Article by: Justin Imler
Andrew Luck’s shocking retirement announcement wasn’t the only major news in the NFL on Saturday night. Even though it took center stage, and rightfully so, a key offensive player for a top tier AFC threat is officially out for the 2019-2020 season. That player is Lamar Miller, the starting RB for the Houston Texans.
Miller went down hard with a leg injury in their third preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys Saturday night, in which Miller instantly fumbled the ball upon impact, going right to his leg to hold it in pain. That right there was a clear indicator the injury wasn’t something he was going to walk off. The injury became official on Sunday that Miller’s injury was indeed a torn ACL, sidelining the RB for the upcoming season.
Now even though no one is considering Lamar Miller to be a top tier RB in the league, he’s still the best the Texans had at the position. The Texans are coming off of an AFC South title in 2018, however they got upset by their division rival, the Indianapolis Colts, in the Wild Card round. The Texans are still a very talented team looking for a bounce back season this time around behind their star QB/WR duo in Desean Watson and Deandre Hopkins.
The loss of Lamar Miller is a big hit, but all hope is not lost. The Texans did trade for Cleveland RB Duke Johnson II earlier this month. Johnson has never been the sole workhorse since entering the league, but he’s proven to be a talented back, especially with his pass catching abilities. Other RBs on the roster right now include Buddy Howell and Josh Ferguson, among others, which I don’t think anyone outside of Houston has ever heard of.
Now for the obvious question, will Duke Johnson II be the guy the Texans lean on come week 1, or will they make a move to beef up the position? The big name that’s coming up after this injury is Chargers’ RB Melvin Gordon, who is currently in a hold out for a new contract. Personally, I don’t think this trade would actually happen, but the Texans do have the cap space to potentially sign Gordon to a deal he’s requesting if they’d be interested.
This is a major topic that Kevin and I will be going into on our next podcast episode that’s dropping tomorrow night (Wednesday, August 28th). Be sure to check that out to see our opinions on the future of the Houston Texans!
To keep up with all things sports, be sure to keep it here at Heated Sports!
Article by: Zach Henley
College football is coming back once again and so is respected Coach Les Miles. After a 2-year hiatus, the 2007 National Champion coach is back with a different kind of team this time around. In November 2018, The Kansas Jayhawks signed Miles to a 5-year, $13.8 million contract. Over the last 10 seasons, Kansas is 18-90 and went 0-12 in 2015. Along with their poor record, they also went through 3 different coaches and have yet to find stability. The hiring of Les Miles is a good sign for Kansas fans, as they finally think they have found stability and potential success with their new star head coach. From 2010-2016, Miles went 67-19 and was ranked in every year but one in 2014.
The return of Les Miles is not only good for Kansas and himself, but its also good for college football in general. Miles was very popular and has hall of fame potential and could potentially boost the return of a very storied college football team. Miles is known for his very surprising and controversial calls, which gets fans excited and helps make the team more exciting to watch. Although these plays do not always work in Miles’ favor, the risk is worth taking considering Kansas hasn’t achieved a winning record since 2008, along with a 1-46 road record.
Overall the end outcome of this hiring is to bring success and happier fans back to Lawrence. Miles has the skills, ability and resume to help that goal. Now it’ll be tough road, considering they are in one of the powerhouse conferences, the Big 12. To achieve success, Miles is going to have to beat some tough rivals. This list includes Missouri, Kansas State, and Nebraska. In my opinion, in about 2 years, Miles will achieve these goals and bring success back to Kansas. Not necessarily the championship, but some big bowl games could be in the future for the Jayhawks.
To keep with all things sports, be sure to keep it here at Heated Sports!
Article by: Pete Caceci
Per Adam Schefter at ESPN, the Indianapolis Colts franchise QB Andrew Luck has announced his retirement from the NFL. After making his decision, Luck sent out a message that ended speculation, “It’s been four years of this injury-rehab cycle… I can’t live the life I want to live moving forward… I feel quite exhausted and quite tired.” Since then, fans from all over have been divided over the sudden dismissal and are wondering what his next move will be.
Andrew Luck was the first-round pick in the 2012 Draft as a replacement to Peyton Manning, who at that point was being released by the team after suffering injuries that severely limited his playing. After taking the starting position, Luck would lead his team to 11 victories, the record for rookie quarterbacks drafted first overall. He would also break the record for most passing yards in a season by a rookie, throwing 205 to bring his season total to 4,183. The organization then gave complete trust to the young QB, as he led his team from a 2-14 record from the season before, to reaching the playoffs.
Following his phenomenal start in the league, Luck would repeat his winning records as a starter for the next two seasons. In the 2014 season, he led the league in touchdowns with 40, and had a career high of 4,761 passing yards. Unfortunately, his “luck” (no pun intended) would soon run out. In the 2015 season, Luck would miss the first two games of the season with an injured shoulder. After returning to the team he would be injured again during a game and would miss the rest of the season. This stopped the Colts from making the playoffs that season with an 8-8 record. Fortunes did not shine on Luck in 2016, as he would go 8-7 as a starter, despite throwing 4,240 yards and 31 touchdowns. He would then have another surgery on his shoulder that had been lingering around for quite some time.
The healing process for the injured shoulder would halt Andrew Luck’s return for the 2017 season, forcing the Colts to use newly acquired QB Jacoby Brissett as the starter. On November 2, the Colts ruled Luck out entirely for that season. This would severely impact the player’s confidence in both himself and the organization, as many in the sports media had begun to call him an injury-prone player. Despite the odds facing against him, Andrew Luck would return at the beginning of the 2018 season and would lead the team to a winning record of 10-6. He would throw for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns, something that he had not accomplished for some time. The league would recognize this triumphant return by giving Luck the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.
