In Brief

NFL: New York Giants sack head coach Ben McAdoo

General manager Jerry Reese is also relieved of his duties after 2-10 start

Just one day after their tenth loss of the season, the New York Giants have fired head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese.

The double sacking comes after the Giants lost 24-17 at the Oakland Raiders in a match that saw star quarterback Eli Manning controversially benched after 210 straight starts.

With the Giants’ record standing at 2-10, co-owner John Mara confirmed to media that McAdoo and Reese had been relieved of their duties.

“[I] met with Ben McAdoo and thanked him for everything he has done for our us, for all his hard work, for all the professional manner in which he’s conducted himself,” said Mara.

“I also feel he will be a successful head coach at some point in the future. I think he’s going to learn from his experience here and he’ll go on and be a successful head coach.

“Both [McAdoo and Reese], contrary to what their public persona is sometimes, have been complete professionals here. They always make decisions on looking for what they believe is in the best long-term interest of the franchise.”

NFL.com reports that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will take over as the Giants’ interim head coach and Kevin Abrams will be general manager until the end of the season.

According to ESPN, Manning is expected to return as starting quarterback when the Giants host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, in this morning’s final match of Week 13, the Pittsburgh Steelers came back from 17 points down to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. Chris Boswell kicked a late field goal to win the match for the Steelers.

NFL Week 13 results 

  • Dallas Cowboys 38 Washington Redskins 14 
  • Miami Dolphins 35 Denver Broncos 9 
  • Baltimore Ravens 44 Detroit Lions 20 
  • Buffalo Bills 3 New England Patriots 23 
  • Green Bay Packers 26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 30 Indianapolis Colts 10 
  • New York Jets 38 Kansas City Chiefs 31 
  • Tennessee Titans 24 Houston Texans 13 
  • Atlanta Falcons 9 Minnesota Vikings 14 
  • Chicago Bears 14 San Francisco 49ers 15 
  • Los Angeles Chargers 19 Cleveland Browns 10 
  • New Orleans Saints 31 Carolina Panthers 21 
  • Oakland Raiders 24 New York Giants 17 
  • Arizona Cardinals 16 Los Angeles Rams 32 
  • Seattle Seahawks 24 Philadelphia Eagles 10
  • Cincinnati Bengals 20 Pittsburgh Steelers 23

Russell Wilson and Seahawks end Eagles’s winning run

4 December

The Philadelphia Eagles’s nine-match winning streak came to an end when Russell Wilson inspired the Seattle Seahawks to a 24-10 victory. 

In a battle of “do-it-all MVP contenders”, says NFL.com, Seahawks quarterback Wilson “outplayed” and “out-wowed” counterpart Carson Wentz in the upset win today against the high-flying Eagles. 

Wilson threw three touchdown passes in a performance described by Sky Sports as “masterful”. The win keeps the Seahawks (8-4) in NFL play-off contention. 

USA Today predicts that Seattle are primed for another late-season run, while QB Wilson believes December will be vital for the Seahawks’s chances.

“Tonight was pretty special,” said Wilson. “Against a really good football team, we played lights out.

“You can’t play much better than how we played tonight and that’s because of the work ethic that we have. December does matter, and that’s what championship teams do.”

The defeat for the Eagles, who now have a record of 10-2, means they are no longer the NFL’s current No. 1 seeded team. Instead the top spot goes to the Minnesota Vikings who beat the Atlanta Falcons 14-9.

Philadelphia Eagles look to clinch NFC East division title

30 November

The Philadelphia Eagles can be confident of securing the NFC East division title on Monday with victory on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. 

As holders of the NFL’s best record at 10-1, the Eagles can clinch the division without even playing. If the Dallas Cowboys lose or tie with the Washington Redskins in tomorrow’s first match of the Week 13 schedule, the NFC East gong will go to Philadelphia. 

With just five weeks of the regular season left and current first seeds Eagles all but certain to progress to the NFC divisional game, who else is in contention to make the NFL play-offs

As well as the Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings (9-2) are in line to make the NFC divisional round on 13-14 January as projected second seeds.

NFC wild cards projections ahead of Week 13’s matches are the Los Angeles Rams (3rd seed), New Orleans Saints (4th), Carolina Panthers (5th) and the Atlanta Falcons (6th seed).

In the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) are projected first seeds. Reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots (9-2) are hot on their heels.

Wild card projections in the AFC are the Tennessee Titans (3rd), Kansas City Chiefs (4th), Jacksonville Jaguars (5th) and the Baltimore Ravens (6th).

It’s a long way off, but who’s going to win Super Bowl LII and lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy on February 4 at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis? 

NFL media senior analyst Gil Brandt has looked at the statistics and team form to predict who has the best chances of winning Super Bowl LII.

With nine wins in a row, including victories by 20 points or more in their last four matches, Brandt says it’s hard to look beyond the Eagles.

“It might be surprising, but when you add it all up, the numbers say the Eagles are a more complete team than the perennial title contenders in New England, with a slightly better chance of winning Super Bowl LII,” he said.

NFL Week 13 fixtures (all times UK) 

Tomorrow’s NFL fixture

  • Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (1.25am, live on Sky Sports

Sunday’s NFL fixtures (6pm unless stated)

  • Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins 
  • Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens 
  • New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers 
  • Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars 
  • Kansas City Chiefs at New York Jets 
  • Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans 
  • Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons (live on Sky Sports
  • San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears 
  • Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Chargers (9.05pm) 
  • Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (9.25pm, live on Sky Sports
  • New York Giants at Oakland Raiders (9.25pm)
  • Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals (9.25pm)

Monday’s NFL fixture

  • Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks (1.30am, live on Sky Sports

Tuesday’s NFL fixture

  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (1.30am, live on Sky Sports

‘Necklace feud’ sparks mass brawl in Raiders-Broncos match

28 November

Oakland Raiders’ Michael Crabtree and Aqib Talib of the Denver Broncos have both been issued with two-match suspensions following a mass brawl during Sunday’s NFL match.

Charged with “violations of unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness,” the NFL confirmed in a statement released today that the duo had been suspended.

The brawl started in the first three minutes of the match on Sunday, which the Raiders won 21-14. Oakland wide receiver Crabtree will now miss the matches against the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs while Broncos cornerback Talib is suspended for games against the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.

The NFL statement said that under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, the suspensions may be appealed within three business days.

So why did the fight happen? According to NFL.com writer Dan Hanzus there is previous history between the feuding pair. 

Hanzus reports that the feud started when Talib snatched Crabtree’s necklace during last season’s Week 17 encounter in Denver. Then on Sunday in Week 12’s clash, Talib did it again, despite Crabtree reportedly taping his chain to his body in case it happened again.

“The ongoing feud between wide receiver Michael Crabtree and cornerback Aqib Talib can be traced back to a single piece of jewellery,” writes Hanzus.

“I refer, of course, to the gold chain that Talib has now snatched from Crabtree’s neck in consecutive years during meetings between the Broncos and Raiders. Crabtree flipped out after Talib pilfered the treasure on Sunday, sparking a brawl that got both men disqualified. 

“According to a report from one prominent NFL insider, Crabtree had prepared for the possibility of a repeat attack in Week 12.”

Hanzus said the Crabtree-Talib chain-snatching feud is “easily, easily, easily my favourite dumb NFL storyline of 2017”.

Meanwhile, in this morning’s final Week 12 encounter, the Baltimore Ravens secured a 23-16 victory over the Houston Texans.

NFL Week 12 results

  • Detroit Lions 23 Minnesota Vikings 30 
  • Dallas Cowboys 6 Los Angeles Chargers 28
  • Washington Redskins 20 New York Giants 10
  • New England Patriots 35 Miami Dolphins 17
  • Kansas City Chiefs 10 Buffalo Bills 16
  • New York Jets 27 Carolina Panthers 35
  • Philadelphia Eagles 31 Chicago Bears 3
  • Indianapolis Colts 16 Tennessee Titans 20
  • Cincinnati Bengals 30 Cleveland Browns 16
  • Atlanta Falcons 34 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20
  • Los Angeles Rams 26 New Orleans Saints 20
  • San Francisco 49ers 13 Seattle Seahawks 24
  • Oakland Raiders 21 Denver Broncos 14
  • Arizona Cardinals 27 Jacksonville Jaguars 24
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 31 Green Bay Packers 28 
  • Baltimore Ravens 23 Houston Texans 16

Celebration time for the Philadelphia Eagles

27 November

With nine consecutive victories in the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles have plenty of reasons to be happy – and they proved that on the pitch with their touchdown celebrations yesterday. 

The Eagles can clinch the NFC East division next weekend after they beat the Chicago Bears 31-3. Star quarterback Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes as the Eagles, who now have an NFL-leading record of 10-1, dominated the Bears.

If they beat the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday they will win the NFC East, but it could happen earlier if the Dallas Cowboys lose against the Washington Redskins in Friday’s first match of the Week 13 schedule.

It’s not just the Eagles’ winning tactics and set-plays that are being praised by NFL media and fans – but also their touchdown celebrations. Against the Bears the Eagles stars posed for the camera, bowled a ten-pin strike and danced the Electric Slide.

