November 6, 2018 / 12:55 AM / 8 months ago

FLM ALL 32: Team-by-team NFL notes

Nov 4, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman (2) is tackled by Chicago Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris (95) and inside linebacker Roquan Smith (58) during the third quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports


Buffalo Bills: Bills fans know their quarterback situation is bad. Maybe they didn’t know it was quite this bad, though. The Bills’ offense ranks last in the league in scoring at 10.7 points per game, and their three quarterbacks are the worst in the league, too. This season, 44 quarterbacks have thrown at least 10 passes to receive a passer rating. In 44th place is current starter Nathan Peterman at 30.7. Injured quarterbacks Derek Anderson (56.0) and Josh Allen (61.8) are 43rd and 42nd, respectively. Throw out No. 1 on the list — that’s Nick Mullens, who has started one game for San Francisco — and the top passer is Drew Brees at 120.6. Peterman threw three more interceptions in a 41-9 loss to Chicago on Sunday, giving him 12 in eight career games, but his coach said he still thinks Peterman is an NFL-caliber quarterback. “I believe he is,” Sean McDermott said.

Miami Dolphins: Coach Adam Gase told reporters Monday that there’s been no change to the status of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has a capsule injury in his throwing shoulder and has missed four games. The Dolphins will start Brock Osweiler this weekend against Green Bay, then the Dolphins have a bye in Week 11. “I think we’re just trying to get to the point where he feels good throwing and then we’ll go from there,” Gase said. “It’ll be interesting to see what happens the next few days and then when we make a decision, whatever it is, what’s the bye week do for us? Those type of things.” Gase said he will talk to the team trainer to assess Tannehill’s progress and decide if they’re better off waiting until after the bye week to test his arm again. Osweiler is 2-2 in place of Tannehill.

New England Patriots: Add another superlative to quarterback Tom Brady’s career. He reached a milestone Sunday night in the team’s 31-17 defeat of the Green Bay Packers when he became the first NFL player to gain 80,000 total yards. That’s a combination of passing, rushing and receiving in both the regular season and postseason. He gained the record in the fourth quarter on a 17-yard pass to Phillip Dorset. In doing so, he passed Peyton Manning (79,978) on the total yards list. Brady, 41, now has 80,062 yards in his career.

New York Jets: To a couple of players, the Jets (3-6) have hit rock bottom. After a 13-6 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday — their third in a row — Jamal Adams and Robby Anderson released their frustration in the locker room. “We got to find an answer,” wide receiver Anderson said. “It’s got to change. It’s my third year. I understand the emphasis on restructuring, rebuild but I think everyone is tired of that. I think that’s an excuse. We got to challenge ourselves and improve and make it happen.” Adams, a second-year safety, agreed. “I’m sick of losing,” he said. “Honestly, I’m sick of losing. I’m fed up with losing. ... It pisses me off every time. I’m not a loser. I want to get back on the winning track. We’ve lost three straight? Come on, man.”


Baltimore Ravens: The numbers don’t lie when it comes to putting rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson on the field. Head coach John Harbaugh said as much Sunday and repeated at his Monday press conference that the Ravens are turning their gears to attempt to find ways to use Jackson. “I would like to find more of it,” Harbaugh said, adding the Ravens’ running game has been far better with the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner on the field. “I would like to see him out there more and find ways to get him on the field more, if we can.” Jackson played 13 snaps and was wide open for a touchdown pass, but quarterback Joe Flacco didn’t see him. Harbaugh said he’s confident Jackson will be a starting quarterback, but now is not the time.

Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green jammed his toe on the turf on a fourth-quarter catch in the Week 8 game against the Buccaneers that set up a game-winning field goal. After the bye, Green continued to experience inflammation and he consulted a specialist before deciding to rest the injury. While head coach Marvin Lewis did not rule out Green for Sunday’s game against the Saints, ESPN reported Green could miss two or more games. He sat for three games and part of a fourth with a similar injury in 2014. “A.J. will continue to do what A.J. does and bust his tail to get back out there as soon as he can,” Lewis said.

Cleveland Browns: Rookie cornerback Denzel Ward left Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with a hip injury and might not be back when the Falcons visit this week. Interim head coach Gregg Williams, who had an active role in the team selecting Ward as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, said the defense would miss him — and might not yet understand just how badly. “We’ll see how long he’s out. People see how good you are when you’re not around, too,” Williams said. Injuries have hit hard at cornerback. E.J. Gaines and Terrance Mitchell were already out for Cleveland.

