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Giants rookie David Wilson will ride the pine until he grows up

David Wilson Pic Getty Images

Three running backs were chosen in the first round of this year’s NFL draft, and two of them are carrying the load as rookies: Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin has 173 carries for 862 yards and Cleveland’s Trent Richardson has 152 carries for 575 yards. And then there’s Giants rookie running back David Wilson.

Wilson has 18 carries for 89 yards this season, including a grand total of three carries for two yards over the last four games, and Giants running backs coach Jerald Ingram says that’s because Wilson hasn’t learned how to play like a professional.

“David has to learn you can’t be just a runner, that’s not what we do, you have to be a complete running back, you have to be knowledgeable, you have to be smart, you can’t just accept your mistakes,” Ingram told the New York Post. “It’s about winning games, it’s not a popularity contest. It’s time for you to grow up and be a man now and see what you can do with the whole ball of wax. Until he proves that it’s hard to stick him out there and feel comfortable.”

Ingram suggested that Wilson thinks as long as he can make plays with the ball in his hands, he should be on the field — even if he doesn’t know his responsibilities in blitz pickup.

“Just because you’re a first-round draft pick doesn’t mean you’re ready to play or they all would be great,” Ingram said. “Yeah, he is explosive, but at what cost is he explosive? Is he explosive at the cost of not being able to protect well, not being able to know his job well, not being a pro?”

Wilson has been a good kickoff returner this season, so his rookie year hasn’t been a complete waste. But Ingram’s comments make clear that the Giants view Wilson as a disappointment.

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Colts roll to 30-0 halftime lead in Jacksonville

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars Getty Images

The Jaguars couldn’t have peaked in the first half of the first game of the season.

Right?

Ever since taking a 17-0 lead at Philadelphia after two quarters in Week One, the Jaguars have fallen apart, and their fade has continued Sunday, where the Colts have run out to a 30-0 halftime lead.

In taking that 30-point edge after two quarters, the Colts outgained the Jaguars 330-55 — a 6:1 margin. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck completed 22-of-27 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns, with the last of those scores a seven-yard TD toss to tight end Coby Fleener after a Jaguars fumble.

Overall, in the last eight quarters, the Jaguars have been outscored 105-10.

UPDATE 2:44 p.m. ET: The Jaguars began the second half by inserting rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, who entered the game to thunderous applause. More on this to come.

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Eagles grab 21-20 lead just before the half

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles Getty Images

There’s been a lot of discussion about the best ways to deal with the pace of the Eagles offense since Chip Kelly became the team’s head coach, but it’s hard to argue with the idea of just not letting them have the ball at all.

That’s what the Redskins have tried to do on Sunday afternoon. Washington had the ball for nearly 23 minutes of the first half as Kirk Cousins has moved the team on several elongated drives that helped the Redskins lead for most of the half.

Most isn’t the same as all, though, and the Eagles have shown that they don’t need the ball much to make an impact on the scoreboard. Nick Foles hit Jordan Matthews for a touchdown for the second time in the game with nine seconds to play in the first half to give the Eagles a 21-20 lead at the break. If not for a Darren Sproles fumble in the red zone, the Eagles might be up by even more even though they’ve had the ball only slightly more often than people who aren’t playing in the game at all.

Some of the time of possession issues are misleading because Chris Polk returned a kickoff 102 yards for the first Philly score, but the Redskins offense has done their bit to keep the team in front. They averaged nearly six yards per play and scored every time they had the ball, but the Eagles are averaging nearly nine yards a pop and they get the ball coming out of the half.

If the Redskins defense can’t step up at that point, the team will have very little to show for a strong start against their divisional rival.

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Giants offense clicks for 14-0 halftime lead

Houston Texans v New York Giants Getty Images

The Giants have made some of the confounding mistakes that marked their double-digit losses in the first two weeks of the season, but they’ve been able to overcome them on the way to a 14-0 halftime lead over the Texans.

New York saw tight end Larry Donnell fumble near the end zone and then watched long snapper Zak DeOssie send a field goal snap well past holder Steve Weatherford, but Eli Manning has kept the offense moving despite those blunders. Manning is 14-of-18 for 179 yards and a touchdown while Rashad Jennings has sprinted for 88 yards on 18 carries while also scoring a touchdown.

Manning’s touchdown pass went to Victor Cruz for his first home score since 2012 and the wideout, who had major issues with drops in the first two weeks, also had a 61-yard gain in his best showing of the season.

Houston’s offense has had no success without Arian Foster, however. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been intercepted twice on his way to a 4-of-13 first half and the Texans mustered just 83 total yards on offense before the teams went back to the locker room. Playing from behind will call for more passing from Fitzpatrick, which looks like a dicey proposition given his struggles and the spirited performance by the Giants pass rush.

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Matt Cassel won’t return with toe injury

Matt Cassel AP

Teddy Bridgewater is going to get an extended look as the Vikings starter.

Matt Cassel, who left the game with a toe injury, will not return. Third-stringer Christian Ponder was inactive.

Bridgewater actually gave the Vikings a bit of a spark when he entered the game, getting them in position for a pair of field goals.

They trail the Saints 13-6 at halftime, but Bridgewater has at least given them reason for hope.

He’s 3-of-5 for 46 yards passing, and added 23 yards on five rushing attempts.

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Johnny Manziel’s 39-yard catch nullified by penalty

Johnny Manziel AP

On Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, the Browns came oh-so-close to pulling off one of the more unique trick plays of recent seasons, but a penalty scuttled it, taking a 39-yard Johnny Manziel reception right out of the box score and into the footnotes of obscure football history.

The play occurred in the second quarter in today’s game vs. the Ravens. On the sideline, Manziel feigned a discussion with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and another Browns assistant, then stepped on to the field and caught a pass from Brian Hoyer.

However, tailback Terrance West was penalized for an illegal shift, nullifying the gain.

In the end, the Browns got an A-plus for creativity and an F for execution.

But it was fun to watch.

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Dennis Pitta carted off in Cleveland

Pitta Getty Images

Last year, Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta suffered a serious hip injury in training camp.  He has now injured it again.

Pitta’s right leg gave out after catching a pass in the backfield at Cleveland.  He stumbled to the ground, and he has been carted off.

Pitta had three catches for 12 yards.  The Ravens lead, 10-7.

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Alfred Morris questionable to return from knee injury

Alfred Morris

The Eagles saw running back LeSean McCoy make a quick return to the game after being evaluated for a concussion and the Redskins will be hoping that Alfred Morris can make a similar turnaround.

Morris is being called questionable to return to the game after injuring his knee in the second quarter. Morris was hurt when he and quarterback Kirk Cousins bounced into one another at the end of a running play and he went to the sideline for the final play of the drive to get evaluated by medical personnel.

Morris had seen a lot of work up to that point in the game, running 14 times for 46 yards on the team’s first three possessions. All three of those possessions ended in points for the Redskins, who led 17-7 after a Kai Forbath field goal.

Their lead shrank a short time later when Nick Foles hit Jordan Matthews for a touchdown to close within a field goal in what’s been a game light on defensive stands in Philadelphia.

UPDATE 2:12 p.m. ET: Morris has returned to the game.

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Rams run out out to big lead over Cowboys

zacstacy AP

No team got off to an uglier start today in the NFL than the Cowboys.

In the second quarter in St. Louis, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo threw a pass right to Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who took it to the house for the Rams’ third touchdown of the day, giving St. Louis an early 21-0 lead.

The Rams had previously had two touchdown passes from quarterback Austin Davis, who looked surprisingly good: He hit Lance Kendricks for a one-yard score and Brian Quick for a 51-yard score.

Dallas finally got on the board when DeMarco Murray plunged up the middle for a one-yard touchdown to make it 21-7. The Cowboys will need a lot more from Murray, who is running well but has also lost a fumble, if they’re going to come back in this one.

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Titans shooting themselves in the (kicking) foot

Tennessee Titans v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

The Titans aren’t playing horribly, but their special teams are keeping them from keeping it close against the Bengals.

They just committed a holding penalty in the end zone for a safety while trying to punt, giving the Bengals a 12-0 lead.

This comes after kicker Ryan Succop missed a pair of field goals, and Blidi Wreh-Wilson committed a facemask penalty on a punt return.

Wilson was also the culprit who gave up a touchdown pass to Andy Dalton, when he looked like he was caught somewhere between trying to light up the quarterback or play a lofted pass, and ended up failing at both.

This should be a one-score game, but they’re handing it to the Bengals on a platter.

