Skip to content

PFT’s Week 11 picks


The good news?  I picked up two games on MDS last weekend.  The bad news?  I’m still behind by five.

The worst news?  Since we only disagree on two games this week, I don’t have much of a chance of narrowing the gap.

For the week, I was a measly 8-6.  Which means MDS was a pathetic 6-8.  (Almost as pathetic as my 5-8 from Week Nine.)

For the year, he’s 95-52 on the season, and I’m 90-57.

For all our picks — and based on our recent performances we suggest doing the opposite, for amusement purposes only — read on.

Colts at Titans

MDS’s take: The Colts and Titans had the two worst performances in the NFL on Sunday. Losing to the Rams by 30 is humiliating, and losing to the Jaguars by any amount is even worse. Now they have to shake it off on a short work week. The 4-5 Titans can pull to within a game of the Colts in the AFC South with a win, but I trust Indianapolis to rebound from last week more than I trust Tennessee.

MDS’s pick: Colts 24, Titans 20.

Florio’s take:  But for Gary Kubiak collapsing at halftime and the Texans plummeting into disarray with a 24-6 lead, the Colts would be 1-3 over the last four weeks.  Even worse, they lost by 30 at home to the Rams.  While that’s a lot to recover from on a short week, the Titans lost to the Jaguars — and they’ve lost their starting quarterback.  Again.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 20, Titans 17.

Jets at Bills

MDS’s take: I haven’t been able to figure out the Jets all season, so why should now be any different? On paper they look to me like a better team than the Bills, and yet I think the Buffalo defense can give Geno Smith fits and lead the Bills to a low-scoring win.

MDS’s pick: Bills 9, Jets 6.

Florio’s take:  The Jets break their win-one-lose-one trend by facing a team that has lost plenty, along with the interest of its fans.  Geno Smith moves to 2-0 against the only quarterback drafted in front of him.

Florio’s pick:  Jets 24, Bills 16.

Ravens at Bears

MDS’s take: The Bears’ playoff hopes took a huge hit with last week’s loss to the Lions, while the Ravens’ playoff hopes stayed alive with last week’s win over the Bengals. This week things will go in the other direction. The way to beat the Bears is to run the football, and the Ravens are terrible at running the football. The Bears will take this one.

MDS’s pick: Bears 27, Ravens 17.

Florio’s take:  No more excuses for Joe Flacco.  While his weapons are diminished, so is the Chicago defense.  And the Bears have once again resorted to Josh McCown.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 23, Bears 17.

Browns at Bengals

MDS’s take: This is a big game in the AFC North. If the Browns win they’ll be just half a game behind the Bengals, and they’ll own the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Browns are playing good football recently and the Bengals are struggling, and this has all the makings of a huge win for Cleveland and yet . . . I just can’t pick the Browns. A.J. Green will make enough big plays to win this one.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 28, Browns 20.

Florio’s take:  The Bengals are unbeaten at home.  But they haven’t played at home since losing Geno Atkins for the year.  And the Browns finally have found a quarterback.  A Cleveland sweep would throw the AFC North into complete disarray, but it’s time for the Bengals to reverse the slide.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 27, Browns 20.

Raiders at Texans

MDS’s take: This should be Sunday’s ugliest game, as neither team is particularly good in any phase. The one compelling aspect of this matchup is that both teams have young quarterbacks who have shown flashes of talent. I’ll trust a healthy Case Keenum to make a few more big plays than Terrelle Pryor on a bum knee, and that will be the difference.

MDS’s pick: Texans 27, Raiders 20.

Florio’s take:  It’s the Sam Rosen-Bill Maas game of the week.  And if the Texans can’t find a way to break a seven-game slide against a slumping team that is getting close to the point where Matt McGloin should get a tryout, the Texans may not win another game this year.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 24, Raiders 14.

Cardinals at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The Jaguars turned in one good game against the Titans, but they won’t make it two in a row. The Cardinals’ defense is too good and the Jaguars’ offense is too bad for this game to be close.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 21, Jaguars 6.

Florio’s take:  The Jaguars surprised the Titans.  The Jaguars won’t be surprising anyone else this year.  Especially not the playoff contenders with great defenses.

