The Latest: Chiefs’ Mahomes throws TD pass to Tyreek Hill

The Latest on the NFL’s first Sunday of the regular season (all times eastern):

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4:35 p.m.

Patrick Mahomes has thrown his first touchdown pass as Kansas City’s starter, giving the Chiefs a 14-3 lead over the Los Angeles Chargers.

With a big helping hand from Tyreek Hill on his second TD of the game.

Mahomes threw a short pass to Hill, who went 57 yards for the score. Hill caught the pass at the Chargers 47 and eluded a diving tackle by Jahleel Addae as he found a seam up the left sideline. It is Hill’s second touchdown of the first quarter after he had a 91-yard punt return.

Mahomes, who was the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft, was 3 for 3 for 68 yards.

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4:30 p.m.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is back in the game after leaving for a play early in the third quarter against the Dolphins.

Mariota appeared to injure his right hand when hit by defensive lineman William Hayes after handing off. Mariota was treated by a trainer, walked off the field and was replaced by Blaine Gabbert with Miami leading 7-3. Gabbert threw incomplete on third down. Mariota returned for the start of the Titans’ next series, and he was intercepted.

That was the second of injuries over three plays for Tennessee. Adoree Jackson hurt his right shoulder at the end of a punt return out near midfield and went to the locker room. Jackson is questionable to return.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

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4:15 p.m.

The Kansas City Chiefs put up their first points of the season very quickly.

Tyreek Hill took a Drew Kaser punt 91 yards for a touchdown just a minute and 57 seconds into their opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hill fielded the punt near the right hash mark, then quickly found an opening near the left sideline and was gone. It is Hill’s fourth punt return for a touchdown in 32 games over three seasons.

The Chiefs lead the NFL in punt returns for TDs since 2013 with seven.

— Joe Reedy reporting from Los Angeles

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4:10 p.m.

It didn’t take long for the Kansas City Chiefs to get their first points of the season. Tyreek Hill took a Drew Kaser punt 91 yards for a touchdown a minute and 57 seconds into their opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hill fielded the punt near the right hashmark but quickly found an opening near the left sideline and was gone. It is Hill’s fourth punt return for a touchdown in 32 games over three seasons.

The Chiefs lead the league in punt returns since 2013 with seven.

4:10 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins finally are getting back to their game in full sunshine after a nearly 2-hour delay for lightning in the area.

Officials suspended the game at 2:13 p.m. ET with 1:11 left in the first half and the Titans on offense. Miami has a 7-3 lead.

The teams were poised to return after only an hour only to have lightning in the area push back the restart until 4:10 p.m.

The opener for the NFL season featured a 45-minute delay to the first kickoff between the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles and Atlanta Falcons in Philadelphia.

Weather in Charlotte also has pushed back the opening kickoff between Carolina and the Dallas Cowboys. Kickoff has been pushed back 10 minutes until 4:35 p.m.

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3:30 p.m.

It’s already Josh Allen time for the Buffalo Bills.

Nathan Peterman has been pulled from his third NFL start after failing to mount any offense for the Bills against the Baltimore Ravens.

Peterman was yanked with Baltimore leading 40-0 in the third quarter. He was 5 for 18 for 24 yards with two interceptions.

He was replaced by Allen, the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft. The Bills traded up five spots to draft him at the highest spot Buffalo has ever selected a quarterback.

Allen drove the Bills for a field goal on his second series.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore

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3:20 p.m.

Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas will start against the Denver Broncos just four days after ending his holdout after it failed to produce a new contract or a trade.

Thomas made it through his first week of practice with no issues after holding out of training camp while seeking an extension or a trade. His deal expires after the 2018 season.

He’ll start in place of Tedric Thompson at free safety.

The Seahawks activated Thomas to their 53-man roster Saturday when they placed cornerback Dontae Johnson on injured reserve. He hurt his groin during practice last week.

Johnson was expected to start at right cornerback. The Seahawks didn’t announce who would start in his place, rookie Tre Flowers or veteran Neiko Thorpe.

— AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver

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3:19 p.m.

New England Patriots running back Jeremy Hill has been ruled out against Houston after suffering a knee injury early in the second half.

Hill’s injury occurred on a second-down play with 12:09 remaining in the third quarter that ended in a Patriots’ turnover, with tight end Rob Gronkowski fumbling the ball near midfield after reeling in a 25-yard catch from Tom Brady.

He was helped off the field and evaluated in the medical tent before returning to the locker room. He had four carries for 25 yards and was credited with a partial punt block late in the first half.

The 25-year-old joined the Patriots in free agency this past offseason after spending his first four NFL seasons with Cincinnati.

New England led 21-6 at the time of Hill’s injury.

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3:12 p.m.

Never one to shy away from a fashion statement, Panthers QB Cam Newton wore brown cleats with a silver “sheriff’s star,” taking on a very old Western theme during pre-game warmups against the Cowboys.

Newton can’t wear the cleats during the game, but is allowed to wear what he wants to pre-game warmups.

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

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3:05 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins are expected to resume their game after a 77-minute delay because of lightning in the area.

The teams went to their locker rooms while play was suspended with Miami leading 7-3. First, the game was expected to be resumed at 3:10 p.m., and that now has been pushed back to 3:32 p.m. local time.

The game will resume with 1:11 left in the first half and the Titans on offense. Halftime is to be shortened to 6½ minutes.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

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3:00 p.m.

Joe Flacco has just thrown his third touchdown pass, and he’s made sure to hit each of the free agent receivers the Ravens signed during the offseason.

Willie Snead caught a 13-yarder in the third quarter to make it 33-0 over Buffalo. Flacco previously connected with newcomers John Brown and Michael Crabtree.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore

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2:55 p.m.

For the first time in franchise history, the Carolina Panthers have their team logo painted at midfield of Bank of America Stadium.

New owner David Tepper made the decision to use the Panthers black and blue logo after purchasing the team in July from Jerry Richardson, the team’s founder and first owner.

The Panthers always had the NFL “shield” at midfield —per Richardson’s orders— since they began play as an expansion franchise in 1995.