After the victory against the Bears, Eagles coach Doug Pederson was asked about the team’s celebration rituals. He said: “I think it’s great that they can show the excitement, the enthusiasm, and they are doing it with their teammates.”

Here’s the pick of the Eagles touchdown celebrations:

Everybody say cheese.

Pinning down a striking celebration.

Enjoying a boogie woogie.

Dallas Cowboys in ‘freefall’ after loss to the LA Chargers

24 November

It was a sorry Thanksgiving for the Dallas Cowboys as they were beaten 28-6 by the Los Angeles Chargers. 

Last night’s defeat leaves the Cowboys with a 5-6 record in the NFC East and their season is in “complete freefall” says ESPN’s Todd Archer. 

The only positive to come from the game for Dallas was that they scored a touchdown against the Chargers, says Archer, who questions if head coach Jason Garrett has “lost his team” and will it “cost him his job”?

Dallas had the best record in the NFC last year and went into this campaign with “aspirations” of the Super Bowl.

SportingNews.com reports that Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones held a meeting in the locker room and gave a message of “support” to his under-fire players. 

But he would not have been happy with the Cowboys’ performance against the Chargers. USA Today reports that “Jones looked so miserable” as Dallas played an “absolute stinker”. 

In last night’s other two Thanksgiving matches the Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions 30-23 while Kirk Cousins threw two touchdowns for the Washington Redskins in their 20-10 victory over the New York Giants.

NFL Week 12 results and fixtures (all times UK)

Week 12 results

  • Detroit Lions 23 Minnesota Vikings 30 
  • Dallas Cowboys 6 Los Angeles Chargers 28
  • Washington Redskins 20 New York Giants 10

Sunday’s fixtures (6pm unless stated)

  • Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots 
  • Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs 
  • Carolina Panthers at New York Jets 
  • Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (live on Sky Sports
  • Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts 
  • Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons 
  • New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams (9.05pm, live on Sky Sports
  • Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (9.05pm) 
  • Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (9.25pm) 
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Arizona Cardinals (9.25pm)

Monday’s fixture

  • Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Tuesday’s fixture

  • Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Thanksgiving feast for American football fans

23 November

It’s Thanksgiving Day in the United States – which means a feast of American football for NFL fans. 

Instead of the usual one Thursday night clash, there will be two matches tonight and one in the early hours of tomorrow.

First up today is Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (5.30pm), followed by Los Angeles Chargers’ trip to the Dallas Cowboys (9.30pm) and then tomorrow morning’s New York Giants-Washington Redskins clash (1.30am).

With the two top teams in the NFC North – Vikings and Lions – battling it out in the early game, Sky Sports says the “huge match-up” could have play-off implications. 

Sky also says that the Cowboys must hold off the surging Chargers if they are to end their two-game losing streak and “stay alive in the NFC”. Tomorrow’s Giants-Redskins match-up, meanwhile, is more about pride.

Coach Pete Carroll blamed for Seahawks’ loss to the Falcons

21 November

Seattle Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh was unable to force the game into overtime as he missed a last-minute field goal attempt against the Atlanta Falcons.

Kicking to try and tie the match at 34-all, Blair’s 52-yard attempt fell short of the crossbar and the Falcons held on to win 34-31.

Walsh is not the reason why the Seahawks lost to the Falcons, says the Seattle Times, the blame should be laid firmly at the feet of Seattle coach Pete Carroll. 

In a scathing report, Seattle Times columnist Matt Calkins says the biggest problem for the Seahawks was “what was between their coach’s ears” after a misjudged call at the end of the first half.

Calkins writes: “Pete Carroll is one of the best things to happen to Seattle sports. But Monday night - he cost the Seahawks any chance at a win. 

“What on earth was he thinking? What was going through his head as he robbed his team of points and stripped it of timeouts?

“With Seattle trailing 24-17 with seven seconds left in the first half, it appeared as though Blair Walsh was going to kick a 35-yard field goal. Then, the Seahawks called an inexplicable fake, as holder Jon Ryan flipped it to tight end Luke Willson, who was taken down by nose tackle Grady Jarrett for a four-yard loss.

“One never knows what would have ensued had Seattle kicked and made that field goal to end the half. To say the game would have played out exactly as it did is naive. But when you lose by three after denying yourself three easy points, it’s impossible not to point a finger at the coach.”

For the Falcons Matt Ryan threw two touchdowns for 195 yards. The quarterback starred as the Falcons made the Super Bowl last season, but it seems that he is also affected by the “hangover” of the 34-28 loss against the New England Patriots despite the Falcons holding a 25-point lead.

Yahoo’s Frank Schwab says it would have been “unrealistic to expect Ryan to replicate his MVP season” but he has had a massive drop in form - as have a number of the Falcons. 

“The Super Bowl hangover seems to be a real thing for everyone,” says Schwab. “The Falcons aren’t the same team. A lot of their players haven’t been as good this season.”

NFL Week 11 results

  • Pittsburgh Steelers 40 Tennessee Titans 17 
  • Houston Texans 31 Arizona Cardinals 21 
  • Miami Dolphins 20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30
  • New Orleans Saints 34 Washington Redskins 31 
  • New York Giants 12 Kansas City Chiefs 9 
  • Chicago Bears 24 Detroit Lions 27 
  • Minnesota Vikings 24 Los Angeles Rams 7 
  • Cleveland Browns 7 Jacksonville Jaguars 19 
  • Green Bay Packers 0 Baltimore Ravens 23 
  • Los Angeles Chargers 54 Buffalo Bills 24 
  • Denver Broncos 17 Cincinnati Bengals 20 
  • Oakland Raiders 8 New England Patriots 33  
  • Dallas Cowboys 9 Philadelphia Eagles 37
  • Seattle Seahawks 31 Atlanta Falcons 34

Move over Cowboys, the Eagles are America’s team now

20 November

The Philadelphia Eagles have all but secured top spot in the NFC East after a 37-9 victory over nearest rivals the Dallas Cowboys.

Philadelphia now have a 9-1 record, the best in the NFL, and have extended their winning run to eight games. Against the Cowboys, they were trailing 9-7 going into the half-time interval, but a blistering second-half show saw the Eagles score 30 points without reply.

Despite going into the break two points down, the Eagles knew they could claw the game back says quarterback Carson Wentz, who threw two touchdown passes.

He told Philly.com: “It just shows we’re resilient. We knew coming into the locker room at half-time that we left a lot out there. We knew we’re much better than that and we just had to go to execute. It just shows we have a lot of belief in each other to get the job done.” 

Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Eagles coach Doug Pederson added: “The players right now just have that confident mindset when they take the field on game day that they’re not going to be denied. That’s something that’s special that group really has.”

Sports Illustrated says the Eagles look “invincible” in the NFC while Fansided believe that Wentz’s performances and his off-field persona are fast making them “America’s Team” - a nickname reserved for the Cowboys. 

While there is plenty of talk of the Eagles’s Super Bowl chances and a potential MVP award for Wentz, Pederson is keeping his - and his players’ - feet on the ground.

“The message is we haven’t done anything,” Pederson said to Philly.com. “We haven’t clinched anything. It’s one game at a time. We’ll get back to work on Tuesday.”

Cowboys fans are ‘terrified’ of the high-flying Eagles

17 November

Are the Dallas Cowboys running scared of the Philadelphia Eagles? 

That’s the view of PhillyVoice.com as the high-flying Eagles head to Dallas for the big Week 11 clash in the NFL on Monday. 

The Eagles, who had a bye last week, have the league’s best record (8-1). They are on a seven-match winning streak and their star quarterback Carson Wentz leads the NFL with 23 touchdown passes.

In comparison the Cowboys, who are 5-4, were beaten 27-7 against the Atlanta Falcons last week. They will face the Eagles without the suspended Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee who is injured.

Philadelphia’s form and their “rolling over” of the competition suggests that the Cowboys fans are “terrified” of what the Eagles could do to them in Monday’s NFC East clash, says PhillyVoice writer Matt Mullin.

“It’s Dallas Week here in Philly, but apparently, they didn’t get that news in Cowboys country,” writes Mullin.

“In fact, it seems like they’re doing everything they can to avoid talking about a showdown many had circled on the calendar back when the NFL schedule first came out.

“If you read between the lines, you can see just how worried Cowboys fans are heading into this game.”

Off the pitch, a protest is being planned for the Cowboys-Eagles match at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas to support the NFL players who have knelt during the US national anthem.

KCENTV says the And Justice For All movement is asking participants to wear all black and kneel in solidarity during the playing of the national anthem. 

Writing on its Facebook event page, the movement said: “The Coalition for Justice is standing in support of the NFL players who are courageously protesting against police brutality and injustice against black and brown members of the community.

“We stand firm and boldly fill in the gap and kneel for those NFL players who have been silenced by the NFL and the NFL team owners [specifically Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys] and are unable to do so.” 

Meanwhile, Antonio Brown scored three touchdowns as the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Tennessee Titans 40-17 in the first match of Week 11.

