Pro Player Insiders Executive Editor Melissa Mahler Behind the scenes look at lives and lifestyles of NFL players and their families plus sports news, interviews & events Sat, 16 Nov 2019 01:18:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Myles Garrett Suspended Indefinitely After Thursday Night’s Scuffle Fri, 15 Nov 2019 21:19:22 +0000 Cleveland- After a dominating 21-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night the Cleveland Browns‘ victory was overshadowed by a scuffle between Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph and Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett. Rudolph was trying to rally his team and put together a productive drive with under 45 seconds left in regulation. On first and ten, Rudolph wanted to throw the ball down the field, but pressure by Garrett made Rudolph check the ball down to his running back. After the play was over, Rudolph and Garrett went after each other. There was a lot of pushing and shoving. Rudolph pushed Garrett to the ground and initiated an attempt to rip Garrett’s helmet off. Both of the players were yanking and pulling each other on the ground. As soon as Garrett got up and planted his feet, he yanked the helmet off of Rudolph’s head. Rudolph came charging at him and Garrett hit him with his helmet on the top of his head.

Steelers’ offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey engaged in the scuffle after he saw what was happening to his QB. He charged Garrett, shoved him to the ground, and started kicking him. In his response to his actions, Pouncey wanted to protect his quarterback from getting hurt.

After everything was settled, here are some of the reactions following the incident. “Where did it cross the line? Maybe where he took my helmet off and used it as a weapon,” Rudolph said vis CBS Sports. “I know it was bush league. It was a total coward move on his part. It’s OK; I’ll take it. I’m not gonna take it from any bully.”

“I never OK’d fights. Did I want them to get after their ass? Yes, I did, but that’s not fighting, that’s not after the whistle,” Browns’ head coach Freddie Kitchens said via CBS Sports. “That’s between the whistles, yes. I never condone fighting on a football field because that’s penalties. I don’t coach penalties. I don’t coach false starts. I don’t coach, after the whistle, grabbing somebody’s face mask. I don’t coach that. I never in my life condoned a fight. That’s a penalty.”

After Garrett cooled down, he took responsibility for his actions and apologized for it. “I want to apologize to Mason Rudolph, my teammates, our entire organization, our fans and to the NFL. I know I have to be accountable for what happened, learn from my mistake and I fully intend to do so,” said Garrett via ESPN.

Garrett’s actions have led to an indefinite suspension, while Pouncey serves a three-game suspension.

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Update on Tyler Lockett Fri, 15 Nov 2019 04:07:03 +0000 Seattle- After beating the San Francisco 49ers in overtime on Monday night in a thriller 27-24, the Seattle Seahawks had to hold their breath because their primary receiver Tyler Lockett was injured with a leg contusion. It has been reported by multiple sources that Lockett did not need surgery and felt like he could be back in the line-up next week. Seahawks’ head coach, Pete Carroll, is taking some precautions with Lockett moving forward. “Our people think he’s going to be fine to play,” Carroll said, according to the team’s website. “He’ll need the rest of this week to make sure everything goes away, but he should be fine to play next week.”


Lockett has emerged as Russell Wilson’s main receiver this season and is a big factor in getting Seattle in scoring position to win games or keep drives alive. This year Lockett is averaging 12.8 yards per catch and has caught 62 balls for 793 yards and has six touchdowns. Lockett has been on fire this season, and deserves to be one of the candidates for the most improved player this year. Lockett has always been dangerous on special teams, having 1,068 punt and kick return yards combined, but he has expanded his game in the wide receiver role. He has become a crafty receiver, getting to the right spots in his routes and winning jump balls over defenders. He has been one of the elite factors in keeping this underdog team in the hunt for postseason play.


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Cardinals Blow Late Lead for Third Consecutive Loss Wed, 13 Nov 2019 21:52:51 +0000 The Arizona Cardinals blew a late lead in Tampa on Sunday, falling to the Buccaneers 30-27.

The Cardinals’ defense once again could not stop their opponent when it mattered the most. Sadly, this is becoming a weekly event. The Cardinals gave up a touchdown to Peyton Barber with 1:43 left, capping a 92-yard drive for Tampa Bay, a drive that started after a Kyler Murray redzone interception. The drive was not without controversy as the Cardinals were the first victim of the NFL’s new pass interference replay rule. The Cardinals were not flagged on an apparent penalty by Jalen Thompson, and the NFL officials decided to review the play and penalized Arizona. This was the first non-flagged play overturned completely by the replay booth, without a coaches challenge. The penalty gave the Buccaneers the ball at the one yard line, and they scored the game winning touchdown two plays later.

On the ensuing drive, there was another pass interference controversy. On the last play of the game, Pharoh Cooper appeared to be contacted well before the ball arrived, interfering with his ability to make the catch, potentially setting the Cardinals up for the game-tying field goal. The play, for whatever reason, was not reviewed by the NFL. Another play in the long line of pass interference controversies this season for the NFL officials.

All of the blame can not be put on the officials. The Cardinals sabotaged themselves multiple times. They had three redzone trips that resulted in zero points. They had a turnover on downs when Maxx Williams lost a fourth and one pass in the sun, a David Johnson fumble, and the before mentioned Murray interception. Winning in the NFL is difficult. Turning the ball over three times in the redzone doesn’t make it any easier.

On the bright side, Christian Kirk had the best day of his NFL career. Kirk caught three touchdowns, including his first of the season. Murray has continued to look impressive, becoming a more accomplished passer by the week.

This is the third consecutive loss by Arizona after winning the previous three. The road isn’t any easier this week as they travel to San Francisco to face off against the NFC West leading 49ers. Hopefully the Cardinals will continue to show improvement and hand the 49ers the second loss of the season.

