The Pelicans have won four straight

Friday provided 10 games the night before New Year¡¯s Eve. If you were out celebrating, as most were, here¡¯s what else you missed in NBA land:

When New Orleans dropped its first eight games and got off to a 2-10 start, the Pelicans plummeted down the Western Conference standings. But Jrue Holiday had more pressing matters to deal with, like doctors discovering his pregnant wife had a brain tumor.

Since 2007, the Patriots have hosted 12 playoff games, while going on the road just twice.

New England¡¯s 14-2 record is even more impressive considering it came with Brady forced to serve a four-game suspension at the beginning of the year due to DeflateGate. The Patriots went 2-0 with backup Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, and 1-1 with third-string Jacoby Brissett after Garoppolo suffered an injury.
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In Brady¡¯s return, he¡¯s been nothing short of fantastic for the Patriots. In 12 starts, Brady racked up over 3,500 yards with 28 touchdowns and two interceptions ¡ª setting the record for touchdown to interception ratio ¡ª and putting himself in legitimate contention for the NFL MVP award.

Limited Youth Ray Bourque Jersey It wasn¡¯t all Brady for the Patriots, though. No team has allowed fewer points, and New England is also in the top 10 in rushing yards and touchdowns.

The Patriots has proven year in and year out that it¡¯s a dangerous playoff contender, and the team¡¯s path to another Super Bowl goes through Gillette Stadium.

Ravens will start Jimmy Clausen vs. Seahawks in Week 14

The Baltimore Ravens will roll with Jimmy Clausen as the starter for Week 14’s home matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. Matt Schaub, who suffered a shoulder injury in the Ravens’ Week 13 loss to the Miami Dolphins, was limited in practice this week and will be inactive Sunday.

Clausen was Jay Cutler’s backup in Chicago prior to being waived by the Bears on Nov. 23 and has already faced the Seahawks once this season. The Bears lost 26-0, with Clausen going 9 of 16 for 63 total yards and zero touchdowns.

In reality, Denver ended up trying a fake field Limited Youth Pat Tillman Jersey goal that did not go well.

Ford ended up beating Stephenson for one more pressure late in the third quarter and he used the same long arm to a swat move again. I guess he figured if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and I’m not mad at him. That time Siemian had to throw the Chris Ivory Authentic Jersey ball away in Cody Latimer’s direction to avoid the sack on third-and-4, which forced Denver to punt on fourth down on the next play.

I personally felt kinda bad for Stephenson seeing as how it didn’t seem like the Broncos’ coaching staff gave him much help with Ford. Then again, they didn’t seem to account for Ford in the game plan much at all.

For instance, Ford ended up getting three more pressures on two naked bootlegs and one run/pass option where he wasn’t even blocked. Oh, and he also took down Denver running back Devontae Booker for a loss of 3 yards on a third-and-1 in the second quarter when he was unblocked as well.

This location of the linebacker, and alignment of the defense, would allow the center to slide all the way over to the left guard, knock that player over, and then the left guard can help the left tackle. However, the Chiefs and most systems, keep the center of the pocket clean first, with no help for the tackles.

The next clip is basically the same idea. The linebacker who they are working too is WAY outside the box, but the guys upfront treat it like that’s not true.

Danny Amendola active for Sunday night vs. Texans

New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola will play against the Houston Texans on Sunday. Amendola is dealing with a knee injury and was listed as questionable on the official injury report.

Amendola didn’t get much playing time earlier in the season, but with injuries to Julian Edelman and other Patriots offensive players, Amendola took on an expanded role over the past few weeks. Amendola had nine catches for 117 yards against the Buffalo Bills in Week 11.

Edelman was declared inactive for Sunday’s game.

But Amendola had to miss the Week 12 game against the Denver Broncos, an overtime loss for the Patriots. That was due to the same knee injury that had him questionable in the team’s last game against the Philadelphia Eagles, also a close loss. Amendola did manage to play in that game though, and there have been no reports of a setback.

Amendola caught seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown against the Eagles. On the year, Amendola has caught 56 passes for 582 yards and three touchdowns. New England’s depleted group of receivers has had players like Keshawn Martin and Matthew Slater getting playing time.

Derek Carr was one of the league’s best quarterbacks before a broken leg ended his season. His passer rating of 96.7, 3,933 passing yards, and a 28:6 TD:INT ratio ranked him among the NFL’s top 10 alongside future Hall of Famers like Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers.

