NFL Week 9 Game Day Pulse -

NFL Week 9 Game Day Pulse

Follow the latest updates from our NFL writers and keep tabs on the entire slate of games all day long.


    Ed Reed hopes Steelers throw 50 times against Ravens

    You may have heard something about the rivalry between the Ravens and Steelers, two of the best teams in the AFC that will also happen to face off in the Sunday-night game. The last time they got together, back in Week 1, Baltimore steamrolled Pittsburgh, 35-7. The Steelers committed seven turnovers, five courtesy of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

    In the seven weeks since, Pittsburgh has gone 5-1, and last Sunday dominated the Patriots. In that game, Roethlisberger threw the ball 50 times and was easily the best quarterback on the field that day.

    The Ravens' D, one of the most physical units in the league, is unconcerned by Roethlisberger's success through the air. In fact, they welcome it Sunday night.

    "It's been [Pittsburgh's] game plan for a while to challenge me and shake me up," Reed said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I don't know the method to their madness. It's all good.

    "Detroit used to try to take Michael Jordan out when he went to the hole, but he kept coming back. Pittsburgh knows they are going to get a full game worth of play from me. They know if they don't account for me, it's going to cost them. …

    "I'll love for Roethlisberger to throw the ball 50 times," Reed added. "That will be more opportunities for us. So, if they're going to throw it, throw it."

    Reed's right -- the Ravens' D is an opportunistic bunch. Look no further than Week 1 for proof of that. Their biggest obstacle won't come from the Steelers, but from their offense. And Joe Flacco is well aware of that.

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    Who's in, who's out: Week 9

    Turning to the The NFL Today injury insider…

    * According to sources in St. Louis, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (probable, anke) looks good to start later today against the Cardinals. Meanwhile, Arizona starting quarterback Kevin Kolb is out with turf toe. John Skelton will make his fifth NFL start. Running back Beanie Wells will play despite a knee injury.

    * Pittsburgh's linebacker corps is banged up for tonight's return engagement with Baltimore, but James Harrison will be back in the lineup after missing four games with a broken orbital bone. James Farrior is doubtful with a calf injury, and LaMarr Woodley, who sacked Tom Brady twice last week, is out with a hamstring injury. Wide receiver Hines Ward, however, will play.

    * The Giants will be without running back Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks against the Patriots. For New England, wideout Wes Welker, who leads the league with 57 receptions, will play despite a neck injury.

    * Chargers running back Ryan Matthews is doubtful (groin injury) against Green Bay and Mike Tolbert will start in his place. Tight end Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson will start but Malcom Floyd is doubtful.

    For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.


    So why is Philip Rivers struggling?

    CBS insider Charley Casserly tells James Brown on The NFL Today what's going on in San Diego…

    "I checked with the Chargers. Physically, there's nothing wrong with [Rivers]. But in my opinion, here are some of the issues: first of all, the pass protection isn't as good this year as it was last year.

    "They don't have Darren Sproles anymore. And the wide receivers -- a lot of injuries there, they've missed a lot of practice time. A lot of passes in this offense are timing based and they're not getting their timing down in practice.

    "I watched the last three games and I think [Rivers] is still a good player. The thing that jumps out to me: he can still make big-time throws downfield."

    For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.

  • Carson Palmer Clears the Air
    The NFL Today's Shannon Sharpe sat down with Oakland Raiders QB Carson Palmer to discuss his sour departure from Cincinnati as well as his preparation for his first start as a Raider against division rival Denver.

    We give Sharpe credit: he's called Palmer a quitter in the months since Palmer said he wanted to be traded out of Cincy or he'd retire, and Sharpe said straight up, "I'm not going to sugarcoat it: I've called you a quitter … what's your response?"

  • Casserly on Concussion Precautions
    Charley Casserly recently sat down with James Brown to discuss NFL officials watching more closely for player concussions during games.

  • Casserly on Peyton Manning's Rehab
    Charley Casserly sat down with James Brown to discuss Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning's rehabilitation from neck surgery.

