- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
How do you know when it's going bad for a team? When the opponent screws up — badly, in fact — and still makes a massive play against you.
That was the case for the San Francisco 49ers, whose second-half woes reached epidemic status, on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
At a crucial point in Sunday's 23-14 Cardinals victory, the 49ers lined up for a 45-yard field-goal attempt that shouldn't have been that long in the first place. Two avoidable penalties (and in the case of Anquan Boldin's 15-yard headbutt, a really dumb one) knocked the Niners back from the 6-yard line to the 28.
But no matter: Phil Dawson is a pro's pro and should make that kick, right? Oof.
The Cardinals' block team lined up and there was one problem ... or two. They had only nine (NINE!) guys on the field to do so.
Check it out here:Sun, Sep 21San Francisco14 - 23ArizonaGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
Add John Oliver to the ever-growing chorus of mainstream-media outlets laughing at, not with, the NFL. John Oliver's HBO show "Last Week Tonight" took on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's already-infamous Friday afternoon press conference. All but the most diehard NFL apologists found the press conference long on bloviating and short on substance, and Oliver zoomed right in on the prevalence of word-like product being spewed forth.
Plus, there's the thorny matter of possibly, you know, lying. "You know that things are not going well when you lose the moral high ground to a TMZ reporter," Oliver said. He also praised the players who live-tweeted the press conference, particularly Sidney Rice's ghost-emoji'd "Boo this man."
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
By the time Week Three rolls around, we can start to see the outlines of how a season's going to go. The Carolina Panthers may not be who we thought they were. The Pittsburgh Steelers, as it turns out, may be a whole lot more.
The Steelers beat the Panthers in a game that wasn't even that close. Pittsburgh threw around Carolina like sacks of dog food on both sides of the ball. Pittsburgh's well-coached, well-managed, well-played game handed Carolina its first home loss since Week One of 2013.
A dull exhibition of field goals — four in the first half, three by Pittsburgh — exploded into an exceptional offensive display by the Steelers, starting with a dropped-from-the-sky touchdown from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown. Following a monstrous 81-yard run by Le'Veon Bell, Roethlisberger again connected with Brown, putting the Steelers up 23-6 and effectively ending Carolina's last chance at a victory.Sun, Sep 21Pittsburgh37 - 19CarolinaGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
The Eagles are 3-0, one of the few undefeated teams left in the NFL. You'd think all would be harmony and happiness in the locker room. And then you'd remember this is Philadelphia we're talking about, where nobody ever takes the easy path when there's a more prickly one to travel.
Cornerback Cary Williams heralded the end of a triumphant, hard-won victory not by taking pride in the team, but by griping about practice.
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"I'm burnt out. Burnt out. I'm not the only guy that feels burnt out," Williams said. "I'm just a guy that's man enough to stand up for players and just say that we're burnt out. My legs hurt. My legs were done in the fourth quarter. My legs were done in the third quarter. My legs were done before the game started."
Granted, the Eagles were playing a short week, having beaten Indianapolis on Monday Night Football six days before. But even so, Williams said that the absence of an off day hurt him and the team.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
The one thing nobody ever dreamed to worry about this season was the Green Bay Packers offense, especially since quarterback Aaron Rodgers was fully healthy again.
The Week 1 struggles at Seattle were understandable, because the Seahawks’ defense is almost impossible to beat, especially at home. Sunday’s loss to the Lions is a little tougher to explain.
Green Bay’s 19-7 loss was unlike practically any loss in the Aaron Rodgers era, or even back through the Brett Favre era. The Packers defense forced three turnovers and held the Lions’ potent offense to a manageable 19 points. And Green Bay had just 223 yards. After a first-quarter touchdown pass to tight end Andrew Quarless, the Packers didn’t score again, even against a Lions defense that didn’t look too great in a 24-7 loss to Carolina the week before. Green Bay just couldn't move the ball.Sun, Sep 21Green Bay7 - 19DetroitGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
Time for the Legion of Boom to start getting fitted for tuxes. In the moments after Sunday's dramatic 26-20 win over Denver, Seattle cornerback Deshawn Shead knelt down on the 50-yard-line and proposed to his girlfriend, Jessica Martinez.
