For the first time, shots have been fired internally, from inside the NFL, in the growing groundswell against the Washington Redskins’ controversial nickname.
We have seen the backlash from Native American groups and from some media critics, but now it has come from within the family — and it is a precedent we could see spread.
The Philadelphia Eagles, playing at Washington on Sunday, this week exorcised the Redskins nickname entirely from their game-week media guide. In addition, Eagles coach Chip Kelly conspicuously did not utter the word “Redskins” once in a 12-minute news conference entirely about the upcoming opponent.
This is the first time a fellow team has joined the political fray against Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and his refusal to consider a name change despite growing opposition.
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It will be interesting to see how other teams react and how commissioner Roger Goodell reacts to one team refusing to acknowledge another’s nickname.
Of course the real pressure against the Redskins nickname will start when the sponsorship dollars start drying up, and when, for example, FedEx is increasingly uncomfortable with its name on the stadium making it the most prominent sponsor of a nickname under siege.
▪ I cannot possibly be the only NFL fan growing tired of the London games, can I? Dolphins-Jets Sunday at Wembley Stadium will be the 12th regular-season one since they started in 2007. There are three a year now. The novelty is over. Now they’re just an imposition to participating players and to fans whose team (the Dolphins this time) loses a precious home game. Enough with the London games already!
▪ You hear a lot about short careers in the NFL, but Raiders safety Charles Woodson, 39 next week, just made it 18 consecutive seasons with an interception. Only Hall of Famer Darrell Green (19) had a longer streak. And the Ravens’ Steve Smith last week tied the record for most catches (13) by a receiver 36 or older. (Also, I hear that Tom Brady guy is still pretty good at 38, too.)
▪ One of the great NFL cliches is coaches preaching the importance of “winning the turnover battle.” But guess what? They ain’t lyin’. Entering Week 4, teams with fewer turnovers in a game are 33-5.
▪ Pass happy: The 157 touchdown passes are the most ever through Week 3. Previous high mark was 155 in 2013.
▪ Vikings’ Adrian Peterson recorded his 16th career TD run of at least 40 yards. Only Walter Payton (20) had more.
▪ Giants’ Odell Beckham plays his 16th career game Sunday, equal of one full season. He already has most catches (110) of anyone in his first 16 games and is only 20 yards from the high in that category, too.
▪ The ’72 Dolphins aren’t worried, but seven teams are 3-0. Since 1990, 75 percent of 3-0 teams (93 of 124) have made the playoffs.
▪ The Cardinals’ 17 TDs are most by any NFL team through three games since Dallas had 18 in 1968.
▪ The local TV ratings for Bills at Dolphins last week were 43.0 in Buffalo and 17.4 in Miami. Just sayin’.