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Leonard Williams knows New York Giants fans ‘have a right to be upset’ after another home loss

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams heard the boos from the home crowd in a 38-11 blowout loss on Sunday to the Los Angeles Rams at MetLife Stadium. He didn’t appreciate them either.

“I mean [the boos] do bother me honestly. Obviously, we’re in our own home stadium. We don’t want to be hearing boos from our own home fans,” said Williams, the Giants’ highest-paid player who had 1.5 sacks on Sunday in the loss. “I understand they have a right to be upset as well because they’re coming to see us put good football on the field and we haven’t been winning up to date.

“But at the same time, I don’t know. I just don’t like that.”

The frustration from fans has been building with the Giants (1-5) seemingly destined for a fifth straight losing season. They are fed up, especially after entering this year with lofty expectations following a busy offseason of signings, which included Williams getting a massive new deal.

Williams signed a three-year, $63 million contract with $45 million guaranteed earlier this year.

The losing seems to be wearing on Giants fans, many of whom are spending their hard-earned money for tickets. They are paying some of the highest prices in the NFL, and not getting the product they desire.

New York has lost all three of its games at MetLife Stadium this year by a combined score of 82-38. It has lost 26 of its 35 at home since the start of 2017, when the team has the worst overall record in the NFL.

“What did I think of it? Yeah, they were upset,” quarterback Daniel Jones said. “We didn’t play well. We were certainly upset about that too.”

Williams seemingly understands the frustration. But he thinks it should be handled differently.

The veteran lineman, who also played from 2015-19 with the New York Jets, apparently was seen hushing the fans at one point.

“I don’t think anyone deserves to be put down no matter who you are,” Williams said. “I’m not going to go up to a salesman and tell him he’s not a good person or boo this person because he’s not doing his job or something like that.”

That analogy doesn’t seem to fully apply. Giants fans are paying to be consumers and, in this case, they weren’t necessarily booing Williams directly. They were showing their disgust with the team and the product they were consuming.

The Giants trailed 38-3 in the fourth quarter on Sunday.

“I just said I understood why fans would be upset,” Williams said. “Yeah, it doesn’t matter what I think. I go out there and play football. I don’t sit there in the stands. I can’t see it from their perspective.”

It wasn’t the first time this Giants team was booed this season. There have been boos at some point during each of the first three home games.

Giants owner John Mara was even booed vociferously during a halftime ceremony celebrating the career of legendary quarterback Eli Manning at their last home game against the Atlanta Falcons last month.

“I would boo, too,” Mara said in the hallway heading to his suite before the start of the third quarter of that contest. “We’re 0-2 and down at half.”

They’re 1-5 and not in a much better spot now.

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Josh Allen, Dawson Knox produce fireworks for Buffalo Bills in freezing weather vs. Patriots

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills started off Saturday night’s wild-card matchup against the New England Patriots with a bang. Quarterback Josh Allen found tight end Dawson Knox for an impressive score in the back of the end zone, giving Buffalo a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Allen was given plenty of time to scramble behind his offensive line (9.64 seconds), but initially it looked like none of his options downfield were open. The quarterback moved to his right and appeared to be throwing it out of bounds, but Knox made an impressive toe-tap grab for the score. The 32.1 run yards traveled before passing are the most on any touchdown of Allen’s career. The pass had a completion percentage of 18.4%, per NFL Next Gen Stats, the second-most-improbable passing touchdown of his career.

It was the first passing touchdown in the past five playoffs in which a quarterback took at least nine seconds to throw, per Next Gen Stats.

The scored capped off a nine-play, 70-yard drive that included Allen rushing for 41 yards on two carries.

On the Patriots’ ensuing drive, quarterback Mac Jones moved the ball downfield and appeared to have a touchdown pass to wide receiver Nelson Agholor. Safety Micah Hyde, however, had other ideas and jumped in front of Agholor for an impressive interception in the end zone.



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Follow live: AFC East rivals meet in playoffs as Bills host Patriots

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Los Angeles Rams safety Taylor Rapp fails to clear concussion protocol, will miss playoff game

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Los Angeles Rams free safety Taylor Rapp did not clear concussion protocol this week and has been ruled out for Monday night’s wild-card playoff game against the visiting Arizona Cardinals.

Rapp suffered a concussion in the Rams’ overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. They also lost strong safety Jordan Fuller to a season-ending ankle injury in that game, meaning they’ll be without both starting safeties.

The team lists backup running back Buddy Howell (hamstring) as doubtful. Receiver Van Jefferson (shoulder) is listed as questionable, but coach Sean McVay expects him to play and said everyone else should be available.

McVay called Rapp’s absence a “big loss” and added that “he’s doing everything in his power to get back as quickly as possible.”

Fuller (113) and Rapp (94) were the Rams’ top two tacklers this season while playing 16 and 17 games, respectively. Rapp shared the team lead in interceptions (four) with cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Their injuries led the team to sign Eric Weddle to their practice squad this week, bringing the 37-year-old safety out of his two-year retirement.

McVay confirmed that Weddle will be added to the active roster for Monday night’s game and will contribute in a to-be-determined role. The Rams also have Nick Scott and Terrell Burgess at safety.

Weddle, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, retired after spending the 2019 season with the Rams. Monday will mark 750 days since his last NFL game.

“He’s done a great job,” McVay said. “He’s brought a great energy. He’s a great communicator. He’s a great leader. He’ll be ready to go. What exactly that role looks like, we’re still working through. Got a lot of confidence in Nick Scott and Terrell Burgess as well.”

McVay said there’s “a lot of ranges” to how much Weddle might play against Arizona before reiterating his confidence in Scott and Burgess.

“But I do know as a competitor when he’s out there, if he’s going and he gets into the flow, he’s gonna want to go,” McVay said. “If he’s feeling good and there’s no risk and we’re in a good flow, we’ll kind of just take it a snap at a time. I think it’s hard for me to realistically put a parameter around it because this is something that’s never been done before. It could be 10; it could be 30. I think in a lot of instances too, it depends on what kind of personnel groupings we’re presenting to the Cardinals’ offense as well.”

Fuller, a captain, was the Rams’ defensive signal-caller. McVay said it’s likely that linebacker Troy Reeder will take over those duties.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford, who had his toe landed on against the 49ers, was listed as a full participant in all three practices this week.

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