Is Affliction a Real Threat to the UFC?

Like two glazing fighters in the ring, the UFC and Affliction are trading blows. Is Affliction a real threat, or will this be another 15-second fight before the final blow comes and the UFC reigns as champion once again?

Affliction has had a fairy tale start. With deep pockets like Donald Trump backing the company, they have been able to put a lot of money into their first card, but can they keep up the frenzied spending pace and still make money off of the venture? That remains to be seen. Fedor was not able to fight on October 11. This may be a good thing for Affliction since it means that they'll still have two fights left on his contract and they'll be able to make money off of him for a little bit longer . But the question remains, when Fedor's Affliction contract is up, who will get the next contract? And without Fedor, does Affliction really stand a chance?

Another long-term issue that may lead to Affliction's doom is the question of getting more fighters that are worth watching. They have Fedor for now, but they need a bigger roster of talented fighters. There is talk that Tito will sign on with them, but at this point a lot of fans are tired of Tito's drama. Let's face it; the UFC has a larger roster and more talent. By comparison Affliction is just an angry wasp trying to kill a bear.

The fans will decide the winner of this fight. The UFC has a lot of loyal fans, as evidenced by UFC ticket sales, but there are also fans who believe that competition will only make MMA better. And then there are those fans who do not like the UFC at all and are more than willing to pull out their cash for the competition. It's not like Affliction is unheard of either. Affliction is well-known by MMA fans thanks to using MMA fighters to market their t-shirts, so it is not like some upstart company is trying to make its way into the MMA market. Whether the more theatrical presentation that Affliction put on in July wins out, or the sporting event presentation that the UFC puts on, remains king of the MMA realm, remains to be seen. But just maybe, Dana White and the UFC are getting worried.

Since White's denials , it is obvious that the card that the UFC hastily dropped together on the same night as Affliction: "Banned" was an attempt to take viewers from Affliction's fight. It did not hurt that UFC's fight was free to watch on Spike. It looks like the UFC is more than a little worried about the Affliction threat. It remains to be seen whether this is a real threat, or just another second rate league that can not touch the legend of the UFC.



Source by Alan Zehr

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Pittsburgh Steelers in near panic mode after loss to Baltimore Ravens – Pittsburgh Steelers Blog


PITTSBURGH — Not even prime time can save these Pittsburgh Steelers, though Sunday’s loss cuts deeper than some meaningless stat.

The Steelers, previously winners of 10 straight night games before the Baltimore Ravens26-14 pounding, are a team without much of an identity beyond a few good drives here or there.

They can’t get enough stops, they can’t run the ball consistently enough and the flair of the past few years is hidden somewhere in the Heinz Field turf.

What exactly is this team about? That’s hard to know when the answers are sporadic from week to week.

Players offered well-worn themes such as lack of execution and inability to finish before departing the locker room. Meanwhile, the Steelers triumvirate — coach Mike Tomlin, general manager Kevin Colbert, president Art Rooney II — huddled for several minutes to process the aftermath.

“We have to be honest about what we’re doing,” defensive end and team captain Cameron Heyward said. “That’s the only way this ship is going to right itself.”

The Steelers’ disastrous starts at home are becoming more standard than aberration.

These numbers are numbing: In the past three home games, the Steelers have spotted opponents a combined 56-0 lead.

The Steelers largely played the Ravens to a draw for much of the game, but that doesn’t matter when it’s 14-0 seven minutes in.

To no surprise, the Steelers have lost three consecutive home games for the first time since 2012.

The defense has been shaky enough to the point that forcing the Ravens into four punts over 60 minutes was a mild surprise. A goal-line forced fumble by Sean Davis was a bright spot, and the team put together a few third-down stops.

But so many plays were emblematic of a unit that can’t rediscover its glorified past. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Steelers had the Ravens first-and-18 at midfield and gave up a first down on two simple dump-offs and a sea of missed tackles.

These are crippling plays that will plague them all year unless something — namely, an uptick in sacks and turnovers — changes.

“We need more splash plays,” linebacker Vince Williams said.

