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For the better part of three decades, Kansas State has mined some exceptional homegrown talent in the Sunflower State. Since 1990, the Wildcats have featured all-conference players from 28 different cities and towns in the state of Kansas. Some of those standouts were fortunate enough to either be selected in the NFL Draft or signed with an NFL squad as an undrafted free agent.

The leader of the pack, of course, is Salina native Terence Newman, who was selected by the Dallas Cowboys with the fifth overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. Newman was the highest-drafted Kansas native since Nicodemus native Veryl Switzer was taken by the Green Bay Packers with the fourth overall pick in the 1954 NFL Draft.

Newman was a two-time Pro Bowl selection, but he wasn’t alone. Olathe native Darren Sproles, earned a Pro Bowl nod three times, and became the first player in NFL history to record at least 2,2000 all-purpose yards in four different seasons.

Sproles retired from the NFL after the 2019 season, just five months after Jordy Nelson of Riley called it a career. The Pro Bowler, NFL Comeback Player of the Year and Super Bowl XLV champion etched out several top-10 receiving marks during his 10 years with the Green Bay Packers.

There have been several other K-State notables from the Sunflower State who have been drafted or have signed undrafted free agent contracts with NFL teams through the years.

Here’s a look at 20 of those homegrown heroes:

ALEX BARNES
Alex Barnes, a running back and a native of Pittsburg, finished fifth all-time at K-State with 2,616 career rushing yards before declaring for the NFL Draft following his junior season. He turned heads at the 2019 NFL Combine with 34 reps on bench press, which ranked as the most all-time by a running back at the combine, but went undrafted. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans.

MONTY BEISEL
Monty Beisel, a defensive end/linebacker and native of Douglass, was taken by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth round with the 107th overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, spurring a nine-year career that included stops with the Chiefs (2001-04), the New England Patriots (2005), the Arizona Cardinals (2006-08), the Chiefs again (2009), and the Cardinals again (2009-10). Beisel finish his NFL career with 236 tackles, including nine tackles for a loss with 4.5 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 119 games.

ARTHUR BROWN
Arthur Brown, a linebacker and a native of Wichita, was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the second round with the 56th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, Brown had to undergo hernia surgery a few weeks after the draft. He had 15 tackles and one forced fumble in 14 games his rookie season, which proved to be the most productive year of his brief career. He went on injured reserve in January 2015 and the Ravens released him in September 2016. Brown bounced from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the New York Jets to the Seattle Seahawks. He finished his NFL career with 20 tackles and one forced fumble in 48 games over a span of four years.

MORGAN BURNS
Morgan Burns, a cornerback and return specialist from Wichita, was a 2015 first-team All-American as a kickoff returner after leading the FBS in averaging 32.5 yards per kickoff return, earning Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year. He also led the nation with four kickoff return touchdowns and 1,138 total kickoff return yards. His five career kickoff return touchdowns tied for ninth most by a player in the NCAA since 1976. He also finished his career with 105 career tackles and four interceptions. He signed as a free agent with the Tennessee Titans on April 30, 2016, but opted not to pursue a football career.

IAN CAMPBELL
Ian Campbell, a defensive end and native of Cimarron, is a former walk-on and two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection who finished his K-State career with 166 tackles, including 37 tackles for a loss and 20.5 sacks. He finished tied for third all-time in sacks and also tied for tops all-time in season sacks with 11.5 in 2006. He had 47 tackles and 4.5 sacks as a senior and blocked a school-record three field-goal attempts. Campbell signed with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent on April 26, 2009. He was cut during the final cuts on September 5.

LAMAR CHAPMAN
Lamar Chapman, a cornerback and Liberal native, was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round with the 146th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. He recorded two tackles and one interception while playing in eight games over his two-year NFL career with the Browns. He was waived August 5, 2002.

B.J. FINNEY
B.J. Finney, an offensive lineman and native of Andale, signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent following the 2015 NFL Draft. He made his first-career start against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016 and finished the season with three starts in 13 games. He played in 59 games with 13 starts during four seasons with the Steelers. Finney signed a two-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks on March 23, 2020.

CHRIS HARPER
Chris Harper, a wide receiver and a native of Wichita, was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round with the 123rd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, Harper did not make the Seahawks opening day roster. After the final roster cuts, Harper was signed by the San Francisco 49ers and he stuck for a month. Then he was with the Green Bay Packers for 10 months before finishing out his career with an 11-month stint with the New York Giants. He did not make a reception in a NFL regular-season game.

TYSYN HARTMAN
Tysyn Hartman, a safety and native of Wichita, finished his K-State career with 258 total tackles, including 2.5 tackles for a loss and 10 interceptions in 50 career games. He signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft. He recorded 24 tackles and three pass breakups in 11 games with two starts during his only year with the Chiefs in 2012.

RYAN LILJA
Ryan Lilja was a second-team All-Big 12 selection while helping K-State to the 2003 Big 12 Championship with a 35-7 win over No. 1 Oklahoma in Kansas City. Lilja started in 14 of 23 games at offensive guard with the Wildcats after a two-year stint at Coffeyville Community College. After initially signing with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, Lilja was claimed off of wavers by the Indianapolis Colts. He was a part of two Super Bowls — first when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI, and then when the Colts lost to the New Orleans Saints 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV. He played in 111 games in his 10-year career with 104 starts.

JON MCGRAW
Jon McGraw, a safety and native of Riley, was drafted by the New York Jets in the second round with the 57th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. McGraw appeared in 122 games over a 10-year NFL career that included three years with the Jets, two with the Detroit Lions and the final five with the Kansas City Chiefs. McGraw, a special teams captain, was awarded the Chief’s Ed Block Courage Award for inspiration, sportsmanship and courage by teammates in 2011 during his final year in the NFL. He finished his career with 360 tackles, including two sacks with 10 interceptions, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 122 games.

JORDY NELSON
Jordy Nelson, a wide receiver and Riley native, was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the second round with the 36th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. The former walk-on defensive back was a Pro Bowler, earned a NFL Comeback Player of the Year honor, and won Super Bowl XLV with the Packers, finishing top 10 all-time in franchise history with 550 receptions (second), 7,848 yards (fifth), 69 touchdowns (second) and with 25 100-yard receiving games (third) before playing the 2018 season with the Oakland Raiders. Nelson finished his 11-year career with 613 catches for 8,587 yards and 72 touchdowns in 151 games with 102 starts. He signed a one-day contract with Green Bay to retire as a Packer in August 2019.

TERENCE NEWMAN
Terence Newman, a cornerback and native of Salina, drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round with the fifth pick overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, becoming the highest-drafted K-State player in the modern NFL era. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Newman recorded 545 tackles, including 20 tackles for a loss and two sacks to go along with 32 interceptions, seven forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries in 133 games with 131 starts before he was released by the Cowboys on March 13, 2012. Newman then spent three years with the Cincinnati Bengals before finishing the last three years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. Newman announced his retirement on September 1, 2018 and immediately joined the Vikings coaching staff. Newman finished his 15-year NFL career with 879 tackles, including 35 tackles for a loss and two sacks to go along with 42 interceptions, eight forced fumbles and 11 fumble recoveries in 221 games with 205 starts. He also averaged 7.5 yards on 38 punt returns with one touchdown.

MARK SIMONEAU
Mark Simoneau, a linebacker and native of Smith Center, was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round with the 67th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. He finished his 10-year NFL career with 435 tackles, including 18 tackles for a loss and seven sacks to go along with seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries and one interception in 124 career games with 67 starts. After spending his first three seasons with the Falcons, Simoneau was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the 2003 season. He led the team with a career-high 100 tackles, including 22 tackles for a loss and a career high-tying two sacks and three forced fumbles. In 2005, he kicked a point-after attempt for his first NFL points, becoming the first defensive player to do so since 1980. In 2006, Simoneau was traded to the New Orleans Saints and was a part of the 31-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XLIV. He was placed on injured reserve on August 16, 2009 with a torn triceps muscle and was released in March 2010 before finishing out his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. He announced his retirement on November 18, 2010.

