Frank Reich didn't even make it to December in his first season as coach of the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers announced on Monday that Reich has been fired.

"I met with Coach Reich this morning and informed him that he will not continue as head coach of the Carolina Panthers," team owner David Tepper said in a statement. "I want to thank Frank for his dedication and service, and we wish him well."

Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor takes over as interim coach, while offensive coordinator Thomas Brown will be in charge of play-calling.

 

The decision came one day after a 17-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans dropped the NFL-worst Panthers to 1-10.

The 61-year-old Reich, who coached the Indianapolis Colts from 2018-2022, was hired in January to help improve the offense, but the team is struggling to score points and No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young isn't playing well.

Carolina is 30th in total offence with an average of 265.9 yards per game and has scored 10 points in each of its last two contests and 15 or fewer in each of its last five.

Young has not topped 200 yards passing in each of the last four games, and has thrown for 1,877 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions for a 74.9 QB rating in his first 10 games.

The Panthers passed on C.J. Stroud and selected Young first in April's draft after trading wide receiver D.J. Moore and four draft picks - including their first-round pick in next year's draft - to the Chicago Bears for the top pick.

This is the second year in a row the Panthers fired their coach mid-season after Tepper fired Matt Rhule last October after a 1-4 start.

Carolina will finish with a losing record for a sixth straight season since Tepper bought the franchise in 2018 for $2.275million.

Devon Holland’s 99-yard interception touchdown stole the show in one of the plays of the year as the Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets 34-13.

Holland’s stunning run came after Jets quarterback Tim Boyle launched a hail Mary pass on the stroke of half-time, the Dolphins safety snatching the ball on his own one-yard line.

There was barely a finger laid on Holland as he went went the length of the pitch, evading the Jets defence and giving the Dolphins an 11-point lead following a second quarter touchdown from Tyreek Hill.

The touchdown came just after Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was intercepted by Brandin Echols and the Dolphins pulled away in the second half.

Two fourth quarter touchdowns from running back Raheem Mostert, including a 34-yard run, gave the Dolphins an unassailable lead and back-to-back wins.

Tagovailoa threw for 243 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, moving the Dolphins to their eighth win in 11 games and a two-game cushion over the Buffalo Bills at the top of the AFC East.

Dak Prescott threw for four touchdown passes as the Dallas Cowboys eased to a 45-10 Thanksgiving victory over the Washington Commanders.

Tony Pollard added a seven-yard touchdown run while DaRon Bland rounded things off with a 63-yard interception return for a score – his fifth of the season to set an NFL record.

The win lifts the Cowboys to 9-3 and stretched their home-winning run to 13 matches.

For the Commanders, who have lost eight of their last 10 matches, Sam Howell threw for 300 yards and ran for a touchdown.

The Green Bay Packers beat NFC North leaders the Detroit Lions 29-22.

Jordan Love connected with Christian Watson from 53 yards on the first play of the game and ended with three touchdown passes.

Opposite number Jared Goff struggled against the Packers defence, fumbling three times – one of which was returned for a touchdown by Jonathan Owens.

The Indianapolis Colts waived former Defensive Rookie of the Year Shaquille Leonard on Tuesday, ending the three-time All-Pro’s tenure with the team that drafted him.

The surprising move comes after Leonard, who had undergone two back surgeries to repair a nerve injury, complained about his lack of playing time.

Leonard was voted to the AP All-Pro team as a rookie in 2018, then again in 2020 and 2021, but his injuries limited him to just three games last season.

“Indy, I want to thank you for accepting me and my family with open arms," Leonard wrote on social media. “These past six years has been nothing but incredible! Through the good times and the bad y'all stood by my side. I apologize for not bringing that (Lombardi) trophy back to the 317.”

A second-round pick out of South Carolina State, Leonard has been known as a sideline-to-sideline tackler with a reputation for creating turnovers.

In 70 career games, Leonard has 15 sacks, 12 interceptions, 17 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.

“Shaq is the ultimate competitor and has been a fan favorite since he arrived as a rookie in 2018,” general manger Chris Ballard said in a statement. “We are incredibly grateful for his contributions to the team and the city of Indianapolis over the last six seasons.

“We wish him the best and he will always be a valued member of the Horseshoe.”

The Pittsburgh Steelers fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada on Tuesday following another dismal performance in Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns.

“Matt Canada has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement.

“I appreciate Matt’s hard work and dedication, and I wish him the best moving forward in his career.”

