Category: Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers

Sherman is the heart of the “LOB,” and his interview with Erin Andrews after the 2014 NFC championship game gave his haters everything they needed.

Thus, I suspect, he’d have focused on the lost-in-the-gumbo “highlight” that determined the outcome of Sunday’s nationally televised game between the 10-2 Eagles and 9-3 Rams.

In the third quarter the Rams led, 28-24, when, on third-and-9 from the Rams’ 39, Carson Wentz threw incomplete toward receiver Alshon Jeffery. The Eagles would have to punt or try a very long field goal.

At the top of the hour (10 a.m. PST), all within seconds of each other, come nine kickoffs — an amazing sight for those who grew up with access to only, say, a Jets game, a Giants game and on some weeks a doubleheader national game. And this is where Siciliano really goes to work, using all his knowledge and instincts gained in roles ranging from preseason play-by-play announcer for the Rams to his weekday job as host of NFL Network’s “Up to the Minute.”

It’s far from a one-man show. Some 120 people are needed to produce the Red Zone and Fantasy Zone channels, including game-loggers, highlight editors and graphics technicians. And on set with Siciliano are his three right-hand men — researchers William Kalec, Daniel Burris and Jasyn Thibault — who give him immediate answers to questions that arise.

Sherman is consistent. He’ll go after Tom Brady on the field or Skip Bayless on national television. He’s honest and not afraid to express his opinions on football or social issues. That makes him an easy target for criticism.

Rhodes was the Vikings’ second pick of the first round and the third from Florida State, tying Alabama for most. He set a rookie record with 23 passes defensed in just 13 games (six starts). Rhodes started all 16 games each of the next two seasons, helping Minnesota’s pass defense improve from 31st to seventh in 2014. He had another team record with a 100-yard interception return in 2016, one of five picks he had in a Pro Bowl season.

Jones, an athletic pass rusher out of UCLA, appeared in 59 games in four years with Green Bay, but made just seven starts. His limited role made him expendable, and the Vikings signed him to a one-year contract in March.

Her punishment didn’t end there.

When Jackson’s “Damita Jo” album came out two months after the 2004 Super Bowl, she was facing a mountain of obstacles. As Rolling Stone reported, Viacom — the parent company then of both CBS and MTV — [hit] back . . . by essentially blacklisting her, keeping her music videos off their properties MTV, VH1 and radio stations under their umbrella. The blacklist [spread] to include non-Viacom media entities as well.”bills_006

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Before the season, the thought of dealing a talent like Jay Ajayi for a fourth-round pick would seem laughable.

He’s coming off a year in which he was fourth in the NFL in rushing, and sixth in yards per carry. Those numbers may have dropped off this year, but his rate stats are nearly the same. He’s still averaging 2.8 yards after contact (fifth-best in the NFL) and his 23 broken tackles are the fourth-most at the position. The Miami offensive line just took a drastic step backward this year. The Eagles don’t have that problem and are currently PFF’s seventh-ranked run-blocking unit.

In taking time to explain to the world why Parks protested racism in America, Trump has revealed that he is capable of understanding the concerns of marginalized communities when he chooses to do so. To his critics, the president’s refusal to grant NFL players the recognition that he has given to Parks suggests that his actions aren’t because he fails to comprehend the magnitude of their protests, but rather that he simply desires not to.
Trump’s apparent inconsistency alarmed many activists Saturday.

Unlike other power rankings, these take into account a team’s actual record, what its record should be based on points scored and allowed — also known as its Pythagorean win percentage — and how much better or worse its opponents are in relation to a .500 team. A good team playing against good opponents will be near the top, while one that struggles against mediocre or poor teams will trend toward the bottom. A more detailed description of the method can be found in the Week 1 rankings.

“If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period. Period,” Jones told reporters Sunday (via the Dallas Morning News). “We’re going to respect the flag.”

The 74-year-old, who purchased the Cowboys in 1989, reiterated that stance to Mortensen, saying in the reporter’s words that there “will be no exceptions to [the] workplace policy.” Jones said he had implemented that policy last year, after seeing players on other teams refuse to stand during the anthem, in protests of racial injustice that began with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.cowboys_099

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No, Kelly showed he was capable of making things work in the NFL.

