Lions vs. Steelers 2017 game preview: Will Detroit stay atop the NFC North?

Limited Theoren Fleury Jersey The Detroit Lions are now alone atop the NFC North and will have an opportunity to pick up a key road win when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers.

At 6-3, the Lions have a one-game lead over Chicago and Green Bay in the division race. Four of Detroit’s final six games will come at home, so adding a road win in Pittsburgh would put the Lions in very good position for the playoffs. Detroit is 3-2 on the road this season, one of the main reasons it currently leads the division.

The 2017 season has gone the opposite direction for Pittsburgh. The Steelers are just 3-6, but are coming off a 23-10 win over Buffalo. The once-stout defense has had plenty of issues this season and Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom-third of the NFL in points allowed.

Sunday’s meeting will be just the fourth game between the two teams since 2001; Pittsburgh is 3-0 in the previous three contests.
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The whole world was moving into a future where France had the lead, adjusting expectations and opinions accordingly. Then, just for a moment, everything was in limbo. And finally 鈥?brutally, suddenly, mechanically 鈥?we were jerked back into a different reality.

We don’t just see this in football – and we don’t just see it in sports. We’ve structured our system to keep people from failing. Most of the time that’s a compassionate, humane, just position. People get sick by no fault of their own. Workers get laid off suddenly. Shit happens that’s of no fault of their own, and it’s just to have a society where there’s a safety net to catch them.

Gary Kubiak’s offenses were fueled by elite play from the front five

With the offseason near, and Vegas throwing a wrench into the draft plans, most teams will likely be scrambling to sign and make deals to accommodate their biggest players. The Jets, however, will have just four unrestricted free agents to deal with and have a projected $6.3 million in cap space to work with.

The only big-name UFA coming off the books at the end of the season will be Pavelec, and with their cap space they’ll have plenty of room to get Marko Dano, Copp, Brandon Tanev, Ben Chiarot, and Hellebuyck under contract. Some smart management this offseason can set them up well for a bright future.

No one knows what the penalty would be for players who do defy the NHL and head to Pyeongchang in the middle of the 2017-18 season. It could range from fines — for the players themselves and/or the owners — to suspensions, much like how players sit out a game if they miss the All-Star Game.

And if players do get “permission” from either the league or their owner, will the national teams even accept them? The European teams might, and Russia no doubt will, but the catch is a bit more for the United States and Canada. The NHL has the most sway over Team USA and Team Canada as the countries are the league’s center of power, and it’s not unreasonable to wonder if the league would attempt to come down on the national teams as well.

In their heyday, Gary Kubiak’s offenses were fueled by elite play from the front five, consistently creating cutback lanes on Houston’s signature Outside Zone play while providing harassment-free pockets for Schaub (and the weird gallimaufry of QBs that Schaub’s injury thrust on the scene in 2011). But all good things must come to an end, and debatable resource allocation by the Texans’ front office, along with the cruel dictates of Father Time, hastened that end along.


The rotation seniors who will leave are center Kennedy Meeks

Because though injuries were a factor in limiting him to only four starts in the last two seasons, he became a Pro Bowler after his first handful of games, like Prescott, and quickly won plenty of hearts and respect in Dallas, like Prescott. Romo endured. He did it consistently, affectionately for 14 seasons.

He turns 37 on April 21. Several TV outlets wanted his football acumen in their booths. And he enters that arena just like he entered the NFL. In fact, just like he exited the NFL.

Romo booted Bledsoe … Prescott booted Romo … and now Romo boots Phil Simms from his CBS analyst perch.

One swift kick deserves another among NFL brethren. And that includes rotten kicks, too. Tony Romo will always be a Dallas Cowboy, scars and all. He sure has enough of them. Along with staggering humility mixed with pungent karma that bookends his NFL start and finish.

Let’s start with what North Carolina’s going to lose, which is, in a word, tons.
Elite Youth Larry Fitzgerald Jersey The Tar Heels were made up of three good seniors, and their best player was a junior who seems to be a lock to enter the NBA draft. The total output from those players this season was huge.
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The rotation seniors who will leave are center Kennedy Meeks, forward Isaiah Hicks, and backup point guard Nate Britt. They’ll take a little less than 40 percent of the team’s scoring out the door with them. Meeks alone was responsible for almost half of UNC’s national-best 302 offensive rebounds.

Who they added in free agency: The Seahawks haven’t done much. They signed former first-rounder Luke Joeckel, who didn’t pan out in Jacksonville, on a one-year deal with $7 million guaranteed. Pete Carroll said during the owners’ meetings in March that the team sees Joeckel as a left tackle, and that’s where he’ll start out with the Seahawks.

