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  1. When Drew Brees became the NFL's career leader in yards passing Drew Brees Jersey White , he wanted to come up with some sort of gift to thank those who coached him, caught the 6,357 completions it took to set the record and blocked while he threw.His solution was an exhaustive process than involved the production of about 175 unique commemorative footballs and the enlisting Saints front office and public relations staff to help track down 99 receivers, 56 offensive linemen, 11 head or assistant coaches from his 18 pro seasons as well as others instrumental in his success.They began receiving their custom-made footballs this week, which pleased Brees because he wanted it done before Christmas."Naturally you start thinking, 'OK, well, a lot of people have caught those balls," Brees said. "So let's get a list of all the pass catchers and the number of catches and the number of yards and let's put together a game ball for them and put those statistics on there for them New Orleans Saints Kaden Elliss Jersey , so they know that they have a piece of this and they were an important part of it.'"That's how the effort started. But Brees soon realized he couldn't just limit it to receivers."It's not just about the receivers. It's about the guys blocking.' So it's like, 'All right, let's find every offensive lineman that's ever started a game.' So we did that," Brees said. "Then I started thinking about coaches. Then I started thinking about other people as well. So it was actually a long list. But I just wanted to do that for them."Even current Saints players, such as veteran tight end Ben Watson, received the balls at their homes 鈥?not the mail room or locker room at Saints headquarters."It's him. It's surprising but it's not surprising at the same time that he would give a special thanks to the guys that helped him along the way," Watson said. "Obviously, this is his accomplishment. But him being the leader that he is, he loves to defer praise to other people."Watson said he was "Just thankful to be able to play with him and be able to contribute to the greatness that he's achieved."Recipients included rookie receiver Tre'Quan Smith, who caught the 62-yard touchdown pass in Week 5 against Washington on which Brees surpassed the 71 New Orleans Saints Kaden Elliss Jersey ,940 yards passing of previous record-holder Peyton Manning.Smith said Brees' gesture "shows what kind of guy he is, and you want to be around somebody like that, who shows appreciation."The package with ball included a typed letter signed by Brees. Receivers, linemen, coaches and other "contributors" each got different variations of the letter, depending on the nature of their roles in the record.The balls sent to retired players included the number of passes they caught from Brees and the total yardage of those catches. For example, the ball sent to Saints career receiving leader Marques Colston specifically recognized his 705 receptions for 9,709 yards.For current players, Brees didn't include such stats, which grown since Manning's old mark was eclipsed in October.Brees said he was gratified by text messages he'd received. Brandin Cooks sent him a video from the locker room at the headquarters of the former Saints receiver's current team Cheap Kaden Elliss Youth Jersey , the Los Angeles Rams.Former Chargers fullback Fred McCrary sent a video of himself holding his ball in a barber shop, boisterously bragging that he's "famous today."Brees said he'd also received a text Friday from former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson.Recipients that Brees considered "contributors" included Dr. James Andrews, the surgeon who repaired the quarterback's heavily damaged throwing shoulder in 2006, as well as independent throwing coach Tom House, Saints owner Gayle Benson and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis. It’s not enough for the players, though."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections InterviewsNew Orleans Saints SatireWho Dat HistoryCanal Street Chronicles TutorialNFL (almost) breaks silence on blatant no-call in NFC ChampionshipNew,70commentsIt’s not enough for the players, though.CSTShareTweetShareShareNFL (almost) breaks silence on blatant no-call in NFC ChampionshipKirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsAfter retiring-Saint Benjamin Watson called out Roger Goodell and the NFL for the NFL’s continued silence after the failed no-call on defensive pass interference that would have sealed the win for the New Orleans Saints and sent his team to the Super Bowl, the NFL has done something. But it’s not nearly enough to placate Saints players or their fans.Saints players took to Twitter to voice their displeasure on Goodell refusing to issue a statement outside of the fine:It’s understandable, though New Orleans Saints Kaden Elliss Jersey , why Saints players scoff at the fine. We all remember Sean Payton wheeling in $200,000 in cash to help motivate Saints players, right? Well our old pal John Sigler pointed out the difference between the fine and the bonuses received by Rams players in part because of the fine.Saints players and fans want Roger Goodell to take some accountability for the missed call. However, multiple talking heads in the NFL world have already acknowledged that they believe this fine to be Goodell’s final and only “statement” on the matter.Many in the sports world are afraid that Goodell doing anything further, while vindicating Saints players, would delegitimize the Los Angeles Rams as a Super Bowl participant.And frankly, that’s exactly what the Saints players want.
  2. It was a crushing defeat for the Dallas Cowboys as they fell 20-17 to Washington. They had a bad performance from their offense once more as the road continued to be terribly hostile to them. The Cowboys mounted a last minute charge Taco Charlton Jersey Stitched , only to miss out on sending the game to overtime by mere inches.The table was set for this game by the defeat of the Philadelphia Eagles by the Carolina Panthers in the early slot. The come-from-ahead loss, where the Eagles gave up a 17 point lead in the fourth quarter, meant that the winner of this game would be all alone in first place in the NFC East. It came down to who wanted the division lead the most.But that turned out to be Washington, who dominated the line of scrimmage all day. Speaking of which, Adrian Peterson lived up to his AD nickname, getting almost 100 yards while Ezekiel Elliott was stymied, only totaling 31 yards on 14 carries. Dak Prescott was under constant pressure, including the back-breaking strip-sack touchdown given up late in the fourth quarter, while Alex Smith was only sacked once by the Dallas pass rush. It was a continuation of the road woes that have plagued the Cowboys all season. There were clear breakdowns in communication on the offensive line, and multiple big plays for Dallas were called back by holding penalties. After showing so much promise in the win last week, things reverted back to the bad, and once again this looks like an 8-8 team, at best.There was a brief flurry by the offense as time wound down in the game, including converting a fourth and 13 on a pass to Blake Jarwin. But it took too many plays to score, leaving only 1:37 on the clock. The drive was gritty and determined, but also too little and too late. Dallas managed to get it down to a field goal attempt Youth Chidobe Awuzie Jersey , but a false start added five yards to the attempt, and Brett Maher doinked it off the upright. The Cowboys got off to a bad start in the game. On their first possession, a 22 yard run by Dak Prescott was wiped out by a Tyron Smith hold, and Dallas wound up punting. Washington took advantage of an uncharacteristically bad punt by Chris Jones to quickly march in, getting a 23 yard touchdown on a screen pass to Kapri Bibbs. Things kept going badly as Elliott struggled to gain yards, then on fourth and one, the ball was knocked loose from Prescott just as he got the first down, giving Washington the ball on the Cowboys’ 45 yard line. There was a very scary moment late in the first quarter as Prescott tried to run for the first down sticks and took a blow right to the head on the sidelines just short of the sticks. He had to go through the concussion protocol, but was cleared and returned to the game on the Cowboys’ next series, and threw a 22 yard strike to Michael Gallup on his next pass. And on a third and four play, he showed he was not afraid to run after his hit, diving to get the first down on a scramble. Meanwhile, Sean Lee returned to the field after missing three games due to injury and looked back to his normal self, snuffing out a screen play early in the second quarter to help stop Washington. That is perhaps even more important after Leighton Vander Esch left the field with an injury in the second half.However, the struggles were real for the Cowboys. Smith continued to struggle as he and Connor Williams were still having communications issues. Penalties kept hurting Dallas, and even Chris Jones was having a bad day with short punts or putting them into the end zone for touchbacks. Meanwhile Chidobe Awuzie Jersey Stitched , Peterson looked like he was 23, not 33, at times, making something out of nothing and putting some wicked moves on Dallas defenders. Pass protection was also in the home team’s favor in the first half, as Prescott was sacked while Smith wasn’t. An indication of how self-inflicted the damage was for the Cowboys was that they controlled the ball in the first half, notching a 17:07 to 12:53 advantage in time of possession, and limiting Washington to only one third down conversion in the first two quarters.But inside the two minute warning of the first half, the offense finally came alive. After Elliott barely converted a third and one, Dak got some protection and hit a streaking Michael Gallup down the left side for a 49 yard touchdown to even things up at 7-7 with a minute left to play. After having far too many mistakes, and Washington just missing on a couple of touchdown throws as the first half wound down, Dallas went into halftime tied, with the division lead still up for grabs.The Cowboys quickly let the momentum from the Gallup touchdown dissipate in the second half. First, Washington got the ball on the kickoff and drove down for a field goal. Dallas would be totally ineffective on offense, only running six plays in the third quarter as the pass rush kept the pressure on Prescott and Elliott continued to struggle. Then Washington would add another three points early in the fourth, but again the defense held in the red zone to prevent a touchdown. According to the CBS announcers, that made seven consecutive times the Cowboys’ defense has held opponents to just a field goal on red zone trips. Finally Youth Jourdan Lewis Jersey , Dallas got a little something going on offense to set up Brett Maher for his own 47 yard field goal. Then on the next Washington series, Sean Lee showed up again, to stop an option play that had worked earlier for and get the ball back for the offense with 6:18 left in the game. But disaster would strike. After a third down conversion to Cole Beasley was called back on a hold by Connor Williams, Dak would get sacked on the goal line and stripped of the ball, which was recovered for a touchdown by Preston Smith. That pushed the lead to ten points with not enough time for the Cowboys to come back. It was another road flop for Dallas, and a golden opportunity squandered. Some of last year’s playoff teams are in for a rude awakening in 2019."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Dallas Cowboys NewsDallas Cowboys GeneralPoll: Which 2018 NFC playoff teams won’t make the playoffs in 2019?New,134commentsSome of last year’s playoff teams are in for a rude awakening in 2019. CDTShareTweetShareSharePoll: Which 2018 NFC playoff teams won’t make the playoffs in 2019?Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY SportsSince the league moved to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, an average of about six new teams make the playoffs every year. This long history of churn among NFL teams means that it’s highly probable that five or six teams that made the playoffs in 2018 will miss the playoffs in 2019.And what’s true for the NFL is true for the NFC as well: Six teams make the playoffs in the NFC every year, and it’s a virtual certainty that some of last year’s playoff teams won’t repeat.In 2018, the Saints, Rams, and Eagles repeated as NFC playoff participants from the year before, the Cowboys, Bears, and Seahawks were the new playoff participants, and the Panthers Jourdan Lewis Jersey Stitched , Falcons, and Vikings failed to repeat their 2017 playoff appearanceCoincidentally, that means that nine of the 16 NFC teams made the playoffs the last two seasons. And if we go back one more year, 12 of 16 NFC teams made the playoffs in the three-year span from 2016-2017. Remarkably, not a single NFC team made the playoffs in each of the last three years. Not one.Almost as remarkably, only four teams failed to make the playoffs at any time over that three-year span: the perennially underachieving Redskins, the once-mighty 49ers, the woeful Cardinals, and the Bucs, who last made the playoffs under Jon Gruden in 2007.Which brings us to our question of the day: Last year, the NFC was represented, in order of seeding, by the Saints, Rams, Bears, Cowboys Youth Xavier Woods Jersey , Seahawks, and Eagles. Which of these teams do you think are in for a rude awakening in 2019 and will not make it back to the playoffs?ESPN posted the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook odds for each team to make the Super Bowl, and those odds have three tiers of favorites for the NFC:8-1 odds: Rams & Saints14-1 odds: Bears, Eagles, Packers25-1 odds: Cowboys, Vikings, 49ersThose odds would leave the Seahawks as the only team not repeating its playoff appearance, though history suggests it’ll be three teams failing to repeat.Place your vote on which team you think won’t be back in the playoffs this year in the attached poll. We’ll assume that the three teams that get the most votes will not make the playoffs this season. In a follow-up post, you’ll be able to vote on which three new teams you think will make it to the postseason this year.If you can’t see the poll on your device, feel free to leave your take in the comments section below.
  3. Leading up to last Sunday’s game between the Colts and Cowboys we took a look at a few of the critical game matchups that would help to define the outcome. After the dust had settled on the Colts’ impressive shutout win over the Cowboys Indianapolis Colts Parris Campbell Jersey , it is time to take a look back and see how those matchups played out.Pierre Desir vs Amari CooperThis first matchup, like many when you pitch a shutout, is a pretty clear and decisive victory for the Colts. Desir did a fantastic job against DeAndre Hopkins the previous week, and had a similar performance against Cooper here. It is important to note that they obviously play a lot of zone, so credit goes to the entire defensive backfield for the job they did on the Cowboys receivers. Desir deserves specific mention though for consistently knocking Cooper off his routes and helping make sure he couldn’t become a significant factor in this game. He was 4 of 7 for 32 yards in the air. Considering that the prior week he had 217 yards and 3 touchdowns, that is a massive accomplishment. Removing him from the equation left the Cowboys’ offense one-dimensional and allowed the Colts to clamp down on the run game and get after Dak Prescott. This secondary has gotten better with each week, and the drafting of a couple blue chip players to add to it could make them a very unpleasant group to go against.Colts Defensive Line vs Cowboys Offensive LinePhoto by Michael Hickey/Getty ImagesThe Colts defensive line has also been heating up as the season has progressed. They had 3 sacks and 5 QB hits as a team, which is solid and served as enough of a disruption to stop drives when it counted. They limited Prescott to just 206 yards passing and an interception. What’s more, Tyquan Lewis had a sack which pushed the Cowboys back out of field goal range, keeping points off the board and ending a Cowboys drive. The area where the clear victory took place was in terms of the defensive line beating the Cowboys offensive line in terms of opening holes for the running game. While they gave up yards in between the 20s, when the ball reached the red zone, the defense clamped down tight. They limited Ezekiel Elliott to 87 yards and stuffed him on the goal line when the Cowboys went for it on 4th and 1. That kind of hard-nosed performance would typically be unthinkable against the image we have in our minds of the Cowboys’ offensive line. It was exactly the performance this team delivered.T.Y. Hilton vs Byron JonesColts.comHilton didn’t find himself matched up against Byron Jones all game. Much like Pierre Desir on the Colts side, the Cowboys play a zone scheme that doesn’t necessarily employ following receivers with their cornerbacks. Hilton had one catch in coverage against Byron Jones, but was largely matched up against Chidobe Awuzie. It wasn’t a pretty matchup for anyone covering Hilton. When you factor in that he started the day with a distinct possibility of not playing, it is remarkable that he was able to do anything at all. What he was able to do was go 5 for 8 and get 87 yards. He described himself as at about 70 percent after the game was over. If anyone doubted his toughness Cheap Parris Campbell Youth Jersey , this season has more than quieted that. Hilton has repeatedly played through injury and continues to be a big part of the offense.Also, his taunting penalty was totally ridiculous, but right in line with the performance we have come to expect from these officials. Eric Ebron vs Cowboys linebackersIf there was a matchup that the Colts did not win, it was this one. I wouldn’t necessarily say this win goes as a credit to the Cowboys linebackers as much as simply an offensive preference toward other players in this game. Ebron didn’t seem to be part of the game plan here anyway, but his most notable contribution to this game was in the form of that ugly drop he had. He was only targeted 3 times and had 1 catch for 8 yards. Considering the use of Hilton, Nyheim Hines, and Marlon Mack, that isn’t all that surprising to see lower numbers from Ebron. It would be disappointing if every week the same guys were getting all the looks, but that hasn’t been the way with this offense. The Cowboys have talented linebackers and it could be that Reich decided at the outset that using Ebron to challenge them wasn’t the best way to beat this team.Frank Reich vs Jason GarrettColts.comThis one is a no contest win. Frank Reich had both his offense and defense ready to go against a familiar opponent, and it was clear from the jump. Give Matt Eberflus the credit he deserves for leading his defense to a shutout, but Frank Reich is the head coach and as such, bears the weight of blame and credit when all goes to plan. His offense was able to score effective on a very good defense, moving the ball on the ground through massive holes created by the offensive line. While past years have forced the Colts to rely on Andrew Luck to do it all, Frank Reich is not having that. Last week it was the Andrew Luck and T.Y. Show. This week? Marlon Mack setting up the play action and getting guys open downfield while the defense goes to work locking up the opposing offense. This is exactly the kind of team that, if they can get it Indianapolis Colts Denico Autry Jersey , tends to be the one you don’t want to face in January, and Frank Reich has them humming along in just such a way as to give themselves that chance. Every week, I will present a summary of some basic and advanced stats for the Colts performance relative to the league. Thanks to Pro Football Reference, and the nflSCrapR project for being awesome sources of weekly data.While the outcome was not good, I saw a lot that I Iiked in Sunday’s offensive performance.The Colts put up 34 points and a 73% DSR, both of which are respectable numbers. There were three, 3 & outs which is about normal for most teams but another 4 drives were killed by turnovers.When the offense managed to hold on to the ball,they were easily moving down the field.TEAM TOTALSOther than turnovers, there really aren’t any bad numbers here. The 2.6 points per drive ranks 13th this week while the 6.5 yards per play is similar to what the Patriots put up last week against the Colts defense. One of every three plays resulted in a first down.And on third downs, an average of 6 yards to go was the 8th best mark of any team this week.Given such short yardage on third down, I would like to see the conversion rate a bit higher but 42% is still good. PASSINGOther than interceptions, 2 of which are on the receivers, there isn’t any bad news here. Yards after catch was good and I like the average depth of target of 8.7 yards, which in my opinion is right about the sweet spot for this offense (given our receiving group).The completion rate was low, but the blame for that falls squarely on dropped passes.In an alternate reality Womens Denico Autry 2019 Jersey , where those drops don’t occur, there are 6 more completions for 78 yards,2 fewer interceptions and 1 more TD.That is the difference between a passer rating of 77.8 or 124.1. It is the difference between an excellent ANY/A of 10.1 or a poor 5.7.It is the difference between a win and a loss. RUSHINGHoly crap, the run game was actually good. 30% of all carries resulted in a first down, although the Colts went 0 for 2 on third downs.Over half of all rushes were “successful” (first down, TD or chunk yardage) with 3 explosive runs greater than 10 yards.A weighted success rate of 45% is 4th best this week and by far the best mark the Colts have put up all season. CONCLUSIONSOutside of the turnovers, the offense was actually very good this week, but other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play? While the last 3 weeks has seen 3 losses, I am far more encouraged by the Colts efforts than I was the first 3 weeks.The numbers are trending in the right direction and it is really just mental errors from keeping this offense from being good. SEASON TOTALS (per game)
  4. Two veterans who had been the subject of trade talk are being traded for each other.The Giants are trading pass rusher Olivier Vernon to the Browns for guard Kevin Zeitler Youth E.J. Gaines Jersey , according to multiple reports. The two teams are also swapping mid-round picks, with the Browns getting a better pick in the exchange.Trades cannot become official until the new league year starts on Wednesday, but teams can agree to trades now Youth Tyrod Taylor Jersey , and the Browns and Giants have.Vernon and Zeitler are both good players but both expensive. Vernon has a base salary of $15.25 million this season, while Zeitler’s salary is $10 million. There was talk that both players could be released if they weren’t traded because their teams didn’t want to pay them.But the Browns think Vernon is worth the money and the Giants think Zeitler is worth the money. Perhaps this trade will be a win-win for two teams that need more wins on the field. Josh Allen is a Top 10 pick for the second year in a row."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Daily Dawg ChowRufio’s PlaybookCommunity Mock Draft2019 NFL Mock Draft: New York Jets Select DE/OLB Josh Allen at No. 3New,16commentsJosh Allen is a Top 10 pick for the second year in a row.EDTShareTweetShareShare2019 NFL Mock Draft: New York Jets Select DE/OLB Josh Allen at No. 3Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY SportsWith the 3rd pick in the 2019 DBN Community NFL Mock Draft Tyrod Taylor Jersey Stitched , the New York Jets select...Josh Allen, DE/OLB, KentuckyThe selection and write-up were made by Robo Dawg:Pokorny: “Gregg Williams gets an edge rusher to work with for his first season in New York Youth Carlos Hyde Jersey , and it’s also the pick that our Jets affiliate agreed with in the SB Nation writers mock draft.”The Oakland Raiders are up next, led by mrwhitman.2019 DBN Community Mock Draft ResultsPickTeamUsernameSelectionPickTeamUsernameSelection
  5. Chase Holden’s Fantasy Football Start’ Em and Sit’ Em: Saints vs. Falcons It’s Week 3 and more importantly rivalry week for The Who Dat Nation! The Saints are headed up to Atlanta to take on the pesky Falcons or as I like to call them “ The Dirty Birds”. After last week’s performance Tyeler Davison Jersey Stitched , we know that the New Orleans defense still hasn't made it back to their 2017 work ethic, and head coach Sean Payton addressed that there’s still a lot of work to be done. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that these two NFC south teams light up when they play each other and fantasy owners can reap the benefits from it this week. As a reminder, all of my work will be based on PPR leagues, and obvious starters like Alvin Kamara will not be written about. Each week, I will evaluate both teams and list my picks from the matchups.Start’ EmTre’Quan Smith (NO)Tre’Quan Smith saw his first fantasy points last week against Cleveland. Although he didn’t put up much of a stat line I feel that this is the week we see the 91st overall pick of the 2018 draft get in the end zone. On Wednesday Coach Sean Payton said “We’ve got to find a way to get him (Smith) more touches. He’s handling our installation, He knows what were doing game plan wise and I think he’s ready to prove that”.This guy shows promise to be a future stud in the Saints receiving core after a standout performance during training camp and in the preseason. Now don’t get it twisted, this isn’t a player you’ll want if you play in an 8-10 man league, but If you play in a 14-16 man league don’t pass up throwing this WR3 into your lineup. Tevin Coleman - Falcons RBPhoto by Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesLast week, the Falcons announced that Devonta Freeman would be out for 2-3 weeks nursing a knee injury. This passed the torch to Tevin Coleman to lead the backfield and honestly he’sdoing a pretty great job so far filling Freeman's shoes. Last week against Carolina Youth Craig Robertson Jersey , Coleman put up 107 rushing yards and 4 receptions for 18 Yards. Going beyond this game, Coleman is someone you definitely want in your season long lineups and if his production continues I can definitely see his workload increasing even when Freeman returns. With the Saints having their defensive woes he is a must start in all formats for Sunday’s match up.Sit’ EmNew Orleans & Atlanta’s Defense“Really Chase, another defensive sit em?” Absolutely! The Saints and Falcons seem to bring out the best in each other offensively, which could end in a huge offensive clinic between Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. Expect a lot of scoring in Atlanta this Sunday. Both offenses have great weapons so play it safe because we all know scoring will make that initial 10 points fade away. If you own either of these defenses go ahead and grab you a streamer for this week from a different game.Mike Gillislee (NO)Mike Gillislee came to New Orleans expected to fill the absence of Mark Ingram during his 4 game suspension and he’s been nothing but disappointing since. It seems that not just anyone can waltz in and recreate the Boom and Zoom effect that New Orleans possessed in 2017. So far Alvin Kamara has surprised many (not me) being able to fill more of a single back role in this years offense and that won’t change this week in Atlanta. I personally know a few people that stashed Gillislee in hopes that he would rack up some points while Ingram served his time riding the pine but get real, he’s only owned by 1.9% of ESPN fantasy players. Unless your in a 16 man league do yourself a favor and hit the drop button.For any NFL Start/Sit questions you have, feel free to ask me on Twitter @GarageGuyChase 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 鈥?the most lopsided defeat for a Super Bowl champion 鈥?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 Craig Robertson Jersey Stitched , 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 Youth Ken Crawley Jersey ," 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.
