“Simply put, Leonard Fournette is one of the most complete running backs I have ever watched live and in person, and is absolutely the textbook feature back for an NFL offense. He has the one-cut explosiveness for zone running and the power for inside gap schemes as well, and he is a true every down back — dedicated and instinctive in blitz pickup, and with soft hands to catch the ball. Like Adams, Fournette was a heartbeat player for LSU, and somebody that has lived in the spotlight since early in his high school career. He should adapt to the pro ranks very quickly.” — Read More at And the Valley Shook
A relative slump kept him out of the discussion for 2017’s top spot — a bum ankle limited him to only seven games — but he showed flashes of the potential that should make him an impact runner in the pros. He set a school record with a 284-yard, three-touchdown performance against Ole Miss in October, but gained just 173 more to close out a disappointing junior year.
That nagging injury led him to sit out the Citrus Bowl rather than risk putting his draft stock in jeopardy at the behest of head coach, Ed Orgeron. He returned from injury bigger than ever. Most of his numbers at the event underwhelmed, but that 40 time, even though it ranked 10th in position group, was impressive, given his size.
But most of those stats were from the final games of the Tide’s seasons. He only had two 100-yard games in his entire college career, despite being one of the highest-rated TE recruits ever.
So you’re probably thinking: Wait, how does a former star recruit end up having such low numbers? Well for starters, Alabama and Nick Saban don’t utilize tight ends that much. But the thing about Howard that makes him so unique is that his biggest games were on the Tide’s biggest stages.
The story of O.J. Howard’s journey from small-town Alabama to National Championship MVP.
We only have to look back at the last meeting between the Flames and Ducks to see the potential for bad blood.
It’s no surprise Matthew Tkachuk was in the middle of it all, as the rookie has made a name for himself this year as the Flames’ resident pest. Yet, Calgary is still extremely talented with Johnny Gaudreau at the helm of a young core.
The Ducks are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Experienced, grizzled veterans with a different head coach at the top to hopefully get them over the hump.
The Jazz fought and battled with the Clippers all game long and led by four points heading in the fourth quarter. They then went up went up 79-72 with 9:56 left in the 4th quarter causing the Clippers to call a timeout as the Jazz looked like they were about to pull away. Chris Paul went on a scoring fury, scoring 10 straight points for the Clippers but the Jazz held off every single the Clippers tried to make.
It was just that kind of night for the Jazz. George Hill hit this three-pointer with 0.5 seconds left in the shot clock late in the fourth because, why not?
Joe Johnson was spectacular for the Jazz all night, giving the Jazz 21 points off the bench including the buzzer-beater to finish off the Clippers.
Without Rudy Gobert, the Jazz came together for a team win in the truest sense. Johnson led the way with 21 points, Gordon Hayward finished with 19, George Hill with 16, and Derrick Favors with 15. While the Jazz wait for word on Gobert, they have plenty to be excited about after that huge win.
Outside of one scoring anomaly in December, the Ducks owned the Flames this season. Calgary was able to put up an eight-spot on the Ducks, but they were held to one goal in three of the five contests thanks to the combined efforts of John Gibson and Jonathan Bernier.
The Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants are on opposite ends of the momentum spectrum. The Packers were riding high into Week 9 at 5-2 overall with sole possession of first place atop the NFC North standings, but Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone during the first series of the game against the Chicago Bears, and the Packers proceeded to lose two straight. The Giants, meanwhile, began the season 0-6, but are currently riding a three-game winning streak and have looked better each subsequent game.
Sunday’s game is pivotal for both teams. The Packers need a win to stay in the NFC Wild Card picture and keep the Detroit Lions from pulling away in the division. The Giants can enter the playoff conversation in earnest with a win, and could pull within one game of the NFC East lead if they can get help elsewhere.
Compared to Flynn, Pryor was given an extraordinary amount of time to succeed. Then again, what’s going to happen if McGloin has a single bad game? How thin is the line for the Raiders in terms of being a “franchise QB” and being put back on the waiver wire?
It’s going to have to be something that Dennis Allen figures out soon if he wants to become the first guy since Jon Gruden to make it to his third full season as the head coach in Oakland.
