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Social media reactions: Lions vs. 49ers
By Connor Muldowney, The Detroit News Published 6:41 a.m. ET Sept. 16, 2018
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(Photo: Jeff Haynes, AP)

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The Detroit Lions have a 4 p.m. Sunday date with the San Francisco 49ers, as they try to make amends for their season-opening loss to the New York Jets. Connor Muldowney of The Detroit News compiles the best social media reactions during the game.

LIONS VS. 49ERS

When: Sunday, 4 p.m.

Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.

TV/radio: Fox/WJR 760

Records: Both teams 0-1

Line: 49ers by 6

MORE COVERAGE

Five things to watch: Lions vs. 49ers

Lions’ Tate stung by boos, but empathetic to fans’ frustrations

Lions bracing for 49ers’ aggressive pre- and post-snap motions

View from the other side: Lions vs. 49ers

Detroit News predictions: Lions at 49ers

Lions’ whiff on Richard Sherman appears to be costly

Rams VS Cardinals – Live, NFL, Watch Time, TV Channel

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Cardinals (0-1) at Rams (1-0)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles

TV: FOX (steaming on fuboTV)

Cardinals’ keys to victory
Arizona looked overmatched on Sunday against the Redskins, both offensively and defensively. The Cardinals have to do a better job of getting RB David Johnson involved after giving him just nine carries against Washington. QB Sam Bradford was accurate, but he has to take more shots against a ball-hawking Rams secondary in Week 2. Arizona has a chance to knock off the Rams on Sunday, but it’ll take a much better game from Bradford and significantly more touches from Johnson. He and WR Larry Fitzgerald are Arizona’s top playmakers, and possibly its only reliable ones.

Rams’ keys to victory

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The Cardinals have one shutdown corner in CB Patrick Peterson, but they’re suspect on the other side of the field. CB Jamar Taylor struggles in coverage, and with the Rams’ talent at wide receiver, QB Jared Goff should be able to find strong matchups away from Peterson with WR Robert Woods and WR Brandin Cooks. He’d be wise to target Taylor and CB Bene’ Benwikere in order to move the ball downfield more easily, which will open up things underneath for RB Todd Gurley.

Who wins
Los Angeles is simply the better team here, particularly on offense. The Cardinals are dependent on David Johnson, so if the Rams can stop him, they’ll come away with a win in Week 2. It’s still early in the season, but Los Angeles should win this game fairly easily. Rams, 35-24

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The Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams currently sit completely even in the all-time series. The rivalry dates bake to 1937 when the Cardinals were in Chicago and the Rams were in Cleveland. Sunday’s game will be the 79th regular season meeting between the two teams and it stands at 38-38-2.

The Rams have won three of the last four meetings and, if they win on Sunday, will take the lead in the all-time season series for the first time since 2012.

The series is also tied on the road for the Cardinals, who are 20-20 away from home against the Rams.

The Cardinals hold a 17-15 advantage since the divisions were realigned and the two teams began playing each other twice yearly.

Who will take over the series lead? That will be revealed on Sunday.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on the Rise Up, See Red podcast. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Stitcher Radio.

Redskins VS Colts || LIVE, NFL Football TV Channel HDQ TV

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Colts
By Rich Tandler September 16, 2018 5:00 AM
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POSTS ON REAL REDSKINS

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Colts

The Redskins week that was—Thompson is in good company

Two wide receivers are questionable for the Redskins

Around Redskins Park — Adrian Peterson is fitting right in

Redskins vs. Colts then and now
Here is what you need to know on Sunday, September 16, seven days before the Washington Redskins host the Green Bay Packers

Talking points

Here are some final thoughts as the Redskins take on the Colts today.

Weather should not be a factor

The southern turn that Hurricane Florence took earlier this week means that any effects that the DMV will feel from the storm will not take place until later next week. For today it looks like it will be partly to mostly cloudy with the temperature in the low 70’s. That means that the passing of Andrew Luck and Alex Smith will not be affected by a wet ball and that Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson will be running on a dry track. Since sloppy weather can lead to fluky outcomes, the forecast favors the better team, which is Washington.

As Luck goes, so go the Colts

In 2016, the Colts went 8-8 with Luck starting all eight of the wins. Only one of those wins came in the six games in which Luck produced a passer rating of under 90. The Colts only lost once in the nine games where Luck’s passer rating was over 90. Yes, this was two years ago, and the Colts have a new head coach and a lot of new players. However, looking at what the Colts have on defense and their offensive weapons outside of WR T. Y. Hilton, it looks like they don’t have much that can beat you outside of Luck. He’ll need to have a good day for the Colts to stay in it.

