- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Marshawn Lynch spent the first quarter of Sunday night's game vomiting into a Gatorade bucket and scarfing down Skittles, according to various reports. Whatever he did, it worked well enough to inspire him to one of the greatest runs of the NFL season.
The game was already well in hand when Lynch ripped off this 79-yard beauty, a masterpiece that included speed, strength, stamina, will, and a good old-fashioned, flying-backward ... well, let's call it an "equipment adjustment."
The run marked Lynch's longest run from scrimmage, and firmly sealed a 35-6 victory over Arizona that put Seattle on a Super Bowl trajectory. Lynch finished with 110 yards and two touchdowns, and whatever strife exists between him and the rest of the Seahawks seemed far, far away.
After the game, buoyed by the victory and basking in the glow of a fine day's work, Lynch was friendly, forthcoming, and thoughtful. Ha! Just kidding.
He was as distant as ever, and he's only a few games away from repeating reporters' questions back at them word-for-word like an 11-year-old just trying to tick you off:
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Look, we're sure Ryan Lindley is a nice fellow, and his friends and family surely love him. But man oh man, was he awful on Sunday night against Seattle. And Lindley's troubles bode ill for Arizona's suddenly flimsy hopes to get out of the NFC.
Lindley, the Cardinals' third-string quarterback, was pressed into service after injuries to Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton. Facing Seattle's vicious Legion of Boom defense, Lindley came in with low expectations. Sadly, he didn't even meet those, getting pasted 35-6 and throwing a whole new load of concern onto the shoulders of Arizona fans.
There simply was nowhere for Lindley to go, and even when he had chances, he couldn't capitalize on them. He was 18 of 44 for 216 yards, and he took one sack and threw an interception. He wasn't the sole reason Arizona lost; a wave-as-they-go-by secondary didn't help. But Lindley remains the owner of a dubious NFL record: most passes without a career touchdown, now up to 225.
Lindley's rough game paled even more in comparison to the gem crafted by Seattle QB Russell Wilson. Late in the game, NBC ran the following graphic:
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
Jim Harbaugh's departure from the San Francisco 49ers has been such a rumored fait accompli for so many weeks that it's tough to remember that, in fact, it hasn't happened and that Harbaugh is still the coach of the 49ers. But according to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, you can now measure Harbaugh's tenure on your fingers.
Glazer has reported that the 49ers will cut Harbaugh loose within 24 to 48 hours after San Francisco's season ends. And since the 49ers aren't making the playoffs, that end will come Sunday at home against Arizona.
Harbaugh had been an unqualified success his first three years at San Francisco, taking the team to three straight NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. But the team has fallen apart this year, going 7-8 and flailing at every aspect of the game.Sat, Dec 20San Diego38 - 35San FranciscoGame Recap
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
The NFL has picked the Cincinnati Bengals-Pittsburgh Steelers AFC North title clash as the last game of its regular season, on “Sunday Night Football" to cap what will be an interesting Week 17.
The league waits until the Sunday night game in Week 16 to announce the last “Sunday Night Football” matchup of the year to ensure a good prime-time game. The Bengals-Steelers was selected over the Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, which will determine the NFC North champ, and the Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons game that will decide the NFC South winner.
The Steelers have battled inconsistency and rebounded from some bad losses to win three in a row and put themselves in position to win the AFC North with one more home victory. The Bengals, who won the division last season, play Denver on Monday night. Cincinnati can clinch a playoff berth with a win in that game, but no matter what, Sunday night's showdown will determine the division champ.Sun, Dec 21Kansas City12 - 20PittsburghGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
Here are the top five must-see plays from Week 16 in the NFL:
Wanna start at QB?
Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has a tough decision to make: Arian Foster, starting quarterback in 2015? We joke, yes, but check out this throw from Foster to rookie tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz.
What a pick
The Minnesota Vikings lost under fairly bizarre circumstances, having a punt blocked against them for a safety in the final minute. But early in the game, Harrison Smith made a fantastic interception that shows why he’s one of the better young safeties in the NFL. It almost looked like Smith just stole the ball straight from Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s hands on a blitz.