DARREN SPROLES
Darren Sproles, a running back and native of Olathe, was a fourth-round pick to the San Diego Chargers in the 2005 NFL Draft. He was honored as a member of the San Diego Chargers 50th Anniversary Team, recorded a NFL single-season record 2,696 all-purpose yards during his first season with the New Orleans Saints in 2011, and was named All-Pro for the first time following his initial season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014. Sproles, a three time Pro Bowler, played in 183 games in his career with the Chargers (2005-10), Saints (2011-13) and Eagles (2014-19). He finished his career with 732 carries for 3,552 yards and 23 touchdowns. He had 553 receptions for 4,840 yards and 32 touchdowns. He had 311 punt returns for 2,961 yards and seven touchdowns. He had 332 kickoff returns for 8,352 yards and two touchdowns. He accounted for 390 points. He ranks fifth all-time in NFL history with 19,696 all-purpose yards, trailing only Jerry Rice, Brian Mitchell, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith. He retired after the 2019 season.

TRAVIS TANNAHILL
Travis Tannahill, a tight end and Overland Park native, was a first-team All-Big 12 selection following his senior season at K-State in 2012. He finished his career with 42 catches for 528 yards and three touchdowns. He signed with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent following the 2013 NFL Draft. He did not catch a pass in an official NFL game.

RASHAD WASHINGTON
Rashad Washington, a safety and native of Wichita, was selected by the New York Jets in the seventh round with the 236th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. Washington recorded 77 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two passes defended during his 50-game career with the Jets, which ended when he was released on November 5, 2007.

CODY WHITEHAIR
Cody Whitehair, an offensive lineman and native of Abilene, was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round with the 56th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Whitehair started every game at center his rookie season and was named to the All-Rookie Team. In 2018, he played every snap and was named to the 2019 Pro Bowl. He has started all 64 games in his career heading into his fifth NFL season in 2020.

BRADEN WILSON
Braden Wilson, a fullback and native of Smith Center, was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round with the 204th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. A four-year starter at K-State, Wilson had 21 carries for 44 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 18 catches for 144 yards in 51 career games. He was cut by the Chiefs on August 25, 2013.

TY ZIMMERMAN
2
COMMENTS
Ty Zimmerman, a safety and native of Junction City, was the first four-time all-conference player in K-State history and a two-time second-team All-American. He finished his K-State career with 257 tackles, including 11 tackles for a loss and 13 interceptions with two pick-six. He finished third in K-State history in career interceptions. He signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent following the 2014 NFL Draft, making “a nice diving interception of Drew Brees in practice, a play that ended up on YouTube,” according to the USA Today. Later, Zimmerman tried out for the New York Jets in 2015. He did not play in an official NFL game.

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GREEN BAY – Five individuals with Packers connections, including former head coach Mike Holmgren, are among the 20 players, 10 contributors and eight coaches who have been chosen as finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2020 “Centennial Slate.”

In addition to Holmgren, former Packers back/punter Verne Lewellen, end LaVern Dilweg, back Cecil Isbell and safety Bobby Dillon were selected in the category of senior candidates.

Those five names will be among those deliberated by the Blue-Ribbon Panel in January from which 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches will be elected to the Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2020.

Holmgren (1992-98) led the Packers to their first Super Bowl title in 29 years; compiled a .670 winning percentage in the regular season, a figure topped only by Vince Lombardi in team history; and finished on the plus side of .500 every year, something the Packers had done only four times over their previous 24 seasons.

Isbell (1938-42) became the first player in NFL history to surpass 2,000 yards passing in a single season during his final year. His 2,021 yards were almost 500 more than Sammy Baugh had ever thrown for at that point. Isbell also owned the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a career with 59. Baugh was second with 56 even though he had played one more season.

Isbell’s 24 touchdown passes in a season also set a league record – Baugh ranked second with 16 – as did his 23-game streak of throwing at least one TD pass. That streak stood as the league record until 1958, when Johnny Unitas broke it. It stood as the Packers’ record until Brett Favre surpassed it in 2003.

Lewellen (1924-27, ’28-32), in addition to his strengths as a punter, scored more touchdowns than anyone else in the NFL in his time and was the second-leading scorer with 307 points. In fact, Lewellen’s league record 50 TDs wasn’t broken until Don Hutson surpassed him in 1941 and it remained the second highest total for 16 years after his retirement.

Dilweg (1927-34) was widely hailed as the NFL’s best two-way end in the pre- Hutson era. He was the epitome of consistency on Packers teams that won three straight league titles from 1929 to 1931. Dilweg played eight seasons in Green Bay and was a consensus all-pro five straight years, from 1927 to 1931. In two of his other three seasons, he was chosen to at least one all-pro second team.

Dillon (1952-59) led the Packers in interceptions in seven of his eight seasons and three times intercepted nine passes in what were then 12-game seasons. When Dillon retired with 52 interceptions, only future Pro Football Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnell, who had played four more seasons at that point, had more. Tunnell finished with 79 interceptions.

Pro Football Hall of Fame

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JUST ANNOUNCED: The Class of 2020 Centennial Slate Finalists. #PFHOF20

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Tobin Rote​
Inducted: 1974

Quarterback: 1950-56

Height: 6’2″; Weight: 211

College: Rice, 1946-49

HONORS

Years selected to an all-pro first team: 1955
Pro Bowl Selection (game played since 1950): 1956
Rote might have been as physically gifted as any quarterback who ever played for the Packers, but he didn’t become a winner until later in his career and with other teams. Blessed with a big-time arm, and also rare speed and power, Rote could out-throw and out-run just about every other quarterback in the NFL during his time in Green Bay. In fact, the Packers once described him in a news release as “the quarterback who runs like a fullback.”

Rote led all NFL quarterbacks in rushing yards six times, including four times while he was playing with the Packers. He also led the NFL in passing yards in 1956 and in touchdown passes in 1955 and ’56, his final two seasons in Green Bay.

His first coach, Gene Ronzani, installed an early version of the shotgun formation in 1951, partly to take advantage of Rote’s all-around skills. Lisle Blackbourn, Rote’s second coach, seemed to be even more fond of him. Blackbourn once described Rote as “the greatest competitor I ever saw.”

Some of Rote’s teammates felt the same way. “He was a gutsy quarterback, probably as gutsy as I’ve ever seen,” said fullback Fred Cone, a teammate for six years. “Big-time player,” was how Pro Football Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg, who played with Rote as a rookie, described him.

To be sure, Rote could take over a game.

Tobin-Rote-hs
On Thanksgiving Day, 1956, for example, he rallied the Packers, who were 14-point underdogs, to a 21-point fourth-quarter outburst and a 24-20 victory over Detroit, which finished 9-3 and a half-game out of first place in the Western Conference. Rote climaxed the victory by engineering an 82-yard drive in the closing minutes.

On Nov. 18, 1951, Rote rushed for 150 yards in 14 carries, although the Packers lost to the Chicago Bears, 24-13. Three weeks later, Rote set a Packers’ team record by passing for 335 yards on 20 completions in 40 attempts, but, again, the Packers lost to the Los Angeles Rams, 42-14.

In his seven years in Green Bay, Rote never played on a winning team. He had his faults – inconsistency and a stubborn streak, among them – but he also never had much of a supporting cast.

Later on, Rote won two championships in two different leagues and almost a third in yet another league. When Detroit won the 1957 NFL championship, Rote split time with Pro Football Hall of Famer Bobby Layne and then took over fulltime when Layne broke his ankle in the next-to-last game of the regular season. In the NFL Championship Game, Rote started and threw for 280 yards in a 59-14 rout over Cleveland.

In 1960, he led the Canadian Football League in passing and Toronto to the Eastern Conference title, but fell short of winning the Grey Cup. In 1963, Rote directed the San Diego Chargers to the American Football League championship and was named the league’s most valuable player by the Associated Press.

Vince Lombardi, who took over as Packers coach two years after Rote was traded, was among those impressed with his sheer talent. “I would have liked to have had a chance to coach Tobin Rote,” Lombardi once said. “He has as much potential as any quarterback I ever had.”

“He’s great,” legendary Cleveland Browns coach Paul Brown said of Rote in 1955. “He didn’t have the help any quarterback needs. But when he is given any time or openings at all, watch out. He’s the combination runner and passer that is hard to contain.”

The Packers selected Rote in the second round of the 1950 NFL draft. He was their usual starter at quarterback for most of his first four seasons, but also shared time with Paul Christman in 1950, Bobby Thomason in 1951, and Babe Parilli in 1952 and ’53. Nevertheless, Rote led the Packers in passing three of those four years.

