Titans lead 10-3 after sloppy first half


The NFL is only using pink penalty flags in Sunday’s game between the Jets and Dolphins, but they should have shipped a few boxes to Nashville if they wanted to create maximum awareness for breast cancer.

Penalties loomed large for both teams in the first half, although the Titans were able to stop shooting themselves in the foot long enough to get a touchdown just before halftime. Matt Hasselbeck hit Kendall Wright for a 23-yard touchdown with a minute left in the second quarter to put the team up 10-3. The score also allowed them to get past three offensive pass interference penalties that hindered them in the first half. One wiped out a 43-yard catch by Kenny Britt and the second erased a touchdown just before Wright scored one that counted.

They almost gave back some of that lead thanks to a roughing the passer penalty on defensive lineman Mike Martin as Andrew Luck tried to rally the Colts down the field. The yardage lost hurt the Titans, but so did the fact that the penalty allowed to Colts to avoid using their final timeout on the play. They were able to use it after a Coby Fleener catch with 10 seconds left in the half, but the Titans blocked Adam Vinatieri’s field goal attempt.

The Colts weren’t immune to the penalty problems, either. They jumped offside on a third-and-five and cornerback Jerraud Powers later picked up an illegal contact flag that added five yards to a first down scramble by Hasselbeck. They also had a promising drive stopped in its tracks thanks to an illegal crackback block penalty on wide receiver Donnie Avery.

Steelers in control at the half


The prison bumblebee look works for the Steelers.

Through the first half of Sunday’s home game against the Redskins, Pittsburgh leads comfortably, 20-6.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has led four scoring drives, throwing a pair of touchdown passes and 173 yards.  The Steelers have punted only once, at the end of the second quarter.

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has completed only five of 13 passes, but there have been several drops.  He has added only three yards rushing.

Barring dramatic improvement on both sides of the ball, the Redskins won’t be evening their record today.

Todd Bowles is getting a rough welcome to his new job

Getty Images

New Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles may not be the team’s defensive coordinator for very long.

In his first game on the job, Bowles’ Eagles are being torched by Matt Ryan and the Falcons, giving up three touchdown passes in three drives.  Ryan has completed 12 of 13 passes for 157 yards, adding most recently a 63-yard score to Julio Jones.

The good news?  It’s highly unlikely that the Eagles will be in position to blow another fourth-quarter lead.

Offensively, the Eagles have snapped out of their five-yards-in-the-first-quarter funk, driving 66 yards in 13 plays to cut a 14-0 gap in half.  Based on the way the defense is playing, the offense will need to score a lot more points.

Seahawks’ offense goes off in Detroit


In the Seahawks’ first seven games this season, they were held under 17 points five times. In Detroit today, the Seahawks scored 17 points in the first 19 minutes.

Seattle’s offense made big plays on the ground and through the air as the Seahawks took an early 17-7 lead. Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has a 77-yard touchdown run, Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice has a nine-yard touchdown catch, the Seahawks have also had big plays in the passing game from receiver Golden Tate and tight end Anthony McCoy.

Mistakes are continuing to hurt the Lions, who have five penalties for 61 yards so far, while the Seahawks have zero penalties. Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham gathered his unit and gave them a good screaming session on the sideline, but all the screaming in the world isn’t going to fix all the problems the Lions have right now. A touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Titus Young narrowed the gap to 17-14, but it’s another rough start in Detroit.

Richardson running well; Mathews fumbles again


The Browns have a banged-up running back, and are playing one of the league’s best run defenses.

So naturally, they’re running well.

Trent Richardson has 57 yards on his first eight carries, including a 26-yard touchdown run as the Browns are off to a 7-0 lead over the Chargers on a sloppy track.

Richardson has taken a few shots, including slipping on the sidelines and sliding under the bench.

The Browns just took over on a Ryan Mathews fumble, and have good field position at the end of the first quarter.

Eagles down 14 in points, 108-5 in yards after 15 minutes

Getty Images

It’s getting ugly quickly in Philly, where Andy Reid’s 13-0 post-bye streak is in grave danger.

As our c0rporate cousin Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com points out via Twitter, the Eagles have been outgained 108-5 in the first quarter, en route to a 14-0 deficit.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has completed 10 of 11 passes for 8 0 yards and a pair of touchdowns — one to receiver D.J. Davis and one to running back Jason Snelling.

If this continues, look for the Nick Foles era to possibly begin after halftime.

Blocked punt puts Dolphins up 10

Getty Images

The Jets have gotten three first downs from Tim Tebow on fake punts this season, but his presence as personal punt protector worked against them in the first quarter on Sunday.

