Youth movement in full bloom in Atlanta (The SportsXchange)
(Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:40:25 PST)
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- With three games to play this season, the Atlanta Falcons are trying to find out if their 2013 draft class will be part of the solution moving into the offseason. Against Green Bay, the Falcons played 10 rookies for a total of 416 snaps and all will likely get more action when they face the Washington Redskins at the Georgia Dome on Sunday. That could grow to 12 rookies if safety Kemal Ishamel, a seventh-round pick, or Terren Jones, an undrafted rookie offensive tackle, can get some action. Both were inactive for the game in Green Bay.
Mike Shanahan says he might shut down Robert Griffin III for rest of season (Shutdown Corner)
(Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:36:14 PST)
If Mike Shanahan is around to coach the Washington Redskins over the last three weeks of the season, he's not sure Robert Griffin III will be his quarterback.
Shanahan, whose job security has been a constant discussion in Washington since the Redskins' 45-10 loss to Kansas City on Sunday, said he hasn't decided on a starting quarterback for this week's game against Atlanta. He cited the Falcons' pass rush and the fact that the Redskins have given up 24 sacks in five games as a factor in his decision process. He wants to make sure Griffin gets through his second season in one piece.
He said if he decides to sit Griffin this week, he would shut last year's offensive rookie of the year down for the rest of the season. He said if he goes with Kirk Cousins, it would strictly be related to keeping Griffin healthy and not because of Griffin's struggles this season.
"I'm talking about his health. I want to make sure he's healthy," Shanahan said in his weekly Monday press conference, showed live by NFL Network. "I think that's the most important thing going into the offseason, that he has his first full offseason being healthy. If he did play and something happened to him, I think it would set our franchise back."
Shanahan quickly interjected to say that doesn't mean he has already decided to go with Cousins over Griffin.
"That doesn't say I'm not going that way," Shanahan said. "That's the reason I answered it the way I did. I'll think about it these next 48 hours and make a decision on Wednesday."
Griffin dismissed a question on Sunday about the possibility he might not start this week. Shanahan said on Monday he has already discussed the possibility with owner Daniel Snyder. Griffin missed most of the offseason because he was rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in the Redskins' playoff lost at the end of last season.
The relationship between Shanahan and Griffin has been a hot-button topic for months, and Snyder asked Shanahan about it during a talk on Monday.
"He asked me my relationship with Robert," Shanahan said. "I said I'm his head football coach, and not necessarily his best friend. Don't need to be his best friend. I want to make him the best quarterback possible."
The relationship between Snyder and Shanahan has come under question too. He said that he has a good relationship with Snyder. Still, the Washington Post reported that the Redskins were looking into their options in regards to Shanahan's future, including firing him before the season is over with cause and not paying him his final $7 million owed to him in his contract.
Shanahan spent most of his press conference saying he didn't want to talk about his future, especially the ESPN.com story that said he contemplated quitting before the end of last season. He didn't specifically deny the story, but used a snippet of him cleaning out his office before Washington's playoff game as an example of the story being not entirely accurate.
"It would take me two minutes to clean out my office," Shanahan said. "I've got two notebooks and an iPad."
Shanahan bristled at the predictable questions about his job status. He wanted to talk about Sunday's game against Atlanta, but that wasn't going to happen when the Redskins are 3-10 and there's rampant speculation that the head coach is on thin ice.
Shanahan has been a coach for a long time, and even though he didn't enjoy the constant questions about his job and his relationship with the quarterback and owner, he knew that's part of the job.
"There's always a lot of noise when you're 3-10, I understand that," Shanahan said. "Every organization has it. There is going to be a lot more noise the next few weeks, I understand that. But I've got one mindset right now, and that's focusing on Atlanta."
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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter!
College football coaching news and rumors 12/9 (National Football Post)
(Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:16:00 PST)
The latest from around the NCAA courtesy of footballrumormill.com.
Green Bay Packers Are Very Much Alive in Playoff Race (Yahoo Contributor Network)
(Mon, 09 Dec 2013 09:07:00 PST)
COMMENTARY | The Green Bay Packers were able to pull out a big 22-21 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14 and kept themselves alive in the playoff race. Things looked very shaky for the Packers at halftime, trailing 21-10, but they came out and took control in the second half. The Detroit Lions lost to the Philadelphia Eagles as well, which makes the playoffs even more of a real possibility. Despite the win over the Falcons, the Packers have a lot of work to do to make the playoffs.
Team Report - GREEN BAY PACKERS (The SportsXchange)
(Mon, 09 Dec 2013 00:56:10 PST)
Defense helps Packers come from behind
Team Report - ATLANTA FALCONS (The SportsXchange)
(Mon, 09 Dec 2013 00:56:10 PST)
Falcons lose lead and another game
Bad weather brings good vibes for some (Comcast SportsNet Houston)
(Mon, 09 Dec 2013 00:48:16 PST)
Brutally bad weather or bitter cold meant good vibes for lots of NFL players.
