From Comcast SportsNetThe Houston Texans spent a lot of time in the end zone, rolling up a franchise record for points and sending a clear message to the rest of the AFC:Last week's embarrassing loss to Green Bay was a mere hiccup. These Texans will be a handful all season.Matt Schaub threw two touchdown passes, Arian Foster ran for two scores and the Texans dominated a showdown of the conference's top two teams, routing the Baltimore Ravens 43-13 on Sunday."We were really into what we were doing," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said, "and we were there all day long, so it was a good team effort."Johnathan Joseph returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown and the Texans (6-1) finally beat Baltimore (5-2), which was without Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb. The Ravens had won all six previous meetings and eliminated them from last year's playoffs.The big win took the sting out of the 42-24 defeat to Green Bay last Sunday. Schaub completed 23 of 37 passes for 256 yards and the Texans finished with 420 yards.Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers picked up where they left off by topping the St. Louis Rams 30-20. Rodgers, who threw six touchdown passes against the Texans, had three more against the Rams.Rodgers directed Green Bay to its second consecutive turnover-free game. He also has 150 career TD passes and 42 interceptions, breaking Dan Marino's NFL record for fewest interceptions at that milestone. Marino had 69 interceptions when he threw his 150th TD pass.Randall Cobb caught two touchdown passes and Jordy Nelson had eight receptions for a season-best 122 yards for the Packers (4-3). Rookie Casey Hayward made his first start in place of injured Sam Shields and intercepted his fourth pass in three games."Winning is fun," said Nelson, who had a 3-yard TD catch in the first quarter. "That's why we play games. It's great to win back-to-back games, it sounds great to say that for the first time this year, but we've got to stack success."Elsewhere, it was New Orleans 35, Tampa Bay 28; New England 29, the New York Jets 26 in overtime; Tennessee 35, Buffalo 34; the New York Giants 27, Washington 23; Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 17; Minnesota 21, Arizona 14; Dallas 19, Carolina 14; Indianapolis 17, Cleveland 13; and Oakland 26, Jacksonville 23 in OT.At Houston, Terrell Suggs, last year's defensive player of the year, saw his first action for the Ravens since undergoing surgery on his right Achilles tendon last May. Suggs sacked Schaub in the first quarter and finished with three solo tackles.Otherwise, Baltimore's defense seemed overmatched without Lewis and Webb, who were placed on injured reserve this week. Safety Ed Reed, who acknowledged this week that he's been playing with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, left in the fourth quarter with a chest injury. Reed said he felt fine after the game.Joe Flacco threw two interceptions and was sacked four times.The Ravens gave up their most points since a 44-20 loss to Indianapolis in 2007."It's not the end of the world," Suggs said, "but it's not something we're going to take lightly, either."At St. Louis, Rodgers was 30 for 37, setting a single-game franchise completion record of 81.1 percent with a minimum of 35 attempts. He has guided the Packers to touchdowns on 12 of 14 trips inside the 20 over the last four games."I think their plan was to dink and dunk and catch us off guard," Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan said. "They made the plays when they needed to."Steven Jackson ran for his first touchdown of the year, and just the Rams' 10th overall, to trim the deficit to a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. But Rodgers made a terrific throw to Cobb for a 39-yard pass that put the Packers up by two scores with 3:06 remaining.------SAINTS 35, BUCCANEERS 28At Tampa, Fla., Jonathan Vilma played for the first time while appealing a season-long suspension for his role in the Saints bounty program and Drew Brees threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns in the come-from-behind win.Brees extended his NFL record for consecutive games with at least one TD pass to 49, while leading long scoring drives on four straight possessions for the Saints (2-4) to turn a 14-point deficit into a 28-21 halftime lead.Josh Freeman threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns for the Bucs (2-4).------PATRIOTS 29, JETS 26 OTAt Foxborough, Mass., Rob Ninkovich recovered a fumble by Mark Sanchez after Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 48-yard field goal in overtime for New England.The Patriots (4-3) moved into sole possession of first place in the AFC East. The day started with all four teams tied at 3-3, but the Jets (3-4) and the Buffalo Bills lost, while the Miami Dolphins were idle.Gostkowski tied the game with a 43-yard field goal on the last play of regulation.