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Aldon Smith Could Have Suspension Reduced

Aldon Smith Could Have Suspension Reduced

Brian Bahr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- San Francisco 49er Aldon Smith could be returning sooner than later, according to a league source that confirmed Monday the linebacker's suspension may be reduced for good behavior.

Smith was initially suspended nine-games prior to the start of the season for violating the NFL's personal conduct and substance abuse policies. The suspension is set to be lifted on Nov. 10, following San Francisco's game against the New Orleans Saints.

However, a league source confirmed a report that the penalty may be reduced by one or two games. That means the linebacker could return prior to San Fran's matchup with the St. Louis Rams on Nov. 3. The 49ers have a bye-week in Week 8 and a Week 9 return would only improve a linebacking core that has been hampered with injuries and suspensions.

In order for the suspension to be reduced, Smith must maintain his good behavior. Under the terms of the suspension, the four-year veteran has been allowed at the team facilities for meetings and conditioning but has not been allowed to practice.

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Second Quarter Outburst Lifts Steelers Past Houston

Second Quarter Outburst Lifts Steelers Past Houston

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers scored 24 points in the second quarter, including three touchdowns in less than 90 seconds, to pick up a 30-23 win over the Houston Texans on Monday night. It was the 16th straight victory for the Steelers on Monday Night Football.

Trailing 13-0 halfway through the second quarter, the Steelers (4-3) got on the board with a Shaun Suisham field goal at the 3:08 mark. Less than two minutes later, Ben Roethlisberger found Martavis Bryant for a 35-yard touchdown pass that brought Pittsburgh within three at 13-10.

What happened next changed the course of the game. Two plays after the touchdown, Houston's Arian Foster fumbled deep in his own territory to give the Steelers perfect field possession. Wide receiver Antonio Brown then delivered a three-yard pass to Lance Moore on a reverse, putting Pittsburgh ahead 17-13. Things only escalated for the Texans (3-4) when Ryan Fitzpatrick's pass was tipped an intercepted on the very next play.

That set-up another scoring drive for Pittsburgh, capped off by a Roethlisberger two-yard strike to Le'Veon Ball, making it a 24-13 ball game at halftime.

"You stand on the sidelines long enough, you will see explosions such as that," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "It was good to be on the good side of it."

The Steelers only mustered a pair of second-half field goals and had to hold off a late rally by the Texans. Houston pulled within a touchdown when Fitzpatrick and Foster connected for a touchdown pass with 1:31 remaining in regulation. However, the ensuing onside kick was recovered by Pittsburgh, who ran out the clock.

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Cowboys’ Joseph Randle Lands Underwear Endorsement After Shoplifting

Cowboys’ Joseph Randle Lands Underwear Endorsement After ShopliftingScott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Less than a week after being charged for a misdemeanor after he shoplifted a pair of underwear and cologne at a Dillard's in Frisco, Texas, Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle has landed an endorsement with M...

Bills Score in Final Seconds, Defeat Vikings

Bills Score in Final Seconds, Defeat Vikings

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.) -- Sammy Watkins caught a game-winning touchdown pass from Kyle Orton with one second left on the clock as the Buffalo Bills (4-3) snuck past the Minnesota Vikings (2-5), 17-16 on Sunday. 

Orton, a 10-year veteran, led an 80-yard drive in the final quarter to cap off an improbable victory for the Bills who turned the ball over four times. Buffalo also lost a pair of running backs in C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson to injury.

That did not deter the quarterback who overcame a lost fumble and interception of his own. The rookie Watkins finished the day with nine catches for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Orton kept the drive alive by converting a fourth-and-20 with a 24-yard pass to Scott Chandler. Two plays later, he found Watkins to convert on third-and-12.

"Any time you get a chance to go on a game-winning drive, it's awesome," Orton said. "We hung in there, made some mistakes, but in the end we got the win, and that was our goal."

