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Category Archives: NFL

Redskins Beat Browns 38-21

At the start of the game on Sunday, it looked as though the Washington Redskins were going to feel the painful loss of RG3. About halfway through though, they proved that this Redskins team has the mettle it takes to dig deep and pull out a fantastic win. Even if the odds weren’t necessarily in their favor.

Robert Griffin III was on the team’s inactive list before Sunday’s game, as he’s still suffering from a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. Kirk Cousins, who’s stepped in twice before for RG3, took his spot; and while he may have had a slow start, ultimately he got the job done.

At the start of the game Cousins looked as though he may have a poor showing after throwing an interception that was returned by the Browns for a touchdown. But it was his first start, and he quickly came back, throwing two touchdown passes to wide receiver Leonard Hankerson. He finished the day completing 26 of 37 passes for 329 yards.

But it wasn’t just Cousins out there on the field. Tailback Alfred Morris was instrumental in the win, scoring his own pair of touchdowns and 21 consecutive points. It was this that really gave the Redskins the boost they needed, putting them up 31-14 in the game after a 14-10 deficit.

On the other side of the ball, rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for 244 yards and a touchdown; but didn’t have near the performance seen by Cousins. The loss ends the small three-game winning streak the Browns had been enjoying.

Patriots Defeat Dolphins to Win AFC East

The New England Patriots didn’t take their game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday lightly. Knowing that now was not the time for reckless mistakes, the Pats played it safe. It was a smart move, as they defeated the Dolphins 23 — 16, and gave them their twelfth winning season in a row.

It was the sixth consecutive win for the New England Patriots, but it definitely wasn’t their best game of the bunch. They finished the game with only 321 yards; and Brady going 24 for 40 for 238 yards. He was also sacked four times by the Dolphins‘ tough defense, and intercepted once.

But while it wasn’t a great showing on the part of New England, it was the Dolphins’ mistakes that really gave the Patriots the AFC East.

Two of those mistakes were incredibly costly, and both made by Ryan Tannehill as he couldn’t connect with Brian Hartline when the wide receiver went deep and was wide open. And while his running game proved solid, Tannehill also finished the day with just 13 for 29 for 186 yards.

An illegal blocking penalty on Reggie Bush also proved to be fatal for the Dolphins, as this negated a touchdown scored after Reshad Jones made an interception and then returned the ball for 30 yards. Had that counted, the Dolphins would have been much closer to taking the win. Instead they have seriously hurt their playoff chances as they gear up to face the 49ers this coming weekend.

Bear Down! Injured Bears Send Vikings Packing

The Chicago Bears were just one game ahead of the Minnesota Vikings when they went into Sunday’s game; and they were a team in trouble. On a losing streak, and looking as though they might be playing without star quarterback Jay Cutler, it was going to take a lot to pull out a win against the Vikings. But while Cutler was there and helped lead his team to a 28 — 10 victory, the Bears surrendered several players for the win.

Throwing for 188 yards and a touchdown, and connecting on nearly every pass, Jay Cutler showed no signs of the concussion that kept him out of last week’s game against the 49ers. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Devin Hester, Matt Forte, and Charles Tillman — all who suffered injuries in the game against the Vikings.

With about five minutes left in the first half on Sunday, the Bears announced that Hester would not be returning for the game due to a concussion that he received in the first half. It’s still unclear as to when during the first half he received that concussion.

Coming back from halftime, the third quarter didn’t get much better for the Bears. Matt Forte ran off the field halfway through, and seemed to be favoring his right leg. It was announced later that he had suffered an injury to his right ankle; and Tillman was also removed from the game with an ankle injury.

It was also during the third quarter that both Bears’ starting guards, Lance Louis and Chris Spencer, were removed from the game — this time, both knee injuries.

At the end of the game, it looked as though Jay Cutler may be the only Bear in fine form. It’s definitely not rare to see this happen to a team more than halfway through a very tough season. But it will be interesting to see how Chicago compensates for these injuries as they prepare for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks.