An offense that had consistently relied on Schaub’s arm to create vertical opportunities found itself bereft, and the Texans’ run game faced more determined opposition from opponents who didn’t fear getting punished over the top. Case Keenum has been a breath of fresh air for the Texans’ offense — and for Andre Johnson’s Fantasy owners — for his willingness to simply fire the ball downfield and allow one of the league’s elite receivers to make plays for him.
I watch Monday Night Football on mute. It’s not a rejection of the MNF crew: I think Mike Tirico is one of the NFL’s best play-by-play men, and Jon Gruden’s enthusiasm has at least had room to blossom since Ron Jaworski left the booth. I don’t reject Tirico/Gruder, per se; I just prefer silence while I collate the Internet ephemera that becomes this column.
But a lull in productivity led to me clicking “unmute” in the first half of Dolphins-Bucs, and this is what I got for it:
Frazer and the Vikings were on Thursday Night Football this week, so we need to briefly touch on that. Minnesota got a pair of touchdowns out of Adrian Peterson, and managed to stop Washington at the 4-yard line with just seconds remaining to hold on for a 34-27 victory. It’s the second of Minnesota’s season, so that win will be reflected in the status below.
We’ve already talked about Garrett’s Cowboys besting the Vikings. The Titans were able to get back to .500 on the season with a 28-21 victory over the St. Louis Rams, who are now 3-6 on the season. The Panthers were able to take advantage of the struggling Atlanta Falcons, and are now 5-3 on the season.
Ryan and his Jets were the most impressive on the week. They managed to down the New Orleans Saints, 26-20. The Saints were 6-1 coming into the matchup, but it seems that Rex may know his brother Rob well enough to take advantage of his defensive schemes. It was a big win, and it put the Jets up to 5-4.
We’re asked to ignore all this, to consent to see the story as the arresting officer and the Kansas City media wish to show it to us — a young man, high on marijuana, driving carelessly late at night, driven by sudden hunger and diminished impulse control to pursue greasy garbage food that he almost certainly knew to be greasy garbage food. No word on why a stoned man would make a terrible decision like this.
It’s a little surprising that Pryor has to settled for a one-year, $6 million deal to prove himself. He did manage to top 1,000 yards with the Browns last year, despite a rotation of bad quarterbacks. It could be a steal for Washington, looking to fill the void left by DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon’s departure … assuming the organizational dysfunction doesn’t spill over to the field.
Patterson wants a role in the offense, and he’ll get it as a third or fourth receiver in a productive offense. Also, think about those trick plays the Raiders can run with him. More importantly, Oakland gets one of the best return men in the NFL.
There just wasn’t any room on the depth chart in Denver for Webster to get his snaps. He’ll get plenty of them with the Rams who are desperate for cornerback help. At two years, $8 million, it’s the kind of low key signing that can turn out to be the best kind in free agency.
If you don’t know yet, the biggest reason for that is the play of N’Golo Kante. He didn’t win either of the major Premier League player of the year awards last season, and it’ll be a crime if he’s shut out again this time around. He finished this game with 89 percent passing and 63 completed passes, 16 more than next-best Chelsea midfielder or attacker. His seven tackles were three more than the next best player, and he had three interceptions to boot.
With Kante in midfield, Chelsea is not going to slip up enough times for Spurs or City to catch them. He’s too dominant and too consistent. If you want excitement, you’ll have to focus on the top-four race. The title race is over.
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“What is our idea about what games are?” he asked. “It’s going to sound a little strange at first. It’s that games are a platform for maximizing productivity for gamers, and goods and services for other people. There’s, like, no use of the word ‘fun’ in there.”
He elaborated: “You start to see this thing happening in lots of games where you have markets and auction houses, and trades in goods between different customers. And the appalling thing that happens is that someone will play your game 20 hours a week for four years, and then the value of that all goes to zero. It’s like you bought a house, made a lot of improvements on that house, and then when you move to your new house, you have to start over with no value for the investment you made.”
