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The New England Patriots handed the Kansas City Chiefs their first loss of the 2018 season in an epic showdown on Sunday Night Football. Tom Brady and company won with a final score of 43-40 since neither team decided to bring a defense to the game.The Patriots offense has been a different beast since week 4 Cordarrelle Patterson Jersey , thanks to the inclusion of Josh Gordon, the emergence of Sony Michel, and the return of Julian Edelman, all of which allow Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan to be more productive. These five players, along with James White, have carried the offense and should continue to thrive for the rest of the year.Should we be concerned about the defense? How many teams can match the offensive potential of the Chiefs? Can the Patriots make any improvements on their own?Alec and Rich cover it all. This podcast is available in the iTunes store, Stitcher, TuneIn Jeremy Hill Color Rush Jersey , BluBrry, Podcast Mirror and via RSS Feed. Please subscribe and comment on what you want to hear about in future podcasts! The New England Patriots had plenty of problems against the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday, ranging from the offense failing to get into any sort of rhythm to the team shooting itself in the foot with penalties. One of the major issues during their 17-10 loss, however, was a familiar one that has plagued the Patriots during each of their last three games: the defense’s inability to stop the opposing running game.On Sunday, Pittsburgh became the latest team to dominate New England on the ground. Despite missing James Connor — the team’s best running back and offensive leader in yards from scrimmage — due to injury, the Steelers attempted 25 rushes (two of which kneel-downs) and gained a combined 158 yards. This, in turn https://www.patriotsfanstore.com/Isaiah-Wynn-Jersey , allowed the home team to dictate the game’s tempo especially during its first two quarters.On the day, New England surrendered 6.3 yards per rush, marking the third straight game that the opposing offense gained more than 6 yards on an average carry — which is obviously bad. In fact, it is historically bad: no team in Patriots franchise history ever allowed more yards per rushing attempt over a three-week stretch than what the club’s 2018 version is currently giving up (7.5 yards per attempt).But how can the porous run defense be fixed with only two weeks left in the regular season?There is likely not one quick solution, but re-inserting defensive tackle Danny Shelton into the lineup might be a start. The offseason trade acquisition — New England sent a third round pick to the Cleveland Browns for Shelton and a fifth-round selection — was a regular member of the Patriots’ rotation at the position but was inactive over the last three games.New England’s defensive game planning likely played a role in the decision to sit a healthy Shelton, a big-bodied defender whose strengths lie in the running game: the Patriots sold out to stop the pass against the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers and went with lighter defensive fronts and nickel and dime packages — defensive groups that the three teams gladly attacked on the ground.Yesterday, according to NESN’s Doug Kyed Danny Etling Color Rush Jersey , the Steelers ran 11 times against the Patriots’ dime package and gained 106 yards in the process. Pittsburgh gained 20 yards on five attempts versus New England’s nickel defense, and 32 yards on six carries against base sets. Without Shelton and a viable rotation at the defensive tackle position, teams exposed the Patriots in the middle of the field.Bringing the run-stuffer back could help, and also lift pressure off a group of defensive tackles that currently is not winning at the point of attack. Lawrence Guy is solid but had issues with consistency yesterday. Adam Butler is primarily an interior pass rusher and has deficiencies against the run. And Malcom Brown, a run-first player in the same basic mold of Shelton, has regressed noticeably over the course of the season.The last three weeks, New England apparently felt that the trio would still be enough to slow offenses down — and the plan worked to a certain degree. Despite surrendering 95 yards on 13 carries to the Vikings, the Patriots defense played a very good overall game and held the unit to just 10 points. The Dolphins gained 189 yards on 21 runs but still needed a last-second Hail Mary play to come away victoriously.The Steelers also “only” won by seven points: had the Patriots offense not played one of its worst games of the season https://www.patriotsfanstore.com , the plan might have worked yesterday as well at least when looking at it from a bottom line-perspective. Alas, it did not, and Pittsburgh was able to find favorable matchups against the light and undersized defensive front seven and safety Patrick Chung essentially serving as an extra linebacker.The next two weeks — with games against the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets coming up — the Patriots will likely go back to more nickel and base looks on defense and as a result improve against the run again. But the underlying issues will still not go away with a different game plan: the defensive tackles are slow to create upfield push and disengage from blockers in one-on-one situations.Maybe Shelton can serve as a quick fix over the next two+ games, and maybe this will help the other defensive tackles as well and have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the defense. But one thing is obvious: the Patriots will need to upgrade the interior of the defensive line next offseason. The questions is whether or not the current group of guys can do enough to break its historic streak of bad performances — and play winning football in the postseason.
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The big games need big performances www.thetopsoccer.com/switzerland , and with Lionel Messi only on the bench for Barcelona against Real Madrid in midweek, Ernesto Valverde was counting on Malcom doing the business.Perhaps the situation was forced upon him by Ousmane Dembele’s injury, because were the Frenchman fit then we would surely have seen him take his place on the right hand side of a front three.As it was, his omission gave Malcom the chance to get some much-needed minutes under his belt and, hopefully, show the Catalans what he was capable of.Cometh the hour, cometh the man you might say. Malcom was the best player on the pitch and if ever a top-class audition were required, the Brazilian delivered it.Along with Nelson Semedo who also had one of his best games in a Barcelona shirt, Malcom was almost unplayable against Los Blancos, and Santiago Solari’s decision to play a clearly out of form Marcelo played right in the hosts’ hands.The left-back is great going forward Cheap Uruguay Soccer Jerseys , not so good at his primary role of defending, and that’s been seen for a while now at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, only Solari has been brave enough to replace Marcelo, preferring Sergio Reguilon over the last few matches.Every time Barca attacked down Marcelo’s channel, it spelled danger, with Malcom the chief protagonist.Handed the responsibility of taking free-kicks on that side too, his pinpoint deliveries almost handed the Blaugrana another two goals before the break.Gerard Pique connected with one well-flighted ball only to see his header go slightly over, whilst Ivan Rakitic went even close, his powerful header hitting the crossbar.On at least three occasions in the opening 45, Malcom drew fouls from the opposition who were mindful of his pace and trickery.Though Barcelona’s goal was slightly fortuitous when it arrived Cheap USA Soccer Jerseys , it was no more than they deserved, and it was fitting that Malcom should be the person who provided it.Having missed a huge chance in the first half when one-on-one with Keylor Navas, the chance that presented itself in the second gave the Brazilian less time to think.It still required him to take the time to set himself before unleashing a shot goal wards, but the footballing gods were smiling on him on that occasion. He wanted that goal. He needed that goal.The associated confidence that it will have brought to his play isn’t to be downplayed, and the only downside to his evening was having to leave the pitch earlier than planned because of injury.With his compatriot, Philippe Coutinho, still struggling badly, Malcom’s emergence couldn’t have come at a better time, and he’s certainly given Ernesto Valverde some food for thought鈥 This week, Manchester City recovered the top spot in the English Premier League. Pep Guardiola's side is even on points with Liverpool Cheap AC Milan Soccer Team Uniform , but their goal difference gives them an edge over Klopp's crew. With that in mind, fans around the world must keep an eye on this week's games, especially the one that involves the Citizens.Liverpool will also have a tricky match against Bournemouth. The Cherries have not performed quite well when visiting Anfield, but the Reds' inconsistencies could give way for a surprising result. In other games, Manchester United will defend their unbeaten streak under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer when they visit Fulham.Let's see how things unfold this weekend in the English Premier League.Match of the Week - Manchester City vs ChelseaChelsea has been one of the few teams this season that have been able to beat Manchester City in the Premier League. Hence, Pep Guardiola's men will be eager for some payback. These teams have shared the spoils in Chelsea's last visits to Etihad Stadium, which hints that we will have quite an interesting match on Sunday.
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Kendall Jenner is visiting Paris this week Cheap Nike ZoomX , and you can't bet she's been turning heads with her signature street style.Spotted outside of her hotel yesterday, the 23-year-old supermodel showed off a retro-inspired The North Face Nuptse 1996 quilted down jacket in black and gray with a pair of statement-making python-print pants. For shoes, she donned glossy, patent leather Dr. Martens oxfords, which retail for $120.She wore a black turtleneck underneath her coat and accessorized with a Longchamp handbag and sleek $580 Linda Farrow sunglasses. Today, the "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" star was snapped carrying a bouquet of flowers while rocking the same 1461 Dr. Martens model with a black and white sweater and black cropped pants.Earlier this week, the Adidas and Longchamp ambassador was on hand for the grand opening of The Times Square Edition hotel in New York. She wore a plunging python look with square-toed Yeezy sandals.Flip through the gallery for a look at more of Kendall Jenner's best street style moments. Want more?Kendall Jenner Wants You to Look Sleek in Adidas With New Styles for SpringKendall Jenner Shows Her Flexible Side in Heels for New Stuart Weitzman CampaignKendall Jenner Risks a Major Wardrobe Malfunction at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party Tiffany Trump is enjoying some time abroad, and looking stylish and practical while doing it.President Donald Trump's youngest daughter shared a photo today on Instagram of her time in Belgrade, Serbia, where she's seen posing by a statue on an outing./p/Bu6H5LKhhzv/"Поздрав из Србије" she wrote, which translates to Cheap Nike ShoX , "greetings from Serbia."The Georgetown University law student had on a versatile outfit made for crawling urban cityscapes in comfort. Tiffany's casual look included a dark cropped jacket with black leggings and matching combat boots. The shoes were done in an embossed leather with large eyelets, a zipper on the side and metallic button closures.Speaking of getaways, Tiffany's father and sister, Ivanka Trump, returned on Monday from spending the weekend in Palm Beach, Fla., at Mar-a-Lago.Tiffany's sister had on super-high pumps with an elegant black dress, and her father's wife, first lady Melania, had on Gianvito Rossi block-heeled boots.The 25-year-old's last public appearance with her family was at the 2019 State of the Union address in February./twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr/status/1092961262508564483Want more?Melania Trump Stomps Out in Comfy Slouch Boots With Son Barron After Weekend GetawayIvanka Trump’s Pointy Heels Flatter Her Feet With a Detail You’ll LoveTiffany Trump’s State of the Union Outfit Included the Cutest Pale Pink Pumps
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While the New England Patriots were able to keep their week 15 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers close for four quarters John Hannah Color Rush Jersey , they ultimately did not make enough plays to come away victoriously. In the end, the visitors fell 17-10 and suffered its fifth defeat of the year. Let’s dig a little deeper into the game and analyze some advanced statistics from the game.Pass distributionNFL Next Gen StatsDespite having two players at his disposal that have made big plays in the past against the Pittsburgh-style defense in Josh Gordon and Rob Gronkowski, quarterback Tom Brady primarily targeted the underneath areas on Sunday. The plan mostly worked, though, as the 41-year old had plenty of success throwing the ball in this direction. The deep passing game, on the other hand, never fully materialized despite a 63-yard touchdown to Chris Hogan coming on the Patriots’ third offensive play of the day.The Steelers played a similar game: the deep passing rarely found success as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went 1 for 6 on throws targeting areas more than 20 yards downfield. However, just like Brady and the Patriots, Pittsburgh found success in the underneath portions of the field as Roethlisberger completed 15 of 19 passes between the line of scrimmage and the 10 yards out.Offensive rush directionNFL Next Gen StatsThe Patriots attempted just 19 runs all day long, with Sony Michel receiving the bulk of the workload. The rookie, as usual, fared relatively well and averaged 4.5 yards per carry with the most success coming behind the left side of the line. Rex Burkhead and James White, meanwhile, did gain positive yardage when given the opportunity. However, they combined to carry the football only six times all day long as New England was clearly trying to move the football via the pass — and the pass-run-ratio of 37:19 illustrates this.Receiver separationNFL Next Gen StatsChris Hogan’s average separation of 8.82 yards on his two catches obviously stands out: the Steelers were nowhere near him on one of his catches and allowed him to take it 63 yards to the end zone. Besides that one outlier, however Tedy Bruschi Jersey , Pittsburgh’s secondary played tight generally tight coverage when giving up receptions as none of the Patriots’ top pass catchers was more than 2.6 yards open on average at the time of a catch.The Patriots defense also competed well when it comes to pass coverage. While they allowed the team’s top receiving duo Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster to combine for eight catches, 89 receiving yards and a touchdown, the receptions were generally into tight windows and on contested throws. In short: New England was mostly covering well against a talented group of pass catchers.Pass protectionPass protection statisticsPlayerSnapsSacksQB HitsHurriesPlayerSnapsSacksQB HitsHurriestwitter.com/jeffphoweThe Patriots’ offensive line had an inconsistent day — not just because four of its five members (all but center David Andrews) were penalized at least once. The unit also had some issues in pass protection, especially at the right tackle position: Marcus Cannon had a forgettable day and surrendered six total pressures against the Steelers. The rest of the unit was solid but not without blemish either, with the exception of right guard Shaq Mason who did however have a costly holding call late in the game.Pass rush/run defensePass rush/run defense statisticsPlayerSnapsSacksQB HitsHurriesRun stopsPlayerSnapsSacksQB HitsHurriesRun stopstwitter.com/jeffphoweDespite Pittsburgh respecting the impact Trey Flowers can have on a game, the Patriots’ best front-seven defender still registered a pair of quarterback hits. All in all, he produced one of the team’s better pass rushing performances on Sunday — being part of a unit that was inconsistent on the day: New England pressured Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on just 13 of his 36 drop-backs. While it is not necessarily a bad number, it also was enough to have a profound impact on the opponent’s offensive rhythm.Defensive rush directionNFL Next Gen StatsThe Steelers had tremendous success on the ground and the chart above reveals one reason for that: Pittsburgh generally did not want to challenge one of the NFL’s best run defenders, Trey Flowers. Flowers started the game on the defensive right side but was moved over to the left once the Steelers found success there. However, when he switched sides, Pittsburgh exploited the opposite side again. Wherever Flowers was, the Steelers tried to run away from — and in turn attacked the defensive tackles and the non-Flowers defensive edge.Pass rush separationNFL Next Gen StatsAs noted above, the Patriots’ pass rushers were not necessarily bad when it came to pressuring Ben Roethlisberger but they also did not have too big of an impact on the Steelers’ overall offensive momentum. The average distance between the pass rushers and the quarterback illustrates this well: New England was oftentimes relatively far away from Roethlisberger. The Steelers’ pass rush, on the other hand, came closer to Tom Brady. And even though none of the numbers stands out, it was still enough to mess with the Patriots’ offensive rhythm at times.Pass coveragePass coveragestatisticsPlayerSnapsTargetsCompletionsYardsTouchdownsInterceptionsRatingPa
