Month: March 2017

Uffsides NFL Week 12 preview: Panthers vs. Dolphins

After back-to-back wins over the Niners and Patriots, the Panthers are the new media darlings of the NFC, but a trip to Miami may be tougher than it looks — the Dolphins have won two of three since the Richie Incognito scandal blew up, and their defense is formidable. Matt Ufford and the Uffsides crew preview Week 12’s games and make their picks.

New England Patriots – Kyle Van Noy, Linebacker, BYU: Kyle Van Noy has dropped off a bit since his incredible bowl game to end his junior season. What remains intriguing about Van Noy is his ability to fit into a few different defensive alignments. Bill Belichick will certainly value Van Noy’s versatility and could use some extra depth at linebacker given Jamie Collins’ struggles this season.

The Browns tried to have Armanti Edwards run a read option play on Sunday and it did not go so well. With a little less than seven minutes left in the first quarter, Armanti faked the handoff to one running back, pulled it and ran wide to his left.

But when confronted with a host of Bengals defenders, he appeared to lose his nerve. Rather than pitch it to the other running back along side him or lower his head and take what he could get, Edwards decided a quick back peddle was in order to try to lessen the force of the hit he was about to take. It was frigging hilarious! I kinda wonder if Edwards had to change his game pants at halftime. After a gain of zero on second-and-5, I doubt we will see that play again from the Browns, at least not with Edwards running.

New Orleans Saints – Kony Ealy, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Missouri: Michael Sam has stolen the headlines at Missouri, but Kony Ealy has more potential at the next level. Ealy is as strong as an ox but is comfortable moving around in space. Don’t be surprised if NFL teams want to experiment with Ealy at outside linebacker in pre-draft workouts. He would fit in nicely with New Orleans.
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The Bengals had a chance to just about lock up the North when they went to Baltimore this weekend.

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The Patriots were also off during Week 10, and at 7-2 they hold a two-game advantage over the Jets. With New England and New York already playing their two games this season — they split them, with each team defending its home field — it’s going to be tough for Rex Ryan’s boys to catch Tom Brady. The Colts looked awful against St. Louis, but with the Titans and Texans both losing, Indy remains two games up in the South. Indianapolis can take a big step towards clinching the division on Thursday night as they travel to Tennessee.

The Bengals had a chance to just about lock up the North when they went to Baltimore this weekend. Unfortunately for Andy Dalton and Co., a last-minute drive to force overtime was for naught as Justin Tucker drilled a long field goal to give the Ravens their fourth win of the season. Cincinnati still leads Baltimore and Cleveland by 1.5 games.

As for the wild card, it looks to be a foregone conclusion that either the Chiefs or Broncos will lock up the No. 5 seed barring a complete collapse. The final spot is up for grabs, though, with Miami a half-game back and four others just one back of the Jets. Other than the race to land the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage, this looks to be the biggest storyline in the AFC.

Authentic Alfred Blue Jersey The good news for Buffalo is that E.J. Manuel should be coming back this week. He’s the rookie quarterback the Bills were hoping to develop in 2017, but Manuel’s knee injury derailed those plans. They turned to another rookie in Jeff Tuel, and the results weren’t pretty. The Bills were actually leading the Chiefs at halftime thanks to a resurgent defense, but Tuel threw a back-breaking 100-yard pick-six that turned the game around.

Manuel is still a raw talent, but he’s the best option the Bills offense has. Poor quarterback play has squandered an excellent effort by the defense, leading to a 3-6 record.

How to watch Panthers vs. 49ers 2017 online, TV schedule, radio and more

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Turns out that it’s less psychically debilitating to be yelled at by Greg Schiano than it is to answer 10,000 questions about Richie Incognito. The Bucs finally ran across a team suffering a bigger existential crisis than their own, and the Fighting Schianos notched their first win. They’re also down to their last tailback, but if Mike Glennon continues to progress and Gerald McCoy continues to dominate … could the Bucs get to three wins this season? Dare to dream.

