September 2014

By Nigel Hunt LONDON (Reuters) - The Miami Dolphins romped to a 38-14 victory over the woeful and winless Oakland Raiders as the National Football League returned to London's Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Oakland showed early promise, starting with a 74-yard drive capped by a three-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Derek Carr to tight end Brian Leonhardt. But from then on it was one-way traffic and by the end of the third quarter the Dolphins had an unassailable 38-7 lead and Carr had left the game with an ankle/knee injury. ...
LONDON (AP) -- All those distractions didn't seem to fluster Ryan Tannehill.
Leodis McKelvin must've seen film from Houston Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins' ridiculous one-handed catch against the New York Giants last week — the NFL's Catch of the Year had it not been erased by an illegal-formation penalty — because the veteran Buffalo Bills cornerback flipped the script on Sunday. McKelvin stole another improbable snag right out of Hopkins' hands with an acrobatic interception six minutes before the half, marking Houston's second turnover in as many drives. A two-time All-Pro kick returner, McKelvin stated his case for consideration on the defensive side of the ball, making his second pick of the season to give the underdog Bills the ball with a 10-0 lead. He also had an INT in Buffalo's 29-10 win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. As good as McKelvin's pick of Texans quarterback Ryan Ftizpatrick was, it wasn't exactly a momentum-shifting play. The Texans answered with 20 straight points, including a 35-yard touchdown catch by Hopkins on the ensuing drive and an equally impressive pick-six from J.J. Watt in the third quarter. Yet another interception sealed the game, as second-year Texans corner Darryl Morris grabbed the first pick of his career — albeit less acrobatically than McKelvin — to put the bow on Houston's 23-17 win.
The Eagles have soared so far this season, especially in the second half.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hard to believe that the Washington Redskins, who haven't beaten anyone other than the Jacksonville Jaguars in the last 326 days, could be overconfident about anything.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The best thing about the early part of the NFL season is how quickly teams can change.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -- The Washington Redskins don't expect Trent Williams to miss any games after the two-time Pro Bowl left tackle injured his right knee against the New York Giants.
Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul lay motionless on FedEx Field late in the second quarter, his hands seemingly frozen in carbonite as refs ruled his brief grasp of the ball an incompletion and tossed flags signaling an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless receiver by two New York Giants safeties. Inside of two minutes in Thursday night's game, the play fell under official replay review, and the call was reversed. Paul's two steps and a "football move" — in this case ducking his helmet and shoulders to absorb the hit from Antrel Rolle and Quintin Demps — gave young Niles a 28-yard reception. Unfortunately, the catch also gave Paul a concussion that ruled him out for the remainder of the game. Both the initial call and the reversal of it raise some interesting questions for the NFL's competition committee, the first of which Vikings safety Harrison Smith raised on Twitter in the aftermath of Paul's injury. Hope Niles Paul is ok, and that hit on #TNF brings up the question: When is a receiver no longer defenseless? — Harrison Smith (@HarriSmith22) September 26, 2014 Good question, Harrison. When is a receiver no longer defenseless? Here's what the rulebook says . "A receiver attempting to catch a pass; or who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a runner. If the receiver/runner is capable of avoiding or warding off the impending contact of an opponent, he is no longer a defenseless player." So, was this actually an illegal hit? In one breath, Paul clearly had become the runner, and in another he did not have time to protect himself from the onslaught of two safeties at full speed. So, the legality of the collision is left up to interpretation, and officials doled out a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, despite both safeties seemingly leading with their shoulders into where they figured Paul's would be — a scenario that many defensive backs complain forces them to aim for the knees. Now, the question becomes: If a ball-carrier's natural instinct to ward off impending contact is to duck his head into said contact — absorbing a hit that could have just as easily been dubbed legal as opposed to illegal — what can the league do to further protect its players from further concussions?
Eli Manning tossed four touchdowns and ran for another as the New York Giants cruised to a 45-14 victory over the Washington Redskins on Thursday night. Manning completed 28 of 39 passes for 300 yards and four touchdowns with all four thrown to tight ends. His counterpart for Washington struggled mightily. Kirk Cousins was intercepted four times and lost a fumble with three of the picks leading directly to Giants touchdowns. Not only was Cousins intercepted four times, but the throws that were pilfered were incredibly poor decisions as well. Washington had six turnovers on the night that the Giants converted in 31 points. The Redskins were also just 1 for 8 on third down. It was the Washington defense that struggled during the first half as they appeared to forget that tight ends are eligible receivers. Larry Donnell scored three touchdowns in the first half on throws from Manning as the Giants built a 24-7 halftime lead. Fumbles by Cousins and tight end Logan Paulsen led to 10 first half points for New York. Manning also hit tight end Daniel Fells for a 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Cousins then completely fell apart. His four interceptions came over a span of five possessions for Washington. Only one possession all night lasted longer than six plays for the Redskins. Cousins finished the game 19 of 33 for 257 yards with one touchdown pass to Andre Roberts . The Giants improve to 2-2 on the year while the Redskins fall to 1-3 with two difficult games against Seattle and Arizona upcoming the next two weeks. - Pro Football Talk, NBC Sports
(Reuters) - Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes and enjoyed his best performance in more than a year as the New York Giants thrashed the Washington Redskins 45-14 on Thursday. Manning had not produced a four-touchdown effort since the first game of last season. He finished with 300 passing yards and also scored a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. "His confidence has risen and his confidence in his team has risen," Giants' coach Tom Coughlin said of Manning and the quarterback's development in new coordinator Ben McAdoo's offense. ...

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