Mike Florio gives the Carolina Panthers their offseason to-do list. Mike believes the Panthers must dump running back, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Florio also says that adding some talent at wide receiver is a high priority as well.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Should Panthers start over at RB?
The question that everyone will be asking after the Dolphins’ 27-14 loss to the Jets on Sunday will be whether Joe Philbin will be the team’s coach when they return from their Week Five bye and it’s a pretty fair question given the way his team played in London.
For most of the game, there was a good battle going on between the Dolphins offense and defense to see which unit was having the worst day. The team’s only points of the first three quarters came after two pass interference penalties set the Dolphins up close to the end zone and the Jets were piling up more than 400 yards of offense a week after getting shut down by the Eagles.
Miami got another score in the fourth quarter after a good Jarvis Landry punt return put them in business, but the day was still marked by an offensive line that couldn’t protect Ryan Tannehill, a run game that only theoretically existed and an unflagging commitment to checking the ball down even when facing third and long. The defense, meanwhile, couldn’t tackle Chris Ivory (who ran for a career-high 166 yards and a touchdown) and couldn’t take advantage of long bouts of inaccuracy from Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick ended the day 16-of-29 for 218 yards, one touchdown and one interception on a poorly thrown deep ball to Devin Smith. He added 40 yards on the ground to those numbers and wasn’t sacked as the Dolphins’ pass rush remained as toothless as it was in the first three weeks.
The win moves the Jets to 3-1, but they’ll have some work to do over their bye week. They committed 14 penalties, many of which helped keep this game from being the rout it looked like on the field and gave the Dolphins life well into the fourth quarter. Their last real gasp came when Darrelle Revis intercepted Tannehill in the end zone with five minutes to play and the nail was placed in the coffin when Marcus Williams did the same a few minutes later.
Now it just remains to be seen if that was Philbin’s last gasp with the Dolphins as well.
The Bears aren’t having a fire sale. But if someone is interested in a fire buy, the Bears may be interested.
That’s the takeaway from a flurry of Sunday morning reports. The Bears aren’t looking to make more trades after dealing linebackers Jared Allen and Jon Bostic for a pair of six-round picks, but they’ll listen to whoever happens to call.
That puts running back Matt Forte firmly in play, especially since he’ll turn 30 this year, and he’s in the last year of his contract. If the Bears can get anything for him now, they’d be wise to at least consider it.
But if the Bears act like they’re desperate to ship Forte or others out of town, they won’t get proper value.
That’s what it comes down to. The Bears are willing to make deals, but if they’re too willing to make deals they’ll get screwed.
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor has looked good this year. He’ll probably look even better when he’s healthy. Because for now, he isn’t.
Taylor is listed as probable for Week Four with an ankle injury, the first time he has appeared on the injury report with an ankle problem.
According to Jay Glazer of FOX, Taylor has been playing with an ankle injury all year, and he has yet to be 100 percent. He hasn’t missed practice time, but as Glazer puts it the ankle has been bothering Taylor for more than this week.
It’s technically enough to get the NFL poking around regarding whether the Bills took liberties with the injury report in Week One through Week Three, but the league’s “nothing to see here, focus on the games” approach to 2015 likely will keep that from happening — unless and until Taylor pulls a Brett Favre circa 2009 and starts repeatedly talking about the how the injury affected him.
Sunday’s London snooze fest included yet another maneuver from Miami defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh that is drawing scrutiny.
Seth Walder of the New York Daily News has the video, which shows Suh chasing Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and then swinging a left leg around Fitzpatrick after he falls and kicking him in the head.
It looks accidental unintentional, with Suh merely trying to avoid tripping over or stepping on Fitzpatrick (because the last thing Suh should be doing is stepping on anyone). Because of Suh’s history, it’s not a surprise that some will assume Suh meant to do it.
I think he didn’t, and if the NFL didn’t take action in response to Suh’s apparent kick to the head of Washington running back Alfred Morris in Week One, it’s hard to imagine the league office doing anything about this one.
As expected, the Colts will be playing without quarterback Andrew Luck when they face the Jaguars on Sunday.
In a less expected development, they’ll also be playing without right guard Todd Herremans. Herremans wasn’t on the injury report this week, which means he is a healthy scratch for the game a week after getting benched during the Colts’ victory over the Titans.
