NFL and NCAA Football News

Ballin’ on a Budget Week 8 Picks

We’re finally in the black as promised. That was hard. Now, the hard part is staying there. That starts with Week 8 picks, which seem particularly tough. It looks like odds makers are fine tuning their lines well as the season gets deeper, because it was really hard to find bets to like

We’re finally in the black as promised. That was hard. Now, the hard part is staying there. That starts with Week 8 picks, which seem particularly tough. It looks like odds makers are fine tuning their lines well as the season gets deeper, because it was really hard to find bets to like this week. Still, we have a column to write, so there were five worth writing about.

Since there’s nothing that jumps out at me as a “lock” (there’s no such thing), we’re just going to throw the same amount of money on all these games and hope we at least go 3-2 and keep building up our stacks of cash.

Colts -3 at Raiders (-115)

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Raiders are in complete disarray. The trade of Amari Cooper isn’t going to affect their on-field product through lost production. He had been injured and under performing all year long. However, it is the beginning of a long rebuilding process and nobody wants to deal with that mid-season.

This game might be in Oakland, but with running back Marshawn Lynch headed to the injured reserve, what reason do some of these guys have to be out there? I’m not saying the team is going to completely give up (although they might), but the Colts have more on the line in a mediocre AFC South, so the desperation for the win alone might give them the slight edge. The bet: $4 for total payout of $7.48.

Packers +9 at Rams (-110)

It’s just hard to imagine an Aaron Rodgers led team losing by double digits. Yes, they are playing the NFL’s best team on the road and are coming off a near disaster against the 49ers, but it’s still hard to imagine. Green Bay’s pass defense is in the top 10, but it’s run defense is ranked 20th in yards allowed per game. They can’t allow Todd Gurley III to shred them. Easier said than done.

In a game that should take on a playoff-like atmosphere, Rodgers is going to show up. He probably can’t will his injury-riddled team to victory on one leg against football’s best team, but he can certainly keep it within 10 points. The bet: $4 for total payout of $7.64.

Vikings -1 vs. Saints (-110)

In a rematch of last year’s classic NFC Divisional Round playoff game, Minnesota and New Orleans square off again, this time with the No. 2 seed in the NFC potentially at stake. That might be getting ahead of ourselves, but this is a big one. The fact it’s in Minnesota makes all the difference. They’ve been rolling and getting this game at home is huge.

The Saints are coming off a lucky 24-23 win in which Justin Tucker missed an extra point that would’ve sent the game into overtime. Rarely, do the football gods let you get away with that unscathed. Expect New Orleans to come crashing back down to earth against another good defense and for Minnesota to hold on late in a potential playoff preview. The bet: $4 for total payout of $7.64.

Broncos-Chiefs UNDER 55 (-110)

Divisional games, especially in the AFC West, always seem to be tough. In fact, this very match up already proved to be tough with Denver falling late at home, 27-23. Now, the Broncos are faced with stopping a Kansas City offense that just put up 45 against the Bengals on Sunday Night Football.

While Denver’s defense isn’t nearly as strong as many anticipated it would be, there is reason to believe in this under. One is that Denver’s own offense has really struggled. That opens the door for the under to still hit, even in the case of a blowout. This simply seems like too high an over/under given how these teams have played on defense as of late. The bet: $4 for total payout of $7.64.

Patriots-Bills OVER 44 (-110)

If nothing else, bet this over just so you can be entertained watching Derek Anderson try to out duel Tom Brady. Of course, that won’t happen, but the Patriots defense is bad and the Bills should be able to do something on offense. This is likely to be a two-score game, but not 21-7, more like 42-28. We’ve seen it all year long: New England wins shootouts.

Of course, the Bills are depleted on offense, but again, they should put up enough points (grouped with how many points they get gashed by the Patriots for) to easily cover 44 total points. The bet: $4 for total payout of $7.64.

No bonus picks this week; there simply aren’t enough good games to give you any more options. Let’s hope the sports betting gods don’t take spite on us for winning two bets on that Justin Tucker missed extra point last week. Those things always seem to have a way of evening themselves out…

Read More 764 Words

Ballin’ on a Budget Week 7 Results

THANK YOU, JUSTIN TUCKER. The missed extra point heard ‘round the world saved us from near disaster this week. Everything looked great. We were ready to go 4-1 on the week and then the Ravens decided to complicate things. We’ll talk about all that and more in this week’s results column, but suffice

THANK YOU, JUSTIN TUCKER. The missed extra point heard ‘round the world saved us from near disaster this week. Everything looked great. We were ready to go 4-1 on the week and then the Ravens decided to complicate things. We’ll talk about all that and more in this week’s results column, but suffice it to say we got pretty lucky.

WIN: Vikings -4 vs. Jets (-110): Vikings 37, Jets 17.

There were a few points where the Jets made this bet seem like it could finish close, but ultimately, the Vikings were just too much. We thought the -4 line looked too good to be true, but it turns out it wasn’t. We got good Kirk Cousins Sunday, which all but guaranteed we were in the clear.

Minnesota looks to be rolling right now and we will see if the oddsmakers catch up to that in future weeks when they’re setting lines. The win: $5.70.

WIN: Texans +5 vs. Jaguars (-105): Texans 20, Jaguars 7.

The Jaguars are a mess right now and boy, did we benefit from that mess. In hindsight, it would’ve been great to bet the Texans’ money line since they ended up winning the game outright. Even as it is, we got good value at -105, meaning oddsmakers really thought this was going to be a touchdown game.

Blake Bortles forgot how to play football and was replaced by Cody Kessler in the second half, but that didn’t help the Jaguars enough to get them back into the game. After starting 0-3, Houston is now in first place in the AFC South and after winning us our bet, we should be happy about that. Total win: $7.81.

LOSS: Panthers-Eagles OVER 45.5 (-110): Panthers 21, Eagles 17.

We looked doomed from the start until the two teams made things very interesting near the end of the game. Philly was driving before their drive stalled late. Had they scored and made it 24-21, we could’ve rooted for a Panther field goal to push us over and send things to overtime. As it happens, it wasn’t meant to be.

It turns out the betting gods really were on our side Sunday, though, as we will talk about in a minute. That being said, we can’t complain too much about not getting this backdoor cover, because it was our only blemish on the day. Total win: $0.

WIN: Saints over Ravens (+120): Saints 24, Ravens 23.

This was our upset pick of the week and it hit. Of course, this should have gone to overtime, but we will take it. It was a truly wild game with the Ravens seemingly tying the game before Justin Tucker missed his first extra point in 223 career tries. Baltimore looked like they were going to completely screw us over, but we somehow managed to escape.

Had Tucker drilled the extra point, we likely would have seen overtime, which would have made it impossible to win our Saints bet as well as our under bet. We’ll count our blessings as well as our winnings. The win: $6.60.

WIN: Saints-Ravens UNDER 49.5: Saints 24, Ravens 23.

This seemed like a mortal lock as the score sat at 3-0 Ravens six minutes before the half, but we very nearly had our hearts broken. A spurt of offense down the stretch almost pushed this thing over. As we mentioned, though, the Tucker missed extra point saved the day on both fronts.

Had he made it, the game would have been tied at 24. This was our biggest bet of the day and the only way to win it would have been a 24-24 tie. Thank goodness we didn’t have to root for that and narrowly escaped with both our bets in tact from this game. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, Justin Tucker for finally putting us into the green on the season. Total win: $15.20.

PIGGY BANK: $152.12 (8.7% return on investment)

PICK PERCENTAGE: 59.4% (19-13-3)

Read More 590 Words

7 Highlights from Week 7

PRESS RELEASE

SEVEN FROM SUNDAYWEEK 7

A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 9:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 21st, the seventh week of the 2018 season.

PRESS RELEASE

SEVEN FROM SUNDAYWEEK 7

A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 9:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 21st, the seventh week of the 2018 season.
  • New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES completed 22 of 30 passes (73.3 percent) for 212 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 114.9 rating in the Saints’ 24-23 victory at Baltimore.
Brees, who has 501 career touchdown passes, became the fourth player in NFL history with at least 500 career touchdown passes, joining PEYTON MANNING (539), Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (508) and TOM BRADY (504).
With today’s win against the Ravens, Brees joins Manning and Favre as the only quarterbacks to defeat all 32 current NFL teams.
 
  • Minnesota wide receiver ADAM THIELEN had nine receptions for 110 yards and one touchdown in the Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

    Thielen has recorded at least 100 receiving yards in each of Minnesota’s first seven games this season,
    tying CHARLEY HENNIGAN (seven consecutive games in 1961) as the only players in NFL history with 100 or more receiving yards in each of his team’s first seven games of a season. Thielen became the fifth player to record seven consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards in a single season in NFL history.
Thielen, who went undrafted in 2013, is the fourth undrafted player in the common draft era to record at least seven games with 100 or more receiving yards in a single season, joining ROD SMITH (8 games in 2000), WES WELKER (8 in 2011) & VICTOR CRUZ (7 in 2011).
 
  • Los Angeles Rams running back TODD GURLEY scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in Rams’ 39-10 victory at San Francisco. The Rams, who are the league’s only unbeaten team, begin the season 7-0 for the first time since 1985.
Gurley, who has 14 total touchdowns (11 rushing, three receiving) this season, is the third different player with at least 14 touchdowns in his team’s first seven games to start a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN (15 in 1958) and PRIEST HOLMES (14 in 2002 and 14 in 2004).
 
  • Tampa Bay kicker CHANDLER CATANZARO converted the game-winning 59-yard field goal with 1:50 remaining in the Buccaneers’ 26-23 overtime win over Cleveland.
Catanzaro’s 59-yarder is the longest game-winning field goal in overtime since the regular-season overtime rule was instituted in 1974, surpassing the previous record of 57 yards set by Oakland’s SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI (October 19, 2008 vs. the New York Jets).
At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first seven weeks of the 2018 season, marking the first time that a season has featured at least one overtime game in each of its first seven weeks.
 
  • Los Angeles Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS completed 19 of 26 passes (73.1 percent) for 306 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 137.7 rating in the Chargers’ 20-19 victory over Tennessee before a crowd of 84,301 at London’s Wembley Stadium.

    Rivers, who threw touchdowns of 75 and 55 yards, became the
    first quarterback with two touchdown passes of at least 50 yards in the 23 NFL games played in London since 2007. By the end of the 2018 season, the NFL will have played 24 regular-season games in London, with 29 of 32 teams having participated.

    Rivers, who has 60 career games with at least 300 passing yards, is the
    sixth player in NFL history to record at least 60 such games, joining DREW BREES (112), PEYTON MANNING (93), TOM BRADY (84) and Pro Football Hall of Famers DAN MARINO (63) and BRETT FAVRE (62).
  • Carolina wide receiver CURTIS SAMUEL rushed for a touchdown and quarterback CAM NEWTON threw two touchdowns passes, including a one-yard pass to tight end GREG OLSEN with 1:22 remaining in the fourth quarter, in the Panthers’ 21-17 victory over Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Panthers, who trailed 17-0 in the fourth quarter, recorded the largest fourth-quarter comeback victory in franchise history.
The HOUSTON TEXANS defeated Jacksonville, 20-7, in Week 7. The Texans are the sixth team since 1970 to win four consecutive games immediately following an 0-3 start to a season, joining the 1970 New York Giants, 1986 Los Angeles Raiders, 1998 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Pittsburgh Steelers and 2011 Kansas City Chiefs.
The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS defeated Chicago, 38-31, at Soldier Field. The Patriots, who scored 38 points in both Week 4 and Week 5 and 43 points in Week 6, are the fifth team since 1970 to score at least 38 points in four consecutive games in a single season, joining the 2014 Dallas Cowboys, 2004 Indianapolis Colts, 2000 St. Louis Rams and 1998 Minnesota Vikings.
 
  • Detroit rookie running back KERRYON JOHNSON rushed for 158 yards on 19 carries (8.3 average) in the Lions’ 32-21 victory at Miami.
Johnson is the first Lions running back with at least 150 rushing yards in a single game since JAHVID BEST (163 vs. Chicago on October 10, 2011). The Lions combined for 248 rushing yards on Sunday, the most by the franchise in a single game since November 23, 1997 (249 yards vs. Indianapolis).
 
Courtesy of NFL Communications
Read More 719 Words

Mack’s emergence helping Colts put together balanced offense

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Frank Reich made it clear from the moment he accepted the Indianapolis Colts coaching job that he wanted to build around a strong ground game.

He might finally have the foundation.

Since returning from a lingering hamstring injury, Marlon Mack has turned heads, piled up numbers and given the Colts'

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Frank Reich made it clear from the moment he accepted the Indianapolis Colts coaching job that he wanted to build around a strong ground game.

He might finally have the foundation.

Since returning from a lingering hamstring injury, Marlon Mack has turned heads, piled up numbers and given the Colts’ offense a more balanced look. He helped Indy snap a four-game losing streak Sunday and if he keeps it up, Mack could help the Colts win more games this season.

“He’s explosive. He turns a 5-yard run into a 15 or 20-yard run,” Reich said after Sunday’s 37-5 rout of Buffalo. “(He’s) an excellent inside and outside runner, so (we are) really glad to have him back in the mix.”

The Colts (2-5) envisioned Mack fitting perfectly into this role.

They drafted him in the fourth round in 2017, believing South Florida’s career rushing leader would eventually start after spending one season as the understudy to Frank Gore, the NFL’s No. 4 career rusher.

At training camp this summer, team owner Jim Irsay projected Mack could run for 1,500 yards this season — a feat only one NFL player achieved over the past three seasons and an astoundingly high number in the era of rotating running backs.

But Mack showed everyone what he could do the past two weeks.

After missing four of Indy’s first five games, he returned against the New York Jets and ran 12 times for 89 yards just 2 short of his career high. On Sunday against the Bills defense, ranked No. 3 overall at the time, he had 19 carries for 126 yards and one touchdown while catching two passes for 33 yards and another score.

Suddenly, he and the Colts looked as if they could start alleviating the heavy early season workload on Andrew Luck’s repaired right shoulder.

“The middle three guys were definitely moving some people and when that happens, you get gaps in there and Marlon was setting up guys pretty well,” longtime left tackle Anthony Castonzo said Tuesday. “The good thing is it wasn’t perfect so we can still get better.”

Mack is still getting on the same page with a relatively young offensive line.

Center Ryan Kelly was Indy’s first-round pick in 2016 and has returned to his rookie form after missing most of last season because of injuries. The Colts (2-5) have seen left guard Quenton Nelson, the No. 6 overall pick, settle into his new gig and believe he can emerge as a perennial Pro Bowler if he stays healthy.

Braden Smith, a second-round pick this spring, took advantage of injuries to crack the starting lineup sooner than anticipated and appears to have found a home at right tackle. Castonzo, a first-round pick in 2011, just turned 30 in August and 26-year-old Mark Glowinski has filled in admirably at right guard since Matt Slauson went down with a season-ending back injury in Week 5.

The result: Luck has only been sacked once in his past 125 attempts and the offensive line is increasingly creating creases Mack can burst through.

“Marlon, he is patient and he’s able to predict where guys end up based on the structure of the defense,” offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni said. “Marlon just has a unique vision quality and he can really hit it when it’s time to hit it. It’s like he’s patient setting up the block, but he has that acceleration to hit the hole before they can get off on him.”

Right now, it looks as if it’s a perfect combination.

Mack already has flirted with back-to-back 100-yard games, something the Colts haven’t achieved since October and November 2007 when Joseph Addai went for 100 and 112 yards against Carolina and New England.

This week, against the Raiders’ No. 27-ranked run defense, Mack hopes to add his name to the list.