  6. Cowboys vs. Panthers: Five things to watch in the game The Dallas Cowboys will be playing football on Sunday in a real game that will count in the standings. Can you believe it? The time has finally arrived. The Cowboys will square off with their first NFC South team as they travel to Carolina to face the Panthers. The last time these teams met was in 2015 and the Panthers gave the Cowboys a 33-14 Thanksgiving beat-down. Carolina came into that game 10-0 and finished 15-1 en route to a Super Bowl appearance.The Cowboys are hoping for different results this time as they look to get off to a good start in 2018. It’s should be a great game as these teams are evenly matched Deonte Thompson Jersey Stitched , but what are some things that could be the difference maker? Here are five things to watch when these two teams square off.Panthers DT’s vs. Cowboys interior OLThe Cowboys were going to have their hands full with the Panthers stud defensive tackles Dontari Poe and Kawaan Short no matter what, but the absence of All Pro center Travis Frederick is going to make it that much more challenging. Backup center Joe Looney has been solid in relief, but when you consider that he’ll have rookie Connor Williams on his left, that can create a cause for concern for Cowboys fans as they fend off two former Pro Bowlers.The offensive line is such an important part of the Cowboys success. They need it working to get Ezekiel Elliott going and they need it to keep Dak Prescott upright. Winning the battle in the trenches is going to be key for Dallas on Sunday.Which will effectively influence...Cowboys first-down efficiencyThere is no secret that the Cowboys are going to employ a heavy does of the running game. Keeping quarterback Dak Prescott in manageable down-and-distance situations is going to be imperative and the Cowboys offense will need to win on early downs to make that possible. With the tough defensive front of Carolina, it’s going to be difficult for the Cowboys to move the pile. Dallas will need to work in some bootleg tosses, play-action Youth Marcus Martin Jersey , and quick passes in order to keep the Panthers from overloading against the run.If the Cowboys get stuffed early or have some negative plays that put them behind the chains, then their offense could be forced to play uphill. It’s going to be important for the Cowboys to be efficient on first down.Randy Gregory vs. Taylor MotonThe Panthers offensive line is beat up as several key starters are battling injuries. One of those key starters is left tackle Matt Kalil who was selected fourth overall in the 2012 NFL Draft (by Minnesota). On Tuesday, the Panthers put Kalil on injured reserve, making him unavailable to them for the first half of the season.That leaves second-year tackle Taylor Moton to protect Cam Newton’s blindside. While Panthers fans are pleased with the progress of last year’s second-round pick, Moton is very inexperienced and only played five snaps last year.Opposing Moton will be another second-round pick who doesn’t have a whole lot of playing experience himself - Randy Gregory. However, the Cowboys young edge rusher has hit the ground running once he was reinstated by the league and he’s ready to show the world what he can do. This will be an interesting battle to keep an eye on as how well these players perform will have a huge affect on how successful these teams can be this season.Double-down on double-deuceChristian McCaffrey can be explosive when he gets in space and the Cowboys defense will need watch this guy carefully. McCaffrey can beat you as a running back Marcus Martin Jersey Stitched , but he’s even more dangerous catching passes as the majority of his 1,000+ scrimmage yards last season came as a receiver. With Panthers coach Ron Rivera indicating that McCaffrey will get a heavy amount of touches, this could open things up for the second-year running back to have a big season.The Cowboys will counter that with the great explosiveness of All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee. And with the improved movement from Jaylon Smith, the defense has a good core group of players who can go after the ball carrier. When it comes to McCaffrey, the Cowboys better allocate an extra defender to track his whereabouts. He’s a slippery littler sucker and if they don’t have an insurance policy in place when one guy misses, it could turn into a big play for Carolina.The rookie receiversThe Cowboys didn’t select fan-favorite D.J. Moore in the first round Youth Tavon Austin Jersey , but the Panthers did. Dallas opted to wait until the third round to draft their new wide receiver when they selected Michael Gallup with the 81st overall pick. How well will these young receivers fan in their NFL debut?Devin Funchess is the Panthers top receiving threat at the moment, but with with the talent of Moore, it’s only a matter of time before he starts becoming more involved in the offense. Cam Newton has a big arm and if Moore gets loose deep down field, it could result in a big play for the Panthers offense.The Cowboys have an assortment of receivers and could end up dressing all six of them on the roster. It’s unclear what Gallup’s role will be, but he developed some nice chemistry with Prescott in training camp. Can the rookie makes a splash in his first NFL game?What will you be watching on Sunday?Dez Bryant: They had Jason Witten as our No. 1 so Jerry is right It seemingly never ends when it comes to Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys, even though the team released him back in April. On Tuesday morning Jerry Jones made waves when he noted that it had been “several years” since the Cowboys employed a “true No. 1” receiver. This obviously was of note considering that the Dallas Cowboys recently had Dez Bryant on their team and that he was regarded to be one of those.Predictably Tavon Austin Jersey Stitched , Dez Bryant responded on Twitter. That’s where we’re at in 2018. In his esteemed opinion if you play for the Cowboys you will never see targets like players on other teams. This is likely a reference to how run-heavy the squad is. Bryant is quick to remind us that he is “Mr. 73” which is of course a reference to him being the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns. He talks about how he was “never schemed into things” and that he “made things happen throughout” his career. It will likely debated as to who was the “true No. 1” receiver for the Cowboys in the time that they had both Dez and Jason Witten, but the numbers prove that Bryant saw more targets despite playing in less games.The Cowboys play the Jacksonville Jaguars this week and they just signed Jamaal Charles. So we’ve also got that going on!
  7. As we start to get into the season with teams getting settled into what they are and injuries beginning to take their toll Indianapolis Colts Robert Okereke Jersey , we begin to see teams thinking about making some last minute trades, especially with the trade deadline looming on October 30th. Pro Football Focus has put together a list of trades they would like to see made by every team, and it includes the Colts in a couple different places. The first one is pretty ridiculous given the showing we just saw from the Colts’ backup wide receivers, but PFF thinks that the Colts would be best served by trading away T.Y. Hilton, one of their most valuable offensive weapons, to the Washington Redskins for a 2nd round pick. Here’s what the article had to say:So all this is fine and good. It is mostly true as well, Hilton would certainly offer an upgrade for the Redskins’ roster. He’d be an upgrade to any wide receiver room. The problem is if you’re going to propose a trade, you have to choose one that actually holds a benefit for the other party as well. That’s sort of the way trades work. I mean, if you’re just going to propose something absurd, why not Andrew Luck to the Jaguars for a 1st rounder? That is a totally viable option, right? It helps the Jaguars tremendously! I know, I’m being unreasonable to expect some critical thinking.Elsewhere in the article they suggest that the Colts should send a 3rd round pick to the Denver Broncos for Shaquil Barrett to help improve their defense on the edge. While I am not opposed to adding depth to the Colts’ defensive line Cheap Alize Mack Youth Jersey , Barrett typically plays as an outside linebacker for the Broncos. In Matt Eberflus’ defense in particular, they are very concerned with scheme fit, and they aren’t trading away a 3rd round pick for a guy who is not quite in line with what they are looking for. The reasoning for the Colts making this move isn’t much better: I’m not going to tell you that the Jihad Ward and Kemoko Turay are better than Bradley Chubb. What I will tell you is that they both have more sacks than either he or Barrett. Denico Autry has been a good contributor on defense, but he missed two weeks with injury, which they don’t bother to mention. His absence didn’t prevent the Colts from continuing to march toward one of their most productive years in terms of sacks. Speaking of sacks, they also don’t mention that Margus Hunt has 4 on the season and has played out of his mind. In fact, they don’t mention him at all. If you’re ever tempted to listen too closely to the grades put out by PFF or care too much about what they think, remember things like this. You can bend the stats to say a lot, but you’ve got to put the time in watching the film as well.So what do you think? Are you ready to trade away T.Y. Hilton for a 2nd round pick? If so, you could probably work for PFF! Hits And Misses: Andrew Luck Has Career Day In Loss To Texans | 1070 the FanLet’s take a look at the good and the bad from the Colts losing in overtime on Sunday, 37-34, to the Houston Texans.Colts' Frank Reich reconsiders '10 times out of 10' but will stay aggressiveIndianapolis Colts coach reconsiders his 'going for it 10 times out of 10' comment while preaching aggressiveness.Frank Reich of Indianapolis Colts backs off '10 out of 10 times' stanceColts coach Frank Reich on Monday tried to give "context" to his statement that he would go for it 10 out of 10 times if he were faced again with a fourth down in his own territory in overtime.Frank Reich has considered the matter White Marlon Mack Jersey , and he still feels good about going for it. Here’s why. – The AthleticAfter 24 hours of mulling his overtime decision to go for it on fourth down, Frank Reich felt just the same Monday as he did Sunday.With Time To Reflect, Frank Reich Explains Overtime DecisionIndianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich on Monday dove deeper into the rationale behind going for it on 4th down in his own territory late in overtime of Sunday’s eventual loss to the Houston Texans.Frank Reich offers ‘context,’ but sticks with aggressive fourth-down decision | FOX59INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Upon further review, Frank Reich still would pull the trigger. However, the Indianapolis Colts’ aggressive first-year head coach offered a bit of context Monday on his much-debated Sunday decision to have his offense attempt to convert a fourth-and-4 from its own 43-yard ...Kravitz Dopey Report Card: Colts vs. Texans (September 30, 2018) | 13 WTHR IndianapolisEvery week, Bob Kravitz offers his Dopey Report Card on the Indianapolis Colts' performance. This week, he breaks down the Colts' loss to the Houston Texans.Chris Ballard On First Four Games, Andrew Luck, Big-Name Trade OpportunitiesIndianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard tonight was a guest on 1070 The Fan’s “Colts Roundtable Live Marlon Mack Jersey 2019 ,” where he was asked a multitude of questions about his thoughts on the first four games of the season, possible big names on the market, and mucColts Notebook: Tackles rally against Texans' pass-rushing duo | Sports | heraldbulletin.comLe'Raven Clark and Denzelle Good had a stiff challenge Sunday.Colts Release Week 5 Unofficial Depth ChartWhat does the 2018 Week 5 unofficial depth chart look like for the Indianapolis Colts? We take a position-by-position look.Colts Notebook: Robert Turbin Returns To The Team | 1070 the FanOn Monday, the Colts were back to work with another game coming on Thursday. Here’s a notebook look at the Colts flipping the switch quickly to the Patriots.Colts’ Robert Turbin back and ‘ready to roll’ | CBS 4 - Indianapolis News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | WTTVINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Normalcy returned for Robert Turbin. It was Monday morning, so the veteran running back crawled out of bed at 5:30 and so he could get to the Indianapolis Colts’ Farm Bureau Football Center by 6. And yes, his security code still worked.Turbin ready to play if called upon | Sports | heraldbulletin.comRobert Turbin was back in the locker room Monday at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. It remains to be seen when the veteran running back will return to theColts GM Chris Ballard downplays Josh McDaniels episodeIndianapolis Colts, spurned by Josh McDaniels at last minute in coaching search, play the New England Patriots on ThursdayCOLTS MEDIA
  8. Browns WR Antonio Callaway cited for marijuana possession lol.Hard Knocks is set to debut this week Youth Baker Mayfield Jersey , and although it might not make this episode, they are going to have a whole heck of a lot of material in future episodes regarding the Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver position. After Corey Coleman was traded on Sunday, that meant rookie Antonio Callaway was temporarily promoted to the starting lineup. And then...this story came out, per Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland:Grossi’s report says the amount of marijuana found was “small enough to be regarded as a minor misdemeanor under Ohio law,” and he is due in court Thursday morning at 9:30 AM Baker Mayfield Jersey Stitched , which is supposed to be when the Browns play their first preseason game in New York. Callaway was practicing on Tuesday at training camp, and Hue Jackson indicated the team didn’t even know about the matter. The team released this brief statement:Given Callaway’s troubled past, this is not the best of starts to his NFL career, and the timing couldn’t be worse for Cleveland with Coleman gone and Josh Gordon still missing in action.UPDATE: The excuse that Callaway is using? His car was recently shipped from Florida, others had driven it Myles Garrett Jersey Stitched , and he didn’t know it was there. The Cleveland Browns have voided their verbal agreement with wide receiver Breshad Perriman on a one-year contract, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday night.Perriman, who revived his career in Cleveland last season, had agreed earlier in the day to sign a $4 million contract for next season. However, when the Browns stunned the NFL by agreeing to acquire superstar Odell Beckham Jr. from the New York Giants David Njoku Jersey Stitched , Perriman asked out.Both sides then mutually agreed to cancel the deal, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because nothing can become official until 4 p.m. Wednesday.Perriman quickly found a new home, agreeing to a 1-year contract with Tampa Bay, said another person with knowledge of the deal.A former first-round pick of Baltimore, Perriman signed with Cleveland in October. He finished with 16 receptions for 340 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games.鈥?Reporting by Tom WithersBuccaneers re-sign backup QB GriffinThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed quarterback Ryan Griffin to a two-year contract.The seventh-year pro Orange Chad Thomas Jersey , who’s never taken a snap in a regular-season game, spent the past four seasons as a backup behind Jameis Winston. For most of the past two seasons, he was No. 3 on the depth chart behind Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick.Griffin entered the NFL in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane. He spent two seasons with the New Orleans Saints before joining the Bucs.鈥?Reporting by Fred Goodall
  9. Saints tight end Benjamin Watson announced last week that he will retire at the end of the season and the response to that news noted the impact that Watson has made off the field in addition to what he’s done on it over the course of his 15-year NFL career.That off-field work was also recognized by the NFLPA this week. The union named Watson as this week’s Community MVP in recognition of his “Freedom Friday” campaign. Watson made donations of $5 Austin Carr Color Rush Jersey ,000 to 15 different charities including the International Justice Mission and World Vision and made appeals each Friday for others to join him.The efforts resulted in over $100,000 in support for the chosen organizations.鈥淲ith so many players working for the betterment of their communities, it is an honor to be named NFLPA Community MVP this week,鈥?Watson said in a statement. 鈥淎s a husband , father, teammate聽and聽citizen, my mission is to use the time, talent and treasure God has given me to love and serve those in need New Orleans Saints Customized Jerseys , be a voice for the voiceless, and stand for justice and truth.鈥漌atson will receive $10,000 from the NFLPA for his foundation or a charity of his choice. He and all the other weekly winners will be eligible for the Alan Page Community Award at the end of the season. The Saints and Eagles can both strike quickly.But the Saints took the lead in this one methodically, which hasn’t always been their style.They might have gotten to the end zone for a 17-14 lead more quickly if not for penalties on left guard Andrus Peat (along with a phantom call on Max Unger) New Orleans Saints T-Shirts , but the end result was similar to so many Saints drives.Quarterback Drew Brees looked for Michael Thomas in the end zone, and his all-Pro wideout boxed out the defender and made an impressive grab.That capped an 18-play, 92-yard drive, which had to gain 112 yards to overcome the penalties. It also chewed an amazing 11:29 off the clock New Orleans Saints Hats , as the Eagles three-and-out to start the second half seems like an hour ago.Thomas has 10 catches for 140 yards and the score, and the Saints appear to have found the rhythm that eluded them early in the game.
