Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 10, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re all set for the American and National League Championship Series to kick off this weekend.

The Milwaukee Brewers will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday while the ALCS gets started on Saturday as the Boston Red Sox will play host to the Houston Astros.

It appears as the Dodgers are the only team that has announced a starting pitcher for Game 1 and it’s not a huge surprise that they’re going with Clayton Kershaw.

The Brewers had a bullpen game to open the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies and they got 3 shutout innings from Brandon Woodruff. Would the Brewers try to go that route again or will we see Jhoulys Chacin brought back for Game 1.

The Astros have some extra time to get their starting rotation et up for the ALCS, but which starter will they go with in game 1? Gerrit Cole had the best start of the Houston pitchers tat started against the Cleveland Indians, but it’s difficult to see Houston pass over Justin Verlander. Since the Astros swept the ALDS Charlie Morton never made a start; so their is an outside chance they’d go with him in Game 1, but you’d have to think it will be Verlander.

AS for the Red Sox you have to think that Chris Sale get the Game 1 start. Sale was planned to be the Game 5 starter in the ALDS if needed and ended up coming out of the bullpen to pitch one inning last night. Even with throwing that inning he should be just fine to make the Game 1 start as the Red Sox get three days off before the ALCS starts.

In the National League match up no matter who’s pitching they’re going to have to deal with some hot hitter from both teams. Ryan Braun hit .385 while Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas each hit .364 and while Christian Yelich hit just .250 in the NLDS he drew 6 walks in three games and stole 2 bases. Justin Turner led the way average wise for the Dodgers in the NLDS hitting .357 while Yasiel Puig hit .333. Manny Machado and Max Muncy each hit two home runs apiece in the NLDS and Muncy also drew 6 walks. Don’t worry I didn’t forget Brewers catcher Eric Kratz. He was 5 for 8 (.625) with 2 RBI’s a double and a run scored in the two games he appeared in.

Over in the American League the Astros are bringing 5 players who hit .400 or better in the ALDS. Alex Bregman led the way with a .556 batting average plus 2 home runs. Marwin Gonzalez hit .538, Tyler White hit .500 while George Springer not only hit .429 he also had 3 home runs. Josh Reddick rounds out the hot Astros hitter as he hit .400 in the ALDS. The Red Sox aren’t sporting as high averages as the Astros as J.D. Martinez was their top hitter with a .357 average and 6 RBI’s. Steve Pearce hit .333 as did Mitch Moreland, but Moreland appeared in just 2 games. Christian Vazquez hit .333 plus what turned out to be the game winning home run in Game 4 of the ALDS. Brock Holt played in just one of the ALDS games, but it was memorable. Holt went 4 for 6 in that game hitting for the cycle and driving in 5 runs.

I’m sure you’ve heard the baseball phrase “good pitching beats good hitting”. In these two series we just might find out if that applies.

We’re through fie weeks in the NFL season and here’s how we did with our picks. For Week 5 I got the win going 10-5. Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu where both 8-7 while Mr. Fantasy had a sub .500 week at 7-8. For the season I’m in the lead at 46-32. Schaumburg Stu is in 2nd place at 44-34 with Mr. Fantasy in 3rd at 43-35. Dan the Man is still at the bottom of the pile, but he’s gotten himself back to .500 at 39-39. Who knows how Week 6 will go.

While the Jacksonville Jaquars have one of the best defenses in the NFL their running backs seem to keep getting injured. There top running back Leonard Fournette has been battling a hamstring injury and has carried the football just 20 time this season. It looked as though the Jaquars would be just fine with T.J. Yeldon as the #1 running back and Corey Grant spelling him until Fournette returned from injury. Yeldon is averaging 4.4 yards per carry and has caught 22 passes while Grant hasn’t run the football as well just 3.1 yards per carry he’s done well in the passing game catching 9 passes.

Unfortunately for the Jaquars Grant was lost for the season in Week 5’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs as he suffered a Lisfranc injury and will miss he rest of the season.

With the injury to Grant Jacksonville would need someone to pair with Yeldon until Fornette can return; so yesterday the Jaquars signed veteran Jamaal Charles to a contract.

Charles spent last season with the Denver Broncos playing in 14 games for them, but carrying the football just 69 times for 269 yards and 1 touchdown. He also caught 23 passes for 129 yards.

Charles will turn 32 in December, but had five seasons where he rushed for over 1000 yards as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2012 Charles rushed for 1509 yards and in 2013 he led the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 12; so he has a solid resume.

Now Charles himself has had his share of injury issues in his career. in 2011 he played in just 2 games, in 2015 he played in just 5 games and in 2016 he played in just 3 games due to injuries.

Charles has a similar style to Yeldon’s; so it should be an interesting backfield mix for Jacksonville until Fornette returns. It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Jaquars add another running back before Sunday’s game since Charles and Yeldon are the only two healthy one’s on their roster right now.

Jacksonville is currently 3-2 and tied with the Tennessee Titans at the top of the AFC South. The Jaquars are on the road this week against the struggling Dallas Cowboys.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to whenever you want at TuneIn.com.

Also you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Advertisements

How was your week

Posted: October 6, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Do you ever wonder if Major League baseball and the television networks that cover them are trying to find a way to have the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees meet I the World Series even though both teams are not only in the American League, but in the same division.

I had to work this morning, but I got home just in time for the 9:00 a.m. Sportscenter and I was surprised that they started off with highlights from the Red Sox/Yankees game. I actually found it hard to believe that they open the show with this and there was some actual coverage of it. They not only showed important highlights from the game, but then they did a breakdown of the game and it’s important moments and ever went into some analysis for Game 2.

I have to tell you I was almost in shock especially being that it was a Saturday and normally college football is the feature sport on Saturday.

Of course my surprise didn’t last very long as ESPN went right back to being the network I’m use to.

As they went into highlights of the Los Angeles Dodgers/Atlanta Braves game things got back to the way baseball is covered on Sportscenter. There where two highlights of Clayton Kershaw striking out Braves batters. Then they showed the Manny Machado home run which was caught by a kid in the stands. They replayed the home run, but instead of going into any kind of game breakdown they teased the fact that they would be having the kid who caught the baseball on live later in the show.

