Monthly Archives: December 2016

Eagles running back Darren Sproles will retire after next season

Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles said next season will be his last one in the NFL. Sproles, 33, is the third-oldest running back in the NFL. Frank Gore and DeAngelo Williams are the only two running backs who are older.

Earlier this week, Sproles told ESPN’s Tim McManus that he plans on playing one more season before retiring. “I feel like [after 2017] it will be time.”

The veteran running back wants to return to Philadelphia next season because he is close with teammates and coaches. However, he mentioned that whether he will be back with the Eagles next season is out of his hands.

“That’s not up to me. That’s up to the people upstairs. I’ve got nothing to do with that. But that’s the plan.”

Leading the New York Jets 20-13 late in the fourth quarter last week, the Giants appeared to be on their way to a win and cover as a 2.5-point underdog. Instead, the Jets went on to tie the game and win it 23-20 in overtime, handing the Giants their third straight loss and dropping their season record to 5-7 SU and 6-5-1 ATS.

“I need to shut up more, frankly,” McCarthy said when asked about his influence on Clements’ offensive play selection. “I think the most important thing is — and I don’t know how other people do it — the communication network when you’re calling plays.

“If you’re calling plays, you need the information before the series and timely information within the series. So that’s something that we’re all conscientious of, and it’s just to make sure we’re trying to give Tom the support that he needs there.”
The Packers lost 2014 leading receiver Jordy Nelson for the year in preseason and are No. 22 in total offense entering Week 14. Aaron Rodgers has still managed to rack up 26 touchdowns with five interceptions, but his 97.3 passer rating is the first time his rating has been under 100 since finishing with a 93.8 passer rating in his first full season as the team’s starter.

McCarthy spent five seasons as the offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints and one year with the same position with the San Francisco 49ers before getting the head coaching job with the Packers in 2006.

Aaron Rodgers has reconnected with Jordy Nelson during the Packers’ five-game winning streak

The Seahawks are vulnerable. They are 2-3 in their past five games, with 12 giveaways to only five takeaways in that stretch. They close their regular season at San Francisco.

The Falcons are on pace for 535 points scored this season, which would be the most for a team since the 2013 Broncos scored 606. The Falcons’ high-flying offense needs one more big effort in Week 17 against New Orleans to keep a first-round bye intact.
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Aaron Rodgers has reconnected with Jordy Nelson during the Packers’ five-game winning streak. Rodgers has completed 80.9 percent of his passes to Nelson in that time after completing 56.4 percent in the first 10 games. Rodgers needs a few more big plays to Nelson to seal a playoff spot at Detroit this week.

The Giants haven’t scored 20 points in four straight games, and they’ve committed eight turnovers in that stretch. The defense has allowed the third-fewest points this season, but the offense has to get going for the Giants to make a playoff run. They play at Washington in Week 17.

It was only the second time Carr was pressured in 32 dropbacks on Saturday, per ESPN Stats & Information.

And it was just the fifth sack surrendered this season by a team leading by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter.

Carr’s sack percentage of 2.7 was the lowest in the NFL and his pressure percentage of 19.7 was the third-lowest in the league.

Mathew Barzal Authentic Jersey Perfect storm, indeed.

“I think the question would be a little different if it was like, ‘Coach, don’t you think you got a little conservative there? What the heck? You let them come back’ and we were sitting here talking with a frown on our face because we hadn’t won our 12th game,” said a subdued Del Rio.

“I’ll just leave it at that.”

Pryor spent the first five years of his NFL career at quarterback

The most surprising part about Richard Sherman going off on Seattle Seahawks coaches for passing from the 1-yard line against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night was that he referenced Super Bowl XLIX.

“I was letting [Pete Carroll] know. We’ve already seen how that goes,” Sherman said afterwards at his locker. “I’m sure you guys have seen that play enough times.”

Jones seemed to finally grasp that concept by 2015. The team re-signed Free to a three-year contract and signed LSU’s La’el Collins, the SEC’s top lineman in 2014, who went undrafted because of off-the-field issues.

