Kerley came into Week 6 with 132 yards receiving.

In 18 minutes Sunday, he had 61. That’s what going up against the Patriots’ defense can do for a role-player wideout.

The Patriots adjusted, however, giving hope these plucky visitors can escape a showdown with the Jets with a road win. Malcolm Butler intercepted McCown with under a minute remaining to end a potential New York scoring drive and give New England new life. From there, Brady led the Pats 63 yards in 26 seconds to reset the game at 14-14 — a drive highlighted by a 42-yard bomb to new favorite target Brandin Cooks.

My favorite part of these weekly videos is finding excellent blocks by skill position players. And we found another one by Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. The last time, JuJu knocked down a safety in the hole of a counter run. This past weekend, he helps a tight end knock down a defensive end on a goal-line run. This is beautiful from a receiver. I love it

Finally, we end in Dallas with the Los Angeles Rams. I can’t see the number on this receiver, but bravo, sir. Long runs/passes often turn into touchdowns when receivers throw blocks like this. The Dallas defender had no idea what was coming.

There’s not much to like about the Tennessee-Miami matchup (Matt Cassel vs. Jay Cutler, yikes) but the mix of Dolphin teal and Titan sky blue is incredibly soothing to me. Stop the game and make them do tai chi on TV, I’ll be perfectly centered.

Carson Wentz has thrown three touchdowns in the first quarter, and Philly leads Arizona 21-0. In the seven other games being played, only three teams have managed even a single touchdown.

If the Titans want to become the most intimidating team in the NFL, they should talk to this person and hire them to be the team’s newest mascot. This isn’t specifically for the month of October either. Being scary for just a month is easy. The Titans should invite this Troll Doll from the underground to the NFL Draft. That will be frightening.steelers_010

Gano hits again and now the Eagles lead 21-16 with 3:23 to go in the third quarter.

In October — especially in the past few years — managers are pushing harder and harder to give all high-leverage innings to just three or four pitchers on their staff. They’re doing this while, at the same time, pulling their starting pitchers earlier and earlier. So Andrew Miller almost never pitches one inning in the playoffs. Last October, he got at least four outs in every appearance he made. Cody Allen did the same in six of his 10 appearances, and has twice this year. Meanwhile, traditional starting pitchers — such as David Price and Kenta Maeda, not in postseason rotations, and Chris Sale and Justin Verlander, working in extra games as relievers — are notching grueling, multi-inning relief outings of their own.

Exemplifying how much of a mess Johnny Manziel was, Davis was chosen to start ahead of Cleveland’s 2014 first-round pick for two games last season when Josh McCown was injured in Week 12.

What happened? Shaw never had the chance to build upon his lone NFL appearance. He landed on injured reserve in 2015 with a broken thumb and did the same in 2016 after hurting his knee while with Chicago. Currently unsigned, Shaw had a recent workout with the Texans.

Eagles hold the advantage in rushing. They have 93 yards on 22 carries, compared to Carolina’s 50 yards on 18 carries. The Eagles have also converted 5 of 12 third downs while Panthers have managed just 2 of 11 in the same category. Wentz has completed 14 of 26 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Newton has completed 18 of 32 passes for 146 yards, but he has two interceptions.

Field goal, Panthers. Gano hits again and now the Eagles lead 21-16 with 3:23 to go in the third quarter.

Fertitta didn’t lose the Rockets this time around, paying a record $2.2 billion to buy his hometown NBA team. When told via FaceTime by Rockets CEO Tad Brown that previous owner Leslie Alexander had given the green light to close on a deal, Fertitta dropped his head and shed a few tears.
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Both teams have a shot, but the Bills have a clearer path to the playoffs.