They moved on to the Milwaukee Brewers/Colorado Rockies game. It was more or less the same set up for this game. There where maybe two or three highlights from the game and then they showed a graphic of how bad the Rockies offense has been. That was it for that game.

Then it was time for highlights from the Houston Astros/Cleveland Indians game. Now at least they did show highlights of all three of the home runs the Astros hit. There was also a shot of an upset Corey Kluber walking in the Indians dugout, but I don’t think that counts as a highlight.

What got off to a good start quickly turned into something that I was disappointed that I watched, but it could’ve been so much more and I just don’t get it.

The first segment was insightful and one of the best baseball segments I had seen on a Sportscenter in a very long time. I just don’t understand why they didn’t give as much attention to the other three series as they did the Red Sox/Yankees series. They had an opportunity to give people a chance to see quality baseball played by teams that aren’t on the east coast, but they chose to follow the standard quo and have an east coast bias. I know baseball wants to be a national game, but unless you can get the networks that cover the game like it’s a national game it will always be looked at as a regional game.

I know there where some questions when the Dodgers made the decision to go with Walker Buehler as their starter for Game 163 over Clayton Kershaw. Then the Dodgers turned to Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 1 of the division series.

Ryu responded with a strong outing giving the Dodgers 7 innings without giving up any runs. Ryu allowed just 4 hits and struck out 8 in his start as the Dodgers won Game 1.

Now with a game in hand the Dodgers turned to Kershaw last night and he delivered with what was probably the best post season outing in his career. Kershaw pitched 8 innings for the first time in the post season and while he only struck out 3 batters he didn’t allow any runs and only gave up 2 hits to the Braves as the Dodgers picked up a 3-0 win in Game 2.

Over the 18 innings played in this series Dodgers pitching has allowed 0 runs on 9 hits while striking out 15. The most interesting part of the Dodgers pitching stat line is the fact that they haven’t walked a batter over those first 18 innings.

Now the Dodgers aren’t the only National League team with a 2-0 lead in their National League Division Series.

The Milwaukee Brewers have won the first two games in their series with the Colorado Rockies.

It took extra innings, but the Brewers found a way to get a 3-2 win in 10 innings in Game 1. Milwaukee was in control of the game until the top of the 9th when Colorado got back into the game with 2 runs off of Brewers close Jeremy Jeffress to tie thing up and send the game into extra innings.

It only took the Brewers one extra frame to pick up a Game 1 win. Joakim Soria sent the Rockies down in order in the top of the 10th inning setting up the Brewers with a chance in the bottom of the inning. Christian Yelich drew a walk to start the inning and advance to 2nd on an Adam Ottavino wild pitch. After Ryan Braun Struck out swinging Travis Shaw was intentionally walked to set up the double play. Curtis Granderson pinch hit for Soria and grounded into a fielders choice moving Yelich up to 3rd base. Mike Moustakas singled to rightfield to drive Yelich in and give the Brewers a 3-2 Game 1 win.

Last night in Game 2 the Brewers took a 3 games to 0 lead in the series with a 4-0 win over Colorado.

It was a 1-0 game until the Brewers scored 3 runs in the 8th inning off of the Colorado bullpen. Harrison Musgrave gave up a run without being able to record an out and then the Brewers added 2 runs off of Seungwan Oh who managed to get just 1 out before Chris Rusin came in and ended the Brewers threat. Jeffress worked 2 scoreless innings to seal Game 2 for Milwaukee.

The National League series are off today as the teams travel to Atlanta and Colorado respectively for a pair of Game 3’s tomorrow.

Can the Braves and the Rockies get back into these series with home games? Or is being down 2-0 to much to over come in a best of 5 series?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on the BlogTalkRadio.com network, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 3, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’ve been a sports fan for as long as I could remember, but I have to admit it’s getting more and more difficult to watch some of them. I’m not sure what I would do if I didn’t have sports to watch, but with the way things are going I might have to find out.

If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that I am completely down on the NBA and I watch very little of it. I loss interest when the league started to make the rule changes to eliminate defense so scoring would increase and they got it. Now every night it’s a 3-point shooting contest and I don’t understand how that’s fun to watch. It wasn’t for me; so I’ve pretty much stopped watching.

The NFL is starting to make some changes that are making me watch less and less of it. In the first 4 weeks of this NFL season I’ve watched less football than I ever have. To be fair the NFL started try to eliminate defense a long, long time ago, but now it’s the rule changes that are just killing me.

The biggest plus is they seem to have simplified the catch rule even though I’m pretty sure most to the referees don’t know what a catch is. Of course that little plus doesn’t make up for the gigantic negative that roughing the passer has become. It as bad enough when they started throwing flags when the quarterback got touched anywhere around the head area; now it’s just ridiculous. I’m sure there are some out their, but I haven’t seen one legitimate roughing the passer call this season and some of these terrible calls have cost teams games. That’s when it becomes a big deal. Just imagine your favorite team missing the playoffs by one game and you can look back at that one bad roughing that passer call that a referee shouldn’t of thrown a flag on.

With the road that the NFL is on right now I don’t know how much longer I’ll be watching games.

Now if you’ve listened to the podcast or even followed the blog for a while you know that baseball is my favorite sport out of all of them, but I am very frightened that my enjoyment of the game is going to be taken away from me.

Now I’m not a fan of sabermetric or any of the analytics that have been brought into the game recently, but I heard something yesterday that scared me to death when it comes to baseball.

During one of the many pre-game shows I watched yesterday they where having a discussion about the Oakland A’s using Liam Hendricks as their “opener” for wild card game against the New York Yankees tonight. Now using an “opener” is the new fade in baseball and the A’s going that route didn’t bother me; it was the way the conversation went after that.

