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Texans Fan

What does Ryan Mallett Replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick say about the Houston Texans? posted by Texans Fan

The Houston Texans are making a big change to their identify as they are benching starter Ryan Fitzpatrick for fourth-year Ryan Mallett. This will be Mallett’s first start as the Texans take on the Cleveland Browns after their bye week.
Head coach Bill O'Brien made the announcement at his Wednesday press conference of the quarterback change, insisting that the change is coming not because of Fitzpatrick’s performance, or lack thereof, but simply wanting to change things up to see what Mallett can do under center, and see unique qualities he brings to the Texans’ offense.
And this is not a one game experiment as O’Brien plans on spending a few games at the least on the Mallett experiment.
Now while this sounds all well and good to the public. It was just that, sweet talk. The perfect mix of praising Fitzpatrick’s efforts thus far and downplaying Mallett’s assent to starting quarterback is a clear PR move as everyone can see Fitzpatrick’s on-field performance has been less than stellar as the Texans rank 28th in passing offense with 209.7 yards per game. He’s done nothing to elevate Houston’s offense
Ultimately, Fitzpatrick hasn't done anything to elevate the offense, having only thrown for more than 250 yards three times in nine games.
Mallett, a 3rd round draft pick by the Patriots in 2011, has only attempted four passes in his career.
Houston is taking a calculated risk in starting Mallett, as the team needs to see what the 26-year-old can do since he's in the final year of his rookie contract. But with a week Continue reading "What does Ryan Mallett Replacing ..."

Browns Fan

Browns Game Plan For the Bengals posted by Browns Fan

With Thursday nights showdown between the Bengals and the Browns right around the corner, it’s time for the Browns to prove to everyone, as well as themselves, that they belong in the NFL elite teams.

The key component of the game plan this week is not letting the stage become too big for a young roster that has never been in this position. So, how do the Browns stack up against the Bengals? Let’s take a look:

Browns Offense vs. Bengals Defense

Run the ball, run, run, run. The Browns need to control the line of scrimmage from the start of the game and assert themselves which they can do with the Bengals missing several key starters on defense. If they can get the run established, then the play action pass opens up.

When passing the ball, take what the defense gives you. The Bengals give up yards through the air, just not big plays. The worst thing Brian Hoyer can do is force the ball into windows that aren’t there. Instead he needs to go to his 3rd or 4th reads or check it down for good 6 yard gains that keep the chains moving. 

Browns Defense vs. Bengals Offense

It’s pretty simple. Shut down A.J. Green. The Browns will put Joe Haden on A.J. Green in the hopes of disrupting his routes and getting him off timing so Andy Dalton can’t connect with the Pro Bowler.

If the Browns can do this, they have a shot of shutting down the Bengals on offense. Andy Dalton is electric, but only when he is able to throw to AJ Green, who in turn, opens up passing lanes to other receivers. When Dalton is unable to connect with Green, the Bengals struggle through the air.

Continue reading "Browns Game Plan For the Bengals"

Bengals Fan

What the Bengals injuries mean for the team’s future. posted by Bengals Fan

The Bengals have had a slew of injuries so far this year. Running back Giovani Bernard is out as he recovers from a clavicle and hip issues. Cornerback Leon Hall is still dealing with a concussion as well as linebacker Vontaze Burfict is still recovering from a knee injury.

Although listed as doubtful and/or questionable, odds are these players will be watching from the sidelines Thursday when the Bengals take on the Browns:

OT Andre Smith (ankle)

LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring)

DE Robert Geathers (shoulder)

With all of these starters out, the Bengals will be relying on a committee of rookies to step up. This is not new, players go down, rookies step in, learn and grow all the time in the NFL. However, with this many injuries, the Bengals are very quickly becoming a patchwork team full of inexperienced players. Which means there will be some severe growing pains and expect that first lump to be dealt by the Browns Thursday night.

Normally a rookie or inexperienced player can be masked by the veterans around him. Whether it’s having safety help over the top if they are a defender, or using double teams to help an O-lineman get used to the calls, blitzes, and overall speed of the game.

