Monthly Archives: February 2017

Falcons vs. Packers 2014 final score: 3 things we learned from Green Bay’s 43-37 win

It was not a great night for defense in Green Bay on Monday Night Football, but that didn’t matter much for the Packers because Aaron Rodgers and the offense turned in yet another brilliant performance. Green Bay jumped out to a big lead early and, while the Falcons rallied back with a great offensive performance of their own, it was not enough. Green Bay improved to 10-3 with a 43-37 victory and Rodgers made a bit of history on the way to the win, setting a new record for the most passing yards during the first 100 starts of a player’s career.

Gruden later confirmed that McCoy had a neck sprain, but said it’s too early to know if he’ll be ready by Sunday:

If McCoy is indeed unfit for play, head coach Jay Gruden will have to turn back to RGIII, who he benched two weeks ago. Griffin was ineffective after returning from a long injury absence, prompting Gruden to hand the reins to McCoy in Week 13. But after a promising three-touchdown outing against the Indianapolis Colts, McCoy sputtered against the Rams on Sunday, throwing two picks and no scores as Washington was shut out.

McCoy was clearly playing hurt after taking the shot from Quinn and was finally replaced by Griffin late in the fourth quarter.

It’s long been rumored that Gruden doesn’t think Griffin is a fit for his offense and a report by the Washington Post last week claimed Gruden “is now done” with the quarterback. A fickle fan base has waffled on its support of RGIII, chanting his name late on Sunday just three weeks after they chanted for McCoy.

It wasn’t immediately known if the Jets tried to keep Mangold at a reduced salary.

“A great person, a great player. You could always count on Nick’s smarts, consistency and poise,” coach Todd Bowles said in a statement. “Nick’s knowledge of the game and ability to quickly process information made him an invaluable resource to his teammates. He will always mean a lot to everyone in this organization.”


Will the Bills keep Tyrod Taylor despite upcoming payday?

When the Bills signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor to a contract extension, the goal was to give the player a short-term raise and possible long-term security while also protecting the team against a possible Kirk Cousins-style game of tag. If Taylor had played really well or really poorly last year, the decision would be easy.

But Taylor¡¯s 2016 performance falls somewhere between not good enough to make giving him $27.5 million for 2017 and not bad enough to make cutting him a no-brainer. So what will the Bills do?
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The decision to bench him late in the 2016 regular season operated as a fairly clear indication that they wouldn¡¯t be bringing him back, because they didn¡¯t want him to suffer an injury that would have tied their hands as to the $27.5 million. The more accurate interpretation of that decision could be that the Bills wanted to give the next coaching staff maximum flexibility as to the question of whether Taylor would or wouldn¡¯t be kept around.

The hiring of former Broncos offensive coordinator Rick Dennison made the situation more intriguing, given that the Broncos (where Dennison most recently worked) were interested in Taylor when he became a free agent two years ago. He opted for Buffalo and a starting job over joining a depth chart that featured Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler.
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Albert Breer of recently said it¡¯s his ¡°sense¡± that Dennison would like to keep Taylor. The question becomes the financial commitment. With $27.5 million due this year and another $13 million owed to Taylor in 2018, that¡¯s a $40.5 million proposition over the next two seasons.

Ideally, the Bills and Taylor would negotiate an arrangement that allows him to continue to be the starter at a more realistic salary. But Taylor reportedly won¡¯t re-do the deal. Which makes it an all-or-nothing proposition for the Bills.

Vanessa is crying a lot because Nick is dating three other women

¡°We¡¯re gonna do something you¡¯ve never done before,¡± says Rachel, and I¡¯m like, ¡°What, successfully finish this show?¡± Zing.

Then Rachel takes Nick to her church, which is predominantly black. Nick loves it. In fact, Nick is showing a side of himself that we haven¡¯t seen yet. He¡¯s open, he¡¯s joking, he¡¯s ¡ª oh, God, he¡¯s fun. I like this Nick. He says he feels more comfortable with himself when he¡¯s with Rachel than with the other women.

¡°They made you feel welcome,¡± Rachel says of going to church. ¡°You were great!¡±

And then Nick goes, ¡°I¡¯m not color blind.¡± And I fall off my bed.

In a world where we so regularly hear clueless white idiots go, ¡°I don¡¯t see color!¡± this is a very good thing to put on national TV. The bar shouldn¡¯t be so low as to make me applaud when a white person says something that is baseline not-moronic about race, but it is, and here we are, so good on you, Nick, I guess.
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The episode wraps up at a hotel in NYC before the rose ceremony. Vanessa is crying a lot because Nick is dating three other women. I think she was way more invested in finding love ¡ª as opposed to building her #brand ¡ª because she seems pretty bummed that Nick hasn¡¯t just scrapped the whole thing and chosen her already. She also has said multiple times that she went on this show for him once she knew he¡¯d be The Bachelor.

Authentic Mens Dwayne Harris Jersey In short: I think Vanessa was too right about the reasons.

We think Vanessa is going to talk to Nick in his hotel room, but, PLOT TWIST: it turns out that the feet walking down the hall actually belong to Andi, the woman Nick was in love with the first time he was on The Bachelorette.

Yankees president Randy Levine antagonizes Dellin Betances and agent, for some reason

The arbitration process is one of the weirdest parts of the baseball offseason, but it is something that everyone accepts. This year, the Yankees and Dellin Betances were separated by $2 million when they exchanged salary figures, so they went to a trial.
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Again, it’s sort of weird to go to a trial with your best players, but whatever. It happens. The Yankees won the trial on Saturday, and that’s the end of things, right? Betances is a little upset he won’t make as much as he feels he deserves, but everyone can move on with their lives. Well, not if Randy Levine has anything to do with it. Levine had some choice words for his star reliever, including insulting him for having the gall to ask for $5 million.

It’s strange enough that the team’s president who isn’t exactly qualified to be making baseball decisions is taking part in arbitration hearings, but to make these comments after his side won is truly bizarre. Betances and his agent, unsurprisingly, were not going to take this lying down. While his agent was sure to mention that they still have a good relationship with New York’s front office, they were clearly hurt by Levine’s comments. You can see for yourself from their quotes in the linked piece.
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Betances is under team control with the Yankees through 2020, so they do have some time to repair this relationship. While the reliever is understandably upset with his bosses, these types of situations can be easily swept aside when the team is winning. With that being said, Levine at the very least cost the Yankees a lot more in the long run if/when they decide to re-sign Betances. The righty made it clear this has changed his future outlook on free agency.

Olivier Giroud scored in the 36th minute

Cabrera has given switch-hitting Sandoval a few tips on improving his right-handed swing, which has produced only a .198 average in 338 at-bats since the start of the 2014 season. And it was Cabrera who introduced Sandoval to Echevarria. In addition to boxers, Echevarria trains football players and lists New England Patriots defensive lineman Chris Long among his first clients.

The idea, according to Echevarria, wasn’t to turn Sandoval into a fighter but rather to provide an up-tempo cardiovascular workout. Moving around the ring for three-minute rounds can help with conditioning and footwork. Echevarria also noted that delivering a power punch and throwing a baseball require a similar set of muscles and movements.

And if the Red Sox get into any bench-clearing dustups, well, beware of the Panda.

“I made a joke with him about that,” Echevarria said. “I said, ‘I hope no one throws at you this year.’

2014/2015, AS Monaco FC 0-2 Arsenal FC (agg: 3-3, Monaco win on away goals). The hope! Always the hope. Olivier Giroud scored in the 36th minute, Arsenal took 16 shots, got seven on target, and Aaron Ramsey scored in the 79th. Just enough time to inspire that dreadful hope within a fan base that has suffered the subsequent disappointment many times. “The valiant effort to overturn the first leg deficit was in vain” could very well replace the present Arsenal motto, “victory grows through harmony.”

