Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Luck’

Darren Sproles electrifies, ignites Philadelphia Eagles to comeback victory over Indianapolis Colts (GIFs)

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





Two words say almost everything you need to know about the Philadelphia Eagles’ 30-27 comeback victory to defeat the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football: Darren. Sproles.DS

Can we talk about what an incredible pickup the former Saints running back was for the Eagles? Not only have Sproles’ performances been outstanding in and of themselves, he has provided a spark at just the right moment in back-to-back games. Sproles has put his team on his back, showed a toughness and done what needs to be done to come out with a W. It’s so Philly. Sproles was Philadelphia’s top receiver with seven catches for 152 yards, with 26 more on the ground and  a touchdown.

Sproles wasn’t the only player to come through big at key moments. Safety Malcolm Jenkins came up with a huge interception of Andrew Luck deep in Eagles territory on 3rd-and-9, a score that would have buried the Eagles for good should the Colts have finished the drive. The pick set up Sproles for his 51-yard screen pass, which ultimately led to the game-tying touchdown by Jeremy Maclin late in the fourth. Cody Parkey then nailed a 36-yard field goal to seal the come from behind victory for the Birds at Lucas Oil Stadium as time ran out on the clock.

The Eagles certainly don’t believe in making things easy. In two games, they have been outscored 34-6 in the first half, then gone on to outscore their opponents 58-10 in the second half. The Birds never make it easy, but 2-0 with some of the most electrifying comebacks in recent history isn’t a bad way to start the season.

Want to rewatch some of Sproles’ great plays from the night in the form of some amazing GIFs? Why, I thought you’d never ask.


Philadelphia Eagles – Indianapolis Colts MNF game has potential to be a shootout

Monday, September 15th, 2014

by Brandyn Campbell

Brandyn Blog





MNFWe’re coming to the close of Week 2 in the NFL, and significant injuries have already been unkind to many teams, the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts included. Philadelphia will play Indianapolis in Lucas Oil stadium, where Andrew Luck has a 13-3 record since being drafted by the team as the first overall pick three years ago. Will homefield advantage be the edge that the Colts need?

The good news for the Birds is that Indianapolis will be without Pro Bowl linebacker Robert Mathis, who led the league last season with 19.5 sacks. Mathis was serving a 4-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy but is now out for the season, tearing his Achilles while training. The Colts also will be without inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, who was their leading tackler both of the last two seasons.

Hopefully Indy’s D, absent of star power, will help Philadelphia’s patchwork offensive line. Chip Kelly is pleased at how quickly veteran guard Wade Smith is picking everything up, and is already splitting reps at left guard with Dennis Kelly, in Evan Mathis’ stead. Andrew Gardner is in at right tackle, taking over for Allen Barbre, who was the fill-in for Lane Johnson as he serves his 4-game PED suspension.

While the o-line is a decided matter of concern for Philadelphia, the amount of playmakers on the offense is not. Look for QB Nick Foles to put in a performance more like the second half of the season opener against the Jaguars than the first. The Colts are struggling to contain tight ends this season, which means that Brent Celek and Zach Ertz may have a field day. And LeSean McCoy now has Darren Sproles to share the load on running duty, and we may even see a peek at Chris Polk on the road. Add to this the fact that Mac is back–Jeremy Maclin had a solid debut in his return from injury–and the Eagles should have little trouble getting points on the board.

While Indy may not have the big names on defense at the moment, they have one of the best quarterbacks in the league to lead their offensive attack. Just in his third season in the league, Luck is strong, athletic, poised and precise. Luck’s weapons include receivers Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, and Hakeem Nicks. He also has tight ends Dwayne Allen, returning from injury, as well as favorite Coby Fleener. The team has almost no rushing game to speak of, with the team likely regretting their trade with the Browns for Trent Richardson more each week. He and Ahmad Bradshaw are sharing the team’s rushing “load,” if you can call it that–the Colts ran just nine times last week against the Broncos.

If the Eagles have a lead late in the game, don’t get too comfortable. The young QB has made a name for himself as the fourth-quarter comeback king.

This will be a good test to see just what the Eagles defense can do against a prolific passing attack. Big production will be needed from the secondary to keep Luck’s boys at bay. CB Brandon Boykin, who saw only 32 percent of snaps last week, should see more time on the field, and Cary Williams will need to be on top of his game in the defensive backfield.

