Lions-Falcons Preview (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:11:47 PDT)
Points haven't been easy to come by for the Detroit Lions, but they continue to wreak havoc on the defensive end. The slumping Atlanta Falcons are having issues on both sides of the ball. Looking to continue its defensive prowess overseas, Detroit tries to hand the Falcons a fifth consecutive defeat as these NFC foes square off in London on Sunday. "We're not afraid to go anywhere, anyplace and go out there and play and execute what we need to get done," Lions Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said.
Mosley suspended by Lions, sent home from London (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 25 Oct 2014 12:55:01 PDT)
Detroit defensive tackle C.J. Mosley was sent home from London on Saturday and suspended by the Lions for an unspecified violation of team rules. Detroit says in a release that Mosley engaged in detrimental conduct and is suspended for two weeks. The Lions face the Atlanta Falcons in London on Sunday, then Detroit has a weekend off.
Greg Cosell's Look Ahead: Breaking down the Lions' top-ranked defense (Shutdown Corner)
(Sat, 25 Oct 2014 10:47:32 PDT)
National Football League roundup
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:00:58 PDT)
(The Sports Xchange) - Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green was listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens after sitting out Friday's practice. Green has missed the past two games due to the toe injury he originally suffered in the Bengals' season-opening victory over the Ravens. The Bengals were hoping Green could return to give a jolt to an offense that began last week's game with eight consecutive three-and-outs and finished with 135 yards in a 27-0 loss. ...
Early Lions-Falcons kickoff interesting international experiment for NFL (Shutdown Corner)
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:41:51 PDT)
Strawberries and cream are the delicacy of choice for Wimbledon watchers. What will you be dining on when the Detroit Lions face the Atlanta Falcons at 9:30 a.m. ET, which will be 1:30 p.m. local time at London's Wembley Stadium? Maybe eggs? Bacon? Weetabix? The earliest kickoff in NFL history is a fascinating experiment for the league, which only has expanded the London experience the past few seasons and has not hid the fact that it very much is exploring the viability of perhaps placing a franchise there one day. [ Join FanDuel.com's $2.5M Week 8 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 21,905 teams paid ] Sunday's game in London — and the ratings it will receive — will be watched very closely by league executives, who supported the idea of kicking off the game early in American TV markets as a twofold way of making it an even longer day of NFL football and also helping work with the logistics for the teams, which can get back to the States a lot earlier. But will it be watched a ton back home? That's the unknown. Certainly, the television element is a crucial factor in whether the league could have a team function in London. A few executives, per MMQB.com , can't wait to see what the response is to the game. “I am as curious as you are,” NFL executive vice president for media Brian Rolapp said. “I may have to duck out of church a little early on Sunday.” “It’s hard to predict,” Fox Sports president Eric Shanks said. “Hopefully we’ll be on in every Waffle House in America.” Fox will broadcast Lions-Falcons, and it will afford football-hungry fans an NFL-first quartet: games kicking off in the morning, at 1 p.m., in the 4 p.m. hour and 8:30 for the New Orleans Saints hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. In that way, it almost will feel like a college football Saturday, where games stretch from noon ET into the wee hours of Sunday morning on the East Coast. “It’s obviously an interesting time zone back in the States,” Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said, per The Guardian UK . “So we’ll see how it plays and I’m sure they will checks the ratings and make some determinations on that.” Fox will have a 30-minute lead-in show before kickoff, then Lions-Falcons, followed by another short pre-game show, then their four 1 p.m. games (Bears at Patriots, Rams at Chiefs, Vikings at Buccaneers, Texans at Titans), the late-afternoon game (Eagles at Cardinals), followed by Game 3 of the World Series. Phew! Sports! “This is the most consecutive live-sports hours in Fox history,” Shanks told MMQB. Will the Lions-Falcons be strong? And, then again, what would be considered strong? Do we judge it versus a typical 1 p.m. kickoff? Another factor: It's not that sexy a game, honestly. The Falcons, never TV darlings even at their peak, are a struggling 2-5 club. The Lions, on the flip side at 5-2, might not have convinced the country they are as good as their record suggests. Plus, two marquee players — Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson — are not sure bets to play. This one game might not be the proper lithmus test for whether an NFL franchise can thrive across the pond. But there's no question that the ratings of the broadcast are going to be interesting, one way or another. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm
Banged-up Falcons face tough Lions test in London (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:41:32 PDT)
Frankly, the Falcons as a team are looking questionable for Sunday's London showpiece game against the Detroit Lions. To score an upset and jump back into the thick of the NFC South race, Falcons players say they'll need to run the ball with authority - something they've rarely managed in a 2-5 season.
