- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
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Every week, there's a new officiating controversy in the NFL.
The latest comes from Detroit. On Monday night against the Ravens, Lions receiver Kris Durham had his arm held on a pass to the end zone, and the officials missed the pass interference call. Instead of having the ball on the 1-yard line, the Lions settled for a field goal. They lost 18-16 on a Ravens field goal in the final minute. The difference between winning and losing, which might have flipped had the officials not missed the pass interference call, might be the difference between the Lions hosting a playoff game as division champions or Detroit missing the playoffs.
NBC Sports Network's Shaun King argued that NFL officiating is at its all-time low.
"This has been by far the worst officiated National Football League season in the history of the National Football League," King said on NBC Sports Network's "SportsDash" show. "I really think the replacement refs were doing a better job some time."
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
Every week, we try to project what the playoff bracket will look like in January. To sift through who is for real and will make a postseason push, and who will fade out of the playoff picture down the stretch. It's important to note this is our ever-changing prediction of how we think things will play out and not necessarily a current plugging-in of teams with the corresponding records.
Think of it as "bracketology" for the pigskin set.
Still New Orleans to win the South? So you think they win at Carolina on Sunday? Yes, but for full disclosure, I picked New Orleans to win the Super Bowl prior to this season, so pride is definitely kicking in. Carolina’s rise from the ashes has been incredible, but this is similar to a playoff game for the Panthers. This team has not been forced to win meaningful games late in the season since 2009. Carolina’s last playoff appearance occurred during the 2008 season. I am sticking with the Saints – for now.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
Terence Garvin is a rookie with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His salary is the rookie minimum of $405,000 a year, a little less than $24,000 per week over the 17-week regular season.
Garvin was fined $25,000, more than one of his game checks, for his block on Cincinnati punter Kevin Huber, which broke his jaw and cracked a vertabrae.
Garvin thought he was just blocking a player looking to make a tackle on a long punt return – which the Steelers scored on by the way. But punters and kickers are ruled defenseless through a play, even if they're trying to make a tackle. Garvin used his helmet to hit Huber above the shoulders, and that's illegal on a defenseless player.
And is he ever going to pay for it.
Steelers Depot points out that the collective-bargaining agreement allows a player to appeal if the fine is excessive compared to the player's earnings. A fine may be reduced if it is at least 25 percent of a player's weekly salary for a first offense and 50 percent for a second offense. Garvin should win that appeal and should get the fine reduced.
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
The NFL has made it impossible for local fans to watch their football team unless that game is sold out. For years this system has penalized cities, such as Tampa Bay and San Diego, for not selling out games. There is also little regard for local fans who want to watch their team at home, but cannot afford a ticket.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing eliminating sports blackout rules, which prohibits distributors from showing live sporting events that are not available on local television. If the FCC is successful, it would be a huge blow to leagues, like the NFL, that punish fans for the lack of ticket sales.
Here isthe FCC’s explanation:
- Travelle Gaines at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
Travelle Gaines runs his own performance facility, Athletic Gaines, in Los Angeles. Athletic Gaines is one of the top NFL combine training programs in the country, and one of the most notable NFL offseason training programs as well. Gaines has worked with hundreds of athletes and celebrities including Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, rapper Sean Combs and TV star Kendra Wilkinson.
In this video, the elite trainer brings in Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston to show you how to work your full body with just a kettlebell.
This is a simple exercise that can be done at home and requires minimal equipment. All you need is a kettlebell.
This exercise works your hamstrings, core and your entire upper body. This is an amazing workout to do when you have limited time at home.
Make sure you follow the correct form: stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes straight, knees straight, and swing the kettlebell back and forth, squatting and exploding up. Do 10-20 reps for five sets with a 3-15 kilo kettlebell.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
When the Carolina Panthers met the New Orleans Saints a couple weeks ago, nothing went right for the Panthers.
The Saints dismantled them in a 31-13 win. Carolina's chances of winning the NFC South seemed to slip away that night. Then the Rams blew out the Saints last week, and the Panthers were right back in the hunt.
