Howard, Walker help Hornets send Nets to 8th straight loss

Nets: Have yet to win in February. Their last win came Jan. 31 against Philadelphia. … Russell started for the first time since Nov. 11. The guard had arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies in his knee. Russell returned to the lineup Jan. 19, but has been playing in a reserve role. … Allen Crabbe’s second 3-pointer was his 140th of the season, moving him into sole possession of seventh place in Nets’ single-season history.
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Hornets: Howard had his fifth game of 20 or more rebounds this season, one shy of the most by a player in Charlotte franchise history. … Charlotte has just 10 home games remaining this season. … This marked the first game the Hornets played since general manager Rich Cho was fired last week. Assistant general manager Buzz Peterson has assumed the position in an interim role.

Triano said his young team practices harder than it plays.

Why do we practice against each other harder than we play in front of 15,000 people? he said. We practice downstairs, we’ll kill each other, we jump in front, we do everything. When the lights come on, I don’t Karl Mecklenburg Youth jersey know if it’s nerves, fear, experience, we just back up, back up and give in.

That will end the obligations from the 2017 season for players from 30 teams, but the Patriots and Eagles still have one game left on their schedules. That comes on Super Bowl Sunday, when the AFC and NFC champions meet to decide who gets to parade through their hometowns next week.
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Petan took advantage of Chris Butler’s giveaway with 9:56 left in the first period. Mark Scheifele intercepted a poor clearing attempt by Butler and found Petan. Wheeler made it 2-0 from an awkward angle against Allen, who gave up two goals on the first four shots he faced. The goal extended Wheeler’s scoring streak to seven games.

They came out strong, I thought we came out a little flat, Wheeler said. Bucky kept us in it and they had a turnover there and it kind of got us rolling, got us on the board. We started flowing a little bit from there.

Trail Blazers sign Brandon Rush to 10-day contract

The Portland Trail Blazers signed veteran guard/forward Brandon Rush to a 10-day contract Wednesday.
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Last season Rush played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, appearing in 47 games and averaging 4.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 21.9 minutes. The Authentic Marquise Goodwin Jersey nine-year veteran has also played for Indiana, Golden State and Utah. He was on the Warriors’ team that won the 2015 NBA title.

Yes, yes, on paper, the Warriors should probably win this one, but again, schedule alert doesn’t take into account the teams, their records or player availability. It only takes into account the factors related to the schedule, and according to those factors, the Warriors will be fighting fatigue here. It will mark their third game in five days, and the second of a back-to-back set, requiring travel across a time zone. They’ll play at Sacramento on Feb. 2 (a nationally televised game, and those always get out late).

Pat Sims Elite Jersey Then, after that game ends, the Warriors will head out — losing an hour along the way — to play a game less than 24 hours later in Denver, which, as we’ve written here before, is the most feared travel scenario in the league (along with the altitude, the airport is also far from the arena), playing the second of a back-to-back in Denver. The Nuggets will have a one-day rest advantage entering this game.

On game day, the Eagles will be considered the away team, and will suit up in the away team’s locker room. That’s because the NFL rotates between the NFC and the AFC each year. Last year, the Atlanta Falcons were the home team at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

This means the Patriots will be the home team.

When the Minnesota Vikings were still in the running, the possibility existed that they could play a home playoff game while being considered the away team. They lost to the Eagles in the NFC championship, however.

For those who like numbers that almost certainly mean nothing, the designated away teams have won 30 out of 51 Super Bowls to date, or close to 59 percent.

The home team is given a choice as to whether it will wear its home colored jerseys or away jerseys. It almost always dons the home jerseys, but six times in history a team has chosen to wear its away jerseys, including the Patriots this year.
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How AJ McCarron’s unrestricted free agency will affect the quarterback market

AJ McCarron won his grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, officially making him an unrestricted free agent starting March 14.
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While that’s a big win for McCarron, the implications of being named an unrestricted free agent mean more than just him being available and getting a raise. It’s going to affect the entire quarterback market in free agency.

Ryan Miller Womens Jersey This is how free agency works. There are one or two big prizes, and once those are gone, a domino effect of signings starts happening. It goes much quicker than it took to get the big fish off the board.

That’s not to say that McCarron will be unsuccessful in a Glennon-like fashion. After all, Glennon had just four starts before the Bears decided to pull the plug and throw Mitchell Trubisky into the fire.
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But a trend is starting in the NFL where players in situations similar to McCarron and Glennon are getting a chance as a starter. The quarterback position has never been more important than it is now. With a rising salary cap, the contracts that these quarterbacks get will only grow, too.

