Buccaneers sign RB Le’Veon Bell

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed running back Le’Veon Bell, the team announced Wednesday.

Bell was signed after Leonard Fournette, who may go on IR, injured his hamstring Sunday night against the Saints.

The three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection, comes to Tampa Bay after playing in five games with the Baltimore Ravens this season.

“He’s been a good receiver in the past and played in this offense in Pittsburgh for a while,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said. “We’ll see what he can learn and what he can give us in the next few weeks.”

Over 93 career regular season games, including 81 starts, the 29-year-old Bell has amassed 1,587 carries for 6,536 yards and 42 rushing touchdowns. He has played an integral role in the passing game, as well, making 395 receptions for 3,258 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since entering the league in 2013, Bell ranks fourth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (9,794) and first among running backs. His 504 first downs since 2013 rank third among all position players and first among running backs, while his 50 scrimmage touchdowns are tied for 10th among all players at his position. Bell has notched three 1,000-yard rushing seasons and three seasons with 1,500-or-more yards from scrimmage.

In the postseason, Bell has played in five games, recording 83 carries for 430 yards (5.2 avg.) and three touchdowns, in addition to 13 receptions for 91 yards receiving and one touchdown.

Week 13: Playoff scenarios for Chiefs, Steelers, Saints

As we enter the finals weeks of the 2020 NFL season, teams are jockeying for playoff spots in both conferences. The Chiefs and Steelers could clinch their respective divisions in Week 13, while the Saints could clinch a playoff spot.

Here are the playoff scenarios for the Steelers, Chiefs, and Saints:

AFC

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (10-1) (vs. Denver (4-7), Sunday, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:

  1. KC win + LV loss or tie OR

  2. KC tie + LV loss

Kansas City clinches playoff berth with:

  1. KC win OR

  2. KC tie + BAL loss or tie + IND loss OR

  3. KC tie + LV tie + BAL loss or tie + IND tie OR

  4. KC tie + LV tie + MIA loss + IND loss or tie OR

  5. KC tie + LV tie + MIA loss + BAL loss or tie OR

  6. KC tie + MIA loss + BAL loss or tie + IND tie OR

  7. LV loss + BAL loss + IND loss

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-0) (vs. Washington (4-7), Monday, 5:00 PM ET, FOX)

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

  1. PIT win + CLE loss + PIT clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over CLE​

Pittsburgh clinches playoff berth with:

  1. PIT win or tie OR

  2. LV loss or tie OR

  3. MIA loss or tie OR

  4. IND loss or tie

NFC

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (9-2) (at Atlanta (4-7), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

New Orleans clinches playoff berth with:

  1. NO win + CHI loss or tie OR

  2. NO tie + CHI loss + MIN loss + SF loss or tie OR

  3. NO tie + CHI loss + MIN loss + ARI loss or tie

NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 17

We have played 16 weeks of football, and it all comes down this. 

In the NFC, five out of the six playoff teams have clinched, but two divisions are up for grabs. In the NFC East, if the Eagles defeat the Giants, they win the NFC East; however, if they lose and the Cowboys beat the Redskins, Dallas wins the division. And in the NFC West, Seattle and San Francisco battle it out on Sunday Night Football. The winner grabs the NFC West, and the loser gets the first wild card spot.

In the AFC, five out of the six playoff teams have also clinched, but the sixth and final spot involves three teams(Raiders, Titans, Steelers) with the Titans controlling their own destiny. 

Here are all the playoff scenarios for Week 17:

AFC

CLINCHED:

Baltimore Ravens – AFC North division and homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs

Houston Texans – AFC South division

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division

New England Patriots – AFC East division

Buffalo Bills – playoff berth

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4) (vs. L.A. Chargers (5-10), 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Kansas City clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. KC win + NE loss

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-3) (vs. Miami (4-11); 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. NE win or tie OR

  2. KC loss or tie

OAKLAND RAIDERS (7-8) (at Denver (6-9); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Oakland clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. OAK win + PIT loss + TEN loss + IND win + OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PIT*

 *OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PIT if ONE of the following teams win or tie:

CHI, DET, LAC OR NE

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-7) (at Baltimore (13-2); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. PIT win + TEN loss or tie OR

  2. PIT tie + TEN loss OR

  3. TEN loss + IND win + OAK loss or tie OR

  4. TEN loss + IND win + PIT ties OAK in strength-of-victory tiebreaker*

*PIT ties OAK in strength-of-victory tiebreaker if ALL of the following teams win:

MIN, GB, KC AND MIA

TENNESSEE TITANS (8-7) (at Houston (10-5); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. TEN win OR

  2. TEN tie + PIT loss or tie OR

  3. PIT loss + IND loss or tie

NFC

CLINCHED:

