He always makes sure that my birthday is important.

At Fleck’s side during Minnesota’s 3-1 start has been his wife, Heather, and five children from a previous marriage. On Saturday morning, with Fleck otherwise occupied, the Gophers cheer squad grouped around Mrs. Fleck in a corner of the field to sing her “Happy Birthday.”

“Anything that happens during the season, whether its Thanksgiving or Christmas or birthdays, we typically don’t celebrate on the day,” she says later. “But we celebrated on Thursday. Thursday’s our date night. So I had, like, three birthdays this week.”

In fact, Taylor was lined up all over the field, given pretty much free reign to cause havoc however he deemed fit. He didn’t learn many, if any, of his provisional teammates’ names. So he took to calling Dan DeRose “Boss Man.” And since DeRose was the defensive captain, and Taylor wasn’t all that familiar with the new dumbed-down defense that had been installed for the replacement players, it was DeRose who was still receiving the play calls from Belichick and relaying them to Taylor and the other defensive players in the huddle.

The Broncos have replaced five starters off their 2015 defense and are still very much elite on that side of the ball (which is bad news for their offensively challenged Sunday Night opponent from Jersey).

Wentz wasn’t his best statistically (18 of 32, 211 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) and had a handful of missed opportunities, but it didn’t doom the Eagles. At 7-1, no one’s going to lament how Philadelphia’s quarterback could have been better in a win.

A woman who identified herself as Elliott’s ex-girlfriend filed a police report claiming Elliott had been abusive over the course of five days in July 2016. She filed two separate reports with the Columbus Police Department. Witnesses who claimed to have been present did not corroborate her statements, and police and prosecutors decided not to bring charges against Elliott.

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