Charles Woodson changed the way the NFL thinks about defensive backs

It was over and Charles Woodson was ready to ride the game bus for the final time. He exited Arrowhead Stadium and found his family, chatted with them, gave hearty hugs, took warm pictures and then turned and looked for his final Oakland Raiders ride. It was over and on this final day, everything that he had routinely done for nearly two decades in professional football became moments to instantly memorialize. OK, got to the stadium … completed warm-ups … absorbed everything at halftime … played the rest of the game … shook hands … surveyed the crowd … All of it a snapshot, yet a blur for Charles Woodson. Washington: Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA Washington’s run to the playoffs has been done with a defense that ranks near the bottom of the league against the run. Clark, who can play over the nose, is a powerhouse against the run. Houston Texans: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State It seems […]

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Robertson left the Yankees after a 39-save season in 2014

He was solid in 2008, but he tore his ulnar collateral ligament in August, necessitating Tommy John surgery that sidelined him the rest of the season (they finished one game out of the wild card, losing on the season’s final day) and almost all of 2009. The Mets then made a deal with the Red Sox, netting back 2 minor leaguers. Wagner pitched 17 games with the Mets and Red Sox but did not have a save in the final year of his contract. When considering Papelbon’s performance strictly on the field, it’s hard to deny he was a successful signing for the Phillies, even though he never pitched a postseason inning with the club. The question is how successful he was when you consider that he signed the largest free-agent contract for a reliever at the time of his deal. Among relievers to pitch at least 150 innings from 2012-2016, the time Papelbon was pitching on his free agent […]

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Jeff Fisher says it was ‘hilarious’ when he couldn’t find his challenge flag

Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher couldn’t find his challenge flag in the third quarter of a 26-10 loss against the New England Patriots in Week 13. However, he eventually found the flag and won the challenge. Fisher explained why he couldn’t locate his flag. He explained that it was “hilarious,” via NESN.com. Johnson, who retired earlier this season after eight games with the Tennessee Titans, continued his tradition of taking children on a huge shopping spree. At Smith’s annual Christmas event, the children were given $200 Target gift cards while Papa John’s donated a pre-shopping pizza party for the children. Each child also received a gift bag, a Holiday Helpers T-shirt, and items from Target and the Ravens. A reminder, though: Even if Smith likes to play Santa Claus, he does not want St. Nick coming to his house. Last year, Smith asked for “a healthy Achilles” for Christmas, and he got his wish. The 37-year-old returned to […]

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the Raiders and Chiefs have played each other 25 times in the regular season in December or January

See what the latest playoff picture looks like and simulate your own playoff scenarios. Since 1973, the Raiders and Chiefs have played each other 25 times in the regular season in December or January. Only in that 1995 game has the division title been the prize. The rivalry lived on not only by some notable games between the teams, but through the stories of Bell and others involved. The Chiefs and Raiders over the years have asked former players to speak to the current team before games, and that helps keep the history alive. “We always have old players come in and talk to us and tell us how violent the games used to be and how physical they used to be,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “That’s really the main thing that sticks out — how violent and physical the games were. They would always talk about that.” The last time Philip Rivers played in North Carolina was in […]

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‘Thursday Night Football’ rights in 2016 could be split among as many as 3 TV networks

The NFL is shopping the rights to Thursday Night Football and could split them up between two, or even three, television networks in 2016, according to John Ourand of SportsBusinessDaily. What is known for sure is that at least eight of the Thursday games have to be televised exclusively on NFL Network. As long as eight regular season games are televised exclusively on NFL Network, it is able to keep its affiliate rate for distributors above $1 and avoid a significant drop-off. But with the possibility of 17 Thursday Night Football games in 2016, that leaves nine games to be purchased by television networks and a looming bidding war between CBS, NBC and Fox. According to Ourand, the NFL is considering splitting its remaining nine television broadcasts up into three-game deals each for CBS, NBC and Fox. Ourand said cable networks like ESPN and Turner Sports have bowed out due to the smaller packages and one-year deals that the NFL […]

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Washington has struggled with the slot quite a bit recently

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals: I know, I know. He’s been struggling recently with back-to-back games of fewer than 65 yards and single-digit fantasy points in five of the past six, but I like his chances at a bounce-back this week. Washington has struggled with the slot quite a bit recently, allowing 109 yards or a touchdown to the position in five of the past six games, allowing an average of more than nine catches for 113 yards per game to the slot. You know Fitz will get targets in this one, and given the matchup at home against Washington’s 25th-ranked pass defense the past four weeks (as well as CB Josh Norman not defending the slot), expect a lot of love to come Fitz’s way. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks: Much like the rest of the Seahawks, he was on the “love” list last week and flopped mightily. Yeesh. I really misread that game last week. And yet, here I am back on […]

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Patriots QB Tom Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski miss practice

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (back) were not present for the team’s practice Wednesday, as both are still recovering from injuries. This marks the second straight week that Brady was not present for the opening practice of the week. He missed practices both Wednesday and Thursday last week before returning with limited participation Friday. He played all 73 snaps Sunday in a 22-17 win over the New York Jets. “It’s better than last Monday, so I’m very happy about that,” Brady said of his health during his weekly interview Monday on sports radio WEEI. “… Hopefully I’ll be feeling a lot better come Sunday.” Said Brady later Monday to Westwood One Radio: “I expect it to heal. I’m a pretty fast healer. I hope I don’t have to deal with it much longer.” Meanwhile, Gronkowski left the game late in the first quarter after injuring his back. He had returned to action after […]

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