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  • Chargers moving back to San Diego? Not much of a chance

    Chargers moving back to San Diego? Not much of a chance

    The Chargers’ move to Los Angeles has been more underwhelming than any franchise relocation in memory. The club doesn’t have a big fan base here, and failed in its debut to sell out the 27,000-seat StubHub Center, less than half the size of the next-smallest NFL stadium. Although the team has talent,...

  • Jay-Z reportedly turns down offer to perform at Super Bowl LII halftime show

    Jay-Z reportedly turns down offer to perform at Super Bowl LII halftime show

    Jay-Z apparently won’t be following in the footsteps of his wife, Beyoncé. Or those of Bruce Springsteen, Katy Perry, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and the numerous others who have performed during the halftime show at the Super Bowl. According to a report by the Source earlier this week, the superstar...

  • What we learned in the Rams' 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers

    What we learned in the Rams' 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers

    What we learned in the Rams’ 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers: Todd Gurley can run for more than 100 yards The NFL’s 2015 offensive rookie of the year finally showed the form — and the statistics — that made him a breakout star. Gurley scored an easy touchdown on the second play of the...

  • Sam Farmer's NFL picks for Week 3

    Sam Farmer's NFL picks for Week 3

    The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 13-3 (.813); season 22-9 (.710). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 10-6 (.625); season...

  • Rams show what’s on tap for 2017: excitement and a lot of exhaustion

    Rams show what’s on tap for 2017: excitement and a lot of exhaustion

    They tried to give it away, but couldn’t. They did everything humanly possible to blow it, except blow it. On a nutty night at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday, these new Rams backed up the precipice of 2016, stared over their shoulders into its flaming abyss, and … survived? Yeah, survived, won, barely,...

  • Rams starting receivers come up big in victory

    Rams starting receivers come up big in victory

    The Rams spent a considerable amount of cash and made a gutsy trade before the season to upgrade their receiving corps. The transactions paid dividends Thursday night in a 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, as Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins each finished with more than 100 yards receiving...

  • 2015 flashback: Rams' Todd Gurley tops 100 yards

    2015 flashback: Rams' Todd Gurley tops 100 yards

    It took 19 games as a Los Angeles Ram, but Todd Gurley finally rushed for more than 100 yards. “I gave everybody what they’ve been waiting for,” Gurley said, smiling, after the Rams defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 41-39, Thursday night at Levi’s Stadium. Gurley carried the ball 28 times, scoring...

  • Disgraced ex-Patriots player Aaron Hernandez found to have CTE and early brain atrophy

    Disgraced ex-Patriots player Aaron Hernandez found to have CTE and early brain atrophy

    Five months after Aaron Hernandez hanged himself in a prison cell with a bedsheet while serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, the former New England Patriots tight end has been diagnosed with severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Hernandez, who died at age 27, is one of the youngest...

  • Alex Smith has reinvented his play and his legacy with the Chiefs

    Alex Smith has reinvented his play and his legacy with the Chiefs

    The words were sympathetic and surprising. Before Alex Smith made his first start for San Francisco in 2005, the mother of legendary 49ers quarterback Steve Young pulled his parents aside and offered her condolences. “She said, `Oh, I’m so sorry for you. I can’t imagine having to go through that...

  • How the Rams match up with the 49ers for Thursday's game

    How the Rams match up with the 49ers for Thursday's game

    A look at how the Rams match up with the San Francisco 49ers. Rams (1-1) at San Francisco (0-2) Thursday, 5:25 p.m. PDT. TV: NFL Network When Rams have the ball Quarterback Jared Goff needs to bounce back from last week’s 27-20 loss against the Washington Redskins, which included an intercepted...

  • Around the NFL: Vikings’ Bradford may play Sunday

    Around the NFL: Vikings’ Bradford may play Sunday

    Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford says his left knee is feeling better this week, raising the possibility he’ll return from injury after only a one-game absence. Bradford was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday. He took limited turns last week, because of soreness and...