  • Tracy Porter carted off field

    On the second play of the Saints-Buccaneers game, Josh Freeman hit Mike Williams on a slant pattern, Saints cornerback Tracy Porter made a normal-looking tackle. But Williams and Porter stayed down on the turf, and though eventually Williams limped off the field, trainers had to secure Porter and strap him to a cart to get him off the field.

    Replays showed that Porter’s head or neck collided with the thigh or knee of Williams, and though it didn’t look like the prototypical head/neck injury, Porter obviously was badly hurt. He stayed on the turf for several long minutes as both teams prayed before officials lifted him onto the cart.

    Before he was driven off the field, Porter gave a first pump to the crowd.

    Hillis' replacement fumbles on first carry of the game
    Here's a fun fact: the Texans leads the NFL with 38 points on opening drives this year. Their opponent today, the Browns, have yet to score on an opening drive. And guess what? It won't happen this week either.

    On Cleveland's first play from scrimmage following a Houston touchdown, running back Chris Ogbonnaya fumbled. He's the guy making his first career start in place of the enigmatic, often injured and lookin'-to-get-paid Peyton Hillis.

    Maybe the Texans knew which play was coming.

    In related news: as we write this, Houston scored again, this time on a Matt Schaub QB keeper. Texans now lead the Browns, 14-0.

    Follow all the action here


    Julio Jones' TD will blow your mind (VIDEO)
    Julio Jones' first career touchdown might turn out to be his best career touchdown (though, hopefully, not his most important touchdown).

    Late in the first quarter with the Falcons leading the lowly Colts, 7-0, Matt Ryan and Jones hooked up for a 50-yard touchdown. The ball traveled some 55 yards in the air and Jones, the rookie out of Alabama, beat three Indy defenders, none of whom ever had a chance to break up the play. The only question was whether Jones made the catch or if the ball hit the ground as he fell into the end zone.

    The play was reviewed but just as the replays showed, Jones had caught the ball cleanly.

    You can watch the magic here.

    Nothing like the 2011 Colts to help fix what ails you.

    Follow all the action here

  • In the second quarter of the Jets-Bills tilt (our CBS national game!), Mark Sanchez threw his first red-zone interception of the year, on one of the worst passes we've seen in a while.<br /><br />

    Bryant might want to change one thing: fumbling at the 1-yard line
    Dez Bryant just had his 23rd birthday. He was asked recently about his sideline antics (he was seen going off during last week's loss to the Eagles) and Bryant said "I don't need to change anything."

    "I said if I go out and change myself, I wouldn’t be me,” Bryant told the Dallas Morning News. “I feel like I’m just going to go out with the same mindset each and every day in practice and the game and go from there.”

    One thing he might need to change: holding onto the ball. Midway through the second quarter of Sunday's home tilt against the Seahawks, Bryant caught a Tony Romo pass in stride and the only thing between him and the end zone was Seattle defensive back Richard Sherman. Turns out, Sherman was enough: he popped Bryant inches short of the goal line, knocked the ball loose, and Seattle safety Roy Lewis made the recovery.

    Head coach Pete Carroll, who spoke of being "hormonal" last week, has to be happy with his team's effort thus far: the 2-5 Seahawks trail the 3-4 Cowboys 6-3 with 6:28 to go in the first half.

    Of course, no Dalls mistake would be complete without the team compounding the issue: head coach Jason Garrett challenged the fumble, arguing that Bryant was down. He was not. Seattle ball.

    Follow all the action here

  • Miami takes first-half lead …again

    The Dolphins haven’t quit yet on coach Tony Sparano, as they’ve proven the last two weeks by taking significant leads on the Broncos and the Giants before losing both games in a nauseating fashion. It’s obviously not all Sparano's fault, because obviously, there’s a talent deficit in Miami.

    Once again, Miami seems ready to score its first victory of the season, as Matt Moore has found tight end Anthony Fasano for touchdown passes of three and 35 yards to give the Dolphins a 14-3 lead against Kansas City midway through the second quarter.

