Predicting the final standings for all eight NFL divisions

A football bouncing from Kansas City Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos’ right foot into one upright and through them both could decide the AFC West race this season. The Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders will still have plenty to say about that, but the wacky overtime ending in Denver — Chiefs 30, Broncos 27 — showed again just how fraught the prediction business can be.

We soldier on, using input Kenny Britt Youth Jersey from coaches and evaluators to predict how all eight NFL divisions will finish, starting with those with the highest degrees of difficulty.

The Chiefs were my preseason choice to win the division at 11-5, but they needed that wild overtime victory at Denver on Sunday night to maintain the narrowest edge. That assumes Kansas City wins upcoming home games against the Raiders (Week 13) and Broncos (Week 16). It also assumes the Broncos will win at Tennessee and home against the Patriots. So many of those games could go either way, just like that epic Chiefs-Broncos game Sunday night.

“I knew about him because he was a basketball player,” Palo Alto High School coach Earl Hansen said. “A really good basketball player.”

Hansen also knew of Adams’ mother’s aversion to football.

“I just kept talking to him [about playing football],” Hansen said.

But he never tried to convince Adams’ mom.

“I think he did it more than anything.” Hansen said.

Adams was an instant star both as a receiver and a cornerback. As a senior, he caught 63 passes, including Kurt Warner Youth Jersey 11 touchdowns, to help Palo Alto to a state title.

Enter Ron Antoine, then the receivers coach at Fresno State. He wasn’t part of the recruiting process, but from the first week of spring practices after Adams redshirted as a freshman, Antoine knew what he had.

Reiss said he thinks TE Martellus Bennett is a worthy fantasy play

Whether or not Rob Gronkowski plays Sunday, Reiss said he thinks TE Martellus Bennett is a worthy fantasy play — despite his nagging injuries and a quiet one-catch performance last week. “Part of the low production last week was a result of increased attention on him, as we saw on the first touchdown when he was double-teamed and the ball went to the single-covered Julian Edelman instead,” Reiss said. “Bennett could explode at any point, and a fantasy owner doesn’t want to outsmart themselves by putting him on the bench based on one week Tramon Williams Womens Jersey of low production.”

Fantasy owners shouldn’t get too excited about rookie WR Malcolm Mitchell after his 98 yards and a touchdown last week, since his playing time will be reduced when Chris Hogan returns — and since Hogan and Edelman remain under contract next year. But Mitchell has potential for growth and finally looks like a rookie WR who could pan out for the Patriots.

Quick hitters:

At least Bryant waited until after the Dallas Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins 31-26 on Thursday to have his war of words with Norman. A couple of years ago, it might have been a little different.

“I would’ve beat him up right on the field,” Bryant said. “Straight Xavier Cooper Womens Jersey up.”

So, that’s at least some progress.

Dez Bryant’s 26-yard reception in front of Kendall Fuller put the Cowboys in position to seal Thursday’s victory. Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire
About the only time Bryant got caught up in the emotions of the game against Norman came after a 13-yard catch early in the fourth quarter. Norman had a hold of his leg and wouldn’t let him get up. They exchanged some words and teammates stepped in.

Opponents have worked to take away Smith’s running lanes. He rushed 11 yards for a touchdown against Tampa Bay

“That’s kind of what the 24 hours after a game are [for],” Smith said. “You do critique hard on your play, especially fundamentals and things like that, areas you need to improve on. That quickly transitions to getting ready for that next opponent.

“Stats can definitely be useful. I think they can tell Jack Tatum Authentic Jersey you especially glaring things here and there. I think sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in them and read too much into them, especially if there isn’t a glaring thing.”

The glaring things, Smith said, are the rushing stats and the Chiefs’ lousy play on third downs and inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.

Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris formed a dynamic duo as rookies in 2012 that caught Jerry Jones’ attention. Linda D.

“There’s three ways to get players in our league,” Loomis continued, “and that’s through free agency, the draft and then trades. We kind of believe in using all avenues. So we took one of our assets on offense and turned it into some resources (that) hopefully we can improve our defense with.”

Following the trade, the Saints own the No. 13 and 31 selections in the 2015 NFL Draft. In the latest mock draft from SB Nation’s Dan Kadar, done before the trade involving Graham, the Saints are projected to help improve their defense by selecting Missouri pass rusher Shane Ray with the No. 13 pick.