------TITANS 35, BILLS 24At Orchard Park, N.Y., Matt Hasselbeck hit Nate Washington for a 15-yard touchdown with 1:03 left in leading Tennessee.It was Hasselbeck's 22nd career fourth-quarter comeback and second in consecutive weeks. It happened in a game in which running back Chris Johnson enjoyed a long awaited breakout performance with 195 yards rushing and two scores. Jamie Harper also scored twice for Tennessee (3-4).Ryan Fitzpatrick finished 27 of 35 for 225 yards and three scores for the Bills (3-4), but turned the ball over twice, including a lost fumble.------GIANTS 27, REDSKINS 23At East Rutherford, N.J., Eli Manning threw a 77-yard scoring pass to Victor Cruz with 1:13 to play and New York (5-2) overcame a late touchdown by rookie sensation Robert Griffin III.Manning's pass to Cruz came two plays and 19 seconds after Griffin capped what was a potential game-winning, 77-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss. The rookie had kept the drive alive for the Redskins (3-4) with a 19-yard pass off a desperate scramble on a fourth-and-10 play deep in his own territory and a 24-yard run on the next play.------STEELERS 24, BENGALS 17At Cincinnati, Ben Roethlisberger threw one touchdown pass, and the Pittsburgh Steelers overcame their injury-depleted running game to beat the Bengals.Shaun Suisham kicked field goals of 42, 47 and 42 yards, and the Steelers clamped down on Cincinnati's Dalton-to-Green connection, holding it to one completion.The Steelers (3-3) won on the road for the first time this season and improved to 12-2 at Paul Brown Stadium despite missing their top two running backs and two offensive linemen. The Bengals (3-4) fell to 0-6 the last two seasons against Baltimore and Pittsburgh.------VIKINGS 21, CARDINALS 14At Minneapolis, Adrian Peterson ran for 153 yards and a first-quarter touchdown, and Minnesota (5-2) survived an ugly second half to hang on for the win over Arizona (4-3).Percy Harvin caught Christian Ponder's only touchdown pass, but Ponder threw an interception that led to a second-quarter touchdown run by LaRod Stephens-Howling.Arizona's John Skelton went 25 for 36 for 262 yards and two turnovers.------COWBOYS 19, PANTHERS 14At Charlotte, N.C., Dan Bailey made a go-ahead 28-yard field goal with 3:25 remaining to help Dallas end a two-game losing streak.With Dallas trailing 14-13, Tony Romo led the Cowboys (3-3) into field-goal range with a 10-play, 44-yard drive to send Dallas to its ninth consecutive regular-season victory over the Panthers (1-5).------COLTS 17, BROWNS 13At Indianapolis, Andrew Luck became the first Colts quarterback to run for two touchdowns in a game since 1988.Indy (3-3) has already won one more game than it did in 2011.Brandon Weeden threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, but Trent Richardson, who tried to play through a rib cartilage injury, sat out the second half after running eight times for 8 yards in the first half. The Browns (1-6) have lost 11 straight road games.------RAIDERS 26, JAGUARS 23 OTAt Oakland, Calif., Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 40-yard field goal after Cecil Shorts III fumbled on the opening possession of overtime and the Raiders rallied from 14 points down in the second half.Carson Palmer threw one TD pass and ran for another to force overtime for the Raiders (2-4) before they won it after Lamarr Houston forced a fumble that Joselio Hanson recovered at the Jacksonville 21.The Jaguars (1-5) lost star running back Maurice Jones-Drew to a left foot injury on the opening drive and quarterback Blaine Gabbert to an injured left shoulder in the second quarter.
The NHL trade deadline came and went Monday night when the Washington Capitals went chips-in on St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
(For the record, the actual details of the trade are so absurdly complicated that all you will be permitted to know here is that the Caps got Shattenkirk).
But the fact is that, yet again, all the air rushed out of Wednesday’s trade deadline balloon for the hockey media, and the poor sods on set to babysit all the deal-lets and non-deals will weep bitterly as their phones spit out hour after hour of non-information.
At least that’s the way it is playing now. Maybe Pittsburgh will finally close that long-rumored (well, by me, anyway) Sidney Crosby-for-Phil Di Giuseppe deal, but that’s not the way to bet.
But the trade deadline has been slowly but surely dying as general managers find far greater advantage in making their deals away from the time crunch and the persistent phone calls from other general manager, agents and worst of all, media weasels.
For example, the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans broke the NBA trade deadline as well as the All-Star Game by doing the DeMarcus Cousins deal four days early and midway through the first half, in that order.
And though this wasn’t actually a trade, the Golden State Warriors broke the market back in July by maneuvering their way for the prize of the summer – Zaza Pachulia.
