It’s on Prescott, Cooper to make all-in move by Cowboys work

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott won’t know if he has a new No. 1 receiver with the Dallas Cowboys until the quarterback gets a chance to see how quickly Amari Cooper can be assimilated into the offense.

At least one thing is certain. The Cowboys paid the price of a top pass-catcher by giving Oakland their first-round pick in next year’s draft in a midseason trade designed to jump-start a passing game that has mostly struggled to replace Dez Bryant, the franchise touchdown catch leader before being dumped in a cost-cutting move in April.

And Prescott didn’t need such a bold move to believe there’s a win-now mentality with the Cowboys (3-4), who are off this weekend before returning for a Monday night game Nov. 5 at home against Tennessee.

“There’s no doubt about it in my mind that they’re all in,” Prescott told The Associated Press, referring to owner and general manager Jerry Jones and the rest of the front office. “They know the team that we have. They know where we can go and they want to make sure they do everything to put us in that position.”

Two years ago, the Cowboys won the NFC East with a conference-leading 13 wins while Prescott won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Dallas never really found a groove during disappointing encores for Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, in part because of a six-game suspension for the 2016 league rushing leader.

Year 3 with the two offensive stars has been the model of inconsistency — four road losses, with three home wins alternating in between.

And the root cause is a frequently punchless passing game that’s been unable to punish defenses for focusing on Elliott. Spotty play from the offensive line hasn’t helped, either.

In Cooper, the Cowboys grabbed the fourth overall pick from three years ago, believing he was still young enough at 24 to be a cornerstone alongside Prescott and Elliott, the fourth overall choice a year later.

Although his own Year 3 last season was a big letdown compared to the pair of Pro Bowl seasons that started his career, Cooper brings a solid pedigree to Dallas: 3,183 yards receiving and 19 touchdowns in 52 games. Prescott envisions something more than solid.

“He’s an explosive guy that you don’t have to draw too many crazy plays to get him the ball,” Prescott said. “When you have a player like that, they’ll be easy to put into this offense. We showed how good we can be. We’ve just got to continue to find a way to be consistent.”

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and Cole Beasley, the top producer among the group of receivers Cooper is joining, both believe the open week will make a difference in getting the former Alabama standout ready for his new offense.

While the Cowboys essentially had just two additional practice days with Cooper because of the break, they were important days because Dallas wasn’t in game preparation mode.

“It’s huge because he can kind of go back to the basics and then learn fundamentals of how we run our routes here and just little things that we do,” Beasley said. “That will help him a lot.”

The other question is whether the presence of Cooper can help Elliott a lot.

While the focal point of the Dallas offense is still second in the league in rushing with 619 yards, there have been a lot of tough yards for Elliott. Plus, he’s coming off the second-worst game of his career: 33 yards on 15 carries in a 20-17 loss to Washington.

While there were some bright spots for the NFL’s 29th-ranked passing attack with the Redskins so focused on Elliott, including Prescott’s season-high 273 yards, there were still plenty of problems for an offense averaging just 13.5 points on the road.

“I think it’s going to help us as an offense,” Linehan said. “You add firepower to your offense in proven-type guys like this, gives you some options. And even if it’s just the threat of the option, it might help the other part of your offense.”

Prescott and Cooper have been on opposing sidelines several times, mostly notably as juniors in college when Cooper and the Crimson Tide handed Mississippi State its first loss in 2014 when the Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history.

Last year, the Cowboys were hanging on to fading playoff hopes against the also-ran Raiders in a 20-17 Dallas victory in Week 15. Prescott had a mostly forgettable night and Cooper was out with an ankle injury. Now they’re hoping to make memories together.

“I really like the way he throws the ball,” Cooper said. “It’s a good ball.”

And Prescott thinks the Cowboys made a good move.

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Harbaugh, Flacco seek strong finish in 11th year with Ravens

BALTIMORE (AP) — Having worked in unison for 11 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco are under pressure to extend their extraordinary bond to an even dozen years.

The emergence of first-round draft pick Lamar Jackson and a three-game losing streak have raised questions about the future of a

BALTIMORE (AP) — Having worked in unison for 11 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco are under pressure to extend their extraordinary bond to an even dozen years.

The emergence of first-round draft pick Lamar Jackson and a three-game losing streak have raised questions about the future of a coach and quarterback who reached the postseason in each of their first five seasons together and capped the run with a Super Bowl victory.

Recently, however, the Ravens have stumbled. They’ve missed the postseason for three consecutive years and entered their bye week with a 4-5 record.

General manager Ozzie Newsome will step down after this season, and Baltimore’s performance over the last seven games could go a long way toward determining if the transition will extend to a change at head coach and/or quarterback.

Following a lackluster 2017 season that could be attributed in part to a slow-healing back injury, Flacco has been solid this year. He’s thrown for 2,465 yards and has 12 touchdown passes with only six interceptions.

Though Harbaugh has allowed the fleet-footed and elusive Jackson to receive several snaps each game, he’s not about to make a quarterback change at this pivotal point in the season.

“Joe has played well, so I don’t want to get into all of that,” Harbaugh said. “We’re rolling right now with what we have.”

Harbaugh took the job as Ravens coach in 2008 with Flacco as a rookie quarterback. Flacco started the opener, the first of his 163 regular-season games under Harbaugh — second-most in NFL history by a quarterback who’s spent his entire career with the same head coach. Only Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have more (260).

But the Ravens didn’t trade up to get Jackson just to keep the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner on the sideline. The former Louisville star ranks second on the team with 139 yards rushing and has completed seven of 12 passes, most of them during mop-up duty.

The challenge for Harbaugh is to determine when, and how often, to use the rookie. It’s a tricky problem, in part because the Ravens often keep Flacco in the game when Jackson enters so the defense won’t know who will take the snap when the huddle breaks. If Jackson is the quarterback, then Flacco lines up as a receiver who almost certainly won’t be a target.

“I sure hope not,” Flacco said with a grin.

Jackson ran for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns at Louisville. He’s far more of a threat with his legs than the 33-year-old Flacco, leaving the opposition to guess whether Jackson will keep the ball, hand it off or pass.

“The stats say we’re over twice as effective running the ball with Lamar on the field. That’s even with the 10-man football that people say we’re playing,” Harbaugh said. “The numbers don’t lie there. That’s probably why I say I’d like to get him on the field more, because you always want to do things that are effective more.”

Though unyieldingly loyal to Flacco, Harbaugh didn’t dismiss the possibility of using Jackson for an entire series.

“I would say that’s an option, yes,” Harbaugh said.

The strange thing about all this is that the Ravens have not made use of another quarterback who has started in 41 NFL games, including the playoffs. Retained as part of the 53-man roster in case Flacco or Jackson gets hurt, Robert Griffin III has been inactive every game this season.

Whether Griffin gets to play remains to be seen. For now, the Ravens are focused on finding the right mix between Flacco and Jackson.

Jackson enjoys contributing, though he would prefer better results.

“It’s very cool, but I feel like I need to do more,” he said. “We need to score more points. I’ve got to help my team move the ball.”

The Ravens planned to use the bye week to rest and get healthy. Starting tackles James Hurst (back) and Ronnie Stanley (ankle) missed a 23-16 loss to Pittsburgh last Sunday, and it’s essential that Baltimore have a full offensive line against Cincinnati at home next week.

The defense has to get better, too. After getting 11 sacks in a 21-0 rout of Tennessee on Oct. 14, the Ravens have yielded 83 points during a skid that has put their postseason chances in jeopardy.

“We’re not eliminated yet. We’re in a hole, and now we have to dig ourselves out,” safety Eric Weddle said. “We just have to get our minds refreshed and refocused, then come back and get after it.”

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Texans shake off terrible start with 6-game winning streak

HOUSTON (AP) — Ask Jadeveon Clowney how the Houston Texans turned around their season by winning six straight games after an 0-3 start and the hulking defensive end breaks into song.

"Started from the bottom now we're here," he bellows. "Started from the bottom now the whole team here."

While the 2013 Drake

HOUSTON (AP) — Ask Jadeveon Clowney how the Houston Texans turned around their season by winning six straight games after an 0-3 start and the hulking defensive end breaks into song.

“Started from the bottom now we’re here,” he bellows. “Started from the bottom now the whole team here.”

While the 2013 Drake tune is a little old to be the team’s anthem, the sentiment of the song couldn’t be more fitting for these Texans.

They occupied the basement of the AFC South after opening the season with losses to New England, Tennessee and the New York Giants by a combined 13 points. After falling into such a big hole early, the Texans were written off by many as headed to a lost season.

Everyone insists that such a defeatist sentiment never took hold within the team, with the struggles galvanizing them to get on track and prove the doubters wrong.

“Don’t quit. Everyone keeps fighting. Everyone keeps believing,” quarterback Deshaun Watson said. “Everyone keeps fighting to the very, very end. That is what we do. Regardless of the situation or the adversity, we are always going to keep fighting. That is how we feel.”

Houston is the second team in NFL history to win six in a row after opening 0-3, the first since the Giants in 1970. The winning streak has the Texans in first place in their division and in good position to compete for their third AFC South title in the last four seasons.

