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Old 08-04-2017, 12:38 AM
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Cnotes NFL Preseason Picks-Results-Etc. !

GAME SCORE PICK AMOUNT STATUS UNITS

Dallas 20
Arizona 18

ARI +2.0
Under 34.5




ATS Picks 0-0-1 0.00% +0

O/U Picks 0-1-0 0.00% -550


********************************


Cowboys top Cardinals in HOF game
August 3, 2017


CANTON, Ohio (AP) Now that the Dallas Cowboys have taken care of business in the Hall of Fame game, they're going to hang around for a couple of days.

Why not? The boss is about to get a gold jacket.

With no stars and few starters on the field Thursday night, the Cowboys edged the Arizona Cardinals 20-18. The idea, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, was to get the young players lots of action, win the game, then get ready for owner Jerry Jones' induction on Saturday night.

So the team will be off Friday, practice in Cleveland on Saturday, then tour the hall before the evening ceremonies.

''This is a great experience not only for Jerry and the Jones family,'' Garrett said, ''but for the entire Dallas Cowboys family. We all take ownership in his induction.''

Garrett saw lots of value in playing an extra exhibition game.

''As a player you learn so much more in game situations than in any other environment,'' he said. ''There's nothing like putting on a uniform and going on a real football field and playing versus an opponent.''

Rookie Sam Irwin-Hill, unlikely to beat out Dallas veteran Dan Bailey for the placekicking job, made field goals of 23 and 43 yards, the latter providing the winning points in the fourth quarter.

The opening half featured a handful of big plays, with Arizona's third-string quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, consistently finding open receivers down the middle.

''There were a couple specific plays by the defense on those first couple of drives,'' Garrett said. ''Blown assignments on a big third-down conversion, and it wasn't physical enough. It wasn't aggressive enough.''

Dallas' Kellen Moore, who missed last season with an ankle injury, had some success passing down the sidelines, but his second-quarter interception by Brandon Williams in the end zone ruined a drive.

With the likes of Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson, Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu sitting it out, Arizona could be pleased with the work of backup running backs Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington, who both scored on short runs.

''It was great to see the offense move the ball and get touchdowns on those first two drives,'' Fitzgerald said. ''O-line, running game, passing the ball, that was impressive and I'm happy for every one of those guys.''

And with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Jason Witten, Sean Lee and their strong offensive line pretty much inactive, the Cowboys could point to veteran RB Alfred Morris and receivers Brice Butler and Rico Gathers.

Morris showed off a spin move worthy of Elliott on a 25-yard run, Butler had 78 yards on two catches in the first half, and Gathers, a hoops starter at Baylor, made a 26-yard touchdown catch.

Gathers also made a diving reception and slipped a pair of tackles on a 17-yard play early in the third period. That led to Uzoma Nwachukwu's 14-yard TD catch from fourth-string rookie Cooper Rush. The former rebounding standout had three catches for 59 yards.

''He's gotten so much better,'' Garrett said of Gathers, a practice squad player in 2016. ''He has a tremendous willingness to work and has come a long way, but has a long way to go.''

Generally, though, it was a sloppy exercise befitting the lack of star power.

TURF'S UP: At least the turf held up - unlike a year ago, when the game was canceled for safety reasons. The new field passed NFL operations directors' approval, and the footing was steady all night.

PREGAME INTROS:
Jones drew the loudest cheers - no surprise considering the overwhelmingly pro-Cowboys crowd of 21,126 at the renovated Hall of Fame Stadium - in pregame introductions of the seven men who will be inducted into the shrine Saturday night.

Jones, Terrell Davis, Kurt Warner, Kenny Easley, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor and Morten Andersen walked along midfield between the competing teams, often shaking hands with current players.

Hall of Famer Jackie Smith, who played tight end for both the Cowboys and Cardinals, performed a rousing national anthem.

TAKE A TABLET:
Referee Jerome Boger was the first to use a Microsoft Surface tablet to handle replay reviews under a new NFL system. Final say on calls is being made by the officiating staff in New York, in consultation with the referee.

Dallas challenged a down-by-contact call in the third quarter that negated a Cardinals fumble. The verdict came quickly and the call was confirmed.

GO FOR 2: Arizona kicked the extra point after its second touchdown, but Dallas lined up illegally. So the half-the-distance penalty brought the ball inside the 2-yard line. Gabbert threw incomplete, but another flag was thrown for interference. Then Gabbert sneaked in from about the 1 to make it 15-0.

UP NEXT: Dallas hosts Indianapolis in the first full week of preseason games on Aug. 19. Arizona hosts Chicago that night.
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:40 AM
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Sunday, August 7, 2016
Time (ET) Away Home
8:00 PM Green Bay Packers Indianapolis Colts

WEEK 1
Thursday, August 11, 2016

Time (ET) Away Home
7:00 PM Washington Redskins Atlanta Falcons
7:00 PM Tampa Bay Buccaneers Philadelphia Eagles
7:30 PM Carolina Panthers Baltimore Ravens
7:30 PM New Orleans Saints New England Patriots
7:30 PM Jacksonville Jaguars New York Jets
8:00 PM Denver Broncos Chicago Bears

Friday, August 12, 2016
Time (ET) Away Home
7:00 PM Miami Dolphins New York Giants
7:00 PM Detroit Lions Pittsburgh Steelers
7:30 PM Minnesota Vikings Cincinnati Bengals
8:00 PM Cleveland Browns Green Bay Packers
10:00 PM Oakland Raiders Arizona Cardinals

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Time (ET) Away Home
4:30 PM Seattle Seahawks Kansas City Chiefs
7:00 PM Indianapolis Colts Buffalo Bills
8:00 PM Dallas Cowboys Los Angeles Rams
8:00 PM Los Angeles Chargers Tennessee Titans

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Time (ET) Away Home
7:00 PM Houston Texans San Francisco 49ers
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:37 AM
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Wednesday’s six-pack

— Georgetown dropped out of the PK80 tournament in November, which tells me they think they’ll be lousy this year. DePaul replaces them in the Phil Knight-themed tournament, which is a one-time-only deal, to honor Knight on his 80th birthday.

— There are rumors that Bryce Harper will bolt to the Cubs after the 2018 season; he and Kris Bryant grew up in Las Vegas and are friends.

— Braves’ SS Johan Camargo got carried off the field after he got hurt while jogging on the field for the start of the game. Seriously. He tripped, fell and hurt his right leg.

— ESPNU is airing a corn hole tournament during the day; WTF? Corn hole is trying to throw bean bags thru holes in a wooden board 20-25 feet away. Compelling TV.

— I’m not fond of Little League games being on national TV. Lot of pressure for 13-year olds.

— RIP Glen Campbell 81, a great singer who once sponsored the LA Open on the PGA Tour at Riviera CC.

*************************

Wednesday’s List of 13: Random notes on AFC teams…..


Baltimore: With Flacco hurting, who will the QB be? Backup Mallett is shaky, at best. Ravens ran ball for only 91.4 yards/game LY (28th). Ravens lost their last six road games- they allowed 28.5 pts/game during 1-3 stumble at end of year, after they started season 7-5.

Buffalo: Another new head coach, and now they have 4th offensive coordinator in last four years; Bills finished 3-7 LY after a 4-2 start, were 2-6 in games decided by 7 or less points. Haven’t been in playoffs since 1999, longest drought in league, longer than even the Browns.

Cincinnati: Dropped from 7th in scoring in 2015 to 24th LY, then two offensive linemen left in free agency last winter. Missed playoffs LY for first time in six years, but Marvin Lewis is 0-7 in playoff games. Bengal fans have forgotten how bad the Bengals were before Lewis got there.

Cleveland: Who is the QB? Browns are 2-10-1 vs spread as a home underdog last two years- five of their 15 losses were by 6 or less points. Cleveland hasn’t won much; since 2010, Browns are 10-17-2 vs spread in game following a win. Cleveland last made the playoffs in 2002.

Denver: Have new coach, young QB’s, after going 9-7 in first season since Peyton Manning retired, missing playoffs for first time in six years. Broncos won last five season openers, all at home; they open at home against the Chargers on a Monday night this season.

Houston: Finished 9-7 in all three of O’Brien’s seasons; he is 16-5-1 vs spread as a favorite with the Texans, 12-4-1 at home— he is 9-15-1 as an underdog. Houston is 12-7-1 vs spread in game following their last 20 losses. How long before rookie QB Watson plays?

Indianapolis: How is Luck’s shoulder? Without him, Colts are screwed. Indy made playoffs in 12 of last 16 years, but missed the last two years (8-8/8-8). Colts finished 10th in yardage LY. Indy lost four of last five season openers- they visit the Rams in Week 1 this year.

Jacksonville: Tom Coughlin runs franchise now; they’re 22-74 the last six years, are -26 in turnovers in their last 32 games. Jags will try to run ball more to take pressure off QB Bortles, who is struggling in training camp this summer. Since 2012, Jax is 13-26-2 vs spread at home.

Kansas City: Chiefs are 43-21 in regular season under Reid, 1-3 in playoff games- they’re 11-2 vs spread as road favorites under Reid, 13-17 as home favorites. New OC Matt Nagy played in the Arena League for six years; Chiefs are +30 in turnovers in their last 32 regular season games.

LA Chargers: Year of transition; Bolts will play in 30,000-seat soccer stadium the next three years. Philip Rivers will be 36 in December; new coach Anthony Lynn has two very experienced coordinators, smart of him to do. Chargers were 8-16 vs spread at home the last three years.

Miami: Jay Cutler (68-71 career record) gets $10M to try and salvage the Dolphins’ season, with Ryan Tannehill (knee) out for at least half the year. In 11 years, Cutler is 1-1 in playoff games. Miami was 9-1 LY when they scored more than 17 points, 1-6 if they scored 17 or less points.

New England: Have had same OC/DC since 2012; they’re +40 in turnovers the last four years, are 17-8-3 vs spread as home favorites since ’13, covering last seven tries as a double digit fave. Offensive line was healthy LY, after using 39 different line combinations in 2015.

NJ Jets: Their long snapper is having a rough camp; they’re looking at new guys for that job. 38-year old McCown was signed for year to play QB; their two young backup QB’s are suspects. Since ’07, Jets are 5-13-1 vs spread as a home favorite in divisional games, but 8-3 as home dogs.

Oakland: Made playoffs LY for first time since 2002; they were +16 in turnovers LY, after being -23 in turnovers previous three years combined. Oakland is 12-3 vs spread on road under Del Rio, 8-2 as road dogs. Raiders made change at OC this year, promoting QB coach Downing.