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BreakupsPlayerSnapsTargetsCompletionsYardsTouchdownsInterceptionsRatingPass Breakupstwitter.com/jeffphoweThe Patriots’ coverage players had a solid overall game against the Steelers Rob Gronkowski Color Rush Jersey , especially when it comes to limiting the team’s dangerous receiving duo of Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster. The two players primarily responsible for guarding the two wideouts — Stephon Gilmore and rookie J.C. Jackson — fared well despite being regularly targeted. Both allowed a below-average completion rate against their difficult assignments.The rest of the Patriots’ secondary was a bit inconsistent, however. Jason McCourty surrendered a perfect 158.3 passer rating for the second week in a row (albeit in a limited sample size), while safety Patrick Chung also gave up a touchdown. Still, holding Pittsburgh’s offense to 218 net passing yards has to be considered a successful day for the entire defense. The New England Patriots’ offensive line is coming off a terrific two-game playoff stretch. Against the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs, two teams with a talented pass rush, quarterback Tom Brady was pressured just 15 times in total: he was hit thrice and hurried 12 additional times. While this speaks for Brady’s ability to quickly get rid of the football, it is also proof of the quality of New England’s offensive line.Now, the unit will face quite possibly its toughest challenge to date — especially because of one man: Aaron Donald, who is not just the Los Angeles Rams’ best defensive player but arguably the best defensive player in all of football. The numbers speak for themselves, as Donald led the NFL with 20.5 sacks and 25 tackles for loss during the regular season.And even though he was kept sackless through the playoffs so far, the Patriots know about his talents and ability to single-handedly impact a game. “He’s a great athlete, the film study shows that,” said New England right offensive tackle Marcus Cannon about the 27-year old. “20+ sacks, numerous tackles for loss, forced fumbles. The guy’s a monster. It’s going to be a big task for us.”“He’s an elite player,” added starting left guard Joe Thuney. “He’s in the MVP considerations as a defensive lineman https://www.patriotsfanstore.com/Tom-Brady-Jersey , which is really almost unheard of. You see teams trying to prevent him from making big plays and he still manages to have remarkable numbers. It’s going to take a team effort, lot of communication, lot of technique.”So far during the postseason, the Patriots have displayed all those traits at a tremendous level — which is what helped them slow down the likes of the Chargers’ Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa and the Chiefs’ Chris Jones, Dee Ford and Justin Houston. But Donald presents a different task due to his elite athletic skills and ability to fight his way through offensive linemen.“He’s never blocked. You might think you have him at the next thing you know he’s past you,” said Patriots center David Andrews. “He’s quick, quick off the ball, he’s powerful. He’s a great player and he’s at the top of his game right now. He’s the best defensive player in football. We’re a good unit, played a lot of football together but it will be a big challenge this weekend and we’re going to have our hands full.”The Patriots know that they have to be near-perfect going against Donald and the rest of Los Angeles’ terrific pass rush. But while Ndamukong Suh, Cory Littleton and company are all dangerous players in their own right, Donald is the focal point. You make a mistake against a guy like that, there’s no recovery,” said Andrews about facing off against the NFL’s likely defensive player of the year. “You gotta be on your game at all times. “
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The Saints gave up 483 yards and 35 points in Sunday’s win over the Rams Orlando Pace Color Rush Jersey , but the game did feature one big win for their defense.They held Rams running back Todd Gurley to a season-low 79 yards from scrimmage — he averaged over 143 yards in the first eight weeks of the year — and players from the unit said after the game that slowing Gurley was the key to their plan for Sunday’s game. Gurley made some plays and scored a touchdown, but defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said not allowing “him to really wreck this game was big for us.”“You can’t take away everyone; they have so many weapons,” defensive end Alex Okafor said, via Herbie Teope of NFL Media. “If you try to take away everyone, you’re going to take away no one. We came in saying we had to limit the run, and without even watching the game, if you look at the stat sheets, whoever had the most rushing yards was going to win the game and we knew that coming in. And that held true.”The Rams have been a quick strike team on offense this year, but their chances to put points on the board were minimized by the nearly 34 minutes of possession the Saints enjoyed as a result of their ability to win the ground game on both sides of the ball. 2019January 5-6: Wild Card Playoffs.January 6: Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in the Wild Card weekend may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the Wild Card games.January 12-13: Divisional Playoffs.January 13: Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.January 14: Deadline for college players that are underclassmen to apply for special eligibility. A list of players who are accepted into the NFL Draft will be sent to clubs on January 18.January 19: East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California.January 20: AFC and NFC Championship Games.January 26: Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.January 27: NFL Pro Bowl, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida.An assistant coach, whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, who has previously interviewed for another club’s head coaching job may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.January 31: Deadline for NFL clubs to try out and negotiate with CFL players who are entering an option year in 2019, or whose 2018 contracts are due to expire at 12:00 noon, New York time, on February 12, 2019.February 3: Super Bowl LIII Deacon Jones Color Rush Jersey , Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia.February 4: Waiver system begins for 2019.February 12: Beginning at 12:00 noon, New York time, NFL clubs may begin to sign players whose 2019 CFL contracts have expired. Players under contract to a CFL club for the 2019 season or who have an option for the 2019 season are not eligible to be signed.February 19: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.February 26-March 4: Combine Timing and Testing, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.March 5: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.March 11-13: Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2018 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 13.March 13: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2019 on all players who have option clauses in their 2018 contracts.Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2018 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.Top 51 Rule begins. All clubs must be under the 2019 Salary Cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.All 2018 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.The 2019 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.The first day of the 2019 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 13. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m. Sean Mannion Color Rush Jersey , New York time, on March 13.Trading period for 2019 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2018 contracts.March 24-27: Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.April 1: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2018 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.April 15: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.April 25-27: NFL Draft, Nashville, Tennessee.May 3-6: Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.May 7: Deadline for prior club to send “May 7 Tender” to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a player contract with a club by July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate or sign a player contract from that date until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 4:00 p.m., New York time, only with his prior club.May 10-13: Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.May 13: Rookie Football Development Programs begin.May 16-19: NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Invited Rookies (typically, first and/or second-round selections) must be permitted by their respective clubs to attend. Such players are unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.May 20-22: Spring League Meeting, Key Biscayne, Florida.June 2: For any player removed from the club’s roster or whose contract is assigned via waivers or trade on or after June 2, any unamortized signing bonus amounts for future years will be included fully in team salary at the start of the 2020 League Year.June 3: Deadline for club to withdraw qualifying offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting “June 1 Tender” of one-year contract at 110 percent of the player’s prior-year Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).Late June: Rookie Transition Program to be held at individual clubs. Attendance is mandatory for all 2019 rookies.July 15: At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one- year contract with his prior club for the 2019 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.Mid-July: Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the club’s earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for Veteran players.Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or “injured players” (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) may report to a club’s preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club’s first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to report to the club’s preseason training camp no earlier than five days immediately prior to the mandatory reporting date for all other veteran players, provided the club has already opened (or simultaneously opens) its official preseason training camp for all rookies and first-year players.A three-day acclimation period will apply to players who are on a club’s roster up to and including the mandatory veteran reporting date. Players who rejoin the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.July 22*: Signing period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents to whom a “May 7 Tender” was made by prior club. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time https://www.ramsfanstore.com/Aaron-Donald-Jersey , on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.* - or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.Signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, Prior Club has exclusive negotiating rights.August 1: Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio.August 1-4: Hall of Fame Weekend, Canton, Ohio.August 6: Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season for free agency.If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2018, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the 2019 League Year.August 31: Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non- Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.September 1: Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 12 noon, New York time.Upon receipt of the Personnel Notice at approximately 1:00 p.m., New York time, clubs may establish a practice squad of 10 players. No club, including the player’s prior club, will be permitted to sign a player to a practice player contract until all clubs have received simultaneous notification via the above Personnel Notice that such player’s prior NFL player contract hasbeen terminated via the waiver system.September 6: At 12:00 a.m., New York time, the Top 51 Rule expires for all NFL clubs.September 5, 8-9: Regular season begins.
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Preview: Rams return to Coliseum to host Eagles on Sunday night | Rams’ official siteThe Rams have not lost back-to-back in the regular season under head coach Sean McVay and will look to continue the trend of nearly two years against the defending world champion Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday in Los Angeles.After two down games Jack Youngblood Color Rush Jersey , Rams need Goff to return to MVP level | ESPN“I don’t think this will be the last time I have a bad game,” Jared Goff said. “And I don’t think it will be the last time I have two bad games in a row, if I play for as long as I want to.”Johnson has proven to be much more than a safety valve on defense | LA TimesThey had not yet played together in a game, but Rams cornerback Marcus Peters already had formulated his evaluation of second-year safety John Johnson III.WATCH: Keys to the game for Eagles-Rams | NFL NetworkNFL Network’s Charley Casserly provides his keys to Sunday night’s matchupNFC West Awards Week 15: Which bad QB switched bodies with Jared Goff? | Seattle TimesThe Seahawks and Rams both enter Sunday games with major playoff implications. But can Rams quarterback Jared Goff rediscover his mojo in time for a significant postseason run?How the Rams can lock up the first round bye | Rams WireHere’s the very simple clinching scenario for L.A. to seal at least the No. 2 seed.Rams’ 3 biggest concerns vs. Eagles Sunday night | Rams WireThere isn’t a whole lot of worry for the Rams entering this game, but these three factors could lead to an upset victory by the Eagles.3 things to watch in the NFC West in Week 15 | Ramblin FanThe Los Angeles Rams may have already wrapped up the NFC West, but the Seahawks are still a fixture in the playoff hunt in Week 15.Does any NFC team actually want the final wild card spot in the NFL playoffs? | SB NationIt seems like every time a team gets close to taking control of the No. 6 seed, things go south. The Bears defense has been very good all season. And the Rams have their share of playmakers and stars on that side of the ball.But while the temptation is to make Chicago’s 15-6 win a testament to great defense, it was perhaps more of a situation of two quarterbacks playing poorly.Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky played less poorly. He threw for 110 yards and had three interceptions, and was clearly the better of the two.Rams counterpart Jared Goff was, to be blunt, a real mess. He finished 20-of-44 for 180 yards and four interceptions, for a 19.1 passer rating. The turnovers were bad, but the 4.1 yards per pass attempt might have been as egregious a number. Beyond the stats, however, Goff looked uncomfortable throughout the night Torry Holt Jersey , whether the culprit was his own teammates stepping on his feet, getting subtly whacked in the head as he threw, or the cold weather.Or, you know, the Bears defense.From the safety which opened the second half to the fourth quarter/fourth down sack by Akiem Hicks, the Bears were able to keep Goff in the pocket and under duress, and it was not a good thing for the Rams. When he’s not moving and in some kind of rhythm, he can look extremely average, if that.There might not many defenses that can make the Rams look so out of sorts, but the Bears have one, and it was good enough to overcome a subpar night from their own quarterback.Here are five more things we learned during1. No one was happier with the Bears Sunday night than the Saints. And the Saints were pretty happy to begin with, after clinching the NFC South title earlier in the day.With the loss dropping the Rams to 11-2, the Saints (11-2 with the head-to-head tiebreaker) once again have the inside track toward home field advantage in the NFC playoffs.And that’s incredibly important, considering what a difference location makes for the Saints in the postseason.Since Sean Payton took over in 2006, the Saints are 5-0 in the postseason in the Superdome. They’re 1-5 in another team’s building (and 1-0 at neutral sites Eric Dickerson Color Rush Jersey , as in their Super Bowl win).While the Rams will certainly be glad to get in out of the cold, they don’t necessarily want to go indoors in New Orleans in January, after losing 45-35 there in November.2. The Bears (9-4) deserved bonus points for their third-quarter touchdown, simply for their extensive use of big men.The touchdown pass to spare tackle Bradley Sowell was slick, after he reported eligible and slipped out into the flat on the goal-line play.It was the fake to defensive tackle Akiem Hicks that helped sell it and get Sowell so open, as the Rams were line up in a jumbo personnel package and usually when people do that they run power plays.But the Bears decided to have fun instead. Football can be fun, even without 100 points on the scoreboard. Especially with fat guy touchdowns, and the ensuing fat guy dances. Football is better when fat guys do big fat things.3. On the other hand, sometimes bright young coaches can overcomplicate the game.The Bears defense is quite good, that’s a given. But Rams running back Todd Gurley had just eight touches in the first three quarters (six carries, two receptions).Gurley entered the game with 1,649 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns, and he’s their best offensive skill player. So maybe, you know, giving it to him more would have helped.Sean McVay is very smart https://www.ramsfanstore.com/Marshall-Faulk-Jersey , and knows more about drawing up offense than most people employed in the league (and certainly more than me). But he didn’t get the ball to his best player. It doesn’t have to be that hard.4. The Rams dodged a bullet when center John Sullivan was evaluated for a concussion in the first half, but was cleared and returned.Because they’re keeping extras elsewhere, the Rams have just seven offensive linemen on the roster.Rookie Brian Allen, their fourth-round pick, is the interior line backup, and he came in for a bit before Sullivan made it back. Fellow rookie Joseph Noteboom, their third-rounder, is the backup tackle, and he had to come in during the fourth quarter when left guard Rodger Saffold went down.It’s a good line, but that lack of depth could end up biting them at some point. And it’s the kind of risk you take when you swing for the fences by trading for expensive veterans and sign big-ticket free agents.5. The Bears lost a chance to catch the Rams off guard, when they caught an official off guard.After initially lining up for a punt, the Bears tried to run their offense back on the field, but tackle Bobby Massie knocked line judge Carl Johnson down to the ground. Officials stopped the game since he wasn’t in a position to call the play.That didn’t satisfy Bears coach Matt Nagy, since the Rams had a chance to adjust personnel. They ended up punting anyway.