  • Chargers offensive tackle Chris Hairston is out for the season with an illness

    Chargers offensive tackle Chris Hairston is out for the season with an illness

    Valuable reserve tackle Chris Hairston was lost to the Chargers for the rest of the season Wednesday when the six-year veteran from Clemson was placed on the non-football illness list. The team did not disclose Hairston’s illness. The 6-foot-6, 330-pound Hairston, who played left and right tackle,...

  • Bernie Casey, former Rams player turned actor, dies at 78

    Bernie Casey, former Rams player turned actor, dies at 78

    Bernie Casey, a professional football player turned poet, painter and actor known for parts in films such as "Revenge of the Nerds" and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," has died. He was 78. Casey died Tuesday in Los Angeles after a brief illness, his talent agent Erin Connor said. Born in West Virginia...

  • Rosen still has something to learn about quick decisions

    Rosen still has something to learn about quick decisions

    Some of the game footage that UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen studies is about acceptable failure. A quarterback taking a sack. A scramble that goes for only a few yards. A pass completed short of the first-down marker. They’re all outcomes that are preferable to forcing passes that lead to interceptions....

  • Rams prepare for Thursday night, by resting

    Rams prepare for Thursday night, by resting

    The whirlwind preparation for a Thursday night game began in earnest Monday for the Rams. And it started with … rest. Coach Sean McVay canceled a scheduled workout so players could have an extra day to physically recover after Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Washington Redskins. Rams players said after...

  • Lions sack Giants, 24-10

    Lions sack Giants, 24-10

    Matthew Stafford threw for two touchdowns, rookie Jamal Agnew broke the game open with an 88-yard punt return in the fourth quarter and the Detroit Lions beat the New York Giants 24-10 on Monday night. The Lions (2-0) sacked Eli Manning five times and Stafford put together another big game while...

  • Denver Broncos are off to a running start

    Denver Broncos are off to a running start

    The team from the Mile High City is on the rise. The Denver Broncos are running the ball and stopping the run — they did neither well last season — and have a surprisingly effective quarterback in Trevor Siemian. As a result, they are 2-0 with impressive home victories over the Chargers and Dallas,...

  • Family, and friendly, ties bind Rams coach Sean McVay to a lineage of NFL greatness

    Family, and friendly, ties bind Rams coach Sean McVay to a lineage of NFL greatness

    Framed photographs, plaques and magazine covers adorn nearly every inch of wall space, memorabilia from a life in football that spans more than seven decades. A few are keepsakes from Massillon High in Ohio. Others are from college days at Miami (Ohio), coaching stops in the World Football League...

  • Chargers hope losing close games doesn't become contagious

    Chargers hope losing close games doesn't become contagious

    An inability to win close games can be like a flu bug spreading through the locker room. The Chargers, their latest nausea-inducing last-second defeat coming in Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins, can only hope to contain it. When kicker Younghoe Koo pushed a potential game-winning, 44-yard...

  • NFL: Su'a Cravens won't be playing for the Redskins this season

    NFL: Su'a Cravens won't be playing for the Redskins this season

    The banged-up Washington Redskins won't have Su'a Cravens for the rest of the season after putting the 22-year-old safety on the reserve/left squad list. Cravens left the team before Week 1 while contemplating retirement. The Redskins had a month to decide what to do with the 2016 second-round...

  • Marshawn Lynch's wild sideline dance irks Jets, amuses everyone else (video)

    Marshawn Lynch's wild sideline dance irks Jets, amuses everyone else (video)

    Marshawn Lynch was overjoyed Sunday to be playing in front of his hometown crowd as a member of the Oakland Raiders, especially with the way the team was playing. Need some proof? Check out the video of the veteran running back dancing on the sideline early in the fourth quarter of the Raiders’...

  • What we learned from the Chargers' 19-17 loss to the Dolphins

    What we learned from the Chargers' 19-17 loss to the Dolphins

    Here’s what we learned following the Chargers’ 19-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins at StubHub Center on Sunday: The teams, they’re not so special For the second week in a row, botched plays on special teams played a big role in a close defeat. Though last week’s problems were more evenly spread out...

  • What we learned from the Rams' 27-20 loss to the Washington Redskins

    What we learned from the Rams' 27-20 loss to the Washington Redskins

    What we learned in the Rams’ 27-20 loss to the Washington Redskins: The Rams need work on their run defense Washington rushed for 229 yards, with three backs gaining at least 67 yards. The Rams appeared especially vulnerable on the left side Linebacker Alec Ogletree said the Rams made mistakes...

