- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago
It's not often you see a bunch of NFL questions on the game show "Jeopardy!" (fine, it's answers, and you answer in the form of a question) but they recently popped up.
You never know how sports questions will go over on the show, known for much more high-brow categories than guessing quarterbacks' names. The category of "Touchdowns" was going pretty well, until the contestants blanked on the easiest answer.
Of course, Tim Tebow was one of the answers. Of course. How could the history of the NFL be written without Tebow? The question (answer, whatever) in the $400 slot in the category, was "In overtime of a 2012 wild card game, this then-Bronco quarterback threw an 80-yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas ... A miracle?" Well, who do you think it was going to be, Brian Griese?
Joe Montana was another answer, asking who threw the game-winning touchdown to John Taylor to beat the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII. Regular readers of Shutdown Corner could have gotten that in their sleep, and added when Montana was drafted and with what pick (1979, 82nd overall).
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago
For months, we've wondered what the Houston Texans might do with the first pick — take a quarterback or draft Jadeveon Clowney.
So what's behind Door No. 3?
There appears to be some smoke now for a possible trade of the pick, ESPN's Ed Werder suggests.
Teams expect Texans to trade down, maybe to Falcons at 6. @SeniorBowlPhil says rookie pay scale makes taking Clowney, then trading tough.
The Atlanta Falcons are no strangers to moving up in the draft. They've made bold moves up in the first round for Julio Jones and Desmond Trufant the past two seasons, and sliding up from the No. 6 pick to the top spot for Clowney would fit that same pattern.
The Falcons need pass-rush help, and even with talk of them transitioning to more 3-4 fronts under Mike Nolan, Clowney would be a great fit as a multiple-technique defender.
- Anwar S. Richardson at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
Before the NFL draft on May 8-10, we'll be looking at all the key prospects and also breaking them down by position. In our "Draft Needs" series we will also examine which teams will be in the market at each position, looking to fill their remaining roster holes.
New Orleans Saints: Despite signing future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey, the Saints still need a solid second option to compete for the other slot. Bailey signed a two-year deal, which indicates the Saints view him as a short-term solution. New Orleans signed standout safety Jairus Byrd in free agency to improve defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s impressive defense.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
Bernie Kosar was removed from the Cleveland Browns' preseason broadcast and he's hitting the NFL and Browns where it hurts most: Claiming the team did so because of his slurred speech caused by concussions.
Concussions and the treatment of former players with health issues are two of the most controversial issues the NFL deals with, and Kosar checked off both boxes with his claim.
Here was Kosar's statement, via the Akron Beacon-Journal:
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
One of the best all-around athletes ever to play in the NFL might be more than 16 years removed from his final NFL career, but Herschel Walker believes he still could play in the league right now.
Walker turned 52 years old in March.
“I can play in the NFL today,” Walker told USA Today. “I couldn’t take every snap. But running backs nowadays don’t play every down. Now they send in the choir section.
“Physically, I can still do it.”
We want what Herschel is having!
Walker's last game in the NFL was in the Dallas Cowboys' season-ending loss to the New York Giants in 1997. He returned two kickoffs that day for 36 yards and caught two passes for 16 more. Walker wasn't handed the ball.
Every few years, Walker makes some noise about coming back into the league, as he did in 2011 while promoting a UFC fight. He was a spry 48 at the time.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
Most of us don't think about the gymnastics that go into making the NFL schedule. We just complain that the league will never announce the exact date when it will be announced, then enjoy fantasizing about the matchups once it's released, while finding where our favorite team was slighted.
Peter King of MMQB.com had a great look at how complicated it is to put together the schedule, and it included a few very interesting tidbits, including King speculating that the league made Packers at Seahawks the Thursday night season opener because it was worried that Broncos-Seahawks would be a repeat of the 43-8 blowout in Super Bowl XLVIII.
"The league obviously thought a Denver-Seattle opener was risky—based on the outcome of the Super Bowl. Those are my words, not theirs," King wrote.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
Weston Richburg drove his old Chevy truck recently from Mesa, Arizona, where he was training, to the Arizona Cardinals facility for a visit with the team. Then he drove home, 10 hours straight to Bushland, Texas — population 130 — where he grew up. There isn’t too much in the way of frills when it comes to Richburg, the blue-collar Colorado State center who just might be the best at his position heading into the draft.
After playing well at the Senior Bowl and testing well at both the NFL combine and his pro day, Richburg has proven that he deserves a chance to play with the big boys. Not long ago, almost no one thought that was possible. He was a fringe college prospect who had to beg college teams to come look at him, and the Rams’ coaches took a leap of faith on a 240-pound offensive linemen who had missed two high school seasons with a torn ACL.
- Anwar S. Richardson at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
The NFL has a lot of television network partners to keep happy, and that job got more difficult when CBS was given a package of Thursday night games this season.
The league for years used "Monday Night Football" to show its highlight game each week, but when NBC landed "Sunday Night Football" and ESPN went to Monday night, the league puts its best games on Sunday night. This year NFL needs to make sure CBS and FOX were happy with their regular Sunday schedules, give CBS some good games for Thursday night, and still make "Sunday Night Football" and "Monday Night Football" must-watch events.
That's not easy.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Now that the games have been slotted into dates and the 2014 NFL schedule is set, it's time for superlatives.
What's the best game among the 256 regular-season games? What's the worst? What are the best and worst weeks of action? Who won schedule release day? Glad you asked. Here are the awards from the release of the NFL schedule on Wednesday night:
Best game: With all due respect to Seattle and San Francisco, we're not getting too many more Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning games, and there's one scheduled for Foxborough on Nov. 2. And it's not just the novelty of the two greatest quarterbacks of their generation facing off again; their teams might be the two best in the AFC. That was the case last season, and then the Broncos went on an offseason shopping spree and the Patriots added the best player to switch teams this offseason, cornerback Darrelle Revis. The regular-season game last year between the two teams was entertaining. This one should be too.
- Anwar S. Richardson at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
"Thursday Night Football" has traditionally been similar to holding out a cup of water for a marathon runner – they are desperate for anything to quench their thirst.
The NFL knows its fans are desperate for football, and mediocre primetime matchups were traditionally scheduled on Thursday night. It is usually the one time of year struggling teams like Jacksonville, Buffalo, Oakland and St. Louis can enjoy the national spotlight. The league must have figured it's football, and you're going to watch no matter who is playing.
However, that changed a bit this year after the NFL partnered with CBS to produce and televise seven games on Thursdays over the first half of the season. The NFL Network, which will simulcast the CBS Thursday games, will have seven late-season Thursday games all to itself. Also, two late-season games take place on Saturday, and this year’s schedule is banking on division rivalries to add more spice to the lineup.