Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie decided to fire Chip Kelly

Elite Youth Mikko Koivu Jersey The drama may not be over in New Orleans, but the team will rightly be in Payton’s hands for the foreseeable future.
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Less than one year after giving Chip Kelly total control over football operations, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie decided to fire him. The case can be made that Kelly deserved to be relieved of his GM duties after a disastrous offseason that featured him parting ways with LeSean McCoy, spending gobs of money on DeMarco Murray and bringing in Sam Bradford as his franchise quarterback.

But as a head coach, Kelly compiled a 26-21 record in Philadelphia. He deserved more time to implement his program.

Sunday’s early game is a regular season rematch between the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings won their first division title since 2009, finally breaking the Green Bay Packers’ long reign. The Seahawks had a rough 2-4 start to the year but dominated down the stretch and are expected to get Marshawn Lynch back this week. When these teams met in Week 13, Seattle ran Minnesota off the field, 38-7. The Seahawks are a unanimous pick to get their second win over the Vikings this year.

There’s another split game in the late Sunday game between the Green Bay Packers and Washington. Green Bay is limping into the postseason with a 4-6 finish after starting the season 6-0.

The offense has taken several steps back and Aaron Rodgers isn’t looking like his usual self. Meanwhile, Washington is riding high on a four-game winning streak, winning the NFC East in Week 16 (which is an accomplishment in the NFC East this year). Kirk Cousins defied all expectations, breaking several franchise passing records this season. Will he keep his mojo going and get Washington its first playoff win since 2005? Four of our writers think so, while the other four pick Green Bay.

Wade Davis brings historically great numbers, fastball to Cubs

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The Chicago Cubs on Wednesday traded Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for one of the most dominant relief pitchers in baseball: Wade Davis.

Davis is the only pitcher in MLB history to have multiple seasons with at least 50 innings pitched and an ERA of 1.00 or lower. He accomplished that in 2014 and 2015.

Chicago¡¯s new closer owns the lowest ERA in MLB history as a reliever among all pitchers with at least 250 career innings in relief (1.51). He has faced 706 batters the past three seasons and allowed three home runs.

Authentic Mens Orlando Pace Jersey Since becoming a full-time reliever three years ago, Davis leads all pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched in ERA and opponent OPS.

The Cubs are going to have one of the best fastballs in baseball at the back end of their bullpen in 2016.

Davis has allowed an opponent batting average of .160 in at-bats ending with fastballs over the last three seasons. That¡¯s the lowest mark out of the 289 pitchers who have finished off at least 400 batters with some variation of a fastball.

Hitters have missed on 29 percent of swings against Davis¡¯ fastball since 2014, the seventh-highest rate in the league.

The Cubs, the current favorite to win the World Series, obtained a reliever with a great postseason r¨¦sum¨¦. Davis is 4-0 with four saves and a 0.84 ERA in 32 1/3 postseason innings pitched. He was on the mound for the final out of the 2015 World Series against the New York Mets.

Pitch-framing is a skill that teams have increasingly sought and paid for, and more and more, teams give evaluation demerits to catchers who don¡¯t rate highly. Matt Wieters is seemingly one catcher who has been hurt by this, after finishing low in these metrics.

Would you go so far as to call this a bad QB class, Todd?

Kiper: There’s really only one guy right now, and he might not even enter the draft. That’s North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, a fourth-year junior who is in his first season as the starter. Trubisky has thrown 28 touchdown passes to only four interceptions, but he’s still green — with another year of seasoning, he could be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft. He’s not ready to play right away in the NFL.

I don’t see any other first-rounders in the group. Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, a third-year sophomore, has to go back to school. Clemson’s Deshaun Watson has taken a step back this season. Underclassmen Luke Falk and Patrick Mahomes could use another year in school, and they don’t project as first-rounders.

I wouldn’t say it’s likely, but there’s a chance no quarterback goes in the first round. The last time that happened was 1996.

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It used to be that Sundays and Mondays were the worst days for Thomas because the biggest pain he felt was from the losing. Now that he’s 32, Tuesdays by far are the hardest. All of his joints ache. His shoulders hurt so badly that it feels as if he’s been hit by a car. Tuesdays are off-days, so the loss is still smacking him in the face, too.

But by Wednesday, when the team meets for practice, Thomas is reinvigorated. He’s ready to prepare for the next opponent. For nearly 10 years, he’s always believed the same thing: The Browns will beat their next opponent.

