Mike Florio talks with Vikings fullback, Jerome Felton about his relationship with Adrian Peterson, the Vikings needs this offseason, and his free agency. Then, Florio gives the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys an offseason to do list.
Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler had some clue what to expect from the Broncos defense, having worked alongside that group for four years.
And he also anticipated that fans in Denver might not welcome him warmly, after leaving them in free agency. They didn’t disappoint, booing him from the moment he walked on the field and throughout the Broncos’ 27-9 win over the former second-round pick and the guy once considered the heir to Peyton Manning’s throne.
“I was definitely not surprised by that,” Osweiler said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I assumed I would get a lot of boos. In fact, I thought it would be a little bit louder with those boos.”
He tried to treat this as a normal week, but that was impossible from the moment he left in free agency for a four-year, $72 million deal with the Texans, leaving the Broncos scrambling a bit and settling on Trevor Siemian.
But in terms of his performance, it was mostly consistent with what he’s done since moving to Houston. He was 22-of-41 passing for 131 yards. He was only sacked once, which might have been the surprise of the night, but registered a barely there rating of 60.1. He also had his follies moment, with the ball slipping out of his hand for a fumble without being pressured at all.
He admitted a bit of relief at having the homecoming over.
“I think part of me says ‘yes,'” Osweiler said. “There was so much that was built up about myself and the Broncos. At the end of the day, it was the Houston Texans versus the Denver Broncos. We didn’t play a good enough football game to get this job done.”
Now he can get back to the business of trying to learn to be an NFL quarterback, as he still doesn’t have a full season of starting experience under his belt.
With 1:05 to play on Sunday, Washington took a 17-13 lead in Detroit. Then the Lions executed a six-play, 75-yard drive to score the game-winning touchdown. Washington coach Jay Gruden says the defensive play calling deserves some of the blame.
Gruden said he would have liked to see more pressure on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, but instead Washington only rushed three and dropped eight into coverage.
“I think when you look back at the call you’d like to get more people around Matthew,” Gruden said, via Liz Clarke of the Washington Post. “He does a great job of buying time and then finding seams and holes in the zone. He almost threw a touchdown earlier, scrambling out to his right because we didn’t get a lot of pressure on him. But at that time we were playing against the clock obviously; we wanted to stop a check-down so we decided to drop eight.”
Two Washington defensive linemen, Ricky Jean Francois and Chris Baker, said after the game that they would have liked to see a better pass rush at the end of the game. Gruden said he understood where they were coming from.
“I think as a pass rusher, if you’re a defensive lineman, you don’t want to drop into coverage,” Gruden said. “I mean, I respect their problem with dropping into a hook instead of rushing the quarterback because they really get paid to rush the quarterback. They don’t get paid to backpedal.”
The final drive couldn’t have gone any worse for Washington’s defense. Gruden’s comments suggest that there will be some changes to their approach the next time they’re nursing a fourth quarter lead.
With the Steph Curry/Kevin Durant Warriors launching their season on Tuesday night and oddsmakers pegging Golden State and the field as having even chances of winning the NBA championship, there’s a PFT Live question of the day floating in there. Somewhere.
How about this: Which NFL team would currently have the best odds against the field for a Super Bowl win?
You know the drill. Make your choice, argue it out in the comments, and complain about teams we omitted.
And then tune in at 6:00 a.m. ET for the three-hour show, which begins on NBC Sports Radio and expands to NBCSN at 7:00 a.m. ET. Today’s show includes visits from Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David and Tom Curran of CSN New England.
If you miss it, or any edition of PFT Live, every hour of every show is available iTunes of audioBoom. Last week was our biggest yet, with more than 160,000 total downloads. Which means you may be missing something if you’re not listening. (Even though, truth in advertising, you really aren’t.)
The Seahawks will have to get by for at least the next few weeks without starting left tackle Bradley Sowell.
An MRI on Monday showed a sprained MCL in Sowell’s right knee suffered in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s 6-6 tie with the Arizona Cardinals.
“It’s going to take a few weeks, we’ll see what it takes to get him back,” head coach Pete Carroll said.
George Fant replaced Sowell at left tackle for the remainder the game. Fant, an undrafted free agent from Western Kentucky, has incredibly limited football experience. He played basketball exclusively for the majority of his college career before joining the football team for his final season. He played defensive line and tight end at Western Kentucky in very limited action.
