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Archive for November 2nd, 2017

NFL moves into second half of season with Week 9: Browns have bye; Bengals travel to Jacksonville



November has arrived and the NFL season enters its second half. At the midpoint, there are nine teams with a .700 or better winning percentage, led by the 7-1 (.875) Philadelphia Eagles. Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was adopted, nearly 97 percent (60 of 62, 96.8 percent) of the previous teams to start 7-1 or better advanced to the postseason.

Through the first eight weeks, 16 teams have a winning record. Two divisions – AFC East (New England 6-2, Buffalo 5-2, Miami 4-3) and NFC South (New Orleans 5-2, Carolina 5-3, Atlanta 4-3) – each have three teams with a winning record.

The first half of the season has seen thrilling comebacks and close finishes, but the excitement will only intensify as the playoff push begins. And there’s still plenty of football to be played so don’t count teams out yet.

Since 2000, 44 teams have reached the halfway point of their season with a .500 or below winning percentage and advanced to the playoffs, including at least one in each season. Last year, there were four such teams: Detroit (4-4), Green Bay (4-4), Miami (4-4) and Pittsburgh (4-4).

Of those 44 clubs, seven have advanced to the Conference Championship Game, including both the Packers and Steelers last season. The 2001 New England Patriots reached the midway point with a 4-4 record and went on to win Super Bowl XXXVI.

Week 9 begins on Thursday night with an AFC East matchup as the New York Jets host the Buffalo Bills (8:25 PM ET, NFLN). The week concludes with a pair of primetime contests as the Miami Dolphins host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night (8:30 PM ET, NBC) and the Detroit Lions visit the Green Bay Packers in a key NFC North showdown on Monday night (8:30 PM ET, ESPN). Some of the other notable games in Week 9:

BUFFALO BILLS (5-2) at NEW YORK JETS (3-5) (Thursday, NFLN, 8:25 PM ET)

  • The Bills improved to 5-2 with a 34-14 win over Oakland last week. Buffalo is aiming to close the first half of the season with a 6-2 record which would be the team’s best start since 1993 (7-1).
  • Buffalo leads the NFL with a +14 turnover differential and ties for the league lead with 17 takeaways. Safety MICAH HYDE ranks first in the NFL with five interceptions and has four interceptions in his past four games. Hyde’s five interceptions are the most by a Bills player through the team’s first seven games since JAIRUS BYRD (five) in 2009.
  • Jets quarterback JOSH MC COWN ranks second in the NFL with a 70.5 completion percentage (179 of 254). McCown has posted a completion percentage of at least 60 percent and thrown multiple touchdown passes in four consecutive games and is the first player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
  • New York wide receiver ROBBY ANDERSON had six catches for a career-high 104 yards – his first 100-yard receiving game – and a touchdown in last week’s contest against Atlanta.


  • ​Atlanta improved to 4-3 – including a 3-1 record on the road – with a 25-20 win at the New York Jets last week. Quarterback MATT RYAN threw two touchdown passes – including the go-ahead score to wide receiver MOHAMED SANU in the fourth quarter – in the victory over the Jets.
  • Ryan has won his past three starts against the Panthers, completing 78 of 100 passes (78 percent) for 1,086 yards (362 yards per game) with seven touchdowns and one interception for a 131.1 passer rating. In last year’s Week 4 matchup against Carolina (October 2, 2016), Ryan passed for 503 yards and wide receiver JULIO JONES had 300 receiving yards as the Falcons became the first team in NFL history to have a 500-yard passer and 300-yard receiver in the same game.
  • The Panthers have reached the midpoint with a 5-3 record and look to begin the second half with a key division victory. Last week, Carolina notched a 17-3 win at Tampa Bay as the Panthers limited the Buccaneers to 279 total net yards.
  • Carolina defensive end JULIUS PEPPERS had a sack and forced fumble against the Buccaneers and ranks fourth in the NFC this season with 7.5 sacks. Peppers has 151 career sacks and passed Pro Football Hall of Famer CHRIS DOLEMAN (150.5) for the fourth-most sacks since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982.


