Broncos sticking with Brock Osweiler as starting QB vs. the Patriots

Broncos sticking with Brock Osweiler as starting QB vs. the Patriots

The Broncos aren’t getting the kind of production they wanted at the quarterback position, but they don’t have many options either.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Brock Osweiler will remain in the driver’s seat for the Denver Broncos. Despite Osweiler’s horrible performance against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said Monday he will start Osweiler against the New England Patriots in Week 10.

What happened?

After quarterback Trevor Siemian tossed three interceptions during Denver’s 29-19 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8, Joseph decided to bench Siemian. Osweiler was thrust into the starting lineup against the Eagles in Week 9, and threw just six passes before delivering his first interception.

Joseph told theAssociated Press’ Arnie Stapleton the decision “came down to what’s best for our football team and frankly, what’s best for Trevor’s future.” When Joseph benched Siemian in favor of Osweiler, he made is message clear: Protect the football.

“You know, the saying is ‘job security is ball security,’ and if you protect the football, you’re going to stay out there on the field,” Osweiler said. “So, game manager, protecting the football, whatever you call it, that’s our job every week.”

However, Osweiler didn’t get the message against Philadelphia — he threw for 208 yards to go along with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Eagles won 51-23, and Denver’s offense spiraled out of control. But Joseph still believes in Osweiler enough to let him start against the Patriots.

Why is this important?

Denver’s quarterback situation is a mess right now. Osweiler and Siemian are struggling to make plays, and the team as a whole is suffering because of that. The Broncos have to figure out a way to decrease turnovers in the passing game.

After the game, Osweiler questioned some of the decisions he made.

“Looking back on it, I [threw] it to Emmanuel [Sanders] in the red area,” Osweiler said.

“Well, if I throw it to [Demariyus Thomas], maybe we have a touchdown. But that’s football. It’s easy to second-guess yourself after the plays happen. We just have to clean it up. Philadelphia’s too good of a football team. When you get into their territory, you have to find ways to score touchdowns. You’re not going to beat a team like that on the road by kicking field goals and punting the football all day.”

In this game against the Patriots, Osweiler’s job should be simple: Make plays when you need to, avoid interceptions, and extend drives.

If Osweiler doesn’t show promise, he could end up losing his job to Paxton Lynch once he’s healthy. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that the possibility of that happening wouldn’t be surprising.

At 3-5, the Broncos are last in the AFC West. They have to avoid this quarterback carousel if they want to make the playoffs.

Lions bust out Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots inspired celebration for touchdown

Lions bust out Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots inspired celebration for touchdown

Ameer Abdullah cheated to beat Golden Tate.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones got the scoring started on Monday Night Football with a nice 25-yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers, and the celebration was just as good.

Judging by Golden Tate and Ameer Abdullah holding controls, it looks like this is a game of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots that Abdullah wins by cheating. Either that or it’s some kind of boxing video game — Punch Out, perhaps?

Either way, this is another great group celebration in a year that’s been full of them. I, for one, couldn’t be happier with the NFL’s relaxed rules that allow this kind of fun.

Andrew Luck’s injury is not just ‘inside his head,’ despite what Colts owner Jim Irsay says

Andrew Luck’s injury is not just ‘inside his head,’ despite what Colts owner Jim Irsay says

The Colts owner can’t seem to accept that the team is ruining the superstar’s career.

Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

A hot mic caught Tony Dungy revealing some insight into what could turn into a tense situation between the Indianapolis Colts and quarterback Andrew Luck.

During a commercial break on Dan Patrick’s radio show, the Hall of Fame coach was heard telling Patrick about the situation with Luck in Indy: “I don’t know what’s going on there. Jim Irsay made a comment about six weeks ago, ‘It’s inside his head now.'”

That’s not the first time the Colts owner has suggested Luck’s shoulder issue is actually a mental one. In mid-August, during training camp, he said this about Luck’s recovery from shoulder surgery in January:

“It’s been said before, all sports is played on a 4-inch field between your ears. It’s really important we continue to help Andrew emotionally, mentally, get his confidence and his endorsement, deep down his rubber stamp (in) his heart of hearts because in the end, that carries the biggest weight.”

