Five years later, that locker room snub might seem like a petty thing to hold on to, an affront that has no relevance now. After all, Griffin is out of the league, while Cousins has been Washington’s starter for three seasons. The team, whose front office declined comment for this story, has paid him $44.3 million over the past two years under the franchise tag, and he might eventually become the NFL’s highest-paid player.
But to understand why the marriage between Washington and Cousins has always been an uneasy one, you need to understand the importance of that moment. It was a slight that planted a seed that sprouted into a belief. That belief, over time, hardened.
When are they ever going see me, Cousins wondered, as something other than a scrappy fourth-round pick?
Joe had a concussion and a cut ear, coach John Harbaugh said. They were stitching it up without any anesthesia, so he’s a tough dude. That’s as much as I know.
Flacco went 10 for 15 for 101 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin.
After losing four of five to fall under .500 for the first time this season, the Ravens put it all together with a showing that included a 63-yard interception return by C.J. Mosley and a 50-yard pick-six by Jimmy Smith.
We coached a lot better, obviously. And we played a lot better, Harbaugh said. It was just a much better game for us.
The Dolphins (4-3) came in with a three-game winning streak after rallying from 17- and 14-point deficits in the previous two weeks. There would be no comeback in this one, not against a swarming Baltimore defense that limited Miami to 196 yards.
As soon as it happened I kind of knew what happened, Thomas said. I could feel the tendon detaching from my elbow and get rolled up into my mid-triceps. I really had no function in that arm. I knew right away that I wasn’t going to be able to go back out there even if I wanted to.
Goodell’s law and order tenure began reasonably enough. His goal was to present a law-abiding league to the public. But that goal has not always been supported by the investigative infrastructure to pull it off. The NFL often finds itself in grievances or in federal court to defend its discipline — the ongoing litigation involving Dallas Cowboys tailback Ezekiel Elliott is the latest example. What’s more, those efforts seeped into internal probes in a way that created as many stories as it addressed.
Think about the self-inflicted mistakes the NFL has made while investigating allegations of impropriety. It sowed mistrust by destroying the evidence it used to penalize the New England Patriots in the 2007 Spygate episode.
He’s really not fazed by much. He has kind of seen everything. I love watching their offense play. I think they do a good job involving everybody, and Philip is always standing in there making the throws. That’s really what you look for, and he does a great job of that. He’s a great player.
The Patriots, battered and bruised in their secondary, played well on defense (and perhaps played their most complete game of the season) Sunday night, but they had help from the opposition. Now, they have to deal with the Rivers-Gates combination, one almost as potent as New England’s Brady-Rob Gronkowski quarterback/tight end relationship.
As far as the secondary goes, Eric Rowe (groin) and Stephon Gilmore (concussion, ankle) have been missing. Rowe was still out Wednesday, while Gilmore, who has missed two games after struggling with his new team, was back and limited Wednesday.
Two of the three victories in the Chargers’ winning streak have come on the road, and the players realize the task ahead after losing four in a row out of the gate.
Both teams are looking way up at the Eagles in the NFC East, and the loser has a long, difficult path as midseason approaches. Knowing well in advance that Ezekiel Elliott is available will help the Cowboys. Possibly being down two key offensive linemen (Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff) does Washington no good. Neither does the fact that the Cowboys have won four straight in Washington, including Dak Prescott’s first career win last season.
The Lions are coming off a bye and two straight losses before that, during which time the Packers lost Aaron Rodgers but the Vikings shot past them both in the NFC North. The Steelers are coming off another weird week, with a win but another dose of locker-room angst thanks to Martavis Bryant. The Lions are better than how they’ve looked in their losses.
Two straight losses for both teams, but the Broncos have looked worse in theirs and have squandered a chance to join the Chiefs atop the AFC West and separate from the Raiders. The Chiefs’ issues don’t look nearly as troubling as those of the Broncos, who are a mess on offense and are 0-2 away from Mile High. They may be right that Trevor Siemian is not the problem on offense, but he has yet to look like the solution.
The Chiefs (5-2) parted ways with Charles in February, and the four-time Pro Bowler signed in May with the Broncos (3-3).
A lot of people think I’m a traitor just because I’m playing with the Broncos, but I’m just trying to get me a job at the end of the day, Charles said. I’m happy that the Broncos kept that dream alive for me. I’m happy to continue to start a legacy after … I started one with the Chiefs.
Charles is averaging eight touches per game through the Broncos’ first six contests, but coach Vance Joseph envisions an expanded role for the veteran as the season progresses.
Some of it by purpose, some of it just the games we’ve been in, but absolutely we want to get him more touches because he’s so explosive, Joseph said. I’m just waiting for him to have one of those Jamaal Charles breakout runs.
Bad news first: Marshawn Lynch is suspended for this game after going Malice in the Palace in last Thursday’s game, and the Raiders have to go to the East Coast, where they got waxed for the first of their four straight losses. Good news: The mini-bye should negate some of the big road-trip effects, and so should the renaissance of Amari Cooper and the rest of the offense, even without Lynch. The Bills seem to be doing it with smoke and mirrors, or with smarter coaching one or the other.
I normally don’t chase streaks, but considering the alternatives at quarterback in Week 8, I’ll pay up for Wentz, who faces another great matchup. The San Francisco 49ers have afforded an average of 27.9 DraftKings points to Jacoby Brissett, Kirk Cousins and Prescott the past three weeks, despite not a single one of them attempting as many as 40 passes in their games. Meanwhile, all of the other top-tier quarterbacks face lower-ceiling matchups with the exception of Cam Newton, whose erratic play this season makes him a bit less trustworthy. — Tristan H. Cockcroft
Even on a night when the Ravens’ run-blocking checks in below their normal output with a 0.13 yards before close average, a talented runner in the backfield did more than enough to create on his own. For a team that was in desperate need for someone to emerge as a difference-maker, Thursday night showed that they have one in the backfield.
Even if he’s come from the most unlikely of places, the Ravens now have no choice but to continue to feature Collins as their primary running back. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle nor keep this cat from staying in the backfield (we’re sorry, but no tracking data is available for the real cat that made a TNF cameo). Should he continue to match his efforts all season and most especially his output against the Dolphins, Collins may just be the needed piece in uncovering an offensive identity.
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