- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner41 mins ago
DENVER — If Rob Gronkowski retired tomorrow — say he just wanted to leave the NFL behind and live the "Yo Soy Fiesta" life — would he be a Pro Football Hall of Famer?
Well, here's his argument: He has more touchdown catches than any tight end currently in the Hall of Fame. In less than six seasons.
Gronkowski passed Shannon Sharpe, who is the touchdown reception leader among all the tight ends in the Hall of Fame, with his 63rd career touchdown catch in the first quarter on Sunday night against the Denver Broncos. It was vintage Gronkowski too, breaking a tackle and barrelling into the end zone for a 23-yard score. Sharpe had 62 touchdown catches. It took him 14 seasons to do it.
Legends like Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates have more touchdowns than Gronkowski and are certainly going to the Hall of Fame someday soon, but that's not the point. This is: Gronkowski is having the type of start to his career that would put him in the Hall of Fame discussion even though he has played just 76 games. Those 76 games have been better than any comparable stretch for any tight end in history, especially when Gronkowski's fantastic blocking is factored in.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
One man's celebration is another's gloating, and where you stand probably depends on whether you're on the high side of the score.
Miami's Ryan Tannehill had a rough day on Sunday, losing to the Jets 38-20, and that surely colored his perceptions of an unflagged hit that took out a teammate. On the Dolphins' third play of the game, Tannehill lofted a pass to Rishard Matthews, who got laid out, and knocked out of the game, by Jets safety Calvin Pryor. After the hit, Pryor celebrated, and that didn't sit so well with Tannehill.
"That's kind of a classless move to celebrate when a guy is injured," the Dolphins' QB said after the game. "Obviously, it was a good hit, a clean hit. But to celebrate when a guy is down is a classless move."
Pryor, naturally, didn't think much of Tannehill's comments, responding on Twitter thusly:
Throw a better ball next time @ryantannehill1 teammate would've never got injured!!! Sorry if you felt I was classless at the moment.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
The Atlanta Falcons are in a tricky place with quarterback Matt Ryan.
Ryan isn’t bad. A lot of teams would trade their quarterback for Ryan without thinking twice. Is that list 15 teams long? Twenty? Clearly, Ryan isn’t terrible. But is he good?
Ryan was really good at one point; that can’t really be debated. He had 4,719 yards, 32 touchdowns and a 99.1 rating in 2012. The Falcons came 10 yards from going to the Super Bowl. Ryan was just 27 years old. But this year, with the Falcons in absolute free fall after a great start, it’s hard to put him in that franchise quarterback category anymore.
Ryan was 22 of 31 for 230 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in a bad 20-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. And 79 of those yards and his only touchdown came in absolute garbage time with the game well out of reach. By the way, Ryan has the luxury of throwing to arguably the greatest receiver in the NFL, Julio Jones. The Falcons were down 20-3 when Ryan padded his stats, and he did nothing to make the game competitive before that.Sun, Nov 29Tampa Bay12 - 25IndianapolisGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
A tough season for Jimmy Graham is coming to an end.
The Seattle Seahawks tight end fell awkwardly in the end zone early in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers as Russell Wilson threw a pass his direction. The ball fell incomplete, and Graham's right knee bent under his own weight.
Graham remained down as trainers looked at his knee on the field, and he later was carted off to the locker room with an air cast on his leg.
After the game the Seahawks announced that Graham tore his patellar tendon and is out for the season. That's generally a devastating knee injury for NFL players, worse than an ACL tear. New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz is a recent example of a torn patellar tendon: Due to that and other lower body injuries Cruz hasn't played this season.
After coming over in a trade from the New Orleans Saints, Graham has had a relatively quiet season by his standards — with only two touchdowns and one game with more than 83 yards receiving. He had four grabs for 75 yards against the Steelers before leaving the game.
- - - - - - -Sun, Nov 29Pittsburgh30 - 39SeattleGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Two all-too-common occurrences this season for the Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger injuries and Mike Tomlin coaching decisions.
On Sunday, the two things intertwined.
The Steelers and Seattle Seahawks, two teams once noted for their vaunted defenses, were embroiled in an offensive shootout Sunday with the Steelers down 32-27 with under four minutes remaining and facing a third-and-goal situation at the Seattle 10-yard line.
Roethlisberger — who threw for 456 yards, the most the Seahawks ever have allowed — scrambled after not being able to find an open receiver. He took it down to the 3-yard line, making it fouth-and-goal with two timeouts left, but taking a big hit from Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright.
Tomlin opted to kick the field goal to make it a 32-30 Seahawks lead with 3:02 left. This is the same coach, mind you, who goes for two-point conversions just for the heck of it. Who attempted one of the more ridiculous fake field goals in this game you might ever see. Who went for it twice on fourth down in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens this season with Mike Vick at quaterback.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher seems tired of losing — and more tired of media members questioning his team's intensity.
