No preseason, no problem: NFL rookies shine in strange year
Young and Jefferson made the Pro Bowl, and surely more rookies would have joined them as alternates at the league’s now-canceled all-star game. “It’s crazy unusual for a rookie, I think, to have the type of leadership that Chase has, genuine leadership,” Washington quarterback Alex Smith said. “I think a lot of young guys, especially high picks, I think you feel pressure to do it some way or somehow. “Talk about a rookie coming in, starting every game and just being focused,” Browns Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio said of Wills. “We’re growing and we’re starting to get a hang of the game,” said Dolphins right tackle Robert Hunt, a second-round pick and one of six Miami rookies starting on offense.
A winner: Chiefs vs Saints, with Brees back to face Mahomes
1 conference seed is tight, with the Packers one game ahead of the Saints, the Rams and Seahawks one game behind. Drew Brees will be active after missing four games with fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, making for an intriguing matchup with Patrick Mahomes. The Bills (11-3) scored twice in a 17-second span in the third quarter to ice their fourth straight victory that officially ended the New England Patriots’ 11-year reign atop the division. The Ravens have run for at least 100 yards in 36 straight games, seven short of the NFL record set by Pittsburgh from 1974-77. Baltimore is averaging 173.8 yards on the ground and topped 200 yards in each of the past two games.
Steelers' Roethlisberger active after virus-related absence
The unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers wound up relatively healthy for their game against the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals following a brush with the novel coronavirus. Defensive tackle Tyson Alualu is also back after missing a game with a knee injury. Cincinnati is without running back Joe Mixon, whose lingering foot injury is forcing him to miss a third game in a row. Receiver Cooper Kupp, left tackle Andrew Whitworth and running back Darrell Henderson all were active after missing practices with injuries. Raiders: T Kolton Miller (ankle), DT Maurice Hurst (ankle), QB Marcus Mariota, RB Theo Riddick, G John Simpson, DT Daniel Ross.
Chiefs escape with 33-31 win when Panthers FG is wide right
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) runs toward the end zone to score against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. Chiefs coach Andy Reid liked it so much that he put it in the game plan. The Panthers' onside kick was recovered by Kansas City, but they used their three timeouts to get the ball back, and Teddy Bridgewater's 23-yard pass to Curtis Samuel with 9 seconds remaining gave them hope. It took nine plays and consumed nearly nine minutes before McCaffrey reached the end zone, keeping the potent Kansas City offense on the sideline. The Panthers still led 17-13 after the teams traded missed field goals to start the second half, but the Chiefs finally hit their offensive stride.