Vikings face abrupt finish, roster churn after all that fun
The end hit harder for the Minnesota Vikings than usual, a season of exhilarating finishes and exceeded expectations smudged by this quick exit from the playoffs. The salary cap crunch will likely force the departure of some of the players who contributed heavily to 13 wins, an NFC North division title and a strong chemistry that fueled this run behind new head coach Kevin O'Connell. “We have such a great group, and you know when the season ends that this group doesn’t stay the same moving forward,” quarterback Kirk Cousins said after the 31-24 loss to the New York Giants at home on Sunday in the first round.news.yahoo.com
Biden: 'Democracy itself is on the ballot' in Nov.
President Joe Biden is seeking to portray November's midterm elections as a stark contrast between optimism and hope and darkness and fear, telling a Democratic National Committee event Friday, "democracy itself is on the ballot" in November. (Sept. 23)news.yahoo.com
Vikings loaded at running back, from top to bottom
Chuck Foreman and Dave Osborn were among 18 former Vikings players invited to take in a spring practice last week. They liked what they saw. The two former Pro Bowl running backs are intrigued with who and what the Vikings have in the backfield. An argument could be made that they have more depth than ever before. The starting running back is Dalvin Cook, who has made three straight Pro Bowls. ...news.yahoo.com
Angry Tomlin initiates changes in Steelers' 36-28 loss
Never mind the comeback the Pittsburgh Steelers made in the second half. Mike Tomlin had seen enough before that, and the 15th-year coach was so upset he started benching players in search of a spark. The defense gave up 176 yards rushing to the Minnesota Vikings in the first half.news.yahoo.com
Aaron Jones staying with Packers on 4-year, $48 million deal
The Pro Bowl running back, Jones has agreed to a new deal with the Green Bay Packers and wont be exploring free agency. Drew Rosenhaus, Jones agent, confirmed that his client had agreed on a four-year deal worth $48 million that includes a $13 million signing bonus. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke, File)Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones has agreed to a new deal with the Green Bay Packers and won’t be exploring free agency. Drew Rosenhaus, Jones’ agent, confirmed that his client had agreed on a four-year deal worth $48 million that includes a $13 million signing bonus. “We anticipated bigger offers in free agency, but Aaron wanted to stay with the Packers,” Rosenhaus said via email.
Rodgers leads Pack to top of NFC after draft disappointment
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)The NFC playoff field features the usual cast of quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 45, 31-25 over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6, 2011, at Arlington, Texas. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 48, 43-8 over the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2, 2014, at East Rutherford, N.J. Last year: No. The Bears’ leading tackler left in the first quarter of the Green Bay game with an elbow injury. DBs Buster Skrine, rookie Jaylon Johnson and Deon Bush missed the loss to Green Bay.
Derrick Henry becomes 8th player with 2,000 yards rushing
(AP Photo/Sam Craft)HOUSTON – Tennessee’s Derrick Henry became the eighth player in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards in a season on Sunday. Henry, who entered the game with 1,777 yards rushing, reached the mark on a 6-yard run in the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Houston Texans. He finished that drive with a career-high 246 yards rushing to give him the franchise record for a season with 2,023. Another long run, this one for 45 yards, put him at 201 yards rushing for the day later in the third quarter. Second-place rusher Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook entered this week with 1,557 yards rushing and missed Sunday’s game after the death of his father.
AP sources: Star Vikings RB Cook absent after father's death
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)MINNEAPOLIS – Running back Dalvin Cook is not practicing with the Minnesota Vikings this week, due to the death of his father. Cook has a younger brother, James Cook, who is a running back for Georgia. He was picked for a second straight Pro Bowl, with 1,557 rushing yards, 361 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns in 14 games. Cook’s absence will clinch a second consecutive rushing title for Tennessee’s Derrick Henry, who has a 220-yard lead on Cook. Cook has a slim lead on Henry atop the NFL with 1,918 total yards.
No preseason, no problem: NFL rookies shine in strange year
Young and Jefferson made the Pro Bowl, and surely more rookies would have joined them as alternates at the league’s now-canceled all-star game. “It’s crazy unusual for a rookie, I think, to have the type of leadership that Chase has, genuine leadership,” Washington quarterback Alex Smith said. “I think a lot of young guys, especially high picks, I think you feel pressure to do it some way or somehow. “Talk about a rookie coming in, starting every game and just being focused,” Browns Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio said of Wills. “We’re growing and we’re starting to get a hang of the game,” said Dolphins right tackle Robert Hunt, a second-round pick and one of six Miami rookies starting on offense.
A bonus for NFL fans in Week 16: 4 straight days of games
They do have a sack in an NFL-record 71 straight games and have sacked Philip Rivers 15 times during seven games while he played for the Chargers. Rivers has had two or more TD passes in five straight games. He had career bests of 10 catches for 163 yards last week, and Ridley's seven 100-yard games lead the NFL. The 19 straight seasons without losing both games to a divisional opponent is an NFL record. The Jaguars have allowed at least 24 points in each of those 13 games, an NFL record.
