Pro Player Insiders Executive Editor Melissa Mahler http://proplayerinsiders.com Behind the scenes look at lives and lifestyles of NFL players and their families plus sports news, interviews & events Wed, 22 Jan 2020 22:07:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Can Andy Reid Break His Super Bowl Curse http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/can-andy-reid-break-super-bowl-curse/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/can-andy-reid-break-super-bowl-curse/#comments Wed, 22 Jan 2020 22:07:16 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176595 Miami, FL – Last week the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the Tennessee Titans 35-24 in the AFC Championship game, earning themselves a spot in Super Bowl 54 against the San Francisco 49ers.  Chiefs head coach, Andy Reid, proved a lot of people wrong last week because a lot of people were chirping about his 1-5 Conference Championship record and felt like Reid was going to somehow let the Titans win the game. Reid came up with a game plan that exploited the Titans secondary in dominating fashion in the second half of the game, and they are the favorite to win the Superbowl.

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Before his Super Bowl appearance with Philadelphia in 2005, critics complained that he was a good coach in the regular season, but when it really mattered and the game was on the line, Reid choked. However, through all the adversity that Reid received, he kept his composure. He owned his mistakes and always had a positive spirit, even while being on the “hot seat” for being too aggressive or too passive in his game plans.

After a long career in Philly, the Eagles moved in a new direction, and so did Reid. Kansas City hired Reid and he began going after players that could help out the organization. Reid ended up taking a risk with Alex Smith and it panned out for a couple of years before Reid ended up going into a new direction with Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes and all of the speedy receivers that Reid and his personnel acquired in trades or draft picks have helped propel this team to become one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL.

The question that everyone is asking is can Reid find holes in the 49ers secondary? The 49ers come into the game with the number one passing defense in the league and can put a lot of pressure on Mahomes and that young offensive line. Reid will have to find some way to get Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce involved early and frequently. Reid has a chance to end the debate about being a Hall of Fame coach without any championship rings if he could beat a stingy 49ers team. Reid is ranked sixth in All-Time coaching wins with 221. It should be an interesting Superbowl with the old veteran Reid going against Kyle Shanahan.

 

 

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Titans Come Up Just Short (Again), Fall to Chiefs 35-24 http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/titans-come-just-short-fall-chiefs-35-24/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/titans-come-just-short-fall-chiefs-35-24/#comments Mon, 20 Jan 2020 23:46:02 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176588 Perhaps no team in NFL history has faced such an insurmountable road to the Super Bowl as these Tennessee Titans. After effectively ending the Patriots dynasty in Foxborough two weeks ago – and again shocking the world last week by taking down media darlings Lamar Jackson and the one seed Baltimore Ravens – the Titans had the unenviable task of eliminating the Kansas City Chiefs (in Arrowhead, no less) on Sunday. While the Titans were in it for much of the first quarter – at one point even building up a ten point lead – the prolific offense of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs was too much to overcome, and the Titans found themselves on the losing end of the AFC Championship game, 35-24.
The game plan was simple, as it had been for much of these playoffs. A healthy dose of Derrick Henry on the offensive side of the ball while attempting to make mere mortals out of opposing quarterbacks on the defensive side of the ball. While the Patriots and the Ravens were unable to bottle up Henry, the Chiefs were able to limit his production. The 247 pound running back out of Alabama ran for just 69 yards on nineteen carries, his first game of the playoffs where he failed to top 100 yards.
The other facet to the Titans’ game plan was equally ineffective. Patrick Mahomes was a surgical 23 of 35 passing for 294 yards and three touchdowns. Additionally, the Texas Tech product accounted for 53 yards rushing, including a 27-yard knockout blow at the end of the first half in which he tiptoed the sidelines and spun through multiple missed tackles before diving across the goal line.
The Titans’ defense, which had been so gritty and dominant against the Patriots and the Ravens, could not match the Chiefs speed and the precision with which they struck on Sunday. Big plays to receivers Tyreek Hill (5 rec, 67 yds, 2 tds) and Sammy Watkins (7 rec, 114 yds, 1 td) proved too much to overcome as the Chiefs simply had too much firepower and playmaking ability from their skilled players.
The Titans (9-7) now head to the offseason and their priorities will clearly be locking up Derrick Henry and quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, for the foreseeable future. Tannehill, who was acquired from the Dolphins and thrust into action in Week 6, finished the game Sunday with two touchdowns and 209 yards passing. As the Titans say goodbye to former number two pick Marcus Mariota, they welcome in a new cornerstone of their franchise in Tannehill. In 10 appearances for the Titans this season, Tannehill accounted for 22 touchdowns and only six interceptions, while completing over 70 percent of his passes. Above all else, the consistency was there week in and week out with Tannehill, something that Mariota had failed to provide.
This was a true underdog story in many respects. The future is bright, however, with such a promising young core in Tannehill, Henry, and rookie receiver A.J. Brown. Under the leadership and tutelage of head coach, Mike Vrabel, these Titans figure to make yet another run next year.
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Seahawks Defense Comes up Short in 28-23 Loss to the Packers http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/seahawks-defense-came-up-short-as-their-season-ended-in-a-28-23-loss-to-the-packers/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/seahawks-defense-came-up-short-as-their-season-ended-in-a-28-23-loss-to-the-packers/#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2020 03:56:49 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176574 Seattle- The Green Bay Packers have advanced to the NFC Championship, beating the Seattle Seahawks 28-23 in a thriller.

