info as well. Our thanks to those who submitted questions and called in, as well to everyone who tuned in live. Join us every episode!If you’re unable to join us live for here at Cincy Jungle or YouTube every episode, all Orange and Black Insider content is available here on CJ Youth Customized Cincinnati Bengals Jerseys , as well as on our SoundCloud, Stitcher, through the Google Play Music app and YouTube channels, as well as on iTunes! You can tweet us @BengalsOBI or get in touch with us via email at Thanks for listening and go subscribe to our channels!

By the looks of it Brandin Cooks Jersey Elite , feeling good about (LB) Mark Barron’s availability for the game. (TE) Tyler (Higbee) and (G) Rodger (Saffold) were also participants today and then (K) Greg (Zuerlein) will be out for the game. Other than that, feeling good and a great challenge ahead.”(On how aware he is of equally distributing the ball when he’s designing the game plan)”Yeah, I think one of the things that we try to do is use all five eligibles (receivers) and we’ve got a lot of great players at a bunch of different spots and we try to spread the ball around. I think (QB) Jared (Goff) is doing an excellent job, just going through his progressions, getting the ball where the coverage – or whatever the defensive call dictates. You definitely want to be able to get those guys involved and that’s something that we try to be mindful of. Certainly, you don’t always get some of the looks that you’re thinking about and things happen off schedule. But I think overall, he’s done a great job of just getting everybody involved by naturally going through his progressions and whatever the concept that we’re running dictates. Fortunately, a lot of guys are making plays and he’s putting it in great spots and getting great protection.”(On if Barron is on track to start)”Yes.”(On what he thinks Barron will give his defense)”I think it gives us a great player back in the mix. Good communicator, has great athleticism to be able to play sideline-to-sideline, good understanding of what we’re trying to get done. We’ll watch him and see how he feels. Then, obviously tomorrow and leading up into the game, we’ll be able to kind of have a better evaluation of what does that snap count look like. But , if Mark’s going to go, we certainly want to take advantage of that and get him out there and contribute for our defense.”(On how he tries to mimic the crowd noise in Seattle during practices)”Yeah, I think you probably heard it. We get these loud speakers going, get a lot of complaints around the area. Hopefully we don’t do it too much (laughs). That’s really the closest thing that you can do. I’ve been around where you do the crowd noise and that’s not the most fun way to do it. So, really, as long as you’re creating an atmosphere that really inhibits your ability to verbally communicate – specific to the offense – that’s what we try to do. I thought our guys handled it pretty well. You can never truly mimic what CenturyLink (Field) is going to be like. Hopefully, we’ll handle it well and it’s going to be a great challenge.”(On if he agrees with Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll’s statement that everything revolves around RB Todd Gurley II in the offense)”Well, I think he’s certainly a great player. When you’re a running back that has the ability to do, really, everything in terms of running the ball, catching the ball out of the backfield, protection. He’s an important part of our offense Authentic Robert Woods Jersey , no doubt. But, we talk about the power of the unit all the time and it’s about all 11 (players). That’s what we believe in and that’s what we feel. We feel really fortunate that (RB) Todd (Gurley II) can do a lot of things for us. We feel really good about putting the game in our quarterback’s hands and when he can distribute the ball to all the different playmakers and we feel great about our offensive line’s ability to protect and communicate and block in the run game. So, to say he’s the centerpiece – you know what a big fan I am of Todd, but it’s about our offense and really all 11 (players) are very important, instrumental part of what we’re trying to get done.”(On what Barron’s experience brings to the defense relative to the current players at the linebacker position)”Well, I think any time that you’re getting a player, like you mentioned, that has that experience, it’s very beneficial. It doesn’t take away – I think (LB) Ramik Wilson’s played really good football for us. (S) Marqui Christian is a guy that’s gotten a chance to get a lot more snaps and he’s a player that we have a lot of confidence in that’s continuing to develop and our coaches have done a nice job. But, he’s a great football player. Very smart, instinctual player. You see why he was a top pick coming out of college. That athleticism, where he’s a safety at Alabama Robert Woods Jersey Elite , played safety early on in his career and then transitions when he got traded to the Rams and he’s been excellent as a linebacker playing that inside spot. We’re excited about getting him back.”(On if Barron’s return will impact what LB Cory Littleton does as far as communication)”No, it doesn’t just because (LB) Cory (Littleton) is our MIKE linebacker. He’s done such a great job with that. He’ll continue to do that and Mark plays the MO linebacker position for us.”Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals live gamethread The Los Angeles Rams open their home campaign today in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals.And while the consensus is leaning into the Rams this week (the odds are nearing a two-touchdown advantage for the Rams, FanPulse has both Rams and Cards fans sensing a big win for us, and the TST staff predictions were unanimous...), we’re fending off a legitimate home advantage issue.The 2017 Los Angeles Rams were 11-5. At home? Just 4-4. RB Todd Gurley sounded legitimately flattened on Thursday by the nature of the lack of an overwhelming home advantage. Even Rams Owner Stan Kroenke lamented after the Rams lost in the playoffs to the Atlanta Falcons that we lack a “true home-field advantage.”We have to remedy this.But it won’t happen overnight. And it won’t happen in a single game.But maybe it starts today. Or maybe it started last year. And then maybe we’ve already gotten over the nadir of the abyss toward something for Los Angeles Rams football that matches the current state of Rams football. But that process doesn’t end today.You can prepare yourself now. With construction ongoing in the Coliseum and tickets as low as $6, jokes are coming. JOKES ARE COMING. Steel yourself, internet version of you.And know that the way out is through wins. Touchdowns. Highlights.The good stuff.There was plenty of it last year at home. Not enough, but more than the first run of LA Rams football back in ‘16. And as long as more comes, the jokes stop. The home-away record disparity stops.And then maybe, Just Todd Gurley and all of us will get the home advantage we all want.And deserve.