The Panthers host the Cowboys in their season opener.

— Steve Reed reporting in Charlotte, North Carolina

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2:30 p.m.

Andrew Luck’s first half was just about as good as it can get after throwing an interception on his first official pass.

The Colts quarterback finished the half 20 of 25 with 170 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Plus, he marched the Colts 43 yards in 1 minute, 42 seconds to set up Adam Vinatieri for his third goal of the half, a 51-yarder, to give Indy a 16-10 lead.

Luck is back after missing more than 20 months with an injured shoulder.

Vinatieri needs four more field goals to break Morten Andersen’s league record of 565.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis

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2:15 p.m.

Weather has delayed another NFL game, this time in Miami between the Tennessee Titans and Dolphins.

The game was suspended with 1:11 left in the second quarter because of lightning in the area. The teams went to the locker room — with the sun shining. Rain fell earlier, and there was also thunder in the area. Miami led 7-3.

Weather delayed kickoff 45 minutes for the season opener Thursday night between the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles and Atlanta in Philadelphia.

— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

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1:55 p.m.

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has a hamstring injury.

Fournette already has nine carries for 41 yards, and he led Jacksonville last season as a rookie with 1,040 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.

He caught a pass on the play before the Jaguars’ last series and was being stretched out on the sideline when the Giants had the ball.

— Tom Canavan reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey

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1:55 p.m.

Panthers three-time tight end Greg Olsen (back) appears to be ready for Carolina’s game with the Dallas Cowboys.

Olsen was added to the team’s injury report on Saturday after practicing full all week. Asked Sunday if he expects Olsen to play, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney replied “as far as I know.”

— Steve Reed reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina

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1:50 p.m.

Houston Texans right tackle Seantrel Henderson has left the game against New England with a left ankle injury.

Patriots defensive lineman Keionta Davis landed on Henderson’s ankle while trying to rush quarterback Deshaun Watson. Henderson was tended to on the field for a few minutes and then walked off under his own power.

After the training staff looked at him on the sideline, Henderson was helped onto a cart, hopping on his right leg, and driven into the tunnel beneath the stands.

It was a few plays after Houston defensive lineman Christian Covington needed medical attention. He is questionable to return with a thigh injury, according to the Texans.

— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.

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1:40 p.m.

Kirk Cousins has thrown his 100th career touchdown pass and his first for the Minnesota Vikings.

The new quarterback found Stefon Diggs in single coverage by San Francisco cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon on a fade route on third-and-3 from 22 yards out in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The ball was perfectly placed along the edge of the end zone to give the Vikings a 10-0 lead over the 49ers.

Cousins spent the first six seasons of his career with Washington. He signed a three-year, $84 million, fully guaranteed contract with Minnesota in March.

— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis

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1:26 p.m.

Andrew Luck is getting off to a bit of a rocky start in his return for the Indianapolis Colts.

After receiving a loud ovation during introductions, Luck made it onto the field for his first regular-season series in more than 20 months at the Bengals 7.

It didn’t last long.

Following a first-down run, rookie guard Quenton Nelson was called for a hold. On second-and-14 from the Bengals 14, Luck was picked off by linebacker Preston Brown on his first official pass since returning from shoulder surgery.

It got worse. Cincinnati Bengals safety Shawn Williams has been ejected after making a helmet to helmet hit on Luck. The Colts quarterback ran for 7 yards before being hit in the head by Williams while being tackled.

Luck did not leave the game.

— Michael Marot reporting from Indianapolis.

___

1:05 p.m.

The Ravens and Bills kicked off a new season on a wet field.

It’s been raining in the Baltimore area all weekend, at times heavily. Throw in a stiff wind and temperatures dipping below 60 degrees, and it’s as if this game was taking place in the middle of the season.

The Ravens are seeking to improve their record in openers under coach John Harbaugh to 8-3. Baltimore has won 18 of its last 20 home games in September.

This is the third career start for Buffalo quarterback Nathan Peterman, who enters with a career QB rating of 38.4.

— Dave Ginsburg reporting from Baltimore.

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1:10 p.m.

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson are the only NFL players seen kneeling during the national anthem of early games in protest of police brutality and social injustice.

Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist, and San Francisco wide receiver Marquise Goodwin raised his right arm with fist clenched during the anthem in New Orleans.

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith Jr. stood during the national anthem after staying in the locker room for “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the preseason before playing the New York Giants.

Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews also was on the sideline after staying in the tunnel or locker room during the anthem much of last season.

___

10:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted his disapproval of the NFL on Sunday morning before the first full slate of games.

The president has criticized players for their demonstrations protesting social injustice during the national anthem, and the league for not requiring players to be on the sideline at attention when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played.

He made reference to lower ratings on NBC in Thursday night’s season opener in which Super Bowl champion Philadelphia beat Atlanta 18-12.

“Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison,” Trump tweeted. “Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!”

The NFL unilaterally passed a policy requiring players to stand at attention for the anthem or to stay in the locker room or in the tunnel under the stands. When that policy met with heavy criticism, it was put on hold while the league and players’ association discussed other options. Those discussions are continuing.

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

Shurmur non-committal on Eli Manning as Giants’ starter

Shurmur non-committal on Eli Manning as Giants' starter

Clamoring

Shurmur non-committal on Eli Manning as Giants’ starter

Clamoring for first-round pick Daniel Jones is intense in New York, and Giants head coach Pat Shurmur did nothing to douse fans ready to see Eli Manning unseated as the starting quarterback.

Speaking Monday at his post mortem press conference after the Giants fell to 0-2, Shurmur didn’t commit to Manning as the starting quarterback for Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1).

“He’s been our starter to this point. I’m not ready to talk about that,” Shurmur said Monday afternoon, adding that the Giants would talk about “everything” moving forward.

“I think that’s fair at this point. To this point what we’ve done hasn’t been good enough.”

Jones was selected with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He sparkled in the preseason, setting up a potential in-season conflict with Manning. Jones was 29-for-34 passing for 416 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions over four preseason games.

