Frank Schwab

  • Perfection denied, as Broncos beat Patriots in an overtime thriller

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 hr ago

    DENVER — What a game.

    The best game of the NFL season to this point ended with C.J. Anderson running all alone down the left sideline, raising a hand to celebrate as he ran through the snow to give the Denver Broncos an amazing 30-24 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday night.

    Anderson got past the line, got through safety Duron Harmon's tackle attempt on a third-down run, and took it 48 yards to the end zone for a dramatic comeback victory that ended the Patriots' chances at a perfect season. The big story of the game from the New England side was a knee injury to tight end Rob Gronkowski, but this was a win for Denver that stamped the Broncos as a Super Bowl contender with new quarterback Brock Osweiler.

    The Broncos defense got a stop to start overtime. Then Anderson ran to glory to finish it. With the Gronkowski injury and Denver's win, it seemed like the balance of power in the AFC shifted a bit on Sunday night.

    - - - - - - -

  • Reports: Rob Gronkowski's injury not believed to be serious

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 hr ago

    DENVER – The New England Patriots suffered quite a scare on Sunday night. 

    Rob Gronkowski, the NFL's best tight end, was hit low by Broncos safety Darian Stewart late in the fourth quarter. He immediately writhed on the ground in pain and he left the field on a cart. A few minutes later the Patriots announced Gronkowski was out with a knee injury.

    But while the initial outlook didn't look good for an already-depleted Patriots team, the news after their overtime loss to the Broncos was a bit more promising. Several media reports cited a source saying Gronk's injury was "not serious." 

    Further tests will be done on Monday, but it looks like the Patriots dodged the worst-case scenario. No matter how good the Patriots are — and clearly they're a tremendous team after starting the season 10-0 — it would have been very hard to withstand the Gronkowski injury if it was as serious as it looked.

    The Patriots have taken on injuries and won Super Bowls before. If anything changes with Gronkowski's status, it will be a massive challenge to do it again.

    - - - - - - -

  • Rob Gronkowski has more TD catches than any Hall of Fame tight end

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 4 hrs ago

    DENVER — If Rob Gronkowski retired tomorrow — say he just wanted to leave the NFL behind and live the "Yo Soy Fiesta" life — would he be a Pro Football Hall of Famer?

    Well, here's his argument: He has more touchdown catches than any tight end currently in the Hall of Fame. In less than six seasons.

    Gronkowski passed Shannon Sharpe, who is the touchdown reception leader among all the tight ends in the Hall of Fame, with his 63rd career touchdown catch in the first quarter on Sunday night against the Denver Broncos. It was vintage Gronkowski too, breaking a tackle and barrelling into the end zone for a 23-yard score. Sharpe had 62 touchdown catches. It took him 14 seasons to do it.

    Legends like Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates have more touchdowns than Gronkowski and are certainly going to the Hall of Fame someday soon, but that's not the point. This is: Gronkowski is having the type of start to his career that would put him in the Hall of Fame discussion even though he has played just 76 games. Those 76 games have been better than any comparable stretch for any tight end in history, especially when Gronkowski's fantastic blocking is factored in.

    - - - - - - -

  • NFL Winners and Losers: Is Matt Ryan still a franchise quarterback?

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 5 hrs ago

    The Atlanta Falcons are in a tricky place with quarterback Matt Ryan.

    Ryan isn’t bad. A lot of teams would trade their quarterback for Ryan without thinking twice. Is that list 15 teams long? Twenty? Clearly, Ryan isn’t terrible. But is he good?

    Ryan was really good at one point; that can’t really be debated. He had 4,719 yards, 32 touchdowns and a 99.1 rating in 2012. The Falcons came 10 yards from going to the Super Bowl. Ryan was just 27 years old. But this year, with the Falcons in absolute free fall after a great start, it’s hard to put him in that franchise quarterback category anymore.

    Ryan was 22 of 31 for 230 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in a bad 20-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. And 79 of those yards and his only touchdown came in absolute garbage time with the game well out of reach. By the way, Ryan has the luxury of throwing to arguably the greatest receiver in the NFL, Julio Jones. The Falcons were down 20-3 when Ryan padded his stats, and he did nothing to make the game competitive before that.

    Here are the winners and losers from Sunday’s Week 12 NFL action:


    Washington Redskins: How about those first-place Redskins, huh?



  • After 1-5 start, the Chiefs are now in the driver's seat for a wild card

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 9 hrs ago

    Of all the teams who wouldn't panic with a 10-point deficit, the Kansas City Chiefs might top the list.

    After you've dug out of a 1-5 start to the season to become a favorite to grab for one of the AFC's two wild-card spots, something trivial like a first-half deficit isn't going to be a bother.