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PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappe scored his league-leading 20th goal of the season as Paris Saint-Germain beat Montpellier 5-1 on Wednesday to move 15 points clear best replica football jerseys , having played one game less than second-place Lille.Mbappe has led PSG’s attack with ease in the absence of Edinson Cavani and Neymar. The 20-year-old France forward has netted in three straight games since both forwards were ruled out of PSG’s trip to face Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League last week.This goal was deflected, however, as he completed the scoring in the 79th minute with a shot that looped off 41-year-old Brazilian defender Vitorino Hilton and over the goalkeeper. A minute earlier, Hilton deflected another Mbappe shot but this one was given as an own goal.Montpellier entered the game with the French league’s second-best defense, but fell apart after winger Angel Di Maria’s superb curling free kick put PSG 2-1 up on the stroke of halftime.Left back Layvin Kurzawa put PSG in front when he headed in a cross from right back Dani Alves in the 13th minute. Montpellier midfielder Florent Mollet equalized in the 31st with a free kick from the right angle of the penalty area which looked to have been saved by goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. But the referee awarded it after goal-line technology ruled the ball crossed the line before Buffon scooped it away.After the break, PSG scored three goals in six minutes with the first coming from midfielder Christopher Nkunku’s deflected header.Montpellier remains in sixth place.In Wednesday’s other match Cheap Iceland Soccer Shirts , 13th-place Bordeaux drew 0-0 at home to last-place Guingamp.Striker Josh Maja made his second start for Bordeaux since joining from third-tier English side Sunderland. The 20-year-old Englishman showed neat touches and took up good positions, but was substituted for the more physical and less technical Andreas Cornelius at halftime.After heading against the crossbar from close range right at the end of Guingamp’s 2-1 loss at Lyon last Friday, striker Nolan Roux miscued again when he scooped the ball over an open goal from three meters out in the closing stages. CAIRO (AP) — This year’s African Cup of Nations in Egypt has been pushed back by six days to cater for Ramadan and allow Muslim players time to rest and recover after a month of fasting.The Confederation of African Football said Monday the tournament will now kick off on June 21 instead of June 15. The final was put back six days to July 19. The move came after a request from a group of North African nations and CAF approved the delay at a special executive committee meeting on Saturday.Some of Africa’s biggest stars, including Egypt forward Mohamed Salah and Senegal winger Sadio Mane, are Muslims.Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, making it difficult for their teams to train or play. This year www.thetopsoccer.com/italy , Ramadan ends on June 4 and the move by CAF gives Muslim players nearly a week extra to prepare for Africa’s top tournament.This is the first year the African Cup will be held in June and July, coinciding with the European leagues’ offseason and falling in line with other major tournaments like the World Cup and European Championship. This is also the first year the African Cup will be increased from 16 to 24 teams.CAF confirmed April 12 as the date for the tournament draw, which will take place in front of the Sphinx and the pyramids in Giza.The African soccer body also resolved complications with qualifying after Cameroon was stripped as host of the African Cup because of poor preparations and security concerns.Cameroon, which is the defending champion, lost its automatic place at the tournament as host and must now qualify. To do that, Cameroon must avoid losing to Comoros at home in the final round of qualifying in March. If Comoros wins Cheap Japan Soccer Jerseys , it will make its debut and the African Cup will be played without the reigning champion.Fourteen countries have already qualified, including first-time participants Madagascar and Mauritania.
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Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti has poured cold water on claims which suggest that his side's star defender Kalidou Koulibaly may be considering a move out of the club. This comes in wake of speculations which indicate that Manchester United is preparing a bid to lure the center back away from Naples.The Red Devils are believed to be on the lookout to bring in another center back with their struggles in defense continuing. Having reportedly identified Koulibaly as their man Cheap England Soccer Team Uniform , the English heavyweights are said to be willing to pay in excess of 100 million pounds to secure the signature of the Senegalese center back.Koulibaly himself stirred up transfer speculations earlier this month by telling Manchester United's Paul Pogba "I'll see you soon, bro" in an Instagram post. This came after he received the Frenchman's backing having been subjected to racial abuse at the San Siro in a Serie A game between Napoli and Inter Milan.While many asserted that the 27-year-old defender may be seeking his way out of Italy as a result of the discrimination he suffered, the player's manager Carlo Ancelotti has slammed the reports. The former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich manager insists that Koulibaly is very happy at Napoli and, as a result, does not expect him to depart the club any time soon."In England, they write that Koulibaly can leave because of the problem of racism," the Napoli boss said as per聽Goal."I do not think so, Koulibaly is happy in Naples www.thetopsoccer.com/national-team-kit/france , he's upset like others, but it will not be a trigger for a goodbye."He never showed it, he wants to stay in Naples and in Italy, a country he likes very much." Manchester United winger Alexis Sanchez remains a major doubt for Sunday's epic clash against Tottenham Hotspur as he was not spotted among the squad that travelled to London on Saturday. The Chilean attacker was handed his first starting role under new interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in last weekend's FA Cup game against Reading but was subsequently substituted after sustaining a hamstring injury.Apparently, the former Arsenal star has not recovered in time and, as a result, is not expected to feature in the upcoming encounter. According to Manchester Evening News, Chris Smalling Cheap Germany Soccer Team Uniform , Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian and Marouane Fellaini were not sighted among the traveling party.However, Paul Pogba, who missed the game against Reading after picking up a knock in Manchester United's previous encounter with Newcastle was spotted. Following the arrival of Solskjaer, the Frenchman has experienced an upsurge in form, scoring four goals and registering three assists in four appearances.The new manager confirmed that the former Juventus man will be available to feature against Spurs despite initially posing as a doubt."He looked okay towards the end there (Manchester United's warm weather training camp in Dubai), so he'll be fit."He did have some problems but he came through the last couple of sessions well www.thetopsoccer.com/national-team-kit/italy , so he should be okay."As per MEN, here is the full Manchester United squad spotted heading to London on Saturday.Goalkeepers: De Gea, Romero, GrantDefenders: Lindelof, Jones, Young, Dalot, ShawMidfielders: Pereira Cheap Mexico Soccer Team Uniform , Mata, Matic, Pogba, Fred, Herrera, McTominay, Lingard, GarnerForwards: Martial www.thetopsoccer.com/national-team-kit/portugal , Rashford, Lukaku
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It’s not common to hear the phrase “leave the politics out of my sports” in comment threads all over the internet. And this sentiment makes sense on a macro level — the world feels extremely chaotic right now and the idea of slipping away from reality to enjoy a football game is like a warm bath of comfort. The NFL has had some backlash over the past couple of season for being “too political” with the protests to police brutality. And the NFL has paid the price with many fans turning their backs in record numbers. However Rodger Saffold Color Rush Jersey , as much as we wish the existence of the Los Angeles Rams was an apolitical thing that didn't have any connection to reality... it’s just not true.Everything is political. Football is political. Right now, the Rams are political.The LA Rams are currently facing the realities of two events head-on that have major political ramifications — a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California that was roughly four miles from their practice facility and significant wildfires that are ravaging the same area, displacing thousands from their homes and even making it so that the Rams can’t practice. This is going to be a big part of their season personally, beyond the wins and losses that comes from the games. Though Coach Sean McVay gave out the tried and true “thoughts and prayers” line for reporters, he then said something a little more revealing:“It’s something that makes you step back and gives you a perspective,” McVay said. “I know me personally, I’m very guilty of losing perspective, because you’re just in your own little world and it’s all football, all the time, and then you have things like this that occur and re-gather your priorities and your perspective on what’s really important, and (serve as a reminder to) not to get bent out of shape on some of the things that maybe I tend to do, just being in the role that I’m in.”McVay doesn’t feel like a guy who is going to say anything close to political at all, so just the admission that he’s been rattled by this tragedy is telling. The Rams are part of this community and it’s not always going to be about football. LT Andrew Whitworth had this to say about the shooting in Thousand Oaks that left 13 people dead.“I just don’t believe that sitting there wondering is the best way,” Whitworth said. “Find a way to put your feet on the ground and take action and get involved in some way.”Whitworth is basically saying that the team feels for the community and wants to offer their love and support. There’s a level of horror that these players are feeling about the death toll that struck so close to their home at the same time that many of these players have been forced to evacuate their own homes due to the fires. I wonder if, and this is a big if, the players’ rage and feeling of helplessness will extend to a bigger step in becoming more proactive in making change in their community. Gun control is obviously a topic that the NFL wants no part of — it would alienate even more fans in a negative way and I’m sure Roger Goodell is begging every player to say “thoughts and prayers” and move on. But as the Rams players step forward to become part of the recovery effort, they are going to see first-hand how devastating this tragedy really was. And to be clear: I’m not saying that Rams players are going to be pushing for stricter gun control because a mass shooting happened near them; but for change to happen, community leaders need to feel the effects of a problem and right now, the Rams are horrified by what happened in their home town, which is also coincidentally a raging inferno.The effects of climate change has struck once again in the southland https://www.ramsfanstore.com/Brian-Allen-Jersey , burning up acres of land, including many of the homes of the coaches and players for the Rams. But this is just part of living in Southern California, right? Well, it didn’t used to be, but things change. And maybe the next thing to change will be more players speaking up about it. Owners, NFL executives, and many fans don’t want the players to speak up because of the simple truth that it’s messy. Toes will get stepped on. But we’re already down the rabbit-hole — maybe toes should get stepped on until the chaos slows down. The world is on fire and it’s not a game anymore. Meanwhile, the LA Rams are right in the middle of it. ATLANTA (AP) — In the past three NFL seasons alone, Brandin Cooks has caught passes from Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Jared Goff while playing for Sean Payton, Bill Belichick and Sean McVay."I guess I know how to pick 'em, right?" Cooks asked Tuesday with a laugh.Cooks has racked up 3,786 yards receiving and 21 total touchdowns in that three-season span, which will include six playoff games and two consecutive Super Bowls. He played for the Patriots in the big game last year, and he will play against them for the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. He is also the first player in NFL history to have three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons with three different teams.But there are asterisks on this incredible resume.Cooks was only able to accomplish these feats because he was traded before each of the past two seasons, changing teams twice before he turned 25 years old.Two elite NFL franchises — New Orleans and New England — decided they could do without the speedy, dependable receiver, giving him up for first-round picks.Although he has been asked about it almost daily during the Rams' playoff run, Cooks insists he harbors no ill will against the Saints or the Patriots.The Rams' postseason could have been a personal revenge tour, but Cooks says it means nothing to him that his two former teams are Los Angeles' final two playoff opponents: The Rams beat New Orleans 26-23 in the NFC championship game Jacob McQuaide Color Rush Jersey , and they will face the Patriots in the Super Bowl.While Cooks claims he didn't take it personally, he also acknowledges using the trades as motivation during his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season and the subsequent playoff grind."It's fuel to the fire," Cooks said. "I know that I can play this game at a high level, whether someone thinks it or not. For them to trade me, it's part of the game, but it also gives me that motivation to keep going, too."This Super Bowl is a particular opportunity for Cooks, who realizes how fortunate he is to return to football's biggest stage for a second straight year. Cooks caught just one pass for the Patriots against Philadelphia last season before he was sidelined with a concussion, missing most of the biggest game of his life."I would be lying if I said I didn't think about it like all year, offseason and training camp," Cooks said. "But now that I'm here, I've got that thought process out of my mind."Cooks has avoided constant attempts to get him to compare the inner workings of the Patriots and Rams this week, deliberately giving simplistic, short answers such as: "They're both great cultures. That's the similarity."But it's clear he has found a home in his native California with the Rams, who have lavished praise on him ever since his arrival. They even signed him to a five-year, $80 million contract extension before he played a game in LA, and he rewarded them with a career-best 1,204 yards receiving."I can promise you this: We're not trading him," McVay said Tuesday.Cooks has showed his reciprocal devotion to the Rams in many ways: Just last week, he surprised team custodian Alfonso Garcia by paying for two tickets to the Super Bowl for Garcia and his 8-year-old son.The Patriots have had only good things to say about their former receiver even though Belichick kept him for only one season before making the trade to maximize his value Johnny Hekker Jersey , rather than signing him to the type of long-term contract New England has often avoided. The Pats used the Rams' first-round pick on offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, who tore his Achilles tendon in the preseason.Belichick, Brady and other Patriots praised Cooks' work ethic and talent this week."He was a great guy to have in the room, a hard-working teammate, and he's a real playmaker," New England receiver Chris Hogan said.Hogan said that although he was dazzled by Cooks' speed, "when I'd see on film I was even with him or ahead of him, I made sure to point it out."Even though he has impressive numbers for Los Angeles, Cooks is sold on McVay's culture of individual sacrifice for team success. In fact, Cooks is getting some of his biggest praise for a strategic drop in New Orleans.On a third-down play with the Rams on the edge of long field-goal range in overtime, Goff threw a short backfield pass to Cooks with Saints defenders bearing down.Instead of catching it and probably taking a 4-yard loss on a play that McVay immediately regretted calling, Cooks intentionally dropped it. Shortly afterward, Greg Zuerlein made a 57-yard field goal to send the Rams to their first Super Bowl in 17 years.No matter what happens in his second shot at the Super Bowl, Cooks seems certain be a key component of Los Angeles' offense next season along with Robert Woods and the injured Cooper Kupp, who formed one of the most potent receiver trios in the league when they were together this season. Cooks is also eager for another year to build chemistry with Goff."To be put with a young quarterback that's the same age as me, and to know you have the chance to be together for a long time, that's a blessing," Cooks said.
