- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner17 mins ago
St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, 57, was in his first season at the helm of the Houston Oilers when the "Macarena" came out in 1995, which probably makes everyone over 30 feel old and everyone under 30 say, "What the heck is the 'Macarena,' and what does this have to do with football?" We'll tell you.
For those of you unfamiliar with 1990s pop culture, the English version of "Macarena" was a pop song with a catchy hook sung by a past-their-prime Spanish duet called Los del Rio, and I can't believe it's 20 years old now. It came complete with its own dance and spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100.
If that sounds awful, it's because it was, mindblowingly so, and Fisher is now using it to his advantage.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien started off his press conference after Thursday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts by saying, "That was not good tonight."
No, no it was not: A 27-20 loss to a road team down to its flu-addled, 40-year-old backup quarterback looking eminently weak mentally and soft physically.
But this is not about tonight. This is about what the Texans must endure for 11 more games — the ping-pong match of Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer, a game that almost always is sullied by unforced errors.
Witness Thursday ... Mallett started in the short week despite playing terribly as a starter prior to Week 5, and guess what? He played terribly Thursday night, too, getting pulled after a big hit that earned the Colts a personal foul, but one it became obvious the more that Mallett sulked on the sideline that he could have played through.Thu, Oct 8Indianapolis27 - 20HoustonGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
Welcome to the NFL, rook.
Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Jaelen Strong had not played a snap this season prior to Thursday night, being an active bystander in Week 1 and a healthy inactive the following three games during the team's 1-3 start.
But with Cecil Shorts injured, Strong got his chance against the Indianapolis Colts and said he was ready to do what he was coached to do.
Right before the half, with the Texans too far from field-goal range, quarterback Brian Hoyer — who had replaced an injured/ineffective Ryan Mallett after a big hit — threw a lollipop pass into the end zone as time expired.
Five Colts stood around and watched as Strong, the former Arizona State hero who beat USC a year ago with a walk-off touchdown in traffic, caught the Hail Mary pass from 42 yards out to cut the Colts' lead to 13-10.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster was drilled late in the second quarter on a hit from Indianapolis Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson.
A hit that — replete with a blow to the head — screamed concussion test.
Indeed, Foster came out of the game — for one play. He was back in (on his own volition?) the game and received the ball again, getting stopped for no gain, again by Jackson.
This time, Foster was informed he would not be returning to the contest until the proper, league-mandated concussion protocol was performed. Foster didn't like hearing this and decided he would do his best Sean Rodriguez impression, making it two days in a row where an athlete took out his frustration on a beverage trough.
NOT AGAIN! Poor Gatorade. pic.twitter.com/qjOFFOKc43
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
It has been a rough start to the season for new Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Andre Johnson, who had zero catches in Weeks 3 and 4. He looked old and washed up. Maybe the Houston Texans were right to move on this past offseason.
Call it motivation, playing against the only team Johnson knew for 12 seasons, or whatever you want — but he put his best foot forward early against the Texans on Thursday night. It's his first game at NRG Stadium as an opponent, and yet there was shockingly little buzz on this game despite it being a big talking point when Johnson signed with the Colts in the offseason.
In the first half, he caught three passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. This after a mere seven catches for 51 yards in the first four games.
Johnson first roasted former teammate Johnathan Joseph for a 23-yard gain and then, two plays later, got wide open for his first touchdown reception as a Colt.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
The Miami Dolphins have fired defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, three days after the team parted ways with head coach Joe Philbin, NFL Network's Albert Breer reported Thursday.
The move was expected, though delayed. The Dolphins signed big-money free agent Ndamukong Suh in the offseason, adding him to an alread-strong defensive line, and after four weeks, the team is dead last in the NFL against the run, allowing 160.5 yards per game, nearly 20 yards per game more than 31st ranked Cleveland (141.5).
Miami's defense is ranked 30th overall.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
The NFL isn't ready to let coaches ask for reviews on all plays, but it will be testing a new way to help officials make the right call.
USA Today's Tom Pelissero reports that the league will install boundary cameras at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets, this season, to help with replay reviews. Cameras will be for the sidelines and end lines.
NFL spokesman Michael Signora wrote in an email to Pelissero that testing will begin "a bit later this season, providing us with 10-12 games worth of data on viability, impact, and feasibility.”
Despite Monday's controversial non-call of an illegal bat in the Seattle-Detroit game, the league is unlikely to expand replay to cover more penalties. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is an advocate of coaches being able to challenge any play, and has also proposed goal-line and boundary cameras.
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
The Carolina Panthers are rolling without Luke Kuechly, who suffered a severe concussion in Week 1, but teammate Josh Norman knows they'll need the former Defensive Player of the Year to remain unbeaten.
Kuechly told reporters Wednesday he's "close" to returning to the middle of Carolina's linebacker corps, but first he'll have to pass the NFL's concussion protocol. So, Norman, the cornerback who was cleared for Week 1 after suffering a concussion in the preseason finale, offered his assistance, via ESPN.com.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
A quarter of the NFL season has flown past us, and we’re starting to get an idea of which teams have a shot of making a playoff run and which ones are starting to think about next season.
This is our first attempt to diagnose and project the 2016 NFL draft picture, and it’s admittedly a serious reach. There are hundreds of factors that will change over the next six months before the draft descends in Chicago next spring.
But the picture slowly is revealing itself, and after a handful of conversations with league sources and talent evaluators, we have a better idea of how the talent pool in college football is shaping up. With that in mind, enjoy our first mock draft of the season — but first, some notes:Sun, Oct 114:25 PM EDTNew England at DallasPreview Game
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
Before Wednesday, defensive end Greg Hardy hadn't spoken at length with the media since the Dallas Cowboys signed him, and now we know why.
Hardy made some unbelievable comments on Wednesday. He said he would come out after his four-game suspension "guns blazing," an odd choice of words because he missed 15 games last season during a court battle in which he was accused of pushing his girlfriend on a bed full of weapons. Maybe you can chalk that up to a regrettable word choice on the fly, but then he made comments about Tom Brady's wife and her sister, which is out of line no matter what your line of work is.
"I love seeing Tom Brady. You seen his wife? I hope she comes to the game," Hardy said. "I hope her sister comes to the game ..."