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Week 1 power rankings round-up looks bleak for the Panthers



Things look bleak for the Carolina Panthers if the final preseason power ranking round-up is any indication before their Week 1 game against the Raiders.

It does not take an astrophysicist to figure out that the Carolina Panthers have their work cut out in 2020. They are in year one of arguably the biggest rebuild in franchise history and things might get worse before they get better for the organization.

The Carolina Panthers are going to be a fun team to watch, especially on offense. They have a wealth of playmakers who can make a real difference and an offensive coordinator in Joe Brady who has the potential to revolutionize a unit that struggled to put a good run of form together in 2020.

Their fortunes on the defensive side of the ball are far less certain. The Panthers parted ways with prominent veteran leadership during a busy offseason and replaced them with a young, versatile, and athletic group who might go through some struggles in their bid to become a cohesive unit as the campaign progresses.

It is hard to gauge just how Carolina is going to get on until we see them on the field. Not having a preseason to build cohesion could have a detrimental impact and having a coaching staff that hasn’t called an NFL game before is another obstacle that shouldn’t be overlooked.

This is reflected in the various power rankings, which have been published by national media outlets this week. It comes as no surprise to see the Panthers in the lower echelons of each standing, which is a further indication as to the task awaiting them in the coming months.

Carolina Panthers in 2020 power rankings

The experts over at NFL Network don’t hold out much hope for the Panthers. They placed them at No. 29 on their list and focused their attention on Christian McCaffrey and whether he will be able to reach his exceptional heights of 2019 with more offensive weapons demanding their fair share of targets this season.

ESPN‘s power rankings also had Carolina at No. 29 in their final listing before teams take the field for the first NFL Sunday of the season. Beat writer David Newton was keen to highlight the potential failings of the Panthers’ secondary within an NFC South division that boasts three outstanding quarterbacks in Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Tom Brady.

The guys over at Bleacher Report had an even more pessimistic outlook on the Panthers in 2020. They ranked them at No. 31 with only the consensus worst team behind them in the Jacksonville Jaguars. This was down in no small part fo the personnel changes made by the organization in recent months and they outlined a six-win season as a significant accomplishment for Matt Rhule during his first year at the helm.

A more analytical approach to power rankings at wasn’t much better for the Panthers. The “experts” of this particular site had Carolina at No. 28, which is the highest placing in this round-up.

Rounding off our power ranking round-up are CBS Sports and Yahoo Sports, who both had the Panthers at No. 30 to complete a bleak-looking picture that might serve as some motivation for a talented roster who could become one of the NFL’s surprise packages if everything clicks into place right away.

This makes for grim reading for Carolina’s loyal fanbase. The new season brings excitement and trepidation in equal measure, so just strap yourselves in and try to enjoy the ride.

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Atlanta Falcons have to fire Dan Quinn immediately




Dan Quinn must be fired before the Flowery Branch employees show up to work tomorrow morning.

Under no circumstances should Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank allow this charade to continue. Blank has made a lot of threats over the last 18 months and it is time he finally follows through with some of it.

No one cares that this team was missing several starters that just means that general manager Thomas Dimitroff has to go too. Every team has injuries and Dimitroff’s ability to sign roster depth has been and will continue to be trash.

Dan Quinn has done nothing over the last 83 games to warrant retaining a job at this point. Teams from across the league are laughing at the Falcons while simultaneously scratching their heads as to why this team is 0-3.

It all comes down to Atlanta Falcons coaching and not just the head coach.

Dan Quinn has made a lot of really bad coaching hires and those hires have turned this franchise into what you see today. Raheem Morris’ defense gave up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and made a lot of really boneheaded mistakes along the way.

Dirk Koetter is the worst offensive coordinator in the NFL.

They looked good early as they took shots and did a great job of mixing the run and the pass. However, in the second half, he had the Atlanta Falcons passing when they should be running and running when they should be throwing. The offenses inability to sustain a drive in the fourth quarter in order to put this game away.

