|To: LindyBill who wrote (43618)||10/19/2019 11:27:09 AM|
|From: J.F. Sebastian|
|Yes, that is a bit of a mystery, but with the money they've had to pay other players like Wilson, Bobby Wagner, etc. I guess they didn't have enough under the cap to go out and get some.|
However, it doesn't explain why they don't draft for better O-line players or why they keep relying on Germain Ifedi at right tackle. Ugh.
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: LindyBill||10/25/2019 1:51:29 AM|
| nfl.com What we learned from Vikings' victory over Redskins By Jeremy Bergman|
One touchdown and four Dan Bailey field goals were all the Minnesota Vikings (6-2) needed to take care of the Washington Redskins (1-7), 19-9, on "Thursday Night Football." Here's what we learned from the contest:
1. Minnesota won its fourth straight in easy, breezy fashion on Thursday evening, running over the Redskins with a one-two punch of Dalvin Cook and his understudy, Alexander Mattison. The league leader in rushing through seven (and now eight) weeks, Cook was elusive and ruthless on the ground (98 yards on 23 carries) but even more dangerous through the air, or more accurately, in the screen game. Cook tallied 73 yards on five receptions (171 total yards) against D.C., laterally evading Redskins defenders with ease. When the game was in hand, Mattison took over (61 yards on 13 carries) with equal effectiveness. Not everything worked against Washington; Minnesota's red-zone woes (1-for-4) are something to worry about, and Kirk Cousins was subject to too many free rushers on occasion, taking three costly sacks. But on a night when Minnesota didn't attempt a punt, Cousins missed just three of 26 attempts (285 yards) and seemingly exorcised his prime-time demons and the opposition barely stood a chance, the Vikings will take the balanced, if not dominant, performance.
2. Maybe the Redskins were right about Dwayne Haskins. The rookie quarterback was thrust into the spotlight in prime time after starting QB Case Keenum was knocked out at halftime with a concussion. Haskins looked uncomfortable from the get-go, his best throw a flat-footed, side-armed strike to Adrian Peterson that was nearly picked off. In his second professional appearance, Haskins completed just 3-of-5 attempts for 33 yards in the second half and threw one ghastly interception on an overthrow in the direction of Terry McLaurin (4 rec, 39 yards). Both Jay Gruden (before he was fired) and interim coach Bill Callahan have intimated or right-out said that Haskins is not ready to start. But if Keenum cannot go next week against the Buffalo Bills, then it will be Haskins, not Colt McCoy, taking snaps against one of the league's toughest defenses. Haskins was thrown to the wolves unexpectedly on Thursday night. With a week of preparation under his belt, will the No. 15 overall pick fare better if his number is called in Week 9?
3. Despite the loss, Adrian Peterson enjoyed a productive homecoming. In his second game back in Minnesota since the Vikings moved on from A.D. in 2017, Peterson ran for 76 yards on 14 carries (5.4 YPC) against his former team, showcasing on a handful of plays the agility and physicality with which he played the game in the Twin Cities for a decade. He made history, too, on Thursday night, passing Jerome Bettis and LaDainian Tomlinson for sixth on the all-time rushing yards list. So comfortable was Minnesota's victory of Peterson's 'Skins that the crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium gave Peterson a standing ovation during the final two-minute warning when alerted to his latest feat. A.D. acknowledged the crowd with a hand-wave, and following the loss, spent one-on-one time with Cook, his worthy successor in Purple and Gold. He's no longer with the organization, but Peterson's impact is still being felt.
4. In this month's edition of The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease, we present Stefon Diggs. Three weeks after skipping out on practice and meetings and reportedly requesting a trade, Diggs is the centerpiece of an explosive downfield attack in Minnesota. In torturing Fabian Moreau and Josh Norman in coverage on Thursday night en route to a 143-yard evening, Diggs broke the franchise record for receiving yards in a three-game span (452 yards). The wideout passed Vikings legend Randy Moss (446, Weeks 12-14, 2001), per NFL Research. With the trade deadline just five days away, it doesn't look like Diggs is going anywhere.
5. If you prefer your football done and dusted in as short a time period as possible, the Redskins are the team for you. After playing through a slopfest in Week 7 in 2 hours, 36 minutes, Washington lost to Minnesota in a tidy 2 hours, 41 minutes.
6. With the victory, Minnesota keeps pace with the division-leading Green Bay Packers (6-1) in the NFC North. After seven-plus weeks, the division appears bifurcated into two camps: contenders to the west (Minnesota and Green Bay) and pretenders to the east (Chicago and Detroit). Meanwhile, the 'Skins shouldn't even bother looking at the NFC East race. Washington's race is one to the top of the draft order.
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read|
|From: LindyBill||10/25/2019 8:56:20 AM|
| wsj.com When Being a Dual Threat Quarterback Actually Hurts |
In the last decade, Ohio State’s football team has always been a legitimate contender for the Big Ten title. But each year there was an obvious Achilles’ heel—a leaky secondary or a quarterback who runs too slow—that kept the Buckeyes from dominating opponents.