In the first quarter, the Packers struck first when Aaron Jones busted for an 18-yard scamper and three plays later Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to Davante Adams to go atop over the Seahawks, 7-0. After two three-and-outs for Seattle, on the third possession, the Hawks got themselves going. Russell Wilson threw a couple of short passes to Tyler Lockett, who took advantage of zone coverage and found a soft spot in the middle of the field. However, the Seahawks’ offense stalled and had to kick a field goal to cut the lead down to four, 7-3.

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In the second quarter, Rodgers went down the field and capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Aaron Jones to extend the lead to eleven, 14-3. On the ensuing drive, the Seahawks earned three first downs and seemed to be moving the ball effectively but the Packers defense stopped the Seahawks on a third and eight, forcing the Seahawks to attempt a 50-yard field goal. The Jason Myers kick would miss right.

Rodgers went back to work on the next possession and connected with Adams five times on the drive. The Seahawks had no answer with stopping Adams and that was Rodgers bread and butter. With a third and goal and under two minutes left in the first half, Jones scored a one-yard touchdown run, his second touchdown of the game, making it 21-3 at the half.

The Seahawks were rewarded the ball first in the second half and finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch to make it a 21-10. However, the Packers responded right back with Rodgers dropping a 40-yard touchdown strike to Adams to extend their lead 28-10. Seattle was desperate and Wilson tried to make something special happen every play.  Wilson called his own number on three third and shorts on the ensuing possession after the Packers scored and it paid off big. Wilson ended the drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass in the back of the endzone to Tyler Lockett to cut the lead down to a two-possession game, 28-17. Early in the 4th quarter, Wilson Time started to happen again, as he took his team down the field and Lynch finished the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. The Seahawks failed on the 2-point conversion attempt, leaving the score 28-23.

With under two minutes, the Seahawks could not stop the Packers on a third and eight, as Jimmy Graham ended the Seahawks season as he caught a pass for the first down. With the win, the Packers will face the 49ers in the NFC Championship.

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One play at a time is the theme for the Seahawks’ success this season http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/one-play-at-a-time-is-the-theme-for-the-seahawks-success-this-season/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/one-play-at-a-time-is-the-theme-for-the-seahawks-success-this-season/#comments Thu, 09 Jan 2020 19:48:13 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176565 Seattle- After a 17-9 nail-biting victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card matchup last weekend, the Seattle Seahawks have their sights set on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Seattle’s head coach, Pete Carroll, is happy that his team is fighting and overcoming a lot of adversity this season, but what stood out to Carroll is how loose the team has been. Seattle is playing loose because they really did not have drama going on. K.J.Wright talked about how this season had more of a fun atmosphere for himself, as well as his teammates. “It’s fun from the standpoint of the vibes are really good, the chemistry is really good,” Wright told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave, and Moore on Monday. “This is a very fun year. There’s no mess, there’s no drama because I’ve been on some teams like that. But this feels really, really good.”

Having fun and handling business on the field is what the Seahawks have been about all year long. You can see that all of these players have bought into what Carroll talks about, day in and day out. He talks about having each other’s backs and taking it one step at a time. Even when the Seahawks are down in a game, you can hear Russell Wilson telling his team to take it one play at a time. With all the injuries that the Seahawks had this season, they are growing with confidence each and every game.
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The Seahawks will have to have patience with their offense against the Packers. The Packers rarely bring pressure and the Seahawks could exploit the middle of the field by putting D.K. Metcalf in the slot. Metcalf is a big, physical target to throw to, and the Packers will have trouble matching up with him.  With Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, the Seahawks could use him as a decoy, making the Packers play eight men in the box. There will be opportunities down field, but Wilson has to take what the defense will give him and take it one play at a time in order to shock the Packers and move closer to the Super Bowl.
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Seahawks Escape Eagles Comeback, Win 17-9 http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/seahawks-escapes-eagles-comeback-17-9-and-will-face-the-packers-in-the-divisional-round/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/seahawks-escapes-eagles-comeback-17-9-and-will-face-the-packers-in-the-divisional-round/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2020 03:03:35 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176550 Seattle- After a crucial delay of game near the end of regulation against the San Francisco 49ers last week, the Seahawks had to go to Philadelphia and play the Eagles in their first playoff game en route to a potential trip to Miami for Super Bowl 54.

In the first quarter, the Eagles defense came up big as Vinny Curry blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt by Seahawks kicker Jason Myers to stop the Seahawks from scoring. On the Seahawks third possession, Myers kicked a 49-yard field goal to strike first blood against the Eagles, 3-0. Late in the first quarter, the Eagles received bad news that their starting QB Carson Wentz would be out for the game after receiving a head injury. Back-up Josh McCown would take over.

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Late in the second quarter, the Eagles got on the board with a 46-yard field goal by Jake Elliot to tie that game, 3-3. With under two minutes left in the half and a third-and-long, Wilson threw a short pass to David Moore, who broke an Eagles tackle for a 38-yard scamper, putting the Seahawks at the Eagles five-yard line. The Seahawks capped off the drive with a five-yard touchdown by Marshawn Lynch to make it 10-3 over the Eagles at halftime.

In the second half, the Eagles tacked on a field goal to cut the deficit to four, 10-6. However, the Seahawks caught the Eagles’ secondary off guard and D.K. Metcalf finished off the drive with a touchdown catch to put the Seahawks up 17-6. On the next possession for the Eagles, they went down the field and had to resort to kicking another field goal, cutting the lead down to eight, 17-9.

In the fourth quarter with five minutes left in regulation, the Seahawks defense gave up some big yards down the field but were able to stop the Eagles on a fourth and seventh at their 10-yard line. The Eagles had a chance to stop Seattle with under two minutes left, but Russell Wilson threw a pass to Metcalf to put the game on ice.