It’s Friday at Arrowhead Pride Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Jersey , so we’re leaving a good defensive performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the rear view so we can look ahead to this Sunday night’s matchup versus the *gulp* New England Patriots!The Patriots offense is a well-oiled machine that now has all their weapons healthy — and back from suspension. Despite missing key players at skill positions, the Pats offense has managed to average 34.3 points per game at home, and 38 in each of their last two games.So what do the Patriots do well, and what can the Chiefs do to stop them? Follow me down to The Laboratory and let’s take a deeper look at some of the X’s and O’s behind the New England Patriots.The Patriots offenseWinslow Townson-USA TODAY SportsEverybody and their dog knows who Tom Brady is, and while he’s not been particularly great going deep this season, he’s still a highly efficient quarterback that gets the ball out on time and accurately. He has thrown six interceptions this year, which is a bit uncharacteristic for Brady.At running back, the Patriots pack a killer 1-2 punch. Fifth-year player James White is an excellent pass-catching back that is a matchup nightmare for most defenses — the Chiefs included. The Patriots also drafted a running back in the first round this season. Sony Michel has been integrated into the offense more and more, and is a big-play threat whenever he touches the ball.Wide receiver is a major strength for this offense, too. New England got Julian Edelman back from a four-game suspension last week, and he returned to his role as Brady’s security blanket in the slot. They also scooped up Josh Gordon for a fifth round pick from the Cleveland Browns two weeks ago after Cleveland was reportedly going to release him. While he’s still getting the playbook down, Gordon has shown the ability to be a game-breaking receiver.The Patriots also get to mix and match Cordarrelle Patterson, Phillip Dorsett, and Chris Hogan into their three and four wide receiver sets.These three guys would be contributors for a lot of teams in the league.While running back and wide receiver have some marquee names, the star weapon of the Patriots offense is tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski is a great pass catcher, great in the open field, and really is the only player tight end in the league who is regularly mentioned in the same breath as our very own Travis Kelce. Backup tight end Dwayne Allen hasn’t been a factor in the passing game this year.The Patriots let stalwart offensive lineman Nate Solder walk in free agency this offseason, and to take his place, acquired Trent Brown in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers. He starts at left tackle, opposite eight-year veteran Marcus Cannon.The interior offensive line is the same as it has been for the most of the last three years, with Shaq Mason and Joe Thuney at right and left guard, and David Andrews at center. The group as a whole does well — and when they’re coupled with Brady’s quick passing game — rank third in the league in pressure rate, according to Football Outsiders.How to defendEmpty formationsWith all of the stellar weapons the Patriots possess, they like to force bad matchups by going empty and forcing a linebacker or a safety out of the middle of the field. These empty formations stretch the defense horizontally, and the Patriots offense likes to run mirrored routes with their number three receiver out of the passing strong side, and the number two on the weak side.Above, the Patriots motion White out of the backfield, and the Indianapolis Colts motion one of their three safeties out to cover him at the bottom of the screen. The strong side number one (White) runs a 9 route while the strong side number two Gronkowski) runs a post route. The weak side number one runs a dig route, while the two underneath routes are mirrored curls from Edelman and Hogan.The strong-side linebacker drops to carry Gronkowski to the safety, and Edelman’s curl is wide open. The Colts try to drop a defensive lineman into coverage Cheap Kareem Hunt Jersey , but the play succeeds because of the stressed linebackers.This is a situation where the Chiefs can utilize some of their match coverages to simulate man coverages against those mirrored routes but still protect their linebackers in coverage. Rather than a Nick Saban-esque Cover 3 match where the linebackers would be in man coverage against vertical stems, Bob Sutton could have his hook defenders in man coverage for every underneath route — crossers, curls, and slants. The strong corner can drop into the deep third and key off of the receivers — inside to out — while the defense implements a safety shading the number three and a cloud safety to the weak side of the formation.While this likely means that crossing routes would force the Chiefs linebackers into a trail position against a quicker player, the three deep defenders — keying inside to out — would be able to identify these routes early and spin down in support for short gains.With the Chiefs defense giving up over nine yards per play — and holding a 31% success rate against empty formations — holding the Patriots to four yards on a crossing route would be a major improvement.GRONK. WHAM!As my good friend and fellow Nerd Squad member Kent Swanson discussed on The AP Laboratory podcast two weeks ago, a well-timed wham block sets the tone for an offense, and is absolutely demoralizing for a defense. The Chiefs interior defensive linemen have been caught a couple of times this year — most notably against San Fransisco, when nose tackle Derrick Nnadi was blown out of the gap by a fullback.The Patriots love to use these with Gronkowski. He’s an excellent blocker as it is, and a dense enough athlete to hold his own against most interior defensive linemen. By pulling Gronkowski across the formation to block a 1-tech in a nickel defense, the right guard and center are free to climb to the second level to swallow up the linebackers, creating a massive hole for the running back to hit all the way