McGloin, meanwhile, has shown up on an NFL leaderboard just once in his career — for falling on his own fumbles three times in six starts (10th in 2013). His all-time passer rating makes him the rough equivalent of 2016 Case Keenum. He’s 1-5 as a starter.

It’s difficult to translate’s McGloin’s past work with a hapless 4-12 Raiders team to his future with a dynamic 12-3 club. He’ll have all the tools he needs to succeed, but there aren’t any easy games on the schedule to allow for a tuneup. He won’t have to be Carr to help Oakland win, but he can’t be Keenum if the Raiders are going to make this rare trip to the postseason last.

Panic index: The second important player in the Raiders’ postseason equation is Khalil Mack, and he can do just about everything. If McGloin reverts to his 2013 form, why not let the uber-athletic pass rusher see how things look on the other side of the ball?

Or see what you’ve got with Big Ten champion Connor Cook, I guess. Yeah, that’s probably better.

Patriots vs. Jets 2015 live stream: Game time, TV schedule and how to watch online

The NFL postseason doesn’t officially begin until the second weekend in January. But for the New York Jets, it starts Sunday.

Kurt Coleman Authentic Jersey The 9-6 Jets are currently on the outside of the playoff picture, thanks to losing out on a tiebreaker with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall says he knows this week’s tilt against the New England Patriots will be arguably the biggest game he’s ever played.

“Yes. Absolutely,” Marshall said Tuesday, via the New York Daily News. “It¡¯s because it¡¯s the next one. Obviously it¡¯s the next one and we understand the implications attached to it. So yeah, the next couple will be the biggest games of my career.”

Marshall has never been the playoffs in his 10-year NFL career, despite being one of the league’s most productive wide receivers at times. This season, he’s recorded 1,261 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Marshall and Eric Decker have combined for 21 touchdown catches this year, which is more than any other Jets receiving duo in history.

Dontari Poe Authentic Jersey Stephen White: Honey Badger’s greatest asset, as you alluded to, is his versatility. Because he can do so many different things well it doesn’t much matter what kind of personnel the opposing offense uses. They can almost always match up well, whether dropping him in the box against multiple tight end sets or having him cover one of the opposing team’s best wide receivers in the slot vs. an empty set. If you want to send pressure, he’s a great blitzer. If you want to sit back, he can also play the deep middle with his speed and elite-level ball skills.

I don’t believe that the Cardinals, or most teams for that matter, have a guy waiting in the wings with the kind of overall skills that Mathieu possesses, which are necessary to try to duplicate his role in the defense.

Bortles played the worst game of his career against the Texans

“He believed in me, drafted me, as well as Dave and [owner] Shad [Khan], but Gus was a big part of that,” Bortles said. “He’s helped me mentally, physically, football, non-football, so any time that happens everybody feels responsible. I know I certainly do. It’s kind of a results-driven business [and] when things don’t go your way somebody’s got to take the fall and it’s usually the leader.

“It’s sad to see that happen. I wish I — and wish we — could have done more to save his job.”

Elite Kids Mitchell Schwartz Jersey Bortles played the worst game of his career against the Texans. He completed just 12 of 28 passes for 92 yards with an interception. His passer rating of 36.6 and passing yards were career lows and he was just 2-for-9 for 17 yards and an interception in the fourth quarter.

As Prescott hands off to Elliott, the quartet of Smith, Leary, Martin and Free battle in breathtaking symmetry, executing a series of nasty, relentless blocks. Smith rocks Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen and lifts him onto one leg. Free, meanwhile, mauls end Danielle Hunter and drives him halfway into the defensive backfield in a way that suggests this is personal.

Joseph, the nose tackle, manages to penetrate to the 44-yard line, but it’s not enough. Elliott makes his critical cut to the right, near the 43, and blows by in a flash, just out of Joseph’s reach.

Jack Johnson Youth Jersey A few steps ahead of Elliott, Witten crashes down the line from left to right. He’s charged with executing a kickout block on linebacker Anthony Barr that will seal the back (right) side of Elliott’s path. But after crossing the formation, Witten sees that Barr has already been taken out of the play thanks to a Jedi mind trick by Dallas offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

Falcons get Devonta Freeman in running rhythm at perfect time

Devonta Freeman wasn’t going down. No chance.