The Vikings led 13-10 at halftime on a pair of Blair Walsh field goals sandwiched around a Cordarelle Patterson touchdown catch. The lead ballooned to six on Walsh's third field goal of the game in the fourth quarter after Minnesota had a first-and-goal on the seven.

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Jaguars Stun Browns, Get First Win of Season

Jaguars Stun Browns, Get First Win of Season

David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) -- Denard Robinson rushed for a career-high 127 yards and a touchdown while the Jacksovnille defense held Cleveland to just 69 yards on the ground en route to a 24-6 Jaguars win on Sunday. It was the first win of the year for Jacksonville (1-6), snapping a nine-game losing streak.

The Browns (3-3) took a 6-0 lead with a pair of field goals from Billy Cundiff despite being inside the 20-yard line on both drives. They found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard just before halftime when Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson connected for a 31-yard touchdown pass.

Jacksonville added to their lead in the third quarter with a Josh Scobee field goal, the only points by either team in that period. The Jaguars let their defense do the rest, keeping the league's third-best rushing attack in check while forcing three turnovers. The victory was the first for the franchise since Dec. 15, 2013 when they beat the Houston Texans.

Only adding to the Browns' frustration was the inability to score on three interceptions of Bortles. Quarterback Brian Hoyer was just 16-for-41 passing with 215 yards while Ben Tate rushed for a team-high 36 yards.

Robinson, a star quarterback at Michigan in college, carried the ball 22 times and scored on an eight-yard scamper in the fourth quarter that put Jacksonville ahead 17-6.

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Manning Surpasses Favre in Broncos Victory

Manning Surpasses Favre in Broncos Victory

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images(DENVER) -- Once again, Peyton Manning finds himself in the record books. The Denver Broncos quarterback threw four touchdowns in Sunday night's 42-17 win over San Francisco, giving him 510 career touchdown passes and surpassing Brett Favre's NFL record of 508.

"It is quite an honor," Manning said. "I do have great appreciation for quarterbacks who played this game throughout the years. It's very humbling, has taken a lot of hard work, a lot of people helped me get to this point."

The record-breaking pass came late in the second quarter on an eight-yard strike to Demaryius Thomas that put the Broncos (5-1) up 21-3 over the 49ers (4-3). Upon setting the mark, Manning's teammates had a little fun with the 38-year old, playing keep-away with the momento before eventually congratulating their quarterback.

"I can't believe they actually did it," chided Manning. "They sort of joked about it during the week. I'm a little bit hurt by it. The fact that they thought they could do it."

It took just 246 career games for Manning to break the record set by Favre in 302 career games. The 16-year veteran has thrown 110 touchdown passes in his two-plus years with the Broncos, whom he signed with in 2012 following neck surgery that threatened his career.

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Rams Surprise Seahawks

Rams Surprise Seahawks

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- The St. Louis Rams pulled out all the stops to beat their division rival Seattle Seahawks with crafty special teams play in a 28-26 win on Sunday.

Stedman Bailey fooled everyone on a 90-yard fake punt return and Benny Cunningham's 75-yard kickoff return on a squibbed kick that rolled into the end zone in the second quarter put the Rams up 21-3.

The Rams would not be done though, Cunningham's 18-yard reception from kicker Johnny Hekker late in the fourth quarter extended a drive and a late fumble recovery closed the game out.

"It was great execution by them on a couple different scenarios," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. "It made a huge difference in this game."

The Seahawks have now lost back-to-back games and sit at 3-3.

"Grateful for the effort, an entire team effort," Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said.  "That's a really good football team and that's an understatement."

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

"We have a team that's full of fighters," Wilson said.  "There's nothing better than having your backs against the wall.  That's where we're at right now.  You just play 1-0 and try and focus on what you can control."

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Murray Breaks Record as Cowboys Beat Giants 31-21

Murray Breaks Record as Cowboys Beat Giants 31-21

NFL via Getty Images(DALLAS) -- DeMarco Murray continues to lead the charge as he rushed for his seventh straight 100-yard game.

