The stumbling Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are far from Super Bowl form in the early season.
The Bears held out five players from practice: corner Sherrick McManis (hamstring), linebacker John Timu (ankle/knee), receiver Markus Wheaton (groin), guard Kyle Long (ankle) and defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris (hamstring). Long had offseason surgery on his ankle.
TMR: Great question. The boys all play fantasy, though none seem obsessed with it the way I was when I was 14 (and playing in my first game). Obviously, I would support them as much as possible and tell them I would help however I could.
Trey Wingo (NFL Live host, upcoming Golic & Wingo radio show, voice of a robot on an ESPN2 show I like a lot): What was your favorite line that you ever wrote for any of the shows that you worked on?
Impact: An argument can be made that Mercilus’ absence is even more damaging for the Texans long-term than Watt being gone, because the latter still had not regained his 2015 form as the NFL’s most dominant defender. Regardless, the Texans lost a duo that combined for 108 sacks since the 2012 season when Mercilus and Watt began playing together.
Impact: Freeman not only led the Bears in tackles last season with 86 despite missing four games because of a PED suspension, but the Bears also were stretched thin at inside linebacker because of injuries that hit the position. Fortunately for Chicago, fellow ILB Nick Kwiatkowski should be playing soon after recovering from his own pectoral injury.
Matt Ryan, Falcons: Disappointing is probably the kindest thing I could Tuukka Rask Jersey say about Ryan’s fantasy season so far, especially since he was drafted fourth among quarterbacks. Unfortunately, I don’t love his chances at a big game on Sunday. The game is on the road, where Ryan has traditionally played worse and while Josh McCown has been surprising everyone, you’ll never guess who else is not nearly as terrible as you think.
Blake Martinez Game Jersey Did you guess the Jets’ defense? You looked ahead, didn’t you? It’s the Jets’ defense that has the third-most interceptions this season and is allowing opponents to complete passes at the ninth-lowest rate in the NFL. Ryan has five (of six) games this season without multiple touchdown passes, so it’s hard to generate much excitement for him here. He’s merely a midtier QB2, even in a tough bye week.
The Patriots got on the board in Sunday’s Super Bowl LI rematch on a 11-yard Brandin Cooks touchdown. It looked like something directly out of the Chiefs’ playbook.
Elite Kolten Wong Jersey Tom Brady tosses the ball to Cooks, who follows Rob Gronkowski all the way into the end zone.
The Chiefs ran an identical play in their win over the Texans in Week 5. It’s a short toss to De’Anthony Thomas. He’s got Demetrius Harris blocking for him, and he takes basically the same angle as Cooks did to get into the end zone.
The only difference in the play is that the Chiefs had the ball on the 10-yard line, as opposed to the Patriots at the 11. Otherwise, they’re identical.
The Chiefs handed the Patriots their first loss this year in the season opener. Bill Belichick must have liked what he saw from Kansas City.
O.J. Howard entered Week 7 with five catches for 107 yards and one touchdown on 12 targets this season. He more than doubled that fantasy output with six catches for 98 yards and a pair of scores on six targets against Buffalo.
NFL bye weeks can be a time to reflect. But not for Jamaal Charles. He has already done plenty of that, pondering for countless hours how he rolled from Kansas City to Denver, how he thought he would be a Chief for life and now is a Bronco for at least a season.
How he went from red carpet NFL running back rank to a backup, resurgent role.
Dylan Bundy Youth Jersey Denver (3-1) is on its bye and Charles is healthy once again, sculpting a niche in his new home, full of hope once again, recovered from a busted knee and a broken heart.
People thought my talent had just gone away, he said softly. No, I’ve always been a special guy. No, it’s still there. I got credibility.
There are other injuries aside from the team’s top fantasy options. Bishop Sankey, added in the offseason as a fourth running back, blew out his knee in the Andrew Whitworth Jersey preseason. Jerick McKinnon, who had 159 carries for the team in 2016, left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. Sharrif Floyd, an underwhelming but potential-laden defensive tackle, may see his career cut short as he struggles to recover from meniscus surgery.
It’s been a rough couple of months in Minneapolis. Fortunately the Vikings are still 2-2, boast a quality win over the Buccaneers and still have reasonable playoff hopes.
The Chiefs had Hunt high on their board, and saw the chance to take him with a quick trade up in the third round.
You see the same qualities you saw in college, head coach Andy Reid said recently. He can do a lot of things for you. He can catch, he can block in pass protection, he can run inside or outside, you can flex him out.
Game Kids Noah Spence Jersey The Raiders will hope the improved defense could help the Raiders offense, which has also struggled this season with their 2-4 start.
The shovel option features a designed roll-out from Cam Newton, with Jonathan Stewart to Newton’s left, and Christian McCaffrey to Newton’s right. The offensive line will use a power blocking scheme up front.
