Quinn rewarded his offense by leaving it on the field for fourth down

This season, with the league’s best offense, Quinn has rightfully been more aggressive. Atlanta went for it 13 times on fourth down while the game was within 14 points or less, tied for the eighth-most times in the league. The Falcons went 7-for-13 on those tries, a 53.9 percent mark that comes in right around the league average of 51.4 percent.

While some of those were desperate plays to extend games, Quinn had moments of genuine aggressiveness, most of which came in the no man’s land between midfield and Matt Bryant’s field goal range. He notably went for it on fourth-and-1 on Atlanta’s 45-yard line on the opening possession of overtime against San Diego, only to be stuffed and end up losing the game on the next drive. It was the correct call, even if the move didn’t pay off.

One notable time Quinn went for it on fourth-and-1 was on the opening possession against the Packers in Week 8. It was on the Packers’ 42-yard line, but Quinn could have sent out his punting unit and nobody would have batted an eye.

After Matt Ryan overcame a pair of illegal-formation penalties by picking up 19 yards on third-and-20, Quinn rewarded his offense by leaving it on the field for fourth down. Devonta Freeman ran for 17 yards. The drive ended in a field goal that proved to be valuable in what ended up as a 33-32 nail-biter.

One notable time Quinn went for it on fourth-and-1 was on the opening possession against the Packers in Week 8. It was on the Packers’ 42-yard line, but Quinn could have sent out his punting unit and nobody would have batted an eye.

After Matt Ryan overcame a pair of illegal-formation penalties by picking up 19 yards on third-and-20, Quinn rewarded his offense by leaving it on the field for fourth down. Devonta Freeman ran for 17 yards. The drive ended in a field goal that proved to be valuable in what ended up as a 33-32 nail-biter.

This video of Torrey Smith’s dancing 1-year-old son proves he’s ready for primetime

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Torrey Smith’s son is a better dancer than you. Okay, maybe that’s harsh — you could be a good dancer, but this 1-year-old doing “The Whip” is probably cuter.

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It’s hard enough to pick a potential winner of the Super Bowl next year, let alone a potential winner of several Super Bowls over the next five years. But, if we’re talking about teams that are potentially on the verge of becoming great, a few come to mind.

The first few are the closest to “one player away” from being among the league’s best, in my opinion: The Chiefs have an excellent defense with elite pass rushers, some studs up front and a talented secondary.

They’ve got one of the best running backs in the league. They’ve got a strong GM from the Ron Wolf/Ted Thompson scouting tree, John Dorsey, who’s added a ton of talent and depth to the roster over the last two seasons. They have a proven and highly respected coach in Andy Reid. He’s honed his system over decades in the NFL. I’m not looking to insult Alex Smith, who is efficient and works within Reid’s system, but what kind of team would we be looking at if Kansas City had a top-five, even top-10 quarterback under center?

“J.J. had to say it’s a bit high school-ish that I take selfies, and I think he still rags me on Instagram every time he posts a selfie,” Mettenberger said on Tuesday, via The Houston Chronicle. “At the same time, if that’s high school-ish, he got a letterman jacket made, a Texans letterman jacket. That’s pretty high school-ish to me, don’t you think?”

The Boston Celtics are 13-3 over their last 16 games and have distinguished themselves in the Eastern Conference

The response is relatively simple. Players are advised, in a letter to their head coach, that they are assessed as either a first-round pick, a second-round pick or one who is advised to remain in school. Vincent also makes himself available for telephone conversations.
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“We don’t get into a lot of specifics,” Vincent said. “This isn’t the place to tell student-athletes what they need to improve on or where they’re lacking or whatever. It’s intended as the best objective assessment we can provide.”

The CAC doesn’t provide draft projections beyond the second round?

