Jets linebacker complains that Patriots offense is ‘borderline illegal’

18 Oct
by in Fantasy Football, General

The New England Patriots are accustomed to accusations of illegal behavior. This one, though, they won't lose any sleep over.

Calvin Pace, linebacker for the rival New York Jets, complained about the tempo at which the Patriots run their offense, calling it "borderline illegal." I believe he meant it as flattery more than an accusation, but you can decide how to interpret it. Here's the quote, via ESPN's Rich Cimini:

"It's borderline illegal because sometimes the guys aren't always set when they snap the ball," Pace said Wednesday. "But it's smart. Why not hurry a team up? I wish we would do it. For a defense, it just puts pressure on you."

The Patriots like to snap the ball as quickly as they can ‒ when the official spots the ball and the next play can begin. The idea is that the defense has less time to get substitutions on the field and get themselves into the alignment they want. It's nothing new or revolutionary ‒ it's a fairly common practice in college football and is becoming more widely used in the NFL, too.

Pace even said he wishes the Jets would do it, which is a nice thought, but maybe the Jets should first get to a point where they can successfully execute plays at a normal pace. There's no reason to rush all those three-and-outs.

As for the legality of the practice, I guess Pace is technically correct in calling the practice "borderline illegal." Snapping the ball right after it's spotted is legal, but snapping it just before would be illegal. It's borderline illegal in the same way that driving 54 mph in a 55 mph hour zone is borderline illegal. Borderline illegal, but also perfectly legal.

The Jets and Patriots are tied for the lead in the AFC East, both with records of 3-3. They will meet at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Tags: , behavior, , mph, , ,
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Tour Report: Money list about personal goals, too (PGA Tour)

17 Oct
Halleran/Getty Images Davis Love III has finished in the top 100 on the money list for 26 straight seasons. By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Plenty of pressure exists on the PGA TOUR with only two events remaining this season. Even for established veterans such as Davis Love III and Jerry Kelly. [...]
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Brandon Weeden throws pass after ball is deflected back to him, discovers that the NFL doesn’t like it

08 Oct

Brandon Weeden has had a tough first five weeks in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns' rookie quarterback is either at or near the bottom of most quarterback ratings, whether traditional or sabermetric, and the fact that the Browns haven't won a game this year despite playing pretty well at times puts even more pressure on the first-round pick.

Sometimes, that pressure forces you to do interesting things. In Cleveland's 41-27 Sunday loss to the New York Giants -- a game in which the Browns once had a 14-0 lead -- Weeden got on the wrong side of the NFL rulebook. With 9:22 left in the game, the Browns had the ball on the Giants' 5-yard line. Weeden dropped back to pass, threw the ball, and ... well, this happened.

Weeden's pass was deflected by Giants lineman Justin Tuck (actually, the ball went off Tuck's mega-cool facemask), the ball floated back to Weeden, and he tried to throw a second pass on the same play. That's an illegal forward pass, which negated Weeden's effort to throw a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Cameron.

On the very next play, Weeden threw another pass -- just the one this time -- but the ball went to Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn, and the drive was stopped.

The only thing the Browns got out of the "double whammy" was a play line for the archives:

3-B.Weeden pass short middle to 3-B.Weeden to NYG 13 for -8 yards

"I don't like being 0-5," Weeden said after the game. "We all had a part in it, but I feel like I was a big part of it. I've got to change something. I've got to do something to give this team a chance to win. Being the quarterback, you can't put it all on your shoulders, but you're the guy.

"You're talking about one of the best defensive lines in all of football, so I think, up front, we played really, really well," Weeden said of his team's efforts against the Giants' defense. "There were just a couple plays here and there. That's what this league is, one play here, one play there."

And sometimes, it's two plays here when it should be just one play there.

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Tony Romo matches career-worst game with five interceptions in loss to Bears

02 Oct

Believe it or not, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has thrown five interceptions in a single game before. And to make that fact even odder, the Cowboys actually won that game, a 25-24 October 2007 victory over the Buffalo Bills. That was a Monday night game as well, but things didn't go so well for the Cowboys this time, as the Chicago Bears ran them out of their own stadium with a 34-18 thrashing.

To be fair, not all of the interceptions were Romo's fault -- he and his receivers, especially Dez Bryant, were off all night, and there were several instances (interceptions and not) when Romo's targets appeared to be in the wrong places. On two occasions, Romo had to tell Bryant, whose physical talent is not matched by his football acumen, that he would continue to throw to Bryant. That included a 25-yard interception return for touchdown by cornerback Charles Tillman in the first quarter, when Romo threw across his body, and Bryant was completely out of place.

It also didn't help that the Cowboys had no running game to speak of -- they ran the ball just 14 times for 41 yards, which put the burden on their quarterback. Romo wound up completing 31 of 43 passes for 307 yards and one touchdown to his five picks.

"Well, you have to get over it -- it's just going to suck for a few days now, obviously," Romo said after the game. "It's going to sit there in your stomach and just eat at you. In different situations out there where you're trying to do too much and help out different areas, I think that it's going to catch up to you at some point in the National Football League. I'm going to have to reassess a couple of things that are happening and make sure that they don't happen again."

