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NFL Week 15: Winners and Losers

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Week 15 was pivotal as some teams rose up to the occasion while some did not. Here are my winners and losers:

Winners:

  1. New England Patriots: Quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski led the Pats down field as running back Dion Lewis’ eight-yard touchdown capped off their comeback over the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24. The Pats clinch the AFC East once again have the inside track at a number one seed in the AFC.
  2. Kansas City Chiefs: Quarterback Alex Smith threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Kareem Hunt rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown. The defense caught three interceptions including two from cornerback Marcus Peters that helped the Chiefs dominate the Los Angeles Chargers 30-13. The Chiefs now have the edge in the AFC West.
  3. Los Angeles Rams: Running back Todd Gurley rushed for 152 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Jared Goff threw for two touchdowns. The defense had seven sacks as they destroyed the Seattle Seahawks 42-7. We’ll have to wait and see if this is the changing of the guard in the NFC West, but right now the Rams have control of the division.
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Keelan Cole had 186 receiving yards and two touchdown catches. The defense had four sacks as the Jags rout the Houston Texans 45-7. They clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2007.
  5. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings take care of the Cincinnati Bengals 34-7. They clinch the NFC North.
  6. San Francisco 49ers: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppalo threw for 381 yards and a touchdown. Kicker Robbie Gould had five field goals including the game winner from 49 yards as time expired as the they defeated the Tennessee Titans 25-23. They’re now 3-0 with Garoppalo as the starter.

Losers:

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers: There was a controversial touchdown catch by tight end Jesse James that was called back. A play later, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a game-ending interception. Not to mention that they lost wide receiver Antonio Brown to a calf injury. Though it was the defense that gave up big plays late in their loss to New England.
  2. Los Angeles Chargers: Quarterback Phillip Rivers’ three interceptions stalled drives in their loss to Kansas City. The loss might have ended the Chargers’ playoffs chances.
  3. Green Bay Packers: Despite in his first game back, quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing for 290 yards and three touchdowns, he also threw three interceptions. Also drops were the Packers’ undoing in their loss to the Carolina Panthers 31-24. All but ending the Packers’ playoff hopes.
  4. Seattle Seahawks: They only had 149 total yards and quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked seven times in their loss to the Los Angeles Rams. You can blame injuries and such, but the Seahawks will have to make some major decisions this offseason.
  5. Tennessee Titans: The Titans defense couldn’t slow down Garoppalo in their loss to San Francisco, thus throwing a wrench in their playoff chances.

Storylines Going Into Week 16:

Tennessee hosts the Los Angeles Rams to keep their playoff hopes alive. Buffalo battles New England. Atlanta faces New Orleans in the NFC South. Seattle faces Dallas.

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

NEWS

Raiders’ Antonio Brown Threatens ESPN’s Ryan Clark

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Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown doesn’t appreciate the constant comments made by former Steelers teammate and current ESPN analyst Ryan Clark, and is threatening to handle it physically should he sees him.

Brown made his threat public, directed towards Clark on Twitter.

Brown is no stranger to making threats, and stirring up drama, especially on social media, and FOX Sports host Skip Bayless added his own hot take to the fire.

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Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill Not Facing Child Abuse Charges

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Kansas City Chiefs star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, or his fiancee will not face charges, as the Johnson County (Kansas) District Attorney’s office has declined charges against the pair, according to ESPN.

However, there is a wrinkle as District Attorney Stephen M. Howe said that although he believes that a crime occurred, the evidence in the case doesn’t clearly establish who committed the crime.

Back on March 14th, Overland Park, Kansas officers were called to Hill’s home to investigate an alleged battery in which a juvenile was a victim, police reports indicated.

While Hill was not listed in the report, his fiancee Crystal Espinal was listed under “others involved.”

The Kansas Department of Children and Families has been investigating the alleged battery.

“This office has reviewed all the evidence compiled by these agencies and has declined to file charges against Tyreek Hill and Crystal Espinal,” Howe said on Wednesday during a news conference.

“We are deeply troubled by this situation and are concerned about the health and welfare of the child in question. We believe a crime has occurred. However, the evidence in this case does not conclusively establish who committed this crime.”

This wasn’t the first incident involving the Hill residence as officers were called to the home on March 5th to investigate a report of child abuse or neglect.

In that situation, Hill was named on the police report, but the Overland Park police closed the case three days later when prosecution was declined.

Hill could still face discipline from the NFL, such as a fine and/or suspension.

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Denver Broncos

Broncos’ Von Miller Avoids Charges for Bloody Shark Photo on Instagram

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Denver Broncos superstar linebacker Von Miller will not face charges for catching and posing with a bloody hammerhead shark back in 2018, according to documents from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (h/t Deadspin).

Miller came under fire for a controversial photo posted on his Instagram story last year showing him with the bloody shark.

According to Florida Law, catching and releasing in this particular scenario would be fine, as long as the shark was “immediately returned to the water free, alive, and unharmed.”

Per TMZ Sports, Miller and the group pushed the shark back overboard after catching it, and the compilation of Miller’s Instagram story shows that process as well as the shark swimming away.

Despite that, and as Deadspin’s story points out, the picture doesn’t exactly 100% convince that the shark was “unharmed”.

According to USA Today, the boat Miller was on was called ‘Spellbound’ and the owner and operator of the boat were not as fortunate as Miller in regards to the investigation.

“Owner and operator were charged under the Magnuson-Stevens Act for fishing for sharks without the proper permit and for failure to release a shark in the manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival. A $2,000 NOVA was issued.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission classifies hammerhead sharks as a Group 3 shark, and harvesting them in state waters can be met with a second degree misdemeanor.

In the state of Florida, second-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to a $500 fine and 60 days in jail, as determined by a judge.

Miller defended himself following the post, claiming that the shark didn’t die; “Everybody knows that I hunt and fish. It’s what I do” Miller said (h/t ESPN).

“But I also believe in conservation. I’m not just out there going crazy. We followed the rules. I did everything I was supposed to do.”

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