Green Bay – NFC North division

New Orleans – NFC South division

Minnesota — playoff berth

San Francisco — playoff berth

Seattle — playoff berth

DALLAS COWBOYS (7-8) (vs. Washington (3-12); 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Dallas clinches NFC East division with:

  1. DAL win + PHI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3) (at Detroit (3-11-1); 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Green Bay clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. GB win OR

  2. NO loss OR

  3. GB tie + SF loss OR

  4. GB tie + NO tie

Green Bay clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. GB win + SF loss or tie OR

  2. GB tie + SF loss + NO loss or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-3) (at Carolina (5-10); 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. NO win + GB loss or tie OR

  2. NO win + SF loss or tie OR

  3. NO tie + GB loss OR

  4. NO tie + SF loss OR

  5. SF loss + GB win or tie

New Orleans clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. NO win + GB loss or tie + SF loss or tie OR

  2. NO tie + GB loss + SF loss

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-7) (at N.Y. Giants (4-11); 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Philadelphia clinches NFC East division with:

  1. PHI win or tie OR

  2. DAL loss or tie

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (12-3) (at Seattle (11-4); 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

San Francisco clinches NFC West division title with:

  1. SF win or tie

San Francisco clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. SF win OR

  2. SF tie + GB loss or tie OR

  3. SF tie + NO loss or tie

San Francisco clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. SF win OR

  2. SF tie + GB loss or tie + NO loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-4) (vs. San Francisco (12-3); 8:20 ET, NBC)

Seattle clinches NFC West division with:

  1. SEA win

Seattle clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. SEA win + GB loss

Seattle clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. SEA win + GB loss + NO loss

2018 NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 15

With the NFL season winding down, some teams are fighting for their playoff lives, while others are fighting for seeding.

Here are some playoffs scenarios for Week 15 in the NFL:

NFC

CLINCHED: Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title

                     New Orleans Saints – NFC South division title

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-2) (at Carolina (6-7), Monday night, 8:15 PM ET, ESPN)

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:

1)    NO win + CHI loss or tie OR

2)    NO tie + CHI loss

LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-2) (vs. Philadelphia (6-7), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)​​

Los Angeles clinches a first-round bye with:

1)    LAR win + CHI loss or tie OR

2)    LAR tie + CHI loss

CHICAGO BEARS (9-4) (vs. Green Bay (5-7-1), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Chicago clinches NFC North division title with:

1)    CHI win OR

2)    MIN loss OR

3)    CHI tie + MIN tie

Chicago clinches a playoff berth with:

1)    CHI tie OR

2)    WAS loss or tie

DALLAS COWBOYS (8-5) (at Indianapolis (7-6), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Dallas clinches NFC East division title with:

1)    DAL win OR

2)    DAL tie + PHI loss or tie + WAS loss or tie OR

3)    PHI loss + WAS loss

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-5) (at San Francisco (3-10), Sunday, 4:05 PM ET, FOX)

Seattle clinches a playoff berth with:

1)    SEA win OR

2)    SEA tie + MIN loss + CAR loss or tie OR

3)    SEA tie + MIN loss + PHI loss or tie + WAS loss or tie OR

4)    SEA tie + CAR loss or tie + PHI loss or tie + WAS loss or tie

AFC

CLINCHED: Kansas City Chiefs – Playoff berth

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-2) (vs. Los Angeles Chargers (10-3), Thursday night, 8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFL Network/Amazon)

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:

1)    KC win

Kansas City clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1)    KC win + NE loss or tie

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-4) (at Pittsburgh (7-5-1), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches AFC East division title with:

1)    NE win + MIA loss or tie OR

2)    NE tie + MIA loss

New England clinches a playoff berth with:

1)    NE win + TEN loss or tie OR

2)    NE tie + BAL loss + TEN loss + IND loss or tie

HOUSTON TEXANS (9-4) (at New York Jets (4-9), Saturday, 4:30 PM ET, NFL Network)

Houston clinches AFC South division title with:

1)    HOU win + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie OR

2)    HOU tie + IND loss + TEN loss

Houston clinches a playoff berth with:

1)    HOU win + MIA loss or tie + PIT loss OR

2)    HOU win + MIA loss or tie + BAL loss or tie OR

3)    HOU tie + IND loss or tie + BAL loss + MIA loss OR

4)    HOU tie + IND loss or tie + PIT loss + BAL loss + MIA tie OR

5)    HOU tie + IND loss or tie + PIT loss + BAL win + MIA loss OR

6)    HOU tie + TEN loss or tie + BAL loss + MIA loss OR

7)    HOU tie + TEN loss or tie + PIT loss + BAL loss + MIA tie OR

8)    HOU tie + TEN loss or tie + PIT loss + BAL win + MIA loss

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (10-3) (at Kansas City (11-2), Thursday night, 8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFL Network/Amazon)

Los Angeles clinches a playoff berth with:

1)    LAC win or tie OR

2)    MIA loss or tie + PIT loss OR

3)    MIA loss or tie + BAL loss or tie OR

4)    MIA loss or tie + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie OR

5)    PIT loss + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie OR

6)    BAL loss or tie + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie​

Pouncey on Roethlisberger’s GW TD: ‘Hell, I’m glad he ran’

Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers struggled throughout most of the game against the Jaguars on Sunday, but they finally woke up in the fourth quarter and were able to overcome a 16-point deficit to beat the Jaguars 20-16 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.

Late in the 4th quarter with the Steelers trailing 16-13, and the ball at the Jacksonville 1-yard line, Roethlisberger was able to scramble into the end zone to cement the victory for Pittsburgh.

After the game, “Big Ben” described what he saw on the game-winning touchdown:

(On his awareness of who he was beating at the goal line) :

“I didn’t see that. You see the goal line, truthfully. I don’t know what option I am on that [play], but it’s way down the list,” Roethlisberger(27/47, 314 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT) said. “It took away the other ones, and it’s just one of those things where just—the competitiveness—the end zone seems like it’s right there. You know you have a time out, obviously that helps, so you can kind of take a gamble or a chance and then when you see it, you find a way to stretch it out.”

(On what he saw during the last touchdown):

“The end zone. The goal line. No, you know, like I said, I wasn’t one of the first four options. So, it almost looked like they knew what was coming. They took our first couple of options away, so it just appeared to open up and—I gave Matt [Feiler] a hard time there because he hit me pretty hard trying to jump over me at the end, so it was kind of fun to tease him on that play.”

Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey was very happy that Roethlisberger decided to run.

“It was kind of an option play where he could throw to the tight end outside,” Pouncey said. “Hell, I’m glad he ran.”

Based on the result, I’m sure all of Pittsburgh was happy that Roethlisberger decided to run.

With the victory, Pittsburgh extends their winning streak to six games, and after a slow start, the Steelers(7-2-1) look like the team many thought they would be in 2018.

Jags’ Marrone: ‘(James)Conner is playing to a Pro Bowl level’

On Tuesday, Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell did not sign the franchise tag, which means that Bell is ineligible to return to the field in 2018.

In Bell’s absence, second-year RB James Conner has taken full advantage of this opportunity. Conner has rushed for 771 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games. He is not only a threat running the ball, but he is making plays in the passing game(39 receptions, 387 yards, 1 TD). According to the NFL Network, Conner has more scrimmage yards, rushing touchdowns, and scrimmage touchdowns through nine games than Bell has had in the first nine games of any single season in his career.

The Steelers offense has not missed a beat without Bell, and according to Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone, the Steelers’ offense is more efficient in 2018.

“You would think that going in, but then all of a sudden when you look at the numbers – basically their offense is more efficient now than it is has been in the past couple years,” Marrone said. “You start trying to look at where it has changed. You see Antonio Brown still has his 10 touchdowns. Ju-Ju [Smith-Schuster] has a high amount of catches. The tight ends are involved. Ben is Ben. He is a great player and has been for all these years.

“You knew how much the focus was on that position for them. Are they going to get the same production? Conner is playing to a Pro Bowl level. I don’t see the change as far as the production. I actually see better efficiency. I know the offensive coordinator up there has really done a nice job.”

Conner just might be playing at a Pro Bowl level. Obviously, you can’t replace a guy like Bell, but at this point, Conner is doing just that.

NFL schedule changes for Week 13 & 14

The NFL announced today the following schedule changes for Week 13 (December 2) and Week 14 (December 9).

In Week 13 (December 2), the Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers game originally scheduled for 1:00 PM ET on CBS will move to 8:20 PM ET on NBC. Additionally, the San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks game will move from 8:20 PM ET on NBC to 4:25 PM ET on FOX.

In Week 14 (December 9), the Los Angeles Rams at Chicago Bears game scheduled for 1:00 PM on FOX will move to 8:20 PM ET on NBC. The Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders game originally scheduled for 8:20 PM ET on NBC will move to 4:25 PM ET on FOX.

The following is the final Week 13 NFL schedule (all times ET):

Thursday, November 29

New Orleans at Dallas 8:20 PM FOX/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, December 2

Baltimore at Atlanta 1:00 PM CBS
Denver at Cincinnati 1:00 PM CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Detroit 1:00 PM FOX
Arizona at Green Bay 1:00 PM FOX
Cleveland at Houston 1:00 PM CBS
Indianapolis at Jacksonville 1:00 PM CBS
Buffalo at Miami 1:00 PM CBS
Chicago at New York Giants 1:00 PM FOX
Carolina at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM FOX
Kansas City at Oakland 4:05 PM CBS
New York Jets at Tennessee 4:05 PM CBS
Minnesota at New England 4:25 PM FOX
San Francisco at Seattle 4:25 PM FOX
Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh 8:20 PM NBC
   

Monday, December 3

Washington at Philadelphia 8:15 PM ESPN

The following is the final Week 14 NFL schedule (all times ET):

Thursday, December 6

Jacksonville at Tennessee 8:20 PM FOX/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, December 9

New York Jets at Buffalo 1:00 PM CBS
Carolina at Cleveland 1:00 PM FOX
Atlanta at Green Bay 1:00 PM FOX
Indianapolis at Houston 1:00 PM CBS
Baltimore at Kansas City 1:00 PM CBS
New England at Miami 1:00 PM CBS
New Orleans at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM FOX
New York Giants at Washington 1:00 PM FOX
Cincinnati at Los Angeles Chargers 4:05 PM CBS
Denver at San Francisco 4:05 PM CBS
Detroit at Arizona 4:25 PM FOX
Philadelphia at Dallas 4:25 PM FOX
Pittsburgh at Oakland 4:25 PM FOX
Los Angeles Rams at Chicago 8:20 PM NBC
 

Monday, December 10

Minnesota at Seattle 8:15 PM ESPN

Ray Lewis talks battles with Steelers HOF center Dermontti Dawson(Video)

Hall of Famer Ray Lewis had many battles on the field throughout his career, especially in his own division. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens hate each other, and it showed on the field. For Lewis and the Ravens to have success, they had to go through the Steelers.

Earlier in his career, Lewis had many battles with former Steelers Hall of Fame center Dermontti Dawson. Last Sunday, at the Enrishnees’ Roundtable in Canton, OH., Lewis discussed what it took to play against Dawson and how it helped him to become a better player:

Take a listen:

 

Jags’ Westbrook on being overlooked by Steelers in playoffs: ‘I just think that’s an excuse for them’ (Audio)

Coming into the 2017 NFL playoffs, the thought was that the Steelers and Patriots would be playing each other in the AFC title game, and based on some comments before their playoff game against Jacksonville, a few players from the Steelers thought they would play the Patriots, too.

For example, you had Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell tweet this out before their Divisional Round match-up with the Jaguars:

Also, a few days before the game, then Steelers S Mike Mitchell told SI.COM the following:

“We’re going to play [the Patriots] again. We can play them in hell, we can play them in Haiti, we can play them in New England. …  We’re gonna win,” Mitchell said.

So, the Steelers were confident, but so were the Jaguars, who dominated the Steelers in Pittsburgh 30-9 in the regular season, and ultimately would beat Pittsburgh at Heinz Field in the playoffs 45-42. However, many believe the Steelers overlooked the Jaguars, but according to Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook, that was just an excuse:

‘I don’t feel like they overlooked us at all. I just think that’s an excuse for them,” Westbrook told Go4it podcast host Paul Gant. “People always get into that, ‘oh, we weren’t really expecting the Jaguars to beat us.’ At the end of the day, that’s something they gotta live with. I don’t want that to be the excuse of why we so-called won because they wasn’t ready. They thought they were going to blow past us and go play the Patriots, but at the end of the day, you gotta come out play every game.”

Did the Steelers overlook Jacksonville? I think they probably did, but it was pretty clear that the Jaguars had the Steelers number in 2017.

Listen to Westbrook talk Steelers at the 40:52 mark:

Holmes on Big Ben: ‘As long as he stays healthy, he’s going to produce'(VIDEO)

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger had another tremendous season in 2017. At the age of 35(turned 36 in March), Roethlisberger has proven that he has a lot left in the tank after throwing for 4251 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Even in a playoff loss to the Jaguars last season, “Big Ben” was impressive as he threw for 469 yards and five touchdowns.

There has been a lot of speculation about how much longer Roethlisberger will play. The Steelers did select QB Mason Rudolph in the third round of this year’s draft. However, Roethlisberger says he will take it year by year.

“I’m healthy, and just lots of prayers and spending time with family. I’m still going to take it one year at a time but just feeling like what you have left in the tank,” Roethlisberger told ESPN in May.

With all that the Steelers have on offense, expect Roethlisberger to have another big-time season, and according to his former teammate Santonio Holmes, if Roethlisberger can stay injury free, he will continue to put up great numbers.

“As long as he stays healthy, he’s going to produce,” Holmes recently told goforitradio.com.

We recently caught up Holmes in Pittsburgh, and he discussed his catch in Super Bowl 43, Steelers prospects for 2018, and how many more years Roethlisberger could play in the NFL.

Take a listen: