Category Archives: NFL

49ers start season 4-0 for first time in 29 years

Matt Breida ran 83 yards for a touchdown on San Francisco’s first play from scrimmage, Baker Mayfield was pressured into his worst game as a pro, and the 49ers stayed undefeated for their best start in nearly 30 years, beating the Cleveland Browns 31-3 on Monday night.

Tevin Coleman added a 19-yard score as part of a dominant ground game on a day when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 181 yards and kicker Robbie Gould missed a pair of field goal shots and had a third try blocked.

San Francisco (4-0) joined the 5-0 New England Patriots as the only remaining undefeated teams in the NFL. It’s the first time the 49ers have won their first four games since 1990.

The Browns (2-3) are headed the opposite direction after losing two of three, with fresh worries about their young quarterback. Mayfield had a awful game. The No. 1 overall pick last year, Mayfiaeld completed 8 of 22 passes for a career-low 100 yards, had a 13.4 passer rating, threw two interceptions, fumbled twice and was sacked four times before being pulled in the fourth quarter.

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It’s the first time in Mayfield’s 18 career starts that he failed to throw a touchdown pass.

Things were rough all around for Mayfield.

San Francisco defensive end Nick Bosa poked fun at the Browns quarterback after forcing Mayfield into a hurried incompletion in the second quarter. Bosa, the second overall draft pick, got up and pretended to wave a flag and plant it in the turf as the crowd roared. It was a clear shot at Mayfield, who planted an Oklahoma flag in the turf after leading the Sooners to win over Bosa and Ohio State in 2017.

The 49ers were coming off a bye and had two weeks to prepare, while the Browns flew cross country. The win allows the 49ers to retain sole possession of first place in the NFC West, ahead of Seattle (4-1) and the reigning NFC champions, the Rams (3-2). It sets up an epic early-season contest against Sean McVay’s team in Los Angeles on Sunday.

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Washington Redskins fire coach Jay Gruden

The Washington Redskins have fired head coach Jay Gruden after an 0-5 start to the season, the team has confirmed.

Team owner Dan Snyder and team president Bruce Allen “relieved Head Coach Jay Gruden” of his duties early Monday, according to a statement from the team.

“Through the first five games of the 2019 season, the team has clearly not performed up to expectations, and we all share in that responsibility,” the Redskins’ statement said in part. “Moving forward we are committed to doing all that we can collectively as an organization to turn things around and give our Redskins fans and alumni a team they can be proud of in 2019 and beyond.”

Allen stated Bill Callahan as interim head coach Monday afternoon.

“It’s important to have a seasoned veteran like Bill Callahan on your staff,” Allen said.

Callahan came to the team as offensive line coach in 2015 and was named assistant head coach in 2017. He has prior head coaching experience in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders. He led the team to the Super Bowl in 2002.

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Callahan took questions from the media Monday afternoon. Asked about the quarterback situation, he said he is not considering rookie first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins is not being contemplated for the starting role at this time, but a decision between game one starter Case Keenum and Sunday’s starter, Colt McCoy, hasn’t been made.

Gruden won 35 games in just under six years as the Redskins’ head coach. He only had two winning seasons and never won a playoff game. 

The team has been overwhelmed by player injuries over recent seasons, making it hard to get a read on Gruden’s coaching.

The team got out to a 17-0 lead in Philadelphia in Week 1 and ended up getting outscored 32-10 the rest of the game for an unpleasant loss. Then there were two blowout home losses, first to the Cowboys then on Monday Night Football against the Bears. On Sunday, the team fell to the Patriots, 33-7.

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Bengals’ John Ross expected to miss multiple games with shoulder injury

According to Mike Garafolo, Bengals wide receiver John Ross is expected to miss multiple games due to a shoulder injury he suffered during Monday night’s 27-3 loss Cincinnati suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Garafolo reports that he could miss a month or so.

Late in the game, Ross was thrown to the ground by cornerback Joe Haden after making a catch. He would exit the matchup and not return, finishing with three catches for 36 yards on the night. 

Ross is arguably the only bright spot on a Bengals offense that has failed to score more than 20 points in a single game four weeks through the 2019 season. He had a huge performance in the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks, he had seven catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns. He followed up that game with four catches for 112 yards and a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers.

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The former No. 9 overall pick fell off after that, however, making just five catches for 58 yards the following two weeks. 

Through four games, Ross already has more receiving yards than he has posted in each of the past two seasons.

He failed to record a catch in the three games he was active during his rookie season, and then had 21 receptions for 210 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018. Zac Taylor’s offense is still a work in progress, but Ross is the one who has benefitted the most from it so far. 

Cincinnati will now rely even more on Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate to carry the load offensively. Boyd had 10 catches for 122 yards in Week 2, but was held to just 33 yards on Monday night. Tate had six catches for 88 yards in Week 3, and led the Bengals in receiving with four catches for 50 yards against the Steelers.