It also means another blow to Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson in a season that’s seen quite a few of them. The Colts jumped on Herremans shortly after he was released by the Eagles and otherwise avoided bringing in help for an offensive line that wasn’t very good last season. They haven’t been very good this season either and Herremans clearly wasn’t the answer to what’s ailed the Colts up front.
After one week off with a hamstring injury, Jay Cutler is back.
The Bears have confirmed that Cutler is active and will be the starting quarterback today. Jimmy Clausen will be the backup, and third-string quarterback David Fales is inactive. Making Fales inactive and going with only two active quarterbacks strongly suggests that the Bears are confident Cutler will be able to make it through the game without re-aggravating the hamstring.
The 0-3 Bears are underdogs today against the Raiders, and if they drop to 0-4 the fire sale may continue. But they’re still trying to win today, with Cutler back under center.
Arian Foster is active for the first time this season, but he’s expected to be on a pitch count of sorts in Sunday’s game vs. the Texans.
Texans Coach Bill O’Brien had said Foster would be a game-time decision. It’s no surprise that the Texans made him active when they submitted their active roster 90 minutes before kickoff of Sunday’s game vs. the Falcons, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that Foster will play “situational snaps.”
The Texans’ other inactives are Jaelen Strong, Akeem Dent, Chandler Worthy, Lonnie Ballentine, Kourtnei Brown and Greg Mancz. Left tackle Duane Brown is back in the starting lineup after a two-game absence.
Eagles running back DeMarco Murray is back.
The Eagles have activated Murray for today’s game in Washington, a week after he sat out with a hamstring injury.
Now the question is whether Murray will be able to get anything going. In Weeks 1-2, the Eagles’ running game was brutally bad with Murray at the helm: Murray has 21 carries for 11 yards so far this season, an average of 0.5 yards per attempt.
Washington’s strength this year has been its run defense, so don’t expect Murray to do much better today.
The Jets and Dolphins are already in action in London, so this list won’t have all the early Sunday inactives this week. We’ve got all the inactives from the 1 p.m. ET kickoffs for you in one post, though, constantly updated with the latest information. So check back often to see the full list as it becomes available.
Texans at Falcons
Giants at Bills
Raiders at Bears
Chiefs at Bengals
Jaguars at Colts
Panthers at Buccaneers
Eagles at Redskins
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s accuracy faltered after completions on his first three passes on Sunday, but he used his legs to help the Jets extend their lead to 20-7 just before halftime.
Fitzpatrick scrambled for 19 yards on a third down just after the two minute warning to keep a Jets drive alive and Fitzpatrick recovered his touch in time to throw a touchdown to Eric Decker just before halftime. Fitzpatrick was on a 4-of-12 run thanks to a slew of scattershot throws — a few of which should have been intercepted — before hitting on four straight passes to close out the first half with a bigger lead.
Fitzpatrick is 11-of-19 for 172 yards overall and the Dolphins should probably consider themselves lucky the Jets have thrown that much. Chris Ivory has run over, around and through the Dolphins, including Ndamukong Suh on one big gain, on his way to 89 yards on 16 carries through the first two quarters. With Bilal Powell questionable to play again on Sunday because of a groin injury, Ivory should have a big role in the Jets’ efforts to make this lead stand up in the second half.
The Dolphins got their touchdown on a nicely thrown pass by Ryan Tannehill to Jake Stoneburner that was set up by a pair of pass interference penalties that handed Miami 58 yards. The Dolphins have managed just 65 yards on their own in a dismal offensive performance that’s seen them show neither aggressiveness nor a consistent ability to block the Jets pass rush.
That makes a big hole for Miami to climb out of and there will be fervent speculation about possible coaching changes in the event that they remain at the bottom of it come the end of the fourth quarter.
Maybe Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning really should swap the pistol formation for punt formation on Sunday.
With a Vikings defense that repeatedly pummeled Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers over the past two games coming to town, the Broncos have been forced to shuffle their tackles, due to an injury that will keep Ty Sambrailo from playing. Sambrailo, the season-long replacement for Ryan Clady, has a shoulder problem.
For Schofield, it’s not just his first NFL start — it’ll be his first snap in an NFL regular-season game.
