Eckel: The NHL playoffs have been … fantastic!

Eckel: The NHL playoffs have been … fantastic! (via NJ.com)

Sorting through the start of the NHL and NBA postseason, a championship fight and the EPL — yes, that’s soccer. The Flyers really can win at Madison Square Garden. After nine straight losses and down two goals in the first period Sunday, a 10th…


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New York Knicks fire Woodson after missing playoffs

New York Knicks fire Woodson after missing playoffs (via AFP)

The New York Knicks on Monday fired head coach Mike Woodson after the team missed the NBA playoffs, team president Phil Jackson said. The Knicks went 109-79 in three seasons under Woodson, twice making the playoffs before slumping to 37-45 this season…


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Stanley Cup playoffs: First-{round|spherical} schedule, {TV|TELEVISION} listings

Extra NHL Playoffs: Schedule, TELEVISION listings | Expert Picks | Bracket | Scores | Odds

Series2
Date Time Web site Television Score Collection
Fri Apr 18 7:30 ET Boston NBCSN, TSN
Sun Apr 20 three ET Boston NBC, TSN
Tue Apr 22 7:30 ET Detroit NBCSN, TSN
Thu Apr 24 8 ET Detroit NBCSN, TSN
Sat Apr 26 3 ET Boston NBC, TSN
Mon Apr 28 TBD Detroit TBD, TSN
Wed Apr 30 8 ET Boston TBD, TSN
Series2
Date Time Web site Tv Rating Series
Wed Apr 16 7 ET Tampa CNBC, CBC, RDS
Fri Apr 18 7 ET Tampa CNBC, CBC, RDS
Sun Apr 20 7 ET Montreal NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Tue Apr 22 7 ET Montreal NHL Net, CBC, RDS
Thu Apr 24 7 ET Tampa CNBC, CBC, RDS
Sun Apr 27 TBD Montreal NBCSM, CBC, RDS
Tue Apr 29 TBD Tampa TBD, CBC, RDS
Series2
Date Time Site Television Rating Collection
Wed Apr sixteen 7:30 ET Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC
Sat Apr 19 7 ET Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC
Mon. Apr 21 7 ET Columbus NBCSN, CBC
Wed. Apr 23 7 ET Columbus NBCSN, CBC
Sat Apr 26 TBD Pittsburgh TBD, CBC
Mon Apr 28 TBD Columbus TBD, CBC
Wed Apr 30 TBD Pittsburgh TBD, CBC
Series2
Date Time Web site Tv Score Series
Thu Apr 17 7 ET New York CNBC, TSN
Sun Apr 20 Noon ET New York NBC, TSN
Tue Apr 22 8 ET Philadelphia CNBC, TSN
Fri Apr 25 7 ET Philadelphia CNBC, TSN
Solar Apr 27 Noon ET New York NBC, TSN
Tue Apr 29 TBD Philadelphia TBD, TSN
Wed Apr 30 TBD New York TBD, TSN
Series2
Date Time Website Tv Rating Collection
Wed Apr sixteen 10 ET Anaheim NBCSN, TSN
Fri Apr 18 10 ET Anaheim NBCSN, TSN
Mon Apr 21 9:30 ET Dallas NBCSN, TSN
Wed. Apr 23 eight ET Dallas CNBC, TSN
Fri Apr 25 10:30 ET Anaheim NBCSN, TSN
Sun Apr 27 TBD Dallas TBD, TSN
Tue Apr 29 TBD Anaheim TBD, TSN
Series2
Date Time Web site Tv Rating Sequence
Thu Apr 17 10:30 ET San Jose NBCSN, CBC
Sun Apr 20 10 ET San Jose NBCSN, CBC
Tue Apr 22 10 ET Los Angeles NBCSN, CBC
Thu Apr 24 10:30 ET Los Angeles NBCSN, CBC
Sat Apr 26 TBD San Jose NBCSN, CBC
Mon Apr 28 TBD Los Angeles TBD, CBC
Wed Apr 30 TBD San Jose TBD, CBC
Series2
Date Time Site Television Score Collection
Thu Apr 17 9:30 ET Denver CNBC, TSN
Sat Apr 19 9:30 ET Denver NBCSN, TSN
Mon. Apr 21 7 ET St. Paul NHL Web, TSN
Thu Apr 24 9:30 ET St. Paul CNBC, TSN
Sat Apr 26 TBD Denver TBD, TSN
Mon Apr 28 TBD St. Paul TBD, TSN
Wed Apr 30 TBD Denver TBD, TSN
Series2
Date Time Website Tv Score Series
Thu Apr 17 eight ET St. Louis NBCSN, CBC
Sat Apr 19 three ET St. Louis NBC, CBC
Mon. Apr 21 eight:30 ET Chicago CNBC, CBC
Wed. Apr 23 9:30 ET Chicago NBCSN, CBC
Fri Apr 25 8 ET St. Louis NBCSN, CBC
Solar Apr 27 3 ET Chicago NBC, CBC
Tue Apr 29 TBD St. Louis TBD, CBC