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Bills Lack Spark, Fall to Browns 19-16 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 06:59:36 +0000 In Week 10 the Browns came out swinging, and taunting, almost as though they forgot they were 2-6 on the season. In Cleveland’s very first possession they’d go 75 yards for a score in just under three minutes when Baker Mayfield found Jarvis Landry for a 17-yard touchdown. The excitement seemed to be a little too much for Landry as he decided to have words with Bills cornerback Levi Wallace after the play, resulting in a 15-yard taunting penalty. When you only find the endzone a couple times a year, it’s easy to forget how it feels. Thanks in large part to Mr. Landry, the Browns would end up missing the 40-yard extra point – a point that would almost haunt them.

It would take more than a quarter for Buffalo to answer, but Bills quarterback, Josh Allen, would find the endzone for the first of his two rushing scores with about 10 minutes left in the second quarter, giving Buffalo a 7-6 lead.

Mayfield and company would waste little time responding, and on the following drive go 13 plays for 69 yards. Luckily for Buffalo, the possession would end with an Austin Seibert field goal. With no touchdowns being scored, Landry seemed to be able to keep his composure and would allow the kick to be much shorter this time. Seibert’s 27-yard kick would split the uprights. 9-7, Browns.

Just before half, Allen would put the Bills in scoring position, but kicker, Steven Hauschka, would fail to convert a 34-yard field goal and the score would remain the same.

If Buffalo’s offense and special teams weren’t going make a play, the Bills defense decided they would. After the Bills’ first drive of the second half stalled, punter, Corey Bojorquez, would pin the Browns on their own seven-yard line.  On Cleveland’s very first play, Mayfield would be smothered in the endzone by Tremaine Edmunds for a safety to tie the game at nine.

Tremaine Edmunds

Tremaine Edmunds brings down Baker Mayfield for a safety during a 19-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Austin Siebert would add another field goal late in the third quarter to give the Browns the lead, 12-9, but Josh Allen would once again find the endzone on the ground with a one-yard touchdown plunge late in the fourth quarter. 16-12, Buffaloooooo!

It wouldn’t be enough. In Cleveland’s final drive, the 2018 Baker Mayfield would arrive. The sophomore quarterback would lead his team on a 10 play, 82-yard drive for a score. In the drive, Mayfield would go 7/8 for 61 yards which included a 7-yard touchdown to Rashard Higgins with just 1:44 left in the game. 19-12, Browns.

Allen would take Buffalo 40 yards down the field with little time on the clock only to see the kicker miss his second field goal of the game. In Hauschka’s defense, it was no chip shot, and the 53-yard try would sail wide left. Bills lose, 19-16.

The Bills offense had little to no spark in Cleveland, but in hindsight, it wouldn’t have taken much to spark the engine – or in this case, the “Motor”. Running back, Devin Singletary, also known as “Motor”, had just come off a game with 140 yards from scrimmage, the most by a Bills running back in the last two years. In Week 10, he’d continue that momentum, gashing the Browns defense on more than one occasion, while averaging 5.3 yards a carry. So, in a close game why did the rookie runner only get eight total carries? Even more puzzling, why did Josh Allen throw the ball 41 times? A season-high. Hindsight is always 20/20, but these decisions will do anything but quiet the critics for offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll.

For Cleveland, it was the type of win that could pull them from the depths of despair, while also leaving the Bills to take their place. For Buffalo, next week’s game against the Dolphins – who are suddenly on a winning streak – will tell us everything we need to know moving forward.

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Seattle Seahawks defeat the 49ers 27-24 Tue, 12 Nov 2019 05:44:17 +0000 Seattle- Coming into the game against the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks wanted to quiet the noise about handing the 49ers running game, and how to stop 49ers’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo extending plays. On the 49er’s first possession, the Seahawks shot themselves in the foot with three critical mistakes, which kept the 49ers drive active. On a 3rd and five at the Seahawks’ 20-yard line, the Seahawks’ brought pressure and Garoppolo had to rush his throw, which resulted in an incomplete pass. Chase McLaughin attempted a 43-yard attempt, which was successful to put the 49ers on top of the Seahawks 3-0.


After a quick three and out, the 49ers came right back out and rammed the ball down the Seahawks’ throat. They started their second drive with a 20-yard run, 15 -yard pass, and a couple of more running plays to get the 49ers in the redzone. Garoppolo threw a 26-yard touchdown strike to Kendrick Bourne to extend the lead to 10-0 against Seattle.  The Seahawks’ offensive line was struggling to protect Russell Wilson in the first half and Wilson was sacked twice. Seahawks’ running back Chris Carson was struggling to find his rhythm and did not have a run over seven yards.

With under five minutes left in the half, the Seahawks defense came up big as Jadeveon Clowney forced a strip-sack that would result in a touchdown, cutting the deficit to three, 10-7. After a quick three and out by the 49ers, Seahawks receiver, DK Metcalf, nearly helped Seattle take the lead when he took a screen pass to the 2-yard line, but a 49ers’ defensive back would strip the ball before Metcalf’s knee touched the ground to cause the turnover. After a booth review, it was confirmed a turnover and the Seahawks lost a chance to put potential points on the board. The halftime score was 10-7 in favor of the 49ers.

On the first possession in the second half, Seahawks running back, Rashaad Penny, put the ball on the ground and the 49ers recovered their second fumble, but could not capitalize off the turnover. Late in the third quarter, Garoppolo overthrew his receiver, which resulted in a pick. After the pick, Seattle scored a touchdown to put themselves up 14-10 five minutes left in the third quarter. On the 49ers ensuing drive, Garoppolo fumbled the ball and the Seahawks recovered their second fumble. Carson rumbled down the field for a 15-yard gain, which put Seattle at the 1-yard line and scored on the next play to extend their lead 21-10. After a couple of three and outs by both teams, momentum switched as the 49ers’ defense caused a fumble, recovered it, and scored a touchdown. The 49ers opted to go for the 2-point conversion to make it a three-point game, 21-18. After a Seahawks three and out, the 49ers took advantage of great field position and tacked on a field goal to tie the game at 21 with 5 minutes left in regulation.