But the Bengals don’t have that luxury. There are just too many injuries on both sides of the ball, that it is going to be a trial by fire for probably the rest of the year.

What this means for the Bengals? For fans, get ready to have a very disappointing second half of the season. But for those who have patience, this can pay off dividends come next season, when these back ups now are battle tested AND add back in the returning starters who have had time to heal. Now you’re dealing a well stocked Bengals team full of tested depth.

Continue reading "What the Bengals injuries mean for ..."

Browns Fan

Is This Is Another Rebuilding Year For The Cleveland Browns? posted by Browns Fan

The Browns were mediocre last year with a 4-12 record. But they were able to snag perhaps the most controversial college standout in recent years in Johnny Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner.

Manziel has hugged the headlines for his devil-may-care attitude, but there’s no questioning his talent and charisma. He has the hottest selling jersey in the league, and despite not being named the starter he still commands the attention from the press.

Brian Hoyer, the starter, won a pair of games versus the Bengals and Vikings before he went down with a torn ACL. Critics say he’s small and too fragile to become the lead quarterback of the team, but Manziel is also small so maybe the two quarterbacks would combine for the 16 starts.

Hoyer and Manziel could become frustrated all season long because the Browns have one of the poorest rosters of receivers. Only tight end Jordan Cameron is capable of handling passes from Manziel and Hoyer.

The only consolation for the quarterbacks is that the team’s running game has improved by leaps and bounds with the signing of running back Ben Tate. The only question that Tate has to answer is his health, as he has missed 24 games in his four-year career.

The suspension of Josh Gordon due to marijuana use will hurt the Browns defense. The same goes for safety T.J. Ward who left via free agency. Still, not everything is lost on the defensive side for the Browns. The team managed to sign Donte Whitner, a talented safety who had a strong campaign last year. The defensive line of the team remains intact with starters Ahtyba Rubin, Phil Taylor, and Desmond Bryant returning. 

Continue reading "Is This Is Another Rebuilding Year ..."

Joe Anello

2013 NFL Offseason: Quarterback Craze! posted by Joe Anello

Aside from a few relatively noteworthy transactions in NFL free agency, the past few days have been all about the quarterbacks. There’s been news aplenty regarding some premiere and not-so-premiere signal-callers across the league and the ramifications of their movements. Let’s get through all the news!

Dallas Cowboys extend QB Tony Romo with a six-year, $108 million deal ($55M gtd.)

So we’ve all heard about the basic numbers here, but there’s definitely some “fine print” to this contract. The extension does give Romo $55 million in guaranteed money, but that includes the $11.5M he was scheduled to make next season. He did get a $25M signing bonus, which is pro-rated over the life of the deal (which technically ends after the 2019 season).

This is the contract the Cowboys needed to get done. Through an odd contract loophole, Romo could have become a free agent after the 2013 season… but also after the franchising period ended. So he would have been able to simply walk out on Dallas and get into the free agent market directly, without fear of being franchised. So without a better plan in place or being in any sort of position to draft a quarterback, Dallas made the right, sensible move here. They locked up their franchise quarterback for the long-term.

QB Kevin Kolb signs a 2-year, $13 million deal with the Buffalo Bills

WHOAH. Did NOT see this coming. Can I still get partial credit for saying he’d land in the AFC East? Kolb somehow skirts the sideshow that is the Jets quarterback competition and lands in Buffalo, where he currently only has to beat out Tarvaris Jackson, who isn’t exactly Jim Kelly. Don’t expect this move to stop the Bills from taking a quarterback somewhere in the first two rounds. Kolb might be better than Ryan Fitzpatrick. But at least he’s not making a ludicrous amount of cash.

Continue reading "2013 NFL Offseason: Quarterback Craze!"

Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Two Weeks Later posted by Joe Anello

Okay everyone, it’s been long enough since my last check-in that a slew of impactful transactions have taken place in NFL free agency. So without further adieu, let’s go around the league!

(Here are my takes on the moves from day one and days two and three of free agency.)


