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December 2020

DeAndre Hopkins and Cardinals take on 49ers on Yahoo Sports app

By Sports app

It’s not like anyone refuses to judge the Arizona Cardinals’ trade for DeAndre Hopkins. There was nothing to judge.

When Hopkins was available to the Cardinals from then-Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien for next to nothing, and the Cardinals managed to get rid of running back David Johnson’s poor contract in the process, it wasn’t even a decision. It was one of the few moves in the NFL that didn’t take any thought, the Cardinals just had to say yes and reap the rewards. It was practically an unprecedented trade because everyone knew who was winning by the time it happened.

The exchange was everything the Cardinals hoped for, and possibly more.

Arizona, with its phenomenal No. 1 receiver, will play the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, a game that can be streamed live on the Yahoo Sports app. Expect to hear O’Brien’s name and one of the most famous professions in NFL history to be mentioned a few times.

DeAndre Hopkins has been great for Arizona

There are a few iconic trades in NFL history: Herschel Walker to the Vikings for a cargo of draft picks to the Cowboys, Randy Moss from Oakland to New England, an unknown Brett Favre to the Packers after a disastrous rookie season. in Atlanta, Marshall Faulk at the Rams in a deal that ended with the Colts drafting Edgerrin James, John Elway forcing Baltimore to trade him to Denver and Eli Manning doing the same to have San Diego send him to the Giants .

Hopkins’ trade was immediately added to the list. You won’t find another profession, across all sports, that has been criticized as immediately and harshly as this one. Houston sent Hopkins and a fourth-round pick in Arizona for Johnson, a second-round pick in 2020 and a fourth-round pick in 2021. There was a lot of fallout. It was reported that Hopkins and O’Brien had no relationship, and one of the reasons Hopkins was traded was that O’Brien was furious that Hopkins – arguably the best receiver in the NFL – wanted a reasonable increase. The Texans started off slow this season and O’Brien was sacked, and it seems obvious part of the reason was the outcry over the infamous and horrific trade.

Hopkins hit 100 yards in seven of Arizona’s 14 games. He has 103 catches and leads the NFL with 1,324 yards. He possibly got the biggest Hail Mary ever out of three Buffalo Bills wide receivers to win a game. Arizona’s offense would be lost without Hopkins, their only reliable receiver now that Larry Fitzgerald’s game has come to a standstill.

Hopkins would be a good choice for All-Pro. It is not a surprise. He was All-Pro his last three seasons with the Texans. O’Brien traded it anyway.

DeAndre Hopkins hit a touchdown against the Eagles last week. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

The cardinals still in a position to compete in the playoffs

The Cardinals will be in the playoffs if they win, thanks in large part to Hopkins.

Kyler Murray went through a little slump but looked good last week in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The defense lost a big chunk when Chandler Jones suffered an injury at the end of the season, but this group has performed quite well lately. Arizona is 8-6.

Saturday’s game is important for the Cardinals. If they lose, they risk losing the last joker to the 7-7 Chicago Bears. The Bears won the tiebreaker against Arizona on the basis of a conference record or a record against joint opponents, according to the Bears team website. The only way Arizona can secure a playoff berth is to win its last two games.

The Cardinals can at least be sure of one thing heading into Saturday’s game: They’ll have the best player on the pitch. They can thank O’Brien for that.

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Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins take on the Raiders on the Yahoo Sports app

By Sports app

The decision to start No. 5 in the draft has likely received more scrutiny than it deserves.

When Brian Flores announced earlier this season that the Miami Dolphins were changing quarterbacks from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Tua Tagovailoa, it was far from an easily accepted decision. People wondered how the Dolphins could put Fitzpatrick on the bench, especially with the Dolphins on a two-game winning streak and holding a 3-3 record.

It went pretty well. The Dolphins are 5-2 in the Tagovailoa departures and are in seventh and final place in the AFC playoffs as they prepare to face the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday, a game that can be broadcast live. on the Yahoo Sports app.

Tagovailoa wasn’t perfect, but he showed why the Dolphins trusted him to take the reins of the quarterback.

Tua Tagovailoa played well

The Dolphins’ decision to go to Tagovailoa has been called into question in part because the Fitzpatrick legend has grown up. He’s a fun player to seek out. He may get hot during stretching. But he’s still a 38-year-old limited companion. The uproar around him was a bit strange.

