- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel has told his side of the incident involving him, his entourage and the fan who reportedly asked Johnny Football for a hug.
Police intervened in the incident, which turned aggressive at an apartment party last weekend, Manziel — who was not directly involved in the scrap with the fan — said Friday that he and his friends were a victim of a drunk and overbearing fan.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Ray Rice has won his appeal against the NFL and is eligible to play immediately:
Ray Rice has won his appeal, per a league source.
Rice had been suspended since Sept. 8 following the public disclosure of a videotape that showed Rice striking his then-fianceé in an Atlantic City elevator. Rice had been suspended for two games prior to the release of the videotape, but in the wake of public outrage — Rice knocked Janay Palmer unconscious with a punch — the NFL suspended Rice indefinitely.
The NFL maintained that it had not seen the incriminating videotape when commissioner Roger Goodell levied the two-game suspension this past summer.
However, Rice argued that the NFL was in possession of all the facts of the case at the time of punishment, and that he was in effect being punished twice for the same offense. Rice appealed the NFL's decision at a hearing in early November, a hearing at which Goodell testified.
At that hearing, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome indicated that in discussions with Goodell, Rice had confessed to hitting Palmer. But Goodell and the NFL maintained that Rice had been less than truthful in his account of the night in question.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
Thursday was supposed to be the greatest Thanksgiving schedule ever. And we were treated to three blowouts.
On paper it was the best Thanksgiving schedule, for many years at least. But one of the themes of the NFL this season has been lopsided games.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
Part of being an NFL beat writer these days, it seems, is to follow the offspring of team officials on Twitter. Because you never know what they might say.
The daughter of San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, Cassie Baalke, vented on Twitter about her father's team's embarrasing performance on Thanksgiving. She called out 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman before deleting the tweet (luckily, we happened to have preserved it with a handy screen shot, which, of course, we're thankful for):
The college freshman apparently received some negative feedback — or a directive from dad? — because she axed the tweet and then followed it up with this:
Everyone's entitled to an opinion..sorry mine doesn't favor you or agree with yours 😒😒
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
There were different takes from the Dallas Cowboys of what exactly happened on Thanksgiving against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Dez Bryant had a relatively quiet game in the 33-10 loss in terms of football production, but he was chirping with Eagles defensive backs — as well as some animated words for his teammates on his own sideline (see video above) — and got into a few scraps that earned him a busted lip. Bryant also said he was elbowed in the hip and said, via ESPN.com, that the Eagles did not handle themselves well in the game.
"They were being kinda cheap; that's another story," Bryant said. "It is what it is; I'll get it cleaned up, and I'll be fine."
They'll face again in two weeks in Philadelphia, and Bryant can't wait.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
Every Thanksgiving, there's one dish on the table you stomach, year after year, with no pleasure whatsoever. Maybe it's corn pudding, or broccoli souffle, or pumpkin pie. You eat it, again and again, until one day you stop, because you realize that even though this dish might be tradition, it's still garbage.
This Thanksgiving, that garbage dish is the San Francisco 49ers. A team many predicted to reach the Super Bowl this season looked as lost on Thanksgiving night as your grandmother on an XBox. The 49ers, less than two years removed from a Super Bowl, could manage only a field goal against the defending champion Seattle Seahawks, who won 19-3. The performance was so bad that San Francisco's CEO apologized to the team's fans ... but we'll get to that in a moment.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
Tony Romo did not play well on Thanksgiving in the Dallas Cowboys' 33-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. But one of his interceptions was mostly the fault of his receiver, Terrance Williams, who has been ghost like Swayze the past month or so. Williams has been on the injury list with a bum finger of late, but his heart looked damaged on the interception that was credited to Romo with the Cowboys down 30-10.
Under pressure, Romo rolled out and tried to hit Williams on a sideline route. But Williams decided he didn't want to compete — at all — with cornerback Cary Williams and just let him have it.
Was it a great pass? No. But it was close enough for Terrance Williams to put a hand up. Instead, he just watched the pick happen like he was thinking about his mashed potatoes getting cold at home.
That's grounds for an immediate benching, and when you consider that Williams has had more than two catches in a game only once since Week 4, it might be time for head coach Jason Garrett to play others more.
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- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Someday, Calvin Johnson will slow down and let cornerbacks have a chance. This is not that day, no matter how un-Megatron he has looked at times this season.
Johnson, who had just one 100-yard game and one touchdown since Week 1 coming into Detroit's traditional Thanksgiving game, put on a show against the Chicago Bears. He had 11 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns and the Detroit Lions won 34-17, rallying after a poor start to keep the pressure on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.
Johnson became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 10,000 career receiving yards, doing so in his 145th game.
The Lions are a different team with a healthy Johnson. He's one of the greatest receivers of all time, even though an ankle injury slowed him for much of this season. He looked just fine on Thursday.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
There have been plenty of fun games and interesting NFL moments on Thanksgiving through the years (and plenty of bad games too, but that's another story).
But if you were to ask your average NFL fan what his top Thanksgiving football memory is, if he's old enough he's going to say two words: Leon Lett.
There has been the 1962 Lions ruining the Packers' perfect season, Clint Longley, O.J. Simpson setting a record with 273 yards, the botched coin toss with Phil Luckett and Jerome Bettis, Randy Moss dominating the Cowboys, the Butt Fumble and plenty of Barry Sanders highlights. But Lett's blunder was one of the strangest ways we've ever seen a team lose an NFL game. And it just happened to come on Thanksgiving with everyone watching.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
The largest donation ever made to the Pro Football Hall of Fame took just 10 days from initial pitch to a check being written, a remarkable testament to the passion that New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson has for the sport.
The $11 million donation made by Benson went public on Monday, marking the most significant contribution ever to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. It happened very fast, something that doesn't surprise those close to the man. From the donation, $10 million will be earmarked for the renovation of Fawcett Stadium, which will now be renamed Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
The process towards the record-setting donation began on the evening of Sept. 6 when David Baker, President/Executive Director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was in Atlanta. He was meeting old friends with the New Orleans Saints organization at their team hotel the night before the Saints opened their season at the Atlanta Falcons. During the course of the evening, he explained the new initiatives at the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the fundraising work that was necessary to get the objectives off the ground.