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ProCanes NFL Preview: Week Six

All hail the Chiefs?! Allen Bailey and the KC defense are running wild to in the first quarter of the season.

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After yesterday’s 16-13 loss at the hands of the Virginia Cavaliers, the Miami Hurricanes are off for a bit with a bye week coming up. While the team kicks their feet up, they can look at their pro peers in action as week six moves right along. With former alumni such as Erik Swoope building a role for himself on the Colts’ offense, Chiefs’ DE Allen Bailey is in line for career-high numbers and Allen Hurns breathing life into the Cowboys’ offense, there will plenty of storylines to latch onto this weekend for the Hurricane fan in all of us.

Game Previews

Indianapolis Colts (1-4) vs New York Jets (2-3) 1PM EDT

The Colts are 1-4 near the quarter mark of the season, yet there’s optimism to be had for the floundering AFC South member. QB Andrew Luck has remained healthy, appearing to recapture his heir apparent form that was marred by injury the past two years. Helping to restore the status of his QB is ProCane TE Erik Swoope. The 26-year-old veteran has five receptions through three games of play, for 64 receiving yards and one touchdown. Considering that 2017’s 15 receptions for 297 receiving yards and one TD are career high totals, it’s possible that 2018 could be the breakout that the Colts imagined when they signed the undrafted prospect.

According to Pro Football Focus, Swoope’s 83.5 is the highest grade of any Colts offensive player. This score factors in pass routes, drops, fumbles and pass blocking. Swoope is currently working as the second TE behind starter Eric Ebron, as TE Jack Doyle is on the mend with a hip injury. The Jets’ defense have stymied opposing TEs to 162 yards receiving so far this season, meaning yardage will be tough to come by for the former economics major from the U.

You don’t need to tell TE Chris Herndon that yards are hard to come by. After not recording a stat in the season opener, the fourth round selection of the Jets has been a bystander as his targets have dwindled each week. Could it be a coincidence that Gang Green has not secured a win in any of those games? Against a Colts’ defense that generously allowed eight passing TDs this season, it could be the opportunity for the rookie TE to finally find the endzone.

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) vs Cincinnati Bengals (4-1) 1 PM EDT

There are plenty of weeks remaining in the regular season, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are falling behind the pack when it comes to being considered serious playoff contenders. For ProCanes CB Artie Burns and LB Anthony Chickillo, it’s been a trek through turbulent waters. The 80% completion percentage against Burns won’t endear the former first round pick to head coach Mike Tomlin or defensive coordinator Keith Butler. Burns will figure into the cornerback rotation that will attempt to slow down Bengals’ WRs AJ Green and Tyler Boyd.

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
LB Anthony Chickillo is going to be tasked with helping to contain a potent Bengals run game this afternoon.
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Chickillo has seen a majority of his snaps come on special teams, but has been rotated in throughout the game to provide a pass rush and coverage on intermediate routes. The former Hurricanes’ DE has a tackle-for-loss, a sack and a fumble recovery so far this season, and will be looking to put up the pressure on a Bengals’ offense that has given up nine sacks through five games.

Just when you weren’t sure if RB Mark Walton would get enough carries, a few unfortunate injuries in the Cincy backfield has carved out some time for the rookie rusher. After overcoming symptoms of a concussion last week, Walton is poised to be the change-of-pace back for the Bengals this afternoon. For all their liabilities on the defense, the Steelers are among the top ten in the NFL in run defense. With the Bengals attempting to stay on top in AFC North, securing a win over the bullies of the division provides an emphatic statement to the Bengals’ ambitions of being serious playoff contenders.

Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) vs Cleveland Browns (2-2-1) 1PM EDT

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers
LB Denzel Perryman and the Chargers travel out east to take on some familiar faces on a formidable Browns squad.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

In his three career games against the Browns, LB Denzel Perryman has put together a stat line of 14 tackles, a sack, two TFL and one QB hurry. However, this Browns’ team is different. Is it because of QB Baker Mayfield? Or maybe it’s the familiar faces from The U? Regardless of the reason, the Chargers need to carve out a win somehow, some way. LA wants to find a way to string together consecutive wins after handling Oakland last week.

The Browns may be young, but they’ve been a fiesty bunch all season long. They’re no longer the pushovers they were in years past, where most teams could expect to chalk up a win before the game even started. After going winless in 2017 — and posting only 11 wins in their past three seasons — the Browns seem to have finally cemented a winning foundation. David Njoku appears to have grasped the complexity of the tight end position. On his way to surpass all his stats from his introduction last year, Njoku has become a staple of the Browns’ offense. Most of Njoku’s production has come on routes of 10 yards or less where the athletic TE is able to pick up extra yardage, gliding through defensive coverage. It could be a meeting of Canes with Perryman and Chargers’ S Rayshawn Jenkins roaming in coverage, but the reunion can wait until after the game — it’s all about grinding out a win this afternoon.

