Category Archives: NBA Basketball News

NBA Basketball News

NFL targeting rule: What is it and some examples

Jacksonville Jaguars safety Barry Church picked up a 15-yard penalty for delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in the AFC Championship. Gronkowski was still considered defenseless because he didn’t have time to clearly become a runner.

Blindside blocks that players don’t see coming result in 15-yard penalties if it involves helmet-to-helmet contact. Like Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster’s block of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict:

And Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis’ block of Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams:

Changes also are a must defensively with the cornerback spot in disarray and lack of impact linebackers, which is a problem that hasn’t gotten fixed since around the time Spagnuolo was defensive coordinator of the 2007 Giants team that won Super Bowl 42.

“I think they’ll get that ironed out,” said Spagnuolo, who is being replaced by ex-Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher. “They’ll get some guys back healthy and a couple draft picks and free agents like everybody does.

“Hopefully, it’ll be just like we were in 2016. We were a pretty good defense two seasons ago. I think they can get back to that.”

Now in his 18th season — and probably not his last — Brady still has time to track down more records before he calls it a career. He wants to play until he’s 45, and if he does, he could rewrite the record books. Even if he plays until he’s 42 or 43, there are a few within reach.

With the wins record now under his belt, here are all the major records owned by the New England Patriots quarterback and the ones he still has a chance to topple.

It’s the NBA’s most prestigious, least scientific honor. Where do the rankings stand with seven weeks left, and what can change?

Most NBA fans can rattle off past examples of sketchy behavior by lottery-bound teams, the most common technique coming when a coach or front office executive mandates a key starter’s absence for questionable rest or an unspecified ailment.49ers_039

Sports franchises keep stadium tax break under just-passed bill

The perception among many is that the tax bill just passed by the U.S. Senate benefits the rich a lot more than it does the middle class, and lawmakers’ failure to include a provision that would have stripped fiscal relief from sports franchise owners does nothing to combat that notion.

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The Bills cornerback called out Gronkowski for tackling him while he was still on the ground in Week 13 and said it was a dirty move. The late hit gave the rookie a concussion and earned the Patriots tight end a one-game suspension, but now White is saying he doesn’t think Gronk is really a dirty player.

“As I had time to think about it, I knew that he wasn’t that type of player. We just honed in and moved on from it,” White said on SiriusXM, via the Boston Globe. “I get to see him Sunday and the best way that I can handle that situation is just try and go in there and get a big ol’ W in their stadium and help our playoff chances.

“I’m not a guy that’s going to try to do a cheap shot after the whistle or nothing. I’m going to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played and respect the game. Just like I said, going in there and winning would be the best revenge.”

The Bills ended up losing to the Patriots 23-3 on Dec. 3, but they still have a chance to earn a playoff spot. With a chance to go to the playoffs for the first time since 1999, coach Sean McDermott also wants the Gronkowski-White snafu to be dropped.packers_161_2914cbb55553b002-180x180

The Chiefs (6-4) still hold a two-game lead in the AFC West and are facing a Bills team that is also in a losing skid.

Buffalo (5-5) has lost three in a row, including last Sunday’s 54-24 loss to the Chargers. Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor did not start that game as Bills coach Sean McDermott chose to go with rookie Nathan Peterman, who then threw five interceptions in the first half as the Chargers built a 37-7 halftime lead.

The Chiefs offense can help the defense and Smith by establishing the run against the Bills, who have allowed 638 rushing yards during their three-game losing streak. Kansas City has the NFL’s 10th-ranked rushing offense led by rookie running back Kareem Hunt, who is second in the NFL with 873 yards. But Hunt hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game since Week 5 and has been held under 50 yards three times over the last five games.

Not to disparage what is unfolding as the best season Jacksonville (8-4) has enjoyed since its last playoff appearance a decade ago, but even one of the team’s best players admits he’s curious to see just how real the Jaguars are against an established winner like the Seahawks in Sunday’s matchup at EverBank Stadium.

“We’re trying to transcend into that next stage of having people actually worry about us and say, ‘That’s a good team,'” defensive tackle Malik Jackson told co-host Bill Polian and me Tuesday night on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Who better to come in here than a two-time Super Bowl team (since 2013) that’s at a high level in their confidence, that just beat the No. 1 team in the NFC (the Eagles)?

Marrone recently received a different type of thrill when he learned the Beef Checkoff and National Hot Dog and Sausage Council sent 100 Boar’s Head bologna logs to team headquarters after the coach shared his fondness for the deli meat with the media (go to 1:27 of this video) following Sunday’s 30-10 rout of the Colts.eagles_090_55ceb3351bdaba3d-180x180

The Rams are back in their old home in the Coliseum

I wouldn’t say I’m that good of a cook; my wife is good, and I like to help. We have kids — ages 8, 3 and almost 7 months — so we’re always switching it up to get them to eat. We eat at home a lot; my son has a gluten intolerance, so it’s hard to eat out sometimes. When you cook at home, you can be much more aware of the nutrition. You know exactly what is going into your food. During the summer, we eat at home every night. You can make a pretty good steak at home without spending 100 bucks.

