Papke has more than five years of writing experience for Larry Brown Sports and has published over 10,000 stories. A diehard Detroit sports fan, Papke previously served as managing editor and writer at the Detroit Tigers-centric site, Walkoff Woodward. You can follow him on Twitter @spacemnkymafia
Sunday’s game between the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks was delayed in the fourth quarter due to an unidentified drone flying over the stadium.
With just under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter of a four-point game, officials abruptly stopped the game and told both teams to move to the sidelines. Apparently, a drone was spotted flying over Lumen Field. NFL officials stopped the game as a safety precaution.
Collins was in his fourth year as head coach after moving from Temple, but results were never good. The Yellow Jackets failed to win more than three games in any of Collins’ first three seasons as coach, and started 1-3 in 2022. With little hope of a turnaround, the school has clearly decided to move on.
How bad had things become for Georgia Tech? An opposing coach recently admitted that he went a bit easy on Collins in a blowout win to avoid embarrassing the Yellow Jackets coach. Obviously, that act of mercy did not do anything to save Collins’ job.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had some unexpected guests for Sunday’s game in the form of a whole lot of bees.
One of the goalposts at Raymond James Stadium was apparently home to a beehive during Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. Despite the rather unusual sight, nobody seemed to be in any rush to do anything about it, at least initially.
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones suffered a serious-looking leg injury late in Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Jones and the Patriots were facing an 11-point deficit late against the Ravens, and were taking deep shots in a bad to try to get back in the game. On one attempt, Jones was hit as he threw by Calais Campbell, and his left leg twisted unnaturally underneath him.
While it’s too soon to speculate on the exact nature of Jones’ injury, it certainly looks like it could be significant. Veteran Brian Hoyer is the team’s backup quarterback, and would likely have to step in if Jones misses any time.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was visibly frustrated with offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy over how the team ran its final drive of the first half against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
The Chiefs took a conservative approach to end the half after getting the ball at their own 46 with just over 30 seconds left and no timeouts. A holding call backed them up to their own 36. Bieniemy opted to run out the clock with a run up the middle on 2nd-and-20 with 20 seconds to go.
Mahomes clearly wanted to be more aggressive. CBS cameras caught him having an animated confrontation with Bieniemy, apparently over the team’s strategy. Head coach Andy Reid actually had to intervene and guide Mahomes to the locker room for halftime.
Bieniemy’s call is entirely defensible. As electric as the Chiefs’ offense can be, it was 2nd-and-20 with 20 seconds left. The Chiefs had no timeouts and were in their own territory. Sure, Mahomes could have made something happen in theory, but there are a lot of ways that could go wrong as well. Whatever the case, Mahomes’ reaction is likely to provide a lot of fodder for speculation about the relationship between him and his offensive coordinator.
The officiating crew in Saturday’s game between the Oregon Ducks and Washington State Cougars made quite the mess after an intentional grounding penalty.
The Cougars were called for intentional grounding on a first down play early in the second quarter, which should have come with a loss of down. Somehow, the officiating crew took away an extra down from Washington State, and the drive went directly to third down.
The play that resulted in intentional grounding was quite clearly first down.
I just went back & watched the plays before the punt & it is true that the refs got it wrong because the intentional grounding play happened on a 1st down and it should have been 2nd after that penalty but they set it to 3rd. But it should have been caught sooner. pic.twitter.com/zVeWiIpJzR
Nobody seemed to question it though when Washington State came out after that penalty on 3rd-and-17. They ran a draw and then punted. Finally, the officiating crew seemed to realize their error and went back to third down to try to make it right.
1st-and-10 — intentional grounding 2nd down — *GETS SKIPPED OVER* 3rd/17 — 1-yard draw 4th down — punt to 5-yard line
In short, Washington State punted twice, but only one of them counted because they were robbed of a down on the actual drive by the officials. They got it right in the end — sort of — but made a real mess of it from start to finish.
Amazingly, this has happened before, though in another recent instance the error was never corrected. Perhaps the Cougars should consider themselves fortunate that someone was clued into the issue here.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney after the 14-8 win over Georgia Tech in Clemson, S.C., September 18, 2021. Credit: Ken Ruinard / staff via Imagn Content Services, LLC
Saturday’s game between Clemson and Wake Forest was a wild overtime affair that saw the two teams put up a combined 96 points. In a game like that, no wonder it took a few years off Dabo Swinney’s life.
