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NFL offensive records keep toppling!

In this offense explosive NFL, records and milestones are falling victim on a weekly basis.  This season’s Week 12 was no different with some long-standing offensive records biting the dust.

Lets go to New England first, where the Patriots quarterback Tom Brady completed 20 of 31 passes for 283 yards with two touchdowns in his team’s 27-13 road victory at the New York Jets. Those yards pushed Brady to an astounding 79,416 total career passing yards and pushed him ahead of Peyton Manning for the most

Photo: Jeffrey Beall Wiki

passing yards in NFL history.  For those of you trying to wrap your head around that fantastic feat, get in your car and drive 45 miles; that’s how many yards Brady has passed for.

Over the years, a chunk of those yards made it into the hands of one of Brady’s favorite targets, Rob Gronkowski. In that same game, Gronk had 56 receiving yards and a touchdown giving him 78 career TD receptions. That ties him with Terrell Owens for the third-most TD catches by a player prior to turning 30 years old.

Moving on to Los Angeles California where the city’s “second team” the Chargers and quarterback Philip Rivers is having a career year, another long-standing QB record was broken. Rivers lit it up, connecting on 28 of 29 passes for a shocking 96.6 percent completion rate, including his first 25 pass attempts. Those 25 consecutive completions are the most by any QB in any single game in NFL history and that 96.6 completion percentage is the highest in a single game with a minimum of 20 attempts.

One final mention regarding receivers goes to Philadelphia Eagles’ tight end Zach Ertz who squashed an Eagles’ record. Ertz, who has been battling injuries this season, had seven grabs for 91 yards and a TD in the Eagles’ 25-22 victory over the New York Giants. He now has 84 catches this season, the most by a tight end in Eagles history.

Elsewhere, the Cleveland Browns continued their rebound from their embarrassing record-setting 0-16 season with another win. In that game, the Browns took on former head coach Hue Jackson and the Cincinnati Bengals on the road where Browns rookie running back Nick Chubb ran for 84 yards and a TD and added three catches for 44 yards and another TD in his team’s lopsided 35-20 win.

In his prior game, Chubb rushed for 176 yards with a touchdown and had a touchdown as well to become one of four rookies in NFL history with both a rushing and receiving touchdown in consecutive games. Ironically, another rookie sensation, RB Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants accomplished that same feat this week.

Well, those are some of the records that toppled this past week in the NFL, but the way the league is turning into an offensive eruption with many teams scoring 40 or more points in a single game, expect many more to fall throughout the rest of this season.

Tom Ferda is an NFL football writer based in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on Twitter @TomFerda

Posted in Features, NFL, Recent Buzz, The Mosh Pit0 Comments

Dez Bryant out for season with serious injury

Dez Bryant’s coming out party in New Orleans has come to a screeching halt when the flashy wide receiver suffered a serious injury at practice today.

While running a route in practice on Friday, Bryant and others on the field heard a loud pop and the wide receiver dropped to the ground. He was carted off the field and diagnosed with one of the most serious injuries possible, an apparent torn Achilles injury.

Now facing major surgery and several months of rehab his much anticipated and hyped up return in New Orleans with a possible trip to the Super Bowl has turned into an emotional devastating situation.

Bryant went onto his Twitter social media account and posted this message:

Bottom line here is, an injury like this is a challenge to any wide receiver so most would expect it to be even more of a challenge to a guy that is thirty years old, an age where most receivers see a drop off in their performance when they’re healthy. It took an entire offseason and half of an NFL season and more than 300 days since he last played in an NFL game, for Bryant to find a taker and negotiate the right deal to allow his return. And that was a healthy Dez, so imagining him returning to play again appears to be a long shot in many people’s minds.

Bryant spent his entire career in Dallas playing for the Cowboys and sadly his career may end before donning other other colors on an NFL Sunday.

