2019 NFL Week 2 Picks & Previews: Which Teams Adjust after Wear and Tear of Week 1?

In Week 1, teams set the tone for their seasons.  Week 2 will show which teams can adjust to and overcome adversity, as several players got injured in Week 1, and some teams will have tougher match-ups this week than they did last week.  For me, Week 1 went pretty well. Although I only won in one of my four fantasy leagues, I went 12-3-1 in picks.  It will be hard to beat that this week after getting the Thursday Night game wrong again.  But will I defy the odds and outdo my strong Week 1 performance anyways?  Below are my picks for the week. Feel free to comment with your thoughts.

Lock of the Week

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Typically, the Patriots struggle in warm weather.  Last year, they even lost in Miami as the Pats defense blew it at the last minute and gave up a miraculous TD.  But this Dolphins team just lost 59-10 at home against QB Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.  How do you expect them to beat the Pats?  There’s a huge hole at QB, and the defense won’t have much going for them this week aside from CB Xavien Howard.  Plus, this Pats offense is one of the most talented in history. Expect a blowout here, as QB Tom Brady and offense show off how great they really are, and the Dolphins continue to struggle mightily.  

Upset of the Week 

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This same match-up occurred in Week 2 last year, and it ended in a tie.  But I don’t think we’re getting 2 ties in 2 weeks again. Even though Green Bay beat the Bears, QB Aaron Rodgers looked washed-up, and the backfield was not productive against a strong Bears defense.  If there is a better defense in this league than Chicago’s, its the Vikings D. Expect them to easily stop RB Aaron Jones and hold Rodgers to just 1 TD. The Bears were able to do the same, but they lost to Green Bay last week because of serious offensive problems.  RB Dalvin Cook and the Vikings offense dominated against Atlanta last week. Expect the same against the inexperienced Green Bay defense.

The Other Games

TNF (Posted to Twitter before game; Actual Score: 20-14 TB)

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Expect a high scoring game as the Bucs defense continues to struggle.  RB Christian McCaffrey will dominate, leading the Carolina offense to a big game against Tampa.  The Bucs will put up a good fight, as Winston utilizes his diverse group of receivers against an unproven Panthers secondary.  But with McCaffrey’s help, Carolina will come out on top.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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Look, I understand QB Eli Manning is far from what he used to be.  But against a rebuilding Bills defense, Manning and the Giants should have success.  Manning will rely on RB Saquon Barkley and TE Evan Engram to anchor the offense in a Giants victory, as WR Sterling Shepard is concussed.  The Bills will make it close, as their backfield thrives against a weak Giants D and QB Josh Allen sees improvement as a passer. But the Giants offense has more of a rhythm going, and that will lead them to victory.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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After their struggles in New England, everyone is saying the Steelers are washed up and on the decline.  At first, I agreed. But the Seahawks aren’t quite the same as they used to be either. They nearly lost to Cincinnati last week.  QB Russell Wilson will struggle against an underrated Steelers pass rush, and the young Seahawks D is no match for QB Ben Roethlisberger and his receivers.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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The Ravens will win this one as they host Arizona, but they won’t see the same success they had last week.  The Ravens defense should have another great game and hold the Cards back from scoring multiple TDs. But DE Chandler Jones and the Cardinals D will limit QB Lamar Jackson as they keep him under pressure.  Jackson will still play like a QB this week and lead his team to victory, but he won’t stay on the elite level he was at last week.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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The Niners thrived against a weak Bucs D last week.  The Bengals defense may be a little washed up, but they should be able to stop a Niners backfield that will be without Tevin Coleman.  QB Jimmy Garoppolo will have another decent game, but it won’t be enough. So long as RB Joe Mixon plays, QB Andy Dalton will continue to look good and this time lead his team in an OT thriller.  
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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These two defenses aren’t quite elite anymore, but they’ll look like it in this one.  Against a better defense, QB Gardner Minshew II will struggle. The Jags defense will hold back a young Texans offensive core as well.  However, QB Deshaun Watson will get past the strong Jags D and lead Houston to victory.  
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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The Titans got off to a huge start in Cleveland, and they’ll run with the momentum against a weak Colts defense.  A healthy QB Marcus Mariota and TE Delanie Walker will be huge for Tennessee. If they go down, the Titans have QB Ryan Tannehill and TE Anthony Firkser waiting.  QB Jacoby Brissett should look alright too, but don’t expect as much against a talented Titans D.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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At first, I was thinking this would be a blowout.  But the Chargers already lost TE Hunter Henry to an injury, and this offense is injury prone in general, so their performance in this game may be underwhelming.  The Chargers D should help LA lock up the victory, but the QB Matthew Stafford and his receivers are better this year, so it’ll be close.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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This will be closer than people expect.  Case Keenum may be a system QB, but  the Redskins system fits him, and he’ll lead Washington to make this close against their division rivals.  However, QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, and company are just going to be too much for this depleted Redskins defense to handle.  
Sunday, 4:05 PM EST

