The play that sent the Broncos to the Super Bowl

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Manning-Brady 17 came down to one play. But Manning and Brady were only supporting actors Sunday to the Denver Broncos defensive show, so it’s only fitting that they made the difference on the final play of Denver’s 20-18 victory.

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Needing a two-point conversion to send another Brady-Manning classic to overtime, Tom Brady was immediately pressured by DeMarcus Ware Jerseys and Brandon Marshall Jerseys on the play. It was like so many of Brady’s dropbacks on Sunday. He didn’t have time to think, and the Broncos forced him into an uncomfortable decision while rolling to his right.

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Brady chose to throw across his body to Julian Edelman, the ball was tipped by Aqib Talib Jerseys, and ultimately picked off by Bradley Roby Jerseys. This has been an insanely good and deep Broncos defense all season. And they showed it again all day, harassing Brady into mistakes and making plays at every level. They recorded 20 (!) hits on Brady, the highest number we’ve ever seen. Stephen Gostkowski’s missed extra point ultimately meant the Patriots had to make one more play Sunday, and they couldn’t make it happen.

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“It was a tough day, man, a tough day,” Brady said after the game.


It’s a minor miracle that the Patriots were even in position to send the game to overtime. The season came down to one play three different times late Sunday afternoon, with Brady and Rob Gronkowski making the impossible happen twice to give the Patriots a chance.

Gronkowski, who looked hobbled, caught a 40-yard bomb nfl jerseys wholesale on fourth-and-10 on the Patriots’ final drive. Facing fourth-and-goal from the six-yard line, Brady threw a prayer up for grabs to the back of the end zone. Gronk fought off a defender and delivered. That’s why we were surprised Gronkowski wasn’t targeted on the final play.

Despite what the CBS broadcast said, Gronkowski was not double teamed on the two point conversion. Broncos safety Shiloh Keo Jerseys had him in single coverage and Gronkowski actually had some open ground to work with after Brady bought some time. But Brady was locked into Edelman on the play, and the Broncos defense did the rest.

Two of the best players in NFL history were on the field Sunday, but the Broncos defense made all the biggest plays. Including the last one.

Tony Romo: I’m fine with Cowboys drafting QB

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The Dallas Cowboys Jerseys have a few months to find answers at the quarterback position behind Tony Romo Jerseys. In Romo’s absence — due to a broken collarbone (twice) — this season, Brandon Weeden Jerseys, Matt Cassel Jerseys and Kellen Moore Jerseys combined for a 1-11 record.

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Though Jerry Jones has remarked that Moore is a viable No. 2 option, it might be wise for the Cowboys to look for Romo’s backup and eventual successor in the 2016 draft.

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Of course, the Cowboys have not drafted a quarterback since the 2009 draft when they selected Stephen McGee in the fourth round. Only four other quarterbacks have been drafted in the Jerry Jones’ era: Troy Aikman, Steve Walsh, Bill Musgrave and Quincy Carter.

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The Cowboys hold the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft.

Romo is not opposed to the idea of the Cowboys drafting a quarterback — permitting that player is the best available option.


We’re going to evaluate everybody and the organization is going to look at who to take and they’re going to take the best player,” Romo said per ESPN. “If the best player there is a quarterback, then that’s what our team needs. Our team needs good players.

“I’m just obviously a player on the football team and I don’t have to make those decisions, and I’m glad. My jobs is go out and get better and make sure this team wins next year. And I’m going to do everything in my power to ensure that.”

The Cowboys’ playoff hopes were dashed in mid-December. Had they made a playoff run, Romo admitted he would have made it a priority to return to the field.

“I would have figured out a way obviously to get back out there,” he said. “That’s what we play the game for, playing those games. It’s disappointing that we’re not in that part of it right now. Believe me we’re going to do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Hall of Fame Game cancelled because of unsafe field conditions

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Well, that’s one way to shorten the preseason.

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame game between the Green Bay Packers Jerseys Jerseys and Indianapolis Colts Jerseys Jerseys has been cancelled because of unsafe field conditions.

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View photos Saturday night’s Pro Football hall of Fame induction ceremony caused field problems, leading to cancel Sunday’s Hall of Fame Game (getty Images). More

The teams arrived at the stadium to find that the field was in terrible shape after Saturday night’s induction ceremony. Field workers worked furiously to try to get the field into playable condition, but both teams’ coaches feared that it was a major injury risk.

