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Chargers Fan

Why Defensive Injuries will keep Chargers out of Playoffs. posted by Chargers Fan

The chargers have the highest percentage of touchdowns allowed in the Red Zone in the NFL. That is not a playoff caliber team. That means not only are the Chargers giving up points, they are letting offenses sustain drives, which eats up clock, energy, and manpower. The Chargers can make the playoffs, but that means they have to be good again on defense, and that starts with getting healthy.

But the Chargers have the bye week to regroup and assess it’s gaping holes on defense. It shouldn’t be too hard as the Chargers, as late as five games into the season, where dominating on the defensive side of the ball. The rushed the passer, stuffed the run, had take-aways, and shut receivers down.

In fact, they led the NFL is scoring defense. They man handled Arizona, left the defending Super Bowl champs in the dust, and had their way with the Buffalo Bills as they notched a shut-out, the definition of a complete defensive performance.

But that only worked because the Chargers had youthful speed and depth to constantly rotate in and keep offenses on their heels. Rookie Jerry Attaochu is able to speed around tackles and get to the quarterback in no time. Rookie Jason Verrett with a sub 4.4 40 speed can keep up with any receiver in the league but also has the bulk to come up and stuff the run from the outside. Manti Te’o’s ability to read the line allows him to fill running gaps better than anyone in the league.

But all of that talent is of no use when all of the players sit watching the games from the sidelines for long periods of time.

Continue reading "Why Defensive Injuries will keep ..."

Dolphins Fan

What Lamar Miller’s Injury means for the Dolphin run game posted by Dolphins Fan

If you thought the Miami Dolphins were in dire straits at the running back position when they lost Knowshon Moreno with a season ending injury, things got even worse when Lamar Miller left the San Diego game with an injury.

This is a make or break moment for the Dolphins as they will have to dig deep into their roster for production on the ground.

Miami has struggled this year but the one lone bright spot has been their run game, averaging almost 130 yards a game. It was a constant, and a point of stability for an otherwise struggling offense. Moreno and Miller work a great one, two duo.

Miller was having a breakout season, setting a career high in rushing touchdowns when he got his third in Week 6 against the Packers. He averaged more than five yards per carry in three of the first four games and ran for a career-best 108 yards on 15 carries in Week 3 against the Chiefs. 

The fourth round pick was on pace for 200 carries and more than 1,000 yards, both of which would be career highs. But now with both of these work horses out, the odds of maintaining that level of production is quite unlikely.

 So now the offense falls on the arm of quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. He hasn’t been electric but now he will to step up. If there was ever a moment to solidify oneself as the framchise quarterback for this team, the quarterback to build a team around for years and years to come, this is that moment.

If Tannehill can navigate the rest of this season relatively unscathed, he will get amazing on the job training in shouldering an entire offense. He will build the confidence of his teammates that

Continue reading "What Lamar Miller’s Injury means ..."

Lions Fan

Why the Lions cannot overlook the Dolphins. posted by Lions Fan

With a restful bye-week, the Lions square off against the Miami. The Dolphins, many people may not think so, but are a very dangerous team, most recently showcased by their 37-0 route of the San Diego Chargers last week.

Ryan Tannehill is a highly accurate quarterback who can shred defenses with a barrage of crossing routes or beat you with his legs. Something the Lions need to game plan for.

Now the Lions have an excellent run defense and they will needto be more eye disciplined than ever as Tannehill runs read-options. They must stay on their assignments, linebackers and defensive ends must be disciplined and not overrun their assignments as they follow the ball through the mesh point so that Tannehill doesn’t slip out of the pocket and gash them with chunk yardage on the ground, which while is devastating from a yardage stabd point, is also demoralizing when a quarterback is eating up yardage on the ground.

On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins have a great pash rush and Lions’ right tackle Waddle will need to play his very best in order to give Stafford time to get the ball out to their playmakers.

One way to combat an effective pass rush are quick screens and short hot routes. Something the Lions naturally do well, so look to them to start their tempo with high percentage, quick release passes.

This is in no way a ‘gimme’ win for Detriot and they will need to play their very best if they stand a chance to win. Odds makers only have them favored by a few points so it’s going to be a dog fight. Hopefully with the returning healthy starters back in the line up, it will give the Lions offense a much needed boost.