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WR Tyreek Hill may be hurt, but I still expect QB Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to win by at least a TD in Oakland.  Look for a big game out of RB Josh Jacobs, who will work around a struggling Chiefs front seven. However, Jacobs’ efforts won’t be enough to outscore a dominant Chiefs offense.  
Sunday, 4:25 PM EST

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This Bears defense is about to have a huge game.  QB Joe Flacco has led Denver’s offense to a decent year so far.  But the aging QB and his receivers will be significantly outperformed by the league’s best defense, leading to a shutout.  In the meantime, QB Mitch Trubisky will have a slightly better game against a Denver secondary that only mildly resembles 2015’s No Fly Zone.  
Sunday, 4:25 PM EST

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The Saints will be hungry for revenge in this one.  But I expect the elite Rams defense to hold them back.  QB Jared Goff and the Rams will get out to an early lead.  Now that RB Todd Gurley and WR Cooper Kupp are playing, this Rams offense will be hard for an overrated Saints defense to limit.  Expect another Rams victory here, by a bigger margin this time around.
Sunday, 8:20 PM EST

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QB Matt Ryan and a powerful Falcons offense will rebound in this one.  Philly’s defense is good, but it isn’t on the same level as Minnesota’s.  Ryan and his receivers felt overwhelmed in Minnesota. Back home, against a slightly weaker defense, I expect them to rebound, led by Ryan and his elite WR trio.  QB Carson Wentz will have a strong game as well, but Atlanta’s defense has improved, and they’ll prevent Wentz from orchestrating a comeback as he did against Washington.
Monday, 8:15 PM EST

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People expect an exciting game between two rising teams to end the week.  But especially with QB Sam Darnold out, this game could be a bit underwhelming.  I’m expecting a sloppy game, as QB Trevor Siemian struggles against an improved Browns defense, and Cleveland just barely edges out a victory despite offensive chemistry issues.

That’s all for my picks this week.  Feel free to comment with your thoughts, and check back next week to see how I did and see my Week 3 Picks.  In the meantime, I’ll be answering fantasy questions once again on Instagram, so feel free to ask away!

 

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2019 NFL Week 1 Picks & Previews: Lots of Scoring in First Football Sunday of Year

Football is back, and I just posted my predictions for the season, but now it’s time to take a closer look at Week 1.   I went 148-106-2 in pick’em last year. My goal is to beat that this year and have less than 100 games wrong.

I expect a lot of high scoring games this week, and a couple surprises too.  Week 1 is all about setting the tone for a new season. Which teams will start off on the strongest note?  Keep reading to find out what I think.

Lock of the Week

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Don’t expect much of anything from Washington’s offense this week.  RB Derrius Guice is being trusted to anchor the backfield, but he hasn’t even seen an NFL field yet.  Case Keenum is unproven as a starting QB, and he’ll be missing his most reliable target in TE Jordan Reed.  Meanwhile, a healthy QB Carson Wentz should do big things for the Eagles, especially against a Redskins defense that lost several key pieces this off-season.  Wentz will get the Eagles an early lead and the team will not look back from there.

Upset of the Week (MNF)

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Without WR Antonio Brown, QB Derek Carr lacks elite receivers.  But the Raiders will rely on their depth in this victory. The Broncos secondary no longer has much talent aside from CB Chris Harris Jr.  That will allow younger guys like WR Hunter Renfrow, WR J.J. Nelson, and TE Darren Waller lots of opportunities, so long as the o-line gives Carr protection from a strong Denver front seven.  The Broncos offense will have some good moments with veteran QB Joe Flacco leading them.  But Oakland added ILB Vontaze Burfict and S LaMarcus Joyner on defense, moves that many people have underestimated.  The improved Oakland defense will hold Denver under 20 points and allow Carr to lead the Raiders in an upset.  

