What has gone wrongFor starters, the Texans should realize how much they miss blindside pass protector Duane Brown and work harder to end their long-time stud left tackle’s holdout. Right tackle Derek Newton, not fully recovered from his torn patellar tendon suffered in 2016, is out for all of 2017. Allen (through free agency) and Su’a-Filo (through the draft) have been major disappointments in trying to restore what they once had at guard with Brandon Brooks.
Worst Pro Football Focus grade: Giacomini (29.8). The former Jet and Seahawk hasn’t been a reliable stopgap on the right side. Rookie fourth-rounder Julien Davenport, a terrific athlete, may be a bit raw out of Bucknell, but he can’t be much worse.
Reason for hope: Martin, back healthy, has been solid in the middle in compensating for the free-agent departure of Ben Jones last season. Overall, the group is much better in run blocking, which is in line, anyway, with the run-heavy approach Houston needs to take with Lamar Miller, D’Onta Foreman and Deshaun Watson. Settling on a consistent five beyond the early shuffling also would help.
Despite a pair of missed field goals in the first half, those who took the over were looking good at halftime. Miami (OH) led 28-14 as the 42 combined points were nine shy of the closing over/under of 51.
The second half however, saw a total of three points as missed opportunities cost both Central Michigan and folks who bet the over. The Chippewas got inside the RedHawks’ five-yard on two different occasions, but failed to score both times. Central Michigan would get shutout in the second half despite running 18 plays in Miami (OH) territory, something that bettors who came up a touchdown short of hitting their over won’t want to hear.
Owners of the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants were among those across the league who responded Saturday to President Donald Trump, who one night earlier said he wished NFL players who protest during the national anthem would be fired and later Saturday called out commissioner Roger Goodell directly.
We’re not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, to remove ourselves from the circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn’t be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something, he shouldn’t be separated from his teammate who chooses not to. So we’re not participating today. That’s our decision. We’re gonna be 100 percent. We came here to play a football game. That’s our intentions, and we’re gonna play and play to win.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday would be an unprecedented day of protests in the NFL. The public’s collective eye was focused on how players would react to a series of tweets from Trump.
If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast, Trump tweeted at 6:44 a.m. ET on Sunday. Fire or suspend!
The Chicago Bears were the other team with a sub-30-percent GBR through two weeks (27.8). Their 31.4 percent GBR against Pittsburgh doesn’t offer much hope that their run-blocking consistency is improving, however. This means that Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen should still be considered to have more boom/bust traits than other comparably valued running backs.
NFL underdogs went on a run Sunday that produced a significant transfer of wealth in Las Vegas.
Ten of Sunday’s 13 underdogs covered the spread, with six teams pulling outright upsets. For some bookmakers, it was their most lucrative NFL Sunday ever. For the betting public, it was a multimillion-dollar defeat.
On an average NFL Sunday, sportsbook operator CG Technology will win 4-6 percent of the amount wagered. This Sunday, CG Technology kept more than 16 percent of the money bet on the NFL at their sportsbooks, according to vice president of risk Jason Simbal.
It was certainly one of the best days we’ve had, Simbal told ESPN on Sunday night.
When you have one position that gets hit by it, maybe it has something to do with playing Chicago on Thursday night, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. Last year it was the running backs. This year it’s the tackles. So, you just work through it. Frankly, we’re still working through it. … There’s still some testing that’s being done. But yeah, it’s a work in progress.
John started three games for the Cardinals last season at right tackle. He appeared in two games in 2015 for Miami but has no ties to the Packers or their offensive system.
For a second straight week the Chargers probably will be without cornerback in Jason Verrett. Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said that an MRI last week revealed no new damage to Verrett’s surgically repaired left knee. However, Verrett remains week to week and Lynn does not want the TCU product back on the field until he’s fully healthy. Second-year pro Trevor Williams played solid in place of Verrett against the Miami Dolphins last week, finishing with five tackles and two pass breakups. — Eric D. Williams
Rookie wideout Cooper Kupp impressed again. Trade acquisition Sammy Watkins made his first big play as a Ram with a 28-yard catch-and-run. Rookie tight end Gerald Everett clicked with Goff for a 69-yard completion off of a scramble. Johnny Hecker pulled off another fake punt that set up the game-tying field goal.
A narrow loss after a blowout win didn’t drain the Rams of their confidence.
I think as a team we took a lot away. I think we saw how we could fight back, Goff said. It’s good to know that we have that capability. With that being said, though, it wasn’t nearly what we could be, but it’s good to know.
Ravens guard Marshal Yanda is out for the season with a broken ankle suffered in the win over the Browns.