Thomas’ unbroken snap streak has survived six head coaches and 18 starting quarterbacks.

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NFL playoffs 2016, AFC wild card live stream: How to watch Steelers vs. Bengals online

The Cincinnati Bengals will play host to a familiar foe on Saturday in the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers. The two teams fought all season for control of the division and a spot in the postseason, and in the end Cincinnati ended up with the third seed, so they get the home game for Saturday’s wild card playoff game.

Game Kids Courtney Upshaw Jersey While the Bengals obviously want as many home games as possible, it’s worth noting that they split the season series against Pittsburgh, beating them on the road in Week 8 but losing at home in Week 14.

It’s unclear if Brown will be able to play for the Steelers in their Divisional round game against the Denver Broncos. Schefter notes that Burfict has already been fined a total of $69,454 for a combination of plays directed at Steelers players that the league felt warranted punishment.

Burfict has two years remaining on a contract extension he signed in 2014. It’s too early to predict what the Bengals will do moving forward, but after the debacle on Saturday night, there will be a lot of voices wanting things to change in Cincinnati.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been eye-opener for Washington. He is ranked 10th in the league in yardage for quarterbacks and tied for 12th in the league with 29 touchdowns. Fourteen other quarterbacks have thrown more interceptions than him this season, and his 101.6 rating puts him in fifth place, above guys like Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and MVP frontrunner Cam Newton.

Game Womens Theo Riddick Jersey Washington’s surprising competence this season, especially in the second half, is one of the bigger storylines of the year. Jay Gruden’s club was one of the worst teams for much of last season, and with upheaval around the quarterback situation and the preseason decision to bench Robert Griffin III, a couple of wins were the most anybody expected.

Chandler Jones required medical attention after using synthetic marijuana, per report

New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones was hospitalized Sunday morning because he had a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana, Chris Gasper of the Boston Globe reports. The Boston Herald reported Tuesday evening Jones was rushed to the hospital after he showed up to the Foxboro Police Station for an undisclosed medical emergency.

Though synthetic marijuana isn’t on the NFL’s banned Elite Youth Robert Quinn Jersey substance list, the Globe’s Ben Volin adds that Jones could still be placed in the league’s program for substance abuse. Former tight end Kellen Winslow was arrested for synthetic marijuana possession in 2014 but never faced a suspension.

Shortly after the Herald’s report was published, the Patriots released a statement that says Jones reported to the facility on time Monday morning and has been present at all meetings and practices since then.

According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, Robinson’s willingness to keep Mularkey Garry Gilliam Elite Jersey factored into the Titans’ decision to hire him.

Chip Kelly was interested in bringing Robinson to Philadelphia last season, but an interview request was declined by the Bucs, according to Pro Football Talk. Kelly is now a free agent and could be interested in reuniting with quarterback Marcus Mariota, who played for him at Oregon.

That said, it’s unclear how much say Robinson will have in the Titan’s search for a head coach. According to the Tennessean, the Titans will have a four-person interview committee which will included owner Amy Adams Strunk, co-owner Kenneth Adams IV, president and CEO Steve Underwood and Vin Marino, the team’s vice president of football administration.

Robinson will replace Ruston Webster, who was fired in January after four years with the Titans. He’ll take over a Titans team that finished the season 3-13, tied for the worst record in the NFL, and has gone 5-27 over the past two years. The Titans, however, own the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft and also have last year’s No. 2 pick, Mariota, on the roster.

Can the Seattle Seahawks protect Russell Wilson versus the Carolina Panthers?

The Steelers are 6.5-point favorites at home.

Can the Seattle Seahawks protect Russell Wilson versus the Carolina Panthers?

In Seattle’s Week 12 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Wilson was sacked six times and hit 11 more as the offense managed just one field goal in 11 offensive possessions. It was the third time this season the Seahawks failed to produce an offensive touchdown.

Per OverTheCap.com, the Seahawks currently have $6.29 million committed to the offensive linemen on their roster, the lowest amount of any NFL team. No one else is below $13.9 million.
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Will Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers make up ground in the NFC North? Rodgers is coming off a brilliant Week 12 performance and will look to get the Packers (5-6) back to .500 with a win over the visiting Houston Texans.

