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General Discussion / The mere idea that Jeff Bezos—a man who has
« on: December 11, 2019, 02:53:28 pm »
GLENDALE Dwayne Haskins Redskins Jersey , Ariz. — Coach Jay Gruden brings his Washington Redskins across the country in search of his first season-opening win in five tries. The Arizona team he’s facing is a bit of a mystery.The Cardinals have overhauled almost everything in the wake of the retirement of coach Bruce Arians.New coach Steve Wilks, defensive coordinator at Carolina last season, is promising a physical, power-running approach. But Gruden isn’t sure just what to expect when the teams meet Sunday in newly renamed State Farm Stadium.“That’s a great challenge really. There’s a lot of film to look at from their past history as coaches. Obviously, in Carolina and coach (offensive coordinator Mike) McCoy, we’ve got a lot of stuff on tape when he was a coordinator and a head coach,” Gruden said. “It’s just hard to figure out how they’re going to use the personnel that they have and how they’re going to go about putting their X’s and O’s together.”The 125th meeting in the history of the franchises will feature veteran quarterbacks making their debut with a new team, Alex Smith for Washington and Sam Bradford for Arizona.Smith, acquired in a trade with Kansas City, hasn’t lost an opener since 2014, but doesn’t overemphasize the game just because it’s the first one.“Every team wants to start fast, every team wants to go 1-0 this week, but at the same time, I mean realize that, you know it’s football,” Smith said. “Someone’s going to win and someone’s going to lose, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not going to define us.”Bradford is especially eager to get back on the field. He’s coming back from yet another significant left knee injury. He said he feels better than he has in “a long time.”The offense he directs will center around the multi-talented David Johnson, who returns after fracturing his left wrist in the season opener.“I feel good,” said Johnson, who led the NFL in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns two seasons ago, “probably the best I’ve ever felt coming into a season, and I can’t wait to get started.”Here are some things to consider when the Redskins meet the Cardinals:FITZ IS BACK: Arizona’s ageless Larry Fitzgerald returns for his 15th NFL season. He’s caught a pass in 211 consecutive games, second-longest such streak in NFL history. He matched his career high and franchise record with 109 catches last season, second most in the NFL.Fitzgerald needs 390 yards receiving to pass Terrell Owens into No. 2 on the NFL all-time list. He needs 92 catches to move past Tony Gonzalez into second on the career receptions list.PHYSICAL PHILOSOPHY: Wilks has emphasized physical play and toughness in his first offseason and preseason programs, and he believes the team has developed an identity, one that’s far from the big-play Cardinals of recent years.“As much as we emphasize and we talk about the physicality and the effort,” he said, “you’ve seen that throughout the four preseason games, attention to details, those kind of things.”A Cardinals coach hasn’t won his debut game since Larry Wilson did it after Bud Wilkinson was fired 13 games into the 1979.SLOW STARTERS: The Redskins are motivated by those four straight season-opening losses under Gruden.Gruden went over all of those previous losses in recent weeks , added an extra practice or two this year in hopes his team’s fortune changes.“We’re 0-4, so we should do something different — we haven’t won one yet,” Gruden said. “We got to have a better sense of urgency coming out of the first game. We got to start fast and eliminate the turnovers. … We got to clean up the mistakes the first game of the year and be on our assignments and be fundamentally sound.”PETERSON RETURNS: Adrian Peterson went from out of a job for most of training camp to Washington’s starting running back in less than a week. In his first regular-season game since November, Peterson faces the same Cardinals team he spent his last six games with in 2017, rushing for 448 yards and two touchdowns.Peterson thinks the Redskins’ offensive line will help him more than others in the previous couple of years, including New Orleans at the start of last season and Minnesota in 2016.