In doing so, Murray broke Jim Brown's 56-year-old record of starting a season with six straight 100-yard games.

The Cowboys continue to showcase a balanced offense that they have lacked in recent years.

Tony Romo tossed three touchdowns on 279 yards passing, completing 17 of 23 passes. Second-year tight end Gavin Escobar reeled in two of Romo's touchdown passes. Dez Bryant is still a man on fire as he racked up 151 yards receiving.

After a scare in the second quarter in which Murray appeared to injure his ankle, he finished the day with 128 yards and one touchdown. 

Eli Manning put forth a valiant effort but it would not be enough to outduel Dallas.  Manning threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Rookie receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. continues to live up to his first round draft status as he hauled in two of Manning's touchdowns.

The Dallas Cowboys are now at 6-1 and host the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football next week.

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New Orleans Road Woes Continue in Loss to Detroit

New Orleans Road Woes Continue in Loss to Detroit

iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- The New Orleans Saints road losing streak moves up to seven as they lost to the Detroit Lions 24-23.

The Saints blew a 23-10 fourth quarter lead with less than four minutes remaining that saw Lions quarterback Matt Stafford toss two touchdowns.

Stafford threw a short pass to Golden Tate that saw the receiver break past three defenders. Seventy-three yards later the Lions had cut the Saints lead to 23-17. 

Drew Brees tried to lead a game clinching drive but was intercepted by Lions defensive back Glover Quin who returned the ball to New Orleans 14 yard line with 3:10 remaining.

The Saints defense held after the interception but on a fourth down were called for defensive pass interference. With second life Stafford found receiver Corey Fuller for the go ahead score.

Head Coach Sean Payton was not pleased after the game that saw his team commit 12 penalties.

"I thought the penalties ended up hurting us," New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. "I wasn't happy with how that game was officiated. I'll leave it at that, and yet that wasn't the reason in the end."

The loss leaves New Orleans at 2-4 with a tough matchup next week as they host the Green Bay Packers.

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Giants Victor Cruz Vows to Return better then ever

Giants Victor Cruz Vows to Return better then everNFL via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Despite suffering a a torn patellar tendon in his right knee that ended his season, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is confident this is only a setback and that he'll be able to continue his NFL career. Cruz ...

Cardinals Begin Contract Extension Talks with Carson Palmer

Cardinals Begin Contract Extension Talks with Carson Palmer

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(TEMPE, Ariz.) -- Armed with one of the best records in the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals have reportedly begun contract talks with starting quarterback Carson Palmer.

"I won't get into specific points of the negotiations, but we've had some dialogue with [Palmer's agent] Dave Dunn," Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told the Arizona Republic. "[Palmer] has done a great job for us."

The 34-year-old Palmer is in his second season of a three-year contract with the Cardinals, and 11th NFL season overall. His contract will pay him $9 million this season.

Palmer has played much better since coming over to Arizona after playing for the Oakland Raiders for two seasons. The Cardinals have seen enough from Palmer to determine they want him leading the franchise for the foreseeable future. The team has gone 12-6 with Palmer as the starting quarterback.

In 2013, he threw for a career-high 4,274 yards and became the first player in NFL history to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season with three different teams.

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Patriots Edge Jets, 27-25 Thanks to Blocked Field Goal

Patriots Edge Jets, 27-25 Thanks to Blocked Field Goal

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- In a game that ended closer than some had previously predicted, the New England Patriots look to be back on track after narrowly defeating the New York Jets 27-25 on Thursday Night Football.

With time expiring, Jets kicker Nick Folk lined up for a 58-yard field goal but it was blocked by defensive tackle Chris Jones.

"It's good to feel that ball hitting my hand and it's good to get the win," Jones said. "I just played it legally and did all that I could."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was solid on Thursday night as he completed 20 of 37 passes for 261 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.

Running back Shane Vereen was the leading rusher and receiver for the Patriots as he racked up 43 yards one the ground, had 71 receiving yards, and caught two touchdowns.