The quarterback job was all his from 1954 to 1956, and his best season in Green Bay was his last. In ’56, Rote threw 18 touchdown passes and ran for 11 more, accounting for 29 of the Packers’ 34 offensive TDs.

In a blockbuster trade, consummated on July 26, 1957, the Packers shipped Rote and defensive back Val Joe Walker to Detroit for tackles Oliver Spencer and Norm Masters, halfback Don McIlhenney and guard Jim Salsbury.

In all, Rote played in 84 games for the Packers and when he left, he held the club record for career passing yards with 11,535. He also rushed for 2,205 yards in 419 carries, a 5.3 average.

Rote played for the Lions from 1957 to 1959; Toronto of the CFL from 1960 to 1962; San Diego of the AFL from 1963 to 1964; and three games with Denver of the AFL in 1966.

Born Jan. 18, 1928, in San Antonio, Texas. Given name Tobin Cornelius Rote Jr. Died June 27, 2000, at age 72.

– By Cliff Christl

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As part of the Winter 2020 Semester’s first devotional, Elder Vai Sikahema of the Seventy shared with BYU–Hawaii students a message of seeking knowledge, by telling them the story of his own struggles to gain an education. He reminded the students how education was a religious obligation. Sikahema and his wife, Sister Keala Sikahema, also announced two new scholarships in honor of their mothers for students from Hawaii and Tonga.

Vai Sikahema, also a former NFL player for the St. Louis Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles , gave his devotional to a crowded multitude of students in the Cannon Activities Center on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

After being introduced by his wife, he shared the challenges his mother experienced as she and his father had both immigrated from Tonga to attend school at BYUH. Once his parents had saved enough funds for him to join them in Hawaii, Vai Sikahema’s mother was faced with a challenging dilemma.

“Remain in school but not see her two younger children for another few years. Return to Tonga to be with her children, likely ending any hopes of ever graduating. Finally, drop out of school, apply for permanent visas, find jobs, and work to bring their children from Tonga.”

Vai Sikahema emphasized the dilemma his mother faced of giving up her dream of teaching at her alma mater, Liahona High School in Tonga or follow her husband to the United States to pursue the American Dream.

After careful consideration, Vai Sikahema’s parents chose the third option and moved to Mesa, Arizona. It was there his mother decided to make it her life mission to allow her children to have the opportunity to be educated, even with the limited resources they had.

“I hope none of you ever have to face the dilemma of choosing an education or your children,” Vai Sikahema said. “In retrospect, there were probably ways they could’ve made it happen, but they just didn’t know how. Today, the Church provides BYU–Pathways, IWORK, the Perpetual Education Fund and a host of other programs for anyone to pursue an education.”

When the family arrived on the mainland, the challenges continued as his parents worked menial jobs to support their children’s education. All the while, Vai Sikahema’s grades suffered until Barbara Nielsen, his visiting teacher and an English teacher in his high school, took him under her wing and gave him the tools and encouragement he needed to bring up his grades.

According to Vai Sikahema, Barbara Nielsen “is the reason I qualified for BYU. She is the reason I graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism. Barbara Nielsen is the reason I’m anchoring television news in Philadelphia, the fourth largest TV market in the country.”

Another resource Vai Sikahema said he benefited from when he lived in Mesa was his home teacher, Brother Brimley. He taught Vai Sikahema the importance of the gospel being sequential.

He said Brother Brimley once said to him, “Vai, God’s house is one of order. He expects you to live your life with order; sequentially. Serve a mission, go to college, get married, then have children. If you have children before marriage, your life will be out of sequence, out of order and you will have problems.”

According to Vai Sikahema, Brother Brimley shared how the creation, priesthood, faith, baptism, and the Sacrament are all sequential. It was through learning this he realized his life would also be such. He believes it was the prayers offered by his mother which allowed each of these sequential parts of his life to become a reality.

The sequential lesson was found to be inspirational for Mahonri Eteru, a sophomore from Australia majoring in communications and psychology. Eteru shared he learned he needs to “work hard and let the Lord’s timing take care of the rest. It just takes work, and patience, and faith. It’s all a sequence.”

Eteru went on to mention that he is able to apply this to his life currently by being content and knowing everything will work out.

Vai Sikahema also announced himself and his wife were in the process of establishing two scholarships. These scholarships are established in his and Sister Sikahema’s mothers’ names and will be known as the Ruth Sikahema and Dorothy Heder Scholarship. Of the scholarships, Vai Sikahema commented, “Once funded, they will in perpetuity pay tuition for worthy students from Tonga and here in Hawaii on the very campus where nearly 50 years ago my mother had to drop out.”

Solongo Norov, a sophomore from Mongolia majoring in business, shared how she was inspired by Vai Sikahema’s devotional. She shared how she believes sometimes, as students, “we take some things for granted.” After listening to this devotional, she said she knew what a privilege it was to receive an education at BYUH. “I should be very grateful for this opportunity, for this school, and I should be accountable for my education.”

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The Atlanta Falcons are not new when it comes to disappointment. Among those head-scratching moments are questionable decisions in obtaining players thru free agency.

Whether it’s giving big contracts to players that failed to produce, or to sign someone to bolster their needs only to make it worse, Atlanta had their fair share of swings and misses in bringing in new players. And a few of them stand out as one who fans would want to forget.

Here are the top five worst free-agent signings in Atlanta Falcons history:

5. Peerless Price

In 2002, Peerless Price had a very good season with the Buffalo Bills. The standout wide receiver caught 94 passes for 1,252 yards and 9 touchdowns for the year. That stellar play prompted the Falcons to sign him on a 7-year, $37.5 million deal in 2003.

Hoping they will get the same receiver that excelled in Buffalo, Atlanta ended up with a dud. In his two-year stint with the Falcons, Price tallied a mere 109 receptions and 1,413 yards with only 6 touchdowns.

Widely considered to be a bust of an acquisition, Atlanta released Price in 2005.

4. Tyson Jackson

Defensive lineman Tyson Jackson signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons in 2014 in the hopes of upgrading their defense. He was supposed to bolster their pass rush that ranked 30th in sacks with a mere 32 total the year before. With Jackson, the Falcons became worse, with their pass rush ranking 30th in the league while being shuffled in both DT and DE positions.

Within the span of 35 games, he had a dismal 29 solo tackles and did not have a single sack.

He did reach the Super Bowl with Atlanta, being part of the infamous blown 28-3 lead while managing to record just 1 total tackle in the big game.

Jackson was released by the team after three seasons.

3. Tyrone Williams

Originally drafted by the Green Bay in 1996, cornerback Tyrone Williams managed to play for the Packers for 7 years. During that stint, he started in 94 games, recording totals of 445 tackles and 19 interceptions. From 1998 to 2001, Williams had at least 4 takeaways per season.

Signed in 2003 to a four-year, $10.3 million contract to replace Ashley Ambrose, Williams failed to impress during his tenure with Atlanta.

One of the biggest setbacks to Williams’ stint was his attitude. At the start of Falcons’ training camp, Williams reported out of shape. He then got suspended by then-head coach Dan Reeves for terrible conduct in Week 5 for berating one of his assistants.

Williams only started in 6 games for the Falcons and posted a horrendous 20 combined tackles, 2 defended passes, and 0 interceptions before getting cut in 2004.

2. Dunta Robinson

Yet another failed cornerback experiment for Atlanta.

The Falcons needed to strengthen their secondary after the 2009 season. They brought in and signed Robinson to a massive six-year, $57 million contract, with $22 million of it guaranteed.

Robinson’s rookie year with the Houston Texans in 2004 was terrific. He started in all 16 games and recorded 87 total tackles and 6 interceptions. He remained solid for his next five years in Houston, putting up a total of 309 tackles and 7 takeaways during that stint.

He failed to live up to his contract. In his three years with the Falcons, he pulled in 4 interceptions in 47 total games played. He was terrible when it comes to coverage. At one point he was ranked the 105th best CB in coverage by Pro Football Focus in 2011. In the same year, PFF ranked Robinson as the 101st best cornerback among 109 candidates.

Robinson was released in 2013.

1. Rey Edwards

Ray Edwards was one of, if not the top available defensive ends in 2011. He was part of a terrific defensive front that featured Jared Allen, Kevin and Pat Williams that made up the famous “Williams Wall”. In his four-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings he recorded a total of 29.5 sacks.