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NFL: ‘Serious consideration’ to expanded playoffs

Could the NFL expand its playoff format? Roger Goodell says it's under consideration.

(USATSI)
More NFL: Coaching change tracker | Playoff Bracket Last week, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said that he would be in favor of expanding the playoffs. On Tuesday, commissioner Roger Goodell said that playoff expansion could be in the NFL's future.

"That is under serious consideration, " he said during an interview with former Associated Press White House correspondent Ben Feller (via NFL. com). "We think it's one of the great things about the NFL, besides the fact that it's unscripted. Every team and their fans start the season with hope. You mentioned the fact that for 11 straight years we've had a team go from last to first, that's unique to professional football and the NFL, that doesn't happen in other sports. And that's because we have such a competitive league and we want to keep that. "

 

Another popular topic on the heels of the 12-4 49ers having to travel to Hoth to face the 8-7-1 Packers in sub-zero temperatures last weekend: Playoff reseeding based on records. Of course, three of the four visiting teams won during wild-card weekend (and the other, Kansas City, blew a 28-point lead), which sort of makes the point moot. Still, Goodell addressed that too. "I don't think there is momentum for that, " the commissioner said. "I would probably disagree. There may be momentum in the media, that happens when you see San Francisco going to Green Bay, but one of the premises we start with every season is that your first objective is to win the division. And when you win the division, you should have a home game. "

The bottom line (after money, obviously) is making the game as entertaining as possible, something the NFL had great success with during the entirety of the 2013 regular season.

"The races we had this past season, we had 16 games every weekend, the final weekend we have division games, so your opponent is a division opponent and 13 of those 16 games had playoff implications on the final day of the season, " Goodell said.

 

"That's extraordinary and we want to keep that. If we could increase that, and again this is about believing in better, can you make it better, can you make those (division) races better by adding two more teams? That's compelling and that's what we're looking at. "

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NFL mulls reseeding playoffs by overall record

 

Reseeding could soon be coming to the NFL playoffs. (USATSI)
Reseeding could quickly be coming to the NFL playoffs. (USATSI)

 

The San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints most likely will not find this news to useful, however the NFL has discussed the opportunity of reseeding the playoffs based mostly on general report. A change that would possibly occur as soon as subsequent yr.

No decisions have been made, however the league has "looked at a number of ways" to vary the playoff system, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said on Thursday, through the Related Press.

"Each situation has been discussed, starting from reseeding to 1 extra sport, increasing from 12 to 14 groups," McCarthy said. "Consider a situation, it's been mentioned and stays in play."

If the league had reseeded teams this season primarily based on document, the 49ers and Saints would most likely be internet hosting video games this weekend. As an alternative, 12-four San Francisco is headed to 8-7-1 Green Bay and 11-5 New Orleans is headed to 10-6 Philadelphia.

In line with McCarthy, part of the explanation that the NFL hasn't already moved ahead with reseeding the playoffs is because some teams have "raised the concern that reseeding would minimize the worth of successful a division; winning a division now means a assured home playoff recreation."

In yearly since 2007, there's been a minimum of one wild-card group that's needed to go on the highway to face a division winner with a worse record. Although reseeding has been discussed, there's been no formal vote on the matter, in response to McCarthy.

It's attainable the NFL may decide to develop and reseed the playoffs in the same season. The topic of playoff growth got here up in September with experiences that the league would possible begin together with 14 groups within the postseason as soon as 2014. If 14 groups would've made the postseason this yr, both Arizona and Pittsburgh would have made the playoffs.