Swinney joked after the Tigers’ 51-45 overtime victory that he’d aged ten years during the game, going from 52 to 62.
Swinney probably is not alone in feeling that way. Clemson jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, only to surrender 28 points in the second and third quarters to trail 35-28. The Tigers needed a 52-yard field goal to tie the game at 38 with four minutes left, then won in the second overtime.
In other words, the game was stressful enough if you were at all invested in it. On top of that, Swinney had to navigate his ridiculously huge play sheet, so that probably didn’t help matters either.
Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) during Gator Walk before the first game of the season outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. Sept. 4, 2021. Mandatory Credit: Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun via Imagn Content Services, LLC
Preparations for the 2023 NFL Draft have already started among NFL teams, and one of the players already attracting attention is Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson.
Multiple NFL executives are in attendance for Florida’s game at Tennessee on Saturday, in part to scout Richardson, according to Pete Thamel of ESPN. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants, and Washington Commanders sent scouts and executives, while general manager Dave Ziegler headed a Las Vegas Raiders contingent.
The intrigue in Anthony Richardson on the NFL level hasn't waned. The Raiders have three people in town to scout Tennessee/Florida, including GM Dave Ziegler. The QB needy Bucs, Giants and Commanders also had multiple scouts/execs at the Swamp for the Kentucky game.
On paper, the Raiders don’t need a quarterback, but there does seem to be a lack of total faith in Derek Carr at the moment. The other three teams could certainly be in the market for a quarterback, with the Buccaneers facing a potential Tom Brady retirement and the Giants and Commanders facing questions about the long-term viability of Daniel Jones and Carson Wentz.
Richardson has certainly shown impressive skills for the Gators, and fits the profile of the dual-threat quarterbacks that have taken the league by storm in recent years. Of course, the jump from the SEC to the NFL is a big one, but he at least has NFL scouts intrigued.
Jun 6, 2022; Englewood, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett speaks to the media following OTA workouts at the UC Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Nathaniel Hackett has dealt with a litany of game management issues in his first two weeks as the head coach of the Denver Broncos. Now he is taking steps to relieve some of that burden.
The Broncos have brought in veteran NFL coach Jerry Rosburg as a senior assistant, as first reported by Mike Klis of 9 News. The 66-year-old Rosburg had previously served as a special teams coordinator and associate head coach for the Baltimore Ravens from 2008 to 2018, where he was tasked with helping head coach John Harbaugh with gameday operations.
The hire is a direct response to the on-field issues that have plagued the Broncos through two weeks. Things came to a head in Week 2 against Houston, when multiple game management issues forced the Broncos to burn all three second half timeouts to avoid delay of game or too many men on the field penalties. At one point, things got so bad that the home crowd mockingly began counting down the play clock. The debacle attracted national attention, and at least one former coach questioned the relative youth and inexperience of Hackett and his assistants as a potential reason for the issues.
It looks bad that Hackett had to bring in an assistant for help on this less than three weeks into the regular season. That said, he deserves credit for seeking out help instead of doubling down on what has not worked so far, and it is likely going to wind up better for the team.
Aug 21, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Luis Castillo (21) smiles as a call is reviewed during the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The Seattle Mariners made a big move to acquire pitcher Luis Castillo at the trade deadline. On Saturday, they agreed to an arguably bigger move to keep him long-term.
Castillo has agreed to a five-year, $108 million contract extension with the Mariners, as first reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN. The deal also includes a vesting option for a sixth year.
BREAKING: Right-hander Luis Castillo and the Seattle Mariners are in agreement on a five-year, $108 million contract extension, sources tell ESPN. A sixth-year vesting option can take it to $133 million.
M’s got Castillo at the trade deadline and now lock him up for half-decade.
Castillo would have been eligible for his final year of arbitration this winter, and would have been able to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2023 season. Instead, he is committing to the Mariners through at least the 2027 season, setting up the 29-year-old as a mainstay in the Seattle rotation for years to come.
Though he has flown under the radar, Castillo has emerged as one of the better pitchers in the game. Since being traded to the Mariners, he has posted a 2.83 ERA in nine starts, striking out 64 batters in 54 innings of work. Some of the game’s most prominent franchises were interested in trading for him when the Cincinnati Reds made him available this year, so this certainly looks like a great move from Seattle’s perspective.