This Monday night game could turn into a shoot out. Even with all of the assets that come with Luck, this Indy group doesn’t look like the strong teams of the past two seasons. It will be an exciting matchup that will see Philadelphia get the edge.

Prediction: Eagles 33, Colts 28

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Brandyn Campbell of Philly Sports Muse, for War Room Sports

2014 Preseason NFL QB Rankings 1-32

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

by Devin McMillan

Dev Blog





QBs Top 4

The NFL season is almost here.  Everyone’s making lists, rankings, predictions, etc, so I’d figured I may as well jump into the mix with my 2014 Preseason NFL Quarterback Rankings.  There are tons of QB rankings in existence with various criteria.  While my rankings are not exactly lifetime achievement awards, consistency definitely plays a significant role in my thought process.  HOWEVER, while a bad season by a good QB may drop him a notch or a few in my mind, it doesn’t necessarily mean I will rank that QB below a quarterback who has only had one or two good seasons.  For example, even though Eli Manning threw the football to the opposing team 27 times last season, it doesn’t necessarily mean I will rank him under someone like Nick Foles, who only threw it to the other team twice.  There are some young QB’s who still need to show and prove for at least another season to reach their potential on this list.  So in essence, your past body of work does indeed have meaning here, but it is just a major variable among variables.  So without further ado, here is where I currently rank the 32 starting QB’s in the National Football League:

1. Peyton Manning – Denver Broncos

Drew WillyNow 38 years old, “The Sheriff” is coming off the very best season of his storied career as he led the 13-3 Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl, only to be destroyed by the Seattle Seahawks.  The beatdown was so brutal, it makes it easy to forget that Manning completed 68.3% of his passes last season, for 5477 yards, 55 TD passes, just 10 INTs, and a hefty passer rating of 115.1, while starting all 16 regular season games.  It will be interesting to see how he will come back after such a deflating loss in the Super Bowl, but after a ridiculous season this late in a ridiculous career, it’s only right that he enter the 2014 campaign in the top spot.

2. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers

ARPrior to the resurgence of Peyton Manning, I had Aaron Rodgers ranked as the best QB in the NFL.  Even with the resurgence of the Denver signal-caller, an argument can still be made for Rodgers.  What may play against him in the “best in the league” argument is the fact that injuries limited him to 9 games last season. While his bottom-line statistics suffered due to missed time, Manning lit the league on fire with record numbers.  However, in those 9 games, Rodgers still proved his importance to the Green Bay Packers and his stature in the NFL.  The team went 6-3 with him at the helm, while only posting a 2-4-1 record without him.  His 104.9 QB rating was among the tops in the league and a healthy Aaron Rodgers will be looking to reclaim his top-spot in the upcoming season.

3. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints

DBAnother 5162 yards, another 39 TDs, another 104.7 QB rating, another year at the office for Drew Brees.  His continuance of a consistent assault on the NFL record books, along with the return of his head coach Sean Payton, helped the New Orleans Saints climb right back into the ranks of contenders last season (11-5), after a brief fall-off (7-9) in the 2012 season.  “The Little QB That Could” continues to defy the odds, and with his #1 target (Jimmy Graham) locked in, and last year’s 4th ranked defense, he should prove his ranking once again with another successful season down by the Bayou.

4. Tom Brady – New England Patriots

TBTom Brady is greatness personified.  While throwing mainly to a group of rookies last season, “Tom Terrific” still amassed over 4000 yards (6th time in his career) and 25 TDs (9th time in his career).  Even though he had a bit of a “down” year statistically, his steady hand still helped to guide a consistent New England Patriots franchise to a 12-4 mark, another division title, and an 8th Conference Championship Game appearance under his leadership.  He hasn’t displayed any real signs of slowing down, so his place in the top 5 should be secure for the foreseeable future.

5. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts

ALI struggled with the decision to put Andrew Luck this high on my list.  However, the proof is in the pudding with this guy.  In my opinion, he is BY FAR the best QB in the newer crop of signal callers.  He has not registered eye-popping statistics thus far in his tenure, but since joining the 2-14 (2011) Indianapolis Colts for the start of the 2012 season, he’s led them to back-to-back 11-5 campaigns, at a time that we all thought the team would be in rebuilding mode.  He just has….”IT”….whatever “IT” is.  What better answer than “Andrew Luck” is there to the question, “which NFL QB would you take to start/build a team around right now”?  I imagine he’ll be shooting up to the top of this list within the next few seasons.

6. Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers

PRHe’s baaaack!!!  Phillip Rivers has been described by Jimmy Williams of War Room Sports, as the “Nas” of NFL quarterbacks.  He “went from top 10 to not mentioned at all”, but the 2013 NFL season was his Stillmatic album of sorts, triumphantly returning him to the elite of the league.  In leading the Chargers to a surprise playoff berth last season, Rivers completed 69.5% of his passes, for 4478 yards, 32 TDs, against 11 interceptions, while posting a 105.5 passer rating (following back-to-back years of 88.7 & 88.6 passer ratings respectively).

7. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers

BRTeam success has been waning in “The Steel City” as of late, but “Big Ben” is still a very effective quarterback.  It seems as if his arsenal gets depleted every year, as he has lost another big target in Emmanuel Sanders this offseason.  However, with a reliable Antonio Brown, a steady Heath Miller, all-purpose rookie Dri Archer, and the “Mary-Jane Brothers” in the backfield, Ben Roethlisberger should once again justify his top 10 status among NFL signal callers.


8. Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys

TRProbably the most hated quarterback in the entire NFL, I feel Tony Romo is a bit underappreciated.  Never lacking statistical success, Romo is usually solely blamed for the underachievement of the Dallas Cowboys as a whole, year in and year out.  I’d venture to say that without Romo, the Cowboys wouldn’t even sniff the .500 record they’ve earned the past three seasons.  For you stat guys out there, it’s ironic that Romo has such a reputation of being a choker, considering his 69.6 completion percentage and 105.6 passer rating in the fourth quarter just last year.  He is one of the active leaders with 11 fourth quarter comebacks in the past three seasons and for his career, he has led 20 fourth quarter comebacks and 23 game-winning drives.  With all those facts uncovered, I still have eyes, and yes, I’ve most certainly seen Tony Romo make several untimely mistakes that has cost his team.  However, his mistakes aren’t as glaring as that Cowboys defense that ranked DEAD LAST in the NFL last season.  Well, I guess it is as glaring…if that’s what you WANT your eyes to see.  Romo may not even last the entirety of this season, as he is still dealing with back issues.  But either way, I predict another disappointing campaign for him and his “Boys”.

9. Eli Manning – New York Giants

EMIt is rather difficult to justify Eli Manning remaining in the top 10 of NFL QB’s, but this is a case where a guy has some historical credit in his wallet.  A TERRIBLE season in 2013 saw the two-time Super Bowl MVP toss the ball to the other team at an alarming rate.  With only 18 TD passes, 27 interceptions, and the lowest passer rating since his rookie season (69.4), Eli can only go back up from here.  The team sounds confident that he will do just that under the Giants’ new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who brings along an entirely new system.  One more season like last year and Eli can kiss my top 10 good-bye.  The younger Manning has always earned his keep in the playoffs. Now if only the Giants can make it back to the playoffs, Eli can get back into his element.

10. Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears

JCWhat will another year under Marc Trestman do for Jay Cutler?  Along with one of the best wide receiver tandems and one of the best receiving running backs in the NFL, I think it will do wonders.  His first season under Trestman was cut short by a torn groin muscle.  While on the shelf, he had to sit back and watch his backup become the most popular guy in town by actually playing better than he did.  Now with McCown in Tampa, he can concentrate on performing without having to look over his shoulder.  A confident Jay Cutler is a scary Jay Cutler.

11. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons

MR“Matty Ice” played significant portions of the 2013 season without his main offensive weapons.  Roddy White missed 3 games and was clearly not healthy throughout the season while dealing with a high ankle sprain and then a hamstring.  Steven Jackson missed 4 games dealing with a hamstring of his own.  Budding star Julio Jones spent the final 11 games of 2013 on injured reserve after fracturing his right foot, which already had a screw in it.  Left tackle Sam Baker also went to injured reserve after missing 5 weeks with a left knee injury.  Unfortunately, Sam Baker will also miss the entire 2014 campaign with a torn patellar tendon, suffered in a preseason loss to the Houston Texans, this time in his right knee.  Everyone else is back, even though Steven Jackson is battling through another hamstring injury and legendary tight end Tony Gonzalez has called it quits.  Many see Matt Ryan as an elite QB.  Injuries are always a devastating obstacle to overcome, but elite QB’s rise to the occasion.  While Ryan’s numbers didn’t suffer last season, he obviously didn’t make a big enough impact to overcome the obstacles.  Will he live up to his billing this season?

12. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions

MSMatt Stafford is the personification of the term “stat-monster”.  In the past three seasons alone (his only three as a full 16-game starter); he has passed for 14,655 yards and 90 touchdowns.  The problem is…he’s only led the talent-laden Detroit Lions to the postseason once in 5 years.  In his short career, Stafford has led 10 fourth quarter comebacks and 12 game-winning drives, but cannot seem to translate his late-game heroics into playoff berths.  The Lions again have high expectations in a very competitive NFC North division this season, but they’ll only go as far as their 6th year passer will take them.

13. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks

RWThe quarterback of the reigning Super Bowl champs hasn’t rang up eye-popping numbers, but he has been much more than a “game manager”.  In his first two NFL seasons, Wilson has shown remarkable poise and maturity while being asked to lead a team that was ready to contend in every other area.  He has thrived in the role of the Seahawks’ only “question mark” and has answered every question quite impressively.  Blessed with special instincts and athletic ability, Russell is a passer who runs when he HAS TO, and is not afraid to slide and live to play another play.  Admittedly, the way the defense played in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Seahawks would have won with me under center that night.  However, Russell Wilson’s impact in leading them there should not be overlooked.  He went through some young quarterback struggles along the way, but he never completely hit the wall.  I’m sure the Hawks’ defense will struggle at some point and we’ll get to see how Russell responds when the rest of the team is depending on him to hold them down through a rough patch.

14. Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals

Andy DaltonI didn’t understand the amount of opposition to Andy Dalton’s new deal in Cincinnati.  He has shown marked improvement in each of his 3 years in the league, and has led the Bengals to the postseason in all 3 seasons as well.  However, the playoffs are where Dalton’s struggles have been most prevalent.  In 3 playoff games, he has thrown 1 touchdown against 6 interceptions, and his passer rating has fallen to 56.2 from 85.7 in three regular seasons.  If Dalton is to stay on the top half of this list, he must start performing in the postseason.

15. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers

Cam NewtonMost likely the most physically imposing QB in the league, Cam Newton took no time surpassing the expectations of many doubters, including myself, after being chosen #1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.  In 3 seasons, Cam has accounted for 92 total touchdowns (64 passing and 28 rushing), two Pro-Bowl appearances, and one playoff game.  The Panthers brass hasn’t exactly blessed Newton with world-beaters on the outside, but great QB’s don’t always need big-name receivers to be great.  It’s up to Cam to lift the level of play of everyone else on that offense.  He has.  He will.

16. Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles

NF2014 is a very important year for Nick Foles.  After a brilliant 2013 campaign, filling in for the oft-injured Mike Vick and becoming the Eagles’ full-time starter, Foles has to prove that last season’s success wasn’t just an aberration.  The decision-making ability that led to his “27 TDs vs. 2 INTs” performance in 2013 needs to be on full display this season, in order to win over a tough crowd in Philly.  Foles can go either way here.  A season like, or close to last year’s, could vault him up this list, just as a bad season could easily send him on a slide down these rankings.  He is currently a victim of his own sample size.

17. Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers

Colin KaepernickPrior to last season, Ron Jaworski said that Colin Kaepernick “could be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever”.  Even though football fans went crazy at the prospect, I understood that “Jaws” was merely making a point about Kap’s skill set and potential.  If the young quarterback wants to realize anything close to that potential, he has to be more consistent.  He has games where that “upside” in on full display, but he’ll follow it up with a stinker or two that makes you doubt that he can lead the Niners to a Super Bowl victory.  You know the clichés: “You’re only as good as your last game”; “what have you done for me lately?”; yadda, yadda yadda.  Just remember, this is only Kap’s second year as a full-time starter, and with his new contract, he has plenty of motivation to chase Jaws’ vision of him.

18. Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens

JFTwo seasons ago, Joe Flacco concluded one of the greatest postseason runs we’d ever seen with the Super Bowl XLVII MVP award.  Last season, the newly-minted $120.6 Million Man followed it up with a 19 touchdown, 22 interception, clunker of a season, that saw he and the reigning Super Bowl champs left on the outside of the playoffs.  I’ve certainly seen him play at a level that would put him much higher on this list.  Will we ever see that again?


19. Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs

ASWhat you CANNOT deny over the past three seasons is that Alex-Smith-led teams win.  However, the issue with many fans and analysts is whether or not his teams win BECAUSE of him or simply because they are good teams.  He has been branded with the dreaded title of “game manager”, and though he boasts the 4th highest TD to INT ratio in the NFL over the past three seasons, I am tempted to attribute that statistic to his perceived fear of letting the ball fly in certain situations.  Alex Smith believes he is a franchise quarterback.  He also believes that he is a major reason behind last year’s turnaround of the Kansas City Chiefs.  Strapped with a new 4-year/$68 Million extension, Smith will set out to make the rest of us believe it as well.

20. Robert Griffin III – Washington Professional Football Team

Robert Griffin IIIEven coming off the knee injury suffered in the lone playoff game of his brilliant rookie season, I personally thought year two was a great opportunity for Robert Griffin III to shake the growing “running quarterback” label and show off his chops as a passer.  The scouting report coming out of Baylor read that RG3 was a passer that just happened to possess world-class speed.  In a year where his mobility was limited, he didn’t show this to be true.  Now with a new coaching staff in place, he has another opportunity to show us that he can achieve super-stardom in this league as a passer.  He has a full cupboard of weaponry to utilize in his quest to prove doubters wrong.  Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Jordan Reed, and Alfred Morris in the backfield could be a frightening prospect for opposing defenses.  It all comes down to what Griffin can do behind an improving offensive line.  It’s a HUGE year for RG3.

21. Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals

CPCarson Palmer will never again be the quarterback that he was on his way to being in his second and third seasons in the NFL, but he still has enough left in the tank to lead a talented Arizona Cardinals team to a playoff berth.  In order to be that guy, especially in the tough NFC West, Palmer must cut down on the turnovers.  A focused Carson Palmer can still pull out the carving knives from time to time, but in those moments that he loses focus, he’s prone to bad mistakes.  Without a legitimate threat holding the clipboard behind him, the team is his.  What he does with it in 2014 remains to be seen.

22. Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins

RTFrom year #1 to year #2, Ryan Tannehill improved his completion percentage (+2.1), his passing yards (+619), his TD passes (+12), unfortunately his interceptions (+4), and his passer rating (+5.6).  However, his improvement only contributed to one more game in the “win column” for the Miami Dolphins.  The young signal caller has shown plenty of poise in the pocket and he’s on track to becoming a very good quarterback in this league.  What I question however, is will his impact increase with his quarterback skills?  That remains to be seen.

23. Josh McCown – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

JM66.5% completions, 1829 yards, 13 TDs, 1 INT, 109 passer rating, 3 wins, 2 losses.  These are Josh McCown’s numbers in the 8 appearances (5 starts) he made for an injured Jay Cutler last season in Chicago.  This put the 12th-year journeyman back onto to NFL radars, which resulted in a starting job in Tampa Bay.  The pressure to perform is high, as the Buccaneers are being touted by many as a team on the rise this season.  McCown has unseated a capable second year guy in Mike Glennon, who played fairly well in 13 starts in his rookie campaign last year.  I don’t think anyone expects Josh to play at the clip in which he played last season in Chicago, but how well does he have to play to keep the youngster on the bench?

24. Matt Cassel – Minnesota Vikings

Matt CasselAfter a pretty good preseason by both quarterbacks, Matt Cassel beat out rookie Teddy Bridgewater for the starting job…but how long will he keep it?  The only way I see Cassel holding onto the spot for the duration of the season is if the Vikings are winning games.  That’s a tough order in the competitive NFC North division.  Cassel played in 9 games last season and started 6 for the Vikings, so it’s obvious that he has the edge due to knowledge and experience.  Though he’s a viable NFL quarterback, make no mistake, Cassel is simply playing the role of “seat-filler” for the next “future of the franchise” in Teddy Bridgewater.

