lucky's Blog

Bracket, schedule, Super Bowl paths, more

We have arrived, at long last, upon the NFL postseason. This is lousy news for 20 teams but wonderful news for 12. And if you're a fan of one of those 12, this right here is the document you want to clip and save -- or whatever the 2018 internet equivalent of that might be. Reebok Zdeno Chara Authentic Men's Jersey - NHL Boston Bruins #33 Black Practice ESPN's 2018 playoff primer breaks down each team's path, looks at its chances and tells you everything you need to know about what your team must do to reach Super Bowl LII next month in Minneapolis. We hope you find it enjoyable and educational. Path to Super Bowl LII: The Eagles get a bye, then will host either the sixth-seeded Falcons Alex Pietrangelo Jersey (if they win their first-round game), the fourth-seeded Saints or the fifth-seeded Panthers. Win that, and the Eagles would host the NFC Championship Game against either the Vikings, Rams, Saints or Panthers. Reason for hope: The Eagles have been the best team all season. Their only losses entering Sunday (when they rested many starters in a home loss to Dallas) were road defeats in Kansas City and Seattle -- hardly anything of which to be ashamed. Even at their worst, which they were against the Giants on defense in Week 15 and against the Raiders on offense in Week 16, they've managed to find ways to win. They are deep and talented on both sides of the ball and can play a variety of styles and still win. Reason for concern: Don't know if you've heard, but star quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14, and the Eagles are rolling into the playoffs with Nick Foles. While Foles looked great in his first game, he doesn't offer Wentz's ability to make chicken salad on third and fourth downs. That was a key element of what made Philadelphia different from the other NFC contenders all season, and without it they may be just one of several very good teams in the NFC field. X factor: Jay Ajayi. The Eagles should have the ability to lean on their run game to control games, especially once they take the lead. They got Ajayi to be a guy on whom they could rely for a heavy workload, and so far they haven't used him that way. It's possible they have a plan for him in the playoffs that would offer a new dimension to an offense that needs a post-Wentz jolt. First game: Home game in divisional round on Sunday, Jan. 14 (4:40 p.m. ET on Fox) | Tickets Path to Super Bowl LII: The Vikings will get a bye week and then host a playoff game Jan. 14 against either the Rams, Saints or Panthers. If the Falcons beat the Rams in the wild-card round, the Vikings would host the Panthers-Saints winner. If the Rams beat the Falcons, the Vikings would host the Rams. If they win that, they would play in an NFC Championship Game either in Philadelphia or at home against the Falcons, Saints or Panthers. Reason for hope: The defense is an absolute monster. Entering Sunday's game, the Vikings had held four of their previous six opponents under 10 points, and two of those opponents were the Rams and the Falcons. They allowed the fewest points per game and fewest yards per game of any team in the league. They had the second-best third-down defense and the second-best goal-to-go defense. You wish they were better at generating turnovers (just 19 all season entering Sunday), but the defense is so good at limiting opponents in so many situations that it should keep the Vikings in every game. Reason for concern: Since they didn't secure the No. 1 seed, Derick Brassard Youth jersey the prospect of having to win an outdoor game in Philadelphia to advance to the Super Bowl (which would be in their own home stadium, by the way) Antti Raanta Jersey looms large. And as great as Case Keenum's story and season have been, we haven't seen him tested under playoff pressure. X factor: The pass protection. One of the key elements to Keenum's season has been the Vikings' ability to keep him protected. Entering Sunday, he'd been sacked just 20 times -- fewer than any other quarterback in the NFC field besides Drew Brees. (And of course Nick Foles, who has started only three games.) Can the Vikings' improved offensive line keep Keenum clean against the type of pass rushes he'll see on the road to Super Bowl LII?Path to Super Bowl LII: The Rams host the defending NFC champion Falcons. If they win that, they would travel to Minnesota for a divisional-round game against the Vikings. Win that, and the Rams would find themselves in an NFC Championship Game either in Philadelphia or at home against the Saints or Panthers. Reason for hope: The Rams were the highest-scoring team in the league at 31 points per game before Sunday's white-flag, regular-season finale. Todd Gurley, who didn't play Sunday, led the NFL with 2,093 yards from scrimmage, and with top wideout Robert Woods back from injury, the passing game is in position to click the way it was during the middle part of the season. Coach Sean McVay isn't running out of creative offensive ideas anytime soon. Reason for concern: Same as for a lot of teams in this NFC field -- inexperience. Jared Goff has been an NFL starter for a season and a half. Gurley is a third-year player. The wideouts and tight ends are a young, inexperienced group. And there's also the fact that no other potential playoff team but Tennessee entered Week 17 with more turnovers than the Rams' 19. The margin for error shrinks this time of year. MLB Jerseys Usa NBA Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys China Nike NFL Jerseys China MLB Jerseys China