Seahawks cb Deshawn Shead proposing on the field after Seahawks beat Denver. pic.twitter.com/HBbr6O0waC
Fortunately, she said yes. Best part of that photo? Richard Sherman grinning in the background.
Congratulations to the happy couple. Makes a good day at the office even better for Shead.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
It was a tough day for all the St. Louis Rams, who lost to the Dallas Cowboys, even after posting a three-touchdown lead. But tight end Jared Cook had it tougher than most, and it was all of his own doing.
On the sideline, cameras caught Cook shoving quarterback Austin Davis and getting confronted by his teammates. After the game, Cook calmed down in a hurry and took responsibility for his actions, saying he'd made up with Davis.
"I was heated, like anybody else," Cook said. "I feel like I let this game slip through my hands and that's my fault as a man."
Cook may be placing a bit too much blame on himself, but there's no doubt that the ball, at least, slipped through his hands:
Later, Cook took to Twitter to apologize:
My actions from today's game were truly a mistake - unintentional and in the heat of the moment. (continued)
There is never an excuse for unsportsmanlike conduct and I apologize to everyone. (continued)
I want to thank my teammates again, Austin Davis and William Hayes for their support on the sideline- the Rams organization and (continued)
Especially to all of our fans for whom we fight so hard for your love and continued support.Sun, Sep 21Dallas34 - 31St. LouisGame Recap
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
If only last season's Super Bowl would have been more like Sunday's classic at CenturyLink Field.
The rematch of Seattle's 43-8 Super Bowl win over the Broncos last February was a fantastic regular-season game. Seattle's defense dominated for most of the game, and the Seahawks seemed to have the game under control after Kam Chancellor picked off Peyton Manning and Seattle turned it into a field goal and a 20-12 lead with less than a minute left. But Manning rallied and forced overtime with an unbelievable drive to tie it.
Manning never got a chance to win it in overtime. The Seahawks won the game 26-20 on a walk-off 6-yard touchdown by Marshawn Lynch on their first drive, a score that was set up by Russell Wilson repeatedly picking up big yards by scrambling when he didn't have any receivers open.Sun, Sep 21Denver20 - 26SeattleGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
Jim Harbaugh might want to work on his halftime speeches and adjustments before he faces the 3-0 Philadelphia Eagles next week.
In three second halves this season, the San Francisco 49ers have been outscored 52-3. That's a big reason why they are 1-2 and a total mess right now.
In Sunday's 23-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers gave up a 14-6 lead, committed six penalties for 86 yards and had a field goal blocked after halftime.
Colin Kaepernick, who completed his first nine passes and accounted for all 80 yards on the team's opening scoring drive, took a crucial sack late and missed two open receivers on the 49ers' final two drives when it was a one-score game. On defense, the 49ers' secondary appeared to have several communication errors and left rookie Jimmie Ward singled on the Cardinals' top receivers without help.
That's a recipe for disaster.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
Here are the must-see plays from all the action on Sunday in Week 3 in the NFL.
Fat guy interception!
The Oakland Raiders appeared on the verge of tying — or perhaps taking the lead — against the New England Patriots but had a touchdown run called back on a holding call. On the next play from the New England 12-yard line, Derek Carr's pass went off receiver Denarius Moore's hands (and off cornerback Logan Ryan's hands) into the big meathooks of Vince Wilfork to end the game.
Just call him Wilfork Island.
Andy Dalton is off to a solid start to the season, and his Cincinnati Bengals now are 3-0. But the quarterback on the roster — on a per-pass ratio, anyway — is actually wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. To be fair, Sanu has attempted only two passes this season, and he was a former college quarterback at Rutgers. But his solid throwback pass to Dalton (there was a brief fear of an interception) makes Sanu the NFL's leading passer, and it helped the Bengals thrash the Tennessee Titans.
Cow-bombSun, Sep 21Oakland9 - 16New EnglandGame Recap