Pittsburgh: Steelers were 4-5 at one point LY, then won nine games in row before losing AFC title game in Foxboro. Pitt is 18-12 vs spread as a favorite last two years, 9-3 as non-division home favorite the last three years; they’re 12-5 in last 17 games as a favorite of 3 or less points.

Tennessee: Had first winning season since 2011 LY; still haven’t made playoffs since 2008- their last playoff win was in ’03. Jumped from 30th to 11th in yards gained LY; six of their nine wins were by 6 or less points. Titans were even in turnovers LY; they were -24 from 2013-15.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:40 AM
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Panthers QB Newton out for preseason opener vs. Texans
August 8, 2017


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) Quarterback Cam Newton will sit out the Panthers' preseason opener against the Houston Texans on Wednesday night while he continues to battle soreness in his right throwing shoulder.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera made the announcement Tuesday at training camp.

Other that some light warmup tosses, Newton hasn't thrown at training camp since July 30.

Newton had surgery in March to repair a partially torn rotator cuff. He was cleared to participate in training camp practices this summer after missing all of OTAs and minicamp. However, the league's 2015 MVP developed soreness in his shoulder after five practices.

The Panthers plan to have Newton ready for the Sept. 10 regular season opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

Derek Anderson will start against the Texans
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:47 AM
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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 9

» Texans at Panthers (7:30 p.m., NFL Network)


Obviously this game is about watching how presumptive Texans starter Tom Savage handles the moment. Head coach Bill O'Brien would love nothing more than a smooth handful of completions and a quick, injury-free exit. Starting Savage for the opener seems to signal the team's continued determination to bring rookie backup Deshaun Watson along at his own pace. To that end, the Texans will be hoping Watson remains in the pocket and looks confident throwing some of the more difficult routes in Houston's tree against the second-stringers.

THURSDAY, Aug. 10

» Falcons at Dolphins, 7 p.m.


This will not be the Jay Cutler debut everyone was hoping for, but it does give backup Matt Moore one final chance to make this decision difficult for Adam Gase. Gase all but handed the job to Cutler, saying that the former first-round pick would not have come out of retirement just to stand on the sidelines. That being said, Moore played extraordinarily well as a fill-in for Ryan Tannehill last year and is immensely popular in the locker room. Barring any monumental shift in thought, there's not much Moore can do to reverse the plan already in motion. But wouldn't it be fun if he did?

» Vikings at Bills, 7 p.m.

The Vikings have one of the more intriguing running back battles, especially considering that Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook are both capable of the every-down role formerly held by Adrian Peterson. The best-case scenario, of course, is accentuating both of their strong points and utilizing multiple backs. Judging running plays in the preseason is a fool's errand and a risky proposition for any team hoping to have their stars healthy for the regular season. But, it will be nice to get at least one or two carries for Cook to get his feet wet.

» Redskins at Ravens, 7:30 p.m.

With Joe Flacco still on the sidelines and a wave of reports mounting about Ryan Mallett's uneven practice performances, the spotlight on QB2 has never been brighter in Baltimore. The Ravens researched the idea of signing Colin Kaepernick, but as NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported during the team's brief flirtation with Kaepernick, it would not go down unless there was a marked drop off in Baltimore's feelings about Mallett as a quality backup. Thursday is Mallett's chance to ease some fears inside the facility.

» Jaguars at Patriots, 7:30 p.m.

Cam Robinson debuts as the team's left tackle. As Jaguars beat writer Ryan O'Halloran mentioned on Twitter on Monday, the team would have likely preferred to start Branden Albert at left tackle and ease the second-round pick in as a guard. That won't happen, with Albert now officially being placed on the reserve/retired list on Tuesday. The Jaguars go into an all-important season with heightened expectations and a rookie at left tackle. After a week of joint practices, will Bill Belichick find a way to make Robinson work a little harder to earn it?

» Eagles at Packers 8 p.m.

The NFL is a strange place, which is why we're talking about a resurgent Nelson Agholor making a play for Jordan Matthews' job. At least that was the takeaway from Delaware Online, citing offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Perhaps this is just a motivational ploy for Agholor, who has struggled mightily over his first two seasons. But it's worth watching how the pair are deployed on Thursday night and who makes the most of their limited opportunities.


» Saints at Browns: 8 p.m.

We're all out of Brock and Roll puns, which means it's time to actually see Brock Osweiler take a crack at the Browns' starting job. Hue Jackson has it made clear that other quarterbacks are getting a shot this preseason, but it would be wildly irresponsible for a coach to start a different quarterback in every single one of his preseason games. In an ideal world, the Browns would go Osweiler/Cody Kessler in game one and game two, allowing for the better player to start game three and the season opener. Then, Jackson should start DeShone Kizer in game four. That's in a perfect world, dependent on Osweiler actually playing well against New Orleans this weekend.

»Broncos at Bears: 8 p.m., NFL Network

The Broncos took the drama out of their next two games by announcing that Trevor Siemian would start game one and Paxton Lynch would start game two. Obviously, the better player should get game three, but as we noted on Monday, there's a good chance Siemian takes this competition outright with a decent performance against Chicago. NFL Network's James Palmer, on location in Denver all summer, noted that Siemian started separating from the pack early last week. Does that continue Thursday?

FRIDAY, Aug. 11:

» Steelers at Giants: 7 p.m., NFL Network


During Ben McAdoo's first season as Giants offensive coordinator, the team played in the Hall of Fame game and ran a pared-down version of his muddle-huddle scheme which seemed to foreshadow fairly well what they ran in the regular season. If I'm a Giants fan, I'm keeping an eye on the deployment of rookie first-round pick Evan Engram, who could either add a brand-new dimension to this offense or prevent its fluidity. The Giants don't like taking offensive players off the field, and Engram needs to be more than just a receiving threat to make this work.

» Buccaneers at Bengals: 7:30 p.m.


ESPN.com noted yet another eye-opening performance from Bengals second-round running back Joe Mixon in practice this week. Mixon makes his professional debut against a very good run defense on Friday and, given Cincinatti's depth at the running back position, we may see Marvin Lewis give Mixon some room to work. Jeremy Hill tops the depth chart for now, but for how long?

» 49ers at Chiefs: 9 p.m., NFL Network

It's fascinating to watch first-time head coaches approach the preseason opener. Kyle Shanahan's debut is highly anticipated for several reasons. He's showing off a stellar rookie class on defense and potentially giving a glimpse of what his offense will look like in San Francisco. If nothing else, it will probably provide an extended look at rookie third-round pick C. J. Beathard. Beathard would ideally beat out Matt Barkley for the backup gig this offseason and allow the 49ers to keep just two quarterbacks on the roster.

SATURDAY, Aug. 12:

» Titans at Jets, 7:30 p.m.



Live bullets for Christian Hackenberg! The Jets offense suffered another devastating blow with the season-ending injury of wideout Quincy Enunwa on Monday but the show must go on. Already staring down the grim prospect of a rebuilding year, head coach Todd Bowles needs to see if Hackenberg could potentially move the ball in a game situation before the start of the regular season. In theory, Hackenberg should get a majority of the snaps against Tennessee while the Jets decide what to do with third-stringer Bryce Petty.

» Cowboys at Rams, 9 p.m., NFL Network

It was fun tracking Taco Charlton during the Hall of Fame game last week, and I'll likely be doing the same on Saturday. The Cowboys' pass rushing problem is real, and while Charlton did not blow up Arizona's backfield, he did display some good run stopping skills. Part of his issue against the pass? A little over eager, which is understandable for a rookie in his first live NFL action. Dallas needs him to grow up quickly.

» Raiders at Cardinals, 10 p.m.

Can Robert Nkemdiche play well two weeks in a row? The 2016 first-round pick was singled out by Bruce Arians for a strong performance against the Cowboys. Nkemdiche was blowing up the right side of Dallas' interior and seemed, for the most part, like a more motivated man. Arians wants to see consistency, though, and will almost certainly be playing Nkemdiche for another half against the Raiders.

SUNDAY, Aug. 13

» Lions at Colts, 1:30 p.m., NFL Network


With Andrew Luck still not throwing passes, all eyes turn to Scott Tolzien. It's interesting to see teams like the Ravens explore options at backup quarterback when their No. 2 is Ryan Mallett, and Joe Flacco is likely to return by the season opener. And yet, a team like Indianapolis remains quiet. Maybe they see something in Tolzien that the rest of us have not, and maybe that will be on display on Sunday against the Lions.

» Seahawks at Chargers, 8 p.m., NFL Network

Tough break for the Chargers, who cannot debut first-round pick Mike Williams (back) this weekend or perhaps at all this season. Their second-round pick Forrest Lamp (knee) is also out for the year. The Seahawks will not be able to see anything from their top pick, Malik McDowell, either after his horrifying ATV crash. So what do we watch for? Eddie Lacy. The running back has been quiet in Seahawks camp and faces stiff competition from incumbent Thomas Rawls.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:49 AM
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9

GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

HOU at CAR 07:30 PM

HOU +1.0

U 38.5
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:13 AM
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QB Savage to get start for Texans
August 8, 2017


WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.VA. -- Tom Savage will get the start Wednesday night for the Houston Texans as they open the preseason against the Carolina Panthers as the former backup tries to establish himself as the defending AFC South champions' new QB1.

Rookie backup Deshaun Watson will play extensively, followed by third quarterback Brandon Weeden.

"Tom's going to start the game," Texans head coach Bill O'Brien said. "Deshaun and Brandon will play."

As for how much time the quarterbacks will play, O'Brien was noncommittal.

"You have no idea how the game's going to play out," he said. "How long is this drive? How long is that drive? You have to play it by ear relative to how the game goes."

Savage has taken every snap with the first-team offense during training camp. He needs all the repetitions he can get because he's started only two games in his first three seasons. O'Brien expects a sharp night.

"Good operation of the offense," O'Brien said about what he wants to see from the offense. "Take care of the football. Getting in and out of the huddle quickly. From all three of them, just a clean game, a clean operation. Everybody on the same page, and see if we can score some points."

O'Brien said having Savage and Weeden has been good for Watson's development.

"Absolutely," he said. "When Deshaun has a question, (they) can help him, not just the coach. That's what these guys do. Tom and Brandon have done a really good job with Deshaun of kind of giving him their own insight into the offense, which is good to see."