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For a franchise record fourth straight game and despite going against one of the NFL’s best scoring defenses Shaq Mason Color Rush Jersey , the New England Patriots offense was able to break the 38-point barrier. There was a lot to like about the team’s offensive performance during its 38-31 win over the Chicago Bears – from Josh Gordon’s 100-yard output to the offensive line slowing down a ferocious pass rush. However, one play puts a damper on the entire victory.Coming out of the timeout between quarters one and two, the Patriots called a run with workhorse back Sony Michel as the ball carrier. The play ended at the line of scrimmage and with the first-round draft pick losing the football. The Bears recovered the fumble and ultimately turned it into a touchdown nine plays later. The turnover, however, was secondary at that point: Michel remained on the ground due to an apparent injury.As the Patriots later announced, the 23-year old hurt his knee while going to the ground. And while an MRI later today will give more clarity on the severity of the injury by the sheer looks of it, it could be a serious one. Considering that Michel is New England’s number one running back and a productive presence in the backfield, losing the rookie for an extended period of time would be a huge blow to the team.“It’s tough to see a guy like that go down,” fellow running back James White said in his press conference immediately after the game. The veteran, who finished the day with 97 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns, played a big role in helping the team adjust after Michel was lost yesterday. He also knows that Michel had fought his way back after another knee injury limited him for most of the Patriots’ training camp.“He’s been battling some injuries and been working hard and playing well,” White added. Michel indeed played very well recently and especially over the three games leading up to yesterday’s contest in Chicago lived up to his first-round label: serving as New England’s early down bell-cow and goal line back, the 31st selection of this year’s draft registered 67 carries for a combined 316 yards and four touchdowns.Equally important as the stats is his presence as a threat from the backfield – which LaAdrian Waddle Jersey , in turn, helps open things up elsewhere. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick explained the impact of an improved running game last week: “When the running game is effective, that helps the play-action passes a lot.” Without Michel in the lineup, this aspect of New England’s offensive attack would likely also suffer as a consequence.“We all hope he’s okay,” added quarterback Tom Brady – one of the primary beneficiaries of an improved running game. “He’s doing a great job for us.” Whether Michel gets a chance to continue this job in 2018 remains to be seen. Whatever today’s MRI will ultimately reveal, though, it seems like a foregone conclusion that the rookie will at least miss some time – practice or in-game – due to the injury suffered against the Bears.“Just hope for a speedy recovery for him,” said James White. As things stand right now, this is the best Michel’s teammates can do. Now that we are officially into December football, the NFL playoff picture will be slowly coming together over the next four weeks. There’s no doubt the Patriots will be in the playoffs. And as the (soon-to-be) AFC East champions for the 373rd consecutive season, they will once again be playing a home playoff game at Gillette Stadium. It’s tradition. It just wouldn’t be January in New England without a freezing cold playoff game at Gillette, right?We know that much. We just don’t know where the Patriots will be situated once the regular season is complete. We don’t know where they will wind up on the bracket. In the NFL more than just about any other sport, playoff positioning can be a make-or-break thing for teams.It has also become a Foxborough tradition to have the first week of January off. During the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era James Develin Color Rush Jersey , the Patriots have relied very heavily on a first round bye. They’ve had it all five times they’ve won the Super Bowl, and most other seasons as well. During the rare occasions when they haven’t had a first round bye, those seasons have always ended in ugly fashion.A first round bye is no guarantee for the Pats this year. They’ve got the upper hand on the Houston Texans, having beaten them on Opening Day. But the Texans are riding a nine-game winning streak, and they are right on New England’s tail. Should Houston win out, chances are they will take home the second seed in the AFC.If the Patriots win out, they’ll wrap up the two-seed and a first round bye without a problem. I just have a strong feeling they have one more loss in them during this regular season. Next week, they play at Miami, and the Pats never, ever play well in South Beach. The following week, they play at Pittsburgh, and that game could legitimately go either way. I think the Patriots will lose one of those two games. Assuming they take care of business at home against the Bills and Jets to end the season, they will still get the two-seed as long as Houston doesn’t win out.And that’s just the beginning. They won’t get the No. 1 seed unless the Kansas City Chiefs collapse https://www.patriotsfanstore.com/David-Andrews-Jersey , and that seems unlikely at this point. That means the Patriots would still have to travel to Arrowhead Stadium for the AFC Championship Game, and Arrowhead is one of the most difficult places in the NFL to play as a visiting team.This would present big problems for the Patriots. They haven’t had anywhere near the same kind of good fortune in road playoff games as they have in home playoff games. The last time the Pats won a playoff game on the road, it was during the 2006 playoffs when they upset the San Diego Chargers 24-21. That was the same year the Chicago Bears went to the Super Bowl on the shoulders of Rex Grossman.And yes, that actually happened.As we’ve seen in the past, playoff positioning is everything for the Patriots. When they have to go on the road to reach the Super Bowl, things get very ugly. For reference, just look back at those two AFC Championship Games in Denver in 2013 and 2015. The Pats have a good chance of securing yet another first round bye. But the road to Super Bowl LIII likely won’t go through Foxborough this year, and they will have their work cut out for them when they have to leave the safe and friendly confines of Gillette Stadium.For the first time in years, the Patriots will have the odds stacked against them as they try to push toward yet another Super Bowl.
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COSTA MESA Justin Jones Color Rush Jersey , Calif. (AP) — Philip Rivers has many accomplishments, but there is one trait that he has taken pride in over his 15-year career — durability.The Chargers‘ veteran signal caller will become the fourth quarterback in NFL history to make at least 200 consecutive regular-season starts when Los Angeles travels to Seattle.“It’s pretty cool. I mean, obviously the two Mannings (Peyton and Eli) and Favre have started over 200 in a row, and I just feel thankful,” Rivers said. “I think there is a small element of toughness involved, but then again, shoot, lots of prayers for me from many people on Sundays and guys’ protection that allow me to be out there each and every week, whether dealing with minor things or big things.”Rivers’ streak is even more impressive considering the physical and mental demands of the position as well as the constant QB turnover throughout the league. Since Rivers’ first start on Sept. 11, 2006, at Oakland:— There have been 179 different starting quarterbacks, including San Francisco’s Nick Mullens on Thursday night.— Of that group, 78 have started for two or more teams and 12 have been with four or more. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been the most traveled with starts for six teams.— While the Chargers have had only one starting QB, 18 teams have had 10 or more start under center and eight have had 13 or more with the Browns (18) Kyzir White Color Rush Jersey , Rams (16) and Vikings (16) leading the way.— Rivers, who has a 111-98 record, has started against 91 quarterbacks and defeated 69, including Favre and both Mannings.Longevity, though, is nothing new for Rivers, who started 51 consecutive games at North Carolina State.“I think just being out there each and every week has always been important,” he said. “Obviously, you want to be able to go out there and help. It’s not just be out there. You want to play at a high level, and that’s been up and down over 199, but being out there means something.”NFL on CBS commentator Boomer Esiason said he thought it wasn’t humanly possible to see a quarterback start 200 or more consecutive games, but that Rivers’ leadership is what has stood out throughout his career.He also noted that Rivers’ relationship with Drew Brees during his first two years with the Chargers, where both had a friendly rivalry, is something that rarely happens these days due to constant scrutiny and social media.While Brees has had great success with Sean Payton in New Orleans Virgil Green Color Rush Jersey , Rivers has had a tougher time. The Chargers have not been to the playoffs since 2013.“With Philip’s competitive personality and leadership he is what other quarterbacks should aspire to be,” Esiason said. “He’s an extension of the coaching staff when he is out on the field.”Even at age 36, Rivers is off to one of the best starts of his career as the 5-2 Chargers have won four straight. He is third in the league with a 117.8 passer rating and is tied for third with 17 touchdown passes.He has excelled this season on deep passes along with throwing into tight windows. According to the league’s Next Gen stats, Rivers leads the league at 9.2 yards per attempt and has a 124.1 rating when the receiver is separated by less than a yard from the defender.Rivers also has six touchdowns and no interceptions on deep passes (thrown in the air 20 yards or more). Seattle’s defense has allowed only five completions on deep passes.“Sometimes as an older player, your body won’t let you do it. He’s gifted. He hasn’t faced that problem,” Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said.If Rivers’ streak continues, he would tie Peyton Manning (208) at the end of the season and Eli Manning (210) in Week 2 of next season. As for Favre’s mark of 297, Rivers said that is too many games for him to have a chance.“Favre was always a favorite of mine. Still is. I kind of wanted to have that mark, or at least push for it in college,” Rivers said. “I’m not going to get there. So y’all can do the math and figure out your projection of how many years I’m going to play, but I’m not going to get to 300.”Rivers might also be the last to get into the 200 straight starts club for a while. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, who is in his 11th season, is second among active straight starts with 138 and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, who is in his 10th Caleb Sturgis Color Rush Jersey , has 119. Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who has started every game since entering the league in 2012, is at 103 and wouldn’t reach 200 until midway through the 2024 season. This is a great time of year to be thankful for what we have, where we have been, and what the future holds. Although the Chargers have lost their way a bit in recent years, the month of December still holds such incredible promise! This advent calendar is an attempt to hearken back to these days of December joy. Each day will bring a new advent from the Bolts’ history that makes it wonderful to be a Chargers fan.Dec. 13: A History of Chargers Vs. ChiefsAnd then, on the biggest night of the year for the Chargers, there is reason to be hopeful for fans of both teams.Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and figure out who has the edge in this rivalry.Many remember fondly the scrappy bouts between the Chargers and the Dallas Texans!The Dallas Cowboys VS. The Dallas TexansFor the uninitiated, we are talking about the Kansas City Chiefs. The team was founded in 1960 as the Dallas Texans by businessman Lamar Hunt and was a charter member of the American Football League (Editors Note: They are not associated with an earlier Dallas Texans NFL team that only played for one season in 1952, nor are they related to the current Dallas Cowboys). In 1963, the team relocated to Kansas City and assumed their current name. That makes the Denver Broncos the only AFC West team to never relocate, but I digress.Ever since the American Football League was established in 1960, the Chargers and the Chiefs have shared the same division, first being the AFL Western Conference Mike Pouncey Color Rush Jersey , and since the AFL–NFL merger, the AFC West. Throughout the Chargers’ entire history, the Chiefs have been there to foil their plans.First meeting: September 10, 1960 - Los Angeles Chargers 21, Dallas Texans 20Next meeting: Today! VITAL STATS:Meetings total 119 (including the playoffs and today) All-time series The Chiefs lead 62–55–1 (including the playoffs) Postseason results: The Chargers lead 1–0 (Chargers 17, Chiefs 0) Largest victory Chargers: 31–0 (2010); Chiefs: 49–6 (1964) Longest win streak Chargers: 6 (1979–1981); Chiefs: 7 (2014–present) Current win streak Chiefs: 9 wins (2014–present)Some interesting things might jump out at you from those stats. First- the series isn’t terribly lopsided, which is a good thing. Second- the series has been terribly, unforgivably lopsided lately.Let’s take a look by decade (why not??)1960s (Chiefs 10–9–1)1970s (tied 10–10)1980s (Chargers 12–7)1990s (Chiefs 14–7)2000s (Chargers 11–9)2010s (Chiefs 11–6)The Chargers surprised no one by being crushed by the Chiefs earlier this year. That also gave the Chargers their last multi-score loss. Momentum is an interesting thing. The Chiefs have dropped 4 straight, and appear to be the biggest 2nd half bust of the season (comparing fascinatingly with the Chargers being the biggest 2nd half gain of the season).This has been a frenzied and worthwhile competition, even if it does skew slightly toward the Chiefs. The Chargers can begin their trek to right the ship in this series later this year. We’ll know the results in just over a week!-Jason “Maybe that’s why I hate Dallas” Michaels