The reality is the Steelers’ offense is starting to miss Le’Veon Bell. James Conner has done some nice things but was averaging 3.9 yards per carry before his 19 yards on nine carries Sunday night lowered that figure further.

That forces Ben Roethlisberger (27-of-46, 274 yards, one touchdown, one interception) to keep defenses honest almost entirely with his arm, which works sometimes but probably isn’t sustainable.

Roethlisberger’s throw off his back foot with 2:22 left into the area of two Ravens defenders fell gently into the hands of Ravens corner Anthony Levine because it had no juice behind it.

The Steelers’ early offensive strategy was a sound one: Use Antonio Brown on deeper routes to draw the safety and loosen up the middle. That explains why fourth receiver Ryan Switzer caught seven passes and tight end Vance McDonald added 62 yards.

But when the Steelers needed big third-down plays in the second half, Roethlisberger and Brown were clearly off on their timing despite having a few opportunities to thread the ball. Usually, that deep out route to the sideline is money for them. Not right now.

The Steelers failed to convert 10 of 12 third downs compared to the Ravens hovering around 50 percent in that area for much of the game. In the fourth quarter, the Steelers held the ball for two minutes, 40 seconds. Oof.

“It’s bad for our fans,” guard David DeCastro said. “To come out and have us play like that, it sucks.”

Couple all that with coach Mike Tomlin’s botched challenge over a Ravens third-down conversion and McDonald’s costly first-quarter fumble, and that’s how games are lost.

A third straight AFC North title is starting to slip away. The Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns are all better.

The season might be salvageable, but not the way the Steelers are currently playing — especially with Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons coming to Pittsburgh in Week 5.

Heyward challenged his team to win the next four divisional games. Meanwhile, Roethlisberger tried to provide perspective.

“We are only a quarter of the way through the season,” Roethlisberger said. “We have a long way to go.”



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Baltimore Ravens defense flexes muscles against Pittsburgh Steelers – Baltimore Ravens Blog


PITTSBURGH — The Baltimore Ravens‘ game at the Pittsburgh Steelers was supposed to be a shootout.

Tell that to the Ravens defense.

In today’s game where offenses light up the scoreboard, Baltimore’s defense can still roll up its sleeves and play old-school football.

In the Ravens’ 26-14 win over the Steelers, the NFL’s top-ranked defense silenced quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the NFL’s No. 2 offense, holding them to one touchdown while forcing two turnovers.

None of this should come as a surprise. The Ravens are the only team not to allow a touchdown in the second half this season.

In six second-half series, the Ravens defense produced: punt (three-and-out), punt, punt (another three-and-out), punt, an interception and a turnover on downs. Baltimore limited Roethlisberger to 8-of-17 passing for 50 yards in the second half.

Baltimore actually has Pittsburgh to thank for this “finish” mentality. The last two years, the Ravens have failed to close out games in losses at Heinz Field.

In 2016, Antonio Brown scored a touchdown with nine seconds left in a 31-27 win for Pittsburgh. In 2017, Chris Boswell kicked a 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds remaining in a 39-28 victory for the Steelers.

When it came to the fourth quarter this time, defensive back Anthony Levine came up with the interception with 3:15 left in the game. In shutting out the Steelers in the second half, the Ravens have allowed a total of nine points in the second half this season.

How impressive was this? This is the fewest points allowed by Baltimore at Heinz Field since 2012, the Ravens’ Super Bowl season.

The Ravens offense made this game closer than it should have been. Joe Flacco missed a wide-open Michael Crabtree along the sideline, running back Alex Collins fumbled at the Steelers’ 1-yard line and left tackle Ronnie Stanley took Baltimore out of field-goal range with a false start penalty.

None of that mattered for a defense determined to buck the high-scoring trend in the NFL.



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Time to overreact to NFL 2018 Week 4 — Is the Chicago Bears offense for real?


CHICAGO — Hey, if the football fans in the Windy City want to overreact, who’s going to tell them to cut it out? It has been quite a while since the Chicago Bears were fun, and even with the Chicago Cubs back in the playoffs this town is fired up about a 3-1 first-place football team that just put 48 points on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on its way into the bye. Mitchell Trubisky just quadrupled his season touchdown pass total in one delirious afternoon, and if you’re not allowed to overreact to that, what’s the point of being a fan?