Wilson proved that he is the candidate for MVP as he took his team down the field for a potential game-winning field goal. On a 3rd and 5, Wilson threw a slant pass to Josh Gordon to extend the drive.  Seattle had to resort to kicking a field goal to make it 24-21. The 49ers went down the field and kicked a game-tying field goal to make it 24-24. In overtime, Wilson took his team down the field but threw a critical interception at the 30-yard of the 49ers. 49ers drove down the field and had a chance to end the game on a field goal, but the field goal went wide left. Wilson had another crack to win the game with 45 seconds left in overtime and he put on his cape. Wilson ran for 20 yards to put his team in field goal range. With four seconds left, Jason Myers kicked the game-winning field goal to beat the undefeated 49ers 27-24.


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Rivers’ 3 INT Game a Huge Blow to LA’s Playoff Hopes Mon, 11 Nov 2019 04:53:03 +0000 He’s not, nor has he ever, been in the same conversation as Tom Brady. He’s not even mentioned in the same breath as this season’s media darlings, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson. And let’s face it, so far this season, he hasn’t even come within three touchdowns of Aaron Rodgers’ game high six touchdown passes, so he’s not going to be featured in an auto insurance commercial anytime soon. But Philip Rivers has always been the quintessential example of accuracy and consistency….that is until I decided to start him against the Raiders this week in my fantasy league, and it seemingly all went to hell. On Thursday night, Rivers was an uncharacteristic 17 for 31 passing, with 207 total yards and three interceptions. The Chargers would lose the game 26-24, an inter-division loss with huge postseason ramifications.
The Chargers’ first possession on Thursday night culminated with Rivers overthrowing wide receiver, Keenan Allen, and Raiders safety, Erik Harris, intercepting the football. The Raiders would ultimately tack on three points and jump out to an early lead. The very next possession, Erik Harris would again -inexplicably- intercept a Rivers pass, only this time he was able to find pay dirt on the return and stretch the lead to 10-0. It wouldn’t get any easier for Rivers, as he spent the majority of the game backpedaling and attempting to avoid defenders who broke through a patchwork offensive line (minus two starters) with little resistance.
Rivers was sacked five times on Thursday evening. Raiders rookie defensive ends, Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby, would combine for three of those five sacks. Chargers tackle, Sam Tevi, was held out of Thursday’s game with a knee injury. Veteran left tackle, Russell Okung, would miss all but the Chargers’ first possession when he sustained a groin injury early on. Fill in’s Trey Pipkins and Trent Scott were overmatched on most – if not all – of the Charger’s offensive possessions by a young Raiders defense that seemed to be feeding off the energy of the Black Hole.
It wasn’t all sour grapes for the Chargers offense on Thursday night. Melvin Gordon, despite the sudden personnel change blocking in front of him, rushed 22 times for 108 yards and one touchdown on the ground. Inexplicably, however, sixteen of those attempts came in the first half as the Chargers largely abandoned the run game in the second half. The decision to ride the arm of a struggling Philip Rivers is one that new offensive coordinator, Shane Steichen, will be questioning for the foreseeable future, especially if the Chargers miss the postseason after giving away a very winnable game on Thursday night.
Did the short week play a role in the sixteen year vets’ dismal performance? Was missing two starters on the offensive side of the ball just too much to overcome? The Chargers, now 4-6 overall and sitting in third place in their division, have an extended amount of time to regroup as they prepare for the Chiefs’ high-powered offense in a Monday night matchup on November 18th.
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Discount DOUBLE TAKE! Look again, Chargers Stun Packers 26-11 Thu, 07 Nov 2019 16:18:48 +0000 A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away – Carson, California, to be exact – the Los Angeles Chargers were once considered a lock to make the playoffs and seemed poised for a deep postseason run given their multitude of talent on both sides of the ball. Eight weeks into the season, however, sitting on a head-scratching 3-5 record, it was quite evident that there needed to be a change in order to restore order to the galaxy. The offense had been anemic on a weekly basis, Pro Bowl running back, Melvin Gordon, had seemingly lost his way, and the Evil Emperor, Ken Whisenhunt, was devoid of anything remotely creative or innovative in his offensive play calling. Alas, a spark was desperately needed, and that’s exactly what occurred on Sunday afternoon with the visiting 7-1 Packers from the NFC North in town. A change in the offensive play calling responsibilities earlier in the week from Whisenhunt to Shane Steichen, Melvin Gordon returning to his old form, and a long overdue stout defensive performance from the Chargers’ injury maligned defense – you might just say Sunday’s win over the Packers brings with it…. A New Hope. 

Shane Steichen, the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach for the last three seasons, was named the new offensive coordinator earlier in the week when the team parted ways with the long tenured, Ken Whisenhunt.  In his first game as offensive coordinator of the Chargers, Steichen employed a relatively balanced ground game which featured Melvin Gordon running the ball 20 times for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Austin Ekeler carrying the ball 12 times for 70 yards. Additionally, the duo accounted for 7 catches and over 50 yards in the air. With the ground game being successful, the Chargers were able to control the tempo of the game, but perhaps more importantly were able to keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands.

For the first time this season, with the ground game truly being successful, Philip Rivers was able to sit back in the pocket and carve up Green Bay’s defense with surgical precision. The veteran quarterback was 21 for 28 on the day, with 294 yards passing. For a second consecutive week, Rivers heavily targeted the talented trio of weapons: receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, and tight end, Hunter Henry. Henry, in particular, had a big day with 7 receptions while Williams gave the team a much needed deep threat with 3 catches for 111 yards.

Perhaps the most noteworthy stat of the game – and arguably the most welcome sight for Chargers fans – is that the defense held Aaron Rodgers to just 161 yards passing on the day. Additionally, and perhaps most shockingly, the high powered Green Bay offense was shutout in the first half. Joey Bosa was sensational once again. In the last three weeks, Bosa has five and a half sacks, 17 combined tackles and one forced fumble. Bosa, alongside pass rusher Melvin Ingram, wreaked havoc on Rodgers all game long.

It appears the Chargers are starting to get healthy at just the right time. With Russell Okung (OT) back with the offense and Melvin Ingram returning to the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers are still anxiously awaiting the return of safety, Derwin James. It will be interesting to see how Steichen and the offense look next week against a very porous Raiders defense, and if Bosa and the defense can make life difficult for Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr.

