Tag Archives: nfl schedule

Several questions arise as NFL season gets under way

Specter of Sept. 11 anthem protests overshadows games

To football fans and Fantasy Football League players across the globe, the opening Sunday of the National Football League’s regular season is like Christmas morning.

And having the NFL’s opening weekend fall on the 15th anniversary of the horrifying 9/11 attacks on our country only serves to make today that much more special. After all, those attacks brought about a tremendous, renewed spirit of patriotism in our nation, and what could possibly be more of an American tradition than our own bruising brand of football?

Sure, the 2016 campaign actually opened Thursday night with the defending champion Denver Broncos again turning back the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of last February’s Super Bowl.

But that was just one game, sort of a tasty appetizer that helped whet our appetite for what takes place today, when we get the full-meal-deal, a tantalizing smorgasbord of 13 games that will help usher in another edition of our country’s most popular sport.

And as the NFL season gets underway, there are some questions that will be answered in the weeks ahead as players and teams try to navigate the always difficult path to the playoffs and, eventually, the Super Bowl.

Questions like:

• Who are all these new starting quarterbacks? And will any of them be able to play up to expectations?

In Denver, Trevor Siemian took over for retired legend Peyton Manning and, with virtually zero previous experience in a regular-season game, all he did in his debut is help lead the Broncos to a come-from-behind victory over the Panthers in Thursday’s season-opener.

Rookie QB Dak Prescott takes the reins in Dallas in the wake of veteran Tony Romo’s latest injury. Another rookie, Carson Wentz, has been handed the car keys in Philadelphia, which prompted the Eagles to ship veteran Sam Bradford off to Minnesota.

Brock Osweiler, who started several games in Manning’s absence last season in Denver, is now the new QB in Houston. And another highly touted rookie, Jared Goff, could wind up being the first-stringer for the Rams, who have returned to Los Angeles after relocating in St. Louis for the last couple of decades.

 

Source: www.deseretnews.com

Can the Colts ‘Spike’ the Gronk?

Colts know they can’t stop Gronk, but can slow him down

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 How do you put a lid on Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski?

Well, according to Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, you basically try to prevent him from doing too much damage.

“It’s a daunting task no matter who you put on him,” Pagano said. “(If) you have a linebacker that can run, he’s bigger and physical but he may not have the coverage ability because he doesn’t do it that much. Put a safety on him, and he might not have the stature that a linebacker has but runs better and those kind of things.

“You’ve just got to do a good job of mixing things up and making it as difficult as you can, and just try to slow him down if you can.”

Gronkowski is 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds. Colts cornerback Vontae Davis is 5-foot-11 and 204 pounds.

“He’s a big guy,” Davis said. “It’s going to take more than just me trying to tackle Gronk.”

 

Colts Must Stalemate Rob Gronkowski

Last time the Patriots and Colts met, in Week 11, New England tight end Rob Gronkowski had one of the less impactful games of his season, catching just four balls for 71 yards and a score.

Of course, that statistic doesn’t really do justice to how he played. The Patriots only threw the ball 30 times because the run game was so dominant in a 42-20 win. Also, Gronkowski treated the Colts’ back seven like a bowling ball treats bumpers on a ridiculous 26-yard touchdown catch that put the game away.

Still, that was about the best the Colts could hope for given the coverage players they had up the middle. A team is fooling itself if it thinks it can shut down someone as physically dominant as Gronkowski. The Colts did an excellent job of limiting him, though, and they did it mostly because they staggered their coverages to keep Patriots quarterback Tom Brady off-balance.

 

If the elephant in the room is stopping New England’s ground game, then the next step to keeping the Patriots in check is to make sure Gronkowski doesn’t go off. The Colts showed they could do it in Week 11. Can they once again keep him from dominating the ball with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line?

Source

AFC Championship

Colts vs Patriots