Bears beat Vikings 33-27 to stay in stride in playoff race
That 14-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, his second score of the game, put Chicago ahead again by double digits. Every time the Vikings made a push, this once-flailing Bears offense had an answer. Cairo Santos, who converted all four of his kicks, stretched his streak to 22 straight field goals made. The Vikings, who finished 3-5 at home this year, had four goal-to-go situations that yielded only two touchdowns. When the Vikings beat them 19-13 five weeks ago in Chicago, the Bears managed two first-half field goals and needed a kickoff return touchdown by Cordarrelle Patterson to stay competitive.
Cowboys' Elliott inactive; Stafford will start for Lions
(AP Photo/Aaron Doster)Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott is inactive against San Francisco with a calf injury the two-time rushing championship has been battling for several weeks. Safety Deon Bush (foot) is also out after being listed questionable with Johnson. Cowboys: RB Ezekiel Elliott, QB Ben DiNucci, WR Malik Turner, CB Rashard Robinson, DE Bradlee Anae, LB Luke Gifford, DE Ron’Dell Carter. ___JACKSONVILLE AT BALTIMOREJaguars: CB Sidney Jones, CB Luq Barcoo, LB Quincy Williams, DT Daniel Ross, QB Jake Luton. Ravens: DE Calais Campbell, CB Jimmy Smith, CB Marcus Peters, RB Mark Ingram, LB Kristian Welch, DE Jihad Ward, C Trystan Colon-Castillo.
Brady throws for 2 TDs, Buccaneers wear down Vikings 26-14
Ronald Jones had a 1-yard TD run and Ryan Succop kicked field goals of 18 and 48 yards. This time, Brady shrugged off a scoreless opening quarter with help from Bailey and a trio of costly of penalties on the Vikings' defense. Brady launched two of Tampa Bay’s three first-half scoring drives after Bailey missed field goals of 49 and 54 yards. Miller’s long TD catch wiped out the 6-0 lead the Vikings took on Cook’s 14th touchdown rushing. Buccaneers: travel to Atlanta for the first of two meetings with the NFC South-rival Falcons over final three weeks of the season.
Vikings outlast error-prone Jags 27-24 on Bailey's OT kick
Minnesota Vikings place kicker Dan Bailey (5) celebrates with teammates after kicking a 23-yard field goal during overtime in an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Minneapolis. The Cowboys, Panthers and Jaguars (1-11), who lost their 11th straight game, are a combined 8-27. Chase McLaughlin even had a chance to win it with a 62-yard field goal at the end of the fourth quarter that fell short. FOUR FIGURESJefferson joined Pro Football Hall of Fame member Randy Moss (1998) as the only rookies in Vikings history to reach 1,000 receiving yards. Vikings: CB Jeff Gladney (calf) and TE Brandon Dillon (ankle) each left the game.
Vikings still committed to core, as Jaguars starting over
The Jaguars, 9-30 since October 2018, initiated an aggressive teardown before last season and fired general manager Dave Caldwell last week. Even teams with no wins or few wins, it’s still a bunch of pro athletes with a bunch of pride, and they’re going to show up and they’re going to play hard and they’re going to be coached well. Losing to Minnesota would serve to lower the second-round selection the Jaguars obtained for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in late August. Ngakoue still leads the Vikings with five sacks despite being traded to Baltimore after six games. GLENNON AGAINThe Jaguars are sticking with quarterback Mike Glennon despite Gardner Minshew now being fully healthy from his thumb injury.
Cousins, Vikings overcome Patterson return, beat Bears 19-13
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, in Chicago. Cousins threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns, and the Minnesota Vikings overcame a 104-yard kickoff return by Chicago’s Cordarrelle Patterson to beat the Bears 19-13. “We’ll try to keep building on it now, and it’ll be so important to keep stringing these together if we can. It was the longest kickoff return in franchise history, surpassing Gale Sayers’ 103-yarder against Pittsburgh on Sept. 17, 1967. Cousins completed 25 of 36 passes with two touchdowns to Thielen, who has nine on the season.
A look at who's up and who's down at midpoint of NFL season
Midway through the 2020 season, performance has altered perception all around the NFL. Here’s a look at who’s up and who’s down:UPDALVIN COOK: While running backs have generally been devalued during this pass-happy era, Cook is showing the impact a big-play back can make. He leads the NFL with 858 yards and 12 touchdowns despite missing one game with an injury. He’s the first NFL player with at least 50 catches, 600 yards receiving and eight touchdown receptions over his first six games of a season. Evans has been a productive threat near the end zone with seven TD catches, but six of those have come on passes from inside the 10.
Unbeaten Steelers maintain top spot in AP Pro32 poll
(AP Photo/Gail Burton)NEW YORK – All the votes are in. And the Pittsburgh Steelers kept the top spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll. The Steelers received 10 of the 12 first-place votes for 382 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL. The Steelers improved to 7-0 for the second time in franchise history after holding off the Baltimore Ravens 28-24 on Sunday. And the Arizona Cardinals, who are coming off a bye, moved up one spot to round out the top 10.