The panel started discussing how soon there would be no more starting pitchers in baseball and ever game would be a bullpen game. This would be the end of it for me. I just don’t understand why teams would feel the need to do this, but the panel I was listening to was pretty sure that this was going to happen and happen sooner than people think it will.

I’ve always understood that from time to time you’re going to need a bullpen game or a game is going to turn into a bullpen game if your starting pitcher exits the game early, but to use it on a daily basis tells me a lot about your organization. The biggest thing it tells me it that your organization doesn’t know how to draft a starting pitcher or develop them once you get them into your minor league system. It also tells me that your coaching staff at the major league level has so little confidence in that pitchers ability that they’re not comfortable running the guy out their for the 1st inning. What’s the difference if the pitcher who was going to start the game and comes in after the “opener” faces the top of the opponents order to start the game or in the 3rd inning.

The “opener” seems like a gimmick to me, but the Tampa Bay Rays won 90 games this season and they used an “opener” more than any other team and they had success with it; so that means other teams will follow suit.

Now when I gave up on the NBA it wasn’t that big of a deal or even that difficult for me to do. I didn’t play basketball at a very high level; so I wasn’t invested in the game that much.

Football fading away for me is a little tougher. I played quite a bit of football in my life and I was actually a decent player and while I haven’t completely let go of the game if I get to that point it’s going to be tough for me.

Now I pray that baseball doesn’t put me through this. I am attached to baseball. I started playing baseball as soon as I was old enough to join and I played it as long as I could. It was easily my best sport and I have to admit that I don’t want to give it up, but I need them to stop ruining the game for me. Sadly for me I’m not sure if they’ll be able to stop destroying the game because it allows the people who couldn’t play it because they weren’t good enough to be involved and have some control and you know they enjoy that. Man am I going to miss baseball.

I guess I still got hockey and their regular season starts tonight.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 29, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, basketball, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I wanted to start off today’s post with a question. What is a Roval?

Here’s an official description I found. The Charlotte Roval is the first new track on the Monster Energy series since Kentucky Speedway joined the circuit in 2011. The Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval is a daunting, new 13 turn 2.4 mile road course incorporating part of the infield, but all 400 feet of Charlotte’s 1.5 mile oval on which drives will race 500 kilometers over 130 laps.

The race is the Bank of America 500 is it is the first road course race in the 58 year history of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This race is also the final race in the first round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Series playoffs. This race is also the first road course in the 14 year history of the playoffs. This is also the first Monster Energy NASCAR race held I September at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

There have been some big time names to try out the track including the likes of Jeff Gordon, Mario Andretti, Max Papis, A.J. Allmendinger and Jeff Burton. It appears as though the track set up got positive reviews from those drives as they used terms like it could entertain fans and challenge the drivers and their crews.

NASCAR has updated the chicane penalties for Sunday’s race. These new penalties are more or less specific for turns 11 and 12 along with turns 15, 16 and 17 and address what NASCAR calls shortcuts. Here’s how NASCAR worded the new penalties.

Should a driver cut the course in the Turn 11-12 chicane, the penalty would require drivers to come to a full stop in the restart zone alongside Turns 15-17. If a driver cuts the Turns 15-17 chicane, they would be required to stop on the apron off the racing surface before the start-finish line.

Now after this race there will be four drivers eliminated from the playoffs. Clint Bowyer finds himself just 4 points out of the playoffs while 7-time series champion Jimmie Johnson finds himself 6 points away from advancing. Eric Jones and Denny Hamlin are the other two drivers out of the playoffs heading into tomorrow’s race. Jones is 21 points out while Hamlin is the farthest away from getting into the second round at 29 points out.

Kyle Busch and Brad Keslowski have won races in the first round of the playoffs and have automatically advanced into the second round. Martin Truex Jr. has also advanced as he has enough points to move forward. It also appears that Kevin Harvick will move into the second round as he is currently 57 points to the good. After that those other eight spots can go to any of the drivers who are still in the playoffs.

Will the Roval favor any of these drivers? Or is it going to be a learning experience to start with the race turning into a shoot out at the end.

The drivers are actually on the Roval right now practicing. Daniel Hemric has the best time so far, but championship contenders Johnson, Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson all right behind him. Johnson actually just ran the fastest time on the Roval on the updated practice times.

Do you have one of the four drivers that are currently out of the playoffs getting a win today and advancing? You know that Dan the Man is rooting for his driver Clint Bowyer to find a way to advance. Or do you see someone else getting a win at the Roval?

Kevin Durant is one of the best players in the NBA and there are people who have sad that he’s the best player in the league ahead of LeBron James. I think we’d all agree on Durant’s talents, but it’s when he starts to talk or tweet that seems to be his downfall.

Durant actually used the words “pure hate” as the reason he doesn’t win any regular season NBA awards.

Durant was appearing on Bay Area sports-radio station 95.7 The Game when he was asked whether he’d had a goal last season of being named the league’s defensive player of the year. He replied, “You know they’re not gonna give me anything. Even if it’s on the fence, I have to be clear-cut better than everybody, for me to even get a look.”

Remember that Durant is talking about regular season awards. He’s actually been named finals MVP theses last two seasons the Warriors won the championship. Durant has actually won three of the last four finals MVP as he won it four years ago when Golden State won the title then.

Durant is actually a solid defender and the his size and athletic ability he can guard every position on the floor. Of course the Warriors are known for their offense and you have to wonder if maybe that hurts Durant’s candidacy for Defensive Player of the Year.

Now I don’t watch a lot of NBA games and with the fact that the Warriors play on the west coast I don’t get to see a lot of their games. Now I have to tell you when I do get to see one of their games I’m not exactly watching Durant play defense. I can’t be the only one; can you honestly tell me that when you watch a Warriors game you’re watching Durant play defense.

Now there’s a lot that goes into being a great defender, but looking at some basic Durant stats he averaged 7.1 defensive rebounds per game, 1.19 blocks per game and 0.71 steals per game. While those are all very good numbers; none of them led of team. Last season DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond led with 10.9 defensive rebounds per game. Victor Oladipo was the league leader in steals with 2.36 per game. Paul George (2.04) and Eric Bledsoe (2.01) where the only other players in the NBA to average over 2 steals a game. As for blocks Anthony Davis was easily the league leader with 2.57 blocks per game. Davis was 0.72 blocks per game better than anyone else.

