This game would’ve been a lot closer without Thomas.


Part of the problem is that it’s hard to find good head coaches, and most of the ones hired in this cycle aren’t going to work out. Everybody wants to find the next Sean McVay, but it’s more possible than not that there is no McVay in this year’s field of candidates. (And by the way, I get why everyone wants to find the next McVay, but didn’t Jacksonville go in the exact opposite direction and win only one fewer game than the Rams? Why aren’t teams trying to find the next old-school Tom Coughlin/Doug Marrone combo to design a boot-camp-style training camp and whip their sorry groups into shape?)

It’s tough to find the right guy, but teams could do a better job of helping their chances to succeed. For instance, I disagree with the separation-of-powers Giants hiring the general manager before the coach. And I kind of disagree with the Bears firing the coach and extending the GM. I think the coach is the more important hire, and if you’re doing this, you need to make sure the coach-GM combo is in lockstep and that the coach is OK with the GM. San Francisco did this last offseason. Buffalo kind of did, too, though it took a little longer to sort it all out. Would the Giants be in a better situation now if they’d changed the coach and GM together two years ago instead of just one?

Regardless, I’ll repeat my annual sermon here about coaches. You’ll hear a lot about “defensive-minded” and “offensive-minded” head coaches, and which your team needs. It’s baloney. What your team needs, no matter which team we’re talking about, is a leader of men. An NFL head coach has to be someone who can communicate and implement his vision for how to win games, who can assess his roster and figure out a way to win with it (not turn it over to bring in only players who “fit his system”). Offense, defense, whatever … this is the head coach. It’s not easy, but it’s essential.

He only played about four minutes in the quarter, but his impact was clear. When the quarter started, the score was 91-87. Thomas sparked a 7-0 run with his playmaking to push the lead up to 100-91.

In just under a minute of play, Thomas made all three of those plays putting the game away. Obviously, it’s a small sample but it’s exactly what James and the Cavaliers wanted to see out of their All-Star point guard.

In one of The Good Life scenes, Jacinto’s character, Jason, asks Ted Danson’s character, Michael, if the Jaguars will ever win the Super Bowl. Michael responds, “Jason, I can’t predict the future. But no. They won’t.”

Should the Jags continue to rewrite history, Mande said he would be Wholesale NFL Jerseys at the Super Bowl parade. While he is happy to be wrong in this case, Mande said there’s Nike NFL Jerseys From China one prediction he figures will stick.

“We mentioned the Cleveland Browns sucking in Season One,” he said, chuckling. “I don’t expect that to change.”

It appears that both Chicago and Ottawa’s windows to win are either closed or only open a crack.


When we hear analysts refer to teams’ “window to win,” it can mean one of two things: Franchise players are in their prime or a good-not-great club has all of its best players peaking at once.

For example, the Chicago Blackhawks routinely traded their early-round draft picks at the deadline for role players while superstars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were at the height of their powers. Last season, we saw the Ottawa Senators ride a hot streak to the Eastern Conference Final — only to have a predictable slide backward this season.

And once that window slams shut, it’s rebuilding time.

At the end of last season, the Los Angeles Kings’ window looked like it was closed, locked and boarded up. They finished 2016-17 with 86 standings points and scored the fourth fewest even-strength goals in the NHL behind three franchises building from scratch (Colorado, New Jersey, Buffalo).

Lacking the cap room to make a big free-agent splash and with few exciting prospects coming through the system, the Kings seemed to be on the cusp of fading to the back of the Pacific Division.

The Celtics are hoping that Marc Gasol and Mike Conley will be past their primes by 2019. If the Grizzlies pick in the top eight then, the pick becomes top-six protected in 2020 and completely unprotected in 2021.

This trade was one of the more puzzling ones from the 2016 draft. The Celtics traded Deyonta Davis (the No. 31 pick) and the rights to the No. 35 overall pick (someone named Rade Zagorac) to Memphis for a top-14 protected first round pick in 2019.

The Grizzlies got this pick when the Clippers traded Lance Stephenson for Jeff Green in Feb. 2016. Jeff Green: the gift that keeps on giving.

One thing about the Steelers: They tend to play much closer games than they should. Based on talent alone, they probably are the NFL’s most skilled squad.

Here comes Jacksonville, following an offensive stinker in beating outmanned Buffalo. Logic says this should be a rout.

Forget logic and remember that Ben Roethlisberger was so victimized in a MLB Jerseys China 30-9 Week 5 loss to the Jaguars that he had one of the worst games of his career.

There’s also the Antonio Brown factor: How healthy is the unanimous All-Pro receiver, who was injured in Week 15?

