NFC South: AFC West

Countdown Live: 2013 NFL draft, Rds. 4-7

April, 27, 2013
4/27/13
10:00
AM ET
Join our ESPN.com NFL experts for Rounds 4-7 of the 2013 NFL draft.

Contribute your thoughts and questions beginning at noon ET. See you there.

Countdown Live: 2013 NFL draft, Rds. 2-3

April, 26, 2013
4/26/13
4:00
PM ET
Join our ESPN.com NFL experts for Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2013 NFL draft.

Contribute your thoughts and questions beginning at 6 p.m. ET. See you there.

Countdown Live: 2013 NFL draft, Round 1

April, 25, 2013
4/25/13
5:00
PM ET
Join our ESPN.com NFL experts for the first round of the 2013 NFL draft.

We'll be analyzing every pick from 1 to 32. We'll get started an hour early at 7 p.m. ET, so submit your questions and comments and we'll see you there.

Live: ESPN.com #bloggermock draft

April, 23, 2013
4/23/13
11:45
AM ET
Join our ESPN.com NFL experts as they play general manager for their divisions and execute a 2013 first-round mock draft.

Contribute your thoughts and questions beginning at noon ET. You can also participate via Twitter using the hashtag #bloggermock. See you there.

Superlatives on the Falcons

October, 15, 2012
10/15/12
11:13
AM ET
ATLANTA -- With some help from ESPN Stats & Information and the Falcons’ media relations department, let’s take a look at some statistical superlatives from Atlanta’s 23-20 victory against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday:


  • Quarterback Matt Ryan now has led game-winning drives in the fourth quarter in each of his past three games. Since his 2008 rookie season, Ryan leads the NFL with 19 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime. That’s three more game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime than any player in his first five seasons since 1966. Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning and Jake Plummer are tied for second with 16.
  • This is more of a lowlight than a highlight, but Ryan had only the second three-interception game of his career. He has six interceptions in his last four games.
  • Ryan is now 9-1 at home against AFC teams. His lone loss came against Denver in 2008.
  • Ryan and Roddy White connected on their 38th receiving touchdown. That’s the most by any quarterback-receiver due since 2008.
  • Ryan was 12-of-22 with all three of his interceptions on throws of more than 5 yards downfield. Ryan had completed 70.2 percent of such passes with seven touchdowns and two interceptions in his first five games.
  • Ryan now has thrown for at least one touchdown in 21 straight games. That’s the third-best active streak in the NFL behind Drew Brees (48) and Tom Brady (38).
  • The Falcons are off to the first 6-0 start in franchise history. They have seven consecutive wins, dating back to last season.
  • Atlanta coach Mike Smith now has won 49 games, which ties him with Dan Reeves for the franchise record. But Smith is 49-21 (.700) while Reeves was 49-59-1 (.454).
  • Kicker Matt Bryant hit a 55-yard field goal to win the game. It was the 14th game-winning field goal of his career and fifth as a member of the Falcons.
  • Bryant has made eight field goals of 50-plus yards in his career. His teams are 7-1 when he has made a field goal of more than 50 yards.
  • Cornerback Asante Samuel had his first interception since joining the Falcons and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown. Samuel’s 46 career interceptions rank No. 4 among active players and his 10 interception returns for touchdowns in the regular season rank No. 5 in NFL history.
  • Defensive end John Abraham had three sacks on Sunday. That gives him six sacks for the season. His career 118.0 sacks are tops among active players.
  • The Falcons have swept AFC West opponents this season. The Falcons average 29.3 points while allowing 17 points a game against the AFC West. They also were +10 in turnover differential against the AFC West.

NFL: Week 5 knee-jerk reactions

October, 9, 2012
10/09/12
2:08
PM ET
You’ve heard the chatter by the sports pundits and on the talk shows. Heck, you may have even heard it here. So are the knee-jerk reactions about your team based in reality? Our NFL bloggers weigh in.

NFC Knee-jerk Reactions | AFC Knee-jerk Reactions

Week 5 NFL inactives

October, 7, 2012
10/07/12
11:30
AM ET
Here are today’s inactives from around the NFL. Click here for Tristan H. Cockcroft's inactives analysis for fantasy football.

NFL: Week 4 knee-jerk reactions

October, 2, 2012
10/02/12
11:50
AM ET
You’ve heard the chatter by the sports pundits and on the talk shows. Heck, you may have even heard it here. So are the knee-jerk reactions about your team based in reality? Our NFL bloggers weigh in.