“It’s just something to build upon. The offensive line and us coming together and working hard,” Mack said after Sunday’s game. “It (a 100-yard game) is a great thing as a running back that you want to have for your career.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 615 Words

Falcons right guard Fusco has season-ending ankle injury

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons right guard Brandon Fusco will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a broken right ankle in Monday night's win over the New York Giants.

Coach Dan Quinn said Tuesday Fusco suffered the fracture late in the second quarter of the 23-20 win .

Quinn

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons right guard Brandon Fusco will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a broken right ankle in Monday night’s win over the New York Giants.

Coach Dan Quinn said Tuesday Fusco suffered the fracture late in the second quarter of the 23-20 win .

Quinn says Ben Garland, who replaced Fusco, “did well.” The Falcons (3-4) are entering their bye week following their second straight win.

The Falcons already have lost a starting guard, Andy Levitre, to a season-ending arm injury. Three defensive starters — safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen and linebacker Deion Jones — are on injured reserve. Jones may return from his foot injury this season.

Running back Devonta Freeman also is on IR with a groin injury.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 79 Words

Why Smaller Sports League Want in on Legal Sports Betting

While the four major U.S. sports leagues wrestle with how to approach the rapidly expanding legal sports betting market in the states, a bevy of smaller leagues and sports organizations are quickly embracing the emerging market.

The reason various niche sports are seeking out deals with sportsbook operators, gaming companies and sports information providers

While the four major U.S. sports leagues wrestle with how to approach the rapidly expanding legal sports betting market in the states, a bevy of smaller leagues and sports organizations are quickly embracing the emerging market.

The reason various niche sports are seeking out deals with sportsbook operators, gaming companies and sports information providers is grounded in the desire to expand their sports through the increased fan engagement that sports wagering can stimulate.

The four big dogs — Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League — have long known that gambling drives eyeballs, but as longtime opponents of legal sports betting, they are proceeding more cautiously in this new era. In fact, the leagues are calling for federal intervention on sports betting once again. But in any framework, legal sports betting is good for business and a potential lifeline for leagues fighting to stay afloat.

Read More 105 Words

Georgia Tech trying to hang onto the ball, and season

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech has had time to stew during its bye week, but the Yellow Jackets are neither lamenting their tough schedule, ruing a few dreadful losses nor contemplating the complexities required to save their season.

The Yellow Jackets (3-4, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) have been working on a seemingly simple

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech has had time to stew during its bye week, but the Yellow Jackets are neither lamenting their tough schedule, ruing a few dreadful losses nor contemplating the complexities required to save their season.

The Yellow Jackets (3-4, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) have been working on a seemingly simple skill — hanging onto the football. They will see how much the time off has helped them on Thursday night at Virginia Tech (4-2, 3-0).

The Jackets have fumbled 22 times, leading — or lagging — the nation’s 130 Division I teams with 3.1 bobbles per game.

Georgia Tech has lost eight of those, which is tied for 117th worst.

“I want to beat Virginia Tech; that’s my goal. If we pull ourselves back even, then we’ll worry about going to North Carolina,” said coach Paul Johnson. “What I want to accomplish is to go up there and not lay the ball on the ground on three consecutive plays and not beat ourselves.”

Georgia Tech won the last two times in Blacksburg and beat No. 17 Virginia Tech 28-22 last season in Atlanta, the highlight of a 5-6 campaign that left them out of bowl for the second time in three years.

Johnson said the Jackets are not thinking about what they need to do to avoid missing a bowl again. He just knows they need to hang onto the ball to have any success.

A fumble by wingback Qua Searcy was critical when Georgia Tech blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead at South Florida on Sept. 8. There were eight fumbles, one lost, in a 49-21 loss to second-ranked Clemson on Sept. 22.

The Jackets didn’t turn the ball over in lopsided wins over Bowling Green and Louisville, but fumble-itis struck again in a 28-14 home loss to Duke on Oct. 13 that all but knocked the Jackets out of contention in the ACC’s Coastal division.

Georgia Tech inflicted most damage upon itself and Duke scored a touchdown each time after sophomore fullback Jerry Howard, senior quarterback TaQuon Marshall and freshman kickoff returner Juanyeh Thomas coughed the ball up on back-to-back-to-back third-quarter touches.

“I look at those three fumbles and none of them had anything to do with the option offense . . . They were ball security issues,” Johnson lamented. “The first one an offensive lineman knocked out from the side . . . Now, you’ve got to have the ball high and tight; we preach that all the time. We’ve got to do a better job teaching it.

“The second one . . . we did not have the ball secured, and that comes back to coaching. And the third one was a really young guy trying to make something happen . . . and their guy made a really good play and punched the ball.”

Georgia Tech needs to address its ball-security issues immediately to become bowl eligible by winning three of five games.

After playing Thursday at Virginia Tech, against whom Johnson’s Georgia Tech teams are 4-1 in Saturday games and 0-5 on other days, the Yellow Jackets will travel to North Carolina, play hosts to Virginia and Miami, then travel to Georgia .

Virginia Tech has been erratic, although fourth-year junior transfer quarterback Ryan Willis has twice passed for more than 300 yards.

The Hokies are stout against Georgia Tech’s beloved run, but a young secondary that includes redshirt freshman quarterback Caleb Farley and sophomores Bryce Watts has been strafed. Virginia Tech is allowing 295.7 passing yards per game, ranked No. 125 in the nation.

“They’re not as experienced as they’ve been in the past (on defense), but they’ve got some good athletes and they run well,” Johnson said. “They’ve got (fifth-year senior defensive tackle Ricky Walker), who’s probably as good as anybody in our league.”

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Read More 563 Words

Dolphins need to plug holes in run defense _ and fast

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins' defense will have a different look this week.

"I got a haircut," linebacker Raekwon McMillan announced, "just to make myself feel good."

Change is needed after a decidedly ragged showing at home last week. The Dolphins gave up 248 yards rushing and forced only one punt in a

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins’ defense will have a different look this week.

“I got a haircut,” linebacker Raekwon McMillan announced, “just to make myself feel good.”

Change is needed after a decidedly ragged showing at home last week. The Dolphins gave up 248 yards rushing and forced only one punt in a 32-21 loss to Detroit , and they must regroup quickly for a Thursday night game at Houston.

The Texans (4-3) have a top-10 offense and a four-game winning streak . That bodes badly for the Dolphins (4-3), who rank fourth-worst in the NFL in yards allowed per play and gave up seven scores against the Lions.

“It was bad,” coach Adam Gase said. “We have to clean up a lot of stuff. We have to get on the same page, and everybody needs to make sure they play as a group. They gutted us.”

But Gase ruled out a lineup shake-up.

“It’s not about lineup changes,” he said. “It’s about everybody being on the same page and doing the right stuff to make sure that we have a chance to stop the run.”

Run defense has been a recurring problem during Gase’s three years as coach. Over the final 10 weeks of the 2017 season, his team allowed 127 yards per game rushing, and won only twice. Even in 2016, when the Dolphins made the playoffs, they gave up more rushing yards than 29 other teams.

This season Miami ranks fourth-worst in rushing yards allowed, and the Lions repeatedly took advantage of gaping holes. Among Miami players, there’s cohesion in the locker room that the problem is a lack of cohesion on the field.

“We just have to tighten up all around, everybody in their gaps, making sure that we’re sound, playing our technique and not trying to do too much, not trying to make too many plays,” McMillan said. “We have to play better. That’s all there is to it.”

Another problem is the pass rush. The Dolphins have just 11 sacks, fourth-lowest in the league. Ends Cameron Wake, Robert Quinn and Andre Branch, who are drawing a lot of attention from blockers, have only one sack apiece.

“My job is to the get to the quarterback,” Wake said. “If I don’t do it, it’s a failure.”

Injuries have been an issue up front. Wake returned to the lineup last week, but end Charles Harris has been ruled out against Houston for the third game in a row with a calf injury.

The Dolphins are tied for the league lead with 11 interceptions, but had no takeaways against the Lions. Cornerback Xavien Howard narrowly missed coming up with a late pick when it was a one-score game.

“If we want to consider ourselves one of the best secondaries, we’ve got to make plays when they come,” Howard said. “I had the opportunity.”

A few takeaways by the defense would be a big boost for a Miami offense missing two starting receivers and relying on backup quarterback Brock Osweiler for the third game in a row.

The Texans are sure to test the Dolphins’ run defense — Houston is second in the NFL in rushing plays. The versatility of quarterback Deshaun Watson compounds the challenge, as safety Minkah Fitzpatrick can attest.

Fitzpatrick played for Alabama against Watson and Clemson two years in a row in the national championship game, and calls him the best quarterback he faced in college.

“He made some amazing plays,” Fitzpatrick said. “He’s a tough player. He can take some hits and make some amazing throws. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for us.

“But that’s when I perform my best — when I’m going against the best. You just have to lock in and clench your jaw.”

Nice haircuts aren’t enough.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

___

Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve_Wine.

Read More 583 Words

Chiefs put Devey, Smith on IR amid flurry of roster moves

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs have placed offensive lineman Jordan Devey and linebacker Terrance Smith on injured reserve as part of a series of roster moves Tuesday.

The Chiefs also promoted center James Murray and tight end Deon Yelder to the 53-man roster and signed offensive tackle Pace Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs have placed offensive lineman Jordan Devey and linebacker Terrance Smith on injured reserve as part of a series of roster moves Tuesday.

The Chiefs also promoted center James Murray and tight end Deon Yelder to the 53-man roster and signed offensive tackle Pace Murphy and linebacker Raymond Davison to the practice squad.

Devey started the past two games because of injuries elsewhere on the offensive line, first at right guard and then at center. He hurt his pectoral muscle in Sunday’s victory over Cincinnati.

Smith left the same game with a knee injury.

The Chiefs are already without center Mitch Morse because of a concussion and right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif because of a broken bone in his leg. They signed free agent Jeff Allen to help with depth last week.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 92 Words

Giants ship CB Apple to Saints

Giants ship CB Apple to Saints

Former first-round pick Eli Apple was traded from the New York Giants to the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday.

In return, the Giants will receive a 2019 fourth-round draft pick and a 2020 seventh-rounder, pending the completion of Apple's physical.

Apple,

Giants ship CB Apple to Saints

Former first-round pick Eli Apple was traded from the New York Giants to the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday.

In return, the Giants will receive a 2019 fourth-round draft pick and a 2020 seventh-rounder, pending the completion of Apple’s physical.

Apple, who plays cornerback, joins a New Orleans secondary loaded with Buckeyes. The Ohio State product, selected 10th overall in 2016, joins former college teammates in safety Vonn Bell (second round, 2016) and cornerback Marshon Lattimore (first round, 2017) with the Saints.

Apple injured his ankle Monday night in the Giants’ loss at Atlanta but was able to return to the game.

His tenure in New York was marked with inconsistency and included a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team for Week 17 last season. Apple shouted at defensive backs coach Tim Walton for placing him with the scouting team during practice in December, escalating a confrontation that led to Apple’s ban.

Apple, 23, has 23 starts and one interception in 30 career games.

Veteran cornerback B.W. Webb is expected to replace Apple in the Giants’ secondary.

–Field Level Media

Read More 119 Words

FANTASY PLAYS: Waiver adds for Week 8 in fantasy football

The latest thing to sweat on fantasy football waivers besides byes and injuries: real-life NFL trades.

The deal that sent Cleveland running back Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville last week prompted immediate pickups and high free agency acquisition budget (FAAB) bids on Cleveland rookie Nick Chubb. Oakland trading Amari Cooper on Monday to Dallas has led

The latest thing to sweat on fantasy football waivers besides byes and injuries: real-life NFL trades.

The deal that sent Cleveland running back Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville last week prompted immediate pickups and high free agency acquisition budget (FAAB) bids on Cleveland rookie Nick Chubb. Oakland trading Amari Cooper on Monday to Dallas has led to a new Oakland waiver target at wide receiver.

With the NFL trade deadline a week away, you are going to have to stay regularly updated on the maneuvering as much as possible. You may have to rush to make a big move at any time in some leagues. Those with open pickups after waivers are facing a race similar to what happened last week when Chubb suddenly became a prized asset.

RUNNING BACKS

MARLON MACK, Colts (54 percent owned): Many owners cut Mack when he was not healthy, a mistake too many fantasy players make. You should not cut a potentially valuable player when they are hurt if it’s not a season-ender. Mack has exceeded expectations since roaring back from a hamstring problem over the past two games. He totaled 159 yards and a TD from scrimmage last week. Trade for a top waiver pick or spend a sizable amount of your FAAB on Mack if you need RB help.

DOUG MARTIN, Raiders (18.2): Jalen Richard may turn out to be the more productive Oakland running back in point-per-reception leagues, especially as the Raiders play from behind often. But with Marshawn Lynch now on injured reserve, Martin should be the main ball carrier for Oakland. Martin has always been inconsistent but can rip off some big gains at any time.

CHRIS IVORY, Bills (9): Here we are again recommending him, and hopefully a few of you learned your lesson already and kept Ivory rostered, as it is apparent LeSean McCoy cannot stay healthy. Now McCoy is in the concussion protocol and Ivory has a good chance to start for the Bills in Week 8. He has played well when called on, with 126 scrimmage yards in Week 3 and 81 rushing yards in Week 7.

KAPRI BIBBS, Redskins (0.9): He caught four passes for 43 yards and a TD on Sunday with Chris Thompson out. Opportunities may continue to present themselves for Bibbs as Thompson seems to be a consistent injury risk and Adrian Peterson has been getting banged up. Bibbs could continue to get chances to fill in.

WIDE RECEIVERS

DANNY AMENDOLA, Dolphins (24.4): He has been revived over the past two games with Brock Osweiler taking over at QB for Miami. Amendola has caught 14 passes over the past two games and finished with 84 yards and a TD on Sunday. He is a nice add for bye week depth, but always keep in mind his long history of injury issues. He is already dealing with a seemingly minor shoulder problem this week.

TRE’QUAN SMITH, Saints (8.7): The rookie exploded onto the scene with 111 receiving yards and two TDs in Week 5, and while Smith caught only three balls for 44 yards in Week 7, his role may continue to expand going forward. He’s more than just a big-play type, but that dimension makes him an exciting upside addition.

KELVIN BENJAMIN, Bills (32.9): He has some past history with Derek Anderson, who will remain Buffalo’s starting QB for now. Anderson is a mess much like the other Bills QBs, but he can get the ball to Benjamin, who had four catches for 71 yards in Week 7. That makes him worth a flier for bye week usage.

MARTAVIS BRYANT (9.1): The troubled but very talented Bryant will get another chance to show off his abilities following the Cooper trade. The deal opens a potential starting slot for Bryant, who had six catches for 142 yards in Weeks 4 and 5 while operating in a secondary role in the Oakland passing game.

TIGHT ENDS

CHRIS HERNDON, Jets (0.6); He has scored in two consecutive games, building on some promise he showed in the preseason. The rookie has flashed recent signs of being a key target for his first-year QB, Sam Darnold. Herndon is also welcomed by the Jets to step forward more because of their injury issues at WR.

ED DICKSON, Seahawks (0.2); He is finally back at practices and could make his season debut this Sunday. After missing the first six games with a quadriceps injury, Dickson could emerge as a streamer or bye week play.

QUARTERBACK

Dak Prescott, Cowboys (30): He has re-emerged as a viable play over the past two games, as 115 rushing yards and two scores have boosted his outlook. Adding Cooper only creates more optimism that he now has the ability to eventually move back to at least high-end QB2 territory.

___

For more Week 8 tips and advice, visit RotoExperts: https://rotoexperts.com

Read More 716 Words

Giants trade cornerback Eli Apple to New Orleans Saints

The New York Giants have traded cornerback Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints for two draft picks.

In exchange for the 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft, the teams announced the Giants will receive a fourth-round pick in 2019 and a seventh-rounder in 2020.

