Just one preseason game in, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to make a major move by trading wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third round pick to the Buffalo Bills for cornerback Ronald Darby. This is not a surprising trade if you ask me; the Eagles right now are very deep at the wide receiver position. In large part because of the free agent acquisitions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, add-on top of that drafting wide receivers Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson. Acquiring all these players in my opinion meant that Matthews place on the team could be in question.
With all that being said, adding another defensive back has been a major need for this Eagles team. The Past several seasons the Eagles secondary hasn’t been all that good. Adding a guy like Darby gives the Eagles some much-needed speed in the secondary. With questions surrounding second round pick Sydney Jones, as far whether or not he’ll play this year, Darby is the perfect guy to step in and take the job.
– Final Thoughts
Overall, I think this was a solid trade for the Eagles, giving up Mathews isn’t ideal but adding a solid defensive back gives the Eagles a much better chance of contending for the playoffs this season.
Once news broke Thursday of the injury the sports media once again got on their Colin Kaepernick high horse. Why they did? I don’t Know. As far as I can see Kaepernick is more worried about being an activist/social justice warrior than playing football. As far as football goes, could he step in and be successful in Miami? I think he could. Now would the Dolphins be in wild card contention with him? That I highly doubt. Kaepernick isn’t a strong enough quarterback nor do they have enough offensive weapons around him to make up for what Kaepernick lacks. After leading the 49ers on their Super Bowl run back in 2012, Kaepernick never progressed as a player. He slowly began to digress and then hit rock bottom last season. Entering the 2016 season Kaepernick started the season as the backup, however by week six he was promoted to starter. While a starter he went 1-10, not very good if you ask me. Now you can throw stats and numbers out there all you want but, the guy is done. Not to mention the majority of his stats last season came in garbage time. He peeked early and never bettered his game. Plain and simple.
Losing Tannehill sucks for the Dolphins. Each year he has shown steady improvement from bettering his completion percentage to dropping the number of interceptions he throws. Now the guys no pro bowl quarterback but he’s a guy you can count on. Back up Matt Moore stepped in last season and did ok going 2-1 as a starter to end the regular season. Then when the Dolphins played the Steelers in the playoffs he got destroyed. For a guy like Moore he could step in and play two or three games for a team thats about it. With the way things are looking Tannehill will probably be out for the majority of the season if not the whole season. That’s why if I’m the Dolphin I do everything in my power to bring Jay Cutler in.
As many people saw, USA Today had the Tennessee Titans going 12-4 and winning the AFC South. Now the Titans are just one season removed from being the worst team in the NFL, but since about early spring the Tennessee Titans have become the new darlings of the sports/NFL media. After finishing last season with a surprising 9-7 record and putting together another solid off-season, the sports/NFL media have began to take note.
Oh, and lets not forget about the Eric Decker signing back in June. Adding Decker, Davis, and Taylor gives some experience and hopefully gives the offense some big play capability.
– Why The NFL Media Is So High On The Titans
All of that leads me to this, the Titans have the intangibles to win. They have the quarterback, they have two dynamic running backs, they have an elite offensive line, they have capable wide receivers, and they have a defense that has the potential to be very good this season. By having all these intangibles in place, by playing in a weak division, and by having a semi friendly schedule is why the Titans are getting so much love. Now they still have to go out and prove it on the field but, because of what the Titans did last year as far as winning nine games and their off-season acquisitions why shouldn’t the media be all in on them?
– Final Thoughts
Overall, the Titans in my opinion are in the best position in the AFC South heading into the 2017 season. If they can take care of business in the division I think it’s quite possible for this team to be as good as the media is hyping them up to be. In Indianapolis we don’t know the health of Andrew Luck, in Houston they named Tom Savage the starter but it’s only a matter of time before rookie Deshaun Watson steps in, and we never know what team will show up in Jacksonville. Now you could question whether or not Marcus Mariota will be able to stay healthy all sixteen games. But that’s really about it.
Finally, growing up a Titans fan it’s hard to buy into the hype. Because for years the Titans have found ways to lose games or put together a great season just to fall apart in the playoffs. For me, I believe in this Titans team. Do I believe they’re a 12-4 team? At the moment I do not. I believe they’re a 9-7 to 11-5 team. Could they make the jump to 12-4? I absolutely believe they could. But realistically I just don’t think they will.
After taking a month off and taking a little vacation it’s time to get back to work. For some NFL teams training camps are already under way and for others they’re about to begin. With that being said, yesterday USA Today released their preseason NFL Predictions. Now I know this is just predictions, but it’s still dead season so this gives us sports people something to talk about.
– What Stood Out
Four things that caught my attention were: the Patriots going undefeated, the Titans going 12-4 and winning the AFC South, the Buccaneers going 10-6 and being an NFC wild card team, and the Cowboys going 11-5 and winning NFC East.
– Patriots 16-0?