The Rams were in contention at 4-3, riding the success of Todd Gurley, but have fallen back with four straight losses, including Sunday's 31-7 blasting by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Asked about his team's effort in the loss, Fisher unloaded.
"Anyone implies that it's an effort issue, they can kiss my ass," Fisher said. "There's no effort problems on this team. That's what happens when teams lose four in a row is people say it's effort. Come to practice, watch this team play and ask any other opponent or opposing coach. It's not an effort issue right now."
Fisher might be right, as the Rams didn't appear to quit in this one or in Week 11's loss to the Baltimore Ravens, which came down to the final play.
"It's execution," Fisher said. "It's 70 percent offense and 30 percent defense. I'll leave [special] teams out of it. Our teams always play hard."Sun, Nov 29St. Louis7 - 31CincinnatiGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
Credit the Minnesota Vikings for having a clear offensive identity nearly all season. Feel free to knock them for getting away from it last week.
A week after Adrian Peterson carried the ball only seven times after the first series of the game, a 30-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings didn't forget their workhorse again. In Sunday's 20-10 road win over the Atlanta Falcons, Peterson carried the ball 29 times (matching his season high) and amassed 158 yards, rushing for both of the Vikings' touchdowns.
It had been rumored that Peterson actually met with Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer this week to express his displeasure with the limited workload against the Packers, especially in a game that was close until the latter stages.
But whatever they talked about was hashed out quickly, apparently: Zimmer called for eight Peterson runs in the first quarter alone, and he also had a pass thrown his way — a drop on which Peterson could have walked into the end zone. In the second half, Peterson totaled 17 carries and 110 yards, with his 35-yard fourth-quarter touchdown putting the game out of reach.Sun, Nov 29Minnesota20 - 10AtlantaGame Recap
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
If this were a couple of years ago, one look at the play above from the Oakland Raiders and you'd be warranted in saying, "Same old Raiders."
But while the end-of-half lateral attempt was cetrainly blooper reel-worthy, it came in an Oakland win, not an Oakland loss.
Still, it was quite the play. On second down from the Titans' 47, Derek Carr passed to Seth Roberts, who ran well inside the 20 before looping 180 degrees and starting to head back toward midfield. He threw the ball even further away from the goal line, to Amari Cooper, and Cooper lateraled to Carr, who gave himself up on Oakland's side of the field.
As commentator Trent Green said, the quarterback is the last player you want to give the ball to if you're trying to pull off a successful lateral play.
With the 24-21 victory, Oakland is 5-6 and actually in the hunt for a wildcard spot. Meanwhile, the Titans fell to 2-9 and have now lost 11 straight home games; their last home win was last Oct. 12, against the Jaguars. The league record for most consecutive home losses is 14.Sun, Nov 29Oakland24 - 21TennesseeGame Recap
Jets' Ryan Fitzpatrick recovers, while Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill continues to sputter in 38-20 New York winShalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
It seems so long ago that the Miami Dolphins held their first press conference with interim head coach Dan Campbell, as Campbell promised a culture change in Miami. The spark Miami got after firing Joe Philbin and promoting Campbell lasted for two games, but the Dolphins have been just 1-4 over their last five games after Sunday's 38-20 loss to the New York Jets.
"We got whipped the first time [Miami played the Jets]. We got whipped the second time," Campbell said.
Central to Miami's issues is the seeming regression of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill was 33 of 58 for 351 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, fine numbers at first blush. But the Dolphins were a putrid 4 of 15 on third down, starting the game 0 of 8. Tannehill was intercepted on third down on Miami's second possession, and the Jets turned the pick into their first touchdown of the day.Sun, Nov 29Miami20 - 38NY JetsGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
It sounds crazy to ask, but are you fully appreciating what J.J. Watt is doing right now?
Yes, the Houston Texans defensive end is everywhere — on the field and off — but people might not be completely aware of the kind of sack pace he's on. Following the Texans' 24-6 dismantling of the New Orleans Saints, Watt (with two more sacks on Sunday) now has 70.5 sacks in 75 career games.
Only Reggie White (57 games) reached the 70-sack plateau faster in NFL history. Watt, 26, now ranks 79th in NFL history in sacks, which became an NFL statistic in 1982, after 75 career games. That's ahead of such active sack luminaries as Justin Tuck and Cameron Wake. Mind you: Watt is in his fifth NFL season and still going strong.
It's his fifth multi-sack game of the season, and he has 8.5 in the past five games. That means Watt is almost on pace for 20 sacks (currently at 19.6) for a third time in four seasons. There have been only 11 seasons with 20 or more sacks in NFL history, and Watt is the only one with more than one. He could have three the way he's going this season.Sun, Nov 29New Orleans6 - 24HoustonGame Recap