Redskins

Carr pick sends Cowboys past Steelers in OT, 27-24

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Carr pick sends Cowboys past Steelers in OT, 27-24

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Brandon Carr figured Ben Roethlisberger was throwing his way. Thousands of Terrible Towel-waving Pittsburgh fans at Cowboys Stadium weren't happy with the Dallas cornerback's reaction.

Carr intercepted a pass from Roethlisberger on the second play of overtime and returned it 36 yards to the 1, setting up Dan Bailey's 21-yard field goal that gave the Cowboys a 27-24 win over the Steelers on Sunday.

Bailey's kick - 1:24 into OT - won a game for the second straight week since Dallas practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown was killed in a one-car accident that led to manslaughter charges against teammate Josh Brent.

The Cowboys (8-6) have won five of six and pulled even with the New York Giants and Washington atop the NFC East with two games remaining.

Carr, who said he was anticipating Roethlisberger's throw to Mike Wallace because Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was his coach in Kansas City, made a diving catch and jumped up along the Pittsburgh sideline. Legions of black-and-gold clad fans on that side of the stadium watched in silence as Carr came within inches of ending the game himself.

``That was like a buzzer-beater,'' Dallas defensive end Marcus Spears said. ``That guy studies the game and understands it. There is no doubt in my mind that he knew that was coming.''

The winning kick came after Tony Romo, who broke the 25,000-yard passing milestone earlier in the game, took a knee to put Bailey in better position. Bailey beat Cincinnati 20-19 last week with a 40-yarder as time expired, just a day after the accident that killed Brown.

Brown's death came a week after Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, Carr's former teammate, fatally shot his girlfriend before driving to Arrowhead Stadium and committing suicide in front of his coach and general manager.

The Cowboys draped Brown's No. 53 jersey over the bench - just as they did in Cincinnati a week ago - and had a helmet decal with his number. Brent, accused of driving drunk in the fatal accident, watched from the sideline.

``We have a lot of heavy hearts right now,'' Carr said. ``Fifty-three was on the sideline today, so after the interception, that's where the game ball went.''

The Steelers (7-7) lost for the fourth time in five games and trail AFC North rival Cincinnati by a game for the second wild card spot. They host the Bengals next week.

Roethlisberger is 0-2 since returning from a three-game absence with shoulder and rib injuries, and he lost to the Cowboys for the first time in three starts. It was Pittsburgh's first trip to Cowboys Stadium since losing to Green Bay in the Super Bowl two years ago.

``There won't be any quit from us, especially from me,'' Roethlisberger said. ``This one is going to sting real bad. It will hopefully make me and make us better.''

The defining play came from a Dallas defense playing without six injured starters, the latest being Carr's playing partner on the other side, first-round pick Morris Claiborne. The rookie was sidelined after sustaining a concussion against the Bengals.

``I really can't explain it. It's something destined about this team,'' defensive end Jason Hatcher said. ``You look back there and you don't know nobody back there behind you.''

The score was tied 24-all in the final two minutes of regulation. Pittsburgh quickly moved to its 46 after a completion by Roethlisberger and a roughing-the-passer penalty against DeMarcus Ware.

But Sean Lissemore and Anthony Spencer sacked Roethlisberger on consecutive plays to give the Cowboys the ball back.

``Everyone has seen Ben do that in the fourth quarter multiple times,'' Spears said. ``We knew we had to go back there and affect him in the pocket and at least try to get in his way. Fortunately, those turned into some sacks for us.''

The Cowboys couldn't do anything in the final minute. Their drive stalled at the Steelers' 43, and Bailey lined up for a 61-yard field goal attempt with 32 seconds left. But Dallas called timeout and punted instead. Roethlisberger took a knee, sending the game to overtime.

Roethlisberger was sacked four times and finished 24 of 40 for 339 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

``We're still in the same situation we started in before we came,'' said Wallace, who had 95 yards receiving, including a 60-yarder to set up a touchdown. ``We know we win these last two games, we're still in the tournament.''

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh was driving for a go-ahead score when Ware and Spencer sacked Roethlisberger at the Dallas 40, forcing a punt with three minutes left. The Cowboys opted to punt at the two-minute warning after a third-down pass to Dwayne Harris was less than a yard short of the first down.

Roethlisberger put the Steelers ahead 24-17 with a 7-yard scoring pass to Antonio Brown, and Brown was about to put Pittsburgh in control with a long punt return.

But Brown fumbled when Victor Butler reached out and knocked the ball loose at the end of a 22-yard return. DeMarco Murray, who had 81 yards on 14 carries, then scored on a 3-yard run.

``There was about five or six guys, all in black and yellow,'' Butler said. ``And I see the punter and me and the long snapper and I figure I am probably the best tackler out of the three. It was time to make a play.''

Dez Bryant extended his touchdown streak to six games while playing with a broken left index finger, a 24-yard score that put Romo over 25,000 yards for his career and gave Dallas a 10-0 lead.

Roethlisberger pulled the Steelers even before halftime. He stepped away from pressure and used a couple of pump fakes to keep pass rushers away before finding Heath Miller wide open along the sideline on a 30-yard score.

