- Kevin Kaduk at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
It might be easier for a Green Bay Packers running back to call in sick than rushers from many other teams, but Eddie Lacy wasn't about to ask for a doctor's note on Sunday. Despite feeling so ill that his teammates could tell something was wrong, Lacy rushed 25 times for 125 yards and had two touchdowns in a 24-21 victoryover the Minnesota Vikings.
The Packers, of course, usually stake their attack on the arm of Aaron Rodgers, making the system's running back somewhat of an afterthought. But Lacy has been big against the Vikings in his two-year career with three of his six 100-yard games coming against the NFC North rivals. In addition to two big scores, Lacy sealed the game late with five straight runs that helped the Packers exhaust the clock.
Lacy was so sick that he was excused from speaking to reporters after his big day.
His teammate, Josh Sitton, summed up his day for him, though.Sun, Nov 23Green Bay24 - 21MinnesotaGame Recap
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
In one of the strangest explanations you'll ever see, referee Bill Vinovich picked up an unnecessary roughness flag against Dallas Cowboys safety Barry Church and instead offered this rationale following another first-down reception for New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday night.
"There is no foul for unnecessary roughness on the play," the veteran ref explained after Beckham's third-quarter catch moved the chains to Dallas' 18-yard line. "The runner was still in bounds — and took a flop."
It was the first time Al Michaels had heard flopping cited as the reason for picking up a flag, and the play-by-play ace has seen an awful lot of football games. For those of us who aren't veteran sportscasters recently celebrating our 70th birthday, no other such references immediately comes to mind, either.
The explanation appeared even more bizarre since — while Beckham called for the flag in a floppy manner on his way to the ground — Church clearly made contact with him after the rookie sensation stepped out of bounds. An argument could be made a flag was warranted despite the acting job by Beckham.Sun, Nov 23Dallas31 - 28NY GiantsGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
It was late in Sunday's game against Denver, and the Miami Dolphins were desperate. They'd had the AFC champs on the ropes and had let them go. So kicker Caleb Sturgis tried something unusual with his onside kick attempt: a round-the-plant-leg kick known in soccer circles as a "rabona."
It didn't work, unfortunately, which is a real shame because we love seeing anything new in the NFL. The rabona has a lot more use when the ball and defenders are in motion, since the rabona-er can use it to misdirect the defense pretty effectively. Check, for instance, this impressive goal by Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela, from last month:
Don't be dismayed, Caleb. Try the rabona again.Sun, Nov 23Miami36 - 39DenverGame Recap
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
Always remember this about the 2014 Denver Broncos: They will be graded on an unfair curve.
A 39-36 win against a sneaky good Miami Dolphins team would be fine for most teams. It wasn’t bad for the Broncos. But the warts matter because these Broncos have just one goal.
The Broncos’ season won’t be a success if it falls short of a Super Bowl championship. Fair? Not really. But they have nowhere else to go after the past two seasons, and they’re built to win now.
Before stars like outside linebacker Von Miller, receiver Demaryius Thomas and tight end Julius Thomas break the bank with their next contracts, and before quarterback Peyton Manning finally declines, it’s Super Bowl or bust. And when the Broncos were trailing 28-17 after three quarters, they didn’t look like a future Super Bowl champion. They really didn’t look like a Super Bowl champion when you compare them to what the New England Patriots did in destroying the Detroit Lions earlier in the day – or when you compare anything about the Broncos and Patriots the past few weeks.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
The NFL has announced the halftime show act for this year's Super Bowl, and it's none other than the widely-rumored Katy Perry.
Perry is the third female artist in the last four years to headline the show, following Madonna in 2012 and Beyonce in 2013. (Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers ran the show last year.) It's a reasonable choice, as Perry can work a 110-million-person room with the best of them.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
Here are the top five must-see plays from Week 12 in the NFL.
Best. Catch. Ever.
We, as viewers of the NFL, can be prisoners of the moment. But if you have another play to nominate that is as great as the catch Odell Beckham Jr. made Sunday night, well, frankly, we're waiting. Beckham made one of the more insane catches imaginable (or unimaginable) Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys, as the New York Giants receiver was interfered with, jumped on the sideline and hauled in a one-handed pass in spine-tingling fashion.
Kenny Britt has been one of the NFL's bounce-back players of the season, and he made a great catch Sunday to help put his St. Louis Rams in a position to potentially win the game against the San Diego Chargers. (Plot spoiler: The Rams lost.) But still ... Britt hauled in a great pass from Shaun Hill and made it look easy.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch didn't want to get fined again for not speaking to the media. We can't blame him — $50K a pop is a pretty stiff fine, which he now has two to pay off.
So Lynch talked. His version of talking, anyway.
Yeah. Yeah. Maybe. Yeah. Yeah. Boosie. Yeah. Twelve "yeahs" in all.
Look, to be fair, we mused on Twitter last week after Lynch failed to speak following the Seahawks' loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11 that maybe he should just give basic answers to fulfill his requirements.Sun, Nov 23Arizona3 - 19SeattleGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
Look, we know this is the Internet and we get a lot of grief about declaring something "GREATEST" or "BEST EVER" or "LEGENDARY" or whatever. Usually the criticism is justified. But we're going to roll with this anyway, and we dare you to defy us: Odell Beckham Jr. just made the greatest catch in NFL history .
Not the most meaningful. Not the most important. But the flat-out best, most athletic catch ever.
Beckham leaps, catches the ball with one hand, twists himself sideways, stays in bounds, and lands in the end zone. Simply flawless. But don't just take our word for it, listen to this Cowboys fan from Cleveland:
Man I just witnessed the greatest catch ever possibly by Odell Beckham Jr! WOW!!!!
You're going to see that one forever. And it's going to be just as amazing every single time.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
If you’re a Seattle Seahawks fan, their win on Sunday was a sign that the NFC West is starting to turn in their favor a bit.
If you’re an Arizona Cardinals fan, well, you can look at the 19-3 loss at Seattle one of two ways.
The first, if you’re a worrywart, is that the Cardinals' offense didn’t look good. It has scored 17 points in eight quarters since Drew Stanton took over at quarterback for injured Carson Palmer the rest of the season. Arizona had 204 yards and 12 first downs on Sunday. Stanton had just 149 yards and an interception. It was ugly.
But the second option, and more realistic one, is to bang the gong and move on. This was a tough spot for the Cardinals. Seattle is a tough place to play, and the Seahawks knew a loss and the division was practically over and any playoff spot would be in jeopardy. The Cardinals didn’t have receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has a knee injury, either. The sky isn't falling because of one loss, of course.
Even though the Cardinals were 9-1 and three games ahead of the Seahawks in the division, this result wasn’t surprising. What matters more for the Cardinals is where they go from here.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
Detroit didn't have much fun in New England, getting their manes handed to them 34-9. So you can understand why the Lions might be a little chippy. Add to that the fact that the Patriots poured on what could be construed as an unnecessary touchdown with under two minutes to play, and you get this:
That's Lions center Dominic Raiola, diving at the knees of a Patriots defensive lineman (Zach Moore) on the final play of the game. The teams were in victory formation — or, in this case, surrender formation, since Detroit was down by 25 — and thus the Patriots weren't exactly prepared for the hit.
Raiola didn't even try to disguise his intentions. "I cut him," Raiola said after the game. "We took a knee, so I cut the nose [tackle]. ... They went for a touchdown at 2 minutes. They could have took three knees and the game could have been over. It's football. He wants to keep playing football, let's play football. Not a big deal. It's football."Sun, Nov 23Detroit9 - 34New EnglandGame Recap