Continue reading "Why the Lions cannot overlook the Dolphins."

Chargers Fan

The 2014 San Diego Chargers posted by Chargers Fan

The San Diego Chargers were able to sneak in the postseason with a 9-7 record last year. Quarterback Philip Rivers looked like a goner before the start of the 2013 season as he had a career-low 6.8 YPA while surrendering 16 interceptions. But he was able to turn things around with the improved offensive line of the Chargers.

The Chargers have baffled many by their poor blocking in years. With the signing of King Dunlap last year as well as the drafting of D.J. Fluker, the Chargers were able to improve their offensive line. Fluker played well in his rookie year while Dunlap was a key acquisition surrendering only three sacks the past year.

The Chargers also boast of two solid interior linemen in Chad Rinehart and Nick Hardwick. Pedestrian Jeromey Clary will be challenged by rookie Chris Watt at right guard, and this would only improve the offense of the Chargers.

Rivers will also be looking to throw to sophomore Keenan Allen who compiled 71 receptions, eight touchdowns and 1,046 yards in his rookie season.  But Allen is pretty much what the Chargers have at receiver as Malcom Floyd is coming off an injury and Vincent Brown remains a project.

The Chargers defense has a lot of holes to be filled. The team was 23rd in the league in yards allowed, 29th in pass defense, and 27th in rush defense. But the defense should improve this year with the return of Melvin Ingram. The best pass-rusher in the team, Ingram was out for the first part of the season with a torn ACL.

But the Chargers’ defensive front and linebackers will also need to perform well if the team hopes to book a second straight playoff appearance.

Continue reading "The 2014 San Diego Chargers"

Joe Anello

Black Monday 2012: The Aftermath posted by Joe Anello

Black Monday was billed to be one of the worst/busiest in the NFL’s history, and it certainly lived up to that hype on the eve of the New Year. A whopping seven head coaches were fired on Monday, with a few fates to be possibly determined at a later date. Included in the dismissals were a number of general managers. Let’s wrap around the league!

Philadelphia Eagles fire HC Andy Reid

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie made a difficult decision in letting go his franchise’s winningest head coach, but it was the right one. Reid’s message had been lost in the later of his 14 years on the job. He’s still a fantastic head coach, but it was time for everyone to move. Reid could land somewhere like Arizona, but we’ve already heard that San Diego won’t be interested. Philly sounds like its leaning towards a coach with legitimate experience that can come in and quickly turn things around. This firing was probably a year too late, to be fair.

Chicago Bears fire HC Lovie Smith

Check back for an in-depth analysis of this coaching move. 

San Diego Chargers fire GM A.J. Smith and HC Norv Turner

Speaking of firings a year too late, this pair of “winners” shouldn’t have been allowed to be on the San Diego staff for 2012. Turner’s already being mentioned as a possible OC for a number of openings, the most notable of which is in NY for the Jets. But he’s likely rebuffed them already, per the Jets’ usual. Smith was a volatile front office guy, something that should have gotten him canned years ago. He let most of this team’s “immense talent” fall by the wayside or leave via free agency.

Continue reading "Black Monday 2012: The Aftermath"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 16, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week 16 in the NFL season has arrived! With two weeks left in the season, I don’t need to tell you how important these games are for those teams still in the hunt. It’s time to get into all the storylines in The Opening Drive!

(12-2) Atlanta Falcons at

(4-10) Detroit Lions

Saturday night football has arrived! And it’s… relatively meaningless. The Falcons are very close to locking down their one seed (only need one win) and the Lions could be another embarrassing loss away from blowing things up. This could be an entertaining (but non-competitive) contest to open the week.

(6-8) New Orleans Saints at

(8-6) Dallas Cowboys

I’ve already seen a LOT of coverage for this game, which only features one possible playoff participant. The Cowboys can win the division if they win their final two games, and that starts with an interesting match-up against the Saints. Drew Brees won’t take it light on a Dallas secondary that has been hit-or-miss this year. But I think the Saint defense won’t play as well as it appeared to last week versus the Bucs.

