Colts RB Frank Gore: ‘I didn’t come here for this’

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The Colts have lost four of their last five division games since the midpoint of last season, and that is at least as damning as losing a game in overtime that they had led 23-9 late in the fourth quarter. That they helped Osweiler strengthen his tenuous grip on his job for at least a week is an interesting footnote — Osweiler was 12 of 15 for 135 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, following 11 of 22 for 89 yards with an interception in the first three — but the more immediate problem for the Colts is a confounding lack of a killer instinct. As a result, the Colts are 2-4, hardly dead in the middling AFC South, but in last place for now and searching for some way out of the morass that is the division standings and their own mental torpor.

This game showed the Colts’ many limitations on a day where Andrew Luck was not at his best. Luck was hit a ton and turned the ball over three times, although only one of those turnovers was his fault — a particularly ugly interception where he tried to force a pass. Colts receivers other than T.Y. Hilton failed to make tough catches all day and the Colts didn’t trust their running game. (Frank Gore jersey had 10 rushes for 41 yards.) These looked like two teams lucky to be in any playoff race.wholesale NFL jerseys

“Like I told (the players), there is no margin for error,” the coach said. “We have had our ups and had our downs, and that’s life in the NFL. That’s life in general. It’s all how you respond, so I expect these guys to respond like they usually do.”

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The Texans currently own the easiest remaining schedule in the division, based on remaining opponent win percentage this season. Houston’s opponents have a .384 winning percentage (2nd easiest in NFL). The Colts have the 21st toughest strength of schedule at .473. The Titans sit at 15th with .523.

Indy has been in every game this season, but the fatally flawed team has faltered when it mattered. Losing a 14-point lead with under seven minutes to go last week in Houston was the microcosm of the season.

The heat on coach Chuck Pagano jersey and cheap jerseys and general manager Ryan Grigson jersey has increased as the disappointment mounts in Indianapolis. Irsay, however, defended his coach and GM duo, both of whom received contract extensions this offseason.

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According to Doyle, while the rest of the players talked in platitudes about getting back to work and putting the loss behind them, Gore seemed frustrated almost to tears.

With the loss, the Colts fell to last place in the AFC South. In the cellar of the worst division in the NFL isn’t a place that a team with playoff aspirations should find itself six games into the season.

Adrian Peterson’s long-awaited return was anticlimactic. Sporting a brace on his surgically repaired knee, the seven-time Pro Bowler managed just 22 yards on six carries, losing a red-zone fumble at the tail end of his longest run (13 yards). Although Peterson functioned as the primary early-down back until the game was out of hand, he never had a chance to reach second gear behind Minnesota’s anemic offensive line. Vikings fans hoping for a savior in problematic short-yardage situations didn’t get a chance to see Peterson in that role.

Cleveland Browns planning to release Josh Gordon

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The wide receiver announced Thursday that he was entering rehab in an effort to “gain full control of my life.” Gordon is eligible to play in the Browns’ Week 5 contest against the New England Patriots as part of the terms of his NFL reinstatement for a substance abuse violation. Gordon’s decision to enter rehab, however, puts his comeback on hold indefinitely.

“After careful thought and deep consideration I’ve decided that I need to step away from pursuing my return to the Browns and my football career to enter an in-patient rehabilitation facility,” Gordon wrote. “This is the right decision for me and one that I hope will enable me to gain full control of my life and continue on a path to reach my full potential as a person. I appreciate the support of the NFL, NFLPA, the Browns, my teammates, my agent and the community through this extremely challenging process.”

It’s the decision we expected from Jackson, who anointed Griffin as Cleveland’s starter before the season opener. Recently activated off injured reserve, the veteran quarterback hasn’t appeared in a game since suffering a broken bone in his non-throwing shoulder in that ill-fated Week 1 loss to the Eagles.

