Omar Kelly: Ten things needed for Tua to succeed
The Miami Dolphins have turned over the reins of the team to Tua Tagovailoa, beginning the quarterback’s transition from rookie starter to developing franchise quarterback.But this isn’t a journey Tagovailoa can travel alone. He’ll need the entire team to help him maximize his production, and showcase his talent level.Here is a look at 10 things Tagovailoa will need to succeed this season, and beyond.———Must learn to not hold onto the ballOne of the main criticisms about Tagovailoa is that he holds onto the football too long trying to make big plays happen. That’s exactly how he got hurt at Al...
Mike Bianchi: UCF fans should just enjoy perhaps greatest offense in college football history
Some disgruntled UCF fans on a message board a couple of weeks ago wanted Josh Heupel fired, in part, because they were inexplicably dissatisfied with their head coach’s offense.“He does not have a playbook, maybe a pamphlet or just a page is what I can glean from what I am seeing,” wrote one fan.“Truly feels like we have just eight plays,” wrote another fan.“The coach needs to go,” wrote another.And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I never, ever listen to fans, which is short for fanatics, which is a synonym for wackos.UCF 51, Tulane 34.The Knights compiled 689 yards of total offense on Sat...
Marcu Hayes: If the Eagles can't beat these Cowboys next week, who are now without Andy Dalton, just blow it up
How about them Cowboys, indeed.Doug Pederson’s message when the team reconvenes Monday morning:“At least we’re not Dallas.”Pederson and his glitchy quarterback and his crippled roster, alone in first place at 2-4-1, welcome the 2-5 Cowboys on Sunday, in a monstrous mismatch for NFC East supremacy. The Cowboys have the worst run defense, a horrific coaching situation, and now they’re down to their third quarterback after Andy Dalton left the game in the third quarter with a concussion after a cheap shot from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic.After the game, coach Mike McCarthy was asked why Dalt...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Three impressions from the Seahawks' Week 7 loss vs. the Cardinals
Three immediate impressions from the Seahawks’ 37-34 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night in Glendale, Arizona.———Overtime madnessThe Seahawks have been playing with fire all season. Eventually, they were going to get burned.There’s so, so, so, so much to unpack in this one, and tight Sunday-night deadlines means we’ll be unpacking this one into Monday — and, surely, well beyond.Bottom line here: The Seahawks led 34-24 with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter and should have won this one.They didn’t.Arizona borrowed some of the Seahawks’ fourth-quarter magic dus...
The Seattle Times
Tom Krasovic: Steelers stand as AFC's top team — for now — after impressive win against Titans
Unbeaten teams can get exposed, too.Especially against the Steelers.The Titans have many strengths, but in Sunday’s game between the AFC’s two unbeaten teams, the Steelers of Mike Tomlin exploited the subpar footspeed of two tough but old cornerbacks and a blocking unit that lost both tackles from last year’s AFC finalist.“Give Pittsburgh a lot of credit — this was clearly the best team we’ve played to this point,” said Titans coach Mike Vrabel.The Steelers used a pass-first offense and defensive pressure to build a 20-point lead in Nashville and held on to win, 27-24, after Stephen Gostkowski...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Dieter Kurtenbach: Yes, Jimmy Garoppolo beat the Patriots, but don't be fooled
The easy narrative following the 49ers’ beatdown of the New England Patriots in Foxborough will be that San Francisco quarterback and former Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo went to his old stomping grounds and showed his former team why it was a mistake to trade him.However, things are never that simple in football or with the Niners’ QB.Garoppolo played well enough to win on Sunday. The bar was low, given how far the Patriots have fallen this past season and how well the 49ers defense is playing as of late, but he hurdled it. He’s now 26-8 all-time as a starting quarterback, and that’s a record you c...
The Mercury News
Paul Sullivan: The Chicago Bears are the latest team labeled as 'winning ugly.' But should we care how a team wins as long as it wins?
Nick Foles cut to the chase last week when asked about the Chicago Bears’ allegedly ugly win over the Carolina Panthers.“I would first say, ‘Would you rather lose pretty or win ugly?’ “ Foles replied. “We’d rather win ugly. That is the common thing, so it tells you a lot about our team.“Is this who we are offensively? We want to improve. We want to get better. We want to have rhythm. But ultimately in the NFL, it’s about winning games. It doesn’t matter how you do it; it just matters that you get it done. If you put up 50 points and you lose a game, those 50 points don’t mean anything.”The 31-...
Falcons' Todd Gurley: 'I shouldn't have scored'
Falcons running back Todd Gurley knew he’d made a mistake.The Falcons had talked about falling down instead of scoring, but as he approached the goal line, he veered to his right and tried to find a comfortable spot on the turf.However, he broke the plane and the Falcons left the defense with too much time on the clock.“I was as mad as hell,” Gurley said on Sunday after the 23-22 loss to the Lions. “I was trying not to (score), my momentum took me in … It’s one of those unfortunate situations.”The Falcons were trying to protect their defense, which has made it a habit of blowing fourth-quarter...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Steve Hummer: Now even Falcons' own touchdowns are turning against them
Never underestimate the Falcons imagination when it comes to finding exciting new ways to lose. Stephen King will run out of words and Green Giant will be down to its last niblet before this team stops inventing bizarre methods of defeat.Behold the world’s most interesting 1-6 team — in a perverse, quirky way.Sunday’s new riff off an old beat was particularly fascinating: The Falcons lost — 23-22 to Detroit — because they just couldn’t stop themselves from scoring.Now, even their own touchdowns are toxic.There was so much more to this defeat than this one weird turn, but Todd Gurley’s stumble ...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
49ers 33, Patriots 6: Warner leads dominant defensive effort, Wilson scores thrice before injury
Fred Warner flipped his body sideways as he shuffled and spied Cam Newton. Then, in a flash, Warner coyly retreated into coverage and, voila, the 49ers’ star linebacker came up with a shoestring interception.At that point the 49ers led just 10-3, but the New England Patriots had already shown just how slim a chance they had Sunday on their home field.With Warner commanding a 49ers defense rife with injury replacements, and with surprise starter Jeff Wilson rushing for a career-high three touchdowns, the 49ers cruised to a 33-6 victory in their first game at Gillette Stadium since their 2012 Su...
The Mercury News