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QB Mitchell Trubisky has dislocated left shoulder and slight labrum tear, but no need for surgery

The former second-overall pick was knocked out of the Chicago Bears fight with the rival Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 with what’s being described as a shoulder injury, and one that could cause him to miss time.

Trubisky struggled in the first two games to begin the season but found a groove against the Washington Redskins in Week 3, and although he declared it wasn’t a “breakthrough” for him and the offense — it was a stride in the right direction. He wouldn’t have much of a chance to build on that performance with the Vikings in town, though, and might not when the Bears travel to London to face the Oakland Raiders, either.

It is doubtful Trubisky will step on the field

With more tests having now been run, it’s doubtful he’ll step on the field across the pond, and has now been reportedly diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder and slightly torn labrum — per Adam Schefter of ESPN — but the good news is no surgery is required that would threaten the remainder of his season.

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In his stead, backup Chase Daniel played admirably and threw for 195 yards on 22 for 30 passing, along with a touchdown and no interceptions.

The Bears went on to defeat the Vikings to the tune of 16-6 in a game that was yet another display of just how dominant the Chicago defense truly is, and despite being short-handed.

If it turns out Trubisky does miss the outing against the Raiders, the Bears enjoy a bye thereafter that would allow additional rest and recovery for the 25-year-old, with a potential to return for Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints. In a weird twist of fate, Trubisky also suffered a shoulder injury against the very same Vikings in Week 11 of the 2018 season, and was sidelined for two games because of it.

The Bears went 1-1 in his absence, and will now lean on Daniel to carry the offense.

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Patriots, Chiefs still unbeaten in NFL week 4

Reigning Super Bowl champion New England and the Kansas City Chiefs managed narrow road triumphs in battles between NFL unbeatens on Sunday to remain perfect through four games this season.

Tom Brady threw for only 150 yards but New England intercepted four passes, two by J.C. Jackson, and Matthew Slater returned a blocked punt 11 yards for a touchdown in a 16-10 Patriots victory at Buffalo.

“To go on the road and beat a team that’s 3-0 is pretty good,” Brady said.

“We can certainly play better than we did. We’ve got to get in the red area (at or inside the opponent’s 20-yard line). We missed some opportunities there. We’ll go out and try and do a better job next week.”

Patrick Mahomes drove the Chiefs 79 yards in 13 plays and Darrel Williams made his second 1-yard touchdown run of the fourth quarter with 20 seconds remaining to give Kansas City a 34-30 triumph at Detroit.

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Mahomes completed 24-of-42 passes for 315 yards but went without a touchdown pass for only the fourth time in his career while Detroit’s Matthew Stafford completed 21-of-34 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns in a losing cause.

“They found a way to take away some of the stuff we like to do,” Mahomes said. “They hadn’t lost a game for a reason.”

The Chiefs and Patriots became the first NFL teams to reach 4-0 while the Bills fell to 3-1 and Detroit slid to 2-1-1.

Also falling from the unbeaten ranks were the Los Angeles Rams, who lost to visiting Tampa Bay 55-40, and the Dallas Cowboys, who lost 12-10 at New Orleans. Jameis Winston completed 28-of-41 passes for 385 yards and four touchdowns for the Buccaneers in the victory while the Rams’ Jared Goff hit 45-of-68 throws for 517 yards and two touchdowns with three costly interceptions in the loss.

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LB Irvin to make season debut for Panthers

Just a week removed from one of the best pass-rushing performances in franchise history, the defensive front that produced six sacks of eight total sacks against Arizona is getting a boost.

Head coach Ron Rivera announced on Thursday that defensive end Bruce Irvin will make his Panthers debut on Sunday against the Texans.

Irvin missed the first three games of the season after suffering a hamstring injury during preseason practice.

“Having watched him today in practice, I feel very comfortable with having him out there,” Rivera said. “He’ll play on Sunday, so pretty excited about that. He had a good day and it was a lot of fun to watch, it really was.”

Last week against the Cardinals, the Panthers were without longtime defensive tackle Kawann Short, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury. As a result, rookies along the defensive front, like edge rushers Brian Burns and Christian Miller, stepped into the spotlight, as well as veteran defensive end Mario Addison. But as impressive as the young guys have been, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said there’s just something different about lining up next to an eight-year veteran.

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“He’s a vet,” McCoy said of Irvin. “His mind, just overall, his experience. The young guys have been doing great, but it’ll be great to have another vet out there that’s put in his time in the league. It’ll help out a lot, big time.”

It’s not just the big guys up front who are ready to have Irvin back. Linebacker Luke Kuechly said he’s excited to see the veteran return.

“Bruce has been waiting to come back, he’s worked real hard to get back,” Kuechly said. “When you bring a guy like that in who’s got great energy, I think guys are excited to have him back. He brings energy, brings some speed off the edge. He’s a real physical player and I think he’s going to do a really good job for us.”