The Other Games

TNF (Posted to Twitter Thursday Night – Actual Score: 10-3 Packers)

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As I said in my NFL predictions, the Packers don’t have much going for them beyond QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Davante Adams.  I expect Adams to have a huge game and score Green Bay’s lone touchdown. But the elite Bears D will prevent RB Aaron Jones and the Packers run game from success.  Meanwhile, Chicago’s upgraded offense will outperform an inexperienced Green Bay defense.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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The Jets will use RB Le’Veon Bell and WR Jamison Crowder to their advantage, as young QB Sam Darnold benefits greatly from his new surroundings.  QB Josh Allen will improve as a passer too, but it won’t quite be enough as the backfield struggles and the Bills fall short in overtime.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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QB Lamar Jackson will throw the ball a little more.  But the Ravens will still find the most success by utilizing their run-first offense against a weak Miami front seven.  I still expect Jackson to toss a TD, but most of Baltimore’s scoring will be thanks to RB Mark Ingram and the backfield. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will put up some points, but the Dolphins offense just doesn’t have enough talent to outdo an above average Baltimore D. 
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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This will be another close one, as the Browns start slow against a strong Titans D.  Plus, at full health, QB Marcus Mariota will lead the Titans to a strong game. But the duo of former LSU WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry will lead the way in a Cleveland OT victory. 
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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QB Patrick Mahomes lacks the depth he had on offense last year.  But he still has WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce to help him lead the Chiefs to victory in Jacksonville.  Expect a strong debut by QB Nick Foles and the Jags offense against a weak Chiefs D, but it won’t be enough to take down Mahomes.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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Expect a high scoring game here.  If I’m wrong about this game, it’ll probably be because I didn’t predict enough scoring.  The Vikes D is great, but the Falcons have one of the best offenses in the league. They’ll give Minnesota a wake up call.  QB Kirk Cousins will have to keep up with QB Matt Ryan in order to lead Minnesota to victory, but I think he’s capable now that he’s adjusted to Minnesota’s offense.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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The Rams star-studded WR corps will dominate in this one, as Carolina still lacks the secondary depth to handle so many elite receivers at once.  QB Jared Goff and the Rams offense will have a field day as a result. RB Christian McCaffrey and others will lead the Panthers to put up a fight, even against an elite Rams D.  But the Rams will hold onto the lead.
Sunday, 4:05 PM EST

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The Seahawks may be lacking offensive weapons with WR D.K. Metcalf  banged up. But QB Russell Wilson will find a way to victory against a washed up Cincinnati defense.  QB Andy Dalton will have some success against an unproven Seattle secondary, but under pressure from an elite Seahawks front seven, the Bengals offense will fall short.
Sunday, 4:05 PM EST

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QB Jacoby Brissett will impress in his debut, taking advantage of Indy’s newfound WR and TE depth.  But Brissett is no match for the Chargers, who have one of the most balanced and talented rosters in the league.  Even without RB Melvin Gordon, QB Philip Rivers will lead the Chargers to victory in a shootout.  
Sunday, 4:25 PM EST

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These two division rivals have played 3 season openers against each other in the last 4 years, and in the other 2, Dallas won at home.  I expect the same here. The Giants have some nice pieces on offense that QB Eli Manning will utilize. But Manning will face too much pressure against an elite Cowboys front seven to do much more than that.  QB Dak Prescott will get off to a huge start with RB Ezekiel Elliott and TE Jason Witten on the field and lead Dallas to another Week 1 victory.
Sunday, 4:25 PM EST

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This will be the shootout of the week, as QB Kyler Murray dominates his debut against one of the weakest defenses in the league.  Detroit will also have a pretty successful day offensively, as QB Matthew Stafford and his receivers outperform a Cardinals secondary that will be without star CB Patrick Peterson.  
Sunday, 4:25 PM EST

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Expect another OT thriller here, as QB Jimmy Garoppolo works with some of the same weapons he had in 2017 and some new faces to lead the Niners in a strong offensive game.  QB Jameis Winston will miss WRs DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, but he’ll utilize the receivers he has and make it a close one, even against an improved Niners D.
Sunday, 8:20 PM EST (SNF)

