the Chiefs’ second play from scrimmage of the game

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Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: It took only one touch — the Chiefs’ second play from scrimmage of the game — for Hill to manage 12 fantasy points, his fifth double-digit score in his past nine contests. During that time span, which extends back to Week 7, Hill has 100 fantasy points, which ranks fifth among wide receivers (Jordy Nelson, 110 in nine games; Davante Adams, 103 in nine games; Antonio Brown, 102 in eight games; Mike Evans 102 in eight games plus whatever he scores Sunday night).

Hill was started in a career-high 51.1 percent of ESPN leagues in Week 15.

Matthew Stafford couldn’t engineer another comeback as nothing appeared to be in sync for the Lions in a 17-6 loss to the Giants.
“You hope so,” linebacker Jonathan Casillas said Sunday afternoon, after he and the Giants’ defense had delivered a second straight stifling victory over an NFC division leader, this time a 17-6 win over the Detroit Lions. “You always hope it’s going to work, when you bring in new guys, but you never know for sure.”

The Giants didn’t know for sure in March, or even in September. But they know now. They know they can win games with defense — even in a down year for QB Eli Manning, one in which the offensive game plan increasingly seems to be, “Just protect the ball as best you can until Odell Beckham Jr. makes a play.”

Limited Kids Sharrif Floyd Jersey So no, the New York Giants couldn’t have seen this coming. Even after doling out top-dollar deals for three defensive free agents and a generous one-year deal for one of their own, veteran defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants themselves couldn’t have known it would turn out like this.

Murray, David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliott (the latter two playing later games) remain the only three running backs who can claim a top-25 weekly score in every game in 2016.

Rodgers has played in only three games in which the temperature was a single digit at kickoff

¡°Wind is what you watch for, and especially being down there right on the lake,¡± Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. ¡°That¡¯s really where the challenge is; that¡¯s what the challenge was in ¡¯07. When you get those gusts that are up there at 20, 25 or north of that, that’s where the football moving and the snap from center in the gun, all those things factor.”

It was 2 hours, 44 minutes of freezing hell, and this Sunday could be more of the same. It¡¯s why McCarthy took his team outside for practice on Thursday, when at least one of his players had his jersey freeze to his body.

Rodgers has played in only three games in which the temperature was a single digit at kickoff, and he¡¯s lost them all. One of them was the 2008 game at Chicago.

The Browns say that they appreciate how coach Hue Jackson has remained positive despite the team’s season-long struggles.

“I’m not deterred,” Haden said. “I feel like [coach] Hue [Jackson] is definitely motivated.”

One week ago, Haden was saying how frustrating it was to be on a winless team, and how much it hurt to be the laughingstock of every joke. It still hurts, but it hasn’t hurt Haden’s belief that things will get better sooner rather than later.
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More than once, Jackson has said this season that if teams want to get the Browns, they better get them now, because the team won’t be in this position for long.

Jackson’s message to Haden seems similar.

“We talk all the time,” Haden said. “He always comes up to me, ‘Hey, Joe, next year at this time we’re going to be getting ready for the playoffs. And I’m with you.’ I feel the same way, and I believe in Coach.”
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Mentioning the word “playoffs” in relation to the Browns brings to mind Jim Mora’s infamous “playoffs?” rant. It just doesn’t seem possible that the Browns can make that turnaround in a year.

But they’re not doubting.

The Raiders made no attempt to negotiate a new contract

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Woodson was old by 2005, 29 and out of good graces in Oakland. The Raiders made no attempt to negotiate a new contract, meaning that for the first time ever Woodson wasn’t worth the hassle. He was a veteran corner who had missed more than a third of his possible regular season appearances in four seasons. The Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the only two teams to show legitimate interest in him. He signed with the Packers in 2006 despite an opportunity to reunite with former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay.

I was in college at Wisconsin at that point, which put me in close proximity to Woodson once again. No one trumpeted his arrival. There were hopes he’d bolster the secondary, but not in a singular way. No one could have expected him to become the prototype for the hybrid corner-backer suited to dismantling modern offenses. His legacy was supposed to be that of a great player with an odd career trajectory, not a Hall of Famer.

Woodson went to Green Bay, a place where he knew there was almost nothing to do, and dedicated himself to the things he never did in Oakland. He lifted weights and molded himself to Dom Capers’ defensive scheme.

