Browns-Ravens MNF Showdown Is Cheapest NFL Game on Secondary Market This Season

It will be a cellar-dwelling affair at FirstEnergy Stadium tonight as the Cleveland Browns welcome the Baltimore Ravens. The two AFC North teams have combined for a 5-15 record this season, claiming the bottom two spots in a division that will likely be won by the 9-2 Cincinnati Bengals. With the Browns looking to avoid a sixth consecutive loss, tonight’s Monday Night Football game will be the cheapest NFL game on the secondary ticket market this season.
From the loss of Joe Flacco to a torn ACL to Johnny Manziel’s latest benching for an off-field incident, there has been little to cheer for in either Cleveland or Baltimore this season. Monday’s battle in Cleveland will be the latest chapter in a season of forget, and the average price for Browns vs Ravens tickets on TiqIQ is $42. If looking to just get in, the cheapest ticket is listed for just $10.
For those planning to attend tonight’s game in Cleveland, offers the best deals on flights from anywhere in the world and hotels surrounding FirstEnergy Stadium. Cleveland hotels on Hipmunk start from $46 per night while Airbnb listings can be found for as low as $35 each night.
With Manziel riding the pine in favor of Josh McCown, the Browns will look to snap a five-game losing streak. Their last win came against the Ravens during Week 5, when McCown threw for an impressive 457 yards and two touchdowns. The carriage quickly turned back to a pumpkin over the following five weeks, dropping games to the Broncos, Rams, Cardinals, Bengals and Steelers to solidify a 2-8 record. A loss tonight would match them with the Titans for the worst record in the league this season.
Flacco is the latest star to suffer a season-ending injury for the Ravens. Their injured reserve list is abundant with key players, including Terrell Suggs (torn achilles), Breshad Perriman (knee), Jeremy Zuttah (torn pectoral), Steve Smith (torn achilles) and Justin Forsett (broken arm). 34-year-old Matt Schaub will make his first start under center since the 2013 season.
While tanking is a relatively new concept in the NFL, both the Browns and Ravens may be better served taking a loss tonight to preserve a higher pick in the 2016 Draft. Pending a loss the Browns would be in an arms race with the 2-9 Titans for the top spot while the 3-8 Ravens could place themselves in the mix as well. Ohio State’s Joey Bosa is current projected No. 1 pick, according to

Source: Bengals working out cornerback Chykie Brown today

The Cincinnati Bengals are working out former New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Chykie Brown today, according to a league source.
Brown was signed by the Giants to a two-year, $2 million deal earlier this year before being released.
Brown played in eight games with four starts for the Giants last season.
He had nine tackles with the Ravens last season and 31 with the Giants last year. For his career, Brown, 28, has 79 tackles and 10 pass deflections.
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.

Colts place Ahmad Bradshaw on injured reserve, sign Zurlon Tipton

The Indianapolis Colts placed veteran running back Ahmad Bradshaw on injured reserve with a wrist injury.
They re-signed running back Zurlon Tipton.
Bradshaw has ended the last three seasons on injured reserve.
Boom Herron will move up the depth chart.
Starter Frank Gore has averaged 2.5 yards per carry over the past month on 83 attempts.
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.

Panthers sign Cortland Finnegan

The Carolina Panthers signed veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan.
Finnegan worked out for the Panthers on Friday.
Finnegan has 18 career interceptions in nine NFL seasons.
He retired in March.
Cornerback Charles Tillman has missed two games with a knee injury.
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle

Week 12 GameChangers – Should the Steelers have gone for it on fourth down instead of kicking a field goal?

To highlight the Live ScoreCaster, we will take our in-game technology, Live ScoreCaster, to the next level to review the game-changing plays from the NFL and what the game would have looked like if the plays had turned out differently.

Click the header for each game to view the Game Breakdown for each matchup.

The Play

Seahawks vs. Steelers

Pittsburgh is one of the most aggressive teams in the NFL. The Steelers have attempted the most two point conversions (converted one in the second quarter against Seattle) in the league, but Mike Tomlin got conservative at the worst moment. Trailing 32-27 with under four minutes to play the Steelers opted to kick a field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-goal from the three yard line. The successful field goal only increased Pittsburgh’s expected win probability from 31 percent to 33 percent.