Since then, the Browns have turned to a hodgepodge of passers — rookies Cody Kessler jersey and cheap jerseys and Kevin Hogan jersey, old-as-the-trees Josh McCown and even quarterback-turned-wideout Terrelle Pryor — to throw the ball for a club still searching for its first win.jersey

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While we know with relative certainty that the Browns will not win the remainder of their games this season — I think Pryor knows that, too — it’s important to focus on his attitude. As fans, and sometimes players, become wiser to the process-driven rebuilding projects around the league, there seems to be less of a moribund attitude surrounding 0-3 teams. On Tuesday, the Around The NFL crew debated which 0-3 team they’d rather be a fan of at this point in the season — and it was sometimes easier to find reasons to get on board with the Browns jersey or Jaguars than the more established Saints or Bears.

The weight of a long losing season could eventually take its toll on the Browns, though this team has already seen two years’ worth of bad news crash into the facility in a matter of weeks. Their starting and backup quarterbacks are gone. The quarterback they passed on at No. 2 is apparently Peyton Manning pre-snap and Aaron Rodgers post-snap. The player they drafted instead, wide receiver Corey Coleman, broke his hand after a breakout week.

On Monday, Cleveland weatherman Scott Sabol shaved his beard. It ended a 108-day odyssey that began when Sabol decided he wouldn’t pick up his razor until the hometown Browns won a game.

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This could have turned real ugly if Josh Lambo’s field goal went straight. But it did not … and Sabol’s face was freed from the tyranny of overgrowth.

The Browns learned this lesson back in 2004, when they felt comfortable enough with the combination of Tim Couch and a 34-year-old Jeff Garcia to pass on Ben Roethlisberger in the draft.

Picking sixth, Cleveland coach Butch Davis oversaw a war room that opted instead for tight end Kellen Winslow II, sending Big Ben on a slide down the board until the Steelers drafted him with the eleventh overall pick.

A trade became increasingly likely after the Browns declined to pick up Mingo’s fifth-year option back in April. It became even more likely after the Browns reunited Mingo with his first NFL defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, in 2016. Horton likely knew Mingo’s limitations in the scheme and preferred to pivot in another direction with a platoon of young pass rushers coming in via the draft.

It will be interesting to see what, exactly, New England’s plans are for Mingo, who has been reluctant to discuss his weight ever since he was drafted. The buzz on him this offseason was that he packed on more muscle than ever, though that didn’t seem to clear the way for a starting role in Cleveland’s new-look defense. Mingo seems personally invested in salvaging his NFL career and he might have found the perfect place to do it.

eSean McCoy active for Buffalo Bills versus Dolphins

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The Bills spent the first two-and-a-half quarters pounding away at Oakland with the NFL’s top-ranked ground game. Controlling both sides of the ball, Buffalo seemed poise to put the cherry on top of a Rex Ryan masterpiece after running Mike Gillislee barreled into the end zone to forge a 24-9 lead with 9:01 to play in the third quarter.

Gillislee and fellow runner LeSean McCoy jersey led a ferocious run attack that ripped through the Raiders for 212 yards — only to dry up when it mattered most. After Gillislee punched it in, Buffalo bumbled their way to three straight punts and a pick while Oakland’s offense poured on the points.

The electric pass-catcher signed a contract with the Bills last month following an offseason spent pondering his retirement. After appearing in just two games, though, Harvin succumbed to severe migraine headaches that kept him out of Buffalo’s past two tilts.

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Harvin has dealt with migraines throughout his career — a career that now appears over after seven years in the NFL with the Vikings, Seahawks, Jets and cheap jerseys and Bills jersey. The 2009 first-rounder also missed a rash of games in previous campaigns due to a chronic hip injury.jersey

McCoy was listed as questionable after leaving practice early on Wednesday with hamstring tightness. Shady missed practice Thursday and was limited Friday.

Expect McCoy’s snaps to be limited in Miami. Shady has played 75.8 percent of Bills snaps through six games, an average of 47.5 per contest — that number could be cut in half.