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Seahawks’ Harvin to practice, eyes playoffs

RENTON, Wash. – Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll stated Monday afternoon that receiver Percy Harvin will observe this week, a shock announcement after Carroll's comments earlier within the day.

In the six hours between Carroll's radio show Monday morning and his afternoon news conference, one thing changed with Harvin's standing.

Percy Harvin

Otto Greule Jr/Getty PhotosPercy Harvin has played in only one game this season resulting from injury however is anticipated to apply this week for the Seahawks.

On his 710 ESPN Seattle radio present, Carroll gave each indication that Harvin would not return for the playoffs. But he had a very different message later in the day.

"Percy will apply with the intention of playing next game," Carroll mentioned. "It has come to that time. He needs to contribute on this staff."

On Monday morning, Carroll sounded discouraged about Harvin.

"It has been a very difficult struggle for Percy," Carroll mentioned on his radio present. "It's a personal thing proper now.

"He has worked actually arduous to get again however has not been able to make it over the hump. He'll want the offseason to essentially get back to full power. We may have a rare football player able to go next yr. We'll take a look this week and see the place we are and then know more."

By Monday afternoon, Carroll was far more optimistic.

"It is going to be a great thing for him [if he plays]," Carroll mentioned. "This man is a true competitor. To his credit, he has not given up on it. He's at a spot the place he has a chance. We'll see what happens."

Harvin took to Twitter to say he plans to be back for the Seahawks' divisional-spherical playoff sport.

In what has been one of the most successful seasons in Seahawks history, Harvin clearly has been the largest disappointment with a hip injury that restricted him to a couple plays in one game towards his former Minnesota teammates Nov. 17.

Harvin, who signed a $sixty seven million, six-year cope with Seattle in March, had main hip surgical procedure Aug. 1 to restore a torn labrum. He has not played again since returning six weeks ago because of soreness and irritation in his hip.

"It's way more complicated than simply that," Carroll said. "It was main surgery, and people typically take years to get over it. He's trying to do it in months. And not simply to be a normal particular person strolling down the road. It is a very delicate state of affairs. There is no recreation plan here and no strategy. We're simply pulling for him."

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Rodgers returns to lead Packers to playoffs

Packers Take NFC North Crown In ThrillerThriller

 

CHICAGO – Aaron Rodgers is back leading the Green Bay Packers and that might be unhealthy news for each different playoff team.

He returned from a damaged collarbone and is taking goal at a postseason run, even if it took one big cross to get there.

Rodgers fired a forty eight-yard landing to Randall Cobb in the ultimate minute, and the Packers beat the Chicago Bears 33-28 to capture the NFC North championship on Sunday.

"It is a special group of guys who've been by loads," Rodgers said. "It has been a rollercoaster."

Again after lacking seven video games with a broken left collarbone, Rodgers found a large-open Cobb on fourth-and-eight to wipe out a one-level deficit with 38 seconds left.

Green Bay will host San Francisco next weekend in the wild-card spherical.

The Bears had one remaining drive, but Jay Cutler's deep pass to Alshon Jeffery was intercepted by Sam Shields on the ultimate play.

That gave the Packers (8-7-1) their third straight division title and fifth postseason look in a row. It also saved the Bears (8-8) out of the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.

Things weren't trying nice for the Packers after Chicago's Brandon Marshall spun away from Tramon Williams in the end zone on the primary play of the fourth quarter to make it 28-20. But Green Bay answered with a touchdown drive.

Eddie Lacy ran in from the 6 after a 22-yard move from Rodgers to Andrew Quarless went by means of security Chris Conte's arms, making it a one-level game.

Then, on the profitable drive, Green Bay converted twice on fourth-and-1 before Rodgers eluded pressure and unleashed that winning pass to Cobb.

A block by John Kuhn on Julius Peppers helped Rodgers roll to the edge and find Cobb by himself down the sector.

"We had a blitz on," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "We misplaced an edge. Aaron was capable of get outdoors. Once he got exterior things occur. While you've acquired a zero blitz on things can happen. And we simply lost protection with our eyes within the backfield."

For Rodgers, it was a strong finish after a shaky begin, and it gave him some payback towards the staff that nearly ended his season.