Wake exceeded everyone’s expectations in 2016 — including those of the Dolphins’ coaching staff — by leading the team with 11.5 sacks. He was 34 and coming off a season-ending Achilles injury. Coach Adam Gase initially brought Wake off the bench and kept him on a snap count; in a Week 2 loss to the Patriots, Wake played just 15 snaps, which Miami admitted right away was a mistake. Wake wanted more and eventually was put in the starting lineup in October, and that led to his Pro Bowl season.
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No one’s comeback journey compares to Pitta’s. He fractured his right hip in 2013 and 2014, then didn’t even play in 2015, causing most to believe his career was over. There were doctors, friends and family members who discouraged Pitta from returning to football. To play his first full season since 2012 was an accomplishment in itself. But what made Pitta’s comeback more amazing: He led all NFL tight ends with a career-best 86 catches. Only Antonio Brown had more receptions than Pitta among AFC North players. Read the full vote.

The Falcons continue in the playoffs without injured defensive end Adrian Clayborn

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn, one of Atlanta’s top pass-rushers, suffered a torn biceps in Saturday’s playoff game against Seattle and will miss the rest of the postseason, sources tell ESPN.

“I feel absolutely terrible for my man AJClay,” agent Blake Baratz tweeted. “Keep your head up. You were a huge part of this success. I’m so proud of you Adrian.”

The news was first reported by the NFL Network.
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Clayborn missed three games in December after surgery for a meniscus tear and torn MCL in his left knee. He had been projected to miss more time, but he used stem-cell treatment to hasten his return.

Only hyperaggressive (and often intelligent) teams like the Ravens might consider going for it in that situation in a regular-season game, but the game situation behooves the Texans to go for it in that spot.

The Texans’ decision to punt ultimately worked out when Brady surprisingly threw the first of his two interceptions on the next play, but again, O’Brien didn’t use the field position to his advantage. Houston moved the ball to the Patriots’ 9-yard line, but after Akeem Hunt came up 3 yards short of the marker on a third-and-long screen, O’Brien sent out his field goal unit.

Jake Rudock Womens Jersey You can’t trade field goals with an offense like the Patriots and expect to win, especially when you’re already down 11 points. When your offense is incapable of steadily moving the ball downfield, short fields from turnovers are gifts you need to capitalize on. It’s far more likely you’ll end up with another chance to kick a field goal later in the game than you will end up in the red zone for a likely touchdown opportunity. Brian Burke’s AFA model suggested that the Texans needed just a 31 percent chance of converting to justify going for it.

Sam Bradford was the only Eagles QB who didn’t play

We’ll see how the Vikings look a day after head coach Mike Zimmer called an early end to practice due to everything seemingly going wrong. The Vikings are a young team with a lot to prove, and Zimmer will be expecting the best out of them. They did play in the Hall of Fame Game, and looked solid in a win over the Steelers, but apparently Zimmer needs to see more from the team in practice.

Whatever the case, the Vikings will be hoping to spoil the first game action of the aforementioned Winston. The Buccaneers made Winston the top pick and didn’t even set him up with a quarterback battle in training camp. Winston was immediately named the starter, and he’ll have a chance to show his stuff against the Vikings on Saturday.

On the other side of the ball, the Buccaneers need to find some kind of pass rush (and, similarly, the Vikings need to show they can handle one to keep Teddy Bridgewater clean). Don’t expect the Buccaneers to reveal any of their elaborate blitz schemes in the preseason, but they should send extra men early and often in this game.

Tebow completed 6 of 12 passes for 69 yards, and took three sacks. But there was a highlight for all of the Tebow Maniacs out there when he ran in a 7-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter following Indy’s second lost fumble of the contest.

Sam Bradford was the only Eagles QB who didn’t play, but Kelly says he will make his preseason debut next week.

you know about, plus he’s getting Victor Cruz back. Rueben Randle is still there, and the Giants brought in James Jones earlier this month. Tight end Larry Donnell had a breakout last year. And a running back triumvirate of Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen and Andre Williams offers ability and versatility. Manning had one of his best seasons in 2014, and 2015 could be even better.

Roethlisberger revels in cold-weather games, going 22-7 for his career in temperatures below 32 degrees

He summed up his belief in his ability to make the switch after his first training camp practice in 2015: “It’s the effort and how you go about the task.”