After a tough start to the season, the Patriots find themselves at 5-2 through seven weeks of the regular season and are in first place in the AFC East.

The Jets meanwhile fell to 1-6 on the season.

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Joe Flacco: Still Have to Put the Work In

Joe Flacco: Still Have to Put the Work In

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- The Baltimore Ravens will have the spotlight to themselves after the Orioles were knocked out of the ALCS by the Royals on Wednesday.

Fresh off throwing five touchdown passes, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is making sure his team does everything they can to prepare the right way after blowing out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday.

Flacco said the biggest challenge the team will face after an easy win is "coming in here and reminding yourself and everybody to put the work in. I think that comes naturally for us, it's something we're good at doing, once you get out there on Sunday everything takes care of itself."

Concerning Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, Flacco said: "We were in the same class. As long as you're still talking about us, we're somewhat relevant, so I guess that's a good thing.  It's nice to see that we are still relevant."

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh knows the Falcons will be hungry for a win after losing three in a row.

"Atlanta's good. They're going to be on turf, so they're going to be fast," Harbaugh said. "They've got big, fast receivers. They've got fast running backs, and they got a quarterback that drives the whole thing. That's an explosive football team, and we've got to be ready for them."

The Ravens will host the Atlanta Falcons, who are 0-3 on the road this season.

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ESPN: Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict Fined $25K

ESPN: Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict Fined $25K

David Lee/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was fined $25,000 for twisting the ankles of Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and quarterback Cam Newton in Sunday's game between the two teams, according to ESPN's Ed Werder.

Werder also reports that Burfict has been told he's considered a repeat offender, and any future incident identical to this will result with a trip to the league office.

"He's got to continue to play within the rules," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday. "And he got called for a penalty last week that was, again, not necessarily a penalty. ...Football's changing, and we're trying to really coach the head out of football. And that's been the mission of the league for the last two or three years, and that continues daily. And we've got to do that, we're teaching young guys new habits...Sometimes when that ball goes in the air it's difficult to do all the time."

The 24-year-old Burfict has played in three games this season recording 18 tackles, two passes defended, and one forced fumble. 

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Jets Hope to Snap Losing Streak in New England

Jets Hope to Snap Losing Streak in New England

Nick Lahem/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Jets are hoping to avoid a sixth consecutive loss on Thursday night when they take on the New England Patriots.

The Patriots are looking for their sixth consecutive regular season home victory over the Jets.

There has been much criticism over head coach Rex Ryan going with second year starter Geno Smith instead of veteran Michael Vick, but Ryan has faith he'll turn it around.

"I think Geno is the best way to go right now," Ryan said. "That's why I'm comfortable saying he will be our starter."

Ryan said this week that the team doesn't need any extra motivation and believes in his team.

"It's going to be there. Both teams don't like each other," Ryan said.  "There's respect for each other, but I don't think you really like each other. We know we have to be at our very best."

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Panthers Greg Olsen Wants Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict Suspended

Panthers Greg Olsen Wants Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict Suspended

David Lee/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has had enough of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vantaze Burfict's antics on the field and would like to see him suspended.

Olsen feels Burfict should be subject to punishment for trying to intentionally injure him as well as other members of the Panthers.

There are videos out there that have shown Burfict twisting and "cranking" the ankles of Olsen and quarterback Cam Newton after each player scored a touchdown.

"Punishment needs to go beyond a fine," Olsen said on Monday. "Guys like that don't learn from that stuff. He's been fined a 100 times for head-hunting, and he did it to Kelvin [Benjamin] again. You watch the film; that's just what he is."

"At some point, if the NFL wants to really say they care about guys' safety, they've got to start putting guys out for weeks. Me and Cam are lucky we aren't out for weeks, or Kelvin isn't out for weeks. If you're going to start putting guys on other teams out, then the ramifications need to equal that," he continued.

Burfict has been fined multiple times during his career for hits on defenseless players.

