Ravens WR Willie Snead makes impression as man in the middle

Ravens WR Willie Snead makes impression as man in the middle

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Willie Snead has a knack for weaving through a row of linebackers in the middle of the field before making a clutch catch for the Baltimore Ravens.

Such was the case last Sunday against Tennessee, when Snead squeezed between two defenders for a 24-yard gain on a third-and-17 from the Baltimore 15.

“He’s on the ground, he makes the catch, he’s getting pushed back to the ground, stepped all over, and he just gets up and gives the first-down signal right there in the guy’s face,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “That’s the kind of competitor he is. He’s all ball, all the time.”

Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome rarely chases restricted free agents, but he made an exception with Snead this past offseason after it became apparent that the receiver’s three-year run in New Orleans was done. One of Drew Brees’ favorite targets in 2015 and 2016, Snead began last season with a three-game suspension for violating the NFL personal conduct policy. He then fought a hamstring injury and finished with just eight catches for 92 yards and no touchdowns.

Armed with a two-year, $10.4 million contract, Snead was delighted to arrive in Baltimore last April.

“Last year just left a really bitter taste in my mouth, the organization and how everything was handled,” Snead said Tuesday. “To be a part of this organization was just a breath of fresh air. I wanted to go somewhere where I’m wanted.”

It couldn’t have worked out better for Snead — and the Ravens.

“To see that you were right, to see all that come together and him play so well, being exactly what you thought you were going to get, is very rewarding,” Harbaugh said.

Snead was one of three free agent receivers signed by Newsome in an effort to enhance a passing game that sputtered in 2017. Snead is the possession receiver, Michael Crabtree provides an outside threat and John Brown is the speedster.

Snead and Crabtree are tied for the team lead with 30 catches. Brown has 21 receptions for a team-high 424 yards and three touchdowns.

“I don’t have the physical ability like John Brown to run by you, and I’m not big and strong like Michael Crabtree,” Snead observed, “so I have to work harder than everybody else just to stand out.”

That’s how it’s always been for Snead, who finally finds himself in a place where his talent is acknowledged and appreciated.

“This is a guy that’s been doubted his whole career — high school, college and the NFL,” Harbaugh said. “So I’m fine if they keep doubting him.”

After starring as a quarterback at Muskegon Heights in Michigan, Snead played three years as a receiver at Ball State before going undrafted in 2014. He finally made it to the NFL the following year.

“Coming out of college, (people said) I left too early, I wasn’t ready to play in the NFL,” Snead recalled. “And in the NFL, it was, ‘Is he fast enough to separate? Can he make those plays in clutch situations?’ I’ve always been doubted.”

Not anymore.

“I’ll tell you one thing, Willie comes Sunday ready to play,” Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. “He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve been around.”

This Sunday, the Ravens (4-2) host the Saints (4-1). Snead insists this wasn’t one of those games that he circled on the calendar.

“This is another team. I have to approach it that way just to stay focused,” Snead said.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton has seen enough of Snead this season to know he’s a threat with the ball, and without it.

“He has a tremendous amount of grit. You see him making plays on third down,” Payton said. “He’s an outstanding blocker. He’ll come across in motion, he’ll get to the point of attack in the run game, but he’ll also find the holes in the zone and man-to-man coverages.”

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Snead has no problem mixing it up with anyone, large or small, at any spot on the field.

“He can go inside or outside, but man, he makes some — scouts call them blood area — catches,” Harbaugh said. “In the middle, that’s where he thrives.”

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Raiders coach Gruden downplays sideline argument with Carr

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Derek Carr missed Jalen Richard on a third-down pass in the second quarter and immediately heard all about it from coach Jon Gruden as he walked to the Oakland Raiders sideline.

Carr was caught on television yelling right back at his coach in an exchange that repeated itself again in the

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Derek Carr missed Jalen Richard on a third-down pass in the second quarter and immediately heard all about it from coach Jon Gruden as he walked to the Oakland Raiders sideline.

Carr was caught on television yelling right back at his coach in an exchange that repeated itself again in the fourth quarter and prompted many outsiders to point to it as a symbol of how bad things have gotten in this lost season for the Raiders.

To Carr and Gruden, it’s just a regular occurrence between two passionate people that just happened to be caught on camera during a 23-21 win for Oakland (2-8) over Arizona on Sunday.

“I don’t have a ‘no yelling’ sign on the sideline,” Gruden said Monday. “Things happen. We get excited down there. I get excited when we get a first down. Get excited when you work on something all week and it doesn’t work out. I get excited when he makes big plays, too. That’s just part of football. I think cameras can catch things sometimes that maybe make things look a little bit peculiar, but that happens.”

The first run-in between Carr and Gruden happened late in the second quarter when the Raiders went three-and-out after the missed throw down the sideline to Richard. Tight end Lee Smith ended up trying to play peacemaker, grabbing Gruden at one point in what he later acknowledged was a mistake.

Carr was surprised the whole situation became such a big deal.

“It’s not the first time him and I have been that way. We’re both very fiery,” Carr said Sunday. “A lot of people don’t see that in me, right? All the time. We’re both very fiery, we’re both very competitive. Minor disagreement on something and the beautiful thing is that when we do that, it’s never like a demeaning thing, or pointing a finger. It’s just, we’re both yelling the same kind of thing almost. It’s us both saying let’s fix it kind of deal. Again, it’s not the first time, I doubt it’ll be the last time, but everything’s good, I promise.”

There was only more frustration later in the quarter when Carr called back-to-back timeouts, leading to a delay of game penalty that helped thwart a drive.

The bickering continued in the fourth quarter after a third-down pass to Seth Roberts came a yard short of a first down, leading to another punt.

Gruden said he can be outwardly supportive or critical depending on the situation.

“I’m a big cheerleader sometimes,” he said. “I’m very positive a lot of the time. Every once in a while, I think you have to make your points in some different ways. Sometimes raising your voice. I look ridiculous to some people, but I want urgency. I want to have some urgency to get things right. It doesn’t mean I’m always right, either. Derek pointed that out to me yesterday. So be it.”

The Cardinals then took the lead on the ensuing drive and the Raiders failed to generate a first down on two straight possessions, leading to rare punts in the final four minutes by a trailing team.

But thanks to some poor penalties by Arizona and botched clock management, the Raiders got one last chance and made it pay off by driving 63 yards in the final 1:53 thanks to a 32-yard pass to rookie Marcell Ateman and a 20-yarder to Roberts that set up Daniel Carlson’s game-winning 35-yard kick.

NOTES: The Raiders placed WR Brandon LaFell (Achilles) on IR and signed WR Keon Hatcher off Green Bay’s practice squad. Hatcher had three TD catches for Oakland in the preseason finale. … WR Saeed Blacknall was released Monday. … WR Jordy Nelson could return to practice this week after missing a game with a knee injury. … RB Doug Martin should be OK this week after missing the second half with an ankle injury.

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Humbled Vikings running out of time to catch Bears

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The NBC camera on Minnesota's pregame huddle in Chicago captured Kirk Cousins delivering the customary pep talk to his teammates, a full-throated reminder by the quarterback that the Vikings reached the NFC championship game last season, not the Bears.

"They're not the reason this game moved to prime time," Cousins shouted.

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The NBC camera on Minnesota’s pregame huddle in Chicago captured Kirk Cousins delivering the customary pep talk to his teammates, a full-throated reminder by the quarterback that the Vikings reached the NFC championship game last season, not the Bears.

“They’re not the reason this game moved to prime time,” Cousins shouted. “We are.”

