Month: March 2017

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It wasn’t a great final possession for the Patriots secondary.

he Patriots finally got a lead over the Panthers in the fourth quarter, but Cam Newton and the Carolina offense responded with a 13-play drive that took more than five minutes and put New England in a four-point hole with around a minute left on the clock. A depleted and struggling New England secondary was exposed on the drive, with multiple missed tackles and a crucial holding penalty.

Dallas Cowboys – Ra’Shede Hageman, Defensive lineman, Minnesota: Ra’Shede Hageman will be a potential pick for a handful of teams picking in the top 15 if he continues playing at the level he’s reached in 2017. The Cowboys would be ecstatic to have him fall to No. 18. An aggressive and powerful defensive lineman would bolster the interior of Dallas’ front.

Toledo has made somewhere between five and 10 good hires in a row. The program is built, the culture is in place, and the order of succession is clear.

It feels easy to assume Jason Candle will do well, win for a few years, then head off for a power conference job. And his replacement (offensive coordinator Brian Wright, perhaps?) will win, too.

There’s still room for growth, however. As strong as the Rockets have been since Tim Beckman took over — the Rockets have finished in the S&P+ top 70 for six straight years and have twice finished in the top 25 (21st in 2017) — they haven’t won a MAC West title since 2004. They have graded out better than NIU on paper for four of the last five years, but they have stumbled in the Huskies’ presence. They’ve lost six in a row to NIU (four times by one possession), and NIU won the division every year in that span.

This has held the program back, both in perceptions and morale. Toledo is again projected ahead of NIU. But without a November 9 win in DeKalb, it might again feel like the season came up one step short.
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The Texans responded to the Roberts touchdown with a big defensive play.

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Colston has been practicing on a limited basis all week with a knee injury that kept him out of last week’s loss to the New York Jets and is listed as questionable for tonight’s contest against Dallas. With the emergence of rookie Kenny Stills as a legitimate playmaker in Sean Payton’s offense, Colston’s impact has been diminished this season, and his effectiveness today is in question even if he is able to suit up.

The Texans responded to the Roberts touchdown with a big defensive play. J.J. Watt stripped Rashard Mendenhall to set the Texans up five yards from the goal line. Three plays later, Keenum found Johnson on third down to pull the Texans within three points, 27-24. The strip and recovery was Watt’s second of the game.

The Texans defense forced a punt to take over at their own 17-yard line with 2:06 remaining and a chance to drive for the win. The offense stalled just as it had all half, however. Facing fourth-and-3, Keenum was once again affected by pressure and his last pass attempt was knocked away by a defender over the middle.

The Texans gained 41 yards of offense in the second half and 235 yards for the game. With Arian Foster out, the running game managed just 76 yards on 21 carries. The Cardinals gained 204 yards of offense in the second half as part of a 332-yard effort for the game.

Luck’s part of the equation. So is planning and coaching. It wasn’t that long ago, back-to-back losses to the Giants and Cowboys to end October, that pundits were writing eloquent, 140-character obituaries to Kelly’s NFL coaching career. Both of those games featured a heavy dose of Matt Barkley and a little Michael Vick.
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It’s hard to work around mistake-prone quarterbacks. Foles might not have Andrew Luck’s ceiling, but he can at least keep himself from turning over the ball regularly with the right approach and a little luck. It’s no coincidence that LeSean McCoy ran the ball 25 times for 155 yards on Sunday, confusing the hell out of Dom Capers and the Packers.


Darren McFadden, Brandon Jacobs inactive for Raiders-Giants

Both of these teams are playing with one hand tied behind their back. The Ravens offense is terrible, and Chicago’s defense is a shell of its former self. The over/under of 45 points might be the more attractive bet. Take the under.

Limited Kids St. Louis Cardinals Jersey Jason Campbell versus Andy Dalton is the quarterback battle you never knew you wanted to see. Which Andy Dalton shows up: the guy with six interceptions in his last two games or the one who threw eight touchdowns in the two games before that? The moon cycle says it’s time for good Andy Dalton to return, and the Bengals are 4-0 at home this year.

Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden will be inactive on Sunday against the New York Giants, after being ruled out on Friday and not practicing this past week with a hamstring injury.

McFadden, who also is working through a knee injury, was just hurt in the first half of last week’s game against the Eagles and has missed time earlier in the season with a similar injury.

The veteran back is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry this season and the Raiders will likely turn to Rashad Jennings to shoulder much of the load, who picked more than 100 yards rushing and 74 yards receiving last week against Philadelphia.
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On the other side, running back Brandon Jacobs is once against out for the New York Giants. Jacobs, who rejoined the team in mid-September after a number of injuries at the position, put up 106 yards on 22 carries against the Bears on Oct. 10 and has not played since. The Giants possess the NFL’s worst rushing attack and despite having missed nearly a month of action, Jacobs remains the team’s leading rusher with just 154 yards total on the season.


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Johnny Manziel proposes to model girlfriend in Paris

Johnny Manziel was feeling the love in Paris, so much so that he proposed to girlfriend Bre Tiesi.

Romo, who turns 37-years-old next month, is wanted by Fox to serve as an analyst in their booth, per ESPN.com. Romo would replace John Lynch, who left to become the 49ers general manager in late January.

Last season Romo started the year by breaking his back during the preseason. He then watched rookie Dak Prescott take his place as the team’s starting quarterback.

Teams like the Texans, who just sent free-agent bust Brock Osweiler to the Browns, and the Broncos are believed to be the most interested in Romo’s services.

Should Romo retire and join the booth, he will do so as Dallas’ franchise leader in passing yards and touchdown passes.

Game Kids Will Johnson Jersey It’s been an honor to hold your balls for the last 6 years @StevenHauschka, he wrote. Good luck in Buffalo unless you play us then I hope you suck.

It’s been an honor to hold your balls for the last 6 years @StevenHauschka. Good luck in Buffalo unless you play us then I hope you suck.

Elite Mens Rene Robert Jersey A 2016 Pro Bowl alternate, Hauschka has been one of the most sure-footed kickers in the NFL since joining the Seahawks in 2011. Hauschka has made 175 of 197 field-goal attempts (88.8 percent), including an 89.1 field-goal completion percentage in 2016, when he made 33 of 37 field goal attempts.


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The Thunder never had the shooters the Warriors do

Considered a certain first-round pick in April is draft, Ramczyk wasn’t always sure he wanted to pursue a professional football career. He almost didn’t even play in college. Ramczyk declined a scholarship offer to the University of Pittsburgh and left Winona State after a short time as a freshman.

It was what I looked forward to every day (in high school), Ramczyk told co-host Geoff Schwartz and me on SiriusXM NFL Radio. It was kind of intriguing. I thought it would be cool to do that as a full-time job. That was kind of how it got started.

Because he temporarily snuffed his gridiron torch, some NFL teams might call into question just how committed he is to playing the game. But the sacrifices Ramczyk made to resume his football pursuits should dispel those potential knocks.

Although talented enough to play at a major program, Ramczyk enrolled to play for his hometown Division III program after stints at Madison Area Technical College and Mid-State (Wis.) Technical College. He even did so without an athletic scholarship to Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

But the Thunder fell flat that game, too, falling behind by as much as 26 in an eventual 130-114 loss. They watched Kevin Durant go for 34 points on 57 percent shooting.

And if that defeat didn’t establish the big brother-little brother hierarchy out West, Golden State noogied Oklahoma City by sweeping the series, 4-0, on Monday with a 16-point win on the road. The Warriors did it without Durant, still sidelined by a knee injury, and led by as many as 27.

The Thunder never had the shooters the Warriors do, which has proven detrimental to Westbrook, as he pierces the lane with ease. As a result, they can’t run a motion or pace-and-space offense without threatening from downtown, and they certainly don’t exhibit the same cohesion defensively as Golden State.14


The Dominicans had three more scoring chances but failed each time.

Brandon Crawford hit a two-out single to left-center ahead of Stanton’s homer, which was estimated at 403 feet and chased Dominican starter Ervin Santana.