to the third level.Wham blocks are difficult for defensive linemen to defend. While the Chiefs — with their 1-gapping scheme — are constantly trying to get penetration, when a defensive lineman is unblocked, it usually means something else is happening that needs to be diagnosed.It could be a screen, a pulling guard on a sweep or a wham block, so the unblocked defender has to keep his head on a swivel to diagnose the play.If the running back appears to be attacking the nearby gap, the defender needs to find the wham block and purposefully engage it to clog the running lane. Most defensive linemen — especially nose tackles — aren’t quick enough to beat the block with speed. So getting appropriate leverage and driving the tight end back takes away the running lane and allows the lineman an opportunity to make a play himself — or give the rest of the defense a chance to beat a block and make a play.James White catching the ballI know it. You know it. Sutton knows it. James White is going to be force-fed into the Patriots passing offense this week.New England targeted White fourteen times against the Colts defense. If I were a betting man, I’d guess that the Chiefs defense will see at least that many targets to White this week.The Patriots do an excellent job at consistently getting White on their opposition’s weakest coverage linebacker. In this example, New England runs three curl routes and a clear-out post from the slot receiver, with White running a flat. If the Colts are in a Cover 2 zone, the post attacks the seam over the top of the underneath defenders. If they’re in a Cover 3 zone, the curl routes on the outside are open, with the corners bailing to the deep third. Finally, if it’s man coverage, White is one on one against a slower linebacker in the flat — with space to run because of the post route.Since the Chiefs have struggled in coverage with their linebackers, it’s almost certain that Anthony Hitchens, Terrance Smith, or Reggie Ragland will be in major mismatches against White in the passing game.Unless the Chiefs are planning to utilize a safety — which is unlikely given to the current depth at that position — or stick a player like Dorian O’Daniel on the field for his coverage abilities, we can expect Sutton will drop outside linebackers into coverage to rob flat routes, or be able to stop these receptions for minimal gain.The bottom lineThe Patriots are going to force the Chiefs defense into poor matchups, and they’re going to move the ball fairly effortlessly. For the yards matter crowd Cheap Steven Nelson Jersey , this week’s game will almost certainly push their narrative further.This is the best set of weapons that the Chiefs have seen thus far this season — and with the Los Angeles Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers among the teams the Chiefs have played, that’s saying something. Very few defenses match up well with the skill players the Patriots have, and no quarterback on the Chiefs schedule this season will rival the schematic advantage that Brady gives New England.The Patriots are going to get the ball out quick, nullifying a Chiefs pass rush that has found some rhythm over the past two weeks. The interior rush will still be able to disrupt Brady, but as we’ve seen in previous matchups between these two teams, the Chiefs edge rushers will practically have to teleport into the backfield to get pressure.Expect a healthy dose of linebackers in coverage this week, with some hesitant or delayed rushes to make sure the defense keeps White in check underneath. If Kansas City can match to minimize damage out of the Patriots empty formations — and actually get to third down a little more often this week — we might see some more drives stall out.I’d expect the Chiefs offense to hang points on the Patriots defense this week, so getting a stalled drive or two early — maybe even tightening up and forcing red zone field goals — is a big win for the defense. Forcing the Patriots to play from behind will force longer developing routes — and the elimination of the running game — allowing the pass rush to bear down and kill off a good offense.Chiefs vs. Bears time, TV schedule, odds, streaming, picks, announcers and more The Kansas City Chiefs take on the Chicago Bears in the all-important third preseason game on Saturday afternoon at Noon in Chicago. As in past years, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said he will play the team’s starters into the third quarter — including starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes.The bad news? Eric Berry will be held out of the game, and miss his 14th straight day of on-the-field activity.The good? De’Anthony Thomas, Spencer Ware, Anthony Hitchens and Reggie Ragland are all expected to make their preseason debuts. “Me and Hitch have a chemistry, being out there on the field, we just haven’t played in a game yet,” Ragland said this week. “For the most part, whenever we get out there and get in the games, it’s going to be natural, I believe, because it’s already natural during practice and everything. If I don’t see something Hitch sees it, and when Hitch doesn’t see it, I see it. It’s very helpful. I think when the time comes, and we get out there and play, things are going to fall into place.”Without Berry in the lineup — in addition to Daniel Sorensen, who is already expected to miss regular-season time — the eyes will once again be upon younger backups in Eric Murray, Leon McQuay and Armani Watts. Watts will try to build upon his last performance against the Atlanta Falcons , when he was the highest-graded Chiefs player (92.7), according to Pro Football Focus.Saturday marks the first game for Mahomes after “The Throw,” which captured the attention of the nation last week. Mahomes’ pass to Tyreek Hill traveled more than 68 yards in the air, longer than any pass thrown by any quarterback during all of last year’s regular season.Mahomes will be seeking to work in wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who has yet to record a catch this preseason in two games. “I know a lot of people are speculating and saying ‘Oh, he’s not getting the targets,’” Watkins said this week. “Not to say it’s preseason, but there’s a lot of other things I’ve got to learn in the offense and get used to. “That’s what coach does a great job of being able to let me do.”The Chiefs look forward to seeing an old friend in offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, who is now the head coach of the Bears. “I am proud of him for having the opportunity,” Reid said this week. “I’ve watched [Nagy’s] tape and he has done some good things with the team. He had a nice win the other night.”Nagy coached Mahomes throughout his first season, when he backed up now-Redskins quarterback Alex Smith.