Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has launched a class action lawsuit, alleging the NFL is rife with racism and has a "disingenuous commitment to social equity".

Flores is suing the league along with teams at whose hands he alleges he has personally experienced racism, naming the Dolphins along with the New York Giants and Denver Broncos as defendants, together with "John Doe Teams 1 through 29".

The suit, filed at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, demands a jury trial. The NFL said Flores' claims "are without merit", saying it would put up a defence. The three teams named by Flores also rejected his allegations.

Flores claims he inadvertently learned he had failed to get the Giants head coach job last week, even before his interview took place.

The suit contains screen grabs of an alleged text message conversation between New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Flores, in which Belichick congratulates Flores on what he believes is an impending appointment, only to realise he was messaging the wrong person, having intended to contact Brian Daboll, who got the Giants job.

During the text exchange, Flores questioned whether Belichick had messaged the correct person, with the Patriots coach having indicated he had inside knowledge on who would land the job. According to the lawsuit's contents, Belichick at this point realised his error and apologised to Flores, who worked for him for 10 years with the Patriots.

The NFL has a 'Rooney Rule' in place. It requires all teams seeking a new head coach "to interview at least one or more diverse candidates", and the lawsuit alleges on this occasion the Giants interview was "a sham" that "humiliated" Flores.

A spokesman for the Giants, Pat Hanlon, was quoted by the New York Times on Tuesday as saying the team was "confident with the process that resulted in the hiring of Brian Daboll", adding that Flores was "in the conversation to be our head coach until the eleventh hour".

It is also alleged in the lawsuit that Flores "was interviewed only because of the Rooney Rule" by the Broncos in 2019 and was never intended to be "a legitimate candidate", while also criticising the interview board.

The Broncos have described the various claims against the franchise as "blatantly false" and "baseless and disparaging claims".

A number of allegations are made in the suit about Flores' time with the Dolphins, which came to an end only last month.

The Dolphins responded by saying they "vehemently deny any allegations of racial discrimination and are proud of the diversity and inclusion throughout our organisation".

The class action alleges: "The NFL remains rife with racism, particularly when it comes to the hiring and retention of black head coaches, coordinators and general managers. Over the years, the NFL and its 32-member organisations have been given every chance to do the right thing.

"Rules have been implemented, promises made – but nothing has changed. In fact, the racial discrimination has only been made worse by the NFL's disingenuous commitment to social equity."

It also contains a series of allegations that it points to as evidence the NFL as a whole has a racism problem when it comes to the hiring of black individuals, alleging it is "racially segregated and is managed much like a plantation".

In response, the NFL said: ​"The NFL and our clubs are deeply committed to ensuring equitable employment practices and continue to make progress in providing equitable opportunities throughout our organisations.

"Diversity is core to everything we do, and there are few issues on which our clubs and our internal leadership team spend more time. We will defend against these claims, which are without merit."

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross ruled out an approach for Jim Harbaugh after the team surprisingly fired Brian Flores as head coach.

The Dolphins announced Flores' dismissal on Monday after another season in which they missed the playoffs came to an end.

However, Flores' exit came as a shock given the Dolphins finished the year 9-8, marking their second successive winning season.

Miami went 10-6 in 2020 but missed out on the postseason with a blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills in their season finale. In 2021, they recovered from a 1-7 start to become the first team to lose seven successive games and then win seven straight in the same season.

However, talk of an internal power struggle with general manager Chris Grier and a deteriorating relationship with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa appears to have played a role in Flores' departure.

Harbaugh led the San Francisco 49ers to three NFC Championship Game berths, and a narrow defeat in Super Bowl XLVII, in four seasons during his sole NFL head coaching stint. He is said to be interested in a return to the pros.

After his exit from the Niners, Harbaugh took over as head coach of the University of Michigan and guided them to a College Football Playoff berth this season.

The Dolphins pursued Harbaugh back in 2011 when he was hired by San Francisco but Detroit-born Ross, an alumnus of Michigan, does not want to prise him away from the Wolverines.

