The offense has taken several steps back and Aaron Rodgers isn’t looking like his usual self

Kansas City boasts one of the league’s fiercest defenses and will be getting Justin Houston back this week. The Texans also have a strong defense, anchored by the pass-rushing combo of J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. Points could Julian Edelman Kids Jersey be at a premium in this game, which all of our human experts predict Kansas City to win. The OddsShark computer is the only one picking the Texans.

The next game on Saturday is an AFC North showdown, with the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers meeting for the third time this season. The teams split their regular season series, but under vastly different circumstances.

Oftentimes, head coaches deserve longer than three years with a team Jerick McKinnon Kids Jersey before their performance is evaluated. But the exception should be made for Mike McCoy, who’s presided over the Chargers’ fall into the abyss.

After making the playoffs in 2013 and losing in the Divisional round, San Diego has missed out on the postseason in each of the last two seasons. The Chargers finished 4-12 in 2015, their worst record since 2003.

Team president and CEO Dean Spanos recognizes the need for change, given the dismissal of six assistant coaches. On the heels of the club’s rumored move to Los Angeles, Spanos would’ve been wise to completely clean house and start anew.

It’s hard to get excited about Mike Mularkey, who now owns an 18-39 record in nearly four full seasons as an NFL head coach. The Titans need to bring on a head coach who can mentor No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota, and Mularkey isn’t that guy.

Given Mariota’s promise, several intriguing candidates may be interested in pursuing the job. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is reportedly interested in interviewing and Kelly, who was Mariota’s college coach, could be a candidate as well.

The one major negative is the Titans’ murky ownership situation, as the league is reportedly working with the team to resolve an undisclosed issue. That kind of uncertainty isn’t a good look.

Insider Jim Bowden, Britton would bring back even more value

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¡°I¡¯d at least explore it,¡± says one National League executive. ¡°They¡¯d get a pretty nice return. Probably in [Andrew Miller¡¯s] range of value.¡±

To recap, when the Yankees dealt Miller in July, they received four prospects from the Indians, two of whom were among the top 100 prospects in baseball (OF Clint Frazier and P Justus Sheffield). According to ESPN front office Insider Jim Bowden, Britton would bring back even more value: ¡°Huge return. The Miller and Chapman returns, plus one.¡±

“At the GM meetings,” another exec said, “they were openly saying that this was what they were going to do. They were ready to rebuild and change the mix. And that told me that even Jerry was on board. I’d never heard them say it before. This was the first time. They never said once, ‘We’re not trading Chris Sale.’ So this time, you had to believe they meant it.”

Yessir. They meant it, all right. And now they’ve pulled it off. But it feels so strange, after all those years of going in the other direction, that even Hahn has to admit he’s having a hard time handling all the praise he’s getting — for breaking up a team he built.

“The weird part for me,” he said Wednesday, after announcing the Sale deal, “is that we walk around here [and] you have a lot of people congratulating you. … It’s a little awkward — because we traded Chris Sale. That’s not something you feel great about.”

Yes, but if you’re going to sell, you might as well nail it. And two days into Sale-A-Thon 2016, Hahn and his front office have already proved they’ve got the hang of this. Fortunately, this time, there isn’t a white flag in sight.

Adam Henrique Jersey The funny thing is, though, that to pull this off, they had to do more than simply talk about rebuilding. They had to convince the teams they were talking with that this time, they meant it — that this time, they were on the same page, all of them: Hahn and Williams and Reinsdorf. No kidding.

Robert Griffin III took part in practice Wednesday

The Ravens are close to full strength. The only starter who is expected to miss Monday night’s game in New England is backup TE Crockett Gillmore (hamstring). Cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (back) and Tavon Young (shoulder) got banged up last Sunday, but both were on the field for Wednesday’s walkthrough.

WR A.J. Green was working on the rehab field to begin Wednesday’s practice. He has missed almost three full games with a hamstring tear and is considered week-to-week.

Kids Joe Thornton Jersey The Baltimore Ravens (at New England), Titans (versus Denver) and Pittsburgh Steelers (at Buffalo) also have huge swing games, but none of those teams have better than a 53 percent chance to win this weekend, per FPI.

Are there any franchise-changing QBs in 2017 NFL draft?

Plenty of NFL teams will need quarterbacks when the draft rolls around in April, but does this QB class have anyone to be excited about?

Who are the quarterbacks we’ll be talking about on the first night of the draft?

Eric Karabell’s latest end-of-season rankings reflect the latest injuries, future matchups and other factors for the fantasy playoffs.
But what, exactly, constitutes a favorable or unfavorable matchup?

