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New York Jets QB Zach Wilson to undergo MRI on injured knee after ’embarrassing’ loss to New England Patriots

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is out indefinitely after injuring his right knee Sunday in one of the worst losses in franchise history — 54-13 to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

The defeat was so bad that mild-mannered coach Robert Saleh used profanity in his postgame news conference and called the loss “embarrassing.” But the immediate concern was the team’s franchise quarterback.

Wilson hurt the posterior cruciate ligament of his right knee on a second-quarter hit by linebacker Matt Judon. The Jets are hopeful that it’s not a season-ending injury, a source said, but they won’t know for sure until an MRI exam on Monday morning.

The No. 2 overall pick said his knee got “twisted” and he “felt a pop.” If it’s a mild PCL sprain, Wilson could return in three to four weeks. Saleh didn’t seem alarmed, saying, “Initially, we feel good, but you never know.”

A PCL injury is “the best-case scenario,” Wilson said. “I’m not really sure. I don’t know a lot about the PCL. … The pain really isn’t there. It’s just feeling like something is a little off as far as being loose and unstable.”

The Jets (1-5) already were down, 17-0, when the injury occurred in the second quarter. Wilson, who got hit after releasing- a long pass that was ruled defensive pass interference, said he had no issue with Judon’s hit.

Judon tweeted Sunday evening that he would be “praying” for Wilson.

For the Jets, the day got progressively worse. It was their most lopsided defeat since a 45-3 loss to the Patriots in 2010. The last time they allowed this many points in a game was a 56-3 loss to the Patriots in 1979.

“This is the NFL. You give up 50 points, it’s embarrassing,” Saleh said. “… [It’s] a helpless feeling where you’re just watching, you’re trying to figure something out.”

The usually upbeat Saleh was downcast after the game, even angry, cursing twice in his postgame news conference. Coming off the bye week, he was confident he had made the necessary changes to spark his slow-starting offense.

That didn’t happen. Everything collapsed, namely the defense, which allowed 551 yards and surrendered scores on nine of 10 drives (not including kneel downs at the end).

“Top down. Starts with coaching all the way down,” Saleh said. “Obviously we’ve got to be better. They punched us in the freaking mouth and scored points, so credit to them. That’s it. I mean, I’ve been in part of some of those in my life. They just don’t feel good.”

The Jets failed to score in the first quarter for the sixth straight game, the first team to do that since the 2008 Detroit Lions, who finished 0-16. The Jets have been outscored, 44-0, in the opening quarter and 106-20 in the first half of games.

“We talk about adversity … it’s here,” said Saleh, who is coaching the youngest roster in the league. “This is from coaches all the way down. The NFL doesn’t really give a flying f—, excuse my language, in terms of scheduling. We got to line up the next week and for the 11 or 12, whatever we got left. I know we got the right men in that locker room. I know we got the right people in that locker room. I know we’ll come back strong. But we got to get it going.”

Wilson was replaced by Mike White, who made his NFL debut. His first pass was a 3-yard touchdown to Corey Davis, which made it 17-7, but things quickly spiraled for the Jets. They had no answer for rookie quarterback Mac Jones, who passed for 307 yards and two touchdowns.

The Jets, playing without middle linebacker C.J. Mosley (hamstring), fell for different misdirection and gadget plays, including a wide-receiver pass for a touchdown on the fourth play of the game — Kendrick Bourne‘s 25-yard pass to fellow receiver Nelson Agholor.

The Patriots were still throwing late, seemingly trying to run up the score on their longtime rivals. Asked his thoughts at the time, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said, “Probably some things I’m not going to say. … But it’s our job stop it.”

Saleh refused to buy into the theory that his team needs to chewed out. He said “grown men” don’t need to be yelled at.

“If you need somebody — it’s just my opinion — to be in your butt, yelling at you to get going playing a child’s game at a king’s ransom, then you don’t deserve to wear the logo, period,” he said. “I know we got great character guys. I know they were playing their butts off. Everyone once in a while you get your f—ing — excuse my language — you get your teeth knocked in. Sorry.”