  10. Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill says he apologized to coach Doug Pederson for trash talking the Dallas Cowboys earlier this week.Grugier-Hill told a Philadelphia television reporter on Wednesday: "Look at Dallas' history. They always choke. So we'll go down there and make them choke."The defending Super Bowl champion Eagles (6-6) visit the Cowboys (7-5) on Sunday with first place in the NFC East on the line.Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott responded Thursday first by asking "who" when told of Grugier-Hill's comments."Coach (Jason) Garrett has a great saying Michael Gallup Jersey Stitched , and I don't know where he got it from, but winners worry about winning and losers worry about winners," Prescott added.Grugier-Hill wasn't available until Friday. He expressed regret to Pederson because he said he put his coach "in a tough spot.""It's a rivalry game. I didn't think too much about it. I didn't mean to disrespect this organization or coach Pederson," Grugier-Hill said. "I have a lot of confidence in the guys and in myself going into this game, and I'm ready to play.Pederson made it clear to the third-year player the comments were unnecessary."First of all, the Philadelphia Eagles, myself, we have a ton of respect for the Cowboys," Pederson said. "It has nothing to do with that, we have a ton of respect for coach Garrett. ... It's unfortunate that the comments were made. I talk to the team a lot about how we don't need to post anything that can be used on other team's website or bulletin board. It's unfortunate that happened. We still have to go play. They have to play. It's going to be a good football game." Reports have been all over the place regarding Jason Garrett’s long-term future with the Cowboys. At one point, it was all but certain he would be extended during the season. After the Cowboys struggled to a 3-5 start, ownership may have had second thoughts. Jason Garrett certainly responded well to that adversity and got his team to play much better going 7-1 down the stretch. Some may think that such a remarkable turnaround, coupled with a 10-6 finish, NFC East title, and playoff win would be enough to justify an extension for Garrett. Those people would be sadly mistaken because it doesn’t look like that extension is coming just yet:This may be the smartest move the Cowboys will make all offseason as Jason Garrett will enter the 2019 season on the final year of his contract. Through eight full seasons as the Cowboys head coach, the team experienced three mediocre 8-8 finishes, went 12-4 in 2014,fell to 4-12 in an injury-riddled 2015. Since the Dak Prescott-Ezekiel Elliott era began Youth Dorance Armstrong Jersey , Jason Garrett has added three-consecutive winning seasons and two division titles. Still, the Cowboys haven’t made it past the divisional round of the playoffs. That’s precisely why ownership is not comfortable dishing out that extension.What kind of coach is Jason Garrett? We know that he’s passionate, that his players respond well to him, and that they never give up on his message. Those are three great qualities to have as a coach. This season’s comeback story was mostly credited to the Amari Cooper trade, Dak Prescott’s resurgence, and a young ferocious defense. What’s often overlooked is how hard the players played for this coach, they really do like Jason Garrett. You can probably say that they love their coach but players loved Wade Phillips, too. At some point, you are faced with the question of “is this the guy for this team going forward?”Think about all the justifications made over his almost decade-long tenure as the head coach. The 8-8 seasons were pinned on a defense in transition and an organization in rebuild mode. For the next two years, it was about the health of Tony Romo and not having a solution behind him. In 2016, it was a young team who just got outsmarted by a legendary quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. In 2017, the 9-7 no playoff Cowboys were a product of Ezekiel Elliott’s fight with the league and insurmountable injuries to star players. That led to an offseason theme of making this team “Dak-friendly” with a reset at receiver and turning over the majority of the coaching staff while giving the scepter to Scott Linehan.We all know where we go from there, halfway through the Cowboys said “this isn’t working, Scott.” Jason Garrett started to warm up to Kellen Moore and Doug Nussmeier towards the end of the year as the Cowboys got themselves to the postseason. After a divisional loss where the Rams just shut this team down, Scott Linehan got the boot. What we have to all realize is that Scott Linehan was ‘a’ problem but Garrett and the others all played their part as well. As previously mentioned, there are a lot of good qualities to having Jason Garrett as your head coach. He certainly has an eye for talent evaluation but he’s not perfect, nobody is, except for maybe Bill Belichick. The biggest area for Garrett and company to work on is that air of arrogance we often see. It’s one thing to be confident in your gameplan but the Cowboys went into this season without Travis Frederick Dorance Armstrong Jersey Stitched , they also had a rookie at left guard, and a banged up Zack Martin. Instead of countering with a few adjustments, these coaches lined up and tried to execute 2016’s success without the horses to do so. Now, it did work, at times, you don’t win 10 games without making it work but their problems never went away. They still struggled to move defenses off the ball in the red-zone, were one of the worst in goal-to-go, had all sorts of fits with premier defensive tackles, and were the second-worst in terms of sacks allowed. When they faced off against a great team like the Rams, it exposed every problem they have on both sides of the ball. These are things the Cowboys coaches will attempt to correct in the offseason but it’s going to take different voices sharing different opinions. Garrett has put the onus on himself and will have a heavy hand in every aspect of the team as a head coach should. With Kitna, Moore, and Nussmeier on offense, Garrett wants to freshen his scheme with creativity. Kris Richard and Rod Marinelli will continue to develop the defense that is already on a path to success.So for now, we sit with Jason Garrett taking back the scepter and surrounding himself with younger voices and hopefully an open mind. Maybe that will be the difference and this collective approach brings lots of future success. If it does, we can talk about an extension next offseason but the Jones’ family has every right to wait and see if Jason Garrett is the right man for this job.
  11. The unsung heroes of the Colts’ amazing season – The AthleticPlayers who were never considered meaningful to this season’s outcome made themselves relevant by seizing their moments. And the Colts wouldn’t be here without them.T.Y. Hilton's ankle won't keep him from playoff trip to second homeIn seven career games at NRG Stadium White T.Y. Hilton Jersey , Hilton has caught 41 passes for 933 yards and seven touchdowns.Limited T.Y. Hilton Faces The Team He Owns In Houston | 1070 the FanPlaying through a myriad of injuries this season, T.Y. Hilton is not fully healthy as the Colts enter the playoffs. How healthy is Hilton?Colts Notebook: Frank Reich Has Adam Vinatieri Speak To Team About Playoff Football | 1070 the FanThe Colts are altering their schedule with the postseason here. Here’s a notebook look at the Colts returning to work on Tuesday.Frank Reich taps into Vinatieri’s playoff experience heading into round 1 meeting with Houston | FOX59INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As Frank Reich was sitting idly Monday evening – well, as idly as a coach can sit whose team has its biggest game of the season in five days – his mind drifted toward covering every conceivable aspect of that biggest game of the season.Colts-Titans Drive Of The Game: Special Teams, Defense Close Out TitansThe Indianapolis Colts’ 2018 Week 17 Drive of the Game T.Y. Hilton Jersey 2019 , presented by Hays + Sons, was a seven-play, 48-yard drive by the Tennessee Titans midway through the fourth quarter that ended with a Kenny Moore II interception.Colts’ Offensive Line Dominates Its Way Onto Pro Football Focus’ 'Team Of The Week'Behind 158 rushing yards and just two hits on their quarterback in their Week 17 victory over the Tennessee Titans, three of the Indianapolis Colts’ five offensive linemen made Pro Football Focus’ Week 17 NFLTexans' Bill O'Brien recruited Colts guard Quenton Nelson in high school - HoustonChronicle.comYears before Texans coach Bill O'Brien and his staff were tasked with dealing with mauling Indianapolis Colts rookie offensive guard Quenton Nelson in NFL games, O'Brien was trying to convince the standout blocker to attend Penn State.COLTS MEDIA In a game where the Colts could do no wrong they came away with their most dominating victory of the season. Heading into halftime I assumed this game would end up being close. The Cowboys dominated time of possession and looked to have had several unlucky breaks. As it turns out White Pat McAfee Jersey , they may have had some bad luck, but the Colts were also executing at a very high level. Each week, I look to break down two of the best or worst plays or situations from the previous game, but I rely on the help of the Stampede Blue community to decide what plays should be given a closer look as I hope to explain what happened in greater detail than the broadcasters can. Often you’ll hear “how did that guy get so open?” and I hope to be able to answer that question for Colts fans this season. This week my vote is going to how the Colts stopped the Cowboys fourth down plays throughout the course of the game. It will mean more work for me, the Cowboys tried and tried again Pat McAfee Jersey 2019 , but truly the Colts defense coming up big on those fourth down stops had the biggest impact of the day. There will be a lot to choose from for the second choice this week; any one of Marlon Mack’s impressive runs, T.Y. Hilton’s over the shoulder catch while sliding down, any of the defense’s sacks of Dak Prescott. There were a lot of good plays but this game was over after halftime. Let me know in the comments if I missed any plays!Also, yes the officials weren’t great. No I’m not going to take a look at penalties but that might make a good article, just not this one. Also White Peyton Manning Jersey , also, Cowboys fans aren’t great losers so I’m going to enjoy looking at this game again and counting the ways our Colts stopped Dak Prescott.
  12. Injury bug bites Kevin Zeitler in the calf The Cleveland Browns were hit for the second day in a row on Thursday with a change to the offensive line.But this time it was something outside the team’s control.Starting right guard Kevin Zeitler missed practice on Thursday after suffering a calf injury during Wednesday’s practice. While the injury is reportedly not serious Chad Thomas Jersey 2019 , Zeitler will be out for “a while,” head coach Hue Jackson said, according to loss of Zeitler comes on the heels of the team’s decision to move starting left guard Joel Bitonio to left tackle.So, in the span of about 24 hours, the Browns have gone from having one of the best guard tandems in the NFL to a position filled by Austin Corbett, a rookie who played left tackle for four years in college at Nevada, and Drango, who Orange David Njoku Jersey , on his best day, is ... well ... serviceable.Zeitler’s absence was noticeable during practice, according to Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository:Being out for a “couple of weeks” means that Zeitler will miss the preseason opener on August 9 against the New York Giants at a minimum, with the August 17 game against the Buffalo Bills also in jeopardy.Daily Dawg Chow: Browns news (8/20/18) Cleveland Browns:“Cornerback E.J. Gaines carted off with knee injury” (C-T) - “He remained on the ground for a few minutes as the medical staff checked on him and teammates kneeled around him. He was eventually driven inside the team facility on a cart.”“Browns continue to downplay league involvement in Josh Gordon’s status” (PFT) - “It’s also unclear whether and to what extent the league has a hand in Gordon’s ability to practice and play...”“Baker Mayfield shows off fancy footwork for Browns” ( - “Baker Mayfield’s box score might not impress Browns fans, but the rookie flashed plenty of potential in Friday night’s 19-17 loss to the Bills.”“Corey Coleman scoffs at Hard Knocks’ portrayal: ‘They should’ve showed the whole thing’” (Plain Dealer) - “It then cut to him being called into Hue Jackson’s office after he was demoted to second-team behind Antonio Callaway the day before the trade.”“Bills say Jarvis Landry’s block was ‘dirty,’ should have been penalized” (ESPN) - “Meanwhile, Johnson put blame on himself for not being aggressive enough on the 4-yard touchdown run by Cleveland running back Carlos Hyde in the first quarter.”NFL:“Redskins hosting Adrian Peterson, Darkwa David Njoku Jersey 2019 , Charles” ( - “Among the running backs set to visit the Redskins are Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Orleans Darkwa, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported...”“Richard Sherman explains why ‘idiotic’ helmet rule goes against tackling fundamentals” (CBS) - “And his opinion meshes nicely with that of the general public, the media and most players: the rule stinks and it doesn’t make sense.”“Bears QB Trubisky getting on same page with Robinson, Burton” (AP) - “Throughout camp, the trio has steadily honed their chemistry. That was evident Thursday when the team had a joint practice against the Denver Broncos.”
  13. Jamie Sabau/Getty ImagesCincinnati Reds pitcher Matt Harvey has already been traded once this season and could be on the move again given the latest report.According to Robert Murray of The Athletic Aaron Sanchez Jersey , an unknown team claimed Harvey on revocable waivers, which opens up the possibility Cincinnati could trade him even though the non-waiver trade deadline has passed.Andrew Simon of provided a rundown of what can happen after a player is claimed on waivers:"Once a player is claimed, his team faces three options. It can pull the player back and keep him, negotiate a trade with the claiming team or let the player go. In the last scenario, the claiming team takes full responsibility for the player's remaining salary. If the two sides decide to work out a trade Kevin Pillar Jersey , they have two days to do so."The New York Mets traded Harvey to the Reds in May in exchange for catcher Devin Mesoraco after the right-handed pitcher posted an ugly 7.00 ERA in eight appearances in New York this season.However, he has shown improvement for the Reds and has a 4.28 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 17 starts, making him a more valuable trade piece. It makes sense for Cincinnati to move him since it is in last place and could acquire a young asset to bolster its rebuild in a deal before Harvey potentially leaves in free agency this offseason.While there was a time when Harvey was one of the best pitchers in baseball, he posted a 4.86 ERA in 2016 and 6.70 ERA in 2017 before this up-and-down year. The Mets also shut him down in 2016 to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.Still, he is just 29 years old , was a 2013 All-Star and won the 2015 National League Comeback Player of the Year Award while helping lead the Mets to the World Series. He is a low-risk option for potential contenders at this point and likely wouldn't command a significant return package in a trade.Harvey has October experience and has proved himself in the past, and at least one unknown team took a step toward landing him for the stretch run. CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs will have different hitting and pitching coaches for the second straight season after they announced Jim Hickey’s departure Tuesday.Hickey is leaving the organization after one season as pitching coach because of personal reasons, according to the team. Hitting coach Chili Davis was fired last month after one season and replaced by Anthony Iapoce.With Hickey’s help, Chicago ranked third in the majors this year with a 3.65 team ERA. The Cubs went 95-68 and lost to Colorado in the NL wild-card game.“We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers,” president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement. “Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”Chicago’s uncertain situation with its coaching staff could affect its search for a replacement for the respected Hickey. Manager Joe Maddon is entering the final year of his contract Josh Donaldson Jersey , and Epstein has said the club will not be offering an extension before the start of the 2019 season.Hickey was hired a year ago to replace Chris Bosio. Hickey also has been a pitching coach with Houston and Tampa Bay.Also Tuesday, the Cubs claimed left-hander Ian Clarkin off waivers from the crosstown White Sox and traded infielder Jason Vosler to the San Diego Padres for right-hander Rowan Wick.The 23-year-old Clarkin was selected by the New York Yankees in the first round of the 2013 draft. He was traded to the White Sox in the July 2017 deal that sent Todd Frazier and David Robertson to New York.Wick, who turned 26 on Nov. 9, made his major league debut in August. He went 0-1 with a 6.48 ERA in 10 relief appearances with San Diego.The Cubs also said outfielder Johnny Field and lefty Jerry Vasto cleared waivers and were assigned to Triple-A Iowa. Infielder Jack Reinheimer was claimed off waivers by Texas after he was claimed off waivers by Chicago on Nov. 2.
