Michigan repels Tennessee rally to advance

Michigan Closes Out Tennessee To Advance

 

INDIANAPOLIS – Michigan coach John Beilein had watched his group blow almost all of a 15-level lead, and he was sure he knew how Tennessee would try to take the lead.

With 6 seconds left and trailing 72-71, Cuonzo Martin would probably send the ball into Jarnell Stokes, who would attempt to back into the post or drive. Beilein urged his defenders to buckle down and keep Stokes away from the rim.

Jordan Morgan, who scored 15 points, heeded his coach's recommendation and stood his ground until Stokes lowered his shoulder. The senior forward immediately crashed to the floor – perhaps embellishing the contact – but drawing the call that saved the sport for Michigan and infuriated Tennessee's "Rocky High" contingent.

Huge Ten player of the yr Nik Stauskas made a late free throw and nobody was more relieved than Beilein when Jordan McRae's 70-foot heave fell harmlessly to the ground because the buzzer sounded on a seventy three-seventy one Michigan victory.

"We received simply sufficient stops," Beilein stated.

Tennessee thought they acquired one stop unfairly.

"With the magnitude of this recreation, I do not suppose you can call a charge at that time," McRae said dejectedly after scoring 24 factors.

But the officers did name it, allowing Michigan to reach a second straight regional final.

The Wolverines (28-8) have gained 10 of their last eleven, none as tenuous or excruciating as this one to set up a Sunday showdown towards eighth-seeded Kentucky, the 2012 nationwide champion. The Wildcats received seventy four-69 over fourth-seeded Louisville, which beat Michigan in final yr's nationwide championship recreation.

Tennessee nearly pulled off one of the vital stunning comebacks in current regional reminiscence.

With 10:55 to go, Spike Albrecht's layup gave Michigan a seemingly insurmountable 60-45 lead.

When Stauskas made the final of his three 3-pointers with three:forty to go, the Wolverines still led 70-60. Stauskas finished with 14 points.

For some motive, Michigan went into panic mode and, simply two weeks after nearly blowing two huge leads within the Big Ten match, they nearly threw this one away.

The Volunteers staunch protection restricted Michigan to only one basket over the final three:forty and compelled 4 turnovers within the closing ninety seven seconds to offer themselves a chance within the closing seconds.

"I do not think I fouled him," mentioned Stokes, who had 11 factors and six rebounds after two straight double-doubles. "However it was a wise play for him to try to take the charge. He just about anticipated it."

Just as Beilein had predicted.

For a lot of the evening, Michigan relied on its taking pictures stars to remain in control against a defense that had allowed just 54.zero factors in its previous eight games.

The Wolverines took a thirteen-point lead in the first half and nonetheless led 45-34 at halftime as a result of they have been shooting 61.5 p.c from the sector and made 7 of 9 on three-pointers. Michigan did not slow down early within the second half, both, taking the most important lead of the sport at 60-forty five.

But one way or the other Tennessee played itself right back into the sport.

The eleventh-seeeded Vols, who had a primary-spherical recreation in time beyond regulation at Dayton, Ohio, just to start their surprising postseason run, lower the deficit to sixty two-56 with 6:forty five left. They acquired within 72-sixty seven when McRae completed a 3-point play with 1:fifty six to go. They made it seventy two-sixty nine when Josh Richardson scored the final of his 19 points on a layup with 24.6 seconds left. McRae's layup following one other Michigan turnover made it 72-seventy one with 10.eight seconds remaining.

So when the officers ruled Michigan's Caris LeVert caught the ball with one foot on the baseline and 9.6 seconds left, Martin made the sensible name by giving Stokes an opportunity to win it with a basket or draw the foul.

"We bought the ball to Jarnell. Jordan set a display screen for him to get him proper to isolate him, assault him within the center," Martin explained. "Obviously we got the ball the place we needed."

Nonetheless, the call went against them.

"We heard all week about they'd mismatches and the way we could not guard them inside," Morgan stated after letting out a scream on the end. "We're not really mushy round here. That is not who we're."

 

Johnson, Arizona heat up, rally over SDSU

 

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Nick Johnson put an awful first half behind him and came up large for Arizona in the closing 2:forty five.

The Pac-12 player of the year scored all of his 15 factors over that span after lacking his first 10 photographs and helped Arizona maintain off San Diego State 70-sixty four on Thursday night time to reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA match.

