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Buffalo Bills

LA Rams Recap: Week 5

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In Week 5 the 3-1, “How the hell were they leading the NFC West???” Los Angeles Rams took the field at home against the 2-2 Buffalo Bills who were coming off an impressive 16-0 win over the Brady-less Patriots. The Bills ended up beating the Rams 30-19 improving to 3-2 & now they have won 3 games in a row against the Cardinals, Patriots, & Rams. On the Rams side of things they fall to 3-2 & continue to lose games they should win like they’ve done so many times under Jeff Fisher.

Positives:

  1. Solid running game. The Rams this year have had trouble getting any type of running game going (again because of the lack of a passing game most likely) but in this game they rushed for 102 yards on 29 carries & a touchdown as a team which isn’t great but at least it’s solid. Through 5 games the Rams are 26th in rushing with only 409 yards on 133 carries. Todd Gurley finished with 23 carries for 72 yards & a touchdown  in this game which isn’t great but it’s nice to see Rams aren’t shying away from using him. The Rams are also starting to use Gurley in the passing game even more with Gurley getting 8 catches for 85 yards in the last 2 weeks.
  2.  The Keenum-Britt connection. Going back to last season it seems like Case Keenum & Kenny Britt have been on the same page for the most part. This year Britt has had 4+ receptions & 67+ yards in each game this season. Britt is averaging 71.2 yards a game which is ranked 23rd best in the NFL & is just .6 yards less per game than Odell Beckham Jr. & just 1 yard less than Larry Fitzgerald per game. Keenum struggled in this game but he kept his connection with Britt going in the right direction.
  3. Greg Zuerlein. Zuerlein was one of the few bright spots in this game but that’s not a good thing. The Rams offense dating back to last year has been one of the worst red zone efficiency teams in being able to score TDs being the 23rd best team in 2015 with a 52.78% conversion rate. In 2016 it’s gotten even worse with the Rams being 44.44% which opens the door for Young GZ to make field goals. In this game Zuerlein was 4-4 on field goals with his longest being a 54 yarder. On the season he is 9-9 so it’s nice to know we can count on him to get us an easy 3 points.

Negatives: 

  1. QB play. Case Keenum looked like the Keenum we saw in Week 1 against the 49ers when the Rams got smacked 28-0. Keenum just seems to struggle hitting throws he should make & struggles to see the field well especially while under pressure. In this game Keenum finished with 271 yards but no touchdowns & 2 interceptions. Keenum has struggled for the most part in the first 5 games this season with a 38 QB rating which is last in the NFL for QBs who are eligible to be rated. Keenum now has more interceptions (5) than touchdowns (4) with throwing 2 terrible picks in this game & no touchdowns.
  2. Poor passing protection. The Rams allowed 4 sacks in this game with 3 of them coming from Lorenzo Alexander who mostly rushed on Greg Robinson’s side. Greg Robinson has struggled a bit so far this season at left tackle for the Rams. Case Keenum isn’t a great starting QB but he’s going to be even worse when he’s under duress.
  3. Poor run defense. I know the Rams were missing 3 starters on their D-Line in William Hayes, Michael Brockers, & Robert Quinn but with the depth we have we shouldn’t be letting teams run all over us. The Bills were easily able to run the ball in this game finishing with 193 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown while having  7.1 yards per carry. LeSean McCoy led the way with 150 yards on 18 carries for a 8.3 yards per carry average.
  4. Trumaine Johnson injury. Trumaine Johnson got injured in this game with an ankle injury. Johnson is a big loss every game he’s out because Jeff Fisher has said he’s “week to week” so I’m assuming he’s most likely going to be out for at least this week. If Johnson is indeed out this week Troy Hill is looking like he will step in for Johnson as the corner opposite E.J Gaines. The Rams earlier this week cut Coty Sensabaugh who they signed to a 3 year $19 million contract this offseason. The Rams went out & claimed former Jaguars CB Dwayne Gratz off waivers.

Moving Forward: 

In Week 6 the Los Angeles Rams (3-2) will be taking on the Detroit Lions (2-3) at Ford Field. The Lions are coming off a 24-23 win over the undefeated Eagles in Week 5. The Lions offense played pretty well with Matthew Stafford throwing for 180 yards & 3 touchdowns & Theo Riddick finished with 49 yards rushing & 33 receiving yards with 2 touchdowns. If the Rams want to win this game they have to stop Theo Riddick in the receiving game. The Lions just signed Justin Forsett this week from free agency because of their need of an improved running game but I don’t know how much play he’ll get in this game. I predict Rams bounce back from their bad showing in Week 5 in Week 6 beating the Lions 27-20.
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I'm a huge sports fan but my favorite sport is football. I'm a Los Angeles Rams fan in football, Cleveland Cavaliers fan in basketball, & New York Yankees fan in baseball. I love writing & talking about sports & hearing others opinions on sports related topics!

