Falcons WR Roddy White said after Sunday’s loss to the Saints that the Falcons beat themselves. No, Roddy, the Saints beat the Falcons. That’s what happened, and that is how plenty of fans saw it, too, shown by their responses in this Wendy’s Rapid Reactions segment.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: The Falcons beat themselves? Uh…no
The Giants got off to an ugly start this morning in London, but a big game from safety Landon Collins earned them a hard-fought 17-10 comeback win over the Rams.
Collins had two interceptions in the game, one a spectacular pick-six that gave the Giants their first touchdown, and one that set up their second touchdown. When he wasn’t intercepting Case Keenum, Collins was making tackles and was generally all over the field. He played an outstanding game.
The Giants’ offense did not play much of a game. Eli Manning struggled to make big plays, and running backs Paul Perkins and Rashad Jennings couldn’t find many holes against a good Rams front seven. But the Giants’ offense didn’t need to do much more than protect the football, and after a Larry Donnell fumble on the first drive, the Giants did just that.
The Rams did not do that. Keenum threw four interceptions and the Rams also fumbled three times, although they recovered all three of them. The Rams’ offense isn’t making many big plays, Todd Gurley is struggling to find room to run, and L.A. isn’t putting many points on the board. The Rams’ last offensive play was a bizarre interception on which Keenum threw into the end zone and Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was the only player in the vicinity.
The fans in London haven’t been treated to a lot of good football games. This one was far from a thriller, although it remained close until the end, and it saw two teams with legitimate playoff hopes. For the Giants, who improve to 4-3, those playoff hopes were bolstered today. The Rams, in falling to 3-4, looked like a team that needs to make another plan on offense.
The Giants have their first lead of the day in London.
After falling behind 10-0 early, battling back to a 10-10 tie in the second quarter and then fighting to a stalemate for most of the second half, the Giants now lead 17-10.
The lead came thanks to a Rashad Jennings touchdown run set up by a Landon Collins interception, his second of the day. Collins returned the first interception for a touchdown and has been easily the best player on the field in this game.
Now the Rams have nine minutes to try to come back. They’d be wise not to throw in Collins’ direction.
The Ravens are down a pair of starting offensive linemen for Sunday’s road game against the Jets, but their replacements won’t have to tangle with one of the Jets’ top defensive linemen.
Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson is inactive for the game due to an ankle injury that kept him from practicing a couple of days this week. Wilkerson, who spent most of the offseason rehabbing the leg he broke in the final game of the 2015 season, said that the ankle has been an issue for a few weeks but this is the first game he’ll be missing this season.
Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley will miss his fourth straight game with a foot injury despite some hope that he’d return after getting listed as questionable on Friday. Right guard Marshal Yanda will miss his second straight game. The remaining linemen will be tasked with protecting quarterback Joe Flacco, who is active as expected despite dealing with right shoulder soreness during the week.
Linebackers Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil and C.J. Mosley are also out for the Ravens. Wide receiver Steve Smith and cornerback Shareece Wright rounding out the list of banged-up players who will be inactive.
Every week we bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information.
This week got off to an earlier start than usual with the Giants and Rams in London, but eight other games kick off in the traditional early afternoon slot. Check back often to see the full list as it becomes available.
Ravens at Jets
Browns at Bengals
Redskins at Lions
Raiders at Jaguars
Saints at Chiefs
Bills at Dolphins
Vikings at Eagles
Colts at Titans
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is active for Sunday’s game vs. the Saints.
Charles had been listed as questionable due to swelling in his knee. He saw his first extended action of the season last week, and the Chiefs will understandably be cautious with Charles just a year removed from ACL surgery.
Charles carried nine times for 33 yards and a touchdown last week. He had two touches in his season debut Oct. 2 at Pittsburgh.
Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer broke his left arm in Thursday night’s loss to the Packers and is taking one of his first steps back to health on Sunday.
Adam Caplan of ESPN reports that Hoyer is having surgery on his arm. Schefter adds that Hoyer is expected to miss at least eight weeks, which would seem to make him a prime candidate for injured reserve whether or not there’s a chance he’ll be able to return to the team in the final weeks of the season.
If Hoyer does go on injured reserve this week, the Bears may be in the market for a quarterback to take his spot on the 53-man roster.
Matt Barkley took over on Thursday night and coach John Fox said after the game that Jay Cutler has not yet been medically cleared from his right thumb injury, which would leave the team without a backup for a Week Eight matchup with a Vikings defense that would be a tough one even if the Bears weren’t on track to take them on with their third-string quarterback.
After falling behind early this morning in London, the Giants have come back in a big way, thanks to Landon Collins.