The Seahawks are excited about Fant’s upside. However, this may be earlier than Seattle would have hoped to have to throw him in the starting lineup.
“George jumped in there and we’ve been counting on young George to jump up at one of these times,” Carroll said. “We didn’t know when it was going to be. He did an admirable job for his first time ever and we’ll see how he goes.”
Seattle went into training camp hoping Garry Gilliam would seize their left tackle job. They could move Gilliam back to left tackle and put J’Marcus Webb at right tackle if they feel Fant is not yet ready for a starting role. Putting Webb at left tackle is also an option in the short-term.
Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib came out of the postgame locker room Monday night to talk with ESPN’s army of commentators.
Talib said the Broncos presented head coach Gary Kubiak with a game ball after their 27-9 win over the Texans because “we missed him last week. Our whole vibe last week was off. He’s just deserving. He made us had a great week of practice.”
Kubiak missed the Broncos’ Oct. 13 loss to the Chargers after being hospitalized and ordered by his doctors to take a week off.
The win over the Texans was special for the Broncos because Kubiak is the ex-Texans head coach and because quarterback Brock Osweiler left the Broncos for the Texans in free agency. Talib said the Broncos were ready, “mainly for Brock,” and played the way they believed they would.
“We wanted to get some good hits on him,” Talib said. “Unfortunately we didn’t get that many. We only got one sack.
“We liked our matchups…against their receiving corps. We just played our technique, man, we went out there and put hands on them. With a pass rush like [we have]…we know something is going to happen.”
Quarterback Brock Osweiler left Denver last March to sign with the Texans. In his return Monday night, Osweiler never had much of a chance.
The Broncos’ defense dominated, Osweiler never hit enough passes to truly threaten and the Broncos powered their way to a 27-9 win. The Texans held an early 6-0 lead but only got inside the Broncos’ 25-yard line once all night, and that was in the third quarter.
The Broncos didn’t turn the ball over or give up a sack. They had touchdown drives of 72, 75 and 68 yards, respectively. C.J. Anderson ran for 107 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
The Broncos won the coin toss and chose to defer, putting Osweiler on the field first. Of course they chose to defer.
It was the right move, too, as Osweiler struggled all night. Through three quarters, Osweiler averaged 2.8 yards per pass. He finished 22-of-41 for 131 yards.
Anderson ran for a score and Demaryius Thomas caught a touchdown pass in the first half. The Broncos went up 21-9 late in the third quarter on the first touchdown run of rookie Devontae Booker’s NFL career.
The Broncos move to 5-2 and host the Chargers next week. The Texans are 4-3 and host the Lions next week.
A short touchdown run by rookie Devontae Booker late in the third quarter extended the Broncos’ lead over the Texans to 21-9.
It’s become the kind of defensively dominated game most expected it would be. Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler has struggled in his return to Denver and the Broncos defense has gained confidence as the game has gone on. Through three quarters, Osweiler has averaged 2.8 yards per pass.
The Broncos have had touchdown drives of 72, 75 and 68 yards, respectively. It’s hard to imagine the Texans having enough left in the tank or enough offense to mount a fourth-quarter rally.
The touchdown was the first of Booker’s NFL career and the first third-quarter touchdown of the season for the Broncos.
Newton went down without any contact as he was setting to block Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller early in Houston’s Monday night game in Denver. Trainers placed both of Newton’s legs in air casts before he was lifted onto a cart and taken from the stadium.
Chris Clark replaced Newton at right tackle.
A torn patella tendon is a devastating injury on its own. New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz and Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham are a couple of players to experience the injury in recent seasons. However, very few players have had to deal with tearing both tendons at the same time.
Former Chicago Bears receiver Wendell Davis had both knees give out while tracking a pass from Jim Harbaugh at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia in 1993. The injury effectively ended Davis’ career, though he did attempt a comeback with the Indianapolis Colts in 1995. More recently, Cleveland Browns cornerback Gary Baxter suffered the dual injury in a game against the Broncos in 2006. He also tried to return to football but never appeared in another game.
The Broncos have taken a 7-6 lead on the Texans early in the second quarter on a 7-yard touchdown run by C.J. Anderson.
The touchdown drive covered 85 yards in 10 plays and was the first productive Broncos’ drive of the night.
Both teams took their starting running backs out of the game after injury scares, but both are apparently OK. Lamar Miller was back in the game on the drive following the touchdown. Anderson was injured on the last play of the first quarter. He took a few plays off, then returned.