The Atlanta Falcons running back took a second-quarter handoff from Matt Ryan, shrugged off a weak, one-arm tackle attempt by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aaron Lynch, lowered his shoulder to barrel over safety Jaquiski Tartt, then didn’t even flinch as cornerback Rashard Robinson twisted his face mask. It was all part of Freeman’s remarkable 9-yard touchdown run that was an immediate response to his first fumble of the season — right at the goal line — on the preceding drive.
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Devin Taylor Authentic Jersey And Succop was short from 53 yards on the final play of regulation — but it was washed away by Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s timeout. Given a second chance, Succop found the range and lifted the Titans to a 19-17 win that improved their record to 8-6.

“I felt like I hit the first one good, and when it came up short, there was a second in my mind where I wasn’t sure if I could even reach from there,” said Succop, who played for the Chiefs from 2009 to 2013. “So on the second one, I kind of just had to throw technique out the window a little bit and really go after it and hit it as hard as I could.”

During the timeout, Succop said he re-tied the shoe on his plant foot to prepare to go at the kick extra hard.

But earlier in the fourth quarter, Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey had his offense try for a two-point conversion after Derrick Henry’s second touchdown with 3:12 remaining, rather than having Succop attempt the extra point. The Chiefs covered a play that had Marcus Mariota looking to the right flat, and he wound up with a short incompletion.

Tennessee got the ball down 17-16 and moved 40 yards in 1:07 to set up Succop’s heroics.

Reflecting on the 53-yard field goal, Succop said that if given 10 chances at the kick, “I don’t know if I could make one.”

He did, though.

Russell Wilson has a Super Bowl win to his credit and has the Seattle Seahawks in perennial contention

Chicago Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson fractured his left foot for the third time since 2015 and is out indefinitely, coach John Fox announced Friday.

“They’re still evaluating if he needs surgery,” Fox said. “It is the same basic injury [he’s suffered before]. They don’t know the exact extent, but it is re-broken and they’re still evaluating.”

Russell Wilson has a Super Bowl win to his credit and has the Seattle Seahawks in perennial contention. Andrew Luck, the No. 1 pick in 2012, can be there, provided injury and ineffectiveness around him in Indianapolis don’t take their toll.

On Sunday night at AT&T Stadium, when the Dallas Cowboys take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two more quarterbacks with the chance to be heirs to the current 30-somethings will play against each other — Dak Prescott and Jameis Winston.
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J.J. Jansen Game Jersey Winston, the No. 1 overall pick last year out of Florida State, has 8-5 Tampa Bay on a five-game winning streak and in playoff contention. Prescott has helped the Cowboys to an 11-2 record, tied with Brady’s New England Patriots for the NFL’s best.

Despite one more year of NFL experience, Winston is a year younger than the 23-year-old Prescott.

A few years ago, they met at the Manning Passing Academy.

“I like his game. He’s a great leader,” Prescott said of Winston. “It showed in college, to go undefeated and win the national championship as a freshman, you’re doing something right.”

Winston has more touchdown passes in 13 games (23) than he did last season (22). He is completing 61.7 percent of his passes, compared to just 58.3 percent a year ago. After throwing eight interceptions in the first four games this season, he has just four in the past nine games.

Most importantly, Winston has the Buccaneers in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

“At any position, but especially at the quarterback position, experience is still the best teacher,” Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter said.

Both Gobert and Hayward could still improve

GobertGobert leads the league in field-goal percentage, and he’s sniffing 70 percent at the line. He’s not worried about getting fouled any more, and when big men cross that Rubicon, they become much more confident cramming dunks.
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Opponents barely even try shooting around the basket when Gobert is on the floor, per NBA.com, and he’s (literally) the biggest reason only 19 percent of opponent 3s come from the corners — the third-lowest mark in the league. With Gobert enveloping the paint, Utah’s help defenders can stick close to shooters dotting the arc.

Game Cyrus Jones Jersey Both Gobert and Hayward could still improve. Hood could blossom into a borderline All-Star. Exum is only 21, and he can credibly guard multiple positions — and even supply some emergency rim protection:

That’s not ideal timing, since Favors will be, barring an extension, on an expiring contract — and tough to trade for good return.