That’s kind of how the numbers line up, but like I mentioned there’s more that goes into playing defense than just numbers. Where do you rank Durant as a defensive player?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can also follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 26, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With all of the playoff spots decided in the American League with the exception of where the wild card game will be played we turn to the National League for excitement with just 5 or 6 games left per team.

Now the Atlanta Braves have wrapped up the NL East, but the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers leads in their divisions are down to just 1/2 a game. It’s the Milwaukee Brewers chasing the Cubs while the Colorado Rockies are the team hot on the Dodgers heels.

The Cubs have dropped their last two games to the Pittsburgh Pirates and they have two more games against the Pirates today and tomorrow before they wrap the season up with three games against their biggest rival the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals will be playing for something themselves as they’re trying to hang on in the wild card race and you know there’s nothing more than the Cardinals would like would be to knock the Cubs out of the division lead.

The Brewers have won their last three games and five f their last six including two in a row against the Cardinals. Milwaukee wraps up their series with St. Louis tonight; they’re off on Thursday before they head home for the final three games of the season against the Detroit Tigers.

I think most of the experts feel that the Cubs are the better team out of the two, but the schedule really set up in the Brewers favor. Do you think it’s possible for the Brewers to go into the playoffs as the NL Central champions?

The Dodgers dropped their game to the Arizona Diamondbacks last night 4-3, but that was just the Dodgers third loss in their last thirteen games. The Dodgers wrap the season up on the road. They have one more game in Arizona against the Diamondbacks before they head to San Francisco for the final three games of the season against the Giants. The Giants have had a down year, but a great way to end it for them would be to knock the Dodgers out of the playoffs.

The Rockies are a hot team and their offense is hitting right now. Colorado has won five games in a row and they’ve scored 10 runs in each of their last two win over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Rockies have two more games in Colorado against the Phillies before the Washington Nationals come to Coors Field for the final three games of the season.

It’s an interesting schedule set up for both of these teams and I’m not sure either one has an advantage. Both the Dodgers and the Rockies wrap up with teams that have had disappointing season, but could also be dangerous. The biggest difference is the Dodgers have to face a rival in the Giants while the Rockies wrap up against the National League East.

The Rockies currently hold the final wild card spot, but they’re just 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis; so there’s a chance that only the winner of the National League West will make the playoffs.

Who do you have winning the NL West? Do the Dodgers hang on and win it or will the Rockies get past them and take the division?

As for the Cardinals they clearly have the toughest schedule out of all the playoff contenders. After sweeping three games from San Francisco the Cardinals have dropped their last two games to the Brewers. St. Louis wraps up their series with Milwaukee tonight and then as we mentioned before they’ll head to Chicago to close out the season with three games against the Cubs.

Can the Cardinals be the third NL Central team o make the playoffs? Or is their schedule just to tough?

Is it possible that Le’Von Bell has played his last down for the Pittsburgh Steelers. There has been a lot of talk that the Steelers would be willing to trade Bell. as I’m sure you know Bell had the franchise tag placed on him this past off season, but refused to sign the contract and is holding out for a new deal. If the Steelers where to trade Bell who would be interested and what could they get for him.

Bell would fit with any team that doesn’t have a top tier running back and the New York Jets where the first team to step up and say they’d be interested in making a deal for Bell. The Jets have been in on a lot of top players, but haven’t landed any of them yet. Remember they offered Kirk Cousins  lot of money this off season in free agency, but he choose to sign with the Minnesota Vikings. The Jets where also interested in trading for Khalil Mack, but it was the Chicago Bears who ended up landing him. Could Bell be the first top player the Jets land and if they where to deal for him would he be willing to sign long term with them.

While the Jets have been the only team to formally address a trade for Bell there are some teams that he could fit in with very nicely. I’ve seen these four teams names mentioned more than any other; so what do you think about them?

How about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers are a surprising 2-1, but they’re averaging just 3.0 yards per carry on he ground an they only have one rushing touchdown. Oh; who scored that rushing touchdown, that’s right it was Ryan Fitzpatrick. Bell would immediately upgrade the Buccaneers running game and actually make it something teams would have to game plan against.

It would probably be to good to be true, but what if the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles acquired Bell. Top rusher Jay Ajayi has been injured and there probably isn’t a more perfect fit for this offense at the running back position than Bell. The biggest question the Eagles would have to address if they did make a deal for Bell is what would they do with Ajayi and Corey Clement.

Maybe the Green Bay Packers could add Bell and give Aaron Rodgers another weapon. Green Bay has an interesting trio of running backs in Jamaal Williams, Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones, but Bell would be the full time running back they need. Montgomery could return to being a wide receiver while Jones and Williams could learn from Bell.

Finally how about Bell going to the Miami Dolphins. I knw Miami like Kenyan Drake, but Bell is the better running back. in a season where the New England Patriots haven’t looked like they’re going to dominant the AFC East the addition of Bell could make the Dolphins a contender.

Now like I said Bell would be a good fit for any of these teams and more interesting is the fact that it appears as it would just take a 3rd round pick to get him. Even if Bell turns out to be a rent a player for any team that acquires him giving up just a 3rd round pick to get him is well worth the risk.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to ay time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 22, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

As I’m sure you know by now; the Cleveland Browns won a football game for the first time in over 600 plus days. Now not only did the Browns get win, but myself, Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy start Week 3 off 1-0. Schaumburg Stu was the only won who picked the New York Jets; so he’s starting the week off 0-1.

With the Browns down 14-0 nd starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor out of the game with a concussion it was time for the #1 overall pick Baker Mayfield to make his NFL debut.