NBC’s “Football Night in America,” the most-watched studio show in all of sports, averaged 7.359 million viewers through the first nine weeks of the 2017 season. That’s down 7.2 percent from the same period last season. CBS’ “The NFL Today” averaged 3.3 million viewers over the first nine weeks of the season, down 5.7 percent from the same stretch last year.

The Rams are back in their old home in the Coliseum; too bad this game won’t be in the old Met in Bloomington, outdoors, like in the NFL Films montages.

Elsewhere around the league (as Brent, Irv and Phyllis used to say), the Patriots and Raiders play in Mexico City, bringing back memories of playoff games past (Tuck Rule, anyone?), and the Eagles and Cowboys give us a taste of Tom Landry, Dick Vermeil, Buddy Ryan and Jimmy Johnson. If you want to throw in the Titans (formerly the Oilers) and Steelers on Thursday night, feel free, but not if you’re from Houston and hold really long grudges. Mike Renfro was inbounds, for what that’s worth.

Dallas drives into Philadelphia territory, but it stalls when Prescott overthrows a receiver on third-and-10. The Eagles will start their drive at their 10 following the punt. texans_082

Smith had his first touchdown since signing with Philadelphia on Thursday.

Well, it almost happened for the Dolphins’ Jordan Phillips, who hustled every bit of his 333-pound frame toward the end zone when he picked off Wentz:

It looked like a touchdown at first, but he was ruled out at the 2-yard line after replay. At least big guys coming up with interceptions is still fun to watch.

Smith had his first touchdown since signing with Philadelphia on Thursday. It was a beauty. Wentz heaves this one under pressure, and Smith is wide, wide open and into the end zone with ease:

What about the quarterback pointing to defenders outside the box while looking at the WR? Well that’s to let the WR know who his “hot” player is. I’m sure y’all have heard the term “hot route.” A hot route, or sight if it’s weak, is designed to get the ball out quickly during a pressure. The protectors on a certain play can only account for X amount of people. If one extra than X blitzes, that’s when a WR runs his hot route. This is what the quarterback is reminding the WR, who might not see who the center is pointing out.

Lastly, pointing is a sign that the quarterback knows what he’s doing. Lots of young quarterbacks are busy reading the defense or focusing on other things to be on the same page as the line. That’s how you get unfortunate quarterback hits, like the one Christian Hackenberg of the Jets recently took.

The most unexpected development Week 1 for the Eagles was the way their secondary stepped up when Ronald Darby left with an ankle injury. QB Kirk Cousins and WR Terrelle Pryor (6 catches, 66 yards) were kept in check, and second-year player Jalen Mills came up with a big INT. There are still many questions surrounding this CB group, particularly if Darby is down for an extended period of time, but they acquitted themselves well against Washington with help from the defensive front.steelers_123

49ers rookie Reuben Foster earns starting LB job

Reuben Foster has been named a starter by 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, according to the team’s website.

Shanahan told reporters after practice Tuesday that Foster earned the starting position at weak linebacker. However, the position can still be usurped by another linebacker should he perform better than Foster in the coming weeks.

That’s a lot to put on a team that barely finished above .500, 8-7-1, last season. But Washington, especially their franchised quarterback playing for his mega-contract and possibly entering his final season in town, have a chance to not only entertain the country often, but challenge the Cowboys and Giants for the NFC East title again.

The NFC East got a lot tougher since Washington’s last division title, in 2015, and there’s no real proof that they kept pace. They’ll find out soon enough with that opener at home against the Eagles, in Year 2 of the Pederson/Wentz era. Never mind chasing down the Cowboys and Giants, both playoff teams last year; they need to stay ahead of Philadelphia.

Whatever happens, everything will revolve around Cousins, who already has lost two crucial targets in free agency with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. He also has to break in new threats in Terrelle Pryor and oft-injured, second-year receiver Josh Doctson. The defense has to take a major leap. If it can’t, Washington will be fighting to keep out of the cellar.

Nobody will confuse this much-shorter righthander with the Big Unit, baseball’s Hall of Fame lefty. Johnson, the No. 16 overall pick by Atlanta in the 1966 draft, had the misfortune of being thrust into an expansion franchise. He went 8-28 as a starter for the Falcons, completing fewer than half of his passes (48.1) and having almost double interceptions (65) to touchdowns (34). He gets the nod over Kim McQuilken, who was terrible but for a much shorter time.dolphins_027

Cardell Hayes’ lawyers to question doctors of Will Smith’s widow before manslaughter sentencing

Racquel Smith, wife former Saints star Will Smith, leaves court in December during a trial for the man who killed her husband. Bryant Lee, for SB Nation
Two medical professionals who treated Racquel Smith, the widow of former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith, have been subpoenaed for a special hearing on March 14, an Orleans Parish court clerk confirmed.