When Pryor made the transition, he went full speed, spending a good part of two summers working with former receiver Randy Moss at his camp in North Carolina. A typical day there, Pryor said, started at 8 a.m. with lifting and cardio work, followed by 2 1/2 hours on the field working on technique and drills. The day concluded with what sounds like a test of endurance; Pryor and the other receivers at the camp ran 10 to 15 80-yard sprints with a 15-second break between each run. The words “80 yards” and “sprint” usually are not correlated.

The second facet of the approach was the mental one. When it was put to Pryor midway through the season that his transition seemed impossible, he merely said: “Nothing is impossible.”

This is a player who will never lack for confidence or belief in himself. That can rub people the wrong way, but it also makes him who he is.

Also, Roethlisberger revels in cold-weather games, going 22-7 for his career in temperatures below 32 degrees.

Game Youth Ty Sambrailo Jersey But there’s one stat that Roethlisberger would no doubt like to redirect: his home-vs.-away production. While averaging 332 yards and nearly three touchdowns per game in his last 16 Heinz Field appearances, he has averaged 279 yards, 1.06 touchdowns and 1.06 interceptions per road game during that 16-game clip.

Recently, Roethlisberger has referenced his ability to control the noise and call a tighter cadence at home. Arrowhead Stadium will not help him in this area.

Roethlisberger plans to combat Arrowhead with speed.

“Tempo,” Roethlisberger told 93.7 The Fan. “The faster we can get to the line of scrimmage, the more time we can communicate and check and make those things happen.”
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Roethlisberger has had a solid season — not his best, but very good. He’ll have at least one chance to punctuate it with a legacy moment.

Matthew Stafford will remain Lions’ starter despite being benched for Dan Orlovsky

Matthew Stafford will remain the Detroit Lions’ starting quarterback despite being benched for backup Dan Orlovsky in Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, head coach Jim Caldwell said after the loss (via Pro Football Talk). Stafford was having a disastrous game, throwing three interceptions to help dig the Lions into a three-touchdown deficit.

Caldwell reportedly compared his decision to take out Stafford to a baseball manager who knows that his starting pitcher is having an off night. Stafford said that Caldwell told him at halftime that one more interception would result in his benching. His third came on the Lions’ opening possession of the second half.

What happens to the Chiefs this year?

Limited Womens Paul Richardson Jersey But for years you acted recklessly, you hung out in college bars, you disrespected women. The Steelers got rid of Super Bowl hero Santonio Holmes for failing a substance abuse test, but they should have dumped you, because what you did, in my eyes, was a lot worse.”
When prodded with some dismay, Bradshaw clarified:
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“If I had owned the Steelers, hear me loud and clear, he would not be a Steeler. I would’ve gotten rid of him. What he did, in my eyes, is absolutely unacceptable.”
Bradshaw, in fact, has been criticizing Roethlisberger for all sorts of things big and small since he became a Steeler — this moment is the most serious of many..

Twenty-five others already have been fired, which just goes to show most coaches are just being hired to one day be fired

The tumultuous nature of being an NFL coach is best captured by the head coaches hired from 2009 through 2013, a five-year stretch not that long ago.

During that time, the league hired 31 head coaches, and of them, only six remain: Seattle’s Pete Carroll, Dallas’ Jason Garrett, Carolina’s Ron Rivera, Indianapolis’ Chuck Pagano, Kansas City’s Andy Reid and Arizona’s Bruce Arians.

Twenty-five others already have been fired, which just goes to show most coaches are just being hired to one day be fired.

When Houston signed Osweiler in March, it was clear the Texans were looking for a quarterback to help them in the playoffs — especially after the Texans were blown out 30-0 in the wild-card round last year by the Kansas City Chiefs. Though Osweiler did not play as well as the Texans envisioned for most of the season, he did deliver on that playoff expectation.
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Houston has had to rely on its defense all season to keep the Texans in games — and that unit had another great game against the Raiders — but Osweiler played well enough that it wasn’t necessary on Saturday. Though Osweiler slowed down in the second half — as did the Texans’ playcalling — he did enough in the first half to lead them to the victory.