There are a lot of good reasons to think that Pittsburgh would have been successful if they had gone for it on fourth down. For starters, the team has converted over 70 percent of their two point attempts (similar distance from where the fourth down would occur) and Ben Roethlisberger was shredding the Legion of Boom – he threw for 456 yards Sunday afternoon. Had the Steelers gone for it on fourth down and scored a touchdown, leading 34-32, Pittsburgh would have become 60 percent likely to win.

If the Seahawks would have stopped the Steelers on fourth down, Pittsburgh’s expected win probability decreases to 15 percent. The down side of failing is a potential decrease of 18 percent in expected win probability, the upside is a gain of 27 percent. Tomlin made the wrong decision, the Steelers should have been more aggressive.

For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

The Decision

Raiders vs. Titans

Oakland got the best of Tennessee Sunday afternoon winning 24-21. The Raiders got some help from the Titans who were penalized 11 times for 94 yards including a questionable defensive holding call.

The Raiders were trailing 21-17 with less than two minutes to play and game appeared to be over when a fourth down pass was broken up by Michael Griffin in the end zone. However, officials flagged B.W. Webb for holding on the other side of the field away from the play. The penalty gave Oakland a new set of downs and made the Raiders 50.2 percent likely to win. The flag was worth 40.3 percent in net win probability.

Had the penalty not been called, Tennessee would have been 97 percent likely to win.

For additional GameChanging notes from this game click here.

Additional Highlights

The Houston Texans have won four games in a row for the first time since 2012. Brian Hoyer led the way completing 21-of-27 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. The Texans quarterback was worth 24 percent in to the team’s net win percentage.

Alex Smith threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns leading Kansas City to a 30-22 win over Buffalo. The Chiefs signal caller improved KC’s win probability by 53.4 percent.

Matt Hasselbeck improves to 4-0 on the season as Indy beats Tampa Bay 25-12. The 40 year old quarterback threw for 315 yards and two scores. Hasselbeck’s expected win probability added was 33.8 percent.

Cincinnati’s defense came to play against St. Louis. The Bengals forced three interceptions and returned one pick for a touchdown. The turnovers increased Cincy’s expected win probability by 15 percent.

The NFC East is a mess. The Redskins are in first place after a 20-14 win over the New York Giants. Washington got DeSean Jackson going early. Kirk Cousins found Jackson for a 63-yard touchdown. The big play increased the Redskins’ expected win probability by 13 percent.

The Chargers ended a six game losing streak by beating Jacksonville 31-25. Philip Rivers threw for four touchdown passes and was worth 80 percent in net win probability.

Chicago’s defense came up big to deliver a 17-13 win in Green Bay. The Packers were 85 percent likely to win with the ball inside the 10 yard line with less than a minute to play. The Bears completed a goal line stand to preserve the win.

Is there a quarterback controversy brewing in Denver? Brock Osweiler rallied the Broncos from a two touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter (one percent chance to win) to beat New England 30-24 in overtime. Of the top ten plays that impacted the change in win percentage in the game, Osweiler was involved in seven of them.

Source: Rob Gronkowski knee injury 'not serious'

New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski’s right knee injury “isn’t serious,” according to a league source.
Gronkowski got hurt during an overtime loss to the Denver Broncos.
Gronkowski got it X-rayed and was able to walk under his own power with a limp.
Gronkowski isn’t expected to miss a significant amount of time.
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.