NFC Knee-jerk Reactions | AFC Knee-jerk Reactions

Week 4 NFL inactives

September, 30, 2012
9/30/12
11:31
AM ET
Here are today’s inactives from around the NFL. Click here for Tristan H. Cockcroft's inactives analysis for fantasy football.

NFL: Week 3 knee-jerk reactions

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
1:40
PM ET
You’ve heard the chatter by the sports pundits and on the talk shows. Heck, you may have even heard it here. So are the knee-jerk reactions about your team based in reality? Our NFL bloggers weigh in.

NFC Knee-jerk Reactions | AFC Knee-jerk Reactions

Week 3 NFL inactives

September, 23, 2012
9/23/12
11:34
AM ET
Here are today’s inactives from around the NFL. Click here for Tristan H. Cockcroft's inactives analysis for fantasy football.

Monday Night Live: Broncos-Falcons

September, 17, 2012
9/17/12
6:42
PM ET
Join our ESPN.com NFL experts as they break down the match up between the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons.

Contribute your thoughts and questions at 8:30 p.m. ET. See you there.

Week 2 NFL inactives

September, 16, 2012
9/16/12
11:16
AM ET
Here are today’s inactives from around the NFL. Click here for Tristan H. Cockcroft's inactives analysis for fantasy football.
In the union’s continuing attempt to take the bounty appeals decision out from under the auspices of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFLPA has filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Louisiana. This suit is on behalf of three of the four suspended players -- Scott Fujita, Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove. Jonathan Vilma has asked for similar relief in two lawsuits; the first of which -- his defamation lawsuit against Goodell -- Goodell moved to dismiss Thursday. The following is the essence of Thursday’s filing by the NFLPA:

Hillis
Hargrove
Fujita
Fujita
The suit is an application to overturn the suspensions issued by Goodell based on what the NFLPA claims to be inherent and unfair bias by Goodell and all others involved in the process. It states in part: “The investigation and arbitration process that the Commissioner’s public relations machinery touted as 'thorough and fair' has, in reality, been a sham."

Further, the NFLPA argues:
(1) The NFL violated the CBA by refusing to provide the players with access to critical documents or witnesses;
(2) Goodell launched a vast public relations campaign defending the punishments he intended to arbitrate, rendering him incurably and “evidently biased”; and
(3) Goodell lacked proper jurisdiction to rule on this case, as the system arbitrator -- law professor Stephen Burbank -- has exclusive jurisdiction to arbitrate the “pay-for-performance” conduct here.

The latter argument -- that this matter is a cap issue rather than a conduct issue -- was brought before Burbank last month and denied. It currently is on appeal to the NFL appeals panel, a group of three arbitrators still not formally constituted a year after its creation in the new collective bargaining agreement. Now, in addition to the appealing Burbank’s ruling, the union argues Goodell may not seize Burbank’s exclusive jurisdiction merely by labeling the matter "conduct detrimental."

The NFLPA claims it is not asking the court to "second guess" Goodell on the sufficiency of the NFL's evidence; rather, it is asking it to vacate the suspensions based on the "sham process from which it was born."

The suit’s basic argument states: "It becomes more apparent with each passing day … that the NFL’s objective was not to follow the CBA and provide a fair process, but to validate a biased investigation and to deprive the Players of any meaningful ability to defend themselves against a preordained result."

As I have discussed and written about here, my sense is this will be an uphill battle for the players. Goodell’s power over player conduct -- both the NFL and the system arbitrator have determined this to be conduct -- is well-established and secure in the new CBA. The issue of “fairness” is a relative one; it is the court of Goodell, not a court of law. Federal labor policy favors employers and especially employers resolving differences through a collectively bargained agreement rather than going outside that process into a court.

I admire the creativity and persistence of the NFLPA and its increasingly busy legal team -- the enduring theme of football this offseason is billable hours -- but ultimately they are trying to circumvent a process that they agreed to in the swirl of negotiations to achieve other gains in the CBA.

Clayton: New bounty investigation unlikely

June, 22, 2012
6/22/12
5:13
PM ET

John Clayton discusses NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith asking Roger Goodell to conduct Saints bounty investigation again, and the strength of NFL's case after denying gag orders and witness retraction cover-ups.

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