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North Carolina state trooper killed, suspect in custody: report

North Carolina state trooper killed, suspect in custody: report

A North Carolina State Trooper was shot and killed early Wednesday, a report said.
(North Carolina State Highway Patrol / Twit)A North Carolina State Trooper was shot and killed on a highway early Wednesday, according to a report.The shooting took place south of Whiteville on Highway 701, WECT-TV reported. It occured during a traffic stop, according to a reporter with 13 News Now.The suspect was reportedly later surrounded in the woods near Fair Bluff and taken into custody.Police departments in the area took to social media to pray for the fallen officer. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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What we learned from New England Patriots loss to the Detroit Lions

What we learned from New England Patriots loss to the Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions beat the New England Patriots 26-10 on Sunday Night Football. The Patriots continued to struggle on defense, had offensive woes and needed help from the team playmakers.

Here is what we learned from the loss:

This week, the defense played without some key players on their side. Safety Patrick Chung and defensive end Trey Flowers were both sidelined with concussions and defensive back Eric Rowe was out with a groin injury.

Injuries aside, the defense allowed Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to pass for 262 yards and two touchdowns. They sacked and hit Stafford just one time each. They could not close the gaps downfield, allowing Detroit’s two running backs to rush for nearly 150 yards.

Detroit possessed the ball for nearly 40 minutes, was 50 percent on third down conversions and had 25 first downs in the game. The defense could not rush the passer and could not stop the run. They continue to show weaknesses that opponents are taking advantage of.

Tom Brady struggled completing just 14 of his 26 passes for 133 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was only able to complete passes to his two receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Chris Hogan four times. The Lions double-covered Rob Gronkowski most of the night and he was only able to complete four receptions for 51 yards. The running backs were of little help as Rex Burkhead grabbed two passes for 26 yards and Sony Michel’s lone reception was for negative yardage.

It looked like the offense was missing Julian Edelman in the slot. As Brady tried to force a couple of passes down field, it also looked like they were missing a deep ball receiver. Phillip Dorsett was unable to haul anything in and Josh Gordon was not quite ready to play. The Patriots have always been good using “the next man up” mantra, but this week simply could not put that mantra into practice.

 Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels tried to give a heavy dose of Sony Michel to the Lions, who were ready for it. Michel carried the ball 14 times for just 50 yards and struggled on all three pass attempts from Brady. Michel is a rookie and needs to develop his rapport on offense, but during a game when the opponent is shutting him down, does not seem like the right time to increase his involvement.

The exciting plays came when Gronkowski caught the tough passes and when James White was clutch when targeted, including the only touchdown the Patriots had all night.

After the game,Brady commentedon White’s performance.

“He had a great catch and some great runs there at the end for us. He’s just a great player for us. He’s got to be involved. Guys who can make plays, those are the ones that should be involved, and James is certainly one of them.”

The Patriots are now 1-2 going back to Foxboro to face off against an AFC East opponent, the Miami Dolphins. They will need to get healthy, get focused and get back on track if they want to win on Sunday afternoon.

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Seahawks Week 2 preview and prediction: Seattle at Chicago Bears

Seahawks Week 2 preview and prediction: Seattle at Chicago Bears

For a second straight season, the Seattle Seahawks have started the year 0-1 heading into Week 2. Facing the Broncos in Denver is a brutal way to start any season, but it’s not as if Seattle will have a cakewalk in Chicago against the Bears for Monday Night Football, either.

Despite a heartbreaking loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, the Bears proved they are a team to be taken seriously. Chicago has always been historic when they have a brutal defense, and right now it looks as if they might just have one.

Anchored by recently acquired Khalil Mack, the Bears defensive front harassed Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers the entire first half. They even managed to take Rodgers out of the game for a quarter after injuring his knee during a sack.

The Bears may have faltered late against the Packers on the road, but now they return home to play in front of one of the most passionate fan bases in the NFL. The Chicago faithful will be extra riled up as Bears legend Brian Urlacher will be honored for his recent induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Seahawks have their work cut out for them Monday night. Seattle’s offensive line allowed six sacks against the Broncos last Sunday. Although a couple of those were on quarterback Russell Wilson for not throwing the ball away, it was clear right tackle Germain Ifedi was outclassed by linebacker Von Miller.

