Pence basically made Lucas Oil Field into his own personal Mar-a-Lago.

Funny thing about all this, too: Pence’s act came at taxpayer expense and inconvenience to Colts fans because of the extra security measures required for him to attend a game he never planned on attending from start to finish.

Before the game, Pence posted a photo showing him and his wife wearing Colts garb — a photo the Indianapolis Star reported he used back in 2014. The message along with it read, “Looking forward to cheering for our @Colts & honoring the great career of #18 Peyton Manning at @LucasOilStadium today. Go Colts!”

By going away in the fashion he did, Pence showed why he was really there — it was not to celebrate a far more beloved Indiana icon.

It’s Carson Palmer vs. Carson Wentz. Arizona has become a one-dimensional passing offense behind a shaky line, which is good and bad against Philadelphia. Palmer will get sacked several more times, but his receivers are bound to make a few big plays against a weak secondary. Wentz has a respectable running game behind him, but his mobility vs. that of his counterpart makes the difference.

Just when Le’Veon Bell gets going, the rest of Pittsburgh’s offense is suddenly in disarray and dysfunction. That means plenty more Bell against a Jacksonville defense that can give up chunk runs — see the Jets’ and Titans’ committees. It’s also the best way to avoid putting Ben Roethlisberger too much in front of Calais Campbell and Sacksonville, especially with A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey ready to contain Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant. Unfortunately for the Jags, after Leonard Fournette is slowed, Blake Bortles won’t avoid Blitzburgh.x (16)

49ers safety Eric Reid said he believed Pence’s actions were premeditated.

“First of all, does anyone know the last time he’s been to a football game?” Reid said after the game. “OK, with that being said, he tweeted out a 3-year-old photo of him at a Colts game. So with the information that I have, the last time he’s been to a football game is three years ago. So this looks like a PR stunt to me.

“He knew our team has had the most players protest. He knew that we were probably going to do it again. This is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power comes to the game, tweets a couple things out and leaves the game in an attempt to thwart our efforts. Based on the information I have, that’s the assumption I made.”

It wasn’t all bad news, though. Leonard Fournette extended what has been an outstanding year for rookie running backs, and Carson Wentz continued to show he’s one of the game’s best up-and-coming stars at quarterback.

As we do each week, we recap the week’s winners and losers from a fantasy perspective, complete with applicable game and historical data. Check back after the conclusion of the Sunday night game for more picks of the week’s best and worst.

The Stafford you see now is still hearing about that losing record against playoff teams, but he can throw eight fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives back in the faces of his remaining critics. He has matured and developed well beyond that cannon to be a complete QB deserving of the highest-paid status. Consistent excellence is the gateway to “elite” passing, and Staff is knocking on that door. At 29, he has plenty of good years left to keep the Lions dueling with Aaron Rodgers, x (2)

Colts cap Peyton Manning festivities with number retirement

The Colts put quarterback Peyton Manning into their Ring of Honor and officially retired his No. 18 jersey during halftime of Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

“I’m here today because of a bunch of coaches and teammates I came across here almost 20 years ago to try to win a lot of football games,” Manning said. “We accomplished those goals.”

Irsay surprised the Lucas Oil Stadium crowd when he had Saturday snap the ball to Manning, who threw a touchdown pass to Wayne at the conclusion of the ceremony.

It even played out on HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.” In one of the funnier scenes, Smith was in the training room getting ridiculed by teammates because he didn’t know what “Hakuna Matata” meant.

Center Joe Hawley asked, “Have you seen any movies? Give us a childhood movie you saw.”

Offensive guard Kevin Pamphile chimed in: “He’s never seen ‘Aladdin.'”

Winston asked: “‘Matilda’?”

Smith responded, “I’ve seen ‘Matilda.’ I haven’t seen ‘Aladdin.’ I’ve seen ‘Toy Story’ … I haven’t seen ‘Winnie the Pooh.'”

Hawley said, “‘Toy Story’ is great. You’ve saved your face a little bit.”

The Bucs are coming off a Thursday night game, which means Smith now has three full days to restore his childhood, get over Mufasa’s passing and discover the meaning behind “what a wonderful phrase.”x (4)

Chargers, other teams reached out to free agent CB Darrelle Revis

The Los Angeles Chargers recently reached out to free-agent cornerback Darrelle Revis, league sources told ESPN.

Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett, who played 63 snaps in the opener before experiencing soreness in his left knee, will have surgery and is out for the season.
The Chargers were one of a handful of teams, according to league sources, that have contacted the seven-time Pro Bowler, who played for the New York Jets in 2016 before being released in the offseason.

Amendola’s absence leaves the Pats even thinner at wide receiver. They’ve already lost Julian Edelman for the season, and unless they promote a practice squad player, they’ll head into the Superdome with just three healthy players at the position — Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett.

Also, someone will have to take over punt-return duties from Amendola.

In addition to Hightower and Amendola, special teams captain Matthew Slater (hamstring) and defensive lineman Vincent Valentine (knee) have also been ruled out for Sunday, per the report.

We don’t go out, the whole team doesn’t come out, then it’s easier for them to defend themselves, say, ‘Hey, it’s a team decision. I just did what the team did.’ You’re a good teammate, perfect, fine. But if you get out there and you ask a guy to kneel or sit, going against his values, going against his family, you put him in weird spots. So we never wanted to do that. We think we did a good job getting our message out and trying not to distract from it.” Sherman and the Seahawks stayed in the locker room for the anthem.
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Broncos LT Garett Bolles to start against Bills

Denver Broncos rookie left tackle Garett Bolles will start against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, one week after he was carted off the field with a lower-left-leg injury.

Bolles suffered the injury on a 5-yard run by Jamaal Charles when Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Brian Price fell on Bolles’ left leg in the third quarter. Bolles stayed down on the ground after the play as the Broncos’ medical staff examined his leg. He then was taken to the locker room on a cart, raising his arms to acknowledge the Denver crowd.

Trump called for NFL owners to fire players who kneel during the playing of the national anthem. He has also urged fans to boycott games to force the teams to respect the flag and anthem.

The president made his first comments on the issue during a rally Friday night in Huntsville, Alabama, then followed up with tweets on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The NFL is perplexed by the president’s comments.

“The overall issue had quieted down. This elevated it in a big way,” the official said. “Only seven of the 32 teams had shown any kind of protest last week, including 14 of 1,696 players on NFL rosters.”

That’s less than one percent of the players in the league.
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Browns favored to win for first time since 2015

Will the Browns get only their second win since the 2015 season?

According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook (via ESPN), yes they will. The Browns opened as 2.5-point favorites to defeat the Colts this Sunday, marking the first time since 2015 they are favored to win.

The Colts have struggled mightily without quarterback Andrew Luck, who is still rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder. Backups Scott Tolzien and Jacoby Brissett have been abysmal, throwing a combined three interceptions with no touchdowns.

The Browns were 2-point favorites over the 49ers in Week 14 two seasons ago, and they won, 24-10. So maybe history can repeat itself for Cleveland, which won only once last season.

As crushing as the loss has to be for the Texans, there are positives to take away from what was by far their best performance of the season. Their pass rush finally woke up; after going sackless through the first two games of the season, their big three of Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus and J.J. Watt combined for three sacks, seven tackles for loss and six quarterback knockdowns. It helped that the Patriots were down starting right tackle Marcus Cannon and didn’t appear to have a full-strength Nate Solder all game on the left side.

Watson also appears to have sprung the Houston offense to life, although the fact that O’Brien opted to start Tom Savage over Watson after the preseason has to make Texans fans wonder what exactly the former Patriots offensive coordinator was watching. Watson’s ability as a runner has forced opposing linebackers to hesitate and created running lanes for what has been a moribund Houston running game under Miller, with D’Onta Foreman helping shoulder some of the load as both a runner and checkdown receiver.
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If Watson’s going to be locked in on one receiver in the NFL, Hopkins isn’t a bad choice.

During one drive in the fourth quarter, it seemed like the Texans were running an offense called Just Throw The Ball To Nuk. It was the second-longest drive of the game, and even though it ended in a field goal, it was as fun as the game had been all night.

Hopkins enjoyed what he saw out of Watson, too. “He was a leader,” he said after the game. “He was a warrior. He was everything we expected; he was the guy that we drafted.”

Watson targeted Hopkins 13 times during the game, eight more than the next closest Texan, Tyler Ervin.

It’s hard to be the old guy in a wide receiving corps with young guns like Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram. He had just one reception in Week 1, but when he got an opportunity to make a big play Monday he promptly dropped it.

The Giants instead had to punt and it was returned for a touchdown, digging a hole that was too much to overcome. For a second week in a row, Marshall finished with just one reception.

