If anyone figured the 2018 NFL season would emulate 2017

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
1 message Options
liny195 liny195
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

If anyone figured the 2018 NFL season would emulate 2017

 [url=http://www.officialpatriotslockerroom.com/elite-cordarrelle-patterson-jersey]Authentic Cordarrelle Patterson Jersey[/url] , they have positive proof through seven weeks that just isn't so.Sure, the Patriots are an AFC power, even though they aren't overpowering anybody, and the Chiefs again won their first five games before losing. The Giants and 49ers are dredging the bottom of the NFC once more.But take a look at the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles. And the Jaguars.The Titans, the Falcons and the Bills.Don't take a long look, though, because it's pretty ugly.It's most unsightly in Jacksonville, where a locker room incident punctuated a third straight loss. The Jaguars, who led the Patriots in the fourth quarter of the AFC title game in January, are 3-4, and in the last three defeats are minus-8 in turnover differential. They're minus-12 on the season, the offense has disappeared and quarterback Blake Bortles was benched in a 20-7 home loss to division-rival Houston.Calais Campbell was seen holding back fellow defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, a carry-over from the screaming, shouting and finger pointing after the latest flop."We've got to do something, but the first thing we've got to do is stop turning the damn ball over," exasperated coach Doug Marrone said. "Period. That would be the positive of how we can build."A defense that appeared ready to dominate this year has been inconsistent. Injuries have been a factor.And the psyche seems damaged."Frustration's a part of the game, and we're emotional people and this is an emotional game," Campbell said. "At the same time, I think these guys, this group of guys, we have a different kind of heart to us. At the same time, losing sucks [url=http://www.officialpatriotslockerroom.com/elite-jeremy-hill-jersey]Limited Jeremy Hill Jersey[/url] , you know, especially losing three in a row. Stacking losses, that's not who we are, that's not what we want to be."But it is who we are 'cause that's what's going on right now. I do believe that we will get it fixed. We have no choice but to get it fixed."They'll set about it in London against the Eagles , who blew a 17-0 lead in the fourth quarter at home against Carolina. Another team with plenty of injuries, the Eagles' resilient nature that carried them to the top is ebbing.Like the Jags, the Eagles recognize it. They simply can't get caught up in expectations."There's enough pressure," coach Doug Pederson said. "Just the game itself brings its own sort of pressure. We don't have to go force anything. We don't have to go looking for plays. Let the plays come to you and then make them when they come, and that's where we're at."Actually, where they are at is 3-4 — they lost only three times last season — trailing 4-2 Washington in a muddled NFC East. And now they head overseas."You just isolate this game in this week and move on to the next. You learn from it," quarterback Carson Wentz said. "I sound like a broken record every time we lose up here, but it's on to the next. There is no time to feel sorry for yourself, there is no time to be (ticked) about it. You have to learn from it quick and bounce back to next week."Tennessee showed some guts in going for a 2-point conversion in the final seconds, trailing 20-19 in London. It failed — twice, the first negated by a Chargers penalty.The Titans (3-4) have dropped three in a row, too. Their offense has been awful and the rush defense weak.They are hardly a lost cause, though. The Bills and Falcons probably are.We would gladly give Atlanta a break because no team has been ravaged by injuries the way the Falcons have. For the first month of the season, they lost a starter or more per game, especially on D. Top runner Devonta Freeman now is on injured reserve.No one gets a break in the NFL, however, and the fact star receiver Julio Jones has yet to find the end zone is emblematic of underachievement. At 2-4 in the highly competitive NFC South, the Falcons [url=http://www.officialpatriotslockerroom.com/elite-jordan-matthews-jersey]Jordan Matthews Jersey[/url] , who wasted away the 2016 championship with a second-half collapse in the Super Bowl, won't be participating in the big game they will host in February.Of all the struggling 2017 playoff qualifiers, the demise of the Bills was most predictable. From some strange roster decisions to the inability to replace key lost blockers to not building on potential momentum from their first postseason berth since the turn of the century, the Bills have been a mess. Like all of the teams discussed