Silva's Week 8 Matchups (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:30:00 PDT)
Evan Silva breaks down every fantasy option in every Week 8 game.
Smash Mouth: Week 7 Recap (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:02:00 PDT)
Lance Zierlein goes in-depth to explore Andy Reid's evolution of the Kansas City running game.
Detroit Lions are loving life in England so far (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:24:42 PDT)
Most of the NFL teams that have arrived early and spent a week practicing in England have praised the local facilities and the team-bonding environment of being overseas. The Detroit Lions and coach Jim Caldwell, however, are really, really loving their home away from home. This has fostered a bit more cohesion.'' The Lions (5-2) will play the Atlanta Falcons (2-5) on Sunday at Wembley Stadium, the home of England's national soccer team, in the second of three regular-season NFL games in London this year. To prepare for the game, the Lions arrived Tuesday and have spent three days practicing at Pennyhill Park, the training ground of England's national rugby team.
All-Pro linebacker John 'Bull' Bramlett dies at 73 (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:23:07 PDT)
John ''Bull'' Bramlett, a former professional football and baseball player who was nicknamed the ''Meanest Man in Football,'' has died. Shelby County Mayor's Office spokesman Steve Shular told The Associated Press that family members say the Memphis native died early Thursday. Shular said Mayor Mark H. Luttrell was close to Bramlett, who had been in declining health. Terry Richards, funeral director of Memorial Park Funeral Home in Memphis, confirmed his death.
Johnson still a doubt for Lions game in London (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:17:58 PDT)
Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is still a doubt for Detroit's game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in London. Johnson has missed the last two games, both wins, for the Lions (5-2) with a right ankle injury. He made the trip to England, but said Thursday there was still no decision on whether he would play this weekend. ''I want to push it, but we're trying to be smart about it.'' Johnson, known as Megatron, is one of the most popular players in the NFL and one of the figures that could help sell the league to an overseas audience.
NFL Draft Watch: King says Winston is '10 times' the prospect Mariota is (Shutdown Corner)
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:48:31 PDT)
The conversation will grow over the next six months. So let’s start it early. You’re a quarterback-needy team and your choice is this: Florida State's Jameis Winston or Oregon's Marcus Mariota. On the surface, it appears easy. Winston has trouble written all over him, with off-field problems galore, and Mariota, the clean record and clean-throwing (zero interceptions in 188 passes this season) quarterback, is the obvious choice. Right? It’s not that clear-cut. Not at all. [ Join FanDuel.com's $2.5M Week 8 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 21,905 teams paid ] If we are to boil the players down simply on football talent and quarterbacking potential on the next level, Winston — not Mariota — might be the more enticing prospect. So says former NFL quarterback and Yahoo NFL analyst Shaun King. I asked King to ignore character completely, for argument's sake, and strictly grade each player on their talent and NFL upside. “In my opinion, if I am grading them, Winston is 10 times the prospect Mariota is,” King said. What, then, makes Winston so special? “Physically, he has great size — 6-4, very sturdy build. Built like a pro prospect. Big-time arm — can make all the throws. Great intangibles. Winner. Big-time, big-platform résumé. “He plays his best on the brightest stages. Last year in the Clemson game, the second half of the national title game, this year’s Notre Dame game. Early in the season, second half against [Oklahoma State], he always plays his best in those moments. He just has a knack for it.”
NFL says it's 'on track' in 15-year plan to field London team
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:49:01 PDT)
By Steve Ginsburg WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The National Football League is "exactly on track" with its plans to field a team in London and could have a franchise there by 2022, the league's international chief said Thursday. Mark Waller said he believed in 2007 when the NFL first started playing in the British capital it would take 15 years to place a team there and, so far, he's encountered no stumbling blocks. ...
Ravens-Bengals Capsule (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:13:39 PDT)
BALTIMORE (5-2) at CINCINNATI (3-2-1)
Lions lineman kept playing despite concussion (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:02:06 PDT)
Detroit Lions offensive lineman LaAdrian Waddle kept playing after banging his head on the ground late in last week's victory over the New Orleans Saints, even though the team knew a concussion was possible. Waddle was knocked down while blocking during an extra-point attempt after Corey Fuller had scored in the 24-23 comeback win over the Saints. He was then on the field at right tackle when quarterback Matthew Stafford took a knee to end the game on the next possession. Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Thursday the team knew when the concussion happened, but then said the team's doctors weren't sure right away.
Lions-Falcons Capsule (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:01:03 PDT)
DETROIT (5-2) vs. ATLANTA (2-5) at London
Falcons coach thinks London getting NFL team soon (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:36:46 PDT)
WATFORD, England (AP) -- NFL teams have been playing regular season games in London for seven years, and every coach is asked: Will the British capital eventually get its own franchise?