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Buffalo Bills make playoff history with 7 touchdown drives in blowout win vs. New England Patriots

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills didn’t just beat the New England Patriots. They made a statement to the entire NFL.

The Bills dominated the teams’ third meeting in 41 days, winning 47-17 at home to move on to the Divisional round of the playoffs. Buffalo scored a touchdown on all seven of their possessions, becoming the first team in the Super Bowl era to score a TD on each of their first seven drives of a playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

With the win, the Bills have beaten the Patriots twice by double-digits in a single season (33-21 in Week 16), becoming the first team to do so since Bill Belichick became head coach.

Dating back to that game in Week 16, the Bills’ last 13 drives against the Patriots have yielded 11 scores (10 touchdowns and one field goal). During that stretch, the only thing that stopped the Buffalo offense was the clock.

Not only did the offense put up an impressive performance, but the Bills continued to show improvements in areas that have caused issues throughout the season. The running game was effective and the offensive line that has had a rollercoaster year set the tempo.

But the most impressive part of the game for the Bills was the performance of quarterback Josh Allen. Coming into the game, one of the big questions was if Allen could step up in freezing temperatures. He did far more than that with temperatures below 10 degrees throughout the game, putting together one of the best performances of his career.

Allen continued his stellar performance against the Patriots from a few weeks prior, completing 21/25 passes (84%) for 308 yards and five touchdowns, in addition to six carries for 66 yards. It is the highest completion percentage in a playoff game with 25 or more attempts since Aaron Rodgers in the 2010 Divisional Playoffs (86.1%)

He became the third player in the Super Bowl era with at least 150 pass yards and 50 rush yards in a single half of a playoff game, per Elias, and joined Drew Brees (2009) and Russell Wilson (2020) as the only quarterbacks to throw for five touchdowns against a Belichick-coached team.

Allen’s performance included two touchdown passes to tight end Dawson Knox and one to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. The score was Sanders’ first touchdown in the postseason, coming in his 14th career playoff game with his fifth different team.

Allen’s fifth touchdown was a one-yard throw to reserve offensive lineman Tommy Doyle. All five of his touchdown throws came in play-action, the most by any player in a regular-season or playoff game since 2006 when ESPN began tracking play-action. He has gone four straight games without being sacked.

Running back Devin Singletary ran for two touchdowns behind an offensive line that dominated the line of scrimmage throughout the game.

The defense limited rookie quarterback Mac Jones throughout the game, including forcing two interceptions.

The Bills will now head to the Divisional round of the playoffs for a second straight season with a perfect record in home playoff games under McDermott. With a Chiefs win on Sunday night, the Bills would head to Kansas City, the site of last year’s AFC Championship loss.

Buffalo is 0-3 in road playoff games since McDermott became head coach (0-3). With a Pittsburgh Steelers win, the Bills would host the Cincinnati Bengals next week.

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Derek Carr, Maxx Crosby want Rich Bisaccia back as Las Vegas Raiders’ head coach

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CINCINNATI — Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and Pro Bowl defensive end Maxx Crosby both heartily endorsed Rich Bisaccia retaining the head-coaching job permanently following Las Vegas’ season-ending 26-19 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday night.

Bisaccia was promoted from special teams coordinator to interim head coach following Jon Gruden’s resignation on Oct. 11.

“I think we can all think that he’s the right guy,” Carr said of Bisaccia. “He’s proven that people listen to him. Our team listens to him. And I love him so much, I’m thankful for him. All those things will be decisions that I don’t make; I don’t get to make. I just play quarterback … but with everything that went on, if you really look at what happened, all the pieces missing, everything that changed, yeah, he held it together.”

Carr referenced the Raiders losing starting guards Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good to injury in the preseason and opener, respectively. He also talked about receiver Henry Ruggs III being cut following his involvement in a high-speed car crash that left a woman dead. Carr also cited Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller missing five games down the stretch; Pro Bowl running back Josh Jacobs being dinged up and unavailable at times; and losing versatile running back Kenyan Drake to a knee injury in Week 13.