Jacksonville has a staunch defense with a terrific pass rush, too. Its New Nike NFL Jerseys secondary is among the league’s best.

It doesn’t happen all the time, which is what makes it so great when it does.


Sports are at their best when they remind us we don’t know what to expect. Remember next year, if your team enters Week 17 with a 13 percent chance of making the playoffs as the Bills did Sunday: As long as that percentage is above zero, it’s worth watching. Just in case.

Of the 12 playoff teams this year, eight were not in the playoffs last year, including all four NFC division winners. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that ties for the most new playoff teams from one season to the next since the NFL went to a 12-team playoff format in 1990 (there were also eight new playoff teams in 2003). It’s the first time since the league expanded to eight divisions in 2002 that one conference had four division champions that weren’t playoff teams the year before.

And this isn’t a parity-means-mediocrity issue, either. Five of the six NFC playoff teams won at least 11 games, and the sixth was last year’s conference champion. These are high-quality teams and a field from which it’s tough to predict a winner. (I think I’m taking the New Orleans Saints, for example, but their first game is against a team they already beat twice, and it’s hard to beat the same team three times, so how the heck do I know?)

Roethlisberger’s thrown multiple touchdown passes in seven straight games and the Steelers ended the season with a 9-1 sprint, the lone setback a loss to New England on Dec. 17 in which his only mistake came on a poorly executed fake spike that resulted in a game-ending pick.

What’s working? Nearly everything.

Having two of the top skill position players in the league in wide NFL Jerseys Cheap receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell helps. So does the continued Wholesale NFL Jerseys China evolution of rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant’s immersion into the offense following an ill-advised trade demand.

Yet Pittsburgh’s offense will only go as far over the next month as Roethlisberger can take it. Though he downplayed looking for payback after the Jaguars shut him down in ways that few teams have in recent years, not everyone is buying it.

The Timberwolves have now lost a couple games in a row and three of their last five.


Not so much. See, while the proliferation of calculated win probabilities as part of football analysis can be helpful and make for cool-looking graphs (like the wild one above), it also can lead to fan complacency. That 97 percent is a comforting number, but what it means is that, three times out of a hundred, the outcome is not the one it appears to ensure. Three times out of a hundred isn’t impossible. It’s not even all that crazy. By rights, the Ravens should have been fine Sunday. But that ball isn’t round, and sometimes it bounces funny.

The stunning turnaround at the end of the Bengals-Ravens game, as Bills players and the city of Buffalo watched with what they well knew was the slimmest of hope, is a reminder of why we watch these games. Sports are at their best not when they confirm our expectations, but when they reset them. We watch these games to be dazzled, and Andy Dalton’s 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd on fourth-and-12 with 44 seconds left in the season was the “oh my God” moment of Week 17.

If somebody had told you right before that play that there was a 3 percent chance the Bengals were scoring, you’d have thought their estimate high. But you had to watch, just in case. That play, that moment, were the answer to, “In case of what?” If you’re a Bills fan, it was the best kind of unexpected joy. If you were a Ravens fan, it was that familiar kind of sports-inflicted pain. If you didn’t care who won but were just watching to see something amazing, you got your reward.

It’s harder to get points against the Boston Celtics than any other team in the Baseball Jerseys league, but still, the Minnesota Timberwolves made scoring look absolutely painful on Friday in a 91-84 defeat. It was the fewest points that Minnesota` scored in a game all season, and it came Wholesale NFL Jerseys Supply with 37-percent shooting from the field.

It’s not a concerning trend in an up-and-down NBA season, but Minnesota still isn’t making their basketball look easy. Sometimes, their three-headed blend of Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler, and Andrew Wiggins looks divine, but just as often, like Friday, it looks like it still isn’t fitting together well.

Against Boston, Towns recorded his fourth 20-20 game with 25 points and a monstrous 23 rebounds. However, Butler and Wiggins both shot 3-of-12 from the field, a continuation of Wiggins’ worst season as a pro. He’s averaging slightly more points on a slightly lower field goal percentage than his rookie year, while his rebounding and assists are both down. The former No. 1 draft pick’s inability to consistently hit outside shots continues to hurt him, especially with another isolation-heavy wing joining him.

He’ll have to prove he can make that throw to truly give NFL teams something to drool over.


Bobby Wagner, LB, Seattle Seahawks: Wagner exited the game during the third quarter because of a hamstring injury and was declared questionable to return. The Jaguars subsequently scored two touchdowns with Wagner sidelined.