--Even though the trip to Carolina is for only a preseason game, Savage expects a lot from himself.

"I think just consistency," he said. "Ultimately, we've got to score points. That's what I want to accomplish on Wednesday and then protect the ball."

Like his teammates and coaches, Savage is eager to begin the preseason schedule.

"Yeah, I know our offense and defense are kind of getting on each other's nerves right now," he said. "It'll be good to take it out on someone else."

Savage enjoys working with the other quarterbacks, Watson and Weeden.

"It's awesome," he said. "We're always communicating with each other. That's what we want to see. That's the name of this game. We want to win games and by that, you've got to have good leadership in that room, and we've got to be a tight-knit room."
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Rookie QB Watson shines in Texans' 27-17 loss to Panthers
August 9, 2017


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Deshaun Watson reminded everyone why Panthers coach Ron Rivera - and many others - felt he should have won the Heisman Trophy last season.

Watson shined in his NFL preseason debut, completing 15 of 25 passes for 179 yards and running for a score in the Houston Texans' 27-17 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday night.

Watson, who led Clemson to the ACC championship on this field last December en route to winning the national championship, received a rousing ovation from Tigers fans dressed in orange when he entered the game in the second quarter.

The cheers grew louder when Watson outran two defenders for a 15-yard touchdown - although Panthers fans tried to cover the celebration with boos.

''It was good just to get my feet wet,'' said Watson, who was pleased with his overall effort.

Houston's first-round draft pick looked comfortable in the pocket, stepping up to avoid pressure and getting rid of the football in a timely manner. He didn't let penalties on his team affect him and didn't turn the ball over in nearly three quarters of play.

''He's a smart player, an instinctive player,'' Texans coach Bill O'Brien said.

''For the first game out there I thought he did some good things. That's a big jump from college to the NFL and I thought he handled it pretty well.''

Tom Savage went three-and-out on his first two possessions against Carolina's first-team defense. Savage had better luck with Carolina's starters out of the game, completing 8 of 8 passes for 67 yards on his final drive capped by a 16-yard TD run by Alfred Blue.

But it was a strong showing for Carolina's defensive starters.

''We put ourselves in good third down situations and we were able to execute and get off the field,'' Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis said. ''Overall, the first half, the ones definitely had a good showing.''

Panthers veteran backup Derek Anderson looked sharp starting in place of Cam Newton, who's still resting a sore right shoulder.

Anderson completed 4 of 5 passes for 76 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin to finish with a perfect 158.3 QB rating.

The 6-foot-5 Benjamin, who reported to training camp in good shape after being overweight in the spring, made a leaping grab in the corner of the end zone to give Carolina the early 7-0 lead.

''I am feeling good again,'' Benjamin said. ''I am ready to get Cam (Newton) back out there so we can rebuild that chemistry.''

WATT, KUECHLY RETURN: Two former NFL Defensive Players of the Year returned to action after missing significant time last season with injuries.

J.J. Watt played one series for the Texans in his return from back surgery. Kuechly played six plays after returning from his second career concussion. Neither registered a tackle.

SITTING OUT:
Along with Newton, veteran defensive ends Julius Peppers and Charles Johnson, center Ryan Kalil and rookie wide receiver Curtis Samuel did not suit up for Carolina.

ROOKIE WATCH

Texans: Rookie linebacker Dylan Cole appeared to return a fumble for a touchdown to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but the play was overturned.

Panthers: Christian McCaffrey had 33 yards on seven carries in his rookie debut and showed impressive quickness and the ability to make defenders miss.

POSITION BATTLES

Texans: RB Alfred Blue outperformed projected starter Lamar Miller. Blue ran for 33 yards on seven carries including a 16-yard touchdown, while Miller carried two times for no yards.

Panthers: Wide receiver Damiere Byrd, considered a fringe roster player, did nothing to hurt his chances by hauling touchdown passes of 50 and 8 yards from Joe Webb.

WHAT BROWN DOES FOR YOU: The Texans clearly missed left tackle Duane Brown, whose contract situation remains unresolved. Savage was under heavy pressure on the first two series. Chris Clark started at left tackle.

INJURY UPDATE:

Texans: Reported no injuries.

Panthers: Vernon Butler, last year's first-round draft pick, left the game with a left knee injury and did not return.

QUOTABLE:


Texans: ''I'm so happy to be back with my guys,'' Watt said of his return. ''It's so much fun in my D-line room and being back out there with my teammates. That's where I belong.''

Panthers: ''It means a lot,'' Byrd said after the first of his two TD catches. ''It's a dream of everybody's to be able to play for an organization as great as this in the NFL.''
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DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

08/09/2017 0-2-0 0.00% -1100
08/03/2017 0-1-1 0.00% -550

********************************

Thursday’s six-pack

— Over/under for the winning score at the PGA this weekend: 12.5 under par.

— Since 2000, the average winning score at the PGA? 11-under par.

— NFL will hire 21-24 of its officials as full-time employees.

— Cubs lost catcher Wilson Contreras (hamstring) in Wednesday’s game.

— Mets traded Jay Bruce to Cleveland, as the Indians look for more punch from the left-hand side of the plate.

— RIP former umpire Ken Kaiser 72, who supplemented his income as a young man by also working as a professional wrestler.

**********************

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud…….

13) Umpire Joe West was suspended for three games recently because he identified Adrian Beltre of the Rangers as the biggest complainer in the major leagues. Umpires are better off seen and not heard.

12) Apparently Jameis Winston will be a big part of Hard Knocks this summer; last year, Jared Goff was hardly on the show— it was almost like the Rams signed 3 or 4 scrubs that HBO could focus on in Hard Knocks, so the more prominent players could be left alone.

Bucs’ defensive coordinator Mike Smith went thru the Hard Knocks thing a couple years ago when he was coaching the Falcons— he wound up getting fired.

11) “Stay away from the QB….Stay away from the QB…..Stay away from the QB.”

Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter, after a pass rusher bumped into Winston’s blind side during a passing drill. Quarterbacks wear a different color jersey during practice, so they don’t get touched.

10) One thing about NFL Films/Hard Knocks- they like showing players bowling on their days off. Happens every year.

9) Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter has a pretty cool gadget in his office; a touchscreen like the one John King used on CNN during the elections. He can move guys on his depth chart just by touching, dragging the name to a different column. Easier that writing/erasing names on a board.

8) Cleveland Indians are in stretch of 41 games in 41 days, with one doubleheader, so at least there is one day off in there. Tribe had several rainouts, which created the logjam in games.

7) Last time the National League won the season series with the American League was 2003, but this year is closer than usual. AL won by 26+ games the last three years, but this year it is only 112-102 AL, going into Tuesday’s games.

6) Jaguars’ tackle Branden Albert retired, then when he was informed he had to return some of the money the Jags paid him, apparently wanted to unretire.

From ESPN.com: “Jaguars put him on the reserve/retired list, which means the team retains its rights to Albert because he’s under contract to the Jaguars for two more seasons. If Albert were to un-retire, the Jags would have the first option of his services. If they no longer want him, Albert would go through the waiver process and if no team claimed him he would become a free agent.”

5) The Electoral College system in our Presidential elections make no sense to me; they were saying that Republicans completely ignore California/New York because they know they can’t win those states. How do you ignore the two biggest states?

Our system needs updating; whoever gets the most votes should win. I’d rather Idaho and West Virginia get ignored than California and New York. No offense to Idaho and West Virginia.

4) Huge red flag for the Astros: In three starts since coming off the DL, Dallas Keuchel has allowed 14 runs in 12 IP. Lance McCullers is on the DL; Houston has huge pitching issues, which won’t matter until October.

3) Quote of the Day, part 2, from Charles Barkley:

“You want to be on a good team. You want to play with other great players. This notion where you want to be the man, I just think is so stupid. If I got a chance to play with another great player, I want to do that. The objective is to win.”

He is talking about Kyrie Irving wanting out of Cleveland.

2) If you want to buy 33.3% of an NFL team and have $660M to throw around, you can be a part-owner of the Tennessee Titans. One of Bud Adams’ daughters put her share of the team up for sale this week.

1) Apparently I’m out of touch with pop culture; these two “celebrities” are getting divorced, Twitter is blowing up over it, and I’ve never heard of either person. Very disappointed in myself.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:18 AM
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Thursday's Preseason Tips
August 9, 2017


Falcons (-1, 36) at Dolphins - 7:00 PM EST

Atlanta
Head Coach: Dan Quinn (5-3 SU, 4-4 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Sean Renfree, Matt Simms, Alek Torgersen (Rookie)
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: D. Orlando Ledbetter


The defending NFC champions take the field for the first time since blowing a 25-point lead in February’s shocking Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. Star wide receiver Julio Jones will watch the preseason opener from the sidelines as the Falcons won three of four exhibition games last season. The lone loss came to the Dolphins in Orlando, but the Falcons cashed the UNDER three times, while limiting opponents to 17 points or less in all four contests.

Miami
Head Coach: Adam Gase (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Matt Moore, Brandon Doughty, David Fales
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Armando Salguero

Miami made plenty of headlines this past week with quarterback Ryan Tannehill reinjuring his left knee in practice and missing significant time. Jay Cutler was talked out of his short retirement to return to the field as the former Bears’ signal-caller inked a one-year deal with the Dolphins. Cutler won’t play in Thursday’s preseason opener as Miami enters this season off a 10-6 record and a Wild Card berth in 2016. The Dolphins played only one true home game in the preseason last season, losing to the Titans, while owning a 3-7 ATS record in its past 10 exhibition games.

Vikings (-1 ½ 36) at Bills - 7:00 PM EST

Minnesota
Head Coach: Mike Zimmer (12-1 SU, 11-2 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, Taylor Heinicke
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Chris Tomasson


The Vikings entered last preseason with questions at the quarterback position after Teddy Bridgewater suffering a devastating leg injury. Bridgewater remains out and Sam Bradford is the incumbent starter under center, but that’s not the headline for Minnesota. The Vikings continue to be a solid preseason play after posting a perfect 4-0 SU/ATS record in 2016, while Minnesota has won and covered five of six road exhibition contests under Zimmer since 2014.

Buffalo
Head Coach: Sean McDermott (No preseason record)
Quarterback Rotation: Tyrod Taylor, T.J. Yates, Nathan Peterman (Rookie)
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Joe Buscaglia


The Bills begin a new era with the emergence of McDermott after a steady run as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator. Buffalo began last season with a respectable 4-2 record, but won only three of its final 10 contests to finish shy of the playoffs and cost Rex Ryan his job last December. The Bills dropped three of four preseason games in 2016, while losing three consecutive exhibition openers since 2014. Buffalo faces Minnesota in the preseason for the first time since 2013 when the Bills held off the Vikings, 20-16.

