Winners and losers from NFL Week 15

There was a ton of really weird stuff going on around the league during NFL Week 15, both positive and negative, as teams battled for a playoff berth.

One of the hottest teams in the NFL was shut out in stunning style. With a convincing win over the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears won the NFC North. The Cleveland Browns — of all teams — are still alive for postseason play, for crying out loud.

Heck, one player forgot which team he played for and facilitated a touchdown for the opposing team.

These are the biggest winners and losers from NFL Week 15.

Winner: Philip Rivers has ice water running through his veins

Dec 13, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night’s game in Kansas City seemed to portend doom for Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers. He threw an interception on his first pass attempt of the game, severely under throwing Tyrell Williams.

It didn’t take long for the Chiefs to build up a 14-0 lead. Then in the second half, they went up by two touchdowns once more midway through the fourth quarter. It appeared Patrick Mahomes and Co. were on their way to an easy win. Then, Rivers woke up.

The veteran quarterback led two consecutive touchdown-scoring drives in the final eight minutes of the game, capping it all off with a gutty two-point conversion to Mike Williams (watch here), who had a monster game while Keenan Allen watched due to an injury.

Now at 11-3, the Chargers have a chance to claim the AFC’s No. 1 seed in the final weeks.

Loser: Vance Joseph has got to go

Situational awareness is a critical element to being a good head coach in the NFL — or really any level of play. Vance Joseph does not have a healthy dose of that. He proved it once more on Saturday at home against the Cleveland Browns.

Down by four points, with just over four minutes left in the game, his offense on Cleveland’s six-yard line on a 4th-and-1, Joseph called for a field goal. He was booed heartily by the home crowd in Denver, and social media was brutal in its assessment of his awful decision.

Not surprisingly, the move backfired. Cleveland won the game by one point. In a must-win situation, Joseph retreated into his shell and cost his team the victory. There’s no way John Elway can keep him now. He’s got to go.

Winner: Josh Allen came up big 

The Buffalo Bills were down their two top running backs before Sunday’s game against Detroit even began. Both LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory were ruled out, leading many to wonder just where any offense was going to come from.

Rookie quarterback Josh Allen — whose play is always an adventure — answered the call. His shockingly nifty touchdown run in the first half (watch here) put the Bills up by a point. Then, in the fourth quarter, his 42-yard laser strike to Robert Foster proved to be the game-winner.

Loser: Oakland managed to make Cincinnati look good

We’ve been harping on how bad the Oakland Raiders are all year. One lucky win against an unmotivated Pittsburgh Steelers team in Week 14 did nothing to change that, as everyone found out just one week later in Cincinnati.

The Bengals dominated Sunday’s game. Oakland’s defense had no answer for Joe Mixon, and, despite a poor outing from backup Jeff Driskel, the Raiders just couldn’t make key stops when they needed it.

Derek Carr had a rough outing throwing the ball, and both he and Jalen Richard lost fumbles — the second of which led to the first score of the game for Cincinnati.

The bottom line is this: When you’re making the Bengals look good, you’ve hit rock bottom.

Winner: Tremendous team effort nets Pittsburgh a huge win

Dec 16, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) meet at mid-field after playing at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

From the moment Tom Brady stepped onto the field for warm-ups in Pittsburgh, he faced adversity. When the game tipped off, it was clear that the Steelers were not going to let him connect with Rob Gronkowski or Josh Gordon. They did just that, as the two top New England playmakers combined for just three catches for 40 yards.

The coup de grace for Pittsburgh’s defense came in the fourth quarter when Joe Haden made a tremendous leaping interception with two Patriots draped over him for what proved to be the win-sealing play (watch here).

Big Ben Roethlisberger had a rough night with two bad interceptions but was buoyed by the rest of his offense. Jaylen Samuels did his best Le’Veon Bell and James Conner impersonation by racking up 172 yards on 21 touches, and the Steelers walked out with a 17-10 win over the mighty Patriots to remain atop the AFC North.

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By: Jesse Reed

LeSean McCoy Will Play This Week After Surgery On Left Thumb


Written by Chris Brown at Buffalo Bills.com

The injury news Monday sounded encouraging for LeSean McCoy, but not so much for Robert Blanton and Robert Woods.

The Bills didn’t waste any time getting LeSean McCoy’s dislocated left thumb properly back in place. The feature back underwent a surgical procedure on Sunday night and will have a chance to play on Sunday against Jacksonville.

“We’ll see how he progresses through the week,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “It would be big for us (to have him play) obviously. I think right now he’s playing as well as any back in the league. That would be nice if he actually is going to play. That would be great for us.”

McCoy got off to a fast start this past Sunday against Cincinnati averaging more than six and a half yards a carry with a touchdown, but dislocated his thumb late in the first half and didn’t return when the medical staff couldn’t pop his thumb joint back in.