Follow Tom Ferda on Twitter at @TomFerda

Posted in Features, NFL, Recent Buzz, WTF!0 Comments

Lions fans feel gut-punched by Tate trade

Just last week, Lions fans were blowing up Twitter with how great their general manager Bob Quinn was after landing “Snacks” Harrison for pocket change. This week, they’re feeling gut-punched after Quinn traded fan favorite Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles for a draft pick. Now that the dust is settling, we should all take a breathe and look at this move.

You have to wonder if Quandre Diggs and Jamal Agnew are doing the same. Diggs responded on Twitter with a simple “WTF!” tweet and Jamal Agnew followed that up with a simple “Bruh”. My response to these players and the rest of the team is the team should have shown up against the lowly New York Jets and now 1-7, San Francisco 49ers and won at least one of those two games they were expected to win. If they did, the Lions could easily be frontrunner in the NFC North and the only Tate conversation taking place might be how he is expected to perform in fantasy this week in Minnesota.

While Tate sent a loving message to the Lions organization, team and fans as well as a tweet that read, “It’s been real DETROIT! I’ll love ya forever. Philly Philly let’s get it!!” Eagles QB Carson Wentz was quick to respond to his new star receiver with this post:

Personally I’m gonna really miss Tate. He’s a class act on and off the field. He never pointed fingers when the Lions were spiraling out of control or giving a new definition to the term “dumpster fire”. But it’s a smart deal by a GM that learned how to build a winner while working for the New England Patriots. How can Lions fans not want to trust that after decades of failure from a laundry list of other GMs and head coaches.

Quinn’s overall 2018 trade deadline performance stands out against all the other GM’s IMO. Overall, the savvy dealmaker snagged Damon “Snacks” Harrison, who is signed for years, and third rounder for Tate, who has half of a season left on his contract and a fifth-round pick. And that fifth round pick he sent for Snacks was from a deal when he shipped out bust Laken Tomlinson to the 49ers.

So wrapping your heads around these two deals, while losing one class act and leader in the locker room, Quinn was sure to add another in Harrison who is a class act and respected team leader. And he looked ahead to the near future when he would have lost Tate to free agency for a much lower pick.

Moving Tate also frees up $3.7 million cap space and remember, Quinn snagged Lions standout receiver Kenny Golladay in the third round a few years ago and before that found starting lineman Graham Glasgow sitting and waiting in the third round. So that third round pick acquired in this trade may become very high value.

It isn’t like the Lions traded a majority of their passing game away because they didn’t. QB Matthew Stafford is surrounded by a lot of firepower in the wide receiver position with Golladay and Marvin Jones running up some good numbers this season and TJ Jones and undrafted Brandon Powell jonsing for a full time opportunity.

And what about being one game out of first place!

Well, the Green Bay Packers are right in the hunt too, actually sitting just ahead of the Lions and they traded one of the best defensive backs in the NFL, moving Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to the Washington Redskins for just a fourth-round pick. Tate’s stats are damn good, but so are Dix’s who has 47 tackles, three INTs one FF and a sack. And he was moved for a fourth-round pick while the Lions got a third.

Lions fans should be happy seeing activity that betters the team in the long run, a nice change from desperate un-calculated moves that former GMs like Martin Mayhew and Matt Millen were known to make.

While it may hurt seeing Tate sprinting down the field in green wearing his new number 19, this move is one that makes a lot of sense in the long run.

More Lions Articles:

It’s Snack time in Detroit!

Lions players and fans should buy into Matt Patricia

 

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It’s Snack Time in Detroit!

Well if there was any doubt about the New York Giants being in fire sale mode, it’s clear as day now after the team followed up the Eli Apple trade by moving defensive tackle stud Damon Harrison Sr. to the Detroit Lions for a 2019 fifth-round draft pick.

Lions general manager Bob Quinn should have a most wanted mugshot floating around after this thievery.

While it is a great move by Quinn, this deal feels too desperate a move by the Giants with almost a week before the trade deadline hits. You would think if the league knew a player of Snacks’ caliber were available, the Giants could have secured at least a third-round pick for the star or maybe a second.