Florio’s pick:  Cardinals 24, Jaguars 9.

Chargers at Dolphins

MDS’s take: The locker-room distractions are an issue for the Dolphins, but a bigger issue on Sunday is that the Dolphins just don’t have the kind of defense that matches up well with the Chargers’ passing attack. San Diego will put a lot of points on the board in Miami.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 34, Dolphins 24.

Florio’s take:  The up-and-down Chargers face the down-and-out Dolphins.  If Miami can’t beat the Bucs, it’s hard to see them beating the Chargers.  Or pretty much anyone.

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 28, Dolphins 20.

Redskins at Eagles

MDS’s take: Philadelphia is rolling with Nick Foles right now, and he should put up more big numbers against a bad Washington secondary. When these teams played in the Monday night opener Philadelphia jumped out to an early lead and Washington couldn’t catch up, and I see this game going the same way.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 30, Redskins 23.

Florio’s take:  The Eagles haven’t won at home since September 30, 2012.  And yet they’re 5-5.  The Redskins are 3-6 for the second straight year.  And yet they think they can once again turn things around.  More importantly, the third-round pick from 2012 is currently looking a lot better than the second overall selection from last year.

Florio’s pick:  Eagles 30, Redskins 20.

Lions at Steelers

MDS’s take: This could be a trap game for Detroit, which is celebrating being in first place this late in the season for the first time since the pre-Matt Millen era. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, an old and slow defense can’t keep up with the Lions’ offense for four quarters. Look for the Lions to get off to a sluggish start but put the Steelers away late.

MDS’s pick: Lions 31, Steelers 20.

Florio’s take:  The Lions haven’t won in Pittsburgh since Bobby Layne was the quarterback.  Of the Lions.  A full 58 years and four days later, the Lions are good and the Steelers are bad and yes it’s that simple.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 27, Steelers 21.

Falcons at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Bucs are a bad team, but they’re not as bad as people think. There’s a lot of talent on that defense, and Mike Glennon is playing solid football as a rookie quarterback. The Falcons are on a path from first to worst in the NFC South, and a loss in Tampa Bay will show just how far Atlanta has fallen.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 21, Falcons 20.

Florio’s take:  It’s the Battle for the Basement, Part II.  The Falcons have done nothing to show that they’ll be able to beat the Bucs, or anyone, on the road.

Florio’s pick:  Buccaneers 21, Falcons 13.

49ers at Saints

MDS’s take: The 49ers’ offense is struggling mightily, while the Saints’ offense is exploding. Hard for me to see the 49ers going to New Orleans and winning.

MDS’s pick: Saints 31, 49ers 17.

Florio’s take:  Last year, Colin Kaepernick cemented his grip on the starting quarterback job by beating the Saints in New Orleans.  This year, the questions regarding whether the Niners kept the wrong guy will intensify.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 34, 49ers 24.

Vikings at Seahawks

MDS’s take: This will be an easy win for the Seahawks, who continue their march to the No. 1 seed in the NFC. I’ll be surprised if the Vikings keep it close.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 41, Vikings 10.

Florio’s take:  Regardless of whether Percy Harvin plays (or doesn’t) for the Seahawks or whether he was playing for the Vikings, it won’t matter.  The Seahawks are far superior, and they’re playing where they never lose.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 27, Vikings 10.

Packers at Giants

MDS’s take: A couple weeks ago this looked like an easy win for the Packers. Now Aaron Rodgers is hurt, and Seneca Wallace is hurt too, and the Giants are playing better, and all of a sudden it looks like an easy win for the Giants.

MDS’s pick: Giants 24, Packers 13.

Florio’s take:  Scott Tolzein vs. non-Eli Eli Manning.  Is there anything else on TV then?

Florio’s pick:  Giants 24, Packers 17.

Chiefs at Broncos

MDS’s take: The pressure in this game is on the Broncos.  If the Chiefs, who already have a one-game lead in the division, were to win on the road at Denver, they’d establish themselves as the clear favorites to win the AFC West. But I expect the Broncos to turn in one of their best games of the season and win this one handily.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 35, Chiefs 20.