Green Bay got cornerback Damarious Randall back from injury last week. According to ESPN Stats & Info, when the Packers have had Randall, Morgan Burnett, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Quinten Rollins on the field together, they’ve allowed a Total QBR of 57.5. Without all four healthy, they’ve been at 79.3.

That’s bad news for Brock Osweiler and a Texans passing offense that ranks last in the NFL in efficiency.

A Packers victory combined with a Detroit Lions loss would put Green Bay one game out of a first-place tie.

The Packers are 6-point favorites at home.

That includes former Oakland Raiders right tackle Lincoln Kennedy, who now works games as the team’s radio sideline reporter.
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It was in Week 9 of the 1999 season when Rich Gannon, in his first season with the Raiders, played through a similar, if not as well-known, injury that endeared the first-year Oakland quarterback to his teammates and then-coach Jon Gruden.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr suffered a dislocated finger in Week 12.

Defensive lineman Michael Bennett grabbed him a few moments

He has spent the past day spreading news of his engagement to friends and family in Norfolk, Virginia, reminiscing with them about a time when this kind of self-confidence and contentedness felt far away. The “old Kam,” as he calls his younger self, was shy and sometimes insecure while growing up in a housing project in Norfolk, where he was targeted by neighborhood bullies because his skin was too dark, his lips too chapped, his shoes tattered and his cornrows frayed. He also had a single mother whom many knew because of her transportation jobs. She drove a dump truck, delivered a newspaper, drove a bus and ran the trolley — sometimes working three jobs at once to support six children she was raising alone. “Everything bad people could say about a family that was struggling, I heard it,” Chancellor says.

Game Karl Malone Jersey But he was also a natural athlete, and by junior high he had become one of the city’s best basketball and football players. He was quiet and disciplined, setting his alarm for 6 a.m. summer workouts, and over time his peers began to credit his success less to ability than to work ethic.
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Remember, the Titans spent their first-round pick in 2016 on offensive lineman Jack Conklin. They then added the downhill style of running back Derrick Henry in the second round, and they traded for DeMarco Murray. This team was building to control the line of scrimmage and pound the ball. I understand that with a young quarterback, and it’s the same style of football that is playing out in Dallas this season with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. Controlled tempo, physicality and a game plan that can facilitate more manageable production at the quarterback position.

However, when looking at the receiver position in Tennessee, I don’t see a group that has to be consistently accounted for from a defensive game plan perspective. Yes, tight end Delanie Walker can create matchups, especially in the red zone. And I know wide receiver Rishard Matthews has elevated his game this season. But the Titans lack a consistent deep-ball threat (or deep-ball speed), and they don’t have a true No. 1 like Dez Bryant.

Instead, they have a group that is being elevated by Mariota’s development within the system. From his anticipation to deliver the ball into tight windows to his ability to quickly read and diagnose coverages, Mariota is attacking NFL defenses like an experienced veteran.

Bradford’s health isn’t going to entice teams to throw a bunch of draft capital at the Rams

Keim has also scored a pretty significant win this offseason as well: restructuring the contract of wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Though the wide receiver will surely go down in history as one of the greatest players to ever wear a Cardinals uniform, there was some thought that the team would be forced to release him due to cap concerns. But just when those rumors were really starting to pick up steam, Keim announced at the NFL Scouting Combine that Fitzgerald’s deal was done and that the team had freed up around $13 Chris Wondolowski Authentic Womens Jersey million in salary cap space.

A lot has been written lately about my future. There are questions about my age, and what I have left in the tank. Of that, I will simply say this. For the first nine years of my career, I was used like a battering ram, punishing opposing defense over four quarters of a game. Maybe you stopped me the first five times I got the ball, but by the 15th or 20th time I got it, late in a game — let’s just say you were really feeling me at that point.

Veteran offensive lineman Michael Roos announced his retirement on Thursday via the Tennessee Titans’ official website. Roos earned a Pro Bowl selection and All-Pro honors in 2008. In 2009, he was part of the successful line that paved the way for running back Chris Johnson’s 2,000-yard season.

The Titans drafted Roos in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Eastern Washington and he started a total of 148 games. An emergency appendectomy in 2012 halted his streak of 119 straight games started to begin his career.

“I’m excited to begin the rest of my life, and I am grateful to do so now, while I am fully healthy,” Roos Claudio Reyna Authentic Womens Jersey said via TitansOnline.com. “Thank you Titans fans for your support all these years. Cheers!”

