- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson knows what it is like to be the butt of jokes.
Burleson is the guy who attempted to save a falling pizza while driving in September. As a result of that irrational move, Burleson crashed his car and broke an arm. He even received a year supply of free pizza from DiGiorno to avoid another accident.
Nevertheless, this might be a new low for Burleson and his team.
Detroit’s inconsistent season continued yesterday with a 34-20 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles. Instead of pulling away in the NFC North race, Detroit (7-6) was defeated in another key game and is fighting to make the playoffs. The Lions seemingly cannot win big games, which left the majority of their fan base disappointed after Sunday's lackluster performance.
One person informed Burleson of Detroit’s woes on Monday, and the receiver shared his experience on Detroit Sports 105.1.
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland seemingly had one foot out the door earlier this season.
The Dolphins have advanced to the playoffs once in Ireland’s tenure (2008 season). Jonathan Martin’s harassment allegations against Richie Incognito occurred under Ireland’s watch. Miami hit another low during a loss against Tampa Bay, which was one of the league’s worst team, earlier this season.
Since that loss, Miami has won three of its last four, and Ireland’s biggest victory might be retaining his job.
According to Miami Herald reporter Armando Salguero, Ireland was recently informed by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross that his job was safe.
Here is a portion of Salguero’s story:
But I'm told Ross and Ireland have discussed the GM's status and the speculation is not accurate -- at least not right now. Obviously, there are three games remaining in the regular season and the Dolphins are neither in the playoffs nor out of the playoff hunt so no final declarations or assertions of fact can be made on the matter.
But for now, that which is being widely assumed -- that Ireland is a goner after the season -- is not correct.
Redskins looking into whether they could fire Mike Shanahan for cause and not pay him remaining $7 millionFrank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
The Washington Redskins' relationship with Mike Shanahan seemed to officially sour on Sunday, and well before the opening kickoff of a 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
ESPN.com had a curiously timed story on Sunday morning that Shanahan was ready to quit last season because of how owner Daniel Snyder gave preferential treatment to quarterback Robert Griffin III, but stuck around for another season after Griffin got hurt. Whether that story is accurate doesn't really matter. The important takeaway is someone leaked it to ESPN.
The Redskins believe that someone is Shanahan, and they aren't too pleased about it.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
If the worst-case scenario is true for Rob Gronkowski, he's not just going to miss the New England Patriots' playoff push this year, he won't be back until the stretch run next year either.
The Boston Herald reported that further tests showed Gronkowski has a torn MCL to go with the presumed torn ACL, suffered on a low hit by Browns safety T.J. Ward in Sunday's game.
ESPN speculated that injury could knock Gronkowski out as long as a full year.
ESPN doctor Michael Kaplan believes Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski will be out eight to nine months, possibly even a year.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 9, 2013
The Herald pointed out that Wes Welker suffered the same ACL/MCL combination in the final week of the 2009 season and returned for the opener the next year, so it might not take Gronkowski a full year to return. However, Gronkowski has dealt with plenty of injuries through his career, and was slow to return this season from back and forearm issues.
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
Holy smokes, San Francisco. Batkid saved the day again.
You may know him as Miles Scott, a dynamic 5-year-old boy who recently darted around San Francisco to save Gotham through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He is a leukemia patient who played hero for a day and rescued damsel in distress, freed the Giants’ mascot from the Penguin and led a rally of nearly 20,000 citizens who cheered him on at City Hall.
Batkid also has the ability to save the 49ers from a loss.
San Francisco faced the Seattle Seahawks at home on Sunday. This was a Seahawks team that recently dismantled the New Orleans Saints, 34-7, on Monday Night Football. Sure, San Francisco could have relied upon quarterback Colin Kaepernick to pull off a win.
But this was a job for the Batkid.
Scott watched Sunday's game on San Francisco's sidelines, and he saw the 49ers pull off a 19-17 victory. It was an important win to keep San Francisco in the NFC playoff race. The victory also kept the 49ers in contention for the NFC West title.
- Kevin Kaduk at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
Sunday's snow was a fun setting for football, but it didn't exactly ground NFL offenses. A total of 88 touchdowns were scored for a new single-day league record.
