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PFT’s Week Five picks

Washington Redskins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

Last week was a very good week.  But for a late field goal by the Redskins, misplaced faith in the Chiefs, and a failure to realize that, as Joe Theismann says, Tony Romo “isn’t that good,” I would have generated the first perfect week of picks in the however-many-year history of doing this.

Instead, I finished 12-3.  Which gave me the win in Week Four over MDS, who was 11-4.

For the year, I’ve won three weeks, he’s won one, and I lead the overall contest by two games.  I’m at 39-24; MDS is 37-26.

We’re gradually becoming less pathetic.  Read on to see whether we’ll end up more pathetic this week.

Cardinals at Rams

MDS’s take: The Cardinals keep winning close games, and eventually the breaks have to go against them late in a close one, right? Probably, but not this week. The Cardinals win yet another close one.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 21, Rams 20.

Florio’s take:  It’s “correction week” in the NFL.  And if I’m correct (which I rarely am), it begins on Thursday night in St. Louis, when the Cardinals’ ability to find a way to win will be temporarily suspended.  Greg the Leg a/k/a Young G.Z. a/k/a Legatron a/k/a Greg Zuerlein saves the day, again.

Florio’s pick:  Rams 16, Cardinals 13.

Dolphins at Bengals

MDS’s take: I love the way the Bengals’ offense is running under coordinator Jay Gruden, who keeps finding ways to get the ball in his playmakers’ hands. I see A.J. Green getting open in the Dolphins’ secondary all day. This should be a big win for Cincinnati.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 35, Dolphins 14.

Florio’s take:  The Dolphins could be shorthanded at cornerback, which will make it even harder to stop receiver A.J. Green.  The good news is that through five weeks the Dolphins will be only two games out of first place in the AFC East.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 31, Dolphins 16.

Packers at Colts

MDS’s take: Clay Matthews will make Andrew Luck’s life miserable, while Aaron Rodgers will have his best statistical game of the season. The Packers win in a mismatch.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Colts 10.

Florio’s take:  Though the Colts have become the most sympathetic team in the NFL this week, the Packers desperately need to find their groove on offense.  If they don’t, it could be a long year.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 34, Colts 20.

Ravens at Chiefs

MDS’s take: Florio did me a favor and picked the Chiefs last week, and I’m hoping he does it again. The calls to bench Matt Cassel will only grow louder as the Ravens’ defense has its way with him.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Chiefs 14.

Florio’s take:  When the Chiefs were a playoff team, they couldn’t handle the Ravens at home.  Rested and ready after four games that kicked off 17 days apart, the Ravens are ready to put the Texans on notice that Baltimore won’t step aside for them.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 35, Chiefs 24.

Titans at Vikings

MDS’s take: Other than their miraculous win over the Lions — which they did their best to blow despite scoring an improbable five 60-plus-yard touchdowns — the Titans have looked lousy all season. The Vikings, on the other hand, have been one of the NFL’s pleasant surprises this season. Adrian Peterson will have 100 yards, Chris Johnson will have 10 yards, and the Vikings will win this one handily to improve to 4-1 and exceed their 2011 win total.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 24, Titans 13.

Florio’s take:  To do justice to their wins over the 49ers and Lions, the Vikings can’t stumble against the Titans.  Though Matthew Hasselbeck’s savvy and skill could keep it close, Adrian Peterson seems poised to finally have a big day.

Florio’s pick:  Vikings 27, Titans 17.

Browns at Giants

MDS’s take: It’s been largely overlooked because the team around him is so bad, but Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden has bounced back from his disastrous Week One performance and given Cleveland three straight solid starts. Unfortunately, the team around him is really bad. The Giants should take this one easily in a week that’s shaping up to have a lot of blowouts.

MDS’s pick: Giants 35, Browns 21.

Florio’s take:  This one has “upset” written all over it.  Last year, in three consecutive home games, the Giants were less than impressive against the Seahawks, Bills, and Dolphins.  With a crippling slate of games on the horizon, the Giants can’t afford to fall to 2-3.  Eli Manning finds a way.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 35, Browns 27.