More passes to the wide receivers?

Against the Cardinals, the wide receivers were targeted 13 times and they caught eight passes. If those numbers seem low, they are. Last year wide receivers were targeted 19 times per game and they averaged 11 receptions. As the season goes on I think that the receivers will get more chances than they got on Sunday. Smith only attempted 30 passes; Kirk Cousins attempted that many or more in 12 games last year. There will be games where Smith has to pass more and that will increase chances for the receivers. It may not happen today but as the season goes on, Doctson, Richardson, and Crowder will get their chances.

Will the Redskins roll?

The Redskins played what appeared to be an inferior opponent last week and they rolled to an easy win. They have an opponent of similar quality today and they are at home. Will they dominate again? Just once in the Jay Gruden era have the Redskins beaten opponents by 10 points or more twice in a row. That came at the end of the 2015 season when they beat the Bills, Eagles, and Cowboys by double digits. They have had just three two-game winning streaks since the middle of the 2016 season and they haven’t extended one to three games. In short, the Jay Gruden Redskins have been inconsistent. The ability to play at a high level week after week escapes them. Things may be different this year, but I’ll believe it when I see it. The Redskins will win but it won’t be comfortable.

Redskins 23, Colts 17

Injuries of note:

Out—S Troy Apke (hamstring)
Questionable—WR Maurice Harris (concussion), WR Paul Richardson (shoulder)

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Colts VS Redskins || Live, NFL Football 2018 Week 2 {HDQ TV}

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Colts
By Rich Tandler September 16, 2018 5:00 AM
Leave a comment
POSTS ON REAL REDSKINS

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Colts

The Redskins week that was—Thompson is in good company

Two wide receivers are questionable for the Redskins

Around Redskins Park — Adrian Peterson is fitting right in

Redskins vs. Colts then and now
Here is what you need to know on Sunday, September 16, seven days before the Washington Redskins host the Green Bay Packers

Talking points

Here are some final thoughts as the Redskins take on the Colts today.

Weather should not be a factor

The southern turn that Hurricane Florence took earlier this week means that any effects that the DMV will feel from the storm will not take place until later next week. For today it looks like it will be partly to mostly cloudy with the temperature in the low 70’s. That means that the passing of Andrew Luck and Alex Smith will not be affected by a wet ball and that Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson will be running on a dry track. Since sloppy weather can lead to fluky outcomes, the forecast favors the better team, which is Washington.

As Luck goes, so go the Colts

In 2016, the Colts went 8-8 with Luck starting all eight of the wins. Only one of those wins came in the six games in which Luck produced a passer rating of under 90. The Colts only lost once in the nine games where Luck’s passer rating was over 90. Yes, this was two years ago, and the Colts have a new head coach and a lot of new players. However, looking at what the Colts have on defense and their offensive weapons outside of WR T. Y. Hilton, it looks like they don’t have much that can beat you outside of Luck. He’ll need to have a good day for the Colts to stay in it.

More passes to the wide receivers?

Against the Cardinals, the wide receivers were targeted 13 times and they caught eight passes. If those numbers seem low, they are. Last year wide receivers were targeted 19 times per game and they averaged 11 receptions. As the season goes on I think that the receivers will get more chances than they got on Sunday. Smith only attempted 30 passes; Kirk Cousins attempted that many or more in 12 games last year. There will be games where Smith has to pass more and that will increase chances for the receivers. It may not happen today but as the season goes on, Doctson, Richardson, and Crowder will get their chances.

Will the Redskins roll?

The Redskins played what appeared to be an inferior opponent last week and they rolled to an easy win. They have an opponent of similar quality today and they are at home. Will they dominate again? Just once in the Jay Gruden era have the Redskins beaten opponents by 10 points or more twice in a row. That came at the end of the 2015 season when they beat the Bills, Eagles, and Cowboys by double digits. They have had just three two-game winning streaks since the middle of the 2016 season and they haven’t extended one to three games. In short, the Jay Gruden Redskins have been inconsistent. The ability to play at a high level week after week escapes them. Things may be different this year, but I’ll believe it when I see it. The Redskins will win but it won’t be comfortable.

Redskins 23, Colts 17

Injuries of note:

Out—S Troy Apke (hamstring)
Questionable—WR Maurice Harris (concussion), WR Paul Richardson (shoulder)

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Texans VS Titans || Live, NFL Football 2018 {tonight} HD

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Titans Opposition Overview: Houston Texans Pt. 1
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With a Beat up Roster, Can the Titans Coaching Staff Scheme up a Win?
By Tim Leighton Sep 15, 2018, 9:54pm CDT
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Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
My apologies for this week’s breakdown taking longer to get out than usual. I initially wanted to wait for a decision regarding Marcus Mariota’s status—we didn’t really end up getting one—and then I came down with a bug which sidelined me for a couple days (perhaps the Titans’ health issues are spreading to their fan base). Because of the time crunch, example GIFs are taking the week off but will return for the next edition.

