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Cowboys’ DaRon Bland Etches His Name in History Books

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Pick No. 167 in the 2022 NFL Draft is now an NFL record holder, and DaRon Bland picked off five passes to get there.

The Dallas Cowboys cornerback has now returned the most interceptions for touchdowns in a single season, shattering the record in the 45-10 Thanksgiving Day rout of the Washington Commanders at AT&T Stadium.

Most Pick-Sixes in a Single Season

The record fell with less than five minutes to play, as Bland stepped in front of a Sam Howell pass and took it back 63 yards for the final touchdown.

Bland breaks the 30-year mark held by Eric Allen. The former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback returned four picks for touchdowns during the 1993 season. Allen’s mark also tied Jim Kearney of the Kansas City Chiefs (1972) and Jim Houston of the Cleveland Browns (1971) for most interceptions for touchdowns in a single year.

Player Season Team Pick-6s
DaRon Bland 2023 Dallas Cowboys 5
Eric Allen 1993 Philadelphia Eagles 4
Jim Kearney 1972 Kansas City Chiefs 4
Ken Houston 1971 Houston Oilers 4

 

What’s more astonishing about this feat is that Bland was not even considered a starter before the year. He was suiting up for a defense featuring All-Pros Trevon Diggs (before his torn ACL) and newcomer Stephon Gilmore in the CB room.

Most Career Pick-Sixes in NFL History

Now that Bland has five interceptions-turned-touchdowns, where does this now place him in league history? Has he already surpassed some Hall of Famers?

What Bland did is tie NFL legends Dick “Night Train” Lane of the Detroit Lions and Ronnie Lott of the San Francisco 49ers/Los Angeles Raiders/New York Jets with the same touchdown mark. But Bland officially passed Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey, who delivered four pick-sixes for scores.

So, who are the all-time leaders Bland can aim to catch? Here’s who the current leaders are from their careers:

  • Rod Woodson: Had 12 interceptions returned for touchdowns.
  • Darren Sharper and Charles Woodson: Both are tied with 11 touchdowns returned.
  • Aqib Talib: Brought back 10 passes for scores.

Bland is already halfway toward hitting double digits. With one more scoring takeaway, he can tie two more Hall of Famers in Darrell Green and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Derrick Brooks.

MORE: PFN’s FREE NFL Playoff Predictor

Again, Bland has hit a surprise ascension to some NFL fans as a defender who was considered no better than the third cornerback. But that’s not the only thing that makes Bland’s trek to history impressive.

Bland’s NFL Draft Path

The Modesto, Calif., native can now join a list of NFL players past or present who went from underrecruited to late-round pick to league stardom.

Two universities became fortunate to take in a little-known versatile playmaker from the 209 region.

Bland starred at Central Catholic High in Modesto where he earned Valley Oak League Defensive Player of the Year honors his senior season. In addition to locking up wide receivers, Bland handled return duties on special teams and played sparingly at wide receiver. He collected 2,022 total all-purpose yards for his varsity career according to MaxPreps.

However, Bland heard little from Power Five universities and even Group of Five schools. He wound up settling at nearby Sacramento State. He only had three interceptions in his Hornets career. He managed to swat away 16 passes in two seasons. The threat of COVID-19, though, forced his senior year to be played in Spring 2021. Bland opted for the NCAA transfer portal instead.

Fresno State swooped him up, giving him an elevation in the NCAA Division I ranks. In 13 games with the Bulldogs, Bland snatched two more interceptions while breaking up five more passes. That ’21 Bulldogs team ended up 10-3 overall and won the New Mexico Bowl over UTEP.

Bland wasn’t given a glistening NFL Draft grade due to his minimal production on the interceptions front with five in his career. Sports Illustrated had called him a “developmental cornerback” if placed in the right fit. That kind of fit had to see Bland “in a scheme that asks him to cover deep thirds and quarters frequently.” Lastly, SI’s draft profile predicted him to be “a solid backup or low-level starter.”

Well, the Cowboys made a late-round find on Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft. Now, the fifth-rounder at 167th overall is an NFL record holder in just two seasons in the league.

Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more!





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Taylor Swift Is Shown Chugging a Beer on the Jumbotron at Super Bowl 58

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Global superstar Taylor Swift made it to the big game to support her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce. In the second quarter, it was evident that she was having a good time at the Super Bowl after taking a 12-hour flight from Tokyo the night prior.

Taylor Swift Seen Chugging Beer at Super Bowl

Swift’s attendance has been highly anticipated, as many fans questioned whether she would be able to make it to the big game since she had been in Japan until Saturday for her Eras Tour.

Sure enough, she made it to the Super Bowl and was seen making a grand entrance alongside Blake Lively and Ice Spice.