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The defending Super Bowl champs debut Sunday Night against a new look Steelers team.  This year, Pittsburgh’s defense will anchor the team, so don’t be surprised if this match-up is lower scoring than usual.  But even without ex-Steelers and current Patriots WR Antonio Brown, the Pats deep WR corps will help QB Tom Brady lead the team to triumphant victory.  Meanwhile, an improved New England defense will hold Pittsburgh’s weaker offense to single digits.    
Monday, 7:10 PM EST (MNF)

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In the first game of an MNF doubleheader, the Texans will look good.  Expect QB Deshaun Watson and his WRs to outplay a young Saints secondary.  But the Saints will come out on top in this one, as QB Drew Brees utilizes his younger receivers and thrives against a Texans D that is still above average, but no longer elite.

That’s all for this week’s picks.  Stay tuned for more NFL articles soon.

NFL 2019 Predictions

Football is almost back, and I wanted to have these out earlier, but here are my 2019 NFL Predictions.  I’ve broken it down by division and put playoff seeding info at the end.  Who do I have winning it all, you may ask?  Keep reading to find out.

The Patriots may miss Gronk, but they have a great defense and one of the best WR corps in Pats history.  After yesterday’s signing, they have Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and Demaryius Thomas, with N’Keal Harry returning from IR later this year.  Expect a very strong season, but I don’t expect perfection, as AB and Gordon may cause problems and I worry about DT’s health.

The Jets will be better this year for sure.  Darnold will take a leap forward, and he has Le’Veon Bell in his backfield.  However, I think the Jets are a bit overhyped and will struggle get more than 6 or 7 wins.  The Bills won’t see too much improvement either, as Kyle Williams was a key piece of this defense.  The Dolphins will sit in the basement of the league, even with Ryan Fitzpatrick on the team.  The roster just isn’t talented enough for Fitz to work his magic.  When Fitzpatrick played for Bucs, he had Mike Evans, O.J. Howard, and DeSean Jackson.  Miami has DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson.  That’s not enough for the offense to see improvement.

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Unlike the Jets, I am buying the Browns hype.  I understand there may be chemistry issues between Baker Mayfield and his receivers.  But Cleveland still has Nick Chubb, David Njoku, and Jarvis Landry, all of whom Baker Mayfield played with last year.  OBJ and Kareem Hunt are just extra additions for this offense.  The defense is much better as well now that they’ve surrounded Myles Garrett with some veteran talent in Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon.

The Steelers aren’t going to be as good as they were in the Killer B era, but Big Ben still has James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Vance McDonald.  People also forget how good this front seven can be.  The Ravens will have a decent season, as Lamar Jackson continues to improve and Mark Ingram anchors the backfield.  The defense has regressed a bit though, and the defense is what brought Baltimore to the playoffs last year.  The Bengals won’t be as bad as people say, but they are washed up, and they shouldn’t even be thinking about the playoffs.

This might be the worst division I’ve seen in a long time.  The Texans backfield took some major hits when Lamar Miller went down and D’Onta Foreman was released.  The defense won’t be as dominant either now that Jadeveon Clowney is gone.  The Texans still have some great receivers for Deshaun Watson though, so I could see them edging out the win in a weak division.  The Colts will take a big step back without Andrew Luck.  The defense is still unproven, and the offense needs to find a new rhythm.  The Titans are no more than an average team.  The defense is okay, and the backfield looks good, but the team needs better QB play in order to succeed.  The Jags may have Nick Foles and Leonard Fournette, but the defense lost some key pieces this off-season, so I don’t expect much improvement overall.  No team stands out as a Super Bowl contender here.

The Chargers now have one of the best defenses in the league, and even without Melvin Gordon, Philip Rivers still has some talented surroundings.  But the Chiefs will give them a run for their money when it comes to winning the division.  Kareem Hunt is gone, but Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce will still lead the offense to dominance so long as nobody regresses.  I could see a slight regression from Mahomes, and that would make a difference in the division race.  It’s hard to repeat a 50 TD season.  But the Chiefs are still a surefire playoff team.

Without AB, the Raiders may be a little better than last year thanks to their other additions, but I can’t see too much improvement with Derek Carr lacking trustworthy weapons.  The Broncos still have some good pieces to the team, so they’ll outperform Oakland.  But the defense has regressed, and there’s still question marks at QB, so don’t expect contention in Denver.