“Last couple years I really had to kind of force things,” Peterson said. “I have guys in front of me that I can trust, heck of a group, so it’s just being more patient.”ROLL TIDE: The Redskins have five players from Alabama on their active roster, most importantly back-to-back first-round defensive linemen Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. They’ll rotate plenty with Ziggy Hood, Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle, but the “Bama Boys” are expected to be the difference on defense for Washington right away. Happy Victory Monday, y’all—hold on a second, being told that the Redskins didn’t actually win this past weekend, despite the absence of any loss this weekend. It feels good I’m going with it. Not much to cheer about on most Mondays in the regular season this year has left me scrambling to find the positive, and Week 10 in the league had some positives for Redskins fans indeed. Sure, not losing is huge, but I think the break was good for everyone, and I know I feel pretty excited to watch a Redskins team after the bye week that has a chance to notch its second win of the season. As you all know, I don’t root for higher draft picks. I root for wins. Always. Rooting for losses’s a loser’s mentality (I mean, it’s right in the name of what you are rooting for...). The Redskins are favored at home against the Jets. Win or lose, the Skins will be drafting nice and high in the draft next season, and I would like to see some of our younger players taste more than just one win this year. Besides, as long as Bruce Allen is in charge, I am never going to put myself in a position where I am actively rooting for something that depends on him making a good decision. And not for nothing, but Victory Mondays are always a treat. In addition to all that, we will get our first week of having Dwayne Haskins, Derrius Guice and Terry McLaurin all getting significant time together!It wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows though, was it? We were treated to the latest in the Trent Williams saga. How about we just cut to the chase here—I believe and stand by Trent on this. I am baffled that based on the information out there over the last six or seven months, there are people willing to suggest that the Redskins are handling this thing appropriately. As much as we might think we have known about Trent’s side of things Womens Dwayne Haskins Jersey , the Redskins dirty laundry has been blowing in the wind for quite some time. It seems odd that people would feel like the Redskins deserve even a shred of benefit of the doubt, but I suppose folks are entitled to their opinions. How about ol’ Kirky getting a primetime win? He didn’t play particularly amazing ball, but hedidn’t throw any picks and he allowed for that defense to win the game by holding Ezekiel Elliott to 2.4 yards per carry. I think a bright spot for Redskins fans this season has been coming to understand how keeping Kirk Cousins would likely have made zero difference in our ability to get this franchise into regular contention. Sure, it would have offered stability at an important position, but his Vikings contract has been derided as one of the worst free agent deals in recent history (which would of course change if the Vikings win it all). I think the Redskins defensive talent is as good in some places as Minnesota, but they are better coached on that side of the ball, and their ground game is sick. We don’t have a Dalvin Cook in our backfield right now. Count me as someone who is breathing a bit of a sigh of relief that the failure to keep Kirk Cousins hasn’t hurt us as bad as I thought it would. Instead of us arguing about how mediocre Kirk Cousins is as a franchise quarterback, we get to debate the merits of a comeback by a one-legged quarterback and how that may or may not cause issues with the development of the rookie we just drafted. In terms of which scenario I would have preferred, I guess I would take the #8 car there, but really, we aren’t talking about a major difference in outcomes. I can’t believe I was able to contain myself for three points before talking Jeff Bezos. The whole #SnyderHasToGo thing has always felt like a bit of a longshot because Dan has to be willing to sell the team first for anything to be possible. I think he LOVES being the owner of the Redskins, which makes the idea of him selling hard to fathom. The other side of the coin is of course who we would be lucky enough to get as our next owner. I would prefer to take the job on myself, but Scott was only willing to loan me about $15 (and not all at once), which left me just a little shy of the $3-4 billion or more it will take to exorcise Dan Snyder from the building. Quickly, my plan would be: get the city to buy into the team for an equity stake at the value of the city’s contribution to a new stadium. If it requires changing the team’s name, at this point, I am not fighting that fight. Change the name and move forward with a public/private model that the district can participate in. I would demolish Redskins Park in Ashburn and find a new place somewhere near the city line (on any of the four sides of the city) and build a facility that resembles what Ted Leonsis has done with his St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena where the Mystics and Go-Go play their home games. My first call would be to Louis Riddick to try and hire him as our general manager. I would ask Sweet Lou to find me a CEO head coach who can command the locker room and digest real-time information from his coaching staff to be decisive on the sidelines during