That point may be moot, though, with the New York Jets slated to pick sixth in the draft order. With a new head coach and new general manager in the fold for the Jets, it’s perfectly conceivable and logical that the team could be interested in nabbing a new franchise quarterback if Mariota is on the board with the sixth pick. That could mean that any other teams interested in Mariota feel the need to jump ahead of the Jets to grab the former Oregon Ducks quarterback.

Beating the Patriots for Revis, reclaiming the best player the franchise has had in a decade Jalen Richard Authentic Jersey or so was a psychological victory. Once the various insiders started talking about Woody Johnson’s determination to get Revis back in the fold, we had a good idea about what was going to happen. Never underestimate a billionaire’s wounded ego either.

Ben Roethlisberger looks to torment Colts for third straight year

Ben Roethlisberger says the Steelers could run more no-huddle offense Thursday at Indianapolis, which makes total sense.

He’s playing the Colts. And against the Colts, Roethlisberger identifies with obscene passing stats.

Consider this stat line from Roethlisberger’s two-game stretch against Indianapolis from 2014-15: 64-of-88 passing for 886 yards, 10 touchdowns, zero interceptions and two wins. Both games were at home, but those numbers are De’Vondre Campbell Womens Jersey wild in any setting.

He set a franchise record with 522 passing yards in a 51-34 win over the Colts two years ago. The 522 yards are tied for fourth in NFL history for a single game.

Guard David DeCastro treats Roethlisberger’s performances against the Colts are sort of like a pitcher throwing a no-hitter. Just leave him alone. “When he’s on, he’s on. Not too many guys better than him,” DeCastro said. “The ball’s coming out quick, not thinking, receivers are getting open. Kind of one of those things when everything is rolling.

Bosa said he went back to Columbus, Ohio, to watch his former teammates at Ohio State practice and also visited friends in Chicago during the bye week. He also got some much-needed rest to recharge his body for the final stretch run of his rookie season.

“Phil was just saying right before we broke that everybody wishes they can go back and change one little thing, but we obviously can’t do that,” Bosa said about a pep talk quarterback Philip Rivers gave to his teammates at the end of Monday’s practice. “So we’re just Deion Jones Womens Jersey looking forward. We’ve got a six-game season. That’s really all we can handle, so that’s what we’re focused on.”

Bosa missed training camp due to a contract stalemate, which led to a hamstring injury his first day at practice in September, forcing him to miss the first four games of the regular season.

He credited nose tackle Brandon Mebane for making the transition from college to the NFL easier. Mebane suffered a torn biceps two weeks ago in a loss against the Miami Dolphins and is done for the year.

The Colts have been ranked 20th or lower on defense in four of coach Chuck Pagano’s five seasons

The makeup of the Colts via the draft and free agency can rightfully be questioned. Those questionable/bad moves were detailed in an article by ESPN’s Bill Barnwell last month.

“You look at them today, it’s critical to have Scott Stevens Authentic Jersey a quarterback that in many ways can cover up a lot of the deficiencies if he’s special, which Andrew is. But if you’re going to go all the way you have to have close to a complete team.””
Bill Polian, former Colts GM
That was evident when the Colts thought they had a roster good enough to win the Super Bowl in 2015 when in reality it couldn’t even win the weak AFC South without Luck.

Reggie Wayne defended Luck and questioned moves made by the front office after the Colts lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4.

Dan Meis, the architect of Staples Center, Paul Brown Stadium and Safeco Field, suggested Qualcomm could be renovated at a more inexpensive price than building a new stadium.

“I have no doubt that it can be done for less than an investment in a new stadium, and get you every bit of the amenities,” Meis told Xtra 1360 Fox Sports Radio in this interview. “And you’d capture something that no new building would have — you’d have all the history that the Chargers have there and all the history of the Super Bowls.”

However, Faulconer’s task force last year studied revamping Qualcomm and Travis Zajac Authentic Jersey came away with an estimated cost of $700 million to fix what’s broken, earthquake-proof the foundation, widen the concourse and make other upgrades.

For another $300 million, the Chargers could build a new facility. The Chargers agree with the task force’s assessment.

“It’s one of those things, I won five fights in a row and didn’t get a title shot,” Bader said. “I’m not entirely focused on going out there and getting the win, per se. When I was on my winning streak, I was fighting a certain way because I was telling myself, ‘If you’re going to get a title shot, you absolutely cannot lose.’

