A.J. Brown’s taunting penalty, Sam Howell’s moxie give Commanders the tie at end of regulation

A taunting penalty on A.J. Brown, and Sam Howell driving down the field, allowed the Commanders to tie the Eagles with no time left.

So. With 1:43 left in regulation in the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Commanders, Eagles receiver A.J. Brown caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts to put his team up, 31-24. But a taunting penalty on Brown put the subsequent kickoff at the Philly 20-yard line, and Antonio Gibson’s 29-yard return put the ball at the Washington 36-yard line.

Then, second-year Commanders quarterback Sam Howell just took over, taking his team downfield in less than two minutes, and making this great touchdown throw to Jahan Dotson with time running out.

Jalen Hurts connects with A.J. Brown to give Eagles the lead

Jalen Hurts found A.J. Brown and the Eagles had the lead

The Philadelphia Eagles were behind the Washington Commanders until Jalen Hurts’ arm heated up.

Hurts went deep and found A.J. Brown.

Not sure if the NFL appreciates them, but despite how bright his orange cleats were, the Commanders were unable to take down the talented wide receiver, who turned it into a 59-yard scoring play.

A run by Kenneth Gainwell was good on the two-point conversion and the Eagles led 21-17 at the Linc.

NFL made A.J. Brown change cleats at halftime Monday

Why did A.J. Brown change his cleats at halftime on Monday?

Early in the second half of the Philadelphia Eagles’ win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, ESPN’s Joe Buck noted WR A.J. Brown had changed his cleats.

The Eagles’ star was in bright green cleats in the first half and came out in black ones after the break.

Was it the field condition that made him switch?

Nope.

Brown took to social media on Wednesday and revealed the leagues forced his hand, or his feet.

(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

The All-22: Yes, Lane Johnson’s false start was a false start

There was a lot of discussion as to whether Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson committed a false start on Monday night. In fact, he did.

You never know when something you put out there will go viral.

However, this particular example of an uncalled false start in Monday night’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers certainly broke the floodgates when it came to discussion of the issue.

The subject in question was Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson, and this sure as heck looked like a false start to me.

This was taken off my phone during the game, which explains the iffy video quality, so… let’s go to the tape.

The play in question happened with 20 seconds left in the first half, and the result was a two-yard pass from Jalen Hurts to A.J. Brown. Now, let’s go through this bit by bit.

In the first screencap, it’s clear that Johnson has started his movement before the ball is snapped. Per the NFL Rule Book, It is a false start if the ball has been placed ready for play, and, prior to the snap, an offensive player who has assumed a set position moves in such a way as to simulate the start of a play, or if an offensive player who is in motion makes a sudden movement toward the line of scrimmage. Any quick abrupt movement by a single offensive player, or by several offensive players in unison, which simulates the start of the snap, is a false start, and the official shall blow the whistle immediately, whether the snap is made or there is a reaction by the defense.”

(NFL Media)

In the second clip, Johnson has reset his right foot, but the snap is taking place, and he’s not moving to reset in a three-point stance. Again, per the Rule Book: An interior lineman who is in a two-point stance is permitted to reset in a three-point stance or change his position, provided that he comes to a complete stop prior to the snap. If he does not come to a complete stop prior to the snap, it is a false start.”

(NFL Media)

Yes, he is obviously changing his position, but the timing is not in Johnson’s favor. We’re talking about milliseconds here, but it’s still a point of focus, and the fact that Johnson was not called for a false start doesn’t negate the fact that is was a false start per the National Football League itself.

Here’s the full play from the overhead and end zone angles.

To paraphrase the 1985 Bears, I’m not here to cause no trouble… I’m just here to explain what I see, and what the Rule Book says.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 4: Dolphins rise, Cowboys fall

The Dolphins rise after dropping 70, and the Cowboys slip after going down in the dessert. Where does your team fall in the Week 4 power rankings?

From 70 burgers being cooked well-done in the Miami heat, to fourth-quarter comebacks in the land of the cheese, Week 3 did not disappoint. Now that all games have been played, these are the NFL power rankings from 32-1 heading into Week 4.

Jalen Hurts throws TD pass while absorbing huge hit

Jalen Hurts absorbed the hit and put a hurt on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jalen Hurts knew time was running out as he was looking for a receiver in the second quarter of the Philadelphia Eagles-Tampa Bay Bucs game on Monday night.

The Eagles’ great quarterback had plenty of time — too much time — and couldn’t find anyone.

At the last second, he threw a pass down the field while absorbing a big hit from 6-foot-1, 312-pound Greg Gaines.

The ball found Olamide Zaccheaus and he had his first touchdown as a Philadelphia Eagle, good for 34 yards.

Zaccheaus’ previous TD catch came against the Bucs, too, while he was an Atlanta Falcon.

Kelce and Swift together at Eagles-Bucs Monday night game

It was Kelce and Swift together again, sort of at the Eagles-Bucs

One day wasn’t enough for people with the last names of Kelce and Swift.

The surnames were united again Monday as the Philadelphia Eagles played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This time, though, it wasn’t Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift.

Rather it was the brother of the Kansas City Chiefs’ tight end, Jason Kelce of the Eagles, near Philadelphia running back D’Andre Swift during warmups.

One can be sure D’Andre Swift was following Jason Kelce’s blocking during the NFC game.

