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NFL Talk: Week 8 Picks

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NFL Talk: Week 8 Picks

Well, I did a lot better last week than the previous two weeks. I only got really the Chiefs and Raiders Thursday night game wrong but I was correct on everything else. The current teams that will be off this week will be the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Tennessee Titans. This will be a smaller week compared to what we are used to but there are quite a few good games this week.

Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens: Winner – Dolphins

Dolphins win this game 21-14 was my prediction but oh mighty lord did I get this one wrong to start Week 8. Somehow the Ravens managed to completely dominate the Dolphins at home and it really wasn’t even close. I was betting on Jay Ajayi taking this team further against the Ravens run defense but somehow they managed to shut the Dolphins down and put up 40 points! I felt that Joe Flacco was making a turnaround but him getting a concussion was brutal especially because he left the game in the second quarter and Ryan Mallet took over at QB. The Ravens defense stepped up big time in this game. Their defense was good enough to have 3 sacks, 1 INT from LB C.J Mosley with a return TD and stopped the Dolphins defense 4 times for punt returns. The Dolphins got beat up badly last night. The Dolphins had such a difficult time that the team will likely need to rethink their situation come next week.

Minnesota Vikings @ Cleveland Browns: Winner – Vikings

Not even going to explain why I picked the Vikings, it is the Browns. They have the worst team this year and arguably worse than last year which is incredible. The first overall pick in the draft Myles Garrett has likely already been placed on concussion protocol even though he has barely played this season. And more importantly, the team has a carousel of QBs that can’t win them games. The Vikings may have Case Keenum at QB but nonetheless, they are still arguably one of the best defenses in the league.

Los Angeles Chargers @ New England Patriots: Winner – Patriots

This is one of those games that will tough to call. The Chargers are hot now with a 3 game winning streak and Philip Rivers is dangerous when his team is hot. Right now, the Patriots are dealing with their injury situation with Dont’a Hightower now out for the season now. However, the Patriots have started to get their defense working again but who knows how well that will be with how bad this defense was when it started this season. Tom Brady is playing like an NFL MVP, and with Aaron Rodgers being out for the season, only Carson Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles seems to be his competition (especially with Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt on the same team).

Right now, the Chargers defense is deadly with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram playing incredibly as their defense’s pass rushers. However, If the team can do what they did last week against the Falcons then this game will be very much in the same vein. However, the Chargers will play much closer I think (since they were suffering from Super Bowl hangover) and the score should be 28-24.

Chicago Bears @ New Orleans Saints: Winner – Saints

The Bears had a massive upset last week when the team decided to play against the Carolina Panthers but with Luke Kuechly going down this was the expected result. However, New Orleans at home at the Superdome is not easy. Drew Brees and that offense are solid and with a young but upcoming defense, they could be contending for the NFC South title. The Bears are still in rebuild mode but Mitchell Trubisky is showing flashes of being a franchise player but he still has a long way to go. Saints should win this game easily 28-21.

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Winner – Panthers

Man, this is the coin flip game of the week for sure. The Bucs and the Panthers have under-performed this season with injuries seemingly piling up especially with the Panthers seemingly having no real way of winning. However, the Bucs can’t seem to catch much of a break when it comes to field goals this year either. The Buccaneers have the 3rd worst passing defense in the NFL right now (allowing over 294.8 yards per game). I feel that both Qbs are to an extent to blame for their teams having struggles but I believe it comes down to which defense can handle the pressure. Even with Luke Kuechly out, the Panthers have a good defense to handle some of the pressure. I overall feel that this will be a game that comes down to a field goal in which Robert Aguayo (the lastest kicker added to the Panthers roster) scores against his former team because I want this timeline. Panthers win 23-20.

Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals: Winner – Bengals

The Colts are terrible. Their offensive line is so bad that T.Y Hilton is now calling them and Jacoby Brissett sadly is the only QB they have as Andrew Luck is likely missing the entire 2017 season because of his surgery. Scott Tolzien is defiantly no upgrade here but the Colts are already going for a Top 5 pick at this point in the season. The Bengals are shockingly good right now even with the Steelers starting to slowly pull away. As of now though, the Bengals have the better QB (Dalton vs. Brissett, as much as I love Jacoby, Andy has his number), arguably better receivers (T.Y Hilton vs. Aj Green is something), but it is their defenses that will decide this game. Colts are currently allowing over 300 yards passing per game (the 2nd worst in the NFL) and the Bengals are allowing only 177 yards passing per game (the 3rd best in the NFL). I would say this game is a lock for the Bengals winning 30-24.

Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills: Winner – Bills

I am giving my AFC teams some serious love but its how I expect things to play out. The Bills are playing solid football right now. The team currently has a young head coach that seemingly is getting the team to play well off each other and both sides of the ball on offense and defense are playing well. The Raiders are coming off a comeback win against the Kansas City Chiefs and the hopes to keep themselves in the playoffs but the Bills defense is no joke. They have the 6th worst passing defense in the NFL (allowing 258 passing yards per game) but they have the 7th best run defense in the NFL (allowing only 85.4 yards per game).

The Oakland Raiders have allowed 113 rushing yards per game while allowing 246 passing yards. The team with the better defense can win this game and the Raiders just lost Marshawn Lynch due to suspension. And the Bills seem to be playing to LeSean McCoy strengths and can afford to pass the ball down the field if given the opportunity. The Raiders have many injuries to happen under their watch and while I think Derek Carr is playing better now, he isn’t the same like he was last year. I think the Bills win this game at home 27-26 in a close game.

San Fransisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles: Winner – Eagles

The Eagles are currently the best team in football. No two ways about it. Carson Wentz is having a phenomenal sophomore season for himself. The Eagles have a killer defense right now but several key injuries like OT Jason Peters or LB Jordon Hicks are out for the season. The team will be having issues with this but the 49ers are a team that is arguably in the bottom five in the league right now. While Kyle Shanahan is trying to make the most of this team, they are a rebuilding team. The Eagles are a team that currently is the best in NFC, and as of now, I am locking this game in as a win for the Eagles. They should score about 30-21 with LeGarrette Blount having a  solid game.

Atlanta Falcons @ New York Jets: Winner – Falcons

This is such a tough game to call because the Falcons played horribly last week. However, I believe they turn their season around by giving both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman the football more as both running backs can be utilized effectively here. And Julio Jones is impossible to stop when he is hot and the team needs to give him more targets this season. The New York Jets are somehow keeping their season alive and trying to resist the full-on tank mode but I feel that if Josh McCown shows his bad 4th quarter interceptions again then the Falcons should win this game. I have the Falcons making a  bounce-back performance with 24-21.

Houston Texans @ Seattle Seahawks: Winner – Seahawks

The Texans are hot right now with Deshaun Watson but he is not putting up 5 TDs like he did but with the way that the team has suffered from their defensive line losing both Merciless and J.J Watt is huge blows to the pass rush and Russell Wilson is one of the most pressured QBs in the NFL. He will likely be able to handle the Texans even with his offensive line playing horribly. Wilson has been getting back into his groove again and more than likely have an easier time handling the Texans then Watson will with the Seahawks. In my opinion, a hot rookie QB coming into the Seahawks home stadium where its known for its volume of the crowd. The kid will get beat up hard here. The Seahawks should win this game 27-24 in a close game with Watson trying to make a comeback in the 4th quarter but falls short.

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins: Winner – Cowboys

The Redskins made a lot of problems last Monday night with losing a ton of their offensive lineman to injuries and now with the Cowboys coming off a strong win they are likely going to be the favorites in this matchup. While Kirk Cousins and Dak Prescott will be squaring off against some strong defenses, the Redskins have allowed only 94.5 rushing yards per game and Ezekiel Elliot is likely going to play on Sunday night despite how far his punishment has been pushed back. The Redskins missing key players including several defensive players like Zach Brown who is listed as questionable will make this team one that needs to be careful as their receiving core doesn’t reach into the top 50 best receivers in the league according to Pro Football Focus. I have the Cowboys pulling off a win on the road here with 24-21.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Detriot Lions: Winner – Steelers

The Steelers are not being their usual selves. The team has been quite successful on the road thus far this year going 3-1 for the NFL season. As of now, the Lions are a team that is too reliant on the passing game and Matthew Stafford is now going up against the best passing defense in the NFL. The Steelers have a ton of talent on offense to top it off so they are very heavy favorites right now in the AFC with the struggles that the Patriots are having. The Lions can make some great 4th quarter comebacks but I don’t see this even at home. I have the Steelers coming into Ford Field and pulling out a win 27-24.

Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs: Winner – Chiefs

If anybody has seen a  decent Quarterback, you better inform GM John Elway about where they are because he seriously needs one. Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch are not franchised caliber QBs and are most certainly not taking this team with a Super Bowl ready defense. The Chiefs while coming off a lose were very close in their chance to win against the Raiders. The Broncos right now, many are concerned about with their consecutive loses this past few weeks to the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers.

This team will not likely have much success stopping the Chiefs offense as they are clearly better overall. The Broncos have a much better defense being 2nd in rushing yards per game (71.8 per game) and 6th in passing yards per game. (186.7 per game) It’s frustrating how a team with such a good defense can be so awful on offense. I don’t see the Chiefs losing to two AFC West rivals in a  row and I think the Broncos are starting to dig themselves into a hole at this rate. I feel the Chiefs will win this game 30-23.

