Could Tony Romo be in for a rough game on Sunday?

Week 1 is in the books and from running backs to wide receivers injuries are starting to accumulate. With some players still making progress this season, here are some starts/sits for Week 2 of the NFL season:

Start ‘Em

Sam Bradford (vs. Dallas): The Cowboys’ secondary is not all it is cracked up to be and Bradford showed flashes against a solid Falcons’ defense in the second half. Expect at least two or three touchdown passes for the former St. Louis Ram this week. Continue reading Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 2 2015 »

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When the Patriots travel to Buffalo to face the Bills on Sunday, they will have to deal with a dominant and supremely talented defensive line that is now being coached by Rex Ryan. The Patriots, who could likely start two rookies along the offensive line again, will face a massive challenge protecting Tom Brady and opening up holes in the running game.

Marcell Dareus, the biggest star defensive lineman the Bills have, will be playing his first game of the season on Sunday after serving a one game suspension. He is dominant interior presence and was rewarded as such by the Bills with a massive contract extension last week. He can disrupt an entire offensive line on his own with his ability to stuff the run and push the pocket in the passing game.

The Bills spent big money on free age Mario Williams in 2012 and that investment has paid off handsomely. In three full seasons with the Bills, Williams has 38 sacks and five forced fumbles. He is a dominant outside player who needs to be accounted for on every snap and throughout his career has proved himself worthy of being selected number one overall in the 2006 draft.

Although Kyle Williams has no relation to Mario, his excellent inside play make them kin of offense wreckers. Coincidentally selected in the 2006 draft as well, Williams has been a very good defensive tackle his entire career. His best season was 2013 when he recorded 10.5 sacks and a forced fumble, which he followed up with 5.5 sacks and an interception in 2014. Although he has not always piled up high stat numbers, he is an invaluable space eating piece on the Bills defensive line.

Last but not least for the Bills on their defensive line is end Jerry Hughes. Entering his sixth season, Hughes has established himself as a premiere edge rusher in the NFL. His breakout year was 2013 in which he took the opposing quarterback down 10 times and followed that up with 9.5 sacks last season. His three forced fumbles in 2014 were huge for Buffalo and cemented Hughes as perhaps the most dangerous player in an already dangerous Bills’ front.

Given that the Bills have all four of these players in their primes, their defensive line has a legitimate chance to be the best in the NFL. The Patriots will have their hands full preventing the Bills defensive line from dictating the play of the game.

For the Patriots, they will be likely starting two rookies once again. Rookie center David Andrews played well in week one against Pittsburgh, but has never seen the quality of talent that will be across from him on Sunday. Tre Jackson was up and down in his debut last Thursday and will need to have a strong and complete outing in order to slow down the Bills. Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer will have their hands full on the outside and they both won’t be getting help on every play. The Patriots will likely employ a quick passing game and try to catch the Bills moving too far upfield with draws and screens.

The Bills are going to have success up front. The Patriots job is to limit how much success the Bills have. If New England can get ahead early and limit the effectiveness of the Bills front four, they will have a good chance of ending the day with a win. However, if the Patriots are sluggish and the Bills defensive line gets off to a dominating start, it could be a long afternoon in Orchard Park.

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The Patriots are gearing up to play the Bills this weekend at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. Bills’ head coach Rex Ryan has challenged the fan base and promised a roaring crowd on Sunday afternoon. As every football fan knows the louder a home crowd is when the opposing team is on offense, the harder it is to hear and communicate plays.

Tom Brady and the Patriots have played in some of the loudest places in the country where fans despise them, and Ralph Wilson Stadium will be no different. The fans will do their best Seattle Seahawks 12th man impression this weekend, trying to disrupt Brady and the model of efficiency that is the Patriots offense.

