Texans’ Deshaun Watson, Cowboys’ Dak Prescott share state, number and, now, NFL success

The state of Texas now has two winning NFL quarterbacks who wear No. 4.
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Deshaun Watson got the W in his first pro start Thursday as Houston topped Cincinnati 13-9. Watson’s 49-yard run in the second quarter was the game’s only touchdown.

Now, don’t get it twisted: It’s way too early to say Watson will match Prescott as NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Watson has a way to go before he can approach Prescott’s proficiency, and Watson doesn’t have the supporting cast Prescott enjoys in North Dallas.

Still, Watson showed enough big-play ability Thursday to make people think he can be a winner in the pros, and as his throwing improves, he can become a dual threat similar to Prescott.

Which means that with 4 and 4 around, Lone Star State fans should enjoy some great debates over the next few years.

Jason McCourty, Browns cornerback: You do things and people on your social media tell you that you’re a crybaby or you’re making a ton of money doing this or doing that, but the majority of my family doesn’t have that type of money. The majority of people I grew up with doesn’t have that type of money. You’re not only voicing something for yourself, but you’re voicing it for the people that you represent. McCourty knelt for the anthem.

Youth Larry Csonka Jersey Brandin Cooks, Patriots wide receiver: It was one of those things, you want to stand with your brothers. Kneel with your brother and be by their side. One statement that I would just like to make, a lot of people think we’re disrespecting the flag or the military, but my father was a marine. My uncle was a marine. Family fought in the Vietnam War. I have the utmost respect for the men and women who fight for our freedom …

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The Rams built a team for Jared Goff, and it’s starting to pay off

Jared Goff was the first pick in the 2016 NFL draft, by the Los Angeles Rams, because he’s uber talented. He’s got a lively arm, he can make all the throws, and he understands the game. He also wasn’t ready to play in 2016. He came from a college offense that was nothing like what he’d have to run the NFL, and he was drafted by a staff that wasn’t designed to help him achieve success in his first season.
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The Saints are reportedly interested in moving on from their starting safety. After getting burnt repeatedly by the Pats, they may not get the return they’d been hoping for. Vaccaro struggled to catch up to New England’s playmakers, allowing Brady to throw for 294 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone.

Mens Pavel Bure Jersey He could have had No. 70 late in the second quarter, but the typically sure-handed tight end dropped a pass in the end zone. Almost certainly because he wanted to bask in the 69-ness of it all a bit longer.

The Saints’ rookie linebacker was exposed in pass coverage, getting roasted by Gronkowski on his milestone touchdown pass (he fell down twice!) and typically getting caught a step behind the Patriots’ big plays Sunday.

Watson was poised and efficient when he needed to be, helping the Texans bleed clock in the fourth quarter with short passes and well-timed scrambles that kept the chains moving. Bill O’Brien clearly didn’t trust Watson enough to open up the playbook, and there are a lot of wrinkles in his game that need to be ironed out. But he had enough good moments to build on, and that’s about all the Texans can hope for with their offensive line and tight ends ravaged by injury. Watson will get his biggest test yet when he faces the New England Patritos next week.

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Eddie Lacy doesn’t want to be fat shamed on Twitter anymore

Seahawks running back Eddie Lacy has been the subject of insults about his weight for years now, but that’s all that most people who were hurling them probably considered him to be: A subject. A twitter account. A football player.

I’m not sure how many people on the other end of the internet ever considered that Lacy was actually a person. A human being who, yes, is reading your comments and having some feelings about it.

However, we never really got that side of the story. What does Lacy think about people calling him fat at literally every turn? (One thing that I quickly found out about tweeting about a team that has Eddie Lacy is that it’s not that fun to tweet about Eddie Lacy; that’s how I learned that there are hundreds of un-funny people out there that flood your notifications with “Eddie Lacy is fat” replies even when it has absolutely zero to do with your original tweet..)

Again, even though Ryan hasn’t put up prolific touchdown numbers over the first two games of the season, he’s displayed a nose for the end zone that has been undiminished since late in the 2015 season. Having a longer streak than the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees, which you should probably brag about.

You’ll recall that it wasn’t all that long ago that Ryan was getting beat up for throwing way too many picks, but now he’s gone since the Chiefs game in early December without tossing one. Ryan has unquestionably gotten lucky a handful of times—like most quarterbacks—but he’s done an excellent job of avoiding the costly interceptions that defined his worst seasons, and it’s no coincidence that the Falcons are 8-1 in those games, including the playoffs.

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Tony Romo’s greatest feat as a broadcaster was explaining how Bill Belichick screws with opponents

The most pleasant surprise of the NFL season so far has been Tony Romo’s Madden-esque color commentary. Hands down.