Finding the single memory that defines each baseball season since 1903

I couldn't tell you off the top of my head who won the 1945 Brandon Dubinsky Authentic Jersey World Series, but I could tell you that a goat got kicked out of it. I couldn't tell you who the best pitcher in baseball was in 1956, but I could tell you who threw a perfect game in that year's World Series. I don't remember who hit the most home runs in 1990, but I do remember that the Mariners' No. 2 and 3 hitters -- both of them named Griffey -- hit back-to-back dingers one day that year. Most of us remember these things like we remember our first phone number. Women's Nike Elite Denver Broncos Orange Jersey: NFL Customized Vapor Untouchable HomeWe would probably all be surprised to find out what history will remember about our era. Once the eyewitnesses die, a lot of weird stuff gets remembered, and a lot of stuff that seemed important at the time gets forgotten. I got to wondering what history will remember about 2017 -- what a late-21st century kid raised on baseball trivia books, This Date In History radio segments and her granddad's memories will know about this past season. To answer that requires first figuring out what gets remembered and why. NFL Nike Youth Brian Robison Purple Home Elite Jersey - #96 Minnesota Vikings Vapor UntouchableSo, with the help of a few smart baseball friends, I charted 114 years of baseball by the single most memorable fact of each season -- the one thing a fairly serious baseball fan has probably heard of from that year. What we learned: There are exactly seven ways to be remembered. Plus subcategories. For example, 1905 was the year Christy Mathewson threw three shutouts in the World Series, and 1959 was the year Harvey Haddix took a perfect game into the 13th inning, and 1982 was the year Rickey Henderson stole 130 bases, and 1967 was the year Carl Yastrzemski won the last Triple Crown of the century. It sure does help when the number is a record, which necessitates us constantly bringing it up whenever Womens Yogi Ferrell Jersey somebody remotely challenges them. If somebody throws three no-hitters in a row next year, you'll subsequently hear Johnny Vander Meer's name about 95 percent less often than you do now. But some numbers persist despite not being records -- Roger Maris' 1961 chase and Hank Aaron's 1974 jog around the bases will be remembered for many decades after "61" and "755" quit being records -- and some performances are memorable without a specific number, such as Sandy Koufax's breakout in 1963. 1b. Incredible team (often captured by a nickname) Because we like to argue about which team was the best team ever, and we like to show off by proving we can name decades-old lineups. So 1927 and 1928 were the years of Murderers' Row, 1975 was the year the Big Red Machine peaked, 1996 was the year the Core Four came together and launched a new Yankees dynasty, 1969 was the year of the Miracle Mets. Incredible single play, or sequence of plays, often aided by iconic photo or video images These are the single moments when a player was so good, so impactful or so loud it overwhelms the rest of the season. Of course, 1954 was the year not of the Authentic Sergio Romo Jersey 111-43 Cleveland Indians -- the best record in AL history -- but of The Catch. And 1951 was the year of Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard 'Round The World, not Willie Mays' debut. And 1988 was most memorably the year of Kirk Gibson's home run, not Orel Hershiser's 59-inning scoreless streak. Baseball is a game of slowly building records, of naps on the couch and dull Augusts, but the very, very biggest moments can stand out like an air horn in a library. History is a long drive, and as with all long we remember the first and last miles more than the hours of unchanging landscapes in the middle. On the merits, the first World Series -- in 1903 -- wasn't that memorable, and in many ways, the play would have been unrecognizable to a modern fan: One team's ace was ineffective after injuring himself in a trap-shooting contest, another pitcher threw five complete games, and the best player on the field (Honus Wagner) made six errors. And yet nobody would dispute that the 2017 Series and the 1903 Series belong to the same lineage, which makes 1903 the infrastructure upon which our modern game is built. And so 1922 is the year baseball got its antitrust exemption, and 1929 is the year Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig first got uniform numbers, and 1935 is when night baseball began, and 1946 is when Jackie Robinson desegregated the minors, and 1950 is when Vin Scully started broadcasting games -- unless that one belongs under category 2b ... We can debate what's modern, but there are various points where the Womens Jersey weird old-timey baseball they used to play became the cool and normal baseball we all love now. Which is why 1952 is the year Topps launched the modern baseball card, why 1965 is the year of the draft, and why 1976 is the year of free agency. This is probably the category for 2002's Moneyball A's -- a great team, but more historically memorable as the first modern team,106646