Dr. Stephen Thon, an orthopedic surgeon at Tulane Medical Center, and Andrea Lott, an occupational therapist at the LSU Health Sciences Center, are believed to have treated Racquel Smith the night that Cardell Hayes, 29, killed her husband last April in New Orleans.

Hayes was convicted in December of attempted manslaughter of Smith, in addition to manslaughter of her husband, after she claimed several times during trial that Hayes shot her in both her legs on the night her husband was killed.

“I felt burning all through my body, and I just kind of grabbed my legs. I didn’t know where I’d been shot but I knew I was shot … I kind of just played dead,” she testified.

Smith said she was shot in both of her legs with a single bullet, and she showed her wounds to the jury. She also said that she had a surgically inserted metal rod in her right leg.

“He didn’t have that to do to my baby,” she testified, before addressing Hayes directly. “And you know it. Or to me. I didn’t do anything for you to shoot me.”

Hayes’ testimony conflicted with Smith’s. He testified in court that he asked his arresting officers how Smith got shot. He said they told him to “shut up” and keep walking.


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The Chiefs could give the Denver offense some problems as well

Given the seemingly lopsided nature of the matchups when the Chiefs have the ball, the burden will fall as usual on the defense if the Chiefs are going to win. The Chiefs could give the Denver offense some problems as well. But if the game is to be Cairo Santos Authentic Womens Jersey decided on a down-by-down basis, the Broncos have the advantage. The Chiefs are lugging around a consistently unproductive offense. Kansas City will have to force turnovers in big numbers or otherwise make up for offensive deficiencies with some big plays in the kicking game. Those things are difficult to predict. It’s not hard to predict offensive futility Charcandrick West Authentic Womens Jersey from the Chiefs because we’ve seen it in most of their games this season. Broncos 24, Chiefs 17

The onside kick occurred after the Redskins had closed the score to 24-19 and had all sorts of momentum with 9:22 remaining. They were finally cashing in opportunities, and the sense certainly was that Dallas would have a hard time stopping them. The Redskins entered knowing they might try an onside kick based off a certain look that they received.

“We had the look exactly the way we wanted to,” Gruden said. “We just kicked it a little hard. Twelve foot putt, we hit it 15 feet. Those are chances that, if we see something that’s there and we practice it and we like it, we’ve got to take chances to do it. It can change the course of the game. It was worth a chance.”

Hopkins added, “If that ball went 5 yards less, I give those guys a better shot. I just caught it too heavy. It was there. I just hit it too hard. Any kick like that is taking a chance, but I limited our chances in that I hit it too hard.”

The Redskins couldn’t really stop Dallas’ offense enough, either, as the Cowboys scored on five of their seven possessions (in which they weren’t killing the clock). So maybe Dallas rolls downfield anyway. The problem is the defense. One reason Gruden likely went for it was knowing that they needed to keep pushing to try to win and couldn’t rely on a three-and-out. Or any-amount-of-plays-and-out, no matter where they started.

“We joked about it,” Baldwin said. “I’m sure you guys know now we’ve been begging for that play for a couple weeks now, trying to get that done. However, I didn’t want it in the red zone. I wanted the target in the red zone.

McCown picked up where he left off for the Cleveland Browns

After Kessler left the game with an injury, McCown picked up where he left off for the Cleveland Browns and posted a 25.6 Total QBR. Like Kessler, McCown was sacked four times and completed about half of his passes (14-of-27) against the Steelers. He had a costly fumble in the fourth quarter which was returned for a TD by the Steelers (negative-1.7 EPA), as it came when the Browns were within one score, and sealed the victory for Pittsburgh.

Overall, Kessler and McCown combined to post an 18.2 Total QBR on Sunday, which was the team’s worst QBR in a game in the past two seasons. The Cleveland QB roller coaster continues as the health Dwight Freeney Womens Jersey of Kessler remains a question.

They simply needed to have more wins banked by now. They were lucky to start the year 3-0 while outscoring the opposition by just 13 points, and they were subsequently unlucky to go on a four-game losing streak while being outscored by only 18 points. It’s a shame, because the Ravens do have a genuinely great defense, especially against the run, in which they were No. 1 in DVOA going into Sunday, and then held Ezekiel Elliott to 97 rushing yards on 25 carries, which is impressive given Elliott’s recent standards of ridiculousness.

The Colts have to hope that Luck, who missed nine games last season due to injuries, will be able to get through the concussion protocol before their Dec. 5 game at the New York Jets because an extended absence will severely damage their chance of catching the Texans.

“You don’t ever want to be without anybody, but we have been down this road before Grady Jarrett Womens Jersey and handled it well,” Pagano said. “Faced a bunch of adversity and obstacles just like everybody else. This team that we are playing was without theirs [quarterback Ben Roethlisberger] for a game or two, I believe. It’s a part of the National Football League. Our guys will respond and it’s a matter of everybody stepping up their game.”