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He tends to hold the ball too long, fails to work the middle of the field effectively, and runs hot and cold with his accuracy. On the other hand, he’s the most effective running quarterback in the league — keying the Bills’ top-ranked ground attack — and throws a pretty deep ball.

Moreover, Ryan has no viable alternative. EJ Manuel jersey, the organization’s top draft pick in 2013, has the same weaknesses as Taylor — only to a greater degree. Although offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn recent raved about No. 3 quarterback Cardale Jones as the kind of prospect “you want waiting on the runway,” the fifth-round rookie simply isn’t ready to run an NFL offense after starting just 11 games in college.

Which takes us to Orchard Park, where the start of the second half of Sunday’s Steelers-Bills game was delayed when a buildup of rubber pellets left the field unplayable. The pellets accumulated as the New Era Stadium grounds crew attempted to clear snow from the field at halftime.

Dwight Freeney signs contract with Atlanta Falcons

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Matt Ryan is having the season of a lifetime, posting career highs in passer rating, passing yards per game and same-sentence mentions with Tom Brady. While Julio Jones remains the go-to fixture in Matty Ice’s attack, the Falcons’ offense is getting it done with a new cast of stars, including Mohamed Sanu, Austin Hooper jersey and cheap jerseys and Tevin Coleman jersey, who’s developed into a dual-threat dynamo. Plus, Atlanta has so far avoided the post-undefeated-start collapse that befell last year’s team and sits in prime position to take the NFC South and contend in a competitive conference.

He completed 23 of 35 passes for 223 yards with a late TD to Demaryius Thomas and an interception. He was sacked a half-dozen times, including 3½ times by outside linebacker Vic Beasley, who burned right tackle Ty Sambrailo on three of those takedowns.

Lynch’s footwork was a mess and his overthrows and misfires ruined any chance the Broncos had of capitalizing on the league’s 30th ranked defense, including the NFL‘s next-to-last pass defense and a patchwork linebacker corps.jersey

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The seven-time Pro Bowler visited both teams in May, while holding out hope that the Cardinals would reciprocate his interest in a reunion.

Signed off the street in mid-October last season, Freeney was a revelation in Arizona, using his trademark spin move to rack up a team-leading eight sacks in just 11 games. That campaign brought his total numbers to 119.5 sacks in 194 games over 14 seasons.

But if the club has serious interest drafting in the UCLA star linebacker, it’s willingness to trade up would need to be equally serious. Jack is visiting the Falcons on Thursday, according to ESPN. The Falcons, drafting No. 17 overall, are at least a dozen picks away from Jack’s common projection as a top-five pick. Of course, Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff isn’t a stranger to making a bold move up the draft board.

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It’s not the first time a club to whom Jack is unlikely to fall in the first round of the draft has brought him in for a visit. The Chicago Bears, with the No. 11 overall pick, hosted Jack a week ago.

The Falcons lead the NFL in scoring offense (34.7 points per game) and total offense (448.0 yards per game) while also ranking within the top five in rushing offense (136.0 yards per game) and passing offense (312.0 yards per game). The attack is clicking on all cylinders and maximizing the talents of every playmaker in the lineup.

Starting with the quarterback, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan jersey has tweaked his scheme to help Ryan regain his Pro Bowl form. The wily play designer has constructed a complementary misdirection passing game that perfectly matches the zone-based running concepts that have become a staple of the Falcons’ offensive attack. From the stretch-bootleg passes out of various run-heavy sets to traditional play-action concepts with intermediate and vertical routes, Ryan has been thriving in a scheme built on deception and backfield illusions.

Are the New York Jets heading in the right direction?

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The world of former player NFL analysis is hit or miss but when it comes to ex-Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason jersey, he’s typically dead on.

That’s why we were a bit surprised when we had to disagree with his assessment of the 2016 team, which enters the summer without their presumptive starting quarterback and with their best defensive player embroiled in a contract dispute.