Jake Elliott's 61-yard game-winning field goal

The rookie kicker nailed the long field goal as time expired to give the Eagles a 27-24 win over the Giants in Week 3. That was the first Jeff Skinner Youth jersey sign Philadelphia might be in for a special season. Quarterback Carson Wentz was miked up Jake McCabe Womens Jersey for that game and was overheard saying he'd give Elliott his game check if he made the kick. Instead, the two decided to donate money to charity. Worst moment: Losing Carson Wentz for the rest of the seasonAdidas Authentic Deryk Engelland Gray Home Youth NHL Jersey: #5 Vegas Golden KnightsWentz tore the ACL in his left knee in a Week 14 win on the road against the Rams. The Eagles clinched the NFC East that night but lost their MVP-caliber signal-caller for the season. "He was the first person greeting everyone in the locker room on the way in," said safety Malcolm Jenkins. "I don't know what to tell a man in that situation; I just told him I loved him as a teammate, loved him as a friend. Obviously, everyone is feeling for him." -- Tim McManus Men's Replica Mitchell And Ness Dale Murphy Blue Jersey - #3 MLB Atlanta Braves Throwback The Redskins' most complete victory was their 27-10 win over the Raiders in Week 3, but the best moment was when they rallied in the final minute to beat the Seahawks on the road, thanks to two clutch throws by quarterback Kirk Cousins, catches by Brian Quick and a diving catch by Josh Doctson. They only had 43 healthy players available. It became an improbable win that, at the time, could have led them to a better finish. Worst moment: The Scot McCloughan situation That's not to blame the Redskins for all that transpired, but regardless, it was not a good situation when the then-general manager failed to show at the combine and his absence was exacerbated with a lie -- saying he missed to attend his grandmother's funeral. The Redskins tried to make the situation work for a couple of weeks, hoping they could get through the draft. Eventually, they fired him, and there was an anonymous quote from a team official blaming his drinking. Whether the Redskins were right or not, it led to questions nationally about the direction of the franchise as free agency began. -- John Keim On a play that was drawn up (mostly) in the dirt, Rodgers rolled to his left and lofted a 35-yard pass to Cook, who somehow managed to get both feet in bounds before his knees hit the white paint at AT&T Stadium with three seconds left in Harrison Barnes Authentic Jersey the divisional playoff game. It set up Mason Crosby's game-winning 51-yard field goal that sent the Packers to the NFC Championship Game for the second time in three years. The Rodgers-to-Cook throw won an ESPY for the best play of the year. Worst moment: Broken collarbone 2.0 For the second time in five seasons, Rodgers' season was interrupted by a broken collarbone. Unlike in 2013, when Rodgers returned for the regular-season finale and got the Packers into the playoffs, there was no happy ending. He returned, but after the Packers were eliminated from postseason consideration a week later, the team shut him down. The broken collarbone was the biggest contributor to the end of a franchise-record eight straight playoff appearances. -- Rob Demovsky Last week's playoff-clinching win over the rival Falcons inside a raucous Superdome is certainly a contender, since it ended a three-year postseason drought. But the biggest key to New Orleans' 2017 turnaround was their sensational draft week -- from cornerback Marshon Lattimore's surprising fall into their laps at No. 11 to their third-round trade for running back Alvin Kamara. Those two might wind up as the NFL's Defensive and Offensive Rookies of the Year, and the Saints got a total of five starters from this year's draft class. Worst moment: Learning of Nick Fairley's heart condition The Saints' low point came back in the spring, when they learned that their defensive tackle had a heart condition that wound up ending his season (and likely his career). The Saints have been able to overcome Fairley's absence for the most part, but it was a and sad development. And the Saints would surely be even more potent with him in the lineup, which is why they had re-signed him to a lucrative contract extension in March. -- Mike Triplett After being forced to take a bye in Week 1 and evacuating due to Hurricane Irma, the Bucs beat the Bears 29-7 in Week 2 at home. Tampa Bay had two offensive touchdowns, and the defense forced four turnovers and held the Bears to just 20 total rushing yards, looking very much like the team that had gone on a five-game win streak to finish 9-7 in Things unraveled from there, though. Worst moment: The 38-33 loss to the Cardinals in Week 6 After losing a close one to the Patriots 19-14 on Thursday Night Football, the Bucs completely fell apart for the second year in a row against Arizona. The 38-33 score made it look much, much closer than it actually was. At the beginning of the third quarter, they were down 31-0. It was in this game that many fans realized this was not at all the 2016 defense that led the league in third-down conversions and finished third in takeaways. -- Jenna Laine It didn't take long for the Cardinals to experience their lowest moment. It was in the third quarter of the season opener at Detroit, when the all-everything running back took a helmet to his left wrist, dislocating it in the process. Johnson hasn't played since. Losing Johnson didn't just erase more than 2,000 potential all-purpose yards, but it also took away the foundation of the offense. The scheme was built around Johnson, especially his versatility. What he could do out of the backfield complemented by what he could do as a receiver was the basis for the large majority of Arizona's plays, either involving him directly or using him as Riley Sheahan Jersey a decoy. -- Josh Weinfuss Wholesale NBA Jerseys Jerseys For Cheap Wholesale NHL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Online Cheap NFL Jerseys Usa Basketball Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys 2016

Finishing with a top-three draft pick

If you're not going to have your franchise quarterback during what's clearly a rebuilding season, why not speed up the process with a top-three draft pick? The Colts will finish with their worst record since finishing 2-14 in 2011 largely because quarterback Andrew Luck (shoulder) missed the entire season. General manager Chris Ballard can use the high draft pick to address the Colts' desperate need to find a pass-rusher or get more help on the offensive line. Men's Reebok John Carlson Premier Red NHL Jersey: Washington Capitals #74 2015 Winter ClassicWorst moment: Andrew Luck missing all of 2017 Luck needed right shoulder surgery in January after playing with it injured for more than 16 months. Owner Jim Irsay sounded optimistic when he said the surgery wasn't major and that his franchise QB would be ready for the regular season. Evidently Irsay must have meant the 2018 season, and now it's at the point where he's probably just hoping they'll have Luck in 2018. Luck missed all of the team's offseason workouts, training camp, preseason games and the regular season. -- Mike Wells The Jaguars have been able to overcome setbacks all season -- from losing wide receiver Allen Robinson in the season opener to having top-pick Leonard Fournette miss three games -- so there haven't been a lot of terrible moments. However, the loss in San Francisco tainted what should have been one of the most triumphant days in franchise history. The Jags clinched their first division title since 1999 when the Rams beat Tennessee earlier in the day, but they went on to have their worst game of the season in the loss to the 49ers. It was hard to really celebrate winning the division after that debacle. -- Mike DiRocco Marcus Mariota returned from a one-game injury absence to put in arguably his best performance of the season, throwing for 306 yards. It was one of two 300-yard passing games for Mariota this season. Derrick Henry also ran for 131 yards and a touchdown. The offense was exciting, explosive and effective -- for at least one game -- with the world watching on Monday Night Football. The win snapped a two-game losing streak, and, of course, they finally got the monkey off their back. They would later sweep the Colts for the first time since 2002. Worst moment: The embarrassing 57-14 loss to the Texans in Week 4 The Titans' last-season slide was disappointing, but this blowout loss is worse. Tennessee was coming off a high of beating a relatively healthy Seahawks team in Week 3 before getting outclassed by the Deshaun Watson show in Houston. To make matters worse, Mariota injured his hamstring that day. It's an injury that affected him for the weeks that followed. This is also the day the national buzz around the Titans came to a crashing halt. -- Cameron Wolfe When cornerback Aqib Talib cut in front of Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant to snatch a Dak Prescott pass then sprinted 103 yards for a game-punctuating touchdown, with the home crowd in a full-throated frenzy in the final minute of the win, the Broncos genuinely believed they had shown they were among the league's elite. Two weeks later, they entered their bye at 3-1, eyeing the postseason, only to see their season collapse into an eight-game losing streak. Worst moment: Losing to the Giants at home in Week 6 If you have your longest losing streak since 1967, as the Broncos did after losing eight in a row, and you suffer your first shutout loss in a quarter-century, it means there has been no shortage of bad moments. But nothing was the same after the Broncos lost 23-10 to the previously winless Giants. Denver outgained New York 412 to 296, but the problems that ruined Brice McCain Jersey the Broncos' season -- turnovers, unreliable special-teams play and the inability to play their best in the moments when games were decided -- spoiled this game and really never left. -- Jeff Legwold Once considered a maverick owner, Jones was enshrined on Aug. 5, Cody Whitehair Authentic Jersey making him part of the most exclusive club in pro football. Jones was rewarded as much for his three Super Bowl wins in the 1990s as he was for changing the NFL's business model. Hours after his enshrinement, Jones threw a memorable party that included a live performance by Justin Timberlake where Jones and commissioner Roger Goodell seemed to get along amiably. In the months that followed, things certainly Authentic Joey Rickard Jersey changed, with Jones fighting Goodell's extension and threatening a lawsuit. Worst moment: Ezekiel Elliott's suspension The initial hope in fighting a six-game suspension handed down on Aug. 11 was for Elliott to play in the season opener, but he managed to play the first eight games through a series of legal maneuverings. On Nov. 9, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York denied Elliott's motion for an injunction, and six days later, the running back dropped his entire legal fight. The Cowboys went 3-3 in Elliott's absence, but not even his return could salvage a run to the playoffs. -- Todd Archer,101966