Florio’s take:  The Colts provided the blueprint . . . for holding the Broncos to 33 points.  The Chiefs have the defense to do the same thing.  As long as they can score 34.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 33, Chiefs 27.

Patriots at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Patriots’ offense is getting better after a rough start to the season, but they’re running into a buzz saw in Carolina, where the Panthers’ defense has been outstanding. Carolina will win a tough, physical game.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 24, Patriots 10.

Florio’s take:  The Panthers have the ability to do to Tom Brady what the Giants did to Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI.  And they will.  Repeatedly.

Florio’s pick:  Panthers 20, Patriots 13.

Permalink 64 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Features, Rumor Mill, Top Stories

2013 quarterback draft class was a disaster


Four years ago, only one quarterback was drafted in the first round, and only two were taken through the first 72 selections. Most teams knew what they were doing in passing on available passers.

In hindsight, the 2013 draft class was a disaster.

Former Bills quarterback EJ Manuel, the 16th overall pick in the draft that year, started 10 games as a rookie and a total of seven since then. He has 19 career touchdown passes, 20 turnovers, and a passer rating of 77.5.

Geno Smith (pictured), picked 39th overall by the Jets, started all 16 games as a rookie and 13 in 2014. A broken jaw resulting from a locker-room punch in August 2015 ended his time with the Jets as a starter; he has 28 touchdown passes, 36 interceptions, seven lost fumbles, and a passer rating of 72.4.

The next guy off the board was Mike Glennon, in round three. He played well enough in two seasons to position the Buccaneers to earn the first overall pick in the draft, which they used to pick Glennon’s replacement, Jameis Winston. Glennon started 18 total games before taking a seat behind Winston.

With 30 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions, and a passer rating of 84.6, he’s clearly the best of a bad bunch. Which partially explains his $15 million per year deal in Chicago. (It’s still not clear who the Bears were bidding against.)

Also drafted that year were a flurry of fourth-rounders: Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson, and Landry Jones. Of them, Barkley (six starts) and Jones (four starts) have played the most. Somewhat surprisingly, both ended up with better second contracts than Manuel or Smith.

Barkley signed a two-year, $4 million deal with a $500,000 signing bonus in San Francisco. Jones has a two-year, $4.4 million contract in Pittsburgh, with $600,000 to sign. In contrast, Manuel has a one-year, $800,000 contract in Oakland and Smith has a one-year deal with a base value of $775,000 and a maximum value of $2 million.

Also drafted that year were a quartet of seventh rounders: Brad Sorensen, Zac Dysert, B.J. Daniels, and Sean Renfree.

So it was a very bad year for quarterbacks in the draft. Kudos to (most) of the teams for realizing this and not over-drafting signal-callers. And condolences to Manuel and Smith for somehow sliding behind Barkley and Jones when the time came to sign a second deal.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Colts cut Arthur Jones

Getty Images

The Arthur Jones era in Indianapolis has come to an end.

The Colts announced this morning that they have released Jones, a defensive tackle who has spent the last three seasons with the team.

When the Colts signed Jones to a five-year, $33 million contract in 2014, they thought he’d make a huge impact in the defense run by coach Chuck Pagano, who had previously coached Jones in Baltimore. But Jones played in just 17 games in three seasons, missing time with injuries in all three years and also serving a four-game PED suspension.

The 30-year-old Jones probably still has some football left in him. But he’s going to have to sign with a team that’s offering him a lot less money than he made in Indianapolis.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Four tech giants bidding for online streaming of Thursday games


When owners meet in Phoenix next week, they’re expected to get an update on the bidding for the online streaming package for Thursday Night Football, and it’s apparently a competitive process.

According to Kurt Wagner of Recode, four tech giants are bidding for the package, with Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and YouTube expressing interest.

Twitter paid $10 million for the rights to 10 games last year, chosen from offers from the other three. This year, others could join the mix, and the added interest could drive that higher, which will be sweeter music to the ears of owners than any birds chirping.

The deal is more interesting for its potential for growth and worldwide reach than current value, because $10 million is bar tab money compared to what the league is getting from broadcast networks.

