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Jon Brown makes first kick — at any level — for the Jaguars

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Jon Brown‘s chip-shot field goal made NFL history on Sunday.

Brown’s 31-yarder late in the first quarter against Detroit made the Jaguars the first team since the merger in 1970 to have a different player attempt a field goal or PAT in five consecutive games, per Elias Sports. They’re also just the fifth NFL team since the merger to have five players attempt a field goal or PAT in a single season.

This was also Brown’s first kick in a game at any level. Brown played soccer in high school and earned a scholarship in that sport at Kentucky. He walked on as a football player at Louisville. He was a kickoff specialist and never attempted a PAT or field goal for the Cardinals. He has spent time with Cincinnati and San Francisco after going undrafted in 2016 but never had an attempt in a game.

Brown had another field goal attempt in the second quarter but pushed a 32-yard attempt right and it hit the top of the upright and bounced off.

The Jaguars are on their fifth kicker because of injuries. Josh Lambo, who has made 74 of 78 field goal attempts (including 11 of 12 from 50 yards or longer) since joining the team during the 2017 season, suffered a hip injury in Week 2 and has been on injured reserve ever since. The team elevated Brandon Wright from the practice squad, and he made 1 of 2 PATs against Miami in Week 3 but injured his groin during the game. The Jaguars signed Stephen Hauschka and Aldrick Rosas the next week, but Hauschka was unable to play because of knee soreness so Rosas kicked against Cincinnati in Week 4. He made 4 of 5 field goal attempts and his only PAT attempt. Rosas, however, injured his hip and groin during the game and was placed on the practice squad injured list. Hauschka played in last week’s loss at Houston and missed a 24-yard attempt wide left and came up short on a 49-yard attempt. He was released last Monday and the team elevated Brown from the practice squad.



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Jalen Hurts offers promise in Eagles’ loss to Ravens – Philadelphia Eagles Blog

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PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles need to give quarterback Jalen Hurts a bigger role.

That has become increasingly obvious over the past several weeks, and was crystallized in Sunday’s 30-28 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. An Eagles offense that was ineffective for long stretches sprang to life on the handful of plays Hurts was inserted into the lineup.

Philadelphia generated 109 yards on six plays out of two-quarterback looks (18.0 average), compared to 255 yards on the other 58 snaps (4.4 average). Hurts totaled 26 yards on three touches and gave the Ravens a little something extra to think about when he wasn’t involved on the play, including on Miles Sanders‘ 74-yard run that resulted in a JJ Arcega-Whiteside touchdown.

The idea that Carson Wentz should be benched in favor of Hurts should be put on ice for now. Wentz nearly rallied a decimated offense back from a 16-point, fourth-quarter deficit, throwing for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Not to mention, the Eagles are tied to Wentz financially after giving him a four-year, $128 million extension last summer. Sitting him is a move that would be very hard to come back from.

What Wentz needs are playmakers who will loosen defenses up and make life easier while he operates behind an unrecognizable offensive line and with a makeshift supporting cast. Hurts at the very least offers that.

Troubling trend: The injuries continue to mount at an alarming rate. Sanders (knee) did not return following his long third-quarter run. Tight end Zach Ertz was knocked out of the game with an ankle injury in the second half, and rookie right tackle Jack Driscoll (ankle) exited on a cart in the fourth quarter. Wentz and center Jason Kelce were the only original starters on offense still on the field by game’s end.

Eye-popping stat: The Eagles ended the first quarter with 10 yards of offense on 11 plays, their lowest total in a quarter in the past two seasons.

Silver lining: Wide receiver Travis Fulgham continues to produce. He followed up his 10-catch, 152-yard performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers by grabbing six catches for 75 yards with a touchdown Sunday. The 2019 sixth-round pick of the Detroit Lions has 18 catches, 284 yards and three touchdowns in three games with the Eagles.

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Philip Rivers leads Colts back from 21-point hole to go into bye at 4-2 – Indianapolis Colts Blog

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts, especially quarterback Philip Rivers, were in a position where the odds were staggering against them.

With a start when everything went wrong, the Colts found themselves in a 21-0 hole. The Bengals’ chances to win early in the second quarter was as high as 92.8%, per ESPN metrics. Rivers was 2-18 as a starter when his team trailed by 21 points or more.

