What will it take for England to show some attacking initiative?

England v USA: Group B - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Photo by Stefan Matzke – sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

The Three Lions tied the USA 0-0 partly due to missed chances, but mostly because England and Gareth Southgate showed their preference for safety (again).

The promise of the USMNT was on display in the 0-0 draw with England on Friday. Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah were particularly good in midfield, and the forwards made some chances for themselves.

But what was happening on the other side of the pitch to the team many consider to be tournament contenders?

It was another occurrence of England’s preference for safety and complacent tactics. The Three Lions were far too comfortable for too long in a match they should have wanted to win, and the United States took advantage.

This is not a new problem for England under Gareth Southgate. Their close calls and losses in their past two tournament runs were largely down to discomfort with seizing the initiative and playing too comfortable with everything to play for. Today it was how they played from the start rather than once they took the lead, and that’s an even more dangerous level of complacency. It’s something they seem to think they have the talent to get away with eventually, and perhaps they do, but it has cost them on the biggest stage of a major tournament once already, and could do so again if Gareth Southgate doesn’t learn.

The draw against the US was a bit reminiscent of England’s 0-0 draw with Scotland at the Euros in 2021, another match with extra external meaning that wound up being a bit of a concerning scoreless effort. The safety turned to complacency, and eventually danger. That was the case again on Friday.

England were patient to start the match. They were safe more than anything, and seemed comfortable working up the pitch slowly before springing chances.

The problem was it didn’t scare the US into making mistakes or playing uncomfortably. In fact it did the opposite, it gave them confidence. As the Three Lions continued slowing down their possessions, the US embraced the high-speed attacks at England’s width and even got into scoring positions.


https://www.infogol.net/en/matches/result/world-cup/england-vs-usa-2022-11-25/951311
infogol xG shot map from England vs. USA

Their shooting and chance creation remained poor throughout the match, but it was enough to stay confident and seize the initiative completely in the second half. Forced shots provided them some near misses, but no goals (fortunately for England). That shows why England often opt for safety and patience, they rarely concede goals. They only conceded twice at the Euros, both times from set-piece plays. The cost mostly comes at the other end of the pitch, as was the case on Friday.

England had two decent chances at about the 10-minute mark, and then didn’t have another look at goal until just before halftime. In the second half, they had to wait until stoppage time to create any chances, an indicator of both the American push forward and their preference for safety rather than creation when the game was in the balance. Their most dangerous chance came in the final minutes of the match.

I wrote in a previous piece about the wealth of options England has, and that they need to show the same ambition they showed against Iran in the rest of their matchups. I also said this about England’s midfield with forward thinking players like Jude Bellingham and Mason Mount:

This set up suits either of Gareth Southgate’s apparent England models, which are: 1. Just don’t concede whatever you do, and 2. They suck, let’s attack. The latter is the less common strategy, given Southgate’s preference for defensive stability, which is why players like Bellingham are huge for the first plan.

It’s a safe plan, but the problem is it leaves England reliant on creating on the break with fewer numbers forward.

It was option 1 from the start for England, and it made an ambitious midfield relatively useless for stretches of the match. That’s fine given the options off the bench, but the hesitancy by Southgate to utilize his options until late in the second half did more than just stunt any ambitions they had. It presented a window for the US to take control of the game.

Jordan Henderson, though an unpopular substitution, made things safer in midfield and gave England much more control in the closing stages, but they still didn’t drive at the American defense or make them too uncomfortable outside of a corner and a late free kick. Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish also came on as “try and make something happen” substitutions, but it was too little too late.

Some of this is on the players, there was a lack of execution throughout the match from England, and some players kept themselves isolated when they could have been more involved. But ultimately this falls on the manager. It’s happened before, and probably will happen again, but this is a team that should be putting multiple goals past this American defense regardless of how well their midfield played.

USA stands toe-to-toe with England, but still in search of a knockout blow

England v USA: Group B - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

It was a good showing against one of the most talented sides in the world but it did little to help their tournament hopes.

