NFL

And THAT's why you probably shouldn't bet big $ on sports events

And THAT's why you probably shouldn't bet big $ on sports events

I cannot remember being more certain of a Super Bowl winner than I was last week. I just KNEW that Atlanta would beat New England. They had a better team, played in a better conference and should have been the favorite but for all the sentiment about the coach and quarterback for the Patriots.

And if I had it to predict all over again, I'd say the same thing. But I'd hope the Atlanta coaching staff would come to its senses late in the game. Come on, guys -- a first down at the New England 22 with about four minutes to play and you pass? You pass?

I didn't get it at the time. Just run the ball three times, get the ball in the middle of the field for your kicker -- who is one of the best in the business -- run the clock down and boot a field goal that would have sealed the game for you. That's all they had to do.

But no, what followed was a disaster. A franchise-changing disaster. By the time the Falcons were finished with that series they'd taken themselves out of field-goal position, Tom Brady was the greatest quaarterback of all time and Atlanta was a bettor's nightmare.

The Falcons were getting three points. A steal. And I would have lost a fortune.

Except that I've seen these things happen so many times before that I don't bet on sports events -- other than an occasional dinner wager or five bucks here and there. You can have these things figured out ahead of time and then somebody does something stupid or there's a power failure on the field or maybe a garbage-time cheap score destroys your point-spread cushion.

No matter how certain you are about a game's outcome, my advice is be careful. Stupid stuff happens.

Seahawks vs. Bears Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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Seahawks vs. Bears Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Seattle (0-1) entered the season facing the unenviable task of opening the season with two road games. Now add on top of that that Monday night the Seahawks will face a Chicago (0-1) team wounded and angry after blowing a 20-0 lead last week at Green Bay to lose 24-23. 

Seahawks vs. Bears - Week 2

Who: Seattle Seahawks vs. Chicago Bears

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL regular season

When: Monday, September 17th at 5:15pm Pacific Time

Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch Now with fuboTV - Try free trial

Local Radio: Portland, KFXX, 1080 AM and Portland, KGON, 92.3 FM

Point Spread: Chicago -4.5

Over/Under: 43

Weather: 79 degrees and clear

NFL Week 2 Power Rankings: Kansas City on the rise

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USA Today

NFL Week 2 Power Rankings: Kansas City on the rise

Typical NFL.

Just when you believe one thing to be true, it turns out to be a lie. How else does one explain Pittsburgh escaping Cleveland with a tie, Tampa Bay scoring 48 points at New Orleans with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback and 33-year-old Adrian Peterson rushing for 96 yards and a touchdown for Washington?

Gotta love it. 

One of the biggest takeaways from the weekend, however, was the play of Kansas City with second-year quarterback Pat Mahomes II running the show. He displayed his rocket arm by tossing four touchdowns in a 38-28 win. We will see what he does this week at Pittsburgh. But at least for one week, Kansas City appeared wise to trade Alex Smith to Washington and allow the Mahomes era to get underway. 

Now for the Week 2 rankings with a little help from some emojis: 

 

1. LOS ANGELES RAMS

 

Previous ranking: 1.

Last week: Won 33-13 at No. 25 Oakland. 

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 😎. Strong start for the Rams. 

This week: Vs. No. 31 Arizona (0-1). 

Betting line: Rams minus 10. 

Fentress says: The Rams started slowly at the Raiders but took advantage of a very mediocre Oakland  QB, Derek Carr, who threw three interceptions, one taken to the house by CB Marcus Peters. QB Jared Goff threw two touchdown passes and RB Todd Gurley rushed for 108. Good start on the road for my Super Bowl pick. 

 

2. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Previous ranking: 3.

Last week: Won 27-20 at home against No. 18 Houston.   

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 👨. Old man Tom Brady just won't quit. 

This week: At No. 5 Jacksonville (1-0). Rematch of last season's AFC Championship game. 

Betting line: Patriots minus 2. 

Fentress says: We might just witnessed the emergence of WR Phillip Dorsett, son of HOF RB Tony Dorsett. The ultra fast Dorsett caught seven passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. He had 12 receptions all of last season. 

 

3. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Previous ranking: 4.

Last week: Won 18-12 at home over No. 8 Atlanta. 

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 🏆. The Eagles let their banner and trophy fly. 

This week: At No. 19 Tampa Bay (1-0).  