Permalink 7 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

All halftimes will be 13 minutes, 30 seconds

Getty Images

As the NFL looks to tighten the belt regarding the amount of time it takes to play a game, the league will be adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to halftime.

The duration of intermission will expand from 12 minutes to 13 minutes and 30 seconds. While on the surface that could make some games longer, the 12-minute intermission currently has some play in the joints. Moving forward, all halftimes will last precisely 13 minutes and 30 seconds.

“Halftime currently is 12 minutes, but there is built-in delay time that involves teams getting to the locker room and the infrastructure of our stadiums and how they’re configured,” Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay said during a Thursday conference call. “So we’re going to eliminate all of those discretionary periods of time and just have a clock, 13 minutes and 30 seconds, and at the end of that period, the ball will be made ready for play for the second half kickoff.”

The change doesn’t appear on a lengthy list of proposed rule changes for 2017. Apparently, this is the type of administrative matter that the league office can handle without a vote of the owners.

Permalink 32 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Brian Quick goes to Washington

Getty Images

Sean McVay made the move from the Redskins to the Rams this offseason and wide receiver Brian Quick will be making the opposite jump.

Quick’s agents announced on Friday that their client has signed a deal with the Redskins. Quick joins Terrelle Pryor as new additions to a receiving corps that lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon as free agents this month.

Quick was the 33rd pick of the 2012 draft and is coming off his most productive NFL season. Quick caught 41 passes for 564 yards and three touchdowns last season while playing with Case Keenum and Jared Goff.

A move to playing with Kirk Cousins would seem to bode well for Quick’s chances of building on those numbers, although Quick’s playing time may be dependent on how ready 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson is after missing almost all of his rookie season with an Achilles injury.

Permalink 10 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Brian Robison takes 2017 pay cut, adds year to contract

Getty Images

Vikings defensive end Brian Robison has agreed to an extension through the 2018 season that comes with a pay cut for this season.

Field Yates of reports that the veteran will cut his base salary from $5.3 million to a fully-guaranteed $3.9 million for the coming year while also giving up $300,000 in workout and per-game roster bonuses. He will have those bonuses in his contract for the 2018 season along with a $3.2 million base salary that includes $1.25 million in guaranteed money.

Robison is heading into his 11th season with the Vikings and has started all but one of the regular season games the team has played over the last six seasons. He had 7.5 sacks and three forced fumbles last season, but saw Danielle Hunter, who finished the year with 12.5 sacks, eat into his playing time as the year progressed.

With linebacker Chad Greenway retiring and running back Adrian Peterson released, Robison has now spent more time with the Vikings than any other player on the current roster.

Permalink 18 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Philip Rivers: Any rookie QB will have to sit for a while

Getty Images

The Chargers have talked about the possibility of adding a quarterback in the draft and they’re doing their due diligence on this year’s prospects.

They had workouts with Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes and Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs and are set to work out Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer on Friday. If they do draft a quarterback, they’ll be playing behind Philip Rivers and Rivers said during an interview with Nick Hardwick and Judson Richards on KLSD that he’d be willing to act as a mentor. He also said that the learning process would be an extended one for any new arrival.

“You expect at some point they’re going to get a younger guy in the room to try to start to develop him and groom him,” Rivers said. “It doesn’t by any means really affect me. I think it’s healthy for me to know this thing doesn’t last forever. I have to get to playing better and keep this thing going as long as you can. I think as long as I do that, then whoever it is they bring in here, they’re going to sit for a while.”

Rivers is signed through 2019, so any rookie addition would be sitting for at least three years if he plays out his current pact with the team that didn’t let Drew Brees‘ presence stop them from adding a quarterback in the first round of the 2004 draft.

Permalink 15 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

NFL has no specific proposal for automatic ejections/suspensions, yet

Getty Images

The long list of proposed rule changes does not include a proposal regarding ejections or immediate suspensions based on certain types of hits. Apparently, that’s because the league has yet to formulate an actual proposal.

