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Incognito spends more than eight hours with Ted Wells

Incognito AP

As independent investigator Ted Wells continues to explore the allegations of Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin, Wells has now spent more time meeting with the accused than the accuser.

According to Jeff Darlington of NFL Network, Incognito’s sessions with Wells spanned two days and covered roughly 8.5 hours.  Martin met with Wells eight days ago for approximately eight hours.

It’s unclear where the investigation will go from here.  Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Martin’s camp recognizes the possibility of a follow-up session, but nothing has been scheduled yet.

Via Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, one unnamed veteran player said Friday that he believes “almost every player” will be interviewed.  Another unnamed veteran player added that he is under the impression that “almost everyone in the building” would be interviewed.

Meanwhile, one of the most recent men to enter the building has provided a pretty good assessment of the situation.

“The comments he made on the guy’s answering machine, Richie’s apologized for that,” left tackle Bryant McKinnie said this week, via Perkins.  “What, do you want me to bully him because of that now?

“I don’t understand what people really want from that situation.  It’s only so much you can do.  It wasn’t meant for everybody to hear.  That was a way they communicated, I think, between those two.  He apologized; you can’t hold a grudge.”

When Bryant McKinnie a/k/a Big Mac is the voice of reason, that’s perhaps the clearest sign that something isn’t right in the organization.

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NFL kickers’ accuracy is slightly down this year

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) reacts after kicking a field goal against the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter of an NFL football game Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken) AP

Last year there was talk that the new extra point rule had gotten into kickers’ heads. A year to adjust to the new extra point rule hasn’t made kickers any better.

Through Sunday’s games, NFL kickers are making 93.4 percent of their extra points and 83.2 percent of their field goals. That’s down from last season, when kickers made 94.2 percent of extra points and 84.5 percent of field goals.

And the decline may actually be a little worse than those numbers look, as kicking typically gets less accurate late in the season, when more games are played in bad weather. Through three weeks last year, kickers made 94.6 percent of extra points and 84.9 percent of field goals.

Among the notably struggling kickers is Buccaneers rookie Roberto Aguayo, who at 1-for-3 is the only kicker in the league who has missed more field goals than he’s made. The Bucs traded up to take Aguayo in the second round of the draft, a move that would be scrutinized even if Aguayo were making all his kicks.

Another kicker struggling is Minnesota’s Blair Walsh, who at 3-for-5 is the only kicker in the league who has missed more than one extra point. Walsh missed a potentially game-winning field goal for the Vikings in the playoffs last season, and there’s been talk that the miss has lingered for him mentally.

Kickers go through ups and downs, and it’s possible that there just happen to be a few more downs than ups through the first three weeks of the season, and the numbers will even out by the end of the year. But after many years of kickers growing steadily more accurate in the NFL, we’re now seeing more misses.

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Eagles coach compares Carson Wentz to Peyton Manning, of course

DUBLIN, OH - JUNE 01:  Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning gives the 'thumbs up' sign during a practice round prior to The Memorial Tournament Presented By Nationwide at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 1, 2016 in Dublin, Ohio.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Getty Images

I know it’s a heady time in Philadelphia, what with watching Carson Wentz lead the Eagles to a 3-0 record.

But somebody should really tell Doug Pederson to pump the brakes.

The Eagles rookie coach compared the Eagles rookie quarterback to, you know, one of the best quarterbacks of all time Monday.

“He loves watching tape,” Pederson said, via Jimmy Kempski of “He and the quarterbacks – Chase [Daniel] and Aaron [Murray] – they’re in here at 5:30 in the morning watching the film and exhausting the tape. I hear him just even in the building, he’s constantly talking to guys about plays and routes and protections.

It’s Peyton Manning-ish. You hate to label it. I don’t want to put labels on guys, but that’s how Peyton prepared, and that’s how these top quarterbacks prepare each week, and he has that now as a young quarterback, and that’ll carry him through his career.”

