- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner12 mins ago
Put yourself in the shoes of the Seattle Seahawks.
You won a huge showdown against the Saints on Monday night to improve to 11-1. You lead the Panthers and Saints (with the tiebreaker over both) by two games, and every other NFC division leader by four games. You lead the 49ers by three games in the NFC West, and your final three games are at the Giants, then home to the Cardinals and Rams. You'll be heavy favorites in each game.
So, what exactly is your motivation for this week's game against the 49ers?
The Seahawks are likely going to be the No. 1 seed regardless of what happens this week. Sure, beating a key rival would be nice, but is that enough?
Meanwhile the 49ers are coming into this game with a lot of motivation. They are just a game ahead of Arizona and the Eagles/Cowboys for the sixth seed in the NFC, and are trying to avenge a Week 2 loss at Seattle. The 49ers want to make a statement that they're a team to fear going into the playoffs.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner18 mins ago
If Tim Tebow doesn't think the NFL will come calling again, or that it's too soon for a broadcasting career, he has another option.
Italy, apparently, would love to lure Tebow to keep his playing days live.
The free-agent quarterback has been offered a four-month contract by the Milano Seamen of the Italian federation for American football.
Federation president Leoluca Orlando sent word to Tebow's representatives of their interest, which was posted on the federation's website on Thursday. A federation spokesman said that he deal is for $200,000, which was sent Wednesday on the recommendation of a sponsor.
"The offer has been made to his agent and now we're waiting for a response," Seamen president Marco Mutti told The Associated Press. "We would be more than happy to have him."
It's a win-win deal for Tebow, who could join the team for the start of the season in March and chill in northern Italy through the Italian Super Bowl, which hits in July. From there, either an NFL playing or announcing gig could await.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
If the Texans wanted to bury the news about their starting quarterback, they certainly picked the right time to do it.
Less than an hour after announcing coach Gary Kubiak had been fired, owner Bob McNair said that Case Keenum will be the starting quarterback the rest of the season.
McNair: Case is going to be the quarterback, and we're going to give him a chance. He's shown flashes of brilliance & also rookie mistakes.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 6, 2013
It's an interesting commitment, maybe one that doesn't happen without Kubiak's firing.
As long as Kubiak was coaching and trying to save his job, there would have been the temptation to go with veteran Matt Schaub to win a game or two and save his job. Keenum has been pulled twice in the Texans' last four games. On Thursday night at Jacksonville, Schaub played pretty well of the bench and almost helped the Texans to a comeback win. A late interception sealed a 27-20 Houston loss.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Losing twice to the Jacksonville Jaguars was the last straw for Gary Kubiak.
The Houston Texans fired Kubiak on Friday morning, team owner Bob McNair announced, mere hours after losing for the second time to the Jaguars — their 11th straight loss this season in a year they entered with Super Bowl aspirations.
“Taking action now instead of waiting allows us the process of finding a new coach,” McNair said at a press conference on Friday. “That process is underway, and those prospects who are not under contract in the NFL are people we can visit with, so we'll start the process.”
Nearly everything has gone wrong for the Texans, who had to claw to win their first two games of the season before dropping their next 11. The Texans benched quarterback Matt Schaub, witnessed the season-ending injury of Arian Foster, made a failed free-agent signing of Ed Reed and saw Kubiak collapse at halftime of a loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
There are many theories and much conjecture on just how the Washington Redskins need to rebound from their mess of a season that's compounded by the complex relationship between Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III.
But there's an X-factor that must be considered: Mike's son, Kyle, the Redskins' offensive coordinator.
Could it be that the relationship between Kyle Shanahan and RGIII is the one we most should be concerned about? Griffin has called out the playcalling at times, and though he has suggested the Redskins' breakdown has been a widespread issue, the talk of Kyle and RGIII not seeing eye to eye has been the topic du jour in D.C.
On Thursday, Kyle Shanahan took time to diffuse the talk that he and RGIII are at odds amid the recurring reports that there was mistrust in the Griffin camp over how he was being used last season as he was dealing with a knee injury that eventually became the torn ACL that set him back entering the 2013 season. Per the Washington Post:
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
There was at least one memorable moment from the Texans-Jaguars game on Thursday night.
Before the fourth quarter, a Marine was shown on the video board at EverBank Field, and he dropped to one knee to propose to his girlfriend. His girlfriend was obviously surprised and put her hands over her mouth with a shocked look on her face. The Marine gave the crowd the thumbs up after she said yes.
The moment was shared by tens of thousands of people at the stadium, and then many more on television as the NFL Network showed it.
There aren't any details yet on the backstory of the engagement or the identity of the man or woman. Whoever they are, best of luck to them.
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- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
Teddy Bridgewater was playing at Cincinnati on Thursday night as the Texans and Jaguars battled. But Bridgewater should have at least been getting some updates on the bench, since the NFL result might determine his professional future.
Bridgewater, the Louisville quarterback and No. 1 pick in most mock drafts, should probably start pricing houses in Houston.
Houston dropped a 27-20 game to Jacksonville, virtually assuring that the Jaguars, once 0-8 and seemingly a lock for the NFL's worst record, will not get the first pick. The Jaguars have won four games after that 0-8 start, and are two games better than Houston. Shockingly, the Jaguars are not mathematically eliminated for a playoff spot with three games to go.
The loss for the Texans, however, keeps them in the lead for the first pick of the draft. They're 2-11 now with three difficult games remaining.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
The Case Keenum experiment for the Houston Texans might have ended, for all practical purposes, on Thursday night.
For the second time in Houston's last four games, Keenum was pulled for veteran Matt Schaub. The move came with 4:10 left in the third quarter and Houston trailing Jacksonville 24-10. Keenum was 16-of-29 for 159 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Schaub went 6-of-7 for 76 yards and threw a touchdown on his first drive against the Jaguars, and played well for most of the second half. He completed 17-of-29 passes for 198 yards. But, with a little more than two minutes left, Schaub threw an interception that sealed a 27-20 loss.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
Nelson Mandela, the great former South African president and anti-apartheid leader who died at age 95, was a sports fan.
He loved boxing. His support of the Springboks national rugby team in the 1995 Rugby World Cup was immortalized in the movie "Invictus." He was instrumental in getting soccer's 2010 World Cup to come to South Africa.
Mandela even took in an American football game, attending a Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game in 1999. He sat with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in Jones' suite at old Texas Stadium.
Jones recalled to the Dallas Morning News that on the morning of Oct. 24, 1999 he got a call from his friend Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005, who told him he wanted to bring a friend to the game.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
Adrian Peterson is an institution for the Minnesota Vikings, quickly becoming arguably the most recognizable figure in the history of the franchise. Yet, in a moment of honesty, Peterson said he has thought about the possibility of finishing his career in his home state of Texas, with the Dallas Cowboys.
"You know, I'd be a liar if I said it's something that hasn't crossed my mind before," Peterson said on ESPN Radio, via Fox Sports Southwest. "But I've also said to myself it would be so amazing to be one of those players who stays with one team his entire career, it would be good if I could do that. But being from Texas, I've always wondered, wow, it would be cool to play in Dallas, to play back home. Or to play in Houston."
Minnesota fans probably don't love hearing that one.