Betting line: Eagles minus 3.  

Fentress says: I'm still of the mind that quarterback Nick Foles' performance in the Super Bowl was more happenstance than a sign that he could become a franchise quarterback. Thursday's win over Atlanta helped confirm that theory. The Eagles need Carson Wentz back in a hurry. Give the defense props for repeatedly shutting down Atlanta in the red zone. 


 

4. MINNESOTA VIKINGS

 

Previous ranking: 6. 

Last week: Won 24-16 at home against No. 21 San Francisco. 

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 💪. Defense looked as strong as ever. 

This week: At No. 7 Green Bay (1-0) 

Betting line: Packers -3. 

Fentress says: The Vikings' defense picked up there it left of last season against the 49ers. QB Kirk Cousins looked solid. 

 

 5. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

 

Previous ranking: 7.

Last week: Won 20-15 at the No. 22 New York Giants. 

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 😐. Nice win, but this team wants the Patriots. 

This week: At No. 2 New England (1-0). 

Betting line: Patriots minus 2. 

Fentress says: Jacksonville won an ugly game at the New York Giants with defense and QB Blake Bortles playing within himself. They will nee more than that to win at the Patriots but must be quite motivated to do so after what happened last season.  

 

 6. CAROLINA PANTHERS

Previous ranking: 8.

Last week: Won 16-8 over No. 16 Dallas. 

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 🙁. The team won, but looked very lethargic on offense. 

This week: At No. 9 Atlanta (0-1).   

Betting line: Falcons minus 5. 

Fentress says: Carolina's defense did a number on Dallas, holding the Cowboys to 232 total yards.  But Carolina's offense was also very ordinary and tight end Greg Olsen left the game injured.  

 

 7. GREEN BAY PACKERS 

Previous ranking: 10.

Last week: Won 24-23 over No. 15 Chicago.

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 😌. GB had to be quite relieved to steal that game from the Bears. 

This week: Vs. No. 4 Minnesota (1-0).

Betting line: Packers minus 2 1/2.

Fentress says: QB Aaron Rodgers put together a very impressive come back against Chicago at home after briefly leaving the game with a knee injury.  Minnesota, with that defense, is a different animal. Rodgers said he will play at Minnesota despite knee swelling and pain. 

 

8. KANSAS CITY

Previous ranking: 13. 

Last week: Won 38-28 at No. 12 Los Angeles Chargers. 

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 🤗. KC fans are beaming about QB Pat Mahomes II. 

This week: At No. 11 Pittsburgh (0-0-1).

Betting line: Steelers minus 5 1/2.

Fentress says: Mahomes went off on the Chargers with four touchdown pass. What does that mean? Is he a future great, or was that just one of those nights when everything went right? We will know more after he and KC visit Pittsburgh. Or, will we? The Steelers almost lost to Cleveland. 

 

 9. ATLANTA FALCONS

Previous ranking: 9.

Last week: Lost 18-12 at No. 4 Philadelphia. 

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 😩. Losing at the Eagles the exact same way that they did in the playoffs has to be painful. 

This week: Vs. No. 6 Carolina (1-0).  

Betting line: Falcons minus 5. 

Fentress says: It was absolutely amazing to watch quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons demonstrate that they learned absolutely nothing from last season's playoff loss at Philadelphia and proceeded to lose virtually the exact same way. The good news is that Ryan got wide receiver Julio Jones 10 receptions. The bad news is that their red zone woes continue. 

 

 10. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

 

Previous ranking: 2.

Last week: Lost 48-40 at home to No. 31 Tampa Bay. 

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 😫. The defense got worn out by Tampa Bay, of all teams. 

This week: Vs. No. 30 Cleveland (0-1) 

Betting line: Saints minus 8 1/2.

Fentress says: The Saints defense showed improvement last year and then came out and gave up 48 points to Tampa Bay led by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Really?  

 

 11. PITTSBURGH STEELERS

 

Previous ranking: 5.

Last week: Tied 21-21 at No. 32 Cleveland. 

Record: 0-0-1.

Defining Emoji: ☹️ . It was Cleveland. Cleveland. ☹️

This week: Vs. No. 8 Kansas City (1-0).

Betting line: Steelers minus 5 1/2.

Fentress says: Let's forget about the fact that the Steelers almost lost to the Browns and focus on running back James Connor, who battled back from cancer, to rush for 135 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries in place of holdout Le'veon Bell.