Apple has 23 tackles and a forced

The New York Giants have traded cornerback Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints for two draft picks.

In exchange for the 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft, the teams announced the Giants will receive a fourth-round pick in 2019 and a seventh-rounder in 2020.

Apple has 23 tackles and a forced fumble. He also recovered a fumble in the Giants’ 23-20 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta on Monday night.

The NFL’s trade deadline is Oct. 30 at 4 p.m.

The move marks the second time in a week the Giants (1-6) have parted ways with a recent first-round draft pick. Last week, they waived tackle Ereck Flowers, their 2105 top pick. He was signed by Jacksonville.

The Saints have struggled on pass defense all season. They are 5-1 and in first place in the NFC South in large part to the play of Drew Brees and the offense.

New Orleans will face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night in a matchup of first-place teams.

This was somewhat of a make-or-break season for Apple. He had a bad year in 2017 and was called a cancer by safety Landon Collins because of his attitude. He was inactive for four games and suspended for the season finale.

The South Jersey native came back this season and was all business. He has shown flashes of being a good cornerback but at times has not made plays. His holding penalty on a third-down play cost the Giants a chance to get off the field with Atlanta pinned near its goal line.

In his three seasons with the Giants, Apple played in 30 regular-season games with 23 starts. He had 120 tackles (102 solo), one interception, 20 passes defensed, one forced fumble and five fumble recoveries, as well as two stops and one fumble recovery on special teams.

Apple started 27 games for Ohio State from 2014-15. He finished his college career with 86 tackles, four interceptions and 22 passes defensed. He was a college teammate of three current Saints: safety Vonn Bell, cornerback Marshon Lattimore and receiver Michael Thomas.

New Orleans has been ranked near the bottom of the league in pass defense. The pass defense gave up late touchdowns against Cleveland in Week 2 and Baltimore on Sunday and hung on for wins on missed point-after kicks.

The Saints lost top nickel back Patrick Robinson after three games because of an ankle injury. The veteran had joined the team as a free agent after a year in Philadelphia.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 356 Words

Broncos backup QB Kelly arrested for trespassing

Broncos backup QB Kelly arrested for trespassing

Denver Broncos backup quarterback Chad Kelly was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal trespassing following an incident that occurred early Tuesday morning.

According to a press release from the Englewood (Colo.) Police Department, a man had entered a residence on South Lincoln Street

Broncos backup QB Kelly arrested for trespassing

Denver Broncos backup quarterback Chad Kelly was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal trespassing following an incident that occurred early Tuesday morning.

According to a press release from the Englewood (Colo.) Police Department, a man had entered a residence on South Lincoln Street shortly after 1 a.m. An occupant at the residence chased the man out, and a search ensued.

Police later found the man, identified as Kelly, inside a black SUV near the Gothic Theater.

Kelly, 24, was placed in custody without incident and sent to Arapahoe County Jail. He was in court early Tuesday and is no longer in custody.

The investigation is ongoing, according to police.

“We are disappointed that Chad Kelly was arrested early this morning,” the Broncos said in a statement. “Our organization has been in contact with Chad, and we are in the process of gathering more information.”

Kelly, the last pick in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft, took the field for the Broncos for the first time in a regular-season game earlier this month, losing a yard on a play against the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 14.

Kelly’s college career was marred by disciplinary issues. He was dismissed from Clemson in April 2014 for conduct detrimental to the program. He was arrested in December 2014 following an altercation outside a bar in Buffalo, N.Y., and avoided criminal charges after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct and being ordered to contribute 50 hours of community service.

–Field Level Media

Read More 190 Words

QB Carr fires back: ‘I’m a Raider, I love it’

 

 

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is fighting back against the assertion that he cried on the field after taking a hit during the team's Week 6 game against the Seattle Seahawks in London.

 

A report from The Athletic on Monday detailed what's been termed a "fractured relationship" between Carr and his teammates

 

 

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is fighting back against the assertion that he cried on the field after taking a hit during the team’s Week 6 game against the Seattle Seahawks in London.

 

A report from The Athletic on Monday detailed what’s been termed a “fractured relationship” between Carr and his teammates and made reference to game film that appears to show Carr crying after being sacked and injuring his arm during the contest against the Seahawks.

 

NBC’s ProFootballTalk shared an article off the report on Twitter, prompting Carr to respond after one of his older brothers, Darren Carr, came to his defense.

 

“Don’t even waste your time with this big bro,” Derek Carr wrote. “On the ground I yelled get me up get me. Then I got to the sideline and yelled again. Not one tear. Not one time. There is the Truth. People will click on it because it sounds crazy. But stop playing with me.”

 

Derek Carr then shared a general note to his Twitter followers addressing his situation with the team.

 

“I’m a Raider. It’s not a ‘popular’ thing to be a Raider right now, but I am and I love it,” he said. “I love the struggle of trying to fight back for our city when not a lot of people believe in us. People can try all they want to tear us apart, but it’s not happening to the real ones.”

 

The Raiders (1-5) traded top wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday for a 2019 first-round draft pick. Oakland dealt star linebacker Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears prior to the start of the season.

 

Carr, 27, is completing a career-high 71.7 percent of his passes this season but has eight interceptions compared to seven touchdowns. The signal-caller makes $25 million annually on a five-year, $125 million extension he signed with the Raiders in June 2017.

 

–Field Level Media

Read More 261 Words

Reports: Giants ship CB Apple to Saints

Reports: Giants ship CB Apple to Saints

Former first-round pick Eli Apple was informed he will be traded from the New York Giants to the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

Apple, who plays cornerback, joins a New Orleans secondary loaded with Buckeyes. The Ohio State product,

Reports: Giants ship CB Apple to Saints

Former first-round pick Eli Apple was informed he will be traded from the New York Giants to the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

Apple, who plays cornerback, joins a New Orleans secondary loaded with Buckeyes. The Ohio State product, selected 10th overall in 2016, joins former college teammates in safety Vonn Bell (second round, 2016) and cornerback Marshon Lattimore (first round, 2017) with the Saints.

Apple injured his ankle Monday night in the Giants’ loss at Atlanta but was able to return to the game.

His tenure in New York was marked with inconsistency and included a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team for Week 17 last season. Apple shouted at defensive backs coach Tim Walton for placing him with the scouting team during practice in December, escalating a confrontation that led to Apple’s ban.

Apple, 23, has 23 starts and one interception in 30 career games.

–Field Level Media

Read More 95 Words

Reports: Jets to sign WR Matthews

Reports: Jets to sign WR Matthews

The New York Jets will sign free agent wide receiver Rishard Matthews, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

Matthews, 29, reportedly worked out with the Jets last week. He was granted his release from the Tennessee Titans at the end of September.

Reports: Jets to sign WR Matthews

The New York Jets will sign free agent wide receiver Rishard Matthews, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

Matthews, 29, reportedly worked out with the Jets last week. He was granted his release from the Tennessee Titans at the end of September.

Matthews had just three catches for 11 yards in three games with the Titans, but he tallied 161 grabs for 2,402 yards and 17 scores over the previous three seasons.

The Jets released wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, who had been battling a groin injury, on Saturday and are expected to be without wideout Quincy Enunwa (high-ankle sprain) for a few weeks.

–Field Level Media

Read More 46 Words

Broncos backup QB Chad Kelly arrested in trespassing case

DENVER (AP) — Denver Broncos backup quarterback Chad Kelly was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of criminal trespass after a couple reported he came into their suburban house uninvited and sat down on their couch "mumbling incoherently," according to court records.

The 24-year-old Kelly posted $2,500 bond and was released later Tuesday.

According

DENVER (AP) — Denver Broncos backup quarterback Chad Kelly was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of criminal trespass after a couple reported he came into their suburban house uninvited and sat down on their couch “mumbling incoherently,” according to court records.

The 24-year-old Kelly posted $2,500 bond and was released later Tuesday.

According to court records, a man and a woman told police that a stranger came into their Englewood home after 1 a.m. The intruder sat down on the couch next to the woman, who was holding the couple’s young child, and was “mumbling incoherently,” according to the records.

The man yelled at the intruder to get out and hit him in the back with a vacuum tube. The homeowners showed police surveillance video of a man wearing dark pants, a white long sleeve shirt with a brown vest and a red scarf around his neck entering the front door.

The homeowner told police he thought the door was locked but police found no signs that someone had forced their way inside.

Police said they found Kelly sitting inside a black SUV parked about a block from the couple’s home. Kelly matched the couple’s description and the man later identified him as the person who came into the house, according to court documents.

Kelly is due back in court Wednesday.

In a statement, the Broncos said they were disappointed. “Our organization has been in contact with Chad, and we are in the process of gathering more information,” the statement said.

The Broncos chose Kelly with the final pick of the 2017 NFL draft. Although Kelly brought an attitude that had often crossed the line in college, Broncos general manager John Elway said fellow Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly personally vouched for his nephew, so Elway signed off on the selection.

Chad Kelly missed his rookie season while recovering from knee and wrist injuries, then beat out former first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch last summer to serve as the backup for quarterback Case Keenum.

Kelly has played just one snap, a kneel-down on the final play of the first half against the Rams two weeks ago while Keenum was being evaluated for a concussion.

On Monday, coach Vance Joseph said he’d be comfortable with Kelly at quarterback should anything happen to Keenum.

“I would hope so, he’s our backup,” Joseph said. “He won that job fair and square. So, if he had to play for us, if you’re playing your backup quarterback, you’re playing different anyway. You’re running the ball more, maybe, using more concepts that he’s good at. So, we’ll see. It hasn’t happened yet, but if he had to play, I would trust Chad to play for us.”

Kelly’s arrest could put him in line for discipline from the Broncos or the league, which doesn’t need a court conviction to mete out punishment for a violation of the NFL’s code of conduct.

Kelly’s spectacular college career was marked by off-field slip-ups, although he hadn’t been in any trouble since the Broncos drafted him.

He was kicked off the Clemson team in 2014 after arguing with coaches during the spring game. He also was arrested after a bar fight in 2014, eventually pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

In October 2016, he was involved in a brawl at his brother’s high school football game in New York. He ran onto the field after his brother, Casey Kelly, apparently took a late hit and video shows several coaches restraining him on the field.

Although he didn’t play in the Senior Bowl after his final season at Ole Miss because of a right knee injury, he was in attendance all week in Mobile, Alabama, so he could talk with NFL teams about his off-field troubles.

At the time, he said being upfront about his missteps was important: “You’ve got to be honest, of course, but you’ve got to admit to what you did and you’ve got to try to convince them that you’ve learned from those mistakes and that you’re not going to make them again. The owner doesn’t want to hear about it. The GM doesn’t want to hear about what you did. They want to know if you’ve learned from it and won’t make the same mistake twice.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 661 Words

Broncos backup QB Kelly arrested in trespassing case

DENVER (AP) — Denver Broncos backup quarterback Chad Kelly has been arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass.

According to the Englewood Police Department, Kelly was taken in custody early Tuesday. It's not clear if he has an attorney to comment on the case.

According to court records, a man and woman told police

DENVER (AP) — Denver Broncos backup quarterback Chad Kelly has been arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass.

According to the Englewood Police Department, Kelly was taken in custody early Tuesday. It’s not clear if he has an attorney to comment on the case.

According to court records, a man and woman told police a man came into their home uninvited after 1 a.m. Tuesday and sat down on the couch “mumbling incoherently.”

The records say the man chased the intruder out, striking him in the back with a vacuum tube.

Police say they found a man nearby matching the intruder’s description and identified him as Kelly, who is 24.

Court officials say Kelly posted $2,500 bond and is due back in court Wednesday. In a statement, the Broncos said they are disappointed and are getting more information from Kelly.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 90 Words

AP sources: Giants trade cornerback Eli Apple to Saints

Two people with knowledge of the deal tell The Associated Press the New York Giants are trading cornerback Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints.

One of the people says the Giants will receive a fourth-round pick in 2019 and a seventh-rounder in 2020 for Apple, a first-round pick in 2016 out of

Two people with knowledge of the deal tell The Associated Press the New York Giants are trading cornerback Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints.

One of the people says the Giants will receive a fourth-round pick in 2019 and a seventh-rounder in 2020 for Apple, a first-round pick in 2016 out of Ohio State.

The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the deal has not been announced.

Apple has 23 tackles this season and a forced fumble.

The Giants are 1-6 after a 23-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night.

The Saints (5-1) lead the NFC South and will face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night in a matchup of first-place teams.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 70 Words

Cowboys thrilled to land WR Cooper from Raiders

Cowboys thrilled to land WR Cooper from Raiders

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett anticipates Amari Cooper stepping on the field in two weeks as the team's No. 1 receiver.

Cooper, acquired Monday from the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a 2019 first-round pick, is recovering from a concussion. Dallas

Cowboys thrilled to land WR Cooper from Raiders

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett anticipates Amari Cooper stepping on the field in two weeks as the team’s No. 1 receiver.

Cooper, acquired Monday from the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a 2019 first-round pick, is recovering from a concussion. Dallas is on bye this week, and Cooper was also off in Week 7 during Oakland’s bye.

“It’s going to require overtime by him, by the coaches, to get him going,” Garrett said Tuesday in a radio interview with 105.3 FM in Dallas. “But we do benefit from having the bye and having a few extra days.”

Dallas has been without a true lead receiver this season after tight end Jason Witten retired. Dez Bryant held the lead receiver designation in Dallas until he was released in April.

Garrett said the Cowboys vetted the opportunity thoroughly and received rave reviews from those who’ve been around Cooper most, including Alabama coach Nick Saban. The top receiver in the 2018 draft, Calvin Ridley, came out of Alabama and is only six months younger than Cooper. Dallas also looked ahead to the 2019 wide receiver prospect options before making the trade Monday.

“The value for a player like that at his age, that’s really what it costs you. It costs you a first-round pick. If we were to get him in the draft next spring, you would say, ‘Boy, is there any receiver who is as good as a guy like Amari Cooper?’ He’s not 28, 29, 30. You’re not paying for a guy for what he’s done for the past six, seven, eight years for another team,” Garrett said. “We feel like he has it in front of him and he can really benefit our team going forward because of the ability he has and the kind of person he is.”

Cooper, 24, went to the Pro Bowl in his first two NFL seasons after the Raiders took him fourth overall in 2015, but he had a disappointing 2017 campaign and has been up and down this year.

“Your numbers can be a function of what the environment is and how the team is playing in general. There are certainly areas where he can improve,” Garrett said. “He’s a young guy. We feel like he has a bright future.”

Cooper is under contract through the 2019 season. The former first-round pick is owed $13.9 million in 2019 on his fifth-year option, which is guaranteed for injury only, before being scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency.

–Field Level Media

Read More 351 Words

Consensus Favorites Leash Dogs In Week 7 of NFL SuperContest

The post Consensus Favorites Leash Dogs In Week 7 of NFL SuperContest appeared first on SportsHandle.

The New York Giants delivered more agita on Monday night for scores of Giants fans but in the end, with five ticks remaining, Big Blue came through for the bettors on a late Eli Manning

The post Consensus Favorites Leash Dogs In Week 7 of NFL SuperContest appeared first on SportsHandle.

The New York Giants delivered more agita on Monday night for scores of Giants fans but in the end, with five ticks remaining, Big Blue came through for the bettors on a late Eli Manning touchdown strike to Odell Beckham Jr. from short range.

The TD narrowed the score 23-18 in the Falcons’ favor, which actually sealed the cover in the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest, in which the spread locked at 5.5.  For spread bettors outside the SuperContest, the Giants’ successful two-point conversion resulting in a 23-20 final would have given most/all Giants backers at cover as the line floated and closed around 3.5 or 4 at most shops.