“I think he relates to quarterbacks so well, especially the young guys,” Mahomes said of Nagy. “He’s been through the process. He’s tried to make a career of his own as a quarterback then moved over to coaching.Just having someone that has been through that process and knows how to relate to the young guys and especially the quarterback position will help you really understand the offense and really understand what the defenses are trying to get.”Nagy is now working to develop quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, whom the Bears organization selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft — eight selections ahead of Mahomes.If Reid sticks to his usual tendencies, this will be the last time the Chiefs starters play prior to Week 1 of the regular season against the Los Angeles Chargers. Nuts and boltsLocation: Soldier Field in Chicago, IllinoisGame time: Saturday, August 25, 2018 | Noon Arrowhead TimeTV channel: KCTV5 | NFL NetworkOnline Stream: NFL GamepassReplay: NFL Network and NFL GamepassPregame show: Arrowhead Pride Tailgate, 10 a.m. on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City | Presented by Albright Buick GMC CadillacRadio: 101.1 The Fox (Mitch Holthus and Kendall Gammon) | Spanish Radio Broadcast: La Mega 1160 AM (Tico Sports)Matchup history: Bears lead 7-5 (regular season)Odds: Bears -2.0Prediction: Chiefs 28, Bears 21Announcers: Carter Blackburn (play-by-play), Trent Green (analyst), Todd McShay (analyst), BJ Kissel (sideline)Enemy blog: Windy City GridironTwitter: Arrowhead Pride Facebook: Please like us!Chiefs 2018 preseason scheduleWeek 1 | Thursday, 8/9 | 7:30 p.m. CT | vs. Houston TexansWeek 2 | Friday, 8/17 | 6:00 p.m. CT | at Atlanta FalconsWeek 3 | Saturday, 8/25 | 12:00 p.m. CT | at Chicago BearsWeek 4 | Thursday, 8/30 | 7:30 p.m. CT | vs. Green Bay Packers

 Hopefully this won’t happen again until late January with the Packers sitting idle and waiting for a Super Bowl appearance. For now, however, this Green Bay Packers Hats can be a chance to get some chores done around the house, maybe see some friends or family, or just get outside and enjoy the fall weather.Then again, odds are you’ll still watch some sports this weekend anyway. The Brewers remain alive in the NLCS with Game 6 on Friday (and hopefully a Game 7 on Saturday), the NBA and NHL seasons are alive and well, and college football has another Saturday with some big conference matchups. But the king of the weekend is still NFL football, and if you’re planning to tune in for any games this weekend, we have your guide of who to root for in the 14 games taking place in week seven from the perspective of helping the Packers. It’s still plenty early to start looking closely at playoff positioning, but every game matters, and a random matchup in week seven can have tiebreaker or seeding effects down the stretch.Unfortunately, Packers fans can’t spend their Sunday rooting against the New Orleans Saints in the hopes that they end up with a better draft pick — New Orleans is also on a bye this week.Here’s who APC thinks are the best bets for the weekend to help out the idle Packers.TNF: Broncos at Cardinals炉\_(銉?_/炉The Cardinals are in the NFC so...I guess go Broncos? This is likely to be an ugly game and both teams appear to be in contention for a top-10 draft pick. Watch if you must tonight, or else tune in for Game 5 of the ALCS to see if the Red Sox (barf) can put away the Astros.Titans vs. Chargers (in London); Bills at Colts; Texans at JaguarsPlease, these are AFC games. Root for your fantasy players or against your friend’s favorite team to make them angry, or pick a team based on whatever other reason you can come up with. It doesn’t matter. The only remotely useful thing for the Packers would be a Bills win to help Green Bay’s strength of schedule and victory, but with that tie in the ledger it probably won’t much matter anyway.Patriots at BearsThat should of course be Packers fans’ first choice, but in reality we still have to pull for the Bears to lose here. Chicago has a slight lead on the Packers in the division (based on winning percentage) and this would go down in the common opponent tiebreaker category should the Bears have a tie later in the season and have tiebreakers come into play.Panthers at EaglesCurrently Green Bay Packers Womens Hoodie , the NFC has just seven teams teams above .500, with three teams who are not winning their division above that mark. The Packers and Vikings are tied at 3-2-1, while Carolina sits at 3-2 and the Eagles are 3-3 — and both of them sit behind the leaders in their respective divisions. In this case, I’m going Eagles, and here’s why: I don’t think the NFC East gets multiple teams in the playoffs, and I think the Panthers have a very good shot of being in the Wild Card hunt. An Eagles win knocks Carolina back behind the Packers.Vikings at JetsI sure hope I don’t need to explain this one. Fight on, Sam Darnold. J-E-T-S!Browns at BuccaneersTampa is 2-3, while the Browns are 2-3-1. Pull for the Browns for an AFC victory over an NFC team, but also because they’re the Browns and it would be entertaining to see them relevant past week two.Lions at DolphinsIt’s Brocktober. After Osweiler and Albert Wilson went bonkers on the Bears’ supposedly excellent pass defense last Sunday, here’s hoping they can do the same to the Lions’ 28th-ranked unit (by DVOA). A win would pull the Lions up to .500. Don’t let that happen.Saints