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Archive for September 12th, 2017

NFL moves into Week 2 with Bengals hosting Texans, Browns at Ravens; Game Previews


Chargers host Dolphins as franchise returns to Los Angeles
Falcons open Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday night against Packers

The NFL got back to football last weekend and the season now heads into Week 2.

Everybody wants to get off to a good start as history has shown that teams that are victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game. But that doesn’t mean an 0-1 start is impossible to overcome as nearly 25 percent of teams that lost the opener went to the playoffs.

Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule (and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982):

Of the 570 teams which won openers… 297 went to the playoffs (179 won division titles)

Of the 571 teams which lost openers… 137 went to the playoffs (79 won division titles)

(Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season opening games due to the fact that the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999 to 2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.)

Week 2 kicks off with Thursday Night Football as the Houston Texans visit the Cincinnati Bengals (NFL Network, 8:25 PM ET). The two teams have combined for nine playoff berths since 2011 (Cincinnati, five and Houston, four).

On Sunday afternoon, the Chargers make their return to Los Angeles for the franchise’s first home game in LA since 1960 as the team hosts the Miami Dolphins in their regular-season home opener at StubHub Center (4:05 PM ET, CBS). And, that night in primetime (8:30 PM ET, NBC), the Atlanta Falcons will open their new home – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – when they host the Green Bay Packers in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game on Sunday Night Football.

Here’s a look at a few interesting storylines entering Week 2:




  • Philadelphia quarterback CARSON WENTZ passed for 307 yards and two touchdowns – including a 58-yard TD to wide receiver NELSON AGHOLOR – in the Eagles’ 30-17 win at Washington. Wentz improved to 4-0 in his career as a starter in the month of September with seven touchdown passes, one interception and a 101.8 passer rating.
  • The Eagles sealed the victory over the Redskins when defensive end BRANDON GRAHAM forced a fumble on a sack which defensive tackle FLETCHER COX returned 20 yards for a TD with 1:29 remaining in the game.


  • Kansas City head coach ANDY REID spent 14 seasons (1999-2012) with the Eagles, compiling a team-record 130 regular-season wins and 10 postseason victories while capturing six division titles and making five NFC Championship appearances.
  • In the Kickoff Weekend opener on Thursday night, the Chiefs defeated New England 42-27. Rookie running back KAREEM HUNT amassed 246 scrimmage yards (148 rushing, 98 receiving) – the most ever by a player in his NFL debut – and scored three touchdowns. Kansas City quarterback ALEX SMITH posted a 148.6 passer rating against the Patriots and became the first quarterback to complete at least 80 percent of his passes (80.0) for 350 yards (368) with four touchdowns (four) and no interceptions against the defending Super Bowl champion.


BUFFALO BILLS (1-0) at CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-0) (Sunday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)


  • Buffalo head coach SEAN MC DERMOTT notched his first career victory as a head coach last week in the Bills’ 21-12 win over the New York Jets. McDermott spent the previous six seasons as Carolina’s defensive coordinator, helping the Panthers win three division titles and advance to Super Bowl 50.


  • In last week’s victory over the Jets, running back LE SEAN MC COY rushed for 110 yards and quarterback TYROD TAYLOR threw two touchdown passes. Taylor and Carolina’s CAM NEWTON are the only players with at least 5,000 passing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns since the start of the 2015 season.


  • The Panthers limited San Francisco to three points and 217 total yards (51 rushing, 166 passing) in Carolina’s 23-3 Week 1 victory at Levi’s Stadium.
  • Carolina quarterback CAM NEWTON threw touchdown passes to wide receiver RUSSELL SHEPARD (40 yards) and running back JONATHAN STEWART (nine) in the win. In his NFL debut, rookie running back CHRISTIAN MC CAFFREY led the team with five receptions and 85 scrimmage yards (47 rushing, 38 receiving).


