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Chicago Bears

Playing The GM Game: Fixing The Bottom 4 Teams

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Someone has to finish last, and the Browns have chosen to be that someone for quite a while. Including this year, the Browns have finished with 5 or less wins in 8 of the last 9 seasons. Joining the Browns in the basement of the league are the San Francisco 49ers, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears, who all look to start filling roster holes this offseason, especially on defense, where this upcoming draft is loaded with defensive talent. Let’s take a look at the positions of need for these bottom four teams.

Cleveland Browns

Positional needs: EDGE, DI, S, C

EDGE: The Browns are deploying mid-season acquisition Jamie Collins as an edge rusher, as of right now, and that is not his strength. When Collins is allowed to play in space, or in coverage on a running back and tight end, that is when he excels. He is not the biggest linebacker, but he is an incredible athlete and would be best lined up as an inside linebacker, alongside emerging inside linebacker Christian Kirksey, who excels as a run stuffing inside linebacker, but has struggled in coverage. That would leave both 3-4 outside linebacker positions open, and this is a good offseason to address that position. There are a plethora of options in free agents, both young emerging stars and reliable veterans, as well as in the draft. The inside linebacking core has the potential to be one of the best in the league, but they will need those edge rushers to hurry the quarterback going into next year.

Potential FA targets: DeMarcus Ware, Nick Perry, Melvin Ingram, Chandler Jones

Potential draft targets: Myles Garrett, Tim Williams, Derek Barnett, Carl Lawson

DI: Danny Shelton has taken a big step forward, becoming the anchor of the middle of the defense, that a nose tackle needs to be. He has not graded out well in the pass rushing department, Pro Football Focus grades him as the 29th best pass rusher, but that is not his job as a nose tackle. That is Jamie Meder and rookie Emmanuel Ogbah‘s job, and they have both graded poorly overall, as they are the five-techniques that are supposed to push the pocket up the middle. The Browns need better production from that position, and expect them to address that in free agency and/or the draft.

Potential FA targets: Calais Campbell, Chris Baker, Nick Fairley

Potential draft targets: Jonathan Allen, Caleb Brantley, Montravius Adams

S: The secondary, in whole, could use more talent, but especially at the safety level, where both Ed Reynolds and Ibrahiem Campbell have struggled mightily. Jordan Pryor, who was placed on Injured Reserve earlier this season, had been playing well as the in-the-box safety, but they could use a free safety with range, that can make plays in the back end. Current starting free safety Ed Reynolds has struggled mightily in coverage, where PFF ranks him 72nd out of a qualified 88 safeties in coverage. A free safety, who has range, in the backend can help tremendously in keeping the big plays to a minimum. There are not many options in free agency, but the draft has a good amount of depth at the safety position. Look for the Browns to target that need.

Potential FA targets: Eric Berry, Rafael Bush

Potential draft targets: Jabrill Peppers, Jamal Adams, Marcus Williams

C: The Browns have quietly started to build a solid offensive line, and it is headlined by 9 time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas. He is the model of consistency and the parts alongside him have become legitimate starting caliber players. Although starting guards Joel Bitonio and John Greco have been placed on IR, they were playing very well this year and should be back starting next year. Where lies a problem is the starting second year center Cameron Erving, who many thought was a reach with the 19th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft. He has graded out horribly, according to Pro Football Focus, where he is ranked 38th out of 38 qualified centers. Although it may be rather quick to move on from your first round pick after two years, he has not been performing up to the task, and it may be time to at least give him some competition.

Potential FA targets: A.Q. Shipley, J.C. Tretter, Joe Hawley

Potential draft targets: Ethan Pocic, Pat Elflein, Tyler Orlosky

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Chicago Bears

Bears’ Mitchell Trubisky Explains Poor Performance

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Mitchell Trubisky

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is under fire for what is considered to be a terrible performance in the team’s season opening loss to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, in Chicago.

Trubisky, 25, finished 26-of-45 for 228 yards and an interception, for a horrendous passer rating of 62.1, and fans and media alike are taking him to task over it, asking if only taking three snaps during the preseason contributed to the poor play.

“I know you guys [the media] are going to try and draw comparisons like that, but really, the snaps in the preseason have nothing to do with the way we executed, or the sloppiness tonight,” Trubisky said, according to ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson.