Cairo Santos Elite Jersey That’s where this column comes in. The “Matchups Map” provides a schedule-independent method to determine strength of positional matchups using the most recent, relevant data. Check back for updated numbers each week, including matchup highlights at each position — both favorable and unfavorable — based on those statistics.

Washington still finished 17th in the league in total offense and 28th in the league in total defense

I will repeat my prediction that pressure forces Hoyer into throwing a pick to the Chiefs’ fantastic rookie corner, Marcus Peters, before the game is over. My key to victory for the Chiefs is to sack Hoyer at least four times. If they do, I believe they will win this game and it won’t be very close at all.

Spoiler, I’m pretty sure they will.
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How they got here: 1) By riding the right arm of Andy Dalton, which had never been so effective and accurate until his thumb. 2) By force-feeding the ball to A.J. Green. 3) By building one of the league’s best offensive lines. 4) By putting together a defense that finished the season No. 2 in points allowed.

Ike Davis Mens Jersey Why they’ll make the Super Bowl: They went 10-3 this season with Dalton under center and after getting his cast off this week, there’s a chance he makes it back to the lineup soon. Even with Dalton missing three games, the Bengals still managed to finish with the No. 1 offense in the league, according to Football Outsiders. Combine that attack with a stout and opportunistic defense and you have a well-rounded team without many holes.

Prediction: Same old story for the Bengals. With AJ McCarron under center, they get blown out by an explosive Steelers team in the first round.

Washington still finished 17th in the league in total offense and 28th in the league in total defense. But Cousins has thrown three or more touchdowns on five occasions this season, and he’s a wild card in the playoffs. The biggest argument against Washington, of course, is the fact that they were soundly beaten by the two playoff teams they played this year in the New England Patriots and Panthers.

Jones went on an expletive-laced rant against the referees on Instagram after the game.

The Cardinals¡¯ ¡®no risk it, no biscuit¡¯ offense could be too much for the Packers

Teams tend to take on the personality of their head coach. For the Arizona Cardinals, Bruce Arians’ “no risk it, no biscuit” motto has taken on a life of its own. On defense, they’re multiple and aggressive in their blitz schemes and coverages. On offense, they’re not afraid to push the ball downfield. Not even a little. For Arizona, the belief that fortune favors the bold shows up week in and week out, and against the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night, I expect much of the same, particularly when it comes to Carson Palmer and that high-octane offense.

The numbers on that side of the ball match up with Arians’ one-line philosophy. The Cardinals finished first in the NFL in deep passes to the middle of the field (43), Eighth in passes down the deep right sideline (51), and 15th down the deep left (44).

Asked if he believed it was the food that made him ill, Miller said: “Yeah, just the fried cheese and the ICEE at the movies. I was contemplating — it did me bad. I learned my lesson.”
Jamal Crawford Mens Jersey Yikes. Indigestion is especially troubling for Miller because the Broncos have a fart tax and he’s a frequent offender.
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So what movie was Miller seeing, anyway? You might be able to guess.

“I tried to go see ‘Star Wars,’ tried to sneak in there and go see it and it snuck up on me ¡­ yeah, it struck back. The Force struck back.”
“The Force struck back.” OK, now THAT is cheesy.

Unfortunately, the mismatch becomes clear when you compare offenses. New England is high in all categories, while the Chiefs rank 27th in the league in yardage. Alex Smith doesn’t throw for a lot of yards and Jamaal Charles is out for the season with an injury. Still, the Chiefs don’t commit many mistakes on offense and somehow, Smith has led the Chiefs to the No. 9 scoring offense in the league, surprisingly.

Smith has thrown just seven interceptions against 20 touchdowns the season, and averages just 203.2 passing yards per game. Prior to the final two weeks of the season, Smith had thrown just four interceptions but he struggles against the Raiders and Browns. Earlier in the season, he went nine consecutive games without throwing an interception. Obviously, he will need to play clean football so as not to give Brady and the Patriots more chances than they will already have.

MLB Roundup: Padres’ recent moves show accelerated rebuilding process

Tyson Ross made only one start during the 2016 season and because of the nature of his injuries, he faces much uncertainty as he moves ahead in his career. So the Padres¡¯ decision to not tender him a contract makes sense, as does their choice to trade Derek Norris, who was coming off a rough season.
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Youth Cliff Avril Jersey The moves are just the latest indications of where the Padres are headed in the next couple of years. San Diego shaved about $16 million in payroll obligation with their moves Friday, and they have exactly zero dollars committed to players under contract in 2017, other than James Shields, Melvin Upton, Jr., Jedd Gyorko, and Matt Kemp, who were dealt away during last season. Right now, the Padres have about twice as many dollars committed in payments for players they’ve dumped than they do in their own arbitration cases for players like Wil Myers.