Ryan would not put a percentage on McCoy’s chances of playing Sunday against the Jaguars, but admitted he was more encouraged about his availability than wide receiverRobert Woods

“With Robert the official report is a knee sprain we’ll see how he progresses through the week, but it’s probably doubtful he’ll be playing this week,” Ryan said.

With the status of Sammy Watkins, who is still on injured reserve up in the air concerning a possible return, Buffalo would be reduced to Marquise Goodwin,Percy Harvin, Justin Hunter and Brandon Tate in their receiving corps.“We’ll be okay,” said Ryan.

Blanton also doubtful
The news wasn’t good at the safety position either. Robert Blanton, who sustained a foot injury on the second to last play of the game, is not likely to be available for Sunday’s game either.

“He’s got a foot injury and to my knowledge he’s still undergoing evaluation on the extent of it,” said Ryan. “I think you could say it’d be doubtful to see him play this week too.”

Buffalo is already without Aaron Williams, who is on injured reserve. Now with the strong likelihood that they’re without Blanton Sunday, Ryan envisions leaning on newly signed veteran safety James Ihedigbo even more.

“I feel having James Ihedigbo in now for another week I think he’s really a sharp kid,” Ryan said. “I think he’ll get the base and our sub-defenses and I think he’ll have a better understanding of what we’re trying to do and we still have (Jonathan) Meeks. We’ll see how it goes.”

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Fantasy Injury Update for Week 8


Written by Jordan Heck at Sporting News.com

LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Hill had setbacks, Tevin Coleman injured his hamstring, Jerick McKinnon tweaked his ankle (twice) — and those are just the guys who played last week. A host of other, already injured players like Doug Martin, Jordan Reed and more were already causing problems for fantasy football owners, but this new crop of injured contributors will certainly have people worrying about start ’em, sit ’em decisions and looking for waiver-wire pickups as we head in to Week 8.

Here are the latest injury updates from around the NFL.

Follow us at @SN_Fantasy for updates, and check out our Facebook Live show starting around 3 pm ET on Thursday for your chance to ask lineup questions!

Will LeSean McCoy play in Week 8?

A report in the middle of last week claimed the Bills running back would be inactive for Sunday’s game and potentially longer. That was inaccurate, as McCoy was active, but perhaps he shouldn’t have been as he tweaked his hamstring and missed the around half the game.

McCoy ran the ball eight times for just 11 yards before exiting. After the game, he told reporters he felt “amazing” durng pre-game warmups but then felt pain once he had a few touches. He’ll likely be a question mark this week as hamstring injuries often linger, and the Bills likely won’t take any more chances after this scare.

Even if he does play, expect Mike Gillislee to carry some of the load. He’s played well in McCoy’s absence over the past two weeks and is a must-add on the waiver wire.

Tevin Coleman injury update

Half of Atlanta’s dynamic running back duo left Week 7’s game with a hamstring injury in the third quarter and did not return. Prior to his exit, Coleman racked up 74 yards and a touchdown, improving on his already impressive season. Coach Dan Quinn had no update after the game.

Hamstring injuries are tricky, as we saw with McCoy this week. There’s a strong chance Coleman ends up being inactive for Week 8’s game against the Packers, making Devonta Freeman a must-start option even in a tough matchup. Terron Ward is next in line on the depth chart, but we don’t expect a ton of production from him.

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LeSean McCoy Sued For Philly Bar Fight


Written by the AP, on USAToday.com

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy was sued Tuesday over a Philadelphia nightclub brawl that left two off-duty police officers injured.

The civil suit claims McCoy beat and kicked one officer while he was on the ground and punched another officer in the eye. The suit was filed in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and seeks money damages from McCoy, two other men and the nightclub.

“Our investigation has confirmed that Darnell Jessie and Roland Butler were viciously attacked and beaten by LeSean McCoy and the other defendants. As a result of the violent assault, both men have suffered serious and permanent injuries,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Fortunato Perri Jr., said in a statement.

McCoy’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, declined comment. McCoy’s attorney has said he was only trying to break up a fight between the officers and his friends over a $350 bottle of Champagne. Police have said the Feb. 7 fight broke out over a misunderstanding about who had bought the bottle.

District Attorney Seth Williams announced in April that no charges would be filed in connection with the brawl, saying he couldn’t prove who started it. The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office reviewed the case at the request of the president of the Philadelphia police union but declined to intervene.

According to the suit, the off-duty officers went to Recess Lounge and ordered bottles of Champagne. One of McCoy’s co-defendants tried grabbing one of the bottles, saying, “That bottle is mine,” then attacked the officer holding it.

One officer suffered facial fractures and a concussion in the ensuing brawl, while the other suffered a broken nose, ribs and thumb, the suit said. Both missed two months of work.

McCoy is in his second season with the Bills after six years with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bills were off Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

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LeSean McCoy Will Not be Charged for Bar Fight


Written by Vic Carucci at Buffalo News.com

The other shoe apparently has dropped in the uncertainty over whether running back LeSean McCoy would be available to the Buffalo Bills for the entire 2016 NFL season.

The league does not plan to suspend McCoy for the running back’s involvement in a Philadelphia nightclub brawl on Feb. 7, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Although Rapoport tweeted that the NFL is still investigating the incident and that the Bills had braced for some sort of suspension for McCoy, the player will avoid league punishment because of a “lack of evidence in his altercation.”

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office announced last week that, due to a lack of evidence, no charges would be filed against McCoy or anyone else involved in the fight that left two-off duty Philadelphia police officers hospitalized.

Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams announced last Monday that there was “insufficient evidence” to charge anyone involved in the fight at Recess Lounge in the early morning hours of Feb. 7.

Williams confirmed that at about 2:45 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, a fight broke out inside the club over ownership of a bottle of champagne.

“While it is clear that a physical altercation took place and several people were injured, there is insufficient credible evidence to determine which of the participants was the initial aggressor, or whether some participants were acting in self defense or in the reasonable defense of another,” Williams said.

The officers who were injured, Darnell Jessie and Roland Butler, gave conflicting reports of how the fight started, Williams said. Both also declined to press charges that night when asked by uniformed officers outside the club if they wished to do so, and declined medical attention at the scene.

Instead, they drove themselves to separate hospitals, with Jessie getting stitches above his left eye and being treated for a possible skull fracture. Butler, meanwhile, suffered broken ribs, a broken nose, and a sprained thumb.

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McCoy met with Philly DA

Written by Vince Lattanzio, David Chang and Denise Nakano at NBCPhilly.com

NFL star LeSean McCoy denied any fault in a nightclub brawl that left two off-duty Philadelphia Police officers injured, sources told NBC10.

McCoy met with prosecutors from the District Attorney’s Office Tuesday. The meeting was initially supposed to take place at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office but the location was changed to the office of McCoy’s defense attorney Dennis Cogan on 20th and Market streets, according to sources. After meeting for two and a half hours, Cogan escorted McCoy out of the building and spoke briefly to reporters.

“He did nothing wrong,” Cogan said. “But I’m not going to say anything more about it and thank you.”

The former Philadelphia Eagle and three friends allegedly got into an early-morning brawl with two off-duty Philadelphia police officers inside Recess nightclub along S. 2nd Street on February 7. The incident apparently stemmed from a dispute over Champagne and was caught on video.

Former NFL running back Curtis Brinkley was also involved in the fight, sources said.

Both officers suffered serious injuries including broken bones and bruises. NBC10 obtained photos Tuesday of the officers, Darnell Jessie and Roland Butler. The pictures show Jessie with blood on his shirt and stitches above his eye. Another photo shows Butler with a swollen left eye.

The police union has been vocal about prosecutors making a decision on charges in the case. John McNesby, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 president, said Friday the video showed a clear aggravated assault and demanded justice.

Seth Williams, the Philadelphia DA, responded later in the day saying he doesn’t “succumb to pressure” while investigating cases.

During Tuesday’s meeting, McCoy had a chance to share his side of the story. It was his first face to face meeting with authorities involved in investigating and prosecuting the case. Sources told NBC10 Williams was not at the meeting. Sources also said McCoy denied having any fault in the incident and instead shifted blame on the officers.

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LeSean McCoy Assaulted Two Off-Duty Police Officers

Written by Tyler Conway at BleacherReport.com

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy and former NFL running back Curtis Brinkley are at the center of a police investigation after an alleged altercation with two off-duty officers in Philadelphia on Sunday.

6ABC Action News first reported the allegations against McCoy, with John Gonzalez of CSN confirming Brinkley is the other suspect.

According to the police report, two officers were hospitalized as a result of their injuries. Dave Schratwieser of Fox 29 reported at least one officer suffered a fractured skull, with broken ribs and a broken nose listed among the other injuries. There is video of McCoy, Brinkley and the officers being thrown out of the bar, but it does not appear as though surveillance captured the incident itself.

The police report indicates the argument began over a bottle of champagne, per Gonzalez.

The report states that officers Darnell Jessie, Roland Butler and Sergeant Daniel Ayers purchased four bottles of champagne that evening. When Butler “moved to another location with his bottle,” former Pitt football player Tamarcus Porter “approached him and tried to pull the bottle from his hand.” According to the report, “an argument ensued as to the ownership of the bottle,” at which point McCoy, Brinkley and Christopher Henderson “assisted [Porter].” During the ensuing altercation, according to the report, Butler was knocked to the ground and “punched, kicked and stomped about his body and head multiple times.”

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