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The Voice

The Voice

The student news site of Terra Linda High School.

The Voice

The student news site of Terra Linda High School.

Fourth Quarter: NFL AFC


Hey there. I’m Bryan, your freshman football aficionado. We’ve reached the approximate 4th quarter of the NFL season and I’m gonna label the good and the bad about your team and whether or not you like it, you’re gonna face the truth and let’s see if we can start a fire down below in the comments. Make sure you check out my partner Mr. Fleming’s roast down in the bottom. (All Stats are of Midseason Unless Stated Otherwise)


Baltimore Ravens:

The Baltimore Ravens have surprised many people this season with 2709 yards this season, ranked 5th in the NFL. Joe Flacco has looked particularly subpar this season with 2259 yards through the air while making use of his new weapons in John Brown and Michael Crabtree. Lamar Jackson has been waiting for his shot and he finally got it. He was the last pick of the first round and this kid can run! He clocked a 4.34 40 time and was a former Heisman Trophy winner. One concerning thing is that his receivers are going to be left unfed. He rushed 26 times as a QB! Put that aside, their defense has looked superior too, allowing an average of 17.1 points per game, the best in the NFL. In a tough AFC North, the Ravens should find a bit of difficulty competing in this rising division.

Buffalo Bills:

The Buffalo Bills. The laughing stock of the NFL. Rookie Josh Allen went down with a minor injury in week Week 6, Nathan Peterman was placed under the spotlight down 4 with 13:07 left in the 4th. Peterman finds Zay Jones in the back of the endzone to take the lead! Don’t let this distract you from the fact that this man tossed 5 interceptions in 1 half last season. After Houston ties the game at 13, he came out throwing two more picks, one taken back to the house. Josh Allen should return sooner or later but even without Peterman under center, the Bills still rank second to last in total yards this season. They’ve scored the least amount of total points in the NFL with 81 and 18 total giveaways. LeSean McCoy, former Eagle, deserves better as he has only rushed for 257 yards by midseason. A 28.3% third-down conversion percentage isn’t gonna work out either. However, this defense is doing very well with 12 total takeaways. With the way this offense plays, this team isn’t going to go far this season. No doubt about it.


Cincinnati Bengals:

The Bengals’ offense has looked great all season. Andy Dalton has had a great season and surprise star Tyler Boyd has Fantasy owners smiling. The Bengals are locked into a tough division with the Steelers on top and Baltimore right on their tail but they have managed just fine. In Week 8, the Bengals had a huge lead in the 4th before Ryan Fitzpatrick entered and tied the game late. Andy Dalton rallied his men down field and set up Randy Bullock for the game winner. This is not the first time the Bengals have had a brush of defeat. The Bengals who were huge underdogs against the Falcons stunned the Atlanta crowd after a late touchdown throw to A.J. Green, sealing the game. They also were down 17-0 at home against the Dolphins in the third before Andy Dalton again rallied his men and with a huge catch by Joe Mixon in the end zone and 2 defensive scores, the Bengals come from behind to win. Why, that was a long list of near losses right? With that, it shows the resilience in this team but what worries me is their defense. They’ve allowed 3582 total yards this season, last in the league and also allow an average of 319.3 yards a game, also last in the league. With a season ending injury to Andy Dalton, Jeff Driskel is set to take the reigns and swerve into major despair.

Cleveland Browns:

Breaking News. Hue Jackson has been “relieved of his duties”. So is offensive coordinator Todd Haley. The Browns drafted Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick and he is one of the best rookie quarterbacks of his class. After Jackson went 3-36-1 after 3 season with the Browns, their fans finally have something to cheer about. Their 342 yards per game isn’t all that bad, laying in the middle of the pack. Baker Mayfield has aired out 1471 yards this season with an 8:6 touchdown-interception ratio. The Browns also have many young stars in Denzel Ward, notching 3 interceptions this season as a rookie, Myles Garrett, a former first round pick, with a stunning 8 sacks this season, and Nick Chubb, a young running back that is looking to shine after the departure of Carlos Hyde. The Browns are really desperate to give their fans something to cheer about, but maybe a bit too desperate. It has gone to the point where the Browns are reportedly considering of hiring Condoleezza Rice, a former secretary of state. “Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a great leader, possesses the highest possible character and also happens to be a Browns fan,” General Manager John Dorsey stated. “I have the utmost respect and admiration for all she’s accomplished and was honored to meet her for the first time earlier this season. Our coaching search will be thorough and deliberate, but we are still in the process of composing the list of candidates and Secretary Rice has not been discussed.” Maybe the Browns have been sitting in a dark abyss for a while but it’s time to crawl out now. The Cleveland Browns, yes the Browns, are heading towards the right direction, in trying for a person who has no coaching experience and happens to be your fan. Fellow Trojan Max Myers says, “The Browns already have many pieces in place with a great young QB in Baker Mayfield and a young RB in Nick Chubb. Things are starting to look up and I’m very excited for the future of this franchise.”