Osweiler’s second-quarter touchdown to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was his first passing touchdown at home since Week 8 against the Detroit Lions. The score was set up by a 38-yard pass from Osweiler to Hopkins that took the Texans into the red zone.
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It appeared Wake, 34, was done last season. On Oct. 29, 2015, he tore his left Achilles tendon during a game against the New England Patriots. The rehab process was lengthy and grueling. Many players who suffer the injury wind up retiring. And many who return never regain their pre-injury form. Factor in Wake’s advanced age for a football player, and it was reasonable to think that he finally would be defeated.

5 Reasons to get excited about the Oakland A¡¯s in 2017

Today is New Year¡¯s Day. That means 2016 is officially over and in the past, and the world has moved on to 2017. That¡¯s good news for Oakland A¡¯s fans, because 2016 sucked for almost every reason imaginable for our baseball team.

The flip of the calendar brings a clean slate and a renewed sense of hope. The flaws and mistakes of yesterday can be addressed, our dreams for the future come one step closer to realization, and most importantly the club is back in a five-way tie for first place.
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It¡¯s Harden¡¯s precocious drive-and-kicks and his ability to shed any other defender in the league if you give him a couple of screens that keeps the offense humming. And it¡¯s his lightning quick lefty jumper that bails the team out when a possession does break down. That doesn¡¯t happen much, though. The Rockets only take 12 percent of their shots on offense with less than seven seconds on the shot clock ¡ª something Mike D¡¯Antoni has directly inspired from his success with the Suns last decade, of course.

Authentic Mens Kevin Minter Jersey This is the season of ridiculous stat lines ¡ª mostly triple-doubles. Harden spearheaded the push on Saturday, the last day of 2016, but Westbrook is right there with him. He had an absurd evening himself on New Year¡¯s Eve, recording a triple-double in the first half ¡ª the quickest he¡¯s ever done it in his career.

Where has the sanctity of the triple-double gone? The statline is so highly regarded that the official NBA application sends you a push notification every time it happens. They¡¯re sending so many this season, they might have to reconsider. Besides Westbrook and Harden, even rising Bucks rookie Malcolm Brogdon recorded one on Saturday. Whatever the record is for triple-doubles in a season, this year will break it.

Incredibly, much of this run has come without Marshawn Lynch or Jimmy Graham

Incredibly, much of this run has come without Marshawn Lynch or Jimmy Graham.

Four weeks ago, shortly after Baldwin had commented on the evolution-to-come for the Seahawks, Russell Wilson found himself struggling, with a 10-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Now, four weeks later, it sits at 26-to-7.

The Seahawks have scored 29 points or more in five straight games, another team record, and after starting out the first eight games of the year with just 12 offensive touchdowns, they have 23 in the last five. Doug Baldwin has nine touchdowns in those five games after scoring just 11 in his entire career previously. Rookie Tyler Lockett has emerged as a viable deep threat and has five touchdowns on the year. Jermaine Kearse is contributing. Luke Willson has stepped up to fill in for Graham.

How have the Seahawks so suddenly turned things around?

Well, it starts up front. After being sacked 31 times in their first seven games, Wilson’s only been sacked seven times in the last six, including zero Sunday against the Ravens. It’s amazing what a little bit of time in the pocket can do for a passer like Wilson.

A lot of this could be attributed to the Seahawks’ decision to replace Drew Nowak with Patrick Lewis at the center position. Lewis improved the line’s communication vastly, as Seattle’s coaches have told us, and they’re getting on the same page with their protections.

Here is a look at our rankings of all 32 teams playing this week. That is followed by each writer making a pick, providing some reasoning for the pick, and then providing some alternatives to consider. Best of luck!

I’m riding the hot hand here. The Packers are steam-rolling the competition right now and Detroit doesn’t look like a squad built to go back and forth with a top offense. Seattle should be able to beat the 49ers with their third stringers and I also like Denver beating an Oakland team that will be without Derek Carr.