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Bengals’ defense shows a number of positives vs. Chargers



The Cincinnati Bengals’ defense showed a number of positives in their home opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

The ending to the Cincinnati Bengals’ home opener was gut-wrenching, there is no doubt. However multiple positives were present in Joe Burrow’s debut. The rookie QB’s performance provided much hope that, frankly, was not always present in the era that proceeded him.

On the other side of the ball, a unit that was very much under par last year has a number of fresh new faces and looks revitalized, keeping the Chargers to just 16 points. Here are some of my key takeaways that provide hope for the Bengal D this year:

Bengals’ secondary standouts

Jessie Bates looked energized and aggressive providing help to Darius Phillips with a number of clean hits. Some believed the third-year safety took a step back last year, however that was not the case against the Bolts. The referees were guilty of some questionable unnecessary roughness penalties, but Bates still made a number of key stops, including a touchdown-saving stop in the back of the end zone against Mike Williams.

Adding to the positives is the fact that William Jackson looked healthy. The Chargers looked to begin the game by attacking him and he was able to keep a top wide receiver in Keenan Allen to limited action all afternoon. If the corner, who played so well two years ago, can replicate performances like this, it will take a lot of pressure off a`Trae Waynes-less cornerback room.

Bengals’ new DT’s step up in the absence of Geno Atkins

Mike Daniels and D.J. Reader were solid all game and provided interior pressure despite the absence of Geno Atkins. Reader did have muscle cramps late in the game, however, a healthy defensive tackle unit could prove to be one of the league’s best.

Finally, JOSH BYNES! Bynes looked fantastic and was present all over the field. This provides hope that, along with second-year third-rounder Germaine Pratt, the linebacker unit can be strong this season. Fourth-round pick Akeem Davis-Gaither did appear to get picked on underneath, but fellow rookie Logan Wilson was prominent on special teams.

Overall, the performances of both Burrow and the defense provided a lot of hope for the future as the Bengals will look to get back to .500 against a Browns team that looked lifeless against Baltimore on Sunday.

Next: Bengals let win slip away to begin the Joe Burrow era

NFL Football

Chicago Bears: Did the national NFL power rankings finally do right by Bears?




Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The national NFL power rankings are becoming a joke to Chicago Bears fans

Listen, I understand the Chicago Bears played the Lions and the Giants over the first two weeks of the NFL season, but the team is 2-0. Winning in the NFL is never easy. The team has yet to play a complete game, but the defense showed improvements and the offense showed enough promise to be excited on where the team can go.

We should also point out that the Lions were holding their own against the Packers throughout the first half of the game. Then, like usual, the Lions fell off and the Packers destroyed the Lions 42-21. As far as the Giants, the defense held the Steelers at bay until the fourth quarter in Week 1. Maybe the Giants defense is not as bad as many think. The Bears were a few key drops away from blowing out the Giants opposed to winning a close game.

Next up, the Chicago Bears will face off against a Falcons team that finds itself 0-2 as the team found a way to blow another big lead (28-3 anyone?) to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2. The offense is no joke though as the team has scored 25 and 39 points over the first two weeks. The defense on the other hand has allowed plenty of points and has been the worst team in the NFL in the red zone.

Let’s face it, power rankings mean very little, but we all like to look at them anyway. Each week we will take a look at where the Chicago Bears land on the ESPN, NFL and CBS power rankings. We will discuss if the spot seems fair or if the rankings seem a little off for some reason. As of now, all three still seem off.

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NFL Football

Colts fans will love Quenton Nelson mic’d up highlight reel from Week 2




Colts offensive lineman Quenton Nelson’s mic’d up highlights from Week 2 against Minnesota are awesome.

With the Indianapolis Colts currently preparing to take on the New York Jets on Sunday, the top highlights from their Week 2 victory over Minnesota are beginning to make their way to social media.

Simply put, Indy had no issues disposing of the Vikings, as both sides of the ball had strong performances. The main takeaway among fans was how the defense rebounded from their woeful showing to open the season against Jacksonville, and understandably so.