Baseball's stealth contenders for 2018

In 2017, a lot of the teams everyone expected to be top teams went on to unsurprisingly win their divisions. Nobody looked at the Dodgers-Astros World Series and rhetorically asked, "Who woulda thunk it?" But teams such as the Diamondbacks, Rockies and Twins were surprises for many, and those stories tend to be the most fun. Limited Nike Men's Jo-Lonn Dunbar Navy Blue Home Jersey: NFL #58 St. Louis RamsSo, who are 2018's stealth contenders who can go on a deep run into playoff contention if enough realistic things go right? I'm not talking about teams we're certain will be good; if we know it's coming, it's not exactly that stealthy, is it? Who could be 2018's version of the Twins? Altuve, one of only a handful Danny Amendola Authentic Jersey of players who endured the Astros' painful rebuilding process en route to this year's championship, which gave hope to a city ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, was chosen as The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year. Results of voting by United States editors and news directors was announced Wednesday. Altuve, a 5-foot-6 dynamo, got 715 points, beating out New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (646) and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers (626).A decade after the Braves left Milwaukee for Atlanta, Aaron returned as a member of the Brewers in 1975. Because the Brewers were an American League team, the then-home run king was able to extend his career by two seasons -- and add home runs to his career total -- while playing in the city where his major league career had started in 1954. Altuve is a five-time All-Star who led the majors with Mika Zibanejad Youth jersey a career-high .346 batting average, and his 204 hits topped the American League. He is the first player in MLB history to lead his league in hits in four straight seasons. He tied a career-best with 24 homers Blake Comeau Jersey and had 81 RBIs. He was second in the AL by scoring 112 runs, his on-base percentage of .410 ranked third, he was third with 32 steals and his .547 slugging percentage ranked sixth. His work made him the second Astro to win an MVP award, joining Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell, who picked up the National League honor in 1994. Altuve carried his stellar regular season into the postseason, where he paced the Astros in their ALDS win over the Boston Red Sox by hitting .533 with an outrageous 1.133 slugging percentage. Altuve spent his early years with the Astros toiling in relative obscurity; Houston lost 100-plus games in each of his first three major league seasons, from 2011 to 2013. There was no denying his superstar status this season, as the Astros won 101 games, and he became one of the best stories early in the postseason when he hit three homers in their Game 1 win over Boston. That performance made him just the 10th player in major league history and first since 2012 to hit three homers in a playoff game. Altuve's story of once being sent home from a tryout because he was too short has been well documented as he has risen to fame. But on the day his huge game led the Astros to that playoff win, he perfectly summed up the mindset he has carried since that setback. "As soon as I cross the white line, I feel the same size as everyone else," he said. Altuve's grit and determination is evident every time he takes the field. His teammates marvel at the fact that no matter how good he is, he's always looking to do better. "He has four hits and he's like, 'Carlos I never had a five-hit game before, let me try to get the fifth hit,'" shortstop Carlos Correa said. "He's always striving for more. And that's I've learned from him that makes me better every single day." Altuve, who grew up in Venezuela, considers Houston his second home after spending his entire professional career with the Astros. He took great pride in wearing the Houston Strong patch on his uniform throughout the playoffs as a reminder of what the city went through during the storm and how difficult the rebuilding process would be. He said people approach him often to say thank you for helping the Astros win their first title and for being a bright spot in such a difficult time. We had the responsibility of making it happen for the city," the 27-year-old said. "We wanted to win the World Series for the city. We just wanted to try to see a smile from them." Since winning the World Series, Altuve has been welcomed to Disney World by Mickey Mouse, been a guest on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and been named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year along with Texans star J.J. Watt. Despite all this, Altuve has remained the same humble, soft-spoken man he was when he first broke into the majors in 2011. "I don't think I'm the face of the city or the Houston Astros," he said. "I'm just another guy who is playing hard to make dreams come true. My dream was to win the World Series, and I know the fans' dream was to win the World Series as well. So we are on the same page, and I really enjoy my time in Houston."

