Monthly Archives: October 2017

the Rams are 3-2 and tied with the Seahawks for the NFC West lead.

NFL owners, players and representatives met to discuss social issues in the wake of protests across the league, and many involved called the session a positive step.
“I think what he’s doing with Goodell and that is fantastic,” Sherman said of Baldwin, his teammate at Stanford. “He’s been doing that work for years now, meeting with police and trying to work to change, and I think that’s what gets missed sometimes with players, because they’re like, ‘Oh, stick to sports, stick to this.’ And a lot of people have used the phrase like ‘privileged athletes.’ ‘Oh, these privileged athletes, you guys are rich millionaires.’

Of course, no taste of Minnesota would be complete without a little chill. On Sunday, that means the stadium was opened up to 43 degree temperatures in advance of a noon showdown with the Green Bay Packers.

The brisk weather, which will be tapered by U.S. Bank Stadium’s massive heating system, shouldn’t be a shock to either team. The Packers and Vikings play in two of the NFL’s least-forgiving winter homes. Green Bay revels in the sub-zero temperatures of Lambeau Field. While Minnesota plays indoors now, it spent the two seasons prior to the new stadium’s opening at TCF Bank Stadium, the open-air home of the University of Minnesota.

As such, a 40-degree day shouldn’t change much for either team. Which is good, since ain’t nobody got nothing to say about a 40-degree day.

The rookie receiver was a third-round pick in April after a tremendously productive career at Eastern Washington and has been favored target for Kupp early in the season. He finished Sunday with three receptions for 44 yards, but couldn’t haul in the game-winner.

Ultimately, it was five turnovers for the Rams that doomed the team offensively, including two interceptions thrown by Goff.

With the loss, the Rams are 3-2 and tied with the Seahawks for the NFC West lead. But the drop from Kupp will be a hard one to get over.falcons_021

Danny Trevathan’s suspension for hit on Davante Adams reduced to 1 game on appeal

Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan was handed a two-game suspension by the NFL after the league reviewed his hit on Packers wide receiver Davante Adams during Thursday Night Football. That suspension has been reduced to one game on appeal, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Beathard, 23, finished his first regular season action with 245 yards and a touchdown. He also threw an interception that ended the 49ers’ chances at a come-from-behind victory over Washington, but it was a fourth-down desperation heave.

That still wasn’t enough for the Ravens and Joe Flacco, so the game went to overtime.

The Bears won the toss and got the ball first in overtime. Both teams had drives fizzle out at the start of overtime. Howard made up for his earlier mistake on Chicago’s second possession in overtime when he broke off a 53-yard run to put his team at the Ravens’ 40-yard line.

Trubisky came up big on third-and-11 with an 18-yard completion to Kendall Wright that got the Bears inside of field goal range, which was just what Chicago needed.

A 40-yard Connor Barth field goal gave the Bears a 27-24 win.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Peterson said. “Guys come up to me and they say, ‘When you got the ball it’s kind of like holding your breath.’ I experience that when [Hester] is on the field. I’m holding my breath knowing he can take it to the house any time he touches the ball.”

Did Peterson purposefully plug Hester’s nickname? I’ll just say this: never were a pair of honorifics more apt than October 14, 2007, at Soldier Field.

Devin Hester — AKA “Anytime” — did his damage as his nickname suggests: any time he touched the ball. On that day, the total was a mere ten. Yet Hester gained 272 yards on those ten touches, an absurd 27.2 yards per touch, scoring a pair of 80-plus-yard touchdowns, one on a punt, one on a catch.
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Red Sox beat Astros 10-3, avoid elimination in ALDS Game 3

Hanley Ramirez waved a “Believe in Boston” flag during pregame introductions, drawing cheers from a Fenway Park crowd fearful of a second straight postseason sweep.

Then he gave the Red Sox exactly what they wished for: more October baseball.

Rivera said Dickson’s production could open up other areas in the passing attack because he might have benefited from attention given to wideouts.

“It looked like they were more concerned with the outside than they were with Ed in the middle,” Rivera said of the Lions. “Our backs have been a big concern for a lot of teams as well. … If you’re throwing the ball to eight different people, now they have to account for them.”

Wentz threw for four touchdowns for the first time in his career Sunday. He seems anxious to see how he stacks up against Carolina.

Sunday afternoon also brings two important divisional matchups. The Packers can build on early dominance in the NFC North if they beat the Vikings in Minneapolis. Tom Brady and the Patriots take on the Jets in the AFC East. The 3-2 Jets are enjoying a good start to the season, but they are without star running back Bilal Powell on Sunday.

What will take place is teams owners and Goodell listening to a group of players who will speak on finding ways to work together to “move from protest to progress.”