Mayfield led the Browns on two drives that ended in field goals to make it a 14-6 game. Mayfield almost threw the first touchdown pass of his career, but Jarvis Landry was brought down on the 1 yard line leaving it to Carols Hyde to pound it in to make it 14-12. The Browns decided to go to 2 and it was Landry and Mayfield involved in the play, but the other way around. Landry threw to a wide open Mayfield in the end zone to convert the 2-point conversion and tie the game at 14 all. The Jets turned around with their rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and kicked a field goal to take the lead back at 17-14. Now it was Mayfield’s turn again to try and see if he could lead the Browns down the field and to that first win. Now this is Cleveland; so I’m sure everyone was expecting them to find a way to lose the game, but not this time. Mayfield did lead the Browns down the field and again it was Hyde who scored on a 1 yard touchdown run to put Cleveland ahead 21-17. Now with 2:04 left in the game the question was; can Cleveland hold on? The Jets first comeback attempt ended when Joe Schobert picked off Darnold with 1:27 left to play. The Jets had all 3 of their timeouts left and with the Browns unable to generate a 1st down Darnold and the Jets where going to get one more chance to try and win the game with 56 seconds left. The Jets drive started with a 31 yard completion to former Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor for 31 yards, but after an incompletion the Jets where down to just 15 seconds. Darnold took a shot down the left hand side of the field for Robbie Anderson, but Terrance Mitchell intercepted the pass and sealed the win for the Browns.

Mayfield went 17 for 23 in the game for 201 yards. While he didn’t throw a touchdown pass he also didn’t throw any interception, but he was sacked 1 time. He also caught the pass to complete the Browns 2-point conversion.

The Browns are now 1-1-1 on the season, but could easily be 3-0. In Week 4 Cleveland travels west to face the Oakland Raiders and the question now is; do Mayfield be the starting quarterback for that game? I don’t think that anyone was surprised when Cleveland’s head coach Hue Jackson said he wouldn’t announce a starting quarterback until next week.

This is an interesting decision because if the Browns decide to go to Mayfield under center I think they have to stay with him as their starting quarterback for the rest of the season.

I’m also sure that you’ve heard the term in football that you don’t lose your job because of injury and to be fair Taylor has been solid at quarterback in his three starts. He’s 41 for 84 (48.8%) for 462 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Taylor is also a very mobile quarterback as he’s ran the football 16 times for 125 yards (7.8 yards per carry) with 1 touchdown. Taylor is actually the Browns 2nd leading rusher.

Now Mayfield truly did look ready to take over the Browns quarterback job, but remember all the talk there was about Darnold after Week 1 when he looked so good against the Detroit Lions.

If you’re Hue Jackson what do you do? Are you starting Taylor or Mayfield in Week 4?

The Colorado Rockies went into a 3-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers five days ago with a 1/2 game lead in the NL West. The Rockies left Los Angeles in 2nd place after the Dodgers swept them in that three game series to take a 1 1/2 lead in the division.

The Dodgers have won 7 of their last 9 games and with the sweep over the Rockies showed that they are the best team in the NL West, but will they win the division?

Now Colorado is 2-5 in their last 7 games, but did get a win last night against the struggling Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Rockies look to have the tougher schedule down the stretch. Colorado has two more game with Arizona before wrapping up the season at home against two NL East teams. They’ll host the Philadelphia Phillies for 4 games and then finish the season with 3 games against the Washington Nationals. All three team the Rockies will play have fallen out of their respective playoff races, but they’re still quality teams.

The Dodgers have 2 more games against the San Diego Padres; who they lost to last night 5-3. After the Padres series the Dodgers not only go on the road, but stay in the division. The head to Arizona for 3 games before they wrap up the season with 3 games against the San Francisco Giants. The Diamondbacks are the only team over .500 that the Dodgers will play, but you have to think that if those final 3 games against the Giants mean anything that San Francisco would want to do everything they can to knock their rival out of the playoffs.

Down the stretch; who do you got, the Dodgers or the Rockies?

The NL Central is set up the same way coming down the stretch. The Chicago Cubs have a 1 1/2 game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs are now dealing with an off the field distraction as their shortstop Addison Russell was placed on leave after allegations of abuse from his now ex-wife surfaced in a blog. How will the Cubs deal with the Russell situation and a pennant race?

It didn’t start off good for the Cubs as their crosstown rival the Chicago White Sox roughed them up 10-4, but the game wasn’t that close. The Cubs will close out the season with 2 more games against the White Sox. Then they’ll play their last 7 games at Wrigley field. The Pittsburgh Pirates visit for 4 games and then the season ends with a visit from the St. Louis Cardinals who might need those games to get into a wild card spot.

Milwaukee picked up some ground on the Cubs with an 8-3 win over the Pirates. The Brewers have 2 more games against the Pirates before they head to St. Louis for 3 games against the Cardinals. Milwaukee heads home to wrap up their season with 3 games against the Detroit Tigers.

Just like in the NL West; who are you going with to win the NL Central, the Cubs or the Brewers?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to whenever you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 19, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well our Week 2 NFL picks didn’t really work out as Mr. Fantasy was the only one who was over .500 at 9-7. Schaumburg Stu rolled in right at .500 at 8-8 while Dan the Man was 7-9. As for me; well I was at the bottom of the barrel at 6-10. Through two weeks Schaumburg Stu is 19-13. Mr. Fantasy is 18-14, I am at 17-15 and Dan the Man is at 13-19. Hopefully Week 3 goes better for us.

Now when it comes to the NFL I have to tell you I am very disinterested in the game through two weeks. To me the NFL is heading down the same road that the NBA has and that is defense is a thing of the past. Now in the NFL they’re trying to reduce injuries, but they have to figure this out so players are still allowed to make contact with each other. I’m actually going to take this week off from watching football and see how much or if I miss it at all. I think I’ll treat it like I do an NBA game; which is I’ll turn it on to check the score, but I won’t watch more than a minute of it at a time. Right now I have no interest what so ever in watching football and that’s sad because it use to be one of my favorite things to do on Sunday’s.

A couple things that drove me up the wall this Sunday was the roughing the quarterback calls and the fact that no seems to be able to make a field goal. The add in the fact that there was an obvious replay call that somehow wasn’t overturned.