 

 12. BALTIMORE RAVENS

 

Previous ranking: 14. 

Last week: Won 47-3 at home over No. 29 Buffalo. 

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 🕵️. Do we detect a Ravens team on the rise?

This week: At No. 15 Cincinnati (1-0), Thursday night.

Betting line: Ravens minus 3. 

Fentress says: The Ravens destroyed Buffalo, looking strong on defense while getting a good game from QB Joe Flacco

 

13. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Previous ranking: 12. 

Last week: Lost 38-28 to No. 13 Kansas City.  

Record: 0-1. 

Defining Emoji: 😒. Same 'ol Chargers. Teases. 

This week: At No. 32 Buffalo (0-1). 

Betting line: Charges minus 8. 

Fentress says: Sunday's loss was so typical Chargers. QB Philip Rivers threw for 424 yards and three touchdowns but the team couldn't stop a young Mahomes and a crucial fumble on a punt return in the fourth quarter killed.

 

 14. CHICAGO BEARS

 

Previous ranking: 15. 

Last week: Lost 24-23 at No. 10 Green Bay. 

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 😧. That loss one will hurt for a long time. 

This week: Vs. No. 20 Seattle (0-1). 

Betting line: Bears minus 4. 

Fentress says: OLB Khalil Mack lived up to the hype with a pick-six, sack and forced fumble. But, in the end, the Packers are still the Packers and the Bears remain the Bears. Allowing QB Aaron Rodgers to win the fourth quarter 21-0 to steal that game will haunt Chicago for some time. 

 

 15. CINCINNATI BENGALS

 

Previous ranking: 17. 

Last week: Won 34-23 at No. 23 Indianapolis.  

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 😺. This very happy Bengals team has loads of potential. 

This week:  Vs. No. 12 Baltimore (1-0), Thursday night. 

Betting line: Ravens minus 3. 

Fentress says: The Bengals overcame adversity on the road to win. That's a good sign for a team that has lacked character in the past. 

 

 16. HOUSTON TEXANS

 

Previous ranking: 18. 

Last week: Lost 27-20 at No. 3 New England.  

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 😐. Losing a close game at New England is somewhat of a positive. 

This week: At No. 22 Tennessee (0-1). 

Betting line: No line. 

Fentress says: There were more positives than negatives in this one. QB DeShaun Watson didn't play particularly well but the Texans battled back from an early deficit to make a game out of it. 

 

 17. DALLAS COWBOYS

 

Previous ranking: 16.

Last week: Lost 16-8 at No. 8 Carolina. 

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 😮. WR Dez Bryant called out Dallas on Twitter after that showing on offense. 

This week: Vs. No. 25 New York Giants (0-1).   

Betting line: Cowboys minus 3. 

Fentress says: The Cowboys' offensive looked pitiful with Dak Prescott attempting to throw to wide receivers Allen Huns and Deonte Thompson. RB Ezekiel Elliott will routinely get bottled up if Prescott can't make some plays. Dallas gained just 232 yards in the game. l

 

 18. DENVER BRONCOS

Previous ranking: 24. 

Last week: Won 27-24 at home over No. 19 Seattle. 

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 🚅. LB Von Miller moves around the edge like a high-speed train. 

This week: Vs. No. 28 Oakland (0-1). 

Betting line: Broncos minus 4. 

Fentress says: Denver got a nice win over a decent Seattle team and QB Case Keenum proved to be quite good in the win despite three interceptions thrown. Undrafted rookie free agent running back Phillip Lindsay is a perfect compliment to Royce Freeman.

 

 19. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

 

Previous ranking: 31.

Last week: Won 48-40 at No. 2 New Orleans.  

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 🏴‍☠️. They came, they saw, the pillaged. 

This week: Vs. No. 3 Philadelphia (1-0). 

Betting line: Eagles minus 3. 

Fentress says: Quarterback Jameis Winston might not have a job when he returns from suspension in three weeks. Ryan Fitzpatrick thew for 417 yards and four touchdowns against the Saints to help the Bucs put up the most points in an opener in the Super Bowl era. Wow! 

 

 20. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

 

Previous ranking: 19.

Last week: Lost 27-24 at No. 24 Denver.  

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 😕. More of the same for the Seahawks. 