The Falcons managed to lure him to the tune of five years and $30 million, with $11 million of it being guaranteed.

Unfortunately for the Falcons, they didn’t get the same production from their prized signing. Without a stellar defensive front lining up alongside Edwards, he was practically invisible. Over the next two years, Edwards managed to sack the quarterback only 3.5 times in 16 games played. In 2012, he recorded no sacks for the season, suiting up for Atlanta 9 times.

The lack of production and an accompanying poor attitude became the final straw. The once highly touted acquisition, Edwards was cut by Falcons in 2012, in what could be the worst free-agent signing in their franchise’s history.

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Travis Williams
Inducted: 1997

Halfback/Kick Returner: 1967-70

Height: 6-1; Weight: 210

College: Arizona State, 1965-66

HONORS:

Press-Gazette All-Century Team: 1999 (Kick Returner)
Nicknamed “The Road Runner,” Travis Williams was one of the most electrifying and powerful kickoff returners in pro football history. More spectacular than durable, Williams played only four seasons with the Packers, but his name endures in both the NFL and Packers record books.

Williams’ 41.06 kickoff return average in 1967 still stands as the NFL’s single-season record. His four touchdown returns, also in 1967, is an NFL record he shares with Cecil Turner of the Chicago Bears, while his two touchdowns in a game is a record he shares with nine others. Williams ran back two kickoffs for touchdowns against Cleveland on Nov. 12, 1967.

Williams’ five career touchdowns on kickoff returns remains the Packers’ record. Also, his 26.73 career average is second best all-time to Dave Hampton.

As a running back, Williams had one good season. In 1969, he rushed for 536 yards in 129 attempts, a 4.2 average, and caught 27 passes for a 10.2 average. That said, his most memorable performance came in a 1967 playoff against the Los Angeles Rams. With the Western Conference championship at stake, Williams rushed for a team-high 88 yards in 18 carries and turned the game’s momentum with a 46-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

He also scored the Packers’ final touchdown on a 2-yard run in a 28-7 victory and left a big impression on Rams coach George Allen. “Every time he gets the ball, he’s a threat to go all the way,” Allen said of Williams. “He’s not an ordinary racehorse type, either. He has power along with his speed.”

Although he didn’t play in the first six games, Williams’ best season as a kick returner was his rookie year. With the Packers trailing in the fourth quarter in Game 7, Williams exploded onto the scene, returning a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown to ignite a come-from-behind victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Two weeks later, he made an even bigger splash when he returned his two kickoffs for touchdowns in the first quarter against Cleveland. One covered 87 yards, the other 85 as the Packers rolled to a 55-7 victory.

In 1969, Williams became the first Packers player to return both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in a game against Pittsburgh. He returned the kickoff 96 yards and the punt, 83. That day, he also became the first Packers player in history to surpass 300 net yards in a game, totaling 314 on 11 touches.

“All you had to do was make contact with the guy in front of you,” said tight end and fellow Packers Hall of Famer Marv Fleming. “You didn’t have to drive, drive, drive and all that stuff. All you had to do was occupy your guy for a split second and Travis was gone.”

The Packers chose Williams in the fourth round in 1967, the first common draft following the merger agreement between the National and American football leagues. He was credited with a 9.3 clocking in the 100-yard dash in junior college, but didn’t participate in track at Arizona State. He played football there two years and started only as a senior.

Although Williams played behind Elijah Pitts and then Donny Anderson as a rookie, he accounted for 1,007 total yards that season. In 1969, he started 11 games, five at halfback and six in the same backfield as Anderson, and led the Packers in rushing. He also started five games with Anderson in 1970. The NFL started using the term running back on its official play-by-plays in 1968. In all, Williams played in 48 games with the Packers and started 16. His four-year rushing stats were 271 carries for 1,063 yards, a 3.9 average. He also caught 49 passes and averaged 10.8 yards a catch.

On Jan. 28, 1971, during the NFL Draft, the Packers traded Williams and their fourth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for their second-round choice and what turned out to be a sixth-round pick in 1972. Already beset by a number of personal problems, Williams lasted one season with the Rams.

Born Jan. 14, 1946, in El Dorado, Ariz. Given name Travis Williams. Died Feb. 17, 1991, at age 45.

Travis Williams

– By Cliff Christl

Custom Tramon Williams Jersey Large

Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.

We’ll start with Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst being non-committal on the status of Packers free-agent cornerback Tramon Williams. Asked during a conference call with reporters Monday if Williams would be re-signed, Gutekunst said:

“We’re going to kind of wait till after the draft to kind of see where we’re at, at that point. … obviously, what Tramon has meant to not only our current team but several teams of the past – he’s an all-time Packer – if that fits once we get out of the draft then we’ll certainly make it happen if we can.”

Williams, 37, already has plenty of competition at cornerback, where the Packers have solid starters in Jaire Alexander and Kevin King and reserves Chandon Sullivan, Ka’dar Hollman and Josh Jackson. Whether the Packers add to their depth at the position in the draft could be the deciding factor in Williams’ future with the team.

Packers veteran cornerback Tramon Williams remains a free agent.
Packers veteran cornerback Tramon Williams remains a free agent. (Photo: Jim Matthews/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin/@jmatthe79)

You can read more on what Gutekunst had to say during his 36-minute session with reporters here:

Gutekunst’s conference call Monday afternoon was the first time he has spoken publicly about football matters since February. #Packershttps://t.co/zvW4P0DqKm

— Packers News (@PGPackersNews) April 20, 2020
Tom Silverstein writes about the challenge of getting rookies ready to play without a true offseason training program:

For subscribers: #Packers GM Brian Gutekunst made the point he is confident coach Matt LaFleur would find a way to prep his rookies for the regular season in half the time he usually would. https://t.co/POuEFfFpq5

— Packers News (@PGPackersNews) April 21, 2020
The Packers increased their roster to 66 players by signing a couple of former Dolphins:

Packers boost depth on defense by signing two former Dolphins. https://t.co/zDpJJVg9qP

— Packers News (@PGPackersNews) April 21, 2020
Count Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal among the chorus claiming the Packers can’t afford to invest their top draft pick in a potential Aaron Rodgers successor:

Column: #Packers will need a replacement for QB Aaron Rodgers at some point, but team has better uses for its first-round draft pick this year than finding a QB of the future. https://t.co/O4dE6Da8JX

— Tom Oates (@TomOatesWSJ) April 21, 2020
Check out who our Pete Dougherty has going to the Packers at No. 30:

We gathered 16 of our NFL reporters from around the USA TODAY Network for a first-round mock draft. Some of the picks were downright shocking. https://t.co/w5aqctCEgs

— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) April 21, 2020
Fund-raising will be a big part of this week’s draft:

NFL draft will raise money for COVID-19 relief and engage fans. https://t.co/FCZ90qB3wG

— Press-Gazette Sports (@GreenBaySports) April 21, 2020
If Gutekunst wants to move up in the draft, here are three ways he might do it:

Trading up is a big ask, but Brian Gutekunst has done it before. Here are three scenarios in which he could do it again. https://t.co/edEd7P5o8d

— Jon Meerdink (@JonMeerdink) April 21, 2020
The Packers’ 2020 schedule (which includes a trip to Tampa Bay) just got tougher:

Um, Bucs are gonna be goooood https://t.co/RLnPlosO8t

— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) April 21, 2020
Green Bay favorite son James Morgan getting some “late love” from teams looking to draft a quarterback:

James Morgan, the QB out of Florida International, has been getting some late love from teams, according to sources. Those that are intrigued love his release and “the ball is like a rocket out of his hand” said one scout but another told me his decision-making is “suspect.”

— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) April 20, 2020
Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari says there are benefits in spending more offseason time focused on the mental aspects of the game:

Packers LT David Bakhtiari sees advantages to all virtual offseason https://t.co/SsJ14MWfI8

— The Packers Wire (@ThePackersWire) April 21, 2020
For Packers fans, this shapes up as taking “The Bears still suck” to a whole new level:

Breaking: A strict “NO VACUUMING” policy is now firmly in place at the Pace residence for Thurs.-Sat. https://t.co/XLN4Acb2wO

— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) April 21, 2020
Could the NFL’s virtual draft get hacked?

There’s plenty of paranoia to go around. https://t.co/6AWGmNgthL

— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) April 21, 2020
Should the NFL even be conducting a draft at this point?