A week ago if you had offered any USMNT fan a draw against England in the World Cup they would’ve gladly accepted it without hesitation. Yet as the final whistle blew on the American’s 0-0 stalemate with their European allies, there was a small sense of disappointment. As crazy as it may sound, the U.S. stood toe-to-toe with the Three Lions and easily could’ve come away with a victory.

Analyzing the statistics and it’s clear to see that it was an even matchup for the 90 minutes. England had a slight edge in possession while the U.S. attempted more shots. Weston McKennie’s wayward finish off a great delivery from Tim Weah in the first half was arguably the best chance either team created all day and most models gave the USA a slight advantage on overall expected goals.

Being able to say you could’ve beaten such a prestigious team at the World Cup is certainly a feather in the USA’s cap. Going against England with all their high-priced talent and glamourous headline-dominating names, and holding your own is quite the accomplishment. USA supporters should be proud of the performance and effort their team showed.

Shutting down Harry Kane, one of the best pure strikers not only in the world right now but of his generation, is worthy of commendation. Keeping dynamic attackers like Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka quiet on the biggest stage is exceptional. The U.S. midfield trio of Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah standing strong against Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham, two of the most highly-valued midfielders in the world, is stuff of legends.

Despite all the deserved praise this team has earned for proving they can hang with some of the best talent in the world, there is still a feeling of incompleteness at this World Cup. With just two points through two matches and only one goal to their name, they must now find another level and play the best they possibly can to advance past the group stage. Their final Group B matchup against Iran will be the biggest match most of these players have played and maybe will ever play in their careers.

Those same fans who would have happily taken a tie against England would no doubt have gladly accepted the knowledge that as long as they beat Iran they’d advance. Now, that’s what they need to do. A win puts them into the Round of 16 — possibly as the group stage winner — but anything less will knock them out. This young group of players will need to rise to the occasion and do what they couldn’t do against England; finish the job.

Holding your own against a top team is great, but if the U.S. has real ambitions of making it deep into this tournament like they did 20 years ago, they need to figure out how to start scoring goals. It’s an issue that plagued them throughout most of qualifying and has not really been solved yet. The overall quality of the team was proven against England and Wales, but the end product let them down in both matches. Now that their backs are against the wall it’s either find the back of the net or find themselves on a plane back to their clubs.

Cowboys tight ends win Thanksgiving with their ‘whack-a-mole’ Salvation Army celebration

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Watch as the Dallas Cowboys tight ends play a little whack-a-mole

The Dallas Cowboys won a critical NFC East divisional game on Thanksgiving, beating the New York Giants by a final score of 28-20 to improve to 8-3 on the season.

Cowboys tight ends won Thanksgiving with their ‘whack-a-mole’ celebration near the end of the game.

Dallas tight ends combined for one impressive afternoon against the Giants. Rookie tight end Jake Ferguson caught 3 passes for 57 yards, and hurdled a defender along the way. Dalton Schultz caught 4 passes for 31 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

But when fellow tight end Peyton Hendershot scored on a short touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, the four Dallas tight ends pulled off an epic celebration involving the big red Salvation Army:

Schultz, Ferguson and fellow tight end Sean McKeon hop into the big red kettle, popping up-and-down a few times before Hendershot bonks Ferguson on his helmet with the football.

Cowboys players, in particular running back Ezekiel Elliott, jumping into the kettle has been a part of football during the holiday season for years now. Dallas puts the big red kettle in the end zone for their Thanksgiving game, leaving it there through the holidays. Elliott first jumped into the kettle during Dallas’ game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2016 season:

Dallas actually drew a flag for a kettle-related celebration two years later. Against Washington, quarterback Dak Prescott barreled into the end zone on a scramble for a touchdown, and soon found himself deposited into the kettle courtesy of his running back:

In the same game, Elliott also made a donation in the kettle, dropping $21 in after a touchdown:

With a few games left with the kettle in the end zone, perhaps a few more celebrations await NFL fans.