He needs just 59 receptions this season to become the 15th receiver to ever get to 1,000 in a career, but that’s looking like it could be a tall task.

That touchdown was nice and it’s cool that he’s getting involved as a rookie, but this is going to get the Giants a penalty every time.

Not only did the crotch grab draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, it’ll probably land the rookie a pretty decent fine.
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Every offseason, it’s the same old story in New Orleans.

The Saints are going to fix things and stop lingering around the bottom of the league on defense. Well, if Week 1 is any indication, this is yet another season of that empty promise.

The New Orleans defense let Sam Bradford complete a ludicrous 84.4 percent of his passes for 346 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. It also gave up 129 yards on the ground, most of which were from rookie Dalvin Cook. The defense had three unnecessary roughness penalties called against it in the first half, which surely didn’t help.

If you’re a Saints fan, it’s hard to look at this defensive performance and not be worried that the rest of the season is going to look as familiar as the last three.

Panic index: New Orleans added plenty of defensive talent this offseason. Maybe it will just take them some time to jell on the field, but it’s completely fair to be uneasy in the Big Easy.

The former MAC standout has earned his share of headlines, but he’s still in the infant stages of his NFL career. While he performed admirably in the preseason and during the Lions’ season opener, he’ll face plenty of struggles as opposing defenses study his game tape more carefully and begin to plan their passing defense around him.

However, he’s in a great position thanks to Stafford, the Lions’ pass-heavy attack, and the presence of Tate and Jones to take defensive pressure from his shoulders. Golladay has the talent and instincts to remain a valuable piece of the Detroit offense for years. It’ll be another major hurdle for him to overcome, but that’s all Golladay has done since stepping foot on the gridiron.
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The Chargers push-and-pick against the Broncos couldn’t have been pass interference

Some Denver Broncos fans and players are still hot about an alleged pass-interference foul late in their victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Getting the ball to Green makes all the sense in the world. That’s basically what the Bengals did in the past. Losing OC Hue Jackson to the Browns coaching job two years ago has made the offense worse. The team’s made it worse by allowing a talent drain in the last two years.

Head coach Marvin Lewis said after the game that Dalton’s job was safe. He had to reassure the press of this after two games. Think about that. There’s really no point replacing Dalton anyway: AJ McCarron is, at best, a push talent-wise and there’s not much any QB could do with this sorry excuse for an offensive line.

As for Lewis himself, he’s slouching toward Jeff Fisher-status. It was a terrible night for coaching all around. Bill O’Brien of the Texans looked overmatched on most plays, but Lewis lapped him in haplessness with these last two outings from his team.

Before the season started, consensus awarded the Jets the dubious honor of the NFL’s worst team. We might have to rethink that. The Bengals look like they have something to say about it.

But the Broncos also represent the caliber of team that Dallas will have to face in the postseason. Can the Cowboys make any noise once they get to the playoffs? That’s a fair question.

Panic index: Not only did the Broncos beat the Cowboys handily, they also cracked the code to shutting down the run game entirely and gave other teams film on how to make that happen. There’s cause for concern.
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Miller will remain a prominent part of the offense.

Below are notes covering each of the NFL’s 32 teams from a fantasy perspective. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for Week 3. Be sure to check back each week of the season for a new version of the Fantasy 32.

Throughout this piece, I’ll be referencing “OTD.” OTD stands for opportunity-adjusted touchdowns. It is a statistic that weighs every carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player’s scoring opportunity. For example, if a player has an OTD of 3.0, it means that a league-average player who saw the same number of carries/targets in the same area of the field would have scored three touchdowns.

With so few healthy bodies in the pass-catching group in Chicago, Miller will remain a prominent part of the offense. He had nine targets in Week 2. The reality is, few tight ends are a steady bet for seven or more targets per week. Miller is up to 15 through two games and is a usable tight end.

The Saints will be without Willie Snead for one more week, meaning the team will continue to rely on other players to pick up the volume for him. Fleener has found the end zone in consecutive weeks. Adding him and relying on him can be justified based on the quarterback he plays with and the volume of throws in New Orleans. He’s going to get looks at the end zone.

The Giants’ offense has had basically one highlight so far this season, and it’s Engram. The first-round rookie has caught four passes in each of the team’s two games and has the G-Men’s lone touchdown of the year. He’s an outstanding athlete who already seems to be emerging as a top two or three passing game option in a high-volume offense.
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