With the win, the Seahawks will face the Packers in the Divisional round of the playoffs.

 

 

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Lead Evaporates Late, Bills Fall To Texans in Overtime http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/lead-evaporates-late-bills-fall-texans-overtime/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/lead-evaporates-late-bills-fall-texans-overtime/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2020 02:38:05 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176554 The Bills came out firing on all cylinders Saturday afternoon. Josh Allen, in his postseason debut, looked anything but overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation. The sophomore quarterback was a catalyst on the team’s first possession of the game, as his run of 42 yards immediately had the Texans on their heels and the Bills within striking distance. Allen would put an exclamation point on the drive soon thereafter, as he was on the receiving end of a John Brown touchdown pass that put the Bills up early, 7-0.
The Bills opening possession would ultimately be their best sequence of the first half. Allen and the offense would still be able to move the ball up and down the field on the Texans, but they would fail to punch the ball into the end zone on two more occasions. Two Stephen Hauschka field goals later – coupled with the opening touchdown of the game – and the Bills went into the locker room at the half with a 13-0 lead.
In many respects, it was a tale of two halves. The ball just seemed to bounce the Texans’ way in the latter half of the game. Texans quarterback, Deshaun Watson, while on his back for much of the first half, was finally able to get things to go his way in the third and fourth quarters. Watson, while only accounting for 49 passing yards in the first half, would ultimately finish the game with 247 yards passing on 20/25 efficiency. The Clemson product would also score on a 20-yard scamper and also connected with running back, Carlos Hyde, on a 5-yard touchdown pass.
The game, 19-19 at the end of regulation, would ultimately go into overtime. Both teams had chances early, including the Bills who were driving before a questionable blind side block ultimately knocked them out of field goal position. The Texans would kick the game winning field goal on the following possession, a drive that will inevitably haunt Bills fans with visions of Deshaun Watson escaping and twisting out of a surefire sack.
As the Bills begin offseason preparations, there are undoubtedly things that the organization can hang their hat on. First and foremost, Josh Allen is a budding star. The Wyoming product was responsible for 264 yards through the air and 92 yards on the ground. Running back Devin Singletary rushed for 58 yards on the ground and caught six balls for 76 yards. Finally, receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley combined for eight catches and 94 yards. What the Bills have here, folks, is a winning blueprint: a dual threat quarterback, a versatile running back on the ground and through the air, and reliable, veteran wide receivers to complement a young nucleus.
While the Bills will not be going to the AFC Championship game this year, there is — and as cliché as it may sound, it may not be too farfetched – always next year.
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Bills Looking for First Playoff win since 1995 http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-looking-first-playoff-win-since-1995/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/bills-looking-first-playoff-win-since-1995/#comments Thu, 02 Jan 2020 05:41:58 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176537 The last time the Buffalo Bills won a playoff game, quarterback Josh Allen wasn’t even born yet. Houston Texans quarterback, Deshaun Watson, was just three months old. On Saturday, the two will face off in Wild Card Weekend, looking for the first playoff win of their young NFL careers.

The Bills head into the weekend with a record of 10-6, a Wild Card spot, and the fifth overall seed in the AFC. The Texans are also 10-6, but their record was good enough to claim the crown of the AFC South division, and the fourth overall seed in the AFC.

Since the Texans won their division, the Bills will be forced to pack up the wagon and hit the road headed for Houston. The Texans, 5-3 at home, may get to enjoy home-field advantage, but the Bills will be showing up with a confident 6-2 road record.

In 2019, the Texans offense didn’t scare anyone. They ranked 13th in total yards and 14th in scoring, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have scary weapons. Watson’s ability to use his legs makes him one of the more dangerous signal-callers in the league, and his trio of receivers is a headache for any secondary. DeAndre Hopkins remains one of the best receivers in the NFL, finishing the year with 104 receptions, for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns.

Expect Bills corner, Tre’Davious White, to shadow Hopkins most of the day. While leading the league in interceptions (6), White didn’t give up a single touchdown in his 599 snaps in coverage – a true lockdown corner. If the Bills secondary can successfully stifle Hopkins, Watson is hoping he will be able to turn his attention to Kenny Stills and Will Fuller. Both receivers are banged up and questionable for Saturday’s game, but can be the difference in what is expected to be a close game. With Fuller in the game, Watson averages 296.8 passing yards per game. Without Fuller? A measly 158.3 yards per game.

Look for the Bills to control the game by controlling the clock. Buffalo’s defense may be elite, but the best way to keep an opposing offense out of the endzone, is to keep them off the field altogether. To do that, Bills’ offensive coordinator Brian Daboll will need to prove he’s worthy of the head coach attention he’s already receiving. The Texans defense ranks 25th in rushing yards allowed, and 29th in passing yards allowed, so opportunities are there.

Josh Allen will always attempt a few 80-yard passes downfield, but his ability to manage the game is what allowed the Bills to succeed in 2019. Using his legs, Allen gained over 500 rushing yards and scored nine touchdowns. His completion percentage may have been under 60 percent, but he also limited himself to only nine interceptions this season. With the return of defensive end, J.J. Watt, the Texans are hoping managing the game will be a little more difficult for Allen. Watt has missed the last eight games and may be on a limited snap count, but even a rusty Watt is a problem.

The Houston Texans are currently favored by three points, and kickoff is scheduled for 4:35 PM (ET) this Saturday.

