This made Sunday a perfect time for Pence to grandstand.

The Chiefs were up by six when Smith found West on an 8-yard touchdown pass to make it 13-0 in the second quarter. Houston rookie D’Onta Foreman fumbled two plays later to give Kansas City the ball right back and the Chiefs tacked on a field goal.

Foreman stepped out of one tackle before plowing over Marcus Peters as he tried to tackle him before two other Chiefs finally brought him down after a 25-yard gain that got Houston to the 10 on the Texans’ next drive. The Texans cut it to 16-7 when Watson found DeAndre Hopkins in the back of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown pass with about two minutes left in the first half.

While I’m not expecting Pence to keep close track of NFL happenings — heck, I hope his focus is on more pressing matters pertaining to our country’s prosperity and security — it’s no secret that the Colts were playing the team that began the anthem protests in 2016. Colin Kaepernick may be gone, but the kneeling among 49ers players has continued in hopes of promoting racial equality and protesting social injustices.

If Pence didn’t know that, his advisers surely would. They also would know nothing has changed in the past two weeks like a team ownership or NFL mandate that would prompt participating 49ers to stand.

The detailed statement he sent on Twitter so quickly after splitting provides a strong indicator this wasn’t an impromptu action.

Trump then took credit for Pence’s hightailing, sending out a Tweet proclaiming he asked his second to leave if any players kneeled “disrespecting our country.”x (11)

There’s the right blend of experience and youth that will serve the team well.

The pool reporter with the vice president had been told to stay outside the stadium and that Pence might leave the game early.

Aides to the vice president did not respond to questions on whether he had planned to make the public walk-out in the game against the 49ers, who have regularly held the demonstrations.

Pence has attended other NFL games, including December’s Colts-Jets game at MetLife Stadium when he was the vice president-elect.

Since 1950, only eight running backs have had more non-PPR fantasy points through five games: Eric Dickerson (132.7), Billy Sims (112.6), Adrian Peterson (106.2), Marcus Allen (106.2), Gale Sayers (104.4), Kareem Hunt (99.9, though he plays his fifth game on Sunday Night Football), Marshall Faulk (99.3) and Joe Cribbs (97.1). Nine have had more using PPR scoring: Dickerson (150.7), Allen (127.2), Sims (123.6), Sayers (119.4), Cribbs (119.1), Faulk (116.3), Peterson (116.2), Hunt (112.9, pending Sunday night’s game) and Curt Warner (110.1). Fournette also finds himself on pace for 349 carries, which not only shows the Jaguars’ continued reliance on him as their offensive centerpiece, but also puts him on track for the fifth-largest total by any rookie running back in history.

In just two offseasons, Quinn has delivered the team 10 of its current 22 starters. He and his scouting staff piled on the building blocks to improve the team’s two biggest weaknesses in order — pass defense and rushing offense. That’s the formula for consistent winning teams, something Quinn should know from his significant time in New England.

With it, Quinn has made things a lot easier on Stafford to win games.
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4-1 teams separate themselves in jumbled NFC playoff race

A thousand miles northeast of Arlington, Texas, where the Cowboys and the Packers were re-legislating last year’s NFL playoff thriller, two teams engaged each other here at Ford Field on Sunday with designs on joining them.

While the Browns dropped to 2-30 in their past 32 games, they did finally get to see No. 1 overall draft pick Myles Garrett.

Garrett, who missed Cleveland’s first four games with a high ankle sprain, sat out the first two plays before recording a sack on his first snap.

He finished with two sacks in limited time.

“Sacks don’t mean anything if you don’t win,” Garrett said. “It’s nice to have stats, but you have to get the dub (W) at the end of the day.”

McCown threw a 2-yard TD pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the third quarter and a 24-yarder to Jermaine Kearse in the fourth to give the Jets a 17-7 lead en route to their third straight victory.

Kearse’s TD capped a 97-yard drive after Jackson decided not to try a potential tying field goal — rookie kicker Zane Gonzalez missed two attempts in the first half — and went for it on fourth down.

However, running back Isaiah Crowell was stopped short by New York’s defense and McCown moved the Jets down the field, helped by a 34-yard pass on third down to tight end Eric Tomlinson.

Jackson said Gonzalez’s earlier misses factored into his decision, but he was confident that his defense would get the ball back in good field position.

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Lawrence Timmons reportedly visited Steelers during Week 1 bye

After the Miami Dolphins’ Week 1 game was postponed due to Hurricane Irma, linebacker Lawrence Timmons made an unannounced visit to a Steelers practice and told some of his former teammates that he wanted to return to Pittsburgh, CBSSports.com reported Sunday.

According to the report, Timmons told some with the Steelers, including coach Mike Tomlin, that he wanted to visit, but most of the team’s personnel were unaware. The visit reportedly took place on Friday, Sept. 8.

The now six-game punishment, though, has a net effect of nil for the Ravens this season, since Dixon is out for the year after having knee surgery in July.

For Dixon, though, it’s obviously not good news. Per ESPN, he’ll lose $190,588 for the six games, and the Sun writes his most recent transgression “calls Dixon’s reliability into further question,” what with a history of hamstring, knee and drug issues.

In his rookie season last year, the fourth-round pick out of Louisiana Tech carried the ball 88 times for 382 yards and two touchdowns and caught 30 passes for 162 yards and a TD. But, as NFL observers know, running backs are often expendable and interchangeable in this league.

I’m due for an explosion play. It hasn’t happened yet, he said assuredly after last week’s game. The good news that he’s having fun.

Le’Veon Bell said he had more fun this week than last. Smiles and explains, You have more fun when you get the ball a lot.

Panic index: Patience. The early numbers are concerning, but there’s no reason to freak out just yet. Bell’s getting the touches and the looks you expect, so the numbers should come eventually. At the very least, give it another couple weeks before hitting the panic button.

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Broncos DE Jared Crick (back) placed on IR, facing surgery, report says

Broncos defensive end Jared Crick, the team’s leading tackler among linemen in 2016, was placed on injured reserve Friday with a back injury suffered in mid-August, the team announced.

Crick will undergo surgery for the injury, initially described as a bad back spasm by coach Vance Joseph, ESPN.com reported, citing unidentified sources.

According to a police report from DeKalb County, Georgia, obtained by The Associated Press, Hageman faced misdemeanor charges of battery, cruelty to children and interfering with calls for emergency assistance stemming from a March 2016 incident at the home of Janeal Jefferies. Her son was present at the time, according to the report.

The league had placed him on the commissioner’s exempt list as a result of domestic-violence-related charges.

The Falcons terminated Hageman’s contract earlier this month, letting go of a player who was set to be their backup nose tackle. His deal had a year and $1,147,614 remaining on it.

Hageman currently is a free agent. He does not need to be on a team to serve the suspension, the league said.

Quite frankly, I feel [conflicted] in a sense because I have no courage to be able to do something like that. So I understand the magnitude that they’re fighting across the world for our freedom … The message is we just want respect and unity and there’s only so many ways you can do it.” Cooks was one of 17 Patriots players who knelt.
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