Next: Falcons need to ditch their black on black uniforms

After opening the season with three straight losses, a change has to be made now. There is no tomorrow and while a coaching change may not change the outlook this year, the message from Dan Quinn is stale and there is no more sense of urgency that a team with this much talent should have.


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Buffalo Bills: Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano reportedly active for Week 3




Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano are expected to be active this week.

NFL Network’s Kim Jones tweeted out this morning that both players should be ready to go for today’s game against the Rams.

After last week’s game, what Edmunds and Milano bring to this defense can’t be understated. The Buffalo Bills defense in their Week 2 matchup with the Miami Dolphins really struggled to slow down Ryan Fitzpatrick as he went for over 300 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Edmunds, who the Buffalo Bills selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, has been the team’s starting middle linebacker almost immediately and in his first two years in the league played over 90% of the defensive snaps.

As for Milano, he didn’t make an immediate impact but had a breakout season last year. The return of Matt Milano is pivotal for the Bills because one of the areas they struggled last week was slowing down tight end Mike Gesicki, who had eight receptions and over 100 receiving yards.

This week, the Buffalo Bills are expected to face another athletic tight end in Tyler Higbee, who is coming off a three-touchdown game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bills are sure to line up Milano across from him for most of the game today.

Next: 4 X-Factors for the Bills in Week 3

The Buffalo Bills will make an official announcement about both at 11:30 today when they announce their inactives ahead of the 1 PM start against the Los Angeles Rams.

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Chicago Bears: Mitch Trubisky’s career in Chicago is over




Mitch Trubisky’s career will come to an end after a 2-0 start with Chicago Bears

Well, it only took two games. Two games with a 2-0 start and a better first half than bad for Mitch Trubisky versus the Falcons, but his career is now over with the Chicago Bears. Was it the right decision? As I write this, the game is still 10-26. Nick Foles looked okay on his first drive and hit some solid throws, while also throwing some ugly ones.

He threw a beautiful touchdown pass to Allen Robinson on the drive, but Robinson once again could not come down with the ball — interception and touchback. Going back to the first half, Trubisky was not perfect. He could not connect on the deep ball, but his passes were not off the mark. If anything, the receivers were not finding separation against second and third-string defensive backs. Why is that?

Was it Trubisky’s fault that the offensive line kept allowing the interior of the Falcons’ defensive line into the backfield as the running back was taking handoffs? I called it on Twitter and I will continue to call it until Nick Foles proves to me he’s worth the switch. Right now, I’m not seeing anything that makes me think Matt Nagy did anything but overreact to what might have been one of Trubisky’s worst interceptions of his career.

While watching this game, the defense was by far worse than the offense. The linebackers could not get off blocks, two roughing the passer calls that could not have been helped by the defender led to two impending touchdown drives. The Chicago Bears had won the time of possession in the first half too, so the whole, the defense was tired because the offense stinks argument cannot be made. The opening drive in the third quarter cannot be that same excuse either.

Here’s the thing, whether I agree with it or not, Nagy made the call and this will now be the end of Mitch Trubisky’s career in Chicago. I hope he lands with a team where he can sit for a year and take over after. How about in Tampa Bay while learning from Tom Brady? Maybe he goes to New Orleans if Jameis Winston does not re-sign in 2021? There are a few places I could see him succeeding and honestly, I hope he does.

Here is to hope I am wrong about Nick Foles

It is no secret I am a Trubisky stan, but I am a Bears fan first. I hope Nick Foles proves me wrong. I hope he can succeed with Matt Nagy and we are still talking playoffs in a few months. This is what I find to be different than most fans who wanted Trubisky to fail. Chalking this benching up as success is what sets this fanbase back. It is okay to demand better, but actively rooting against your team never makes sense to me. The team was not 0-2 or 1-1. The team was 2-0.

Next: When will Bears suffer their first loss?

As I stop writing, Nick Foles threw a great deep ball to Darnell Mooney that he could not hold onto. As of now, Foles’ deep ball looks better than Trubisky’s. Let us hope he can find consistency everywhere else. I will gladly eat crow if he can be consistently good in Chicago as opposed to inconsistently good (kind of like Trubisky) everywhere else he has played throughout his career.


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