  • Indianapolis running back FRANK GORE had 101 scrimmage yards (82 rushing, 19 receiving) in last week’s game at Cincinnati. Gore became the ninth player in NFL history to reach 17,000 career scrimmage yards (17,015) and the other eight players to accomplish the feat are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Colts kicker ADAM VINATIERI scored 11 points last week and tied GARY ANDERSON for second on the NFL’s all-time scoring list with 2,434 career points.
  • Last week against Seattle, Houston rookie quarterback DESHAUN WATSON became the first player in NFL history with at least 400 passing yards (402), four touchdown passes (four) and 50 rushing yards (67) in a single game. Texans wide receivers DE ANDRE HOPKINS (224 yards, one touchdown) and WILL FULLER V (125 yards, two touchdowns) each had at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown.
  • Watson has thrown at least three touchdown passes in four consecutive games and is the first rookie in NFL history to accomplish the feat. His 16 touchdown passes in his past four games are the most in league annals by a rookie in any four-game span and his 16 touchdown passes in October are the most ever by a rookie in any calendar month. This season, Watson has 19 passing touchdowns, the most in league history by a player in his first seven career games.


  • The Bengals defeated Indianapolis 24-23 last week as quarterback ANDY DALTON threw two touchdown passes to lead the offense.
  • With Cincinnati trailing by six (23-17) in the fourth quarter, defensive end CARLOS DUNLAP had a 16-yard interception-return touchdown to help put the Bengals ahead for good. It marked the second fourth-quarter game-winning interception-return touchdown in team history (KEN RILEY, October 23, 1983).
  • The Jaguars, who had a bye last week, are coming off a 27-0 win at Indianapolis in Week 7. Led by defensive ends YANNICK NGAKOUE (2.5 sacks) and CALAIS CAMPBELL (two), the Jaguars recorded 10 sacks against the Colts. Jacksonville, which recorded 10 sacks in Week 1, became the first club in NFL history to record at least 10 sacks in two of a team’s first seven games of a season.
  • Campbell, who leads the AFC with 10 sacks in his first season with the Jaguars, has the most sacks by a player in his first seven games with a new team since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982.


  • Denver owns the league’s top overall defense this season, allowing 261 yards per game. The Broncos rank second in the NFL – behind only Philadelphia (70.4) – allowing 72.9 rushing yards per game.
  • Broncos linebacker VON MILLER has 24 sacks in 23 career games against NFC opponents (including Super Bowl 50). Since entering the league in 2011, Miller has 80.5 sacks, the most in the NFL during that span.
  • The Eagles have reached the halfway point with the league’s best record (7-1) following last week’s 33-10 win over San Francisco. Quarterback CARSON WENTZ threw two touchdown passes and cornerback JALEN MILLS returned an interception 37 yards for his first career touchdown.
  • Wentz ties for the NFL lead with 19 touchdown passes, the most by an Eagles quarterback through the team’s first eight games of a season. The previous mark of 17 touchdown passes was shared by Pro Football Hall of Famer NORM VAN BROCKLIN (1960) and NORM SNEAD (1967).

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (6-2) at DALLAS COWBOYS (4-3) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Chiefs improved to 6-2 with a 29-19 win on Monday night over the division-rival Denver Broncos. Rookie kicker HARRISON BUTKERconverted all five field-goal attempts and is the first rookie in NFL history to have two games with at least five made field goals.
  • Chiefs cornerback MARCUS PETERS opened the scoring against Denver by forcing a fumble and returning it 45 yards for a touchdown. Peters, who also added an interception in the opening period, is the first player to have both a fumble-return touchdown and an interception in the first quarter of a game since ED REED on December 7, 2008. Since entering the NFL in 2015, Peters has 21 takeaways, the most in the league over that span.
  • The Cowboys have won two consecutive games, including last week’s 33-19 win at Washington. Defensive tackle TYRONE CRAWFORD blocked a field goal – which was returned 86 yards by cornerback ORLANDO SCANDRICK to set up a touchdown – and also recorded a sack and forced fumble.
  • Dallas defensive end DEMARCUS LAWRENCE, who leads the NFL with 10.5 sacks, has recorded a sack in all seven games this season. With a sack on Sunday against the Chiefs, Lawrence would join EVERSON GRIFFEN (2017), DWIGHT FREENEY (2009) and ROBERT MATHIS (2005) as the only players to record a sack in each of his team’s first eight games of a season since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982.