"I'm not going to be the person to take Jim Harbaugh from the University of Michigan - I hope he stays there," Ross said.

Earlier, a statement from the Dolphins owner read: "I made a decision today to part ways with Brian Flores.

"After evaluating where we are as an organisation and what we need going forward to improve, I determined that key dynamics of our football organisation weren't functioning at a level I want it to be and felt that this decision was in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins.

"I believe we have a talented young roster in place and have the opportunity to be much better in 2022. I want to thank Brian for his hard work and wish him nothing but the best in his future."

Matthew Stafford inspired the Los Angeles Rams to move one step closer to securing their second straight NFC West title with a 20-19 win over the slumping Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The defeat for the Ravens, who were without quarterback Lamar Jackson for the third straight game, leaves them perilously close to slipping out of the Wild Card hunt after their fifth consecutive loss.

Justin Tucker's field goal had put the Ravens up 19-14 with 4:33 left but Stafford launched a game-winning 75-yard drive to overhaul the deficit.

Stafford completed a 15-yard pass to Tyler Higbee and a 24-yarder to Cooper Kupp, before finding Odell Beckham Jr twice in a row, with the latter being the decisive TD.

The Rams QB finished with 26 of 35 passes for two touchdowns but also two interceptions, including a Chuck Clark first-quarter pick six, as well as a sack.

Clark's TD was the Ravens' only for the game, as QB Tyler Huntley completed 20 of 32 passes for 197 yards.

Rams running back Sony Michel had 19 carries for 74 yards including a TD along with wide receiver Kupp with six receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown.

Over a month ago the Ravens had been 8-3 and looking good for the AFC top seed but now they are scrapping for a playoffs spot after a series of narrow defeats and desperate for Jackson's return.

Carlson field goal gives Raiders edge in Wild Card race

The Las Vegas Raiders claimed a crucial last-gasp win from Daniel Carlson's 33-yard field goal in the AFC Wild Card race with a 23-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz cleared protocols for the game but completed 16 of 27 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown, while running back Jonathan Taylor had one TD from 20 carries for 108 yards, with the defeat marking the first this season when he has rushed more than 100 yards.

The Raiders pipped the Colts in the final quarter, trailing 17-13 at the final break with QB Derek Carr hitting Hunter Renfrow on a fourth-down play for a TD, before Michael Badgley squared the game with a 41-yard field goal, only for Carlson to win it with one from 33 yards as time expired. The Raiders improve to 9-7, pulling ahead of the 9-7 Colts in the AFC Wild Card race.

 

Bengals clinch maiden AFC North title

The Cincinnati Bengals clinched their first-ever AFC North title as Evan McPherson kicked a late 20-yard field goal to secure a 34-31 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase set an NFL rookie record and franchise record with 266 yards and three touchdowns on 11 catches, while QB Joe Burrow threw 30 of 39 passes for 446 yards and four touchdowns.

Burrow got the better of opposing QB Patrick Mahomes who completed 26 of 35 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns as the Chiefs, who have already won the AFC West title, moved to 11-5.

 

Brady cool after Brown meltdown

Tom Brady was cool in a crisis after Antonio Brown stormed off the field as the NFC South-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied to win 28-24 over the New York Jets.

Brady completed 34 of 50 attempts for 410 yards and three touchdowns, including leading them on a 93-yard drive in the final minutes to clinch the victory.

The game was marred after Brown's meltdown, storming off the field in the third quarter with the Bucs 24-10 down, with head coach Bruce Arians confirming "he is no longer a Buc" after the game.

Matthew Stafford inspired the Los Angeles Rams to move one step closer to securing their second straight NFC West title with a 20-19 win over the slumping Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The defeat for the Ravens, who were without quarterback Lamar Jackson for the third straight game, leaves them perilously close to slipping out of the Wild Card hunt after their fifth consecutive loss.

Justin Tucker's field goal had put the Ravens up 19-14 with 4:33 left but Stafford launched a game-winning 75-yard drive to overhaul the deficit.