Russell Westbrook’s NBA MVP case is more than just triple-doubles

Westbrook scored 16 of the Thunder’s final 18 points, including the game-winner, in a remarkable comeback win vs. Dallas.

Russell Westbrook’s voice was nearly gone, but he didn’t seem to mind. That’s standard. That’s the norm for him.

“My voice is always gone,” Westbrook said. “After a game I never have my voice. But it’s alright.”
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Anything would be alright with Westbrook after he single-handedly willed the Thunder into this win. Down 13 points with 3:30 left in the game, it felt like Oklahoma City had been slogging through an offensive malaise for more than three and a half quarters. Certainly, a 14-0 run to close the game with a win didn’t seem likely. At that point, it seemed like a 4-0 run might even be too much to ask.

Though the Bruins had an official policy of no sexual contact with the recruits or football players, BAYLOR had an unofficial policy of looking the other way when there was sexual intercourse between the Bruins and the football players.

The woman levying this lawsuit, referred to as Elizabeth Doe, was a part of the Bruins program starting in the fall of 2017. In April of 2017, Ms. Doe says that she was taken home from a party by Chatman and Armstead after becoming intoxicated at a party.

Ms. Doe’s roommate’s boyfriend confronted the two players and called 911. Before the police arrived, fellow Bruins showed up at the house to try and get Ms. Doe to develop a cover story that said she had consensual sex with one white man. A subsequent Title IX investigation revealed that Chatman had dispatched the Bruins to the apartment.
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Per the lawsuit, the Waco police never interviewed Chatman or Armstead and Baylor took no action either.

There’s really no tequila in this Gronk-tini?

Over at Mile High Report, Bronco Mike is looking ahead to the matchup between the Chiefs and Broncos on Nov. 17:

This game is just the beginning of the best to come. The only home game in this 4 game stretch occurs Sunday, November 17th. Finally, we get to see if that sterling 9-0 record is all it’s cracked up to be. The unstoppable force (Bronco offense) meets the immovable object (Chiefs defense), and the first in two epic battles will play out in primetime. Manning and company are no strangers to primetime. Over the course of 24 regular season games, they have played 8 under the lights with all of America watching. Their record? 6-2. The gameplan? Simple: Win.

Kyle Posey of Bolts From The Blue want to know why Ryan Mathews does not get the ball more:

As we learn a little more about the event, I learn that the “fastest girl at camp” gets to hug Gronk. Assuming “fast” refers to running, I am suddenly grateful for my knee problems. We are told repeatedly to “drink up.” If you insist.

Some 45 minutes into the event, Rob Gronkowski finally makes his big entrance, in camouflage Zubaz pants, no less. As someone who actually owns a pair of Zubaz, I immediately regret my outfit choice. We do the Gronk chant, as practiced.

Gronk briefly greets the group with some Q&A, starting with “who is the center for the Patriots?” Pffft, like anyone knows that. (Apparently no one does know that.) This segues pretty quickly into a seemingly rehearsed bit that results in the host asking “what is a tight end?” and Gronk turning around, wiggling his butt, and yelling ” THIS IS A TIGHT END!” The women go ballistic; I begin to question my life choices. There’s really no tequila in this Gronk-tini? How?8

Shaq said he was joking about the Earth being flat all along

Does Shaquille O’Neal believe the Earth is flat? Well no. I mean yes. I mean … maybe. Over the weekend, he unequivocally stated that he is on Kyrie Irving’s side in believing the earth is not round.

Authentic Womens Justin Houston Jersey The court filing, the report notes, reflects the claims of the former players against NFL teams, presenting the players’ side of a legal argument, including evidence on which they base it.

Authentic Womens Trevor Bauer Jersey According to the Post, the court filing alleges that the teams dispensed painkillers and prescription-strength anti-inflammatories in numbers far beyond anything previously acknowledged or made public.

As an example contained in the court documents, the average NFL team in 2012 prescribed nearly 5,777 doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and 2,213 doses of controlled medications, such as Vicodin and Toradol, to its players, according to a March 2013 internal document from the league-employed medical adviser who oversees the NFL’s drug issues.

That would be an average of about six to seven pain pills or injections per week per player over a typical NFL season, what one medical expert told the Post represented an incredible amount of intervention with some pretty risky drugs.

the Ravens could use another high pick invested in an offensive line

Elite Womens Mikkel Boedker Jersey I’ve moderated somewhat on the NBA age minimum, but Dennis Smith Jr. is one of those guys for which one-and-done did absolutely no benefit for anyone (not even Mark Gottfried, his now unemployed college coach). Smith will still go super high in the lottery without any assurances he’ll pan out.