This week: At No. 14 Chicago (1-0). 

Betting line: Bears minus 4.

Fentress says: Seattle couldn't run the ball and QB Russell Wilson was sacked six times. Sounds like the 2017 Seahawks. But, there were some positives in a close loss. Seattle must figure out how to block Chicago's Khalil Mack better than it did Von Miller, who had three sack against Seattle. 

 

21 MIAMI DOLPHINS

 

Previous ranking: 27, 

Last week: Won 27-20 over No. 11 Tennessee. 

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 😅. Smiling but tired after 7-hour game due to weather delays. 

This week: At No. 23 New York Jets (1-0). 

Betting line: Jets minus 1. 

Fentress says: RB Frank Gore, 35, gave the team 61 yards on nine carries. Not bad. QB Ryan Tannehill wasn't great, but two touchdown passes in his first game in two seasons was a good start. 

 

 22. TENNESSEE TITANS

Previous ranking: 11.

Last week: Lost 27-20 at No. 27 Miami. 

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 🤕. QB Marcus Mariota is banged up and and tight end Delanie Walker went on IR with a season-ending broken ankle with ligament damage. All bad. 

This week: Vs. No. 16 Houston (0-1). 

Betting line: No line. 

Fentress says: The Titans lost a very winnable game despite facing injuries and performing horribly. What's really scary for Tennessee is that not it faces a divisional opponent with Mariota's status in doubt and his best target on the shelf. 

 

23. NEW YORK JETS

 

Previous ranking: 30. 

Last week: Won 48-17 at No. 20 Detroit.  

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: ✈️ 💣🦁💥. Yep, the Jets dropped a bomb on the poor Lions. 

This week: Vs. No. 21 Miami (1-0). 

Betting line: Jets minus 1. 

Fentress says: Fourth-year coach Todd Bowles had his defense humming (four interceptions) and the offense looked at least solid with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold at the helm. Maybe the Jets' commitment to Bowles is about to pay off. 

 

 24. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

 

Previous ranking: 21. 

Last week: Lost 24-16 at No. 6 Minnesota. 

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 🤔. I thought QB Jimmy Garoppolo was the next superstar QB?

This week:  Vs. No. 29 Detroit (0-1).

Betting line: 49ers minus 3 1/2. 

Fentress says: Garoppolo is all the rage but he and the 49ers were brought back down to earth after Minnesota picked him off three times. . But we can't be too hard on them. Minnesota will do that to many QBs this season. The good news is the defensive ends, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner both played well. 

 

 25. NEW YORK GIANTS

 

Previous ranking: 22. 

Last week: Lost 20-15 at home to the No. 7 Jaguars.

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 😟. Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham gets you 15 points? Well, it was the Jaguars' D. But still...

This week:  At No. 17 Dallas (0-1). 

Betting line: Cowboys minus 3. 

Fentress says: Rookie RB Saquon Barkley looked legit while racking up 106 rushing yards and a touchdown against the mighty Jagars' defense. I'd say that this was one of the most quality losses of the week. 

 

26. WASHINGTON

Previous ranking: 28. 

Last week: Won 24-6 at No. 26 Arizona. 

Record: 1-0.

Defining Emoji: 😬. Washington has to to be surprisingly pleased with RB Adrian Peterson. 

This week: Vs. No. 27 Colts (0-1). 

Betting line: Washington minus 5 1/2. 

Fentress says: QB Alex Smith looked solid. The defense dominated. But the real story for Washington was RB Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown. Smith needs a running game to be effective. But I can't buy Smith and Peterson leading this team into the playoffs. 

 

 27. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

 

Previous ranking: 23.

Last week: Lost 34-23 at home to the No. 17 Bengals.  

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 👌. Colts lost but at least Andrew Luck played well. 

This week:  At No. 26 Washington (1-0). 

Betting line: Washington minus 5 1/2. 

Fentress says: Luck appeared to be fully back after throwing for 319 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. His new tight end, Eric Ebron looked good. But a suspect defense blew a lead against the Bengals. 

 

 28. OAKLAND RAIDERS

 

Previous ranking: 25. 

Last week: Lost 33-13 at home to the No. 1 Rams. 

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 💼. Coach Jon Gruden has a lot of work to do. 

This week: at No. 18 Denver (1-0). 

Betting line: Broncos minus 4. 