Stafford completed a 15-yard pass to Tyler Higbee and a 24-yarder to Cooper Kupp, before finding Odell Beckham Jr twice in a row, with the latter being the decisive TD.

The Rams QB finished with 26 of 35 passes for two touchdowns but also two interceptions, including a Chuck Clark first-quarter pick six, as well as a sack.

Clark's TD was the Ravens' only for the game, as QB Tyler Huntley completed 20 of 32 passes for 197 yards.

Rams running back Sony Michel had 19 carries for 74 yards including a TD along with wide receiver Kupp with six receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown.

Over a month ago the Ravens had been 8-3 and looking good for the AFC top seed but now they are scrapping for a playoffs spot after a series of narrow defeats and desperate for Jackson's return.

Carlson field goal gives Raiders edge in Wild Card race

The Las Vegas Raiders claimed a crucial last-gasp win from Daniel Carlson's 33-yard field goal in the AFC Wild Card race with a 23-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz cleared protocols for the game but completed 16 of 27 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown, while running back Jonathan Taylor had one TD from 20 carries for 108 yards, with the defeat marking the first this season when he has rushed more than 100 yards.

The Raiders pipped the Colts in the final quarter, trailing 17-13 at the final break with QB Derek Carr hitting Hunter Renfrow on a fourth-down play for a TD, before Michael Badgley squared the game with a 41-yard field goal, only for Carlson to win it with one from 33 yards as time expired. The Raiders improve to 9-7, pulling ahead of the 9-7 Colts in the AFC Wild Card race.

 

Bengals clinch maiden AFC North title

The Cincinnati Bengals clinched their first-ever AFC North title as Evan McPherson kicked a late 20-yard field goal to secure a 34-31 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase set an NFL rookie record and franchise record with 266 yards and three touchdowns on 11 catches, while QB Joe Burrow threw 30 of 39 passes for 446 yards and four touchdowns.

Burrow got the better of opposing QB Patrick Mahomes who completed 26 of 35 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns as the Chiefs, who have already won the AFC West title, moved to 11-5.

 

Brady cool after Brown meltdown

Tom Brady was cool in a crisis after Antonio Brown stormed off the field as the NFC South-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied to win 28-24 over the New York Jets.

Brady completed 34 of 50 attempts for 410 yards and three touchdowns, including leading them on a 93-yard drive in the final minutes to clinch the victory.

The game was marred after Brown's meltdown, storming off the field in the third quarter with the Bucs 24-10 down, with head coach Bruce Arians confirming "he is no longer a Buc" after the game.

Jaylen Waddle knew he was nearing a significant NFL achievement after helping the surging Miami Dolphins to another victory.

The Dolphins saw off the New Orleans Saints 20-3 on Monday Night Football, improving to 8-7 with their seventh straight win.

Miami, who have rallied from 1-7, are the only team in NFL history to have a seven-game win and loss streak in the same season.

As his team push for a playoff spot amid a rollercoaster campaign, wide receiver Waddle is also nearing an NFL record individually.

He had 10 catches for 92 yards against the depleted Saints, both game highs, and had the only offensive touchdown.

With 96 receptions since being drafted at number six overall ahead of the 2021 season, Waddle sits just five away from Anquan Boldin's all-time rookie record of 101 set in 2003 with the Arizona Cardinals.

While team wins remain the focus for Waddle, he acknowledged the value of his exploits.

"I'm all for it as long as it comes with some wins," he said.

"It would obviously be pretty cool because the NFL is a special league so anything in this league to have a record in is always big.

"As far as importance, I wouldn't say it's like something I got my mind focused on."

On his one-yard TD catch on a flip pass from Tua Tagovailoa as he was motioning to the right, Waddle added: "I know it was like a weird play design, but it was smooth. 

"Liked the play call, it was a great play call. Any time you score, it's hard to score in this league, so any time you score in this league, it's big." 

Testing contests against the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots are up next for the Dolphins, who are the AFC's seventh seed as things stand.