The Texans’ games I selected to watch for “Houston week” #1 are as follows:

Week 1 – 2018: Houston Texans at New England Patriots
Week 13 – 2017: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
Week 5 – 2017: Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans
Week 4 – 2017: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
Week 3 – 2017: Houston Texans at New England Patriots

Outside of the obvious inclusion of the Texans’ 2018 debut, I chose to watch the other games for a few reasons. Last year’s week 13 match-up in Nashville didn’t include Deshaun Watson, but it did feature Marcus Mariota for four quarters against mostly similar defensive personnel. Watson was on the field for weeks 3,4 (ouch), and 5 and put beaucoup points on the board in every contest. The game plans used by the Patriots and Chiefs can offer some clues on how to exploit the Texans just enough on both sides of the ball to earn a victory, however.

When the Titans Run
When at full strength, the Texans front seven has consistently abused zone running schemes. That may have something to do with facing one in practice every off-season or it could be due to creative positioning of their physically imposing personnel. Either way, I wouldn’t be confident in the Titans rushing attack this week even if the starting offensive line was healthy.

We can assume that Matt LaFleur will not feature Mariota—if he plays—on true read-options in order to protect his injured elbow. Mariota did have some success against Houston last season keeping the ball against over-committed OLBs, so not having those calls at the offense’s disposal further limits the ceiling for the ground game.

If the Titans RBs are going to positively impact this match-up, they will have to do so with chunk runs on the rare occasion they’re available. I’d like to see some heavy looks with Luke Stocker or Jonnu Smith either starting out at or motioning into a FB role. Getting Derrick Henry on the edges a handful of times should be the main goal of the run game. Using a lead blocker can provide the Titans an overload advantage against the right looks and serve as a movable chess piece and tool for misdirection.

If the Titans are being realistic with themselves—something Mike Mularkey failed to do in respect to the run game often—they know they are not going to control tempo or exert their will upfront this week, especially without Taylor Lewan, Jack Conklin, and, now, Dennis Kelly. If things are truly different with this staff in place, Tennessee will not stubbornly run zone looks into swarm after swarm just because it’s “what they do”.

When the Titans Pass
Personally, I don’t want to hear rationale about protecting Marcus Mariota by keeping him out of this game as long as he can throw with reasonable accuracy. Again, the entire reason the team replaced last year’s staff was their inability to adapt week to week. Adapting in this case means knowing when and how to sacrifice elements of your full playbook and isolate that which you are capable of executing well under a set of given circumstances.

There is plenty Matt LaFleur can do to keep Mariota upright and give him chances to get rid of the ball into low-risk passing windows. Yes, this means the Titans cannot deploy many long-developing downfield routes. It also means they can’t ask Mariota (and should tell him not to try) to squeeze passes in between linebackers and safeties. They’d have a better chance if they could do those things, but they can’t, so they must let them go for now.

In general, successfully attacking the Texans’ coverage concepts and secondary is all about isolation. They don’t have a dominant LB, CB, or S that can consistently win on their own in single coverage (though we haven’t yet seen enough from Tyrann Mathieu or Aaron Colvin in this scheme to definitively group them in with this statement).

The Chiefs found creative ways to accomplish this when featuring unbalanced formations (all except one or two eligible receivers lined up on one side). They switched between varying receivers’ releases out of the bunches and attacking the one-on-one match-ups on the opposite side.

Fortunately for the Patriots, Rob Gronkowski is never truly covered, allowing them to throw in his direction no matter how many defenders he’s flanked by. Still, they also have found success against Houston recently by isolating Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, and Phillip Dorsett on quick outs and using multiple simultaneous intermediate crossers designed to exploit single-high safeties.

The Titans themselves have had success against Houston’s secondary with intermediate out routes. If run with the proper personnel, I think they can also successfully deploy WR screens, quick slants, comebacks and curls, and HB swings on top of borrowing from the concepts mentioned above.

This is a big game for Corey Davis in my opinion. He needs to be put in positions to attack without a safety over the top as well as run after the catch. All involved parties need to take what is there and not spontaneously force going after big plays.

Getting the ball out of Mariota’s hands quickly and occasionally using roll-outs should keep him clean. If Blaine Gabbert gets the starting nod, all the Titans can do is hope they get “good Blaine”. If they do, he can still execute this type of game plan.