Expect the Eagles to return to a dominant form this year.  Carson Wentz will last a little longer after resting for almost half of the 2018 season, and now he’s 2 years removed from his ACL tear as opposed to 1.  The team still has most of what it had in 2017, even though the backfield has some question marks now.  I expect the Cowboys to underperform a bit this year.  Their defense is talented, but some of the younger players have failed to prove themselves thus far.  The Redskins and Giants will still occupy the NFC East basement.  Both of those teams need to find a reliable starting QB and improve on defense before they go anywhere.  Both have some nice pieces on offense, but they need reliable QB’s for everything to click.

I originally thought this division would be one of the hardest to win.  But the Packers don’t have much going for them beyond an aging Aaron Rodgers and star WR Davante Adams.  The Lions have some serious problems on defense, and if Matt Patricia can’t fix those, that’ll be pretty concerning.  The Vikings and Bears will be competing for the division crown.  These two teams might very well have the two best defenses in the league.  But Mitch Trubisky needs to improve for the Bears to become legit Super Bowl contenders, and the Vikings may struggle as they lack depth on offense and have several injury prone players.

My boldest prediction in this article is that the Falcons will beat out the Saints and win the NFC South.  The Saints were dominant last year, and if it weren’t for a questionable no-call, there’s a chance they would’ve made the Super Bowl.  But I think the team will have a hard time moving on, as Drew Brees ages and the defense takes a step back.  This offense still has some talented pieces, but things aren’t going to go as smoothly this year.  The Falcons got a little better on defense, and defense is what held them back from playoff contention in 2018.  With Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley healthy, this team could be going places.

The Panthers will improve this year as well now that Cam Newton and Greg Olsen are back close to full health.  Carolina’s front seven looks pretty scary now that Brian Burns and Gerald McCoy have been added, so that will lead to some improvement as well.  The Bucs will be left on the bottom in this division.  Without DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, the offense won’t be as dominant, and the defense that cost Tampa last year hasn’t gotten so much better either.

The Rams will stay on top despite facing talented division rivals in the Niners and Seahawks.  Aaron Donald will lead one of the better defenses in the league, and LA’s WR corps could be up there with New England’s.  The Niners will see improvement, but I don’t quite trust Jimmy Garoppolo yet.  We haven’t seen a full season of Garoppolo, and it’s hard to tell if he’s back to full health after an ACL tear in 2018.  The Seahawks, on the other hand, will take a step back, as Doug Baldwin and Earl Thomas leave for good.  The defense may be good now that Jadeveon Clowney is here, but it’s no match for LA, Minnesota, or Chicago, and it’s nowhere close to how good the Legion of Boom was.  The Cardinals should see some slight improvement with Kyler Murray here, but we don’t know yet how well Murray will adjust to the NFL.  I expect Murray to make some rookie mistakes and have a similar, but slightly better season than Sam Darnold last year.

Playoffs

Below is my projected seeding and bracket for the playoffs:

 

I think the Super Bowl will be a battle for LA, as the Rams and Chargers duke it out.  The Patriots and Eagles have good chances to return as well, and the Chiefs could make a run.  But I think the Pats will fall a bit short without Gronk, and Philly will fall a bit short as they struggle to run the ball and Carson Wentz wears out a bit.  The Madden Curse will strike KC as they struggle against ex-Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt and the Cleveland Browns, causing them to fall short in the Wild Card Round.

Well, football starts in less than 2 hours.  In the meantime, I’ll be answering start/sit questions on my new fantasy football Instagram account (@bsmfantasyfootball) and working on my picks for Week 1.

Gonk Knocks S2 E7 – Setting the Tone

Episode 7 highlights Algonquin’s final practice before putting on full pads.  Check it out:

Since the team got themselves adjusted to upper pads on Tuesday, August 20, the Algonquin Tomahawks improved in all areas on Wednesday, August 21.

They started off practice by thudding it up in a series head to head match-ups known as “Set the Tone”, and as Coach Allen says, it sets the tone for practice.

One of the closest match-ups of the day was between TE and DE Joe Scangas and WR/TE and DB Derek Blanchard.

Blanchard went on to have another huge day, catching more deep balls successfully.