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Time Management Costs Seahawks the Game, Fall to 49ers 26-21 http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/time-management-costs-seahawks-game-fall-49ers-26-21/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/time-management-costs-seahawks-game-fall-49ers-26-21/#comments Mon, 30 Dec 2019 19:22:44 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176520 Seattle- The 2019 NFL regular season ended with a match-up between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks playing for the NFC West title.

After a quick three-and-out by the Seahawks, the 49ers struck first blood on their opening possession with a Robbie Gould 47-yard field goal, taking the lead 3-0. On the 49ers third possession, Jimmy Garoppolo and Emmanuel Sanders hooked up for a 20-yard pass down the field to the Seahawks 40-yard line. A few plays later, Garoppolo threw a short pass to Deebo Samuel, who scampered down the sideline for a 30-yard touchdown to put the 49ers up 10-0 early in the second quarter.

After another three-and-out by the Seahawks, the 49ers took the ball down the field and tacked on their second field goal to make it 13-0. With 45 seconds left in the first half, the Seahawks attempted to roll the dice, going for it on a fourth and short, but the 49ers stopped Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, ending what appeared to be a promising drive. At the end of the half, the score was 13-0 as the 49ers defense held Wilson to a total of 55 yards through the air.

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In the second half, Wilson got his team on the board with a touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett to make it 13-7. However, the 49ers took the life out of the Hawks as they went down the field on the next possession and Raheem Mostert scored a touchdown on the ground. The 49ers elected to go for a two-point conversion but were unsuccessful, leaving the score 19-7.

Early in the 4th quarter, Wilson started to get hot and threw some strikes to his teammates to put them in a position to score. They capped off the drive with Lynch going over the top for the one-yard touchdown score to cut the deficit down to five, 19-14.

After the Beast Mode touchdown, the 49ers carved up the Seahawks secondary and capped off their drive with a Mostert 13-yard touchdown burst to go up 26-14.

The Seahawks tried to make a late comeback as Wilson threw a touchdown pass to D.K. Metcalf to cut the lead back to five, 26-21.

With under three minutes left to play in regulation, the 49ers did not convert on a third-and-long, which gave the Seahawks life and a chance to win the game. Facing a fourth and 10 on the 9ers 12-yard line, it looked like the Seahawks offense would stall, but they were able to pull off a first down putting them at San Francisco’s one-yard line. The Seahawks’ had a slight error in managing their time, and a delay of game cost them a first and goal at the one. Instead, the Hawks had to start at the 49ers six-yard line with under 30 seconds left in regulation. With a fourth and goal, and only 15 seconds left in regulation, the 49ers’ defense stepped up big as they stopped Jacob Hollister an inch from the goal, which iced the game for the 49ers.

The 49ers are the NFC West champions and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, while the Seahawks have to go to Philadelphia and play the Eagles next week.

 

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Struggles and ‘Hard Knocks’ Continue for Chargers, Team Falls to Raiders 24-17 http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/struggles-hard-knocks-continue-chargers-team-falls-raiders-24-17/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/struggles-hard-knocks-continue-chargers-team-falls-raiders-24-17/#comments Tue, 24 Dec 2019 05:39:15 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176512 It sounds like the perfect storylines for a season of HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks.’ The lofty expectations surrounding a rookie quarterback, tasked with replacing a first ballot Hall of Famer who sat at the helm of the offense for the last sixteen seasons. A Pro Bowl running back seeking to become one of the highest paid players in the league, while his understudy – a relatively unknown – and second on the depth chart, continually outperforms him on a week to week basis. A team, arguably without a fanbase – and recently forced to use a silent count on their own field – moving into a $4 billion dollar facility as the rumor mill churns about a possible relocation to London and their inability to even sell out a Southern California soccer stadium.  Don’t be surprised, Chargers fans, if in the not so distant future this unfortunate reality becomes….well, reality tv.
On Sunday afternoon, the Chargers welcomed this year’s preseason darlings of the HBO docu-series, Hard Knocks with the Oakland Raiders. This was a game the Chargers should have won easily, as they possess far more talent than the Raiders on both sides of the ball. The end result was a 24-17 defeat, the Chargers ninth loss of the season by seven points or less.
The Chargers rushed sixteen times for nineteen yards this weekend. The Raiders and their porous run defense were able to effectively bottle up Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, respectively. While Gordon was able to punch two one-yard runs into the endzone, he was largely a non-factor in a game in which – on paper – he should have flourished. His backfield counterpart, Ekeler, was only able to muster 11 yards on four carries, but he did once again contribute in the passing game with 58 yards on five receptions.
The Chargers wide receivers were equally unimpressive. While Keenan Allen had the best stat line (5 rec, 71 yds), he was relatively non existent until midway through the second quarter and collected the majority of his yards in the games final drives. Mike Williams should have thrived against the Raiders secondary, but he too was locked down and was only able catch three balls for 51 yards.
Philip Rivers, in perhaps his final “home” game as the Chargers quarterback, was 27 of 39 on the day for 279 yards and was held without a touchdown pass. The savvy vet was overshadowed by the efficient play of Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr, who completed 26 of 30 passes in addition to two combined touchdowns. It remains to be seen if Father Time finally caught up to Rivers, or if the slew of injuries to the Chargers offensive line is to blame for his poor play. It won’t get any easier for Rivers, as he suits up for perhaps the final time in a Chargers uniform next Sunday against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
The Chargers, sitting at 5-10, find themselves in an ideal position to take a highly sought-after quarterback in next year’s NFL Draft. Conversely, they also find themselves in a precarious situation in which they might soon be without a face for their franchise for the first time in more than a decade. The team’s new stadium may be in Carson – but Los Angeles (the city) has always been known for its drama, and that’s exactly what Chargers fans can expect this offseason.
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Seahawks’ Wings Clipped as They Fall to Cardinals, 27-13 http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/seahawks-wings-were-clipped-as-the-cardinals-shocked-seattle-with-a-27-13-victory/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/seahawks-wings-were-clipped-as-the-cardinals-shocked-seattle-with-a-27-13-victory/#comments Mon, 23 Dec 2019 03:43:42 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176496 Seattle-  After the San Francisco 49ers scrapped out a 34-31 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, the playoff seeding for the Seattle Seahawks changed once again. The Seahawks went from the one seed to fifth seed and needed a victory over the Arizona Cardinals to keep up within the race for the NFC West division title, as well as home-field advantage.