Remember him?Sun, Dec 21Baltimore13 - 25HoustonGame Recap
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
The thing about a maddening, inconsistent team is that sometimes their best days can be really good.
And so it goes for the Pittsburgh Steelers lately.
It’s hard to remove the stink of losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets and New Orleans Saints, but the Steelers have emerged as a contender in the AFC the past few weeks.
The Steelers’ 20-12 win against a Kansas City Chiefs team battling for a wild-card spot was impressive, and it also clinched a playoff spot. The Chiefs’ passing game is stuck in 1943 at times, but they’re still a good team. And the Steelers kept them out of the end zone and controlled the game. Pittsburgh's winning without its offense clicking was a good sign because more often than not, an offense with Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown will do just fine.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
The Oakland Raiders are expected to remain in the Bay Area for the 2015 season, according to an NFL Network report.
The team's lease with O.Co Coliseum is set to run out, but the Raiders are expected to announce a one-year extension to remain in their current digs. Owner Mark Davis told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport that "all our energy is going towards trying to stay in Oakland."
Last week, word got out that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that no team would relocate to Los Angeles — one of the main locations the Raiders have been linked to — in 2015.
The San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams are the two other teams that have been mentioned as the most likely candidates to move to L.A.
It might be off the table for 2015, but there still will be a lot of talk about relocation after that. For now, however, the NFL's teams will be staying put next season.Sun, Dec 21Buffalo24 - 26OaklandGame Recap
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
Of all the games on Sunday, only one had absolutely no playoff ramifications whatsoever: the New York Giants versus the St. Louis Rams. The very definition of a play-out-the-sched game, this one naturally descended into madness.
There was plenty of chippiness from both teams throughout the game; even the Giants kicker got in on the act with an unnecessary roughness penalty. But what tore the roof off the joint was a late tackle: St. Louis' Alec Ogletree threw New York's Odell Beckham Jr. out of bounds in a way that Beckham didn't much care for.
That set off a melee that wouldn't have looked out of place at a NASCAR race. In the end, three players, New York's Damontre Moore and Preston Parker, and St. Louis' William Hayes, got an early exit. The Giants would go on to run away with the ultimately meaningless game. So maybe that's the best excuse of all for letting off some steam. Not like these guys are going to knock themselves out of the playoffs or anything.Sun, Dec 21NY Giants37 - 27St. LouisGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
Tony Romo overtook Troy Aikman to become the Dallas Cowboys' all-time passing yards leader against the Indianapolis Colts.
It was only fitting, too, that Romo hit Jason Witten — his partner in crime for all of his years of starting — on a gorgeous touchdown pass as the Cowboys took a 35-0 lead on the Colts, inching closer to a division title.
Aikman finished his career with 32,942 passing yards, and Romo passed him to move into No. 31 on the all-time passing yards list.
Romo accomplished the feat in 15 fewer regular-season game and with more than 500 fewer pass attempts. Aikman left the NFL following the 2000 season at age 34 — the same age Romo is now.
- - - - - - -Sun, Dec 21Indianapolis7 - 42DallasGame Recap
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – E ven though New York Jets center Nick Mangold wore a walking boot on his left foot following an injury and yet another tough loss for his team, he walked out of MetLife Stadium a winner.
Mangold, who suffered an ankle injury in a 17-16 loss to the New England Patriots, decided to pay tribute to the two New York City Police Department officers who were killed on Saturday afternoon in an execution-style shooting.
During the walk into the stadium as part of the Jets' pregame rituals (the players get dropped off on buses and then walk through the crowd into the stadium), Mangold wore an "NYPD" baseball cap. His support for the police department set off a flood of positive messages on social media.
It was a simple gesture that got rolling on Saturday night when, after he read the story about the two officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, he reached out to a friend with law enforcement ties to get a hat. He got it on Sunday morning and wore it to the game. There was also a moment of silence for the officers before kickoff.Sun, Dec 21New England17 - 16NY JetsGame Recap