"We caught the ones that were thrown to us," Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "That's a good thing. We got pressure when we needed to, and they quit trying to run the ball in the second half. So, our defensive linemen just pinned their ears back and went."

Enough of the bad plays were Romo's fault, as he continued his practice of making throws when he shouldn't especially under pressure from a ravenous Bears pass rush. On one of those picks, Romo was popped in the pocket by Bears defensve lineman Henry Melton, the ball squirted out of Romo's hands, and Bears linebacker Lance Briggs returned the ball 74 yards for a touchdown.

"It's been like this at a time where we had a game where we had turnovers last year," Romo said. "We just have to make a conscious effort to make sure and control that aspect, and saying that  I can't try and do too much and I think that I tried to do that too much tonight and going forward I just have to do my job, and I will."

Late in the game, perhaps to preserve what was left of Romo's psyche, he was replaced by backup Kyle Orton, who threw a garbage-time touchdown to Witten with 34 seconds left in the game. In that odd win over the Bills, tight end Jason Witten was the target on three of Romo's five picks. At least this time, Witten was able to bounce back from an iffy season complicated by a spleen injury -- he caught 13 passes for 112 yards.

Bryant caught eight passes for 105 yards, but he was targeted 13 times. Receiver Kevin Ogletree also let a ball from Romo bounce off his chest, and that pass was intercepted by Bears safety Major Wright after it flew off Ogletree into the air. Romo's fifth and final pick looked like a forced throw to receiver Miles Austin, and Bears cornerback D.J. Moore had the easiest interception he'll ever see.

The Bears' final tally looked like this: Wright had two interceptions, Tillman had one, Briggs had one, and Moore had one. All Tony Romo could take out of the game was a major headache.

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Eubanks: Pressure got to U.S. team’s veterans (PGA)

30 Sep
Eubanks: Pressure got to U.S. team's veterans
Tags: Eubanks, , , , veterans
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U.S. coughs up Ryder Cup in biggest choke ever (Yahoo! Sports)

30 Sep
Europe rallied from a 10-6 deficit to retain the Ryder Cup as the Americans wilted under pressure.
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Orioles beat Boston, gain tie for AL East lead (Yahoo! Sports)

29 Sep

Baltimore Orioles' Chris Davis, left, jogs past Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia for a run on a single by Manny Machado in the second inning of a baseball game in Baltimore, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles are tied atop the AL East with the New York Yankees with four games left, a scenario that might cause a team unaccustomed to being in a pennant race to stumble under pressure.

Tags: AL East, , baltimore orioles, , , pennant, , scenario, The New York Yankees, ,
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Woods Ryder Cup rollercoaster ride comes to an end (Reuters)

28 Sep
MEDINAH, Illinois (Reuters) - United States Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III kept the faith and stood by a struggling Tiger Woods as pressure mounted on Friday to bench the 14-time major winner on a wild opening day at Medinah Country Club. But by the evening Love's trust had run out, the captain deciding to drop Woods for Saturday's foursomes, sitting down the world number two for the first time in his Ryder Cup career. "We just felt like we didn't want anybody to have to play five matches on this golf course," Love explained. "We just don't want guys to be worn out. ...
Tags: , faith, , , Medinah Country Club, , , , , rollercoaster ride, , , Trust, United States Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III
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Rookies ready to step into Ryder Cup pressure cooker (Reuters)

27 Sep

U.S. Ryder Cup team members (front, L-R) Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, captain Davis Love III, Tiger Woods, Keegan Bradley and (back, L-R) Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, Steve Stricker and Jason Dufner pose for a team photo during the 39th Ryder Cup golf matches at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, September 25, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

MEDINAH, Illinois (Reuters) - If experience counts at the Ryder Cup, the U.S. will be at a distinct disadvantage when play begins on Friday, sending out four rookies to face a European lineup that will include just one first-timer. It could be considered wildly misleading to classify Brandt Snedeker, who on Sunday stared down golf's best to pocket a $10 million bonus as FedExCup champion, and major winners Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley as rookies. ...

Tags: Brandt Snedeker, , disadvantage, distinct disadvantage, experience counts, , , , , , , , , Ryder Cup pressure cooker
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Poulter in his element at pressure-packed Ryder Cup (Reuters)

26 Sep

Team Europe golfer Ian Poulter of England hits from a sand trap on the second hole during a practice round at the 39th Ryder Cup golf matches at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, September 25, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

MEDINAH, Illinois (Reuters) - During the heyday of Tiger Woods's reign as world number one, Englishman Ian Poulter cockily proclaimed that he was the man to challenge Tiger Woods at the top of world golf. Poulter never made good on that boast, but the confident Briton, in contrast to Woods, has been as good as they come under the intense pressure of the Ryder Cup and the 36-year-old relishes another chance to take on the Americans. "I just love this event more than any other event in the world," Poulter told reporters on Wednesday. "I get very excited to play. ...

Tags: Briton, element, Ian Poulter, , intense pressure, , , , Poulter, , reign, , ,
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