The Dominicans jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI double by Cano and an RBI single by Carlos Santana. One run was unearned because of Crawford’s throwing error at shortstop. Crawford threw out Nelson Cruz trying to score on Starling Marte’s grounder, though.
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The United States tied it in the third on Ian Kinsler’s RBI grounder and Christian Yelich’s run-scoring double.

The Dominicans had three more scoring chances but failed each time.

Gregory Polanco singled and Welington Castillo doubled to open the second before Danny Duffy retired the side.

Youth Ernie Stautner Jersey Okung signed a four-year deal with the Chargers last week.

The 2015 season was a struggle for Lynch. He missed nine regular-season games and one in the playoffs after undergoing surgery associated with a sports abdomen injury on Nov. 25. Lynch had missed just one game the four previous seasons.

Lynch was among the most productive running backs in the league during his time with the Seahawks, who acquired him in a midseason trade with the Buffalo Bills in 2010. During his five seasons in Seattle, Lynch was third in rushing yards (5,774), second in first downs (294) and first in rushing touchdowns. His 51 touchdowns during that span surpassed Peterson’s second-place total by six.

Seattle played in the Super Bowl twice, winning once, during Lynch’s time there.


Eagles injuries: Nick Foles still not cleared to practice; Michael Vick on pace to start

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The Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback depth chart remains somewhat uncertain heading into this Sunday’s division matchup against New York Giants. While Michael Vick seems likely to return from his hamstring injury, Nick Foles has yet to be cleared to practice, reports Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly.

“Me and my wife and all my peers and fans, we’re all trying to figure this stuff out,” Young told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Sirius XM NFL radio. “I don’t have the slightest idea. It’s like a huge question mark over my head every day I wake up in the morning to take care of my responsibilities and know I should be playing.

“To not have one of those calls, man, it’s tough.”
Authentic Youth Kevin White Jersey Young has seen the Bears, the Bills, the Browns and the Rams all lose starting quarterbacks this season, but they have all gone in different directions than Young.

In his career, Young was actually a very successful quarterback if you simply go by wins and losses. The ex-Texas Longhorn star and 2005-06 national champion went 31-19 in the NFL, but only threw 46 touchdowns against 51 interceptions.

It has been a while since Young was given a chance to play, not seeing any action in a regular season game since the 2011 campaign. Young last played in this preseason, when he was cut by the Packers so they could keep backup B.J. Coleman on the roster.

As far as things on the pitch, the team appears to have two legitimate MVP candidates in Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez. The two DP attackers have been sensational in their first two games, and they should be able to create chances at home against the Fire. But the midfield and defense behind them have been shaky, throwing away a lead against the Red Bulls and allowing quite a few unconverted chances (admittedly in the snow) against Minnesota.


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Salvador Perez gets good news on knee after potential WBC disaster

Sunday morning’s Say Hey baseball includes the Royals avoiding disaster with Sal Perez’ knee, the Dominicans comeback win over the U.S., and the chance of an extension for Yu Darvish.

Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though. We’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.

Michigan was an underdog, not because of its travel nightmare but because of its season before that. The Wolverines were 10-8 in Big Ten play in the regular season, and they spent much of the year looking like a fringy NCAA tournament team. But they turned things on a bit in the last month of the regular season, and they should head into the Dance with tons of confidence.

The championship game came down to Michigan’s efficient offense. The unit’s been one of the best in the country all year, even as the defense has often lagged. Against Greg Gard’s elite Wisconsin defense, Michigan shot 55 percent from the field. Veterans Derrick Walton Jr., Zak Irvin, and D.J. Wilson had strong scoring afternoons, and Wisconsin’s offense didn’t have the juice to keep pace with them.

The Big Ten had a weird, mostly bad year. It didn’t have a single elite team, with the possible exception of the Purdue team that lost its first tournament game to Michigan. It didn’t have a serious national player of the year candidate, and it often felt like there was no difference between the second- and eighth-best teams in the league. After this tournament, it’s still hard to peg the NCAA prospects of so many.15


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