Ifedi will have his work cut out for him against Khalil Mack – a former Defensive Player of the Year in his prime – in Chicago. Seattle will have to game plan specifically for Mack by giving Ifedi some help. Wilson must also do his part by throwing the ball away instead of trying to always make the spectacular play.

Prediction: Seahawks over Bears 28-24

The Seattle Seahawks play their best when the lights of primetime shine the brightest. Since the Pete Carroll era began in 2010, the Seahawks are an astonishing 21-4-1 in primetime games.

The Seahawks are also exceptional during Monday Night Football matchups. Not only has Seattle won 11 of their last 12 Monday night games, they also have the highest winning percentage on the iconic broadcast.

Chicago has become somewhat of a home-away-from home for the Seahawks as well. Not only are they 3-0 at Soldier Field under Carroll, but the Seahawks are the only non-divisional opponent to beat the Bears in Chicago in three straight seasons (2010-2012).

The Bears defense has the makings of something special, but they are also susceptible to allowing explosive plays. They gave up three touchdown passes to an injured Aaron Rodgers in the fourth quarter alone last week.

It will be a hard fought battle, but the experience of Seattle in prime time will help give them the edge. The country saw last week how difficult it is to secure a win on a nationally televised game without it when the Bears blew a 20-0 lead.

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Tyrod Taylor returns to practice but Drew Stanton could be Baker’s backup

Tyrod Taylor returns to practice but Drew Stanton could be Baker’s backup

Tyrod Taylor was back and active on the practice field in Berea on Thursday. The Browns former starting quarterback has cleared the concussion protocol and resumed football activities for the first time since getting injured in the Week 3 win over the New York Jets.

Taylor’s return is a happy occasion, but it might not come in enough time for No. 5 to serve as Baker Mayfield’s top backup in Oakland. Drew Stanton has stepped up and taken the second-team reps behind the new rookie starter throughout the week.

The hope is that Mayfield plays the full game and whoever is backing him up is a moot point. But the Browns should have some confidence in Stanton, who played well throughout the summer and has a proven knack for filling in capably in short stretches.

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The NFL has a Jimmy Garoppolo problem

The NFL has a Jimmy Garoppolo problem

The Niners were everyone’s offseason darling team. They finished last year on a winning streak. Jimmy Garoppolo would have more time with Kyle Shanahan. The young defense would start to take a turn. The Niners were back, baby! Now, the Niners are not so back. Jimmy Garoppolo’s season is over because he tried to pick up an extra yard on a scramble in a game where San Francisco was probably going to lose. Now the Niners Jimmy Garoppolo problem is the entire NFL’s problem. Here’s why:

See, the NFL knew that Garoppolo was marketable. The Niners are a historic franchise smack in the middle of Fortune 500 businesses. Niners fans have disposable income and the Bay Area is a great media market. The Niners would be fun on television. So, the NFL did what any other league in the world would do: they put a ton of Niners’ games in primetime viewing windows. From October 15 until December 2, the Niners are scheduled for five primetime games. That’s five games in eight weeks. That’s downright Giants, Cowboys, Patriots, and Steelers-like.

It made sense when Garoppolo was playing for the Niners. Now, not so much. San Francisco will not be as good with C.J. Beathard manning the quarterback position. They won’t be as fun. They won’t be as explosive. Beathard isn’t a dreamboat franchise quarterback like Garoppolo. In fact, we saw what the Niners looked like with Beathard last year. We don’t need to see it again. Here are the Niner’s primetime games.

10/15: Monday Night Football, Niners at Packers

10/21: Sunday Night Football, Rams at Niners

11/1: Thursday Night Football, Raiders at Niners

11/12: Monday Night Football, Giants at Niners

12/2: Sunday Night Football, Niners at Seahawks

The main problem with the schedule is that only the Niners at Seahawks game can be flexed. Everything else is set in stone. This means a bad team with a backup quarterback is playing in a major game for the NFL for five out of eight weeks. This would normally mean bad television ratings. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but ratings are a big deal to the NFL. There’s no way the league will have year over year increases with Garoppolo out. This is ratings black plague. C.J. Beathard isn’t going to make ratings pop. Garoppolo would have.

That’s the risk of the NFL. They want to push certain players, stars, and teams. They do so thinking it will help them in ratings. The problem is that players get injured . . . a lot. This isn’t a new phenomenon. Jimmy Garoppolo just made some NFL higher-ups and television executives very sad.

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QB Josh Rosen earns high PFF grade in Week 4

QB Josh Rosen earns high PFF grade in Week 4

On Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals dropped their fourth game to the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 20-17. Despite the loss, there were positives from the game and Pro Football Focus released their top graded players from the contest and rookie QB Josh Rosen was their highest graded player in his first NFL start.

Rosen finished 15/27 for 108 yards and a touchdown, but drops by Arizona receivers limited Rosen and the Cardinals offense on Sunday. While Rosen only completed 55.6 percent of his passes, if all the drops were taken away the percentage rose to 72 percent.

PFF also graded Rosen a 87.1 overall grade and 89.9 passing grade. Rosen also threw four five “big-time throws” which tied for the best in the NFL. For an offense that is 31st in the league in passing, Rosen’s debut as the starter has to be encouraging.

Rosen and company will look to continue to grow on Sunday when the visit division rivals San Francisco on Sunday.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on the Rise Up, See Red podcast.Subscribe on Apple podcastsorStitcher Radio.

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National media not sold on Chiefs, picking Jaguars on Sunday

National media not sold on Chiefs, picking Jaguars on Sunday

If the Broncos did one thing to the Chiefs onMonday Night Football, they made them human in the eyes of the media. Check out the NFL Gameday Pick’Em crew making their predictions for the upcoming game below:

So three picks for the Jaguars and one pick for the Chiefs. It’s a little shocking that people thinks the Jaguars overall talent is so good that they can come on the road and defeat the Chiefs. Arrowhead is still one of the toughest places for opponents to go on the road and play. Given theJaguars’ road record with Bortles at quarterback, theinjuries they have throughout the offensive and defensive roster, the fact that this game might be a rain game, I expected some more love for the Chiefs from the national media.

Now some people out there are still picking the Chiefs. Obviously Cynthia Frelund picked the Chiefs in the video above.Undisputed’sSkip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe also are among some personalities who’ve picked the Chiefs for this game.  Then you have the crowd out there that just wants to predict the first Chiefs’ loss or the season and give you the, “See! I told you so.”


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The All-22: #Brocktober, and other comeback stories

The All-22: #Brocktober, and other comeback stories

In this week’s installment of the All-22, we look at three comeback stories: One from a quarterback who was thought to be done in the NFL, one from a safety whose future was once obscured by league politics, and one from a young star who no defense can seem to stop for more than one half of football.

(Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

Statistics rarely tell the whole story when it comes to performance in the NFL. Sometimes, statistics don’t tell the story at all. This was certainly the case when Dolphins backup quarterback Brock Osweiler threw for a career-high 380 yards against the Bears’ allegedly strong defense.

Osweiler was the box-score star in Miami’s 31-28 overtime win, but this wasn’t exactly a performance turnaround for a guy who’s been mostly underwhelming since the Broncos selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Arizona State. Osweiler was once supposed to be the successor to Peyton Manning in Denver, and outside of an efficient tenure as Manning’s injury backup in the 2015 season that brought the franchise its third Super Bowl, it’s been more bad (or simply unspectacular) than good. Osweiler signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Texans in 2016, but found himself traded to the Browns the next season. The Broncos re-signed him in 2017 after the Browns cut him, and he was a third of the team’s disastrous quarterback triumvirate last season along with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.

Signed by the Dolphins before the 2018 season, Osweiler didn’t know he’d be the starter against the Bears until Sunday morning. He then went out and put up those 380 yards behind a depleted offensive line that somehow didn’t allow a single sack.

How did this all happen? True to form, Osweiler has his tense moments—two interceptions in the first half helped to give Miami a 21-10 halftime deficit. In the second half, head coach Adam Gase mostly limited Osweiler to quick passes that gave him easy first reads and helped to keep Chicago’s pass rush at bay.

PerESPN’s Matt Bowenvia ESPN’s Stats & Info, the Dolphins gained 274 of Osweiler’s passing yards after the catch, and receiver Albert Wilson was the primary instigator. Two second-half touchdowns helped make the difference for the Dolphins, and they’re both worth reviewing—not only for Wilson’s ability to scamper through defenders, but also the Bears’ horrible tackling.

The first touchdown, with 9:19 left in the fourth quarter, came off a quick receiver screen and might have been a very short gain if cornerback Kyle Fuller (No. 23) hadn’t overrun the route. Then, Wilson was able to sprint through a gauntlet of Bears defenders who didn’t seem especially interested in stopping the play. That’s a 43-yard touchdown, with almost all of the yards coming after the catch.

