The Vikings have proven they can win with both defense and offense.


It’s go time. There are seven games on the preseason docket on Thursday, and some of the early storylines include: Jay Cutler in a Dolphins uniform, Dalvin Cook running wild for the Vikings, the Brock Osweiler experiment in Cleveland and Mitchell Trubisky’s debut in Chicago.

WHAT WE THINK: According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Bill O’Brien and the Texans aren’t guaranteed to stick together following 2016, even though the Texans are back in the playoffs for the second straight year. Should O’Brien leave, he would become a coach who generates plenty of interest from multiple teams given his success despite the quarterback situation in Houston.

WHAT WE THINK: CBS Spors NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that Lynn is far and away the front-runner for the permanent job, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. The veteran RBs coach has strong internal support from team management and ownership. While the Bills may still conduct a nominal coaching search, it’s Lynn’s job for all intents and purposes. Lynn is well-liked by Bills players, including star RB LeSean McCoy.

Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt quickly emerged as the favorite for the Rookie of the Year award in his team’s upset of the Patriots in Week 1, and he kept on impressing in another win in Week 2. This week, he was at it again, racking up nearly 200 yards and sealing the game with a 69-yard touchdown late. You can check out the dagger here.

The Seahawks took part in two low-scoring games in the first two weeks of the season, and they seemed destined for another after a light first half in Tennessee left the score 9-7 Titans. But the Seahawks managed to take the lead in the third quarter before the Titans snatched it back thanks to Rishard Matthews, who might have to be named Houdini after this play:

But just because the Eagles come in hot doesn’t mean they can beat the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game, or even keep it within the spread.


The Bears ultimately ended up on the 22-yard line with three seconds left.


Trubisky bought a bunch of time with his legs and ultimately fired over his receiver’s head and out of bounds. It was a disappointing ending, but Trubisky performed about as well as could reasonably be expected: 18-of-24 for 166 yards and a score, plus 38 yards on the ground on his three carries.

When we ran our burning questions series here at earlier this week, the one thing we badly wanted to know about the Philadelphia Eagles was which version of Carson Wentz was the real one. Was it the world-beater version from Weeks 1-3 that looked like he was going to run away with Offensive Rookie of the Year voting? Or was it the inconsistent, inefficient, largely ineffective version that we saw from Weeks 5-17?

Kudos go out to HBO and NFL Films too. It’s tough to make an episode that’s featuring breaking news that everyone’s fully aware of, but they managed to provide critical and interesting insight into the Dolphins drama over the last week without running through stale plot twists we already knew about. And to work it up in the span of just several days? That’s even more impressive.

Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma. A mammoth offensive lineman with premier blocking skills and improving pass-protecting sets, Brown is the perfect player to be groomed for the left tackle position behind Joe Thomas.

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. There’s a chance the Broncos trade up a few spots to secure Rosen, but in this mock without trades, they land him at No. 5, which isn’t far-fetched anyway, especially if he gets past the Giants at No. 2. Rosen has been an alpha quarterback since high school, something John Elway knows a lot about.

SportsLine’s advanced computer model says that if Brady plays, he’ll throw for almost 250 yards and two touchdowns, with TE Rob Gronkowski having the best chance of finding the end zone through the air.sabres_813

McClure is also fading a red-hot NFL team entirely, and who they are will surprise you.


The worst football of the week might be behind us after the Texans’ 13-9 win in Cincinnati Thursday, which featured next-to-no offense from both teams. The Bengals have a historically bad offense through two games, and as a result, fired their offensive coordinator after the loss.

Now Diggs gets a date against the Eagles, who have allowed productive wide receiver performances recently to Julio Jones (9-102), Amari Cooper (3-66-1), and Sterling Shepard (11-139-1), among others. Lock Diggs in and watch the points rain down.

While everyone else chases this team’s stars, you’ll be moving up in your pool. Picks like these could be the difference between winning your NFL playoff pool or going home empty-handed.

So what is the optimal NFL Playoff Challenge tournament lineup for Conference Championship weekend? Visit SportsLine now to see Mike McClure’s complete optimal Fantasy Football lineup for Conference Championship weekend, and find out what red-hot team you need to fade that everyone else will foolishly be all over.

The Browns’ touchdown drive was set up by corner Jason McCourty who stripped Giants running back Paul Perkins inside New York territory. The Browns recovered the ball on the Giants’ 25-yard line and were able to punch the ball into the end zone three plays later. A 16-yard Kizer pass to fullback Danny Vitale helped set up the rookie quarterback’s eventual touchdown.

After Kizer threw for 184 yards and a touchdown against the Saints last week, the Browns realized that they might have their quarterback of the future, after 20 years of looking for one. However, just because Kizer put up big numbers against the Saints in the second half of a preseason game doesn’t mean he’s ready to start. Browns Pro Bowl offensive lineman Joe Thomas said last week that Kizer definitely isn’t ready to take the reins in Cleveland, and the rookie quarterback actually agrees with him.

The question now will be who he brings in as his offensive coordinator. Wilks will need some heavy lifting on the offensive side of the ball, but there is a good structure in place to make this work off the bat.sabres_798

New England, meanwhile, starts with Tom Brady, a five-time Super Bowl champion and the favorite to win his third NFL MVP award.


That’s also bad for colleges, where football is the only major sport that fully serves as a de facto minor league for the pros. Basketball players can leave after a year. Country club athletes in tennis and golf can turn pro at anytime.

And let’s not be naive. Coaches recruit to — and athletes embrace — a three-year exit strategy.

His miraculous, game-winning catch against the Saints got most of the attention last week, but he was a huge part of the offense all day in the divisional round, making six catches on 10 targets on his way to 28.7 points on DraftKings — his highest total since September.

Philadelphia’s run defense, ranked first in the league, is virtually impenetrable, so the Vikings will have to look to the air to have offensive success. Keenum also has a high level of confidence in Diggs, especially after last week, so expect him to look his way frequently as Minnesota tries to exploit one of the few questionable units the Eagles have.

McClure is also targeting a pair of stud defenders who are affordably priced and will give you enough room to build a loaded roster. Picks like these could be the difference between winning your tournaments and going home empty-handed.

NFL owners are expected to vote on the Oakland Raiders’ pending relocation to Las Vegas next week.

Many are curious as to whether the measure will pass. In order for the relocation to become official, the Raiders must receive a yes vote from three-fourths of the league’s owners (24 votes).

The Oakland Raiders are making moves toward Las Vegas. Want the latest news on the potential relocation sent straight to your inbox? – Sign up for our FREE Raiders newsletter now!

I think the big thing with them, they’ve been together for a while, the players have played together, Foles said of the Vikings this week. They play fast. You don’t see them bust coverages. They communicate back and forth really well and they are on the same page. It’s hard to key in on one thing or the other. First off, they have a lot of talent. They have a lot of talented guys, whether it’s the corners, the secondary, D-Line, linebackers, there’s lot of speed. I’ve been really impressed with watching them on tape.bears_016-223x223