  • Rams' Gurley delights fans with leaping ability

    Rams' Gurley delights fans with leaping ability

    Todd Gurley, full-time running back, part-time hurdler. Gurley put on a show Sunday, as he caught a short pass, sprinted up the sideline and leaped over a defender on his way to an 18-yard touchdown. The hurdles — he also jumped over a defender after a short catch early in the game — brought cheers...

  • Rams have their problems, but they're at least showing promise

    The Rams had a spark, they moved the ball, they located the end zone … and they wound up losing to Washington 27-20. A year earlier, in making their Los Angeles debut with a 9-6 victory over Seattle, the wrong-way Rams were as flat as a Johnny Unitas haircut. Sunday’s was a hopeful loss. Last year’s...

  • Chargers give L.A. fans a bad taste of team's recent history in 19-17 loss to Dolphins

    Part of the challenge facing the Chargers in their move from San Diego to Los Angeles is introducing their history, their stars, their fan favorites, their triumphs to a new fan base 110 miles north. But instead of providing an annotated history of the franchise to thumb through, the Chargers have...

  • Ask Farmer: Of officials and their flags as well as drop-kicks for extra points

    Have a question about the NFL? Ask Times NFL writer Sam Farmer, and he will answer as many as he can online and in the Sunday editions of the newspaper throughout the season. Email questions to: sam.farmer@latimes.com :: Refs and their yellow flags: Are they provided by the home team? Do they carry...

  • Week 2 in the NFL is no easier to predict than the season openers

    The hardest week to predict the outcome of NFL games isn’t the first week, it’s the second. So many mirages. So many false impressions from Week 1. So much overreaction. Look back to opening week of last season: Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston threw four touchdown passes in a 31-24 victory over Atlanta,...

  • Rams coach Sean McVay downplays the significance of playing his old team

    A few hours before Sunday’s kickoff, when their teams come onto the field to warm up, good friends Sean McVay and Jay Gruden will meet somewhere on the Coliseum turf. McVay, the first-year coach of the Rams, worked the previous three seasons as offensive coordinator on Gruden’s Washington Redskins...

  • Rams star Aaron Donald will start Sunday despite prolonged holdout

    Throughout Aaron Donald’s prolonged holdout, Rams teammates noted that the star defensive lineman was no doubt at home in Pittsburgh working out and keeping himself in shape. Donald appeared fit after reporting to the team facility this week, but there was still a question about how long it would...

  • Chargers crowd at StubHub Center won't be able to speak volumes as Dolphins come to town

    Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers stood behind the podium in the guts of Sports Authority Field in Denver, a mile above sea level, unshowered, eye black still painted on his face and barefoot. He’d just played a football game, one his team lost in the final seconds, but he couldn’t help but grin....

  • Chargers make cornerback Jason Verrett rest his injured left knee, which is still not 100%

    The Chargers decommissioned Jason Verrett on Friday because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, an injury that could sideline the Pro Bowl cornerback for several weeks, beginning with Sunday’s home opener against the Miami Dolphins at StubHub Center. It was for his own good, coach...

  • Four-man rush could be enough for Chargers

    The stout edge-rushing tandem of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa and a pair of solid tackles in Brandon Mebane and Corey Liuget allow the Chargers defense a luxury few NFL teams have: They don’t have to blitz much to apply pressure on the quarterback. That was clearly evident in Monday night’s season-opening...

  • NFL notes: Bengals fire offensive coordinator Ken Zampese after 0-2 start

    The Cincinnati Bengals made the first step toward digging out from their historically bad start Friday, firing offensive coordinator Ken Zampese a day after they again failed to get into the end zone. Quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor was promoted to coordinator, a spot he held with the Miami Dolphins...

  • Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson eager to face Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins

    As a franchise-tagged player for the second season in a row, Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson shares a bond of sorts with Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. That’s one reason Johnson is looking forward to Sunday’s game at the Coliseum. “He’s tagged twice,” Johnson said Friday, “so I...