On offense, Jason Levin and Aidan McKenna also stood out. Levin is a versatile player who succeeded in multiple roles. McKenna has gotten more reps as a junior and made some pretty good catches. He had a great jumping catch during 11 on 11s.

Ralph Gutierrez, Nick Alessi, and Jack Rafferty also made some good catches on Wednesday.

The o-line saw significant improvement compared to Tuesday. They also tried out some new contact drills. Unfortunately, the increase in contact meant more injuries, as several T-Hawks went down.

A couple players who were resting or hurt played with OC Bill Griffin’s son Joey. Joey loves football and always spends a couple days of his summer watching the team practice.

On defense, John Fontecchio, Eli Khasabo, Brett Jolley, and others continued to shine, as they learned plenty from DC Mark Allen and Line Coach Andy Brooks.

Joey also played with his dad while the players were doing conditioning drills to end practice.

After practice, I interviewed T/DL Brett Jolley.

I also spoke with Head Coach Taylor Allen as usual.

Stay tuned to see how the T-Hawks do in full pads as they prepare for their Saturday scrimmage in the 8th and final episode of Gonk Knocks.

Gonk Knocks: Training Camp with the Algonquin Tomahawks

Season 2

Upcoming Key Dates for the Tomahawks Football Team

  • Friday, 8/30 @ 6 p.m.: Scrimmage #2 at Home vs. Franklin
  • Friday, 9/13 @ 7 p.m.: Regular Season Game #1 @Doherty
  • Friday, 9/20 @ 7 p.m.: Regular Season Game #2 at Home vs. Shepherd Hill

Gonk Knocks S2 E6 – Thudding it Up

In Episode 5, Algonquin’s return to the field after a weekend break was highlighted.  Episode 6 moves on to Tuesday, Algonquin’s first of two days in upper pads.  Check it out:

On Tuesday, Algonquin put on uppers as well as their official practice jerseys for the first time.  These would be the jerseys they wear at their scrimmage in Clinton that they will spend the week preparing for.

Many of the players were excited to thud it up for the first time, but pads also add some extra challenges at practice.  Players must be ready for man to man action, the increase in weight on their shoulders and chest, and the pressure on the team to act like football players once uppers come on.

It took a bit for some of the players to get adjusted, but others benefitted from the pads.

The DBs saw a big improvement on Tuesday.  Eli Khasabo had some great blocks and an interception during defensive 7 on 7s.

The d-line took a bit to get adjusted to the more difficult blocking, but they enjoyed trying out some new, more physical drills and going 1 on 1 against other linemen for the first time.  They did many of these drills during defensive 7 on 7s, in which the focus is on linebackers and DBs.

We mic’d up DC Mark Allen for much of the defensive focused parts of practice.

After this, the team shifted focus to the offense.

Derek Blanchard had the 2 best catches of the day, diving for a deep ball on one play, and showing off some excellent route-running after catching another deep ball the next play.

Rafael Gutierrez and Aidan McKenna also had some nice catches.

The o-line struggled at times during their first day in upper pads despite a strong day on Monday.  But Coach Brooks was ready to move on and focus on a strong day Wednesday.

After practice, I spoke with junior captain, LB and FB Rio Ferguson, senior QB Riley Greenwald, and Head Coach Taylor Allen

Now that players have begun to get adjusted to uppers, Wednesday and Thursday will be very telling as to who’s ready to go.  Wednesday is the team’s last day on uppers.   They put on full pads on Thursday.

Stay tuned to see how they do in Episode 7 of Gonk Knocks.

Gonk Knocks: Training Camp with the Algonquin Tomahawks

Season 2

Upcoming Key Dates for the Tomahawks Football Team

  • Friday, 8/30 @ 6 p.m.: Scrimmage #2 at Home vs. Franklin
  • Friday, 9/13 @ 7 p.m.: Regular Season Game #1 @Doherty
  • Friday, 9/20 @ 7 p.m.: Regular Season Game #2 at Home vs. Shepherd Hill

 

 

Gonk Knocks S2 E5 – Football Players or Playing Football

After a brief weekend break, players returned to practice on Monday 8/19.  Episode 5 highlights this practice.  Check it out below:

On Monday August 19th, their last day before putting on uppers, Algonquin looked great in all aspects of practice. But the coaches made sure that the players didn’t let it get to their heads as The next practice would be crucial in determining who was ready to be a football player.