DALLAS COWBOYS (1-0) at DENVER BRONCOS (1-0) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)


  • Dallas quarterback DAK PRESCOTT passed for 268 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 19-3 win over the New York Giants. Tight end JASON WITTEN, who had 59 yards and a touchdown, has 11,947 career receiving yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL IRVIN (11,904) for the most in franchise history.
  • In the team’s Week 1 victory, the Dallas defense limited the Giants to three points and 233 total yards (35 rushing, 198 passing) while recording three sacks – including two by defensive end DEMARCUS LAWRENCE – and an interception (cornerback ANTHONY BROWN).


  • Denver quarterback TREVOR SIEMIAN threw two touchdown passes – both to wide receiver BENNIE FOWLER III – and rushed for a score in the Broncos’ 24-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Kickoff Weekend. Siemian joined Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY and BRIAN GRIESE as the only Broncos quarterbacks to record multiple touchdown passes and a TD run in a Week 1 opener.
  • Broncos defensive end SHELBY HARRIS sealed the victory for Denver by blocking the Chargers’ potential game-tying 44-yard field goal with one second remaining in the game.


GREEN BAY PACKERS (1-0) at ATLANTA FALCONS (1-0) (Sunday, NBC, 8:30 PM ET)


  • This will be the first regular-season NFL game at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The stadium, which will host Super Bowl LIII on February 3, 2019, is expected to have its unique retractable roof open for this game (weather conditions permitting) for the first time.
  • The contest is a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game which the Falcons won 44-21. Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN passed for 392 yards and scored five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) in that game while wide receiver JULIO JONES had nine catches for 180 yards and two TDs.
  • The Packers opened the season with a 17-9 home victory over Seattle. Quarterback AARON RODGERS passed for 311 yards with one touchdown and running back TY MONTGOMERY added 93 scrimmage yards with a rushing TD.
  • Against the Seahawks, wide receivers RANDALL COBB (nine catches for 85 yards) and JORDY NELSON (seven catches for 79 yards with one TD) combined for 16 catches and 164 yards with one touchdown.
  • The Falcons used a late defensive stand deep in their own territory to hold on for a 23-17 win at Chicago in Week 1. Defensive end BROOKS REED sealed the victory with a sack on fourth down from the Atlanta five-yard line with three seconds remaining in the game.
  • Atlanta’s AUSTIN HOOPER had two catches for 128 yards, including an 88-yard touchdown, the longest TD reception by a tight end in a season opener in NFL history.

DETROIT LIONS (1-0) at NEW YORK GIANTS (0-1) (Monday, ESPN, 8:30 PM ET)


  • The Lions opened the season with a 35-23 win over Arizona as the team rallied from a 17-15 fourth-quarter deficit. Last season, Detroit won eight games when trailing in the fourth quarter, the most by a team in a single season in NFL history.
  • Detroit quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 292 yards and four touchdowns in the win over the Cardinals and has 27 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since 2011, the most by a QB in the NFL over that span. Rookie wide receiver KENNY GOLLADAY had two touchdown catches in the fourth quarter, including a 45-yarder, in his NFL debut.
  • The Giants have won 50 home openers in franchise history and are one of only four teams all-time with at least 50 victories in home openers.
  • Last week at Dallas, Giants quarterback ELI MANNING started his 200th consecutive game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE(297) and PEYTON MANNING (208) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to start at least 200 consecutive games.





(All times local)

Thursday, September 14 Sunday, September 17 (cont’d)
Houston at Cincinnati, 8:25 PM (NFLN) Chicago at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM
Miami at Los Angeles Chargers, 1:05 PM
Sunday, September 17 New York Jets at Oakland, 1:05 PM
Cleveland at Baltimore, 1:00 PM Dallas at Denver, 2:25 PM
Buffalo at Carolina, 1:00 PM Washington at Los Angeles Rams, 1:25 PM
Arizona at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM San Francisco at Seattle, 1:25 PM
Tennessee at Jacksonville, 1:00 PM Green Bay at Atlanta, 8:30 PM (NBC)
Philadelphia at Kansas City, 12:00 PM
New England at New Orleans, 12:00 PM Monday, September 18
Minnesota at Pittsburgh, 1:00 PM Detroit at New York Giants, 8:30 PM (ESPN)



A look back at Week 1, KICKOFF WEEKEND in the NFL


KICKING THINGS OFF: A look at some notes from across the league on Kickoff Weekend 2017:


  • The DALLAS COWBOYS defeated the New York Giants 19-3 on Sunday Night Football and the DENVER BRONCOS beat the Los Angeles Chargers, 24-21 on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys and Broncos both improved to 38-19-1 (.667*) on Kickoff Weekend, tied for the top mark in the NFL. *Note: Ties for both teams occurred prior to 1972 and do not count in winning percentage.

    The Broncos have won six consecutive games on Kickoff Weekend, the longest active streak in the NFL.

  • The GREEN BAY PACKERS defeated the Seattle Seahawks 17-9 on Kickoff Weekend at Lambeau Field. The Packers have won their past five home openers and have an NFL-best 55 wins on Kickoff Weekend.
  • Denver’s VANCE JOSEPH (24-21 vs. Los Angeles Chargers), Buffalo’s SEAN MC DERMOTT (21-12 vs. New York Jets), and the Los Angeles Rams’ SEAN MC VAY (46-9 vs. Indianapolis) all won in their Kickoff Weekend debuts.

    The Rams’ 46 points under McVay marked the third-highest total in a head coach’s debut since 1933, trailing only the debuts of BOB SNYDER with the 1947 Los Angeles Rams (48-7 win at Pittsburgh) and BUD CARSON with the 1989 Cleveland Browns (51-0 win at Pittsburgh).

  • New England quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 267 yards in the Patriots’ Week 1 loss to the Chiefs. Brady (4,075) joinedPEYTON MANNING (4,736) and DREW BREES (4,597) as the third quarterback with at least 4,000 career passing yards in season-opening games.
  • New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES passed for 291 yards with one touchdown for a 104.7 rating in the Saints’ 29-19 loss at Minnesota on Monday Night Football. Brees, who has 34 career touchdown passes on Kickoff Weekend, tied PEYTON MANNING(34) for the most career touchdown passes in season-opening games.
  • Cleveland rookie quarterback DE SHONE KIZER made his first-career start against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Kickoff Weekend. At least one rookie quarterback has started in Week 1 in 10 consecutive seasons, the longest streak in the NFL since at least 1950.

– NFL –

PROLIFIC PASSERS: Minnesota quarterback SAM BRADFORD completed 27 of 32 passes (84.4 percent) for 346 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 143.0 passer rating in the Vikings’ 29-19 victory over New Orleans on Monday Night Football. Kansas City quarterback ALEX SMITH passed for 368 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions on 28 of 35 passing (80.0 percent) in the Chiefs’ 42-27 win against New England in Foxborough on Thursday night.

Bradford and Smith are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to complete 80 percent of their passes with at least 325 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a season-opening game.

Sam Bradford Minnesota 27 32 84.4 346 3 0 143.0
Alex Smith Kansas City 28 35 80.0 368 4 0 148.6


Smith, who led the Chiefs to a victory over the Super Bowl LI Champion Patriots, is the first quarterback in league history with at least 350 passing yards, four touchdowns, a completion percentage of 80 or higher and no interceptions against the defending Super Bowl champion.

– NFL –

ROOKIES ROCKET OUT OF GATES: Three rookie running backs – Kansas City’s KAREEM HUNT (148 rushing yards), Minnesota’sDALVIN COOK (127) and Jacksonville’s LEONARD FOURNETTE (100) – each rushed for at least 100 yards in their NFL debuts on Kickoff Weekend.

Hunt, Cook and Fournette are the first trio of rookie running backs with at least 100 rushing yards in Week 1 since OTTIS ANDERSON (193 rushing yards), WILLIAM ANDREWS (167) and JERRY ECKWOOD (121) in 1979.

2017 1979
Kareem Hunt Kansas City 148   Ottis Anderson St. Louis Cardinals 193
Dalvin Cook Minnesota 127   William Andrews Atlanta 167
Leonard Fournette Jacksonville 100   Jerry Eckwood Tampa Bay 121


– NFL –

FAST-RISING FALCON: Atlanta wide receiver JULIO JONES had four catches for 66 yards in the Falcons’ 23-17 win at Chicago on Kickoff Weekend.