Coming off their impressive comeback Super Bowl victory, USA Today is predicting the New England Patriots will go 16-0 in 2017. Looking at their schedule, it’s quite possible that could actually happen. Last season the Patriots only lost two games. One of the games was to the Bills and Jacoby Brissett started at quarterback. The second game was an overtime thriller to the Seahawks.
So it’s not all that far-fetched to believe 16-0 won’t happen, they did it before. Not to mention they have the best quarterback; Tom Brady and the best head coach; Bill Belichick. But me personally I don’t think they’ll end up 16-0. I think they’ll slip up and lose a close game maybe to Oakland or Pittsburgh. But come January 1st it wouldn’t be surprise if the Patriots are sitting at 16-0 heading into the playoffs.
– Titans Go 12-4?
Last season the Tennessee Titans took major steps forward finishing 9-7 and barely missing the playoffs. The running back tandem of Murray and Henry played a major role in the efficiency of their offense. By having a solid running game and an elite offensive line Mariota was able to show off his passing abilities. The Titans offense finished eleventh in total offense last season. However their defense was another story, particularly their horrendous secondary.
Now, 12-4 in my opinion is a bit of a stretch. Is it possible? Most definitely. But for the Titans to finish 12-4 and win the AFC South they’ve got to take care of business in their division. For years they’ve split with teams or have been swept by teams within the division, last season the Titans were 2-4 in the division. Losing to the Colts twice and splitting with Texans and Jaguars. To be a contender you’ve got to win in the division. Finally, the Titans have got to beat the Indianapolis Colts. They’re 1-15 over the last eight years. Beating the Colts will tell us if this team is for real or not.
– Buccaneers Making the Playoffs
It’s been quite awhile since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been a playoff team. With Jameis Winston entering his third season, the Buccaneers are in a great position to contend for a possible playoff position. Adding DeSean Jackson an experienced speedy receiver with rising star Mike Evans is huge. Two very dynamic play makers Winston has at his disposal. Not to mention they draft Alabama tight end OJ Howard. Another big target who can streak down the middle of the field.
My biggest concerns with this Buccaneers team is defense and running back. They’ve had their defensive struggles for a couple of years now. And with Doug Martin not all the way checked in they really don’t have a proven running back. But I do think they’ll have enough to be in the playoffs this season. Their division could be wide open depending on if the Falcons have a Super Bowl hangover.
– Dallas Cowboys 11-5 and Win NFC East
The rookie duo of running back Ezekiel Elliot and quarterback Dak Prescott took the league by storm last season. Elliot led the league in rushing as a rookie and Prescott was one of the top quarterbacks in the league last season. However, all of that was “last season”. I’m not taking anything away from their success because what they did was very impressive.
That leads me to this, I don’t think the Cowboys will have the same success they had last year. Yes, I do still think they should be the favorite to win the NFC East. But I think it’s going to be a dog fight amongst all of the NFC East teams, especially the Giants and Eagles. Something else to factor in is the sophomore slump. Dak and Zeke were awesome last year, it’s going to be hard to repeat the same success. Now that teams have seen them play and there’s film on them teams can game plan a lot better for them now.
Finally, this offseason has not been all that great for the Cowboys, there have been several incidence where players have been arrested or caught up in negative situations. With a lot of it surrounding Ezekiel Elliot. We still don’t know how many games he’ll be suspended if he even gets a suspension. That’s another factor to add to why the Cowboys won’t be as successful.
Over the weekend, the Titans made yet again another solid offseason acquisition by signing veteran wide receiver Eric Decker. Over the course of Deckers career, he’s proved to be a very reliable and accountable team player. Despite some injury setbacks, Decker has been a major part of each of the offenses he has played in. Decker, started his career as a Denver Bronco and after a couple very successful seasons with Peyton Manning, he would leave and signed with the New York Jets. After three seasons the Jets cut Decker last week.
With that being said, joining the Titans is great for him as well as for the Titans. It’s great for Decker, because he gets to revamp his NFL career, with what should be a good Titans team. It’s great for the Titans, because he brings veteran leadership, depth, and competition to a young wide receiver corp. Something the Titans haven’t had for sometime now.
– Final Thoughts
For several years, the Titans have lacked star power and consistency at the wide receiver position. During the last two off-seasons they have finally really began addressing the issue. Last season, signing Rashard Mathews and drafting Taje Sharpe. Then this year by drafting Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor.
Now the jury is still out on Sharpe, Davis, and Taylor. But all three look to have promising NFL careers.
With this signing I believe the Titans are looking to be a more explosive offensive team. Last season was the exotic smash mouth. This season, I think they will open up the passing game and allow Mariota to let it fly.
Finally, before the signing of Decker I thought the Titans were in the best position to win the AFC south heading into this season, barring injury. Adding Decker, in my opinion has sealed the deal for me. As long as Mariota can stay healthy and the young guys play like we think they will, the Titans should win the AFC south.