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#pounditWednesday, September 23, 2020

Football

Tom Brady not satisfied with Buccaneers’ performance in Week 2 win

Tom Brady

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a bit sharper in their Week 2 win over the Carolina Panthers, but Tom Brady still wants to see much more from his offense.

Brady said after his team’s 31-17 win that the offense was “a little bit better” compared to Week 1, but was not where he wanted it.

“It was a little bit better,” Brady said, via Matt Vautour of MassLive. “I think we still are a long way from where we need to be. We have the ability to make plays. I think consistency, dependability are going to be things that we really need. So we got to get back to work. Clock is ticking on next week so gonna get focused on next week’s game and try to be a lot better next week.”

Brady is famously exacting, so he’s not going to be happy with what he’s seen so far. The Buccaneers were actually outgained by the Panthers, and Tampa Bay posted a rather pedestrian 339 total yards. Brady himself went 23/35 for 217 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Much was made of coach Bruce Arians publicly criticizing Brady’s Week 1 performance, as well as Brady’s response to it. This is a reminder that Brady probably holds himself to the same standards. A win isn’t good enough — he wants an offense that is good enough to win a Super Bowl. The Buccaneers aren’t there yet.

Harrison Butker carried by teammates after winning field goal

Harrison Butker shoulders

Harrison Butker proved on Sunday that his winning field goal to beat the Los Angeles Chargers in overtime was no fluke.

Butker made three kicks in a row before the final one to win the game counted.

At first, his Kansas City Chiefs lined up for a 53-yard attempt with the game tied at 20 in overtime. A false start negated what would have been a 53-yard kick to win it.

Kansas City got pushed back five yards to the 40 and attempted a 58-yard kick. The Chargers called timeout just before the kick, but Butker still made it. So far he was 2-for-2, though neither kick counted.

Finally, Butker got to attempt the kick without an interruption. He made it from 58 yards away to win the game 23-20 in overtime. In all, he made three kicks in a row from 50-plus yards before one counted.

His teammates put him on their shoulders after the winning kick.

Butker was 3-for-3 on field goals, though he did miss an extra point in the game. He is now a 90.2 percent field goal kicker in his NFL career.

Julio Jones continues to be bothered by hamstring injury

Julio Jones

The Atlanta Falcons scored 39 points on Sunday, but Julio Jones wasn’t a huge part of the offense. That is apparently because his hamstring issue continues to bother him.

Jones has battled a hamstring injury for several weeks, and it seemed to impact his role in the offense in Week 2. He was targeted just four times and made two catches for 24 yards. One of his targets should have been a 42-yard touchdown, but he dropped the pass.

Jones said after the game that his hamstring was still not quite allowing him to run like he wanted, and was a factor in his disappointing performance.

Jones looked like his usual self in Week 1, catching nine passes for 157 yards. It’s clear he’s still capable of performing. He was limited in practice all week, though, and the situation doesn’t seem to be significantly improving.

The Falcons endured an awful collapse Sunday against the Cowboys. Perhaps that could have been avoided with a healthier Jones.

James White inactive after father Tyrone dies in car crash

James White

James White received some awful news on Sunday night regarding his parents.

The New England Patriots running back learned that his father Tyrone died in a car crash. His mother was also in the car for the crash and is in critical condition, South Florida radio host Andy Slater reports.

According to Slater, White’s father Tyrone was a captain with the Miami-Dad Police Department.

White was made inactive for the Patriots’ game against the Seattle Seahawks as a result. The 28-year-old grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Jadeveon Clowney lined up offside on game-clinching defensive play

Jadeveon Clowney offsides

The Tennessee Titans needed a huge defensive play to finish off a tough win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and they appeared to get a major assist from the officiating crew.

Clinging to a 33-30 lead with 52 seconds remaining, the Titans got pressure on Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew and forced him into a bad throw that was batted at the line of scrimmage and intercepted. That sealed the win for Tennessee, but there was one problem — Jadeveon Clowney should have been flagged for lining up offsides.

Here’s a video of the play:

There’s no way of knowing if that would have changed the outcome of the game. However, the Jags definitely deserved a first down and another shot. Clowney was clearly lined up in the neutral zone.

That certainly wasn’t the first time we’ve seen NFL refs miss an offsides call at a crucial point in a game. The league will be hearing from the Jaguars about that play, and rightfully so.

Detroit Lions set ugly history in loss to Packers

Matt Patricia

The Detroit Lions are known for setting unwanted records, and they did it again on Sunday.

The Lions jumped out to a 14-3 first quarter lead over the Green Bay Packers. The lead did not last, as the Packers stormed back to win 42-21 at Lambeau Field.

