Art Streiber asked him jersey

Right away it was obvious when he Eddie Lacy Womens Jersey saw the photo, he loved it. This one epitomized so much about J.J. Watt.

The Houston Texans’ star pass-rusher was dressed in his uniform with white pants and a blue jersey. Photographer Art Streiber asked him to start facing the back of the room and then slowly turn, holding a lasso in his right hand, wearing a cowboy hat and a big Texas belt buckle with his name on itWhat excited Watt wasn’t the perfectly symmetrical straight-on shot from the same part of the shoot. This one was a little more jaunty. Watt’s body tilted toward the right as if in motion, he was looking down and the cowboy hat covered his eyes.

“Old school,” Watt said, and asked for a copy.
Watt is a football player with an old-school work ethic, and he’s one who cares about how he presents himself. No, he wasn’t interested in putting on big Texas hair in the form of blonde wigs, or looking like a steer wearing cut-out horns and a nose ring. Watt was interested in the more classic photo options presented to him. At the same time, the tilt was just as representative of Watt, a player who doesn’t fit into the usual molds of what a 3-4 defensive end should be.

That photo in particular didn’t make it into the issue. A similar, but more upright, shot wound up in this photo gallery. On one of the two covers of ESPN The Magazine this week, Watt appears with a toothpick in his teeth that is adorned with a Texas state flag on the end. (Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray is on the other cover). The story by Michael J. Mooney, which accompanies his photo spread, ponders: Can Watt become a Texas legend? The goal of the Ernie Sims Red Jersey photo shoot: an iconic image that answered “yes.”
The day began with a tray full of sandwiches, Watt arrived after a workout, after all. An idea board on the side of a partition created so Watt could change showed photos that resembled images they might try. To the left in the dance hall at the ranch were tables filled with Texas-themed props.

Watt agreed to have the outline of the state of Texas painted onto his left arm to look like a brand seared into his skin. Before the photo that focused on his arm he did a few reps with a couple of adjustable electronic dumbbells (“That’s a Cushing tip,” he said with a sly smile, referring to teammate Brian Cushing) before walking outside for the first set of shots. A small crowd of workers from the ranch had gathered nearby.

A wardrobe change came soon after. Watt tried on a pair of skinny jeans, hopping around in them and asking aloud how women get into them. They settled on a looser pair of jeans, a white T-shirt and a 66-year-old red plaid jacket that belonged to stylist Sherrie Krantz’s grandfather.
The group moved into a field nearby, one right next to a fenced-off group of cattle, with their ankles taped to avoid fire ants. Two tame longhorns await their photoshoot and begin to moo. One, named Gateway, shares a scene with Watt. He sneezes, and Watt gets startled.

“He’s got allergies, just like us,” Gateway’s handler says.

“We were about to have to go,” Watt says to Gateway, sounding relieved they didn’t have to go.

The longhorn is actually afraid of people. Streiber takes a few stunning shots of Watt with the bull, then he moves over to a wooden fence and leans against it. At first unsure, Watt’s enjoying himself now. He has ideas. He wants to sit on top of the fence but is told he might be too heavy. Indeed, the wood makes a cracking sound under his weight, but sustains itself under his 289 pounds. It’s up there Streiber gets some of this shoot’s grandest photos.
When it ended Watt drove off for some evening film study.

