How each Round 2 Stanley Cup playoff series will be won

Beyond the first round, there are very few playoff series where one team is heavily favored.

“His athleticism and his health to me,” the Stanford coach added, “would give him a slight edge over Josh.”Here in this close-knit little town of 3,500 people, they are counting down the hours until the native son they call Sa Sa (pronounced: Say Say) is welcomed into the NFL on Thursday night — possibly by the nearby New York Football Giants.

At Samuel Owens Casual Family Dining across the street from where the Barkley family lives in a red brick row home on North Second Street, they have scheduled a draft party Thursday night.

“I got people calling up left and right for reservations,” owner William Loy said. “People are coming at 5 just to get a seat.”

James smiled when asked about the play.

“Of course I didn’t think it was a goaltend,” he said with a laugh. “I try to make plays like that all the time. He made a heck of a move, got me leaning right and he went left and I just tried to use my recovery speed and get back up there and make a play on the ball.”

Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.

The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.

Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.

Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.dolphins_079

NFL Draft 2018: Why Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen don’t stack up to Eagles’ Carson Wentz

There’s been a perception about this year’s NFL Draft quarterback class, that it’s deep and more talented than usual at the top-end.

That might be right. USC’s Sam Darnold , Wyoming’s Josh Allen , UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield all have a case for being Top-5 picks. Louisville’s Lamar Jackson isn’t far behind.

Are any of them franchise quarterbacks? Maybe.

A case can be made there is a strong need to add a cornerback, with Janoris Jenkins returning as the only established starter — a description that cannot yet be affixed to Eli Apple after his bouts with immaturity in 2017, on and off the field. Veteran William Gay was signed and could be a nickel back option if he has enough tread on his tires at age 33. Jaire Alexander (Louisville) could be an option in rounds 2-3.

The Giants love Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (who doesn’t?) but will not pick him at No. 2. If there is a trade back, he would be a perfect complement at free safety. Imagine Fitzpatrick — who can play three or four spots in the secondary — teaming with Landon Collins, two Alabama studs working together? There isn’t much to choose from on the roster, with Darian Thompson coming off a sluggish season and Andrew Adams more of a stopgap option. Perhaps Justin Reid (Stanford) in the second round makes some sense.

The infielders took positions fielding a bunch of groundballs and made throws to second and first.

The outfielders gathered in right field and tracked flyballs near the wall before fielding grounders.

This was a response to the Yankees being baseball’s worst-fielding team heading into Friday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Through Thursday, the Yankees had an American League-high 18 errors (in 17 games) and a Major League-worst .971 fielding percentage.

“If we’re going to be an elite-level team, we’ve got to catch the ball a little better and we’ll continue to work at that,” Boone said. “It’s something that needs to improve and I’m confident will continue to improve.” steelers_129

Mike Singletary gets a new head-coaching job, at a high school

The Alliance of American Football could hire Mike Singletary to coach one of its teams in 2019. Until then, Singletary will be coaching at a much lower level of the sport.

Via multiple reports the Hall of Fame linebacker has become the head coach at Trinity Christian-Addison, a private school located in a suburb of Dallas.

Trinity Christian-Addison has played in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools state championship game 13 times. In the past five years, however, the program has slumped to 26-32.

It’s a significant step back for Singletary, who got into coaching more than a decade after his playing career ended, quickly became head coach of the 49ers, and flamed out even more quickly. He spent three years as an assistant with the Vikings and one as an assistant with the Rams before being out of football in 2017.

On March 14th at 4 p.m. ET, the 2018 free-agency period (and trading period) began. However, beginning March 12, teams were permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who would become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2017 player contracts at 4 p.m. ET on March 14. But a contract could not be executed with a new club until free agency began.

The Ravens also had Michael Floyd try out Friday, per Yates, so they clearly remain in the market for receiver depth. They signed John Brown and Michael Crabtree. Baltimore also signed Ryan Grant, but he failed his physical.