“The motivation is to win. Nothing more than that,” Manning said at his locker Monday after being informed of Shurmur’s message. ” … Nothing changes.”

After a loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Shurmur did not want to consider Jones as part of the game plan against the Buccaneers this week. But he shifted course again Monday.

Manning credited the Bills for causing the Giants into long third downs.

“When you’re 0-2, there’s pressure on everybody. You can’t have that affect you. I’ve got to make better throws, better plays, find ways to convert on third downs. That’s the quarterback’s job,” Manning said Sunday, adding that there is some frustration with the team starting 0-2.

“It’s not how you want to start. We’ve got to keep fighting, find ways to play better football. I know we can play better. i know we can do better than what we are,” he said.

Manning was without wide receivers Sterling Shepard (concussion) and Cody Latimer, who entered concussion protocol on Sunday.

“I thought a couple receivers, new guys who’ve been here just a couple of weeks, made some plays,” Manning said.

–Field Level Media

Read More 291 Words

Film Study: Good, bad and ugly of Packers’ offense

Film Study: Good, bad and ugly of Packers' offense

For

Film Study: Good, bad and ugly of Packers’ offense

For 17 minutes Sunday, the offense of the Green Bay Packers looked unstoppable against Mike Zimmer’s vaunted Minnesota Vikings defense.

The Packers gained 198 yards on 22 plays (9.0 yards per play) — scoring three straight touchdowns to lead 21-0 — and reached the Minnesota 28 on their fourth drive.

Then Geronimo Allison fumbled, and Green Bay didn’t score again. The Packers totaled 137 yards over their final 47 plays (2.9 average), punting eight times.

What the heck happened?

The good:

-Run game

The final numbers weren’t eye-popping (144 yards on 33 carries, 4.4 average), but the Packers’ ground game was extremely steady. Of 33 runs, 17 gained at least 4 yards and 24 gained at least 2.

Instead of the Vikings’ touted D-line pinning its ears back, the Packers’ front dictated tempo, getting consistent push in Matt LaFleur’s zone scheme. They excelled sealing the backside to open cutback lanes, and rookie Elgton Jenkins — rotating with Lane Taylor at left guard — brought extra pop.

Even in obvious running situations, Green Bay’s front got push. All six rushes on the final drive gained yardage, totaling 25 critical yards to bleed clock, a rarity against a defense selling out vs. run.

-LaFleur’s script

LaFleur’s opening script was the primary reason for the Packers’ roaring start, starting with a staple play-action deep shot with a twist to attack Minnesota.

As Marquez Valdes-Scantling ran a shallow cross, Davante Adams started a typical deeper crosser from the other side. But after initially stemming inside, Adams broke to the corner, fooling safety Harrison Smith and coming wide open in the Cover-2 void. It was perfect for Zimmer’s split-safety coverages (Cover-2 and Cover-4) and gained 39 yards.

LaFleur committed to play-action much heavier than in Week 1. Just as important, the offensive line sold play-action better, driving off the ball low — to simulate run-blocking — after several unconvincing reps in Chicago.

LaFleur also built plays off each other with a purpose. He tried two play-action deep shots with Adams actually breaking inward, drawing a 25-yard interference penalty and just missing a big play (more on that below) on another.

He also installed a two-RB package (called “pony”) with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, creating the opening TD. On the game’s second snap, Jones went in jet motion left on a run-pass option for a flare screen, while the O-line blocked a run for Williams to the right. Rodgers hit Jones for 6 yards.

Two plays later, Green Bay showed the same exact look and motion, but Rodgers faked the flare and flipped a screen to Williams, who scurried in for a 15-yard score.

-Rodgers’ accuracy

It sounds obvious, but Rodgers simply threw the ball much better Sunday than in Chicago. He even had gorgeous incompletions, including two deep balls that hit receivers’ hands, both thrown off his back foot with pinpoint ball placement.

The bad:

-Missed opportunities

Both were heavily contested, but Adams and Valdes-Scantling each failed to hang on for gains of 33 and 38 yards, respectively, with the latter on third-and-6 to start the fourth quarter.

Rodgers also had narrow back-to-back misses in the fourth. First, he threw too high for Valdes-Scantling, who couldn’t get his feet down inbounds, preventing an 18-yard gain.

Then, Rodgers threw just behind Jones’ wheel route, allowing Eric Kendricks to bat it away. Placed in front of Jones, it might have been a touchdown, as LaFleur’s design had cleared out that side of the field.

The ugly:

-Self-inflicted wounds

Allison’s fumble was one a critical error, and the Packers also lost the ball late in the first half because Rodgers didn’t realize it was fourth-and-1.

Then after halftime, a fumbled snap set up the Vikings’ second touchdown. Corey Linsley appeared to snap before Rodgers was ready, and it also came out low.

-Untimely pressure

Another drive ended with Danielle Hunter beating Jimmy Graham one-on-one for a sack, a major mismatch. (Jones was set to double-team Hunter, but Kendricks’ blitz superseded that assignment.) LaFleur likely wants that call back.

Elsewhere, typical stalwart left tackle David Bakhtiari followed an up-and-down Week 1 with more leaks in protection. He allowed a hit when late off the snap and permitted bull-rush pressure on several others.

Moving forward:

Coaches never like drops, fumbles or game-management errors, but those are relatively easy fixes. Green Bay’s scheme was sound, creating defined reads to keep Rodgers on-schedule when necessary and allowing him to improvise when appropriate. The offensive line bullied a stout front in the run game, which LaFleur’s scheme is built on.

Those are major reasons for optimism despite Sunday’s drought over the final 43 minutes.

Extra points:

-Like any good schemer, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan certainly watched what other top offenses did in Week 1. Marquise Goodwin’s walk-in touchdown on a leak concept (one of Shanahan’s favorites) was a mirror image of the Chiefs’ Sammy Watkins’ second score in Week 1. Shanahan also ran the same double-pass throwback screen the Patriots used in their opener.