Still, Flores would have heard of it if the Dolphins had fallen out of the playoff picture with a rookie quarterback making mistakes, no matter how talented he is. Tagovailoa made Flores elegant.

Tagovailoa made 63.8% of his passes, with nine touchdowns and two interceptions. He has a respectable 92.5 passer rating. He also rushed for three touchdowns. He hasn’t come up with huge numbers, but part of that is due to all the skill-related injuries around him. Considering all the circumstances, Tagovailoa is having a good rookie season.

Joe Burrow, before his injury, and Justin Herbert had better numbers as rookies. But Tagovailoa is the one with a shot at making the playoffs.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) has nine touchdowns and three touchdowns this season. (AP Photo / Chris O’Meara)

Dolphins vying for a playoff spot

The Dolphins are in a fierce fight for a wild card spot. A good AFC team won’t do it.

The Dolphins have a few paths to qualify for the playoffs, but the best way is to win their last two games. The Dolphins are with two more wins no matter what happens with any other competitor. The Raiders are technically alive but barely. Their second-half swoon cost them a potential playoff spot. It also makes it a little easier for the Dolphins on Saturday.

There are still questions about Tagovailoa. Herbert played so well that the Dolphins will always have to wonder if they should have picked him over Tagovailoa with the fifth pick. Tagovailoa has been good, but there isn’t enough history to know if he’s the quarterback Miami has been looking for since Dan Marino retired.

Tagovailoa has a chance to make his rookie season a success with a solid finish and a playoff berth. Regardless of the outcome, it’s fair to say that Flores made the right choice when she turned to her talented rookie.

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Bills-Broncos, Packers-Panthers on the Yahoo Sports app

By Sports app

The NFL is best when quarterback play is at its peak, and it’s possible there never was a deeper quarterback group.

The old guard is still going strong. Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and Tom Brady lead likely playoff teams in their late 30s, and Drew Brees was also before his injury. The future is also bright. Patrick Mahomes took over the NFL and is only 25 years old. We saw young quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson engage in an epic duel on Monday night. Other young quarterbacks like Justin Herbert, Tua Tagovailoa, Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson give the NFL a great foundation for the next decade.

We can clearly see the contrast between the young and the old at the Saturday shift. If you make a list of the top three NFL MVP contenders, it should probably be Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, 37, and Josh Allen, 24. Allen’s Buffalo Bills face the Denver Broncos and Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers face the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, a pair of games that can be streamed live on the Yahoo Sports app.

Allen was 8 when the Packers drafted Rodgers in the first round.

Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen greet each other after a 2019 game. (Photo by Dylan Buell / Getty Images)

Josh Allen leads Bills against Broncos

There are similarities in the paths Rodgers and Allen took to become NFL stardom.

Both were from California and not from glamorous places. Rodgers is from Chico and Allen from Firebaugh. Both went to middle school because neither had a Division I scholarship offer out of high school. Neither had many options when leaving college; Rodgers went to Cal and Allen went to Wyoming. They both became first-round picks.

They have differences as players. People were skeptical of Allen leaving college due to his issues with accuracy. Rodgers tied an NCAA record with 23 straight goals in a game, against a strong USC defense. But there are similarities. Both have incredible arm strength. They can also beat defenses with their legs, although Rodgers doesn’t do that as much in his late 30s.

Allen’s development has been rapid. His first season he showed the vagueness that was a problem in Wyoming. But his completion percentage over his three seasons has dropped from 52.8 to 58.8 to 68.6. Allen has also improved his touchdown and interception rate each season. The Bills are 10-3 heading into Saturday morning against the Broncos and Allen’s fantastic year is catching the attention of MVPs.

But in the MVP race, Allen is still far behind a quarterback 13 years his senior.

Aaron Rodgers continues to push MVP against Panthers

The Rodgers revival has been one of the big stories of the NFL season.

It’s not that Rodgers was ever bad, but it’s been a while since he’s been a legitimate MVP contender. This season, Rodgers has 39 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The Packers are 10-3 and are currently the No.1 seed in the NFC. They can keep the home court advantage thanks to the NFC playoffs with three more wins, and it starts on Saturday night against the Panthers.

Rodgers is playing as well as ever, but he won’t have many more punches left to win a second title. The Packers have already drafted their alleged replacement, Jordan Love, in the first round this season. Rodgers could still have plenty of good seasons in Green Bay yet and not be able to get a No.1 seed and take his team to a Super Bowl again. Things change quickly in the NFL and nothing is guaranteed year after year.