This might be the path of least resistance for New York. The Broncos have been trying to get Clady to take a pay cut, especially after signing his replacement in Russell Okung. On the trade block and set to make $9.5 million this season, Clady would need to agree to a restructured deal before landing elsewhere. The questions is what Maccagnan would give up for a 30-year-old bookend who missed all of last season with a torn ACL. That’s for him and cheap jerseys and Denver’s John Elway to figure out, but this trade would solve a problem for both franchises.

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If negotiations with Fitzgerald aren’t successful, the club’s other options include fourth-year veteran Geno Smith jersey and second-year backup Bryce Petty. Considered a developmental prospect, Hackenberg wouldn’t figure to be a short-term answer for the Jets. Penn State coach James Franklin said as much, noting that it will be important for his former quarterback to be drafted into the right situation and, ideally, afforded the chance to learn behind a veteran.jersey

Fitzpatrick and the Jets remain worlds apart on the value of a new contract. Our Ian Rapoport has reported for quite some time that the two parties just do not see eye-to-eye in terms of proper compensation. According to NFL Media reports, the Jets have offered $7 million a season (on a three-year, $21 million deal), while Fitzpatrick is seeking more than double that on a per-year basis. The Jets are in the right here.

You don’t overpay Ryan Fitzpatrick jersey because Sam Bradford cashed in ($36 million over two years) on Philly needing a veteran starting quarterback. In no universe is Fitzpatrick worth that kind of money. Fitzpatrick is a journeyman, a guy who bounces around and holds the fort until a team inevitably determines it can do better.

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Another week has all but come and gone and Ryan Fitzpatrick is still unsigned, with the sides remaining far apart, while the Jets continue to go through the ritual of due diligence/creating leverage. Brian Hoyer — whose postseason meltdown for the Texans should serve as a reminder to Jets fans that, yes, it could have been worse than how Fitzpatrick played against the Bills with a playoff trip on the line — paid a visit to New York, making it the most recent in a series of flirtations with the uninspiring free-agent market. Then, Hoyer moved on to a meeting with the Broncos. Paxton Lynch, the Memphis quarterback who is projected to be the third signal caller off the board, made a visit and he now becomes the quarterback to watch in the draft because he might now be the subject of considerable ardor for teams like the Jets.

The Jets have been trying to find a keeper at the position for years and no one has panned out over the long haul. But Fitzpatrick brought them a needed measure of stability and competence — they don’t always go in concert — last season, taking over the starting job when Smith was punched by a teammate and then delivering the best statistical season of his career and of the Jets’ pained history. Now the Jets have the rare opportunity — rare for this franchise — to engineer a smooth transition into the future. But to do it, they have to keep Fitzpatrick. And then look to the draft for the intriguing option it could present.

Houston improved offense, but defense will decide Texans’ fate

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And yes, the dismal offensive start the Texans are off to starts with Houston’s new passer, Brock Osweiler, and reflects very poorly on those who decided to hand him that whopping $72 million free-agent contract this spring. Osweiler is making no one in Houston forget Brian Hoyer — and that’s not a good thing — and does not appear to be the answer to the franchise’s perennial quarterback issues.

In short, Houston has a very familiar problem. Osweiler looks tentative and continues to force some passes, and his 19 of 42, 184-yard day included his seventh interception of the season, to go along with his sixth touchdown pass. His passer rating was an embarrassing 56.1, and the Texans started 0 of 11 on first downs, not converting one until midway through the second quarter, and then via penalty rather than performance.jersey

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At home, the Texans have beaten Chicago, Kansas City and  cheap jerseys and Tennessee — three teams that are all .500 or worse — who have a combined record of 5-9 after Sunday. But those aren’t the kind of signature wins that are going to propel Houston on to bigger and better things, and finding out just how far O’Brien’s team is away from truly competing with the likes of New England and Minnesota has been a sobering experience in the early going of 2016. This is the coach’s third season in Houston, and the pieces were supposed to be in place for a deep playoff run, rather than just squeaking by in the NFL weakest division.