His weekly display of broadcasting greatness started when Matthew Tkachuk Jersey he predicted that Drew Brees would throw a touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman in the second quarter. His soothsaying was on display last week too. He’s watching the field, how defenses and offenses line up and presenting Tom Waddle Womens Jersey that information to you from the quarterback’s point of view. That’s just not what we’re expecting to get from a color guy; it’s a hundred times better.

Romo’s ability to demystify the game went to another level later on, when the Patriots had things well in hand against the Saints. What did he do that topped predicting plays? Oh, not much … he only explained what the hell Bill Belichick was thinking.

The Patriots show blitz with the Saints inside the 10-yard line, putting five guys on the line ready to send them at the passer. What they usually do with this look is drop two of those guys back into coverage.

It wasn’t the best basketball-themed celebration of Week 1. That was Chiefs tight end Demetrius Harris shooting a free throw while Tyreek Hill acted as the hoop. But the Falcons had a specific reason for this celebration, and it was all Julio Jones’ idea.

“It’s ‘Hoop.’ His name is Austin Hooper, so we did a little shot. … Yeah, it was easy. Mo did it. Hoop did it. It was good,” Jones said, via ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.

Jones is hoping to get into the end zone soon, too. He has a celebration plan, but he’s not ready to share it just yet.

“I just have to show you,” Jones said, via McClure. “I’ve just got to get in the paint first.”

Sunday’s celebration was the very first in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and the Falcons are hoping there will be many more.

NFL celebrations are fun again. FINALLY.

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This division had two 12-win playoff teams and a 9-7 Broncos team that missed the playoffs last season.

It also had the league’s best last-place team — a hard-luck, 5-11 Chargers team that kept finding creative ways to lose games in the fourth quarter.

Elite Kids Senquez Golson Jersey So far this season? Yeah, the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos are all 2-0, and the Chargers have lost two heartbreaking games in the fourth quarter. I think we expected the Raiders and Chiefs to be good again and had some questions about the Broncos, but Denver’s defense looks dominant and the Broncos are stinging from last year, when they followed up their Super Bowl 50 title by missing the playoffs.

Guys are hungry, man. Guys are willing to put in the work, Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib told me last week. We feel like we won the Super Bowl and then we didn’t put in the work we needed to put in to get back. My mom told me, ‘Everything that’s a saying is a saying for a reason.’ And I guess that saying ‘Super Bowl hangover’ is a saying for a reason. For whatever reason, guys took their foot off the gas and we missed the playoffs. We know we don’t want to feel that way again.

Elite Youth Willie Young Jersey It’s a lower leg bruise, so we’re very lucky that it wasn’t serious, it’s a lower leg bruise and he’s week to week,” Joseph said. So, we dodged a bullet there, in my opinion.”

The Broncos play in Buffalo on Sunday and face the Oakland Raiders in Denver on Oct. 1, with the team’s bye on Oct. 8. If Bolles misses at least the next two games, the Broncos would then have the bye week to get him additional treatment before an Oct. 15 game against the New York Giants.

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Loomis, though, believes Browns management is complicit in hypocrisy.

The Browns organization has been supportive of the players’ protests, which also included them standing with locked arms before the preseason game in Chicago last Thursday.

Game Youth Joe Thuney Jersey Professionally, thoughtfully, probably as thoughtfully as any others have, Browns executive VP of football operations Sashi Brown told cleveland.com. These are guys that mean well. We really push our guys to be active and conscious about the communities they live in and what goes on around them that might be even larger than football. They do that, and we support them.

When management allows you to do those things, then that’s on them, Loomis said. It’s hypocritical of the Browns management and ownership to want to have an armed forces first-responder day, and have us involved in it when they allow their players to take a knee during the national anthem. That’s the very representation of what we stand for. That’s why we aren’t going to.

There’s some positive buzz around Cleveland’s offense because beyond rookie QB DeShone Kizer, players such Isaiah Crowell, Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt will make it look more respectable for Hue Jackson. Unfortunately, archrival Pittsburgh counters with Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant. The Killer Bs will roll out well after a strong offseason, and former Browns corner Joe Haden will put the finishing touches on it. Steelers win 38-21 and cover the spread in the Lock of the Week.

Game Youth Tomas Hertl Jersey Buffalo has been breaking bad with some of the late preseason news, but it’s still not close to what happened downstate with New York’s AFC East fire sale. Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy up and running together are plenty to ground the Jets’ defense, and Josh McCown just can’t keep up against a Bills defense that will be motivated to make it a winning debut for Sean McDermott. Bills win 24-13 and cover the spread.

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Week 1 fantasy football winners and losers

Whether you won or lost, there’s no equal to the excitement of a brand-new fantasy football season.

Much of that is from following how your team gets to its outcome: That fourth-round pick who drops an NFL debut performance for the record books in the Thursday opener, that late-round sleeper whom you had to start in your 16-team league, or that “ironclad lock” you selected No. 2 overall who completely let you down.