  14. BOSTON (AP) — Mookie Betts doesn’t seem to be badly hurt , so the Red Sox can focus on clinching the AL East at Yankee Stadium for the second time in three seasons.Betts gave Boston a scare when he injured his left side making two throws to home plate during a 4-3 win over the New York Mets on Sunday that cut Boston’s magic number to two for a third straight division title.“It kind of flared back up on the second throw. It’ll be fine. I’ll be ready to play Tuesday,” Betts said. “I was just coming out for precautionary (reasons) just to make sure it didn’t get worse. Everything checked out fine and I’ll be ready to go.”Boston has an 11½-game lead over the second-place Yankees and would clinch with one win during a three-game series that opens Tuesday afternoon.“We’ve been looking at the standings and a lot of people have been talking about it for a month-and-a-half,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “Now, it’s right there. If it happens Tuesday, it’s going to be a fun night.”Betts, hitting .337 with 29 homers and 72 RBIs, caught a fly ball from Jeff McNeil in the sixth inning and threw home as Austin Jackson held at third. Wilmer Flores followed with another drive to right, and Betts unsuccessfully threw home as Jackson scored on the sacrifice fly.Betts went down to one knee, and the three-time All-Star was stretching his left side and back as a team athletic trainer and Cora jogged to the outfield. Betts walked off slowly and was replaced. Cora said Betts will get treatment Monday.Andrew Benintendi hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning off Seth Lugo (3-4) after a matchup of Sale and New York’s Jacob deGrom, both Cy Young Award candidates. Brandon Workman (5-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Steven Wright got three outs for his first big league save.Sale allowed one hit in three scoreless innings, lowering his AL-best ERA to 1.92 and extending his scoreless streak to 32, the longest in the major leagues this season. He made his second start after a pair of trips to the disabled list caused by mild left shoulder inflammation limited him to one appearance nearly six weeks.“I feel a 100 percent and wouldn’t be going out there if I wasn’t,” Sale said.DeGrom gave up three runs and five hits over seven innings with 12 strikeouts and one walk, his major league-leading ERA rising slightly to 1.78. He has gone a major league record 27 straight starts holding opponent to three or fewer runs, according the Elias Sports Bureau.Boston took a 3-0 lead in the third on Betts’ sacrifice fly and Brock Holt’s two-run homer. New York closed to 3-2 in the sixth on Flores’ sacrifice fly and a double by Michael Conforto that bounced off the glove of Tzu-Wei Lin, who replaced Betts.“I knew I had good stuff,” deGrom said. “I made a couple mistakes that inning, just had to turn the page and go out there and try to keep us in the game. We tied it up and we were in the game the whole way.”Rosario hit a tying single in the seventh against Joe Kelly.MARQUEE MATCUPSale and deGrom became the first starting pitchers to face each other with sub-2.00 ERAs and at least 100 innings since the Mets’ Dwight Gooden (1.74) and the St. Louis Cardinals’ John Tudor (1.95) on Sept. 11 Javier Baez Jersey , 1985, according Elias.IF THEY VOTEDCora was impressed with deGrom.“I know voting is tough and all in that,” he said. “He should win the Cy Young in the National League.”Sale said: “He’s the best in the league. You saw it today.”AGAINST THE BESTBoston is 4-0 in games started against NL pitchers entering with ERAs among the league’s top four, also winning in starts by Washington’s Max Scherzer, Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola and Atlanta’s Mike Foltynewicz.TRAINER’S ROOMMets: Jay Bruce was the DH for the second straight day. Callaway said it was a good way to get him off his feet during an injury-plagued season in which Bruce has been limited to 82 games.Red Sox: Cora rested both DH/OF J.D. Martinez and SS Xander Bogaerts. He said that INF Eduardo Nunez (right knee soreness) likely will be back in the starting lineup Tuesday.UP NEXTMets: RHP Zack Wheeler (11-7, 3.23 ERA) is set to start Monday’s opener of a three-game series in Philadelphia. RHP Jake Arrieta (10-9, 3.66) is slated to pitch for the Phillies.Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-7, 4.22) is scheduled to start against his former team on Tuesday. LHP J.A. Happ (16-6, 3.75) is slated for New York. SEATTLE (AP) — The Oakland Athletics clinched their first playoff berth in four years, then beat the Seattle Mariners 7-3 Monday night behind Khris Davis‘ major league-leading 46th home run.Jonathan Lucroy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Chapman also homered for the A’s, assured no worse than an AL wild card.Oakland was one out into the game when Tampa Bay was eliminated with a 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees. The A’s went on to win after Chapman broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run drive in the seventh off Shawn Armstrong (0-1).Coming off three straight last-place finishes in the AL West, the A’s (95-62) are 4½ games behind AL West-leading Houston. They trail the Yankees by 1½ games for home-field advantage should they meet in a wild-card matchup.Robinson Cano and Dee Gordon homered for the Mariners.The Athletics will be making their fourth playoff appearance in the last seven seasons, all under manager Bob Melvin, and their 27th overall. The A’s lost at Kansas City 9-8 in 12 innings in the 2014 wild-card game, the last time Oakland reached the postseason.YANKEES 4, RAYS 1ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Aaron Hicks injured his left hamstring running up the first-base line in the Yankees’ win, another concern for New York heading into next week’s AL wild-card game.Hicks’ 11th-inning double on Saturday drove in Didi Gregorius with the run that clinched a postseason berth Kyle Schwarber Jersey , and on Sunday the Yankees learned Gregorius tore cartilage in his right wrist during his headfirst slide across the plate.Hicks, who had fouled a pitch off his left ankle just before the double, left Monday’s game with left hamstring tightness.New York’s win eliminated the Rays and ensured a postseason berth for Oakland, which is likely to be the wild-card opponent but also is still alive in the AL West race. At 96-60, New York is assured of its best record since going 97-65 in 2011.Brett Gardner had a go-ahead single off Ryan Yarbrough (15-6) in a two-run fifth inning.New York used eight pitchers and gave its starters extra rest ahead of the postseason, and the Rays managed just two hits — both off Sonny Gray (11-9).RED SOX 6, ORIOLES 2BOSTON (AP) — Boston broke a 106-year-old franchise record with their 106th victory, clinching home-field advantage through the postseason thanks to a pair of hits from major league batting leader Mookie Betts.Nathan Eovaldi struck out 10 hapless Baltimore batters to assure the Red Sox of the best record in baseball this season and home-field advantage through the World Series, if they make it that far. For now, they know they will open the Division Series at Fenway Park on Oct. 5 against the winner of the AL wild-card game between the New York Yankees and most likely Oakland.The 1912 Red Sox won 105 games in their first season at Fenway Park.The Orioles (45-111), who matched a franchise record for losses set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns, became the sixth AL team and the first since the 2003 Tigers to lose 111 games, falling 60½ games behind Boston (106-51) in the division. It’s the first time since 1939 that teams separated by 60 wins in the standings have played each other.Six days after throwing six scoreless innings against the Yankees, Eovaldi (6-7) allowed one run on four hits in five innings, walking none but uncorking a pair of wild pitches.Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (8-16) gave up four runs on five hits and three walks in three innings, striking out five.ASTROS 5, BLUE JAYS 3TORONTO (AP) — Brian McCann and Josh Reddick hit back-to-back home runs, and Houston beat Toronto to move one step closer to its second straight AL West title.The defending World Series champions reduced their magic number to two over Oakland to clinch the division — which would set up a best-of-five postseason matchup against AL Central champion Cleveland. The Astros can secure the AL West crown Tuesday with a win and an Oakland loss.Dallas Keuchel (12-11) allowed three runs in five innings for his first win since Sept. 3.Five relievers followed before former Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna came on to a chorus of boos in the ninth, his first appearance in Toronto since being arrested for assault in May. Osuna , who earned his 19th save in 20 opportunities, was traded to the Astros on July 30. Many in the crowd of 23,463 jeered each of Osuna’s pitches.In the first big league meeting between brothers Yuli Gurriel and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Houston’s Yuli opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first. Younger brother Lourdes grounded into a double play in the bottom of the inning, then exited the game because of a sore left hamstring.Marco Estrada (7-14) lost his fifth straight decision.DODGERS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 4PHOENIX (AP) — David Freese homered and had three hits to back Clayton Kershaw as Los Angeles maintained its lead in the NL West.Manny Machado had two RBIs for the Dodgers, including a groundout deep into the shortstop hole with the bases loaded in the seventh inning that brought in Yasiel Puig with the go-ahead run. Los Angeles added three ninth-inning runs to stay 1½ games ahead of Colorado.The defending NL champions have won six of seven.Freese finished 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Kershaw (9-5) pitched six innings, allowing three runs and six hits. He struck out six and walked one.Ketel Marte homered and drove in three runs, all off Kershaw, and A.J. Pollock went deep against closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth. The Diamondbacks, already eliminated from playoff contention, have lost four straight and eight of nine.Andrew Chafin (1-6) took the loss.ROCKIES 10, PHILLIES 1DENVER (AP) — Jon Gray pitched seven crisp innings and drew a bases-loaded walk as part of a five-run third to lead Colorado over Philadelphia.The Rockies won their fourth straight game since being swept at Dodger Stadium. They closed within a half-game of St. Louis for the second wild card after the Cardinals lost to Milwaukee.Gray (12-8) got the start when Tyler Anderson was scratched due to shoulder tightness. The right-hander’s one costly mistake was an elevated fastball that Rhys Hoskins hit for a homer in the seventh when the game was out of reach.David Dahl lined a two-run homer in the fourth, Tony Wolters drew four walks and Charlie Blackmon had a single to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 16 games for Colorado. Nolan Arenado and Gerardo Parra delivered run-scoring singles off Zach Eflin (11-8).All-Star shortstop Trevor Story returned to the starting lineup after missing a week with inflammation in his right elbow and made an immediate impact. He had two hard-hit doubles to center.Phillies left fielder Aaron Altherr ran into the fence while trying to catch Dahl’s homer. The side of Altherr’s face slammed into the padded fence, his hat flying off. Altherr eventually limped to a cart and was taken away. He sprained his right big toe and bruised a knee.BREWERS 6, CARDINALS 4ST. LOUIS (AP) — Eric Thames scored on reliever Bud Norris’ throwing error in the eighth inning and the Milwaukee Brewers improved their playoff positioning by topping St. Louis.Ryan Braun homered and Christian Yelich drove in two runs as Milwaukee won for the fourth time in five games. The Brewers (90-67) opened a three-game lead over St. Louis for the top spot in the wild-card standings and pulled within 1 1/2 games of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs, who lost to Pittsburgh.Corbin Burnes (7-0), the seventh of nine Milwaukee pitchers, got two outs for the win Kris Bryant Jersey , and Corey Knebel worked the ninth for his 16th save.PIRATES 5, CUBS 1CHICAGO (AP) — Jameson Taillon outpitched Cole Hamels, Francisco Cervelli hit a two-run homer and Pittsburgh made Chicago wait at least another day to clinch a playoff spot.The Cubs needed a win plus a loss by Colorado to assure a franchise-record fourth straight trip to the playoffs, a run that includes a drought-busting World Series championship in 2016.Taillon (14-9) gave up one run and five hits in seven innings, improving to 5-0 in his past seven starts.Hamels (4-2) hit his second career homer but he lost his second straight start after going 4-0 in his first nine following a trade from Texas.INDIANS 4, WHITE SOX 0CHICAGO (AP) — Corey Kluber struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings and won his 20th game, and Brandon Guyer hit a go-ahead solo homer in the seventh as AL Central champion Cleveland beat Chicago.Kluber (20-7) reached 20 victories for the first time after recording 19 wins last season and 18 victories the two previous seasons and in 2014. The reigning AL CY Young Award winner is the first 20-game winner for the Central Division champions since Cliff Lee went 22-3 in 2008.Cleveland is also the first team to have four pitchers with 200 strikeouts in a season. Kluber ran his total to 216, while Carlos Carrasco has 217, Trevor Bauer 215 and Mike Clevinger 202.The Indians tied the Chicago Cubs for the major league lead with 17 shutouts.Adam Rosales gave the Indians an insurance run with a home run off reliever Nate Jones to left for his first of the season in the ninth inning. Brandon Barnes and Edwin Encarnacion then added RBI singles. It was Rosales’ first home run since Sept. 4, 2017, when he was with Arizona.Indians relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen pitched a perfect eighth and ninth, respectively, and combined with Kluber to retire the final 17 batters.Dylan Covey didn’t allow a run over six innings. Ian Hamilton (0-2) gave up Guyer’s homer on his third pitch.NATIONALS 7, MARLINS 3WASHINGTON (AP) — Anthony Rendon homered and drove four runs, Bryce Harper reached 100 RBIs in a season for the first time and Washington beat Miami.Juan Soto and Matt Wieters also homered for Washington, which broke it open with four runs on three pitches in the fourth inning.Harper started the big inning, driving in his 100th run with a sacrifice fly that scored Adam Eaton and put Washington ahead 3-1. Harper, a pending free agent who may be playing his final home series at Nationals Park, got a standing ovation from the sparse , rain-soaked crowd. His previous high was 99 RBIs in 2015, when he won the NL MVP award.Rendon and Soto then homered back-to-back on the next two pitches from Sandy Alcantara (2-2).Justin Miller (7-1) allowed one unearned run in the fifth in relief of Stephen Strasburg, who was pulled after throwing 100 pitches over four innings.PADRES 5, GIANTS 0SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Bryan Mitchell struck out seven in 8 2/3 strong innings, and Jose Pirela had a homer among his three hits to lead San Diego.The Giants lost their fifth straight game hours after the team announced the dismissal of general manager Bobby Evans. The move comes amid a Giants team freefall.Mitchell (2-4) walked just three in what was by far his best start of an uneven season.Pirela homered off Giants starter Derek Holland (7-9) to lead off the fourth. His fourth homer gave the Padres a 3-0 lead.Franmil Reyes had two hits and two RBI, and Wil Myers had two hits and two runs scored.ANGELS 5, RANGERS 4, 11 INNINGSANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jose Briceno delivered a pinch-hit homer leading off the 11th inning, and Los Angeles snapped its five-game skid.After Taylor Cole (3-2) retired the Rangers in the 11th, the Angels‘ rookie catcher walked off with his fifth career homer to center off Matt Moore (3-8).Shohei Ohtani hit his 21st homer in the first inning and Michael Hermosillo added his first career homer as the Angels opened the final homestand of their fourth consecutive season out of the playoffs.After Ronald Guzman doubled with two outs in the ninth, pinch-runner Delino DeShields scored the tying run on pinch-hitter Elvis Andrus‘ single to left for the Rangers. Guzman and Jurickson Profar homered for the Rangers, who opened their season-ending road trip with their sixth loss in eight games.Mike Trout went 1 for 3 with two strikeouts, but drew his 116th and 117th walks of the season to set a franchise record, surpassing his mark in 2016.
  15. PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Asdrubal Cabrera provided the pop the Philadelphia Phillies expected when they acquired him last month.Cabrera’s solo home run with one out in the 10th lifted the Phillies to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night in a game played through steady rain.Cabrera connected off Steve Cishek (4-2) Melky Cabrera Jersey , driving an opposite-field shot to left-center to help the Phillies pull within two games of Atlanta in the NL East. The Braves lost 3-2 to Pittsburgh.“That’s why we traded for him,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of Cabrera, who came from the New York Mets on July 31. “Big moment. Absolutely demolished the ball.”Cabrera got mobbed by teammates and showered with bubble gum and a sports drink after circling the bases following his fifth career walk-off homer and first since hitting one off teammate Edubray Ramos on Sept. 22, 2016.“It feels awesome to help the team win,” Cabrera said. “This game is not easy.”Javier Baez hit his 29th homer for the NL Central-leading Cubs.Pat Neshek (2-1) earned the win with a scoreless inning.Baez hit a liner out to left off Nick Pivetta for his NL-leading 98th RBI to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the fifth.Philadelphia tied it at 1 on Cesar Hernandez’s RBI single off Jose Quintana in the sixth. The speedy Roman Quinn hit a double and scored on the hit to left.Phillies reliever Adam Morgan escaped a jam in the seventh when Baez hit a hard liner to right with two runners on , but Phillies newcomer Jose Bautista reached out to make the catch and doubled Tommy La Stella off second to end the inning.Seranthony Dominguez struck out Cubs pinch-hitter Victor Caratini to leave the bases loaded in the eighth.Pivetta pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the third by striking out Anthony Rizzo and retiring Ben Zobrist on a grounder to shortstop.STARTING TIMECubs: Quintana gave up one run and three hits, striking out seven in six innings. He has allowed just 13 hits over his last three starts after posting a 7.52 ERA over his previous four.Phillies: Pivetta allowed one run and five hits, striking out six in five innings.A FIRSTQuintana had his first two-hit game after entering with four hits in 91 career at-bats.MR. PINCHLa Stella led off the seventh with a single, setting the franchise record for pinch-hits in a season with 21.TURNAROUNDHector Neris Ian Kinsler Jersey , who began the season as Philadelphia’s closer and was demoted to Triple-A after pitching poorly, has 20 strikeouts and hasn’t allowed a run in nine innings since being recalled a few weeks ago.WELCOME HOMECubs lefty Cole Hamels received a standing ovation following a video tribute in the middle of the fourth inning. Hamels was the MVP of the 2008 World Series and NLCS with the Phillies. He was traded to Texas in 2015. Hamels would’ve pitched on Sunday but was pushed back because Joe Maddon is going with a six-man rotation.“I thought it was good to let him come back and enjoy his three days,” Maddon said. “Knowing him, he’s competitive and he probably wanted to pitch but I didn’t ask him.”TRAINER’S ROOMCUBS: Closer Brandon Morrow (right biceps inflammation) threw from 120 feet. … OF Jason Heyward wasn’t in the lineup after injuring his right hamstring Thursday night. … 3B Kris Bryant (shoulder) and LHP Brian Duensing (shoulder) are expected to rejoin the team after the rosters expand on Saturday.UP NEXTRHP Kyle Hendricks (10-10, 3.86 ERA) starts for the Cubs on Saturday night and RHP Zach Eflin (9-5 Albert Pujols Jersey , 3.99) goes for Philadelphia. Eflin and the Phillies beat Hendricks 6-1 on June 5 at Wrigley Field. PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Even blow torches couldn’t get the field dry enough for the Nationals and Phillies to play.Despite unusual methods by the grounds crew at Citizens Bank Park, the game between the Washington and Philadelphia scheduled for Monday night was postponed because of rain. It was rescheduled as part of a traditional doubleheader Tuesday starting at 3:05 p.m.Field conditions were poor because of weekend rain and the tarp hadn’t been out.“Everybody saw the flame-throwers,” Phillies outfielder Rhys Hoskins said. “They did all they could. We were worried about player safety.”Nationals star Bryce Harper playfully pretended to slip as he walked out to the first base area. He then grabbed a rake and pushed for a few seconds and reached into a bag to sprinkle a drying agent on the field.Washington has been rained out on consecutive days and endured several hours of rain delays in their weekend series at home against the Cubs. Sunday’s postponement is scheduled to be made up Thursday.“We didn’t want anybody to get hurt,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. “It was too big a risk for the players.”Players described the field as “spongy” and “soft” and guys from both teams tested the field during several conversations between umpires and team officials.The Phillies began the day 4 ½ games behind Atlanta in the NL East.Jake Arrieta (10-9, 3.61 ERA) was scheduled to start for Philadelphia. He said he wasn’t sure whether he’d pitch the first or second game Tuesday. Nick Pivetta (7-11 , 4.66) will take the mound in the other game.Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Erick Fedde (1-3, 6.00) will start the opener and Tanner Roark (8-15, 4.23) will pitch the nightcap.Earlier in the day, the game between the Miami Marlins and Mets in New York was called off because of rain. There have been 51 weather-related postponements in the majors this season after there were 39 all of last year.