Steelers Fall to Ravens 13-10

This weekend saw the Pittsburgh Steelers get trampled by the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh. The close yet painful loss reminds Steelers’ fans of the loss of their star quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger–who is currently out indefinitely due to shoulder and torso injuries. It was a particularly painful game for Steelers’ quarterback Byron Leftwich, the Roethlisberger sub who got pummeled and couldn’t quite get his offense down the field against a superior display of stoppage by Baltimore’s defense.

Even as the first half came to a close, the Steelers were feeling the pressure. Significant plays were going to be needed by the waning Steelers in the second half, but in the third quarter, Leftwich used up two timeouts after two plays–neither effort yielded any Steelers points–which would’ve been useful in the last five minutes when they could’ve actually used them as Baltimore ran out the clock. Leftwich later told reporters that he “just couldn’t get a rhythm”.

He ended the night with a 46% completion ratio for 201 yards, and he scored on a run. That’s okay. Everyone has an off night. But he also threw an interception and was put down by the Ravens’ defense three times. At one point, Leftwich took a huge hit from Baltimore’s James Ihedigbo, which sidelined him long enough for Pittsburgh doctors assess that he didn’t have any rib damage. Pittsburgh also lost two turnover opportunities with both times resulting in Ravens’ points.

In the end, the Steelers’ missed opportunities, the poor performance by Leftwich, the Ravens‘ overpowering defense in the second-half, and a missing Roethlisberger on the roster resulted in the Steelers chalking up yet another loss.

Is Charles Tillman the NFL Defensive Player of the Year?

We’re at about the midway point of the NFL season, and not only does that leave fans wondering who’s going to make it to the Super Bowl, it also has them wondering who’s going to be taking awards home at the end of the year. One of the most talked about awards this year is the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award; and Charles Tillman of the Chicago Bears is one of the biggest names being thrown around to win it. So the question is, will he?

It’s hard to say. Tillman has had an incredible season this year, getting 43 tackles in, 2 interceptions, and a whopping 7 forced fumbles. He has been one of the biggest problems on the field for some of the best receivers, including Calvin Johnson; and he’s especially prone to taking the ball away from the other team to give his team another chance to score. All of it adds up to a very good argument for giving Charles Tillman the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award this season.

But it’s still early. And out of the ten years that he’s played, this is the first time Tillman has given himself elite status. Not to mention the fact that linebacker J.J. Watts is most likely also going to be up for the award; and he’s going to be a tough one to beat.

But let’s remember that it’s a season award and not a career award; and Tillman has had an outstanding year. And comparing Watts against Tillman is difficult, because their two positions are uniquely different. Whether or not Tillman will win Defensive Player of the Year will depend on what the league is looking for when they hand it out; and whether or not he can remain injury-free. But there’s no doubt that so far, Tillman has made a very good case for himself when it comes to winning the award this year.

Atlanta Falcons Still Undefeated

The Atlanta Falcons became the only NFL team still left undefeated after they beat the Dallas Cowboys 19 — 13 on Sunday night, putting their season up to a perfect 8 — 0 so far. And perhaps one of the most amazing things is that they did it without two of their most powerful defensive players — Peria Jerry and Sean Weatherspoon.

Sean Weatherspoon sat the game out, dealing with a sprained right ankle, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do his part. Hobbling up and down the sideline, making calls, and helping everyone out with where they were supposed to be, Weatherspoon was as much part of this win as any other Falcon on the team. And so was Peria Jerry. The defensive tackle has been riddled with knee injuries for the past two years, and swelling around the area after he injured it during the first half took him out of the game against Dallas.

The injury is not serious though, and both Jerry and Weatherspoon are thought to be back on the field this week. This has fans even more excited to see what these Falcons are made out of, and not just Atlanta fans either. All NFL fans love to see a team have a great season — even if they’re only waiting for the fallout. That most likely won’t come next week, as the Falcons will face the New Orleans Saints, one of the worst teams in the league this year.

In fact, it’s thought that the Falcons will continue their perfect streak until they meet up with the New York Giants in Week 15. Whether the Falcons will be able to take that game or not is largely still up in the air; as the Giants are formidable opponents. But one thing’s for sure. Just like every other Atlanta Falcons game so far this year, that one against the Giants is going to be a great one to watch.

