NFL power rankings: Eagles and 49ers slide for Week 15

The Philadelphia Eagles vacated the No. 2 spot in SB Nation’s power rankings with their 24-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at home. While Philly remains atop the NFC East, the Seahawks closed the gap between themselves and the top of the conference.

Against a stingy Eagles defense, Russell Wilson played a fine game, throwing for 263 yards and two touchdowns. He added 48 more yards and a score on the ground. But the star for Seattle was its defense, which held Mark Sanchez to just 96 yards. Tharold Simon’s fourth-quarter interception sealed the win for the Seahawks and signaled their return to prominence in the NFC. Now 9-4, the Seahawks trail the Arizona Cardinals by one game in the division. The NFC West rivals face off again in two weeks.

The event was a fundraiser for Rawhide, a foundation supported by former-Packers great Bart Starr to help at-risk youth in Wisconsin. Favre appeared with Steve Young, who was in town with ESPN for coverage of the Falcons-Packers game. Though Favre will not attend the game, the time is drawing near for the legendary quarterback to get his due. The team has previously discussed plans to retire his number at a game in 2015.

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tired of Mike Williams after a stabbing incident this offseason, the Buffalo Bills swooped in and acquired the embattled wide receiver for a sixth-round pick. Williams, a native of Buffalo, had an opportunity to revitalize his career. However, after being left inactive for four of the team’s last eight games, the Bills elected to waive Williams and open up a spot on their 53-man roster according to NFL.com.

Officially, Williams’ release comes with an injury designation related to a calf strain he suffered during practice last week. However, as the report notes, the injury is not likely the motivation behind the move. If Williams goes unclaimed, he reverts to the Bills’ injured reserve list. Teams have until 4 p.m. ET Tuesday to place a claim on the receiver.5

Mike Pettine Sr. passes away

Mike Pettine Sr., a legendary high school football coach in Pennsylvania and father of former Browns head coach Mike Pettine Jr., passed away on Friday.

Limited Kids Shawn Matthias Jersey Per the Bucks County Times, Pettine Sr. was at his winter home in Florida when he passed.

Pettine Sr. was the coach at Central Bucks West High School in Eastern Pennsylvania for 33 seasons and won 326 games. He also won four state championships and won three consecutive state championships before retiring in 1999. His final year as coach was documented by ESPN cameras for a series called The Season.

Pettine Sr. was 5-0 against his son before Mike Pettine Jr. went to the NFL, first with the Ravens, then as defensive coordinator with the Bills before becoming head coach of the Browns in 2014-15. Pettine Sr. was often seen at Browns training camp and other offseason activities when his son was in Cleveland.

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Limited Kids Sam Koch Jersey As a result, the consistently good teams tend to be the teams that consistently get a lot of compensatory picks. And the teams that consistently try to spend themselves out of last place are the ones that don’t get a lot of compensatory picks.

The list of teams that have received the most compensatory picks since 1994 is pretty similar to the list of the best teams in football since 1994: The Ravens have received the most compensatory picks, and they’ve won two Super Bowls. The Packers have received the second-most, and they’ve also won two Super Bowls. The Patriots are fourth, and they’ve won five Super Bowls. The 10 teams that have had the most compensatory picks have won most of the Super Bowls since 1994, with a total of 14 titles for those 10 teams.

Las Vegas has Cubs with highest projected regular-season win total

The Chicago Cubs have the best odds to win the World Series at 7-2 and now have the highest projected regular-season win total at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
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The first sportsbook in Vegas to release MLB over/unders, the Westgate went with 95.5 for the Cubs after opening them at 93.5 last year. The Atlantis Casino in Reno was the first sportsbook in Nevada to release MLB season win totals, on Feb. 10.

The real treat began, however, as she was led into the locker room. Head coach Mike Yeo gave her a custom Blues jersey and Tarasenko announced that Arianna and a guest would be joining the team on an upcoming road trip to Arizona and Denver.