As for replacing McCann, the Yankees have already done that with Gary Sanchez. They have Austin Romine to back up Sanchez, and Kyle Higashioka, after a strong minor league season, is waiting in the wings.

So basically, the team that contended for a wild card into relatively late September could essentially be returning — or be improved. This might allow the Yankees to vie for a playoff spot and perhaps — with the AL East potentially weaker — contend for the division.

Unlike the recent past, when the established stars, even as they aged, led the way, this 2017 team will be about the development of Sanchez, first baseman Greg Bird, Severino, Judge and others. If the Yankees are playing meaningful games in September, it will likely mean those young players are successful.

At the same time, the Yankees have added 14 prospects. As those guys grow, the Yankees will likely duck under the luxury-tax threshold after the 2018 season, which would put them in prime position to make big trades and spend heavily on what is considered perhaps the greatest free-agent class in baseball history, led by Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

That is the plan for the Yankees. They aren¡¯t canceling the next two seasons. They will try to win and should be relatively competitive. There are no guarantees they’ll play their second playoff game in five years, but there is a chance — along with a lot of hope for the future.

That thrust Nicolas Laprovittola into the starting lineup as well as Dewayne Dedmon

Popovich described Dedmon as ¡°the star of the show for all four quarters with basic, solid, discipline basketball he played on the board and blocking shots that allowed us to stay in it.¡± Dedmon finished with six points and three blocks, while Mills scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter.

Youth Derrick Rose Jersey Kawhi Leonard, left, and Patty Mills combined for 24 points in Wednesday’s fourth quarter, when the Spurs overtook the Mavericks in a 94-87 victory.

¡°He is playing great,¡± shooting guard Danny Green said. ¡°He has always played great for us, though. Hopefully he continues to play that well throughout the whole year because we are going to need that from him.¡±
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Leonard, meanwhile, knocked down just 5 of 16 shots for 21 points, inflicting the majority of his damage in the second half.

Both Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Boston big man Al Horford showered Detroit with praise for the way its offense was clicking. Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy called it Detroit’s “best offensive performance of the year,” and the Pistons — 1-8 on the road before Tuesday night — reveled in beating playoff-caliber foes on consecutive nights.

The loss spoiled another brilliant offensive outing for Isaiah Thomas, who scored a game-high 27 points for the Celtics. His most impressive moment might have been the one make that didn’t count.

The Pistons’ degree of difficulty was notably lower on most shots but that didn’t stop them from coming up with big makes every time the Celtics tried to generate some momentum.

“You have to give them credit because they hit some tough, tough shots,” Horford said. “I feel like our guys were there. The way they were shooting, there was just no room for error. We have to look at the film tonight and just see how we can be better and we can impact those shots because they had their way with us from the beginning. They just did.”

The only other area on the box score that left Stevens uncomfortable was seeing only five shots attempts for Horford, who hadn’t attempted fewer than eight in a game this season. Only 15 times in his 585-game career had Horford attempted five or fewer field goals when playing 30-plus minutes.

The Los Angeles market is attractive to both teams because of its size and built-in fan base

The Raiders have been working with the city of Oakland for over six years on their own proposal. With no public funding available, the possibilities in the East Bay are slim, at best.

The Los Angeles market is attractive to both teams because of its size George Fant Authentic Womens Jersey and built-in fan base. The Raiders called Los Angeles home as recently as 1994 while the Chargers began their existence in the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1960.

The NFL will be involved in any relocation process, no matter what teams or locations are involved. The league expects any franchise wishing to move to make a considerable attempt to build in its own market. The addition of the latest plan coupled with St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s move to build an 80,000-seat venue in nearby Inglewood is making the NFL’s return to Los Angeles seem imminent:

Exec VP Eric Grubman on LA: “Two potentially viable projects pushing ahead increases the probability that something could get done.” Huge.

More from exec VP Eric Grubman on http://t.co/iLSuC0pR8d. Key point: “This is a potentially positive development with lots more work to do.”

However, the Jets also hold the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft this April. The quarterback class is relatively weak, but there are two signal callers at the top projected to go early in Jameis Winston of Florida State and Marcus Mariota of Oregon. While many believe Winston will go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the top selection, there is debate on Mariota’s landing spot.