He was intercepted on the Packers' first two possessions but threw for 318 yards and two touchdowns in his first appearance since he was injured in a loss to Chicago on Nov. 4.

Cobb, in his first appearance since Oct. thirteen, caught just two passes but each were for touchdowns.

"To be in that moment at the finish of the sport and have that chance, it's a blessing," Cobb said.

Jordy Nelson had 161 yards receiving. James Starks ran for 88 yards. Lacy aggravated his ankle harm in the third quarter and completed with just sixty six.

For the Bears, their first season below Trestman ended the same method five of the earlier six did underneath Lovie Smith – on the skin looking in on the playoffs.

This loss is sure to spark reminiscences of Green Bay's victory in the 2010 NFC title sport at Soldier Area on the best way to the Super Bowl championship – and gasoline extra questions about Cutler's ability to win massive video games though he performed well.

With a playoff spot on the line and his contract set to run out, Cutler threw for 226 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He's now 1-9 in opposition to Green Bay, together with that conference last and a loss with Denver in 2007.

Marshall assured Cutler shall be back next season, and Cutler stated he'd prefer to return.

"You'd like to," Cutler stated. "You may't predict the long run, although. I'm probably not going to get into what's going to happen. It always works out the way it's alleged to."

Matt Forte ran for 110 yards and two scores. He also had 47 yards receiving with a landing catch.

Jeffery had eighty yards receiving, and Marshall had seventy four.

Two unusual performs late within the first half turned a 7-3 deficit into a 13-7 advantage for the Packers.

Green Bay had a first down on the Chicago 17 when a sack and strip in opposition to Rodgers by Peppers turned into a wild touchdown. Jarrett Boykin ran throughout the sphere, picked up the loose ball as play stopped. One thing, though: The whistle never blew.

With Rodgers standing nearby, Boykin turned and headed 15 yards to the end zone, and after a replay evaluate, it stood.

That stunned the crowd and gave the Packers a ten-7 lead.

Green Bay caught another huge break on the Bears' next possession when Jeffery fumbled a go at the Chicago forty one. Morgan Burnett picked up the ball and lateraled to Shields, who returned it to the Chicago 28. That led to a 27-yard field goal by Mason Crosby to make it a six-level sport at the half.

As for Boykin's fumble recovery, Rodgers said it was one of the strangest performs he might recall.

"Boykin finally picked it up, I seemed again at (referee) Clete (Blakeman), he was looking at us so I believe myself and all people on the sideline was telling him to begin running," Rodgers stated. "It was one of many crazier plays I have been a part of."

Sport notes

Bears RT

Jordan Mills

had his left foot in a strolling boot and was on crutches after being injured on the sport's first offensive series… Green Bay's

Josh Boyd

suffered a hip damage in the second half.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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NBA Playoffs: Who Survives the Loaded Western Conference? Predictions

western conference

NBA Prediction Western Conference 2013

On Wednesday, we set our sights on the playoffs by predicting which eight teams comprise the Eastern Conference playoff bracket. As a follow-up, we will now shift our focus to the Western Conference and project the eventual representatives.

 

 

The Western Conference is decidedly stronger than the East this year based on team records. As of Friday, the team in ninth overall place in the West, Golden State, boasts a record of 14-13. This record would be good enough for 4th in the East, but unfortunately places the Warriors in the lottery based on the loaded Western Conference.

 

Were the season to end tonight, the Western Conference playoff representatives would comprise, in order, of Oklahoma City, Portland, San Antonio, Los Angeles (Clippers), Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and Denver. This current standing is a result of some unexpected early season performances.

 

Portland has been the most surprisingly upstart team of from the West so far. A balanced rotation and lethal offense has given way to a league-best 22 wins. An equally surprising playoff team, as of today, is Phoenix. Loaded with young talent and playing cohesively under first-year head coach Jeff Hornacek, the Suns appear well-suited to compete for a playoff berth.

 

It may be easier to predict the playoff representatives by eliminating the teams set on “tanking” this season. Sacramento and Utah, though they both play host to an abundance of young talent in players like DeMarcus Cousins, Ben McLemore, Derrick Favors, and Trey Burke, would be better suited to set their sights on the NBA Draft, when college phenoms Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Julius Randle are expected to declare for the pro’s.

