Shutdown Corner

  • Miami RB Jay Ajayi becomes just fourth player with back-to-back 200-yard games

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 15 mins ago

    O.J. Simpson. Earl Campbell. Ricky Williams. Jay Ajayi.

    One of the more exclusive clubs in the NFL got a new member on Sunday, as Ajayi, the Miami Dolphins running back, became just the fourth player in NFL history to post back-to-back 200-yard rushing games and the first in well over a decade.

    Ajayi had 214 yards on 29 carries (7.4 YPC) and a touchdown in the Dolphins’ 28-25 win over their AFC East rival, the Buffalo Bills.

    As a rookie in 2015, the undrafted Ajayi didn’t even total 200 yards for the season – he had 187 yards on 49 carries, as he played in just nine games. And through his first four game this year, as free-agent pickup Arian Foster was sidelined with an injury, Ajayi was still a footnote, with 31 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

    So when Ajayi had a breakout game last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, with 204 yards on just 25 carries plus two scores, it was easy to question whether he was a one-hit wonder, so to speak. After all, there are 46 other running backs who have posted at least one 200-yard game.

    But doing it in back-to-back weeks? Ajayi certainly has our attention.

  • Rob Lowe literally thinks it's time for the Rams to make a change at QB

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 44 mins ago

    If the Los Angeles Rams still played in St. Louis, it’s likely they wouldn’t have any actors calling for a quarterback change.

    But the Rams are in a bigger market now, and they’re not very good. They are 3-4 after losing to the New York Giants on Sunday morning in London. The Rams gave up a ton to move up and draft quarterback Jared Goff No. 1 overall, presumably because they were aware that boring doesn’t play well in L.A. and they needed to give their fans something interesting to watch. But Goff, strangely, hasn’t seen the field. Even more strangely, Jeff Fisher remains adamant that Goff won’t start the Rams’ next game.

    That doesn’t make actor Rob Lowe happy.

    Note to @Rams front office: you now play in entertainment capital of the world. We know bad performances well. Make changes NOW. #NFL

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  • Randy Moss, Tedy Bruschi highly critical of Roger Goodell's handling of Josh Brown case

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 1 hr ago

    Two more former NFL players have weighed in on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his mishandling of the situation with New York Giants kicker Josh Brown.

    Randy Moss, during a segment on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” discussing Brown and the league continuing to bungle domestic violence cases, put things squarely on Goodell’s shoulders.

    “[It’s] breast cancer awareness month, where we’re sitting here supporting the women and then you come up with this Josh Brown where it doesn’t seem like we are supporting women,” Moss said. “So I think the NFL really needs to take a deep look. I think owners are mad and Roger Goodell, he is the biggest reason to all of this stuff that’s falling downhill with the NFL.”

    Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, also speaking on ESPN, said players in the league are taught the importance of consistency on the field and in the meeting rooms, but the NFL itself is not showing consistency.

  • Adam Vinatieri breaks consecutive FG mark, makes Hall of Fame case even stronger

    Shutdown Corner 1 hr ago

    Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has broken the all-time record for consecutive field-goal makes with 43, putting yet another stamp on his eventual Hall of Fame career.

    Yeah, we said it. Only one kicker — Jan Stenerud — currently resides in Canton, but Vinatieri deserves to be the second to get the gold jacket. No. 43 in a row for the 43-year-old was a 33-yarder that put Vinatieri in the record books, but he already has one of the greatest kicking résumés ever.

    He hit two early field goals in Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, the second of which was a 28-yarder to tie the record. Then midway late in the third quarter, Vinatieri broke the mark that was held by another former Colt, Mike Vanderjagt. That streak ended in 2004 when Vanderjagt shanked a potential game-tying kick in the final moments of the Colts’ season opener against the New England Patriots. The kicker on the other sideline that night? Vinatieri.

    Twenty-one seasons into his career, Vinatieri amazingly now has been with the Colts longer than he did with the Patriots, winning three Super Bowls with his former club and one with his current team.

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  • Geno Smith knocked out, so Jets have to turn back to Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Shutdown Corner 1 hr ago

    You can argue that Geno Smith hasn’t exactly made the most of his opportunities up until now, but Sunday’s injury was purely bad luck for the New York Jets quarterback.

    Smith finally got another chance to revive his career after the Jets benched Ryan Fitzpatrick this week and gave Smith his first start since the end of the 2014 season in Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. But it didn’t last long.

    Smith got the Jets off to a decent enough start but was knocked out of the game with a knee injury. He was ruled out and seen watching the remainder of the game in street clothes.

    And yes, the Jets were forced to turn back to Fitzpatrick. Many thought his Jets career was over following a brutal stretch that led to New York starting the season 1-5.

    As for Smith, the seriousness of the injury is not known. He completed 4-of-8 passes for 95 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Enunwa, and scrambled once for 7 yards. But he was sacked midway through the second quarter by Ravens rookie Matt Judon and was replaced the following series by Fitzpatrick, who hit on 7-of-8 passes with a TD after taking over.