2015/2016, Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (agg: 5-1). Mathieu Flamini started the game in a midfield two with Mohamed Elneny. Flamini did as Flaminis are wont to do and was yellow carded by the 32nd minute. Realizing his mistake, Wenger subbed off Flamini at halftime for Francis Coquelin. Coquelin did as Coquelins are wont to do, Arsenal as Arsenal does, and Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi both scored to end the game … as they are liable to do.

Anthony Lynn learned how to develop solid, working relationships with players from Rex Ryan.

None of the Colts’ key free agents will tempt new general manager Chris Ballard to use the franchise tag. Linebacker Erik Walden, tight end Jack Doyle and cornerback Darius Butler are the team’s top free agents. Losing any of those players in free agency will not cause the Colts to take a significant step back next season. Walden had a career-high 11 sacks last season, but he’ll also be 32 years old next season and he plays on a defensive unit that needs to get younger.

Could it work? It would be the most Patriots move ever, wouldn’t it, to sign Peterson for a year, coax another productive season out of him next to Tom Brady and get back to another Super Bowl? They’ve done it with enough veterans that it’s plausible with Peterson, and while he’d have to go there knowing the offense runs through Brady, he still talks in glowing terms about his time with Brett Favre. The chance to play with another legend and thrive in the Patriots’ atmosphere for a year could be appealing if New England had interest.
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Lynn worked as a running backs coach most of his NFL career, but he got a chance to spread his wings as assistant head coach for Ryan with the New York Jets. The position offered Lynn an opportunity to sit in salary-cap and football-administration meetings and address the team in Ryan’s absence.
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“It prepared me a lot,” Lynn said. “I give Rex a lot of credit. If Rex had gotten the flu, I was the head coach. If he couldn’t make a media appointment, I did it — press conference, show or whatever. So he helped me prepare for this by helping me see the big picture — the salary cap and how it works, why you have to move on from this player and how you’re going to build this team.”

Lockett played through multiple injuries in his second season.

The Steelers’ depth chart doesn’t feature many maligned parts — no, Antonio Brown isn’t getting shipped out of town — but Wheaton is one unrestricted free agent who should sign elsewhere to get his value back up. Wheaton was once the Steelers’ No. 2 receiver before a nagging shoulder injury eventually required corrective labrum surgery. Wheaton finished the season with four catches, and with Martavis Bryant returning on the outside and Eli Rogers entrenched in the slot, Wheaton can establish his own identity for a team that needs him more. Wheaton has adequate speed and caught 97 passes with seven touchdowns in 2014-15.

Not surprisingly, Doug Baldwin was the Seahawks’ most attractive option on third down. Wilson netted a first down 62.1 percent of the time when targeting Baldwin. With Jimmy Graham, the number was also good (50 percent).

Tyler Lockett was only at 30.4 percent. Lockett played through multiple injuries in his second season. As a rookie, he led Seahawks receivers by catching 77.3 percent of his third-down targets, and 68.2 percent of his targets resulted in first downs.

Limited Youth Tim Barnes Jersey The day after the New England Patriots’ exhilarating win in Super Bowl LI, coach Bill Belichick remarked that his franchise was five weeks behind the rest of the league in offseason work. As Belichick noted, that’s exactly the way his team wants it to be, as the opportunity to play on the game’s grandest stage is the ultimate goal.

Belichick’s statement was a reminder that free agency is just around the corner — teams can begin negotiating with unrestricted free agents on March 7.
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After our NFL Nation reporters put together a list of the biggest upcoming free-agent decisions for each team, I decided to put on my general manager hat and make teams’ decisions for them. Below are my two cents for all 32 teams. For a primer on the franchise-tag process, check out this FAQ from last March.

Blackhawks vs. Wild odds 2017: Minnesota looks to continue winning streak against Chicago

Limited Youth Ryan Hewitt Jersey The Minnesota Wild are a perfect 6-0 in their last six games against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wild will try to extend that winning streak this Wednesday night in Minnesota.

Minnesota will be listed as the home favorite for this game at sportsbooks monitored by Chicago was 9-2 in its previous 11 games against Minnesota before this current 0-6 streak.