Fentress says: The Raiders need QB Derek Carr to be special and he simply isn't. Not yet and certainly not Monday night. Fixing Carr is up to Gruden, who must find a way to help Carr get the ball to WR Amari Cooper, who had just one reception for nine yards on Sunday. 

 

 29. DETROIT LIONS

 

Previous ranking: 20. 

Last week: Lost 48-17 at home to No. 30 New York Jets.  

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 🐱. That's a kitty, FYI. Not a lion. Get it?

This week: At No. 24 49ers (0-1). 

Betting line: 49ers minus 3 1/2. 

Fentress says: QB Matthew Stafford threw four interceptions against the Jets. Keep in mind that during the previous two seasons, Stafford never threw more than 13 interceptions in a given season. Once again the Lions' running game has issues. Just 39 yards on 15 carries against the Jets. 

 

 30. CLEVELAND BROWNS

 

Previous ranking: 32. 

Last week: Tied 21-21 with No. 5 Pittsburgh at home. 

Record: 0-0-1.

Defining Emoji: 😏. "Yeah, maybe we're not that bad, after all." - Browns fans. 

This week: At No. 10 New Orleans (0-1). 

Betting line: Saints minus 8 1/2. 

Fentress says: The Browns broke their 17-game losing streak without winning. That's an amazing trick. But I'll say this: If oft-troubled WR Josh Gordon, remains on the field, the Browns will certainly win a handful of games this season. 

 

 31. ARIZONA CARDINALS

Previous ranking: 26. 

Last week: Lost 24-6 at home to No. 28 Washington. 

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 🙄. Just put Josh Rosen out there and see what happens. Sheesh! 

This week: At No. 1 Rams (1-0).

Betting line: Rams minus 10. 

Fentress says: New coach Steven Wilks has his work cut out for him. But this team isn't this bad. Just 213 yards of offense? Really? There is enough offensive firepower to allow the Cardinals to play better next week. They will still lose, but they could play better. 

 

 

32. BUFFALO BILLS

 

Previous ranking: 29. 

Last week: Lost 47-3 at No. 14 Baltimore.    

Record: 0-1.

Defining Emoji: 🆘. Self explanatory. 

This week: Vs. No. 13 Los Angeles Chargers (0-1).  

Betting line: Charges minus 8. 

Fentress says: I felt guilty last week ranking a 2017 playoff team at No. 29. Then the Bills went out and got crushed by a decent, but not great Ravens team. Quarterback Nathan Peterman, who threw two interceptions, now has a career 25.7 passer rating. Just throw rookie QB Josh Allen out there and let whatever happens, happen. 

ProDucks Update: Kenjon Barner expected to sign with Patriots

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ProDucks Update: Kenjon Barner expected to sign with Patriots

Seems like the New England Patriots love Oregon Ducks running backs. After winning a Superbowl with former Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount, the Patriots are now expected to sign Kenjon Barner.

After signing with the Carolina Panthers back in 2013, Barner then spent the next four seasons with the Superbowl champ Philadelphia Eagles. On May 11, 2018, he then signed back with the Panthers, but now has moved on to possibly Tom Brady and the Patriots. Barner will join along with other Patriots running backs James White, Rex Burkhead, and rookie Sony Michel.

Other Oregon Ducks notable on the Patriots roster is long-time, sure-handed safety Patrick Chung.

Nike tabs Kaepernick for new "Just Do It" ad campaign

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USA Today

Nike tabs Kaepernick for new "Just Do It" ad campaign

Colin Kaepernick will be the face of Nike's latest ab campaign and social media doesn't know how to take it. Many fans supported Nike and Kaepernick, while others started the hashtag #boycottnike in protest of the move. Some people even chose to burn their Nike products in an act of defiance.

The first image of the ad campaign appeared on Twitter Monday afternoon when Kaepernick tweeted his image with the words "believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything" appearing over it.

Nike stock may have taken a hit as a result of the Kaepernick news, falling 2.60 points (3.16%) by the end of trading Tuesday. However, many have pointed out that other apparel companies such as Adidas and Puma also saw their stocks fall, using this as evidence that Nike's stock fall was not associated with Kaepernick.

On Tuesday the ad campaign made its debut on a billboard in downtown San Francisco, showing the same image the Kaepernick tweeted out the day before. 

