Monthly Archives: March 2017

Seattle turned in one of its best performances of the season on Sunday

When you work from home, it is very difficult to know when you’re home from work and done for the day. The world tends to telescope down into a fairly narrow focus. I’ve noticed, recently, that I sound — for lack of a better term — just freaking weird to myself for the first few minutes I speak to my wife after she gets home from work. It’s because I haven’t said anything all day. I forget, much more often than I’d like to admit, how to be around other humans. I remember quickly, because this is kind of a basic thing, but it’s jarring how quickly this all atrophies.

Those are, as you might guess, pretty crappy moments, and it’s when I go out and walk around, or get beers with friends, or just run an errand sans headphones and half-listen to my neighborhood’s non-stop howling sidewalk goofstorm. It’s all nicer than it sounds. It’s basically the nicest and most affirmative and basic human thing, actually, this simple interacting with other people. More than that, reminding yourself what people are like, and that they’re each as real as you and everyone else, is an important thing if you’re going to write about things people do.

Seattle turned in one of its best performances of the season on Sunday, but the Seahawks lost cornerback Brandon Browner to a groin injury in the process. Browner limped off the field early in the game and did not return. Head coach Pete Carroll said the team still doesn’t know how extensive the injury is, but Browner could be out “quite a while.”

Walter Thurmond came on to replace Browner with Byron Maxwell playing outside when the Seahawks had their nickel defense on the field. Seattle has some depth at cornerback with Jeremy Lane also on the depth chart. Rookie Tharold Simon is currently on the physically unable to perform list and could be activated.9

Could the Jaguars march to 0-16 come to an end vs. Titans?

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The condition of Washington’s secondary could do wonders for the legend of Nick Foles. On the other hand, this is the NFC East, where secondaries have somehow been made optional. So Washington has a chance to make one of those end zone fades to 5’10 Santana Moss look like the perfect call.

The smart bet is on the Eagles, and Chip Kelly’s offense, to win this one. The over/under is set at 53 points, the highest of the week. Trends haven’t been very favorable for the over on the games with the highest projected point total this season. As a matter of fact, the Eagles haven’t really been prolific scorers at home, topping 30 points just once in four games … they also haven’t covered a spread at home. I think that changes this week.

Don’t look now, but the winless Jacksonville Jaguars hold a six-point lead over the Tennessee Titans at halftime. Could the glorious march to 0-16 come to an end before we even get to Thanksgiving? Even with the six-point Jags lead, Bovada still set the second half line at Titans -7.

The 0-8 Jaguars lead the 4-4 Titans, 13-7, and are in position for their first win since Nov. 25, 2017. That victory, coincidentally, also came against the Titans.

Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for a six-yard touchdown and Josh Scobee hit field goals of 32 and 44 yards, respectively, to build a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter. Ryan Fitzpatrick then threw a touchdown to Taylor Thompson at the end of the half to pull the Titans back into the game.

Fitzpatrick is playing place of Jake Locker, who has been forced out of the game with a foot injury.

Game Mens Yogi Berra Jersey The Jacksonville defense has played well, forcing the Titans into three turnovers — two of them by Locker — in the first half. Fitzpatrick has played well in relief, however, going 5-of-5 with a touchdown after replacing Locker.

Arkansas might decide not to make its stadiums allow guns after all

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The Arkansas Senate has voted to exempt college sporting events and certain medical facilities from this law. It now heads to the state House.

Adrian Beltre Jersey On Wednesday, March 22, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law a bill that’ll allow Arkansans to take guns into public buildings, including college football stadiums such as the Razorbacks 72,000-seater, if they’ve received a concealed-carry permit, taken eight hours of training, and are 25 or older. The NRA wanted to remove the latter two parts.

The Jaguars also got better in their secondary by teaming Bouye with Jalen Ramsey, the team’s first-round draft choice last season.

Bouye had his breakout season in a contract year. Undrafted out of UCF in 2013, Bouye is heading for a huge payday after making 63 tackles with a sack and interception. He had a career-best 16 pass breakups and started to earn the reputation of a lock-down corner. Ramsey started all 16 games last season as a rookie, making 65 tackles with two interceptions and 14 pass breakups.

Church will essentially replace Johnathan Cyprien, who signed with the Titans. Aaron Colvin and Tashaun Gipson round out what could be one of the NFL’s best secondaries.

The Jaguars also found a replacement for former linemen Luke Joeckel, who is now with the Seahawks, and Kelvin Beachum, who was cut loose last month. The Jags finalized a trade with Miami for left tackle Branden Albert.

While Albert has struggled to stay healthy, playing in all 16 games of a season just once in nine seasons, he should be an upgrade at the position.

Mike Mayock is NFL draft rankings put Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey on top after combine

The second version of Mike Mayock is positional draft rankings was released Tuesday, and it is clear that prospects’ combine performances changed his perspective a bit. While DeShone Kizer remains on top of the quarterback rankings, Leonard Fournette has taken over the running back position.

Fournette didn’t have the strongest combine performance. His vertical leap measured just 28.5 inches, and he weighed in heavier than expected at 240 pounds. He said the additional weight was water weight. Still, Fournette ran a blazing fast 4.51 40-yard dash, which is remarkable for his size.
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While Schweinsteiger started his career as a winger, he is played his best soccer as a central midfielder. He was a box-to-box midfielder at his peak, then later in his career, after losing some of his physical gifts, more of a deep-lying playmaker. But slower central midfielders usually struggle in that spot in MLS, so it is a popular prediction that Schweinsteiger will move up the pitch and play as a No. 10.
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It is possible to build a U.S. lineup in the 2017 WBC that has a Gold Glove winner at eight positions and Giancarlo Stanton at DH.
It is a helluva bullet point. It is a little disingenuous, as Andrew McCutchen is one of those players, and his defense isn’t what it used to be. But even if you are not overly impressed with a McCutchen-Jones-Yelich outfield, the infield is clearly first tier.

