The highlight of the Atlanta Falcons‘ first week of organize

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The highlight of the Atlanta Falcons‘ first week of organize

par zhangzk » Mar 20 Août 2019 à 4h32

FLOWERY BRANCH Zach Gentry Jersey , Ga. (AP) — team activities has been Devonta Freeman’s return to the field.“It’s been a long time,” said coach Dan Quinn.Freeman looked explosive in Thursday’s practice, the first OTAs session open to reporters. Having Freeman again flash his dual-threat skills at running back is good news for the Falcons’ hopes of returning to the playoffs.Knee and groin injuries limited Freeman to only two games last season . The Falcons had a long list of season-ending injuries, including both safeties and both guards, but losing Freeman had perhaps the biggest impact on the team’s fall to a 7-9 finish.Without Freeman, the Falcons’ ground game was stagnant , ranking only 27th in the league. The Falcons’ other top running back, Tevin Coleman, signed with San Francisco as a free agent, so it was important to see Freeman in his No. 24 red jersey lining up beside quarterback Matt Ryan this week.“It’s awesome,” Ryan said. “Free is such a dynamic player. … He looks great.”The Falcons are still waiting for starting safeties Ricardo Allen (torn Achilles tendon) and Keanu Neal (knee) to complete their comebacks from 2018 injuries. Both worked on a side field with trainers but could be ready for training camp.Freeman, 27, emerged with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2015 and 2016. He had a combined 127 catches those two years, making him even more valuable.Freeman has struggled to stay on the field since signing a five-year, $41.25 million contract before the 2017 season. At the time it was the NFL’s richest contract for a running back. The deal’s total value still ranks third for his position, behind Todd Gurley ($57.5 million) and Le’Veon Bell ($52.5 million).The big contract brought great expectations, making two straight years of injury woes even more frustrating. He missed two games in 2017 following his second concussion of the year, including one in the preseason, and also was slowed by a knee injury. He was limited to 68 yards rushing in two games in 2018.Freeman’s trademark smile was back on Thursday, when he said the joy in football has returned.“It felt good just to be out here runni hia, forcing him to miss three games. Then he landed on injured reserve with the groin injury.“It was tough,” Freeman said. “At the time I couldn’t see the blessing that God had for me. But it was definitely tough not being able to go out there and compete and battle with my brothers. Just seeing all those guys, every time I watched a game, it was like ‘Man, that was a missed opportunity for me.’ I definitely took it to heart. I learned a lot from it, though.”Freeman has not been restricted this week but said “I’m still getting better.”Freeman’s grin made his coach also smile.“It’s been awesome having Free back on the field and be back to having him look like himself,” Quinn said, adding “to see the energy that he brings has been good.”NOTES: OTAs are voluntary. Among players not participating: WR Julio Jones, DT Grady Jarrett, OLB Vic Beasley Jr. and LB Deion Jones. Quinn said he has been in contact with each of the four. He said Julio Jones and Deion Jones “are still working on some rehab.” He said Beasley is training on his own and is expected by minicamp. Jarrett signed his $15.209 million franchise tag which prevented him from signing elsewhere as a free agent. He set career highs with six sacks and three forced fumbles last season. Julio Jones missed OTAs and the mandatory minicamp last year before reporting for training camp with a promise from the team his contract would be reworked this year. Those talks are ongoing. DENVER (AP) — Nose tackle Shelby Harris picked off Ben Roethlisberger’s 2-yard pass to Antonio Brown in the end zone with 1:03 remaining to seal Denver’s 24-17 win over Pittsburgh that snapped the Steelers’ six-game winning streak Sunday.The Broncos (5-6) used four takeaways to counter a 97-yard touchdown toss from Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster.Roethlisberger was 41 of 56 for 462 yards, but he was intercepted twice and the Steelers (7-3-1) lost two fumbles in losing for the first time since September.Phillip Lindsay rushed for 110 yards and the game-deciding touchdown on just 14 carries for Denver, which also ended the Chargers‘ six-game winning streak last week