Month: November 2017

Lewis sees one aspect of his team’s game that is a factor in its declining offense.

The Redskins have suffered a number of injuries this season, but Thompson’s could arguably be the biggest because of his productivity and the fact that he’ll be difficult to replace. Marshall offers quickness and played some receiver in college, but Thompson’s ability to pass protect has made him invaluable.

After joining fellow owners in May in unanimously authorizing the compensation committee to work on a contract extension with Goodell, Jones last month at owners meetings in New York called Goodell’s proposed new contract “the most one-sided deal ever,” according to OTL, which noted that Goodell has earned more than $200 million since he was elected commissioner in August 2006.

Lockhart on Thursday said he expects Goodell’s contract extension to be wrapped up soon but couldn’t give an exact timeline.

James needed stitches in the third quarter to close a gash above his lip that drew blood. He punched back at the Nets in the fourth and finished with 33 points.

With the Cavs up 100-99, James began his one-man show with a pair of free throws. He dropped in a couple left-handed shots and then drained two 3-pointers — the last a step-back with 55 seconds left to give Cleveland a 118-107 lead.

James’ solo performance enabled the Cavs to avenge a 112-107 loss in Brooklyn last month.

“There was more structure in our game at the beginning of the season,” Lewis said. “We have to go home and regroup.”nike_patriots_3215

Sunday Night Football: Three takeaways from Eagles’ win over rival Cowboys

The Eagles all but wrapped up the NFC East Sunday night in Dallas with a 37-9 win over the Cowboys.

The Cowboys desperately needed a win but were also shorthanded against the NFL-leading Eagles. Not only was Ezekiel Elliott suspended, but starting left tackle Tyron Smith and linebacker Sean Lee were also ruled out.

The team’s star power was reduced to Dez Bryant, who had a solid game with eighth grabs for 63 yards. After allowing six sacks to Adrian Clayborn against the Falcons, Prescott was sacked four more times exposing a problem the Cowboys need to address.

“The thing I like most about Case is he’s got big balls,” Zimmer said. “He’s not afraid, he’s going to pull the trigger and he’s going to play like that. That’s a good thing.”

With a play that Zimmer said had “a good ending” after the game, Keenum reaffirmed his belief in the benefit of taking risks and the results they often yield.

“You want to give your guys a chance,” Keenum said. “Some chances are better than others, some risks are better than others. Take that third down we threw it deep to Adam last week. Pretty well covered by Lamarcus Joyner. Had a chance, but you might check it down at that point and get a first down. There’s a lot of give and take and a lot of ways you can look at it.”

One of his biggest throws of the game came in the second quarter when Keenum zipped a 15-yard pass to Kyle Rudolph, who juked Samson Ebukam at the line of scrimmage and caught the ball over Alec Ogletree.

Colin Kaepernick’s camp, NFL argue over Roger Goodell meeting invitation

Colin Kaepernick’s attorney on Tuesday refuted the NFL’s claim that the former 49ers quarterback didn’t respond to an invitation to meet individually with commissioner Roger Goodell, Yahoo Sports reported.

The day showed just how fraught the two sides’ ongoing dealings are against a backdrop of Kaepernick’s labor grievance, accusing NFL owners of collusion, and players’ social-issue concerns and the league’s response to them.

Kaepernick remains open to meeting with Goodell individually, the player’s camp told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday, but only to discuss social-justice issues. Lockhart also says Goodell is willing to meet one-on-one to talk about social activism but won’t agree to a mediator being present.

Notes Yahoo Sports: “The back and forth between Kaepernick’s camp and the NFL has provided a window into the frustration that is developing between the league and players in recent weeks.”

The highlight of Sunday’s slate of late games was Cowboys vs. Falcons in Atlanta, where Dallas was forced to operate without running back Ezekiel Elliott for the first time this season. The Falcons were able to use the timing of Zeke’s NFL-imposed suspension as an advantage, beat the Cowboys and keep pace in the NFC wild-card race.

Sunday’s night cap was game that would have been more appealing had the Broncos held up their end of the deal. Denver, playing off a four-game (now five) losing streak and sitting at the bottom of the AFC West, lost to New England, which recently has looked more like the team many expected to see in 2017.

“I’ve had tough games before,” Peterman said following the loss. “I’m going to learn a lot from this and make sure it never happens again.”

Despite the awful performance by Peterman, McDermott wasn’t ready to commit to Taylor for the remainder of the season. broncos_092-500x500

Matt Cain pitched his last major league game on Saturday afternoon.

It’s been a while since he was the perfect-game twirling twentysomething who led the Giants to two championships and missed the third after elbow surgery. He was the most important person in the organization for a while. He was just 17 when San Francisco took him with the 25th pick of the 2002 draft, and he helped carry the franchise out of the Barry Bonds era, through four straight losing seasons and to its first title on the West Coast.

