A.J. Green enters NFL’s concussion protocol

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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The Bengals lost their shot at the AFC North division crown on Sunday night, but that might not be all.

A.J. Green has entered the league’s concussion protocol, NFL Media’s Aditi Kinkhabwala reported Sunday night, after sustaining a blow to the head from Steelers safety Mike Mitchell late in the fourth quarter of the Bengals27-17 loss.

The hit came less than a second after Green hauled in a 17-yard pass and was wrestled down toward the ground by Antwon Blake, forcing a fumble. The result was a pivotal recovery by the Steelers, ending the Bengals‘ drive. Continue reading

Bengals’ Jeremy Hill steamrolls Browns in road victory

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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It’s that time of the year. It’s that time when we all start to tire of holiday advertisements, get paper cuts from overpriced wrapping paper and develop a serious disdain for Scotch tape. It’s that time when bad football teams face equally awful football teams and they call it the “Top College Football Player X Bowl.” But most importantly, it’s that time when late-season divisional games populate the schedule, and suddenly, we have very, very important football on deck.

Such was the case across the league on Sunday. Indianapolis clinched the AFC South with a win over division rival Houston, Denver did the same to claim the AFC West crown against San Diego, Buffalo kept its playoff hopes alive in a stunning win over Green Bay, and Carolina somehow gained control of its previously unlikely playoff aspirations. Oh, and the Jets managed to win the Marcus Mariota Bowl in Tennessee, prompting Rex Ryan to tell reporters he doesn’t give a you-know-what about the Heisman Trophy winner or the No. 1 pick.

Meaningful football typically brings the best — and sometimes, the worst — out of players on all levels. You know the saying: Big-time players make big-time plays.

Here are this week’s best big time players on the road.

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Alex Smith engineers Chiefs’ first win of season

By Nick Shook | NFL.com

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Through three weeks, we’ve seen a trend start to develop. Road teams won six of 14 games for the second straight Sunday, but unlike last week, quarterbacks ruled the day.

Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles made their debuts, Andy Dalton caught — yes, caught — a touchdown pass, and one notable Cowboy was at the helm of a monumental comeback. But only one can earn honors of Greatest On The Road. Here are this weeks stars away from home.

Greatest on the Road …

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

At 0-2, Kansas City reached Week 3 in a state of confusion. Are they the team that contended for the AFC West crown in 2013, or were we seeing more of the turnover in playoff teams from one season to the next? Continue reading