“We weren’t doing that in practice. We were smooth in practice. … It just seemed a little scattered tonight with all of our personnels, and trying to find a rhythm and trying to find our identity on offense. We just put ourselves in bad situations and shot ourselves in the foot. You can maybe contribute it [to the lack of preseason action], but I think it’s kind of a stretch.”

“Definitely left a lot of plays out there,” Trubisky said. “Just myself as an offense, we really couldn’t find a rhythm there. Struggled on third down, obviously. That was apparent. We’ve got to be better on first and second down, to stay in manageable situations on third down. I felt like I made some good throws here and there, made some good decisions for the most part, but I think it was just sloppy by myself and as an offense as a whole, just going through all our procedures. It was just tough. We couldn’t find a rhythm.”

The Packers wanted to force Trubisky to beat them, and the way the game played out played right into the Packers’ plans.

“We wanted to make Mitch play quarterback,” Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said. “We knew they had a lot of weapons, we knew they were dangerous, we knew all of those things. But we knew if we could make Mitch play quarterback, that we’d have a chance.”

Now the Bears will have to hope they, and Trubisky, can bounce back as they travel to Denver to face the Broncos and former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

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Chicago Bears

Ex-NFL Running Back Cedric Benson Dies After Motorcycle Crash

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Cedric Benson

Former NFL running back Cedric Benson died at the age of 36 following a motorcycle crash in Austin, Texas on Saturday, according to CBS Austin.

Benson was one of two people who died in a collision between a minivan and a motorcycle on Saturday night at 10:22 pm, with the report stating that a “vehicle and person on fire” on the scene.

Benson was driving the motorcycle with a woman passenger, who also died as a result of the crash.

Furthermore, two other people involved in the crash refused to be treated by medical professionals, per the report.

“Police said Benson and a woman were on a motorcycle heading down RM 2222 when a minivan pulled out on Mount Bonnell Road and hit them”, according to KVUE.

The report stated that police said that “speed and poor visibility were the biggest factors in the crash.”

“If you’re not really careful, or you’re going slightly over the speed limit, it is very difficult to stop,” Sergeant Eric Wilson said.

Benson as drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears and spent 8 years in the NFL.

While he didn’t live up to his lofty draft status with the Bears, Benson was much better during his four-year tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he rushed for over 1,000 yards in three seasons with Cincy.

Benson played in five games with the Green Bay Packers in 2012 before suffering a foot injury that would ultimately put an end to his career.

Benson ended his career rushing for 6,017 yards and 32 total touchdowns.

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Arizona Cardinals

2018 Opponents Set For Each NFL Team

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Now that the 2017 regular season in the books, it’s time to look forward to the 2018 season right?

Just like eating at some of the top restaurants in the nation, it’s good to know what’s on your plate next, regardless of how far away you are from your next dish.

Here is the rundown of the opponents for each NFL team in 2018:

AFC EAST

 

New England Patriots
Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings
Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans

Buffalo Bills
Home: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans
Away: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings

Miami Dolphins
Home: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans
Away: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets
Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings
Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

AFC NORTH

 

Pittsburgh Steelers
Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots
Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Baltimore Ravens
Home: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Away: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans

Cincinnati Bengals
Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers

Cleveland Browns
Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Jets
Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AFC SOUTH

 

Jacksonville Jaguars
Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins
Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants

Tennessee Titans
Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins
Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants

Indianapolis Colts
Home: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants
Away: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

Houston Texans
Home: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants
Away: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

AFC WEST

 

Kansas City Chiefs
Home: Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers
Away: Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks

Los Angeles Chargers
Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans
Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks

Oakland Raiders
Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks
Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers

Denver Broncos
Home: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks
Away: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers

NFC EAST

 

Philadelphia Eagles
Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings
Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans

Dallas Cowboys
Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans
Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks

Washington Redskins
Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts
Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans

New York Giants
Home: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans
Away: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers

NFC NORTH

 

Minnesota Vikings
Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers
Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks

Detroit Lions
Home: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks
Away: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers

Green Bay Packers
Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers
Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins

Chicago Bears
Home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Away: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers

NFC SOUTH

 

New Orleans Saints
Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins
Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants

Carolina Panthers
Home: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks
Away: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins

Atlanta Falcons
Home: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants
Away: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins
Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants

NFC WEST

 

Los Angeles Rams
Home: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles
Away: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks
Home: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings
Away: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders

Arizona Cardinals
Home: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins
Away: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers
Home: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders
Away: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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