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The Seahawks ESCAPE a Trap Game Against the Bucs, 40-34 Tue, 05 Nov 2019 03:42:44 +0000 Seattle- The Seattle Seahawks scrapped out a victory in overtime against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a go-ahead touchdown to win 40-34. The Seahawks are now 7-2, and if the playoffs started right now, they would be the 5th seed in the NFC. However, the victory over the Bucs was short-lived. Seattle gave up a total of 418 yards and struggled to harass Bucs’ QB Jameis Winston in the pocket. Winston and the Bucs tested the bend-but-don’t-break defense of the Seahawks and almost stole the game from them. Winston took advantage of the middle of the field and the man on man coverage when Mike Evans was lined up against a matchup the Bucs liked. Evans killed the Seahawks’ secondary with 12 catches for 180 and one touchdown.


“To feel like you know when somebody is going to do something and you still can’t stop it, that’s when you know that you’re in trouble,” Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald said via Seattle times after the game. “It’s kind of the feeling that we’ve been having a lot lately,” McDougald continued. “We’re happy to get the win … but we all know that we still got improvement. We have to get better.”

Each week, it’s the same storyline with the Seahawks and their defensive struggles. They are ranked 25th in the league with yards allowed per game and seem to rely on one big play from their defense. Their defense is very young and still has a lot to learn. The questions that a lot of people are asking in Seattle is how long can we rely on Wilson and the offense, and can we actually win a Super Bowl with the type of defense that we have now?

Seattle is taking everything in stride, and with an experienced QB who always wears his cape to clean up the Seahawks’ disaster. The Seahawks are right in the mix of a very interesting playoff race. Seattle will begin their grueling second-half schedule with a combination of teams that have a record of 40-18-1. If the Seahawks do not find a solution with their defense and an accurate kicker, they could be a team with a 10-6 record missing the playoffs.

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The “Motor” Drives Bills to Victory Over Redskins Mon, 04 Nov 2019 00:25:11 +0000 It wasn’t always pretty, but rookie running back, Devin Singletary, nicknamed “Motor”, would start the game and be the driving force in a Bills 24-9 victory over Dwayne Haskins and the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon. On the way to 95 yards rushing and a touchdown, the rookie runner out of Florida Atlantic University showed the explosiveness and playmaking ability that caused Buffalo to select him with their third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Singletary would also add 45 yards receiving on the day, all of which came on a 49-yard screen in the first quarter. If that math looks off to you, it’s because his other two receptions went for negative yards. As stated earlier, it wasn’t always pretty for Buffalo.

Redskins running back, Adrian Peterson, would come into this week’s matchup with a total of 383 yards rushing on the year. That number isn’t quite on pace to reach his 2,000-yard goal for the season, but the 34-year-old showed us early on why he thinks catching Emmitt Smith one day is still a realistic achievement. The future Hall of Famer rumbled for 101 yards rushing in just the first half of Sunday’s contest, but adjustments made by Bills head coach, Sean McDermott, would limit Peterson to just seven yards on eight carries in the second half. “All Day” would fail to find the endzone, as would the rest of his teammates, extending the Redskins streak to 13 straight quarters without a touchdown.

It was Dwayne Haskins first NFL start, but the rookie signal caller couldn’t find the momentum needed to quiet the Bills Mafia. Buffalo’s elite pass defense would harass the former Buckeye all day, hitting him often, pressuring him regularly, and sacking him on four different occasions. Looking at the bigger picture, it wasn’t all bad for the first-round pick. Haskins didn’t turn the ball over, and on three different occasions put the Redskins within scoring range. If Washington’s front office can surround him with a few weapons, those three field goal drives can easily turn in to touchdown drives.

As for Buffalo’s signal-caller, Josh Allen, he did what was needed to win the game. His statistics: 14/20 for 160 yards passing and a six-yard touchdown that would be hauled in by Cole Beasley. Allen’s stats certainly won’t “wow” you, but the second-year quarterback got through the contest without a turnover. For the Bills to continue their winning ways, Allen cannot continue fumbling the football. He’d drop the ball twice today, once on an errant snap he recovered himself, and another time on a seven-yard run that was fortunately recovered by Bills guard, Quinton Spain.

Cole Beasley

Cole Beasley catches a 6-yard touchdown on Buffalo’s first drive against the Redskins.

The 6-2 Bills will head to Cleveland in Week 10 to take on a 2-6 Browns team that’s desperate for a win. The Browns have yet to win a game at home this season and head coach, Freddie Kitchens, is on the hot seat.

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49ers Stay Perfect with Close Win over Cardinals Sat, 02 Nov 2019 21:35:14 +0000 In a season that has been marked by an impressive defense, the San Francisco 49ers offense won them the game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The 49ers defeated the Cardinals (3-4-1) by a score of 28-25 to move to 8-0 at the midpoint of the season.

On a short week, the defense was evidently tired, as they gave up more points in one night to the Cardinals than they did in their last four games combined.

On a night when neither the defense or the running backs were playing well, the game was put in the hands of one man: Jimmy Garoppolo. When the spotlight shined on him, he did not disappoint.

The 49ers quarterback enjoyed arguably the best game of his NFL career, finishing 28/37 with 317 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. His clutch play allowed San Francisco to convert on 11 of 17 third downs.

He threw touchdowns to four different receivers, including tight end George Kittle, who had an impressive game even while playing through multiple injuries.

The San Francisco defense, which up to the midpoint of the season has been one of the best in the league, had a tough time containing the Cardinals’ rookie quarterback, Kyler Murray. He finished with 2 touchdowns and 130.7 passer rating. Maybe it’s a good thing he stuck to football.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the 49ers were up 28-14 and looked to have the game wrapped up. However, Murray had other plans. After leading the Cardinals to a field goal, he found fellow rookie Andy Isabella for an 88-yard touchdown pass and then converted a two-pointer to make it a 3-point game with 4:53 remaining.