“Now, I’m taking more risks. I’m freed up more. It’s a fun mindset to be in. Looking back Tuomo Ruutu Authentic Jersey on it now, especially with the way people are getting title shots these days, it probably would have been better for me to throw caution to the wind. I might have lost one or two fights because of it, or I might have won two or three in a row by knockout and got a title shot already. At that point, I really changed the way I look at things.”

That hurtful end was the NL Championship Series loss to the Cubs

That hurtful end was the NL Championship Series loss to the Cubs. Appearing worn down as the postseason arrived, Seager still batted .286 in six NLCS games, but he did not have an extra-base hit and drove in just one run. Still, he was hardly the only Dodgers hitter to play below his season numbers against solid Cubs pitching.

Seager’s offseason recognition should give him a burst of energy as his offseason workout program quickly approaches. He was not only the Rookie of the Year and an MVP finalist, but he was the NL Silver Slugger winner at shortstop, the NL Players Choice Award winner for top rookie, the Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year and a member of the Topps All-Star Rookie Team.

And Seager has vowed to be even stronger moving into his second full season.

“It was a long year,” Seager said. “Next year will be a little better just because you know what to expect, stuff like that. That’s really all it was.”

An even better Seager in 2017 Matt Asiata Authentic Womens Jersey would make the Dodgers ecstatic. He was easily the club’s most consistent performer in 2016, recovering from a slow start to lead the offense early. When help finally arrived in the form of production from Justin Turner, Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson, the club was off and running at midseason.

With just one full season under his belt, Seager already has become a leader by example.

It is certainly about time that Trout won a second award. There is no credible argument that would suggest Trout isn’t the best player in his league, or that he wasn’t this year.

Look at the difference in outs. Betts made almost 100 more outs than Trout. If Trout went 0-for-49 — to match Betts’ total number of plate appearances — he’d still have generated 49 fewer outs than Betts. That’s why Trout created so many more runs compared to an average hitter.

Both guys produced amazing numbers at the plate. But only one guy did so while using so few outs. Betts’ incredible defense in right field brought his overall value closer to Trout, but Trout was still the best player in the American League. And Matt Kalil Authentic Womens Jersey the voters decided to not penalize him simply because he had worse teammates.

How do the Marlins move on without Jose Fernandez?

The day after Jose Fernandez died, Michael Hill sat down at his desk, took a deep breath and tended to his first big procedural chore as president of baseball operations for the Miami Marlins. He logged on to the Major League Baseball database, typed the word “deceased” next to Fernandez’s name and removed him from the team’s active roster.

The seven weeks since have been a blur of emptiness and obligation for Hill and Miami’s front office. The Marlins still grieve daily over the loss of Fernandez, who died Sept. 25 with two companions in a boat crash off the south Florida coast. But Hill and the executives and scouts on his watch are also conscious of their mandate to put the best possible team they can on the field for 2017. The task is exponentially more difficult without Fernandez, who was yanked from O. J. Simpson Authentic Jersey their presence without a semblance of a warning.

Here’s the thinking: The Cubs probably needed to win closer to 110 games for Maddon to win, a number that few teams have reached. The record, of course, is 116 victories. You can bet he wins Manager of the Year if the Cubs reach that win total, but even getting close might have put him over the top. So, where were there more wins to be had? How about the only Preston Brown Authentic Jersey O. J. Simpson Authentic Jersey
time they slumped all season, a stretch where talent was trumped by fatigue?

On April 30, the Cubs and Atlanta Braves were rained out. It set in motion a grueling end of the first half that included making that game up. The Cubs played 24 games in 24 days, on top of 23 of 33 on the road, to finish the first half. They were exhausted, and it showed — they went 6-15 in the final 21 games of that stretch. There is no doubt the schedule affected their play.

Under normal circumstances, it’s doubtful that the Cubs would have lost all 15 of those games. Teams slump all the time, but there is a reason why organizations have to give approval to MLB to play more than 20 consecutive days. The Cubs agreed to it in order to make up their game against the Braves, but it cost them. They even lost that makeup game, then flew overnight to Pittsburgh, only to lose the next two.

Whatever criticism Maddon received for his decision-making in the World Series obviously had no effect on the voting, which takes place before the playoffs begin. And it’s not like Maddon was in need of second-guessing throughout the regular season. He might have been slower than most wanted to move Jason Heyward down in the lineup, or perhaps he took out a starter or two earlier than expected, but that’s dwarfed by the tone he set both last year and from day one of this season. Besides, all managers are second-guessed over the course of 162 games.