Their defense was dominant against New Orleans, who were forced to hand fourth-stringer Ian Book his first career start in the absence of Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian.

Rookie Book was sacked eight times and threw a pick-six on his third NFL play as the Saints went 0-for-12 on third downs.

The former Notre Dame player became the first QB to be sacked 8+ times in his NFL debut since the Cincinnati Bengals' David Klingler in 1992 (10).

Coach Sean Payton insisted questions over whether the game should have been postponed due to 20 COVID-19 absences were not for him to answer.

"Our job is to really focus and prepare, get the players ready to go or else pretty soon your energy gets wasted," he said.

"Obviously we didn't do a good enough job. It was frustrating, and I'm sure it was frustrating to watch."

On Book, Payton added: "Impossible to evaluate - just keeping him upright was a challenge.

"He'll be frustrated like all of us with some plays. But certainly it's not going to define his growth or his career. 

"It was kind of one of those perfect storms. It was just a tough spot for him to be in, and I think he's smart enough to understand that."

The Saints are 7-8 and must beat the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons in their final two games to realistically keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Miami Dolphins have extended their winning streak to seven games as they defeated the depleted New Orleans Saints 20-3 in Monday Night Football.

The result keeps the Dolphins' playoffs hopes alive as they improve to 8-7, while the Saints – who were without 22 players on COVID/reserve list – slump to 7-8. This marks the longest Dolphins' win streak since 1985.

The Dolphins also bizarrely become the first NFL team with a seven-game winning streak and a seven-game losing streak in the same season as they continue their remarkable turnaround.

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw 19 of 26 passes for 198 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Tagovailoa has the highest completion percentage of any QB since week 9 with 74 percent.

Debutant Saints QB Ian Book had a tougher time, with his first-quarter pass leading to a pick six from Nik Needham.

Book completed 12 of 20 passes for 135 yards with two interceptions and was sacked eight times. an The fourth-choice Saints quarterback was the first QB to be sacked eight or more times in his NFL  debut since Cincinnati Bengals' David Klingler in 1992 (10).

Needham's touchdown helped the Dolphins lead 10-0 at quarter-time but they had to wait until the third quarter for Jaylen Waddle to cross for their second TD.

Waddle finished the game with 10 receptions for 92 yards, breaking the record for most receiving yards by a Dolphins rookie, going past Chris Chambers' 2001 mark of 883 yards.

Ian Book is used to the big stage.

As the starting quarterback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Book played in one of the most high-profile environments in college football.

But more often than not during his career in South Bend, Indiana, the cards were stacked in his favour.

On Monday Night Football in Week 16, they will be firmly against him, with Book asked to make his first NFL start against the Miami Dolphins after both Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian were reportedly placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

It means that the Saints' playoff hopes hinge largely on Book's ability to rise to the occasion against one of the hottest teams in the NFL.

The Dolphins have won six straight games to move to 7-7, catapulting themselves into the playoff race in the AFC.

And, with Miami's defense ranked sixth in the NFL with 80 opponent negative plays forced, Book is sure to come under plenty of fire.

The Saints will likely, therefore, look to make use of Book's mobility, perhaps with a similar gameplan to the one they would have drawn up for Hill.

Book rushed for 1,031 yards across his final two seasons with Notre Dame, good for 10th in the FBS in that span.

In his final collegiate season in 2020, Book had a pickable pass percentage of 2.12, the sixth-best among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts.

However, though, he excelled at avoiding turnover-worthy plays in college, the Saints may look to decrease the risk factor substantially.

A healthy dose of running back Alvin Kamara should be anticipated. His big-play rate of 19.5 per cent as a receiver is the third-best for backs with at least 50 targets.

Kamara's versatility should be a significant help to Book, as will the coaching of Sean Payton, who has his team in the hunt despite a raft of injury issues, and the play of a defense that shut out Tom Brady last week. 