Soon after the opening kickoff, though, the Vikings (5-4-1) wilted in the spotlight of the NFL’s showcase Sunday night game. The offense didn’t score until 7 seconds were left in the third quarter, and the defense gave up a season-high 148 rushing yards, leading to a 25-20 loss that wasn’t as close as the score.

The Vikings fell 1½ games behind the Bears (7-3) in the NFC North, meaning they’ll have to win once more than the surprise division leader over the next five games to make the rematch on Dec. 30 count toward the race.

Chicago plays the Los Angeles Rams (9-1) on Dec. 2, but that’s at home. Every other opponent has a losing record. Minnesota has back-to-back road games against the New England Patriots (7-3) and Seattle Seahawks (5-5) looming.

“The schedule’s the schedule. I’m not worried about that,” coach Mike Zimmer said.

What most troubled Zimmer were the three turnovers, a failure to reach the end zone on the first three trips inside the 20-yard line, and a total of 22 rushing yards on 14 attempts . His message to the offense in meetings throughout the week was that those three areas would determine the outcome.

“Either they’re not listening or they’re not paying attention or they don’t really care,” Zimmer said. “So we’ll have to find out which one of the three it is.”

The defense also had a 15-yard penalty on two of Chicago’s three drives for field goals.

Cousins said the defeat “certainly humbles you,” a potential positive to take in preparation for the next game against the rival Green Bay Packers (4-5-1). The Vikings have already had several of those sobering defeats this year, from the lopsided loss at home against the lowly Buffalo Bills to the 556 total yards allowed to the Rams to the gaffes that precipitated their fall against the New Orleans Saints.

Whether there’s some natural regression in the works after their 13-3 regular-season record in 2017, a few flaws they haven’t yet fixed or a little bit of bad luck, the Vikings have been a hair off and a step behind from the start this year despite adding Cousins to one of the league’s deepest rosters.

In facing the Rams, Saints and Bears in nationally televised night games, the top three teams in the NFC, the Vikings have performed like a wild-card team at best.

“We’re a good team. We know that. It’s just about going out there and doing it. Quit talking about it,” linebacker Eric Kendricks said. “Just getting back to work, putting our hard hats on and no excuses. We’ve got to point the finger at ourselves, so we’ve just got to get the job done, period.”

The Vikings have 16 turnovers, seventh most in the NFL after producing at least one in all but one game. That’s already two more than last season, when they had the third fewest in the league.

“That’s what we talk about every single day since OTAs, talk about protecting the football,” wide receiver Adam Thielen said. “The percentage of you winning a football game when you lose a turnover battle is pretty low. We know that. We have to go back to work and figure it out.”

The Vikings finished in the top seven in the NFL in fewest turnovers in each of Zimmer’s first four years.

“It’s been frustrating at times,” Zimmer said, noting the unlikelihood of some of the giveaways like Thielen’s fumble against the Saints that turned that game around: He added: “I guess stuff happens sometimes.”

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Eagles are reeling after worst loss by defending champs

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The defending champs are reeling and seem on the verge of receiving a knockout punch.

An embarrassing 48-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints — the most lopsided defeat for a Super Bowl champion — left the Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) one loss from last place. They're optimistic because they are in control

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The defending champs are reeling and seem on the verge of receiving a knockout punch.

An embarrassing 48-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints — the most lopsided defeat for a Super Bowl champion — left the Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) one loss from last place. They’re optimistic because they are in control of their fading playoff hopes in a mediocre NFC East. But there’s nothing positive to point at following a dismal loss to the Saints (9-1).

“You can’t hang your head,” coach Doug Pederson said Monday. “If anybody does, and if anybody begins to sort of doubt, you don’t need them. Because we believe, and I believe in those players, I believe in those coaches. It’s a group that is hurting. It’s a group that will pick themselves up this week. They’re not going to feel sorry for themselves and we’ll get ready for the Giants.”

The Redskins (6-4) lead the division but just lost quarterback Alex Smith for the rest of the season. They’ll face the Cowboys (5-5) for first place on Thursday. The Giants (3-7) visit Philadelphia on Sunday. If the Eagles win the last six games, they’ll secure the East. But they look more like a team that can lose out than win six in a row.

Carson Wentz played the worst game of his career in New Orleans, tossing three interceptions with a 31.9 passer rating. The offense managed only one touchdown, went three-and-out six times and continued spiraling downward. It barely resembles the group that outperformed the Patriots 41-33 in the Super Bowl.

Running backs Jay Ajayi (torn ACL) and LeGarrette Blount (left in free agency), wide receiver Torrey Smith (traded to Carolina) and tight ends Trey Burton (left in free agency) and Brent Celek (released) are the skill players missing from that unit, along with Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, who is Wentz’s backup. Undrafted rookie Josh Adams is the lead running back but the receiver corps was upgraded with the addition of wideout Golden Tate and rookie tight end Dallas Goedert.

Yet, the offense has been out of sync all season. The Eagles have scored more than 24 points only once.

Pederson was bothered more by the offense’s performance against the Saints because Drew Brees and Co. have run through defenses all season.

“We had more plays out on the field that we left, so that’s the disappointing thing, that we didn’t do a better job offensively and score more points,” Pederson said. “The 48, they’re a good football team. Let’s not kid ourselves there. That’s a good football team, and we knew we were going to have to score points.”

The offense’s biggest problem has been slow starts. The Eagles have scored only 21 points in the first quarter, including 14 in one game. Against the Saints, their three first-quarter possession were two three-and-outs and an interception thrown into double coverage.

“We keep preaching. We keep talking. We keep practicing. We put our players in those positions to execute,” Pederson said. “Sometimes I think because there’s been so much made about the way we’ve started games differently than a year ago that sometimes you want to make the play. Players just need to make the plays that come to them and don’t go looking for plays. There’s enough out there that when the play comes, you make it, and it starts with the first play of the game.”

NOTES: Pederson said CB Rasul Douglas (leg) and DB Avonte Maddox (knee) and C Jason Kelce (elbow) are fine. CB Sidney Jones (ankle) and LB Jordan Hicks (calf) are week to week. LS Rick Lovato is in concussion protocol.

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Heisman Trophy Winner Props: Updated through Week 12

Tua Tagovailoa's odds decreased, but he's still the heavy favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Kyler Murray closes the gap.

Note: The change column indicates the percentage change in the odds of each player. Positive change labeled in green means the player is getting bet and his odds are lower, while the negative

Tua Tagovailoa’s odds decreased, but he’s still the heavy favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Kyler Murray closes the gap.

Note: The change column indicates the percentage change in the odds of each player. Positive change labeled in green means the player is getting bet and his odds are lower, while the negative change in red means the player’s odds have regressed.

Heisman Trophy Winner Props


Martin is a data analyst that has been applauded for his ability to make the complex simple. He grew up on a farm in northern Vermont and spent his summers helping his mom lead llama treks at Smugglers’ Notch Resort.

Martin graduated from University of Vermont with a degree in Mathematics. After graduation he left Vermont to work for an educational nonprofit called City Year for two years, and followed that up by attending the data science immersive program at Galvanize in Denver. He is an avid Green Bay Packer fan, and spends his free time playing football and soccer.

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Miami’s Tannehill on schedule for possible return this week

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Tannehill is throwing the ball 50 yards in side sessions, and the Miami Dolphins would love to see those passes in a game.

Maybe this week.

Tannehill made progress during the team's bye week in his rehabilitation from a throwing shoulder injury, and remains on schedule to meet his goal

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Tannehill is throwing the ball 50 yards in side sessions, and the Miami Dolphins would love to see those passes in a game.

Maybe this week.

