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ProCanes Preview: Week Five

After watching their alma mater put the beatdown on their rivals, some Miami alums hope to celebrate with a victory of their own.

Cleveland Browns v Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Reaction From the FS-Who Game

As you can imagine, plenty of Miami legends were in the house to see their alma mater take on bitter rivals, Florida State. Pulling off the epic comeback to take the 28-27 victory, the ProCane fraternity made sure to illustrate their loyalty while taking some shots from that school in northern Florida. After the game went final, social media was abuzz with hot takes and ribs at the expense of FSU. If you missed it, here’s some of the reactions from the ProCane brotherhood.

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Great job Canes..

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Game Previews

Atlanta Falcons (1-3) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1) 1PM EDT

Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

With an average hang time of 3.85, Atlanta Falcons’ punter Matt Bosher has been stringing together a good season. It’s a glass half full compliment to the offense if your punter receives praise for his play, but let’s save the lack of TDs by WR Julio Jones for another day. 16 Bosher punts have been downed inside the 25, helping to give the Falcons’ defense a leg up.

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Artie Burns is a player in conflict at the moment. The third-year pro finds himself part of a rotation at the right cornerback position. Burns got the start last week against the Ravens, but there’s nothing guaranteed this week against the Steelers. Against the Falcons triumvirate at receiver, Burns and the Steelers defense is certainly in for a long afternoon. The passing game of Atlanta has exploded in the past couple of weeks, surpassing 300+ passing yards in their last two games. While Burns was not responsible for any of the two passing TDs given up by Pittsburgh a week ago, he still allowed a 100% rate on two targets. For the ProCanes sake, here’s hoping that he’s able to get the better of his matchup come Sunday.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-1) vs Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) 1PM EDT

The game of the week features the NFL’s most dominant defense against its most explosive offense. The men of Duval country travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Chiefs’ QB, Patrick Mahomes, and a Kansas City offense that has lit up scoreboards since week one. For DE Calais Campbell, getting his big 6’8”, 300 pound frame in the line of vision of Mahomes will be key to the Jaguars attempting to slow down the passing attack of the Chiefs. Commanders of the sky, the Chiefs have thrown for no less than 250 yards in game this season. Today would be the ideal moment for King Calais to impose his might on a Chiefs’ offensive line that has allowed four sacks to date.

On the other side of the field, Allen Bailey does not have the production of his fellow ProCane Campbell, yet the 3-4 defensive end has helped the Chiefs defense get just enough stops to get off the field. Three tackles and a sack won’t earn him a trip to the Pro Bowl, but his three tackles-for-loss (all sacks) is on pace to return the Chiefs to the playoffs.

Baltimore Ravens (3-1) vs Cleveland Browns (1-2-1) 1PM EDT

The Cleveland Browns need to finish games in the first four quarters of a game. For the second time this season, the Browns found themselves walking away from an overtime game with a disappointing result. With Baker Mayfield steering the ship, the offense showcased the talent that it accumulated in the off-season. It wasn’t enough to earn the second win of the season for the young Browns, but it was another brick in the mansion of experience needed to turn the fortunes of the franchise around.

Cleveland TE David Njoku saw a huge uptick in production last week, bringing in five catches for 56 yards. The Ravens are coming off a battle with their rivals, Pittsburgh, and the effects of that game are still lingering into this week. After Steelers’ TE Vance McDonald caught five receptions for 65 receiving yards on the Ravens in their previous outing, there’s a precedent for tight ends finding room to operate against the Ravens’ stifling defensive group.

Last week, the bulk of RB Duke Johnson Jr.’s production came as a pass catcher, snagging four passes for 45 receiving yards on the day. In his two games against Baltimore in 2017, Johnson caught eight passes for 99 yards and one touchdown reception. The Ravens present a tough matchup, but the savvy veteran at running back could be the ideal outlet for Mayfield when the Ravens amp up the pressure on the rookie QB.

New York Giants (1-3) vs. Carolina Panthers (2-1) 1PM EDT

A pair of ankle injuries appear as though it will keep a pair of ProCanes out of this contest. One of those players is Panthers TE Greg Olsen. He has progressed far enough that he believes he could return in four to five weeks. That leaves Corn Elder as the lone ProCane for the Panthers this week as the defense hopes to keep the Giants from winning their second game of 2018. Working as the nickel-and-dime back, Elder could see a healthy dose of action against a Giant’s team desperate to climb back into contention in the NFC.

Coming off a season-high seven tackles against the Saints, LB Ray-Ray Armstrong’s best game came in a losing effort. It’s onward and upward as the linebacker tries to parlay his play into a win for G-Men on the road. The former Hurricane safety likely will be tasked with covering RB Christian McCaffrey coming out of the backfield and helping to slow down former MVP Cam Newton. It’s a tall task, but for a Hurricane, it’s just another day at the office.

Detroit Lions vs New York Giants Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

After making progress last week, DE Olivier Vernon suffered a setback in his recovery from a high ankle sprain that forced him to miss his fourth game of the season. At best, Vernon remains questionable this week, as the Giants desperately could use his presence on run defense. NYG has allowed an average of 126 rushing yards a game since opening week.

