Welcome back,

Mr. DeFilippo

Jaguars OC John DeFilippo, back to work after being fired from the same position 13 games into the 2018 Vikings season, sits on the hot seat. Still working for an old-school head coach on a run-oriented team, DeFilippo will be told to control the clock to keep the ball from reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and an offense that led the league in scoring last season.

Kyler trying to measure up

The oddsmakers aren't sold on the prospects of the 5-10 Kyler Murray having a big NFL debut. The Lions travel to Arizona as a favorite against the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and the No. 1 overall draft pick. It will be fun to watch Murray's style of play. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only five QBs 5-10 or shorter have thrown a regular-season pass since 1960.

Are the Browns overhyped?

It's time to determine whether the most talked-about team in the league is legitimate or a band of overhyped individuals led by Odell Beckham Jr. The Browns, who haven't won a playoff game since Bill Belichick led the original Browns to a victory over the Patriots during the 1994 season, start 2019 as a trendy playoff pick. They open at home against a Tennessee team that's solid defensively.


The NFL's 100th season began Thursday night when the Packers went to Chicago and beat the Bears in a throwback final score (10-3). In this space, we'll take a weekly look back at a moment in time from the league's first century. This week, in honor of the Browns' (over?)hype, let's look back at Sept. 16, 1950, the day Cleveland and two other teams from the All-American Football Conference merged with the NFL.

The Browns had won all four AAFC titles, which got them a Week 1 date with Greasy Neale's two-time defending champion Eagles in Philadelphia. Paul Brown's advanced passing game whipped the Eagles 35-10 as quarterback Otto Graham threw the ball 38 times for 346 yards and three touchdowns.

Afterward, Neale poo-pooed the feat, calling the Browns' style "basketball on grass." Brown took note, knowing they'd be playing again three months later in Cleveland. In that rematch, Brown ran the ball 41 times and passed it ZERO times. Cleveland won 13-7 with 68 yards of offense, one first down and a 4-0 turnover advantage. Three weeks later, they beat the Rams 30-28 for their first NFL championship.


The Rams are fresh off winning the NFC. The Panthers are fresh off blowing a 6-2 start by finishing 1-7. Los Angeles travels to Carolina Sunday as a 1½-point favorite. Cam Newton, the Panthers and their fans will be waiting eagerly. Panthers 27, Rams 24.

Mark Craig