“Those conversations have been going on an almost weekly basis,” Lockhart said Monday. “It really is the result of what has been unprecedented dialogue to see what we can do if we work together on this issue.steelers_032

Jerick McKinnon among top football free-agent finds for Week 6

The Giants had four wide receivers leave Sunday’s game due to injury, led of course by Beckham. But with Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard also dealing with ankle injuries, this team is going to be desperate for pass-catchers. Lewis is the next man up on the receiving draft and seems destined to play extensively if Marshall or Shepard can’t play Sunday night versus the Broncos. Lewis had a touchdown in Week 5 and is an add in a deeper league for a receiver-needy owner looking for a dart throw. Tavarres King (re-signed) and Travis Rudolph (practice squad promotion) are also expected to see snaps for the Giants’ receiving group.

Why not do the same for fantasy baseball teams? If that last-place team is typically 100 points worse than the first-place team, giving them, say an 80-point head-start when they square off, certainly will help keep both players a lot more interested in the matchup.

The first responders that they honored before the game and the fans who they saluted after the game are their neighbors.

The Vikings can’t get right at quarterback, but to be fair, that’s part of the package when you trade for Sam Bradford. (It feels like Teddy Bridgewater played for them barely more recently than Fran Tarkenton did.) This is not the unit right now that can get into a legit shootout with Aaron Rodgers and make him pull out the dramatics the way he did against the Cowboys. Too bad, because there’s no reason to trust the Packers defense so far.

The Steelers’ defense has been their backbone, but it has not run into a buzzsaw like this, as Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt are both playing on MVP levels. Le’Veon Bell is living up to that in Pittsburgh, but Ben Roethlisberger is feeling the effects of limited explosiveness around him. Bell and Antonio Brown can replicate their work in last season’s playoff game to keep it close, but the Chiefs will win by scoring actual TDs in the rematch.tigers_047

Dombrowski also has hired only two managers over the last 12 seasons.

He agreed to a two-year, incentive-laden deal with the Saints about a week before the draft, which included only $3.5 million guaranteed. But coach Sean Payton hinted recently the Saints might not have felt the same need to sign Peterson if they knew they would land Kamara in the draft.

Ingram leads the Saints with 42 carries for 170 yards and no touchdowns, plus 15 catches for 125 yards. Kamara has 15 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown, plus 20 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown.

Turnover on downs. The Giants made what felt like a game-sealing goal-line stand with just over eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter. The Broncos were denied a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line after an 11-play, 84 yard drive. The ruling on the field stood upon replay review.

Turnover. Demaryius Thomas made a catch and turned upfield … then fumbled. Janoris Jenkins, who stripped Thomas of the ball, also recovered it for the third forced turnover of the game. A nightmare game for the Broncos continued.

Despite losing three wide receivers to season-ending injuries last weekend, the Giants said Friday that five more starters would miss Sunday’s night game in Denver due to injuries. That doesn’t include defensive back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who was suspended by the team.

Without the starters, Giants veterans Eli Manning and Jason Pierre-Paul rallied the troops and led by example in the win. Manning was solid, avoiding pressure with his feet and completing all but eight passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. Not overly impressive but enough for the win. Pierre-Paul led the Giants with eight tackles, three sacks and two QB hits. tigers_009

Week 5 NFL picks against spread: Packers nip Cowboys again, Seahawks ‘upset’ Rams

On any given Sunday, any team can win or lose in the NFL. Through the first four weeks of the 2017 season, that hasn’t applied to the undefeated Chiefs or the winless Giants, Chargers, Browns or 49ers.

There have some big surpise results, and those should only continue in Week 5. With the Falcons, Saints, Redskins and Broncos on a bye, the optimistic would say there are two fewer games to get wrong this week. Alas, that also means there are two less ways to be right.

Even without those four teams, the schedule doesn’t lack for marquee matchups.

“Well,” Adams said Sunday through a smile, “just something about those concussions, I guess. I don’t know. God allowed me to come out here and play to the best of my abilities. Obviously, it was a great win for us, and I’m just happy I came out healthy.”

On many levels, Adams is a credit to his profession and to the test of will and manhood that has been the historic Packers-Cowboys rivalry. Vince Lombardi would have loved Adams. Tom Landry, too.

Touchdown Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers finds Davante Adams in the end zone with 11 seconds left to put Green Bay ahead 35-31. Rodgers moved the Packers 75-yards down the field in just 1:02.

Facing a critical third down, Aaron Rodgers avoids a would be tackler, escapes the pocket and rushes for 18-yards, moving Green Bay to the Dallas 12 with 21 seconds to go.
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Several players have continued to protest before games after Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem in 2016.

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Sunday that the team will stand during the playing of the national anthem and not disrespect the flag, and that any player who does not comply will ride the bench.

Here’s the list for Week 5.

The NFL and the Colts declined to comment on Pence’s exit, while Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano steered clear of the topic in his postgame news conference.

Evan Engram, TE, Giants: One would think that he’d have been featured more in a game during which his Giants lost four of their wide receivers to injuries. Instead, Engram delivered a zero on four targets, letting down the 54.6 percent of managers in ESPN leagues who started him. Still, while this might cause some to doubt his potential moving forward, Beckham’s long-term injury and the other ailments plaguing the team’s wideouts probably will force Engram into a much more sizable role. Ignore this stinker; there should be plenty of production coming from the rookie in future weeks.

