Is the QB position the root of the Jaguars’ problems? Does Maurice Jones-Drew deserve a contract extension? Mike Florio discusses this and more.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Complete overhaul in Jacksonville?
The Houston Texans elected to replace Case Keenum with veteran Matt Schuab late in the third quarter of Thursday night’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars due to Keenum’s continued ineffectiveness under center.
Schaub helped rally the Texans and give them a pair of chances late in the game before ultimately coming up short due to a failed fourth down conversion and interception.
However, Schaub played well in his limited time in the game. He completed 17 of 29 passes for 198 yards with a touchdown and an interception in just over a quarter of work. Keenum’s numbers were very similar but took three quarters to amass. Keenum was 16 of 29 for 158 yards with a touchdown and interception.
According to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, head coach Gary Kubiak said there is a chance Schaub remains the starter for the remainder of the season.
Kubiak didn’t go as far as saying Schaub will start in 10 days against the Indianapolis Colts, but he did speak highly of the way he finished the game against Jacksonville.
A switch back to Schaub would be an interesting shift for the Texans. Schaub likely won’t be the team’s starter next season. The team has wanted to get an extended look at Keenum but his inconsistent play seems to have reached a breaking point. With the Texans now the favorites to land the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. It seems odd to put Schaub back into the lineup when he’s already a known commodity.
With a losing streak that has now reached 11 games, chances are there will be a very different look to the Texans in many areas of the organization next season.
Geno Hayes intercepted Matt Schaub with just over two minutes left to play and the Jacksonville Jaguars held on to earn their first home victory of the year, a 27-20 win over the Houston Texans on Thursday night.
Don’t look now but the Jaguars have won four of their last five games and are playing much better football under head coach Gus Bradley. The Texans on the other hand lost their 11th straight game.
Schaub replaced Case Keenum as the Texans’ quarterback in the late stages of the third quarter after Jacksonville had taken a 24-10 lead. Schaub quickly led the Texans on a touchdown drive with a 5-yard pass to Garrett Graham to pull within a score. A Randy Bullock field goal pulled Houston within four early in the fourth quarter but Houston couldn’t complete the rally.
The Texans failed to convert a fourth-and-2 deep in Jacksonville territory to stall a promising drive. Houston got the ball back with just over two minutes to play but Schaub threw directly to Hayes for the interception. Josh Scobee added 39-yard field goal to extend the lead to seven as the Jaguars earned the win.
Houston couldn’t get out of their own way. The Texans had 14 penalties for 177 yards on the night. Andre Johnson was stellar with 13 catches for 154 yards, but it wasn’t enough to make up for all the penalties and mistakes.
Jones-Drew suffered a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter and did not return. Jones-Drew eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time in over a year with 103 yards on 14 carries. He hadn’t rushed for 100 yards in a game since carrying for 177 yards against the Indianapolis Colts in Sept. 2012.
While Emery bemoaned the fact that the franchise tender, expected to be in the range of $16 million in 2014, can’t be spread over multiple years, he sidestepped the reality that the magnitude of the tag provides the starting point for a long-term deal.
If Cutler knows he can make $16 million for 2014, how much would he want on a three-year deal? Given that the tag for Cutler would increase, per the CBA, by 20 percent in 2015 ($19.2 million) and by 44 percent in 2016 ($27.6 million), Cutler would earn $62.8 million over three years under the franchise tag.
If at any point the Bears opt to not use the tag, Cutler would hit the open market.
That point could come even before the tag is applied once. If the Bears don’t view him as a guy who deserves an average of $16 million or more on a multi-year deal, the Bears may choose to let the market set his value. The problem with that approach is that Cutler may decide to take the same amount of money — or perhaps even less — to play for someone else.
With plenty of teams (including the Bears’ rivals in Minnesota) needing a proven quarterback, the Bears are faced with a problem that has no easy solution. For now, the goal could be to get Cutler’s agent to not use the franchise tag as the starting point for a long-term deal by convincing Cutler’s agent that the franchise tag won’t be applied.
With an 11th straight loss potentially staring them in the face, the Houston Texans decided to make a change at quarterback once again.
Keenum had completed 16 of 29 attempts for 159 yards with a touchdown and an interception before being replaced. The Jaguars had taken a 24-10 lead over the Texans with just over six minutes left to play in the third quarter. Keenum and the Texans’ offense quickly followed with a three-and-out and head coach Gary Kubiak pulled the plug on Keenum for the Texans’ next possession.
Schaub quickly led the Texans on a seven-play, 76-yard scoring drive capped by a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Garrett Graham.
A dose of trickery from the Jacksonville Jaguars has the team closing in on their first home victory of the season.
Receiver Ace Sanders threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to running back Jordan Todman on a double pass to extend the Jaguars lead to 24-10 over the Houston Texans with just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter.
A pass interference call against Jonathan Joseph kept another Jacksonville drive alive instead of forcing a punt from their own 15-yard line. A 48-yard carry from Maurice Jones-Drew moved the Jaguars from their own 18-yard line into Houston territory. A another critical penalty against D.J. Swearinger moved the Jaguars to the edge of the Texans’ red zone to set up the scoring play.