Steve Pearce (R), less than 1 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers (LHP Cole Hamels): This pick comes with an asterisk, since there’s a good chance Pearce is lifted for a pinch hitter, probably Curtis Granderson, if he’s due up against a righty reliever. In deeper leagues, two or three chances against Hamels warrants a lineup spot, as the veteran lefty is vulnerable to right-handed power.

Tyler Naquin (L), 1 percent, Cleveland Indians (RHP Jason Hammel): Naquin was sent to Triple-A Columbus on Thursday, but with Lonnie Chisenhall landing on the disabled list, the Indians were able to recall Naquin earlier than the usual 10-day requirement. The speedy outfielder steps right back into the lineup, but beware: Royals backstop Cam Gallagher threw out an impressive 23-of-43 base-stealers last year in Triple-A, though he was only 1-of-6 with the big club.buccaneers_113

Vikings trying to re-sign starting lineman Joe Berger, who may retire

The Vikings have their new quarterback in Kirk Cousins, but they may have to find someone new to block for him.

Joe Berger, a guard/center who started all 16 games for the Vikings last year, is considering retirement, according to NFL Network.

But now the league appears intent on wringing any last drops of fun from the draft, thanks to an addiction to making as much money as humanly possible, no matter the consequences.

The NFL announced this week that Fox will air the first three rounds and ABC will show Rounds 4-7.?Thus for the first time ever the entire draft will air on broadcast television. Of course, it will also air on ESPN and the NFL Network, as usual.

The Panthers need a backup if not an eventual successor to Greg Olsen, and Willson has shown some flashes. He caught 15 passes for 153 yards and four touchdowns last season.

The player-agent relationship isn’t a win-lose proposition. A good agent can get more money for a player than a player can get for himself. So every player should have a good agent who can and will do just that.

But Sherman already has boasted that no agent could have gotten a better deal than Sherman negotiated for himself. Of course Richard Sherman would say that; would we expect anything else from one of the most confident personalities the NFL has ever seen?

Our panel really likes the kid, as do the Flyers, who rave about his blend of mobility and agility on a 6-foot-5-pound frame.They definitely do not run away.Last, Oklahoma and Texas combined to win 46. 25, New York Mets left fielder Mookie Wilson hit an innocent-looking groundball toward Red Sox first baseman Buckner the bottom of the 10 th inning of Game 6 of the World Series.

That kind of harassment has no place football or any sport, and should not be tolerated by any organization.From the 11 offensive tackles that I’ve had the opportunity to study far, is by far and away the best value.Even if his ankle makes a full recovery and he gives Toronto all of what he was Chicago, one of the other key problems with Bolland is his asking price.Fast forward to the present, and fans are clamoring for the 24-year old to be actively shopped.Play 2: Pass to Lockett for 8 yards Screen to Lockett on the left after he goes motion.

Some of the yards came on sprints around the corners. Tags: 2013 preseason, Moats, White Posted Inside the Bills Posted by on 14 ?7 am The Bills are just firing up OTAs and players be on the local airwaves to talk about it this morning.This file contains additional information such as Exif metadata which have been added by the digital camera, scanner, or software program used to create or digitize it.Void where prohibited.49ers_113

As the scandal exploded, Mara left explanations for why this abomination happened to McAdoo.

During his 15th NBA season, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James is performing at a level that echoes the prime that saw him win four MVPs.

As James nears his 33rd birthday later this month, his performance at that age stands up to any of his predecessors, including Michael Jordan’s 1995-96 season that produced an MVP, a then-record 72 wins and a championship. (Because James entered the NBA directly out of high school, NBA experience isn’t the best way to compare how he’s aging to his peers. After all, Jordan’s 15th year was actually his final one in the NBA at age 40.)

Mara approved New York’s re-signing of its kicker during the 2016 offseason despite what was later uncovered as a long history of domestic violence the team either failed to research thoroughly or didn’t care about.

