Monthly Archives: March 2017

NFL picks and predictions, Week 12: Steelers vs. Browns 2017

Pittsburgh and Cleveland will both enter the game on Sunday with 4-6 records, one game out of the final wild card slot. With so many teams in the playoff race, a loss might drop one of the teams too far out of the hunt while a win could potentially bump a team into a tie for the No. 6 seed.

Pittsburgh has won two in a row and four of its last six games, but is just 1-4 on the road this season. Cleveland, losers of three of its last four, will have the advantage of playing at home where its 3-2 this season. NFL experts are split on the matchup, but SB Nation’s six experts give the Browns a slight edge.

If you buy into the theory that the Jets alternate wins and losses — which is as good a theory as any to explain the Jets — New York should have this one in the bag.

Rex Ryan has never won against the Ravens in two games since becoming head coach of the Jets. But he never faced this version of the Ravens, one that looks like a terrible mismatch for a very good Jets defense. You could say the same thing about the Ravens, a solid defense without much help from their offensive teammates. All things considered, this is a fairly even matchup, which makes it hard to pick.

The Ravens have a 4-1 record against the spread at home. The Jets are 2-3 against the spread on the road. Geno Smith’s been able to bounce back from his bad outings, but he hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 7.
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St. Louis has dropped three in a row, though all three teams

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The NFL has seen an abnormally high amount of close games this season, but this one appears to be lopsided on the surface. The Colts have already taken care of business against Denver and Seattle at home, though they did drop a Week 2 game to Miami at Lucas Oil Stadium. Could the Rams give them similar trouble?

St. Louis has dropped three in a row, though all three teams — the Seahawks, Panthers, and Titans — are .500 or better. It seems like the Rams will be using their final seven games to find out what they have moving forward in young players like Brian Quick, Isaiah Pead, Daryl Washington, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and so forth, and winning will come secondary now that they’ve fallen to 3-6.

David Robertson Limited Jersey Not that they won’t try and be competitive in every game. It just may prove difficult with a mediocre quarterback and a suspect defense, especially at the safety position. That’s where you’d expect Luck and his receivers to run rampant on Sunday.

Not much has gone right for the Jaguars this season. Already facing a talent deficit, Jacksonville has been hit hard by injuries. The Jaguars will also be without their best player for the rest of the season with wide receiver Justin Blackmon suspended after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

There is an old adage that football teams win consistently by stopping the run and running the football well. If that is true, it goes a long way to explaining the issues the Jaguars have had. They are 31st in the NFL in rushing yards per game, averaging just 66.4 YPG. On the defensive side of the ball, the Jaguars are dead last in stopping the run, allowing 161.8 YPG. Jacksonville needs to improve in a lot of ways, but the ground game on both sides of the ball may be the areas which need the most work.

The NFL’s investigation will be detailed and exhaustive as it digs into the hazing scandal.

The NFL’s investigation of of Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin and allegations of hazing and bullying in the Miami Dolphins organization is expected take “several weeks” and will be exhaustive in nature, according to a report from CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.

Reports said Incognito forced Martin to pay $15,000 for a trip to Las Vegas that Martin did not attend. Incognito said those reports were not true and Martin gave the money willingly. Incognito said Martin missed the annual trip to Las Vegas during his rookie season and the other offensive linemen joked that Martin would be fined for missing the trip, even though they had no intention of actually making him pay the fine. Instead, Martin showed up with a check and willingly put in the money in the pot for a trip after the season.

Incognito said he would apologize to Martin today if he said Incognito took things too far. Incognito also said his teammates’ reaction was a sign Incognito was not bullying Martin and instead jokes may have been taken too far.

“I’m proud of my guys for having my back and telling the truth,” Incognito said.
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Despite the situation, Incognito said he would be “more than willing” to accept Martin back into the Dolphins’ locker room.
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Incognito declined to say whether coaches had told him to toughen Martin up, instead saying the current NFL investigation would answer those questions.

MLB breakout picks for 2017

Every March, I post a list of players who I think are primed for significant upticks in their performances for the coming season. These are players who already have lost their rookie status but either haven’t performed at all in the majors or perhaps just haven’t lived up to expectations.

Last year’s list had several players who did indeed break out, including Jake Lamb, Wil Myers, Robbie Ray and Jonathan Schoop.

Garappolo, who has served as backup to Tom Brady the past three seasons, has been talked up as a potential trade target for several teams, his reputation enhanced by his performances in games against the Cardinals and Dolphins while Brady was suspended at the start of the 2016 seasons.

Limited Mens Shane Vereen Jersey The Browns, who hold the first and 12th overall picks in this year’s draft and acquired a 2018 second-rounder in a trade with the Texans on Thursday, are viewed as a possible destination for Garoppolo.

And it appeared for a few hours Friday morning that Garoppolo might’ve been moving after we wrote on Instagram: So grateful for my time in New England. Peace out Boston.

Supporting the hoax theory: The Patriots have maintained they have no plans to trade the backup QB. Oh, and 4 a.m. is a weird time to bid farewell. Finally, Yee’s statement.

Remember, folks, change those passwords frequently.

Here he is beating Marcellus Wiley on SportsNation in basketball and then Out-Stephen-A-Smithing Stephen A. Smith on First Take.
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What do all of these appearances have in common? The man is wearing the brand in all of these appearances. You can like LaVar Ball or hate LaVar Ball, but the publicity and screen time he鈥檚 getting for him and the brand is immense.

After all, who needs commercials when your face and the brand shows up on the graphics packages of national sports shows?

Trubisky is built to be a good rhythm passer in the Bears’ system as opposed to streaky, frustrating inconsistency.

Although he needs to get stronger as a route-runner, his other attributes set him up to succeed while he is working to round out his game.