Manning stayed in the game, but was limping around and talking with trainers in between plays. Brock Osweiler did some warming up on the sidelines, but that was all. It’s worth noting that Manning has been on the injury report in recent weeks with an ankle issue, though he was never in danger of missing a game.

Andre Johnson Authentic Jersey As an aside, the Chargers weren’t flagged on that hit, while this hit on Matt Ryan drew a 15-yard penalty. We don’t think Manning was too happy with the non-call.

A narrow home win over the reeling Raiders isn’t the stuff of ticker-tape parades, but everyone in the NFC East can at least break out some party poppers as the Cowboys fall back to the pack. The East’s Quest For 8-8 should be an interesting if aesthetically unappealing watch down the stretch. The Giants can at least boast the division’s least-worst secondary, and Andre Brown’s welcome return provides a handy blunt object for an offense that has regressed to Paleolithic levels of efficiency.

West Virginia played hero ball for the final 38 seconds against Gonzaga and lost

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Jevon Carter hoisted up a pair of contested threes for West Virginia with time on his side, and wasted a second offensive rebound as he failed to shake free of Gonzaga’s perimeter defense for a third attempt. With time set to expire he instead threw the ball to an unprepared Daxter Miles, who missed badly, giving the Bulldogs a 61-58 win to advance to the Elite Eight.

Carter dribbled out most of the final 37.9 seconds left in this game on his own without finding an open look or creating for a teammate. He’s just a college kid giving all he can to pull off the upset, but it came back to bite him.

Patton, 26, set career highs last season with 37 catches and 408 yards, playing 68 percent of the offensive snaps for the 49ers. He became expendable when they re-signed Jeremy Kerley and added Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin.

This was the Jets’ first addition at wide receiver. Previously, they released Brandon Marshall, their leading receiver in each of the last two seasons.

Elite Youth Michael Jordan Jersey Right now, the Jets’ top receivers are Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa. Decker is recovering from hip and shoulder surgeries and, although he’s expected to be ready for training camp, his roster spot isn’t secure.

Patton, a fourth-round pick of the 49ers in 2013, will be reunited with his first position coach, John Morton, the Jets’ new offensive coordinator.

Patton, who started 14 games for San Francisco in 2016, drew praise from the Niners coaching staff for his blocking ability in the run game.

Watch Jim Harbaugh literally scream about his love for peanuts

We may be far off from the college football season, but that doesn’t mean Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has stopped being heated about various things. Most recently, Harbaugh appeared in a video for Planter is Peanuts, where he screamed loudly about his love and affinity for peanuts.

Te’o is an accomplished college player who has yet to translate those skills to football is highest level. While he is a driven inside linebacker, he failed to live up to his draft position in four up and down years on the West Coast. Now the Saints are betting a more stable environment is the key to unlocking his full potential.

This was a move New Orleans felt it had to make, especially since its defense ranked 27th last season. Te’o isn’t as athletic as other linebackers, but he has the strength and size to be a force in stopping opposing teams’ rushing attacks.

Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen runs a 4-3 defense and likes his players to attack and play with speed and physicality. Te’o isn’t fast, but he has the skills and knowledge to anchor the Saints defense.

Te’o is signing also adds to the list of defensive players the Saints signed or re-signed to bolster that side of the ball. They re-signed players like defensive tackle Nick Fairley and linebackers A.J. Klein and Alex Okafor.3

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Timberwolves out on Lance Stephenson after second 10-day contract expires

The Minnesota Timberwolves will release wing Lance Stephenson, league sources told ESPN.

“He knows he’s got a little more weight on his shoulders and he takes care of that,” linemate Conor Sheary said of Crosby. Sheary and Jake Guentzel assisted on all three of Crosby’s goals.
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Malkin, who has 72 points in 62 games, has been dealing with the injury for some time, coach Mike Sullivan said Friday.

The Penguins have been ravaged by injuries. Sullivan also announced on Friday that defenseman Ron Hainsey is week-to-week with an upper-body injury. The Penguins acquired the 35-year-old Hainsey just before the trade deadline. He has one assist in 10 games since joining Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh is already missing injured defensemen Kris Letang, Olli Maatta and Trevor Daley, though all three are expected back by the playoffs.