    Meanwhile, the Chiefs (and Todd Haley’s beard) are looking a little haggard at home.

    But before Miami fans break out the champagne, remember this: the Dolphins squandered a 15-0 lead before they were Tebowed and a 14-3 advantage against the Giants. Their ability to close out games isn't exactly evident quite yet.


    Redskins find new ways to play poorly
    You can't blame Rex Grossman and John Beck for everything, though we're sure people will try. Anyway, with just over a minute to go in the first half and with the 'Skins trailing the 49ers 6-0, Washington rookie running back Roy Helu is stripped of the ball (of course he is) by linebacker Patrick Willis.

    Safety Donte Whitner, who signed with San Francisco during free agency, made the recovery at the Redskins' 30-yard-line. That gave Alex Smith and the 49ers offense 69 seconds to add to their lead. They only needed six seconds: Smith found fullback Bruce Miller on a wheel route and he waltzed into the end zone.

    The only way Miller would've been more wide open was if his name was Titus Young and the was playing the Broncos.

    Even more embarrassing: it's Miller's first career touchdown, probably because he had very few chances to score since he was a defensive end at Central Florida.

    The 49ers lead at the half, 13-3.

    Follow all the action here

  • Gano goes deep

    Ryan mentioned that the Redskins were finding new ways to lose. But there's some cause for celebration, as Washington won't get shut out this week, thanks to Graham Gano who bombed a 59-yard field goal at the end of the first half.

    That kick is the longest in Redskins history, and it also ended the Redskins streak of consecutive scoreless quarters at five.

    Follow the thrilling conclusion of this high-octane affair right here.


    Brady Quinn that much closer to starting gig?
    Whether Tim Tebow will be making his last start of the season today against the Raiders will depend on one thing: how well he plays. He's looked confused and overmatched in two previous starts, the lowlight coming last week against the Lions.

    There had been some speculation that first-year head coach John Fox could choose to go back to Kyle Orton, Denver's starter to begin the season. But if Fox's decision to name Brady Quinn the Broncos' No. 2 QB Sunday is any indication, the only way Orton will ever see the field again for Denver is if the quarterbacks in front of him are injured.

    More via the Denver Post's Mike Klis: "Brady Quinn is not only dressing for the first time in three games, he’s the Broncos’ No. 2 quarterback since the final three games of last season. …

    "If Tebow gets the wind knocked out of him or falters, Quinn could see action in the second half. Kyle Orton is the No. 3 quarterback and will also be on the game-day roster."

    Apparently, Fox is unimpressed with the Tebow-Eli Manning comparisons.

    Follow all the action here

  • LeGarrette Blount punching someone on the football field? No way! (Via @World of Isaac)


    Faulk, Price won't play for Patriots Sunday
    A week after playing in his first game of the season, and a year after suffering an ACL injury, Patriots 35-year-old do-everything running back Kevin Faulk won't play against the Giants Sunday afternoon.

    Faulk had 11 touches in New England's loss to the Steelers last week but he'll give way to Danny Woodhead in the role of third-down passing specialist. Woodhead provides the Pats' offense more big-play opportunities but quarterback Tom Brady trusts Faulk more not to make mistakes.

    New England has also declared wide receiver Taylor Price inactive, even though the Pats talked about expanding Price's role against the Giants.

    In related wide receivers news: we suspect that it's only a matter of time before Chad Ochocinco, who's off to the worst start of his NFL career, finds himself in civvies on game day (or worse: the Pats could choose to cut him).

    Follow all the action here


    Dolphins get first win of season, beat Chiefs, 31-3
    Todd Haley's beard is all tapped out. After the Chiefs' 0-3 start, Haley, apparently unable to think of anything else, decided to stop shaving in the hopes that it might change Kansas City's fortunes. And to maximize his chances, Haley dressed like a hobo, too.

    The Chiefs went on to win four games in a row and ended up tied atop the AFC West as they faced the winless Dolphins in Week 9.