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Teddy Bridgewater era begins for Minnesota

Bridgewater Getty Images

As the current face of the franchise has gotten a stiff arm to the face from the franchise, the next face of the franchise will be getting his first crack at making an impact on the field.

Vikings quarterback Matt Cassell has left the playing area on a cart, with a toe injury.  Which means that rookie Teddy Bridgewater has entered the game.

Even without the injury, it was looking shaky for the veteran.  The Vikings fell into a quick 13-0 hole, after losing 30-7 last week.

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Bengals up 10-0 after touchdown pass to Andy Dalton

Mohamed Sanu AP

Maybe the Bengals shouldn’t have paid Andy Dalton.

Because Mohamed Sanu is becoming quite a passer.

Sanu just hit Dalton with an 18-yard touchdown pass to give the Bengals a 10-0 lead over the Titans, which required his quarterback to make a move to get the end zone. It could have easily been picked off and returned for a touchdown, but Dalton was able to climb the ladder and scamper for the score.

On the heels of last week’s 50-yard pass to Brandon Tate, Sanu now has a passer rating of 158.3 for his career. He’s 4-of-4 for 166 yards and two touchdowns.

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Colts not having much trouble with Jaguars

Andrew Luck AP

Down two games to the Texans in the AFC South, the Colts entered Sunday’s game at Jacksonville in desperate need for a victory.

Well, Indianapolis is off a good start in its quest for its first win of the season.

Led by strong defense and sharp play on offense, the Colts are out to a 17-0 second quarter lead at Jacksonville.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has starred early, completing 15-of-18 passes for 145 yards, including a six-yard first quarter TD pass to Ahmad Bradshaw and a one-yard second quarter scoring toss to tight end Dwayne Allen. Tailback Trent Richardson has also played well, racking up 35 yards on five carries.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars’ offense has done little early, going three-and-out on its first two drives.

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LeSean McCoy helped off after blow to head, cleared to return

LeSean McCoy AP

The Eagles defense hasn’t been able to stop the Redskins on either of Washington’s first two drives, leaving them in a 14-7 hole.

They may not have running back LeSean McCoy’s help in their effort to come back. McCoy took a shot to the head from Redskins cornerback David Amerson during a running play in the first quarter and was immediately met by members of the Eagles training staff on the field.

They helped McCoy to the sideline, where he was evaluated by a couple of members of the medical team. McCoy, who was seen pleading with trainers to get his helmet back, then headed back to the locker room where there will presumably be concussion testing done to see the extent of the injury.

If McCoy is out the rest of the way, the Eagles will need Darren Sproles to repeat some of the production he gave them on Monday night against the Colts if they are going to wind up winners of this divisional battle.

UPDATE 1:56 p.m. ET: McCoy has been cleared to return to the game by the Eagles, who saw Sproles lose a fumble in the Washington red zone while he was out of the game.

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Broncos say no timetable in place for ownership transition

Pat Bowlen AP

In response to a report from the Denver Post that the Broncos may have as little two years to determine whether a member of Pat Bowlen’s family will assume ownership of the franchise or sell it, the team says that no deadlines exists.

“Owner Pat Bowlen has indicated a strong desire to keep specifics of his estate planning private, and the Denver Broncos intend to honor his wishes,” the team said in a statement.

“While Mr. Bowlen’s long-term hope is for one of his children to run the team, any speculation on the transition of his ownership to one of them is premature. No timetable has been set for that process by the organization or the National Football League.

“There are no plans for the sale of the Denver Broncos, and the Pat Bowlen Trust will continue to implement the provisions set forth by Mr. Bowlen to keep the team in the Bowlen family.”

Bowlen, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, stepped away from any activities with the organization in July.  His wife has said that the plan is to keep the team in the family.

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Lions’ Stephen Tulloch hurts himself celebrating

Detroit Lions Stephen Tulloch celebrates in the end zone his touch down against Minnesota Vikings during the first half of their NFL football game in Detroit Reuters

Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch has pulled a Gramatica.

Tulloch jumped up and down celebrating a big play today against the Packers, but he came down too hard and fell awkwardly, appearing to hurt his leg. It was reminiscent of the infamous Bill Gramatica celebration.

The Lions didn’t have much to celebrate after Tulloch left the game; the Packers marched right down the field against Detroit’s depleted defense and got a 10-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Andrew Quarless.

Late in the first quarter in Detroit it’s tied, 7-7.

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