games. I don’t want a play-caller head coach. I want a leader first, second and third. I would ask Lou if there is any way he could talk Tony Dungy into taking the job. If so, I would ask Lou and Tony to lead a search for coordinators and a staff that they would have confidence in leading a young squad. I would build a front office staff by politely asking for permission to interview folks from places like New England, Pittsburgh and Green Bay. I would suggest (openly) that we should focus less on acting like the smartest guys on the planet and instead study what has actually been working in the league—and I would start by trying to emulate some of that (shocking...I know). I would call in the veterans of this team and I would tell them straight-up, “We are rebuilding.” Our preference would be to move valuable veterans (and anything else of value, including Dwayne Haskins) to gather resources, but if a guy like Ryan Kerrigan said he wanted to finish out his career in Washington, I would say, “Ryan, we will make that work somehow.” I am sure people would be surprised to know I would phase out the cheerleader program, but you better believe the band would get a shot in the arm (either JYB or BYB or both would get calls from me to get them involved in that endeavor). I would shrink the size of a new stadium by a LOT to try and right-size it to a more intimate fan experience that would be reliably packed by hometeam fans. I would personally knock on the door of season ticket holders who have left after decades to bring them back before seeing seats go to ticket brokers on the secondary market. I would measure success as an NFL owner in wins and losses on the field. But I really haven’t given it much thought.Jeff Bezos is a somewhat polarizing guy in this insanely polarizing era we live in, but one thing he has shown a willingness to do as a businessman is empower smart people who know more than he does about specific areas of different businesses. I am willing to bet he wouldn’t be telling his general manager who to draft or sign. I would also be willing to bet that his general manager will be held accountable for success on and off the field and the “off the field” part of that would be defined VERY differently than the way Bruce Allen defines it.the means to pull this off—is interested in buying an NFL team is tantalizing beyond words for this Redskins fan. It has me excited about possibilities. Just the mere thought that our burgundy and gold path has a chance to deviate from its current trajectory is enough to get me floating around on a Monday morning after a non-loss weekend for my Redskins! Baby steps, y’all!

General Discussion / Coming out of Kent State, another MAC school
« on: December 11, 2019, 11:53:06 am »
NEW YORK (AP) — Le’Veon Bell is leaving all the number crunching to the critics.The star running back slept soundly after finally making his long-awaited decision on where to restart his NFL career Womens Jerome Bettis Jersey , agreeing to a four-year, $52.5 million deal from the New York Jets early Wednesday morning and officially signing Thursday.“The Jets were kind of the team I had in the back of my mind where I wanted to go,” Bell said during a conference call. “So, you know, once the numbers made sense to me, it wasn’t really a hard decision. I made the decision and I’m happy with the decision I made.“Today, I woke up feeling amazing. So, I’m happy with where I stand.”The deal, which reportedly includes $25 million in guarantees, had some wondering if he might have made a mistake by sitting out all last season after declining a five-year, $70 million offer from the Steelers and then refusing to sign his $14.5 million franchise tender.Bell gambled on himself and took a chance — one he’s content with, regardless of whether some think he overplayed his hand and shortchanged himself.“The decision I made is the decision I would do all over again,” Bell said. “I don’t regret anything that happened. Everything has happened for a reason up until this point. Who’s to say if I played last year Jerome Bettis Jersey , if I do go out there and play on a one-year franchise tag and I do get hurt, do I end up in this position today, being with the New York Jets on a beautiful deal?“Even on the other side of it, if I go out there and play on the franchise tag and I get another 400 carries … and I come out of the season healthy, who’s to say what team is going to take me after another 400 carries? So, like I said, I’ve contemplated everything I’ve done. … I don’t regret one thing. I’m happy where I’m at and the decision I made and I’m glad I’m here.”After all, Bell had dreams of being a member of the Jets as a kid.He grew up in Groveport, Ohio, in a house full of Steelers fans, but his favorite player was Jets running back Curtis Martin. From afar, he wanted to be just like Martin, a playmaker out of the backfield who could change games in an instant on his way to a Hall of Fame career.Turns out James Conner Jersey , Bell has carved out quite an impressive career of his own. He rushed for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns in five seasons for Pittsburgh, and caught 312 passes for 2,660 yards and seven scores as one of the most versatile and dangerous offensive players in the NFL. His 128.9 yards from scrimmage per game over his career is the best mark in the NFL since the 1970 merger.And, now, he’ll be able to get back on the field and make his mark for the team Martin once carried.