A big reason for Houston’s turnaround has been the play of Watson and defensive end J.J. Watt. Both have started each game this year after having their 2017 seasons cut short by major injuries. Watson tore a knee ligament in practice after appearing in seven games in 2017. Watt played just eight games in the previous two years because of back surgeries and a broken leg.

Watt is tied for third in the NFL with nine sacks and his four forced fumbles are tied for most in the league.

“I know he probably doesn’t want to talk about it too much, but I’ve never seen anything like it,” coach Bill O’Brien said. “To come back from what he’s been able to come back from, some really serious injuries, and to be able to play at the level that he’s playing at, it just says all you need to know about him and how much he cares about the team and how much he wants to help this organization win.”

Watson, the 12th overall pick in last year’s draft, has thrown for 2,389 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions despite being slowed by lung and rib injuries. O’Brien said his diligence in coming to the facility every day after his injury last season to study film and talk to coaches has helped Watson take a step forward this year.

“He’s grown a lot,” O’Brien said. “He’s just an awesome guy to work with. He cares about studying, he cares about putting time in to prepare for each game. I think he’s learned a lot about NFL defenses. He’s had a lot thrown at him defensively this year, whether it’s third-down defenses, red-area defenses. He’s improved every week.”

Watson has been helped by the stellar play of receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who is No. 3 in the NFL with 894 yards receiving and whose seven touchdowns are tied for second. The Texans hope that new addition Demaryius Thomas, acquired in a trade with Denver last Tuesday, will make more of an impact after the break with some time to learn the offense.

Hopkins, who has five touchdowns in the last four games, said despite this strong stretch the Texans are approaching things the same way they did when they were desperate for a victory.

“We’ve got the same mentality, and that’s win,” he said. “That’s why we go to practice and that’s why we wake up every day. It’s the same mentality we had when we were 0-3. Nothing’s changed.”

They know that if they let up, their season will end prematurely, just as it did when they went 4-12 in 2017.

O’Brien let out a slight chuckle when asked if 0-3 feels like forever ago.

“It’s not a really long time ago,” he said. “I think our players understand that, and I think the difference between 0-3 and where we are now is not a big difference. We’re just making some more plays, we’re coaching some things better. I think our guys have to — and they do — understand that every week is going to be difficult.”

First up is a trip to Washington on Nov. 18 before a Monday night matchup with Tennessee on Nov. 26 in the first of three straight home games when a win would be key in moving closer to taking their division.

“It’s just important to note that we haven’t been blowing anybody out,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “I don’t think we are a complacent group of guys. We’ve been in some fist fights, some real close ballgames, so it’s not like everything is cookie cutter and everything is going all good for us.”

“We still have things we can improve on and work on, so I think that’s what’s going to keep us pushing forward.”

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Linebackers are paying price for NFL’s video-game numbers

DENVER (AP) — With the NFL's volcanic offenses, can't-hit-them-too-hard rules and bewildered officials, linebackers today aren't the snarling 250-pound thumpers who used to just give running backs fits.

"Now we have to cover well, too," Denver's Brandon Marshall said. "We still have to tackle well. So, you can't be real light and only

DENVER (AP) — With the NFL’s volcanic offenses, can’t-hit-them-too-hard rules and bewildered officials, linebackers today aren’t the snarling 250-pound thumpers who used to just give running backs fits.

“Now we have to cover well, too,” Denver’s Brandon Marshall said. “We still have to tackle well. So, you can’t be real light and only playing pass or too heavy and only playing run. You’ve got to be able to do all of it, man.”

Which means finding a sweet spot on the scale so they can run like a gazelle and still hit like a truck.

Today’s inside linebackers not only need to have the stamina to go sideline to sideline, but they also require:

—sufficient strength to shed 320-pound linemen;

—enough vigor to cover towering tight ends;

—ample speed to keep up with receivers no longer timid about going over the middle;

—enough recognition and quickness to keep up with shifty running backs and ever-more-mobile quarterbacks.

It’s also handy to have a thick skin, knowing linebackers will bear the brunt of fans’ frustrations as offenses pick apart apparently defenseless units at a record-setting pace.

Sounds impossible.

“It almost is,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “It almost is.”

“It’s definitely very difficult,” Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr said. “You have tight ends that provide mismatches, you’ve got running backs that are great receivers. You’re asked to be in a lot of positions. But that’s what we get paid to do. So, we’ve got figure out a way to do it and do it well.”

As do the officials, whom Joseph said are allowing illegal blocks with the run-pass option rage that has seeped from the college game and is prominently featured in places such as Kansas City, Philadelphia and Seattle.

Take the Broncos’ loss to the Chiefs in Week 8.

Linemen aren’t allowed to block more than a yard from the line of scrimmage on a pass play. But the Chiefs’ guards and center got a few yards downfield several times, causing Denver’s linebackers to instinctively commit to the run — only to see quarterback Patrick Mahomes pull the ball back from running back Kareem Hunt’s belly and zip it to wide-open tight end Travis Kelce.

“It’s the league we’re in,” Joseph said. “Those guys blocking up front don’t know the ball is being thrown. They’re blocking zone, so absolutely it’s an issue. We have to fix this issue in this league, unless it’s going to be college football.

“It’s tough for the linebackers to play both, and you see it on tape. Todd Davis is having hell trying to fit his gap and chase the guy in the flat. When you see Kelce in the flat over there with no one around him, (Davis is) playing his run gap because the guard and center are four and five yards down the field.”

Joseph added, “That’s an issue. It’s a leaguewide issue and it’s a Chiefs issue. Everyone is running these plays, so we have to figure out a way to officiate this better to help the game.”

Marshall isn’t so sure the league’s competition committee will do anything about it, though, saying more points equals more eyeballs.

“They’re not going to change it,” he said.

So it’s the linebackers who are changing.

Davis, the Broncos’ leading tackler, said he’s dropped his weight to 233 and “I do a lot more training with DBs and corners. I add that on to what I already did in the weight room and running and conditioning. But now I have to be ready for everything in the pass game, as well.”

The linebackers who are modifying their bodies and games are embracing the challenge.

“It’s the NFL,” Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard said. “There’s great players at every position.”

Including linebacker.

“I love it,” Davis said. “It’s on us to play well and it’s on us to set the tempo and be great for our team. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Marshall said linebackers ultimately benefit from the ever-increasing challenges brought on by the RPO trend, faster rushers, bigger tight ends and plucky receivers.

“It’s made me a better player,” Marshall said. “It’s also made me more valuable.”

“I think that’s why teams put a premium on athletic ‘backers,” Marshall said. “Because we have to be out there to cover the Kelces and the Gronks and the Dion Lewises and the James Whites of the world. And then we’ve got to be able to tackle (Todd) Gurley. That’s just how it is.”

Defenses are employing more defensive backs, as many as seven, to combat the RPO trend.

“I think schematically we have to adjust as far as personnel and put faster athletes, better athletes at cover linebacker positions to nullify some of this stuff,” Joseph said. “Because right now it’s almost impossible physically.”

Joseph thinks he has an antidote in Su’a Cravens, and the 6-foot-1, 220-pound safety from USC who’s used as a dime linebacker certainly agrees.

“The way the rules are, they handicap defenses. We’re basically on the field to get in the way, we’re not supposed to stop the offense,” Cravens said. “Defense is already hard enough. They’re making it harder.

“So, with guys like me, I think it’s an opportunity for us to showcase what we can do because they’re making it hard for traditional linebackers who are heavy-handed, heavy-footed. They’re ready to be physical at the line of scrimmage and they can’t do that anymore.”

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AP Pro Football Writers Teresa M. Walker and Dave Campbell contributed

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Chiefs using screen plays in creative new ways on offense

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes had been shredding the Patriots defense all night with his incredible arm strength and downfield precision in a back-and-forth shootout last month when it looked as if the Chiefs quarterback might be finally corralled by a well-timed blitz.

With a deft flip of his wrist, Mahomes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes had been shredding the Patriots defense all night with his incredible arm strength and downfield precision in a back-and-forth shootout last month when it looked as if the Chiefs quarterback might be finally corralled by a well-timed blitz.

With a deft flip of his wrist, Mahomes instead tossed a soft screen pass to Kareem Hunt out of the backfield, and he raced up the field as the Patriots were forced to chase him.

The timing was perfect. The execution was spot-on.

It was just one of dozens of examples through the first nine games this season of coach Andy Reid using the screen pass to impressive effect.

Whether it’s Hunt out of the backfield, Tyreek Hill or Sammy Watkins on a bubble screen or even tight end Travis Kelce catching a short pass behind the defense, the Chiefs may use their myriad variations of the screen better than any other team.

“You are really just taking a blocking scheme and moving it out into space,” Reid explained. “Our backs are good with it, quarterback gives them an opportunity and the big guys get out and run.”

The intricate timing plays are fun for just about everybody.

Mahomes likes them because the throws are fairly easy and often lead to big gains. Hunt and fellow running back Spencer Ware like them because they can use their talent in space. And even the offensive linemen like them because they often get to plow through smaller defensive backs, rather than tangle with big defensive tackles as they would do on a traditional running play.

Oh, and the Chiefs’ fans like them for obvious reasons.