5 things to know after Packers beat Falcons 22-21 (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 09 Dec 2013 00:33:46 PST)
Finally, the Packers got the all-around effort they needed to make up for the loss of Aaron Rodgers. Maybe, just maybe, things are starting to break Green Bay's way after a 22-21 win Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons snapped a five-game winless streak. Backup Matt Flynn threw for 258 yards and a score in his second straight start, while the defense bounced back with a clutch performance after recent struggles. With three games left in an injury-filled season, the Packers (6-6-1) stand just a half-game back of the division-leading Detroit Lions, who lost to Philadelphia on Sunday.
NFL Today, Week 14 (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 21:12:59 PST)
Monday, Dec. 9
Prater boots record 64-yard NFL field goal
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 20:32:06 PST)
Denver Broncos Matt Prater kicked a record 64-yard field goal on the final play of the first half of an National Football League game against the Tennessee Titans. Sunday's goal kick broke the previous record of 63 yards shared by Tom Dempsey (1970), Jason Elam (1998), Sebastian Janikowski (2011) and David Akers (2011). Prater, 29, had a previous career best of 59 yards.
Top 5 Must-See Plays from Week 14 (Video) (Shutdown Corner)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 18:08:58 PST)
1. Can't keep up with Jones
This time, there was no Mike Tomlin to create controversy. In the middle of an insane finish of the game, the Baltimore Ravens’ Jacoby Jones took a short kickoff return down the left sideline, just like on Thanksgiving, but there was no controversy or impediment this time as Jones blazed 77 yards for the score.
Eagles tie NFL mark for 2-point tries (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 17:56:29 PST)
The Philadelphia Eagles tied an NFL mark for 2-point conversion tries Sunday with five in their 34-20 victory over Detroit.
Vikings RB Peterson leaves with ankle injury (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 17:51:08 PST)
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was hurt when he was tackled near the sideline on an icy field. It was a low hit that shelved New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. The result was a pair of right leg injuries for two of the NFL's best players. Peterson injured his right foot Sunday when he caught a short pass from Matt Cassel, headed to the right sideline and was tackled by Arthur Brown in the second quarter of Minnesota's 29-26 loss at Baltimore.
NFL-Highlights of Sunday's NFL games
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 17:45:07 PST)
(Adds later games) Dec 8 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Sunday's National Football League games: - - 49ers 19, Seahawks 17 Frank Gore burst through the Seattle Seahawks' line for a 51-yard run to set up a game-winning field goal by Phil Dawson in the San Francisco 49ers' victory over their visiting NFC West rivals. Dawson's game-winning, 22-yard kick with 26 seconds remaining was his fourth field goal of the game and improved the 49ers to 9-4 while preventing the Seahawks (11-2) from the division title. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed 15 of 29 passes for 175 yards and one touchdown with one interception, while Seattle signal caller Russell Wilson hit on 15 of 25 passes for 199 yards and one TD with one interception. - - Broncos 51, Titans 28 Matt Prater set an NFL record with a 64-yard field goal and quarterback Peyton Manning led Denver on a second-half charge as the Broncos rallied past the Tennessee Titans in frigid weather to clinch a playoff berth.
Packers-Falcons: What we learned (The SportsXchange)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 17:20:14 PST)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- After a snowy Sunday, the Green Bay Packers are right back in the playoff race. The Packers, who were 0-4-1 since All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers sustained a broken collarbone, rallied from a 21-10 halftime deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 22-21 at Lambeau Field. With the Detroit Lions (7-6) losing in a snowstorm at Philadelphia, the NFC North race looks like a fight to the finish with Green Bay (6-6-1) back in the mix, Rodgers itching to return and Chicago (6-6) hosting Dallas on Monday. The Packers' maligned defense, which was destroyed for 561 yards in a 40-10 loss at Detroit on Thanksgiving, turned the tide and clinched the game.
NFL-Slipping, sliding, frantic finishes in snowy NFL action
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 16:28:19 PST)
By Larry Fine NEW YORK, Dec 8 (Reuters) - A wintry wonderland of games hit the National Football League on Sunday, with snow creating extreme conditions that set up a slew of sensational scoring plays and a series of breath-taking comebacks. The most frantic finish came in a 29-26 victory for the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens (7-6) over the visiting Minnesota Vikings (3-9-1) that allowed the winners to maintain a fragile hold on an AFC wild card berth. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had the last laugh, throwing a nine-yard touchdown strike to Marlon Brown with four seconds left to cap a five-play, 80-yard drive that took just 41 seconds. The last-gasp drive came after Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel threw a short pass to receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who raced 79 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with 45 seconds left in the game.
Flynn leads Packers to comeback win over Falcons (Comcast SportsNet Bay Area)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 15:29:04 PST)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers finally found a way to win without injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Matt Flynn threw for 258 yards and the Packers' struggling defense forced a key fourth-quarter turnover in a 22-21 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday to snap a five-game winless slide. Four plays later, Flynn found Andrew Quarless for a 2-yard touchdown pass for a 22-21 lead with about 12 minutes left for the Packers (6-6-1). The Falcons got to the 33 with 2 minutes left, but Tony Gonzalez dropped a short pass from Ryan with tight coverage by Jarrett Bush.