The Steelers were held to 10 points or less for the fourth time in 10 games this season in a 13-10 loss at Cleveland on Sunday that dropped Pittsburgh to 6-4.

The Baltimore Ravens (8-3) are in first place in the tightly contested AFC North, with Cleveland (7-3) sitting in second and the Cincinnati Bengals (5-5) right behind the Steelers.

Canada was hired as Pittsburgh’s quarterbacks coach in January 2020 and then promoted to offensive coordinator after the 2020 season.

In 44 games since, the Steelers are 28th in the NFL in both yards per game (310.1) and points per game (18.6).

Pittsburgh also ranks 28th this season in yards (280.1) and points (16.6).

In Sunday’s crucial visit to Cleveland, the Steelers totalled 249 net yards – including only 77 net passing.

Kenny Pickett, the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, has passed for just 465 yards and one touchdown in Pittsburgh’s last four games.

Pickett’s 75.3 passer rating over that four-week stretch is the fifth worst in the NFL among qualifying quarterbacks.

Quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan and running backs coach Eddie Faulkner reportedly will share duties as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator when the Steelers visit the Bengals this Sunday.

Two second-half touchdowns from Jalen Hurts saw Philadelphia Eagles overturn a 10-point deficit to beat Kansas City Chiefs 21-17.

The win lifts the Eagles to 9-1 and exacted a modicum of revenge for their defeat by the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs had opened a 17-7 lead by half-time as Patrick Mahomes found Justin Watson and Travis Kelce with a pair of touchdown passes, either side of a four-yard touchdown run from D’Andre Swift for the Eagles.

Hurts cut that gap in the third quarter with the first of his touchdown runs as the Chiefs offence struggled to find much momentum.

Kelce fumbled near the line as they pushed to extend their advantage and Hurts, who threw for just 150 yards, made them pay with his second running touchdown.

The Chiefs still had a chance in the final moments, but Mahomes went through the hands of Marquez Valdes-Scantling to deny them the winning score.

Tim Boyle will be the New York Jets’ starting quarterback Friday against the Miami Dolphins in place of the benched Zach Wilson, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

The move comes a day after the Jets’ 32-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills, in which Boyle replaced Wilson late in the third quarter.

New York continues to flounder since Aaron Rodgers suffered a torn left Achilles in the season opener and fell to 4-6 after Sunday’s loss.

Wilson was 7 for 15 for 81 yards with a touchdown and an interception Sunday in nearly three quarters. He was sacked five times.

“When things aren’t getting done, change has got to be made,” the former No. 2 overall pick said after the game. “And I understand that.”

Boyle was 7 of 14 for 33 yards with an interception in mop-up duty.

A former teammate of Rodgers’ in Green Bay, has made three career starts – all with the Detroit Lions in 2021 – and has three career touchdown passes and nine interceptions.

Meanwhile, Rodgers has hinted at returning with unprecedented speed from his injury late this season, but the Jets will need to stay in the play-off hunt to make it worthwhile.

 

Falcons plan to start Ridder for rest of season

The Atlanta Falcons are turning back to Desmond Ridder at quarterback after giving Taylor Heinicke a two-game stint as the starter.

The 4-6 Falcons return from a bye this week to face the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints (5-5), and Atlanta coach Arthur Smith announced that Ridder will be the starting quarterback the rest of the season.

Heinicke was 0-2 as the starter and suffered a hamstring injury in the Falcons’ Week 10 loss at Arizona.

Smith was adamant that Ridder would be the starter going forward, regardless of Heinicke’s injury status.

“We have a lot of confidence in Des and think the last couple of weeks he has handled it really well with a lot of things going on,” Smith said. “I think the reset has been very beneficial for him.”

 

Flacco to remain on Browns’ practice squad – for now

Cleveland Browns fans will need to wait at least one more week for their new starting quarterback after the newly signed Joe Flacco was placed on the team’s practice squad.

Head coach Kevin Stefanski said Monday that rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson will start Sunday in Denver, but the expectation remains that he will take over as the starter at some point.

“Joe’s role is to support this team coming in here,” Stefanski said on a video call with reporters. "We were able to add a guy with a ton of experience. He’ll be great for that room. He’ll be great for this team.”

After Deshaun Watson was lost for the season with a shoulder injury, the Browns tried to move forward with Thompson-Robinson and P.J. Walker, who have combined to throw one touchdown and nine interceptions.

