big story - Ja'marr chase and kyle pitts shine on pro day
Players are continuing to impress at their Pro Days -- yesterday it was Mac Jones and Justin Fields, today it's Ja'Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts.
LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase is due to become the first at his position to be taken in this year's NFL Draft, and he helped his cause with a 4.38-second 40 time and a 41-inch vertical jump at his Pro Day. Chase is a player that can pretty much fit onto any of the 32 NFL teams currently, but a team towards the beginning of the draft should snatch him up quickly. A reunion with college teammate Joe Burrow in Cincinnati, perhaps?
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts looks to be holding onto the reins when it comes to his position, also impressing at his Pro Bowl today, showing off incredible speed for someone who is 6'5'' and 245 pounds. Again, I feel extremely un-athletic. Pitts clocked in at 4.44 seconds for his 40-yard dash.
small story - offseason program to begin virtually
2020's offseason was entirely remote for the first time, and 2021's offseason was up in the air for a while as the country continues to throw its hands up and wonder when this pandemic will be over. NFL's offseason programs are expected to begin like last season - virtually. However, the league does not expect offseason work to remain remote all offseason. Meaning we should expect teams back in-person sooner rather than later.
Teams are also said to be relaxing protocols for those players and team staff who have been fully vaccinated.
tweet of the day
big story - the nfl officially expands to a 17-game season
Where were you, what were you doing when the NFL expanded to 17 regular-season games? It was rumored for a while, but today it was made official when owners voted to extend the season by one (1) game. I am someone who hates odd numbers, so this is hard for me to deal with. I also subscribe to the ideology of "if it's not broken, don't fix it."
The one thing that is being fixed is the reduced number of preseason games that we all pretend to like just because we've been starved without football for so long but end up borderline falling asleep by halftime. The preseason schedule will drop from four games to three, meaning rookies and "bubble players" (those who need to prove they can make the team/position competitions) will still get a chance for in-game action.
The home team will switch off by conference each year; this year, the AFC will host; next year, it will be the NFC. International games are also affected -- teams will be required to play one international game (at least, hi Jaguars) every eight years.
This years' games are as follows:
Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Los Angeles Rams @ Baltimore Ravens
Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns
San Francisco 49ers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Washington Football Team @ Buffalo Bills
New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins
Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Jets (Joe Flacco revenge game!!)
Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Chicago Bears @ Las Vegas Raiders
Minnesota Vikings @ Los Angeles Chargers
Detroit Lions @ Denver Broncos
New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts
Atlanta Falcons @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Carolina Panthers @ Houston Texans
Also, teams can no longer go 8-8. Somewhere, Jeff Fisher weeps.
small story - justin fields and mac jones impress at their pro days
Two big Pro Days were held today: Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Both impressed those in attendance and those watching from home.
Fields ran a crisp 4.43 40, with a stumble. This made me feel very un-athletic.
Fields told everyone to keep an eye on his last throw, and for good reason. SHOW OFF
tweet of the day - bruce arians' ink
kansas city chiefs
las vegas raiders
los angeles chargers
los angeles rams
new england patriots
new orleans saints
new york giants
New York Jets
san francisco 49ers
tampa bay buccaneers
washington football team
KJ Wright won't take a discount to stay in seattle
The Seattle Seahawks have a decision to make with linebacker KJ Wright. Pay him, let him "test" free agency, or let him walk altogether? Wright told Jim Rome that he wouldn't hate staying in Seattle but also will not be taking a discount.
My guess is he'll test free agency and end up taking the best offer -- whether the Seahawks are willing to give him, that is up to them.
Mike Tomlin says his symptoms of covid-19 are 'minimal'
Reports out of Pittsburgh on Monday stated that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was one of a group of staffers sent home from the team's facilities last week due to positive tests. Tomlin tested positive for COVID-19 but remains in good spirits, with "minimal symptoms."
isaiah wilson tweets and deletes that he's 'done as a titan'
First-round draft pick Isaiah Wilson may no longer be with the Tennessee Titans if we believe a tweet he sent late Monday night. The Titans definitely have a decision to make on him, but he may have made that decision for them?
