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TAMPA -- Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said Sunday's defensive performance reminded him of how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' dominant units from their glory years used to play on a consistent basis, the group that included Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp and Ronde Barber. The Bucs sacked Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel seven times and intercepted him four times in a 27-6 victory Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. In a sloppy game that featured seven turnovers, and six personal foul penalties, the Tampa Bay defense stole the show, swarming Manuel and holding the Bills' dangerous running back duo of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller to just 34 yards. Manuel's four interceptions matched his total from his first eight games.
The Dallas Cowboys have given up more than 380 passing yards in five games this season. The Bears rank in the top 10 of nearly every passing statistic, not unremarkable given the up-and-down state of their quarterback situation. The Bears have 22 passing touchdowns through 12 games, vs. 21 all last season. The question is whether the Bears will be able to be one on Monday night when temperatures are projected to be in single digits, or if the cold will blunt the Bears’ best chances for staying with a Dallas offense ranked No. 3 in scoring.
(Reuters) - Gary Kubiak became the first coaching casualty of the National Football League's (NFL) 2013 season when the Houston Texans fired him on Friday with the team in the midst of a franchise-record 11-game losing streak. The decision comes a day after Houston lost to Jacksonville and fell to an NFL-worst 2-11, a huge swing from last season when they went 12-4 and won the AFC South Division. "This has been a very disappointing year," said Texans chief executive Bob McNair. To have this string of losses is unacceptable." Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will serve as interim coach for the Texans' final three games of the 2013 season, the team said in a statement.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley let his players jump around on the field, dance in the locker room and hoot and holler as much as they wanted Thursday night. When they return Monday, Bradley plans to ground them a little bit. ''If we're going to boast, we boast our weaknesses to each other,'' Bradley said Friday, a day after Jacksonville's 27-20 win over the Houston Texans. The Jaguars (4-9) have won three in a row and four of five games since the bye, a modest turnaround that Bradley and players are enjoying.
The Packers' franchise quarterback expects a decision Friday -- Saturday tops -- whether he'll be medically cleared to face the Atlanta Falcons in a game crucial to the team's dwindling playoff prospects. If he can't go, Matt Flynn is back in again. But at least one person thinks Rodgers is a go, even if the Packers themselves aren't sure. The Packers fell from first to third in the NFC North, sitting at 5-6-1 behind the Lions and Bears.
Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin met with lawyer Ted Wells, who was hired by the NFL to investigate the team's bullying scandal.
The Tennessee Titans have lost five of their last six games and are hoping to turn things around down the stretch with one simple message: The playoffs start now. The Titans have lost two straight, including a 30-27 loss to Indianapolis on Thursday night that ended hopes of challenging for the AFC South title. Tennessee remains confident and points to four losses by seven points or less as a sign of how close the team is winning. Coach Mike Munchak said Friday the Titans (4-6) understand the challenge ahead.
Forget the exotic coverage schemes. Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor figures there's only one way to keep up with Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson. ''You have to take him mano y mano,'' Taylor said. Even if there is no one in the NFL, let alone the planet, is quite like the 6-foot-5, 235-pound player Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin calls ''one of the best football players, period, regardless of position, in the game of professional football.'' One that seems to get open no matter how many bodies thrown his way.
ALAMEDA – Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor said his knee hindered his ability Sunday against the New York Giants. “No, that was never expressed to me,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. Pryor said after Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the New York Giants that rest might help a sprained ligament recover from an injury initially felt in the closing moments of a Nov. 3 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
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