As it turns out, the last two weeks have been a more trying time for NFL official Jeff Triplette than we could have imagined. During the same stretch that he was busy blowing a clock call in the New York Giants’ 24-17 win over the Washington Redskins on Dec. 1, and busy blowing a red-zone call that gave the Cincinnati Bengals a gift touchdown in their 42-28 win over the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday, the league’s most bumptious ref was also dealing with some serious corporate issues.
Triplette is the president and CEO of Arbiter Sports, a Utah-based company that deals in the organization of officiating crews, the assignments of officials and the payment of those officials for multiple sports at the high school and collegiate levels. On Dec. 10, everyone who had contracted the company’s services received this e-mail: Continue Reading
On Wednesday morning, ESPN’s John Keim confirmed an NFL Network report indicating that the Washington Redskins will start quarterback Kirk Cousins over Robert Griffin III against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. It’s an interesting move because Griffin has no specific injury — at least no specific injury that has been noted — and while he’s underperformed at times this season, the switch appears to be more about keeping Griffin healthy for the 2014 season. Later in the day, Griffin confirmed that not only will he be the team’s third quarterback behind Cousins and Rex Grossman on Sunday, but also that the team has deactivated him for the rest of 2013.
“I’m sure everybody knows by now that coach decided to shut me down for the rest of the season,” Griffin said. “I expressed my desire to play. At the end of the day, coach’s decision is what we go with. That’s the way it’s always been. It’s my job to help Kirk win.”
From backup quarterback to Sports Illustrated cover boy. It’s been quite a journey for the Eagles’ Nick Foles this season.
Senior writer Michael Bamberger details Foles’ path to stardom, noting how quick Philadelphia has been to embrace the second-year QB. Continue Reading
There’s no question that journeyman backup quarterback Josh McCown has done an impressive job when he’s had to spell Jay Cutler this season. The 7-6 Chicago Bears are coming off a 45-28 Monday night thrashing of the Dallas Cowboys in which McCown completed 27-of-36 passes for 348 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Yes, it was against a Dallas defense that leaves writers looking for new words to describe their sieve-like coverage, but it was an outstanding game for him nonetheless. This season, McCown has completed 147-of-220 passes for 1,809 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception when replacing the frequently-injured Cutler.
That said, when Cutler is ready to return from the ankle injury that’s had him patrolling the sidelines since Nov. 10, head coach Marc Trestman insisted that there will be no change in the overall gameplan — Cutler will start when he’s good to go.
“We will see where Jay is this week,” Trestman said Tuesday. “He’ll have to be released by the doctors. When Jay says he is ready to play, he’ll be playing … We’re taking this very methodically. The doctors understand that. And when [Cutler is] good to go and can have a full week of practice, he’ll be our quarterback.” Continue Reading
Despite his status as perhaps the greatest quarterback in NFL history, Peyton Manning has had to overcome a few negative issues throughout his career. There was the “He can’t win the big one” ding, which he put to rest with the Indianapolis Colts’ 29-17 win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. It was about that time that Manning also put to rest his well-known issues with 3-4 defenses in general, and the New England Patriots specifically. And he has managed to destroy any ideas that he was done after multiple neck and shoulder surgeries in 2011 — Manning’s numbers over the last two seasons with the Denver Broncos have certainly put an end to those.
Still, there was one last perception war to fight — that Manning tends to fold when the weather outside is less than delightful. Coming into last Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, according to ESPN’s Stats & Info, Manning’s teams had lost seven of the 10 regular-season and postseason games in which the temperature was 32 degrees or colder. He had thrown 12 interceptions in those games to 11 touchdowns, his completion percentage was 59.4 in those games (career percentage: 65.4), and his 214.1 yards per game total was quite a bit below his career average of 269.5.