Category Archives: NFL

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The Packers Five Biggest Needs Heading into the Offseason

The Green Bay Packers have suffered back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1990-91. That means changes are coming to Titletown. The Packers already hired their new coach in Matt LaFleur who is still in the process of putting his staff together. But the other urgent task for GM Brian Gutekunst is to improve the talent level on the roster. Here is a look at the five areas the Packers need to upgrade in order to play winning football again quickly.
1. Edge Rusher
The best NFL defenses always have a consistent pass rush. A dangerous edge rusher makes all the players around him on defense better because offenses must make adjustments to stop the dominant player. Look at the difference Khalil Mack made on an already talented Bears defense when they added him to the lineup just prior to the start of the season.
The Packers have not had a dominant edge rusher since Clay Matthews was in his prime. Matthews is likely headed elsewhere this offseason and is no longer able to get consistent pressure on opposing passers like he could several years ago. Nick Perry is often injured and may be let go this offseason as well. That leaves the Packers with Kyler Fackrell who improved in 2018 but is still inconsistent, and Reggie Gilbert who was not a factor during the regular season after enjoying a strong training camp.
The Packers still managed to record 44 sacks this season despite the lack of a dominant pass rusher. That is a testament to the imaginative schemes of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, the push the defense got inside from Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels and occasionally good coverage downfield.
Adding a top-flight edge rusher would improve the Packers defense immensely and immediately. This should be the team’s top priority on defense this offseason.
2. Safety
The Packers traded former first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to Washington at the trade deadline. Due to injuries and a lack of quality play at the position, Tramon Williams was moved from cornerback to safety and he did an adequate job during the second half of the season.
Kentrell Brice has not proven he can be a reliable starter. He is a liability in coverage and is not a very good tackler either.  Williams can start if needed, but at age 35, he is not the long-term answer either and is better suited to nickel or dime duty. Josh Jones has not shown he is the answer, especially in coverage.
The Pack needs to add a few players at this position. Poor safety play has hurt the defense over the past few seasons and unless an upgrade is made here, the defense will continue to struggle.
Pettine prefers to play the pass first. Expect the Pack to add at least two safeties via the draft and/or free agency with an emphasis on coverage ability.
3. Guard
The Packers allowed 53 sacks in 2018, tied for third worst in the league. Much of the pressure the Pack allowed came up the middle. Left guard Lane Taylor is an adequate starter when healthy although he is a better run blocker than pass protector.
Right guard was a problem area for the team all season. Justin McCray, Byron Bell and Lucas Patrick all got extensive playing time at the position, but none of them played well enough to solidify their hold on the starters spot.
The Packers need to add a starting-caliber guard via free agency and then add another interior lineman in the draft. Protecting Aaron Rodgers is vital to the Packers success and upgrading the guard position will help accomplish this goal.
4. Offensive Tackle
The Packers have an All-Pro tackle in David Bakhtiari and a very good tackle in Bryan Bulaga. But the team lacks depth at the position and Bulaga is entering his 10th season in the league and has struggled to stay healthy in recent years.
Backup Jason Spriggs has struggled every time he’s placed in the starting lineup and has not lived up to his status as a second-round draft pick. McCray  is better suited to playing inside rather than at tackle.
Green Bay needs to add developmental players here who can step in and replace Bulaga when the time comes and players who can be inserted into the lineup when injuries hit without becoming a major liability.
5. Slot Receiver
Randall Cobb is unlikely to return unless he offers the Packers a large home-town discount. None of the young receivers on the team’s roster has been a good fit in the slot. Cobb’s ability to run short patterns over the middle gave Rodgers a good intermediate target and a check down. His versatility and ability to line up in various spots also helped keep defenses honest.
The Packers need somebody to take over this role and provide Rodgers with a reliable slot target. An experienced, mid-level free agent would be a great addition at this position. A minor trade could also add a reliable slot receiver who could also help mentor the Packers young receivers as they enter their second year in the NFL.
 


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NFL Viewing Picks for Divisional Weekend: 01/12 — 13/2019

All Times Eastern
Saturday, January 12
Studio and Pregame Shows
NFL Matchup — ESPN, 6:30 a.m.
NFL GameDay Pick’Em — NFL Network, 8 a.m.
Good Morning Football Weekend — NFL Network, 9 a.m.
Postseason NFL Countdown — ESPN, 10 a.m.
NFL GameDay Morning — NFL Network, noon
NFL Championship Chase: The Divisional Playoffs — Fox, 2 p.m.
Football Night in America live from Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO — NBC, 3:30 p.m.
Fox NFL Special — Fox, 7:30 p.m.
NFL GameDay Highlights — NFL Network, 8:30 p.m.
NFL Total Access — NFL Network, 11:30 p.m.
NFL PrimeTime — ESPN, midnight

