An AFC West divisional matchup kicks off Monday night, when the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Denver to take on the Denver Broncos. The Chiefs have dominated this rivalry recently, winning the last 5 matchups.
Kansas City defeated the Chargers week 1 38-28, and outlasted the Steelers 42-37 week 2. Last Sunday, the Chiefs beat the 49ers 38-27.
The Broncos are coming off a 24-14 loss to the Ravens. In week 1, the Broncos defeated the Seahawks 27-24, and won in Oakland 20-19 week 2.
Vegas currently has the Chiefs as 5 point favourites on the road with the O/U total set at 55.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs offense has been electric through 3 games. Quarterback Pat Mahomes has been sensational, leading the league with 13 passing touchdowns en route to leading the Chiefs to a league leading 39.3 points per game.
Mahomes has been wheeling and dealing, throwing touchdowns to 9 different receivers already this season, including 3 to Tyreek Hill. Hill has been impressive in his own right, slotting in 8th in the league with 310 yards, and averaging 22.1 yards per reception. Running back Kareem Hunt has struggled to follow up his league leading 1369 rushing yards from a season ago. Hunt has 2 touchdowns, but is only averaging 3.2 yards per carry on his way to just 168 yards, even though the Chiefs have primarily led in all 3 of their contests.
If you noticed a theme in all the Chiefs games so far this season, they’ve been shootouts through and through. The defense is definitely under scrutiny, allowing 30.7 points per game, good for 3rd in the league. Edge rushers Dee Ford and Justin Houston have 5 sacks between them, but their pass defense has been atrocious.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
EDGE Dee Ford (groin)- questionable, S Eric Berry (foot)- questionable, LB Terrance Smith (shin)- questionable
The Broncos are 2-1, but it may not feel like it. They are one of the least talked about teams in the league, probably due to their quarterback being Case Keenum. Keenum has been unspectacular this season, throwing 3 touchdowns in their week 1 win, but failing to get in the scoring column through the air since. Keenum has added a TD on the ground, but is tied for the league lead with 5 interceptions.
The rookie duo of Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay has been dynamic out of the backfield this season. The tandem has combined for 69 carries, 350 yards, and 2 touchdowns on the ground.
The Denver defense has been solid, averaging near the middle of the pack in every major defensive category. Edge rusher Von Miller is not at the top of his game yet this season, and still has 4 sacks. The safeties and linebackers have been picked on a bit in the passing game, with safety Justin Simmons and linebacker Todd Davis combining to allow 19 receptions, 233 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
TE Jake Butt (knee)- Out, CB Tramaine Brock (groin)- Questionable, CB Adam Jones (hamstring)- Questionable
Matchups to Watch
Chiefs TE Travis Kelce vs Broncos S Justin Simmons
Chiefs OT Mitchell Schwartz vs Broncos EDGE Von Miller
Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay vs Chiefs LB Anthony Hitchens
Broncos WRs vs Chiefs Secondary
This Chiefs offense is gonna be tough to stop all season. It’s hard to gameplan against a quarterback with a Howitzer for an arm and a wide receiver who’s nickname is “Cheetah”.
I’ve said repeatedly that Mahomes is due for a down game where he throws 2 or 3 picks and everyone thinks the world is falling for the Chiefs. That’s not happening this week. Andy Reid is too familiar with what the Broncos want to do defensively, and he will continue to let Mahomes loose.
The Chiefs offensive line is legit, and Mahomes gets the ball out quick. I don’t see the Denver pass rush being too much of an issue. If the Chiefs can get up in the game early, expect a heavy dose of Kareem Hunt, as the Broncos D is among the worst in the league at stopping the run this season.
Case Keenum hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire this year, but playing a weak Chiefs secondary will definitely help. Keenum should have his pick of receiver on any given play, and Phillip Lindsay could be extremely dangerous out of the backfield. Even so, the Broncos do not have the firepower to keep up with KC. This line should be closer to 6 or 6.5, but the Broncos home field advantage cannot be overstated. We are still drinking the Mahomes Kool-Aid, and I’m taking the Chiefs to win big on Monday night.