Chad Henne took the snap and threw to a retreating Sanders along the left sideline. Todman leaked out the backside of the play as Sanders threw the ball into the end zone. Despite the relatively slow-developing nature of the play, the Texans still couldn’t make as play as Todman made the grab to extend the Jaguars’ lead.
As the prime years of running back Adrian Peterson’s begin to evaporate, the future Hall of Famer is thinking about the possibility of finishing his career in his home state of Texas.
We know that he’s thinking about it, because he’s talking about it.
“You know, I’d be a liar if I said it’s something that hasn’t crossed my mind before,” told ESPN Radio on Thursday.
In fairness, Peterson followed that by suggesting he’s committed to staying with the Vikings.
“I’ve also said to myself it would be so amazing to be one of those players who stays with one team his entire career, it would be good if I could do that,” Peterson said.
And then he followed it with more talk about playing in Texas.
“[B]eing from Texas, I’ve always wondered, wow, it would be cool to play in Dallas, to play back home. Or to play in Houston,” Peterson said.
Peterson grew up outside of Dallas, rooting for the Cowboys. He spends the offseason in Houston.
Though he’s under contract through 2017, Peterson eventually may decide he wants out of a team with an offense that, but for Brett Favre’s first season with the Vikings, hasn’t had much of a passing game. Peterson has seen former teammate Percy Harvin want out of Minnesota and get his wish; why shouldn’t one of the most important players in team history get the same consideration?
A potential trade to Dallas would be fitting, given that the Cowboys once traded running back Herschel Walker to the Vikings for an obscene haul of draft picks and players. Peterson would generate much less than Walker, even though Peterson was and remains the better player.
The other problem for a team like the Cowboys would be fitting Peterson’s contract under the team’s salary cap. With a $100 million quarterback and a cap bulge for 2014 that already exceeds $30 million, it’s a move that can’t happen within the next year.
Come 2015, who knows? Especially if the Vikings continue to swing and miss in their efforts to complement one of the best running backs in league history with a reasonably competent passing game.
Another day, another report refuted by Robert Griffin III.
Griffin addressed in a Thursday phone interview with Tarik El Bashir of CSNWashington.com the recent report from Albert Breer of NFL Network that Griffin rushed back from his torn ACL to prevent giving Kirk Cousins an opportunity to seize the starting job.
“Me and Kirk have always been good,” Griffin told CSNwashington.com. “That’s not an issue. The way I look at it, hard work, dedication and God’s grace is what helped me come back and play so quick.”
This glosses over the idea that Griffin felt extra incentive to return to avoid giving Cousins a chance to become this generation’s Gus Frerotte. And so Griffin dealt more directly with the notion that he’s motivated by a desire to protect his turf.
“Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not that guy,” Griffin said. “I’m not the guy that these negative articles are trying to paint me to be.”
That raises an important question. If Griffin isn’t “that guy,” where are these negative articles coming from? The notion that multiple reporters are making things up and/or making unwarranted leaps of faith based on sketchy sources seems a little far fetched.
The more likely reality is that some of the reports are true, and/or that someone with the Redskins doesn’t like Griffin very much, for either valid or invalid reasons.
In a battle of two of the worst teams in the NFL, the Jaguars started off looking pretty good.
Jacksonville’s offense started fast, marching down the field against Houston’s defense and scoring a touchdown at the end of a 13-play, 80-yard drive.
Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne completed four of six passes for 23 yards, and also picked up a first down on a 14-yard run. The Jaguars’ offense isn’t exactly good with Henne at the helm, but it’s at least competent, which is more than can be said for the Jaguars’ offense when Blaine Gabbert was the quarterback.
Maurice Jones-Drew also showed more pop than he has for most of this season, rushing five times for 25 yards.
Now we’ll see if Case Keenum and the Texans’ offense can respond. If they can, this might be a more entertaining game than we’d expect from two of the league’s worst teams.
The Seahawks are widely regarded as the best team in the NFL right now, but few people would name their wide receivers as a major reason for that. Doug Baldwin, the Seahawks’ No. 1 receiver, has just 663 receiving yards this season, ranking 33rd in the NFL. Wide receiver isn’t a major strength of Seattle.
“I would have to tell you, honestly, that this is probably the best receiving corps in the NFL from the top down,” Baldwin told the team’s website. “Some would probably look at me like I’m crazy, because nobody has 1,000 yards.”
Yes, some would look at that as crazy. Certainly people in Denver, where Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker all have better stats than Baldwin, would say it’s crazy. People in Chicago, where Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall are both in the Top 10 in receiving yards, would say it’s crazy.
But Baldwin makes a good case when he points out that the Seahawks’ receivers don’t get as many opportunities as receivers on a lot of other teams.
“We don’t throw the ball often enough to get 1,000 yards,” he said.
Not that Baldwin is complaining.
