No preseason, no problem: NFL rookies shine in strange year
Young and Jefferson made the Pro Bowl, and surely more rookies would have joined them as alternates at the league’s now-canceled all-star game. “It’s crazy unusual for a rookie, I think, to have the type of leadership that Chase has, genuine leadership,” Washington quarterback Alex Smith said. “I think a lot of young guys, especially high picks, I think you feel pressure to do it some way or somehow. “Talk about a rookie coming in, starting every game and just being focused,” Browns Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio said of Wills. “We’re growing and we’re starting to get a hang of the game,” said Dolphins right tackle Robert Hunt, a second-round pick and one of six Miami rookies starting on offense.
Browns short-handed as they face Jets
(AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)The Cleveland Browns are short-handed as they try to clinch the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2002, the longest active drought in the NFL. They learned Sunday morning they will be without starting rookie left tackle Jedrick Wills against the New York Jets because of an illness. Wills had been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday and activated Saturday, but was then downgraded Sunday. The Browns will be missing receivers Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and KhaDarel Hodge and linebacker Jacob Phillips. The Indianapolis Colts will be without both starting offensive tackles when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jackson leads surging Ravens to 40-14 rout of Jaguars
Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins runs with the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)BALTIMORE – The Baltimore Ravens built a 26-point halftime lead against helpless Jacksonville and rolled to a 40-14 victory Sunday that boosted their playoff chances and extended the Jaguars' losing streak to 13 games. Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score to carry the Ravens (9-5) to their third straight win following a three-game skid. Robinson was limited to 35 yards rushing before leaving in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. The highlight of the fourth quarter was a 22-yard first-down run by Baltimore offensive lineman Tyre Phillips with a Jackson fumble.
A winner: Chiefs vs Saints, with Brees back to face Mahomes
1 conference seed is tight, with the Packers one game ahead of the Saints, the Rams and Seahawks one game behind. Drew Brees will be active after missing four games with fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, making for an intriguing matchup with Patrick Mahomes. The Bills (11-3) scored twice in a 17-second span in the third quarter to ice their fourth straight victory that officially ended the New England Patriots’ 11-year reign atop the division. The Ravens have run for at least 100 yards in 36 straight games, seven short of the NFL record set by Pittsburgh from 1974-77. Baltimore is averaging 173.8 yards on the ground and topped 200 yards in each of the past two games.
Henry runs wild, Titans hand Jags 12th straight loss, 31-10
Enjoying a big performance about 25 miles from his hometown of Yulee was something new for Henry. He managed just 13 yards as a rookie in 2016, followed by outings of 92, 57 and 44 yards in front of friends and family. Henry had 170 yards on 17 carries in the first 30 minutes, including a 36-yard touchdown run. He added a 47-yard scamper early in the third as the Titans (9-4) started to pull away. AFC South-leading Tennessee clinched its fifth consecutive winning season and moved a step closer to securing a playoff berth.
Giants, Vikings shed slow starts, move into playoff position
The New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings are in position to pull off remarkable turnarounds. One of the other teams that started 0-5 this season shares a stadium with the Giants but hasn’t pulled off an in-season turnaround. Jefferson, a first-round pick, had nine catches for 121 yards last week to reach 1,039 yards receiving on the season. With 11 TD runs this season, Newton has reached double-digits in three seasons (14 in 2011 and 10 in 2015). It was the first time since Brady Quinn in 2009 that a quarterback won consecutive starts despite throwing for fewer than 100 yards.
Vikings outlast error-prone Jags 27-24 on Bailey's OT kick
Minnesota Vikings place kicker Dan Bailey (5) celebrates with teammates after kicking a 23-yard field goal during overtime in an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Minneapolis. The Cowboys, Panthers and Jaguars (1-11), who lost their 11th straight game, are a combined 8-27. Chase McLaughlin even had a chance to win it with a 62-yard field goal at the end of the fourth quarter that fell short. FOUR FIGURESJefferson joined Pro Football Hall of Fame member Randy Moss (1998) as the only rookies in Vikings history to reach 1,000 receiving yards. Vikings: CB Jeff Gladney (calf) and TE Brandon Dillon (ankle) each left the game.
