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Ron Cook: The Steelers have officially hit rock bottom

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — It is one thing to lose a football game.

It is something much worse to be ridiculed on national television.

The Steelers took a well-deserved beating on the Amazon Prime telecast Thursday night on their way to an embarrassing 21-18 home loss to the New England Patriots that left their playoff hopes on life support and turned up ...Read more

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Giants DC Wink Martindale: Things are 'fine' with coach Brian Daboll but 'I can't predict the future'

Sports / Football /

NEW YORK — Wink Martindale said his relationship with Brian Daboll is “fine,” but the Giants’ defensive coordinator can’t say what will happen when the season ends.

“As far as where I’m gonna be at, no one knows that,” Martindale said Friday morning. “I say we, [my wife Laura] and myself, worked long enough and hard enough in ...Read more

L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS

Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco won't play Sunday vs. Bills

Sports / Football /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Coming off one of his most productive games of the season, Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco will miss the next one.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid on Friday ruled out Pacheco from playing in Sunday’s home game against the Buffalo Bills. Pacheco suffered a shoulder injury in last weekend’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, a game ...Read more

Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News/TNS

Seahawks WR DK Metcalf 'trying to learn something new' with ASL

Sports / Football /

RENTON, Wash. — When Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf began taking American Sign Language lessons earlier this year, his intent was simple — he wanted to learn something new, and find a way to exercise his mind away from the football field.

But lately, Metcalf has started to realized that his ASL exploits have taken on a bigger meaning.

...Read more

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Dylan Hernández: A 'more aware' Sean McVay is helping Rams exceed expectations this season

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES — Shortly after his midweek news conference, I reminded Sean McVay that the over/under for Rams wins in Las Vegas sportsbooks before the season was just 6 1/2.

I was certain the Rams would fall short of that — way short, actually — and now I'm about to have to buy dinner for Artis Twyman, the team's vice president of ...Read more

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Bailey Zappe leads Patriots to 21-18 win over Steelers with impressive first half

Sports / Football /

Quarterback Bailey Zappe had the Patriots looking like a completely different team in the first half of his second start of the season Thursday night in a 21-18 win over the Steelers.

Zappe won’t be losing his grip on the starting job anytime soon after going 14 of 21 for 196 yards with three touchdowns in the first half. Zappe’s ...Read more

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Greg Cote's Week 14 NFL picks

Sports / Football /

We anticipated a dip after going a surreal 14-2 both ways in Week 13 and saw one, but survived it pretty well. The 8-5 straight-up didn’t delight me. but the hard-fought 7-6 ATS was a plus. Endured some close-call near misses but ended strong by nailing Packers and Bengals with the points in Sunday and Monday night covers to end the week. Let�...Read more

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Former NFL player Sergio Brown pleads not guilty to murder of his mother in Chicago suburb

Sports / Football /

CHICAGO — Former NFL player Sergio Brown pleaded not guilty to murdering his mother during an arraignment Wednesday.

Brown was charged with first-degree murder for the September death of his mother, Myrtle Simmons-Brown, who prosecutors said he lived with in Maywood.

The 35-year-old who played for seven seasons as a safety for the New ...Read more

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Sam Farmer's Week 14 NFL picks

Sports / Football /

The Los Angeles Times' NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week's matchups. Lines according to FanDuel Sportsbook (O/U = over/under). Last week's record 7-6 (.538); season 116-77 (.601). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 7-5-1 (.583); season 92-97-4 (.487). Off: ...Read more

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Dieter Kurtenbach: If you don't take Brock Purdy's MVP candidacy seriously, you don't know football

Sports / Football /

It shouldn’t be surprising that 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is now the betting favorite to win NFL MVP this season.

After all, he played a nearly perfect game and out-dueled the previous betting favorite for the award, Jalen Hurts, in Philadelphia on Sunday.

The truth is that with five weeks to play in the regular season, there is no clear...Read more

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Marcus Hayes: David Carr was almost right about Jalen Hurts: The MVP is at stake Sunday night in Dallas, not Hurts' job

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA — David Carr is being a self-promoting and willful idiot, but there is a kernel of truth in his misevaluation of MVP candidate Jalen Hurts.