    Naturally Miami, 0-7 and one of the league's most dysfunctional teams (take your pick -- the stories write themselves), went to Kansas City and whipped the Chiefs. It was almost as if KC hopped into a time machine back to Week 1 and that team took the field against the Dolphins (quick refresher: the Chiefs lost to the Bills, 41-7, to open the season).

    Miami quarterback Matt Moore threw three touchdown passes on the day and Reggie Bush rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown. The Chiefs, fresh off their overtime victory over the Chargers on Monday night, looked slow and out of sorts, which is exactly how you lose to the Dolphins. It's Miami's first win since last December.

    This won't be enough to save Tony Sparano's job, however, and it puts Haley back on the hot seat, too. No word yet on the fate of his beard.

    Follow all the action here


    Broncos S Rahim Moore injured on first play of game
    Carson Palmer made the first start of his Raiders career Sunday against the Broncos, and on the very first play from scrimmage he … almost threw an interception (he tossed three picks two weeks ago against the Chiefs).

    The pass was intended for Denarius Moore but he was double-covered by Broncos cornerback Andre Goodman and safety Rahim Moore.

    A harmless interception so nothing to worry about, right? Not quite, at least for the beleaguered Broncos' D. Rahim Moore injured his shoulder, colliding violently with Goodman as he tried to make a play on the ball.

    It's more bad news for Denver, an outfit that struggles on both sides of the ball. Tim Tebow's travails are well documented, but the defense has a lot to do with the team's 2-5 record.

    Follow all the action here

  • Saints with a big win against the Bucs

    The Saints, once again, look like the most dangerous team in the NFC South. With the Falcons having little trouble with the Colts, New Orleans -- after last week’s debacle to the Rams and quarterback A.J. Feeley -- rolled to an impressive 27-16 win against the Buccaneers.

    With the victory, the Eagles improved their record to 6-3, ahead of 5-3 Atlanta and 4-4 Tampa Bay.

    Although Drew Brees threw his 33rd interception since the start of 2010 -- the most of any quarterback -- the Saints got a big spark from Darren Sproles, who managed 99 yards of total offense and continued to make the Chargers look silly for not retaining his services. And without No. 1 running Mark Ingram in the game, Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas managed to combine for 133 yards on 23 carries.

    Even when the Buccaneers cut the lead to eight with about 5 minutes to play, the Saints, helped tremendously by a 20-yard Brees scramble, responded with a John Kasey field goal to put the game out of reach.

    Now that the season series with the Buccaneers is finished, the Saints will travel to Atlanta next week before getting their much-needed bye. After that, New Orleans will get the Giants and the Lions before the schedule lightens up a bit before its second meeting with the Falcons in late December.

    And if the Saints falter and allow the Falcons to take the division title again, they can talk solace in this: along with the Lions, New Orleans probably would be on track to grab one of the NFC’s wild card spots.


    Groundhog Day: Philip Rivers throws more interceptions
    Television cameras caught Philip Rivers mouthing "worst game ever" on Monday night after he inexplicably forgot how to take a snap from center, which led to the Chargers losing to the Chiefs.

    Rivers is probably having similar thoughts Sunday after throwing his league-leading 12th interception of the season against the Packers, a tipped pass that ended up in the hands of safety Charlie Peprah, who promptly returned it 40 yards for a touchdown.

    And it wasn't like Peprah had no one in front of him as he made his way to the end zone. He ran through 10 Chargers players, some more than once, and his efforts gave Green Bay an early 14-0 lead. (By the way, we say "10 Chargers players" because Rivers had absolutely no interest in getting involved.)

    We can't write fast enough. On the very next series, Rivers threw ANOTHER interception, his 13th, this time to Tramon Williams. And, yes, Williams took it to the house, too. Packers lead 21-7.

    Hey, Norv, we believe you are now officially on the hot seat.

    Follow all the action here

  • Browns vs. Texans Recap
    Arian Foster rushed for 124 yards, Ben Tate ran for 115 and both scored touchdowns in the Houston Texans' 30-12 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts recap this game.