Yes, they’ve all happened so far in Week 1, and right here, we’ll recap these winners and losers from a fantasy perspective, complete with applicable game and historical data. Check back after the conclusion of the 1 and 4 p.m. ET (and, when applicable, Sunday Night Football) games for our picks of the week’s best and worst.

The players and public safety officials also will stand together during the national anthem, and the players said they’ve asked the Haslam family, the team’s owners, to stand with them too.

The pregame show of solidarity comes after discussions among the players, the Haslams and law enforcement officials following some Browns players’ decision to kneel in prayer during the national anthem before the team’s second preseason game last month.

In the wake of the players’ kneeling, the Cleveland police union said it would not participate in the Browns’ tradition of having fans and civil servants help unfurl and hold an oversized American flag on the field. Instead, USO members are scheduled to hold the giant flag this Sunday.

Following news of the Browns’ planned pregame show of solidarity, the police union said it had accepted an invitation to participate.

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Watch: Jimmy Fallon gives $1M to J.J. Watt’s Hurricane Harvey fund with moving tribute

Texans star J.J. Watt has done more than enough for the city of Houston. After setting a goal of raising $200,000 for relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Watt’s total number broke the $20-million line this week.

Authentic Youth Reuben Foster Jersey The number jumped again Tuesday night with the help of another celebrity.

The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon pledged $1 million to the fund and did so with a moving tribute of his own as the Houston choir sang Lean on Me behind him.
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Elliott’s accuser called police on July 22, 2016 to report a series of violent altercations with Elliott. Police did not arrest or charge Elliott at the time because they couldn’t confirm the woman’s version of the events or whether or not she and Elliott ever lived together. The officers who responded to the 911 call referred her to the Columbus City Attorney’s Office, according to the police report.

The prosecutor determined after reviewing the evidence that the conflicting and inconsistent information was not sufficient to charge Elliott. Ohio law also dictates that domestic violence charges can only be brought when a couple lives together, and law enforcement could not confirm Elliott lived with the woman at any point.

After the City Attorney’s Office concluded its investigation, it released all of the evidence collected, including witness statements, copies of text messages, and photographs of Elliott’s accuser’s injuries. Those documents showed that she was not truthful about the events of July 22.

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the Jets are currently set to have more than $56 million in available cap space

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Every decision we’ve made has been squarely with the fans’ perspective of ‘how do we take the fan experience to the next level?’ Jenkins said. The LED displays we have, whether it’s every seat is two inches wider than the Georgia Dome, almost all the concourses connect so you can circumnavigate the building, you don’t get cut-off. You can move vertically throughout the building, we have really wide staircases, we have twice the elevators, twice the escalators compared to the Georgia Dome.

The final figure came down as $1.6 billion, part of which came via the city. But the good news is $850 million of that was financed from banks and investors, and Falcons owner Arthur Blank covered some of it, too.

In addition to the $850 million in loans, $200 million of the construction cost comes from bonds backed by Atlanta hotel-motel taxes, $200 million from the NFL and a yet-undetermined amount from sales of personal seat licenses. Blank is responsible for cost overruns.
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After the season, the Jets are currently set to have more than $56 million in available cap space — behind only the Detroit Lions, who will likely cut into that soon with an extension for Matthew Stafford.

The team is hunting for players who will contribute in 2019 or 2020, and Mangold, Revis, Marshall, Harris,and Decker didn’t fit the bill — Enunwa and Wilkerson do, although Enunwa suffered a season injury that will keep him out of action in 2017.

[Harris] was a great leader in the locker room and on the field, but we have some young guys in that linebacking corps, Wilkerson said, via NewYorkJets.com. They may not be big-name guys like Dave, but those guys can definitely step up and make plays.

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Uni Watch — What’s new in the NFC East for 2017

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There’s plenty of uni-related news as we move toward the kickoff of the 2017 NFL season. Most notably, a new Nike collar that eliminates the Flywire design has been adopted by 19 of the 22 teams that were still using the old one — we’ll call them the Flyswatter Brigade! Here’s our rundown of what you can expect to see in the NFC East on the gridiron this fall.

The Flywire collar has been particularly problematic for the Cowboys. At one point in 2014 and ’15, the bands within the collar turned blue, which the team attributed to laundry problems (additional photos and info here). Although they eventually got that problem under control, it’s just as well that they’ve broken out the Flyswatter this season:

Elite Youth Devin McCourty Jersey Many times, teams use practice squads to keep players who have potential but need development. It gives teams an opportunity to invest in players in a low-cost (by NFL standards) and low-risk way. It also provides teams with a stash of backup players who are familiar with the scheme and system, which is helpful in the event of injury.

I also want to point out again that breakout player does not mean Pro Bowler or All Pro. For me at least, it’s a guy who takes a huge leap forward from where he had been so far in his career. It could be a guy who goes from backup to starting and playing well, or maybe a guy who was already good but then starts playing at a Pro Bowl/All Pro level. It is about the distance between what they were and what they end up being by the end of this season.

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