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Sean Payton shows frustration after New Orleans Saints squander back-to-back games – New Orleans Saints Blog

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sean Payton was especially terse after the New Orleans Saints let another close game slip away in the final seconds.

The Saints coach knew his team squandered an opportunity to beat one of the NFL’s hottest teams on the road in Sunday’s 23-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans (with an assist from a questionable roughing-the-passer penalty that still had him steaming hours later).

And now he finds himself in unfamiliar territory – making sure the Saints don’t let this season slip away. After two straight losses, their 5-4 record is their worst at this stage since 2016.

“It’s the attention to detail, obviously. We look at it as coaches too, starting with me. But pretty soon we start looking at who’s doing it,” Payton said of the self-inflicted wounds, like penalties and dropped passes, that have now sabotaged his team two weeks in a row.

“We start evaluating who’s making plays and who’s not. That just is what it is, that’s our league.”

It was clear why Payton was so frustrated, because he said multiple times he thought the Saints “had a good plan coming in with this game specifically,” even though they were missing key players like running back Alvin Kamara and left tackle Terron Armstead (for this week) and quarterback Jameis Winston and receiver Michael Thomas (for the rest of the season).

Instead, for the second week in a row, Payton had to spend his postgame press conference going through the roll call of everything that went wrong:

  • What happened on the two missed extra points by kicker Brian Johnson? “Missed ‘em left.”

  • What was the explanation from officials on the roughing-the-passer penalty in the second quarter that wiped out New Orleans’ interception in the end zone? “No explanation.”

  • So…? “There wasn’t an explanation. What do you want me to say? You want my opinion on it? No, no opinion on it.”

  • How did tight end Adam Trautman’s false-start penalty on New Orleans’ game-tying two-point conversion attempt change the play he wanted to run? “I’m not gonna tell you what play it was. Seriously. Next question, next question. Obviously it changes the play when you go from the 2 to the 7.”

It’s unclear who, exactly, Payton was referencing when he made his ominous comment about “who’s making plays and who’s not.” But the Saints were flagged for nine penalties for 65 yards Sunday and dropped at least three or four more catchable passes – two major issues that carried over from last week’s 27-25 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Another disturbing trend: The Saints started 1 of 6 on third downs Sunday before they finally found some rhythm.

Meanwhile, Payton did actually throw out some positives too — complimenting things like quarterback Trevor Siemian’s performance in the fourth quarter and running back Mark Ingram II’s effort in place of Kamara.

Siemian completed 19 of 34 passes for 298 yards and 2 touchdowns with no turnovers, giving himself a great chance to hold on to the starting quarterback role for a third straight game next week at the Philadelphia Eagles. Ingram gained 108 yards from scrimmage and ran for a touchdown while breaking Deuce McAllister’s franchise record of 6,096 career rushing yards.

And while the Saints’ depleted passing game remains a work in progress — to put it kindly — receivers Deonte Harris, Tre’Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway all made big plays Sunday.

“You’ve gotta be able to still play [despite the injuries],” Payton said of a relentless rash of injuries that has plagued New Orleans all season. “And that’s the one thing we’ve been able to do – fight through it. So we’ll continue to do that.”

Some of Payton’s players also spoke with optimism.

When asked if they need to make sure that these losses don’t continue to snowball, every player who spoke Sunday insisted they have confidence in the makeup of this team – which has already overcome a good deal of adversity early this season, including the injuries and being relocated to Dallas for four weeks after Hurricane Ida.

“I appreciate the fight in our team,” linebacker Demario Davis said. “Our team responds to adversity the right way. One thing I appreciate about coming to work with this team … guys will be right back into work figuring out how they can get better.

“I think we’ve got a good group of guys that understand it’s very hard to win in this league. Though we’ve won a lot of games here, we don’t take that for granted. But we know what it takes to win, and we know how to handle adversity.”

History says Davis is right. This is only the third time in four-plus years that the Saints have lost back-to-back games. They’ve never lost three in a row in that span.

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NFL betting market watch – Winter weather coming, Patriots-Bills total dropping

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Winter weather is in the forecast for the Patriots-Bills showdown in Buffalo on Monday Night Football.