NFL Week 11 results and fixtures (all times UK)

Week 11 NFL results

  • Pittsburgh Steelers 40 Tennessee Titans 17

Sunday’s NFL fixtures (6pm unless stated otherwise)

  • Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans 
  • Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints 
  • Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants 
  • Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears 
  • Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings 
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns 
  • Baltimore Ravens at Green Bay Packers 
  • Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers (9.05pm) 
  • Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos (9.25pm) 
  • New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders (9.25pm, live on Sky Sports Main Event)

Monday’s NFL fixture

Tuesday’s NFL fixture

Steelers and Titans go head-to-head in AFC battle

16 November

Pittsburgh Steelers host the Tennessee Titans in tomorrow morning’s big NFL clash between two of the first-placed teams in the AFC. 

With a record of 7-2, the Steelers currently lead the AFC North while the Titans top the AFC South with a 6-3 record.

Pittsburgh go into the clash with four wins on the bounce – as do the Titans – and will look to keep the overall top spot in the AFC. Bleacher Report says that home advantage plays in favour of the Steelers. They must wear down the Titans’ offensive line and make it a “chaotic” night for quarterback Marcus Mariota. 

While Sky Sports says that the Titans’ impressive rushing attack could expose weaknesses in the Steelers defence, TitansOnline writer Jim Wyatt predicts it could be a busy night for Ben Roethlisberger. 

The Titans defenders will aim to “gang tackle” the Pittsburgh quarterback, says Wyatt, and stop him from “getting comfortable”.

Meanwhile, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will not be free to play again until Week 16 after withdrawing his appeal against a six-game suspension.

The 22-year-old was suspended, Sky Sports reports, for “violating the league’s personal conduct policy” and will serve the remaining five games of the ban.

Elliott’s agents Rocky Arceneaux and Frank Salzano said in a statement: “In consultation with the NFLPA and his lawyers, and after careful deliberation and review of the recent Second Circuit decisions, Mr Elliott has decided to forgo any further appeals and will serve the remaining suspension.”

Panthers run wild as they maul the Dolphins

14 November

Carolina Panthers 45 Miami Dolphins 21 

The Carolina Panthers went into the clash against the Miami Dolphins with the NFL’s number one-ranked defence, but it was their attacking players who stole the show.

Quarterback Cam Newton threw for 254 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers’ running game proved too much for the Dolphins. In fact, the 548 total yards for the Panthers was a franchise record. 

“I still feel like we are scratching the surface of our potential in this offence,” Newton said to the Associated Press after the match. “We have to trust in our ability to execute our coach’s plan.” 

Panthers coach Ron Rivera was full of praise for quarterback Newton and his receivers. “He played a tremendous game,” Rivera said of Newton. “It’s nice to see them have this type of breakout game.”

The Dolphins have now lost three games in succession and will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 11. Carolina have a bye this weekend before taking on the New York Jets in Week 12.

NFL Week 10 results 

  • Arizona Cardinals 16 Seattle Seahawks 22 
  • Washington Redskins 30 Minnesota Vikings 38 
  • Tennessee Titans 24 Cincinnati Bengals 20 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 15 New York Jets 10 
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 20 Los Angeles Chargers 17 
  • Indianapolis Colts 17 Pittsburgh Steelers 20 
  • Detroit Lions 38 Cleveland Browns 24 
  • Chicago Bears 16 Green Bay Packers  23 
  • Buffalo Bills 10 New Orleans Saints 37 
  • Los Angeles Rams 33 Houston Texans 7 
  • San Francisco 49ers 31 New York Giants 21 
  • Atlanta Falcons 27 Dallas Cowboys 7 
  • Denver Broncos 16 New England Patriots 41
  • Carolina Panthers 45 Miami Dolphins 21 

Is Maurice Harris’s touchdown a Catch of the Year contender?

13 November

Washington Redskins 30 Minnesota Vikings 38 

Maurice Harris made a spectacular one-handed catch to score a touchdown for the Washington Redskins against the Minnesota Vikings yesterday. 

Described as the “catch of the year” by The Guardian, Harris’s “highlight-reel” effort was ruled complete from Kirk Cousins’s 36-yard pass. 

But despite Harris’s heroics, the Redskins lost 30-38 to the Vikings, who lead NFC North after five wins in a row.

Jacksonville Jaguars 20 Los Angeles Chargers 17

The Jaguars secured a 20-17 overtime win over the Chargers, but the match will be remembered for their touchdown scored from a fake punt. 

Set up for the punt, Corey Grant ran in a 56-yard touchdown as the Jaguars repeated the play after scoring a similar effort against the Ravens earlier this season.

Denver Broncos 16 New England Patriots 41

Reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots impressed on the road at Denver, with a 41-16 victory.

Tom Brady threw three touchdowns for 266 yards as the Patriots “pummeled” the Broncos, according to Sky Sports

The 12th successive victory on the road saw the Patriots match their own AFC record. 

‘Rampant’ New York Jets prove they are up for a fight

3 November

New York Jets 34 Buffalo Bills 21 

Running back Matt Forte scored two touchdowns for the New York Jets but it was their defence which gets the headlines after Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor was sacked seven times.

As Sky Sports puts it, the “surprise” victory at the MetLife Stadium meant the Jets stopped a three-game losing streak. The Jets “bullied” their way to victory with Bills QB punished by a “rampant” home defence.  

Mike Vaccaro, writing in the New York Post, says that Jets are “showing the kind of fight no one could have expected”. Buffalo came to New Jersey with a 5-2 record and in second place behind the New York Patriots in the AFC East.

But the Jets “keep pounding, keep grinding opponents to dust, keep demanding respect from everyone”, says Vaccaro, and “this time, there was actually a tangible result”.

After the match, Jets quarterback Josh McCown told the New York Post: “We were committed to the run and we showed it.

“Everyone was clicking on all sides, playing at a high level. Coming off a three-game skid like we were in, especially the manner we lost those games, it’s a great feeling for us.”

NFL week nine results and fixtures (all times UK) 

Week nine results

  • New York Jets 34 Buffalo Bills 21 

Sunday’s NFL fixtures (6pm unless stated)

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints 
  • Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars 
  • Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans 
  • Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers 
  • Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles (live on Sky Sports
  • Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans 
  • Los Angeles Rams at NY Giants 
  • Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (9.05pm) 
  • Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks (9.05pm) 
  • Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys (9.25pm, live on Sky Sports)

Monday’s NFL fixture

  • Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Tuesday’s NFL fixture

  • Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

 

Colin Kaepernick to sign for a new team in the ‘next ten days’

2 November

Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who started the ‘take a knee’ protest during the US national anthem, is expected to sign for a new team with the “next ten days” his lawyer has said.

Kaepernick has been without a team since opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March and last month he filed a grievance against NFL team owners claiming they colluded against signing him.

But according to his lawyer, Mark Geragos, the quarterback expects to sign with a new team soon.

Speaking to The Adam Carolla Show and reported by Sky Sports, Geragos said: “I think, within the next ten days, somebody will sign him. 

“I think the NFL has to come to their senses, and realise every day that goes by just proves the collusion case even more.

“There are at least seven teams I can pick off that probably should sign Kaepernick to a two-year deal and then they can just step on my neck and make the collusion case go away.”

Meanwhile, week nine of the NFL season gets underway tomorrow morning with the Buffalo Bills on the road at the New York Jets in the AFC East.

The Jets have only won three matches so far in the regular season and are on a three-game losing streak.

ESPN’s Rich Cimini says that the Bills clash is a “statement game” for the Jets and they’ve reached the “tipping point in their season”. 

Last week saw them lose 25-20 to the Atlanta Falcons at the MetLife Stadium and rookie safety Jamal Adams says they must forget the defeat.

“If you let last week linger on, and you go into Thursday Night Football, in prime time, you’ll get 50 put on you,” said Adams.

“We’re not worried about that. We’re moving forward. We’ve got smiles, looking forward to the matchup.”

London-born Jay Ajayi traded to the Philadelphia Eagles

1 November

Jay Ajayi has joined the Philadelphia Eagles in one of the biggest deals on the NFL trade deadline day.

London-born Ajayi had been with the Miami Dolphins, but he joins an Eagles side who have the NFL’s best record - 7-1 - so far this season.

NFL.com says that the trade means Miami will receive a 2018 fourth-round draft pick in return. 

According to the USA Today Eagles Wire, Miami reportedly had an issue with Ajayi’s attitude and a fresh start in Philadelphia “could be exactly what the 24-year-old needed”.

Thanking the Dolphins for the “memories”, the Jay Train, as he’s known, said on Twitter: “The Train rolls on to Philly.”

Eagles fans were delighted with the news of Ajayi’s arrival with many welcoming him to “the family”. But for some fans in Miami the trade was not met with positive comments. As one fan put it on Twitter: “Heartbreaking to be a Dolphin fan.”

Another major deal made before the trade deadline was wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin joining the Buffalo Bills from the Carolina Panthers, who get third and seventh-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft in exchange.

Tom Brady praises Jimmy Garoppolo after QB leaves for the San Francisco 49ers

31 October

Jimmy Garoppolo has been traded to the San Francisco 49ers leaving Tom Brady as the only senior quarterback at the New England Patriots. 