Tannehill made progress during the team’s bye week in his rehabilitation from a throwing shoulder injury, and remains on schedule to meet his goal of returning Sunday at Indianapolis.

There are significant hurdles yet to be cleared. Coach Adam Gase said Monday he didn’t even know whether Tannehill will participate fully in practice this week, but sounded upbeat about his quarterback’s recent progress.

“I feel like it is forever since I’ve seen him throw,” Gase said. “To me he looks like what he once looked like.”

Brock Osweiler has gone 2-3 starting for Tannehill. The injury-plagued Dolphins are 5-5 and tied for sixth place in the AFC with the Colts and three other teams.

The Dolphins’ eagerness to get Tannehill back in the lineup is magnified because their offense has gone nine quarters without a touchdown. Osweiler’s most recent scoring pass came four games ago.

Tannehill has said he’s resigned to throwing with pain the rest of the year because of an injury to his shoulder capsule in Week 5. He’s now targeting receivers on the move, but his shoulder stamina remains a concern and needs to be tested by the intensity of practice, Gase said.

“He can throw it down the field now,” Gase said. “It looks good. It’s just all about how many times.”

Gase is wary of a setback and said he wants to decide soon on a starter for Sunday.

“I’m running out of time,” he said. “We can’t be wrong and start the week one way, and then flip when we get to Friday.”

Miami’s first practice of the week — and first since Nov. 9 — will be Tuesday.

While Tannehill’s progress was encouraging, the Dolphins took another hit on the health front when they decided to place receiver-returner Jakeem Grant on injured reserve with a lower leg injury that required surgery. Grant ranks second in the NFL in both kickoff returns and punt returns.

He was hurt in the loss at Green Bay a week ago, and initially the team hoped he might return this year. Miami lost another dynamic receiver, Albert Wilson, to a season-ending hip injury in Week 7.

Receiver DeVante Parker might return this week from a shoulder injury, Gase said. He said the status this week of starting offensive tackles Laremy Tunsil (knee) and Ja’Wuan James (knee) was uncertain. Cornerback Bobby McCain remained in the concussion protocol.

The AFC race tightened Sunday with the Dolphins idle. They have a chance to make the playoffs for only the third time in the past 17 seasons even though they’ve been outgained by 787 yards and outscored by 57 points.

“It’s who can have the best six-game season,” Gase said. “To give ourselves a chance in December to create our own destiny — that’s what we wanted when we started this thing.”

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Jets QB Sam Darnold sits out team’s first practice after bye

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is sitting out the team's first practice after its bye-week break while he continues to recover from a foot strain.

The rookie wore a green Jets cap and sweats as practice began Monday, and he mostly watched from the side while Josh McCown and

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is sitting out the team’s first practice after its bye-week break while he continues to recover from a foot strain.

The rookie wore a green Jets cap and sweats as practice began Monday, and he mostly watched from the side while Josh McCown and Davis Webb threw passes in individual drills. He is no longer wearing a boot on his right foot.

Darnold was injured during the Jets’ 13-6 loss at Miami on Nov. 4. McCown started in his place the following week, a 41-10 defeat at home to Buffalo.

It’s uncertain if Darnold will be able to start against New England on Sunday. Coach Todd Bowles is scheduled to speak to the media later Monday. The Jets don’t need to submit an injury report until Wednesday.

Darnold, the No. 3 overall draft pick this year, leads the NFL with 14 interceptions and struggled in his past three games before the injury.

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Ballin’ on a Budget Week 11 Results

Well, for the fifth straight week and for the ninth time in 11 tries this season, we won more than we lost out of our five betting picks. Last week, we had the point spreads down and floundered on game picks. This week, we had it the other way around. Either way, another

Well, for the fifth straight week and for the ninth time in 11 tries this season, we won more than we lost out of our five betting picks. Last week, we had the point spreads down and floundered on game picks. This week, we had it the other way around. Either way, another 3-2 week keeps our pick percentage right around 60 percent.

Unfortunately, the Falcons were our most confident pick this week and they couldn’t come through, so we didn’t build on our recent gains.

WIN: Packers-Seahawks OVER 49.5 (-110): Seahawks 27, Packers 24.

Wow, this one was close. As the over/unders so often are, Vegas was spot on here. The Packers and Seahawks battled into a tie in the 20’s, making this a nailbiter for bettors on both sides of the equation. Luckily for us, Russell Wilson came up with some magic down the stretch and despite Aaron Rodgers’ inability to answer, we were primed for the over to hit at the next score.

When Seattle kicked the go-ahead field goal to win it, that’s what pushed it over the edge. We got it by the slimmest of margins, but we’re certainly not complaining. Total payout: $3.80.

LOSS: Falcons -3 vs. Cowboys (-120): Cowboys 22, Falcons 19.

It continues to amaze me how bad the Falcons can be with as much talent as they have on the offensive side of the ball. Steve Sarkisian’s offense just refuses to get off the ground and this entire game was frustrating to watch. Time and time again, Atlanta’s defense got stops to give the offense a chance. Time and time again, the offense sputtered and either had to settle for a field goal or were kept out of field-goal range entirely.

They made things interesting by tying things up at 19 via a 34-yard strike from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones, but then Dallas drove right down the field in the closing minutes. We had to root for a missed chip shot field goal to send things to overtime and give us a chance, but it wasn’t to be. Atlanta screwed us over, but we can take solace in the fact the loss likely ended their playoff hopes. Total payout: $0.

LOSS: Panthers -4.5 vs. Lions (-110): Lions 20, Panthers 19.

Speaking of frustrating, wow, it was hard to watch how this one went down. Carolina kicker Graham Gano missed an easy field goal and an extra point, which not only cost us four points on the spread, but it ended up guaranteeing we couldn’t win this bet at the end of the game. The Panthers scored with just a minute left and an extra point would have likely sent the game to overtime.

However, with so little faith in their kicker, they sent the offense back out there to go for two and the win. That created a lose-lose situation for us, because the only way for us to win would be Carolina to send it to overtime and have a walk-off touchdown. With this decision, they would either win by one or lose by one, and neither did us any good. Since they didn’t cover, they didn’t deserve to win anyway and Carolina fell to the previously 3-6 Lions to make our day a little worse. Total payout: $0.

WIN: Titans-Colts UNDER 49 (-110): Colts 38, Titans 10.

God almighty, this one was close. When Marcus Mariota went down, it seemed all but locked up until Tennessee’s once feared defense became inept. Andrew Luck and Co. were scoring at will and it got more and more tense as the total approached 49. Indy scored to go up 38-3 and everything still felt pretty good until the Titans found the end zone for the first time, leaving us one fluke play away from losing the bet.

Luckily, with the point total sitting at 48, one below the line, the Titans kicked off to the Colts and they were happy to take knees and run out the clock. This one made us sweat, but in the end, it went our way making us 2-for-2 in over/under picks this week. Total payout: $7.60.

WIN: Broncos +7.5 at Chargers (-120): Broncos 23, Chargers 22.

We should’ve bet the money line! Denver somehow found a way to pull this game out with a field goal as time expired and we would’ve been a lot richer had we had enough confidence in them to win the game outright. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and we won our bet, so we should stop complaining.

While they haven’t been super successful this season, the Broncos have been feisty at times and that’s what we were relying on in this game. They came through and because of that, we finished above .500 for the fifth consecutive week. Total payout: $3.67.

PIGGY BANK: $251.50 (14.3% return on investment)

PICK SELECTION: 61.5% (32-20-3)

Jacob Kornhauser is a sports reporter in Southern Oregon covering all sports, including Oregon and Oregon State athletics. He has been a national baseball writer for Bleacher Report and Rant Sports and has written two baseball books. He also specializes in sports betting analysis. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School.