(All times local)

Byes: Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, New England, Pittsburgh


Thursday, November 2 Sunday, November 5 (cont’d)
Buffalo at New York Jets, 8:25 PM (NFLN) Baltimore at Tennessee, 12:00 PM
  Arizona at San Francisco, 1:05 PM
Sunday, November 5 Washington at Seattle, 1:05 PM
Atlanta at Carolina, 1:00 PM Kansas City at Dallas, 3:25 PM
Indianapolis at Houston, 12:00 PM Oakland at Miami, 8:30 PM (NBC)
Cincinnati at Jacksonville, 1:00 PM  
Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 12:00 PM Monday, November 6
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants, 1:00 PM Detroit at Green Bay, 7:30 PM (ESPN)
Denver at Philadelphia, 1:00 PM  



NFL Network to feature former Bills QB Jim Kelly ‘A Football Life’ Friday, November 3

Jim Kelly in 2010 photo by By Staff Sgt. Corenthia Fennell, Public Domain, https

​​‘Jim Kelly: A Football Life’ Premieres Friday, November 3 at 9:00 PM ET​

“I can go on and on, all of the ups and downs in my life. But the Lord was preparing me for what I’m doing now and that’s hopefully making a difference for others out there.” – Jim Kelly

NFL Network’s Emmy-nominated series A Football Life continues Friday, November 3 at 9:00 PM ET with a profile of Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. The one-hour show produced by NFL Films features sitdown interviews with Kelly, his wife and daughters, Hall of Famers Marv LevyThurman ThomasAndre Reed and Bill Polian, and more.

Each episode of A Football Life – as well as all NFL Network programming – is streamed live on smartphones through NFL Mobile from Verizon, and via Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile, Watch NFL Network and NFL on Windows 10 apps), PC (, Xbox One and Xbox 360 (NFL on Xbox app) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV).

Throughout his life, Jim Kelly has been defined by his toughness and his ability to pick himself up following hardships. No matter the circumstance – suffering a serious shoulder injury his senior season at the University of Miami, losing in four consecutive Super Bowls, the loss of his son Hunter Kelly, his cancer diagnosis – Kelly has displayed an ability to fight through and to not be defeated.

Among the topics discussed in Jim Kelly: A Football Life are:

  • Playing at the University of Miami after Penn State only offered him a scholarship to play linebacker
  • Kelly’s decision to play in the USFL after being selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 1983 NFL Draft
  • Eventually playing for the Buffalo Bills following the collapse of the USFL in 1986
  • The birth of the K-Gun offense
  • Kelly’s perseverance to overcome the loss of his son Hunter Kelly and his cancer diagnosis

Emmy-nominated actor Josh Charles narrates.

Jim Kelly: A Football Life includes interviews with the following people and more:

Jim Kelly

Jill Kelly – Wife

Camryn Kelly – Daughter

Erin Kelly – Daughter

Frank Reich – Bills teammate

Steve Tasker – Bills teammate

Darryl Talley – Bills teammate

Thurman Thomas – Bills teammate

Andre Reed – Bills teammate

Marv Levy – Former Bills head coach

Bill Polian – Former Bills general manager

Howard Schnellenberger – Former University of Miami head coach

Vic Carucci – Buffalo News

Provided below are some select quotes from Jim Kelly: A Football Life:

“I can go on and on, all of the ups and downs in my life. But the Lord was preparing me for what I’m doing now and that’s hopefully making a difference for others out there.” – Jim Kelly

“His ability to want to get up off the floor, get off the deck and stand again, that’s the part that really came to the forefront when he was sick.” – Darryl Talley

“My agent looked at me and goes, ‘Is there anywhere you don’t want to play?’ I go, ‘Oh yeah. I don’t want to play for Green Bay, I don’t want to play for Minnesota and I sure don’t want to play for the Buffalo Bills.’” Jim Kelly

“Never in the history of the NFL has a player walked out of a tunnel with more – forget about pressure – expectation placed on him.” – Steve Tasker

“Joe Klecko and company just start beating the living daylights out of him but for Buffalo fans, they saw that Jim had this fire in him. They saw that Jim would take the hit and just like that bounce right back up.” – Vic Carucci

“The best part about it and the reason I’m in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is coach [Marv] Levy put his job security on the line. He let me call all of the plays.” – Jim Kelly

“In the football chapter of his life, did we come up one game short? Yeah. But at the end of the day, when you look at the whole story, if it’s not all about helping other people out and bringing people together and fighting battles together and going through victories and defeats together – if that’s not being a hero I don’t know what is.” – Frank Reich