Posted: 3/22/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
In a completely meaningless AFC West divisional game between two teams fighting for 2019 NFL Draft position https://www.broncosfanstore.com/Shelby-Harris-Jersey , the Denver Broncos will be on the road against the Oakland Raiders on Christmas Eve Monday Night Football. Despite a recent poll showing fans hoping for a Broncos loss to the Raiders, most of us on Mile High Report are thinking Broncos 23-19 win to crush the Raiders fans hopes and dreams of one final win in Oakland.Here is how we predicting things to go individually.Raiders 23, Broncos 13In a fitting end to the Vance Joseph tenure as the head coach of the Broncos, they get rolled on the road against the franchises most hated rival. The one good thing will be that the Raiders will hurt their 2019 NFL Draft position by winning this game. In April, I’ll celebrate this. In December, I’ll loathe it. Screw the Raiders. - Tim LynchRaiders 27, Broncos 20Rah Rah Rah, “we’re not the Raiders” rah rah rah “we can’t lose to the Raiders” rah rah rah yackity smackity. Whatever. Keep that rah rah rah garbage for your kid’s soccer game. This is professional football and sometimes the better team loses. Sometimes the home team wins. Sometimes teams have other teams’ numbers. Sometimes you’re pumped and amped up and you step in a puddle of mud outside the tunnel with the away crowd roaring and you just think “yep, we’re gonna lose.” And sometimes the less talented team simply has extra emotion and motivation to win. The Broncos are stepping into a meat grinder. The Raiders know this is likely their last game in that stadium ever! That’s powerful. That’s “Win one for the Gipper” “Ray Lewis’ swan song” “This one’s for John” and “This one’s for Pat” level motivation! Sorry Broncos faithful, but sometimes those motivational and emotional moments override the otherwise more talented team. I know the Broncos are better and I know our fans are better. I know this hurts and stings and I’ll get ridiculed for it, but the good guy doesn’t always win! Sometimes the good guy loses, and this is one of those times. Throw all stats and quips out the window. Throw out the history and the snark. The Raiders are playing for the last time in Oakland and in front of their fans. That overrides it all. I hate to say it, but this game is a loss for the Broncos, which is a win for the team going into 2019. Like Obe-Wan Kinoi said “You can’t win Darth Bradley Roby Color Rush Jersey , strike me down and I’ll become more powerful then you can possibly imagine.” Strike us down Raiders, because we’ll be even more powerful because of the higher draft pick than this win in front of your trash heap stadium and crowd could possibly mean. - Pete Baron Broncos 27, Raiders 16Pete forgets something very important... the Raiders are a No Good, Very Bad team. They’re horrible this year, having traded 2/3 of their best players & drug the others through the muck (literally, any time they play at that sorry excuse for a home stadium they’re leaving) until they’re pretty much broken. I mean, come on. The Bengals team the Broncos dominated earlier this season just beat them 30-16. And 2 of their paltry 3 wins are against the other 2 of the 3 worst teams in the NFL. But, hey, every dog has his day, right? Well, the Raiders already had theirs when they beat a Steelers team already reeling from consecutive losses to the Broncos and Chargers. I think the Broncos take this chance to show off a bit of that bright 2019 Von Miller is talking about & give us a nice Christmas gift by ruining the Oakland faithful’s final memory of their team playing at home. - Taylor KotheBroncos 27, Raiders 17I was born and raised to do two things: Be a fan of the Broncos and hate the Raiders. Even if I think Denver will lose in Oakland, I’ll never predict it. So what better way to send that joke of a franchise to Las Vegas than on a beautiful loss? - Ian St. ClairBroncos 23, Raiders 17The Oakland fans can pound sand and die in a hole. I look forward to their sweet Von Miller Jersey , delicious tears as they weep over their lost “franchise” while 1/2 their stands are tarped because their fan base can’t fill the seats. Those pathetic fans deserve to lose more than this Bronco team deserves to win. Both teams at the end of the day are poorly executed 2018 NFL franchises. I’ll toast this win for the Broncos because Oakland sucks. If the Broncos lose, no big deal. Oakland still sucks and is losing their team and we get a better draft pick. It is a win-win for the Broncos this Christmas Eve. - SadaraineBroncos 27, Raiders 13It’s Raider week. I don’t care what is happening around the franchise. Ownership issues. Coach issues. Players hurt. Doesn’t matter. There is one team each year that the Broncos have to be up for, no matter what. And the added pleasure of sending the Raiders out of Oakland on a big fat L has to be the biggest incentive. Denver will win this game based on all that alone. - Adam MalnatiGive us your score predictions in the comments section below. The Los Angeles Rams (5-0) are an offensive powerhouse, but they have lacked in one key area and that is on defense where they also give up a lot of points. Not quite as bad as the Kansas City Chiefs, but bad enough to give the Denver Broncos (2-3) some hope if they can find a way to, well, get out of their own way.The mood around Broncos Country is one of despair and acceptance of losing. Losing is something we have all come to except in the Vance Joseph era and collectively we don’t think it will be much different this week with the Mile High Report staff predicting a 37-21 home loss.Here is how we expect things to play out individually.Broncos 31, Rams 28Never give up, never surrender! That is my motto this week as I predict yet another Broncos win - which is something I have done every week this year. I feel like this is Joseph’s last chance to change the narrative of this season and get things back on track in a big way. Do I think it’s likely? Not really, but I have to go into each game hoping for the best - especially this early into a season. - Tim LynchRams 44, Broncos 2431-3 at halftime. Then Case Keenum is benched and Chad Kelly comes in to usher in a new era as our franchise quarterback.What will the final score be? Not a clue as I’m not sure if the Rams will call off the dogs and prevent defense their way home, or if Chad Kelly lights it up and keeps it within 3 scores. But I know at some point, it will be a 28+ point game. - Pete BaronRams 32 Jeff Heuerman Color Rush Jersey , Broncos 17The Rams are going to want to make a statement against the Broncos on Sunday. Wade Phillips will have his defense fired up, and things could get ugly quick. As I mentioned on The MHR Radio Podcast, after three quarters the Rams will probably be up by enough to call off the dogs. The game will be over at 32-0 heading into the fourth, but Keenum will snag a few garbage time points in the fourth against the backups. 32-17 Rams. - Adam MalnatiRams 38, Broncos 21I think Lindsay and Royce go HAM against a weak Rams run D but the Broncos turn into the same pass happy outfit they’ve been so far as Jared Goff torches the secondary. Denver scores 21 but gives up more than 5 touchdowns. - Joe RowlesRams 51, Broncos 23I think its 51-23, Rams.That was the score of the Eagles game last year and this season is shaping up to look pretty close to last year’s season.I think Denver comes out with some energy, but succumbs to turnovers and their losing ways in the second half. - Jeff EssaryRams 34, Broncos 9Most seem to agree the weather is the only chance the Broncos have on Sunday. The Rams want to prove they have what it takes to win on the road in the cold and snow. Todd Gurley is going to absolutely shred the Broncos defense — think Bo Jackson on Tecmo Bowl — and the Rams D will own the line of scrimmage, thus taking away the only thing Denver does well on offense. At least Bill Musgrave won’t be surprised by the calls this week. Of course, Wade Phillips and the Rams will benefit from the Broncos not playing one of their better run-blocking offensive lineman. - Ian St. ClairGive us your score predictions in the comments section below. If you dare...
Posted: 3/15/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
The 2018 World Series schedule has been finalized after the Boston Red Sox clinched the American League pennant with a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday night.The dates and times can be viewed below http://www.brewersfanproshop.com/authentic-robin-yount-jersey , courtesy of the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham:Game 1: NL Champion at Boston Red Sox, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 8:09 p.m. ET (Fox)Game 2: NL Champion at Boston Red Sox, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 8:09 p.m. ET (Fox)Game 3: Boston Red Sox at NL Champion, Friday Matt Garza Jersey , Oct. 26, 8:09 p.m. ET (Fox)Game 4: Boston Red Sox at NL Champion, Saturday, Oct. 27, 8:09 p.m. ET (Fox)Game 5*: Boston Red Sox at NL Champion, Sunday, Oct. 28, 8:15 p.m. ET (Fox)Game 6*: NL Champion at Boston Red Sox http://www.brewersfanproshop.com/authentic-stephen-vogt-jersey , Tuesday, Oct. 30, 8:09 p.m. ET (Fox)Game 7*: NL Champion at Boston Red Sox, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 8:09 p.m. ET (Fox)*Denotes if necessary. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET with the exception of Game 5, when coverage will start at 8 p.m. ET.The Red Sox, who won a franchise-record 108 games during the regular season Christian Yelich Jersey , will enjoy home-field advantage throughout the World Series.They will also head into Game 1 with Chris Sale ready to rollas their starter after he was hospitalized last week because of a stomach illness. Sale had been scheduled to start Game 6 of the ALCS in the event Boston didn't clinch Thursday.According to OddsShark, the Red Sox are -150 (bet $150 to win $100) favorites to win the World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who lead the NLCS 3-2, are +190 (bet $100 to win $190), while the Milwaukee Brewers are +650. The New York Mets announced Saturday that Tim Tebow will see a specialist next week after suffering an injury to his right hand Thursday while playing for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in a Double-A game against the Trenton Thunder."It's a hand/wrist thing," Rumble Ponies manager Luis Rojas told reporters Thursday. "I think there was one swing where he let go the bottom hand and the top hand finished his swing. He said that he felt something there. We don't know right now."Tebow, who played in the Eastern League All-Star Game last week, has been playing some of the best baseball of his career lately.The 30-year-old former NFL quarterback has tallied at least one hit in nine of his past 10 games http://www.brewersfanproshop.com/authentic-corey-knebel-jersey , including a 3-for-5 performance with a home run against the Akron RubberDucks last Friday.He's posted a .273/.336/.399 triple-slash line with six homers across 84 games for Binghamton in 2018.His improvement throughout his second year in the minors has raised questions about whether the Mets, who are already fading from the MLB playoff race with a 40-55 record, might call him up to the majors when the rosters expand to 40 in September.Tebow sidestepped a question about that possibility ahead of his All-Star appearance, perEverett MerrillofBaseball America."I'm just working on seeing more pitches and having a plan when I come up to bat. I can't worry about the hypotheticals or the what-ifs," he said. "I don't think that's a place an athlete can live. I know as a baseball player I have a lot of room to grow, and I think I'm getting better every day and every series."How long the hand injury keeps him sidelined could play a key role in determining whether Tebow ends up making a few appearances for the Mets this season.