Collins, the Giants’ second-year strong safety, made one of the greatest interception returns you’ve ever seen, picking off a deflected pass and weaving back and forth, dodging several Rams tacklers and eventually bowling his way into the end zone. The 44-yard return stands as one of the best plays of this NFL season.
Early in the game it was all Rams, as they forced a fumble on the Giants’ first possession, scored a touchdown on their subsequent possession, and then added a field goal to lead 10-0. But the Giants made a field goal of their own to cut the deficit to 10-3, and the spectacular Collins return tied the score.
The London fans are getting a better game than they’re accustomed to, and there’s still plenty of time to go.
“Obviously, it’s frustrating not to have Ben out there, but you have to be positive and poised,” Brown said Friday, via Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We have to build Landry up. We can’t be getting in his ear every play and saying, ‘I’m open.’ Obviously, I know I’m going to draw a lot of double teams and a lot of different matchups. We have to keep him poised, create separation for him, make plays for him and keep him positive all game.”
It’s almost as if Brown was anticipating the moment in 2016 when Jones would get another chance to play.
“I’ve been working with Landry a lot,” Brown said. “Every pregame we throw routes together, communicate a lot in the film room. We’re just excited to have the opportunity to go out and play together this weekend.”
Jones has every incentive to play well, given that he’s in a contract year. With the NFL’s supply of quarterbacks not close to meeting its demand, Jones could be in position to demand a big contract from someone else if he can get it done for however long Roethlisberger will be out due to a torn meniscus in his knee.
As the Browns and Bengals prepare for the first of their two annual meetings on Sunday, the in-state rivalry has a new layer of intrigue.
Browns coach Hue Jackson had become a valued member of the coaching staff in Cincinnati — so valued that Marvin Lewis wanted to eventually hand the baton to Hue.
Lewis mentioned the possibility of Jackson succeeding Lewis earlier this week. Jackson later confirmed it.
“That is Marvin’s football team,” Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He’s been there a long time. It’s hard to ever replace a best friend that way and be there waiting behind. I didn’t think it was the right thing for me to do. I didn’t think it would be right for their team.”
Jackson called the chance to lead the Browns the “right fit” and the “right opportunity.”
“I’m where I’m supposed to be right now,” Jackson said.
Though the Browns have yet to win on Hue’s watch, they’ve been competitive. With Jackson knowing the coaching staff and personnel in Cincinnati intimately, the Browns may have an edge on Sunday to end their annual run of futility, at least for one day.
In time, it won’t be that way, if the fans and ownership remain patient. Although it’s tempting to believe that a generation of frustration will continue indefinitely, Jackson and company could be the franchise’s best shot to turn things around since the franchise previously known as the Browns packed up and left for Baltimore.
Fans in Los Angeles who couldn’t get up early enough to watch the start of the Rams’ game in London missed an early touchdown.
Giants tight end Larry Donnell caught the first pass of the game but fumbled it, and the Rams recovered. (That fumble was confirmed on replay review and London fans — perhaps more accustomed to soccer, which doesn’t have long replay delays — booed the announcement that the play would be reviewed.)
With good field position, the Rams’ offense moved the ball easily, with Austin also rushing for 10 yards in addition to his 10-yard touchdown catch.
Now we’ll see if the Giants can wake up and make an early morning game of it.
The trade deadline is only nine days away. And while plenty of transactions could still happen between now and 4:00 p.m. ET on November 1, it’s hard to currently identify any real chatter regarding specific players.
It’s still a little early for teams to engage in full-blown fire sales. With two more games to be played for most teams between now and the trade deadline, that 1-5 record could be 3-5 by the Tuesday after Week Eight. Or 1-7.
Or, in the case of the Browns, 0-8.
The Browns will be at the center of the speculation, regarding a potential trade of veteran left tackle Joe Thomas. Last year, the Broncos reportedly were talking to the Browns about a trade for Thomas, and this year’s contending teams are only one injury to a starting tackle away from becoming quickly interested.
Other non-contending teams should be looking at players who could be swapped for 2017 draft picks. The 1-6 Bears could be tempted to move receiver Alshon Jeffery; however, his contract status could make it hard to get much value, given that his new team wouldn’t be able to sign him to a new contract until after the regular season ends. The 1-5 Jets could be thinking about a fire sale aimed at stockpiling picks; if there’s any lingering issue between receiver Brandon Marshall and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, why not consider moving one or both of them?
The 49ers also could be/should be looking at ways to unload some veterans in exchange for draft picks, if they keep sliding into irrelevance.