“After Hunter was gone, Jim just hit a dark place but came out of that stronger than I’ve ever seen him. Came out of that more of a man than I had ever seen. Came out of that time incredibly humble and compassionate in ways that he had never been before, and he’s never been the same since.” – Jill Kelly

This year, the 13-episode season of the highly-acclaimed series A Football Life airs Friday at 9:00 PM ET. Below is a broadcast schedule for the remaining episodes of A Football Life:

  • November 10 – Larry Fitzgerald
  • November 17 – Eddie George
  • November 24 – Joe Gibbs
  • December 1 – Jerry Jones
  • December 8 – Aeneas Williams
  • December 15 – John Randle
  • December 22 – Lynn Swann & John Stallworth


NFL Media is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films,, NFL Now, NFL Mobile from Verizon and NFL RedZone.

Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can also be streamed live on smartphones through NFL Mobile from Verizon, as well as other digital platforms such as and through Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile, Watch NFL Network and NFL on Windows 10 apps), PC (, Xbox One and Xbox 360 (NFL on Xbox app) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV). Watch NFL Network access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to






2017 Health and Safety Report released by the NFL

Sixth Annual Report Outlines Progress of the NFL’s

Health and Safety Efforts and Play Smart. Play Safe. Initiative ​

NEW YORK, NY—Oct. 31, 2017—The National Football League (NFL) today released the 2017 Health and Safety Report, which highlights progress under the Play Smart. Play Safe. initiative, as well as other NFL player health and safety efforts. The digital report—featuring a wide variety of interactive content—can be found here:

“Outlined in this year’s report is a demonstration of our ongoing efforts to both learn and do more,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a letter introducing the 2017 NFL Health and Safety Report. “We will continue to seek solutions to ensure our entire football family and all those who love to play the game are provided with the best information, tools and support to protect their health and well-being.”


In September 2016, Commissioner Goodell announced the launch of Play Smart. Play Safe.—a League-wide health and safety initiative—to drive progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of head injuries, enhance medical protocols and procedures, and further improve the way the game is taught and played at all levels. Of the $100 million Play Smart. Play Safe. commitment, the League pledged $60 million to the Engineering Roadmap—an effort to improve the understanding of the biomechanics of head injuries in professional football and to create incentives for small businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and helmet manufacturers to develop new protective equipment—with $40 million of the total funding commitment allocated for medical research, primarily dedicated to neuroscience.


“The NFL has the unique opportunity to be a leader in health and safety and as we make advances they will be shared with our players, the broader sports community, the medical world and the public at large,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer. “The League has made great strides in this effort so far, and it is my job to explore where and how we can continue to improve. I look forward to the progress that’s to come.”


Since 2012, the NFL has released an annual report highlighting the League’s ongoing commitment to health and safety, including its collaborative work with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) to improve protections for players. The NFL’s sixth annual report highlights key updates on the league’s efforts, including:

  • Implementing five additional rules changes intended to reduce the risk of injuries, especially to the head and neck—totaling 47 health and safety-related rules changes since 2002;
  • Updating the NFL Concussion Diagnosis and Management Protocol to reflect the 2017 Berlin Conference on Concussion in Sport;
  • Continuing to transform game day sidelines to ensure they are equipped with the best tools, technology and experts to care for NFL players—including new sideline medical examination tents to immediately evaluate players in private following an injury;
  • Launching a pilot program to increase access to athletic trainers by providing funding to public high schools with football programs that have limited or no access to an athletic trainer;
  • Awarding more than $600,000 to five winners to support product development for innovative protective equipment concepts as part of the HeadHealthTECH Challenge series—part of the Engineering Roadmap;
  • Announcing Dynamic Research Incorporated as the grand prize winner of Head Health Challenge III for the creation of a new material system for protective gear for athletes, first responders, military personnel, and others who face potential impact injuries; and,
  • Launching a funding opportunity—led by the Scientific Advisory Board—for innovative translational research on concussion and comorbid conditions.