I found a graph on social media by PFF (see below) that shows how Harrison statistically outplayed several entire NFL teams’ interior lines over a recent season. And many of these plays, he’s facing a double team. And note that is the year Snacks had 49 run stops compared to only 43 by the entire Lions team.

While you let that sink in, a second PFF graph I found showed Harrison as the top interior lineman against the rush for the past several seasons; and remember, this includes against top competition like Aaron Donald of the Rams and Ndamukong Suh, formally of the Dolphins and now with the Los Angeles Rams.

One should expect Quinn and new head coach Matt Patricia to maintain the “Patriots way” as they build a winner in Detroit. Although many fans and word on the street was, many players, weren’t buying into Patricia early on, it’s clearly time to do that with the team winning three of the last four while making deals like this one.

Remember how the Patriots traded All-Pro defensive lineman Richard Seymour to Oakland and also let Randy Moss go as well? I expect the Lions to let Ziggy Ansah and Golden Tate go as well, in the same fashion and Quinn is being smart about it by planning for that future without those stars.

He drafted Kenny Golladay in a spot many at the time felt was way too early. Now Detroit fans are ecstatic about their star caliber wide receiver. Golladay is capable of stepping into the No.2 or even the No. 1 spot by next season.

Picking up Harrison fills a huge need for Detroit who is near the bottom of the league against the run.

I watched the first few defensive series of the recent Giants game against the Philadelphia Eagles and loved what I saw in Harrison. One of the first plays, he fought off a block, split the gap and made the tackle on a rush play. On another he fought off a block and had the instincts to free up from a rush and move lateral to keep Eagles QB Carson Wentz from scrambling for a gain.

Harrison shows up and plays hard every game. And in a place like Detroit where fans love and idolize their hard working blue-collar type trench players, I expect Harrison to quickly become a fan favorite.

Detroit fans, enjoy this trade and acquisition. In the meantime, I’ll keep a lookout for Quinn’s mugshot.

Follow PFWA member Tom Ferda on Twitter @TomFerda

Posted in Features, NFL, Recent Buzz0 Comments

Lions players and fans, embrace Patricia

The Detroit Lions performance on national stage Monday Night Football was an off-the-rails implosion but it appeared to have a hidden message in it as well.

That message?

The players looked apathetic and uninterested in performing for their new head coach Matt Patricia. It felt like they were throwing their rookie head coach and his sharpened pencil under the bus. Were they? Well, several days prior to the kickoff there was a buzz around the league and locker rooms that the Lions’ players don’t like playing for the new coach and they were having a hard time adjusting to his style.

Why?

Is it because these veterans have been accustomed to easier practices for a super laid back guy, Jim Caldwell, who would rarely, if ever, get into their faces on a sideline or rip them a new one at practice like Patricia does? It seemed like a walk in the park playing for laid back Jim compared to say, a Bill Belichick type of a guy, or say, a Scotty Bowman authoritative type, but more on that later.

The Lions have grown accustomed to 9-7 seasons or appearing in one playoff game, even if it’s a loss, as being defined as a successful season. Because, you know, it’s hard to make the playoffs in the NFL. That is true but the good news for Lions fans is Lions GM Bob Quinn and Patricia would never be satisfied with that. That’s why Lions management brought them in.

Hey I get it! Everyone is up in arms after Monday night’s dumpster fire against a team that was 1-7 on the road last year. A team who started the youngest quarterback in modern era Week One ever.

Fans want accountability and who is the easiest target?

The head coach. So everyone, grab your pitchforks, storm down Woodward Avenue and chant “Fire Patricia now!” And start a hashtag on social media promoting to fire him too!

Wait a minute, people. Lets take a breath and think this thing through.

Patricia was the bearded pirate looking guy on the sideline and not the guys throwing the ball right into the numbers of the Jets defenders for five interceptions or the one shanking two field goals, or missing tackles, so yeah, thinking this through feels like a good thing.