McAdoo’s defense of Brown — “He’s a man of faith,” McAdoo actually told me when I grilled him about the topic last season — was even more pathetic than the effort put out by Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins earlier this month against San Francisco.

Mara pulled his disappearing act again Tuesday as the Manning situation unfolded. While understandably tied up at a league meeting discussing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s pending contract extension, Mara could have found time to meet with Manning for a private discussion about such a sensitive situation, let alone avoid leaving McAdoo and Reese high-and-dry again to deliver the news and offer flimsy rationale to the media.eagles_086_4f91d07788bb476b-180x180

Updated 2017 NFL schedule: Pair of Saints games among those flexed

The Saints, Rams and Panthers are all in the playoff hunt with seven wins each, and the NFL wants more eyeballs on its best current teams.

It’s Thanksgiving week in the U.S., which means it’s time to recognize the important things in life, like sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and those dinner rolls that somehow manage to be light and heavy, which is a neat trick.

I’m thankful for the continued existence of Jaromir Jagr. For a while there, it looked like the best-case scenario was that Jagr would play in exile until the Olympics, and then maybe somehow find an NHL team to sign him for the playoff run.

Jaden Schwartz might be good at making his teammates laugh, but he harbors sadness too. Not a day has passed since the death of his sister, Mandi, that he doesn’t think of her. The Blues star honors her memory by pursuing a hockey dream they both shared.

Keenum has led the Vikings to five straight wins since taking over for Sam Bradford, who was placed on injured reserve last week with a left knee injury. The team also activated Teddy Bridgewater in a corresponding move.

Bridgewater hasn’t played since the 2016 preseason, when he dislocated his knee and required surgery, but was active for the first time in 672 days Sunday. It remains unclear if he will get a chance to play this season, since the Vikings have found success with Keenum in the starting role.

Keenum, 29, has thrown for 1,914 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions, and boasts the third-best total QBR (72.6) behind Texans QB Deshaun Watson and Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.

Keenum will face his former team and go head-to-head with former No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff, who replaced him as the Rams’ starter, when the Vikings (7-2) host the Rams (7-2) at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.
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NFL reportedly investigating Michael Irvin after sexual assault allegation

Broward County decided not to charge former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin for sexual assault in connection with an accusation leveled in March, but the NFL is conducting its own investigation into the matter and may be mulling discipline of its own according to Deadspin.

Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston two weeks ago and the city is still recovering, but with the Astros already playing a series with the Mets over the weekend and the Mayor of Houston urging the city’s sports teams to get back to action with the hopes of giving the town a sense of normalcy, the Texans will be playing their season opener at home.

The NFL cancelled the Texans’ final preseason game of the season with the Cowboys so the team could make it back into the city to see their families. The town is still recovering from the flooding that covered the city and surrounding areas, but fans will most assuredly fill NRG Stadium to cheer their team that has already done so much to help in the days and now weeks following the event that changed so many lives.

Savage has since reaffirmed his Xs-and-Os acumen in targeting talent as executive director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl, which is the premier pre-draft showcase for NFL prospects. His skill in working with the media has grown from holding analyst jobs at ESPN and SiriusXM.

As for the other managerial aspects needed for success, Savage asserts he would be “100 times better at (age) 52 than at 39.”steelers_128

Derek Carr was seventh in QB tiers voting.

The gap between what QB tiers voters thought of Mike Glennon (3.86 average) and what they thought of the QBs on the Bears’ schedule this season (2.34 average) creates the second-largest average deficit for any team (the Jets are playing at the fattest deficit). The Bears will be banking on Glennon to exceed outside expectations. Rookies were not in the QB Tiers survey, so there are no calculations to apply if Mitch Trubisky replaces Glennon.