Kids Cyrus Kouandjio Jersey The Penguins called up Derrick Pouliot from their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to fill in for Hainsey ahead of Friday night’s 6-4 win against the New Jersey Devils.

Outfielder Michael Brantley is expected to make his exhibition debut on Monday when the Indians host the Los Angeles Dodgers. Brantley played in only 11 games last year following right shoulder surgery and has been easing his way back in training camp.

The problem for the Jaguars is that deadline hits before they can know if Bortles is any better than he was in 2016, when he completed 58.9 percent of his passes for 3,905 yards and 23 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. He threw 15 interceptions — including three returned for touchdowns to give him 11 pick-sixes in his career — in the first 12 games but threw only one in the last four. Bortles also suffered a Grade 1 sprained right AC joint, aggravated that five weeks later, and also dealt with painful tendinitis in his right wrist.

The Bengals did not hit free agency very hard in the wake of Hall’s injury.

The Wolverines were taking off from Ypsilanti, Mich., on a Wednesday. Their planned destination was Washington, D.C., the site of the Big Ten tournament. But high winds in the area caused serious problems for the team plane. The Wolverines¡¯ takeoff to D.C. was aborted, and the entire scene looked mortifying.
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There was a ravine ahead. The plane stopped just short of it. There was a jolt. Those on the plane described waiting for the plane to stop; “it felt like forever,” Michigan strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson said.

One witness said the ravine was 100 yards away. Another witness said it was 300 yards. Either way, it was there. The plane stopped short.

“That pilot undoubtedly saved our lives,” said one witness, who requested to not be quoted directly. “He knew something wasn’t right.”
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The Bengals did not hit free agency very hard in the wake of Hall’s injury. Head coach Marvin Lewis admitted as much by challenging the Bengals’ backups to step up in comments that appeared to be targeted at Dre Kirkpatrick. The former first-round pick appears to be the Bengals’ de facto starter opposite Newman for Sunday’s game. He has appeared in just 10 of a possible 24 games due to injuries since being drafted in 2012. As with Smith, Sunday may be the perfect opportunity for a breakout performance.

Of course, if Smith is to challenge a weakened secondary, he will need to stay upright. Unfortunately for him, his offensive line hasn’t given him much help in pass protection. The Jets have given up 25 sacks on the season, fifth-most in the NFL. Adjust for pass attempts, and Smith ranks 32nd out of 35 qualifying quarterbacks in sack percentage, going down on 10.1 percent of his pass attempts.

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Salvador Perez out for rest of World Baseball Classic after home plate collision

Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez will miss the remainder of the 2017 World Baseball Classic after suffering a left knee injury on a bizarre home plate collision in the ninth inning of Venezuela’s 11-10 win over Italy on Saturday afternoon in Jalisco, Mexico.

Italy trailed 10-9 in the bottom of the ninth inning with two men on base, when Gavin Cecchini singled with two outs to tie the game. But catcher Drew Butera also tried to score on the play, from first base. He was out by a mile, but in an awkward stumble toward home plate collided with Perez.

Perez suffered inflammation in his left knee, though an MRI revealed no structural damage, per a tweet from Team Venezuela. It is unknown how long he will be sidelined for beyond the WBC.

Selection Sunday is currently going on, which means the 2016 NCAA basketball tournament tips off in two short days. It only seemed fitting to carry the “War Room” idea over to bracket advice. You have numerous brackets, and plenty of bragging rights and other assorted “things” on the line. This chat is meant to provide you with all the advice you can handle from our college basketball experts. We will have a mix of talent providing advice this week. Some days you’ll get a mid-major expert, other days a major conference expert, and other days a national writer who covers a little bit of everything.

All questions will be answered by the user name “SB Nation Bracket Advice”. Others are welcome to chime in, but that username represents the “official” SB Nation advice.

If this is your first time commenting at SB Nation, you have two quick options to register:3

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