All the best moments from the first round of World Cup games

QATAR-LUSAIL-2022 WORLD CUP-GROUP C-ARG VS KSA
Photo by Meng Dingbo/Xinhua via Getty Images

A quality filled and emotion packed first few days for the 2022 World Cup.

The first round of the World Cup has come to an end with Brazil defeating Serbia 2-0 on Thursday. It surely won’t be forgotten soon as it was a round filled with great scores and a few surprises mixed in as well. Here is a recap of both categories.

Best Goals

Enner Valencia (Ecuador)

Enner Valencia proved why he’s wearing the captain armband for his country. He’s in exceptional form and is playing at a notably high level. Not only did he score a goal in the 3rd minute which was overturned by VAR due to offside, but he calmly put away a PK just a few minutes later to give Ecuador the lead, and then gave us this beauty of a header to make it 2-0 and give Ecuador a comfortable lead that was never threatened to be reached by the hosts. Top-notch quality to get the WC under way.

Tim Weah (USA)

Yeah, Tim Weah poked it in perfectly to beat the challenging Wayne Hennessey. But more than the finish itself, it’s the way the play came to be, starting from the double header passes at midfield by Pulisic and Musah, to the great post play, one-touching a pass with his chest by Josh Sargent back to Pulisic, followed by Pulisic’s drive and beautiful touch to Weah who finished it off brilliantly. Just an all-around great team goal and one that’s rare to see.

Salem Al-Dawsari (Saudi Arabia)

A wonder goal by the Saudi player who did it all by himself; he received a pop up inside Argentina’s box, had to go win the ball in between two Argentine defenders and dribble off a third, to barely get his shot off before another sliding defender got to it first. Not to mention, putting it in the far top corner where Emiliano Martínez barely got a scratch on it, but not enough to keep it from heading into the net.

João Félix (Portugal)

The Atlético de Madrid forward’s goal is by all means a great finish, but wouldn’t be what it is without the jaw-dropping assist by teammate Bruno Fernandes. A true master-class of what a through ball is, his pass sliced through Ghana’s defense like a knife cutting through butter. A super pass followed by a high quality finish gives us one of the best goals of the first round.

Richarlison (Brazil)

The best goal of the tournament thus far. By miles. Possibly of the entire cup? A great drive by Vinicius who served Richarlison the ball. The Tottenham Hotspur striker’s control was a bit high, but he improvised masterfully and connected on a bicycle shot to rocket the ball into the bottom left corner. A truly superb goal to put the score out of reach in a match completely owned by Brazil, who look well on their way to not only winning the group, but winning the entire thing as well, despite Neymar’s injury.

KEY MOMENTS

Gareth Bale’s PK goal

Not only did this PK goal mark Wales’ first WC goal in 64 years, but it also saved a point for Wales from what appeared to be a sure loss to the US. Thanks to this huge goal, Wales and USA are still even with a point apiece, tied for 2nd in the group behind England, with very high hopes to make it through the group stage. Had he missed, their hopes would be looking pretty dim by now.

Saudi Arabia defeating Argentina 2-1

In what is possibly the biggest upset in World Cup history, the Saudis overcame all types of odds, not to mention being down in the score against a Messi-led team. They stood their ground and came back to defeat a heavily favored Argentina squad who consider anything other than lifting the trophy a disappointment. HUGE result. Probably the biggest moment this WC will see no matter what, but by far the biggest moment in this first round, making it even bigger due to Saudi Arabia’s historically poor WC performances.

Mexico’s ‘Memo’ Ochoa heroic PK save vs. Lewandowski

In a game where Mexico were scripted to lose, Robert Lewandowski’s PK in the 58th minute was about to make that come true. However, standing under the goalposts was ‘Memo’ Ochoa who has come up with some massive saves in prior WCs throughout his career, most notably Brazil 2014. This was not the exception, as he brilliantly guessed the spot and not only saved a goal, but rescued a point for Mexico who are momentarily alive in their group thanks to that save.

Japan come from behind to upset Germany

Germany v Japan: Group E - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Photo by Heuler Andrey/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Germany played a heck of a game, but let key chances slip to extend their lead. At the same time, Japan never let up and kept pushing until they found not only the equalizer, but the go ahead score as well on a great drive by Takuma Asano. Another huge upset, but considering Japan have had success on this world stage in the past, it’s not above Saudi Arabia’s. Still, a massive result that was totally unexpected with the Germans in firm control of the match through the first 75 minutes. Group E could very well belong to Spain now.

Spain’s historic 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica

Spain v Costa Rica: Group E - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images

By no means was it the highest-scoring match of all-time for a WC, but what Luis Enrique’s team accomplished yesterday was certainly historic in Spain’s record books. It’s their highest-scoring performance in WC history and absolutely demolished Keylor Navas’s goal with 6 different players chipping in to score the 7 goals. With Germany’s loss and goal difference a huge advantage for the Spaniards, the path has opened up for them to win the group.

USA vs. England on Black Friday is a perfect scenario to set World Cup viewing records

Iran V England, Qatar 2022 World Cup Reaction
Photo by Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The first USA match already drew massive viewership numbers.

When the United States and England face off on Black Friday it very well could smash television ratings records. This World Cup is already drawing large amounts of viewers thanks to its easily accessible match times and lack of competition for an audience. Over 8 million people tuned in to the USMNT’s opening match against Wales on FOX, the U.S. language provider for the World Cup. While the timeslot for their crucial Group B clash with the Three Lions will remain the same, the circumstances are drastically different and should make for an unmissable spectacle.

The most-watched Men’s World Cup match on English-language television ever is the USA’s 2-2 draw with Portugal in the 2014 group stage. That entertaining affair drew an audience of 18.2 million. Acquiring 10 million more viewers than the Wales match may seem unlikely, but when you consider the unusual aspect of the holiday season it has a good chance.

The day after Thanksgiving is synonymous with shopping and leftovers and while the NFL has a television monopoly on Thursday, the day after is almost the perfect scenario for a soccer match to gain eyeballs. Couple that with the fact that the USMNT’s match with England could make or break their dreams of qualifying for the Round of 16 and you have yourself quite the sporting attraction. A loss to England wouldn’t totally kill the USA’s chances at getting through to the knockout rounds, but it would make it very difficult. While a win would go down as one of the biggest moments in recent U.S. Soccer history and set them up for a deeper run in the tournament.

Outside of the short-term implications, there’s a much broader appeal to a USA vs. England World Cup match. Setting aside the obvious political and historical undertones, there’s the prestige factor. Everyone has that one friend that is a soccer fan that cheers for England in big tournaments rather than the USMNT because they watched two Manchester United matches at some point in their lives. England is just the glamorous team when it comes to the casual soccer fan. If you’ve watched this sport at all, chances are you’ve encountered a Premier League match before anything else.

The debate about “the best league in the world” will rage on forever, but there’s no doubt that the Premier League is the one the average soccer fan pays most attention to. For lack of a better description, it’s the sexy league everyone is drawn towards. So, the general sports fan may not care about the USMNT’s chances of advancing out of their group, but they sure will pay attention to Tottenham’s Harry Kane or Manchester City’s Phil Foden playing against the Americans.

All of these factors set the stage for what should be one of the biggest sporting occasions of the year. Put two good teams against each other in the middle of a holiday afternoon with the whole country in front of their TVs and we could see history made.

What 11 star athletes and coaches should have on their plates this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Plate
Photo by Gado/Getty Images

Let’s imagine what everyone is having this holiday season.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and with it our individuals plans for the meal. Some people are traditionalists, opting to get all the classic elements and having their storybook Thanksgiving. Some people are side aficionados, who think turkey is overrated and much rather fill their plates with all the good stuff. Then there’s always one chaotic person at the table who only eats an alarmingly large portion of mashed potatoes, and nothing else.

There’s nothing wrong with any of these approaches, but what about professional athletes? It’s mid-season for a lot of them, making Thanksgiving a minefield of carbs, sodium, and banned foods — balancing them against their restrictive diets, while still being able to celebrate. We imagined what some of the biggest names in sports are filling their plates with on the holiday this year.

Zach Wilson

One pound of extremely dry, white meat turkey, nothing else

This was Wilson’s second year in charge of Thanksgiving, and he made a mess of it in 2021 — but there was hope he’d turn it around. Instead he’s pulling a turkey breast out of his oven that has been cooked to the point of dust and is functionally inedible.

Wilson is going to sit there and try to make it through his dry-ass turkey, while blaming the results on his convection oven — not his ability to cook. How was he supposed to know there was wind in a convection oven? You have to factor in the wind. He didn’t let his family down, because he did exactly what was asked of him and produce a turkey. If you don’t like it then that’s on you pal.

Matthew Judon

Literally anything but mac and cheese

One of my favorite holiday feuds — aside from me versus gift wrapping — is the ongoing battle between New England Patriots pass rusher Matthew Judon, and mac and cheese. Judon made national news last year when, in the buildup to Thanksgiving, he called mac and cheese “overrated” during then-teammate Kyle Van Noy’s YouTube series “Elite Eatz.”

In the days before Thanksgiving, Judon doubled-down:

“We gotta get macaroni and cheese off the table. … It’s just cheese and noodles, it’s not that good … Every time I try it, it’s the same thing. And it’s never gonna change. It’s never gonna get better, all right? I’m almost 30 now. I’m pretty set in my ways. And it’s disgusting. Get it off the table. The bathrooms will be less busy, and everybody will have a better day.”

The feud continues to this day. During training camp, Judon was confronted about his mac and cheese take by a Patriots fan, but simply glared back his response:

I do not know much, but I do know this: Mac and cheese will be nowhere near Judon’s Thanksgiving table.

Dan Campbell

A blender full of raw eggs mixed with supplements

No time off. The Lions play on Thanksgiving. No time to pig out or rest, so Campbell is just blending up some eggs with a bunch of vitamins and chugging it on his way out the door on the way to Ford Field.

Lincoln Riley

Overcooked brisket

As fathers grow older, they often try and become self-described experts at different things: Smoking meat, military history, commercial airplane identification, woodworking, lawn maintenance, or other such topics.

(Some of us even try and become experts at all of the above, much to the annoyance of the rest of the family, but I’ve said too much).

Perhaps USC head coach Lincoln Riley fits into that first column, given this effort at an Easter brisket from a while back:

I mean…sure?

Jaylen Brown

Ham

But he will think it is turkey, and then claim he did not have his glasses on.

LeBron James

A turkey cooked to perfection, following Martha Stewart’s method

Then LeBron will claim he was the one who told Martha Stewart about the process, which involves draping the turkey in a cheesecloth soaked in a butter and wine mixture, and then after roasting the turkey with the cheesecloth in place for a period of time, removing the cheesecloth and basting the turkey every thirty minutes.

Justin Jefferson

Turkey étouffée

Jefferson is having Thanksgiving at Kirk Cousins’ house, and who knows what the hell that man is making. So, the receiver is bringing a big ass pot of perfect turkey étouffée and bailing out Cousins so he looks way better than he really is. He’ll even let him take credit for it, because that’s the kind of dude Justin Jefferson is.

I don’t know if Cousins will be able to handle the heat of food cooked with more than just table salt and a tiny sprinkle of pre-ground black pepper, but we’re going to see what happens.

Tom Brady

More stuffing than you can imagine

It has been a trying season for Tom Brady. After retiring, and then un-retiring, Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been inconsistent at best on the field this season. The veteran quarterback has looked miserable in wins, worse in losses, faced criticism after comparing the NFL season to a military deployment, turned in perhaps the worst play of the season on an ill-advised throwback pass from Leonard Fournette, prompted a warning to all 32 teams because he cannot stop throwing Microsoft Surface tablets on the sideline, was potentially cursed by witches, and was recently sued a part of a proposed class-action suit relating to his involvement with crypto trading platform FTX.

So what does a man who has gone through all of that put on his Thanksgiving table? Well, if you Tom Brady, who notoriously avoids bread, after a year like that you are putting more stuffing on the table than one can imagine. Multiple varieties too. Perhaps a traditional Italian sausage stuffing, as well as an Eastern European variety that involves water chestnuts, raisins, and celery. Perhaps an apple-pecan stuffing, and a cornbread stuffing with sausage and fennel. Let’s throw in this cranberry and sage stuffing as well.

Brady is going to eat more stuffing this week than the rest of us combined.

Sauce Gardner

Zach Wilson’s dry-ass turkey covered in hot sauce

It’s on brand, right? Sauce and the Jets defense is the only thing making that team palatable this year, and so he’ll rush in to save the day with some incredible hot sauce that will make even the worst prepared main a little better.

Nobody thought he’d be able to have such an impact on Thanksgiving this early in his NFL career, but Saucer is proving everyone wrong.

Justin Fields

A home made gourmet meal constructed out of canned goods and leftovers

It’s a busy time for an NFL quarterback, so I can’t imagine Fields has time to shop himself. It was a nice of the Bears to drop off some ingredients for him, but it was mostly expired canned goods, leftover turkey, and a half-eaten pie.

That’s some garbage to work with, but Fields makes magic with it, creating a feast like nobody has experienced and turning nothing into something incredible. Was there any doubt? The man is a magician on the field, why not in the kitchen too?

Cristiano Ronaldo

Why are you even asking? Shut up. You’re wrong. It’s not up to you to know or criticize what I’m eating. Only Cristiano can decide that.

Okay, jeez… sorry we asked.

MLB Playoffs: Yordan Alvarez’s walk-off homer gives Astros a comeback win over Mariners

Division Series - Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros - Game One
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Alvarez and Houston completed a big comeback after having trailed Seattle since the first inning.

The Mariners advanced past the Blue Jays in the American League Wild Card Series after an incredible comeback win in Game 2. That saw them advance to the ALDS against the Astros where they were on the other end of one.

Seattle led from the first inning, putting up six runs on Astros’ ace Justin Verlander, knocking him out after the fourth. However, Houston slowly began to chip away at their deficit and went into the bottom of the ninth trailing just 7-5.

For the ninth, Seattle brought in their closer, Paul Sewald, who got two outs either side of hitting pinch hitter David Hensley with a pitch. Sewald then got within one strike of closing out a victory, only for Houston shortstop Jeremy Peña to keep the game alive with a single.

At that point, Mariners manager Scott Servais went back to his bullpen and brought in Robbie Ray, who is normally a starter and struggled in the series against the Blue Jays. Ray was tasked with facing Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez, who has been one of the best hitters in baseball this season. The move to Ray is now likely destined to be one of the most questioned ones this October, as Alvarez crushed a pitch to give Houston a walk-off 8-7 win.

The Astros have been one of the most successful franchises in baseball in the past couple years, and it’s easy to see why after that homer. They were down a couple runs after their ace had put in probably his worst outing of 2022. That’s a hard thing to overcome in most games, but apparently not this one.

Meanwhile, it was a real gut punch for Seattle. It’s not everyday that you can put up six runs against and knock out Verlander, but they did it in fairly impressive style. Even though they did all that, they still ended up trailing 1-0 in the series.

MLB Playoffs: Justin Verlander rocked by Mariners early in ALDS

Division Series - Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros - Game One
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Verlander’s first start of the playoffs ended up being his worst of 2022 so far.

Justin Verlander has had a very remarkable career, the legend of which has only been added to in 2022. Despite missing most of the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy Jogn surgery, Verlander returned to the Houston Astros’ rotation this year and looked like prime Verlander. His 1.75 ERA in in 175 innings has him in the running for a third career Cy Young Award.