Wilson’s 75-yard touchdown came with 3:17 left in regulation. Here, Wilson runs a simple curl route four yards out from the line of scrimmage, and once again runs through some truly abysmal tackling attempts. This Chicago defense came into this game rankingfirst overallin Football Outsiders’ opponent-adjusted metrics, but you certainly wouldn’t know it by watching a replay.

Luck also played a part in the Dolphins’ win, and in Osweiler’s game. This deep pass caught by receiver Kenny Stills (No. 10) after Osweiler rolled out to his right and threw a pass that might have been intercepted by safety Adrian Amos (No. 38) had Amos turned his head in time. Receiver Danny Amendola (No. 80) has to slow down and contort his body to get close to the pass, and the ball goes through Amendola’s hands into Stills’. This overtime catch accounts for 35 more yards that had less to do with the quarterback than the surrounding cast.

“That’s when you know the football gods are on your side, when things like that happen,” Osweiler said after the game, per the Dolphins’ media department. “And that’s okay. We’ll take it. We needed something like that. It was one of those deals where it was third down, I was able to get outside the pocket and the guy who was covering Danny in man-to-man had his back to me. I was trying to get the ball to Danny, because I knew that guy couldn’t see the ball coming. I’m not exactly sure what happened. I don’t know whether it was a hand that it hit or a back or whatever it was, but kudos to Kenny for staying with the play, staying in tune with what’s going on and he made a huge play for this football team.”

The objective here is not to impugn Osweiler’s value to his team in this win, but to simply state that for the most part, it was the players around him who made this happen–both his teammates who assisted his efforts, and the Chicago defenders who cut a wide swath for far too many explosive plays.

This is indeed a case where the statistics do not tell the whole story–or, much of the story at all.

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NFL Picks 2018, Week 6: Who the experts are taking in Bears vs. Dolphins

NFL Picks 2018, Week 6: Who the experts are taking in Bears vs. Dolphins

It’s back to football for the Chicago Bears and the NFL’s most dominant defense as they travel to Miami to take on the struggling Dolphins in Week 6.

After starting the season 3-0, Miami has lost its last two games in embarrassing fashion. They were blown out by the Patriots, 38-7, in Week 4 and squandered a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter in last Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, 27-17.

The Bears, on the other hand, are well rested after their bye, which followed the team’s best all-around performance in several seasons (they thrashed the Buccaneers 48-10 in Week 4).

With these two teams trending in opposite directions, it should come as no surprise that 81 percent of experts polled are picking the Bears to win,according to NFL Pick Watch.

Even the guys over at Pro Football Focus are all-in on Chicago this week.

There’s good reason to be confident in the Bears, but the Dolphins won’t just lay down and let Chicago steamroll them at home. Miami’s defense features an opportunistic secondary capable of luring Mitch Trubisky into dangerous throws and potentially crippling interceptions.

But it’s really hard to bet against the Bears defense, especially with how muchRyan Tannehill has struggled this season under pressure.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EST at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Sunday, Oct. 14.

Subscribe to The Bears Wire Podcast today!

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Bengals big road underdogs for prime-time clash with Chiefs in Week 7

Bengals big road underdogs for prime-time clash with Chiefs in Week 7

And the Cincinnati Bengals are underdogs once more.

Limping into a Week 7 encounter with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football, the Bengals opened as six-point underdogs, perOddsShark.

Which makes plenty of sense, really. The Bengals just coughed up a late loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game they should have won in large part because of questionable coaching decisions.

Injuries didn’t help either. William Jackson is banged up. Vontaze Burfict still looks gassed. Both Shawn William and Darqueze Dennard sound like they’ll miss the game in Kansas City. Starting linebacker Nick Vigil certainly will.

That doesn’t even touch on the Chiefs, a team with an MVP contender under center thanks to Patrick Mahomes, who just threw four touchdowns in a duel with Tom Brady, only to lose by three points.

The Chiefs have one of the best home-field advantages in football and one of the worst defenses, so it will be interesting to see what the Bengals offense can do in a game figuring to be a shootout. But a stunning lack of usage for Joe Mixon against Pittsburgh is another strike against Cincinnati coaches who haven’t earned the respect of oddsmakers.

While the Bengals aren’t a terribleunderdog pick for prime time here, it’s hard to complain about a six-point spread.

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