New England, the reigning Super Bowl champions, have decided to cash in on Garoppolo in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL entry draft, Sky Sports reports. 

With Garoppolo gone, ESPN says that 40-year-old Brady is now expected to finish his glittering NFL career in New England.

Not only does Garoppolo’s departure mean that Brady is left as the only quarterback on the Patriots’ roster, there is no long-term plan to find his successor. While Patriots fans will be pleased that Brady is expected to end his career with their team, it would also see the star quarterback playing into his mid-40s. 

When asked about Garoppolo’s move, Brady had nothing but praise for his former understudy. Quoted by NFL.com, Brady said: “Jimmy was a great teammate and a great friend and he always will be. I want nothing but the very best for him.

“He’s earned the trust of his teammates and the respect of his teammates and that’s all you can ask for as a player.”

Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs stopped a two-game losing streak with a 29-19 victory over the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chiefs have improved their record to 6-2 and had Travis Kelce to thank against the Broncos after the tight end caught seven passes for 133 yards and one touchdown.

NFL week eight results 

  • Baltimore Ravens 40 Miami Dolphins 0 
  • Cleveland Browns 16 Minnesota Vikings 33 
  • Buffalo Bills 34 Oakland Raiders 14 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 Carolina Panthers 17 
  • New York Jets 20 Atlanta Falcons 25 
  • Cincinnati Bengals 24 Indianapolis Colts 23 
  • New Orleans Saints 20 Chicago Bears 12 
  • New England Patriots 21 Los Angeles Chargers 13 
  • Philadelphia Eagles 33 San Francisco 49ers 10 
  • Seattle Seahawks 41 Houston Texans 38 
  • Washington Redskins 19 Dallas Cowboys 33 
  • Detroit Lions 33 Pittsburgh Steelers 19
  • Kansas City Chiefs 29 Denver Broncos 19

Philadelphia Eagles will be ‘aggressive’ ahead of trade deadline

30 October

The Philadelphia Eagles may have the NFL’s best record but it will not stop them trying to improve their roster when the trade deadline comes tomorrow. 

A 33-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers means the Eagles are 7-1 at the league’s mid-season point and according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports they will be “very aggressive” in the final hours of trading.

Quoted by the Bleeding Green Nation website, Glazer said after the 49ers match: “The Philadelphia Eagles are going to be very aggressive this week. The trade deadline is on Tuesday. They are the top team in the league right now, record wise. Expect them to be very aggressive this week and try and upgrade before the deadline.” 

Meanwhile, ESPN has named Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz as the NFL’s mid-season MVP. Despite a slow and sluggish offence against the 49ers, the “brilliant and improbable” Wentz has impressed steering the Eagles to the top of the NFC East.

ESPN’s Ian O’Connor said: “For Eagles fans wanting to believe Wentz will deliver the franchise’s first Super Bowl title, this 33-10 dismissal of the Niners was a hopeful development.

“The franchise player brought his C-plus game, and that was still plenty good enough to protect his status as the NFL’s first-half MVP.”

NFL week eight results and fixtures 

NFL week eight results

  • Baltimore Ravens 40 Miami Dolphins 0 
  • Cleveland Browns 16 Minnesota Vikings 33 
  • Buffalo Bills 34 Oakland Raiders 14 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 Carolina Panthers 17 
  • New York Jets 20 Atlanta Falcons 25 
  • Cincinnati Bengals 24 Indianapolis Colts 23 
  • New Orleans Saints 20 Chicago Bears 12 
  • New England Patriots 21 Los Angeles Chargers 13 
  • Philadelphia Eagles 33 San Francisco 49ers 10 
  • Seattle Seahawks 41 Houston Texans 38 
  • Washington Redskins 19 Dallas Cowboys 33 
  • Detroit Lions 33 Pittsburgh Steelers 19

Tomorrow’s fixture

  • Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (12.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Ravens hammer Dolphins after QB Flacco is forced off by big hit

27 October

Baltimore Ravens lost quarterback Joe Flacco through concussion after a “wild shoulder charge” by Miami Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso but still managed to hammer their opponents 40-0 in last night’s NFL clash. 

Flacco’s participation was over at the end of the second quarter when Alonso came charging in. Yahoo reports that Flacco’s helmet went flying and a melee started between both sets of players. 

Alonso was not ejected for his tackle but could face a suspension. He did show some remorse for the incident, but said that Flacco’s slide “came too late”.

He told the Ravens website: “I definitely hope he’s alright. You hate to see that happen to people. I truly hope that he is OK.

“It was a bang-bang play. I thought he was going to slide. And then, I had to hit him because he slid too late. It was bang-bang. I don’t know what else I could have done.”

After the game a number of Ravens players said that Alonso’s hit fired them up to inflict damage to the Dolphins via the scoreboard.

Austin Howard said: “It’s obviously not the game that we intend to play, but obviously that stuff happens. We’re all upset about it. Right now, we’re just hoping for the best for Joe.”

While CJ Mosley added: “The whole team took it personally. That really set the tone for the rest of the game. It was a little chippy going throughout that. That’s our type of football.”

NFL week eight fixtures (all times UK)

NFL week eight results

  • Baltimore Ravens 40 Miami Dolphins 0

Sunday’s fixtures (all 5pm unless stated)

  • Minnesota Vikings at Cleveland Browns (1.30pm, live on BBC Two
  • Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills (live on Sky Sports
  • Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots 
  • Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints 
  • Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals 
  • Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets 
  • Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
  • San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles 
  • Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks (8.05pm) 
  • Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (8.25pm, live on Sky Sports)

Monday’s fixture

  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions (12.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Tuesday’s fixture

  • Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (12.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Miami Dolphins likely to call on ‘gunslinger’ Matt Moore

26 October

Just four weeks since a crushing 20-0 loss against the New Orleans Saints at Wembley the Miami Dolphins have turned their season around with three wins on the bounce. 

The Dolphins travel to the Baltimore Ravens tomorrow morning looking to improve on their 4-2 record - but they will be without Jay Cutler after he injured his ribs in last week’s 31-28 victory over the New York Giants.

Cutler’s absence means that understudy Matt Moore will step in the Dolphins’ quarterback role against the Ravens.

Moore’s ability has been talked up this week by Miami personnel, with offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen calling him a “fire ball”. Christensen told the Sun-Sentinel: “He comes in there flinging it. He’s fun to watch.” 

Known as a ‘gunslinger’ who likes to go for a big play, Moore acknowledges that he does not mind the nickname given to him by his Dolphins colleagues.

He said: “Guys describe guys different ways, and that seemed to be the thing, and I’m fine with that.

“I like to think of it as somebody who goes out and competes and throws the ball around. That’s what it means to me.”

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated reports that the Ravens are battling an injury crisis with five receivers all doubtful for the Dolphins encounter. 

NFL week eight fixtures (all times UK)

Tomorrow’s fixture

  • Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (1.25am, live on Sky Sports)

Sunday’s fixtures (all 5pm unless stated)

  • Minnesota Vikings at Cleveland Browns (1.30pm, live on BBC Two
  • Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills (live on Sky Sports
  • Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots 
  • Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints 
  • Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals 
  • Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets 
  • Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
  • San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles 
  • Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks (8.05pm) 
  • Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (8.25pm, live on Sky Sports)

Monday’s fixture

  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions (12.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Tuesday’s fixture

  • Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (12.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Philadelphia Eagles fly high with NFL’s best record

24 October

Philadelphia Eagles 34 Washington Redskins 24 

Philadelphia's football fans are a happy bunch. After a thrilling victory over the Washington Redskins, the Eagles have the best record in the NFL (6-1) and star quarterback Carson Wentz looks a strong contender to be the league’s most valuable player (MVP).  

When Wentz threw his fourth touchdown pass of the match against the Redskins, Eagles fans started chanting “MVP” at their star No. 11, Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. 

Philadelphia now have their best start to the season since they went 7-0 in 2004. Last night's win was their fifth in a row.

While Berman says it might be “premature” to talk about the Super Bowl, he does say “it’s fair to dream about what Wentz could do”.

“I do feel good,” Wentz told the Inquirer. “There’s always plays every game, every week that you want back. I feel confident in all the guys that I just have to get the ball and they’ll make plays.”

There was one dampener on the Eagles’ performance – the injuries to left tackle Jason Peters and linebacker Jordan Hicks.

The Redskins' victory was “bittersweet”, said Eagles coach Doug Pederson.

“Guys are obviously excited for the win to be 6-1. But the realisation is we have a couple guys [injured] in this game. We don’t know the extent yet,” he said.

“Listen, this is a resilient group. We’ve seen it already, the first two months of the season. It’s a great testament to the guys again for battling and finishing the game.”

The Eagles continue their regular season when they face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in week eight.

