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Sports News Headlines: The Lastest NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB News

Dallas hit a home run last April — how do they hit another one next April?

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McShay: Not sure it’s possible for the Cowboys to have a draft that’s anywhere near comparable to last year. They’ll be selecting in the latter half of the first round as opposed to No. 4 overall — and they found a fourth-round quarterback who’s currently 11-1. If they could find one difference-making edge rusher, that’d be a win for Dallas.

By the time it’s April, Mel, who are people going to be saying, “Oh, Kiper loves that guy!”

Kiper: It’s Alabama’s Reuben Foster. He could be the best of the stellar group of Crimson Tide inside linebackers to be picked in the first round recently (Rolando McClain, Dont’a Hightower and C.J. Mosley). Foster is a complete player. Top five isn’t out of the question, which is rare for an ILB. He’s that good.

Fournette missed four games in the regular season — and parts of many others — because of a nagging left ankle injury. But from a big-picture wear-and-tear standpoint, it might be to his benefit. Fournette has endured only 144 touches this season, far below the 319 he had a season ago. When fully healthy, Fournette is a big-play machine with a rare combination of size, power, agility and speed for the position. His angry running style is something at which to marvel and will translate well to the next level.
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Garrett is the best pure pass-rusher in this class. He has played through an ankle injury for much of this season, and still finished fifth in the SEC with 15.0 tackles for loss. Garrett has a lethal combination of first-step quickness, bend, power and hand-to-hand combat skills. And after adding 10 pounds of muscle in the offseason, he has been stronger setting the edge in the running game.

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Bengals stun Steelers with go-ahead TD strike to A.J. Green

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Despite trailing most of the game, the Cincinnati Bengals took a late lead against Pittsburgh when A.J. McCarron hit A.J. Green for a 25-yard go-ahead score.

Authentic Youth Marcell Dareus Jersey It was quite the comeback for the Bengals after they entered the fourth quarter trailing 15-0 and had mustered very little on offense. That started to change early, with the Bengals chipping away on two scoring drives. That left them trailing 15-10 and set up the go-ahead TD to Green.

Kids Derek Carr Jersey Even the go-ahead drive wasn’t without a close call. The Bengals converted a fourth down just three plays prior to the 25-yard strike to Green.

How they got here: Kansas City has won its last 10 games thanks to the steady and cautious right arm of Alex Smith and consistently good defense. The Chiefs also field a strong special teams unit and don’t turn the ball over much.

How they got here: Andrew Luck becoming a human pi?ata and only playing in seven games this season created a window for the Texans, who enter the playoffs riding a three-game win streak. They are also winners of seven of their last nine. Their defense has morphed into one of the league’s best, which allowed the Texans to feast on a weak AFC South.

Why they’ll make the Super Bowl: It’s hard to say. Along with being a stud of a dancer, J.J. Watt is also a superhuman football player who led the league in sacks this year for the second time in his career. With Whitney Mercilus (12 sacks), he now has a running mate who can take advantage of all that attention he draws. Maybe the Texans defensive line, which also features 2014 No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney, can wreak enough havoc to make up for everything the offense is lacking.

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Former Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt returns to Chargers as offensive coordinator

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The San Diego Chargers have hired Ken Whisenhunt as the team’s offensive coordinator, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Whisenhunt was previously the offensive coordinator for the Chargers during the 2013 season.

Whisenhunt left San Diego when he accepted Elite Youth Preston Smith Jersey the head coaching job with the Tennessee Titans prior to the 2014 season. He was fired by the Titans in November after Tennessee started the season 1-6. Whisenhunt’s Titans won just two games during his first season as head coach.

The Carolina Panthers (+500 to win the Super Bowl) host Womens Cliff Avril Jersey the Seattle Seahawks (+550) on Sunday, and the winner of that game will emerge as a major Super Bowl contender. Carolina would have home field in the NFC Championship Game and was 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS at home this season.

Seattle is 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS over its last eight games and has won six of its last seven postseason games.

As the top seed in the AFC, the Denver Broncos would have home field advantage in the AFC Championship Game. This could make a big difference if the Broncos ended up facing the Patriots as Denver is 5-1 SU and ATS in its last six home games against New England compared to an 0-5 SU and ATS record in its last five road games against the Patriots.

The Broncos are going off at +550 on the Super Bowl betting lines.

Rounding out the Super Bowl odds board are the Kansas City Chiefs are +900 and the Pittsburgh Steelers are +1200. With 11 straight wins and a 5-0 SU and ATS record in its last five road games, Kansas City could be one of the best value plays available.