and would have snapped Houston’s five-game roll were it not for a missed field goal as time expired.CHARGERS 45, CARDINALS 10CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Philip Rivers tied the NFL record for consecutive completions and set marks for the most to start a game and the highest percentage in a game and Los Angeles rolled over Arizona.The 15-year veteran completed his first 25 passes and was 28 of 29 for 259 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters. It was also his 11th straight game with multiple TD passes.Rivers completed 25 straight passes in the first 2½ quarters, tying Ryan Tannehill’s mark from 2015. The Dolphins QB completed his last seven passes against the Tennessee Titans in on Oct. 18, 2015, and then his first 18 the following week against the Houston Texans.Rivers tied the mark with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen midway through the third quarter. He had his only incompletion on the next possession when he was rushed and was unable to connect on a short pass to Austin Ekeler.Rivers did break Mark Brunell’s record for most completions to start a game. Brunell had 22 straight for the Washington Redskins against the Houston Texans on Sept. 24, 2006. Rivers’ 96.8 percent accuracy surpassed Kurt Warner’s 92.3 percent, which was set in 2009 when he went 24 of 26 for Arizona against Jacksonville.The Cardinals (2-9) jumped out to a 10-0 lead with scores on their first two possessions before the Charge frustrating than this one. The Dolphins picked off Luck twice, recovered a fumble and partially blocked a punt on their way to a 24-14 lead.It still wasn’t enough to derail the resurgent Luck, who was 30 of 37 for 343 yards. He also had the first catch of his NFL career, a 4-yard reception on fourth-and-1 late in the first half. Luck capped that drive with a 1-yard TD pass to Jack Doyle.SEAHAWKS 30, PANTHERS 27CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Russell Wilson threw for 339 yards and two touchdowns and Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 31-yard field goal as time expired to lift Seattle to a come-from-behind victory over Carolina.After Graham Gano missed a 52-yard field goal with 1:40 left in the game that would have given the Panthers the lead, Wilson moved around in the pocket until finding Tyler Lockett downfield for a 43-yard completion, setting up the winning kick.The victory puts Seattle (6-5) firmly in the hunt for a wild-card spot in the NFC, while the Panthers (6-5) are reeling after losing three straight and having their 10-game home winning streak snapped.Lockett finished with five catches for 107 yards and a touchdown, while David Moore had four receptions for 103 yards and a score.The Panthers spoiled a record-setting performance from Christian McCaffrey, who had a franchise-record 237 yards from scrimmage. He had 17 carries for 125 yards and 11 catches for 112 yards, becoming the first Carolina player to surpass 100 yards in both receiving and rushing in the same game.Cam Newton finished 25 of 30 for 256 yards with two touchdown passes and one interception in the end zone. He ran for 63 yards on eight carries.VIKINGS 24, PACKERS 17MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kirk Cousins bounced back from his worst game for Minnesota with 342 passing yards and three touchdowns without a turnover, and the Vikings overcame some early gaffes to outlast depleted Green Bay.Completing 29 of his 38 attempts, Cousins found Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen for scores. Sheldon Richardson had two sacks to lead the defense’s game-long stifling of Aaron Rodgers, and the Vikings (6-4-1) pushed the Packers (4-6-1) further back in the NFC wild-card race.Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to Davante Adams and Aaron Jones scored on a short run for a 14-7 le ecord. The Browns also ended a run of seven straight losses to their intrastate rival.And just as a Browns safety predicted, it wasn’t even close.The Browns surged ahead 28-0 as former head coach Hue Jackson watched helplessly from the opposite sideline. Jackson couldn’t win with the Browns — only three wins in two-plus seasons. Nor could he couldn’t beat them as a special defensive assistant with the Bengals (5-6), who lost for the fifth time in six games.EAGLES 25, GIANTS 22PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jake Elliott kicked a 43-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining, and Philadelphia rallied for a victory over New York.The defending Super Bowl champions trailed 12-0 early and were down 19-14 in the fourth quarter before Carson Wentz made key throws and undrafted rookie Josh Adams delivered big runs.Adams scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and ran up the middle for the 2-point conversion to put Philadelphia ahead 22-19.After the Giants tied it on Aldrick Rosas‘ third field goal, a 29-yarder, the Eagles controlled the ball for 5:27.Coach Doug Pederson went for a fourth-and-1 at the Giants 42 and Wentz completed a 12-yard pass to Nelson Agholor right before the two-minute warning. Adams ran three times and Elliott made the go-ahead kick.The Giants started at their 34 with 16 seconds left but couldn’t do much.The Eagles (5-6) stayed in the mix in a mediocre NFC East. The Cowboys and Redskins are tied for first place at 6-5. The Giants fell to 3-8.PATRIOTS 27, JETS 13EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes and became the NFL’s career leader in total yards passing in regular-season and playoff games, leading New England over New York.Brady also reached 3,000 yards passing for the 16th season, tying Peyton Manning for second in NFL history behind Brett Favre’s 18. The New England quarterback surpassed the mark early in the fourth quarter with a 17-yard completion to a diving Josh Gordon.Brady has 79,416 yards after going 20 of 31 for 283 yards in the victory that clinched the Patriots (8-3) their 18th straight season with a .500 record or better. That ranks second in NFL history to only Dallas, which had 21 in a row from 1965-85.Brady had just one TD throw in his previous three games, but connected with Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman against the AFC East-rival Jets (3-8). Rookie Sony Michel ran for a season-best 133 yards and a TD, and the Patriots had 216 yards rushing to improve to 3-3 on the road this season.RAVENS 34, RAIDERS 17BALTIMORE (AP) — Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson ran for a touchdown and threw for a score, Terrell Suggs returned a fumble 43 yards for a TD and Baltimore ran past Oakland.Cyrus Jones took a punt 70 yards for a touchdown to help the Ravens (6-5) win a second straight game for the first time since September.Gus Edwards rushed for 118 yards as part of an effective ground game that enabled Jackson to pass just enough to keep the Raiders (2-9) off gua t with 5:55 left, lumbering down the right sideline after Oakland’s Derek Carr was sacked by Matthew Judon and lost the ball on a fourth-down play.BILLS 24, JAGUARS 21ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Josh Allen scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 14-yard run in the fourth quarter, and the Bills beat the Jaguars in a game marred by a fight that led to the ejections of Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette and Buffalo defensive end Shaq Lawson.Fournette scored twice to tie it at 14 in the second quarter. He finished with 95 yards on 18 carries before he was thrown out with 2:57 left in the third.Allen also threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Robert Foster in the rookie quarterback’s first game since missing four with a sprained throwing elbow. Rookie receiver Isaiah McKenzie scored on a 6-yard run off a sweep, and Buffalo (4-7) came off its bye week off to win consecutive games for the first time this season.The Jaguars (3-8) dropped their seventh consecutive game in their longest losing streak since a nine-game slide in 2016, which led directly to Gus Bradley being fired and replaced by current coach Doug Marrone.BUCCANEERS 27, 49ERS 9TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jameis Winston threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns to help Tampa Bay snap a four-game losing streak.Winston, benched last month after turning the ball over 11 times in 14 quarters, completed 29 of 38 passes without an interception.The fourth-year pro, who’s shared the starting job with Ryan Fitzpatrick, tossed scoring passes of 6 yards to Cameron Brate and 28 yards to Adam Humphries on a play he extended by scrambling to his right before throwing back toward the center of the field.Tampa Bay (4-7), meanwhile, had four sacks and forced a turnover on defense for the first time in eight games, with Ryan Smith and Isaiah Johnson coming up with the team’s first interceptions since a loss to Pittsburgh on Sept. 24.Matt Breida rushed for 106 yards for the 49ers (2-9).
 
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