The Philadelphia Eagles released guard Todd Herremans, who was one of the longest-tenured players on the existing roster, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan. The 2005 fourth-round selection started 124 games in 12 seasons with the team. He was healthy until Week 8 of the 2014 season before a torn biceps caused him to play injured in Week 9 and eventually sit out the remainder of the season. The move will save Philadelphia roughly $2.8 million in cap space.

The Lakers have enjoyed a massive leap in pace

I’ve added Murray in several deeper leagues (of at least 12 teams) with the hope he can emerge as a shooting specialist as a rookie and eventually evolve into a valuable combo guard in similar fashion to the career arc Brandon Roy enjoyed. Owned in just 11 percent of ESPN leagues, speculating if this is the start of a breakout trend for the professional freshman costs only a roster Parker Ehinger Authentic Womens Jersey spot at this point.

In terms of a veteran shooting specialist who shouldn’t have any problems sustaining minutes and 3-point production this season, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Nick Young is enjoying a revival to his best days with the Wizards. In fact, we can even deem Young’s impressive shooting prowess a breakout of sorts, as he entered Friday tied for sixth in the league in 3-pointers made (2.6 average) with Damian Lillard and Zach LaVine thanks to rare shooting freedom in Luke Walton’s reenergized scheme.

Carlisle on Barnes’ promising start:

“It’s a totally different mindset and metabolic approach to how he’s had to deal with offense in the last four years. He’s been clear-cut the fourth option at Golden State. When you’re playing with guys like, you know, [Stephen] Curry and Thompson and [Draymond] Green, you become kind of a bottom-feeder. You’re playing off of all the attention those guys get and now he’s one of those guys for us. This is a different level of responsibility. To say you’re now sitting at the grown-ups’ table is a great understatement.

“This is as challenging as it gets. but this guy wants to be great. He wants to learn. And he wants responsibility and you can’t say that about every 24-year old in his position. … And as a coach, if you have your choice of a kind of guy you want to Phillip Gaines Authentic Womens Jersey work with who’s a young player with the opportunity to get better, I wouldn’t take anybody other than Harrison Barnes right now just because of his attitude.”

The Lakers have enjoyed a massive leap in pace — their 4.3 percent increase from last season ranks third highest in the league — while Los Angeles’ 7.9 percent uptick in offensive rating is by far the highest in the NBA from last year to this season. As ESPN’s Baxter Holmes recently wrote, “Only a few months ago, Young believed the Lakers would trade him, buy out his contract or cut him.

Going to WAR: The mystery of Robbie Ray

In late March, the Diamondbacks named Robbie Ray their fifth starter. As is the case with most fifth starters, Ray’s outlook was uncertain. He might scuffle along close to the line known Andy Lee Authentic Jersey by statheads as “replacement level,” eating innings but allowing roughly as many runs as a scrubby Triple-A understudy would. He might carry forward the gains he made in 2015 and measure out as an average or better major league starter. Or he might continue adding velocity and tweaking his repertoire and turn into something close to an ace. With baseball, who can say until it has happened?

With Ray, though, it’s hard to say even after it happened. By wins above replacement, he was worth a pitiful 0.7 wins last year, worse than Archie Bradley (the pitcher Ray beat out for the fifth starter’s job) and Chase Anderson (the pitcher Arizona traded the previous winter to help make room for Ray). On the other hand, by wins above replacement, he was worth a robust 3.0 wins last year, tied with Cole Hamels and Marco Estrada.

It puts heavy emphasis on those things a pitcher controls, then attempts to determine the pitcher’s share of responsibility for everything else. According to tests run by its creator, Jonathan Judge, it’s the most predictive pitcher-evaluation model. It’s also beyond the average fan’s ability to dive into. Why does WARP like Robbie Ray? For most of us, the answer stalls at “because WARP likes Robbie Ray.”

Who is Robbie Ray, really? In 2010, he was drafted in the 12th round by the Washington Nationals. That doesn’t do justice to his talent at the time: He signed for nearly $800,000, about what a low first-round pick might have expected.

Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt’s OPS dropped by more than 100 points in 2016, but it was still a healthy .900.

Curtis: He adds lefty bullpen depth, but is not overpowering. He had 52 K’s in Brenton Bersin Authentic Jersey 30.1 innings in the minors, but skipped Triple-A in going to the majors. He’s likely ticketed for Triple-A.