"After I hit one shot, it simply began to feel a little bit bit better," he mentioned. "I just saved on hitting shots."

Largely, Johnson hit free throws, making all 10 of his attempts to go together with a discipline goal and a three-pointer after the Aztecs shut him down for the first 37 minutes.

"He simply exploded within the second half," stated San Diego State's Dwayne Polee II, who guarded Johnson. "I can not say that we didn't play onerous protection, however he just made a variety of good pictures."

Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 15 points each for the highest-seeded Wildcats (33-4), who will try to win a West Regional last for the primary time in Anaheim. They're 0-3 at Honda Heart going into Saturday's game towards second-seeded Wisconsin (29-7).

Arizona coach Sean Miller joined brother Archie in the ultimate eight. The younger Miller coached Dayton to an 82-72 victory over Stanford of the Pac-12 in the South Regional semifinals.

"We watched the sport in our locker room," Sean Miller stated. "The truth that two of us are within the Elite Eight is a really unique situation, but we'll see."

Xavier Thames scored 25 factors and Polee added thirteen points for the Aztecs (31-5). Those two tried to bail out SDSU within the final minute, every hitting 3-pointers before Thames' basket minimize the deficit to 65-61 with 38 seconds left.

The drama wasn't over but in a game that includes tenacious defense and rabid depth by both groups.

SDSU acquired known as for a 10-second violation, and the Wildcats regained the ball. Johnson obtained fouled and made each for a 67-61 lead with 26 seconds to go. Thames obtained fouled on a 3-level try, and he sank all three pictures to depart SDSU trailing 67-64.

The Aztecs had Johnson trapped close to their bench, however he handed out of the double-team and Gabe York bought fouled at the other end. He missed the first and made the second, maintaining Arizona forward 68-64. Thames missed, and Johnson once more went to the road, where he ended the scoring with two free throws.

San Diego State led by eight factors early within the second half after leading by that many simply earlier than halftime. The Aztecs managed the boards 37-29, with three of them often battling without delay on the defensive finish. Josh Davis had 14 rebounds for SDSU.

The Aztecs were making an attempt to reach the final eight for the primary time at school history below sixty nine-year-outdated coach Steve Fisher.

"One in every of as of late, we will get to a Closing 4," Fisher mentioned.

Johnson's 2-of-12 taking pictures wasn't the Wildcats' only drawback. Kaleb Tarczewski returned late within the sport with four fouls, and Hollis-Jefferson fouled out with four:forty two to play.

However Johnson made his first basket a couple of minutes later and carried the Wildcats across the end line after they trailed a lot of the second half.

"It is wonderful for a kid to be able to try this after not making shots for about 25, 30 straight minutes," Miller mentioned.

T.J. McConnell's layup gave Arizona its first lead, 50-49, of the second half after the Wildcats got within one 3 times. SDSU answered with baskets the primary two occasions however couldn't cease McConnell, who finished with 11 factors.

The Wildcats started getting a number of the offensive rebounds that eluded them a lot of the sport, and Tarczewski scored after his teammates grabbed two on the identical possession to keep Arizona ahead 54-51.

Polee's protection helped maintain Johnson scoreless within the first half, when he went zero-for-7 and missed all three of his 3-point makes an attempt. He lastly hit a jumper at the buzzer, however typical of Arizona's early luck, it was dominated no good. Tarczewski picked up his third foul with 5:13 to go, leaving the Wildcats without their 7-footer to guard the basket.

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Dawson, Michigan State stave off wild Harvard rally

SPOKANE, Wash. – For 18 seconds on Saturday, it was happening. Harvard owned basketball, too.

The college that churns out U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, billionaire CEOs and Nobel Peace Prizes was taking a severe run at altering the discourse on this yr’s NCAA match, as effectively.

Harvard guard Laurent Rivard made a three-pointer from the nook, looped his thumb and finger together round his eye – the “three-level goggles” – and flashed a decided glare toward a gaggle of Crimson followers in the stands who were coming unhinged. Someone in the Harvard nation tweeted: “rooting for the 1 p.c.”

The Ivy Leaguers had overcome a 16-point deficit to take a two-point lead over Michigan State, a team that always comes up large on school basketball’s biggest stage.

The following time down the floor, Spartans guard Travis Trice came back with a 3 to put his workforce again in the lead. A couple of minutes later, Michigan State was out of hazard – not by a lot, although – on the best way to an 80-seventy three victory that despatched Harvard back house, however not with out making a press release.

