Category Archives: NFL Football

NFL Football

It’s not Cam Newton recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

He’s fine. But neither backup defensive tackles — Vernon Butler (knee) and Kyle Love (ankle) — practiced or played the past month. They were targeted for Week 1 and appear on target, but their presence is key to the four-man rotation at tackle and how the defense sets up everything with its interior push.

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins missed the majority of the preseason and training camp because of a thumb injury but said he is “1,000 percent” ready to go on Sunday against Jacksonville. The Texans do have two injury question marks at backup running back, however. Coach Bill O’Brien said he wasn’t sure if D’Onta Foreman (groin) or Alfred Blue (ankle) would be available for the season opener against the Jaguars. Foreman was a full participant in practice Wednesday, but Blue did not practice.

Not having starting safety Ron Parker against the Patriots would be a major loss, particularly considering the Chiefs won’t have starting cornerback Steven Nelson, who is on injured reserve after having core muscle surgery. Parker isn’t a playmaker like fellow Kansas City defensive backs Eric Berry and Marcus Peters, but don’t let that fool you. He is one of the Chiefs’ most valuable defensive players because he’s so versatile. The Chiefs aren’t afraid to use him in man coverage, as a deep safety, in the box as a run defender or to rush the quarterback. Parker was listed as questionable for the Patriots game on the week’s final injury report.

Derek Barnett, DE | Philadelphia Eagles: The rookie pass-rusher was earning praise in camp for his “motor,” impressing coaches and teammates with how hard he goes on every single play. What remains to be seen is what kind of role the Eagles have for him and how much they’ll be able to just send him after opposing quarterbacks while he refines the rest of his craft. Philly’s defensive line and scheme play to Barnett’s strengths, and he could lead all rookies in sacks if he gets on the field enough.steelers_126

Giants schedule 2017: Primetime games highlight New York’s calendar

You’ll be seeing the Giants under the lights quite a bit this season.

The Giants will open the season in Dallas on Sunday Night Football, which will be the first of four primetime games on the schedule.

A second nationally televised game will follow in Week 2 with a Monday Night Football contest against the Lions at MetLife Stadium. The Giants will return to Sunday night in Week 6 with a visit to Denver. The final primetime game of the season will be at Washington to close out a trio of Thanksgiving Day games.

It is a manageable schedule for the Giants, who went 11-5 last season and lost to the Packers in the first round of the playoffs. There will be no Packers rematch during the regular season, nor will the Giants play either Super Bowl team this season. But Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., and Company, will play five playoff teams from a season ago.

Ball had threatened to pull his team off the court if his demand to remove the female referee was not met. He was later ejected after getting T-d up again.

Ball’s AAU team, which was eliminated from the tournament on Saturday, has been a huge draw with attendance for the tournament at an all-time high. Court Club Elite had reportedly been pressured by Adidas to put three Ball-approved officials on the court to prevent him from withdrawing his team.

Ball also gave the female referee a backhanded compliment while doubling down on his initial remarks.

“She’s probably a great ref with the women. But this men’s stuff? It’s a difference between women’s basketball and men’s basketball,” he said Saturday. “Just because we go like that and don’t hit the ball don’t mean it’s a foul. But don’t get your feelings personal.”

Serge Ibaka, Robin Lopez throw punches in Raptors-Bulls game

Serge Ibaka and Robin Lopez each threw a punch that didn’t connect at one another in the Raptors vs. Bulls game in Toronto on Tuesday night.

It’s unclear what started the fight, but it’s rare to see players throw fists rather than shoves.

Both were ejected from the game with Toronto up by double-digits in the third quarter. Nikola Mirotic and Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire were each given technicals.

It’s worth pointing out that he’s had a couple off-court issues that will need to be checked out by NBA teams to make them comfortable with taking him. And in a draft where the margin between top prospects is pretty razor thin, that kind of stuff can absolutely play a factor in the difference between going No. 2 and No. 7.

Another lottery pick whose season is already over, Smith averaged over 18 points, six assists and nearly five rebounds per game this season for N.C. State. In terms of skill and athleticism, Smith probably has the highest ceiling of any guard prospect in the draft outside of Fultz. However, there will be two questions.

First, does Smith reliably use that skill level to elevate the play of his teammates? Second, will his body hold up, and will his knees check out well during medical testing? It’ll be on Smith to convince teams of these matters in interviews. The ceiling is high (the roof?), but at this stage it would also be fair to say the floor may be a bit lower with him than others.texans_129

Cubs reportedly have eye on Tigers’ Alex Avila

There’s one surefire way to become a tradeable commodity in Major League Baseball, and that’s to play for a middling team and have a great season.

