- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner39 mins ago
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has not been thrilled to get questions about his struggles in cold weather.
It'll be a while before he fields any more.
The official temperature for kickoff in Denver was 18 degrees, and it dipped after that as the sun set behind the mountains. And Manning looked like he was playing in the middle of summer.
Manning set a Broncos record with 39 completions, and had 397 yards and four touchdowns as Denver beat Tennessee 51-28. The Broncos had never scored more than 50 points in a game before this season. They've scored at least 50 points three times this season, the first NFL team to do that since the 1969 Vikings.
The Broncos have scored a team-record 515 points, and the NFL record of 589 points by the 2007 Patriots is well within reach with three games to go. Some of Denver's remaining three games might be in cold weather, but Manning put to rest the myth that he can't play in the cold.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Arizona Cardinals standout rookie cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was carted off with an apparent knee injury and will not return to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Returning a free kick following a Cardinals safety that made the score 23-3 Cardinals, Mathieu went down in a heap and appeared to hurt his left knee.
Mathieu tried to run off the field, but his knee buckled and they brought out the cart to take him off the field.
The Cardinals announced that Mathieu will not return to the game. It would be a serious blow if Mathieu is lost in what has been a terrific rookie season to date.
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- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is viewed as one of the good guys in the NFL.
Peterson is far from controversial. He normally says the right things at every moment. Peterson publicly endorsed quarterback Christian Ponder at one point, which says a lot about his reluctance to stir the pot.
Yet, Peterson cracked after Minnesota’s 29-26 road loss against Baltimore on Sunday.
Wow talking about bad officiating & the worst fan base I've ever experience! They threw snow balls the entire 4q like lil kids. Smh
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) December 8, 2013
There are probably a couple of reasons why Peterson exploded.
Peterson was carted off the field after sustaining an ankle injury in the second quarter against Baltimore. Minnesota has endured a subpar season without any continuity at quarterback. The Vikings advanced to the playoffs last season, but have struggled this year.
Minnesota was penalized six times for 90 yards, compared to Baltimore’s five penalties for 45 yards, on Sunday. Peterson cannot say the Vikings were unfairly targeted by the officials.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Pending the results of the Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers games, we could have quite a glut for the quest for the final AFC wildcard spot. What these teams might lack in prowess, they make up for in guts.
The defending-champion Ravens currently sit in the sixth spot at 7-6. Anyone want to face Joe Flacco and the suddenly hot Ravens in the playoffs?
The Dolphins, who lost to the Ravens in Week 5, have the same record but would lose the first tiebreaker if they finished even in the standings. That's three victories in four games from them. What controversy? Credit head coach Joe Philbin for keeping this ship afloat the past month.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown almost scored what would have gone down as one of the greatest plays in NFL history.
Almost being the key word.
The Steelers almost pulled off the modern version of the Cal-Stanford "The band is on the field!" play. We've seen plenty of teams try the end-game play with multiple laterals, but it almost never works. New Orleans pulled it off against Jacksonville in 2003, and then missed the extra point to tie the game. But it usually just ends up with the team moving further and further back before fumbling or being tackled.
The Steelers sprung this one to the end zone and for a moment it looked like they had pulled off a miraculous win.
On the final play of the game against Miami, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a pass to Emmanuel Sanders, who ran around for a bit before lateraling back to Jerricho Cotchery. Cotchery lateraled it back to Le’Veon Bell, who threw it back to offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert.
Gilbert smartly threw it right away to Roethlisberger, who threw a sidearm lateral to Brown as he was being tackled. Brown, on a snowy and slippery field, cut between two Dolphins defenders and was inexplicably in the open field.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
The NFL has been playing football since 1920, and nobody had ever hit a field goal longer than 63 yards, until Denver's Matt Prater got a shot at the end of the first half on Sunday.
Prater hit a 64-yard field goal to set the NFL record. He barely got the kick over the crossbar, but that won't matter in the record book. Take a look at the flight path of the field goal.
The record was set in 1970 by Saints kicker Tom Dempsey, when he hit a 63-yard game winner. He stood alone until Denver's Jason Elam tied it with a 63-yarder in 1998. Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski, kicking in Denver, hit a 63-yard field goal in 2011, and San Francisco's David Akers hit a 63-yard field goal last year.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Questionable calls happen all the time in the NFL. You usually don't see many controversial calls happen as a result of a replay reversal.
But in Cincinnati, a call that seemed to be right on the field was changed after a replay review, giving the Bengals a touchdown even though running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis appeared to be just short of the goal line.
With less than two minutes remaining in the second quarter and the Bengals holding on to a 7-0 lead, they went for it on fourth and goal. Andy Dalton handed to Green-Ellis off right tackle. Green-Ellis was tripped up in the backfield and dove forward. He lunged the ball towards the goal line but officials on the field ruled his knee was down when the ball was still at the 1-yard line. That appeared to be the right call.
Then the play went to the replay booth for a review, and it was ruled a touchdown.
That ruling gave the Bengals a 14-0 lead. It was questionable, especially since the ruling on the field was that he was short.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
The first 57-plus minutes of Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens produced a predictable scoring output — 20 combined points — given the anemic state of the two teams' offenses, especially after the Adrian Peterson injury.
But the final 2:07 — an eternity in Week 14 terms — produced some of the most ridiculous and unexpected results: a torrent of five touchdowns, and 36 points, in an improbable 29-26 Ravens win that kept them humming in a weird and wild AFC wildcard race.
Six touchdowns in the fourth. Six lead changes in the quarter. Snow on the field. One of the battiest finishes you will ever see. And Michael Phelps, a Baltimore native and huge fan of the defending Super Bowl champs, was running the Ravens' official Twitter account.
We'll let his words help paint the insane final 127 seconds.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
A miracle saved the New England Patriots on Sunday.
They needed everything to go right after the Browns took a 26-14 lead with 2:39 left in the fourth. And everything went right, allowing them to rally for a 27-26 win, one of the most improbable late comeback wins of the entire NFL season.
The Patriots went on a long touchdown drive, without injured tight end Rob Gronkowski. That made the score 26-21, but the Patriots still had no timeouts left and needed to recover an onside kick.
New England hadn't recovered an onside kick since 1995, against the Cleveland Browns before they moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens, and were coached by a young Bill Belichick. And the Patriots got that onside kick.
New England still needed to go a long way in a short time, but the officials helped. A brutal pass interference call on Browns cornerback Leon McFadden gave the Patriots the ball at the 1-yard line. It was a questionable call on a deep pass into the end zone to rookie Josh Boyce, and official knew that throwing the flag practically gave the Patriots the win, and he threw it anyway. New England then scored on a 1-yard pass from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola.
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
The continuous heavy snowfall that occurred in Philadelphia on Sunday was ideal for kids who wanted to play football against their friends at the playground.
However, those conditions were dreadful for the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles.
Just ask Lions running back Reggie Bush, who injured his calf prior to the game when he slipped during warmups. Bush missed two practices prior to Sunday’s game, but he was the first victim of Mother Nature on Sunday. That injury kicked off a crazy afternoon of football.
Eagles and Lions players struggled to maintain their balance during the snow-filled conditions. There were people with snow blowers who tried to make the yard makers visible, but the field was covered in white for most of the day.
In fact, Lions coach Jim Schwartz called a timeout to clear snow off the field during an extra point attempt in the fourth quarter. Lions players comically gathered around and kicked away snow at the spot that kicker David Akers was to set up for the extra point. Then the kick was blocked.