However, the offense also deserves its fair share of the record, after putting 28 points up on the scoreboard against a (supposedly) star-studded defensive unit. The biggest takeaway was obviously the success of the running game, and that all starts with the big fellas up front.

The Colts offensive line was impenetrable all game long and, as always, Quenton Nelson led the way with yet another dominant display at right guard. What we didn’t know, however, was that the All-Pro stud was mic’d up for the clash and the highlights are awesome.

Seriously, how can you not love this guy?

As crazy as it sounds, Nelson picking up his tackled teammates and congratulating them after touchdowns and big gains doesn’t prove that he’s one of the nicest players in the entire NFL. What confirms that is the former No. 6 overall pick apologizing to members of the Vikings defense after taking two of them out of the play in one sequence.

Don’t get it twisted, either: Nelson has PLENTY of dog in him. Our favorite parts of this highlight reel came when he dismissed a Minnesota defender who said he almost knocked the ball out of running back Nyheim Hines’ hand, and when he told a Vikings defensive lineman to “get off the block” and “stop (expletive)” after he destroyed him in protection.

You simply get the best of both worlds with Nelson on a weekly basis, and that’s precisely what makes him a favorite among Colts fans. The term “must-see” is used extremely loosely these days, but this clip of the Notre Dame product undoubtedly falls under that description.

What a likable player and guy Nelson is, man.

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NFL Football

A healthy LA Rams team could be powerfully successful by the bye week




The LA Rams did not avoid player injury in week two, as both Noteboom and Akers leave the game early. But the team cannot let injuries get out of hand.

The LA Rams were hoping for a victory and hoping to emerge without any player injury. The Rams came away with the victory, but not do so unscathed. In this one, two Rams were injured.  The initial reports from the game suggested that rookie running back Cam Akers had suffered a ribs injury.

The initial report from the game suggested that offensive line Joseph Noteboom, just back from a reconstructed knee in 2019, suffered a lower leg (calf) injury. That was met with the news that both veteran RB Malcolm Brown and CB Darious Williams were injured. Suddenly, the health of the LA Rams roster was in the news again. No matter how skilled the front office or coaching staff, injuries cripple the team’s chance for success.

Was this another wave of injuries?

Rams injuries headlining once more

The post-game injury report was a bit better than expected. The Rams discovered that Joe Noteboom’s calf injury was a grade 2 calf strain. While he will likely need three-four weeks to recover, he will be back. Likewise, Cam Akers’s rib injury is day-to-day, and will likely need a bit of time to heal, but he is out for a short time.

Both RB Malcolm Brown and CB Darious Williams are dinged but able to play this week. While the Rams are playing without OT Chandler Brewer for this year, and have ILB Travin Howard on IR all season, the team could welcome back NT A’Shawn Robinson as early as week seven and may get OLB Terrell Lewis back in week four.

Rams could be getting full strength

As the Rams prepare to face the New York Giants, the Rams will likely decide the immediate future of Joseph Noteboom to synchronize with the return of Terrell Lewis. That will allow the Rams to work even longer with their entire practice squad for another three weeks. And with the return of Terrell Lewis, the Rams get a strong shot of pass rush in time to tune up against the New York Giants and Washington football teams before the team takes aim at their first division rival, the San Francisco 49ers.

Next: LA Rams game day primer: Clashing with the beast of the AFC East

After the 49ers game, the Rams may be getting reinforced on the defensive line, as nose tackle A’Shawn Robinson could be returning as well. If the Rams can get to six wins by the 49ers game, and barring any further injuries, the Rams could be welcoming everyone back to full health and reinforcing the roster once more. With the Rams next hosting the Chicago Bears and then traveling to play the Miami Dolphins before the bye week, the Rams have a true chance at 8-0 heading into their bye week. As long as these Rams stay healthy, this could be a powerfully successful season for the LA Rams

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