Book is a player used to having it all on his shoulders at the collegiate level, however, for the Saints to move to 8-7 on Monday, they will surely try to attempt to take the pressure firmly off their fourth-round pick.

It's Week 13 in the NFL and the fantasy playoffs are on the horizon.

If you're near the bottom of your league's standings, it's probably game over, time to focus on Christmas shopping and plan for next year.

Yet if you're in the midst of a battle for a playoff spot or fighting to secure a top seed, it's never been more important to consistently nail your starting lineup selections.

Stats Perform is once again here with a helping hand, looking at four offensive players and a defense who deserve to be fantasy starters this week.

 

Quarterback: Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans

An otherwise explosive performance from Wentz, in which he threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was undermined by a pair of interceptions, though one of those picks came on a last-gasp Hail Mary attempt.

Turnovers could well be a problem again versus the lowly Texans, whose defense is fifth in the NFL with 20 takeaways, but that should not prohibit fantasy managers from slotting Wentz into their lineup against one of the league's worst teams.

The reverse fixture back in Week 6 saw Wentz average over 11 yards per attempt and, with his 20-5 touchdown to interception ratio the fourth-best in the league, the likely outcome is that the former second overall pick manages to avoid turnovers en route to a productive fantasy performance.

Running Back: Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks

Mitchell is one half of a devastating two-headed monster leading the 49ers' running game, and he and ultra-versatile wide receiver Deebo Samuel have gashed teams at will over the course of San Francisco's three-game winning streak.

The Niners are averaging 130.9 rush yards per game, the sixth-most in the NFL, and racked up 208 yards on the ground in their Week 12 win over the Minnesota Vikings, sixth-round rookie Mitchell contributing 133 of them in his fourth 100-yard performance of the season.

This week, that aforementioned monster will be minus Samuel due to a groin injury, meaning potentially greater workloads for Mitchell and fellow tailback Jeff Wilson Jr. against a Seahawks team dead last in average time of possession. All signs point to San Francisco controlling the clock against a slumping Seattle outfit and setting up Mitchell to continue his outstanding first year in the league.

Wide Receiver: Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins vs. New York Giants

The Dolphins are surging, winning four in a row, and so is their first-round pick, whose performances over the last two weeks have made his status as the sixth overall selection look less dubious.

Having caught eight passes for 65 yards against the New York Jets in Week 11, Waddle exploded for nine catches, 137 yards and a touchdown as the Dolphins thrashed the Carolina Panthers last Sunday.

Waddle has been targeted at least eight times in five of his last six games and, even against a Giants defense that has been largely stingy of late, that share of the workload makes the speedster an intriguing play, especially in points per reception leagues.

Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons

Gronkowski appears to have shaken off the injury problems that have plagued his 2021 season and has 13 catches for 194 yards over the last two weeks.

Antonio Brown could finally return from an ankle problem to eat into Gronkowski's targets but, against a Falcons team that has conceded 40 points in each of the last two matchups with the Bucs, he should still thrive when targeted by Tom Brady to an extent that makes him an obvious starter in fantasy football.

Defense: Arizona Cardinals @ Chicago Bears

It still isn't clear whether quarterback Kyler Murray will return for the Cardinals after missing the last three games with an ankle injury, but the NFC's top seed should be able to lean on their defense to secure victory in Chicago even if Murray cannot go.

The Cardinals rank eighth in yards per play allowed with 5.27 and get to go against a Bears offense that has allowed the most sacks (37) in the NFL and could only manage 16 points against the Detroit Lions in a miserable Thanksgiving game.

Regardless of whether it is Andy Dalton or Justin Fields at quarterback for the Bears, the Cardinals' defense will be a strong fantasy play.

Trying to predict the 2021 NFL season has seemed like an exercise in futility.

It is a year that has served as a perfect illustration of the NFL being a 'week-to-week league'; upsets have been frequent, making the elite teams tougher to discern, even with 10 weeks in the books.

Only four teams in the AFC are below .500 while, of those currently outside the playoffs in the NFC, every team aside from the winless Detroit Lions is at worst a game back in the loss column of the final Wild Card berth.

