Browse Month by December 2016
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rex Ryan left the Bills the only way he knew how

Rex Ryan has been fretting and hand-wringing over his potential firing for the last few weeks. Publicly, he said the possibility did not matter. Privately for him, it was excruciating.

Tuesday morning, with his team 7-8 and out of the playoffs, in a no-win situation coaching his last game on Sunday at the Jets, where he had last been fired, Ryan took control in the only way he viewed he could take control.

His inability to improve the Buffalo defense, in fact ruining it, is particularly curious. As this season sped forward, it was gashed and humiliated, the players were often in wrong places at wrong times. Too often they were simply not making plays. The disconnect between the coaching and the player performance was stunning. I know Rex Ryan did not forget how to coach defense. But he clearly did not coach it well this year and his players clearly did not respond.

His strength became one of his most glaring weaknesses.

This was a primary factor why Pegula obliged.

Now, what to do with Taylor?

I think the Bills make a very clear decision here. With the proper offensive coaching, with an off-season full of work and mental repetition, with a re-make of his deeply cautious nature and simply a little more overall growth, the Bills are very comfortable moving forward with Taylor.

With a re-worked contract, for sure.

For the current one paying $30 million? No way. They would send him down Ryan’s path before that happens, with an even swifter, stronger boot.

Those are talks that will come with a decision made by March. For now, the Bills are just trying to get through Sunday at the Jets. With no Rex. He asked. He was shown the door.

They didn’t expect it. But they were happy to oblige. It was over. The firing was coming. Rex just took control in his own way –- and the Bills said walk, with your brother, too.

Seattle Seahawks

Washington vs. Eagles 2015 preview: Kirk Cousins and Co. look to clinch NFC East

In a special Saturday edition of Thursday Night Football, Washington and the Philadelphia Eagles will do battle with the NFC East title on the line. Washington will clinch a playoff berth with a win in Week 16, while the Eagles need a win this week and again next week against the New York Giants to clinch the division.

Washington got its first back-to-back win last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, playing a well-rounded game behind DeSean Jackson, Jordan Reed and Alfred Morris. The offense found the end zone on each of its first three drives, and the defense shut out the Bills through halftime.

The defense came out of the locker room to start the third quarter with a lack of motivation. It let the Bills bounce back with 17 points in the third quarter and eight points in the fourth. Fortunately for Washington, the offense also scored 14 in the second half to finish with a 35-25 win.

Ten seasons is a long time for a coach and quarterback to work together in the NFL. And given the porous results of the last two years in New Orleans, it may be time for a major shakeup.
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Clearly the Cardinals were pretty stacked at safety already with Rashad Johnson and Tony Jefferson joining Honey Badger back there, plus a guy like D.J. Swearinger who was recently picked up by the Cardinals after having been released by the Buccaneers.

Where do you think Arizona will miss Honey Badger the most; against the run or back in coverage?
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Danny: Well, first off, agree with your assessment on what the Cardinals are likely to do in his absence. It’s really rare to find “five-tool” guys like Mathieu and even rarer to have two of them, so the Cardinals will make do with a combination of some of their depth guys to play each of the different roles Honey Badger brings to the table.

Seattle Seahawks

Police: Michael Floyd had BAC of .217, could face jail time

When Michael Floyd was arrested in his vehicle on Dec. 12, he had a blood-alcohol level of .217, a number which could land him in jail.

Floyd was arrested and charged after the wide receiver fell asleep in the driver’s seat of his vehicle while stopped at a traffic signal. The Scottsdale, Ariz., prosecutor told ESPN that Floyd has now been been charged with more serious offenses due to the results of his BAC test, which were revealed Wednesday.

Jonathan Stewart Womens Jersey Floyd, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals after his arrest and has since been claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots, was initially charged with obstructing a roadway, DUI impaired to the slightest degree, DUI blood alcohol content above .08, and failure to obey a police officer.

Sherman and his defensive teammates want to be known as an all-time great unit. They know that the Seahawks let one slip away in Super Bowl XLIX. And they seem to want to make sure the offense, which has been inconsistent all season, does its part to give them another shot.

“It keeps me on track, it keeps me on edge, I don’t want to back off,” Carroll said. “I’m not slowing down. I’m not going to let up and get soft about stuff because I can brush stuff off. That stuff sticks in me as deep as it can go. I don’t want it to get in the way of the next thing that’s coming up. That was something that we were talking about today.”

Jason Heyward Womens Jersey Carroll’s approach should serve the Seahawks well. The questions about Super Bowl XLIX will become more common when the postseason begins in a couple weeks. There’s no reason for Carroll to pretend the Seahawks have somehow completely put that game in their rearview mirror.

At the same time, if Seattle’s season ends because of struggles on offense, it will be interesting to see how the defensive players react.

Seattle Seahawks

Playing without Pierre-Paul the past two weeks and now facing the possibility of playing without Jenkins

“We’ve got a lot of guys at their positions being asked to win one-on-one battles, and we’re winning them,” Casillas said. “[WR] Golden Tate had a day today, and that happens sometimes, but the good thing was it was only him. We basically bottled up everybody else.”

Tate had 122 yards from scrimmage. No other Lion had more than 52. QB Matthew Stafford, the king of the fourth-quarter comeback this season, threw for a pedestrian 273 yards on 24-for-39 passing with an interception.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans: He might have gotten your fantasy team into the playoffs, but the sophomore signal-caller hasn’t done anything to help put his squads over the top in these critical weeks.
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Authentic Kids Jeff Green Jersey Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals: The fourth most-started tight end in ESPN leagues in Week 15, active in 81.6 percent, Eifert was shut out on the fantasy scorecard for the first time since 2016 Week 7, his first game of the season and one in which he was limited to only 15 snaps as he was working his way back from May ankle surgery and a subsequent back injury. He caught just one of his three targets.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had zero fantasy points on seven touches in Week 15.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings: His first game back after 11 missed while recovering from a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee was a forgettable one, as he scored zero fantasy points on seven touches, mainly due to a lost fumble in the second quarter (minus-2 on the play). Peterson was a popular pickup during the past week, his ownership percentage increasing by 32.5 percent, and he was started in 19.5 percent of ESPN leagues on Sunday.

Seattle Seahawks

The Vikings will have to make a roster move to activate Peterson

Gary Zimmerman Game Jersey After a week of practice, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson says he is ready to return to the field.

Appearing on Dash Radio with DJ Skee (who provides pregame entertainment for Vikings home games), Peterson said he plans to play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, adding that a week of practice following his return from a torn meniscus “showed me I’m ready to roll.”

The Vikings will have to make a roster move to activate Peterson, who had surgery on his torn right meniscus Sept. 22 and has been on injured reserve since. The Vikings designated Peterson to return from IR this week but have yet to put him on their active roster.

“It’s always been a quest for me to try to learn,” Patterson said. “Once I came into the league, being around Henry Thomas when I was in New England, I tried to steal as much information as I could from him. And then I came here [the first time in 1998], being around John Randle, doing the same thing, Chris Doleman.
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Danielle Hunter has blossomed this season under the tutelage of Andre Patterson.

“I go coach my first Pro Bowl [in 1999], and I get a chance to be around Reggie White and Warren Sapp. Our first meeting, I said, ‘Hey — we’ve got the all-time sack leader in the history of the league. Let’s listen to what Reggie does.’ So they’re listening, but I’m soaking it all in. It was unbelievable. Reggie told a story that was out of this world. So years later, I go back to another Pro Bowl, I run into [Michael] Strahan. He comes up to me, hits me in the back and says, ‘I just want to tell you thank you.’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘That deal you did at the Pro Bowl changed my career — listening to what Reggie said.’ It had nothing to do with me, but I was the one that said, ‘Hey, let’s gain information.'”

Seattle Seahawks

Alex Smith has tunred from a boy into a game MANager before our very eyes

Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, and Danny Amendola are all getting healthy at exactley the right time for the Pats to make another postseason run. Plus if you give Belichick a bye week to prepare for a playoff gam at Foxboro hes going to basically spend it like Kevin McAllister during Home Alone wiring up the sideline’s with IEDs and having a gentlemens agreement with Aaron Hernandez to be at his window with a sniper rifle in case Marcus Wheaton gets behind the safety.

