- Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
The Denver Broncos are going to have to be patient with the running game in Super Bowl 50. And they'll need to find a way to run it more effectively than they did against the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.
The Patriots were very effective stopping Denver's run game. They mostly used a "reduced front," with a defensive tackle over the center and two more linemen on the outside of the guards. Denver just couldn't beat it.
Our first example is a 1-yard loss by Ronnie Hillman, when linebacker Jamie Collins got into the backfield for the stop.
Later in the same drive, C.J. Anderson was stuffed for a 2-yard run in which he had nowhere to go.
The Broncos tried using outside zone and toss sweeps to beat the reduced front. Here's a toss to Anderson that was stopped for just 3 yards. He had nowhere to go on the outside.Sun, Feb 73:30 PM PSTCarolina at DenverPreview Game
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
UNINCORPORATED SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga.—Driving through the intersection of Scarborough and Welcome All roads just south of Atlanta, it is literally impossible not to think of Cam Newton.
Signs from every angle honor Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner, national champion, probable NFL MVP and potential Super Bowl champion. He grew up not far from here, attended Westlake High School right down the road, and one local politician wants to make sure everyone knows it. To that end, there are 25 signs honoring Newton dotted all over the area. Bill Edwards, a now-former Fulton County commissioner, spearheaded the placement of the signs, but only after an attempt to get the stretch of road named after Newton himself failed.
“He’s a hero,” Bill Edwards said. “He’s a role model for young athletes. He’s the son everyone wants, the brother everyone wants. He’s helped put south Fulton County on the map.”
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
Oftentimes, when you put a microphone - or Twitter keyboard - in front of someone, you're not quite sure what's going to be said. (Unless, of course, that person is NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in which case you'll get words like integrity and London but little else of substance.) Such was the case this week in the San Francisco area, with current and former athletes descending on Super Bowl 50.
Here are a few of the beefs that cropped up this week:
Panthers CB Josh Norman and Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders
This one actually had some back-and-forth to it. On Wednesday, Sanders told reporters that Norman had "talked himself into the media," the inference being that the All-Pro and defensive player of the year candidate was not as good as player as he actually is.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
Dallas Police put out a statement on Friday saying that troubled Cleveland Browns Johnny Manziel will be investigated for a complaint of domestic violence assault, after all.
Last Saturday, Manziel and his ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley were involved in an altercation. Manziel wasn't charged then and the case was deemed closed by Dallas Police. More details emerged on Thursday, including allegations from Crowley that Manziel hit her repeatedly and threatened to kill them both, and the Dallas Police Department said "i nvestigative efforts to date have not resulted in the filing of a criminal complaint and the incident is determined to be closed."
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
SAN FRANCISCO—The NFL Shop at the Super Bowl is the size of an airplane hangar, large enough to host every kind of souvenir imaginable. The NFL has slapped a Super Bowl 50 logo on pretty much every kind of consumer product that's not actively on fire. Now, you could grab some $35 t-shirts or $3 bumper stickers, but for the serious (and overly monied) Super Bowl fan, items with a two-digit price tag just won't do.
Tucked into one corner of the NFL Shop is the NFL VIP Lounge, a shopping nook so exclusive you can't even get in unless you spend $300 on NFL goods. (Or, uh, have a media pass.) Let's look behind the velvet rope at the Super Bowl's priciest souvenirs. And no, a ticket isn't the costliest item. Not even close.
Put your hand on your wallet, and let's enter the domain of disposable mortgage payments ...
Super Bowl Wine
A delicious blend of leather and turf. It'll knock you out! But not in a concussion-generating sense. Definitely not. Price: $150 per bottle.
Super Bowl Patch Jacket
Want to look like you got down on the ground and rolled around in Super Bowl logos? Of course you do! Be the envy of grandmothers' couches everywhere! Price: $250.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Carolina Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin carried on at Super Bowl Opening Night with a big smile on his face, answering silly questions about video games and going to the stands to meet up with fans cheering for him.
He's going to enjoy the moment, even though he'll be in street clothes on Sunday when the Panthers play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.
Imagine Benjamin's emotions this season. He blew out his ACL in training camp. That was supposed to be a killer blow to the Panthers' season, because the second-year Benjamin was by far the Panthers' best receiver, but that turned out to be way wrong. Carolina started the season 14-0 without Benjamin, finished 15-1 and are going to Super Bowl 50. Benjamin is still part of the team, these are still his teammates, but he hasn't played one snap to help the Panthers on the field all season.
Benjamin will get a ring after this season. It will either be a Super Bowl champions ring or an NFC champions ring if the Panthers lose Sunday. And he'll appreciate the ring.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner22 hrs ago
Montee Ball will go down as one of Denver Broncos general manager John Elway's rare failures. And it was a spectacular one.
Ball, a 2013 second-round pick, didn't appear in a game and wasn't on an active roster in 2015 after the Broncos cut him, and he might be done for good after an arrest in Madison, Wis. He was booked in Dane County Jail on a tentative charge of substantial battery after allegedly throwing a woman into a table, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
The report said police were called at 3:40 a.m. to a downtown Madison hotel.
"The woman told police she had a dispute with her boyfriend," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain, according to the State Journal. "She said he put his hands on her, picked her up and threw her."
The woman needed stitches for a cut on her leg.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner23 hrs ago
SAN FRANCISCO — It still doesn't make much sense why the NFL, which spent all last offseason acting like psi levels in a football was a pillar to the integrity of the game, didn't seem to care much about it this past season.
Goodell was asked about the league's startling admission that it didn't keep any data on football inflation at his annual media conference on the Friday before the Super Bowl. The league announced new policies and procedures to make sure footballs were legally inflated, after the long and overblown deflate-gate controversy with the New England Patriots.
Goodell danced around giving a reason for the incredible discrepancy between the NFL's actions last offseason over psi and its general malaise over the issue during this season. Goodell reiterated that the NFL made limited spot checks and found no violations.
"The intent of what we were doing was not a research project," Goodell said. "It was to make sure our policies were followed."
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
The premise of Conan O'Brien's "Clueless Gamer" segment is simple and brilliant: play the most hyper-violent video games with a cast of notable stars, in this case Carolina's Josh Norman and Denver's Von Miller. It's great stuff, and make sure to stick around for the arrival of a very special guest. It's good, clean fun, except with chainsaws and disembowelment.
Podcast: Predicting the Super Bowl
- Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
When you watch the Carolina Panthers closely in Super Bowl 50, you'll see a run game that's unlike any other in the NFL.
They have a running game that, among NFL teams, is most like what you’d see in the college game. They built their running game around quarterback Cam Newton’s running skills. Newton doesn’t run that much, but defenses always have to account for him in the running game. That's huge. (We have discussed the Panthers' creative offense before, here and here.)