It’s better when it takes a village for victorious Broncos

In a week that opened with John Elway Luke Kuechly Authentic Jersey speaking in a team meeting and ended with the Denver Broncos thumping the Oakland Raiders 41-17 at Coliseum with a five-touchdown day from quarterback Peyton Manning, Elway’s hope to have a team that doesn’t need Manning “to feel like he has to do everything” was on display.
“I think it’s one of those things when John Elway talks to us, we know he speaks from experience,” said cornerback Chris Harris Jr. “I think he just let us know where things stand. It was good and bad, not just bad, but we got routed in New England and we shouldn’t get routed by anybody. [Sunday] we just wanted to get it all back together.”
The Broncos defense held the Raiders to 192 yards, with 97 of those yards coming on the Raiders’ final possession of the game. The Raiders’ three longest plays of the game came on that drive, and until that possession, the Broncos had allowed just one play for double-digit yardage – a 10-yard Derek Carr pass to James Jones in the first quarter.
Rookie cornerback Bradley Roby made his second interception of the year and T.J. Ward had an interception. The Broncos’ No. 1 run defense feasted on the Raiders’ struggling offense, especially after the Broncos took a 20-10 lead just before halftime.
The Raiders finished with 30 rushing yards on 15 carries. And with safety Quinton Carter ’s return, the Broncos were able to use a dime package (six defensive backs) on long-yardage situations that could muscle up when the Raiders tried to run the ball against it.
Ward moved down to play what was essentially a weakside linebacker spot, next to Brandon Marshall, and Carter played at safety deep. Roby played outside and Harris moved into the slot.
It’s how the Broncos want that grouping to look and how they want it to play.
“We had everybody step up,” Miller said. “We didn’t play the way we wanted, the way we know we can last week. We wanted to get it going again; we want to play with no drop-off and that takes all the guys — offense, defense and special teams.”
On offense it was running back C.J. Anderson, who has been the No. 3 back at times this season. With Montee Ball still out and Ronnie Hillman having struggled a bit and looking a bit dinged early – he was jogging for the Broncos trainers behind the bench in the first half – Anderson seized opportunity with 163 total yards.
Will Montgomery started his first game at center for the Broncos and Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas finished with two touchdowns each in the it’s-always-somebody’s-turn passing attack. Sanders did not have a touchdown catch in the Broncos’ first five games; he now has had six in the last four games.
Julius Thomas now has as many touchdown catches (12) as he did all of last season and Demaryius Thomas had his sixth consecutive 100-yard receiving game.
“It takes everybody,” Demaryius Thomas said. “We didn’t win last week because we didn’t get enough from everybody; we didn’t do enough to win that game. That’s what we know. We need everybody all the time; it could be anybody’s day.”

Jets fly toy chopper with ‘Go Jets’ banner

Another day, another flyover Zac Stacy Navy Blue Jersey at New York Jets practice.
This time, though, it was the team piloting an aircraft with a message.

A day after an unidentified ”frustrated fan” hired a plane with a ”FIRE JOHN IDZIK” banner trailing behind to circle the team’s practice facility for 20 minutes, Jets coach Rex Ryan sent up a toy helicopter at the beginning of practice Thursday with a small banner that read: ”Go Jets.”

”I don’t know where it came from,” a grinning Ryan said. ”See if you guys buy that one. I know you won’t. OK, I admit it. It came from me.”

The team was practicing indoors because of rain, and Ryan joked that there wouldn’t be any plane-drawn banners hovering over the field.

”I was like, ‘Maybe there’s a way we can have something inside,”’ Ryan said. ”I asked around and somebody had one of those little helicopter things.”
So, Ryan had a Jets video staffer fly the foot-long helicopter by radio control for a few minutes – in front of media and smiling players – before the staffer William Hayes Nike Jerseys landed it and carried it off the field.

”I’ll admit, it never worked exactly the way I was hoping it would because we were going to buzz the tower a little bit,” said a smiling Ryan, referring to the second-floor ledge in the indoor facility where the media watches practice. ”I don’t know where it’s going to land and all that, and I’m like, ‘Please, there’s some candidates there.’

”I just thought it would be a good little thing.”

Fed up with the team’s 1-8 start, a female fan spent under $1,000 to have the plane tote the banner Wednesday to urge the Jets to fire their general manager – in full view of the media with Idzik, Ryan and owner Woody Johnson all watching practice.

It was just the latest highly publicized measure disgruntled fans have taken. They have flooded sports talk shows and message boards, and even created a website that raised more than $10,000 last week to buy billboard space to further its cause to have the GM fired.

”Obviously, I wanted to make light of it,” Ryan said of using the toy chopper. ”But at the same time, the message, I put ‘Go Jets’ on it. The message is that we’re in this together and we recognize, hey, we’re 1-8 but we’re in it together at 1-8, and that’s the way it is.”

Idzik, incidentally, wasn’t at the facility on Thursday but rather was in North Carolina on a scouting trip. A New York Post reporter ran into the GM at the airport in Greensboro and asked Idzik what he thought of the aerial display by the fan.

”What do you think I think?” he told the newspaper, clearly irked. He then added, ”We’ll get it straight,” referring to the team’s struggles.

