- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner6 hrs ago
We're down to three undefeated teams after just three weeks. And the three undefeateds are far from flawless.
The Bengals are the best of the group. Their offense has been diverse, especially with quarterback Andy Dalton playing well and running back Giovani Bernard emerging as a star. They're an impressive 3-0, yet you're forgiven if you have some reservations about completely buying in. You remember the playoffs the last three years.
Then there are the Cardinals and Eagles.
The Cardinals have a great coaching staff led by Bruce Arians. That's the best way to explain them overcoming their massive defensive personnel losses and winning despite having to go with Drew Stanton at quarterback. Their schemes on both sides are covering up some issues. It's hard to imagine the Cardinals being a Super Bowl contender with Stanton at quarterback (or, let'e be honest, with Carson Palmer at quarterback) but 3-0 is a great start nonetheless.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner6 hrs ago
The New York Jets can — and likely should — be upset about two bad calls that went against them Monday night. But they also can point to some pretty clear self-inflicted mistakes that led to a 27-19 Chicago Bears victory.
Jets quarterback Geno Smith had some strong moments, finishing with 316 passing yards (second most in his career), but was guilty of his poorest play at the worst times — most often when the Jets were deep in Bears territory, but also once in his own zone early in the game.
Smith wanted to find Chris Johnson on a screen on the Jets’ first possession, and he should have grounded the ball when the Bears’ defense had foiled the play. Instead, Smith forced an awful interception that was run back by Bears safety Ryan Mundy 45 yards for a touchdown 30 seconds into the game.Mon, Sep 22Chicago27 - 19NY JetsGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
A woman speaking to a 911 operator alleged that former Titans kicker Rob Bironas tried to run her off the road immediately prior to the wreck that claimed his life.
Bironas died late Saturday night when his white 2009 GMC Yukon Denali left the road and hit trees before coming to rest upside-down.
An observer at the scene called 911 just after 11 p.m., and soon afterward a woman who had been driving near Bironas got on the line.
"He tried to run my husband and I off the road," the woman said. "He gave us this freaky look and then he just sped on past us ... We let him go on past us and then we saw all this smoke ... He gave us this mean look. We don't even know him and he tried to run us off the road."
The full 911 call is below:
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
The NFL's current problems are pervasive and persistent, an ugly stain on a much-beloved game. So let's take a moment away from that messiness and enjoy this particular bit of football hilarity.
Behold the Wallkill (N.Y.) Mighty Mites, a football team made up of devoted, if a touch confused, six- and seven-year-olds. The lads were fired up for their game this weekend, and were going to run through a banner big-time football style, and, well ... you can see the results above. Memo to the mothers: bust-through signs generally aren't made of vinyl, and they're not taped together tightly enough to double as a hammock.
Best part is how each of the kids piles into the one in front of him, even the ones that in theory have enough time to see what's happening ahead of them. It's a hysterical and ridiculous display, and it's pretty much perfect all the way around.
Plus, you've got to admit — these kids are still more graceful than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
All of the parties involved in the Ray Rice elevator-assault scandal are being called to account for their actions, or inactions, and the Baltimore Ravens, Rice's now-former team, are now in the spotlight. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti held a news conference on Monday breaking down the organization's role in Rice's punishment.
Bisciotti acknowledged the organization could have acted sooner in cutting Rice from the team. But he contended that the Ravens were the victim of unfair and inaccurate media reports and had expected the NFL to act before doing so themselves.
"It was 'better late than never' when we made the decision to cut Ray," Bisciotti said. "And I stand by that."
Rice was initially suspended two games this summer for a February incident in which he struck his then-fiancee Janay Palmer and knocked her unconscious. Videotape of the actual strike surfaced two weeks ago, and the Ravens immediately cut Rice. Soon afterward, the NFL suspended him for an "indefinite" period of time. Rice has appealed that suspension.Sun, Sep 21Baltimore23 - 21ClevelandGame Recap
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
While NFL commissioner Roger Goodell maintains the league never had access to video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then- fiancée Janay Palmer inside an Atlantic City elevator, a slew of reports in recent days seem to suggest it would have been awfully easy for the NFL's security to get its hands on a copy before TMZ released the footage earlier this month.
