Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Impressive week 3 win by the Titans


By Albert Breer
September 26, 2022

That was an impressive win by the TitansConsider what Tennessee’s going through, roster-wise. Taylor Lewan’s out for the year, and so is Harold Landry. A.J. Brown was traded to the Eagles. As a result, the team is leaning on more rookies in key spots than it’d like to. And so, sure, Tennessee did let the Raiders back into that game in Nashville. But Kevin Byard, who already had a crucial pick earlier in the fourth quarter, was able to knock the ball away in the end zone on a two-point try to tie the game and lock up a 24–22 win over the Raiders.

“You only get what you fight for in this league,” coach Mike Vrabel told reporters postgame. “I think they fought for it today. And I’m happy for them.”

How sustainable this is for the 1–2 Titans is up in the air—Derrick Henry has a lot of mileage, his line’s depleted, the receiver group has been reworked, and all that means is there’ll be more on Ryan Tannehill to carry the flag for the team. We’ll see how that works. But for now, you can at least see Vrabel’s fingerprints all over that team and its toughness on display.

Ravens rookie report: Week 3


The Baltimore Ravens improved to 2-1 following their 37-26 victory in Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots in Week 3. As with every game so far this season for the Ravens, several different rookies played important roles in the outcome.

Kyle Hamilton, S

The rookie first-rounder had a tough outing against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. He saw fewer snaps this week (16), though it’s unclear if Head Coach John Harbaugh reduced his snaps due in part to Sunday’s game.

“He played the plays he had [and] he played really well. We’ll kind of work that every single week. You move guys around; a lot of guys are learning,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “Kyle [Hamilton] is developing. It’s his third game as an NFL player. Obviously, [he] had a learning experience the week before, as a lot of young guys did and do, especially on the backend.”

However, Hamilton made the most of them as he forced a turnover in a crucial moment. With the Ravens leading 31-26 with just over six minutes remaining, Hamilton chased down wide receiver Nelson Agholor on a long run and catch to punch the ball out from behind. Cornerback Marcus Peters was there to recover the fumble in bounds. The Ravens followed up with a seven-play touchdown drive to make it a two-score game with three minutes remaining.

Tyler Linderbaum, C

Linderbaum had another solid showing in his third game as the starting center. According to PFF, Linderbaum allowed zero pressures against New England. This earned him a pass-blocking grade of 77.7 — the second highest on the team behind left guard Ben Powers. 

The Iowa center continues to show his next-level athleticism and speed in the run game as well.

Daniel Faalele, OT

The rookie fourth-round right tackle saw his first legitimate playing time in a regular season game on Sunday when he was forced to step in at left tackle for an injured Patrick Mekari. Faalele finished the game in Mekari’s place, playing 90% of the offensive snaps on the day. In unfamiliar territory, as Faalele didn’t play a snap at left tackle throughout college, it was a shaky start once he entered the lineup, particularly in pass protection where he allowed two sacks and three pressures. However, he quickly found his footing and finished the game on an encouraging note.

With no clear date for left tackle Ronnie Stanley’s return to game action and Mekari expected to be sidelined with an ankle injury, Faalele could be relied upon to protect quarterback Lamar Jackson’s blindside for the time being.

Travis Jones, DT

After missing the start of the season with an knee injury suffered during the preseason, Jones made his season debut at Gillette Stadium. The third-round defensive tackle played 29 snaps but did not make the stat sheet. He was credited with one pressure by PFF and finished with an overall grade of 61.2. With defensive tackle Michael Pierce expected to miss some time with an injury, Jones could see his workload increase quickly in the coming weeks. Harbaugh thought he played well and is excited for the games to come.

“Travis is going to be a very impactful player. It was his first outing out there, and he played hard,” Harbaugh said. “He’s going to learn a lot from it. He played well enough for the first time out, as you said he played well, but of course we have high expectations for him and he’s only going to get better from here.”

Isaiah Likely, TE

Likely was relatively quiet in Week 3. The tight end caught just one pass for eight yards against New England. He finished with 20 offensive snaps and a PFF grade of 59.1.

Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB

After being thrust into action last week against the Dolphins, Armour-Davis saw just nine snaps against the Patriots. He was credited by PFF with allowing two receptions on two targets for 71 yards, as well as making one tackle, finishing with an overall grade of 29.9. With both Marlon Humphrey and Peters back to playing the majority of defensive snaps, Armour-Davis will not be relied upon as much. He may need more development than hoped.

Damarion “Pepe” Williams, CB

Williams saw more playing time than Armour-Davis, playing 20 snaps. Williams also recorded one tackle and was credited with allowing two receptions on three targets for 50 yards by PFF, finishing with an overall grade of 35.4. Williams should continue to see snaps in the slot.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Texans RB Rex Burkhead to host fundraising event for pediatric brain cancer


Brooks Kubena

Sep. 23, 2022

Brett Coomer/Staff photographer


Texans running back Rex Burkhead smiled at the memory. It’s been almost 10 years since Jack Hoffman, a survivor of pediatric brain cancer, ran for a touchdown in Nebraska’s annual spring game. It’s been almost 10 years that Burkhead’s been involved in “Team Jack,” a fundraising organization that’s raised almost $10 million toward pediatric brain cancer research.

Burkhead first met Jack while playing for the Cornhuskers. Jack had just been diagnosed at age 6, had just undergone the first of two surgeries, had just no idea how much longer he’d live. Their interaction blossomed into a friendship, into an invitation to practice, then a game, then his spring game touchdown, then a 2013 visit to the White House.

Burkhead and his Nebraska teammates still host events raising money for The Team Jack Foundation. They hosted a golf tournament in Lincoln this past summer. 

On Oct. 10, Burkhead will host a fundraising event at Top Golf in Katy. Burkhead, 32, has been a board member of the foundation for most of the organization’s history. His role has increased since Jack’s father, Andy, died last year after his own bout with brain cancer.

“He was the backbone of it,” Burkhead said. “Did so much for the foundation, and we’re just trying to carry on his legacy.”

The foundation raises money for new research and modern methods for children who’d otherwise not have access.

“That was a big thing,” Burkhead said. “Some of these treatments were 30, 40 years old that they were doing, and they were having many side effects because of that, of course. Just wanted to help them out in their every day lives if they do have to go through trials, do some treatments that they’re not having these side effects from those.”

Donations at October’s event will directly fund pediatric brain cancer research.

“It’s a joy to be a part of,” Burkhead said. “Just trying to do as much we can.”

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