It is a fading memory now, at least in NFL coaching-cycle terms, but Kelly had success in his first two seasons with the Eagles in 2013 and ’14. He went 10-6 in each season and reached the playoffs once.

That alone puts him in a different category than, say, Steve Spurrier, who returned to college after going a combined 12-20 in two seasons with the Washington Redskins, or Saban, who exited in Miami after picking the wrong free-agent quarterback (Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees) and going 15-17 in two seasons as head coach of the Dolphins.

Anyone who can coax a 27-touchdown, two-interception season out of Nick Foles, as Kelly did with the Eagles in 2013, can coach. In Kelly’s first two seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles ranked second and then fifth in the league in total offense. They were in the top 10 in both rushing offense and passing offense in each season. They were fourth and then third in the league in scoring.

Roethlisberger got his team lined up assuming the spike play was the one the Steelers wanted. It would have stopped the clock and given the coaches a chance, on fourth down, to kick a tying field goal or — unlikely — go for the win on fourth down.

Look at Colin Kaepernick, who remains unemployed. He actually has taken a team to a Super Bowl, unlike Griffin. He actually had a reasonably productive 2016 season, unlike Griffin. He can’t get a quarterbacking job in the league. Griffin is doing himself no favors.

The feeling here when the Cleveland Browns gave up on Griffin after last season, after the Redskins gave up on Griffin a year earlier, was that Griffin was not out of NFL chances. He perhaps was out of starting quarterback opportunities. But surely someone would give him one last chance to recapture his rookie-year magic, right?

Carr: Whether Coughlin’s a head coach or the executive vice president of football operations, he has his hand in everything. Most coaches or executives just expect their players to professionally do their jobs. Yet, during his coaching days, Coughlin — who always let his coordinators and assistants game plan and coach up players, regardless of their coaching title — often times went around to talk with individual players, showing them weaknesses in their game and demanding the most out of them. He, like Belichick, doesn’t care if you’re an Eli Manning or a Tom Brady.cowboys_064

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Joseph and Elway must try to convince defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to stay.

Joseph succeeds Gary Kubiak, who stepped away after suffering a series of health issues during his head coaching tenures in Houston and Denver, and inherits a Super Bowl-ready team. The Broncos missed the playoffs this season on the heels of their Super Bowl title, and Elway must decide if the team’s quarterback is already on a roster that includes Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. But this is not a rebuilding project. Far from it.

“There are many, many new things that we are experiencing in the prototype car: driving at night, driving with traffic, driver changes,” Alonso said.

“[There are] many new things that I feel if you experience once, like we are doing this weekend in Daytona, eventually if you are in LeMans one day, it will not be new, and it will be a massive help.”

Although not a possibility this year, another Indianapolis 500 is something Alonso would like to do following an impressive outing in 2017 before a sour engine ended his day.

“2018 is not happening,” Alonso said of the Indy 500. “Not a clear target [date], but definitely the wish is to come back. While I’m in F1, it will be difficult because it is always together with Monaco.

His team is the No. 3 seed in an NFC playoff field in which the top seed, Philadelphia, limped its way into the postseason without injured quarterback Carson Wentz, leaving the Rams and others with completely legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.

With six teams in search of a new head coach, it soon will become evident whether there will be a Sean McVay Effect on coaching decisions this offseason. Will those teams seek the next young, offensive-minded genius to fix their quarterback, energize their offense and play an exciting brand of football that makes winning even more enjoyable?

One potential negative here is that whereas the Panthers with Newton have downfield aggression stamped in their DNA, that’s mostly not the Bills; the idea in Buffalo is to protect Taylor as a thrower, and only be as aggressive down the field as the scoreboard requires you to be. That could mean fewer jump balls to Big Benjy who, let’s face it, will never be known as a route-running technician. His strategy as a player is: blot out the sun and then have that dude with the football throw it to me. But it works. I think his fantasy value stays about the same. Even after the deal, he’s still inside my top 20 fantasy WRs for this week.

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Gobert is still the franchise player on the team, with Mitchell bidding to join him on that perch.