Posted: 3/15/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
TOKYO (AP) — Yuki Yanagita had a home run and four RBIs as Japan scored the first nine runs and beat the MLB All-Stars 12-6 Saturday to open a 2-0 lead in the six-game exhibition series.Yanagita Jake Lamb Jersey , who hit a game-ending two-run homer in the opening 7-6 win, had an RBI single in the first off Erasmo Ramirez at the Tokyo Dome and hit a two-run homer in the third for a 5-0 lead.“The entire lineup was able to string together hits,” Japan manager Atsunori Inaba said. “I think we are on the right track now, and I would like to see us continue to do the same in the game tomorrow.”Yanagita singled in another run against Brian Johnson in a four-run fifth as Japan went ahead 9-0.Shogo Akiyama had three hits and three RBIs.Ramirez, the loser, allowed five runs and six hits in three innings. Johnson gave up seven runs — four earned — and six hits in 3 2/3 innings.“I thought tonight’s game actually turned early,” MLB manager Don Mattingly said. “They were able to score early. We came out and got first and third and couldn’t score early and we lost momentum right there.”National League Rookie of the Year finalist Juan Soto homered for the second straight game, a fifth-inning home down the left-field line that drove in the first run for the MLB All-Stars, who were the home team.Enrique Hernandez hit an RBI groundout in the seventh and Kevin Pillar followed with a run-scoring single. J.T. Realmuto hit a three-run homer in the eighth against Yu Sato.“We are not going to allow these two games to dictate the series,” Pillar said.Winner Naoyuki Uwasawa struck out seven in five innings, allowing one run and four hits.The series continues Sunday with another game in Tokyo, followed by one game in Hiroshima on Tuesday and two games in Nagoya on Wednesday and Thursday. Jesus Luzardo posted a 2.88 ERA and struck out 129 batters in 109.1 innings in the Oakland Athletics system last season.The 21-year-old advanced as high as Triple-A and could soon be toiling in Oakland's rotation, especially if he perfects a curveball that augments his high-90s fastball and plus changeup.The small-market A's are never afraid to promote, and Luzardo is a prime candidate.No. 9: OF Jo Adell http://www.diamondbacksfanproshop.com/authentic-robbie-ray-jersey , Los Angeles Angels4 of 12Patrick McDermott/Getty ImagesThe Los Angeles Angels have worked to rebuild a once-moribund farm system. Their crown jewel? Jo Adell.In 99 games between Single-A, High-A and Double-A, Adell hit .290 with 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases and flashed the defensive instincts and arm strength of a legitimate MLB right fielder.If Mike Trout exits Anaheim via free agency following the 2020 season, Adell could be the heir apparent.No. 8: INF Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies5 of 12David Zalubowski/Associated PressBrendan Rodgers cracked 17 homers with an .835 OPS in 95 games at Double-A last season and advanced to Triple-A.He doesn't have much left to prove for a Colorado Rockies franchise that could use help in the middle infield.Whether he profiles as a shortstop or second baseman or slots at third base in the event Nolan Arenado bails via free agency after the 2019 season, Rodgers has many paths to the big leagues in the not-too-distant future.No. 7: RHP Forrest Whitley, Houston Astros6 of 12Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesYou could make an argument for outfielder Kyle Tucker as the Houston Astros' top prospect. But it's tough to make an argument against right-hander Forrest Whitley.The 21-year-old hit a bump in the road with a 50-game performance-enhancing drug suspension, but he returned to strike out 34 hitters in 26.1 innings at Double-A while flashing a high-90s fastball, bat-missing curveball, power slider and plus changeup befitting an emerging ace.If the PED noise is permanently relegated to the rearview, Whitley could soon be the Astros' resident stud.No. 6: SS Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins7 of 12Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty ImagesA consummate athlete, Royce Lewis hit .292 with an .803 OPS between Single-A and High-A last season. That's especially impressive when you consider the Minnesota Twins prospect won't turn 20 years old until June.Lewis' power should progress as he ages, and he's got the range Jeff Mathis Jersey , hands and arm to remain at shortstop or transition to center field.Either way, the Twinkies have a versatile future star in their system.No. 5: 3B Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds8 of 12Rob Tringali/Getty ImagesNick Senzel is on the doorstep of MLB stardom. The 23-year-old hit .310 with an .887 OPS at Triple-A before a fractured right index finger ended his season.Freak injury aside, Senzel is a polished hitter with all the tools to succeed at the highest level.He's presently blocked on the Reds' infield depth chart by second baseman Scooter Gennett and third baseman Eugenio Suarez. But as soon as a trade or injury opens a spot, expect Senzel to carve his role in The Show and stay there.No. 4: OF Victor Robles, Washington Nationals9 of 12Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated PressThe Washington Nationals may soon wave goodbye to the Bryce Harper era, assuming the franchise icon signs with another club.If so, the Nats can pivot to up-and-coming talent, including outfielders Juan Soto and Victor Robles.Soto exceeded his rookie limits in 2018, but Robles is technically a prospect.An elbow injury slowed Robles last season. But the 21-year-old finished with 13 extra-base hits and 19 stolen bases in 52 minor league contests before hitting .288 in 21 MLB games, and he boasts the explosive speed and defensive prowess to play a superlative center field.No. 3: OF Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox10 of 12Ron Vesely/Getty ImagesEloy Jimenez hit .317 with a .925 OPS in 53 games at Double-A last season, then hit .355 with a .996 OPS in 55 games at Triple-A.Add it up, and you've got the makings of an MLB breakout.Jimenez is average at best defensively and projects as an adequate left fielder or designated hitter. But his hit tool is good enough to outweigh those factors http://www.bravesfanproshop.com/authentic-nick-markakis-jersey , especially for an American League club.He's 22 years old and displayed game-changing pop in the upper minors. What more do the rebuilding Chicago White Sox need to hear?No. 2: SS Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres11 of 12Andy Hayt/Getty ImagesFernando Tatis Jr. slashed .286/.355/.507 with 22 doubles, 16 home runs and 16 steals as a 19-year-old at Double-A.He won't begin the 2019 season as a member of the San Diego Padres, but the Friars can't keep him down for long.Given his height (6'3") and prodigious arm strength, Tatis could ultimately slide to third base. Then again, considering his range and athletic ability, he could be an oversized shortstop in the Carlos Correa mold.Either way, the Pads should be licking their chops.No. 1: 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays12 of 12Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesLike Tatis, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a second-generation star streaking across the MLB firmament.The son of Vlad rose from the rookie leagues to Triple-A in 2018 and combined for a .381 average and 1.073 OPS at the age of 19.He's got the bat speed and pure strength of his dad, and he could be a 40-homer force for the rebuilding Toronto Blue Jays in the near term.At the least, Guerrero should make his MLB debut in 2019. Here's betting he'll swing it well enough to stay around for the long haul. All statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference.
Posted: 3/15/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
GLENDALE http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-tanner-roark-jersey , Ariz. (AP) — The Chicago White Sox opened spring training still waiting for Manny Machado.“We’ll just see when it happens,” first baseman Yonder Alonso, Machado’s brother-in-law, said Wednesday.Machado, among the offseason’s top free agents, still hasn’t agreed to a deal. Alonso spoke with the All-Star infielder on Tuesday.“We didn’t talk about baseball Steven Wright Jersey ,” Alonso said.Chicago hasn’t had a winning season since 2012 and is coming off a 100-loss season. The White Sox have added Alonso, right-handers Ivan Nova, Kelvin Herrera and Alex Colome, and outfielder Jon Jay.Dozens of free agents remain on the market.“It seems that moves drifting into spring training is becoming a bit of the new normal,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “We try to be disciplined in terms of our focus. Certainly we don’t want to spend any time negotiating through the media or talking about where things sit publicly until there’s some finality.”For now at least, Hahn said http://www.redsoxproshops.com/authentic-craig-kimbrel-jersey , “The focus is going to be on the guys in the room, and putting them in the best position to win.”Manager Rick Renteria said young players such as outfielder Eloy Jimenez and pitcher Dylan Cease get closer to their major league debuts.“We’re all excited about all the possibilities as we’re moving forward, because now the time has been put in,” Renteria said. BOSTON (AP) — Hyun-Jin Ryu is used to pitching in big moments and on big stages.Four years before being signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, the South Korean left-hander was on the mound for his home country when it defeated Cuba in the gold medal game of the 2008 Summer Olympics in China.He added to that history in 2013, becoming the first South Korean-born pitcher in major league history to start a playoff game when he had the ball for Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Atlanta Braves.Ryu could pass even more milestones during the Dodgers’ World Series matchup with the Boston Red Sox. He’s trying to become just the second South Korean-born player to win a World Series ring David Price Jersey , joining Byung-Hyun Kim.He’ll be on the hill as Los Angeles’ starter for Game 2 on Wednesday night opposite Boston’s David Price. It will be Ryu’s next opportunity to get past his recent issues pitching on the road.Ryu had a 1.15 ERA in nine starts at home during the regular season, but it increased to 3.58 on the road. He’s also had some issues away from Dodger Stadium during this postseason.He pitched seven shutout innings in Los Angeles against the Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS. He had mixed results in his two NL Championship Series starts in Milwaukee. He pitched fine in Game 2 but got hit hard in Game 6, yielding seven hits and five earned runs in the Dodgers’ 7-2 loss.“Obviously, it’s a stadium that I’ve pitched in the most, therefore I feel pretty comfortable pitching in Dodger Stadium. And having that run of success definitely builds more confidence,” Ryu said Tuesday through an interpreter. “I guess that’s the reason why.”Ryu said having better command of his pitches than he did against the Brewers will be a key to success against a stacked Red Sox lineup that features Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez http://www.redsoxproshops.com/authentic-mookie-betts-jersey , who became the first MLB teammates to finish first and second in batting average and slugging percentage since 1904.“If I actually commanded my off-speed pitches to get ahead in the count, I think there would have been a different result,” Ryu said. “Obviously, tomorrow I’m going to use all the pitches I can throw.”Fenway Park can be imposing for any pitcher, especially those pitching here for the first time.Ryu said walking into the historic stadium and seeing the towering 37-foot Green Monster for the first time on Monday was humbling.“When I was in Korea, I only saw Fenway Park through TV Brock Holt Jersey ,” Ryu said. “It took me so long to actually get here at the Fenway Park. My initial reaction to the Green Monster is it’s very tall.”Ryu is in the final season of the six-year, $36 million deal that he signed in 2013. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2019.While Wednesday night’s start could conceivably be his last in a Dodger uniform unless the series extends beyond four games, Ryu isn’t concerned about his future at this point.“No, I don’t think about it at all,” he said. “My current focus right now is making sure that my team wins tomorrow’s game. So I don’t really have time to think about such things.”
Posted: 3/14/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been suspended one game by Major League Baseball for nicking the plate umpire with his cap during an animated argument over the weekend.Boone served the penalty Sunday when New York hosted Detroit. He also was fined an undisclosed amount.Bench coach Josh Bard ran the team in Boone’s absence.Boone was ejected Friday night by plate ump Nic Lentz for arguing balls and strikes. Boone got into a crouch behind the plate Bert Blyleven Jersey , imitating a catcher gloving a pitch, and then argued nose-to-nose with Lentz.During the dispute, the bill of Boone’s hat touched Lentz’s hat.“Obviously, I got a little too close for comfort there, so that’s part of the deal. I just got to accept that,” the first-year manager said before the game.“Look, I was arguing. I got kicked out of the game. I reacted how I reacted. Unfortunately, I got a little too close http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-paul-o_neill-jersey , so I do regret that,” he said. “I always want to be in control, in control of my emotions to a degree, but sometimes you also have to state your claim and defend certain things that are important. But I definitely shouldn’t have nicked his cap.”Asked if this was something he could keep in mind for a similar situation in the future, Boone said: “Yeah, or just flip the cap the around backwards and let ‘er rip.”“I’ll be hopefully better, learning from this and commanding my emotions in a better way,” he said. Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Vottowas placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right lower leg contusion Jacoby Ellsbury Jersey , the team announcedFriday.Votto has been hobbled since taking a fastball from Washington Nationals reliever Ryan Madson to the knee on Aug. 4:The Reds star was clearly heated, wondering if it was retaliation for a Bryce Harper hit-by-pitch."My reaction kind of falls in line with [not knowing Madson's intent]," Votto said, via MLB.com's Kyle Melnick.Outfielder Aristides Aquino, the team's No. 16 overall prospect, has been called up from Double-A in a corresponding move.Votto is still one of the National League's most productive players at the plate as he exits what are typically a player's peak seasons at age 34. He topped 20 home runs for the eighth time in 2017 with 36 and also led the NL in on-base percentage for the second straight year.He is hitting .284 with nine home runs, 24 doubles, 55 RBI anda league-leading .422 on-base percentage. He has hit just .227 with one extra-base hit and three RBI in eight games since the incident http://www.yankeesfanproshop.com/authentic-don-mattingly-jersey , missing a pair of contests during that time.The Toronto native has also remained durable over recent years. He's played at least 158 regular-season games in four of the last five campaigns. The one exception came in 2014 when he was limited to 62 appearances due to a quadriceps issue.Cincinnati doesn't have a proven replacement for Votto. After having traded Adam Duvall at the non-waiver deadline, Jim Riggleman will have to figure out a solution. Dilson Herrera, Brandon Dixon, Curt Casali and Tucker Barnhart could all see time at first.Ultimately, the Reds' batting order isn't anywhere near as potent without Votto in the middle, no matter how they try to replace him. That said, the focus now is making sure he's able to shake off any issues so they don't linger throughout the year.