Wilson basically didn't play his entire rookie season, but he still had an eventful one. He was arrested for DUI, suspended, put on the COVID-19 list twice, and ended his season on the NFI list. As of now, Wilson doesn't seem like playing football for the Titans is his top priority, but I'll wait for confirmation from the team on this one.
shailene woodley confirms engagement to aaron rodgers
File this one under "Non-Football But Still Offseason News." Actress Shailene Woodley confirmed her engagement with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to Jimmy Fallon. We all knew it, but the most intriguing element about this conversation is that she literally does not care that he plays football.
I know this, but this is a good reminder that athletes are more than just athletes... they also like to host Jeopardy.
nick bosa confirms he'll be better next season
San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa tore his ACL in Week Two of last season and was one of several injuries on that team. If there is any good thing to come from a brutal injury so early on in the season, it's that there's ample time to prepare for the next one. Bosa confirms that he'll be back, and he'll be better.
Bosa also tore his ACL in high school.
chris godwin talks about free agency
One of this offseason's most notable players eligible for free agency is Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin. Not only did he win a Super Bowl, but he seemed to be in sync with QB Tom Brady almost all season. Godwin discussed free agency here, acknowledging his want to stay with the team he just won with and the need to get a paycheck.
the Race for JJ watt is on
After officially becoming a free agent on Friday at 4pm, former (we can now say it) Houston Texans defensive star JJ Watt now has basically his pick of NFL teams. So far, at least twelve teams have reached out to Watt's people, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Tennessee Titans, the Buffalo Bills, and the Cleveland Browns.
Pittsburgh is an obvious pick because (if you didn't know) Watt's two brothers, TJ Watt and Derek Watt, both play there. That's probably where the pull ends because the Steelers don't have the cap space (or the need, really) for a player like JJ.
The Browns do have a need and have space. Tennessee tried to make Jadeveon Clowney happen, and it didn't work, plus Watt is familiar with Titans head coach Mike Vrabel from his time in Houston.
The most likely spot (to me, anyway) is the Bills. Watt fills a desperate need that seemed to be lacking when they went up against the Kansas City Chiefs last month. And if Watt is chasing a ring now like I suspect, Buffalo is the perfect spot to do it. They're close.
We'll know more in the coming days where Watt intends to land.
brady is gonna do it again isn't he?
As expected, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady took about two and a half days off after winning the Super Bowl, and now he's back to work prepping for the next one. How annoying.
Brady is expected to have minor surgery on his knee this offseason, but I guess we should expect him back shortly after that, working with teammates and gearing up for his inevitable eighth ring. Ugh.
indy scored first
We all expected the Buffalo Bills to be the ones to come out swinging first, but the Indianapolis Colts were the first to get on the scoreboard with a field goal.
Josh Allen answers by doing josh allen things
A highlight for the ages: Bills quarterback Josh Allen looked like he was going to take off, then glanced at tight end Dawson Knox all alone in the end zone and tossed the ball in a play that you'll see circulated for a while.
Bills up at the half, thanks to Josh allen
The Colts have been pretty much dominating the game thus far, but Buffalo is the one with the upper hand after the first half. Allen has been marching down the field, and ending a methodical drive with a rushing touchdown to take the lead.
bills win first playoff game since 1995
The first postseason game was a wild one. The Bills sent Indianapolis home with a 27-24 win. Allen had quite a nice day, throwing over 300 yards and leading the team in rushing yards. Colts QB Philip Rivers goes home, perhaps forever?
jared goff in for rams as john wolford hurts neck
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff is in the game after expecting not to play due to a broken thumb. Starter John Wolford exited the game early after a hard hit. He has since been taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation from a neck injury.
dk metcalf scores 51-yard touchdown
For some reason, the Seattle Seahawks are on the struggle bus, when it really should be the Rams given their situation(s). Wide receiver DK Metcalf came to play, however, scoring a 51-yarder, cutting their lead 13-10.
rams are ahead at halftime
Even with losing their starting quarterback and having to play with an injured Goff, the Rams are up on Seattle at halftime, 20-10. One of the main reasons is rookie running back Cam Akers, who is making plays in his playoff debut.