Bruce Boudreau has worked his magic on another team, elevating the Wild from a solid team to the top team in the Western Conference. Minnesota ranks third in the NHL in goals for with 3.3 per game and goals against with 2.3 per game, and the Wild have both the best home record in the Western Conference at 17-6 and the best road record as well.

The big knock on Boudreau has always been that his teams under-perform in the playoffs, and only time will tell if the same will be true for this Minnesota squad.

Minnesota is playing Wednesday night’s game on the second night of a back-to-back. The Wild are 7-10 in their last 17 games on the end of a back-to-back per the OddsShark NHL Database.

Trend: The Wild are 6-0 in their last six games against the Blackhawks.

Game Kids Wilt Chamberlain Jersey Trend: The OVER is 3-1-3 in the last seven games between the Wild and Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks have had a streaky season through 54 games, but they seem to be settled in to the second seed in the Central Division with a 32-17-5 record and a significant lead in the standings over Nashville and St. Louis.

Map! Where NFL Draft first-rounders who weren’t blue chip recruits come from

Blue-chip prospects (four- or five-star recruits) have a higher chance of success both at the college and professional levels. It’s not a perfect science, however — there are a lot more non-blue-chip prospects, and for one reason or another, some of those kids who might have been undervalued in high school end up being stars.

I’ve compiled every first-round draft selection since 2005 who was not a blue-chip prospect coming out of high school or junior college. The players include NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, among other notable names.

The whole map is here. Click on team logos for more on each player, with all ratings via the 247Sports Composite, which combines grades from all four major recruiting services. Some locations have been slightly adjusted to make all icons visible when zoomed out.

Also, some particular areas of note:

When people complain about recruiting ratings missing on some players, they often use the Badgers in general and Watt in particular as examples. And there could be something to it.

It’s also far from a sure thing that Mariota will be on the board by the time the fifth overall selection rolls around. While Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the popular pick to be the No. 1 selection of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was the pick for King, the Sports Illustrated columnist noted that “Mariota is absolutely not out of the picture” for the first pick.

The blockbuster trade for Mariota wasn’t the only noteworthy projection by King, who also had Alabama’s Amari Cooper as the second wide receiver off the board. Instead, he slated the Oakland Raiders to take West Virginia’s Kevin White with the fourth pick and praised the receiver as the “latter-day version of Larry Fitzgerald.” Cooper fell two more picks before getting scooped up by the New York Jets.

Florida outside linebacker Dante Fowler also fared well in King’s mock, going just behind Winston with the No. 2 overall selection to the Titans.

All the way to a record fifth Super Bowl championship, with no more talk of underinflated footballs

The Falcons’ playcalling at that point was, well, unexpected — and that’s being kind to offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. They missed a huge opportunity to seal the game.

Elite Womens Jeremy Evans Jersey Shanahan called a pass on second and third downs. The first resulted in a 12-yard sack, and the second was overturned by a holding penalty. On the next play — third-and-33! — Shanahan called another pass that fell incomplete. The Falcons lost 23 yards on two plays, were forced to punt and drained only 1:10 off the clock.

Had the Falcons simply run three times — even if they failed to gain a single yard — kicker Matt Bryant would have been in position for a quite reasonable 39-yard field goal attempt. In his career, Bryant is 31-for-32 on field goals of 40 yards or shorter in the fourth quarter or overtime, according to research from Micah Adams of ESPN Stats & Information.

As owner Robert Kraft said in the days leading up to Super Bowl LI, Deflategate penalties levied by the NFL against Brady and the team had a deeply rooted impact on the 2016 Patriots. Brady was hit with a four-game suspension for the January 2015 incident that months of court battles couldn’t overturn. Meanwhile, the Patriots were fined $1 million and docked a first-round pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017.

Elite Womens Luke Joeckel Jersey “I think in a way,” Kraft had said last week, “that galvanized our whole team.”

All the way to a record fifth Super Bowl championship, with no more talk of underinflated footballs.

The 2016 season began with questions of how big of a hole the Patriots would have to dig out of playing without the suspended Brady. While oddsmakers still gave the Patriots 6-1 odds to earn a Super Bowl berth this season, that doesn’t guarantee wins.