Articles filed under Football

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  • Illini plan 2-quarterback system vs. Gophers Oct 20, 2014 5:22 PM
    In the absence of the injured Wes Lunt, Illinois will play a pair of quarterbacks Saturday against Minnesota. Coach Tim Beckman said Monday that the Gophers (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) can expect to see both senior Reilly O’Toole and sophomore Aaron Bailey, something he believes will make their preparations more difficult.

     
  • Rozner: Bears sadly lacking identity, leadership Oct 20, 2014 11:59 PM
    Some teams win with great defense, a fabulous running game or a Hall of Fame quarterback. Others have dynamic coaching. The Bears have none of the above and completely lack an identity.

     
  • Colts’ defense dominates Bengals 27-0 Oct 19, 2014 3:34 PM
    Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes and the Colts’ defense dominated Cincinnati in Sunday’s 27-0 victory. Luck was 27 of 42 for 344 yards as Indianapolis (5-2) won its fifth straight. It was Indy’s first shutout since December 2008. Cincinnati (3-2-1), which hasn’t won since starting 3-0, endured its first shutout since December 2009 and had a franchise record tying 11 punts Sunday. Andy Dalton was 18 of 38 for 126 yards. Indy churned out 506 yards, struck early and pulled away late. Bradshaw’s 1-yard TD run made it 10-0 in the second quarter and Luck threw two second-half TD passes to make it 24-0. Colts linebacker Erik Walden was ejected in the first half for making contact with umpire Bruce Stritesky.

     
  • Ravens get defensive in 29-7 win over Falcons Oct 19, 2014 3:19 PM
    Elvis Dumervil and Pernell McPhee each had two sacks, part of a dominant defensive performance that carried the Baltimore Ravens past the Atlanta Falcons 29-7 Sunday. Baltimore (5-2) led 17-0 at halftime and coasted to its second straight blowout win. The Ravens beat Tampa Bay 48-17 last week. The Falcons (2-5) averted their first shutout loss since December 2004 when Matt Ryan connected with Roddy White for a 4-yard touchdown with 7:12 remaining to make it 20-7. It was Atlanta’s first fourth-quarter score in five games. Terrell Suggs sacked Ryan for a safety with 3:39 left and Joe Flacco threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith on a fourth-and-9 to seal Baltimore’s fourth win in five games. The Ravens allowed only four first downs in the pivotal first half and finished with five sacks in dealing the Falcons their fourth straight defeat.

     
  • McCoy rallies Washington to win over Tennessee Oct 19, 2014 3:27 PM
    Kai Forbath kicked a 22-yard field goal on the last play of the game, and Colt McCoy stepped in after Kirk Cousins was benched at halftime Sunday to lead Washington to a 19-17 win over the Tennessee Titans. McCoy completed 11 of 12 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in his first meaningful role in a win since Nov. 20, 2011, when he led the Cleveland Browns to a 14-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Washington snapped a four-game losing streak to improve to 2-5. The Titans fell to 2-5. McCoy’s first pass was a career-long 70-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon after the Redskins trailed 10-6 at halftime. Charlie Whitehurst was 17 for 26 for 160 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the Titans.

     
  • Jaguars snap 9-game losing streak against Browns Oct 19, 2014 3:30 PM
    Denard Robinson ran for a career-high 127 yards and a touchdown, Jacksonville’s defense came up big in the red zone and the Jaguars snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 24-6 victory against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Jacksonville (1-6) won for the first time since beating Houston on Dec. 15, 2013. Blake Bortles connected with fellow rookie Allen Robinson for a 31-yard score and the game’s first touchdown. It was really all the Jaguars needed on a day in which coach Gus Bradley’s defense delivered time and time again. The Browns (3-3) settled for field goals in two trips inside the 20-yard line and failed to convert on fourth-and-1 at the 24. Cleveland, which entered the game with the league’s third-best rushing attack, was held in check. The Browns ran 30 times for 69 yards.