WR Greg Jennings signs a 5-year $47.5 million deal ($18M gtd.) with the Minnesota Vikings

This move was almost a necessity for the Vikings AND Jennings. Minnesota was in dire straits at the receiver position after they traded away Percy Harvin to the Seahawks. Jennings wasn’t getting any more money than the Packers offered him, so he oddly walked away from that deal and signed with the division rival. He’ll be THE focal point in Minnesota at the receiver position. Maybe this eases Adrian Peterson’s rage over the trading of Harvin. Maybe.

LT Jake Long signs a 4-year, $36 million deal ($16M gtd.) with the St. Louis Rams

Shabam. And the real domino in the tackle game falls. Long’s extended physical delayed this deal from getting done sooner, but he’s now a Ram. If he’s legitimately healthy and returns to form, the Rams aren’t going to miss that money in the slightest. So what does this mean for incumbent LT and former second-round pick Roger Saffold? Uh… it means he’s on his way to the right side. Or to a trade. Once Long was signed, it set a real benchmark for other tackles on the market, as we’ll see later.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Two Weeks Later"

Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Day One Recap posted by Joe Anello

NFL Free Agency started with a flurry this afternoon, with deals being announced by the minute shortly after the clock struck 4PM ET. I’m here to take a look at some of the bigger deals of the day and offer a quick take. First though, I want to cover a few of the moves made on Monday, before free agency.

(Note: I’m only going to discuss ACTUAL roster movements. While a running back visiting a crappy team *cough*ReggieBush*cough* might be newsworthy, I ain’t got time to talk about every little flight here.)

(Second note: for those of you looking for my take on the Chicago Bears’ moves, check out my earlier post here.)


Minnesota Vikings trade WR Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks

The Vikings received first and seventh round picks in the 2013 draft and a third round pick in the 2014 draft.

The Seahawks received Harvin and signed him to a six-year, $67 million dollar deal. ($25.5 guaranteed.)

Minnesota obviously wanted to get Harvin out of their hair. Despite Harvin’s interviews to the contrary, he and head coach Leslie Frasier did NOT get along. But what player won’t love Pete Carroll? An A-HOLE, that’s who. Props to Minnesota for getting a decent bounty for Harvin, but that 25th overall pick might not be a game-breaker. Still, they’re better off. For Seattle, this deal signifies how close they think they are to a title. They’re putting all of their chips in the Harvin basket now, as they released return man Leon Washington as a result of this trade.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Day One Recap"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 16, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week 16 is in the books! The playoffs are nearly set in stone, with only two possible slots and a few seedings left to be decided. But the drama isn’t over yet! Let’s run through the results of week 16 in The Final Drive!

(7-8) New Orleans Saints 34

(8-7) Dallas Cowboys 31

Stunningly enough, this loss did little to hurt the Cowboys’ playoff chances. They’re still operating under a “win and in” situation heading into the season finale against the Redskins in week 17. Here’s my issue with this team: Tony Romo had a career day (416 yards, 4 TD’s), but the Cowboy defense did nothing to help him out. Drew Brees threw all over the secondary, leading to more shots of Rob Ryan perturbed on the sidelines.

(11-4) Green Bay Packers 55

(5-10) Tennessee Titans 7

The Packers seem to be streaking at just the right time, thanks to ridiculous play from Aaron Rodgers. Uh… this game is barely worth talking about it was such a slap-around.

(10-5) Indianapolis Colts 20

(2-13) Kansas City Chiefs 13

Andrew Luck sets the single season rookie passing yardage record in the same game his Colts clinch a playoff slot. Well done Mr. Luck. And now they get their head coach back from cancer. It’s a great story. I’m kinda done with it already. For Kansas City… they’re one loss closer to the number one overall pick… in a terrible draft. Whoops.

(9-6) Washington Redskins 27

(4-11) Philadelphia Eagles 20

Eagles still suck. The ‘Skins are pretty good. Even with their win, the ‘Skins still have to play the Cowboys in a “win and in” contest. So… nothing’s really changed.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 16, 2012"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 15, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week 15 in the NFL saw a few notable shut-outs, as well as a few hilarious playoff eliminations. We can’t waste any more time, so let’s get right into The Final Drive!

