Last year around draft time, I used fancy stats and combine numbers to tell you that Ezekiel Elliott was a pretty good running back. Pretty brilliant, right? Who could have known that without numbers.
To be fair, those numbers said more difficult things. They said third-rounder C.J. Prosise could be a steal and that fifth-rounder DeAndre Washington might be a massive steal. They said fourth-rounder Kenneth Dixon might be versatile enough to play an early role, that second-rounder Derrick Henry would be efficient but little else, and that fourth-rounder Devontae Booker probably wasnt going to be ready to produce.
Charlton identifies plays well and takes the most efficient point of attack to eliminate gains. With strong hands and a diverse array of moves, he has several paths to get to the quarterback. Defensive coordinators D.J. Durkin and Don Brown moved him up and down the line to maximize his impact, and though he disappeared at times, he found a way to make his presence felt.
Hes still adjusting to the game, which means his fundamentals are still progressing. As such, hes a limited blocker who will need plenty of work clearing lanes for his tailbacks. Hes also learning his route tree, which means lots of sloppy moves downfield and rounded routes instead of precise cuts. Working with a new quarterback will require an adjustment period.
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Game Womens Shaq Lawson Jersey His hands arent great, leading to a handful of frustrating drops to pair with some insane catches. Consistency wont be his thing for a while, at least not with only six years of organized football experience under his belt. Additionally, the level of competition he faced in college was underwhelming, though an eight-catch, 95 yard performance against Mississippi State is encouraging.
The New York Knicks and team president Phil Jackson jointly agreed to pick up the final two years of their five-year contract on Thursday, according to ESPNs Ian Begley and Ramona Shelburne. They did so without a public announcement, sweeping the extension under the rug of one of the weirdest seasons in a storied Knicks history.
Jackson signed a five-year deal as team president in 2014. He and the Knicks each reserved the right to go a different direction after three seasons, as to avoid working through a potential lockout.
In his final season with the Knicks, Anthony averaged 22.4 points per game but often butted heads with Jackson, who wanted to implement the Triangle Offense he won 11 NBA championships with during his time coaching the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
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We faced resistance from the top, Jackson said, when asked why the famed offense hadnt seen much success in New York, according to Beer.
Jackson and Anthonys relationship reached rock bottom when the team president co-signed several scathing articles critical of Anthonys ability to defend or share the basketball. Two of those stories were written by his close friend and former assistant coach, Charley Rosen.
Consistency is one of the more important traits for offensive linemen, because even when the shit is hitting the fan all around them, as long as they don’t forget their technique, they usually have a chance. With the way Robinson plays, he looks to be ready to start from day one and be the anchor for the next seven to 10 years, barring injury.
Game Kids Vince Williams Jersey Robinson is that rare left tackle who does all these crazy things out in space, getting up on linebackers and safeties on the second level and blocking cornerbacks on screens …
Game 1 between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues was textbook NHL playoffs drama. Spectacular goaltending. Late-game heroics. An overtime win.
We’d love to see more. The problem: The odds of a blowout are high if Game 2 on Friday plays out in a similar fashion.
St. Louis didn’t play well, and they know it. Minnesota will be hungry to even the series on home ice.
On Thursday, it appeared Damian Lillard had predicted his No. 8-seeded Portland Trail Blazers — who snuck into the playoffs in the last week of the season — would knock off the Golden State Warriors, the first team to win 67 games in three straight seasons. Here’s one tweet:
See? What is Lillard supposed to say there — “actually, Warriors in five!” That would be ridiculous. He could have declined from making a prediction, but professional athletes have to be confident. They’re some of the most competitive people in the world, so of course they think they can win.
Lillard wasn’t trying to distract from his team or give the Warriors bulletin board material. (Do the Warriors REALLY need any of that, anyway?) He was asked a question and he answered it. Nothing wrong with that.
So yes, the point is this: It’s cool Lillard is confident, and he should be, and it shouldn’t be a big deal that he thinks that.
In this third quarter example, LeBron and Kyrie Irving execute a high pick and roll forcing 6’1 Teague onto a much-bigger, much-stronger LeBron. The results are exactly what you’d expect:
It’s unreasonable to expect Teague to contain Love and James in the paint, yet he was asked to do so time and time again thanks to Indiana’s defensive scheme. Head coach Nate McMillan had his players switch nearly every time Cleveland ran a pick and roll — an ineffective strategy as Cleveland shot nearly 54 percent from the floor.
He made contact with seven New Orleans defenders, but none brought him down, as he went 67 yards for the game-sealing score. The enormous sound from the Seahawks’ fans in the stadium was such that area seismologists noticed the movement created by jumping, yelling Seahawks fans. Hence, Beast Quake. For any and all reading about this play, turn to Matt Ufford’s story about it
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What happened in the stadium next is the sort of thing that NFL Films molds into the league’s mythology, a battle-sport fought by giants and replayed in slow-motion to Wagnerian string music.