    Also see: Ben Tate's 27-yard TD

  • Dolphins vs. Chiefs Recap
    Dolphins vs. Chiefs Recap
    Matt Moore threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns, Reggie Bush had 92 yards rushing and another score and Miami walloped Kansas City 31-3 for its first win of the season. Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots recap all the action from Kansas City.

    Also see: Reggie Bush's 28-yard TD run


    Tebow throws TD, plays peacemaker, too
    Tim Tebow is more than a Heisman winner and a swell person. He's also an NFL quarterback, even if just for a handful of plays every week. Making his third start of the 2011 season against the Raiders Sunday, Tebow does what he usually does: hold the ball too long, and struggle to read defenses.

    But on the rare occasion he knows where to go, Tebow can be impressive. Late in the first quarter, Tebow dropped back, saw Eric Decker was open in the middle of the field, hit his wide receiver in stride and it was one of the easiest touchdown pitch-and-catches you'll ever see.

    But Tebow wasn't done. On his way to celebrate, he also had time to break up a fight between a Broncos and Raiders player. Because that's how he rolls.

    Follow all the action here


    Carson Palmer throws first TD with Raiders
    If you had Tim Tebow tossing a touchdown before Carson Palmer then congratulations, you're the big winner.

    Tebow connected with Eric Decker late in the first quarter to give the Broncos a 7-3 lead, but Palmer drove the Raiders down the field and found Michael Bush (!) for an 11-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.

    Palmer, who came out of retirement three weeks ago, and was thrown to the Chiefs after a handful of practices two weeks ago, looks a tad more comfortable in the Raiders' offense. He threw three picks against Kansas City and, in general, looked awful.

    If Oakland is going to have a chance to make it to the playoffs, it'll be because of Palmer. If it turns out that Palmer isn't the guy then, well, the Raiders are in a world of hurt; coach Hue Jackson gave up a first- and (likely) second-rounder to get the Bengals to unload Palmer. But you already knew that.


    Chris Johnson looking very un-Johnson like

    With this season a disaster so far for Chris Johnson, it didn’t figure that his year would get much better today when the Titans faced the Bengals. After all, Cincinnati, entering the game, had the fourth-ranked defense and the second-ranked run defense in the league.

    But in the first half, it looks like Johnson -- who came into the game averaging 2.8 yards per carry -- has rejuvenated himself.

    He’s moving quickly, making Bengals defenders miss and breaking tackles -- none of which Johnson has been adept at this year. In all, he’s got nine carries for 55 yards and two catches for another 22 yards as the Titans lead 17-7.

    We’re not ready to proclaim that Johnson IS BACK!!!! But this has to be awfully comforting for the team that paid him a ton of money in the preseason.


    Wes Welker is kind of tough
    Wes Welker got drilled before halftime of the Patriots-Giants game on Sunday and stayed on the ground through a full commercial break. He was assisted by the trainers and, well, if Welker misses time, the Patriots are in trouble.

    Fortunately for Tom Brady and Co, Welker doesn't miss time until things get REAL serious -- Welker was back on the field the very next play.

    He didn't catch a pass on the final drive of the half, but that wasn't the problem for New England.

    Their problem was Stephen Gostkowski shawshanking a 27-yard field goal that left the game scoreless at the half.

    Follow the SEC-like second half here.

  • Jets vs. Bills Recap
    New York Jets' QB, Mark Sanchez, completed 20 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown in a 27-11 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Join CBS Sports' Jim Nantz and Phil Simms for a recap of all the action.


    'On any other team' and Forte says he would've been paid by now
    We've talked about Chris Johnson's new deal, the reports that LeSean McCoy could be getting paid soon, too, as well as the possibility of Ray Rice and Matt Forte getting franchised after the season.

    Predictably, that thought doesn't make Forte particularly happy. During an appearance on NBC SportsTalk Friday, Forte, the Bears' workhorse running back, said "any other team" would have paid him by now. (Feel free to include the requisite #paytheman hashtag here … and then punch yourself in the face. Seriously, #paytheman is this season's #fivedollarfootlong. Please make it stop.)

