Category: Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings

The biggest surprise of the NFL season (so far) for each team

Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season didn’t go exactly as planned. The defending champion New England Patriots gave up 21 fourth-quarter points to lose to the Kansas City Chiefs in last Thursday’s season opener. Three days later, the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons needed to withstand a last-minute drive from a rebuilding Chicago Bears team to avoid a similarly embarrassing fate.

The surprises stretched beyond the two teams who played in Super Bowl 51. AFC South champion Houston lost to AFC South basement-dweller Jacksonville after the Jaguars rung up 10 sacks on two different ineffective Texan quarterbacks. The Rams, one season after scoring a league-low 14 points per game last fall, dropped more points than anyone else in the NFL by scoring 46 against an inept Colts team.

It may be a different time in the NFC West after going from a power with Seattle and San Francisco to a power with Seattle and Arizona; now you have one team too young to compete, one team that may be too old, and the Seahawks may get their franchise quarterback killed.
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Elite Youth Markus Golden Jersey Through two games, Siemian has completed 14 of 20 passes on third down, good for 70 percent. All 14 of those completed passes have resulted in a first down or touchdown (four touchdowns). That’s extremely efficient. If you break it down further, he’s 6-of-7 on third downs with 4-6 yards to go and 3-of-4 on with 7-10 yards. So while there aren’t many third-and-long situations — because the run game is back and averaging 159 yards a game so far — it’s still impressive.

At some point this season, the Chiefs will enter the final minutes of the fourth quarter with either too many timeouts or not enough, and when they lose by one score, Reid will be the only person who isn’t miffed.

Saints erased their own field goal, only to kick it again from the same spot. It actually made sense.

The Saints and Patriots matchup has been gassed up this week because of the quarterback matchup between Tom Brady and Drew Brees. However, it’s also a good coaching matchup between Bill Belichick and Sean Payton.

Payton showed why in the second quarter. The Saints were facing a fourth-and-8 on the Patriots 16 and attempting a field goal. The kick was good, but the Patriots’ Jonathan Jones jumped offside. The Saints took the penalty, making it a fourth-and-3.

The offense lined up and tried to draw the Patriots offside, which they nearly did:

Instead, the Saints took a delay of game, and ended up kicking a field goal again. Wil Lutz made it, and it ended up being the same result.

While the play didn’t work, it was a great move by Payton and the Saints to attempt that. It nearly worked, and while it didn’t, they still got points out of it.

Detroit’s offense looks like it’ll be a high-scoring machine again, even with the backfield struggling. Ameer Abdullah was held to 30 yards on 15 carries, getting no room against the Cardinals’ front seven. Stafford will likely have to air it out again, but he’ll have a much tougher matchup with the Giants’ defense.

New York held Dak Prescott to 268 yards and didn’t let Ezekiel Elliott find the end zone. The defense did everything it had to, making the offensive collapse even more frustrating. Beckham being back should help, but if Manning doesn’t show signs of life then the Giants’ season could go south in a hurry. Teams that start off 0-2 have an extremely slim chance of making the playoffs, so the Giants should have an increased sense of urgency in their home opener.
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How did Rams’ Sean McVay become the NFL’s youngest coach?

Sean McVay was hired by the Los Angeles Rams in January, less than two weeks before his 31st birthday. A 30-year-old head coach topped the record for the youngest in NFL history — a mark that was previously held by Lane Kiffin, the former coach of the Oakland Raiders who was hired a few months before his 32nd birthday.

The Rams are a young team. With an average player age of 25.09 years, the Rams have the second-youngest roster in the league, according to Philly Voice. McVay is younger than two players on the Rams roster: 32-year-old center John Sullivan and 35-year-old offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth.

Limited Kids Bobby Hull Jersey Whitworth spent the last 11 years of his NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals before joining the Rams in March. But he said he wasn’t fazed by the youth of his new head coach.

Age kind of goes out the window when you hear him speak, Whitworth told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports in August. And he handles himself in a way that you realize quickly that he’s a guy who is so sharp and ahead of the game and you give him that instant respect.

Watson relieved Tom Savage in the second half of Sunday’s 29-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars after Savage and the offense struggled to move the ball. Savage was 7-of-13 for 62 yards and was sacked six times. Watson did not fare much better, going 12-of-23 for 102 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Limited Kids Jimmy Vesey Jersey Watson did, though, lead the Texans down the field on his first NFL drive, throwing a 4-yard scoring pass to DeAndre Hopkins for the Texans’ only points of their opener.

Savage has been the Texans’ starting quarterback since they traded Brock Osweiler in March, even after Houston moved up in the first round to draft Watson. O’Brien said on Monday that although Savage took the majority of the snaps with the starting offense during training camp, Watson took a large portion, as well.

It’s easy to dismiss Jay Cutler from fantasy relevance, but doing so would be foolhardy.