Fortunately for the Panthers, when their traditional run game struggles, they have the luxury of turning to the option run game with Cam Newton, who is arguably the most dangerous option quarterback in the entire NFL. The Panthers have been very conservative with their use of the option so far this season, because they’ve wanted to prevent Cam Newton from taking extra hits. However, it can still be a great way to complement the traditional run game when used as a change of pace option.
In the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Lions, we saw the Panthers use the shovel option to score a touchdown to tie the game up 10-10.
The shovel option is a variation of the triple option, and it is very popular in college football. On the Panthers variation, the shovel option starts out with a speed option look, built off a jet sweep motion from Curtis Samuel to further widen the defense.
Maybe we’ll even be reminded of how great their quarterback is in the process. It’s not exactly typical for a player to win his first MVP award at 38, but there aren’t as many quarterbacks who have aged as well as Brees has. With Rodgers injured, the Patriots’ defense playing a lot like the bad Saints units of the past, and Kareem Hunt playing a less valuable position, this is Brees’ best shot at taking home hardware before retirement. The MVP award would probably require the Saints to win the South and claim a first-round bye, which the Saints have a 19 percent shot at accomplishing, per FPI. If the defense can hold up their end of the bargain, it seems likely Brees will hold up his.
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The woman next to this superfan isn’t too thrilled to be sitting near them either. The man below her looks like he’s staring directly in front of him not because the football game is about to start, but because he’s afraid of the consequences of looking at this Smurf who took an extended vacation to the set of Mad Max.
Rivers is the master of finding the balance between the smart play and self-preservation, and the result is looking like a total spaz. Like, he got BOTH hands on the ball, but covering it up in the end zone would mean a defender falling on him, and Rivers is too smart to take unnecessary hits. That’s why he’s willing to look so dumb. You ever see him get the snap when a lineman jumps offsides? He throws the ball into the ground like it’s delivering 120 volts into his body.
Ezekiel Elliott found the end zone 16 times last season, despite a 9.5 total OTD. That 6.5 gap was largest in the NFL. As is almost always the case, touchdown regression-to-the-mean will catch up to even the best in the business. Through five games this season, Elliott has scored three touchdowns on 126 looks (carries plus targets) and sports a 2.9 OTD. This means that, based on his usage, Elliott is right where he should be in the touchdown department. Elliott remains a fantasy stud (top-16 at the position in fantasy during all but one of his five outings), but regardless of whether his suspension is in place this week, don’t expect him to catch up to his 2016 scoring pace anytime soon.
But Charcandrick West may have given us the best celebration of the day. It’s the sassiest touchdown dance of the season.
After a four-yard touchdown catch, West did a little dance.
Sam Bradford isn’t having the smoothest return after a knee injury kept him out for three games. After two drives that ended with punts, his third finished with a safety when Leonard Floyd sacked him in his own end zone.
The Rams face a third-and-10, the Seahawks blitz their linebackers, and Goff runs more than 20 yards through the space they vacated yards for first down. UGH. In the hallway, I hear the shrieks of delight.
A few plays later, the Rams convert another third-and-10 conversion to get into the red zone, and you know what? I don’t really give a shit what the stupid Rams and Seahawks do.
I go out into the hallway. My daughter is shouting “BUBBLES!” and her brother is saying “BUH-BUH!” because he is a tiny diapered caveman. The stress I had from watching football has evaporated. Bubbles, man. I gotta rethink my stance.
When I go back to the apartment to get some paper towels, I see Jordy Nelson drop a slant that would be a touchdown. Green Bay kicks kicks a field goal (hey, a kick that worked!) to cut the lead to 21-15.
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The Detroit Lions’ wide receiver caught a first-quarter pass for what should’ve just been a first down, but he roasted three defenders to turn the quick pass into a 45-yard touchdown.
Really, rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore can’t be blamed too much for not wrapping up Tate to start. He’s a hard man to tackle. But the awful angle taken by rookie safety Marcus Williams, and the terrible tackle attempt by Rafael Bush are much worse.
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Tate now has five touchdowns in five games against the Saints, including roasting the New Orleans secondary for 145 yards and a touchdown in 2016. It’s also not the first time he’s shown some acrobatics on his way into the end zone.
Tate is here to make defenders look bad and launch himself upside down for touchdowns, and I’m all for it.
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The Panthers had the worst kind of Thursday Night Football deja vu in their frustrating 28-23 loss to the Eagles to open Week 6 — the sight of Luke Kuechly leaving a game with a concussion.
A trade for Jimmy Garoppolo is not likely — there’s no incentive for the Patriots to help the Packers. Same goes with A.J. McCarron in Cincinnati or any other backup quarterback.