Bottom line is, Matt Patricia is the guy this team needs right now.

Before you go on social media to tell everyone how big of an idiot I am for writing that, think about this familiar Detroit sports analogy and why the Lions need to buy into Patricia and his system.

Scotty Bowman came to Detroit with too many Stanley Cup rings to fit on one hand and loads of valuable experience, knowing what it takes to build a winner. But Bowman had a hardcore, authoritative coaching style, a style the Detroit players were not accustomed to and didn’t like. The type of style the Lions may need to snap them out of their funk and play at the next level.

Scotty began holding Red Wings players accountable, regardless who they were on the pecking order, and requiring them to buy into his new system. Many of the veterans didn’t buy into it and showed dissonance, playing below expectations. Bowman was his no-nonsense self and placed mega star forward Sergei Fedorov on defense until he learned to be a two-way player. He also traded several of the Red Wings star players. Dino Ciccarelli, Keith Primeau and Paul Coffey were all dealt in trades that shocked the NHL.

That same year, the Red Wings won their first championship in about a half of a century, breaking the longest drought in the NHL. Those were gutsy moves by Bowman. And not well received by the fans or the players when they happened but it shook the team up and brought a championship.

As experienced and deserving as Bowman was to gain immediate respect and total cooperation from the Red Wings players the moment he arrived, he didn’t receive that so imagine what Patricia is going through right now.

These are pro athletes. NFL. NHL. NBA. Whatever league they’re in, many have been pampered throughout their careers and many times need a swift kick in the ass to get motivated. Bowman did it and it worked.

So can Quinn and Patricia and I sense it may be coming. Don’t forget. These two came from the organization that trade Pro Bowl talent if they feel it’s best for the “team” – Google Randy Moss and Richard Seymour.

If the Lions want to get over the hump of mediocrity, they need to buy into Patricia‘s system. Makes no sense for them not to when a similar system brought a slew of championships to New England. Yes, the Patriots have Tom Brady but the Lions also have an able quarterback in place for the long haul with a new contract.

Patricia and Quinn are in Detroit for one reason, and one reason only. To bring the Lombardy Trophy to Detroit and put an end to decades of epic failure.

Bowman brought three championships to Detroit to end that historic NHL drought. Patricia and Quinn deserve a fair chance to break the Bobby Layne curse as well.

But it needs to start with the veteran Lions players showing maturity and being all in and making it known that they are. Making it known to the media and fans and owner Mrs. Ford. Quinn and Patricia deserve that respect from the players. And the fans deserve it. It worked for the Red Wings. It can work for the Lions.

In the meantime, Patricia is gonna need a bigger eraser after Monday night.

Follow Tom Ferda on Twitter @TomFerda

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Westbrook hits triple-double average for season

Most NBA analysts and fans expected Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook to light it up this season with Kevin Durant heading to the Golden State Warriors to pursue a championship. But few, if any, expected Westbrook to become a triple-double machine and accomplish a feat only Oscar Robertson did in 1961-62.

Photo: Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA Wiki Commons

Westbrook made the season triple-double average official against the Phoenix Suns last night when he dished out his 820th assist of the season. It was obvious that this milestone was the focus of most everyone in the building with Westbrook going for the mark and the bottom feeding Suns setting out to stop him.

Westbrook started the game averaging a league leading 31.8 per game, 10.7 boards per game and 10.4 assists per game. Westbrook was eying his 820th dish from the start when he forced several plays and had a slew of turnovers – five in the first 10 minutes. He didn’t seem focused on the game itself and missed his first 11 shots from the floor as well.

With all eyes and attention on him late in the game, Westbrook desperately tried to hit the 10 assists mark to break Robertson’s record for triple-doubles in a season.

But he came up short when the Suns, who were well ahead in the game, intentionally sent other Thunder players to the line and later intentionally fouled Westbrook with 2:34 remaining to stop him from passing.

What else did the bottom of the basement 23-57 Suns have for motivation as their dismal season winds to the end?