Why is one sport plugging its ears, closing its eyes and tiptoeing around a minefield while the rest of the country is forcing itself to accept the reality that the world as we know it will not be the same for quite some [email protected] on the NFL draft: https://t.co/rJlRUkDaYx

— The MMQB (@theMMQB) April 21, 2020
Hard to picture Bryan Bulaga in these gaudy duds:

Pri-TTAY, pri-TTAY good. https://t.co/i0z8WvId4U

— Peter King (@peter_king) April 21, 2020
Lambeau Field and Titletown won’t be reopening any time soon:

#Packers officially extend closure of Lambeau Field and their operations in Titletown District to May 26, in sync with governor’s Safer at Home order. They could re-open before that if state begins to relax rules. Lambeau has been closed since mid-March. Stay tuned.

— RichRymanPG (@RichRymanPG) April 21, 2020
And finally …. for your next Zoom meeting:

Who’s going to Lambeau leap in the Zoom meeting? https://t.co/xFPEORipLn

— Packers News (@PGPackersNews) April 20, 2020
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt

Custom Tony Canadeo Jersey Large

The Green Bay Packers have a surprisingly colorful uniform history. From their birth in 1919 through 1958, the Packers sported all sorts of different gridiron getups, including stripes, numbers in circles, the famous Don Hutson/Tony Canadeo gold shoulder yokes, green over green, yellow over yellow, and even white over white (both in the old days and during the Color Rush era).

But after Vince Lombardi arrived in 1959, the Packers’ uniforms have been, well, uniform. With a few minor tweaks, the Packers have essentially worn the same uniform from Lombardi’s tenure through the present day. And it looks great! But it almost didn’t last.

In the early 1990s, Ron Wolf came very close to instituting a seismic shift in the Packers’ sartorial history. In 1993, the Packers had actually scheduled a press conference to announce a change to their uniforms, which would have taken effect for the 1994 season.

Wolf detailed the uniform changes in a letter to esteemed uniform analyst Paul Lukas, who now runs UniWatch, saying the Packers’ Lombardi-era look would be going by the wayside, making room for a modernized, streamlined outfit.

“We will retain the current dark green,” Wolf wrote, “but will switch the pants and helmets from the present mustard yellow to a metallic gold. The stripes that now appear on the Packers’ helmet, jersey and pants will also be removed.”

Certainly no small change! Imagine looking back on highlights of Super Bowl XXXI and seeing something like this.

Fortunately, those uniforms never saw the light of day. Well, almost never. A select group of people did get to the new green and metallic gold threads on the field at Lambeau, courtesy of one Ted Thompson, who ultimately parlayed his unsuccessful stint as a model into a long career as an NFL general manager. (That’s how that works, right?)

Wolf’s proposed uniforms had reached the prototype stage, and he needed someone to show them off. He turned to Thompson. The fashion show did not go well.

“He (Thompson) was on the field down there all by himself,” Wolf told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The guy ran up and down the field. I was thinking to myself, ‘Holy (expletive), I must have been smoking dope.’”

The uniforms were never seen nor heard from again. However, at least two known prototypes of the gold helmet still exist. One belongs to former Packers trainer Pepper Burruss. The other turned up on Antiques Roadshow, of all places, in 2004. The appraiser valued the helmet at between $2,500 and $3,000.

Custom Tony Bennett Jersey Large

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts’ 2020 schedule is here — and we’re giving you an exclusive first look.

Here is the Colts’ official slate of games this coming season (* denotes primetime game; ^ denotes NFL Network and Amazon simulcast subject to change):

Table inside Article
Week Date Opponent Time (ET) TV
Week 1 Sept. 13 @Jacksonville Jaguars 1 p.m. CBS
Week 2 Sept. 20 Minnesota Vikings 1 p.m. FOX
Week 3 Sept. 27 New York Jets 4:05 p.m. CBS
Week 4 Oct. 4 @Chicago Bears 1 p.m. CBS
Week 5 Oct. 11 @Cleveland Browns 4:25 p.m. CBS
Week 6 Oct. 18 Cincinnati Bengals 1 p.m. FOX
Week 7 — BYE WEEK — —
Week 8 Nov. 1 @Detroit Lions 1 p.m. CBS
Week 9 Nov. 8 Baltimore Ravens 1 p.m. CBS
Week 10 Nov. 12 @Tennessee Titans* 8:20 p.m. FOX/NFLN/Amazon^
Week 11 Nov. 22 Green Bay Packers 1 p.m. FOX
Week 12 Nov. 29 Tennessee Titans 1 p.m. CBS
Week 13 Dec. 6 @Houston Texans 1 p.m. CBS
Week 14 Dec. 13 @Las Vegas Raiders 4:05 p.m. CBS
Week 15 Dec. 19 or 20 Houston Texans TBD TBD
Week 16 Dec. 27 @Pittsburgh Steelers 1 p.m. CBS
Week 17 Jan. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars 1 p.m. CBS
• 2020 Colts single-game tickets go on sale starting at noon ET on Friday, May 8. Click here for more information.
• For 2020 season ticket information, click here.
• And click here to sync the Colts’ 2020 schedule to your personal calendar.

———-

PRESEASON OPPONENTS

Here are the Colts’ four 2020 preseason opponents, with locations and date ranges. Full dates, times and broadcast information will be released at a later date:

Table inside Article
Preseason Week Date Opponent Time (ET) TV
Preseason Week 1 Aug. 13-17 Philadelphia Eagles TBD TBD
Preseason Week 2 Aug. 24 Washington Redskins 8 p.m. ESPN
Preseason Week 3 Aug. 27-30 @Buffalo Bills TBD TBD
Preseason Week 4 Sept. 3-4 @Cincinnati Bengals TBD TBD
———-

MATCHUP INFORMATION

Here are some notes on each 2020 regular season matchup for the Colts:

Week 1: at Jacksonville Jaguars (1 p.m. ET; Sunday, Sept. 13; CBS)

» 2019 Jaguars record: 6-10 (fourth place, AFC South)

» 2020 Jaguars additions: TE Tyler Eifert, DL Rodney Gunter, CB Rashaan Melvin, LB Joe Schobert, RB Chris Thompson, DT Al Woods

» 2020 Jaguars losses: DE Calais Campbell, QB Nick Foles, CB A.J. Bouye, T Cedric Ogbuehi, TE Nick O’Leary, TE Seth Devalve, WR Marqise Lee, LB Jake Ryan

» 2020 Jaguars draft class: CB CJ Henderson, Edge K’Lavon Chaisson, WR Laviska Shenault, DT DaVon Hamilton, T Ben Bartch, CB Josiah Scott, LB Shaquille Quarterman, S Daniel Thomas, WR Collin Johnson, QB Jake Luton, TE Tyler Davis, CB Chris Claybrooks

» All-time series: Colts lead, 24-14; Colts are 10-9 all-time on the road against the Jaguars.

» Last matchup in Jacksonville: Dec. 29, 2019; Jaguars 38, Colts 20.

» Last Colts road victory in Jacksonville: Sept. 21, 2014; Colts 44, Jaguars 17.

» Of note: The Colts are hoping to break a couple streaks in this season-opening matchup against the Jaguars. First, Indy hasn’t won a season opener in its previous six seasons; its last season-opening victory was in 2013, a 21-17 defeat over the then-Oakland Raiders at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts haven’t won a season opener on the road since 2006, a 26-21 victory over the New York Giants. Indy is also looking to snap a five-game road losing streak to its division rival Jacksonville. This is also the earliest the Colts have opened up AFC South Division play since the 2011 season, when they fell to the Houston Texans, 34-7, in their Week 1 matchup at Reliant Stadium.

*****

Week 2: vs. Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m. ET; Sunday, Sept. 20; FOX)

» 2019 Vikings record: 10-6 (second place, NFC North)

» 2020 Vikings additions: T Rashod Hill, DT Michael Pierce, WR Tajae Sharpe

» 2020 Vikings losses: WR Stefon Diggs, WR Laquon Treadwell, G Josh Kline, DE Everson Griffen, DE Stephen Weatherly, CB Mackensie Alexander, CB Xavier Rhodes, CB Trae Waynes, S Jayron Kearse, S Andrew Sendejo

» 2020 Vikings draft class: WR Justin Jefferson, CB Jeff Gladney, T Ezra Cleveland, CB Cameron Dantzler, Edge D.J. Wonnum, Edge James Lynch, LB Troy Dye, CB Harrison Hand, WR K.J. Osborn, G Blake Brandel, S Josh Metellus, Edge Kenny Willekes, QB Nate Stanley, S Brian Cole II, G Kyle Hinton.

