- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner52 mins ago
Aaron Rodgers is a tough guy, but it's hard to overcome broken bones.
Rodgers has hinted repeatedly since he broke his collarbone that he would be back sooner than anyone thought was realistic. But the doctors have a say, too.
Rodgers has tried practicing each of the past two weeks, but he won't return this week. Rodgers has been ruled out for Green Bay's game at Dallas in Week 15. The Packers are desperately trying to stay in the NFC North hunt, and are a half-game back with three to go. Rodgers' presence would completely change the Packers' outlook in the race. Rodgers knows that. But the Packers aren't going to risk putting him in harm's way before he's completely ready.
MM: Rodgers wants to play. Feels what he can do physically means he's ready. Not easy to tell franchise QB he can't play.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 13, 2013Sun, Dec 151:25 PM PSTGreen Bay at DallasPreview Game
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has a lot of critics right now. He probably didn't figure to be defending himself against John Madden's jabs.
Madden, the former Raiders coach and TV commentator who Shanahan has always spoken highly of, did not like the decision to shut down quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season.
"I mean, you know it's baloney," Madden said on Sirius XM Radio, via ESPN.com. "I like Mike Shanahan, and I'm not talking behind his back, but when you say something like that, you know that's not right –you’re not going to sacrifice regular-season games. There's only 16 of them a year. You're not going to sacrifice regular-season games for an offseason program."
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Maybe home-field advantage in the NFL isn't the incredible force it once was, but it still matters.
There are only two teams in the NFL whose road record is a full game or more better than its home record. Jacksonville is 3-4 on the road and 1-5 at home, and Philadelphia is 3-4 at home and 5-1 on the road. Everyone else is either better or roughly the same at home. That's not too surprising.
That's also why this weekend could be very interesting.
There are nine home underdogs in the remaining 15 games this week, and the Browns at home are a pick 'em against Chicago. We know that just about every team in the NFL plays better at home, so it could get a little wild on Sunday.
We've already seen perhaps the biggest upset in the NFL this season on Thursday night, when the Chargers won as double-digit underdogs at Denver. Are we in for one of those NFL weeks? We'll see how crazy the playoff picture looks by Tuesday morning.
Here are this week's picks:
Denver (-10.5) over San Diego (picked yesterday): Shocker. And get ready for a full week of "the sky is falling in Denver!"
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
It seemed, in this year's draft, that Keenan Allen might be a steal for the San Diego Chargers in the third round.
Almost eight months later, there's no question about it. He might be one of the best picks of the entire 2013 draft. If nothing else, he is probably the offensive rookie of the year.
Allen's signature play of a very good rookie season probably came on "Thursday Night Football." After catching a crossing route from Philip Rivers, Allen soared over Broncos defensive back Kayvon Webster into the end zone. Even on a field with some truly remarkable athletes, Allen's vertical leap was jaw-dropping.
Then, as a bonus, Allen made a tremendous catch in the end zone for his second touchdown in San Diego's 27-20 upset of the Broncos.
Allen's rookie year is even more impressive when his first three games are factored in. He wasn't a big part of the Chargers' plans initially, and had three catches for 30 yards after three games. He now has 63 catches for 931 yards and seven touchdowns. There's no reason to believe he can't be the Chargers' No. 1 receiver for many, many years to come.Thu, Dec 12San Diego27 - 20DenverGame Recap
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago
DENVER – Peyton Manning was good on Thursday night.
He was 27-of-41 for 289 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception on a play in which a San Diego Charger hit his arm as he threw. The Denver Broncos gained 5.6 yards per play. Manning had a 92.4 rating. Prorate those numbers over a full season and compare them to the rest of the league. You'll find that they're just fine.
That's the problem. The Broncos aren't going to win a title with Manning being good. He needs to be great every single week for the Broncos to win.
He wasn't great on Thursday and neither were the Broncos. The defense couldn't get off the field, allowing the Chargers to hold the ball for 38:49. The running game gave no help. Denver's backs averaged 1.6 yards per carry. The Broncos still had a chance, down seven points with the ball in the fourth quarter, but Manning's interception with 5:07 left practically sealed the 27-20 loss.