Westbrook has three more games to try to break the triple-double record held by Robertson before the team can focus on the playoffs.

Posted in Features, NBA, Recent Buzz0 Comments

Flyers goalie Neuvirth collapses during game

Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth gave his teammates and fans a scare last night when he suddenly collapsed while standing alone in the crease during a game.

The incident occurred in the first period of the game against the New Jersey Devils, with the Flyers up 1-0. As the linesman was dropping the puck on one end of the ice, Neuvirth was in the opposite crease and fell backwards, slamming his head to the ice. The 29-year-old goalie appeared to be unconscious for a few seconds then did start moving his legs. 

Three doctors and Flyers’ trainer Jim McCrossin darted onto the ice and after examining the goaltender, they took him off the ice on a stretcher.

The incident was almost a carbon copy to one that happened in Atlanta in 2010 when Thrashers goalie, Ondrej Pavelec, collapsed in a game without contact.

Pavelec, who had a history of concussions, missed almost two weeks while undergoing extensive tests that all came up negative. He returned to the ice and played several seasons with no recurring incidents ever happening again.

BTW, Pavelec’s incident occurred in a game against the Washington Capitals and who was the goalie for the Caps in that game? Michael Neuvirth.

More NHL:

This hockey fight doesn’t end on the ice – Sports Climax

Penguins clinch but two of Crosby’s teeth won’t be making trip – Sports Climax

Red Wings streak, The Simpsons and Milli Vanilli – Sports Climax

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Red Wings streak, The Simpsons and Milli Vanilli

Sports’ longest playoff streak is finally over. For the first time since 1989-90, the Detroit Red Wings are packing it up after their final regular season game and not advancing to the playoffs.

The Joe where magic happened

Think about that feat in this day and age of salary caps and free agent bidding wars. The Red Wings survived it and skated into the playoffs for a quarter century straight – 25 years!

To put that into perspective, not a single player in the NHL today was playing in the league when the streak started. Not even 45-year-old, graying Jaromir Jagr. Nine of today’s NHL teams weren’t in the league and fifteen of the current Red Wings players weren’t born yet.

Feel free to check that out with a quick Google search on the World Wide Web which BTW was also not existing yet.

When this 25 year streak first started…

The Simpsons was taking TV by storm with their debut season.

People were burning their Milli Vanilli collection after the band admitted lip-synching their hit, “Girl You Know Its True,” and had their Grammy award yanked.

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched.

People were flocking to theaters to watch Born of the 4th of July and Goodfellas.

Joe Montana lead the San Francisco 49ers over the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl 55-10, with Montana taking home the MVP award.

The Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup, defeating Boston Bruins who had to get past the Hartford Whalers earlier in those playoffs. Yeah, those historic Hartford Whalers.

The Detroit Pistons, with coach Chuck Daley behind the pine, defeated the Portland Trailblazers to win the NBA title with Isaiah Thomas taking home the MVP award.

Back to the Red Wings, their impressive streak will probably never be matched.

In that 1989-90 season that started this streak, the Red Wings roster had Steve Yzerman wearing the captain jersey and he was only 24. Yzerman has long since retired and the address for Joe Louis Arena was changed to “19 Steve Yzerman Drive”.

Yzerman’s team and the ones following his tenure accomplished a lot in their run. Hoisting four Stanley Cups while making it to the Stanley Cup Final six times. I had the honor of attending seeing them hoist the Cup after defeating the Flyers in 1997 and the Hurricanes in 2002, both at The Joe. During this run, they also took home the Presidents Trophy six times, including the 1995-96 season when they set a league record with 62 wins.

During the run they also were locks in the playoffs 21 times, finishing top four in their conference 18 of those times.

On a flip note, the Red Wings 25 year streak isn’t the longest in NHL history. The Boston Bruins made the playoffs 29 straight times and the Chicago Blackhawks 28 straight, but times were much different back then without tight salary caps and players being known to stay with their teams for longer period of times.