Miller knows just what Smith is going through

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has another game left on his nine-game suspension for violations of the NFL’s substance abuse and personal conduct policies, and Von Miller can’t wait to see his buddy back on the football field.
Miller knows exactly what Smith is going through.

Denver’s pass-rushing linebacker missed the first six games last year while serving a drug suspension and then collected just five sacks in nine games before blowing out his right knee last December and missing the Super Bowl.

Miller is back this year and hit the halfway point with nine sacks, on pace to challenge his club record of 18 1-2 he set in 2012. He was named the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Month in October.

Miller and Smith became friends in 2011 as part of the draft class that came into the league as the NFL and players were hashing out a new labor deal. He said Smith helped him through his suspension last year, so he’s returned the favor, texting, calling and encouraging his friend over the last two months.

”Yeah, he helped me through mine. And we were going through stuff at the same time, too. So, we were talking together about what I was going through, what he was going through: ‘We’re going to get through this.’ We were there for each other,” Miller said. ”It was like I know how it is when you get suspended, it just feels like nobody (has your back). So, I just wanted to be the guy that would just keep reaching out to him, like, ‘I haven’t forgotten about you. And I’m not even on your team.’

”It’s bigger than that. He’s my friend. I care about him. I’m happy that he’s doing a whole lot better,” Miller added. ”I’m excited for him to come back and have all that stuff out the way. It’s a different feeling when you have all that stuff out the way and can just focus on football.”

Miller said he’s tried to tell Smith about what to expect in returning to action at midseason.

”It’s like the start of the season, everything’s new, everything’s fresh. So, like coming back is easy, really. And like you get sore. I had that first Wednesday practice in pads and I was sore,” Miller said.

The danger, Miller said, is that you want to make up for all the games you missed.

”You want to come back and you want to have four sacks in the first game, another four sacks in the next game and catch up to everybody,” Miller said. ”Like when I came back and I got my first sack, it was like, ‘OK I’ve got one. So, I’ve got 10 games left. If I can get three sacks this game, four sacks this game, I can catch up to everybody.’

”But that’s not my game. I just like to go out there and just play. But I feel like Aldon can come back and get 10-plus sacks, 12 sacks. Especially with the type of schedule they got and they’ll get Patrick Willis back. They’ll get Navarro Bowman back later in the year. They’ll be ready to roll.”

Miller said he had a clear conscience after serving his suspension and never even considers the possibility that if he slips up again he could face a year’s suspension.

”That’s part of maturity. You don’t even worry about getting in trouble any more,” Miller said.

He said he suspects Smith’s play will reflect the load that’s been taken off his shoulders, too.

”It’s a huge burden lifted. Just to be back on the field with the guys is the biggest part. Being back on the field is huge. It’s great. Just lifting weights and watching film and going home. You’re back with the guys,” Miller said. ”So, I know how he feels. I know he’s working hard. I know he’s training, conditioning and all that. I wanted to change my body. I know he wanted to stay exactly where he is.”

Miller bulked up by 25 pounds heading into last season. The extra weight made him top heavy and might even have contributed to his torn right ACL in December. He’s back down to 245 and said in retrospect he wouldn’t have packed on the pounds during his banishment.

”I probably would have lost a little weight,” Miller said.

A victory will put jersey

Welterweights Sadam Ali and Luis Jeremy Hill Autentic Jersey Carlos Abregu are winding down their training camps as they finish preparations for their pivotal showdown on Nov. 8 (HBO) on the Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev undercard at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

A victory will put the winner into the mix for a big-time fight in boxing’s deepest weight class. It’s also a chance for Ali (20-0, 12), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, to notch his most significant victory, and for Abregu (36-1, 29 KOs) to score yet another strong victory after already having beaten Thomas Dulorme and Antonin Decarie in the past two years.

Ali, 26, of Brooklyn, New York, and Abregu, 30, of Argentina, are both highly motivated but for different reasons.
Ali said his motivation is being on HBO for the first time.

“I’ve been growing up watching HBO and watching the most famous guys shine and I’ve always envisioned myself in that position,” Ali said. “I want to be in everybody’s eyes and I want to be known as something special. That’s very important to me.”

Abregu, whose only loss was by decision to Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2010, is motivated strictly because he wants to fight for a world title and a Kareem Martin Kids Jersey win would move him closer to that goal.