Cook's 4 TDs help Vikings knock off Packers 28-22
Green Bay had the ball at Minnesota's 41-yard line with 12 seconds and no timeouts left, but D.J. Each of the Vikings’ first four possessions ended with Cook touchdowns. Green Bay went a 2-point conversion got within 28-22 when replays determined the ball crossed the goal line on Jamaal Williams’ inside run. Green Bay got the ball back and reached Minnesota’s 41-yard line with 12 seconds and no timeouts left, but D.J. Four times in the second half, Green Bay reached Vikings territory without scoring.
Broncos clear RB Lindsay in return from concussion
(AP Photo/John Froschauer)Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay has cleared concussion protocol and will play against the Los Angeles Chargers. Bears: WR Ted Ginn Jr., DB Duke Shelley, RB Artavis Pierce, OL Cody Whitehair, WR Riley Ridley, LB Trevis Gipson. Seahawks: RB Chris Carson, RB Carlos Hyde, DE Benson Mayowa, CB Ugo Amadi, SS Jamal Adams, CB Shaquill Griffin. ___LOS ANGELES RAMS AT MIAMIRams: RB Raymond Calais, OL Brian Allen, WR Trishton Jackson, TE Brycen Hopkins, DL A’Shawn Robinson. Dolphins: RB/WR Lynn Bowden Jr., RB Salvon Ahmed, FB Chandler Cox, CB Jamal Perry, RB Jordan Howard, DE Jason Strowbridge.
Tampa Bay's Godwin, Green Bay's Adams return from injuries
___GREEN BAY AT TAMPA BAYPackers: RB Tyler Ervin, CB Kevin King, QB Jordan Love. ___NEW YORK JETS AT MIAMIJets: QB James Morgan, QB Sam Darnold, CB Quincy Wilson, LB Jordan Willis, T Mekhi Becton, DL Nathan Shepherd. Dolphins: B/WR Malcolm Perry, RB Salvon Ahmed, RB Jordan Howard, LB Kyle Van Noy, DE Jason Strowbridge. ___HOUSTON AT TENNESSEETexans: WR Keke Coutee, CB Cornell Armstrong, RB Buddy Howell, ILB Peter Kalambayi, OT Charlie Heck, TE Jordan Akins. ___ATLANTA AT MINNESOTAFalcons: CB Jordan Miller, RB Qadree Ollison, S Jaylinn Hawkins, RT John Wetzel, DE Takk McKinley.
Late Wilson magic gives Seahawks 27-26 win over Vikings
(AP Photo/John Froschauer)SEATTLE – Russell Wilson capped a 94-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf on fourth-and-goal with 15 seconds left, and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-26 on Sunday night. Seattle improved to 5-0 for the first time in franchise history with Wilson providing some more prime-time magic and yet another late comeback. Seattle appeared to get a winning TD to Metcalf on second-and-goal, but he lost the ball as he was hit from behind. After Cousins' pass was intercepted by K.J. After Seattle punted for a second time inside Vikings territory, Cousins led Minnesota 97 yards, capping the drive with a 6-yard TD pass to Thielen.
Titans top winless Vikes 31-30; Gostkowski has 6 FGs
MINNEAPOLIS – Stephen Gostkowski made his career-high sixth field goal of game, a 55-yarder with 1:48 left that lifted undefeated Tennessee to a 31-30 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday after Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill carried the Titans on another comeback. Henry rushed for 119 yards and two third-quarter touchdowns for the Titans, who improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2008 after trailing for most of the game. Tannehill passed for 321 yards, guiding the Titans on a go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter or overtime for the sixth time in 16 games since becoming the starter. The Titans are 12-4 behind Tannehill, including the playoffs, and they're 15-0 when Henry hits the 100-yard mark. The depleted Vikings defense didn't do enough to hold it, though, as Tannehill moved the Titans just close enough for Gostkowski to go to work.
Rodgers at ease as Packers roll past Vikings 43-34
Davante Adams was predictably the biggest beneficiary, with a career-high, franchise-record-tying 14 catches for 156 yards and two scores. Aaron Jones rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown for the Packers, who posted their highest score against the Vikings since a 44-31 victory at the Metrodome on Oct. 27, 2013. Jaire Alexander, who also recorded a safety on an untouched cornerback blitz in the second quarter, made the bobbling interception. When LG Lucas Patrick (shoulder) was forced out in the second quarter, Jenkins moved back to his original spot and free agent addition Rick Wagner entered at RT. ... DT Kenny Clark (groin) was hurt in the second quarter during Alexander's interception and didn't return.
Vikings, Cook present NFL's latest RB contract standoff
FILE - In this Oct. 24 2019, file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook walks on the field before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Minneapolis. The Vikings have centered their offense around running back Dalvin Cook and praised him at every turn, but now the bill has come due. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn, FIle)MINNEAPOLIS Dalvin Cook logged off last week from virtual team activities with the Minnesota Vikings, no longer willing to participate until he has secured a new contract. The three-year, $39 million contract Arizona gave David Johnson, who's now with Houston, might be the most realistic model. Gordon took a two-year, $8 million contract with Denver.