With Manning not playing at his normal record pace, the Broncos lost at home to a team that was 6-7 coming in. They have no room for error.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
Four people were stabbed outside of Sports Authority Field following the Denver Broncos' loss to the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night, according to the Denver Post.
One of the stabbing victims was in critical condition, the Post said.
“Stadium Management Company is aware of an incident that occurred in a parking lot adjacent to Sports Authority Field at Mile High. We are currently working with authorities to gather more information," the Broncos' stadium management company said in a statement.
The Denver Police Department announced it had suspects in custody:
#BREAKING: Officers have parties in custody and are not currently looking for any other suspects at this time.
— Denver Police Dept (@DenverPolice) December 13, 2013
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
DENVER – People in New England and Kansas City perked up on Thursday night. Fans in Baltimore and Miami got a little more nervous.
The folks in Denver left Sports Authority Field feeling downright sick.
Thursday night wasn't supposed to go this way. San Diego was 10.5-point underdogs, already lost to Denver at home this year, and at 6-7 were on the verge of falling out of the playoff race. Denver was going to take a big step toward locking up the AFC's top seed with its eighth home win this season.
Everything is changed now after the Chargers' 27-20 upset win. The Broncos don't control the top seed in the AFC anymore. That would be New England, which can get the top seed by winning out because it already beat the Broncos this year and own the tiebreaker. And now the Broncos and Chiefs both have three losses in the AFC West race, although Denver owns that tiebreaker.
And suddenly the Chargers are 7-7, very much in the AFC playoff race, right behind 7-6 Miami and Baltimore for the sixth seed.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
If you want to get a good idea of the vibe around the Washington Redskins these days, be sure to read Jay Busbee's excellent piece this week, which sums up the tenor depressingly.
If you want to understand what is happening with the team, well, good luck to ya ...
A day after father Mike Shanahan's incredible press conference in which discussed the reasons why he's pulling the plug on Robert Griffin III's season, son Kyle Shanahan said he's upset with the decision.
“You play your starting quarterback, that’s been Robert,” Kyle Shanahan said to the media on Thursday. “I’m pretty disappointed we don’t get to play with him. But it is what it is, and I’m gonna deal with the cards I’ve been dealt.”
You could make the argument that Kyle Shanahan, like most others at Redskins Park, has not handled the cards too well in the past year. But he apparently didn't even have a seat at the table when the sit RG3/start Kirk Cousins decision was made.Sun, Dec 1510:00 AM PSTWashington at AtlantaPreview Game
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
It's a new week, friends, and that means we’re throwing the doors wide open to you and your questions, comments, complaints, rants and one-liners here in the Shutdown Mailbag. You know the drill here: unburden your football soul via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @jaybusbee. Now, gather ‘round. It's tahm t'talk some Jerruh.
At what point does Jerry Jones, an admittedly good businessman, wake up to the fact that instead of protecting, nourishing, and helping his asset to grow both in status and value, he is choking it off, destroying it, and diminishing its value? –King of Scorpions
At what point? Never. Jerry's got the wheel of the good ship Cowboy, son, and he's gonna pilot that bad boy right up over the rocks, through the dock, and right onto the middle of Main Street USA. Which is really not where you want a ship to end up, but Jerry doesn't follow your rules, fella! Jones is gonna be the general manager of this'ere football club till his dying day, and probably a good long time thereafter, too.
- Anwar S Richardson at Shutdown Corner23 hrs ago
Baltimore Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam now has the attention of Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. As we all know, that is probably not a good thing. One day after Elam called Johnson "old" and emphasized the need for physical play against the NFL’s best receiver on "Monday Night Football," “Ol' Man Johnson” responded on Thursday.
Calvin johnson laughed about matt elam's old comment said 'I am getting kind of old I can show him that old-man strength' — Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) December 12, 2013
Calvin johnson didn't seem offended at all by matt elam's comments more amused than anything else — Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) December 12, 2013
Calvin Johnson on conference call: 'Just safeties, nothing extraordinary. Those are definitely guys we can make plays on.' — Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) December 12, 2013