It’s a real shoulder problem, and it’s the Colts fault it got this bad

Luck’s shoulder injury dates back to September 2015. He missed two games before returning to action in Week 6. But he played with the injury throughout the season, it was later revealed.

We timelined this whole issue. There were reports of bigger problems at the start of the 2016 season, but the Colts former GM, Ryan Grigson, insisted Luck was fine. He kept throwing and throwing. Then, SURPRISE, he needed surgery in January of this year.

He came back to practice in October, despite Irsay’s insistence in August that he’d return early in the season, but has since been shut down and placed on IR.

A report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed that doctors want Luck to stop throwing entirely for a few months, focusing on rehab instead. The problems he’s dealing with now are the result of playing through a torn labrum.

So, what does this mean?

For starters, it means in a season headlined by injured superstars we won’t get to see one of the game’s best young passers. Another year of Luck’s prime ruined by gross negligence.

I don’t know the ins and outs of the internal decisions made by the Colts’ brass over the years. We do know very well what the leadership void there has produced — one of the league’s worst teams. Luck never had much talent to work with when he was healthy, elevating the terrible coaching staff under Chuck Pagano and Grigson’s incompetent personnel department with his superb play.

Unfortunately that led to him getting the shit beat out of him week after week. As Bob Kravitz pointed out, Luck’s been hit more than any other QB in the NFL since 2012.

Give Luck and his camp some credit. They’re not making this a public fight, though I wouldn’t blame them if they did. Remember how quick they were to shoot down those rumors about Luck wanting to be traded? He’s got every right to demand a trade given how the team has handled his situation and the owner telling anyone who’ll listen that it’s a mental thing.

Luck is supposedly going to be back for the 2018 season, when he’ll be 29. Hopefully, his shoulder will be fully healed, so that Colts fans, and football fans in general, can still see him play in his prime years, assuming he can be the same player again.

How much longer he spends with the Colts remains to be seen. He’s got four years left on the $123 million deal he signed with the team last year. If the rift with Irsay proves to be irreparable, or if the new GM can’t build a better team than the last one, he may not finish out that contract with the Colts.

Packers somehow ran the kicking unit on for a field goal in less than 10 seconds

Packers somehow ran the kicking unit on for a field goal in less than 10 seconds

Look at this f****** fire drill!

A pass across the middle of the field with time running out and no timeouts left is usually a bad idea, but apparently the Green Bay Packers have a special teams unit that knows exactly what it’s doing and can bail out those kinds of decisions.

When Brett Hundley completed a pass across the middle to Davante Adams, it left the Packers with a fourth down and just 10 seconds to run the kicking unit onto the field before halftime.

Nine seconds later, they got the snap off and Mason Crosby nailed a 35-yard field goal.

The Packers are going to need a whole lot more on offense to dig their way out of a 14-3 hole in the second half, but kudos to Green Bay special teams coordinator Ron Zook for having the team ready enough to avoid a zero on the scoreboard.

Congratulations to JuJu Smith-Schuster for finally getting his license

Congratulations to JuJu Smith-Schuster for finally getting his license

Now he doesn’t have to ride a bike around Pittsburgh anymore!

JuJu Smith-Schuster hit a big milestone on Tuesday. He finally got his driver’s license.

Smith-Schuster, 20, is the youngest player in the NFL. And up until Tuesday, he was stuck riding a bike all over Pittsburgh because he never did get around to taking his driver’s test. But his bike was stolen in October. He got it back, but it spurred him to action.

His teammate, offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, did him a solid and taught him how to drive. It worked, because Smith-Schuster passed his test. In Smith-Schuster’s words, “It’s lit.”

Your boy finally did it…just got my license! #ItsLit!

— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) November 7, 2017

Smith-Schuster’s teammates and fans rallied around him when his bike was stolen, creating an online movement that actually led to the bike’s safe return. The man who purchased the bike didn’t know it was stolen, and he returned it.