I feel like I’m taking better shots, but I’m getting easier shots by attacking the basket more, said Vivians, who definitely did that against Tennessee. And my teammates are finding me on the outside when I’m open. Me being more precise where I shoot and how I shoot — not rushing things — has made my percentage go up.

Tennessee beat the Bulldogs in Starkville, Mississippi, in the regular-season finale last year, which kept Mississippi State from sharing the SEC title with South Carolina. But that loss is something that has kept motivating the Bulldogs — through last year’s postseason and so far through this season.

It was about toughness, competing and rebounding today, Schaefer said. I just loved my kids today — all the hustle plays, I really felt like we got. We set the tone early with [several] offensive rebounds on one possession. Everybody has seen that happen for the team wearing orange for many, many years. For us to come in and establish that early, I was really proud of our kids.

The most obvious second fix also comes out here: Put them out there without Rubio. He is an apparent weak link as both a shooter and as the ball handler on the pick-and-roll/pop game, and this is squeezing the effectiveness out of their two big men. I have no inside information about whether the Jazz have Rubio on the trade block, but his minutes have gone down this season (29.1 MPG) compared to last (32.9 MPG in Minnesota), so perhaps the Jazz are noticing that he just doesn’t work as well with their personnel.

All told, the Jazz bigs don’t have nearly the fantasy outlook for this season as might have been anticipated in the offseason. But if the Jazz make some adjustments as a team, working to their strengths and avoiding their weaknesses, there is still at least a bit of upside for things to get better.

As such, it is in the Jazz’s best interest to put the personnel out there and play the scheme that best allows for both to be maximally effective.cowboys_005

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Garber was asked if he is lobbying on behalf of Carter to other voters who don’t Carter or know her well.

No, I am not, Garber said, and not at this time. But I said then and I’ll repeat it again, that I believe Kathy is one of the most experienced soccer people in the country, and as a former player and administrator I think she’s really qualified to lead the federation.

The Rams (11-6) scored the final 10 points of the second quarter to cut Atlanta’s lead to 13-10 at halftime. The Falcons dominated time of possession, 37:35-22:25, and a pair of clock-chewing drives in the second half resulted in field goals before Matt Ryan floated a 8 -yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones with 5:48 remaining to put the game out of reach. Jones finished with nine receptions for 94 yards as Ryan went 21 of 30 for 218 yards.

Playoff football is different than regular-season football Goff made a few fantastic throws, but he was wildly inconsistent. Goff finished 24 of 45 for 259 yards and a touchdown but it wasn’t enough to beat a Falcons defense loaded up to stop the run. The Falcons corralled MVP candidate Todd Gurley, who led the NFC in rushing despite sitting out the season finale, for much of the game. Gurley finished with 101 yards on 14 carries, though 61 yards came in the fourth quarter.

The Saints had to be a run-heavy ball-control team this season to help protect a defense that, although much improved, still had holes at plenty of positions other than defensive end Cameron Jordan and rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Another way to protect a defense, especially one that is better suited to playing the pass with pressure and outside coverage, is to render a team one-dimensional.

After the wild-card win over Carolina, they are slight favorites with a 51-percent win probability, according to AccuScore’s simulations. Minnesota hasn’t been easy to predict during the season, as only eight games were correct in AccuScore’s predictions. However, Saints games have been correct 12 times. On Sunday, we will see which team in this coin flip heads to the NFC championship game.

However, the cagey playoff points trends didn’t apply to the Falcons a year ago, when they ran up the score and nearly won the Super Bowl. The Falcons posted over 30 points in every postseason game a season ago, but that was a different offensive coordinator. During the 2017 regular season, AccuScore’s straight-up picks were correct 10 times in Rams games, and nine times in Falcons games.patriots_322_cd1acd38e5410a9e-180x180

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So this season has been something like a career in microcosm.

You start enjoying [playing] more because you’re still able to compete at a high level, make an impact and play the game you love for a little bit longer, Dempsey said during Thursday afternoon’s pre-MLS Cup final press conference. So, yeah, in that aspect, you do appreciate it a little bit more. But I’ve kind of been someone who’s always never really taken much for granted. I’ve always been racing against time, feeling like I kind of started a little bit later than some of my peers. But I’ve been happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish, and there’s more work to be done.