Redskins at Ravens (-1, 37 ½) - 7:30 PM EST

Washington
Head Coach: Jay Gruden (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Mike Jones


The Redskins have succeeded in the preseason in Gruden’s two seasons at the helm by winning nine of 12 games. Washington limited three of four opponents last exhibition season to 18 points or less, while winning its final three contests after dropping the opener at Atlanta. The Redskins visit Baltimore for the first time since 2015 as Washington pulled away for a 31-13 rout.

Baltimore
Head Coach: John Harbaugh (24-12 SU, 23-13 in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Ryan Mallett, Dustin Vaughan, Josh Woodrum (Rookie)
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Jamison Hensley


Joe Flacco will sit out for the Ravens with a back injury, as Mallett gets his chance as the preseason starter. Baltimore erased a 1-3 preseason record in 2015 by posting a perfect 4-0 mark last August. The Ravens were terrific defensively by holding each opponent to 19 points or less, while Harbaugh has won five straight preseason openers with the last Week 1 loss coming in 2011.

Jaguars at Patriots (-3 ½, 40 ½) - 7:30 PM EST

Jacksonville
Head Coach: Doug Marrone (3-6 SU, 3-6 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Blake Bortles, Chad Henne, Brandon Allen
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Ryan O'Halloran


Jacksonville has not won more than five games in a season since 2010 as the Jags dropped 10 of their final 11 contests in 2016. A new coach is in (Marrone) and there are high expectations with top pick Leonard Fournette to give a boost to a Jacksonville running game that ranked 22nd in the league in yards last season. The Jaguars lost three of four preseason games last season, while failing to pick up victories in road setbacks to the Jets and Falcons by a combined six points.

New England
Head Coach: Bill Belichick (49-40 SU, 44-38-7 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Ben Volin


The Patriots should just take it easy in the preseason, but they don’t. The defending champions have won six of their last eight exhibition games at Gillette Stadium, including a pair of victories over New Orleans and Chicago in 2016. The vibe was different last August as Brady was set to serve a four-game suspension and Garoppolo needed the reps. Brady is back for the start this season, but he will likely see a series or two as the Patriots last faced the Jags in the preseason in 2011 in a 47-12 rout.

Broncos (-1 ½, 35 ½) at Bears - 8:00 PM EST

Denver
Head Coach: Vance Joseph (No preseason record)
Quarterback Rotation: Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Chad Kelly (Rookie), Kyle Sloter (Rookie)
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Nicki Jhabvala


The Broncos open up a new era under Joseph following a 9-7 season after winning the Super Bowl in 2015. Denver began the 2016 preseason with a 22-0 shutout of Chicago at Soldier Field as Siemian threw for 88 yards, while the Broncos limited the Bears to less than 200 yards of offense. Regardless of the coach or quarterback, Denver has won and covered five consecutive preseason openers since 2012.

Chicago
Head Coach: John Fox (32-28 SU, 29-30-1 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Mike Glennon, Mitchell Trubisky (Rookie), Mark Sanchez, Connor Shaw
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Zach Zaidman


The Bears are dealing with questions at the quarterback position after signing Glennon as a free agent and trading up to draft Trubisky out of North Carolina. Chicago finished last season by losing seven of its final eight games with the lone victory coming over a 2-14 San Francisco squad. The Bears’ offense didn’t show much in the 2016 preseason by scoring seven points or less in two losses, while putting up 14 points against New England prior to a touchdown and two-point conversion with no time left on the clock.

Eagles at Packers (-1, 38 ½) - 8:00 PM EST

Philadelphia
Head Coach: Doug Pederson (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Matt McGloin, Dane Evans (Rookie)
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Jeff McLane


Philadelphia put together an impressive 4-0 preseason in Pederson’s first year before a 3-0 start to the regular season. Although the Eagles sputtered to a 7-9 finish, Philadelphia has plenty to look forward to this season following the offseason acquisitions of running back LaGarrette Blount and wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. The Eagles didn’t lose an exhibition game in 2016, but scored 17 points or less in three of those victories, resulting in a 3-1 mark to the UNDER.

Green Bay
Head Coach: Mike McCarthy (23-21 SU, 23-21 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Brett Hundley, Joe Callahan, Taysom Hill (Rookie)
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Rob Demovsky

Rodgers won’t likely suit up for Green Bay, just like last preseason’s opener when Callahan saw plenty of time and threw for 124 yards and a touchdown in a 17-11 victory over Cleveland. The Packers finished UNDER the total in all four preseason affairs, while holding all four teams to 17 points or less and three squads to fewer than 12 points. Green Bay has put together solid efforts at home the last few preseasons by going 5-1 SU/ATS at Lambeau Field.

Saints at Browns (-3, 38) - 8:00 PM EST

New Orleans
Head Coach: Sean Payton (19-22 SU, 21-20 in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Drew Brees, Chase Daniel, Garrett Grayson, Ryan Nassib
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Larry Holder


New Orleans has failed to make the playoffs in the last three seasons, while owning identical 7-9 marks each time. Starting 0-4 in the preseason certainly didn’t help matters in 2016 prior to an 0-3 beginning to the regular season. In fact, the Saints are winless in the last two preseasons, while allowing 30 and 34 points in the past two exhibition openers. New Orleans is facing Cleveland for the first time in the preseason since the Browns re-joined the league in 1999.

Cleveland
Head Coach: Hue Jackson (0-8 SU, 0-8 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback Rotation: Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer (Rookie), Kevin Hogan
Beat Writer Twitter Follow: Mary Kay Cabot


The Browns can only go up following a 1-15 campaign and the only victory coming in Week 16 over the Chargers in 2016. Cleveland has an open quarterback competition after acquiring Osweiler from Houston following a subpar season with the Texans. Similar to New Orleans, Cleveland failed to register a preseason victory (or cover) in 2016 as the offense didn’t bust the 13-point mark. The Browns have stumbled to a 1-5 ATS record in the last six favorite opportunities in the preseason since 2014, while dropping three straight exhibition openers.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:19 AM
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Steelers GM: 'We have to be prepared' for life after Big Ben
August 10, 2017


Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert knows the clock is ticking with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger openly talking about retirement.

Roethlisberger, who is a five-time Pro Bowl selection, admitted during an interview in July that retirement at the end of the 2017 season is a serious consideration.

"I hope he stays here more than one year, but we have to be prepared," Colbert told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"... Will I see more games, maybe, more quarterbacks? Maybe. Not because of what he said, but where he is. At 35, you may put a replacement in place sooner than later, and we did that, again adding a young player like a Josh Dobbs into the mix at this point. All of a sudden Landry (Jones is) a free agent last year and that kind of snuck up on us as well, so you want to put another young quarterback in the mix. Fortunately we signed Landry, and we have him for a longer period than we did at this point last year."

Roethlisberger will tie Terry Bradshaw for the longest tenure as a Steelers quarterback as he heads into his 14th NFL season.

Days after Pittsburgh lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game in January, Roethlisberger hinted he might have played his last game.

Roethlisberger, as expected, officially put to rest any speculation about his future with an announcement in April of his return. He has been the team's starter since being drafted in the first round in 2004.

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Roethlisberger threw for 3,819 yards and 29 touchdowns with 13 interceptions over 14 games in 2016. He is the Steelers' all-time leader in passing yards (46,814) and touchdowns (301) in 185 career games.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:23 AM
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THURSDAY, AUGUST 10

GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

ATL at MIA 07:00 PM

ATL -1.5

O 36.0


MIN at BUF 07:00 PM

MIN -3.0

O 36.5


JAC at NE 07:30 PM

JAC +3.0

O 39.5


WAS at BAL 07:30 PM

WAS -1.5

O 36.0


PHI at GB 08:00 PM

GB +1.0

O 38.5


NO at CLE 08:00 PM

NO +3.0

O 38.0


DEN at CHI 08:00 PM

CHI +1.5

O 36.0
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:52 AM
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NFL preseason roundup: Jaguars top Patriots
August 11, 2017


With quarterback Tom Brady and the bulk of the New England Patriots' projected starters watching from the sideline, the defending Super Bowl champions opened the preseason Thursday night with a 31-24 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Foxborough, Mass.

New England's defense struggled, allowing three touchdowns of 42 or more yards on the night, including a 97-yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne to Keelan Cole, who blew by Patriots second-year cornerback Cyrus Jones.

Jacksonville's Leonard Fournette carried nine times for 31 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

New England's Jimmy Garoppolo started under center and played well in more than a half of action. After a slow start, the fourth-year player completed 22 of 28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns.

Broncos 24, Bears 17

De'Angelo Henderson broke a touchdown run 41 yards on a draw play on third-and-22 with 1:49 left as Denver topped host Chicago.

The Broncos' Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, competing for the starting quarterback job, combined for less than 100 passing yards. Chris Harris Jr. returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown on the third play from scrimmage for Denver.

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky came on just before halftime and directed three scoring drives, leading Chicago back from a 10-0 deficit. He finished 18 of 25 passing for 166 yards and a touchdown.

Packers 24, Eagles 9

Trevor Davis returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown and Jeff Janis caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brett Hundley as Green Bay defeated Philadelphia at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

Janis, known locally as Mr. August for his preseason exploits, caught a 20-yard touchdown with 8:31 left in the second quarter to give the Packers a 14-6 lead. The Eagles' Carson Wentz played one series, going 4-for-4 for 56 yards and a touchdown.

Green Bay wide receiver Malachi Dupre, a seventh-round rookie from LSU, was leveled by Tre Sullivan in the fourth quarter and left on a stretcher. Dupre was taken to a local hospital, where it was reported he had movement and feeling in his extremities.

Ravens 23, Redskins 3

Undrafted rookie Tim White made a 33-yard touchdown reception, and the Ravens shut down Washington in Baltimore.

Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallett didn't instill much confidence, completing 9 of 18 passes for 58 yards. He is taking the majority of snaps with Joe Flacco sidelined because of a back injury. There doesn't appear to be a timetable for Flacco's return.

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins played two series, completing 1 of 2 passes for 5 yards. He was also sacked for an 8-yard loss by Anthony Levine on third-and-8 during the opening drive.