Final Pick: Chiefs (-5)
Two AFC North rivals face off in primetime Sunday Night when the Ravens travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. The Steelers lead this storied rivalry all time 24-20, and the Steelers have won the last 3 matchups.
The Ravens are coming off a 24-14 win against the Broncos. Week 1, the Ravens stomped the Buffalo Bills 47-3, and lost to the Bengals 34-23.
The Steelers tied the Browns 21-21 week 1, and lost a 42-37 shootout with the Chiefs week 2. Last Monday, the Steelers survived a furious comeback against the Buccaneers by a score of 30-27.
Oddsmakers currently has the Steelers as 3 point favourites at home, with an O/U total of 50.5.
Joe Flacco and the Ravens are coming off an impressive win in Denver. Flacco played possibly the best game of his young season.
With rookie sensation Lamar Jackson breathing down his neck, Flacco has looked like the Joe Cool of old. Last week, Flacco threw for 277 yards and a touchdown, looking more and more comfortable with his new receivers, and not putting the ball in harm’s way. The running back duo of Javorious Allen and Alex Collins has been extremely potent thus far. They have combined for 148 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground, and have also accumulated a combined 137 receiving yards and a TD.
The pass rush has been impressive, with 5 players with over 5 pressures, with Za’Darius Smith leading the way with 13 total pressures and 2 sacks. The secondary has been solid, and 2nd year cornerback Marlon Humphrey has built on his remarkable rookie year, only allowing 42 yards on 17 total targets this season.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
EDGE Terrell Suggs (knee)- Questionable, TE Hayden Hurst (foot)- Questionable. Expected to play
Ben Roethlisberger has been slinging it this season, and the Steelers passing attack has been impressive even with Antonio Brown not playing at the top of his game. Roethlisberger is 2nd in the league in passing yards with 1140, and has thrown 7 touchdowns as well as 4 interceptions (3 week 1 vs. Browns).
Big Ben and the Steelers started slow Monday night, going 3 and out on their first drive, and Roethlisberger throwing an interception on their 2nd drive. The Steelers then strung together 3 scoring drives en route to a 30-10 lead at halftime, with Ben throwing 3 touchdowns.
Superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown has not been his dominant self to this point this season. Brown has racked up just 117 yards and a touchdown the last 2 weeks against below average secondaries, and faces another tough challenge this week.
The defense has been the question mark this season for Pittsburgh. The pass rush has been doing it’s job, with Bud Dupree, T.J. Watt, and Cam Heyward all tallying over 10 pressures so far this season. The secondary has been gashed, albeit their last 2 games have been against Pat Mahomes and Ryan Fitzpatrick (#1 and 2 in passing TDs). Cornerback Artie Burns in particular has struggled, allowing 204 yards on just 10 catches this season and giving up 3 touchdowns.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
CB Mike Hilton (elbow)- Questionable, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (abdomen)- Questionable, S Morgan Burnett (groin)- Questionable
Matchups to Watch
Ravens OTs vs Steelers EDGE
Ravens WR John Brown vs Steelers CBs
Steelers WR Antonio Brown vs Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey
Steelers OTs vs Ravens EDGE
This Baltimore Ravens team can no longer be underrated. After pulling out a double digit win against a gritty Denver team, the Ravens are much better than the public thinks.
Joe Flacco has been playing very well this season, barring a few bad decisions against the Bengals. He should have no issue against a simple Steelers secondary that lacks playmaking ability.
The Ravens offensive line is average however, and the Steelers will have to follow the same formula they did last week by getting to Flacco early and making him uncomfortable. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers are just hitting their stride offensively. They face a tough matchup this week against a pesky Ravens secondary, but that won’t phase Ben. James Conner has done well replacing Bell’s production on the ground and in the passing game, but he needs to have a big game down the stretch if Ben can’t push the ball downfield the way he has the last few weeks. Antonio Brown needs to win down the field this week, and give Big Ben another outlet to go along with JuJu Smith-Schuster’s productive young season.
