We’ve finally reached double-digits in the NFL now that we’re in week 10. The playoff field is taking shape. For those who are on the outside looking in, fans are beginning to wonder what blue chip player can be brought in to solve the woes of their franchise. State of the U continues to preview Miami alums in the NFL and the impact they’ll have on today’s games.
Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions 1PM EDT
It has not happened at home, it didn’t happen in London, so maybe on the road. The time will come when the Browns score their first win of the season. And while the rest of the league will roll their eyes, it will be a huge positive for a feisty team that is in the midst of a perpetual rebuild.
On our last episode of ‘As The Browns Turn’, Deshone Kizer remained the team’s quarterback for two straight games, Myles Garrett did not play or travel to London because of concussion-like symptoms and RB Duke Johnson did not finish the game against the Vikings in London after suffering what was believed to be a concussion. His status for Sunday’s game is still up in the air as of the time this article was posted.
It’s been a quiet couple of weeks for TE David Njoku. While the rookie has been adjusting to life in the NFL, Njoku’s targets have been inconsistent as the play at quarterback has been rough through the season.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts 1PM EDT
Prior to their week nine bye, the Steelers had been surging, winning four of their five games. The Steelers should be rested as they look to continue their winning ways as they travel to play the Colts in an AFC matchup. On paper, this game should be a beatdown—but this is football, where few things go as planned. CB Artie Burns continues to garner praise for his progress this season, and has been a standout in pass coverage. While there still needs to be work regarding his tackling and run support, Burns has provided the production that was expected of him when he was picked in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Burns got the first sack in his career against the Lions two weeks ago.
On the other side of the field, the Colts have three wins on the season, and are looking to make a last-ditch effort in the race for the AFC South title. Earlier in the season the focus was primarily on Frank Gore’s march up the all-time rushing books. After surpassing Eric Dickerson for fifth spot in all-time rushing, the 34-year-old running back was projected to take a backseat as Indy’s leading rusher. That has not been the case, as Gore continues to lead all Colts running backs with 127 attempts for 455 rushing yards. Gore’s two touchdowns on the season place him one touchdown behind QB Jacoby Brissett, who has three rushing TDs this season. If Gore or the Colts were able to score against the new version of the ‘Steel Curtain’ in Pittsburgh, it would be just the seventh touchdown on the ground that the Steelers have allowed, entering the game with only six scores on the ground through ten weeks. To help supplement his rushing attempts, Gore could continue to see more targets in the passing game after recording four- and three-reception games in two consecutive weeks entering Sunday.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 1PM EDT
Before the their bye in week nine, Chargers’ WR Travis Benjamin was being lauded and ridiculed for his performance in a 21–13 loss to the Patriots. The positive from the game was that the Chargers WR was targeted nine times on offense, finishing the game with five receptions, 64 receiving yards and one touchdown. Unfortunately, Benjamin ran a punt return back into his own endzone, resulting in a safety. If Benjamin can use his speed to get behind Jaguars cornerbacks AJ Bouye or Jalen Ramsey, then all will surely be forgiven from those with a decent memory. After the 10th week, Benjamin has 19 receptions for 304 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
He’s Back! After suffering an injury in the preseason, LB Denzel Perryman will make his 2017 regular season debut against the Jaguars.
The Jaguars continue to be the top ranked pass defense in the NFL, giving up only 156.4 passing yards per game, intercepting 10 passes and allowing just four touchdowns through the air. Another week, another sack for DL Calais Campbell. Campbell captured the lead in the race to be sack king with his 11th quarterback tackle of the season. The Chargers have given up just 11 sacks all season, which should provide an intriguing challenge for Campbell to get to a quarterback as savvy as Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers.
In other great news, G Brandon Linder returned to the starting lineup for the Jaguars a week ago. Pro Football Focus gave Linder the highest run grade of any lineman in the Cincinnati vs. Jacksonville contest. With Linder back in the fold, and RB Leonard Fournette on his best behavior, the Jaguars should give a tough Chargers front-seven defense a run for their money on Sunday.
Houston Texans vs. Los Angeles Rams 4:05 PM EDT
Has there been a quicker turnaround of fortune than what is happening to the Houston Texans? DE JJ Watt and LB Bernardrick McKinney were already out on the defensive side of the ball. As was pointed out last week, those injuries led to more playing time for ProCane LB Ufomba Kamalu, who registered a sack in weeks six and eight.
However, the injury to QB Deshaun Watson is a blow that has left the Texans reeling as they fight to stay in the race for a playoff spot. RB Lamar Miller continues to be the most productive option at running back for the Texans, coming off a 57 yard rushing and 34 receiving yard performance in a loss to the Colts last weekend. The Rams are giving up an average of 4.6 rushing yards per carry and an average of 121.6 rushing yards per game. Rams head coach Sean McVay has the offense firing at optimal efficiency, as the Rams average 382.1 total yards per game and left the New York Giants considering a total total team rebuild after a 51–17 thrashing last weekend. Miller should be in line to pop a couple big runs this week in a game that could turn out to be a shootout before the final whistle.
