Monday, December 8, 2014, 12:22pm
Raiders QB Derek Carr is getting some help.
The rookie quarterback has struggled this season, and he hasn’t had a lot of support. But in recent games that has changed. Of course, keys have been running back Latavius Murray and tight end Mychal Rivera.
The two 2013 sixth-round picks are becoming key parts of the Oakland offense. Both players helped Carr as Oakland beat rival San Francisco, 24-13, on Sunday.
This is good news for Oakland for the remainder of the season, but, truly, it is more important for the future. Oakland is 2-11. This season has been a disaster and that won’t change regardless of what happens in the final three weeks. The Raiders are about the future.
The bog article goes on to say that if Murray can be a workhorse running back and Rivera can be a top tight end option, it will expedite Carr’s development. They can be core players for the long haul. If the Raiders can enter January feeling strongly about both of them moving forward, that's a couple less positions of need.
Monday, December 8, 2014, 11:02am
Sunday seemed to be the first time in a while when there was a conscious effort to get Jags WR Cecil Shorts going early. He was targeted on the first three plays of the game.
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley was vague when asked about the start, saying the plan was to get everyone involved. However, QB Blake Bortles acknowledged the script called for Shorts to be the primary read on those plays.
The plan made sense. Houston entered the game ranked 29th defending the pass. Its secondary was vulnerable.
Shorts should have had a productive day against the Texans. Bortles targeted Shorts 10 times, but the end result was a stat line that’s hard to duplicate in its hideousness, the story said - Shorts caught two passes for 3 yards ... on 10 targets. The piece makes it seem like Shorts' opportunities are slipping away. With a younger crop of WRs, it's possible Shorts won't be part of the growing process next year. He has four games left on his rookie contract and has also been hindered by injuries this season.
Monday, December 8, 2014, 10:57am
He had established a role throughout most of the season, showing his ability to run routes and make decisive cuts. Theo Riddick made his worth in big plays, too, including two huge ones in Week 8 against Atlanta.
Yet on Sunday, Riddick legitimately disappeared from the Detroit Lions' lineup. He played no offensive snaps. A former special teams stalwart during his rookie season, he was only used on seven plays there.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Riddick did not violate a team rule, like teammate Brandon Pettigrew, who missed a quarter because of it. Nope, Caldwell indicated Riddick played zero snaps and zero role in the Detroit offense because that’s just how it fell.
"It’s just one of those things," Caldwell said. "Sometimes you get into the flow of the game, you’ve got so many guys running in-and-out of there. George (Winn) played some, Reggie (Bush) played a little bit more, it kind of takes that ball out of Riddick’s hands a little bit."
Riddick's bigger games have come when Bush was out with an injury, so it makes sense that Bush's status looks like it's going to be linked to how often Riddick gets on the field. Based on this past week, Riddick seems like a fantasy handcuff to Bush and that when healthy, Bush and Joique Bell are going to carry the load.
Monday, December 8, 2014, 10:41am
The 49ers offense has been the biggest culprit in Jim Harbaugh's team, stubbing its toe this season. RB Frank Gore ran for 5.3 yards a pop against a mediocre Raiders run defense Sunday but somehow had just 12 carries.
"The coaches are the ones calling the plays," Gore said. "Whatever the coach calls, I'm going to give 110 percent. I'm only a player; I only do what my coach says. You've got to ask the coach."
When asked why the running game vanished Harbaugh offered no insight: "Why we didn't get the ball to Frank Gore more? Yeah."
Carlos Hyde only had two carries so it's not like Gore is falling to RB2 status on the team. For some reason, the 9ers are getting away from the running game and unfortunately close their season with some very tough mathups that won't favor their RBs.
Jamaal Charles thought the same thing many Kansas City Chiefs fans no doubt did when he had his left leg wrenched during a pile of humanity in the first quarter of Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
“It was scary at first,’’ Charles said. “I thought I tore my knee up.
“I just got twisted up. Everything got twisted up.’’
Those were sobering words coming from Charles, who knows what a ruined knee feels like. He tore his ACL during the 2011 season.
Monday, HC Andy Reid said Charles was dealing with swelling in the knee and ankle, but didn't seemed concerned about Charles' Week 15 status. According to the ESPN story, Charles had a mere sprained ankle and he was able to return and finish the game. Charles didn’t get a heavy amount of use, with 10 carries and a pair of pass receptions. But he rushed for 91 yards and scored both of the Chiefs’ touchdowns, one on a 63-yard run and the other on an 18-yard catch from quarterback Alex Smith. He appears good to go, but keep an eye on Charles this week. The Chiefs have a nice, home, Week 15 matchup against the Raiders in what will also be a revenge game. If you own Charles and/or just have an extra roster spot, Knile Davis should be owned.