  • Colin Kaepernick receives NFLPA's first Community MVP award of the season

    Colin Kaepernick isn’t on an NFL roster right now, but he apparently has been keeping up with his dues for the league’s players association. The NFLPA announced Friday that Kaepernick has been named its Week 1 Community MVP. Eligible players must be dues-paying members of the players association...

  • Rams punter Johnny Hekker kicks with a new spin

    Johnny Hekker is punting with a new deal, and a new spin. The Rams punter, ranked first in the NFL in punting yards the last two seasons, spent the last year perfecting a technique introduced to him by Australian Nick Porebski, who punts for Hekkers’ alma mater, Oregon State. “Nick said, ‘Check...

  • Sam Farmer's NFL picks for Week 2

    The Times’ NFL columnist, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 9-6 (.600). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, his record against the spread last week would have been 4-10-1 (.286). Buffalo (1-0) at Carolina...

  • Deshaun Watson runs for TD, leads Texans over Bengals 13-9 in debut

    Deshaun Watson ran 49 yards for a touchdown in his first NFL start and led the Houston Texans' depleted offense to a late clinching field goal in a 13-9 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night. Watson showed up in a black tuxedo for his first NFL start — it was his 22nd birthday,...

  • NFL: Brian Cushing draws 10-game drug ban

    Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing has been suspended for 10 games by the NFL for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. It’s the second time Cushing has been suspended; the former USC star missed four games in 2010 under the same policy, testing positive for a fertility...

  • Rams' Aaron Donald gets back to the business of playing

    His holdout because of a contract dispute is over and he is back on the practice field with Rams teammates. But “the business side of things,” as defensive lineman Aaron Donald repeatedly described it Wednesday, continues to hover. In the meantime, Donald is preparing for Sunday’s game against...

  • Dolphins feel calm on the practice fields in Oxnard after storm hits their home in Miami

    As wind whipped across the tarmac at Miami International Airport late Friday night, dozens of people inched up a staircase and into a 737-800. At first glance, the scene around the Miami Air International charter flight resembled the start of a routine cross-country journey to Los Angeles for the...

  • Anthony Lynn wants the Chargers to continue to try running more

    Anyone who had spent significant time around Anthony Lynn knew one thing more than any other would be true about the Chargers new head coach — he was going to be resolute. It took him years to convince the league he was more than just an ex-running back destined to only coach players at the position...

  • The Times' Sam Farmer predicts the Bengals will defeat the Texans 21-17 on Thursday

    NFL Thursday night HOUSTON (0-1) AT CINCINNATI (0-1) TV: NFL Network, 5:15 PDT Line: Bengals by 6 ½. Over/under: 38. Sam Farmer’s pick: Deshaun Watson’s ankle is sturdy enough to make his starting debut. The Bengals are due to bounce back, though, because they aren’t going to play that poorly...

  • Chargers’ wild rally comes up short when late FG is deflected

    Casey Hayward was all over the play. The Chargers cornerback saw where Trevor Siemian was going with the football. As the Denver quarterback wound up to throw to C.J. Anderson on the sideline, Hayward broke on the ball with the instincts that helped him lead the NFL with seven interceptions a...

  • History must wait for Antonio Gates, as Rivers misses his connection

    The longest-tenured Chargers player, standing at the precipice of NFL history, milled about at midfield Monday night while his teammates ran through drills. He was the only one with his helmet off, and stood alone, surveying the scene. It was a fleeting moment of reflection for tight end Antonio...

  • Chargers offensive line holds its own against Broncos' ferocious pass rushers

    Russell Okung played for the Denver Broncos in 2016, so the veteran left tackle knew exactly what he was getting into when he signed a four-year, $53-million deal with the Chargers last March. One reason Chargers coach Anthony Lynn calls the AFC West “the toughest division in football, no doubt,”...

  • NFL: League fights back to enforce Ezekiel Elliott suspension

    The NFL moved quickly Monday in hopes of reversing a federal judge’s decision that blocked the league’s six-game suspension of star Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott over a domestic violence case. The league asked the judge who ruled in Elliott’s favor to stop the preliminary injunction...

