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No need to wait for Super Bowl 52.
The NFL’s biggest showdown of the 2017 season already has kicked off. Jerry Jones vs. Roger Goodell.
Even before Thursday, there was a lot of pressure on Wilson to come through in high-scoring affairs. Take him outdueling Deshaun Watson in Week 8, for example. Although he didn’t have his best stuff in Week 9 in the loss to Washington, Wilson made the big plays at the end that the defense couldn’t.
Now without Sherman, Wilson needs to be even more of a wizard every week. There is more of a burden on him to keep things together as an on-field leader.
The final few rounds of a draft are often used for speculation on sleepers, so it can help to consider those end-of-bench players as in direct competition with the talent floating in free agency.
In this weekly series, we identify players available in more than 40 percent of ESPN leagues at each position. Some nominations are purely specialists capable of helping in one or two categories, while others deliver more diverse and important statistical offerings. Either way, I believe the players below can contribute positively to fantasy rosters.
The problem for fantasy managers is Peterson has posted fewer than five points in each of the other three contests. What are the odds that he turns this situation around and becomes a more consistent point producer?
To figure this out, let’s step back and get an idea of exactly the type of impact Peterson had on the Arizona rushing attack.
The Patriots technically were the away team for Sunday’s Week 11 game against the Raiders in Mexico City, and it felt that way for New England in front of 77,000 fans at Azteca Stadium … until the Patriots (8-2) stormed out to an early lead on their way to a 33-8 blowout of the Raiders (4-6).
One safety, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, remains solid, but their better, more-venerable safety, Morgan Burnett, can’t shake the injury bug. Meanwhile, Casey Heyward has been an elite corner for the Chargers since signing there last year. Micah Hyde was an offseason steal at safety for the Bills.
The Packers have had some bright spots in the front-seven with with Daniels and Clark anchoring for their young inside linebackers. It has transformed the run defense from terrible to good in two years, but at the same time, the pass rush has gone tumbling down.
Overall, the combined record of 2017 AFC teams is 68-78 compared to 78-68 in the NFC. The NFC fields the team with the league’s best record — Philadelphia (8-1) — and four seven-win clubs in New Orleans, Carolina, Minnesota and the Los Angeles Rams. New England (7-2) and Pittsburgh (7-2) are the AFC’s lone seven-win teams. All four AFC divisions have a negative point differential. The opposite is true in the NFC.
“The division is tough this year. Everyone’s playing well,” Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly told Sporting News after Carolina’s 45-21 beatdown of Miami on Monday night. “When the teams are winning, you try to keep pace. They’re trying to do the same things we are.”
All three teams are similar in their game plans. The Saints, Panthers and Falcons all boast MVP-caliber quarterbacks, but the defenses and the running games are the real keys to success.
Jerry Jones has proved you can be one of the most powerful men in American sports and a bad franchise owner at the same time. Someone should actually award him a trophy for pulling that off.
Touchdown, Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger uses a hard count and draws a Titans defender offside. On the free play, he follows with a 41-yard pass to Antonio Brown down the left sideline to put Pittsburgh ahead 7-0. Roethlisberger threw for 71 yards during the drive.
Outside of Wilson, no Seahawk is more indispensable than Sherman. It’s not just how he covers and tackles. It’s also how he leads his team and intimidates opponents. His presence alone draws fear and demands respect.
Carolina had a 10-point lead at halftime and then scored touchdowns on all three of its drives in the third quarter to pull away. The Panthers moved to 7-3 on the year with the victory and have now won three straight, while Miami dropped to 4-5.
Newton compiled 254 passing yards and another 95 on the ground to go along with his four scores. Jonathan Stewart tallied 110 rushing yards on 17 carries for the Panthers, while Christian McCaffrey registered two total touchdowns.
Turnover, Miami. Cutler underthrows a pass on the first play of the drive and Luke Kuechly picks it off. Carolina has the ball on the Dolphins’ 20 with 41 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Backup Reto Berra stopped 40 shots and six of nine shootout tries to get a 3-2 win versus the Sharks. Anaheim netminders have faced forty or more shots in five of the team’s last seven games.
On Saturday afternoon, UCLA will be on the national stage in one of the most-watched games of the season at No. 12 Washington (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC). While the Huskies are coming out of a bye week looking to bounce back from the Arizona State loss and keep its College Football Playoff hopes alive, the UCLA storyline that will dominate the conversation around the game is going to be Josh Rosen.
“He’s an elite thrower,” Washington coach Chris Petersen told reporters this week. “He is accurate, he throws with anticipation, he’s excellent in the pocket. He’s all the things. You guys always ask me what are the things — he’s got ’em. He’s accurate, he throws with anticipation, he’s great in the pocket.”
Given the Los Angeles connection, Pac-12 ties and similar NFL Draft hype, let’s dive deeper into the similarities and differences between Jared Goff Jersey and Josh Rosen.