Pittsburgh Steelers: There is no disadvantage to playing on Thursday night in the opinion of head coach Mike Tomlin. After a win Sunday at Baltimore, Tomlin said he returned and stayed in his office to study the Carolina Panthers. Players were given the day off to recover unless they needed medical treatment, affording coaches a day to build the gameplan for the Panthers. “I really don’t care. As long as it’s a short week for the opponent, I don’t care,” Tomlin said of the short week.


Houston Texans: Star defensive end J.J. Watt is tied for third in the NFL with nine sacks during a terrific comeback season. Watt played just eight total games the previous two campaigns due to season-ending injuries before bouncing back in a big way. “Very impressed,” Houston coach Bill O’Brien said during a press conference. I know he probably doesn’t want to talk about it too much, but I’ve never seen anything like it. To come back from what he’s been able to come back from, some really serious injuries, and to be able to play at the level that he’s playing at, it just says all you need to know about him and how much he cares about the team and how much he wants to help this organization win.”

Indianapolis Colts: Running back Marlon Mack didn’t participate in practice Monday after the team returned from a bye. Mack has been nursing an ankle injury but is coming off back-to-back big rushing performances — 126 yards against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 21 and 132 vs. the Oakland Raiders the following week. Wednesday will be a telling day per how healthy Mack is as the team prepares for a Sunday game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, Robert Turbin (shoulder) appears ready to return after missing the past two games. Turbin has just four carries (all in one game) for 10 yards as he missed the first four games while serving a suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Quarterback Blake Bortles was throwing Monday after having the bye week to rest his aching left shoulder. Bortles was injured in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 28 when he took a hard hit to his non-throwing shoulder. Jaguars coach Doug Marrone observed Bortles’ throws and termed them normal. “Your eyes are just as good as mine,” Marrone told reporters. “You guys saw him out there throwing. It’s early in the week and we’ll just see how it goes. Your evaluation on how he looks will be the same as mine. I just saw he took the normal throws during practice.”

Tennessee Titans: The Titans played the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night.


Denver Broncos: Riding a 1-6 stretch following a 2-0 start, the Broncos are hitting the bye at the right time. The same can’t be said about the season-ending broken leg suffered by center Matt Paradis. Speaking to the media, Denver head coach Vance Joseph explained the loss of his center will now put much more on the plate of his quarterback, Case Keenum. “(Paradis is) like a coach on the field and you can’t replace that. ... You won’t replace Matt’s football IQ or his play but we have to adjust.” As for his quarterback, Joseph said Keenum “has to identify the (linebackers) more, and the protection calls and adjustment go through Case — most of them go through Case now.”

Kansas City Chiefs: There isn’t much his team has done wrong through nine games, but coach Andy Reid does know one thing his 8-1 Chiefs must improve upon: their league-high 76 penalties. “You’ve got to keep disciplining yourself, whether it’s tight hands or whatever it might be,” Reid said at his news conference. But he also acknowledged that quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ scrambling can make linemen more susceptible to holding calls as defenders peel off blocks to chase Mahomes. And Reid said he isn’t going to try to teach his linemen to block differently. “I try to look at the things you can coach guys up on to try to make them better so it doesn’t happen again, but some of (the calls) are jump balls”

Los Angeles Chargers: His team is 6-2 and coming off a 25-17 win in Seattle, but Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn began his news conference talking about his club’s biggest problem: kicker. Earlier Monday, the Chargers cut Caleb Sturgis after he missed his only field-goal try and two point-after attempts on Sunday. “We feel like we gave him a fair shot and we stayed with him as long as we could,” Lynn said of Sturgis. “It just came down to performance.” Mike Badgley will replace Sturgis. “I’d like to give (Badgley) the keys to the car ... but we’ve talked about bringing in another kicker maybe to kickoff.” The team has used six kickers since the beginning of last season. “We have to solve this problem,” Lynn said.

Oakland Raiders: Another day, another round of roster moves for the Silver and Black, as the team announced the signing of free-agent defensive ends Kony Ealy and Jacquies Smith on Monday. Two days earlier, the club released veteran defensive end Bruce Irvin. And, of course, before the season began, Oakland traded disgruntled All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack to Chicago. But don’t expect the players to get caught up in who’s here and who’s not. “Each week it seems like there’s something new we gotta get over — a new obstacle, a new adverse situation,” said 12-year veteran Frostee Rucker, himself in his first season as a Raider. “But that’s part of pro sports. ... The key to our whole season is about next man up.”


Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys faced the Tennessee Titans on Monday night.

New York Giants: Do the Giants have an interest in recently released quarterback Sam Bradford? According to an ESPN report, Bradford has history with Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, who was his offensive coordinator with both the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles, and Bradford enjoyed his best years while working with Shurmur. The Arizona Cardinals released Bradford, whom they had signed to a one-year, $20 million contract over the offseason. He lost the job to rookie Josh Rosen in Week 4 of the season. For their part, the Giants are sticking by struggling Eli Manning, for now, and have not soured on rookie Kyle Lauletta, despite his arrest last week on a number of traffic-related charges plus resisting arrest.

Philadelphia Eagles: Wide receiver Golden Tate apparently already got his holiday gift when he was traded from Detroit to the Eagles. Monday was his first official day with the Eagles — he was traded Tuesday during the team’s bye week — and reporters lined up to ask him what he thought about the trade. His response was simple: “It was like Christmas.” Now 30, Tate had 44 catches and 517 yards with three touchdowns for the Lions, putting him on pace to surpass 1,000 yards receiving for the fourth time in his career.

Washington Redskins: Head coach Jay Gruden clearly was frustrated with some of the penalties called against his team Sunday in a 38-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, and he didn’t place all the blame on his team. The Redskins were flagged 10 times for 147 yards. After the game, Gruden questioned the legitimacy of some of the flags, according to the Washington Post. “It’s impossible. You might as well just give them the ball and give them the game. I have to check the tape to see what these penalties are all about. It’s very frustrating. We got a couple of token penalties (called on the Falcons) late. I have to look at the tape, and if they are legit, we have to get them corrected.” The Falcons were penalized seven times for 50 yards.


Chicago Bears: Being flexed to Sunday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11 is another sign of progress head coach Matt Nagy refuses to let his team overlook. While Nagy said he will never utter the word “playoffs” until the Bears have earned a spot in the postseason, he’s asking the team to pay attention to the signs around them. That includes being elevated to a showcase NFL game on Nov. 18. “The goal is to have a lot of those throughout the season ... That means you’re doing well.”

Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford was hit 17 times, sacked 10 and his teammates were left “embarrassed” by the turn of events in Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Entering Sunday, Detroit had allowed the least quarterback pressures in the NFL. But after a deluge, Detroit can expect teams to turn up the heat in the pocket. “You have a day like that, it’s a little bit on everybody, obviously,” Stafford said. “I’ve got to get the ball out faster. Got to find checkdowns a little bit faster, get the ball out.” Up next for the Lions is a Sunday date with the Bears at Soldier Field. Detroit and Chicago play twice in the next three weeks. “It comes down to winning your one-on-one matchups, and we got to do a better job of that,” left tackle Taylor Decker said.

Green Bay Packers: Hiding emotion is not a strength of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who said Sunday night after a loss to the New England Patriots that he let the team down by not getting the ball to his No. 1 target, Davante Adams, in pivotal moments. “That’s what I’m most disappointed in myself about is (missing) him a couple times,” Rodgers said, after targeting Adams nine times in the game. “Davante is a tough cover, and I expect to play great every week. I’ve got to keep finding ways to get him the ball, I’ve got to keep moving him around. We did a good job tonight of moving him around (to) No. 2, No. 3 (spots in the formation). But I’ve got to keep looking his way.”

Minnesota Vikings: A preservation plan for running back Dalvin Cook on Sunday was never abandoned, but the second-year back did test his balky hamstring with a 70-yard run down the left sideline. On the play, Cook was clearly unbridled, reaching an NFL-high top speed of more than 22 miles per hour on the breakaway according to NFL advanced statistics. “He actually said that he was thinking about his hamstring and only kept it in fourth gear,” head coach Mike Zimmer said Monday. Zimmer said both running backs will continue to play, with Cook’s snap count plan being reduced as he gets healthier. Latavius Murray is likely to remain the short-yardage back even after Cook is at 100 percent.


Atlanta Falcons: The Cleveland Browns are a franchise in disarray. They are also Atlanta’s next opponent, and Falcons coach Dan Quinn is worried. “What I do know, from the little bit of studying that I’ve done, is the talent,” Quinn said at a press conference. “And their ability, defensively, to create takeaways. If I’m not mistaken, I believe they’re the league leader in forcing turnovers. They’re somewhere in the neighborhood of 23, which is a big number for nine or 10 games. That part jumped off the tape for me.” Quinn was correct about the NFL-best takeaway number — Cleveland has 13 interceptions and 10 opponents’ fumbles recovered. The Falcons have just eight takeaways.

