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Per Bovada, the Steelers opened as 7-point favorites over the Titans, and that spread remained intact as of Thursday morning. The over/under points total was set at 44 1/2.
Getting caught up in the numbers with Big Ben has been a bad way to measure him over the years, yet it took some gaudy stats to remind us all of the big impact he’s still capable of having. Go figure.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Middle Tennessee’s Brent Stockstill hooked up with Patrick Smith for a 21-yard touchdown to tie the game at 10. That started a scoring frenzy which saw both teams combine for 35 points in the final quarter. Much to the chagrin of those on the under, the game went to overtime, level at 24.
As much as it would be fun to have a de facto championship game to decide the division in Week 17, Jacksonville’s overall play and schedule edge is bound to develop a good cushion before then. Luckily for Tennessee, as bad as Buffalo and the rest of the wild-card hopefuls are now, even a 3-4 slump will look good enough to stay in the AFC playoff picture.
Still, it’s important for the 49ers to play Garoppolo before the 2017 campaign ends. Doing so gives him a head start on the 2018 season, when San Francisco should be fielding a more talented roster from having high draft picks and ample cash to spend in free agency.
Garoppolo’s performance also could determine just how much of a financial commitment the 49ers are willing to make toward keeping him.
Forget what happened in Week 2. Jacksonville’s current profile looks the part of a surefire playoff team, and a dangerous one at that. The Jaguars’ whipping of the Steelers in Pittsburgh is a reminder they’re somebodies that nobody, including Pittsburgh, New England and Kansas City, wants to face in January.
Although Garoppolo’s contract expires at the end of this season, he’s a lock to get slapped with the franchise tag if a contract extension isn’t in the offing. The 49ers didn’t trade what will assuredly be a high 2018 second-round draft pick to New England for a half-season marriage.
SN’s Vinnie Iyer in his Week 11 NFL picks against the spread picked the Steelers to beat the Titans and cover that 7-point line, 27-17.
SN’s David Steele in his Week 11 NFL picks straight up went the other way and predicted a Titans upset of the Steelers in a close game, 23-21.
None of that works, however, unless Roethlisberger is decisive and in a groove about knowing when to go deep and when to take the short to intermediate stuff when it’s open. After a few red-zone snags early against Tennessee, Roethlisberger regained command there, too.
Roethlisberger has been in the results business since he made his first start for the Steelers. Going for substance over style points has made him unique among his contemporaries, a throwing throwback.
Brady, already the winningest quarterback in NFL history, broke a tie with Brett Favre and Peyton Manning last month to earn the most regular-season victories (189). His extensive list of records and accomplishments while with the Patriots also includes most division titles (14), Super Bowl wins (5) and Super Bowl MVPs (4).
The Patriots (6-2) are scheduled to visit the reeling Broncos (3-5) at 8:30 p.m. ET Sunday.
Whether it took Fiala a month to find that form, or that the addition of Turris brought out his best play, there’s no question an explosive offense has gotten even deeper.
“We are changing our mindset and playing more offense,” Fiala said. “We are attacking the game and that’s what we’re doing now to find success.”
The Predators (12-6-2) figure to find more success in this one. Montreal (8-12-2) has struggled in every facet of the game in coach Claude Julien’s first full season, and key injuries haven’t helped a thin roster.
Trailing by four with just over seven minutes to play, a stop from the Dolphins defense would have given Culter and Co. a shot at the win. Instead, the Raiders drove 87 yards in six plays, aided by back-to-back penalties on the Dolphins, setting up a Lynch 3-yard TD run to make it 27-16.
As the Pirates weigh decisions on whether and when to move Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, both of whom are part of this projection, it’s worth considering how Pittsburgh plans to escape the middle by spending up to its budget just to retain its core. If those two stay, and there are arguments either way, then the Pirates would still have to do some uncharacteristic spending to move the needle for next season.
Papa John’s, which came under fire for blaming the NFL’s handling of player protests for declining pizza sales, used Twitter Tuesday to apologize for the potential divisiveness of its stance.
The statements made on our earnings call were describing the factors that impact our business and we sincerely apologize to anyone that thought they were divisive. That definitely was not our intention. (1/3)
The Giants are attempting to turn around a losing season as they sit at 2-8, but the good news is the team won on Sunday against the Chiefs after losing three straight games.
While coach Ben McAdoo called a brutally honest film meeting last week to point out the lack of effort from his team in their loss against the 49ers, the players are crediting Eli Manning’s pregame speech as the fire to spark the Giants and give them a win in Week 11.