According to Jason Garrett, if a player is healthy

enough to play, he will play Sunday against the Eagles -- despite nothing being on the line. But don't expect left tackle Tyron Smith to play. He lasted three snaps last week against Seattle before realizing his sprained right knee could not hold up. Byron Bell will start for Smith, who has dealt with back, groin and hip injuries. So there is no reason for him to risk further injury. Right tackle La'el Collins and linebacker Anthony Hitchens have been managed through the week as they dealt with injuries and they are expected to play as well. -- Todd Archer Adidas NHL Women's Scott Hartnell Navy Blue Home Authentic Jersey - #43 Columbus Blue JacketsTight end Evan Engram (ribs) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (neck) left last week's loss to the Cardinals early. They were at practice Wednesday and stretched before heading off to the side and onto the stationary bikes. The Giants' top two weapons might be a stretch to be ready by Sunday for the finale in a 2-13 season. -- Jordan Raanan Men's Nike Buffalo Bills #92 Adolphus Washington Elite White NFL JerseyWednesday's practice report is only an estimation since it was a walk-through, but defensive end Brandon Graham was listed as a nonparticipant. With the No. 1 seed locked up, the Eagles can afford to rest players in the regular-season finale against the Cowboys. Graham is a good candidate. -- Tim McManus All of Washington's injured players have mostly been shut down for the season, but there are some questions at linebacker. Zach Brown is unlikely to play Sunday against the Giants with an Achilles/knee issue, and rookie Ryan Anderson might play despite sitting out again because of a knee injury. Without Brown, Washington would start a combo of Zach Vigil and Martrell Spaight. Vigil's ability to communicate well has helped the defense and Spaight has been solid. Anderson has been a backup all season. -- John Keim Right tackle Bobby Massie was held out of Wednesday's practice because of a knee injury he suffered in last week's win over Cleveland. Massie missed only one game since the Bears signed him in the 2016 offseason, but the veteran is a question mark for the regular-season finale at Minnesota. Starting guard Josh Sitton was the only other player to sit out Wednesday because of an ankle injury. Sitton is doubtful to play again in 2017. The team holds an option worth up to $8 million on Sitton for 2018. -- Jeff Dickerson Cornerback Nevin Lawson (concussion) still did not practice Wednesday, so monitoring his progress for the regular-season finale will be something to So, too, will be T.J. Lang's foot injury. At this point, the Lions have to make decisions on whether it is worth it to risk the health of some guys heading into the offseason James Neal Authentic Jersey versus playing a little bit more. -- Michael Rothstein It looks as if the Packers will be without both Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson for the season finale against the Lions. Although coach Mike McCarthy hasn't ruled either of them out yet, Adams remains in the concussion protocol, and even if he's cleared, why would the Packers risk playing him after his third concussion in 14 months? Nelson did not practice because of a shoulder injury. A third receiver, Geronimo Allison went home sick Wednesday, leaving the team thin at the position. -- Rob Demovsky The Vikings signed long snapper Jeff Overbaugh on Tuesday after Kevin McDermott dislocated his left shoulder against Sean Doolittle Jersey the Packers. Defensive tackle Shamar Stephen missed practice Wednesday because of the ankle injury Aaron Lynch Jersey he sustained in Green Bay, as did cornerback Tramaine Brock (foot) and center Pat Elflein (shoulder). Elflein's shoulder injury held him out of practice ahead of the Carolina game and kept him limited for two days last week. Kyle Rudolph is still battling an injured ankle from the Panthers game but has been able to play the Brendan Langley Authentic Jersey past two games. -- Courtney Cronin Tight end Levine Toilolo injured a knee -- but no tear -- in last week's loss to the Saints and was held out of practice Wednesday. It might not look like a big loss on paper, but Toilolo has established a niche as a pretty solid blocker while breaking free for an occasional catch. If Toilolo can't go, then rookie Eric Saubert, who has been battling a back injury, would have to step in as the second tight end behind Austin Hooper. -- Vaughn McClure Guard Trai Turner was back working with the first team in practice Wednesday after missing the past two games because of a concussion. Barring a setback, the Pro Bowler should be cleared from concussion protocol in time for Sunday's game at Atlanta. Wide receiver Russell Shepard, who missed last week's game because of a shoulder injury, also should be back. He'll help fill the role of Damiere Byrd, who suffered a season-ending leg injury in the win over Tampa Bay. -- David Newton Wide receiver Michael Thomas was limited in Wednesday's practice, saying the team wants to be "smart" about his workload after a hamstring injury limited him to 40 snaps this past Sunday. Thomas said he "felt good" after playing through the injury, which he had suffered at the end of last Friday's practice. So chances are he'll be close to full speed by this Sunday. Meanwhile, fellow receiver Brandon Coleman missed Wednesday's practice because of a neck injury and left tackle Terron missed because of a thigh injury, leaving their status uncertain. -- Mike Triplett