Jones, who has 501 career receptions, reached 500 catches in his 80th career game, tying ANQUAN BOLDIN for the fewest games to reach the milestone in NFL history.

The players to reach 500 career receptions in the fewest games in NFL history:

Julio Jones Atlanta 80
Anquan Boldin Arizona 80
Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 84
Larry Fitzgerald Arizona 87
Andre Johnson Houston 88

– NFL –

COWBOY CORNERSTONE: Dallas tight end JASON WITTEN had seven catches for 59 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 19-3 win against the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. Witten, who has 11,947 career receiving yards in 15 seasons with the Cowboys, passed Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL IRVIN (11,904) for the most career receiving yards in franchise history.

The players with the most receiving yards in Dallas Cowboys history:

Jason Witten 2003-2017 11,947*
Michael Irvin^ 1988-1999 11,904
Tony Hill 1977-1986 7,988
Drew Pearson 1973-1983 7,822
Bob Hayes^ 1965-1974 7,295

^Pro Football Hall of Famer


– NFL –

BIG-PLAY BROWN: Pittsburgh wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN had 11 catches for 182 receiving yards in the Steelers’ 21-18 victory at Cleveland on Kickoff Weekend. His 182 receiving yards are the third-most on Kickoff Weekend in the past 10 seasons.

Brown has six career games with at least eight catches and 180 receiving yards, tied for the third-most in NFL history.

The players with the most career games with at least eight receptions and 180 receiving yards:

Isaac Bruce St. Louis Rams 7  
Charley Hennigan Houston Oilers 7  
Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers 6*  
Lance Alworth^ San Diego Chargers 6  
Andre Johnson Houston Texans 6  

^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– NFL –

IRON-MANNING: New York Giants quarterback ELI MANNING passed for 220 yards in the Giants’ Week 1 loss to the Cowboys.

Manning, who made his first career start for the Giants on November 21, 2004 against Atlanta, is the third quarterback in NFL history to start at least 200 consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (297) and PEYTON MANNING (208).

The most consecutive games started by a quarterback in NFL history:

Brett Favre^ Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota 1992-2010 297  
Peyton Manning Indianapolis 1998-2010 208  
Eli Manning New York Giants 2004-present 200*  
Philip Rivers Los Angeles Chargers 2006-present 177*  
Joe Flacco Baltimore 2008-2015 122  
*Active streak

^Pro Football Hall of Famer



Columbus City League Schools wrapup non-league schedule: Week 3 results

Week 3 Columbus City League results:

*Independence rallied from a 17-point deficit to win at St. Charles, 24-23. Demonte Taylor rushed for 275 yards and scored late in the game on a 4-yard run to win the game.

*Centennial completely rolled over outmanned Fairfield Christian, 86-6. The Stars scored all of the points in the 1st half which is simply unbelievable! Juchene Davis finished with 181 yards rushing on nine rushes and 4 TD’s. Marquise Scott garnered 132 yards on five carries and 2 TD’s.

*Eastmoor Academy lost at Westerville Central, 57-28.

*Whetstone lost at Whitehall, 38-10.

*In a rivalry game, Briggs lost a close one at Franklin Heights, 20-17.

*Linden beat South 12-6 as JaQuan Watson pulled in a deep pass of 65 yards to score a touchdown with 1:05 to go that won the game.

*Walnut Ridge is 3-0 as they shutout City League North Division kingpin, Beechcroft, 6-0. The Cougars are a shocking 0-3.

*In our 1ST & GOAL Game of the Week, Columbus West controlled the clock and beat Columbus East, 42-7. Michael White and Christian White were our MEGA PAWN SHOP Players of the Game.

*Mifflin and Harvest Prep put up the most fireworks on Friday night, scoring a total of 103 points. The Punchers won 55-48. But had to withstand the running of Daniel Bangura who rushed an unbelievable 60 times for 442 yards and 3 TD’s. Mifflin won the game when James Watkins intercepted a Moses Davis pass at the goal line with 2 seconds remaining to end it.

*The Red Devils of Marion-Franklin go to 3-0 after scoring 14 in the 4th quarter to win at Chillicothe, 40-26.