Collins took over as the starting left guard in 2015. Leary, signed in 2012 as an undrafted free agent for $390,000, responded to his demotion by demanding a trade and then sitting out most of the team’s voluntary offseason workout program. Instead of trading Leary for peanuts, though, Jones kept him to provide depth in the trenches, a rare luxury in today’s NFL.
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“He left, got some work, changed his mindset, came back and is being productive. And that’s kind of where I would leave it.”

Elite Mens Laremy Tunsil Jersey Pryor spent the first five years of his NFL career at quarterback, but the Browns signed him before training camp in 2015 and gave him a chance as a receiver. Pryor struggled with a hamstring issue in camp and was released before the 2015 opener.

The Browns brought Pryor back in early December, and he and Hartline were active for one game before Hartline broke his collarbone. Hartline was released by the Browns on May 23, after spending a few weeks of organized team activities with Pryor.

Most encouraging was that Jeffery’s nine targets matched his third-highest single-game total of 2016

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Incidentally, in the past four weeks, McCoy has scored 90 fantasy points, which trails only Le’Veon Bell’s 94 during that time span. (Note: David Johnson would need at least 28 fantasy points of his own on Sunday to catch up with McCoy.)

Chris Boswell, K, Pittsburgh Steelers: Six field goals, five of which were between 40 and 49 yards, fueled a 23-point fantasy day for Boswell, easily tops among kickers in Week 15. In fact, that matched the season’s highest single-week score for a kicker, tying Adam Vinatieri’s output in 2016 Week 5. Boswell, whose Steelers have attempted a league-high nine two-point conversions, was started in only 3.0 percent of ESPN leagues on Sunday. His team’s tendency not to lean on its kicker is largely the reason; this was only Boswell’s third double-digit fantasy output all year.

Charles Clay, TE, Bills: His 13 fantasy points were best among tight ends during the 1 p.m. ET block, and they were his most in a single game since he scored 14 in 2015 Week 3. Few fantasy owners were so bold as to start Clay, though those who did in the 2.3 percent of ESPN leagues in which he was active were rewarded.
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They blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead, and then with one Rodgers heave — a 60-yarder to Jordy Nelson to set up the game-winning 32-yard field goal by Mason Crosby as time expired — the Packers escaped Soldier Field with a memorable 30-27 win.

It wasn’t quite the Hail Mary from last year at Detroit, but it will go down as one of Rodgers’ most memorable throws in a career full of them.

“Let’s be honest, you’re sitting there, it’s third-and-11, you let the clock run out — that’s a decision you have to make,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “We felt like we were going to take the shot at the conversion.”

Up to that point, McCarthy relied heavily on Montgomery.

Seattle has no Earl Thomas, no running game and no consistency

Pete Carroll said he and Richard Sherman met for an hour Friday morning to discuss the cornerback’s sideline outburst during the Seattle Seahawks’ 24-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Seattle has no Earl Thomas, no running game and no consistency, but Thursday’s win gives it the NFC West title and a chance for another playoff run.
Sherman engaged in a shouting match with Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell after they called a pass play from the Rams’ 1-yard line. He had to be calmed down by teammates.

Over the last four weeks, Roethlisberger has taken only two sacks and the Steelers’ defense has 18 sacks, both league bests. That four-game defensive sack total is better than the Steelers’ 15 sacks through the first nine weeks.

Safety Mike Mitchell said the Steelers are doing the same things as before the slump, such as correcting mistakes from the film room. But the tough losses are magnified because “you don’t want to feel that way again,” he said.

So the Steelers found a springboard for their balanced attack. When pass coverage is tight, so is the pass rush. As the offense gets early leads and pumps the running game, the defense can force teams to act out of character, like run-heavy Buffalo trying to throw downfield to erase a deficit.
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“We’re playing better together,” Mitchell said. “Now I feel we’re hitting at the same time.”

The Dallas loss didn’t define the season, but it did remind the Steelers what they could be, and why they weren’t living up to that.

Four games later, they lead the AFC North at 8-5.
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“You just have to block that noise out and keep going to work,” Mitchell said. “That’s what our leader, Coach [Mike] Tomlin, does, and we just follow that mindset.”