Wide receiver Marqise Lee was walking around in the locker room on Wednesday with a wrap on his ribs, which he injured during last week’s loss to the Jets. He didn’t practice Wednesday, and it’s uncertain if he’ll be able to do anything the rest of the week. Not having Lee against Pittsburgh on Sunday would be a massive loss given that the Jaguars are already down Allen Robinson (torn ACL). That would leave Allen Hurns as the No. 1 receiver and little-used veteran Arrelious Benn, rookie Keelan Cole and first-year player Max McCaffrey as the rest of the crew. — Mike DiRocco

Kimes: Buffalo. Both teams have a shot, but the Bills have a clearer path to the playoffs. They get to play the Dolphins twice as well as the Jets, Colts and Chargers. And they’ve found a recipe that works, with a stout defense and an efficient, turnover-averse quarterback in Tyrod Taylor.

Sando: Buffalo. Mina’s reasoning makes sense, and could be why ESPN’s Analytics model puts the Bills’ chances near 50 percent, with the Rams’ closer to 30 percent. The Rams are a bigger surprise than the Bills, at least to me. My preseason projection had them starting 2-3 and then falling off the map, which probably is not going to happen now.

Seifert: Buffalo. A defense that is holding opponents to an NFL-low 13.5 points per game provides more cover … and more long-term stability. The Rams’ defense has been gashed for 26.3 points per game (28th in the NFL), putting their own offense in an unsustainable position.

This week’s bye came at the perfect time for the Falcons, with top receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu coming off injuries during a loss to Buffalo. Jones suffered a hip flexor injury, and a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Jones is not expected to miss any game action. Meanwhile, Sanu is expected to be sidelined two to three weeks with a hamstring strain, so he’s likely to miss the Falcons’ next game against the Dolphins in Week 6. But the bye gives both receivers a chance to rest and recover. — Vaughn McClure
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Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will bounce back and here’s why

Dak Prescott led a team filled with two and three-star level talent to the number one team in the nation for half of the college football season. Dak and the Bulldogs traveled to Tuscaloosa to take on the Crimson Tide. Dak didn’t get much help from his over-matched supporting cast.

On Wednesday, ESPN published an interview with Lacy in which he opens up about how the constant attention towards his weight, and public shaming for it whether it’s bad or good, does in fact bother him.

This is counting playoffs, but Ryan has been so remarkably steady that he’s never even dipped down to 199 yards on his worst days. Having great weapons helps, but #2 has been so reliable that the longest streak in NFL history just seems fitting.

In the current CBA, the number of padded practices was severely restricted relative to the last one. Those negotiations were between NFL veterans and NFL owners with zero input from coaches across the league. However, the end result has resulted in poorer OL play and that’s created a domino effect in free agency and other methods of team building. It makes coaching and developing a solid offensive line more difficult overall. Belichick makes a golf analogy to illustrate his point.

Why was Beckham out? He was injured during the Giants’ second preseason game, and he’s lucky it wasn’t worse. Beckham sprained his ankle after taking an ugly helmet to the knee.
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Njoku is certainly a player to watch in Indy

The Patriots shared this with the Cavaliers, too — shutting down the reigning Most Valuable Player along the way. Stephen Curry couldn’t complete the back-to-back NBA titles to go with the back-to-back MVPs, largely because the Cavs had a past battle-tested MVP of their own in LeBron James.

Brady was LeBron to Matt Ryan, the Falcons’ Curry. (In the Cubs’ favor: they had the National League MVP on their side, Kris Bryant.)

To go a step further, for a rare moment Brady looked rattled and borderline out of his own usually-steady head at one point, after he threw the first pick-six of his playoff career, in the second quarter, to give the Falcons the 21-0 lead.

So no, three such comebacks happening in essentially one major-league sports season has never happened. The odds would be astronomical, and would get steeper, of course, as each sport reached its championship round.

Njoku is certainly a player to watch in Indy, and it shouldn’t surprise when he shows out. What does he expect?

“That’s a great question,” Njoku told Sporting News. “I’m just trying to be the best I can be, feel fresh and compete so I can show the world what I can do.”