-Chargers running back Austin Ekeler’s 35-yard grab in Detroit on Sunday was just another reminder of how versatile and dangerous he is. Out wide facing a safety (Tracy Walker) in off-man coverage, Ekeler ran a perfect double move, faking a short in-cut before breaking deep and easily snagging a line-drive throw. Few backs have such route-running chops or comfort adjusting to vertical throws.

-Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has long lived and died on aggression, but if he’s not going to be more conservative, he must disguise better. Philadelphia has allowed receivers wide open on post routes — running away from outside-leverage cornerbacks one-on-one — four times already in two games. Two of those, including Calvin Ridley’s touchdown Sunday night, didn’t even feature an Eagles blitz, with the mismatch simply a product of aggressive safety play. That’s too easy for opposing offenses.

–By David DeChant (@DavidDeChant), Field Level Media

Read More 905 Words

Film Study: Good, bad and ugly of Packers’ offense

Film Study: Good, bad and ugly of Packers’ offense

For

Film Study: Good, bad and ugly of Packers’ offense

For 17 minutes Sunday, the offense of the Green Bay Packers looked unstoppable against Mike Zimmer’s vaunted Minnesota Vikings defense.

The Packers gained 198 yards on 22 plays (9.0 yards per play) — scoring three straight touchdowns to lead 21-0 — and reached the Minnesota 28 on their fourth drive.

Then Geronimo Allison fumbled, and Green Bay didn’t score again. The Packers totaled 137 yards over their final 47 plays (2.9 average), punting eight times.

What the heck happened?

The good:

-Run game

The final numbers weren’t eye-popping (144 yards on 33 carries, 4.4 average), but the Packers’ ground game was extremely steady. Of 33 runs, 17 gained at least 4 yards and 24 gained at least 2.

Instead of the Vikings’ touted D-line pinning its ears back, the Packers’ front dictated tempo, getting consistent push in Matt LaFleur’s zone scheme. They excelled sealing the backside to open cutback lanes, and rookie Elgton Jenkins — rotating with Lane Taylor at left guard — brought extra pop.

Even in obvious running situations, Green Bay’s front got push. All six rushes on the final drive gained yardage, totaling 25 critical yards to bleed clock, a rarity against a defense selling out vs. run.

-LaFleur’s script

LaFleur’s opening script was the primary reason for the Packers’ roaring start, starting with a staple play-action deep shot with a twist to attack Minnesota.

As Marquez Valdes-Scantling ran a shallow cross, Davante Adams started a typical deeper crosser from the other side. But after initially stemming inside, Adams broke to the corner, fooling safety Harrison Smith and coming wide open in the Cover-2 void. It was perfect for Zimmer’s split-safety coverages (Cover-2 and Cover-4) and gained 39 yards.

LaFleur committed to play-action much heavier than in Week 1. Just as important, the offensive line sold play-action better, driving off the ball low — to simulate run-blocking — after several unconvincing reps in Chicago.

LaFleur also built plays off each other with a purpose. He tried two play-action deep shots with Adams actually breaking inward, drawing a 25-yard interference penalty and just missing a big play (more on that below) on another.

He also installed a two-RB package (called “pony”) with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, creating the opening TD. On the game’s second snap, Jones went in jet motion left on a run-pass option for a flare screen, while the O-line blocked a run for Williams to the right. Rodgers hit Jones for 6 yards.

Two plays later, Green Bay showed the same exact look and motion, but Rodgers faked the flare and flipped a screen to Williams, who scurried in for a 15-yard score.

-Rodgers’ accuracy

It sounds obvious, but Rodgers simply threw the ball much better Sunday than in Chicago. He even had gorgeous incompletions, including two deep balls that hit receivers’ hands, both thrown off his back foot with pinpoint ball placement.

The bad:

-Missed opportunities

Both were heavily contested, but Adams and Valdes-Scantling each failed to hang on for gains of 36 and 38 yards, respectively, with the latter on third-and-6 to start the fourth quarter.

Rodgers also had narrow back-to-back misses in the fourth. First, he threw too high for Valdes-Scantling, who couldn’t get his feet down inbounds, preventing an 18-yard gain.

Then, Rodgers threw just behind Jones’ wheel route, allowing Eric Kendricks to bat it away. Placed in front of Jones, it might have been a touchdown, as LaFleur’s design had cleared out that side of the field.

The ugly:

-Self-inflicted wounds

Allison’s fumble was one a critical error, and the Packers also lost the ball late in the first half because Rodgers didn’t realize it was fourth-and-1.

Then after halftime, a fumbled snap set up the Vikings’ second touchdown. Corey Linsley appeared to snap before Rodgers was ready, and it also came out low.

-Untimely pressure

Another drive ended with Danielle Hunter beating Jimmy Graham one-on-one for a sack, a major mismatch. (Jones was set to double-team Hunter, but Kendricks’ blitz superseded that assignment.) LaFleur likely wants that call back.

Elsewhere, typical stalwart left tackle David Bakhtiari followed an up-and-down Week 1 with more leaks in protection. He allowed a hit when late off the snap and permitted bull-rush pressure on several others.

Moving forward:

Coaches never like drops, fumbles or game-management errors, but those are relatively easy fixes. Green Bay’s scheme was sound, creating defined reads to keep Rodgers on-schedule when necessary and allowing him to improvise when appropriate. The offensive line bullied a stout front in the run game, which LaFleur’s scheme is built on.

Those are major reasons for optimism despite Sunday’s drought over the final 43 minutes.

Extra points:

-Like any good schemer, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan certainly watched what other top offenses did in Week 1. Marquise Goodwin’s walk-in touchdown on a leak concept (one of Shanahan’s favorites) was a mirror image of the Chiefs’ Sammy Watkins’ second score in Week 1. Shanahan also ran the same double-pass throwback screen the Patriots used in their opener.

-Chargers running back Austin Ekeler’s 35-yard grab in Detroit on Sunday was just another reminder of how versatile and dangerous he is. Out wide facing a safety (Tracy Walker) in off-man coverage, Ekeler ran a perfect double move, faking a short in-cut before breaking deep and easily snagging a line-drive throw. Few backs have such route-running chops or comfort adjusting to vertical throws.

-Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has long lived and died on aggression, but if he’s not going to be more conservative, he must disguise better. Philadelphia has allowed receivers wide open on post routes — running away from outside-leverage cornerbacks one-on-one — four times already in two games. Two of those, including Calvin Ridley’s touchdown Sunday night, didn’t even feature an Eagles blitz, with the mismatch simply a product of aggressive safety play. That’s too easy for opposing offenses.

–By David DeChant (@DavidDeChant), Field Level Media

Read More 906 Words

Browns’ Smith to play vs. Jets after death of girlfriend

Browns' Smith to play vs. Jets after death of girlfriend

Browns’ Smith to play vs. Jets after death of girlfriend

Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith plans to play with a heavy heart during Monday night’s game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J.

Smith will take the field five days after his girlfriend Petara Cordero was killed on a highway in Cleveland. Cordero, who had a daughter — Haven — with Smith last month, was 26.

“I am going to play tonight because it is something, she would want me to do,” Smith said in a statement. “She would want me to keep doing what I love and stay strong. I play for her tonight. She is my why.”

Smith had pulled over early Wednesday morning after his vehicle, a 2019 Lamborghini, blew a tire and hit the median. Cordero exited the car and was standing on the road’s shoulder when a vehicle driven by a 47-year-old woman smashed into the passenger side of Smith’s car.

Cordero was taken to Cleveland Clinic-Fairview Hospital and was pronounced dead.

Smith, 27, is in his second season with the Browns after spending three years with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2014-16) and one with the Cincinnati Bengals (2017).

–Field Level Media

Read More 136 Words

Jets promote QB Falk as backup

Jets promote QB Falk as backup

The New York Jets promoted

Jets promote QB Falk as backup

The New York Jets promoted quarterback Luke Falk from their practice squad to back up Trevor Siemian for Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

Falk, a second-year player out of Washington State, was waived by the Jets at the end of camp but was re-signed to the practice squad the next day. The Jets initially acquired him off waivers from the Miami Dolphins in May.

Falk, a sixth-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2018, has not appeared in an NFL game.

In a corresponding move, the team waived safety Bennett Jackson.

Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold is suffering from mononucleosis and is expected to miss between three to seven weeks, according to NFL Network.

–Field Level Media

Read More 64 Words

Disgruntled DE Charlton to Cowboys: ‘Free me’

Disgruntled DE Charlton to Cowboys: 'Free me'

Disgruntled Dallas defensive end Taco Charlton

Disgruntled DE Charlton to Cowboys: ‘Free me’

Disgruntled Dallas defensive end Taco Charlton has apparently tired of waiting around, tweeting “Free me” to the Cowboys on Monday.

The former first-round pick has been a healthy scratch for the Cowboys’ first two games in his third NFL season.

Cowboys executive Stephen Jones told 105.3 FM The Fan on Monday that the team prefers the position flexibility of rookie Joe Jackson over Charlton, prompting the latter’s response on social media.

Charlton, 24, has been the subject of trade talks for several weeks, according to multiple reports.

The 28th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Charlton tallied four sacks and 46 tackles in 27 games (seven starts) in his first two seasons with Dallas.

–Field Level Media

Read More 59 Words

Report: Cowboys, Elliott agree to $90M deal

Report: Cowboys, Elliott agree to $90M deal

Running back Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys agreed to a six-year, $90 million contract that ends his five-week holdout and makes possible his presence in the starting lineup Sunday against the New York Giants.

ESPN reported Elliott is in line to receive

Report: Cowboys, Elliott agree to $90M deal

Running back Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys agreed to a six-year, $90 million contract that ends his five-week holdout and makes possible his presence in the starting lineup Sunday against the New York Giants.

ESPN reported Elliott is in line to receive $50 million in guarantees, trumping the $45 million Todd Gurley received from the Rams.

Elliott is expected at practice on Wednesday, not long after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his son and team vice president Stephen Jones rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Elliott and his agent, Rocky Arceneaux, left his holdout headquarters in Cabo San Lucas on Monday with the expectation that a contract extension with the Cowboys would be finalized before the Week 1 home game against the team’s NFC East rival.

Arceneaux told reporters at the DFW International Airport that a deal is “very close.”

“I think Zeke is showing he’s committed by coming back to Dallas,” Arceneaux said. “We didn’t come here not to do a deal. We’re talking. They’re committed and we’re committed. That’s why we are here.”

Elliott bolted for Mexico in July as the Cowboys boarded a team charter for Oxnard, Calif., site of their summertime training camp.

Elliott, 24, has two years remaining on his rookie contract and is scheduled to earn $3,853,000 in 2019 and $9,099,000 in 2020. The two-time NFL rushing champion is targeting a deal that would make him the highest-paid player at the position.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Dallas’ five-year contract extension with right tackle La’el Collins that was made official on Tuesday freed up almost $6 million in salary-cap space. Some of that could be earmarked for Elliott, although the Cowboys have a queue of skill-position talent waiting to be paid.

Quarterback Dak Prescott, who did not hold out, is reportedly chasing a contract worth $35 million or more per season.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper is in the final year of his deal, and the receiver market continues to escalate. Saints star Michael Thomas signed a five-year, $100 million deal in August, and Falcons All-Pro Julio Jones is in line to raise the bar higher in his ongoing negotiations with Atlanta.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Rams, Goff close to four-year extension

Reports: Rams, Goff close to four-year extension

Rams quarterback Jared Goff agreed

Reports: Rams, Goff close to four-year extension

Rams quarterback Jared Goff agreed to a four-year contract extension that would tie him to Los Angeles through 2024, according to multiple reports.

The deal “will be done in the coming days” and is expected to have an annual average value of $32 million per season, NFL Network reported Tuesday night.

Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, guided the Rams to the NFC Championship and a Super Bowl appearance last season.

Head coach Sean McVay said last week that Goff would be signed long term if the Rams had their way.

“If all things come together,” McVay said. “We’ll get a chance to look at that, but we that know Jared is very important. We feel great about him as our quarterback.”

