- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago
The numbers for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon this season have been sensational. The league's leader with 1,467 receiving yards, Gordon has scored a touchdown in five straight games. He is arguably the best receiver in the NFL over the last half of the season.
It has been an amazing 2013 for a player who started the season on suspension.
A positive drug test cost him the first two games of this year with a league-mandated suspension. Another positive test and he would be suspended for a full year. There were rumors during the season that the Browns were trying to trade Gordon.
Gordon explained that the positive test that cost him a two-game suspension was for codeine in some cough medicine he took during the offseason. That explanation drew some rolled eyes from fans and certainly the media.
But he is answering every question on the field. There are no more eyes rolling when his name is brought up.
“Definitely from the point I got back, I definitely decided to try to make as big of an impact as I could for the team, for the offense and being the biggest playmaker possible for this team," Gordon said.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
One of the great things about NFL Films wiring players for sound is we get insight that we don't usually get.
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant has a reputation. He came into the NFL with a lot of baggage, but in the past couple years he has matured into one of the best players in the league. Still, when he is seen yelling on the sideline, or walking to the locker room early from Dallas' loss to the Packers, and the old questions pop up.
That's why it was so interesting to hear Bryant on the sideline of the loss to the Packers.
What's most striking about this week's "Sound FX" video with Bryant is how upbeat he is, whether firing up the offense to keep up the intensity, complimenting running back DeMarco Murray on how well he has been running, or being there when the defense comes off the field to offer an encouraging word. He also keeps it loose with a bit on how bad things happen to the other team when he stands up, rather than sits down on the bench. One would assume from the video, which is of course heavily edited down to highlights, that Bryant has turned into one of the team's leaders.
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy is not ready to give up on Aaron Rodgers yet.
Rodgers participated in practice on Thursday, and McCarthy gave the Packers a reason for optimism heading into Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. McCarthy still has not ruled out the possibility of Rodgers playing against Pittsburgh, and he intends to announce his quarterback's status on Friday.
“Rodgers practiced well today,” McCarthy told JSOnline.com. “Will have a conversation tomorrow about him. Looked very good at practice. Not cleared to play. I will have an announcement tomorrow. Aaron looked very good in practice today.”
How good did he look?
“He looked sharp,” McCarthy told JSOnline.com “He looks better this week. He looks ready to play.”
Looks can be deceiving.
Rodgers still has not been cleared by team doctors to play after sustaining a collarbone injury on November 4. Packers backup Matt Flynn has filled in for Rodgers, and the Packers have been 2-4-1 without their franchise quarterback. Green Bay is currently fighting for a playoff spot and need Rodgers for its two remaining regular season games.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
The Houston Texans have an advantage on the competition for teams that will be looking for head coaches this offseason. They have already fired theirs.
When the Texans became the first team to fire their head coach this season, letting Gary Kubiak go in the midst of what is now an 12-game losing streak, owner Bob McNair said he valued candidates with prior head-coaching experience.
One of those candidates reportedly is former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith, a Texas native, whom the team already has interviewed, according to ESPN. There are others they hope to talk to, and that list will include interim head coach Wade Phillips, who took over for Kubiak.
Besides Lovie Smith, among others Texans R interested N are Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and SD OC Ken Whisenhunt. Wade will get interview
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) December 19, 2013
Whisenhunt is the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers, and he would not be available until that team is out of the playoff picture.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
Mock drafts are fun this time of year — please keep that in mind.
They also are fluid as all get out.
We don’t know who will be coaching six to 10 of these teams, for instance. There also is a lot of movement yet to happen that will impact the draft order, such as the results of the final two weeks of the NFL season, for instance, as well as the college bowl games.
Yet if you put together a mock draft this time of year, an angry reader will threaten castration. Must keep churning ... It's a part of the job description.
And we must also try to provide some quality speculation for everyone’s favorite offseason pastime. It’s an entertaining process, but also a difficult and (at this point) quite incomplete one.
So here’s our second full look at how we think the top 37 picks — the first round, plus five bonus second-round picks — could go as things stand now.Sun, Dec 2210:00 AM PSTDenver at HoustonPreview Game
Relive Candlestick Park’s top 10 NFL moments as historic stadium prepares to host its last game (Video)Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
Candlestick Park isn't much to look at.
It hosted baseball and football and therefore couldn't do either too comfortably. It was cold and damp for many games. The field was often chewed up. The San Francisco 49ers' home didn't have the amenities many of the modern NFL palaces do. Levi's Stadium should take care of all the problems Candlestick had.
But when it comes to history, few venues can match Candlestick Park.
The 49ers dynasty under Bill Walsh created so many great players and moments, and that team kept rolling into the 1990s after Walsh retired. The franchise has had a revival under Jim Harbaugh the past few years, creating a new set of memorable moments.
So as we approach Monday night's game between the 49ers and Falcons, the final NFL game at Candlestick barring an amazing turn of events in the playoffs, here are the 10 greatest NFL moments in the stadium's storied history:
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
Dwight Clark had a fine NFL career, with 561 catches, all for the San Francisco 49ers.
He'll always be remembered for just one of those catches. It's "The Catch." Of course that's the one.
In the NFC championship game on Jan. 10, 1982, the 49ers had a third down on the Cowboys' 6-yard line with less than a minute to go. They called "Sprint Right Option." Intended receiver Freddie Solomon was covered. Clark was running along the back line of the end zone as Joe Montana was flushed out of the pocket. Montana threw a high pass – some think he was throwing it away, although he says otherwise – and Clark jumped impossibly high to grab it. He scored, the 49ers beat the Cowboys, they moved on and won the Super Bowl, and one of the great NFL dynasties was born.
"In many different ways it comes up, at least once a day," Clark said on a conference call with 49ers media. "It comes up either on TV or somebody saying something, or a letter, or a fan. That’s fine with me ... I love talking about it."
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
Among the frightened people at Candlestick Park when a devastating earthquake famously hit before Game 3 of the 1989 World Series were a couple of frightened parents with a newborn son.
At that moment, Joe Montana really was just a regular Joe.
On a conference call to discuss the final scheduled game at Candlestick Park on Monday, Montana said that he was at that Giants-A's baseball game when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit. He was with his wife, Jennifer, and their two-week-old son Nate, who many years later would play college football.
Before the game the Montanas went to see 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo and then went down to their seats. It turns out that one of the most famous men in Candlestick Park's history was there for the most famous moment in the stadium's history, even though that wasn't common knowledge until he told the story this week.
"We were in our seats and we felt the earthquake, and the lights went out," Montana said. "My wife is going, 'We have to go, let's get out of here.' And I'm going, 'No, we have to stay, we have to watch the game.'"
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
Super Bowl Sunday could easily become Super Bowl Saturday, Super Bowl Monday, or Super Bowl Tuesday if a snowstorm threatens to take over at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2.
Super Bowl XLVIII marks the first time this event will be played in an outdoor, cold weather site. The NFL traditionally has chosen venues where weather is not a factor, like warm states or domes, but rewarded the New York/New Jersey area for opening a new stadium in 2010. That has led to a lot of speculation about what might occur if a snowstorm hits the Tri-state area around the Super Bowl.
One of the contingency plans is to move the Super Bowl to Saturday, back a few days, or even postponing it one week.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Your browser does not support iframes.
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."