4:35 p.m.
AFC Divisional Playoff, Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs — NBC (Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth//Michele Tafoya)//Westwood One Radio (Ryan Radke/Trent Green//Laura Okmin)
8:15 p.m.
NFC Divisional Playoff, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams — Fox (Joe Buck/Troy Aikman//Erin Andrews//Chris Myers//Westwood One Radio (Kevin Kugler/Kurt Warner//Scott Kaplan)
Sunday, January 13
Studio and Pregame Shows
Good Morning Football Weekend — NFL Network, 7 a.m.
That Other Pregame Show — CBS Sports Network, 9 a.m.
NFL GameDay Morning — NFL Network, 9 a.m.
Postseason NFL Countdown — ESPN, 10 a.m.
The NFL Today — CBS, noon
Fox NFL Sunday — Fox, 4 p.m.
NFL GameDay Highlights — NFL Network, 4 p.m.
The OT — Fox, 7:30 p.m.
NFL PrimeTime — ESPN, 8 p.m.
NFL GameDay Prime — NFL Network, 8 p.m.
NFL GameDay Prime — Fox, 11:30 p.m.

1:05 p.m.
AFC Divisional Playoff, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots — CBS (Jim Nantz/Tony Romo//Tracy Wolfson//Jay Feely//Gene Steratore (rules analyst))//Westwood One Radio (Ian Eagle/Tony Boselli//Hub Arkush)
4:40 p.m.
NFC Divisional Playoff, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints — Fox (Kevin Burkhardt/Charles Davis//Pam Oliver//Peter Schrager)//Westwood One Radio (Kevin Harlan/James Lofton//Ross Tucker)


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Look: Kliff Kingsbury's dating stunning TV reporter Holly Sonders, girlfriend confirms

Category : NFL

Arizona Cardinals fans will be delighted to hear who their new head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, has been dating.
Fox Sports reporter Holly Sonders, who is a co-host of the popular show, “Undisputed,” has apparently been in a relationship with Kingsbury.
It was rumored that Kingsbury was dating someone in the sports world, but the two did a good job keeping it under wraps, as there was really no indication as to who that was exactly.
Well, we now know it’s Sonders, as she announced the news on Twitter Wednesday.
If interested, here are some photos of Sonders.
Big news.


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Look: Jerry Jones buys enormous $250 million yacht

Category : Cowboys , NFL , Take a Look

Anyone that has been to AT&T Stadium knows that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones does everything big. The team’s home venue resembles more of a nightclub than a stadium, as Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll once said.
Not only that, Jones even boasts next-level leisure options, as we recently learned. TMZ Sports obtained a photo of his new superyacht — which, by the way, cost $250 million.
It’s called “Bravo Eugenia,” is 357 feet long (!), has two helipads and a gym on board. Check out the photo of the yacht — which looks more like a military assault boat than anything else.

Yes, that’s real.
 


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Watch: Stefon Diggs surprises mother with new car for Christmas

Category : Featured , NFL , Vikings

Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs spared no expense in a Christmas gift for a person that’s close to his heart.
Diggs spent Christmas with some of his family members, including his mother. She was the recipient of a rather large and expensive gift, courtesy of her son. He posted a video of her coming out of her house on Christmas, with a brand-new Mercedes-Benz SUV waiting for her. The look on her face, as well as the excitement on it, was priceless, as you can see in the video below.

You get 1 mom… here’s something for the lady that put up with all my craziness. Merry Christmas everyone pic.twitter.com/tfGLD4WQxY
— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) December 25, 2018

Diggs even put a red bow on the vehicle to top it all off. He seemed to really brighten his mother’s day, which was great to see.


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Broncos-Raiders preview: How to watch live stream online, prediction, analysis

Category : NFL

Two of the AFC West’s cellar-dwellers are set to square off in the final Monday night game of the season, in a matchup that the fans at O.Co Coliseum will probably be extremely amped up for.
This will be the final game the Raiders will ever play at the Coliseum, with the team currently negotiating to play at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, where they would share the venue with the 49ers. They’ll be looking to gain some momentum heading into Jon Gruden’s second season with the team, and they will be attempting to put on a show for the fans.
As for the Broncos, well, there’s not much to write home about. The team saw its playoff hopes going up in flames, following back-to-back losses to the 49ers and Browns — two teams with losing records that won’t be in the postseason. Not only that, it’s a near-lock that head coach Vance Joseph will be fired in the coming weeks, so it will be interesting to see what type of effort the Broncos players put forth.
The motivation angle sure seems to be on the Raiders’ side here, while the Broncos have a slightly better roster, so it will be interesting to see which angle proves to be the difference in Monday’s game.
Broncos-Raiders Highlights and Fixture Information
Date: Monday, Dec. 24
Time: 8:15 p.m. EST/1:15 a.m. BST (Tuesday, Dec. 25)
TV Info: ESPN
Where to bet legally on Broncos-Raiders in USA: The Broncos, surprisingly, garnered a lot of early money from bettors in this contest, but sharp action has banged the line down from -3.5 to -3. This AFC West showdown figures to be one of the most-bet games of the week, so make sure to check out this handicapping advice website, that way you’ll have all the insight you need to wager on it.
Prediction: Raiders 24, Broncos 20