Everything else being equal on the time-space-football continuum, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur’s earlier analytics-driven decision to go for a two-point conversion (which failed) when the Giants trailed 20-12, did not ultimately impact the SuperContest spread. But it certainly made the final Saquon Barkley two-point rushing plunge a spread-tastic conclusion to MNF game between two teams going nowhere.

Overall, four of the top five consensus SuperContest picks (figures via FantasySuperContest) were favorites who covered the number — the Vikings, Patriots, Chiefs and Lions. Here’s a snapshot of Week 7 and then we’ll get into some specifics.

  • Favorites vs Underdogs (ATS): 7-7
  • Home vs Away (ATS): 4-10
  • Over/Under record: 4-10
  • Straight up underdog wins:  4
Read More 190 Words

Alliance to hold 1st title game in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Alliance of American Football will stage its championship game in Las Vegas.

The new eight-team league, which begins play on Feb. 9 — the weekend after the Super Bowl — will conclude with a Saturday night title match on April 27 on CBS. That game will be held

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Alliance of American Football will stage its championship game in Las Vegas.

The new eight-team league, which begins play on Feb. 9 — the weekend after the Super Bowl — will conclude with a Saturday night title match on April 27 on CBS. That game will be held at Sam Boyd Stadium, home to the Las Vegas Bowl and the UNLV football team.

Under a two-year deal, the 2020 championship will also be decided at that venue.

“Las Vegas has a proven track record of success hosting large-scale sporting events, making it an ideal destination for our championship games,” said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder and CEO of the Alliance.

The Alliance, which will have a 10-game season, does not have a franchise in Las Vegas. It’s teams are in Orlando, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Phoenix, San Antonio, Memphis, Birmingham and Atlanta.

Read More 80 Words

Dolphins’ Parker rebuts agent’s comments

Dolphins' Parker rebuts agent's comments

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker distanced himself Monday from inflammatory comments made by his agent regarding coach Adam Gase a day earlier.

After Parker was inactive for the Dolphins on Sunday in a game they wound up losing 32-21 to the Detroit Lions, agent

Dolphins’ Parker rebuts agent’s comments

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker distanced himself Monday from inflammatory comments made by his agent regarding coach Adam Gase a day earlier.

After Parker was inactive for the Dolphins on Sunday in a game they wound up losing 32-21 to the Detroit Lions, agent Jimmy Gould slammed Gase.

“Coach Gase is incompetent period and not telling the truth when it comes to DeVante, who is totally healthy and was needed big time today,” Gould said in a statement. “This is the third game he has done this to DeVante this year. It’s sickening and a grossly unfair characterization of my client.”

Parker responded Monday by saying, “I can’t control what people are saying. (Gould is) a grown man. He says what he said. I can’t control what he says. I didn’t feel that way about Coach. That’s his own opinion.”

Parker met personally with Gase on Monday.

“My relationship is good with him,” Parker said. “We talked about it. No bad feelings for one another.”

Gase added of the relationship with Parker, “It’s fine. I saw him this morning and we talked a little bit.”

The situation may have ironed itself out due to injuries to two other Miami wide receivers, Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills, who both likely will be unavailable Thursday when the Dolphins visit the Houston Texans.

“We don’t have any more receivers, so I’m pretty sure he’s going to play,” Gase said Monday of Parker. Asked if he expects Parker to play well, Gase replied, “Yeah, I’ve seen him do it before.”

Wilson will be out some time and perhaps for the season due to a right hip injury, his agent said Monday.

“The best-case scenario is that he would miss a few weeks,” Drew Rosenhaus told WSVN Fox7 in Miami, adding that the injury could keep Wilson out for the whole season.

NFL Network reported Wilson has a significant labrum issue and will see a hip specialist before a timeline for his recovery is determined. The network also reported Stills was due to have an MRI exam Monday after straining his groin late in Sunday’s game, which probably will keep him out for at least Thursday’s contest.

Parker missed two games with a quadriceps injury earlier this season, and Gase maintained Parker wasn’t 100 percent healthy Sunday.

Parker, 25, reportedly is a possible trade candidate before the Oct. 30 deadline. The 2015 first-round pick has just two catches for 40 yards this season after posting 139 grabs for 1,908 yards and eight touchdowns over his first three seasons.

Wilson, 26, has 26 catches for a team-high 391 yards and four scores (tied with Stills for the team lead) this season. He joined Miami on a three-year, $24 million contract in March.

Stills, 26, has 16 grabs for 281 yards and four touchdowns in his fourth season with the Dolphins.

The short-handed receiving corps will be on the end of passes from backup quarterback Brock Osweiler on Thursday, as Ryan Tannehill (shoulder) will miss his third consecutive contest.

–Field Level Media

Read More 437 Words

Falcons go into bye week feeling better about themselves

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons head into a bye week feeling a whole lot better about their season.

Sure, they haven't lived up to expectations in an injury plagued campaign.

But two straight wins give them a reason to be hopeful.

Matt Ryan threw for 379 yards while completing his final 18

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons head into a bye week feeling a whole lot better about their season.

Sure, they haven’t lived up to expectations in an injury plagued campaign.

But two straight wins give them a reason to be hopeful.

Matt Ryan threw for 379 yards while completing his final 18 passes and the Falcons added another chapter to New York’s miserable season, beating the Giants 23-20 on Monday night .

“You’d rather go into a bye week on a win than a loss, that’s for sure,” Ryan said. “We need some rest. We’ve got different guys banged up. All of us need to rest and refresh for the second half of the season.”

The Falcons (3-4) have five starters on injured reserve, which helped send a team with Super Bowl aspirations spiraling to a three-game losing streak. They snapped that skid with a victory over Tampa Bay, and then kept the winning going against the struggling Giants.

Ryan threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Hall, Tevin Coleman broke loose on a 30-yard scoring run and the Falcons sent New York (1-6) to its fourth straight loss.

“I don’t feel like we’re a 1-6 team,” said Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. “That’s what our record is, but that’s not the feeling in the locker room.”

It was another dynamic performance by Ryan, who was the league’s MVP in 2016 when he led Atlanta to the Super Bowl.

While these Falcons haven’t played to that level, their quarterback is putting up numbers that measure up to what he did two years ago: a 71.1 percent completion rate, 2,335 yards passing, 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Ryan is only focused on the team’s performance.

“To inch our way closer to .500 is a positive for us,” he said.

Some things to keep an eye on after Atlanta’s victory over the Giants:

GIORGIO STEPS UP

While Matt Bryant recovers from a hamstring injury, Atlanta’s kicking appears to be in good hands.

Signed a few days before the game, Giorgio Tavecchio booted three field goals, including a career-best 56-yarder that helped seal the victory and was the longest field goal by a kicker in his first game with a new team in 40 years, according to NFL Research.

“That kick was good from about 65 yards,” Ryan said. “He did a great job for us coming in on short notice.”

Tavecchio also connected from 40 and 50 yards.

Even though Bryant will surely reclaim his job as soon as he’s healthy, Tavecchio set himself up to draw attention from other teams when he goes on the open market again. He kicked last season for the Oakland Raiders.

BIG TROUBLE IN THE BIG APPLE

Going up against one of the NFL’s worst defenses, the Giants’ offense fell short again.

New York was held to two field goals through three quarters and squandered another scoring chance when Eli Manning’s pass on fourth-and-goal from the 1 was swatted away . Two fourth-quarter touchdowns were surely not enough to persuade anyone in the locker room that they’ve figured out their season-long scoring woes.

“We know we have talent,” tight end Evan Engram said. “We’re doing things. We’re just not putting the big picture together. That is what’s frustrating.”

The Giants have been held to 20 points or less in five of seven games.

“I can’t give you the answer,” rookie running back Saquon Barkley said. “We’re not executing. We’re not finishing drives. That’s the gist of our season.”

BIG PLAY HALL

While he doesn’t get targeted a lot in Atlanta’s passing game, Hall sure has a knack of coming up with huge plays.

Last season, the diminutive receiver hauled in a 40-yard touchdown pass with his first career reception.

Against the Giants, Hall broke free down the middle of the field to score Atlanta’s first TD on a perfectly thrown ball from Ryan .

Hall finished with three catches for 63 yards, giving him 10 career receptions. Of those, four have gone for at least 20 yards.

“He’s put in a lot of hard work, and it’s showing up,” Ryan said. “He’s making lot of good plays for us.”

BANGED-UP LINE

The Falcons have more injury concerns on their offensive line.

Right guard Brandon Fusco went down late in the first half with a right ankle injury. He was helped off the field by a pair of trainers and quickly taken to the locker room on a cart.

The bye week will give Fusco extra time to recover before a Nov. 4 game at Washington. The Falcons will be eager to get him back since they already lost another starting guard, Andy Levitre, to a season-ending injury.

Ben Garland took Fusco’s spot.

BECKHAM’S MILESTONE

On an otherwise forgettable night, Beckham could at least relish a piece of history .

With eight catches for 143 yards, he went past 5,000 yards in his 54th career game.

That makes him the fastest player to reach the milestone in the Super Bowl era . He surpassed Atlanta’s Julio Jones, who did it in 56 games.

Lance Alworth needed the fewest games (52) to put up 5,000 receiving yards, accomplishing the feat from 1962-66.

___

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry

___

For more AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 816 Words

Odd call at odd time dooms Dallas in loss at Washington

DENVER (AP) — The "snap infraction " that doomed Dallas to a 20-17 loss at Washington capped a wild Week 7 that began with Von Miller's kept promise to kick some Cardinals booty. It also included a flexed flop in Kansas City, a gamble that backfired in London, and Doug Pederson's proclamation that

DENVER (AP) — The “snap infraction ” that doomed Dallas to a 20-17 loss at Washington capped a wild Week 7 that began with Von Miller’s kept promise to kick some Cardinals booty. It also included a flexed flop in Kansas City, a gamble that backfired in London, and Doug Pederson’s proclamation that the pressure is off his slumping Super Bowl champs .

The biggest call of the weekend came when a Redskins lineman moved early as Cowboys kicker Brett Maher lined up for a tying 47-yard field goal in the final minute. The flag was on Dallas long snapper L.P. Ladoceur, who tilted the ball before the snap.

“Exact same things I’ve been doing for 14 years,” Ladoceur said.

He’s not alone. Long snappers routinely move the ball like Ladoceur did just before they snap it, and a flag is hardly ever thrown.

Instead of getting 5 yards closer, the Cowboys were backed up 5 yards, which mattered when Maher’s 52-yarder clanked off the left upright, leaving the Redskins (4-2) atop the topsy-turvy NFC East instead of the Cowboys (3-4).

While fans across the country were wondering what the heck a “snap infraction” was, the NFL tweeted a video about the rule — but didn’t say whether it was the correct call: “The illegal ball movement by the center in #DALvsWAS causes the defense to come across the neutral zone and contact a lineman.”

Players and coaches in both locker rooms were stumped by the uncommon call by referee John Hussey’s crew at such a crucial moment.

“This was a terrible call,” NBC analyst Tony Dungy declared. “An illegal snap has to be an abrupt movement or something unusual. The Dallas center does neither one of those. It’s not abrupt nor is it unusual.”

NBC showed side-by-side views of Ladoceur’s movement on the play that was whistled and the do-over and they looked identical. No flag was thrown on the second snap.

“That is his normal motion,” Dungy argued. “He did it in the snap before that. The next snap he does the exact same thing.”

LONDON CALLING

Another debatable call with huge implications was Titans coach Mike Vrabel’s decision to go for 2 — and then to throw the ball from the 1 after a flag for defensive holding on the first conversion pass — instead of going for the tie and playing for overtime in Tennessee’s 20-19 loss to the Chargers in London.

“I’m not going to second-guess the call,” Vrabel said after Marcus Mariota’s pass to Taywan Taylor in traffic was tipped away by safety Adrian Phillips.

“I love the call, everyone in this locker room loved the call,” Titans wide receiver Tajae Sharpe said. “We wanted to be aggressive no matter what, and that’s what we did. Unfortunately, it just didn’t go our way.”

The Titans (3-4) had the momentum, having rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit.

Going for the win is a mantra, repeated most recently by Colts coach Frank Reich after a Week 4 loss, but maybe it’s time NFL players, coaches and fans learn to look at ties like the NHL does.

Of the six most recent ties prior to this season, half of them had direct playoff implications, including the 13-13 deadlock between the Eagles and Bengals in 2008 in which Donovan McNabb famously admitted he didn’t know a tie was even a thing.

At 9-6-1, the Eagles edged the Cowboys, Bears and Buccaneers — all 9-7 — for the final NFC wild-card spot that season.

EASYGOING EAGLES

The Eagles are the latest team to realize how uneasy the head is that wears the crown.

On a day dominated by Eric Reid and Malcom Jenkins turning the fight for racial and social justice into a skirmish on the field, the Eagles’ 21-17 loss to the Panthers dropped Philadelphia to 3-4 a year after going 16-3.

Pederson said he told his team, “Hey, pressure’s off of us. Nobody on the outside world is giving us a chance to do much of anything and the pressure’s off, so we can go play, have fun and just relax.”

BRONCOS KICKING BOOTY

Week 7 kicked off with a butt-kicking just like Miller promised as the Broncos snapped a four-game skid with a 45-10 thrashing of the Cardinals on Thursday night.

Miller, who had two strip sacks, acknowledged his message was really directed as his teammates.

“It was a smart thing because we can’t make him a liar,” Denver nose tackle Shelby Harris said Monday. “It just set the tone for the whole week. We said we were going to do it, and so we got to go out there and do it. Because if we don’t, we’re a bunch of liars.”

DENVER DE JA VU

As he did in Denver last year, Mike McCoy stubbornly spread out his formation with a patchwork O-line that couldn’t keep pass rushers off his young QB. He paid the price with a midseason firing for the second straight year, and his third pink slip in less than two years.

The Cardinals canned McCoy after what rookie head coach Steve Wilks called an “embarrassing” outing against the Broncos and the offense’s putrid performance over seven games.

Wilks might regret Cardinals coaches leaving rookie QB Josh Rosen in the game until the end while the Broncos were fulfilling their pledge to whoop the Cardinals and teeing off on bewildered tackles. Rosen was injured on his final play, limping off with a sprained toe on his left foot.

FLEX FLOP

Bengals-Chiefs seemed like a worthy choice for the NFL’s first flexed game this season. A pair of first-place teams. Juicy plot lines with high-powered offenses in this year of skyrocketing scores. Deficient defenses.

It had all the makings of another shootout like the Chiefs and Patriots one week earlier.

Instead, it was another blowout, the league’s second consecutive 45-10 shellacking in prime time as Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and Marvin Lewis didn’t do anything to keep up with Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Andy Reid.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

___

Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Read More 953 Words

Falcons hand Giants 4th consecutive loss

Falcons hand Giants 4th consecutive loss

Matt Ryan threw for 379 yards, and fill-in kicker Giorgio Tavecchio connected from 56 yards late for his third field goal as the host Atlanta Falcons extended the New York Giants' losing streak to four games with a 23-20 victory Monday night.

Ryan, who

Falcons hand Giants 4th consecutive loss

Matt Ryan threw for 379 yards, and fill-in kicker Giorgio Tavecchio connected from 56 yards late for his third field goal as the host Atlanta Falcons extended the New York Giants’ losing streak to four games with a 23-20 victory Monday night.

Ryan, who completed his last 18 passes to finish 31 of 39, connected with Marvin Hall for a 47-yard touchdown. Tevin Coleman had a 30-yard TD run, and Tavecchio made field goals of 40 and 50 yards in addition to his 56-yarder with 1:55 remaining.

Odell Beckham Jr. caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning with five seconds left, and Saquon Barkley ran for the two-point conversion, but it was too little too late as the Falcons (3-4) stretched their home winning streak against the NFC East to eight games.

Manning completed 27 of 38 for 399 yards, with Beckham catching eight for 143 yards for the Giants (1-6).