Goff, 24, is scheduled to earn $4.3 million in 2019 as part of his rookie agreement. His cap figure was $8.9 million. His $22 million player option for next season was already picked up, meaning the new years on the deal are 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024.

The deal puts him in the same ballpark as the No. 2 overall pick in 2016, Carson Wentz. He agreed to a four-year, $128 million contract with $107 million in guarantees. Goff and Wentz are represented by the same agency.

General manager Les Snead said at the start of training camp Goff was his top priority.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Rams, Goff reportedly close to extension

NFL notebook: Rams, Goff reportedly close to extension

Rams quarterback Jared Goff agreed to a four-year contract extension that

NFL notebook: Rams, Goff reportedly close to extension

Rams quarterback Jared Goff agreed to a four-year contract extension that would tie him to Los Angeles through 2024, according to multiple reports.

The deal “will be done in the coming days” and is expected to have an annual average value of $32 million per season, NFL Network reported Tuesday night.

Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, guided the Rams to the NFC Championship and a Super Bowl appearance last season.

Goff, 24, is scheduled to earn $4.3 million in 2019 as part of his rookie agreement. His $22 million player option for next season was already picked up. The deal puts him in the same ballpark as the No. 2 overall pick in 2016, Carson Wentz, who agreed to a four-year, $128 million contract with $107 million in guarantees.

–Running back Ezekiel Elliott and his agent, Rocky Arceneaux, left his holdout headquarters in Cabo San Lucas with the expectation that a contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys will be finalized before Sunday’s Week 1 home game against the New York Giants.

Arceneaux told reporters at the DFW International Airport that a deal is “very close.”

Initial chatter indicated the sides were close to a deal for a $90 million, six-year extension that would tie Elliott to Dallas through 2026.

–Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank told The Athletic that the team and six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones are “very, very close” to a new contract.

“I’d be surprised and disappointed if we didn’t get it done this week,” Blank said, per The Athletic. “I think it’s very reasonable to assume it will get done this week.”

Jones, 30, has two years remaining on his deal, which owes him $9.6 million in 2019 and $11.4 million in 2020. He caught 113 passes for a league-high 1,677 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

–The Los Angeles Chargers are seeking a first-round pick and a fifth-round pick in a potential trade for running back Melvin Gordon, according to ProFootballTalk.com.

Gordon is set to make $5.6 million in 2019 on the fifth-year team option of his rookie deal. The two-time Pro Bowl selection wants more than the roughly $10 million the Chargers have reportedly offered for this season.

ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported Tuesday that one team has had preliminary communication with the Chargers about a trade.

–Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams could end his holdout in time to play in Week 2.

DeAngelo Hall, a friend and longtime teammate of Williams, said on The Athletic’s “Hail to the Pod” that he thinks Williams could return as soon as Week 2 at home against Dallas — or extend his absence to Week 8.

“I think he comes sooner rather than later,” Hall added. “I think he reports, and I think he’s a part of this football team.”

–HBO Sports and NFL Films unveiled plans for the release of a documentary featuring New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban.

Titled “Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching,” the film will air Dec. 10.

Belichick, a six-time Super Bowl champion, and Saban, a six-time NCAA national champion, will be featured in the 90-minute film highlighting their friendship of more than 30 years.

–San Francisco 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa plans to play Sunday in the regular-season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bosa, the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, has been off the field for a month dealing with an ankle injury suffered Aug. 7 in practice.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been as motivated in my life to get back,” Bosa said. “I’ve had my sights set on playing my first NFL season. Every waking hour was spent getting my ankle right.”

–The Cincinnati Bengals signed running back Giovani Bernard to a two-year extension, putting him under contract through 2021. The NFL Network reported the total value of the deal is $10.3 million.

Bernard, 27, has gained 5,389 yards from scrimmage and scored 27 touchdowns in 83 games since the Bengals picked him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

–Right tackle La’el Collins agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys.

The deal includes $50 million in new money, with the first two years and $20 million fully guaranteed and $35 million guaranteed against injury, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB.

–The Green Bay Packers acquired fourth-year linebacker B.J. Goodson in a trade with the New York Giants. Multiple outlets reported the sides swapped conditional seventh-round picks.

–Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow returned from an ankle injury to practice, putting him on track for Sunday’s season opener against the Arizona Cardinals.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Redskins’ Williams could return Week 2

Reports: Redskins' Williams could return Week 2

Reports: Redskins’ Williams could return Week 2

Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams could end his holdout in time to play in Week 2, according to multiple reports on Tuesday.

DeAngelo Hall, a friend and longtime teammate of Williams, said on The Athletic’s “Hail to the Pod” that he thinks Williams could return as soon as Week 2 at home against Dallas — or extend his absence to Week 8.

“I think he comes sooner rather than later,” Hall added. “I think he reports, and I think he’s a part of this football team.”

NFL Network reported Williams will not return for this week’s regular-season opener at Philadelphia, but “there is a possibility” he could be back next week.

Hall said on “Hail to the Pod” last week that Williams had told him there was “zero chance” he would report for Week 1. But Hall said Tuesday that the sides could iron out their issues soon, noting that team president Bruce Allen has been amenable to Williams’ complaints about the team’s medical staff.

“Bruce said he’d make adjustments for Trent when it came to the medical staff,” Hall said. “It’s just about getting those two guys together and figuring out what that is. These guys aren’t very far off.”

Hall added that Allen offered to fire members of the medical staff with whom Williams has a problem, but the veteran does not want to be responsible for employees losing their jobs.

Williams, 31, has been absent all offseason, upset with the team following a tumor scare and also reportedly seeking an alteration to his contract. He has made seven consecutive Pro Bowls and has started 119 games for Washington since being drafted fourth overall in 2010.

Allen said last week he expected Williams to play for the Redskins this season. The team reportedly has rebuffed all trade offers for Williams, including a package from the Houston Texans that included Jadeveon Clowney before the edge rusher was dealt to Seattle over the weekend.

–Field Level Media

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Jaguars, on Dorian watch, cancel Wednesday practice

Jaguars, on Dorian watch, cancel Wednesday practice

Jaguars, on Dorian watch, cancel Wednesday practice

Hurricane Dorian watch is on, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are planning to stay home on Wednesday.

