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NFL News: Player News and Updates for 9/6/13

NFL Updates: Manning, Wilson and More

September 6, 2013

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The 2013 NFL season has finally begun and after just one game we’ve already seen some remarkable performances on the field. There’s plenty more where that came from, as we’ll be getting another dose of action on Sunday (and Monday). While we’re waiting for the rest of the teams to don their colors, let’s take a look at some of the storylines out there around the league. Here’s the latest.

Ravens-Broncos Notes: There were several particularly noteworthy performances on the field last night for the Week 1 opener, but Denver QB Peyton Manning outplayed everyone else. Statistically, he blew the Ravens defense out of the water, becoming the first player since 1969 to pass for seven touchdowns--five of them coming in the second half. His overall line was 27-of-42 for 462 yards, leading the Broncos with an aerial assault that topped Baltimore 49-27. Thanks to Manning, Denver looked pretty reliable on all those early predictions that they’ll emerge from the AFC this year.
On the other side, the Ravens’ big story (besides their pass defense getting shredded) was Jacoby Jones’ freak injury. A teammate ran into him during a punt return, and Jones sustained a sprained knee. He was back on the sidelines later, so we’ll have to wait for some more test results before we can deem him fit for next week. The last thing Baltimore’s receiving corps needs is another injury, so let’s hope he’s okay.

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NFL News: Player News and Updates for 9/6/13

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David Wilson, RB, New York Giants: Although the backfield in New York was originally intended to be a timeshare situation, plans changed when third-down and goal-line back Andre Brown went down with a fractured leg. That leaves the rushing load squarely on Wilson’s shoulders for the foreseeable future, as he’s expected to see an uptick in touches and play in scenarios that normally would necessitate Brown’s more bruising style.
Wilson looks very strong heading into Sunday night’s opener against the Cowboys, as he was able to average a stellar 7.5 yards per carry in the preseason. He won’t be able to run wild over a Dallas defense desperate to defend their home turf, but he should have a nice game stats-wise. Look for a sizable contribution from three-year veteran RB Da’Rel Scott as well.

Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts: We’ve been keeping a close eye on the Colts tight ends this off-season, as Allen--along with fellow second-year man Coby Fleener--will have a big impact on the Indianapolis offense. Both players are coming off injuries (Fleener’s knee and Allen’s foot), but are reportedly healthy and will play against the Raiders on Sunday.
Most of Allen’s contributions to the offense likely won’t make the highlight reels. He’s expected to weigh heavily on the blocking game, helping to protect QB Andrew Luck avoid pressure. The Colts’ passing game, which features talented veteran Reggie Wayne and breakout star T.Y. Hilton, will carry the offense this season, as no one expects much out of the running game. It should be another interesting year in Indianapolis as part of a wide-open AFC.

St. Louis Rams Season Outlook: Another player we’ve been keeping a close watch on this off-season is Sam Bradford. He and the ever-improving Rams are expected to take another step forward this season, diving head-first into the fray of (arguably) the most competitive division in football. This will be a big year for Bradford, as he’s got all the weapons he needs to succeed. Running backs Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead should provide plenty of ground-game cover for the team’s big-play receivers Chris Givens and Tavon Austin.
Meanwhile, the Rams defense continues to evolve. They showed sparks of brilliance last season, especially against their division rival (and Week 1 opponent) Arizona Cardinals. They should be an increasingly stable squad as the year wears on. Don’t be surprised if they’re a top-10 defense by season’s end.

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew.

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