This isn’t new: Jokic is one of the best passing big men since Vlade Divac and Chris Webber. Over his last 10 games, he’s averaging nine assists (with 20 points and 11 rebounds). Denver has been fighting hard, even without key cog Paul Millsap. The Nuggets have won six of seven and over the past four Dustin Pedroia Womens Jersey weeks are 9-3. That has them tied for the No. 6 spot in the vicious West and just a half-game out of No. 5.

Denver has one more month until Millsap is back. Before he went down in mid-November, the Nuggets had improved their defense and seen their offense 锟斤拷 one of the league’s best a year ago 锟斤拷 slip. The defense has tanked without Millsap (it is bottom 10, currently) but the offense came back strong. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on both ends when Millsap returns.

Denver’s current mix is working, but Millsap should be its second-best player behind Jokic. If his presence hurts the flowing offense more than it helps the porous defense, that’s a problem.

But let’s not borrow trouble. The Nuggets are one of the hotter teams in the league going into All-Star, along with the Rockets, Raptors, and Jazz. What an interesting home stretch in the West we’ll have!

Kicker Roberto Aguayo was released by the Bears, who’d claimed him off waivers after he’d been released by the Buccaneers.

So Sunday on ESPN’s “NFL Countdown,” as if a broken jaw is the same as a head cold, Ryan, with malice of forethought — he held up a marshmallow — again cheap-shotted Smith, twice saying he has “a soft chin.”

Yes, nothing funnier than Smith having his jaw broken and career interrupted by a sucker-punch thrown by a teammate. But had Ryan been known as a sportsman, a gentleman instead of a creep, ESPN would’ve had zero interest.

It’s tempting to declare that Aguayo’s NFL story is done, sealing his fate as a second-round draft choice gone terribly wrong. But sometimes NFL kickers are best educated by the school of hard knocks. Maybe Aguayo will get another chance and do better with that opportunity.

Single round of cuts… Teams had to deal with only a single round of roster cuts this year. Roster limits went directly from 90 to 53 players, eliminating the previous in-between reduction to 75 players.

Manning’s retirement appears to be all but a certainty, considering he turns 40 next month and limped through his 18th NFL season with an awful 67.9 passer rating. There is also the specter of a league investigation into allegations he obtained human growth hormone through his wife, which conveniently would go away if Manning hangs up his cleats.

Johnson, meanwhile, reportedly plans to retire this week. The Lions star, a three-time first-team All-Pro selection, is just 30 but is said to be ready to walk away because of nagging injuries to his knees, ankles and hands.

Johnson’s departure would free up an estimated $11.1 million under the salary cap for Detroit. It also would leave a huge void in the Lions’ receiving corps after Johnson had 1,000 or more receiving yards in seven of his nine seasons.

The Packers losing Aaron Rodgers made the NFC North wide open. Their offense is patched together with Case Keenum and Latavius Murray in for Sam Bradford and Dalvin Cook, but their defense is a monster.

Remember the protests? Vick went from one of the league’s more popular players to one of the most reviled for his role in a dog-fighting ring that eventually led to a federal prison sentence for the quarterback. Vick missed the 2007 and 2008 seasons before returning with the Eagles, and the protests continued. He has repaired his image, but no star player has ever faced that level of hatred during his playing

The 7-1 Eagles began the week as the NFL’s best team.

Falcons: They entered the draft in search of an edge rusher to play opposite of 2016 sacks leader Vic Beasley Jr., and think they found that in UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley in the first round. McKinley had 10 sacks in 2016 season and averaged 1.6 tackles for loss per game.
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They know how to overcome internal turmoil. Their horrendous offensive line aside, good luck finding a roster with better speed, athleticism and talent. Their defense has started to embrace the heavy burden it carries, and their offense makes enough plays, especially late in games, after defenses grow weary of chasing Russell Wilson and trying to cover Doug Baldwin.

Their offensive line is in contention for the worst individual unit in the NFL, and it got worse when center Justin Britt injured his ankle Sunday against the Giants, moving rookie Ethan Pocic into his place.

The last time they started a season 7-1 was in 2004, and they made the Super Bowl that year.

As if to increase the hype, the Eagles got better this week, making a trade with the Ozzie Smith Youth jersey Dolphins for running back Jay Ajayi 锟斤拷 who twice last season rushed for more than 200 yards in a game. He adds to an Eagles offense already ranked fourth in rushing and third overall in the league.

Tyler Boyd Youth Jersey The Eagles will put Ajayi and their offense to test Sunday at home against the Broncos, who own the NFL’s top-ranked defense.
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The Eagles smell blood in the water in the NFC East. Already owning a 2 ? game lead over 4-3 Dallas, which plays the 6-2 Chiefs on Sunday, the Eagles have a chance to blow open the division.

The 1-6 Giants and 3-4 Redskins don’t appear to be a threat.