HOUSTON — There have been enough significant changes within the Houston Texans that it’s time for a crucial reality check. Yes, they have a new look in the offensive backfield with quarterback Brock Osweiler and running back Lamar Miller arriving through free agency. The draft also produced a couple speedy receivers with exciting potential. But the Texans still will be driven by the force and ferocity of their defense. Of that, there should be no question.

This is an important point to remember as the excitement builds around the possibilities for the Texans. They made improving their offense a major focus and Osweiler’s decision to leave the reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos dropped plenty of jaws around the league. General manager Rick Smith and head coach Bill O’Brien wanted an offense that could be more dynamic. What they also needed was more help for a defense that should make this team a serious contender.

Hoyer posted a respectable 91.4 passer rating last season, while leading the Texans to five wins in ten games.

It was evident, however, that he failed to gain the full trust of the coaching staff and front office. Benched three quarters into the first game of the season, Hoyer was on a short leash the rest of the way, overseeing an offense that was overly reliant on gadget plays. After Hoyer’s meltdown in the Wild Card Round loss to the Chiefs, owner Bob McNair essentially mandated that he be replaced at quarterback.

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“We understand that 9-7 is not the bar,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien told the Houston Chronicle, speaking of last year’s record. “We feel like we’ve made some really good strides here in the past two years with our football team. We’ve overcome some adversity. We have a mentally tough team. We’ve got a bunch of great guys in that locker room but we know that the 9-7 bar is too low.”

It’s hard to place the weight of this statement on one person, but the major difference between this year’s team and last year’s team is the presence of a potential Pro Bowl quarterback. The Texans are giving Brock Osweiler every chance to be great in this offense, and his first test comes this Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Three times in the past five years, the Texans have captured the AFC South crown only to prove they couldn’t hang with the class of the conference in postseason action.

The first two weeks of the season suggested this year’s team might rival the 2012 outfit as the best in an abbreviated franchise history. That squad took an AFC-best 11-1 record into New England in December of 2012 only to be dismantled to the tune of 42-14. A month later that same Houston team ultimately met its demise at the hands of the same loaded Patriots and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

Arizona Cardinals cut Michael Floyd after DUI arrest

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“There were a lot of factors, but it was a difficult decision for sure,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill jersey told NFL.com, adding there was a consensus among himself, coach Bruce Arians jersey and general manager Steve Keim to release Floyd. “Deeply disappointed it didn’t work out. He was a 2012 first-round draft choice for us, a person we thought would eventually take Larry Fitzgerald’s position and be the No. 1 receiver for the future.”

UL athletic director Tom Jurich confirmed Galloway’s role Wednesday in a bizarre story that began when a member of Wake Forest’s traveling party to Louisville found documents from the Wake Forest game plan at UL’s Papa John’s Stadium the day before the teams played on Nov. 12. Wake Forest’s investigation resulted in the firing of Elrod on Tuesday, who allegedly provided or attempted to provide game-plan information on multiple occasions since 2014.

Meanwhile, way down the I-5, the Los Angeles Rams are in the midst of their own turmoil. Jeff Fisher is out, the victim of his fifth straight losing season as coach of the transplanted team. John Fassel jersey takes the interim reins in Fisher’s stead on a short week, embarking on his first head coaching gig in professional football with little time to plan. Todd Gurley is shying away from the media after labeling the Rams’ offense a “middle school” operation. And then there’s Jared Goff, the first overall pick whose debut was delayed deep into the season and, if his game tape against the Falcons is any indication, rightly so.jersey

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Schneider, who’d grown up a few miles away from the Green Bay Packers’ iconic stadium, had parlayed an unlikely break during his college days — when he transitioned from an undersized running back with unrealistic NFL dreams to a future Hall of Fame general manager’s surprisingly successful “stalker” — into a flourishing but low-profile front-office career. Then in his second year as the Packers’ director of football operations, his life had come full circle, but he was on the verge of a potentially exciting detour.