 

For four of the teams currently out of the playoff mix, injuries have been a source of collective misfortune. Golden State, at ninth, lost Andre Iguodala to a hamstring injury for 12 games, posting a record of 5-7. The Los Angeles Lakers, 11th with a record of 12-13, have been derailed by injuries to their entire point guard staff, and Kobe Bryant’s latest injury is sure to set them back even further.

 

New Orleans was without budding star Anthony Davis for seven days after the sophomore power forward broke his hand, and the Pelicans went 3-4 in his absence. Memphis has likely been the most unlucky team out of all of them, as they have had to play without Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol, starters Mike Conley and Tayshaun Prince, and rotational swingman Quincy Pondexter who has been lost for the season.

 

Of the teams currently outside of the playoff mix, the ones most likely to play their way out of the lottery would have to be Golden State and Minnesota. The Warriors possess possibly the most dangerous offenses led by “Splash Brothers” Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Iguodala’s return to the lineup shores up the team’s defense and allows second-year wing Harrison Barnes to return to the bench.

 

The Timberwolves have lighting it up of the offensive end, coming into Friday scoring the 3rd most PPG at 105.7. Their most apparent struggles have been on the road (5-9) and against other teams in the Western Conference (6-8).

 

As for the teams most likely to fall out of the playoff picture, Phoenix is definitely the most prime suspect. With the eighth toughest Strength of Schedule in the league, the Suns can be expected to succumb to their lack of veteran leadership, and they would also be better suited to try their luck in the upcoming draft.

 

We can say with reasonable certainty that there are five locks in the West for the playoffs: Oklahoma City, Portland, San Antonio, Los Angeles, and Houston. Assuming the Suns eventual regression, that leaves three spot for four real contenders in Dallas, Denver, Golden State, and Minnesota. Denver can probably be counted on to stumble a bit without projected starters Danilo Gallinari and Javale McGee, both of whom are without timetables for their returns. They should be able to hang on to one of the last two playoff spots, as fellow competitor Minnesota has the second toughest schedule in the NBA.

 

We’re counting on the eventual Western Conference playoff bracket consisting of, in no particular order, Oklahoma City, Portland, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Denver, and Golden State. Look for us to revisit these projections as the season winds on. 

 

By Austin Murphy – WonderPunter

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NBA Playoffs: Who Emerges from the (L)east?

NBA playoffs 2013

Anyone who has been watching the NBA this year understands the ridiculous disparity regarding team success between the Eastern and Western conferences. Despite being the resident conference for powerhouses in Indiana and Miami, the Eastern conference is only 37-84 against the West thus far in the season. Only six teams out West boast records under .500, whereas the East has a pitiful twelve teams under .500. To put the situation into even greater perspective, every team in the West outside of Sacramento (7-16) and Utah (6-21) would make the playoffs if they switched conferences. Outside of the obvious picks with the Pacers and Heat, who can be expected to make the playoffs out of the cellar of the East?

 

As of Wednesday night, the six teams joining the Pacers and Heat in the playoffs, in order of seed, would be Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Charlotte, Washington, and Toronto. This is hardly a definite playoff scenario, as a mere six games separate the projected fourth seed Celtics and the bottom-feeder Milwaukee Bucks.

 

In comparison to ESPN’s Training Camp Power Rankings, three teams previously expected to make the playoffs (Brooklyn, Chicago, and New York) are floundering in the East due to three completely separate situations. Brooklyn has suffered injuries and a lack of team chemistry (improving of late having won four of their last five, including a big win over the contending Clippers). Chicago has struggled in the wake of Derrick Rose’s season-ending meniscus tear as their lack of depth has been exposed. Mike Woodson, head coach of New York, is likely one more late-game faux-pas from being canned.

bulls derrick rose

One alteration to the current playoff projections that we can likely expect to be fulfilled would be replacing Toronto with Brooklyn. The Nets are only two games back in the loss column, and their collective resurgence and team health combined with Toronto’s determination to tank (Kyle Lowry is allegedly still being shopped) should result in the Nets overtaking the Raptors.

 

We can be reasonably optimistic that two other current playoff teams will hold onto their spots. Atlanta, the current three-seed, holds the last of three plus-.500 records in the East. Paul Millsap appears to have built a strong connection with fellow big-man Al Horford, and their perimeter is exciting to watch with Jeff Teague’s aggressiveness and Kyle Korver’s marksmanship from deep.