That doesn’t appear to be the case in 2019. After seven games and seven lopsided wins—the undefeated Buckeyes’ average margin of victory is a staggering 41.7 points—it appears that first-year coach Ryan Day has assembled a near-faultless roster led by perhaps their greatest strength: transfer quarterback Justin Fields.
That strength is potentially this Ohio State team’s weakness, however. Fields’s mobility has allowed him to run the ball much more than previous Buckeye quarterbacks. But if he gets hurt running so much—as numerous other top college quarterbacks have this season—it could be especially troubling because the Buckeyes’ backup quarterbacks are all new to the program and untested.
Fields is a sophomore who enrolled in Columbus last January after spending last season backing up Jake Fromm at Georgia. He is a surgical passer, with just one interception in 164 attempts and an efficiency rating of 190.20. He’s scored 30 touchdowns in seven games—22 through the air and eight with his feet—and accounts for more points per game than any player in college football except Joe Burrow, the LSU quarterback who transferred from Ohio State.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Fields is also a dynamic runner in a way that his predecessors were not. Fields is the Buckeyes’ third leading rusher with 291 yards on 63 attempts. “That’s obviously a weapon,” said Day.
It’s also a cause for concern. The more a quarterback runs, the more likely he is to get tackled. The more hits a quarterback takes, the more likely he is to get injured.
“You like to think everyone is going to stay healthy. The reality of it is, you look at the numbers around the country, that doesn’t happen,” said Day after his team’s first practice in August. “The quarterback situation in college football is as sensitive as it can be.”
Day’s comments were prescient. Through the first eight weeks of the 2019 season, 46 quarterbacks playing in Power Five conferences have gone down with ailments ranging from mild concussions to season-ending knee injuries, according to a database maintained by USA Today. USC cycled through three passers in the span of four games. Last weekend, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa left the game with a high ankle sprain and will spend at least two weeks on the sidelines recovering.
‘I’m not comfortable with him [Fields] taking a lot of hits in the course of the game,’ said Ohio State coach Ryan Day. Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Fields has had a few scares. On Sept. 28, he got bulldozed by Nebraska linemen. Against Michigan State the following Saturday, he was slow to get up after a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
“I’m not comfortable with him [Fields] taking a lot of hits in the course of the game,” said Day back in August. “What happens if he rolls [an] ankle in the second play? Heaven forbid.”
If Fields one day actually goes down with an injury, it’s a steep drop in experience to his backups. Not one of Ohio State’s six quarterbacks has been with the program for longer than 16 months. Day says the backup situation is a product of Dwayne Haskins, last year’s starter, departing early for the NFL, as well as the strange new phenomenon in college football that finds more quarterbacks transferring between programs.
“Think about what we had a few years ago, you had J.T. [Barrett], Joe [Burrow], Dwayne and Tate [Martell] in the room, and they’re all kind of gone,” said Day. “J.T. graduated, Joe is at LSU, Dwayne is in the NFL and then Tate decided to leave. You have a whole new group of guys in here.”
Behind Fields, the quarterback with the most snaps is Chris Chugunov, a graduate transfer from West Virginia. He enrolled last fall, making him the Buckeyes’ second longest tenured quarterback behind sophomore Danny Vanatsky, who joined the program during the summer of 2018.
The next passer in line is grad transfer Gunnar Hoak, Kentucky’s former starter that did not arrive in Columbus until the first day of training camp in August. Though he has plenty of gameday experience, he is still learning the Buckeyes’ playbook. He’s seen action in two games, but has only attempted three passes and one run for a loss of 7 yards.
Then comes a trio of underclassmen: Vanatsky, redshirt freshman and Texas A&M transfer Jagger LaRoe and walk-on freshman J.P. Andrade. This part of Ohio State’s depth chart is not unusual, but the lack of upperclassmen veterans is.
Justin Fields and Ohio State face a tough Wisconsin defense on Saturday. Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
The Buckeyes face a bruising match-up this weekend against Wisconsin’s top-ranked defense. The Badgers have allowed just 193.9 yards per game. Despite stumbling against lowly Illinois last week, Wisconsin’s defense has tallied four shutouts in its first seven games. Plus they own the highest sack rate in the country over the course of the last three games.
To be sure, inexperience at quarterback is not always a death knell. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Alabama’s Tagovailoa both guided their teams to national championships as a true freshman.
But that isn’t incredibly soothing to Day as the Buckeyes gear up for Wisconsin.
“There are some things we have to clean up in protection,” he admitted in his weekly press conference on Tuesday. “When they [Wisconsin] get in there, they get a shot on you, they don’t miss.”
Share Your Thoughts Should Ohio State be more conservative to protect quarterback Justin Fields?
Write to Laine Higgins at email@example.com
Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
|RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)|