Midweek forecasts were calling for temperatures to drop into the upper-20s with winds gusting 15-25 mph, according to Weather.com. Stronger winds from 20 to 30 mph, along with rain and snow, are expected throughout the day.

The point spread and total on the game have been dropping this week. In early lines up last week, the Bills were listed as 4.5-point favorites with the total at 46. As of Wednesday, the line had dipped below three points at multiple sportsbooks and the total was down to 43.5. Caesars Sportsbook reported Wednesday that 84% of the early money bet on the total was on the under.

Here is this week’s look at the lines and betting action:


NFL market watch

For consistency, lines, totals and betting percentages are from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise noted. The betting percentages are not specific to the current line or total and are designed to provide a snapshot of the early action. The look-ahead lines were offered in advance of the previous week’s games. Most numbers were reopened Sunday night.

Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints (Thursday)

Last week’s look-ahead line: Cowboys -5, 48
Sunday: Cowboys -5.5, 47.5
Wednesday: Cowboys -4.5, 47.5
Spread action: 71% of bets and 58% of money wagered is on the Cowboys.
Total action: 52% of the bets and 53% of the money wagered is on the over.

Notes: Dallas will be without head coach Mike McCarthy and several members of the coaching staff due to COVID protocols. … ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Wednesday that Cowboys WR Amari Cooper is expected to play Thursday.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets

Last week’s look-ahead line: Eagles -6.5, 45
Sunday: Eagles -7, 46
Wednesday: Eagles -6.5, 45
Spread action: 67% of bets and 67% of money wagered is on the Eagles.
Total action: 74% of the bets are on the under, but 78% of the money wagered is on the over.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

Last week’s look-ahead line: Buccaneers -9.5, 50.5
Sunday: Buccaneers -10, 50
Wednesday: Buccaneers -11, 50.5
Spread action: 55% of bets and 88% of money wagered is on the Falcons.
Total action: 51% of the bets and 54% of the money wagered is on the under.

Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears

Last week’s look-ahead line: Cardinals -7, 46.5
Sunday: Cardinals -7, 46
Wednesday: Cardinals -8, 45.5
Spread action: 79% of bets are on the Cardinals, but 80% of the money wagered is on the Bears.
Total action: 68% of the bets and 89% of the money wagered is on the under.

Notes: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the upper 30s, light rain and 13-mph winds.

Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals

Last week’s look-ahead line: Bengals -1.5, 48
Sunday: Bengals -2.5, 51
Wednesday: Bengals -3 (-120), 50.5
Spread action: 71% of bets are on the Bengals, but 52% of the money wagered is on the Chargers.
Total action: 62% of the bets are on the over, but 80% of the money wagered is on the under.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

Last week’s look-ahead line: Vikings -7.5, 48
Sunday: Vikings -7, 48
Wednesday: Vikings -7, 46.5
Spread action: 63% of bets and 67% of money wagered is on the Vikings.
Total action: 81% of the bets and 97% of the money wagered is on the under.

New York Giants at Miami Dolphins

Last week’s look-ahead line: Dolphins -2. 43.5
Sunday: Dolphins -2.5, 42.5
Wednesday: Dolphins -3, 42
Spread action: 74% of the bets and 94% of the money wagered is on the Dolphins.
Total action: 50% of the bets and 87% of the money wagered is on the under.

Notes: Giants QB Daniel Jones is uncertain for Sunday’s game because of a strained neck.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

Last week’s look-ahead line: Colts -7, 46.5
Sunday: Colts -7.5, 46
Wednesday: Colts -9, 46
Spread action: 85% of the bets and 97% of the money wagered is on the Colts.
Total action: 62% of the bets and 91% of the money wagered is on the under.

Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders

Last week’s look-ahead line: Raiders -1.5, 48
Sunday: Raiders -2.5, 49
Wednesday: Raiders -2.5, 49.5
Spread action: 80% of the bets and 72% of the money wagered is on the Raiders.
Total action: 62% of the bets are on the under, but 56% of the money wagered is on the over.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Los Angeles Rams

Last week’s look-ahead line: Rams -12, 48
Sunday: Rams -13.5, 44.5
Wednesday: Rams -13, 48
Spread action: 63% of bets and 86% of the money wagered is on the Rams.
Total action: 85% of the bets and 98% of the money wagered is on the under.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers

Last week’s look-ahead line: Ravens -3, 44.5
Sunday: Ravens -3.5, 44.5
Wednesday: Ravens -4.5, 44
Spread action: 64% of the bets and 54% of the money wagered is on the Ravens.
Total action: 69% of the bets and 91% of the money wagered is on the under.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

Last week’s look-ahead line: Pick ’em, 46
Sunday: 49ers -2.5, 46.5
Wednesday: 49ers -3 (-120), 45.5
Spread action: 85% of the bets and 66% of the money wagered is on the 49ers.
Total action: 76% of the bets and 74% of the money wagered is on the under.