» All-time series: Colts lead, 17-7-1; Colts are 11-0 all-time against the Vikings at home.

» Last matchup in Indy: Sept. 16, 2012; Colts 23, Vikings 20.

» Of note: The Colts are hoping to snap a streak of four straight losses in Week 2 home openers, which dates back to the 2013 season. Their last victory in a Week 2 home opener was the 2012 season — also against the Minnesota Vikings — in that aforementioned 23-20 win. Since moving to Indianapolis in 1984, the Colts are just 6-12 combined in Week 2 home openers, a record that includes a streak of six and four losses.

*****

Week 3: vs. New York Jets (4:05 p.m. ET; Sunday, Sept. 27; CBS)

» 2019 Jets record: 7-9 (third place, AFC East)

» 2020 Jets additions: C/G Josh Andrews, CB Pierre Desir, T George Fant, RB Frank Gore, Edge Jordan Jenkins, C Connor McGovern, LB Patrick Onwuasor, WR Breshad Perriman, OL Greg Van Roten

» 2020 Jets losses: QB Trevor Siemian, WR Robby Anderson, WR Demaryius Thomas, T Ryan Kalil, T Kelvin Beachum, LB Brandon Copeland, CB Darryl Robers, CB Maurice Canady

» 2020 Jets draft class: T Mekhi Becton, WR Denzel Mims, S Ashtyn Davis, Edge Jabari Zuniga, RB La’Mical Perine, QB James Morgan, G Cameron Clark, CB Bryce Hall, P Braden Mann

» All-time series: Colts lead, 42-32; Colts are 20-17 all-time against the Jets at home.

» Last matchup in Indy: Sept. 21, 2015; Jets 20, Colts 7.

» Last Colts home victory vs. Jets in Indianapolis: Jan. 24, 2010; Colts 30, Jets 17 (AFC Championship Game).

» Of note: While that Colts victory over the Jets in the 2009 AFC Championship Game was spectacular, the last Indy regular season home victory over the AFC New York team came on Nov. 16, 2003, a 38-31 decision at the RCA Dome. The Jets actually trailed 24-10 at half and eventually stormed to tie the game at 31 with 8:10 left in the third quarter before the Colts used some trickeration to get the eventual game-winning score, as Hunter Smith, the team’s punter/holder, took the snap on a fake field goal attempt by Mike Vanderjagt and sprinted 21 yards to the end zone for the touchdown.

*****

Week 4: at Chicago Bears (1 p.m. ET; Sunday, Oct. 4; CBS)

» 2019 Bears record: 8-8 (third place, NFC North)

» 2020 Bears additions: CB Artie Burns, QB Nick Foles, WR Ted Ginn Jr., TE Jimmy Graham, OL Germain Ifedi, Edge Robert Quinn

» 2020 Bears losses: QB Chase Daniel, WR Taylor Gabriel, TE Trey Burton, G Kyle Long, DT Nick Williams, LB Nick Kwaitkoski, LB Leonard Floyd, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, CB Prince Amukamara, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

» 2020 Bears draft class: TE Cole Kmet, CB Jaylon Johnson, Edge Trevis Gipson, CB Kindle Vildor, WR Darnell Mooney, G Arlington Hambright, G Lachavious Simmons

» All-time series: Colts lead, 24-19; Colts are 12-10 all-time against the Bears on the road.

» Last matchup in Chicago: Sept. 9, 2012; Bears 41, Colts 21.

» Last Colts road victory vs. Bears in Chicago: Nov. 11, 2004; Colts 41, Bears 10.

» Of note: If we’re being technical, the last Colts “road” victory over the Bears was actually Feb. 4, 2007 — you know, Indy’s 29-17 win over Chicago in Super Bowl XLI. The Bears were the designated “home” team at the neutral site of Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

*****

Week 5: at Cleveland Browns (4:25 p.m. ET; Sunday, Oct. 11; CBS)

» 2019 Browns record: 6-10 (third place, AFC North)

» 2020 Browns additions: DT Andrew Billings, DE Adrian Clayborn, T Jack Conklin, LB B.J. Goodson, TE Austin Hooper, FB Andy Janovich, CB Kevin Johnson, S Karl Joseph, QB Case Keenum, S Andrew Sendejo

» 2020 Browns losses: QB Drew Stanton, TE Demetrius Harris, LB Christian Kirksey, LB Joe Schobert, CB T.J. Carrie, S Eric Murray, S Damarious Randall

» 2020 Browns draft class: T Jedrick Wills, S Grant Delpit, DT Jordan Elliott, LB Jacob Phillips, TE Harrison Bryant, C Nick Harris, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones

» All-time series: Tied, 17-17; Colts are 10-7 all-time against the Browns on the road.

» Last matchup in Cleveland: Dec. 7, 2014; Colts 25, Browns 24.

» Of note: It took a whole lot of winning for the Colts to catch up to the Browns in their all-time series standings. Cleveland actually started out the gates with a 15-7 edge in the series, but Indy has reeled off wins in 10 of their last 12 matchups to even things at 17-17 heading into this Week 5 matchup along Lake Erie.

*****

Week 6: vs. Cincinnati Bengals (1 p.m. ET; Sunday, Oct. 18; FOX)

» 2019 Bengals record: 2-14 (fourth place, AFC North)

» 2020 Bengals additions: CB Mackensie Alexander, S Vonn Bell, DT D.J. Reader, CB Trae Waynes

» 2020 Bengals losses: QB Andy Dalton, WR Marqise Lee, TE Tyler Eifert, T Corde Glenn, G John Miller, DT Andrew Billings, CB Darqueze Dennard, CB Dre Kirkpatrick, CB B.W. Webb, S Clayton Fejedelem

» 2020 Bengals draft class: QB Joe Burrow, WR Tee Higgins, LB Logan Wilson, LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, DE Khalid Kareem, G Hakeem Adeniji, LB Markus Bailey

» All-time series: Colts lead, 19-12; Colts are 11-7 all-time against the Bengals at home.

» Last matchup in Indy: Sept. 9, 2018; Bengals 34, Colts 23.

» Last Colts home victory vs. Bengals in Indianapolis: Jan. 4, 2015; Colts 26, Bengals 10 (AFC Wild Card Game).

» Of note: The Bengals have had the No. 1-overall pick in the NFL Draft four times in their history, including this year, when they took LSU quarterback Joe Burrow in that spot. This matchup will mark the third time Indy has played Cincinnati in a year in which it had the No. 1-overall pick: in 1994, the Bengals took Ohio State defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson No. 1 overall but lost to Indianapolis, 17-13, at Riverfront Stadium; the Bengals picked No. 1 again the following season, taking Penn State running back Ki-Jana Carter, who tore his ACL on the third carry of his first preseason game and missed Cincinnati’s 24-21 overtime victory over Indianapolis in the 1995 regular season opener at the RCA Dome.

*****

Week 7: Bye Week

» Of note: The Colts have won six of their last seven games heading into bye weeks, dating back to the 2013 season. That includes road wins over the New York Giants (2014), Green Bay Packers (2016), Oakland Raiders (2018) and Kansas City Chiefs (2019) and home wins against the Denver Broncos (2013 and 2015). The Colts have also had two Week 7 bye weeks in recent years, both of which were against the Houston Texans, and both resulting in Colts wins: 2003 (30-21) and 2010 (30-17).

*****

Week 8: at Detroit Lions (1 p.m. ET; Sunday, Nov. 1; CBS)

» 2019 Lions record: 3-12-1 (fourth place, NFC North)

» 2020 Lions additions: WR Geronimo Allison, LB Jamie Collins, QB Chase Daniel, DB Duron Harmon, S Jayron Jearse, S Miles Killebrew, LB Reggie Ragland, CB Daryl Roberts, DL Danny Shelton, CB Desmond Trufant, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai, DT Nick Williams

» 2020 Lions losses: QB Jeff Driskel, RB J.D. McKissic, WR Jermaine Kearse, T Rick Wagner, OL Graham Glasgow, DT Damon Harrison, DT A’Shawn Robinson, LB Devon Kennard, CB Darius Slay, CB Rashaan Melvin, S Tavon Wilson, P Sam Martin

» 2020 Lions draft class: CB Jeff Okudah, RB D’Andre Swift, Edge Julian Okwara, G Jonah Jackson, G Logan Stenberg, WR Quintez Cephus, RB Jason Huntley, DT John Penisini, DT Jashon Cornell

» Series history: Colts lead, 21-20-2; Colts are 10-9-1 all-time against the Lions on the road.