Dolphins 23, Falcons 20

David Fales threw two touchdown passes, including a 99-yard hookup with Damore'ea Stringfellow in the fourth quarter, to rally Miami past Atlanta at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, the reigning NFL MVP, led the Falcons on a five-play scoring drive on their opening possession. He completed all three of his passes on the drive, including a 15-yard touchdown to running back Devonta Freeman.

Matt Moore started for the Dolphins and completed his only pass attempt. Rookie Brandon Doughty threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Leonte Carroo that put Miami ahead 10-7 early in the second quarter.

Browns 20, Saints 14


Rookie DeShone Kizer threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Payton on fourth-and-2 with 1:52 to play to lead the Browns past New Orleans at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.

Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler started and played four series without putting any points on the board. He completed 6 of 14 passes for 42 yards. Cody Kessler followed him in the second quarter and hit 5 of 10 passes for 47 yards.

Kizer completed 11 of 18 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown. Garrett Grayson relieved Chase Daniel at quarterback for the Saints and completed 11 of 16 passes for 126 yards.

Vikings 17, Bills 10

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Quarterbacks Case Keenum and Taylor Heinicke led third-quarter touchdown drives to lift Minnesota over the Bills at New Era Field in Buffalo, N.Y.

Keenum completed 11 of 16 passes for 121 yards and engineered a 69-yard touchdown drive. Heinicke hit rookie Rodney Adams on a rollout for a 2-yard touchdown that capped a 71-yard drive and gave the Vikings a two-touchdown lead.

Tyrod Taylor was 5 of 8 passing for 46 yards, connecting with Sammy Watkins on Buffalo's first three plays. Minnesota's Sam Bradford completed 5 of 7 passes for 35 yards and was sacked twice.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:54 AM
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Friday’s six-pack

American League Wild Card standings:

1) New York 60-53

2) Seattle 59-56

3) Tampa Bay 0.5 games behind

4) Kansas City 1 GB

5) Minnesota 1.5 GB

6) LA Angels 2 GB

7) Baltimore 2.5 GB

8) Texas 4 GB

9) Toronto 4.5 GB

**********************

Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with the weekend here…….

13) Damned if you do, damned if you don’t: I know people who stopped watching the NFL last year because of the Colin Kaepernick/kneeling thing. Granted, these people aren’t avid fans, but they did stop watching games.

Now there is a petition with 130,000 names on it claiming THEY will boycott games if some NFL team doesn’t sign Kaepernick. The fact that he may have turned down Seattle’s offer to be a backup doesn’t seem to matter to these humans— maybe they want him to take Tom Brady’s place.

I don’t know, but if I never hear the word “politics” again, it’ll be too damn soon.

12) Mets saved $4M by trading Jay Bruce to the Indians. Its always good when the Wilpons can bank an extra $4M, seeing as how they’re friends with Bernie Madoff and all— a little extra change never hurt anyone.

Bronx Bombers offered $1M and two prospects for Bruce; the two prospects mustn’t be very good, or else the Mets just preferred cash.

11) 44-year old pitcher Bartolo Colon was in the big leagues before 17 of the current 30 major league stadiums were opened.

10) Houston Texans have five Clemson guys on their squad, a good college team to pick from. Never hurts to have players who are used to winning.

9) Scary story about Oakland University hoop coach Greg Kampe, who almost died this summer when six kidney stones that were lodged in his kidney became infected. He wound up in intensive care for five days— he is OK now, but in his early 60’s, sepsis is a very dangerous thing to have in your system. He was smart to go to the ER to get treatment.

Kampe is 583-424 in his head coaching career, all of which has been spent at Oakland.

8) If you care about such things, ESPN will have 28 consecutive hours of fantasy football coverage on its airwaves, starting Monday night at 7pm.

7) Mike Krzyzewski is having knee replacement surgery this week, so Duke’s basketball team has cancelled its summer trip to the Dominican Republic. Teams can only take one of those trips every four years; they’ll probably go next year now.

6) Odd Fact of the Day: A 91-year old woman in Thailand earned a college degree after spending more than 10 years studying for it— she got her diploma from the country’s king. Good for her.

5) With Padres leading 3-2 at Cincinnati Thursday with one out and tying run on second with one out in the bottom of the 7th inning, manager Andy Green changed pitchers, replacing righty Kirby Yates with lefty Brad Hand with a 2-2 count on Joey Votto.

Not sure how many times I’ve seen this before, but it is very few. Hand is San Diego’s closer, but to close this win, he had to get eight outs!!! Unusual strategy.

Votto walked, Adam Duvall struck out, then Scooter Gennett hit a grand slam, making Green’s strategy a complete disaster. Have no idea what he was thinking; the San Diego TV guys said this: “…..some interesting decisions by Andy Green”

4) UAB has brought back its football team this year, after it was gone for a couple years; the mayor of Birmingham says the team’s return will have a $50M positive impact on the city’s economy.

Maybe he thinks the Crimson Tide are moving from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham.

3) Mets had a deal to send Neal Walker to the Bronx at the trade deadline, but when Bronx acquired Sonny Gray, they scuttled the Walker deal, using Walker’s medical records as the excuse why. Mets’ brass wasn’t amused, which may be why Jay Bruce is in Cleveland now.

That and the thing about Bronx not wanting to absorb Bruce’s contract, which the Indians did.

2) Quarterbacks are valuable; there are reports that the Bengals turned down a 2nd-round pick for backup QB AJ McCarron. That is surprising.

1) Atlanta Falcons had six games LY where they had a +3 or better turnover ratio; thats going to be really difficult to replicate this season. Numbers people think Atlanta will regress some this season, and thats before factoring in the fact that they have two new coordinators this year.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:56 AM
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NFL notebook: Steelers GM says Bell's holdout hurting him
August 10, 2017


Star running back Le'Veon Bell is only hurting himself with his holdout, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Bell, who has yet to sign his $12.12 million franchise tender, can't be fined for his absence from training camp because he doesn't have a contract. The 25-year-old isn't allowed to receive a long-term deal this season because the deadline for tagged players passed on July 17.

"My feeling is there's nothing to be gained by a holdout," Colbert said Wednesday. "The situation won't change; it can't really change from our part on a long-term deal.

"So it hurts him not to be here. It hurts him because he's not working with his teammates, he's not getting the conditioning work that he's going to need to have a great 2017 season. And he's not working with his teammates to get acclimated to the offense -- every year it's different."

DeAngelo Williams took up for his fellow running back by voicing his displeasure on Twitter.

"Wow he really said that!" Williams wrote. "Please explain to me how because when he gets back he will be the freshest body out there with his skillset #wrong"

--Indianapolis Colts center Ryan Kelly was spotted using crutches after exiting practice with an undisclosed injury.

"I didn't see it," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said of the injury to Kelly. "I think I was on the other field. I heard after a while they took him off. I'll wait and see what the docs and trainers have to say."

Undrafted free agent acquisition Deyshawn Bond stepped in for Kelly, who started all 16 games during his rookie season. The 24-year-old Kelly was selected with the 18th overall pick of the 2016 draft.

Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett missed his fourth consecutive practice because of a hamstring injury, according to multiple reports.

--Houston Texans offensive tackle David Quessenberry was admittedly emotional after playing in a preseason game on Wednesday.

The contest wasn't just your run-of-the-mill game for Quessenberry. The 26-year-old was playing in an NFL game for the first time since being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin T-lymphoblastic lymphoma three years ago.

Quessenberry finished his last chemotherapy treatment in April and returned to the practice field for the first time during OTAs.

"I was nervous for about three days leading up to this," Quessenberry said, per ESPN. "Even a preseason game. It was probably the most nervous I've been for a football game in my life. Before the game I got really emotional when I saw some of my family out there on the sideline. But once the first play started, it was back to football."

--Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah suffered a patellar fracture in his right knee and will require surgery that will probably end his season.

Adjei-Barimah dealt with a similar injury late last season and rehabilitated the knee in the offseason. The latest setback was diagnosed during an MRI exam.

Adjei-Barimah played in 10 games last season while serving primarily as the nickelback. He had 22 tackles and one forced fumble.

Starting cornerback Brent Grimes also is ailing after suffering a deep cut on his right shin during Wednesday's practice. Grimes could miss most of the entire exhibition season.

--Aaron Rodgers is on record as saying that he'd like to still be playing professional football when he's 40.

While that gives the current Green Bay Packers quarterback plenty of time on the field, a certain long-time inhabitant of Lambeau Field has a question for Rodgers.

"Why stop at 40?" Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre asked of the 33-year-old Rodgers on Wednesday while speaking at the Lee Remmel Sports Awards Banquet in De Pere, Wis. "He moves around as well as anyone in the game right now. That's big,. I would think that barring any injury -- and he knows how to protect himself -- six or seven years from now is a long time to think that far down the road, but there's no reason to think he couldn't play and play at a high level until -- I'm not going to say 43, 44, it's up to the individual -- and I don't see any decline in his game unless he doesn't want to play anymore."

Favre played until he was 41.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:58 AM
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Betting on Brees
August 10, 2017

Are The Saints Grounding Brees?


Fantasy players across the world want to know if Drew Brees is going to be a monster on the stat sheet again. In any other year, it’s usually a given. The 17-year veteran is a remarkably consistent pigskin pusher throwing for an average of 5,140.8 and 39.8 touchdowns over the last six seasons. So when BetOnline.ag releases NFL Individual Stat markets that attempt to project Brees’s ungodly numbers, there’s a fun intersection of gambling and fantasy football.

The market for Brees sets his passing yard total at 4,999.5 with a touchdown total of 33.5 for this upcoming season. Compared to his averages, and his mind boggling 2016 numbers alone, that seems to be a bit low. The interesting part is that the betting marks for his passing yards indicate a favorite. To bet the OVER here, which means he’d have to throw for at least 5,000 yards you get even money at +100. The UNDER is listed at -130.

Which means that the BetOnline.ag oddsmakers think that Brees is more likely to have a bit of a down year for him. What’s pointing them in this direction? The answer is pretty simple.

The arrival of Adrian Peterson, combined with the fact that New Orleans kept Mark Ingram and fullback John Kuhn lean towards the idea that the Saints are more than willing to diversify their attack. Needless to say, it’s about goddamn time.

The Saints have always been one of the best passing attacks in the league, and I don’t think they’ll miss Brandin Cooks as much as the New England Patriots will appreciate having him. Michael Thomas was a breakout talent last season with 1,137 yards and 9 touchdowns, emerging as the new-age Marques Colston-type target that Brees loves.

