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Vic Fangio’s puzzling clock management in Broncos’ loss was tied to Titans’ kicking struggles

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Vic Fangio's puzzling clock management in Broncos' loss was tied to Titans' kicking struggles

The NFL viewing world lost its collective mind in the last couple of minutes of Monday night’s Broncos-Titans game, and it did so with good reason. With Tennessee driving and down one point, Denver coach Vic Fangio let the Titans milk the clock all the way down to 20 seconds without using any of his three timeouts. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski sealed a 16-14 win with a 25-yard field goal.

Yet such a short field goal was as far from a sure bet as it gets in pro football, which is part of the reason Fangio defied clock-management logic in the closing minutes.

Gostkowski, the ex-New England kicker who signed with Tennessee as a free agent earlier this month to address the team’s issues at the position, was having the worst game of his career. The 15-year NFL veteran had missed three field goals and an extra point.

MORE: Week 2 NFL picks | Power rankings

“Their field goal kicker had obviously been having his problems, so I didn’t want to extend the drive to where they could get closer,” Fangio said after the game (via The Associated Press) when asked why he did not use any of his three timeouts to stop the clock and preserve time for the other side of the Titans’ drive.

Fangio then explained that he would have used a pair of timeouts late in the drive once the Broncos had reached the red zone, but the Titans stopped the clock for him with a run that went out of bounds and an incomplete pass.

That incompletion was notable, because it was a Ryan Tannehill pass to AJ Brown in the end zone. In a way, it vindicated Fangio’s thinking, because such an aggressive play call in that scenario made clear that the Titans did not want to put the game on Gostkowski’s cold foot.

Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel claimed he didn’t doubt Gostkowski when he sent the kicker on the field to attempt the game-winner, adding, “and (the Broncos) did, obviously, because they weren’t using their timeouts and they were banking on him missing.”

Vrabel’s faith was rewarded.

“I just got here and come out here and play like that? For the guys to still support me and still have my back was pretty good,” Gostkowski said. “That’s the cool thing about team sports — you win and lose as a team. A position like mine, everybody sees when you screw up.

“That’s why I was grateful for the opportunity at the end, because the guys deserved the win. We’re all pros here. We’ve all had our days. But the kicking position, you miss a couple of kicks, the camera follows you around, they talk about you the whole time, they watch you. It can get to a lonely spot. But you have to keep your head high and keep on going.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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The search for Dak Prescott-Jerry Jones drama is real

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The search for Dak Prescott-Jerry Jones drama is real

The contract drama between Dak Prescott and the Cowboys appeared to escalate on Tuesday morning during a Jerry Jones radio interview.

Jerry Jones was asked to compare the Chiefs to the Cowboys and in his winding response, the outspoken owner mentioned the elusiveness of Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Tony Romo. He also mentioned Prescott and the final play of the Cowboys’ 38-31 loss to the Seahawks, which was an interception by his quarterback.

Clarence Hill Jr., the respected Cowboys beat writer for the Star-Telegram, was the first to flag the comments and did so with disbelief, wondering if he heard “that correctly.” Some, including longtime Dallas sports columnist Tim Cowlishaw, don’t think Hill did.

Here is the audio from Jones from 105.3 FM, where he does a weekly interview that usually provides plenty of headlines:

Prescott and the Cowboys spent much of the offseason embroiled in long-term contract extension talks with Prescott playing under the franchise tag this season. Prescott, 27, has thrown for 1,188 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions through three games. The Cowboys are 1-2, but few could put the blame on Prescott.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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FanDuel Picks Week 4: NFL DFS lineup advice for daily fantasy football cash games

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FanDuel Picks Week 4: NFL DFS lineup advice for daily fantasy football cash games

Our FanDuel cash lineups are now three-for-three on the season. Each week so far, we’ve relied on a strong quarterback with at least one good pass-catcher to carry the day. This week, we’re going into the mid-tier QBs to take Joe Burrow in a super-friendly matchup.

WEEK 4 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

We also aren’t shying away from two of the chalkiest players on the slate, Alvin Kamara and Justin Jefferson. There’s enough reason to expect big games out of both that it makes more sense to have them in our lineup than out. 

WEEK 4 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

  • We just watched Ryan Fitzpatrick light up the Jaguars. Burrow is better than Fitzpatrick at throwing and also a faster runner who has better offensive weapons around him. Of the mid-priced QBs on this slate, Burrow is one of the safest for assured production.

  • Kamara will be one of the most popular players on this slate coming off a monster Sunday night game and now facing a subpar Lions defense. We’re going to go with the crowd on this one, though. Kamara has too many ways to beat this Detroit team, and Drew Brees can’t stop dumping the ball off to his dynamic back.

  • This doesn’t match up perfectly with the game flow we’d be suggesting by playing Burrow, but Robinson receives the ball well enough that he won’t come off the field if the Jags fall behind. This is more of a play based on how good Robinson has looked through three weeks. If he keeps it up he’ll be priced another $1K higher before too long.

  • Moore saw a decline in targets Week 3, but he combined for 22 targets across the season’s first two weeks and should see near double-digit targets again when the Panthers fall behind Kyler Murray and the Cardinals and need to play catch-up.

  • You can make the argument Tyler Boyd is the better cash game play, but while we’re taking a couple of very popular players, we’ll pay down ever so slightly for Green. He’s looked athletic and healthy in the early going, and Burrow has shown a willingness to throw him the football. Facing the Jaguars is the perfect matchup for him to break out this season.

  • We’ll have to make sure the Vikings do actually play this game, but if they do, Jefferson will be one of the highest-owned players on the slate after his 175 yards in Week 3. In a solid matchup, there’s no reason to fade the cheap Jefferson in cash games, so he’s in our lineup for now.

  • Andrews and the Ravens were awful on Monday Night Football against the Chiefs, but playing Washington should be good medicine. The Washington pass rush should force Jackson to look over the middle early for his trusty tight end.

  • Seeing Metcalf burn Stephon Gilmore a few weeks ago was all I needed to want to play him at every chance I get. A matchup with the Dolphins, who are due for some regression and now facing Russell Wilson, will not pose an obstacle for the physical freak that is Metcalf.

  • The Ravens must appreciate the matchup with Dwayne Haskins on tap after being torched by Patrick Mahomes. While some may go away from Baltimore after the bad day, we expect a huge bounce back against one of the worst offenses in the National Football League.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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What’s next for Titans, Vikings after COVID-19 outbreak

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What’s next for Titans, Vikings after COVID-19 outbreak

Like MLB, the NFL eschewed a bubble. So, like MLB, an inevitable outbreak has hit the NFL.

The Tennessee Titans have closed their facility after eight team members (three players, five personnel) tested positive for COVID-19, the league announced Tuesday. A league source told ESPN that the Titans will not be allowed to re-enter their practice facility until Saturday, putting Sunday’s game against the Steelers in Nashville in jeopardy. Another source told ESPN that the league identified 48 people who had close contact with the eight people who tested positive.

Unlike MLB teams, which have the ability to make up games via doubleheaders and daily play, it is unclear how the NFL would handle a postponed game. Currently, though, the Steelers are planning on the game kicking off as scheduled.

“We have been in contact with the NFL regarding the positive COVID-19 tests with the Tennessee Titans,” the Steelers said in a statement. “We have been informed to proceed with our game preparations for Sunday’s game until we are informed otherwise.”

The Vikings, who played the Titans two days ago, have shut their facility, too, but have not had any confirmed cases. Minnesota will not return to their facility until all test results have been processed. They are scheduled to play the Texans in Houston in Week 4.

“Still waiting to find out if this impacts our ability to practice,” a Vikings source told Josina Anderson. “If so, it becomes longer meetings and film study. Lot of verbal walkthroughs. But I can’t speculate right now as to whether we’re at a competitive disadvantage or if the game should be canceled.”

NFL players who test positive for COVID-19 and remain asymptomatic are permitted to return 10 days after the initial test or after two consecutive negative tests in a five-day period. Team members with symptoms cannot return until at least 10 days after the symptoms first appeared and at least 72 hours after symptoms are no longer present.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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