Despite season-ending injuries to Watson and four-time Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb, a top-tier defense has helped the Browns build a three-game winning streak and has them in contention for the AFC North.

The Jacksonville Jaguars returned to winning ways in the NFL with a comfortable 34-14 victory against the Tennessee Titans.

The Jags bounced back from a disappointing performance against the San Francisco 49ers last weekend with a dominant display as quarterback Trevor Lawrence scored two rushing touchdowns and linked up with wide receiver Calvin Ridley for another two to move their record to 7-3.

Victory leaves them top of the AFC South with the Houston Texans still close behind in second after beating the Arizona Cardinals 21-16.

Kyler Murray continued his return to NFL action following a long-injury lay-off giving the Cardinals an early lead with a brilliant 48-yard touchdown looping down field to Rondale Moore, but rookie quarterback CJ Stroud found Dalton Schultz to level and managed to overcome three interceptions to seal victory.

A high-scoring encounter in the NFC North saw the Detroit Lions extend their winning run to 7-2 after coming from behind to beat the Chicago Bears 31-26.

On Justin Fields’ return from injury the Bears took a 20-14 lead at the end of the third quarter through two touchdowns and two field goals.

They extended their lead through two more field goals in the fourth, but Jarred Goff threw two touchdowns, converting for two points on the final one to snatch victory.

The Lions come up against divisional rivals the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day and the Packers improved to 4-6 after beating the LA Chargers 23-20.

The Chargers were handed a big blow when Joey Bosa was carted off the field early in the first quarter and despite being behind for most of the game, they threatened a comeback with Justin Herbert connecting to Keenan Allen.

However, Jordan Love completed to Romeo Doubs for a 24-yard touchdown with Anders Carlson kicking for the extra point.

New York Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito led his side to their first victory in four games as they beat the Washington Commanders 31-19.

Playing his second NFL game since taking over from the injured Daniel Jones, DeVito opened his account with a 24-yard touchdown to Saquon Barkley and scored a further two touchdowns before Isaiah Simmons wrapped up the game with an interception in the final seconds.

The Dallas Cowboys went 7-3 after beating the Carolina Panthers 33-10 in another difficult game for this year’s number one draft pick Bryce Young, who was sacked seven times with Micah Parsons claiming 2.5 of those.

The Cleveland Browns edged to a 13-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North thanks to a late field goal.

A low-scoring affair saw both sides only score one touchdown each and the Steelers tied the game 10-10 through Chris Boswell’s kick, but with seconds left Dustin Hopkins scored through the uprights from 34 yards.

Jalen Ramsey caught a late interception to prevent the Las Vegas Raiders staging a late comeback as the Miami Dolphins earned a 20-13 win.

Tua Tagovailoa threw two touchdowns before two field goals in the third quarter extended the Dolphins’ lead and Ramsey made a great catch in the end zone at the death.

The Cincinnati Bengals will be without Joe Burrow for the rest of the season after the star quarterback tore a ligament in his right wrist during Thursday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Head coach Zac Taylor made the announcement Friday, less than 24 hours after Burrow departed Cincinnati's 34-20 loss in the second quarter, and added that the 2022 Pro Bowl selection will likely undergo surgery.

Burrow grabbed his right wrist while in noticeable pain immediately after throwing a four-yard touchdown pass to Joe Mixon with 5:49 remaining in the second quarter. The 2020 No. 1 overall pick attempted to throw while on the sideline shortly after but was unable to grip the ball, then went into the locker room with the Bengals' training staff before being ruled out of the game after half-time.

"On the touchdown pass I just felt a pop in the middle of the throw," Burrow told reporters Friday. "I tried to give it a go, but I just couldn't get it done. Then I obviously got the news today, so not great."

Burrow's injury is potentially a major blow to a Cincinnati team currently outside the AFC playoff picture at 5-5, though the Bengals had recovered from a 1-3 start to win four straight prior to last week's loss to the Houston Texans.  

The 26-year-old led the Bengals to the AFC Championship game in each of the last two years, as well as an appearance in the Super Bowl during the 2021 season.

"You work so hard for seasons and moments like these, so whenever you get hurt and it ends early, it's tough to handle," Burrow said. "But that's part of the game. I've been through it before, so you've just to go grind it out."

Taylor said Jake Browning will make his first NFL start in place of Burrow when the Bengals host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 26.