“In pregame he gave a fiery speech that got everybody riled up,” running back Orleans Darkwa said, via Newsday. “To have a guy like that who has been through so much, who has those two Super Bowlrings, we follow his footsteps in everything.”
The Bengals came into the season with two new weapons for Andy Dalton in John Ross and Joe Mixon, sparking hopes that the offense could be turned around from a poor 2016. But the offense has regressed. It hasn’t been all Dalton’s fault due to bad offensive line play, but he certainly takes his share of the blame, and has missed on a number of throws he should’ve made. — Katherine Terrell
More interesting matchups are set for Week 11 of the NFL season, including Tom Brady and the Patriots taking on the Raiders in Mexico City. In a key NFC encounter, the Rams will face the Vikings in Minneapolis.
Wilson, who threw for 238 yards and two touchdowns Thursday, was still sacked five times behind his struggling offense line, which also lost recently-acquired Duane Brown to a first-half ankle injury. Wilson’s mobility may be on display all season long, but he has proven up for the task.
Seahawks committing way too many penalties — The Seahawks committed 12 penalties for 108 yards Thursday, while helping the Cardinals convert six first downs via penalties through two-plus quarters of play. Seattle now has 94 penalties this season after 16 last week.
“I take all that s— back I said yesterday,” Arians said during his Monday afternoon news conference. “That was a damn good call, and we busted an assignment at the point of attack. That was an easy pickup.”
“We’ll stick with Blaine and watch Drew get healthy and then make a decision as we go forward, but we’ll stick with the way it is right now,” he said.
These Celtics, Stevens pleaded, were not sitting around talking about their accomplishments. Inside the Celtics locker room, that sentiment was relayed to third-year guard Terry Rozier, who pondered it for a moment.
MLB, however, wants the 20-second pitch clock. And whether the union agrees or not, MLB has the power to implement this and other rules for the 2018 season.
We dealt with it. Players did a great job dealing with all the challenges that we had to deal with. I think we’re fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there. I mean you have two NFL franchises in an area that I don’t know how stable the geological plates that were below us [were], but nothing happened, so that was good.”
Admittedly, it’s difficult sometimes to tell when Belichick is serious and when’s he’s saying something tongue-in-cheek, but when he said, “I think we’re fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there … nothing happened, so that was good,” it hit as off-key to some.
“Outrageous ignorance of a ‘genius’ of the NFL,” ESPN Mexico’s Poncho Vera tweeted in response, per Google Translate. “(T)hat’s why you have to take professional sports for what they are: a show.”
Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb each had 24 points for the Hornets, who overcame a nine-point fourth quarter deficit. The Hornets wrapped up a perfect three-game homestand.
John Wall had 31 points and 11 assists, and Bradley Beal added 22 points for the Wizards.
The Hornets battled back behind the gritty play of Walker. He made a driving layup with 17 seconds left and then added two free throws with 2 seconds remaining to tie it.
Howard blocked Beal’s baseline jumper at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime.
Charlotte carried the momentum into the extra period with Walker knocking down a leaning 3-pointer from the top of the key after a scramble for a loose ball. Lamb followed with a block and a coast-to-coast layup for a 5-point lead.
Eric Karabell wraps up an exciting Sunday of football, assessing the fantasy value of the many stars from the Texans-Seahawks clash and more.
Ryan Kerrigan, LB, Washington Redskins: Kerrigan left the game against the Cowboys during the second quarter and was spotted getting medical attention on the Redskins’ sideline. He was designated as questionable to return because of a groin injury but made his return later on in the second quarter.
Jeff Allen, OG, Houston Texans: A knee injury sidelined Allen during the second quarter of the game against the Seahawks and he was declared questionable to return.
“Dimanchophobia” is the fear of Sunday. The Browns must have a serious case of it, because they’ve lost 25 straight games played on Sunday, which, according to Elias Sports Bureau, is tied for the longest Sunday losing streak in NFL history (1976-77 Buccaneers). The Browns’ remaining eight games are all Sunday games.
Had his Team Penske teammate pitted under green to fix the tire, Keselowski likely would have coasted to the win and earned a spot in the finale.
A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract extension is “getting done” and previous issues surrounding the deal have been resolved.
There is a growing difference of opinion among owners about Goodell’s overall performance as commissioner, according to sources. The owners on Thursday’s conference call are generally unhappy with Goodell and the NFL’s front office for a variety of reasons, including the player protests staged during the national anthem, issues regarding the relocation of teams to Los Angeles and the league’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case, according to sources.