When the Texans Run
Last week, the Texans began by solely running starter Lamar Miller. As the game wore on though, Alfred Blue seemed to earn more of a rep share. I’m not sure if that’s a sign of a committee approach going forward or simply circumstantial.

The Texans mainly run shotgun inside zone. Deshaun Watson often carries out read-option fakes into these calls, but rarely keeps the ball himself. It seemed last week he was even more unlikely to do so, perhaps due to returning from last year’s knee injury. Still, the main purpose of the fake is to hold the edge defender and Watson remains a threat worth honoring.

Tennessee mustn’t start out freely offering wide interior rushing lanes as they did in Miami. Hopefully Dean Pees figured something permanent out in the second half last week. In recent years, a mostly identical Titans front has held the Texans ground game in check so we know any potential failures won’t be based on talent.

Tennessee has a much better chance to win this game if Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown can be on the field more than Will Compton. To allow that, they both must show discipline on running downs and get off blocks. I’m very excited for the rookie’s debut and hope he shows enough understanding of the playbook to be out there a bunch—he’s the Titans’ best shot at preventing Deshaun Watson from wrecking the game.

When the Texans Pass
Deshaun Watson is a serious threat to any defense because he puts you in a situation where you’re “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. Play man coverage and he’ll scramble and keep plays alive with defender’s backs turned the other way. Play zone and he’ll find weak points often enough to keep drives moving. Throw a heavy pass rush at him and he’ll dance around and take advantage of less defenders in coverage. Only rush four and pray you can get pressure, because if you can’t he’ll sit back there forever until somebody comes free.

Based on what we’ve seen of Watson in the NFL to date, there isn’t a reliable way to force him to play poorly. In large part, defenses can only hope that his accuracy is off on the day they face him. When he’s “on” the opposition’s offense must be ready and equipped for a shootout. For what it’s worth, last week against New England he was definitely off—the 20-27 score makes the game seem closer than it really was.

Buccaneers VS Eagles – Live@ NFL Football at HD TV Channel

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles – 9/16/18 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0)

NFL Football: Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm (Raymond James Stadium)
The Line: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3 — Over/Under: 44 See the Latest Odds
TV: FOX
The Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be facing off at Raymond James Stadium in Week 2 NFL action on Sunday.

The Eagles come into this game at 1-0 on the young season following a Thursday-night win over the Falcons 18-12 way back on September 6. Philly was down 6-3 at halftime in that one but outscored Atlanta 15-6 in the second half.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles – 9/16/18 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Foles had a sketchy first game for Philly, throwing for 117 yards and a pick, while Jay Ajayi put up 62 yards and two touchdowns to lead the rush. Zach Ertz was the Eagles’ top receiver on five catches for 48 yards.

Over on the Tampa side, they played in one of the wildest games of Week 1, outshooting the Saints in an offensive display 48-40. The Bucs withstood a late rally by the Saints, as New Orleans had the scoring advantage 16-7 in the fourth quarter.

Ryan Fitzpatrick went off at QB in Week 1 for the Buccaneers, tossing for 417 yards and four touchdowns. Mike Evans (147 yards; TD) and DeSean Jackson (146 yards; 2 TD) did most of the receiving damage for Tampa Bay.

The Eagles are 4-0 ATS in their last four overall and 4-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record. Philly is 10-3 ATS in their last 13 versus the NFC and 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games.

Meanwhile, the Bucs are 4-0 ATS in their last four overall and 4-0 ATS in their last four versus the NFC. Tampa is 6-2 ATS in their last eight in Week 2 and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 following an ATS win.

The Eagles are breathing a sigh of relief getting out of that first game with a W, as they just didn’t look like a defending Super Bowl champion for most of the game—especially in the first half. Maybe Philly is shaking off the hangover, though. As for Tampa, no one expected them to come out and match the Saints’ best shots punch for punch, but they showed some previously unknown potential in that first game. I’m going to do something I would previously have thought crazy here and take Tampa for the cover.

Read more at https://sportschatplace.com/nfl-picks/2018/09/16/tampa-bay-buccaneers-vs-philadelphia-eagles-9/16/18-nfl-pick-odds-and-prediction#gZbiq7je4V6UwTF4.99

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Eagles vs. Buccaneers game TV coverage map
10
Check here to see if you get the game.
By Brandon Lee Gowton@BrandonGowton Sep 16, 2018, 7:11am EDT
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James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
It’s time for Philadelphia Eagles football game day! But can you watch their NFL Week 2 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from where you are? If you live in the DARK BLUE on the television coverage map below, you’re in luck (via 506Sports.com).