*Africentric traveled to Cincinnati Lockland and won, 40-20.

*Northland traveled to the Licking County village of Granville and were turned back by a tough Blue Aces team, 44-26.



NFL Week 2 kickoffs with Houston visiting Cincinnati Thursday Night Feature Game




September 14, 2017


Week 2 begins on Thursday night (8:25 PM ET, NFLN) as the Cincinnati Bengals host the Houston Texans at Paul Brown Stadium. The Texans and Bengals meet for the fourth consecutive season and the 10th time in series history, with Houston holding a 5-4 advantage. In the last meeting, Houston running back ALFRED BLUE rushed for a 24-yard fourth-quarter touchdown to give the Texans a 12-10 victory over Cincinnati. In Week 1, Houston rookie quarterback DESHAUN WATSON made his NFL debut, passing for 102 yards, including a touchdown to wide receiver DE ANDRE HOPKINS in a 29-7 loss to Jacksonville. Texans defensive end J.J. WATT has 76 sacks since entering the league in 2011, the most in the NFL over that span. The Bengals, who look to rebound following a Week 1 loss to Baltimore, are led by defensive tackle GENO ATKINS, who ranks first among NFL defensive tackles with 53 sacks since 2010, and wide receiver A.J. GREEN, who is one of only two players (RANDY MOSS) in league history with at least 950 receiving yards in each of his first six seasons.





Top 7 statistical highlights from Week 1 Sunday in the NFL



A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 10, the first week of the 2017 season.


  • Atlanta tight end AUSTIN HOOPER had two catches for 128 yards, including an 88-yard touchdown reception in the Falcons’ 23-17 win at Chicago. Hooper’s 88-yard touchdown is the longest TD catch by a tight end in a season opener in NFL history.


  • Los Angeles Rams cornerback TRUMAINE JOHNSON and safety LAMARCUS JOYNER each had an interception-return touchdown and defensive end MORGAN FOX recorded a safety in the team’s 46-9 win over Indianapolis.


The RAMS are the first team in NFL history to record two interception-return touchdowns and a safety in a season opener.


The Rams’ two interception-return touchdowns are tied for the most ever in a season opener and Los Angeles is the first team to accomplish the feat on Kickoff Weekend since the 2007 Minnesota Vikings(September 9, 2007 vs. Atlanta).


  • The Jacksonville Jaguars, led by defensive ends CALAIS CAMPBELL (four sacks) and DANTE FOWLER, JR. (one sack, 53-yard fumble-return touchdown), defeated Houston 29-7 at NRG Stadium.


The JAGUARS, who had 10 sacks and a defensive touchdown in the contest, are the second team in NFL history with at least 10 sacks and a defensive touchdown in a season-opening game. The Los Angeles Raiders recorded 10 sacks and had a 76-yard interception-return touchdown in the team’s 31-0 victory against the New York Jets on September 8, 1985.


  • Detroit quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 292 yards with four touchdowns and one interception for a 113.1 passer rating in the Lions’ 35-23 win over Arizona. Stafford, who led the Lions back from a 17-15 fourth-quarter deficit, has 27 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since 2011, the most such drives by a quarterback in the NFL over the span.


Last year, the Lions won eight games when trailing in the fourth quarter, the most by a team in a single season in NFL history.


  • Cleveland rookie quarterback DE SHONE KIZER passed for 222 yards with a touchdown and rushed for a TD against Pittsburgh in his first career start. Kizer’s start marks the 10th consecutive season a rookie quarterback has started on Kickoff Weekend, the longest streak since at least 1950.


  • Pittsburgh rookie linebacker T.J. WATT had two sacks and an interception in the Steelers’ 21-18 win at Cleveland. Watt is the first player to record at least two sacks and an interception in an NFL debut on Kickoff Weekend since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.
  • Oakland kicker GIORGIO TAVECCHIO converted all four of his field-goal attempts in the Raiders’ 26-16 victory at Tennessee. Tavecchio, who connected on two 52-yard field goals in the contest, is the first player in league history to make two field goals of at least 50 yards in his NFL debut. He also joins SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI as the only players in team history to convert multiple 50-yard field goals in a single game.




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