The ad campaign will center around more than just Colin Kaepernick, it will also feature LeBron James, Serena Williams, Odell Beckham Jr., and Seattle Seahawks rookie Shaquem Griffin.

 

Seahawks' LB K.J. Wright has knee scoped

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USA Today

Seahawks' LB K.J. Wright has knee scoped

RENTON, Wash. - Seattle Pro Bowl linebacker K.J. Wright had his knee scoped and his status for the season opener Sept. 9 at Denver is uncertain, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said today following practice.

Carroll said today that following the team's 21-20 loss at Minnesota on Friday, something wasn't right with Wright's knee so he underwent arthroscopic surgery. 

"He didn't get hit or anything. He didn't have an episode," Carroll said. "Just felt that maybe something wasn't quite right. Took a look it at it, so we're going to do a scope job and get him back really quick."

Such procedures could lead a player to spend weeks on the shelf. Carroll said he wasn't sure when Wright would return.No Wright could open the door for rookie linebacker Shaquem Griffin to start, or at least receive extensive playing time. 

"At this point today he's got to be ready," Carroll said. "We don't have any choice but that thought for now until we know more [about Wright]. So, we'll see how it goes."

Notes: Safety Tedric Thompson was also injured against Minnesota and left the game:  "We're going day-to-day with him right now. He got a stinger in the game. He got hit in the ribs, too."

Former Oregon Duck, Kiko Alonso, runs to the wrong sideline during NFL game

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USATI

Former Oregon Duck, Kiko Alonso, runs to the wrong sideline during NFL game

Football is hard.

Former Oregon Duck, Kiko Alonso, found that out first hand today in a preseason game when he ran to the wrong sideline after making a tackle against the Ravens. Baltimore's sideline got a good laugh about it while sending him back across the field.

Alonso played for Oregon before being drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was traded from Buffalo to Philadelphia and then to Miami. 

Here's why the defending Super Bowl Champs won't even make the playoffs...

Here's why the defending Super Bowl Champs won't even make the playoffs...

Every single NFL season, there are big surprises that very few people see coming. Last year was no different. The Jaguars went from a dreadful season (3-13) in 2016, to winning their division and having a 10-point lead in the 4th quarter of the AFC Championship Game against the Patriots. Another big surprise was the Giants who after a strong 11-win season in 2016, Big Blue plummeted to 3-13 last year.

Get ready, Philly -- your beloved Eagles are the next team in line for a big disappointment.

I know, I know; visions of the Philly Special, a Super Bowl win over the Patriots, and Jason Kelce’s cute outfit during his impassioned speech at the championship celebration still dance in your collective heads, but history paints a different picture.

Of the 52 times that teams have won the Super Bowl, there have been 16 instances where the defending champion missed the playoffs the following season. That’s 30 percent of the Super Bowl champions that not only failed to defend their crown, but failed to even qualify for the postseason the very next year.

Something else to consider -- the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants have each missed the postseason following Super Bowl wins on three separate occasions. The Steelers missed the playoffs after Super Bowl XIV, XL, and XLIII. Remember Jerome Bettis’ “last stop” and that amazing game-winning catch by Santonio Holmes? Yep, the Steelers didn’t step foot in the playoffs the following year. The Giants also followed Super Bowl XXI, XXV, and XLVI with non-playoff seasons.

I know you Philly fans are new to this whole winning-a-Super-Bowl thing and think the 2018 Eagles are playoff bulletproof, but there are many things working against them.

WOOBLY WENTZ AND NICK FOOLS

First off, Carson Wentz had surgery to repair two knee ligaments in December. Tom Brady tore his ACL in Week 1 of the 2008 season. Brady’s touchdown passes were still nearly slashed in half from 50 in ’07 to only 28 TD throws in ’09. How about Robert Griffin III following ACL surgery? Yikes. Although Wentz was a legitimate MVP frontrunner before he went down, his play is likely to regress this year.

Nick Foles is the toast of the town following his playoff heroics. That’s nice, but I refer to him as Nick Fools because he’s a journeyman who’s giving the false impression of being an actual franchise quarterback. He’s a poor man’s Joe Flacco. Everybody thought Flacco was the real deal after a sparkling 11 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in the 2012 postseason en route to a Super Bowl crown. What he’s done since has been so dreadful that Jags cornerback Jalen Ramsey eloquently told GQ, “He sucks.” 