The defense continued to improve. Coach Brooks was especially proud of the line performance.

For the offensive drills, the team focused on ball hand off and handling techniques. 2 standouts in the runs drills were junior captain and FB Rio Ferguson and senior RB Thiago Filadelfo. They were able to practice a lot with both of them in the backfield at the same time.

This is Thiago’s last year with the team as he will be graduating in May so it is great to see him get these opportunities to practice his skills after putting in a lot of work in the off season. The team worked the drills fast so Rio and Thiago could both benefit from the reps.

While running and handoff techniques were the focus on offensive drills, QB Riley Greenwald did throw the ball well, especially on a deep ball to WR/TE Derek Blanchard.

The team wanted to finish practice on a high note, and they were successful in doing so.

The team had practice jerseys ready to go with upper pads.

Coach Allen is learning more about his players every day and once the team puts on uppers and thuds it up a bit, things should become even more clear.

I saw Chris Ocnos back on the field. He brings a lot of positive energy and everyone was excited to see him out there after missing some practice earlier in the week.

I spoke with Ralph Gutierrez and Eli Khasabo after practice. Eli won a game of rock-paper-scissors in order to go
first.

Stay tuned to see how the T-Hawks do on their first day in uppers in Episode 6 of Gonk Knocks.

Gonk Knocks: Training Camp with the Algonquin Tomahawks

Season 2

Upcoming Key Dates for the Tomahawks Football Team

  • Friday, 8/30 @ 6 p.m.: Scrimmage #2 at Home vs. Franklin
  • Friday, 9/13 @ 7 p.m.: Regular Season Game #1 @Doherty
  • Friday, 9/20 @ 7 p.m.: Regular Season Game #2 at Home vs. Shepherd Hill

Gonk Knocks S2 E4 – One Percent Better Every Day

In the first three episodes, I went behind the scenes throughout Day 1 (Friday 8/16), showing highlights of the first official team meeting and practice of the preseason.  Episode 4 moves on to Day 2 (Saturday 8/17), when players arrived early for a morning practice and photo day before getting the rest of the weekend off.  Check it out below:

The coaches were focused on improving on Day 1 in all aspects.  With the offense dominating the team focused on defense and special teams more on Day 2.

The special teams needs to find some new personnel as kicker/punter Rory Caffrey and returner Sam Crain both graduated this past May.  As they hinted at in practice the day before, they experimented with different kickers, returners, and other personnel.  Most of everyone on the team got the chance to show off their special teams skills.

The team did get to some 7 on 7s, but the focus in these was on defense.  Nick Alessi did have some pretty impressive catches though.  It was Head Coach Taylor Allen’s job to put together an offense that can beat the top defensive players.

The DB’s worked hard in their own drills and learned a lot from Coach Tyrone Notice leading up to the 7 on 7s.  I mic’d him up for a large portion of practice.

Coach Notice is one of the more vocal coaches on the team, and his job is to prepare the DB’s for in-game action.  The group does not have the same amount of experience as last year’s DB’s, so they still have a lot to learn.  However, they showed some promise and made a few good plays in 7 on 7s.

While the DB’s and linebackers took on Coach Allen’s offense, the linemen continued to work on blocking, blitzing, and more.  Unfortunately, Chris Ocnos, one d-linemen, went down during practice with a lower body injury.

The T-Hawks received their jerseys for the season that morning, and they took team photos after practice.  Due to photo day, the team wrapped up practice early.  But they finished with some intense conditioning.  The team will return to the practice field on Monday, August 19, and on August 20, they’ll be putting on uppers, which is a helmet as well as shoulder and chest pads.

Before team photos began, I spoke briefly with Head Coach Taylor Allen.

Stay tuned for coverage of Algonquin’s return to the practice field in Episode 5 of Gonk Knocks.

Gonk Knocks: Training Camp with the Algonquin Tomahawks

Season 2

Upcoming Key Dates for the Tomahawks Football Team

  • Friday, 8/30 @ 6 p.m.: Scrimmage #2 at Home vs. Franklin
  • Friday, 9/13 @ 7 p.m.: Regular Season Game #1 @Doherty
  • Friday, 9/20 @ 7 p.m.: Regular Season Game #2 at Home vs. Shepherd Hill