Suddenly, and with time on his side, there seems to be a chance A-Rod could be voted in one day. The real test case for A-Rod, though, is not the recent elections of Bud Selig — commissioner during the steroid era — or Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez — all players suspected of PED use but never proven. Or even of the gains made by Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. It’s Manny Ramirez.
Ramirez, in his first time on the ballot this year, received nearly 24 percent of the vote. He would, of course, have been a guaranteed Hall of Famer if he hadn’t twice been caught using enhancements banned by MLB.
Voters will have to decide whether there is a difference between the 2007 Mitchell Report on PEDs or involvement with the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative and being actually nabbed — and banned — during MLB’s testing period. At this point, the question cannot fully be answered.
New Orleans Saints linebacker Junior Galette has been sued by a woman who claims that he physically and emotionally abused her during their two-year relationship, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The civil lawsuit stems from an incident on Jan. 4 involving the woman, Galette and several other Saints players during which she asserts that she was a victim of sexual Deacon Jones Youth Jersey assault.
The woman accuses the linebacker of “false imprisonment and human trafficking, virtually keeping her a prisoner, controlling her contact with others, including her mother, and checking her phone to keep tabs on her communications.” According to a petition filed by her attorney, the woman is seeking unspecified monetary damages and has requested a jury trial.
Details from the woman’s story are disturbing. She claims that Galette drugged her with “horny juice” and allowed other Saints players to grope her. The lawsuit cites five other Saints players who witnessed the incident, but does not name them. The assault charge stems from an alleged argument that turned violent, in which the woman claims Galette strangled her and ripped an earring out of her earlobe.
Minnesota also has plenty of reasons to want to move on from Peterson and the ongoing circus. Should the Vikings release Peterson, they would save $13 million in 2015 before recouping a combined $32 million over the next two years. With Peterson turning 30 years old this offseason and the upcoming NFL Draft loaded with top-tier talent at the running back position, perhaps his time in Minnesota is nearing its end.
This altercation at the Combine can’t help a situation that is quickly turning into what looks like the beginning of a messy divorce. Peterson, 29, has spent his entire career with the Vikings since they made him a first-round pick in 2007, and at one point he could claim the title of best running back in the NFL. He’s only dipped below 1,000 yards twice since he was drafted — when he had 970 yards in 12 games in 2011, and the 75 E.J. Gaines Youth Jersey yards he had in one appearance last season.
If Peterson’s camp really does have “every intention to hasten his trade or release from Minnesota,” the Vikings would be without one of the most talented running backs in the league, albeit one who comes with off-field concerns. Either way, the situation will continue to be a roller coaster until the two sides can come to an agreement about Peterson’s future.
The Patriots are tough to beat at Gillette Stadium with just three home losses over the past four seasons. One of those losses came this year with Brady serving the final game of a suspension and rookie Jacoby Brissett starting at quarterback (16-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills).
Couple that with this being a tough spot for Seattle, which is coming off a physical Monday night home victory over Buffalo and then traveling across the country for a Sunday night game, and this sets up as well as the Patriots could have hoped.
“He was reported as killed in action so he Jerick McKinnon Authentic Jersey ended up having to serve longer than he was supposed to,” Celek said. “Someone saw him and the guy thought he saw a ghost and was like ‘You’ve been reported killed in action.’ So no one had his papers, they told his family that he had died. I don’t remember how (much) longer he served, but he said guys that were coming in were leaving before him so he didn’t know it was going on. That was one of those crazy stories.”
It was those conversations with his grandfather that first piqued Celek’s interest in the military, an interest that has grown into a passion for the fifth-year NFL veteran.
Celek is the 49ers’ nominee for Jerome Simpson Authentic Jersey the 2016 USAA “Salute to Service” award for his consistent participation in activities helping the military. Finalists for that award will be announced in January, and the winner will be named at the NFL Honors show in Houston the night before the Super Bowl.
Among Celek’s recent activities are a behind-the-scenes tour of Moffett Field, an active Marine recruiting station, where he met with Marines and Air Force families living on the base. He also is a regular at Fleet Week in San Francisco, where he meets with sailors during the San Francisco tradition celebrating the naval history of the Bay Area.