Cain’s recent decline has also accompanied his team’s; it will pick first or second in next year’s draft and try to begin a new cycle of greatness.

“The guy has been doing this long enough where it shouldn’t happen,” Elliott said. “What he did was unnecessary. … There’s no reason for that. He knows the deal. He knows how this race works. He knows how Martinsville is.

“He didn’t even try to move me out of the way. He just shoved me and wrecked me.”

When the Golden Knights arrived, he had also just received a dose of morphine. “You could definitely see they were in shock a little bit, that this happened, just to see one of the people affected by it,” Anthony Robone says. “They had that look in their face, that it was something they’ve never seen before. But when the conversation got rolling, they were super cool.”

The Rams are off to one of their best starts in years, but they need to cut down on turnovers in order to keep winning. They’ve fumbled 15 times this season (lost eight of them), which is tied for fourth-most in the NFL, and have a turnover margin of zero.

Chicken-or-egg situation: Watson hasn’t faced a defense as formidable as the Seahawks, who are ranked first in the NFL this week, but the Seahawks have built that record against some wretched offenses, like the Giants last week.flames_082

You might be able to change the manner in which that looks

A fun sleeper candidate now thriving on the glass for the Hawks, Collins is tied with Myles Turner and just ahead of Kevin Durant with 14 rebounding chances (within 3.5 feet of an available board) per game. With some defensive upside complementing a steady rebounding pattern, Collins is worth owning in all but shallow fantasy formats.

Among the league leaders in minutes played over the last several seasons in Detroit, Morris should see plenty of minutes and touches on a Boston frontcourt reliant on youth at the moment. Morris should also be afforded additional freedom to extend his shot in Boston, adding to what could be a high-floor fantasy profile upon his impending return from an injury.

Whatever you think about Cleveland stockpiling picks vs. going for a potentially special talent, thinking Watson and Wentz would be doing what they are doing this season if they were in Cleveland is futile and misguided.

Not only would that level of harmony stand out in today’s world, it would be unprecedented in the modern NFL; the league and the players’ association have long been at odds.

Players and owners have squabbled over playing football on Thursdays, over the league’s drug policy and its appeals process, and over issues of dollars and cents. Now, the league wants the players to compromise on an issue that has inflamed emotions across the political gamut. And, notably, the players seemingly have the power for once. “You can threaten to do whatever you want to do, that’s not going to deter players from doing what’s right, or doing what they believe is right,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said on Tuesday. “You might be able to change the manner in which that looks, but I don’t see players stopping their pursuit for justice or equality.”canadiens_1403_2394ea0d48c5245e-180x180

The second kick came on a drive that started on a 53-yard catch by Julio Jones.

“We had an unbelievable start,” said Gallant. “Everything has gone our way. But we have to battle every night to not be the worst team in our conference.”

Like his players, Gallant has something to prove. He was unceremoniously fired 22 games into the 2016-17 season by the Florida Panthers after leading that moribund franchise to the postseason in the previous year. The front office was at war with itself, and Gallant took the fall for not being a favorite of the regime that held the power.

Not much soothes an angry football team quite like flattening a league rival — as the Huskies did to UCLA two weeks after a loss to Arizona State. But because of its weak out-of-league schedule, U-Dub would likely need help, even as the one-loss Pac-12 champ, to make the top four.

Now the Horned Frogs know how Oklahoma feels. Iowa State is systematically leveling the Big 12’s playoff chances. Opportunity remains for TCU to win the league, but it must rebound quickly with Texas and Oklahoma up next.

“We’re not on the edge of destruction,” the owner said. “It’s an opportunity. It creates real energy, and it creates a great opportunity to get our leadership right going forward. You watch. We will come out of this as a stronger league, and our popularity will come back and increase.”

Bryant booted field goals of 45 and 37 yards to cut the deficit to one at 17-16 in the third quarter. The Falcons wide receiver had been held to just two catches for 21 yards by Morris Claiborne, who left with a foot injury.

On one play, Ball did what he does best, grabbing a defensive rebound, pushing up the pace as the Pistons (5-3) were getting back and taking it to the rim for a score. The rookie shot 6-for-13 from the field — his best shooting night since he shot 12-for-27 against Phoenix.

Thunder to decline fourth-year option on forward Josh Huestis

The Oklahoma City Thunder won’t exercise the fourth-year option for the 2018-19 season on forward Josh Huestis, according to ESPN and multiple reports.

Huestis, 25, has seen sparse playing time since being drafted 29th overall by the Thunder in 2014, though he has cracked the rotation this season, appearing in all seven games so far.

The Thunder can still re-sign Huestis next summer as an unrestricted free agent, but can pay him only up to $2.2 million. The organization remains very high on him as a player, but without enough information and given the uncertainty of the roster going forward, is electing to maintain some flexibility.

“This is the only organization I’ve known and it feels like family, it feels like home, so obviously I would love to continue to be part of the organization and so I’m not thinking about next summer yet.”

