It will be a Super Bowl that will be remembered for the low scoring slugfest that it was. And, in the end, it was the Patriots defense that ruled the day in their sixth Super Bowl win, since Bill Belichick and Tom Brady began their run 17 years ago.
And, one of the key coaches as part of that performance is about to be in charge of the Miami Dolphins.
37 year old defensive play caller Brian Flores will take over soon as the Dolphins next head coach, but not before he and the rest of the staff and players get to enjoy the Masterpiece that they put on against a high-powered LA Rams offense.
It was a New England defense that held L.A. without a point in the first half and just two first downs. And despite Jared Goff finally putting together a couple of drives in the second half, the Rams never found the end zone on Sunday night in Atlanta.
The Patriots held coach Sean McVay’s offense to just 262 yards, only 62 rushing, and in the waning moments, came up with the key turnover with the game was on the line.
After New England had marched for their only touchdown of the night scored rookie running back Sony Michel for a 10 – 3 lead, the Rams breathed life into their offense. They actually moved into potential game time touchdown position, but that’s when the Patriots Stephon Gilmore came up this play of the night for Belichick and Flores’ unit:
— NFL (@NFL) February 4, 2019
Gilmore’s leaping interception squelched the scoring chance with just over 4:00 remaining.
Then, the Pats proceeded to march over 70 yards and kill most of those four minutes of the clock and eventually, Stephen Gostkowski kicked the clinching field goal for a 13-3 lead.
While the Rams got a couple of first downs from Goff hitting receivers in the final minute, they wasted most of the remaining clock with completions in the middle of the field without any timeouts. And, when Greg Zuerlein missed his 48 yard field goal with :05 seconds left, the game was over and New England had their third Super Bowl win in five years.
Back to the situation with the Dolphins and their coaching hire. It’s expected that as soon as Monday, they will officially announce Flores (shown above Sunday), as their head coach And, they could introduce him as soon as Thursday or Friday after the Patriots latest victory parade takes place.
It will be curious to see if Flores brings a Patriot assistant or two with him. He is expected to have Packers assistant Patrick Graham come on as his defensive coordinator, and may end up using Jim Caldwell, the former Colts and Lions head coach, as his offensive coordinator.
Week 3 Fantasy Football assistance for Bucs Dolphins and Jaguars
Week three of the NFL season starts Thursday night with the Jacksonville Jaguars hosting division rival Tennessee Titans. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are at home with the New York Giants, and the Miami Dolphins will travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys.
Here’s some advice for each of the three:
Last week the Jags offense struggled for most of the day only putting up 12 points. Leonard Fournette was held to 47 rushing yards in Gardner Minshew’s first start. This week will not be any easier against a strong Tennessee defense. The Titans have forced multiple turnovers in each of the first two games, and have racked up eight sacks so far.
The Titans will be a popular fantasy pick this weekend, but don’t forget about the Jags. Jalen Ramsey is still on the team and will be playing in his hometown, and you know he wants to show out in what could be his last game as a Jaguar.
Marcus Mariota only had 154 passing yards last week, and the Colts held Derick Henry to 81 yards. As for the offense, you could play D.J. Chark Jr, who has developed a good relationship with Minshew so far. Chark scored for the second week in a row and looks to be the preferred target on the team.
The Bucs will be taking on the Giants and rookie Daniel Jones. That means the Bucs defense is defiantly s good streaming option this weekend and could be a good cheaper alternative for DFS players. Todd Bowles has transformed this unit in just two weeks. The Bucs have been flying to the ball and should cause Jones headaches. On offense last week we said Chris Godwin could have a monster game. Last season he had his best career game against the Panthers, and last week he set new career highs.
This week Godwin should continue his hot start, and Mike Evans should join him on that. The Giants have been getting shredded so far this season with Dak Prescott and Josh Allen cruising. Expect Evans and Godwin to have their way with Jameis Winston also holding his own.
The Dolphins will be heading to Dallas to take on an undefeated cowboys’ team. Last week the Fins were shut out at home and don’t have much going for them, right now. No one on this offense has much fantasy relevance at the moment. If we had to pick a player to focus on though you could look at DeVante Parker, he is the team’s best wideout and had seven targets last week.
He was held to zero catches though by the Pats and will draw Byron Jones of Dallas in coverage.
Obviously, QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott and WR Amari Cooper are in “must play” category and all three may end up having big days against what has been an awful Miami defense, so far.
Potential free agents still available
With training camps for the Bucs, the Dolphins and the Jaguars getting underway later in the month, we will constantly take a look at the potential free agent pool still sitting out there that could help any of them, if needed.
All three teams are coming off of losing seasons, and two of them have new coaching staffs. Plus, you factor the potential ofinjury in training camp or preseason and it may make it necessary to grab one of the upcoming veterans.
With that in mind, here are the prominent remaining names that legendary NFL personnel executive and current NFL media analyst Gil Brandt has. And, Brandt even went so far, as to place them on a likely roster for this fall, too.
At running back, Brandt has former Dolphins and Eagles back, Jay Ajayi, with the following analysis,
The question of whether or not Ajayi will be ready by Week 1 after suffering an ACL tear last October could be tempering interest in a veteran back who averaged a robust 5.1 yards per carry over 11 games with the Eagles in 2017 and ’18. Presuming Ajayi is able to return to health, he would be a logical fit with the Colts, given his familiarity with head coach Frank Reich. (Reich was Ajayi’s offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, where he was traded by Miami in ’17.) Only six people in NFL history have more 200-yard rushing games than Ajayi (three), and when he’s 100 percent, he can contribute as both a runner and a receiver.
With the recent four game PED suspension of veteran DB Ryan Smith, the Bucs might be interested in a veteran corner. While Tampa Bay doesn’t have much cap room, Brandt wonders if they could still make a restructure, etc. and perhaps go for former #1 pick Morris Claiborne,
A former first-round pick, who revived his career in New York over the past two seasons after a disappointing first stint with the Cowboys, in 2018, Claiborne recorded 57 tackles, 14 passes defensed and two picks, including one touchdown — all career highs. The coaching staff has changed over, and there is reported interest in Claiborne from Tampa, where Claiborne’s old head coach, Todd Bowles, is the new defensive coordinator. But I should think Claiborne would still fit in the Gregg Williams-helmed unit in New York.
Finally, if you are looking for veteran receiver help and a big target, former Panthers first rounder Kelvin Benjamin is someone Brandt likes,
Benjamin topped 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie, but more or less disappeared over the past two seasons, scraping together just over 1,000 combined yards while changing teams twice (he was traded to Buffalo in ’17, waived by the Bills last year and spent three games in Kansas City). With Odell Beckham Jr. gone, New York needs receiver depth. Might Gettleman and Shula’s familiarity with Benjamin help him get his career back on track?
The Fins and the Jaguars might also be in the market for the former Seminoles star.
Look for all three of those names, plus former Pro Bowl DT Muhammad Wilkerson, and Safety Eric Berry, plus, LB Nick Perry could all be in play, for August signings, as well.
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