The aversion of New England for many opposing fans is likely in part due to off-the-field reports of soft footballs and spy cameras, but the true hatred really stems from the persistent winning ways of ice cold Bill Belichick and golden boy Tom Brady. Whether you are a fan of the Pats or not, you cannot deny their dominance over the AFC East going back over a decade, and with last year’s Super Bowl victory the Pats cemented their place as the most dominant team of the era. Continue reading Edelman, Patriots To Face Stout Bills Defense »

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Joe Kelly (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

When the Red Sox decided to shut Joe Kelly down for the remainder of 2015, it ended a roller coaster year for the hard-throwing right-hander. This season has included a lot of failure, and a decent amount of success for Kelly, especially recently. Kelly’s past eight starts have been encouraging, and provide some hope for success going into 2016. Whether or not Kelly will still have a shot at a rotation spot is debatable, but there is success to build off of. The most important factor of Kelly’s recent stretch of success is consistency, which he has generally lacked for most of his Red Sox career. Since Kelly will not be taking the mound again in 2015, we can take a look at his season as a whole, and the results might be somewhat surprising. I like to hear bad news first so I’m going to start there.

The Bad

Basically the first four months of the 2015 season. Kelly’s first 17 starts left him with a 6.11 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, and .284 Average Against. It essentially seemed like every time Kelly pitched, he ended up with as many earned runs allowed as innings pitched, almost always leaving his team trailing. While Kelly maintained decent strikeout (7.54 K/9) and walk (3.36 BB/9) rates, his run prevention was awful at best. Part of that problem was a near-complete lack of command from Kelly. That issue does not really show up in the walk rate, but it was apparent in watching Kelly pitch; he would miss with the first few pitches to fall behind in the count, then leave a pitch over the middle of the plate to get crushed. This kind of performance leads to a high pitch count, exits in the early innings, and a huge burden on the bullpen to finish the game. Kelly would probably like to forget the first two-thirds of the season as much as the Red Sox as a whole.

Continue reading The Good, The Bad, The Joe Kelly »

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Howard University had no business being on the same field as Boston College in this past Saturday’s contest, if it can be called that, at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill. The FCS opponent was completely over-matched by the size, speed, and talent of the Eagles. The final was Boston College 76-0 over Howard but the game was over almost before it started.

The Eagles started the game by driving Howard back inside their own 5-yard line with multiple sacks, forcing a punt that was returned back inside the five. The next play on the first BC possession resulted in a Tyler Rouse touchdown, his first of three in the game which all came in the first half. The next play from scrimmage for Howard was a pick six putting the Eagles up 14-0 with just a few seconds having ticked off the clock. Continue reading Boston College Rolls Over Howard, Welcomes #9 Florida State »

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Atlantic Division

Last season the Boston Bruins went 15-9-6 against their Atlantic Division opponents. Good but not great, and it could have been better. The Bruins and the rest of the division have gotten better this offseason, making moves and signing free agents. Some have new head coaches and new general managers.

It’s a known fact that if you want to be a top team in the NHL you have to dominate your division or you won’t fare too well the rest of the season.

This is part 1 of a 2 part preview of the Bruins versus the Atlantic Division this upcoming season. Let’s start with the 3 teams that finished below the Bruins in the division standings last season. Continue reading 2015-2016 Atlantic Division Preview for Bruins Fans, Part 1 »

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Jean Machi (Andy Marlin, USA Today Sports)

Believe it or not this is a serious question: why on the good, green Earth do the Red Sox continually put “Mean” Jean Machi into games in key situations? When Koji Uehara was lost for the season the team tried having Machi replace him in the closer role, which we can say was a resounding failure. Dare one say, it might have even brought back memories of Alfredo Aceves. But even after his demotion, Machi still seems to find himself on the mound in key situations, which might actually be worse for the team than having him start a clean inning in the ninth. It is clear that the Red Sox bullpen as a whole is an unreliable mess, but Machi is basically the figurehead of that inconsistency and should no longer be trusted to pitch any kind of meaningful innings in 2015.

Continue reading Why Do the Red Sox Still Trust Jean Machi? »

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