New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers 4:25 PM EDT
Both of these teams are way out of the playoff discussion. However, they both are contending for something else: it’s getting to be time to start looking toward the draft. There are plenty of holes for both these clubs. The Giants were humbled last week at the hands of the the Rams, and while LT Ereck Flowers wasn’t the sole reason for their ineptitude on offense, the team is going to do some soul-searching for the remainder of the season to figure out what needs to change for the 2018 season. If rumors regarding QB Eli Manning sitting the remainder of the season on the bench have merit, than we could see plenty of experiments moving forward from a bad football team the rest of this season.
Like the Cleveland Browns, the 49ers remain winless on the season. However, there is optimism regarding the promise for the future. San Francisco recently acquired QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who won’t suit up this week for the team, but is potentially the franchise savior moving forward. For LB Ray Ray Armstrong and CB Adrian Colbert, they like others on the roster, are auditioning to be part of the the 49ers’ future moving forward. Both players will have a great opportunity to make a favorable impression this week in taking on the stumbling Giants offense.
ProCanes Fantasy Player of the Week
It feels like ages ago when Allen Hurns was a must-own in all formats. The Jaguars wide receiver was a touchdown machine, catching 10 touchdowns in the 2015 season. To date, Hurns only has two touchdowns, and has averaged 3.6 receptions per game. While the Jaguars would be better off letting RB Leonard Fournette run all over a Chargers defense that has vaunted pass-rushers in DE Joey Bosa and DE Melvin Ingram, Jacksonville has to keep them honest with some passing. Here’s wishful thinking that Hurns can be a viable flex option in standard formats.
Hurricanes Hammer the Irish
Your Miami Hurricanes dispatched of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday night, by the score of 41–8. Here are some of the reactions from members of the ProCanes community.
November 12, 2017
That was the nail we needed! Folks you can start telling all your friends @CanesFootball is fo real https://t.co/eIhLQ1t3nb— Michael Irvin (@michaelirvin88) November 12, 2017
Damn the chain, we want this gold!! pic.twitter.com/9lDjAl9BRV— Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) November 12, 2017
I CANNOT believe this Wimbush guy said he was gonna dominate— Adrian Colbert (@AdrianColbert25) November 12, 2017
Well... that didn’t go as planned https://t.co/zlfmDPKyUv— Corn Elder (@AIR_CORN23) November 12, 2017
This has literally been me every second of this game! #GoCanes #proud pic.twitter.com/fPXV9WZNGL— Jimmy Graham (@TheJimmyGraham) November 12, 2017
My #94 jersey and the Turnover Chain is gonna look great on the Golden One @ShowtimeTate #TheU https://t.co/ank0NN3Eoh— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) November 12, 2017
I can’t wait to hear every reason @CanesFootball doesn’t deserve to be in top 4 next week. Should be fun— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) November 12, 2017
Hey! Look at the bright side. At least you guys enjoyed the weather #CanesFootball #TheU #TurnoverChain #Canes #BeatND #shamrockseries pic.twitter.com/xIayl2Rtt5— Reggie Wayne (@ReggieWayne_17) November 12, 2017
We’ve got some Canes over here! pic.twitter.com/R5PTmZKYBv— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) November 5, 2017
- Minnesota Viking G Danny Isidora is getting plenty of praise from what he has done in a limited role this season. There are serious talks that he could be a starter sooner than later.
- Legendary safety Ed Reed was on-hand for Notre Dame vs. Miami last night. Reed was there to accept being inducted into Miami’s Ring of Honor.
- Indianapolis Colts’ RB Frank Gore sits just 142 yards behind RB Jerome Bettis on the NFL’s all-time rushing list.
- Invites to the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl are slowly being sent out. Plenty of ‘Canes seniors (KC Mcdermott, Chad Thomas, Braxton Berrios, Trevor Darling, Dee Delaney, Trent Harris, Chris Herndon IV) could participate in the January, 27, 2018 all-star game.
- Kansas City Chief DE Allen Bailey left last week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys early with what was diagnosed as an MCL sprain. His status for week 10 is unknown.
- Although Miami Dolphins’ WR Rashawn Scott was activated from the PUP list last week, he received zero snaps on offense.
- NFLPA President T Eric Winston recently signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. Winston’s signing helps the Bengals at tackle after T Jake Fisher was placed on the non-football injury list.
Happy to be back in Cincy! #WhoDey— Eric Winston (@ericwinston) November 8, 2017
- Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton was notably giddy after last week’s win over Atlanta. Imagine what the Panthers will do when TE Greg Olsen returns. He’s eligible to come off the Panthers’ Injured Reserved list after Nov. 26.
ATTENTION: @Panthers QB Cam Newton has a message for the rest of the league: pic.twitter.com/jLP283jkYS— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 5, 2017
- Pittsburgh Steelers CB Artie Burns was awarded the Ed Block Courage Award, representing a player who was voted by their teammates as role models of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.
Artie Burns received the 2017 Ed Block Courage Award at the Holy Family Courage House Luncheon at Heinz Field. pic.twitter.com/eiwo1SFvvm— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 7, 2017
IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!