New York’s Sterling Shepard had five receptions for 167 yards. Atlanta’s Julio Jones made nine grabs for 104 yards.

Barkley, who finished with 43 yards rushing and 51 receiving, scored on a 2-yard run with 4:47 left. That left the Giants down by eight points, and they surprisingly went for two points. Manning’s pass to Beckham was incomplete.

Coleman’s TD run came with just under eight minutes to go after Tavecchio started the final quarter with his 50-yarder.

The Falcons led 10-3 at intermission, with all the scoring coming within the final five minutes of a first half that featured seven sacks and punts on the first three possession by both teams.

Hall caught a bomb from Ryan to cap a three-play, 86-yard scoring drive. A 38-yard pass interference penalty set up the 40-yard field goal by Tavecchio with three seconds left after Aldrick Rosas had connected on a 31-yard field goal for the Giants with 50 seconds on the clock.

Tavecchio, who kicked for Oakland last season, was signed by the Falcons after Matt Bryant strained his right hamstring on a 57-yard field goal against Tampa Bay late in the fourth quarter last week.

Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett had two of the Falcons’ four sacks of Manning after missing the previous two games with an ankle injury.

Manning connected with Shepard for 53 yards and Beckham for 52 yards in the third quarter, but New York got just a 36-yard field goal by Rosas out of the two trips inside the red zone. The other drive ended on an incomplete pass from the 1-yard line on fourth down.

–Field Level Media

Read More 350 Words

Giants can’t fix season-long scoring woes in loss to Falcons

ATLANTA (AP) — Handed the perfect setup against a depleted, struggling Atlanta defense, the New York Giants' offense again fell short.

No one was more surprised than Odell Beckham Jr .

"I did think this was going to be a big day for us," Beckham said.

Instead, the Giants were held to two

ATLANTA (AP) — Handed the perfect setup against a depleted, struggling Atlanta defense, the New York Giants’ offense again fell short.

No one was more surprised than Odell Beckham Jr .

“I did think this was going to be a big day for us,” Beckham said.

Instead, the Giants were held to two field goals through three quarters of their 23-20 loss to the Falcons on Monday night. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns were not enough to win the game or convince anyone in the New York locker room that answers had been found for season-long scoring woes that led to the Giants’ fourth straight loss.

The Giants (1-6) were frustrated by an Atlanta defense which has three starters on injured reserve and had allowed the second-most points and third-most yards per game in the NFL.

After the game, Beckham sat facing his locker, holding his head in his hands before finally heading off to his shower.

When he faced reporters later, he was calm but frustrated.

“It’s the little things, the little pieces that you’ve got to put together, the little things that are the difference between losing and winning,” Beckham said. “We just haven’t found a way to put it all together.”

The statistics would suggest Beckham did his part with eight receptions for 143 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown catch with only 5 seconds remaining.

The touchdown made the final score look more respectable, but it brought Beckham little comfort. He chastised himself for failing to catch a 2-point pass that could have cut the Falcons’ lead to 20-14 with about five minutes remaining.

“That’s something I have to go home with at night,” he said. “That’s tough.”

Despite having such weapons as Beckham, Sterling Shepard, who had five catches for 167 yards, rookie standout running back Saquon Barkley and two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning, the Giants have found no answer to their season-long inability to turn yards into points.

“We know we have talent,” said tight end Evan Engram. “We’re doing things. We’re just not putting the big picture together. That’s what’s frustrating. … We’re just going to keep working, and it will eventually pop.”

The Giants have scored no more than 20 points in five of their seven games.

“I can’t give you the answer,” Barkley said. “We’re not executing. We’re not finishing drives. That’s the gist of our season. … We’ve got to find a way to execute and finish our game.”

There were no turnovers to blame. Manning threw for 399 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions, but he was sacked four times for a loss of 27 yards. Entering the game, the 37-year-old Manning had been sacked 20 times, third-most in the NFL.

Barkley was held to 43 yards, his second-lowest total of the season, on 14 carries. He added nine catches for 51 yards.

“Honestly, personally I didn’t play a good game,” Barkley said. “… I wasn’t the player I usually am.”

The difficulties in scoring might have influenced coach Pat Shurmur’s aggressive play-calling.

With Atlanta leading 10-3 early in the third quarter, Shurmur left his offense on the field for a fourth-down play from the Atlanta 1. Manning’s pass for Scott Simonson was incomplete.

Shurmur again left his offense on the field to go for a 2-point play after Barkley’s 2-yard scoring run cut Atlanta’s lead to 20-12 in the fourth quarter. Giants players supported the call, which ended with the incompletion to Beckham.

“He has faith in us that we’re going to put it in the end zone,” Shepard said. “I love that the coaches have faith in us.”

Added Beckham: “I like the call. I love being aggressive.”

Shurmur said analytics show “You increase your chances by 50 percent if you go for it and make it there, so that’s what you do.”

Shurmur said going for 2 was “an aggressive approach. … I think from a head coaching perspective, I want to be aggressive for our guys.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 596 Words

NFL Career Receptions Leaders

Through Oct. 22, 2018
(x-active)
1. Jerry Rice 1,549
2. Tony Gonzalez 1,325
3. x-Larry Fitzgerald 1,260
4. Jason Witten 1,152
5. Marvin Harrison 1,102
6. Cris Carter 1,101
7. Tim Brown 1,094

Through Oct. 22, 2018
(x-active)
1. Jerry Rice 1,549
2. Tony Gonzalez 1,325
3. x-Larry Fitzgerald 1,260
4. Jason Witten 1,152
5. Marvin Harrison 1,102
6. Cris Carter 1,101
7. Tim Brown 1,094
8. Terrell Owens 1,078
9. x-Anquan Boldin 1,076
10. Reggie Wayne 1,070
11. Andre Johnson 1,062
12. Steve Smith 1,031
13. Isaac Bruce 1,024
14. Hines Ward 1,000

Read More -29 Words

Giants-Falcons Stats

New York 0 3 3 14—20
Atlanta 0 10 0 13—23
Second Quarter

Atl_Hall 47 pass from Ryan (Tavecchio kick), 4:51.

NYG_FG Rosas 31, :50.

Atl_FG Tavecchio 40, :03.

Third Quarter

NYG_FG Rosas 36, 3:51.

Fourth Quarter

New York 0 3 3 14—20
Atlanta 0 10 0 13—23
Second Quarter

Atl_Hall 47 pass from Ryan (Tavecchio kick), 4:51.

NYG_FG Rosas 31, :50.

Atl_FG Tavecchio 40, :03.

Third Quarter

NYG_FG Rosas 36, 3:51.

Fourth Quarter

Atl_FG Tavecchio 50, 14:55.

Atl_Coleman 30 run (Tavecchio kick), 7:47.

NYG_Barkley 2 run (pass failed), 4:47.

Atl_FG Tavecchio 56, 1:55.

NYG_Beckham 1 pass from Manning (Barkley run), :05.

A_72,756.

___

NYG Atl
First downs 21 22
Total Net Yards 433 423
Rushes-yards 20-61 20-67
Passing 372 356
Punt Returns 2-29 0-0
Kickoff Returns 4-82 1-22
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 0-0
Comp-Att-Int 27-38-0 31-39-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 4-27 3-23
Punts 4-40.8 3-44.3
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 4-58 5-29
Time of Possession 27:43 32:17

___

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING_New York, Barkley 14-43, Engram 1-10, Manning 3-7, Penny 1-2, Beckham 1-(minus 1). Atlanta, Coleman 11-50, Smith 7-16, Ryan 2-1.

PASSING_New York, Manning 27-38-0-399. Atlanta, Ryan 31-39-0-379.

RECEIVING_New York, Barkley 9-51, Beckham 8-143, S.Shepard 5-167, Engram 2-16, Ellison 2-11, Fowler 1-11. Atlanta, Jones 9-104, Ridley 5-43, Hall 3-63, Hooper 3-48, Coleman 2-32, Smith 2-29, Hardy 2-24, Sanu 2-21, Ortiz 2-7, Saubert 1-8.

MISSED FIELD GOALS_None.

Read More 107 Words

NFL Career Completions

Through Oct. 22, 2018

NFL quarterbacks with 4,000 or more completions (x-active):

2. x-Drew Brees 6,392
1. Brett Favre 6,300
3. Peyton Manning 6,125
4. x-Tom Brady 5,799
5. Dan Marino 4,967
6. x-Eli Manning 4,609

Through Oct. 22, 2018

NFL quarterbacks with 4,000 or more completions (x-active):

2. x-Drew Brees 6,392
1. Brett Favre 6,300
3. Peyton Manning 6,125
4. x-Tom Brady 5,799
5. Dan Marino 4,967
6. x-Eli Manning 4,609
7. x-Ben Roethlisberger 4,334
8. x-Philip Rivers 4,323
9. John Elway 4,123

Read More -33 Words

Ryan throws for 379 yards, Falcons beat Giants 23-20

ATLANTA (AP) — Matt Ryan threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Hall, Tevin Coleman broke loose on a 30-yard scoring run and the Atlanta Falcons added another chapter to New York's miserable season, beating the Giants 23-20 on Monday night.

Ryan completed his final 18 passes and finished 31 of 39

ATLANTA (AP) — Matt Ryan threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Hall, Tevin Coleman broke loose on a 30-yard scoring run and the Atlanta Falcons added another chapter to New York’s miserable season, beating the Giants 23-20 on Monday night.

Ryan completed his final 18 passes and finished 31 of 39 for 379 yards, sending the Giants (1-6) to their fourth straight loss. Giorgio Tavecchio, filling in for injured Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant, sealed the victory for Atlanta (3-4) with the longest field goal of his career from 56 yards.

Facing one of the NFL’s worst defenses, New York botched its best scoring chance by going for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1 early in the third quarter. To the surprise of no one who has seen the Giants stumble through the season, Eli Manning’s pass for tight end Scott Simonson fell harmlessly to the turf.

Manning was sacked four times but still managed to complete 27 of 38 for 399 yards. Odell Beckham hauled in eight passes for 143 yards, his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season, and Sterling Shepard finished with 167 yards on five receptions.

The passing game got little help from the ground attack, however. Rookie Saquon Barkley was limited to 43 yards on 14 carries, forcing the Giants to go one-dimensional.

Both teams got off to sluggish starts offensively. The Falcons failed to cross midfield on their first three possessions, and the Giants weren’t much better.

Then, suddenly, Atlanta struck for two big plays to grab the lead. Ryan went down the left sideline to tight end Austin Hooper for a 36-yard gain, pushing the Falcons into New York territory for the first time. Then Ryan spotted Hall breaking free down the middle of the field, hitting him perfectly in stride for the touchdown.

The teams traded field goals in the final minute of the first half, sending the Falcons to the locker room with a 10-3 lead.

Tavecchio, who first connected from 40 yards, added a 50-yard kick that extended the lead to 13-6 on the opening play of the fourth quarter.

Coleman rumbled for another Atlanta TD without being touched, giving the home team some breathing room before the Giants finally showed some life offensively. Manning completed five passes for 61 yards before Barkley powered over from the 2 with 4:47 remaining for New York’s first TD of the game. But coach Pat Shurmur decided to go for 2, looking to put his team in position to win with another score.

Manning pass for Beckham was knocked away, and the Falcons drove for Tavecchio’s clinching field goal.

The Giants did manage a touchdown with 5 seconds remaining as Manning hooked up with Beckham on a 1-yard scoring play, but only after the quarterback was stuffed on two straight attempts to run it over, burning off most of the scant time on the clock.

INJURY REPORT

The Falcons lost another guard when Brandon Fusco went down late in the first half with a right ankle injury.

Fusco had to be helped off the field by a pair of trainers, and he was quickly taken to the locker room on a cart.

After initially announcing that Fusco’s return to the game was questionable, the Falcons declared him out.

Atlanta had already lost another starting guard, Andy Levitre, to a season-ending injury.

Ben Garland took Fusco’s spot on the line.

UP NEXT

Giants: New York returns home next Sunday to face NFC East-leading Washington (4-2).

Falcons: Atlanta also plays Washington in its next game — but not until Nov. 4 after a bye week.

___

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 555 Words

Report: Free agent WR Pryor almost fully healthy

Report: Free agent WR Pryor almost fully healthy

Free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor is almost back to full health and could return from a groin injury as soon as this weekend, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Pryor, 29, was released by the New York Jets on

Report: Free agent WR Pryor almost fully healthy

Free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor is almost back to full health and could return from a groin injury as soon as this weekend, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Pryor, 29, was released by the New York Jets on Saturday after only six games with the team. He has a groin tear that was expected to sideline him for two weeks, and New York let him go instead of waiting for him to get back to 100 percent.

The former Ohio State star had 14 catches for 235 yards and two touchdowns this season. He could represent another receiving option for teams that lost out on Amari Cooper, who was traded Monday from the Oakland Raiders to the Dallas Cowboys.

In 49 career games, Pryor has 113 receptions for 1,546 yards and seven touchdowns. The former signal-caller also has rushed for 647 yards and four touchdowns and has passed for 1,994 yards and nine touchdowns with 12 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Read More 102 Words

Raiders place RB Lynch on IR

Raiders place RB Lynch on IR

The Oakland Raiders placed running back Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve Monday, meaning he will miss the majority of the rest of the season.

Lynch -- who was expected to miss at least a month with a groin/core muscle injury suffered in Week 6

Raiders place RB Lynch on IR

The Oakland Raiders placed running back Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve Monday, meaning he will miss the majority of the rest of the season.

Lynch — who was expected to miss at least a month with a groin/core muscle injury suffered in Week 6 against the Seattle Seahawks — would be eligible to return in Week 16 for a Christmas Eve meeting with the Denver Broncos, but it’s also possible he has played his last game for his hometown team.

Lynch, 32, is in the second year of a two-year, $9 million deal and will hit free agency after the season. He previously retired from the Seahawks after the 2015 season before returning to play for the Raiders, who may or may not remain in Oakland in 2019 before moving to Las Vegas in 2020.

The five-time Pro Bowler has 90 carries for 376 yards and three scores this season after posting a line of 207-891-7 in 2017.

The Raiders are expected to rely on Doug Martin and Jalen Richard in Lynch’s absence, with DeAndre Washington working in once he returns from a knee scope.

–Field Level Media

Read More 126 Words

Raiders’ McKenzie: Gruden ‘not pushing me out’

Raiders' McKenzie: Gruden 'not pushing me out'

Denver Broncos: Head coach Vance Joseph shook off recent reports saying the team is considering trading wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, telling reporters he hasn't heard anything on the matter from general manager John Elway. "It's rumors, it's gossip," Joseph said. "It doesn't matter to our football

Raiders’ McKenzie: Gruden ‘not pushing me out’

Denver Broncos: Head coach Vance Joseph shook off recent reports saying the team is considering trading wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, telling reporters he hasn’t heard anything on the matter from general manager John Elway. “It’s rumors, it’s gossip,” Joseph said. “It doesn’t matter to our football team, really. Our only concern is the Chiefs and that’s on Sunday.” Thomas himself acknowledged he’s heard the chatter, and while he wants to stay in Denver, he thinks the end of his tenure could be near. “Of course, I want to be here, but I’ve been hearing it the whole season now, so I feel like somewhat it is true, my time here is coming up,” said Thomas, the team’s longest tenured player. “But I don’t know.”

Kansas City Chiefs: Entering with one of the league’s worst defenses, Kansas City held Cincinnati to just 10 points on Sunday night, 11 points lower than the Bengals’ previous lowest total this season. Head coach Andy Reid said Monday he’s seen coordinator Bob Sutton’s group making progress. “Bob’s game plan from the defensive side was really perfect for what Cincinnati does, and I thought our guys executed it fast and with an aggressive mentality there,” Reid said. “… I thought we took a step in the right direction there, and I think that’s important as you go through the year.” The Chiefs allowed a season-high 43 points to the New England Patriots in Week 6, but they allowed just 14 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5.