     
  • Bears still winless at home Oct 19, 2014 3:16 PM
    Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins looked more at home at Soldier Field than Jay Cutler and the Bears. Tannehill threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns in an efficient performance, leading the Dolphins to a 27-14 victory over the Bears on Sunday. Tannehill connected on his first 14 passes and was 25 of 32 overall, helping Miami bounce back from a brutal 27-24 loss to Green Bay. It looked as if the Dolphins were on their way to a big win over the Packers before Aaron Rodgers threw a 4-yard touchdown pass in the final seconds. Lamar Miller also had a 2-yard touchdown run for the Dolphins (3-3), who had lost three of four since an opening victory over New England. The Bears (3-4) remained winless in three home games and have dropped five of their last seven at Soldier Field dating back to last year. Matt Forte scored two touchdowns and Jeremiah Ratliff finished with a career-best 3 1/2 sacks. Cutler threw an interception and lost a fumble as Chicago dropped to 0-4 when he throws at least one pick. He was 21 for 34 for 190 yards after he threw for 381 yards in last Sunday’s 27-13 victory at Atlanta. The Bears trailed 14-0 before Cutler passed to a wide-open Forte for a 10-yard touchdown on their first possession of the second half. Cutler went 5 for 5 for 47 yards on the drive, including three receptions for Brandon Marshall. Miami responded with a 13-play, 81-yard drive that ended with Miller’s fourth Td rushing in the last three games. Tannehill set up the key score with a 30-yard run on fourth-and-1. Forte added a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth, but that was it for the Bears. Cameron Wake had a strip sack and fumble recovery, and Caleb Sturgis kicked two field goals to put it away. Miami got off to an inauspicious start when Tannehill was sacked by Ratliff on its first play from scrimmage. But the Dolphins quickly made up for lost time. Tannehill threw for 176 yards in the first half, picking apart Chicago’s defense with ease. He found tight end Charles Clay for 13-yard score, then had a 10-yard TD pass to Mike Wallace in the back of the end zone. Meanwhile, the Bears looked listless and out of sorts. Linebacker Shea McClellin, back after being sidelined since Week 2 by a hand injury, slipped in coverage on Clay’s TD, and the offense was hurt by curious play calling and Cutler’s seventh interception. Cutler was charged with a fumble on a lateral to rookie Ka’Deem Carey on the Bears’ second drive, leading to a 10-yard loss. He missed badly on a pass in the second period that was intercepted by Reshad Jones, setting up Wallace’s fifth touchdown reception. Ratliff’s big game came after he had no sacks this season; his previous career best was two with Dallas. Miami had 209 yards at halftime compared to 54 for Chicago. The Dolphins also had the ball for 19:10, leading to a vigorous round of boos from the frustrated crowd as the teams headed for the locker room.

     
  • Field goal kicks Chiefs past Chargers Oct 19, 2014 6:57 PM
    Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs have made the AFC West a three-team race. Cairo Santos kicked a 48-yard field goal field goal with 21 seconds left and the Chiefs beat San Diego 23-20 Sunday, snapping the Chargers’ five-game winning streak. The Chiefs moved into field goal range thanks to Smith, who completed three straight passes on the drive for 53 yards, including a 29-yarder to Dwayne Bowe. Smith was playing on the same field where he led Helix High to consecutive San Diego Section championships. Coming off their bye, the Chiefs (3-3) pulled within 1 ½ games of San Diego (5-2). The Denver Broncos (4-1) hosted San Francisco on Sunday night. Had the Chiefs lost, they would have dropped three games behind San Diego. The Chargers flunked their sternest test in a month and lost for the first time since a defeat at Arizona in the season opener. Jamaal Charles scored once and gained 95 yards to give him 6,113 for his career, moving him to the top of Kansas City’s career list. He passed Priest Holmes, who had 6,070. The Chargers, facing an established quarterback for the first time in four games, allowed Smith to complete 19 of 28 passes for 221 yards. San Diego’s Philip Rivers was 17 of 31 for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Smith had given the Chiefs a 20-14 lead with an 11-yard touchdown pass to fullback Anthony Sherman with 14:50 left. Sherman broke a tackle inside the 10 and scored to cap an 11-play, 70-yard drive. On the previous play, a holding call against Chargers cornerback Richard Marshall nullified a sack of Smith and gave the Chiefs a first down at the 11. The Chargers got to the Kansas City 6 before Rivers threw two straight incompletions and San Diego had to settle for Nick Novak’s 24-yard field goal to close to 20-17. Novak kicked a 48-yarder to tie the game with 1:57 left. Novak has 31 straight field goal conversions, breaking John Carney’s team record of 29 set in 1992-93. Antonio Gates caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Rivers just before halftime. It was the 67th career TD pass from Rivers to Gates, the most in NFL history from a quarterback to a tight end. Rivers also extended his team record to 27 straight games with at least one touchdown pass. The pass was tipped by 6-foot cornerback Ron Parker but the 6-4 Gates made the catch to give the Chargers a 14-10 lead just before halftime. San Diego backup tight end John Phillips made his first catch of the season a big one, a 1-yard touchdown reception late in the first quarter to cap a drive that was kept alive by a holding call and a pass interference call against the Chiefs. The Chiefs came right back on a drive capped when Charles weaved in and out of traffic to score on a 16-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. Former teammate Brandon Flowers leveled him a yard into the end zone, too late to keep the Chiefs from tying it at 7. Flowers later left the game with a concussion. After forcing the Chargers to punt, the Chiefs ate up 9 minutes, 29 seconds in moving to the San Diego 10, where Santos kicked a 28-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead.

     
  • 5-1 Cardinals beat Raiders in Oakland Oct 19, 2014 6:57 PM
    OAKLAND, Calif. — Carson Palmer made a triumphant return to Oakland. Palmer threw two touchdown passes in his first game against the Raiders since being dealt away following the 2012 season and the Arizona Cardinals sent Oakland to its 12th straight loss with a 24-13 victory Sunday. Stepfan Taylor caught one touchdown and ran for another and Andre Ellington gained 160 yards from scrimmage for the Cardinals (5-1), who are off to their best start since 1976. Darren McFadden ran for a touchdown for the Raiders (0-6), who are off to their worst start to a season since losing their first 13 games in 1962 — the year before late owner Al Davis joined the franchise. While the Raiders are the NFL’s only winless team and in the midst of their worst stretch in more than a half-century, the first-place Cardinals are playing some of their best football in years. Palmer and a stiff defense are the big reasons. Despite throwing Arizona’s first interception of the season, Palmer has mostly avoided the big mistakes that often doomed him during his year and a half in Oakland. He also has shown the ability to make the key throw, with his two biggest being a 33-yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd in the second quarter and a 22-yarder to John Brown on third-and-8 late in the fourth. That set up Chandler Catanzaro’s 41-yard field goal that sealed the win with 29 seconds to go. Catanzaro tied Greg Zuerlein’s rookie record by making his 15th straight kick to start his career. Palmer finished 22 for 31 for 253 yards. Ellington had 24 carries for 88 yards and caught six passes for 72 more yards to lead the way for Arizona. Rookie Derek Carr struggled to find the big plays he had last week when he threw four touchdown passes in a 31-28 loss to San Diego. He hit one deep pass to Brice Butler, but most of his other completions were short. Carr went 16 for 28 for 173 yards. The Raiders fell behind 14-0 early, but cut it to 14-13 midway through the third period when Sebastian Janikowski hit a 53-yard field goal with new holder Matt Schaub. The Raiders made the switch after Janikowski struggled with punter Marquette King and then missed a 53-yard field goal last week. Ellington then keyed a big drive for Arizona, running for 40 yards, catching a 16-yard pass and drawing a 20-yard pass interference penalty on Miles Burris. Taylor replaced him and scored on a 4-yard run. The Raiders were unable to cross midfield on their final three drives and lost again. Palmer returned to the Oakland Coliseum for the first time since being dealt to Arizona following the 2012 season. He arrived in Oakland with much fanfare after the Raiders dealt a first- and second-round pick to Cincinnati midway through the 2011 season. But Palmer was not able to turn the Raiders into a playoff team, falling one game short his first season. Palmer got off to a fast start, throwing the two first-half touchdowns, including Floyd’s leaping grab over Tarell Brown. The Cardinals picked Oakland apart on third downs, converting 9 of 14 chances. But Carr got the Raiders back into it with a 55-yard deep strike to Butler that set up McFadden’s 1-yard score. Janikowski added a field goal late in the first half after Charles Woodson intercepted Palmer.

     
  • Romo, Cowboys romp again Oct 19, 2014 6:57 PM
    ARLINGTON, Texas — Tony Romo threw three touchdown passes, DeMarco Murray broke Jim Brown’s 56-year-old NFL record with his seventh straight 100-yard rushing game to start a season, and the Dallas Cowboys won their sixth straight by beating the New York Giants 31-21 Sunday. Romo had a fourth scoring pass overturned on replay. Instead, Murray wound up with his seventh rushing touchdown of the season on a 1-yard plunge. Murray finished with 128 yards rushing to pass Brown, who hit the century mark in the first six games of the 1958 season for Cleveland. The Cowboys (6-1) are off to their best start since they went 13-3 in 2007 and were the top seed in the NFC before losing to New York in their first playoff game. Eli Manning had three touchdown passes for the Giants (3-4), who have lost to the NFC East’s top two teams in consecutive weeks.

     
  • Rams hold off Seahawks 28-26 Oct 19, 2014 3:27 PM
    ST. LOUIS — Punter Johnny Hekker’s pass from the St. Louis 18 caught the Seattle Seahawks by surprise for the last of three big plays by Rams special teams in a 28-26 victory over the defending Super Bowl champions on Sunday. Stedman Bailey had a 90-yard touchdown on a trick return that fooled the Seahawks into thinking another player was going to catch the punt, and Benny Cunningham’s 75-yard kickoff return set up an early touchdown for the Rams (2-4). Russell Wilson rushed for 106 yards on seven carries and also passed for two touchdowns while going 23 for 36 for 313 yards. The Seahawks (3-3) dominated statistically, outgaining the Rams 463-272. Doug Baldwin’s’ 9-yard reception cut the deficit to two with 3:18 to go, but the Rams were able to run out the clock after Hekker’s completion to Cunningham.

     
  • Images: Chicago Bears vs. Miami Dolphins Oct 19, 2014 4:27 PM
    The Chicago Bears faced off against the Miami Dolphins Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Bears lost their third home game with a score of 27-14 against the Dolphins.

     
  • Lions rally late for 24-23 win over Saints Oct 19, 2014 3:27 PM
    Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes in the final 3:38, including the winner to Corey Fuller with 1:48 remaining, and the Detroit Lions rallied for a 24-23 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. The Saints (2-4) were in control late in the fourth quarter when Stafford found Golden Tate for a 73-yard catch-and-run that made it 23-17. Then Drew Brees was intercepted on third down by Glover Quin, whose 23-yard return gave the Lions (5-2) the ball at the New Orleans 14. Detroit caught a break when Rafael Bush was called for pass interference on fourth down. Stafford eventually connected with Fuller in the back of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown and the win. The Saints committed 12 penalties for 134 yards.

     
  • Kyle Orton’s Bills beat Vikings 17-16 Oct 19, 2014 3:33 PM
    Kyle Orton hit Sammy Watkins on a 2-yard touchdown for the winning score with 1 second remaining as the Buffalo Bills beat the Minnesota Vikings 17-16 on Sunday. The touchdown capped a 15-play, 80-yard drive which Orton extended by converting a fourth-and-20 and a third-and-12. Orton set up the decisive score with a 28-yard pass to Chris Hogan at the Vikings 2. Orton overcame an interception, a lost fumble and six sacks to finish 31 of 43 for 283 yards and two touchdowns — both to Watkins. It was Orton’s second last-second victory in three starts for Buffalo (4-3), which overcame injuries to running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Vikings defense forced four turnovers. Teddy Bridgewater went 15 of 26 for 157 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions as Minnesota (2-5) lost its third in a row.

     
  • Bears Bites: Feels like the season’s over Oct 19, 2014 8:39 PM
    Home is where the heartache is for the Bears, whose season isn't over — but it sure feels that way after just seven games, doesn't it? Mike Spellman takes a look at Sunday's loss to the Dolphins.

     
  • Manning breaks Favre’s TD mark in Broncos win Oct 19, 2014 10:47 PM
    Peyton Manning’s receivers played keep-away with his milestone memento and the NFL’s new leader in career touchdown passes toyed with the San Francisco 49ers in the Denver Broncos’ emphatic 42-17 victory Sunday night. Manning went into the showdown two TDs shy of Brett Favre’s record of 508 and threw four touchdown passes, giving him 510. He surpassed Favre’s mark with an 8-yard strike to Demaryius Thomas late in the second quarter. As he went to retrieve the football, his teammates decided to have some fun. Thomas tossed the historic ball over Manning and to Emmanuel Sanders, who then lobbed it to Wes Welker. From there, Welker dished it back to Sanders, who then flipped it to Julius Thomas — all of Manning’s favorite targets getting into the act. Finally, Manning got the ball along with congratulations from his teammates and coaches.

     
  • Trestman trying to figure out what to do next Oct 19, 2014 9:33 PM
    The Bears are at a loss to explain how they have managed to win three of four road games while going winless in three games at Soldier Field this season. “I think we should be playing better at home. We should be taking advantage of our facility and our players to play at a higher level consistently,” said Bears coach Marc Trestman.

     
  • Bears’ offense out to lunch all day in ugly loss to Dolphins Oct 19, 2014 6:44 PM
    The Bears' offense, expected to be the strength of this year's team, was a major disappointment in Sunday's 27-14 loss to the Miami Dolphins. The defeat left the Bears at 3-4, including 0-3 at Soldier Field.

     
  • Bears’ Ratliff a sad sacker Oct 19, 2014 5:40 PM
    Neither the lumberjack-thick, curly beard, nor the smeared eye black that blended in with his wild whiskers masked a smile on Jeremiah Ratliff’s face. There was none. There was only disappointment on Ratliff’s battle-worn mug. The big Bear’s 3½-sack performance — which came in just one half of football — might have been four-star worthy, but he could think only about Sunday’s final score at Soldier Field. A 27-14 loss to Miami dropped the 3-4 Bears to 0-3 on their home field.

     
  • Packers rout Carolina 38-17 Oct 19, 2014 3:30 PM
    Aaron Rodgers threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns, Randall Cobb torched the Carolina secondary for 121 yards receiving and the Green Bay Packers routed the Carolina Panthers 38-17 on Sunday. Sure-tackling Green Bay (5-2) limited quarterback Cam Newton in the first half. The Packers scored touchdowns on their first three series and led 28-3 at halftime, eliminating the threat of the Panthers’ running game. Newton, who had a career-high 17 carries last week, had 41 yards rushing on seven attempts. He passed for 205 yards for Carolina (3-3-1). The Packers never looked back after Rodgers connected with Jordy Nelson for a 59-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive in winning their fourth straight. Eddie Lacy and James Starks each added rushing touchdowns in the first half. Rodgers was 19 of 22 in carving up a Carolina secondary playing without starting cornerback Josh Norman.

     
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