Andy Isabella

Andy Isabella scores an 88-yard touchdown on Thursday night.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Murray never got a chance to win the game, as his defense was unable to get the San Francisco offense off of the field as Garoppolo converted two key third-down passes as the 49ers sealed the win.

On Halloween night, maybe the Cardinals defense was more focused on going trick-or-treating after the game.

At the midway point of the 2017 season, an 0-8 49ers squad dealt for the then-New England Patriot Garoppolo at the trade deadline. Exactly two years later, the team sits at 8-0. Times can change quickly in the NFL.

After a long week off, the 49ers will face the Seahawks (6-2) at home on Monday Night Football in a key divisional matchup.

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Josh Gordon Adds Depth for the Seahawks Sat, 02 Nov 2019 21:09:06 +0000 Seattle- The Seattle Seahawks put their eggs in the Josh Gordon basket and claimed him off of waivers to be a member of their dynamic receiving core. Gordon has had a history of making wrong decisions and putting his career in harm’s way. Gordon has said that he wanted to play for Pete Carroll and has felt the city of Seattle is where he can have a fresh start. “I’ve said it a million times to you guys: We’re always looking for guys that have something special about them,” Carroll said via ESPN. “We need to find out, so we’ll take a look next week and see what that means.”

Josh Gordon

Gordon will be adding more flash and physicality to the Seahawks, playing aside Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. Each of these players have a great sense of awareness when they are on the field and can exploit holes in zone defense. In Gordon’s career, he has 240 receiving yards for 4,113 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also has an average of 17.1 yards a catch. If Gordon can stay healthy and focused, the Seahawks have a legitimate shot at competing in postseason play.

Seahawks cornerback, Jamar Taylor, who was teammates with Gordon in Cleveland, had nothing but praise for Seattle’s new edition. “He was a good friend of mine, good teammate,” Taylor said via ESPN. “I never had a problem with him. Competed like crazy at practice with him. He’s big, fast, strong, can high-point the ball. He’s everything you want in a wide receiver. I think he’ll be good for our wide receiver room. He’ll learn some things from [Lockett], he’ll learn some things from Jaron Brown and all those guys, and again, it’s somebody that can help out Metcalf. You’ve got a big guy like that, they’re both similar. He can teach him how he catches the ball and releases and all stuff like that. So I think he’ll bring up everybody’s game.”

Russell Wilson is having an MVP type of season with 2,127 yards, 17 touchdowns, 1 interception and he has an 115.5 QB rating. If Gordon and Wilson can get on the same page, there will be a lot of chatter around the league about this duo.

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Pick Six: Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers Sat, 02 Nov 2019 19:43:28 +0000 The Tennessee Titans have won two in a row after changing quarterbacks. The offense looks a little more dynamic, Ryan Tannehill is not making mistakes and the defense is doing its usual. This week the task leads them to Charlotte, North Carolina as the Carolina Panthers are returning home after allowing over fifty points to the San Francisco 49ers. The Panthers will be focused and ready to get back in the win column in the worst way, but they have a tough customer in the Titans coming to town. In a battle of wills, who will win? The Titans hope it is them, and with these six keys they will help themselves get closer to that win.


1) Third Down Magic

The Tennessee Titans have converted 11 of their last 24 third downs over the past two games. With a defense as talented as the Panthers, the conversions of third downs will be crucial to winning this game. Also, the more they convert third downs, the more the Titans can continue to wear down the Panthers defense. Time of possession will be huge in this game with two very good defenses on display.

2) Contain the Pass Rush

The Titans offensive line seems to be doing a little better over the last two games, but the Panthers are a different animal altogether. With center Ben Jones out this game, the task will be a little more difficult, and the Titans will have to find a way to protect Tannehill if they want to have a chance at winning this game.

3) More Jonnu

Tight end Delanie Walker is out yet again. Of course the running game will be the focus for the Titans, but eventually they are going to have to put the ball in the air. One man that has proven to be very important to Tannehill’s success is Jonnu Smith. The young tight end is still developing, but in the last two weeks he has shown that he’s ready to take a bigger loan when called upon. His connection with Ryan Tannehill can be critical this week. He set a career-high with seven receptions against the Bucs, so the Panthers will be looking for him. It will be interesting to see how Smith deals with being on the scouting report.



1) All eyes on Christian McCaffrey

The most talented running back the Titans will face this season will be opposite of them this weekend. Christian McCaffrey has done a lot of things for the Panthers offense since he has become the focus of it. With the Titans knowing the capabilities of McCaffrey, they must make sure to fill holes and tackle in open space. The more that happens, the more the Panthers offense will struggle.

2) Jeffery Simmons time

No one was sure when Jeffery Simmons would come back and what he would look like. Well, he is back and he looks like a man possessed out there. With Jurrell Casey out for this game, Simmons’ role will more than likely expand. With a bigger role, he has to make more plays in this game for the Titans to win. Look for him to have at least two sacks along with making the Carolina offensive line feel him all game long.

3)  Ball Hawks

The Titans have a stout defense and it has kept them in games all season long. Along with needing them to play at their peak level, the big thing that needs to continue is the turnovers. Two big turnovers gave the offense 14 points and in this game, they will need to do the same defensively on the road against a desperate team.

Can the Titans keep the energy up and continue this winning streak or do they let the Panthers get back on the winning side of things? We shall see come Sunday.

