It's Friday and The Stack is here to talk football from last night and other top stories so let's get right to it and see what's in "the stack" before the weekend for today, Friday, August 23:
Aaron Hernandez indicted
It didn't take long for a grand jury to indict former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on first-degree murder and weapons charges in connection with the murder of 27-year old Odin Lloyd. Hernandez was going to appear in court for a hearing, but it was likely that Hernandez would be charged. Hernandez is being held in jail without bail. No trial date has been set. Hernandez's attorney says that there has been a rush to judgement and that his client is innocent. Of course he needs to say that, but the prosecution seems to have a pretty good case against Hernandez. They have a lot of evidence against him. Hernandez who once had a bright and promising future on the football field looks like his future will be behind a jail cell for a while.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, suspended for the rest of the regular season for using PEDs, has finally broken his silence. Braun released a statement admitting "mistakes." He apologized to his teammates, his family, drug collector Dino Laurenzi Jr and others. While he said the right things in this statement, it still comes across as shallow and a little empty. He said in part, "I think a combination of feeling self righteous and having a lot of unjustified anger led me to react the way I did. I felt wronged and attacked, but looking back now, I was the one who was wrong." No, you think? Braun was dead wrong and how he handled the situation and the way he attacked Laurenzi Jr. makes me and I'm sure others disregard some of this statement. Braun should have said this at a press conference on camera, been forced to take questions from the media and answer some questions. See him squirm. See him try to dance around the issues. At least he said he was sorry, but this apology misses the target and is a tad empty.
Lions pound Patriots, Panthers beat Ravens in Thursday NFL preseason action
Yesterday, I mentioned that one of the storylines in last night's matchup between the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions was to see how the Patriots offense would look. Could they keep up their pretty amazing play the first two weeks of the preseason? It was not good last night. The Patriots were blown out by the Lions 40-9. They had four turnovers which killed drives and just did not look good at all. It was not very pretty. The Lions looked pretty good especially on screen passes to Reggie Bush, who finished with five catches for 106 yards. That is essentially going to be their rushing game, but it could work out really well.
The Carolina Panthers beat the Baltimore Ravens 34-27, scoring four touchdowns...none of them on offense! First touchdown was a punt return for a touchdown. The rest were defensive scores, two by interception and one by fumble. While it was a good night to have the Panthers defense on your preseason fantasy football team, the Panthers offense continues to be unable to find the endzone. Cam Newton was inaccurate a few more times than you would like him to for this being his third season. They have yet to find the endzone this preseason. Head coach Ron Rivera wants touchdowns, not field goals. He has to see that. That has to be disappointing. Speaking of disappointing, the Ravens certainly were. That was a big showing by their first team. It's only preseason, but should the Ravens struggle a little more this year given all that they lost, it woudln't surprise me. This will happen again.
Friday NFL preseason action
Two more NFL preseason games on the schedule tonight...
Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers 8 PM ET CBS
Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders 10 PM ET
A couple of storylines to watch for tonight. It's the first matchup between the Seahakws and Packers since the "Fail Mary" last year. That will be brought up a time or two during the game. Need to see how balanced the Packers offense is going to be. They lost a couple of weapons for Aaron Rodgers in the passing game, but added to running backs in the draft that will help establish a ground game. If the running backs can gain good chunks of yards, it will show that the Packers may be even more dangerous and can overcome losing Greg Jennings to the Vikings and Donald Driver (yes I know he didn't play much last year) to retirement.
In the Bears-Raiders game, the Bears have looked impressive in their little bit of time on the field so far this preseason on both sides of the ball. Under new head coach Marc Trestman I think there is some question as just how good this Bears team can be this year. They'll most likely destroy the Raiders, but just seeing what they can do longer will be interesting to watch.
Coming up Monday: NFL preseason thoughts plus other headlines from the weekend in sports.