If you live in the dark blue, you can watch the Eagles versus Buccaneers game on FOX starting at 1:00 PM ET. As you can see, the Eagles’ coverage is mostly limited.

Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, and Tiki Barber are on the call for this game. Ugh, the Barber brothers for a Bucs game? Really? Having watched Tiki call the Giants game last week, it felt like he was making the game all about them. Get ready for this broadcast to be all about the Bucs. Alternatively, you can turn on SportsRadio 94WIP to listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick during the game.

If you DO NOT live in the dark blue, you’re likely either stuck in the red, cyan, yellow, green, or orange. Red features Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers, cyan features Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons, yellow features Cleveland Browns at New Orleans Saints, green features Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers (late game), and orange features Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (late game).

For more information on how to watch and stream today’s Eagles game, [CLICK HERE].

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Watch Jordan Hicks mic’d up in his first game back
Chatting with a Bucs beat writer ahead of the Eagles’ Week 2 game
Fantasy Football NFL Week 2: Studs, Duds, Sleepers, & Busts
Eagles Injury Report: Alshon Jeffery returns to practice
Nick Foles talks long history with Eagles’ Week 2 opponent

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NFL Expert Picks: Predicting who will win the Steelers vs. Chiefs Week 2 game
29
Time to check in to see who the experts like in this big Week 2 AFC matchup.
By Jeff.Hartman@BnGBlitz Sep 15, 2018, 11:48am EDT
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Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
So, Week 1 didn’t go as planned for Pittsburgh Steelers fans. In a week when all fans, and almost all experts, picked the Steelers to start 1-0 after playing the Cleveland Browns on the road, no one was right.

After a tie, and a 6 turnover performance, no one really knows what to expect from the black-and-gold as the Kansas City Chiefs come to town. Las Vegas has the Steelers giving the Chiefs 4.5-points while playing at Heinz Field for the first time in 2018.

So, who do the experts think will win on Sunday in the Steel City? Will the Steelers claim their first victory of the season? Or will the Chiefs roll to a 2-0 record?

Time to check who the experts like…

For whatever reason, the experts seem to be leaning a bit towards the home team, but it isn’t a large majority in favor of the black-and-gold over Patrick Mahomes and the boys. At ESPN, 6 of the 10 experts who submit weekly picks likes the Steelers to hold serve at home.

A similar story can be told at SB Nation, where 4 of the 7 NFL experts who make weekly picks believe the Steelers will get their first win over the Chiefs at Heinz Field.

If you are looking for a site which is the most pro-Steelers, then look to CBS Sports where 6 of the 8 experts have the Steelers winning at home in Week 2.

Some of you might be wondering about all the other experts, and websites, which produce weekly picks. Who are they taking in the game? This is where our friends at NFL Pick Watch come in. NFL Pick Watch is a website which takes all of the internet picks and compiles them into an easy-to-read graph. According to them, 71-percent of NFL experts like the Steelers in this AFC grudge match.

Experts have been wrong before, and only time will tell if their picks will come to fruition, but the early signs are both Vegas and NFL experts like the black-and-gold at home this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

MORE FROM BEHIND THE STEEL CURTAIN
Steelers Injury Report: Five players sit out Wednesday practice as the team prepares for the Chiefs
The hidden costs of NFL Free Agency
The biggest criticism of Mike Tomlin should derive from the incessant drama surrounding the Steelers
Black and Gold Links: Antonio Brown apologizes after threatening reporter on Twitter
T.J. Watt’s sack total decreases as NFL makes statistical change
5 things the Steelers must change before their Week 2 game vs. the Chiefs

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hiefs face a Steelers team that’s moved on from Le’Veon Bell and the ‘featured back’
BY LYNN WORTHY

lworthy@kcstar.com

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September 15, 2018 02:01 PM

Updated September 15, 2018 02:01 PM

The Pittsburgh Steelers simply moved on without the most dynamic running back in the NFL. All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell did not show up during training camp due to a contract dispute, and he’s still missing in action. The Steelers used the franchise tag on him as opposed to him getting the long-term deal and big payday he covets.

Early this past week the Steelers removed Bell’s name from the team depth chart for Sunday’s home opener against the Chiefs at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert released a statement earlier this month stating he was “disappointed Le’Veon Bell has not signed his franchise tender and rejoined his teammates.”

Coach Mike Tomlin told reporters during a news conference this week that he hadn’t spoken to Bell, and he added, “We’re preparing to play this week with the guys who are here and working — James (Conner) being central to that.”

Bell’s absence this weekend against the Chiefs serve as a sign of how much things have changed in the NFL in regards to the running back position and the idea of the “workhorse back.”