  16. The future is now for the Chicago White Sox.Right-hander Michael Kopech Brett Anderson Jersey , a hard-throwing 22-year-old who is widely regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, will make his big league debut Tuesday night when the White Sox host the Minnesota Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field. Kopech will be promoted before the game from Triple-A Charlotte, where he has been dominant in recent weeks.His new teammates cannot wait to welcome him aboard.Article continues below ...“Really good, really good,” White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez said. “We’re going to have one of the best prospects in the game with us. He’s one of the best, and everybody thinks he’s supposed to be a superstar, and we’re all excited.”The Boston Red Sox selected Kopech with the No. 33 overall pick in the 2013 draft out of Mount Pleasant (Texas) High School. He developed quickly and became a main piece in the trade that sent All-Star left-hander Chris Sale from Chicago to Boston.This season, Kopech has posted 170 strikeouts in 126 1/3 innings. He is 7-7 with a 3.70 ERA in 24 starts, but his past seven starts have been particularly dominant as he has an incredible 59-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.White Sox catcher Kevan Smith is familiar with Kopech from his time in the minors.“(He is) electric Blake Treinen Jersey , I guess you could say,” Smith said. “Heavy fastball, life toward the end. It’s heavy. That’s something he has. The last I caught him, we were playing with his changeup a little bit, trying to get his changeup numbers up. …“He’s been throwing the ball great. I’ve been keeping up with what he’s doing. No surprise he’s here.”Chicago (47-77) could use the lift as a disappointing season approaches its final month. Kopech projects as a mainstay in the starting rotation for years to come alongside fellow young arms Carlos Rodon, Lopez, Lucas Giolito and others on the way.Meanwhile, Minnesota (59-65) will try to take advantage of the rookie’s first day in the majors.Twins right-hander Jose Berrios — a top young arm in his own right — will make his 26th start of the season. The 24-year-old Puerto Rican is 11-8 with a 3.75 ERA with 157 strikeouts in 153 2/3 innings. He is looking to go deep into the game after failing to make it five innings in each of his past two starts.“We’ll do a little due diligence,” Twins manager Paul Molitor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune after Berrios’ last outing. “We all know how hard he works and how he crushes it between starts. … It could be just a matter of , he’s not feeling quite right — not physically, but whether his arm is trailing. Some mechanical things can get out of whack over the course of the season.”Berrios has shined against the White Sox throughout his career. In seven starts, he is 6-1 with a 2.28 ERA. He has walked 10 batters while striking out 54 in 47 1/3 innings.White Sox manager Rick Renteria could return to the dugout one day after he was hospitalized for feeling light-headed before Monday’s game in Minnesota. Renteria was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center for precautionary reasons. MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Trevor Bauer is his own toughest critic – even when victorious.The Cleveland right-hander had some choice words to describe his performance Tuesday against Minnesota. Though Bauer struggled by his standards, he pitched deep enough to help the Indians beat the Twins by a 6-2 final.”A frustrating outing personally, but things to build on,” Bauer said. ”Obviously the team won, so that’s the ultimate goal every time I go out there and pitch.”Cleveland extended its lead in the American League Central to nine games over the Twins, who traded second baseman Brian Dozier to the Dodgers on Tuesday in the latest move that signaled another lost season for Minnesota.It was an uncharacteristic outing for Bauer, who walked more batters (4) than he struck out (3) for the first time all season. The three strikeouts matched a season low and snapped a streak of 12 straight outings with at least seven strikeouts.Bauer managed to pitch into the seventh inning but eventually gave way to reliever Brad Hand after allowing two runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings.”You look up in the fifth inning and he had one hit Sean Manaea Jersey , but he had been out of the stretch every inning because he just wasn’t commanding,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. ”He fights and claws and doesn’t give in and got himself a win, and we got a win out of it.”One day after hitting a pair of homers against the Twins, Ramirez’s bat stayed hot at Target Field. He drove in a run with a double in the third inning and added an RBI single in the fifth as part of a three-hit night.Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson gave up three runs on five hits in six innings to earn his second loss in his last three starts.”A couple of breaks here and there, a couple tough pitches that they put in play and put them in the right spots,” Gibson said. ”Guys battled and hopefully we’ll come out and get the series tomorrow.”Miguel Sano doubled in the second inning and eventually scored the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly by Jake Cave. The Twins didn’t get another hit until Logan Morrison’s solo homer off Bauer in the sixth cut Cleveland’s lead to 3-2.Greg Allen had a three-hit game and scored three of Cleveland’s runs as the No. 9 hitter. It was Allen’s second game back since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus.Encarnacion’s two-out bloop to right scored a pair in the seventh to give the Indians a 5-2 cushion. He added an RBI on a fielder’s choice in the ninth inning. Encarnacion now has 76 RBI on the year, two behind Ramirez for the team lead.”Our offensive numbers this year are pretty ridiculous across the board,” Bauer said. ”Especially Edwin. He loves hitting here.”MAY RETURNS TO THE TWINSMinnesota right-hander Trevor May is back in the major leagues for the first time since 2016. He missed all of 2017 following Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and pitched for Triple-A Rochester this year before officially being recalled Tuesday by the Twins.May was both a starter and a reliever for Minnesota in 2014 and 2015 but pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in 2016. He made four starts and nine relief appearances this season for Rochester before getting recalled.”I think we all know that I have that versatility, and we talk about that quite a bit ,” May said Tuesday. ”At the moment, I like just getting the ball and letting it rip. I think that I have the mentality to take the ball at the end of the game and close the door.”May made his season debut in the ninth inning, allowing one run on two hits.TRAINERS ROOMIndians: RHP Josh Tomlin (right hamstring) threw two 15-pitch innings in a simulated game Tuesday and will pitch Friday for Triple-A Columbus in a rehab start, manager Terry Francona said Tuesday. Tomlin will throw two innings in his rehab outing.Twins: CF Byron Buxton, currently playing for Triple-A Rochester, reaggravated his injured wrist Monday and will be evaluated further. Twins manager Paul Molitor said it’s likely Buxton will land on the minor league disabled list.UP NEXTIndians: RHP Carlos Carrasco starts the series finale for Cleveland, having won four of his last five starts.Twins: LHP Adalberto Mejia is making just his third start of the year for the Twins, all of which have been since June 30.
  17. With the NFL season winding down Green Bay Packers Hats , fans of many teams are already looking ahead to the 2019 NFL Draft. The Green Bay Packers still have a long shot at a playoff spot, of course, which is keeping us and our fellow cheeseheads from fully embracing offseason player acquisition. Plus there’s the whole question of finding a new head coach that will need to be answered first.Still, it’s the start of mock draft season now that college football’s regular season has wrapped up, and ESPN’s Todd McShay published his first of the year on Wednesday. The Packers have two first-round picks, of course, thanks to GM Brian Gutekunst’s shrewd trades on the first day of this year’s draft. Those picks are currently projected at 15th — the Packers’ original pick — and 32nd, where the New Orleans Saints are currently slotted based on their record.Here’s a look at the two players McShay projected for Green Bay.15th overall pick: EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi StateSweat, who transferred from Michigan State after the 2015 season, has a tantalizing frame for a 3-4 edge rusher, being listed at 6-foot-6 and 241 pounds. He was an all-SEC player a year ago and now has back-to-back seasons with double-digit sacks. A nice bonus factor is that he has extensive experience as a 3-4 outside linebacker in addition to playing a little bit of 4-3 end, so the transition to a Mike Pettine defense (should Pettine stick around for next year) should be pretty smooth. Sweat probably will test well at the Combine as well. Here’s what McShay had to say about the pick:32nd overall pick (from Saints): WR A.J. Brown, Ole MissBrown is one of the more productive receivers expected to declare this year; like Sweat, he has two years of big numbers, with over 1,250 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons. He has a surprisingly thick build, listed around 6-foot-1 in height and between 220 and 230 pounds, depending on the source. That should make him a dangerous receiver over the middle, but he has great speed as well.McShay did not give the Packers any help on the offensive line here, however, which is an area where we could see Brian Gutekunst going in round one. The Sweat pick came just after back-to-back offensive tackles Green Bay Packers Womens Hoodie , however, as he projected Oklahoma’s Cody Ford and Brown’s Ole Miss teammate Greg Little at 13 and 14. Wisconsin Badgers fans may want to keep an eye on the Badgers’ Michael Dieter towards the end of round one or in round two, as he is a versatile player who can play practically any position on the line.Sweat would instantly give the Packers’ pass rush a big boost, while Brown paired with Davante Adams and some of this year’s rookies settling into complementary roles could make for an excellent receiving corps. With the Green Bay Packers’ playoff chances on life support, an interim head coach at the helm, and another disappointing team coming to Lambeau, Green Bay had a simple question to answer Sunday: How much was Mike McCarthy to blame for the team’s ills this season? Aaron Rodgers rediscovered his accuracy, the short-handed defense played its tail off, and the Packers used 34 straight points to throttle the reeling Falcons 34-20. After one week, Mark Murphy and Brian Gutekunst appeared to have made the right call in moving on from a man who spent 13 successful seasons as the head man in Green Bay. Joe Philbin showed on the very first possession he was going to the mat for his team, challenging a pair of highly questionable catch calls by Julio Jones. Both failed despite appearing to be the wrong call on the field, and Jones found the end zone to give the Falcons an early lead. At least those timeouts couldn’t have been burned by the offense as the playclock was winding down before the snap. On Aaron Rodgers’ first drive post-McCarthy, the ball flew out of his hand, getting out quickly to his playmakers. Rodgers went 6/7 for 62 yards on a five-play, 75-yard drive, ending in a Davante Adams touchdown catch. This was the kind of verve and pop most expected from the Packers offense all season, with the quarterback looking sharp. With temperatures well below freezing at game time, a shootout fit for the dome in Atlanta had broken out. That didn’t last long. A bizarre fumble from Ryan pushed the Falcons out of field goal range thanks to a blitz from Josh Jones off the edge. The Packers safety wound up right in Ryan’s throwing lane, causing the quarterback to try and stop his throwing motion. With the slick ball thanks to the cold temperatures, it squirted free, forcing Matt Bryant into a 53-yard field goal he left short. Rodgers and Co. weren’t able to take advantage of the miscue with two straight incompletions and a third-down sack. This was the offense Green Bay had been for too much of 2018. A three-and-out forced by Mike Pettine’s defense gave the ball back to the Packers who once again showed life on offense. But a missed facemask call on DeVondre Campbell on third down forced a long Mason Crosby field goal. Unlike Bryant, Crosby drilled his 50-yard field goal to give Green Bay a 10-7 lead. Two plays later Womens Customized Green Bay Packers Jerseys , Bashaud Breeland returned from injury to make one of the few big plays for the Packers defense this season, housing a Matt Ryan throw to the sidelines on third down. Given the composition of this secondary and Breeland’s talent, Brian Gutekunst should make re-signing Breeland a team priority this spring. Winning is great, but getting the chance to evaluate the roster in a lost season serves an even more important purpose at this point in the season for Green Bay. Jaire Alexander matched Julio Jones all day, and though he gave up some plays, showed why this team has so much faith in him. He makes a handful of plays every game, often in ways corners aren’t expected to contribute. The 21-year-old rookie blew up a screen play to force a long third down in the first half. Alexander plays much bigger than his stature and his swagger rubs off on this secondary. At times, he’ll lose the ball in the air, but given how well he does just about everything else, Green Bay should believe more experience will aid his development in that area. After two muffed punts though, it’s time to put someone else back there. Speaking of assessment, after a rollercoaster season, Mason Crosby’s future in Green Bay could be in doubt. On a cold day at Lambeau, he booted a pair of long field goals in the first half, including one as time ran out to give the Packers a 20-7 lead. He finished the day with two field goals, and showed why his quarterback so often mentions his ability to kick in bad weather as an underrated factor in his value to the team. For his part, Rodgers also looked like the best version of himself, or at least a better version than we’ve seen this season. He finished the half 13/19 for 116 yards and the touchdown to Davante Adams. His Houdini run in the two-minute at the end of the first half sparked a skirmish leading to offsetting penalties, but also put the Packers in field goal range. His full arsenal was on display, with his accuracy returning along with his athleticism. Atlanta still managed four first-half sacks with three starting linemen hurt for Green Bay. Lane Taylor, Byron Bell, and Bryan Bulaga all missed Sunday’s contest , although Justin McCray starting for Bell may well be an upgrade. Replacements Lucas Patrick and Jason Spriggs struggled with the speed and athleticism of the Falcons front, potentially a reason Philbin stayed away from the run game for much of the day. Injuries or no—Alex Light temporarily had to sub in for Justin McCray, putting Green Bay down to its fifth guard—the Packers came out firing in the second half. A long Aaron Jones run and a commitment to get him the ball jump-started the offense once again. Throw in another handful of vintage Rodgers escapes and a beautiful throw to the back pylon for a touchdown blew the game open. Randall Cobb didn’t create much separation on a double move, but it was enough for Rodgers to slot the ball right into his arms, pushing the lead to 27-7. That touchdown toss also broke Tom Brady’s record for consecutive throws without a pick and pushed Green Bay to 27 straight points after going down 7-0. Then, Aaron Jones took over to ice the game. On an eight play 76-yard drive, Jones touched it on six of the eight plays including a 29-yard touchdown run. It was his fifth consecutive game with a rushing touchdown and this was the formula most thought the Packers would follow all season: use the pass to get the lead and salt it away on the ground.Make it 34 unanswered. And while the offense showed signs of life, the defense deserves considerable kudos in its own right. Matt Ryan broke Petyon Manning’s record for most passing yards in a player’s first 11 seasons, but outside of the first quarter, Ryan couldn’t find any kind of rhythm while the game was in doubt. After allowing an opening-drive touchdown, Mike Pettine’s group stiffened. In fact, until a touchdown early in the fourth quarter with the game already in hand, the Packers’ defense had scored as many points as the Falcons offense. Atlanta didn’t top 150 total yards until the clock ticked under five minutes in the third quarter. No one should mistake Mike McCarthy’s presence as the sole reason the Packers haven’t looked like this all season. But Philbin did employ a number of schemes this team should have been using much of the year, between in-breaking routes to Davante Adams, more touches for Aaron Jones in the passing game, and a more quick-rhythm passing game. McCarthy’s presence didn’t prevent the Packers defense from playing this well in September or October. But clearly Green Bay has the talent to beat down a likewise talented, but under-performing team. That’s why McCarthy no longer calls the shots at 1265 Lombardi. This win offers some evidence a change was needed, that this team could have been performing better with the right strings being pulled and a head coach in whom the players had more confidence. It will take more than one game and possible dead cat bounce to vindicate Mark Murphy’s bold decision. But a beatdown of one of the most talented teams in the NFC hints at a quality roster in need of some minors tweaks, a little energy, and a little confidence. Aaron Rodgers looking more like Aaron Rodgers helps a little too.
