NFL

Brady on playing until he is 50 - 'I think I can'

By Sports Desk September 17, 2021

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  • Seahawks' Russell Wilson placed on injured reserve after surgery Seahawks' Russell Wilson placed on injured reserve after surgery

    Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson officially landed on injured reserve following finger surgery last week, the NFL franchise announced on Friday.

    Wilson injured his right middle finger in the loss to the Los Angeles Rams on October 7 before undergoing surgery.

    His10-year run of starts is the sixth longest by any quarterback in NFL history, and the longest of any active QB, but Wilson will now miss the first game of his illustrious career, which has yielded a Super Bowl title.

    The eight-time Pro Bowler will sit out at least three games before the 32-year-old is eligible to come off IR.

    Seahawks running back Chris Carson (neck) is also on injured reserve ahead of Sunday's clash with the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Despite throwing two interceptions against the Rams, Seattle's three turnovers this season are their fewest through five games in franchise history, according to Stats Perform.

    Geno Smith, projected to start for the injured Wilson, has a career interception rate of 4.0, the highest among active QBs with 500 career pass attempts.

    DK Metcalf caught the Seahawks' only two touchdowns in the defeat to the Rams, bringing his career total to 25 receiving touchdowns in 40 NFL games (regular and postseason).

    Only three other active players had as many or more TD catches after playing 40 NFL games. Odell Beckham Jr. had 34, Rob Gronkowski had 33 and Julio Jones also had 25 (regular and postseason).

  • Cardinals coach Kingsbury to miss Browns clash with COVID-19 Cardinals coach Kingsbury to miss Browns clash with COVID-19

    The unbeaten Arizona Cardinals will be without head coach Kliff Kingsbury on Sunday after he tested positive for coronavirus.

    Arizona announced on Friday that Kingsbury had contracted COVID-19, ruling him out of the NFL clash with the Cleveland Browns.

    Cardinals quarterbacks coach Cam Turner and defensive tackle Zach Allen will also be sidelined against the Browns following positive tests.

    Defensive co-ordinator Vance Joseph and assistant head coach/special teams co-ordinator Jeff Rodgers will share head coach responsibilities in Kingsbury's absence.

    The Cardinals lead the NFC West and are the NFL's lone undefeated team at 5-0 as they look to stay perfect this week.

    This is the fifth time the Cardinals – an original NFL franchise – have won their first five games but first time since moving to Arizona. They did it twice as the Chicago Cardinals (1922 and 1923) and twice as the St Louis Cardinals (1966 and 1974), per Stats Perform.

    Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray has attempted at least 30 passes and completed more than 70 per cent of them in each of his last four games – that matches the longest such streak by a Cardinals player over the last 60 seasons. Kurt Warner had a four-game streak of that kind in 2008.

  • Hunt holds the key as Browns host Cards without Chubb Hunt holds the key as Browns host Cards without Chubb

    On the list of teams built to potentially end the Arizona Cardinals' unbeaten start to the season, the Cleveland Browns are near the top.

    However, the Browns are tasked with dealing the Cardinals their first loss of the season without their best offensive player, with running back Nick Chubb ruled out because of a calf injury.

    That blow robs the Browns of a runner who is second only to Tony Pollard of the Dallas Cowboys (6.37) in yards per attempt among running backs with 5.81 and is also second with 14 runs of 10 yards or more through five games of the 2021 campaign.

    Second to Pollard (4.56) among backs with at least 10 attempts in yards per carry on plays where a defender disrupts the run, Chubb (4.21) stands as arguably the elite running back in the NFL, his remarkable blend of vision, elusiveness, power and speed helping establish him as the focal point of Cleveland's attack.

    Yet they may still be able to succeed against the Cardinals' defense without Chubb in their backfield.

    While the Cardinals have done an excellent job keeping opponents out of the endzone – their 82 offensive points allowed are the third-fewest in the league – they have struggled to contain opposing running backs.

    Arizona's defense has allowed an opponent rushing average of 5.39 yards per carry; only the Los Angeles Chargers (5.59) have performed worse in that regard.

    And the Browns do have an extremely reliable reserve to call upon to take advantage of that weakness.

    Kareem Hunt is averaging 5.36 yards per carry and, reflecting his ability to stay on his feet through attempted tackles, leads all backs with at least 10 carries with 3.10 yards after contact per rush.

    Cleveland's success on the ground is a testament to the strength of their offensive line.

    Every member of the Browns' starting offensive line has a double-team adjusted run-block win rate of at least 79 per cent, though tackles Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin are both questionable for Sunday.

    Conversely, only three members of Arizona's defensive front have a double-team adjusted run defense win rate above 30 per cent.

    In other words, the Browns have a clear matchup advantage in the run game and, even without Chubb, have a back with the ability to exploit it.

    Cleveland's run game made a huge contribution to them scoring 42 points in a losing effort against the Chargers last week. With MVP candidate Kyler Murray helming an often explosive offense, they may need a similar showing this week to improve to 4-2. Thankfully, Hunt is more than capable of delivering such a performance. 

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