» Last matchup in Detroit: Dec. 2, 2012; Colts 35, Lions 33.

» Of note: The Colts’ lone tie to the Lions on the road came on Thanksgiving Day in 1965, a 24-24 decision at Tiger Stadium. The Lions jumped out to a 24-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter before Baltimore would come storming back, thanks to two Johnny Unitas touchdown passes to tight end John Mackey, the first one covering 52 yards and the other one a 15-yard strike.

*****

Week 9: vs. Baltimore Ravens (1 p.m. ET; Sunday, Nov. 8; CBS)

» 2019 Ravens record: 14-2 (first place, AFC North)

» 2020 Ravens additions: DE Calais Campbell, DL Derek Wolfe

» 2020 Ravens losses: WR Seth Roberts, TE Hayden Hurst, G Marshal Yanda, OL James Hurst, DT Chris Wormley, DT Michael Pierce, DT Domata Pelo, LB Patrick Onwuasor, LB Pernell McPhee, CB Brandon Carr, S Tony Jefferson

» 2020 Ravens draft class: LB Patrick Queen, RB J.K. Dobbins, DT Justin Madubuike, WR Devin Duvernay, LB Malik Harrison, G Tyre Phillips, G Ben Bredeson, DT Broderick Washington, WR James Proche, S Geno Stone

» Series history: Colts lead, 10-5; Colts are 6-0 all-time against the Ravens at home.

» Last matchup in Indy: Oct. 5, 2014; Colts 20, Ravens 13.

» Of note: The Ravens this offseason acquired star defensive end Calais Campbell in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Campbell will have plenty of history from which to draw with his new team heading into this Week 9 matchup against the Colts. Campbell has played in eight total games in his career against the Colts, and has combined to log 26 total tackles (six for a loss) with 4.5 sacks and 15 total quarterback hits in those games.

*****

Week 10: at Tennessee Titans (8:20 p.m. ET; Thursday, Nov. 12; FOX/NFLN/Amazon^)

» 2019 Titans record: 9-7 (second place, AFC South)

» 2020 Titans additions: Edge Vic Beasley, CB Johnathan Joseph, OL Ty Sambrailo

» 2020 Titans losses: QB Marcus Mariota, RB Dion Lewis, WR Tajae Sharpe, TE Delanie Walker, T Jack Conklin, DT Jurrell Casey, LB Wesley Woodyard, LB Kamalei Correa, LB Cameron Wake, CB Logan Ryan

» 2020 Titans draft class: T Isaiah Wilson, CB Kristian Fulton, RB Darrynton Evans, DT Larrell Murchison, QB Cole McDonald, DB Chris Jackson

» Series history: Colts lead, 34-17; Colts are 15-8 all-time on the road against the Titans.

» Last matchup in Nashville: Sept. 15, 2019; Colts 19, Titans 17.

» Of note: The Colts once were kings of Thursday games, but are looking to break a recent streak of futility on Thursday nights. The team has lost its last four games played on Thursday dating back to 2016, after winning 11 straight dating back to the 2004 season. The Colts’ franchise is 13-5-1 all-time in games played on Thursdays; the Colts are 10-3-1 all-time on the road on Thursdays, and are 2-0 all-time on the road on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans, earning wins in 2010 (30-28) and 2013 (30-27).

*****

Week 11: vs. Green Bay Packers (1 p.m. ET; Sunday, Nov. 22; FOX)

» 2019 Packers record: 13-3 (first place, NFC North)

» 2020 Packers additions: LB Christian Kirksey, WR Devin Funchess, T Rick Wagner

» 2020 Packers losses: WR Geronimo Allison, TE Jimmy Graham, T Bryan Bulaga, T Jared Veldheer, LB Blake Martinez, LB Kyler Fackrell, CB Tramon Williams

» 2020 Packers draft class: QB Jordan Love, RB AJ Dillon, TE Josiah Deguara, LB Kamal Martin, G Jon Runyan, C Jake Hanson, G Simon Stepaniak, DB Vernon Scott, Edge Jonathan Garvin

» Series history: Colts lead, 23-21-1; Colts are 14-8-1 all-time against the Packers at home.

» Last matchup in Indy: Oct. 7, 2012; Colts 30, Packers 27.

» Of note: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 1-2 all-time in games against the Colts, including a 0-1 record in games played at Lucas Oil Stadium. In those three games against Indy, Rodgers has averaged to complete about 22-of-34 passes (64.7 percent) for 239 yards, and has seven total touchdowns to two interceptions. He had a stellar outing in his only other game played in the Circle City back in 2012, completing 20-of-32 passes for 235 yards with three touchdowns to one interception, but would be sacked five times in a dramatic 30-27 Colts victory that saw Reggie Wayne haul in a game-winning four-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck with 35 seconds remaining.

*****

Week 12: vs. Tennessee Titans (1 p.m. ET; Sunday, Nov. 29; CBS)

» Series history: Colts are 19-9 all-time against the Titans at home.

» Last matchup in Indy: Dec. 1, 2019: Titans 31, Colts 17.

» Last Colts home victory vs. Titans in Indianapolis: Nov. 18, 2018; Colts 38, Titans 10.

» Of note: The Titans earned a 31-17 victory over the Colts in their last game played at Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 1 of last year. The previous time the Colts lost to the Titans at home — a 20-16 decision in 2017 — they came back to crush Tennessee the following year in the Circle City. In that 38-10 victory in 2018, Andrew Luck completed 23-of-29 passes for 297 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, with T.Y. Hilton turning in a monster game: nine receptions on nine targets for 155 yards and two scores, including a 68-yard bomb. Cornerback Kenny Moore II had 10 tackles and 0.5 sacks, while Darius Leonard had seven tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble.

*****

Week 13: at Houston Texans (1 p.m. ET; Sunday, Dec. 6; CBS)

» 2019 Texans record: 10-6 (first place, AFC South)

» 2020 Texans additions: WR Randall Cobb, WR Brandin Cooks, CB Phillip Gaines, CB Vernon Hargreaves III, DT Timmy Jernigan, RB David Johnson, S Eric Murray, T Brent Qvale, DB Jaylen Watkins

» 2020 Texans losses: WR DeAndre Hopkins, RB Carlos Hyde, RB Lamar Miller, DT D.J. Reader, LB Barkevious Mingo, CB Johnathan Joseph, S Jahleel Addae, S Mike Adams, S Tashaun Gipson

» 2020 Texans draft class: DT Ross Blacklock, Edge Jonathan Greenard, T Charlie Heck, CB John Reid, WR Isaiah Coulter

» Series history: Colts lead, 28-9; Colts are 13-6 all-time on the road against the Texans.

» Last matchup in Houston: Nov. 21, 2019; Texans 20, Colts 17.

» Last Colts road victory vs. Texans in Houston: Jan. 5, 2019: Colts 21, Texans 7 (AFC Wild Card Game)

» Of note: This will be the first time the Colts and Texans have ever played in a Week 13 matchup in Houston in their series history. The first and only other time the two teams have played in Week 13 came in the 2002 season, a 19-3 Indy victory at the RCA Dome. In that game, the Colts jumped out to a 19-0 lead until the 3:45 mark of the fourth quarter, when the Texans sneaked onto the scoreboard with a 34-yard Kris Brown field goal. Peyton Manning completed 15-of-28 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown (a 16-yard pass play to tight end Marcus Pollard midway through the first quarter), while the Indy defense sacked Houston quarterback David Carr six times, including three from defensive lineman Brad Scioli.