Wow, that was a heck of a game, wasn’t it? And the good guys won, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. Honestly, I don’t know what to say. It as an unbelievable game.

David Steele: Odd stat quirk for this game: The host Rams are 4-4 in their building. The losses are to Washington in Week 2, to Seattle in Week 5, a showdown with the Eagles in Week 14 when Nick Foles had to finish the game, and last week’s finale against the 49ers, when LA rested several starters. Discount most or all of them for these purposes, considering the circumstances? It’s unlikely there will be a problem of a home-field disadvantage with a large and rabid crowd expected.

More conventional stats pit the Rams with the highest-scoring offense in the NFL, against a Falcons defense that has carried them down the stretch as Ryan and the offense has been hit-and-miss. Over the last six weeks the Falcons have given up 23 points or fewer in each game; that included two games against the Saints and single ones against the Vikings and Panthers, all potent offenses.

Pink’s national anthem will be the first time the artist has been on the Super Bowl stage, but she has enjoyed an illustrious career as a singer, songwriter, and actress leading up to this point.

Saban likes to say, “You can either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of disappointment,” and Fitzpatrick parrots the phrase even off the field. When the Tide won that championship game his freshman year, he called Hansen to apologize for his poor performance. He once looked so distraught on the sideline that Harris asked him what was wrong. “I missed an assignment,” he said. “Dude,” Harris said, “We’re up by 40.”patriots_038_c4275d49b20e8e2c-180x180

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2018 NFL Divisional Round: 10 fast facts for Vikings vs. Saints

The Vikings were the better team in Week 1 dropping the Saints 29-19, but they also had Sam Bradford at quarterback and rookie Dalvin Cook as their starting running back. Both have since been lost for the season and those facts alone should let you know that game has no effect on Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game.

When you add that to the fact the Saints all of a sudden have a top-10 scoring defense and the best rushing tandem in the NFL with Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara, you get a pretty good idea this game may be a little bit different.

New Orleans’ Drew Brees needs 38 passing yards and two touchdowns to move into ninth place on both the postseason career passing yards and passing touchdowns leaderboards. He has averaged 279.5 yards and 1.8 passing touchdowns in 14 career games against Minnesota (inc. playoffs).

Vikings receiver Adam Thielen had 1,276 receiving yards this season, the ninth most in franchise history and the most since Sidney Rice had 1,312 receiving yards in 2009.

Atlanta steamrolled Seattle and Green Bay on the way to facing New England last season. As expected, everything has been more of a grind in the conference title defense.

The Saints might have let one get away in their own season finale, but they swept the Panthers, including an early-December win in the Superdome that bore similarities to the Panthers’ loss to the Falcons. The Saints also avenged a loss to the Falcons two weeks before in Atlanta with one at home in Week 16, which put the Falcons on the bubble and solidified their own division title hopes.

Newton, after being so much of his old self most of the season, suddenly became the least reliable link in the Panthers’ chain. That puts the Panthers’ stellar defense in the hot seat, needing to slow Ingram, Kamara, Thomas and triggerman Brees to give them a chance. That’s a tall order … too tall.

Henry secured a first down — and the come-from-behind victory — for the Titans with his run. Revis had an angle to at least get a hand on Henry before the running back reached the marker, but the corner pulled away at the last second.

Revis played in five games with the Chiefs this season, starting two and securing 10 tackles in the process. It was the first time since the 2010 season that Revis didn’t come away with an interception.patriots_017_9fbed4131c79410c-180x180

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Texans GM Rick Smith takes leave of absence due to wife’s breast cancer diagnosis

Shorty after the Houston Texans’ 2017 season ended Sunday, general manager Rick Smith announced that he’ll begin 2018 by taking an extended leave of absence from the team due to his wife’s recent breast cancer diagnosis.

Smith said that he intends to return to the team in some capacity, but will leave it up to team owner Bob McNair to decide what his role will be:

Smith “I’m going to maintain executive VP title. I intend on coming back. If Mr. McNair hires a general manager, that’s up to him.”

Hopefully McDaniel’s wife is fine, and he is too.