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Seahawks get crucial win to stay in NFC playoff conversation

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — For the Seattle Seahawks to have a say in the NFC playoff picture, they had to get past Green Bay. A loss would have likely proved too much to overcome with games remaining against Carolina, Minnesota and Kansas City.

So Pete Carroll celebrated Thursday's win in the way everyone would have

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — For the Seattle Seahawks to have a say in the NFC playoff picture, they had to get past Green Bay. A loss would have likely proved too much to overcome with games remaining against Carolina, Minnesota and Kansas City.

So Pete Carroll celebrated Thursday’s win in the way everyone would have expected. He rode Seattle’s waterfront Ferris wheel.

“It’s a wonderful ride. Everyone should do it,” Carroll said Friday.

The Seahawks’ 27-24 win over Green Bay snapped a two-game losing streak and created a path to where the postseason is now at least a realistic opportunity for Seattle. There are still challenges ahead, but Seattle is now in the conversation.

“To be in it right now, we’re not where we want to be record-wise, but we’re fighting,” said tight end Ed Dickson, who caught the winning touchdown pass from Russell Wilson with 5:08 remaining.

Seattle’s path to the postseason is relatively straightforward because of the way its schedule is structured. Five of the Seahawks’ final six games are against NFC teams. Three of those are against San Francisco, twice, and Arizona, who have combined records of 4-15 going into this week. The other two NFC opponents are Carolina next week and Minnesota in Week 14, the two teams directly in front of the Seahawks in the wild-card race.

So while Seattle doesn’t have complete control of its playoff fortunes, it will have a say in whether it can stay in the race into the final weeks of the regular season. And it’s why knocking off the Packers was so crucial.

“Doug (Baldwin) and I were talking about going back to 2015. We were 4-5, I think it was, and we got on a hot streak,” Wilson said. “This is one game, we have a lot of games to go. We have a tough game ahead of us. Just a reminder of where we’ve been and where we’ve gone and how we’ve done it before.”

That run Wilson referenced from 2015 was based largely on a passing offense that erupted in the final two months of the season. Seattle won six of its final seven games that season, scoring 29 or more points in each victory with Wilson throwing 24 touchdown passes and one interception during the seven-game span.

A passing explosion like that isn’t likely to happen this time. But something could happen on the ground as Seattle continued to show it can run the ball with any of its three running backs.

The Seahawks rushed for 173 yards against the Packers, their eighth straight game running for at least 100 yards as a team and the seventh straight game topping 150 yards. Last week against the Rams, Seattle used a healthy dose of Wilson’s legs when he rushed for a season-high 92 yards to complement the first 100-yard game of Rashaad Penny’s rookie season.

Against the Packers, it was a combo of Penny, Chris Carson and Mike Davis as the closer. Carson had 83 yards on 17 carries; Penny had 46 yards, including a highlight 30-yard run in the first half; and Davis had just one carry until Seattle’s final drive when he had three carries for 16 yards as Seattle picked up two first downs to close out the game.

“It might frustrate some people like we can’t make up our mind but I feel really comfortable with how we’re doing this,” Carroll said. “Some games it will go in a different direction like we’ve seen, but it’s great to have that kind of flexibility. They all have characteristics and attributes that help us.”

NOTES: Carroll was unclear about the status of LB K.J. Wright and his lingering knee problems. Wright couldn’t finish last week’s game against the Rams due to issues stemming from surgery he had in August. He was inactive Thursday. “We’re trying to get his knee confident to where he can get back and stay back. We’re going to take our time, whatever time it takes to check that out,” Carroll said. … LB Mychal Kendricks will be able to rejoin the team in practice next week, but won’t be eligible to play until Week 14 against Minnesota. Kendricks was originally suspended indefinitely after pleading guilty to federal insider trading chargers, but had the suspension reduced to eight games.

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FANTASY PLAYS: Key fantasy questions for NFL Week 11

A look at some key fantasy football questions going into Week 11:

WHICH UNDER-THE-RADAR PLAYERS HAVE THE BEST CHANCE FOR A BIG GAME THIS WEEK?

Giants QB Eli Manning has a juicy Week 11 matchup against the Buccaneers, who have given up multiple TDs to QBs in seven of nine games. Other Giants you should

A look at some key fantasy football questions going into Week 11:

WHICH UNDER-THE-RADAR PLAYERS HAVE THE BEST CHANCE FOR A BIG GAME THIS WEEK?

Giants QB Eli Manning has a juicy Week 11 matchup against the Buccaneers, who have given up multiple TDs to QBs in seven of nine games. Other Giants you should consider starting this week include wideout Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram. The Bucs can’t stop WRs and TEs, and have yielded the second-most fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG) to both positions.

You can stick a fork in the Raiders. They’re done and should be targeted in fantasy football every week. The Cardinals, their Week 11 opponent, have a rookie and veteran that have the potential of having a big game against them.

Christian Kirk is averaging just under seven targets per game over the past four weeks. Despite his quiet Week 10 against the Chiefs, he had averaged just over 65 receiving yards in his previous four games. He’s an excellent route runner with good hands and should be considered a trade target in dynasty leagues.

Larry Fitzgerald slumped badly earlier this season but he’s averaging just under 10 targets over the past four weeks and has 23 receptions and two TDs during that time frame.

The Raiders have surrendered multiple TDs to the WR position in seven straight games. Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones has a good matchup against the silver and black. Tight ends have caught 18 passes and scored four TDs against Oakland over the past three weeks.

Ravens RB Alex Collins could be a sneaky play against the Bengals, who’ve given up 13 total TDs to RBs this season. QB Joe Flacco’s Week 11 status is not known (hip) and if either Lamar Jackson or Robert Griffin III start in his place, the Ravens might lean on their running game a bit more.

ANY GOOD BUY LOW OPTIONS TO FOCUS ON AS TRADE DEADLINES APPROACH?

Corey Davis, WR, Titans: The Titans averaged just over 15 points per game for the first seven weeks of their season. They’ve averaged 31 points over the past two weeks and Davis has averaged 10 targets and 90.5 receiving yards during that time. Davis is fourth with eight targets inside the 10 this season. With the Titans offense finally showing some life, look for Davis to continue to have some upside.

Sony Michel, RB, Patriots: For many fantasy owners the bloom may be off the rose when it comes to Michel, but the Patriots have shown that when he’s healthy they’re going to give him the ball. He averaged just over 22 carries, 4.72 yards per carry and scored four TDs from Week 4 to Week 6. Fantasy football playoffs take place from Week 14 to Week 16 in most leagues and he faces the Dolphins in Week 14 and the Bills in Week 16. Both have been very friendly to the run.

ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TRADE TARGETS BASED ON REST OF SEASON SCHEDULES?

Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: Newton has scored the eighth-most fantasy points among QBs this season and has future matchups against the Buccaneers, Browns, Saints and Falcons. The Browns are 17th in FPPG allowed to QBs, but the other three teams are in the top 4 in points allowed to the position.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos: Sanders has scored the 11th most fantasy points among WRs. With the Broncos trade of Demaryius Thomas to the Texans, Sanders will continue to be heavily targeted in the passing game. He still has favorable matchups against the 49ers, who’ve yielded 14 TDs to WRs and the Browns, who’ve allowed the seventh most FPPG to WRs this season. In Week 16, which is usually championship week in fantasy football, Sanders will have a very favorable matchup against the Raiders. In addition, Phillip Lindsay, RB for the Broncos, should also take advantage of Denver’s soft schedule down the stretch and should also be considered a trade target.