That trip was won by Tarasenko at a live auction last week, for the purposes of giving it to Arianna. She and a guest will travel on the team’s charter plane and stay in the team hotel for the four-day road trip.

Jim McMahon Mens Jersey Oh, and the entire locker room sang happy birthday to Arianna. You can’t ask for a better birthday than that, honestly.

Over three years as App State quarterback, Lamb has trademarked the Game Manager role. He is not asked to throw much on third-and-long, and when he does, things don’t turn out well (career passer rating on third-and-10 or longer: 91.7). But he makes smart decisions, he gets the ball out quickly, he lowers his shoulders for tough yards when he needs to, and he keeps the plane in the air.

Utilizing wide receivers on short routes has also been a foundation for the Patriots’ offense throughout the Brady era, and a sure-handed route runner like the Cardinals’ veteran would give the team another option underneath while allowing deep threats like Hogan and Mitchell to test coverage over the top.

2017 Genesis Open at Riviera: Tee times, pairings for Sunday’s round

DJ will need to race through 36 holes on Sunday at Riviera. Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images
The PGA Tour expected this at the beginning of the week. The Genesis Open was always going to be a scheduling challenge with a nasty weather forecast right in the heart of the tournament at Riviera.

At the start of the week, it was possible that all of Friday and Saturday could be washed out by some massive storms coming off the Pacific and hitting Southern California. Riviera got hit and took on a ton of water, but it could have been much worse and they were juuuuust south of the most severe stuff hammering the greater Los Angeles area.

We got a better-than-expected amount of play in on Friday before things were called just after noon for the day as strong winds took down a huge tree near the third green. And Saturday wasn¡¯t too bad either, with the players back in place and playing again just before 9 a.m. local. It started later than the crack of dawn because the grounds crews had to clean up the damage, mostly done to bunkers, from the 2.9 inches of rain measured overnight at the classic George Thomas layout.

Limited Youth Tomas Hertl Jersey But as Hamlin controlled the race, Keselowski deftly moved his way through the pack. Picking one car off at a time, he eventually broke the JGR stranglehold up front and slid into the second position as the white flag waved. And propelled by the momentum of the draft, Keselowski gained the advantage. Hamlin knew as much, and as they entered Turn 1, Keselowski went for the lead by powering underneath Hamlin, who countered by attempting to block Keselowski¡¯s charge. It was too late. The two made contact, causing Keselowski to slow and Hamlin to spin.

Limited Youth Ryan Harris Jersey ¡°(Keselowski) was coming with a huge run,¡± Hamlin said. ¡°I tried to do everything I could to block and cover the bottom before he got there, but he was coming at such a higher rate of speed I probably didn¡¯t get there in time.¡±

Mulroy’s approach with Wacha was more subtle.

Mulroy didn’t put 20 pounds on Wacha, which is why he doesn’t look dramatically different this spring. If anything, Wainwright is the pitcher in camp who looks to have packed on the most bulk muscle. With his legs fully healthy, he said he was able to lift more aggressively and he put on, well, about 20 pounds.

Because the only known fix for the chronic injury is to strengthen the muscles around it to stabilize the bone, Mulroy’s approach with Wacha was more subtle. The pair worked out together three days a week, concentrating on the muscles of his right shoulder but hitting every major group in his body. The rest of the days, he let Wacha’s body recover through less stressful workouts of Pilates or yoga. The idea wasn’t to win a bodybuilding contest on Venice Beach but rather to get the right muscles firing in the right sequence around Wacha’s shoulder, putting less stress on his scapula, allowing him to deliver the baseball with more zip.

McCarthy’s fastball velocity went from the low 90s to the mid-90s in the season after he first worked with Mulroy, and the trainer said he was eager to hear about Wacha’s early radar readings. It’s too early for that now; the radar guns will come out later. The Cardinals don’t want their pitchers overthrowing early in camp and getting injured. For now, it’s about feel.