The AFC North is known for it’s high level of competition, and with that usually comes very close matchups. I still think Antonio Brown comes up big this week against a rival, and Big Ben continues to have success slinging the rock. Gimme Pittsburgh at home to cover, and start to really pick up steam.
Final Pick: Steelers (-3)
A new Wall Street Journal study has established that $88.6 million in illegal finances have been chanelled via 46 cryptocurrency exchanges. $9 million of the dubious funds supposedly went via crypto exchange ShapeShift.
ShapeShift is a Switzerland-based crypto currency exchange that was established in 2014 by Erik Voorhees. The uniqueness of ShapeShift is that it allows clients to anonymously buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC), which police can follow, but cannot recognize the person behind the trade.
To conduct its study of crypto money washing, WSJ apparently created a computer program that followed funds from more than 2,500 dubious investment frauds, extortion schemes and other supposed crimes that used BTC and Ethereum (ETH). To perform in-depth study of ShapeShift transactions, WSJ downloaded and saved a list of the 50 most recent trades every 15 seconds, at the exchange’s website.
Per WSJ, bad players exploited ShapeShift’s facility to exchange BTC into an untraceable cryptocurrency Monero. ShapeShift further began to handle “millions” of deceitfully received dollars, but refused to amend its policy concerning clients’ anonymity.
In a discussion with WSJ, Voorhees stated that he does not believe that “people should have their identity recorded to catch an occasional criminal.” WSJ afterwards gave ShapeShift with a list of doubtful addresses, which were purportedly using the exchange.
Veronica McGregor, the chief legal officer at ShapeShift, told WSJ that the exchange looked into it and banned those addresses. She also stated that the company intends to make user identification compulsory starting Oct. 1.
Commenting on Voorhees’s opinion about the company’s anonymity policy, McGregor said that
“just because it’s the personal philosophy of the CEO doesn’t mean that’s how the business is going to be run. He’s not pro-money-laundering.”
Previously users were not asked to sign in or register with ShapeShift to perform transactions. However, in the future, the exchange plans to introduce compulsory identity verification. Notably, earlier this month, ShapeShift launched a new rewards program, which will soon turn out to be the compulsory membership model for the users of the cryptocurrency exchange. The new terms will call for ‘basic’ personal information.
The Saints and Giants face off in an NFC matchup Sunday in East Rutherford. The last time these 2 teams played, the Giants eked out a 16-13 win at home.
The Saints are coming of an overtime win against the Falcons 43-37. Previously, the Saints lost to the Buccaneers 48-40, and snuck by the Browns 21-18.
The Giants are fresh off a W as well, beating the Texans 27-22 in Houston. Week 1 the Giants lost to the Jaguars 20-16, and lost 20-13 to the Cowboys in week 2.
Oddsmakers currently have New Orleans (-4) on the road, with an O/U of 50.5.
New Orleans Saints
Coming off a gritty shootout against a divisional rival, the Saints have to feel good after a shaky start to their season. Drew Brees is playing at an extremely high level even at 39 years old.
Brees threw for 396 yards and 3 touchdowns, and added 2 touchdowns on the ground. At wide receiver, Michael Thomas is showing why he deserves to be in the elite WR conversation. Thomas leads the NFL in receptions with 38 and yards with 398. Alvin Kamara continues to be a dynamic offensive weapon. Kamara has 289 receiving yards on 30 receptions, and has 141 yards on the ground, with 3 total touchdowns. The defense continues to be a question mark after last season’s impressive performance. Cam Jordan is the only real pass rushing threat, and has racked up 4 sacks. The duo of Ken Crawley and Marshon Lattimore has been shaky, allowing 19.6 yards per catch, and has given up a combined 470 yards on the season.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
RB Alvin Kamara (knee)- questionable, CB Patrick Robinson (ankle)- placed on IR, WR Tedd Ginn Jr. (knee)- questionable, OT Terron Armstead (knee)- questionable
New York Giants
The Giants are coming off their first win of the season, and have to be feeling confident as well. Eli Manning has been average, but is coming off his best game of the season.
