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ESPN adds Kirk Herbstreit to NFL draft coverage, replacing Jon Gruden

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Kirk Herbstreit will take Jon Gruden’s place for ESPN’s coverage of the NFL draft.

ESPN announced Thursday that Herbstreit will be part of the opening-night coverage of the first round in prime time on April 26 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Herbstreit will be joined by host Trey Wingo, draft analyst Mel Kiper and NFL analyst Louis Riddick.

The second and third rounds will be held April 27, and rounds 4-7 are April 28.

Herbstreit is the lead analyst for ESPN’s Saturday Night College Football and College GameDay.

Gruden left his job as an analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football in January to return as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Gruden joined ESPN in 2009 and has been part of draft coverage since 2010.

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Bills QB Josh Allen posts career highs for second straight week

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Playing without their two starting linebackers, the Buffalo Bills needed the offense to carry the load Sunday against the Miami Dolphins — and Josh Allen delivered.

The third-year quarterback threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns, both career highs, in what might be the best game of his career. After recording his first 300-yard game against the Jets in Week 1, Allen completed 69% of his passes to eight different receivers in the Bills’ 31-28 win.

Allen started hot, throwing for 249 yards and two scores in the first half as the Bills built a 17-10 lead. But they started slowly in the second half as Miami roared back to take a 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter. Allen responded to Buffalo’s first deficit of the season by completing 6 of 8 passes for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns over his next two drives to ice the game.

“He’s got ice water in his veins, man,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “There’s no moment too big for him. That was true from the very start when we got him here, quite honestly.”

In the process, Allen became both the first Bills player to throw for 400 yards and four touchdowns in a single game without an interception, and also the first Bills player to throw for 300 yards, at least two scores and zero interceptions, in consecutive games, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

He also joined Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for at least 700 yards and six touchdowns without an interception in the first two weeks of a season, according to Pro Football Reference.

Allen credited offensive coordinator Brian Daboll for calling the plays that put him in position to succeed and his teammates for executing on their end.

But he has also looked and felt more comfortable than ever now in his third year in Daboll’s system.

“I feel like I’ve always played with a lot of confidence,” Allen said, “but as far as knowing our playbook, knowing protections … the comfortability of the offense, it’s really good right now.”

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How the Dallas Cowboys’ rallying win ranks among the most improbable comebacks of the past 20 seasons

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It’s not often that you see a comeback like the one the Dallas Cowboys pulled off Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Down 29-10 at halftime, the Cowboys scored 30 points in the second half to take a 40-39 victory. Along the way, they worked past deficits of 39-24 midway through the fourth quarter and 39-30 at the 4:57 mark with only one timeout left.

The rally wouldn’t have been complete without a recovered onside kick with 1:48 remaining, after the Falcons inexplicably failed to fall on the ball. Greg Zuerlein‘s 46-yard field goal on the final play won it.

How unusual was it? ESPN’s win probability model identifies only 10 other games in the past 20 seasons in which the victor had a lower win probability during the game. Late in the second quarter, in fact, the Cowboys had a 0.1% chance to win.

Here’s a quick look at the previous instances, in order of lowest win probability. Randomly, two of the games heavily involve place-kicker Matt Prater. The model includes all games since the start of the 2001 season.

When: Week 9, 2016 season

Relevant deficit: Vikings took a 16-13 lead with 23 seconds left

What happened: With no timeouts, the Lions completed two passes and gained a total of 35 yards. Quarterback Matthew Stafford spiked the ball two seconds left, and Matt Prater hit a 58-yard field goal to tie the game. The Lions won in overtime on a first-possession touchdown.


When: Week 14, 2018 season

Relevant deficit: Patriots took a 33-28 lead with 16 seconds left

What happened: The Miami Miracle, of course. The Dolphins got one play from their 31-yard line. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw a 14-yard pass to wide receiver Kenny Stills, who lateraled to wideout DeVante Parker, who lateraled to running back Kenyan Drake, who sprinted 52 yards for the winning touchdown.


When: Week 14, 2011 season

Relevant deficit: Bears took a 10-0 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter and held that lead until the 5-minute mark in the game

What happened: Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow went 7-for-7 on the Denver’s next possession, the final throw a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. The Bears went three-and-out, then Tebow led a second scoring drive that ended in Matt Prater’s 59-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining. The Broncos won it on Prater’s 51-yard field goal in overtime.