NFL's biggest win of 2017 was relaxing celebration rules

A season of electric slides, potato-sack relays and "duck, duck, goose" proved one overriding point for the NFL: Big problems really can be solved. I'm only half-joking. Maybe you enjoyed some of the elaborately planned celebrations that players have performed after scoring touchdowns or making big plays this season. Perhaps it wasn't your thing. But if nothing else, the NFL successfully walled off a self-inflicted source of damaging criticism by relaxing its unsportsmanlike conduct rules to reflect the reality of modern entertainment. Youth Majestic Seattle Mariners #49 Yovani Gallardo Replica White Home Cool Base MLB JerseyThe annual "No Fun League" narrative largely vanished and was instead replaced -- appropriately -- by smiles, fun debates and the occasional internet dash to Google the references. After a season of strife that included player protests and fundamental problems with the concussion protocol, the effective elimination of a negative might qualify as the NFL's biggest accomplishment of 2017. Men's Dallas Stars #68 Jaromir Jagr Reebok White Third Authentic NHL JerseyThe league spent an exorbitant amount of working hours on the issue last winter, speaking to more than 80 current and former players about how to preserve sportsmanship while jettisoning rules that forced flags for harmless celebrations. In 2016, for example, players were penalized for making snow angels, for cradling the Glenn Robinson Womens Jersey ball like a baby and imitating an NBA routine popularized by Kevin Garnett and LeBron James. The answer was modest but highly effective. The NFL emptied three "buckets" of illegal acts: Players can now use the ball as a prop, go to the ground during a routine and once again engage in group celebrations that highlighted the childhood of many adult fans. It was a modest step, and, frankly, I'm not sure whether officials expected players to take it to the extent they have. Commissioner Roger Goodell used the word "spontaneous" in a letter to fans announcing the change, but the premeditated creativity some players have employed has belied that expectation. It's difficult to quantify the impact. The expansion of celebrations hasn't reversed problems such as the NFL's broadcast ratings slide, nor should it have been expected to. But it's worth noting that both taunting and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties have dropped back to normal levels after spiking in 2016. Taunting fouls have dropped by about 45 percent from over the same period last year, according to the ESPN Stats & Information penalty database. Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, which include but span more than illegal celebrations, are down about 22 percent. If nothing else, that reduction represented a tangible decrease in opportunities for fans and outside observers to ridicule the league for avoidable displays of misplaced morality and tortured explanations. Over time, that criticism conjured a narrative that squarely placed the NFL on a needless defensive. As most of us already knew, celebrations (with reasonable limitations) haven't led to weekly on-field brawls or the debasement of youth sportsmanship. It has been notable, in fact, how many of the celebrations have drawn inspiration from children's games or otherwise kid-friendly sources -- from the Vikings' leapfrog to the Steelers' reenactment of the "Elf" snowball fight to the Falcons' red light/green light celebration. Along the way, the world continued to turn on its axis and it was -- gasp! -- fun to see what would spawn in the minds of today's players. In some cases, an expansion of legal celebrations almost assuredly prompted a shift away from what was still illegal. Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, for instance, largely dropped "twerking," which the NFL still considers a sexually suggestive dance. The transition has not been perfect, of course. For one, we still see a silly flag every now and then. Permission to use the ball as a prop did not extend to other parts of the field, so officials had no choice but to penalize Seattle Hau'oli Kikaha Womens Jersey Seahawks cornerback Justin Coleman for jumping into a Salvation Army kettle in Week 16. Meanwhile, it's obvious that some teams and/or coaches have either opted out or discouraged the orchestration. After New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Brandin Cooks celebrated rodeo-style in Week 12, Gronkowski insisted unprompted that it "wasn't planned" and added: "We got yelled at. We're not allowed to talk about celebrations." I'm surprised that more coaches didn't put the kibosh on celebrations, especially after the Steelers drew a delay-of-game foul in Week 2 after a celebration. The mark-off forced coach Mike Tomlin to scrap plans for a two-point conversion. But even some of the NFL's crustiest coaches have sat back and watched Womens Tennessee Titans Jersey their players entertain. Mike Zimmer's Vikings, for example, conjured up "duck, duck, gray duck," among others. Zimmer embraced a reasonable approach, one the league should never have lost when it started filling its rulebook with celebration restrictions. "If we score a lot of touchdowns," Zimmer said, "I'll jump in with them." In all sincerity, the NFL should be pleased with the outcome of this modest initiative. As it girds for an offseason of addressing much more significant problems, it can be guided by an easy lesson: Common sense is always a good path to follow. Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys From China NHL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Nike NFL Jerseys 2016NFL Jerseys Nike

What moves to make if you want to play with MLB's 'Super Seven'

