big story: alex smith hangs up the cleats
Veteran quarterback and inspiring success story Alex Smith announced his retirement today. After a devastating leg injury in 2018 threatened not only his football career but his overall health, Smith returned to the field last season with the Washington Football Team. Smith also spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
This is the correct decision for Smith by a mile. While I can't overlook his inspiration and the aspiration to return to what he loves doing to prove himself right, I also can't be alone in saying that I covered my eyes whenever someone came near him on the field. We all knew he was one injury away from never walking again.
That being said, Smith is an intelligent football player, is relatable, and has the knowledge to go into a new field -- coaching, perhaps? The Jacksonville Jaguars would be a top spot for that to occur, with Urban Meyer running the show over there.
You can see Smith's full announcement, which was posted on Instagram, here.
small story: bengals unveil new uniforms
If you're into this sort of thing (I am not) the Cincinnati Bengals unveiled their new uniforms today. Honestly they don't look that different to me, but if I had to pick one, I'm going with those all-whites. Clean.
tweet of the day:
falcons hire terry fontenot as general manager
The Atlanta Falcons have hired their new general manager, as they announced on Tuesday.
This is the second big hire for the Falcons' front office -- they also hired new head coach Arthur Smith this month. After tons of blown leads and a myriad of disappointment, the team fired general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn earlier this season.
Fontenot spent the past 18 seasons with the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans will receive third-round compensatory picks in the 2021 and 2022 NFL Drafts under the new rules that organizations will reward teams for minority hires.
Fontenot has a lot of work to do this offseason (-cough JulioJonesandMattRyan cough-).
washington is hiring marty hurney for gm role
Another team in need of a severe change: The Washington Football Team is set to hire Marty Hurney as their new general manager as early as Tuesday, as things are currently in the stages of being finalized.
Hurney was the Carolina Panthers GM from 2002 to 2012, and then again from 2017 to 2020. Hurney joins former colleague Ron Rivera, who was head coach of the Panthers during his time there.
Washington had a bombshell pick in the 2020 NFL Draft with Chase Young, and the hope is that sort of stuff will continue. Although, in my opinion, nothing will change about that franchise until Dan Snyder is out.
sarah thomas to be first woman to ref a super bowl
Say it with me: "QUEEN SHIT." Referee Sarah Thomas will be the first woman to work a Super Bowl as part of Carl Cheffers' crew.
Thomas was also the first woman referee in general, but it's a huge barrier broken on such a large stage.
dez bryant grabs his first touchdown since 2017
The Baltimore Ravens blew out the Jacksonville Jaguars in a comfortable 40-14 blowout win. Quarterback Lamar Jackson started the game off with an interception, but that was the only bad thing. Wide receiver Marquise Brown had his best outing all season, finishing with six catches for 98 yards. The highlight of the day was vet receiver Dez Bryant grabbing his first touchdown in three years, and of course, throwing up the X.
ryan tannehill had five touchdowns on the day
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdowns and ran in for two, giving him a total of five for the day (math) against the Detroit Lions. They remain atop the AFC South and sit on a 10-4 record for this season. But it wouldn't be a Titans win without a good, old-fashioned Derrick Henry stiff-arm.
new england eliminated from playoff contention
The New England Patriots have been officially eliminated from playoff contention. While I have been waiting for this for such a long time, it doesn't seem satisfying now that Tom Brady is elsewhere. Division rivals, the Miami Dolphins ended their playoff hopes on Sunday with a 22-12 win. New England hasn't missed the playoffs since 2008.
texans fumble in the end zone, handing the colts a win
As the Houston Texans were trying to tie it up with the Indianapolis Colts, they fumbled away those chances in the end zone, handing Indy a win on a silver platter.
the falcons blew yet another lead
It's truly remarkable how they keep doing this, but they never let me down. The Atlanta Falcons headed into blowout territory in the first half, up on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-0. The final score ended up being 31-27, Bucs. You just can't write it any better. The biggest highlight was Antonio Brown scoring his first touchdown as a Buccaneer.
the jets won a game
No, really. In Week 15, the New York Jets have officially won their first game of the 2020, defeating the Los Angeles Rams in probably the biggest upset of the season.
The bigger story with this one is that they may have missed out on their next franchise quarterback if they choose to move on from Sam Darnold. The Jags take over as having the number one pick in next year's draft.
derek carr's groin injury is 'significant'
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback lasted only 11 plays in Thursday night's loss to the Los Angeles Chargers before pulling his groin and heading to the locker room. Head coach Jon Gruden said in his post-game press conference that the injury is 'significant' and we should expect Carr to be sidelined for some time. The Raiders have the Miami Dolphins coming up next, and backup QB Marcus Mariota will likely start.
The next game for Las Vegas is December 26, meaning Carr has a little over eight days to get up to speed. I'm going to go out on a limb and say he sits.
drew brees will start against chiefs on sunday
After missing four games with broken ribs and a punctured lung, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will be getting the start this week against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team cleared him to return to practice this week, indicating that he had a chance to play. This big (or, if you're like me, the only good game this week) game just got a little bigger, as each team is playing for home-field advantage during the playoffs. It's also not out of line to dub this one a potential Super Bowl preview.
julio jones is out, again
If you're playing the Julio Jones drinking game, you're probably drunk by now. The Atlanta Falcons wide receiver will miss yet another game this week due to a hamstring injury that has lingered and kept him out of two of the past three games. Jones still has a chance to play in the final two games, although I'm not sure what the point of that would be.
matthew stafford out of practice again, not ruled out (yet)
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has missed three straight practices this week, and the team is still unsure of his status for this weekend's game against the Tennessee Titans. Interim head coach Darrell Bevell said Stafford would travel with the team, as his rib injury has been feeling better than earlier this week. Backup QB Chase Daniel will get the start if Stafford can't go.
49ers to stay in Arizona through week 17
The San Francisco 49ers have played their past two home games in Arizona, and they'll remain there through Week 17. Santa Clara County, where the 49ers' stadium and facility are located, extended their contact sports ban through January 8. The Niners play at the Dallas Cowboys this weekend and host the Seattle Seahawks in Arizona the following week.
Alex Smith is out this week
Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith injured his calf during last week's game and will not play in Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. Smith hasn't practiced all week. Backup-to-the-backup QB Dwayne Haskins will start in his place. Haskins was benched after the first four games of the season, and it feels like we're stepping into a time portal at this point.