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September 22, 2021

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Aaron Jones lives up to big contract with four TDs in Packers win vs. Lions

ESPN
GREEN BAY, Wis. — It’s a good thing the Green Bay Packers bucked tradition and gave Aaron Jones the kind of money many thought they’d be hesitant to deliver to a running back in free agency last offseason. He’s the best thing the Packers have going for them right now.......

Aaron Rodgers’ MNF legacy: Win No. 1, an epic comeback, a broken collarbone and more

ESPN
GREEN BAY, Wis. — It’s not just the games that Aaron Rodgers has enjoyed about Monday Night Football. It’s the characters and legends associated with it. Take John Madden, for example. Even though Madden called Monday Night Football games for four seasons (2002-05), he’s someone Rodgers closely associates with the......

With the Bears facing the Bengals’ Joe Burrow, the topic of starting Justin Fields rages on

ESPN
6:00 AM ET Jeff Dickerson Close ESPN Staff Writer Dickerson covers the Chicago Bears for ESPN’s NFL Nation. He is the co-host of “Dickerson & Hood” on the ESPN Radio national network, and is heard in Chicago on ESPN 1000. Ben Baby Close ESPN Staff Writer ESPN Staff Writer Previously......

Conquering ‘our kryptonite’: Inside Lamar Jackson’s three hurdles to beating the Chiefs

ESPN
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — If the Baltimore Ravens want to avoid their worst start in six years, quarterback Lamar Jackson is going to have to find a solution to a problem that’s stumped him during his first three NFL seasons: How to beat the Kansas City Chiefs. Jackson is 30-8......

Dallas Cowboys, despite injury news, aren’t in here-we-go-again mode yet

ESPN
FRISCO, Texas — You could not blame Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy if he took a moment to wonder what he has done to upset the football gods. His first season was a 6-10 mess with tragedy (the death of strength and conditioning coach Markus Paul), horrific injuries (Dak Prescott‘s......

‘It takes a village’: How Browns QB Baker Mayfield remade his body after a disastrous 2019

ESPN
BEREA, Ohio — Two years ago, on Monday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield tried to escape the pocket to heave a pass downfield. But as he lumbered to his right, Nick Bosa easily tracked him from behind to force him into an intentional......

Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes know it can’t be just Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce

ESPN
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes was being chased by a defender to the sideline and had to make a quick decision on what would be the single most important play of the Kansas City Chiefs‘ season-opening win over the Cleveland Browns. As he ran, Mahomes spotted the raised hand......

Arizona Cardinals’ J.J. Watt done ‘tiptoeing’ around his training

ESPN
TEMPE, Ariz. — Brad Arnett sat outside the football fields at Arrowhead High School in Hartland, Wisconsin, last fall, waiting for school to finish and practice to start, when a text message showed up. It was J.J. Watt. That, in itself, wasn’t a surprise. Arnett, a defensive line coach at......

Chase Young or Justin Herbert? ESPN experts hit rewind, make Washington’s 2020 pick

ESPN
ASHBURN, Va. — When the Washington Football Team drafted defensive end Chase Young with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NFL draft, it was a no-brainer. A local kid who played a premium position and was ranked as the draft’s No. 1 player by ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr.......

New York Jets go young (12 rookies!): Short-term pain, long-term gain

ESPN
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets believe they’re building something special. For now, in 2021, they would like their fan base to admire the blueprint and the construction site. Chances are, that’s all you will get. Sorry, no fancy skyscrapers this year. When team officials discuss the upcoming......

Joe Judge coaching New York Giants his way, despite similarities to New England Patriots

ESPN
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New York Giants had two joint practices with the New England Patriots last week, and after each one the Giants went to condition by running on the hill behind the Gillette Stadium practice field. This is a move usually reserved for coach Bill Belichick’s Patriots, but......

What Gardner Minshew trade means for Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Hurts impact?

ESPN
PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles changed the look of their quarterback room by acquiring Gardner Minshew II from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a conditional sixth-round pick Saturday — and we’re not just talking about the mustache. Does the move made by the Eagles reflect any sort of statement on second-year quarterback......

How a near-death experience helped shape Lions GM Brad Holmes

ESPN
6:00 AM ET Eric WoodyardESPN DETROIT — There was a lot to catch up on when Brad Holmes arrived home in Tampa, Fla., for Christmas break of 1999. Not far removed from helping North Carolina A&T win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Black college football national championship as a sophomore......

Sam Darnold starting to find himself in Carolina Panthers’ offense

ESPN
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule has insisted since the beginning of training camp that quarterback Sam Darnold doesn’t have to focus on being a leader, only on “playing quarterback.’’ In other words, Rhule wants Darnold to focus on getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers......

Cowboys’ Jaylon Smith shakes off criticism like ‘Michael Jordan, LeBron James’

ESPN
FRISCO, Texas — As the Dallas Cowboys continue to fall in love with 2021 first-round draft pick Micah Parsons, delight in the apparent rejuvenation of Leighton Vander Esch and smile at the transition to linebacker made by Keanu Neal, there is a burning question to answer. What happens to linebacker......

Gold-medal streak: Inside the Ravens’ 19-game record of summer dominance

ESPN
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It was Aug. 11, 2016, and the Baltimore Ravens captured their first of 19 straight preseason wins with a 22-19 victory over the Carolina Panthers. And the most memorable moment had nothing to do with football. Late in the fourth quarter, the Ravens players and fans......

Steady Teddy Bridgewater earned Denver Broncos’ QB job, but it’s not over for Drew Lock

ESPN
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The No. 18 loomed large over the quarterback decision Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio faced throughout the offseason — all the way to his selection on the fourth Wednesday in August of Teddy Bridgewater over Drew Lock. No. 18 as in Peyton Manning, whose historical four-year run......

Can Sony Michel’s big-game experience help carry Rams to Super Bowl?

ESPN
9:00 PM ET Lindsey ThiryESPN Close Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times Previously covered the Falcons Has covered the NBA and college football and basketball THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — When running back Cam Akers suffered a season-ending Achilles injury before the start of training camp, it served......

Jameis Winston vs. Taysom Hill: Stakes get higher in Saints’ QB battle

ESPN
NEW ORLEANS — Who knew we’d be seeing a playoff game in August on Monday Night Football? The New Orleans Saints‘ quarterback competition is still, unofficially, too close to call heading into their second preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Before you craft your social media response about how that......

Months into Jets job, Robert Saleh’s character-building put to the test

ESPN
A look at what’s happening around the New York Jets: 1. Curses! Crisis management is a big part of every NFL head coach’s job, especially the HC of the NYJ. For some reason, bad stuff happens a lot to the Jets. When the Carl Lawson injury news broke Thursday, one......

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