Denver Broncos:

Up in Mile High, fans surely are pretty disappointed this season. It has been a roller- coaster one, a shocking loss to the Jets and a blowout win over the Cards. You just can’t predict these games. Case Keenum has taken the job as starting QB and Chad Kelly got arrested and released. Great. On the bright side, Phillip Lindsay, an undrafted free agent, has been a fantastic pickup for fantasy owners. He’s rushed for 531 yards this season off of 93 attempts as of midseason and is on pace for a 1000 yard season. He has a great average of 5.7 yards per rush and is running for Rookie of the Year, along with first rounder Saquon Barkley. Another bright spot is their well known defense. Sure they may have given up 2986 yards this season, but they have forced 12 turnovers and a team total of 24 sacks. They are in a brutal division with the Chiefs and the Chargers up on top but with young studs and stars, this team is looking to be back on top in the near future after winning the Super Bowl just years ago. The only question that remains is if John Elway is keeping his job as GM.


Houston Texans:

Hey! Surprise, Surprise! The Texans lead the AFC South and are on a hot streak of 5 wins! Deshaun Watson has found his groove, firing up 5 touchdown passes and a 156.0 passer rating in their last game against the Dolphins. This offense is over 3000 total yards this season on offense and with the acquisition of Demaryius Thomas, Deshaun Watson can have a wide variety of targets to find. Deandre Hopkins is having a stellar season, with 789 receiving yards by midseason. Will Fuller has been ruled out for the season with an ACL tear but this offense looks ready to take on the unknown. Demaryius Thomas is a new addition and looks to be their new stud, looking for a new home after being traded from Denver while having one of those disappointing seasons. This defense is ”decent” too, allowing an average of 20.9 points per game, one of the better statistics of the league. Bill O’Brien can sit back and only watch as the Texans are clearly frontrunners to represent the AFC South.


Indianapolis Colts:

Frank Reich, the Colts’ brand new head coach, is having a rocky ride to start the season. His offense greatly depends on Andrew Luck’s arm, requiring Luck to throw 62 passes in their loss against the Texans. With veteran T.Y. Hilton and young star Marlon Mack back, the Colts have combined for 3052 total yards this season, the 7th most in the league. Their defense is lacking, allowing 213 total points scored against them. With this, they are still ranked 3rd in the AFC South, behind the Titans and the Texans. Now later in the season, the Colts are on a hot streak and Andrew Luck looks as if he never injured his shoulder at all. Jack Doyle has recently been injured so next man up! Eric Ebron has stepped up and is a sudden force in this offense with 13 total touchdowns! 13! With a blowout win over their division rivals, the Titans, in Week 11, the level of play they are showing is absolutely exceptional.


Jacksonville Jaguars:

It has been a disappointing season for Jags fans. Blake Bortles has transitioned to his former self, throwing 8 picks to defenders in which he thought were teammates. With star Leonard Fournette out with a hamstring injury, the Jaguars did steal Carlos Hyde from the Browns for a 5th round pick. With this, their offense still lacks, scoring 134 total points this season, at the bottom of the list along with offenses such as the Bills, the Cards, and the Titans. This stellar defense has been pretty lockdown this season, allowing a league best of 190 passing yards a game. Jalen Ramsey is playing pretty well but if their offense can nearly put up a great performance, they can play as well as they did the year before, ultimately making and losing the AFC Championship game to the Patriots.


Kansas City Chiefs:

The Chiefs, unanimously, have the best offense in the league. Hands down. Don’t @ me. This offense, led by second year gunslinger Patrick Mahomes, is rolling out 425.3 yards per game and have scored 290 points, highest in the league. They are a fun team to watch with offensive weapons in Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt (UPDATE: Got released after video surfaced of him physically assaulting a woman at their team hotel), Travis Kelce, and many more. Patrick Mahomes is making a statement on why he should be the league’s MVP this season with 2526 passing yards, a 26-6 TD-INT ratio by midseason, and a demanding 115.3 season passer rating. Just to remind you, he is a second year player who only got one start last season, not passing for a single touchdown in that game. Patrick Mahomes has shocked the world and is working his way to being the face of the NFL. Have I mentioned that he talks like Kermit the Frog? This man also puts ketchup on his steak. Okay. Heinz loves it and made the offer to Mahomes in a tweet: “Hey @patrickmahomes5, you give us 57 touchdowns, we’ll give you Heinz on your steak for life.” That just comes to show why you should vote for Patrick Mahomes, 2018-2019 NFL MVP, as Freshman Trojan Josh Beckner said, “This guy is OUR MVP. The NFL has never seen such talent before.”


