- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner46 mins ago
PHOENIX – By now the new developments in deflate-gate won't matter much in the court of public opinion. People have made up their minds.
But in case details matter to you, there's a new report that would significantly change what we think of the controversy involving the New England Patriots' deflated footballs in the AFC championship game.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said only one of the Patriots' 12 game footballs was two pounds under the minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch (PSI). The report said 11 were under 12.5 PSI but many were " just a few ticks under the minimum."Sun, Feb 13:30 PM PSTNew England at SeattlePreview Game
- Sam Cooper at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Apparently New England isn’t the only team being investigated by the NFL.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the league is looking into whether the Atlanta Falcons were piping in artificial crowd noise at the Georgia Dome for the past two seasons while the opposing team was huddling and attempting to call its play.
Additionally, Schefter is reporting that the Falcons could face a fine and “quite possibly lose a draft choice.”
A Falcons spokesman acknowledged the investigation to Schefter.
“We were informed during the season that the league office is looking into crowd noise during our games,” the spokesman said. “We have cooperated fully with them, and we’re awaiting the outcome.”
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Beast Mode is going Money Mode. Reports indicate that the Seattle Seahawks are readying a contract that could keep Marshawn Lynch in neon green for the rest of his career.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Seahawks are readying a long-term deal that could pay Lynch as much as $10 million in 2015 alone. That would double his current scheduled salary for 2015, the final year of a four-year, $31 million deal.
Lynch has been a key cog in the Seahawks' run to two consecutive Super Bowls, although concerns about age, chemistry and salary led many to speculate that the Seahawks would be severing ties with Lynch at the end of this year. The Seahawks have apparently decided that keeping Lynch in-house was a better option than the alternative.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Imagine creeping up on Tom Brady or Marshawn Lynch with your drone, getting a view of the Super Bowl no one has ever seen before. Then imagine yourself getting fined to the teeth, because that's exactly what will happenif you try to fly a drone over the Super Bowl this year.
The FAA hasestablished a series of flight rules around University of Phoenix Stadium for Sunday's game, mandating that no general aviation aircraft are permitted within 10 miles of the stadium. (Commercial flights are acceptable.) A wider ring, from 10 to 30 miles, will allow general aviation aircraft with the appropriate flight plans.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
PHOENIX – Once again, NFL MVP voters couldn't pass on voting for the best quarterback.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers won his second MVP award. It was announced on Saturday night during the "NFL Honors" show at Phoenix Symphony Hall.
Rodgers threw for 4,381 yards, 38 touchdowns and only five interceptions, leading the Packers to an NFC North championship. That was enough to turn away Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who had 20.5 sacks and was vying to be the first defensive player to win MVP since 1986, when Lawrence Taylor won it. Watt was a unanimous choice for NFL defensive player of the year, the first time that award has been decided by a unanimous vote in the current voting setup. (Click here for a list of all the major NFL awards given out Saturday night.)
The vote wasn't all that close. Rodgers got 31 of the 50 votes, while Watt got 13. Nobody else got more than two votes.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
PHOENIX – There’s no way to think about the news that Junior Seau was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame without also thinking how much he would have enjoyed it.
Seau, the late longtime linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was the headliner of a class that also includes running back Jerome Bettis, defensive end Charles Haley, guard Will Shields, receiver Tim Brown, center Mick Tingelhoff (a senior nominee) and general managers Bill Polian and Ron Wolf. News of that class was tweeted out by many of the Hall of Fame voters on Saturday evening.
Seau's election is bittersweet. Seau committed suicide in May of 2012. His brain was studied and found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
PHOENIX – To the surprise of nobody, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was named NFL offensive rookie of the year.
The dynamic Giants receiver was given the award during the “NFL Honors” show, which the NFL puts on the night before the Super Bowl to honor its players and hand out its major awards. Beckham beat out a very good rookie class, especially at receiver.
Beckham said "it means everything" to win the award, and talked about seeing his mom and dad in the crowd crying as he accepted it.
"To know that I made them proud is something that can't be taken away from me." Beckham said.
Beckham had a great year but really exploded into super-stardom with an incredible one-handed catch on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 12. Everyone was paying attention after that.
"When I first made the catch, I didn't realize what the magnitude of it was," Beckham said.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
PHOENIX – It's easy to compare where running backs LeGarrette Blount and Le'Veon Bell are this week.
Blount is busy preparing for a Super Bowl. He started the season with Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers, got cut after a tantrum when he walked off the field early due to a lack of playing time, and landed on the New England Patriots. He'll be a key figure in the Patriots' Super Bowl plans.
Bell is hawking hats late in the week. He was in the New Era lounge this week, wearing a Steelers hat with his suit, and probably wishing he was practicing for Sunday's game instead. And he and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers were awarded the FedEx Air and Ground Players of the Year at the NFL Honors show on Saturday night, which was nice, but he'd probably trade places with Blount, who was finishing up his Super Bowl preparation.
But Bell insisted, "no hard feelings at all" when it came to Blount.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner22 hrs ago
Now that deflate-gate and Marshawn Lynch's media appearances and whatever other noise is starting to fade, we can get down to the game. Isn't that refreshing.
Let's get right to the picks of the Shutdown Corner crew for Super Bowl XLIX. And be sure to listen to our Super Bowl preview podcast for even more on the game:
- Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner22 hrs ago
The New England Patriots generally are prepared for anything, and we can boil down their Super Bowl approach to the Seattle Seahawks in two ways: Their attack if Seattle goes to man-to-man coverage, and their attack for the Seahawks’ “Cover 3” zone.
When we look at how the Patriots might try to beat Seattle's fantastic “Cover 3," we’ll see ways the Patriots can get tight end Rob Gronkowski open. It’s obvious Gronkowski is a huge part of this game.
Seattle’s foundation is the “Cover 3,” in which three defensive backs are responsible for a deep third of the field. But they’ve used a lot of man this season as well. They used man a lot against Green Bay in the NFC championship game, but that might have been because they were behind and needed to get a little more aggressive. Either way, New England will have a plan.
Against man-to-man coverage