What they should do next: The Cardinals already have made one of the biggest transactions of the offseason, acquiring Ozuna from the Marlins for three prospects, but all indications are they’re looking to make another big one, with the Josh Donaldson rumors heating up once again. For that deal to happen, the Cardinals would have to include some MLB-ready talent as the Blue Jays aren’t willing to pack it in for 2018, so maybe Jedd Gyorko and somebody from the outfield pool (Randal Grichuk, Tyler O’Neill) goes back to Toronto. Deone Bucannon Women's Elite White Jersey: Nike NFL Arizona Cardinals Vapor Untouchable Road #20The Cardinals added Mikolas, the former major leaguer who has starred in Japan the past couple of seasons, apparently to replace Lynn in the rotation, but they still need a closer. Wade Davis is the obvious fit, with Addison Reed a cheaper (and lesser) alternative. The rotation has a lot of questions (Is Mikolas the real deal? Is Luke Weaver ready to step up? Will Adam Wainwright be less awful? When will Alex Reyes be ready?), but the Cardinals have enough options for now that they probably can see how things play out and make an in-season move if necessary. What they should do next: The Diamondbacks have added a couple of closer candidates to replace Rodney, although Hirano’s strikeout rate has plunged the past couple of seasons in Japan, and Boxberger has had trouble staying healthy since leading the American League in saves with Tampa Bay in 2015. It makes sense to keep Archie Bradley in a more flexible role, so we’ll see whether the ninth inning becomes a problem or Bradley eventually takes over. The main issue for Arizona, however, is that the offense isn’t good. As with the Rockies, the home field masks this, but outside of Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb (who can’t hit lefties), everyone else on the roster had a below-average adjusted OPS in 2017. Jonathan Lucroy is a fit to replace Iannetta as the primary catcher -- I can’t see them giving more at-bats to Jeff Mathis -- but the price has to be right given that Lucroy is coming off a bad season. More important, the Diamondbacks should be looking to add an outfielder. A.J. Pollock and David Peralta aren’t exactly pictures of durability, and Yasmany Tomas has been worth minus-2.2 WAR in his career. He’s not good; any power he provides is canceled out by a poor Ted Lindsay Jersey OBP and bad defense. Chris Owings is a utility guy, not a starting outfielder on a playoff team. Martinez is too expensive to bring back, so maybe you go with Carlos Gomez, who can start in right field and fill in for Pollock in center. If they want to spend a little more money, Lorenzo Cain would be a great fit. It’s getting deep enough into the offseason that maybe the price for a guy like Cain will drop into Arizona’s range. What they should do next: Billy Eppler has had a dream offseason, not only luring Ohtani to the Angels and keeping Upton from leaving but also shoring up second base and third base, where the Angels ranked last and 25th in the majors in wOBA. What’s left to do? Add a starting pitcher. And that guy should be Yu Darvish. The projected payroll, according to Cot’s Contracts, is about $165 million, similar to last year, but that still leaves room to sign Darvish and stay under the $197 million tax threshold. The Angels are projected to win 88 games on FanGraphs; add Darvish and maybe they have a chance to chase down the Astros if everything goes right (Houston is projected to win 97). If Ohtani is the real deal and Garrett Richards can stay healthy, a top three of Darvish, Richards and Ohtani could be good enough to make a postseason run -- a deep postseason run. What they should do next: You won't chase down the Cubs by bringing back Gallardo, that’s for sure. OK, Chacin should be viewed as the bigger signing coming off a 3.89 ERA for the Padres, but we’ll see whether he can replicate that kind of season. The advanced metrics liked what he did in 2017 as he limited hard contact with an average exit velocity that was among the best among starting pitchers. I’ll take Chacin at two years, $15.5 million over what Jake Arrieta is asking. I also don’t get the Domingo Santana trade rumors, considering he had a breakout season after leading the team in OBP and hitting .278/.371/.505. Maybe the Brewers aren’t buying those numbers and want to sell high to clear room for Lewis Brinson, but I’m skeptical of Brinson’s ability to produce right away. His track record in the minors is spotty except for big numbers in High Desert in 2015 and Colorado Authentic Adam Eaton Jersey Springs in 2017, two places where everybody hits. So I'd keep Santana and let Brinson challenge Keon Broxton in center field. The Chacin and Gallardo signings probably close the gate on another starting pitcher. They could get in on the Gerrit Cole trade Terence Garvin Youth jersey talks, but many of the Brewers' top prospects took a step backward in 2017, so it would be hard to outbid the Yankees. I guess that leaves re-signing Walker for second base, although giving Jonathan Villar a chance to bounce back isn’t a terrible idea either. I’d add a bullpen arm to replace Swarzak, maybe David Hernandez. It all adds up to an offseason that won’t push the needle much. The payroll still projects as one of the lowest in the game at $71 million and the Brewers were more than $100 million in 2014 and 2015, so there’s room to add pieces, but it appears they’re saving money for next offseason. Wholesale NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Authentic MLB Jerseys Usa Cheap Jerseys Usa Cheap NFL Jerseys Nike

Brady has done just enough to stay on top

of the pack without claiming the trophy for himself. Gurley, on the other hand, has come roaring out of the pack and gone from totally outside the MVP picture a few weeks ago to standing as a possible favorite. It's the difference between not losing an award and it, and while Brady hasn't done anything that would cause him to drop out of the John Johnson Womens Jerseyrace, Gurley has crashed the party. Men's Majestic Milwaukee Brewers #5 Jonathan Villar Replica Grey Road Cool Base MLB JerseyThose are all arguments I expect the voters will take up if they lean toward Gurley, but in evaluating Gurley, I don't know if I believe he has really done enough to overcome the massive divide in value between quarterbacks and running backs. He's on pace to finish with 2,233 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns, and while that's impressive, it isn't all that much different from the 2,118 yards from scrimmage and 20 scores David Johnson racked up for the Cardinals in 2016. I understand that they weren't competitive, but few people (myself aside) argued that Johnson should receive serious MVP consideration. Gurley has probably been the best running back in football in 2017, but the difference between him and Bell mostly comes down to a few touchdowns in short-yardage situations. Bell will likely get within 100 yards of Gurley's scrimmage total after a game against the rapidly fading Texans on Monday, and while they'll be way ahead of the rest of the pack, Gurley is not going to be way ahead of his fellow running backs in terms of cumulative production in the way that Peterson, Alexander and Tomlinson were in years past. I also don't Markus Naslund Youth jersey think voters value receiving yards as much as rushing yards for backs. Consider that Chris Johnson had an even more impressive version of this Gurley season for the Titans in 2006 -- with 2,006 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns and a league-record 2,509 yards from scrimmage -- and didn't receive a single MVP vote. Maybe he would have done better if the Titans had finished above 8-8 that year, but the last back to win league MVP with Gurley's sort of statistical profile was Faulk, and he scored 26 touchdowns. If I had a vote, I'd pick Brady right now. Voters lean toward late-season performance and love to pick fresh faces, but those are biases that unfairly fault players for succeeding earlier in the year. Is Brady really a worse candidate because he played his best football in late October and early November, when Gurley was posting his least productive stretch of the season? The wins Brady contributed to count for just as much as the ones Gurley is contributing to in December, right? What I will say, though, is that I wouldn't close the door on the race. Both of these players will likely have something meaningful to play for in Week 17. Assuming the Steelers beat the Texans, Brady will start Sunday at home against the Jets knowing New England needs a win to clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Rams, meanwhile, will be kicking off simultaneously with the Saints on Sunday needing a win to clinch the third seed in the NFC. Unless the Saints fall way the Buccaneers in Tampa, McVay is likely to employ Gurley like it's a meaningful regular-season game. The race is close enough to come down to what happens in Week 17. Gurley will be facing a 49ers team that allowed him to score three times (and only narrowly stopped him from hitting four) in a Week 3 shootout, and that was before the 49ers acquired Jimmy Garoppolo and started averaging 27.5 points per game. It's hardly out of the question to think Gurley breaks off another huge game and stamps his name atop the MVP ballot. Without multiple touchdowns in the game, though, I still think Brady has done enough to hold on and claim a much-deserved third trophy. Feels like last year we heard a ton of pre-draft talk about how the quarterback class wasn't so great. Turns out it had Deshaun Watson, who was pretty special until tearing his ACL in practice in early November. And Mitchell Trubisky ended up starting for the Bears before it was all over. Heck, Authentic Denard Span Jersey DeShone Kizer started for the Browns right away ... although maybe he shouldn't have. Anyway, that was last year. This year's quarterback draft class is the talk of the NFL town. It has been since last offseason. Seriously, at the combine last year, teams would moan about the quality of the quarterbacks in the draft and say, "But next year ..." Well, next year is here, so how does it look? There are a couple of SoCal dudes still turning heads, a big guy in Wyoming who makes scouts drool and a Heisman-winning bad boy who may or may not be 6 feet tall. It's a fun group, and will dominate a lot of our attention in the four months leading up to the 2018 NFL draft.

