Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said the defensive breakdowns are obvious.

It’s not there. But instead of panicking (as we see often from young quarterbacks), Garoppolo calmly maneuvers in the pocket to find an open lane and continues to keep his eyes down the field. This allows Garoppolo to reset his feet/platform and hit Amendola when the wide receiver separates across the field. And the quarterback takes a shot too after throwing this ball. It was a big-time play to move the sticks and continue to drive.

Look, I want quarterbacks who battle, guys who show up in critical moments of the game. Yes, this is only one play. And I get that. But given the situation — down in the fourth quarter and needing a play to continue the drive — I love Garoppolo’s ability to manage the chaos and find a way to advance the sticks against a very good defense.

“We have spurts,” James said. “Defensively, we have spurts, and we know we can get to a point where we can sustain it a little bit longer than what we’ve done so far. So that’s a positive. On the negative side, we’ve had more lulls than we’ve had spurts, and teams — we always know every year — when we have lulls, teams make us pay. It doesn’t matter what they’re shooting, it doesn’t matter how they’re playing, teams are going to make us pay, and it happened again tonight.”

Cleveland let New Orleans Saints make 13 3-pointers after all the open looks the team allowed Orlando, Chicago and Brooklyn take. But Lue’s team’s offense is also lagging behind.

If the Astros win: Verlander is standing in reserve for Game 6, with a likely McCullers-Charlie Morton combo in Game 7 and some Peacock mixed in somewhere. In other words, even with going to L.A., you have to like the Astros’ chances to take one of those two games given the starting-pitcher matchups.

If the Dodgers win: Simple. Do you want to be down 3-2 staring at Verlander? No, you do not.
canadiens_001_aeb1bf0fe25cbb3b-180x180

Seahawks-Texans trade amended after CB Jeremy Lane fails physical

The Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans have amended their trade agreement after cornerback Jeremy Lane failed his physical, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Lane will revert back to the Seahawks, who had agreed Monday to send him to Houston along with a 2018 fifth-round pick and a 2019 second-round pick for left tackle Duane Brown.

Matt Moore put any thought of a Miami quarterback controversy to rest, throwing a pair of pick-sixes as the Dolphins were shut out at Baltimore.
“I’m pissed. I’m tired of this. I’m tired of the offense being awful,” Gase said. “Guys better need to get their heads right. Coaching staff needs to do a better job, because obviously our players not knowing [what to do] is a direct reflection of them.”

Gase was most upset about the study habits of the players on offense.

“We’re not putting the work in,” he said. “That’s what it comes down to. If you can’t remember it, you shouldn’t be in the NFL. At the end of the day, guys have got to actually take this stuff home and study it. They’re not going to just learn it all in meetings. We’ve got to find guys that’ll actually put forth effort to actually remember this stuff, and it starts with our best players.”

In the new deal, Seattle will give up a higher draft pick to account for Lane’s not being included in the deal. According to the source, Seattle will get Brown and Houston’s 2018 fifth-round pick in exchange for the Seahawks’ 2018 third-rounder and their 2019 second-round pick.

Lane’s salary is guaranteed for 2017, which means the Seahawks wouldn’t free up any cap space by releasing him. The Seahawks might also decide to keep him to help with depth at cornerback, something they were going to need after trading Lane.blues-024

Chris Long to donate 10 more game checks to support educational equity

Chris Long announced in September that he was donating his first six game checks to fund scholarships in Charlottesville, Va. Wednesday morning, he expanded on that by announcing his Pledge 10 for Tomorrow campaign.

The campaign involves Long donating his next 10 game checks to continue to support educational equity, but there’s another catch: He’s encouraging others to also make a donation.

“Me, personally, I still don’t understand where the touchback came from. It wasn’t like the ball went through the back of the end zone at all.”

Seferian-Jenkins refused to directly criticize the referee. He acknowledged that he bobbled the ball, but he still felt it should’ve counted as a touchdown.

“I feel like I scored,” he said. “But at the end of the day, that’s what the ref called. I’m going to go with what the ref said, and I have to have better ball security.”

Seferian-Jenkins went on to say, “I don’t think it does any good to blast the officials or blast the rule … The rule is the rule. It is what it is. I have to do a better job of ball security. … I feel like I let my team down.”

In Minnesota, Adrian Peterson was technically a backup. Veteran Chester Taylor was coming off a 1200-yard season, and the two men split carries that day at Soldier Field. Peterson was 9th in the league in rushing yards, and had three 100-yard games out of four. The Bears run D had allowed 100 yards just once, and held reigning league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson to 25 yards on 17 carries in week 1.

After upsetting the Packers 27-20 the week before behind Brian Griese and our tight end tag-team of Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen, spirits were high in Chicago. A win against Minnesota would get the Bears back to .500 and the playoff hunt. All eight Tribune reporters picked the Bears to win.
falcons_032

Dallas picks up one first down but fails to move the chains again.