Carolina Panthers: It is a short week for Carolina with a game looming on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Making matters more challenging is that the Steelers have won four consecutive games and that the contest is in Pittsburgh. “It’s tougher to do it on the road, for sure,” Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey said of playing games four days apart. “But our guys don’t blink. Our guys come to play wherever we are.” McCaffrey is coming off a solid all-around performance Sunday in a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He rushed for 79 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries and also caught five passes for 78 yards.

New Orleans Saints: The club is flying high after knocking the Los Angeles Rams from the ranks of the undefeated on Sunday. The Saints have won seven straight games and are 7-1 at the halfway point of the schedule, but coach Sean Payton isn’t interested in doing a midseason progress review. “Nope. No halfway report cards or any of that. None of that,” Payton told reporters. “The point is, though, and it is a good point, there’s eight games left. In other words, there is a ton of football left. There are a ton of things we have to improve on and we need to improve on, or it is going to hurt us later. And I mention one of them right now — red-zone defense. That has to get better.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The defense has been a big problem all season, and it was again an issue Sunday in a 42-28 loss to the Panthers. Tampa Bay fell behind 35-7 in the second quarter en route to allowing 40 or more points for the third time this season. The team ranks last in the NFL in scoring defense (34.4 points per game). “It’s very frustrating,” longtime standout defensive tackle Gerald McCoy told reporters. “I could go into all the negatives, but I’m not a negative person so I will speak on the positive. The positive is, it’s only halfway through the season. We have a chance to turn this thing around. We’ve just got to come out and play, man. We’ve got to be more disciplined all of us, myself included — especially me — and we’ve just got to tackle better.”


Arizona Cardinals: With Arizona coming off a bye week, head coach Steve Wilks spent part of his Monday news conference talking about the team’s decision to release quarterback Sam Bradford on Saturday. “When you look at ... need, position-wise throughout the year, particularly this time with guys getting hurt, we did what we though was best for the team,” Wilks said. “We needed that position to be able to add quality depth at different positions on the team.” He then sang the praises of his former starter, who was benched for rookie Josh Rosen before Week 4. “No. 1 I’ll say Sam is an ultimate pro, the way he handled the situation. ... He did everything he could to help mentor that (quarterback) room.” Bradford cleared waivers Monday and is a free agent.

Los Angeles Rams: At 8-1, the Rams are recuperating from a loss for the first time this season ahead of Week 10, when the Seahawks visit Los Angeles. “Our players continue to fight and battle, they don’t flinch they don’t blink,” McVay said. “Can’t wait to get back to work.” McVay said the Rams failed to limit the big plays until making a few critical stops in the second half. “We came in trying to get the win, expecting to get the win,” McVay said. “I know that everybody in that locker room is going to respond the right way. The motivation, the desire to be able to move forward in a positive way is something we challenge everybody in our building to be able to do. It’s a setback. We’re going to respond the right way.”

San Francisco 49ers: Without a day off since July 18, head coach Kyle Shanahan said he would do his best to not worry about football for a few days following the 34-3 win over the Oakland Raiders last Thursday. When the team returns after an off-day Tuesday, Shanahan is likely to be ready to share his decision at quarterback. “I don’t need to decide yet,” Shanahan said Friday before the four-day respite. He doesn’t speak to the media again until Thursday because of the off-kilter schedule ahead of a “Monday Night Football” game with the New York Giants. However, all signs point to Nick Mullens making his second start. C.J. Beathard (wrist) might not even be healthy enough to be considered. “I’d like the whole team in here, too, when I decide that,” Shanahan said.

Seattle Seahawks: With starting running back Chris Carson’s status for Sunday’s game in Los Angeles up in the air due to a hip injury, rookie first-round pick Rashaad Penny could be in line for a heavier workload against a stout Rams’ front in Week 10. “I think he’s a little tentative,” head coach Pete Carroll said of his rookie Monday in a radio interview with 710 ESPN in Seattle. “I just think he needs more turns and he’s going to be OK.” Penny had only four carries for 11 yards and three receptions for 13 yards on Sunday. Carson leads the team in carries (111) and rushing yards (497), and has two rushing touchdowns.

—Field Level Media

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