One area where it did have an impact, however, was the legs of Philadelphia Eagles kicker Alex Henery and Detroit Lions kicker David Akers. Neither kicked a single point as the two teams opted instead to try for seven two-point conversions (succeeding on three). Akers did attempt an extra point after one Lions score, but it was blocked by the Eagles in their 34-20 victory at Lincoln Financial Field.
According to Chase Stuart of Football Perspective, the scoring kick-free game marked the first time in 56 years that a NFL game was played without an extra point or field goal sailing through the uprights. It's only happened four other times since 1940, but all four of those games were shutouts.
We cover that statistical oddity and more in this week's NFL in 90 — the recap reel that brings you all of the action you might have missed on Sunday.
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- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
The Saints are truly a different team at the Superdome, almost unbeatable with the combination of Sean Payton calling plays and Drew Brees executing them.
And after Sunday, the Saints are a big step closer to ensuring a game at the Superdome on the second weekend of the NFL playoffs.
Carolina came into Sunday night's game as the upstart in the NFC South, riding an eight-game winning streak behind a tough defense and Cam Newton. The Saints tore apart that defense and made Newton a non-factor in an impressive 31-13 win.
New Orleans is now 10-3 and a game ahead of 9-4 Carolina in the NFC South. There will be a rematch in Carolina in two weeks, but the Panthers need help to win the division. If the Panthers win out, the Saints still win the tiebreaker by winning two of their last three due to a better conference record.
The Saints, who are now 7-0 at home and 3-3 on the road this season, left little doubt that they should be considered the top dog in the division.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – For a brief moment on Sunday morning in the parking lot outside MetLife Stadium, it looked as if several dozen Oakland Raiders fans were in the process of "Tebowing." It turns out they were being knighted.
Yes, you read that right.
The Raiders may have lost on Sunday to the New York Jets 37-27, but one thing that the faithful of the "Silver & Black" do well is represent. Raiders faithful travel in large numbers and the tailgate scene prior to the Jets game showed the wild costumes and outlandishness of the Oakland fans. Masks, painted faces and spikes coming out of weird places were the norm.
One especially rabid fan flew from England to New York City on Friday afternoon to catch the game and then will leave on a trans-Atlantic flight on Monday morning. His name is Keith Smith, and the rather gentile Londoner transforms himself into the "Crusader Raider" on Sundays. He has a passion for the NFL that was spawned in the late 1970s and has grown since.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
The Patriots can't really complain much about the officials anymore this season.
New England was ticked about a non-call on Luke Kuechly on the last play of Carolina's victory a few weeks ago. The Patriots got away with a clear holding on their game-winning touchdown against New Orleans early in the season, but they did have a point with the non-call on the Panthers.
But now, it has more than evened out.
For some reason, the officials at the end of the Browns-Patriots game decided to give New England the win. That's effectively what happened when they decided to call a pass interference on Browns cornerback Leon McFadden, even though McFadden didn't do anything to Patriots receiver Josh Boyce to deserve a penalty.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
1. Can't keep up with Jones This time, there was no Mike Tomlin to create controversy. In the middle of an insane finish of the game, the Baltimore Ravens’ Jacoby Jones took a short kickoff return down the left sideline, just like on Thanksgiving, but there was no controversy or impediment this time as Jones blazed 77 yards for the score.
2. Brown's near-miracle play This was as close to the Stanford-Cal (“The band is on the field!”) finish as we have seen in the NFL recently. The Pittsburgh Steelers trailed the Miami Dolphins 34-28 with 2 seconds remaining, and Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball to Emmanuel Sanders on a play that would end up touching four other players' hands. Sanders lateraled to Jerricho Cotchery, who quickly pitched it back to Le’Veon Bell. From there, Bell tossed it to Marcus Gilbert, who threw it back to Roethlisberger. It was close, but he lateraled it to Antonio Brown, and Brown appeared to make an insane, game-winning score after avoiding four defenders and running 68 yards to the end zone. The only problem? Brown’s foot barely stepped out of bounds en route.