It’s quite clear that however the referee was for the Green Bay/Minnesota game on Sunday he had no idea what the term roughing the passer meant and if you’re a Packers fan he actually cost your team the football game in regulation. Somehow this referee thought that Clay Matthews slammed Kirk Cousins to the ground when he sacked him late in the game and he threw his flag and made the terrible roughing the passer call. It’s easily one of the worst calls ever made in a regular season game and I actually have to wonder if the guy had money on the game; so he threw the flag to line is pockets.

What makes things even worse is when these guys blow calls like this nothing happens to them. They’re not fined or reprimanded in any way and that just doesn’t seem right.

Then there’s the replay official who somehow couldn’t see that the referee missed a call and didn’t overturn it. I believe it was a Tampa Bay wide receiver who made a catch and got his left foot down in the end zone and then the rest of his body landed in the end zone. No maybe the on field referee didn’t have a good look at it or something to that affect, but he called it an incomplete pass. Now on the replay it was clear that this was a touchdown, but somehow the replay official upheld the call on the field and it was an incomplete pass.

Here’s another case of a official completely missing a call and an obvious call at that, but will he be penalized for it; no. He’ll probably be in the replay booth again this weekend and hopefully get those calls correct.

Going back to the quarterbacks. Plain and simple if you don’t want them to get hit and just allow them to stand in the pocket and pick defenses apart just make that a rule and give them a time limit to throw the football or else the closest defensive player to him gets credit for a sack. Or maybe you can just put some flags on the quarterback and instead of tackling him and trying to get some moron referee to try and interpret a rule a defensive player just has to pull a flag off him for him to be down.

I understand that the NFL has to find ways to make the game safer in hopes that the media will stop trying to persecute them for every injury that a player gets, but while they’re trying to do this they have to make sure that they don’t ruin the game that people grew up watching. Sadly for the NFL they haven’t been able to find that line and they’re ruining the game that I grew up loving and playing and they’ve gotten me to the point where I don’t even want to watch it anymore.

I’d be very interested to know your thought on the NFL two weeks into this new season. Is it something you still enjoy watching? and if so why? Please feel free to leave your comments here for me.

Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays just won his 20th game of the season last night and has to be the front runner for the American League Cy young award, but it will be an interesting vote. Sabermetricly wins don’t mean anything; so that could really hurt Snell in the voting depending on how many Sabermetric people have ballots this season.

I don’t understand why wins no longer mean anything or maybe Sabermetrics look at it as just luck like I’ve heard them say about RBI’s. The more I hear people talk about Sabermetrics the less I understand about it and I have to start questioning the value it actually has when it comes to measuring a player. One of the first things Sabermetrics did was discount batting average and introduce WAR which is a stat that you can actually adjust to get it to say what you want it to. So now two of the three stats that compromise the Triple Crown don’t mean anything in the Sabermetric world. I guess that explains why they where pushing Mike Trout over J.D. Martinez for American League MVP even though Martinez has a chance to win a Triple Crown.

I’m done trying to figure it out.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can also listen to the podcast anytime you want at TuneIn.com.

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime.

How was your week

Posted: September 15, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, fantasy, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well the second week of the NFL season just kicked off and I’m already confused by who teams are. I mean the Baltimore Ravens came out of the gate in Week 1 and just destroyed the Buffalo Bills while the Cincinnati Bengals had to find a way to make a comeback to get their win over the Indianapolis Colts. With both teams rolling into Thursday nights game it looked as though the Ravens where the better team after one week.  That all went out the window as the Bengals cruised to an easy 34-23 victory. I guess it’s just going to be one of those seasons.

I know the NFL was hoping for a close game being that it was Thursday night, but this one wasn’t. Cincinnati jumped out to a 21-0 lead and I’m sure there where quite a few people who turned the game off and found something else to watch like I did. You have to think that the only people who stayed with the game where Bengals fans and people who had money in the game.

To be fair the Ravens did try to make a game out of it and actually cut the Bengals lead to 5 points at 28-23 on a Joe Flacco to John Brown touchdown pass at the start of the 4th quarter. Cincinnati added a field goal giving Baltimore a chance to tie the game with another touchdown and a 2-point conversion, but Flacco fumbled while being sacked with the Bengals getting the recovery. One more field goal by Cincinnati got the game to it’s final score of 34-23.

Now fantasy wise it was a good night to be playing either Flacco or Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.

While Flacco did throw 2 interceptions and he also had that fumble he racked up 376 yards through the air with 2 touchdowns; he even ran for 8 yards. Dalton didn’t throw for as many yards as Flacco did since his team was in the lead, but his total of 265 yards is very respectable. Of course when you add in his 4 touchdown passes it makes his night look much, much better.

Joe Mixon was in and out of the game with some injury concerns, but he still ran for 84 yards on 21 carries while catching 1 pass for 3 yards. There where no rushing touchdowns in the game making Mixon the only running back who was worth playing in fantasy.

If you paired A.J. Green up with Dalton in your fantasy league you week got off to a fantastic start. Green only went for 69 yards on 5 receptions, but 3 of those receptions where for touchdowns. Tyler Boyd also had a good fantasy day for his owner as he was the Bengals leading receiver with 6 catches and 91 yards with 1 touchdown. For Baltimore John Brown had 4 catches for 92 yards ad a touchdown while Michael Crabtree caught 5 passes for 56 yards. I’m not sure how many fantasy owners have Ravens tight end Mark Andrews or how many fantasy owners played Andrews, but he had the Ravens other receiving touchdown. Andrews totaled 3 receptions and 17 yards to go along with that touchdown.

If you have kicker on your fantasy team Baltimore’s Justin Tucker was one of the better kickers to have. Sadly Tucker only had one field goal attempt on Thursday, but he made it and it was from 55 yards out. Tucker also made both of is extra points. While Tucker is one of the top kickers in fantasy it might of been the night to go with Randy Bullock of the Bengals. Bullock made all 4 of his extra point attempts while connecting on both of his field goal tries as well. Bullock’s long field goal in the game was 40 yards.