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Wide Left! Chargers survive in Chicago, 17-16 Tue, 29 Oct 2019 05:21:44 +0000 Four punts, one interception, and a 19-yard touchdown run by the Artist Formerly Known As ‘Pro Bowl Running Back’, Melvin Gordon. Safe to say, it was an inauspicious start to the game for the Chargers offense on Sunday. The second half was not much prettier, as Los Angeles would only account for 237 total yards of offense in the game, their lowest output of the season thus far. But when it was all said and done, and Chicago kicker Eddy Pineiro’s game-winning attempt sailed just left of the upright, the Chargers would escape the Windy City with a 17-16 victory over the Bears.
While there was very little to be enthralled about offensively, the Chargers did show flashes of what they can be when everyone is healthy. Melvin Gordon, still trying to shake the rust off, did show glimpses of his old self – cutting the ball back, bursting through a seam and refusing to be denied at the goal line. While the running back did only account for 31 yards on 8 carries – largely in part to the running game being abandoned and the Chargers inability to get any sort of momentum going on the offensive side of the ball – he did have a spring in his step that was very reminiscent of the Melvin Gordon from years past. Undoubtedly, this comes as great news to Chargers fans as the next three games are against teams who have struggled against the run all season.
Despite only throwing for 201 total yards on 19 of 29 passing, Philip Rivers again proved himself to still be capable of accurately distributing the football to his triad of weapons. Receivers, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, combined for 122 yards on 10 catches, while tight end, Hunter Henry, caught four balls for 47 yards. So far this season, however, the Chargers have been unable to get the run game and the passing game going in the same game. Moving forward – and perhaps with Gordon finally (hopefully) in midseason form – it will be interesting to see how run-heavy or pass-heavy the Chargers choose to go with their playcalling.
In a game where their offense struggled to put points on the board, the Chargers needed their defense to show up. Bears running back, David Montgomery, rushed for 135 yards on 27 attempts. The rookie running back out of Iowa State also punched it into the end zone with a four-yard run in the 3rd quarter. Gashed on the ground by Montgomery, and picked apart through the air by Mitchell Trubisky (23/35, 253 yards), the Chargers defense did just enough (3 sacks, 1 int) to keep the Bears out of the end zone and force three Pineiro field goals. Pineiro’s final attempt of the game, a 41-yarder, hooked wide left as time expired.
Next Sunday, the Chargers will attempt to cool off Aaron Rodgers and the surging Packers (7-1). Rodgers has nine touchdown passes in his last two games, and the Packers are fresh off impressive victories over the Cowboys, Lions, and Chiefs. The Aaron Rodgers-Aaron Jones duo figures to be the most dynamic quarterback-running back tandem the Chargers have faced so far this season and it will take a valiant performance on both sides of the ball from the Chargers to avoid falling to 3-6 on the year.
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Bosa, Coleman shine as 49ers dominate Panthers Tue, 29 Oct 2019 04:44:23 +0000 Some times good things come in sevens.

In their seventh win of the season, the San Francisco 49ers scored seven touchdowns and recorded seven sacks. Not bad for a day’s work.

On an afternoon where they were firing on all cylinders, the 49ers (7-0) obliterated the Carolina Panthers (4-3) in front of a raucous crowd at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Notably, it was the first time in NFL history that a game ended with a score of 51-13.

To start the game, longtime Denver Bronco wide receiver, Emmanuel Sanders, scored his first touchdown as a 49er on a 4-yard dart from quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. Taking a 7-0 lead, San Francisco got off to a fast start and never looked back.

The defense continued their dominating ways, save for one long touchdown run by superstar running back, Christian McCaffrey, who played his college ball at nearby Stanford. When fire meets fire, somebody’s going to lose, and while McCaffrey got the better of the 49ers defense on one play, he was mostly contained for the rest of the afternoon.

While it was a team win through and through, one player on each side of the ball stood out above the rest.

Running back, Tevin Coleman, enjoyed a career day, scoring four touchdowns to singlehandedly outscore the entire Panthers offense. He became just the second player in 49ers history to score four touchdowns in a game, with the other being Jerry Rice, who did it twice. He finished with 119 yards on the ground to lead the 49ers.

If the rest of the league hadn’t heard of rookie Nick Bosa yet, they certainly have now. He sacked Panthers quarterback, Kyle Allen, who was starting in place of the injured Cam Newton, three times in the first half. In an encore performance, he intercepted Allen to end the third quarter and nearly ran it all the way to the end zone. Being the top performer for an undefeated team that boasts one of the league’s top defenses, he is establishing himself as a premier candidate not just for Defensive Rookie of the Year, but for Defensive Player of the Year. Should he win the latter award, he would be the first to do so since the legendary linebacker, Lawrence Taylor, in 1986.

Both of the aforementioned players were impressive offseason acquisitions by coach, Kyle Shanahan, and General Manager, John Lynch, this year. The chemistry and success shared between Shanahan and Lynch cannot be understated, as they have brought a perennially poor team into contenders in only a couple of years. They have consistently brought in players who play well in the team’s system and have built a problem-free locker room.

The 49ers regime of the early 2010’s ended abruptly because of a notoriously bitter relationship between the head coach, general manager, and owner at the time. The team has clearly learned from their mistakes.

Off of a short week, the Red and Gold will travel to Arizona on Thursday night to take on the Cardinals (3-4-1) as they will look for their eighth of the season.

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Critics Believe That the Seahawks are an Average Team Tue, 29 Oct 2019 01:59:32 +0000 Seattle- The Seattle Seahawks, who thumped the Atlanta Falcons in the first half of their game on Sunday, are receiving a lot of backlash for letting Atlanta get back into the game in the second half, and almost losing.  The Seahawks went on to win the game 27-20, but what got the critics chirping was the lackadaisical playcalling on the offensive side of the ball, and the miscommunication in the secondary of their defense. The Seahawks were trying to run the ball down the Falcons’ throat with a mixture of Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny; both players combined for 145 yards on the ground, but penalties halted potential drives.


Each week it seems like the Seahawks start off slow in the first half and play better in the second half, but against the Falcons they jumped up 24-0 before the half and only scored a field goal in the second half. Their defense came up big in the fourth quarter to stop a potential game-tying drive. Despite the 6-2 record, critics are saying that the Seahawks are just an average team beating up on teams that are below .500. The Seahawks wins came from teams that have a combined record of 13-31-1 and their only true test came against an inconsistent Rams team that is 5-3.

Seattle has been praised as a team that can get it done in the 4th quarter because they have a dangerous guy in Russell Wilson, who has been the fourth quarter king in his career. However, how many times does Wilson have to pull the Seahawks out of a ditch, before they sink? During the second half of the stretch, the Seahawks will face teams that have a combined record of 38-20-1. With some of the teams that they will play in the upcoming weeks, their defense has to show up. They have been brutally beaten on one on one plays and that has led to big plays down the field for their opponents. 