Why It’s Time to Look for Green Bay Packers Tickets

Why? Because the season is getting interesting! The Green Bay Packers have scrambled back to their feet after losing 22-30 to the San Francisco 49ers. With a sigh of resounding relief for Packer fans, the weekend found them clobbering the Chicago Bears 23-10, giving them a 1-1 score for the season’s beginnings, instead of a dismal 0-2. They began the first half with a bang; a sensational all or nothing touchdown by Tom Crabtree, who remarked afterward, “It was either a touchdown or a horrible call and someone didn’t do their job and someone didn’t execute.”

From that point on, it seemed the Packers just couldn’t lose. Even though the game was still anybody’s guess, with both teams scoring only three more points by the third quarter, the stall ended when the field opened up for dancing Donald Driver to zero in for a second Packer touch-down.

The question on everyone’s mind is, will the Packers be able to present a good offense? Last year, Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, was tearing up the turf, setting record points for offense plays. With a 15-1 regular season, confidence was high as they staged their final battle against the New York Giants – and lost. Rodgers ball placement was off, and when he was on target, his receivers just couldn’t seem to hold onto it, fumbling the game that should have been their final triumph. The opening game against the forty-niner’s began to look like Deja Vu. Once again, Rodgers threw off the mark and his receivers were dropping balls at a rate to make a grown man cry. After dropping eleven passes in last year’s games, Jermichael Finley dropped three more for the 2012 games. Offensive coordinator, Tom Clements is confident Finley will mature, but Packers fans are growing a bit uneasy.

The Green Bay Packers are set to play against the Seattle Seahawks September 24, which could be a do or die fate for the team that got off to a slow start. Seattle just clobbered the Dallas Cowboys in a brutal 27-7 game, and their message is, they’re not giving an inch. After losing to Arizona in their first game of the season, they racked up a lead against Dallas in the first five minutes with a touchdown by Jeron Johnson. Seattle began its offense a bit shaky in the first quarter, but took control of it before the second half, and kept the Cowboys flattened with bone cruncher, Golden Tate. Tate knocks them down and keeps knocking them.

The next game should tell all for the Green Bay Packers as they line up against the Seahawks, with both teams beginning the season with a slow start, and both teams with an outstanding defense. The big test will be in whether or not Aaron Rodgers pulls back together his offense, which is formidable when he’s on track.

Are Bounty Punishments a “Smear Campaign” by the NFL?

Many thought that the punishments handed out to current and former New Orleans Saints‘ players and coaches were too harsh when they were first handed down. But, now one former Saints player is actually calling it a “smear campaign.”

The player is Scott Fujita, former Saints’ linebacker that left the organization after the 2009 season and now plays with Cleveland. Fujita was found guilty in the bounty program investigation of contributing “a significant sum to the general pool that included payments for nonspecific bounties in the form of ‘cart-offs’ and ‘knockouts,'” according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello in his discipline letter.

But while Fujita doesn’t deny the claims, and even calls making his contributions “paying it forward,” he thinks his three-game suspension is too harsh; and believes the league is actually just carrying out vengeance for his arguments against current NFL player-safety standards in the past. It was in 2010 that Fujita, as part of the NFLPA executive committee, spoke out about the NFL’s knowledge of concussions and how they relate to brain disease. At the time Fujita said that while the league knew, they covered it up much like the tobacco industry did when they discovered the dangers of smoking.

Now Fujita thinks the NFL is simply seizing the opportunity to make him pay for his earlier comments.

“I’m not saying the NFL is intentionally lying,” Fujita told the Associated Press. “I’ve been willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they may have just been working with the information they’ve been given, even though much of that information was inaccurate and lacked credibility. It’s their cavalier interpretation of everything that’s been way off. They clearly proceeded with a public smear campaign with very little regard for the truth.”