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The Red Sox have been in contact with Napoli

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As all patrons of Boston’s favorite fictional watering hole undoubtedly know, sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. Cheers, then, to the idea of Napoli returning to this city, where his shirtless romp down Boylston Street after the 2013 World Series preceded the urges of Cleveland Indians fans to party at Napoli’s this year.

Not only does Napoli know Boston, he actually likes it here, which is more than many free agents wind up saying. The Red Sox have been in contact with Napoli, according to a league source, but prefer to wait on the resolution of the competitive balance tax in the new collective bargaining agreement before signing any free agents.

It¡¯s easy to see the Sox signing Napoli to rotate with Hanley Ramirez between first base and DH. Napoli, 35, also has a well-earned reputation as a clubhouse leader and would be a positive influence on still-impressionable right fielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

“How long do you want to tie somebody up for that [DH] position when we have a lot of young players coming?” Dombrowski said. “I think that’s a very important part of it. Do you want to tie up that one spot with one individual? I’m not sure. Now, one year? Maybe one year is different. But from a long-term basis, do you want to do that? I’m not sure.”

Fourteen years ago, the Red Sox signed a hulking slugger who had been cast aside twice before, including by the Minnesota Twins after hitting 58 homers in 1,477 big league at-bats.

And, of course, Ortiz morphed into Big Papi.

That brings us to Carter, designated for assignment Monday night by the Milwaukee Brewers despite leading the National League with 41 homers and posting his best OPS (.821) since 2012. But Carter, a right-handed hitter who turns 30 in December, is the epitome of an all-or-nothing slugger. He struck out 206 times this season and has averaged 188 whiffs since 2013.
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Austin Pasztor Jersey And the free-agent pool is filled with power hitters, including lefty-swinging Pedro Alvarez, Michael Saunders and Brandon Moss.

Could Carter be the second coming of Ortiz? Some team might think so.

Just don¡¯t bet on it.

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Rob Gronkowski hasn’t played in all 16 regular-season games for the Patriots since 2011

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Last week, the Pats used backup offensive lineman Cameron Fleming as their second tight end for 15 snaps, which obviously offers little utility in the passing game. One of the ways to move on from Gronkowski might be to rely more heavily upon the running game, but Gronkowski’s absence makes that harder to pull off too. The threat of Gronkowski running up the seam is enough to keep safeties off the line of scrimmage, and his success as a pass-catcher has left him as a criminally underrated run-blocker. I wrote about his role in the running game in 2015 before the Colts-Patriots AFC Championship Game, and Gronkowski has been a huge part of why the Pats have been able to run all over Indianapolis at will in years past.

Schematically, the Patriots will likely get away from their two-tight-end sets and shift their base offense toward three-wide-receiver formations, with Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell getting more snaps. Mitchell and Chris Hogan, in particular, will need to threaten teams downfield more frequently with Gronk missing. Mike Reiss noted yesterday that the Patriots have begun to experiment with a “Pony” grouping, which includes a pair of receiving backs in James White and Lewis. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Patriots try to use that grouping more, perhaps in sets with no tight ends, in the hopes of forcing opposing linebackers into a matchup they can’t win.

This time around, there’s also not much the Patriots can do to make it easier on their star receiver. Coach Bill Belichick already has made positive changes designed to ease the workload on Gronkowski. After Gronk famously fractured his forearm blocking on an extra point attempt, the Patriots took him off of special-teams duties. In an attempt to keep him healthy for the regular season, the Patriots have stopped using Gronkowski in the preseason; he hasn’t taken a single preseason snap since the 2012 campaign. I’ve seen both articles and fans suggest that the Patriots hold Gronkowski out of meaningless regular-season games, but that’s going to make him far less valuable, and it’s not going to insulate him from injury. Remember: He suffered a chest injury against the Seahawks on a hit by Earl Thomas, as there were concerns Gronkowski might have punctured a lung on the play.

There also should not be any arguments calling for Gronkowski to change his style of play, as if shrinking from contact or avoiding full exertion would somehow fix his injury issues. The forearm injury was a fluke accident. He suffered the back strain that led to his college surgery in practice. As far as we know, he suffered his back injury against the Jets diving for an overthrown pass. The torn ACL he suffered was on contact, but it was a pass up the seam where he couldn’t protect himself and Ward took out his knees. It’s not as if he injured himself, say, throwing Sergio Brown out of the club.
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The reality is that the Patriots and Gronkowski alike have known all along that injuries were going to be a part of the Gronk experience. It’s how they ended up together in the first place; it has underpinned their contract negotiations; and it’s an inescapable part of Gronkowski’s future with the team. There’s no way to eliminate it outside of keeping Gronk on the sidelines when he’s healthy, which does nobody any good.