Stephen is a Contributing Editor for Trifecta Sports Network and covers the New England Patriots and the NFL.

New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: Josh McDaniels And The Colts Wouldn’t Have Worked Out

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A Case of Behind The Scenes

 

 

Josh McDaniels and the Patriots thought their time to depart after their tough loss in Super Bowl 52 was unavoidable. However, not only did Josh McDaniels get extended, but its been many rumors that Robert Kraft had contacted McDaniels literally hours before he was suppose to take off Tuesday for Indianapolis.

 

It’s difficult to know anything within the Patriots’ organization as they have remained firm in not explaining what goes on behind closed doors. However, multiple sources over at ESPN for the past week since the story broke out about McDaniels’ abrupt decision to not become the Indiapolis Colts Head Coach. The way things broke down was that Kraft and Bill Belichick got together and sat down with McDaniels. With Defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia going to Detroit, this seemed like a desperation move to maintain the coaching staff from the previous season.

 

However, according to ESPN writer Mike Reiss, there was more to the situation then just that. In one of his articles regarding the McDaniels’ decision, he stated:

 

Belichick offered to include McDaniels on more of the inner workings of the organization, from roster construction to financial/salary-cap related considerations. That was viewed as “extremely valuable” to McDaniels. Ownership also endorsed it as a way to extend Belichick’s influence on the organization in future years, although no assurances were given to McDaniels that he would succeed Belichick. McDaniels, who a source confirmed got a significant raise, has privately said in the past that he did not want to be the coach who succeeds Belichick. Although he since may have changed his mind, McDaniels knows Belichick, after five Super Bowl victories, will be a hard act to follow.

Beyond financial and professional stability, McDaniels also was thinking of his family. He wanted a long-term commitment from the Patriots so his four children, ages 12 to 3, would be able to attend the same schools over the next several years. The transient life of a coach doesn’t always make that possible.

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Former NFL Official Claims Eagles Used Illegal Play To Win Super Bowl

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Did you have doubts that the Eagles lined up correctly on the Nick Foles touchdown catch?

Well, you are not the only one with a former analyst now claiming that Philly was indeed lined up illegally on the play.

Appearing on the Talk of Fame Network, former head of officiating and FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira said the Eagles were in fact lined up illegally.

“I know the league came out and said that it’s a judgment call, which it is,” Pereira said, via Pro Football Talk. “The down judge, who was the one that [the play] was on his side of the field, they felt that it was his judgment, and [receiver Alshon Jeffrey] was close enough. Well, he wasn’t. They lined up wrong.

“Not only that, it’s a trick play. And if you’re going to run a trick-type play, then you have to be lined up properly. You could either have six men on the line, or you could have an ineligible number lined up at the end of the line, which was the case. I know what the league has said, but they would have been a lot more comfortable if they would have called an illegal formation.

“We always use a yard [within the line of scrimmage], maybe a yard-and-a-half. But that’s two [yards], and even a little bit beyond two. It’s kind of one of those that has no effect on the play. I get it. But they didn’t line up properly. And it really should’ve been called.”

Bottom line is it was simply a judgment call be the officials, might have been the completely wrong judgment, but based on what we know about Super Bowl LII the New England Patriots were never going to win the game. The Malcolm Butler benching paired with Doug Pederson‘s mindset of keeping his foot on the gas and exposing New England’s weaknesses were the reasons the Patriots lost the game, not this particular play.

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Boston Herald Runs Ron Borges’s Tom Brady Hoax Story

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Patriots

Thursday night Boston Herald reporter Ron Borges penned a story with this headline “Tom Brady wants to get paid like Jimmy G, or he’ll skip OTAs”. A headline and a story that was uncovered as a hoax on Friday.

The Kirk and Callahan show on WEEI revealed that one of their texters pretended to be Tom Brady’s agent Don Yee when texting Borges. The texter dubbed “Nick in Boston” informed Borges that Tom Brady intended to sit out New England’s preseason workouts unless he was paid like Jimmy Garoppolo who signed the largest deal in NFL history on Thursday.

K&C tweeted out the screenshots of texts with Borges outing the story as a complete and utter hoax.

Borges story was actually refuted right off the bat on Thursday night with both NBC Sports Boston and NESN claiming the story held no truth.

As for Borges, this is not his first major failure as a reporter. Since the Herald ran the story they are now looking into the matter.

Overall tricking Borges isn’t a great thing to do. Lying about someone’s identity is never nice with some reporters coming to the defense of Borges. But it is hard to have sympathy for a “journalist” that failed to check his sources and run with a story with only one source confirming of a major story.

Either way, there is no truth to a Brady holdout.

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