Chargers Shock Seahawks 30-21

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There was a play in the first quarter of the Seattle-San Diego game Sunday where Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was given a sly shove by Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner as he went out of bounds, a shove the officials didn’t see.

Rivers, in his typical on-field demeanor, turned and gave Wagner an earful.

The message: Try that on other quarterbacks and other teams because the Chargers aren’t backing down.

And they didn’t.

San Diego went on to beat the Seahawks 30-21 and did it like few expected, which is to move the football consistently against a defense that some were saying might be the best ever after their season-opening domination of the Green Bay Packers.

The Chargers dominated all the numbers. They had 26 first downs to 14 for Seattle, controlled the time of possession — which Seattle usually does — 42:15 to 17:45 and limited Marshawn Lynch to 35 yards on six carries.

Beast Mode was Least Mode.

Take away a 51-yard touchdown run by Percy Harvin, which should have been shorter and a non-score since he stepped out of bounds, and Seattle had 12 rushes for 51 yards, and that included 18 yards on two scrambles by Russell Wilson.

Rivers threw three touchdown passes to Antonio Gates and made it feel like the old days, showing that both can still get it done.

The Chargers also threw at Seattle’s top cover corner Richard Sherman, which Green Bay avoided in Week 1. That’s smart. Keenan Allen caught a few passes against Sherman, nothing huge, but they did attack him some, even if they didn’t expose him as some Chargers said they did.

Going at Sherman is how Rivers ticks. He is as fierce a competitor as there is at quarterback and the Chargers take on his persona. Were it not for a fourth-quarter collapse at Arizona, the Chargers would be 2-0 heading to Buffalo next week.

Huskies Move to (3-0)…Smash Illinois 44-19

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SEATTLE (AP) Linebacker Shaq Thompson returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown, picked up a fumble and rumbled 52 yards for another score, and Washington routed Illinois 44-19 on Saturday, improving to 3-0 under Chris Petersen.

Thompson became the first Washington player to score via fumble and interception in the same game since at least 1978, according to the school’s records. Thompson was on the verge of adding a TD on offense but stumbled on a 13-yard run when it looked like he had a clear path to the end zone.

Washington quarterback Cyler Miles threw a 75-yard touchdown to John Ross as part of a 21-point blitz that took less than six minutes of the first half. Dwayne Washington’s 12-yard TD run gave the Huskies a 28-3 lead on the first play of the second quarter.

Wes Lunt threw for 230 yards for the Fighting Illini (2-1), but was unable to take advantage of Washington’s depleted secondary. Illinois was trying for just the fifth 3-0 start in the past 25 years.

Washington played without starting cornerbacks Marcus Peters (suspension) and Jermaine Kelly (injury) and it didn’t matter. After two shaky outings in squeaking past Hawaii and FCS power Eastern Washington, the Huskies put together a complete performance.

Thompson was the catalyst. A week after racing 57 yards for a touchdown on offense, Thompson’s two defensive TDs were part of a 28-2 scoring run by the Huskies. Thompson stepped in front of Lunt’s pass and ran untouched for his first score, just four plays after Miles and Ross hooked up for their long touchdown.

Then early in the second quarter, Lunt was stripped by Andrew Hudson as he attempted to move in the pocket. Washington’s John Timu shielded an Illinois player so Thompson had a clear path to scoop up the loose ball and run for his second touchdown and a 35-5 Washington lead.

Miles was 15 of 20 passing for 191 yards and added another 55 yards rushing. If there is a complaint for Washington it might be the run game. Collectively, the Huskies finished with 245 yards rushing – most of those coming in the fourth quarter – but there was no standout ball carrier. Dwayne Washington had 58 yards rushing on 11 carries while Jesse Callier ran for 53 yards and had a 3-yard TD run for Washington’s first score.

The effort was what Petersen was hoping to see after offense struggles in the opening win at Hawaii and the defensive concerns that arose after last week’s narrow victory over Eastern Washington.

