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Offense

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The 49ers’ have the NFL’s best defense this season. That’s not up for debate anymore. But with Jimmy Garoppolo’s season-ending injury and rookie Brock Purdy taking over as the Niners’ first-string quarterback, it’s also beyond debate that the Niners’ defense cannot slip — even a little bit — in the final five weeks of the regular season and, perhaps, beyond. Under normal ...

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Brian Daboll wasn’t in a sharing mood on Monday. He would not explain what his analytics team’s math was telling him about how Sunday’s 20-20 tie with Washington impacted the Giants’ playoff chances. “We tied the game. We obviously would like to win the game,” Daboll said, one day after coaching for a tie in overtime. He would not give details on why his offense’s second half was so much worse ...

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FORT WORTH, Texas — It’s December, and TCU won the Big 12 regular season conference outright, is 12-0, ranked No. 3 in the nation and will play Kansas State on Saturday at Jerry World in the Big 12 conference championship game. The success of this current team begs the question if it is indeed the best team in TCU history. All-white teams that played against all-white teams are automatically ...

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The Dolphins’ defense has a unique perspective as it prepares for the San Francisco 49ers offense this week. For months, the unit has seen its own offense operate the Shanahan scheme that first-year coach Mike McDaniel has brought to Miami. Ahead of Sunday’s road game against the 49ers, the defense is leaning on all those resources as the unit seeks to replicate much of last week’s performance ...

It wasn’t long ago that Georgia was behind the times in big-time college football. The Bulldogs were trying to win national championships with great defense and a conservative approach on offense. Meanwhile, Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and LSU were ringing up points on the way to the College Football Playoff. They had wide-open offenses with top NFL prospects at quarterback and the skill ...

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Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks wasted no time naming Sam Darnold the team’s starting quarterback following Sunday’s 23-10 victory against the Denver Broncos. On Monday — the eve of the Panthers’ Week 13 bye — Wilks explained why anointing Darnold was a no-brainer. “It is not so much a quick decision. It was more like a quick announcement,” Wilks said. “There were a lot of times that ...

FORT WORTH, Texas — There was no need for a miracle field goal or a second-half rally against Iowa State. No. 4 TCU played like a team that belonged in the College Football Playoff with a dominant 62-14 win over Iowa State on Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Not only did the Horned Frogs finish the first regular season 12-0 under head coach Sonny Dykes, they also snapped a three-game losing ...

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CHICAGO — Don’t worry, Cole Kmet said, Trevor Siemian will not take it as an insult if you say he is unlikely to keep the ball on a zone read and motor 60 yards through the New York Jets defense Sunday at MetLife Stadium. “Definitely more of a drop-back guy, get the ball out, timing,” Kmet said. “We’re not going to be running QB power with Trevor.” The Chicago Bears offense figures to take on ...

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The experience for Eagles offensive linemen in the aftermath of a quarterback sneak is a little different for everybody. Lane Johnson said it feels like being on a submarine. For Jordan Mailata, it is stressful because of the details involved. Guard Landon Dickerson, often involuntarily squished beneath his gargantuan Australian linemate, might have it the worst. They can mostly agree on one ...

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As of Thanksgiving, the Steelers are out of the NFL basement in most major statistical offensive categories. They’re third-to-last in yards per play (4.8) fifth-to-last in points per game (17) and tied for second-to-last in touchdowns scored (although seven passing touchdowns is tied for dead last). Of course, that’s no reason for celebration at the start of this holiday season. Clearly, the ...

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Bill Belichick's Patriots were getting thrashed so soundly by Tony Sparano's Dolphins back in 2008 that some greenhorn rookie third-string quarterback named Kevin O'Connell came in and mopped up the final six minutes. "Mopped up?! That's a heck of a term!" said O'Connell, feigning outrage at the term when it was presented to him on Tuesday, two days before the Vikings head coach faces ...

The Cincinnati Bengals did not find the Steelers offense so predictable in the first half when they allowed one of the lowest-scoring units in the NFL to match their highest point total from any of their previous eight games. They didn't find it so measurable when quarterback Kenny Pickett passed for 141 yards, running back Najee Harris rushed for 56 yards and the Steelers converted 5 of 7 ...

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As it turns out, the Cowboys are in better shape to win the NFC East today than they were three days ago. That’s purely from a mathematical standpoint. From a football standpoint, well, we will have that discussion in just a bit. Give credit to Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy for one thing. When I asked him late Sunday how damaging his team’s loss in Green Bay was for a club chasing an ...

Kenny Pickett's rookie exuberance knows no bounds. Even after failing to score more than 20 points for the eighth time this season and adding two more touchdowns to a growing list of scores from gimme range, his assessment of the offense, the play of the offensive line and the talent of Najee Harris is off the charts. "We took a step in the right direction," Pickett said after the Steelers ...

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Mack Brown made no grand promises when he returned to North Carolina four years ago, and instead spent much of his introductory press conference sharing a broad vision of hope. The Tar Heels football program had deteriorated into a mess, one with five victories over two miserable seasons, and of the task ahead Brown cheerfully said, “We love to fix things.” The challenge ...

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