“I’ll definitely have some butterflies,” Schofield recently said, via Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. “I’m sure everyone does in their first game. I’ve just got to go out there, play with confidence and play with good technique.”
Schofield now has to prove that he’s worth of the third-round pick the team invested in him.
“This is a great opportunity for Michael,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “As a player, that’s all you ask for — work, work, work and then someday, OK, hey, here we go. Then you find out. It’s Michael’s turn.”
It could end up being Brian Robison’s turn to make Schofield into a turnstile. Ditto for Everson Griffen, who’ll be facing Harris on the other side. The Minnesota defensive line has been stout this season, and Manning may have to get rid of the ball even faster. Or, if all else fails, hit the deck.
Things aren’t getting any better for the Dolphins in London.
They’ve punted twice on offense, allowed a touchdown on three plays on the Jets’ first offensive drive and now trail 10-0 after watching their top corner limp off the field in the first quarter.
Cornerback Brent Grimes got beaten deep by Brandon Marshall on the first Jets possession and pulled up while grabbing his leg after Marshall made a catch to move the ball into Miami’s territory on the second drive. There’s been no update about his status from the Dolphins at this point.
The Dolphins defense was able to keep the Jets out of the end zone as the drive continued, although they probably should have come up with an interception on a pass that Ryan Fitzpatrick threw right at linebacker Koa Misi. They settled for a Nick Folk field goal to extend their lead with just under five minutes to play in the quarter.
UPDATE 10:09 a.m. ET: The Dolphins call Grimes questionable to return with a knee injury.
If the Dolphins are fighting for coach Joe Philbin’s job in London on Sunday, their first salvos won’t do much to create security.
The Jets needed just three plays to score a touchdown in the first quarter and take a 7-0 lead at Wembley Stadium. After forcing a Dolphins punt, Ryan Fitzpatrick loaded up the cannon for a 58-yard bomb to Brandon Marshall that put the Jets deep into Miami territory. Chris Ivory ran 12 yards on the next play and then finished off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run through the Dolphins defense.
Fitzpatrick’s opening pass stood in stark contrast to what Miami did on their opening possession. Ryan Tannehill threw three short passes to Jarvis Landry, one of which Landry dropped and one that came on 3rd-and-16 when the Dolphins pretty much threw their hands up to set up a punt.
We’ll see if they get more daring now that they’re on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
Colts coach Chuck Pagano may have tried to fool the Jaguars. It didn’t work.
They spent time getting ready for the 40-year-old former franchise quarterback even though Pagano was both “supremely confident” and “absolutely confident” Luck would play.
Then again, based on the preseason assessment of Hasselbeck’s current skills from Bob Kravitz of WTHR, maybe the Jaguars didn’t need much time to get ready to face Hasselbeck.
If there are any concerns about Hasselbeck’s arm strength or other physical skills, look for heavy doses of Frank Gore on Sunday — along with eight or nine Jaguars defenders creeping around the line of scrimmage.
The Bears host the Raiders on Sunday afternoon in a game that sees the Raiders in the rare position of being favored to win a game on the road.
The presence of Jay Cutler at quarterback for the Bears might not do anything to change that, but the Bears are reportedly feeling good about having him back in the lineup. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the team will make a final call after Cutler tests his hamstring in pregame warmups, but that they are optimistic that he’ll be able to play.
Jimmy Clausen started in Cutler’s place in last week’s 26-0 loss to the Seahawks and would start again if Cutler remains out another week.
Whoever plays at quarterback is expected to go into the game without wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury and was listed as questionable along with Cutler, but reports during the week indicated he’ll be out this weekend.
It’s now Sunday, and maybe Pagano will say he’s not going to be the Alabama coach.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Luck will not play on Sunday. (So it’s safe to say he won’t be taking 11 of 12 snaps today.)
Luck has a shoulder injury that kept him from practicing this week. He reportedly had a private throwing session with coaches on Saturday. Apparently, they didn’t like what they saw.
If the Colts lose to the Jaguars then follow it up with losses in prime time to the Texans and Patriots, the Colts could be done, too. And maybe Pagano could then be the Alabama coach, since the Alabama coach could end up being the Indianapolis coach.