Screen passes are hardly new in the NFL, and indeed, they have been part of Reid’s basic West Coast offense since he was learning the scheme from its originator, Bill Walsh.

But with so many playmakers at his disposal, and a quarterback who is finally capable of executing the variety of plays, Reid has taken the old-school notion of screen passes to another level.

They might incorporate elements of the run-pass option, a relatively new development that has swept through the NFL.

Or they might call for guys to line up in unique spots, such as running backs split wide or a wide receiver in the backfield. Or they might call for exotic blocking schemes.

“It’s a timing thing. We have to be in sync with our offensive line,” Ware said. “Our releases are a big part of it — how we escape. The downfield ball with Tyreek, Sammy, Travis and Mahomes throwing it opens it up for us. Then when you have Kareem running how he’s running, they come up and play the run and it’s like, ‘No, it’s not a run, it’s a pass. You’d better get back.’ That gives us some cushion.”

Such screen plays often look simple, but are in fact quite difficult to execute.

Mahomes has to read the defense correctly in the seconds before a snap. The designated target needs to be on the same page. And as Hunt explained, “there’s just a lot of timing involved.”

“Yeah,” Mahomes added, “but with how well Coach Reid explains it, everything goes off each other. I think we had a screen and it went off a shovel pass to Kareem the week before, things like that, where we build on top of each other every single week. We are never set in our ways.”

That’s another reason the Chiefs’ screen passes are so difficult to defend: They may run a play to one target one week, giving the next opponent film to review, then run the play to a different target out of the exact same formation the following week.

Good luck trying to stop that.

“Asking these guys to go against faster players, for your offensive linemen to go against these defensive backs and block them in space, that’s tough to do,” Reid said.

“We’re fortunate our backs do a nice job of this. They help set up the defense so you can run fast. There’s nothing worse than watching a screen, you get out there and the offensive linemen are out there trying to dance a little bit.

“A back can take care of you with that,” Reid concluded. “As long as you know where he’s at, he’s going to kind of force the issue downhill, good things can happen.”

Notes: Strong safety Eric Berry (heel), OL Cam Erving (illness), LB Anthony Hitchens (ribs), WR Sammy Watkins (foot) and C Mitch Morse (concussion) remained out of practice Thursday. … Special teams coach Dave Toub dismissed a couple of recent missed PATs, saying Thursday that “nobody is harder on himself” than PK Harrison Butker. Toub said snaps have been part of the problem, “and again, it’s a 33-yard field goal. It’s not a chip-shot like it used to be.”

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Redskins-Buccaneers Preview Capsule

WASHINGTON (5-3) at TAMPA BAY (3-5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE - Buccaneers by 2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Washington 5-3, Tampa Bay 3-5

SERIES RECORD - Tied 11-11

LAST MEETING - Redskins beat Buccaneers 31-30, Oct. 25, 2015

LAST WEEK - Redskins lost to Falcons 38-14; Buccaneers lost to Panthers

WASHINGTON (5-3) at TAMPA BAY (3-5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE – Buccaneers by 2

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Washington 5-3, Tampa Bay 3-5

SERIES RECORD – Tied 11-11

LAST MEETING – Redskins beat Buccaneers 31-30, Oct. 25, 2015

LAST WEEK – Redskins lost to Falcons 38-14; Buccaneers lost to Panthers 42-28

AP PRO32 RANKING – Redskins No. 15, Buccaneers No. 25

REDSKINS OFFENSE – OVERALL (25), RUSH (10), PASS (25).

REDSKINS DEFENSE – OVERALL (10), RUSH (5), PASS (20).

BUCCANEERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (2), RUSH (30), PASS (1).

BUCCANEERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (29), RUSH (15), PASS (30).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — These franchises have split 20 regular-season meetings, as well as pair of postseason matchups: Bucs won 1999 NFC divisional playoff game 14-13, and Redskins took 2005 NFC wild card game 17-10. … QBs Alex Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick both entered NFL in 2005, Smith as No. 1 overall pick in draft and Fitzpatrick as seventh-round selection, No. 250 overall. … Smith coming off passing for season-high 306 yards and one touchdown in loss to Falcons. In two career games vs. Bucs, 14th-year pro has thrown for 431 yards with four TDs and one interception for 114.7 rating. … Redskins RB Adrian Peterson has three consecutive 100-yard games, including last year with Cardinals, against Tampa Bay. … Washington lost WR Paul Richardson (shoulder), LG Brandon Scherff (pectoral muscle) and LG Shawn Lauvao (knee) to season-ending injuries against Falcons. They signed T Austin Howards and Gs Jonathan Cooper and Luke Bowanko. … Fitzpatrick making sixth start of season for Bucs, second since Jameis Winston was benched. He threw for 243 yards, four TDs and two interceptions in last week’s 42-28 loss at Carolina. Bucs have been outscored 103-27 in first half of Fitzpatrick’s last three starts, all losses. … Fitzpatrick has three games with four or more TD passes, most in NFC this season. … Bucs WR Mike Evans has five games with 150-plus receiving yards since 2015, second most in NFC behind Julio Jones. … Bucs WR Adam Humphries and TE O.J. Howard each had two TD receptions last week. … Bucs DE Jason Pierre-Paul has sack in six of past seven games. He’s third in NFC with eight. … Fantasy tip: WR DeSean Jackson, who spent three seasons with Redskins before signing with Bucs as free agent in 2017, is averaging 22.4 yards per catch and has five TDs: four receiving and one rushing. Jackson stands second all-time with 29 TDs of 50-plus yards, including three this year.

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Giants-49ers Preview Capsule

NEW YORK GIANTS (1-7) at SAN FRANCISCO (2-7)

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

OPENING LINE - 49ers by 3

RECORD VS. SPREAD - New York 3-5, San Francisco 3-6

SERIES RECORD - Tied 20-20

LAST MEETING - 49ers beat Giants 31-21, Nov. 12, 2017

LAST WEEK - Giants had bye, lost to Redskins

NEW YORK GIANTS (1-7) at SAN FRANCISCO (2-7)

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

OPENING LINE – 49ers by 3

RECORD VS. SPREAD – New York 3-5, San Francisco 3-6

SERIES RECORD – Tied 20-20

LAST MEETING – 49ers beat Giants 31-21, Nov. 12, 2017

LAST WEEK – Giants had bye, lost to Redskins 20-13 on Oct. 28; 49ers beat Raiders 34-3

AP PRO32 RANKING – Giants No. 30, 49ers No. 28

GIANTS OFFENSE – OVERALL (20), RUSH (31), PASS (9).

GIANTS DEFENSE – OVERALL (21), RUSH (23), PASS (16).

49ERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (18), RUSH (4), PASS (25).

49ERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (14), RUSH (12), PASS (17).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Teams have second-lowest combined winning percentage (.176) for “Monday Night Football” game played Nov. 1 or later. Lowest is .167 for 3-9 Jets vs. 1-11 Chargers in 1975 that featured Hall of Fame QBs Joe Namath, Dan Fouts. … Giants started 1-7 for second straight year. New York only had two seasons that bad after eight games before last season: 0-8 in 1976, 1-7 in 1980. … Giants QB Eli Manning seeks third straight outing with at least 300 yards passing. … New York WR Odell Beckham Jr. has two straight and three of four games with at least eight catches, 130 yards receiving. … Giants rank second worst with 10 sacks. … New York has TDs on 40 percent of red-zone trips, second-worst in NFL. … QB Nick Mullens makes second start for 49ers. Mullens joined Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Fran Tarkenton as only players with at least 250 yards passing, three TDs, no INTs in first career game. … Mullens’ 151.9 rating was highest by QB in debut with at least 20 attempts since merger. … San Francisco’s George Kittle had 71-yard catch last week, becoming first TE with two 70-yard catches in same season since 1972. … Niners DE Cassius Marsh had career-high 2 1/2 sacks last week. … San Francisco had eight sacks as team vs. Raiders, most in game since 2009. … Fantasy tip: Giants rookie RB Saquon Barkley has at least 100 yards from scrimmage in seven of eight games, ranks third overall with 1,016 yards from scrimmage on season.

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Falcons-Browns Preview Capsule

ATLANTA (4-4) at CLEVEAND (2-6-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE — Falcons by 3

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Atlanta 3-5, Cleveland 4-4

SERIES RECORD — Browns lead 11-3

LAST MEETING — Browns beat Falcons 26-24, Nov. 23, 2014

LAST WEEK — Falcons beat Redskins 38-14; Browns lost 37-21 to Chiefs

AP

ATLANTA (4-4) at CLEVEAND (2-6-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE — Falcons by 3

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Atlanta 3-5, Cleveland 4-4

SERIES RECORD — Browns lead 11-3

LAST MEETING — Browns beat Falcons 26-24, Nov. 23, 2014

LAST WEEK — Falcons beat Redskins 38-14; Browns lost 37-21 to Chiefs

AP PRO32 RANKING — Falcons No. 14, Browns No. 27

FALCONS OFFENSE — OVERALL (5), RUSH (28), PASS (2).

FALCONS DEFENSE — OVERALL (28), RUSH (17), PASS (29).

BROWNS OFFENSE — OVERALL (23), RUSH (9), PASS (23).