Pederson had previously compared his first-round pick to Brett Favre because of his arm strength, so coupled with Manning’s work ethic, he’s clearly on track to force the Pro Football Hall of Fame to eliminate its five-year waiting period so he can be enshrined in Canton yesterday.

Of course, Wentz has been really good. He just authored a thrashing of the Steelers, hasn’t thrown a pick yet, and his 103.8 passer rating is seventh among quarterbacks in the league with more than one pass.

We can’t wait for next week. We’re sure Joe Montana agrees.

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Torn ACL confirmed for DeAngelo Hall

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Wide receiver Cole Beasley #11 of the Dallas Cowboys is tackled by free safety DeAngelo Hall #23 of the Washington Redskins in the first quarter at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Getting their first win of the season didn’t mean only good news for the Redskins on Sunday.

Safety DeAngelo Hall said after the game that doctors believed he suffered a torn ACL in the 29-27 win over the Giants, although he added that he felt fine and was walking fine after the game. An MRI was set for Monday to confirm the initial diagnosis and the news wasn’t any better for Hall when the results came in.

Hall told Erin Hawksworth of ABC7 in Washington D.C. that the MRI showed a complete tear of the ligament and that he will now wait for the swelling to go down before Dr. James Andrews performs surgery to repair the injury.

It’s the second season-ending injury for Hall in the last three years as he tore his Achilles in 2014. He’s signed for next season with a base salary of $4.25 million, although none of the money is guaranteed.

Will Blackmon replaced Hall at free safety after the injury on Sunday and will likely start alongside David Bruton when the Browns visit next Sunday.

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Adrian Peterson’s sole focus for now is getting back

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings hands off to running back Adrian Peterson #28 during the game against the Green Bay Packers on September 18, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Sunday pregame shows featured plenty of chatter about: (1) the Vikings wanting running back Adrian Peterson to stay with the team; and (2) the Vikings undoubtedly not wanting to pay him $18 million in 2017.

So what does Peterson want? Per a source with knowledge of Peterson’s thinking, Peterson wants to get healthy and play, as soon as possible.

Two years ago, Peterson had concerns about returning to the Vikings after a 15-game paid-and-unpaid suspension following a prosecution for child abuse. The Vikings held firm, making it clear that they held his rights and intended to have him honor his contract.

In 2017, Peterson will have greater influence over his status, if/when the Vikings approach him about a reduction in his pay. If he refuses to cut his pay, the Vikings will have to cut him, if they don’t want to pay him $18 million.

Peterson likes playing for the Vikings. Whether he will accept a reduced package to stay will be influenced by plenty of factors. For now, his status beyond 2016 is simply not a consideration.

Peterson’s sole focus is to rehab his knee injury following surgery to repair a torn meniscus, and to play again this year. He can return as soon as Week Eleven, and he could find himself on the field with the best Vikings team of his 10-year tenure. Whether he plays, how well he plays, and how far the team goes will surely influence whether he ultimately takes the best deal the Vikings put on the table for 2017 and beyond — and whether he’ll look for something as good or better elsewhere.

Or maybe he’ll look for something not quite as good, if it gives him an opportunity to play with a team that could help Peterson cap his career with a Super Bowl appearance.

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Adam Gase not sure Mike Pouncey can return during a short week

JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 09:  Mike Pouncey #51 of the Miami Dolphins leads the team onto the field during a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 9, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Dolphins have a quick turnaround from Sunday’s win over the Browns to Thursday’s game in Cincinnati and that may force them to use Kraig Urbik as their starting center against the Bengals.

Anthony Steen started the first three games of the year, but suffered a high ankle sprain against the Browns and Gase said Monday that Steen will not be healthy enough to play this week. Steen was starting because Mike Pouncey has been out with a hip injury and Gase said, via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, “we’ll see” if he’s able to make his 2016 debut this week.

Gase also said that Pouncey will probably need to practice before he can re-enter the lineup, something that would seem to make this week a long shot because the Dolphins won’t have a full week to prepare for Cincinnati.

