Fun Fact of the Day: In 2015, the NFL reported 271 concussions in practices, preseason, and regular games—an increase of 31.6% over the previous year. The majority of regular season head injuries (92) came from helmet-to-helmet hits.
A hit to the head and to the wallet. Two Denver Broncos players have been fined for their helmet-to-helmet hits on Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton during last week’s game. Fans were in an uproar when Newton was hit in the head 4 times during the game, but officials called only 2 penalties. Many complained that Newton doesn’t get the same calls as other QBs, because he’s one of the biggest, most athletic players on the field. For Cam’s part, he said he’s not interested in dwelling on the past. He’s just looking ahead to this Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Speaking of helmet-to-helmet hits… The NFL announced that it’s committing $60M to developing improved helmets and another $40M to neuroscience research. It seems like a step in the right direction in the battle against concussions, but critics wonder whether the research is just another way to boost the NFL’s agenda. They have a reason to be skeptical; earlier this year a Congressional investigation reported that the NFL tried to improperly influence the NIH’s concussion research by backing out of a $16M gift.
Land ho! Last night, the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels (2-1) to collect their 8th straight win. Now, they’re oh-so close to making their first playoffs in 14 years; they sit only 1.5 games behind in the race for an AL Wild Card berth. The trouble is that everyone else is really close to making it too. There are 6 teams in the running for an AL Wild Card spot, and there’s a historic 4-way race for the AL East division. With only 16-17 games left in the season, every win counts. Game on!
Does Tom Brady have a creepier older brother? No, that’s just some guy wearing an eerily lifelike Tom Brady mask. Last weekend, Bleacher Report thought that New England Patriots fans would be missing their beloved QB, who was busy serving his 4-game suspension for Deflategate. To cheer them up, they hired someone to walk around in a freakishly realistic Brady mask, complete with real human hair and hand-sewn stubble. Sorry in advance for the nightmares. Fake Brady made his way to the Today Show yesterday and could be popping up at a tailgate near you. Hide.
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills. The Jets are out for revenge. They have lost their last 5 games against the Bills, including last season’s Week 17 loss that kept them out of the playoffs. That said, this probably won’t be the most exciting game ever. Both teams lost their Week 1 games and neither of them have explosive offenses (in fact, the Bills had the worst offense in the NFL last week with only 160 yards). But both teams have fairly strong defenses, especially the Jets defensive line that sacked Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton 7 times last week. FANTASY FOOTBALL ALERT: Watch out for Bills’ wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who may be out with a foot injury. 8:25pm ET on CBS