If the NFL playoffs were beginning next weekend, the Eagles and Saints would be the top seeds in the NFC with the Steelers and Patriots getting first-round byes in the AFC.
Those four teams have emerged as obvious championship contenders, but they’re not alone. While the Eagles improved to an NFL-best 8-1 record with a 51-23 throttling of the Broncos on Sunday, the Rams (6-2) and Panthers (6-3) joined the Steelers (6-2), Patriots (6-2), Vikings (6-2) and Chiefs (6-3) as teams with at least six wins after nine weeks.
(And now he’s dealing with an un-Packers-like issue off the field.) Jamaal Williams had promise but got banged up early, and Devante Mays blew his chance Sunday with an early fumble. That’s a lot of focus on one position not to find an answer when the Packers need it most.
They at least should be more of a challenge to a Saints defense that has performed well against some … questionable opposition the last three weeks (Brett Hundley, Mitchell Trubisky, an injured Jameis Winston/Ryan Fitzpatrick).
Denver finally appears to get a stop as Brady throws a pass to James White on third down that loses 3 yards, but Denver has too many men on the field on the ensuing punt and is called for the penalty, giving the Patriots a first down.
Touchdown, Patriots. Denver’s defense has no answers for New England. The Patriots march down the field and score on an 8-yard run by Dion Lewis to increase their lead to 34-16. The Broncos only had 10 defenders on the field when Lewis ran it in.
Facing a third-and-14, Tevin Coleman catches a pass, bounces off a defender and gains 15 yards to keep Atlanta’s drive alive.
On this night, the Clippers steamroll the Granada-Huntley-EC/Truman Jaguars, 76-0. There are no offensive tackles in the nine-man game, which makes team speed a major advantage. Just five minutes into the first quarter, Plonsky, the senior receiver, jets past his man coverage and scores his 41st career receiving touchdown, tying the state record held by Michael Floyd, now with the Vikings.
Meanwhile, Bamba was filling binders with information ranging from the tempo the Longhorns played to the quality of the business school. For each one of his finalists — Texas, Kentucky, Duke and Michigan — Bamba dissected what each program had to offer, helping to guide his decision.
“It means a lot to me to step on this field and carry on that tradition of good receivers.”
Thielen’s relationship with Vikings tradition makes him one of the most popular jerseys among tailgaters on Sunday morning, with the Vikes hosting the Lions at noon. A Minnesota State-Mankato alum, Thielen is the rare NFL player who has spent his entire youth, college and pro career in one state.
Quarterback Joe Flacco (six touchdowns, eight interceptions) and the NFL’s 30th-ranked run defense have underperformed, although the latter did a nice job bottling Miami’s Jay Ajayi in last Thursday night’s 40-0 shutout.
It’s uncertain whether Flacco (concussion) will be ready to return for Sunday’s game against Tennessee. Regardless, the Ravens need more consistent production in the passing game to remain viable in the AFC North race.
Georgia simply won’t call the Dawgs off in the first quarter. Clearly, Kirby Smart’s plan is to come in and embarrass the Gators like a guy who went 1-3 as a player at Georgia against Florida and is 0-1 as Georgia’s head coach against the Gators.
“I have no retirement plans whatever,” Roush said. “The article came from an ill-advised stream of consciousness I had at the end of last season.” He then said: “People retire in order to go do things they’re passionate about. I already have a job that allows me to be passionate beyond my imagination as a youngster.” Roush turns 75 on April 19.
Khalil Mack (30 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 11 quarterback hurries) continues to play at an elite level, but the overall play of his unit will keep him from repeating as NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
The entire offense has regressed, and the defense isn’t markedly improved from last year’s No. 26 ranking.
In the early days of college football, Chicago was a powerhouse. The original Monsters of the Midway were founding members of the Big Ten conference. The Maroons played in a 50,000-seat stadium and were coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg, a legendary football pioneer who led the team to seven Big Ten titles and claimed two national titles.