here, they've been struck by the injury bug. Unlike the others, they didn't have the talent base to compete from the outset.Turnover in the playoffs lineup happens each year in the NFL, of course. For every one of these disappointments thus far are the risers: the Bears, Ravens and Texans. Houston began the season with three defeats and now leads the AFC South."I think we started believing more," safety Tyrann Mathieu said. "We started the season 0-3. No one was negative. We all know we were really close to winning the game. We kept working and tuned out a lot of the outside noise."Anytime you win four games in a row you set a standard for yourself."Too bad some teams aren't approaching the standards they set by making the playoffs last season. The Jacksonville Jaguars might as well dub this the Payback Tour 2018.It started last week against two-time defending AFC champion New England, which ended Jacksonville's season in January. The Jaguars won the rematch going away, a 31-20 victory that arguably made them the favorite in the conference.Now, the Jaguars (2-0) get AFC South rival Tennessee. The Titans (1-1) swept the season series in 2017 and have won four of the last five meetings."Losing to a team twice, at their house and here, that wasn't cool," linebacker Myles Jack said Wednesday. "We're not too happy about that. That's obviously being talked about this week. The New England game was one thing, but this is a team that literally beat us twice in one year. We've got to fix that."Tennessee scored 30 unanswered points in the first meeting last year, running for 179 yards, taking advantage of three turnovers and winning 37-16.The Jaguars weren't much better three months later, turning the ball over four times in a 15-10 loss in the final week of the regular season . Jacksonville played all its starters despite having secured the division title."The Titans were the one team we really didn't have an answer for," safety Tashaun Gipson said. "They outplayed us in every facet of the game. We were truly outmatched, from the home opener last year to the game before the playoffs."Obviously, we want to get our lick back in a sense."What really irked the Jaguars was talk in Tennessee's locker room suggesting the Titans should have been AFC South champs."I know a lot of people heard about that [url=http://www.officialpatriotslockerroom.com/elite-jonathan-jones-jersey]Jonathan Jones Jersey Salute to Service[/url] ," Gipson said. "We feel like we're the better team and we feel it's time for us to show it. These are games we're supposed to win."The Titans have been less chatty and more complimentary this week."At the end of the day, they're the division champs and they got that title, so it's going to be key for us to go out there and take it," defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said. "It doesn't matter what happened last year. They're the champs right now and they got the lead in the division."Jacksonville's Payback Tour doesn't end this week, either. The team hosts New York Jets next week. The Jets beat Jacksonville in overtime last year.Throw in the season opener at the New York Giants — Tom Coughlin's first game against the team that pushed him out the coaching door — and it's essentially a four-game stretch of revenge."We've got a lot of rivalries, so to speak, on the schedule," defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. "It's a good temperature gauger of where we are and where we want to be."No team has beaten Jacksonville more times than Tennessee.The Titans handed the Jags their most heartbreaking loss in franchise history, a 33-14 setback in the AFC title game in January 2000. Jacksonville had the NFL's best record, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and even led 14-10 at halftime before collapsing. Tenneesse was the only team to beat Jacksonville that season, accomplishing it three times.The Titans also handed Jacksonville one of its most embarrassing losses in team history, a 36-22 drubbing in 2016 that was much worse than the fine score indicated. The Jags trailed 27-0 at halftime on national television, getting outgained by nearly 300 yards."They really did just beat the (crap) out of us," said defensive tackle Abry Jones, one of seven current Jags defenders who started that game.The Titans have won six of nine in the series.New England had won eight straight against Jacksonville before last week's breakthrough victory. Players spent eight months counting down the days until they faced Tom Brady again.They've waited even longer to play the Titans."Anyway you can find a way to get yourself up for a game," Jack said. "For example, us losing to the them twice would be my motivation. You've got to find a way to hate your opponent."AP Sports Writer Teresa Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed to this report.