Plenty of reasons for scoring's record-setting pace in NFL
The top mark in NFL history through nine weeks was 24 ppg in 2018. That has eliminated the need for silent counts for road teams, making life much easier for offenses. Road teams are 67-65-1 this season, marking the first time since 1983 (68-57-1) that they had a winning record through nine weeks. From 2010-19, home teams outscored road teams by 2.0 points per game. FLAG FOOTBALL: From the crackdown on hits against defenseless receivers to the protections in place for quarterbacks, NFL rules always seem to tilt toward the offense.
Watson, Texans send Jaguars to 7th consecutive loss, 27-25
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Deshaun Watson might never lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars. All of them, including the team's only two wins this season, came with Watson at the helm. The Jaguars would have become the first to allow at least 30 points in seven consecutive games in a single season. Jaguars players screamed at officials as Watson snapped the ball, insisting the play clock was at zero, and Marrone was livid afterward. And that’s all I’m saying about that one.”KEY INJURIESTexans: Already down three linebackers to start the game, Houston lost another in the first quarter when Brennan Scarlett injured an arm.
Herbert leads Chargers to 39-29 victory over Jaguars
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) celebrates his rushing touchdown with Joshua Kelley (27) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)INGLEWOOD, Calif. – At last, a victory. The rookie threw for a season-high 347 yards and three touchdowns as well as running for a score as the Chargers defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 39-29 to snap a four-game losing streak. James Robinson led the Jaguars with 119 rushing yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving). After Badgley's 35-yard field goal on the opening drive, rookie Joe Reed scored his first NFL touchdown on a 7-yard jet sweep around right end. It was the Chargers' first rushing touchdown since Herbert in Week 2 against Kansas City.
Texans looking for improvement after getting first win
HOUSTON – The Houston Texans finally picked up a win this weekend in their first game since coach Bill O’Brien was fired. Now the Texans are looking to build on what they did in the victory over the Jaguars with interim coach Romeo Crennel and improve this week when they are scheduled to visit the Titans. “I saw the fight during the course of the game,” Crennel said. They held the Jaguars to just 75 yards rushing after entering the game allowing 181.8 yards a game. He has 319 yards rushing in just three games and ran for 211 yards in his previous game against Houston.
Watson tosses 3 TDs as Texans get 1st win, 30-14 over Jags
Deshaun Watson threw for a season-high 359 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-14 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was recovered by Whitney Mercilus, who fumbled on the return, but the Texans pounced on the ball to keep it. Houston (1-4) pushed the lead to 30-14 when Watson found Brandin Cooks on a 28-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-4 with about five minutes remaining. The Texans were able to overcome two interceptions by Watson by taking advantage of two fumbles by the Jaguars. EJECTEDFor the second week in a row a player was ejected for targeting after a hit on a Texans player.
Fitzpatrick handles Jaguars again, this time with Dolphins
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick laughs with coaches as he comes off the field after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars in an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ryan Fitzpatrick handles the Jacksonville Jaguars as well as anyone in the NFL. Fitzpatrick completed his first 12 passes — a career high — as Miami scored touchdowns on its first three drives for the first time since 2011. Fitzpatrick also ran for 39 yards and a score, his 37-year-old legs looking as fresh as any in Miami’s backfield. “As a group we just didn't get it done,” said Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew, who completed 30 of 42 passes for 275 yards and two turnovers. The Jaguars have won two in a row against the Bengals, notching victories in 2017 and 2019.
Gostkowski kicks 49-yarder as Titans beat Jaguars 33-30
(AP Photo/Wade Payne)NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans know good teams win ugly games, and being 2-0 for the first time in 12 years has a way of making any victory look much prettier. Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 49-yard field goal with 1:36 left, and the Tennessee Titans remain undefeated after holding off the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-30 Sunday. It’s exciting to get the win and get the Titans to 2-0.”Quarterback Ryan Tannehill said Gostkowski came up huge for the Titans on something that wasn't a chip shot. “Excited to be 2-0 for the first time here in Tennessee," third-year Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. So the Titans turned to Tannehill, the quarterback who led the NFL in 2019 with a 117.5 passer rating.
1/22: Tom Brady responds to "deflate-gate" reports; D.C. chef teaches school kids to overcome adversity
1/22: Tom Brady responds to "deflate-gate" reports; D.C. chef teaches school kids to overcome adversity Quarterback Tom Brady responded to questions on the investigation into his team's use of deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game; and, at Stanton Elementary School in Washington D.C., a class of fourth graders was treated to a lesson on healthy cooking by local celebrity chef James Robinson.cbsnews.com