Adams said he was cleared to play Friday afternoon after going through the league’s concussion protocol. He said he recalled everything about Trevathan’s hit, and that after being “a little loopy” on the field, the memories started flooding back to him as he lay in a hospital bed. Adams reported that he felt no headaches during the week, and that family members and team staffers were “kind of shocked” he didn’t experience any lingering symptoms.

“It’s tough, but the team relies on me to be out here,” Adams said. “And I definitely wouldn’t have come out here today if I didn’t feel 100 percent. I felt great, so I just gave it a shot, and it was worth it.”

Green Bay moves to its own 48-yard line, but Rodgers throws an incomplete pass on a third-and-1. The Packers decide to go for it and move chains on a 10-yard run by Aaron Jones.

Green Bay will start its possession at its own 12-yard line with a chance to take the lead.

Field goal Green Bay. The Packers drive to Dallas’ 4, but are forced to settle for three points after a short run and two incomplete passes keep them out of the end zone. Green Bay now trails 21-15. Rodgers did complete a 33-yard pass to Martellus Bennett early in the drive to move the Packers into field goal range.

Packers cornerback Kevin King suffered a concussion in the first half and he’ll miss the rest of the game. x (13)

Matthew Stafford finishes Detroit’s loss despite a leg injury

Matthew Stafford walked gingerly out of the Detroit Lions’ locker room late Sunday afternoon, clearly favoring his right leg — walking with it almost peg-legged straight after Detroit’s 27-24 loss to Carolina on Sunday.

He spent a night in the hospital after a vicious hit from Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, who was suspended without pay for this week’s game. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson described it as “incredible” when he saw that Adams was not seriously injured.

“He can recover from those rapidly, apparently, because last year he came back and played a Thursday night game,” Nelson said. “But it’s good to have him back out there. Like we said [after the hit], his health was the most important thing. Once that’s squared away, we love to have him back. He’s back and seems to be his normal stuff, running around and talking in meetings and stuff like that.”

Said wide receiver Randall Cobb: “It was great. I’m just glad to see him walking again, more importantly. When I went to the hospital and saw him the other night, he was back to his normal self, joking around, trying to break out of the hospital. I’m just glad to see him in good health.”

There was no change in the status of running back Ty Montgomery, who remains doubtful with broken ribs, or any other players on the injury report. Starting tackles David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and Bryan Bulaga (ankle) remained questionable.
images (1)

Watch: NFL to run unity-themed ad during ‘Sunday Night Football’

The NFL will air a one-minute commercial Sunday night that emphasizes togetherness in its ranks.

Commissioner Roger Goodell tweeted a link to the ad Sunday morning on a day that figures to feature unprecedented player demonstrations after three days of criticism by President Donald Trump. The spot will run during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcast of the Redskins-Raiders game.

“Inside these lines, we don’t have to come from the same place to help each other reach the same destination,” the voiceover on the ad says. “Inside these lines, we may have our differences, but recognize there’s more that unites us.”

The Pittsburgh running game, on the other hand, is still waiting to kick things off. It’s too simplistic to say that Le’Veon Bell’s holdout has kept him from showing off his best work to start the season, but the superstar back hasn’t been as productive as anyone would like so far. Through three games, Bell has just 180 yards on 52 carries, which is under 3.5 yards per attempt.

It didn’t help that the Steelers were without right tackle Marcus Gilbert, who was sidelined by a hamstring injury. Even if Gilbert is slow to get back, the Bell breakout should be coming. The last time he didn’t make it over 200 yards in a three-game stretch was during the middle of last season. Bell followed it with four consecutive 100-yard games, including a 236-yard shellacking of the Bills. He’s too good to keep down for long.

While the Bears left seven points on the field with the bizarre Cooper fumble and a missed field goal, they rode their luck to win this one. Chicago should have been down 7-0 after the first play from scrimmage, as Martavis Bryant ran right past Cooper for what should have been a 75-yard touchdown pass to start the day, only for Ben Roethlisberger to overthrow his speedy wide receiver.
o (1)

5 things that went wrong for the Cowboys against the Broncos

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott were a formidable one-two punch for the Cowboys as rookies in 2016. On Sunday, they couldn’t get anything going on offense as the Broncos delivered Dallas a 42-17 beatdown.

The breakdown is wonderful and the punt is flabbergasting — Hekker manages to kick what is, again, a misshapen lump of pig, a pure 50 yards, sideways and with side spin, and lands it perfectly inside an area the size of a VW Golf.

Sebastian Janikowski is still kicking in the NFL. You needed to know this. Though in Week 1 he had a sore back, so the Raiders decided to put him on injured reserve before their game … clearing the way for Giorgio Tavecchio, that smooth, Milanese son of a bitch. I have my eye on you, Giorgio Tavecchio. And not only for the hip stiffness and mechanical issues which might result in some of your kicks tailing off to the right.