Percentages didn’t matter on this day, though.

Rivers led the Colts from 21 points back in their 31-27 victory over Cincinnati to head into the bye week with a 4-2 record. Sunday’s victory marked the seventh time in franchise history that the Colts have come from 20 points down to win.

The last time the Colts did that was when Andrew Luck led them from 28 points down in the third quarter of the AFC wild-card playoff game against Kansas City in January 2014.

Luck is off enjoying retirement, but Rivers turned back the clock by leading the comeback Sunday. The veteran had his best performance as a Colt, going 29-of-44 for 371 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

Rivers, who went into Sunday with more interceptions than touchdowns, was at his best in the second quarter when the Colts were getting blown out.

He threw for 235 yards in the second quarter to help get the Colts back in the game. The 235 yards were the third most in any quarter in franchise history, behind just Peyton Manning’s 247 yards in 2004 and Dan Orlovsky’s 240 yards in 2011.

Rookie Julian Blackmon sealed the Colts come-from-behind victory when he intercepted fellow rookie Joe Burrow in Indianapolis territory with less than two minutes left in the game.

Going into the bye with a 4-2 record is a lot better than being 3-3 when you consider the Colts just got through the softer part of their schedule.

Things will get tougher for them once they return from the bye. The Colts still have games against Baltimore (4-1), Green Bay (4-0), Pittsburgh (5-0) and Tennessee (5-0) remaining on their schedule.

Troubling trend: Third-down defense remains an issue for the Colts. Burrow had very little issue picking apart the Colts defense on third down. Cincinnati was 8-of-17 on third down. Going back to their Week 5 game at Cleveland, the past two opponents are a combined 18-of-34 on third down. The Colts continue to remain near the top of the statistics when it comes to many defensive categories, but their struggles to get off the field on third down will have to change when the schedule flips on them after the bye.

Buy on a breakout performance: Receiver Marcus Johnson put on the type of performance that should make it tough for the Colts to send him back to the practice squad. Johnson, who has shuffled back and forth from the practice squad most of the season, was the Colts’ No. 1 receiver against the Bengals, catching five passes for 108 yards. Depth at receiver has been issue all season for the Colts, as Parris Campbell (knee) and Michael Pittman Jr. (calf) are both out with injuries. But even when they do return — Campbell’s return is up in the air — Johnson continues to show that he deserves a spot on the weekly active roster.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquire starting New York Jets nose tackle Steve McLendon

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Shortly after falling to 0-6, the New York Jets finalized a trade Sunday night that sends starting nose tackle Steve McLendon — a captain — to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a source confirmed.

The Jets will receive a 2022 sixth-round draft pick in exchange for McLendon and a 2023 seventh-round pick.

The move was surprising because of the timing. McLendon played 24 out of 56 defensive snaps in the Jets’ 24-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins. About 90 minutes after the game, the Tampa Bay Times reported the trade.

The Bucs had a need for a veteran replacement for 347-pound nose tackle Vita Vea, who suffered a broken ankle last week against the Chicago Bears and is done of the season. Bowles’ defense relies heavily on interior pressure, and Vea would frequently occupy double-teams, allowing blitzers to rush unblocked. Vea also played a key role in the Bucs’ top-rated run defense.

McLendon will be reunited with former Jets coach Todd Bowles, the Bucs’ defensive coordinator. McLendon, 34, is known as a positive locker-room presence and a stout run-stuffer on first and second downs.

McLendon wasn’t a big name for the Jets, but he was one of the most respected players on the team. In less than a week, they have jettisoned two of their most experienced players — McLendon and running back Le’Veon Bell, who was cut and wound up signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Jets are in rebuilding mode, and this trade will create playing time for backup Folorunso Fatukasi, who has impressed at times in limited action.

In six games, McLendon recorded 14 tackles for the Jets, who signed him as a free agent in 2016. He spent his first six seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, compiling 90 tackles and five sacks.

He signed a one-year contract extension with the Jets late last season, which is paying him $1.25 million in base salary in 2020.

Information from ESPN’s Jenna Laine was used in this report.

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