- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner13 mins ago
St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher seems tired of losing — and more tired of media members questioning his team's intensity.
The Rams were in contention at 4-3, riding the success of Todd Gurley, but have fallen back with four straight losses, including Sunday's 31-7 blasting by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Asked about his team's effort in the loss, Fisher unloaded.
"Anyone implies that it's an effort issue, they can kiss my ass," Fisher said. "There's no effort problems on this team. That's what happens when teams lose four in a row is people say it's effort. Come to practice, watch this team play and ask any other opponent or opposing coach. It's not an effort issue right now."
Fisher might be right, as the Rams didn't appear to quit in this one or in Week 11's loss to the Baltimore Ravens, which came down to the final play.
"It's execution," Fisher said. "It's 70 percent offense and 30 percent defense. I'll leave [special] teams out of it. Our teams always play hard."Sun, Nov 29St. Louis7 - 31CincinnatiGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner33 mins ago
A tough season for Jimmy Graham might be coming to an end.
The Seattle Seahawks tight end fell awkwardly in the end zone early in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers as Russell Wilson threw a pass his direction. The ball fell incomplete, and Graham's right knee bent under his own weight.
Graham remained down as trainers looked at his knee on the field, and he later was carted off to the locker room with an air cast on his leg.
The Seahawks quickly ruled him out with what was deemed to be a knee injury.
After coming over in a trade from the New Orleans Saints, Graham has had a relatively quiet season by his standards — with only two touchdowns and one game with more than 83 yards receiving. He had four grabs for 75 yards against the Steelers before leaving the game.
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- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Credit the Minnesota Vikings for having a clear offensive identity nearly all season. Feel free to knock them for getting away from it last week.
A week after Adrian Peterson carried the ball only seven times after the first series of the game, a 30-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings didn't forget their workhorse again. In Sunday's 20-10 road win over the Atlanta Falcons, Peterson carried the ball 29 times (matching his season high) and amassed 158 yards, rushing for both of the Vikings' touchdowns.
It had been rumored that Peterson actually met with Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer this week to express his displeasure with the limited workload against the Packers, especially in a game that was close until the latter stages.
But whatever they talked about was hashed out quickly, apparently: Zimmer called for eight Peterson runs in the first quarter alone, and he also had a pass thrown his way — a drop on which Peterson could have walked into the end zone. In the second half, Peterson totaled 17 carries and 110 yards, with his 35-yard fourth-quarter touchdown putting the game out of reach.Sun, Nov 29Minnesota20 - 10AtlantaGame Recap
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
If this were a couple of years ago, one look at the play above from the Oakland Raiders and you'd be warranted in saying, "Same old Raiders."
But while the end-of-half lateral attempt was cetrainly blooper reel-worthy, it came in an Oakland win, not an Oakland loss.
Still, it was quite the play. On second down from the Titans' 47, Derek Carr passed to Seth Roberts, who ran well inside the 20 before looping 180 degrees and starting to head back toward midfield. He threw the ball even further away from the goal line, to Amari Cooper, and Cooper lateraled to Carr, who gave himself up on Oakland's side of the field.
As commentator Trent Green said, the quarterback is the last player you want to give the ball to if you're trying to pull off a successful lateral play.
With the 24-21 victory, Oakland is 5-6 and actually in the hunt for a wildcard spot. Meanwhile, the Titans fell to 2-9 and have now lost 11 straight home games; their last home win was last Oct. 12, against the Jaguars. The league record for most consecutive home losses is 14.Sun, Nov 29Oakland24 - 21TennesseeGame Recap
Jets' Ryan Fitzpatrick recovers, while Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill continues to sputter in 38-20 New York winShalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
It seems so long ago that the Miami Dolphins held their first press conference with interim head coach Dan Campbell, as Campbell promised a culture change in Miami. The spark Miami got after firing Joe Philbin and promoting Campbell lasted for two games, but the Dolphins have been just 1-4 over their last five games after Sunday's 38-20 loss to the New York Jets.
"We got whipped the first time [Miami played the Jets]. We got whipped the second time," Campbell said.
Central to Miami's issues is the seeming regression of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill was 33 of 58 for 351 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, fine numbers at first blush. But the Dolphins were a putrid 4 of 15 on third down, starting the game 0 of 8. Tannehill was intercepted on third down on Miami's second possession, and the Jets turned the pick into their first touchdown of the day.Sun, Nov 29Miami20 - 38NY JetsGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
It sounds crazy to ask, but are you fully appreciating what J.J. Watt is doing right now?
