- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago
The biggest problem with the New York Jets the past few seasons has been a lack of playmakers on offense.
They added a few this offseason, and on Friday night at least, the offense looked a lot better. The new supporting cast has helped quarterback Geno Smith, who officially won the Jets' starting job on Friday.
Chris Johnson has added a positive dimension to the running game. The former Titan has looked sharp this preseason. He had a nice 17-yard run in the first half against the Giants, and a 12-yarder in the second half. Eric Decker was signed from Denver to be the Jets' No. 1 receiver, and he had a nice 27-yard catch in the first half and a short touchdown from Michael Vick in the second half. Rookie tight end Jace Amaro also showed up, with three first-half catches for 28 yards and a touchdown.Fri, Aug 22NY Giants35 - 24NY JetsGame Recap
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
The Jacksonville Jaguars wanted to sit Blake Bortles this season. All year, they said. That was that.
Well, if you've seen the Jaguars play this preseason you understand this one fact: Bortles is the team's best quarterback. Not the best for the future or for 2015 or even for Week 8. Right now.
This preseason, Bortles has shown off every physical skill that caused the Jaguars to take him with the third pick of the draft. He has a fantastic arm, great size and moves well. His touchdown throw against the Lions on Friday night, a 13-yarder to Allen Hurns, was a major-league fastball. He was 10-of-16 for 158 yards against Detroit. Even if you were skeptical of Bortles coming in, you have to admit he definitely passes the eye test. He has looked really good.
Now what?Fri, Aug 22Jacksonville12 - 13DetroitGame Recap
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
The scuffle between Jaguars rookie receiver Marqise Lee and Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis in Friday's preseason game looked like most football dust-ups, with a big difference a few seconds after it got broken up.
Toby Gerhart ran left, Lee was blocking, he and Mathis started to lock up and refused to let go. There was some shoving and then they got separated. Then as two officials led Lee away, both suddenly grabbed their flags and threw them.
The abusive language rule.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner22 hrs ago
It's a good thing New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham got his contract situation figured out, because the NFL just took a decent chunk of it away.
Graham was fined $30,000 by the NFL for dunking the football over the goal post twice in last Friday's preseason game, according to numerous sources including the New Orleans Advocate. The NFL actually took it easy on him. As the Advocate pointed out, he could have been fined a little more than $33,000 based on the league's rules for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
You can say a lot of things about Green Bay, and coming from someone who lived near there for a while, I've said all of them myself.
But if you do an "NFL's best fans" ranking and have anyone but Packers fans in the top spot, you're trying too hard to be different.
Forbes got it right. They ranked the best NFL fan bases, using a formula of attendance, television ratings, merchandise sales and percentage of population that watched or attended their hometown team's games. The Packers' fans ranked first, because there really is no other option.
According to Forbes, market researchers Nielsen Scarborough found that "84 percent of adults in Green Bay are Packers fans, identified as such having watched, attended, and/or listened to the team’s games this past year." You can't find 84 percent of people in most communities to agree that water is wet, much less on a football team. Now, here's where you say that Packers fans are so into the team because there's nothing else to do in Northeast Wisconsin, and that's what Forbes did:
Levi's Stadium, the brand-new home of the San Francisco 49ers, might be one of the more fan-friendly spots in the NFL, but that kind of gets overshadowed if the turf is unusable for playing football.
The 49ers cut short their practice on Wednesday, attended by thousands of fans, because of safety concerns over the turf. According to CSN Bay Area, large divots in the turf kept coming up during practice, including when receiver Stevie Johnson fell hard on a normal out route.
According to CSN Bay Area, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh took his team off the Levi's Stadium field after Johnson's fall and the players finished practice at the team facility, which is right next to the stadium. Harbaugh took his team off the torn-up field less than an hour into practice.
Not surprisingly, the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't hold up their team charter flight for Le'Veon Bell while he was having blood drawn following a marijuana possession arrest.
So not only did Bell, the team's second-year starting tailback, get charged with marijuana possession and likely a DUI (that's why he was having blood drawn), he had to book a flight, go through security with the common folk and squeeze into a regular airline seat on the way to Philadelphia for the team's preseason game on Thursday. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette confirmed that Bell wasn't on the team charter but made it to Philadelphia on his own. No word on whether Bell kept asking for extra dry roasted peanuts the entire flight to cure his munchies.
One would assume coach Mike Tomlin didn't send a limo to pick him up at the airport either.
Well, at least there are no concerns about lack of chemistry in the Pittsburgh Steelers' running backs meeting room.
Top two tailbacks Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were hanging out together after hours on Wednesday. A little bonding experience. The only problem was they had 20 grams of marijuana when they were pulled over by police, according to CBS Pittsburgh columnist Colin Dunlap. The backs were charged with possession of marijuana and as a bonus, Bell was charged with a DUI. An unidentified female with the two was also charged, Dunlap said.
That's not good. Though, given the appeals process if commissioner Roger Goodell wants to punish Bell and Blount, it's unlikely it would affect either for the 2014 season.Thu, Aug 21Pittsburgh21 - 31PhiladelphiaGame Recap
Jim Kelly's battle with cancer has been difficult but uplifting, with the Hall of Fame quarterback staying strong in his fight with support from former teammates, family, friends and fans at every step.
Wednesday brought a great bit of news: A follow-up exam on Tuesday showed no signs of sinus cancer, which Kelly had been undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments for. According to the Associated Press, Dr. Peter Costantino said in a statement that treatments have "completely eliminated" any pain Kelly was experiencing and Kelly's level of function has "essentially returned to normal." Kelly had surgery to remove cancer from his jaw in June of 2013, but the cancer had spread to his sinus.
Jill Kelly, Jim's wife, said on Instagram that it's positive news but further tests are being done to make sure no more treatments are necessary.
Former NFL referee Mike Carey was ahead of this Redskins controversy way before it really became a huge story a few years ago.
After the 2005 NFL season, Carey asked the NFL to not make him work Washington games anymore. According to the Washington Post, Carey found the Redskins' nickname "disrespectful" and requested to someone in the league office who makes the officiating assignments that he not be assigned to their games because of the team name. He asked that the matter be kept private. The league complied, because the last time he worked a Washington game was the season opener in 2006.
“It just became clear to me that to be in the middle of the field, where something disrespectful is happening, was probably not the best thing for me,” Carey told the Washington Post.