Some critics have felt that the Seahawks could go 10-6 and be a wildcard team, but in the state of Washington many fans feel like the Seahawks are killing themselves with not paying attention to the little details early on in the season. Too many turnovers and not converting on third and short have made game planning difficult. It will be interesting to see if the Seahawks can close out the second half of the season without making the minor mental mistakes that could potentially cost them games, as well as a playoff spot.

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Ugly Weather, Uglier Score, Eagles Soar in Buffalo Mon, 28 Oct 2019 00:14:33 +0000 Defense may win championships, but it’s a difficult task to ask them to carry you to victory for 16 regular-season games. On a rainy and windy day, Buffalo’s defense was unable to do so, and the Eagles will fly home with a 31-13 road victory.

The first quarter would be fairly quiet. Philly would strike first with a field goal, and it would be the only points of the quarter. On a 10-play drive that started in the first quarter, Buffalo would find the endzone in the first few seconds of the second quarter when Josh Allen connected with Cole Beasley for a 14-yard touchdown. Bills would lead, 7-3.

In a critical turning point, Allen would fumble late in the second quarter deep in his own territory, and the Eagles would recover. It would be Allen’s second fumble of the game, his seventh of the season, and the green team would take the ball 24 yards in five plays for a score, leaving just 25 seconds left in the half. Instead of kicking into the wind, the Eagles decided to go for two, and would succeed. 11-7, Eagles.

After a good return by Andre Roberts, a deep out to John Brown, and a 14-yard scramble by Allen, Buffalo found themselves in field goal range with just a few seconds left in the second quarter. However, the wind had other plans and Steven Hauschka’s field goal would carry wide right as the half expired.

In Philly’s second play of the new half, rookie running back, Miles Sanders, would gallop 65 yards to the house. The Eagles would miss the extra point and the score would be 17-7, Philly.

Just when it felt like all the air had been sucked out of the Bills Mafia, Allen would answer. Buffalo would go on a 10 play, 75-yard drive that would be capped off with a 28-yard catch and run by rookie running back, Devin Singletary. Unfortunately for Buffalo, their scoring would end there, and Philly would run away with it – literally. On their following drive, Wentz and the Eagles offense would answer with a four-yard touchdown run from running back, Boston Scott.

When it was all said and done, the backfield of brotherly love would carry the ball a whopping 41 times for 218 yards and three touchdowns – Wentz would have eight of those carries for 35 yards. A run game like that will prevent any opposing offense from gaining momentum, while also wearing down a defense. The Bills would finish the game with just 253 total yards (98 rushing, 155 passing).

Buffalo will be back home next week to take on the Washington Redskins in a game that isn’t just a should-win, but a must-win.

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Russel Wilson, Poised for an MVP Caliber Week in Atlanta Sun, 27 Oct 2019 00:57:40 +0000 If the season were to end now, one could make a strong argument that Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, is most deserving of MVP honors. Wilson heads into Week 8 with 1,945 yards passing, 15 touchdowns, and only one interception. His passing yards may only be good enough to rank him tenth, but the gap between first and tenth place is only 235 yards. Spread out over seven games and we’re talking about a measly 34 yards a game. Wilson’s 15 touchdown passes lead the league (a three-way tie with Patrick Mahomes and Matt Ryan), and his passer rating of 114.1 is good enough for second place.

What makes these numbers truly impressive is the lack of star talent Wilson has as his disposal. His best receiver, Tyler Lockett, while talented, is hardly prototypical. Lockett is listed as a generous 170 pounds and doesn’t crack six feet tall. Their second-best receiver, DK Metcalfis the prototypical big-bodied wideout offensive coordinators drool over but has been quiet in his first season. He’s projected to finish the season with 46 receptions for 889 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers would be respectable, but after a summer full of Instagram flexing, and a combine performance that nearly broke the internet, you’d think he was going to be unstoppable. Wilson has also somehow completed over 68% of his passes with a suspect offensive line. Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranks Seattle’s offensive line 29thin pass blocking and 17th in run blocking. We’re at midseason and the Seahawks are still having competitions to find out who will be their starting guard.

Aside from statistics, the main factor in crowning an MVP is evaluating how well the candidate’s team would do without them. If we took Russell off the Seahawks, would they still be 5-2? You could replace Wilson with any quarterback, and you’d still be hard-pressed to find someone who thought Seattle would still be as successful. Replace Russell with his backup, Geno Smith, and many would argue Seattle might be in a battle with the Miami Dolphins for the first-overall pick of the 2020 draft.

This week Wilson and company will head to Atlanta to take on the flightless Falcons, and you can expect his MVP stock to rise even higher. Atlanta is a dreadful 1-6. To make matters worse, they will be without quarterback, Matt Ryan, this Sunday. Ryan suffered a sprained ankle in the fourth quarter of last week’s game and will be forced to sit this one out. It will be the first game Ryan has missed in a decade, and taking his place will be 38-year-old, Matt Schaub. Earlier in the week the Falcons also traded receiver, Mohamed Sanu, to the Patriots – one less weapon Seattle will have to worry about.

When Wilson takes the field on Sunday, he’ll be up against the league’s 28th ranked pass defense. That same defense gives up 31.9 points a game – only the Dolphins give up more (35.2). Falcon’s head coach, Dan Quinn, has been on the hot seat for a while now, and with an MVP caliber quarterback coming to town, his seat may all but disintegrate come Monday morning.

Kickoff is scheduled for 10 am Eastern Time, and the Seahawks are currently favored by eight points.

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Jerry Jones Donates $1 Million to Thomas Jefferson High School Sat, 26 Oct 2019 19:28:47 +0000 Dallas- Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, decided to surprise Thomas Jefferson High School with a check for $1 million to help rebuild the school’s football field, as well as contribute to what the school lost in damages caused by a tornado that ripped everything apart. 