So let’s start with the game I got to see in person as part of my Sunday NFL Countdown duties — a game that was 38-3 at the half and ended 48-10 as Trubisky buried the Bucs’ weeklong QB controversy with six touchdown passes of his own against a Tampa Bay team that couldn’t do a thing right no matter who was taking the snaps.


The Bears’ offense is now as good as their defense

If you’re a Bears fan who has been waiting to see the vaunted Matt Nagy offense that lit the league on fire last year in Kansas City, Sunday was your day. Nagy was scheming dudes open and leaning on mismatches with speedsters Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel, and the Tampa Bay defense had no answers. Gabriel scored two touchdowns, including one on a nifty jet-action shovel pass at the goal line. He and Cohen each had seven catches and more than 100 receiving yards as Nagy went away from between-the-tackles running back Jordan Howard and leaned instead on the super-fast dudes he knew the Bucs’ defenders couldn’t catch. For the first time, Trubisky looked like a quarterback worthy of the 2017 No. 2 overall pick.

Graziano’s verdict: OVERREACTION. Fun, without a doubt. But the Bucs came into the game 27th in defensive DVOA, are banged up in the secondary and are averaging 34.75 points per game allowed. It’s important to understand context. Bears players to whom I spoke about this game said they saw something good coming with Trubisky — that they believe he has been developing the way they’d hoped he would. But no one here is assuming this is the way it’s going to look every week. It takes awhile to master the Andy Reid offense Nagy brought from K.C. Alex Smith wasn’t driving a league-leading passing attack until Year 5. One day of mastery doesn’t mean everything is hunky-dory. What Bears fans should take from this is excitement and hope that this can be what it looks like, eventually. But the defense — which, by the way, had another monster game with Khalil Mack wreaking havoc in the backfield — is what will drive the Bears’ NFC North title aspirations for this year at least. “It’s like the LeBron effect,” Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara told me of the Bears’ preseason addition of Mack to an already-strong defense. “He just makes everybody better. When you see greatness like that up close, it just makes everyone else want to be great that much more.”


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Ryan Clark discusses how Earl Thomas’ injury impacts his desire for a bigger contract while serving as an example why Le’Veon Bell is holding out.

Earl Thomas is right to be angry at the Seahawks

Thomas was playing even though he didn’t want to be there — sitting out practices in protest of the team’s refusal to extend his contract or trade him to a team that would. So as he was carted off the field with a broken leg Sunday, he appeared to direct an obscene gesture to the Seattle sideline.

Graziano’s verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. The next time you hop on Twitter and holler that a guy has a contract and should play, remember Thomas, who could have a very hard time finding a contract that meshes with his hopes at this point. Seattle played hardball with a franchise icon. He should have continued playing hardball with them and held out until they gave him what he wanted. If this is what you get for doing the right thing and showing up to play, why would the next Seahawks player in the same situation do it?


The Titans are going to the Super Bowl

For the third week in a row, Tennessee won a miracle game — this time in overtime against the defending Super Bowl champs. And while Weeks 2 and 3 were mishmash games with their offense not at full strength, this was a 26-point, 397-yard, fourth-down-converting answer to all the Mariota doubters out there.

Graziano’s verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. Hey, the AFC isn’t all that great. The Patriots and Steelers have looked wobbly. The Chiefs can’t keep up what they’re doing. The Jaguars can’t beat the Titans. Why not this bunch? They just won two straight games against 2017 playoff teams and they have only two more of those left — home against the Patriots in November and at Jacksonville in December. The hard part of the 2018 season for the Titans may already be over, and they’re 3-1.


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Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter says that everyone should be fired after the Bucs’ 48-10 loss to the Bears, starting with him.

Dirk Koetter is right: He should be fired

The Bucs’ coach said in his postgame media conference that, based on Sunday’s performance, the Bucs should fire everyone including him. It may not have been Jim Mora Sr.’s “Playoffs!?” or Dennis Green’s “We let ’em off the hook!” but it was a pretty startling media conference.