I am lucky enough to have Green on one of my fantasy teams; so that team got off to a good start. I hope you had the right players in to start Week 2.

As far a our game picks got go for Week 2 Mr. Fantasy was the only one of the four of us who picked the Bengals to win. Schaumburg Stu, Dan the Man and I all thought Baltimore was going to win the game. To hear who else we’re picking to win tune I to Sports Time Radio Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. on BlogTalkRadio.com.

With just a shade over two weeks left to play in the baseball season you have to think that the Washington Nationals will be happy when it’s done. With just a .500 record of 74-74 the Nationals have easily been the most disappointing team in baseball this season. Max Scherzer who along with rookie outfielder Juan Soto have been the only bright spots for the Nationals had his issues last night.

Scherzer came into last nights start against the Atlanta Braves he appeared to have the inside track on another Cy Young award which would the 4th of his career and his 3rd in a row. You have to wonder how much last nights start hurt Scherzer’s chances.

In what may have been his worse start of the season Scherzer lasted just 4 inning against the Braves. He gave up 6 runs. all earned while giving up 7 hits, He did strikeout 6 batters, but he also walked 3 while hitting a batter. Scherzer took the loss making his record 17-7 on the season as the Braves easily beat his Nationals 10-5 last night. Scherzer also managed to throw 102 pitches in his 4 innings of work.

Soto who I mentioned earlier is in a battle for the Rookie of the Year award with Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna and this is looking like it it’s going to be a close race.

Soto hit his 20th home run of the season last night off of Braves starter Kevin Gausman. That home run makes Soto only the third teenager o major league history to reach the 20 home run plateau. Soto Joins teammate Bryce Harper who hit 22 home runs as a 19 year old in 2012 and Tony Conigliaro who hit 24 home runs in 1964 before turning 20 years old that season. It looks like Soto will have a chance to set a new home run record for teenagers.

Acuna also helped his case for Rookie of the Year in last nights game. Acuna went 3 for 4 with a double and a triple, both off of Scherzer. Acuna also drove in 2 runs while scoring 2 runs. With the night he had Acuna improved his batting average to .297.

It’s going to be neck and neck for the NL Rookie of the Year award and these final couple of weeks may determine who wins the award.

If you had a vote, who would you cast it for?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to ay tie you want at TuneIn.com.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 12, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, football, NASCAR, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the NFL season starting last week; so did our yearly pick contest. Schaumburg Stu and I got off to a solid start going 11-5. Mr. Fantasy went 9-7 in Week 1 while Dan the Man had his struggles getting out of the gate a 6-10. Just one week in Dan ha plenty of time to get back into it.

Week 2 of the NFL season kicks off on Thursday night with an AFC North match up as the Baltimore Ravens at the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams are 1-0 after Week 1 of the season, but they got their in different ways.

Cincinnati found itself down 23-17 heading into the 4th quarter against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The Bengals then ran off 17 straight points capped off by an 83 yard fumble return by Clayton Fejedelem to put the Colts away 34-23.

The Ravens on the other hand had the biggest bow out of Week 1 as they easily beat the Buffalo Bills 47-3. The three points was the lowest number of points given up in Week 1 and it brought back some memories of the old Ray Lewis led Ravens defenses.

With just one week in the books we have to try to figure out if the Ravens where as good as they looked on Sunday or are the Bills just going to be that bad this season. Then with the way the Bengals ended the game you have to wonder if that’s what their team will look like or if they’ll be more like the team that struggle early on against the Colts. Cincinnati does have the advantage of being at home, but for me I’m going to take the Ravens to start the season off 2-0.

One of the most disappointing teams in Week1 was the Pittsburgh Steelers who ended up in a tie with the Cleveland Browns. While the Steelers where disappointing James Connor wasn’t.

Connor was the NFL’s top rusher for Week 1 as he racked up 135 yards on 31 carries and added 2 touchdowns. Connor also caught 5 passes for 57 yards. Connor did have 1 fumble which he lost, but as still the top running back from Week 1.

Of course Connor was in the starting line up because Le’Von Bell never reported to the Steelers and there have been no reports of Bell planning on reporting this week. By skipping the game Bell forfeited just a little under $900,000 dollars in game pay.

Of course money is the issue where all of this lies. Bell wants a long term deal and while the Steelers don’t seem to have an issue with giving him a long term deal; it’s the money that’s the hold up. Bell wants to be paid right around $20 million dollars a season which would be about $5.5 million dollars more than Todd Gurley and remember Gurley just signed a new contact before this season. I would be surprised to see the Steelers set the market like that for a running back; so if Bell isn’t willing to lower his contract demands this may be a long hold out.

As long as Bell reports to the Steelers by Week 11 I believe it is; he’ll get credit for this season and be able to go into free agency when it’s over. Bell is 26 years old and has played for the Steelers for 6 seasons. Bell is clearly one of the top running backs in the NFL, but would a team be willing to commit $20 million dollars a season on a running back. On average running backs have shorter career than any other position in the NFL; so it makes sense for Bell to try to cash in while he can, but are his salary demands too high?

Bell wants to factor in that he is a quality receiver as well as a top running back, but I’m not sure that teams will go in for that. Bell did have 85 catches last season, but there’s no way of knowing how many of those where actually meant for Bell or if they where just check down throws. Now a catch is still a catch, but there is a little bit of a difference when you’re the primary receiver.

Oddly the biggest detriment to Bell being paid could be James Connor. If Connor goes out and has a good 11 weeks it will make Bell look more like a product of the Steelers offense rather than a top running back. Also with the way Connor played this Steelers will be in no hurry at all to pay Bell; so it’s a bit of a double-edged sword for Bell. Does he or would he root against a player on his own team to help his own cause?

Heading into Week 2 the Steelers have left Bell completely off if their depth chart for their game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 10-race NASCAR playoffs start this Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Right now there are 16 drivers chasing the Cup. Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, Brad Keslowski, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Eric Jones, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillion, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Bowman all have the chance to win the title right now.