On the Seahawks first drive, there was a heavy dosage of Chris Carson, who broke for a couple of nice runs. Russell Wilson finished off their first drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to Nick Bellore to draw first blood, 7-0.

On the next possession for the Cardinals, running back Kenyan Drake busted the Seahawks’ secondary for an 80-yard touchdown run to tie up the game, 7-7. Defense was the factor today as both teams struggled offensively. Late in the second quarter, Kyler Murray extended a play with his feet around the Seahawks’ 20-yard line, threw a pass to Larry Fitzgerald, who broke his route to help Murry out, and took it to the house to take the lead, 14-7. Before the end of the half, Murray threw what looked like another touchdown pass to Fitzgerald, but after a second look, the touchdown was reversed and they kicked a field goal to go up 17-7 at the half.

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In the second half, the Cardinals controlled the game and tacked on a field goal to make it 20-7 early in the third quarter, while the Seahawks struggled to get anything productive going on. However, late in the third quarter, the Seahawks got a break as their defense came up big, blocking a field goal attempt, recovering the ball, and putting the Seahawks in a very good position to finally gain some momentum and some potential points to cut the deficit. The Seahawks capitalized off the blocked field goal attempt and kicked a field goal of their own to cut the lead to ten, 20-10. With 10:13 left in regulation, the Seahawks kick another field goal to climb back into the game, 20-13. The Cardinals iced the game with a five-yard touchdown pitch to make it 27-13. With a loss to the Cardinals, the Seahawks are potentially in trouble of losing the division, home-field advantage, and may have to play on the road in a Wild Card game.

After the Cardinals’ victory, congratulations was in order as Larry Fitzgerald became the second player in NFL history with 17,000 career receiving yards. The only other person who has more yard than Fitzgerald is Jerry Rice.

 

 

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Patriots Get Gritty, Beat Buffalo 24-17 http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/patriots-get-gritty-beat-buffalo-24-17/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/patriots-get-gritty-beat-buffalo-24-17/#comments Sun, 22 Dec 2019 01:52:25 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176494 The New England Patriots have clinched the AFC East for the 11th consecutive season after defeating the Buffalo Bills by a score of 24-17.

In the last five weeks, Tom Brady has been ranked near the bottom of the league in terms of completion percentage (51.5%), and yards per attempt (5.3). Tonight would be a different story. Mr. Brady would connect with receivers on his first 10 throws, and finish the evening completing nearly 79 percent of his passes, for 271 yards and a score.

With a banged-up Julian Edelman and lack of a true number one receiver, the Patriots would turn to the power run game. It was by no means pretty, but it was certainly gritty. Led by Sony Michel, New England’s backfield would tote the rock a whopping 35 times for 143 yards and a score.

Getting’ gritty with Michele was running back Rex Burkhead. Burkhead finished the night with only five carries for 20 yards, but every yard was earned, especially the one-yard touchdown to take the lead with just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter. It looked like Rex was going to be stopped dead in his tracks, but he would not be denied en route to giving the Pats a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

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Rex Burkhead powers in for a one-yard score.

The Bills wouldn’t go quietly into the night, however. Quarterback, Josh Allen, nearly pulled off his sixth fourth-quarter comeback of the season after driving down to the Patriots eight-yard line with just over a minute left in the game. After a sack left Buffalo with a fourth-and-goal from New England’s 15-yard line, Allen would be pressured into throwing up a jump ball that would fall incomplete.

It was by no means an impressive performance by the Bills offense, but it rarely is. It may not be Buffalo’s year to take the AFC East crown, but with an elite defense and a young quarterback capable of making big plays, their time will come. One can only hope that these division foes will be forced to duke it out one more time this season.

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Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest Returns http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/bud-light-super-bowl-music-fest-returns/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/bud-light-super-bowl-music-fest-returns/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176483 Miami- With less than 50 days until Super Bowl 54 comes to Miami, Florida, there have been many people preparing for concerts, parties, and different events that will take place throughout Super Bowl week. Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest has decided to return to the Super Bowl madness for their second year, and looks to be one of the anticipating events throughout the week.

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“After a tremendously successful launch last year, we are thrilled to bring the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest back for its second year and to the city of Miami. The Music Fest is a revolutionary event that allows more fans, both of music and the NFL, to participate in Super Bowl events, while also offering activation opportunities for sponsors and unique entertainment space for corporate clients,” said John Collins, CEO of On Location Experiences. “None of this would be possible without the support of our fantastic partners at Anheuser-Busch, EA SPORTS and American Airlines Arena. We look forward to kicking off another Super Bowl weekend and providing all fans with an exceptional Super Bowl experience.”

The artists that we be performing are Guns NRoses, Maroon 5, DJ Khaled and Friends, DaBaby and many more. “As we culminate our 100th season, we’re proud to continue to build upon our partnership with On Location Experiences through the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. This energetic series of concerts will further add to our already exciting week, and will give our fans another opportunity to experience the power and energy of the Super Bowl,” says Peter O’Reilly, Executive Vice President, Club Business and League Events, National Football League.