Cameron Van Winkle added field goals of 20, 25 and 51 yards.

Another Bites the Dust ..Money May (47-0)

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It didn’t take long for the Mayweather-Pacquiao questions to surface. After Floyd Mayweather Jr. handled Marcos Maidana (for the second time) by virtue of unanimous decision on Saturday night, Money was inevitably asked about a potential bout against Manny Pacquiao.

“I got to go back and talk to my team. I’m not ducking or dodging no opponent. If the Manny Pacquiao fight presents itself, let’s make it happen,” he told Showtime’s Jim Gray. “He’s got a guy in front of him [Chris Algieri on Nov. 22]. Once he gets past that task, we’ll see what the future holds.”

There have been talks in the past between the two icons’ camps but it has yet to amount to the made-for-TV bout many have anticipated. The major stumbling blocks have included a damning accusation from Mayweather’s side that Pacquiao was using PEDs along with questions about the distribution of the prize money.

For what it’s worth, Pacquiao’s camp believes that the fight will eventually happen.

Mayweather, having downed Maidana to improve to 47-0, recently said that his last fight would come in September 2015. What better way to go out.

Mayweather- Maidana Part 2.

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When WBC and WBA welterweight and WBC light middleweight title holder Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. rematches Marcos Rene Maidana on September 13 in Las Vegas, the pound-for-pound king will earn ($purse amount) and the challenger will take home ($purse amount) for his efforts.

The pre-fight chatter suggested this could turn into a winner-take-all affair. In the video below, Mayweather challenged Maidana to bet his purse on the fight.

Steve Farhood on the Boxing Channel says Maidana didn’t agree to the bet, but per Jake O’Donnell of the Sports Grid, El Chino said this through an interpreter:

“As far as the bet, yeah, I’m willing to take the bet no problem. I will take the bet.”

In all likelihood, there won’t be a bet of any kind, but the segment did make for some interesting trash talk. 

If the two fighters did bet their purse, all the odds suggest Maidana would be the one going home with nothing to show for his night’s work. 

While the tough Argentinian did perform above most fight fans’ expectations in the first bout, the fight wasn’t as close as some would have you believe.

Maidana was active early. For the most part, he maintained his pace throughout the fight, though he did seem to slow down a bit around the seventh or eighth rounds. Even though Maidana threw twice as many punches, Mayweather still landed more.

The pace Maidana set with his pressure is what allowed him to have success, but it doesn’t mean he won the fight.

The fact that some fans believe Maidana won—just because he didn’t get completely embarrassed—is a testament to how dominant Mayweather has been.

In the rematch, Mayweather won’t allow Maidana to gain early momentum from throwing a plethora of shots while he lay against the ropes. Mayweather will look to crush Maidana‘s confidence early by employing the lateral movement he showed late in the first fight.

Look for Money to also target the body a bit more. Maidana has never taken shots to the midsection well, and Mayweather could have done that a little more in their first meeting. 

When it’s all said and done, Mayweather will make the rematch look a lot easier than the first fight. Expect to see a unanimous-decision victory for Money.

Seahawks -Chargers Preview

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What many viewed as a 20-point domination of a fellow NFC contender in the league’s season opener last week didn’t feel the same to the reigning Super Bowl champions.

The Seattle Seahawks rightly possess expectations of themselves that exceed the norm, and their confident yet banged-up defense is stressing improvement heading into Sunday’s road matchup with the San Diego Chargers.

Seattle held Green Bay’s offense to 255 yards – fewer than its league-leading average of 292.3 allowed per game in 2013 – and sacked Aaron Rodgers three times in last Thursday’s 36-16 home victory.

But the Seahawks allowed a first-quarter touchdown, matching the amount they gave up in 19 games during their championship run last season, and Rodgers connected on 69.7 percent of his passes after opposing quarterbacks completed 59.0 percent in 2013.

Those out-of-character occurrences irked Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman.