Also, we still don’t know the full reason behind LT leaving LA. Rumors had Timmons angry with the Dolphins possibly. His agent labeled it a personal issue.

Steelers Nation would love to see Timmons get released. He’d still probably get paid quite a bit, and the financial loss in Miami would be Pittsburgh’s gain. Other teams may not want to touch him because of this controversy, but No. 94 was a model citizen, and a very good player for Mike Tomlin’s team, and he’d probably clear waivers.

But nobody knows if the Steelers actually have interest in Timmons given the production they’re getting out of Vince Williams—or even if they have roster room for that matter. But then again, they love cutting Steven Johnson, so there might be room after all.
o (31)

Until there’s a ruling, Elliott will continue to take the field.

Jack Del Rio’s team was successful because it stayed in attack mode all throughout 2016. With Lynch, it just dials up the overall aggressiveness and attitude in a big AFC game like Sunday’s.

Don’t be fooled by the lack of a beastly box score. Lynch is already looking like everything the Raiders hoped he would be. Silver and Black, meet Black and Blue. It’s clear the newer, older Lynch is different from the young one, but that doesn’t mean he was any less effective for his current team.

“It’s just ignorant for someone to do that,” Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis told cleveland.com. “It just defies logic to me. The fact that management was aware of what they planned on doing, that’s as offensive as it can get.”

Emphasis on “toughest.” Denver and Los Angeles were very much the same teams. Trevor Siemian and Philip Rivers quarterbacked to a draw, each having stretches of success against difficult pass defenses with nasty fronts and stingy secondaries. There was a lot of spreading the ball around on short to intermediate routes and a few gritty chunk runs.

Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa made sure Von Miller wasn’t the most talked-about pass rusher in the game. The Broncos’ “No Fly Zone” held its position as the better combination of cornerbacks.

RC: Marvin Lewis is firmly on the hot seat after the Bengals went 6-9-1 last season. Despite taking the Bengals to the playoffs seven times and winning four AFC North titles in his 14 years as the team’s coach, Lewis has not won a single playoff game. The Bengals don’t appear to be in a position to contend with the Ravens and Steelers atop the division this year and, with the Browns making huge strides to improve their team in the offseason, the Bengals might be headed for a last-place finish. If things appear to be taking a turn for the worse, Lewis could be out by December.
1 (1)

NFL Week 1: Irma could crash Bucs-Dolphins opener

The Dolphins are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma, as some forecast models show the storm could hit South Florida as the team hosts the Buccaneers at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, the Miami Herald reported.

It’s too early to tell precisely what route Irma will take, but Dolphins officials “have been closely watching the storm’s track since last week, and are considering a range of options if forecasters’ worst fears are realized,” according to the Herald.

The National Hurricane Center’s most recent advisory regarding Irma reads, in part: “There is an increasing chance of seeing some impacts from Irma in the Florida Peninsula and Florida Keys later this week and this weekend.”

Beckham, who injured his ankle in the Giants’ second preseason game against the Browns, has not practiced since and was held out of Monday’s session. Giants coach Ben McAdoo said Beckham “did some work” that included riding a stationary bike on the sideline, but the fourth-year receiver will be evaluated again Tuesday.

“He’s doing everything that they ask him to do in the training room,” McAdoo told reporters after Monday’s practice. “If he’s cleared to play medically, then we’ll play him.”

Beckham, who caught 101 passes for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, did warm up before New York’s final preseason game last Thursday against the Patriots but did not play.

Beckham’s injury occurred when Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun hit him just above the right knee as Beckham leaped in an attempt to catch a high pass from quarterback Eli Manning.
ravens_182

Bortles has thrown a lot of picks, and it’s fair to call his decision-making on the field into question.

Bortles is trying to win the starting job again in Jacksonville, but the most important ability is availability. It’s smart to not risk injury in a game that truly doesn’t matter.

We all love big-guy touchdowns. There’s something delightful about seeing a large man— a guy who doesn’t look like a wide receiver or a tight end or a cornerback — making a play on the ball and running that thing in for a touchdown.

But he demonstrated wisdom after he threw a pick against the Panthers and decided to just chill instead of trying to tackle Zack Sanchez:

1. Christian McCaffrey, RB | Carolina Panthers: He can run between the tackles. He can pick up the blitz. He can run pass routes and catch the ball in traffic. I heard he even cleans up the cafeteria after the players eat lunch and helps old ladies cross the street. McCaffrey does it all, and the expansive role the Panthers have planned for him in 2017 makes him the leading candidate for this award.

2. Leonard Fournette, RB | Jacksonville Jaguars: There’s an old coach saying that the rare running backs are the ones who “bring their own blocking.” Given the state of the Jaguars’ offensive line, Fournette might find himself having to be such a back as a rookie. The Jags would love to lean on him, and if they can block well enough up front, his workhorse role should make him a contender here. But that’s a big “if.”download (1)