Rivera said he expects the unit to take a few plays to get used to having a new player in the mix, but once the defense does adjust, Irvin’s presence will benefit everyone.

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Brady, limited in practice again, says age a factor

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been limited in three of the last four drills and cited his age as part of the reason why.

“Football is a contact sport. I wouldn’t” I say I’m a spring chicken anymore, 42-year-old Brady said with a smile Wednesday. “I’m just trying to feel as good as I can and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow. But I’m feeling pretty good.”

There is little doubt that Brady will play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills in a highly anticipated matchup of 3-0 teams. But his limited practice load seems to be part of “roster management” head coach Bill Belichick, who is referred to the team signing free-agent quarterback Cody Kessler on Wednesday.

With Brady limited to practice twice last week, the only other quarterback on the watch list was rookie Jarrett Stidham. Having Stidham handle the regular offense, besides the scout team, was a heavy burden.

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Brady was one of 10 restricted players in practice Wednesday

A group that included receiver Julian Edelman, who injured his ribs in Sunday’s win over the New York Jets. X-rays were negative, but Edelman seems to be dealing with remarkable pain after being landed by 300-pound defensive lineman Henry Anderson.

“He’s as tough as they come,” Brady said. “He’s going to do everything he can to get ready to go. When he’s not out, it definitely becomes apparent to all of us. Hopefully he can do it. If he can’t, the other guys have to fill in and do the best job they can do. You just have to prepare for both. “

Sunday’s game features the NFL’s two most difficult teams, as the Patriots have allowed an average of 5.7 points per game in wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins and Jets, which is a combined 0-9.

The Bills have allowed an average of 15.7 points per game in wins over the Jets, New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals, which is a combined 1-8.

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Patriots lose key cog in offense, put Develin on IR and bring Johnson as replacement

The New England Patriots, who are one of the few teams in the NFL that still features the fullback position, sustained a blow to their offense Monday when James Develin was placed on injured reserve.

Develin, who was the AFC’s fullback in the 2017 Pro Bowl, had suffered a neck injury in the team’s Week 2 victory over Miami.

Teams can bring up to two players back from injured reserve during the season, and left tackle Isaiah Wynn (foot/toe) and wide receiver N’Keal Harry (leg) seem to be the Patriots’ top candidates, barring any setbacks. If that is the way it turns out, it would mean Develin’s season is over.

Develin’s work as a lead blocker was instrumental in the offense morphing into a power rushing attack late last season, a switch that helped spark the team to a Super Bowl LIII victory. Captain Matthew Slater said late Monday that Develin is as good of a teammate as he has had in 12 NFL seasons.

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Slater also praised Johnson, his replacement, for his work ethic after initially joining the Patriots on April 8 as part of the NFL’s International Pathway program.

Johnson was born in Stuttgart, Germany, played college football at Tennessee, and spent 2018 with the Stuttgart Scorpions of the German Football League.

When Johnson was assigned to the Patriots on April 8, he faced long odds to stick around.

“He was not on our radar. I don’t think we would have ever signed him,” coach Bill Belichick acknowledged on Monday, adding that a recommendation by former Tennessee coach Butch Jones gave him some assurance that Johnson would be a hard worker. “I would say he definitely started out as the 91st person on the roster and had a long, long, long way to go. Back in the spring, I don’t think anybody ever envisioned him being on the roster at that point, or even being on the practice squad, to tell you the truth.

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NLF Preseason: Hall Of Fame Game

NLF Preseason about to kick off next Thursday August 3th with the clash between Dallas Cowboys against Arizona Cardinals for the Hall of Fame Game, taking place in the new spectacular Tom Benson`s stadium at Canton, Ohio. For Dallas it will be their 6th time on this special event and for Arizona the 5th time. Both are expecting to know what happen with the  scoreboard and some other details that aren’t finished it yet, still it`s on track. Remember that 2016`s edition between Packers and Colts got canceled due to poor surface conditions, so it`s time for the organization to overcome this bad augury.

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Dallas expectations are quite high for this coming season thanks to the 16-3 recorded in 2016, plus the dynamic duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot which really invite people to the stadium stands, however, they probably won’t be in the field for Hall of Fame game. Good to mention that both teams will have past heroes in the 2017 Hall of Fame announcement. People like running backs Terrell Davis and LaDainian Tomlinson, pass-rusher Jason Taylor, safety Kenny Easley and kicker Morten Andersen will be included on this important preseason event. By the way, it will be a televised national event in all their fronts with concert music legends Kid Rock and Toby Keith. Stay tuned!

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Another great game to be aware of its Texans with their new star Deshaun Watson going to Carolina Panthers which had listed running back Christian McCaffey, taking place Wednesday 9th August. On the same week, Patriots defending their two straight championships will go against Jacksonville showing their new team and feeling the affection of their crowd. Finally, it will take four weeks to stretch legs and set up teams in order to launch official 2017-2018 NFL season.

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