Critics of the NFL protests have said they are disrespectful of the flag, and 49 percent of respondents agree with that argument. However, 46 percent said the protests illustrate the very freedoms the flag symbolizes.
That symbolic weight is at the heart of the protest debate. What exactly do the flag and the anthem symbolize? More than half of the poll respondents, 57 percent, said the anthem represents America’s rights and freedoms, while 34 percent said the anthem represents the sacrifices of the military.
The Lions are coming off a bye against a Steelers team that has turned things around the past two weeks. The Steelers defense has taken a big step forward the past two games, and I think that continues. The Steelers win a tough road game.
These two have each lost two consecutive games, which is concerning. The Chiefs have defensive issues, while the Broncos have offensive issues. Something has to give here. I think the Chiefs defense gets the best of it. Kansas City takes it.
In three years as Cal’s starter, Goff went 0-13 against top-25 opponents and 0-9 against in-state rivals USC, UCLA and Stanford. Goff has the rest of his professional career to determine his legacy as a quarterback, but Rosen can separate himself in the comparison as the better college quarterback with wins in marquee games.
This is an early start for the Chargers on the east coast, which is tough. They are playing better, especially on defense. But facing Tom Brady Jersey in this early window is a real challenge. The Patriots are better now on defense, which will slow the Chargers. Pats take it.
SDSU uses Goedert in the slot, as a tradition in-line tight end, or in an off-set position. His blocking skills have improved a great deal — “I don’t mind getting my face dirty,” he says — but Schleusner finds him more valuable downfield. According to Eidsness, the coaching staff has somewhat tailored the offense around him.
“We do a lot of the RPOs (run-pass option plays) because if we send him downfield, that’s better than having him block,” Schleusner says. “Because if we send him vertical, two guys might go with him, whereas even if he blocks and dominates his man, that’s still only one man.”
Despite looming bad weather on game day, tailgating is still in full effect on Jackrabbit Avenue a couple of blocks from the on-campus, 17,000-capacity stadium. Storefront windows are painted in SDSU blue and yellow and the dismal conditions can’t dampen local excitement.
Rosen’s already earned a spot in college football lore with the hot tub in the dorm room, his honest and outspoken views on education and athletics and general comfort with himself in the spotlight. He’s even already got one top-25 win that Goff didn’t have, knocking off No. 17 Utah late in the 2015 season.
One day after Cardinals coach Bruce Arians shouldered the blame for a busted fourth-and-1 call that contributed to the Cardinals’ 31-21 loss to the Houston Texans, he reversed course.
That being said, baseball officials would prefer to successfully negotiate the terms of change with the players this winter. This way, both sides will be committed moving forward.
One way or another, sources expect the 20-second pitch clock to become part of a sport that has long been celebrated for its timelessness. But with the average time of game now lagging to over three hours, commissioner Rob Manfred has been devoted to the mission of speeding up the action as part of an effort to appeal to the newest generations of fans.
The Cowboys will be without running back Ezekiel Elliott after Elliott on Wednesday dropped his appeal of a six-game suspension. That will add intrigue to their Sunday prime-time NFC East matchup vs. the Eagles in Arlington.
In the other prime-time games this week, the Titans will take on the Steelers at Heinz Field on “Thursday Night Football,” and the Falcons will meet the Seahawks in Seattle on “Monday Night Football.”
Russell Wilson continues to thrive despite constant pressure — Wilson has been a lightning rod all season, escaping pressure to execute magical throws down field. He was up to his usual antics again this week, extending plays to help keep the Seahawks offense on the field.
Before their 33-0 loss in London, fans were feeling hopeful after the team traded for Adrian Peterson Jersey and his strong performance led to a win over the Buccaneers in Week 6. For a moment, the Cardinals looked like they might return to form as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. That all seems like a distant memory now.
Not only was the team shutout at the hands of their division rivals, the Los Angeles Rams, but quarterback Carson Palmer suffered a broken arm during the loss, potentially ending his season. Adding insult to injury, reports surfaced yesterday that head coach Bruce Arians was planning to leave the team at the end of the year (Arians refuted the rumor on Twitter.)
“We look forward to him joining the conversation,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said Wednesday.
Coming off a season-low 6.5-point fantasy outing against the Carolina Panthers, Howard is a buy-low candidate for owners looking to upgrade at running back. Since Mitchell Trubisky took over under center in Chicago in Week 5, Howard’s workload has been massive. The second-year running back is averaging 25 carries and over 100 rush yards per game in that span. Howard’s 76 rush attempts over the last three weeks are second in the NFL only to Le’Veon Bell (82). The Bears are the most run-heavy team in the league with the rookie quarterback finding his way under John Fox, and Howard owns 78 percent of his team’s rush attempts and 63 percent of the Bears offensive touches with Trubisky as the starter.