Posted: 3/6/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Matt LaFleur isn’t bringing the Air Raid to Green Bay. For all the excitement over his modern concepts and background coaching with the league’s most gifted offensive minds http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-david-bakhtiari-jersey , the “newness” of it doesn’t mean the Green Bay Packers will line up with four receivers and a back out of an empty set in shotgun every play.In fact, quite the opposite. LaFleur coached quarterbacks on the 2016 Falcons team that put together one of the great offensive seasons of recent vintage. They played two or fewer receivers on 61% of their snaps, yet they were so efficient that Matt Ryan won the MVP and Atlanta put up nearly 34 points per game, easily the best in the league that season. Julio Jones, a talented duo of running backs and a versatile H-back allowed the LaFleur and Kyle Shanahan offense to play that way, but it’s where this offensive structure really shines. They use traditional personnel to create mismatches and angles with defenses in base. On the flip side, Sean McVay (another coach with whom LaFleur worked) can run so effectively in part because he plays almost exclusively in 11 personnel with three receivers, forcing the defense to play smaller. Unlike McCarthy, who often telegraphed playcalls with personnel and formation, this offense flips that idea on its head http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kevin-king-jersey , actively working against type and tendency. For example, the Falcons played with two tight ends on 20% of plays, but were successful on 59% of those plays, the best rate in the league that season according to Sharp Football Stats. (For an explanation of success rate, go to this site.) That success rate jumped to 63% when throwing out of that formation, with a passer rating of 132.6. In other words, Atlanta took a formation generally regarded as a run formation, and found outstanding success throwing the ball out of it. This is working against tendencies and type in the NFL. When LaFleur became the offensive coordinator of the Rams the following season, he brought that success in 12 personnel with him. Los Angeles led the league in success rate with two tight ends, and even bested Atlanta’s success rate at 60%. When they threw in those situations http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-muhammad-wilkerson-jersey , Jared Goff’s passer rating soared above 122. It’s likely not a coincidence LaFleur’s Titans team used two tight ends even more often than the Rams and Falcons had when he was there: he saw the value of creating matchup advantages against traditional defensive personnel. Most NFL teams go small to force defenses to adjust. But with a well-designed play, the advantage a capable receiving running back or tight end has against a linebacker is much greater than the average slot receiver has against an extra cornerback or safety.For fans who aren’t sure why the Packers wanted to keep Jimmy Graham, start here. The Packers will likely spend much more time with two tight ends on the field than they did last year, and much fewer with three or more receivers. In fact, the Titans played with two or fewer receivers last season 56% of the time. Part of that could be the guys they had, but the Falcons had talent at receiver past Julio Jones and still chose to play big. Reduce the need to add receivers in the offseason, fortify the tight end position in the draft, particularly with someone who can block, and this offense will take shape. Given the learning curve with young right ends—the position is widely considered among the most difficult to maser early on in the NFL—bringing back a capable blocker like Marcedes Lewis to go with Graham makes good sense for the Packers. Two tight end sets aren’t the only way to play big and provide an offense with matchup advantages using traditional player groupings. Last season, the Titans led the league in success rate with two running backs and two receivers on the field Cheap Clay Matthews Jersey , what we call 21 personnel. They were successful 69% of the time, a pretty nice clip if you ask David Bakhtiari. It just so happens that two-back sets, whether a fullback and a running back or simply two running backs, were a preferred formation for that Falcons team as well. Atlanta ran 30% of their plays from it, their second-most used grouping, and also led the league in success rate. For the Packers, LaFleur could put Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams on the field at the same time (this is where someone like Ty Montgomery would have been extremely valuable), particularly with Williams skill as a blocker. They could also decide to invest in a pass-catching back in free agency or the draft to allow them to play multiple running backs who can line up wide and catch passes. This could also presage a return of the fullback in Green Bay. **Kuuuuuuuhhhhnnnnnn** Danny Vitale has outstanding physical tools. Brian Gutekunst may also look to the draft for an H-back type, one of the reasons so many fans are agitating for Iowa star T.J. Hockenson in the first round. There’s a chance he can be what Kyle Juszczyk was as a versatile blocker and receiver, plus having the skill to split out wide like Austin Hooper for those Falcons teams. LaFleur isn’t bringing back the 2011 Packers sets with five wide and guys who can beat you everywhere. That was a unique situation given an incredible run of drafting by Ted Thompson. But don’t forget Mason Crosby Jersey , that team often used a full-house backfield to keep linebackers on the field and take deep shots off play action with Jordy Nelson. That part of the ‘11 offense will be back in force.We can’t look at LaFleur’s past and make a one-for-one comparison to what he’ll do in Green Bay. The players are different. The situation is different. The quarterback is importantly different. He uses three-receiver sets more than Kyle Shanahan but far less than Sean McVay. He uses two-back sets more than McVay, but far less than Shanahan. How much of that was driven by the Titans’ personnel? We won’t know for sure until this team plays. But his past, and the offensive philosophy he brings, thrives on a particular type of matchup creation, utilizing tight ends and running backs to keep a defense guessing. That type of creative thinking had been sorely lacking under Mike McCarthy and, while this offense often won’t look “new” when it lines up, what happens next will keep defenses and fans on their toes. The salary cap dominates much of the NFL offseason with teams utilizing their available cap space to extend players, spend on free agents, and sign their draft picks. On Tuesday, the NFL released the projections for the 2019 salary cap http://www.packerscheapshoponline.com/cheap-authentic-muhammad-wilkerson-jersey , which could reach as high as $191.1 million.The full projection, as released by the NFL’s Brian McCarthy, ranges from $187 to the aforementioned higher figure. If the final number ends up at the upper limit of $191.1, the Green Bay Packers would have over $46 million in available space. Of course, that figure does not account for any roster moves the team could make such as restructuring or releasing outside linebacker Nick Perry. Regardless of what the Packers decide, the news should quell any lingering fears that Aaron Rodgers’ recent four-year, $134 million extension will prevent general manager Brian Gutekunst and his front office from fielding a competitive team.The league’s press release notes that the salary cap has risen approximately 40 percent since the 2014 season and has jumped more than $10 million per club for six straight years.
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Now your fantasy skills and strategic planning are about to be truly tested. There are six teams on byes this week: the Bengals Youth T.Y. Hilton Jersey , Cardinals, Colts, Eagles, Lions and Jaguars.You won't be setting what you feel is a fully solid lineup. That's why you have to deftly work the waiver wire at all positions.RUNNING BACKSELIJAH McGUIRE, New York Jets (4.3 percent owned): The potential sparkplug is currently on injured reserve as he makes his way back from a foot injury, but he has been practicing for two weeks and could be activated very soon. Rookie Trenton Cannon did not seize an opportunity with Bilal Powell done for the season, as he totaled 22 yards from scrimmage at Chicago. McGuire could get a chance to complement the very inconsistent Isaiah Crowell upon his expected return.DEVONTAE BOOKER http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ryan-kelly-jersey , Broncos (11.6): Disappointing rookie Royce Freeman may continue to sit out with an ankle sprain, and Booker made the most of his touches in Week 8, totaling 101 yards from scrimmage. Phillip Lindsay is Denver's clear lead back, but Booker can catch passes and is worth the waiver add as a bye week plug in point-per-reception formats.JOSH ADAMS, Eagles (0.4): The Eagles running game has been mired in mediocrity this season without the departed LeGarrette Blount and the injured Jay Ajayi. Enter undrafted free agent Adams, who rushed for 61 yards on nine carries on Sunday. A big back with versatility and quickness, he is worth the waiver pickup to see If he can emerge in this situation and add a much-needed element of respectability in the Philadelphia backfield.WIDE RECEIVERSD.J. MOORE Joe Haeg Jersey , Panthers (10.4): Veteran Torrey Smith sat out Sunday and the rookie took advantage, registering his best yardage total yet (90). Moore will be a very alluring streaming option against Tampa Bay this week, especially if Smith sits again. He is going to push for more playing time sooner or later anyhow, as he can be slippery against defenses in high percentage and key situations. His skill set also adds a needed catch-and-run element to the Carolina passing game.DAVID MOORE, Seahawks (2.7): He should have already been picked up, but obviously fantasy owners needed more convincing that he can be a relevant producer. No more selling points are needed after four TD receptions in his past three games and a 97-yard outing in Week 8. Moore is effectively making the Seahawks forget Paul Richardson, as he has come on as their new downfield threat. He'll need to generate more consistent yardage totals to be more than a WR4 in fantasy Authentic J'Marcus Webb Jersey , but he is a terrific bye week replacement.DEVANTE PARKER, Dolphins (21.6): An injury-plagued disappointment for three-plus seasons until his last outing, Parker resurfaced in a big way Thursday night and displayed the sort of promise that has tantalized fantasy owners since he arrived in the pros. In the most inspiring performance of his career so far, Parker caught six passes for 134 yards. Now he faces the highly vulnerable Jets secondary. If you use a free agent acquisition budget for waiver adds, don't overbid on Parker just because of one game. But if you do land him, matchups with New York and Green Bay next do point to him being a very intriguing streamer.TIGHT ENDSJACK DOYLE (31.9): Many fantasy owners cut a player when he is injured, and while you can't fault them for doing so in a 10-team league Youth Chester Rogers Jersey , Doyle should have received strong consideration to remain rostered in 12-team leagues and larger formats. Sometimes it is difficult to keep a player on your bench when bye weeks and other considerations make the roster squeeze tight. Doyle was never reported to be out for the season, so it was smart to stash him. He returned to catch six passes for 70 yards and a TD in Week 8 and even while sharing some targets with Eric Ebron, he should retain TE1 status in PPR leagues. Don't pass over him as a waiver add just because he is on a bye.ED DICKSON, Seahawks (0.5): A quadriceps issue kept him out of action until Week 8, and then he caught two passes for 54 yards and a TD in his Seahawks debut. Dickson is unlikely to rise above TE2 status, but Russell Wilson will look to his TE in scoring situations and will work him in occasionally enough otherwise to make him a bye week consideration. He's a rental waiver add if you need one at the position.QUARTERBACKRYAN FITZPATRICK, Buccaneers (6.0): The QB position has enough quality depth that many owners don't need to trade for one or visit the waiver wire for them too often. But Fitzpatrick has regained the starting job in Tampa Bay and it's no secret that his defense and lack of a consistently reliable running game will prompt him to fling the ball frequently. It seemed like some time ago that Fitzpatrick opened the season with three 400-yard games http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-denico-autry-jersey , and he is always capable of a stinker outing. But the statistical upside remains very tempting. Just don't make the potential mistake of starting him over a top-level QB based simply on the other passer having a less friendly matchup. Fitzpatrick's track record indicates you are always in for a possible roller coaster ride with the journeyman. Quenton Nelson Recaps Colts Rookie Season In Candid Interview | 1070 the FanOn Wednesday, the typically quiet and reserved Quenton Nelson joined Adam Lefkoe and Chris Simms on a Bleacher Report podcast down at the Super Bowl in Atlanta. What Nelson have to say about his 2018 rookie season?Colts Know That Finding Pass Rush Help Is Top Need | 1070 the FanChris Ballard has stated his clear need for the Colts moving forward. What did Ballard have to say about the pass rush?Has Chris Ballard Quieted The Colts Chatter On Le’Veon Bell Or Antonio Brown? | 1070 the FanIs their evidence from Chris Ballard adding to the likelihood of the Colts passing on making a move for a Le’Veon Bell/Antonio Brown type of player in 2018?Reggie Wayne: 'Too early to tell' if he'll return to help coach Colts during offseasonWayne spent part of last spring and summer working with the Colts wide receivers as a volunteer assistant,COLTS MEDIA
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KANSAS CITY http://www.kansascitychiefsteamonline.com/ron-parker-jersey , Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes had been shredding the Patriots defense all night with his incredible arm strength and downfield precision in a back-and-forth shootout last month when it looked as if the Chiefs quarterback might be finally corralled by a well-timed blitz.With a deft flip of his wrist, Mahomes instead tossed a soft screen pass to Kareem Hunt out of the backfield, and he raced up the field as the Patriots were forced to chase him.The timing was perfect. The execution was spot-on.It was just one of dozens of examples through the first nine games this season of coach Andy Reid using the screen pass to impressive effect.Whether it’s Hunt out of the backfield, Tyreek Hill or Sammy Watkins on a bubble screen or even tight end Travis Kelce catching a short pass behind the defense, the Chiefs may use their myriad variations of the screen better than any other team.“You are really just taking a blocking scheme and moving it out into space,” Reid explained. “Our backs are good with it, quarterback gives them an opportunity and the big guys get out and run.”The intricate timing plays are fun for just about everybody.Mahomes likes them because the throws are fairly easy and often lead to big gains. Hunt and fellow running back Spencer Ware like them because they can use their talent in space. And even the offensive linemen like them because they often get to plow through smaller defensive backs, rather than tangle with big defensive tackles as they would do on a traditional running play.Oh, and the Chiefs’ fans like them for obvious reasons.Screen passes are hardly new in the NFL, and indeed, they have been part of Reid’s basic West Coast offense since he was learning the scheme from its originator, Bill Walsh.But with so many playmakers at his disposal, and a quarterback who is finally capable of executing the variety of plays, Reid has taken the old-school notion of screen passes to another level.They might incorporate elements of the run-pass option, a relatively new development that has swept through the NFL.Or they might call for guys to line up in unique spots, such as running backs split wide or a wide receiver in the backfield. Or they might call for exotic blocking schemes.“It’s a timing thing. We have to be in sync with our offensive line,” Ware said. “Our releases are a big part of it — how we escape. The downfield ball with Tyreek, Sammy http://www.kansascitychiefsteamonline.com/mitchell-schwartz-jersey , Travis and Mahomes throwing it opens it up for us. Then when you have Kareem running how he’s running, they come up and play the run and it’s like, ‘No, it’s not a run, it’s a pass. You’d better get back.’ That gives us some cushion.”Such screen plays often look simple, but are in fact quite difficult to execute.Mahomes has to read the defense correctly in the seconds before a snap. The designated target needs to be on the same page. And as Hunt explained, “there’s just a lot of timing involved.”“Yeah,” Mahomes added, “but with how well Coach Reid explains it, everything goes off each other. I think we had a screen and it went off a shovel pass to Kareem the week before, things like that, where we build on top of each other every single week. We are never set in our ways.”That’s another reason the Chiefs’ screen passes are so difficult to defend: They may run a play to one target one week, giving the next opponent film to review, then run the play to a different target out of the exact same formation the following week.Good luck trying to stop that.“Asking these guys to go against faster players, for your offensive linemen to go against these defensive backs and block them in space, that’s tough to do,” Reid said.“We’re fortunate our backs do a nice job of this. They help set up the defense so you can run fast. There’s nothing worse than watching a screen, you get out there and the offensive linemen are out there trying to dance a little bit.“A back can take care of you with that http://www.kansascitychiefsteamonline.com/allen-bailey-jersey ,” Reid concluded. “As long as you know where he’s at, he’s going to kind of force the issue downhill, good things can happen.”Notes: Strong safety Eric Berry (heel), OL Cam Erving (illness), LB Anthony Hitchens (ribs), WR Sammy Watkins (foot) and C Mitch Morse (concussion) remained out of practice Thursday. … Special teams coach Dave Toub dismissed a couple of recent missed PATs, saying Thursday that “nobody is harder on himself” than PK Harrison Butker. Toub said snaps have been part of the problem, “and again, it’s a 33-yard field goal. It’s not a chip-shot like it used to be.” Kelvin Benjamin went from catching passes from Josh Allen and Nathan Peterman on a Bills team going nowhere to hauling in heaves from Patrick Mahomes on a Chiefs team barreling toward the playoffs.Not a bad finish to a tumultuous week.Benjamin signed a one-year contract with Kansas City to finish out the season Friday, just days after the 2014 first-round pick was released by Buffalo. It brought an end to yet another disappointing run in which Benjamin struggled with one of the highest drop rates in the NFL."I guess you could say I saw it coming," Benjamin said after his first workout with the Chiefs, who are preparing to play the Ravens on Sunday. "(The Chiefs) came pretty quick. I came for a visit, I liked what I saw. I liked what I heard."He liked everything about the situation.Mahomes has already proven himself to be one of the league's most vibrant quarterbacks, and Benjamin called the Chiefs offense "dynamic." He also has the support of Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who said he liked the former Florida State standout out of college and thinks that one more change of scenery might finally unlock the potential that Benjamin has been scratching at for years."He's been good against us, No. 1," Reid said. "A big, physical player. You add him to the mix Authentic Tyreek Hill Jersey , he comes in, he's experienced and he's been a good football player at this level."Reid said there is a chance Benjamin could be ready to play by next week, even though it will be a quick turnaround for a Thursday night game against the Chargers. But time is of the essence because the Chiefs could be without No. 2 wide receiver Sammy Watkins for a while.Watkins has been bothered by a foot problem for several weeks, and he aggravated the injury while pushing off in Thursday's practice. An MRI exam came back negative, but the prognosis is unclear.Watkins has 40 catches for 519 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games.The 27-year-old Benjamin had a promising start to his career, catching 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie with Carolina. But he battled weight issues, problems with drops, and clashed with several people in the organization, ultimately resulting in his trade to Buffalo last season.He had just 23 catches for 354 yards and one touchdown this season.The Bills released Benjamin when they decided to use the remainder of another disappointing season to look more closely at younger players. He was making $8.5 million in the final year of his contract and will be playing for a fraction of that down the stretch for Kansas City.But he could be playing for a Super Bowl title, too."By next week he should have a pretty good feel for things," Reid said. "He's in great shape. He's a big kid but he's in phenomenal shape. And sometimes a change of scenery can be good for a guy."NOTES: TE Demetrius Harris remained out of practice Friday with an illness, though Reid said it's possible the backup could play Sunday. ... The Chiefs signed OL Austin Reiter to a two-year deal worth up to $5.5 million, locking up one of their most versatile backups. Reiter has started four games for the Chiefs because of injuries. "For me, it just means keep doing what I've been doing and be ready to play," said Reiter, who would have been a restricted free agent after this season.
