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Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara should thank Christian McCaffrey



Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara should be thanking Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey after getting new deals before the season.

Two more running backs got long-term deals before the 2020 season and they should be thanking Christian McCaffrey.

At a time where NFL teams appeared reluctant to pay running backs their going rate due to their short shelf life, McCaffrey bucked the trend with a bumper four-year, $64 million deal with a $21 million signing bonus and $38 million guaranteed. This was something that made him the new face of the Carolina Panthers and put the pressure on other organizations to do the same with their stars at the position.

It might have been a long time coming, but Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara officially agreed on lucrative extensions with the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints respectively. They should thank McCaffrey for indirectly assisting them in their bid to get deals done that is more in keeping with their level of production.

The Carolina Panthers led the way with Christian McCaffrey.

The NFL’s illustrious history is full of big running back contracts that were nothing short of a disaster., One only has to look at the money given to Todd Gurley during his time with the Los Angeles Rams to see that. But it is hard to look at McCaffrey, Cook, or Kamara and dispute just how important they are to their teams’ chances of success in 2020 and beyond.

Neither player will be getting as much as McCaffrey. Cook’s contract includes just over $28 million guaranteed over five years and Kamara’s works out at about $34.33 million in guarantees. This is slightly less than the All-Pro got from the Panthers after becoming the third back in NFL history to go over 1,000-yards rushing and receiving in the same season last time out.

McCaffrey’s new deal set the benchmark for others to aim at. Neither player was going to get more than the former first-round pick thanks to his exceptional level of production during his first three years in Carolina that resulted in 5,443 all-purpose yards and 39 touchdowns.

Carolina’s star player has also stayed far healthier than both Cook and Kamara to further enhance his claims as to who the NFL’s best dual-threat back is. All three are going to play pivotal roles next season and beyond. But the two who are celebrating new deals will have better postseason ambitions in the short-term.

This might come in time for the Panthers, but it is unlikely to happen in 2020. The organization is in the midst of a significant rebuild under new head coach Matt Rhule and although they could surprise those who have already written off their chances next season, a trip to the playoffs might be a step too far.

McCaffrey is someone that every NFL running back is shooting for in terms of production, which is matched by an exemplary attitude and an ability to inspire others around him. Cook and Kamara both have a similar impact on the Vikings and Saints, so it will be interesting to see how each player copes with the responsibility that comes with big money.

They should be able to take it in their stride thanks to their respective demeanor. This will grab the attention of players such as Derrick Henry who are still awaiting their payday, but each back who gets the big bucks in the coming months owes McCaffrey a substantial amount of gratitude.

NFL Football

Recent history favors the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday




Russell Wilson and the Seahawks was not how the Atlanta Falcons envisioned the year starting off. Fans didn’t expect to hear Dan Quinn tell the world that once again the franchise was “pissed off” so soon either – but here we are.

The Atlanta Falcons have not started out 0-2 since the nightmare known as the 2007 NFL season. (Don’t worry, we won’t rehash that here) In order to avoid the 0-2 start in 2020, the Atlanta Falcons have to find a way to beat a pissed off Dallas Cowboys team that lost their week one matchup in LA to the Rams.

The Cowboys and Falcons have met three previous times during Dan Quinn’s tenure as head coach of the Falcons. The Falcons won both the 2015 and 2017 matchups while they lost in 2018 at home.

The Atlanta Falcons have won three of the last five games versus the Cowboys.

Overall, this will be Matt Ryan‘s sixth game against the Cowboys. He has thrown for 1,331 yards, seven touchdowns, and four interceptions in the previous five games. Ryan has completed nearly 68 percent of his pass attempts against the Cowboys and was only sacked 12 times in those five games.

Ryan has also averaged 6.4 yards per rushing attempt against the Cowboys, which is the fifth-highest average against any franchise in his career. Not that we expect him to beat the Cowboys with his feet but they clearly do not respect his ability to scramble and pick up yards by running the ball.

Next: Qadree Ollison must be part of the scheme moving forward

The game will be broadcast on Fox with kickoff set for 1:00 pm. Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston & Pam Oliver are set to broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Locally in Atlanta, the game can be heard on radio via 929 The Game with longtime play by play broadcaster Wes Durham and former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Dave Archer providing color.

The Cowboys are currently a four-point favorite at home this Sunday.

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Buffalo Bills: Picking three players who could be X-factors in Week 2




ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 08: Cole Beasley #10 of the Buffalo Bills scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter of an NFL game against the Baltimore Ravens at New Era Field on December 08, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

These are three players on the Buffalo Bills that may not be discussed regularly but could play big roles in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins.

There is no question that when fans talk about the Buffalo Bills, the first players mentioned are the likes of Josh Allen, Tre’Davious White, and Stefon Diggs. This certainly makes sense as these are some of the best players on the team.

However, they aren’t always the reason the Bills win as there are other players on the roster that play big roles, typically referred to as X-factor players, over the course of a game that impacts the outcome. One player last week was kick returner Andre Roberts.

While Roberts is a two-time Pro Bowler, the returner isn’t always considered when discussing the outcome. The Buffalo Bills ran away from the New York Jets with a 27-17 win and the offense looked tremendous.

One of the reasons the Bills had one of their higher scoring outputs over the past two years was the field position Andre Roberts was able to give them with five punts returned with an average of over 13 yards per punt.

These are three players who could be that X-factor for the Buffalo Bills in Week 2.

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Chicago Bears: MVP, studs, and duds for week two




Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bears leave Week 2 undefeated, here are the duds, studs and MVP

The Bears took care of business against a really bad Giants team, winning 17-13. The box score may not show it as much but the Chicago Bears were in control throughout the entire game. Scoring only 17 points can be considered a bit of a disappointment. Parts of the offense played well, while other parts of the unit left room for improvement.

Chicago Bears Week 2 Duds

Dud: Anthony Miller

Anthony Miller had a pretty rough game after coming off of a solid week one. Miller was held to zero catches on three targets during Sunday’s game. Including a drop in the endzone where coverage was tight but is a pass that Miller should’ve brought in. It seems Miller can be quite up down at times, and these two games are a perfect example.

Dud: The Tight Ends

The tight ends on the Bears roster had a very quiet day on Sunday. Three tight ends got snaps against the Giants and they went a combined, 2 catches, for 30 yards. Jimmy Graham had a catch and Cole Kmet caught the first catch of his career.

The tight end position was one of the most talked-about topics of the offseason. With what they invested in that position over the offseason, these are the kind of results the Bears want to stay away from.

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