NFL week seven results

  • Oakland Raiders 31, Kansas City Chiefs 30 
  • Green Bay Packers 17, New Orleans Saints 26
  • Indianapolis Colts 0, Jacksonville Jaguars 27
  • Los Angeles Rams 33, Arizona Cardinals 0
  • Miami Dolphins 31, New York Jets 28
  • Minnesota Vikings 24, Baltimore Ravens 16
  • Buffalo Bills 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 29, Cincinnati Bengals 14
  • Cleveland Browns 9, Tennessee Titans 12
  • Chicago Bears 17, Carolina Panthers 3
  • San Francisco 49ers 10, Dallas Cowboys 40
  • Los Angeles Chargers 21, Denver Broncos 0
  • New York Giants 7, Seattle Seahawks 24
  • New England Patriots 23, Atlanta Falcons 7
  • Philadelphia Eagles 34 Washington Redskins 24

Patriots win Super Bowl rematch against the Falcons

23 October

In a rematch of this year’s Super Bowl, the New England Patriots once again had the upper hand over the Atlanta Falcons with a 23-7 victory at a fog-filled Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.

Dominating the first half in both attack and defence, quarterback Tom Brady led the Patriots to a 17-0 lead at the break. In fact the Patriots scored all their 23 points with no reply from the Falcons until four minutes from the end.

Brady threw 249 yards for two touchdowns against a Falcons side that has now lost three games in succession.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick praised his team’s hard work, not just by those on the pitch, but also on the sidelines. He told Patriots.com: “I’m really proud of our football team. That includes everybody; guys on the practice squad, some of the guys that were inactive and of course all of the players that played and our coaching staff.  

“I just thought they really worked hard this week. We had a very, very productive week. I thought the players were well prepared, ready to go and played hard for 60 minutes in all three phases of the game.

“[It was] a really good job by our football team – I’m proud of what they did.”

Yahoo called the Falcons’s performance “unwatchable” – but that could have been down to the heavy fog that blanketed the field of play – while ESPN say Atlanta are “on the edge of seeing their entire season blow up in their faces”.

Speaking about the Falcons offence, wide receiver Julio Jones told ESPN: “We’re just not on the same page yet... We just have to keep working. Every game is different. We’ve just got to do better.”

In the post-match press conference, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan added: “We were down early and that’s something that we’ve got to do a better job of moving forward.

“We’re 3-3 at this point. I always feel like you get what you earn in this league and that’s what we’ve earned so far. I feel like we can be a better football team but as players we’ve got to make our plays when we get the chances and that starts with me.”

NFL week seven results

  • Oakland Raiders 31, Kansas City Chiefs 30 
  • Green Bay Packers 17, New Orleans Saints 26
  • Indianapolis Colts 0, Jacksonville Jaguars 27
  • Los Angeles Rams 33, Arizona Cardinals 0
  • Miami Dolphins 31, New York Jets 28
  • Minnesota Vikings 24, Baltimore Ravens 16
  • Buffalo Bills 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 29, Cincinnati Bengals 14
  • Cleveland Browns 9, Tennessee Titans 12
  • Chicago Bears 17, Carolina Panthers 3
  • San Francisco 49ers 10, Dallas Cowboys 40
  • Los Angeles Chargers 21, Denver Broncos 0
  • New York Giants 7, Seattle Seahawks 24
  • New England Patriots 23, Atlanta Falcons 7

Tomorrow’s NFL fixture

  • Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Oakland Raiders win thriller against the Kansas City Chiefs

20 October

Oakland Raiders 31 Kansas City Chiefs 30 

The Oakland Raiders scored a dramatic touchdown on the final play to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-30. 

Quarterback Derek Carr threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree to ensure the Raiders ended a four-game losing run. It was Carr’s third touchdown pass of the game.

For the Chiefs, the defeat was their second in a row after starting the season with five successive victories.

Speaking to the Associated Press, matchwinner Crabtree said: “We didn’t give up. We got a team full of fighters. We believe. No matter how hard the game was, we believed. We came out with the W and I’m excited. It’s a good way to win, a great way to win.”

The dramatic ending was described by CBS Sports as “hard to believe” and they say it “might go down as the best ending of 2017”.  

Because of the Chiefs’ loss, it now means that the Philadelphia Eagles have the NFL’s best record, 5-1.

Although this could well change when they host the Washington Redskins on Tuesday morning (1.30am), the Bleeding Green Nation website celebrated the “flying high” record of the Eagles. 

NFL week seven 

NFL week seven results

  • Oakland Raiders 31 Kansas City Chiefs 30

Sunday’s NFL fixtures (6pm unless stated)

  • New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers 
  • Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns 
  • Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills 
  • Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings 
  • New York Jets at Miami Dolphins 
  • Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (6pm, Twickenham, live on Sky Sports
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts 
  • Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers 
  • Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers (9.05pm) 
  • Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (9.25pm) 
  • Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants (9.25pm, live on Sky Sports)

Monday’s NFL fixture

  • Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Tuesday’s NFL fixture

  • Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Donald Trump’s ‘calculated’ attacks on the NFL down to failed Bills bid

19 October

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan believes the reason Donald Trump is attacking the NFL is because of jealousy and a failure to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014. 

The president has been the most vocal critic of the national anthem player protest, with his latest comments accusing the NFL of “total disrespect” for the country.

After attending two days of team owner meetings in New York to discuss the protests and social issues within the sport, Khan told USA Today that the NFL is a “very personal” subject for the president. 

Khan, who also owns English championship football club Fulham, said: “He’s been elected president, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely.

“So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it’s very calculated.”

Trump has accused the NFL of a lack of patriotism, but Khan says the sport’s issues don’t even compare with the attacks on different races and religions.  

“Let’s get real,” said Khan. “The attacks on Muslims, the attacks on minorities, the attacks on Jews. I think the NFL doesn’t even come close to that on the level of being offensive.

“Here, it’s about money, or messing with - trying to soil a league or a brand that he’s jealous of.”

At the NFL meetings in New York, league commissioner Roger Goodell said that players should stand for the national anthem, but no plans are in place to force them to.

Goodell told NFL.com: “I think our clubs all see this the same way - we want our players to stand, we’re going to encourage them to stand and we’re going to continue to work on these issues in the community.

“We’ll address issues - I can’t deal with hypotheticals right now, we’ll deal with those issues if they come up - but for right now, that’s our focus.

“The fact is that we have about half a dozen players that are protesting. We hope and continue to work to try to put that at zero - that’s what we'd like to do.”

NFL week seven fixtures

Tomorrow’s NFL fixture

  • Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (1.25am, live on Sky Sports)

Sunday’s NFL fixtures (6pm unless stated)

  • New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers 
  • Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns 
  • Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills 
  • Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings 
  • New York Jets at Miami Dolphins 
  • Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (6pm, Twickenham, live on Sky Sports
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts 
  • Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers 
  • Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers (9.05pm) 
  • Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (9.25pm) 
  • Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants (9.25pm, live on Sky Sports)

Monday’s NFL fixture

  • Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Tuesday’s NFL fixture

  • Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Titans beat Colts for the first time since 2011

17 October

The Tennessee Titans broke their 11-match losing streak against the Indianapolis Colts with a 36-22 victory in Nashville. 

Quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for 306 yards - including a late 53-yard touchdown pass to rookie Taywan Taylor - as the Titans secured their first win against the Colts since October 2011.

With a record of 3-3, the Titans now share first place in the AFC South with Houston and Jacksonville.

“It’s a huge win,” Mariota told ESPN. “It’s a division win. It’s an opportunity for us to share the lead in the division. I think when it comes down to it, the monkey is off our back, and we get to just go out there and play now. And we look forward to getting ready for Cleveland next week.”

Mariota had returned to the Titans’ line-up after missing last week with a hamstring injury and he admits he was not 100% fit.

“It’s part of the game,” he said. “I think throughout the season there’s points in time when you’ve got to play a little hurt.

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the guys up front, and the receivers are doing a great job of finding separation. We were just able to execute and make plays, and we came out on top.”

NFL week six results

  • Carolina Panthers 23 Philadelphia Eagles 28 
  • Baltimore Ravens 24 Chicago Bears 27 
  • New Orleans Saints 52 Detroit Lions 38 
  • Atlanta Falcons 17 Miami Dolphins 20 
  • Washington Redskins 26 San Francisco 49ers 24 
  • New York Jets 17 New England Patriots 24 
  • Houston Texans 33 Cleveland Browns 17 
  • Minnesota Vikings 23 Green Bay Packers 10 
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 17 Los Angeles Rams 27 
  • Arizona Cardinals 38 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 33 
  • Kansas City Chiefs 13 Pittsburgh Steelers 19 
  • Oakland Raiders 16 Los Angeles Chargers 17 
  • Denver Broncos 10 New York Giants 23 
  • Tennessee Titans 36 Indianapolis Colts 22

Colin Kaepernick files grievance against NFL team owners

16 October

Colin Kaepernick, the American football quarterback who started the ‘take a knee’ protest, has filed a lawsuit against NFL team owners accusing them of collusion against signing him. 

The free agent has been without a team since ending his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March. He sparked the NFL anthem protests in August 2016 when he sat down during the Star-Spangled Banner before taking a knee.