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[Yahoo Fantasy Football is open for the 2016 season. Sign up now]

The NFL and NFLPA issued a joint statement after the decision to cancel the game was made official:


“Due to safety concerns with the condition of the playing surface in Canton, tonight’s game between the Indianapolis Colts Jerseys Jerseys and Green Bay Packers Jerseys Jerseys has been cancelled.  We are very disappointed for our fans, but player safety is our primary concern, and as a result, we could not play an NFL game on this field tonight.”

The surface of Tom Benson Field, named after the New Orleans Saints Jerseys Jerseys owner, was extremely hard (“like concrete,” per an ESPN report) because the paint applied to the surface had gummed up into a tar-like surface. ESPN’s Lisa Salters reported that that wrong paint was used on the surface before the game.

Still, the cancellation came as a surprise to many. It’s not often that any NFL game, even one that doesn’t count, is called off.

Had no idea a cancellation was possible.. When it 1st got mentioned our entire locker room had the same reaction..

Pat McAfee Jerseys (@PatMcAfeeShow) August 7, 2016

Realizing the bad look of the whole situation, the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame decided to have both teams stay at the stadium and turn the event into a fan experience. Fans will be refunded their ticket costs. Still, it’s a major embarrassment for the game that annually kicks off the exhibition season.

The Hall of Fame Game was canceled in 2011 because of the ongoing lockout. The game also twice was cut short because of lightning concerns.

Packers Jerseys quarterback Aaron Rodgers Jerseys was not expected to play anyway, and both teams’ starters likely wouldn’t have had much more than a series in the 2016 preseason debut. Packers Jerseys head coach Mike McCarthy and Colts Jerseys head coach Chuck Pagano both expressed concerns about the state of the field, brought it up to game officials and monitored as the field crew tried to work on the surface before the game ultimately was canceled.

This was also scheduled to be the debut of Monday Night Football play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough, who replaced Mike Tirico in the offseason, for ESPN. Now the game goes down as a major waste of money for the network, plus that for the travel expenses of thousands of fans who came to Canton — including scores from Wisconsin — yes, mostly to watch the induction speeches of Brett Favre and Tony Dungy and others, but also watch a little NFL football for the first time in seven months.

People might not love the preseason in general, but this still is a bad look for the NFL.

– – – – – – –

Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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Brady Deflategate Supreme Court Appeal

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So what does Tom Brady Jerseys do now? The judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York City on Wednesday refused to reconsider a 2-1 decision made on April 25 that reinstated his four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate. The decision raises questions about Brady’s options and the effects of the decision on the coming NFL season. Here are some of the questions and their answers:

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What options does Brady have?

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Brady’s only option is the U.S. Supreme Court. If he is to avoid the four-game suspension, he must somehow convince four of the eight justices on the nation’s highest court that his plight is worthy of their consideration. And then he would need to convince five of them that the 2-1 decision against Brady was wrong and must be reversed.

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What are Brady’s chances in the Supreme Court?

His chances are not good. But if Brady has any hope, it’s thanks to his and the NFL Players Association’s decision to hire Ted Olson, one of the nation’s most successful and effective appellate lawyers. Olson led Brady’s effort to obtain rehearing in the 2nd Circuit, and his arguments were clearly a rehearsal for the trip to the Supreme Court. If anyone can transform a dispute about air pressure in footballs into a legal issue worthy of Supreme Court consideration, it is Olson.


So what will Olson argue?

He will argue, as he argued in the rehearing effort, that the 2-1 ruling could lead to the destruction of labor arbitration, a pillar of the American economy that must be preserved and can be saved only by a decision for Brady and against commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL. Brady and his team will say that, during the arbitration appeal process, Goodell unfairly moved the goalposts by punishing Brady not just for the original alleged crime (ball deflation), but by adding a second charge of misconduct stemming from Brady’s refusal to cooperate with NFL investigators and his destruction of his cell phone. That ability to add charges mid-arbitration, Olson will say, sets a dangerous precedent. Olson will also argue that the NFL violated Brady’s rights by refusing to give his lawyers access to the notes that NFL investigators took during the Wells investigation.

Does all the hoopla around the case affect its odds of being heard?

