Aaron Rodgers throws 4 TDs to lead Packers past Bears

CHICAGO — Aaron Rodgers urged Packers fans to http://www.dolphins.us.com/Dion_Sims_Jersey relax. Maybe they will after this one — the 700th regular-season victory in team history. Rodgers threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns, and Green Bay shook off one of its worst offensive performances in years with a 38-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon. The Packers (2-2) scored on their first six possessions to build a 38-17 lead. They racked up 358 yards after being held to 223, their lowest total since 2008, a week earlier in a 19-7 loss at Detroit. They intercepted Jay Cutler twice in the third quarter to pull away from the Bears (2-2). That gave Green Bay five straight wins at Soldier Field, including the NFC title game four years ago and a playoffs-or-bust finale for both teams last season. Rodgers called on Packers fans to take a deep breath during the week, and he gave them reason to exhale with this performance. “I just wanted to http://www.officialramsnflshop.com/RAMS-JANORIS-JENKINS-JERSEY remind everybody that it’s a long season, and at some point, we’re going to get this thing figured out,” Rodgers said. He had all the answers in this one, which allowed Green Bay to join the Bears (732) as the only teams with at least 700 regular-season wins. Rodgers posted a 151.2 rating for the game, completing 22 of 28 passes, and had all the time he needed with five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen sitting out because of an illness. He threw two touchdown passes each to Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, and a fifth got called back by a penalty. That happened early in the third when a scrambling Rodgers got hit by at least one defender while unleashing an awkward, wobbly 34-yard pass that somehow connected with Davante Adams in the end zone. Cobb had seven catches for 113 yards. Nelson had 10 receptions for 108 yards, and the Packers came away with the win despite allowing 496 yards. The offenses were so effective — or the defenses struggled so badly — that neither team punted. That happened only once before in a regular-season NFL game, 22 years ago. “Interesting,” Nelson said. “Obviously, turnovers were a big thing. It’s fun, especially when you’re putting up points and having a good time.” The Bears basically matched Authentic Josh Harding Womens Jersey Green Bay score for score before Cutler threw those interceptions. He wound up passing for 256 yards and two TDs but fell to 1-10 lifetime against Green Bay, counting the postseason. Matt Forte ran for 122 yards on 23 carries. Martellus Bennett had nine catches for a career-high 134 yards, but Chicago came up short after back-to-back wins at San Francisco and the New York Jets. “I thought we were playing well, I thought we were moving the ball well,” Cutler said. “We were changing it up. I thought (coach Marc Trestman) called a really good game. We just had some unfortunate things happen to us that kind of derailed us,…




Saints’ defense remains biggest concern

ARLINGTON, Texas — So which was the anomaly? The New http://www.broncos.us.com/Von_Miller_Jersey Orleans Saints’ stunning defensive turnaround in 2013? Or their stunning regression this season? Sunday night’s debacle in Dallas shouldn’t be pinned on the Saints defense alone. The number of guilty parties after their 38-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys was roughly equal to the number of seats on the team plane. And nobody was shying away from that fact after the game. But the Saints offense has a track record that offers hope and optimism going forward. Heck, they even tried to turn this one into a real game with two quick second-half touchdown drives. It’s the defense that remains the biggest question mark after yet another meltdown Sunday night. It let Tony Romo throw for 262 yards and three touchdowns, while DeMarco Murray ran for 149 yards and two scores. “Definitely, I think now after these couple games, it is a big deal now,” said safety Kenny Vaccaro, one of many who had started to chafe at the constant line of questions about what was wrong with the Saints defense after the first two losses. “First, it’s like, ‘OK, we’re starting slow.’ But once you’re 1-3 it’s like, ‘OK now we gotta. …’ The first 25 percent of the season’s over. So I don’t know.” Those questions were especially hard to ignore this week in Dallas, where so many people who follow the Cowboys were asking both before and after the game if the bloom was off the Rob Ryan rose? Ryan was hired as the Saints’ defensive coordinator Brooks Reed Youth Jersey last year after being fired by the Cowboys following a disappointing second season as their defensive coordinator in 2012. It seemed like Ryan got the last laugh on the Cowboys when New Orleans routed them 49-17 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome last season. But now Ryan has admittedly found himself in a spot once again where he needs to “prove it.” The New Orleans defense was supposed to be more loaded than it’s been in any time in the Sean Payton-Drew Brees era. They finished fourth in yards allowed and points allowed last year, and then added Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd for good measure. Instead, they’re currently ranked 29th in the NFL in yards allowed, 27th in points allowed and 31st in turnovers forced (one, which came way back in the first quarter of Week 1). “It’s nothing about the scheme,” Saints middle linebacker and captain Curtis Lofton said. “What it comes down to is you gotta whup the man across the line from you. And if you don’t do that, then you’re not gonna be successful. If you gotta man him up, then you man him up. If I gotta tackle the running back, I gotta tackle the running back. It’s plain and simple. There’s no magic schemes. You gotta whup somebody in front of you.” So what is it, exactly, that’s not working for the Saints defense? The only correct answer is, “Everything.”…