at RavensPull for the Ravens here. If the Packers can get to the top of the NFC North, they’ll probably need to find a way ahead of New Orleans to get a first-round bye.Cowboys at WashingtonAnything that keeps the NFC East a tight race and keeps the teams as close to .500 as possible is good for the Packers. In this case, that’s a Dallas win, which would bring them up to 4-3 but knocks Washington down to 3-3 and beneath the Packers.Rams at 49ersWould you rather the Packers play a Rams team that’s 7-0 and full of confidence or one that’s 6-1 and ticked off about a surprise road upset to a 1-5 49ers squad? Yeah, a Rams loss would help, since they’ll need to lose three times for the Packers to even have a shot at catching them for the top spot in the NFC. Root for it, but don’t count on it.SNF: Bengals at ChiefsSee the other AFC games above, as the Packers don’t have a horse in this race. But it’s probably one that would be worth tuning in for. Watch for some potential offensive explosions from Pat Mahomes (because he’s Pat Mahomes) and Andy Dalton (because the Chiefs’ defense is garbage).MNF: Giants at FalconsGo G-Men! Sure, both teams are at least two games under .500 — New York is 1-5 and the Falcons are 2-4 — but if one of these teams can make any semblance of a run and threaten for a playoff spot Womens Customized Green Bay Packers Jerseys , it’s Atlanta. Sure, a Falcons win would make the Packers’ schedule an iota better, but as we’ve noted before, that tiebreaker probably won’t come into play and I’d rather see these two teams both leave this week at 2-5 than give the Falcons any real hope of challenging for a playoff spot.APC Week 5 NFL Picks: Packers should improve to 3-1-1 with win in Detroit The Green Bay Packers currently hold a record of 2-1-1, sitting in second place in the NFC North and trailing the Chicago Bears by a half-game. That tie could very well come back to be a problem for someone at the end of the season, but for now Green Bay is just hoping to match Chicago in the win column.On deck for the Packers is a divisional game in Detroit, where Matthew Stafford and a talented group of receivers await. Green Bay’s receiving corps is dealing with injuries to every veteran player, however, so Aaron Rodgers will likely be throwing to the team’s rookie wideouts early and often on Sunday.Still, APC is confident in the Packers’ ability to defeat the 1-3 Lions, and it’s a clean sweep for our contributors in this week’s picks.Week 5 PicksGameTexJasonPeterKrisBobJon MJordanMatubMikePaulShawnWendiZachAPC PickGameTexJasonPeterKrisBobJon MJordanMatubMikePaulShawnWendiZachAPC PickNow to our standings update. Matub had a stellar week in week 4, going 12-3 and leading the pack with a few individuals finishing at 11-4. That now pulls him into a tie with Jon Meerdink, who went 10-5 last week to keep his overall hit rate steady at 0.667. Jason’s 9-6 record in week 4 leaves him one game back overall in third place.FanPulse Game PicksAPC FanPulse Pick: Packers win by 7Pride of Detroit FanPulse Pick: Packers win by 2Vegas point spread: Packers favored by 1.5Both Packers and Lions fans are seeing a Green Bay win this week at Ford Field as well. Predictably, Green Bay fans think the Packers will win by a bigger margin than Detroit fans, with the difference being about five points when comparing the two. Both look at the Packers as a good bet to beat the point spread, with Lions fans coming in just over the spread on average.

With the constant rise of the salary cap and compensatory picks becoming tradable assets Womens Alex Redmond Jersey , NFL teams have the ability to always be aggressive and never be too damaged for bad investments via free agency or the NFL Draft. It’s still a quarterback-driven industry, but the most prominent contenders like the Rams, Eagles and Saints are constantly evolving their teams in every available facet, even if that means trading away cheap talent or draft picks. The Bengals aren’t on the same level as those franchises, but this isn’t always a bad thing. Plenty of teams that trade away talented players or acquire them are sacrificing high compensation in the hopes of extending a championship window or are just building for one. While the Bengals could still learn to be a little more aggressive in their team-building approach, it’s clear that not much on this roster should be drastically changing by 2020. With that said, let’s observe who ESPN views as a lock to be on the roster in a couple of seasons:The locks are pretty clear as most of them are either rookies, productive young players or cornerstones for the franchise. Dunlap and Atkins just received contract extensions this offseason Authentic Andy Dalton Jersey , so we know the franchise is committed to having them retire as Bengals. The only players that should even be considered bubble players at this point are Willis and Jefferson. Jefferson hasn’t even taken a single snap on defense yet despite the linebacker position being decimated by injuries, but he has been solid on special teams. Willis looks to be Michael Johnson’s replacement as a base defensive end, but at least Johnson broke out as a pass-rusher for a few seasons. Willis has yet to do so.The big issue with the listed bubble players is Boyd. This season should cement his status as a lock for years to come, but it’s logical to be cautiously optimistic about that. The only reason Boyd was drafted was so he could compensate for the loss of both Marvin Jones Jr. and Mohamed Sanu following the 2015 season. The sooner the Bengals retain Boyd, the better. Ross really needs to get healthy in order to be bumped up to a lock as well.Andy Dalton is a virtual lock to be here, even though his contract runs out following the 2020 season. Regardless of what happens over the next two years, there’s very little doubt that Dalton remains in Cincinnati through at least the 2020 season, and it’s likely he gets a long-term extension to remain here for the foreseeable future. Glenn Womens Tyler Boyd Jersey , Boling, Vigil and Kirkpatrick are all veterans who have been productive for Cincinnati, but the