The Texans got two first quarter field goals to take a 6-0 lead.
Texans starting right tackle Derek Newton was carted off the field in the first quarter of Monday night’s Texans-Broncos game.
According to the ESPN broadcast, air casts were placed on both of Newton’s legs and Texans tackle Duane Brown had to assist the team’s training staff in getting Newton on the cart.
The Texans announced that Newton has a knee injury.
Newton missed last week’s game, ending a streak of 56 straight starts. Chris Clark is his likely replacement at right tackle, where he’ll be the primary matchup for All-Pro pass rusher Von Miller of the Broncos.
Trainers spent several minutes with Newton after his legs got tangled with Miller’s on a third-down play. The Texans kicked a field goal on the next play and have a 3-0 lead.
Dolphins running back Arian Foster announced his retirement Monday evening.
Foster released a statement via the Twitter account of Uninterrupted, an athlete website owned by NBA star LeBron James.
“There comes a time in every athlete’s career when their ambition and their body are no longer on the same page,” Foster wrote. “I’ve reached that point. It’s hard to write those words because this game has been everything to me.”
Foster, 30, went from undrafted free agent to the Texans’ practice squad to the franchise’s all-time leading rusher and four-time Pro Bowler. He led the NFL with 1,616 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns in 2010, his second season.
He was limited to four games last season by injuries, then signed with the Dolphins after being released by the Texans last March. He’s retiring after battling more injuries this season.
In his statement, Foster thanked the Dolphins and said he was proud to have been a part of the NFL for eight seasons.
“Life has other plans,” he wrote. “I could not be prouder of the things my teammates and I accomplished in this game.”
Chargers rookie tight end Hunter Henry is in the NFL’s concussion protocol and will be monitored this week as the Chargers prepare to play at the Broncos.
Chargers Coach Mike McCoy said Monday that Henry reported concussion-like symptoms after the Chargers won in Atlanta Sunday.
Henry, who’s just 21, has 20 catches on the season, three for touchdowns. He’s become a key player in a dangerous Chargers’ offense, and if he can’t play Sunday it would be a significant loss.
Henry had eight catches for 83 yards and a touchdown when the Chargers beat the Broncos on Oct. 13.
“We have no intent to trade Percy Harvin.”
Remember that one? It came from Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman, not long before the team unloaded the mercurial wideout on a Seattle team that got limited use out of him before dumping him on the Jets for a bowl of soup.
Granted, Spielman never said Harvin wouldn’t be traded. But the message is that, no matter what a team says, trades can and do happen.
As to Browns tackle Joe Thomas and 49ers tackle Joe Staley, Browns coach Hue Jackson and 49ers coach Chip Kelly, respectively, have thrown water on the notion that either are available. Jackson said Thomas, who nearly was traded a year ago (before the Browns were in full-blown rebuilding mode), won’t be traded. Kelly said talk of a Staley trade is “news to him.”
That’s fine. But keep this in mind: Neither guy is the G.M., and neither guy owns the team. If either team gets what they want (the Browns, we’re told, want a second-round pick and the 49ers, we’re told want a late first-round selection) or perhaps something close to it, whatever Jackson or Kelly are saying now will quickly be forgotten.
Just like Minnesota’s lack of intent to trade Percy Harvin. Or like Jets coach Todd Bowles claim from one week ago tonight that he wouldn’t be benching Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Often in NFL circles, truth takes a back seat to strategic objectives. Which makes it foolish to take anything any coach, G.M., or owner says at face value.
Broncos left tackle Russell Okung is active and in the starting lineup for Monday night’s game vs. the Texans.
Okung had been listed as questionable due to a concussion. He was a limited participant in practice on Friday and Saturday.
Broncos wide receiver Cody Latimer is out due to a concussion. He also had been listed as questionable. The Broncos had previously listed outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware as out as he continues to recover from a forearm injury.
The Texans had listed four players — cornerback Kevin Johnson, linebacker Brian Peters, safety Quintin Demps and running back Jonathan Grimes — as out. The team announced that Corey Moore will start in place of Demps.
The Patriots waived defensive lineman Anthony Johnson on Monday.
Johnson had played in four games this season for the Patriots, starting one. He also served a previous short stint on the practice squad, and he could end up back on the team’s practice squad.
Johnson previously spent time with the Dolphins and Redskins. He first signed with the Patriots last May.
The Patriots also released safety Vinnie Sunseri from their practice squad.