Maddon’s “embrace the target” theme in spring training was a stroke of genius and set the Cubs up for their incredible start, which led to an easy regular-season finish. That finish allowed the team to rest its starters and prepare for three rounds of the playoffs. It paid off in the Cubs’ first world championship in 108 years. Maddon might not have won the award this time around, but he did plenty to keep the Cubs on top all season.

Dirk Nowitzki on Kristaps Porzingis: ‘He’s going to be a great player’

Kristaps Porzingis paid a tribute of sorts to Dirk Nowitzki in the fourth quarter of the New York Knicks’ win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday.

The school said it launched an Jonathan Ogden Youth Jersey investigation as soon as it learned of the messages, which it described as “appalling, at odds with the core values of the university, and violate team guidelines.”

Screenshots of the purported messages in a group chat were first published on Bwog, an independent, student-run blog. Many of the texts included lewd, homophobic and racially insensitive language.

The Harvard men’s soccer season was canceled after a review found the team’s practice of rating women’s soccer players on perceived Justin Tucker Youth Jersey sexual appeal was widespread.
The university did not say how long the investigation would last. A university spokeswoman said it was possible the team could compete in a couple days or this weekend, depending on the outcome of the investigation. Calls and messages left for Columbia’s wresting coach, Zach Tanelli, were not immediately returned.

Earlier this month, Harvard University suspended its men’s soccer team for the remainder of the season because of sexual comments made about members of the women’s soccer team.

A 2012 document uncovered last month by The Harvard Crimson student newspaper rated the attractiveness of recruits on the women’s team and included lewd comments about them. Members of the men’s team called it their “scouting report” and circulated it online.

“He’s feeling much better,” Fisher said during his weekly availability from the team facility late in the afternoon. “He kept saying to me over and over, ‘Coach, I just want to get back, get my mind right and get back on the field as fast as I can.’ We’re still undergoing tests. Things look encouraging.”

R.A. Dickey, Bartolo Colon give Braves bridge to future

While most MLB clubs will focus on SIERA, WHIP and FIP with their starting pitcher acquisitions this offseason, the Atlanta Braves are taking a hard tilt toward AARP.

Barely a week into the hot stove season, the Braves have made two pre-emptive strikes to fortify their rotation: On Thursday, they signed 42-year-old R.A. Dickey to a one-year, guaranteed $8 million deal with a club option for 2018. And they’ll add a fellow cardigan-sweater-wearing, “Antiques Road Show”-watching devotee to the mix when Rhett Ellison Authentic Jersey 43-year-old Bartolo Colon completes his physical exam and agrees to a guaranteed $12.5 million deal.

As teams forage for opportunities amid a woeful free-agent market, the Braves’ early flurry makes two things abundantly clear: (1) They were intent on finding protective cover for a young, developing pitching staff; and (2) they think they’re closer to fielding a winning team in 2017 than others do.

The Braves finished last in the National League East at 68-93, but they won 12 of their last 14 games, 20 of their last 30 and 24 of their last 38 after bottoming out at 45-79 on Aug. 21. The performance was encouraging enough for president of baseball operations John Hart and general manager John Coppolella to resist the temptation to acquire a big-name manager, instead opting to bring back Brian Snitker on a one-year deal with a club option for 2018.

First baseman Freddie Freeman established career highs with 34 homers and a .968 OPS and probably will finish just outside the top five in National League MVP voting. Ender Inciarte won a Gold Glove and logged 3.6 wins above replacement in center field. Shortstop Dansby Swanson looks like a player the Braves can build around, and Matt Kemp slugged .567 after the All-Star break. If Kemp can ramp up his conditioning this offseason and be less of a defensive liability in 2017, so much the better.

That pair helped the Mariners finish third in the AL in runs, the first time they ranked higher than 11th since 2007. Still, there are positions that could use an upgrade or improvement. Shortstop Ketel Marte was a disappointment in his first full season with a .287 OBP and mediocre defense as the Mariners ranked 28th in shortstop wOBA. Does GM Jerry Dipoto still believe in Marte? The Mariners also ranked 24th in OBP at first base. Adam Lind is a free agent, opening the door for Dan Vogelbach, acquired from the Cubs for Mike Montgomery. Vogelbach hit .292/.417/.505 at Triple-A, but is a poor defender and can’t run. Finally, the outfield defense ranked 27th in the majors with minus-27 Defensive Runs Saved. Nori Aoki was released (the Astros claimed him), so they’ll need a corner outfield replacement.