Though his lawyer Mark Geragos, Kaepernick last night filed a grievance against NFL owners under a collective bargaining agreement. ESPN reports that instead of going through the NFL Players’ Association, Kaepernick chose to use Geragos, who has previously represented the late Michael Jackson and musician Chris Brown. 

In a report published by the BBC, Kaepernick’s lawyers wrote: “We can confirm that this morning we filed a grievance under the CBA on behalf of Colin Kaepernick. This was done only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.

“If the NFL [as well as all professional sports leagues] is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest - which the owners themselves made great theatre imitating weeks ago - should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment.

“Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation. Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr Kaepernick to file his grievance.

“Colin Kaepernick’s goal has always been, and remains, to simply be treated fairly by the league he performed at the highest level for and to return to the football playing field.”

Back on the pitch, week six saw the Kansas City Chiefs suffer their first defeat of the season after they went down 19-13 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In another week six shock, Sky Sports calls the New York Giants’ 23-10 victory against the Denver Broncos as “one of the biggest upsets of the season so far”. 

But it’s not good news for the Green Bay Packers who announced that star quarterback Aaron Rodgers could miss the rest of the season. Rodgers broke his right collarbone in the 23-10 defeat against the Minnesota Vikings.

NFL MVP-in-waiting Carson Wentz leads the Eagles to another win

13 October

Carolina Panthers 23 Philadelphia Eagles 28 

Is Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz a frontrunner to be the NFL’s most valuable player this season? 

That’s the view of NJ.com after Wentz led the Eagles to a 28-23 victory against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. 

The victory means the Eagles are now 5-1 for the season and Wentz has contributed 13 touchdown passes in their six matches.

Against Carolina, Wentz threw 222 yards for three touchdowns and the quarterback praised the character of the Eagles squad as they recorded a superb victory on the road.

Speaking to the Eagles’ official website, Wentz said: “It feels good and honestly it says a lot about the guys in this locker room.

“We stayed together the whole game. They did some good things defensively, some different pressure looks that we hadn’t seen.

“But we found a way to win a close ballgame and that’s ultimately what we struggled with last year - was winning on the road and winning close ballgames and we’ve done that successfully in these first six games.

“Having a year together with this team, under coach Doug Pederson, myself, and everything, we’re just built differently. We have different character makeup in that locker room.

“We just have a bunch of guys that believe that no matter the situation we can find a way to win a ballgame.”

We take a look at the rest of the NFL fixtures in week six:

NFL week six results

  • Carolina Panthers 23 Philadelphia Eagles 28  

Sunday’s NFL fixtures (6pm UK time unless stated)

  • Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens 
  • Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints 
  • Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons 
  • San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins 
  • New England Patriots at New York Jets 
  • Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans 
  • Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (6pm, live on Sky Sports
  • Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars (9.05pm) 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals (9.05pm)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (9.25pm, live on Sky Sports
  • Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders (9.25pm)

Monday’s NFL fixture

  • New York Giants at Denver Broncos (1.30am, live on on Sky Sports)

Tuesday’s NFL fixture

  • Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

San Francisco 49ers players free to continue anthem protest

12 October

One day after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to teams stating they ‘should stand for the US anthem’, Eric Reid has responded by saying that San Francisco 49ers players won’t be forced to comply with the directive. 

Reid was the first player to join Colin Kaepernick in the ‘take a knee’ protest in 2016 and the 49ers safety revealed that the team’s CEO Jed York would continue to support his players’ stance if they choose to.

Quoted by Sky Sports, Reid said: “He’s expressed very clearly that he wants to support us, that he’s not going to force us to do anything.”

In the past two NFL matches, more than 20 San Francisco players have knelt during the US national anthem. On Sunday US Vice-President Mike Pence walked out of the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the 49ers. Reid told reporters that he thought Pence leaving was a “PR stunt”.

In reaction to Goodell’s memo, Deadline reports that Donald Trump ‘took a victory lap’ in his battle with the NFL when he spoke to Sean Hannity on Fox News.  

Trump said: “I watched Colin Kaepernick and I thought it was terrible. And then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming. And frankly the NFL should have suspended him for one game, and he would have never done it again. 

“They could have then suspended him for two games and they could have suspended him again if he did it a third time, for the season, and you would never have had a problem.

“But I will tell you - you cannot disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem, you cannot do that.”

Meanwhile, on the pitch the Carolina Panthers host the Philadelphia Eagles tomorrow morning in what Sky Sports calls a “cracking match-up between two of the NFL’s top performing teams of 2017”. After five rounds this season both the Panthers and Eagles hold identical 4-1 records.

We take a look at the NFL’s week six fixtures: 

Tomorrow’s NFL fixture

Sunday’s NFL fixtures (6pm UK time unless stated)

  • Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens 
  • Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints 
  • Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons 
  • San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins 
  • New England Patriots at New York Jets 
  • Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans 
  • Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (6pm, live on Sky Sports
  • Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars (9.05pm) 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals (9.05pm)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (9.25pm, live on Sky Sports
  • Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders (9.25pm)

Monday’s NFL fixture

  • New York Giants at Denver Broncos (1.30am, live on on Sky Sports)

Tuesday’s NFL fixture

  • Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

NFL commissioner: teams ‘should stand for the US anthem’

11 October

National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell has sent a memo saying all 32 teams should stand for the US national anthem. 

A number of players and teams have knelt during the anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality - and then following President Donald Trump’s call for owners to sack protesting players.

On Sunday US Vice-President Mike Pence walked out of the NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that if any player “disrespected the flag” then they would not play.

In the memo, obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, Goodell said that “the controversy over the anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues”. 

Goodell wrote: “We live in a country that can feel very divided. Sports, and especially the NFL, brings people together and lets them set aside those divisions, at least for a few hours.

“The current dispute over the national anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country.

“I’m very proud of our players and owners who have done the hard work over the past year to listen, understand and attempt to address the underlying issues within their communities.

“At our September committee meetings, we heard directly from several players about why these issues are so important to them and how we can support their work. And last week, we met with the leadership of the NFLPA and more players to advance the dialogue.

“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honour our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues.

“The controversy over the anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”

Goodell and the NFL team owners will meet next week in New York where a plan of action on the situation will be reviewed.

“Building on many discussions with clubs and players, we have worked to develop a plan that we will review with you at next week’s League meeting,” Goodell’s memo said.

“Everyone involved in the game needs to come together on a path forward to continue to be a force for good within our communities, protect the game, and preserve our relationship with fans throughout the country.

“The NFL is at its best when we ourselves are unified. In that spirit, let’s resolve that next week we will meet this challenge in a unified and positive way.”

In reaction to Goodell’s memo, USA Today said that the days of NFL protesting during the anthem were “numbered” while the Huffington Post says Goodell’s memo “glosses over why athletes are kneeling in the first place”.

Dallas Cowboys owner: disrespect the flag then you will not play

10 October

The Minnesota Vikings beat the Chicago Bears 20-17 in the final match of the NFL week five schedule but the sport’s main talking point remains the “taking a knee” protest during the US anthem. 

A day after US Vice-President Mike Pence walked out of the NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers, the debate raged on with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones saying that if any player disrespected the flag then they would not play. 

When asked about Pence’s decision to leave the Colts-49ers game, Jones told the Dallas Morning News: “We cannot in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag. 

“We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind, that the [NFL] and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag. Just so we’re clear.

“If there is anything that is disrespectful to the flag then we will not play. You understand? If we are disrespecting the flag then we won’t play. Period.

“We’re going to respect the flag, and I’m going to create the perception of it. And we have.”

Jones’ comments come two weeks after he joined his Cowboys team in taking a knee before the game against the Arizona Cardinals on 25 September.

Forbes said that Jones’ anthem stance is “riddled with hypocrisy”, but there was one man who praised the Cowboys owner’s decision.

US president Donald Trump took to Twitter to say: “A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect our Flag. Stand for Anthem or sit for game!”

After the initial protest against Arizona, The Washington Post reports that Jones had spoken with the president. Jones said: “There are many things we don’t agree on. You know who reminded me about the game ops policy? Donald Trump.”

Meanwhile Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins had his say on the debate, telling NBC Sports Philadelphia that the protest was “nothing to do with the flag”.

Jenkins said: “I think we’ve made that very clear that what we are demonstrating about has nothing to do with the flag but everything to do with social injustice, racial inequality and the things that Jerry Jones and other owners who are making statements have yet to address. 

“I’d love to hear their takes on that part of the conversation, what these players are trying to draw attention to. Their thoughts on, you know, police brutality and racial inequality, education gap, the economical gap in these communities that they make money in.

“And I’d love to hear that part of the conversation so that it’s not so argumentative, so that it’s not isolating the players who are trying to do the right thing with the platform that they have.”