Buffalo Bills

WR Cole Beasley Signs Deal with Buffalo

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Cole Beasley

In the NFL, free agency has been wild in 2019. A lot of big name players getting big contracts with new teams. Now, add another big name player to the list.

Down in Dallas, free agent wide receiver Cole Beasley has been trying to make an offer to Dallas to sign a multi-year contract for $20 million. Well, today, he accepted a deal with the AFC East Buffalo Bills.

According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the contract is for 4-year $29 million, $14.4 million guaranteed.

Cole Beasley, who is 29-years old grew up in Houston, Texas and went to high school in Little Elm, Texas. From 2008-2011, Beasley played Wide Receiver at SMU in Dallas. In 2012, Cole signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.

Here are Cole Beasley’s numbers during his time in Dallas:

  • Caught 71 percent of the passes
  • Targeted 449 times
  • 319 passes caught
  • 130 passes dropped
  • 3,271 reception yards
  • 23 Touchdowns

For many Cowboys fans, he will be missed on the field and the sidelines.

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Buffalo Bills

Bills Looking Into Disturbing Domestic Violence Allegations Against LeSean McCoy

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The Buffalo Bills are aware of and looking into domestic violence allegations against running back LeSean McCoy, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

McCoy’s longtime girlfriend Delicia Cordon was shown bruised and bloody in an Instagram post made by a woman, who is a friend of Cordon’s, who accuses McCoy of “viciously” beating Cordon, his son and a dog.

You can see the full instagram post below:

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Arizona Cardinals

All-Star or All Hype: A Josh Allen Breakdown

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When recent mock drafts and power rankings were released by some of the most well-respected draftniks in the industry, Josh Allen’s name kept appearing early and often. In fact, ESPN’s Mel Kiper mocked the Wyoming product first overall to the Cleveland Browns and NFL Network’s Mike Mayock has him rated over fellow quarterbacks Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson.

The questions are why does Allen have all this hype surrounding him after a less than stellar college career and does the 21-year-old deserve this sort of praise?

Let’s talk about this hype train, which started as a well-oiled machine in 2016, spun off the tracks and managed to right itself but with half the cars missing. Prior to the 2017 season, fans and scouts alike were drooling over the potential of the 6’5, 235 pound prospect. They had every right to, as well. Allen was coming off a 36 touchdown season for the Cowboys, including seven on the ground and one as a receiver. A season like that, especially with the obvious physical ability he displayed, meant that things should only go up for Allen. That’s where the problems began to crop up.

Allen’s 2016 season showcased his potential, but many scouts wanted to see improved mechanics, ball placements, accuracy, better pocket awareness and decision making. When a quarterback only completes 56 percent of his passes and throws 15 interceptions, questions will need to be answered on the field. Some of the questions were answered, just not how many were expecting.

Statistically, the only improvement in Allen’s 2017 play was his interception numbers, which dropped from 15 to six. Allen’s statistical drop-off continued into his passing touchdowns, where he has 12 fewer than 2016 and his yards per attempt, which dropped nearly two yards.

The improvements many expected or hoped to see just never happened, but why was that the case? Some of the blame can be placed on the supporting cast at Wyoming, where Allen’s top receivers from 2017 only had a combined 32 catches between them prior to the start of the season, according to Sports Reference. The Cowboy’s running game was also non-existent, as Allen had as many touchdowns on the ground as the two halfbacks he shared the backfield with. With all of those deficiencies, an improvement on a very impressive 2016 should not have been expected, but Allen didn’t help his cause on the field either.

Wyoming’s first loss of the season came against Iowa, a tough matchup for any Mountain West team. Allen was matched up against another player that may go early in the draft, cornerback Joshua Jackson. The game plan was to spread the ball out against Iowa’s defense and attack them with bubble, flat, stick and hitch routes. Often, Allen was having major issues when his first read wasn’t open in this game and he succumbed the pressure the Hawkeyes brought on a consistent basis. Jackson baited him into an easy interception late in the game and he ended up with only 174 passing yards on 40 attempts.

The loss to Iowa served as a microcosm of the issues Allen’s game includes. Not only were his mechanics dreadful, even in a clean pocket, but it caused him to miss wide open targets and erase a handful of potential plays that would have put Wyoming back in the game.