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LeSean McCoy's benching shows riff with coaches, proves future with team is over

Category : Bills , NFL

Bills running back LeSean McCoy is wrapping up arguably the worst season of his career, and it’s clear that his time with the team is wearing thin.
McCoy has carried the ball 151 times for 488 times this season, with only two touchdowns. His 3.2 yards per carry is the lowest in his career, and it would be interesting to know what the reason behind that is. He had this to say about it after the game.
“We had a situation,” he said, via the New York Post. “And he was totally right. And it was a private situation,” McCoy said after the game. “I’m a captain. I gotta be more accountable. It’s as simple as that. He checked me. Put me in my place. That’s it.”
It’s unclear if injuries are bothering him, leading to that decline, or if the effort just isn’t there. McCoy made it very clear that he wanted to be traded around the time of the deadline, although the team elected not to move him.
He’s been with the team for four seasons, and the new coaching staff/regime, led by Doug McDermott, doesn’t seem to be working out with him. They’re a no-nonsense group, and McCoy seems to do better with players’ coaches.
McCoy currently has one year left on his deal, so if the team does trade him in the offseason, he’d essentially be a “rental” of sorts, but the Bills would definitely draw interest.
In the meantime, the Bills will close out the season with a Week 17 showdown against the Dolphins at New Era Field. They’re currently listed as 3.5-point favorites, and you can get betting advice for that game on this popular advice website here. It will be interesting to see how the Bills close out the season for sure, given that neither team is in playoff contention, but Buffalo has a lot to prove.
As for McCoy, he rushed for only nine yards on six carries in Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, so it will be interesting to see how much action he gets against the Dolphins.


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Look: JuJu Smith-Schuster seen crying after brutal fumble that cost Steelers playoff berth

Category : NFL , Steelers

The Steelers saw their playoff hopes go up in flames late in Sunday’s game against the Saints, when JuJu Smith-Schuster coughed up a costly fumble to end the contest.
Smith-Schuster had just caught a pass to put the team in field-goal range, with roughly 30 seconds remaining, and the Steelers were in position to tie the game, if not possibly even win it.
But he flipped over onto a defender, and that’s when Sheldon Rankings stripped him of the football, which the Saints recovered to win the game.
Smith-Schuster was seen crying on the bench afterward.
It’s a tough moment for Smith-Schuster, and for the Steelers as well, as now, all of a sudden, the Ravens have taken the division lead in the AFC North. As for the Steelers, they’re now on the outside looking in, needing the Browns to beat the Ravens next Sunday, to possibly clinch a playoff berth.


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Travis Kelce gifted Chiefs QBs, TEs Versace robes

Category : Chiefs , Featured , NFL , Trending Now

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has already set career highs in receptions (93), receiving yards (1,220) and touchdowns (10) with two regular-season games left to play, and he recently gave back to some of his teammates that helped him do so.
Kelce bought the Chiefs quarterbacks and tight ends a holiday gift, and he spared no expense in doing so. He bought each of them a Versace robe, and told reporters on Friday “that was probably the best gift I’ve given in a long time.” You can see a photo of what one of the robes looks like below.

There’s a Versace box on the floor in front of Demetrius Harris’ locker. Turns out it’s a gift from Travis Kelce.
Kelce said he bought Versace robes for the tight ends this year
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) December 21, 2018

Update: he also gave them to the quarterbacks. Chase Litton put his on while we were in there.
Looks something like this pic.twitter.com/Oa9HB126ab
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) December 21, 2018

The robes retail for $595 apiece, and they appear to be one of the more stylish holiday gifts we’ve seen a player buy for their teammates.


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Broncos CB Jamar Taylor ejected for punching Breshad Perriman (Video)

Category : Broncos , Browns , NFL

Broncos cornerback Jamar Taylor came in as a reserve during Saturday’s game against the Browns, but he didn’t last until the entirety of the contest.
Taylor was ejected late in the third quarter for punching Browns receiver Breshad Perriman in the face. The two had gotten into it after the play, and it appeared Perriman had a few words to get under his opponent’s skin. It worked to perfection, as he drew a punch, which resulted in Taylor getting ejected from the game.

Jamar Taylor’s reaction to the flag was priceless #CLEvsDEN pic.twitter.com/RTdGtKC035
— Will Applebee (@NOTSCWill) December 16, 2018

This was key because the Broncos were already undermanned as is in the secondary, so they had to really dig deep to replace Taylor.


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