NOTES: The first Dallas touchdown was the first scoring connection from Romo to TE Jason Witten this season. ... Steelers CB DeMarcus Van Dyke injured a shoulder on Pittsburgh's first punt less than two minutes into the game and didn't return. ... Dallas rookie TE James Hanna had two career catches for two key grabs on the Cowboys' first touchdown drive. ... The Grambling State band spelled out ``JB'' in honor of Brown at halftime. ... The loss snapped Pittsburgh's three-game winning streak in overtime. Dallas is 2-0 in OT at Cowboys Stadium after beating Cleveland last month. ... Attendance was 95,595, a season high at Cowboys Stadium.

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2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Jerry Jeudy, Jeff Okudah highlight both sides of loaded passing game class

2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Jerry Jeudy, Jeff Okudah highlight both sides of loaded passing game class

The NFL season is still very young, but it has become very clear which teams will be drafting near the top of the order when the 2020 NFL Draft takes place on April 23 in Paradise, Nev.

The Dolphins, Bengals, Giants, Jets, and Redskins should all be preparing to have a top 10 draft pick come the 2020 NFL Draft, and with the way the early 2019 NFL regular season is playing out, these teams will need a lot of help. 

That's why the Dolphins have decided to punt on the 2019 season focus on the NFL Draft, trading away a litany of their top players to acquire 2020 draft picks, and lots of them.

CLICK HERE FOR 2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT 2.0

The Dolphins will get three first-round draft picks in 2020 thanks to trades with the Texans and Steelers.  Miami will want to invest in a franchise quarterback, but in the modern NFL, you need targets for that franchise QB and you need stars to stop the other team's targets.

While the Dolphins, Bengals, Giants, Jets, and Redskins won't all draft wide receivers or defensive backs, the early NFL season has made it obvious that these teams desperately need help in the pass game, and defending the pass.

Who are the top WR prospects and DB prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft? Glad you asked.

CLICK HERE FOR 2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT 2.0

Top WR Prospects in 2020 NFL Draft:

1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama. Simply put, one of the most talented, explosive WR prospects of the last decade.

2. Tee Higgins, Clemson. Elite ball-catcher with 6-4 frame, but still needs to add muscle and explosiveness.

3. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma.  Great route-runner and gifted competitor. One of the most fun WRs to watch play every Saturday.

4. Laviska Shenault, Colorado. An exceptional athlete who always makes big plays. Needs work on technical route-running.

5. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama. The fastest WR in the class is a deep threat every time he lines up.

CLICK HERE FOR 2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT 2.0

Top CB prospects in 2020 NFL Draft:

1. Jeffery Okudah, Ohio State. Understands leverage and uses his size to his advantage to be a complete all-around corner.

2. Trevon Diggs, Alabama. Great ability in man coverage and shows great ball skills, as evident in his Week 1 INT VS Duke.

3. Kristian Fulton, LSU. Big physical, explosive CB who is next among great LSU DBs.

4. Bryce Hall, Virginia. Hall is always around the ball evident in his nation-leading 22 pass breakups in 2018.

5. C.J. Henderson, Florida. 6-1 instinctual CB with fluid hips that can turn and run with anyone.

CLICK HERE FOR 2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT 2.0

 

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Fantasy Football 2019: Previewing Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes in Week 3

Fantasy Football 2019: Previewing Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes in Week 3

Lamar Jackson faces his first real challenge of the season on Sunday when the Ravens travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs and their star signal-caller, Patrick Mahomes.

Both teams have been very similar through the first two weeks of the season. The Ravens and the Chiefs are the only two teams in the NFL that currently feature a top-five fantasy quarterback, wide receiver, and tight end (BAL: Jackson QB1, Brown WR4, Mark Andrews TE1) (KC: Mahomes QB3, Watkins WR1, Travis Kelce TE3).

While most pegged Mahomes as the de-facto option at quarterback ahead of the season, very few saw the start that Jackson has served up.

Jackson has entered MVP-consideration several months removed from being pegged as an afterthought. After the Heisman Trophy winner took the helm of the offense midway through last season, the NFL questioned his arm strength, his accuracy, and whether he could be the key to leading the Ravens back to the Super Bowl. A disappointing playoff appearance brought along more doubters, but John Harbaugh knew he had something special in Jackson.

The Ravens selected Marquise "Hollywood" Brown in the first round of April's draft and signed veteran running back Mark Ingram to add to Jackson's arsenal. Both moves have been instrumental through the first two weeks of the season. Brown is currently WR4 (12 Receptions, 233 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD,) heading into Week 3, and Ingram is flourishing as RB12 (154 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 2 Receptions, 30 Receiving YDS).

The Chiefs dominance throughout the first two weeks of the season hasn't got as much acclaim. Mahomes and Co. dusted the Jaguars in the season opener and unfortunately lost star receiver Tyreek Hill for a few weeks with a shoulder injury. Sammy Watkins then took advantage of the increased workload and put in the best performance of his career (198 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD). In Week two against the Raiders, Mahomes shredded the Raiders for four touchdowns. 

When these two teams matched up in 2018, Mahomes threw for 377 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, while Jackson threw for 147 yards, two touchdowns, and rushed for 67 yards.

I expect a similar outing for the Mahomes in Week 3, and presume Jackson's rushing total will be significantly less than in their last clash. Both quarterbacks will finish this week in the top-five of fantasy scoring, and we will witness the best game thus far of 2019.

Quarterback Rankings: Week 3
Running Back Rankings: Week 3
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 3
Tight End Rankings: Week 3