Nick Fools isn’t Prince Charming. He’s an undercover frog and it’s about to strike midnight. The Eagles will be in big trouble if Wentz misses any significant time this year.

A BRUTAL SCHEDULE

This brings us to the Eagles schedule, which is far from a cakewalk. The Eagles face the brutal NFC South and the much-improved AFC South. Before the Giants were decimated by injuries last year, the Eagles barely survived a Week 3 home game against the G-Men. Somebody named Ezekiel Elliott isn’t facing a six-game suspension. Oh, and the Eagles pick up games against the Vikings and Rams thanks to winning the NFC East. No last-place-schedule creampuffs like the Bears in 2017 to feast on.

PHILLY GOT LUCKY

Something else that gets lost amongst the amnesia that the Eagles fantastic run has created -- they were lucky to win one playoff game last season. Nick Foles looked like his true Nick Fools self before halftime in the Divisional Round against the Falcons. He threw a dreadful pass to safety Keanu Neal. Luckily, Neal felt like doing his best Bruce Lee impression by doing a flying knee, which sent the ball into Alshon Jeffery’s arms. Jake Elliott kicked a 53-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-9.

That sequence was absolutely huge. If Neal makes the easiest interception of his life, the Eagles halftime deficit is likely seven points following a Falcons field goal instead of what turned out to be one point. And while we’re talking about out-of-body experiences, how about the dynamic Julio Jones looking more like a combination of alligator arms Todd Pinkston and butterfingers Wes Welker when Matt Ryan threaded a perfect pass in the end zone that should’ve been the game-winning catch?

Sure, it helped that Bill Belichick benched Malcom Butler in the Super Bowl and the Minnesota Vikings always wet themselves, but the Eagles shouldn’t have even been alive at that point. The Falcons gift-wrapped Philly’s first win of the 2017 postseason.

GOOD LUCK IN 2019

Add everything up -- a brutal schedule this year, got hot at the right time last year, and every team is gunning for you while your most important player is hobbled. Sorry, E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES fans, no P-L-A-Y-O-F-F PLAYOFF berth for you this season! At least you have that championship parade horse manure to tide you over until the 2019 season begins.

Brian Noe would like Eagles fans to know that he isn’t hiding from you. His Twitter handle is @TheNoeShow. You can find him there anytime, but sadly can’t throw horse manure in his direction on social media.

49ers' Arik Armstead sidelined with hamstring injury

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USA Today

49ers' Arik Armstead sidelined with hamstring injury

Former Oregon defensive end Arik Armstead is out several weeks with a hamstring injury, according to multiple reports.

Armstead, who has missed 14 games over the past two seasons after playing in every game his rookie year in 2015, is considered week-to-week, according to the team.  

San Francisco selected Armstead with the 17th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He is expected to start at defensive end opposite former Oregon star DeForest Buckner, selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. 

Despite past injury problems, expectations for Armstead remain high.  Defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco last June that Armstead appeared to be more comfortable in the defense.

"We tried him at a few spots last year, and I think he's really starting to feel comfortable at that big end spot and inside pass-rusher on pass downs," Zgonina said. "I think he has more of a defined role."

Armstead has made 11 starts for the 49ers and has six career sacks. 

Armstead was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury in November of 2016.  Last season a broken hand in week six ended Armstead's season.

Just wondering why it's so hard for the NFL to get out of its own way

Just wondering why it's so hard for the NFL to get out of its own way

Just so you know, the National Anthem thing isn't the only rule the National Football League can't seem to figure out.

NFL officials were in Philadelphia recently and met with Eagles players to try to answer their questions about the league's new rule regarding the use of the helmet in contact situations. But it seems the officials couldn't even come to agreement themselves on the parameters of the new rule, which seems to mirror the college "targeting" rule:

During the meeting, Eagles players were shown video of plays that would now be considered illegal and then showed officials a video of safety Malcom Jenkins’ hit that knocked Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks out of the Super Bowl with a concussion. The play did not result in a flag in February and the officials were split on whether it would now draw a flag, which is why Nigel Bradham still felt unclear when the meeting ended.

Just days before the exhibition season opens, it's not a good thing that the people calling the penalties still cannot fully convey to the players the exact nature of a rule that is designed to increase safety for the players.

Why is it that the most prosperous and popular league in the country can't seem to get out of its own way? I don't know, maybe it's leadership?