“When the season ended, it was kind of like all the stars kind of aligned to the Jets,” Bell said. “I’m glad we made it happen and everything worked out.”Oh, and those comments over a year ago when Bell shot down a fan who jokingly offered him $60 million to play for the Jets, or when he said during last year’s Super Bowl that it would take $100 million for him to come to New York?Well, that was then.“I mean, that was just me being on Twitter and TMZ talking,” Bell said with a chuckle. “That’s all that was. The situation I’m in right now , I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.”Bell’s arrival comes at a time when the Jets are building around second-year quarterback Sam Darnold, who showed promise as a rookie as well as the typical ups and downs young signal callers deal with early in their careers.But Bell, like many others, saw some promise in Darnold — and is excited about helping the youngster grow and thrive — and win — in the NFL.“I’m just looking forward to coming in and being, you know, sort of his security blanket, a guy he can rely on,” said Bell, who acknowledged that Darnold was “absolutely” a major factor in his decision.“I’m going to do everything in my power to try to make his job as easy as possible,” Bell added. “Seeing a guy like him, so young and so talented and knowing, maybe he needs another weapon. You never know what he can do with another weapon.”That’s where Bell comes in. As soon as he shakes off the rust, of course.“The fact that I took last year off Womens Terrell Edmunds Jersey , it sucked having to watch and not play football,” Bell said. “But at the same time, at the end of December and through January and February, it’s the best my body’s feeling ever in my life. There’s nothing that can even come close to compare to how I feel.”He hasn’t played an NFL game since Pittsburgh’s playoff loss to Jacksonville on Jan. 14, 2018. That means it will be a span of 19 months in between game appearances by the time the preseason begins in August.“Things that count, I’ll be ready for that,” Bell said. “I’ve been playing football my whole life, so it’s something that kind of comes natural to me, but obviously not having done it at a full competitive level for over a year, so it’s going to take minicamp and OTAs and practices to get right, but I’ve got plenty of time until the regular season starts.” The Steelers 6th round draft pick has switched jersey numbers."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Latest NewsSteelers Film Room2018 NFL Draft AnalysisLatest NewsLatest NewsFeatures and Long FormSteelers Burning Question: What’s in a number change?New,10commentsThe Steelers 6th round draft pick has switched jersey numbers.EDTShareTweetShareShareSteelers Burning Question: What’s in a number change?Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY SportsSutton Smith was as productive as any edge defender entering the 2019 NFL Draft. In his sophomore and junior seasons Smith put up 30 sacks and had 58.5 tackles for loss. During the draft process Smith was labeled as being undersized and many wondered if the success he had at Northern Illinois would translate to the next level. Smith has went on record, saying he is willing to do whatever any team needs or wants him to do. So far in the early stages of Rookie Mini Camp and the start OTA’s Womens James Conner Jersey , Mike Tomlin has taken Smith as a man of his word. The rookie has received snaps at both running back and as a full back. Sounds familiar, one of Behind The Steel Curtains’ favorites, Roosevelt Nix took a similar path. Rosie was also an under sized edge defender that had his share of success in college. He bounced around with the Falcons and Browns before signing with the Steelers. He now finds himself making holes for James Conner and the Steeler offense, well that and blowing up ball carriers on special teams play...I did mention he was a fan favorite. I was doing some browsing this week and came across how Sutton Smith switched from No. 51 to No. 42. It was verified by looking at the Steelers team page. What does it mean? Does Rosie now have serious camp competition? Is this a situation that position flexibility allows Coach Tomlin some maneuverability on the 53?Is this just coincidence that Smith wanted No. 42 and it has nothing to do with reps at full back or even at running back?Is it just Plan B, in the event of an injury? Tell us what you think in the comment section and as always Go Steelers!!!!