The Jaguars announced practice would be canceled, and all team employees, including players and coaches, are encouraged to stay home with their families.

Evidence or Dorian’s devastation became more clear in the Bahamas, though the exact path of the storm remained uncertain Tuesday as it weakened from Category 5 status.

The current plan for the Jaguars will be to make a call on Thursday’s practice schedule in the next 24 hours. Tentatively the team plans to be at the facility for a noon practice.

The Jaguars are scheduled to open the regular season Sunday at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina are operating under a state of emergency until further notice, and other teams could be impacted later in the week.

–Field Level Media

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Golf Glance: PGA gears for new season, LPGA for Solheim Cup

Golf Glance: PGA gears for new season, LPGA for Solheim Cup

Golf Glance: PGA gears for new season, LPGA for Solheim Cup

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

PGA TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Tour Championship (Rory McIlroy)

THIS WEEK: Off.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, Sept. 12-15

LPGA TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Cambia Portland Classic (Hannah Green)

THIS WEEK: Off.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Solheim Cup, The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland, Sept. 12-15

CHAMPIONS TOUR

LAST TOURNAMENT: Shaw Charity Classic (Wes Short, Jr.)

THIS WEEK: Off.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Ally Challenge, Grand Blanc, Mich., Sept. 13-15

–Field Level Media

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Lions C Ragnow practices, on track for opener

Lions C Ragnow practices, on track for opener

Lions C Ragnow practices, on track for opener

Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow returned from an ankle injury to practice on Tuesday, putting him on track for Sunday’s season opener against the Arizona Cardinals.

Ragnow had not practiced since hurting his ankle in the Aug. 23 preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. After initial concern about the injury, it was diagnosed as a minor sprain.

Ragnow, 23, moved to center this season after starting all 16 games at left guard as a rookie. He was the Lions’ first-round pick (20th overall) in 2018.

Linebacker Jarrad Davis, defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand and cornerback Rashaan Melvin stretched with the team but sat out the portion of practice that was open to the media. Hand has been out since the first week of camp, while Davis and Melvin were hurt against Buffalo.

The Lions don’t have to issue an official injury report until Wednesday.

Detroit also announced Tuesday it released wide receiver Andy Jones from injured reserve.

–Field Level Media

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HBO, NFL Films unveil Belichick-Saban documentary

HBO, NFL Films unveil Belichick-Saban documentary

HBO Sports and NFL

HBO, NFL Films unveil Belichick-Saban documentary

HBO Sports and NFL Films unveiled plans Tuesday for the release of a documentary featuring New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban.

Titled “Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching,” the film will air Dec. 10.

Belichick, a six-time Super Bowl champion, and Saban, a six-time NCAA national champion, will be featured in the 90-minute film highlighting their friendship of more than 30 years. The pair met in the late 1980s and worked together on the Cleveland Browns’ coaching staff from 1991-94, where Saban was the defensive coordinator under Belichick, the head coach.

The film’s goal is to provide viewers with a closer look into both men’s coaching blueprints and outline their lessons learned over the years.

“Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have become the modern versions of Vince Lombardi and John Wooden — symbols of success not just in sports, but in life,” NFL Films CEO Ross Ketover said in a statement. “Their lessons on leadership are an inspiration; not just for those of us who love football, but for anyone who wants to thrive at whatever passion they pursue.”

–Field Level Media

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Falcons owner: Jones extension ‘very, very close’

Falcons owner: Jones extension 'very, very close'

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur

Falcons owner: Jones extension ‘very, very close’

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank told The Athletic on Tuesday that the team and wide receiver Julio Jones are “very, very close” to a new contract.

“I’d be surprised and disappointed if we didn’t get it done this week,” Blank said, per The Athletic. “I think it’s very reasonable to assume it will get done this week.”

Jones is scheduled to meet the media on Thursday, and the Falcons open the regular season at the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Blank told reporters last week he was hopeful the sides could reach an agreement before the regular season began, saying the process had taken “a little more time than we’d like.”

Jones, 30, has two years remaining on his deal, which owes him $9.6 million in 2019 and $11.4 million in 2020.

He signed a contract adjustment as training camp opened last July — giving him $4.4 million, including $2.9 million from his 2019 salary, up front — and the team reportedly promised to do a full extension this offseason. That came after Jones missed the Falcons’ entire offseason program and threatened to hold out into training camp.

The 30-year-old again missed voluntary workouts this summer, but he showed for mandatory minicamp and has been present throughout the preseason. He told reporters in April he isn’t concerned with being the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver.

But general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the Falcons fully expect that to happen in light of the new deal for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas worth $100 million.

Entering his ninth season, Jones is coming off of his sixth Pro Bowl selection — fifth in a row — after catching 113 passes for a league-high 1,677 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He remains the NFL’s all-time leader in career receiving yards per game (96.7).

–Field Level Media

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Report: Chargers set price in trade talks for Gordon

Report: Chargers set price in trade talks for Gordon

The Los Angeles

Report: Chargers set price in trade talks for Gordon

The Los Angeles Chargers are seeking a first-round pick and a fifth-round pick in a potential trade for running back Melvin Gordon, according to ProFootballTalk.com.

Gordon is set to make $5.6 million in 2019 on the fifth-year team option of his rookie deal. The two-time Pro Bowl selection wants more than the roughly $10 million the Chargers have reportedly offered for this season.

The team informed his representation that talks regarding a contract extension for the holdout running back have been postponed until the end of the season, general manager Tom Telesco announced Sunday.

ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported Tuesday that one team has had preliminary communication with the Chargers about a trade.

Gordon, a first-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2015, has rushed for 3,628 yards and 28 touchdowns in four seasons. He also has 182 receptions for 1,577 yards and 10 scores.