Los Angeles Chargers: The Bolts opened Sunday’s game in London with a bang — with Philip Rivers hitting Tyrell Williams for a 75-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage — and they knew they were going to do so. “That’s something that we saw, and (QBs coach Shane Steichen) told me, the first play of the game was going to be a touchdown,” head coach Anthony Lynn said. “And it was. So that’s preparation … me and the quarterback coach, we get together all the time before the game, and we just go through a lot of things. He looked at that play, and he said, ‘That’s going to be a touchdown, Coach.’ He was right. Shane (was right).”

Oakland Raiders: After the team dealt away another one of his top draft picks, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie rejected the suggestion that head coach Jon Gruden could force McKenzie out in Oakland. “He’s not pushing me out,” McKenzie said. “That’s not happening.” McKenzie, with a smile, also referred to himself as “untouchable” when asked if anyone on the roster is beyond being available via trade. Previous reports have suggested Gruden is looking to bring in his own personnel czar, with former colleague and current Washington Redskins team president Bruce Allen being a candidate. Specific to the Amari Cooper trade, McKenzie sounded like he was clearly on board with shipping the 2015 fourth overall pick to the Dallas Cowboys for a first-rounder. “It was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass on to get a first-round pick,” McKenzie said. “In this business here, I thought that was invaluable for me. It was something I felt like I had to do.”

–Field Level Media

Read More 474 Words

Seahawks LB Wright finally nearing return

Seahawks LB Wright finally nearing return

Arizona Cardinals: Rookie wideout Christian Kirk told reporters Monday that interim offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich isn't going to "try and reinvent the wheel," but he will look to kick-start the league's worst offense with a few different tactics. One could be throwing the ball more to David

Seahawks LB Wright finally nearing return

Arizona Cardinals: Rookie wideout Christian Kirk told reporters Monday that interim offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich isn’t going to “try and reinvent the wheel,” but he will look to kick-start the league’s worst offense with a few different tactics. One could be throwing the ball more to David Johnson, which the team did 120 times during his All-Pro 2016 campaign, a year in which Leftwich was an intern on the Cardinals’ coaching staff. “With 2016 being my best year, that’s a good thing to hear,” a smiling Johnson told reporters. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen missed practice Monday with a toe injured late in the Cardinals’ loss to Denver on Thursday, but he is expected to return Wednesday, head coach Steve Wilks said.

Los Angeles Rams: L.A. racked up 39 points before pulling its starters Sunday against the 49ers, but the Rams couldn’t help but look back on missed opportunities to add more points. “So many plays out there that I can even think of right now that we kind of just left on the field,” quarterback Jared Goff told reporters. The team kicked three field goals of 37 yards or less after stalling in the red zone, a week after scoring just two touchdowns in five trips inside the 20-yard line at Denver. “I know (coach) Sean (McVay’s) going to be hard on himself,” Goff said. “I’m going to be hard on myself. I want to be better down there. Continue to finish with touchdowns.”

San Francisco 49ers: The Sunday loss dropped San Francisco to 1-6, and the 49ers are now dead last in the NFL in turnover margin at minus-15. They’ve committed 12 turnovers in the past three games while failing to record a single takeaway. “We were way too careless with the ball, having those four turnovers, the blocked punt,” coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday of the loss to the Rams. He added that the whole defense has been culpable for the lack of takeaways. “By no means is it one person, it’s a little bit of everybody,” Shanahan said. “When you’re playing zone defense, you’ve got seven guys looking at the quarterback. You want to put the quarterback under duress, that’s where you get some tips, overthrows and things like that. That’s where you get your picks.”

Seattle Seahawks: Having had a revolving door at weak-side linebacker for much of the season, the Seahawks finally appear close to their old selves. K.J. Wright, a Pro Bowler in 2016, appears likely to make his season debut on Sunday at Detroit after missing the first six games recovering from a preseason knee ‘scope, though coach Pete Carroll declined to say for sure that Wright would play. Carroll also said the team expects to get more clarity on Tuesday about the status of suspended linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who met with the NFL on Monday. Kendricks pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges earlier this year.

–Field Level Media

Read More 426 Words

NFL notebook: Cowboys acquire Raiders WR Cooper

NFL notebook: Cowboys acquire Raiders WR Cooper

The Dallas Cowboys acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders on Monday for a 2019 first-round pick.

"He wanted the player, and he gave me the pick. That's what it came down to," Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said of

NFL notebook: Cowboys acquire Raiders WR Cooper

The Dallas Cowboys acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders on Monday for a 2019 first-round pick.

“He wanted the player, and he gave me the pick. That’s what it came down to,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said of the phone call from Cowboys president Stephen Jones regarding Cooper.

“I hate to see good players go,” head coach Jon Gruden told ESPN. “I was on the practice field when Reggie came to me and said the Cowboys would do this for a No. 1, and I said, ‘let’s do it. ‘”

The move gives the Raiders five first-round picks over the next two years: three in 2019 and two in 2020. They had already acquired first-rounders in 2019 and 2020 in a preseason deal with the Chicago Bears in exchange for defensive end Khalil Mack.

–Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced Blake Bortles will remain the team’s starting quarterback in Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles in London.

“I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team’s starting quarterback,” Marrone said in a statement posted by the team a day after Bortles was benched in Sunday’s 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans. “I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win.”

According to multiple reports, the team will give Cody Kessler — who replaced Bortles on Sunday — some reps with the first team this week, and Bortles will be on a short leash.

–Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said he loves playing in Denver but acknowledged his time with the team could be coming to an end, amid reports he could be traded before the Oct. 30 deadline.

“Of course, I want to be here, but I’ve been hearing it the whole season now, so I feel like somewhat it is true, my time here is coming up,” Thomas told reporters. “It’s football, man, it’s business. That’s what happens. It’s happened before. I never think it will happen to me, but I’m like everybody else. It happens once you get older.”

ESPN reported Sunday that the Broncos have not rebuffed a “handful” of teams that have reached out about trading for Thomas, though Denver plans to keep wideout Emmanuel Sanders.

— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed linebackers Kwon Alexander and Jack Cichy on injured reserve after each player sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns.

An MRI confirmed both injuries. Alexander tore the ACL in his right knee after his leg buckled on a non-contact play shortly before halftime.

“Kwon was playing so well and he’s the heart and soul of our defense,” head coach Dirk Koetter said Monday. “It’s just very unfortunate. Our locker room at halftime was extremely emotional last night.”

–Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will not play Thursday night at the Houston Texans, head coach Adam Gase confirmed.

Tannehill has missed consecutive games with a right (throwing) shoulder injury and is reportedly facing “an uphill challenge” in his recovery, though Gase said last week surgery is not expected to be an option.

Brock Osweiler will make his third straight start Thursday, this time against his former team. The Texans signed Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million deal in March 2016 but benched him in his 14th game with the team.

–New England Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel avoided serious injury to his left knee, according to an NFL Network report, after going down awkwardly in Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

According to the report, Michel has a sprained medial collateral ligament and could miss some time, but likely not much after an MRI exam showed no serious damage.

Michel, a 2018 first-round draft pick from Georgia, was helped off the field after his leg was twisted by Bears defensive end Bilal Nichols. Michel fumbled on the play. Before being carted off the field and into the locker room, he gained 35 yards on five touches, bringing his season total to 453 yards on 99 touches.

–The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to team headquarters after their Week 7 bye, again with no sign of disgruntled holdout running back Le’Veon Bell, according to multiple reports.

Previously, Bell told ESPN that he intends to end his holdout at some point to play this season, his sixth in the NFL, and it was speculated he’d be back by now. Bell has refused to sign the team’s $14.54 million franchise tag and wants a new contract. With each week he sits out, he is forfeiting $850,000.

Without Bell, the Steelers are 3-2-1 and in first place in the AFC North. Second-year running back James Conner has emerged as a replacement for Bell, carrying the ball 103 times for 453 yards and seven touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Read More 725 Words

Unbeaten LA Rams rolling behind Aaron Donald’s dominance

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Although Sean McVay was standing on the sideline to watch it, the head coach still had to check the video before he truly realized the scope of Aaron Donald's dominance in the Los Angeles Rams' latest win.

The All-Pro defensive lineman was in vintage form against the San Francisco

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Although Sean McVay was standing on the sideline to watch it, the head coach still had to check the video before he truly realized the scope of Aaron Donald’s dominance in the Los Angeles Rams’ latest win.

The All-Pro defensive lineman was in vintage form against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, leading a stellar defensive effort as the Rams (7-0) extended their longest perfect start to a season since 1985 with a 39-10 victory.

McVay saw Donald’s four sacks, and he knew Donald had forced a fumble that led to a score. Turns out, there was much more.

“I knew he had a really productive day, but then you go back and you just tally up all the plays that he made,” McVay said. “How he’s getting there and affecting and influencing the game in a variety of ways from his position was really impressive. That’s why he’s the man.”

Donald is back at the peak of his disruptive powers after a self-described slow start to the season possibly caused by missing the Rams’ entire offseason program and preseason during his contract holdout. With the $135 million man causing regular misery for opponents’ offenses, the rest of the Rams’ defense is backing him up with big plays — particularly against offenses that are still works in progress, such as the Niners’ injury-plagued unit.

All told in Santa Clara, Donald had nine tackles, five quarterback hits, six tackles for loss, that forced fumble from Matt Breida and a fumble recovery.

Los Angeles will need Donald’s leadership during its upcoming four-game stretch against four of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. The Rams are the NFL’s only unbeaten team as they begin the gauntlet with a visit from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (3-2-1) on Sunday.

McVay and Wade Phillips, his veteran defensive coordinator, haven’t said much to their players about the Rams’ unbeaten record yet. They’re aware of the length and difficulty of a full NFL season, and they don’t want the Rams to get ahead of their next challenge — particularly not before their bye week next month.

“The narrative is written every single week, and we want to continue to try to do a good job,” McVay said. “We don’t have to do anything other than try to be the best that we can one day at a time, and hopefully that leads to a good performance.”

The rest of the defense fed off the advantages created by Donald’s performance by forcing two fumbles and two interceptions. None of those turnovers arose from lucky bounces or deflections: Instead, McVay praised his defense for actively making plays to create opportunities for the Rams’ prolific offense.

“That was a big part of being able to win,” McVay said. “Get those short fields. Ultimately, it’s about scoring points. The yards are the yards. That doesn’t matter. What matters to us is scoring as many points as we can.”

McVay’s offense could be healthier when the Packers get to town on Sunday. Playmaking receiver Cooper Kupp is making steady progress back from the knee injury that sidelined him against the Niners, although McVay isn’t sure whether he’ll need one more week of rehab before playing again.

___

More AP NFL: www.apnews.com/tags/NFL and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 488 Words

49ers safety Colbert likely out for season with ankle injury

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers free safety Adrian Colbert likely will miss the rest of the season with a high ankle sprain he suffered Sunday.

The 49ers placed Colbert on injured reserve Monday and signed quarterback Tom Savage to a one-year contract to take his roster spot.

Coach Kyle Shanahan

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers free safety Adrian Colbert likely will miss the rest of the season with a high ankle sprain he suffered Sunday.

The 49ers placed Colbert on injured reserve Monday and signed quarterback Tom Savage to a one-year contract to take his roster spot.

Coach Kyle Shanahan estimated Colbert would be sidelined for six to eight weeks. He would be eligible to come off IR for the 49ers’ second-to-last game, at home against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 23.

But Shanahan talked as if Colbert, a second-year player out of Miami, will be shut down for the season. Rookie D.J. Reed will get the first opportunity to start at free safety in his absence.

“It’s tough. It’s part of football, though,” Shanahan said. “It’s not the first time that’s happened. Colbert is one of those guys who got his opportunity last year because a lot of guys went down.”

The 28-year-old Savage, who made nine starts over three seasons with the Houston Texans, originally signed with San Francisco last Tuesday. He was waived Saturday when the 49ers promoted defensive back Tyvis Powell from the practice squad for Sunday’s game against the Rams because of injuries in the secondary.

But Savage was quickly re-signed to provide San Francisco with a third quarterback alongside starter C.J. Beathard and backup Nick Mullens. The 49ers lost Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 3 to a torn ACL.

Shanahan remained firmly committed to Beathard on Monday despite a shaky performance in Sunday’s 39-10 loss to the Rams.

Beathard threw two interceptions and lost a fumble, giving him seven interceptions and three lost fumbles in five games (four starts). San Francisco (1-6) is winless since Beathard took over for Garoppolo.

“We’ve had 18 turnovers this year,” Shanahan said. “I’ve watched every single one, definitely more than once. I recommend you guys (the media) do it too. You guys will see there’s a lot of people involved in each one.”

The 49ers have an NFL-worst minus-15 turnover ratio, and the offense is only half the problem. San Francisco has forced just three turnovers — one interception and two fumbles — in seven games.

Colbert is one of a few second-year defensive players — linebacker Reuben Foster and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon are others — who haven’t made the impact that was anticipated after their promising rookie seasons.

Addressing his group of second-year defenders as a whole, Shanahan said: “Those guys worked extremely hard in the offseason. They came in ready to take it to another level and they haven’t done that so far. That stuff’s hard.”

Shanahan praised Colbert, however, saying the free safety was enjoying a strong game Sunday before hurting his ankle while trying to intercept interception on a deep pass in the third quarter.

NOTES: Running back Matt Breida is day-to-day after tweaking his left ankle Sunday, but “his strength is good,” Shanahan said. … Receivers Marquise Goodwin (ankle) and Pierre Garcon (knee) and strong safety Jaquiski Tartt (stinger) will be evaluated Wednesday. … Foster (shoulder) is expected to practice Wednesday.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Read More 456 Words

Falcons guard Fusco leaves game with right ankle injury

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Falcons right guard Brandon Fusco has suffered a right ankle injury and won't return to Monday night's game against the New York Giants.

Fusco did not put weight on his right leg as he was helped off the field late in the second quarter. Minutes later, he was driven

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Falcons right guard Brandon Fusco has suffered a right ankle injury and won’t return to Monday night’s game against the New York Giants.

Fusco did not put weight on his right leg as he was helped off the field late in the second quarter. Minutes later, he was driven on a cart to the locker room and was ruled out to return.

Ben Garland took over for Fusco to start the second half. The Falcons already have lost a starting guard, Andy Levitre, to a season-ending arm injury.

Giants cornerback Eli Apple limped off the field following the same second-quarter play. Apple returned to start the second half.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 65 Words

Bills brace for prime-time game versus Pats after latest dud

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills' offense remains anemic and turnover-prone. And their defense is suddenly springing leaks again.

As if things can't get much worse, the young and patchwork Bills follow up their 37-5 meltdown at Indianapolis on Sunday by preparing to host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills’ offense remains anemic and turnover-prone. And their defense is suddenly springing leaks again.

As if things can’t get much worse, the young and patchwork Bills follow up their 37-5 meltdown at Indianapolis on Sunday by preparing to host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots next week — and in a prime-time setting, no less.

Coach Sean McDermott acknowledged the challenge ahead by noting how the Patriots are far more accustomed to playing on a national stage such as Monday Night Football, as opposed to Buffalo — a team more familiar with early Sunday afternoon kickoffs.

“The better team you have, the more prime-time games you get,” McDermott said Monday. “So yeah, you can say give them the advantage because they’ve been there before.”

And that was after McDermott noted how relatively inexperienced the Bills are in saying: “I’ve got a young football team on my hands.”

It shows.

A year after ending a 17-season playoff drought, the Bills (2-5) are enduring the telltale signs of being in transition after going through yet another offseason roster overhaul as part of their intention to rebuild through youth.