(5-9) San Diego Chargers at

(6-8) New York Jets

Wait. There has to be a reason I put this game on the list. THE GREG MCELROY ERA HAS BEGUN! But honestly, I don’t know if any of the Jets’ quarterbacks will be on the roster next season. And the Chargers? They’re a train wreck. AND I LOVE IT.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 16, 2012"

Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 12, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

With Thanksgiving taking up time with travel, family, and friends, I decided to forgo the now-typical Thursday posting of The Opening Drive. But don’t worry, week 12 in the NFL still has a few games worth checking out this weekend!

(6-4) Seattle Seahawks at

(4-6) Miami Dolphins

Wait, am I liking Seattle on the road? That’s a switch. Miami’s been disappointing in its last few outings, so another loss essentially eliminates them from the postseason picture. If Seattle can pound on Miami’s front seven with Marshawn Lynch, Russell will likely see his receivers in single coverage on the outside against lesser corners. That’s a recipe for success.

(9-1) Atlanta Falcons at

(6-4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Game of the day. Tampa Bay’s offense has been nearly dominant as of late, and they’re matching up against an Atlanta defense that can’t halt the run with any regularity. Doug Martin could be in line for a ridiculously awesome fantasy stat line today. Get him in your starting line-up. I really like the Bucs are home here.

(8-2) Baltimore Ravens at

(4-6) San Diego Chargers

I appreciate everyone thinking the Ravens are weak enough that they could travel across the country to San Diego... after a Sunday night game… against the always physical Steelers… and lose. Wait, I may have just talked myself into taking the Chargers. Wait, I’m taking the Chargers? Screw that noise. They’re terrible.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 12, 2012"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 8, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week eight in the NFL brought disaster upon several supposed contenders and cleared up the divisional pictures.  A few days late or not, we can’t have a week go by without an edition of The Final Drive!

(3-4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 36

(5-3) Minnesota Vikings 17

I guess the Vikings aren’t ready to be contenders just yet. Falling at home against a team on short rest and traveling for a Thursday night game? Thursday nights are built for the home team to get a win, but the Vikings failed to produce points. I put most of that on Christian Ponder, who honestly just looked terrible. Credit the Buccaneers for never taking their foot off the gas in this one, especially when there were several opportunities to lose the momentum.

(2-6) Cleveland Browns 7

(3-4) San Diego Chargers 6

Wow. San Diego only managed to put up two field goals against a team that has severe scoring issues. So yeah, I’d say Norv Turner’s job is in trouble. But where have I heard that before? Anyways, Cleveland really looks like a team that could be a legitimate contender in a few years if they stay on this track. Good for them.

(3-4) Detroit Lions 28

(4-4) Seattle Seahawks 24

Somehow Seattle’s defense took Calvin Johnson completely out of the game but let Titus Young and Brandon Pettigrew wreck them. The fact that those two pass-catchers stepped-up like they did gives more weight toward their possible development. Matthew Stafford had an outstanding game through the air, even managing to outshine Russell Wilson’s best game of the year. While the offensive signs should be encouraging for Seattle fans, the loss is still painful.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 8, 2012"

Joe Anello

Reid and Turner back for 2012: Really? posted by Joe Anello

Black Monday came and went, but the coaching news continued on Tuesday with releases in Chicago and major retentions in San Diego and Philly. Were they the right moves? Let’s break ‘em down!


San Diego Chargers retain General Manager A.J. Smith and Head Coach Norv Turner

OH COME ON!!! I was finally ready to break-up the Turner/Philips romance. However, you can chalk up this stay of execution to a few select reasons. First, key players (i.e. Rivers) probably bitched enough to convince management that it would cause chemistry issues to change coaches. Second, who were they going to get that was even marginally better? Turner’s still got swagger when it comes to his offense, so I’m not sure who was out there (that would come to San Diego) that would be a marked improvement. Maybe Cowher or Gruden if they got extraordinarily lucky, but I’m sure they were rejected outright on those fronts. Finally, it’s the AFC West. A couple plays would have made the difference in getting the Chargers to the playoffs, so they don’t need to improve much to get there next year.

Right Call?

Fudge no. I’m sure team President Dean Spanos thought it’d easier to improve with continuity than an overhaul. I don’t care. I still think both of these guys needed to be put down. I’m still shocked they have their jobs. You let me down Dean.


Continue reading "Reid and Turner back for 2012: Really?"

Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 17, 2011-12 posted by Joe Anello

The 2011 NFL regular season ended with a bang with some great finishes and superb drama on Sunday. Records were set by a back-up QB, a team captain was benched for “quitting” and a fat-handed QB lost missed out on the post-season. The Final Drive must begin!

(15-1) Green Bay Packers 45
(10-6) Detroit Lions 41

This makes me beyond furious. Mike McCarthy takes out his MVP quarterback and starts a fourth year back-up with one career start in Matt Flynn, and f*cking records are broken. Six touchdowns? 480 yards? Who wouldn’t want to be Matt Flynn right now? That guy is about to make BANK as a free agent. Blow me Green Bay. Take your awesome quarterback development and blow me.


(6-10) Miami Dolphins 19
(8-8) New York Jets 17
Mark Sanchez: 3 interceptions. Santonio Holmes: benched and called out as a whiny quitter by his teammates.  (Seriously. Worst team captain ever.) Bart Scott: flips off a photographer and refuses to talk to the media (For once). Finally seeing theses loathsome Jets miss the playoffs is SO satisfying to me. Take it Rex Ryan. Take it hard.

(8-8) Philadelphia Eagles 34
(5-11) Washington Redskins 10

I don’t give a crap about the result of this game. What I do care about is DeSean Jackson deciding to actually play like he means it and be remorseful for his completely idiotic actions this season in the last game of the year. I’d be surprised (not stunned though) if the Eagles kept Jackson around. Maybe franchise him and get him on a one-year deal, but you would have thought he’d have been on better behavior once he showed up to 2011.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 17, 2011-12"

San Diego Chargers News

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Woodson, Rivers, Megatron among sportsmanship award nominees (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

What are the worst calls by referees this season? Here are our top five (Shutdown Corner)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Super Bowl 50, billed as a celebration of a half-century of what has become the pinnacle sporting event in the Western Hemisphere, was marred — before the game ever started — on an obscure automatic coin toss loss by the Carolina Panthers for sending too many captains (teams are allowed six) out to midfield against the New England Patriots, leading the Patriots to score on their deferred first possession of the second half in what would end up a 27-24 victory. Oh, phew, what a nightmare we just had! It’s understandable during this poor-call-plagued season to fear the worst: that a playoff game — or worse, the Super Bowl — could be decided on a blown call by the referees. Human error aside, the repeated issues have drawn all kinds of negative attention to the league, the quality of the games and the possibility of serious controversy for a league cloaked in it already. [ Yahoo Daily Fantasy: $10 could win you $50K in our $350K contest for Week 12 ] Just past the midpoint of the season, there already have been several massive missteps by refereeing crews across the NFL. And after a Monday night affair in Foxborough that was about as bad as we’ve seen on that front, start to finish, we’ve boiled it down to the top five missed calls this season. 1. Play blown dead in Pats-Bills We don’t want to be prisoners of the moment, but this was awful from Monday’s Buffalo Bills-New England Patriots game. Tom Brady escapes the initial rush, rolls to his right and delivers a pass — a good 2 feet from the sideline — to Danny Amendola, who smartly broke off his route to give Brady an outlet. The pass was pretty improvisation and could have resulted in a 69-yard Patriots touchdown and a 17-3 lead. Except for one thing: The referee blew the play dead. Why? Head ref Gene Steratore basically said after the game that the line judge lost track of the ball. So he blew his whistle? That might be the last thing one should do there; let someone who has seen the play make the call there, geez. The result — the Patriots getting the ball at the point Amendola caught it — felt almost as unsatisfactory, as the whistle  blew before he caught it. It was bad and could have severely impacted a playoff race. 2. Jags-Ravens ending This Week 10 error cost the Baltimore Ravens a victory and thrust the Jacksonville Jaguars into the playoff race. The Jaguars were driving late, down 20-19, and yet it appears the Ravens were about to win when quarterback Blake Bortles was sacked on fourth down with one second remaining by Elvis Dumervil. One problem: Dumervil was flagged for a facemask, which gave the Jaguars new life. On an untimed down (the game can’t end on a defensive penalty) Jaguars kicker Jason Myers hit the game-winner in a 22-20 final. Uh, but yeah, one more problem: The league acknowledged that the Jaguars should have been called for false start on the Dumervil sack play, a dead-ball foul that would have ended the game with the 10-second runoff for an offensive penalty. So the Jaguars shouldn’t have won a game they won. That’s why it’s No. 2 on the list. 3. Seahawks batted ball vs. Lions It might be a somewhat obscure rule, but it’s a rule nonetheless: A player can’t intentionally bat a ball, unless he’s trying to tip a forward pass. When the Detroit Lions faced the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4, the game came down to an illegal bat when Calvin Johnson caught a pass but was stripped of the ball at the 1-yard line by Kam Chancellor. The ball tumbled into the end zone, and Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright — making what he thought was a smart, instinctive play — tipped it intentionally out of the end zone. Normally, if Johnson fumbles out of the end zone, it’s Seattle ball at their own 20. That’s what the referees ruled, not flagging the blatant bat. So instead of the Lions having the ball inside the Seattle 1-yard line with 1:45 left to play and a chance to win the game, down 13-10, the Seahawks took over and ran out the clock for a dubious victory. 4. Golden Tate catch, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love the NFL Take your pick. It’s almost a joke at this point to wonder aloud what is and isn’t a catch in the NFL these days. Tyler Eifert, Devonta Freeman, Odell Beckham Jr. — they and scores of other offensive players have been denied catches. And in the case of Tate, defensive players have equal concerns over the definition of a catch. When the Detroit Lions faced the Chicago Bears in Week 6, Tate caught a pass from Matthew Stafford in the final minute of the first half and crossed the goal line. But before he completed the act of catching the ball — whatever that means — the ball was jarred loose and popped directly into the hands of linebacker Jonathan Anderson. Here’s the way the rule reads: “In the field of play, if a catch has been completed, and there is contact by a defender causing the ball to come loose before the player who caught the loose ball is down by contact, it is a fumble, and the ball remains alive.” Fumble, or in this case interception — no difference. Except that the referees ruled Tate controlled it long enough for a touchdown, touching off the whole “what is a catch?” madness this season. We still don’t have an answer, even if NFL head of officials Dean Blandino says he knows (it’s everyone else who needs to learn apparently). 5. Clock error in Steelers-Chargers The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the San Diego Chargers on a walk-off touchdown by Le'Veon Bell as time expired back in Week 5, and it’s a good thing they did because they were robbed of nearly 20 seconds worth of clock after taking over on their final possession. The clock operator fell asleep at the wheel after the Chargers kicked off to the Steelers, as it should have stopped before their first ensuing offensive play. But instead, 18 valuable seconds ticked off — and neither referee Pete Morelli nor side judge Rob Vernatchi noticed — before the Steelers ran their first offensive play. League spokesman Michael Signora issued a lengthy explanation the next day with this key line: "Had the side judge or any of the other six on-field officials noticed the timing error, they could have corrected it." Luckily, the Steelers won, saving them even more embarrassment. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Chargers to retire LaDainian Tomlinson's No. 21 (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Which teams need to evaluate their QBs for 2016? Browns lead the list (Shutdown Corner)

Johnny Manziel gets the chance he wanted. He'll be the Cleveland Browns' starting quarterback the rest of the season. "It's big news for me," Manziel said, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I wanted the chance to be the guy and that was always my goal. I couldn't be more excited." Some teams are totally out of it for 2015 (the Browns are obviously in that group) and still have seven weeks to go. That doesn't mean there's nothing to play for. For many teams out of it — and one prominent team that is a championship contender — the rest of the season will be used to evaluate their quarterback options for 2016. That at least makes those teams interesting to watch the rest of the way. So here are the teams who will use the rest of the season to figure out if their 2016 starter is already on the roster: Cleveland Browns: They top this list. Not too many 2-8 teams in recent memory will be so interesting playing out the string. Manziel was a first-round pick, we've seen a few instances in which it seemed like the Browns didn't have a ton of interest in seeing what he can do, but he has been fairly productive. Manziel has 933 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions and an 88.4 rating. He's coming off a 372-yard game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Manziel still does things that drive offensive coaches nuts, such as leaving the pocket when there's no pressure, looking down at the rush and not delivering the ball in the rhythm of the offense, but he gets his shot in Cleveland's last six games. Josh McCown is under contract for next year but isn't the future; if Manziel fails badly in this opportunity it's likely back to the drawing board in Cleveland. Denver Broncos: Can a team that is 7-2 and still very much a contender in the AFC look ahead to its quarterback situation the following year? Of course, just take a look at the Broncos. Brock Osweiler gets his first career start this week because Peyton Manning is injured. But as we all know, Manning hasn't played well and it's hard to believe he'll be back next season. What really makes this a really interesting situation is Osweiler is a free agent next offseason. Will Osweiler play so well that he continues to start and prices himself out of the Broncos plans? Will they know enough about him by the end of the season that they'll know if they want to invest in him as their quarterback of the future? There's an incredibly wide range of outcomes for the Broncos and Osweiler, anywhere from him starting all the way through the Super Bowl to him giving back the job to Manning after one start. It's a really unique situation. Detroit Lions: I don't think Matthew Stafford is going anywhere. There isn't much precedent for a move like that in NFL history. But there have been rumors, and I suppose that if the Lions get the top pick it's possible. And it's possible they get the top pick.  Still, Stafford is just 27 and even though he has an 83.7 career rating, people talk themselves into his arm strength and size and think he can be turned around. Hey, Jay Cutler got a good coordinator in Adam Gase, is having a good season and got the Chicago Bears off this list, so anything is possible. Houston Texans: I'm not willing to say that Brian Hoyer is definitely the starter in 2016, but realistically, their options won't be much better this offseason. Hoyer has played well, has 13 touchdowns and four interceptions, and has rebounded nicely after being benched in the season opener. But we've seen Hoyer play well before (don't forget, Deion Sanders was ready to give him a $100 million deal) and falter at the end. So I don't think we're quite past the evaluation stage. New York Jets: Ryan Fitzpatrick has had a nice, solid season. But the Jets have to ask: Is Fitzpatrick, who turns 33 this month, their best option going forward? If not him, then who? Fitzpatrick isn't anyone's idea of a franchise quarterback, but it's not like the Jets will have a ton of great options next offseason. They're 5-4 and even in the unlikely event of a total collapse they won't have a top-five draft pick. The wild card is Bryce Petty, who was drafted this year as a project. But they're in the playoff race and won't be giving Petty any playing time (they hope) this season so it'll be hard for them to know what they have in Petty. Maybe if Fitzpatrick leads New York to the playoffs, it erases all doubt. Philadelphia Eagles: That Sam Bradford-Nick Foles trade didn't work out too well for either side, did it? What do the Eagles have in Bradford and do they sign him to a contract that will undoubtedly be pretty risky? Bradford didn't have a great start to this season. He has played better lately, but now he might miss time with some injuries — and injury history is a big part of the Bradford puzzle too. Either the Eagles are going to gamble and invest in Bradford long term or look really crazy for sending a second-round pick to the Rams for a one-year, expensive and unsuccessful rental. Either way it seems like a losing proposition. The Eagles just have to hope Bradford returns soon and they have a clear opinion about him heading into the offseason. St. Louis Rams: Benching Foles this week is interesting on a few levels, including the 2016 angle. The Rams signed Foles to a two-year, $24 million extension before he started a game for them, with a $6 million roster bonus in 2016 that is guaranteed. You have to think since they have to pay him $6 million, he'll be sticking around.  But benching him now for Case Keenum, at 4-5 and still able to get in the playoff race, doesn't indicate that the Rams are thrilled about the prospect of starting him in 2016. They don't want to start him now when their only other option was Keenum. It's probable Foles gets another shot this season, and if he plays better he can establish himself as the guy for 2016. Though I suppose it's also possible Keenum could play well enough to get himself in that conversation. This situation is odd because the Rams seem stuck with Foles for another year whether they like it or not. San Francisco 49ers: This one will be interesting to track. The 49ers benched Colin Kaepernick for Blaine Gabbert, and there was a report that the franchise is done with Kaepernick . It'll be interesting to see if the team's actions play out that way the rest of the season. If Kaepernick doesn't play the rest of the season, it's really hard to imagine they pay him an $11.9 million salary for 2016. Then again, it's really hard to see the 49ers ending this season excited about Gabbert starting in 2016. Their draft position and chances of picking one of the top quarterbacks in the draft might dictate offseason decisions. But it'll be interesting to watch if Kaepernick gets one more shot, and what he does with it if that happens. Washington Redskins: I assume Kirk Cousins has done enough to get another year, but there's one thing to keep in mind about his recent surge: Cousins has had two monster games at home against bad defenses, and not much else. Here are Cousins' ratings the last five weeks: At Atlanta: 69.7 At New York Jets: 57.9 Vs. Tampa Bay: 124.7 At New England: 68.4 Vs. New Orleans: 158.3 Cousins has been incredibly inconsistent. early in the season, he had 68.8 and 69.9 ratings in losses to the Dolphins and Giants and 110.3 and 91.8 in wins against the Rams and Eagles. So yes, he has an incredible 122.6 rating in four wins and a 66.7 rating in five losses. That's hard to completely overlook. Though, with the state of quarterbacking in the NFL being what it is, it's hard to see how Washington could figure out a better plan this offseason than Cousins in 2016. Barring anything crazy, we can probably guess who these teams are starting at quarterback in 2016: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans. Listen to Yahoo Sports' Grandstanding podcast for more NFL coverage: Grandstanding: A Yahoo Sports podcast Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

'Dirty' words: Rams' Jeff Fisher, NBC's Rodney Harrison trade jabs (Shutdown Corner)

Growing up, when you got in trouble, it probably really frustrated your mother when your defense was, "yeah, but Rodney did it too!" But that's basically what St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher did this week. On Sunday, as Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was sliding at the end of a scramble, Rams' cornerback Lamarcus Joyner charged in and almost bent in half to hit Bridgewater, his shoulder drilling the quarterback's helmet. Bridgewater was knocked out by the hit, laying prone on the turf, his eyes closed. Joyner asserted after the game that it wasn't a dirty hit, in part because he'd never go after Bridgewater because they grew up near one another in Miami. Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer, as you'd expect, disagreed with Joyner, calling it a cheap shot and noting in his postgame news conference that St. Louis defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' groups "are all like that."  Williams was the defensive coordinator in New Orleans during the bounty-gate scandal. Zimmer isn't the only one that feels that way. Former San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, now a commentator on NBC's Sunday Night Football, said he wasn't surprised to see a player coached by Fisher accused of a dirty hit. [ Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football: First place wins $100K in our $500K contest for Week 10 ] “ I wasn’t surprised because it happened to me in 2006. Bobby Wade came and chopped my knees and tore my knee up. I’m lying on the ground, and I look at Jeff Fisher and he’s smiling and laughing. So this is typical of Jeff Fisher type teams," Harrison said. Harrison, who has long asserted that Wade intentionally dove at his knees on the play, suffered an MCL sprain in that game, in Week 16, and was not able to play in the playoffs. Fisher did not take too kindly to Harrison's comments, and during his Monday press conference did that whole, "yeah but you did too!" thing. "I don’t want to say I took things personal, but it was kind of a personal attack on me. But, again, I think you have to consider the source. I saw it last night on the airplane. You’re talking about a guy that had a great career. I mean, the guy played a long time. He was hard to defend. He was a really active defensive player. “But, this is coming from a guy that had 18 unnecessary roughness penalties, seven personal fouls, four roughing the passer penalties, a total of 77 penalties in his career and was voted three times the dirtiest player in the National Football League and was suspended for a hit, a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jerry Rice in 2002. Okay? This is where these comments are coming from. “I’ll just say this: Since 2000, it’s been a privilege and honor for me to be on the competition committee. Our main focus, as you guys have followed this league for a long time know, our main focus is player safety. So, for Rodney to come out and say that I did something like that is absolutely absurd. So, that’s all I have to say on that.” Appearing on Boston radio station WEEI on Tuesday, Harrison was asked about Fisher's words and initally said he'd "love to really go in like I really want to do in my heart and soul" but his bosses at NBC had asked him not to respond. Harrison may not have spilled all the tea, but he backed up his claim that Fisher's teams play dirty. “But I will say this: if anybody knows about a dirty hit, it’s me. And that’s all it was. It was about addressing the issue. It was a dirty hit. That’s what I said. And I referenced to back what I experienced with his teams and what other players have told me coming from his team, and other people. People around the league know the truth, bottom line. I’m not going to get into any details because I’m just not going to go there. I was asked not to go there. But the bottom line is, if you’ve been in the league, you know the truth.” The Rams have been called for 77 penalties thus far this year; there are seven teams that have as many or more penalties to this point. St. Louis has been flagged four times for unnecessary roughness and once for unsportsmanlike conduct. ​ [read full article]

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