Gase is looking for more from the offensive line as he called pass protection a big frustration and said that right tackle Ja’Wuan James isn’t a sure bet to start this week, although further shuffling may be difficult if they’re going with a new center this week.

The Dolphins will also be without tight end Jordan Cameron, who suffered a concussion Sunday, and Gase said it was unlikely running back Arian Foster would return after missing the victory due to a groin injury.

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Colin Kaepernick: “Huge” to have Chip Kelly’s support

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers walks off the field after the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.   (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Getty Images

During a press conference last week, 49ers coach Chip Kelly said that he has no problem with the way quarterback Colin Kaepernick has focused on calling attention to his feelings about instances of police misconduct and racial inequality this season.

Kelly said that Kaepernick is “shedding light on a situation that is heinous” and “shouldn’t happen in this country” while shooting down repeated suggestions that Kaepernick is a distraction in the locker room. After Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks, Kaepernick said that it meant a lot to hear that from his coach.

“I think he’s a strong man,” Kaepernick said, via the San Jose Mercury News. “I don’t know if he realizes how much that means to me and if he realizes how much that means to these people, to these communities. The fact that he was willing to take a strong stand and say these things aren’t right, and that’s huge coming from a head coach.”

Kaepernick was also asked about his visit to Castlemont High School last Friday. The players on the Castlemont team laid on their backs with their hands up during the national anthem while Kaepernick took a knee.

“I wanted to reach out and show my support for them. It takes a lot of courage to do what they did,” Kaepernick said. “Castlemont’s also in a very impoverished area where a lot of these issues are taking place. And to be with those kids — to be with those young men — and just listen to them and hear them speak about what’s going on … what they’re fighting through … what they’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis … It’s sickening to me that we allow that and we accept that as OK. It’s something that needs to change.”

There weren’t a lot of football questions for Kaepernick, although he did say he felt ready to play if Kelly decides to call his number. Kelly said after the loss that he hasn’t considered doing that, although Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett suggested it would help a team that’s lost two straight games.

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MRI confirms torn Achilles for Manti Te’o

San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Manti Te'o reacts during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang) AP

For a guy who entered the NFL as a bit of a sideshow, Manti Te’o had become a very solid player for the Chargers.

But at least for this season, that’s over.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, MRIs confirmed the Chargers linebacker suffered a torn Achilles and will be out for the season.

Te’o, their 2013 second-round pick, is in the final year of his rookie contract, and will now enter the market while rehabbing a serious injury. But it also leaves yet another hole for the Chargers, who are losing not just a player but someone who had become a leader.

After losing Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead and Stevie Johnson, the Chargers are rapidly running out of difference-makers on the field, and are 1-2 after yesterday’s loss to the Colts.

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Did Browns’ Moneyball guys nix plan to sign Robbie Gould?

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Cody Parkey #3 of the Cleveland Browns reacts after missing the game winning field goal in the 4th quarter against the Miami Dolphinson September 25, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) Getty Images

On Friday, the Browns lost kicker Patrick Murray to a knee injury suffered in practice. On Sunday, the Browns lost in overtime after replacement kicker Cody Parkey missed three field goals, one of which would have won the game as time expired in the fourth quarter.

That raised questions about why the Browns chose Parkey over Robbie Gould, a free agent who has a good track record of kicking well for the Bears. And according to the Miami Herald, Gould is the kicker that Browns special teams coach Chris Tabor wanted to sign — except that the front office nixed the plan, saying Gould would cost more than Parkey. Gould has played 11 NFL seasons and Parkey is in his third, which means the minimum salary to sign Gould would be about half a million dollars more than the Browns are paying Parkey.

Cap space isn’t really an issue for the Browns right now, as they lead the league with $48 million available. Still, the Browns have made no secret that their front office will take a Moneyball approach, and they may see kickers as largely interchangeable and not worth a lot of money. (The Browns also made a move at punter that saved money a few weeks ago, trading away Andy Lee and signing the less expensive Britton Colquitt.)