The start of the concert series will begin Thursday, January 30th and run through Saturday, February 1st. For more details about the concert go to SuperBowlMusicFest.com 

 

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Buffalo Clinches Playoff Berth After Win in Pittsburgh http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/buffalo-clinches-playoff-berth-win-pittsburgh/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/buffalo-clinches-playoff-berth-win-pittsburgh/#comments Tue, 17 Dec 2019 04:51:56 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176481 After a back-and-forth battle of defensive wills, the Bills boarded their return flight to Buffalo with a 17-10 victory packed neatly into their luggage. In their carry-on, a stamped ticket to the postseason.

The Bills versus Steelers matchup was as expected. Headed into Week 15, neither team was considered an offensive powerhouse. This game would do little to change that perception as both teams would fail to top the 300-yard mark.

If you hadn’t seen Steelers quarterback Devlin Hodges before Sunday night, you may have thought his nickname “Duck” derived from his ability to flutter passes through the air. Hodges struggled mightily against the Bills, throwing four interceptions – two of which were hauled in by TreDavious White. White now leads the league with six interceptions.

It wouldn’t be any better on the ground for the Steelers as their backfield would finish the evening with 15 carries for just 51 total yards. One can’t help but wonder why Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin, would choose to attack one of the league’s best pass defenses with a third-string quarterback instead of feeding returning running back, James Conner, but hindsight is always 20/20. Tomlin insists Conner wasn’t on rep count in his first game back from injury, but a three-down back playing on just 58 percent of the offensive snaps says otherwise. Regardless, the run game should have been more prominent.

Bills quarterback, Josh Allen, didn’t have the greatest game statistically, but his clutch gene made another appearance when it mattered most. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Allen would find John Brown on a 40-yard bomb that would put Buffalo in scoring position. After a 15-yard scamper by Devin Singletary, Allen would find tight end Tyler Kroft in the endzone for a 15-yard score to take the lead 17-10. Buffalo’s defense would make sure the lead would remain until the clock hit zero.

Next week the Bills will be on the road to take on the New England Patriots. With the division still up for grabs, you can expect a war. For Buffalo to win the division, the Patriots would need to lose their final two games of the season, while the Bills win out. If that doesn’t happen, this Sunday’s game will still say a lot about the future of the AFC East. Potential playoff matchup?

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Seahawks get back to their Winning Ways http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/seahawks-get-back-winning-ways/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/seahawks-get-back-winning-ways/#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2019 03:54:14 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176468 Seattle- After losing to the Los Angeles Rams 28-12 last weekend, the Seattle Seahawks wanted to get their offense rolling fast in the first half against the Carolina Panthers. On the Seahawks’ first series, they scored with a Chris Carson 16-yard power run to the endzone. However, Jason Myers missed the PAT, which made the score 6-0 early in the first quarter. After a quick three-and-out for the Panthers on their first drive, the Seahawks went down the field and capitalized on a D.K. Metcalf and Russell Wilson 19-yard hookup in the endzone to make it 13-0. After a slow start for the Panthers, a couple of gashing runs by Christian McCaffrey would help the offense get rolling and he would cap off the drive with a touchdown to make it 13-7. The touchdown by McCaffrey was his 13th of the season and now he holds the record for most all-purpose yards in Panthers’ history, surpassing Steve Smith Sr. On the ensuing drive, Wilson threw a 58-yard strike to Josh Gordan, which put the Seahawks in business in the redzone. Wilson took advantage of the Panthers’ blown coverage in the secondary and threw a touchdown pass to a wide-open Tyler Lockett, extending their lead 20-7 at the half.

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The Panthers tacked on a field goal on their opening drive of the second half to cut the deficit to 20-10. On the second possession for the Panthers, the Seahawks’ defense stopped a potential drive that could have awarded the Panthers’ points. K.J. Wright intercepted a pass and put the Seahawks in good field position. However, Wilson tried to squeeze the football in tight coverage and Tre Boston got the ball right back for the Panthers. After the turnover, Allen threw another pick right to K.J. Wright for his second pick of the day. The Seahawks took advantage of the turnover and turned it into points, as they were successful on a field goal attempt to extend their lead 23-10. Carson tacked on another touchdown to ice the game 30-10. The Panthers scored two late touchdowns to make the game very interesting late in the 4th quarter, 30-24, but the Panthers could not stop the Seahawks from getting a first down as Seattle bled out the clock.

With the 30-24 victory over the Panthers, the Seahawks stay in the hunt for home-field advantage in the NFC.

 

 

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49ers Win Shootout against Saints in Instant Classic http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/49ers-win-shootout-saints-instant-classic/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/49ers-win-shootout-saints-instant-classic/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2019 04:13:06 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176465 The 49ers traveled to the Big Easy this weekend, but their win was not easy.

San Francisco (11-2) defeated the New Orleans Saints (10-3) by a score of 48-46 at the Superdome in an instant classic. The game went back in forth for all fourth quarters, but 49ers kicker Robbie Gould sealed it for the Red and Gold with a 30-yard field goal as time expired.

The game got off to a fast start, as Saints tight end Jared Cook found the endzone twice in the first quarter. After going down by two touchdowns, 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders took the game into his own hands.

First, he hit pay dirt on a 75-yard bomb from his quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. Minutes later, he threw a 35-yard pass to running back Raheem Mostert to tie the game up. Sanders finished with seven receptions for 157 yards.