Posted: 3/6/2019 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Dress rehearsal game notes: Bears vs. Chiefs Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: The main talking point for this game is Matt Nagy’s decision to rest his starters based on a good week of practice.Man Eddie Jackson Jersey , we talkin’ ‘bout practice. We’ve heard about a “good week of practice” before and it meant diddly. I will say though, in this case, I don’t mind the decision right now.The fact is, I don’t think we can judge this decision until September 9th. If the Bears come out flat and the offense is out-of-sync and while defense looks messed up, then this decision looks idiotic. It could be akin to a team that rests their starters in Week 17 and then has a first-round playoff bye. There will be talk of rust, of “sleepwalking”.However, we won’t know until Sunday Night against the Packers in Week 1 so there’s not much use to go after this until then.If the Bears come out sharp, we won’t look back. If the team looks lethargic and the Packers jump out to a big lead and cruise, it will be bad. We’ll see. Until then, it’s just talk.Now, onto the actual game:Speaking of resting starters, Kevin White and Taylor Gabriel were in on the first drive. These guys need reps so I am okay with this. This is smart management of the players. Gabriel hasn’t practiced much and White needs snaps.For the talk about Taquan Mizzell and Ryan Nall, fans shouldn’t sleep on Benny Cunningham. He’s not a sexy player, but he can work in an offense and be solid. His skills were on display on the first drive, making a man miss after catching a check down pass in the flat and then breaking a tackle, following his blocks and finding pay dirt. Cunningham is a great third back.Tyreek Hill’s speed is no match for the second string, but Isaiah Irving didn’t keep contain well. The second-string defensive line seemed to get some good disruption through the Kansas City starting offensive line. They didn’t get home Authentic Dion Sims Jersey , but Patrick Mahomes had to scramble and move outside the pocket a couple of times.Not covering Kareem Hunt seems like a bad idea.Joel Iyiegbuniwe wants to be a doctor, which is admirable and interesting. I hope he has to delay medical school for six or seven years while he plays for the Bears.Ben Braunecker getting some reps with the No. 2’s is encouraging. The depth chart at tight end is interesting. Is there a spot for Braunecker and Daniel Brown behind the top three?A good amount of empty seats at Soldier Field. I wonder how many stayed in the parking lot and how many skipped it all together when word leaked the starters weren’t playing?Can’t tell if it’s a high snap, and can’t tell if Daniel is simply just that short on a fourth down sneak.Kevin White’s first touchdown! That should build some confidence for him, as he beat Orlando Scandrick. Nice moment. Say what you want about the guy, but looking at the way his teammates reacted and the guys that were patting him on the sideline, it’s clear he’s liked.With the help of some Kansas City penalties, two decent scoring drives by the No. 2’s isn’t a bad way to start the dress rehearsal.Deon Bush falls victim to the Soldier Field turf monster, but it looked like Travis Kelce already had a step or two on him.Mahomes’s arm reminds me of Jay Cutler’s. Nick Williams breaks through the line but over pursues.Good blitz with Nick Kwiatkowski and Irving getting in Mahomes’s face, causing him to get outside and throw it away. I get that these guys are trying to make the team, but wouldn’t it make more sense to take the knee with a kick that’s two yards from the back of the endzone? Isn’t that the smarter play?Javon Wims sighting: Interesting he is getting worked in with Marlon Brown, among others.Two plays later, Wims beats his man and gets downfield for 53 yards. That’s got to help his case a little bit.Mizzell makes a nice adjustment on a high pass to get a first down.Wims with a nice route and toe-tap for the touchdown. If he can impress Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor on special teams, he has a shot.Remember when after the Hall of Fame Game, I said Daniel was not impressive? Well uh, he might be a better No. 2 than I originally gave him credit for. Maybe Kansas City is just playing ultra conservative, but this is how an experienced No. 2 should look against schemes like that.Irving is all over the field and has made some plays, that opening play not withstanding.Not going to lie http://www.bearsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-taylor-gabriel-jersey , Cunningham is solidifying the third running back spot.The backup offensive line has been good and solid overall. I like what I have seen.Bad snap on the quarterback sneak and a disaster. Of course, one item after I compliment the line.Overall a clean game for Chicago, penalty-wise. Good call on the Daniel run down the sideline. No dumb helmet rule flags yet, a sign that teams are adjusting? (written with three minutes left).That roughing the passer was the new emphasis on “driving the QB into the ground,” despite what the commentators said.Color commentator Jim Miller sites the improved sack numbers against the Bears offense this preseason, this after a sack was negated by a penalty.Cody Parkey nails a 48-yard field goal. There’s a positive step. The end of half sequence was interesting. I like Nagy not squatting on a time out, but with less than 10 seconds left, I’m not sure what he was going for? I wonder if he wanted Tabor to go with a trick punt return to simulate a desperation situation? In any event, I’m not upset about it.HALFTIME: The slow cooker chicken wings recipe I made were quite good. (Recipe link, for interested parties)Cre’Von LeBlanc is getting picked on, but whoever is matched up on Tyreek Hill will be, especially when its back ups. Nick Williams hasn’t been talked about a ton this preseason, but he’s having a nice game.Speaking of, I think the defensive line could be a strength of this Bears team. Of course it starts with Akiem Hicks, but with Roy Robertston-Harris, Eddie Goldman, Jonathan Bullard Trey Burton Jersey , Williams and Blilal Nichols, there’s great depth. Maybe no other superstars, yet I think this is a good rotational group whose advantage will be in guys being able to be fresh more than out-and-out frontline superstar power.Irving earned that sack, working against Eric Fisher and was still engaged with him there when he finally finished the play and took Mahomes down.Robertson-Harris draws a holding penalty from Fisher one player later. Fisher isn’t an elite tackle, but these are the plays I was talking about above.Great stand with the No. 2’s against KC’s No. 1’s. Bullard gets Mahomes uncomfortable, the reinforcements come in, and Mahomes throws it away. Great stop.Sherrick McManis remains elite at special teams. Don’t forget about him.Tabor isn’t acting like this is a meaningless game on the sideline. I think he could become a fan favorite if his unit shows up well this year.Play-by-play Adam Amin is eating some great-looking barbecue fries. Personally, I liked Amin for the preseason booth.Giving James Daniels an entire game on offensive line at two positions will give plenty of film for coaches to evaluate. Good punt, but then poor tackling gives the Chiefs nice field position after a 36-yard return.Kylie Fitts can’t finish the tackle right in the backfield, but keeps pursuing and just gets Chase Litton inside the pocket. Nice play from the rookie.I side with my colleague above. Not sure why people are so high on Mizzell.Should I go ahead and buy my No. 83 Wims jersey? That sideline play to Wims should also be noted as a good throw for Tyler Bray, who hasn’t impressed me much otherwise.Bradley Sowell doesn’t have a ton of fans, I know. But he’s an experienced swing tackle and if he’s injured, that is a huge depth hit for Chicago.Talk about pre-snap movement. Garrett Johnson ran about 50 yards on a third down motion to tip Kansas City’s man-to-man defense.Nall shows good patience on his runs, waiting for his blockers and the hole to develop and some good cutting ability. I think he’s a practice squad candidate.55-yard touchdown, oh right, these are the third stringers. Poor tackling across the board.Kniles Davis, who has struck me as slow since he got to Chicago Authentic Cody Parkey Jersey , had a nice little spin move to get some yards. Showing up in the fourth quarter of a preseason game tells me everything I need to know about his roster chances.That is likely it for pretty any important part of the depth chart until September 9th at Lambeau Field. A quality showing by the depth of the Bears agains the Chiefs. Two defensive captains have been cut, a respected veteran retired and the team's No. 1 receiver was traded away.The losses for the Oakland Raiders have been mounting on and off the field in recent weeks as a season that began with optimism has fallen apart at the midway point.After four straight losses, including a blowout by Bay Area rival San Francisco, have left the Raiders (1-7) tied for the worst record in the NFL, it's time to start looking to the future.To that end, coach Jon Gruden called in his rookie class Friday following the 34-3 loss to the 49ers and delivered a message to the group."He was just telling us he needs more from us rookies," defensive end Arden Key said Monday. "He needs more, more, more. He said we're doing pretty good but he needs more. We need to lead the league in effort and we're not doing that as rookies. ... It was a wake-up call and we answered."Little has gone right of late for the Raiders, who have been outscored by 85 points during a four-game losing streak. The team has also cut captains Bruce Irvin and Derrick Johnson during that span, watched cornerback Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie retire, and traded receiver Amari Cooper to Dallas for a first-round draft pick.That follows the trade one week before the start of the season that dealt star pass rusher Khalil Mack to Chicago for a package of picks, including two first-rounders.Oakland was last in the league with seven sacks before cutting ties with Irvin, who led the team with three. Only rookies Maurice Hurst (two sacks) and Key (one), along with Clinton McDonald (one) have sacks among players on the active roster.That's why Gruden wants more from his rookie class that also features defensive tackle P.J. Hall."I know right now the maturity level on this team has to rise up," veteran defensive lineman Frostee Rucker said. "We just have to be a complete team and do the little things better. That's what we're starting with today, trying to do the little things better."The Raiders also added some reinforcements Monday http://www.bearsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-anthony-miller-jersey , signing defensive linemen Jacquies Smith and Kony Ealy to contracts.Ealy had 14 sacks in three seasons with Carolina from 2014-16, including three in a Super Bowl loss to Denver following the 2015 season. He was traded to New England in 2017, got cut by the Patriots and then signed with the New York Jets, where he had one sack in 15 games.Ealy spent training camp in Dallas before getting cut by the Cowboys on Sept. 1.Smith was originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and finally got his first chance to play in 2014 with Tampa Bay. He had 13 1/2 sacks in 27 games his first two seasons with the Buccaneers before suffering a major knee injury in 2016.Smith has played just seven games the past three seasons with Tampa, Detroit and Arizona, recording three tackles and no sacks in seven games. Smith was released by Arizona in September.Smith worked out for the Raiders in recent weeks and got the call Sunday, a day after Irvin was released. Smith said he feels as healthy as he has since before the injury and is eager for the chance to show what he can do."It's been very frustrating," he said. "Obviously, I have a ton of confidence in myself. Obviously, I've made a ton of plays in this league. Just getting back and getting that opportunity to do that. I'm very confident in my ability. Obviously, these guys see something in me to give me a shot."NOTES: The Raiders waived James Cowser. ... LT Kolton Miller didn't have a helmet at practice after re-injuring his right knee last Thursday. ... LG Kelechi Osemele participated in practice despite injuring his knee again against the 49ers. ... RB Marshawn Lynch stopped by practice for the first time since undergoing surgery on an injured groin last month.

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