NFL flexes power by getting Sony to alter Will Smith football movie

A day after its trailer debuted online and months before it hits theaters, the Will Smith football head-trauma film Concussion is already sparking controversy.
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At issue with Concussion is whether the film was shaped by direct negotiation with the NFL, an organization known for aggressive image protection, or if the film was tweaked because of the kind of legal concerns that regularly play a part in any release by a major studio.

Landesman told the Times: We’re just being smart because any large Fozzy Whittaker Womens Jersey corporation will design a response to something it considers to be a threat to its existence. We don’t want to give the NFL a toehold to say, ‘They are making it up,’ and damage the credibility of the movie.

Game Womens Jabrill Peppers Jersey Concussion 锟斤拷 a high-profile release starring one of Hollywood’s top actors 锟斤拷 was already seen as an enormous public relations threat to the NFL, one that will land in theaters during the heart of its upcoming season.

I think this is a good overall wide receiver class, Brandt said. I think there’s a lot of good players in there. The one that a lot of people have ranked first is Williams from Clemson. He reminds you a lot of [Keyshawn] Johnson who was the first overall pick by the Jets some years ago. But there isn’t anybody that really jumps out to me as a guy that’s gonna come in and catch a lot of passes 锟斤拷 as we’ve had by those types of guys in the past 锟斤拷. There’s a lot of [the Cowboys’] Terrance Williams-type receivers, to my feeling, in this draft. And so I think that’s the kind of guy that you have a good chance to get. Terrance Williams is not a bad player.

That said, whatever the reasons, the NFL is experiencing declining viewership dating to last season, and there are some signs of attendance problems early this year.

The case against: They’re the league’s only winless team this season. It’s a front office issue and a coaching issue and a player issue. It’s an everything issue. It’s time to change everything and start over. Isn’t that what 1-24 means? Do you really want to give this regime another chance to botch the quarterback situation?
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NFL ratings continue historic slide with no end in sight

Someone stole an average of 5.8 million viewers from each of the four NFL divisional playoff games last week, statistics released on Wednesday revealed.
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The drop-off, about 16 percent from last year’s second weekend of playoff games, was even steeper than the 9.7 percent decline in TV viewership the NFL experienced during the regular season.
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Womens Travis Hamonic Jersey The exodus of viewers during the 17-week season was the most severe ever.

The Vikings’ Minneapolis comes in at No. 15, while the Jaguars’ Jacksonville ranks way back at No. 47.

There’s also concern about the quality of play in what will be the season’s penultimate games.

NFL loyalists consider Championship Sunday the league’s best day, as it features four teams fighting for the right to play in the Super Bowl.

A look at this year’s teams reveals that, of their four quarterbacks, two opened the season as backups and another spent the preseason on the bench.

The anonymous insider also claimed Watts fat-shamed the same woman he allegedly coached in broadcasting, taking credit for her professional success at the network. The source recalled a conversation in Watts’ office, in which he allegedly asked the female anchor, Who’s responsible for you being the talent that you are? The woman replied it was Watts’ doing, and he later dubbed her the Kim Kardashian of sports. After she left his office, Watts is accused of saying she was initially on the tubby side, and that he told her to lose some weight.

The startling new report detailing the toxic cesspool of NFL Network’s work environment comes on the heels of former network stylist Jami Cantor’s lawsuit, filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court, accusing analysts Marshall Faulk, Heath Evans and Ike Taylor, among others, of sexual misconduct. She also claims Watts, who was named in John Ross Youth jersey the suit, disregarded her complaints of sexual harassment.

Barkley’s 92-yard touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl was another example of his awe-inspiring speed at his size.

And those numbers were with the Eagles holding onto a 24-7 lead: Doug Pederson deserves a ton of credit for putting his foot on the gas and snuffing out any hope of the Vikings coming back, and Foles deserves an equal amount of credit for executing. Philly is built on the offensive and defensive lines; Howie Roseman’s vision for this club resulted in enough depth that the Eagles could sustain a loss of their MVP quarterback (Wentz), top-tier tackle (Jason Peters) and emerging young middle linebacker (Jordan Hicks) and still secure homefield advantage and storm into the Super Bowl.

Fitzpatrick might not be the most refined cornerback to enter the NFL over the past five years, but he’s among the most athletically gifted. He’s as reliable as they come against the run too, which is an often-overlooked aspect of playing cornerback in the NFL. He made his presence felt in every area in an impressive Sugar Bowl outing against Clemson’s multifaceted attack.

He had issues against Washington’s brick wall of a defensive line beyond that, but it’s those type of home runs that separate Barkley from other recent running back prospects. Even on a day when running lanes are hard to come by, he can score from anywhere on the field.

McKinley’s passion was evident during his emotional, profanity-laced on-camera interview with the NFL Network’s Deion Sanders following his selection, as he held a picture of his late grandmother. McKinley immediately apologized for his language and said the league can fine him later. It was a sincere and moving moment, albeit possibly with a PG rating for its expletives. If McKinley brings the same intensity to his pass-rushing efforts, the Falcons’ trade up to get him will be justified.