(8-6) Cincinnati Bengals 34

(4-10) Philadelphia Eagles 13

I’d say this was impressive, but the Bengals left a lot of points on the field. Still, they’re in the driver seat for the sixth wildcard slot if they can take down the Steelers in week 16. Are they still hard to judge? Surely. But they beat down the Eagles exactly how a good team would. That means something.

(12-2) Atlanta Falcons 34

(8-6) New York Giants 0

I really can’t explain this one. Maybe the Giants have a deal with the NFL to make the NFC East race more interesting down the stretch? Otherwise the Falcons might actually be as good at home as they think they are.

(8-6) Washington Redskins 38

(5-9) Cleveland Browns 21

No RG3? No problem. Kirk’s got ya covered. That guy will be a tradeable asset in a year or two. Bet on it.

(6-8) New Orleans Saints 41

(6-8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0

Where did the vaunted Buc offense go? They made the Saint defense look like the freaking ’85 Bears. That takes a LOT of sucking.

(11-3) Denver Broncos 34

(9-5) Baltimore Ravens 17

So these Ravens are really letting up as the season winds down. Joe Flacco is inconsistent at best, and he didn’t improve dramatically with Jim Caldwell calling the plays. But do you know what really did the Ravens in? Their defense. Again. The Chris Harris pick-six of Flacco definitely hurt, but the Baltimore defense still gave up 27 points. And by the way, Denver looks like a scary-ass two seed.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 15, 2012"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 15, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

I gotta say, week 15 of the NFL season is here and it is absolutely stacked. Almost all of the early games on Sunday have playoff implications, which ensures the excitement starts early! Let’s go through the most intriguing match-ups of the weekend!

(8-5) New York Giants at

(11-2) Atlanta Falcons

Woof. This is not a bad game at all. The Super Bowl Champs head south to face a Falcons team that just gave up an odd game to the Newton-led Panthers. It’s going to be interesting how much the Giants flip their proverbial switch for this one, seeing as how they’ll very likely meet in the playoffs. (But the G-Men still have to get there.) If the Falcons are going to be taken seriously, Sunday would be a good way to start.

(7-6) Washington Redskins at

(5-8) Cleveland Browns

Word broke early Saturday that RG3 will not start in this game, meaning Kirk Cousins will be taking the reins against a stout Brown defense. This is definitely the best candidate for the “Trap of the Week.” I’ll give the ‘Skins’ coaching staff a lot of credit for the way this team has played thus far, because they’re certainly maximizing their talent. But without a dynamic QB like Griffin, this Washington offense might not have enough explosiveness to put up many points.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 15, 2012"

Cleveland Browns News

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Browns' Josh Gordon to be reinstated by NFL, can attend training camp (Shutdown Corner

Some good news for the Cleveland Browns: receiver Josh Gordon, who had a sensational 2013 season, only to find himself on the sideline for much of the past two years thanks to repeated failures in the NFL drug testing program, can return to the team on a conditional basis. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has given Gordon permission to participate in training camp and preseason games, but Gordon will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season. Since he is suspended under the substance abuse policy and not the performance-enhancing drugs policy, Gordon will be able to be at the Browns’facility and take part in meetings during his suspension. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Comeback route: NFL reinstates wide receiver Josh Gordon (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Browns' Josh Gordon to be reinstated by NFL, can attend training camp (Shutdown Corner

Some good news for the Cleveland Browns: receiver Josh Gordon, who had a sensational 2013 season, only to find himself on the sidelines for much of the last two years thanks to repeated failures in the NFL drug testing program, is able to return to the team on a conditional basis. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has given Gordon permission to participate in training camp and preseason games, but then will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season. Since he is suspended under the substance abuse policy and not the performance-enhancing drugs policy, Gordon will be able to be at the Browns’facility and take part in meetings during his suspension. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

NFL reinstates suspended Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Browns running back attends funeral of slain Dallas officer (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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