“My motivation is to get this win, so that I will have a chance to fight for a world title,” he said. “This dream was put on hold after I hurt my hand in my fight with Tim Bradley, but I’m ready to go now.”

Neither man said he feels pressure by fighting in the co-feature of one of the year’s most significant fights.

“I’m used to the pressure because I’ve always seen myself in this position so it’s not really anything to get me nervous,” Ali said. “I’m definitely ready and excited. To be on the Hopkins card is exciting. He’s such a great speaker and he says things that just inspire you.”
Said Abregu, “I feel no pressure at all. I have been the main event in many important boxing shows. To the contrary, I love to be part of important cards that people want to see.”It’s a big deal. Everyone is always supporting me, and I’m sure they are pretty proud of me,” he said. “They want me to go represent the school!”

Tuttle committed Sept. 26 to Tennessee over North Carolina State and North Carolina in front of a packed gymnasium.
“It was probably the craziest and most fun day of my life,” Tuttle said. “It was just pretty cool to know everything that you worked for, everything that happened in life, all of the recruiting and stuff was coming to an end. It was actually a really cool feeling,”

Brady and Pats are No. 1 in AP Pro32 rankings

Tom Brady and the New England Tim Wright Womens Jersey Patriots are back where they have been for so much of the Bill Belichick era.
On top of the NFL.

The Patriots dominated Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-21 on Sunday in the much-anticipated matchup between two of the top quarterbacks in the league.

”Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have played a regular season’s worth of games against one another, and Brady owns the rivalry,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.

”He’s now 11-5 all-time against Manning, putting on yet another transcendent performance. Since that Week 4 blowout loss in Kansas City, Brady now has 18 touchdowns and just one interception, and Pats have won five straight.”

The Patriots (7-2) received eight of 12 first-place votes Tuesday for the AP Pro32 power rankings, which are decided by a media panel that regularly covers the league.
”The Patriots quieted a lot of doubters with that performance over Denver,” ESPN’s Herm Edwards said.

The Arizona Cardinals (7-1), tied with the Patriots for the most wins in the league, received the other four first-place votes, but stayed at No. 2 in the poll.

”You can’t run on them, and you can’t hide from the coaching acumen of (Arizona’s) Bruce Arians,” Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune said.

The Broncos (6-2) fell from No. 1 to 3 followed by the Philadelphia Eagles and the Detroit Lions.

The Eagles (6-2) will have to get by without Nick Foles, who is out because of broken clavicle. Former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will make his first start in 23 months under the prime-time lights next Monday night against the Carolina Panthers.
”(Coach) Chip (Kelly) won’t panic with injury to Foles,” NBC Sports’ Tony Dungy said.

The Patriots’ dominating win gives them home-field advantage should they face the Broncos in the playoffs.

”Going to New England in January not good for Broncos,” Fox Sports’ John Czarnecki said.

The Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys round out the top 10.

Coming off a dominating win over the New York Giants on Monday night, Andrew Luck has the Colts (5-3) in control in the AFC South.
”Andrew Luck is now squarely in the NFL’s Most Valuable Player conversation,”’s Alex Marvez said.

The Steelers (5-3), who have won three in a row, moved up from No. 13 to 7. Ben Roethlisberger, who has thrown six touchdown passes in each of the past two games, has been a big reason behind the Steelers’ surge.

The Cowboys (6-3) have lost two in a row and have dropped from No. 4 to 10 going into Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.

”The Cardinals stacked the box to stop DeMarco Murray, and Brandon Weeden couldn’t take advantage,” Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback said.

”The offense hangs in the balance until Tony Romo returns.”

Coming off a bye, the Packers (5-3) trail the Lions by a game in the NFC James Laurinaitis Nike Jerseys North and host the rival Bears on Sunday night.

”The Packers need to make up ground on the Lions and will have the chance to do it with four of their next five at home,” Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News said.

Philbin has Dolphins headed in right direction

Here’s a list of Miami Dolphins coaches who never won a game by 37 points or more:
Jimmy Johnson. Nick Saban. Tony Sparano. Dave Wannstedt. Cam Cameron. Todd Bowles. Jim Bates. George Wilson.