WITH COOPER KUPP OUT FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON IS THERE A RAMS WR THAT COULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIS ABSENCE?

His target share is tough to predict, but look for Josh Reynolds, who has big-play potential, to play some of his reps out of the slot, where he’ll absorb some of Kupp’s targets. In his last game with Kupp on the sidelines he caught three passes for 42 yards, but two of those catches were for TDs.

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Breaking down the historically high total for Chiefs-Rams

The total for Monday night's highly-touted matchup between the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs and the 9-1 Los Angeles Rams is making history as a result of its astronomically high total. 

https://twitter.com/RJinVegas/status/1061994554788732928

The over/under has even moved to 64 in some spots, and it's entirely possible it'll move higher as hype builds and folks continue to

The total for Monday night’s highly-touted matchup between the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs and the 9-1 Los Angeles Rams is making history as a result of its astronomically high total. 

The over/under has even moved to 64 in some spots, and it’s entirely possible it’ll move higher as hype builds and folks continue to take the over regardless of where sportsbooks set it. 

For what it’s worth, it’s hard to imagine this game won’t contain at least 30 points per side. After all, the Chiefs and Rams are averaging a combined 68.8 points per game this season. Eight of Kansas City’s 10 games have contained at least 50 points, while four of L.A.’s 10 outings have contained at least 64. 

Also for what it’s worth, Pro Football Reference’s super-awesome database indicates that all five games this century with totals north of 58 have gone over. 

My primary note on this one? The Rams defense has been particularly vulnerable against strong NFC foes this season. In five matchups with the Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers, they’ve surrendered an average of 33.0 points per game. Considering that this game is now back in Los Angeles and the Rams have scored at least 29 points in every home game they’ve played this year, it’s easy to wonder if a 63.5-point total is actually a little low for this one.

Brad Gagnon has covered the NFL since 2007 and is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America, despite the fact he actually lives in Canada. The Toronto-based sports journalist’s work can also be seen at Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Awful Announcing and The Guardian. He can be found on Twitter @brad_gagnon

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Ramsey expresses loyalty to Jaguars

 

Outspoken defensive back Jalen Ramsey offended some Jacksonville Jaguars fans

 

Outspoken defensive back Jalen Ramsey offended some Jacksonville Jaguars fans with a tweet earlier this week suggesting he was looking ahead to playing for a different team down the road.

 

On Thursday, he addressed the comments and insisted he hopes to stay in Jacksonville for the long haul.

 

“When I’m gone from here, y’all gone miss me. I ain’t even trippin lol,” he tweeted Monday.

 

 

 

Ramsey said that comment was meant for “fake fans” and said his position with the team and his future hadn’t changed.

 

“I’ve said multiple times, over and over and over and over and over and over and over again that I want to play for one team my whole career,” he said, per the team’s website.

 

Ramsey is in the final year of his rookie contract and the Jaguars hold a fifth-year option.

 

“If they wanted, they could extend me,” said Ramsey. “And if it’s right, then we’ll get that done and I’ll be here for a number of years. If not, I have a fifth-year option they can pick up and they can franchise me. I mean, I could be here for a while.”

 

The Jaguars (3-6) have lost five straight games and face the 6-2-1 Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

 

–Field Level Media

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Wilson, Seahawks drive past Packers

 

Russell Wilson hit tight end Ed Dickson

 

Russell Wilson hit tight end Ed Dickson for a 15-yard touchdown pass with 5:08 remaining as the Seattle Seahawks rallied from an early double-digit deficit to defeat the visiting Green Bay Packers 27-24 Thursday night.

 

The Seahawks (5-5) snapped a two-game losing streak. The Packers (4-5-1) remained winless in five road games this season.

 

Wilson completed 21 of 31 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns. The Seahawks, who have the best rushing offense in the NFL, added 173 yards on the ground. Chris Carson, who missed the previous game due to a hip injury, led the way with 17 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown.

 

Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers amassed 332 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-30 passing. However, Rodgers was sacked four times on third down in the second half as the Packers managed just three points after the intermission.

 

Packers receiver Davante Adams made 10 receptions for 166 yards.

 

Dickson’s TD catch capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive.

 

The Seahawks’ defense forced Green Bay into a three-and-out on its next possession, and Seattle was able to run out the clock.

 

The Packers took a 21-17 halftime lead, jumping on top when Rodgers hit running back Aaron Jones on a 24-yard scoring strike with 44 seconds left in the second quarter. It was the first time the Seahawks allowed points in the final two minutes of a half this season. Jones had three receptions for 61 yards on the drive.

 

The Seahawks scored two touchdowns in a span of 4:41 in the second quarter to overcome a 14-3 deficit. Wilson found Doug Baldwin in the back corner of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown pass and Carson then ran for a score from 1 yard out. The first drive covered 77 yards in 14 plays and took 7:31 off the clock. The second march was three plays for 70 yards in 1:25.

 

The Packers dominated the first quarter, taking a 14-3 lead.

 

Carson fumbled on the Seahawks’ first play from scrimmage, giving the Packers the ball at the Seattle 29-yard line. Jones capped the three-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown run.

 

A 39-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski cut the margin to 7-3 before Rodgers scrambled to his right to avoid a sack and found fourth-string tight end Robert Tonyan for a 54-yard touchdown pass. It was the rookie’s first career catch.

 

–Field Level Media

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Beckham not backing off Giants winning final 7 games

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. says more than a couple of people scoffed last week when he said the New York Giants could win their final eight games and make the playoffs.

The NFL's highest-paid receiver knew it was a long shot when he made the statement and little has changed since

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. says more than a couple of people scoffed last week when he said the New York Giants could win their final eight games and make the playoffs.

The NFL’s highest-paid receiver knew it was a long shot when he made the statement and little has changed since the Giants beat the San Francisco 49ers 27-23 on Monday night. It’s just seven games now.

Still, Beckham was not backing off the idea Thursday before the Giants (2-7) practiced for Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6).

“I don’t know what makes me not believe it,” Beckham said. “That’s just the goal. Same thing I said before the season, the goal is to win a Super Bowl. It’s always going to win a Super Bowl. If you’re just here to have fun or whatever else, I don’t think you should be here. The goal is to win every game. I’m trying to win. If we play 16, I’m trying to win 16. Win the four in the playoffs, and win the Super Bowl. You never want to lose.

“My mentality is going to be win these last seven games, no matter who believes it or what’s said, or anything like that,” Beckham added. “That’s going to be my goal.”

Coach Pat Shurmur doesn’t mind his players talking about running the table.

“I think he is just giving you his long-range approach,” Shurmur said. “If you ask him, he will tell you he is putting all his energy into playing Tampa. That’s the challenge. We have to stay in the moment. We have to keep the noise out, and that’s the same whether you win or lose a game.”

The Giants have done a lot of losing the past 1½ seasons. They have won five of 25 games and not won two straight since December 2016.

Still, the upcoming schedule is not horrible. The Giants don’t have games against any of the NFL’s dominant teams: the Rams, Chiefs, Saints, Chargers, Patriots or Steelers.

Of the seven games left, Chicago (6-3), Washington (6-3) and Tennessee (5-4) have winning records. Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Dallas are 4-5, although the Eagles and Cowboys beat the Giants this season.

So there is a chance, slim as it may be.

“I don’t think it’s crazy to think that way at all,” rookie running back Saquon Barkley said. “I think that’s what we all feel in this locker room, we all feel on this team. We’re more than capable of doing that, but we’re not naïve to the fact that it’s a long season and you can’t really think, oh, we got to win eight games, because that’s not the mindset. That’s what we want to do, but the mindset is taking care of every single day and every single game, one day at a time.”