Josh McCown, QB, New York Jets: After an apparent back injury knocked McCown out briefly earlier in the game, the QB suffered a left hand or wrist injury during the third quarter and was taken back to the locker room for further evaluation. He was declared questionable to return and replaced in the lineup by Bryce Petty. He was later downgraded to out with a broken left hand.

Finally for Lock, he has not shown repeatedly an ability to throw the types of NFL throws scouts look for like the 18-yard out to the far hash, or the 14-yard dig that takes as much guts as arm strength to deliver at the NFL level. That’s not to say he can’t do that, but he hasn’t been seen doing it yet.

“I had to grow and learn that maybe there were reasons why I shouldn’t be in,” Morris said. “I didn’t grow up learning the analytics that are in the game today. None of it was part of it. I always found it puzzling to wonder why I’m being judged on a criteria that didn’t even exist when we played.”

Morris was already in Orlando when he received the call Sunday that he’d finally made the Hall. Because the announcement was going to be broadcast nationally, he was asked to keep the information to himself for another half hour after he got the news. He lasted about 10 minutes.

After last Sunday’s win over the Browns, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers Basketball Jerseys Custom took a moment to reflect upon how far his team has come since a disastrous 0-4 start.

“I didn’t know 6-6 could feel that good,” Rivers said in his Cheap NFL Jerseys China postgame news conference.

I don’t think I need to be more stronger.


Leonard had a monster game in South Carolina State’s 35-14 win over Morgan State, finishing with 18 tackles, one TFL, two INTs and a pass breakup. A redshirt senior, he finished sixth in the FCS in tackles (124) in 2016. He’s had some trouble keeping weight on, which could be an issue in the NFL, but I see him as a special teams contributor and potential starter down the road.

After Washington was eliminated, management publicly challenged the face of the franchise. “I think [Ovechkin is] going to have to think of ways he can evolve into a player that still has a major impact on the game,” MacLellan told reporters in May.

Ovechkin took to heart the challenge to train differently and add more speed to his game. “I started working out a little earlier, working out in the morning,” he says. “I was running more. I was not lifting weights. I’m a pretty heavy guy.”

Ovechkin was listed at 239 pounds last year, and he reported lighter to training camp, although his weight tends to fluctuate. Regardless, Kuznetsov says, “He looks leaner.”

“Something as simple as a cold could put her in the hospital,” Truex said. “It’s not worth the risk. So staying home, [she] watched it on TV, just hanging out with her mom and Cheap Cycling Jerseys her family relaxing.

“It was cool to see her tweet.”

It was as much an improbable victory as a driver could Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Online earn, as Truex notched his sixth win in 30 races this year. The race dodged the heavy rain predicted for the area as it stayed west.

Hill accounts for 5 TDs, unbeaten Columbia tops Marist 41-17


Anders Hill threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more, and Columbia rolled to a 41-17 win over Marist on Saturday for its best start in 21 years.

Hill was 23 of 33 for 350 yards and did all his scoring damage in the first half when the Lions (4-0), who won their first six games in 1996, opened a 38-0 lead. The win was Columbia’s largest since beating Princeton 42-14 in 2010.

Lanning completed 2 of 3 passes for 25 yards and carried Cheap Jerseys the ball nine times for 35 yards in Iowa State’s 38-31 win. He also threw a key block that allowed David Montgomery to spring loose for a 46-yard reception off a screen play, in which Montgomery reversed field.

On defense, Lanning had eight tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.

“It was fun,” Lanning said. “Coming into an atmosphere like this, you can’t Hockey Jerseys Cheap ask for anything better, especially playing both ways. … I can’t say enough about my teammates and what they did to help me out. It was a lot of stuff going on for me. I didn’t have my best game defensively, but we got the win.”

Lanning played quarterback last season before transitioning to inside linebacker during the offseason after Park won the job.

Entering Saturday’s game, he was second in the Big 12 with 46 tackles.

As he continues to tinker with his team’s lineup — the Demers acquisition was the 17th personnel addition the Coyotes made this offseason — Chayka realizes that a GM’s job doesn’t cease once the season begins. Even on this night, a meaningless preseason game, he continued to analyze Arizona’s every move and figure out ways the players could improve.

“I think you always try to find something to work on. The reality is a lot of times the end result might work out, but the process isn’t what you’d like it to be,” Chayka said. “Sometimes that’s hockey. Sometimes guys make the wrong play, but they’re skilled enough to get away with it.”

NFL Week 4 in five tweets


Week 4 of the NFL season arrives with the Chiefs and Falcons as the lone unbeatens remaining.

But there are five, count ’em, winless teams after three weeks — the Bengals, Browns, Chargers, Giants and 49ers — so there’s that.