“We played a game in London during that stretch and that was perfect for us because it helped bring our team even more together,” Hunt said. “Once we got to 5-5 and we saw how the division and Wild Card races were shaping up, we knew we really did have a chance. Everyone’s heads went from being a little down at the start to rising. Andy got them all to stick together.”

Somebody helped keep Reid assured.

In good times and in bad, he keeps in touch with his old college coach, Brigham Young icon LaVell Edwards. Reid played offensive tackle for Edwards at BYU and afterward, in 1982, Reid began his coaching career there. He calls Edwards at least once a week. There is a comfort level and love there that is cherished on both sides.
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Edwards tells Reid he does not look so great in red.

their roster says they¡¯re the presumptive favorites to repeat as NL East champs

If the Nats decide to hire a closer from within — Door No. 6, I suppose — they¡¯ve got choices there too. Blake Treinen probably makes the most sense. Thanks to a power sinker that approaches triple digits, the 28-year-old reliever is essentially the NL¡¯s right-handed version of Zach Britton. In fact, Treinen¡¯s 66 percent ground ball rate last season was second best in the majors behind Britton. He¡¯s also figured out how to get lefties out, posting a .221 BAA vs. lefties that was actually better than his mark against righties (.225).
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So there¡¯s that. Shawn Kelley, who tallied seven saves last year and racked up 12.4 Ks per nine innings, could work too. Then there¡¯s Koda Glover, the 23-year-old wild card who had eight minor league saves last year, showed flashes after his call-up, and looks and sounds like he¡¯s straight out of Central Casting to replace Charlie Sheen if they ever decide to do a reboot of the original “Major League.”

In the early part of Fowler¡¯s career, he fared poorly when leading off an inning, posting on-base percentages of .326, .302 and .317 from 2009 to 2011. But then something clicked and the numbers got considerably better.

“We had a really good conversation,” McCutchen said. “I do understand he has a job. I don’t understand what he has to do — I can’t empathize with that, just like he can’t empathize with the challenges I could be going through. We had a good conversation. We basically ended it on good terms.”

McCutchen, who won the National League MVP award in 2013, is coming off his worst major league season, posting career lows in batting average (.256), on-base percentage (.336) and slugging percentage (.430). He also had 24 home runs and 79 RBIs.

Limited Youth Albert Pujols Jersey “You’re going to have your off years, but it’s all about what you do and how you come back from that,” McCutchen said. “I’m looking forward to this season. I’m ready to go.”

If Prescott wins this game, he will extend his win streak to 12 games

That feat was first achieved in 2011, by one player — Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. He passed for 21 touchdowns and rushed for 14 in his first season out of Auburn. The next season, Robert Griffin III (20 passing touchdowns) and Alfred Morris (13 rushing touchdowns) reached those milestones as rookies with the Washington Redskins.

If Prescott wins this game, he will extend his win streak to 12 games, which would be one from Ben Roethlisberger¡¯s mark for the longest win streak by a rookie quarterback since the 1970 merger, the Elias Sports Bureau notes. Prescott would also have the second most wins by a rookie quarterback in one season.

Elite Womens Pharoh Cooper Jersey That distinction is currently held by Marvin Harrison, who had 469 catches from 1999 to 2002 with the Indianapolis Colts.

A year after Hopkins set the franchise record for receiving touchdowns and became the first player in NFL history to have 100-yard games with four quarterbacks in the same season, his production has dramatically decreased even with just one quarterback throwing him passes this year.

Through 13 games this season, Hopkins has 58 receptions for 668 yards and four touchdowns. At the same point last year, he had 89 catches for 1,221 yards and 10 touchdowns.
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The Pro Bowl receiver said Wednesday that though he asked for a new deal prior to the season, now that the Texans are in the middle of the year, his contract is not something he is concerned about. ¡°I¡¯ll handle that after the season,¡± he said.

Chiefs vs. Texans 2016 final score: Brian Hoyer throws 4 interceptions as Kansas City wins, 30-0

The Kansas City Chiefs dominated the Houston Texans in their Wild Card playoff game Saturday, winning 30-0. Alex Smith threw a rare interception in the first half, but luckily for him, Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer did a lot worse with four interceptions and five total turnovers.

In comparison, Smith looked like an All-Pro. He was efficient, completing 17 of 22 passes for 190 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Hoyer completed 15 of 34 passes for 136 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions. The Chiefs also assisted Smith with 143 yards rushing on the ground.