All of those activities allow Celek to stay close to the military, but he’s actually long given consideration to being on the other side of those meet and greets.
Specific to the Xs and Os, safety Patrick Chung’s solid work covering tight ends should help the Patriots limit one of the Seahawks’ emerging weapons, Jimmy Graham, who dazzled on Monday night with two one-handed touchdown catches.
Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who has taken a knee during the national anthem in each of the Broncos’ first eight games this season, stood for the anthem before Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.
This is the Cardinals’ opportunity to reset their season at 3-4-1. They’re still in the playoff hunt, and a few wins would put them in the thick of the playoff picture. When the Cards return to practice Tuesday, they’ll see who’s healthy after spending more than a week resting. With five road trips over the next eight weeks, Arizona needs to be as healthy as possible.
The clamoring for rookie Jared Goff has never been louder. Literally. A Jason Verrett Jersey crowd of 86,109 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum booed Case Keenum almost every time he threw an incompletion. And near the midway mark of an eventual loss to the Panthers, loud “We want Goff!” chants broke out. Keenum wound up going 27-of-46 with an interception, and he nearly lost a fumble. But afterward, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Keenum “was not the reason we lost” and added: “I don’t think Case’s play was indicating of raising the question” for a quarterback change. He could always change his mind, though.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he’s getting more comfortable with Chip Kelly’s offense, as evidenced by his 398 passing yards Sunday. But even if Kaepernick and the offense continue to take steps forward, it’s not going to mean much if the defense Jeremiah Attaochu Jersey continues to give up more than 500 yards and 30-plus points every week. The Niners’ loss Sunday was their seventh in a row. Linebacker Eli Harold said opposing offenses are “circling” the Niners on the calendar knowing what big numbers might follow. The Niners travel to Arizona next week and play three of the next four on the road — the lone home game will be against New England. Until something changes defensively, it’s hard to find more wins for the 49ers anytime soon.
This will be one of the most hectic weeks of their season. The Seahawks host the Bills on Monday night and then face a quick turnaround before flying across the country to take on the Patriots (who are coming off a bye) in Week 10. In between, there will be plenty of talk about Super Bowl XLIX. Coach Pete Carroll implied all week that quarterback Russell Wilson has made a significant step forward in terms of getting healthy. That will be the No. 1 thing to watch against a Bills defense that is producing sacks on 8.6 percent of their opponents’ dropbacks, the best mark in the NFL.
Kelce was penalized first for unsportsmanlike conduct in protesting the no-call. He then threw a towel that was tucked into his pants at an official. For that, he was disqualified and the Chiefs received a second 15-yard penalty.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since injuring his ankle on Aug. 6 during the franchise’s mock game at Ford Field.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell declined to give a timeline on Pettigrew’s return Tuesday, saying “we’ll see” when asked if he’ll start the season on the PUP list.
“What can you expect in terms of when he’ll be ready, we’ll see,” Caldwell said. “What do you expect in terms of what he can do, he’s big, strong, he’s proven he can block you on the run game. He can catch passes for you. He’s caught a number of passes around here. He’s effective in that area and he’s a very good pass protector, so there’s certainly a lot of things he can do for us.”
The Lions got some more good news in Tuesday’s practice as receiver Golden Tate also returned to practice after sitting out both practices during the weekend.
Irvine Police Cmdr. Mike Hallinan said Monday that Marinovich was arrested Friday night after a call saying a naked man was on a hiking trail near homes. The officers found him in a backyard holding a brown bag containing marijuana and a substance that appeared to be meth but police are awaiting lab results.
He was booked for cocaine possession a month after the 1990 Sun Bowl and entered the NFL draft, where he was drafted in the first round by the then-Los Angeles Raiders.
He was released by the Raiders after two seasons for repeated drug use, cementing his legacy as one of the biggest NFL busts in history.
According to the Orange County Register, Marinovich’s rap sheet includes pleading guilty in 1997 to felony charges for cultivating marijuana.
In 2005, he was charged again with drug possession. Two years later, Marinovich was booked for felony possession of a controlled substance, unauthorized possession of a hypodermic needle and resisting arrest.
In recent years, he has focused on his arts career.