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Archives for: March 30, 2017

Russell Westbrook completes Herculean comeback vs. Magic with leaning game-tying 3

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The Thunder were down 10 to the Orlando Magic in the fourth quarter, and then Russell Westbrook entered the game at the 7:45 mark and took over, only as Westbrook can do. During that seven-minute stretch, Westbrook hit eight shots, including three three-pointers, giving him 19 points in the fourth quarter to bring the Thunder back.

Mike Bossy Elite Jersey After grabbing a rebound off a Nikola Vucevic missed free throw, Westbrook pushed the ball up court, hitting a three-pointer with seven seconds left in the game to tie it at 102 and eventually send it into overtime. Westbrook ended regulation with 50 points. Look at the difficulty of this shot.
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Westbrook hit a driving bucket the possession before that took less than four seconds off the clock.

This isn’t the first time Westbrook has hit a late three to send a game into overtime against the Orlando. He did the same thing last season.

There was another source of volatility: depth, or lack thereof. There wasn’t much of a rotation in the front six, and Toledo’s per-quarter rankings were … telling: 45th in the first quarter, 17th in the second, 83rd in the third, 118th in the fourth.

And in the games in which Toledo’s offense was either particularly explosive or turnover-prone (or both), the defense had to face extra snaps and didn’t handle that well.

Will that change? It’s hard to guarantee it. Only six linemen and four linebackers made more than even six tackles, and three of those combined 10 players are gone. That’s not bad, but if defensive coordinator Brian George — the engineer of an awesome 2017 Kent State defense that ranked 19th in Def. S&P+ — is going to open up the rotation a bit, it might have to involve some youngsters.

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the Titans looked like a solid pick to make the playoffs.

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The Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts are both coming off troubling losses and will now have to rebound quickly with a key AFC South game on tap in Tennessee on Thursday night.

With wins against San Francisco, Seattle and Denver, Indianapolis was being heralded as a Super Bowl contender. That was before the Colts were dominated in all three phases of the game at home by St. Louis en route to a 38-8 loss. The loss showed a lot of serious issues and has some questioning whether they can challenge Denver, New England and Kansas City in the AFC.

After struggling through a difficult stretch of schedule, the Titans appeared set to make a run at the Colts and in the Wild Card race. Tennessee blew an opportunity to make up ground, losing to previously 0-8 Jacksonville on Sunday. If the Titans had won, they would have been one game behind the Colts and Thursday’s game would have been for first place.

A week ago, the Titans looked like a solid pick to make the playoffs. Now, coming off a home loss to Jacksonville and after losing Jake Locker for the season, the future doesn’t look very promising for Tennessee. The Titans are still just one game back in the Wild Card race and two games behind the Colts, but if they make a run, it will be with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback.

Martin became the source of conversation among numerous Dolphins players on Wednesday as the locker room rallied around embattled offensive guard Richie Incognito, painting a picture of the veteran taking the younger Martin “under his wing,” and serving as a mentor. Thursday’s statement portrays the team’s locker room in a very different light.

Jonathan Martin’s toughness is not at issue. Jonathan has started every game with the Miami Dolphins since he was drafted in 2017. At Stanford, he was the anchor for Jim Harbaugh’s “smash mouth” brand of football and he protected Andrew Luck’s blind side.


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Cheap Kyrie Irving Jerseys

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The times that Vannett posted the 20-yard and 60-yard shuttles show that he moves well and has range, which could be asset for offensive coordinators looking to create mismatches against linebackers. Vannett also has shown versatility by lining up wide, the slot, -line and as a move tight end and had solid weeks at the Senior Bowl, combine and Ohio State’s Pro Day.

Stacking up: In three separate rankings NFL Media analyst Mayock has ranked Vannett as his fourth-best tight end this year’s crop of players. Counterpart Bucky ranked Vannett as the second-highest option. Strong comparison: In Vannett’s bio for, Zierlein compared Vannett to Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, who was selected the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft and has posted 169 receptions for 2 yards and nine touchdowns his first three seasons.
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Dean Blandino, the senior vice president of officiating, provided details on the league’s plan to address the pace of the game after point-after attempts and at halftime. There will be a 40-second game clock after PATs or field goals that aren’t followed by timeouts, and halftime will be timed at exactly 13:30.

The committee will propose a second season of experimenting with a 2016 rule change that moved the touchback to the 25-yard line. It reduced returns last season by 1.8 percentage points, to a NFL-record low of 39.3 percent, but will be evaluated again after the 2017 season.

The committee is recommending permanent approval of a rule to eject players who commit two of a certain type of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in one game. It resulted in three ejections in 2016.

Blandino said referees will contribute to replay decisions even though final authority is expected to be shifted to the league’s centralized officiating center.

Game Mens TJ Brodie Jersey The Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills have proposed a rule change allowing all officiating decisions to be reviewed, mirroring other teams’ proposals in recent years. It is highly unlikely to be approved.

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Every important NFL free agency signing in 2017

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The NFL offseason kicks into high gear this week with the start of the free agent period. With the salary cap bumped up to $167 million, plenty of teams have the cash to upgrade key positions before the NFL Draft in late April.
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Free agency officially began on March 9 with the start of the new league year, but fans had a good idea of where players are heading before that. March 7-9 is the legal tampering period, where teams are free to negotiate with impending free agents before the league year actually begins.

The NFL is annual free agent frenzy kicks off on March 9. These are the best players out there. Keep track of where they are all headed with our handy list.

A lot of the biggest names were taken off the market even before they became free agents. Kirk Cousins, Le haveon Bell, Jason Pierre-Paul, Chandler Jones, Melvin Ingram, Kawann Short, Eric Berry, and Trumaine Johnson all got the franchise tag or signed extensions, meaning that they are locked into their current teams at the moment.