Carr, who failed as an NFL quarterback for a decade and now opines for the NFL Network, said Tuesday that the Eagles would be wise to immediately bench Hurts in favor of backup Marcus Mariota...Read more

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Chris Perkins: Are the Dolphins, at this point, legitimate Super Bowl contenders?

Sports / Football /

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In the past week, Tyreek Hill and Jalen Ramsey have both said this Miami Dolphins team has the potential to be just as good as or better than the Super Bowl champion teams they were on, the 2019 Kansas City Chiefs and 2021 Los Angeles Rams, respectively.

So, it’s worth asking: Can we legitimately use the words “Miami...Read more

Eileen T. Meslar/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Justin Fields on his future with Bears: 'I'm just focused on what I can control, and the rest is in God's hands'

Sports / Football /

CHICAGO — Justin Fields didn’t feel the need to debate whether the speculation about his Chicago Bears future is fair.

He has been around Chicago long enough to know the noise comes with the territory, even as it heads toward a fever pitch this month. With five games to play in the NFL season, the Bears have major decisions ahead, and many ...Read more

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Paul Zeise: National media paints a rosy picture of Mike Tomlin, but it's mostly based on willful ignorance

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — We have reached the point of the NFL season when many national media hot-take guys begin to pontificate about just how great Steelers fans have it and how thankful they should be that Mike Tomlin is the coach of their favorite team.

It is almost always done in a condescending tone and almost always framed as "you spoiled, ...Read more

Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

John Romano: Bucs' Baker Mayfield is one of cheapest QBs around, but that will soon change

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. — The fate of the team is still to be determined. So, too, is the future of the head coach.

The quarterback, on the other hand, may have already cashed in.

We’re 12 games into the Baker Mayfield era in Tampa Bay, and the quarterback’s decision to sign with the Bucs appears to have paid off handsomely. His stock is not nearly ...Read more

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Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson may miss rest of season with high ankle sprain

Sports / Football /

BOSTON — Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson will miss at least a few weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain Sunday versus the Chargers, according to ESPN.

The Pats’ leading rusher twisted his ankle on a first-quarter tackle Sunday that caused him to fumble. After the play, he could not put any weight on his right leg, had to be ...Read more

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Rams cornerback Derion Kendrick has court case paused for judicial diversion

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES — Rams cornerback Derion Kendrick, facing two misdemeanor gun charges, on Tuesday was granted judicial diversion, the Los Angeles City Attorney's office said.

Kendrick, 23, was arrested in October in Hollywood and charged with carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded firearm.

Kendrick appeared in court Tuesday, and Judge...Read more

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Giants coach Brian Daboll names Tommy DeVito starting QB vs. Packers over Tyrod Taylor

Sports / Football /

NEW YORK — Brian Daboll surprisingly named undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito the Giants’ Week 14 starting quarterback even though veteran Tyrod Taylor (ribs) is cleared for contact and practicing.

“I just thought Tommy earned it,” Daboll said.

The head coach said he believes DeVito gives the Giants (4-8) their best chance to win next ...Read more

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NFL power rankings, Week 14

Sports / Football /

Each week of the NFL season, The Baltimore Sun will rank all 32 NFL teams. The rankings will take into account not just weekly performance, injuries and roster depth, but how well each team measures up as Super Bowl contenders.

Here are the rankings heading into Week 14:

1. San Francisco 49ers (9-3, No. 4 last week)

Last week: Win vs. Eagles,...Read more

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Ron Cook: Steelers left with giant QB question after another Kenny Pickett injury

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — The most troubling part of Kenny Pickett's ankle injury isn't the impact it will have on the Steelers' playoff push. Mitch Trubisky might not be better as his replacement running the offense, but he hardly can be worse. Mason Rudolph might even be better.

No, the worst part of Pickett's injury is the uncertainty it creates about ...Read more