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Smith leads the way as Ravens beat Panthers 38-10

The most surprising aspect of Steve Smith’s performance http://www.ravensshop.us.com/Deonte_Thompson_Jersey against the Carolina Panthers was that it didn’t include taunts or bluster. Smith opted to punish the Panthers through his play on the field, and by the end of the afternoon the 35-year-old receiver had made a definitive statement. Smith burned his former team with seven catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Baltimore Ravens to a 38-10 victory Sunday. Smith spent 13 seasons with Carolina before he was released during the offseason in a cost-cutting move. Proving he’s still got a knack for making the big play, Smith scored twice in the second quarter to help put Baltimore (3-1) in front 21-7 at halftime. And he didn’t get in the face of the defender on either occasion. ”I didn’t have anything good, bad or indifferent to say. I just played. At the end of the day, honestly they didn’t deserve anything I had to say that would be derogatory – and I didn’t need to,” Smith said. ”They didn’t even deserve me to spin the ball on them. I just caught it and put it down and went about my business.” His first touchdown came on a pass that deflected off the right hand of teammate Owen Daniels. Smith caught the ball in stride and took it into the end zone to complete a 61-yard play. Nothing the Panthers haven’t seen before. ”He did some really good things,” Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. ”And that’s who Steve is.” Smith also scored from 21 yards out with a diving reception. He celebrated in dignified fashion, taking the ball with him to the sideline for safekeeping. Before the game, it was evident Brian Quick Youth Jersey to Ravens coach John Harbaugh that Smith was going to keep his yapping to a minimum. ”He recognized the gravity of the situation,” Harbaugh said, ”the need to get control of those emotions.” It was also a huge day for Joe Flacco, went 22 of 31 for 327 yards and three touchdowns. Carolina (2-2) has lost two straight, both in lopsided fashion against AFC North foes. Cam Newton completed 14 of 25 passes for 197 yards. Under duress for much of the afternoon, he was sacked twice. Newton received little help from a running game that was without leading rusher Jonathan Stewart (knee), and DeAngelo Williams left in the second quarter with an ankle injury. Carolina’s defense was also spotty. One week after yielding 264 yards rushing in a loss to Pittsburgh, the Panthers gave up 454 yards of offense and 25 first downs. Worse, the Panthers lost a fumble, didn’t force a turnover and were penalized seven times – twice for having 12 men on the field. ”Apparently we’ve got to look at what we’re doing and make sure it gets corrected,” Rivera said. ”We’ve got to find answers and we’ve got to do it quickly.” Flacco led four drives of 80 yards, all of them resulting in touchdowns. Justin Forsett ran for…




Only 14 players left from ’09 Saints-Vikings

We’re coming up on the Vikings Brian Robison Jersey five-year anniversary of the NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings, and only 14 players remain on their combined rosters as they head into Sunday’s Week 3 matchup back in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Vikings have six players left, not counting reserved running back Adrian Peterson. The Saints have just eight players, including two who left and came back (center Jonathan Goodwin and receiver http://www.vikingsshop.us.com/Captain_Munnerlyn_Jersey Robert Meachem). The Saints “feel” a lot more like the same team, though, with coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees still directing one of the NFL’s most potent passing offenses. Meanwhile, Minnesota has experienced far more turbulence. Since 2009, the Vikings have switched coaches twice (from Brad Childress to Leslie Frazier to Mike Zimmer). And they’ve used a total of seven starting quarterbacks in the past four seasons, with first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater likely to make it eight sooner than later. The Saints have returned to the http://www.vikingsshop.us.com/Chad_Greenway_Jersey playoffs three times in the last four seasons, with a combined regular-season record of 42-24. The Vikings have returned to the playoffs only once, with a combined regular-season record of 25-40-1. The disparity would be even greater if not for the Saints’ 7-9 campaign in 2012, during which Payton and others were suspended for allegations of running a bounty program — including a specific bounty on Vikings quarterback Brett Favre in that January 2010 NFC championship game. Both Favre and Saints http://www.vikingsshop.us.com/Christian_Ponder_Jersey linebacker Jonathan Vilma are currently out of the league — as is kicker Garrett Hartley, who nailed the game-winning field goal in that 31-28 thriller. Another Saints hero from that game, cornerback Tracy Porter, has played with three other teams since then. Share on Facebook