The lack of the Jags downfield passing game still hurts the running game.
Don’t overlook that as a reason for the lack of a running game in recent weeks. Denard Robinson averaged significantly more than 100 yards rushing in three games in late October and early November. Teams stacked the line and assumed the Jaguars’ passing game couldn’t beat them. Those teams have been right, and as a result, teams have been in no rush to unstack the box.
The story goes on to say that Robinson didn’t forget how to run, but the going has been much more difficult for the last month. It makes a lot of sense, as balanced teams can makes teams pay through the air or on the ground. Until the Jags get some form of a passing game, teams will look to take away Robinson. With an offseason to work that out, Robinson could end up having at least lower-end RB2 value heading into drafts next season.
Monday, December 8, 2014, 8:33am
The usually jovial McCoy, who even finds a way to crack a smile after losses, appeared lost in his own thoughts, and disinterested in the questions being asked. At the time, although odd, it was easy to explain away as disappointment over his 50-yard performance in his team's 24-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
"Just didn't focus today," McCoy explained. "Wasn't there."
Later, he would explain further why his head was elsewhere both during his post game media session, and during the team's loss.
“I really wanted to play great in his name today," McCoy explained to Birds 24/7". "I didn’t."
Who did McCoy want to play great for? That would be McCoy's cousin, who the running back tragically lost due to an automobile accident late last week. The death was the reason McCoy missed practice on Friday, which at the time was explained only as personal reasons by the team.
It's hard to tell if that really had an affect on McCoy's play in Week 14. He lost a very key fumble on the opening possession of the second half. But it was a tough matchup coming in and McCoy has been up and down much of this season. McCoy's potential for Week 15 looks much brighter - a home, prime time matchup against Dallas.
Kerwynn Williams came out of nowhere and ran for 100 yards on the first 19 carries of his NFL career as the Cardinals rolled up a season-high 141 yards on the ground. Williams appears to have the inside track at a bulk of the work going forward with that performance. Keep in mind, the Cards close with the Rams, Seahawks and 49ers, which are all tough matchups for running backs. Marion Grice and Stepfan Taylor could also be factors.
Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger left Sunday's game against the Giants early in the fourth quarter after getting blasted by rookie linebacker Devon Kennard, who was on a blitz coming from Mettenberger's blind side. And his last three games of the year are in doubt.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday evening that the Titans believe the signal-caller suffered a more severe AC joint sprain than he sustained in Week 13, per a team source, and his season is likely over.
Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennessean tweeted later Sunday the fear is Mettenberger is lost for the season. The first-year quarterback was having a rough day, as were the rest of the Titans. Trailing by nearly 30 points, his day finished at 14-of-24 passing for 125 yards and an interception. It looks like Jake Locker will fill in the rest of the way if Mettenberger is indeed out. But, Locker also fumbled during a sack, which was returned for a touchdown by Markus Kuhn. The Titan offense is one to stay away from in your fantasy lineup.
Jets wide receiver Percy Harvin played one of his best games in two years, but he could be lost for the remainder of the year after injuring his left ankle late in the fourth quarter of the New York Jets' 30-24 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium.
"I can't talk too much about the injury other than it will be evaluated here in a little bit," he said after torching his first NFL team for 124 yards on six receptions, including a touchdown.
The story added that Harvin left the stadium on crutches afterward. Harvin also said, according to the story, that he was going for tests.
Sunday, December 7, 2014, 7:27pm
RB Roy Helu Jr. (toe) was questionable to return but never did.
McCoy was in pain and was in a hurry to get to a hospital for further evaluation. It was a rough day for McCoy, who was sacked six times and threw two interceptions. McCoy left with two minutes remaining because of the injury, replaced by Robert Griffin III.
The story added that Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he wasn’t sure who his starting quarterback would be, but that mostly has to do with McCoy’s health. But Gruden also said he would review the tape of McCoy’s game to see if a change is warranted. Robert Griffin III could possibly get the start again if McCoy can't go in Week 15.
Johnson went down near Jacksonville’s end zone after being hit in the head at the four-yard line. He lost his helmet on the play.
Johnson, 33, needed eight catches Sunday to reach 1,000 career receptions, tying Marvin Harrison for the fastest in NFL history to reach the mark. Johnson caught four balls for 17 yards before leaving the game.
Johnson has suffered two concussions in less than two years. He received a concussion Week 2 against Tennessee last season. We'll continue to update his status leading up to Week 15.
Sunday, December 7, 2014, 7:18pm