Eagles at Steelers

MDS’s take: The Steelers are getting healthier, with running back Rashard Mendenhall, linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu all ready to play Sunday. Look for Harrison and Polamalu to force Mike Vick into a couple of turnovers and the Steelers to win a close and low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 13, Eagles 10.

Florio’s take:  I’ve lived within 100 miles of Pittsburgh long enough to know that the Steelers, with a 1-2 record and two weeks to prepare, don’t lose this game.  Not at home.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 20, Eagles 10.

Falcons at Redskins

MDS’s take: The Falcons have been playing very well in all three phases of the game, and they’re just too complete a team for the Redskins to handle. Washington’s defense will emphasize shutting down Roddy White, and Julio Jones will step up with a big game.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 24, Redskins 20.

Florio’s take:  It wouldn’t be “correction week” if the undefeated teams don’t lose.  A week after the Falcons struggled to contain Cam Newton, they’ll likewise have a hard time with RG3, who is overdue for his first home win.

Florio’s pick:  Redskins 41, Falcons 38.

Seahawks at Panthers

MDS’s take: Marshawn Lynch will have a big game against the Panthers’ porous run defense, but I think this is the week when Cam Newton finally reminds us all why we were so excited about him last year. Newton will put points on the board with his arm and with his legs and lead the Panthers to an impressive win that quiets Newton’s critics, at least for one week.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 31, Seahawks 21.

Florio’s take:  With the bye week looming, the Panthers need to pull together and get a win via methodical use of the running game and patient defense that forces rookie quarterback Russell Wilson to sustain drives.  There’s a huge difference between 1-4 and 2-3, especially with two weeks to stew about the outcome of this one.

Florio’s pick:  Panthers 20, Seahawks 14.

Bears at Jaguars

MDS’s take: Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert has been careful with the ball this season, throwing just one interception in four games. But the opportunistic Chicago defense that took advantage of Tony Romo on Monday night will force Gabbert into his first multiple-interception game of the year, and the Bears will cruise to 4-1.

MDS’s pick: Bears 21, Jaguars 6.

Florio’s take:  The Jaguars have played twice at home this year.  And they’ve looked horrible in both.  Against the Bears, they won’t look much better.

Florio’s pick:  Bears 28, Jaguars 6.

Broncos at Patriots

MDS’s take: I’m sold on Peyton Manning being all the way back to his pre-neck surgery form, but I’m less sold on the Broncos’ defense being able to stop Tom Brady.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Broncos 28.

Florio’s take:  Normalcy returns for Peyton Manning, sort of.  He has played in New England nine times during his career.  And it could be the moment that finally makes him feel like everything is back to normal.  In this case, of course, “normal” includes losing to the Patriots, again.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 28, Broncos 24.

Bills at 49ers

MDS’s take: San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith will have his first 300-yard game of the season against a shaky Bills secondary. Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick probably won’t be quite as bad as Mark Sanchez was against the 49ers’ defense, but that’s not saying much.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 24, Bills 3.

Florio’s take:  The perennial Chris Berman Super Bowl prediction that never happened will finish the same way it would have if the team that never loses Super Bowls played the team that never wins them.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 34, Bills 14.

Chargers at Saints

MDS’s take: Drew Brees will break Johnny Unitas’s NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass — and he’ll do it in style, as the Saints finally win their first game of the season.

MDS’s pick: Saints 30, Chargers 20.

Florio’s take:  The Chiefs beat the Saints and the Chargers beat the Chiefs so it makes sense for the Saints to beat the Chargers.  Sunday night will be one of those rare nights when everything falls together for the Saints.  If it doesn’t, it may not again.  Ever.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 34, Chargers 24.

Texans at Jets

MDS’s take: For the second straight week, it’s going to get ugly for the Jets. They look like a team whose season could spiral out of control in a hurry, while the Texans look like a team that will clinch its division by Thanksgiving.

MDS’s pick: Texans 45, Jets 10.

Florio’s takeTim Tebow should be starting this week, but the Jets know not to throw a Christian to the Texans.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 41, Jets 10.