Mens Joey Votto Jersey But I was there, and I’m telling you: the sky ripped open with noise. A roar beyond sound, a physical thing more industrial than human. The earth shook. It really happened.
The No. 2 seed Cavaliers will kick off their postseason against the No. 7 seed Pacers on Saturday afternoon on ABC. Though the Cavaliers are highly favored, this is still one of the most exciting series of the first round given the return of Lance Stephenson to Indiana and the rivalry between Paul George and LeBron James. Even though James is with a new team now, we hope to see bits and pieces from those old Heat-Pacers battles.
The Cavaliers come into the playoffs on a four-game losing streak, while the Pacers went on a five-game win streak to end their season and earn a spot in the playoffs. While momentum may factor into things, the Cavaliers did win their regular season series 3-1 and will look to do more of the the same in the playoffs as they make another run at the NBA Finals.
While the huge DeRozan contract indicates the Raptors are willing to invest heavily in this core, DeRozan and Lowry are at different stages of their careers. On top of that, an early exit from the playoffs would represent a serious regression. Toronto won 56 games and made the conference finals a year ago. The Raptors claimed 51 games this season, and not making it back to East finals would be a real disappointment. It’s quite different to invest in a rising status quo rather than in one that is declining.
Raptors president Masai Ujiri is too smart to base such a major decision on one game or one series. But the Raptors’ Game 1 woes are microcosms of the team’s repeated failure to grasp its potential at every opportunity. If Ujiri decides that has become part of the roster’s DNA, it’ll be difficult to invest more than $100 million in Lowry this summer.
Just about every game in the playoffs has a lot riding on the results of its first-round series. That’s especially true for the Raptors, as well. Failure here could remake the identity of the team and put an All-Star point guard in play in free agency.
Except it wasn’t enough. In order to make the postseason after the slow start, they couldn’t play like a 95-win team. They had to play like a 100-win team. And it’s extremely difficult for a team that has a 100-win-level roster to lose 10 out of their first 12 games, so we can probably assume the Blue Jays aren’t one of those outliers.
Game Kids Willie Snead Jersey If you spot a 90-win team just two wins out of their first dozen games, they’re suddenly an 83-win team. A 95-win team becomes a 90-win team, which is perilously close to being a team that misses the postseason entirely.
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Elite Devon Kennard Jersey Andre Iguodala came alive for 14 crucial points, too. Many of his came in the first half, keeping the game close and refusing to let San Antonio run away with it. They didn’t, thanks to his efforts, and the Warriors firmly closed out the game in the second half.
It feels like we’ve been viewing the Warriors more existentially with each passing week, but those times are over. Oh that’s right. Golden State is still a deadly basketball machine built to truck your favorite team. Oh, guess what. They’ve won nine straight and looked like this without Kevin Durant, whose return is likely imminent.
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But the rest of the Warriors were enough on Wednesday. Stephen Curry had 29 points while Klay Thompson heated up late for 23 of his own. Golden State’s bench may be ragtag, and you can never really know what to expect from them, but they came alive on Wednesday, too. David West had his best game in a Warriors uniform, setting season highs with 22 minutes and 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting. West has been a steady part of the rotation of late, but he was also mothballed for a stretch earlier this year. His emergence can mean nothing but good things for the Warriors.
If Peyton Manning wasn’t playing so darn good this year, we’d be hearing a lot more about Philip Rivers … by more, I mean not much at all. He is averaging 328 passing yards on the road this season. His completion percentage of 71.6 puts him on pace for a career high in that category.
Problems in Miami are well documented. And I suspect the dysfunction there, not to mention an offensive line that’s even worse than it was, is just too much to overcome this week.
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Neither defense has been very good this season, so it wouldn’t be a major surprise to see the game turn into a battle of the offenses. If that is indeed the case, Detroit holds a massive advantage. The Lions average nearly a touchdown more per game than the Steelers and are dangerous on the ground and through the air.
Jimmer Fredette Jersey Not many offenses can keep pace with Detroit in a shootout and nothing about the Steelers’ performance this season says they will be able to.
There’s a railing right above this section that fans will often stand by and watch the game. Fans sitting below this railing started yelling and screaming to security that beer/food was getting spilled on them, and then some girl claimed a guy peed down on them from above. I didn’t see that, and I honestly don’t know how much of the spillage was due to the wind or if it was deliberate. But people were getting PISSED, and at one point, people from the section below started throwing stuff back up at the rail. Security FINALLY got things settled and the people were cleared from that railing.