After all, players were sharing the video soon after Rice's February arrest on domestic violence charges, Adam Schefter told ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" on Monday morning.
"There were players who were in Las Vegas a week or two after this incident and I know one player said, 'You want to see the videotape of what happened?' So there were players who could see the videotape, yet the Ravens, many of the Ravens, claim they couldn't see it."
Asked specifically about whether players had indeed seen the second TMZ video, showing Rice punch Palmer inside the elevator — and not the earlier tape depicting Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer from the elevator — Schefter confirmed to Mike Golic, "The second video, yeah."
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
How do you know when it's going bad for a team? When the opponent screws up — badly, in fact — and still makes a massive play against you.
That was the case for the San Francisco 49ers, whose second-half woes reached epidemic status, on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
At a crucial point in Sunday's 23-14 Cardinals victory, the 49ers lined up for a 45-yard field-goal attempt that shouldn't have been that long in the first place. Two avoidable penalties (and in the case of Anquan Boldin's 15-yard headbutt, a really dumb one) knocked the Niners back from the 6-yard line to the 28.
But no matter: Phil Dawson is a pro's pro and should make that kick, right? Oof.
The Cardinals' block team lined up and there was one problem ... or two. They had only nine (NINE!) guys on the field to do so.
Check it out here:Sun, Sep 21San Francisco14 - 23ArizonaGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
Add John Oliver to the ever-growing chorus of mainstream-media outlets laughing at, not with, the NFL. John Oliver's HBO show "Last Week Tonight" took on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's already-infamous Friday afternoon press conference. All but the most diehard NFL apologists found the press conference long on bloviating and short on substance, and Oliver zoomed right in on the prevalence of word-like product being spewed forth.
Plus, there's the thorny matter of possibly, you know, lying. "You know that things are not going well when you lose the moral high ground to a TMZ reporter," Oliver said. He also praised the players who live-tweeted the press conference, particularly Sidney Rice's ghost-emoji'd "Boo this man."
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
By the time Week Three rolls around, we can start to see the outlines of how a season's going to go. The Carolina Panthers may not be who we thought they were. The Pittsburgh Steelers, as it turns out, may be a whole lot more.
The Steelers beat the Panthers in a game that wasn't even that close. Pittsburgh threw around Carolina like sacks of dog food on both sides of the ball. Pittsburgh's well-coached, well-managed, well-played game handed Carolina its first home loss since Week One of 2013.
A dull exhibition of field goals — four in the first half, three by Pittsburgh — exploded into an exceptional offensive display by the Steelers, starting with a dropped-from-the-sky touchdown from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown. Following a monstrous 81-yard run by Le'Veon Bell, Roethlisberger again connected with Brown, putting the Steelers up 23-6 and effectively ending Carolina's last chance at a victory.Sun, Sep 21Pittsburgh37 - 19CarolinaGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
The Eagles are 3-0, one of the few undefeated teams left in the NFL. You'd think all would be harmony and happiness in the locker room. And then you'd remember this is Philadelphia we're talking about, where nobody ever takes the easy path when there's a more prickly one to travel.
Cornerback Cary Williams heralded the end of a triumphant, hard-won victory not by taking pride in the team, but by griping about practice.
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"I'm burnt out. Burnt out. I'm not the only guy that feels burnt out," Williams said. "I'm just a guy that's man enough to stand up for players and just say that we're burnt out. My legs hurt. My legs were done in the fourth quarter. My legs were done in the third quarter. My legs were done before the game started."
Granted, the Eagles were playing a short week, having beaten Indianapolis on Monday Night Football six days before. But even so, Williams said that the absence of an off day hurt him and the team.