The rest of the receiving corps is a smattering of underscored pass catchers like Willie Snead, who are totally fine given that Brees is their quarterback. That guy can turn anyone in to a fantasy dynamo and rack up huge numbers for himself in the process, but the Saints haven’t actually benefited all that much from it.

New Orleans has endured three straight 7-9 SU seasons and missed the playoffs every single time. Maybe they just haven’t recovered from Marshawn Lynch’s insane, earthquake inducing touchdown.

No team in the NFL has been necessarily scared of New Orleans attacking on the ground. They averaged the 16th most yards last year with Ingram and Cadet, but adding Peterson is a very interesting decision. I know that running-backs in this league have short lifespans, and that anyone over the age of 29 is usually on the downside of their career. But I think Adrian Peterson is an exception to the rule.

Wagering on Brees’s production in the NFL futures markets at BetOnline.ag depends entirely on if you think Peterson can pull his weight. To be fair, he’s only played in 20 games over the past three years. He last two games in 2016 before being basically shelved for the remainder of the season (he returned in mid-December for Week 15 and was barely a factor).

Bringing on Peterson for a 2-year, $7M deal is a great gamble by the Saints. He’s what they’ve been missing. And the last time Peterson played with a truly great quarterback was way back in 2009 when Brett Favre arrived in Minneosta. Favre passed for 4,202 yards, 33 touchdowns and 7 yards while Peterson was a menace with 1,383 yards and 18 scores of his own. If the idea is that Peterson and Ingram can keep each other healthy by spelling one another, then the workload on Brees becomes far less dramatic.

It would be lunacy to bet on the Saints to win the Super Bowl too, let alone the division. The Panthers, Falcons and Bucs all measure out as better teams. So if you want to get in on a long-term bet on the Saints, the best place to look is Brees’s Individual Stats.

Brees launching passes like he’s in a video game is a gameplan that hasn’t worked well for New Orleans. He’s certainly not to blame for their woes because the defence needs to be better. The defence was pretty much the worst in the league last year, and let them down time and again in important games. So naturally Brees has to pick up some slack.

The UNDER feels like a strong take given the arrival of Peterson, but this can also work both ways. Peterson is a very good pass-catcher out of the backfield. In 2015 he was targeted 36 times. More importantly, when Favre was in town he was targeted 57 times.

To put this in perspective, Aaron Rodgers has a total of 4,440.5 yards to eclipse in his Individual Stats bet while Andy Dalton has 4,200.5 yards. The idea of Brees breaching that illustrious 5,000 yard plateau feels a bit ridiculous especially given the decision of the Saints’ brass to ship out Cooks and bring in Peterson. The UNDER for Brees is most likely the best futures wager you can make on the Saints.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:14 AM
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Friday's Preseason Tips
August 11, 2017


Steelers at Giants (-3 ½, 37) - 7 PM EST

Pittsburgh
Head coach: Mike Tomlin (22-20 SU, 18-24 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback rotation: Joshua Dobbs (Rookie), Bart Houston (Rookie)
Beat Twitter Follow: Gerry Dulac


Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell won't participate, but everyone else who is healthy will be out there for Tomlin's Steelers. That will include burner Martavis Bryant, whose regular-season future remains unclear but who is now available to practice and participate in exhibitions. Normal backup Landry Jones is sidelined, so this will be the Dobbs show. The rookie from Tennessee hopes to become this year's Dak Prescott, ironic since Big Ben weighing retirement. Cancer survivor James Conner, a local college star who has Pittsburgh excited, has missed practices all week, putting his participation in this one in doubt. Injuries have played a major role in throwing off the Steelers' preparation.

New York
Head coach: Ben McAdoo (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback rotation: Josh Johnson, Geno Smith, Davis Webb (Rookie)
Beat Twitter Follow: Dan Duggan


Eli Manning and Odell Bechkam, Jr. have been excellent in practices, per reports, but they're unlikely to participate here if McAdoo follows the same script as last year. Johnson and Smith are vying for the backup role, making this a big game as far as that battle is concerned. Webb, a third-round pick who threw for over 4,200 yards at Cal last season, will finish the contest. McAdoo's Giants were outscored 48-10 in the first two preseason games last year.

Bucs at Bengals (-2, 37) - 7:30 PM EST

Tampa Bay
Head coach: Dirk Koetter (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback rotation: Jameis Winston, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Griffin, Sefo Liufau (Rookie)
Beat Twitter Follow: Jenna Laine


The Bucs made their debut on HBO's "Hard Knocks" this week and it appears story lines will center around the charismatic Winston, receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson and rookie linebacker Riley Bullough, an undrafted free agent hoping who has opened eyes but looks like a longshot to make the final roster. RB Doug Martin will be suspended for the first three regular-season games, so Koetter will have to strike the right balance between getting him reps and making sure he has multiple options ready to try and replace his production. Tampa Bay lost its exhibition opener 17-9 on Aug. 11, 2016.

Cincinnati
Head coach: Marvin Lewis (29-28 SU, 30-26-1 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback rotation: Andy Dalton, A.J. McCarron, Jeff Driskel
Beat Twitter Follow: Katherine Terrell


It hasn't been the ideal practice week for the Bengals since Lewis has been nursing a knee injury that saw him sent home on Tuesday and the team didn't do much the other day in order to be fresh for this one since injuries have been a major issue. In addition to all the attrition, a wild rumor that the team was sending McCarron to Denver made the rounds. A number of key players aren't expected to participate and Driskel will likely wind up taking the bulk of the snaps. Running back Joe Mixon should debut in the second half. Defensively, fourth-round draft pick Carl Lawson, and Auburn product who would've been drafted higher if not for baggage, has excelled throughout camp.

49ers at Chiefs (-3 ½, 37 ½) - 9:00 PM EST

San Francisco
Head coach: Kyle Shanahan (No preseason record)
Quarterback rotation: Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, CJ Beathard (Rookie), Nick Mullens (Rookie)
Beat Twitter Follow: Cam Inman


Shanahan spent nearly a decade as an offensive coordinator with stops in Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta, so even though he's finally secured a head seat, this shouldn't be too different a change. He's calling the plays, has a pair of veterans to get the ball rolling in the first half and will turn it over to Beathard to close it out unless Mullens gets in there late. Carlos Hyde, Tim Hightower and rookies Joe Williams and Matt Breida give the 49ers plenty of options to work with on the ground. Defensively, No. 3 pick Reuben Foster has already moved into the starting lineup at linebacker and has drawn rave reviews, but we'll see how long he plays since he injured an ankle in practice earlier this week. Robert Saleh, a linebackers coach for Jacksonville the past three seasons, is a first-time defensive coordinator.

Kansas City
Head coach: Andy Reid (34-38 SU, 34-34-4 ATS in preseason)
Quarterback rotation: Alex Smith, Tyler Bray, Patrick Mahomes (Rookie), Joel Stave
Beat Twitter Follow: Terez Paylor


All of the quarterbacks are expected to get a quarter according to Reid, but Chiefs fans are salivating over the debut of top draft pick Mahomes, who is set to open the second half. Rookie RB Kareem Hunt has been a standout in camp, joining a crowded backfield that has moved on from Jamaal Charles with Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West and the newly acquired C.J. Spiller all vying to play a major role in the team's regular-season plans. Kansas City put together its lowest-scoring preseason since Reid took over last year after a perfect run in '15 where it averaged 26.5 points. To approach that type of production, the Chiefs will need explosive plays out of Tyreek Hill and a batch of unheralded receivers looking to impress. Per reports, Hill has picked up where he left off last season and has been tremendous in camp.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:17 AM
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FRIDAY, AUGUST 11

GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

PIT at NYG 07:00 PM

NYG -3.5

O 35.5


TB at CIN 07:30 PM

TB +2.0

O 37.0


SF at KC 09:00 PM

SF +4.5

U 38.0
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:48 PM
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Steelers top sloppy Giants, 20-12
August 11, 2017


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Watching T.J. Watt and Josh Dobbs in their first NFL game, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin got what he expected from the draft picks.

They had their ups and downs, and they showed they belonged in the league, as did eighth-year linebacker Arthur Moats.

Dobbs threw a 28-yard touchdown pass, Moats set up Chris Boswell's go-ahead 37-yard field goal in the third quarter with an interception and Watt -the younger brother of Houston's J.J. Watt - lived up to his first-round billing with sacks on his first two series in a 20-12 preseason win over the New York Giants on Friday night.

With the Steelers short-handed, Dobbs, Watt and Moats were on the field most of the game.

''I think just getting out there in general, having a play on (special) teams and then having the sack as I did, it calmed the nerves a little bit,'' said Watt, who had five tackles, two sacks and three quarterback hits.

''At the same time I felt like I belong here. I came into this game with a certain amount of confidence because of the work I put in.''

A fourth-round pick out of Tennessee, Dobbs didn't get off to a quick start. His two early interceptions led to two New York Giants field goals, but he turned his game around with a 44-yard pass to Cobi Hamilton to set up Bosworth's first field goal and he added a 28-yard scoring strike to Hamilton for a 10-9 lead after Donte Deayon fumbled a punt in the final minute of the first half and Mike Hilton recovered at the Giants 28.

''Of course there were some throws you want back and some plays that were good,'' Dobbs said. ''I was able to respond from a little adversity at the beginning of the game, but this is a good start and I'll be able to build off this.''

Terrell Watson added a 15-yard touchdown run in a game that had little offense with Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers and Eli Manning of the Giants being given the night off.

Moats was a force on defense for the Steelers. He had six tackles, three sacks, three quarterback hits and a pass defended in addition to his interception. He laughed when asked when was the last time he had a game like that.

''Playing Madden,'' he said.

''Any time you are keeping score you want to win,'' Moats said. ''Even though it's the preseason and some teams may not take it as serious, any time we are out there and representing the Steelers organization we want to put our best foot forward and we did that tonight.''

Pittsburgh also was without injured backup quarterback Landry Jones, but that didn't matter because the Giants didn't get much from either Josh Johnson or Geno Smith, and New York was generous with the football.

A 45-yard field goal by Mike Nugent on the opening series of the second half put New York ahead 12-10, but Moats' interception and Boswell's field goal put the Steelers ahead 13-12.

Watson capped a nine-play, 53-yard drive that Bart Houston guided in his first series after taking over for Dobbs, who was 8 of 15 for 100 yards and two interceptions.