The NHL salary cap was born in 2005-06 and the Red Wings were forced to cut their payroll in half! How can an elite team remain competitive with that challenge thrown into the mix? Somehow Wings’ GM Ken Holland figured out a way to remain competitive over another 10 seasons.

More NHL:

This hockey fight doesn’t end on the ice – Sports Climax

Penguins clinch; Crosby loses two teeth – Sports Climax

 

Posted in Features, NHL, Recent Buzz0 Comments

Raiders move to Vegas becomes reality

Well it’s official. The NFL owners stuck a knife into the backs of the City of Oakland and Raiders fans and voted to move to team to Las Vegas. 

Only 24 votes were needed but Raiders owner Mark Davis received 31 of 32 votes with Miami owners being the only ‘nay’ vote at the table.

The timing of this is brutal for Raiders fans. After dealing with season after season of bad drafts, rebuilding fails and bottom of the standings performances, the team finally found a groove, played dominating ball and made the playoffs.

Davis faced the media after the vote, saying:

“I understand Oakland fans will be angry and disappointed. I want them to know that I do understand that it’s emotional. I also want them to give as much support to the team as possible as we attempt to bring a championship to the Bay Area.”

Well, maybe, but good luck with that. Davis seems to think the fans and city will show up opening kickoff and act like nothing happened? That may be far from the reality.

A longtime fan of the Raiders, Oakland City Council President Larry Reid said he plans to speak with attorneys to see if the city can legally force the Raiders out of the Coliseum early. Meaning forcing owner Davis to scramble to find a stadium to play in this and the next few season while the Vegas stadium is being built. Reid added:

“You will never ever see me wearing anything that says the Raiders.”

So what we have here is a weird situation. It’s like a divorce with a couple still living together under the same roof while they wait years to officially split.

With the Raiders’ planned $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed stadium scheduled to be completed and opened in 2020, Davis said he plans on staying in Oakland the next two seasons with his team having a couple of one-year options at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum where they currently play but that option is the item Reid is referring to.

Davis went further, saying he’d consider adding yet another year lease if necessary and staying in Oakland for the 2019 season too. But the fans and city are heartbroken, bitter and very pissed off right now so the Raiders may become a very unwanted guest.

“If they want us, we’d seriously consider it.” – Mark Davis

Well, Mark they may not. Time will tell if this initial reaction to your move will last. But Raiders fans are a crazy bunch. Imagine if they do boycott the team, or if the city finds a loophole and forces Davis to scramble to find a place to play.

More NFL:

Two NFL defensive backs arrested and tasered for “interference” – Sports Climax

Cowboys Elliott exposes woman’s breast in public – Sports Climax

Former Raiders star Marinovich pleads guilty to public nudity – Sports Cliamx

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Penguins clinch playoffs, Crosby loses two teeth

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins secured a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, but two of Sidney Crosby’s teeth will not be making that trip.

Late in the game, Crosby was hit with an Evander Kane high-stick and had two teeth knocked out. The incident landed Kane in the penalty box, called for a double-minor for high sticking at 18:35 of the third period.

This marks the 11th straight season the Pens have made it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Back to Crosby, the Penguins team captain also opened the scoring in the game with an insane goal. Crosby made an end-to-end rush, split the defense and lifted a one-handed backhand into the top corner, and he made it look easy.

That goal was the league leading 41st for Sid No Longer the Kid and here is a look at it:

With the win, Pittsburgh improved their record to (46-17-9), have now won three straight and are only one point behind the Eastern Conference leading Washington Capitals. Can almost hear Alex Ovechkin moaning, “Those guys again?!”

Another injury note: Penguins forward Jake Guentzel left the game about halfway through the first period with a concussion after taking a hit by Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. The zebras slapped a five-minute interference major and game misconduct to Ristolainen.

More hockey coverage:

This Fight Doesn’t End on the Ice – Sports Climax

NHL Rookie H0-Sang and His Controversial No. 66 – Sports Climax

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