Now Joe Philbin has done it. One day after a stunning 37-0 victory over San Diego, Philbin offered this message: Don’t get used to it.

”We can’t anticipate we’re going to shut out our next eight opponents,” Philbin said Monday. ”That’s not real life in the National Football League. And it’s hard to average 37 points a game in the NFL over an eight-game stretch. We’re going to have to find new ways to win, and just keep improving.”

The Dolphins improved to 5-3 with their most lopsided victory since 1995, when Don Shula was still in charge. That was eight coaches ago.

After 2 1/2 years in Miami, Philbin is at .500 (20-20), his job future beyond this season still uncertain. But with three consecutive victories, Philbin is on the verge of a breakthrough, because he has never had a team win four in a row.

A lack of sustained success is one reason Miami hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2008.
The Dolphins won three in a row in 2012, Philbin’s first season, then lost three in a row. They enjoyed a 3-0 start in 2013, then lost the next four. They won three in a row last December, then endured a late-season meltdown and lost their final two games.

How will this team handle success?

”It’s a good question,” Philbin said. ”It’s one we’ve got to answer.”

The win over San Diego was an emotional one, with Philbin receiving a game ball from owner Stephen Ross. The coach missed two days of practice last week to be with his father, who died Friday, and Philbin will be absent again Tuesday and Wednesday to attend the funeral.

When it comes to the more mundane matter of wins and losses, Philbin appears to have things headed in the right direction.

”We’re a better team today than we were Oct. 1, or than we were in September,” Philbin said. ”The challenge every week is to find ways to improve.”
Miami is an underdog Sunday at NFC North leader Detroit (6-2), and still off the radar with many playoff prognosticators. Receiver Mike Wallace said he’d prefer the rest of the league not take note of the latest win.

”Hopefully not, so we can do the same thing next week,” Wallace said. ”Hopefully, nobody ever catches on. Hopefully, people just keep taking us easy, so we come away with wins like this.”

The Dolphins look like more than one-game wonders. For the first time since 1997, they’ve scored at least 24 points in five consecutive games, according to STATS. They’ve outscored opponents during that span 153-68. The lone loss during that stretch came in the final seconds against Green Bay, leaving them one play from a five-game winning streak.

Midway through his third season, Ryan Tannehill is blossoming at quarterback. He ranks only 28th in the league in yards per attempt, but over past five games he has completed 68 percent of his attempts while averaging 8.2 yards per pass, with a rating of 104.1.

Meanwhile, the defense leads NFL in yards allowed per play, yards allowed per pass and first downs. Miami ranks second in pass defense, third in total defense and fourth in rushing.

Now’s not the time to savor statistics, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said.

”We’re only halfway through,” he said. ”You look down the road, we’ve got a few dicey ones on the horizon.”

The next three games are against teams who are a combined 17-7. The Dolphins might just be built for the challenge.

Dolphins’ defense claims another QB victim in Philip Rivers

It’s one thing for the Miami Dolphins Luke Kuechly Authentic Jersey to rattle Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. But it is another thing to do the same against MVP candidate Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers.
The Dolphins’ defense claimed another quarterback victim in Sunday’s 37-0 blowout victory over San Diego. Miami pummeled and baffled Rivers on his way to one of the worst performances of his career. He was 12-of-23 passing for 138 yards, three interceptions and one lost fumble.
Miami now has victories this season over quarterbacks Tom Brady, Derek Carr, Jay Cutler, Bortles and Rivers. But Sunday was the most complete defensive performance of the season. The squad allowed just 178 yards. Rivers was pulled from the game late in the third quarter.
“It probably couldn’t have come at a better time,” Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake said. “This was a game we felt that we matched up well.”
How did the Dolphins shut down the Chargers? Miami pressured Rivers with three sacks, and the secondary (three interceptions) was aggressive in sticking to San Diego’s receivers. The Dolphins also kept defenders back to avoid the big play. Rivers was 0-for-6 with two interceptions on throws of 15 yards or more, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The Dolphins’ defense also received help from their offense, which scored 14 points on the first two drives and quickly made the Chargers one-dimensional. San Diego’s offense became predictable in the second quarter, when Miami led 20-0.
The Dolphins’ secondary also had one of its best games in coverage. Miami cornerback Brent Grimes had the assignment of shutting down San Diego’s No. 1 receiver, Keenan Allen. Twice Grimes picked off Rivers on attempts to Allen. Dolphins safety Reshad Jones had another interception.
Miami’s pressure forced several poor decisions by Rivers.

