Mike Florio kicks off the second anniversary of PFT Live by discussing Andy Reid’s new coaching job in Kansas City, Rex Ryan’s new body art, and Penn State coach Bill O’Brien’s decision to stay put in Happy Valley.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Ryan’s genius body art
Subtle, it was not. Stylish, it was not.
But that doesn’t mean it was bad, either.
For all the problems the NFL has had putting entertaining games on in prime time this year, the Cardinals and Seahawks delivered a beauty, though it’s admittedly in the eye of the beholder.
And if you watched them pummel each other for a 6-6 tie, you probably have a black eye just from being close to such a physical game.
From Cardinals coach Bruce Arians complaining at halftime about his receivers being held, to the Seahawks defense running on fumes (because their offense couldn’t do anything), both teams were gassed by the end of this one because of the start-to-finish bludgeoning. There were more punts than points (15-12), a pair of missed game-winning field goals in overtime, and that’s not for everyone.
It wasn’t the kind of game that will make fantasy players happy, but it’s also the kind of game we need from time to time, to cleanse the palate, to remember there’s a part of the game that can’t be quantified.
Unless you count copays, and the amount of ice both teams are going to need after this one.
Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:
1. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson can talk all he wants about being healthy.
But he’s not (Source: My two eyes).
Wilson’s been dealing with a high ankle sprain and a sprained MCL (different legs), and it’s clearly impacted his ability to be a component of the Seahawks running game.
Of course, they were adjusting that anyway without Marshawn Lynch this year (and Thomas Rawls‘ recovery from a broken leg), but the lack of Wilson’s normal ability to scramble is clear. He was limited to one carry for minus-2 yards and the Seahawks only managed 130 yards in regulation.
The field goal drive in overtime was OK (though the third-down throw-away was a little bizarre), but the Seahawks don’t have enough players on offense, and Wilson isn’t well enough to bail them out.
2. On the other hand, Cardinals running back David Johnson continues to contribute in many ways.
Johnson had 113 yards rushing and another 58 receiving, on a night when no one else was getting anything done.
He has now gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in seven straight games, the consistent part of their offense. At a time when the Cardinals are running low on reliable receiving targets, they need him more than ever.
3. The Seahawks already had problems with their offensive line. But an injury to left tackle Bradley Sowell in the fourth quarter underscored how thin they actually are.
Sowell was carted off with some degree of leg injury.
Undrafted rookie George Fant replaced him at left tackle for the pivotal final minutes of regulation.
The Seahawks have been changing tires on that particular moving car since last season, with very little resembling stability up front. And when a solid-not-spectacular player such as Sowell creates serious issues with his absence, it speaks to the pre-existing condition.
With Wilson not well and the running game not working, it’s the kind of thing that could snowball and turn into an even bigger problem in a hurry.
4. The Cardinals have some major issues on special teams.
Letting Bobby Wagner hurdle your line (and the first was a clean play, the OT one, maybe not) was one thing. But a blocked punt late was the extent of the offense Seattle was going to muster, and the missed field goal in overtime was the kind of play that could linger beyond a single game.
When you’re operating on a fine margin as they were Sunday night, it could be a killer, and they figure to have some close games in front of them.
5. On a night when defenses dominated, a guy the Cardinals were expecting to have a bigger role was not to be heard from.
First-rounder Robert Nkemdiche hasn’t been active on a regular basis, and didn’t contribute anything visible.
The 29th overall pick had elite talent at Ole Miss, but fell to the Cardinals with the 29th pick because of teams being scared of off-field issues. Many thought he’d flourish on the Cardinals defense, but he’s not made a good impression. Coach Bruce Arians has taken a few swipes at him in press conferences, and he hasn’t exactly responded.
The Cards were willing to give 2015 first-rounder D.J. Humphries a red-shirt year, as he wasn’t even active last year. And Nkemdiche might become a value pick for them, but he hasn’t shown signs of it yet.
There are a couple of not-so-average Joes with no-so-average jobs who are available to change employers in the next week or so.
In addition to Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, 49ers left tackle Joe Staley also could be had in trade.
Staley, drafted in the same round (first) of the same draft (2007) as Thomas, has been tied to the same teams that have some degree of interest in Thomas: Vikings, Giants, Cardinals, Seahawks and, if the 49ers are willing to take whatever they can get, the Patriots.
While the Browns would deal Thomas for a second-round pick, a source with knowledge of the dynamics tells PFT the 49ers are angling for a first-round pick from a contender for Staley, which likely would come late in the round.
Staley, 32, is under contract through 2019. His base salary spikes from $5.4 million this year to $8.25 million in 2017.