 

 

The other likely solid playoff fixture is Detroit. As a new home for Josh Smith, the nine-year veteran Combo Forward has bolstered an already lethal frontcourt with Greg Monroe and second-year man Andre Drummond. Point Guard by way of Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings is averaging a career high 7.8 Assists Per Game with excellent passing options in Smith, Monroe, and Drummond.

 

The final three spots back East are sure to be the hardest to predict. We can expect Brooklyn to overtake Toronto’s spot, but that still leaves Boston in the hunt in the Atlantic Division. First-year coach Brad Stevens has led the Celtics to a surprising 12-14 start with an excellent selection of young talent. Jordan Crawford is finally learning to play within a system, Avery Bradley is showing a drastically improved touch from the perimeter (45% from the field and 38% from three), and Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, and Kelly Olynyk are excellent pieces to build around. Rajon Rondo’s return is unlikely to hinder the young Celtics success, as he is an excellent distributing Point Guard and defensive presence.

 

nba playoffs

After the Celtics, that leaves us with Charlotte and Washington as the only projected playoff teams as of tonight. Both of these teams will be battling with Chicago and Cleveland to claim the last two playoff sp

 ots. Due to the loss of Rose and off-season departure Nate Robinson, Chicago is going to have to rely even more on Luol Deng to perform on offense. A depleted benchand over-usage of players like Deng, Jimmy Butler, and Joakim Noah will prevent the Bulls from making a playoff appearance.

With the Bulls eliminated, that leaves us with Charlotte, Washington, and Cleveland all competing for two playoff spots. The odd team out will likely be Charlotte, as they lack the offensive focal point that can generate buckets late in games. Kemba Walker, though a budding star, is clearly a notch below John Wall and Kyrie Irving in terms of Point Guard talent.

 

As the season continues, we can likely expect the overall records of Eastern teams to improve. Despite any possible improvements, there don’t seem to be any other teams in the Eastern Conference capable of beating either the Pacers or Heat in the playoffs.

By Austin Murphy – WonderPunter

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Jacksonville Jaguars could actually make the playoffs

(USA TODAY Sports Images)

(USA AT THIS TIME Sports Photos)

Precisely one month ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars had been 0-eight and had analysts legitimately wondering whether or not they’d be the second group in NFL history to complete 0-sixteen. After an surprising turnaround that features Thursday evening’s victory over the Houston Texans, Jacksonville now sits at four-9, a greater file than 2012 playoff groups just like the Falcons, Redskins and the aforementioned Texans.

Though Jacksonville’s current three-game profitable streak is more than likely just building a foundation for next season (and moving the Jags down the draft board), there’s nonetheless a not-so-loopy situation wherein the workforce may truly make the playoffs. I mean, it’s crazy, nevertheless it’s not that loopy. Here’s the way it may play out, through ESPN’s Playoff Machine:

• Jacksonville wins out …

… (vs. Buffalo, vs. Tennessee and at Indianapolis in Week 17, when the Colts will doubtless relaxation its starters earlier than internet hosting a wild card game).

• Tennessee loses …

… to Denver on Sunday and only wins one in every of two towards the Cardinals and Texans.

• Baltimore loses …

… games to the Lions, Patriots and Bengals.

• Miami beats Pittsburgh …

… on Sunday, then loses its final three to New England, Buffalo and the Jets.

(USA TODAY Sports Images)

(USA IN THE PRESENT DAY Sports activities Pictures)

• The Steelers lose …

… two of their ultimate 4 video games (vs. Miami, vs. Cincinnati, at Inexperienced Bay, vs. Cleveland).

• Rex Ryan and the Jets …

… proceed being Rex Ryan and the Jets by beating the Dolphins in Week 17 and dropping two of three video games to the Raiders, Browns and Panthers.

And similar to that, the Jacksonville Jaguars will play a road sport within the first spherical of the NFL playoffs. Simple peazy, proper?

Okay, after all there’s virtually no probability of all these items happening in tandem. None of these eventualities is that far-fetched, but all of them taking place at the similar time would take a minor miracle, and that ship sailed for Jacksonville after they failed to sign Tim Tebow.