One of those rookies won’t be in the lineup against the AFC East-leading Patriots (5-2), who are 31-4 against Buffalo in their past 35 meetings, and 7-0 overall in prime-time games.

McDermott announced rookie quarterback Josh Allen will miss his second game with a bruised elbow on his right arm.

That leaves veteran Derek Anderson preparing to make his second start some three weeks after being lured out of semiretirement.

The 13th-year player showed some rust by throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble against the Colts in his first start in nearly two years.

Despite his unfamiliarity with Buffalo’s playbook and personnel, Anderson did go 20 of 31 for 175 yards, which marked the most yards passing by a Bills quarterback in four weeks.

Buffalo’s offense, however, is at best a work in progress no matter who’s at quarterback, including Nathan Peterman, who lost the starting job midway through a 47-3 season-opening loss at Baltimore.

The Bills have scored just 81 points. It’s the third-lowest total in franchise history through seven games, and worst since Buffalo scored 75 in getting off to a 1-6 start in 1977.

The Bills have yet to top 20 first downs in a game. And the seven offensive touchdowns scored through seven games are the fewest over the same span since Buffalo managed six on offense to open the 2007 season.

The Bills have been so inept, only eight of 22 drives have crossed midfield over the past two games. The Patriots, by comparison, had six of 10 drives cross midfield alone in their 38-31 win at Chicago on Sunday.

“I think we’d all like to be out there posting 50 points (a game),” McDermott said. “That’s just not where we are right now. So we just have to understand who we are, where we are in this process of trying to get this thing going in the right direction.”

The game against the Colts was the latest indication of how the Bills stand little chance of being competitive if their defense unravels.

Though five offensive turnovers played a factor, Buffalo surrendered 220 yards rushing and four touchdowns passing — both season worsts. The Bills also forced no takeaways after generating 11 in their previous four outings.

The Colts scored on their final four possessions of the first half to build a 24-0 lead, marking the third time this season Buffalo has trailed by 22 or more points after two quarters.

It was an uncharacteristic outing for a defense that combined to allow just four touchdowns and had 15 sacks in its previous four games.

Coordinator Leslie Frazier described the issues against the run as being correctible.

“It’s disappointing,” Frazier said. “We’re trying to set the standard on defense, and we didn’t play up to our standard yesterday. It was not playoff-caliber, and we’ve got to play better.”

NOTES: RB LeSean McCoy’s status remains uncertain as he continues to be monitored for a concussion after being hurt on the second play from scrimmage. … Starting DE Trent Murphy is listed week to week after hurting his knee.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 641 Words

Knee injury sidelines Buccaneers LB Alexander for season

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay's struggling defense will be without middle linebacker Kwon Alexander for the remainder of the season.

The fourth-year pro was injured during the first half of Sunday's 26-23 overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns.

A MRI performed Monday confirmed that the 24-year-old, a fourth-round draft pick in 2015,

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay’s struggling defense will be without middle linebacker Kwon Alexander for the remainder of the season.

The fourth-year pro was injured during the first half of Sunday’s 26-23 overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns.

A MRI performed Monday confirmed that the 24-year-old, a fourth-round draft pick in 2015, has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

“It’s unfortunate,” coach Dirk Koetter said. “Kwon was playing so well, and was the heart and soul of our defense.”

Koetter said backup linebacker Jack Cichy also suffered a season-ending knee injury against Cleveland and will miss the remainder of the year.

“Our locker room at halftime was extremely emotional,” Koetter said. “Kwon came out of the training room right about the time we were getting ready to go back on the field. It was emotional. You could tell guys really care (about him).”

Alexander has started all 46 games he’s appeared in during his NFL career. He was a Pro Bowl selection two years ago and was having one of his best games of the season when he took an awkward step while rushing the passer and tumbled to the ground in the final minute of the second quarter.

He walked off the field and to the locker room without help, but he did not play the second half.

“Guys like Kwon mean everything to this team, and I have empathy for him,” quarterback Jameis Winston said.

“Before we left out there for halftime, he was like: ‘Never take anything for granted.’ He’s so right,” Winston added. “We see the passion he plays with. We see the heart he puts in the locker room. … We’re going to miss him, and I know he is going to make an amazing comeback.”

Losing Alexander and Cichy will severely test a unit that was criticized for its play during a three-game losing streak that followed a 2-0 start.

Cornerback Vernon Hargreves III and safety Chris Conte were placed on injured reserve in September. First-round draft pick Vita Vea missed most of training camp and the start of the season with a calf problem, and four other players — tackles Gerald McCoy and Beau Allen, end Vinny Curry and cornerback Brent Grimes — have missed at least one start because of injuries.

With Tampa Bay sitting at or near the bottom of the league in several key categories, including points allowed, defensive coordinator Mike Smith was fired last week and replaced by linebackers coach Mark Duffner.

The defense was sharper in its first game under Duffner, sacking Baker Mayfield five times and yielding a season-low 305 yards to the offensively challenged Browns.

“You’ve got to have a next-man-up mentality. Kwon is a key piece to this defense,” linebacker Lavonte David said, adding that several reserves stepped up and played well while filling in for McCoy, Curry and Alexander against Cleveland.

“Those guys … filled the void, and that’s what you’ve got to do,” David added. “You never know when your number’s going to get called, and their numbers were called (Sunday).”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 459 Words

Seahawks back from bye with Wright, Dickson practicing

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks returned from their bye week with two key players back on the field after missing the first six games due to injuries.

The Seahawks welcomed back linebacker K.J. Wright and tight end Ed Dickson to practice Monday as they began preparations for Sunday's game against Detroit.

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks returned from their bye week with two key players back on the field after missing the first six games due to injuries.

The Seahawks welcomed back linebacker K.J. Wright and tight end Ed Dickson to practice Monday as they began preparations for Sunday’s game against Detroit.

Wright’s return has been a long time coming after he underwent what was deemed minor arthroscopic knee surgery following Seattle’s third preseason game in August. The team initially believed Wright would be back within a few weeks, but a setback in his recovery extended the rehab and ultimately led to the starting linebacker missing nearly two months.

“We’re not too bad right now,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We’re fortunate we’re coming out the last few games we’ve made it through for the most part. Guys felt good coming out of last week and going into the break. It helped us and to get a few guys back, too, it’s a nice little boost.”

Dickson was placed on the non-football injury list before the start of training camp due to groin and quadriceps injuries and never made it into camp, meaning he had to be a spectator for the first six games of the season. Dickson was likely ready to return a couple of weeks ago, but being on the NFL list required him to miss six games.

Dickson’s return will be a big boost to a position that suffered a setback when rookie Will Dissly injured a patellar tendon in the Week 4 victory over Arizona. Carroll said Dickson ramped up the intensity of his workouts in the past couple weeks in the hopes of being able to play this Sunday.

“They’ve been working really hard so this isn’t a big jump for them. That’s part of the rehab, particularly for Ed who has had a long time to work at this,” Carroll said. “He’s been running really hard so he should not feel like it’s a big step for him to get back on the practice field and should be able to play extensively on the weekend should he make it through the week.”

Also back at practice for Seattle was rookie defensive lineman Rasheem Green, who had missed three games with an ankle injury, and tight end Nick Vannett after he missed the game in London due to a back injury.

NOTES: Carroll said LB Mychal Kendricks, indefinitely suspended by the NFL for his conviction on insider trading charges, had a scheduled hearing with the league Monday. Carroll said he was hoping to hear something from the league Tuesday. … Carroll said he reassured the team that nothing is expected to change in the wake of owner Paul Allen’s death last week. “We’re fine. Everything is going to be like we’ve been doing it We’ll carry on with the same intensity and expectations and support and all of that, and that it was our job to carry on in the fashion that Paul wanted us to.” … Seattle claimed LB Emmanuel Ellerbee off waivers from the Los Angeles Chargers after safety T.J. Green left the team. Carroll said Green indicated he didn’t want to continue playing.

___

For more NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 485 Words

Vrabel, Titans working to fix issues before breaking for bye

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans will not be escaping quickly now that they're back from London and mired in a three-game skid.

First-year head coach Mike Vrabel wants to look closely at what the Titans (3-4) must fix to snap that skid that cost them the lead in the AFC South

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans will not be escaping quickly now that they’re back from London and mired in a three-game skid.

First-year head coach Mike Vrabel wants to look closely at what the Titans (3-4) must fix to snap that skid that cost them the lead in the AFC South for a franchise that hasn’t won its division since 2008. The Titans also get a little bit more time around their bye with their next game not until Nov. 5 in prime-time at Dallas.

“Losing is never going to feel good,” Vrabel said Monday. “I think that they realize that things aren’t broken. We just have to fix a few things and finish off a game. We have to try to figure out a way to win a game.”

Vrabel gave the Titans the day off Monday after Tennessee arrived back in Nashville in the wee hours from their 20-19 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in London. The Titans will work Tuesday and Wednesday before getting their break for the bye.

Even with a day to think about his decision to go for the 2-point conversion and the lead with 31 seconds left, Vrabel still isn’t second-guessing himself or offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. Marcus Mariota’s pass to Taywan Taylor was incomplete, even though Dion Lewis appeared open to the right side on a day he caught all six passes thrown to him for 64 yards.

Vrabel refused to call that a misread by Mariota.

“We didn’t execute the play,” Vrabel said. “We didn’t score, we didn’t get open well enough. We didn’t block well enough. Unfortunately, that’s not good. That’s not good enough.”

As the Titans look at themselves, dropped passes remain an issue for an offense that ranks 30th in yards passing and 30th in points scored per game. The Titans rank second in the NFL dropping 6.3 percent of passes overall with the third-most drops on third down, according to NFL Matchup on ESPN.

Taylor dropped a pass earlier in the fourth quarter and caught only one pass for 8 yards. Corey Davis, the fifth overall pick in 2017, caught three for 10 yards. He also dropped a pass on the same drive as Taylor, failing to bring in the ball with one hand.

The Titans rank eighth in the NFL in passing defense, yet giving up long passes remains an issue. They gave up a 75-yard touchdown pass on the Chargers’ first offensive play and a 55-yarder for the only TDs allowed by a Tennessee defense that ranks third in fewest points allowed per game.

Cornerback Malcolm Butler, the Titans’ big free agent addition in March didn’t start and was limited to 29 snaps. Vrabel said there were a lot of problems on the two TD passes allowed and he wants players not trying to do someone else’s job.

Tennessee ended a TD drought that spanned 155 minutes, 17 seconds, and the Titans allowed only two sacks after giving up a franchise-worst 11 in being shut out by Baltimore last week. They outgained the Chargers 390-344 and held the ball for more than 35 minutes with a season-high 164 yards rushing.

The schedule doesn’t ease after the bye with the trip to Dallas followed by hosting New England in the Titans’ lone home game in November followed by division road trips to Indianapolis and Houston.

Vrabel said he doesn’t think any of the Titans have done the best they can and everyone needs to practice and prepare better.

“Ultimately, it comes down to our performance on Sunday,” Vrabel said.

___

Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More 544 Words

Broncos WR Thomas: ‘Time here is coming up’

Broncos WR Thomas: 'Time here is coming up'

Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said Monday he loves playing in Denver but acknowledged his time with the team could be coming to an end, amid reports he could be traded before the Oct. 30 deadline.

"Of course, I want to be

Broncos WR Thomas: ‘Time here is coming up’

Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said Monday he loves playing in Denver but acknowledged his time with the team could be coming to an end, amid reports he could be traded before the Oct. 30 deadline.

“Of course, I want to be here, but I’ve been hearing it the whole season now, so I feel like somewhat it is true, my time here is coming up,” Thomas told reporters. “But I don’t know.”

ESPN reported Sunday that the Broncos have not rebuffed a “handful” of teams that have reached out about trading for Thomas, though Denver is not interested in dealing wideout Emmanuel Sanders.

“I’ve seen a couple of ’em,” Thomas said of the trade reports. “It’s football, man, it’s business. That’s what happens. It’s happened before. I never think it will happen to me, but I’m like everybody else. It happens once you get older.”

Thomas, who turns 31 in December, added that it’s “a good thing if somebody is interested because then I can still play ball.” He revealed before the season he had once planned to retire after 2018 or 2019 because of chronic hip issues, but those worries have since been allayed and he now hopes to play into his mid-30s.

Head coach Vance Joseph shook off the mention of trade reports when addressing the media Monday.

“It’s rumors, it’s gossip, doesn’t matter to our football team,” Joseph said. “Our only concern is the Chiefs and that’s on Sunday.”

The emergence of 2018 second-round pick Courtland Sutton has reportedly made it unlikely Thomas will see his $14 million salary in 2019, the final year of his deal. The team could deal Thomas for compensation now or release him after the season for nothing. Either way, it would incur a dead-money charge of $3.5 million in 2019.

Thomas has 33 receptions for 372 yards and three scores this year after posting 83 grabs for 949 yards and five touchdowns in 2017. That was the four-time Pro Bowler’s first time failing to hit 1,000 yards in a season since 2012, his third season.

A first-round pick in 2010, Thomas is the Broncos’ longest-tenured player. He is due $5 million over the remainder of this season before 2019’s $14 million salary.

–Field Level Media

Read More 309 Words

Browns’ Jackson clarifies: Haley calls plays

Browns' Jackson clarifies: Haley calls plays

Baltimore Ravens: Head coach John Harbaugh said Monday there was no finger-pointing in the locker room after a one-point loss to the New Orleans Saints, 24-23, on Sunday. The game appeared headed to overtime when Justin Tucker missed his first extra point since high school. "That's

Browns’ Jackson clarifies: Haley calls plays

Baltimore Ravens: Head coach John Harbaugh said Monday there was no finger-pointing in the locker room after a one-point loss to the New Orleans Saints, 24-23, on Sunday. The game appeared headed to overtime when Justin Tucker missed his first extra point since high school. “That’s one thing I love about our team, the character of our team,” Harbaugh said. “I just think we have guys that take responsibility. Every one of us … the first thing all of our guys do is look at themselves and say, ‘What could I have done better?'”

Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton attempted to quell sky-is-falling talk after a 45-10 loss in primetime on Sunday night at Kansas City. The Bengals gave up more points than they have in any game since Dalton and A.J. Green have teamed up on offense (eight seasons), and the 35-point margin was two points shy of a franchise worst. “There is a lot of season left and a lot of things out in front of us. It is just one game. We have another one next week,” Dalton said. “As much as this one sucks, everything is still right there. We are in a great position. We have to go take advantage of it.”

Cleveland Browns: There are no plans for head coach Hue Jackson to use his play-caller trump card and bump offensive coordinator Todd Haley out of that role, he clarified Monday. “I never said I would take over the play-calling,” Jackson said Monday. “I said I wanted to help.” Jackson’s comments are contrary to his statement following a 26-23 overtime loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday, when he said he would be within his rights as head coach to call plays. But Jackson also said, “He’s the play-caller. Trust me when I say I’m not trying to create an issue here.”

Pittsburgh Steelers: Offensive guard Ramon Foster said the Steelers aren’t holding their breath for Le’Veon Bell’s return because he hasn’t been in contact with players in the locker room. While speculation centered around a Week 8 return, the Steelers opened preparation for the Browns without Bell on Monday. “I haven’t talked to him, nobody has,” Foster said “We’re in a wait-and-see situation like you guys.” Foster voiced frustration with Bell’s absence before Week 1, saying “What do you do?” Foster said to reporters. “Here’s a guy who doesn’t give a damn, so I guess we’ll treat it as such. I just hate it came to this. …He’s making seven times what I make, twice as much as (left tackle) Al (Villanueva) is making and we’re the guys who do it for him.”

–Field Level Media

Read More 386 Words

Cowboys acquire WR Cooper from Raiders

Cowboys acquire WR Cooper from Raiders

The Dallas Cowboys acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders on Monday for a 2019 first-round pick.