“On the suspensions, for certain types of hits we will cover it with the NFLPA, we’ll cover it with the membership this next week,” Competition Committee chairperson Rich McKay said during a Thursday conference call. “We just want to show some plays that we think have no place in our game and therefore should result in suspension and/or ejection if it’s seen on the field and can be called. As opposed to I think sometimes people get caught up in the idea that a player should be warned and then there should be progressive enforcement. In this case these are plays we just don’t want in our game and our feeling is if suspension is an option and you show those plays to players, we’ve seen them really conform to rule changes and we think this will help us even more conform to not having these types of plays in our game. So, that’s the purpose of that.”

There’s apparently no proposal yet because a fundamental change to the procedures for suspending players would require agreement with the union. Also, because game officials already are reluctant to eject players for fear of impacting competitive balance, any new rule would require clarity, specificity, and a procedure (possibly supervised in real time by the league office) that would ensure consistency.

In other words, don’t expect anything to happen next week. In the absence of a written proposal and an agreement with the union, this one is going to take more time — especially if the NFLPA insists on a significant concession to expand the league’s ability to suspend players.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Dean Blandino: Officials can issue warning before penalty for 12 men in huddle

Getty Images

During the Cowboys’ playoff loss to the Packers in January, Dallas was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct when wide receiver Brice Butler was judged to have entered the huddle and then left without participating in a play.

The penalty wiped out a 15-yard gain that put the Cowboys on the edge of the red zone and was followed by a punt a couple of plays later in a turn of events that loomed large in a three-point loss. If the same thing were to happen in the playoffs next season, the Cowboys might not find themselves penalized.

During a conference call on Thursday, NFL senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said that the league will give officials the right to issue a warning before heading straight to a 15-yard penalty.

“We did discuss it,” Blandino said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Obviously that’s a penalty you don’t see very frequently. We looked at some of the language in the book, and we’re going to give our officials more latitude to warn the team if they feel it is a potential issue and then penalize after a warning.”

Given how rarely the call is made — referee Tony Corrente made both the January call and the previous one in 2014 — it’s not likely to come up all that often, but the shift laid out by Blandino seems like a more appropriate response when and if it does.

Permalink 16 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Friday morning one-liners

Getty Images

The Bills announced their offseason workout schedule.

Will Dolphins DT Jordan Phillipspotential meet his production this season?

It doesn’t look like WR Michael Floyd will be staying with the Patriots.

A look at the newest member of the Jets’ receiving corps.

Can the Ravens find LB Terrell Suggssuccessor in the draft?

The Bengals special teams should benefit from RB Cedric Peerman’s return.

The Browns were all over Ohio State’s pro day workout.

Steelers DE Stephon Tuitt is in line for a contract extension.

Texans DE J.J. Watt was on the wrong side of a snowball fight.

How do the Colts stack up at cornerback behind Vontae Davis?

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles thinks he’s making progress toward cutting down turnovers.

DT Sylvester Williams hopes to make his late father proud with his play for the Titans.

Is Michigan WR Amara Darboh a good fit for the Broncos?

Could the Chiefs offer QB Colin Kaepernick a landing spot?

Raiders offensive coordninator Todd Downing likes the new additions to his unit.

RB Branden Oliver is predicting a breakout season with the Chargers.

CB Orlando Scandrick stuck up for Cowboys fans.

Will DT Jonathan Hankins re-sign with the Giants?

The draft should offer the Eagles a chance to address their remaining needs.

A trio of free agents who might interest the Redskins.

A few things to consider with QB Mark Sanchez joining the Bears.

The Lions took a look at a few prospects from the University of Missouri.

Explosiveness has been a focus for the Packers this offseason.

Who will back up Vikings QB Sam Bradford this season?

Falcons S Keanu Neal returned to Florida for his alma mater’s pro day.

Greg Olsen has worked out well for the Panthers and they’re taking a look at another tight end from the University of Miami.

LB Manti Te’o is thankful for a chance to play for the Saints.

The Buccaneers have built up their young talent.

The Cardinals think an exodus of free agents is a sign of how well they’ve built their team.

It didn’t take a long journey for Rams personnel to check out USC’s pro day.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is doing his research on this year’s quarterback prospects.

A defense of Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

Chargers working out quarterback DeShone Kizer today

Getty Images

The Bears aren’t the only ones who want to take a closer look at Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Chargers are working out Kizer today, adding them to a list that already includes the Browns and Jets.