Manning tallied 297 yards and 2 touchdowns, and spread the ball around well. The duo of Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard combined for 189 yards on 15 catches, and Shepard found the endzone late in the game to extend the Giants lead.
Rookie running back Saquon Barkley continues to be a big play threat, averaging 4.7 yards per carry this season on his way to 216 rushing yards. Barkley showed off his explosiveness last week, hesitating in the backfield and waiting for a hole to develop before bursting through and shaking 2 tacklers on his way to a touchdown.
Defensively, the Giants have been okay, but not as good as their 16.7 PPG allowed would suggest. They have played 3 subpar offenses, and their secondary was torched by Deshaun Watson last week. Their rotation at edge rusher (Kareem Martin, Kerry Wynn, Lorenzo Carter, Connor Barwin) have combined for 26 total pressures, but only 2 sacks to show for it.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
CB Eli Apple (groin)- questionable, TE Evan Engram (knee)- out, DT Damon Harrison (knee)- questionable, EDGE Connor Barwin (knee)- questionable
Matchups to Watch
Saints WR Michael Thomas vs Giants CB Janoris Jenkins
Saints OTs vs Giants EDGE
Giants OT Chad Wheeler vs Saints EDGE Cam Jordan
Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. vs Saints CBs Ken Crawley and Marshon Lattimore
The Saints are definitely the better team here, and will look to get in a bit of a groove against another shaky defense. Drew Brees has been playing at an MVP level, and the combo of Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara should carve up this defense in the passing game.
The Giants struggle to get pressure on the interior, which is the weak point of the Saints O line, and their edge rushers should be shut down by Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk.
The Giants will need to continue their heavy dose of Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley in the quick passing game. Eli Manning is not the quarterback he used to be throwing downfield, and the Saints secondary still has playmakers in Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Williams.
We are honestly terrified for Manning this week. Cam Jordan spends the majority of his time rushing off the offenses right side, and the Giants have 2 wet paper bags at right tackle in Chad Wheeler and Ereck Flowers. Wheeler was beaten bad a few times, and
gave up 3 sacks last week after the Giants benched Flowers.
We are taking the Saints with almost zero hesitation. The NFL is always unpredictable, but the Saints outmatch the Giants in almost every matchup on the field. If they can get in Eli’s face early and often, and limit yards after the catch, the Saints should have no issue walking out of MetLife with 7+ point win.
Final Pick: Saints (-4)
The push to bring sports betting in the United States under Federal Regulations is gaining momentum as House Republicans recently voiced their approval of having the federal government oversee sports betting throughout America instead of leaving it in the hands of individual states.
When the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of (PASPA) 1992 in May, each state was given the power to legalize sports betting and come up with regulations to oversee the sports betting market.
New Jersey, Delaware and Mississippi were quick to enact legislation and launch their sports betting industries.
There are close to 20 other states who are currently discussing the possibility of passing bills that would legalize sports betting in their states. The first Congressional hearing on sports betting took place this week at a House Judiciary subcommittee and most Republicans voiced their concerns over the expanding sports betting market in the country and called for sports betting to be regulated at the Federal level as that would bring in better regulations and uniformity across the country.
In a statement, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican said
For Congress to do nothing is the worst possible alternative. We have some work to do, and I’m looking forward to working with you to try to come up with something both short term and something more permanent to deal with this issue. I’m afraid if we don’t, there are going to be people who get hurt and get hurt badly
Gambling operators who were present at the hearing opposed the move and said that a federal regulations were not required as individual states were more than capable of regulating their own sports betting markets. A gaming regulator from Nevada also pointed out that while ‘experts’ had pointed out to the numerous concerns that sports betting expansion would bring, none of those concerns had materialized.