“It was off. We weren’t up to par. We weren’t up to snuff, and I think everyone feels that way,” Sherman said. “We’ve got to play better.”

After an overall solid effort didn’t impress them, the Seahawks must move forward without another member of a secondary regarded as one of the deepest in the league. Tharold Simon missed the opener due to knee surgery and will be out at least four weeks, and fellow cornerback Jeremy Lane injured his groin against the Packers and will miss at least eight weeks.

Safety Kam Chancellor is confident the back unit will be just fine.

“(I) have no concerns at all. We always say no weak links,” Chancellor said. “Anything we know, anything we see on the field, we share with our backups, we share with each other. So everyone is on the same beat (and) if anyone goes down a guy can step right in, step in with confidence and finish the game.”

Rookie Marcus Burley, acquired in a trade with Indianapolis on Aug. 30, stepped in for Lane and is expected to remain in that role.

“We really liked the kid coming in and did a fantastic job of being ready to play in that game down the stretch,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We have no other alternatives that we would think of at this point.”

Seattle has had plenty of time to prepare for the Chargers, who let an 11-point, third-quarter lead slip away in Monday’s 18-17 loss to Arizona. Philip Rivers threw for 238 yards and a touchdown, but a snap sailed over his head in the fourth to put San Diego out of field-goal range and helped the Cardinals get in position to score twice in the final 12 1/2 minutes.

Coach Mike McCoy stressed those types of mistakes can’t happen again.

“Against a good football team that’s coming here on Sunday, you can’t give them the opportunities,” McCoy said. “You’ve got to put them away when you have the chance.”

NFL SCHEDULE WEEK 2

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Sun, Sep 14
10:00 AM
1:00 PM
Miami Dolphins
(1-0)
Mia @ Buffalo Bills

(1-0)
Buf Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, New York CBS
Sun, Sep 14
10:00 AM
1:00 PM
Jacksonville Jaguars
(0-1)
Jax @ Washington Redskins

(0-1)
Was FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland CBS
Sun, Sep 14
10:00 AM
1:00 PM
Dallas Cowboys
(0-1)
Dal @ Tennessee Titans

(1-0)
Ten LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee FOX
Sun, Sep 14
10:00 AM
1:00 PM
Arizona Cardinals
(1-0)
Ari @ New York Giants

(0-1)
NYG MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey FOX
Sun, Sep 14
10:00 AM
1:00 PM
New England Patriots
(0-1)
NE @ Minnesota Vikings

(1-0)
Min TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota CBS
Sun, Sep 14
10:00 AM
1:00 PM
New Orleans Saints
(0-1)
NO @ Cleveland Browns

(0-1)
Cle FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio FOX
Sun, Sep 14
10:00 AM
1:00 PM
Atlanta Falcons
(1-0)
Atl @ Cincinnati Bengals

(1-0)
Cin Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio CBS
Sun, Sep 14
10:00 AM
1:00 PM
Detroit Lions
(1-0)
Det @ Carolina Panthers

(1-0)
Car Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina FOX
Sun, Sep 14
1:05 PM
4:05 PM
St. Louis Rams
(0-1)
StL @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(0-1)
TB Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida FOX
Sun, Sep 14
1:05 PM
4:05 PM
Seattle Seahawks
(1-0)
Sea @ San Diego Chargers

(0-1)
SD Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California FOX
Sun, Sep 14
1:25 PM
4:25 PM
Houston Texans
(1-0)
Hou @ Oakland Raiders

(0-1)
Oak O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California CBS
Sun, Sep 14
1:25 PM
4:25 PM
New York Jets
(1-0)
NYJ @ Green Bay Packers

(0-1)
GB Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin CBS
Sun, Sep 14
1:25 PM
4:25 PM
Kansas City Chiefs
(0-1)
KC @ Denver Broncos

(1-0)
Den Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado CBS
Sun, Sep 14
5:30 PM
8:30 PM
Chicago Bears
(0-1)
Chi @ San Francisco 49ers

(1-0)
SF Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California NBC
Mon, Sep 15
5:30 PM
8:30 PM
Philadelphia Eagles
(1-0)
Phi @ Indianapolis Colts

(0-1)
Ind Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana ESPN

Steelers & Ravens Try to Move Past Ray Rice Story

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Disturbing new video evidence that surfaced earlier this week regarding Ray Rice’s domestic violence incident left the Baltimore Ravens little choice but to terminate the embattled running back’s contract immediately.