It sets the stage for a fascinating stretch run in the regular season and, for fantasy purposes, can sow doubt around players who would otherwise be considered sure things.

But, in Week 11, there are some clear standouts who look primed for highly productive performances. Once again, Stats Perform has identified four offensive players and a defense that deserve starting spots this week.

Quarterback: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals @ Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders were shredded by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs last week as their commitment to playing coverage looks featuring a single-high safety backfired spectacularly.

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley seems steadfast in sticking with such coverages and the evidence suggests it will prove the Raiders' downfall again versus the Bengals.

Though the Bengals enter the game on a two-game losing streak, they can afford to have confidence in Burrow flourishing in Las Vegas.

Burrow is delivering a well-thrown, accurate ball on 84.4 per cent of his pass attempts against Cover 1 robber looks and on 90.2 per cent of throws versus Cover 3 zone.

The Raiders, therefore, represent the ideal matchup as the Bengals and Burrow look to bounce back. 

Running Back: A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

The Packers will be without starting running back Aaron Jones because of a knee sprain, however, Dillon has proven himself an impressive complement and should excel filling the void while Jones is on the sideline.

Dillon was not efficient in the Packers' win over the Seattle Seahawks last time out, averaging only 3.1 yards per carry while finding the endzone twice.

However, he has averaged at least 4.9 yards per rush in the three other games where he has received at least 10 carries this year.

Against a Vikings defense giving up the third-most yards per rush in the league (4.74), Dillon will have the workload and the matchup to enjoy a career day in Jones' absence.

Wide Receiver: CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys @ Kansas City Chiefs

The second-year wideout is on a tear, Lamb having racked up 378 receiving yards and four touchdowns over the last four games.

He is establishing himself as Dak Prescott's top target on a loaded offense few have managed to slow down in 2021.

The Chiefs have improved on defense of late but theirs is a unit allowing the third-most pass yards per play in the NFL (7.41). It is tough to have faith in Kansas City to slow down a receiver in Lamb's vein of form.

Tight End: Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts

Returning from a fractured hand, Knox was targeted just once in the Bills' blowout win over the New York Jets.

The game script did not really call for Knox to be heavily involved as Buffalo built an insurmountable lead.

However, things are likely to be closer against the Colts, meaning Knox may need to reproduce the breakout form he delivered earlier in the season.

Knox has a touchdown in four of his seven games in 2021. Against a Colts defense allowing the seventh-most TD drives in the NFL (27), he's a strong bet to find the endzone again.

Defense: Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets

Miami's ultra-aggressive defense created havoc in their stunning win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10. The Dolphins sacked Lamar Jackson four times, their commitment to relentlessly blitzing defensive backs derailing Baltimore's passing game, intercepted him once and forced two fumbles, with one returned for a touchdown.

Now they face a Jets team that has turned the ball over 22 times this season, committing 13 giveaways in their last four games.

They have turned to Joe Flacco in the belief the veteran, and not ailing second overall pick Zach Wilson or Mike White, gives them the best chance to win. However, Flacco threw an interception in each of his previous three appearances for the Jets last season. Despite the quarterback change, the signs still point to Miami's defense enjoying another disruptive day.

Joe Flacco will start for the New York Jets when they face the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

The veteran quarterback replaces Mike White, with rookie Zach Wilson not ready to return from a second-degree PCL sprain.

Flacco was reacquired by the struggling Jets (2-7) in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles last month following Wilson's injury blow.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh on Wednesday confirmed the 36-year-old will suit up to start in the Week 11 battle between the bottom two in the AFC East.

"One of the reasons we went and got Joe is for the experience, not only for the playing ability or for the [locker] room, but also for situations like this," said Saleh.

"Miami's got a dynamic coverage system, with all the different coverages they run. Joe has been there and done that and has kind of a steadying influence we felt would put us in the best position."

White threw four interceptions in last week's heavy 45-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills. 

He has thrown for 953 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions in four matches this season.