That lead in touchdowns might be critical

Le'Veon Bell could eat into the deficit during Pittsburgh's game Monday, but Gurley is in good shape if he maintains that massive advantage. Since the 1970 merger, five other running backs have made it to the end of the season while leading the league with a touchdown total seven or more scores ahead of the competition. Three of them -- Tomlinson, Alexander and Marshall Faulk -- have finishedMen's Replica Brett Favre White Jersey: Road #4 NFL Minnesota Vikings Throwback Reeboktheir seasons with an MVP trophy. As for Brady, meanwhile, this isn't an otherworldly campaign. Many of his competitors have fallen by the wayside thanks to injuries, but his league lead in passing yards is by a mere 259 yards over Philip Rivers. He trails Wentz in passing touchdowns despite playing two additional games. Brady is third in completion percentage and yards per attempt and second in passer rating behind Alex Smith. Brady's season is also below the typical standard we see from MVP-winning quarterbacks. Pro Football Reference tracks quarterback statistics and adjusts them for the scoring level of each year in question as index stats. (More on them here.) Across the board, Brady's era-adjusted statistics in 2017 would make him one of the least imposing MVP winners in recent memory. Here's where he ranks among the 33 other winners of this award since 1970 in PFR's index stats (updated through Week 16): This isn't even really a particularly notable season for Brady relative to his typical level of play. Rank Brady seasons and, even with a week to go, this one will finish no higher than fourth in passing yards. This season would rank fourth in yards per attempt, sixth in touchdown-to-interception ratio, fifth in passer rating and eighth among 11 seasons in Total QBR. It's a great campaign for mortal quarterbacks and a good one for Brady, but it's a step below the stratospheric seasons that won him this award in 2007 and 2010. This is going to be a problem with his candidacy, although it has nothing to do with Brady himself. Voters in all sports, including football, get easily exhausted of perennial candidates and often prefer players who either took a leap forward from their Mychal Rivera Jersey established level of play and/or haven't won an award previously. Brady could quite viably have been a candidate for most of the past decade and has won only two awards. Likewise, Bill Belichick has won Coach of the Year three times in 17 seasons with the Patriots, even though just about every one of us would have picked him as the best football coach alive for 13 or 14 of those campaigns. As much as we know Belichick might deserve Womens Fabian Moreau Jersey the award on a near-annual basis, he doesn't even receive serious consideration most seasons by virtue of setting his own bar impossibly high. There are exceptions, but if a vote is close, most of the voters tend to lean toward the new face over the guy who will be back next year. Gurley, who looks like a different human than the guy we saw in 2016, is that new face. He's in the middle of what would be a career year for just about any running back. Gurley won Offensive Rookie of the Year for an explosive 13-game campaign in 2015, but he would have never received even the slightest bit of MVP consideration before now. He doesn't need to make monster plays to be effective, obviously, but the Brady engine works on supreme efficiency. He beats you by staying ahead of schedule, avoiding turnovers and finding receivers for easy completions drive after drive after drive. Brady's style doesn't lend itself to highlight reels. He has eight completions on throws traveling 30 yards or more in the air this season, only one of which has led to a touchdown (against three picks). Rob Gronkowski is the guy who gets lauded for spectacular plays on this team, not Brady. Gurley, meanwhile, ranks alongside Gronk, Alvin Kamara and Antonio Brown as the season's most spectacular players. Nobody tracks it, but Gurley must hold the record for most times leaping over a defender in a single season. His longest play in 2016 went for 33 yards; this year, Gurley has 10 plays for 33-plus yards, four more than anybody else in the league. He somehow accelerated through the Titans' defense Sunday in taking a screen to the house for an 80-yard score. Gurley is making professional defenders look like overmatched kids from college. Brady has been among the top candidates for this award all season, and deservedly so. It's also fair to say that he has never really grabbed the trophy for himself. He was neck-and-neck with Carson Wentz for most of the year, and after Wentz went down, Brady had the sort of game to stand out versus the competition. Brady failed to throw a touchdown pass the first time against the Bills, delivered a dud without Gronkowski against the Dolphins, then had his winning touchdown drive against the Steelers overshadowed by the drama of the touchdown stolen from Jesse James. Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Discount JerseysWholesale Jerseys NFL