"He wanted the player, and he gave me the pick. That's what it came down to," Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said of the phone

Cowboys acquire WR Cooper from Raiders

The Dallas Cowboys acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders on Monday for a 2019 first-round pick.

“He wanted the player, and he gave me the pick. That’s what it came down to,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said of the phone call from Cowboys president Stephen Jones regarding Cooper.

“I hate to see good players go,” head coach Jon Gruden told ESPN. “I was on the practice field when Reggie came to me and said the Cowboys would do this for a No. 1, and I said let’s do it.

The move gives the Raiders five first-round picks over the next two years: three in 2019 and two in 2020. They had already acquired first-rounders in 2019 and 2020 in a preseason deal with the Chicago Bears in exchange for defensive end Khalil Mack.

ESPN reported Sunday that the Cowboys had done extensive work on Cooper as a possible trade target, and that the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts had also shown interest in the wideout. Gruden previously told reporters Cooper was not being shopped, but multiple reports indicated Oakland would take a first-rounder for him.

“It’s a trade that we feel it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass on to get a first-round pick,” McKenzie said. “In this business here, I thought that was invaluable for me. It was something I felt like I had to do. It was something I felt like I had to do.”

Yahoo Sports reported after Monday’s deal that other teams were not willing to offer Oakland a first-rounder, while NFL Network reported the Philadelphia Eagles offered a second-rounder. McKenzie said business went “a little haywire” after media caught wind of the other offers coming in on Cooper.

Cooper, 24, went to the Pro Bowl in his first two NFL seasons after the Raiders took him fourth overall in 2015, but he had a disappointing 2017 campaign and has been up and down this year. Currently recovering from a concussion sustained in London against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 6, Cooper has 22 catches for 280 yards and one touchdown in six games.

The Raiders just had their bye week and the Cowboys are entering theirs, giving Cooper two weeks to prepare for his first game with Dallas.

He has 225 grabs for 3,183 yards and 19 touchdowns in 52 career games (47 starts), with 155 catches, 2,223 yards and 11 scores coming from 2015-16.

Cooper is in the fourth year of his rookie contract and is due $13.9 million in 2019 on his fifth-year option, which is guaranteed for injury only, before being scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency. With that contract off the books, the Raiders will approach $75 million in salary cap space in 2019.

The trade comes 10 years and eight days after the Cowboys dealt first-, third-, sixth- and seventh-round picks to the Detroit Lions for wide receiver Roy Williams, who went on to total 1,324 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns in 40 games (29 starts) over three-plus seasons with the Cowboys.

Dallas also traded two first-round picks to the Seahawks for wideout Joey Galloway in 2000, but Galloway tore his ACL in his first game with the team and totaled 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns in 48 games (46 starts) over four seasons.

The deal leaves Oakland with just three of its own first-round picks on the roster: safety Karl Joseph (2016), cornerback Gareon Conley (2017) and left tackle Kolton Miller (2018).

Joseph is also reportedly on the trade block, while Conley and quarterback Derek Carr are not expected to be traded, according to an NFL Network report.

Asked about Carr, Gruden told ESPN, “We’re not trading anyone else. We’re trying to stay competitive and figure out a way to compete this next game.”

The Raiders host the Colts on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Read More 549 Words

Vikings short on CBs with Brees up next

Vikings short on CBs with Brees up next

Chicago Bears: Linebacker Khalil Mack didn't come out of the Sunday loss to the Patriots "any worse" by playing on an injured ankle. Head coach Matt Nagy said the decision to play Mack came down to trust from both sides. "It's not easy. That's where

Vikings short on CBs with Brees up next

Chicago Bears: Linebacker Khalil Mack didn’t come out of the Sunday loss to the Patriots “any worse” by playing on an injured ankle. Head coach Matt Nagy said the decision to play Mack came down to trust from both sides. “It’s not easy. That’s where the trust level from both ends has to be there,” Nagy said. “The player has to understand where we’re coming from as a team. We all know he’s not 100 percent. We trust him. He trusts us.” Even with the ankle sprain, Mack dropped in coverage more than he rushed Tom Brady against the Patriots. He is without a sack in consecutive weeks after notching five through four games.

Detroit Lions: Defensive end Ziggy Ansah appears to be getting closer to full health, but head coach Matt Patricia said Monday no one is counting on Ansah. “Ziggy has done everything he can to get back out there and play,” Patricia said, shooting down follow-up questions on Ansah’s status. “Just like anybody else, when Ziggy Ansah can help us win, he’ll play.” Ansah practiced all week and was optimistic he could play entering Sunday’s game at Miami. Ansah last played for the Lions in Week 1 against the New York Jets. He injured his shoulder and was tracking toward a six- to eight-week return. Ansah was designated the Lions’ franchise player in free agency, guaranteeing his $17.143 million salary for 2018. After seven weeks, he has pocketed $7.1 million and played a total of 21 snaps (19 on defense).

Green Bay Packers: After the bye week, the Packers returned to practice on Monday and head coach Mike McCarthy said the self-scout turned up a strong conclusion about Green Bay’s offense: the running game is being neglected. McCarthy said the focus is on getting running backs more rushing attempts. He also said the bye week gave quarterback Aaron Rodgers a rest period that equates in him being ready to practice Tuesday. The Packers are treating Tuesday as Wednesday in their game-week preparation model because the team intends to leave Wisconsin on Friday for Los Angeles ahead of a matchup with the undefeated Rams.

Minnesota Vikings: Cornerback has gone from a position of great strength to a weakness in a blink for the Vikings. Rookie Mike Hughes was lost for the season with a knee injury two weeks ago, and Xavier Rhodes suffered an ankle injury against the Jets on Sunday. The timing is not great. Up next for the Vikings is Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he sees a spry quarterback behind center reviewing Saints film. “This guy’s amazing,” Zimmer said of Brees. “I always thought when you talk about Hall of Fame quarterbacks, obviously he’s going to be one, but he’s very cerebral, accurate. He’s moving well in the pocket. I was watching tape today on him like, ‘How old is this guy?’ I thought he was getting old, but he moves well in the pocket. He knows where to go with the football and he’s extremely accurate. They’ve got a great scheme; all kinds of things. They’ve got all different personnel groups.”

–Field Level Media

Read More 470 Words

Redskins’ defense credited for shutting down Cowboys, Elliott

Redskins' defense credited for shutting down Cowboys, Elliott

Dallas Cowboys Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur said he was confused by the snap infraction penalty called against him at the end of the Cowboys' 20-17 loss to Washington on Sunday. He was penalized for adjusting his hands on the ball before a 47-yard field goal

Redskins’ defense credited for shutting down Cowboys, Elliott

Dallas Cowboys Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur said he was confused by the snap infraction penalty called against him at the end of the Cowboys’ 20-17 loss to Washington on Sunday. He was penalized for adjusting his hands on the ball before a 47-yard field goal attempt to tie the game. As he moved his hands, a number of Redskins’ defenders jumped offsides. The penalty made the field-goal attempt a 52-yarder, which kicker Brett Maher missed. “They told me I was the one responsible for the false start and I did the same exact thing I usually do,” he said, according to The Dallas Morning News. “… Exact same thing I’ve been doing for 14 years.” Former NFL coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy disagreed with the call. “This was a terrible call,” he said on NBC’s Sunday night telecast. “An illegal snap has to be abrupt movement or something unusual. The Dallas center is neither one of those – he’s not abrupt and he’s not unusual. That is his normal motion.”

New York Giants: Eli Manning will line up Monday night in Atlanta behind a revamped offensive line. According to reports, Spencer Pulley will start at center, and John Greco will move to right guard. Greco is moving back to his normal spot after taking over for center Jon Halapio, who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2. Patrick Omameh, who had been starting at right guard and struggling, was left off the active roster this week and did not make the trip to Atlanta. Pulley started all 16 games for the Los Angeles Chargers last season but was placed on waivers in the summer and claimed by the Giants before Week 1. He hasn’t played much this season, but with the struggles the line has had protecting Manning, coach Pat Shurmur is making the move. Pulley has been taking reps with both the starters and the second team in practice. “I’ve been working in with everybody,” he told NJ Advance Media recently. “Just trying to figure out how this guy plays, or this guy’s tendencies. I think I’ve worked myself in well. The more and more reps I can get, the better it will be.”

Philadelphia Eagles: A lot is expected of a defending Super Bowl champion the following season. Sitting at 3-4 nearly halfway through the NFL season, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said his team shouldn’t worry about such expectations. “Quite frankly I told them, we have to learn from these,” Pederson told reporters Sunday after the Eagles squandered a 17-point lead and lost 21-17 to the Carolina Panthers. “These are things, these are games that galvanize football teams. This is going to do that. This is going to bring us even closer.” He added: “I basically told them the pressure is off. No one in the outside world is giving us a chance to do much of anything, so the pressure is off. So we can go play, have fun and just relax. There’s a lot of football ahead and we still have a bunch of games. Anything is possible, anything can happen and we still treat it as one week at a time.”

Washington Redskins: The Redskins beat Dallas on Sunday in large part by stifling the Cowboys’ potent run game. They held Dallas to 73 yards rushing and limited star running back Ezekiel Elliott to 33 yards on 15 attempts. Cornerback Josh Norman told ESPN that the defense is coming into its own. “They draft for the opponents we face, and if you don’t win in the trenches in this division, you’re not winning many football games,” Norman said about Washington’s defensive line following the 20-17 victory. “That’s just the end of the story. They won the battle today … and now we’re starting to whoop some tail.” It was the second-worst perfomance of Elliott’s career. The Redskins sit atop the NFC East with a 4-2 record; the Cowboys are 3-4.

–Field Level Media

Read More 600 Words

Dolphins rule QB Tannehill out for Thursday

Dolphins rule QB Tannehill out for Thursday

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will not play Thursday night at the Houston Texans, head coach Adam Gase confirmed Monday.

Tannehill has missed consecutive games with a right (throwing) shoulder injury and is reportedly facing "an uphill challenge" in his recovery, though Gase

Dolphins rule QB Tannehill out for Thursday

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will not play Thursday night at the Houston Texans, head coach Adam Gase confirmed Monday.

Tannehill has missed consecutive games with a right (throwing) shoulder injury and is reportedly facing “an uphill challenge” in his recovery, though Gase said last week surgery is not expected to be an option.

Gase said Monday that Tannehill is “in a good spot,” and the team will have a better feel for when he can return after Thursday’s game. The Dolphins’ next game will be Nov. 4 against the New York Jets, two weeks before the Week 11 bye.

Brock Osweiler will make his third straight start Thursday, this time against his former team. The Texans signed Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million deal in March 2016 but benched him in his 14th game with the team. Houston then traded Osweiler, along with second- and sixth-round picks, to the Cleveland Browns for a fourth-rounde pick to unload his contract after one season.

Osweiler said he has “no emotion” about facing the Texans, adding that he’s “very proud of the things we accomplished” in his lone season with the team.

“This really is just another game,” he told reporters. “But it’s the most important game because it’s the next one.”

Osweiler joined the Dolphins as a free agent this spring and has 654 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions in two-plus games of work, going 1-1 as a starter.

–Field Level Media

Read More 184 Words

Jaguars to start QB Bortles in Week 8

Jaguars to start QB Bortles in Week 8

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced Blake Bortles will remain the team's starting quarterback in Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles in London.

"I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team's starting quarterback,"

Jaguars to start QB Bortles in Week 8

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced Blake Bortles will remain the team’s starting quarterback in Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles in London.

“I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team’s starting quarterback,” Marrone said in a statement posted by the team Monday, a day after Bortles was benched in a 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans. “I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win.”

According to multiple reports, the team will give Cody Kessler — who replaced Bortles on Sunday — some reps with the first team this week, and Bortles will be on a short leash.

Marrone told reporters earlier Monday that he had made a decision on who would start, but declined to reveal his choice until after he had met with the quarterbacks and told the rest of the team.

After Sunday’s game, Marrone declared the QB job “open” and said Bortles was “pissed” about being benched, adding, “he should be.”

Bortles was hooked after his second lost fumble set up a Houston touchdown to put Jacksonville down 20-0 early in the third quarter. He was 6 of 12 for 61 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions when Marrone pulled the plug.

Kessler exceeded Bortles’ completions in just two drives, starting 9 of 13 for 51 yards with a 6-yard touchdown to T.J. Yeldon to make it 20-7 with 2:18 left in the third. He finished 21 of 30 for 156 yards, the touchdown and an interception while taking four sacks. He fumbled on one sack, but teammate Josh Walker recovered.

The Jaguars signed Bortles, their first-round pick in 2014, to a three-year, $54 million contract in February, adding two years to Bortles’ deal as he prepared to enter the final year of his rookie contract. The 26-year-old threw for 376 yards and four touchdowns in a win over the New England Patriots in Week 2, but he’s also thrown eight interceptions, including six from Weeks 4-6. His lost fumbles against Houston brought his turnover total to 11 this season.

ESPN reported before Sunday’s game that the Jaguars were not considering trading for a quarterback before the Oct. 30 deadline, believing quarterback trouble is the least of their issues.

Jacksonville (3-4) has lost four of five and three in a row, getting outscored 90-28 over the three losses.

Kessler, 25, was acquired from the Cleveland Browns for a conditional seventh-round pick this offseason.

–Field Level media

Read More 341 Words

Buccaneers devastated by injury to Alexander

Buccaneers devastated by injury to Alexander

Carolina Panthers: Wide receiver Torrey Smith will have his knee examined further after hitting it hard to the ground during Sunday's contest against Philadelphia Eagles. Also ailing is defensive end Mario Addison, who took a hard shot to the lower back that left it stiff. Cam Newton

Buccaneers devastated by injury to Alexander

Carolina Panthers: Wide receiver Torrey Smith will have his knee examined further after hitting it hard to the ground during Sunday’s contest against Philadelphia Eagles. Also ailing is defensive end Mario Addison, who took a hard shot to the lower back that left it stiff. Cam Newton isn’t hurt, but coach Ron Rivera is miffed his quarterback doesn’t get more recognition for his clutch play after leading the Panthers to the 15th comeback win of his tenure. “He gets overlooked because of his style of play. It’s not a prolific style,” Rivera said. “He runs the ball extremely well. He’s not a pure, pure pocket passer, although there are elements of his game where he plays very well from the pocket. He’s good on the move. I think the success he has in the fourth quarter with the comebacks is a lot about his desire wanting to win.”

New Orleans Saints: The focus was on Drew Brees going over the 500-touchdown pass milestone during Sunday’s victory over the Baltimore Ravens, but the 39-year-old once again didn’t throw an interception. He has completed 77.3 percent of his passes without being picked off during an impressive start that includes 1,870 yards and 13 touchdowns. “He’s playing efficiently, obviously location has been great,” New Orleans coach Sean Payton said during a press conference. “I think he’s making good decisions with the ball, and I think what he did yesterday was impressive. There were two or three times where he had to make some plays with his feet to buy time and then make a throw up, I thought significant plays to keep a drive going.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Buccaneers suffered a big blow by losing Pro Bowl linebacker Kwon Alexander for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The injury occurred in a non-contact situation while he was blitzing Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield during Sunday’s game. “Kwon was playing so well and he’s the heart and soul of our defense,” Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter told reporters. “It’s just very unfortunate. Our locker room at halftime was extremely emotional last night. Kwon came out of the training room right about the time we were getting ready to go back on the field. It was emotional. You can tell that the guys really care. Kwon talked to the team there for a couple minutes right as we were going back on the field.” The Buccaneers also lost rookie linebacker Jack Cichy — who missed his senior year at Wisconsin with a torn right ACL — to a left ACL tear.

–Field Level Media

Read More 379 Words