NFL News: Player News and Updates for 1/9/14
NFL Updates: Bell, Marshall, Complete Playoffs Schedule and More
January 9, 2014
Just a couple more days until the NFL playoffs kick back into gear, and it’ll be hard for the Divisional Round to live up to everything the Wild Card games gave us last weekend. That said, there’s still plenty to talk about in the meantime, so let’s take a closer look at some of the noteworthy names and storylines out there across the league. Here’s the latest.
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions: Even though the Lions’ playoff (not to mention division championship) hopes evaporated in a cloud of self-destruction late in the season, there’s still reason to be optimistic in Detroit. The team still boasts an impressive array of offensive weapons, one of whom is Bell. He finished the season with 650 rush yards, 547 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Along with fellow RB Reggie Bush, the duo was the first backfield tandem in NFL history to each reach the 500-yard marks in rushing and receiving.
Bell will be a restricted free agent this coming off-season, and by most indications he’s interested in remaining with the Lions. We’d expect him to stay in Detroit, as we can’t imagine the team wouldn’t be willing to make a solid offer given his performance.
It’ll be another fresh start in the Motor City, but there’s still hope on the horizon--at least offensively.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears: Let’s stick in the NFC North for a moment and check out Marshall. He’s coming off another great year, with 100 receptions for 1,295 yards and 12 touchdowns. Even better for Bears fans, the emergence of fellow WR Alshon Jeffery and a new system have turned Chicago into an offensive force like it’s never been before. As with Detroit, there’s plenty of optimism to go around.
There’s reason to believe that Marshall can be even better in 2014. He’s got his buddy Jay Cutler back, and he’s also heading into the off-season healthy (with no surgeries or rehab scheduled) with a full slate of prep time in a very effective offense. With a few tweaks on defense, we could see a very formidable Bears team on both sides of the ball next year.
Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans: The Titans have a lot to think about this off-season, and much of it centers around their big-name running back Chris Johnson. In 2013 he posted 279 carries for 1,077 yards--the second-worst total of his career. He also notched just six rushing touchdowns for the second straight season. (Though to be fair, he had four receiving.)
Here’s the team’s issue: Johnson is under contract for the upcoming season, and will be due $8 million. There’s been some speculation that the team may opt to go in a different direction this year to avoid being stuck with his salary. Johnson has expressed desire to remain with the Titans but wouldn’t object to getting another chance somewhere else. In the meantime, we’ll have to wait and see what Tennessee elects to do.
NFL Playoffs Schedule: It’s playoff time, and the anticipation is running high as we cruise through each week. Here’s a look at the scores and complete schedule of games for each round of the playoffs, along with the start times and TV networks carrying each matchup.
Saturday, January 4, 2014:
4:35 PM ET:
Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts (NBC)
FINAL SCORE: Colts 45, Chiefs 44
8:10 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)
FINAL SCORE: Saints 26, Eagles 24
Sunday, January 5, 2014:
1:05 PM ET:
San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)
FINAL SCORE: Chargers 27, Bengals 10
4:40 PM ET:
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (FOX)
FINAL SCORE: 49ers 23, Packers 20
Saturday, January 11, 2014:
4:35 PM ET:
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (FOX)
8:15 PM ET:
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (CBS)
Sunday, January 12, 2014:
1:05 PM ET:
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (FOX)
4:40 PM ET:
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (CBS)
Other Notable Dates:
AFC Championship: January 19, 2014 (CBS)
NFC Championship: January 19, 2014 (FOX)
Super Bowl XLVIII: February 2, 2014 (FOX)
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