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ProCanes NFL Preview: Week Three News and Notes,

WR Allen Hurns and his fellow ProCanes look to keep the competition at bay in week three of NFL action

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

In this preview of week three, we will look at some of the ProCanes who are capitalizing on their opportunities, as well as those who are letting them slip away.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 AM EDT

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars
Brandon Linder (left) will look to manhandle a formidable Ravens defense across the pond Sunday morning
Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

After piling up 10 sacks in the opening week, Jacksonville plummeted back to earth, accounting for a single sack against Tennessee in week two. What’s the remedy to this reduction? Perhaps it will be hosting the Baltimore Ravens, who are reeling offensively but excelling defensively. Calais Campbell could feast this weekend, since Baltimore lost All-Pro G Marshal Yanda for the season.

It could be a long day for C Brandon Linder as he goes into the teeth of the Raven’s defense manned by defensive tackle Michael Pierce. Linder excelled the opening week against the Texans, blocking run plays that were designed to go through the A gap as RB Leonard Fournette rushed for 100 yards on 26 carries. He’ll have the task of creating spaces in the stoutest defensive interior in football for Fournette to ram through at the line of scrimmage. However, I assume this is a challenge that excites him more than chasing after defenders for interceptions.

WR Allen Hurns managed to look like his old self. His 82 receiving yards on six receptions led the team last week, and this trend should continue for the remainder of the season. Could there be another trip to the end zone for Hurns, who last week scored his first TD since week 11 of the 2016 season? For what it’s worth, the only player to score a TD against the Ravens this season is fellow ProCane David Njoku.

Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM EDT

With both the Browns and Colts entering this game with an identical 0–2 record, this matchup represents the chance to turn their fortunes around. Njoku scored his first career TD in remarkable fashion, which may actually pale in comparison to his celebration afterward. He will try to make this a streak as Cleveland looks to get their first win of the season. The Colts’ defense should be the most generous unit the Browns go up against all season.

Duke Johnson will snatch whatever pass is thrown his way these days. He made a memorable grab against the Ravens last week. He also returned to getting carries out of the backfield, accounting for four carries and 21 rushing yards to go with his three receptions for 59 receiving yards. Johnson has become emblematic of what is expected from today’s running back, and is proving to be an asset in both the run and pass games.

Johnson still has a long way to go to match the career that Frank Gore has put together in his 13 years in the NFL. Showing that he can still contribute, Gore earned his first rushing TD since November 2016.

New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 PM EDT

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
No tackle in the NFL is more scrutinized than LT Ereck Flowers of New York Giants
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

LT Ereck Flowers remains one of the most frustrating players in the NFL. After working on his technique this off-season, he remains a vulnerability for the Giants’ offense. He was manhandled Monday night by Lions DE Ziggy Ansah. Flowers took most of the blame for three of the four sacks against QB Eli Manning. The criticism of Flowers will continue this weekend as the Giants travel to Philadelphia. He is ranked 59th in Pro Football Focus’s grading system, with a failing grade of 40.9. It will be a long afternoon as defensive ends Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham look to get after Manning. At this point it is not a question of if Flowers will get called out in a broadcast, but how often.

Flowers deserves blame, but he is not the lone reason why the Giants have started out so poorly on offense. Giants receivers have been unable to get open or create separation. Manning, for his part, was chewed out by head coach Ben McAdoo for his “sloppy quarterback play.”

The news is more positive for DE Olivier Vernon, who leads the Giants’ defensive line in snap totals. He created five QB pressures and forced two holding penalties Monday night against the Lions. Vernon is better known for his ability to defend the run than the pass, but he will need to get after it against an Eagles offense that has been prolific in the first two games of the season. Vernon will line up across from athletic tackle Jason Peters. In the two games the Giants played against the Eagles last season, Vernon had six tackles and a sack. New York could really use a couple of sacks or tackles for loss Sunday in the hopes of avoiding a 0–3 start.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Chicago Bears 1:00 PM EDT

Artie Burns continues to improve each season. Last week he had an outstanding day in coverage against Vikings receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Even though he was called for defensive pass interference twice, he allowed just three receptions on six targets for 21 yards. This week Burns has a chance to snag his first interception of the season against a Bears team that threw two picks a week ago.

There’s a real possibility that LB Anthony Chickillo has proved why he should remain a starter for the rest of the season. He took Bud Dupree’s place in the first game this season. When DE T.J. Watt went down with a groin injury last week, Chickillo filled in admirably. The buzz in Pittsburgh is that Chickillo has lept over James Harrison on the depth chart. It could be a case that the Steelers want to save Harrison for the end of the season and the playoffs, but this is the best version of Chickillo that anyone has ever witnessed. Against a struggling Chicago offense, he could add his second sack of the season.

Caneseye Fantasy Player of the Week

Lamar Miller

Houston Texans v Cincinnati Bengals
Can Lamer Miller catch lightning against the Patriots Sunday? We hope so.
Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

We have not made the best selections when it comes to the fantasy player of the week. Carolina TE Greg Olsen was not the force we thought he would be in week one. Last weekend Jimmy Graham caught a single pass for one yard against a poor 49ers defense. But it could be Miller time in New England this week. Houston will want to keep the ball out of QB Tom Brady’s possession for as long as possible. While Miller ceded carries to D’Onta Foreman last week, he did finish the game with more carries and yards than Foreman. Miller is the better passing option out of the backfield and remains a capable runner.

Quick Outs

Washington Redskins v New York Giants
Santana Moss did not hold his thoughts back this week on some big topics
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images