Monday Morning MD: Patella tendon rupture often worse than ACL

Two of the NFL’s top tight ends were injured Sunday and one is lost for the year. It’s bad enough that Jimmy Graham’s inaugural Seahawks campaign is done; however the injury may affect his 2016 season as well. Although both are season ending and require surgery, patella tendon tear is often worse than even an ACL tear.
Graham collapsed on his right leg in the end zone, but by video, the injury happened on the previous step. With the application of an aircast, many wrongly assumed leg fracture. My worst fear of knee extensor tendon rupture were confirmed postgame by head coach Pete Carroll.
The surgery is the easy part. The rehab is the hard part. Patella tendon repair is not an arthroscopic procedure, rather it is a simple open repair where the tendon is sewn together and often augmented with suture through drill holes in the bone. The kneecap tendon is well over an inch wide and is larger, broader and stronger than the ACL. The open incision and early immobilization required leads to more scar tissue, loss of motion and atrophy. In ACL surgery, an arthroscopic is used and patients are encouraged to move and bear full weight immediately after surgery thus speeding recovery.
The grueling rehab takes a minimum of 6-9 months; however, the struggle to regain explosiveness and full power goes well beyond that.
Giants WR Victor Cruz never made it back from last season’s patella tendon tear, but his recovery was complicated by a calf strain. Patriots LB Jerod Mayo did make it back this year; however, his per game productivity is only a quarter of that pre-injury. Through Week 12, Mayo has 22 combined tackles compared to 53 in only six games last season before his tendon rupture.
The Seahawks tight end hopes to fair better than these two comparisons. Cruz relies on explosiveness, while Graham can use his big body. Offensive players have an advantage as they can dictate and plan their moves, where it is harder for defenders like Mayo who have to react instantaneously.
By all accounts, Graham is a great kid and a hard worker. We all wish him well and hope he can come back strong as the new standard for patellar tendon recovery like Adrian Peterson set the new standard for ACL return.
MMMD 1: Gronk goes down
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The Patriots would gladly take Sunday night’s loss if they can get their star tight end back. The video of a ferocious hit to the legs and Rob Gronkowski writhing in pain scared everyone. On further film review, the right foot being off the ground likely saves Gronk from serious injury. My hope/expectation in real time was for contusion/bone bruise or possible mild knee sprain (LCL/PCL) without structural damage. MRI will be obtained this AM.
Early source reports, video of Gronk walking and dressing normally seem to indicate optimism. Hope this star tight end meets a better fate than Graham’s season ender.
MMMD 2: Big Ben self-reported concussion
In the aftermath of the Case Keenum controversy, it was refreshing to see Ben Roethlisberger report his head injury symptoms and to have the Steelers act immediately to remove him despite it being a close game late in the fourth quarter. Cynics would say Big Ben only came out after being down by two scores, but Roethlisberger was already being looked at before the Seahawks final touchdown.
The spotter’s job is proving to be a hard one as the medical timeout rule was once again not used here. We cannot be sure when the potential concussion happened, but by video, it was likely on the roughing the passer penalty where Roethlisberger took a hit to the head and stayed down briefly. He played nine more plays in that drive.
No one will be penalized in the Keenum case, but here is the second week in a row a starting QB was not immediately removed for evaluation. The “eye in the sky” and the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant (UNC) were put in place specifically for this job. My guess is the league will instruct spotters to be more aggressive in calling medical timeouts going forward.
MMMD 3: Cowboys didn’t do Romo wrong
When something goes wrong, human nature is to look for responsibility. I don’t believe the Dallas medical staff deserves any blame in Tony Romo’s clavicle re-fracture.
Fractures don’t heal like a light switch, more like a gradual sunrise. In order to be as strong as the other side, it would take six months, yet the NFL average return is 6-8 weeks. Romo was re-injured 10 weeks out and I am sure he was informed of increased risk. Unfortunately, as he was sacked, he instinctively rolled onto his vulnerable left side to protect his throwing shoulder.
Romo’s hairline fracture will heal well without surgery. He now will have the full six months to heal as strong as possible. I see no medical issue with his clavicle moving forward for 2016.
MMMD 4: Beastmode has surgery after all
Marshawn Lynch “popped a muscle off his pelvic bone” and had surgery to repair it. Whether it is called sports hernia, athletic pubalgia or core muscle, the anatomy and recovery are the same. Sports hernia is certainly a misnomer since there is no true hernia.
Although injury severity varies, average recovery in the NFL is approximately six weeks. After surgery in Philadelphia this season, Zach Ertz returned at four weeks and Arian Foster took eight weeks. The hope is Lynch can return and be effective for playoffs.
MMMD 5: Quarterback updates
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Aaron Rodgers hurt his “funny bone” and it initially looked worse than it was. The injury is neither funny (quite painful) nor is it a bone (ulnar nerve). He holds the outside of his wrist/hand as that is where the pain radiates. The good news is that typically symptoms resolve quickly and Rodgers won’t miss time.
Peyton Manning is in a walking cast for his plantar fasciitis. Even if the cast comes off today, he is unlikely to be ready for Week 13 or 14. These injuries linger.
Russell Wilson needed three liters of intravenous fluids during the game. He woke up with flu-like symptoms but still led the Seahawks to a win.
Andrew Luck has now missed two games with his kidney laceration. This injury is a safety issue and typically the minimum is four weeks, if not more.
Sam Bradford has missed two games with his concussion and shoulder injury. He has been cleared from concussion and his presumed left AC joint sprain is mild. Look for him to be good to go this week.
MMMD 6: Medical potpourri
Carlos Hyde missed his fifth week with a foot stress fracture. Assuming he has a Jones fracture, the procedure carries a 6-8 week recovery. In retrospect, it seems surgery might have been the better move.
Danny Amendola missed this week with what I presume to be a mild PCL sprain, which is a 1-4 week injury. Question is how effective he can be in stopping and changing directions when he first returns.
Geoff Schwartz fractured his ankle and is undoubtedly headed to IR.
Chris Culliver had an unfortunate Thanksgiving Day practice injury. He tore his ACL and will need surgery.
Allen Hurns was taken to the hospital but has been already discharged. He has a concussion but his neck is reportedly fine.
Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington both exited the Cardinals game. The hope is Johnson’s knee and Ellington’s foot injuries are relatively minor.
Dont’a Hightower missed the second half with a knee injury. Video was inconclusive on a mechanism, which hopefully is a good sign that it is minor. A report surfaced of a MCL sprain which I hope is minimal.
Justin Houston did not return from a hyperextension knee injury. The hope is for a mild knee sprain and/or minimal bone bruise and an early return.
Karlos Williams left the game with an unknown shoulder injury that I did not see by video.
MMMD 7: ProFootballDoc scorecard
This was an up and down week with some good video calls and some key misses that will lower the prediction percentage below 95% (98-5 thru last week).
I correctly indicated Keenan Lewis season was over but it seems to be his MCL not ACL. By video, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie knee seemed to give way but he was announced as an ankle injury and returned.
Jimmy Graham was a good call on patella tendon tear. Aaron Rodgers immediate funny bone diagnosis came despite beat reporters tweeting wrist injury. Allen Hurns hospitalization was precautionary. Peyton Manning indeed has missed more than the initial week. Marshawn Lynch had sports hernia surgery as predicted. Danny Amendola knee sprain does seem to be a PCL injury. The Tony Romo call of re-fracture was an easy one. Carlos Hyde’s extended absence was anticipated. Tyrod Taylor played through his mild shoulder separation. Bryan Bulaga ankle injury was minor.
Rob Gronkowski and Justin Houston calls will have to be evaluated next week as more information is known.
This brings the 2015 total to 108-7 or 93.9%.

Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham out for season with torn patellar tendon

Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham’s season is over. He tore the patellar tendon in his right knee and will need surgery.
“We’ve loved Jimmy Graham coming to our team and [are] very grateful that he’s been part of it,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We’re going to miss the heck out of him the rest of the season. He’s been a fantastic addition. You saw him again today doing stuff, and he was going to have a huge day today if he was able to stay out there. So that’s unfortunate.”
Graham has 48 catches for 605 yards and two touchdowns this season.
With the New Orleans Saints, Graham averaged 77.5 catches, 950.4 yards and 10.2 touchdowns.
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.

Dolphins fire offensive coordinator Bill Lazor

The Miami Dolphins’ coaching staff, run by interim coach Dan Campbell, will no longer employ ineffective offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.
Campbell fired him. He promoted quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor to play-calling duties, but didn’t give him the coordinator job.
Phil McGeoghan has been promoted to receivers coach from assistant receivers coach.
Taylor is in his fourth season with the Dolphins and his third as the team’s quarterbacks coach, having been named to that position on January 30, 2013. Taylor originally joined the organization as the team’s assistant quarterbacks coach on January 30, 2012. Taylor joined the Dolphins from Texas A&M University, where he served as the offensive graduate assistant and tight ends coach.
He spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being signed as an undrafted college free agent on April 29, 2007. He then joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League in the fall of 2007.  The 2006 Big 12 Player of the Year as a quarterback at Nebraska, Taylor passed for more than 2,700 yards on the season and led the Cornhuskers to a 9-3 record and an appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game.
McGeoghan is in his fourth season with the Dolphins after being named assistant wide receivers coach on February 4, 2012. He joined Miami after spending three seasons (2009-11) as the wide receivers coach at the University of South Florida. In 2008, McGeoghan worked as the offensive coordinator for the Naval Academy Prep School, which oversees the professional and athletic development of midshipmen and cadet candidates. McGeoghan returned to his alma-mater, Maine, in 2007 as an assistant coach with responsibilities over the tight ends and wide receivers. McGeoghan (pronounced muh-GAY-gehn) played in the NFL for four seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets, in addition to playing in NFL Europe for the Berlin Thunder after a successful career as a wide receiver at the University of Maine (1998-2000).
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL
Aaron Wilson covers the Texans for The Houston Chronicle.