Oh, and the other guy.
In short, the general managers seem to have figured out the simplest way to foil the pressures of the trade deadline – by ignoring the deadline and acting ahead of time, creating their own spoiler alerts by spoiling everyone’s fun before they were fully alerted.
And that leaves the rest of us faced with an empty day of blather after we’ve all gone to the trouble of doubling down on beer and chips.
Ultimately the idea behind the coverage of a trade is to break the news of the trade whenever it happens. And the idea of the trade from the general manager’s view is to better the team and minimize the chance of being fired.
All laudable goals, by and large.
But a trade deadline without some recognizable trades is just another day when you can’t fake working, and who needs that?
What’s needed here then is a trade deadline with teeth and real tangible punishments for everyone involved. I mean, we have chips and guacamole to think of.
For instance, there is no reason why the leagues couldn’t install rules that say that no trade can be announced even to any of the principals (players, agents, medioids, et. al.) except on the day of the deadline. Any teams involved in a deal that breaks the embargo is fined a massive amount of the owners’ (as in both teams’ owners) money.
To make this work, the teams would have to agree no trade could be made between, say, Thanksgiving and the deadline. Or Christmas, depending on how you feel about tryptophan overdosing. But the point is, nothing could get done until the agreed-upon deadline, and it could only be announced to anyone on the day of the deadline.
This is profoundly unfair to the players, of course, but that little issue has never bothered management before when the alternative was money.
It is also not much fun for the media, which has to twiddle its opposables floating rumors that can’t be proven or disproven except on that one day when everyone works from midnight to midnight, wired to the eyelids on six-buck coffee and enough green tea to turn a gall bladder into a souvenir ash tray.
No, this is about making a worthwhile and ironclad trade deadline for the good of the sport, and the business.
Okay, this is about our amusement.
We all like trade deadlines. It gives order to the market, and it centers everyone’s focus on one hyper-adrenalized day to watch out for double-, triple- and quadruple-crosses from general managers wanting to jump each others’ action in search of their own personal Shattenkirks.
It spikes Verizon stock, it makes lots of business for movers and real estate vultures, it provides cheap and disposable fame for about two-thirds of the players in the league, and it makes everyone involved look like twitchy red-eyed zombies on television.
It beats the Bachelorette every time, because among other things it looks a lot more like parents do when they’ve been up all day and night with the colic farms.
In short, a trade deadline is a precious thing not to be discarded just because it’s inconvenient for a few suits and about-to-be-moved employees.
So yeah, Kevin Shattenkirk could have held another day or so. You know, for the good of the game.
In the wake of a 119-108 Warriors win over the 76ers Monday night in Philadelphia, Stephen Curry had a ready explanation for his 0-of-11 shooting 3-point distance.
He didn’t properly account for the change in weather.
“The weatherman said it’s like a low-pressure system that was coming in (and) I forgot to adjust to the thickness of the air,” he told reporters at Wells Fargo Center.
Curry’s comment may open to interpretation, but it was clear his sense of humor remained intact even after a career-worst shooting night beyond the arc.
He wasn’t the only Warrior finding it difficult to score from deep. Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green combined to go 5-of-20. The Warriors were 6-of-29 from deep, their second-lowest total of the season.
“It’s weird,” he said. “Not to discredit anything they did. The first half we had a lot of open looks that didn’t go in. Klay made a couple down the stretch. KD made one. Draymond made one from the corner.
“Other than that we still took really good shots that didn’t go in. But for us to still have moxie to withstand that and still pretty much have the lead the whole game and allow our defense to get us a win tonight was kind of our M.O.”
Given that Curry owns the single-game record for triples (13) as well as the single-season record (402), it was most alarming that he couldn’t find at least one. And he had opportunities.
“It happens but you have to try and find other ways to impact the game,” he said. “I was trying to get to the paint a little bit more and just try to make plays. One thing is I don’t get down on myself. Obviously, that’s why I got 11 of them up. I still have confidence the next one is going in and that will stay the same tomorrow.”
The Warriors face the Wizards Tuesday in Washington. In Curry’s last appearance at the Verizon Center, last Feb. 3, he went for 51 points. He was 11-of-15 from deep.
“What I love about Steph is he went 0-11 tonight from three but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at his face,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He never loses confidence; he never hangs his head. It is a sign of a guy with ultimate confidence in his ability and the awareness that it is one of those nights.
“He is likely to come out tomorrow and make about seven in a row at some point. So that’s what I love about Steph. He keeps playing.”