Titans vs. Colts preview

The Indianapolis Colts got Antoine Bethea Authentic Jersey off to a slow start, losing their first two games of the season until the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars helped them get their first victory Sunday. The Tennessee Titans opened the season with a victory, but have dropped their last two games while being outscored 59-17. The Colts and Titans meet at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday to see which team can even its record to .500. ESPN.com Colts reporter http://www.49ers.us.com/Blaine_Gabbert_Jersey Mike Wells and Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky discuss this AFC South matchup. Wells: At the start of the season, there were some questions about whether Jake Locker was the right guy to quarterback the Titans. Now he’s dealing with a wrist injury. At what point do the Titans determine if he’s truly their quarterback of the future? Kuharsky: Soon. They want http://www.49ers.us.com/Carlos_Hyde_Jersey to give him a thorough look and a fair chance. He played a great game in Kansas City, a terrible first half against Dallas and a terrible game in Cincinnati. But coach Ken Whisenhunt doesn’t appear to be shaping his offense around Locker’s skill set. Locker simply isn’t capable of doing what Kurt Warner or Philip Rivers did with Whisenhunt as the playcaller. This is Locker’s final year under contact. At some point, if he still http://www.49ers.us.com/Dan_Skuta_Jersey isn’t playing well, they have to decide he’s not the future and then get a look at sixth-rounder Zach Mettenberger to find out whether he’s the answer. Otherwise, they’ll need to spend a high draft pick to compete with Mettenberger and Charlie Whitehurst in 2015. Share on Facebook




Hope Solo – Does domestic abuse have a double standard

The dust is http://www.coltsofficialauthentic.com/COLTS-GRIFF-WHALEN-JERSEY settling around National Football League (NFL) players Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy after each man was arrested for separate cases of domestic abuse. Now another prominent athlete is making headlines for similar reasons – female football star Hope Solo. In June, the US national women’s team’s star goalkeeper was arrested and charged with two counts of domestic abuse in connection with an assault on her sister and 17-year-old nephew. She has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial in November. Rice is suspended from the NFL indefinitely and Peterson and Hardy have been benched. But Solo continues to play for two teams, including the US national side. Nike has publicly ended ties with Rice and Peterson, but nearly three months after Solo’s arrest, the company has not said a word about its sponsorship deal with her. This summer, the US Soccer Federation issued this gentle statement: “We are aware that Hope is handling a personal situation at the moment,” US Soccer spokesman Neil Bluethe told USA Today. “At the same time, she has an opportunity to set http://www.officialushockey.com/patrice-bergeron-jersey a significant record that speaks to her hard work and dedication over the years with the national team. While considering all factors involved, we believe that we should recognise that in the proper way.” Since then, Solo broke the record to which Mr Bluethe referred – the women’s national team record for shutouts. Some commentators say she should have been sent off the field months ago. “Solving the problem in the NFL while ignoring the issue elsewhere would accomplish little as a whole,” writes John Smallwood for the Philadelphia Daily News. “If we are going to address domestic abuse, let’s address it, regardless of the status of the accused perpetrator.” Thousands of young girls flock to stadiums to watch Solo play, he notes. “How is it OK to showcase Solo to those girl fans – some of whom unfortunately will become victims of the same domestic abuse she is accused of?” he asks. ESPN’s Kate Fagan came out in favour of a strong punishment for Solo. “The issue is about anger and power, about controlling relationships with violence, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator,” she wrote. “The US women’s national team is sending the wrong message by allowing Solo to continue playing.” But as if Chargers Eddie Royal Kids Jersey to demonstrate the complicated nature of this case, Fagan felt compelled to follow up days later. While she stands firm in her desire to see Solo benched, she says she was uncomfortable with how many people were using Solo’s actions as a way to neutralise the discussion of domestic violence within the NFL. “See?” she wrote, summarising the arguments that troubled her. “Women commit domestic violence, too, so let’s just call it even and get back to watching some football!” That approach, she writes, is a mistake. “The reason the ‘NFL and domestic violence’ story is so important is because it’s holding up a mirror…