NOTES: Running back Jonathan Stewart, who has been on injured reserve since Sept. 28 with a foot injury, has been designated for return/returned to practice. The Giants have until Dec. 6 to decide to either activate him or keep him on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. He is not eligible to return to the active roster until Nov. 26.

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After taxing stretch, Brady to use bye to recharge, improve

BOSTON (AP) — If his 19th NFL season has been at all more taxing than any of the previous 18, Tom Brady isn't willing to say so.

Even if his play on the field through the Patriots' first 10 games this season might suggest otherwise.

Last season, at age 40 Brady became the oldest player

BOSTON (AP) — If his 19th NFL season has been at all more taxing than any of the previous 18, Tom Brady isn’t willing to say so.

Even if his play on the field through the Patriots’ first 10 games this season might suggest otherwise.

Last season, at age 40 Brady became the oldest player in NFL history to earn regular-season MVP honors.

A year later, he finds himself in the throes of some his worst passing numbers in three seasons as the Patriots head into their bye week. What’s unclear is whether it’s an aberration or perhaps the first subtle signs of decline for the 41-year-old quarterback.

It’s not as if Brady is having a disastrous year. Despite coming off a humbling 34-10 loss to Tennessee , New England still enters its bye with a 7-3 record and is on its way to capturing its 10th straight AFC East title.

Brady is still completing 65 percent of his passes and has 17 touchdowns. He’s done it despite having to break in new players in the receiving group, dealing with injuries at running back and seeing tight end Rob Gronkowski battle ankle and back injuries.

“We just haven’t had that, I would say, overall consistency and the ability to practice together,” Brady said. “That’s not an excuse. … A lot of teams deal with injuries and moving parts and bringing different people in. That’s just part of football. But we’re trying to adjust and adapt like everyone else. Some weeks it’s been better than others.”

In recent years Brady has typically shrugged off questions about his health or any injuries he might be dealing with. It included him famously wearing a glove during the playoffs last season to shield the extent of a cut he sustained on his throwing hand prior to the AFC championship game.

That same, guarded posture has extended to all inquiries about whether any of the hits he’s taken this season have affected his performance.

Asked Wednesday about how he was feeling physically heading into the bye week, Brady smiled before saying, “Pretty good, pretty good.”

“Some bumps and bruises, but I think that’s part of football season and I feel pretty good,” he added.

There’s definitely been more hiccups that usual in the passing game for the Patriots.

In his first seven games this season, Brady had a passer rating of 100 or greater five times, while completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing for 16 touchdowns. He did it despite being sacked nine times during those games and tossing seven interceptions.

He hasn’t thrown any picks over the Patriots’ past three games, but he’s been sacked seven additional times. He’s also thrown just one TD pass and seen his completion rate drop to 59 percent with a passer rating of 85.1.

Brady is also being asked to do more outside of the pocket, serving as a blocker on trick plays and even catching a pass during the loss to the Titans. And because of New England’s injury issues at running back, Brady’s number has been called more often for quarterback sneaks.

“I think we’re certainly aware of that, but there’s certain things that I think you have to do sometimes to win the game,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.

Belichick said he doesn’t believe they are putting more of a load on Brady than they think he can handle.

“We’ll just have to evaluate those things going forward. Not looking to do an excessive amount of them, that’s for sure, but if there’s a situational play or something that comes up, then I think we’d consider it,” Belichick said. “Quarterbacks get hit in the pocket and quarterbacks scramble and a lot of people converge on them in a hurry. So, nobody knows that better than Tom does.”

Running back James White said the onus on protecting Brady extends across the entire offense. That includes better blitz pickup by everyone.

“Definitely need to be better just communicating and when we do — when we are on the same page — do a better job of getting Tom enough time to read the coverage out and if he decides to hold the ball, still give him enough time to do that, too,” White said.

Brady said he’ll be using the time off to recharge going into the stretch run of the regular season.

“We’ve had a lot of weeks of football and we’ve got some really important ones coming up,” he said. “So hopefully we can learn from the things that have happened over the course of the season and use them to our advantage moving forward.”

He said improvement must come across the board.

“The reality is for the quarterback, I can do what I can do and I need to shore things up with what I can do,” Brady said. “I don’t think any player’s really satisfied. I think we’re all looking to get better and improve and we have some opportunity to do that.”

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Baker’s boys: Mayfield has Browns believing dark days over

CLEVELAND (AP) — The losing has slowed, but hasn't stopped for the ever-rebuilding Browns. They're in the midst of yet another coaching search, and the NFL playoffs will come and go without them again this season — the 16th straight postseason since their most recent appearance.

But as Cleveland hit its bye week, and with

CLEVELAND (AP) — The losing has slowed, but hasn’t stopped for the ever-rebuilding Browns. They’re in the midst of yet another coaching search, and the NFL playoffs will come and go without them again this season — the 16th straight postseason since their most recent appearance.

But as Cleveland hit its bye week, and with six games left in another season going nowhere, optimism abounds around a franchise that has had little to celebrate over the past 25 years.

The dark days of despair are dwindling.

Baker Mayfield is making them go away.

The fearless rookie quarterback with the contagious personality, touchdown-making skills and trash-talking bravado, has the Browns — and their long-suffering fans — believing.

“It’s not everything, but it’s everything,” guard Joel Bitonio said with a smile when asked about Mayfield’s magnetism and positive influence. “You’ve got to have a quarterback to win in the NFL and it hasn’t been perfect, but to have him out there with you, there’s always that hope that, ‘Hey, we have a chance to win this game.'”

The No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, Mayfield is changing the Browns (3-6-1) with his actions on and off the field. He’s already endured years of chaos in just 10 games as Cleveland has changed coaches, traded its top playmaker (Josh Gordon) and leading rusher (Carlos Hyde), suffered numerous injuries and a few of those punch-in-the stomach losses that the Browns have seemingly mastered.

But every time the Browns have taken a hard hit, Mayfield has responded with one of his own.

“We’ve got a quarterback who knows how to fight,” said defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. “You want to play for a guy like that who inspires you. He comes to the defensive side of the ball like, ‘Hey, we’re still in this. Just give me one more chance out there.’ Guys on defense love that. They love a quarterback who can go out there and make a promise and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got your back.'”

Mayfield, who has gotten better every week, hasn’t won the respect of his teammates. He’s earned it.

The Browns didn’t hand the starting job to Mayfield, who began the season in a backup role before starter Tyrod Taylor suffered a concussion in Week 3 against the New York Jets on national TV. Mayfield came in and led the Browns to their first win since 2016, snapping a 19-game winless streak and providing a preview of bigger things to come.

It hasn’t been perfect so far. Mayfield has made his share of rookie mistakes, forcing passes, holding onto the ball too long, missing open receivers. But in the past four games, Mayfield has completed 69 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Despite winning the Heisman Trophy and going 33-6 as a starter at Oklahoma, Mayfield wasn’t considered the top prospect in this year’s ballyhooed rookie QB class, which includes Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen. Mayfield was too short, too cocky, too much a product of Sooners coach Lincoln Riley’s system.

Well, Mayfield has outperformed the other rookies across the board.

“He’s developing as a quarterback,” said Browns general manager John Dorsey, the man who went out on a limb and picked Mayfield. “He is still a rookie quarterback. He has demonstrated certain things during the course of a game that get you excited. I think that if you would ask him as a person, he still has a lot more football to master the position that he plays. I think he will continue to do that.”