Nolan Arenado is one of the finest defensive third basemen we have ever seen, Brandon Crawford is a marvel, Ian Kinsler is building a sneaky Hall of Fame chance with the help of his glove, and Paul Goldschmidt won two deserved Gold Gloves.

Just ignore for the moment that Eric Hosmer is generally starting over Goldschmidt for some reason, which ruins several of my theses.

Like Steve Kerr joked last week, maybe it’ll get even more elaborate.

Franklin was tabbed as Ralph Friedgen’s successor at Maryland in 2009. Instead, he jumped ship to the SEC and led Vanderbilt to back-to-back nine-win seasons for the first time in program history. Muschamp was Mack Brown’s protege at Texas, but took an opportunity to replace Urban Meyer at Florida instead. In each case, tagging rising assistants as future head coaches only served to raise their value for leadership-needy teams across the NCAA.

The programs they left behind suffered as a result. Without Franklin in tow, Maryland was forced to hire Randy Edsall after Friedgen’s firing. Edsall went 22-34 in four-plus seasons with the team. Since leaving College Park, Franklin has gone 49-30 as a head coach and won the 2016 Big Ten title with Penn State — a team the Terrapins now face annually.

Losing the man pegged as the program’s next Boeheim will be a tough blow for Syracuse to swallow, but his departure followed a familiar script from another big money NCAA sport. Hopkins joins outspoken college football coaches James Franklin and Will Muschamp as proof naming someone “head coach in waiting” is a meaningless platitude.

Players hardly ever sat out to rest during Malone’s era, but teams also didn’t have the same data available to them. With new, more precise information coming out about player health, teams can’t ignore it and carry on just like they would have done 20 or 30 years ago.

That’s the dilemma that teams and the league face, with no easy path for the two sides to meet in the middle. The NBA will continue massaging the schedule, possibly starting the season earlier while trying to eliminate as many back-to-backs and lengthy road trips as it can.

But all the while, teams will continue resting when it’s beneficial. Like Steve Kerr joked last week, maybe it’ll get even more elaborate.

“I’m going to rest all 13 guys that game,” Kerr said. “So we’re just going to forfeit.”

8

Gator scares the daylights out of Smylie Kaufman at Bay Hill

Smylie Kaufman was hugging the hazard line while strolling down the sixth fairway at Bay Hill on Friday, when he suddenly realized he was on a collision course with one of the reptilian denizens of the deep at Arnold Palmer¡¯s old stomping grounds.
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Unlike Cody Gribble, who got up way too close and personal with a gator (perhaps the same one?) on the same hole in Thursday¡¯s opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Kaufman ¡ª well, he preferred a much safer detour around the large lizard.

Neither golfer, it turns out, made the cut. Kaufman carded a double-bogey on the par-5 sixth after having the daylights scared out of him and got bounced from the tournament with an 11-over. Gribble, though he birdied the same hole following his dalliance with the gator, finished his two days at 6-over, with the projected cut at 3-over.

Biggest strength: In running backs Donovan Wilson and Josh Cleveland, BGSU boasts a thunder-and-lightning combination. And the Falcons proved willing to lean on the run late last year.

Biggest question mark: The pass defense should improve after a miserable fall, but will it do so enough to offset regression in run defense?
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Biggest 2017 game: The trip to Miami (Ohio) on Oct. 7 should define BGSU¡¯s expectations. Are the Falcons MAC East contenders? Are they aiming to eke out a bowl bid?

Summary: Bowling Green was truly awful for the first month of the Jinks era but showed enough improvement to make you think the Falcons will again pull off the process they have basically trademarked at this point.

Succeed, rebuild. Succeed, rebuild. No other MAC team has more thoroughly adopted the ethos of what it means to be a MAC team. You win, you lose your head coach to a bigger job, you burn everything down, and you win again.

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Other possibilities for a spot among the protected seeds at this late stage include Notre Dame

The Louisville Cardinals, who fell to Duke in a thriller at the Barclays Center, and Baylor Bears, stunned by the Kansas State Wildcats in the nightcap in Kansas City, join Florida State and Arizona as threes. The Florida Gators, Butler Bulldogs, Purdue Boilermakers, and West Virginia Mountaineers comprise the four line, with only the Bulldogs sitting Friday from that quartet.

9, the Cincinnati Bearcats, and SMU Mustangs out of the American, the Big Ten’s Minnesota Golden Gophers and an Iowa State Cyclones squad that suddenly has a great shot to win the Big 12 tourney.

Bids by Conference: ACC (10); Big East and Big Ten (7); Big 12 (6); SEC (5); Pac-12 (4); American, Atlantic 10 and West Coast (2); 23 single-bid conferences

Thanks to Thursday wins, the Michigan State Spartans, Northwestern Wildcats, Seton Hall Pirates, and Xavier Musketeers can breathe a whole lot easier heading into the weekend. On the other hand, the Marquette Golden Eagles, Providence Friars, and USC Trojans have a long weekend’s wait ahead of them after tasting conference quarterfinal defeat.

Kansas State and the Vanderbilt Commodores cannot feel safe yet, particularly a Wildcat team that’s handing the Selection Committee a poor nonconference schedule (227th compared to Vanderbilt’s No. 1). While the Commodores should be in even with a loss to the Florida Gators in tonight’s SEC Tournament quarterfinals, a win over the West Virginia Mountaineers tonight in Kansas City might not be enough to lock up a bid for the K-State.

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