NFL week five results

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 New England Patriots 19 
  • Cleveland Browns 14 NY Jets 17 
  • Detroit Lions 24 Carolina Panthers 27 
  • Cincinnati Bengals 20 Buffalo Bills 16 
  • Philadelphia Eagles 34 Arizona Cardinals 7 
  • Indianapolis Colts 26 San Francisco 49ers 23 
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 9 Jacksonville Jaguars 30 
  • Miami Dolphins 16 Tennessee Titans 10 
  • NY Giants 22 Los Angeles Chargers 27 
  • Los Angeles Rams 10 Seattle Seahawks 16 
  • Oakland Raiders 17 Baltimore Ravens 30 
  • Dallas Cowboys 31 Green Bay Packers 35 
  • Houston Texans 34 Kansas City Chiefs 42
  • Chicago Bears 17 Minnesota Vikings 20

Alex Smith stars as Kansas City Chiefs win again

9 October

Alex Smith is being touted as a potential MVP after the quarterback led his Kansas City Chiefs side to their fifth successive NFL victory.

The undefeated Chiefs are 5-0 following a 42-34 win against the Houston Texans yesterday, with Smith throwing for 324 yards and three touchdowns.

According to the ESPN website, with as many interceptions as he has losses this season - none -  if Smith continues his rich vein of form, he will be on track for 35 touchdown passes and more than 4,400 yards. His previous bests are 23 touchdowns in 2013, and 3,502 yards in 2016.

“Alex is playing similar to how he’s played before,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid.

“The results are a bit different. It seems like he’s more in tune [with the receivers] and the receivers are more in tune [with him].

“All of these kids, he kind of raised. He knows about every move they’ve got. They like playing with him, and they know every move he’s going to make. It’s kind of a good marriage he’s in there. It’s a good situation he’s in with these receivers.”

NFL week five results

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 New England Patriots 19 
  • Cleveland Browns 14 NY Jets 17 
  • Detroit Lions 24 Carolina Panthers 27 
  • Cincinnati Bengals 20 Buffalo Bills 16 
  • Philadelphia Eagles 34 Arizona Cardinals 7 
  • Indianapolis Colts 26 San Francisco 49ers 23 
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 9 Jacksonville Jaguars 30 
  • Miami Dolphins 16 Tennessee Titans 10 
  • NY Giants 22 Los Angeles Chargers 27 
  • Los Angeles Rams 10 Seattle Seahawks 16 
  • Oakland Raiders 17 Baltimore Ravens 30 
  • Dallas Cowboys 31 Green Bay Packers 35 
  • Houston Texans 34 Kansas City Chiefs 42

Tomorrow’s NFL fixture

  • Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Patriots not looking like Super Bowl contenders 

6 October

The New England Patriots returned to winning ways with a 19-14 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida.

After losing last week against the Carolina Panthers, the Super Bowl champions looked to star quarterback Tom Brady for inspiration against Tampa. Brady, 40, threw for 303 yards and one touchdown, but it was the Patriots’ defence that starred.

Grinding out a narrow win, as The Guardian called it, New England’s defence showed signs of improvement. 

Despite the victory, the Bleacher Report says that New England are “still far from Super Bowl contenders”.

Describing the win against Tampa as “sloppy”, the Bleacher Report believes that even with Brady playing at a high level, this current Patriots team “isn’t capable of another Super Bowl run”.

NFL week five  

Results

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 New England Patriots 19 

Sunday’s NFL fixtures (all matches are at 6pm UK time unless stated otherwise) 

  • NY Jets at Cleveland Browns 
  • Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions 
  • Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals 
  • Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles 
  • San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts 
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers 
  • Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins 
  • Los Angeles Chargers at NY Giants 
  • Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (9.05pm) 
  • Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders (9.05pm) 
  • Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (9.25pm)

Monday’s NFL fixture

  • Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Tuesday’s NFL fixture

  • Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Cam Newton’s sexist comments were ‘plain wrong’ says NFL

5 October

Cam Newton, the American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, has come under fire over sexist comments made to a female journalist during a press conference yesterday. 

Speaking ahead of Carolina’s week five clash at the Detroit Lions on Sunday, Newton was asked by Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue about the running patterns made by receiver Devin Funchess. 

ESPN reports that Newton responded: “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like – it’s funny.” 

Rodrigue hit back at Newton’s response and revealed that after trying to speak to the quarterback, he didn’t offer an apology. The club later said talks had taken place between the two.

In a statement published by USA Today, Rodrigue said: “This afternoon, I did my job as an NFL beat writer and asked Cam Newton a question about one of his receivers.

“I was dismayed by his response, which not only belittled me but countless other women before me and beside me who work in similar jobs. I sought Mr. Newton out as he left the locker room a few minutes later. He did not apologise for his comments.”

Panthers spokesperson Steven Drummond added: “I have spoken with Jourdan and Cam and I know they had a conversation where he expressed regret for using those words. We strive as a department to make the environment for media comfortable for everyone covering the team.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the comments “did not reflect the thinking of the league”. He added: “The comments are just plain wrong and disrespectful to the exceptional female reporters and all journalists who cover our league.” 

NFL week five fixtures (all events are at 6pm UK time unless stated otherwise) 

Tomorrow’s NFL fixture

  • New England Patriots at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1.25am, live on Sky Sports

Sunday’s NFL fixtures

  • NY Jets at Cleveland Browns 
  • Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions 
  • Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals 
  • Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles 
  • San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts 
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers 
  • Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins 
  • Los Angeles Chargers at NY Giants 
  • Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (9.05pm) 
  • Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders (9.05pm) 
  • Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (9.25pm)

Monday’s NFL fixture

  • Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Tuesday’s NFL fixture

  • Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (1.30am, live on Sky Sports)

Kansas City Chiefs extend their winning run

3 October

The Kansas City Chiefs remain the only unbeaten team in the NFL after grinding out a 29-20 victory over the Washington Redskins.

It was the Chiefs’ fourth successive victory, but it wasn’t all plain sailing as it took another strong final quarter to seal the win. According to ESPN, in their four games this season the Chiefs are winning the final period 54-13.

Tight end Travis Kelce, who scored a touchdown against Washington, says the win proves the Chiefs can “finish”. He said: “It’s a testament to this team the way we won. We handled adversity very well.

“It lets everybody in the league know that we finish. It’s a gut check once you get into the fourth quarter. It’s something we pride ourselves in.”

Meanwhile, quarterback Matt Ryan has blamed his side for making too many mistakes after the Atlanta Falcons’s 100% winning record ended with a 23-17 defeat against the Buffalo Bills. 

Tre’Davious White took advantage of a Falcons fumble to run in a 52-yard touchdown as the Bills secured a gritty victory.

Speaking to Yahoo, Ryan said: “We knew coming into it that they had a very good defence. They have a lot of talent and we just made too many mistakes out there.” 

Super Bowl champions New England Patriots lost at home again after the Carolina Panthers secured a 33-30 win with a field goal in the final seconds through Graham Gano.

Patriots, who are now 2-2 in the AFC East, came back from 30-16 down when quarterback Tom Brady threw two touchdowns to bring his side level. But with four seconds left on the clock, Gano stepped up from 48 yards to kick the Panthers to a famous victory.

Brady said: “There’s no guarantee and every year is different. We just haven’t done a good job at home.”

NFL week four results

  • Green Bay Packers 35, Chicago Bears 14 
  • Miami Dolphins 0, New Orleans Saints 20 
  • New York Jets 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 20 
  • New England Patriots 30, Carolina Panthers 33 
  • Atlanta Falcons 17, Buffalo Bills 23 
  • Houston Texans 57, Tennessee Titans 14 
  • Minnesota Vikings 7, Detroit Lions 14 
  • Baltimore Ravens 9, Pittsburgh Steelers 26 
  • Cleveland Browns 7, Cincinnati Bengals 31 
  • Dallas Cowboys 30, Los Angeles Rams 35 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25, New York Giants 23 
  • Los Angeles Chargers 24, Philadelphia Eagles 26 
  • Arizona Cardinals 18, San Francisco 49ers 15 
  • Denver Broncos 16, Oakland Raiders 10 
  • Seattle Seahawks 46, Indianapolis Colts 18
  • Kansas City Chiefs 29 Washington Redskins 20

Chiefs and Falcons expected to continue winning ways

29 September

Going into the fourth week of the NFL regular season only two teams remain with a 100% winning record - the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West and the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC South.

SBNation’s Ryan Van Bibber calls the two sides “the best teams in the NFL right now” and the website’s panel of experts unanimously predict that the Chiefs and Falcons will continue their winning ways this weekend.  

The Falcons take on the Buffalo Bills on Sunday (6pm) while the Chiefs host the Washington Redskins in week four’s final match on Tuesday morning (1.30am).

This weekend’s NFL London game sees the New Orleans Saints take on the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium on Sunday (2.30pm). The match will be live on BBC Two. 

Elsewhere, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is expected to return to training next week after having surgery on his throwing shoulder in January.  

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano told Sky Sports: “He will not practice this week. He’s still a week away as far as his throwing progression and things like that. So we’ll keep him out of practice this week and hopefully integrate him back in next week.”

The Colts, who travel to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday (1.30am), will continue with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback.