Miami Dolphins (3-1) vs Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) 1PM EDT

The Dolphins no longer reign among the ranks of the undefeated. After suffering a debilitating loss to their AFC East nemesis, New England, the Phins move forward against a tough Cincinnati Bengals team. Canes fans may have enjoyed seeing RB Frank Gore lead Miami in carries last week, but the days of Gore being a high volume runner are few and far between. Against a Cincinnati defense that has given up 463 rushing yards and four rushing TDs this year, yardage will be tough to come by for the Phins as they continue their road trip.

Rookie RB Mark Walton doesn’t even have a fraction of Gore’s experience, yet can relate to the struggles of finding yardage to maneuver. A week ago, Walton rushed for nine yards on five carries — the struggle has been real indeed. The positive for Walton is that he was able find space catching the ball out of the backfield for 28 receiving yards. Expect to see Walton enjoy similar success in the passing game behind RB Giovani Bernard now that Joe Mixon is out of the lineup.

News broke Friday that Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard is expected to miss 2 to 4 weeks with a MCL sprain. Although RB Joe Mixon is set to return this week from a knee injury, the opportunity remains for Mark Walton to be the change of pace in the backfield with Bernard on the shelf.

Oakland Raiders (1-3) vs Los Angeles Chargers (2-2) 4:05 PM EDT

The Raiders finally picked up that elusive first victory of the season in week four. In an encore, the brash Jon Gruden-led group looks to string together victories after their win against AFC West rivals, the L.A. Chargers.

The Chargers improved .500 after last week’s win over the Niners. Chargers’ WR Travis Benjamin returned to the field in week four, hauling in his lone target on the day for two yards receiving. After the Browns gashed the Raiders for 208 yards rushing through 3⅞ quarters of football, it could be running backs Melvin Gordon and Austin Eckler shouldering the load. However, there could be room for some vertical shots downfield to draw Oakland out of the box. Benjamin has been ruled out this week with a foot injury.

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

On defense, LB Denzel Perryman has shone out for the Chargers against both the run and pass. The job this week will be to slow down Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 130 last weekend. Chargers safety Rayshawn Jenkins does not draw much fanfare, but has been used as a rover or DB in passing situations, adding speed and coverage to the Chargers’ defense.

Los Angeles Rams (4-0) vs Seattle Seahawks (2-2) 4:25 PM EDT

With CB Aqib Talib laid on the shelf for the foreseeable future, ProCane CB Sam Shields has moved into a starring role along L.A.’s defensive unit. The Rams were involved in an epic shootout with the Vikings a week ago, with offense outscoring Minnesota to keep the Rams record unblemished four weeks into the 2018 season.

Against QB Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, Shields and the Rams’ defense won’t be tested downfield like they were against Kirk Cousins and the Vikings’ offense. With the Seahawks producing just seven passing TDs and 222 passing yards on average, Shields should see a return to his stalwart form in week five.

Dallas Cowboys (2-2) vs Houston Texans (1-3) 8:20 PM EDT

The battle for Texas features a pair of ProCanes in search of some sustained success. Dallas Cowboys’ WR Allen Hurns has vocalized his concerns with the team’s offense. After voicing his displeasure in the lack of targets, Hurns was targeted five times for three receptions and 30 receiving yards. Against a Houston defense that saw eight opposing receivers make a catch, there should be plenty meat on the bone for Hurns to get his fill of on Sunday Night Football.

Houston running back Lamar Miller has been riding a wave that allows him to nearly touch the clouds before plummeting back down to the turf. Against the Colts, the ProCane RB averaged 3.5 yards-per-carry on 14 rushes with 49 rushing yards to finish the day. Although the Cowboys play the run tough, last week they allowed the Lions to rush for a 4.8 yard average. The lack of production does reflect poorly on Miller, but Houston’s blocking has not given the offense time to take advantage of defensive coverages this season. That trend feels like it will continue for another weekend.

ProCanes Fantasy Player of the Week

Jimmy Graham

Buffalo Bills v Green Bay Packers
TE Jimmy Graham was just kicking it with the Lambeau faithful for his first TD as a Packer last week.
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

We’ve made it through four weeks without picking this uber talented TE as our Fantasy Player of the Week. That comes to an end today. Graham is in line for decent production against a decent Detroit Lions’ defense that has given up at least three receptions and 30 yards to tight ends in each game this season.

Notes From This Past Week

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen is close to making his return. The 11-year pro has shown wolverine-esque healing abilities, returning to the field for drill work this past week. It’s believed that Olsen could return next week when the Panthers face off against Washington in the nation’s capital.

In the meantime, check out this candid interview conducted by Dan Patrick with the ProCane TE. The discussions brings up Olsen’s place among ProCane receiving TDs, his time as a Hurricane and his ambitions to join the broadcasting world.

Before Thursday Night Football, the Indianapolis Colts waived ProCane DE Al-Quadin Muhammad. It’s the second time that AQM has been waived this year, after the New Orleans Saints let him go before the start of the regular season.

That pesky foot injury is hampering Chargers WR Travis Benjamin more than the initial diagnosis suggested. Benjamin returned to the field last week against the San Francisco 49ers, but did not appear to be his usual self. Earlier this week, the Glades Central High School alum was spotted wearing a cast. Reports this week suggest that Benjamin could be out for the next three to four weeks.

Houston Texans’ running back Lamar Miller has been having a tough go of it to start the 2018 season. Matter have only been made more difficult as the back deals with a chest injury. The Killian HS product is considered a game-time decision. Miller was a limited participant in the Texans’ Thursday practice.