Akers finished the first half with over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown.
seahawks fumble punt, rams score off it
It hasn't exactly been the Seahawks' best day. Returner DJ Reed fumbled, resulting in Rams' ball. And Los Angeles naturally turned it into a touchdown.
rams beat seahawks, badly
The Rams defense came out swinging on Saturday, even with the loss of star Aaron Donald. Los Angeles completely took Seahawks QB Russell Wilson out of the game, pulling out a 30-20 victory, and an advancement to next week. I'll wait until we see the availability of the players though. It looks... bleak.
bucs get on the board first with a field goal
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got on the scoreboard first against the Washington Football Team with a field goal on their opening drive. More importantly, Washington's defense was able to knock Bucs QB Tom Brady down more than once.
bucs leading at half after two brady touchdowns
Brady is playing like Brady in the playoffs (and yelling at people too). He's thrown two touchdowns already, one to Chris Godwin and one to Antonio Brown.
allow me to introduce taylor Heinicke
If you laughed at the fact that Washington was starting QB Taylor Heinicke (we all did, don't lie), here is your introduction:
dez bryant grabs his first touchdown since 2017
The Baltimore Ravens blew out the Jacksonville Jaguars in a comfortable 40-14 blowout win. Quarterback Lamar Jackson started the game off with an interception, but that was the only bad thing. Wide receiver Marquise Brown had his best outing all season, finishing with six catches for 98 yards. The highlight of the day was vet receiver Dez Bryant grabbing his first touchdown in three years, and of course, throwing up the X.
ryan tannehill had five touchdowns on the day
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdowns and ran in for two, giving him a total of five for the day (math) against the Detroit Lions. They remain atop the AFC South and sit on a 10-4 record for this season. But it wouldn't be a Titans win without a good, old-fashioned Derrick Henry stiff-arm.
new england eliminated from playoff contention
The New England Patriots have been officially eliminated from playoff contention. While I have been waiting for this for such a long time, it doesn't seem satisfying now that Tom Brady is elsewhere. Division rivals, the Miami Dolphins ended their playoff hopes on Sunday with a 22-12 win. New England hasn't missed the playoffs since 2008.
texans fumble in the end zone, handing the colts a win
As the Houston Texans were trying to tie it up with the Indianapolis Colts, they fumbled away those chances in the end zone, handing Indy a win on a silver platter.
the falcons blew yet another lead
It's truly remarkable how they keep doing this, but they never let me down. The Atlanta Falcons headed into blowout territory in the first half, up on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-0. The final score ended up being 31-27, Bucs. You just can't write it any better. The biggest highlight was Antonio Brown scoring his first touchdown as a Buccaneer.
the jets won a game
No, really. In Week 15, the New York Jets have officially won their first game of the 2020, defeating the Los Angeles Rams in probably the biggest upset of the season.
The bigger story with this one is that they may have missed out on their next franchise quarterback if they choose to move on from Sam Darnold. The Jags take over as having the number one pick in next year's draft.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping to protect quarterback and Golden Boy Tom Brady better this week. Center Ryan Jensen will move to guard and AQ Shipley will take over at center as Ali Marpet is out with a concussion.
After an embarrassing blowout last weekend, the Bucs are doing everything they can in order to make sure that doesn't happen again. It also doesn't really matter if Shipley is one of head coach Bruce Arians' favorites. We all know who is calling the shots in Tampa, and his name is Tom. Brady stays screaming at his offensive line every week. This was definitely his doing, in my opinion.
If there's ONE player in the National Football League who absolutely despises to lose, it's Tom Brady. After losing his first game as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, he apparently put in the work this week in practice and is completely prepared not to lose this week. Or something like that.
This happens every year it feels like, right? The "Tom Brady is done" takes were out last week with a vengeance, but I know better than that. I refuse to fall for it. The second you start believing that Brady is done, the second he swoops in and wins the Super Bowl. We're not doing this anymore.
There are two people you never want to piss off: you dad and Bruce Arians. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith, he has pissed off the latter.
While I can hardly hold back my laughter from Tom Brady's poor performance on Sunday, this was definitely one of the contributing factors. I am willing to give him some leeway with there being no preseason, but it's clear to the coaching staff that Smith is on a short leash moving forward.