Nobody, not even Kamara, could have predicted how successful the match of team and player would be. Not this quickly. Saints coach Sean Payton was one of the first in the league to use the “Joker” position, a multidimensional back who can line up all over the field and create mismatches—Reggie Bush first, Darren Sproles later. After Kamara displayed nonpareil athleticism at the NFL combine (he posted the best numbers of all running backs in both the broad jump and vertical jump), and then impressed with his route-running abilities during a private workout with New Orleans, Payton vowed to confidants that he had to have the back on his team. He was the next in line.

Kamara has since proven to be the ideal fit for that role and the Saints offense, a hybrid player with size and speed and endless versatility, a precise route-runner, hard to tackle, unfathomably efficient. A running back who can seamlessly slot out to play receiver, a receiver who can line up in the backfield and run between the tackles, a threat to score every time he touches the ball, including kick returns.

It hasn’t been a secret for a while now, but Sean McDonough made everything crystal clear when he bid Jon Gruden farewell prior to the Titans-Chiefs game on Saturday afternoon.

Keke Prewitt, the unofficial minister of a group of friends that includes Fitzpatrick and Tide punter JK Scott, laughs now as he considers the 18-year-old who sat silently in the pew three years ago, mouth drawn, unsure whether people approaching him wanted a conversation or just a photo. After enough new friends told him, “You’re actually really nice,” he began to wonder: Was he intimidating? He began trying to talk to at least one stranger a day to get himself out of his shell. He was confused a few weeks ago when a TV reporter asked him how he wanted to be remembered as a football player. “As a good man,” he answered. One night he was grabbing dinner at a restaurant when a man asked if he could sit down. Fitzpatrick stopped himself before he could say no and spent the evening hearing what he had meant to the man, who was suffering from terminal cancer.giants_107

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The Giants entered free agency a hefty $56 million under the salary cap, determined to upgrade their defense and spend what they needed to spend to do

The Giants went back to Eli Manning as their starting quarterback Sunday against Dallas in New Jersey after coach Ben McAdoo benched him a week earlier to look at the other two quarterbacks on the roster. The Giants fired McAdoo a day after that game, a loss to Oakland, and then reversed course, either caving to fan/billboard/airplanes-flying-overhead pressure or to try their best to get to 3-10 in a lost season. It didn’t work. Cowboys 30, Giants 10.

– April 11 We’ve got a lot of new faces, so it’s time to learn some new names, Hankins said.This page uses frames, but your browser doesn’t support them.Be Truthful.It would seem the Twins opened their eyes up a little bit more after that .That’s the type of hockey that dictates how you win .

Left tackle Jason Fox is doubtful.is one of just three players the with a full no-trade clause – LeBron and Dirk Nowitzki are the others – meaning has to approve of any trade sending him out of New York.I wish it would have went better.Rodgers once again was wheeling and dealing like the quarterback who twice won the NFL’s MVP award.has seen change.

Not quite kissing Cousins. The most curious contract negotiation in the NFL in recent years continued when Washington once again became “engaged” to Kirk Cousins—through a second consecutive franchise tag the tune of $24 million after $20 million last year—rather than getting “married” with a long term deal. This commitment-challenged relationship may continue yet again in February with another tag (this time the transition tag, for $28 million. Meanwhile, while Cousins has high one-year earnings, he is now six years into his career without having the opportunity for a meaningful long-term contract. Speaking which…

Stafford stash. Matthew Stafford must be living right. He got one of the last bloated top rookie deals from the previous CBA and has used that to leverage not one but two massive extensions. His August mega-deal secures $86 million by March, with an overall potential value of $151 million. Should he play this deal out Stafford, by age 29, will have made $262 million (Tom Brady, now 40, has made $196 million in his career). Stafford is a rare winner in the business of football, along with…

Nevada and had his first 100-yard game as a Hurricane.During the second period of the tilt, Duchene took a hit up high from Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, who was playing his first game of the after rescinding his trade request and inking a two-year deal.Goaltender Devan Dubnyk allowed eight goals his past two , but still leads the NHL wins , save percentage and goals-against average .Everything that went down with the trade circles back around to that whole thing with at the Senior Bowl, said Sundquist.Wideman’s defense hinged on the notion that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between concussions and craze — that head trauma converts players from being rational beings with self-restraint into lethal animals without self-control.bears_144-223x223

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