  18. SB Nation’s Bill Connelly broke down the biggest strengths for each of the 12 NFL playoff teams. Included in his statistical observations is that the Colts have excelled in two important areas of a football game. They are one of the best teams in the league in starting field position White Skai Moore Jersey , on offense and defense. They are also one of the best teams in the league at finishing drives. From Connelly’s story:I will point out, and I am sure Troy Russell can do a much better job, that the rushing efficiency observation doesn’t jive with our research. Troy uses Rush Success Rate (RSR) and Weighted Rush Success Rate (wRSR) to help analyze rushing efficiency for all NFL teams. His numbers placed the Colts rushing offense at 9th in the NFL in RSR and 10th in wRSR. Using Troy’s passing analysis, the Colts running and passing games are equally efficient and both in the top 10 in the league.Still, Connelly makes an excellent observation about the Colts performance on special teams and the impact it has had on the outcome of games. I would be interested to see how field position impacts offensive efficiency. Without the data, I remember quite vividly the impact field position had on the Colts 2008 wild card playoff game in San Diego. It felt like Chargers punter Mike Scifres single-handily determined the outcome. Let’s compare starting positions, shall we?Indianapolis had offensive drives that started on their 10, 3, 7 Jordan Wilkins Jersey , 8, and 1 yard lines. San Diego had drives that started on their 29, 44, 29 and on the Colts 44, 45, and 38. The average starting position for Indianapolis was their own 15 yard line. The average starting position for the Chargers was their own 35 yard line. Three of San Diego’s scoring drives started on the Colts 44, Colts 45 and Colts 38 yard line.There is certainly no doubt that some teams can overcome a poorer starting field position. A great special teams unit with a horrid defense won’t win many games. A great special teams unit with one of the best run defenses in the league and a pass defense that limits big plays just might.When you add that the team also happens to be extremely efficient at sustaining and finishing drives, you begin to understand why the Colts are considered one of the more dangerous teams to enter the playoffs. This group is young and hasn’t been consistent — the Jacksonville debacle wasn’t long ago — but there are plenty of reasons to believe Indianapolis is fully capable of competing, even against the best teams in the league.SBCL: Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers both participate in fully padded practice 2018 #ColtsCamp Notebook Authentic Eric Ebron Jersey , Day 13: Tight Ends Shine As Colts Drill End-Of-Game SituationsSunday, Aug. 12, was the 13th practice day of the 2018 training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. What were some takeaways from the session?Colts Training Camp Notebook: Full Pads Return For Final Week At Grand Park | 1070 the FanSunday was the 13th day of practice for the Colts. What were the takeaways from the Colts’ 13th practice of Training Camp at Grand Park?Andrew Luck Returns To Practice, Has Most Extensive Workload Of Colts Training Camp | 1070 the FanAndrew Luck was back to practice on Sunday morning, his 10th throwing session of Training Camp. How did Luck look at Sunday’s practice?2018 #ColtsCamp Notebook, Day 12: Correcting The Seahawks Game FilmSaturday, Aug. 11, was the 12th practice day of the 2018 training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. What were some takeaways from the session?Colts Training Camp Notebook: Malik Hooker Participates In First Team Drills Of 2018 | 1070 the FanSaturday was the 12th day of practice for the Colts. What were the takeaways from the Colts’ 12th practice of Training Camp at Grand Park?Colts’ notebook: Players deal uneven practice | CBS 4 - Indianapolis News, Weather Youth Matt Slauson Jersey , Traffic and Sports | WTTVWESTFIELD, Ind. – Saturday afternoon’s light practice at Grand Park could have served as a teaching moment for Frank Reich. Much of it would have been on how not to practice.How Are The Colts Planning To Correct Their Historic Fourth Quarter Issues From 2017? | 1070 the FanIn 2017, the Colts were one of the worst fourth-quarter teams in NFL history. How are they trying to change that in 2018?Injuries depleting Colts’ running backs | CBS 4 - Indianapolis News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | WTTVWESTFIELD, Ind. – On what was a light Saturday afternoon of work for the Indianapolis Colts at Grand Park, running backs coach Tom Rathman took it to the extreme.Hassan Ridgeway Named To Pro Football Focus’ ‘Team Of The Week’The third-year Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle had two sacks and another tackle for loss in his team’s 19-17 preseason-opening victory over the Seattle Seahawks, and today he earned a little praise for his performance.Colts Notebook: Wilkins makes impressive debut | Sports | heraldbulletin.comIt was a small gain. Just 3 yards off the right guard. But it's one Jordan Wilkins won't soon forget.Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard shine in Colts preseason openerIndianapolis Colts first-round pick Quenton Nelson was dominant in his first preseason game vs. the Seattle Seahawks.Luck-to-Hilton remains Colts' foundation | Sports | heraldbulletin.comAnother hot practice conducted in full pads was winding down Sunday morning at Grand Park Sports Campus , and Andrew Luck needed to make a play.Eric Ebron, Frank Reich hope for beautiful marriage with ColtsTight end Eric Ebron has a new start with the Indianapolis Colts after a difficult four years with the Detroit Lions.For Colts’ Adam Vinatieri, it’s family, football . . . and chasing records | CBS 4 - Indianapolis News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | WTTVBy Mike Chappell WESTFIELD, Ind. – As Adam Vinatieri has stuck around and stuck around and stuck around some more, he’s experienced a readjustment of what’s truly important to him.Training Camp MediaNew helmet rule showing signs of cracking?
  19. The latestPoll shows most NFL fans want the Patriots to lose the Super Bowl — but think they’ll win | SB NationSpagnuolo’s former assistants praise new Chiefs DC for simplifying complex schemes | Kansas City StarFan asks Chiefs for two seats after Arrowhead renovation that hold a special memory | Kansas City StarThe Kansas City Red Coaters Are Looking for New Members | Chiefs.comTyreek Hill’s Expectations Sky High Heading Into 2019-2020 Fantasy Season | FanduelRob Gronkowski’s Blocking Can Key Patriots’ Run Game in Super Bowl 53 | Sports Illustrated Pirates pitcher recounts being mistaken for Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes | Kansas City StarAround the leagueJames Harrison pins blame for drama on Mike Tomlin | NFLFederal judge rejects possible ‘do-over’ of Rams-Saints playoff game | ESPN2019 Super Bowl: Julian Edelman’s peers say he’s ‘the guy to make a play’ in crucial situations | CBS SportsCowboys unlikely to extend Jason Garrett’s contract | NFLJohnny Hekker Is a Punting Legend and a Fake Punt God | The RingerKyler Murray says NFL-MLB decision will come ‘soon’ | NFLIn case you missed it at Arrowhead PrideTravis Kelce opens up about Chiefs’ loss to Patriots , overtime rules and moreNFLPA says Chiefs spent second-most against NFL salary cap in 2018-19Follow Arrowhead Pride on Social MediaAP Facebook Page: Click here to like our pageAP Instagram: Follow @ArrowheadPrideAP Twitter: Follow @ArrowheadPrideAP Editor-in-Chief: Pete Sweeney: Follow @pgsween610 Sports Twitter: Follow @610SportsKC Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller leads the league in sacks among outside linebackers with 14.5, but don’t tell that to Kansas City Chiefs outside linebackers coach Mike Smith.He wouldn’t care. As a matter of fact, Smith said Thursday he doesn’t even know the sack totals for Chiefs starting linebackers Dee Ford and Justin Houston. And that is a good thing.Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images“It’s funny,” Smith said. “I can’t tell you how many sacks Justin or Dee have, or really anybody in the room. What I look at every week, I look at pass-rush productivity, Fraz (Mike Frazier) does a good job of that. It’s hurries, hits and sacks with the number of snaps. That’s the most important thing. And so I look at anything above 250 snaps, where are they at? Dee has 75, Justin has 45. That’s both top five. Going into last week, they were one and two. To me, it’s important if you’re affecting the quarterback. So that’s the thing that we stress in our room. That’s the thing that we keep track of. We don’t even keep track of sacks.”To be clear, Ford and Houston still get to the quarterback. They have a combined 19.5 times in 2018, but the idea from Smith is nothing new—it’s a point we have heard defensive coordinator Bob Sutton stress before. Obviously, a sack is only recorded when a player takes the opposing quarterback down. But the key the Chiefs preach is to affect him in any way possible, and that message has gotten through to the room.Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images“You want a sack, but you’re not going to get a sack every play,” Ford said. “You can’t rush with the mentality that I want a sack every play because you could be hurting the defense, so getting pressure on the quarterback is disrupting the timing of his throws. He can’t step through on certain throws. That takes different types of rushes and it takes you know how do that every play ... Sacks are going to come but it’s key times of the game—if the ball is going to come out quick Cheap Tyreek Hill Jersey , all we can do is disrupt that throw. That could lead us getting off the field, giving the ball back to the offense. Boom, we could win the game. All we needed was one stop against the Chargers and we could have been wearing hats that night. You know what I mean? I don’t like to talk about the past, but this is the mindset, this is what we’re looking toward and you can’t get caught up in things that are pretty much distractions.”As the Chiefs make changes to their secondary ahead of the playoffs, getting any kind of pressure helps—no matter who the team opts to play.“When you’re getting after the quarterback, that’s one of the top things we want to do, especially in passing situations,” Smith added. “That’s what we want to do. That’s our main goal, is to affect him. You start affecting, like I said, the spot, he can’t get to his second and third read, there’s a lot of things that affect the quarterback. He can’t step up—I think that’s a great job that our inside guys are doing.”Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesSoon after rookie Breeland Speaks was drafted, the thought was that he would be able to help the Chiefs “on all three downs.” And although that has happened at different times this season due to injury, Speaks has had trouble finding the field for much time since Week 13. We learned Thursday that this has much less to do with Speaks than it does with the veterans in front of him—Dee Ford and Justin Houston.“He’s making progress,” Smith said of Speaks. “I think right now obviously he’s not getting a lot of reps. Justin’s full-go, Dee is full-go, and to be honest Allen Bailey Jersey , it’s hard to get them off the field. It makes you smile. Last game I said, let’s get you a breather, they said, ‘Don’t take me off this field.’ Both of them are playing really well. With Breeland, he’s still progressing.“When you’ve got two of the best in the league, especially some situations we’ve been in the game, closer games, I’m going to make sure my best guys are out there. Right now, that’s them, but it’s nothing against Breeland.”Speaks has had just 23 snaps over the course of the last three games, to be exact. Second-year outside linebacker Tanoh Kpassagnon has had eight, and he was even inactive for the game against the Los Angeles Chargers.But not to worry. With limited reps for the young players, Smith has found other ways to evaluate their progress.“It goes with practice, it goes with meetings,” he said. “It goes with when [Speaks] turns in his test [Thursday] after the meeting, where is he at? Is he getting and understanding the formations, the defenses? Even the [nine] snaps he was in the game last week. Where is he going from there? Not as much as when he’s playing 60 snaps a game you can do it, but that’s just kind of how you do it. That’s kind of where we’re at with them two (Speaks and Kpassagnon). It’ll be the same thing when Breeland is a main guy.”“Film study’s picked up,” Speaks explained. “It’s just more so knowing the situations that’s picked up and just becoming an all-around player. Just not trying to go out there and get sack. Just knowing who I have on certain drops Ron Parker Jersey , knowing what I have to do in certain situations—that’s been my job, just to master that.”Speaks says he is growing as a player regardless of time on the field.“I feel like I’ve done pretty good,” Speaks said. “I talked to Bob (Sutton) the other day. He was like, ‘Never thought you learn this much football in a year, huh?’ I really didn’t but it’s amazing what I’ve learned since I’ve gotten here and what I’ve continued to learn.”In a perfect world, Speaks would be on the field—but the Chiefs are right to admit he is not their top option right now. And although that will likely change next season, it is what it is.“You look around the league and I get the snap count every week, very few guys come off the field,” Smith said. “Look at Von Miller’s snaps. Look at (Bradley) Chubb’s snaps. Look at these guys around the league, that’s just how it is. You try to get a handful here and there, probably need to do a better job at that, but at this level, your best players better play. I get you’ve got to take a couple snaps here and there, but especially when guys are playing well. They are a big part of this defense.”The Chiefs hope the continue to play well against the Oakland Raiders Sunday afternoon, when they can clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win.
  20. 3 Extra Things The Bears Are Doing Well It would be easy to get the impression that Khalil Mack is the beginning and end of the good things that are happening in Chicago. The man is impressive Chicago Bears Hats , and every sign indicates that he was worth both the picks given to trade for him and the contract he inked to keep him with the Bears long-term. However, while he is certainly helping the Bears both directly (by being a beast) and indirectly (by making things easier for everyone else), it’s worth looking at three other things the Bears have quietly gotten better at this year. It’s early to draw sweeping conclusions, but the results we have so far look good.Fewer (one of the most aptly named websites out there) tells us that with 19 penalties across 3 games, the Bears are tied for 6th in the NFL for fewest penalties incurredIt’s not just that penalties are being declined, either, because they are still 6th in total flags (at 21). Even better, they are also tied for 4th in the NFL for penalty yards suffered (135).The bad news is that they are 26th in the NFL for pre-snap penalties, with 10. No one player is really owning the penalty situation and sticking out in that regard, however. Three of those were non-specific penalties (illegal shift and illegal formation), and Eric Kush only has two on the season--even if both came at a bad time in a single game. This is a clean team so far Chicago Bears Hoodie , and it has probably helped them make it to 2-1. As the offense continues to progress, this situation should only get better. In particular, as the offense settles down and those pre-snap penalties subside, this team has the potential to play some of the most disciplined football Chicago has enjoyed in a long time.Discipline wins football games.Controlling Tight EndsFor roughly as long as I can remember, the Bears have struggled against tight ends. This was true even before the position developed into the brutal mismatch that it has become in the modern NFL. However, a tour through Pro Football Reference suggests that the Bears finally seem to be getting on top of the problem.In the first game, Jimmy Graham had only 2 receptions for 8 yards against the Bears to open the season and Lance Kendricks had a single reception for 13 yards; together these two tight ends managed 3 receptions and 21 yards. Those two have averaged 6 receptions and 72 yards in each of the other two games of the season. The Bears didn’t win the game, but it was a close call and it wasn’t because they let tight ends open up the middle of the field.Meanwhile, Nick Vannett and Will Dissly have had 15 receptions and 212 yards plus a pair of touchdowns so so far, averaging 5 receptions and 71 yards per game. Against the Bears, they had 6 receptions and 67 yards (as well as one of those touchdowns). This seems less impressive Customized Chicago Bears Jerseys , in that the Bears are more or less just holding pace with the other Seahawks opponents, until you remember that half of those yards (and the touchdown) came in the last three minutes of the game when the Bears were up 24-10. This was a classic “garbage time” drive.Perhaps more importantly, however, go back and watch the touchdown itself. Roquan Smith is engaged against CJ Prosise and reads Wilson, actually coming free and closing on Dissly about two steps (at most) too late to break up the play. Was that ideal? No. You’d like him to read the play on time. It was, however, his first professional start and he was playing against a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. He won’t be two steps late to diagnose that play by mid-season, and he probably won’t be two steps late against a lesser passer. Finally, Jermaine Gresham and Ricky Seals-Jones combined for 2 receptions and 44 yards against the Bears. Overall, these two are at 3 receptions and 27 yards per game. Why do I consider the Bears’ performance against this group a victory, then? Because most of that was a single 35-yard touchdown catch in the opening stages of the game , and it happened at a particularly weak moment for the Bears’ defense. One of the ways the Bears have been controlling tight ends is through creative use of their linebacking corps, and Leonard Floyd was not on the field for that play. In fact, Smith and Floyd are the keys to negating tight ends in this current iteration of the Fangio defense. Sometimes Floyd forces a TE to work against him as he comes down, but just as often Floyd uses his length and speed to play the cover linebacker role. Meanwhile, Smith’s speed and power help him to do the same thing. Having two versatile chess pieces like this can only help the Bears as Smith learns the professional game and as Floyd gets healthy again. Third-Down ConversionThe Bears have a third-down conversion rate around 40% (39.53%, actually). That’s only good for 17th in the NFL, but it’s also the highest third-down conversion rate the Bears have enjoyed since 2015. Part of this is, regardless of fan perception, because of the lower rate of pass plays that are being called and because the team is staying “on schedule” as it were.The Bears are passing on 57% of their plays, making them the 22nd-most likely team to pass the ball in the NFL this season. This is an uptick from the the not-quite 55% rate of last season, and it’s still less than the 60%-ish of the prior season. In other words Chicago Bears T-Shirt , while Nagy’s scheme does actually make use of short passing plays, and while fans might wonder why he can’t just bring himself to use Jordan Howard in short yardage situations, he is using his running backs. He is using them 43% of the time, when the league average is around 39% of the time (+/- 6%). And it’s working. Teams win by keeping their offense on the field, and whatever other limitations the offense has, it has managed to run 198 plays, good for ninth in the NFL (and three of the teams ahead of them have been to overtime).Obviously, they need to continue to improve in this category. However, this is a significant step in the right direction, and it’s a testament to Nagy’s ability to install an effective offense in less than a quarter of a season of football.So, those are three things that the Bears are doing well that might have been lost in the shadow of Khalil Mack. Now Chicago Bears Hats , with that out of the way, please return to enshrining #52 in his proper place as one of the most enjoyable football players of his generation. The Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1) and the Seattle Seahawks (7-5), currently the 6th and 5th seeded teams respectively in the NFC, will battle tonight on Monday Night football. A Minnesota win will flip flop their seedings. A Seattle win will push the (9-4) Bears closer to clinching the NFC North. Who are you guys cheering for tonight?This is your Sunday open thread to talk NFL action. Here are the game that will be played this afternoon. New York Jets at Buffalo Bills 12:00 PMCBSCarolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns 12:00 PMFOXAtlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers 12:00 PM FOXBaltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs 12:00 PM CBSNew England Patriots at Miami Dolphins 12:00 PM CBSNew Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12:00 PM FOXNew York Giants at Washington Redskins 12:00 PM FOXIndianapolis Colts at Houston Texans 12:00 PMCBSCincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Chargers 3:05 PM CBSDenver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers 3:05 PM CBSPhiladelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys 3:25 PM FOXPittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders 3:25 PMFOXDetroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals 3:25 PM FOXThe main event of week 14 is the Los Angeles Rams visiting the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football. Keep in mind this open thread is rated WCG-MA, so keep it classy.
