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Arizona Cardinals push NFL start time changes to help body clocks – Arizona Cardinals Blog



TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals will face both the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers on the field this season.

But off of it, the three teams have come together in an effort to help their schedules.

The teams submitted a proposal to the NFL bylaws ahead of next week’s owners meetings that would prevent teams from playing more than three games “with a scheduled kickoff time prior to 1 p.m. in the time zone of their home stadium.” For the NFL schedule to require a team to play more than three games before 1, the team would have to give permission.

This season the Cardinals could have four road games starting at either 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. in Arizona: at Green Bay, Minnesota, Kansas City and Atlanta. Because the state doesn’t observe daylight saving time, Arizona will be two hours behind Central Time and three behind Eastern Time until Nov. 4. After that, Arizona will be an hour behind Central and two behind Eastern.

According to the formal proposal, the effect of playing games before 1 p.m. Arizona time can “reduce the competitive equity that exists between teams who have morning body clock start times on long road trips.”

If the proposal passes — it will be voted on next week by team representatives at the owners meeting in Orlando, Florida — the Cardinals could have at least one of their games in the Central or Eastern time zone start in the 4 p.m. ET time slot.

According to the NFL, road teams with long trips that play in the early time slot on Sundays see their win rate reduced from 45.2 percent to 33.5 percent.

Last season, the Cardinals played six road games that started before 1 p.m. in Arizona — including their game in London, which was played at 10 a.m. Arizona time. They went 1-5.

By comparison, the Seattle Seahawks played all five of last season’s games in Central or Eastern time after 1 p.m. Pacific time. They went 2-3.

In 2016, Arizona went 0-4 in games that started earlier than 1 p.m. in Arizona and 0-1 in road games in Eastern Time that started after 1 p.m. in Arizona.

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Green Bay Packers LB Christian Kirksey out at least one game, source says



GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Packers will be without Christian Kirksey for at least a game and possibly longer, sources told ESPN after the starting linebacker suffered a shoulder injury in Sunday’s win over the New Orleans Saints.

A source said the injury is not considered season ending, and although Kirksey is awaiting a second opinion, surgery likely will be avoided.

The best-case scenario is that Kirksey will miss next Monday night’s game against Atlanta and then return after the Packers’ Week 5 bye to play at Tampa Bay on Oct. 18.

However, injured reserve is a possibility, meaning Kirksey would be unavailable for at least three weeks.

The Packers signed the former Cleveland Browns starter to a two-year, $13 million contract in March to replace Blake Martinez, who signed with the New York Giants in free agency. Kirksey played every snap in the first two games and until he got hurt on the 17th defensive play against the Saints.

Kirksey missed all but the first two games last season because of a broken collarbone and played in just seven games in 2018 while missing time because of hamstring, ankle and shoulder injuries.

The injury means the Packers will be without their two preferred starters at inside linebacker. They lost rookie fifth-round pick Kamal Martin, a projected starter, to a knee injury in training camp. Martin was expected to miss at least the first six weeks of the season. Undrafted rookie Krys Barnes, out of UCLA, has filled in for Martin, but Kirksey’s shoes may be tougher to fill because he’s the defensive signal caller.

Second-year pro Ty Summers, who had not played a snap on defense before Sunday, took over for Kirksey against the Saints and played the final 44 snaps. He wore the speaker helmet, taking the playcalls from defensive coordinator Mike Pettine and relaying them in the huddle. The speedy Summers, a seventh-round pick in 2019 who had played only on special teams in his first season-plus, led the Packers with nine tackles. The team reported no communication issues with Summers in charge.

“Ty stepped up,” said Packers defensive tackle Kingsley Keke, who had two sacks against the Saints. “At practice, you can tell he’s dialed in, he’s locked in. I know he prepared well at practice, you know, it’s going to happen into the game. Kirksey went down and Ty stepped in and made some key plays for us. So it’s all about trusting each other and keep building.”

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More proof Bills’ Josh Allen is an MVP candidate? Third-and-22 conversion – Buffalo Bills Blog



ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — To think it all started with a miscommunication.

In Week 1 of the 2019 season, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw receiver Cole Beasley a pass he wasn’t expecting. Determined not to let that happen again, they discussed the route ad nauseam afterward. That paid off in Sunday’s wild 35-32 win against the Los Angeles Rams.