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The Seahawks were searching for a general manager to replace Tim Ruskell, who’d resigned during the season, and Schneider, who’d spent a season as Seattle’s director of player personnel at the start of the decade, had been identified as one of the candidates. In preparation for his impending interview, scheduled to take place following the Packers’ first-round playoff game at Arizona two days later, he’d put together a large binder outlining his managerial plans and cheap jerseys and philosophy, including a sizeable section detailing his list of preferred head-coaching candidates, should an opening arise.

Week 15. Things have gotten real. If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re in the playoffs or may have already survived one round of the postseason. I could spend several words prattling on about how every move you make could be the difference between moving on or packing it in until next year. But you already know that. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Dallas brought one of the NFL’s most potent offenses to the contest, leaning on a run-first approach powered by the dynamo known as Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys didn’t differ against the Giants, handing the ball to Elliott 24 times as the rookie churned up 107 yards. But very few of those totes turned into big gains, as the Giants played disciplined, controlled defense against a Dallas running game that is dependent on zone and power schemes. When the Cowboys’ linemen flowed upfield, the Giants stuck to fundamental play, fighting through the point of greatest resistance to clog up running lanes. As the game progressed, New York only got better at defending the zone, which peaked late in the fourth with Damon “Snacks” Harrison’s tackle for loss.

Dak Prescott thrives for Cowboys in the face of (more) adversity

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The Packers defense isn’t healthy. The secondary is still healing and the team’s top pass rushers (Clay Matthews jersey and Nick Perry jersey) are both at less than 100 percent. However, the Vikings, their next opponent, are coming off a disastrous performance against the lowly Colts defense in which they allowed five sacks, committed three turnovers, and scored just six points. And that was in Minnesota. The Vikings now need to travel to the Frozen Tundra to face a surging Packers team. The Vikings can’t run the ball and can’t protect Sam Bradford, a debilitating combination. Bradford has just two passing touchdowns in the last four games to go along with two interceptions and cheap jerseys and seven sacks. All told, this game is lining up for the Packers to produce in fantasy as they seek a shot at the NFC North crown.

It’s now reaching the point where it’s impossible to think of something Prescott hasn’t overcome in his first NFL season. He has proven to be so much more than a lightly regarded fourth-round pick — one who wasn’t supposed to be ready to play at this level so early — and that he’s good enough to keep Tony Romo jersey on the bench following the four-time Pro Bowler’s return from a back injury that sidelined him earlier this year. Now Prescott has shown what he can do with people finally seeing his flaws. He had endured three disappointing performances before the Buccaneers came to town on Sunday, all of which created an opportunity for him to display his mental toughness once again.jersey

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Of course, Jones was one of those people who was contributing to all the talk about Prescott last week. After the Cowboys lost to the rival Giants last Sunday, Jones cryptically stated that it would be a great storyline if Romo somehow managed to return to the field and lead Dallas to a championship. It wasn’t so much of an endorsement for Romo as it was a means for Jones to keep his team firmly entrenched in the headlines. It also was enough to take the discussion about Prescott’s play to an entirely different level.

Quarterback controversy, begone. One week removed from the worst performance of his rookie season, Dak Prescott jersey put to bed suggestions that Dallas should consider playing Tony Romo, completing 89 percent of his passes — the second-highest mark in NFL history with a minimum of 30 attempts — and running for a score against one of the hottest defenses in the league. Prescott went to his bread-and-butter with incredible efficiency: Jason Witten short in the middle (10 catches), Dez Bryant past the sticks (8), Cole Beasley outside the numbers (4). It was only when Dallas got cute with its play-calling (see: multiple unsuccessful jets sweeps to Lucky Whitehead) that the Cowboys went backwards against the Bucs. With his 279-yard evening, Prescott broke a three-game streak of fewer than 200 passing yards and looked more than ready to lead the ‘Boys into January.

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The converted receiver dominated for long stretches Sunday, gashing the Chicago Bears for runs of 61, 36, 26 and 21 yards, en route to a 162-yard rushing day on 16 totes with two touchdowns. In total, the Packers rushed for 226 yards, marking the first time Green Bay finished with 225-plus passing and rushing yards since Week 15, 1994 vs. Bears (first time on done on the road since 1962 at Philadelphia).