Graziano’s verdict: OVERREACTION. Koetter’s seat is among the hottest in the league, and a losing season may well cost him his job. But a team that was expected to be 1-3 or 0-4 at this point is 2-2 and has, for most of the season, looked very good on offense, which is Koetter’s side of the ball. It’s too soon to pull the plug. At least give him the rest of the year with Jameis Winston under center.


The Eagles will miss the playoffs

The defending champs are 2-2 and have given up almost as many points (81) as they’ve scored (82). Their wins were against the 1-3 Falcons and the 1-3 Colts, by six and four points, respectively. They couldn’t keep Carson Wentz upright Sunday. They have not looked like themselves.

Graziano’s verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. The Eagles absolutely could make the playoffs, and they should. They didn’t forget how to play, and Doug Pederson didn’t forget how to coach. But it’s not an overreaction to be worried here. Washington looks better than expected. The Cowboys may be getting right. The NFC East hasn’t had a repeat champion since 2003-04, and it’s tough to see that division putting two teams in the playoffs this year. The Eagles have had terrible injury luck so far and need to look a lot better if we’re to believe they can repeat.



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0-for-4: Ugly Sunday for rookies Mayfield, Darnold, Rosen, Allen – NFL Nation


Four quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2018 draft — Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen — started Sunday. Mayfield and Rosen were making their first career starts.

Mayfield, selected No. 1 overall, threw two touchdown passes but also had two interceptions and two lost fumbles in the Cleveland Browns‘ 45-42 overtime loss to Oakland Raiders. It wasn’t pretty, either, for Darnold, Rosen and Allen.

Here’s closer look at each of their performances Sunday:

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Stat line: 16-of-33, 151 yards, two interceptions, sacked seven times, 36.3 rating

Positives: There were few for Allen, who came crashing back to earth after an upset win of the Minnesota Vikings last week. Allen and the Bills’ offense managed only 37 net passing yards until they received possession with about six minutes remaining in the game. Allen completed his first five passes of that drive for 40 yards in what was the only glimmer of a competent passing game Sunday from Buffalo.

Negatives: Allen’s reckless heave while being chased outside of the pocket on a third down late in the second quarter resulted in an underthrown pass and interception by Green Bay’s Jaire Alexander. Allen’s other two turnovers — an interception by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix during a collision with Kelvin Benjamin, and a fumble when Allen appeared to be down — were less his fault. However, Allen lacked accuracy early in the game and seemed to hold the ball too long at times, resulting in seven sacks.

What’s ahead in Week 5: The Bills return home next Sunday against the Tennessee Titans for their only game at New Era Field over a span of five weeks. Allen will face a Titans defense that allowed Carson Wentz to complete 66 percent of his passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns in an Eagles loss Sunday. — Mike Rodak

Sam Darnold, New York Jets

Stat line: 17-of-34, 167 yards, TD, no interceptions, sacked three times, 74.0 rating

Positives: Despite heavy pressure from the Jacksonville front, Darnold managed to play his first interception-free game. Give him credit for that, especially since he had no support from the run game. Before Sunday, he was one of only four quarterbacks with an interception in each game. He spread the ball around more than previous weeks, getting the running backs and tight ends involved — an indication he’s starting to see the field better.

Negatives: Darnold struggled to find a rhythm, in part, because the Jaguars mixed their coverages more than usual. Jacksonville believes Darnold has big-time potential, but felt it could confuse him by showing different looks. He missed a few open receivers, including a deep ball to Robby Anderson that would’ve resulted in an 86-yard touchdown over Jalen Ramsey. That would’ve made it a six-point game in the fourth quarter — a costly mistake.

What’s ahead in Week 5: The Jets return home for the start of three consecutive home games. First up are the Denver Broncos, who will be playing on a short week after a Monday night contest. If the Broncos get ripped apart by the Kansas City Chiefs, they’ll be in an ornery mood for their trip to New Jersey. Darnold will face one of the NFL’s most dangerous defensive players, Von Miller, who has the ability to wreck a game. The rookie is getting his first dose of NFL adversity, and how he responds will say a lot about his mental toughness. — Rich Cimini

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Stat line: 21-for-41 for 295 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions and two sacks. Rating: 70.7

Positives: Mayfield gave the Browns plenty of chances to win with some exciting plays. His 49-yard touchdown to Darren Fells in the first half was a laser that hit Fells right in stride. His 59-yard completion to Antonio Callaway in the fourth quarter set up a touchdown that could have led to a win. Mayfield was frequently able to squirm out of trouble and had four completions longer than 20 yards.