NFL Week 4 schedule (all times 6pm UK unless stated) 

Friday’s result

  • Green Bay Packers 35 Chicago Bears 14 

Sunday’s fixtures

  • Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints, Wembley Stadium (2.30pm, live on BBC Two
  • Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings 
  • Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans 
  • Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots 
  • Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns 
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens 
  • Jacksonville Jaguars at NY Jets 
  • Buffalo Bills at Atlanta Falcons 
  • Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys 
  • San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (9.05pm) 
  • Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Chargers (9.05pm) 
  • NY Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9.05pm) 
  • Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (9.25pm, live on Sky Sports

Monday’s fixture

  • Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks (1.30am, live on Sky Sports

Tuesday’s fixture

  • Washington Redskins at Kansas City Chiefs (1.30am, live on Sky Sports

Tom Brady throws five touchdown passes

26 September

While ‘taking the knee’ was the biggest talking point off the pitch this weekend in the NFL, on the pitch the Jaguars beat the Ravens at Wembley and Tom Brady threw an ‘unbelievable’ touchdown pass to secure a last-minute win for the New England Patriots.

Behind 33-28 against the Houston Texans, Brady found Brandin Cooks with 23 seconds left as the Patriots came through to win 36-33. Describing Brady’s touchdown as “believably unbelievable” SBNation reports that the quarterback has now tied Dan Marino at third in the all-time list for six career games with five or more touchdown passes.  

At Wembley in the first of four NFL London games, the Jacksonville Jaguars thrashed the Baltimore Ravens 44-7. Marcedes Lewis was the Jaguars’ star with three touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders lost for the first time this season, 27-10 against the Washington Redskins, and Kareem Hunt’s 69-yard run inspired the Kansas City Chiefs to a 24-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

We take a look at the rest of the week three fixtures, and pick out ten things you need to know, in our NFL guide, below.

NFL week three results

  • San Francisco 49ers 39 Los Angeles Rams 41 
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 44 Baltimore Ravens 7 
  • New York Jets 20 Miami Dolphins 6 
  • Philadelphia Eagles 27 New York Giants 24 
  • Indianapolis Colts 31 Cleveland Browns 28 
  • Minnesota Vikings 34 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17 
  • New England Patriots 36 Houston Texans 33 
  • Detroit Lions 26 Atlanta Falcons 30 
  • Chicago Bears 23 Pittsburgh Steelers 17 
  • Carolina Panthers 13 New Orleans Saints 34 
  • Buffalo Bills 26 Denver Broncos 16 
  • Tennessee Titans 33 Seattle Seahawks 27 
  • Green Bay Packers 27 Cincinnati Bengals 24 
  • Los Angeles Chargers 10 Kansas City Chiefs 24
  • Washington Redskins 27 Oakland Raiders 10
  • Arizona Cardinals 17 Dallas Cowboys 28 

London-born Jermaine Eluemunor could make NFL debut at Wembley

22 September 

When the Baltimore Ravens face the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on Sunday it won’t just be the first of four games in the capital but could also mark the debut of a London-born American football player.

Ravens’ offensive linesman Jermaine Eluemunor, who was born ten miles away from Wembley at Chalk Farm, is hoping his first NFL appearance comes in his home town.

“Playing at Wembley has always been a dream of mine,” the 22-year-old told Sky Sports.

“I’m just blessed to be able to come back and be in front of the fans and play at Wembley Stadium. I grew up watching games in that stadium so to be able to say I played there is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

“I remember watching a Chelsea-Manchester United game, the Champions League final, a couple of England games back when David Beckham, Michael Owen, Rio Ferdinand played, and Wayne Rooney in his younger days.

“Being able to play on the same field as those players, who are huge sport icons, is definitely something I will remember. It will be an honour, I have so many memories of that field and there's so much history.”

Eluemunor also hopes that his journey from London to professional American football can be an inspiration for youngsters watching this weekend.

“I’ve always wanted to play this game to inspire others and show people that they can accomplish whatever they want if they just work for it,” he said.

“Hopefully, with me playing on Sunday, there is that kid who’s watching the game for the first time and he falls in love with the NFL and says he wants to be like me.

“Then 10, 15 years later I hear there’s a kid who’s got drafted from England and says, ‘Jermaine Eluemunor inspired me to play. He made it from London and he gave me hope that I could too.’ Hearing something like that, there would be nothing sweeter.”

We take a look at the rest of the week three fixtures, and pick out ten things you need to know, in our NFL guide.

Friday's NFL week three result

  • San Francisco 49ers 39 Los Angeles Rams 41 

Sunday’s NFL week three fixtures

  • Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars (2.30pm, live on Sky Sports) 
  • Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (6pm) 
  • New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (6pm) 
  • Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts (6pm) 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings (6pm) 
  • Houston Texans at New England Patriots (6pm) 
  • Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions (6pm) 
  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears (6pm) 
  • New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (6pm) 
  • Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills (6pm) 
  • Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans (9.05pm) 
  • Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers (9.25pm) 
  • Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers (9.25pm)

Monday’s NFL week three fixture

  • Oakland Raiders at Washington Redskins (1.30am)

Tuesday’s NFL week three fixtures

  • Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals (1.30am)

Matthew Stafford leads Detroit Lions to victory at the New York Giants

19 September

The New York Giants and quarterback Eli Manning had an evening to forget after losing to the Detroit Lions 24-10 last night.

Detroit, who extended their winning run to 2-0, sacked Manning five times as Matthew Stafford orchestrated the victory by throwing for two touchdowns.

All eyes were on Detroit quarterback Stafford, the NFL’s highest-paid player. He threw to Marvin Jones for a 27-yard touchdown and set up Eric Ebron for a second.

Meanwhile, quarterback Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes in the opening quarter as the New England Patriots bounced back from their opening week defeat.

Brady, 40, was in inspirational form as the reigning Super Bowl champions secured a 36-20 win over the Saints in New Orleans. The Patriots had suffered a 42-27 defeat against the Kansas City Chiefs in week one.

“We were 0-1, and with the 10-day break, it felt like a year,” Brady told Fox Sports. “It was a good four quarters of great competition. We got off to a good start with some situational things, but we still left some things out there.” 

Elsewhere, the Denver Broncos crushed the Dallas Cowboys 42-17 and the Atlanta Falcons, who lost the Super Bowl to the Patriots in February, improved their record to 2-0 with a 34-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

It was the Falcons’ first match at their new $1.5billion (£1.1bn) Mercedes-Benz Stadium.                      

The Patriots beat the Falcons in the Super Bowl in February

Ten things to know about the NFL

How many teams are there in the NFL?

The National Football League (NFL) is made up of 32 teams, and the winner is crowned at the end-of-season Super Bowl. As NFL.com explains, the league’s 32 teams are split into two conferences — the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The 16 teams in each conference are then split into the East, North, South and West divisions. Each division has four teams. 

How does the NFL season work?

The regular season lasts 17 weeks, during which each team plays 16 matches. At the end of the regular season, the top team in each conference’s four divisions, plus each conference’s two teams (wild cards) with the next-best records, qualify for the play-offs. The 12 teams are seeded by their win-loss record. The Wild Card Round and Division Round lead to the Conference Championship Round, where the top two teams battle it out to become the NFC and the AFC champions. The two Conference champions then meet at the Super Bowl.

How do the NFL teams line up?

If you're new to American football then a great place to start is by reading NFL.com’s beginner’s guide. According to the guide, the two teams line up in the following way: one 11-man team has possession of the football and is called the offence and the other 11-man team is the defence. A match is split into four 15-minute quarters, with a 12-minute half-time break. 

How are points scored?

The object of the game is to score more points than the opposition. There are four ways to keep the scoreboard ticking over. A touchdown is worth six points; conversions get one or two points; field goals are three points; and a safety is worth two points.

How to watch NFL on UK television

Sky Sports will show 103 matches live during the course of the NFL season, including Super Bowl LII. The BBC’s coverage will include The NFL Show weekly programme. The BBC will also have live coverage of two NFL London games in October, and the Super Bowl in February.  

What are the NFL London Games?

This year’s NFL’s International Series includes four regular season games in London - two games at Wembley Stadium and two at Twickenham. 

The 2017 NFL London Games are:

  • 24 September (2.30pm): Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Wembley
  • 1 October (2.30pm): New Orleans Saints vs. Miami Dolphins, Wembley
  • 22 October (6pm): Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams, Twickenham
  • 29 October (1.30pm): Minnesota Vikings v Cleveland Browns, Twickenham
Who won the last Super Bowl?

The reigning champions are the New England Patriots, led by superstar quarterback Tom Brady. He masterminded the Patriots to an epic 34-28 comeback victory against the Atlanta Falcons at the last Super Bowl.

Which team are favourites for 2018?

The International Business Times picks Brady and the Patriots as favourites to retain their title. Green Bay, Oakland and Pittsburgh could also be in the mix come the end of the season. 

Who are the players to watch?

With an annual salary of $27million (£20.6m), Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is the highest-paid player in the NFL. According to Sporting News, the top 16 highest-paid players in the NFL are all quarterbacks. It’s the key position and the QB can make or break a match.

Fellow QB Brady was ranked No. 1 NFL player in 2017, but other players to watch include Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. 

When is the 2018 Super Bowl?

American football’s showpiece event - the Super Bowl - will next take place on 4 February, 2018. Super Bowl LII will be held at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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