“You go on and on and on and on, and that’s just offense,” said Carr, who had driven the Raiders to the Bengals’ 9-yard line before being intercepted at the 2-yard line on fourth-and-goal with 12 seconds to play Saturday night. “The fact that that staff kept everything together and kept us competitive and kept us finding ways to win football games, I think that’s what our organization is about, right? So, we’ll see what happens. We know what we want to have happen. But, again, we’re Raiders. We’re going to play football, but we just hope it, obviously, we hope it’s for somebody special.”

Carr also said he would stay out of direct conversations when it came to his future with the team. He has one year remaining on the five-year, $125 million extension he signed in 2017.

He said his agent and the Raiders have a good relationship.

“Lord knows there’s been a lot of things to communicate about, right?” Carr said. “When the time comes, I never want a face-to-face. I’m going to play quarterback, but my message will be talked about.

“I’m not going to go to dinner and say, ‘We have to do something.’ I’m not that guy. I’ll let my voice be heard, but in a different way.”

Crosby, who was just named second-team All-Pro, called Bisaccia a “great leader” for the Raiders.

“If it was up to me, I think everyone in the world knows what my decision would be,” said Crosby, who had a sack among his six tackles on Saturday. “I love Rich. You know, I’m biased, obviously, but he’s, he’s a great coach … he came in and got us to 10 wins. We came on the road, on a short week, and gave Cincinnati everything they could handle.

“One of the best people I know. One of the most honest dudes I know. And I’ll go to bat for him any day of the week. I love that dude to death. He knows that. I appreciate everything he’s brought to the table. I hope we keep doing it.”

Raiders owner Mark Davis has remained silent on the team’s head-coaching search, as well as on the futures of Carr and general manager Mike Mayock.

Bisaccia, meanwhile, laughed when asked if he thought about being elevated to the full-time job.

“I’m just thinking about those guys in that locker room that played the game with their heart and soul out there like that,” he said, “and had a chance to win at the end.”

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Bengals win first playoff game in 31 years, set the table for a run at AFC title – Cincinnati Bengals Blog

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CINCINNATI — Send those text messages. The Cincinnati Bengals have finally won a playoff game.

Cincinnati defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 at Paul Brown Stadium in an AFC wild-card game on Saturday. It was Cincinnati’s first playoff victory in 31 years, since before cell phones were capable of sending texts, as memes on the internet reminded folks in the days preceding the game.

But the win wasn’t just about ending the longest playoff win drought in the NFL. It was about the first step in making a run at the AFC title.

Over the course of the season, Cincinnati went from the projected cellar dweller in the AFC North to division champs, ending a six-year stretch without a playoff appearance. That journey included an overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers, one of the top teams in the NFL, and a Week 17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, the AFC representatives in last year’s Super Bowl.

Those performances indicated Cincinnati wasn’t just a team that could win a playoff game. They showed the Bengals can hang with the best in the NFL.

For the second time this season, the Bengals needed to hang tough against the Raiders in order to pick up a win. The first came on Week 11 and set the tone for the second half of Cincinnati’s season.

The second victory was much more significant. It gave the city of Cincinnati something it hasn’t experienced in decades and set the table for the Bengals to have a truly special postseason.

“We expect to beat everybody that we play, not just hang with them,” Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said after the game.

Burrow added: “I mean, it’s exciting. But this is expected. This isn’t like the icing on top of the cake or anything. This is the cake. So we’re moving on.”

Describe the game in two words: Curse ending. The Bengals ended the fabled “Curse of Bo Jackson” — the former Raiders running back’s final NFL game in January 1991 that also ended Cincinnati’s last playoff run that featured a win.

“I’m just really, really happy for the city of Cincinnati and that they get a chance to enjoy this,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “And now, just exhale and enjoy the ride we have. Because we’re not done yet.”

Pivotal play: On third-and-four at the end of the first half, Bengals quarterback Burrow scrambled and found Tyler Boyd for a 10-yard touchdown pass to give Cincinnati a 20-6 lead. Initially, it appeared Burrow was going to go out of bounds. A referee even blew an errant whistle. But the play continued and Cincinnati got a key red-zone touchdown.

QB breakdown: Burrow was efficient in his playoff debut. After throwing for 148 yards earlier in the season against the Raiders, Burrow finished Saturday’s win completing 24-of-34 passes for 244 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

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