Nonetheless, it’s Dec. 6 and the phrases “Jaguars” and “playoffs” are being used collectively and not drawing guffaws. That’s an accomplishment in itself.

(Because of @fbgchase for sharing this far-fetched, but fun, situation.)

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Two defenses fantasy football players must own for the playoffs

Buffalo Bills DT Marcell Dareus
Marcell Dareus will muscle OLs

In the event you’re in stable place to make your fantasy soccer playoffs, it is time to begin planning forward, stashing useful players in your bench.

Or on this case, defenses. Within the Fantasy Sports activities Writers Affiliation Trade Insiders League – a one hundred twenty-workforce, 10-division battle royale – it appears to be like like I’ll make the postseason, a 40-staff, multi-stage survivor collection, so to speak.

I don’t usually carry two DTs except it is a formidably deep league like this one. I’ve completed so now as a result of I need to save a hammer FAAB bid for the postseason, and it helps to get a bounce on any benefit doable.

Ergo, I’ve paired the Houston Texans with the Buffalo Bills. Take a look at their remaining schedules by means of the standard fantasy playoffs.

Check out all those Jacksonville Jaguars duels. Squee.

When picking a DT, I focus a lot much less on factors allowed and as an alternative on the ditch matchups, and for these two golf equipment, I’m optimistic on how their respective defensive traces will overpower their opponents’ front five for many of these contests.

Wk HOU BUF
eleven OAK NYJ
12 JAX BYE
thirteen NE ATL
14 @JAX @TB
15 @IND @JAX
16 DEN MIA

As for the midrange tilts: Geno Smith could torment the Bills’ secondary, however the New York Jets rook should be sacked a bunch within the process. The Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line ought to be weak enough to control, but with Roddy White transferring back into type, there’s extra threat than there was only a few weeks ago. Of course, smart betters usually go against Matt Ryan on the street.

The Indianapolis Colts’ absence of Reggie Wayne hasn’t stopped them in latest weeks, and T.Y. Hilton labored Houston the last time he confronted them. But with Gary Kubiak returning, it’s going to be helpful for Wade Phillips to give attention to simply D once more with out the crew being in second-half chaos.

I dig how the remainder of these matchups play out. Maybe the Denver Broncos will be in position to relaxation their playmakers, together with Peyton Manning (ankle), however I’ll wait on that one.

The Bills are still widely obtainable (sixty five percent of leagues I polled) and even Houston, who’s only unfastened in 22 percent, might still be snagged in a number of video games (for J.J. Watt alone).

Tim’s work has been featured by USA Today/Sports activities Weekly, amongst numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist within the Fantasy Sports Writers Affiliation awards. The Boston College alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won a number of trade leagues in both baseball and soccer.

Throughout baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports activities Radio, the place he typically crashes different exhibits, as nicely.
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Rudy Johnson winston state QB attack in bathroom

Title Game Canceled After QB Beating

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Affiliation has declared Virginia State ineligible for the NCAA Division II playoffs after Winston-Salem State’s quarterback was beaten during a bathroom combat between players from the colleges.

The CIAA issued an announcement Saturday evening saying its board of directors made its resolution during an emergency conference call.

Winston-Salem State chancellor Donald Reaves says quarterback Rudy Johnson was “viciously overwhelmed” by Virginia State gamers in a bathroom during a luncheon Friday earlier than the scheduled championship sport between the schools.

Forsyth County authorities say Trojans operating again Lamont Daniel Britt is charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury.

The CIAA canceled the title recreation and later authorized commissioner Jacqie Carpenter to conduct an investigation.

Before the suspension was announced, Virginia State coach Latrell Scott apologized for the incident and stated there was one of his players concerned within the fight.

“I apologize for yesterday’s unlucky incident on the CIAA luncheon,” Scott said in a press release. “One in all our players made a mistake and cost our group the chance to play in the CIAA championship sport at the moment. This remoted incident doesn’t symbolize us as a group or university and we prolong our deepest regrets to the WSSU participant concerned. Due to the ongoing investigation, I can not touch upon the small print of the events that passed off however can clarify that only one in every of our gamers, not five as previously reported, was concerned.”

Each teams are 9-1 and were in position for postseason berths. The playoff subject will likely be announced Sunday.