Negatives: Turnovers. Four of them. Three of which gave the Raiders 21 points. Mayfield said all were on him, though only two of the four were totally his. An interception at the end of regulation set up overtime, and a bad center-quarterback exchange gave the Raiders seven points. A third was caused by Oakland’s pass rush forcing Mayfield to fumble, another when a receiver didn’t get out of his break and the ball was intercepted. “We turned the ball over too many times,” Mayfield said. “Gave them a chance. And in this league when you turn the ball over like we did today — like I did — you’re not gonna win those games.”

What’s ahead in Week 5: The Browns return home to face the Baltimore Ravens, who entered Sunday night’s game against Pittsburgh the league’s top-ranked defense in scoring and fifth-ranked in points allowed. The Ravens have gone 18-2 in the past 20 games between the two teams. — Pat McManamon

Josh Rosen, Arizona Cardinals

Stat line: 15-of-27, 180 yards, TD, no interception, sacked once, 88.5 rating

Positives: Rosen looked capable in his first career start. He commanded both the huddle and the offense with a veteran’s presence, moving his offensive line in position while guiding the offense down the field in a pressure-packed fourth quarter with the game tied. Most of all, Rosen made plays when needed. He showed off his strong arm and ability to keep plays alive with his feet.

Negatives: There was little Rosen did wrong Sunday against the Seahawks. The only thing that could’ve counted as a mistake was when he missed a wide open Christian Kirk in the end zone early in the second quarter. But Rosen didn’t throw an interception and even though he threw for only 180 yards, it wasn’t his fault. His receivers had at least four drops, including two potential touchdowns.

What’s ahead in Week 5: Rosen gets his second career start Sunday at San Francisco in a winnable game for Arizona. He’ll take what he learned against the Seahawks and implement it against the banged-up Niners. If Rosen can get help from his receivers, the outcome could differ from Sunday’s. — Josh Weinfuss



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The Benefits of Martial Arts Training

As any martial artist will tell you, there are multiple benefits in martial arts training. Of course, the most obvious benefit is a knowledge of self defense which is one of the major reasons why systems were developed in the first place. Knowing how to defend oneself and loved ones in a potentially dangerous situation is an asset in today’s world just as it was hundreds of years ago. Unlike often portrayed in the movies, training is not just about fighting. Many people take up martial arts for the fitness benefits as well. Training in karate, tae kwon do, kung fu and other styles will improve one’s cardiovascular fitness as well as tone the muscular system. Strength will increase from the calisthenics usually employed within training but perhaps not to the same extent as working out with weights. But overall power of one’s body will definitely increase since the techniques teach how to use strength effectively.

Most people will also improve their flexibility significantly while training since entire ranges of motion from the body are exercised. This is especially true with styles such as tae kwon do, Thai kickboxing as well as some schools of karate and kung fu where high kicks are used. All martial art styles will result in an improvement of one’s coordination as well.

Unlike many other forms of physical activity, martial arts also have a mental and sometimes spiritual element which not only improves the mind’s focus but also helps in self control. Emotions such as anger and fear are better controlled through training. Many martial artists can find an inner peace through their training. In today’s hectic world, these particular benefits translate into one of the most effective stress management tools available. When training in a session or in a group class, all the day to day troubles of the world seem to be forgotten. People come out refreshed, energized and ready to tackle the big world out there.

Training in martial arts usually involves many little steps and progressions. As one advances, the feeling of accomplishment comes with added confidence. This is especially beneficial for children who were not very confident in the first place. An increase in self confidence for kids (as well as adults) will have a cross over effect in other areas of life such as in other sports and general self esteem. Other challenges in life, both physical and mental, will be met with much less fear.