Swift made it back to the States with plenty of time to make it to Allegiant Stadium to support Kelce. After a leg of her Eras Tour, where she performed several nights in Japan, the singer appeared to let loose.

In a box full of friends, Swift was shown chugging a beer with Ashley Avignone. She was shown on the jumbotron and slammed her cup down after she finished her beer.

There was a mix of cheers and boos as Swift was shown on the big screen, and a long pass to Mecole Hardman was the only highlight of the first half for Swift and her friends. The 49ers led the Chiefs, 10-0, late in the second quarter.

On social media, Swift garnered plenty of support from NFL fans.

If you’re hating on her you can kick rocks man she’s the best,” one user posted on X

“The one thing I learned this season is that she is actually fun,” another said. 

“Booing Taylor Swift chugging a beer is so soft. She’s just one of us now and I respect it ,” another posted. 

At the time of the beer chugging, Kelce, Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, has had one catch for a single yard. It came on the first possession, which ended up being a three-and-out. The Kansas City Chiefs hadn’t done much otherwise.

They did have a deep pass play to Hardman, which put them in the red zone, but Isiah Pacheco fumbled on the very next play — one that Kelce was surprisingly on the sideline for.

Swift and Kelce have garnered much media attention as their romance has taken off throughout this NFL season.

Swift was able to support her boyfriend at many of his games throughout the final stretch of the season, as her Eras Tour was on a break. But starting on Feb. 7, she went back on the road.

MORE: NFL World Reacts to Unbelievable Super Bowl Trick Play

Despite performing in Tokyo the night before the Super Bowl, she was able to make it in time to support her boyfriend due to the time difference and is having a good time doing so.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

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Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.





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What Happened to the 49ers Linebacker?

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The San Francisco 49ers sustained a massive blow during the second quarter of Super Bowl 58, as linebacker Dre Greenlaw left the game on a medical cart.

CBS Sports confirmed that the veteran Greenlaw suffered an Achilles tear, ruling him out for the rest of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

What Happened to Dre Greenlaw?

The outside linebacker, who had already been battling past injuries to his hamstrings and calves, left with what appeared to be a leg injury.

And somehow, his left leg looked like it buckled as he tried to trot onto the field with the Niners’ defense.

Greenlaw clutched his left leg in agony before being helped off the field.

CBS Sports sideline reporter Evan Washburn reported that the outside linebacker left with what was ruled as a lower leg injury. He was later determined to sustain an Achilles injury.

Greenlaw was declared out for the rest of the game.

Greenlaw Carted Off in Passenger Seat

Even more noticeable was where Greenlaw sat on the cart.

He ended up leaving not in the back of the medical vehicle but ended up riding shotgun with his leg injury.

One would think that with an injury like an Achilles ailment, medical officials would try to make the player as comfortable as possible before they leave. It wasn’t the case here.

MORE: San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart

Regardless, Greenlaw was replaced by Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles for the rest of the first half. Greenlaw became the most significant injury of the game.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.





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NFL World Reacts to Epic Super Bowl Intro From CBS

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Super Bowl 58 is here and it’s going to be exciting. The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are facing off in the final game of 2023.

CBS is broadcasting the game and the opening was nothing short of amazing. How is the NFL world reacting to the electric Super Bowl-opening video?

Epic CBS Super Bowl Intro Garners Reaction From NFL World

The video, which spanned four minutes and 19 seconds, featured players from both teams talking about the big game and what it means to them. It also featured their families talking about their journeys to this point.

“Amazing intro! Reminds me of my dad! Bravo on the intro!,” one NFL fan said on X (formerly known as Twitter)

Additionally, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played in the background, giving it a near-movie feel. “This was incredible.,” another person said on X. “And so, the @49ers and @Chiefs face that final curtain,” CBS Sports said.

The 49ers finished the regular season as the top seed in the NFC with a 12-5 record. After their first-round bye, they defeated both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions to earn their trip to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl. Both of their victories came in comeback fashion, including an NFC Championship-record 17-point comeback.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, had a more uphill battle. Entering the playoffs as the AFC’s third seed, they finished the regular season with an 11-6 record. In the playoffs, they defeated the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens to punch their ticket.

Super Bowl 58 is a re-match of Super Bowl 54 when the Chiefs defeated the 49ers 31-24. The win was the first in Patrick Mahomes career, as he also won Super Bowl MVP. Four years later, the Chiefs have made three more and won another. For the 49ers, this is their first trip back to the big game since.

The game kicked off at 6:30 p.m. ET with the 49ers receiving the opening kick. In addition to being broadcast on CBS, the game is also being streamed on Paramount+.

As the 2023 NFL season comes to a close, the 2024 NFL Draft is on the horizon. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls!

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast

Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.





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