Just about every NFL team was represented at the workouts of the most talented performers from the reigning national champions. Every team picking in the first half of the first round had to come away impressed with the 6-4, 218-pound Williams. The handful of coaches there were tied to his wide draft range — from Mike Mularkey and the Titans (No. 5 overall) to Mike Tomlin and the Steelers (No. 30 overall).

Williams’ coach at Clemson, Dabo Swinney, didn’t need to make a hard sell to those teams that his former No. 1 can remain that kind of game-changer in the NFL.

With Mike Williams, if there is only one (defender) on him, he is open. If there is two, they better be real tight on him. He is a handful and definitely NFL ready, Swinney said.

Ross can flat-out fly. The other wideout vying to be the first off the board at the position, Western Michigan is Corey Davis (6-3, 209 pounds), rivals Williams as a big target in the red zone, but he is more limited as a deep threat.

Chicago is looking for an anti-Jay Cutler, a change from pure, strong-armed gunslinger to someone who rests his laurels on accuracy and strong decision-making to go along with his mobility.

Trubisky is built to be a good rhythm passer in the Bears’ system as opposed to streaky, frustrating inconsistency. Mike Glennon was paid to be a short-term starter, and Trubisky can offer them much-needed lasting talent at the position.19

Antti Raanta made his fourth consecutive start in place of the injured Henrik Lundqvist and finished with 34 saves.

The Panthers entered the game coming off a 2-1 loss to Columbus on Thursday and got off to a slow start against the Rangers and regrouped after taking an early timeout.

“We had a pretty bad start. We thought we were ready, but we were not because it’s a tough building to play, but at the same time it’s a fun building to play in,” Barkov said.

“We took that timeout, and after that we started to play well, and we started to shoot the puck more and play in their zone.”

Mats Zuccarello scored two goals and J.T. Miller also tallied for the Rangers, who were unable to hold an early 2-0 lead. Brendan Smith added two assists.

Antti Raanta made his fourth consecutive start in place of the injured Henrik Lundqvist and finished with 34 saves.
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“When you lose a game in overtime or a shootout it’s always a disappointment,” Raanta said. “Of course you want to give yourself one or two goals, not three every night. You want to be the guy who can help the team to win.

Seattle could ultimately decide to release Lynch for the sole intent of having him sign with Oakland. In that scenario, Lynch would be free to negotiate a new deal with the Raiders.

“It could really happen,” one source familiar with the situation said Friday.

Lynch, who will turn 31 in April, also must decide whether to resume his NFL career. It’s an idea he has considered, according to sources. Playing for his hometown team would be an incentive and could influence a decision.
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Over the years, sources told ESPN’s Adam Caplan, Lynch told people his dream was to play for the Raiders. He has a “Beast Mode” apparel store in Oakland.

Steelers vs. Raiders 2016 odds: Pittsburgh lays points on the road

The Pittsburgh Steelers will try to win their third consecutive game when they square off against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon at O.co Coliseum.

Right now, NFL teams are making moves to free up cap space and prepare for the moves they may make in free agency. Free agency officially begins at 4 p.m. ET on March 9, with the legal tampering period during which teams can discuss terms with free agents, but not officially sign them, kicking off on March 7.

If you’re curious about which free agents may be available, we’ve got the top 100 ranked for your convenience.

We are also keeping track of the major signings for all 32 teams.

We’ll keep all of the latest rumors about free agents updated here, so check back often for the latest. Our rumors are listed by date, and below that, is a list of some of the bigger name players in the NFL.
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Elite Youth Mike Ribeiro Jersey By winning 30 games, Middle Tennessee had its best season ever. Despite a relatively easy schedule, the Blue Raiders proved their bona fides about as much as they possibly could during the season.

The one thing that no team has done with the three teams featured in this trend is win its next matchup. Middle Tennessee will take on No. 4 Butler in the next round on Saturday. We’ll see if a hot Blue Raider team came improve upon its success this weekend.

What’s more impressive than Arizona’s 100-point outing was the fact that the Wildcats made it look easy. Freshmen Lauri Markkanen and Rawle Alkins dropped 20 points apiece, and Alkins — who went two-for-two both from beyond the arc and at the free-throw line — didn’t miss a single shot the entire night.

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Allen Iverson crossed up his hero Michael Jordan 20 years ago

20 years ago, on March 12, 1997, Allen Iverson crossed over Michael Jordan.

Iverson was just a rookie from Georgetown, playing on the Philadelphia 76ers, who were near the bottom of the Eastern Conference at the time. You can imagine Sixers fans were stoked not just to see Michael Jordan play, but to see their No. 1 draft pick go up against him. The Sixers lost that game (Iverson was the top scorer, however), but for one moment, Philadelphia got a glimpse of its future with The Answer.

Duke went through something of a weird season, losing seven in-conference games during the regular season, but the Blue Devils rallied in the conference tournament to blast through the field and top Notre Dame on Saturday Night in the Barclays Center. Mike Krzyzewski and company will certainly hope that momentum continues into the Big Dance.

The No. 4 Florida Gators drew No. 13 East Tennessee State in the tournament’s first round, a rather dangerous matchup for Mike White’s club in this year’s tournament. The Buccaneers won the Southern conference’s regular season and tournament championships, while Florida has struggled to find consistent production on offense all season. The Gators will defend the hell out of teams, but with a field goal rate at just 45 percent, they’re shooting just 142nd in the nation.

Further on in the deepest region of the tournament field, No. 8 Wisconsin will meet with No. 9 Virginia Tech, pitting together a Big Ten finalist and an upper mid-tier team from the country’s best conference this year. The Hokies went on a tear in the early season, gathering wins over Michigan, Duke, and Syracuse, but faded as their ACC schedule set in, prompting many experts to cool on their standing in the tournament field.19

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