An important benefit of martial arts training for parents to note is that children will generally become more disciplined from the unique formalities of martial arts classes. This is one benefit that is often lacking in other sports. Former ‘problem’ kids with bad attitudes could become well behaved and respectful as a result of taking classes a few times per week. Respect is something that all instructors place great importance in during their classes. Martial arts kids are often very well behaved children no matter what social economic backgrounds they come from.

Martial arts training has so many great benefits covering physical, mental and emotional aspects that it’s no wonder why it has become one of the most popular activities for both adults and children. However, it is important to point out that not all programs will produce the range of benefits discussed. Programs that teach just combat fighting techniques may not result in the desired mental and spiritual benefits so it is important to search around for the right school that will offer the benefits one wishes to achieve.



Source by Clint Leung

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Couple to let Chargers’ win over 49ers decide baby’s fandom


There was more on the line than pride for a Chargers fan and a 49ers fan on Sunday afternoon. It was a winner-take-all: the rights to their unborn son’s fandom.

A 29-27 victory by the Chargers means that the son of Saul and Lisete Gomez of Compton, California, will be brought into the world in blue and gold.

“We wanted to do something different to announce that we would be having a baby boy,” Saul told ESPN on Sunday night. “So we figured with me being a lifelong 49ers fan and her being a lifelong Chargers fan, that this would be the perfect way to do it.”

So on Sunday morning, Lisete posted a picture on Instagram. She was wearing a Chargers jersey, her husband of seven years a 49ers jersey.

The sign in the photo said, “We have a lot riding on this game. Future fan of ?” The board then teased the impending arrival of their son, who is due March 26.

The deal was worked out a couple weeks ago, before 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending injury. And Saul didn’t ask for the points, as the 49ers came into Sunday’s game as 10-point underdogs.

The 49ers jumped out to a 14-0 lead, giving Saul some confidence.

“I was already picking out baby 49ers jerseys in my head,” he said.

But the Chargers knotted the score at 17 at the half and held on to win.

“I’m happy for her,” Saul Gomez said. “She’s kind of a sore loser, so I was worried about winning.”

Said Lisete: “Looks like, ‘happy wife, happy life.'”





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Baker Mayfield leads Cleveland Browns to early lead but stymied by Oakland Raiders in OT


OAKLAND — Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes, but mistakes doomed the Cleveland Browns to more agony and a 45-42 overtime loss to the Oakland Raiders.

The Browns led 28-14 in the third quarter and 42-34 with just more than a minute left. It was a game the Browns felt they should have won.

“Absolutely,” Mayfield said. “When you make that many mistakes, though, it’s not gonna happen.”

Mayfield was given four turnovers in his first NFL start – two interceptions and two fumbles lost.

One interception, though, came on a bad break by receiver Antonio Callaway, the other when Mayfield flung a deep pass in the final seconds desperately trying to avoid overtime.

He fumbled once when sacked, and a second time when he and JC Tretter mixed up the snap.

Mayfield did throw touchdowns passes on perfect throws to Darren Fells for 49 yards and on a two-yard fade to Jarvis Landry. He set up another in the fourth quarter with a 59-yard strike to Antonio Callaway.

But he lamented his errors.

“I’m the quarterback of this team,” he said. “It’s on me.”

The Browns lost despite their highest scoring output since the second week of the 2007 season – a game Derek Anderson was named starter and scored 51 points.

This loss also came after it appeared the Browns had secured the win by running for a first down with 1:41 left. But officials reviewed the call and determined Carlos Hyde was short, which forced a punt that led to Carr’s game-tying drive.

“It had to be a heck of a review to turn that over on third down and short,” Mayfield said. “But any time you put it in somebody else’s hands, it’s not always gonna turn out your way.”

In his first start, Mayfield was 21-for-41 for 295 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He missed his third touchdown pass by 1 yard as Callaway was just pushed out of bounds at the end of the 59-yard play. That would have made Mayfield the first quarterback taken first overall to throw three touchdown passes in his first NFL start.



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Doug Marrone of Jacksonville Jaguars on two-point conversion attempt


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said there was no animosity toward the New York Jets when he decided to go for two points instead of kicking a PAT after a touchdown in the final seconds of Jacksonville’s 31-12 victory over New York on Sunday.