However, the Browns are pushing back against that report, with a team source insisting to the Akron Beacon Journal that money isn’t the reason they signed Parkey over Gould.

Money played no role in the decision,” the Browns source said. “It’s ridiculous to think that it would.”

Whatever the reasons that Parkey is the Browns’ kicker, the fact is that he missed field goals of 42, 46 and 41 yards on Sunday. Gould’s track record suggests he probably would have made at least one of those field goals, and if any one of them had been good, the Browns would have won in regulation instead of losing in overtime.

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Michael Crabtree on protests: “I ain’t no Martin Luther King”

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 11: Michael Crabtree #15 of the Oakland Raiders stiff arms Ken Crawley #46 of the New Orleans Saints during the second half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 11, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Getty Images

Two more Raiders were willing to join the ranks of those willing to make their feelings known during the national anthem, with linebackers Malcolm Smith and Bruce Irvin raising their fists in a quiet salute.

But don’t look for wide receiver Michael Crabtree to be joining them, or apparently any cause.

According to Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle, Crabtree wasn’t interested in discussing it after the Raiders beat the Titans on the road.

“I just play football,” Crabtree said. “I ain’t no Martin Luther King.”

Likewise, Crabtree didn’t want to share any thoughts on his former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose sitting during the national anthem to protest police brutality and unfair treatment of minorities led to taking a knee,

“I’ve let it be known I don’t have anything to do with him,” Crabtree said. “I’m a Raider.”

That’s entirely his right, as it is the right of those who have something to say saying it. Smith said it wasn’t anything he planned but a reaction to something he saw in the crowd.

“I’ve talked about it, I’ve thought about it, but I wasn’t going to do it until I saw a little girl in the stands try to put her fist up and her mom slapped her hand down,” Smith said. “I just felt like you’ve got a voice, you should be able to use it no matter the circumstances. You’ve got a point of view, you should be able to use it.

“It’s no disrespect to the military or the police force. There’s a lot of stuff going on in this country that has been hard for people to understand. I’m all for everyone standing together as a country, first and foremost. . . . Hopefully, it’s getting a conversation started. I hope people don’t feel disrespect.”

Crabtree apparently doesn’t, and sees no need to add his voice to a growing chorus.

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Tod Leiweke’s first big moment comes Tuesday

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 19:  Tod Leiweke CEO of the Seattle Seahawks watches from the bench as they face the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on September 19, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Seahawks 31-14.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Getty Images

More than 14 months after he arrived as the NFL’s first COO since Roger Goodell was promoted from that role into a slightly bigger job, Tod Leiweke is ready to make a major impact.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Leiweke will unveil a new strategic plan for the league office during a Tuesday meeting of various NFL committees, in advance of next month’s full ownership meeting.

The goal will be to encourage more cooperation among the various NFL departments. Currently, they often operate as silos, without much coordination among them. Leiweke will propose an approach more conduct to getting and keeping everyone on the same page.

The existing approach hasn’t kept the NFL from becoming a $13 billion per year behemoth. Better business practices, however, could make the NFL even bigger and better. If Leiweke’s plan works, he’ll deserve plenty of credit for finding a way to make that happen.

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Blake Bortles: Underachieving offense “nobody’s fault outside of mine”

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars is hit in the pocket by Za'Darius Smith #90 of the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game on September 25, 2016 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The Ravens defeated the Jaguars 19-17. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Jaguars went down 10 points to the Ravens in the first half of Sunday’s game, but found their footing in time to take a 17-16 lead with 7:27 to play in the game.

That lead didn’t stand up, however. Quarterback Blake Bortles threw two of his three interceptions in the final 4:16 and the Ravens blocked a field goal before Justin Tucker hit one of his own to provide the margin of victory in a 19-17 win. Bortles pointed the finger at himself for the team’s failure to secure their first win of the year.

