- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner25 mins ago
Trailing the Patriots 27-9 in New England and in desperate need of a momentum-shifting play on a fourth-and-10 early in the fourth quarter, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford tucked the ball and scrambled down the field.
With a surefire shot to move the chains in front of him, Stafford opted instead to avoid contact and slide a yard shy of the first down. The Patriots took over on downs and ate another four minutes off the clock, effectively sealing a 34-9 blowout.
It was an appropriate exclamation point on Stafford’s afternoon. With all those weapons around him in Detroit, the former first-round pick completed just 18-of-46 attempts for 264 yards and zero touchdowns against one interception.
The Lions drove inside New England’s 40-yard line on six occasions, including one march to the 2 that stalled when Stafford missed tight end Christian Fauria in the end zone. In those six trips, Detroit connected on three field goals, missed another and punted once before Stafford’s scramble punctuated a frustrating afternoon.
The loss drops the Lions (7-4) a game behind the Green Bay Packers (8-3) in the NFC North with a division game against the Chicago Bears (5-6) just four days away.Sun, Nov 23Detroit9 - 34New EnglandGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner41 mins ago
NFL owners can do pretty much whatever they want. Transitively, they can go almost anywhere they want. They own the team, right?
That said, it's unusual to see an NFL team's owner at the postgame news conference of his head coach, and the Atlanta Falcons' Mike Smith can't feel too comfy seeing Arthur Blank pulling up a chair for his chat after the Falcons blew a final-minute lead in a 26-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Arthur Blank grabbing his front row seat for the Mike Smith post game pic.twitter.com/01hWEi27Kd
When the Falcons took a 24-23 lead with 44 seconds left, an animated Blank was seen cheering on the sideline. When Brian Hoyer led the Browns down the field 61 yards on seven plays for the game-winning drive, Blank hung his head down as he walked into the tunnel.
And he apparently made a bee-line to the media conference room, awaiting Smith's explanation of the Falcons' seventh loss in 11 games.Sun, Nov 23Cleveland26 - 24AtlantaGame Recap
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
T.Y. Hilton's wife Shantrell gave birth to the couple's baby on Sunday morning, and a few hours later the Indianapolis Colts wide receiver delivered on the first promise he made to his newborn daughter.
Hilton's agent Erik Burkhardt broke the news on Twitter, assuring fantasy owners the star wideout would be in the lineup against the Jacksonville Jaguars with the pledge, "It's the right thing to do to get her a TD."
CONGRATS to my man @TYHilton13 and his wife Shantrell on the birth of their beautiful baby girl this morning!!! 👶
For all fantasy footballers: Yes, @TYHilton13 will make it to the stadium by kickoff & told me "it's the right thing to do to get her a TD"
Sure enough, Hilton scored on a 73-yard connection from Andrew Luck that gave the Colts a 20-3 lead in the third quarter, and the 25-year-old celebrated appropriately, cradling the ball like a baby in the end zone.Sun, Nov 23Jacksonville3 - 23IndianapolisGame Recap
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Jonas Gray's week: One Sports Illustrated cover, one AFC offensive player of the week award and zero playing time.
Gray, last weekend's NFL star, found out that there's no credit given for great games under Bill Belichick. Everyone is eligible to get in the doghouse.
Gray had 201 yards and four touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday. He was a no-name, undrafted player who had an enormous game for the Patriots and was such a great story that he landed on the cover of SI. That turned out to be the kiss of death.
Gray was late to the Patriots' facility on Friday. He was sent home, which is Belichick's rule (star cornerback Darrelle Revis got the same treatment earlier this season). He was told he wouldn't start. And by kickoff Sunday, he had a prime seat next to Belichick on the sideline.
Shane Vereen played. LeGarrette Blount, who was cut by the Steelers after a tantrum about playing time and signed by New England during the week, played and got a pair of touchdowns. Brandon Bolden, who hadn't gotten a carry since Oct. 12, played.