For more information on these efforts and more, visit




NFL opens Week 9 with Thursday night feature, Buffalo visiting the NY Jets



November 2, 2017

Week 9 begins on Thursday night (8:25 PM ET, NFLN) with a battle of AFC East rivals as the New York Jets welcome the Buffalo Bills to MetLife Stadium. The Bills and Jets will meet for the 115th time (including the postseason), with the Bills holding a 61-53 advantage. Buffalo quarterback TYROD TAYLOR passed for two touchdowns and safety JORDAN POYER recorded a sack and an interception in the Bills’ 21-12 victory over the Jets on Kickoff Weekend.

Buffalo enters Week 9 following a 34-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Buffalo running back LE SEAN MC COY rushed for 151 yards with a touchdown last week and has eight games with at least 150 rushing yards since 2013, the most in the NFL over that span. Bills safety MICAH HYDE leads the league with five interceptions this season and has 13 interceptions since 2014, tied for the fourth-most among NFL safeties. The Jets look to rebound following a 25-20 loss to Atlanta in Week 8. New York quarterback JOSH MC COWN completed 26 of 33 passes (78.8 percent) for 257 yards with two touchdowns for a 119.3 passer rating last week and is the only quarterback in franchise history with multiple touchdown passes and a 60+ completion percentage in four consecutive games. Jets linebacker DEMARIO DAVIS had 14 tackles in the last meeting and is the only NFL player with at least 60 tackles (67) and two sacks (2.5) in 2017.

For the Week 9 Bills-Jets capsule, click here​.




NFL announces 2018 Pro Bowl on sale now


New Voting Window Opens from November 14 to December 14

NFL Network to Reveal Player Selections on December 19

The League’s brightest stars are returning to Orlando’s Camping World Stadium for the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl on Sunday, January 28, 2018. Tickets to the game are now on sale at Last year’s sold-out event – the Pro Bowl’s first time in Orlando – featured a capacity crowd of more than 60,000.

With a new start time of 3:00 PM ET, the 2018 Pro Bowl will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC – the first time the game will be available on both broadcast and cable networks. Special group ticket packages, including access to VIP seating at Pro Bowl practices, are available by calling (646) 688-5705.

Premium Pro Bowl packages, including VIP parties and hotel accommodations, can also be purchased through On Location Experiences (OLE), the NFL’s official source for event experiences and hospitality. More information on Pro Bowl gameday and weekend packages is available at

Pro Bowl players are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players, and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 players who will be eligible for the game. Rosters for the game will be announced on “NFL Total Access: Pro Bowl Players Revealed,” an NFL Network special airing on Tuesday, December 19 at 8:00 PM ET.

A new month-long Pro Bowl voting period begins on Tuesday, November 14 and concludes on Thursday, December 14. Fans can vote online and via web-enabled mobile phones at to help send their favorite players to the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl.

NFL players and coaches will cast their votes on Friday, December 15. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches, and players to determine its All-Star teams, and it was the first professional sports league to offer online voting for such an event in 1995.

For the second consecutive year, the NFL will host Pro Bowl Week festivities across the Orlando area, bringing free experiences and activities to fans as well as an extraordinary number of events focused on commemorating all levels of football – from youth to high school to the NFL’s best. Some of the Pro Bowl Week events will include:

  • Pro Bowl Experience: A free football festival located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World® Resort, where fans can participate in immersive exhibits, take photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, attend player autograph sessions, and more.
  • Pro Bowl Practices: AFC and NFC team practices – which are free and open to the public – will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, allowing fans to watch their favorite players as they get ready for the game.
  • Pro Bowl Skills Showdown: For the second straight year, this unique competition will test the athletic prowess of the NFL’s best players in unique competitions.

In the week leading up to the game, the NFL will also recognize youth and high school football players, coaches and programs in special ways, including the NFL FLAG Championships Powered by USA Football, the USA Football National Conference, a congregation of administrators, coaches and leaders in youth and high school football, and the announcement of the prestigious Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award.

The Pro Bowl is an all-inclusive event for fans on gameday. The 2017 Pro Bowl marked the first autism-friendly game hosted by a professional sports league. The NFL will continue to accommodate fans with a variety of sensory issues at the 2018 game at Camping World Stadium, which became a sensory-inclusive venue earlier this year.

Working with KultureCity, Camping World Stadium’s sensory-inclusive partner, the NFL will offer families who attend the 2018 Pro Bowl with support, including sensory accessibility resources and two dedicated sensory rooms located in the stadium on gameday to enable them to enjoy the game with more confidence and comfort.

Fans are encouraged to visit for the latest Pro Bowl information.




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