Online Sports Betting A Risk
The Republicans were especially critical of online sports betting services as Rep. Bob Goodlatte who is also the chairman of the Judiciary Committee said that it was impossible to restrict online betting to within each state’s borders. Goodlatte said that online betting would be more destructive than having a brick and mortar casino in the state as it caused an increase in problem gambling and was destructive to family life and society.
So far none of the Republicans have introduced a bill that would push for federal regulations on the sports betting market.
Japanese messaging facility provider Line has disclosed 5 innovative decentralized applications (DApps) and a novel Japan-focused cryptocurrency. The strategy was described in a press release Friday, September 28.
LINE’s messaging facility is believed to be used by over 214 million active clients, with 30 million in Japan as of now utilizing its mobile disbursement facility, Line Pay.
Line has today publicized that its latest sequence of DApps will concentrate on a variety of services such as “prediction, Q&A,” along with reviews of goods, foodstuff and locations.
LINE’s overseas crypto currency Link has already been circulated via dealings on the firm’s own worldwide cryptocurrency exchange “BITBOX” which was launched in the beginning of September, and will also be distributed through rewards to the users of dApp and other facilities offered by the Line ecosystem.
Today’s pronouncement observes that Link is not accessible in the American or Japanese markets. Line has hence introduced a unique coin, dubbed “LINK Point,” that is restricted to residents of Japan.
LINK Point will be distributed as an incentive to clients of LINE’s novel DApps, and cannot be exchanged on the BITBOX cryptocurrency exchange, due to national regulatory limitations. As earlier detailed, BITBOX has not yet received an operating license from Japan’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA).
LINK Point can in any case be utilized for DApp services, or it can be exchanged for “LINE Point” tokens which can be converted for buying LINE’s facilities, as portion of Line Pay. Today’s media release describes the value of one Line Point as one yen.
Overall, one billion Link Point and Link are to be issued, of which 800 million are to be regularly dispersed to clients of the Line token ecosystem. The company will hold 200 million as a reserve.
Both tokens will form portion of LINE’s innovative token financial system, which is primarily based on own blockchain network, Link Chain. Line says the venture plans to “flatten the relationship structure between users and service providers,” in an attempt to cheer “mutual growth.”
Line’s genesis block was generated August 2. Line described the mainnet as a “service-oriented” blockchain network that would empower dApps to be straightaway integrated to LINE’s messaging platform. Line Plus, the mobile platform subsidiary of the company, also introduced a blockchain associate, dubbed Unblock, in South Korea this April.
Current NBA Champions the Golden State Warriors have been unstoppable and will enter their new season once again as the favourites to win the 2019 NBA Championship. The Warriors have a star studded team and one of their biggest stars is without a doubt Kevin Durant.
Durant is an All Star who has been selected on nine NBA All-Star Teams and eight All NBA teams during his career. When Stephen Curry has been out through injury or had a tough day at the office, Durant has stepped up his game both offensively and defensively.
Despite being one of the best players in the NBA, Kevin Durant isn’t very popular with the fans who fault him for abandoning his former team the Oklahoma City Thunder and joining the popular Golden State Warriors in 2016. Two years have passed since then but the fans have not forgiven Durant and continue to be spiteful to him on social media and during NBA games.
The 30 year old Durant has not taken this criticism lying down and has often lashed out at fans who have criticized him and sent hate his way. This is one of the main reasons why he feels that he will never receive the Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) award.
In a statement, Durant said
You know they're not gonna give me anything. Even if it's on the fence, I have to be clear-cut better than everybody for me to even get a look. I mean, it's just pure hate for me obviously, and no appreciation for my real skill for the game. But I get it. I understand where we're coming from. I understand what we have here in this building that scares everybody.
Durant Not Concerned About Accolades
He won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in the 2013-2014 season but after joining the Warriors, he hasn’t won any awards during the regular season. Durant said that he is now at a stage in his career when he no longer worries about such accolades as his focus remains on taking the Warriors to yet another NBA Championship.