    The Chiefs are authoring a pretty incredible story this season. Left for dead after losing five of their first six games, they have now won five in a row, have the NFL's easiest schedule the rest of the way, and scored a huge win in the AFC playoff picture by beating the Buffalo Bills 30-22 on Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs battled back after trailing 10-0 and 16-7 in the first half. The Chiefs not only took a one-game lead in the standings over the Bills, they now own the head-to-head tiebreaker too. 

    The Chiefs' remaining schedule is beyond friendly. Each of the Chiefs' final five opponents are below .500 this season. The toughest game they have left, by far, is at the Oakland Raiders. The Bills were the Chiefs' last big test, and they aced it.


    - - - - - - -

  • Tony Romo done for 2015, will he be a top QB when we see him in 2016?

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    Friday's news that Tony Romo is out for the rest of the 2015 season surprised nobody who saw him go down against the Carolina Panthers.

    It was obvious to pretty much everybody he re-injured his collarbone, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that he has a hairline fracture of the collarbone and will miss the rest of the season. The good news is that surgery won't be required. Romo should be healthy for the 2016 season.

    But we're also entering a stage in which we can't be too sure if Romo will be the same quarterback we're used to seeing.

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy: $10 could win you $50K in our $350K contest for Week 12]

    But we didn't get to see much of Romo this season. And for the first time in a long time, he feels like a bit of a wild card for Dallas going into next season.

    - - - - - - -

  • NFL against the spread picks: Denver Broncos for the upset

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    The Carolina Panthers won on Thursday afternoon. So there will be at least one undefeated team in the NFL after Week 12.

    I don't believe there will be two.

    The New England Patriots are in a tough scheduling spot, going on the road to play at the Denver Broncos. Coming off a short week, after taking on even more injuries at wide receiver, the Patriots face the best defense in the NFL. And, as I'll keep repeating, the Broncos wereforced to upgrade the offensea couple weeks ago when Peyton Manning got hurt.

    And that defense is elite. If nothing else it's a fascinating challenge for Brady, the clear MVP of the league at the moment.

    PODCAST: Could the Packers miss the playoffs?

    Let's see the rest of the Week 12 slate:

    - - - - - - -

  • Chip Kelly's season still going downhill, and the biggest problem is familiar

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    Nick Saban failed in the NFL. So did Steve Spurrier. Chip Kelly might soon be lumped in that group too, fairly or not.

    The Philadelphia Eagles were run off the field again, getting blasted 45-14 by the Detroit Lions to fall to 4-7. The Lions are usually the team that ruins the first Thanksgiving game with terrible football, but this year the Eagles were the punch line. Matthew Stafford looked like Dan Marino and Calvin Johnson looked like, well, Calvin Johnson. Stafford had five touchdowns, three to Johnson. Philadelphia looked entirely disinterested in figuring out a way to slow them down. Thursday's debacle will lead to another round of analysis about whether Kelly will pick USC or LSU to be his job next season.

    But this is worth mentioning too: Saban, Spurrier, Butch Davis, Kelly and plenty of other coaches with no background in college football had the same issue, and it’s not that their schemes were terrible or they didn’t understand football.

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy: $10 could win you $50K in our $350K contest for Week 12]

    - - - - - - -

  • Reports say Johnny Manziel lied to Browns about the bye week video

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    Once again, the cover-up is worse than the crime.

    The Cleveland Browns benched Johnny Manziel after a video of him partying over the bye week surfaced, a move that was confusing to some. How could the Browns bench him for partying over the bye week, something many of their other players certainly did too?

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy: $10 could win you $50K in our $350K contest for Week 12]

    Mike Pettine explained that in part on Wednesday (basically, they expect more out of the quarterback) but apparently left out a big detail: Manziel lied to the team about the video, and apparently wanted others to lie about it too.

    This was the most regrettable bye week trip ever.

    More NFL on Yahoo Sports

    - - - - - - -

  • NFL Awards Watch: Cam Newton-Tom Brady MVP race isn't close yet

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 4 days ago

    People are discussing this season's NFL MVP race as if it's very close, but I don't see it that way. Not yet at least.

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady should be running away with the award. And before you start, no, I don't hate Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (in fact, I've been bashing the unnecessary criticism of him for years, way before it became cool).

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy: $10 could win you $50K in our $350K contest for Week 12]

    That's all great, but Brady has been better.

    But it shouldn't be close race now. It's Brady's award and Newton has a long way to go to catch up.

    MVP rankings

    1. Brady

    2. Newton

    3. Carson Palmer, Arizona — Palmer fits Bruce Arians' aggressive offense perfectly.

    4. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals — If you watched last week, you had to be impressed at how Dalton brought his team back in the fourth quarter.

    - - - - - - -