“This was surprising today,” Rodgers said of the running game, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I don’t think we expected to rush for over 200 yards. I think we have confidence in Ty, we wanted to get him a number of touches. But this was definitely unexpected in the best way possible.”

Rodgers chipped in with 19 rushing yards, but his gimpy calf left him hobbling after every slow-motion dash. The injury severely hampered the quarterback’s mobility outside the pocket, but luckily for Green Bay, Montgomery put on the best performance by a Packers running back in years.

With Week 15 nearly in the books, it’s time to dive into some backfield breakdowns. We saw some familiar names among the top running back performers including LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray while guys like Robert Turbin and Ryan Mathews surprisingly cracked the the top 10 for the week. Some of the bigger disappointments of the week include Adrian Peterson and Jay Ajayi, and below we’ll try to figure out how to value these running backs going forward. That’s enough small talk for now … more on those backs and every other team’s backfield below.

Raiders clinch first playoff berth since 2002 with win

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It’s championship week in most leagues. It should be in all leagues, but some of you lunatics put your championship in Week 17. Though that’s a topic for a different article. The reason you’re reading this is because you’re looking for an edge in your upcoming matchup. Well, while these streaming options aren’t quite as locked-in as what we had last week, there are several strong choices below who could give a boost to your fantasy defensive position.

The Packers defense isn’t healthy. The secondary is still healing and the team’s top pass rushers (Clay Matthews jersey and Nick Perry jersey) are both at less than 100 percent. However, the Vikings, their next opponent, are coming off a disastrous performance against the lowly Colts defense in which they allowed five sacks, committed three turnovers, and scored just six points. And that was in Minnesota. The Vikings now need to travel to the Frozen Tundra to face a surging Packers team. The Vikings can’t run the ball and can’t protect Sam Bradford, a debilitating combination. Bradford has just two passing touchdowns in the last four games to go along with two interceptions and seven sacks. All told, this game is lining up for the Packers to produce in fantasy as they seek a shot at the NFC North crown.jersey

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Well, it all comes down to this. If you’re reading this column you’ve likely advanced to a fantasy football championship. Or your league still has you playing into Week 17 (which is insane, by the way). Regardless, congratulations and cheap jerseys and thanks for reading. Hopefully this column has helped you along the way, and can prove useful to you one last time. I tried to limit my suggestions below to potential plug-and-play spot starts since, well, this is basically the end. Please, hold back your tears. Anyway, this will make writing my Deep Dive jersey column tomorrow quite a task, but oh well. Here’s to a wild fantasy season quickly coming to a close. Good luck!

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Time to fret over Oakland’s offense? Instead, let’s credit an active Chargers defense that looked like it still had plenty to play for this season. Sunday’s showdown served as a wire-to-wire grind for a Raiders team that has posted 30-plus points in seven of 13 outings, second only to the high-flying Falcons. Coming off his worst game of the year, Carr threw for just 213 yards in a tilt that saw reliable kicker Sebastian Janikowski punch home four field goals. Oakland struggled early with two uncharacteristic turnovers on a day that saw no Raiders receiver cross the 60-yard barrier. The most hopeful note for Oakland was that Carr — throwing exclusively out of the shotgun for the third straight game because of a dislocated pinky — showed no visible discomfort and threw the ball well, save for a costly first-half pick.

Pumphrey had a stellar senior year, rushing for 100-plus yards in 11 games, including four of more than 200. He finished the season with an SDSU record 2,133 yards in the most prolific year of his career.

The senior is small by NFL standards (5-feet-9, 180 pounds) but in his only game against a Power Five conference opponent this year, he exploded for 281 yards against Cal with three touchdowns. NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks evaluated Pumphrey’s performance against Cal, and believes an NFL club could target him in the 2017 NFL Draft as a “borderline Day 2 selection.”

