Fans becoming part of the NFL story
News: Fans at Reliant Stadium cheer when Texans quarterback Matt Schaub goes down Sunday because of a right leg injury in the third quarter of Houston’s 38-13 loss to the St. Louis Rams. Backup T.J. Yates promptly throws a 98-yard pick six to the Rams’ Alec Ogletree, sealing the Texans’ fourth loss in a row. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, fans start the wave while Arizona defensive end Calais Campbell is down because of a spine injury that sends him to a hospital.
Views: Despicable fan behavior, but it’s very much a part of the American sports scene, and not unique to the NFL. Houston linebacker Brian Cushing called it “barbaric.” Teammate Andre Johnson said the home fans showed “no class.” Schaub had thrown a pick six in an NFL record four consecutive games, and at least one “fan,” intentions unknown, had found been lurking near his home last week. That’s even more disturbing than cheering the injury to a player in a stadium. As for the 49ers fans’ mistimed wave, which prompted a tweeted apology from team CEO Jed York, the hope is it was done out of sheer ignorance and not spite.
News: Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Ware is lost for 3-4 weeks because of a quadriceps injury suffered in the Cowboys’ victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday night.
Views: There’s no way to replace Ware, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker who had moved seamlessly to a new spot in Dallas’ new 4-3 defense. Worse still, the Cowboys already lost the other starting end, Anthony Spencer, for the season. Dallas’ defense rebounded well from its 51-48 shootout loss to Denver the previous week thanks in large part to the leadership of middle linebacker Sean Lee.
News: Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor, after being sacked 10 times by Kansas City and throwing three interceptions in a 24-7 Raiders road loss, predicts his team will make the playoffs. “We’ll be back; (we’re) 2-4; we’ll get to the playoffs,” Pryor said.
Views: There’s nothing wrong with the young leader of a young team being positive in defeat. Pryor, 24, is as accountable as he is talented. “This loss is on me. I’ll take it,” Pryor said. “I’ll make sure we get better.” Coach Dennis Allen’s team is headed in the right direction, but making the playoffs from a division sporting two 6-0 teams, Denver and Kansas City, is unlikely.
News: Arizona coach Bruce Arians dismisses the media notion of moral victories from the Cardinals’ 32-20 loss at San Francisco. “I don’t give a damn about playing close,” Arians said. “We’re here to win. We had the game in our hand. That’s what we take from it. If we quit beating ourselves, we can beat anybody.” Arizona trailed, 22-20, entering the fourth quarter.
Views: It took too long for Arians, 61, to become an NFL coach, and what he shows now just backs up what he did on an interim basis in Indianapolis last season, when he guided the Colts to a 9-3 record in Chuck Pagano’s absence. Arians, with 18 years of NFL experience and two Super Bowl rings from his Pittsburgh days, is telling the Cardinals (3-3) that second-best is unacceptable, especially in an NFC West that has turned from the league’s weakest division to arguably the conference’s strongest in just two years.
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