Andy Reid has been more like Andy Right folks, Alex Smith has tunred from a boy into a game MANager before our very eyes, and Eric Berry just finished out a inspiring season that has him firmly pegged in a distant second behind Danny Woodhead for comeback player of the year. Kansas City literaly translates to Boobs & Butt Town, and theyve certainly been showing off the goods- but can they show off the greats? I guess we’ll see, folks.

Cassius Marsh Mens Jersey And in the end, it didn’t matter, because Payton said New Orleans is where he wants to be, and he has no intention of ever leaving.
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“Here I am and nothing’s changing and I plan on finishing my career here,” Payton said. “I think Zach Strief said it best last week: I’ll be here as long as they’ll have me.”

The Saints are coming off a disappointing 7-9 finish, wrapping up their second consecutive losing season. Yet Payton was optimistic about their chances of bouncing back next year.

“I’m very clear and very happy and focused and excited about what’s to come,” Payton said.

JJ Watt just got his megaman brace taken off which means he’s now able to shake troops hands in front of cameras twice as effecently. Even more amazing is the fact that they have two former Browns QBs on there roster.

Seattle Seahawks

MLB Roundup: Hall voters could be with Mariano Rivera 100 percent

A follower on Twitter asked about whether the new rule for complete transparency in the Hall of Fame voting, adopted by the Baseball Writers¡¯ Association of American, will increase the possibility of the first unanimous selection.

Last winter, Ken Griffey Jr. was elected into the Hall with the highest percentage of votes ever cast for one candidate. Four writers didn¡¯t vote for him, and to this day, none in that minority has ever come forward to explain the rationale for not casting a ballot for a player who finished his career with 630 homers, 1,836 RBIs, 1,662 runs, an MVP Award and 13 All-Star selections.

Elite Mens Pat O’Donnell Jersey ¡°When a guy gets hurt like that out of the bullpen, I feel like I¡¯m responsible,¡± Maddon said. ¡°Maybe using him too much in different situations.¡±

Game Mens Zach Parise USA Jersey Cespedes has really remade himself as a player, or at least seems to have done so, becoming far more selective in 2016 without losing any other aspect of his game. He posted his best walk rate ever, yet his strikeout rate and power didn’t budge at all. The Mets asked him to play a lot of center field, even though he’s incapable of coming within spitting distance of average out there, so his total-value stats, such as WAR, are misleading. He’s not going to play center for a smart club in 2017, and that negative defensive value he posted in center will just go away.

Put him in right field, where he’ll have average range and help you with his plus arm, and even if his newfound patience means a .340 OBP instead of .320, with his 30-homer power he’s going to profile as a 4-5 win player. The market might overpay him because he’s the best there is, and you’re buying into his mid-30s, but four years and $80-90 million would probably give you a good overall return, even if the market wants to pay him $25-30 million per year instead.

Seattle Seahawks

Answering 25 questions on the 2017 NFL draft

It’s December, that special time of year when it becomes NFL draft season. And we’re officially less than 150 days until the festivities get underway in Philadelphia. So, in what has become an annual tradition, we are here with a quick, 25-question primer to get you going.

As can be seen above, the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs are pretty safe bets to make the playoffs, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the divisional impact of their game on Thursday night.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are tied with the Atlanta Falcons atop the NFC South, but FPI isn’t quite buying into their recent winning streak. The Bucs currently have a 16 percent chance to win the division and a 41 percent chance to make the playoffs, but those odds would increase drastically with a win versus New Orleans on Sunday afternoon. FPI sees that game as a tossup.
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Not surprisingly, the teams battling the Bucs for the final wild card spot — the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers — all have important games this week to stay in the conversation. Of those teams, Minnesota is the most likely to win this week (61 percent at Jacksonville).

Game Youth Vance McDonald Jersey Starting DT Javon Hargrave missed Wednesday’s practice while under concussion protocol. This is significant. Hargrave has probably been the team’s most reliable rookie. He recorded a sack in back-to-back games before leaving Sunday’s win over the Giants. The Steelers are thin on the interior. Veteran DE Ricardo Mathews can play an enhanced role, and Dan McCullers and L.T. Walton haven’t graduated from spot duty. The Steelers will hope Hargrave becomes symptom-free before facing Buffalo’s league-best rushing attack.