The trade window closes on Tuesday, November 1 at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Neither team is doing much offensively tonight, but if the Cardinals are going to, they’re going to do it short-handed.
Cards wideout Jaron Brown, who left earlier with a knee injury, has been downgraded to out.
Coupled with tight end Darren Fells being checked out by trainers, they’re short on wideouts and targets in general, and the game reflects that, as they cling to a 3-0 lead.
Confidence. The food of the wise man and the liquor of the fool.
And while I’m not saying 49ers linebacker Aaron Lynch is a fool, I’d like to have a little of whatever liquor he was drinking before he offered up some supremely-confident comments about his employer.
“We have the team,” Lynch said after a loss to Tampa that dropped San Francisco to 1-6, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “We possibly have one of the best teams in the NFL, easily. Hands down. We need to know how to keep finishing games and work together throughout the whole game. Once we get that down, nobody’s going to be able to mess with us.”
They need to get that down quickly, because they’re nearly out of contention in the NFC playoff field.
Lynch wasn’t the only member of the defense talking big after the 49ers yielded gigantic yardage on Sunday: 513 total yards.
“I love this scheme,” safety Eric Reid said, via Maiocco. “If everybody does their job, we shouldn’t get beat. But whenever there’s an explosive play, somebody is out of position. We just got to tighten up.”
There’s a lot of tightening that needs to be done to make the 49ers relevant and competitive. Currently, they simply aren’t.
Browns center Cameron Erving left Sunday’s loss to the Bengals at halftime due to an undisclosed illness and did not return.
After the game, the Browns did not know if the illness was related to the bruised lung that Erving suffered in Week Two that kept him out of the next three games.
“Illness. Definitely illness,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said after the game. “Not going to get into anything [else]. It was an illness and he wasn’t ‘pulled.’ He didn’t come out for the second half, so that’s what happened.”
Erving’s absence caused another offensive line shuffle. John Greco went from right guard back to center. Rookie Spencer Drango started at left guard, and Alvin Bailey also played left guard before going back to right guard when Greco had to move inside.
It’s not a high-scoring half of football, but it’s entertaining in its own way.
And the Cardinals have the only points, leading Seattle 3-0 after a hard-hitting first half.
The Cards are pressuring Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson into an ugly stat line. Wilson’s just 5-of-14 passing for 34 yards, and lost 2 yards on his only rushing attempt.
It’s not that Cardinals are lighting it up themselves, and their late push for another Chandler Catanzaro field goal could have really benefitted from the timeout Bruce Arians burned on a non-challengeable play (Bobby Wagner’s leap over the line when he blocked the field goal).
Instead, offsetting penalties after a sack-strip-fumble by Carson Palmer allowed the half to expire.
The way this game is progressing, there might not be much scoring. But it will still be good.
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown spent some time on the sidelines during Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, with a leg injury. After the game, Brown explained why he was absent.
He took a knee to the quad from a Patriots defender.
Brown added that he expects to be able to play in two weeks, when the Steelers emerge from their bye week.
For the game, Brown caught seven passes for 106 yards. It wasn’t enough to keep the Steelers from limping into the bye week at 4-3.
The Bills saw their four-game winning streak come to an end in Miami on Sunday afternoon and they also saw running back LeSean McCoy leave the game early because of a hamstring injury.
McCoy’s status was a subject of discussion leading into the game with a report that he’d miss the game due to the hamstring injury getting rebuffed before he was listed as questionable for the game. He ran eight times for 11 yards while seeing the most snaps at running back into the third quarter of the game. McCoy said he “felt a little pain” in the hamstring during the game, but that all was well up until that point.
“I felt fine,” McCoy said, via the team. “Every day step by step I slowly progressed and things calmed down. It was a day to day decision. I felt great going into my cuts, warming up, running, cutting, I felt good. That was the only reason I would play if I was 100 percent.”
Coach Rex Ryan said that McCoy was cleared to play in the game and that he wouldn’t have played if the team didn’t think he was 100 percent.
McCoy said he doesn’t think the injury is a “major” one and feels hopeful he’ll be ready for next Sunday’s date with the Patriots. Based on the way the offense performed without McCoy having a big game, that would be as great for the Bills as it might be unlikely given how things went with McCoy’s hamstring this week.
With plenty of young running backs getting it done during the 2016 NFL season, it’s a good time to stick a finger in the wind regarding the best of the league’s current tailbacks.
That Monday’s question of the day on PFT Live. Vote for one of the choices in the poll appearing below, make your arguments in the comments, and tune in tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio, or to NBCSN at 7:00 a.m. ET for the simulcast.