Remarkably, this is the fourth consecutive game the Lions held a double-digit lead in and went on to lose, setting a new NFL record.

The Lions coughed up a 23-6 lead against the Chicago Bears last week and lost 27-23. They had a 17-3 lead against the Packers in Week 17 last season and lost. They squandered a 10-0 lead over the Denver Broncos the week prior to that.

The Lions have found some absolutely crushing ways to lose these games. It’s an indictment of both the players and the coaching staff that this has become a legitimate trend.

Coach Matt Patricia was given a list of high expectations for 2020. So far, he’s not meeting them, and the Lions’ inability to see out games could cost him his job in the end.

Ticked off Adam Gase curses in postgame press conference after Jets loss

Adam Gase

Adam Gase was ticked off after his New York Jets got their rears kicked in badly by the San Francisco 49ers at home on Sunday.

The Jets lost 31-13 and were never really in the game. They only had 277 yards and did very little offensively even though the Niners suffered some injuries.

After the game, Gase showed during his postgame press conference just how upset he was with the outcome.

“I’m pis-ed. I’m pis-ed right now. I mean, that s–t’s no fun going out there and getting your a– beat. So, we need to get better fast,” Gase said.

Gase then reportedly walked out on a reporter after that.

The Jets have opened the season 0-2 after going 7-9 last year in Gase’s first season as the team’s head coach. They need to show some improvement, but on Sunday, they went in the wrong direction.

We know someone who will not be happy about the loss.

Falcons have total collapse in ugly loss to Cowboys

Dan Quinn

The Atlanta Falcons will be kicking themselves after a brutal collapse against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Falcons had jumped out to a 20-0 lead on Dallas at the end of the first quarter, and held a 39-24 advantage with just eight minutes to go. The Cowboys managed to storm back to within two, but the real moment that turned the game was Atlanta’s baffling attempt to recover Dallas’ onside kick with 1:49 left.

Atlanta appeared to be in position to at least try to fall on the ball and ensure the Cowboys didn’t get another chance. Instead, they just stared at the kick until Dallas’ C.J. Goodwin swooped in and scooped it up. It was almost as if Atlanta’s players didn’t know they could pick the ball up before it went ten yards.

Ironically, it was the Falcons who had been more prepared on special teams earlier in the game. Dallas ran two fake punts, and the Falcons immediately seemed to sense that something was up on the second one and were more than ready for it.

That preparation disappeared at the end of the game. Atlanta’s defense was on its heels for the entire fourth quarter. Their special teams blunder was the icing on the cake. Given that 17 of their points came off Dallas turnovers, it could be argued they were fortunate to even have a chance.

Dallas, meanwhile, got a bit unlucky in their Week 1 loss. In Week 2, luck was on their side.

Dak Prescott sets record in Cowboys’ incredible win over Falcons

Dak Prescott

The Dallas Cowboys pulled off such a miraculous win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday that the record Dak Prescott set may be overlooked.

The Cowboys got the ball back trailing 39-30 with roughly three minutes remaining in the game. They were able to put together a quick touchdown drive, but they still needed to recover an onside kick to have a chance at winning. They did just that on an insane play.

Prescott then manufactured a drive that was capped off by a game-winning 46-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein. The drive added to a huge day in which the Cowboys quarterback threw for 450 yards and a touchdown and added another three scores on the ground.

As ESPN’s Ed Werder noted, Prescott became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400-plus yards and score three rushing touchdowns in a game. Only one player previously had 300 passing yards and three rushing touchdowns, and that happened in 1963.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy dodged a bullet with the incredible comeback. He had already been criticized for attempting two fake punts in the game that were both unsuccessful, so the win saved him a lot of headaches.

Meanwhile, Prescott is playing under the franchise tag in 2020. Games like the one he had on Sunday are exactly what Stephen Jones was talking about when he recently complimented Prescott on the way he handled contract talks.

49ers angry over MetLife Stadium turf after potentially major injuries

Kyle Shanahan 49ers

San Francisco 49ers players aren’t happy about the new turf at MetLife Stadium and seem to feel that it may have contributed to the potentially serious injuries the team suffered in Week 2 against the New York Jets.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game that his players had been talking since the start of the game about how “sticky” the turf was. The players had concerns about how it would impact them.

This concern was backed up by defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who tweeted the NFL immediately after the game urging the league to fix the “trash” turf.

MetLife Stadium got new synthetic field turf during the offseason. It made its debut last Monday night when the Giants hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers. That game saw three Steelers players get hurt, including running back James Conner. On Sunday, the 49ers dealt with a gimpy Jimmy Garoppolo, as well as serious-looking injuries to both Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas.

As Shanahan noted, the 49ers are due to play at MetLife again next week when they face the New York Giants.