- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Running back Arian Foster has done everything else for the Houston Texans' offense this year, so why not ask him to throw a touchdown pass?
Foster, who has more than 1,000 yards rushing this season, the fourth time he has reached that mark, had never thrown an NFL pass in his career. His first one was right on the money.
Foster ran to his right, drew the Baltimore Ravens defense in, and lofted a pass to C.J. Fiedorowicz in the end zone for the score. Foster had his first career passing touchdown, and the rookie Fiedorowicz had his first NFL touchdown catch. That gave Houston a surprising 16-0 lead.
Considering that the Texans have gone through four quarterbacks this season, maybe they can do worse than have Foster keep throwing it every now and then.
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- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
You know, there are people involved in the NFL who use their vast powers and resources for good. Here's one of those stories. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer connected the Oakland Raiders with the family of 4-year-old Ava Urerra of Las Vegas. Ava has a heart condition that Glazer says is like having "half a heart." The result was magnificent.
The Raiders offered young Ava, who has undergone 14 different procedures on her heart, the opportunity to "captain" the team, and gave her signed gear and toys throughout a visit with the team. Offensive lineman Menelik Watson, so touched by Ava's condition, donated his entire game check, $18,000, to help with the expenses of Ava's family.
"Sir, I would like to make sure Ava has the greatest holiday," Watson told Ava's father, according to Glazer. "Here is my game check."
It's not a small gesture, particularly from a second-year player who's in a profession whose careers can be measured in just a handful of years. NFL players are paid in 17 installments over the course of the year, not 52, so Watson just donated almost 6 percent of his entire salary. Great gestures all the way around.Sun, Dec 211:25 PM PSTBuffalo at OaklandPreview Game
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
By all accounts, New Yorkers only filled half of MetLife Stadium for Sunday's tilt against the New England Patriots, but the Jets probably would have preferred one fan who did show up had stayed home.
Probably not too pleased with his last-place team's 3-11 record this season, a Jets fan wore a jersey with the phrase "Dying Inside" written on the back — naturally above the No. 69 to keep it ultra classy.Sun, Dec 21New England17 - 16NY JetsGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Johnny Manziel's second NFL start hasn't gone a lot better than his first.
Manziel was crushed on a quarterback sweep late in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers by Luke Kuechly and Colin Jones and was knocked out of the game after a 1-yard loss.
Brian Hoyer replaced Manziel at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns.
Manziel had a towel hung over his head as he went into the locker room. He was listed as questionable to return with a hamstring injury.
QB Johnny Manziel (hamstring) questionable to return.
Before he left, Manziel completed 3-of-8 passes for 32 yards and ran twice for 3 yards.
Hoyer started the second half at quarterback, with Manziel on the sideline.
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- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
It might be a small miracle that Cam Newton is playing Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
It also might be a miracle that he's alive.
Newton is less than two weeks removed from a frightening car crash that caused him to miss last week's game after he suffered a tranverse process injury in his back.
It could have been a lot worse. Newton appeared to acknowledge that fact as he took the field against the Browns.
12 days after car accident, Cam Newton broke huddle on 1st play today, walked up to line of scrimmage and did this: pic.twitter.com/Orac0OhBut
Now, Newton apparently does this before every game. But you'd have to think Sunday's prayer might have had a little additional meaning.
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- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
This has been the season of protest in the NFL, with playersexpressing support for the protesters in Ferguson, Mo.; frustration with the death by asphyxiation of Eric Garner in New York; and acall for justice in the deaths of two Ohio individuals at the hands of police. On the morning aftertwo police officers were gunned down while in their police car in Brooklyn, Nick Mangold of the New York Jets offered his own support, wearing an NYPD hat.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray is expected to play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, per ESPN's Ed Werder, doing so with a surgically repaired bone in his left hand.
It is about functional ability, pain tolerance. Just informed DeMarco Murray has told friends and family he's definitely playing vs. #Colts
For former major-league baseball pitcher Jim Abbott, that's good enough for him. After all, Abbott made a career out of pitching with one good hand.
Starting DeMarco Murray today in FF football, this hand thing shouldn't be too much of a problem.
How great is this? Abbott was a hero in his generation, born without a right hand but able to win 87 games in the major leagues over 10 season and finish in the top five in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1989 and the Cy Young race in 1991.Sun, Dec 211:25 PM PSTIndianapolis at DallasPreview Game
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – What started off with a bang six years ago, with promises Super Bowl trips, might soon come to an end with a whimper for New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
With a 3-11 team that could cost him his job, Ryan is left to play out the string of a sad season.
But before Ryan faces his likely departure from his first job as an NFL head coach, he must face off against nemesis Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Ryan, who got the second win of his Jets career in 2009 against the Patriots, had some memorable moments squaring off against the divisional rivals. He has also had some famous words for Belichick, the coach who has bested him more times than anyone else over the past six years.
In the summer of 2009 just months after he was hired, Ryan famously declared on New York sports radio station WFAN that "I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick's, you know, rings. I came to win – let's just put it that way. So we'll see what happens; I'm certainly not intimidated by New England or anybody else.”
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
The San Diego Chargers gave the San Francisco 49ers every chance to win their game Saturday night. Practically begged them to.
In front of a sparse Levi's Stadium crowd that was apathetic about the playoff-denied 49ers, the Chargers — their playoff hopes already slim, and in dire need of a win — spotted the Niners a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter and then gifted the 49ers a touchdown right before the half to make it a 28-7 deficit for the Chargers.
Philip Rivers, essentially duct-taped together at this point, threw two picks in the first half, one of which was run back for a touchdown, and a third horrible interception at the end of the third quarter that killed a potentially good drive when the Chargers were down two scores.
But somehow Rivers and these not-dead-yet Chargers — who started the season 5-1, still looked solid at 8-4 but would have been in deep trouble with a loss to the 49ers — found a way. They forced overtime and eventually won it, 38-35, in the most thrilling prime-time game of the NFL season.Sat, Dec 20San Diego38 - 35San FranciscoGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
Frank Gore might be entering the final four quarters of his San Francisco 49ers career. As a pending free agent, and with the 49ers perhaps heading in another direction next season, it could be the end of an era.
The former third-round pick has been nothing short of a warrior for the franchise.
Gore can move into the NFL's top 20 all time for rushing next week, passing Warrick Dunn, if he can gain 39 yards in Week 17 against the Arizona Cardinals. And with 38 yards, he can become only the ninth back in NFL history with eight 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
It hasn't been the easiest season for Gore or for the 49ers, who have been eliminated from the postseason in the wake of injuries, Colin Kaepernick's struggles and the Jim Harbaugh nonsense.
But Gore ran like gangbusters, like none of that mattered, giving the same incredible effort Saturday night in a 38-35 overtime loss to the San Diego Chargers as he did when he broke into the league 10 seasons ago.