  • Bradford, Diggs spoil Adrian Peterson's return to Minnesota

    Sam Bradford started his second season with Minnesota in style, passing for 346 yards and three touchdowns to help the Vikings beat New Orleans 29-19 on Monday night and spoil Adrian Peterson's first game with the Saints. Stefon Diggs had seven receptions for 93 yards, two for scores, and Adam...

  • Rams make moves that may foreshadow deal for Aaron Donald

    The Rams have yet to sign Aaron Donald to a contract extension that would make him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player. But while Donald attended meetings and worked out with teammates Monday, the Rams made several financial moves that appear to be laying the groundwork for a possible deal...

  • Don't write off the Patriots because of opening loss — experts have made that mistake before

    Hey, Patriots, give us one more — with feeling. It’s a new week and a new start for the defending Super Bowl champions, who were blown out by Kansas City in their opener, 42-27. That’s the most points New England has surrendered in the Bill Belichick era, and Alex Smith badly outplayed Tom Brady....

  • Rams punter Johnny Hekker signs two-year contract extension

    Rams punter Johnny Hekker, arguably the team’s most valuable player last season, has signed a two-year contract extension, the Rams announced. Hekker, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, is now signed through the 2022 season The two-year extension includes $10 million in guarantees, according to several...

  • What we learned in the Rams' 46-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts

    What we learned in the Rams’ 46-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts: Jared Goff can make good decisions The Rams’ second-year quarterback completed 21 of 29 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown, without an interception. It was a far different look from the one Goff gave in his final preseason...

  • Rams defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks receives contract extension

    The Rams signed a defensive lineman to a contract extension — and it wasn’t Aaron Donald. Ethan Westbrooks, who started on Sunday in the Rams’ 46-9 season-opening victory over the Indianapolis Colts, received a deal that will keep him with the Rams through 2018, the team announced Monday. Westbrooks,...

  • How the Chargers and Broncos match up for the season opener Monday

    A look at how the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos match up for the season opener on Monday night. Chargers (5-11 last season) at Denver (9-7 last season) When: 7:20 p.m. PDT. TV: ESPN When Chargers have the ball New Denver coach Vance Joseph assessed the Chargers offense this week, saying...

  • Beckham-less Giants are offense-less in 19-3 loss to Cowboys

    Jason Witten scored the only touchdown while breaking the franchise record for yards receiving and the Dallas defense shackled a New York offense missing Odell Beckham Jr. in the Cowboys' 19-3 season-opening victory over the Giants on Sunday night. Ezekiel Elliott had a rugged 104 yards rushing...

  • Cooper Kupp and Rams receivers make few rookie mistakes in season-opening win over Colts

    Rams receiver Cooper Kupp caught his first touchdown pass and followed it with a rookie mistake: He tossed the ball to the referee. After Sunday’s season-opening 46-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at the Coliseum, Kupp hoped the ball would be identified and returned to him. “That was probably...

  • Rams turn the Coliseum into a fun house

    These Rams are fun! Four words not written once during last year’s homecoming season could be printed today on a banner as wide as Sean McVay’s smile. Put it in bold like a Lamarcus Joyner leap. Add the exclamation point of a Cooper Kupp lunge. Roll it out with the precision of a Jared Goff bullet....

  • Rams start the Sean McVay era with a bang in 46-9 rout of Colts to open season

    As he walked out of the Coliseum tunnel to the field on Sunday, a buttoned-up Sean McVay stopped and greeted his father. He hugged his mother. He accepted well wishes from other family members and friends. The 31-year-old McVay smiled but his expression belied a steely focus: He was about to make...

  • Rams defense not only dominates vs. Colts, it scores

    The Rams’ secondary set the tone in training camp, disrupting the offense and providing energy and entertainment. The effort carried over in Sunday’s 46-9 rout of the Indianapolis Colts in the season opener at the Coliseum. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson and safety Lamarcus Joyner returned interceptions...

  • USC-Texas revisited | Why soldier Travis Tofi kept his football career a secret

    On Jan. 4, 2006, USC and Texas played for college football’s national championship at the Rose Bowl in what is considered one of the greatest games in the sport’s history. The Longhorns won it 41-38 to complete a 13-0 season. USC, which had a 34-game winning streak, finished 12-1. The schools have...

