Maurice Jones-Drew is giving Tony Romo a run for his money in NFL predictions

Tony Romo is getting credit for being an incredible broadcaster with his predictions, but Maurice Jones-Drew is sneaking in with some truly impressive ones of his own. His latest was a terrifyingly accurate take on Jaguars-Steelers that has us reeling.

“The Jaguars’ defense forces the Pittsburgh Steelers into four turnovers. As a result, Blake Bortles will outplay Ben Roethlisberger, who usually does well at home.”
Checking in on the game now and …. oh my god.

Gronkowski played the entire game against the Carolina Panthers in Week 4 and seemed fine. However, the four-time Pro Bowler surprisingly appeared on the Patriots’ injury report on Wednesday and was listed as questionable heading into Week 5. Gronkowski met with the media on Tuesday, and he didn’t appear to be in any pain.

ESPN reported that Gronkowski arrived at the Raymond James Stadium sporting a sleeve around his left thigh on Thursday. The Patriots will have to compete for their third win of the season without their star tight end.

Other than Tom Brady, Gronkowski is the best player on the Patriots. He creates matchup problems for opposing defenses. He can play in the slot, line up on the perimeter to run routes, and deliver blocks to spring running backs open.

Gronkowski has hauled in 20 passes for 318 yards and two touchdowns this season. He also leads the Patriots in receiving yards. Now, New England will have to depend on Dwayne Allen to make plays while Gronkowski nurses his left thigh injury.falcons_030

This Sunday was right there with it.

“It’s a great deal for Teddy, and we’ll take it one day at a time, just like we did for the past 14 months,” Zimmer said.

Bridgewater missed the entire 2016 season due to a torn ACL and dislocated knee. The Vikings placed him on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list before the 2017 regular season and are expected to take him off soon, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

However, Zimmer said the Vikings won’t activate him from the PUP just yet. The Vikings have 21 days to decide whether to put him on the active roster. If they don’t, he’ll spend the rest of the season on injured reserve.

The Minnesota Vikings’ upset of the Green Bay Packers produced the biggest win of the morning slate for the books, and the Pittsburgh Steelers sealed a winning day for the casinos by handing the favored Kansas City Chiefs their first loss of the season.

“The Packers and Chiefs losing, those two games dwarfed everything else,” Ed Salmons, assistant manager at the Westgate, said late Sunday afternoon. “Saints-Lions was the only one we lost.”

Just three weeks ago, underdogs also went on a hot streak, covering the spread in 10 of 13 games on Sept. 24 and leading the books to what some said was their best Sunday ever.

This Sunday was right there with it.

“Second-best Sunday of the season,” Michael Grodsky, vice president of marketing for William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook, told ESPN. “Week 3 was just historic for us.”

His addition alone has elevated the performance of the offensive line which is single-handedly allowing McVay’s concepts to be implements and allowing QB Jared Goff to do what he has done this season: go through reads, make good decisions and work all areas of the field to a wide diversity of targets.falcons_021

Cleveland signed him to a $60 million, three-year contract after he spent seven-plus seasons with Toronto.

The proposed new policy is the result of “many of discussions with clubs and players,” Goodell added.

President Donald Trump has called on NFL owners since last month to fire players who do not stand for the anthem, saying their protest “disrespects the flag” and the country. The issue intensified last weekend, when Vice President Mike Pence walked out of the 49ers-Colts game because more than 20 players from the 49ers kneeled during the anthem.

Players involved in the protest, which began in 2016 with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have said they are protesting police brutality and racism — not the flag itself. But many NFL owners have grown concerned about the appearance of unpatriotic acts and, on Sunday, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he would bench any player who kneeled.

Stewart J. Schwab, Jonathan and Ruby Zhu Professor of Law, Cornell University: “The player who does not stand can be [accused of] conduct detrimental to the public confidence in the NFL. Employment law allows private sector employers great latitude in restricting employee conduct and speech while at work.”
Advantage: Owners

Michael J. Golden, lecturer, trial advocacy program, University of Texas: “In order for professional football teams to be the most competitive they can be, the CBA gives management significant rights to decide who plays and who doesn’t — and ultimately who gets cut and who gets kept. The CBA pretty much guarantees that coaches and management decide, without review, who plays and who does not. It would be lawful for the Cowboys to have a rule that only people who voted for a particular party in the last election could play for the team. While this rule might be a bad idea, it wouldn’t violate the law.”steelers_010

Dwyane Wade secures Cavs’ final starting job for Cleveland’s opening night

Carlos Correa homered for the Astros as they took a first-inning lead for the third straight game. Up 3-0 with two on and one out in the second, Houston chased Doug Fister and Joe Kelly retired George Springer before Josh Reddick hit a long fly ball to right field that Mookie Betts caught at the top of the short wall to end the inning.