Thank God for the Browns. They’re the only dependable team. They’re 0-6 for the second straight year, and they’re stuck down the same rabbit hole they simply cannot escape. Even the other 0-6 team, San Francisco, is ridiculously competitive. Margin of the 49ers’ last five losses: 3, 2, 3, 3 and 2 points, respectively.
I don’t love any team. But before getting to the newsreel of the weekend (and the coming week), here’s how I see the top five:
Kansas City (5-1). The last vision you have of a team is usually the one you remember best, so you might find this strange. But the Chiefs are 15-2 versus teams not named Pittsburgh since Oct. 1, 2016, and they’ve got a 12-game winning streak in a tough division. They’ve just got to protect Alex Smith better and keep Tyreek Hill upright.
Enter Garoppolo, who probably won’t start against the Cardinals this week but might be ready to enter the lineup against the Giants on Nov. 12. With the 49ers on bye the following week, Garoppolo will likely be under center no later than Nov. 26, when the fourth-year quarterback will be up against the mighty Seahawks.
Dawgs quarterback Jake Fromm just lofted a beautiful 17-yard touchdown pass to Javon Wims, who absolutely Randy Moss’d poor Marco Wilson, to inflate Georgia’s blowout to 14-0. Not exactly the slant Gators defensive back Chauncey Gardner Jr. was looking for, either.
We haven’t even hit the 30-minute mark in this midday football bonanza and we have yet another touchdown! This time, it’s Wimbush, who brings Notre Dame level with NC State at 7-7 with a dart to Durham Smythe.
The Jaguars suddenly look like they’re a good quarterback away from being one of the best teams in football, given how effectively they can run the ball and hold up on defense
The Bills are clearing out space and may move on from Tyrod Taylor. The Browns and Jets will happily throw a dump truck of money at Cousins. (The Cardinals probably won’t be able to afford him.)
If Cousins hits the market and wants to get paid, he won’t lack for suitors. No team might be quite as appealing as the familiarity he sought with Shanahan, though, which strengthens Washington’s position. Sure, if Roethlisberger retires, Cousins would be a great replacement, but that’s hardly a lock. It’s entirely possible that the relationship between Cousins and this Washington administration has been destroyed to the point that Cousins might have no choice but to leave, but if Washington finally makes a real offer to its best quarterback in a generation, Cousins might be more apt to listen if Garoppolo is entrenched in San Francisco.
Drive by Bedford, where Bailey once filled the rafters. Hang a left onto State Road 60 East and pass through Borden, where a stark-white sign boasts in bold red, “2008 Boys Basketball: 1A-2A 6th Grade State Champions.”
After eight years of dressing up NFL stadiums and players in pink to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer screenings and education in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, the league this year expanded its Crucial Catch campaign to target multiple cancers.
The money raised will still be directed toward grants providing education, outreach and low-cost screenings for detectable cancers in underserved areas near NFL cities—the kind of screenings that may have helped Prescott’s mom catch the cancer earlier and have a better prognosis. The NFL also funded the ACS’s development of an online Defender tool for fans to receive tips on how to reduce risks for all types of cancer. The end line of each NFL field this month is painted with the new logo featuring bars of the same seven colors Prescott wore on his cleats.
“I’m telling you, he’s gonna be a star,” insisted Dave Telep, a recruiting analyst who now moonlights as scouting director for the San Antonio Spurs. Almost 15 years ago, Telep assured Darrin Horn, who was assembling his staff at Western Kentucky at the time, that Miller — fresh off his playing days in Raleigh — was a no-brainer as a young coaching talent to invest in early.
The Dolphins have proven adept at overcoming adversity with wins over the Falcons and Jets despite trailing by double-digits in the second half of both contests.
Miami ranks last in the NFL in average yards (252.4) and points (13.1). The Dolphins also are the NFL’s only team without a rushing touchdown, which is particularly poor considering Jay Ajayi is in the backfield.