Huestis is averaging 1.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 12.7 minutes per game this season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will try to force a Game 7 against the Houston Astros with a win Tuesday night. And cheering them on (or simply watching the spectacle) at Dodger Stadium? A cast of high-profile fans.

Garoppolo impressed NFL fans last season, when he stepped in for Tom Brady during Brady’s Deflategate suspension. How will the 25-year-old do as the newest addition to the Niners’ offense? Vote now!

In 2016, Garoppolo had four touchdown passes and a 68.3 completion percentage, with no interceptions in six games. Unless his lawyers can reverse the suspension on appeal or win an emergency injunction pending the appeal, Elliott will likely miss the next six games against the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Chargers, Redskins and New York Giants before being eligible to return in Week 15 against the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 17.blues-016

Dodgers fans boo Astros’ Yuli Gurriel in response to gesture

Fans at Dodger Stadium lustily booed Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel on Tuesday night during Game 6 of the World Series in apparent response to Gurriel’s racially insensitive actions earlier in the series.

Entering the game, the Warriors averaged 17.0 cough-ups a game, the 27th worst mark in the league. They’ll fall dramatically following Sunday’s contest.

Golden State was down 13 with six and a half minutes to play, and ended up cutting it to two, but they never made up the deficit.

On the other hand, the Pistons came back from a 68-54 deficit with 8:30 left in the third quarter to take an 82-81 lead into the final period. This came after overcoming a 70-57 deficit the night before in Los Angeles to come back and beat the Clippers.

Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin’s punt return against the Patriots could go down as one of the worst returns in NFL history.

Benjamin reached the end zone, but unfortunately he scored two points for the wrong team.

The punt landed at his own 11-yard line and Benjamin grabbed the ball at the 8-yard line. He then ran backwards in an effort to create separation, but it did not work out as planned. He was then tackled in his own end zone for a Patriots safety, giving New England a 9-7 lead over the Chargers in the second quarter.

Still, Zo’s night wasn’t all negative. He played unselfishly, and his willingness to pass has seemed to catch on with his teammates. With Beverley playing tight defense, Ball tried to affect the game by doing the little things (like rebounding!), and he certainly didn’t check out mentally when the game started slipping away.


Chargers DE claims Patriots security guard ‘assaulted’ kid prior to game

Chargers defensive end Chris McCain has a fun tradition before every game where he will pick a kid out of the stands and bring them down onto the field for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can scroll through his Instagram page and see all of the times he has done it this season.

But if you look at his latest post, you’ll see he ran into a problem while trying to continue his tradition Sunday in Foxborough, Mass., before the Chargers played the Patriots. He provided video and photos of him being stopped by a Gillette Stadium security guard, and he explained in his caption what happened.

Skinner pulled Carolina to 2-1 with a power-play goal with 7 seconds remaining in the first for his seventh of the season. Staal tied it with 6:27 to go in the second as he got Sebastian Aho’s pass from behind the net and beat Miller stick side.

It will be interesting to see if this affects Ingram’s role going forward, considering the Saints have another talented running back in rookie Alvin Kamara, who has been serving as a “1-B” to Ingram’s “1-A.”

Kamara finished Sunday’s game with eight carries for 28 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 48 yards.

Saints coach Sean Payton wouldn’t reveal what his message to Ingram was during a brief sideline exchange.

“The message to Mark will be between me and Mark,” said Payton, who earlier commented that, “You turn the ball over like we did, and you don’t deserve to win games like that. You can’t do it.”

Evidently, it’s more serious than that.

For the Giants, it’s another bad blow to a wide receiving corps that placed Dwayne Harris and Odell Beckham Jr. on injured reserve Monday following injuries each suffered in Week 5. While Marshall was carted off the field with what looked like a serious injury, Giants coach Ben McAdoo called it a sprain after the game.

Evidently, it’s more serious than that.

Sterling Shepard also suffered an ankle injury and is day-to-day in his recovery. The Giants signed Travis Rudolph and Tavarres King on Monday when the team placed Beckham and Harris on injured reserve, but may need to continue to make moves at the position.

The Giants are 0-5 and No. 28 in points scored. With Marshall done for the year, things aren’t looking like they’ll be getting much better any time soon.

The defense has also been great, ranking fifth in total yards allowed with 274 per game and ninth in points per game allowed at 18.8.

In their last 14 games at home against teams with winning records, the Panthers are 10-4 SU per the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Eagles have reigned supreme in the NFC East so far with a 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS record, fueled by an offense that ranks third in the NFL in total yards with 397.8 per game and fifth in scoring with 27.4 points per game. Carson Wentz has passed for 1,362 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Six of the last seven games played on Thursday Night Football have been decided by five points or less. These two teams look likely to continue that trend of close games as they match up strength against strength in Carolina’s defense vs. Philadelphia’s offense. Home field gives Carolina the slight edge on paper, but this looks like an extremely evenly-matched game.