General Discussion / The Silver & Black have parted ways with the veteran
« on: December 11, 2019, 10:59:10 am »
Raiders NewsRaiders release LB Derrick Johnson linebacker. Jon Gruden is giving every indication that he’s in over his headIt is tough to imagine a worse start for the Raider’s head coach. Raiders concerned about severity of Marshawn Lynch’s groin injuryLynch’s injury is apparently worse than the team initially thought. Should the Raiders give up on QB Derek Carr?Just two years removed from an MVP caliber season Bo Jackson Jersey , Carr has heavily regressed from the player he once was. How likely are the Raiders to trade Amari Cooper? It was recently reported by Jay Glazer that Amari Cooper was on the trade block, now he answers how likely he thinks a deal will actually get done. Raiders Ballers and Busters vs SeahawksWhich players stood out during the Raiders embarrassing loss in London? AFC West Why Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill is the best wide receiver in the NFLFormer NFL quarterback Chris Simms believes Hill is the best at his position, here’s why. Chiefs still in top-3 of NFL power rankingsWhere does Kansas City rank after a Sunday night loss to the Patriots? Chargers figuring out how to get a pass rush without Joey BosaIt took some time , but the Chargers are learning to live without their star pass rusher. AFC on notice: Chargers set up to be legitimate threatsSeems like the city of Los Angeles boasts two of the top teams in the NFL. Von Miller on Arizona Cardinals: “We’re going to kick their ass”The Broncos defensive end is certainly confident in his team. Is it time for Broncos to suck for the Duck?With Oregon QB Justin Herbert expected to be the top quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft, should the Broncos give up on their season in hopes of landing the number one overall pick? Around The NFLFalcons placing RB Devonta Freeman on Injured ReserveGiants owner ridicules Odell Beckham Jr. Falcons sign former Raiders FA kicker Giorgio Tavecchio The Raiders and Rams got through their first day of their joint practices without any big fights, but Thursday’s session has been a bit different.Per multiple reports from the practice Womens Derek Carr Jersey , Raiders tackle Tyler Roemer got into it with members of the Rams and punches were thrown before things cooled down. Rams head coach Sean McVay spoke to his players after that incident, which came after an earlier scuffle involving Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Raiders right guard Gabe Jackson.Jackson came out of that unscathed, but his day took a turn for the worse a short time later. Michael Gehlken of the reports Jackson was unable to put weight on one of his legs after getting hurt and he was carted off the field to undergo further evaluation.The nature of Jackson’s injury remains to be seen Antonio Brown Raiders Jersey , but any extended absence would be a blow to an offensive line that will already be without left guard Richie Incognito for the first two weeks of the season.

General Discussion / As a fan of the Broncos, way more of the latter.
« on: December 11, 2019, 10:05:56 am »
On Thursday night , John Elway gave no thought to picking a quarterback at No. 10 (when he traded down) or No. 20. On Friday night, Elway changed his thinking.And quarterback Joe Flacco may not think much of that.For the second straight year, Flacco becomes the veteran who inevitably will be supplanted by a rookie. In 2018, the Ravens took Lamar Jackson with the last pick in the first round. In 2019, the Broncos nabbed Drew Lock with pick No. 42.“I don’t really care about whether they take a quarterback or not,” Flacco said recently. “Whether it’s 10 or whatnot, the only thing I care about is, like I said, I want this team to be as good as they can with me at quarterback. If we feel like as a team and an organization that we can add value to our team at the 10th pick, then I’m all for getting a guy that can add value to the team with me as the understood quarterback. At the end of the day, it is what it is.”He’d reiterate that cliche later in the same set of comments.“It is what it is,” Flacco said. “I want to get this team to be the best it is with me at quarterback position. Obviously, that is not of most importance to draft a quarterback. But if we do, that’s completely out of my control. I’m going to go out here, and I’m going to compete, and he’s going to have to come out here and be on the field with me every day, too. I’m all ready for that.”As of earlier tonight, what it is is that the Broncos have indeed added Drew Lock. And while the Broncos may not feel compelled to rush Lock into the lineup, any injury to Flacco that opens the door for Lock could in turn give Lock a chance to keep the job, like Jackson did a year ago. This is the week of NFL "what ifs" at SBNation. This is the first scenario involving the Broncos and it’s terrifying." NFL