*****

Week 14: at Las Vegas Raiders (4:05 p.m. ET; Sunday, Dec. 13; CBS)

» 2019 Raiders record: 7-9 (third place, AFC West)

» 2020 Raiders additions: WR Nelson Agholor, DT Maliek Collins, S Jeff Heath, OL Eric Kush, LB Nick Kwiatkoski, LB Cory Littleton, QB Marcus Mariota, DE Carl Nassib, DB Damarious Randall, TE Jason Witten

» 2020 Raiders losses: QB Mike Glennon, QB DeShone Kizer, WR Dwayne Harris, LB Vontaze Burfict, LB Tahir Whitehead, CB Daryl Worley, S Karl Joseph

» 2020 Raiders draft class: WR Henry Ruggs III, CB Damon Arnette, RB Lynn Bowden, WR Bryan Edwards, LB Tanner Muse, G John Simpson, CB Amik Roberston

» Series history: Raiders lead, 10-8; Colts are 5-4 all-time against the Raiders on the road (2020 will be their first season in Las Vegas).

» Last Colts road matchup against Raiders: Oct. 29, 2018; Colts 42, Raiders 28 (in Oakland).

» Of note: This will actually be the second time the Colts have played the Raiders on the road in a season in which they have moved to a new location. In 1995, the Raiders moved back to Oakland from Los Angeles, and would defeat the Colts, 30-17, in their Week 8 matchup at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The game was tied at 10 going into halftime, but Oakland would go on a 20-7 run the rest of the way. Indy pulled within three, 20-17, at the 11:04 mark of the third quarter after a nine-yard run by second-year stud Marshall Faulk, but the Raiders would answer right back with a 73-yard touchdown pass from Vince Evans to Raghib Ismail, and wouldn’t look back from there. Faulk had 99 total yards of offense on the day for the Colts, with 41 yards rushing (and two touchdowns) and 58 yards receiving. Tony Bennett had two sacks for the Indy defense, while Stephen Grant picked off an Evans pass.

*****

Week 15: vs. Houston Texans (time & broadcast TBD; Saturday, Dec. 19 or Sunday Dec. 20)

» Series history: Colts are 15-3 all-time against the Texans at home.

» Last matchup in Indy: Oct. 20, 2019; Colts 30, Texans 23.

» Of note: If Indy ends up being selected to play this Week 15 game against the Texans on Saturday, Dec. 19, it will be the Colts’ eighth game played on a Saturday since moving to Indianapolis in 1984. The Colts have a 3-4 record in those previous Saturday games in Indianapolis, with all their wins coming in home matchups: 1990 vs. the Washington Redskins, 1994 vs. the Buffalo Bills and 1995 vs. the New England Patriots.

*****

Week 16: at Pittsburgh Steelers (1 p.m. ET; Sunday, Dec. 27; CBS)

» 2019 Steelers record: 8-8 (second place, AFC North)

» 2020 Steelers additions: TE Eric Ebron, FB Derek Watt, DT Chris Wormley, OL Stefen Wisniewski

» 2020 Steelers losses: TE Nick Vannett, OL B.J. Finney, DT Javon Hargrave, OL Anthony Chickillo, CB Artie Burns, S Mark Baron

» 2020 Steelers draft class: WR Chase Claypool, Edge Alex Highsmith, RB Anthony McFarland, G Kevin Dotson, S Antoine Brooks Jr., DT Carlos Davis

» Series history: Steelers lead, 25-6; Colts at 2-16 all-time against the Steelers on the road.

» Last Colts road victory in Pittsburgh: Nov. 9, 2008; Colts 24, Steelers 20.

» Of note: The only other Colts’ victory on the road against the Steelers came on Sept. 29, 1968, a 41-7 shellacking by the then-Baltimore Colts. The Colts would then go on to lose 12 straight road games to the Steelers before snapping that streak in 2008. Indy is currently on another three-game road losing streak to Pittsburgh, including last year’s narrow 26-24 Week 9 defeat.

*****

Week 17: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1 p.m. ET; Sunday, Jan. 3; CBS)

» Series history: Colts are 14-5 all-time against the Jaguars at home.

» Last matchup in Indy: Nov. 17, 2019; Colts 33, Jaguars 13.

» Of note: The Colts have played the Jaguars in five previous regular-season finales, dating back to 2002. Indy is 3-2 in those matchups, with all three of its wins coming at home. The Colts last wrapped up their regular season schedule at home against the Jaguars in 2016, a 24-20 victory that was the final game in the legendary career of Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis, who finished the contest with three tackles, including one of his famous sack-forced fumbles, which he also happened to recover.

Custom Tom Moore Jersey Large

Perhaps Howie Roseman is just a big fan of the film “Network” and he wanted to get every quarantined Eagles fan to run to their window (or Twitter in this case) and yell, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore.”

That explanation makes as much sense as any other possible explanation provided for the decision to select Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. (Insert caveat that this isn’t about Hurts. He’s a perfectly good kid who deserves to celebrate a major life accomplishment without having it diminished. Etc., etc.)

So if it wasn’t an homage to a film from 1976, what was the reason for taking Hurts? Let’s look at some of the proposed rationales and play “Buy It Or Don’t Buy It.”

Quarterback Factory: Don’t buy it

There’s one objective in pro sports, winning the championship. Any ulterior motive or interest is a waste of time and resources. So when Roseman suggests he believes the Eagles have been and desire to be a “quarterback factory,” you have to wonder why the organization cares about that.

It’s perhaps easy and unfair to bring this back to the Patriots. But could you ever imagine Bill Belichick saying that he wants his team to be the best at a certain position? Of course not. In the pros, winning is all that matters.

Taysom Hill 2.0: Don’t buy it

Within minutes of the Hurts selection, the buzz began to circulate on social media that Doug Pederson could create a package for Hurts similar to how the Saints use former college quarterback Taysom Hill. Pederson later confirmed that the team envisions being creative to get Hurts on the field in the short term.

Yet, it’s worth noting that Hill was an undrafted free agent that forged an NFL path by playing special teams and has yet to be the primary backup for Drew Brees. Perhaps Hurts will play special teams, but that appears unlikely for a quarterback taken in the 2nd round. Howie Roseman intimated last night that this upcoming season will be Nate Sudfeld’s last in Philadelphia. So how often will the Eagles be willing to run gadget plays with Hurts as a runner/receiver when he’s the primary backup?

Lastly on this front, roster spots are not a luxury in the NFL. Especially not for the Eagles. There always has to be a contingency plan for Brandon Brooks. He had to leave a November game last season due to anxiety-related symptoms. Injuries also can mount in a game. The Eagles are very familiar with that concept. Can this particular team really afford a roster spot for five-to-ten offensive snaps?

Challenging Carson: Don’t buy it

The notion that it’s a good thing to challenge Carson Wentz with a potentially dynamic back-up has been making the rounds on social media. Hey, it worked when Nick Foles was brought in.

No, it didn’t. When Foles was signed prior to the 2017 season, he was a guy that knew the system that had failed with the Rams before riding the bench for the Chiefs. No one, NO ONE, saw Foles as a player to push Wentz until after he won the Super Bowl as Wentz’s injury replacement.

Last season, Wentz made the playoffs by winning out with Boston Scott and Greg Ward as key offensive pieces. That’s enough of a challenge.

In fairness, Roseman did not claim the Hurts selection was an effort to push Wentz.

Wentz’s injury history: Buy it

The NFL is not about building the most talented team. It’s about having a deep enough team to function in late January and February as the physical toll accumulates. Even the most ardent Wentz supporter has to acknowledge that he’s been unable to finish the last three seasons.

When it’s not your livelihood, it’s a lot easier to have a macro approach and opine that it isn’t wise to use a 2nd round pick on a luxury item like backup quarterback. But when you live it every day and jobs are on the line, it’s a different story.

The Eagles know from experience that you can win a Super Bowl with the right backup quarterback. Roseman and Pederson also lived through the playoff loss to the Seahawks last season as 40-year old Josh McCown limped through a 17-9 loss following the concussion Wentz suffered in the first quarter.

It’s not difficult to imagine a scenario where the Eagles envision Hurts being able to save the day in that Seahawks game, winning the next week in Green Bay and allowing Wentz a chance to take on the 49ers in the NFC title game.

Decisions are often the product of your experiences and the Eagles’ experience of late has been to expect Wentz to be unavailable when it matters most.

Does that make the decision the right one? Time will tell.

Personally, I subscribe to the Tom Moore school on quarterbacks. When the former Colts offensive assistant was asked why Peyton Manning takes most, if not all, of the team’s practice reps, he said the team is bleeped without Manning. And the team doesn’t practice bleeped.