Tony Gonzalez enjoys talking football, too (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 01:41:59 PDT)
Tony Gonzalez is having as much fun talking football as he did playing it. Now an analyst for CBS Sports, the 14-time Pro Bowl tight end will get an up-close view of Thursday night's showdown between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers featuring the NFL's top two tight ends. Julius Thomas has nine touchdown catches for Denver (5-1) and Antonio Gates has seven TD grabs for San Diego (5-2). Gonzalez, who was recruited by Broncos tight end coach Clancy Barone to give some career advice to Thomas last offseason, said he has no regrets about retiring last year after 17 NFL seasons and no rings.
Week 7 Target Watch: NFC (Rotoworld)
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:10:00 PDT)
Chet Gresham takes you through all the NFC Targets and Touches from Week 7.
Falcons seek 'home' advantage in faraway London (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:48:35 PDT)
The Atlanta Falcons are a long way from the Georgia Dome. Reeling from a four-game losing streak and several injuries, the Falcons (2-5) are not out of it in the mediocre NFC South. The Falcons enter the week trailing the Saints (2-5) and Panthers (3-3-1). ''As bad and as ugly as it's been in the last couple of weeks, we're still right in the mix,'' quarterback Matt Ryan said after the team arrived Monday to overcome a trans-Atlantic dose of jetlag.
Lions bring their top-ranked defense to London (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:58:54 PDT)
Heading into this weekend's game, the Detroit Lions have the No. 1 defense in the NFL. Already overseas and practicing, the Lions (5-2) will face the Atlanta Falcons (2-5) on Sunday in the second of three regular-season games this year at Wembley Stadium in London. ''We're not afraid to go anywhere, any place and go out there and play and execute what we need to get done,'' Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh said Wednesday. The attitude that he brings with us, understanding that it doesn't make a difference whether we're in London, or at home, or have to go to Atlanta.'' Detroit leads the league in total defense, ranking second in stopping the rush and seventh in pass defense.
Ravens Ngata displaying versatility with Ravens (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:29:16 PDT)
There is seemingly no limit to Haloti Ngata's versatility with the Baltimore Ravens. The defensive lineman stops the run, intercepts passes, has served as a blocking back and last Sunday took over as the long snapper for injured Morgan Cox against Atlanta. ''The big guy, he does it all,'' linebacker Elvis Dumervil said. It's pretty cool to have a guy like that.'' Ngata has been one of the NFL's top run stoppers since joining the Ravens as a first-round draft pick in 2006, earning Pro Bowl berths in each of the last five seasons.
Broncos have bad memory of Chargers (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:52:45 PDT)
The Denver Broncos fear no one in the AFC, nor should they given their recent record.
Getting Defensive: Week 8 (Rotoworld)
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:55:00 PDT)
Jeff Ratcliffe breaks down the matchups for all 30 fantasy defenses in action and gives his top kicker plays for Week 8.
League welcomes British chancellor's support for London team
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:47:31 PDT)
LONDON (Reuters) - The National Football League welcomed British chancellor George Osborne's support for a London-based team and remain focused on building a fan base that could support any expansion plans, the league said on Wednesday. According to a story in the Evening Standard newspaper on Wednesday, Osborne held recent talks with NFL officials about the possibility of putting a team in London. "We warmly welcome the Chancellor's strong support for the possibility of an NFL team in London and look forward to welcoming him to a game at Wembley over the next few weeks," the NFL told Reuters. ...
Lions cut running back ... and send him home from London (Shutdown Corner)
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:29:43 PDT)
Atlanta Falcons flying to London? Barcelona? ... On how many planes? (Shutdown Corner)
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:13:24 PDT)
Dose: Brown or Dixon for BUF? (Rotoworld)
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:21:00 PDT)
Nick Mensio looks at the Bills' RB situation, Pierre Thomas, Reggie Wayne, Reggie Bush and others in Wednesday's Dose.