After New Orleans took a one-point lead with under a minute remaining in the game, superstar tight end George Kittle got the 49ers in field goal range with a huge catch and run. San Francisco was awarded another 15 yards on the end of a play after the Saints were called for a face mask penalty.

The 49ers have won many games while leaning on their defense, but that was not the case against New Orleans. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees torched the San Francisco secondary for 349 yards and five touchdowns, along with another on the ground.

Brees notably sits at 537 career passing touchdowns, two short of Peyton Manning’s all-time record. He will have a chance to go into first place next Monday night against the Colts. However, he shouldn’t forget about longtime Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who sits one spot behind Brees with 536.

Fantasy football alert: 49ers receiver Kendrick Bourne seems to be San Francisco’s go-to redzone target, as he scored twice against the Saints and has five touchdowns in his last six games.

After a historically difficult three-game stretch, the 49ers will have it a little easier next week at home against the Atlanta Falcons (4-9). They will attempt to maintain their one-game lead in the competitive NFC West as their defense will try to get back on track and their offense will look to stay hot.

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On Rivers’ 38th Birthday, Chargers Get A Rare ‘W’ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/rivers-38th-birthday-chargers-get-rare-w/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/rivers-38th-birthday-chargers-get-rare-w/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2019 02:58:49 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176456 A matchup with the 4-8 Jacksonville Jaguars was exactly what the struggling Los Angeles Chargers needed. Losers of three straight, the Chargers were desperate to get back into the win column, and at the same time, celebrate the birthday of their longtime quarterback, Philip Rivers. The end result was a 45-10 trouncing of the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon.
Running back Austin Ekeler was dynamic out of the backfield, accounting for 213 total yards from scrimmage. Ekeler’s 101 yards on the ground and 112 yards through the air was the first time this season that a running back has ran for 100+ yards and also totaled 100+ receiving yards. Ekeler also caught one touchdown, an 84-yard screen from Rivers on the first possession of the second half that effectively put the game completely out of reach.
Rivers was an efficient 16 of 22 passing, for 314 yards and three touchdowns. For the first time in several games, Rivers did not throw an interception, largely in part to the fact that he was rarely touched by the Jaguars defense. In addition to the aforementioned Ekeler touchdown, Rivers connected on touchdowns with Hunter Henry and Mike Williams, respectively.
The Chargers defense was dominant against Jaguars rookie quarterback, Gardner Minshew II, and his patchwork offensive line. The Washington State product, Minshew, completed 24 passes for 167 yards, many of those for very minimal yardage. The Jaguars offense, through twelve games this season, had been predicated on the running game of Leonard Fournette. Today, the Chargers held Fournette to just 50 yards rushing. Equally impressive, they took away his catching ability out of the backfield. In each of his last two games, Fournette caught nine passes. Sunday, against the Chargers, he only caught three, largely in part to safety Derwin James tracking Fournette’s every move and anticipating the short pass.
While the Chargers are still undoubtedly out of playoff contention, they did somewhat right the ship. After all, this was a game they were supposed to win. Perhaps the only team struggling more over the last couple of weeks than the Chargers was these same Jaguars. Next weekend, the Chargers play host to the playoff-bound Minnesota Vikings, and we’ll see if the Chargers have indeed turned over a new leaf, or if this victory was merely an anomaly.
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Seattle drops the 1st seed in the NFC after losing to the Rams http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/seattle-drops-the-1st-seed-in-the-nfc-after-losing-to-the-rams/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/seattle-drops-the-1st-seed-in-the-nfc-after-losing-to-the-rams/#comments Mon, 09 Dec 2019 22:46:00 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176432 Seattle- After the San Francisco 49ers beat the New Orleans Saints in a thrilling 48-46 victory, the Seattle Seahawks had to get a victory over the Los Angeles Rams to keep their lead in the NFC West, and their first-overall seed in the NFC. On their first possession, the Seahawks had a productive drive as Russell Wilson went 5/6 for 48 yards to get the Seahawks in scoring position. The Rams’ defense stepped up to the challenge as they sacked Wilson on a third-and-short in the redzone to force the Seahawks to kick a 39-yard field goal. The field goal was successful and the Seahawks would lead, 3-0. The Rams answered the quick score with big plays by wide receiver Robert Woods and Tight End Tyler Higbee. Both players combined for 67-yards and running back Malcolm Brown finished the drive off with a one-yard touchdown to make it 7-3.

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In the first half, the Seahawks had no answer for Woods. He had four catches for 50-yards, which was important for the Rams because it created big plays down field. Jared Goff was red hot as he drove his team down the field and threw a two-yard touchdown strike to Woods to extend their lead 14-3. On the ensuing possession, the Seahawks offense stalled as they went for a fourth-and-short and did not convert at the Rams’ 30-yard line.

The Seahawks could not put together a productive drive since their first possession, and struggled to find holes in the Rams’ defense. Before the end of the half, the Rams would score a third touchdown as Goff threw a four-yard slant pass to Cooper Kupp, extending the lead 21-3.

On the first possession in the second half, Goff threw an interception to Quandre Diggs, who scored off the turnover. However, the Seahawks missed the extra point to cut the deficit to 21-9. On the ensuing series, Goff threw his second consecutive interception to Diggs at the Seahawks’ three-yard line, and momentum started shifting towards the Seahawks’ sideline. However, the Seahawks failed to take advantage of the turnover. The Seahawks’ defense caught a big break on the next series, as they blocked the Rams’ field goal attempt to get great field position, but again could not get a productive drive out of their offense.

In the fourth quarter, Todd Gurley would put the game away with a six-yard scamper to the endzone to make it 28-9. With seven minutes left in regulation, the Seahawks finally put together a successful drive and kicked a field goal to make the score 28-12. The final score was 28-12. After the loss, the Seahawks are currently the fifth seed, and the 49ers are now the first seed in the NFC.