And though such an offensive finding further complicates an issue that has drawn criticism toward the franchise and the NFL as a whole, the short-term impact on the field doesn’t change for the Ravens, who already were prepared to play without Rice in Thursday night’s home matchup with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rice was banned two games by commissioner Roger Goodell after a video showed Rice dragging his unconscious then-fiancee from a casino elevator after a domestic spat that drew charges from law enforcement, though they eventually were dropped.

But after a more complete video surfaced Monday that showed Rice punching his now-wife before pulling her out of the elevator, the Ravens released Rice. Goodell, who previously admitted the initial suspension was too lenient, followed by suspending Rice indefinitely.

”(The video) changed things, of course,” said coach John Harbaugh, who had expressed his support for Rice since the initial reports of the incident were publicized. “It made things a little bit different.”

Though the Rice situation could be a distraction, nothing changes personnel-wise in regards to this contest. The Ravens still must figure out the direction of their running game after totaling just 23 yards on nine carries in the first half and falling behind 15-0 before the break Sunday against Cincinnati.

Bernard Pierce started but fumbled in the second quarter and didn’t play again. Justin Forsett took over and ran 11 times for 70 yards and a touchdown, but the Ravens gave up a late touchdown pass after briefly taking the lead and lost 23-16.

”The game is done. It’s shaken off. On to next week,” Pierce said.

Things may not go much better against the Steelers if Baltimore can’t get its offense going. Joe Flacco went 35 of 62 for 345 yards and an interception, with 80 of those yards coming on a TD to Steve Smith in the fourth quarter.

Though Flacco was shaky, his receivers dropped an NFL-high six passes in Week 1.

San Francisco 49ers Suspended Broadcaster

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers suspended veteran broadcaster Ted Robinson on Wednesday night for the next two games following comments this week on a San Francisco radio station about the Ray Rice domestic violence case that were deemed insensitive.

The Pac-12 Networks also announced late Wednesday it had suspended Robinson for the next two weeks and that he would undergo sensitivity training. The 57-year-old Robinson spoke while co-hosting on KNBR radio Monday and said Rice’s now-wife, Janay, was partly to blame for not speaking up.

“That, to me, is the saddest part of it,” he said.

The issue of domestic violence is particularly sensitive for the 49ers, who recently had one of their players arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Defensive tackle Ray McDonald has continued to practice and play since his Aug. 31 arrest while celebrating his 30th birthday with friends and teammates at his home. CEO Jed York and coach Jim Harbaugh have said they will let “due process” play out before making a decision about McDonald, while reiterating they have zero tolerance for domestic violence.

Robinson issued apologies through the 49ers and Pac-12 Networks.

“I want to unconditionally apologize for my comments the other day,” Robinson said. “As a professional communicator, I am responsible for my words. My choice of words was careless and does not reflect my true feelings about domestic violence. I understand that the cycle of abuse keeps people in unhealthy relationships. No blame or responsibility should ever be placed on a victim.”

In a statement, 49ers President Paraag Marathe said he told Robinson of the decision earlier Wednesday.

“The comments made by radio broadcaster Ted Robinson on Monday were offensive and in no way reflect the views of the San Francisco 49ers organization. We have made the decision to suspend him for the next two games. I informed Ted of our decision earlier today, and we will continue to address this matter with him internally. Our organization stands strongly against domestic violence and will not tolerate comments such as these.”