While Durant has to deal with the hate and spite thrown at him, he also has to deal with the fact that teammate Draymond Green is considered to be the best defender in the NBA and Durant will have to outshine Green during the regular season if he wants to lay claim to the DPOY.
Ahead of what should be an excellent Thursday night matchup between the Vikings and Rams we take a look at some storylines around the league, some impact injuries, and our first look at the MVP race.
Amidst all the talk about the NFL’s new roughing the passer penalties, quarterbacks across the league are sharing their input on the issue.
There have been 25 roughing the passer flags thrown already this season, and QB’s such as Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and Derek Carr is not too happy about it.
Dolphins defensive end William Hayes tore his ACL week 3 during a sack on Derek Carr after purposefully avoiding putting his body weight on Carr.
Carr was quoted Wednesday as saying “I wish the guy would have just landed on me instead of tearing his ACL.”
Trouble In Tampa
We have a quarterback controversy on our hands in Tampa. Former 1st overall pick Jameis Winston makes his return from his 3 game suspension this week, but veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick has played more than well enough to earn the job for now.
Fitzpatrick leads the league in passing yards with 1230 and is second in touchdowns with 11, and Winston may be on the outside looking in until Fitzpatrick proves that he shouldn’t be the starter.
What’s Up With Everson Griffen?
Everson Griffen has reportedly been struggling with a serious mental health issue these past few weeks, which held him out of last Sunday’s matchup with the Buffalo Bills. Reports came out that Griffen had been involved with a break-in and a sticky situation at a hotel, but both were refuted by team sources.
Griffen voluntarily underwent a mental health evaluation at a local hospital, and Head Coach Mike Zimmer has ruled him out for Thursday’s game against the Rams.
The only thing really that we're concerned about for Everson isn't anything to do with football, it's about him getting better, You never want to see this situation with anyone, and we wish Everson the best.
Bad Look For The Jets
Following last Thursday night’s loss to the Cleveland Browns, Jets safety Jamal Adams was quoted saying the Jets didn’t have a game plan for a situation in which Baker Mayfield appeared in the game. Well, Baker came in after starting QB Tyrod Taylor left with a concussion, and diced up the Jets’ D en route to a comeback win.
Adams later recanted his statement, stating
If you listen to the interview…I simply said we prepared for Tyrod. Obviously, he went down with the injury…Baker came in. He had energy. He had confidence. I did not say the coaching staff never had us prepare for two quarterbacks. I did not say that. We're going to end it at that…
Head Coach Todd Bowles defended his star safety and his team Wednesday saying,
He misspoke. He didn't mean it. He's a young player and part of having a young player as a leader sometimes he's going to have growing pains. It's a teachable moment…I don't even want to go into the specifics of what Adams said. That's just making excuses and I'm not trying to make excuses.
*generally only reporting players with changes in practice participation or week to week upgrades
ATL WR Julio Jones (calf)- DNP Wed. Questionable
ATL RB Devonta Freeman (knee)- DNP Wed. Questionable
BUF RB LeSean McCoy (ribs)- LP Wed. Questionable
CIN WR A.J. Green (groin)- LP Wed. Questionable
CIN RB Joe Mixon (knee)- DNP Wed. Out
DAL LB Sean Lee (hamstring)- DNP Wed. Doubtful
DET EDGE Ziggy Ansah (shoulder)- DNP Wed. Questionable
GB TE Jimmy Graham (knee)- DNP Wed. Questionable
GB QB Aaron Rodgers (knee)- DNP Wed. Questionable
GB CB Davon House (shoulder- placed on IR
IND TEs Eric Ebron (shoulder) & Jack Doyle (hip)- DNP Wed. Questionable
JAX T Cam Robinson (knee)- placed on IR
KC S Eric Berry (foot)- questionable
LAC EDGE Joey Bosa (foot)- DNP Wed. Out
LAC WR Keenan Allen (knee)- DNP Wed. Questionable
LAR CB Aqib Talib (ankle)- placed on IR
LAR CB Marcus Peters (calf)- LP Wed. Questionable
MIA EDGE William Hayes (knee)- placed on IR
MIN EDGE Everson Griffen (personal)- out
NE RB Rex Burkhead (neck)-placed on IR
NO CB Patrick Robinson (ankle)- placed on IR
NYG TE Evan Engram (knee)- DNP Wed. Out
PHI WR Alshon Jeffery (shoulder)- FP Wed. Questionable
PIT WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (abdomen)- DNP Wed. Questionable
SF QB Jimmy Garoppolo (knee)- placed on IR
SF CB Richard Sherman (calf)- DNP Wed. Out
Most Valuable Passer
As we know the MVP award is perennially dominated by the quarterback position, with 10 of the last 11 players to win being signal callers, and that QB is generally leading a top 5 team in the NFL. With that in mind, here are my way too early MVP rankings, which I’m sure will be completely irrelevant in a few weeks.