Bengals usually have a habit of letting guys walk a season or two before they drop in production rather than waiting a year or two. Vigil is the youngest of that group, so he may be sticking around.Of all the unlikely players to be around in 2020, Bernard is probably the hardest one to swallow. He has been a fan favorite since his rookie year, even though he’s been overshadowed by both Jeremy Hill and Joe Mixon for most of his career. The Bengals drafted Mark Walton for depth at the running back position, but it’s possible that he could become Bernard’s long-term replacement. Without a doubt, it would be a sad day if Bernard ever lines up in another team’s backfield.Burfict isn’t too surprising to be listed along with Bernard. He is among a group of aging vets who hasn’t produced up to their standards this season , and he is still toeing the line despite multiple warning from the league office. The Bengals need to get more athletic at that position anyway.Which players do you think will be around for 2020?Bengals vs Ravens: Odds, expert picks, analysis, predictions for NFL Week 2 The Bengals and Ravens both won their games in Week 1 in very different ways. Baltimore waltzed to a 47-3 victory over Buffalo. Meanwhile, Cincinnati clawed their way back from down 23-10 against Indianapolis for a 34-23 win.First place in the AFC North (for now) is on the line when these two teams meet tonight. It should be a heated battle as the Ravens haven’t forgiven the Bengals for ending their 2017 season with a Tyler Boyd touchdown catch from Andy Dalton. Now, these teams are battling it out in primetime, both coming in 1-0.Let’s take a look at how the experts view these AFC North rivals’ Thursday Night Football matchup in Week 2.OddsThe Bengals are currently viewed as 1 point underdogs, according to Bovada. The line increased two points since Cincinnati opened up as three-point under dogs. This is a little bit strange. Usually if two even teams are playing , the home team gets a little bit of the advantage, so oddsmakers must have really liked the Ravens to give them an advantage to start, but that advantage has lessened. Also the Ravens recent history against the Bengals is terrible. Cincinnati has won seven of the last nine games against Baltimore. The Ravens also only have one win in Cincinnati during that span. Of course the Bengals’ well documented struggles during primetime could also contribute this.Here are some trends for both teams:Cincinnati is 7-2 against the spread in its last nine gamesCincinnati is 4-2 against the spread in its last six games at homeCincinnati is 4-2 straight up in its last six games at homeCincinnati is 6-3 against the spread in its last nine games when playing BaltimoreCincinnati is 7-2 straight up in its last nine games when playing BaltimoreCincinnati is 9-4 against the spread in its last 13 games when playing at home against BaltimoreCincinnati is 5-1 straight up in its last six games when playing at home against BaltimoreBaltimore is 4-2 against the spread in its last six gamesBaltimore is 6-2 straight up in its last eight gamesThe total has gone over in nine of Baltimore’s last 13 gamesBaltimore is 4-1-1 against the spread in its last six games on the roadBaltimore is 4-10 straight up in its last 14 games on the roadThe total has gone over in five of Baltimore’s last seven games on the roadBaltimore is 3-6 against the spread in its last nine games when playing CincinnatiBaltimore is 2-7 straight up in its last nine games when playing CincinnatiBaltimore is 4-9 against the spread in its last 13 games when playing on the road against CincinnatiBaltimore is 1-5 straight up in its last six games when playing on the road against CincinnatiPicksFox Sports projects a 22.5-19 loss for the Bengals4 of ESPN’s 10 pickers chose the Bengals. Only one of SB Nation’s seven experts picked the BengalsCBS Sports’ John Breech picked the Bengals by a score of 23-205 of CBS’s 8 pickers (including Breech) chose the BengalsNFL Pick Watch, which tracks all picks across the internet has 58% of experts going with the Ravens.As of now the trend seems to be that people don’t believe in the Bengals. This is nothing new though. It would be a nice early season statement for Cincinnati to go out and get a win on ‘Thursday Night Football’ to gain some respect.

The statement I’m about to make isn’t a hot take. It’s probably the furthest thing from it. After re-watching the Los Angeles Rams vs Oakland Raiders week one matchup (multiple times) , I’ve come away with a handful of plays that show the thought process in which Head Coach Sean McVay schemes plays and how he wanted to attack the Raiders’ defense and why that makes him the best young head coach in the NFL.(Editor’s note: That’s a hot take.)First things first, everything works off of the run game. In the first half, the Rams hardly had the ball - and didn’t establish the run whatsoever. Stud running back Todd Gurley had a total of four carries and the Rams offense faltered for it. In the second half things managed to pick up. The offensive line was downright dominant and Gurley was his typical self using his patience to setup their blocks, finding the right hole, and bursting through with explosion.Here’s a run play from the game:(Google AMP and Apple News readers will need to click here to see the clip)Your browser does not support HTML5 video.The Rams were running an outside zone run play here. LT Andrew Whitworth absolutely buries his guy here, but it’s far enough in the backfield that Gurley realizes he wont be able to bounce the run outside. LG Rodger Saffold and C John Sullivan dominate a DT at the point of attack with a combo block with Sully moving to the second level to find the middle “mike” linebacker. The backside of the play features another three solid blocks by RG Austin Blythe who demolishes his defender, RT Rob Havenstein , and TE Tyler Higbee. The play may not have went for major yardage, but these are the types of run plays that set up an effective play action threat later on.For smart, high-football IQ individuals like WR Cooper Kupp, the positives of a strong