Tebow blocked to his left with Robert Malone punting from near his own end zone, missing the hard-charging Dolphins defensive back Jimmy Wilson. Wilson blocked Malone’s punt and defensive end Olivier Vernon recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. It was the second big special teams play for the Dolphins on Sunday, they previously recovered an onside kick, and a big boost on a day when they might be playing without quarterback Ryan Tannehill the rest of the way.

Wilson had a big play just before the punt as well. He blitzed on a third down and dropped Mark Sanchez for a sack that forced Malone’s ill-fated punt. The Jets offense hasn’t done much to this point in the game and things got worse on the ensuing drive when Sanchez got the ball knocked out by cornerback Nolan Carroll and defensive tackle Paul Soliai snagged it for an interception.

The Dolphins lead 10-0 with just under two minutes to play in the quarter.

Matt Forte gets Bears out to early lead on Panthers


The Panthers have decided to run a more conventional offense today, but it’s the Bears who are running it better.

Bears running back Matt Forte has 44 yards on his first four carries, including a 13-yard touchdown, as the Bears have taken a 7-0 lead.

Jay Cutler threw an interception early, forcing one to a triple-covered Brandon Marshall.

The Panthers have opened the game running actual I-formation run plays with Jonathan Stewart, but haven’t gone far.

Falcons up early on Eagles


With every factor, both tangible and intangible, pointing to a win by the Eagles over the Falcons, the Falcons of course are winning early at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Falcons scored on a 16-play, 80 yard drive, capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to receiver D.J. Davis, an undrafted rookie free agent.

The Eagles went three-and-out with their only crack at the ball.  Mike Vick threw an incompletion and was sacked.

Ryan Tannehill limps off in first quarter


The hot sauce came out early in the Meadowlands, but it didn’t land on Reggie Bush.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill hobbled to the sideline after being sacked by Jets linebacker Calvin Pace on a third down that ended the Dolphins’ second possession of the game. Pace came through unblocked and leveled Tannehill, who then went to the sideline without putting much pressure on his left leg. He was trying to walk off the pain with trainers as the Dolphins punted and Matt Moore was warming up on the sideline.

The injury came after the Dolphins recovered an onside kick after a field goal on the first drive of the game. Linebacker Jason Trusnik, a former Jet, recovered Dan Carpenter’s kick to set the Dolphins up with great field position. They went nowhere, though, and now may have lost Tannehill.

It’s been as chippy a game as you’d expect given the jawing between the teams this week. There’s been one personal foul already and it won’t be surprising to see more as the game progresses.

UPDATE 1:26 p.m. ET: The Dolphins are saying that Tannehill has a left quad injury. His return is questionable.

Steelers unveil their throwbacks with a touchdown


My first glimpse of the Steelers’ throwback jerseys came as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was taking the field.

First thought?  That’s a big-ass bumblebee.  (Feel free to make your own wisecracks below.)

The general consensus is that the look is not a good one for the Steelers, with even the most ardent black-and-yellowers not having anything good to say about the jerseys.

The only good news is that the horizontal stripes apparently are confusing the Redskins defense.  Pittsburgh took the opening kickoff 76 yards in 12 plays, scoring on fourth and goal from the doorstep of the end zone on a play-action pass from Big Ben Bumblebee to Leonard Pope.

Trade talk persists regarding Steven Jackson


With the trade deadline only two days away, Rams running back Steven Jackson continues to be at the center of speculation regarding a possible deal that would send him out of St. Louis in his ninth season with the team.

In recent years, there has been speculation that the Rams should ship Jackson to a contending team, given that the Rams were anything but contending.  Now that the Rams are truly contending, it’s odd that they’d move him.

But it has been reported this season that the Rams don’t plan on bringing Jackson back next year.  If that’s the case, why not get something for him now?

And so Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Rams have fielded inquiries regarding Jackson.  Though he’s not being actively shopped, the Rams are willing to listen.

Suitors include the Packers, who don’t have much of a running game since the injury to Cedric Benson.  Then again, they didn’t have much of a running game with Benson.

The Rams would have to get a sweet deal in exchange for Jackson.  Otherwise, it could be difficult to sell the fans on a decision to send the most popular member of the post-Greatest Show on Turf out of town.

All eyes on the running backs in Cleveland today

Getty Images

As expected, the Browns are going to start running back Trent Richardson as he continues to recover from a rib injury. He was pulled after eight carries last week, but they’ll need him against the Chargers’ second-ranked run defense.

But the running back on the other side is worth watching today as well.

With nasty, windy conditions expected in Cleveland today (or as they’re commonly known, conditions in Cleveland), both running games will be at center stage, meaning ball security will be first and foremost.

The Chargers are still trying to figure out if they can count on Ryan Mathews to hang onto the ball, and today will be the kind of game he can convince people he’s trustworthy.

Report: Eric Wright facing Adderall suspension


With Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib serving a four-game suspension for taking Adderall, the other starting corner in Tampa could be sitting down for a quarter of the season, too.

Jay Glazer of FOX reports that Eric Wright is facing a ban for Adderall, an ADD medication that more and more players are using as a stimulant.  It’s a banned substance, and players may permissibly take it only with both a prescription and a waiver from the league’s policy regarding anabolic steroids and related substances.

The status of Wright’s appeal, if any, isn’t known.  The suspension will become official once the internal process has been finalized.

Wright escaped league scrutiny during the offseason when a DUI arrest resulted in no charges being pursued.

Week Eight early inactives


Every week we’ll bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. So check back often to see the full list as it becomes available.

Panthers at Bears

Panthers: DE Antwan Applewhite, QB Jimmy Clausen, WR Joe Adams, S D.J. Campbell, CB James Dockery, OL Bruce Campbell, DE Thomas Keiser

Bears: WR Alshon Jeffery, DT Amobi Okoye, C Edwin Williams, DT Matt Toeiana, TE Brody Eldridge, DE Cheta Ozougwu, WR Dane Sanzenbacher

Chargers at Browns

Chargers: WR Eddie Royal, S Brandon Taylor, CB Shareece Wright, RB Curtis Brinkley, LB Jonas Mouton, DT Antonio Garay, TE Lardadius Green

Browns: CB Dimitri Patterson, DT Ahtyba Rubin, WR Mohamed Massaquoi, FB Owen Marecic, RB Brandon Jackson, DB Tashaun Gipson, OL Jarrod Shaw

Seahawks at Lions

Seahawks: WR Doug Baldwin, CB Byron Maxwell, WR Braylon Edwards CB Danny Gorrer, OL John Moffitt, DT Jason Jones, DT Jaye Howard

Lions: CB Jacob Lacey, S Amari Spievey, QB Kellen Moore, CB Bill Bentley, OT Corey Hilliard, OT John Fox , LB DeAndre Levy

Jaguars at Packers

Jaguars: RB Maurice Jones-Drew, S Dwight Lowery, CB Derek Cox, WR Laurent Robinson, RB Montell Owens, DT Jeris Pendleton, DT D’Anthony Smith

Packers: WR Greg Jennings, CB Sam Shields, FB John Kuhn, LB Nick Perry, S Charles Woodson, WR Jordy Nelson

Dolphins at Jets

Dolphins: CB Richard Marshall, QB Pat Devlin, LB Josh Kaddu, OL Will Yeatman TE Michael Egnew, WR Rishard Matthews, WR Anthony Armstrong

Jets: LB Bart Scott, S Eric Smith, DT Kenrick Ellis, QB Greg McElroy, TE Jeff Cumberland, DT Damon Harrison, RB Bilal Powell

Falcons at Eagles

Falcons: WR Harry Douglas, QB Dominique Davis, C Joe Hawley, T Lamar Holmes, DT Travian Robertson, DE Jonathan Massaquoi, DE Cliff Matthews

Eagles: QB Trent Edwards, LB Jamar Chaney, WR Damaris Johnson, G Nate Menkin, DE Vinny Curry, RB Dion Lewis, OL Danny Watkins

Redskins at Steelers

Redskins: WR Pierre Garçon, S Brandon Meriweather, QB Rex Grossman, OG Adam Gettis, OG Josh LeRibeus, CB Richard Crawford, DE Doug Worthington

Steelers: T Marcus Gilbert, LB Brandon Johnson, RB Rashard Mendenhall, S Troy Polamalu, QB Charlie Batch, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, RB Isaac Redman

Patriots vs. Rams (in London)

Patriots: TE Aaron Hernandez, S Patrick Chung, S Steve Gregory, LB Tracy White, DE Trevor Scott, RB Brandon Bolden, G Logan Mankins

Rams: T Rodger Saffold, DE Eugene Sims, WR Danny Amendola, OT Wayne Hunter, QB Austin Davis, LB Mario Haggan, DT Matt Conrath

Colts at Titans

Colts: CB Darius Butler, DT Fili Moala, DT Anthony Dixon, T Tony Hills, LB Robert Mathis, WR Nathan Palmer, DE Lawrence Guy

Titans: QB Jake Locker, T Michael Roos, LB Patrick Bailey, CB Tommie Campbell, DT DaJohn Harris, LB Will Witherspoon, G Deuce Lutui

UPDATE 12:29 p.m. ET: Packers LB Erik Walden was originally listed as inactive. That was incorrect, he will play on Sunday.