- QB Pat Mahomes, KC- league leading 13 touchdowns, KC averaging league- best 39.3 PPG
- QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB- league-best 1230 yards, 2nd in TD (11), league-best 11.1 YPA
- QB Drew Brees, NO- 3rd in passing TDs (8), 3rd in passing yards (1078), 5 overall TD game last week
- QB Jared Goff, LAR- 3rd in passing yards (941), 3rd in YPA, 6 TDs, LAR averaging 3rd best 34 PPG
- QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT- 2nd in passing yards, 3rd in completions, t-4th in TD’s (8)
There you have it. I didn’t get to my hot seat ladder, but it will return next week. Enjoy the games this weekend.
Victor Ortiz was set to headline the Premier Boxing Champions event that was scheduled to take place on Sunday, 30 September. Fox Sports 1 is covering the event which has Ortiz taking on his ex-sparring partner John Molina. That fight will no longer take place as Ortiz was arrested by the authorities in California for alleged rape and the fight has been pulled from the card.
The co-main event which is a fight between Oscar Escandon and featherweight challenger Brandon Figueroa will most likely be given main event status.
The woman who filed the charges claims that she was assaulted and raped at her home in Tarzana and Ortiz was identified as the suspect. So far no statement has been made by Ortiz or his team in regards to the allegations.
In a statement, the police said
A female adult contacted Oxnard police to report she was sexually assaulted in a city residence, launching a criminal investigation by the department’s family-protection unit that culminated in the arrest
The boxer posted bond for $100,000 and there were talks that he would still get to headline the card on Sunday. However, those plans were scrapped and Ortiz will not be fighting anytime soon. He is scheduled to appear on October 10 at the Ventura County Superior Court for a hearing.
Ortiz Loses Out On A Great Opportunity
The fight on Sunday was a great opportunity for Ortiz to get back to his winning ways. He stole the limelight back in 2011 when he fought Andre Berto and put up a thrilling fight which would go on to win ‘Fight of the Year’. Ortiz won that fight and would go on to fight Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
Golden Boy Boxing
The fight against Mayweather had a controversial ending and clips still circulate on Instagram. Ortiz head-butted Mayweather on purpose during the fight and then tried to apologize. While he was apologizing, Mayweather hit him twice in quick succession and put him down. That started a downward spiral in Ortiz’s career and since then he has had 7 fights with 3 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw.
This isn’t the first time that Ortiz has got into trouble with the authorities. He was arrested after assaulting an individual at a Kenny Chesney concert. He was looking to get back into the spotlight with a win over his former sparring partner Molina but that did not go as per plan.
Two NFC teams at the top of their respective divisions face off Sunday as the Bucs travel to Chicago to take on the Bears. Both teams are sitting at 2-1 after many experts predicted them both to be at the bottom of their divisions.
The Buccaneers are coming off a Monday night shootout against the Steelers, failing to complete their comeback and losing 27-30. Previously, they beat the Saints 48-40, and defeated the Eagles 27-20.