They'll need to beat the Saints to keep their hopes of winning the division alive. A Saints win clinches the title and a first-round bye in the playoffs.
So what can the Panthers do to flip that result from the first meeting? Well, the first step is waking up in Charlotte instead of New Orleans on Sunday.
The Saints' home-road splits are amazing. They are 7-0 at home, just about unbeatable with their crowd bothering the opposing offense and letting Drew Brees change plays at the line of scrimmage. On the road, New Orleans is 3-4 with losses to losing teams like the Jets and Rams.
Carolina is 6-1 at home, the only loss coming in Week 1 against the Seahawks, unquestionably the best team in the NFL this season. The Panthers lost that game 12-7 after DeAngelo Williams fumbled inside the 10-yard line late in the fourth quarter.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel has never been injury prone. That's what is making his rookie season so frustrating.
Last week, Manuel suffered his third knee injury of the season. He will not start on Sunday against the Dolphins as a result, the Bills announced. Thad Lewis will get the nod.
He injured himself last week at Jacksonville. The team decided he couldn't move well enough to protect himself against the pass rush and didn't want to risk further injury.
It's been maddening for Manuel.
“Tell me about it,” Manuel said, according to the Bills' website. “When it happened in the game I just kind of said to myself, ‘Is this really happening again?’ I just taped it up and kept playing, but the onset after something like that happens it’s going to get stiff and sore on you. It’s a part of (the game), but nonetheless I’ll get a chance to play against New England and finish the season strong.”
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
Dr. Patrick McKenzie has to be feeling a lot of pressure.
McKenzie has been the Green Bay Packers' team doctor since the early 1990s. He has many people hoping he clears quarterback Aaron Rodgers for action.
The Packers need Rodgers back. They will win the NFC North if they win their final two games, and are a much better team with the former MVP under center. Rodgers has expressed many times he wants to return from a broken clavicle. There's no more football-mad state than Wisconsin is for the Packers. Bears fans and Lions fans have a significant interest in Rodgers' playing status. If Rodgers is cleared to return, the entire NFL playoff picture changes.
But McKenzie isn't ready to take that step.
After practice on Wednesday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that Rodgers still hasn't been cleared for action. Green Bay, which is a half game behind Chicago in the NFC North, plays Pittsburgh on Sunday.
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
The Washington Redskins' season is two games away from being over.
So is the career of Redskins linebacker London Fletcher.
He announced his retirement during a press conference on Wednesday.
“I’m about 99 percent certain that this will be my last season in the National Football League,” Fletcher said. “I got to leave at least one percent, just in case I change my mind. But it’s really just about having another conversation with my wife, but just thought with this being the final home game, this being Dallas Cowboy week, an opportunity to go out with a bang and get the fans riled up and say thank you to them and beat the Cowboys. What better way to end it?”
With a win against New York Giants in the season finale on December 29?
Cousins on @LFletcher59: "We would love to have him walk off that field for the last time--if it will be his last time--with a victory."
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) December 18, 2013
Report: Robert Griffin III’s father is urging the Washington Redskins to hire Baylor coach Art BrilesFrank Schwab at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
The Washington Redskins, Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III haven't won many games this season, but they've been incredibly productive in leaking stories to the media about each other.
The latest comes from Jason Cole at Bleacher Report. In this episode of the NFL's most melodramatic soap opera, multiple team sources want the world to know that Griffin is stubborn and his father is meddling.
The most startling revelation in the story is that Griffin's father has been telling owner Daniel Snyder to hire Baylor coach Art Briles. Griffin, the Redskins' quarterback, played for Briles in college.
"In recent weeks, according to two sources close to the situation, the elder Griffin has politicked Snyder to hire Baylor coach Art Briles, who coached the younger Griffin to a Heisman Trophy, to replace Shanahan," according to the Bleacher Report story.
Stories like this are harmful in a few ways, but that's probably the point.