  21. Aaron Rodgers would fix everything. It could have been the title of the Packers 2018 offseason , or the headline for the last five years of the organization’s team-building philosophy under Ted Thompson. When a collarbone injury spoiled a promising start for Green Bay in 2017, Brett Hundley and Co. managed just enough wins to keep the Packers in the playoff hunt for Rodgers’ way-too-soon return. Mike McCarthy finally, mercifully, made a change at defensive coordinator, bringing in the pedigreed Mike Pettine to replace the anachronistic Dom Capers. Mark Murphy slid Thompson a step closer to retirement, installing Brian Gutekunst as general manger, and all was right in the world. Or so many thought. An organizational shakeup, a gut check season, and the return of the best football player on God’s green (and gold) earth would bring this team back to Titletown glory. Until it didn’t. An injury in Week 1 to Rodgers robbed him of his ability to move, improvise and break down defenses, exposing the lack of creativity long prevalent in McCarthy’s offense. Injuries to Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb proved just how valuable Jordy Nelson was to this offense even if he had lost a step or three. And despite improvements to defensive personnel, injuries tore through that side of the ball, undercutting any strides made by Gutekunst in using the draft and free agency (quelle surprise) in the spring. If winning is a habit, so is complacency. The last two seasons in Green Bay proved how deeply rooted that little monster became.The Packers haven’t used a top-100 draft pick on a skill position player since Davante Adams in 2014. Their idea of solidifying the offensive line was to show T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton the door with no obvious replacements , and while Lane Taylor has emerged as a solid guard, the right side remains an utter black hole. What’s more, McCarthy proved either incapable of unwilling to make changes to his offense to the point he lost his team. Watching the Packers this season, I kept going back to something Robert Mays wrote for the Ringer in early fall: The last line perfectly encapsulates the 2018 season. The Packers haven’t been keeping pace, not schematically, not philosophically, and not culturally. Draft-and-develop works when you’re hitting on picks, but Thompson missed myriad opportunities to improve this team on the margins with mid-level and lever lower-level free agents. McCarthy’s schematic stagnation has been well-documented and it’s clear the players on the team no longer trusted him to design and call an offense. And while the rest of the league was pouring resources into edge rushers, the Packer shrugged and walked away whistling with their hands in their pockets. Rodgers himself must also stand tall to face the slings and arrows here as well. There’s an old saying in the NFL that a great quarterback never gets a coach fired. Rodgers may not have openly attempted to get McCarthy fired, but his subversion of the head coach, flatly dismissing playcalls, and inconsistent play helped torpedo him just the same. The quarterback we saw in 2014 has only been seen for brief glimpses since then thanks to a mixture of lack of confidence in the offense and lack of discipline within it. The time for dick measuring is over; the quarterback won. Now go play like the MVP and best player in the game again. After this season, it should be clear Rodgers needed this reset as much as anyone. When your quarterback is openly admitting on ESPN to being bored in practice, the writing should have been on the wall. McCarthy no longer engaged him Authentic Kevin King Jersey , challenged him, coached him. Matt Nagy is always on the sidelines talking to Mitch Trubisky while the Bears defense was on the field. When was the last time we saw McCarthy do that? He needs someone to get him re-focused, re-engaged, and back playing more rhythm football than backyard football. Rodgers knows what’s being said about him — the whispers about his undermining of McCarthy, the questions about his leadership. It’s not a coincidence he insisted on playing the final two weeks of the season despite myriad injuries in order to show just what kind of leader he is. In Week 16 in the comeback against the Jets, he reminded the fans, the team and the organization about why he is such a special player. A player famous for carrying slights with him, there’s no doubt Rodgers will shoulder the takes, the criticisms and the doubters.In a post-Run the Table world, coming off a 2017 where it was clear how badly the Packers needed Rodgers, a season in which Rodgers finally had to admit he needed some help too could return the equilibrium to this team. The failures of 2018 started much sooner and are structural, institutional shortcomings stemming from the Ted Thompson era and a spoiling through success. The collapse of that culture, both good and bad, come as a necessary reckoning for a team on the precipice. In all likelihood , the Packers are due for a wandering in the wilderness period in a post-Rodgers world. Teams don’t luck into HOF quarterbacks twice, much less three times. Mark Murphy and Brian Gutekunst have to get this right in order to maximize what is left of Rodgers’ prime before the metaphoric winter comes. It’s up to them to decide if these two seasons signal the beginning of the end, or demarcate a momentous change in course toward recapturing success. Each year, the NFL releases a ten-part weekly series counting down the Top 100 players in the league, as voted on by their peers. That usually comes out in the late spring to help bridge the gap between the NFL Draft and the start of training camps.Pro Football Focus, however, is publishing their list of the Top 101 players in the 2018 season this week. Although the Green Bay Packers did not land a player between 50 and 101, in the third installment — players 26 through 50 — the team is well-represented. Four Packers showed up in that grouping, including three members of the offense. Let’s look at them one-by-one.#48: Wide receiver Davante AdamsWe’ll have to wait to see how many receivers rank ahead of Davante, but he was unquestionably one of the best wideouts in the NFL this year. He finished the season sixth in receptions, seventh in receiving yards, and second in touchdowns, and he would have been higher in at least the first two categories had he not sat out week 17’s game with a knee injury. Although his DVOA numbers don’t match up to his lofty PFF grade (87.8) or raw stats, much of that is likely due to Mike McCarthy’s scheme doing him no favors.#43: Defensive tackle Kenny ClarkLast year: 69thThe monster in the middle of the Packers’ defense , Clark was more than deserving of a Pro Bowl honor in 2018, though he was denied. In 13 games, he racked up six sacks and provided far more pass rush than one would expect from a traditional 3-4 nose tackle. In fact, PFF credited him with a pass-rush grade of 88.8 on the year, while also noting that he ranked 16th among interior linemen in run stop rate (9.9%).#41: Quarterback Aaron RodgersPFF gave Rodgers the sixth-highest grade of any quarterback in the NFL this season, and had him ranked third in passer rating when throwing the ball 20 yards or more downfield. We all know that what we saw from Rodgers in 2018 was less than stellar, but his yards per completion number finally climbed back near 12 (11.9, to be exact), the first time it has been above 11.0 since his last MVP season in 2014.#39: Left tackle David BakhtiariLast year: 30thTwo spots ahead of Rodgers is the man named the best pass-protector in the league by PFF. They credited him with allowing just 25 pressures in 16 games, only seven of which resulted in hits on Rodgers.The Packers’ four best players all showed up on the second-to-last portion of this list, so don’t expect any more members of the Green and Gold to appear in the Top 25. The 2017 team also failed to place anyone in the top 25, with Bakhtiari’s #30 ranking being the top spot held by a Green Bay player. Hopefully they won’t be shut out of that upper section for a third year in a row in 2019.
  22. OverviewOn October 21 Youth Anthony Walker Jersey , 2018 the Indianapolis Colts will host the Buffalo Bills In this week seven match-up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of how they may attack our new look offense.The 2017 Bills went to the playoffs for the first time since the Clinton administration. They went 9-7 in what was their fifth winning season in the past two decades. The last time these two teams played it be came an all time favorite game for me. Both teams battled through what looked like a foot of snow to try to play football at its highest level. The Bills came out on top in a close, fun to watch game but this year the game will be played indoors so hopefully there will be a different result.Let’s figure out what we can expect in week seven.Kicker:Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty ImagesSteven Hauschka is a career 87% field goal kicker. He isn’t on anyone’s list to go to the hall of fame but he’s been a consistently good kicker for a long time in the NFL. He started his career as poorly as possible in Baltimore but really turned it around once he arrived in Seattle. If this game comes down to a battle of field goals, I have no doubt I will be worried about Hauschka. He is more than good enough to trot out for a game winner, hopefully it doesn’t come to that. Punter:Photo by Rob Carr/Getty ImagesLast season the Bills employed a one Mr. Colton Schmidt for their punting duties. In my report on the Bills special teams last season I called Schmidt a good but not great punter and in what was a surreal moment for me, Mr. Schmidt’s agent took exception to my description of him and sent me an email explaining why his client was better than I was giving him credit for. This season Colton Schmidt is unemployed and the Bills have brought in Corey Bojorquez. In Schmidt’s (and his agent’s) defense, his net yards per punt average was nearly a yard higher in 2017 than the rookie’s has been so far this year. So I guess you could say Bojorquez is also a good but not great punter.Returner:Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesRay-Ray McCloud is the name you need to know in the return game. I say that not because he’s their best returner nor has he returned the most kicks for the Bills this season. I say that because he’s the only healthy returner on the team and I have no idea if Marcus Murphy or Taiwan Jones will be able to play in this one. McCloud is averaging 5 yards per punt return and has 18 yards on his lone kick return this season. McCloud hasn’t shown enough to be concerned at this point.Final Thoughts for The Week:The Bills have an impressive defense and a very unimpressive offense but that could change. The Bills have announced Derek Anderson will be their starting quarterback on Sunday. Normally I would be confident in the Colts chances against a team starting a guy at quarterback they signed off the street a week ago, but for some reason I think Anderson could come out and play well. Forcing the new guy to make mistakes will go a long way to securing the win. If the Colts can get off the field on any of the dozens of 3rd down’s they create, they should have a very good chances in this one. PredictionColts 24Bills 17Draft WatchIt is with absolutely no joy I am bringing back my Draft Watch segment. Draft Watch is the silver lining to a bad season and that’s exactly what our Colts are in the middle of. Even if the team gets hot Womens Nate Hairston Jersey , even if everyone is suddenly healthy, even if they rattle off 3-4 wins in a row, realistically I don’t see any way the Colts will have a first round draft pick past 15th overall in the 2019 NFL draft.As of right now the Colts have a one and five record we’ll take a look at the other 4 teams and how they may do in their week seven games:New York Giants- The Giants will be playing a 2-4 Falcons team on Monday Night Football. I do expect the Giants to fall to 1-6 on the season after this game. San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers will take on the 6-0 Rams. I don’t believe this game will end up being much of a contest. The 9ers will drop to 1-6. Arizona Cardinals- The Cards will host the Denver Broncos tonight on Thursday Night Football. The Cardinals haven’t been good and Von Miller seems to think the Broncos are going to win but the Cardinals do have the home field on a Thursday night game. This could go either way but I expect that the Cardinals will get a win and go to 2-5 on the season. Oakland Raiders- The Raiders are on a bye this week so they can’t possibly lose on Sunday. Gruden’s best week since returning to coaching.If all of the above happens the way I expect it to (with a Colts win) it looks like the Colts will be drafting somewhere between 4 and 6 after this weekend. If you’re interested in seeing a little more about the current 2019 NFL draft order you should check out Tankathon. An off-the-air racial slur prompted the immediate retirement of longtime Indianapolis Colts radio voice Bob Lamey last weekend, team officials and Lamey's attorney confirmed Wednesday.Local attorney James Voyles issued a statement acknowledging the 80-year-old Lamey used "inappropriate" language during a conversation with a friend at a local radio station and apologized immediately."Bob does want to acknowledge that while repeating a story while off-the-air last week to a friend at a local radio station, he used an inappropriate word that had been used in the story," Voyles' statement read. "Bob immediately apologized to the people involved for the comment and would hope that this error in judgment would not tarnish his long-held reputation in the sports community where he has been known as an accurate and passionate reporter."A report on a local television's station website, WTHR, claimed an employee at Emmis Communications heard the comment and reported it to the radio station's human resources department , which then contacted the Colts.It's not the first time Lamey's words have caused controversy. But what happened last week the Colts found intolerable. The announcement of Lamey's retirement after 31 years with the Colts came Sunday.He was replaced on Monday night's radio broadcast by Matt Taylor.Initially, the Colts attempted to paint his departure as the celebration of a Hall of Fame broadcasting career that spanned five decades. But after word leaked about the conversation and Voyles issued his public statement Wednesday morning, the Colts immediately took a different tack."In regards to Bob Lamey ... first and foremost, the Colts deplore and do not tolerate the use of any racial slur — in any context," Colts chief operating officer Pete Ward wrote in an email. "Bob has had a long and storied history in our community, but he made a serious mistake. The Colts are deeply disappointed the incident took place and offer our sincerest regrets to all who were impacted by Bob's lapse in judgment."Ward went on to say that the Colts only decided to comment after Lamey made his account.Previously, there had been praise for Lamey as his retirement was announced on the weekend."Bob Lamey is a legend and icon," Colts owner Jim Irsay said in Sunday's release. "(His) name is synonymous with Indianapolis Colts football."Former players weighed in , too, as Lamey said simply "it's time" to retire.Players such as former punter Pat McAfee and right tackle Ryan Diem immediately weighed in on Twitter to praise Lamey. Reggie Wayne, the Colts' second-leading receiver all-time, told local news station Fox 59 that Lamey was "the absolute best."Lamey's previous outbursts included use of an expletive during a broadcast at the end of a Colts loss to the San Diego Chargers in September 2016. The next day he apologized to fans on the air and asked for their forgiveness.He came close to uttering the same word during Indy's come-from-behind win over New England in the 2006 AFC championship game after running back Dominic Rhodes lost the ball near the goal line."He fumbled the freakin' football," Lamey said before realizing teammate Jeff Saturday recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.There was another off-the-air outburst in December 2010 when Peyton Manning threw four interceptions in a loss to Dallas. Lamey privately questioned whether the NFL had "figured out" Manning and contemplated whether he should be benched in favor of backup Curtis Painter.But his most recent comments were too much for the Colts."Bob publicly acknowledged that last week he repeated an inappropriate word when telling a story," Ward wrote. "He immediately apologized to the people who heard him use the word, and then promptly retired as the Colts play-by-play announcer."Lamey served in that capacity for 31 seasons, from 1984-91 and again from 1995-2017 and was a fixture on local airwaves since the mid-1970s.He broadcast games for the city's hockey team , the WHA's Racers, from 1974-77 — finishing those duties just before Wayne Gretzky joined the team. He served as the play-by-play man for the Indiana Pacers from 1977-84, and he also was part of the Indianapolis 500's radio broadcast team for years.For 23 years, Lamey served as the sports director for WIBC radio, and in 2008, Lamey was inducted into the Indiana Sports Broadcasters and Writers Hall of Fame in 2008.Taylor, who has done sideline and studio work for the team, had taken over as the Colts' play-by-play voice on the preseason broadcasts. Greg Rakestraw , another local radio announcer, will replace Taylor in the television booth.
  23. KANSAS CITY Authentic Mitch Morse Jersey , Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs will have 10 days to stew over Mike Williams’ touchdown catch, Philip Rivers‘ wave as he trotted off the field and the golden opportunity they let slip away Thursday night.They had led the Los Angeles Chargers nearly wire-to-wire, taking an early 14-0 lead and looking every bit the dominant team in the AFC West. And they still led into the fourth quarter, victory seemingly certain along with all the trappings that would come with it — clinching the division with two games to go, a first-round playoff bye and perhaps homefield advantage throughout with a little bit of help.Then their defense failed to make a couple of crucial stops. Their offense failed to pick up a first down when it mattered most. The Chargers made every play to escape with a 29-28 victory.“It’s tough. Mentally, it’s very tough,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said afterward. “We have to come back and bounce back. We have to prepare for Seattle at their place. Understand what you did wrong and watch film and let’s make some corrections and bring it.”There are plenty of things for Kansas City to correct.The Chiefs were penalized 10 times for 66 yards, five of them giving Los Angeles a first down. They failed to capitalize on two turnovers by Rivers, allowed the Chargers to convert 60 percent of their third downs and blew crucial assignments when they had a chance to put the game away.The two biggest came on the final drive of the game.After cornerback Kendall Fuller was called for pass interference — a debatable call given the pass appeared to be well out of reach — the Chargers had the ball at the Kansas City 1. Rivers floated a pass toward Williams along the sideline, and he outleaped Orlando Scandrick to haul it in.Then, after coach Anthony Lynn sent his offense back onto the field, the Chiefs blew the coverage on Williams so emphatically that nobody was within 10 yards of him on the 2-point conversion.Game over.Let the stewing begin.“Just miscommunication,” Fuller said of the conversion play. “We just got to cover our pieces at the end of the day. That’s something we have to work on, prepare for and get better.”All is not lost for Kansas City. The Chargers may have forged a tie atop the division at 11-3, and have not split the season series, but the Chiefs hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their superior record in the division. They also maintain an inside track on homefield advantage, though their trip to Seattle and their home game against Oakland have taken on much more meaning.The Chiefs could have used those weeks to heal up for the playoffs. Now, they’ll visit a hot team in the Seahawks with much on the line before returning home to face another division rival.“Everybody feels that feeling, they want to get back out there tomorrow,” Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “So we’re going to have a long 10 days. Then we’re going to Seattle, which is a tough place to play, and they’re playing really good football right now. So we’re just going to recuperate , see what we did well and see what we didn’t do so well and find ways to use this as fuel.”The opportunity to recuperate may be what Kansas City needs most.Strong safety Eric Berry made his season debut after dealing with a heel injury since training camp, and he’ll have time to receive treatment before trying to play more against the Seahawks.The Chiefs are hopeful they’ll get some of their offensive stars back. Running back Spencer Ware was out Thursday night with a hamstring injury, wide receiver Sammy Watkins missed his third game with a foot injury and offensive lineman Cam Erving was sidelined with a knee injury.