Palmer, Cards beat Romo-less Cowboys 28-17

Carson Palmer settled down Blake Bortles Black Jersey nicely after an early mistake gave Dallas a lead. Brandon Weeden never did get comfortable filling in for Tony Romo.
Palmer stayed perfect as the starter for Arizona this season, throwing for three touchdowns, while Weeden couldn’t get the Cowboys into the end zone until the game was out of reach in the Cardinals’ 28-17 victory Sunday.

The Cardinals (7-1), who have sole possession of the best record in the NFC this late in the season for the first time since 1974, won their fourth straight, including back-to-back wins over the top two teams in the NFC East.

”This is a very good team,” said Palmer, 5-0 this season after missing two games with a shoulder injury. ”We feel like we can play with anybody, and that’s important because we feel like we are improving.”

Romo was out with his third back injury in 18 months, and backup Weeden threw two interceptions as the Cowboys (6-3) dropped their second straight. He finished 18 of 33 for 183 yards with a late score.

”You can’t turn the ball over, and that is on me,” Weeden said.
The Dallas running game wasn’t the same without Romo.

NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray’s record streak of eight straight 100-yard games to start the season ended against a defense that didn’t allow a back over the century mark for the 18th consecutive time.

Murray, who rushed for 79 yards on 19 carries, was stuffed on fourth-and-1 at the Arizona 34 with the Cardinals leading 14-10 in the fourth quarter. Palmer took the Cardinals the other way for the last of his three scoring tosses, a 1-yarder to Andre Ellington.

”That was the turning point in the game,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. ”It wasn’t a time to sit back. We had to continue to attack Blake Bortles Womens Jersey and we got ourselves some good, favorable plays and Carson made some good decisions.”

Palmer put his team in a 7-0 hole when undrafted Dallas rookie Tyler Patmon ducked under a route, made an over-the-head catch and ran untouched down the Arizona sideline, with some nice blocking from defensive end Anthony Spencer.
But that was his only mistake. He finished 22 of 34 for 249 yards with touchdowns of 7 yards to John Carlson and 11 to Jaron Brown before the short one to Ellington. All three TDs came on third down, with the Cardinals converting 9 of 15 in that situation.

Ellington outgained Murray on the ground with 95 yards and added another 39 receiving.

”You know we always want to outrush the opponent,” Ellington said. ”It’s a credit to our defense for shutting him down and giving me a chance to get out there on the field and get more carries and get more yards.”

Romo was relegated to headset-wearing sideline duty because of fractures of two small bones in the back. The injury is unrelated to a herniated disk sustained last year and to offseason surgery to remove a cyst earlier in 2013.

Coach Jason Garrett said Romo would make the long trip to London for next weekend’s game against Jacksonville even though staying home would essentially give the 34-year-old a month between games because of a bye the following week.
”We’re optimistic,” Garrett said. ”People with similar injuries have been on a little bit of a similar timetable where they missed the first game and they were getting close to being able to play in that second game.”

Weeden, who left Cleveland when the Browns gave up on him just two seasons after drafting him in the first round, was off-target and out of sync with his receivers most of the game.

His first interception, by Tyrann Mathieu, came with Dallas in scoring range early in the second half. The second wiped out any hope of a comeback by the Cowboys when Antonio Cromartie stepped in front of Terrance Williams after the Cardinals had gone up 21-10 in the fourth quarter.

NOTES: Larry Fitzgerald extended the longest active streak with at least one catch to 157 games. He had a 31-yarder on third down on Arizona’s first scoring drive while trailing 10-0 and led the Cardinals with five catches for 70 yards. … The Cardinals beat the Cowboys for the fourth straight time, and this was the first that wasn’t on the final play. Two of the previous three victories were in overtime. .. Cowboys LB Rolando McClain and DT Tyrone Crawford left the game in the fourth quarter with knee injuries.

Browns hold off Buccaneers 22-17 to improve to 5-3

Before he earned Pro Bowl trips, adulation and an enormous multimillion-dollar contract, Joe Thomas was just a talented rookie Bobby Rainey Limited Jersey left tackle on a winning team.

