A quick stroll through the notebook before Sunday’s game (6:30 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Channel 19) between the Patriots and Falcons. When the clock hits 00:00, there’ll be a new defending champ and the Bengals will be tied for first in the AFC North at 0-0: Takeo Spikes is having a terrific debut as an author. Spikes, the Bengals’ first pick in the 1998 draft who went on to play 15 seasons with five teams, is scheduling a visit soon to Cincinnati to talk about his book, Behind The Mask.
Terrell Owens did not get voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, with the former wide receiver calling the selection process flawed in a pair of tweets posted before the official announcement was made.
AFC North Bytes
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the best teams in the NFL, but if they want to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl in 2017, there are several areas of need that the team must address this offseason. Assuming the Steelers are unable to bring in a top free agent, Pittsburgh’s best course of action would be to build through the draft.
The Browns aren’t ruling anything out when it comes to addressing the most important position on the field, so I can’t rule out this sort of strategy in the upcoming draft. That said, it’s fairly rare. It’s happened just three times since 2008 and only once did it occur when the team used a first-round pick in the draft on a quarterback. That, of course, was in 2012, when the Washington Redskins selected Robert Griffin III with their first-round pick and Kirk Cousins with their fourth-rounder.
We’ve heard Ozzie Newsome say many times over the years, “You can’t have enough good corners.” Yet since Super Bowl 47, the Ravens have not had enough good corners. It seems as if they’ve confused quality with quantity.
As part of the NFL's annual celebration leading up to the Super Bowl, the seven members of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame class were announced Saturday, per Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson leads the pack of inductees. He will be joined in Canton, Ohio, by running back Terrell Davis, quarterback Kurt Warner, defensive end Jason Taylor, kicker Morten Andersen, safety Kenny Easley and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Less than 24 hours before he has to take the field for Super Bowl LI, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan won his first-ever MVP award during the NFL Honors award show on Saturday night from Houston. The Falcons passer became the first player in franchise history to win an MVP award, which headlined an evening in which he was recognized for three different honors.
Oakland Raiders star Khalil Mack, a hybrid outside linebacker-defensive end, captured his first career Defensive Player of the Year award at Saturday's NFL Honors ceremony. With three-time winner J.J. Watt out of the picture due to back surgery, this year's race was wide open. By the later stages of the regular season, it was evident that there would be no slam-dunk choice in a field that included Giants safety Landon Collins, Broncos pass rusher Von Miller, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner.
NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano is joined by Jerome Bettis to discuss LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Davis' possibility of being inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Class of 2017.