“We had unbelievable field position and continued to tremendously underachieve as an offense,” Bortles said, via the team’s website. “That’s nobody’s fault outside of mine, I believe. …Guys are tired of being bad. Guys are tired of losing. I thought the defense and special teams played plenty well enough to win, but we didn’t offensively and I didn’t as a quarterback.”

Bortles had a poor game in Week Two against the Chargers as well and his play is down across the board from where it was during the 2015 season. That wasn’t the expectation heading into the season and the team’s failure to take a step forward in the first weeks of this season will turn up the heat on coach Gus Bradley and several others if they drop to 0-4 in London against the Colts next weekend.

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Ben Roethlisberger: We all stunk

Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger (7)reacts after a turnover during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola) Getty Images

The Steelers got steamrolled by the Eagles on Sunday in a 34-3 loss and there weren’t any shortage of places to look for reasons why things went so wrong.

The defense gave up 426 yards and generated no sacks or turnovers. The run game produced 29 yards on 10 carries and Ben Roethlisberger turned the ball over twice while being sacked four times by an impressive Eagles defense. There were dropped passes, a slew of injuries and enough other things for Roethlisberger to come up with an easy answer to why the Steelers suffered their worst loss since 1989.

“We stunk,” Roethlisberger said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We all stunk.”

The fact that the failures were so widespread on Sunday should give the Steelers plenty to work on this week as they prepare to host the Chiefs next Sunday night. They’ll get running back Le’Veon Bell back from suspension for that game, which they hope will show Sunday’s performance was an outlier and not a sign of how things will play out over the rest of the season.

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Everson Griffen shrugs off illness for three sacks

Minnesota Vikings' Everson Griffen (97) celebrates after a sack against the Carolina Panthers in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. The Vikings won 22-10. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) AP

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen should get sick during a game more often.

On Sunday, Griffen temporarily exited the eventual win over the Panthers, was listed as questionable to return with an illness, and notched three total sacks.

I was sick, but I fight for my team,” Griffin said, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I love this game. I love the way we work. . . . We’re 3-0 and we got to keep it going, man. Winning is a lot of fun.”

Tight end Kyle Rudolph told PFT Live on Monday that Griffen fell victim to a combination of “bad food” and heat.

“I don’t know . . . what medicine they gave him, but they need to give me some because he came back and he was a monster,” cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said.

Rudolph said that Griffen was upset that he didn’t get a fourth sack on Carolina’s final offensive snap of the game, which resulted in Panthers quarterback Cam Newton throwing the ball up for grabs.

Even without the fourth sack of the game, Griffen has 4.0 sacks for the year, which puts him on pace for 21.33 — more than nine more than his career high of 12.0.

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Cam Newton’s ankle feels good today, after concern on Sunday

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:  Danielle Hunter #99 of the Minnesota Vikings sacks Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers during the game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Vikings won 22-10.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Getty Images

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton appears to have dodged any problem with his ankle.

A league source tells PFT that Newton’s ankle feels good this morning after concern following yesterday’s loss to the Vikings that he might have suffered an injury that could cause him to miss time.

The Vikings sacked Newton eight times on Sunday, the second-most he’s ever been sacked in his career, and he was hit hard on other plays as well. He suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter that caused him to leave the game for one play, but he said afterward that the injury wasn’t the reason he had a rough outing against the Vikings.

Newton should be fine for Sunday at Atlanta.

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NFL morning after: Rodgers, Rex and a Sunday of statements

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 25: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws for a frist down chased by Devin Taylor #98 of the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on September 25, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Getty Images

Last week in the NFL, no one faced more criticism than Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Bills coach Rex Ryan. But this is the NFL, where every time you think you know something you find out you’re wrong, and so Rodgers and Ryan had two of the most impressive performances in the league on Sunday.

Rodgers was scrutinized heavily not just for his performance in last week’s loss to the Vikings — anyone can have a bad game — but because he had been struggling for a full year. Rodgers went a full 16 games looking nothing at all like Aaron Rodgers, and there were legitimate concerns that he had become nothing more than an ordinary quarterback.