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Matthew Dellavedova played against his former team for the first time

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FAMILIAR FACES

Matthew Dellavedova played against his former team for the first time since signing with Milwaukee as a free agent in the offseason.
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“He was with those guys in a lot of battles,” Kidd said.

Lue said he misses having Dellavedova run his team’s second unit.

“He’s going to compete and play hard. He’s going to scrap. His teammates loved him,” Lue said.

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS

Smith entered the game just 1 for 22 in his last two contests, including going 0 for 11 against the 76ers on Sunday. He hit his first two shots, both 3-pointers, but missed his next five shots, all 3-pointers.

IN THE HOUSE

Michael Redd, the fourth all-time leading scorer in Bucks’ history, attended the game. Redd played 11 seasons for the Bucks.

IN REMEMBRANCE

A moment of silence was observed for the victims of a plane crash in Columbia on Monday. A chartered airliner slammed into the Andes mountains while transporting a Brazilian soccer team traveling to the finals of one of South America’s most prestigious club tournaments. More than 70 passengers were killed.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Channing Frye missed his second straight game following the death of his father on Nov. 24. He is expected to rejoin the team by Thursday. … Iman Shumpert (left hamstring strain) returned to the lineup after a one-game absence. … Cleveland’s bench totaled just five first-half points.

Limited Charles Barkley Jersey Bucks: Beasley, who entered averaging just more than eight points per game, scored 11 first-half points, connecting on 5 of 6 shots. … Milwaukee shot 57 percent in the first half.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night. Lue was an assistant under Clippers coach Doc Rivers in Boston and Los Angeles.

Bucks: At Brooklyn on Thursday night. Milwaukee has won 12 of its last 16 meetings with the Nets, dating to Jan. 9, 2009, including a 110-108 win in Milwaukee on Oct. 29.

Check out the team sites for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks for more game coverage.

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The Bills do not have a first-round pick in this year’s draft

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Behind All-Pro Richard Sherman and Lane, only Byron Maxwell and Tharold Simon are left as viable options. Maxwell could depart in free agency, while Simon struggled in limited duty. The situation could prompt Seattle to take a corner early in the draft or acquire one via free agency in March.

The San Francisco 49ers Luke Willson Authentic Womens Jersey are in the process of negotiating terms of new contracts for running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Michael Crabtree, head coach Jim Tomsula confirmed with the media on Thursday via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.

The Bills do not have a first-round pick in this year’s draft, but there are some second-tier quarterback prospects that Buffalo might be able to grab in the later rounds. Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson put on an impressive performance at Senior Bowl practices, and UCLA’s Brett Hundley and Baylor’s Bryce Petty are also considered in the mix.

The woman said she was collecting her belongings when Sapp grabbed her by the arms and threw her into the hallway, the force of which knocked both women down, according to the report.

“I do what I do, but that doesn’t give him the right to put his hands on me,” the Mark Glowinski Authentic Womens Jersey 23-year-old told police.

“I’ve played against Richie Incognito and I know he’s an outstanding player,” Ryan said. “We felt good about him moving forward … and conducting himself in a way that’s a good teammate.”

Incognito recently met face-to-face with several members of the Bills organization, including Ryan, Terry and Kim Pegula. He offered candid remarks about how he is a better person now and has learned from his past mistakes.

The former Pro Bowler sat out all of last season following his suspension by the Dolphins in November 2013, but is expected to be a key part of the Bills’ offensive line next season. He is under contract with the Bills on a one-year deal for $2.25 million, according to ESPN.

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The Lightning, Flyers and Nashville Predators should all be at the top of your list of targets

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So who do you want? The Lightning, Flyers and Nashville Predators should all be at the top of your list of targets. All three teams are top-10 for both power-play opportunities and power-play percentage this season and were top-11 for power-play chances last season (the Predators were 11th, missing the top 10 by two chances).

Personnel-wise, this means Jordan Phillips Authentic Womens Jersey considering Nikita Nesterov, Valtteri Filppula or Jonathan Drouin in some leagues. All three appear to be staples of the man advantage in the absence of Steven Stamkos for the Bolts. In fact, Nesterov leads all Tampa Bay skaters in power-play ice time since Stamkos was injured. In deeper leagues, Vladislav Namestnikov and Brayden Point could also get consideration, as both have been playing plenty of minutes on the man advantage of late. Point has three power-play points in five games since the Stamkos injury.

For the Flyers, they really have only one power-play unit. Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn and Shayne Gostisbehere all play virtually double the power-play minutes of anybody else on the team. Consider this a warning to anyone getting off the Schenn train prematurely — his usage is far too positive for him not to be a locked-in fantasy asset. He’ll come around.