Then there are the Patriots, who seem to find ways to bring in contract-year players who either will be re-signed after the season or allowed to leave via free agency, giving the Patriots a better haul of compensatory picks in 2017.
Regardless, it’s still a little early for the trade talk to heat up. Based on what happens with some of the league’s bad teams over the next nine days, plenty could still happen.
As the Sunday morning talking heads begin the process of talking about the potential reaction by teammates to the knowledge that Giants kicker Josh Brown engaged in abuse of his ex-wife more widespread than grabbing her wrist in May 2015, it’s important to remember one key fact: Brown’s ex-wife contends they already knew.
“Several of Josh’s teammates were aware of the abuse in their relationship,” wrote King County Detective Robin Ostrum, “but it is clear none of them did anything to call it to the attention of the team management or take action to help Molly out. Molly feared that people from the NFL/Giants would pressure her into making all of this go away, so that Josh and the team would not face any negative press. Molly was very upfront that in her experience, the NFL publically [sic] says that they have a no tolerance policy on Domestic Violence, but the reality is that they do more crisis management and look to cover things up.”
Ultimately, the criminal charges did not materialize because Molly Brown decided not to force the issue, possibly due to concerns that she expressed regarding the financial implications arising from the Giants severing ties with Josh. The police report makes it clear that she was torn over worries that, on one hand, the team would abruptly cut him and that, on the other hand, the team would try to brush it all under the rug and to create the impression that she was making things up.
Now that the police report has emerged, the Giants and the NFL have been forced by fan and media reaction to do what they should have done in the first place, based on the apparent extent of the abuse. Regardless, none of this should be news to some of Brown’s teammates, based on the things Molly Brown told the authorities in Seattle.
Can the Dolphins reverse recent history and beat the Bills?
After years of playing for him, the Bengals offense will be trying to beat Hue Jackson this weekend.
The Browns remain an outlier in the Cleveland sports renaissance.
The Steelers defense will be under pressure on Sunday.
Monday is another tough road game for the Texans.
The Titans running game looks like a bad matchup for the Colts.
Remembering Jack Del Rio’s time as Jaguars coach ahead of a matchup with the Raiders.
The Chiefs aren’t listening to critics of their offensive style.
Said Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano, “I’m heading to church right after this. To be able to stop Julio [Jones], we’re going to have to do some serious praying.”
The Cowboys coaching staff has looked good during the team’s 5-1 start.
Trying to evaluate Bears coach John Fox’s work is more difficult thanks to injuries all over the roster.
The Lions defense will be tested this weekend.
Vikings tight ends coach Pat Shurmur is one of the team’s connections to the Eagles.
LSU sent alums with the Falcons a package this week.
The Panthers need to get their pass rush going after the bye.
Will the Buccaneers be able to take advantage of the 49ers’ run defense?
WR DeAndre Smelter is trying for a second chance with the 49ers.
The Giants didn’t give wide receiver Odell Beckham an injury designation on their final injury report of the week, which means they had no doubt that he would be in the lineup on Sunday.
It seems there are still some concerns about how his hip is feeling, however. Beckham hurt his hip against the Ravens last weekend and missed the opening practice of the week before returning to work on Thursday and Friday. Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com reports that Beckham spent an extended period of time with trainers while the rest of the team’s wide receivers were going through warmups ahead of the Giants’ matchup with the Rams in London.
That hasn’t caused a change in Beckham’s game status as he’s in the lineup for the game. Whether he’s limited by the injury at any point during the game will be something to keep an eye on, especially after Beckham’s big game helped the Giants snap their three-game losing streak last week.
Quarterback Josh Johnson, wide receiver Tavarres King, safety Darian Thompson, safety Nat Berhe, linebacker Deontae Skinner, offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse and defensive tackle Robert Thomas are inactive for the Giants.
Defensive tackle Michael Brockers and cornerback Trumaine Johnson were ruled out by the Rams during the week. They’re joined on the inactive list by guard Jamon Brown, wide receiver Nelson Spruce, wide receiver Pharoh Cooper, offensive lineman Pace Murphy and quarterback Sean Mannion.
Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert declared himself ready to make his 2016 debut this week, although the Bengals stopped short of ruling Eifert into the lineup when they released their final injury report of the week.
Eifert has missed the last couple of games with the back injury he suffered just as it appeared he was ready to get back on the field after offseason ankle surgery. He practiced each day this week, drawing a questionable tag, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that he is expected to play limited snaps against the Browns.
It wouldn’t be surprising if some of those snaps come in the red zone. Eifert was tough to stop in that area of the field last season and the Bengals have not been as effective on that front as they were with Eifert in the lineup last season.