  • Eagles ecstatic after 30-17 victory over Redskins

    Dousing the head coach with Gatorade after Week 1? Forgive the Philadelphia Eagles for their excessive celebration Sunday, but they hadn’t beaten the Washington Redskins in their last five tries. So their 30-17 victory — punctuated by a 20-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Fletcher Cox — was...

  • Philip Rivers and the Chargers seek a new comfort level in season opener at Denver

    Eleven years ago, Philip Rivers walked onto the field in Oakland, ready to do the thing he’d waited for his whole life — be a starting quarterback in the NFL. It was a Monday night, the final game of the league’s opening week, and Rivers and the Chargers made a strong statement by shutting out...

  • Ask Sam Farmer: Answering questions about scripted plays and rookie pay

    Have a question about the NFL? Ask Times NFL writer Sam Farmer, and he will answer as many as he can online and in the Sunday editions of the newspaper throughout the season. Email questions to: sam.farmer@latimes.com :: How can a team script out their first 15 plays when they have no idea of the...

  • Chargers determined to rise above Broncos' 'Mile High' advantage

    Earlier this week, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn joked about doing some redecorating before his first game as the team’s head coach Monday night in Denver. Maybe with a brush and bucket, maybe with paper and duct tape, Lynn wanted to cover all of the signs noting the elevation of the Broncos’ home...

  • Beth Mowins will take her place in history behind the mike on 'Monday Night Football'

    Beth Mowins didn’t set out to make history. She just wanted to call a football game. Monday night, she will do both. Mowins will be ESPN’s play-by-play announcer for the “Monday Night Football” game between the Chargers and Denver Broncos, which will mark the first regular-season NFL game called...

  • Aaron Donald ends holdout and reports to Rams on eve of opener, though without a new contract

    A restful night’s sleep on the eve of his first game as an NFL coach is not part of Sean McVay’s game plan. “I’ll probably just wake up every hour, tossing and turning, excited about the game,” McVay said. McVay no doubt rested a bit easier Saturday after star defensive lineman Aaron Donald ended...

  • Fifteen hot topics with Rams receiver Robert Woods

    Receiver Robert Woods has returned to Los Angeles. The former Gardena Serra High standout and USC All-American signed a five-year, $34-million free-agent contract with the Rams in the off-season after he played four seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Woods will start in the opener against the Indianapolis...

  • Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension is blocked by federal judge

    Another shoe has dropped in the Ezekiel Elliott saga, and it could make for a lengthy legal fight with the NFL after a federal judge in Texas blocked the league’s six-game suspension of the Dallas Cowboys star running back Friday evening. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant agreed with the NFL Players...

  • NFL apologizes for tweet relating Chiefs' win to Mexico earthquake

    The NFL has apologized for a tweet with three smiley emojis that compared the Kansas City Chief’s upset win over the New England Patriots to the earthquake that shook Mexico late Thursday. The tweet came from the league’s NFL Mexico official Twitter account after the Chiefs defeated the Patriots,...

  • Chiefs-Patriots clash draws lowest TV ratings for an NFL opener since 2009

    The NFL opened the 2017 season Thursday night to its lowest television ratings in eight years. NBC’s broadcast of the Kansas City Chiefs’ stunning 42-27 upset of the New England Patriots drew an overnight rating of 14.6. That’s down nearly 12% from the 16.5 posted by the Denver Broncos-Carolina...

  • Sam Farmer's NFL picks: Week 1

    The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last season’s record 172-82-2 (.677). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last season would have been 130-118-2 (.524). Records from...

  • Alex Smith and the Chiefs crash Patriots' celebration

    They cheered. They danced. They high-fived. Thursday was a night of celebration for the New England Patriots. Until the Kansas City Chiefs came to life. In a resounding upset of the defending Super Bowl champions, the visiting Chiefs relied on a pristine performance by quarterback Alex Smith and...

  • Wade Phillips will have his full defense, minus Aaron Donald

    Shrouded in injury-depleted mystery during the preseason, a near fully stocked Rams defense will finally be on display in Sunday’s season opener against the Indianapolis Colts. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is as curious as anybody. “I’m just waiting to kind of see how we do,” Phillips said...

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