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Terron Armstead, Delvin Breaux out for Monday night

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15: Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints passes while tackle Terron Armstead #72 of the New Orleans Saints blocks against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedExField on November 15, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images) Getty Images

As they try to get their first win of the season, the Saints will be missing a pair of starters on Monday night.

Tackle Terron Armstead (knee) and cornerback Delvin Breaux (fibula) are both out.

Several other Saints are questionable: defensive tackle Tyeler Davison (shoulder, foot), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (quadricep), tight end Josh Hill (ankle), defensive end Cameron Jordan (knee), receiver Willie Snead (toe), and safety Kenny Vaccaro (ankle).

Snead told reporters on Saturday that he’ll see how the toe injury feels on Monday.

“I just want to be healthy for the year,” Snead said. “I want it to be gone, and just make sure it’s taken care of.”

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18 games still not a consideration for NFLPA

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 7:    Jermaine Cunningham #96 and  Chandler Jones #95 of the New England Patriots rough up  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos after he released a pass during the second half at Gillette Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

There’s a belief in league circles that the NFL: (1) still wants to expand the regular season to 18 games; (2) knows it can’t ask the players to expand the regular season to 18 games because of the safety considerations involved; and (3) hopes to entice the players to offer an expansion to 18 games in order to secure other concessions, like neutral arbitrations and a bigger piece of the financial pie.

If that’s the plan, the NFL Players Association doesn’t seem to be inclined to take the bait.

“I just can’t imagine a world where you add two more regular season games at the end of a brutal season that we have,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said on Friday’s PFT Live. “Certainly there’s been no proposal from the owners about increasing roster sizes or doing anything else to make sure that players’ health and safety is first and foremost. I mean look we are still in the middle of or the beginning of an investigation about how doctors handled the concussion protocol for the first game of the season and it seems to me that if you can’t successfully pull off a Hall of Fame game and you have what appears to be enough evidence to convince both parties to conduct an investigation of the concussion protocol, [it’s] probably not the right time to think about adding two regular season games.”

While hardly a kicking open of the door, Smith didn’t slam the door shut and barricade it with furniture. And that’s a smart play. If the NFL is willing to make major concessions and increase roster sizes and take other steps aimed at making the game safer for all players, maybe 18 games can happen. Smith’s point is that plenty of other issues need to be addressed before a two-game expansion of the regular season would be even a possibility.

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Julio Jones questionable, but he says he’ll play

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates with Matt Ryan #2 after a 21-yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Getty Images

Officially, Falcons receiver Julio Jones is questionable for Monday night’s game at New Orleans with a calf injury. He didn’t practice on Thursday or Friday, and he participated on a limited basis on Saturday. He nevertheless says he’ll play.

Yes, yes I’ll play Monday night,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t chance it if I didn’t [feel like I was ready]. If I felt like I was going to overcompensate or something else was going to get tore up or it was going to get worse or anything like that. I’m good, I’ve been getting great treatment, therapy and rest — it’s the key.”

Out for the Falcons are linebacker Paul Worrilow (groin) and linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (ankle). All other Falcons are good to go for Monday night.

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Patriots in limbo at quarterback position

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots reacts on the sideline during the first half against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

Jimmy Garoppolo has a shoulder injury. Jacoby Brissett has a thumb injury. Tom Brady has one game remaining on his suspension.

So what will the Patriots do at quarterback in Week Four against the Bills?

For now, they’re not saying — as if they ever say anything. T.J. Yates had a workout last week and Sean Renfree visited; one of them could be added, either to serve as the backup next Sunday, or possibly to start.

Few other options exist, if neither Garoppolo nor Brissett can play. Unless they intend to give Julian Edelman a crash course in a position he hasn’t played since college at Kent State, they’ll need to add someone else, if there’s any doubt that either of the two quarterbacks currently on the roster will be ready in eight days.

Whatever they do, coach Bill Belichick will have a plan, and chances are it will work.

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Signs not pointing to Sammy Watkins playing

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15:   Sammy Watkins #14 of the Buffalo Bills gets upended by  Calvin Pryor #25 of the New York Jets  during the second half at New Era Field on September 15, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Getty Images

He’s listed as questionable, which currently means he’s at worst a 50-50 proposition to play. However, coach Rex Ryan made it sound like receiver Sammy Watkins is more doubtful than questionable.

