After some technical difficulties yesterday (not that there was too much to talk about other than Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini and the Hunt for October which we'll talk about a little today but a lot next week), The Stack is here with some big NFL news to react to plus a prediction for tonight's homecoming game for Andy Reid so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, September 19:
Trent Richardson traded to Indy
For a little while now, we've heard Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay say that general manager Ryan Grigson was putting something together in the works to make the Colts better. In light of the season ending injury to running back Vick Ballard, it was imperative for the Colts to make a move. They made one heck of a trade late yesterday afternoon, sending their 2014 first round draft pick to Cleveland for running back Trent Richardson. The Browns seem to be giving up on the former first round draft pick who is only into his third game of his second NFL year. It is a shocking trade to say the least. Richardson was plagued by a few injuries last year, but he has a lot of potential. He seems like he would be a good franchise running back. Coming on the heels of news earlier in the day that the Browns will start third string quarterback Brian Hoyer against Minnesota on Sunday, Browns fans understandably are ticked. The Browns front office is looking at building a winner. They've secured two first round picks in next years draft and are almost certain to make a play at a franchise quarterback. It might be Johnny Manziel. Members of the Browns brass were at Saturday's game against Alabama. They have to be impressed with what they saw. But the Browns were going to have a top five pick next year anyway with the way they've looked through two weeks. They would be able to draft either Manziel or Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater. You need weapons around a franchise quarterback and that was what Richardson was. The Browns need to win over their fan base pretty quickly, but that is not likely to happen this season. They say they haven't given up on the season yet. Actions speak louder than words.
As for the Colts, this is a bold move, but a solid move. They got running back Ahmad Bradshaw in the offseason from the Giants, but he has been hampered by injuries. Why not pair franchise quarterback Andrew Luck with a franchise running back in Richardson? They're both in their second year and it makes the Colts a much more balanced and threatening offensive team. The defense still has a lot of room for improvement, but the offense just got significantly better.
Ryan Clady out for the year
We've heard for the last couple of days that Denver Broncos offensive tackle Ryan Clady would probably miss a few weeks with a foot sprain. The dreaded "Lisfranc" word had been uttered and yesterday perhaps the inevitable happened...Denver placed Clady on injured reserve, ending his season. The injury happened late in Sunday's win over the New York Giants. Should he have been in there still with the game well in hand? That will certainly be up for debate now that the decision has been made to end Clady's season. This is a blow to the Broncos as Peyton Manning needs someone like Clady to protect him. The Broncos will go far so long as Manning can stay healthy. That job just got singificantly more challenging with the loss of Clady.
Hunt for October getting good
Less than two weeks remain in baseball's regular season and there are some really good races going on. In the NL, the best race is in the NL Central where the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds are all jockeying for playoff position with the Washington Nationals in the NL East on the very outside looking in. The Pirates lost again last night to the San Diego Padres at home!! They are now 2 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals who won last night over the Colorado Rockies. The Cardinals most likely will win the Central which is a real shame that the Pirates will have to fight for their playoff lives in a one game series with the Reds, but that's what the extra playoff spot means. Still have a few games left before that happens though.
The AL is where the big race is, specifically for the AL wild card spots. With the Oakland Athletics pulling away from the slumping Texas Rangers for the AL West, the Rangers find themselves in a dog fight to hang on to one of the wild card spots along with the Tampa Bay Rays, but the Cleveland Indians sit just a half game back following their loss to the Kansas City Royals, another team in the wild card race. They sit 2.5 games back of the final spot. It's just great to have the Royals back in postseason contention. The Baltimore Orioles are one game back of the final spot and the New York Yankees, like the Royals, sit 2.5 games back. Sit back and enjoy the ride. It is going to be a fun final eleven days of the baseball season.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Philadelphia Eagles 8:25 PM ET NFL Network
The best game of week 3 may indeed be the first game of the week. The 2-0 Kansas City Chiefs visit the Linc to see if they can slow down Chip Kelly's fast tempo offense. The big story in this one clearly is Chiefs head coach Andy Reid's return to Philly where he coached for fourteen years before being fired last year. You would hope that the Philly fans would cheer Reid and welcome him back. Most will, but not everyone. Remember, these are the same people who once booed Santa Clause. The Eagles (cough, cough) defense (cough, cough) must show up so the offense doesn't have to put up so many points to win. The Eagles offense will put up plenty of points, but Reid knows their personnel. He just doesn't know the schemes as well. This game, frankly, is a toss up. I can see either team winning. I'm inclined to pick the Chiefs, especially since the Eagles burned me last week when they lost to the Chargers. However, I think they play inspired tonight. Former quarterbakc Donovan McNabb is being honored at the game. There will be a lot of energy. Great game. Hope to not start out the week 0-1.
Prediction: Eagles 30 Chiefs 23
And quickly, before I go, want to give a shoutout to my dad who turns 50 today. Hitting the half-century mark is pretty impressive. Happy birthday dad.
Coming up Friday: NFL Week 3 preview and predictions