Upon entering the 2019 season, Luck would find himself in a great spot for being a deep playoff contender. With great offensive weapons like Marlon Mack, Eric Ebron, and T.Y. Hilton, along with having coach Frank Reich at the helm, the organization was ranked among the top five teams in the league. Now, it seems that may be a pipedream. Luck has been hampered by many injuries over the course of his career, but the franchise QB was on the rise and was sure to take his team back to the Super Bowl.
I was never a big fan of the Colts, but Andrew Luck always seemed like he was the one player who never got a shot at the top. I was hoping now with this great supporting cast that he would tear up the AFC, especially the Patriots. Personally, I believe his wounds over the years and having the leading position for a great team have greatly intimidated him. Everyone knows that football is a grueling sport, and those who last longer in the league typically end up with more injuries that follow for years to come. For only being in the league for seven years, his injuries are nothing to look away from. From what I also know, the man has just married and is expecting a child soon, so it seems he wants to be able to also spend more time with his new family. On the other hand though, I can understand the animosity that he is getting from the fanbase, as a great starting QB just ditched them right before the season began. He honestly could have made the decision a little bit earlier to allow the Colts the ability to move on smoothly.
All in all, I wish Andrew Luck and his family the best of luck. This decision was not an easy one to make, and was undoubtedly one of the most controversial in NFL history.
To keep up with all things sports, be sure to keep it here at Heated Sports!
Article by: Harrison Weaver
Here we go college football fans; the wait is over. College football is officially back as of tomorrow night! #8 Florida faces off against the U at 7PM on ESPN in what could possibly be our first upset alert of the season. The official NCAA Football preseason rankings were released earlier this week and so we get our final look at where the voters are placing each team heading into the season. I will drop those rankings below so you can all look, find where your team is. I know this is exciting, I feel the same way. We’ve been waiting months for some college football action and it’s finally back. So I want you to read these rankings over, take a minute to digest and compose yourselves, and then we’re going to get into my reaction towards them.
5. Ohio State
9. Notre Dame
12. Texas A&M
15. Penn State
18. Michigan State
21. Iowa State
23. Washington State
Alright so now that you’ve had a moment to look, we can react. Let’s glance at some cool statistics that lie within the rankings.
As I wrote in my college football preview, there are a couple of outsider teams in this year’s rankings that I really like. First off, Nebraska. After one of the most impressive 4-8 seasons ever seen (they lost 5 games by 5 points or less last season, meaning they were very close to be a bowl team), Nebraska is poised for a turn-around. After another season to mold the program the way he wants, Scott Frost will have a better developed squad and a leader in QB Adrian Martinez who can turn some heads this season.
Syracuse is another team that I really believe will have a strong season. With a well-balanced roster, weapons at the skill positions, and a strong season to build off, Syracuse could be the perfect team to challenge and maybe, just maybe, dethrone Clemson in the ACC Atlantic Division. To avoid redundancy, you can read about the rest of my dark horse picks in my Ultimate College Football Preview article by simply clicking the hyperlink.
All in all, the rankings seem very appropriate to me in terms of how each team performed last season and their expectations for this coming season. I do have a couple of bold predictions, though:
So there you have it folks, some of my insight and bold predictions for this college football season. The long wait for college football is over, it’s time for big matchups, College Gameday, tailgating, upsets, beautiful fall football days, and everything else we love about the football season.
Article by: Justin Imler
We have more news in the Ezekiel Elliot saga, and the running back is not happy. As we all know, the all-pro has been holding out from training camp and preseason action in hopes of getting a new contract, most likely involving record breaking numbers. Even though most people within the organization and the media expect Zeke to be back for the start of the regular season, Dallas can’t wait around. They’ve had several preseason games so far and Tony Pollard, the running back presumably to be the starting role in Elliot’s absence, made his presence known against the LA Rams Saturday.
Pollard has been playing great football for the Cowboys so far this preseason, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Pollard also capped off a 51-yard drive Saturday with a 14-yard touchdown in their 14-10 win. After the game, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones addressed the media and was asked about Zeke’s status right now, to which Jones responded, “Zeke who?”.
Obviously, this quick comment was meant to be humorous, and trying to show that the team has faith in Pollard, especially after seeing how well he’s been playing as of late, but not everyone saw the humor in Jones’ comment. Elliot’s agent Rocky Arceneaux told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen Monday, “I didn’t think it was funny and neither did Zeke – we actually thought it was disrespectful.”
This is certainly not a comment the Cowboys organization, nor their fans, wanted to wake up to this morning. As of right now, it is still a waiting game between the Cowboys and Elliot, but these comments clearly don’t help either side, and if I’m a part of the Cowboys organization, I would be feeling a little more nervous about this whole situation than I would have a few days ago. In my opinion, this Dallas team revolves around Zeke being on the field. I really like some of their young playmakers on defense and think that side of the ball has improved tremendously the past few seasons, but let’s face it, this team needs Zeke on the field if they want to move the ball down the field.
I personally have never been a huge believer in Dak, and nothing’s changed there. I think he’s a slightly above average starting QB who won’t win you big games on his own. Can Pollard fill Zeke’s shoes? Come on, of course not. Is he playing well in the preseason? Absolutely. Will he be able to make plays if Zeke is absent come week 1? Sure, but Zeke is worlds ahead of a guy like Pollard, and Dallas will need him in the lineup sooner rather than later if they want to have a chance at a Super Bowl in the 2019-2020 season.