running game are endless. Here’s the play:(Google AMP and Apple News readers will need to click here to see the clip)Your browser does not support HTML5 video.Here in the red zone, the Rams run a play action pass with Kupp using a fake block on S Reggie Nelson to get him to bite and totally forget about coverage. Nelson’s eyes are 100% committed to the backfield, and Kupp releases into his out route completely alone walking in for an easy touchdown.This time, the Rams run a hard playaction fake to the left simulating another outside zone run instead attacking all three levels of the defense. The pass was a 30-yard completion to WR Brandin Cooks. Take a look:(Google AMP and Apple News readers will need to click here to see the clip)Your browser does not support HTML5 video.Watching the Raiders’ linebackers and S Reggie Nelson tells you all you need to know about the respect they grew for the Rams’ running game as the game wore on. As they got gashed in the run game , their defenders started to cheat and focused on primarily stopping the run. The offensive line created a great pocket for Goff to dropback and feel comfortable in. Goff threw a dart to a wide open Cooks for easy yardage.Once again, on this passing play the Rams took advantage of a strong running game to the tune of another heavy play action fake. Unfortunately this time the pass was underthrown and not completed. Here’s the play:(Google AMP and Apple News readers will need to click here to see the clip)Your browser does not support HTML5 video.See how this play was a bit different than the playaction pass right above? The Rams still have Cooks running the deep crosser with Kupp running the underneath crosser, but the Rams set this up for it to work by running a bunch of crossing routes all game. Kupp’s crosser turned into a wheel route up the sideline where he found himself wide open. Goff didn’t get enough under the ball making his receiver turn around and start back peddling for the ball, but this concept is really fun.Here’s the last passing play that worked off of heavy playaction:(Google AMP and Apple News readers will need to click here to see the clip)Your browser does not support HTML5 video.With not much time left in the game, Goff seen his WR Robert Woods making a break on the post to get behind the entire defense (which he does) though they couldn’t connect. Goff overthrew Woods by maybe a yard, but the play design worked to perfection again. Riding the coattails of a strong running game and play action fakes, the play had Kupp chipping as a blocker and delayed releasing into the flat as a checkdown Jared Goff Jersey Elite , Cooks running the crosser (as the Rams were hitting all game), and Woods running the post. The play also had a different wrinkle with Tyler Higbee coming across the formation with a fake “pull” or “wham block”.When you look at the versatility of the Rams’ weapons, their offense relies on simplicity.Don’t get me wrong. McVay is a genius, and he is going to work in more complex subtleties. But the Rams’ ability to do everything and move guys around makes the offense that much more dangerous. Watching how the strong run game turns into a strong intermediate play action passing game turn into a strong deep play action passing game is awesome.And should only get more impressive as the season goes on.Turf Show Radio S10E25: Week 2 (@ ARI) recap 34-0.The Los Angeles Rams absolutely dominated the Arizona Cardinals yesterday in an expected performance that was still impressive nonetheless.So to break it down, Joey (@LaRamsRamsRams), Rob (@seattlerams_nfl), Misone (@MightyOrMisone) and Joe (@3k_) are all at the table with a new episode of Turf Show Radio tonight at 10pm ET/7pm PT. Listen live at the show page or by calling in at (347) 857-1022 and just listening in on your phone.While Arizona is far from the best team we’ll face this year , the output was overwhelming. On offense, the Rams worked hard to establish the run early on which opened up the playbook. Defensively, it was a masterclass showing not allowing Arizona’s offense beyond midfield until the waning minutes of the game.So join the jerks tonight. And hit us up on on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #TurfShowRadio.(Apple News readers will need to head to the show page to listen to the episode; you can find the show in iTunes too)

 The Kansas City Chiefs have placed wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas on injured reserve, the team announced via its official Twitter account on Saturday morning.With safety Daniel Sorensen expected back from injured reserve at some Youth Travis Kelce Jersey point this season and the Chiefs other recent additions to the list in Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Armani Watts, this likely ends Thomas’ season. The NFL allows two players to return from injured reserve each year.It’s been quite a nine-day roller coaster for McQuay, the 23-year-old safety the Chiefs selected in the sixth round in last year’s draft. McQuay went from being released back to the practice squad to now the active roster during that span.McQuay being moved to the active roster makes him the fourth safety behind Ron Parker, Jordan Lucas and Josh Shaw, likely ending the chance we see wide receiver Marcus Kemp playing defense Sunday night against the New England Patriots.That being said, with the Chiefs’ luck when it comes to injuries lately, you never do know.Eric Murray is out for Sunday night’s game and Eric Berry is listed as doubtful for the sixth week in a row.Final Chiefs’ 53-man roster projection Now that the final preseason game has ended, there’s nothing left but the cruelest weekend in the NFL season: the cutdown to the initial 53-man roster. Some will make the roster unexpectedly, some cuts will happen that we should have seen coming and some guys will make the initial 53 only to get cut when the Chiefs sign or trade for another team’s unwanted players. That’s why it’s the initial 53 and not the final 53.But, it is the final prediction from the staff here at Arrowhead Pride. As with the first edition, I’ve put this