The field gets cut to 12 drivers for the 2nd round. Then the field drops to 8 drivers in round 3 and then it goes down to the final three drivers at Homestead Miami Speedway to crown a champion.

This season has been dominated by the big 3 of Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. and with the bonus points each driver has received this season they have an easier path as long as they don’t have any on track issues to advance in the playoffs.

Will we eventually see Kyle Busch, Harvick or Truex Jr. raising the cup at the end of the season or is there someone else in the field that you think could win it all? Maybe you like the hot driver as Keslowski has won the last two races heading into the playoffs. Is it possible one of the younger racers (Elliott, Jones or Larsen) surprise everyone and grab the title and don’t forget that even though he didn’t win a race this season Johnson is in the field and he has 7 title to his credit; the last being not that long ago in 2016.

Who’s your pick to win it all?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 8, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in fantasy, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Why is it that when I see someone on television talking about the NFL who doesn’t work for the NFL Network they always mention that the ratings are down. While it is true that the NFL’s ratings are down what they always seem to forget to mention is that television ratings are down across the board. No matter what your favorite show is the ratings for it are down. I’m sure part of the reason is that there are just so any choices on television now, but you also have to include the fact that there’s no good way to track the audience that’s streaming a show or game. Maybe you watch that show a little later because of your schedule or you’re not at home to catch the opening kickoff; so you pick it up on your phone or other device. While you are watching the game your number doesn’t count in the ratings. I just wish one of those people would mention this when they’re talking about the ratings being down, but I guess they don’t want to ruin a story with facts.

So how did this Thursday game do in the ratings. In the 25-54 demographic; which is the main group advertisers want to reach the game started at a 4.6 and peaked at an 8.3. The next highest rated show had a 1.9 ratings. so while they’re promoting the fact that ratings are down the NFL is still wiping out the competition when it comes to those ratings. I did see that the games ratings where down 0.6 from last season, but there’s a very good chance that the 45 minute weather delay had a lot to do with that.

Now I’m not asking for much here; all I want anyone to do is tell the whole story when they’re talking about NFL ratings. The funny part about this entire thing is while I’m here defending the NFL I actually find myself less interested in it this season. I’m hoping that a full slate of games on Sunday will turn me around and get me excited about the NFL again.

In the season opener the Philadelphia Eagles started their defense of there Super Bowl title with a 18-12 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. For a game that set up as something that could be very offensive and exciting it was anything but that. Besides the 45 minute weather delay to start both offenses still looked as though it was pre-season. I can’t say that’s a huge surprise since not a lot of the starters got quality minutes in the pre-season.

Of course the Eagles where without their starting quarterback Carson Wentz, but they have one of the better back ups in the league in Nick Foles. I’m sure you remember that Foles just happened to win the MVP award in Philadelphia’s Super Bowl victory. I wouldn’t say that Foles looked like a Super Bowl MVP, but his counterpart Matt Ryan was much better for the Falcons.

Foles went 19 for 34 for just 117 yards with 1 interceptions and he was sacked 2 times. Foles did manage to catch another pass like in the Super Bowl, but this one didn’t get into the end zone as Foles was knocked out of bounds after gaining 15 yards. Ryan was a little better going 21 for 43 for 251 yards. He also threw 1 interception and was sacked 4 times.

Sadly for fantasy owners if you started one of these guys in Week 1; especially Foles you’re going to be in a big hole come Sunday. I’m sure every fantasy owner that has these two is finding it hard to believe that neither of them managed to throw a touchdown pass.

All the touchdowns in this game came on the ground and the fantasy player to have was Jay Ajayi. He was the games leading rusher with 62 yards on 15 carries, but more importantly he scored 2 touchdowns. The other rushing touchdown went to Atlanta’s Tevin Coleman and if you started him this week that touchdown may save you. Coleman had 9 carries for just 19 yards; so that touchdown will be huge for fantasy. Coleman did have 1 receptions for 26 yards. Devonta Freeman was the Falcons leading rusher, but he had just 6 carries for 36 yards. Freeman did add 3 receptions for 14 yards. If you happen to be in a deep league and started Corey Clement he racked up 26 yards on 5 carries.

The only receiver who’s going to be big in fantasy this week in going to be Julio Jones; no surprise there though. Jones ended up catching 10 of his 19 targets for 169 yards. Mohamed Sanu had 4 catches, but for just 18 yards while Austin Hooper caught 3 passes for 24 yards. With Alshon Jeffery out with an injury Nelson Agholor was expected to step up and be the Eagles top wide out. Agholor ended up catching 8 of his 10 targets, but managed to gain just 33 yards. Zac Ertz was also targeted 10 times. He caught 5 of those targets for 48 yards. Darren Sproles is back from an injury that cost him all of last season and he caught 4 passes for 22 yards while DeAndre Carter and Dallas Goedert each had a reception.

If your fantasy league scores kickers Jake Elliott made his only field goal attempt and his only extra point as the Eagles went for and converted a 2-point conversion on their second touchdown. Matt Bryant made both of his field goal attempts, but missed his lone extra point attempt.

Not only did the Falcons end up losing a close game, but they’ve also lost their starting safety for the season. Keanu Neal will miss the rest of this season with a torn ACL. Neal was injured I the 1st half of Thursday’s game, but managed to come back and play a little in the 2nd half before having to leave the game for good.

This could end up being a big loss for the Falcons. Neal is a big hitting in the box safety who made his first Pro-Bowl last season. He started all 16 games in 2017; recording 81 tackles and assisting on 32 other. He had 1 interception and forced 3 fumbles for Atlanta last season.

It’s unclear who will try to step in and replace Neal, but it looks like the Falcons have four players to choose from. Nickelback Brian Poole, Damontae Kazee, Jordan Richards and recently acquired Richardo Allen will look to take Neal’s spot.

I’m not sure if any of these four players can be as physical as Neal is at the safety position; so the Falcons might have to make some defensive adjustments with Neal out.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime