Gutierrez's Instant Replay: Cowboys 3, Raiders 0


Gutierrez's Instant Replay: Cowboys 3, Raiders 0


It was an inauspicious debut for the Raiders' new era, as Oakland was shut out at home in the preseason for only the second time in franchise history. Yes, it's only an exhibition game, but you just know coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie wanted to have a better showing. And really, if the starters played longer, the offense probably would have scored. It was moving the ball.

And the Raiders' first-team defense seemed to get the better of the Cowboys' first-team offense. Alas, it was not meant to be in a game decided mostly by guys who will not be on either teams' final 53-man roster.Run DMC alms this way: The last time we saw Darren McFadden on the field, he was limping off with a Lisfranc sprain to his right foot in Week 7 last season. He put to rest any questions about his health now, though, with the power and speed his displayed in his lone series. McFadden carried the ball twice, for 20 yards, and caught a pass for 18 yards. Getting him out of the game after one series was the smart move.About that new-look defense: The Raiders limited the Cowboys to four first downs and 81 net yards in the first half. The first-team defense got the better of the Cowboys' first-stringers. On consecutive plays, Lamarr Houston nearly had Tony Romo, only to have him slip out of his grasp, before Tommy Kelly wrapped up Romo for a 12-yard sack at the Dallas 6-yard line.Mitchell plays center field: Safety Mike Mitchell has been healthy all camp for the first time since his rookie season. And he's been just as intense. This week in practice, he had an interception and took it to the house as he zigged and zagged. Monday, he played center field and Kyle Orton's pass came right at him. No cutting back this time, Mitchell returned the pick 19 yards.How does Hot Rod suit you?: Rod Streater, the undrafted free agent rookie from that college football powerhouse Temple, was Matt Leinart's BFF. Streater was targeted seven times and caught six passes for 66 yards. He has seemingly jumped in front of fellow rookie and fifth-round compensatory draft pick Juron Criner on the receiving depth chart.Ford flops: Too harsh? Yeah, it's only a preseason game, but Jacoby Ford did not acquit himself in his first game sans Jason Campbell and Louis Murphy on the Raiders' roster. Ford was crushed on the opening kickoff, did not sell out at all on Carson Palmer's bomb into double-coverage and jogged back to cover the interception, then saw two Palmer passes slip through his hands. Meh, it was just an exhibition game, right? Right?Hooking and shanking: Sebastian Janikowski's 47-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter was blocked and Eddy Carmona, who hit the left upright four times in practice last week, hooked his 36-yarder wide right in the fourth quarter. Rookie Marquette King, meanwhile, had punts of 52, 34, 36, 60, and, gulp, 19 yards through three quarters.Terrelle Time?: It doesn't have the same ring as Tebow Time, does it? But Terrelle Pryor's scramble for nine yards and a first down in the fourth quarter woke the crowd up, especially with his jukes along the way. His accuracy is a constant work in progress. But finally, fans saw how raw he truly is, and in a game situation. He played the entire second half and finished with 50 yards through the air on eight of 15 passing and an interception, and 21 yards rushing on six attempts.

Patriots pummel Pittsburgh, return to Super Bowl to face Falcons

Patriots pummel Pittsburgh, return to Super Bowl to face Falcons


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Tom Brady redemption tour is headed to the Super Bowl.

After beginning the 2016 season suspended for four games for his role in the "Deflategate" scandal, the New England quarterback relentlessly carried the Patriots to an unprecedented ninth appearance in the title game, and his seventh. Brady threw for a franchise playoff-best 384 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-17 rout of the helpless Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in New England's seventh consecutive AFC championship game.

The Patriots are early 3-point favorites heading to face Atlanta in two weeks in Houston, seeking their fifth NFL title with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach. Belichick's seventh appearance in a Super Bowl will be a record for a head coach.

Brady was banned by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell when New England (16-2) went 3-1 to open the schedule.

Since his return in Week 5, the only defeat came at home to Seattle, and Brady, 39, had one of the best seasons of a Hall of Fame-caliber career. He punctuated that in dreary weather similar to the 2014 conference title game that precipitated the deflated footballs investigation by flattening Pittsburgh's secondary.

Chris Hogan was his main weapon. The previously unheralded receiver found open spaces everywhere on the field against a leaky secondary. Hogan caught nine balls for 180 yards and two scores.

Top wideout Julian Edelman added eight receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown as Brady tied Joe Montana's playoff record with nine three-TD passing performances. Brady also had his 11th 300-yard postseason game, extending his NFL record, completing 32 of 42 throws.

Pittsburgh (13-6) lost star running back Le'Veon Bell late in the first quarter to a groin injury. It didn't seem to matter much in a record 16th conference title match for the Steelers, who made mistakes in every facet of the game. The franchise that has won the most Super Bowls, six, and the most postseason games, 36, never seemed likely to challenge in the misty rain.

Hogan's second touchdown came on a flea-flicker and he easily beat safety Mike Mitchell to the corner of the end zone. At that point, Hogan had seven catches for 117 yards and the first multi-touchdown game of his four-year career.

His first score made it 10-0 and came after Brady could have taken a nap before throwing, a common occurrence against a nonexistent pass rush. Hogan was all alone in the back of the end zone for the 16-yard score.

Pittsburgh had drawn to 10-6 on DeAngelo Williams' 5-yard run to cap an 84-yard drive. Veteran Williams is a nice security blanket in the backfield, though he's no Bell these days.

Still, he contributed on a 70-yard drive toward the end of the second quarter that appeared to be capped by Jesse James' TD reception. But video review showed James down at the 1, and the Steelers couldn't get into the end zone, Chris Boswell connecting for a 23-yard field goal.

The Steelers never threatened to get back into it.LeGarrette Blount punctuated the romp with a bruising 18-yard run on which he carried nearly the entire Pittsburgh defense with him. He then scored from the 1.

By the end, the crowd was chanting "Where is Roger?" and celebrating yet another Super Bowl trip for the Patriots.


Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal to open the scoring set a franchise record with 27, surpassing Adam Vinatieri's 26. Gostkowski is fourth all-time. He made a 47-yarder in the third quarter, a 26-yarder in the fourth, but he missed an extra point.

Boswell, who set an NFL mark with six field goals in the Steelers' 18-16 win at Kansas City last week, missed an extra point wide left and made a 23-yard kick.


Steelers: Bell's early departure left him with 20 yards on six carries and no receptions.

Patriots: DB Nate Ebner left with a head injury.


After winning the AFC East with the conference's top record, New England defeated the Texans 34-16 and the Steelers to reach the Super Bowl. They will take on Atlanta, which beat Green Bay 44-21 for the NFC crown. Super Bowl 51 will be in Houston on Feb. 5; New England won the 2002 and 2005 Super Bowls after beating Pittsburgh for the AFC championship.

Reports: Former Raiders QB expected to join Cal's coaching staff


Reports: Former Raiders QB expected to join Cal's coaching staff

It looks as though Marques Tuiasosopo is heading back to the Pac-12, again. The former Rose Bowl MVP and Washington quarterback has reportedly been added to the coaching staff at Cal under new head coach Justin Wilcox.

The news was first reported by Bruin Sports Online and later followed up by Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, via Twitter.

Tuiasosopo is no stranger to coaching in the Pac-12. After spending 12 seasons in the NFL, Tuiasosopo returned to his alma mater to take on a role as assistant strength coach for the Washington Huskies in 2009.

After two years in that role, he joined the UCLA coaching staff as a graduate assistant in 2011 and took on a role as tight ends coach in 2012 under Jim Mora. The following year, in 2013, Tuiasosopo returned to Washington to be the quarterback coach to work for Steve Sarkisian.