- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr 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.Sun, Nov 23Arizona3 - 19SeattleGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner2 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
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
ATLANTA - Cleveland's Billy Cundiff drilled a game-winning 37-yard field goal against Atlanta on Sunday afternoon, and if you were just watching the game on TV or checking your fantasy scores, you probably thought, "eh, no big, 37-yarder, pretty much a gimme, right?" For most NFL kickers, right.
For you, though? No way on earth. Those 37 yards may as well be a mile, as far as most of the rest of us are concerned. Your intrepid Yahoo Sports reporter visited the field of play after the game was over, stepped over the bits of broken Falcon dreams, and walked out to where Cundiff set up to make his field goal. Here's what it looks like from that perspective:
Yeah, no way you're making that. Here's a little live-action video just for further perspective:
That's a flat-out terrifying prospect, and that doesn't even include the elements of 70,000 screaming fans, 11 opposing players looking to remove your leg from your torso, and the very real possibility that if you miss this field goal you'll be cut from the team and never make this much money again.
Still think you can do it? Lace up. There's always room in the NFL for more kickers.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
The Tennessee Titans fell to 2-9, clinching their third straight sub-.500 season, in a 43-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles — and they did it in appropriate style.
Consider this play in the third quarter with the Titans down 27-17 but driving. Rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger threw a pass that should have been picked by Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who had dropped into short coverage. But Cox batted the pass back, and the carom was caught by the man who snapped the ball initially to Mettenberger — center Brian Schwenke.
On a strange-looking play, Schwenke actually looked natural with the ball (he does touch it on every play, after all) and ran like a tight end in an effort to scratch out a few extra yards on what was tantamount to a slop shot in basement billiards.
But Schwenke hasn't been running the gauntlet drills lately, clearly. He coughed up the ball after a hit by Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks, which was recovered by safety Nate Allen.Sun, Nov 23Tennessee24 - 43PhiladelphiaGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
ATLANTA -The winning field goal had passed through the uprights 60 seconds before, sending the Cleveland Browns into fits of ecstasy and the numb Georgia Dome fans out into the rain. But here was Brian Hoyer, walking slowly off the field, eyes down on the turf in front of him, shaking his head in frustration.
He'd just guided the Browns down the field with a perfectly-executed 44-second, four-completion game-winning drive. Cleveland is now 7-4, and if the team forfeited every one of its remaining games it'd still be the Browns' best year since 2007. The Browns just welcomed back Josh Gordon, 2013's leading receiver. Hoyer has thrown for 300-plus yards the last two games, the first Brown to do so since Brian Sipe way back in 1980.Sun, Nov 23Cleveland26 - 24AtlantaGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
ATLANTA – Josh Gordon returned to the Cleveland Browns' lineup on Sunday after serving a 10-game suspension, and the results were every bit as thrilling, and maddening, as Cleveland fans could have expected.
Throughout the week, talk spread that Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine would use his new weapon on only 20 to 30 snaps. Nobody believed that, and Pettine himself dismissed it after the game. Bringing 2013's leading receiver into the game at a slow pace is like backing the Ferrari down the driveway just to get the mail. Cleveland won the game 26-24, and while Gordon didn't score, he could claim credit for keeping the Falcons secondary off-balance.
Gordon ended up catching eight passes for 120 yards, running in every conceivable direction. He even attempted a pass, such as it was, a botched play that didn't hurt anyone.
Cleveland has lots of questions remaining in its unlikely playoff charge, but as long as Gordon is focused — both on and off the field — he's going to tilt the game in the Browns' direction.
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
Trailing the Patriots 27-9 in New England and in desperate need of a momentum-shifting play on a fourth-and-10 early in the fourth quarter, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford tucked the ball and scrambled down the field.
With a surefire shot to move the chains in front of him, Stafford opted instead to avoid contact and slide ... a yard shy of the first down. The Patriots took over on downs and ate another four minutes off the clock, effectively sealing a 34-9 blowout.
It was an appropriate exclamation point on Stafford’s afternoon. With all those weapons around him in Detroit, the former No. 1 overall pick completed just 18-of-46 attempts for 264 yards and zero touchdowns against one interception.
The Lions drove inside New England’s 40-yard line on six occasions, including one march to the 2 that stalled when Stafford missed tight end Christian Fauria in the end zone. In those six trips, Detroit connected on three field goals, missed another and punted once before Stafford’s scramble punctuated a frustrating afternoon.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
NFL owners can do pretty much whatever they want. Transitively, they can go almost anywhere they want. They own the team, right?
That said, it's unusual to see an NFL team's owner at the postgame news conference of his head coach, and the Atlanta Falcons' Mike Smith can't feel too comfy seeing Arthur Blank pulling up a chair for his chat after the Falcons blew a final-minute lead in a 26-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Arthur Blank grabbing his front row seat for the Mike Smith post game pic.twitter.com/01hWEi27Kd
When the Falcons took a 24-23 lead with 44 seconds left, an animated Blank was seen cheering on the sideline. When Brian Hoyer led the Browns down the field 61 yards on seven plays for the game-winning drive, Blank hung his head down as he walked into the tunnel.
And he apparently made a bee-line to the media conference room, awaiting Smith's explanation of the Falcons' seventh loss in 11 games.
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
T.Y. Hilton's wife Shantrell gave birth to the couple's baby on Sunday morning, and a few hours later the Indianapolis Colts wide receiver delivered on the first promise he made to his newborn daughter.
Hilton's agent Erik Burkhardt broke the news on Twitter, assuring fantasy owners the star wideout would be in the lineup against the Jacksonville Jaguars with the pledge, "It's the right thing to do to get her a TD."
CONGRATS to my man @TYHilton13 and his wife Shantrell on the birth of their beautiful baby girl this morning!!! 👶
For all fantasy footballers: Yes, @TYHilton13 will make it to the stadium by kickoff & told me "it's the right thing to do to get her a TD"
Sure enough, Hilton scored on a 73-yard connection from Andrew Luck that gave the Colts a 20-3 lead in the third quarter, and the 25-year-old celebrated appropriately, cradling the ball like a baby in the end zone.Sun, Nov 23Jacksonville3 - 23IndianapolisGame Recap
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
Jonas Gray's week: One Sports Illustrated cover, one AFC offensive player of the week award and zero playing time.
Gray, last weekend's NFL star, found out that there's no credit given for great games under Bill Belichick. Everyone is eligible to get in the doghouse.
Gray had 201 yards and four touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday. He was a no-name, undrafted player who had an enormous game for the Patriots and was such a great story that he landed on the cover of SI. That turned out to be the kiss of death.
Gray was late to the Patriots' facility on Friday. He was sent home, which is Belichick's rule (star cornerback Darrelle Revis got the same treatment earlier this season). He was told he wouldn't start. And by kickoff Sunday, he had a prime seat next to Belichick on the sideline.
Shane Vereen played. LeGarrette Blount, who was cut by the Steelers after a tantrum about playing time and signed by New England during the week, played and got a pair of touchdowns. Brandon Bolden, who hadn't gotten a carry since Oct. 12, played.
And as the Patriots built up a big lead going into the fourth quarter, Gray didn't get on the field.