The GM revealed to the media during Wednesday’s press conference that the team will meet Germain Ifedi Authentic Womens Jersey with both Winston and Mariota at the combine, per Walder, and said they might select a quarterback with their first-round pick. If Maccagnan believes Mariota is the right fit, he could either hope the Heisman winner falls to No. 6 or make a minor move up to ensure the acquisition.

The Jets could also roll the dice in the second or third round and take a flier on Bryce Petty or Brett Hundley, much like former GM John Idzik did on Smith in 2013. In any case, it would appear Smith has a chance to win a camp battle.

The Red Wings’ offense still hasn’t found a groove, but next week’s four-game schedule should help

For those new to the Forecaster chart, here are some explanations: “O” (offense) and “D” (defense) matchup ratings are based upon a scale from 1 (poor matchup) to 10 (excellent matchup) and are calculated using a formula that evaluates the team’s season-to-date statistics, their performance in home/road games depending on where the game is to be played, as well as their opponents’ numbers in those Matt Moore Authentic Womens Jersey categories. The “Ratings” column lists the cumulative rating from 1-10 of that week’s offensive (“O”) and defensive (“D”) matchups.

Anaheim Ducks: We swear we are going to buy a billboard soon. Rickard Rakell needs to be owned everywhere. He’s back on the top line with Getzlaf and Corey Perry and scoring enough to make up for his lost time at the start of the season. Rakell has goals in three straight and has 11 points in 11 games this season. After a date with Carey Price to start the week, the Ducks travel through western Canada to pick on the defenses of the Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Flames. Will Rakell still be on a goal streak after next week? If he can slip one by Price, we like the odds.

Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings’ offense still hasn’t found a groove, but next week’s four-game schedule should help. The Stars, Islanders and — if they happen to catch Marc-Andre Fleury in a back-to-back set — Pittsburgh Penguins are all bottom-10 defenses for goals allowed per game. Henrik Zetterberg is being flanked by Anthony Mantha and Justin Abdelkader at the moment and his two wingers lead the team in shots this past week. But how about checking out defenseman Ryan Sproul? The rookie blueliner has five points in nine games including three on the man advantage.

If you’ve been on the fence about using the Flames’ new starting goaltender Chad Johnson, it may be now or never. Depending on how the back-to-back set is divided up this weekend, Johnson could end up starting four games next week. If he does well, you’ll probably be too late to scoop him up by the end of next week. If he does poorly, then the Flames will be looking for another answer or hoping Brian Elliott can quickly find his form.

Cam Ward’s numbers have improved, as expected given the performance of the team in front of him Michael Thomas Authentic Womens Jersey with the puck. But next week is ugly with the Rangers twice, the Boston Bruins and the Lightning. If you have another option, consider it.

Red Sox hope to win from losing

When Mookie Betts made his postseason debut last month, he did something in his very first at-bat that he hadn’t done in his final 78 regular-season plate appearances.

He struck out.

Baseball’s version of a solar Stephen Curry Authentic Jersey eclipse occurred Oct. 6, in the first inning of Game 1 of the Boston Red Sox’s ill-fated Division Series against the Cleveland Indians. Betts swung through back-to-back-to-back fastballs from Indians starter Trevor Bauer, only the 15th time in 731 plate appearances that he whiffed on three successive pitches.

Red Sox manager John Farrell reasonably chalked it up to nerves. And Betts wasn’t the only Red Sox player to come down with a case of good, old-fashioned playoff jitters. Fellow postseason first-timer Jackie Bradley Jr., a center fielder known for his booming arm with bull’s-eye accuracy, pulled two home-plate-bound throws up the first-base line.

“Now we know what to expect [in the postseason],” Betts Ted Ginn Jr Authentic Jersey said. “It’s going to be really important for the years going forward. We’ll know what to expect and how to handle adversity and how to go about the games and whatnot. It’s going to be definitely a positive.”

Said Bogaerts: “It was a great experience. A lot of pressure, but we have to learn how to control it, how to think in that moment. Just not overthinking a lot of stuff, trying to be in the moment and being focused.”

The Red Sox wouldn’t be the first team to learn how to win by losing.

Last year, the Chicago Cubs were humbled in a National League Championship Series sweep against the New York Mets in which young sluggers Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber combined to go 9-for-52 with 16 strikeouts. And Red Sox fans need not be reminded of the Aaron (Bleeping) Boone gut punch in 2003 that preceded the Curse-busting World Series exhilaration a year later.

But the comparison the Red Sox hope to follow is the Philadelphia Phillies’ recent run. Like the Sox, those Phillies were built around a strong core of position players. In 2007, in their first exposure to the playoffs, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino went 9-for-43 with 16 strikeouts while getting swept in the NLDS by the Colorado Rockies.