Njoku finished with 43 catches for 698 yards — an average of 16.2 yards per catch — with eight TDs for the Hurricanes in 2016. He came to Miami as a 217-pound receiver. He leaves as its next NFL-bound tight end.

Njoku would be the 10th Miami tight end drafted since 2000, when Green Bay selected Bubba Franks with the No. 14 pick. Since then, Jeremy Shockey (2002), Kellen Winslow II (2004) and Greg Olsen were first-round picks, and Kevin Everett (2005), Jimmy Graham (2010) and Clive Walford (2015) were third-round picks. Njoku easily could be the next first-round pick, and he understands what comes with that responsibility.
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Watson will have an impact beyond the locker room.

Unlike the years when the AFC South was weaker, there are no guarantees Indianapolis will roll into the playoffs again, even with an improved defense and a healthy Luck.

But at least the odds are better now that the days when the club was not only fighting other teams but amongst themselves have ended.

“Look, we’re all Colts,” Ballard said. “Everybody in this building is an Indianapolis Colt. We’re all working toward the same goal. Everybody in the building has an impact on Sunday and you winning.”

Credit GM Rick Smith in being aggressive to get the winning Watson likely to start right away over Tom Savage and lead a playoff team. Cunningham, Foreman and Watkins all fit other big needs with great values. Houston drafted like a contender, the way it should have.

Since 2001, quarterbacks have dominated AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, winning seven of the 16 awards. Otherwise, it’s been six running backs and three wide receivers. Tight ends and offensive linemen are used to being shut out of the process because they’re not quite “offenisve skill” enough.

Behind Watson — with Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky and Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes set to sit in 2017 — the top three running backs drafted in 2017 are among his four biggest challengers.

Watson will have an impact beyond the locker room. Chances are he’ll immediately have one on the field. Houston has made the playoffs four of the past six seasons with T.J. Yates, Matt Schaub, Brian Hoyer and Osweiler at QB. Now Houston has a franchise quarterback who’s backed by an elite defense that will have the Texans back in the AFC hunt in 2017.

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Titans players Tajae Sharpe, Sebastian Tretola accused of beating up man outside bar

A Nashville man has filed a federal civil lawsuit against a pair of Titans players, claiming second-year receiver Tajae Sharpe assaulted him outside a bar on April 27.

Dante Satterfield said in his suit filed Wednesday that Sharpe and Titans teammate Sebastian Tretola led him through the back entrance of Nashville’s Tin Roof bar and assaulted him in the alley.

“As soon as I walked out of the back of Tin Roof, that’s when I get punched to the face,” Satterfield told The Tennessean Wednesday at his lawyer’s Nashville office.

The 27-year-old Satterfield said Sharpe became upset after Satterfield suggested Sharpe’s playing time would decrease after the Titans selected Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis with the fifth overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.

That’s when Sharpe, a fifth-round pick last year, and Tretola, a 6-4, 317-pound offensive lineman selected in the sixth round of the 2016 draft, asked Satterfield to exit the bar through the back door and into the alley.

The Titans told The Tennessean they are aware of the lawsuit and Nashville police said they have opened an investigation.

Sharpe’s agent, Blaine Roche, told The Tennessean the allegations “are ridiculous.”

“Tajae unequivocally denies any and all involvement and he looks forward to vindicating his name, clearing his name of any and all wrongdoing here,” Roche said.

A police spokesman said officers were called to the bar and found Satterfield unconscious. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

His lawsuit claims he was unconscious for 12 hours and suffered broken bones in his face, a concussion, massive face bruising, a perforated eardrum and other injuries. Satterfield is seeking at least $500,000 in damages.
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2017 NBA Playoffs predictions: SB Nation picks the 1st-round series

The 2017 NBA Playoffs begins on Saturday when the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Indiana Pacers at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. That kicks off the first round, which will feature eight series spread over two weeks. The entire playoffs will last until mid June until a champion is crowned.