Probably not real good,” Ryan said Friday regarding the likelihood Watkins will play, via Nick Veronica of the Buffalo News. “But we’ll see. If he feels good and he’s up to it, we’ll put him in there.”

Complicating matters is that someone stepped on Watkins’ injured foot during a walk-through this week. He had surgery on the foot during the offseason.

Watkins has six catches for 63 yards and no touchdowns in two games this season.

UPDATE 8:38 p.m. ET: And within 15 minutes of this item being posted, Watkins tweeted that he is “[r]eady to go out there and compete at the highest level.”

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With Antonio Gates doubtful, Chargers call up a tight end

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 28: Harrison Smith #22 of the Minnesota Vikings tackles Hunter Henry #86 of the San Diego Chargers during the first quarter of the game on August 28, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

Chargers  tight end Antonio Gates is doubtful for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis, with a hamstring injury. In anticipation of Gates not playing, the Chargers have added another tight end to the active roster.

The Chargers promoted Asante Cleveland from the practice squad. To create a spot for Cleveland, the Chargers waived running back Andre Williams.

With Gates unlikely to play, rookie Hunter Henry should get plenty of reps and plenty of opportunities to catch passes from Philip Rivers.

Henry has only one catch in two targets. That likely will change on Sunday, if as it appears Gates doesn’t play.

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Lions cut Aaron Dobson to make room for a linebacker

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 27:   Aaron Dobson #17 of the New England Patriots makes a catch with pressure from  Peyton Thompson #25 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third quarter at Gillette Stadium on September 27, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

Aaron Dobson’s stint as a Lion was a short one.

The Lions, who signed Dobson on Tuesday, announced that they waived him today.

With two linebackers, DeAndre Levy and Antwione Williams, ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Packers, the Lions had a bigger need at that position. So they signed linebacker Zaviar Gooden to the active roster from the practice squad and waived Dobson to create a roster spot for Gooden.

Dobson, the former Patriots receiver, could return to Detroit once the Lions have a spot for him on their roster.

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Twitter’s NFL stream won’t build momentum in Week Four

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Twitter scored an impressive 34-percent increase in average viewership for its live stream of Thursday Night Football from Week Two to Week Three.

For Week Four, count on a 100-percent drop.

The game between the Dolphins and Bengals will be televised only by NFL Network. As a result, it won’t be streamed on Twitter.

That was the arrangement from the get-go, with Twitter streaming only the games televised on NFLN and CBS or NBC.

The exclusivity of the broadcast relates directly to NFL Network’s arrangements with cable and satellite providers. The ability to charge the rate the NFL currently receives hinges on having a certain amount of game content.

This means that, during those weeks when games are televised by NFLN only, they won’t be available on Twitter. Which will make it hard to develop viewing habits on Twitter — and which undoubtedly will result in plenty of complaints from users who dial up Twitter on Thursday night in search of Dolphins-Bengals but can’t find it.

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Jeff Fisher won’t say which quarterback will be inactive

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Head coach Jeff Fisher of the Los Angeles Rams attends warm ups before the start of the home opening NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

Prior to Week One against the 49ers, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said rookie quarterback Jared Goff would be inactive. Prior to Week Two against the Seahawks, Fisher said Goff would be active.

Prior to Week Three at Tampa, Fisher’s not saying anything.

“Don’t know yet,” Fisher told reporters on Friday. “Have to wait and see. . . . Come to the game.”

Fisher has decided that one of the quarterbacks will be inactive. It will be Goff or Sean Mannion.

The decision to suddenly be circumspect could be a sign that Fisher is thinking about using his second quarterback, if starter Case Keenum can’t get the offense into the end zone. Through two games, the Rams have yet to score a touchdown.

There’s no guarantee Goff would be the next man up. Mannion earned the No. 2 spot on the depth chart before the season began; if Fisher gets fed up with Keenum, Mannion could get a chance to play before Goff would be pressed into service. Once Goff is on the field, it will be hard to bench him for Mannion or Keenum, given the move the Rams made to the top of the draft to get him.