There isn’t a savior here, and the Packers have to weigh how much that next NFC North championship is worth. They might be able to win the division without Rodgers. But they can’t win a Super Bowl without him.
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Goodell said the players and owners will meet again sometime in the next two weeks, and the owners meetings will resume Wednesday with more discussion about the national anthem.
Many of the NFL players and owners in attendance Tuesday came away thinking the meeting was beneficial.
I felt there was nothing done there to avoid contact, Smith said, via ESPN. It was really low from the backside. I thought it was about as flagrant as it gets when it comes to a low hit on the quarterback.
The hit in question occurred in the third quarter of the Chiefs’ 19-13 loss to the Steelers Sunday. Smith was forced to step up into the pocket and deliver a throw on the run. After he released the pass Mitchell came in late and took out Smith’s knees.
Police in Charlotte, N.C., have arrested a man seen on video pummeling another fan during Thursday night’s Panthers-Eagles game at Bank of America Stadium.
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Video posted by an Instagram user showed a man wearing a Cam Newton jersey punching another fan who was sitting behind him repeatedly in the face. The assailant delivers four punches to the victim’s head, leaving the 62-year-old man bleeding from the face, before hurrying for the exits.
According to the caption in the original Instagram post, which includes objectionable language, the two men had been arguing throughout the game because the man in the Newton jersey and the woman with them refused to sit down. According to the user who posted the video, the victim also was wearing Panthers gear.
Rodgers threw a pass that was dropped by tight end Martellus Bennett, and he was hit by Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr as he threw. Barr drove Rodgers into the turf onto his right shoulder in what was a legal hit.
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Backup Brett Hundley went in for the third-down play and handed off to Aaron Jones for a 5-yard run before the Packers punted for the second time.
Hundley later threw a touchdown pass, but the Packers trailed the Vikings 17-10 midway through the third quarter of what ended as a 23-10 Vikings victory.
Tatum and the Celtics visit Fultz and the Sixers on Friday night in the first of two preseason games between the teams over a four-day span. Four more regular-season meetings await. The two 2017 draftees will forever be linked.
In the infancy of his NBA career, the Celtics believe they have barely scratched the surface with Tatum.
“Bottom line is, he can get so much better,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “He’s already a good player, but he can get a lot better. I think that’s one of our charges, is to really make sure that every day is a learning day.
“He’s got a good attitude about it. I think he’s a lot like Jaylen from the standpoint of I don’t think he’s going to get too high or too low. He’s got a really even-keel about him.”
The past precedent of NBA teams choosing name over game has not gone too well. The 2003-04 Los Angeles Lakers added Gary Payton and Karl Malone to a team that already had Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant on it and were embarrassed by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals after a rocky regular season. The 1998-99 Houston Rockets flanked Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen beside Hakeem Olajuwon and flamed out in the first round of the playoffs against the Lakers.
Snarky fans on the internet are already grouping the Cavs with those failed fading constellations in L.A. and Houston, tweeting things like, “Cleveland’s offseason would have been fantastic if this was 2011.”
Fertitta: OK, if you’ve gotta go with one of the three, you’ve gotta go with Hakeem. But today he could probably play power forward. He was one of the first centers that started bringing the ball up the floor every once in a while.
Mike Ditka on Tuesday night issued a statement in an effort to clarify comments the Pro Football Hall of Famer made about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.
The former NFL player and coach’s statement (via WGN-TV):
The characterization of the statement that I made does not reflect the context of the question that I was answering and certainly does not reflect my views throughout my lifetime. I have absolutely seen oppression in society in the last 100 years and I am completely intolerant of any discrimination. The interview was about the NFL and the related issues. That’s where my head was at. I was quoted in the interview stating, ‘You have to be colorblind.’ I stated that you should look at a person for what they are and not the color of their skin. I’m sorry if anyone was offended.
As for the only team with a better record than the NFC trio, the undefeated Chiefs will look to run their record to 6-0 against a Steelers team reeling from a 30-9 loss to the Jaguars.
Carolina’s win over the Patriots denied New England quarterback Tom Brady from tying Brett Favre and Peyton Manning for the most regular-season wins in NFL history. Brady reached that mark with last week’s win over the Buccaneers and he can break the tie Sunday if the Patriots beat the upstart Jets.
Green Bay can take a firm hold on the NFC North with a win. The Packers have won three straight with Aaron Rodgers playing at an MVP level. The Packers offense might get running back Ty Montgomery back this week, but rookie Aaron Jones carried the load Sunday with 125 rushing yards and a score against the Cowboys.
The Colts offense has failed to impress without Luck, with the team’s only wins coming over the still winless Browns and 49ers.
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Limited Youth Jrue Holiday Jersey The Titans have been wildly inconsistent, losing two straight after impressive wins over the Jaguars and Seahawks. Mariota would provide an offensive boost that might be all the Titans need to win.