Allen and Rodgers both rose to the ranks of the NFL’s top quarterbacks thanks to similar backgrounds. Rodgers has won MVPs, a Super Bowl ring and is on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Allen has a long way to go to reach any of these heights, but his improvement in his third season has been remarkable.

The two quarters will be in the spotlight on Saturday, two periods of quarters each at the peak of their art.

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Browns seek respect against Ravens on Yahoo Sports app

By Sports app

The Cleveland Browns faced the Baltimore Ravens in Game 1 of the season. It looked like the same old Browns.

It looked like the Ravens were picking up where they left off from 2019 as well.

The Ravens won 38-6. It was a horrible start for new Browns coach Kevin Stefanski. Considering the gravity of Cleveland during this century, the result was not surprising.

If you watched that game, you never would have predicted that in the rematch the Browns would go up high and look like a playoff lock while the Ravens fight just to get in. The Browns 9-3 host the 7-5 Ravens on Monday night, a game that can be streamed live on the Yahoo Sports app.

The Browns are comfortably on the playoff field heading into the game, but they’ll want to show everyone they’re a very different team than this Week 1 blowout.

Browns have bounced back from week 1

The hit on the Browns was that they didn’t beat a lot of quality opponents. It started with the loss to the Ravens. A 38-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers also didn’t help the perception.

That’s what made last week’s win important for Cleveland. They won 41-35 against a team from the Tennessee Titans who led the AFC South. The Browns were leading 38-7 at halftime. Baker Mayfield threw four touchdowns in the first half. It was impressive and against a good team.

It could calm the critics for a week, but if the Browns are overthrown by the Ravens again, the same questions will come up. Cleveland is a good team. It’s difficult to get to 9-3 without being very good. The Browns are directing the ball very well. Now that Jarvis Landry is in good health, the passing game is much better. The defense hasn’t been great, but Cleveland has a few factors of difference, led by defensive end Myles Garrett.

But because of the Browns’ sad history, they will have to continue to prove themselves. The rematch with the Ravens is less about positioning in the playoffs and more about gaining respect.

Ravens need wins to secure playoff spot

After that Week 1 win, the Ravens couldn’t have thought they would be watching the Browns in the standings in mid-December.

The Ravens were 14-2 last season and started this season 5-1. The offense has not been as effective this season but the Ravens were still winning.

Then the trouble started. They lost four out of five. They had a COVID-19 outbreak that forced their Week 12 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers to be postponed, and they were extremely shorthanded for a loss to Pittsburgh. The Ravens bounced back to rush for nearly 300 yards in a win over the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday night, but it’s hard to say if that took advantage of a horrific Cowboys defense or a sign the Ravens are rediscovering. their form of 2019.

The two teams are desperate, but for different reasons. The Ravens need wins to ensure they get a wildcard spot in a competitive AFC. The Browns haven’t won anything and it would be devastating to lose a playoff berth after a 9-3 start, but there is likely a little extra for them at stake on Monday night.

Either way, it should be a very different game than anyone would have imagined after week 1.

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49ers leave home and face bills on Yahoo Sports app

By Sports app

The San Francisco 49ers were 4-6 at the start of their week off. Before playing last week against the Los Angeles Rams, they found out they had been forced out of their home port in Santa Clara, not knowing when they would be able to play or train there again.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve already attributed the 49ers’ season to a Super Bowl hangover. We knew some teams would catch bad breaks in a weird 2020, and arguably no one was luckier than the 49ers. They’ve had a ton of injuries, several players are on the reserve / COVID-19 roster (they’ve used a team record of 74 players this season) and they’re now the first team this season moved from their home stadium. origin.

Still, the 49ers are not out of the playoff race. The 49ers beat the Rams last week, sweeping the season streak, and all of a sudden at 5-6, they’re back in the mix. The 49ers will look to continue against the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, a game that can be streamed live on the Yahoo Sports app.

It will be a home game for the 49ers … in Glendale, Ariz., With the Arizona Cardinals. It’s not like the 49ers aren’t used to adversity.

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert scores a rushed touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams. (AP Photo / Kelvin Kuo)

The 49ers still in the race for the playoffs

The 49ers’ toughest night of the season was likely a Thursday night game of Week 9. Due to injuries and other COVID-19-related absences, the 49ers had a lineup against the Green Bay Packers that looked like to something you would see in week four of the preseason. They lost 34-17 and the game was not that close. A loss to the Saints a week later seemed to end the 49ers’ chances.