Joining the show will be the head coach of one of the options listed below: Adam Gase, whose Dolphins have won two in a row and must be taken seriously down the stretch this season.
The Ravens lost for the fourth straight week on Sunday when the Jets turned a pair of Joe Flacco interceptions into 10 second half points for a 24-16 home victory.
Flacco had some success in the first half, but he and the entire Ravens offense flamed out after taking a 16-14 lead into the locker room at halftime. After the game, Flacco was asked if the right shoulder soreness that caused him to miss practice time was an issue during the game.
Flacco said he felt good on Sunday and will take it easy during the bye week in hopes of keeping the issue from lingering in the coming weeks.
“I hope not. I didn’t deal with it today,” Flacco said in his postgame press conference. “I felt good; my arm felt great. I was a little bit nervous early on in the week, just because I wasn’t sure what it was. I was having a little bit of trouble with it, so I was a little bit nervous early in the week, but when I went in on Thursday, I felt pretty good and I felt optimistic that I was going to be feeling ready to go. The last couple days have been great and I felt great coming in throwing the ball, so hopefully I won’t have to deal with it. I’m sure there will be a little bit, but the fact that we have a bye week this week, hopefully I can get over it.”
Flacco’s two interceptions were hardly the only thing wrong on offense that ran for six yards all day. Flacco summed up the unit’s work by saying “we’re not good right now” and the Ravens’ losing streak is likely to keep running as long as that’s the case.
The Ravens have plenty of players in need of healing over the bye week and perhaps a healthier team can be more successful than the one that’s been on display the last few weeks.
Some people see a scoreless quarter and see the glass as half-empty.
But the Seahawks and Cardinals have also played quality defense, and kept the pressure on opposing quarterbacks so far.
It’s been hard for either side to get into much of a rhythm, but it’s not necessarily the fault of the offenses.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is clearly not himself as a runner, as was evidenced on an early read option. But his sprained left knee and his right ankle sprain from earlier this year haven’t kept him off the field, either.
The best play of the night so far was a punt by Arizona’s Ryan Quigley, who backed the Seahawks up at their own 1-yard line. You can look at that as a bad thing if you want, or you can savor a difficult job, well done.
On Sunday, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford played in his 100th career game. And he has done more in 100 games than any player in league history.
Specifically, Stafford has more passing yards through his first 100 games, with 27,890.
That’s an average of 278.9 per game. He was under that amount on Sunday, with 266.
More importantly, the Lions managed their third straight win, fueled by a late-game drive allowed Detroit to beat Washington.
You don’t need a TV to watch Sunday Night Football. But you do need an Internet connection, if you don’t have a TV.
With said Internet connection and a computer or a tablet, you can stream the game via NBCSports.com or the NBC Sports app.
It all gets started soon, with the Seahawks trying to stretch their record to 5-1 and the Cardinals hoping to get above .500 for the first time this year.
Yeah, yeah, yeah the zombie show is on. So record it and watch it after the game.
The Chargers don’t play boring games.
They rallied from a 17-point deficit Sunday to top the Falcons in overtime, 33-30, on a 42-yard field goal by Josh Lambo. The Chargers trailed 27-10 in the second quarter and twice trailed by 10 in the fourth quarter.
Philip Rivers threw for 371 yards and Melvin Gordon scored three touchdowns, but the Chargers also needed timely defensive plays. A Denzel Perryman interception in the fourth quarter set up the drive to tie it.
The Falcons went for it on fourth and one on their first overtime possession and got stopped. Falcons kicker Matt Bryant missed a 58-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.
With two rushing and one by passing, Gordon is up to 10 touchdowns on the season. He didn’t score a touchdown last year as a rookie.
The Falcons scored three touchdowns in the second quarter but scored just three points the rest of the way.
The Chargers keep playing close games and have now won two in a row for the first time for improve to 3-4. The Falcons are 4-3 after losing their second straight.
A scary situation regarding Bills defensive back Aaron Williams has ended with good news.
After being taken to a Miami-area hospital by ambulance after Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins, Williams has been released and will return to Buffalo with his teammates. According to the Bills, Williams had a precautionary MRI.
Dubbed as dealing with a head/neck injury, a source with knowledge of the situation told PFT that there was no concern regarding a head injury.
Williams absorbed a big hit from Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry during Sunday’s game. Landry expressed regret regarding the outcome.
“Just playing football, man, just playing football,” Landry said, via the Palm Beach Post. “If I could take that hit back, I would. The guy has a family to feed and this is his livelihood. You never want to see that with anybody. You never want to see that happen to anybody. But it’s football. Injuries like that are not something that sit well.”
Landry was penalized for the block. Whether he’s fined is something that will be determined by the league office this week.