Even though it’s disappointing to have your bike stolen, Smith-Schuster had some fun with it. He even celebrated a 97-yard touchdown by chaining up the exercise bike on the Steelers sideline during their win over the Lions in Week 8. It wouldn’t be terribly easy to sneak off with a stationary bike, but better safe than sorry.

Smith-Schuster is proud, and rightfully so.

2017 been pretty lit but this might be my biggest achievement of the year #JuJuOnThatRoad

— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) November 7, 2017

And don’t worry. He’s not saying goodbye to his beloved bike.

not leaving you ❤️

— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) November 7, 2017

Smith-Schuster is from Long Beach, Calif. and went to USC. November in Pittsburgh is a lot chillier than it is in Southern California. It’s a perfect time for Smith-Schuster to not have to ride a bike to practice anymore.

JuJu Smith-Schuster is making his mark in Pittsburgh

Bill Belichick will not tolerate anonymous quotes about his relationship with Tom Brady

Bill Belichick will not tolerate anonymous quotes about his relationship with Tom Brady

It’s all fake news, according to Belichick.

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The big storylines from Tom Junod and Seth Wickersham’s ESPN the Magazine article on Tom Brady’s longevity made headlines when it was released. But details about Bill Belichick’s relationship with Tom Brady and his trainer, Alex Guerrero, flew under the radar.

Bill Belichick dismissed claims that there’s conflict between him and Guerroro and that his relationship with Brady is on shaky ground. He called the unattributed comments “fake news.”

The claim: “There’s a collision coming” between Belichick and Guerrero

What the article says:

Trading Jimmy Garoppolo was Belichick’s tacit endorsement of Brady’s TB12 method.

The apparent vote of confidence comes even as Brady has found himself in the middle of a conflict between the Patriots and Guerrero, with Guerrero blaming the team’s trainers for injuries some of his clients have suffered and with Belichick making it resoundingly clear that Guerrero has no actual role on his staff. “There’s a collision coming,” a friend of Belichick’s says, and even without Garoppolo itching to supplant him.

What Belichick said:

There’s no relationship, or drama, between Belichick and Guerrero.

“Alex works for Tom in Tom’s facility, and that’s really about the end of it,” Belichick said during his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dale and Holley with Keefe show. “So if a player goes up there for a second opinion or a treatment or whatever, then that’s fine. No different than anyone who goes to his own chiropractor or massage therapist or whatever it happens to be.”

There’s also no official connection between Guerrero and the Patriots.

“No, he’s not on our staff. Our staff and our training staff, our nutrition staff, our equipment staff, those are all contained within the Patriots,” Belichick said. “Alex and his staff at TB12 and Tom’s role in TB12, that’s kind of a separate business.”

The claim: Belichick wanted to move on from Brady

What the article says:

Belichick thought he could win it all without Brady.

(Belichick had) told friends for the past year that he wanted to coach Garoppolo as a starter and that he was confident he could win a Super Bowl with him. That, of course, would have required him to decouple himself from the player who has changed his life and his legacy, and so the question always was: Would he do it? Would he actually move on from TB12?

What Belichick said:

There’s no bad blood between Belichick and his longtime quarterback. Belichick said his relationship with Brady is “good” and “consistent.”

“I’ve met with Tom at least twice a week for the last 16 years,” Belichick said.

Belichick didn’t have much patience for the anonymous quotes about him in the article. He called them “a general random opinion about I’m not sure exactly what.”

“So if we’d like to actually talk about somebody who has an informed opinion about something, that’s one thing,” Belichick said. “I mean, otherwise we’re just talking about a lot of fake news here. But now things that are unattributed, as usual. We get a lot of that.”

Belichick and Brady have been to seven Super Bowls together and have won five of them. Brady currently leads the league in passing yards, and the Patriots are 6-2 right now. There’s no reason for Belichick to be out of sorts about whatever is keeping Brady playing at this level.

The Pats scored at the trade deadline thanks to Deflategate