You would think opposing defenses would have caught on by now, and just stack the box full of defenders to limit Howard’s production. In fact, that is the case, but it hasn’t seemed to matter. Per Next Gen Stats, Howard faced eight-plus defenders in the box on 38.1 percent of his carries with Mike Glennon as Chicago’s quarterback.
Josh Gordon reported to the Browns for the first time since his suspension started in September 2016 and now the wide receiver is optimistic about his return to Cleveland.
Earlier this week, in a Q&A interview with GQ, Gordon admitted to being under the influence prior to every game of his career, and on Wednesday one reporter asked the wide receiver what it would be like to play a game sober. Gordon quickly dismissed the question, shifting the focus to football and what hebring to the Browns this season.
“In reference to anything like I’ve stated previously in Q&A’s or publications that are already out there, those things have been asked and answered. For me being here right now, I’m trying to relate everything back to football and taking advantage of the platform being here and underneath this roof and sticking to the football facts and football-based questions and what Ido to help this team now,” Gordon said.
The bombshell report shows that what had been a simmering feud between Jones and Goodell may be heading to a rolling boil.
According to the Times, Jones told the six owners on the league’s compensation committee last week that he had hired high-profile attorney David Boies, according to the unidentified people, who declined to speak publicly about about internal league matters.
At the heart of Jones’ dissatisfaction with Goodell is his suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
The dispute between arguably the league’s most visible owner and its commissioner comes in the midst of a tumultuous season that has been marked by declining TV ratings, season-ending injuries to high-profile players such as Aaron Rodgers and Odell Beckham Jr., a dispute over protests during the national anthem fanned by President Donald Trump and a labor grievance filed by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, accusing NFL owners of colluding to blackball him.
Springer homered for the third straight game and fourth time in the Series, one shy of the record set by Reggie Jackson in 1977 and matched by Utley in 2009.
On-ice futility and a raging off-ice controversy about maligned forward Alex Galchenyuk have rendered the Habs hapless. Plus, we call Jersey Fouls on fans who besmirch the holy hockey sweater and reveal the scariest thing about the Vegas Golden Knights.
Chris Peters: I think the feel-good Vegas Golden Knights and resurgent Kings have commanded a lot of the attention, and I wouldn’t necessarily say that no one is talking about the Tampa Bay Lightning. They’re just not talking about the Lighting in a way that expresses the proper disbelief in how insane they’ve been to start the season. Maybe it’s because most people expected them to bounce back from such a disappointing 2016-17 season, but the Lightning are way back.
“I cannot even begin to fathom what that guy is feeling right now,” said cubsfan333. “It was epic for me, but that poor guy. I’ve been there.”
He also won second place in the Millionaire Maker, with a lineup identical to his first-place roster except for Watson instead of Wilson at quarterback. He also won 14th and cashed in every contest he entered on Sunday.
The family celebrated with a typical dinner. The girls had Amy’s mac ‘n’ cheese. His wife had a frozen bagel with cream cheese, and he enjoyed a bowl of Cheerios.
Later in the evening, cubsfan333 was lying in bed with his wife, talking about what to do with their windfall: “My wife says to me, ‘You know, I’ve been wanting to get two tank tops from Target, and I’m going to do it.'”
Let’s see where the Bulldogs stand in the stats I used for Alabama. Georgia’s margin of victory per game (26.3) ranks No. 6, it is No. 3 in yards allowed per play (4.1), and it is 16th in offensive points per game (37.3). So the Bulldogs stack up well on paper. And that win at Notre Dame early in the season might be the best win in all of college football so far. Georgia has a super-talented team, too
If Luck hadn’t been taken off the list before the beginning of the regular season, he would’ve been ineligible to play in the first six weeks of the season. With Luck already ruled out for Week 6, the transaction didn’t do much.
Ryan, who finished 18 of 29 for 254 yards, had lots of trouble with the weather, fumbling four snap exchanges from center Alex Mack and losing two of them. The Falcons ended up lining Ryan up in the shotgun down the stretch to prevent further problems.
The Jets (3-5) had their own issues while losing their third straight game in which they held a lead in the fourth quarter . Josh McCown had a bad snap exchange and fumbled on another play — but recovered — and Jeremy Kerley had a costly muffed punt.
The meeting had tentatively been scheduled to take place Monday in Washington, D.C. But Saturday, on the heels of Houston Texans owner Bob McNair’s controversial “inmates running the prison” comment, a coalition of NFL players invited McNair, commissioner Roger Goodell and quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a meeting Monday in Philadelphia. They said they hoped to address players’ “immediate concerns before additional progress can be made.”
In Seattle, however, he grew into a cult figure for an elite team. He helped the Seahawks win the 2010 NFC West title, capping it with the “Beast Quake” run in the wild-card playoff round.