The Browns were 5-3 at the midway point in 2007, and Thomas figured it would be like that every season.

It ain’t so, Joe.

Seven years, several coaching changes and a carousel of starting quarterbacks later, Cleveland is 5-3 again.

”It feels pretty good,” Thomas said after a 22-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. ”It’s been a long time. I like where we are.”

The Browns, beaten down for so long, are legit.
Brian Hoyer threw a 34-yard TD pass to wide receiver Taylor Gabriel with 8:59 remaining, helping Cleveland complete a favorable three-game stretch with their fourth win in five games. The Browns are in the mix, and with a big game ahead on Thursday night in Cincinnati, they can make something special of this season.

Cleveland was trailing 17-16 when Hoyer held on to the ball a little longer and completed his second TD pass, this one to Gabriel, an emerging undrafted free agent Bobby Rainey Kids Jersey who has been making big plays all year.

”It wasn’t always pretty with the way our offense was playing,” said Hoyer, who ignored some boos and improved to 8-3 as Cleveland’s starter. ”But we’re 5-3 and we’ve just got to continue to improve.”

Hoyer finished 21 of 34 for a season-high 300 yards, two TDs and two interceptions.

The Browns went 2-1 the past three weeks against Jacksonville, Oakland and Tampa Bay, who entered a combined 2-19. Cleveland may have struggled against teams it should have handled with ease, but past Browns teams would have likely lost these types of games.
”Things have changed quite a bit,” Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden said. ”To be 5-3 is just amazing. Five games is the most I’ve won since I’ve been here.”

Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon threw a pair of 24-yard TDs to rookie Mike Evans for the Buccaneers (1-7), who have lost four in a row and five this season by six points or less.

”We’ve got to find a way to win a game now is what we have to do,” said first-year coach Lovie Smith. ”We’re running out of time.”

Billy Cundiff kicked three field goals for the improved Browns, who have the league’s attention under first-year coach Mike Pettine.

”We’ll celebrate a little bit tonight, but emphasis on a little,” Pettine said. ”We’re in a good spot and our guys are confident, but this is one here where we know we have to be all in this week.”
Tampa Bay Authentic Bobby Rainey Youth Jersey had a chance in the final two minutes, but couldn’t convert on a fourth-and-11 with 1:45 left. The Bucs appeared to pick up a first down on the previous play, but Evans was called for pass interference.

Hoyer’s TD pass to Gabriel was set up by Cleveland linebacker Craig Robertson, who broke through and deflected a Tampa Bay punt to give the Browns the ball at the Bucs 35.

Two plays later, Hoyer dropped back and was about to be hit by Tampa Bay’s Lavonte David on a blitz. But rookie running back Terrance West alertly stepped up and got a piece of the Buccaneers linebacker, giving Hoyer enough time to loft his scoring pass to Gabriel and giving the Browns a 22-17 lead.

”I had three good blocks today,” West said. ”That was the best one, though.”

Glennon went 17 of 33 for 260 yards, and fell to 1-4 while filling in for injured starter Josh McCown.
His second 24-yard scoring pass to Evans put the Bucs ahead 17-16.

Glennon floated a pass to the back shoulder of Evans, who made a twisting catch and was able to get both feet in for the score. As he did after his first score, Evans looked at Cleveland’s sideline and rubbed his fingers together in the ”money-making” gesture his former college teammate, Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel, made famous at Texas A&M.

”It just came to my mind,” Evans said of his celebration. ”That’s one of my best buds. I just wanted to give him a hard time.”

A costly penalty by Tampa Bay star defensive end Gerald McCoy helped the Browns take a 16-10 lead. The Browns were lining up for a go-ahead field goal when McCoy, who signed a six-year, $95.2 million in October, was whistled for a neutral-zone infraction. Cleveland converted on fourth-and-1 and two plays later, Hoyer hit a wide-open West.

NOTES: Browns S Tashaun Gipson got his sixth interception. … Browns DE Billy Winn set up Cleveland’s first score by blocking a 31-yard field-goal attempt by Tampa Bay’s Patrick Murray. … The Buccaneers led at halftime for the first time this season. … Hoyer’s 300 yards are his most since his first start last season at Minnesota (321).