“It would have been a great spot for us to get another three runs and big momentum for us. And that seemed to be big momentum for those guys,” Reddick said. “They come up after that and they take the lead. So I just l wish the park was a little bit shorter.”

Said ace lefty Chris Sale: “There’s a lot of room for debate and would’ves and should’ves. He gave me every opportunity to succeed. I can say the same for everybody on this team.”

And from closer Craig Kimbrel: “He was there for us. He watches us all year long. He knows each and every guy in here. He knows what we’re made of. For him to go out every night and put it together and try to put the best team on the field, I think he did a great job.”

As a member of Generation X, following sports — especially football — was very different back when I was a kid. There were no satellite dishes perched atop your roof ready to bring whatever sporting event you desired into your home. There was no Red Zone channel that could show you each and every important play from all over the country. There weren’t even any bye weeks until 1990, so you always got your local team, week in and week out, and that was pretty much it.

Devers, who turns 21 on Oct. 24, is the youngest Red Sox player to homer in the postseason and one of only six players in major league history to hit a postseason home run before their 21st birthday.

The others: Mickey Mantle, Andruw Jones, Miguel Cabrera, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.

Hundley will never be Aaron Rodgers, but he doesn’t have to be.

This also looked intriguing months ago Andrew Luck vs. Marcus Mariota. Unless Mariota’s hamstring gets better very fast, it’ll be Jacoby Brissett vs. Matt Cassel, instead. The Colts are still closer to being the team that got blown out by the Seahawks in their last primetime appearance than the team that beat the 49ers last week (after blowing a fourth-quarter lead). Cassel, meanwhile … is Cassel. Don’t feel guilty about nodding off early.

Kaepernick’s potency with both arm and legs tormented the Packers in the past, beating them twice in the playoffs with the 49ers. Now McCarthy and the Packers may have to produce a game plan that would be perfectly tailored to him.

The onus is instead on McCarthy to change the offense into one that has beaten him many times before. The Packers are not done, they just have to be different.

The Packers had a devastating loss Sunday, and it wasn’t the 23-10 defeat in Minnesota. The Packers lost starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and now hope backup Brett Hundley can do enough to get Green Bay into the playoffs for the ninth straight year.

While the Packers lost to the Vikings, the Patriots won again as Tom Brady reached another milestone, but he wasn’t exactly impressed. Redskins linebacker Zach Brown was brutally honest about a penalty that went in his team’s favor; Jaguars kicker Jason Myers was also sarcastically honest in response to a question about his missed field goals; the Jets are not happy about the touchdown that was overturned in the seven-point loss to the Patriots; and Cardinals coach Bruce Arians loves his veteran playerstigers_054

These Lions are here to roar in NFC North for a long time

They say Detroit is making a comeback. Consider its NFL team, the Lions, to be way ahead on that front.

The 2017 Lions, at 3-1, are likely headed to the NFC playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in more than 20 years. They are bound to end their 26-year playoff win drought soon.

Much of the attention, like it is with any consistent contending team in the league, is on the quarterback-coach combination of Matthew Stafford and Jim Caldwell. They have been key in reviving each other’s careers and were rewarded with contract extensions — meaning they’ll be around for a lot longer together.

Don’t confuse this edition of the Lions with the 2012 and ’15 teams, which reverted to being less than lovable losers. There are many reasons to think the luau in Honolulu Blue will have some staying power this time.

The Jets have a defense better than expected. The Browns have an offense worse than expected. Josh McCown gets a little revenge here while DeShone Kizer struggles with limited help against a team that’s stopping the pass well.

Frank Gore takes advantage of good timing against his former team to push up to No. 7 on the all-time rushing list ahead of Eric Dickerson. His replacement in San Francisco, Carlos Hyde, will keep the visitors in it, but it’s easier to trust Jacoby Brissett and Adam Vinatieri at home vs. Brian Hoyer and Robbie Gould on the road.x (19)

Biggest NFL injuries of Week 5

J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans: Watt suffered a left leg injury while trying to make a play on Alex Smith during the first quarter of Sunday night’s game against the Chiefs, and remained on the ground while he was examined by Texans medical personnel. Eventually, Watt rose and made his way slowly to the sideline while attempting to keep weight off that leg. He then was carted off to the locker room for further evaluation. The team quickly announced that Watt was out for the remainder of the game, and he left the stadium in an ambulance. Later during the game, the Texans announced that Watt had sustained a tibial plateau fracture in his left leg, and he’ll be out indefinitely.