All the while, a football game was being played again on a field that about 10 percent grass and 90 percent mud. That didn’t stop Josh Treadwell McCown, who’s basically playing like a movie character at this point. After almost 100 years of terrible Bears starting quarterbacks and backups who seem like they’re playing blindfolded, McCown’s performance has been inconceivable. This is a 34-year-old who was coaching high school football in Charlotte when the Bears called. This is a guy who hadn’t started a game since 2008.
Welcome to one of my favorite posts of the year, where I look at the over-under totals of all 30 MLB teams and try to win you fake money. I am pleased to report that, collectively, we have won fake money. Thousands of dollars. This is the last year for this post. Next year, I will introduce an 877 number and buy up 15 minutes of paid content on your favorite sports-talk radio station every week. And I will quit this job, burning every last bridge before I go. Especially with Marc. [Editor’s note: ]
Until then, we will continue to look for the best over-under bet in Major League Baseball.
Last year, I decided that the Cardinals were the best over-under bet for 2017, and I declared that out of all 30 teams — and 60 options — that picking them to win 88 games or more was the safest bet. I also drafted Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha in my fantasy league. These facts are related.
I did not win my over-under choice from last year. You will be shocked to learn that I did not win my fantasy league, either. But if you call 877-BRIS-PIX now …
That’s OK though, because the collective wisdom of crowds saved us. There were 2,885 votes in our poll, and more than 53 percent of you picked a winner. Good job, everybody! That translated to $138,780 in fake winnings, assuming a $100 bet. Wow!
Texans fans, this may not be pretty, but hopefully it will at least be cathartic.
To kick things off, check out the numbers in the bottom right corner. Those are Football Outsiders’ DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average — explained more thoroughly here) ratings for the Texans’ run and pass offense. DVOA is a fantastic measure for understanding how well or poorly a unit is performing since it adjusts for the caliber of opponents they’ve faced. And 26th in passing and 24th in rushing … well, those ain’t good.
Jones took Troy Aiman No. 1 overall in the 1989 NFL draft and won three Super Bowls with him, but there was something extra special about this 2003 undrafted free agent quarterback from Eastern Illinois, this Tony Romo, this franchise quarterback from the scrap heap. Romo’s teammates saw it, felt it, as they embraced each other throughout the years in remarkable ways.
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Two playoff victories and four playoff losses haunted Romo. The big miscues in big games caused many people to cruelly rip him. He won 78 games and lost 49. He threw for more than 34,000 yards. He won the prestigious 2002 Walter Payton award for humanitarian contributions. But he never won a Super Bowl. Maybe he can never match the Dallas quarterbacking legend of Aikman and Roger Staubach.
But his No. 17 jersey at Eastern Illinois is retired. I bet one day his No. 9 in Dallas will be retired, too.
Williams works in a state that broke for Trump in the 2016 election. His university is a public one that relies on cooperation and funding from the state government, whose legislature is majority Republican. At least some of UNC’s boosters probably support Trump. Williams coaches a roster of players who might have varying political views. He’s got a lot to consider, assuming the White House reaches out.
The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will visit Trump’s White House this month. The team’s owner and quarterback, Robert Kraft and Tom Brady, have said they’re friends with the president. Several players on New England’s Super Bowl roster have said they’re not going.
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This is going to be a decision point for every sports organization that gets Trump’s invitation. If the Tar Heels do, they’ll be among the next to face it.
The Denver Broncos will be without Rahim Moore for the rest of the regular season Tuesday after the safety underwent emergency surgery. Denver placed Moore on injured reserve with the designation to return, meaning he could potentially return in the playoffs.
Jihad Ward Youth Jersey Moore had surgery after being diagnosed with lateral compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome happens when connective tissue surrounding a muscle begins to swell and restrict blood flow to the muscle. In some cases it can cause nerve and muscle damage. New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks had surgery for compartment syndrome in 2010 and went on to miss two games. Moore’s recovery will apparently take longer. He will miss the next eight weeks, putting him on track for a return in the AFC Championship game if the Broncos advance.
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Plain and simple, the Lions let this game get away. After dominating Pittsburgh in the second quarter, the Lions couldn’t do much of anything on offense, defense or special teams in the second half. Yes, the fake field goal was an awful decision in hindsight, but that’s far from the most concerning thing. The fact that the offense couldn’t score any points in the second half and the defense couldn’t stop anything through the air is way more troubling, and that’s why the Lions lost this game.
Next week really is a must-win situation with the 2-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming to town. The Green Bay Packers will come to Ford Field only four days later, and the Lions can’t afford to let another game they should win turn out to be a loss.
The Lions will travel to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers in Week 11, while the Steelers will be on the road against the Browns.