Miami Dolphins:

The Dolphins have had a tough season, losing Ryan Tannehill and at an even .500 record. The Dolphins have a decent run game, led by future HOF Frank Gore and rising star Kenyan Drake. After losing Tannehill, Brock Osweiler has been looking pretty darn decent. Under his control, he passed for nearly 900 yards and a decent 93.8 passer rating through three start but let’s not forget that he IS Brock Osweiler. The Dolphins started out winning 3 straight, and lost to very tough opponents such as the Patriots and the Bengals. Their defense is pretty weak, allowing 3264 yards but also have 14 takeaways. They are a decent team, losing their starting QB and still putting up a good fight to compete in the AFC East along with the Defending Super Bowl chokers, the Patriots. UPDATE: The Miami Miracle has occurred. What a play!!!!!! Absolutely IncredibleNew England Patriots:

What can I say? Bill Belichick and Tom Brady has been slaying the league so far. The 41 year old Future HOF still got it. He has passed for 2200 yards and a promising 16-7 TD-INT ratio. He is ballin’ out here and did you see the block he set for teammate Julian Edelman on Monday Night? He sure did get lit up but hey. Great effort and it led to a new set of downs. After sending a 5th round pick to the Browns, they pick up playmaker in Josh Gordon, just to add to the mix of talented receivers such as Edelman, Hogan, and Patterson. Rookie Sony Michel helped out the rushing game in New England but after an injury, James White has looked like the feature back. For all you fantasy footballers who drafted White in PPR leagues…well done. I actually drafted him in the 17th round. I dropped him to waivers before Week 1. Please send condolences. Gronk has had a quiet and subtle season, not playing against Chicago after a back injury but he should be fine later on. This defense is lacking, allowing 2218 total passing yards to opponents. With the departure of Matt Patricia, this defense has never been the same. As always, the Patriots are once again, Super Bowl contenders.


New York Jets:

Sam Darnold is in the mix for one of the better QB’s from this years draft. The Jets have been on a long ride this season, blowing out the Lions on Week 1, just to fall to the Browns in Week 3. Todd Bowles, head coach of the Jets since 2015, has a career record of 25-35. Remember, Sam Darnold represents all QBs that have played for the historic organization, proudly presenting the finest quarterbacks over the past years. Mark Sanchez, creator of the infamous “butt-fumble”. Ryan Fitzpatrick, journeyman who has a fantastic beard. Geno Smith, a second round bust. He has definitely been struggling but with young stars such as safety Jamal Adams, young QB Sam Darnold, and running back Isaiah Crowell, I could figure this team has the pieces to win some games, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Drafting has been an issue for the last couple of years and a 3rd down conversion percentage of 30.83%, can it get any worse going on into the future?


Oakland Raiders:

Hey Mark Davis! Wake Up! Y’all fired Jack Del Rio. He led you to the playoffs 2 years ago with one decent season last year. You trade Khalil Mack, arguably the best defensive player in the league that you will NOT find in another draft. You trade away Amari Cooper, a former first round pick for a first round pick. You let go of all-pro linebacker Bruce Irvin who led the Legion of Boom to a Super Bowl win with the Seahawks years ago. What the hell is going on?! I understand Jon Gruden may have a plan in piling up draft picks but can your team give some effort? Derek Carr is being sacked on average 3.1 times per game, including the 7 against the 49ers. Yes, the 49ers. Don’t let this distract you from the fact that Jon Gruden selected a kicker in the first round when he was head coach of the Raiders in 2000. Sure, Sebastian Janikowski is a great kicker and all, but is he worth a first round pick? They passed on players like Shaun Alexander, NFL MVP in 2005. Enough with this rant, the Raiders, in my respective opinion, are the least complete team in the NFL. In other words, they are legit Trash with a capital.