But five weeks from the end, there is still hope. The Cardinals’ surprising loss to the New England Patriots dropped them to 6-5, one game ahead of the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and 49ers at 5-6. The Rams are 7-4, and even though they lead the 49ers by two games, San Francisco holds the tiebreaker against them.

The 49ers are starting to pick up players. Cornerback Richard Sherman, running back Raheem Mostert and wide receiver Deebo Samuel returned last week. Rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is expected to return this week. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle could be back by the end of the season.

The 49ers are not in great shape. They’ve dug a big hole this season but the roster is starting to improve, they played well last week and the NFC race was not lost on them. They have little margin for error, and beating the Bills would probably be a good idea if they are to stay in the chase.

49ers adjusting to their new home

It’s tough enough that you need to win at least four and maybe the remaining five games to make the playoffs. But moving operations five weeks from completion add a unique challenge.

“Hopefully we can go for a week and figure out somehow – what we can do, what we can’t do, what the situation is – and then we’ll spend the next two weeks trying to do the things. adjustments needed … as good as possible for any issues we can fix, “49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said.

Sometimes adversity can rally a team. It’s not ideal for anyone to have to move to Arizona all the time, but they are professionals and they will take care of it the best they can.

If the 49ers beat the Bills and then advance to the playoffs, it will be one of the most impressive stories of the NFL season. It wouldn’t be as grand as making a Super Bowl, like San Francisco did last season, but it would still be a proud moment considering all of the 49ers have gone through it.

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Steelers and Ravens in rare Wednesday game on Yahoo Sports app

By Sports app

The NFL has played Wednesdays before. He never played on a Wednesday afternoon because NBC wanted to show off the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center.

This NFL season is weird, and it peaks when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens (hopefully) start Wednesday at 3:40 p.m. ET. It’s a great morning lunch for NFL fans on the West Coast. The game can be streamed live on the Yahoo Sports app if you want to follow a single Wednesday afternoon soccer game. Kick-off has been moved to mid-afternoon to host NBC’s much-loved special “Christmas In Rockefeller Center.”

We got to this point because the Ravens had an outbreak of COVID-19. The Thanksgiving game had to be rescheduled Sunday, then Tuesday and Wednesday. It won’t be Wednesday’s first game in NFL history. But it will only be the second since 1948, assuming it stays on schedule.

Has the NFL ever played on a Wednesday?

The NFL has always been fairly predictable in its schedule. Most matches take place on Sunday. Monday Night Football has a tradition that dates back to 1970. Thursday and Sunday night games followed. The league squeezes in a game or two on Saturday after the college football season ends. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays are generally reserved for the rest of the sports world.

This season the NFL will go for the cycle. If the rest of the games go as planned – that’s a big guess – the NFL will have games on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday this season. For some, it’s a dream come true. It’s a bit of a nightmare for Fantasy Football managers, but they will adapt.

There has been only one game on a Wednesday in the modern NFL. In 2012, the NFL moved its annual season opener from Thursday to Wednesday. The NFL rarely pulls out for anything when scheduling games (except for Christmas tree lights), but they didn’t want to go against President Barack Obama’s speech at the Convention National Democratic Party.

This is how the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants ended up playing an NFL game on a Wednesday. It’s the only Wednesday game in the NFL in the past 72 years.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) faces the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday. (Photo by Mark Goldman / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Some historic NFL games took place on Wednesdays

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Wednesday matches from 1925 to 1940 were not that rare. Then again, this is when the NFL still had teams like the Pottsville Maroons and the Rochester Jeffersons.

Wednesday’s first game in NFL history took place in 1925 and pitted the Detroit Panthers against the Cleveland Bulldogs. The first night game in NFL history took place on a Wednesday, between the Chicago Cardinals and Providence Steam Roller in 1929.

From 1925 to 1940, there were 38 Wednesday games in the NFL, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1948 there was one more, a season opener between the Los Angeles Rams and the Detroit Lions. This game was also remarkable because that night the Rams became the first NFL team to have logos on their helmets.

Then the NFL took Wednesday off until 2012. Part of the NFL’s popularity is that casual fans don’t need to follow it seven days a week like other major sports. They can binge on a Sunday and attend games on Thursday or Monday if they wish. More serious NFL fans wouldn’t mind games every day of the week.

In this strange season during a pandemic, they make their wish come true.

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