Last week, after being encouraged by interim coach Gregg Williams and his teammates to “cut it loose and play,” Mayfield delivered the signature performance and victory of his fledgling pro career.

He completed his first 13 passes, finished 17 of 20 with three touchdown passes and outplayed Atlanta quarterback and 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan as the Browns ended a four-game losing streak with a 28-16 win.

Following the game, Mayfield smiled and said he woke up “feeling dangerous” before de-feathering the Falcons, who had their playoff hopes severely shaken.

The comment might have come off as cocky to some, but it was Mayfield at his playful and bragging best, displaying the swagger that made him a college superstar and has endeared him to his Cleveland teammates.

Make no mistake, at 23 and only 10 games into his NFL life, Mayfield is the Browns’ undisputed leader, the tone-setter.

“He’s taken the role head-first, never looking back,” said rookie running back Nick Chubb, who rushed for 176 yards in the win. “He brings that energy and burst that we need. This team will follow him anywhere. He is just a great leader, and you know no matter what is going on around us or outside noise just the bad stuff that has not gone well for us, he is going to give us all 100 percent and he is not going to let it affect him.

“We like that in our quarterback and our leader, and he is fiercely competitive. He gives 100 percent every play. Just being on the team with him, everyone just likes it and loves him and loves who he is.”

The praise from Chubb and others fuel him.

“To me, there is nothing better than that,” Mayfield said. “As a quarterback, and as somebody that wants to be a leader of this team, it does not get better than that.”

In Cleveland, things are getting a lot better.

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Jalen Ramsey wants to spend career with Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Regardless of his rant on social media, Jalen Ramsey would love to spend his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

And the chatty cornerback has a video game to prove it.

"I play Madden all the time. I play with the Jags," Ramsey said Thursday. "I don't trade myself. I don't make

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Regardless of his rant on social media, Jalen Ramsey would love to spend his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

And the chatty cornerback has a video game to prove it.

“I play Madden all the time. I play with the Jags,” Ramsey said Thursday. “I don’t trade myself. I don’t make any trades on the team. I play with the Jags. I lose a couple times, but I bounce back. I always bounce back. But I play with the Jags.”

Frustration is starting to surface for the Jaguars (3-6), who bolstered big hopes from reaching the AFC title game last year by starting 3-1. They haven’t won since then, and their fifth straight loss last week to the Indianapolis Colts was marked by missed assignments and blown coverages.

At least one of them belonged to Ramsey, the Pro Bowl cornerback who was supposed to drop in coverage and instead played man defense as tight end Eric Ebron ran free for a 53-yard touchdown catch.

The following morning, Ramsey took to Twitter to vent about the negative blowback in Jacksonville.

“When I’m gone from here, y’all gone miss me. I ain’t even trippin,” it said.

Ramsey, a first-round pick in 2016, still has another year on his contract with an option that would take him through 2020. And he hopes it would go longer than that.

“I’ve said multiple times … that I want to play with one team my whole career,” Ramsey said.

He also hasn’t removed the tweet or backed away from it.

Pressed to explain what he meant, Ramsey said it was directed to the “fake fans.”

“We bring some good things,” he said. “And yeah, we slipped up here recently, not executed and played like we know we can. But like, whoever — the fake fans, y’all, whoever — if y’all want to jump ship, then it is what it is. But y’all going to miss us when we either gone or when stuff (is) back popping. We don’t want y’all no more.”

The Jaguars are on the verge of popping themselves out of any shot at the postseason, trailing Houston by three games in the AFC South, winless since Sept. 30. Next up are the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose fifth straight victory was a 55-21 dismantling of the Carolina Panthers a week ago Thursday night.

Ramsey, in an interview with GQ last year, said he was more impressed with receiver Antonio Brown than quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who he referred to as “decent at best” and that Roethlisberger “really disappointed me” the two times the Jaguars beat the Steelers, including the AFC divisional playoff.

With a chance to return the favor, Roethlisberger didn’t nibble when asked about Ramsey.

“He’s a guy that you have to understand where he is and who he’s covering and be smart,” Roethlisberger said. “I am not going to fear anybody — I don’t care who they are. But you respect it, for sure.”

The trick for Ramsey and the rest of the Jaguars’ secondary is to look smart by knowing who they’re supposed to be covering. Ramsey attributed the blown assignment against the Colts to not hearing the call from the other side of the field.

Whether it’s communication or formation, Ramsey is more interested in a solution.

“Not saying we don’t care about the fans being frustrated, but we’re frustrated in here,” he said. “Y’all think we just walking around and we happy about what’s been happening lately? We’re not. We’re still trying to figure out a way that we can fix it.”

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NFL Week 11 Football Props: Seahawks vs. Packers

Seattle's season has been pretty straightforward: against good teams, they lose, and against bad teams (at or below 50% wins) the win. They've put together some impressive games against the Rams, losing by only one score and putting up 31 points in each contest. Each of their losses have been by 1 score, so they've

Seattle’s season has been pretty straightforward: against good teams, they lose, and against bad teams (at or below 50% wins) the win. They’ve put together some impressive games against the Rams, losing by only one score and putting up 31 points in each contest. Each of their losses have been by 1 score, so they’ve never really been out of the games they play. Their 4 wins have come against the Cowboys, Cardinals, Raiders and Lions- all with losing records. They are 3-3 on the road, and 1-2 at home.

The Packers sit in a similar position. 3 of their 4 losses have come agains the Patriots, Redskins and Rams- all teams that lead their divisions. What separates them from Seattle, is the fact that they are 0-4 on the road, and 4-0-1 at home. Tonight’s matchup in Seattle doesn’t bode well for Green Bay if this season’s trend is any sort of indicator.

Another interesting thing to note is that since 2012 (the Fail Mary game), every matchup between Seattle and Green Bay has resulted in the home team winning (playoffs included).

Alternate lines are available at Sugar House Sportsbook if you live in the state of New Jersey.

Seahawks vs. Packers Props


Martin is a data analyst that has been applauded for his ability to make the complex simple. He grew up on a farm in northern Vermont and spent his summers helping his mom lead llama treks at Smugglers’ Notch Resort.

Martin graduated from University of Vermont with a degree in Mathematics. After graduation he left Vermont to work for an educational nonprofit called City Year for two years, and followed that up by attending the data science immersive program at Galvanize in Denver. He is an avid Green Bay Packer fan, and spends his free time playing football and soccer.

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Super Bowl 53 Odds: Updated for Week 11

Key takeaways from week 10:

  • Rams Saints and Chiefs are favorites to win Super Bowl 53
  • Patriots fall from the top 3
  • Raiders have the lowest odds at 2500/1
  • Biggest jump: Cleveland Browns (+50%)
  • Biggest drop: Arizona Cardinals (-150%)
  • No change: Broncos, Bills, 49ers (0%)

Super Bowl 53 Odds

Key takeaways from week 10:

  • Rams Saints and Chiefs are favorites to win Super Bowl 53
  • Patriots fall from the top 3
  • Raiders have the lowest odds at 2500/1
  • Biggest jump: Cleveland Browns (+50%)
  • Biggest drop: Arizona Cardinals (-150%)
  • No change: Broncos, Bills, 49ers (0%)

Super Bowl 53 Odds

Martin is a data analyst that has been applauded for his ability to make the complex simple. He grew up on a farm in northern Vermont and spent his summers helping his mom lead llama treks at Smugglers’ Notch Resort.

Martin graduated from University of Vermont with a degree in Mathematics. After graduation he left Vermont to work for an educational nonprofit called City Year for two years, and followed that up by attending the data science immersive program at Galvanize in Denver. He is an avid Green Bay Packer fan, and spends his free time playing football and soccer.