The first-round series this year offer some intriguing matchups, as well as others that should be lopsided. Barring a disaster, the Golden State Warriors will beat the Portland Trail Blazers, after all. The other seven series at least offer a shred of doubt, especially with the ongoing struggles of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Rooney joined the Steelers in 1955, following his graduation from Duquesne University. He worked for his father in the team’s front office and was integral in the hiring of Chuck Noll as the Steelers’ head coach in 1969.

Under Noll, and Rooney’s leadership, the Steelers won four Super Bowl championships from 1974-79.

The Rooney family established one of the most consistent and stable franchises in the NFL. Noll remained the team’s head coach until 1991 and was replaced by Bill Cowher, who was the coach for 15 years before Mike Tomlin took over. Since 1969, the Steelers have had three head coaches and played in eight Super Bowls with six championships.

When Joe Johnson put the Jazz up by five after hitting a floater with a little more than a minute left in the fourth quarter, the Clippers called a timeout. As everyone walked back to their respective huddles, Chris Paul threw a mini tantrum. He spiked the ball, punched the air, and stomped his feet while yelling at his players.
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Pirates fans can play Super Mario Bros. on new right field LED screen

The Pittsburgh Pirates made a few upgrades to PNC Park and, holy crap, fans can play Super Mario Bros. in right field.

There aren’t many games that would entice me, as a fan, to get out of my seat and entertain the masses. But this wins. The touch screen is huge (11’0 high and 136’0 long), and the actual moving around makes it seem like the player is accomplishing a workout too.

Millions of dollars were spent during the offseason in improvements to the field, and the LED screen was made to keep the old-school feel of the park, while making the necessary upgrades.

Charlie Hoffman quietly dropped a shot as Rory McIlroy ended a disappointing, up-and-down day with a par on 18. While McIlroy was posting a third-round 1-under 71 that included four birdies, a bogey, and a double, 18-hole leader and 36-hole co-leader Hoffman was making his fourth birdie of the day, on No. 13.

That birdie gave Hoffman a two-shot lead over Sergio Garcia, who also made birdie on the 13th, but a bogey on 14 followed when Hoffman’s par putt came up short. As it looks now, McIlroy will have to wait until next year — again — to try to complete the career grand slam, while Garcia (tied with Justin Rose at 5-under) is very much still in the running to win his first major.

Though Jordan Spieth, who put on a show all day, will certainly have something to say about that after coming from 10 shots behind Hoffman to start the day to within two strokes of the frontrunner after posting a nearly flawless 68.
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QB John Skelton signs with Titans

With quarterback Jake Locker set to undergo season-ending foot surgery this week, the Tennessee Titans need more arms to fill their roster. The team addressed that issue on Monday by signing free agent John Skelton, according to The Tennessean.

Predictably, it didn’t work. Lions punter Sam Martin tried an off tackle run. He fumbled it at the three-yard line.

Three points there would have given the Lions a seven-point lead. A wider margin that it looks given Pittsburgh’s offensive struggles in this game. Did we mention it was raining? It was.

On the other hand, turning the ball over at the three-yard line still leaves 97 yards for the Steelers to drive. No sure thing. But given the back-and-forth in this one, Detroit’s best bet was to take the points here.

The Steelers managed to go the length of the field and score a touchdown. That gave Pittsburgh a 30-27 lead.

Oakland Raiders – Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A&M: The Raiders still have a lot of building to do, despite what a string of early-season wins led some to believe. Terrelle Pryor’s success was short-lived. While he still has a chance to grow into a starting quarterback, his 2017 season was still mostly inconsistent. Enter another mobile quarterback, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, to give the Raiders a new direction at the position. If and when he declares for the 2017 draft, Manziel is going to have a chance to be drafted high. He’s improved his mechanics as a passer, isn’t throwing from his back foot as often, and his arm strength has gotten better as a result. Manziel will be one of the biggest question marks in the draft, but his talent is tough to ignore for quarterback-needy teams. Plus, who doesn’t want to see him celebrate on stage?
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