Blake's interception and 11-yard return to the Steelers 39 set up a 27-yard field goal by rookie Aldrick Rosas, who added a 52-yarder late in the second quarter for a 9-3 lead.

An interception by lineman Devon Taylor led to a 30-yard field goal by Nugent and a 6-0 lead.

JOSH AND GENO:
Johnson and Smith had their ups and downs in the battle for the No. 2 job behind Manning. Johnson was 5 of 10 for 31 yards. Smith was 10 of 16 for 114. Neither got much protection from their line and running game (23 carries for 73 yards) offered little help.

Giants coach Ben McAdoo said Johnson moved the team in and out of the huddle well, but Smith started off with a hot hand but his interception ''was a blind throw.''

INJURIES: Steelers second-round draft pick JuJu Smith-Schuster left the game with a concussion in the first quarter. Giants veteran S Duke Ihenacho pulled a hamstring in the second quarter and did not return.

MISSING STARS: Steelers WRs Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant, who is coming off a one-year suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, did not play. Bryant will return to practice Sunday. Giants WRs Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard did not play. Brandon Marshall played the first series. New York also rested DE Jason Pierre-Paul and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

''It's a great feeling, it's a long time coming,'' Bryant said of getting back to practice after the game. ''I worked hard and I'm just happy the process is almost over.''
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:50 PM
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Bengals beat Buccaneers, 23-12
August 11, 2017


CINCINNATI (AP) Ryan Fitzpatrick made a good initial impression with Tampa Bay.

The rest was so-so.

Fitzpatrick completed his first series with a 6-yard touchdown run before the Cincinnati Bengals pulled away to a 23-12 victory over the Buccaneers on Friday night.

The 34-year-old quarterback signed a one-year deal for a chance to back up Jameis Winston . Fitzpatrick had mixed results after his TD, going 6 of 13 overall with an interception. He also scrambled twice for 15 yards. Fitzpatrick lost the ball while trying to throw, but recovered his fumble.

''It's nice to get into a game situation just figuring out how they set the tempo and pace,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''It's something I've had to work on.''

Ryan Griffin - Tampa Bay's third-string quarterback the past two seasons - left in the fourth quarter after someone landed on his passing shoulder. There was no estimate how long he'll be sidelined.

''It's all a process now,'' said Griffin, who was 4 of 9 for 57 yards. ''I haven't been hurt before, so we'll see how it goes.''

Tampa Bay opened the game with a 14-play, 92-yard drive, but had to settle for a field goal after Adam ''Pacman'' Jones broke up a pair of Winston's passes in the end zone. Jones is suspended by the NFL for the season opener because of his offseason arrest.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was on the sideline after missing a practice last week because of a knee problem.

Andy Dalton had his full complement of receivers - A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert have returned from significant injuries last season - and moved the offense smoothly on Cincinnati's opening drive before making a bad decision. Vernon Hargreaves III anticipated Dalton's sideline throw and picked off a pass at the 1-yard line .

Dalton had plenty of time to throw behind Cincinnati's reconfigured line.

''I just wish I could have that last play back,'' said Dalton, who was 4 of 5 for 38 yards on his only drive.

Green, who missed the last half of last season with a hamstring injury, had a pair of catches for 21 yards.

Both teams have kicker competitions that were in the spotlight in their preseason opener.

Roberto Aguayo made a 20-yard field goal on Tampa Bay's opening possession, but he was wide right on a 47-yard try and hit the right upright on the extra-point attempt. Nick Folk was good from 45 yards on his only chance.

The Bengals' kickers were perfect. Randy Bullock made field goals of 54 and 49 yards and his extra-point try. Jake Elliott, who was drafted in the fifth round, connected from 45 yards and also made an extra point.

''We both had a good night tonight,'' Elliott said. ''We put all of them through, which is what you want.''

INJURIES


Buccaneers: CB Brent Grimes (leg) and C Ali Marpet (ankle) sat out. RB Russell Hansbrough left in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.

Bengals: RB Giovani Bernard was held out along with first-round pick WR John Ross, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Bernard has fully practiced in camp while recovering from ACL surgery midway through last season.

ROOKIE WATCH


Buccaneers: TE O.J. Howard, the 19th overall pick, didn't have a catch, with only one pass thrown his way. WR Chris Godwin had one catch for 14 yards.

Bengals: RB Joe Mixon had several nice runs, avoiding tacklers to get extra yards. He carried six times for 31 yards and turned his only reception into an 11-yard gain by slipping through a pair of attempted tackles. He's competing with Jeremy Hill for playing time.

''Once I got that first carry and got the first-game jitters out of the way, I adjusted,'' Mixon said. ''It was just playing football.''

SORTING OUT THE RBs

Tampa Bay will miss Doug Martin for the first three games as he serves a suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances. Martin carried four times for 11 yards. Jacquizz Rodgers, who is expected to be the featured back while he's gone, also carried four times for 11 yards.

QUOTABLE


After his touchdown, Fitzpatrick simply flipped the ball to an official instead of celebrating. Nobody touched him after he took off for the end zone.

''I went left and there was nothing in front of me,'' he said. ''I was so surprised. I had no celebration planned. I didn't know what to do.''

UP NEXT


Buccaneers: Play at Jacksonville on Thursday.

Bengals: Host Kansas City next Saturday.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:53 PM
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Saturday’s six-pack

— 96 major leaguers have been on the DL more than once this season.

— White Sox 6, Royals 3- KC has followed 9-game win streak with a 2-10 skid.

— Mets 7, Phillies 6— Amed Rosario’s first MLB homer was the game-winner.

— Marlins 6, Rockies 3— Giancarlo Stanton hit his 40th home run.

— Dolphins’ QB Ryan Tannehill will have knee surgery, is done for the season.
— DL happenings:

Cubs’ C Willson Contreras (hamstring) is expected to be out 4-6 weeks.

New York P CC Sabathia (knee) goes on the 10-day DL.

Seattle P James Paxton (pectoral) goes on the 10-day DL

************************

Saturday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here……..

13) Buffalo Bills had an active Friday; they traded WR Sammy Watkins and a 2018 6th-round pick to the Rams, getting CB E.J. Gaines and an ’18 2nd-round pick in return.

They also traded CB Ronald Darby to the Eagles for WR Jordan Matthews and a 2018 3rd-round pick. Buffalo now has six picks in the first three rounds of the 2018 draft.

In 2014, Bills traded two first-round draft picks to move up and acquire Watkins ahead of Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Jr. Oy.

12) Dallas Cowboys’ RB Ezekiel Elliott was suspended by the NFL for six games; Dallas has a Week 6 bye, so Elliott can return for the Week 8 game with the Redskins.

11) Indians @ Rays Thursday night; attendance was 9,533
Indians @ Rays Friday night; attendance was 16,794

When the Rays move to Canada and become the Montreal Expos, this is why…….

10) Eagles’ backup QB Matt McGloin was 28-42 passing in Green Bay Thursday; lot of passes for a third-string QB to throw in an exhibition game.

9) Chicago Bears have a veteran QB trying to hold off a first-round draft pick, with a head coach on the hot seat. Sound familiar?

The 2016 Rams had a veteran QB (Case Keenum) trying to hold off a first-round draft pick (Jared Goff), with a head coach on the hot seat (Jeff Fisher).

Hope this season works out better for Coach Fox than last year did for Jeff Fisher.

8) Didn’t help Chicago’s new QB Mike Glennon when he threw a pick-6 0:48 into the Bears’ first preseason game, Thursday vs Denver. People are not patient in today’s world.

7) One of the prettiest plays of the weekend was Miami backup QB David Fales throwing a 99-yard TD to Damore’ea Stringfellow, an undrafted free agent from Ole Miss.

6) Golfer Patrick Cantlay eagled the 7th hole at the PGA Thursday and Friday. Hard to do.

5) Dodgers started this season 10-12; they’re 71-21 since. LA was 9-11 when they called Cody Bellinger up to the big leagues on April 25- you do the math.

4) Houston Astros were 58-27 in their first 85 games, with a 3.91 team ERA.
Since then, they’re 13-16, with a 5.20 team ERA.

3) Cardinals’ pitcher Lance Lynn got drilled in the top of his head by a line drive hit by Lorenzo Cain Thursday night, but he stayed in the game and pitched six innings. St Louis swept four games from Kansas City- they hit grand slams in consecutive games Wednesday/Thursday for the first time in six years.

2) Jeffrey Loria has apparently sold the Miami Marlins for $1.25B, thats billion, with a B, to a group of 16 investors, most famous of which is Derek Jeter, who will run the baseball side. Fans in Miami are better off without Loria.

1) Over the last seven years, A’s/Nationals have made ten separate trades; it is almost like your local fantasy league, where certain people only trade with certain other people.

But in a business where teams are worth $1B or so, or more, do teams really do each other favors when one team is in contention and the other isn’t?

On July 16, the A’s sent Sean Doolittle/Ryan Madson to bullpen-starved Washington- the Nationals also added Brandon Kintzler from the Twins. Problem solved for Washington.

When the A’s needed a catcher in 2013, all of a sudden Kurt Suzuki fell into their lap, a gift from the Nationals. It helps to have friends.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:14 AM
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Saturday's Best Bet
August 11, 2017


Saturday NFL Best Bet
Oakland Raiders vs. Arizona Cardinals


Week 1 of the NFL preseason is nearing a close and for football bettors everywhere it means we are one more week closer to games actually meaning something.

However, there is still plenty of money to be made on preseason betting odds, especially when certain situations pop up that favor one team over the other. This week's Oakland/Arizona definitely fits that latter category, as this is the 2nd preseason game for Arizona after losing in the HOF game a week ago.

BetDSI.eu Odds: Arizona (-3); Total set at 39.5


Although many of Arizona's starters sat on the sidelines in street clothes during last weeks' 20-18 loss in the HOF game, the fact that this is the second preseason tilt for the rest of the squad is a good thing from a betting perspective. Guys like backup QB Blaine Gabbert – who was 11-for-14 – have already established some sort of rhythm, and when they get on the field this week for the Cardinals after the starters get their one or two series' things could start to turn Arizona's way.

From 2013 through 2015 (there was no HOF game in 2016), NFL teams that got that extra game early on in the preseason ended up going 4-2 ATS (4-2 O/U) during “Week 1” of the preseason the following week. So while the level of play in the HOF game may never be spectacular, it does suggest that the extra time on the field helps those two teams against the spread the next week.

