if Dallas slips up Sunday night against the Buccaneers, they could still win the NFC East

You can spend a good chunk of the NFL season trying Game Mens Shea Weber Jersey to figure out who you are. But by this point, if you want to do big things, you have to know who you are. The Giants know.

“Our mindset is to stop the opponent, to not let them score,” said Landon Collins, the second-year safety who’s emerged as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate after a rough rookie season.

Perhaps Sunday’s performance will help Cooks feel a little better about his Limited Mens Roman Josi Jersey role in New Orleans’ offense, after he expressed his frustration following a zero-target game two weeks ago.

Unfortunately, that’s one of the most tangible positives that could really come from the Saints’ win on Sunday, since they were virtually eliminated from the playoffs following their 28-13 home loss to the Lions in Week 13 and a 16-11 loss at the Buccaneers in Week 14.

That maddening inconsistency has led to three straight years of mediocrity for the Saints, who went 7-9 in both 2014 and 2015.

And on Sunday, it was the defense’s turn to flash that inconsistency by allowing 34 points (another seven came off of a defensive score by Arizona) and 425 yards.

New Orleans’ defense did come up with a pair of huge turnovers, though — off of a forced fumble by defensive end Paul Kruger in the first half and a forced fumble by safety Vonn Bell in the second half — to help survive this back-and-forth “thriller” between two of the NFC’s most up-and-down teams.

Forsett is now in his second week with the Broncos, Derby in his sixth

Kansas City Chiefs: The loss of Derrick Johnson is a big one for Kansas City, and the effectiveness and mobility of DeMarco Murray and Marcus Mariota, respectively, should help Tennessee with ball control and not give up a lot of sacks. You’ll basically need Tyreek Hill to run one back (always a possibility) for the K.C. D to pay off.

“He’s been a nice addition to our team,” Kubiak said. ” … We need to continue to use him. He’s done a lot of good things in the game. He has to put the ball away and that type of thing. We need him and we need him making plays for us. I think he’s shown the ability to do that.”

Forsett is now in his second week with the Broncos, Derby in his sixth. Neither were in the plan when the Broncos exited summer, but with three games to play and a playoff spot in the balance, both players suddenly find themselves with plenty of responsibility.

Elizabeth is 3 years old now and still just 20 pounds. She can’t talk, but she has figured out how to communicate with a series of sounds and pointing. And she has just come out of another surgery, this one to take out her tonsils to try to help her sleep better.

In addition to the obvious, horrible burden of what something like this does to a young family, there was one aspect I had never considered. They feel eerily alone. Obviously it is very hard to find other families going through what they are, and by choice, they had not told very many people in their lives about Elizabeth’s condition, until now.

“You feel like you’re on an island sometimes, because we’ve been scared of sharing our story. We still want to be Brian and Ashley, you know? We don’t want people treating us differently.”

Which makes complete sense. But it also means even the most innocent conversation can cause pain.

He is satisfied that he played 18 NFL seasons and remained a productive player

A player has to be notably gifted, superior beyond even NFL standards to do that.

Woodson was.

He knew it. And he never tried to play the game with more thought than instinct. He said he never wanted to know too much about an opponent or know too much even about his own scheme. He played football, he said, relying on his skill and instincts. He let them guide him, lead him. That took him to great places. Great heights. Low places, too, like the Tom Brady-sack-that-wasn’t-Tuck-Rule 2001 AFC championship game and play that helped define Woodson.

He is satisfied that he played 18 NFL seasons and remained a productive player. He was not just hanging on until the end but still producing. Early in his career his teammates included Hall of Fame players Rod Woodson and Jerry Rice and Tim Brown. He played with superior cornerbacks Eric Allen and Albert Lewis. They never had long conversations about the game. They just watched each other and learned from each other.

San Francisco 49ers: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Lynch entered the draft following three very good years starting for a Memphis team that went from being poor to winning 19 games the last two seasons. Lynch is a tall and athletic passer who has considerably more potential than Goff. He’s not a perfectly refined passer at this point, but his tools and accuracy are too intriguing to pass up.