Here’s a tweet of my own from last week, which reflected a common sentiment about how Rodgers was struggling:

So what did Rodgers do on Sunday? Just completed 15 of 24 passes for 205 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions, in a win over the Lions. Rodgers’ passer rating on the day was 129.3, his highest in a game since Week Three of last year.

Ryan, meanwhile, was getting even more withering criticism than Rodgers. After the Bills’ ugly loss to the Jets dropped them to 0-2 on the season, Ryan fired his offensive coordinator Greg Roman in a move widely seen as an attempt to find a scapegoat for Ryan’s own struggles. If the Bills kept losing, everyone said, Ryan would be gone before the season was over.

So what did Ryan do on Sunday? Just prepare a game plan that saw his defense absolutely dominate the Cardinals: The Bills intercepted Carson Palmer four times, sacked him five times and forced him to fumble twice. Buffalo won 33-18 in a game that was never close.

“We know what everybody thought of our football team and we knew we were a better football team than that. We showed up today,” Ryan said after the game. “I don’t know if anybody needed a win worse than we did.”

There are still big questions facing the Bills, and with a trip to New England next week they could easily be 1-3. But Ryan earned himself some breathing room by having his players ready to play against the Cardinals, in a big way.

Rodgers and Ryan stood out, but here were some more statements from Sunday:

The Vikings’ defense made a statement that it’s going to make Minnesota a contender, no matter what happens on offense. The Vikings have already lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, starting running back Adrian Peterson and starting left tackle Matt Kalil, but Minnesota’s defense is dominant. The Vikings sacked Cam Newton eight times (including three by Everson Griffen), intercepted him three times and completely took over the game, beating the Panthers 22-10 despite getting just 171 passing yards from Sam Bradford and 58 rushing yards from Peterson’s replacements.

The Broncos’ entire team. Could this year’s Denver team actually be better than last year’s Super Bowl winner? It’s too soon to say that, but the Broncos are 3-0 after an outstanding effort against the Bengals on Sunday. The Broncos’ defense played well, but we knew the Broncos’ defense was good. The key is that quarterback Trevor Siemian was excellent, with four touchdown passes and no interceptions, and receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas both went over 100 yards. The Broncos’ offense may just be better this year than it was with the ancient Peyton Manning running the show last year.

Terrelle Pryor. Yes, the Browns lost. Yes, the Browns are terrible. But how can you not love what Pryor did? The former Ohio State quarterback turned NFL disappointment turned receiver reclamation project caught eight passes for 141 yards, ran four times for 21 yards and a touchdown, and even took snaps at quarterback and completed three of five passes for 35 yards. Pryor is the first player to have at least 120 receiving yards, 30 passing yards and 20 rushing yards in a game since Frank Gifford did it in 1959. No player in NFL history had ever completed three passes and gained 100 receiving yards in a game until Pryor did it yesterday. He’s a special talent.

Jimmy Graham. When Graham tore his patellar tendon last season, there were people who doubted he’d ever be the same kind of player he once was: A patellar tendon injury is a notoriously difficult injury to recover from. But Graham is back and playing great football, with six catches for 100 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s blowout win over the 49ers.

Sebastian Janikowski. With his 52-yard field goal in the Raiders’ win over the Titans, the 38-year-old Janikowski has 53 field goals of 50 yards or longer in his career, passing Jason Hanson for the most 50-yard field goals in NFL history.

DeSean Jackson. With his 44-yard touchdown in Sunday’s comeback win over the Giants, Jackson now has 29 career touchdowns of 40 or more yards, the most among active players and the 10th most in NFL history. Jackson is an incredible playmaker.

Carson Wentz. Can you believe the Eagles’ rookie quarterback was playing at North Dakota State last year? He looks like a 10-year veteran. He absolutely carved up the Steelers in yesterday’s 34-3 beatdown, and he’s the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw 100 passes without an interception. Wentz is the rookie of the year favorite, but he’s more than that. Through three games, he’s an MVP candidate.

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