Buffalo picked up a third-round selection in this draft and a first-rounder next year from the Chiefs to move down, and still ended up with a solid cornerback prospect in White.

akland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is set to start after missing one game with three broken transverse processes (the bony protrusion on vertebrae).

The Rodgers injury wasn’t the only one, with the Packers taking blow after blow. Quinten Rollins, Lane Taylor, Ty Montgomery, Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari all banged up.chargers_043

So much for offensive coaches landing all of the NFL’s head coaching jobs.

The league-wide trend toward hiring offensive coordinators as head coaches was interrupted Wednesday when two defensive coordinators landed jobs. The Denver Broncos hired Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as their coach. The Buffalo Bills struck a deal with Carolina Panthers defensive boss Sean McDermott as their successor to Rex Ryan.
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Elite Mens C.J. Mosley Jersey The NFL’s sudden fixation with defensive coaches might not last long. Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay was having Authentic David Desharnais Jersey a second interview Wednesday with the Los Angeles Rams for their head coaching vacancy.

Don’t be surprised, however, if he creeps deeper into the draft-world consciousness by snatching passes and showing decent chops as a blocker, as well.

Johnson is one of a handful of non-FBS cornerbacks invited to the Senior Bowl. One of them is likely to step up and become a hot name going into the NFL Scouting Combine next month — Johnson’s my pick to make that move. His speed and fantastic ball skills are easy to see, but he’s a hard hitter, too. Playing with a physical nature against some of the big, strong receivers in Mobile will force teams to consider him in the mid-to-late second round.

What drew the Clippers’ ire was the discrepancy in free throws. The Timberwolves shot 39 free throws, including 16-of-17 in a career-high performance from point guard Jeff Teague, while the Clippers went to the line just 22 times.

Corey Coleman, WR, Browns: Coleman is certainly worth grabbing if he’s available in your league, but he shouldn’t be in Week 11 lineups. First off, Cleveland has a very tough matchup against the Jacksonville secondary, which is among the best in the NFL. Second, it’s Coleman’s first game after missing time with a broken hand, and while the Browns are excited to have him return, it’s probably best to see him get acclimated with the offense before inserting him into fantasy lineups. Coleman is owned in 17.5 percent of ESPN leagues, and while Week 11 doesn’t look very enticing, there are better matchups in the weeks ahead.
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Samaje Perine, RB, Redskins: It’s pretty well known that the only Redskins tailback worth playing in fantasy has been Chris Thompson. With Rob Kelley out with a knee injury, Perine inherits those touches.

When he reaches 30,000 points, James will be the youngest player to do so, but it wasn’t by design.

Some viewers were taken by surprise late Thursday night when NFL Network’s panel of former stars took aim at Kirk Cousins following Washington’s brutal 38-14 loss in Dallas. The team was sloppy in countless ways during the game 锟斤拷 and Cousins cost his team dearly by fumbling the ball on a first-half sack. But Washington’s first turnover, a pass that went off Jamison Crowder’s hands and was intercepted in the end zone, did not appear to be a Cousins error.
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It just went through my hands, Crowder said after the game, when he also said a big part [of the loss] was my fault.

After Christie’s kick, I thought our season was over. But Titans coach Jeff Fisher and special teams coach Alan Lowry called for Home Run Throwback. The kickoff went to Lorenzo Neal, who handed off to Frank Wycheck. He then threw a cross-field lateral (that had to withstand an excruciating replay review to be sure it wasn’t a forward lateral), and Kevin Dyson ran it in for the winning score 锟斤拷 and pandemonium in the stadium similar to the scene Sunday night in Minneapolis.

Vikings execs had to be similarly downtrodden after the Lutz field goal and likely thought their 13-3 season (same record as the 1999 Titans) was history. While Saints coach Sean Payton was taunting the Vikings crowd with a mock Skol clap, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and the team didn’t give up, and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur called Buffalo Right Seven Heaven.

It’s never been a chase, he said. I don’t chase points. I don’t chase anything when it comes to scoring. When I get it, I get it and that’s how I’ve gotten to this point in my career. The disappointing thing is that we lost, so it doesn’t matter.

Host Rich Eisen then argued that Cousins was putting some balls right on the hands of some of his receivers in the first quarter, and also mentioned Crowder’s Mark Gastineau Jersey fumbled punt return.
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I agree with everything that you are saying, Faulk said. But as a quarterback, when those things are happening, you go to your wide receivers. You don’t shake ’em. You pat ’em and let ’em know you have confidence, and let them know, ‘I’m coming back to you.’ And I was standing on the sidelines. I was waiting for that to happen. I never saw him go by his wide receivers and give them a vote of confidence.