In 2015, Cutler posted his highest QB rating of his career (92.3) running Adam Gase’s offense. He competed that season with limited resources at wide receiver as Alshon Jeffery played just nine games. Marquess Wilson was second among wide receivers on the Chicago Bears that season with just 467 receiving yards. With Gase now the Miami Dolphins’ head coach and Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker at wide receiver, Cutler is poised to have a solid season.

Limited Youth Stephen Tulloch Jersey So far, McAdoo’s offense is worth less than that in 2017.

The coach asked for the blame Monday night, but then he placed full culpability for the fourth-and-goal, delay-of-game flag squarely on Eli Manning’s shoulder pads.

Sloppy quarterback play, McAdoo said of the penalty that turned a touchdown attempt into a field goal. Although Manning later admitted that the quarterback is always at fault on delay-of-game calls, McAdoo didn’t need to fire that spiral into the back of a two-time Super Bowl MVP who is usually among the league leaders in all accountability metrics.

Youth Jameis Winston Jersey Bottom line: McAdoo did not have his team ready to start the season. Cast as credible contenders, the Giants were outclassed by the Cowboys on the road last week and by the Lions at home on Monday. They have the same record as their tanking co-tenants, the New York Jets, and they’re the only team in the NFC East that isn’t 1-1.

We talk about playing complete, complementary football, McAdoo said. By no stretch of the imagination did we get that done tonight.

Oregon looked like it might eclipse that output against Nebraska.

Vernon Butler Kids Jersey Smith turned in his best high-volume passing performance as a Chief (28 of 35, 368 yards passing, four TDs, 148.6 rating). It marked only the sixth time in four-plus seasons with Kansas City, including playoffs, that he’s thrown for 300-plus yards in a game.

Hunt accounted for 98 of those passing yards and half of those scores as part of a record-setting rookie debut, totaling 246 yards from scrimmage. The RB’s 78-yard TD catch and run was preceded by receiver Tyreek Hill speeding by the Patriots’ secondary for a similar, 78-yard TD.

Johnny Gaudreau Kids Jersey In the past, with go-to tight end Travis Kelce bottled up — as he was Thursday with former top wideout Jeremy Maclin no longer on the team — Smith would have been lost in a dinking and dunking haze, capped by the conservative play-calling of coach Andy Reid.

A week after scoring 77 points in a win over Southern Utah, Oregon looked like it might eclipse that output against Nebraska. The Ducks led 42-14 at halftime and were well on their way to another blowout win.

But in a shocking result, Oregon was held scoreless the entire second half while allowing the Cornhuskers to put up 21 points. The Ducks would miss a field goal and turn it over twice after halftime, with the second turnover setting up Nebraska’s final score. Mikale Wilbon’s touchdown with less than 3 minutes left gave the Cornhuskers the backdoor cover, making Oregon -10.5 a losing bet.

Titans make retired player with ALS one of their captains

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Tim Shaw’s presence with the Titans will continue into 2017 as he was named as one of the team’s six captains.

Shaw, a special teams performer and linebacker for the Titans from 2010-12, was diagnosed with ALS in 2014.

It is real special for Tim to be with us, Titans captain Wesley Woodyard said, via the team’s website. Nobody knows how many days you have on this earth, and him battling ALS, it shows the courage he has to keep going on. It is amazing to have him around and we cherish him.

Other Titans captains include quarterback Marcus Mariota, tight end Delanie Walker, linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive lineman Jurrell Casey.

A fifth-round pick by the Panthers in 2007, Shaw also played for the Jaguars and Bears before finishing his career with three seasons in Tennessee.

Mike Singletary Authentic Jersey Shaw currently has a book out titled Blitz Your Life: Stories from an NFL and ALS Warrior.

Hunt was being drafted 35th on average (ADP: 36.5) in the seven-day period leading into Thursday’s kickoff, but by Sunday’s kickoff, his ADP for the seven-day period leading into the day had risen to 19.1 and 16th overall.

Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears: Though his 13 total touches were fewer than those of any of the four other running backs with at least 20 PPR fantasy points, Cohen made them count, with 25.3 PPR and 17.3 non-PPR fantasy points. The former earned him a place within the top 20 performances since 1950 in an NFL debut. Cohen had runs of 46 and 15 yards as well as a 19-yard touchdown reception that in the fourth quarter drew the Bears within three points of the visiting Atlanta Falcons, flashing the kind of shiftiness that earned him the nickname The Human Joystick during his days at North Carolina A&T. He is available in 97.7 percent of ESPN leagues and will be one of the top adds in PPR formats entering Week 2 — and rightfully so.

Eddie Lacy unsure of Lambeau Leap, doesn’t want to get pushed back down

Eddie Lacy scored 29 touchdowns while a member of the Packers and 16 of those came at Lambeau Field.

When the Seahawks meet the Packers in Green Bay Grant Hill Womens Jersey on Sunday, the new Seattle running back is not sure if he’ll attempt a Lambeau Leap if he scores a touchdown against his former team.

“I don’t want to get pushed back down,” Lacy told reporters Thursday.

