December 2015


Los Angeles (AFP) - Chip Kelly, who left the University of Oregon in 2013 to sign a multi-million dollar contract with the Philadelphia Eagles as a head coach, was fired by the National Football League team.
Embattled Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis says his team's defense can be fixed - and he's the one who can fix it. Many Eagles fans have pushed for firing Davis as Philadelphia (6-9) heads into its final game this season, against the New York Giants.
On Sunday, the Carolina Panthers visited the Atlanta Falcons just two weeks after shutting them out, 38-0, with the idea that they'd leave Atlanta with their 15th win in as many regular-season games. It didn't work out that way, as Carolina fell short, 20-13, putting an end to their pursuit of an undefeated season. But Tuesday marks the eighth anniversary of the last time an NFL team completed a perfect regular season, and the first time a team went 16-0: on Dec. 29, 2007, the New England Patriots beat the New York Giants, 38-35, at the Meadowlands. We all know what happened a few weeks later – the Giants upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl, ending their desire to become the league's first 19-0 team – but that night, there was no way of knowing how things would ultimately end. The Saturday night game was meaningless in some ways, as the Patriots had long since clinched the AFC's top seed in the playoffs, and the Giants had clinched an NFC wild-card spot. But it held meaning in others: there was the Patriots' pursuit of perfection, of course, as well as Tom Brady and receiver Randy Moss both close to breaking single-season records, Brady for passing touchdowns and Moss for receiving touchdowns. It was supposed to be shown only on NFL Network, but the league gave in to pressure and simulcast the game on two of its network partners, NBC and CBS, allowing millions more viewers to see history potentially made. And the Giants were not about to give the game to New England, either. They led by five at halftime and by 12 points with over five minutes gone in the third quarter before the Patriots started their comeback, scoring the next three touchdowns to take a 10-point lead. The middle of those three scores was a 65-yard sideline bomb from Brady to Moss, one pass that gave each man a place in the record book. After the game, the Patriots were happy, of course - a reporter from Japan asked Randy Moss for some words for his fans in that country and Moss replied, "Konichiwa, homie" - but also relieved. It had been a long several months, starting with the drowning death of teammate Marquise Hill over Memorial Day weekend, the Spygate scandal, and the intense scurtiny and pressure that increased each week. In the end, the Patriots didn't go 19-0, but they remain just the fourth team in league history to post an undefeated regular season, following the 1934 Chicago Bears, the 1942 Bears and the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Only the Dolphins went on to win the league championship.  
Jeff Brubach is back with D/ST and kicker analysis for Week 17 in the latest installment of Getting Defensive.
Any fantasy football owner can tell you all about those moments when they took the wrong turn at that fork in the road - probably in annoying detail - whether they made the playoffs or finished last. In my longest-running league, I veered off course and took Melvin Gordon because I needed a running back. You can imagine how much I loved owning Gordon, he of the 217-touches-and-no-touchdowns season, while passing on best-available candidate DeAndre Hopkins.
Dec 29 (Infostrada Sports) - Standings from the NFL on Monday AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCEAFC EAST W L T OTL PF PA PCT 1. New England 12 3 0 2 455 295 .800 2. NY Jets 10 5 0 0 370 292 .667 3. Buffalo 7 8 0 0 357 342 .467 4. Miami 5 10 0 0 290 379 .333 AFC NORTH W L T OTL PF PA PCT 1. Cincinnati 11 4 0 1 395 263 .733 2. Pittsburgh 9 6 0 1 395 307 .600 3. Baltimore 5 10 0 1 312 377 .333 4. Cleveland 3 12 0 1 266 404 .200 AFC SOUTH W L T OTL PF PA PCT 1. Houston 8 7 0 0 309 307 .533 2. Indianapolis 7 8 0 1 303 384 .467 3. Jacksonville 5 10 0 1 370 418 .333 4. Tennessee 3 12 0 0 275 393 . ...
Houston Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer is in the final stage of the concussion protocol and will start Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars if he is cleared in time, coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. Brandon Weeden completed 15 of 24 passes with two touchdown throws and no interceptions in the Texans' 34-6 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, but Hoyer will be back in the starting lineup if things progress as expected. - - - Indianapolis placed quarterback Charlie Whitehurst on injured reserve with a pulled hamstring, meaning the Colts will likely turn to their number four QB for Sunday's game against Tennessee.
The stakes were high enough the last time Minnesota played Green Bay that Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, one of the least-gimmicky guys in his profession, ordered clothing for the organization to commemorate the occasion. The NFC North logo adorned the front of the all-black T-shirts. Beat Green Bay was the message on the back.
Tom Coughlin is going to approach what might be his final week as New York Giants coach just as he has went into every other game week since taking over the team in 2004 and leading it to two Super Bowls. ''I feel badly that they feel that way,'' Coughlin said Monday. Coughlin's future with the Giants (6-9) was further put in doubt Sunday night when they were crushed 49-17 by the Vikings in Minnesota for their fifth loss in six games.

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