“You don’t get to have this many messes over the years like Roger has had and survive it,” one owner said during the call.
There was a time — it seems so long ago — when the NFL trade deadline was a snoozer.
That changed this week, when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, left tackle Duane Brown, running back Jay Ajayi and cornerback Jeremy Lane were among the veterans to change addresses.
What does the trade deadline usually look like? Here are 10 of the most notable, if still minor, in-season deals of the past 10 years:
Collins was a talented, if enigmatic, playmaker whom the Patriots decided to seek value for, rather than face the looming expiration of his contract. They ultimately traded the pick they received, No. 103 overall, for veteran receiver Brandin Cooks. The Browns signed Collins to a four-year, $50 million contract extension; they are hoping he will be a cornerstone of their turnaround, but to this point, the Browns are 1-12 in the games he has played with them.
He barely got the first wish and was denied the second, as Toronto overcame a 17-point deficit to beat the Lakers 101-92 on Friday.
With the Lakers playing again Saturday, head coach Luke Walton benched Ball and most of his starters with 3:42 remaining and the Lakers down 91-83. Ball gets Ricky Rubio at the Utah Jazz next.
The Sixers are not the Clippers, where players’ children flooded the locker room after home games. There is a larger age gap between Redick and Fultz (19) than what separates Fultz and Chris Paul Jr. (8). “It’s an interesting juxtaposition,” Redick says. “I never had an issue relating to people. You can always find commonalities with people, so I’m not necessarily worried that, because I’m at a different stage in my life, that it’s going to affect any relationships.”
When Matthews and Belfry reconvened in July, they sought to borrow from a familiar source. During his 21-year playing career, Leafs president Brendan Shanahan developed a two-touch move that tapped passes into his sweet spot, letting him swiftly shoot without having to settle the puck, like a volleyball player setting and spiking by herself. “That is unbelievable,” Matthews said after trying it once, and every subsequent session included at least five minutes of practicing Shanahan’s technique.
Did we think it was gone? This guy in the white T-shirt is the first out of his seat; Marlins Man looks grumpy because he was actually looking down when the pitch was delivered, and now it seems that he’s missed one of the greatest walk-off homers of all time at the one-second mark.
His wife, Wilhelmina Attles, son, Alvin Attles III, and Hall of Famer Rick Barry represented him during an on-court tribute after the first quarter.
“Great to honor him,” Kerr said. “I know our fans who have been following us for a long time know about Al’s influence, but 57 years with the organization, obviously he won the championship with the team in `75, was GM, drafted Chris Mullin, one of the best players early on in the Warriors history. He’s pretty much done it all. Fitting tonight we will honor him and his family. We know he’ll be watching on TV. I hope he’s not offended by my suit.”
Wizards: Washington shot 15 for 33 on 3s. … C Ian Mahinmi played almost 13 minutes after he had been questionable with a sprained left ankle.
“I can’t overstate how good they all were. I can still picture their infield practice. It was like a circus act, a high-wire circus act that left you mesmerized and a little intimidated. Gurrriel at first, Antonio Pacheco at second, German Mesa at short, Omar Linares at third. Their gloves never seemed to touch the ball. I wanted to learn how to do that.
Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that “it’s likely” that redshirt freshman Brandon Peters will get his first collegiate start at quarterback Saturday night against Minnesota.
Michigan (6-2) has used three different quarterbacks in its first eight games of the year. Wilton Speight started the season, but he has not played since a neck injury against Purdue in late September. O’Korn was 2-2 as a starter in October, completing 55.5 percent of his passes during that stretch.
Harbaugh said he was happy with Peters’ performance last Saturday and that he is looking forward to seeing what he can improve this week after his first significant minutes in a game.
“He can do a lot to build on it,” Harbaugh said. “… Now he’s been in game action. I think that helps a lot.”
Michigan kicks off against Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. ET in Ann Arbor this Saturday.
Philadelphia had already defeated San Francisco by the time the teams chasing the Eagles in the NFC East, the Cowboys and Redskins, kicked off in Washington. Speaking of division races, the Panthers beat the Buccaneers on Sunday in what felt like must-win situations for both teams in the NFC South.
Many eyes Sunday also were on Seattle, where the Texans engaged in protest before their game against the Seahawks in the wake of team owner Bob McNair’s controversial comments, which were revealed Friday by ESPN.
“We allege that Bannon corruptly used the Friends organization to divert county funds and expand his power over park facilities and events, while also conferring unauthorized benefits like free golf and VIP concert tickets on himself, his family and his inner circle,” Attorney General Christopher Porrino said.