Flacco spent the 2020 season at the Jets as backup before moving to the Eagles on a one-year, $3.5million contract.

The former Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl champion was relegated behind starter Jalen Hurts and Gardner Minshew at Philadelphia, who felt he was surplus to requirements.

Flacco completed 74 of 134 passes for 864 yards, with six touchdowns and three interceptions for the Jets last season.

Lamar Jackson could not lead another fourth-quarter recovery as the Baltimore Ravens suffered a shock loss to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.

The Ravens entered the game 6-2 with their struggling opponents 2-7, but Baltimore have been run close in a number of their wins this season.

Four times they have trailed in the fourth quarter but come back to win, tying the Los Angeles Chargers for the most fightbacks in the NFL. The Ravens had only four such wins across the previous five years.

But a fifth turnaround proved beyond Jackson and Baltimore in a 22-10 defeat.

They had won each of their previous three meetings with the Dolphins by more than 30 points – tying a league record for one team against another – but this time paid the price for a sloppy start.

The Ravens punted on four of their first six drives – including a pair of three-and-outs – and made and missed a field goal from the other two to head in 6-3 down at halftime.

Crucially, there was precious little improvement in the second half this time, with three more punts in the third quarter and then a fumble that Xavien Howard recovered for a Miami touchdown at the start of the fourth.

Jackson, who had 238 yards passing and just 39 yards rushing, finally led Baltimore back down the field to cut the Dolphins' lead to 15-10, only for Tua Tagovailoa – returning from injury in relief of Jacoby Brissett – to run in another TD.

An interception on third and goal capped a dismal night for Jackson and his team, with the tone set right from the start.

"We've been slow, slow every week. It's ridiculous," the quarterback said. "I don't understand it.

"We've just got to do a better job of hitting the ground running like we're supposed to. That starts by staying calm, just doing us, not putting anything else on our mind."

Miami had success in blitzing the 2019 NFL MVP, who had tossed an accurate, well-thrown pass on just 67.9 per cent of his previous attempts when blitzed this year, the ninth-worst rate in the league.

Jackson believes he and the Ravens are capable of dealing with similar defenses, though.

"Play our game, do us. We don't change for anybody, we'll be good," he said. "There were some plays we left on the field, little mishaps."

Indeed, coach John Harbaugh said he was to blame for the offense being exploited.

"This falls squarely on me as head coach," he said. "We were not prepared as we needed to be prepared, our schemes were not up to snuff. We weren't prepared to execute the way we needed to.

"That's it – not on one player. The players played their hearts out, worked hard all week, they did everything they could to be prepared, and we just weren't ready. That's on me."

The Miami Dolphins ended their drought against the Baltimore Ravens after upstaging Lamar Jackson's visitors 22-10 in the NFL.

Miami had lost their last three games against Baltimore entering Thursday's matchup, with each defeat by more than a 30-point margin – 38-6 in 2016, 40-0 in 2017 and 59-10 in 2019. The only other time an NFL team had three consecutive wins by 30-plus points against a particular team was in 1994-1995 when the San Francisco 49ers dominated the Atlanta Falcons, per Stats Perform.

But the streaking Dolphins (3-7) snapped that skid against the Ravens (6-3) as they celebrated back-to-back victories after Tua Tagovailoa sealed the win with a late touchdown.

It was a tense showdown at Hard Rock Stadium, where the Dolphins took a 6-3 lead into half-time via consecutive field goals from Jason Sanders.

Sanders converted another field goal early in the fourth quarter before Xavier Howard's 49-yard fumble recovery stretched the Dolphins' advantage to 15-3.

Lamar Jackson (26-of-43 passing for 238 yards, a touchdown and interception, while rushing for another 39 yards) found Mark Andrews with less than five minutes remaining to close the deficit, but Tagovailoa had the final say with a rushing TD to ensure Miami emerged triumphant in Week 10.