Allen found Beasley for a first down on third-and-22 during the fourth quarter. It was perhaps the team’s biggest play of the young season after Los Angeles roared back from a 28-3 deficit to take the lead. At the very least, it was one of two plays on Buffalo’s go-ahead drive that saved what was nearly a historic collapse.

“Honestly, it just turned into some backyard ball. Me and Cole have talked about this route many a time,” Allen said. “Cole found a spot in the middle [of the field], made a good catch, knifed upfield and got the first down. It was a huge play for us.”

Buffalo controlled the game for two-and-a-half quarters, leading by 25 midway through the third quarter. Los Angeles answered with 29 unanswered points to take the lead with just under three minutes to play.

Allen — who entered the game playing like an MVP candidate, with a league-high 727 passing yards and seven total TDs — needed a touchdown drive with his team trailing by four points. He found Beasley for a 19-yard gain on the first play of the go-ahead drive before taking a long sack. Two plays later, Allen rolled to his right and hit an open Beasley in the middle of the field.

“You never really know how a team is going to react. It’s those moments where we find out what we’re really made of,” Beasley said. “Because that’s tough, man, when you’re up 28-3, and they come back and take the lead from you with not much time left? That can deflate a team. But these guys are all dogs, and they don’t shy away from that. They’re all competitive as hell, and they fight to the finish.”

The other play that saved the Bills happened when Allen finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Kroft, giving Buffalo the lead for good. Allen finished with 311 passing yards and five touchdowns, including one on the ground. Through three games, he ranks second in the league in both passing yards and passing touchdowns, with 1,038 and 10.

Plays such as the long third-down conversion are a microcosm of what Allen brings to the field, especially late in games. His 10 game-winning drives since 2018 tie that of Houston’s Deshaun Watson for most in the NFL in that span.

“The guys play for him,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “Like all games, I’m sure there’s some plays he wants back, but at the end of the day, to come back in the NFL and win the game, that’s tough to do, and he’s now done it twice in the past two weeks. It just goes back to the ability to stay calm in critical moments of the game and have that winning mindset.”

The Bills will take that mindset and their three-game win streak into Week 4. They play Sunday at the Las Vegas Raiders (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).

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After victory, Matt Patricia keeps proper perspective, focuses on Detroit Lions ‘being consistent’



Facing criticism and questions about his job security, Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia won a game for the first time in 11 months on Sunday.

The Lions’ 26-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals, though, didn’t provide him with a sense of relief.

“I don’t ride the roller coaster. I just got to stay consistent,” Patricia said. “I think it’s hard to lead if you ride the roller coaster. I think it’s hard to exist in this world of competitive football if you ride that roller coaster. I think when you do that, you just try to hope it stops when you’re at the high point and not the down point.

“For us, it’s just about being consistent. It’s early in the season. We’re trying to get better. We’re trying to learn, you know. There’s a lot of plays in this game we’ve got to do better, so we’re going to go back to work and try to improve. That’s the bottom line. It’s the NFL. It’s every week.”

Patricia talked about similar things with his team in the week leading up to the game against Arizona after Detroit had double-digit leads against Chicago and Green Bay and lost them both. Not being affected by the ebbs and flows of a game was something multiple players and Patricia talked about.

Before the 2020 season, then-Lions owner Martha Ford and current Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp said they expected major improvement this season, including playing meaningful games in December.

When Hamp took over ownership in June, she said “major improvement is the goal.” Then the Lions started 0-2, losing in similar fashion to many of Detroit’s defeats in the first two seasons under Patricia.

Then, on Sunday, the Lions had a fourth-quarter comeback under Patricia for only the second time in his tenure, which now stands at 10-24-1. Detroit, meanwhile, had 11 fourth-quarter leads evaporate in two-plus seasons with Patricia at the helm.

After, though, Patricia deflected attention, instead focusing on what it meant for his players, who hadn’t won a game since an Oct. 27, 2019, win over the New York Giants. Patricia specifically mentioned the energy and joy he saw in the locker room after the win that made him happy for his team.

“Love to win. Love it. It’s great. It was awesome. Love it for the guys,” Patricia said. “But, you know, there’s a lot to learn from too. If you go into the approach that everything’s great, from that standpoint you’re missing a great opportunity to get better and to learn from what happened yesterday.

“And certainly in yesterday’s game we made the play at the end of the game to win, and give credit to the players, they are the ones who did it. But for coaches, we have to stay consistent and just try to give these guys every tool we can to get better each week.”

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