Seattle Seahawks

NFL playoff bracket 2016 update: Chiefs shut out Texans to advance, await Patriots

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The Kansas City Chiefs advanced to the Divisional round of the 2016 NFL playoffs after shutting out the Houston Texans Saturday, 30-0. The Chiefs played spectacular defense (with some help from a shaky Brian Hoyer) to win, but they will face a much tougher foe in No. 2 seed New England Patriots.
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In the Patriots, the Chiefs get a beleaguered but well-seasoned playoff team. Injuries hampered the Pats’ offense. Entering the playoffs, wide receiver Julian Edelman and tackle Sebastian Vollmer were both questionable. Still, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are proven winners whatever their supporting cast.

Also on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers outlasted the Cincinnati Bengals 18-16, with Pittsburgh advancing to face the No. 1 seed Denver Broncos next weekend.

If Maclin continues to sit, the Chiefs will have to rely heavily on tight end Travis Kelce, who is quarterback Alex Smith’s other favorite target. Kelce had eight catches for 128 yards against the Texans.

Hopefully Maclin can make a return sooner than later. For now, he can take heart that his team got its first playoff win since 1994.

Houston has two things that Washington lacks, above all else: defensive end J.J. Watt, and wins over good teams in the regular season. Watt is unreal, a game-changing player who can do everything asked of a defensive end and so much more on top of that. Watt finished the regular season wth 17.5 sacks, 2.5 more than the next player, Khalil Mack. He joined Reggie White as the only two players to have 15 sacks in three of their first five NFL seasons.

The Texans have played close against the Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs, but they had great wins over the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets when Watt was on his game after the bye week. They have shown more than Washington and should be able to do more than Washington in the postseason.

The Texans will host the Chiefs in a Wild Card game on Saturday.

Seattle Seahawks

New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, had a bad reaction after smoking synthetic marijuana

In August of last year, Connor Eckhardt, a California teenager who used the drug, quickly slipped into a coma, experienced brain swelling and died soon after. The year before that, Nicholas Colbert. The deaths keep piling up, yet the drugs seems only to become more famous.

From January to May of 2015, the deaths from the drug had tripled from the previous year: These deaths do not include the grisly situation that happened during the same month of Eckhardt’s death where a man, reportedly high on the drug and with a history of mental illness, decapitated his wife, killed his dogs, cut off his own hands and eye in order to rid himself and her of the evil within.

The Seahawks have owned the NFC recently, but could be on the verge of ceding power to the Panthers. Though the NFC Championship doesn’t get played until next weekend, this is the real game that decides the standard bearer of the conference.

There is taking the lead in the fourth quarter of a playoff game. Then there is taking the lead in the fourth quarter of a playoff game ON A DEFLECTED TOUCHDOWN RECEPTION.

Unfortunately for the Steelers, they’re dealing with a very competent Broncos defense. The Broncos rank first in the league against the pass, third in the league against the run, and fourth in the league in points allowed per game with 18.5.

Someone like Brown could really do some damage to that defense, especially given the fact that Pittsburgh ranked third in the league in total yardage in the regular season. The Steelers have been productive, but yardage is going to be tough against the Broncos.

Limited Kids Ryan Schraeder Jersey Denver is going with Peyton Manning at quarterback. He was benched earlier in the year after he was well on his way to the worst season of his career, though he also sustained a foot injury that kept him out. Brock Osweiler did not do much in his place and the Broncos elected to go with Manning for the playoffs. He completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 2,249 yards with nine touchdowns and a massive 17 interceptions before he was benched.

Game Womens Tharold Simon Jersey Who knows which Manning will show up on Sunday? The veteran quarterback is capable of roasting any defense out there if he’s on his game.

It’s the Chip Kelly’s offense of weed. John. W. Huffman, one of the scientists who first developed the drug for research purposes, likened using it to playing Russian Roulette, before dismissing anyone who would use it as “idiots.”