Information from The Related Press was used in this report.

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Yankees miss playoffs for 2nd time in 19 years

THE BIG APPLE – The New York Yankees did not make the playoffs for under the second time in 19 years, getting mathematically eradicated Wednesday evening earlier than an 8-three loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Hobbled by age and harm, the Yankees (eighty two-seventy six) have been trailing 7-3 in the eighth inning once they had been knocked out as the Cleveland Indians accomplished a 7-2 win over the Chicago White Sox. There was no response from the Yankee Stadium crowd when the Indians end result was posted on the scoreboard.

Brendan Ryan, Robinson Cano, Mark ReynoldsAP Photo/Kathy WillensA long evening capped a long season for Robinson Cano and the Yankees, who had been formally eliminated from playoff competition with Cleveland’s win against the White Sox.

Regardless of baseball’s highest opening-day payroll at $230 million, the Yankees failed to assert one of the 10 playoff berths.

Since beginning the latest run of success in 1995, New York had missed the playoffs solely in 2008 – when the group bid goodbye to previous Yankee Stadium. This time, the Yankees are saying goodbye to Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, who are retiring when the season ends Sunday.

“We did not get to the place we wanted to get,” manager Joe Girardi said after it was finished.

“It is extremely disappointing, and again to the drafting board. It hurts.”

Since starting the latest run of success in 1995, New York had missed the playoffs solely in 2008 – when the group bid goodbye to old Yankee Stadium.

Earlier than a quiet crowd of 37,260, the Yankees lost for the eighth time in 11 games and were eradicated from contention for a playoff berth on their very own subject for the first time since 1991.

Fans figure to be more exuberant throughout Thursday evening’s house finale, when Rivera will make his last Yankee Stadium appearance.

“I’ll be there for the fans. They deserve it,” the 43-year-outdated said. “But it do not imply anything. I am not used to pitching for something that doesn’t mean anything. I needed to pitch for one thing that means something.

“It’s disappointing. Can’t do anything about it now. It’s carried out. It is disappointing. We fought onerous the entire yr and we fell brief.”

Phil Hughes (four-14) allowed three runs and 7 hits in two innings-plus Wednesday night, strolling slowly to the dugout and searching up to the stands when he was removed from what doubtless was his final begin with the Yankees.

“Just a robust approach to end issues right here – not making the postseason,” Hughes mentioned.

A key part of the Yankees’ 2009 title group as a reliever, Hughes went 0-7 with a 6.09 ERA in thirteen begins since beating Minnesota on July 2. He is eligible without spending a dime company after the World Collection.

“Plenty of good times. Lots of dangerous times, I guess,” he said. “That is the best way life is sometimes.”

Joba Chamberlain, additionally eligible free of charge company, didn’t even await mathematical elimination to organize for his departure. Before batting practice, he began placing his locker belongings into a large box.

New York started the season 30-18 and was in first place on the morning of Could 26, but the solid begin was not sufficient to beat accidents to four All-Star regulars: shortstop Derek Jeter, third baseman Alex Rodriguez, first baseman Mark Teixeira and center fielder Curtis Granderson.

Hobbled by the ankle he broke in final yr’s AL Championship Series opener, Jeter did not make his season debut till proper earlier than the All-Star break and wound up playing simply 17 video games due to recurring leg injuries.

Teixeira, who injured a hand while with the U.S. workforce at World Baseball Basic, performed in just 15 games and wanted season-ending surgery. Rodriguez, getting back from hip surgery, and Granderson, who broke a forearm and pinkie when hit by pitches, every played about one-third of the season.

In all, the Yankees had a major league-main 28 stints on the disabled checklist by 21 completely different players, in response to STATS, and have missed 1,461 days – more than 4 years’ value.

New York’s house runs dropped from a staff-report 245 final 12 months to 143 this season – on tempo to be the Yankees’ fewest in a non-strike season since 1989. The departure of free brokers Raul Ibanez, Nick Swisher, Russell Martin and Eric Chavez contributed to the ability outage.

“It is a really sad feeling,” said Robinson Cano, the All-Star second baseman who figures to secure a 9-determine contract this offseason. “The fun part of this recreation is playoffs. I am really sad right now, and it is going to stick in my head, in my thoughts, until next season.”