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Tom Brady Respects Aaron Rodgers


Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady knows it won't be easy going up against the Packers led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday.

Brady last visited Lambeau Field in 2006 and shutout Green Bay 35-0.

"He's just phenomenal, a great player. I always love watching him play because he does things that a lot of guys in the league can't do; that nobody can really do except him," Brady said of Rodgers.  "For a quarterback, I really know how hard it is to do that, especially on a consistent basis, and he's been as consistent as anybody who has ever played the position, so I've got a lot of respect for him." 

Rodgers has thrown 30 touchdown passes and has to keep pace with the Lions, who won on Thanksgiving.

"They have the highest percentage of scores after you turn the ball over than any team in the league. That's a big reason why they're getting ahead at home because they get ahead of you, you start to press, you turn it over, they convert into more touchdowns, and it just piles on," Brady said. "You've got to keep the game close and keep it competitive, and I think Aaron has done a great job in his career of not turning the ball over. He's got all the ability in the world." 

The Patriots are averaging 32.5 points per game and own the best record in the AFC.

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Ohio State Gears Up for Michigan


Kirk Irwin/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Sixth-ranked Ohio State will need to win and have some luck this weekend if they are going to get into the College Football Playoff rankings.

The Buckeyes (10-1) are preparing for Michigan (5-6) and have won nine out of the last ten meetings.

"We just make a huge deal out of rivalry games.  I want the players to take ownership in the program, part ownership in the game," Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyere said this week.  "This is not another game.  This is the game."

"I want to have some fun with it," Meyer continued.  "But I also want the players to, when you say have fun, I'm not sure how to have fun.  It's how to have fun is sing the fight song in the locker room after a win against your rival.  That's how you have fun.  Everything leads up to that fun."

Michigan will have to pull off an upset to become bowl eligible.

"This is one of those weeks where there is a lot of excitement and obviously when this rivalry, which I believe is the greatest one is sport, that obviously would make it the greatest rivalry in college football, so it is fun. It is fun to prepare; it is a game that the intensity level by both teams is always at its highest," Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said.

"We all want to play our best, and that is our goal, to play your best game on that last Saturday in November. Very balanced team we are going to play, when you look at what they do from an offense, defense, special teams standpoint," Hoke continued.  "There is a great deal of pride when you play in this game, coach in this game. That is special. You talk to the guys who have played in it, and they can tell you how special it is. We have got to improve, we have got to improve every week, and that is one of the goals we have always had. At times we are making strides, and at times we are not as good executing as we would like to be, but this is a game that is like no other, and we are excited about it."

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett has thrown 33 touchdowns and has the offense averaging 44.3 points per game this season.

"You look at the progression from the first start to going through the season, and I think he has done a great job in how they manage and what he wants and has to do offensively. He is athletic, obviously, and I think the way he has thrown the ball, the precision on that," Brady said of Barrett.  "I know last week was one of those games, the way it started, that was not as good. I think he has overcome a lot when those things have happened, and I think he has been a guy that has done a great job for them."

Michigan is 3-4 in their Big Ten matchups this season.

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Civil War Preview


Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(EUGENE, Ore.) -- Second-ranked Oregon (10-1) will travel to Oregon State (5-6) in the 118th edition of the Civil War on Saturday.

The Ducks hold a 61-46-10 advantage in the all-time series and have a 29-9-1 (.756) mark vs. the Beavers since 1975, including wins in six straight.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is coming off a three touchdown pass game in their 44-10 win over Colorado last weekend and has thrown a touchdown in all 37 games of his career.

"Somebody was talking to me the other day about how easy he makes it look sometimes," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. "What he's doing is really difficult. His decision making, competitiveness, his command of the team is so outstanding. It's great to be around him because he makes you want to work harder as a coach. The other guys feed off of him."

Oregon is averaging 45.8 points per game and are allowing just 23.6 points on the defensive front.

"The Civil War's always a big game. We always talk about taking one game at a time. But we understand it's a huge part of this community and a huge part of this state," Mariota said. "To play in it, it's truly special."

The Beavers are averaging 26.3 points per game and fell to Oregon 36-35 last year.

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Report: Former Bills Star Contemplated Suicide


Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- One of the star members of the Buffalo Bills four consecutive AFC Championship teams, Darryl Talley, is suffering from chronic depression and has contemplated suicide.

Talley tells the Buffalo News that he believes the ill effects he is experiencing are a result of incurring numerous severe hits from his playing days as a linebacker. 

Now 54, Talley stated "When you go through the s--- that I’ve gone through, you start to wonder: Is this really worth it? Is it worth being here, worth being tortured anymore?"

He continues to explain that one of the the reasons he continues to fight the depression is the desire to see his grandchildren grow up. 

Talley was one of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed against the NFL which claimed that the league hid evidence that playing the game posed risks to players’ mental health.

The NFL initially settled the lawsuit for $675 million over 65 years.  A federal judge later removed the cap on the settlement after seeing that the more than 20,000 players could qualify for treatment. 

 

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Seattle Stymies San Francisco


Steve Dykes/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO, Ca.) -- The Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers 19-3 Thursday with a dominating defensive effort.

Cornerback Richard Sherman reasserted himself as he intercepted Colin Kaepernick twice and could have had a third if not for a drop.

"The second one was pretty entertaining," Sherman said. "I was laughing the whole time because I told their sideline 'if they throw it my way, I'd end the game.'" 