Lacy, 26, was a second-round pick of the Packers K.J. Wright Jersey in the 2013 NFL Draft. The former Alabama running back said he’s looking forward to facing his former team, but admitted it will be different being on the visitors’ sideline.

“We have worked closely with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office in their review of fantasy sports, including their issuance of the first set of consumer protection regulations for our industry, which we were pleased to comply with since their inception in 2016, ” FanDuel spokesperson Justine Sacco said in a statement.

“Over the last two years, the attorney general’s office has done an excellent job of working to fully understand DraftKings, our business and the fantasy sports industry,” DraftKings’ Tim Parilla said in a statement.

“That expertise informed the Massachusetts regulations which have now become the national model for common sense, consumer-focused fantasy sports regulations.”

The New York Attorney General’s office had also filed a suit against the companies, and reached a settlement last October that totaled $12 million.

The Browns have not been a double-digit favorite in any game since the 2007 season.

The Jets are 8-point underdogs at Buffalo in the season opener. With a bad performance, Salmons said the Jets could easily be 17-point underdogs in Week 2 at Oakland and potentially 10-point underdogs at Cleveland in Week 5.

The Browns have not been a double-digit favorite in any game since the 2007 season.

The Jets are at New England in Week 17, which may temper the spread depending on how meaningful the game is for the Patriots. Otherwise, Salmons said the Jets could end up being 28-point underdogs against New England.
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The Atlanta Falcons were 28-point underdogs to Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts in 1968, marking the largest point spread in the Super Bowl era, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Steve Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, cited his service in the U.S. Navy when he told WKYC-TV he was astounded that Browns management knew of the protests but allowed it to occur.

Browns players linked arms while standing in a line together during the national anthem before Saturday night’s preseason game against the Bucs, a day after team legend Jim Brown stressed unity to them when addressing societal issues.
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A dozen Browns players knelt in a circle to pray during the national anthem before Monday night’s preseason game. Several other players stood nearby and put their hands on a kneeling teammate’s shoulder.

I am not going to participate or work with management that allows their players to disrespect the flag and the national anthem, Loomis said.

The 49ers are the latest football team to steal a strategy from the NBA in terms of roster construction.

Cousins in San Francisco could receive top-five quarterback money in a long-term deal, play under a coach who has always shown him respect, trust and confidence, and find a familiar offense he can step into right away.

Even if, by a major surprise, the 49ers don’t get Cousins, they can go for Jimmy Garoppolo and/or a likely top-five pick as their quarterback of the future.

The 49ers are the latest football team to steal a strategy from the NBA in terms of roster construction. They’re tanking by design, and the organization is ready.
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The NBA has the most exciting offseason of any major sport. Fans get into prolonged debates about salary caps, impending free agents, the collection of draft picks as inexpensive assets and the discussion of tanking vs. going all-in. Every fan base has a vested interest during every offseason.

The oppression of African Americans in this country is very real for you, and you want to use your visibility to bring about change. Two: Doing it could cost you your career, because you see that Colin Kaepernick still is without a job.

Game Kids D.J. Humphries Jersey You want to do something, but don’t know what or how. Who do you call? Try Anquan Boldin, or Malcolm Jenkins, or Torrey Smith. Or any of the more than three dozen NFL players who have joined that trio to make change in, among other areas, police and criminal justice reform. Those players, in various ways since last season, have done the legwork and laid the foundation for activism among NFL players — and, increasingly, athletes in other sports and entertainers in other fields.

Texans coach Bill O’Brien says J.J. Watt will be even better this season

Game Womens Brent Celek Jersey J.J. Watt is expected to be back to his brutal and bloodied self this season.

That was the whole point of drafting the ultimate big-play security blanket in McCaffrey. He literally will catch anything Newton throws his way in open field and is capable of converting any of those catches into a chunk gain.

Along with fellow rookie Curtis Samuel — who also made his 2017 debut at wide receiver in the game — Newton can light up defenses in a different but equally effective way than the extended play lasers he used to throw to Ted Ginn and Philly Brown.

Every quarterback would be envious of Newton having the catch radius of Benjamin, ageless tight end Greg Olsen, an improved Devin Funchess and the unique quickness of McCaffrey and Samuel.

Tebow was slowly forced out of the league after a media frenzy surrounded him in Denver and New York, but with a career 47.9 percent completion percentage, the distraction that came with him was not worth it.

As for Vick, the distraction that came with his legal troubles was incredibly difficult to overcome, but his final season in the NFL before he went to jail included 20 touchdown passes in addition to 1,000 yards rushing from the quarterback spot. That was enough to earn him a second chance with the Eagles. He was a uniquely talented player, which in McCoy’s opinion, Kaepernick is not right now.

He’s 10 times better than Kaepernick, McCoy said of Vick. You’ll deal with that situation, that attention, that media aspect of it. The good, the bad attention you’ll get. Compared to Kaepernick, it’s like, he’s not really that good [enough] of a player to deal with.

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