- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Every week, we try to project what the playoff bracket will look like in January. To sift through who is for real and will make a postseason push, and who will fade out of the playoff picture down the stretch. It's important to note this is our ever-changing prediction of how we think things will play out and not necessarily a current plugging-in of teams with the corresponding records.
Think of it as "bracketology" for the pigskin set.
Why do you think the Patriots can hold on to a bye without Rob Gronkowski?
New England was 5-1 before Gronkowski played his first game this season. The wins were not pretty, but Tom Brady found a way to get the job done. You can also never doubt Patriots coach Bill Belichick. New England has 10 regular season wins for the 11 th consecutive season, and only the San Francisco 49ers (16 winning seasons between 1983 and 1998) have a longer streak of success. New England’s remaining games are against Miami, Baltimore and Buffalo, which are winnable.
Did Seattle show any flaws in its loss at San Francisco?
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Nobody should be surprised that the Miami Dolphins reportedly plan to trade offensive tackle Jonathan Martin this offseason.
It also would be no surprise if Richie Incognito never played for the Dolphins again.
Really, that's seems to be the only way this saga can play out. Even if you believe if Martin is the victim of constant harassment in the Dolphins' locker room, it would be uncomfortable and a major distraction if he returned next season. It would be an even bigger circus if Incognito returned to the Dolphins this season with the team in the playoff hunt.
The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero reported that both men won't play again for the Dolphins. On Martin, who is on the non-football injury list and not eligible to return this season, Salguero reported he'll be traded:
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Here at Shutdown Corner, we want to help. So once a week, we'll go in and examine a team coming off a bad week, bad month, maybe a bad decade (you're in luck, Cleveland), and see what fixes can be made to turn around the season. So step aside, we've got this. Next under the microscope: The Dallas Cowboys.
Where they stand: 7-6, second place in the NFC East, two games out of the NFC wild card.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
The San Francisco 49ers haven't even closed down Candlestick Park, but they are adding marquee events to their new stadium.
Super Bowl L will be at Levi's Stadium. And WrestleMania 31, on March 29, 2015, will be coming to the Bay Area too. That was announced this week at a press conference.
Count 49ers tight end Vernon Davis among those excited for the WWE to come to town.
Davis represented the 49ers at the WrestleMania press conference. He wondered where his theme music was, name dropped WWE stars Sheamus and Booker T. And he had an offer for WWE head Vince McMahon.
"If he needs a bodyguard, he can call me," Davis said.
Come to think of it, Davis would make a pretty good wrestler when he's done with the NFL. He already has the physical freak aspect of it down.
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is not the person you want to challenge on the football field.
Challenging Kuechly to a dance off?
Let the laughter begin.
Kuechly participated in an NFL Play 60 event at Springfield Elementary on Tuesday. According to FortMillTime.com, Springfield Elementary was one of 34 schools across the nation named a Super School this year. The NFL’s Play 60 program is designed to encourage healthy living and playing at least 60 minutes every day. Several members of the Panthers, including Kuechly, attended the pep rally.
Somebody thought it would be a great idea if Kuechly battled 1st grade teacher Nikki Letterhossin a dance off during the event. Kuechly is one of the NFL’s best linebackers, and that should translate on the dance floor, right?
Dolphins defensive lineman Randy Starks not happy to get grabbed in the privates on fumble recovery (Video)Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
A lot happens at the bottom of the pile in a NFL game, but that doesn't excuse everything.
Steelers center Cody Wallace crossed a line on Sunday. When Dolphins defensive lineman Randy Starks was on the ground recovering a fumble in the second quarter – which isn't good for Pittsburgh but shouldn't cause anyone to retaliate, considering it's part of Starks' job – Wallace reacted by jamming his left hand into Starks' crotch.
You can see it in the video above, and also see Starks understandably react angrily after it happens.
Starks told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he wants to see Wallace fined for his actions.
“I’ve heard of stuff like that happening. This is the first time it has happened to me,” Starks, who is in his 10th season, told the Sun-Sentinel. “If I knew exactly who that was at the time I probably would have been thrown out [the game]. It’s a good thing I didn’t.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
The Washington Redskins lead the league in drama over the past couple weeks, and Mike Shanahan will invite in some more in the form of a controversial quarterback move.
Kirk Cousins will start over Robert Griffin III at quarterback. The Washington Post said the plan to start Cousins was "tentative." Fox Sports reported that Griffin had a chance to state his case and change Shanahan's mind. Because, sure. Only with the Redskins.
Shanahan brought up the possibility on Monday when asked, and said if Griffin were to sit down it would be for health reasons. He has taken a lot of hits in the past few weeks, and Shanahan said he wanted to make sure Griffin gets through the season healthy so he has a full offseason to work on his game. Shanahan had said if Cousins starts this week, then Griffin would be shut down for the rest of the season.
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- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
Archie Manning is like most parents who feel the need to defend their children. Even if their child has done something wrong, many parents will not publicly agree to the allegation. Maybe behind closed doors, but not to people they barely know.
That is why Manning’s defense of his son, Eli, should not come as a surprise.
The well-known father was asked about Eli’s struggles this season on Tuesday. Of course, he did not think Eli should be blamed for New York’s disappointing season.
“That’s one of the problems we have in analyzing football now,” Manning told the Daily News. “We kind of put the quarterback in an individual thing. When Eli led the Giants to championships here, it’s because they had a good team and they ran the ball. They balanced the offense. They got after the quarterback. For various reasons, the Giants haven’t been able to do that this year. And Eli’s done his part — he hasn’t played as good, but the Giants haven’t played as good. I don’t individualize a quarterback.”
- Kevin Kaduk at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
Former San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman left ESPN's Bomani Jones and Dan LeBatard in the lurch on Tuesday when he stood up and abruptly left an interview during the network's "Highly Questionable" program.
As Jones and LeBatard's shocked faces might suggest, the impetus for Merriman's sudden departure is hard to pinpoint. Merriman was appearing on the program to promote his charity's 11th annual coat drive and the two hosts were interviewing Merriman about his childhood, which included battles with homelessness.
According to The Lights On Foundation's web page, Merriman was "the victim of two house fires (as a child), and he was left homeless as a result of these incidents." Jones and LeBatard were asking Merriman for more details about one of the fires when Merriman stood up from his chair, took out his earpiece and left the set after saying thank you.
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson has a holiday tradition that beats going in debt, purchasing items for people who do not appreciate the gesture, or feeling guilty because you do not have enough money to purchase elaborate gifts.
For the seventh consecutive year, Johnson held his annual Toys “R” Us shopping spree for 12 at-risk children in Houston. They were given 80 seconds (Johnson wears No.80) to grab as many toys as possible.
Oh, but Johnson did not make the kids wait for a clerk to unlock that glass retail display case with those expensive gaming systems.
Instead, Johnson gave each child an Xbox 360 with two games.
What was the grand total for Johnson’s shopping spree?
Talk about cash back reward benefits.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) December 10, 2013