Yes, the Houston Texans defensive end is everywhere — on the field and off — but people might not be completely aware of the kind of sack pace he's on. Following the Texans' 24-6 dismantling of the New Orleans Saints, Watt (with two more sacks on Sunday) now has 70.5 sacks in 75 career games.
Only Reggie White (57 games) has reached the 70-sack plateau faster in NFL history. Watt, 26, now ranks 79th in NFL history in sacks, which became an NFL statistic in 1982, after 75 career games. That's ahead of such active sack luminaries as Justin Tuck and Cameron Wake. Mind you: Watt is in his fifth NFL season and still going strong.
It's his fifth multi-sack game of the season, and he has 8.5 in the past five games. That means Watt is almost on pace for 20 sacks (currently at 19.6) for a third time in four seasons. There only have been 11 seasons with 20 or more sacks in NFL history, and Watt is the only one with more than one. He could have three the way he's going this season.Sun, Nov 29New Orleans6 - 24HoustonGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
The New York Giants enjoyed their two-week break, watching the rest of the NFC East hand them the division on a silver platter.
The Giants took that platter — like a drunk, unwanted Thanksgiving guest — and dropped it down a flight of stairs.
Your first-place Washington Redskins? That's the result after Sunday's Giants loss (let's be honest: that's what this was) to the Redskins, 20-14, in a game the Redskins controlled for the first 48 minutes.
Eli Manning was picked three times behind a slaughtered offensive line, fully earning his closed-captioning-gifted nickname of "Penguin Boy" in the process. He fumbled twice, was sacked three times and misfired on 25 of his 51 pass attempts.
The NFC is officially a mess. You like that?!
Yes, we had to work in a Kirk Cousins reference, and honestly after a poor start — almost getting pick-sixed — he completed 20 of 29 passes to 10 different receivers for 302 yards and a 63-yard TD bomb to DeSean Jackson, who do-si-doed along the the goal line in typically DeSean fashion.Sun, Nov 29NY Giants14 - 20WashingtonGame Recap
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
Of all the teams who wouldn't panic with a 10-point deficit, the Kansas City Chiefs might top the list.
After you've dug out of a 1-5 start to the season to become a favorite to grab for one of the AFC's two wild-card spots, something trivial like a first-half deficit isn't going to be a bother.
The Chiefs are authoring a pretty incredible story this season. Left for dead after losing five of their first six games, they have now won five in a row, have the NFL's easiest schedule the rest of the way, and scored a huge win in the AFC playoff picture by beating the Buffalo Bills 30-22 on Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs battled back after trailing 10-0 and 16-7 in the first half. The Chiefs not only took a one-game lead in the standings over the Bills, they now own the head-to-head tiebreaker too.
The Chiefs' remaining schedule is beyond friendly. Each of the Chiefs' final five opponents are below .500 this season. The toughest game they have left, by far, is at the Oakland Raiders. The Bills were the Chiefs' last big test, and they aced it.Sun, Nov 29Buffalo22 - 30Kansas CityGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
Sometimes, closed captioning is simply perfect. Earlier this year, a closed-caption text dubbedthe NBA's Nik Stauskas "Sauce Castillo," and now, we have an even better nickname: Eli Manning, "Penguin Boy."
Alas, Penguin Boy was not able to rally the Giants over the Redskins, falling 20-14 in a key divisional matchup despite another Hall of Fame-level catch by Odell Beckham Jr.
Yes, Eli Manning has two Super Bowls. Yes, he is legitimately a very good, occasionally great quarterback. But, now and forevermore, he is Penguin Boy. So let it be written, so let it be done.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
If you're Eli Manning and you're having a miserable day, there's only one solution.
Throw it up to Odell Beckham Jr.
Anywhere on the field. Somewhere in his zip code. Chances are, he'll make the grab.
This one from Sunday against the Washington Redskins might not be that made Beckham an international superstar. But it's darned close.
Check out Beckham going horizontal and making a diving, left-handed grab in the end zone to help bring the New York Giants back in a game they trailed throughout.
How many players in the league can make this play? Two? Three? Maybe?
It required him to (1) burn the corner, (2) time up his dive, (3) catch the ball with his off hand, (4) not let it hit the ground and (5) stay inbounds.
The catch against the Dallas Cowboys in 2014 still reigns as Beckham's best to date, but Sunday's grab is no slouch at all.
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