Miami Dolphins: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida
Miami doesn’t have a lot of talent at cornerback other than Brent Grimes, who will be 33 at the start of next season. Some consider Hargreaves the draft’s best cornerback. For the Dolphins, he could slide into the starting lineup straight away and provide an immediate upgrade to the pass defense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
It’s worth monitoring Alexander’s draft decision. He’s only a redshirt sophomore but could make a name for himself on a national stage in next week’s College Football Playoff Championship. Alexander’s instincts are impressive, and only overtaken by his athleticism.

Robles could be a star after playing well in Class A at 19

David Schoenfield’s take: The time is now for the Nationals, and if you can get Chris Sale, make it happen. Giolito was considered the top pitching prospect in the minors entering 2016, but he hasn’t dominated at the upper levels of the minors and was terrible in 21 innings with the Nationals (26 hits, seven home runs, more walks than K’s, and his fastball velocity averaged “just” 93.3 mph). His stuff has backed up, and the command of his fastball and curveball need improvement. Is he a future ace or mid-rotation starter? Robles could be a star after playing well in Class A at 19, but he’s likely two or three years away.

Mark Saxon’s take: Last season, 90 percent of Dyson’s plate appearances came against right-handed pitchers. If the Cardinals platoon Dyson with Tommy Pham in center field and move Randal Grichuk to left, they would still have a more dynamic fielding unit than they had in 2016, when Brandon Moss and Matt Holliday often were playing the outfield.

David Schoenfield’s take: Hey, the Mariners just acquired a pitcher who threw a no-hitter! What, you don’t remember Heston’s no-hitter against the Mets in 2015? He had a solid rookie season with the Giants that year, posting a 3.95 ERA while relying heavily on an upper-80s sinker. The Giants weren’t buying into him, however. They signed Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, and Heston pitched just five innings in the majors in 2016 and eventually went down to Triple-A with an oblique injury.

He’ll be something like the No. 6 starter for the Mariners and was attractive because he still has options left. This wouldn’t preclude Jerry Dipoto from considering another veteran starter, such as Doug Fister, or maybe another minor trade.

Toronto was desperate when it signed Ryan. The Yankees are not.

D’Qwell Jackson suspended 4 games for violating PED policy

The Indianapolis Colts have announced that linebacker D’Qwell Jackson will be suspended without pay for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

The Colts released a statement on Jackson’s suspension, saying it begins immediately.

The decision to release Gasser without charging him in McKnight’s death was met with widespread criticism. When details emerged of a previous road rage arrest on Gasser’s record, it raised more questions. According to Ramon Antonio Vargas of the New Orleans Advocate, Gasser was arrested in 2006 after a road rage altercation led him to assault a man in the very same intersection where he shot and killed McKnight.

Think about it. He slept in a room with Tom Brady posters during the summers of 2009 and 2010. After the first year of the “experiment,” Flacco went 1-1 against Brady’s Patriots, throwing for 264 yards and two touchdowns in a regular season loss while Brady passed for 258 yards and one touchdown. A few months later in the postseason, the Ravens came away with a 33-14 victory in New England with Brady recording just 154 yards on two touchdowns. Flacco threw for just 34 yards and no touchdowns, but maybe that was just to throw us off the trail. Maybe he had Space Jammed the power right out of Touchdown Tom and knew he had to hide it.

Beckham expressed his frustrations with the officiating during and after the game, at one point complaining his concerns about pass interference were brusquely dismissed.

Vikings’ playoff hopes could rest with their pass-rush

The Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback search of 2014 took them across the country, to meet with players in restaurants and hotel rooms, on practice fields and in front of whiteboards, as they joined a handful of other teams in what amounts to the NFL’s annual search for happily-ever-after by way of speed dating.

The Vikings took Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles out to dinner in Orlando following his pro day in March 2014, but by the end of the spring, their months-long search had put two names above Bortles’ and everyone else’s on their draft board: Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, followed closely by Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. The Jacksonville Jaguars, meanwhile, had become enamored enough with Bortles to spend the third overall pick on him and stake their future on the quarterback.

Two-and-a-half years later, as Bortles faces the Vikings for the first time in his career, it’s a logical moment for one of our periodic checks on the Class of 2014 — which, depending on how you look at it, can be characterized as anything from eclectic to enigmatic. Bortles, who has started every game for the Jaguars since Week 4 of 2014, threw 35 touchdown passes last season but leads the league in interceptions for the second straight season.

That’ll be a big storyline Thursday night when the 9-3 Chiefs face Carr and the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium with first place in the AFC West at stake: Will Carr’s futility against Kansas City continue?

“Every game is different, but you’re definitely more confident as you get more success.”

Carr is 1-4 against the Chiefs since becoming Oakland’s starting quarterback in 2014. The victory came in his first try and was his finest moment against Kansas City. On a Thursday night in Oakland, Carr led the Raiders on a 17-play, 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter and threw the winning touchdown pass with 1 minute, 42 seconds remaining in a 24-20 victory.

That’s been the extent of his success, however, and three of Kansas City’s four wins have come by at least 14 points.

“I just didn’t complete as many passes as I [wanted] to,’’ Carr said when asked about his performances against the Chiefs. “Just have to take care of the ball against them.

“It’s just how the games have went.”

But he indicated the Chiefs aren’t in his head.

Dan Campbell leaving the Dolphins after being passed over for head coaching gig

The Miami Dolphins have granted former interim head coach Dan Campbell his release, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Campbell interviewed for the team’s head coaching job, but the Dolphins instead elected to hire Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

Campbell was Miami’s No. 2 choice following an impressive interview, according to the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero, but the Dolphins were concerned about handing the team over to a man who had never been more than a tight ends coach.

On Saturday, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross spoke to the media about the Gase hiring and was asked whether Campbell is welcom to remain with the organization.

“I mean, that’s really up to Adam [Gase],” Ross said, via the Dolphins’ website. “I mean, I love Dan Campbell. He’s done a great job. I’d love to see him in the organization but Adam has really the free hand to hire his assistants. And the question is, he’ll probably meet with Dan, and he can tell you that, but I don’t think any conclusion [has been made]. But I think, the way we feel about Dan, as an organization, is fantastic.”

Hardy also caused various problems for the team off the field.

In his interview with KDFW 4, Mincey said that since his locker was right next to Hardy’s, he had an up-close view of this entire circus.

If there’s a tiebreaker between the two schools, it’s Martavis Bryant of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who was a fourth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft after three seasons at Clemson. He has provided some highlights of his own, including a ridiculous touchdown that helped the Steelers survive the Wild Card round against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Edelman, 29, last played in Week 10 for the Patriots, catching four passes for 53 yards against the New York Giants before leaving with the foot injury. The Patriots won that game 27-26 to improve to 9-0 on the year, but the team finished 3-4 in the seven games without Edelman including losses in the last two weeks that handed the No. 1 seed in the AFC to the Denver Broncos.

Crabtree remains on the injury report for the second week in a row because of his ankle

Michael Crabtree, Oakland Raiders, ankle, (Q): Crabtree remains on the injury report for the second week in a row because of his ankle. He played last week after being limited in practice daily and was on the field for 88 percent of the team’s offensive snaps, leading the team in receptions while posting over 100 yards. It’s pretty safe to say he isn’t being held back because of the ankle. After another week of daily limited practices, Crabtree is expected to play against the Bills. It is a late game however (4:05 p.m. ET) so fantasy owners should verify his status before kickoff.

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts, back, (Q): Hilton returned to practice Wednesday after sitting out the Colts’ early practice this week with a back injury. On Thursday, the day of the team’s first formal injury report, Hilton was listed as limited, but he upgraded to full on Friday and Saturday. Despite the questionable tag, he is expected to play Monday night against the Jets.

Maybe it’s success in the passing game, maybe it’s lack of consistency in the run game, but either way, after last week I can’t imagine trusting Rawls as anything more than a flex play this week against the Panthers. Carolina has allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs since Week 2, is fifth against the run the past four weeks and has given up 100 total yards to opposing running backs just once since a Week 7 bye.

Until last week’s goose egg, Brandin Cooks hadn’t received fewer than five targets in a game since his rookie season. Expect him to rebound this week.

Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas, Saints: Thomas is easy. He’s as hot a wideout as there is in the NFL in a good matchup, but Cooks is a gut call. After last week’s zero-reception debacle for Cooks, I expect Drew Brees to force-feed him the ball (and the Lions not to make the same mistake the Rams did, bringing double-coverage to Cooks every play and leaving many other players exposed).

There’s a zillion great stats that show how awesome Brees is at home fantasy-wise, so here’s just one: He’s averaging 27.6 percent more yards per pass attempt at home this year than on the road. In the four home games since their Week 5 bye, Cooks and Thomas as a tandem have gained 604 yards and scored six touchdowns (that’s 75.5 yards and 0.8 touchdowns per player per game). To put that in perspective, if you extrapolate it over a 16-game season, each player would have 1,208 yards and 12 touchdowns. Yeah, you’re starting both guys.

Senior Bowl 2016 live stream: How to watch NFL draft prospects online

The 2016 Senior Bowl will host some of the nation’s best draft-eligible college football players, coached by the entire staffs of the Dallas Cowboys (North) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (South). Representatives from all 32 NFL teams will be in attendance to study the players who could end up on their draft boards in April.

Each coach and team also brings their training, video and equipment staffs to give players a comprehensive experience ahead of their NFL journey. The Senior Bowl has been played since 1950, with over 500 NFL players having first competed in this contest.

The teams are split mostly by conference, with all players from the SEC and most from the Big 12 on the South team, and most Big Ten and Pac-12 players on Team North. The rest of the conferences are split between the two teams, with each roster holding 55 players — Ohio State leads the North and Alabama leads the South, with both schools represented by five players.

Quarterbacks are a big draw in this year’s NFL Draft, and several are looking for their chance to impress scouts at Saturday’s game. For the North, Carson Wentz (North Dakota State), Cody Kessler (USC), Kevin Hogan (Stanford) and Jeff Driskel (Louisiana Tech) will take the snaps, and Dak Prescott (Mississippi State), Jake Coker (Alabama), Jacoby Brissett (NC State) and Brandon Allen (Arkansas) will line up under center for the South.

There is a lot of potential first-round talent in this year’s Senior Bowl, but people with big upsides could end up falling short by the end of the weekend. In addition to their on-field performance, scouts and team executives had the chance to interview players and get a better feel of who could be a good fit for their organization.

Charles Woodson’s days as an Oakland Raider might be finished, but he still has one more game left to play in an NFL uniform. The retiring 39-year-old defensive back is likely to become the 12th Hall of Famer in the Super Bowl Era to have the Pro Bowl be the final game of his career. In a surprising twist, Woodson was the final pick of the draft by Team Rice, giving new meaning to the term “Mr. Irrelevant.”

There might not be a more enticing potential mano a mano battle than the one between Team Irvin’s Richard Sherman and Team Rice’s Odell Beckham Jr. Sherman received the third-highest grade among cornerbacks at Pro Football Focus, and is the best cover guy in the Pro Bowl. Hopefully he’ll be matched up against Beckham, who delivered another stellar campaign with 1,450 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.

The Miami Dolphins released wide receiver Brandon Gibson on Friday

“I know Ray and Brian want to get together,” Linta said. “Ray is very busy. I’m sure Ray will find the time between now and the start of free agency. Once those two get together we can move forward. Brian definitely knows how the coaching staff feels.”
When asked whether Hoyer wanted to come back, Linta noted only that Hoyer “is excited about the possibility of staying” in Cleveland.

Hoyer had a strong start to the 2014 season in leading the Browns to a 7-4 record, but really struggled down the stretch. He threw nine interceptions and completed less than 50 percent of his passes in his final five games as Cleveland finished with a losing record (7-9) for the seventh straight year.

Even with his solid numbers over the first few months, Hoyer finished the season among the league’s worst signal callers, and his stats were eerily similar to McCown’s. His passer rating (76.5) ranked just ahead of the former Bucs quarterback, while his completion percentage (55.3 percent) was slightly lower.

Whether McCown represents an upgrade over Hoyer is unclear, but what is certain is that the Browns once again are searching for a quarterback to lead the team in 2015.

The Miami Dolphins released wide receiver Brandon Gibson on Friday, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Gibson was owed almost $3.5 million in 2015, and though at one point he was considered an up-and-comer, he struggled last season.

Washington, the team that just signed defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois on Thursday, made a couple big cuts in that area on Friday. They released defensive linemen Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen on Friday, which saves them nearly $10 million in cap space for the 2015 season, according to John Keim of ESPN.

Bowen saved the team $5.5 million on his own. Both Cofield and Bowen have been effective at times, and at one point were anchoring what was considered a deeply talented defensive line. But injuries wrecked said line, and Washington is content to part ways with these two to make room for Jean-Francois, who should now step into a starting role.