Without Bell, the Steelers’ offense was not it’self. They ran only 20 rushing plays, for an average gain of just 2.7 yards. They averaged 5.1 yards per rush in their first two playoff games. They failed to control the pace of the game, giving the Patriots’ quick-strike offense entirely too much time on the field. Pittsburgh had two first-and-goal situations, one from the 1-yard line and one from the 6-yard line. Those opportunities yielded just three points.
Not having a healthy Bell was an obvious obstacle for the Steelers. ‘No question,’ coach Mike Tomlin said. ‘But injuries are part of the game. We didn’t do a good enough job, or quick enough job, adapting to the circumstances.’
That has been a big part of Bell’s four years with the Steelers they’ve had to adapt to a lot of circumstances around him. He is certainly a personality and ego that requires some management, such as during this week when he compared his game-changing skills to the impact Stephen Curry has had on basketball. Or at the beginning of the year, when he released a song under his alter ego, ‘Juice,’ called ‘I’m the Man.’
The Texans will come after Cook, though Houston has only 31 sacks, which ranks 24th in the league. Nine of those sacks came in the first two games, wins over the Bears and Chiefs. That was with J.J. Watt, who was lost for the season after three weeks with a back injury.
Houston did sack Dalton three times on Christmas Eve as Whitney Mercilus collected two of his 7 1/2 sacks this season.
Mercilus beat both Bengals tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher with speed rushes off the edge. Mercilus did a great job of dipping his shoulders to get underneath the linemens hands.
Youth Kirk Cousins Jersey
Another wrinkle of uncertainty has been added to the Raiders’ quarterback situation heading into next weekend’s AFC wild-card game against the Texans.
Youth Mark Barron Jersey
Matt McGloin, thrust into starting duty with MVP candidate Derek Carr out for the season, injured his non-throwing shoulder in the first half of Sunday’s 24-6 loss to the Broncos and did not return, casting some doubt over his starting status for the playoff opener. That may have been in question anyway based on how McGloin played before exiting.
The fourth-year pro was just 6 of 11 for 21 yards passing when he took a late hit by Broncos defensive end Jared Crick with less than two minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Trailing 17-0 at halftime, the Raiders placed their chances at clinching the No. 2 seed in the AFC in the arm of Connor Cook, a 2016 fourth-round draft pick making his NFL debut.
The Michigan State product went 14 for 21 for 150 yards with one touchdown and two turnovers an interception and a fumble while leading Oakland’s only two scoring drives.
To put it in perspective, those numbers are on par with past Senior Bowl standouts Russell Wilson and Derek Carr, who I have charted using the same process.
By comparison, Peterman’s North roster quarterback competitor, Iowa’s CJ Beathard, was just 9 for 16 (with three receiver drops) but with four incorrect progressions. Beathard has looked noticeably less confident and poised in his read progressions and far less ready for the NFL.
With the Dolphins down 20-3 in the second quarter of the AFC wild-card game against Pittsburgh, it looked as if Miami’s day couldn’t get much worse.
But Steelerslinebacker Bud Dupree reminded the Dolphins and quarterback Matt Moore that, actually, it could.Dupree absolutely blasted Moore on a Dolphins rollout pass, seemingly knocking him out of the game and earning a roughing the passer penalty in the process.
Surprisingly, Moore re-entered the game on that same drive. Reporters on the CBS telecast said Moore took the brunt of the blow to his jaw, and that he had cleared concussion protocol.
Jake Matthews Kids Jersey
To his credit, Moore helped the Dolphins close the gap with the Steelers: Miami endedthe drive with a field goal to bring the score to 20-6.
Welcome to the weekend of Big Chunk Plays.
Brandon Graham Elite Jersey
No, not blow chunks. But NFL offenses and players seeking big chunks of yardage.
That cliche was the buzzword during Sunday’s Week 17. I first heard it from NFL insider Josina Anderson on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown.
Then Joe Buck and Troy Aikman of Fox went big chunk crazy while calling the Giants’ 19-10 win over the Redskins Sunday. During the pre-game intro, Buck said the Redskins were as good as it gets in the NFL when it comes to pulling off the the big plays, the big chunks.
Aikman elaborated during the game. These Redskins, they want to stretch you vertically and get big chunks in the passing game, he said.
When you hear big chunks during NFL playoff games this weekend, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The Cubs still haven’t been able to get things going this season, and will now be without starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks for a while.
Hendricks, who led MLB in ERA last season, was placed on the 10-day disabled list Thursday with right hand tendinitis.
Huntington has led the Pirates organization since September 2007, and has helped the team build its farm system, find bargain free agents, and post three straight winning seasons from 2013-2015, snapping a streak of 20 straight losing seasons for the Pirates. Hurdle came aboard before the 2011 season and has a 536-497 mark in Pittsburgh.
Brandon Marshall Mens Jersey It’s hard to fault Hurdle or Huntington for the various problems that have hampered the Bucs this year. Starling Marte has more than a month to go in serving an 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s PED rules. Utility man Jung Ho Kang has not played in 2017, unable to get a visa to re-enter the U.S. after facing a DUI court date in South Korea in the offseason. Young pitching star Jameson Taillon has been sidelined for more than a month after being diagnosed with testicular cancer (he’s expected to return to action Monday). And five-time All-Star and former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen has mysteriously struggled at the plate.
Going against the grain in any profession, be it baseball or a traditional office job, can have severe costs 鈥?though Sain’s misfortune proved a bonanza for Mazzone.
Leo, I’ve been looking for somebody to take all of my information, Sain told Mazzone. Understand it, use it, do whatever you want with it.
Sain added something else, though: There’s a lot of people that don’t want it.
Chris Doleman Mens Jersey So many years later, Mazzone knows all too well what Sain meant.
Darrelle Revis’ legal team is denying his is the voice on a newly surfaced graphic video that shows two men knocked out cold following an alleged fight with the Jets cornerback.
In the video, which was released Sunday, an unidentified voice is heard saying, “Shut up before I knock your a— out next” while the camera pans over two unconscious men.
Revis was arrested over the weekend for his alleged role in the Feb. 12 incident.
Police allege the 31-year-old NFL star knocked the two men unconscious after one tailed him with a cell phone on a street in Pittsburgh. A second unidentified man intervened in the fight in Revis’ defense, police said, and could be the voice in the video, which was shot by a bystander.
Footage from the victim’s phone, which includes Revis on camera, has not been released to the public.
Albert, 32, has two years left on his contract and will make $8.9 million this season. The Heralnd reported the Jaguars might be willing to extend the deal to sweeten the pot.
The 28-year-old Thomas carries a $8.3 million cap hit in 2017 with three years remaining on his deal.
“It’s been a great 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings,” Peterson said in a statement released to ESPN. “They know what I bring to the organization as a player, with my work ethic and dedication. I spoke with Rick Spielman this past weekend. The door is still open to find some common ground. I understand addressing the offensive line is one of their main priorities this offseason.
“In the meantime, I will explore my other options and see what path God leads me on. My main goal remains the same: to win a Super Bowl championship with a great team, which I also believe we have in Minnesota.”
Tom Brady made a big, big, big mistake. His pass intended for Danny Amendola on a rub route was read perfectly and picked off by Atlanta cornerback Robert Alford, who returned it 82 yards for a touchdown. It was devastating for the Patriots not only because they had driven 52 yards in 12 plays to get near the red zone, but the pick occurred with just over two minutes to play in the half. It was the first time Brady had thrown a pick six in the postseason. 21-0, Falcons.
Hooper caught the ball, which basically fell right into his arms, for a 19-yard touchdown. Julio Jones again made a key play on the scoring drive with a toe-dragging, 18-yard catch on the sideline. The five-play, 62-yard drive took just 1:49 off the clock. Of note: No team has ever come back from a two-touchdown deficit in the Super Bowl. 14-0, Falcons.
Maybe the most glaring and surprising omission from the Combine, Gilbert has been a productive, versatile and consistent edge rusher for the last two years. He was a big reason for Colorado’s surprising success this year.
As is the case with all edge rushers, the Combine testing numbers will be essential to his draft grade. Colorado is loaded with NFL talent this year, so he’ll have every NFL team in attendance when he finally gets to test. But he might be the most glaring missing player at this year’s Combine.
One of the most productive small school linebackers in the country, Herdman was a late Senior Bowl call-up due to injuries at the position, and he emerged as a quality 3-4 inside linebacker prospect.
Authentic Mens Telvin Smith Jersey
Limited Kids Julien Davenport Jersey While he’s a bit stiff and wouldn’t have tested overly well in quickness-based drills, his explosiveness and power testing could have helped earn him a draft pick. After impressing in his ideal role at the Senior Bowl, Herdman is still a small school name to remember as the draft nears.
The names include guard Ronald Leary, wide receiver Terrance Williams, defensive tackle Terrell McClain, cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, safeties Barry Church and JJ Wilcox and defensive end Jack Crawford. Given the Cowboys’ cap situation, it will be near impossible to bring all these players back, especially if they want to go after a bigger-name free agent.
Game Kids Jordan Hicks Jersey
Leary should have the worst chances of returning. The offensive line is a unit of strength for Dallas, and Leary likely will fetch around $8 million in free agency. Williams also plays at a position of strength for the Cowboys and should earn in the $6 million-plus range. McClain might be the player Dallas would like to retain the most, but a player-friendly contract for Tyrone Crawford would make a McClain deal a hard negotiation for the Cowboys.
The New England Patriots’ Super Bowl 51 parade is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET Tuesday.
Boston will celebrate the Pats’ 34-28 overtime victory Sunday against the Falcons with a Rolling Rally (can you say duck boats?).
The parade, in Boston, will start at Hynes Convention Center and travel down Boylston Street to Tremont Street, before ending at City Hall Plaza.
The NFL Network will carry live coverage on its NFL Total Access: Patriots Parade. CBS Boston will stream the parade live online.
What’s the weather forecast for the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl 51 victory parade?
Elite Mens Chris Culliver Jersey A heads-up: A mix of rain and snow is expected in the morning, with a high of 35 and low of 25. Translation: If you’re going out to see the parade, dress warmly and maybe pack an umbrella.
Joseph Blandisi Kids Jersey
I think you’ll feel that impact, Angels general manager Billy Eppler told reporters before Monday’s game vs. the Braves (per MLB.com). The team will require multiple people stepping up in his absence. The team will continue to fight, as it always does, but you know you’re losing the heart of your order and the heart of your defense and a leader in the dugout and on the bench. It’s something to absorb, there’s no doubt. But I know the guys in the clubhouse will do their darndest to absorb it.
Those guys weren’t doing much to help Trout as it was, so trying harder might not be enough. The Angels were next to last in the AL in runs per game and 12th in home runs prior to Monday.
Albert Pujols is 37 and headed for the worst OPS of his career. He hit career homer No. 598 on Monday, but St. Louis Albert is long gone. Cameron Maybin, who was flanking Trout in left field, will be fine in center, but his offense isn’t going to spike sufficiently, given his .258/.324/.373 career averages. Right fielder Kole Calhoun needs to end his seasonlong slump pronto. The infield isn’t hitting, either.
Seth Joyner Authentic Jersey Wrigley Reserves: Nothing says baseball like beer and hot dogs, but the Cubs and their manager, Joe Maddon, made history by going against convention last year. They can change the sport on a broader level, too. Baseball should cater to the wine and cheese crowd, perhaps as a way to curtail some of the boorish behavior we’ve seen from fans.
What if we told you there’s an NFL team coming off a three-win season, and they’re going into 2017 with a mess of a quarterback situation? And the general manager and head coach don’t seem to be on the same page? And their splashy move on draft day made them a laughingstock?
Up until this year, we might have been describing the Cleveland Browns. But now we’re talking about the Chicago Bears.
After parting ways with Jay Cutler, the Bears signed Mike Glennon to a three-year, $45 million contract with $18.5 million guaranteed. Then they shocked everyone, even Mitchell Trubisky, when they traded up from No. 3 to take the quarterback with the second overall pick.
So what happens if Watson isn’t the guy?
Well, they might be OK in 2017 anyway. The defense can keep games close, and maybe they’ll eke out another 9-7 year if the AFC South is down again. But that feeling of deja vu is already starting to linger and will only intensify if Houston sold out its first-round pick for a dud.
We’ve seen the Texans’ ceiling without a competent quarterback. We haven’t seen their ceiling with one, and that’s reason enough to be excited for the future. There’s a lot of pressure on Watson, but he’s used to handling pressure.
O’Brien and Smith are going all-in on Watson, if not in Week 1, then in the near future. If their gamble pays off, they could be looking at a Super Bowl contention window. If it doesn’t, they’ll probably be looking for new jobs. That’s the risk you take when you’re pursuing a franchise quarterback in today’s NFL.
Daryl Worley Limited Jersey
Authentic Matt Paradis Jersey In the second round, Chicago landed Ashland’s tight end Adam Shaheen, who has upside but his adjustment to the NFL may be more challenging as a small-school player. Safety was a need for the Bears, and they filled it with Alabama’s Eddie Jackson, whose injury history is a cause for concern.
Running back Tarik Cohen is a freak athlete, and he’ll serve as a change-of-pace back and complement Jordan Howard. But running back was not the Bears’ most pressing need. Jordan Morgan out of Kutztown was the team’s final pick. He played tackle in college but could convert to guard at the next level, and he may not be ready to contribute in 2017.
Other than Whitworth, the Rams didn’t make any huge moves, but they did add depth to their skill positions. With Kenny Britt going to Cleveland, they brought on receiver Robert Woods. Though he’s not a No. 1 receiver, the hope is that he can be a solid possession guy who can help them improve the league’s worst conversion rate on third downs (31.46 percent). The Rams also signed running back Lance Dunbar to be another option on third downs.
In this year’s draft, Los Angeles focused on adding more playmakers. With no first-round pick (they gave it up to get Goff last year), the Rams used a second-round selection on tight end Gerald Everett, a converted basketball player who put up big yardage in the Sun Belt conference.
The Rams followed that up by drafting slot receiver Cooper Kupp in the third round. The Eastern Washington product ran a slow 40 at the combine (4.62), but he was also the most prolific receiver in Division I history. The early reviews are positive.