I told him about this GREAT player named Jabrill Peppers

Then my grandfather got sick. As his health declined, he was moved into hospice. My family in Ann Arbor visited him daily as Michigan was courting and installing Jim Harbaugh as the new head coach following the cumbersome Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke eras. He was given a daily Harbaugh briefing though his ability to respond deteriorated. For a while he’d smile, chuckle and say “Oh good.” Then it was usually a smile and chuckle. Finally just a smile, mostly, but never ever less than that.

I spoke to my grandfather for the last time when I Authentic Anthony Steen Jersey visited home in July. I told him about this GREAT player named Jabrill Peppers, a big, fast, versatile defensive back too good not to play as much as humanly possible. I went through the roster, but put the emphasis on Peppers as the one who could make Harbaugh’s first season great. He smiled at that and I told him “Go Blue.” He said “Go Blue” back. It Elite Youth Mike Ribeiro Jersey was the last thing I ever heard him say.

When asked in a press conference on Tuesday whether he was done coaching, Coughlin answered “not necessarily.” He declined to elaborate. Team owner John Mara also said that asked Coughlin to stay on as an advisor in some capacity and Coughlin said that he’d mull it over.

Coughlin had been with the Giants for the last 12 seasons. He led them to six winning seasons, five playoff appearances and two Super Bowl titles. But the Giants have failed to make the playoffs the past four seasons and this year’s 6-10 record was apparently the last straw for team management. Perhaps the Giants’ blowout loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16 sealed Coughlin’s fate, though it’s worth mentioning Odell Beckham Jr. missed that game due to a suspension and Eli Manning threw three picks.

On the Monday after the season finale, some players spoke out in favor of Coughlin, including quarterback Eli Manning, who has spent his entire career with the coach. Manning told reporters that Coughlin “definitely has not failed. I feel we as players failed him by not playing to the level we could.”

Rams¡¯ Fisher on verge of record for losses

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Quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants has 3,980 completions and needs nine to pass Warren Moon (3,988) for seventh all time.

Next up after Moon is another Pro Football Hall of Famer, John Elway, with 4,123 completions.

Los Angeles Rams coach Jeff Fisher is one loss from tying Dan Reeves for the most by an NFL coach. Reeves had 165 losses in 357 games. Fisher has 164 losses in 338 games.

Should the Rams lose to the Atlanta Falcons, Fisher would be guaranteed his sixth consecutive sub-.500 season, which would be tied for the fourth-longest such streak (the record is nine straight by Marion Campbell, the Elias Sports Bureau notes). Elias also notes that another sub-.500 season would be Fisher¡¯s 11th losing season overall, extending his record for most losing seasons.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul is out, but starting left guard Justin Pugh (knee) and RB Shane Vereen (triceps) both have a chance to return. Pugh is taking reps this week, and Vereen is hopeful to receive the green light from the medical staff after returning to practice last week.
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WR Jordan Matthews (ankle, limited) and RB Ryan Mathews (knee) both returned to practice Wednesday after missing last weekend’s game against the Bengals. Assuming they make it through the week, QB Carson Wentz should be better equipped Sunday when the Eagles welcome the Redskins.

But the other two playoff teams’ odds took hits. Ohio State didn’t play, but dropped from 2-1 to 7-2. Washington, despite a dominating Pac-12 title game victory, went from 8-1 to 15-1, despite getting in after being a bubble team.

It just goes to show how heavy of a favorite and well-regarded Alabama is heading into the playoff.

Let’s make a deal for Jose Quintana

Three things you need to know about starter Jose Quintana:

1. He’s really good. Over the past four seasons, the left-hander is seventh in the majors in WAR among pitchers, right behind Corey Kluber and just ahead of Felix Hernandez.

2. He’s durable. He’s one of just six pitchers with at least 200 innings pitched in each of the past four seasons.

3. He’s signed to a team-friendly contract that covers four more seasons. He makes $7 million in 2017 and $8.85 million in 2018, followed by team options for $10.5 million and $11.5 million. That means there’s basically no financial risk, given the salaries and options.
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Maybe Quintana isn’t Chris Sale, but he’s pretty close to Chris Sale, and he’ll cost only a few million more than what the Cardinals will pay reliever Brett Cecil the next four seasons. As we saw in particular with the Adam Eaton trade, making a deal isn’t simply an exchange of talent. It also involves the surplus value attached to a player’s contract, and Quintana has a lot of potential surplus value.