list together using roster size information compiled by Gary McKenzie and with additional input from the whole AP staff.Offense (26 players)Quarterback:Locks: Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne On the bubble: Matt McGloin, Chase LittonReid’s average: 3Prediction (3): Mahomes, Henne, LittonIt’s still Lit’. Everyone outside of 1 Arrowhead Drive has basically agreed that Chase Litton has earned the No. 3 quarterback job. Will the Chiefs’ brass agree?Running Back:Locks: Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware, Damien WilliamsOn the bubble: Kerwynn Williams, Darrel Williams, Ray LawryReid’s average: 3.4Prediction (4): Hunt, Ware, Damien Williams, Darrel WilliamsDarrel looks like a lock at this point, and it would be very surprising if he isn’t on the roster or practice squad. The only question is, “How many Williams(es) do they keep?”Fullback: Locks: Anthony Sherman On the bubble: Algernon BrownReid’s average: 1Prediction (1): Sherman“The Sausage” returns for leadership and special teams reasons.Tight End:Locks: Travis Kelce, Demetrius HarrisOn the bubble: Alex Ellis, Tim Wright, Jace AmaroReid’s average: 3.2Prediction (3):Kelce, Harris (Amaro), EllisHarris will serve a suspension in Week 1.Expect Amaro to take his place until Week 2, Ellis looks like the No. 3.Wide receiver:Locks:Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Chris Conley, Demarcus RobinsonOn the bubble: Jehu Chesson, De’Anthony Thomas, Marcus Kemp, Gehrig Dieter, Daniel Braverman, Byron Pringle, Elijah Marks, Jordan Smallwood Youth Mitch Morse Jersey , Davon Grayson, Blake Mack, Josh CrockettReid’s average: 6Prediction (7): Hill, Watkins, Conley, Robinson, Thomas, Dieter, KempI think it’ll come down to special teams for the last couple of spots, so it’s DAT, Kemp and Dieter. Pringle certainly made his best case for a job against Green Bay, but will it be enough?Offensive line: Locks: Eric Fisher, Cameron Erving, Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Mitchell Schwartz, On the bubble: Bryan Witzmann, Kahlil McKenzie, Andrew Wylie, Jordan Devey, Ryan Hunter, Jimmy Murray, Bentley Spain, Ethan CooperReid’s average: 8.4Prediction (8): Fisher, Erving, Morse, Duvernay-Tardif, Schwartz, Wylie, Witzmann, McKenzieThe big story is still the left guard position and the depth here. Erving has been the starting LG all preseason, but don’t count out Andrew Wylie, who could not only make the roster, but could also quietly challenge for playing time. Prior to Thursday’s game, the news broke of Parker Ehinger being traded to Dallas for cornerback Charvarius Ward. We had Ehinger as the odd man out in our prior prediction post, and it’s clear he wasn’t going to make the roster, so Brett Veach traded him for another young defender.Defense (24 players)Defensive line: Locks: Chris Jones, Xavier Williams, Allen Bailey, Jarvis Jenkins, Derrick NnadiOn the bubble: Justin Hamilton Youth Kareem Hunt Jersey , Dee Liner, T.Y. McGill, Mike Purcell, Stefan CharlesReid’s average: 6.4Prediction (5): Jones, Williams, Nnadi, Bailey, JenkinsWe went light on the defensive line, given that Speaks and Tanoh can slide inside at times. Jarvis Jenkins and Justin Hamilton have been very good, along with T.Y.McGill—could one of them push Allen Bailey and his substantial contract off the roster?Outside linebacker: Locks: Justin Houston, Breeland Speaks, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Dee FordOn the bubble: Frank Zombo, Tyrone Holmes, Robert McCrayReid’s average: 4.8Prediction (4): Houston, Speaks, Tanoh, FordFans want to cut Zombo, and we doubt Toub does, but there’s a new four-man rotation at OLB, and Zombo doesn’t really fit.Inside linebacker: Locks: Reggie Ragland, Anthony Hitchens, Dorian O’Daniel On the bubble: Ukeme Eligwe, Terrance Smith, Raymond Davison, Ben Niemann, Otha PetersReid’s average: 4.2Prediction (5):Ragland, Hitchens, O’Daniel, Eligwe, NiemannNiemann has done everything possible to win a roster spot, and we predict that he is rewarded after a tremendous offseason. Smith is the odd man out.Cornerback: Locks: Kendall Fuller, Steven Nelson, Tremon Smith, Orlando Scandrick, Charvarius WardOn the bubble: David Amerson, Will Redmond, Keith Reaser, Arrion Springs, D’Montre Wade, Dorleant Makinton Youth Justin Houston Jersey , Step DurhamReid’s average: 5Prediction (6): Fuller, Nelson, Smith, Scandrick, Ward, SpringsAfter a frustrating preseason, David Amerson might just find himself on the roster bubble. He’s struggled each week, and the Chiefs have added two corners in the last 11 days, clearly showing they aren’t content with the position. We’ll predict they go with upside over experience and keep three rookie corners.Safety:Locks: Eric Berry, Armani Watts, Daniel Sorensen, Eric Murray On the bubble: Leon McQuay, Jordan SternsReid’s average: 4.6Prediction (4): Berry, Watts, Murray, Sorensen (McQuay)Sorensen is injured and is expected to return a few weeks into the season.Until then, expect McQuay to be on the roster in his place.This might be an area in which the team still really needs to add a player. Special teams (3 players)Placekicker: Prediction (1): Harrison Butker Long Snapper:Prediction (1): James Winchester Punter:Prediction (1):Dustin Colquitt Dave Toub’s comments confirmed that we already know the final depth chart for the kickers: “We’re so confident in the guys we have we want them to get as many reps,” Toub said. “And at the end of the day, is anybody going to come in here and beat Dustin Colquitt? Is anybody going to beat Harrison Butker?”Outside the 53Practice Squad:Makinton Dorleant, Robert McCray, Byron Pringle, Raymond Davison, Dee Liner, Ryan Hunter, Blake Mack, T.Y. McGill, D’Montre Wade, Jordan SternsLast Five ON: These guys make the initial roster, but they shouldn’t get too comfortable, as roster moves might still push them off.De’Anthony Thomas, Gehrig Dieter, Jace Amaro, Alex Ellis,Arrion SpringsLast Five OFF: These guys just miss the cut, but that could easily change.Jordan Devey, Justin Hamilton, Jehu Chesson, T.Y. McGill, Frank Zombo

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