It’s uncertain, but Brady’s celebrity may be helpful in this quest. Even justices of the Supreme Court can be affected by the presence of the most recognizable player in the nation’s most popular sport.

Can Brady and his lawyer stop the suspension while they appeal to the Supreme Court?

Yes. Brady’s legal team is likely to file what is known as an “application for a stay.” A stay would preserve Brady’s right to play while the Supreme Court decides what to do with his case. The request for a stay can be filed anytime before the season begins Sept. 11. Under the rules of the Supreme Court, the request must include assertions that there is a “reasonable probability” that four justices will vote to accept the case for consideration, that there is a “fair prospect” that five justices will support Brady in the ultimate decision, and that “irreparable harm” will result if there is no stay. It’s a stiff set of requirements, but it is far from impossible. Brady has already had more support from judges than most experts expected.

Who decides whether to grant a stay to Brady?

It’s a two-step process. Brady’s lawyers must first present their application to the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, according to William Baude, a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School who studies federal courts and who served as a clerk to John Roberts, the chief justice of the Supreme Court. The judges of this court, having already made their 2-1 decision against Brady and then refused his request for reconsideration, are unlikely to grant a stay.

The next step is to apply to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the high court. She catches any requests for stays in cases that come to the high court from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. She can decide the issue herself. She could quickly deny it, or she may ask the NFL for a response to Brady’s application for a stay, an action that would be highly encouraging for Brady. Her decision would then be based on legal briefs submitted by Brady and by the NFL. There would be no hearing in open court. If Ginsburg senses that other justices want to be involved in the decision on the stay, she can refer the issue to the other seven justices. “The justices are most collegial on these issues,” says Jonathan Massey, a highly regarded appellate lawyer who is representing Ed O’Bannon in his attempt to obtain consideration from the Supreme Court in his case against the NCAA. “They will not consider something alone if they know other justices are interested.” If Ginsburg sends the case to the full court, Brady would need five votes to obtain the stay.

Would this decision likely be made before the season begins?

Yes, the justices make decisions on stays quickly and efficiently. Brady’s lawyers will explain to the court that a decision on a stay must be made before Week 1, when the suspension begins, or else the case will be moot. “The court makes these rulings expeditiously,” attorney Massey said. “They will know that they must rule before the first game.”

When would the justices decide on whether to hear the case?

Brady’s request for Supreme Court consideration, known as a “petition for certiorari,” must be filed by Oct. 11. The NFL must file its reply within 35 days of the filing of Brady’s petition. A decision on whether to accept the case for consideration would then be likely around the end of the NFL regular season or after the first of the year.

So is it possible that Brady’s suspension could be stayed for now — allowing him to play in Weeks 1-4 — but if the court ultimately declines to hear his case, he could be forced to miss key games late in the season?

It is possible, but unlikely. On a case as high-profile as this, Ginsburg is unlikely to issue a stay without the support of her colleagues. In other words, a stay points toward the Supreme Court likely agreeing to accept the case for a decision on all of the issues raised in the litigation.

If the court does decide to take Brady’s case, then, would he be able to play the whole season?

Yes. Filing the necessary briefs, scheduling the oral arguments and preparing a decision with concurring opinions and dissents is a process that is likely to continue well into 2017. If Brady succeeds in obtaining a stay — and then a decision to have his case heard — he will succeed in playing the entire season while the nation’s highest tribunal ponders the air pressure of footballs.

Shaun Draughn signs one-year deal with 49ers

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Shaun Draughn Jerseys left a good impression on the San Francisco 49er Jerseyss, so much so that the team has decided to bring him back aboard.
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The Niners announced on Wednesday that they have re-signed the running back to a one-year deal.

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“Shaun did a heck of a job for us last year despite joining the team in the middle of the season,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “He certainly earned the respect of everyone in our organization for the way he handled himself, both on and off the field, and we are excited to have him back.”


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San Francisco signed Draughn as a free agent after he was released by the Cleveland Browns Jerseys in October. He started six games for the 49ers last season and rushed for 263 yards on 76 carries before being placed on injured reserve because of a knee injury.

In limited action with the Niners, Draughn proved to be a serviceable player in the backfield. In his sixth season he likely will be the team’s No. 2 running back behind Carlos Hyde Jerseys.