25. Ryan Fitzpatrick – Houston Texans

RFRyan Fitzpatrick is with his third team in three years.  How much should we read into that?  The 2005 seventh-round pick from Harvard has had some semblance of success in this league, which prompted the Buffalo Bills to pull the trigger on a 6-year/$59 Million deal ($24 Million guaranteed) after a 4-2 start back in 2011.  The Bills won only 2 more games that season and Fitzpatrick finished with a career-high 23 interceptions.  As a matter of fact, he’d only go on to win 8 more games as the Bills’ starting QB after the ink dried on that contract.  Last year, he started 9 games for the Tennessee Titans and led them to a 3-6 record while tossing 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, while filling in for the oft-injured Jake Locker.  The Houston Texans have the talent to bounce back from a disastrous 2013 season, but I’d say the biggest question mark is the quarterback position.

26. Geno Smith – New York Jets

GSGeno Smith was thrown into the fire last season in his rookie year.  His response wasn’t very consistent.  He had his moments where he appeared to be “steadying the ship”, but overall, turnovers were his undoing.  In 16 starts, he tossed 12 touchdowns against 21 interceptions, while leading the NY Jets to an 8-8 record.  The Jets believe they can contend for a playoff spot this year so they’ve hedged their bet by adding veteran QB Michael Vick, to give Geno a little push.  We’ll see how he responds in his sophomore year.

27. Shaun Hill – St. Louis Rams

SHThrust into the starting role due to yet another ACL tear for Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill evidently inspires enough confidence in Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher to stand pat, instead of making a desperate move to bring in another QB.  On the other hand, it could be that Fisher doesn’t want to give up drafts picks for someone else’s backup and actually save them for a run at his own rookie stud in the upcoming draft.  Yeah, I’ll go with that.  However, Shaun Hill has ample experience in this league and could prove to be a very good stopgap in the meantime.  He has started 26 games between San Francisco & Detroit, and has thrown 41 touchdowns against 23 interceptions.  He is steady, and besides, it’s not as if we knew exactly what we would get from Bradford in the first place.

28. Chad Henne – Jacksonville Jaguars

CHJust like Matt Cassel, 4 spots up this list, Chad Henne will start the season filling a seat for the “future of the franchise”.  The difference in this situation, is that his rookie backup (for now), Blake Bortles, clearly outplayed him in the preseason.  It’s clear that Jags’ head coach Gus Bradley isn’t quite ready to throw his new toy into the fire, but judging from Chad Henne’s NFL resume (55 TDs/62 INTs/ 18-32 record as a starter), I presume that we’ll see Bortles at some point this season.

29. Jake Locker – Tennessee Titans

Jake LockerJake Locker is entering his 4th season in the NFL, but we still don’t know enough about him.  Since becoming the Titans’ starter in 2012, he has missed significant time, only starting 18 of 32 games, with a myriad of injuries (foot, hip, and shoulder).   Any time he has started to show promise, he goes down with an injury.  I believe this is a “make or break” year for Locker.  If he can remain healthy, he has a lot to prove.

30. E.J. Manuel – Buffalo Bills

EJ ManuelManuel’s shaky rookie campaign was limited to 10 games due to not one, not two, but THREE knee injuries. In those 10 games, we really couldn’t get much of a glimpse into the future, so this is the year for him to prove to Bills fans that their team made the right decision in making him the first QB off the board in the 2013 NFL Draft.  He hasn’t looked great in this year’s training camp and preseason, but hopefully that all will change when the ball is kicked off on Sunday.  In an attempt to sure up the depth at the position, the Bills have signed veteran Kyle Orton to be the team’s backup.  If at any point during the season, the keys need to be turned over to Orton, the Bills may be back in the market for a QB in the offseason.  Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

31. Brian Hoyer – Cleveland Browns

BHWith a lot of help from his teammates, Brian Hoyer struggled throughout the 2014 preseason; however this did not prevent Browns’ head coach Mike Pettine from naming the 6th year backup QB his starter over rookie sensation and Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel.  Hoyer started 3 games last season, subbing for the injured Brandon Weeden, before going down in the third game with a torn ACL on an awkward slide and hit from Bills’ linebacker Kiko Alonso.  He was impressive in the first two games however, throwing 5 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions, while leading the Browns to consecutive victories (they also won the third game, even though Hoyer went down in the first quarter).  How long will his leash be, considering the highly-touted “Johnny Football” is lurking behind his shoulder?

32. Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders

DCDerek “was just handed the keys to this” Carr a couple days prior to the official start of the NFL season.  Even though his head coach touted Matt Shaub as the starter all throughout camp and preseason, Carr’s early development gave Dennis Allen the confidence to roll the dice on his 2nd round rookie.  We’re hoping that playing right away doesn’t have the same effect on Derek as it did on his brother David, but Oakland’s offensive line should be good enough to avoid that from happening.




Devin McMillan of The War Room, for War Room Sports

2012 NFL Rookie QB’s: A Class to Remember?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

by Ron Glover





From left to right: Russell Wilson (Seahawks), Robert Griffin III (Redskins), Andrew Luck (Colts), Brandon Weeden (Browns), and Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins).
(Photo courtesy of

What will we be saying about the 2012 Rookie quarterback class in 5-7 years? (Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, and Nick Foles)?

(Photo courtesy of


Ron Glover of The Starting Five, for War Room Sports

NFL Draft: Top 5 Quarterback Prospects

Monday, April 16th, 2012

By Brandon Pemberton

Follow me on twitter @BrandonOnSports and @SportsTrapRadio

Also be sure to listen to Sports Trap Radio Saturdays from 10am-2pm on

Okay the 2012 NFL draft is less than two weeks away and over the next two weeks I will release my top 5 players by position and the next five I like as well.  My player rankings are based upon my own eye test and scouting, so yes it might differ from the likes of Kiper and McShay.

1. Robert Griffin III 6-2 223lbs Baylor

Strengths: Elite arm talent, can make any throw asked of him.  Even though he’s a world class athlete, he is a great passer from the pocket.  Very intelligent, has gotten better as a passer over the years.

Weaknesses: Came from the spread offense, might have a slow transition adjusting to a pro-style offense.

Grade: Top 3 pick

2. Andrew Luck 6-4 234lbs Stanford

Strengths: Very accurate passer, smart, cerebral.  Played his whole career in a pro-style offense and was coached by Jim Harbaugh.  More athletic than most believe.  Called his own plays during his final season.

Weaknesses: Arm strength isn’t the greatest, but Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning improved that aspect of their games once they got to the NFL.  Loses mechanics and accuracy when players are at his feet and has to make throws under duress.

Grade: Top 3 pick

3. Nick Foles 6-5 243lbs Arizona

Strengths: Great size for a NFL QB.  Great ability to anticipate passes and throw WR’s open.  Arm isn’t elite, but he can make all the throws necessary.  Stands very strong in the pocket and makes throws with defenders hanging on his legs.

Weaknesses: Lost 13 of 17 of his last starts at Zona.  Makes some bad decisions with the ball at times.  Isn’t a great athlete and is far from what you would call elusive.

Grade: 2nd round

4. Ryan Tannehill 6-4 223lbs Texas A&M

Strengths: Good size, very athletic, and accurate with his short to mid-range passes.  Is very mobile in the pocket and has escape ability, which is a good thing to have in the NFL.  Has started only 19 games at QB in college and people seem to see a high ceiling because of his physical tools.

Weaknesses: Is still very raw as a QB and needs some time to sit and work on his craft.  Is inaccurate on his deep passes.  Lost a big number of games after having big halftime leads and turned the ball over in big spots.  He is one of the more big risk/reward players in this draft.  Some even think he’s good enough to draft in the top 10.

Grade: 2nd round

5. Brandon Weeden 6-3 223lbs Oklahoma St.

Strengths: Was 23-3 as a starter at Okla. St., is more mature then most prospects because of his age(29). Shows great accuracy on all of his throws. His above average arm talent, good enough to make all NFL throws.

Weaknesses: Struggles throwing the ball well under pressure. His age is also a concern as well. Teams have to wonder how long will he last at that age.  His mobility in the pocket is and issue as well and he’s never played under center while in college.

Grade: mid to late 2nd round

My next 5: Brock Osweiler ASU, Kirk Cousins Mich St., Ryan Lindley San Diego St. , Russell Wilson Wisconsin, Kellen Moore Boise St.

Up Next: My top 5 Running Backs will be released tomorrow.