When: Week 4, 2001 season

Relevant deficit: Eagles took a 20-14 lead with 1:13 remaining

What happened: Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer got his team to the Eagles’ 35-yard line but faced fourth-and-10 with 17 seconds remaining. Plummer tossed a jump ball to wide receiver Marty Jenkins, who had posted up Eagles cornerback Troy Vincent — yes, that Troy Vincent — at the 2-yard line. Jenkins caught the ball, ran around Vincent and jumped into the end zone for the win.


When: 2017 divisional playoff round

Relevant deficit: Saints took a 24-23 lead with 25 seconds left

What happened: The Minneapolis Miracle, naturally. On third-and-10 from the Vikings’ 39-yard line quarterback, Case Keenum found wideout Stefon Diggs on the right sideline. Saints safety Marcus Williams missed the tackle, and Diggs sprinted into the end zone for a walk-off touchdown.


When: Week 1, 2015 season

Relevant deficit: Giants took a 26-20 lead with 1:34 remaining

What happened: With no timeouts, the Cowboys drove 72 yards on six plays for the winning score. Facing third-and-2 at the Giants’ 11-yard line with 13 seconds left, center Travis Frederick sent a low snap to quarterback Tony Romo. But Romo grabbed the ball off the ground and threw the winning touchdown pass to tight end Jason Witten.


When: Week 13, 2009 season

Relevant deficit: Washington took a 30-20 lead at home with 12:51 remaining

What happened: The Saints scored 10 points in the final 6:52, including a 53-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Robert Meachem with 1:19 left. The Saints had a chance to win in regulation after intercepting Washington quarterback Jason Campbell, but place-kicker Garrett Hartley missed a 58-yard field goal attempt. Hartley, however, won the game with an 18-yard field goal in overtime.


When: Week 1, 2009 season

Relevant deficit: Bengals took a 7-6 lead with 38 seconds left

What happened: With the Broncos facing second down from their own 13-yard line, quarterback Kyle Orton targeted wideout Brandon Marshall near the sideline at about midfield. The pass was tipped, but Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley grabbed it out of the air and sprinted to the end zone for the winning score.


When: Week 13, 2015 season

Relevant deficit: Lions took a 23-14 lead with 7:06 remaining (and still led 23-21 with six seconds to play)

What happened: With six seconds left, the Packers faced a third-and-10 from their 21-yard line. They tried a multi-lateral play, and Lions defensive end Devin Taylor tackled quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the 24-yard line to end the game. Or so everyone thought. Officials called Taylor for grabbing Rodgers’ face mask, not only giving the Packers another play but also moving the ball up 15 yards and into Rodgers’ range for a Hail Mary. Rodgers then won the game on a 61-yard Hail Mary throw to tight end Richard Rodgers.


When: Week 15, 2005 season

Relevant deficit: Chargers took a 12-10 lead with 1:52 remaining

What happened: The Lions took over at their 19-yard line with no timeouts remaining. The big play was converting a fourth-and-17 at their own 24-yard line on a 40-yard pass from quarterback Joey Harrington to receiver Roy Williams. A 15-yard pass to Williams on third-and-10 put Jason Hanson in position to kick a 39-yard winning field goal.

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Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf connect on 54-yard TD

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SEATTLE — DK Metcalf scored a game-changing touchdown in the Seattle Seahawks‘ season opener last week, when he blew by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Isaiah Oliver on a fourth-and-3 play.

The victim on Metcalf’s second touchdown of the season Sunday was the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

The Seahawks’ second-year wide receiver showed that he has strength to go with his blazing speed when he fought through contact from Gilmore to haul in an over-the-shoulder throw from quarterback Russell Wilson, leading to a 54-yard touchdown.

The play tied the Seahawks-Patriots matchup at 14 midway through the second quarter. According to ESPN Stats & Information, that was the first touchdown Gilmore has allowed as the nearest defender in coverage since 2018. Last season, Gilmore had a league-high 96 targets without allowing a TD.

Gilmore has been shadowing Metcalf for much of the game’s first half.



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