Gordon’s best season was in 2017, when he played all 16 games and rushed for a career-high 1,105 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught 58 passes for 476 yards and four scores.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Cowboys WR Gallup (knee) out 2-4 weeks

Reports: Cowboys WR Gallup (knee) out 2-4 weeks

Dallas Cowboys wide

Reports: Cowboys WR Gallup (knee) out 2-4 weeks

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup needs arthroscopic surgery to trim his meniscus and will miss 2-4 weeks, according to multiple reports Monday.

Gallup suffered the injury to his left knee during Sunday’s 31-21 win at Washington after catching six passes for 68 yards. An MRI revealed the extent of the injury.

“No structural damage besides the meniscus tear, so the return should be quick,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted.

Gallup, 23, set career highs with seven catches and 158 yards in the season-opening win against the New York Giants.

A 2018 third-round pick, Gallup appeared in all 16 games as a rookie and tallied 33 receptions for 507 yards and two touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

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Rose leading at midway point of second round at U.S. Open

Rose leading at midway point of second round at U.S. Open

Rose leading at midway point of second round at U.S. Open

England’s Justin Rose was the clubhouse leader with a 7-under-par 135 as the U.S. Open neared the midway point of the second round on Friday at Pebble Beach on the shores of northern California.

Rose shot a 1-under 70 in the second round and held a two-shot lead over Aaron Wise.

Rose had three birdies and two bogeys on Friday. He shot a blistering 65 in the opening round.

“I’m happy. I felt there was an opportunity to go a few better,” Rose told Fox Sports 1 after his round “… You’re going to make some mistakes during the course of the week. You shake it off and that’s what U.S. Opens are all about.”

Wise, who fired a first-round 66, had consistency issues while carding a 71 that left him at 5 under.

Wise had five birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey.

Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka was three shots off the pace after his second straight 69. He is the first defending champ since Scott Simpson in 1988 to score under 70 in his first two rounds.

Koepka had three birdies and one bogey while hitting 12 of 14 fairways. He did experience some putting issues.

“Funny thing was I was hitting good putts,” Koepka told Fox Sports 1 after his round. “I don’t mind it if I’m going to hit good putts and they’re going to miss. That happened today. Ball striking was tremendously better today. … Never really felt like I had to work. It was quite an easy round.”

Also tied with Koepka at 4 under were Matt Kuchar (69), Chesson Hadley (70) and Chez Reavie (70). Kuchar made an eagle putt on 18 to end his round.

Tiger Woods bogeyed his final two holes — at Nos. 8 and 9 — to post a 72. He sits seven strokes behind Rose.

Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen — who all shot 66 in the first round — and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (68 on Thursday) all had afternoon tee times.

–Field Level Media

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Texans cease Caserio pursuit for GM post

Texans cease Caserio pursuit for GM post

Nick Caserio

Texans cease Caserio pursuit for GM post

Nick Caserio is staying with the New England Patriots as the Texans withdrew their request to interview Bill Belichick’s right-hand man for the vacant general manager post in Houston.

New England, in turn, dropped tampering charges, according to multiple media reports.

“When we started the process to interview Nick Caserio for our EVP/GM position, we consulted the League office on numerous occasions, followed the procedures outlined in the League’s rules and believed we were in full compliance. We have now been made aware of certain terms in Nick’s contract with the Patriots. Once we were made aware of these contract terms, I informed Mr. Kraft that we would stop pursuing Nick,” Texans CEO Cal McNair said Friday in a prepared statement.

The Patriots filed tampering charges against the Texans and the NFL opened an investigation regarding attempts to lure Patriots director of player personnel Caserio to Houston to become general manager.

However, on Friday, Patriots owner Bob Kraft said in a statement, “The Houston Texans and the New England Patriots have always had a great working relationship. We appreciate the way Cal McNair has handled this situation.”

The Texans fired former GM Brian Gaine on June 7, 17 months after giving him a five-year contract and one day after the Patriots’ Super Bowl ring ceremony. According to multiple reports, new Texans executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby — the Patriots’ former team chaplain — was at Thursday’s ring ceremony, as was Caserio.

Asked Tuesday if he or Easterby had contact with Caserio or his representatives before Gaine’s firing, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters, “I would say that the answer to that is not relative to contact about anything having to do with the Houston Texans. No.”

The Texans formally requested permission to interview Caserio, just as they did in January 2018, when the Patriots denied the request and the Texans moved on to hire Gaine.

Caserio, 43, has held his position since 2008 as the top personnel man for Belichick, who has final authority on personnel decisions. He is also close with O’Brien, who coached in New England from 2007 to 2011.

Caserio has turned down numerous overtures for GM jobs in the past, though he was allowed to interview with the Miami Dolphins in 2014. He was widely considered the favorite for the Texans’ job if he is interested.

Houston has reportedly interviewed San Francisco 49ers vice president of player personnel Martin Mayhew — the former Detroit Lions GM — and former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer for the opening.

However, another possibility arose Friday when ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Texans might opt to go without a GM for “less than a year.” O’Brien, Easterby and the team’s scouting department could share the GM duties for the rest of the year, according to Schefter.

–Field Level Media

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Police: Colts aide Frazier’s home mistakenly targeted

Police: Colts aide Frazier's home mistakenly targeted

A Mother's Day shooting

Police: Colts aide Frazier’s home mistakenly targeted

A Mother’s Day shooting in which the home of Indianapolis Colts assistant coach Parks Frazier was hit by more than 70 rounds has been ruled a case of mistaken identity, Indianapolis police reported Monday.

Police have arrested a 20-year-old Indianapolis man in connection to the May 12 shooting.

Nobody was hurt in the shooting, which detectives investing the incident indicated came about because of “a feud with known suspects.” Detectives have indicated that the house was mistakenly targeted and Frazier was not involved in the feud.

No residents were home when the incident occurred.

Witnesses told police that eight young men jumped out of three separate vehicles and fired more than 70 shots that evening. A report on WTHR-TV also said the back door of the home was kicked in and more shots were fired inside.

According to the police report, handgun and rifle casings were found in the street as well as a cell phone that may have been dropped at the scene.

Frazier, 27, joined the Indianapolis staff in April 2018 as an assistant to head coach Frank Reich.

–Field Level Media

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