The new CBA could help Utah there, too. The league and union have discussed giving capped-out teams more financial flexibility in offering extensions, though it’s unclear if any such change will end up in the new deal. That would pump up Favors’ trade value, since any team trading for him — or anyone else on an expiring contract — would have a better chance at locking him up long-term before he hits the market. Teams with cap room (like Utah now) already have leeway in extending guys, and that should remain the case under the new CBA, sources have said.

With or without Favors, this may not be a “championship-level” nucleus in a superstar-driven league. But it could be a damn good team for a long time, and sometimes funny things happen to teams who hang around the 50-win range. If enough players hit, the Jazz could turn into a version of the 2003-04 Pistons — a huge, defense-first team with a bunch of (allegedly) second-tier stars who combined to form something greater.

If you don’t have a top-10 player, maybe having five top-30 guys will do the trick. It’s certainly worth investigating, especially with players who believe so deeply in themselves. “I think we can beat anybody,” Gobert said. “Defensively, we can be the best. We are not scared of anyone.”

Dexter Fowler and Adam Eaton bring similar, notable value

It has been a busy couple of days for top-of-the-order hitters moving to NL contenders, with the St. Louis Cardinals reportedly signing free agent Dexter Fowler away from the Cubs and the Washington Nationals trading for Adam Eaton. Each ranked as a high-end outfielder in 2016. Fowler had the first 4-WAR season of his career. Eaton, playing right field, turned in a 6-WAR season with the help of some outstanding defensive play.

The Fowler move was a counterpunch for the Cardinals in a couple of respects. With Eaton off the board, it reduced their number of outfield options. And getting Fowler meant helping themselves while taking away a key player from a division rival.
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And though there are many difference between the two players, there are a number of ways in which the Cardinals basically got a match for Eaton (contracts notwithstanding).

But much like the guys behind Door No. 5, when it comes to the dudes behind Door No. 6, there are flaws abound. Treinen¡¯s never done it before, so it remains to be seen whether he has closer DNA. Shawn Kelley had trouble keeping the ball in the park to the tune of a 4 percent home run rate, the eighth highest among NL relievers (min. 50 innings pitched). And Glover has a five-plus ERA in all of 19 2/3 career innings.
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So where does that leave the Nationals? Well, they¡¯re no stranger to closer issues. In 2012 and 2014, they got bounced from the NLDS thanks largely to heartbreaking, late-game meltdowns by the back end of the bullpen. In 2015, they went big and acquired Jonathan Papelbon, but that didn¡¯t work out so well either. Last season, they traded for Melancon at the deadline, and although he was solid as advertised, they still got jacked up by the Dodgers in the division series.

Heading into 2017, their roster says they¡¯re the presumptive favorites to repeat as NL East champs. But for that to happen, and more importantly for them to go deep into the playoffs, they¡¯ll need a guy that can consistently close the door. But first they¡¯ll need to open the door. Only time will tell which door that is.

Bosa said he believes the Chargers can turn things around in the final four games

While Bosa, who missed the first four games of the regular season with a hamstring issue, has exceeded expectations on the field, his impressive performances have not always led to wins, as they did at Ohio State in college.

¡°You can¡¯t expect to win games when you throw them away like that,¡± Bosa said after San Diego¡¯s latest loss. ¡°On both sides of the ball we didn¡¯t make plays when we had to.¡±

While frustrated, Bosa said he believes the Chargers can turn things around in the final four games.

Game Youth Thomas Vanek Jersey ON SUNDAY NIGHTS, Thomas goes home, lies down with his wife and three kids and watches the late football games. He is happy that his children are all under the age of 4 and don’t know whether he’s won or lost. They kiss his wounds and take his mind off of the sacks and the scoreboard and the large bags of ice wrapped around his knees.

“I hope that someday the kids will think what he did for a living was pretty cool,” Annie says in an email. “But for right now they just think he wears a funny helmet and tights.”

Maybe someday, they’ll know why Thomas did this, why he kept pushing that boulder up even though it kept crashing down on him.
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“I’m hired to do a job,” he says. “They expect me to do a job, and that job requires me to get my butt up and get back to the huddle, get the play and go do it another time. And until I can’t physically get up, I’m going to do that.

“Until they pull me out of the game and say, ‘You’re not doing it well enough,’ I’m going to just keep getting up.”

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