An undrafted free agent who spent 2022 on Cincinnati's practice squad before making the active roster this season, Browning completed 8 of 14 passes for 68 yards and a touchdown after replacing Burrow on Thursday.

"Jake's worked for this opportunity his entire life," Taylor said. "He's prepared the right way. He's in the building as much as anybody on this team waiting for moments like this - obviously not [wanting] the way it happened to Joe.

"Really proud of the way he went in there with a calm attitude and was able to execute the plan, and give us a chance to move the ball and score some points."

This is the second major injury Burrow has encountered during his four-year NFL career, as a torn ACL ended his 2020 rookie season after 10 games. He returned to throw for over 4,400 yards in each of the last two seasons with a combined 69 touchdown passes to help the Bengals emerge as one of the AFC's top teams.

Burrow also played through a strained right calf he sustained in training camp this summer, though he did not miss a game. He finishes the season with 2,309 passing yards, 15 touchdown passes and six interceptions in 10 starts.

The NFL is expected to investigate the circumstances behind this latest injury, according to The Associated Press. Though Burrow was not listed on the Bengals' injury report for Thursday's game, the Bengals had posted a video of the quarterback getting off the team bus with his right hand appearing to be in a cast as he made his way to the stadium.

The Bengals later deleted the video.

 

 

 

The Baltimore Ravens strengthened their grip on the AFC North with a 34-20 win over divisional rivals Cincinnati Bengals.

And there was more bad news for the Bengals, who lost quarterback Joe Burrow to a wrist injury.

Burrow was injured in a tackle by Ravens linebacker Jadeveon Clowney during the second quarter and appeared in pain as he threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Joe Mixon on the next play.

That gave the Bengals a 10-7 lead, but as Burrow headed to the medical tent and struggled to throw on the sideline, the Ravens took control.

Lamar Jackson threw two touchdown passes in the second quarter, the second a 10-yard connection to Rashod Bateman with only 23 seconds left in the half which opened a lead they never looked like giving up.

The Ravens defence had five sacks, increasing their league-leading total to 44 and Gus Edwards sealed the win with a three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a broken bone in his right shoulder, the team announced Wednesday.

The Browns said in a statement that Watson underwent further testing on his ailing shoulder on Monday which revealed a non-displaced fracture to his glenoid.

Watson missed three games earlier this season due to recurring soreness in his throwing shoulder, and also exited the Browns' Week 7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the first quarter with the injury.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection is also dealing with a left high-ankle sprain he sustained late in last week's 33-31 victory over the AFC North-rival Baltimore Ravens.

"Deshaun Watson underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Monday on two injuries sustained on different plays in the first half of Sunday's 33-31 win over the Baltimore Ravens," the team said in a statement. "Imaging on his left ankle revealed a high-ankle sprain. In addition, postgame, Deshaun notified our medical staff of a new discomfort in his right shoulder that he felt after a hit in the first half. An MRI of his right shoulder revealed a displaced fracture to the glenoid.

"Despite performing at a high level and finishing the game, after consultation with Browns' Head Physician, James Voos, MD, and industry-leading shoulder specialist, Neal ElAttrache, MD, it has been determined that this injury will require immediate surgical repair to avoid further structural damage. Deshaun will be placed on season-ending injured reserve and a full recovery is expected for the start of the 2024 season."

P.J. Walker will take over at quarterback for Cleveland, which currently sits just a half-game behind the Ravens for first place in the AFC North at 6-3. The Browns are tied for second in the division with Pittsburgh and will host the Steelers on Sunday.

The 28-year-old Walker has started two previous games this season and played most of the Indianapolis game after Watson departed. The Browns went 1-1 in those starts, with the win a surprise 19-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5.

Walker has completed just 49 per cent of his passes, though, with one touchdown pass and five interceptions. 

Watson will now have played in just 12 of the Browns' 34 regular-season games since being acquired from the Houston Texans in a blockbuster trade in March 2022, then immediately signed to a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million extension. The 28-year-old was suspended for the first 11 games of 2022 after being accused of sexual assault by nearly two dozen women while receiving massage therapy.

In six games this season, Watson has completed 61.4 per cent of his pass attempts for 1,115 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. He added 142 rushing yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

Kicker Wil Lutz made the most of a second chance at the game-winning field goal as the Denver Broncos continued their revival with a 24-22 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Lutz, who had earlier hit an upright with an extra point and had another attempt foiled by a poor snap, missed from 41 yards with four seconds on the clock.