Limited Kids Ryan Hewitt Jersey Kansas City finished the regular season with 10 consecutive wins, though they fell just short of winning the AFC West. So they were forced to play a wild card game, and on the road against a Texans team that finished the regular season with a 9-7 record, barely winning the AFC South. It’s no surprise that the Chiefs took this game given how things played out prior to the playoffs.

“Quite frankly, I’m not surprised by anything in this business,” Coughlin said of Kelly’s firing, via the New York Daily News. “But that one was close.”

After firing Kelly, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie spoke about finding a coach that has “emotional intelligence” and can connect with players in a way that Kelly never did,

Josh Smith Elite Jersey “You’ve got to open your heart to players … I would call it a style of leadership that values information, all the resources that are provided and, at the same time, values emotional intelligence,” Lurie said.

Coughlin, while developing a reputation as being a disciplinarian, made deep connections with many players on the Giants and his departure from the team was an emotional event for several players, including quarterback Eli Manning.

Von Miller missed Broncos practice because of some movie theater mozzarella sticks

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Von Miller had a cheesy reason for missing Broncos practice this week. Not “cheesy” like “corny,” like this failed attempt at humor I am trying to make, but rather “cheesy” as in actual cheese. After being listed on Denver’s official injury report with an “illness,” Miller told reporters why he sat out. Via ESPN’s Jeff Legwold:

“Mozzarella sticks — you can¡¯t put just regular gas in a Ferrari. I learned that [Wednesday]. I¡¯m back to normal now. I¡¯m ready to go.”

It helps that Arizona has two of the fastest receivers in the entire league, John Brown and J.J. Nelson, both of whom can literally just run past a defense. They’ve got two of the more physical and powerful receivers in the league in Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, both of whom can win contested balls downfield. And importantly, Palmer’s a guy that is willing and able climb the pocket and deliver a strike downfield.

Elite Womens Olli Maatta Jersey Here’s what I’m getting at: This team can throw the ball around the yard. I think that will be a big factor in the Divisional round.

Let’s take a look at a few ways they’ve done that this season.

I like this strategy. Because the Cardinals love to chuck the ball deep like they’re playing flyer’s up a handful of times a game, you get defenses that have to respect that action and play a little deeper as a result. One way to counter this — whether it’s a Cover 2 (two-deep) or Cover 3 (three deep) shell — is to run a deep square in, behind the linebackers but in front of the deep safety (or safeties).

In this case below, the Pittsburgh Steelers run what looks like a two-deep, man-under scheme where the two safeties drop back into zone coverage while the corners on the outside match up on their man. With the safeties retreating so far, Brown — the receiver lined up to the far left — just has to beat the press, and he’ll have the corner in his hip pocket. Once he does that, it’s a matter of running a crisp route.

Matt Wieters types who struggle in that area are having to hunt for suitors

Elite Womens Loui Eriksson Jersey On the surface, those are nice words from one former teammate to another. But there¡¯s more to it than that. Through 711? big league innings, Tom Koehler is a below-average starter. He¡¯s not a bad pitcher, but his 4.16 ERA is a bit higher than average and his strikeout-to-walk rate isn’t great.

But last season, one in which Koehler tinkered with his delivery midyear, the Koehler-Mathis connection was special. In 13 starts with Mathis behind the plate, Koehler looked like a Cy Young contender. His ERA and strikeout-to-walk rate were both 2.65, and opponents hit .191 with a .593 OPS against him. In 20 other starts, Koehler had a 5.66 ERA, and his strikeout-to-walk rate was 1.4; opponents hit .309 against him.

Admittedly, you can get into trouble with these sorts of comparisons, because they don¡¯t factor in caliber of opponent (and those 13 games included three against the offensively challenged Phillies). But let¡¯s at least give Mathis a piece of the credit for putting Koehler on a path to success. From a pitch-framing perspective, there¡¯s this: In Koehler¡¯s career, Mathis has gotten him 12.6 called strikes more than the average catcher would have gotten.

None of the above options would seem to address the Dodgers¡¯ major weakness from last season, which explains why they have been linked to trade options such as the Tigers¡¯ Ian Kinsler and the Twins¡¯ Brian Dozier. Indications are that the Dodgers are not comfortable with the price for either. Expect this area to be a hot topic at the winter meetings.
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Turner was that rare extremely productive right-handed hitter in the Dodgers¡¯ lineup, although he actually had reverse splits, meaning that he hit right-handers better than left-handers. It might be argued that Turner is part of the Dodgers¡¯ problem against lefties and not the solution. So is it best to just move on and go elsewhere at third base?