And as the Patriots built up a big lead going into the fourth quarter, Gray didn't get on the field.
- Kevin Kaduk at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Vivian Brady might still be a little young to hobknob regularly at Gillette Stadium, but nothing will stop her from watching her daddy play football on Sundays. To wit: This heart-melting picture of young Vivian watching Tom Brady take apart the Detroit Lions. It was posted on Instagram by Brady's supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen and presumably liked by every person who saw it in their feed.
Vivian, who apparently likes to enjoy a bottle with her pigskin, is the youngest of Brady's three children and will celebrate her second birthday on December 5.
Check out some more pictures of Tom and Gisele with their adorable family.
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Six days after walking off LP Field early in Pittsburgh's 27-24 road victory against the Tennessee Titans on Monday night, erstwhile Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount trotted into the Gillette Stadium end zone as a member of the Patriots, giving New England an early lead against the visiting Detroit Lions.
Upset about not receiving a touch for the Steelers, who understandably let Le'Veon Bell rush for 204 yards on 33 carries last week, Blount reportedly headed to the locker room prior to the final whistle on Monday, and Pittsburgh cut the mercurial running back after a series of disruptive decisions throughout the year.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Aaron Rodgers has more touchdowns than we can count, but none as open as his second-quarter pass in Sunday's 24-21 victory against the Minnesota Vikings.
It was a surprise Green Bay Packers tight end Richard Rodgers didn't fair catch it. Nobody was within 20 yards of him, something you don't see often on the goal line.
Holy blown coverage.
Richard Rodgers, a rookie out of Cal, had never caught an NFL touchdown before that play. Just imagine the thoughts going through his mind as Aaron Rodgers made a tremendous play to not only find the tight end wide open but make a throw that was a ton more difficult than it looked. Richard Rodgers was in the corner of the end zone, nobody around him, and either he was going to get his first professional touchdown or have the worst drop of the season. No pressure.Sun, Nov 23Green Bay24 - 21MinnesotaGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
There was a time when comparing a football game to a NASCAR race meant you were impressed by the speed of the wide receivers or perhaps the ability of a running back to trade a little paint with defenders. No more. In these days of NASCAR-as-Ultimate-Fighting, a far different reference is at play, as we saw on Sunday in the Titans-Eagles game:
The reference, of course, is to NASCAR's just-completed season, which saw several postrace fisticuffs, including this:
And also this:
The fighting's all fine and good, but we want to see an NFL player do a smoking burnout on turf after scoring a touchdown. That'd be impressive.
And keep up with Jay over on Facebook, too.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
ATLANTA – Prior to their game against the Atlanta Falcons, several Cleveland Browns players were loosening up with athletic feats that would have the rest of us bedridden for a week. Johnny Manziel stood in one end zone firing sidearm fastballs 20 yards downfield, and then there was this:
Sweet mercy. That's apparently cornerback Joe Haden, who said earlier this week that he wouldn't be surprised if newly returned teammate Josh Gordon dropped 250 yards on the Falcons. That may not happen, but Gordon will have to be spectacular to top that pregame effort.
And keep up with Jay over on Facebook, too.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
The Philadelphia Eagles continue to find ways to score without the use of their offense.
Rookie kickoff returner Josh Huff took the opening kick against the Tennessee Titans back 107 yards for a score, making it 7-zip Eagles a mere 13 seconds into the game.
It was Huff's first NFL touchdown and the longest score in franchise history.
That was the team's 10th non-offensive touchdown of the season. To that point, they have scored only seven on the ground, by comparison.
Huff had a clean lane, thanks to a nice seal block by James Casey, and then Huff outran kicker Ryan Succop and Titans defensive back Brandon Ghee before he crossed the goal line and faked the celebration spike.
- - - - - - -Sun, Nov 23Tennessee24 - 43PhiladelphiaGame Recap