“So what do we do? We get back on it,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “You have to be resilient. That’s what you do, you learn from your mistakes. That’s real. Then you become a better team and get yourself ready to go play Seattle and that’s what we will do.”Kansas City Chiefs defensive trends and tabulation for Week 4 Ladies and gentlemen, a big hand for your 25th ranked (in points per game) Kansas City Chiefs!OK, so that’s supremely excessive for the worst defense in the league in yards, yards per rush and first downs per game. It also ranks near the bottom in passing yards per game, yards per play and basically anything that isn’t third-down percentage (1st in the league) or sacks (12th in the league).It was a better performance this week against the Denver Broncos on the surface, with yards and points at their lowest marks of the season, and the Chiefs found a little more pressure on the quarterback. However, missed tackles and blown coverages continued, with the addition of some miserable run defense to the tune of 7.2 yards per carry.Basically, they’re still bad.Fortunately, for Arrowhead Pride readers, I sat down and charted this week’s game to get all the numbers for you so you can see where the Chiefs were bad, worse and slightly OK throughout this week’s 60 snaps.The numbersThe Chiefs lined up in their base 3-4 formation 16.6 percent of the time, typically against the Broncos 12, 21 and 22 personnel. In those snaps, the opposition gained a staggering 9.86 yards per play and 7.78 yards per carry. Quite simply, the “run-stopping” defense didn’t stop the run.The Chiefs lined up in their nickel defense with two down linemen and four linebackers 41.6 percent of the time, making it their preferred formation once again. They allowed a not-too-shabby 4.43 yards per play out of this formation.The Chiefs showed their dime defense 16.6 percent of the snaps this week. On those snaps Authentic Chris Conley Jersey , the Broncos gained 5.41 yards per play.The Chiefs dropped an outside linebacker on 39.5 percent of the snaps in Week 4. That’s higher than usual this season, and once again, the vast majority of them came out of the 3-4 defense. Those plays gave up an abysmal 10.53 yards per play, and on average, the quarterback threw the ball in 2.08 seconds. Needless to say, dropping the outside linebackers didn’t give quarterback Case Keenum much pause this week.The Chiefs sent extra rushers 23.7 percent of the time. That’s the season record thus far for Sutton’s defense! Those plays gave up 7.88 yards per play and the quarterback got rid of the ball in 2.28 seconds, on average. The Chiefs showed pressure, brought a rusher from the second level while dropping another rusher, ran a stunt or blitzed on 42.1 percent of the snaps, which is ridiculously high for a Bob Sutton defense.The Chiefs rushed three players on THREE SNAPS. After a week with only a single three-man rush, Sutton dialed up a total of three this week. Those resulted in an average of 8.66 yards per play and an average time to throw of 1.92 seconds. Clearly, flooding the secondary with extra bodies or from abnormal areas was not effective this week.The Chiefs rushed four players on 68.4 percent of the passing snaps. Those snaps resulted in a reasonable 5.19 yards per play and an average time to throw of 2.35 seconds.The Chiefs were in man coverage on 73.7 percent of the passing snaps. Those snaps resulted in 7.51 yards per play and an average time to throw of 2.20 seconds. After a zone-heavy Week 3, the Chiefs reverted back to more of a man-coverage scheme this week. They played press-man coverage 60.4 percent of the time with their corners and slot safeties. That’s the lowest press percentage of the season for the Chiefs defense.The Chiefs were in zone coverage 26.3 percent of the passing snaps. Those snaps resulted in a stellar 2.1 yards per play and an average time to throw of 2.55 seconds. Even though some coverages were blown that weren’t capitalized upon this week, this number would still have been trending downward form week to week.The average time to throw this week was 2.30 seconds. When the Chiefs forced the throw under 2.5 seconds (21 plays), they allowed 6.55 yards per play. When the throw took longer than 2.5 seconds (13 plays), they allowed 8.61 yards per play. Keenum got the ball out of his hands especially quick this week trying to avoid the Chiefs rush.Something goodI’ve spent this first quarter of this season detailing how poor the Chiefs secondary has been in passing players and executing their zone responsibilities. So when I found an opportunity to highlight a good play out of the Chiefs Cover 3, I took the opportunity.Here, the Chiefs are in a Cover 3 Buzz look, with Eric Murray spinning down as the weak-side hook defender. Kendall Fuller has the underneath boundary zone as the strong-side apex defender, and Orlando Scandrick has the deep boundary third behind him.Denver runs an out route, targeting the seam between the Fuller/Scandrick zones. Fuller gets good zone depth and takes away the quick throwing lane while still keeping an eye on the running back in the flat. This forces Keenum to have to loft the ball over Fuller, and that air underneath the ball allows Scandrick to get a good break on the ball and knock it away.When most think of present-day Sutton Womens Terrance Smith Jersey , they don’t think of especially risky pass rush plans. This week, with a higher blitz percentage, we got to see some more adventurous blitzes and the blitz shown above is definitely one of them.After a fourth-and-1 conversion late in the first half, the Chiefs found themselves backed up against their own end zone. The Broncos had one timeout remaining with 48 seconds left in the half. Sutton made a gutsy call to send six rushers and run a Cover Zero shell, meaning there’s no safety deep to keep a lid on the defense when the Broncos go empty. Each member of the secondary is man to man with a skill position player.Due to this gamble, the cornerbacks are lined up in off-man coverage. This makes sure they keep all the routes in front of them, because the ball is likely coming out quickly with the extra pass rushers. Keenum calls an audible and calls a bubble screen to beat the blitz, which it does. This is a positive outcome for the Chiefs defense.By forcing the bubble screen audible, the Chiefs are able to close quickly on the receiver and tackle him in bounds, wasting both a down and forcing the Broncos to use their final timeout. This limits the number of plays the Broncos can run in their remaining downs before the half without that extra timeout.By forcing the issue, Sutton gave the Chiefs one of two outcomes if it’s not an incompletion: stopping the play in bounds for a short/no gain or getting home with the blitz. Either way, Denver has to burn its final timeout. The Chiefs defense held to a red-zone field goal right before half, and this play was a key ingredient in that outcome.Something badThere was plenty of blown coverage this week, but the Chiefs defense was by far at its worst against the run. The Broncos especially targeted Ron Parker as a box safety in the run on Monday.It’s first and goal on the above play, and Denver recognizes Parker in the box, up on the line. They motion Demaryius Thomas over Parker, and off the snap, Thomas blows the gap wide open, putting Parker on his back.Elsewhere, Anthony Hitchens shoots the A gap off Allen Bailey’s inside shoulder. The guard/tackle combo block stalls Bailey initially, and the guard pulls back to knocks Hitchens to the ground. The tackle has leverage on Bailey, and is able to move him easily out of the gap.The Broncos routinely moved Chiefs defenders well out of the play and got to the second level often Womens Reggie Ragland Jersey , taking out the second and third-level run defenders. Denver completely bossed the Chiefs front all game long and when the Chiefs defenders did get some push, well......the Chiefs couldn’t tackle.At all levels, the Chiefs routinely find themselves in good positions to make a play, yet can’t bring down the ballcarrier due to poor tackling. Above, Bailey does great work to read the play, shed the blocker and attacks running back Royce Freeman in the gap. He hits Freeman square, but doesn’t wrap up and Freeman is able to run away into the second level. Parker misses a tackle coming up in support, and what should be a tackle for no gain or a short gain instead results in a chunk play setting up the Broncos for a second and short yardage.Something you may have missedIt wasn’t all awful in the run game this week. Here’s a fantastic play you might have missed from safety Eric Murray. After a tight end motions inside, Murray crashes down to become the force defender and blows up the fullback, forcing the running back to cut back into the defense, where Reggie Ragland has stacked a pulling guard, and Dee Ford is able to track down in pursuit to make the tackle.Murray gets no stat for this, but good film study tipped him off on this play and he was able to completely blow it up so the running back couldn’t reach the edge. Murray had a solid day in run support and a good day in coverage. This kind of dirty work is indicative of the types of things some may miss out of Murray on a week-to-week basis.The bottom lineIsaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY SportsWe’re not a quarter of the way through the season, and the conclusion has been basically the same: this is a bad defense.They’re not executing, still missing tackles and blowing coverage right and left. I’ve heard claims against Sutton’s scheme, but the execution is so poor that it’s hard to even begin to see the scheme.Quite simply, they need to hit the “reset” button on this defense. Start brand new this week, wipe away the first quarter of the season, and pretend it’s the start of the season all over again. These are basic mental mistakes that every single one of these players are capable of cleaning up.Luckily, the Chiefs offense is buying this defense time to figure out their side of the ball and correct these very correctable mistakes. With two very important games in the next two weeks, let’s hope the defense can start climbing out of the basement of the NFL.
  24. Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2018: Week 3 vs. the Arizona Cardinals Through 3 games Youth Jordan Howard Jersey , Chicago Bears’ quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been sacked 8% of the time. Last year that number ended up at 8.6%, so we’re not seeing the type of improvement we often see in a QBs second season. But it’s still early in the new offense, and head coach Matt Nagy has talked about patience since he took over. Trubisky has taken some baby-steps from week to week, but with other young quarterbacks playing so well, many of us fans want him to be good right now. The growth of a young quarterback is different from case to case, and there is no sure fire way to unlock their potential.It’s fair to say that Trubisky hasn’t settled into a comfort zone this year quite yet, because he is missing open receivers, taking some sacks he shouldn’t, and misreading some looks, but that’s all a part of the growing pains. Pocket awareness will come with understanding of the offense. Sackwatch after 3 games2010 - 8 (Martz)2011 - 14 (Martz)2012 - 11 (Tice)2013 - 3 (Trestman)2014 - 7 (Trestman)2015 - 6 (Gase)2016 - 9 (Loggains)2017 - 7 (Loggains)2018 - 9 (Nagy)Sack 7 - First Quarter 5:44 - Bene’ Benwikere and Budda BakerThis was a 3rd and 6, and the Bears pass protection was overwhelmed by the Arizona blitz. They simply brought more than the Bears could block— while occupying both offensive tackles — then sending an extra blitzer off each edge. Watching it live, I just chalked it up to the Cardinals having a good play on (Sacks Happen), but on the replay it looked like Trubisky had Tarik Cohen in the left flat. I’m also not a fan of the routes run by both Trey Burton (TE to the left) and Taylor Gabriel (slot to the right). With the two defensive backs blitzing, an adjustment by them could have given Trubisky another outlet. This is something that requires QB and receivers to be on the same page, and it comes with time in the offense, so hopefully we see it some day. But for this specific play Youth Khalil Mack Jersey , this is a blitz that Trubisky should have recognized and he should have hit Cohen immediately. Cohen recognized the blitz, as evidenced by him quickly getting his head around, but the pass never came. This one in on the QB.Sack 8 - First Quarter 1:53 - Robert NkemdicheThe Cardinals ran a tackle-end stunt (TEX) against the Bears’ on both sides in an attempt to get the blitzing defensive backs a free rush off the edge. The Bears played it good on the left side with left tackle Charles Leno Jr. taking the defensive tackle that was in the B-Gap after right guard Eric Kush passed him off. Kush accepted the looping defensive end, and running back Jordan Howard stayed home to get the blitzing DB. Kush turned his shoulders a little too much, opening a path for the DE to slip to his inside, but a good strong push nudged him out of the play.On the right side, right tackle Bobby Massie fanned out to the DB, right guard Kyle Long stayed with DT Robert Nkemdiche (#90), and center Cody Whitehair was ready for the stunting DE. Massie did great, but Whitehair lost his balance and fell, and Long allowed too much penetration which let Nkemdiche slap the ball out of Trubisky’s hands. Long should have tapped into his tackle skills and kick-stepped his way to cut off the rush, but instead he was out in front of his feet too much and he got caught lunging. This one is on Long. Sack 9 - Third Quarter 13:45 - Chandler JonesJones is one of the better pass rushers in the league today, and he made an impact in this game with a deflected pass that led to a pick, and this sack. Leno plays it pretty good initially, but Jones just keeps working around until he gets home for the sack. Leno’s punch didn’t slow or redirect the rush at all, and Jones just beat him around the edge. Leno did keep him at bay for more than 3 seconds Womens Prince Amukamara Jersey , which should be enough time to get a pass off, but with Arizona dropping seven in coverage, Trubisky didn’t feel comfortable letting it rip. I’ll give this one to Leno, but I’m not happy about it. EDIT: After weighing it back and forth a bit, and putting a stopwatch on the play, I’m letting Leno off the hook (I told you I wasn’t happy about it). When you watch the two clips back to back you get a better picture of what Trubisky was looking at. In the second clip you see him shoot a glance to the left, where Trey Burton was running in the flat. That may have been short of the sticks, but it was the right read, and you have to let your playmaker make a play. A catch and a well timed stiff-arm may have gotten the job done. Individual Sackwatch after week 3:Mitchell Trubisky - 4.5Sacks Happen - 2Kyle Long - 1Dion Sims - .5Charles Leno - .5Erik Kush - .5 Sunday could prove to be a turning point for the Chicago Bears season.A winnable game against an inferior opponent, at home, a rookie quarterback, on the road. If the Bears want to be the team that fans are expecting them to be, that they can and should be, then they should take care of business Sunday.However, things are never that simple, especially when it comes to the Bears , right?The New York Jets appear to be a rudderless, banged up team with a struggling rookie quarterback and missing key players. But the Bears also couldn’t beat Brock Osweiler on the road two weeks ago and a defense that had 18 sacks and was giving up barely a couple touchdowns a game suddenly has surrendered 69 points in their last two games.This is a different opponent, a different week, but will the results be the same infuriating thing we’ve seen the last two weeks or a return to what we want form to be?New York JetsSB Nation site: Gang Green NationGame Day/Time/TV: Sunday, noon CST, CBSRecord: 3-4Last week: 37-17 loss to the Vikings at MetLifeBears all-time record against: 8-3Historical match ups: There isn’t a lot of history between these teams, such is the way it is when neither team has a ton of recent playoff experience and the two conferences never really played each other before realignment.So let’s look at the 2006 game, which was a week 11 meeting.The 0-0 halftime tie was broken by a Robbie Gould field goal in the third quarter and then a 57-yard Rex Grossman to Mark Bradley at the start of the fourth was enough to seal a 10-0 shutout.Chad Pennington threw interceptions to Nathan Vasher and Brian Urlacher.Last meeting: A 27-19 week 3 victory in 2014.The Bears jumped out early to a 7-0 lead on a Ryan Mundy pick six off Geno Smith on the second play of the game. Alshon Jeffery had 105 yards and Martellus Bennett caught two touchdowns.The Bears moved to 2-1 on the season and all appeared to be headed in the right direction.Offense: The Jets come into this game ranked 26th in yards and 13th in points.Their passing offense ranks 27th in yards while their rushing game is 12th.No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold (56.1 completion percentage/1,552 yds./10 TD/10 INT) is struggling as rookies often do. His 10 INTs lead the league.In his last three games he has six TDs and five INTs. His best receivers are Quincy Enunwa (22 rec./287 yds./1 TD), who is injured, Robby Anderson (17/314/3), Jermaine Kearse (16/165/0) and Terrelle Pryor (14/235/2).Other receivers of note include TE Christopher Herndon (11/145/2).The Jets receiving back, Bilal Powell (11/110/1 receiving, 80 att./343 yds./0) went on I.R. this week, leaving leading rusher Isaiah Crowell (81/459/5) as the main running back.One-time Bears QB coach Jeremy Bates is calling the plays.Defense: The Jets defense ranks 20th in yards allowed and 17th in points allowed.They are 21st against the pass and 14th against the run.Up front they have Leonard Williams (3 sacks/6 TFL/10 QB hits) and Henry Anderson (2.5 sacks/3 TFL/4 QB hits). LBs Jordan Jenkins (2.5 sacks/6 QB hits), Brandon Copeland (2 sacks/5 TFL/8 QB hits) and Avery Williamson (2 sacks/4 TFL/3 QB hits) are lurking too.In the secondary is Morris Claiborne (2 INTs/9 PDs/2 TFL) playing very well Womens Dion Sims Jersey , along with Trumaine Johnson, who is injured, (1 INT/2 PDs) and playmaker Jamal Adams (1 INT/6 PDs/2 FF/6 TFL). LB Darron Lee (3 INT/5 PD/2 TFL) is also making plays.This is another unit that is going to show Mitch Trubisky a lot of exotic and disguised fronts to throw him off. They have some corners who can play man well and Trubisky has struggled against man coverage.The Jets have had some struggles but there are some playmakers on the defense, especially in the secondary.Injury report: The Jets had 14 players on their Wednesday injury report.Limited: S Marcus Maye (thumb), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (foot), CB Buster Skrine (concussion)Did not participate: WR Robby Anderson (ankle), T Kelvin Beachum (back), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder/foot), WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle), CB Trumaine Johnson (quad), LB Darron Lee (illness), C Spencer Long (knee/finger)Full participation: G James Carpenter (shoulder/ankle), RB Isaiah Crowell (foot), WR Andre Roberts (foot/ankle), DL Leonard Williams (back)Key match ups: The Jets are very banged up but assuming that at least Claiborne can go, it will be interesting to see how he matches up against Taylor Gabriel (unless Allen Robinson plays and Claiborne flips sides to cover him with Johnson possibly out).How the Bears run defense stacks up against Crowell will be interesting too. Crowell absolutely gashed the Broncos a couple of weeks ago for 219 yards and he put up 102 in week one against the Lions. The pass rush should have some opportunities against the Jets , who have allowed 16 sacks, but can the Bears generate a pass rush if Khalil Mack is still hampered by his ankle injury?What to watch for: Will the Bears finally get back on track after two struggling weeks? If there was a match up that favored Vic Fangio and the defense to get their game straightened out after two bad games, this is it. The Jets can put up points and with the way the Bears have been gashed by James White and Frank Gore, Crowell could make it a long day.That said though, the secondary will have some chances, especially if Akiem Hicks can get back on track and maybe Leonard Floyd shows up?This is another test for Mitch Trubisky to play soundly and take care of the football because Jamal Adams will be lurking back there waiting for an errant throw into double coverage.Key stats: The Jets have allowed 71 points the last two weeks, the Bears have allowed 69.The Jets have the third most turnovers in the league with 16, the Bears are second in the league in takeaways with 17. The Jets defense is just behind the Bears, with 15.The Bears have the league’s fourth best third down conversion rate on offense at 46.8 percent. The Jets rank 28th at 34.4 percent.Prediction: This game favors the Bears and in Vegas the spread is up to 7.5 in some places. I think that the Bears can cover this game, but that it might end up being closer than fans would like. My pick is Bears 28, Jets 17. To see my pick on the total click here to see my piece on Sports Bet Collective. My pick is free when you create an account.Do you think the Bears can get back in the win column this weekend?
  25. The Bears needed nearly an entire half to get into the end zone , but getting there with 40 seconds left in the second quarter was enough to put them up at the break.Chase Daniel threw his first touchdown pass since 2013 (and second of his career) to running back Taquan Mizzell and the Bears are up 9-7 after their two-point attempt was unsuccessful. Dating back to last week, it’s the third straight time the Bears have gone for two after a touchdown and the first time they failed to convert.A penalty flag was thrown on the touchdown pass, but officials picked it up without assessing an offensive pass interference penalty on Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson. Robinson stopped, turned around and flashed his hands toward Daniel while standing in the way of linebacker Christian Jones.Daniel has gone 16-of-21 for 153 yards and just missed an open Tarik Cohen for a touchdown on an earlier Bears possession. The Bears kept things pretty conservative for much of the half, but opened things up a bit on their final two drives. Daniel made that look smart by hitting Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller for the only plays of more than 20 yards by either team so far on Thursday.Matthew Stafford has not done much downfield throwing. With no Marvin Jones at receiver Eddie Jackson Jersey , they’ve kept things exceedingly simple in the passing game and Stafford is 16-of-20 for 98 yards. They’ve matched that with 26 rushing yards, so they’ll need to find a way to generate something more threatening in the second half if they hope to celebrate a win along with their turkey. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is on track to miss a second straight game with the right shoulder injury he suffered on a hit by Vikings safety Harrison Smith as Trubisky was on his way down at the end of a run in Week 11.Trubisky has not thrown at practice since being injured, but he has spent some time thinking about how to avoid further injuries. Trubisky said he will “continue to work on my slides and make sure they鈥檙e cleaner,” but that he is not going to let the injury keep him from making plays with his feet when the situation calls for it.“I would say I’ve done a real good job of getting yardage for this team, creating positive plays and causing trouble for the defenses while also protecting myself Authentic Dion Sims Jersey ,” Trubisky said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “Nothing’s going to change when I get back. I’m going to continue to stay aggressive and play ball the way I know how.”Trubisky’s ability to make plays as a runner has been a big plus to his game over his first two NFL seasons and losing that dimension would be a negative for the Bears offense, so they’ll do what they can to make things safer for the quarterback and then hold their breath when he takes off on a run.