Regardless, if the Bucs are inclined to prepare for a second quarterback on Sunday, they won’t know who that will be until 90 minutes before kickoff.

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Cutler makes the trip, but Bears downgrade two

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 18:  Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears throws a pass during the NFL game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 18, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan.  The Lions defeated the Bears 37-34 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Injured quarterback Jay Cutler made the trip, but the Bears announced Saturday that running back Kadeem Carey and nose tackle Eddie Goldman did not make the trip and will not play Sunday night at Dallas.

All three had been listed as doubtful. Cutler suffered a thumb injury in last Monday’s game vs. the Eagles and did not practice all week.

Brian Hoyer is the presumed starting quarterback vs. the Cowboys.

Goldman, the Bears’ starting nose tackle, is one of several players who was injured in last week’s game. The Bears still list nine players as questionable, including wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, guard Josh Sitton, right tackle Bobby Massie, safety Adrian Amos and linebacker Willie Young.

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Elway on Osweiler: The deals you don’t make at times are the best

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans reacts during the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) Getty Images

Brock Osweiler looked like anything but an $18 million per year quarterback on Thursday night as the Texans were shut out in New England, and the guy who nearly signed him for not much less than that noticed.

“A lot of times those deals you don’t make are the best ones,” Broncos executive V.P. of football operations and G.M. John Elway told Dave Logan and Susie Wargin of KOA radio on Friday.

Though Elway was responding to specific question and had a lighthearted tone, he said what he said, and it’ll be interesting to see what Osweiler and the Texans eventually have to say about that.

“Obviously it was a tough night for Houston last night and — but things move on,” Elway added. “You try to make the best decision when you have to make it. . . . Excluding last night, we really felt good with the way everything’s fallen, the way we went into camp, and we’re really excited with the guys who are playing the position for us now.”

Osweiler’s replacement, Trevor Siemian, has one touchdown pass and three interceptions in two games, both at home. On Sunday, the Broncos play a true road game for the first time since December 20, a stretch of seven games without having to entire hostile territory.

The Broncos will be in their own back yard on October 24, when Osweiler returns to town with the Texans. Elway’s comments likely will provide extra motivation; based, however, on what happened Thursday night, they’ll need a lot more than motivation to match up with the defending NFL champions.

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Clay Matthews ruled out as Packers downgrade four

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 10: Inside linebacker Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers in action against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on January 10, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Packers’ defense is ailing heading into Sunday’s game against the Lions.

Green Bay announced today that linebacker Clay Matthews and safety Morgan Burnett have both been ruled out, after previously being listed as doubtful.

The Packers also downgraded two players who were previously listed as questionable — defensive tackle Letroy Guion and linebacker Datone Jones — to doubtful. Players listed as doubtful hardly ever play.

Packers cornerback Sam Shields was already ruled out with a concussion, so Green Bay’s defense is seriously depleted.

Of course, the Lions won’t have any sympathy, as three of their key defensive players are out as well in defensive end Ziggy Ansah and linebackers DeAndre Levy and Antwione Williams.
For the

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Kubiak on Siemian: “He’s made some poor decisions”

Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) thaws as Los Angeles Rams defensive end Eugene Sims (97) pursues during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney) AP

Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian has three interceptions in his first two starts, and coach Gary Kubiak says those passes showed that Siemian has a long way to go in his decision-making.

Kubiak noted that Siemian still sometimes makes throws as if he thinks the opposing defenders have college speed. NFL defenders can intercept a pass that would have been out of a college defender’s range, and Siemian needs to learn that.

“He’s made some poor decisions,” Kubiak said, via ESPN. “I know that sounds kind of crazy, but it’s just learning that, ‘Trevor, That guy can make that play. You’re not in college anymore. You’re not going to throw that ball through that guy.’ I think some of the speed of the game factors that he’s beginning to understand a little bit is going to make him better each week.”

Kubiak is blunt, but he’s got a point: The Broncos are 2-0, but Siemian needs to make better decisions if they’re going to keep winning.