    “I think it really depends on what organization you’re in and how they treat their players," Forte said, as transcribed by the Chicago Sun-Times' Sean Jensen. I feel if I was on any other team, and you produce, and you were drafted by that team, and you produce enough in the last four years, it would be easy to really get a deal done. I’m not really sure what the problem is and what’s going on.”

    It could be any number of things, from the Bears not wanting to pay a running back a lot of coin to Chris Johnson ruining things for everybody else.

    Whatever happens, Forte will get paid, either in Chicago or somewhere else.


    John Skelton 2 for 2 on safety opportunities
    Turns out, it doesn't matter who's under center for the Cardinals: at the end of the day, they're just not a very good team. The quarterback obviously has something to do with it, but spotty play from the offensive line and the defense certainly hasn't helped.

    Against the Rams Sunday, Cards' QB John Skelton (he started for an injured Kevin Kolb) wasn't awful, but he wasn't great, either. Through nearly three quarters, Skelton was 10 for 17 for 123 yards (0 TD, 0 INT) which is fine. But Skelton was also singularly responsible for two ridiculous safeties. With Arizona pinned deep, Skelton dropped back to pass in his own end zone, held the ball forever, was pressured, and eventually sacked and/or flagged for intentional grounding.

    You don't see that everyday.

    The Rams lead, 13-6.

    Follow all the action here

  • The NFL Today: Week 9 Postgame Show
    James Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason recap the week 9 games including the Jets win over the Bills and the Falcons victory over the Colts.

    Eli pick gives back the momentum

    There's really no such thing as closing out the Patriots in Gillette, especially if you're only up 14 points. But New England's struggled so badly (four turnovers) that the Giants had a pretty good shot of stepping on their throat, holding the ball in the red zone, when Eli Manning threw a no-look pass to Kyle Arrington.

    That would be awesome, but they're not on the same team and this isn't basketball. Instead, Tom Brady got the ball back, marched down the field with a seven-play, 80-yard drive, and hit Aaron Hernandez for a game-tying touchdown.

    Brady then did that thing where he looked like he wasn't going to lose and he was probably going to score some points for his fantasy owners.

    There's still plenty of game left, but if you were a betting man who was thrilled at the Giants lead, you're probably sporting the same face as Eli on the sideline after his pick.

    Follow all the action here.

  • Brees on Big Day
    Drew Brees passed for 258 yards and two touchdowns, and New Orleans gained 195 yards on the ground in a 27-16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.


    Report: Vontae Davis was hung over at practice

    According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins believe Vontae Davis was drunk the night before last week’s altercation with Brandon Marshall and that he smelled like alcohol when he arrived hung-over at the team facility.

    Coach Tony Sparano, after the team’s first win of the season, declined to elaborate on the reason why Davis wasn’t in uniform.

    "I’m not going to get into any of that," coach Tony Sparano said. "You guys know that. Vontae is obviously not here. What goes on in those locker room doors will stay between me and Vontae.”


    Broncos beat Raiders 38-24, Palmer throws 3 INTs
    The biggest story coming out of Oakland isn't that the Raiders lost at home to Tim Tebow, but that the Raiders' shiny, new franchise quarterback continues to play like he's retired.

    Carson Palmer, who was traded from the Bengals to the Raiders three weeks ago for a first- and second-round pick, the thinking was that he'd show up, learn the playbook, and magically revert to his 2005 form. And maybe that will happen, but so far, through two games, we've been treated to post-2005 Palmer, which means questions about his arm strength and and accuracy. (No, the irony of talking about such things without mentioning Tebow's name isn't lost on us.)

    So what happens now? Well, the Raiders are 4-4 (which still has them tied atop the AFC West with the Chiefs and Chargers), but 0-2 with Palmer. The Broncos, meanwhile, are 3-5, and 2-1 with Tebow. Because, you know, he just wins, baby.

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