With the Predators, there is absolutely no reason Mike Fisher shouldn’t be owned in all but the deepest of leagues at this point. He’s nowhere close to that threshold at only 18 percent ownership.

It’s part of the reason the Blue Jackets have the most efficient power play in the NHL right now, but sit only ninth for power-play goals. They just haven’t had that many chances.

Cody Eakin skated with the stars on the top line, but the trio finished pointless Kenny Stills Authentic Womens Jersey and minus-5. Eaves owners better hope he gets back with the top line soon, because he won’t fare as well on the second line.

The question, however, is whether a serious Cup contender such as Tampa Bay would actually deal Bishop before March 1 or just keep him and all hands on deck for a championship run and let the chips fall where they might after the season.

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Roundtable — What a 26th roster spot means for MLB

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Active rosters in Major League Baseball have been set at 25 players since the end of the Wilson administration (Woodrow, not Willie). But with the collective bargaining agreement set to expire on Dec. 1, there have been talks about potentially adding a 26th player to the active roster.

Is this a good idea? What would be Cameron Erving Womens Jersey a good way to use the new extra spot? Would there be any drawbacks?

We asked three of our writers these questions about adding a 26th player, and they answered.

1. Do you think adding a 26th roster spot is a good idea?

Bradford Doolittle: I love it, though I have to admit that the knee-jerk source of that feeling is the idea that the switch will be tied to stricter September roster limits in the CBA talks. But even if you remove that factor, the 26th spot should help improve strategic options and offense off the bench. Sure, some teams will simply add another situational reliever. Some teams aren’t very imaginative.

Sam Miller: In April 2003, a few months after David Ortiz was released by the Minnesota Twins and picked up by the Boston Red Sox, he went 0-for-6 in his first game of the season. Playing only part-time, he went hitless in four of his first five starts, and through six weeks of the season he was hitting .208/.310/.347. As a DH. In a hitter’s park, on a big-market team, while fighting for playing time, at age 27.

Maybe the Boston front office was absolutely in love with him and would have let him slump Carl Nassib Womens Jersey for months until he figured it out, but knowing just those details — a not-very-young DH who wasn’t hitting and had just been released by another team — it’s easy to speculate that we came just that close to David Ortiz not having any sort of career with the Red Sox, or with anybody else. Baseball would be far worse off if that had happened.

There are 750 players on active major league rosters every day, and about 6,000 playing in affiliated ball broadly, and yet there’s still a permanent roster crunch across the sport. Players who are good enough to play in the majors get overlooked, buried, go undrafted, end up in independent leagues. We know the near-misses, because they didn’t, ultimately, miss.

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Laser pointers are Mexico’s unwanted annoyance at sporting events

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Although it was played more than 2,000 miles away from their usual home base, the Oakland Raiders enjoyed a healthy majority of the crowd support at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City for Monday Night Football, giving them a true home-field advantage in their eventual 27-20 victory over the Houston Texans.

The pro-Raiders crowd mostly displayed the cheers and encouragement Brandon Allen Authentic Jersey the NFL has come to expect, save for a green laser pointer that followed Houston QB Brock Osweiler for much of the night.

And during the broadcast, the laser was also mentioned, and viewers were informed that NFL security had been looking for the culprit throughout the game. However, the fan was not found, and the incidents persisted until the end. Osweiler refused to credit the fan as a definitive reason why Houston dropped the game, but per ESPN’s Sarah Barshop, he said that “having a laser zoomed in on your eyeball definitely affects how you play.”

México is said to have an NFL fan base of about 23 million, the largest outside of the United States and a number that is the combined populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston and San Jose. A sold-out crowd of 76,743 attended the Raiders’ 27-20 win at Azteca Stadium on Monday, and attendance would have been higher if not for recent renovations.

The two highest attendances for NFL games occurred for games played in Azteca in 1994 and ’98, with Brandon Linder Authentic Jersey crowds of 112,376 and 106,424, respectively — and that was preseason.

Millions watched Monday’s contest — the first in Mexico City since 2005, when a Sunday night game between the Cardinals and 49ers drew 103,467 — from the comfort of their own homes. And in the days leading up to it, the fan fest was held in the sprawling Chapultepec Park. Fans ran the 40-yard dash, returned punts, tried on NFL uniforms, snapped pictures of Super Bowl rings and posed with the Lombardi Trophy. Every station had long lines throughout.

The freestyle displayed just how far Johnson has come during this season of the show. In a medley that included the Jackson 5 and “Hey, Mr. Postman,” Johnson and Arnold had several lifts and different types of dances. There were two treadmills involved, and Johnson threw Arnold over his head to other dancers while on a 23rd Street New York City subway set.

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