What IfsMHR Radio PodcastDenver Broncos OffseasonWhat if Elway played for the Baltimore Colts?New,19commentsThis is the week of NFL “what ifs” at SBNation. This is the first scenario involving the Broncos and it’s terrifying. MDTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:What if Elway played for the Baltimore Colts?TwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailThis is the week of NFL “What ifs” at SBNation. In terms of the Denver Broncos, there are two obvious choices. What if the Broncos beat the Jacksonville Jaguars and/or the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional playoffs? For this exercise , those are too obvious. For the Broncos “what if,” Adam Malnati and I had to go bigger — at least for the first one. And that’s when it hit me ... What if John Elway plays for the Baltimore Colts?This was the first of the “what if” scenarios that Adam and I went through on a special MHR Radio Podcast (ApplePodcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher). Over the course of the week, we will highlight some of the others we thought were fun. For the first scenario, Elway’s decision in the 1983 NFL Draft shaped the entire league, not just two teams. If Elway doesn’t refuse to play in Baltimore for then-owner Bob Irsay, the Colts don’t move to Indianapolis, thus Art Modell doesn’t move the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. If that move doesn’t happen, does Bill Belichick stay in Cleveland and never coach the New England Patriots? That one is a little more far-fetched since Belichick was fired by Modell. But it’s fun to ponder if the franchise doesn’t move to Baltimore, does Belichick stay with the Browns and alter the course of the New York Jets (he was the defensive coordinator in his next job) and the Patriots?Do the Browns win the two Super Bowls the Ravens won? What happens to Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck? The Super Bowl the Colts win in Indianapolis doesn’t happen since the Colts are still in Baltimore. In this “what if” situation, would the Broncos still have drafted tackle Chris Hinton or do they draft another of the quarterbacks? Would Pat Bowlen still have bought the franchise from Edgar Kaiser in March of the next year?Would the Broncos still be in Denver or would they have moved to Indianapolis? Over the last 40 years, there isn’t one decision that changed the NFL more than Elway’s. To think about what would have changed and how is both surreal and frightening. Thank goodness Elway didn’t want to play in Baltimore. MHR Radio is now on ApplePodcasts, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher,TuneIn and anywhere else you get your podcasts. Please subscribe to the one that fits your fancy, and also rate and review what you hear.

General Discussion / Aaron Rodgers put on a show Sunday.
« on: December 02, 2019, 03:32:15 pm »
Even by his standards Isaiah Johnson Oakland Raiders Jersey ,More Packers coverageRodgers’ recent near-perfect play leaves LaFleur ‘speechless’Packers Snap Counts: Darnell Savage returns from ankle injuryUpon Further Review: Packers lean on running backs in win over ChiefsPHOTOS: Packers at ChiefsRodgers, Jones lead Packers past Chiefs 31-24The Green Bay Packers quarterback threw for 429 yards and five touchdowns during a 42-24 win over the Oakland Raiders, adding six rushing yards and another score on two carries.He posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating, the first of his career. Rodgers, who entered Week 7 ranked 12th in passing yards and 16th in touchdown passes, is now top-five in both.Rodgers reached another milestone in the win, becoming just the ninth quarterback to reach 350 career touchdown passes with his three-yard toss to Jimmy Graham in the third quarter. He finished the day at 351.PLAYERTDPeyton Manning539Tom Brady528Drew Brees522Brett Favre508Dan Marino420Philip Rivers385Ben Roethlisberger363Eli Manning362Aaron Rodgers351It was just the fifth time Rodgers has thrown for five-plus touchdowns in a single game — he’s made it to six twice — while he came up just 51 passing yards short of his career high.Only five quarterbacks have more games of five-plus touchdown passes.PLAYERNO.RECDrew Brees1010-0Peyton Manning109-1Tom Brady77-0Ben Roethlisberger76-1Dan Marino64-2George Blanda53-2Aaron Rodgers55-0<em>*Includes playoffs.</em>Meanwhile, just six quarterbacks have more games of 400-plus passing yards. Rodgers, who posted his 10th such game Sunday, has done it twice this season, torching the Philadelphia Eagles for 422 yards in a Week 4 loss before orchestrating the Oakland win.PLAYERNO.RECDrew Brees199-10Peyton Manning1713-4Dan Marino159-6Ben Roethlisberger134-9Tom Brady1210-2Philip Rivers114-7Aaron Rodgers106-4<em>*Includes playoffs.