Shutdown Corner NFL Power Rankings: The Oakland Raiders' scary 0-16 question (Shutdown Corner)
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:36:07 PDT)
There are many stats that sum up how miserable the Oakland Raiders' 0-6 start has been, but we have something better than a statistic for that. Darnell Dockett. The injured Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman was at his trash-talking finest on Sunday, poking fun at Raiders fans as the Cards sealed up their 24-13 win. Cardinals DE Darnell Dockett Trolls Raiders Fans With Sign On Whiteboard http://t.co/Kt9LTrbPWL pic.twitter.com/MRHbHQCNXT — ThePostGame.com (@Post_Game) October 21, 2014 If you can't see it well, it's a hand-written message from Dockett to the fans reminding them that the Raiders are 0-6, and the worst team in the NFL. Sadly, both are indisputable facts at this point. Even worse for the Raiders, they just got past what is the relatively easy part of their schedule. And while it's ridiculously early under most circumstances to pose the question, it needs to be asked: Is 0-16 possible for the Raiders? [ Join FanDuel.com's $2.5M Week 8 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 21,905 teams paid ] Raiders fans are thinking that Cleveland might be a possible win, but this is a Browns team that will be playing at home and refocused after losing to the Jaguars. The Browns are a seven-point favorite, so a Raiders win can't be considered likely. But if the Raiders don't win this week, then when? Here's what's coming for the Raiders, who have the toughest schedule I've ever seen: Week 9: at Seattle Week 10: vs. Denver Week 11: at San Diego Week 12: vs. Kansas City Week 13: at St. Louis Week 14: vs. San Francisco Week 15: at Kansas City Week 16: vs. Buffalo Week 17: at Denver Oh my. Where's the win in there? The Raiders will be underdogs in every game from here on out, and probably by at least a touchdown in almost every one of those games. The home game against Buffalo might be less than a touchdown. Maybe the St. Louis game will be a tick under a touchdown. But that's about it. Odds are the Raiders get a win somewhere. It's mathematically tough for an NFL team to go 16 games without winning at least once, even if they're underdogs in all 16. And this team isn't without any talent – you'd hope all these old vets general manager Reggie McKenzie signed this offseason could get at least one win – but it still will be scary until they post that first win. There's only one winless team remaining in the NFL. That's a pretty lonely place to be. And based on the schedule, it's possible the Raiders will be there for a while. Here are the post-Week 7 power rankings: 32. Oakland Raiders (0-6, Last Week: 31) The performance against the Chargers two weeks ago has to give them hope that a win is on the way. 31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-5, LW: 30) Depending on what kind of draft pick the Buccaneers could get, it would make sense to trade Vincent Jackson. Seattle should be first in line if Tampa Bay is serious about dealing him. 30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6, LW: 32) There's a huge difference between zero and one win. 29. Tennessee Titans (2-5, LW: 28) They lost to a bad team. A bad team with Colt McCoy at quarterback. 28. Washington Redskins (2-5, LW: 29) Jay Gruden didn't come out and say it, but by tabbing McCoy to start next week if Robert Griffin III isn't ready, he effectively said the team no longer thinks Kirk Cousins can be an effective NFL starting quarterback. You wouldn't bench him for McCoy if you did. Maybe Cousins gets a chance to change that perception, but that's where we are now. 27. Atlanta Falcons (2-5, LW: 25) Julio Jones has 311 yards and no touchdowns in Atlanta's last four games. The Falcons are 0-4 in their last four games. These two sentences are closely related. 26. New York Jets (1-6, LW: 26) Here's one problem with the Percy Harvin trade: Are the Jets really going to get a good look at him before deciding if he's worth that $10.5 million base salary next season? It's really tough to learn an offense when you join a team right before Week 8 of the regular season. 25. Minnesota Vikings (2-5, LW: 24) A nice bright spot: Rookie Jerick McKinnon had 103 rushing yards against a good defense. That's not going to make them forget losing a game with one second left, but it was nice. 24. New York Giants (3-4, LW: 23) Eli Manning played well. They ran the ball well enough. The defense turned a big Tony Romo interception into a short touchdown. And they still lost by 10. That can't feel too comforting. 23. St. Louis Rams (2-4, LW: 27) I can't say this enough: Calling a fake punt on your own 18-yard line to ice a win over the defending champs is an all-time great call. It was a gamble but not reckless, because it's pretty clear the Rams knew based on Seattle's punt return scheme that they'd have that pass wide open. 22. Houston Texans (3-4, LW: 20) They really had Monday night's game under control, then it got away in such a hurry. And despite a terrible second quarter they lost by just a touchdown. They can't afford to drop games like that. 21. New Orleans Saints (2-4, LW: 19) That would have been an enormous win, getting a victory at Detroit with virtually nothing from injured tight end Jimmy Graham. But now it's just a 2-4 hole they're in. 20. Chicago Bears (3-4, LW: 16) The Bears' offensive rankings: 17th in yards per game, 17th in yards per play, 18th in points scored. With all those weapons to work with, that's hard to comprehend. 19. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3, LW: 21) For about 27 minutes of the first half against Texans, it looked like their season was in an irreversible slide. Maybe that turnover and scoring flurry will spark something.
Overseas matchup with Falcons up next for Lions (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:53:27 PDT)
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -- Golden Tate is finally warming up to the idea of a game in London.