Tom Brady’s quick strikes power Patriots to road win

By Nick Shook
NFL.com
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As you can see from the headline, Week 2 brings us a rather familiar face. Don’t click away, though. This week’s Brady performance is worth your time. Plus, we have two other very worthy nominees, including a new face of the Titans‘ backfield. Another reason for you to hang around: Road redemption for a kicker! Yep, that’s right — it only took two weeks for us to give a nod to a good boot.

Week 2 felt like a rough one for the road squads, but after tallying the records, a 6-9 finish isn’t so bad. One of those wins for the squads away from home was Arizona’s uninspiring victory, but another — Washington’s comeback dub over the Rams — was quite thrilling. Plus, the Dolphins moved to 1-0 in the Jay Cutler era. Perhaps they stayed at a Southern California Courtyard by Marriott. Continue reading

Dolphins spoil Chargers’ L.A. debut with late FG

By Nick Shook
NFL.com
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Miami spent the final period climbing its way back into what was a back-and-forth game for three quarters, and a Cody Parkey field goal pushed them to a close 19-17 victory over the Chargers in their Los Angeles debut. Here’s what we learned …

1. The Chargers were as up and down as their season has been. Philip Rivers completed 31 of 39 passes for 331 yards and a touchdown, but when they were leading 17-10 and needed just one score to put Miami away for good, they repeatedly stalled. It was great entertainment for the fans in their opener at the Stubhub Center, until the mood turned anxious as Miami continually crept closer with field goals. Los Angeles averaged over four yards per carry, gaining 44 yards on 10 totes between Melvin Gordon and Branden Oliver, but 26 of those yards came on one Oliver run. Inexplicably, the Chargersabandoned the ground game late when clinging to a small lead, running it just four times in the second half (with one being a Rivers sneak to set up Koo’s late field goal attempt). The lack of clock movement afforded Miami enough time to record multiple stops and chip away even as its own offense struggled to reach the end zone.

2. Miami has an embarrassment of riches at the receiver position. Jarvis Landry caught 13 passes on 15 targets for 78 yards, DeVante Parker caught four passes on nine targets (with two being fantastic jump-ball grabs), Kenny Stills caught two of five targets (including a touchdown) and tight end Julius Thomas caught all three of his targets for 26 yards. Cutler was 24-of-33 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown on a pass thrown well on the run. Despite being his usual gunslinging self, Cutler avoided throwing an interception. It’s remarkable to think he was almost out of football this season. Continue reading

Eddie Lacy a healthy scratch for Seahawks vs. 49ers

By Nick Shook
NFL.com
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The Seahawks are hosting the 49ers on Sunday. Eddie Lacy will not be an active participant.

The Seattle running back is a healthy scratch, according to the team’s inactives list released on Sunday. The Seahawks will instead turn to a crowded backfield of Thomas RawlsC.J. Prosise and Chris Carson to handle running back duties. Continue reading

DeShone Kizer returns after migraine in loss to Ravens

By Nick Shook
NFL.com
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DeShone Kizer returned in the third quarter of Cleveland’s 24-10 loss to Baltimore after missing a portion of the first half because of a migraine. Quarterback Kevin Hogan replaced Kizer in the second quarter before the rookie quarterback returned to the game.

Kizer encountered some struggles in his second start, losing a fumble after being stripped on a sack, and also threw an interception that glanced off the hands of Duke Johnson before it was caught by Ravens safety Eric Weddle. Kizer completed 6 of 11 attempts for 81 yards before leaving the game. He finished with a line of 15 for 31 for 182 yards and three interceptions. Continue reading

Dolphins help displaced high school team return home

By Nick Shook
NFL.com
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The Miami Dolphins are spending the week in California, displaced by Hurricane Irma, but that isn’t keeping them from helping others.

Another group of football-playing folks have been displaced by the hurricane, stranded in Las Vegas after the storm with their situation away from home becoming more dire by the day. The Dolphinsdecided to use their available resources to make at least one team’s situation better. Continue reading

Chiefs’ Kareem Hunt sinks Patriots in NFL debut

By Nick Shook
NFL.com
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Praise the heavens and all things pigskin, because football is back.

The return of the NFL regular season sent all but two of the league’s 32 clubs to the field for action in Week 1. That means 15 teams started their seasons away from home.

It sounds daunting, sure, but beginning the campaign on the road also has its sneaky positives. As the road team, you get a chance to ruin someone’s home opener, their welcome back in front of their faithful. You get to play spoiler, and leave with the last laugh, a sweet way to begin your own campaign. Continue reading

Browns, Cowboys spending fortunes on starting fives

By Nick Shook
NFL.com
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When free agency arrives, most fans aren’t hoping their teams shell out truckloads of money on the hottest prospect at guard. Why? Well, because it’s not sexy. From a merchandising perspective, it doesn’t sell jerseys, either.

But what it does produce, usually, is wins.

Look no further than the line of the Oakland Raiders, who are spending nearly $173 million on their offensive line in terms of total contract value for the starting five. After drafting Derek Carr, the Raiders quickly made the men up front a priority in order to insure their investment in the gunslinger. Continue reading