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Ballin’ on a Budget Week 11 Picks

We're starting to pick games with some swagger now. Being well in the black is nice, so let's keep the good times rolling. The lines are set pretty well this week, which makes our jobs a little tougher. There aren't a ton of spreads to like, but we picked out the three you

We’re starting to pick games with some swagger now. Being well in the black is nice, so let’s keep the good times rolling. The lines are set pretty well this week, which makes our jobs a little tougher. There aren’t a ton of spreads to like, but we picked out the three you should be able to bank on the most. As far as over/unders, we have one over and one under for you.

Panthers -4.5 at Lions (-110)

Carolina has never burned us before, right? Just kidding, we took them +4 against the Steelers in a game they lost 52-21 last week. That was the only pick we got wrong in Week 10. Even though they’re on the road, there’s plenty of reason to believe they’re a prime bounceback candidate, just like another team we’ll talk about in a minute.

The Panthers have everything to play for with an NFC Wild Card berth well within their grasp. Detroit, meanwhile, has spiraled into free fall and it seems like head coach Matt Patricia may already have lost that locker room. They waved the white flag the moment they traded Golden Tate and there’s no reason to believe they should be competitive. Detroit is 3-6, but two of those wins have come against the Patriots and Packers, so who knows, but the percentages tell us Carolina wins this game handily. The bet: $4 for total payout of $7.60.

Falcons -3 vs. Cowboys (-120)

This is our biggest lock of the week. Atlanta is another prime bounceback candidate after randomly getting blown out by the Browns last week. They’re in desperation mode and at home. Yes, the Cowboys’ defense presents some issues for the offense, but Dak Prescott simply isn’t going to outgun Matt Ryan on his home field. It’s not happening.

If the Falcons hope to have any prayer of sneaking into the playoffs, they basically need to win every single one from here on out. Unless Dallas comes out with a crazy effort like they did against the Jaguars several weeks ago, it just doesn’t seem plausible for them to grab this road win. If you’re going to bank on any one of these picks this week, make it this one. The bet: $8 for total payout of $14.66.

Broncos +7.5 at Chargers (-120)

Even as I’m typing this, I don’t feel great about this pick, but the Broncos are a competent enough team to cover a multiple-score spread. Of course, that’s what this is. If Denver loses by a touchdown, they cover. The Chargers have been great this season and have flown under the radar, but they generally don’t score points in bunches.

Expect the Broncos to hang around at least for a bit and then we can hope they keep the game within a touchdown. It might be wishful thinking, but it’s our best bet amongst a group of other less promising spreads this week. The bet: $2 for total payout of $3.67.

Packers-Seahawks OVER 49.5 (-110)

This is a matchup of desperate teams. The Packers are 4-4-1, the Seahawks 4-5. The loser will start to slip out of the playoff picture entirely. Since the game is in Seattle, expect that to level the playing field a bit. These aren’t your older brother’s Seahawks, whose defense struck fear into their opponents. Green Bay’s defense, especially without Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the secondary is vulnerable as well.

When betting over/unders, you essentially need to guess what the game flow is going to be. This certainly seems like it will be a close game that is relatively high scoring. A 30-20 final score would get us our over and that seems perfectly reasonable for how we expect this game to go. It’s not our most confident pick, but it’s a pretty decent bet. The bet: $2 for total payout of $3.80.

Titans-Colts UNDER 49 (-110)

This one is dangerous with the Colts’ offense able to go off at any time, but hey, if the Titans can hold the Patriots defense at bay, they can do the same with the Colts. It’s actually looking more and more like Tennessee has a legit defense, capable of shutting an opponent down. Their offense, while it looked its best all season against New England, is still a work in progress.

All that adds up to a relatively low scoring game, one that keeps us under that 49-point mark. Would anyone be surprised if this game ended 20-17 or somewhere right around there? This over/under seems set really high, so jump on the under in anticipation of a low-scoring game. The bet: $4 for total payout of $7.60.

As always, our pipe dream of 5-0 is on the table. We’ve had two 4-1 weeks in our last four, so we’re getting closer. If we nailed all these picks, our parlay payout would be $467.49. We’re going to ride our current hot streak and hope we can get a clean sweep for you this week. Best of luck in Week 11 and we will debrief after the weekend’s action is over. 

Jacob Kornhauser is a sports reporter in Southern Oregon covering all sports, including Oregon and Oregon State athletics. He has been a national baseball writer for Bleacher Report and Rant Sports and has written two baseball books. He also specializes in sports betting analysis. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School.

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Panthers defense aims to put ‘humbling’ loss behind them

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Thomas Davis said Carolina's most recent loss could turn out to be a positive for the Panthers moving forward.

That's why Davis thanked Steelers coach Mike Tomlin at midfield for "humbling" the Panthers after his team put up 52 points on Carolina's once-vaunted defense last Thursday night.

The 13-year NFL veteran

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Thomas Davis said Carolina’s most recent loss could turn out to be a positive for the Panthers moving forward.

That’s why Davis thanked Steelers coach Mike Tomlin at midfield for “humbling” the Panthers after his team put up 52 points on Carolina’s once-vaunted defense last Thursday night.

The 13-year NFL veteran explained Wednesday that the embarrassing performance might have been just what Carolina (6-3) needed to regain its focus on defense, for players to get on the same page and make a playoff run beginning this Sunday when the Panthers visit the Lions.

“If you are true competitor, you want to bounce back and you want to do something about it,” Davis said. “I’m a competitor and I want to get that taste out of my mouth.”

The Panthers have been a perennial top 10 defense since middle linebacker Luke Kuechly’s arrival in 2012, making their performance against Pittsburgh all that much more surprising. The Steelers scored on seven of their first eight possessions; the only time they failed to do so was when they took a knee before halftime to run out the clock.

“It’s not something that happens a lot around here,” Kuechly said of surrendering 52 points.

Things have gone so well for Carolina on defense in recent years that the last two coordinators left to take head coaching jobs — Sean McDermott in Buffalo and Steve Wilks in Arizona.

But things aren’t going so well for Eric Washington, Carolina’s third defensive coordinator in three seasons.

The Panthers are 15th in the league overall and 31st in red zone defense.

Washington said a “myriad of things” went wrong against the Steelers.

“We had execution issues,” said Washington, the team’s defensive line coach from 2011-2017. “… We have calls, we have leverage, we have gap responsibility. We have things that we have to do from one down to the next in terms of our assignment. And we did not get that done.”

Washington’s body of work as a defensive line coach was impressive.

Since 2012, the Panthers have more gotten more sacks from their defensive linemen (234) than any team in the league. So for the Panthers to have only 22 sacks this season is disappointing to him.

“We’re his pride and joy,” defensive tackle Kawann Short said. “That’s one of those things where he demands more out of us, and he knows what every guy in that room is capable of.”

The Panthers didn’t watch game film from Steelers loss as a team, instead electing to move on to preparations for Detroit. But Short said it feels like players are trying to do too much on their own instead of playing as a team.

“We just need to light our hair on fire, and just go,” Short said.

Washington called the Steelers game an “anomaly,” guaranteeing the Panthers will rectify their problems.

When players returned from a long weekend off he reminded them of this team’s long-standing identity as a defensive power, as well as the amount of talent in the locker room. Along with defensive end Julius Peppers, Kuechly has a chance to be a Hall of Famer.

“We have a high opinion of what we should be able to do every time we step on the football field,” Washington said.

Kuechly said now it’s time to focus on Detroit.

“One game doesn’t define a season,” Kuechly said. “And I don’t think you can waste time thinking about something in the past when you play a good team this week.”

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