Adam Jones, CB, Cincinnati Bengals: A lower-back injury plagued Jones throughout the first half of Sunday’s game, and eventually he departed for the locker room with Bengals training staff. He was originally deemed questionable to return before being downgraded to out.

The Browns squandered four scoring opportunities during a sometimes comical — and difficult to watch — first half in which they dominated statistically, but couldn’t get out of their own way.

Crowell fumbled a pitch inside New York’s 10, Gonzalez missed two field goals and Kizer threw an interception at the goal line.

Jets: RB Bilal Powell exited in the second quarter with a calf injury, forcing third-stringer Elijah McGuire into action. Starter Matt Forte was inactive for the second straight week with turf toe.

Browns: LB James Burgess sustained a left knee injury in the fourth and walked off. … Starting LB Jamie Collins missed his third straight game with a concussion.
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NFL to change ‘May 16 rule’ for rookie eligibility

The NFL has agreed to drop the rule that prevented rookies from joining their new NFL teams until their school’s final exams were completed.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the new “May 16 rule” agreement will allow all rookies to join their NFL team around May 16, whether they are still enrolled in school or not.

The old rule had been adopted in 1990 to ensure student-athletes remained in school and finished their course work, rather than drop out to join their team.

Bradford, who suffered a noncontact injury to his left knee during a Week 1 win over New Orleans Saints and last practiced on Sept. 21, on Friday said the knee has “come a long ways” after he returned to practice Thursday.

Bradford, who flew to Florida on Sept. 22 to seek a second opinion from orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews, was given last week off to rest and rehabilitate his injury. Sources earlier confirmed to ESPN that scans revealed no structural damage and that surgery wasn’t required.

After getting the second opinion, Bradford is hopeful this won’t be an issue that continues to surface.

“Anytime you go for a second opinion there’s always a little bit of anxiety because you’re not quite sure in how that’s going to go or what that conversation is going to be like,” he said. “I would say after going down there it was definitely good news.x (13)

Adam Gase made the biggest coaching mistake of NFL Week 2 (on purpose!)

After postponing their Week 1 contest due to Hurricane Irma, the Miami Dolphins opened their season by taking on the Los Angeles Chargers in StubHub Center. It was a low-scoring, back-and-forth affair, with the Dolphins eventually gaining a two-point lead with 1:05 left in the game.

And then things got weird, leading to arguably the worst coaching decision of Week 2. Or was it? Let’s go over the end of the game.

Tolbert, along with McDermott, Joe Webb, and Kaelin Clay, will face their former team this Sunday in Charlotte. Earlier this week, Tolbert said the game means a lot to him.

Aside from the fact that the field goal was awesome, it was also his 12th consecutive made field goal from at least 50 yards and that’s pretty cool too.

The Texans were already down a right tackle to start the season after Derek Newton tore both patellar tendons last October. Kendall Lamm has been a backup in Houston after joining the Texans as an undrafted free agent following the 2015 draft. He was hoping to earn the starting spot at right tackle, but Brown’s holdout made it necessary for Lamm to switch to the left side. He had such a rough day against the Jaguars that he was benched:

That left Breno Giacomini to man the right side. Giacomini actually had a couple of solid seasons with the Seattle Seahawks back in 2013 and 2014. He started each game — including two postseason games — for Seattle in 2013. In 2014, he missed seven games due to injury but started the other nine regular season and postseason contests, including Super Bowl XLIX. But in his new role in Houston, it’s not going well for him, either:

When both tackles aren’t able to hold their own, the guards have to try to compensate, which makes things harder for the center. It’s felt across the entire line.
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Marshawn Lynch looks ‘better’ and ‘quicker’ than ever to Jets coach Todd Bowles

Even at 31, Marshawn Lynch can run the football. And to the Jets, who are tasked with trying to stop him in Week 2, the Raiders running back has never looked better.

The five-time Pro Bowler who came out of retirement in the offseason to play in Oakland rushed for 72 yards on 18 carries in the Raiders’ 26-16 win over the Titans last week. Todd Bowles was impressed.

Watt shook off any discomfort his left ring finger was causing him, even during those last three plays. There were no signs of the digit bothering him when he made this emphatic game-clinching tackle on the last play of the evening.

After checking his hand, Watt confirmed his finger is indeed still part of it, “so that’s all that matters,” he said.

Any injury to their defensive star is enough to give Texans fans heartburn – Watt played in just three regular-season games last season because of back issues – but he’s got 10 days for his finger to heal before Houston’s Week 3 game in New England.

Besides, does anyone really think a finger – detached or not – would keep Watt off the field?

And in order for us to be great again as a country, and not have all this racism and bigotry and injustice, we all need to realize that there is a problem and be there for each other to correct the problem.” Ingram was one of at least 10 Saints players who sat during the anthem.
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