Derek Carr was seventh in QB tiers voting. His Raiders face only one QB ranked higher (Brady). The 11-victory projection is more optimistic than I was anticipating; somewhere in the nine- to 10-win range seems realistic. The 2016 Raiders were the only team over the past decade to finish 5-0 or better in games decided by three or fewer points. Projected home victories over Kansas City, Denver, Dallas and the Giants could easily flip the other way in a couple cases.

The hype behind Peterson’s return began building the day Minneapolis decided not to pick up the $18 million option on his contract in February, a move that made him a free agent. When he signed with the Saints on a two-year, $7 million deal, the prologue for the next chapter of his career was already written.

And in an oh-too-perfect opportunity to make an encore performance and demonstrate that the best years of his career aren’t behind him, Peterson will play the team with which he rushed for 11,747 yards and 97 touchdowns to open the 2017 season.

Mike Zimmer, right, pictured with Adrian Peterson at Vikings camp last year, said Tuesday ahead of Monday’s opener against New Orleans that his former star RB is “a great player, but this game isn’t about Adrian Peterson.”

It’s not only a first for Peterson, who has traded in his purple and yellow to don black and gold not as a featured back but as a member of the Saints’ trio of rushers, but a first for the Vikings’ defense that, for years, had to temper the urge to make a play on Peterson in practice.redskins_050

Richards finished with five combined tackles during preseason play for the Panthers.

Of course, there’s plenty of other uni-related news as we move toward the kickoff of the 2017 NFL season. Here’s our annual team-by-team rundown of what you can expect to see on the gridiron this fall, broken down by division.

Scott said Tuesday that it is important that Floridians keep a close eye on the storm and “do not sit and wait to prepare.”

Scott has deployed 100 members of the Florida National Guard, and nearly 7,000 troops will be reporting for duty in the coming days, the governor said.

The American Red Cross is sending 1,000 volunteers to Florida, Scott said.

(No. 79), made 29 starts for the Broncos, including 16 last season at right guard and right tackle.

At 6-foot-6 and 301 pounds, Schofield made 29 starts for the Broncos and his strength is versatility, with an ability to play everything but center along the offensive line.

Schofield, 26, made 16 starts last season for Denver and played both right guard and right tackle.

Richards signed a futures deal with the Carolina Panthers in January. Before that, Richards played two seasons in the CFL (for the Ottawa Redblacks and Edmonton Eskimos) and with the Spokane Shock of the Arena League in 2014.

A 6-2, 210-pound product of Emporia State, Richards fits Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s profile for tall, rangy defensive backs.

Richards finished with five combined tackles during preseason play for the Panthers.

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Bucs’ Roberto Aguayo is missing kicks again

On the heels of a rookie season that saw him serve largely as either a punchline or a punching bag, Roberto Aguayo set himself up for even more abuse Friday.

“Now it’ll be 48 [Dupree] and 90 [Watt], and they’ll just play until they’re tired. And when they get tired, somebody will come and relieve them. But it won’t be ‘This is your series and this is the next one’s series.’ We don’t have to do that.”

Harrison, the franchise leader with 79.5 career sacks, will see a major decline in playing time behind his tinted helmet visor but the 39-year-old remains a reliable component of the team’s defense in case of inury or decline in productivity.

“That’s why he’s here; he’s going to fight it,” Porter said. “But his role is his role. He’s a relief pitcher. Until we need you, the young guys are going to play. You’re a good safety net to have; if somebody’s not getting the job done, we happen to know we have a wily veteran that we can put into the game. But to be honest going in, we have two young first-rounders who shouldn’t be tired. And when they do get tired, we’ll make the adjustments we need to.

“I know the old guy wants to play but at the same time it’s hard to get in there if those guys are doing the job. If they’re doing their job and they’re playing at a high level, the understanding is understood. You don’t have to explain anything that you can see right there on tape.”

Watt, 22, has worked extensively with the Steelers’ first-team defense since OTAs in May and continued to impress throughout training camp before starting Pittsburgh’s preseason opener Friday against the Giants. He recorded two sacks in the first quarter and took some reps with special teams.
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