“We have elite receivers – and yes, I said elite receivers – on this roster that are capable of doing so much more,” Baldwin said. “But we’re winning games, and that’s all that matters.”
Being the best team in the NFL is what really matters. And right now the Seahawks are that.
The NFL has fined Packers cornerback Tramon Williams $26,250 for contact with an official during Green Bay’s Thanksgiving loss at Detroit.
The amount is the same as Vikings cornerback Chris Cook was fined for contact with an official this week, so that’s apparently the going rate in the NFL for putting your hands on a ref. Cook was ejected from the Vikings’ game against the Bears; Williams was given a 15-yard penalty but surprisingly not ejected.
Williams said after the game that he didn’t realize what he was doing: According to Williams, he was upset that a Lions player bumped him while celebrating a touchdown, and he thought he was shoving a Lion away, not realizing that back judge Dino Paganelli had come between them.
“The referee must have come and just walked right in front of me and grazed me,” Williams said. “I don’t know if he was trying to hold me or what. He just grazed me and I kind of knocked his arm off me. I was already frustrated. It was just an emotion thing.”
Williams said today that he will appeal, adding, “Hopefully they give me some money back.” But it’s hard to see why they would. Putting your hands on an official is one thing the NFL doesn’t tolerate.
Last week, the Chargers became the first team to have a home game blacked out during the 2013 regular season.
This week, with the Giants and the quarterback who doesn’t remember why he didn’t want to come to town coming to town, there’s still a chance the blackout will be lifted.
The Chargers have announced that a 24-hour extension has been obtained to sell more than 3,000 non-premium tickets.
Typically, an extension is granted only if the team already has guaranteed that the excess tickets will be purchased at 34 cents on the dollar. We’ll find out on Friday whether that trend holds again.
Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was stripped of the ball on a sack by Trent Cole on the third play of last Sunday’s loss to the Eagles, but he went on to play the remainder of the game without any reports of injury.
As it turns out, Palmer injured his right elbow on that play and the injury has been bad enough to keep him limited in practice on both Wednesday and Thursday. Palmer said, via the Cardinals’ website, that he “threw a little bit, not much” during Thursday’s session and that he hopes to do more on Friday.
There’s no talk that Palmer will have to miss Sunday’s visit from the Rams as a result of the injury, but Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports the quarterback said he did feel the effects of the injury during the Eagles game. He finished the day 24-of-41 for 302 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Assuming Palmer does play, it looks like they’ll have a good chance of having both wide receiver Michael Floyd and running back Andre Ellington in the lineup along with him. Both players joined him as limited participants Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday.
The 49ers might not have to shuffle their offensive line as much as initially feared, as left tackle Joe Staley returned to the practice field Thursday.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, Staley took part in drills and seemed to be moving well during the portion of practice open to the media.
Staley suffered an MCL sprain in Sunday’s win over the Rams, and there was some concern he’d miss this week’s rematch with the Seahawks.
If Staley can’t play, the 49ers would have to make a transaction, since they’re carrying just eight linemen on their 53-man roster and keep seven active for each game.
The Chargers lost a couple of wide receivers to season-ending injuries, opening the door for rookie Keenan Allen to play a lot in his first NFL season.
Allen has made the most of the opportunity. He has 58 catches for 843 yards and three touchdowns, helping quarterback Philip Rivers to a rebound season and helping the Chargers hang around the fringes of the playoff race. We’ll find out how that feels when Allen stops by Pro Football Talk on NBCSN.
Allen will tell us about how he’s holding up as the season enters its final weeks and what he’s hoping to improve between now and the end of the season. We’ll also get his thoughts on playing with Rivers and for head coach Mike McCoy.
The Chargers host the Giants this weekend in a game that doesn’t have much relevance to the playoff race, but there are plenty of others that do and we’ll cover some of the biggest storylines from those contests during the show.
It all gets started at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
If coaching in the NFL doesn’t work out for Chip Kelly, maybe he has a future writing scripts for NFL Films.
Or maybe not.
Kelly’s Thursday press conference included a frolic-and-detour regarding play-calling philosophies that, as the use of language goes, won’t threaten Steve Sabol’s “The Autumn Wind is a Raider.”
Asked whether he would called certain types of plays early in a game to fool the opponent into thinking that similar plays are coming before executing a Rocky II-style righty-to-southpaw switch, Kelly used a few words that can’t be uttered on non-cable TV. Or, more accurately, the same word repeatedly.
“I know as a play-caller, we don’t do that,” he said, via CSNPhilly.com. “I’m going to call three sh-tty plays in a row and let them think the next one is going to be sh-tty, and then we’re going after them. I think that’s a little bit . . . . That’s not my mentality, and that’s what I meant. I’m not smart enough to . . . now you may think, ‘There’s some sh-t.’ Hey, write that. If there’s a sh-tty call on Sunday, just say, ‘Hey, he’s setting them up. We knew what he was doing to do.’”
To summarize, Kelly wouldn’t intentionally call a sh-tty play. But he may call a sh-tty play accidentally. And if he does, we should treat it as intentionally sh-tty.