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Dolphins Running Back Knowshon Moreno Out for Season

Dolphins Running Back Knowshon Moreno Out for Season

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After just three games in his first season in Miami, Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

Moreno returned to the Dolphins lineup Week 6 after missing the previous two games with an elbow injury. He carried the ball six times last Sunday for just ten yards before suffering the injury.

The 27-year-old Moreno will finish this season with 148 rushing yards on 31 attempts and just one touchdown.

After a career-year last season with the Denver Broncos, Moreno signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins during the offseason and was counted on to be their feature back.

Taking over for Moreno will be third-year running back Lamar Miller. Fortunately for the Dolphins, Miller has been very effective in relief of Moreno. In five games this season, Moreno has 330 rushing yards on 63 carries while scoring 3 touchdowns. He also has 15 catches this season.

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Geno Smith Blames Media for Poor Play

Geno Smith Blames Media for Poor Play

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Expectations have not been met this far for the New York Jets and their fans. After a surprising 8-8 season in 2013, hopes were high entering 2014.

This season the team is 1-5, currently on a five game losing streak. As the team prepares to face their division rival New England Patriots, Geno Smith spoke with the New England media via conference call. 

When asked about his roller coaster play, Smith did not shoulder all of the blame but pointed the finger at the media.

"For me, it hasn’t been," Smith said, according to a transcript of the call. "I think, obviously, with everything that goes on with the media, a lot of things are, I would say, miscommunicated, and then it just gets misprinted and then misunderstood.

"I don’t have any quarrels with anything. The main thing is that we just have to find a way to get a win. The hardest part about it all is losing. With the effort, the time that we put in, the preparation that we put in throughout the week, coming up with game plans -- we always have a really good game plan going in -- and then obviously we haven’t executed as well as we’d like. Those things are tougher than I guess what can be said and what is portrayed out there in the media." 

Smith can point fingers, but the stats do not lie: In six games this season, Smith has six touchdowns, seven interceptions and completed 57% of his passes.

 

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49ers Defeat Rams 31-17

49ers Defeat Rams 31-17

NFL via Getty Images(ST. LOUIS, MO) -- The Rams came out fast taking a a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but the 49ers dominated the other three quarters to win 31-17.

Colin Kaepernick took San Francisco on his shoulders and threw three touchdowns to push the 49ers record to 4-2.  Midway through the second quarter, Brandon Lloyd burned Janoris Jenkins in man coverage and Kaepernick threw it to him in stride. Lloyd outran Jenkins for an 80-yard touchdown that narrowed St. Louis's lead to 14-10. 

"We had Brandon Lloyd on a double move," Kaepernick said. "We liked the matchup. He did an amazing job."

Kaepernick and the 49ers came out in the second half on a mission.  The 49ers marched 80 yards down the field on a twelve-play drive that was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown grab by Anquan Boldin from Kaepernick. 

"Our receivers did a great job today," Kaepernick said. "Our offensive line did a great job, protecting us and giving us time."

The Rams were again held without a sack.  What was hyped in the offseason as one of the best four-man defensive fronts in the NFL has continued to struggle to generate a pass rush. 

The 49ers will now travel to Denver to face the Broncos on Sunday night.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/13/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/13/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: ALCS: Kansas City Royals - Baltimore Orioles (Royals lead series, 2-0) Postponed

NFL: San Francisco 49ers 31 (4-2) - St. Louis Rams 17 (1-4)

NHL: Anaheim Ducks 5 (2-1-0, 4 points) - Buffalo Sabres 1 (0-3-0, 0 points)

Colorado Avalanche 2 (1-2-0, 2 points) - Boston Bruins 1 (1-3-0, 2 points)

Ottawa Senators 1 (2-1-0, 4 points) - Florida Panthers 0 (0-2-1, 0 points)

Tampa Bay Lightning 7 (2-0-1, 5 points) - Montreal Canadiens 1 (3-1-0, 6 points)

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