Tagovailoa completed eight of his 13 passes for no TD or interception, though he did rush for a score as fellow Dolphins quarterback Jacoby Brissett was 11-of-23 passing for 156 yards.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains in doubt ahead of Thursday's game against the Baltimore Ravens according to head coach Brian Flores.

Tagovailoa missed Sunday's 17-9 win over the Houston Texans due to a fractured finger on his throwing hand.

Jacoby Brissett stepped in to start for the injured Tagovailoa, who was limited at practice last week and remains a "day-to-day" proposition ahead of Thursday's game.

"[Tua] is definitely making progress," Flores told reporters on Tuesday. "There's definitely discomfort.

"The swelling is down. It's getting better. There's progress from last week but still somewhat limited, so we’re just going to take it day-to-day and see how he is today, tomorrow, and probably take it right up to the day of the game."

The 23-year-old QB also missed three games earlier this season with fractured ribs, impacting his continuity.

The fifth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft has shown improvements this season, completing 65.6 per cent of passes for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns against five interceptions in five appearances, along with 62 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.

"I think we all know that in order to continue to get better, you need to be out there and get the experience," Flores said.

"I think he'll get that. This is another bump in the road for him but he'll get through it and he'll be fine."

The Dolphins, who are 2-7 for the season, are 1-3 with Brissett starting. The Ravens boast a 6-2 record this season.

Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said the franchise did their "due diligence" regarding a trade for wantaway Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson before opting not to make a deal.

The Dolphins were reportedly favourites to land Watson before Tuesday's NFL deadline as the three-time Pro Bowler was believed to have been willing to waive his no-trade clause.

It sparked uncertainty over the future of second-year QB Tua Tagovailoa, however, a trade for Watson did not materialise.

Grier was asked about Miami's interest in Watson – who is yet to play this season – on Wednesday and he told reporters midweek: "We never got to a point where anything was going to be realistic in terms of happening.

"It was still us just doing our due diligence, just talking through things. We never got to a point where anything was that close to happening."

Topping 4,000 yards for the second time in his career as he racked up 4,823 to lead the league, Watson threw for 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.

Fifth in the NFL in air yards per attempt (9.27), according to Stats Perform data, Watson did an excellent job of balancing his aggression with smart decision-making.

Watson threw a pickable pass on just 2.28 per cent of his attempts, the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL last term.

This season, Tagovailoa has 103 completions for 1,040 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions in five games.

"I don't think it's any different than any player on the roster, honestly," Grier said. "Because if there's a player available around the league that's viewed as being one of the top players in the league at any position, I think you look at it and try to go for it.

"We're very happy with Tua. We think he's developing well. Brian has been very consistent with his message, and we have been as well.

"He's working hard, he's showing a lot of improvement and we think he'll continue to develop and be the player he should be."

Watson will remain in Houston until at least the end of the season and Texans GM Nick Caserio added: "The veracity of some of what has been reported is a little bit stretched. But that's just the nature of how these things work.

"There were various levels of discussions, specific to him and specific to other players as well. In the end, there was no trade that came to fruition, so I don't really have any comment about some of the logistics and the mechanics about what happened and what hasn't happened, what did happen."

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will remain on the team's roster until the end of the season after the disgruntled star was not traded before Tuesday's NFL deadline.

Watson was on the tracking block after requesting a move from the Texans in January as the three-time Pro Bowler faces 22 civil lawsuits that remain unresolved as the NFL conducts its own investigation into sexual assault and misconduct allegations against him.

The Miami Dolphins were reportedly favourites to land Watson, who was believed to have waived his no-trade clause, while the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles had also been interested.

But Watson – who has been inactive during the 2021 season – is staying put after an agreement was not reached prior to the deadline.

Topping 4,000 yards for the second time in his career as he racked up 4,823 to lead the league, Watson threw for 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season.

Fifth in the NFL in air yards per attempt (9.27), according to Stats Perform data, Watson did an excellent job of balancing his aggression with smart decision-making.

Indeed, the 26-year-old threw a pickable pass on just 2.28 per cent of his attempts, the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL last term.

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