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs

Last week’s look-ahead line: Chiefs -9.5, 49.5
Sunday: Chiefs -10, 49
Wednesday: Chiefs -10, 47
Spread action: 72% of the bets and 50% of the money wagered is on the Chiefs.
Total action: 79% of the bets and 78% of the money wagered is on the under.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (Monday)

Last week’s look-ahead line: Bills -3.5, 46
Sunday: Bills -3, 45
Wednesday: Bills -2.5, 44
Spread action: 69% of the bets are on the Patriots, but 66% of the money wagered is on the Bills.
Total action: 58% of the bets and 84% of the money wagered is on the under.

Notes: The Patriots have covered the spread in six consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NFL. New England is 35-20-1 against the spread as a road underdog under coach Bill Belichick.

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On a chain, his cleats and in his heart, Cordarrelle Patterson doesn’t forget the son he lost – Atlanta Falcons Blog

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The small gold chain never comes off Cordarrelle Patterson‘s neck, a constant reminder of the greatest pain he ever experienced, of the person never too far from his mind or his heart.

In 2017, Patterson and his partner, Taylor, lost their son, Zyan, 18 or 20 weeks into her pregnancy – a feeling so indescribable even now, years later, the Atlanta Falcons running back still doesn’t want to delve too deeply into.

But in his pain — the never-ending grief of losing a child — he also wanted others to understand they are not alone. That life can be wonderful and can be cruel and that experiences — as tragic as they may be — are not solitary.

So on Sunday, Patterson will don multicolored cleats with butterflies on them and words on the side reading “Pregnancy & infant loss awareness” to offer acknowledgment, awareness and support to those going through what he once did. Patterson said his partner still delivered the child after they found out they lost their son.

“Every day goes by we still think about our son and what happened,” Patterson said. “It happens every day in life, honestly. Some people don’t understand that some ladies only have one chance to get pregnant and they lose their baby and never have the opportunity to do it again.

“For me, it’s real big for me and my family and just looking back, it’s sad. It’s heartbreaking.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one pregnancy out of every 160 in the United States is stillborn — meaning at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later — and there are about 24,000 babies stillborn per year in the United States. The March of Dimes reports between 10 and 15 of every 100 pregnancies end in miscarriage.

It’s a feeling almost impossible to put into words.

Patterson knows they are fortunate, too. Zyan was Patterson’s middle child. He has a 9-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 10-month old. And he loves all of his kids. But the child he never got to watch grow up sticks with him daily.

It’s something he said no one could ever really process because “you never think it can happen to you.”

“It makes you look at life different,” Patterson said. “People don’t think it can happen to them, but it happens every day in life and when it happens to you, that’s when it hits home.”

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown suspended 3 games for COVID-19 violation

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been suspended three games for violating the NFL-NFLPA’s COVID-19 protocols, the league announced Thursday.

The league and players’ union found that Brown was among three players to misrepresent their vaccination status. A former live-in chef of Brown’s said earlier this month that Brown had obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card over the summer.

Also suspended for three games were Buccaneers backup safety Mike Edwards and free-agent wide receiver John Franklin III, whom the Buccaneers waived in August. All three players accepted their discipline and will not appeal, according to the NFL.

Brown and Edwards’ suspensions are without pay. Both will eligible to return to the Buccaneers lineup for their Dec. 26 game against the Carolina Panthers.

“The NFL-NFLPA jointly reinforce their commitment and further emphasize the importance of strict adherence to the protocols to protect the well-being of everyone associated with the NFL,” the league and players’ union said in a statement.

Brown was not expected to play in the next two games due to an ankle and heel injury that has kept him out since Week 7, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

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