BROWNS DEFENSE — OVERALL (30), RUSH (29), PASS (27).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES __ Falcons have overcome numerous injures to win three straight and crawl back to contention. Atlanta has placed six players on injured reserve. … QB Matt Ryan completed 26 of 38 passes for 350 yards and four TDs last week. Ryan completing 71 percent of passes, has 19 TDs, three INTs. … WR Julio Jones had seven catches for 121 yards and one TD — his first in 12 games. With 13 yards Sunday, Jones will reach 10,000 in career and become fastest player to reach milestone, in 104 games. … Rookie WR Calvin Ridley had six catches for 71 yards and TD last week. … Falcons have converted league-high 53.3 percent on third downs. Only one other team (Indianapolis, 52.2) over 50 percent. … Falcons rushed for 154 yards at Washington. … Atlanta bolstered lackluster pass rush this week, signing free agent Bruce Irvin. Falcons have only 17 sacks. … Falcons limited Redskins to 79 yards rushing last week. … K Matt Bryant has missed past two games with hamstring injury. Giorgio Tavecchio is 11 for 11 on field goals and extra points. … Browns have dropped four straight, and are 0-1 under interim coach Gregg Williams. … Browns’ .786 winning percentage against Falcons is team’s highest against any opponent. … Rookie QB Baker Mayfield completed season-high 29 passes last week and had two TDs for third straight game. … Mayfield leads rookie QBs in average yards, completions, attempts, percentage. … Browns RB Duke Johnson had best game last week with nine receptions for 78 yards and two TDs. … Browns still lead league with 23 takeaways — 10 more than last season. … Browns DE Myles Garrett leads team with nine sacks and has 16 in first 20 NFL games. … Fantasy tip: Johnson had breakout last week and figures to get more touches under coordinator Freddie Kitchens, his running backs coach who took over when Todd Haley got fired.

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Cowboys-Eagles Preview Capsule

DALLAS (3-5) at PHILADELPHIA (4-4)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

OPENING LINE — Eagles by 7

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Cowboys 3-5, Eagles 3-5

SERIES RECORD — Cowboys lead 66-52

LAST MEETING — Cowboys beat Eagles 6-0, Dec. 31, 2017

LAST WEEK — Cowboys lost to Titans 28-14; Eagles had bye, beat Jaguars

DALLAS (3-5) at PHILADELPHIA (4-4)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

OPENING LINE — Eagles by 7

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Cowboys 3-5, Eagles 3-5

SERIES RECORD — Cowboys lead 66-52

LAST MEETING — Cowboys beat Eagles 6-0, Dec. 31, 2017

LAST WEEK — Cowboys lost to Titans 28-14; Eagles had bye, beat Jaguars 24-18 on Oct. 28

AP PRO32 RANKING — Cowboys No. 20; Eagles No. 11

COWBOYS OFFENSE — OVERALL (27), RUSH (6), PASS (29)

COWBOYS DEFENSE — OVERALL (4), RUSH (10), PASS (5)

EAGLES OFFENSE — OVERALL (15), RUSH (18), PASS (14)

EAGLES DEFENSE — OVERALL (17), RUSH (2), PASS (25)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Teams meet on “Sunday Night Football” for 10th consecutive season and 12th time overall. … Cowboys are 0-4 on road this year. … QB Dak Prescott has eight TDs, no INTs in last five games vs. division. … RB Ezekiel Elliott has 289 scrimmage yards in two games vs. Eagles. … WR Amari Cooper scored TD in his Dallas debut last week after trade from Oakland. … WR Cole Beasley has team-high 366 yards receiving, only 64th most in NFL. … DE DeMarcus Lawrence had sack and forced fumble last week after three straight games without sacks. … LB Jaylon Smith had first career fumble recovery against Titans. … LB Sean Lee reinjured his hamstring and is out. … Cowboys have allowed 24 plays of 20-plus yards, fewest in league. … Cowboys have allowed second-fewest points in NFL. … Eagles are 17-5 at home under coach Doug Pederson. … QB Carson Wentz has thrown at least one TD with no more than one INT in 21 straight games, tied with Matt Ryan for longest streak in NFL history. … Wentz has attempted at least 30 passes and had a 115.0 passer rating in four straight games, tied with Peyton Manning for longest such streak. … WR Golden Tate makes Eagles debut after trade from Detroit. Tate had eight catches for 132 yards, two TDs vs. Cowboys on Sept. 30. … TE Zach Ertz is fourth in league with 61 catches. … WR Alshon Jeffery has 14 TDs in last 17 games. … Rookie RB Josh Adams had career-best 61 yards vs. Jaguars. … LB Jordan Hicks has 71 tackles and three sacks. … Fantasy tip: Cooper had 66 yards receiving and TD last year vs. Eagles and faces banged-up secondary.

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Patriots-Titans Preview Capsule

NEW ENGLAND (7-2) at TENNESSEE (4-4)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE — Patriots by 7

RECORD VS. SPREAD — New England 6-3, Tennessee 5-3

SERIES RECORD — Patriots lead 25-16-1

LAST MEETING — Patriots beat Titans 35-14, Jan. 13

LAST WEEK — Patriots beat Packers 31-17; Titans beat Cowboys 28-14

AP

NEW ENGLAND (7-2) at TENNESSEE (4-4)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE — Patriots by 7

RECORD VS. SPREAD — New England 6-3, Tennessee 5-3

SERIES RECORD — Patriots lead 25-16-1

LAST MEETING — Patriots beat Titans 35-14, Jan. 13

LAST WEEK — Patriots beat Packers 31-17; Titans beat Cowboys 28-14

AP PRO32 RANKING — Patriots No. 2, Titans No. 17

PATRIOTS OFFENSE — OVERALL (9), RUSH (14), PASS (11)

PATRIOTS DEFENSE — OVERALL (24), RUSH (14), PASS (26)

TITANS OFFENSE — OVERALL (30), RUSH (t-16), PASS (30)

TITANS DEFENSE — OVERALL (8), RUSH (16), PASS (8)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Patriots QB Tom Brady will play 300th career game, including postseason, and join Brett Favre (326) as only NFL QBs to appear in 300 career games. … Brady needs three TD passes to tie Peyton Manning (579) for most in NFL history, also including playoffs. … Patriots have won seven straight vs. Titans and Brady is 7-1 all-time vs. Titans, including playoffs. … Patriots need win to guarantee 18th straight season with .500 record or better, which would be second only to Dallas’ streak of 21 straight between 1965-85. … Patriots have won six straight. … Brady has 10 TD passes with no interceptions and 134.7 passer rating in past three vs. Tennessee. Brady is fifth in NFL with 221 completions. … Patriots RB James White has TD in seven games this season and is tied for fourth in NFL with 10 total TDs. … Patriots WR Josh Gordon had five catches for team-high 130 yards last week. … Patriots WR Cordarrelle Patterson had career-high 11 carries for 61 yards and TD run last week operating out of backfield. … Patriots CB Jason McCourty had 13 interceptions in eight seasons with Titans between 2009 and 2016. … Patriots have had at least one takeaway in each game this season. … This is Titans’ lone home game in November. Titans have won 12 of last 15 home games. … Titans allowing NFL-low 17.6 points per game. … Tennessee leads NFL in red-zone defense, allowing seven TDs on 22 trips (31.8 percent). … Five different Titans had sack in last game. … Titans S Kevin Byard tied for NFL lead with 10 interceptions since start of 2017 season. … Tennessee is least-penalized team in NFL. … Titans QB Marcus Mariota is 0-2 vs. Patriots. … Mariota had season-high 119.9 passer rating last week, throwing for 240 yards and two TDs. He also ran for 32 yards and TD. … Fantasy tip: Mariota. Titans QB completed passes to nine receivers in last game and is growing more comfortable with new offense each week.

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Jaguars-Colts Preview Capsule

JACKSONVILLE (3-5) at INDIANAPOLIS (3-5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE - Colts by 1½

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Jacksonville 3-5, Indianapolis 4-4

SERIES RECORD - Colts lead 22-12

LAST MEETING - Jaguars beat Colts 30-10, Dec. 3, 2017

LAST WEEK — Jaguars had bye; Colts had bye, beat Raiders 42-28 on

JACKSONVILLE (3-5) at INDIANAPOLIS (3-5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE – Colts by 1½

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Jacksonville 3-5, Indianapolis 4-4

SERIES RECORD – Colts lead 22-12

LAST MEETING – Jaguars beat Colts 30-10, Dec. 3, 2017

LAST WEEK — Jaguars had bye; Colts had bye, beat Raiders 42-28 on Oct. 28

AP PRO32 RANKING – Jaguars No. 21, Colts No. 23.

JAGUARS OFFENSE – OVERALL (22), RUSH (24T), PASS (26).

JAGUARS DEFENSE – OVERALL (2), RUSH (24), PASS (1).

COLTS OFFENSE – OVERALL (10), RUSH (12), PASS (13).