The Texans appear to have settled on a quarterback, and now he’ll have someone very important to hand it to.
Of course, that’s with the standard “barring pregame setback” proviso, which is true of any player.
But getting Foster and some degree of running game established will be big for Ryan Mallett, who has had to scratch through without much of a supporting cast of skill-position talent, and with mismatced lines in front of him each week.
As the next ownership meeting looms, it’s likely that plenty of official and unofficial discussions will be occurring regarding the NFL’s return to Los Angeles. Presumably, Rams owner Stan Kroenke will break character and actually say something.
Recently, team COO Kevin Demoff addressed Kroenke’s strategic decision to say nothing about the future location of the franchise.
“They want to hear Stan speak, but they want to hear what they want to hear,” Demoff said at a recent Washington University panel on the business of sports, according to Brian Feldt of the St. Louis Business Journal. “If Stan said he will let the process play out, well, people would rather hear him say he’s committed to St. Louis. Honestly, Stan wants to go through the process.”
Still, Demoff acknowledges that the silence — and the ensuing uncertainty — has done damage.
“There are so many fans who I feel like we are letting down no matter what the outcome is because they feel differently today [about the team] than they did a year ago, and we feel responsible for that,” Demoff said.
They may feel even more differently a year from now, especially if the Rams move out of St. Louis. That’s hardly a lock. As PFT reported last week, a group of owners (including Panthers owner Jerry Richardson) are actively opposing Kroenke’s effort to relocate to L.A., supporting instead the Chargers-Raiders proposal in Carson. Or, ultimately, only the Chargers.
Silence or not, the calendar is creeping closer to the moment of truth for 2016. Part of the political maneuvering this week could entail pushing the decision back a year, given the perception that this could help Kroenke ultimately prove that: (1) St. Louis doesn’t have a viable plan for building a stadium; and (2) San Diego does.
The Jets waited until Sunday morning to decide if wide receiver Eric Decker would be in the lineup after listing him as questionable with a knee injury and the decision wound up being the one they wanted for their offense.
Decker is active for their clash with the Dolphins in London a week after missing the Jets’ loss to the Eagles. The Jets offense missed Decker, who scored touchdowns in each of their first two games, in that contest and it also missed running back Chris Ivory. Ivory was active but never played because of a groin injury, something that’s expected to change this time around.
On the other side, the Dolphins are without left tackle Branden Albert again this week. Albert made the trip across the pond, but was doubtful to play due to the hamstring injury he suffered in Week Two. Jason Fox will start in his place. Defensive tackle A.J. Francis, tight end Dion Sims, cornerback Tony Lippett, guard Billy Turner, wide receiver Matt Hazel and running back Raheem Mostert are also out for Miami.
Wide receiver Chris Owusu, cornerback Darrin Walls, linebacker Jamari Lattimore, guard Jarvis Harrison, guard Willie Colon, offensive lineman Ben Ijalana and tight end Jeff Cumberland are the Jets inactives.
On the person who would take over for coach Joe Philbin if he’s fired after Sunday’s game to the Jets, the Dolphins have not yet crossed that bridge. One possible reason for that? Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle may be thrown off it, with Philbin.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Coyle could be let go after Sunday’s game in lieu of Philbin. Obviously, that makes Coyle not a viable candidate to take over the team on an interim basis, if Philbin is let go.
As Rapoport characterizes it, a mutiny could be coming on the defensive side of the ball. He reports that players had a “very frank and contentious” meeting with Coyle this week, where complaints were aired about Coyle’s schemes. They reportedly “begged” him to simplify his schemes; coincidentally (or not), Coyle has said this week that the schemes may be simplified.
The broader message, then, is that if Philbin goes, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor becomes far more likely than Coyle to get the whistle. Or maybe a non-coordinator will inherit the job.
It’s also possible — but highly unlikely — that Philbin would hire someone from the outside to take over. Apart from the logistical issues (for example, the Rooney Rule would have to be satisfied for an in-season hire from outside the team), good luck persuading someone currently out of coaching to come in and clean up a mess on the fly.
Mike Shanahan seems to be very interested in getting back in, but it’s hard to imagine Shanahan or anyone else accepting the ultimate change-a-tire-on-a-moving-car challenge.