Isaac did help himself — he considered entering the 2016 NBA draft through a loophole but went to Florida State instead — by showing decent three-point range for the tall, skinny prospect. I am concerned about whether he can actually be a combo forward in today is NBA or whether he is a pure center. Small forwards usually aren’t this tall, and defense could be a major concern if he is asked to play the wing instead of the pivot. He is also not much of a playmaker. He is intriguing, but he is also going to be compared to the more-skilled Tatum and Jackson.

Tabor may fall substantially after a lackluster NFL Combine, but expect him to remedy those concerning numbers at his Pro Day and reassure himself of a top-20 pick. The Colts really need cornerback youth.

After losing Ricky Wagner in free agency and with Marshal Yanda set to be 33 next season, the Ravens could use another high pick invested in an offensive line. Receiver and even running back are options, but Ramczyk is a good value here.

Game Spencer Hawes Jersey But by now, Butler is become a destination. The Bulldogs aren’t going to recruit like a Kentucky or a Duke, but their talent acquisition is getting better all the time. They landed the best signing class in program history before this season, and they are slated to do it again before next. Being in the Big East, not the Horizon League, hasn’t hurt.

A hallmark of Stevens’ program was the growth of his players over time. Holtmann is Butler is doing that, too, and it is landing better talent to start with. Mix all of that together, and the Bulldogs should keep being good for a long time — whether they can swing the upset against North Carolina or not.

Louisville player got so excited he fell off the bench

The first half of Sunday’s Michigan-Louisville game was a barn burner. Louisville’s Deng Adel had a couple highlights, including when he annihilated a basketball with a thunder dunk. Near the end of the first half, Adel made back-to-back threes to extend Louisville’s lead, and it was so exciting, Ryan McMahon fell out of his seat and a coach angrily ran up to yank him off the ground.

I don’t care if it was intentional or not, the guilty party must be brought to justice.

Thankfully, Verne is a pro’s pro who played through the pain and even made light of the incident during the West Virginia-Notre Dame broadcast.

This was a team that probably wouldn’t have even made the field of 68 if it had lost its first game in the Big East tournament. Now it’s rolling into the Sweet 16 after an 11-point win over sixth-seeded Maryland, and a 25-point drubbing of third-seeded Florida State. Teams that make deep runs in March typically have star guards who are playing their best basketball of the season, and that’s the case with the Musketeers and Trevon Bluiett.

On paper, Notre Dame seemed like the worst possible second-round matchup for West Virginia. The Mountaineers win games by using their trademark pressure to feed off of opponents’ mistakes. The Fighting Irish don’t make many mistakes. They entered Saturday’s game ranking second in the nation in fewest turnovers per game, and were leading the nation in both assist-to-turnover ratio and team free-throw percentage.

Somehow, the Mountaineers still forced a team with that makeup to play right into their hands. West Virginia forced Notre Dame into 14 turnovers (six above their season average), and held them to 10-of-28 shooting from beyond the arc, and to 40.7 percent overall from the field as a team.25

First Four teams continue to have good tournament luck.

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The USC Trojans became the latest First Four team to reach the Round of 32, making them a perfect 7-of-7 since it was introduced. It was also the biggest upset of the tournament so far, with the Trojans as 7.5-point underdogs to the SMU Mustangs.

The Trojans came back from a 12-point deficit, and were down as many as nine points in the second half. A big shot and good defense in the final seconds secured their 66-65 victory.

More on the matchup: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can play spoiler again, as Greg Schiano’s squad handed the Carolina two losses in 2012 during a season where the Panthers were thought to be a playoff team. They last met in Carolina on 11/18, when Cam Newton and Josh Freeman threw for a combined 500 yards in an overtime win for the Buccaneers. Pressure will be on Mike Glennon to keep the Buccaneers’ offense afloat without running back Doug Martin, who is expected to miss Thursday’s game with a shoulder injury. Glennon is coming off his best game, throwing for 256 yards and two touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons.

Freshman De¡¯Anthony Melton has also been a key contributor. He¡¯s not the most prominent scorer by any means, but has been good for the Trojans since taking over a starting role in late December. Chimezie Metu has been great in his sophomore season, averaging 14.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

A comeback victory and having overcome so much during the season makes for a great celebration like this one. The Trojans certainly earned it.

Alex Tanguay Authentic Jersey After the game, a dismayed Bucknell locker room got a surprise visitor: Villanova¡¯s Jay Wright. Wright graduated from Bucknell and played for the Bison from 1979-1983. He is perhaps the most accomplished alumnus in the history of the athletic department.

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