COLTS DEFENSE – OVERALL (23), RUSH (19), PASS (23).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Jaguars have lost four straight overall and five of six since starting 2-0. … Jacksonville has won two straight and four of last five in series. … Sunday’s game is first of two between division rivals over next four weeks. … Jags’ defense had 14 sacks in two games vs. Colts last season. … Blake Bortles’ QB rating (95.9) against Colts is second-highest total against any team he’s faced more than once. … Bortles has started 69 consecutive games. … RB Leonard Fournette expected to return after missing six of last seven games with strained right hamstring. … RB T.J. Yeldon ran for career high 122 yards against Colts in Indy last year. … DE Calais Campbell has 11 sacks in eight games against AFC South foes. … Jags are only team in NFL with perfect mark on field goals (12 of 12), thanks to Josh Lambo. … WR Donte Moncrief makes first appearance against Colts after signing with Jaguars in free agency. … Jags are allowing league-low 190.0 yards passing per game. … Jacksonville had 14 sacks in two games vs. Colts in 2017. … Indianapolis has won two straight and hasn’t won three in row since November 2015. … Five of Colts’ final eight games are against AFC South foes. … QB Andrew Luck has not been sacked in last 154 pass attempts dating to second offensive play against New England on Oct. 4. It’s longest stretch of pro career. … RB Marlon Mack had career highs for yards rushing in last two games and is first Indy back with consecutive 100-yard games since Joseph Addai in 2007. … K Adam Vinatieri will be honored in pregame ceremony for breaking NFL’s career scoring record two weeks ago at Oakland. Vinatieri needs one win to tie George Blanda (209) for most regular-season wins in league history. … Rookie LB Darius Leonard continues to lead league in tackles (88) and solo tackles (58). Fantasy tip: Vinatieri is always good bet against usually stingy Jaguars. But TE Eric Ebron (seven TD catches) might be even better pick after making TD reception in four of last five games.

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Chargers-Raiders Preview Capsule

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (6-2) at OAKLAND (1-7)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE - Chargers by 10

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Los Angeles 4-4, Oakland 2-6

SERIES RECORD - Raiders lead 63-53-2

LAST MEETING - Chargers beat 26-10, Oct. 7

LAST WEEK - Chargers beat Seahawks, 25-17; Raiders lost to 49ers, 34-3

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (6-2) at OAKLAND (1-7)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE – Chargers by 10

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Los Angeles 4-4, Oakland 2-6

SERIES RECORD – Raiders lead 63-53-2

LAST MEETING – Chargers beat 26-10, Oct. 7

LAST WEEK – Chargers beat Seahawks, 25-17; Raiders lost to 49ers, 34-3

AP PRO32 RANKING – Chargers No. 6, Raiders No. 32

CHARGERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (8), RUSH (5), PASS (12).

CHARGERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (19), RUSH (20), PASS (18).

RAIDERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (19), RUSH (24), PASS (15).

RAIDERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (27), RUSH (32), PASS (24).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Chargers have won three straight in series. … Los Angeles QB Philip Rivers completed 75 of 100 passes for 994 yards, six TDs, no INTs, 126.0 rating in last three vs. Oakland. … Chargers won five straight overall and have best record at midpoint since 2006. … Chargers activated K Michael Badgley from practice squad after Caleb Sturgis released following two missed PATs, one missed FG last week. Badgley made all three FGs and seven PATs in two games earlier this year. … Chargers averaging league-high 7.72 yards per play on first down. … Los Angeles has 14 sacks past four games; Oakland allowed 14 sacks in last three games. … Raiders allowed second most points as a franchise through eight games (252), tied for second-fewest takeaways (6). … Oakland allowing 6.76 yards per play, most for any team since merger through eight games. … Raiders lost four straight by at least 14 points for first time in franchise history. Longest single-season streak in the NFL since merger is six. … Oakland’s 31-point loss last week was most lopsided in coach Jon Gruden’s career. … Raiders have been outscored 55-3 in last five quarters. … Oakland allowing 113.9 passer rating, on pace for worst in franchise history. Worst for any team over full season is 116.2 for Saints in 2015. … Raiders QB Derek Carr sacked 24 times, tied for second most in career over full season. … Raiders stand last in NFL with seven sacks. Oakland released leading pass rusher Bruce Irvin two months after trading star LB Khalil Mack. … Fantasy tip: Chargers RB Melvin Gordon has 394 yards from scrimmage, three TDs in last three meetings with Raiders. Gordon has three 100-yard rushing games in last four overall.

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Bills-Jets Preview Capsule

BUFFALO (2-7) at NEW YORK JETS (3-6)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE — Jets by 7½

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Buffalo 3-6, New York 3-6

SERIES RECORD — Bills lead 61-54

LAST MEETING — Jets beat Bills 34-21, Nov. 2, 2017

LAST WEEK — Bills lost to Bears 41-9; Jets lost

BUFFALO (2-7) at NEW YORK JETS (3-6)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE — Jets by 7½

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Buffalo 3-6, New York 3-6

SERIES RECORD — Bills lead 61-54

LAST MEETING — Jets beat Bills 34-21, Nov. 2, 2017

LAST WEEK — Bills lost to Bears 41-9; Jets lost to Dolphins 13-6

AP PRO32 RANKING — Bills No. 31, Jets No. 26

BILLS OFFENSE — OVERALL (31), RUSH (23), PASS (32).

BILLS DEFENSE — OVERALL (3), RUSH (11), PASS (3).

JETS OFFENSE — OVERALL (29), RUSH (16t), PASS (28).

JETS DEFENSE — OVERALL (14t), RUSH (18), PASS (13).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Jets having won three of last four in AFC East rivalry. … Bills have lost four straight and five of six. Looking to avoid first five-game losing streak since 2011, when they dropped seven in row. … Bills uncertain who’ll start at quarterback. Rookie Josh Allen has missed three games with sprained right throwing elbow, but practiced on limited basis Wednesday. Veteran Derek Anderson was in concussion protocol. Nathan Peterman completed career-high 31 passes last week, but also had three interceptions and has 12 INTs in first 130 passes. … Bills have just three TD passes. According to Pro Football Reference, Buffalo is 20th team since 1940 with three or fewer TD passes through nine games, and fourth since 2000 — joining 2009 Raiders (3), 2009 Browns (3) and 2000 Bengals (2). … Bills have scored just two TDs in last four games, while opponents have returned four turnovers for TDs. Buffalo has been outscored 103-20 in last three games, and has trailed by 22 or more after first half four times this season. Bills have been outscored 147-43 in first half. … RB LeSean McCoy off to worst start of career with 267 yards rushing and has yet to score. McCoy had 10 yards on 10 carries vs. Bears. He needs 77 yards from scrimmage to reach 14,000 for career. … WR Terrelle Pryor had two catches for 17 yards in Bills debut last week after being cut by Jets two weeks before with injury settlement while dealing with groin ailment. He had two TD catches in six games with New York. … TE Logan Thomas had career-high seven catches last week. … LB Julian Stanford, with Jets from 2015-17, had career-high eight tackles and first career sack and forced fumble last week. … K Stephen Hauschka has 233 career field goals and needs one to tie Hall of Famer Lou Groza for 50th on NFL’s all-time list. … Jets on three-game losing streak, second such skid this season. Last lost four straight to close out last season. … Rookie QB Sam Darnold unlikely to start because of strained right foot that kept him out of practice. Backup Josh McCown expected to replace him. McCown hasn’t thrown pass this season, and last appeared in regular-season game in Week 14 of 2017 in Denver when he broke left hand. … RB Isaiah Crowell ranks eighth in NFL and fifth in AFC with 533 yards rushing. … RB Elijah McGuire had 30 yards on seven carries and three catches for 37 yards in season debut after spending first eight games on IR with broken foot. … WR Rishard Matthews, who replaced Pryor on Jets, has no catches in two games. He played no snaps on offense last week at Miami. … TE Chris Herndon had three-game TD streak ended vs. Dolphins, but had career-best 62 yards receiving. … LB Jordan Jenkins had two sacks last week and leads Jets with 4 1/2. … S Jamal Adams only player in NFL with seven or more passes defensed (eight) and seven tackles for loss (seven) this season. … K Jason Myers leads NFL with 20 field goals and tied for fourth in league among all players with 78 points scored. … Fantasy tip: McGuire has stepped into injured Bilal Powell’s dual-threat role out of backfield for Jets and could make for solid play in points-per-reception leagues.

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Dolphins-Packers Preview Capsule

MIAM (5-4) at GREEN BAY (3-4-1)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE - Packers by 7

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Miami 5-4, Green Bay 3-5

SERIES RECORD - Dolphins lead 10-4

LAST MEETING - Packers beat Dolphins 27-24, Oct. 12, 2014

LAST WEEK - Dolphins beat Jets 13-6; Packers lost to Patriots

MIAM (5-4) at GREEN BAY (3-4-1)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE – Packers by 7

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Miami 5-4, Green Bay 3-5

SERIES RECORD – Dolphins lead 10-4

LAST MEETING – Packers beat Dolphins 27-24, Oct. 12, 2014

LAST WEEK – Dolphins beat Jets 13-6; Packers lost to Patriots 31-17

AP PRO32 RANKING – Dolphins No. 19, Packers No. 16

DOLPHINS OFFENSE – OVERALL (28), RUSH (21), PASS (26).

DOLPHINS DEFENSE – OVERALL (26), RUSH (28), PASS (22).