Still, Harper appears to have moved on. At the very least, he seems to have compartmentalized. In November, he did the red-carpet thing at the American Music Awards before handing out the hardware for Best New Artist. The following month in Vegas, he rubbed elbows with the Duke hoops squad (adjusted for height, it was more like his elbows rubbing with their wrists). A week later, he tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Kayla Varner, then jetted off to Cabo for the honeymoon.

“The offseason’s a big deal for everyone,” says Turner, who was one of the guests at Harper’s wedding, “but especially for Bryce because he had such a long season filled with so much tension. He has lots of opportunities to do some really cool things, and he takes full advantage of it.”

The proof will always be in their actions in free agency

Re-sign TE Jared Cook and G T.J. Lang. The Packers have $43.6 million in cap room after releasing Sam Shields, and some of that money has to go to retaining contributors from their 2016 team. Cook is still a limited player and can be wildly frustrating at times, but Aaron Rodgers’ numbers were significantly better with him on the field:
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Find some help across from Ansah. Devin Taylor was effective as a rotation defensive end in 2015 but struggled as the full-time starter in 2016, racking up just 4.5 sacks and 10 quarterback hits. Taylor will be a free agent. The Lions got an unexpected boost from interior lineman Kerry Hyder, who recorded eight sacks, but they need another edge rusher to give Ziggy support. Given how expensive top-end pass-rushers will be in free agency, though, the Lions will likely look to the draft or the lower tier of the market to flesh out their defensive line.

Former Broncos coach John Fox joked: “We wanted to see if we could go all the way from one side of the deal on offense, all the way over to the other.”

McCoy can, and will, work with any quarterback the Broncos put behind center. And that flexibility, that versatility, is something McCoy has emphasized since his arrival for his second stint with the Broncos — he served as Denver offensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012.

“This is going to be a very player-friendly system,” McCoy has said. “I think that is one thing we have always done. … I think we’re always going to try and do what the players do best.”

Game Davon House Jersey The proof will always be in their actions in free agency, but the Broncos, from general manager John Elway to coach Vance Joseph to McCoy, have said the plan is to pick Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch to be the team’s starting quarterback next season.

That’s why I have QB ranked ninth in my position-by-position breakdown of the Saints’ offseason needs

The Giants traded up to grab him in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Nassib never really received his chance to play or compete for a starting job with the indestructible Eli Manning in front of him. After an unconvincing preseason last year and elbow surgery in December, Nassib could benefit from a fresh start after he failed to win over the Giants organization in his four years as Manning’s caddie. The only way for him to prove himself will be to do so in real games. He will get that opportunity only elsewhere. It’s time to move on.

However, Brees has only one year remaining on his contract — which is how the Saints wanted it. Brees wanted a long-term extension last year, but the Saints preferred to evaluate the position year-by-year.
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If not, the position is still in awfully good hands for the time being.

That’s why I have QB ranked ninth in my position-by-position breakdown of the Saints’ offseason needs. But it might be No. 1 when it comes to intrigue.

P.K. Subban came to the rescue. Sort of. Seconds after the Predators defenseman scored, Gaudreau waltzed down the other way and beat Devan Dubnyk to restore a four-goal lead. Carter and Joe Pavelski combined to make it 7-2.

Nobody scored immediately in the second game, so you knew we were in for a whole different brand of hockey.
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With a little more defensive play mixed in, the Metropolitan broke through first with Simmonds scoring a beautiful breakaway goal. But it was Sergei Bobrovsky making jaws drop: the Atlantic goalie pulled off a fun spin-o-rama to retrieve a puck.

… Victor Hedman scored for the Atlantic and Erik Karlsson followed through for the Metro to restore the one-goal lead.

The way the Bruins are handling Julien¡¯s dismissal is a complete embarrassment

The Bruins announced early this morning that Claude Julien has been fired, ending his near decade-long run behind the Boston bench.

The news was announced in a simple Tweet with a link to an accompanying news release, ending the reign of (arguably) the best coach in franchise history with a few terse words.