Quarterback Russell Wilson was efficient, completing crisp passes and methodically moving the ball against the 49ers.  He completed 15 of 22 passes for 236 yards. Wilson also completed the only touchdown of the game to running back Robert Turbin who took the ball in from 13 yards out.

The Seahawks are now 8-4 and appear to be returning to the form that led them to a championship run last season. 

"These guys have really joined together and really recaptured what it was that we played with last year," said head coach Pete Carroll. "It took us some time to figure it out, but we have.

For the second straight week the Seahawks have defeated a division opponent by the score of 19-3. They beat up on the previously 9-1 Arizona Cardinals who were under the charge of new starting quarterback Drew Stanton.

"There is no question, in the last two weeks that we have elevated our game," Carroll said.

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No. 5 TCU Races Past Texas


iStockphoto(AUSTIN, Tx.) -- Trevone Boykin and the Horned Frogs carved up the Texas Longhorns on Thanksgiving Thursday 48-10.

Boykin finished the day completing 20 of 34 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 50 yards and another touchdown.

TCU's defense befuddled Longhorns quarterback Tyrone Swoopes all day as they intercepted the Texas signal caller four times. Defensive lineman Terrell Lathan also capitalized on a Swoopes fumble; scooping up the loose ball and running it back 40 yards for a touchdown.

The Horned Frogs are 10-1 as they prepare to host their regular season finale against Iowa State.  TCU is currently No. 5 in the college football playoff selection poll.  While they continue to put up impressive scoring and defensive efforts they will likely have to hope Alabama, Oregon, Florida State or Mississippi State stumbles in one of their final games to make it to the final four.

This has been a tough season Charlie Strong in his first year as head coach of the Longhorns. The team will finish 6-6 as he attempts to turn around a program that has fallen into mediocrity. 

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LSU Defeats Texas A&M 23-17


Chris Graythen/Getty Images(COLLEGE STATION, Tx.) -- LSU and Texas A&M held an old school football game of running and defense that saw the Tigers end victorious 23-17.

Tigers tailback Leonard Fournette summoned memories of Hershcel Walker barreling over a defensive back when he charged through Aggies senior defensive back Howard Matthews for a 22-yard touchdown run. 

Fournette finished the night with 146 yards on 19 carries and the touchdown. 

The entire LSU offense found it's groove on the ground as the team ran for 384 yards. Quarterback Anthony Jennings contributed with 119 yards and running back Terrance Magee added 74 yards. 

The game wasn't without some controversy. As Texas A&M was attempting to mount a comeback Aggies quarterback Kyle Allen lofted up a bomb that was intercepted by Tigers DB Jalen Collins. Allen heaved the ball downfield believing his team had a free play when an LSU defensive lineman appeared to jump offsides.

"That's part of what we do," said Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin. "When we have someone in the neutral zone our center snaps it and we have a free play. We try to take advantage of that."

The officials did not throw a flag and LSU came away with the interception. 

LSU finishes their season at 8-4 and Texas A&M at 7-5.

 

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Scoreboard Roundup 11/27/14


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NFL: Philadelphia Eagles 33 (9-3) - Dallas Cowboys 10 (8-4)

Detroit Lions 34 (8-4) - Chicago Bears 17 (5-7)

Seattle Seahawks 19 (8-4) - San Francisco 49ers (7-5)

College Basketball Top-25: (2) Wisconsin 68 (6-0) - Georgetown 65 (4-1)

(5) North Carolina 78 (4-1) - (22) UCLA 56 (4-2)

(11) Kansas 76 (3-1) - Rhode Island 60 (3-1)

(20) Michigan State 77 (4-1) - Rider 45 (2-3)

NHL: Predators 1 (15-5-2, 32 pts) - Oilers 0 (6-14-3, 15pts) (F/OT)

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Eagles Route the Cowboys, 33-10


Rob Carr via Getty Images(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- In a game between two of the top teams in the NFC East, the Philadelphia Eagles proved to be better on Thanksgiving as they easily defeated the Dallas Cowboys 33-10.

The Eagles struck first in the game as quarterback Mark Sanchez commanded the team to a 7-0 lead in their first possession in furious fashion, and never looked back.

Sanchez completed 20 of 29 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown through the air while adding another on the ground. It was his first game of the season without a turnover.

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy had arguably his best game of the season on Thursday, as he carried the ball 25 times for 159 yards and a touchdown.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and running back DeMarco Murray each failed to get into a rhythm during the game. Romo completed 18 of 29 yards for 199 yards and two interceptions. He snapped his streak of 38-straight games with at least one TD pass.

Murray was held to a season-low 73 yards.

With the win, the Eagles now sit at 9-3 on the season and hold sole possession of first place in the NFC East over the Cowboys who fell to 8-4 with the loss.

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Lions Defeat the Bears, 34-17


Leon Halip.Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Megatron simply could not be stopped on Thursday as the Detroit Lions improved to 8-4 on the season after taking down the Chicago Bears 34-17.

Johnson dominated the game as he caught 11 passes for 146 yards two touchdowns. He also crossed the 10,000 receiving yards mark for his career, and became the fastest player in NFL history to do so.

"Guys still believe in what we got going here," Johnson said. "We had a good week of practice -- it was a very short week, but we were very detailed in what we did on the field, coaches taking care of us. It's our part to come out here and do our job on the field."

Lions running back Joique Bell also had a great day, as he carried the ball 23 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns. He was the only Lion with a rushing attempt.

The Lions defense also handled the Bears run game. The team carried the ball eight times for a grand total of 13 yards, good for just 1.6 yards per attempt.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler completed 31 of 48 passes for two touchdowns and two interceptions.

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