Derek Carr on Oakland Raiders: 7-9 not going to cut it

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The main theme for the Raiders in this game: finish. They finished blocks. They finished runs. Then, they finished the game. It wasn’t an easy task, either. Oakland was playing on the road in New Orleans, a city that is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the franchise, and the Raiders’ O-line only had one false start (Matt McCants) in an extremely loud dome despite being in the silent count for the entire game. The offensive line allowed six hurries, one quarterback hit and zero sacks Derek Carr’s 40 dropbacks.

People call New Orleans the Big Easy, but the Raiders’ injury adversity up front flew in the face of that nickname. Starting right tackle Menelik Watson exited the game with a groin injury in the second quarter. McCants, who saw action in two games in 2015 and logged just three starts in the previous three NFL seasons, came in to replace Watson. In the third quarter, McCants went down with a knee injury, and the Raiders had to shuffle the offensive line around because Austin Howard, normally the backup tackle, was inactive due to an ankle injury from the preseason. Penn shifted over and played his first NFL snaps at right tackle, Osemele moved from left guard to left tackle and cheap jerseys and Jon Feliciano played at left guard. The Raiders, who had seven active linemen for Sunday’s contest, were one injury away from OL coach Mike Tice having to strap on a helmet.

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With Carr (No. 36 pick, 2014) leading the offense and Khalil Mack jersey (No. 5 pick, 2014) anchoring the defense, Oakland has become a buzzy playoff pick this season. For the first time more than a decade, there are legitimate — gulp — expectations for the Silver and Black.jersey

“On paper it looks great. We don’t want to be paper champs,” Carr told CSN Bay Area at the start of Oakland’s offseason workout program. “We’ve got some good guys, but none of that matters unless we put the work in. Everything can look good in theory and in practice it all falls apart. As a leader of this team, I’m going to concentrate on pushing to get better every day.”

Last year’s jump made sense. Buttressed by a pair of strong draft classes, Oakland sent five players to the Pro Bowl in 2015. Derek Carr jersey was one of them, and the third-year quarterback remains the key to the Raiders’ hopes of finally regaining relevance in the AFC.

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Given the ease with which Oakland dispatched the league’s most dominant defense of the past season-and-a-half, you’d have thought there would have been nothing but hugs and high-fives on the sideline. Penn’s surly spit fit, which took place with 7:09 remaining and the Raiders holding a 23-13 lead, showed that winners sometimes must confront the ire that stems from creative differences.

This was the situation: The Raiders had just forced the game’s first turnover, with linebacker Bruce Irvin dislodging the football from Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian and defensive end Khalil Mack recovering at the Broncos’ 39-yard-line. On Oakland’s next play, Derek Carr dropped back and threw a short pass toward fullback Jamize Olawale, who was running a wheel route to the right. The pass missed its target, however, and Denver safety T.J. Ward made an apparent diving interception at the 30, giving his team new life.

Carr has started to weave quite a little tale for himself in 2016. Paired with Del Rio, the gunslinger has brought the Raiders back from the dead (Halloween pun unintended) on multiple occasions. It’s not by chance Oakland is undefeated on the road; it’s directly a product of the Carr/Del Rio pairing, their growth and above all, their guts.

Carr said recently that he and his coach are so in sync, he often knows when Del Rio jersey will opt to go for it on fourth down before he even gives the nod. So in the midst of a historically disastrous contest, it had to be Carr who saved us from the brink of a two-tie Sunday, and it had to come on fourth down in the final two minutes of the game.

Carr stood alone in the shotgun with a five-receiver set, dropped in the pocket, set and fired a bullet to a crossing Seth Roberts at the 30, who broke two tackles and housed it for six and a Raiders win. It capped a record-breaking day for Carr, who threw for a franchise-best total of 513 yards and four touchdowns on 40-of-59 passing. No matter that Tampa Bay wasted away multiple chances to secure the win. This one is all about the road warriors: the road Raiders.