Whether or not Julien was the man for the bench job is a matter of opinion, really. Some say he¡¯s been given nothing to work with and has done a decent job with limited pieces, while others say that things have gone stagnant and it¡¯s time for a new voice.

The Blackhawks challenged for offside on the goal, and by one clear review, Chicago seemed to have a strong case for the goal to be overturned. Instead, the offside was deemed ¡°inconclusive¡± by the officials and the goal stood. The call could have been a game-changer, but Chicago was able to grab the lead again before heading into the third period.

You normally think of Iron Men to be old, grizzly veterans that have seen more than a fair number of years at the NHL level. The Wild, for all of their veteran players, now have a young face as their newest consecutive games leader in 24-year-old Charlie Coyle.

Game Youth Jose Fernandez Jersey On Wednesday, Coyle played in his 284th consecutive game, a streak he started way back in November of 2013.

You know, because it’s an Iron Man streak.@CharlieCoyle_3 has set a new @mnwild record by skating in his 284th consecutive game.
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Tom Brady’s Super Bowl performance has Mike Vick reconsidering his NFL retirement

Quarterback Mike Vick is already considering an NFL return just days after announcing his retirement.

Two days before Super Bowl 51, the longtime Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback decided to hang up the cleats. It was perfect timing — Vick made his decision at the pinnacle of the excitement around Atlanta.

And then Tom Brady did what he does and orchestrated the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. The Falcons blew a 25-point lead in a game that was quickly dubbed the worst football loss ever.

Per TMZ, it was Brady’s miraculous efforts in the Patriots’ comeback that inspired Vick to “[leave] the door open.”

“I’m getting cold feet man,” Vick said in an interview on the day following the Super Bowl and his retirement party. “As of right now I’m officially retired, but I’m gonna continue to work out, get myself in tip-top shape and just leave the door open.”

“Congratulations to the greatest team, the greatest coach, and the greatest quarterback of all time for winning their fifth Super Bowl victory in Houston,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “The Patriots have made Boston and New England proud — fire up the duck boats!”

Just like in the Patriots’ 2015 Super Bowl parade, it appears as though the weather will be a factor, with a mix of snow and rain expected, as well as temperatures in the mid-30s and some pretty intense wind gusts.

Walsh said that based on past attendance, anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million fans could attend the festivities.

The city of Boston has more details about the parade route and road closures for anyone who wants to celebrate a fifth Super Bowl with Brady and Co.

NFL MVP Matt Ryan has reached elite status, but new challenge awaits

Matt Ryan has never had much time for critics of his play over the course of his nine-year NFL career. He has the $100 million contract but entered the 2016 playoffs with only one career postseason victory. That didn’t exactly translate into elite status for a quarterback, but Ryan wasn’t getting caught up in labels.

“It’s never been about money,” the Atlanta Falcons star told ESPN.com before this season. “I’m not complaining. Money is just one of the things that comes along with it. With that comes added criticism, and there’s a certain expectation. What I need to do is do my job as best I can and not worry about what everyone else thinks about what you’re getting paid. … For me, the things that are important are the things that affect the outcome of games. That’s what I focus on.”

His mother, Galynn, has been dealing with an undisclosed illness, and it’s put a strain on the tight-knit Brady family. So if there was a picture that captured the essence of Brady’s emotions leading into Super Bowl LI, it was this.

The emotions peaked even higher as the confetti fell at NRG Stadium on Sunday night.
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Brady took the stage and raised the Lombardi Trophy and yelled, “Let’s go! Let’s go!”

“It’s going to be a great celebration tonight,” Brady said from the stage. “Thank-you to all of our fans. Everyone back in Boston, New England, we love you. You’ve been with us all year. We’re bringing this sucker home!”
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The verdict: Cheffers made the right decision. According to the rulebook, Cheffers has the option to call a timeout to “repair or replace game equipment, except player equipment.” Grade: A