Pittsburgh Steelers:

Wave those terrible towels Steelers fans. This season is not how many would imagine it. Losing to the Raiders is a joke. They had a very unprecedented start to the season, actually tying with the Browns. Nevertheless, Big Ben is slinging it to a wide variety of weapons such as JuJu Smith-Schuster, Antonio Brown, Vance McDonald, and much more. Remember that one stiff-arm on national television that sent Chris Conte to his grave? That can sum up this Steelers’ team’s season. On a hot 3 game win streak, the AFC North is pretty tight with the Bengals and Ravens at their tails but with the way Big Ben is playing, the Steelers could make some big things happen, not to mention with All-Pro running back Le’veon Bell…. Oh wait. Who’s the new kid on the block? James Conner is the rising star here in Pittsburgh. Through seven games, Le’veon has only scored 4 touchdowns in 2017. In Conner’s first seven this season, he’s walked past the goal line a stunning 9 times! Anyways, the Steelers are looking great, even without Bell and I could see them winning the division, with the Browns at their tails.

Los Angeles Chargers:

Philip Rivers. He only threw 6 interceptions this season. Old man still got it and he’s showing no signs of aging. Interceptions have been a thing that haunted him in the past but he looks like he’s actually improved this season. He has more children than interceptions this season (6 INT- 8 children and expecting one more). Now that’s a lot of children to teach the art of the QB to. Keenan Allen has been pretty quiet this season, only scoring in one game this season as of midseason. The Williams bro’s have really stolen the show. Mike and Tyrell, brothers from another mother sort of brothers, have combined for 8 of Rivers’ 19 passing touchdowns this season and are heading into Sundays with a full head of steam. Melvin Gordon has looked spectacular too, an average of 5.1 yards per carry and 6 rushing touchdowns in the season. The Chargers’ defense has looked particularly decent, even without Joey Bosa. Rookie Derwin James and star Denzel Perryman has taken control of the defense but in a tough division with the Chiefs, the Chargers are a team that can and possibly will, defeat the NFL’s Superteam, the KC Chiefs. Yes, I believe they are that good.


Tennessee Titans:

Mike Vrabel. What are you doing? During that London game, after scoring a possible game tying/winning touchdown, this man decides to go for two to win it all. Let me put some reasoning behind this. Your defense played decently well against the Chargers. Your offense has been decent. Bring out Ryan Succop and kick the goddamn ball through the goddamn uprights. Nope. Mariota fires it out of the endzone. Game over. I guess that sums up this team. Derrick Henry looks like a beast. He hasn’t been playing like one. Yet. I stand corrected as he had a historic day against Jacksonville on TNF with 4 TD’s and a 99 yarder to cap it. Mariota has only tossed 1270 yards as of their Monday Nighter against the Cowboys. This offense isas mediocre as it gets. This defense, however, ain’t all that bad. They’ve only allowed 2668 total yards to opposing teams and they always manage to find a way to keep the score low, depending on this offense to actually do anything. Otherwise, what a disappointing season, considering how talented Marcus Mariota is and how the Titans made the playoffs just a year ago with Mike Mularkey.


Coach Flemdog’s Analysis (Written as of 10/30/18)

We are just about half way through another exciting NFL season and here are coach Flemdog’s thoughts on the good, the bad and the ugly of the NFL so far.


Let’s start with the bad and ugly, because it’s the closest to home. Whether you are a Raiders fan or a 49ers fan, you can stop all the Bay Area trash talk, because both your teams are absolute garbage. The 49ers struggles are  somewhat expected with the loss of starting QB Jimmy G, and their starting RB Jerick McKinnon. Fortunately this week, the battle of the bay was settled in the ultimate toilet bowl, as the 49ers absolutely destroyed the Raiders 34-3; even with their two best offensive players out, and stating their 3rd string QB, Nick Mullens! After the big victory, there is hope for the 49er faithful as the Mullens era begins, but for the Raiders – what’s your excuse for being by far the worst team in the NFL?? Good luck in Las Vegas.


Over in the AFC, we’ve got the continuation of the legendary run of the New England Patriots, who at 6-2 once again find themselves as one of the top dogs of the NFL. The prolonged success of 41 year old QB Tom Brady can only be explained by two things, steroids and cheating. Who dominates the NFL in their 40’s? No one ever! And coach Belichick has already been caught cheating multiple times. The greatest challenger to the Patriots is led by the youngest starting QB in the league, Pat Mahomes. The Kansas City Chiefs rookie QB is having tremendous success and is surrounded by an explosive set of offensive weapons such as Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt. We’ll see if coach Andy Reid can overcome his playoff woes and finally get past the Pats.


-Mr. Fleming

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Fourth Quarter: NFL AFC