To be blunt: no way. Turner has just locked into his new high-level productivity, and more of the same figures to be coming. He has also developed into an impressive defender. On top of that, Turner has all of the attributes of an impact leader. High-level third basemen are a cherished commodity around baseball, and the Dodgers would regret letting Turner get away.

Yet Randle’s fantasy impact has also improved

Randle’s minutes have also decreased. He’s dropped by two rebounds per game. Yet Randle’s fantasy impact has also improved. More than improved: it’s nearly doubled.

Larry Nance Jr., PF 2015-16 Player Rater: -0.31 2016-17 Player Rater: 3.87
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Nance is only getting 21.8 minutes per game. He’s only averaging 7.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. But he’s shooting 60 percent from the field and is averaging 1.2 steals per game.

D’Angelo Russell, PG 2015-16 Player Rater: 3.61 2016-17 Player Rater: 2.99 (depressed due to injury)

Calm down. He’s been hurt. He’ll be back in 10-14 days.
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In the meantime, comfort yourself with these averages: 16.1 points, 4.8 assists, 2.5 3-pointers, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals. And he’s 20. Russell’s got a higher ceiling than anyone on this list. (As far as 2016-17 is concerned. Beyond that, it’s a foot race with Brandon Ingram.)

Two numbers tell me Russell’s going to break out in the New Year: 28.6 percent usage rate, 17.37 PER. I’ll tell you: Russell’s a true fantasy star in the making.

(Note: I’m not a Laker fan. I just live here. No Lakers Exceptionalism in this house. I’m too busy editing together Ledell Eackles highlight reels).

Timofey Mozgov, C 2015-16 Player Rater: 0.87 (with Cleveland) 2016-17 Player Rater: 2.92

For the year, Mozgov is averaging 8.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.7 blocks and $191,121.95 per game. So, before we criticize Mozgov’s lack of rebounding, let’s be honest: how good of a year did you have?

Brandon Ingram, SF/PF 2015-16 Player Rater: NA 2016-17 Player Rater: -0.31

Ignore the crappy shooting (.372 FG%). Ingram is a 19-year-old drooling — teeming, oozing, percolating — with athleticism and freakish upside. He’s already averaging 24.6 MPG. He’s already defending his position. He’s already started to hit the NBA 3-pointer (.438 3-point percentage over his past five games).

Ingram may not be roster-worthy in standard leagues until the last lap of the season. But I have a feeling that when Ingram arrives, it will happen in an awful hurry.

Rex Ryan optimistic about Bills’ quarterback situation

New Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan addressed the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday and talked about several issues, including the team’s lackluster quarterback situation.

Ryan naturally expressed optimism Marshawn Lynch Authentic Womens Jersey about the current state of his signal callers, which is lacking a bona fide starter right now. “I’m excited about EJ Manuel,” he said. “I think he’s a young man who has potential.”

Ryan inherited a roster that currently features just two quarterbacks following the abrupt retirement of Kyle Orton. Only 2013 first-round pick EJ Manuel and former undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel remain on the roster, neither of which have been impressive in their first two NFL seasons.

Manuel, 24, was benched after four games in the 2014 season in favor of Orton after back-to-back losses. In 14 career starts, Manuel has compiled a 6–8 record with 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Atlanta has plenty of work to do with its entire roster, including revamping the league’s worst defense in 2014. Retaining Jones would go a long way toward getting back to the playoffs for the first time since 2012, when the Falcons lost in the NFC Championship game.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman spoke at the NFL Combine on Wednesday and Michael Bennett Authentic Womens Jersey stated he has no plans to move on from star running back Adrian Peterson. Head coach Mike Zimmer echoed that notion, saying the team will not be looking for a back in free agency, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Peterson, who was placed on the commissioner exempt list for the final 15 games of 2014 after he was implicated in a child abuse case, is scheduled to make $13 million this season. Peterson will be 30-years-old in March but has a hall of fame body of work, amassing 10,190 rushing yards and 86 touchdowns in his eight-year career.

Bradford’s rookie deal calls for him to receive $16.58 million in 2015 before becoming a free agent. The former Oklahoma star has also dealt with two torn ACLs over the past two seasons, limiting him to seven games.