This year, Quinn went to free agency to upgrade the offensive line with right guard T.J. Lang and right tackle Rick Wagner. His first-round pick, Jarrad Davis, has filled a big void at middle linebacker, while former Falcon Paul Worrilow was signed for the outside. There also was the pickups of wideouts Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay in consecutive years to offset the loss of Megatron, and likewise, new deals in place for the irreplaceable veterans in the secondary, cornerback Darius Slay and free safety Glover Quin.
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Green’s big game rallies Bengals over Bills 20-16 in rain

The Bengals took A.J. Green at his word. They kept throwing his way, even after the ball repeatedly slipped through his wet hands. The elusive receiver found a way to make the difference, just as promised.

Green contributed to three turnovers that kept it close, but he also had a 77-yard touchdown and another long catch that set up the go-ahead score Sunday, rallying Cincinnati to a 20-16 victory over the Buffalo Bills in a steady rain.

The Eagles finally listened to everybody telling them to start running the ball and complementing Carson Wentz — after losing Darren Sproles for the season, yet — and the result (42 attempts, 214 yards) was that win over the Chargers. The Cardinals, meanwhile, seem fated to ride the Carson Palmer rollercoaster all year. That won’t end well all that often.

The Bills can’t let a team like the Bengals be the one to break their momentum. It’s a lose-lose game, in a way, because they could get very little credit for beating a team this bad. Every week they stay ahead of the Patriots in the standings is to their benefit. They have the top scoring defense in the NFL, and Andy Dalton and A.J. Green aren’t enough to shake them too far from that perch.

Adams passed the same sign moments after Rodgers did. It defined a concussion as “a brain injury that alters the way your brain functions.” On the list of reasons why players should report symptoms, two in particular stood out. “Your brain is the most vital organ in your body,” read one. “Unlike other injuries, there may be significant consequences to ‘playing through’ a concussion,” read the other.
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NFLPA asks Patriots to remedy turf issues at Gillette Stadium

Concerned about the new playing surface at Gillette Stadium, the NFLPA has asked the New England Patriots to repair what it believes to be a field that poses an injury risk to players, according to NFLPA assistant executive director George Atallah.

“It’s a reminder to all teams that they can’t have players on [shoddy] fields,” Atallah said.

The NFLPA recently sent its field inspector to Gillette Stadium to inspect the new playing surface, and found the field “borderline actionable.”

Jenkins said he didn’t find Lynch’s tactics unsportsmanlike because “that’s sports” and Lynch “earned every bit of what he did today.”

The 0-2 Jets host the Dolphins in Week 3. Philip Rivers got the ball and drove the Chargers into field-goal range. After taking his final timeout, at the 19-second mark, Rivers used a QB sneak to get the ball near the middle of the field. That decision was questionable enough, leaving the clock running and the Chargers scrambling back to the line of scrimmage. Their only good option was spiking the ball and giving the field-goal unit time to set up. Only the Chargers were subbing in personnel and taking too long to get set on the line as the seconds ticked down.

Case Keenum, QB, Vikings: What a game by Sam Bradfo … wait, what? That was Case Keenum under center for the Vikings? It would have been understandable if anyone was thrown off by the box score or Keenum’s fantasy point total of 28.56, as the sixth-year passer making only his 26th career NFL start moved the ball with ease against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that had tied for the Week 2 lead in fantasy points. Owned in just 0.40 percent and started in 0.18 percent of ESPN leagues, Keenum was almost universally doubted entering the week.
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NFLPA gives Colin Kaepernick weekly ‘Community MVP’ award

The NFL Players’ Association has named Colin Kaepernick its “Community MVP” for Week 1 of the NFL season in recognition of his ongoing contributions to charity.

The free-agent quarterback last week donated $25,000 each to four separate charities and supported a backpack giveaway that provided girls in New York with school supplies.

“There are not enough words to thank you all for your generosity,” Watt wrote on his crowdfunding site. “If there is one thing that I have taken away from these last few weeks, it is the reassurance of how much good is out there in our world.

“When times are the toughest, humanity stands at its strongest and you have all helped to prove that emphatically… There are many places you could have donated your hard-earned money and I’m honored you have chosen to join this effort to support the people who were affected most by Hurricane Harvey. Please keep this spirit of helping one another alive. The world is a better place when we all take care of each other.”

Watt helped lead the Texans to a 13-9 win over the Bengals Thursday, capping the victory with a bonecrushing tackle on the final play of the game.

After Landon Collins forced Zach Ertz to fumble and the Giants recovered, it didn’t take long for New York to tie it up. The Eagles’ secondary couldn’t bring down Orleans Darkwa on a 20-yard run, which set up Beckham on a fake slant-and-fade past Mills to tie the score.
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