Wilson went 22/36 for 245 yards and an interception.

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Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn Opens New School in Tanzania http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/chargers-head-coach-anthony-lynn-opens-new-school-tanzania/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/chargers-head-coach-anthony-lynn-opens-new-school-tanzania/#comments Thu, 05 Dec 2019 04:34:47 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176420 Los Angeles- Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn and his wife Stacey Bell opened a new school in Tanzania. Both Lynn and Bell wanted to give back to Lanjani, a village in the East African nation of Tanzania, to help the children and their need for education. “These kids were getting pushed into the workforce as early as possible, growing up without education at all,” Lynn told Sports Illustrated. “It was sad because where do your hopes and dreams come from if you don’t have that? How do you know if you like science until you take a science class? When I learned about the situation, I felt like I had to get involved.”

The school has classes for children in kindergarten through third grade and has 300 students that attend. The school was much more of a blessing to Lynn because education was something he wanted others to excel at. He told one of his friends at a barbeque that building a school was one of his dreams that he wanted to accomplish.

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“You know, you go somewhere, and you expect to help people and have an impact, and they end up having an impact,” Lynn said. “Their resiliency, their toughness, their attitude, their smiles. You see it and experience it, and it makes you appreciate what you really have.” Lynn stated that these students helped him become a better person, a better friend, and a better husband, and he appreciates the support he has been getting from different individuals.

“I just want to say you people are positive, you’re very strong and I have no doubt someone’s going to go through this school and not only impact Tanzania, but someone is going to impact this world,” Lynn said.

 

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Seattle Dragons Release New Uniforms for Upcoming Season http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/seattle-dragons-release-new-uniforms-upcoming-season/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/news-features-featured-on-homepage/seattle-dragons-release-new-uniforms-upcoming-season/#comments Thu, 05 Dec 2019 01:35:23 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176425 Seattle- On Tuesday, the XFL released the uniforms that each of the eight teams were going to have. For the Seattle Dragons QB, Brandon Silvers and WR Kasen Williams were the models for the night and had a lot to say about the opportunity and what it means to them and the city of Seattle. “I am pretty excited about this season. This is something that will electrify the city of Seattle and gives fans a lot of hope for another pro team to be successful here,” said Williams. “I am excited to be here and do something I love; with all the ups and downs that I have had, I am very excited about this opportunity.

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Silvers had this to say about the uniforms and the upcoming season. “I am pretty excited about the uniforms. The uniforms feature something a little different, but I like the style and the colors. Outside of the uniforms, I think this will be a great season for the XFL and I am pretty excited about it.”

The XFL is revisiting its league after a failed attempt in 2001. A lot of people stated that they felt like the XFL failed because of bad marketing and didn’t have enough resources to excel and become a force in the football industry. With a new marketing strategy and the advancement of technology, the XFL could go far this season with building momentum leading up to the start of the season. It will be pretty interesting to see if the XFL will increase in viewership because people want to see how the XFL has changed from the last time it started.

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All Eyes on the Seahawks http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/all-eyes-on-the-seahawks/ http://proplayerinsiders.com/nfl-player-team-news-features/all-eyes-on-the-seahawks/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2019 05:02:45 +0000 http://proplayerinsiders.com/?p=176411 Seattle- After the San Francisco 49ers lost a thriller to the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 20-17 on Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks had the opportunity to jump from a #5 seed to a #2 seed and take over their division. All the Seahawks had to do was take care of business against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings struck first as they scored on a Dalvin Cook five-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0  in the first quarter. On the ensuing drive, Russell Wilson drove his team down the field and Chris Carson finished the drive off with a one-yard touchdown to tie the game up 7-7. With under five minutes left in the second quarter the Vikings’ defense stepped up and caused a turnover. Wilson was picked off by Anthony Harris and Harris ran it back to put the Vikings back up 14-7.

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After the pick-six, Wilson went right back to work. Wilson threw a couple of slant passes to DK Metcalf and Rashaad Penny to get them back into striking distance. After a 15-yard run by Penny to put the Seahawks on the 10-yard line of the Vikings, the Seahawks were in business. However, the Vikings’ defense stood tall as they kept the Seahawks out of the endzone and the Seahawks had to resort with kicking a field goal, to make it a reasonable 14–10.

With 1:15 left before the half, Kirk Cousins drove his team down the field and gave Dan Bailey a chance to attempt a 47-yard field goal attempt. The attempt was successful and the Vikings extended their lead to 17-10 at the half.

On the Seahawks’ first possession in the third quarter, the Seahawks gave the Vikings trouble with their running attack. Both Carson and Penny combined for 37-yards on the ground as the Seahawks drove down the field and scored on a one-yard touchdown pass to Penny to tie the game up 17-17. On the next possession, Bradley McDougald stripped Cousins and the Seahawks recovered the fumble at the Vikings 26-yard line. The Seahawks had to resort to a field goal to go up 20-17.

Wilson threw a 60-yard touchdown bomb to David Moore which put the Seahawks up 27-17. On the ensuing drive, Tre Flowers intercepted Cousins and the momentum shifted. Penny scored another touchdown to extend the lead 34-17. Cousins responded to the Seahawks’ score and threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead 34-24. On the ensuing drive, the Vikings came up big as their defense forced a fumble. After the fumble, Cousins took his team down the field and threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph, but missed the PAT to cut the lead 34-30. The Seahawks ice the game with a field goal at the end of regulation 37-30.

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