Our family, the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL Foundation are proud to be a part of this announcement today,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, and Chair of the NFL Foundation. “We are saddened by the devastation that these storms brought upon our community, and we and eager and determined to help get the rebuilding process started. We reached this decision after consulting with the DISD leadership and hearing their input as to how we could help in an area of need that wouldn’t necessarily be covered by government funding.”

Jones and his foundation are known to help communities when they need it, so it was not out the question for Jones to help Thomas Jefferson High School. The announcement was made during the homecoming game versus Spruce High School, and all of the students were filled with excitement and glee. “Athletics play such a key role in the growth and development of our youth, but the funding for quality programs and facilities is often overlooked or underdeveloped, especially in times of hardship,” said Jones Anderson. “This gift will help the students and athletes of Thomas Jefferson to be able to continue to grow, compete and enjoy the benefits of sports, and related school activities, for generations to come.”

There is a message that people should take from this generous gesture. No matter your differences on political matters or religion, at the end of the day, help people out in a positive manner when they are in need.

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Eagles vs. Bills: A Duel of the Criticized QB Sat, 26 Oct 2019 09:19:16 +0000 The Buffalo Bills may be headed into Week 8 with a record of 5-1, but they still have many critics. More specifically, second-year quarterback, Josh Allen, still has many critics. Before we can understand the criticism, we must first understand the role of a critic. A critic would like you to believe they come from an unbiased realm of constructive criticism, but in 2019, that realm doesn’t exist. The only realm most critics come from is the upside down, and instead of offering a true evaluation, they say stranger things.

This week, the highly criticized Allen will be at home to take on head coach, Doug Pederson, and his skidding Philadelphia Eagles. Regardless of their record (3-4), Philly is capable of beating any team, on any given day. Let us not forget, the Eagles are less than two full years removed from being crowned Super Bowl Champions, and the Bills should expect the birds of the NFC East to be one of their tougher challenges this season.

Pederson will arrive at New Era Field on Sunday with a gunslinger of his own – Carson Wentz. When it comes to the measurables, Allen and Wentz are nearly identical. Both stand 6’5”, weighs approximately 240 pounds, and their 40-yard dashes would likely require a photo finish to determine the winner. Those mountains over there? Both quarterbacks can throw a ball over them.

When Buffalo traded up in the 2018 NFL Draft to select Allen with the seventh overall pick, they hoped they were getting a player similar to the man he’ll face off against this weekend. But as of late, Wentz has received even more harsh criticism than Allen. One simple Google search for “Carson Wentz”, and you’ll see articles ranging from Wentz’s “struggles” within the playbook to rumors that some of his teammates would rather play for former backup quarterback, Nick Foles. It’s interesting chatter for a man who’s thrown 13 touchdowns to only four interceptions on the season. Never mind that Wentz’s receivers nearly lead the league in drops (13), or that his defense is ranked in the bottom third of the NFL for points given up (26.6). The City of Brotherly Love is pointing the finger squarely at Wentz.

If either quarterback hopes to silence their critics, they’ll need a good showing this Sunday. Unfortunately for Wentz, he will be up against an elite defense. Buffalo’s D ranks third in total yards per game (292.7 yds/g), and third in points given up (15.2 pts/g).

Allen will be up against a Philly defense ranked 27th against the pass – giving up 270.6 yards per game through the air. After releasing Orlando Scandrick earlier in the week, the Eagles pass defense will be in even more disarray. If there was a game for Josh Allen to break out the arm, it will be this week. If all goes well, we won’t see any of those passes that simply “float through the air”, as one critic put it. Maybe this week Allen will have the fortitude to throw the ball downfield (insert eye roll) – we know John Brown would appreciate it.

Kickoff is scheduled for 10 am Eastern Time, and the Bills are currently favored by 1.5 points.

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On Rainy Day, 49ers Defeat Redskins to Stay Perfect Thu, 24 Oct 2019 05:32:21 +0000 It has been said that the truly great teams win games even when they play poorly.

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Washington Redskins by a score of 9-0 on Sunday in FedEx Field, just outside of Washington, D.C.

In an old school football game, both teams had trouble on offense and neither team found the end zone all game long. The 49ers (6-0) managed three Robbie Gould field goals, while the Redskins’ (1-6) only attempt sailed wide right.

49ers quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, completed 12 of 21 passes for 151 yards and an interception, while running back, Tevin Coleman, led San Francisco on the ground with 20 carries for 62 yards. While those numbers are not terribly efficient, they can be somewhat excused because of the heavy rain that affected this game.

Any time a team pitches a shutout in the NFL, that is something to be very proud of, even if weather is a factor. The 49ers defense has proved to be one of the best in the league, as they have now held opposing quarterbacks to under 80 yards through the air in three consecutive games.

Defensive end, Nick Bosa, shined when the sun didn’t for San Francisco, as he added to his impressive rookie campaign with a game-ending sack of Redskins quarterback, Case Keenum.

Rain was coming down all game long, and it led to a muddy game and affected numerous coaching decisions.

If you didn’t know that it was raining so hard, you may have thought the Redskins were stuck in 1920 if you saw their box score. They ran the ball with Adrian Peterson on their first seven offensive plays of the game and were limited to 50 passing yards.

As a result of the rain, at various points in the game both teams elected to try to convert fourth downs in their opponents’ territory rather than kick field goals. Both teams’ kickers missed their first attempts of the afternoon.

Fans who came to see offensive fireworks may be wishing they had their money back, but fans of defense got what they were looking for. Amazingly, this game was tied 0-0 at halftime. In the era of the forward pass, this is certainly a rarity.

When it rains, it pours for the Redskins. Sunday was their alumni homecoming day, and in addition to not scoring any points, there were just as many fans cheering for the 49ers as there were for the home team. Not the best look.

On the bright side for Washington natives, the Nationals are making their first World Series appearance, so at least they have that.

San Francisco and the New England Patriots (from whom the 49ers acquired Garoppolo) remain the only undefeated teams in the NFL. The 49ers will look to keep their record perfect against the Carolina Panthers (4-2) on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

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