PACKERS OFFENSE – OVERALL (6), RUSH (19), PASS (6).

PACKERS DEFENSE – OVERALL (16), RUSH (22), PASS (10).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Dolphins won last matchup at Lambeau Field, 23-20 in OT in 2010. … Dolphins have lost past three road games while being outscored 107-47. … Miami is above .500 despite being outgained by 704 yards and outscored by 38 points. … QB Brock Osweiler makes fifth start for injured Ryan Tannehill (shoulder). . Osweiler threw for 202 yards and score in last game against Packers while with Texans in 2016. … RB Kenyan Drake averaging 4.8 yards per carry, but has had six or fewer in five of Miami’s nine games. Drake’s 73 carries trail 104 for 35-year-old Frank Gore. … Miami is fourth worst in third-down conversions (34 percent). … Miami ranks first with 15 interceptions, including four last week against Jets. … Dolphins rank third in both punt return and kickoff return average, but last in kickoff return coverage. … P Matt Haack had seven punts inside 20 last week, tied for third most in NFL game since 1991. Haack’s tied for NFL lead with 26 punts inside 20 this season. … Packers QB Aaron Rodgers’ 60.6 completion percentage is below career 64.8 percentage. Rodgers has thrown 15 touchdowns to one interception, leading league with 0.3 percent interception percentage. … RB Aaron Jones leads NFL at 6.03 yards per carry. … WR Davante Adams first player in franchise history with at least five catches in first eight games of season. … LB Blake Martinez, who has ankle injury, has 46 tackles and four sacks in last five games. … Rookie CB Jaire Alexander has INT and six passes defended in past three games. … Defense ranked 21st in red zone (61.5 percent). … Fantasy tip: Rookie WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling poised for more playing time with WR Geronimo Allison (groin) going on injured reserve. Valdes-Scantling has 15 catches for 317 yards and two scores in last three games. Dolphins rank 28th while allowing 8.2 yards per catch.

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Lions-Bears Preview Capsule

DETROIT (3-5) at CHICAGO (5-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE — Bears by 4

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Detroit 5-3, Chicago 5-3

SERIES RECORD — Bears lead 97-74-5

LAST MEETING — Lions beat Bears 20-10, Dec. 16, 2017

LAST WEEK — Lions lost to Minnesota 24-9; Bears beat Bills 41-9

AP

DETROIT (3-5) at CHICAGO (5-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE — Bears by 4

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Detroit 5-3, Chicago 5-3

SERIES RECORD — Bears lead 97-74-5

LAST MEETING — Lions beat Bears 20-10, Dec. 16, 2017

LAST WEEK — Lions lost to Minnesota 24-9; Bears beat Bills 41-9

AP PRO32 RANKING — Lions No. 22, Bears No. 10.

LIONS OFFENSE — OVERALL (21), RUSH (20), PASS (20).

LIONS DEFENSE — OVERALL (18), RUSH (30), PASS (4).

BEARS OFFENSE — OVERALL (17), RUSH (7), PASS (21).

BEARS DEFENSE — OVERALL (5), RUSH (3), PASS (12).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Lions have won nine of 10 against Bears. … Detroit coming off back-to-back losses to Seattle, Minnesota after winning two straight. … Lions managed season-low 209 yards against Vikings, held to single digits in points for first time since 17-6 loss to New York Giants on Dec. 18, 2016. Detroit had two drives of more than 30 yards, was 4 of 15 on third downs. … Detroit fired special teams coordinator Joe Marciano on Monday night. … Lions have allowed run play of 40 or more yards in five games. … Detroit traded WR Golden Tate to Philadelphia for 2019 third-round draft pick prior to last week’s game. … QB Matthew Stafford was sacked franchise-record 10 times last week. … DE Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) returned from six-game absence last week with sack in closing seconds of second quarter that forced Vikings to settle for field goal. He also had one in opener against New York Jets. … RB Kerryon Johnson ranks third among NFL rookies with 503 yards rushing. … Including 2017, CB Darius Slay is tied for NFL lead with 10 interceptions. … Bears have matched win total from last season as well as their best eight-game start since 2013. … Chicago is 4-21 against NFC North since start of 2014 season. … Bears have dropped 10 straight against division since beating Minnesota on Oct. 31, 2016. … Chicago’s defense scored two TDs last week: Eddie Jackson’s 65-yard fumble recovery, Leonard Floyd’s 19-yard interception return. … Bears rank fifth in NFL in scoring. … Chicago appears to be getting healthier, with LB Khalil Mack (ankle) and WR Allen Robinson (groin) going through full practice Wednesday after missing past two games. TE Adam Shaheen could also return from preseason foot injury. … QB Mitchell Trubisky is 28 of 49 for 355 yards with three touchdowns, one interception over past two games. … RB Jordan Howard ran for two TDs last week. … Fantasy tip: Howard and running back Tarik Cohen could be in for big games for Chicago going against struggling run defense.

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Cardinals-Chiefs Preview Capsule

ARIZONA (2-6) at KANSAS CITY (8-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE — Chiefs by 15

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Arizona 4-3-1, Kansas City 8-1

SERIES RECORD — Chiefs lead 8-3-1

LAST MEETING — Cardinals beat Chiefs 17-14, Dec. 7, 2014

LAST WEEK — Cardinals beat 49ers 18-15; Chiefs beat Browns 37-21

ARIZONA (2-6) at KANSAS CITY (8-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE — Chiefs by 15

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Arizona 4-3-1, Kansas City 8-1

SERIES RECORD — Chiefs lead 8-3-1

LAST MEETING — Cardinals beat Chiefs 17-14, Dec. 7, 2014

LAST WEEK — Cardinals beat 49ers 18-15; Chiefs beat Browns 37-21

AP PRO32 RANKING — Cardinals No. 29, Chiefs No. 2 (tie)

CARDINALS OFFENSE — OVERALL (32), RUSH (31), PASS (32)

CARDINALS DEFENSE — OVERALL (22), RUSH (7), PASS (31)

CHIEFS OFFENSE — OVERALL (3), RUSH (6), PASS (13)

CHIEFS DEFENSE — OVERALL (31), RUSH (28), PASS (25)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Arizona is 0-4-1 in Kansas City. Its last visit was 2010. … Cardinals rallied from 12-point fourth-quarter comeback last week vs. San Francisco. … Arizona playing second game in 24 days. … Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald needs 33 yards receiving to pass Terrell Owens (15,934) for second most in NFL history. … Fitzgerald needs 14 receptions to pass Jerry Rice (San Francisco, 1,281) for NFL record for receptions with one team. … Cardinals WR Christian Kirk has 31 catches for 410 yards, both second among NFL rookies. … Arizona DE Zach Moore has sacks in last two games. … Cardinals S Tre Boston has three INTs in last four games. … Arizona RB David Johnson has at least 100 yards rushing in 21 of 30 starts, including last week vs. 49ers. … Arizona LB Chandler Jones leads NFL with 34 1/2 sacks since joining Cardinals for 2016 season. … Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson will start 121st consecutive game, tied for fifth-longest streak in NFL. … Kansas City leads NFL in scoring at 36.3 points per game. … QB Patrick Mahomes riding Chiefs record eight straight 300-yard passing games. He needs one more to pass Andrew Luck’s single-season NFL record set in 2014. … Mahomes needs two TD passes to break Len Dawson’s franchise mark (30, 1964). … Mahomes leads NFL in yards passing (2.901), touchdown passes (29) and TD-to-INT differential (plus-22). … Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt has league-leading 496 touches without fumbling. … TE Travis Kelce has catches in 72 straight games, third-longest string in Chiefs history. … Fantasy tip: Keep riding everyone on Chiefs’ high-powered offense as they face top-to-bottom one of NFL’s worst defenses in Arizona.

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Seahawks-Rams Preview Capsule

LOS ANGELES (AP) — SEATTLE (4-4) at LOS ANGELES RAMS (8-1)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE — Rams by 8

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Seattle 4-3-1, Los Angeles 4-4-1

SERIES RECORD — Seahawks lead 23-18

LAST MEETING — Rams beat Seahawks, 33-31, Oct. 7, 2018

LAST WEEK — Chargers beat Seahawks,

LOS ANGELES (AP) — SEATTLE (4-4) at LOS ANGELES RAMS (8-1)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

OPENING LINE — Rams by 8

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Seattle 4-3-1, Los Angeles 4-4-1

SERIES RECORD — Seahawks lead 23-18

LAST MEETING — Rams beat Seahawks, 33-31, Oct. 7, 2018

LAST WEEK — Chargers beat Seahawks, 25-17; Saints beat Rams, 45-35

AP PRO32 RANKING — Seahawks No. 13, Rams No. 4

SEAHAWKS OFFENSE — OVERALL (26), RUSH (3), PASS (27).

SEAHAWKS DEFENSE — OVERALL (7), RUSH (21), PASS (6).

RAMS OFFENSE — OVERALL (1), RUSH (1), PASS (5).

