Hines Ward: The Rams can make a run at the Super Bowl

Two-time Super Bowl champion and CNN sports contributor Hines Ward spoke to CNN's Jill Martin this week ...

Posted: Oct 24, 2018 4:06 AM
Updated: Oct 24, 2018 4:06 AM

Two-time Super Bowl champion and CNN sports contributor Hines Ward spoke to CNN's Jill Martin this week to share some of his takeaways through Week 7 in the NFL.

The 7-0 Rams as a Super Bowl contender:

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The Rams, with moving back to LA, are one of those teams that slowly kind of come along.

You see Jared Goff, the No. 1 overall pick (of the 2016 NFL draft), really kind of coming into his own as a quarterback.

Signing Aaron Donald (to a six-year $134 million contract extension) and signing Ndamukong Suh in free agency I think really solidified that defense. They're probably one of the most balanced teams in the NFL in all three phases: special teams, offensively, defensively.

But the engine that makes that car go is Todd Gurley. He's taken his game to another level. I mean, 14 touchdowns in seven games, that's just crazy. The guy is a touchdown machine. He can beat you in the passing game, the running game. He just takes a lot of pressure off Jared Goff to let him get into a comfort zone with passing the ball.

I just think overall, it's very hard to beat the Los Angeles Rams. They're strong contenders in making it to a Super Bowl, if they can get that home field advantage. I think they already had a little taste of it last year, and now I think they've elevated their game to try to make a run for a Super Bowl.

With all of the talk of the passing game and with records poised to keep falling, is Gurley under the radar?

Yes. And that's why. Because everyone is all about passing. Look at (Chiefs quarterback) Patrick Mahomes. Look at what he's doing. But I'm like, hello: Gurley at running back is still crushing it.

I just think (the Rams) are set up for playoff football. In the playoffs, you have to be able to run the ball and play good defense. In the passing game, you take your shots when it presents itself.

Playoff football to me is the teams that run the ball well and play good defense and they normally make it to the Super Bowl and win the Super Bowl.

The state of the Raiders:

You get Jon Gruden coming back, where he has made a name for himself. The excitement is there.

And then heading into the season, you get rid of your best player in Khalil Mack -- but you get compensation for it. And recently getting rid of Amari Cooper (who was traded to the Cowboys for a 2019 first-round draft pick). I mean, it's just basically doing a fire sale. The team is moving to Las Vegas.

I think Gruden signing a 10-year deal means he is going to be there for the long haul. You get rid of some of the roster people that you didn't have, and you didn't go out and handpick these guys. I think that's where Gruden is looking to: Heading into Vegas with three first-round picks, a bunch of money for free agency.

I can see a lot of Raiders fans saying, "Man there is something to be excited for, so let's tank this season so we can try and get the No. 1 pick overall and see where it goes."

Kickers:

Back in the day, kickers had one job: Kick the ball through the uprights. Get the extra point. Win the game.

Now, with the ball moved back for extra points, you're starting to see some very good kickers miss chip shots for extra points. And you're also getting guys who aren't that famous or aren't that well known bombing kicks from 59, 60 yards out.

This year has been interesting as far as the kicking game aspect. The guys who are normally automatic, that's not the case this year, because they're missing chip shots and easy field goals or extra points to either win the game or tie it up.

On Justin Tucker missing his first extra point in 223 tries, leading to a 24-23 Ravens loss against the Saints:

Clearly, Tucker was shocked. Any great player can eventually have one of those bad games. It came at the worst moment because it cost them the game or cost them from going to overtime. I'm just shocked about a guy who normally has the routine form not come through for his team.

I take Tucker and Adam Vinatieri as the guys that I trust the most to make field goals. It was a shocker to see him miss that.

On Buccaneers kicker Chandler Catanzaro redeeming himself to beat the Browns:

He misses a (40-yard) field goal that would have won the game, and then in overtime kicks it (59 yards) from midfield. I mean, how do you explain that?

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 126591

Reported Deaths: 2334
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin32743974
Ramsey13510352
Dakota9389136
Anoka8216150
Stearns548540
Washington534568
Scott323434
Olmsted312529
St. Louis273865
Wright231414
Nobles217416
Clay209343
Blue Earth19797
Carver17147
Kandiyohi16004
Rice15869
Sherburne158321
Mower149415
Winona120918
Lyon9336
Crow Wing92021
Waseca9189
Chisago8902
Benton8625
Beltrami8137
Otter Tail7836
Todd7415
Steele7332
Nicollet68917
Itasca68817
Freeborn6474
Morrison6438
Douglas6243
Martin59916
Le Sueur5915
McLeod5734
Watonwan5724
Goodhue52911
Polk5274
Pine5160
Becker5053
Isanti5044
Chippewa4043
Carlton3921
Dodge3700
Mille Lacs36411
Hubbard3352
Wabasha3320
Pipestone33016
Cass3285
Meeker3123
Brown3073
Rock3041
Yellow Medicine2685
Cottonwood2640
Murray2583
Redwood25111
Fillmore2410
Sibley2403
Renville23311
Faribault2140
Roseau2110
Jackson2011
Wadena2011
Unassigned19553
Swift1921
Kanabec19110
Houston1831
Lincoln1710
Pennington1701
Stevens1691
Koochiching1634
Aitkin1572
Pope1480
Big Stone1290
Lac qui Parle1263
Wilkin1264
Lake1080
Mahnomen1011
Norman1010
Grant904
Marshall901
Clearwater880
Red Lake612
Traverse540
Lake of the Woods431
Kittson330
Cook110

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 109660

Reported Deaths: 1580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk18245283
Woodbury689694
Johnson568330
Black Hawk530098
Linn5173128
Dubuque479754
Scott413437
Story389818
Dallas333744
Pottawattamie303244
Sioux231714
Buena Vista221312
Marshall194736
Webster174014
Plymouth157126
Wapello148362
Clinton138226
Muscatine136958
Crawford132412
Des Moines12819
Cerro Gordo127823
Warren11716
Carroll105210
Jasper103634
Henry9995
Marion94810
Tama91137
Lee89810
Delaware7099
Dickinson7017
Wright6981
Boone6869
Mahaska64024
Bremer6299
Washington61811
Harrison5928
Jackson5463
Benton5291
Lyon5257
Clay5014
Louisa49815
Hamilton4543
Winneshiek4519
Winnebago44718
Hardin4445
Kossuth4430
Poweshiek43911
Floyd41911
Jones4173
Emmet41217
Cedar4115
Buchanan4054
Iowa3858
Cherokee3762
Franklin37518
Guthrie37415
Sac3724
Page3680
Clayton3583
Butler3502
Mills3501
Shelby3501
Fayette3483
Cass3452
Madison3442
Allamakee3358
Chickasaw3301
Clarke3193
Humboldt3003
Palo Alto2932
Hancock2924
Grundy2855
Calhoun2784
Howard2589
Osceola2540
Monroe24911
Mitchell2360
Monona2331
Taylor2252
Union2174
Pocahontas2142
Jefferson2101
Appanoose2093
Lucas1916
Fremont1861
Ida1812
Greene1800
Van Buren1642
Davis1624
Montgomery1595
Adair1471
Keokuk1451
Decatur1400
Audubon1371
Worth1330
Wayne1133
Ringgold822
Adams700
Unassigned90
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