Monthly Archives: January 2018

Here are this week’s predictions and prognostications, both against the spread and straight up.

A few more teams’ playoff fates, for better or for worse, were decided in the NFL’s Week 16 results. But there’s still plenty to figure out in the final week of the 2017 regular season — and a ton of pride and jobs on the line for the teams out of contention. It does help that the league works out the schedule to make the games as competitive as possible.

Thanks again to Bovada for the Week 17 betting lines.

Given the Panthers are in the playoffs and the Falcons are on the brink of the playoffs, these two teams have been difficult to trust all season because of the offenses. This will be another close, ugly NFC South affair featuring hated rivals in which one big pass play late makes the difference. This time, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will connect to avoid a total Super Bowl hangover.

The Bills on several occasions this season have looked good enough to return to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Their inconsistency, however, with a limited passing offense and a horrible run defense sets them up to limp to elimination at .500. The Dolphins have been a better home team this season and will run Kenyan Drake often to steal a field-goal fest.

In something of a completely different magnitude, Thomas led the Celtics to a first-round series win against the Chicago Bulls one day after learning his 22-year-old sister, Chyna, had died in a car accident. It’s not appropriate to wonder extensively what reasons Thomas Nike NFL Jerseys From China had for playing — maybe it was just his way of coping — but you cannot deny the sacrifices he made for that team.

It was Danny Ainge, the Celtics general manager, who ultimately dealt NFL Jerseys Outlet Thomas, and that’s the one person who Thomas will never forgive.

“Boston is going to be all love,” he told Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins. “I might not ever talk to Danny again. That might not happen. I’ll talk to everybody else. But what he did, knowing everything I went through, you don’t do that, bro. That’s not right. I’m not saying eff you. But every team in this situation comes out a year or two later and says, ‘We made a mistake.’ That’s what they’ll say, too.”

The Bengals are bungling so much that no one knows for sure whether Marvin Lewis wants to return.

You have to admire the fight they’ve shown with Todd Bowles, but the talent limitiations keep holding them back, especially witih Josh McCown no longer healthy enough to lead them.

They get only a mild pass for the injuries to their defense, given the offense’s massive ineptitude.

The Broncos needed those games against the Jets and Colts to inspire confidence in Vance Joseph and help ensure he gets a second season. Quarterback is a clear priority for John Elway; he and his staff could be doing some advance scouting Sunday in Landover.

They will hope an official visit from Jon Gruden will suddenly jump-start Jameis Winston and the offense. That doesn’t really help much when their defense is depleted again, though.

The Packers have to make another decision on Aaron Rodgers. Revenge against division rivals may not hold up as a reason if the playoffs aren’t an option.

The Redskins needed to wake up and hang tough in a game, so the Cardinals matchup was a welcome one. With the last-place teams in the AFC West and NFC East left, .500 is in sight, but is that enough to save Jay Gruden and make Kirk Cousins want to stay?

This love fest wasn’t just taking place after the game, though. It New Nike NFL Jerseys was happening before as well.

Paul George made it clear playing back home means a bit more because of MLB Jerseys China family & friends, offered HIGH praise for Lonzo Ball & said Lakers have history over Clippers, so it’s not the same thing.

Paul George on Lonzo Ball: “As far as being a basketball player, at his age, he’s one of the best basketball players that has played this game. He has a knack to play the game the right way.”

In George’s defense, he flirted with the Thunder on Wednesday as well. Before the matchup with the Lakers, Russell Westbrook said his pitch to George would be “a championship.” The win or bust mentality could be troublesome for OKC’s future, but George seemed to be pretty wise about it all.

Get two football coaches in a room together and they won’t debate the targeting rules or sketch plays out on a napkin?

When Oklahoma faces Georgia in Monday’s Rose Bowl (5 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN App), fans and forebears of the Sooners’ high-powered system have their shot at redemption. And the critics, they get another chance to see all that offense lose another big game.

You see, before he was the head coach, Swinney was a Clemson assistant for eight seasons. He used to recruit out West, when McNeill was an assistant with Riley under Mike Leach at Texas Tech. Then McNeill became the head coach at East Carolina and brought Riley with him. Meanwhile, Swinney had taken over at Clemson and found himself going to (polite) war with McNeill and Riley over high school talent in the Carolinas. Now Riley is the head coach at Oklahoma, where he quickly hired McNeill to be his right-hand man in Norman.

OK, they might. But what two coaches always do first is immediately start figuring out how many former head coach bosses they have in common. Or common schools where they’ve coached. Or colleagues at those common schools whom they consider common friends.

In this year’s edition of the College Football Playoff, there are many aspects of life that the four participants have in, um, common. While we dig up a thesaurus to find words that share a common definition with the word common, let’s allow one of those coaches to get the ball rolling.