One of the NFL’s reports stated that Fujita played for the Saints in 2010, when he already with the Browns. This he says, is just one indication of what a shoddy investigation it was. Fujita also accused the league of not approaching him about the 3-year investigation until reports first came out in March.

While the league did not touch on whether or not they were carrying out a vendetta against Fujita, Aiello did release a statement saying, “The process gave all players every opportunity to raise arguments and provide any mitigating information. Scott Fujita unfortunately chose not to avail himself of the process. Nothing that he has asserted in his various public statements undermines the findings of this investigation.”

The league also states that none of the players involved were told about the investigation any earlier than March in order to protect those who brought the bounty matter to the attention of the authorities.

Fujita has appealed his suspension, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could rule on that appeal as early as today. Other players who have also appealed their punishments will also be ruled on at the same time.

Junior Seau’s Death Raises More Questions about Players’ Safety

After former NFL linebacker, Junior Seau, 43, was found dead in his Southern California home yesterday due to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest, it was hard to make sense of anything. But after the police ruled the death a suicide, no one wondered why the chest was chosen. It was the very same way that former Chicago Bears Dave Duerson took his own life last February and all of it points to head trauma suffered by former NFL players.

At the time of Duerson’s death it was found that he chose to keep his brain intact so that it could later be studied for signs of CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. While it hasn’t yet been reported that Seau had the same intention, the similarities certainly are striking. And they also help bolster the case of former NFL players who currently have a lawsuit against the league in which they are asking for damages as well as reimbursement for health and medical costs. Sadly one of the plaintiffs in that case, Ray Easterling who played for the Atlanta Falcons during the 1970s, also shot himself just two weeks ago.

It’s becoming a case of there simply being too many victims to count. And although it’s still yet to be found whether or not Seau’s death was due to head trauma caused by repeated concussions, the problems of insanely rough play and sending players back out onto the field after sustaining an injury are becoming obvious.

Junior Seau was nothing short of a legend in the NFL. He played for the league over a course of 20 years and was with the Chargers for 12 of them. It was during his time with San Diego that he took them to the Super Bowl, had 12 back-to-back Pro Bowl appearances, and was also voted to All-Pro six times.

Tim Tebow is Going to New York!

Start spreading the news…Tebow is “leaving today” and is heading to New York! Tebow officially signed with the New York Jets and took part in an enthusiastic press conference that had the sports world buzzing.

Tim Tebow has recovered quickly after a particularly nasty shoving-in-front-of-a-train incident involving his former team the Denver Broncos. The Broncos signed Peyton Manning this month leaving quarterback Tebow few other options than to play the big field of the NFL and find a new home. Tim Tebow made national headlines last year, as he almost single-handedly led the disastrous Denver Broncos to a decent season end. He also garnered plenty of attention for his hard-Christian posing, citing scriptures and thanking God. While this isn’t exactly a “new play” for an NFL star, it is unique to see such a young man promoting God so fearlessly.

Some football experts, however, are not entirely convinced that Denver made a mistake–or that Tebow’s moving to New York is bad news for the Jets. Denver’s coach is not the only Tebow detractor. Why even Joe Namath joined the anti-Tebow movement recently.

The ex-Jet said, “I think it stinks,” he told USA Today, and cited starting quarterback Mark Sanchez as yet another victim in the scenario. Namath actually said much worse about Tebow before Monday, March 26, 2012, stating that Tebow had serious accuracy problems. However, on Monday, he seemed less upset and even credited Tebow as one of the “biggest stars in the game today.” He also said respectfully, “I think the Jets have done a terrific thing here in bringing the Jet fans a real star.”

Tebow is remaining very modest about the move–and about his expectations. “I think first and foremost, I’ve always said that I’m a football player first and then a quarterback. However, I can help the team, however I can make a difference, however they can use me, I’ll be open to it.”

Still Tebow is not stupid and knows that his quarterback ability is what brought him to the game. He would obviously be disappointed if he didn’t earn a permanent quarterback position sooner than later–and he would be joined by NFL fans and big suits, who want to see Tebow earn that investment.

What do you think? Is Tebow going to save the New York Jets or is it hell fire and brimstone from here on out?

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