    It figures, doesn’t it?

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  • Wow! A.J. Green makes an unbelievable catch on a Hail Mary

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 2 hrs ago

    Hail Marys are always pretty cool, but Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green made one of the greatest catches you’ll see on one.

    At the end of the first half, Andy Dalton heaved one to the end zone. It was the same scrum in the end zone we’ve seen for most other Hail Mary throws, with everyone going up at once. Green got a hand on the ball, tipping it to himself, then juggled it a couple times with defenders draped on him before coming down with the 48-yard touchdown.

    Green is a special player, but this is ridiculous even for him.

    For Green to keep his concentration in the middle of all those bodies and end up grabbing the ball before it hit the ground is spectacular.

    There have been more important Hail Mary passes in NFL history, but it’s possible Green made the prettiest catch on one.

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    Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

  • Yet another quarterback plays for the Browns, as Cody Kessler gets injured

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 2 hrs ago

    If you’re a Cleveland Browns quarterback, make sure you get some extra health insurance.

    The Browns keep losing quarterbacks. Cody Kessler, the Browns’ third starting quarterback this season, was knocked out of Sunday’s game with a concussion. He was stepping up in the pocket and right after delivering a backhanded flip to tight end Gary Barnidge, he was hit from the side by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko. Kessler had a hard time getting up, then was taken out of the game and back to the locker room. The team said he was being evaluated for a concussion, then ruled him out shortly after.

    With that, rookie Kevin Hogan became the sixth quarterback to take snaps for the Browns this season. We’re only in Week 7.

    The Browns lost Robert Griffin III to a shoulder injury in Week 1 and Josh McCown to a shoulder injury a week later. Kessler has been banged up during his run as starter too, and an in-game injury allowed Charlie Whitehurst to attempt 24 passes against the New England Patriots in Week 5. The team cut Whitehurst after that and promoted Hogan from the practice squad. Receiver Terrelle Pryor has also taken snaps at quarterback.

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  • Sam Bradford returns to Philly, and Vikings, Eagles start turning ball over at dizzying rate

    Shutdown Corner 2 hrs ago

    Sam Bradford returned to face the Philadelphia Eagles, the same quarterback the fans remembered.

    The much-maligned former Eagles quarterback, who actually has played very well for the Minnesota Vikings after his August trade, was booed in his return. And he rewarded his former team with a bit of nostalgia in the first half. Unfortunately, whatever bug he brought with him was caught by his teammate for about four months, rookie Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

    Bradford and Wentz, who combined for one turnover between them coming into the game, put on a dizzying display of ineptitude during a four-minute flurry in the first quarter. After back-to-back three-and-outs to open the game, the Eagles and Vikings went on a spree of giving the ball back to each other.

    • 9:41 left in the first quarter: Wentz took a three-step drop and stared down tight end Brent Celek, who was covered inside and out. Wentz’s throw was behind Celek, and Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo picked it off and ran it back to the Philadelphia 2-yard line. It was just beginning.

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  • Sorry, Jared Goff fans. Jeff Fisher is sticking with Case Keenum

    Jackie Bamberger at Shutdown Corner 2 hrs ago

    LONDON — Case Keenum may have thrown another critical late-game interception for the Los Angeles Rams, but coach Jeff Fisher refuses to give up on his quarterback.

    Fisher was defiant after Sunday afternoon’s 17-10 loss to the New York Giants in London. Even after the bye week, Los Angeles (3-4) won’t swap out Keenum in favor of rookie first-overall pick Jared Goff.

    “The quarterback is not the reason we lost the game,” Fisher said in his postgame news conference. “We’re staying with Case … I’ll make changes at receiver before I make changes at QB.”

    Keenum threw four interceptions Sunday afternoon, one of which resulted in a pick-6 for Landon Collins, another that gave the Giants the field position for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter and one in the end zone with less than a minute that ended his team’s chances of a comeback. Last week in Detroit, Keenum’s record-setting performance was upstaged by a game-ending interception.

    Keenum has started all seven games for the Rams thus far, accumulating just over 1,400 yards and earning a passer rating of 85.3.

  • Tennessee Titans throwing touchdowns to offensive tackles now

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 3 hrs ago

    The Tennessee Titans don’t have a ton of talent at receiver, so why not use an offensive tackle in the passing game?

    The Titans got tricky in the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts. They lined up with an extra offensive lineman, Taylor Lewan, on the left side. After Lewan acted like he was blocking, he let his guy go, turned around and was wide open for Marcus Mariota.

    You won’t see this often, but a 309-pound man walked into the end zone for a touchdown. It was a 10-yard touchdown catch.

    ???????? BIG MAN TD ALERT! ????????

    Marcus Mariota –> @TaylorLewan77 –> @TITANS TD! #INDvsTEN

    — NFL (@NFL) October 23, 2016

    Lewan, a former first-round pick, scored in college at Michigan once too, but that was on a fumble recovery in the end zone. This was his first chance to show off his skills with the ball in his hands.

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