Browns receiver Corey Coleman has a possible broken bone in his hand and will be evaluated further Monday.
49ers safety Eric Reid injured his left knee in the loss to the Seahawks and will have an MRI Monday. He’s hopeful he can play Thursday against the Rams.
Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles was carted off the field with a lower left leg injury and did not return to the 42-17 win over the Cowboys.
Redskins running back Rob Kelley left Sunday’s win over the Rams with a rib injury after rushing for 78 yards on 12 carries.
Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson suffered a quad injury in the first half of Sunday’s 34-23 loss to the Falcons and did not return.
Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley came out of Sunday’s matchup with the Packers in the second half with a hamstring injury.
Earlier this week, Bradford described the injury as a noncontact one suffered during the Vikings’ Week 1 win over the New Orleans Saints.
This particular issue we’re dealing with, I’m not sure if I’ve ever dealt with it before, he said.
Bradford severely sprained his left ankle in 2011 and missed six games for the St. Louis Rams. The ACL tear in 2013 limited him to seven games. And the tear in 2014 kept him out for the entire season. He had a concussion and a sprained left shoulder that cost him two games with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.
This is the 10th year out of 13 that the Vikings have had to start more than one quarterback in a season, with Brett Favre (2009), Christian Ponder (2012) and Teddy Bridgewater (2015) the only ones who made it through a campaign unscathed. In a 35-year span since the 1982 strike, the Vikings have enjoyed such 16-game security in only seven seasons, with Warren Moon (1995) and Daunte Culpepper (2000, 2002 and 2004) also on the list.
We found it within ourselves to not put everything on the coaches. We actually had to do the work. That is what we did. We finished as one of the top defenses.
The Giants’ offense has stumbled badly out of the gate this season, producing just 13 total points in the two losses. The offense hasn’t scored 20 points in any of its past eight games, dating back to last season.
The last time the Giants lost their first three games was during an 0-6 start to the 2013 season.
The Giants entered this season with high expectations after winning 11 games and reaching the playoffs last year. However, they have been manhandled in both prime-time games, being outscored 43-13 so far this season.
Pierre-Paul is not alone in his thinking this week is make or break. All-Pro safety Landon Collins believes it as well.
That’s right, the Browns are one-point favorites in Indianapolis this weekend. The two winless teams face off with an over/under of 40 points. After a brutal opening loss against the Rams, the Colts actually held their own last week in an overtime loss to the Cardinals.
Browns running back Isaiah Crowell has stated he wants the ball more. That would likely help Cleveland’s woeful passing game that is now without wide receiver Corey Coleman (broken hand).
Jacoby Brissett vastly improved Indy’s offense last week after the shambolic Week 1 display by Scott Tolzien. The odds seem to be against the Browns beating Colts.
In the opening loss to the Chiefs, the Patriots were out of sync against a much better defense. They were trying to figure out the right pecking order in a remixed running game and rediscover a passing identity.
Some of that happened. Mike Gillislee emerged as the power back of choice, and Amendola was the natural fill-in for Edelman. But Brady was still getting the feel for new deep threat Brandin Cooks and how to better use Hogan in an expanded role.
With extra time to prepare for picking apart the Saints, Brady wasted no time in using Burkhead’s and Gronkowski’s versatility. He didn’t force it to Cooks downfield in Cooks’ revenge game, and he picked his spot to deploy Hogan.
In the backfield, there was no more mystery. Gillislee was the main early-down rusher, and James White was the clear third-down receiver. By being so multiple and unpredictable with the rest of the backs, wideouts and tight ends, it’s OK for the Patriots to have some predictability.
Leading up to Monday’s game, there was much internal debate among the Cowboys and Cardinals, and even between the two teams.
Peterson told ESPN’s Lisa Salters that when he woke up on Saturday morning and heard about Trump’s comments, he and another teammate went to Arians and asked if players could do something in response before Monday night’s game.
That started a series of conversations with the Cowboys — including Fitzgerald reaching out to Dallas tight end Jason Witten — to discuss a possible joint show of unity.
Those conversations continued throughout the day Monday, but ultimately the decision was made that there would be no joint team response.
Before a giant American flag was unfurled that covered almost the entire field, the Cowboys — including Jerry Jones — took a knee briefly as a group. This led to a smattering of boos from the crowd that included a large number of Dallas fans.
During the national anthem, the Cowboys stood locked arm in arm but nobody took a knee or appeared to show any sign of silent protest.
A day after saying ‘I’m a dog, so I acted like a dog’ to explain his touchdown celebration where he simulated urinating on the field, Odell Beckham Jr. changed his tune on social media, now suggesting it was related to President Trump’s comments.
Villanueva gear best-selling after anthem action
Over the past 24 hours, more Alejandro Villanueva gear, including jerseys and name and number T-shirts, was ordered than for any other NFL player.
Beckham returned for the Giants on Monday after being held out Week 1 with a sprained ankle. The Giants offense in his absence scored three points against the Cowboys in a game it looked allergic to fluidity.
This week, the Giants got the star on their Christmas tree back but were still suffering from a wilting stump. Manning was sacked fives times and under duress on a number of other occasions. Though the Giants were hopeful Beckham’s inclusion in the lineup would be the tonic to fixing a disoriented offense, the Giants lost to Detroit, 24-10, and are still searching for answers on a young, winless season, especially on offense.
We’re only going to go where we take it, Beckham said. It’s in our hands.
The Packers, who beat the Seahawks in Week 1, turned the page to the Falcons, yet another NFC contender, for an early-season clash and possible playoff preview. Aaron Rodgers vs. Matt Ryan certainly was more entertaining than Rodgers vs. Russell Wilson turned out to be in a defensive battle. Atlanta improved to 2-0 on the season, while Green Bay fell to 1-1.
Touchdown. An Aaron Rodgers shovel pass to Ty Montgomery for a 1-yard touchdown, including the extra point, cut Atlanta’s lead to 11 points with 5:51 left to play. The score capped an eight-play, 85-yard drive that took just 3:44 off the clock. 34-23, Falcons.
Western Kentucky would then respond with a go-ahead touchdown that put the Hilltoppers up 26-21. It all led to Joe Brown’s pick-six with 1:13 left that sealed the win for Western Kentucky, along with the misery for those on Ball State and the under.
I’ve been 0-2. I know the urgency associated with that in this business, Tomlin said. And I’m sure that they feel it. And I’m sure we’re going to get their best effort because of it.
We’re getting prepared with an edge. We’re too fragile �� we’re too new in this team development process, in terms of searching for consistency and acceptable level of play, to take any other approach.
In fact, Tomlin even seemed intent on pointing out the dubious nature of that 5-12 statistic in pointing out that 0-2 doesn’t define you at this juncture of the season. Because included in those 12 losses were defeats against a 1-5 Chiefs team that has a 24-4 record in regular-season games since and a 1-4 Dolphins team that won nine of its final 11 games in 2016.
At least Cincinnati’s offense finally got into the end zone.
Green’s score snapped a season-opening streak of 25 possessions without a touchdown. Until Sunday, they were only able to muster three field goals over the first two weeks, both losses.
Rodgers’ only other interception returned for a score came on Nov. 8, 2009, by Tanard Jackson in a 38-28 loss at Tampa. … It was the warmest kickoff for a Packers home game at 89 degrees.
There will always be issues with our country. There will always be things that we’re battling and we should always be striving to make those things better, but if the protest becomes that we’re going to sit down or kneel and not show respect to the flag of the United States of America and everything that it symbolizes and everything that it stands for and everything our country has been through to get to this point I do not agree with that.
Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks, who caught the game-winning touchdown in New England’s 36-33 win over the Texans, said he knelt before the game to stand with his brothers.
After a stunning defeat in their opener, the New England Patriots were back to the norm Week 2.
Tom Brady looked like his old self as the Patriots dropped the Saints to 0-2, and there were plenty of other familiar sights in the second week of regular-season action.
The referees came under fire, Denver’s defense delivered a punishing display, the Seahawks’ offensive line struggled and the poor old Chargers proved fortune cares not for the location of your team.
Once he’s done feasting, Wilfork will probably be watching the Patriots put Deshaun Watson’s feet to the fire. New England is 16-5 overall and 8-0 at home since 2001 when facing rookie quarterbacks such as Watson, the ex-Clemson standout who will be making his second NFL start.
Wilfork spoke in Belichickian fashion when providing scant detail about what makes New England so effective against newbie passers. It’s a certain mindset we had is all Wilfork would allow.
Wilfork, though, was more forthcoming in his praise of Watson and how the Texans made the right decision benching Tom Savage midway through the season opener.
[Watson] has won big games in college so he knows what it’s going to take to win in the NFL, said Wilfork, who played with the Texans in 2015 and 2016. All rookies are going to have their flaws. At the end of the day he’s going to be my franchise quarterback. That means there’s going to be a learning curve.
Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders: On a frustrating night for the Oakland offense, Crabtree was sidelined with a chest injury, and he went to the locker room for X-rays. He did not return.