RAMS DEFENSE — OVERALL (13), RUSH (13), PASS (14).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Rivalry game carries extra importance as Rams could take 4 ½-game lead in NFC West standings with first season sweep of Seahawks since 2015. … Seahawks have won four of six, while Rams have won eight of nine. Both teams bouncing back from losses, however. … Seahawks’ plus-9 turnover differential is third best in NFL, while Rams’ plus-7 is fifth. … Both teams boasting potent ground games. Rams are tops in NFL during another dominant season from Todd Gurley, but Seahawks are No. 1 since Week 3 with 159.8 yards per game on ground. … Rams have three receivers (Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp) with more yards receiving than Seahawks leader Tyler Lockett’s 416. Gurley isn’t far behind at 362. … When Rams beat Seahawks in Seattle last month, LA QB Jared Goff passed for 321 yards, while Russell Wilson threw three TD passes. Gurley rushed for three scores. … Rivals haven’t played their two annual meetings this close together since 2011. … Seahawks have won three straight road games. They also won at Coliseum last season. … Rams have never lost back-to-back regular-season games under Sean McVay, going 4-0 last year. … Gurley has scored TD in 12 consecutive games, longest regular-season streak in team history. … Gurley’s 102 points lead NFL by large margin. Nine of next top 11 scorers in league are kickers. … Rams DT Aaron Donald is second in NFL with 10 sacks. Rams are 14-0 when Donald gets a sack over past two seasons. Donald has sacked Wilson eight times — most of any QB he has faced. … Rams have 2,828 yards passing, second most in franchise history through nine games, trailing only 2000 Greatest Show on Turf (3,466). … Fantasy tip: Rams WR Kupp is back from two significant injuries and more vital than ever to LA offense. He is tied for eighth in NFL with six TD catches despite missing most of three games, and typically comes up big at home. Washington state native was sidelined last month in Seattle by concussion, then hurt knee in Denver one week later.

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Saints-Bengals Preview Capsule

NEW ORLEANS (7-1) at CINCINNATI (5-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE — Saints by 3½

RECORD VS. SPREAD — New Orleans 6-2, Cincinnati 4-4

SERIES RECORD — Bengals lead 7-6

LAST MEETING — Bengals beat Saints 27-10, Nov. 16, 2014

LAST WEEK — Saints beat Rams 45-35; Bengals had bye, beat

NEW ORLEANS (7-1) at CINCINNATI (5-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

OPENING LINE — Saints by 3½

RECORD VS. SPREAD — New Orleans 6-2, Cincinnati 4-4

SERIES RECORD — Bengals lead 7-6

LAST MEETING — Bengals beat Saints 27-10, Nov. 16, 2014

LAST WEEK — Saints beat Rams 45-35; Bengals had bye, beat Buccaneers 37-34 on Oct. 28

AP PRO32 RANKING — Saints No. 1, Bengals No. 12

SAINTS OFFENSE — OVERALL (7), RUSH (15), PASS (7).

SAINTS DEFENSE — OVERALL (25), RUSH (1), PASS (31).

BENGALS OFFENSE — OVERALL (24), RUSH (26), PASS (17).

BENGALS DEFENSE — OVERALL (32), RUSH (26), PASS (32).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Saints won their seventh straight and sent Rams to first loss. … Drew Brees threw for four TDs vs. Rams, giving him 506 for career. He needs three to pass Brett Favre (508) for second on list, trailing only Peyton Manning’s 539. Tom Brady is one behind Brees with 505. … Brees leads NFL in completion percentage (76.3) and passer rating (120.6). He has 22 career games with four TDs and no INTs, tied with Brady (22) for career record. … In four games vs. Bengals, Brees has thrown for 309.5 yards per game with seven TDs, four INTs and 107.8 passer rating. … RB Alvin Kamara had 116 yards from scrimmage (82 rushing) with three TDs vs. Rams. His three games with three TDs tie Todd Gurley for most in NFL. … WR Michael Thomas had club-record 211 yards receiving, including 72-yard TD catch. He joined Wes Chandler and Torrance Small as only Saints with 200 yards receiving in single game. … Saints signed former Cowboys WR receiver Dez Bryant on Wednesday. It’s unclear how much he might play in Cincinnati. … Bengals WR A.J. Green sidelined indefinitely with toe injury on right foot. He got hurt on final catch of win over Buccaneers. … Cincinnati’s defense ranks last in league. In last three games, Bengals have allowed 481 yards (vs. Steelers), 551 (vs. Chiefs) and 576 (vs. Buccaneers). It’s first time in club history they’ve allowed 500 yards in back-to-back games. No NFL team has given up 500 yards in three straight games. … Fantasy tip: Brees is facing defense prone to yielding many yards and big plays. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 369 yards in 28-21 win culminating in 31-yard TD to Antonio Brown with 10 seconds left. Patrick Mahomes threw for 358 yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick took over after Jameis Winston’s fourth INT and threw for 276 yards in little more than one quarter, including 72-yard TD.

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NFL stadiums and Kenny Chesney: magical mix of sports/music

The wave of sound builds from the bottom of the lower bowl to the very top of MetLife Stadium. Every seat is filled, and the place rocks with energy and anticipation.

Indeed, it couldn't be any louder if the Giants or Jets were playing in a Super Bowl there.

Except there's no football

The wave of sound builds from the bottom of the lower bowl to the very top of MetLife Stadium. Every seat is filled, and the place rocks with energy and anticipation.

Indeed, it couldn’t be any louder if the Giants or Jets were playing in a Super Bowl there.

Except there’s no football game about to kick off. It’s one of 14 NFL and 19 overall stadium stops for Kenny Chesney on his five-month, 42-show “Trip Around The Sun” tour earlier this year. And the musical magic about to be created rivals anything the place has ever seen.

For country music’s biggest star — Chesney is the only country act in Billboard’s Top 10 touring artists of the last quarter-century — and a nominee for a ninth Entertainer of the Year honor at next week’s CMA awards show, the marriage of music and sports is a natural.

“When I was growing up, I had two passions: sports and music,” Chesney says. “They were things that made you feel even more alive, and they lifted you up. It was almost hard to separate the way playing football made you feel from how being at a great concert was. Music is such a primal force: it’s inside us, without thinking.

“I think playing sports is the same way. How you feel when you’re on the field, that immediate rush is the ultimate high. When I started playing for tips and burritos at Quarterback’s, it was the same thing — only less intense, because there were so many variables. But as time went on, as I learned about writing songs, really dialing in on life and performing so I know I’m reaching people at the back of the room, that intensity of how it feels when it’s right became the same thing. When the drum kicks, the lights start and you can hear the crowd even before the curtain falls, it’s like that first play of the night. … It’s on, and there’s nowhere in the world you’d rather be.”

Chesney spends up to three hours on the stage performing a collection of hits pretty much unequaled among contemporaries in any music genre. It’s an exhausting trip for virtually everyone: band members, stagehands, crew and, of course, the audience. And it’s worth every second.

NFL games generally last about that long and can create the same aura.

“If we do it right, hopefully we wring every spec of energy out of the fans,” Chesney explains. “Sometimes you can feel a slight ebb during the last song. But what’s more likely to happen, the energy feeds itself, so by the end, they’re hitting a whole other plateau. They may sleep til 2 the next day, but they’re bringing it hard, and they’re not quitting.

“Honestly, it’s part of how the band and I can also build our energy: No Shoes Nation feeds us. We go out to give them absolutely everything, but I always say, they give us more than we give them.”

Robert Kraft would agree. The owner of the New England Patriots is a certified member of No Shoes Nation. He has had a special relationship with Chesney since 2005, when the first of 19 concerts at Gillette Stadium took place.

“Kenny’s music is truly one of a kind. It has this unique and special quality to it that takes people to a place where they can forget the day-to-day worries of life and enjoy the moment, whether in the car listening to the radio or in stadium full of people singing along. When you see Kenny live in concert, his personal energy and charisma is like no one else,” Kraft said. “He brings you into the melody and the moment, and it takes those feelings to an entirely different level. After 14 years and 19 shows at Gillette Stadium, I continue to be blown away by the way Kenny and his music affects people. It truly is one of my favorite scenes, seeing 60,000 happy, glowing faces taking in the timeless greatness that is Kenny Chesney.”

Chesney is the biggest ticket seller for any musical genre at MetLife Stadium, where Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift have been regulars. The Trip Around The Sun show at MetLife Stadium in August was delayed by a severe thunderstorm before one of the accompanying bands, Old Dominion, took the stage. That also pushed back the set by Thomas Rhett and Chesney, who played and sang beyond midnight.

Yet, just as they would for a big game involving the Giants or Jets, the fans remained, their enthusiasm only whetted, not wetted down.

“There are two things,” says Chesney, whose most recent chart-topping album, “Songs For The Saints,” is a tribute to the Virgin Islands that were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year. Chesney had a home on St. John. “One, I think sports and music are the two things people are truly passionate about, so there’s always going to be similarities in the response. I know plenty of football fans are out there; heck, there’s a lot of players, the coaching staff, people affiliated with the teams at the shows.

“But just as importantly, there’s that sense of pride in what No Shoes Nation stands for. For the fans who are just music people, they have the same connection to how the songs we sing hold their lives as sports fans have about their team kind of representing the best of who they are. You know, there’s no thrill greater than high school football, and seeing your team rush out on the field, and I think that carries over to the NFL for adults, and just people who remember when.”