On the pitching side, Edwin Diaz solved Robert Blanton Authentic Jersey the closer problem that infected the team earlier in the season, but the decline of Felix Hernandez means the team now lacks an ace. Once again, they’ll be counting on James Paxton and Taijuan Walker, but those two could also become trade bait.

The Flying Dutchman fell down awkwardly after trying to block Ime Udoka’s shot

The NBA Closer is written by McHale, who loves Madness as much as the next guy but is really tired of hearing the phrase You can tell they ‘t want to go home! I mean, seriously, do the announcers need to tell us that over and over? Are there Frank Clark Authentic Jersey teams of players that DO want to go home? Anyway, when he’s not nitpicking tournament cliches, he can be found picking a peck of pickled peppers at chokes game, Stack chokes Manu. The Mavericks regurgitated a 12-point third quarter lead and not only lost to the Spurs 88, they lost Nowitzki to a left leg injury when The Flying Dutchman fell down awkwardly after trying to block Ime Udoka’s shot. Depending on whom you ask, could be out anywhere from two weeks to the rest of the. The Mavs probably be without Stackhouse for at least a game or two as well, thanks to the way he pulled Manu Ginobili to the and gave him a little Happy Easter chokehold. And while Cuban is busy waging a one-billionaire war against the blogging menace, his team is melting down faster than Chernobyl, only without the fun glow–the-dark animals and mutant babies: The Mavericks have lost three a row at home for the first time years, are 0 against winning teams since trading for Kidd, and are about two from being out of the playoffs. Speaking of J-Kidd, he pulled off a minor miracle by scoring a whopping 7 points – more than double his output from the last two – and even hitting a semi-clutch three-pointer the fourth quarter. Didn’t help, though. Tim shot like he had a 20-sided die stuck his eye but still finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Meanwhile, Ginobili was unfazed by The Strangler’s strong-arm tactics, finishing with a game-high 26 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Stack led with 19 points. and achieve mutual gratification.. winning. As of last night, this was ‘s front- headline for the Toronto game:. They said, combine for 69. Uh huh-huh-huh, huh-huh, huh. God, I’m such a 12-year-old. Anyway, Iverson scored 36, added 33, and the Nuggets actually held opponent to only 100 points and 50 percent Garry Gilliam Authentic Jersey shooting their 109 win. That’s a pretty good defensive effort for them. And actually, Kenyon ‘s crazy- defense on Bosh probably won the game for. Jamario had 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the not–mighty dinos, losers of eight of their last 10. Hey, Detroit, you can wake up. The Pistons are just one victory away from reaching the 50-win plateau for the seventh consecutive, which is almost enough to make you forget that they’re only 10 since the All- break. Last night, Detroit shot bad, defended worse, and lost to Washington 95 despite strong efforts from Rip Hamilton, McDyess, and Billups. Antawn was the Wizards’ magic with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 0 assists, and Tough Juice tossed another 17. Agent Zero update: Arenas took part the the Wizards’ morning shootaround and expected to get a little PT, but Washington’s team doctors wouldn’t clear him to play. And the Hibachi was. About hour before the game, was heard muttering, I’m not coming back this year. Then, during the game, he told, I was ready, but they went out there with a fishing pole and yanked me back. Ooookay. What, does have some kind of communicable disease or something? So much for and the Lakers owning the Warriors. The Golden State Warriors built a 26-point lead, let the Lakers back into the game, and then withstood a Kobe Bryant barrage to beat L.A. 115. Monta Ellis had 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists for the Warriors, but was Mr. Clutchtastic, out-dueling The Mamba by hitting three-pointers with 38 and 8 seconds left to cockblock the Lakers’ comeback. And while you could point to several reasons why the Lakers lost – 41 point shooting, 18 turnovers, and the fact that Ronny Turiaf kind of looks like a special needs child – the real problem was that recently said that his squad was the team to beat the West. And that’s what we like to call the stat curse. Bryant had 36 points, a -high 14 rebounds, and 8 assists, and Lamar Odom added 19 points and 22 boards for L.A.