Verlander has been so good that even though he missed some time late in the season, the Astros still made him their #1 starter in their American League Division Series against the Seattle Mariners. He even closed out his regular season with five no-hit innings against a Phillies’ team that made the playoffs. However, in his first playoff start since Game 6 of the 2019 World Series, he didn’t come close to matching his regular season success.

Seattle jumped on him for a run in the first thanks to a Cal Raleigh RBI single, and followed that up by dropping three in the second. The big blow for the Mariners came on a two-RBI double by Julio Rodríguez that made it 3-0.

Verlander eventually exited the game after the Mariners added two more runs in the fourth inning. In total, the Astros’ ace allowed six earned runs on 10 hits in just four innings. The runs and hits both match his high from the regular season, which also came against the Mariners back on May 27th. He only gave up more than three earned runs in a start on just two occasions in the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Mariners’ dream run in their first playoff appearance since 2001 continued as they got off to the perfect start against a normally dominant Verlander.

Davante Adams shoved a stadium worker after the Raiders Monday night collapse


Davante Adams should have picked a better target for his frustration with the Raiders’ latest loss.

The Las Vegas Raiders had the mighty Kansas City Chiefs on the ropes on Monday night to end Week 5. Superstar wide receiver Davante Adams was having his best game yet for the Raiders, scoring on a 58-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 48-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Adams’ second TD put the Raiders within an extra point of tying the Chiefs.

Instead, Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels decided to go for two, and KC got the stop. The Chiefs won, 30-29, to move the Raiders to 1-4 on the season.

The Raiders had one last chance to drive into field goal range in the final seconds, but the officials overturned a reception by Adams that ultimately led to Vegas turning the ball over on downs to end the game. As Adams walked off the field with the loss, he stupidly took out on his frustration on an apparent camera guy (or sound guy?) near the tunnel.

You can’t do that, Davante Adams. Take your frustrations out on the coaching staff, or maybe even your teammates behind closed doors, but absolutely do not take them out on a normal guy just trying to do his job.

Adams apologized to the guy after the game:

Adams also tweeted out an apology after the game:

The Raiders remain a disaster. We’ll update this story if Adams faces any punishment for his shove.

We thought the dubious roughing the passer penalty on Tom Brady was the worst call of the week. We were wrong.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Chris Jones sack of Derek Carr takes the lead

As football fans, thought nothing could top the roughing the passer penalty called on Grady Jarrett during his fourth-quarter sack of Tom Brady during Sunday’s game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

We were wrong.

During Monday night’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs, defensive tackle Chris Jones accomplished something that in over three decades of watching football I did not think was possible.

Commit a roughing the passer penalty while holding the football:

Jones breaks around the edge and tracks Derek Carr down from behind, ripping the football out of his hands and crashing to the turf with the quarterback.

Instead of the Chiefs taking over possession, with a chance to cut into Las Vegas’ 17-7 lead, the Raiders’ drive continued. Las Vegas finished the drive with a field goal, extending their lead to 20-7.

As was the case with the Brady sack on Sunday, the reaction on social media was quick, and filled with shock.

As with the penalty called on Jarrett in his takedown of Brady, the officials likely looked at a portion of the roughing the passer rules when throwing the flag on this play. According to the rules, the following conduct is considered a penalty:

When tackling a passer who is in a defenseless posture (e.g., during or just after throwing a pass), a defensive player must not unnecessarily or violently throw him down or land on top of him with all or most of the defender’s weight. Instead, the defensive player must strive to wrap up the passer with the defensive player’s arms and not land on the passer with all or most of his body weight.

While Jones’ play here might technically qualify as a penalty, it is hard to believe that what he does here in the strip-sack of Carr is consistent with the spirit and purpose of the rules. He is making a football play, ripping the ball out of the quarterback’s hands, and then crashing to the turf in the process, along with Carr.

Asking a defender in Jones’ position to do something different seems like an impossible ask.

After the game on Sunday, Jerome Boger pointed to this portion of the rulebook as the reason for the flag on Jarrett:

We can only anticipate a similar statement following tonight’s game.