There are some interesting matchups, team and individuals, those Cheap Jerseys Shop looking to break in, break through or merely bounce back.

The Panthers’ controversial 24-20 victory in 2013 left the Patriots upset over a no-call on what appeared to be pass interference in the end zone with three seconds remaining. The way the Panthers offense has played so far, it’s unlikely Sunday’s game comes down to the final play.

Trevathan apologized after the game and said he would reach out to Adams.

“Hopefully they see it wasn’t intentional. I was just trying to make a play,” Trevathan told reporters. “My main concern is he’s OK. You never wish that on nobody.”

But that probably won’t help him avoid NFL discipline as the league already is investigating the devastating blow, according to NFL Network.

The networks did not show instances of NFL fans booing or screaming at Cheap Jerseys Team protesting players. When ESPN showed the live playing of the anthem before the Cowboys’ 28-17 win over the Cardinals on MNF last week, play-by-play announcer Sean McDonagh noted fans were booing, but ESPN didn’t show them. Said McDonagh: “God Bless America.”

But with the league seemingly trying to put protests during the national anthem in the rear-view mirror, ESPN will return to its normal coverage strategy this week.

Peterson was adamant that there was nothing simmering between him and his new coach


Martellus Bennett, Michael’s brother, stood at the far end of the Packers bench with his right fist in the air, while Ha Ha Clinton-Dix helped hold the giant flag at midfield. Bennett said earlier this week that he wasn’t sure whether he would make any kind of protest during the national anthem after news of Michael’s incident with police became public.

“That’s a sign of unity with my brother. That’s something I’ve done in the past, when I was with the Patriots last year,” Martellus said after game. “For me it’s a sign of unity to let the world know that I see what’s going on and it’s not going unnoticed. I’m doing what I can to help too, just letting people know that hey, I’m behind you, I’m behind my brother. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world and the community and that I do support and I am working things to make it better. Not much more than that, just a statement to say, hey I’m with you.”

Payton, meanwhile, said he didn’t recall any sort of heated exchange with Peterson on the sideline and credited him for being into the game.

“Listen, I’ll tell you if we were in a heated exchange,” Payton said. “… None that I can recall, and I am being honest.”

Peterson was adamant that there was nothing simmering between him and his new coach, who was seen turning around and replying to the seven-time Pro Bowl running back before continuing to walk down the sideline.

Imagine the reaction if white stars like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots, or Alex Smith and Travis Kelce of the Chiefs, support Kaepernick in front of millions Cheap Hockey Jerseys Custom of TV viewers. Although Kaepernick is still out of a job, his movement has been picking up steam.

A dozen members of the Browns, including one white player, knelt during the national Cheap Hockey Practice Jerseys anthem prior to an exhibition against the Giants last month. Unlike last season, more white players, such as Chris Long of the Eagles and Justin Britt of the Seahawks, have been supporting black teammates who choose to protest.

The East was highlighted by Jones’ 24 points and nine rebounds along with Atlanta’s Clarendon


“That’s just Maya,” said Coach Reeve. “She only knows one way, whether it’s an All-Star Game or whether it’s Game 5 of The Finals. That’s what makes her really, really special.”

Another standout for the West was Nneka Ogwumike, who posted 22 points and seven rebounds. Well-acquainted with all-star appearances, Taurasi finished the day with 12 points.

The East was highlighted by Jones’ 24 points and nine rebounds along with Atlanta’s Clarendon, who put the basketball world on notice that there is a wave of capable young guards ready to take over when the likes of Bird and Lindsay Whalen decide to hang it up. Clarendon had 14 points, and her 10 assists mark the most ever dishes in an all-star debut.

Irving eventually decided to agree to the max extension Cheap NCAA Jerseys Cleveland offered. At the time, it looked like he would be the face of the franchise for the duration of his contract.

Things changed when James made the decision to go back to Cleveland. James announced his intentions to sign with the Cavs on July 11. Suddenly, Irving was reduced to a sidekick.

Irving reportedly wasn’t happy in Cleveland while playing under his rookie contract. When he signed the extension, he was led to believe the Cavs were building around Cheap NFL Jerseys Nike him. That promise never was fulfilled because James came aboard.

The most attractive centers available are inherently less attractive because of how the game is played. Noel can’t shoot, pass, or really score. He’s an ace defender and rim protector, but he’s a totally lopsided player. Gasol, meanwhile, can pass and score, but he is an entirely inflexible and doomed defender at this point in his career.

As the league moves closer and closer to positionless basketball, teams are opting for smaller big men who may not be able to block shots like Noel or post up like Gasol but who can offer just a bit more flexibility on the court.