How much did Sunday’s attention do for Travis Kelce? Check these numbers:

A first look at every NFL team’s 2023 Salute to Service gear

Get your favorite NFL team’s 2023 Salute to Service gear. 100% of profits benefit the NFL’s military nonprofit partners.

The NFL is continuing to show their support for the United States military with their 2023 line of Salute to Service gear.

Every team in the league will begin wearing their annual Salute to Service hoodies, shirts, hats and more, but with a new twist.

The collection features a unique camo or military look with the custom Salute to Service emblem or U.S. flag. Salute to Service items include New Era hats, Nike t-shirts, longsleeves, hoodies, and more.

All profits go toward the NFL Foundation to benefit the league’s military nonprofit partners, such as the Wounded Warrior Project and TAPS–And they can all be found over at Fanatics.

[afflinkbutton text=”Shop NFL Salute to Service gear at Fanatics” link=”https://fanatics.93n6tx.net/0Zn2DR”]

Check out the 2023 Salute to Service line of gear for your favorite team right here:

The Xs and Os with Greg Cosell: Previewing Week 3’s biggest NFL matchups

With tape study and advanced metrics, Greg Cosell and Doug Farrar detail Week 3’s biggest matchups in this week’s “Xs and Os” video and podcast.

It’s time for Week 3 of the NFL season, and Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN’s NFL Matchup, and Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire, are here to preview the biggest games and the most exciting matchups in the new week.

This week’s games:

Buffalo Bills at Washington Commanders: How Sam Howell has impressed just about everybody.

Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings: What might Justin Herbert see from Brian Flores’ offense? Based on this year’s trend, it could be just about anything.

Chicago Bears at Kansas City Chiefs: Justin Fields is clearly on the outs with his coaches. How can the Bears put together a functional passing game?

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Where are we with Jalen Hurts’ pocket vision after two weeks, and why Baker Mayfield is looking so good in Dave Canales’ offense.

You can watch this week’s “Xs and Os” right here:

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You can also listen and subscribe to “The Xs and Os” podcast on Spotify…

…and on Apple Podcasts.

The Xs and Os: Why Baker Mayfield is lighting it up in the Buccaneers’ offense

Baker Mayfield has been cooking for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Greg Cosell and Doug Farrar are here to break down why with the All-22.

Sometimes, all you need is the right home.

Baker Mayfield has been with four teams over the last three seasons — the Cleveland Browns, the Carolina Panthers, the Los Angeles Rams, and now the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who signed the 2018 first-overall pick to a one-year, $4 million contract this offseason.

Through two games — both wins — Mayfield has been dialing it up in first-year offensive coordinator Dave Canales’ system in ways we haven’t often seen from him in the past. Mayfield has completed 47 of 68 passes for 501 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 105.1 — fifth-best among quarterbacks taking at least 50% of their teams’ snaps this season.

Mayfield has been specifically great in 11 personnel (one tight end, one running back, three receivers), which has been his ideal personnel group in past seasons.

How Baker Mayfield can be a top-tier quarterback — in the right offense

In 2023, Mayfield has completed 31 of 44 passes out of 11 personnel for 324 yards, and all three of his touchdowns. Route concepts out of that group seem to give Mayfield a more comfortable picture.

But two of Mayfield’s explosive throws have also come out of 12 personnel, with two tight ends, a running back, and two receivers. That included this 70-yard catch by Mike Evans in which tight end Ko Kieft was in the backfield, and tight end Cade Otton was aligned to the right side of the formation. At the snap, both Kieft and Otton blocked for Mayfield’s front side, and that game Mayfield the time he needed to hit Mike Evans on the backside deep comeback. From there, it was Evans outracing everybody, and once again, this was not Mayfield’s first read. Safety Elijah Hicks came after Mayfield on a long blitz, turning the coverage from a two-high look to Cover-3, and Mayfield was all over it.

In this week’s “Xs and Os with Greg Cosell and Doug Farrar,” the guys discussed why Mayfield is thriving in Canales’ offense. As we saw on that second play, protection has been a major factor.

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“They’re very protection-based, which is smart with Mayfield,” Greg said. “Because Mayfield is the kind of quarterback where, the longer he’s in the pocket, the less comfortable he gets. His feet start to get jumpy, he loses his base, his mind works too fast, and he loses clarity of what he’s seeing.

“So, what do you have to do with Mayfield? You have to put him in a situation where he’s in rhythm. Where he can hit the back foot, and the ball can come out. Protection becomes critical, and they are doing protection first in terms of bodies, and in terms of alignment.

“The other thing that has really stood out is the use of Chris Godwin. Godwin a year ago led the NFL in [regular-season] targets [94] and receptions [67] from the slot. This year, he’s actually lined up more often outside than from the slot.”

Greg then further detailed that 24-yard pass to Godwin shown above.

“It was Dagger — everybody runs Dagger — and it was a classic case of what I’m talking about. Otton started in the backfield, he was able to release through the line because it just turned out to be a four-man rush, and so Mayfield was comfortable. He was able to throw with great timing.”

The Bucs face off against the Philadelphia Eagles and their dominant defensive front on Monday night, which will surely test Canales’ protection concepts and Mayfield’s internal clock. But so far through two games, Mayfield has completed 21 of 27 passes under pressure for 230 yards, one touchdown, and a passer rating of 123.1.

Game on, as they say.

You can watch this week’s “Xs and Os” right here:

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You can also listen and subscribe to “The Xs and Os” podcast on Spotify…

…and on Apple Podcasts.