If Siemian doesn’t make better decisions, Kubiak may turn to rookie first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch. Kubiak showed last year that he wasn’t afraid to make changes at quarterback, from Peyton Manning to Brock Osweiler and back again. The Broncos also showed last year that to win with their defense, they don’t need great quarterback play, just adequate quarterback play. Siemian will have to cut down the mistakes if he wants Kubiak to view him as adequate enough to keep the job.

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Giants make roster swap, promote a safety

IRVING, TX - JANUARY 13:  A New York Giants helmet sits on the field before the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium on January 13, 2008 in Irving, Texas.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Giants promoted safety Andrew Adams from the practice squad on Saturday.

Cornerback Michael Hunter, who’d been promoted earlier in the week, was waived to make room for Adams on the roster.

Adams, an undrafted rookie, becomes the team’s third safety for Sunday’s game vs. the Redskins. Starter Darian Thompson will miss the game with a foot injury, and Nat Berhe will take his spot in the starting lineup.

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Saturday one-liners

UNITED STATES - MAY 15:  May 15, 1955, California, Los Angeles, On The Honeymooners TV show Jackie Gleason.  (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) Getty Images

The honeymoon is definitely over between Bills fans and Rex Ryan.

With RB Arian Foster out, the Dolphins will use a committee approach at the position.

Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount is becoming a second-half force, with 92 yards and a touchdown in the final two quarters against Miami and 94 yards and two scores in the final two quarters against Houston.

Jets RB Bilal Powell says he’s not worried about a lack of opportunities in the first two games.

The Ravens will wear a helmet decal for the rest of the season to honor defensive line coach Clarence Brooks, who recently passed after fighting stomach and esophageal cancer.

Bengals OT Cedric Ogbuehi is ready to face Von Miller; “He’s probably the best player right now,” Ogbuehi said. “It’s exciting for me. This is why they drafted me. To block guys like him.”

The Browns are dealing with plenty of injuries.

Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams may revisit his position regarding references to his age if he becomes the the oldest running back in NFL history to gain 300 or more yards in the first three games of a season.

Texans WR Jaelen Strong had a rough night in New England.

If you’re curious to know the names of some of the Colts’ new cornerbacks, don’t ask their teammates.

Opponents likely will pick on Jaguars CB Dwayne Gratz until he irons out the mistakes.

The 9/11 cleats worn in Week One by Titans LB Avery Williamson raised $6,600 at auction.

With Donald Stephenson out, the Broncos will rotate Michael Schofield, Ty Sambrailo, and Darrion Weems at right guard and right tackle.

The Chiefs have done well without RB Jamaal Charles; they’ll be even better with him.

Raiders WR Amari Cooper has gotten off to a great start in his second season.

Chargers TE Hunter Henry is in line for plenty of catches this week, and possibly beyond.

Cowboys LT Tyron Smith didn’t finish practice on Friday after his back tightened.

Despite listing RB Rashad Jennings as questionable, the Giants aren’t concerned about his ability to play with a thumb injury.

Eagles DT Destiny Vaeao has made the most of limited playing time.

Washington WR DeSean Jackson will be “ready to roll” despite knee and ankle injuries.

Are the Bears destined for mediocrity unless and until the team is sold?

Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin knows his unit has “faded” in both games.

The Packers have been putting WR Randall Cobb in the backfield at times, but it hasn’t worked yet.

CB Xavier Rhodes could be a difference-maker for the Vikings on Sunday at Carolina.

Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan won’t commit to using the no-huddle offense on a regular basis, despite its success last week in Oakland.

Panthers RB Cameron Artis-Payne will get the start on Sunday, but the team will use a committee approach.

Saints LB Dannell Ellerbe continues to work his way back to full health.

The Buccaneers will unveil stadium upgrades for Sunday’s home opener; they could be a useful distraction if the team plays like it did at Arizona.

The first time Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald played in Buffalo, he didn’t catch a single pass; it’s the only time in his career that he hasn’t.

Rams RB Benny Cunningham had a 102-yard kickoff return against Tampa last season, but didn’t score; this time, he wants to finish the job.

The 49ers haven’t won in Seattle since Christmas Eve 2011.

With three sacks in two games, Seahawks DE Frank Clark already has matched his total for all of 2015.

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