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NFL signs massive streaming deal with major carrier

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 4:25 PM

The NFL and Verizon are teaming up to make it easier than ever to watch football on Sundays.

“Verizon will pay approximately $2.5 billion in the five-year deal with the NFL, sources told ESPN. That would be roughly twice the annual price of Verizon’s previous deal with the league,” reported Darren Rovell. “The deal allows Verizon to stream live in-market NFL games on any one of its websites, with Yahoo being the predominant home. Unlike the last deal, which only allowed Verizon to have the exclusive streaming rights for in-market live games on mobile phones, the live in-market games will be available on the Verizon platforms on phones of all carriers starting this postseason. In 2018, it will include all tablets.”

The NFL has really been playing with streaming options over the last few seasons, putting some games on Yahoo and streaming the Thursday night games on Amazon Prime. This is just one more step toward the full online experience that the NFL has perplexingly been missing out on.

Brian Angiolet, Verizon’s global chief media and content officer, said he’s not even worried about the two straight years of falling ratings.

“Media is one of the major pillars for us now,” Angiolet said. “And sports is going to be the most important part of that content. The NFL generates the greatest audience in mobile in our experience. Not only has year-over-year mobile viewership been growing, but NFL mobile consumption has been growing too. We’ve been a partner of the league since 2010 and this is a five-year deal. The climate might shift temporarily, but in the long haul the NFL is a great partner and we had no concern renewing our deal.”

Mike Brown explains why Marvin Lewis is still Cincinnati Bengals coach

Published: Saturday, September 16, 2017 @ 9:35 AM

What had been suspected is now confirmed: That late-season winning streak saved Marvin Lewis’ job.

Owner Mike Brown, who rarely speaks publicly during the year, explained as much to the team website Friday afternoon:

“We made some changes to do that. I respect that,” Brown said of the two wins that put the final record at 7-9. “I thought he took a team that was failing and turned it around the last couple of games. We didn’t get back quite to where I would like to see us, but we got back to a high enough level where we could play two good  teams and beat them when they were on the spot to win.”

Lewis and the team were widely expected to part ways when they’re 15th season together ended in early January.

Instead, Lewis signed a new two-year contract.

Brown, who has been part of the organization since his father Paul founded it in the late 1960s, explained to team writer Geoff Hobson he saw a need for change after two losing seasons but thought Lewis the man to oversee a roster that needs supplemented rather than rebuilt.

To that end, the staff under Lewis was overhauled, including the hiring of new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

Is it time for tempo adjustment in Cincinnati?

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:11 AM

The indications the Cincinnati Bengals could try tempo as a way to rev up their offense in 2018 are mounting.

Bengals.com notes new quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt has experience with hurry-up offenses both as a player in Buffalo and as a coach at multiple stops in the NFL: 

“It gives the defense less time to communicate, usually simplifying their calls. If the quarterback is comfortable with it, you can really simplify what you’re going to see against you,” Van Pelt said of the up-tempo. “We did it in Green Bay. If the quarterback can handle it and I think Andy would be great at it, you can definitely use it as a weapon.  There are benefits to it. It’s a whole different language at the line of scrimmage. It’s fun. I always liked it.”

The Bengals had some success with speeding up the tempo late in the season as new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor got more comfortable with his personnel.

Of course, the franchise has a history with the philosophy, too.

Sam Wyche installed a hurry-up attack when he was head coach in the 1980s, a strategy that helped the team win the AFC in 1988.

Who were the best Bengals this season?

Published: Monday, January 08, 2018 @ 5:59 AM

Marvin Lewis’ Cincinnati Bengals had a season to forget, but there were some great individual performances.

Fan favorites might be subjective. Pro Football Focus is not.

Here are the top five Bengals according to the site:

Any surprises there?

Not really — unless you were worried about how William Jackson would look coming back from an injury that kept him out for all of 2016.

Turns out he wasn’t just great this season when he was in the spotlight, eh?

And four of the top five coming from the defense? That feels about right, too.

NFL releases playoff schedule

Published: Sunday, December 31, 2018 @ 9:25 PM

The 2017 playoffs are officially upon us.

Shortly after Sunday’s Week 17 games the NFL released the postseason schedule.

The Tennessee Titans got a big win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Tennessee will travel to Kansas City to play the Chiefs on Saturday, Jan. 6 in the first AFC Wild Card matchup.

Atlanta defeated the Carolina Panthers in a crucial NFC South showdown. As a result, the Falcons will fly west to play the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Jan. 6.

Sunday, Jan. 7 will feature the Buffalo Bills at the Jacksonville Jaguars. Buffalo needed help from the Cincinnati Bengals and they got it. Cincinnati defeated the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17. Baltimore’s loss moved Buffalo into the six and final playoff spot while the Ravens are forced to go home. The Jaguars, losers of two-straight games, are back pedaling into the playoffs.

The Panthers and New Orleans Saints will meet for the third time this season, albeit this time the postseason. Both clubs lost to a NFC South division rival in Week 17 (Panthers lost to Atlanta and the Saints lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).  The Saints host Atlanta on Sunday, Jan. 7.

2017 NFL Playoff information

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