NFL

NFL news and notes: Giants bench Manning, Fitzpatrick traded to Steelers

By Sports Desk September 17, 2019

As Week 3 officially gets underway, three more quarterbacks appear to have gone down.

Meanwhile, one team padded their secondary with a top safety.

Three things that matter

Giants name Jones starting QB

Eli Manning's inconsistencies finally caught up to him as the New York Giants benched the veteran quarterback after their 0-2 start to the season. Now, the Giants will see if their surprising selection of Daniel Jones out of Duke with the sixth overall pick in April will pay off.

Manning's accomplishments over the last almost 15 years as a starter have been overshadowed in recent seasons and he has thrown for 556 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in 2019. On the other hand, Jones threw for 416 yards with two touchdowns in the preseason and briefly played in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Fitzpatrick dealt by Dolphins

Disgruntled defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick finally got his wish and is set to help a Pittsburgh Steelers secondary that will need all the help they can get after Ben Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury. Pittsburgh also signed Paxton Lynch to their practice squad.

The Miami Dolphins take away a 2020 first-round pick as well as a 2020 fifth-round pick and a sixth-rounder in 2021 in the deal, bringing their total to five first-round picks in the next two drafts.

Newton not at practice after re-injuring foot

It is the latest hurdle for the Carolina Panthers quarterback, who just got over his nagging shoulder injury that turned the team's 2018 season sideways. While general manager Marty Hurney confirmed Cam Newton's absence was due to the re-aggravation of a mild-foot sprain he suffered during the preseason, he could not provide a timetable for his return.

If Newton is unable to play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said backup Kyle Allen will get the start.

"I think Kyle's more than ready," Rivera told reporters. "… I think he's got a really good arm, makes good decisions. He just needs to speed himself up a bit."

Two things that don't matter

Siemian out for season

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase confirmed backup-turned-starter Trevor Siemian will need surgery after suffering torn ankle ligaments in Monday's loss to the Cleveland Browns. It means the team are down to their third-string quarterback after Sam Darnold was lost to mono last week.

Like Pittsburgh's Mason Rudolph, Luke Falk is set to make his first career NFL start on Sunday with a team desperate for quarterback depth. He was on the practice squad as recently as Monday morning but completed 20 of 25 passes for 198 yards as he filled in for Siemian during the final three quarters of the game.

Woods expected to miss 4-6 weeks 

Dallas Cowboys safety Xavier Woods has been diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and reportedly will not be back until around November, though team owner Jerry Jones declined to give a definitive timeline.

"You had it right until you said 'serious'," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. "We'll evaluate it as the week goes along. He's young. He might be able to move on it pretty good at that position. Some positions have a tougher time — defensive linemen and those sorts of things."

It is a tough defensive loss after Woods proved to be a viable starter. He has 17 total tackles and one forced fumble so far this season, so the Cowboys will look to veteran Darian Thompson to help fill the void.

One video you have to see

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey requested a trade after he was involved in a heated exchange with coach Doug Marrone on the sidelines last weekend, but he appears intent on making the most of his situation.

Tuesday's tweet of the day

Patrick Mahomes' mother, Randi Martin, shared a sweet post on Twitter for his 24th birthday that included several adorable throwback photos of the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback.

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    It might not have been pretty, but the Green Bay Packers are now the best team in the NFC North after Monday's victory.

    Both Green Bay and Detroit entered the clash with just one loss each and the winner would not only begin to separate themselves from the bunch but show they can be a true contender — an improvement from last year when both the Lions and Packers missed the playoffs.

    Rodgers inspired the Packers to a narrow win in a back-and-forth game highlighted by some impressive throws and lots of field goals.

    Packers quarterback Rodgers finished 24-of-39 passing for 283 yards and two touchdowns with one interception as Green Bay improved to 5-1.

    Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who started the game on fire, went 18-of-32 passing for 265 yards with the team falling to 2-2-1.

     

    Three takeaways from Packers' win over the Lions:

    Lions got off to a hot start and then ...

    There was quite literally no one but the Lions stopping the Lions in the first quarter.

    After opening the game with a flea flicker for their longest play from scrimmage all season – 66 yards – the Lions were in a perfect position to score a touchdown on their first drive.

    However, Stafford tripped on an ensuing play in the red zone — a miscue that resulted in Detroit eventually settling for a field goal.  

    But that was the team's only mistake to start Monday. They continued to run through, around and past the Packers defense to score 13 unanswered points through one and a half quarters. It was the first time Green Bay trailed by more than one score all season and Stafford's 168 yards in the first quarter alone were the most for any Lions signal-caller ... ever. But Detroit's hot start was diffused when Rodgers and company finally got on a roll.

    Give Rodgers an inch and he'll make you pay

    Sure, the Lions played a superb first quarter but once they started making mistakes, the momentum started to go in the Packers' favour. 

    The Lions made a critical error on special teams halfway through the second quarter when they were called for having too many men on the field and drew a five-yard penalty. It was enough to give the Packers a first down and bring Rodgers back on to the field. He converted it into a touchdown and Green Bay eventually tied the game 13-13 just after half-time.

    But still, even with the momentum, Rodgers still needed some missing pieces. Wide receiver Davante Adams missed another game with turf toe and while Aaron Jones played, he was not as effective as he was last week. Rodgers managed to find Allen Lazard, the team's unlikely hero on offense, on a critical fourth-quarter drive.

    This late touchdown helped set up the game-winning moment.

    It was Mason Crosby's night

    Rodgers certainly gets credit for setting up Crosby's kicks, but the veteran kicker was a perfect three-for-three on the night with his most important kick coming with two seconds left on the clock and the Packers trailing by two.

    Perhaps better than the go-ahead kick was the celebration after.

    There is not much analysis here; we are just glad Crosby stuck the landing after being helped into the stands for his own Lambeau Leap.

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    The Browns dropped to 2-4 for the NFL season after going down 32-28 to the Seahawks on Sunday, and Mayfield has continued to struggle in 2019.

    Mayfield gave up three interceptions to Seattle, and first-year Brows boss Kitchens told reporters on Monday that he would like the QB to make smarter choices.

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    "I have to continue to do a better job of continuing to put him in a better situation," Kitchens said. "We have to do a better job around him in protection, in where we are supposed to be and then catching the ball."

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