Confident in exploiting Pats secondary, Ward sat out


Confident in exploiting Pats secondary, Ward sat out

Hines Ward was officially listed as questionable going into last Sunday's game against the Patriots.

Maybe if the Steelers were playing a team with a better secondary, his status would have been upgraded.

Ward told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he essentially didn't suit up because the Steelers didn't think he was needed to "exploit the Patriots' secondary" -- something they easily did without him.

"I probably could have forced it and played but we have some great wideouts," Ward said. "I wasn't really concerned. And against the Patriots, we felt we could exploit their secondary. That wasn't the same secondary that we played against a year ago . . . without having James Sanders, and Brandon Merriweather wasn't back there and they let Leigh Bodden go. We kind of liked our matchups. So there was no need for me to try to force it and go."

Very well, Hines. The Patriots surely made you and the Steelers pay for taking them for granted.

Oh, wait, they didn't.

What's interesting is how opposing wide receivers like Ward remember former members of the Pats secondary deemed by the Pats as not good enough for them anymore. Judging by Ward's comments, though, it appears that perhaps Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio, and the rest of the front office underrated their former players. Maybe they were in better hands last year than they are now with the likes of Antwaun Molden, Sergio Brown, and Phillip Adams on the field.

Who woulda' thought?

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official


Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.