Nick Shook on fantasy football: Forget about Washington running game and look ahead to better days

By Nick Shook
Beacon Journal copy editor
Read full column on Ohio.com

I loved the way the Washington Redskins were running the ball the first two weeks.

Then Thursday night happened.

The Redskins were an atrocity to professional football, epitomized by Matt Jones’ fumble as he soared toward the end zone, resulting in a touchback. It was depressing for someone who had bought a considerable amount of stock in the hype surrounding Jones.

And Alfred Morris scored one point for my team.

Let’s all take a moment to let our frustrations out before we look closer at our lineups before Sunday’s kickoff.

Feel better? Good. Time to salvage your week. Continue reading

Doug Baldwin: Seahawks’ defense going to make plays

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
Read full post on NFL.com

Since he cemented his place in Seahawks‘ lore with an iconic, acrobatic tipped pass for an interception, Richard Sherman has been the talk of Seattle — and the NFL as a whole.

But even after watching his teammate turn in another All-Pro season, Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport that while it would be wise for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers to avoid Sherman on Sunday, he isn’t the only defender the Packers should fear. Continue reading

Tony Romo calm, clutch in Dallas Cowboys’ win

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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This week was rough on the eyes.

Four road teams won games Sunday: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Green Bay and Dallas.

Three of those wins were pretty darn ugly.

Brian Hoyer attempted to toss away the Browns‘ postseason chances late in the Georgia Dome, but thanks to the inept clock management of one Mike Smith, Hoyer got one last shot and Cleveland escaped with a victory.

Andy Dalton threw a touchdown and a pick-six, but the Bengals controlled the game against a rookie quarterback making his second career start, and possibly his first career start with a serious pectoral injury. That muscle is pretty important for football players.

Green Bay beat Minnesota in a way you’d expect a superior team to handle a trap game: Not too well, but not poorly, either.

Dallas, on the other hand — that one was fun.

In all, it was a ho-hum Sunday for visiting squads. But we still had at least a few bright spots during an otherwise dreary afternoon.

Here are your stars of the suitcase for Week 12.

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Dez Bryant puts on Wembley-worthy show in Cowboys’ win

Nick Shook | NFL.com
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Road teams battled all Sunday. Some of them prevailed, some did not — and then there were the Bears.

But for a moment in time, the Oakland Raiders appeared to have a chance, holding a 10-6 lead in the second quarter thanks to two Peyton Manning interceptions. Then Denver completed a short pass to C.J. Anderson, who ripped off a 51-yard scamper to put the Broncos back in the lead.

Denver and Oakland suddenly remembered their roles within the hierarchy of the NFL — with Denver being among the most pompous of lords, and Oakland being the peasants who pay double rent on farmland that refuses to yield any real return — and two hours later, Denver had a 41-17 win.

But Manning won’t be in this column, for two reasons: he threw — gasp — two interceptions, and Denver is supposed to beat Oakland. The Raiders didn’t get to 0-8 (now 0-9) just on poor luck — they’re a bad football team.

Wait, what’s that? I can’t ignore 340 yards and five touchdowns on 31-of-44 passing, even if it was against the worst team in the NFL? Fine (throws playbook), but he’s not getting the top honor.

Here are your best away from the friendly confines of home. Continue reading

Aaron Rodgers’ two-minute drill keys Packers’ late win

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
Read full post on NFL.com

Did the league send a memo to road teams this week?

After an abysmal performance by visiting squads in Week 5, the group collectively shoved it in the face of doubters (they’re out there somewhere), going 8-4-1 against home teams on Sunday. Big road victories included Dallas’ emphatic win at the home of the 12s in Seattle; New England’s prove-it triumph against division foe Buffalo; and Baltimore’s dominating performance against the lowly Buccaneers.

There were plenty of stars to choose from this week, but alas, we have a limit of three. Here are the very best visitors of Week 6.

Greatest on the Road …

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Before you take up arms and attempt to hunt me down, allow me to clarify: Joe Flacco had a fantastic game (21 of 29, 306 yards, five touchdowns), most of which he accomplished in the first half, but it’s the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There’s a reason they’re 1-5 and have been carved up by more than one quarterback (see: Thursday Night Football, Week 3).

Meanwhile, in Southern Florida, the Packers found themselves in quite the barn burner. Green Bay had a lead, then lost it, then regained it, then lost it again. But with the Packers trailing by four with 2:04 left to play and Cheeseheads across America wondering, possibly panicking — are we really about to lose to the Dolphins? — it was Rodgers to the rescue.

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Mike Glennon leads Buccaneers to stunning win

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
Read full post on NFL.com

It was a tough go for road teams in Week 4. Squads away from home won just four of 11 games if we include Miami’s triumph across the pond over Oakland — a home game for the Raiders, according to the league schedule.

But those road victors included a resonating divisional win, and a very unlikely, thrilling conquest in a hostile environment, led by a quarterback with minimal experience. Here are Week 4’s heroes staying in hotels.

Greatest on the road…

Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Going into Week 4, it was a dead heat between the Oakland Raiders and the Buccaneers for worst team in the league. Tampa Bay was thrashed on national TV against Atlanta in Week 3, and an injury to starting quarterback Josh McCown forced the Buccaneers to go with the backup.

Enter Mike Glennon.

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