Brandon Pemberton of “Brandon On Sports” & “Sports Trap Radio”, for War Room Sports

Top 50 NFL Draft Prospects

Friday, March 30th, 2012

By Brandon Pemberton

With the 2012 NFL Draft four weeks away, I have decided to release my annual list of top 50 prospects in the draft.  My list is based upon my personal opinion and scouting.  Yes my list will differ from the likes of Mel Kiper Jr, Todd McShay, and Charlie Casserly, because I have my own views and opinions on players.  Be sure to listen to Sports Trap Radio from 10am-2pm this Saturday and every Saturday live on, hosted by myself (Brandon Pemberton) and my homie Chris Marshall (@215_sports_guy). We will discuss this list, the Final Four, and much more.  Call in and join the convo! 267-519-1111!

Also be on the lookout for my top ten players by position as well!  Yall know I go in!!!!! #SportsTrappinBran

1. Matt Kalil OT USC 6’6′ 306lbs

2. Trent Richardson RB Alabama 5’9′ 228lbs

3. Morris Claiborne CB LSU 5’11’ 178lbs

4. Robert Griffin III QB Baylor 6’2 1/2 223lbs

5. Andrew Luck QB Stanford 6’4′ 234lbs

6. Riley Reiff OT Iowa 6’6′ 313lbs

7. Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma St. 6’1′ 207lbs

8. Quinton Coples DE UNC 6’6′ 284lbs

9. Melvin Ingram DE/OLB South Carolina 6’2′ 276lbs

10. David Decastro OG Stanford 6’5′ 316lbs

11. Mark Barron S Alabama 6’1′ 213lbs

12. Michael Brockers DT LSU 6’6′ 322lbs

13. Fletcher Cox DT/DE Miss St. 6’4′ 298lbs

14. Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama 5’10’ 193lbs

15. Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB Alabama 6’2′ 272lbs

16. Dont’a Hightower ILB Alabama 6’2′ 265lbs

17. Luke Kuechly ILB Boston College 6’3′ 242lbs

18. Cordy Glenn G/T Georgia 6’5′ 3/4 345lbs

19. Dontari Poe NT/DT Memphis 6’4′ 345lbs

20. Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame 6’3′ 220lbs

21. Andre Branch DE/OLB Clemson 6’4′ 258lbs

22. Jonathan Martin OT Stanford 6’5′ 312lbs

23. Kendall Wright WR Baylor 5’10’ 196lbs

24. Coby Fleener TE Stanford 6’6′ 247lbs

25. Stephen Gilmore CB South Carolina 6’0′ 1/2 190lbs

26. Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama 6’2′ 186lbs

27. Devon Still DT Penn State 6’5′ 303lbs

28. Jerel Worthy DT Michigan St. 6’2′ 308lbs

29. Reuben Randle WR LSU 6’3′ 210lbs

30. Whitney Mercilus DE/OLB Illinois 6’4′ 260lbs

31. Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M 6’4′ 221lbs

32. Chandler Jones DE/OLB Syracuse 6’5′ 247lbs

33. Lamar Miller RB Miami 5’11’ 212lbs

34. Kevin Zeitler OG Wisconsin 6’4′ 314lbs

35. Mike Adams OT Ohio State 6’7′ 323lbs

36. Kendall Reyes DT UConn 6’4′ 299lbs

37. Doug Martin RB Boise St. 5’9′ 223lbs

38. Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska 5’10’ 204lbs

39. David Wilson RB Va Tech 5’10’ 206lbs

40. Peter Konz C Wisconsin 6’5′ 314lbs

41. Brandon Thompson DT Clemson 6’2′ 314lbs

42. Dwayne Allen TE Clemson 6’5′ 255lbs

43. Lavonte David OLB Nebraska 6’1′ 233lbs

44. Zach Brown OLB UNC 6’1′ 244lbs

45. Nick Perry DE/OLB 6’3′ 271lbs

46. Harrison Smith S Notre Dame 6’2′ 213lbs

47. Mychal Kendricks ILB Cal 5’11’ 249lbs

48. Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma St. 6’4′ 221lbs

49. Alshon Jeffrey WR South Carolina 6’3′ 214lbs

50. Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech 6’4′ 215lbs

Brandon Pemberton of Sports Trap Radio, for War Room Sports