</em>Rodgers should close the gap over the next few seasons. He threw for 400-plus yards three times last season, giving him five such performances in his last 23 games.His legs remain a game-changer as well.Rodgers scored his first rushing touchdown of the season Sunday, his first since rushing for two scores in Week 16 last season. He’s just the eighth quarterback ever to throw five-plus touchdown passes and rush for a score in the same game, and the first to do it since former Washington quarterback Mark Rypien in 1991.PLAYERDATETMOPPRESYDSNorm Van Brocklin10/29/1950RamsLionsW, 65-24293Norm Van Brocklin9/28/1951RamsYanksW, 54-14554Charley Johnson12/9/1962CardinalsCowboysW, 52-20302Frank Ryan12/12/1964BrownsGiantsW, 52-20202Roman Gabriel12/12/1965RamsBrownsW, 42-7323Mark Malone9/8/1985SteelersColtsW, 45-3287Mark Rypien11/10/1991RedskinsFalconsW, 56-17442Aaron Rodgers10/20/2019PackersRaidersW, 42-24429It took Rodgers, who turns 36 in December, three weeks to post his first 300-yard game of the season, but at this point, there’s little doubting that the veteran quarterback’s still got it. DENVER (AP) — Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had the hot hand on a sweltering afternoon, throwing strike after strike in a nearly flawless display.The one thing he couldn’t deliver: the first win in coach Jon Gruden’s return to the sideline.Despite Carr’s record-setting day, the Raiders fell 20-19 to the Denver Broncos on Sunday when Brandon McManus hit a 36-yard field goal with 6 seconds remaining.It was the only lead of the game for the Broncos (2-0).Carr finished 29 of 32 for 288 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders (0-2). His 90.6 completion percentage is the best mark in franchise history — with a minimum of 20 attempts — topping the record of 89.5 set by Rich Gannon on Nov. 11, 2002, in Denver.“(Carr) did what we asked him to do, protect the ball, move the football Isaiah Johnson Oakland Raiders Jersey ,” Gruden said. “He’s a great player. He’s going to be an outstanding player. I look forward to the days ahead. Hopefully, there’s several.”Gruden’s first victory in his return to the field from the broadcast booth will come on one of those days ahead. He hasn’t won since Nov. 30, 2008, when he was with Tampa Bay. His last win against Denver was with Oakland on Nov. 5, 2001, behind three TDs from Gannon.“Tough loss,” Gruden said. “We had opportunities.”At 92 degrees, the game was the warmest home contest in Broncos history. The Raiders had team personnel holding a white curtain over the bench to offer some shade.The only thing sizzling more than the temperature was Carr’s right arm.Carr had one incomplete pass to Jordy Nelson in the first quarter and another with Nelson in the third. His last incompletion was early in the fourth with the Raiders driving. On fourth-and-1 from the Denver 33, he rolled out and threw a short pass to fullback Keith Smith, who let it fall through his hands. The Raiders punted and the Broncos marched down for a score to cut the deficit to 19-17.“We had a great play call. We had him open. I had to throw it quick, before his eyes were fully ready, with the pressure. We just didn’t connect on it,” Carr said. “Again, he’ll be thinking about that. I’ll be thinking about that, obviously the whole plane ride home. I’ll be thinking about it when I lay my head down to sleep, like I do always and probably get up and do some push-ups or something. Those are the little things we’re talking about.”Wait, there’s more to toss-and-turn over.The Raiders were on the move again late in the game when Jared Cook was called for a false start. On third down, Carr completed a pass to Martavis Bryant for a 3-yard gain that could have been more had it not been for an open-field tackle by Bradley Roby. The Raiders punted and Case Keenum went to work, leading the Broncos into range for the winning field goal.“Obviously, you want to end with the ball in your hands. You want to end taking a knee,” Carr said. “You wanted to waste their timeouts and, ‘Hey, let’s get that first down.’ I still thought we moved the ball decently and took some time off the clock to help the defense and then the last play they just brought a pressure and we had to throw it hot to Martavais (short of the first down). We were one missed tackle away from the game really being over. That’s how close this game is.”The performance of Carr certainly didn’t surprise Broncos pass rusher Von Miller.“We already know how fast he throws the ball,” said Miller, who had the only sack of Carr. “You can never lose faith.”A week ago, Gruden basically called out his QB for passing up throws to receiver Amari Cooper in Oakland’s opener. On Sunday, Carr threw 10 passes in Cooper’s direction and all 10 were hauled in for 116 yards.“He was great. Very accurate in getting us the ball. Made a lot of plays,” Cooper said. “You want to get in a groove, do everything possible to help your team win. Unfortunately, we came up short today. We have to make more plays out there if we want to win the game.”

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