Drew Brees Authentic Jersey Still, there were plenty of intriguing talents who hit the open market. Receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, defensive lineman Calais Campbell, and cornerback A.J. Bouye all landed big paychecks. Meanwhile, high-profile free agents like Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, and Colin Kaepernick will test the waters as they try to prove they still have enough left in the tank.

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We don’t deserve Kentucky vs. Wichita State in the second round. This feels familiar

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Common ground doesn’t come easy in college basketball, especially not in this month. This is the sport that somehow doubles as both the most egalitarian and the most unfair: All 351 teams get a shot at the national title at the end of the season by playing until they lose. Yet, the setup is so subjective that it can’t help but leave almost every party unsatisfied.

That’s part of the reason Sunday’s second-round NCAA tournament matchup between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Wichita State Shockers feels so rare: There’s a consensus here, and it’s that this game should not be happening. Not yet, at least. Both of these teams are way too good to be playing each other on the first weekend.

John Calipari hasn’t been shy about sharing his feelings on the matter.

“We’re a No. 2 seed playing a No. 4 seed in the second round,” Cal told reporters on Saturday.

Rhode Island’s beaten tournament teams in Cincinnati and VCU (twice) in the regular season. With a Chris Boucher-less Oregon matchup in the Round of 32, it could survive another weekend.

Ken Pomeroy’s metrics rank the Rams No. 32 in the nation, above their No. 11 seeding, mostly because of their defensive consistency. They own the league’s second-best block rate and hold opponents to 45 percent effective field-goal shooting — ninth in the nation.

With its pieces healthy and peaking, Rhode Island is in as good of shape as ever to repeat its 1998 Elite Eight run. For now, the Rams will have to play the underdog role one round at a time.31

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The NFL did acknowledge Cantrell’s campaign months ago, in a cursory fashion.

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Durkin might as well have been. The email, which noted the various high-profile individuals who had endorsed the campaign

The NFL did acknowledge Cantrell’s campaign months ago, in a cursory fashion. After calling the NFL’s offices and asking to talk to NFL Senior VP of Public Relations Greg Aiello, Cantrell was directed to send an email to an employee named Ted Durkin, “whom my wife assumed was made up and laughed at me,” Cantrell said.

Durkin might as well have been. The email, which noted the various high-profile individuals who had endorsed the campaign — among them the co-creator of “How I Met Your Mother,” Texas Rangers pitcher Travis Blackley and the band Hatebreed — was never returned. This despite Cantrell’s assurances of SPCA compliance — “May Gor Gor, GWAR’s pet dinosaur, be involved in the theatrics?” Cantrell wrote in his email. “He will not be harmed as he does the harming” — and a willingness to compromise, for instance by having GWAR play the Pro Bowl. When GWAR announced that it would be delighted to both play at and play in the 2015 Super Bowl, the NFL remained silent:
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There is, both because of how big the NFL is and because of its well-documented moral malleability, something fundamentally cockeyed and dog-walking-on-its-hind-leg-ish about its attempts to seem like something other than a big cruel corporation selling a dangerous and compelling product. But Cantrell’s campaign to get a pack of sadistic alien warlords a halftime gig at the Super Bowl offers an opportunity for the NFL to actually connect with a popular movement among NFL fans that’s far more significant than the gooey fatuity of the league’s Together We Make Football ads and its other ham-fisted gropes at the heartstrings.

There’s no way of knowing how this will end, although we know that GWAR will definitely not be playing the Super Bowl in 2015. “Like all things GWAR,” Cantrell told me, “I see it ending bloody, battered and bruised.” But there is, perhaps, room for all sides to come together. I suggested to Cantrell that maybe something on the order of President Obama’s “beer summit” could be in order here — maybe Cantrell, Aiello and Oderus Urungus sharing a beer or two and hearing each other out.

Authentic Womens Minnesota Twins Jersey Obviously, Oderus’ stance — subjugate, humiliate and ultimately destroy all of humanity — is a matter of public record; the other parties involved might have something to talk about. “I am intrested in that ‘beer summit,'” Cantrell said. “So long as they know I take mine with a Jim Beam back.”

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Maybe this was the boost the Browns finally needed to escape the gravity of their own black hole.

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Trading Osweiler is an option, just not a very reasonable one. Adam Schefter reported teams began inquiring about the QB’s availability not long after the trade was swung, but it’s tough to imagine many other teams willing to accept Osweiler’s albatross of a contract while sending the Browns an asset in return. No matter what, they’ll have to clear out a logjam of aerial mediocrity before rebuilding the position from the ground up.

A franchise that’s offered few reasons for optimism in the past has a foundation to build from and the opportunity to get things right after a handful of shrewd moves over the past season.


The salt had been missing for a little while. Between the 1997 Liberty Bowl win over Pitt and the end of 2015, USM still collected power conference pelts — Alabama in 2000, Oklahoma State a couple of times, Nebraska, NC State, etc. — but none were particularly good. Only one (8-5 Virginia in 2011) finished with a winning record.

Southern Miss began to turn into a typical mid-major, beating lesser teams, losing to better ones, and providing minimal chaos. And following the 2011 C-USA championship season, the Golden Eagles collapsed, going 4-32 between 2012-14. Todd Monken led a nine-win turnaround and a C-USA title game appearance in 2015, but he left for an NFL assistant job.

It’s up to Jay Hopson, then, to bring the salt back. And if 2016 is any indication, this could be pretty fun. The former Ole Miss defensive back, Southern Miss defensive coordinator, and Alcorn State head coach knows the territory, and in his first year, the Golden Eagles beat an SEC bowl team (Kentucky) and lost to Charlotte and North Texas.

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