The Bears lost to their archrival Packers week 1, 23-24. Since then, they’ve beaten the Seahawks 24-17, and the Cardinals 16-14.
Oddsmakers currently has the Bears as 3 point favourites, with an O/U total of 46.5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Possibly the biggest storyline in the league thus far in the season, the Buccaneers offense has been rolling. Ryan Fitzpatrick leads the league in passing yards through 3 weeks with 1230, and is 2nd with 11 touchdowns.
Fitzpatrick made a few questionable throws Monday night, resulting in 3 first half picks, but led a furious 2nd half comeback after the Bucs fell down 30-13. He led 3 scoring drives, including a leaping touchdown grab by Chris Godwin and a nice grab by Mike Evans for another.
The run game continues to be nonexistent for the Bucs. It appeared they might be in for a breakout game following Peyton Barbers early 18 yard scamper, but it was more of the same after, with designed runs going for just 18 yards on 10 carries aside from Barbers long run.
This defense continues to exceed my expectations. They were in Big Bens face all game, and had a few near sacks that would have been sacks against almost any other quarterback. After fielding possibly the worst secondary in the league a year ago, the unit is by no means elite, but has made significant strides toward creeping back towards average.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
S Chris Conte (knee) – Placed on IR, DT Beau Allen (foot) – questionable, DT Vita Vea (calf) – questionable
After appearing promising after week 1’s duel with Aaron Rodgers, Mitchell Trubisky has shown that he still has a long way to go before Matt Nagy can confidently open up the playbook to his young quarterback. The Bears have gotten by despite Trubisky to this point, and that’s not something you want to say about a guy you took 2nd overall.
Granted, we were saying the same things about Jared Goff after his rookie year, but Trubisky looks like he has regressed from his first season. My personal take on Trubisky this season is that Nagy is overwhelming him a bit. Trubisky was in a very simple offense in college, and John Fox’s offense was not quarterback friendly, so this is really his first crack at a real NFL offense.
The Bears offensive line has really been impressive thus far. The O line has only given up 18 pressures, and Trubisky’s legs have gotten him in more trouble than the line play. The Bears D is really what has been carrying them. Khalil Mack continues to be a terror, with 20 pressures and 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and an interception. Danny Trevathan and Akeim Hicks have been stalwarts in the run game, with 21 combined tackles for a 2 yard gain or less. The Bears also rank 3rd in the NFL in interceptions with 5.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring) – considered day-to-day, WR Anthony Miller (shoulder) – considered day-to-day
Matchups to Watch
Bucs WRs vs Bears Secondary
Bucs OTs vs Bears EDGE Khalil Mack
Bears TE Trey Burton vs Bucs S/LBs
Bears OL vs Bucs DL
Ryan Fitzpatrick is now playing for his job, with Jameis Winston returning from suspension this week. What’s rough for him is that he has to face a ferocious Chicago defense.
This is a tough matchup across the board for the Buccaneers offense, as the Bears have playmakers all over the field. Containing Khalil Mack is obviously a huge issue for any offensive line, but Fitzpatrick has to be worried about this secondary after throwing 3 interceptions against a middling Steelers defensive backfield.
That wont stop Fitz though, as he is a gunslinger through and through. They will live and die by his arm this week, as he could carry them to another big offensive output, or continue his turnover streak and plunge the Bucs into a lopsided loss.
The Bears offense won’t find the running lanes they’re accustomed to against this tough Bucs defensive front 7. Mitch Trubisky is going to have to carry the Bears in this game against an average Bucs secondary. I expect the Bears to continue to simplify things for Trubisky as he leans on his tight ends and short routes to Allen Robinson and Tarik Cohen.
We’re gonna take the Bears in Chicago, as I believe their defense has enough difference makers to rough Fitzpatrick up a bit, and put Trubisky and the Bears offense in positions to succeed as they have through their first 3 games.
Final Pick: Bears (-3)