Those folks tend to remember when they witnessed a particularly memorable game. They definitely recall attending — and being such a large part of — a Chesney concert.

“I don’t think anything surpasses the excitement of seeing your favorite team play,” he says, “but I do think people who come to these stadiums really bring their most passionate selves. When they come to these places — Levi Stadium, Arrowhead Stadium, Raymond James Stadium — they come to throw everything they have at their team.

“And I think they bring that mindset when they walk in the door for our shows, too.”

Chesney has not committed to another stadium tour. In 2019, he is planning a more intimate series of concerts. But perhaps the unforgettable vibes from the previous concerts will lead to another Trip Around the Sun.

Regardless, Chesney and No Shoes Nation have proven the bond between music and sports is unbreakable.

“I love football, and the discipline that goes into playing it,” he says. “I’ve been lucky to be friends with Sean Payton, the Manning family, Drew Brees, a lot of those guys, not to mention so many people a casual fan might not know. I’ve been to practice; I’ve been to games. I still get a little amazed that I know every inch of a lot of these buildings I see on TV every week, because I stopped growing in the ninth grade, and that was the end of any dream of playing sports for a living.

“When I think about that, or when I’m onstage, and looking all the way to the top, it’s a pretty unbelievable feeling. All those games, all that energy, and we get to be part of these places in a way that’s just as passionate and intense in a whole other way. It reminds me how powerful music can be.”

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NFL on pace for record-setting scoring midway through season

It's never been easier to score in the NFL.

At the midpoint of the season, the league is on pace to set records for most points, touchdowns and touchdown passes in a single season. Teams have scored 6,440 points, 736 touchdowns and 473 TDs in the air through Week 9.

The increase in

It’s never been easier to score in the NFL.

At the midpoint of the season, the league is on pace to set records for most points, touchdowns and touchdown passes in a single season. Teams have scored 6,440 points, 736 touchdowns and 473 TDs in the air through Week 9.

The increase in offensive production follows the lowest-scoring season this decade. Teams averaged 21.7 points per game in 2017. That’s up to 24 points this season. A total of 12 teams are averaging at least 27.5 points per game led by the Chiefs (36.3), Saints (34.9) and Rams (33.2).

There are several reasons scoring has soared. A combination of new rules and rule adjustments over the past few years favor offenses. The league has banned helmet-to-helmet contact, implemented a defenseless receiver rule and a body-weight rule against players making sacks, outlawed low hits on quarterbacks and emphasized illegal contact penalties.

There’s also been an influx of innovative, offensive-minded coaches — Sean McVay, Doug Pederson, Kyle Shanahan — and talented young quarterbacks — Patrick Mahomes, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, among others.

Five quarterbacks — Mahomes, Goff, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers — are on pace to throw for 5,000 yards. That only happened nine times previously in league history. Ten QBs have a passer rating over 100, double the total last season.

Games are not only featuring more scoring but there’s been plenty of close, down-to-the-wire action. Seventy-one games were decided by one score, eight points or less. That’s the fifth-most through nine weeks. Thirty-seven games have been decided by a field goal, which was fourth-most at this point. Ten games have reached overtime and 36 teams have rallied to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter or overtime.

Close, high-scoring games are exciting for fans, especially the millions who spend billions of dollars to play fantasy football. All of it is good for the league’s television ratings, which are up after declining in 2016 and 2017.

More folks are also watching by live streaming. According to a recent study from Conviva, a real-time measurement platform, NFL live viewing was up 72 percent in plays and 83 percent in viewing hours over the same time frame last year.

Conviva’s data shows mobile NFL plays were up 95 percent and prime-time NFL saw 109 percent growth in plays and 97 percent growth in viewing hours.

Here’s a look inside the numbers from the first half:

PASSING KING: Drew Brees broke Peyton Manning’s record for career passing yards last month. Brees has 72,781 yards passing and counting. Manning had 71,940.

KICKING KING: Adam Vinatieri broke Morten Anderson’s record for most points and most field goals. Vinatieri has 2,550 points and 573 field goals. Anderson had 2,544 points and 565 field goals.

THE 500 CLUB: Brees and Tom Brady joined Manning and Brett Favre as the only players to throw 500 TD passes. Brees has 506, one more than Brady. Manning had 539 and Favre had 508.

PATRICK THE GREAT: Mahomes has 29 TD passes and 3,185 yards passing yards, the most in both categories through the first 10 games of a player’s career. He also has thrown for at least 300 yards in eight straight games, one away from setting the record he currently shares with Andrew Luck.

THIELEN’S CHASE: Adam Thielen became the first player to have eight 100-yard receiving games to start a season, tying Calvin Johnson for the longest streak of such games. The former undrafted wide receiver has 78 catches for the Vikings. He’s on pace to challenge Marvin Harrison’s single-season record of 143.

GURLEY GETS IN: Todd Gurley has 16 touchdowns — 12 rushing and four receiving — for the Rams. He’s on pace for 28. The record is 31 by Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.

KIRK COMPLETIONS: Kirk Cousins became the first player to complete at least 30 passes in four consecutive games. Before the season, Cousins became the first player to sign a fully guaranteed contract when the Vikings gave him $84 million for three seasons.

FIRST MISS: Justin Tucker had made all 222 extra points in his career before he missed one at the end of Baltimore’s 24-23 loss to New Orleans in Week 7. He hadn’t missed any kick 33 yards or shorter in 300 tries his career.

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NFL notebook: Bell inches closer to return to Steelers

NFL notebook: Bell inches closer to return to Steelers

NFL notebook: Bell inches closer to return to Steelers

At least holdout running back Le’Veon Bell is in the same area code as the Pittsburgh Steelers, two days after posting a farewell message to his offseason home in Miami on social media.

Bell, however, has not yet reported to the Steelers, who play Thursday at home against the Carolina Panthers. Instead, he was spotted Wednesday playing basketball at an L.A. Fitness facility in North Pittsburgh. Opponents and onlookers shared their encounter with Bell on social media, and the facility manager confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday that Bell was present.

He’s holding out after the Steelers failed to meet his contract demands, sacrificing more than $8 million in salary during the ongoing stalemate. Reporting after the July 15 deadline to sign a long-term deal, but before Week 1, would have assured Bell the entirety of his $14.5 million franchise tender for 2018.

Bell is facing the latest deadline in the off-field-drama next week. He must report by Tuesday or will become ineligible to play this season.

–Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, according to multiple reports, and he won’t have to wait long for a chance to show his old team what he has left. The Saints (7-1) play Dallas (3-5) on Nov. 29.

Bryant will sign the deal on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Bryant has been a free agent since he was released by Dallas in April. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, he has 7,459 receiving yards and 73 touchdowns in his career. Last season, he notched 69 catches for 838 yards and six touchdowns in his eighth NFL year, all with the Cowboys.

–New York Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has a significant right foot injury and will miss Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills, according to a New York Daily News report.

The report, which called the injury a sprain, added the Jets hope Darnold will return after the Week 11 bye to face the New England Patriots in Week 12, but they are not overly optimistic. Head coach Todd Bowles told reporters the injury is a strain and deemed Darnold “day-to-day.”

–Defensive end Bruce Irvin landed on his feet and reunited with his former defensive coordinator one day after clearing waivers.

Irvin signed with the Atlanta Falcons, joining head coach Dan Quinn, who coordinated the Seahawks’ defense when both were in Seattle. Irvin cleared waivers and became an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday.

–Buffalo Bills first-round draft picks Josh Allen and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds each practiced, giving both a chance to return Sunday at the New York Jets.

Allen was limited again like he was on Friday, his first practice since spraining his right (throwing) elbow in Week 6 against the Houston Texans. Head coach Sean McDermott said the rookie quarterback has had no setbacks and “has done a good job so far.”

— Dallas Cowboys standout linebacker Sean Lee reportedly will be sidelined four to six weeks after injuring his left hamstring during Monday night’s loss to the Tennessee Titans.

“We anticipate him to be out for a little bit, no question about that,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett told reporters. Lee missed three games with a pulled hamstring earlier this season. The 32-year-old has 27 tackles in five games this season.

–Philadelphia running back Darren Sproles could be back on the field for the first time since Week 1 when the Eagles play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

Sproles, who will retire after the season, had five carries for 10 yards and four catches for 22 yards in an 18-12 win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1 but has been sidelined by an injured hamstring since. Eagles coach Doug Pederson said that Sproles should be in the lineup Sunday night.

–Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will miss his fifth straight game on Sunday at the Green Bay Packers, head coach Adam Gase confirmed.

With the Dolphins taking their bye in Week 11, Gase said the goal is to have Tannehill, who has battled weakness and discomfort in his right (throwing) shoulder, ready for a Week 12 trip to the Indianapolis Colts. Brock Osweiler will make his fifth consecutive start.

–Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette appears ready for a return after practicing in full for the first time in six weeks.

Fournette has not played since Week 4 because of a hamstring injury and has appeared in only two games this season, rushing for 71 yards on 20 carries.

–The Minnesota Vikings claimed running back Ameer Abdullah, two days after he was placed on waivers by the Detroit Lions.

Abdullah, 25, was a second-round pick by Detroit in 2015 but was active in only three games this season and carried the ball just once.

–Field Level Media

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