Based on that performance alone, Allen could have fallen out of the first round all together, but he did redeem himself later in 2017.

New Mexico had a much harder time containing Allen than Iowa did, to the point that he didn’t even play in the fourth quarter in the blowout victory. On the first play from scrimmage, Allen threw a bomb down the sideline that was initially called a touchdown. The play came back, but it just showed how much arm talent the raw quarterback has when his mechanics aren’t wild.

That was the biggest take away from the New Mexico game; Allen can throw with proper mechanics but just doesn’t do it on a consistent basis. The ball came out of his hand very clean and he was able to hit deep passes down the field all game. Allen’s mobility was also on full display, even though he caused some of the pressure with a bad feel for the pocket.

The difference in quality his tape shows is a major reason on why opinions are so divided regarding his draft stock. 12 of Allen’s 16 touchdown passes came in four games last year, in the other seven he threw one or zero touchdown passes. There really was no in between in 2017, even in victories. In a win against Hawaii, who had the 114th ranked defense of 129 FBS teams, Allen only completed nine of his 19 pass attempts for fewer than 100 yards. Against Colorado State, who had the 97th ranked total defense in the country, he only completed ten of his 20 attempts for 138 yards and no scores.

A popular excuse for Allen’s lack of production was the lack of talent around him, and that is a very valid point. However, some of the games he was at his absolute worst in were against teams devoid of defensive talent. Outside of Iowa, the best overall defense he played against was Oregon, who had a similarly dominant performance against him. Their defense, which could be considered average since they ranked in the mid-40s, held him to a 37.5 percent completion rate and 64 passing yards.

The only game that Allen played well in against a top 50 defensive opponent was in Wyoming’s bowl game against Central Michigan. It was probably the only game that Allen looked like his 2016 counterpart, even though he still only threw for 154 yards and completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes. Allen’s three touchdown passes in the first quarter showed why teams may consider him a top quarterback prospect this year. The first, which was a dart in a tight window from 23 yards away, was a display of top tier arm strength. On the second touchdown pass, Allen avoided pressure and juked out a defender before throwing into another tight window. The third, which probably has teams the most excited, was a 45 yard score that travelled 55 yards in the air and hit his receiver in perfect stride.

Central Michigan answered the question as to why Allen has the hype, and the majority of his other games answer if he deserves it or not. The simple answer is probably not, but he will still get drafted very early anyway.

Quarterbacks that Allen apologists consistently compare him to are Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Wentz. These are fair comparisons, as both of these NFL stars have similar physical traits and went to small colleges that faced an inferior level of competition. Let’s start with Roethlisberger, who would probably be the first overall pick if he were coming out of college this year. Ben started three seasons at Miami of Ohio, with his best numbers coming as a junior. Without throwing out a bunch of statistics, Allen was worse in every category. Specifically, Roethlisberger completed over 13 percent more of his passes than Allen and had 21 more touchdown passes in his junior year alone. Wentz, even though he was injured and played in four fewer games in his final year at North Dakota State, threw more touchdown passes, had a six percent higher completion rate and averaged a full yard per attempt more per pass.

Neither Roethlisberger nor Wentz were the first picks or even first quarterbacks selected in their respective draft classes. The thought of a quarterback like Roethlisberger falling all the way to 11th overall is ludicrous by today’s standards. Obviously, times have changed and quarterback evaluation has evolved in large part because of Roethlisberger, Wentz and former UCF Knight, Daunte Culpepper.

The scouting process, however, puts Josh Allen out of this category. With rough mechanics, poor ball placement, middling accuracy and a tendency to not step up in the pocket to deliver the football, Allen is a far inferior prospect to each of the quarterbacks mentioned. Now, this can change and he can definitely improve with proper coaching and the right teammates around him. There just seems to be a lack of acknowledgement regarding his major flaws from the draftnik community, including the aforementioned Mayock and Kiper. To place him over the polished Mayfield or the raw but even more talented Sam Darnold is a reckless projection of something that hasn’t been shown on the field at any point. The Senior Bowl was Allen’s opportunity to show it was more the fault of his teammates than his own for the lack of consistency, but he just reaffirmed the fact that he isn’t able to put it all together in practice or games.

Again, that is not to say Allen won’t surpass these other players at some point in his career, but nothing he has done indicates that their careers are trending in that direction. The lack of accuracy and mechanics alone could quickly put Allen in Paxton Lynch or Jake Locker territory, a monster but not a quarterback. To me, that shows that right now he is nothing but a hype train that is going to come crashing down at an NFL team’s expense.

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