Alex Avila has done just that having a borderline career year with a .315 batting average, 11 home runs and 28 RBIs in 56 games for the Detroit Tigers. He has done all of that while the Tigers ‘boast’ a 35-43 record and sit 5 1/2 games out of the second Wild Card spot in the American League.

The Cubs have their young star in Willson Contreras holding down the No. 1 catcher spot, but Avila would more than fill the veteran backup spot.

Instead, Miami has to hope former Pro Bowler Reshad Jones and 2016 second-round pick Xavien Howard can rebound from injury-riddled seasons to assume leadership roles for a pass defense that has to face quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Derek Carr, and Tom Brady (twice!). Cordrea Tankersley, a third-round pick this spring with first-round talent, could be another major contributor this fall. New signee T.J. McDonald is suspended for the first eight games of the season, but he’ll be back in time for a playoff push.

The linebacking corps, led by a newly extended Kiko Alonso, also has work to do. Koa Misi hasn’t played a full season since his rookie year in 2010 and has yet to be cleared after undergoing spinal fusion surgery. Former Steeler Lawrence Timmons was the team’s biggest free agent acquisition for 2017, but he’s also 31 years old.

Former undrafted free agent Neville Hewitt could blossom into a full-time starter in his third season, but has yet to prove himself as a reliable stopper. Rookie Raekwon McMillan was immensely productive at Ohio State, but concerns about his ability to translate that game to the pros dropped him to the second round this April.browns_009

Chiefs vs. Broncos 2017 game preview: AFC West lead decided on Sunday night

The Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos meet in a vital divisional matchup on Sunday night. Head coach Andy Reid has turned the Chiefs around in one season, while Peyton Manning is breaking NFL records in his second year with Denver. This game will answer some of the league’s biggest questions, and give a better sense of where these two teams stand entering the playoffs.

Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense are sustaining numbers that Elite Womens Malcolm Mitchell Jersey seem impossible: First in the NFL in scoring at over 40 points, while averaging 450 yards of offense.

The team’s weakness from a year ago has rectified itself with newfound reliability from running back Knowshon Moreno. He leads the Broncos with 521 yards and eight touchdowns. This has allowed the offense to become more balanced, and more consistent in short-yardage situations.

Jacksonville feels good about their newest head coach, Gus Bradley, even if they’re 1-8 on the season. Bradley is a defensive specialist, and he has portions of the Jags defense performing to expectations. They have the No. 13 pass defense in the NFL, allowing 235.9 yards per game. Unfortunately, that’s coupled with the No. 32 rushing defense, allowing 153.0 rushing yards per game.

Arizona hasn’t been a team that enjoys too many stat advantages over other teams, so the Jaguars don’t have to worry about those stats too much. Arizona has the No. 24 rushing offense in the league at 93.6 yards per game on average, but the No. 19 pass offense. Smart money is on the Jaguars allowing few yards Authentic Anze Kopitar Jersey through the air, but if the Cardinals have a big game running, it could be bad news.

George Mason’s manager somehow spotted a lost contact lens from across the court

Having a stellar vision on the court makes basketball players look magical. A sneaky pass here and there makes them look super human. But then there’s otherworldly vision, one that apparently allows you to find a contact lens.

The interview barely made it past introductions before everything started to crumble. One of his children doesn’t just walk into the room, she struts into the room. Special props here for not yelling “dad” as soon as she entered, but she’s sauntering up like a silent assassin and lingering right behind dad.

Then baby sees an opening and rolls into the room like it’s nothing. Baby gets some surprising speed here, and that’s impressive. A woman tries as hard as she can to get everything under control, but it’s too late. The interview has been interrupted, you can hear BBC producers laughing and — in her attempt to get the kids out of the office — she knocks some books off the table.

Go viral? Yes. Get weird? No. Robert, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. We love you and your children. Don’t feel bad about what happened. Nobody is looking down on you. Just watch out for that baby because that’s a future NASCAR driver in the making.

Seven Golden Eagles had at least five tackles for loss, seven had at least two sacks, and eight defensed at least three passes. That’s some chaos right there.

Of course, there was a down side. While Southern Miss allowed just 144 gains of 10-plus yards (ninth in FBS), they allowed 21 of 40-plus (112th). They were not interested in giving up medium-sized gains — it was all or nothing. That gets you graded pretty highly on the SASM scale.

A reasonable number of these chaos guys are back, and they’ll have company in the form of newcomers.

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John Lynch: Colin Kaepernick left ‘excited’ after visit

Colin Kaepernick has touched base with his employer.

The San Francisco 49ers quarterback visited the team’s Santa Clara headquarters on Wednesday, per Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.

“I would characterize it as a really positive discussion … Colin left excited,” new general manager John Lynch told KNBR-AM in San Francisco after the visit.

The meeting comes one day after Lynch told 95.7 The Game that he and first-year coach Kyle Shanahan planned to “communicate” with the 29-year-old signal-caller, saying: “I think that’s very important for both sides. Like everything else, that process is well in the works. We’ll continue to do that and we’ll be very up-front with him, in terms of what we’re thinking and we’ll want to know what he’s thinking, as well.”

Player X Making Strides In Rehab Program is one of the most well-worn offseason tropes in the game. Especially popular is rehab footage of a player — typically in recovery from a lower-body malady of some sort — doing work in the pool. We saw it last month with Cardinals running back David Johnson, who straight-up jumped out of his swimming hole a month after suffering the type of knee injury that would leave you or I on a death bed.

Packers running back Eddie Lacy suffered a season-ending ankle injury in October. It would behoove Lacy, a pending free agent, to send a message to the public (read: potential employers in Green Bay and elsewhere) that indicates he is working his way back toward full health. Throw up the AquaBat Signal!

Last offseason, Lacy was the subject of another popular offseason trope: Player Y In The Best Shape Of His Life. For Lacy, that narrative began when the beefy running back took part in a series of workouts with P90X founder Tony Horton.

Tuesday’s video doesn’t give us much insight into Lacy’s current level of fitness, but let’s go ahead and consider it a positive sign he’s not in the pool with his shirt on.

2015 fantasy football wide receiver bust candidates to consider

Drafting a running back who goes bust is understandable; there are only so many strong running backs in a given season, and you have to take a chance on someone. Injuries or ineffectiveness are endemic to the position. At wide receiver, though, there’s less excuse. The position is the deepest one in fantasy, so picking the wrong one can be even more frustrating; there was another guy right there who did come through.

So below, we’re looking at some guys who are ranked higher than perhaps their 2015 projections might deserve. And when I saw “we,” I mean “I,” as bust candidates are inherently subjective. Still, these are the guys who have me wary entering drafts this season:

Here’s where I will say that I didn’t really think playing outside linebacker catered to his skill set. I still believe playing defensive end in a 4-3, even at a little under 6’2, would’ve been the move for Ingram. But players don’t get to choose which teams draft them or which scheme their team uses. At least at that point, it appeared that Ingram was making the best of it.

Then he tore his ACL in the spring of 2013 during OTAs. Ingram missed valuable and needed technique work before he returned for the last four games that year. I’m not really sure if it was the best idea to play him at that time, but at least Ingram did get some sorely needed reps. He even recorded the second sack of his career in a Week 16 contest against the Raiders.

Ingram took that little bit of momentum into the offseason and once again looked poised to breakout and finally be the dominant pass rusher the Chargers drafted him to be.

DeMarco Murray might get the $8 million he wants

DeMarco Murray is making his decision soon, and some team is probably going to overpay. Reports say he wants $8 million per season, and with the way running back contracts are going thus far into free agency, he might just get it. That’s a lot of money for a running back coming off the first full 16-game season of his career and a workload of 450 touches in the regular season alone.

Running backs have made a surprising Amari Cooper Authentic Jersey amount of money so far in free agency.

Look at the evidence in 28 career games from Thanksgiving week through the end of the season, which equates to 32.1 percent of his career starts since entering the league in 2011:

Newton has a record Andre Holmes Authentic Jersey of 22-6. He is 27-31-1 in all other games.

Newton has a completion percentage of 60.8, compared to a career percentage of 59.2.

Newton has thrown 48 touchdown passes to only 12 interceptions. That’s 37.5 percent of his career TD passes and 16.9 percent of his interceptions.

Newton has averaged 49.9 yards rushing a game compared to 39.9 for his career. He’s scored 18 rushing touchdowns, 38.3 of his total.

The Panthers (4-6) need Newton to continue this trend if they are to continue a push to get into the playoff picture, beginning with Sunday’s game at Oakland (8-2).

At his current rate, he’s headed for the worst season of his career in several key statistics.

Obviously, it’s a more talented group of running backs on the market in 2015. Gore can be productive in an offense that doesn’t need to grind for 30 carries a game, and he has Boom Herron to spell him. Ingram is just coming into his own and is only 25. Those deals make some sense.