White Sox lefty Jose Quintana is durable and has a friendly contract.

Turner, a Long Beach, California, native expressed a strong desire to return to the Dodgers following a season that ended with the team’s elimination by the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series.

Joe Thornton Kids Jersey Turner batted .286 with a .514 slugging percentage in 11 games of this past postseason, with two home runs and eight RBIs. Over the last two years in the playoffs, Turner is batting .370 with a .630 slugging percentage and has driven in 12 runs.

The Rangers, however, went 36-11 in one-run games, the best such record of all time. Meanwhile, the Astros have added offensive depth in Carlos Beltran, Josh Reddick, Brian McCann and Nori Aoki (and will get full seasons from Alex Bregman and Yulieski Gurriel), and the Mariners have made several moves to improve holes from last season. At the moment, the Rangers look like the third-best team in the division.

Kansas City added a field goal late in the fourth but it was hardly necessary

That was a great touchdown for the Chiefs and the Texans looked absolutely lost after they managed to score it. It came after a brilliant Smith fake on the play action. They immediately forced the Texans to go three-and-out, gaining zero yards, and then drove another 71 yards in eight plays to score their second touchdown of the second half, giving them a dominant 27-0 lead.

As with the Chiefs, the real story in Houston is a dominant defense. J.J. Watt won Defensive Player of the Year last season and could repeat after leading the league with 17.5 sacks despite playing with a broken hand down the stretch. Whitney Mercilus enjoyed a breakout season with 12 sacks, and Jadeveon Clowney was playing well before suffering a foot injury in Week 16. He missed the regular season finale and appears to be questionable this week.

However, the real story is the defense, which is seventh in total yards allowed per game, second in interceptions and giving up just 17.9 points per game. Marcus Peters had one of the best rookie seasons by a cornerback in recent memory, tying the league lead with eight interceptions. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are expected to get Justin Houston back this week, which is yet another matchup nightmare for Houston’s offensive line.
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The Texans won the AFC South despite playing four quarterbacks and losing Arian Foster in Week 7. The offense has been carried by DeAndre Hopkins, who evolved from promising receiver to superstar in his third year. Hopkins finished third in the league with 111 catches and 1,521 yards, and was tied for seventh with 11 touchdowns. No matter who was under center that week, he made sure to get the ball to Hopkins, and Hopkins almost always delivered. Hopkins vs. Peters could be the most fun individual matchup of the weekend.

Authentic Mens Margus Hunt Jersey The Chiefs will have to wait for the outcome of the second AFC wild card game Saturday night before they know which team they’ll face next weekend in the divisional round. A Bengals win would send the Chiefs to Denver. If the sixth-seeded Steelers win, the Chiefs would travel to New England next weekend. Here’s the full playoff schedule and bracket.

Jones would eventually be escorted to the front of the precinct

Jones would eventually be escorted to the front of the precinct, where paramedics from the fire department would take custody of him. It was a medical issue, not a police one. He would return to practice the following morning.

The episode serves as a lesson to the young defender and others around the league. Whether the reasons behind his experiment with the ambiguous drug was to avoid detection from the league’s testing or it was a situation where he was bamboozled and sold the synthetic when he hoped for the real thing, the embarrassment and dangers of this event hopefully wards him and others off in the future.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Johnson broke his leg late in the year and landed on short-term injured reserve. His only chance to play again this season is if Arizona ends up in Santa Clara for the Super Bowl.
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Johnson’s absence did not leave the offense totally devoid of a running threat, though. Rookie David Johnson took the reins, and busted out in a major way just before Christmas. In a road game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the younger Johnson rushed 29 times for an astounding 187 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 42 yards as a receiver. His development may have actually improved Arizona’s offense, making the league’s top scoring unit even scarier in the postseason.
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Except he could also be a monster or a superhuman demon if the situation is tense enough, and here in his anxious and confused state, at the time of the morning where even the birds are struggling for wakefulness, he is very much aware of it.

These guys became my “Unsung Heroes” of the Wild Card Weekend. Unsung in this instance doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t already big name guys or that they don’t normally get credit for what they do.