Wonderful story by Tom Haberstroh on the use of video games and Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale virtual reality to heal the mental wounds suffered by Gordon Hayward.

LeBron turned 33 over the weekend. How is he playing so well this deep Wholesale NFL Jerseys into his career? Plus, 33 unforgettable LeBron moments over the years.

The Thunder lost to the Bucks on Friday in part because the refs didn’t notice Giannis Antetokounmpo stepping out of bounds on a baseline drive.

In this weekend’s LMAO performance, Steph Curry returned from an injury layoff and casually hit 10 threes. He also did an extremely rude thing to Marc Gasol.

Whitney Medworth’s B-Sides has much love for Carmelo Anthony’s courtside son.

It’s been a long, long winter, but it’s springtime in Minnesota.

Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears: For the seventh time this season, Howard fell short of 10 PPR fantasy points, his 2.4 on Sunday registering as his second-lowest total in 2017 (behind only his 0.7 in Week 2). It was the sixth time that he finished a game with a yards-per-carry average beneath 3.0 — he averaged 1.0, with just nine yards on his nine carries — after he finished the 2016 season with only one such performance in 15 games. Howard averaged just 3.3 yards per carry and 11.0 PPR fantasy points in his final six games. He was started in 71.4 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 17, 13th-highest among running backs.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings: His 1.3 PPR fantasy points on three targets on Sunday were not only a season low, but also his fewest in any game since 2015 Week 17 (0.0). It was the second consecutive week that he was held beneath two points. Rudolph was started in 58.8 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 17, sixth-highest among tight ends.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins: He picked a bad time to score his fewest fantasy points of the season, as Cousins managed just 7.52 against the New York Giants on Sunday. It was the fifth-worst single-game total in any of his 57 career starts, and interestingly enough, three of his five worst have now come against the Giants (1.06 in 2013 Week 17 and 5.48 in 2014 Week 4 being the others). Cousins was started in 69.9 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 17, fifth-highest among quarterbacks.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, a big 10 games over .500 and two games out of the No. 3 seed in the West, smacked the Cleveland Cavaliers by 28 on Monday. The Target Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Center was loud, Andrew Wiggins had a helluva game — it’s all smiles for Minnesota right now. Over Baseball Jerseys their last 15 games, per NBA.com, they have the No. 1 offense, a top-10 defense, and the No. 1 net rating.

That’s it. No “but …,” no “however …” The Wolves are awesome. Kudos to Tom Thibodeau the general manager, Tom Thibodeau the coach, and everyone else involved (including Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, who are blossoming).

One adjustment the Knicks would like to see Porzingis make in 2018?

He’s competitive, he’s tough, he’s a good athlete, he’s accurate — and he has a command that’s obvious, Miller said. That emerged in training camp, then in scrimmages, then in Hockey Jerseys Cheap preseason games. Still, only a disaster would likely have gotten him onto the field before the end of the season, if at all.

Disaster struck after four games with Glennon starting, and in came Trubisky, a rookie with an almost comically poor supporting cast on offense: running back Jordan Howard, fourth-round all-purpose back Tarik Cohen and a bare cupboard of receivers.

It was like he was going onto the field with two hands tied behind his back, Miller said.

There were times Trubisky wasn’t pretty, early in his stint (a nightmarish loss in New Orleans, during which tight end Zach Miller suffered his gruesome leg injury on a touchdown catch that was overturned on replay), and later (his three-interception game against the Lions in Week 15). There were times when he showed glimpses of the future envisioned for him, like in his second start, in Baltimore, when he led a game-winning drive in overtime.

And there were times the Bears coaches really did tie his hands, exemplified by his third start, against the Panthers, when he attempted seven passes, completed four, got sacked four times … and won 17-3 with the offense producing three points and the defense 14.

It’s an adjustment every game for me, he said late last month.

Dealing with — and passing out of — double-teams. Porzingis has seen an extra defender frequently this season and he’s admittedly still getting used to how best to handle it.

Teams are obviously trying to make it as difficult as they can for me — trying to force the shots I don’t want. So it’s always a battle, he said.

One way to track Porzingis’ progress against double-teams is via his assist rate. It should increase slightly if he’s able to make the right read when the extra defender comes. Porzingis’ assist rate (6.9) is last among the eight big men who average at least 20 points per game, per Basketball Reference. He’s had more than two assists in just three of his 30 games this season, a number that should be a bit higher considering Porzingis ranks fifth in usage among those who play at least 25 minutes per game, per NBA.com/Stats.

The good news for the Knicks? Porzingis analyzes his weaknesses Wholesale Jerseys thoroughly, and he’s already working on how to improve against the double team.

I’m still learning, he said. I think as I get more experienced in these situations I’ll be even more efficient. — Ian Begley