Marrone said several players were dealing with minor injuries and the strategy chart recommended he go for two points to extend the Jaguars’ lead to 21 points after T.J. Yeldon‘s 1-yard touchdown run on fourth down with 25 seconds to play.

“We had a lot of guys banged up for the PAT/field goal [team], and on the chart it just said 19 [points],” Marrone said. “On the chart it says go for two. I’m one of those guys I never try to take anything for granted in an NFL game. Try to keep working those mechanics and doing it, so just went for two.

“… We’re not good enough to send a message right now.”

Quarterback Blake Bortles said he had no idea why Marrone chose to go for two — “I just work here,” he said jokingly — but defensive tackle Malik Jackson said he believes Marrone does have some hard feelings toward the Jets organization.

“He doesn’t like those guys,” Jackson said. “I don’t know what they did to him, but he doesn’t like them.”

If that’s the case, then it might stem from what happened at the end of the 2014 NFL season and the first month of 2015. Marrone had just finished his second season as coach of the Buffalo Bills when he exercised a clause in his contract and opted out of the final two seasons on Jan. 1, 2015.

Two days later he interviewed for the head-coaching job with the Jets, where he had spent four seasons (2002-05) as the offensive line coach. On the same day a story in the New York Daily News was critical of how Marrone conducted himself with the Bills. Various anonymous sources criticized the way he treated players, coaches, staffers and other people inside the organization. In addition, a former assistant coach under Marrone at Syracuse ripped him publicly on the radio.

Marrone did not get the Jets job. Instead it went to Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who is 21-31 in three-plus seasons.

Marrone was hired as the Jaguars’ offensive line coach/assistant head coach in 2015, and succeeded Gus Bradley as head coach in 2017. He guided the Jaguars to a 10-6 record and an appearance in the AFC title game and now has the Jaguars tied for the lead in the AFC South with a 3-1 record, the team’s best start to a season since 2007.

As for the two-point conversion try on Sunday — which failed when Bortles couldn’t connect with receiver Dede Westbrook — none of the Jets players or coaches had anything critical to say of Marrone’s decision.

Receiver Quincy Enunwa actually understood it and said it wasn’t classless.

“You know what? Step on their throats. That’s what I’d want us to do,” Enunwa said.

Classless?

“You know what, man? It’s football.” he said. “Where’s the class in football? At the end of the day, we try to be warriors and have all this war mentality. If that’s how we want to be, we can’t be upset when somebody does that. We want to be this macho stuff. They did it, and that’s what they did.

“If I were a head coach and I wanted to make a statement for [not] only this team, but the rest of the teams we’re playing, I’m going to let guys know we’re going to step on your throat. That’s what he did.”

Bowles said he wasn’t concerned about why Marrone chose to go for two.

“I don’t tell another guy how to coach his team,” he said. “If they run it, we have to defend it.”

Jets reporter Rich Cimini contributed to this report.



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Joe Staley, Dante Pettis of San Francisco 49ers exit game vs. Los Angeles Chargers with injuries


CARSON, Calif. — Already without Jimmy Garoppolo for the rest of the season because of a knee injury, the supporting cast for the 49ers’ new starting quarterback C.J. Beathard suffered multiple injuries in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Left tackle Joe Staley and wide receiver Dante Pettis both suffered first-half left knee injuries that initially left both questionable to return. But the Niners ruled out Staley and Pettis for the rest of the game as the third quarter began.

Staley suffered his injury with about nine minutes to go in the second quarter. On the third-down play, Beathard took a big hit that drove him into the back of Staley’s leg. Staley stayed down and received medical attention before he was able to walk to the sideline.

Just before halftime, Staley made his way to the locker room as veteran tackle Garry Gilliam replaced him with the starting offensive line.

That injury came after Pettis sustained an injury while returning a punt just two minutes into the game. Pettis caught a punt at San Francisco’s 17 and as he worked back, he was tackled by Chargers linebacker Jatavis Brown. Pettis came down awkwardly on the knee and needed assistance from the Niners staff to get to the sideline.



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