While a number of teams with glaring needs for immediate starters will be kicking the tires on Kizer, the Chargers aren’t that needy.

Philip Rivers is still playing at a high level at 35, and has three more years on his current contract.

But General Manager Tom Telesco refused to rule out the possibility of using the No. 7 overall pick on a quarterback, to set the Chargers up for the future in Los Angeles.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

Jonathan Stewart signs one-year extension with Panthers

Getty Images

Running back Jonathan Stewart has been with the Panthers since they made him a first-round pick in the 2008 draft and the relationship hasn’t hit its expiration date yet.

The team announced on Friday morning that they have agreed to a one-year extension with the veteran running back. No terms were announced, but the deal will likely result in a lower cap number than the $8.25 million that Stewart was set to count against the cap this year.

Stewart has started 13 games for the Panthers in each of the last two seasons and posted 824 yards and nine touchdowns on 218 carries last season. There’s been some talk about the Panthers adding a running back to the mix in the draft this year, something that the extension likely wouldn’t impact as there will still be a need to spell Stewart and plan for a future backfield that doesn’t include him.

Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne are the other running backs currently on the 90-man roster in Carolina.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Aaron Rodgers: Packers fans should be excited

Getty Images

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has turned R-E-L-A-X into a catchphrase of sorts over the years, but that’s not the message he’s sending to the team’s fans ahead of the 2017 season.

Rodgers noted how the team played offensively down the stretch last season and the additions of tight end Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks while sharing his optimism about his side of the ball. He thinks the team still has a little tweaking to do on the defensive side, but that there’s plenty of reason for excitement in Green Bay.

“We probably need a couple more pieces on defense before the season starts, but we’re going to be really tough to stop on offense,” Rodgers said on a podcast with Evan Daniels of FOX Sports. “Mike [McCarthy] has a great system there that’s ever evolving and changing. I put my stamp on it once we get it down on paper. It’s exciting, man. Green Bay Packers fans should be really excited about this season and the possibilities.”

The Packers have made the playoffs in each of the last eight seasons and they’ve won at least one playoff game in each of the last three, which is a run that Rodgers called “phenomenal” while noting that the team has to find a way to push through for his second Super Bowl of the year. Rodgers said that this would be as good a year as any to break the drought as it would mean the Packers were celebrating their title on the Vikings’ home field.

Permalink 104 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Under proposed overtime rule, Bucs would have been a playoff team

Getty Images

When the proposal to shorten regular season overtimes to 10 minutes comes up for a vote at the owner’s meetings next week, there’s a good chance the Buccaneers will support the measure.

Primarily, because they’d have ended a nine-year playoff drought if it had been in place last year.

As noted by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the Buccaneers would have qualified for the playoffs at 9-6-1 under the proposed timing, since they lost with a minute and 45 seconds left in overtime to the Raiders on Oct. 30.

And you can argue that one was a double loss, since they had to play the Falcons four days later on Thursday Night Football, and dropped a 43-28 decision.

The Bucs defense was on the field for 94 plays against the Raiders, making it no wonder they had little left in the tank the following Thursday when the Falcons pulled away in the second half.

The Buccaneers haven’t made the playoffs since 2007, and would have slid into the final Wild Card spot over the 9-7 Lions had that loss been a tie.

Permalink 17 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Bears announce signing of Mark Sanchez


Mark Sanchez has found his fifth NFL team.

Sanchez has signed with the Bears, the team announced today, making him the backup to starting quarterback Mike Glennon.

The Bears may still draft a quarterback, and if they do Sanchez could have value as a veteran mentor. Last year in Dallas, rookie quarterback Dak Prescott credited Sanchez for helping him learn how to be a professional.

Sanchez started his career as the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft with the Jets. He started in the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons, but those Jets teams were led by their defense, and Sanchez never developed into the kind of quarterback who could lead a team. After five years in New York, Sanchez spent two seasons with the Eagles, then was briefly with the Broncos before getting cut after the preseason last year before finally ending up backing up Prescott in Dallas.

Permalink 64 Comments Feed for comments Back to top