Month: February 2018

Two Sundays ago, my home was filled with family and friends for holiday dinner.

Buccaneers-Broncos was on CBS, Cowboys-49ers on FOX. But the five fantasy players among us cared nothing about either. They watched the NFL’s Red Zone Channel and checked individuals’ stats on their cellphones. They only wanted to track their action.
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Again, all of this accumulates, sticks and holds. But if even half of those who claim they no longer watch because they can no longer recognize the sport in the sport 锟斤拷 can’t any longer suffer the garbage that now even starts before kickoff 锟斤拷 are to be believed, the NFL’s ratings problem, to some underrepresented but significant extent, was identified by Elvin Bethea, 13 years ago.
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Afterward, Saints punter Thomas Morstead tweeted an image of the team’s inactive Chris Carson Jersey list, adding his name in the middle in big, bold type. The reason: Morstead was not called upon to punt in what became the first game since a Bears victory over the Lions in 1941 in which a team had six rushing touchdowns and no punts.

The first loss in five home games was so bad for the Bills, they were outgained on the ground by a streaker who ran nearly 100 yards late in the game before being taken down by security.

If you don’t believe me, just look at the Baltimore Ravens and what they’ve accomplished since lavishing a big deal on Joe Flacco despite knowing he wasn’t a Tier 1 quarterback. Since signing Flacco to a six-year, $120 million deal in 2013 (plus a three-year, $66.4 million extension in 2016) following a hot playoff run that culminated in a Super Bowl win, the team is 40-40 and just missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.
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While the circumstances are slightly different, I think the Redskins could learn a lesson about overpaying for a quarterback that you know can’t elevate the franchise. If they can resist the temptation to appease their fans by re-signing a quarterback who is overvalued outside the building, they could build a team that is better positioned to compete in the NFC East.

Indeed, it was Van Brocklin who organized the 10 a.m. Monday get-togethers at Donohue’s bar on 63rd and Chestnut in Philadelphia.
They’d open the bar for us, and a bunch of us would go in there and we’d sip a few beers and talk football, Billy Ray Barnes told The Post. We were a very close-knit team, and Dutch is the one who brought us together.

Super Bowl 52 is being called one of the greatest NFL title games ever

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According to NBC Sports, the game drew an average of 103.4 million viewers. That gives it the lowest TV viewership of any Super Bowl since 2009, when 98.7 million people watched the Steelers defeat the Cardinals.
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While analysts Womens Steve Mason Jersey have blamed the NFL’s lower ratings on everything from the national anthem controversy to a glut of broadcasts, you can’t blame a lack of excitement in Super Bowl 52 for its lower ratings. The Eagles’ 41-33 victory was the second-highest scoring game in Super Bowl history, and the two teams set several NFL postseason records, with Tom Brady passing for a record 505 yards.

It’s also worth noting that the way traditional viewership is measured has changed, with more fans opting to stream games on their mobile devices and computers. NBC reported that a total of 106 million viewers watched the game across all platforms, including NBC Sports app, NBCSports.com, NBC.com, NFL.com and NFL Mobile from Verizon. Fans also watched a record 633.7 million live-streaming minutes of the game.

Running back Corey Clement took the snap and pitched the ball to tight end Trey Burton, who then astonishingly found Foles wide open in the end zone as he became the first quarterback in Super Bowl history to catch a touchdown pass.

That put the Eagles up 22-12 at halftime, and Pederson’s nerve held on the most crucial drive of the game after the Patriots had taken a 33-32 lead.

Faced with a fourth down on his team’s 45-yard line and needing a yard to move the sticks, Pederson put the ball in Foles’ hands and he again delivered with a stunning show of poise to find tight end Zach Ertz and keep the drive alive.

Xander Bogaerts Authentic Jersey In Cincinnati’s 21-13 playoff win over the Seahawks (Seattle was an AFC team then) on Dec. 31 1988 to reach the AFC Championship, the Bengals played a low-risk grind. Esiason was seven-for-19, 108 yards and Wilcots had an interception. The game included 12 punts. However, Wilson stood out, busting a 20-yard carry and twice scoring on 3-yard runs.

Deshaun Watson is on his way back.

The Texans’ quarterback is running again after tearing his ACL during practice in November. He posted a video on Twitter showing his work on the treadmill as he makes his way back from the injury.

Watson was on track to be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year until he suffered the season-ending injury. He threw for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns in seven games (six starts) and rushed for 269 yards and two touchdowns.

Today, Pederson is the toast of the coaching profession.

There was Roseman’s ultra-aggressive trade in the 2016 draft to move up and select franchise quarterback Carson Wentz at the expense of several high picks. The team then turned the keys over to Wentz after Roseman traded starting QB Sam Bradford to Minnesota one week before opening day in 2016 for a first-round pick (Derek Barnett). That paid dividends as Barnett made two huge plays this postseason: a strip-sack of Case Keenum early in the NFC championship game, and his recovery of Tom Brady’s fourth-quarter fumble, the biggest defensive play of the Super Bowl.

Other recent draftees who are major contributors include tight end Zach Ertz, wide receiver Nelson Agholor, offensive tackle Lane Johnson, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and defensive end Brandon Graham. The many key free-agent signings include safety Malcolm Jenkins, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, running back LeGarrette Blount and defensive end Chris Long.

Wilkerson, 35, was Chicago’s assistant offensive line coach the past three seasons. A standout at LSU, Wilkerson spent four seasons in the NFL as an offensive lineman with the Bengals (2005 to 2006) and Falcons (2007 to 2008).

This is not to diminish Chris Ballard, the blunt, combative general manager who planted his feet on behalf of an embarrassed-but-salty organization Wednesday. Or to diminish Jim Irsay or anyone else in a position of power, and how they’re reeling from Josh McDaniels’ 180-degree turn.

But the Colts are all about Luck. They have been for six years, and they will be as long as he wears their uniform … even when, like last season, he isn’t wearing the uniform. Itnever be repeated enough, no matter how painful it is for the Colts faithful to hear: The franchise is in the midst of wasting Luck’s prime.

And now, Indianapolis can’t waste another second getting itself on track again to take advantage of what it has, how much it has left of Luck and how much it has invested in him.
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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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