But the Bills were penalised for having too many players on the field – the second infringement of the drive – and Lutz made no mistake from five yards closer.

The win was the Broncos third in a row and fourth in the six games since conceding 70 points to Mami.

Lutz’s kick came less than two minutes after the Bills had taken the lead for the first time in the game, Josh Allen’s six-yard touchdown run putting them 22-21 ahead.

Allen had earlier thrown a 22-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Kincaid with Latavius Murray going over from three yards, Russell Wilson connecting with Courtland Sutton and Javonte Williams for a Broncos touchdown in each half.

The winning field goal to end the match followed an NFL record five games in one day being decided by the final kick on Sunday.

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers has claimed he could be back in action as early as December, according to reports.

Rodgers, a four-time NFL MVP, has been out since he tore his Achilles tendon while making his Jets debut on Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills.

The 39-year-old has since undergone a surgical procedure known as a "speed bridge", as he looks to quicken up his recovery.

And according to NBC's Melissa Stark, Rodgers could be back in action in time for the playoffs.

"I know it sounds insane but you do a good surgery, you have a good patient, it makes this possible," Rodgers told Stark.

The Jets are 4-5 for the season following a 16-12 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.

San Francisco got back to winning ways after three successive defeats with a convincing 34-3 win at Jacksonville on Sunday.

Brock Purdy threw for three touchdowns as the 49ers made an impressive return to form against a Jaguars side that had won their previous five games.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence was sacked five times as the visitors dominated in all departments. Both teams ended the day with 6-3 records.

The Minnesota Vikings held off a New Orleans fightback to improve to 6-4 with a 27-19 win over the Saints.

Josh Dobbs ran in a touchdown and threw for another as the Vikings opened up a 24-3 lead in the first half but the Saints set up a tight finish as back-up quarterback Jameis Winston threw for two touchdowns.

Jonathan Taylor’s first-half touchdown proved crucial as the Indianapolis Colts overcame the New England Patriots 10-6 in Frankfurt.

Mac Jones’ hopes of leading a late Patriots rally ended when he threw an interception in the fourth quarter and was benched by head coach Bill Belichick. The loss left the Patriots on 2-8.

The Dallas Cowboys cruised to a 49-17 win over the New York Giants – the second time this season they have thrashed their NFC East rivals after a 40-0 success in their opening game.

Dak Prescott threw for four touchdowns and ran for another as the Cowboys moved to six wins and three losses.

Jason Myers kicked his fifth field goal of the game as time ran out to give the Seattle Seahawks a 29-26 win over the Washington Commanders, keeping them tied at the top of the NFC West with the 49ers.

The Detroit Lions stretched their lead at the top of the NFC North as Riley Patterson’s last-ditch field goal gave them a 41-38 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Kyler Murray’s return from injury inspired the Arizona Cardinals to a 25-23 win against the  Atlanta Falcons, Matt Prater’s field goal in the dying seconds ending a run of six-straight losses.

Murray, who has been out for 11 months with a knee injury, threw for 249 yards and ran for a touchdown on his return.

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Green Bay Packers 23-19, despite losing linebacker Kwon Alexander to a leg injury, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won for the first time in five attempts with a 20-6 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

Replacement kicker Matt Ammendola kicked a field goal on the final play as the Houston Texans dramatically beat the Cincinnati Bengals 30-27 while the Cleveland Browns claimed a similarly nailbiting 33-31 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Dustin Hopkins, who had earlier missed an extra-point attempt that could have tied the game, kicked the decisive points for the Browns, who had trailed 17-3 after the first quarter.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas was arrested Friday night and faces charges for simple battery and criminal mischief.

Thomas, 30, was arrested without incident after a confrontation with a construction worker near his home and was released late Friday night, police said.

Thomas is expected to travel with the team and play in Sunday’s game in Minnesota, multiple media outlets reported Saturday.

The Saints have not issued a statement about Thomas’ availability Sunday, saying only that the team is “aware of the incident and we are gathering information.”

According to police, Thomas was upset that a construction crew working on a nearby property had parked in front of his home. A construction worker told police that Thomas yelled at him and “verbally threatened to harm him.”

Thomas then threw a brick at the worker’s truck, police said, and knocked the man’s phone out of his hand so he would not be recorded on video.

A two-time All-Pro, Thomas has 38 catches for 439 yards this season, playing in each of the Saints’ nine games. The 2019 Offensive Player of the Year played in just 10 combined games in 2020-22 due to various injuries.

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