With the emergence of rookie RB Nick Chubb, fellow RB Duke Johnson will still see more snaps as the Browns’ third-down back. Not your typical running back, Johnson’s receiving numbers have been rising over the past few weeks — he caught 10 passes for 91 yards compared to 17 carries for 75 rushing yards. With Cleveland relying on their combo RBs Carlos Hyde and Chubb, Johnson’s skill set as a receiving threat provides an X-Factor for a Cleveland offense looking to forge an identity.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) vs Dallas Cowboys (2-3) 4:25 PM EDT

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs
After getting steamrolled by KC last weekend, the Jaguars hope to unload their frustration on the Cowboys today.
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars are coming off a marquee matchup against the league’s most exciting offense, the KC Chiefs. It’s not too often that Jacksonville gives up 400 passing yards. The last time that happened was a 45-42 shootout with Pittsburgh in the divisional round of the the playoffs last season. Of course, the Jags follow this up with a game against the Dallas Cowboys in Jerryworld. I’m not sure the country would be able to handle Jacksonville as ‘America’s Team’, but the Jaguars are certainly becoming one of the best teams in the nation. Led by DE Calais Campbell and the rest of the Jaguars’ defense, look for a commitment to stopping Ezekiel Elliott who supplies fresh air to the heavy-breathing Cowboys’ offense.

Dallas’ WR Allen Hurns has finally scored a TD with the star on his helmet. QB Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ passing offense have struggled to start the season. With cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye in coverage, Hurns’ route will take him right into the teeth of the Jaguars’ defense. The Jaguars’ DB duo got more than they could handle from the Chiefs a week ago, and will look to restore their good names as shutdown corners against Hurns and the Cowboy receivers.

Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) vs New England Patriots (3-2) 8:20 PM EDT

The last time DE Allen Bailey lined up across from Patriots’ QB Tom Brady, he had one of his most productive games of his career. The big defensive lineman secured six tackles, a sack, a TFL and one QB hurry. New England has allowed seven sacks through five games, but appear to be returning to their dominant form. The big man from Sapelo Island, Georgia is in the midst of career-best run, securing four sacks in the last four games. The former First-Team All-ACC member is just one away from tying a career-best five from his 2014 season.

WR Phillip Dorsett may be in a crowded receiver room with Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon, yet Dorsett still has the trust of Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Against a Chiefs’ defense that is susceptible to big plays in the passing game, consider starting all Pats in your fantasy leagues in week six.

San Francisco 49ers (1-4) vs Green Bay Packers (2-2) Mon 8:15 PM EDT

Injuries have robbed San Francisco 49ers of what should have been a promising season. QB Jimmy Garoppolo and CB Richard Sherman have both gone down with substantial injuries. Lone ProCane Adrian Colbert has been battling through a sophomore slump to salvage as much of the season for the secondary and will be in tough against fellow Miami alum TE Jimmy Graham.

ProCanes Fantasy Player of the Week

Allen Hurns

Virginia Tech v Miami
Able to create separation against Virginia Tech six years ago, Dallas Cowboy WR Allen Hurns will try to turn on the afterburners against Jacksonville this week.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Last week’s TD reception against the Houston Texans was the ProCane’s first points since week three of 2017! The Cowboys desperately need more production out of their receivers and should look to do so against a Jaguars’ defense trying to get back on course in week six.

News and Notes

Ereck Flowers

As you’ve probably noticed earlier in the week, the New York Giants released T Ereck Flowers. A first round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, Flowers was projected to be a franchise tackle in Gotham for the next decade. Four years later, after ridicule and underwhelming play, the 24-year-old is an unrestricted free agent, searching for a team to take one more chance on him.

After working out for the Jacksonville Jaguars mid-week, the team signed Flowers. Contract details have not been released. The Jaguars are dealing with the loss T Cam Robinson who was ruled out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL. Whether head coach Doug Marrone throws Flowers into the starting lineup is question that likely won’t be answered until week seven.

Frank Gore

If after five weeks you would have told us that ProCane RB Frank Gore would have a 4.3 yards-per-carry average, we would have been a bit shocked. The old man still posses some vitality to his game, leading the Dolphins’ rushing last week with 63 rushing yards on 12 carries. The 35-year-old really shouldn’t be shouldering the bulk of carries for the Phins since the more carries he sees, the closer he comes to the end of his career. That said, Gore is currently 1,041 yards behind former Detroit Lions’ RB Barry Sanders on the all-time rushing list. So run Frank run!

Greg Olsen

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers
Whether there will be actual flames when TE Greg Olsen makes his return to the field remains to be seen. But after a speedy rehab, Olsen appears on track to make a return today.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

He’s back! The Panthers have managed to string together a 3-1 record in the absence of star tight end Greg Olsen. Considered one of the leaders in the locker room, Olsen is set to make a return from a foot injury that cost him the past four weeks. The standout from the state of New Jersey has barely been able to get his season started after going down in the first quarter in the first game of the season.

Olsen had 53 receiving touchdowns as a Miami Hurricane, the sixth most receiving TDs of anyone who has played at UM.

Career Receiving TDs in the NFL

Michael Irvin 65

Santana Moss 66

Jimmy Graham* 70

Andre Johnson 70

Reggie Wayne 82

*= active player

Clive Walford

The ProCane tight end worked out with the Detroit Lions this past week. Walford has been doing plenty of travel in the past couple of weeks, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks. The Glades Central High School graduate was drafted in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. Walford was cut by the New York Jets a couple months ago.

Malcolm Lewis

Don’t call it a comeback, but Malcolm Lewis has returned to the Phins practice roster this week. The transaction came about after Miami waived WR Travis Rudolph. Lewis spent the 2017 season on the Dolphins practice roster.

IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE U!