Arizona fits that bill in this one, and with VegasInsider.com's betting percentages showing plenty of support (75%+) for the underdogs from Oakland, there may actually be quite a bit of value in laying the points here.

All of that Oakland loves stems in large part to the high expectations many have for the Raiders this year, but a common mistake bettors make during the preseason is projecting regular season expectations on those same teams in games that mean next to nothing. Oakland should be one of those teams that we see get plenty of support from bettors all year long, but it looks like many are seeing the three points they are getting with Oakland here and jumping all over it.

Public underdogs are typically bankroll killers in NFL betting (regular season or not), and with history on the side of the Cardinals with this being their second game, those of you considering grabbing the points with Oakland as many already have may want to reconsider.

With Arizona's starters likely to see some time on the field, and possibly even backup QB Drew Stanton getting significant reps before we see Gabbert again, the depth advantage has to lie with the Cardinals in this spot.

With that being the case and Arizona being a favorite that's getting next to nothing in terms of betting support, I've got to lay the points here and hopefully it will add a bit more money to my bankroll for those regular season bets on the Raiders that many have been clamouring for all summer long.

Odds per - BetDSI.eu

Best Bet: Arizona (-3)
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:18 AM
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Rookie QBs to Watch
August 11, 2017


Which Rookie Quarterbacks Will Start in 2017?

There are truthfully two guys who have really good shots at starting in the 2017 NFL season, and both are the ones that everyone’s talking about right now. But there’s a third who may sneak in. Let’s take a look at the rookie quarterback class of 2017 and see who’s most likely to be moved up on the depth chart to QB1.

Mitchell Trubisky (Chicago Bears – 2nd Pick)
Breaking news! Mike Glennon isn’t very good! Everyone in Tampa Bay could’ve told you that. The Bears signed the former backup to a $45M deal over three-years which is looking more and more like a one-year deal for $18.5M. There’s a built in out for Chicago to dump him with a dead cap hit of just $4.5M after this season.

Glennon went just 2-for-8 and 20 yards and a pick in a brutal performance against one of the best defences in the NFL. Then in came Trubisky, the second overall pick who whizzed 18-of-23 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown to Victor Cruz.

Trubisky didn’t have to face the top end talent of the Broncos by the time he entered, but he far outclassed Glennon. Chicago is starving for a good quarterback after years of Jay Cutler and they have probably found the right guy.

The truth is that Trubisky needs a lot more time to develop, which is why it was always going to be worth it to start Glennon. The problem is that the NFL world doesn’t have much patience for terrible quarterback play when there’s a potential franchise guy on the sidelines. Chicago is an especially boisterous fanbase and they could propel Trubisky in to the starting lineup if the Bears realize that Glennon is nothing more than the backup he’s always been.

Deshaun Watson (Houston Texans – 12th Pick)

Everyone is buzzing about Watson after he dazzled against the backup units of the Carolina Panthers. Listen, Watson is great and we all know this. Watson completed 15-of-25 for 179 yards while also rushing for 24 yards and a pretty easy walk-in touchdown.

What stood out about Watson was how well he read the second unit of Carolina,. He was as poised and collected as he was when he beat the Alabama Crimson Tide not too long ago.

Tom Savage is a totally fine quarterback, but he has never felt like a franchise quarterback. The Texans have had a long standing history of bad quarterbacks, but they might have hit the nail perfectly in drafting Watson.

Pocket passers usually struggle as rookie starters which is why Watson’s playmaking ability as a runner might sneak him in as the first rookie quarterback to start in the 2017 NFL season.

If he remotely lives up to the hype that he’s generated this week, the value on the Texans to win the AFC South at +190 jumps up dramatically.

DeShone Kizer (Cleveland Browns – 52nd Overall Pick)
The former Notre Dame standout looked brilliant in an 11-for-18 performance that produced 184 yards. Brock Osweiler is close to playing his smug face out of yet another job after being absolutely brutal, but there’s a catch here when it comes to the idea that Kizer could start in 2017. And his name is Cody Kessler.

As a third-round pick in 2016, Kessler was decent in his rookie season with a 65.6 completion percentage, 1,380 yards and 6 touchdowns against 2 picks. This might come as a bit of a surprise, but Kessler actually outperformed the second overall pick from his own draft in Carson Wentz, who put up dodgy numbers. Wentz ended the year with an 79.3 quarterback rating. Kessler managed a 92.3 rating.

Don’t be surprised if the Browns smartly keep Kizer studying the playbook and the NFL game while Kessler takes his lumps throughout 2017.

Nathan Peterman (Buffalo Bills – 171st Pick)
Who? The Buffalo Bills are obviously hitting the reset button on their personnel after pulling off a trade that shipped out Sammy Watkins and brought in some great draft picks. If they want to move up the 2018 NFL Draft board, they already have a guy who can help them sink to the bottom of the rankings in Tyrod Taylor.

Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs – 10th Pick)
Davis Webb (New York Giants – 87th Pick)
Joshua Dobbs (Pittsburgh Steelers – 135th Pick)
Brad Kaaya (Detroit Lions – 215th Pick)


Sorry guys, you’re playing behind established and very well paid franchise quarterbacks. Even Mahomes, who was the second quarterback taken in the draft, knows what the deal is. Kansas City went 12-4 SU ad 9-7 ATS while clowning the division last year with a perfect 6-0 SU record.

C.J. Beathard (San Francisco 49ers – 104th Pick)
Yup, when you’re the San Francisco 49ers anything is possible. Beathard was a third round pick so it’s not like he’s a scrub, and the only guys he has to beat are Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. The former was signed on to carry a franchise that can’t figure out how to win, while the latter is so barely wanted by any franchise looking towards the future.

If San Francisco plummets in to the toilet this year, as they’re projected to with a Regular Season Win Total of just 5.5 games, it wouldn’t be unlikely for Beathard to get the call. We’re talking about a guy that Kyle Shanahan reached for in the draft. The man knows what he wants and there’s certainty around San Francisco’s training camp that Shanahan really likes the former Iowa starter.

Chad Kelly (Denver Broncos – 253rd Pick)

There is little to no chance that Chad Kelly plays in 2017 but that’s largely because he is recovering from an assortment of serious injuries. The former Ole’ Miss Rebel tore his ACL in November 2016 and is still recovering. He also hurt his wrist and is simply unable to participate in practice. We can maybe chat about him going in to 2018 when Trevor Siemian has watched his career turned to ashes, but until then there’s no point in getting all hot and bothered about Kelly supplanting anyone in Denver.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:22 AM
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SATURDAY, AUGUST 12

GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

TEN at NYJ 07:30 PM

TEN -3.0

O 36.5


DAL at LAR 09:00 PM

LAR +3.0

O 37.5


OAK at ARI 10:00 PM

OAK +3.0

U 40.0
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:36 AM
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Mariota returns; Jets top Titans 7-3 in preseason opener
August 12, 2017


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Marcus Mariota got out on the field, ran a handful of plays and then watched the rest of the game from the sideline.

It was a nice, simple night for the franchise quarterback.

Mariota played in his first game since breaking his right leg late last season, easily the most important development for the Tennessee Titans in their 7-3 loss to the New York Jets on Saturday in the exhibition opener for each team.

''I enjoyed the moment,'' he said. ''You kind of create those moments when you're going through the rehab process. You keep telling yourself `This is what you're working for' and that's the way I approached it.''

Mariota, who had 3,426 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2016 before his injury on Dec. 24, played two series in the first quarter.

''The recovery process was a long one,'' Mariota said. ''To be able to be out there today with the guys, I enjoyed it.''

On his first attempt, he scrambled to his right and completed a 15-yard pass to Rishard Matthews . He finished 2 of 3 for 15 yards.

''Instincts kind of took over,'' he said. ''It felt good to get out of the pocket and make a play.''

Unlike the Titans, the Jets' quarterback situation is more muddled. Well-traveled veteran Josh McCown got the start for New York. He was 3 of 4 for 72 yards and a touchdown in his one series, which was enough for the win because the Jets defense had eight sacks and was dominant throughout.

Christian Hackenberg, a second-round pick in 2016, took over for McCown and played until late in the third quarter. Hackenberg was 18 of 25 for 127 yards.

''He has some things to build off,'' Jets coach Todd Bowles said of Hackenberg. ''He has some positives that we can look at and he can build from. He's got some negatives that we've got to correct. That's to be expected in the first game.''

Bryce Petty, a fourth-round pick in 2015, finished up and was 2 of 6 for 16 yards.

Robby Anderson, an undrafted free agent who was trying to make the team a year ago, is the Jets' No. 1 receiver after Quincy Enunwa was lost for the season to a neck injury. He had three receptions for 71 yards.

Anderson made a nice 53-yard catch on the opening drive, which ended with McCown's 4-yard TD pass Charone Peake .

''It felt great to get in there with the guys,'' McCown said. ''The O-line was excellent. Robby made a heckuva play. And we finished it off. Peake made a great catch.''

Titans rookie receiver Taywan Taylor made a leaping a 42-yard catch in the third quarter. The drive ended with Ryan Succop's 36-yard field goal.

Titans running back Derrick Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, had eight carries for 29 yards.

Alex Tanney replaced Mariota and was sacked by linebacker Julian Stanford on his first play and briefly left the game. He returned for the next series. Tanney was 10 of 26 for 128 yards with an interception and lost a fumble on a sack.

Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker had no catches in his return to the Meadowlands. Decker was signed by the Titans in June after he was cut by the Jets in their salary purge.

N.Y. SACK EXCHANGE

Devon Still, Anthony Johnson, Josh Martin, Jordan Jenkins, Bruce Carter, Leonard Williams, Patrick Gamble and Stanford had sacks for the Jets. Martin also had a fumble recovery.

GETTING A LEG UP


Chandler Catanzaro and Ross Martin are competing for the Jets' kicking job. Catanzaro made a PAT, but was wide left on a 55-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter.

QUOTEABLE

''Well, that was not the way we wanted to start the preseason, obviously,'' Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. ''But there were some good things defensively. Not offensively, even though we still had opportunities to win the game at the end.''

OUT OF THE LINEUP


Titans: Running back DeMarco Murray (hamstring), wide receivers Corey Davis (hamstring) and Mekale McKay, cornerback Demontre Hurst, defensive lineman Karl Klug (ankle) all sat out.

Jets: Running backs Matt Forte (hamstring), Bilal Powell (neck) and linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin did not play.

UP NEXT

Titans: Host Carolina on Saturday.

Jets: At Detroit on Saturday.
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