Packers end 5-game slide, beat Falcons 22-21 (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 15:22:30 PST)
A smattering of boos cascaded down on the Green Bay Packers at the half, trailing by double digits on a bone-chilling afternoon at Lambeau Field. This wasn't a good sign for a team that hasn't played well late in games, especially without injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Coach Mike McCarthy went into the locker room wondering how much energy his players had with the team's playoff prospects in jeopardy. Green Bay responded with its most complete performance in weeks.
Packers get first win without Rodgers, back in hunt (The SportsXchange)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 15:20:35 PST)
GREEN BAY, Wis. - After a snowy Sunday, the Green Bay Packers are right back in the playoff race. The Packers, who were 0-4-1 since All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers sustained a broken collarbone, rallied from a 21-10 halftime deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 22-21 at Lambeau Field. With the Detroit Lions (7-6) losing in a snowstorm at Philadelphia, the NFC North race looks like a fight to the finish with Green Bay (6-6-1) back in the mix, Rodgers itching to return and Chicago (6-6) hosting Dallas on Monday. The Packers' maligned defense, which was destroyed for 561 yards in a 40-10 loss at Detroit on Thanksgiving, turned the tide and clinched the game.
Best of NFL: Saints cool off Panthers in rout (Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 15:16:32 PST)
Updated: Monday, 12:21 a.m.
NFL-Highlights of Sunday's games
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 15:03:17 PST)
Dec 8 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Sunday's National Football League games: - - Ravens 29, Vikings 26 The Baltimore Ravens (7-6) maintained their hold on an AFC wild card berth in a frantic finish in the snow when quarterback Joe Flacco found receiver Marlon Brown for a nine-yard touchdown with four seconds left to beat the visiting Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota had taken the lead at 19-15 on a 41-yard run by Toby Gerhart with 1:27 left in the game. Baltimore's Jacoby Jones ran back the ensuing kickoff 77 yards for a go-ahead score. ...
Redskins Crushed by Chiefs, 45-10 (Automated Insights)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 14:13:57 PST)
The Redskins gave up scoring plays of 84 yards and 65 yards and were pounded by the Chiefs, 45-10, at home.
Chiefs Pound Redskins, 45-10 (Automated Insights)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 14:12:53 PST)
Jamaal Charles had a big day, paving the way to a rout for the Chiefs over the Redskins, 45-10, in Landover.
Falcons Clipped by Packers, 22-21 (Automated Insights)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 13:36:27 PST)
The Falcons were nipped by the Packers, 22-21, in Green Bay.
Packers 22, Falcons 21 (The SportsXchange)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 13:30:31 PST)
GREEN BAY, Wis. - The Green Bay Packers finally won a game without Aaron Rodgers.
Shanahan refuses comment on reports (Comcast SportsNet Mid Atlantic)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 13:24:14 PST)
Mike Shanahan refused to address reports this morning that said his relationship with Dan Snyder was strained to the point where he was on the verge of resigning earlier this year. “It’s not the right time and place to talk about my relationship with Dan Snyder,” said the coach after his team took a 45-10 pounding at the hands of the Chiefs. Shanahan said that his focus was on the next opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, and that the would talk to Snyder about their relationship when the season is over. According to the ESPN report, Shanahan had issues with the Griffin-Snyder relationship, to the point where he the coach was ready to quit last January.
As if it wasn’t bad enough for Packers, the beer lines have frozen at Lambeau Field (Shutdown Corner)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 11:41:06 PST)
Calling in the National Guard to Green Bay, Wisconsin ...
As things have fallen completely apart for the Green Bay Packers this season, watching the Atlanta Falcons dominate them in the first half of Sunday's game might be considered bad news.
But for some, this might be worse:
Soda lines and beer lines frozen at #Lambeau . This will go over well.
— Kyle Cousineau (@KCousineau09) December 8, 2013
Falcons S DeCoud leaves game with head injury (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 11:32:59 PST)
Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud has left Sunday's game with a head injury suffered after trying to tackle Packers running back Eddie Lacy on a 1-yard touchdown run. DeCoud came in off the edge on the play at the end of the first quarter, then stayed down for a couple minutes while being evaluated by medical personnel. DeCoud, who went to the Pro Bowl last year, was fourth on the team with 54 tackles going into Sunday. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon also left after the game following Lacy's touchdown to be evaluated for a shoulder injury, but returned in the second quarter.
Falcons fight back, take lead in Green Bay (ProFootball Talk on NBC Sportsa)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 10:59:04 PST)
The Packers’ early lead against Atlanta has disappeared. The Falcons, on the strength of two TD passes from quarterback Matt Ryan, have taken a 14-10 second-quarter advantage in Green Bay. First, Ryan connected with Drew Davis on a 36-yard score to tie the game at seven. Then, after Falcons safety William Moore forced a Matt…
Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez active for Packers game (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 08 Dec 2013 09:01:32 PST)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is active for Sunday's game against the Packers after being limited in practice with a toe injury.