“We showed everybody that we are able to come all 12 months and play with one of the best,” sophomore guard Siyani Chambers said.

Led by a profession-high 26 points from Branden Dawson, the fourth-seeded Spartans (28-eight) moved onto the Sweet sixteen for the 12th time within the last 17 seasons. They’ll play Virginia or Memphis next Friday at Madison Sq. Backyard.

A whole lot of followers thought Harvard may win their first game against Cincinnati. However even President Obama had picked Michigan State to get rid of his regulation faculty on the best way to the nationwide title.

Even in a loss, Harvard hoops proved it’s here to stay.

“I assumed our youngsters competed,” coach Tommy Amaker stated. “We knew we’d.”

The program Amaker took over seven years ago was in its third straight NCAA tournament and two nights faraway from only the second March Madness win in school historical past. Last year, the encore was a disheartening 23-point loss to Arizona. This time, it was one thing a lot completely different against an opponent which will have been even better.

“That’s one factor Coach Amaker talks about, that we’re not just built for the Ivy League, we’re constructed to go past that,” junior ahead Jonah Travis stated. “That is one in all our most important goals, to match up with teams like that and beat teams like that.”

Over a comeback that lasted 7 minutes, 31 seconds, twelfth-seeded Harvard (28-5) pounded on Michigan State, plain and simple.

The rally began with a pair of 3-pointers by Brandyn Curry and continued relentlessly. The Crimson grabbed virtually each loose ball, saved hands in Michigan State’s flustered faces. Steve Moundou-Missi, the 6-foot-7 ahead who was alleged to comprise Michigan State’s 6-10 energy participant, Adreian Payne, merely outplayed him.

When Moundou-Missi tipped in a missed shot with 10:22 left, Harvard trailed solely fifty five-53. At that point, both the mantra ringing from the Harvard stands – “I consider that we’ll win” – and the signal one of many followers was holding – “We all the time deliver our A+ Sport” – was extra than simply good PR.

Michigan State known as a timeout however Tom Izzo’s play produced an offensive foul. Moundou-Missi missed a layup, but Wesley Saunders, who led the Crimson with 22 factors, scrambled for a unfastened ball and dunked to tie it.

About 90 seconds later, Rivard hit his three to put Harvard ahead sixty two-60.

“You look down the opposite finish, and I’ve acquired a great friend that’s down there,” stated Izzo, who goes again greater than 20 years with Amaker. “I stored saying, `They are going to come again. You higher notice that.'”

They did. But one way or the other, as soon as the Spartans lost the lead, they began enjoying higher. Harvard’s lead lasted just 18 seconds.

After Trice put the Spartans in the lead, Rivard missed a 25-footer – part of a 2-for-5, seven-point evening in which he was shut down by Gary Harris. Payne got here again with two free throws and Harris made a 3 of his own, a part of an 18-level, 5-help evening that complemented his nice defense.

“It was a scare and we need to give credit to Harvard,” Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine stated.

Payne adopted his career-high, forty one-point evening within the opener against Delaware with a modest 12 factors, however the remaining lesson on this one was all the methods Michigan State can beat you.

Dawson had matched his previous profession better of 20 by halftime. When he took a go from Trice for a layup with 1:fifty four left, he gave the Spartans a seventy three-67 lead.

Harvard pulled within four and Moundou-Missi blocked Keith Appling’s shot on the opposite end. However the Spartans won a scramble for the ball and Amaker stomped his foot and shouted “Dammit.”

The game was just about over by then and both groups had proven a degree: Harvard can play with anybody and Michigan State can deal with a legit problem.

“A wonderful effort by our crew,” Amaker stated. “But you need to play perfect basketball to drag a game out like that.”

Acquired 03/23/14 12:30 am ET

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Dodgers survive rally to sweep D-Backs in Australia

 

The Dodgers will leave Australia with a two-game sweep of the Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers will leave Australia with a two-game sweep of the Diamondbacks. (Getty)

 

The first two games of the 2014 common season are within the books. The Dodgers finished off a two-recreation sweep of the Diamondbacks on the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia on Sunday afternoon (local time), beating their division rival by the score of 7-5. This one by no means really felt as close as the ultimate score signifies. Let's recap, quick hits model.

Hero: The highest of the Dodgers' lineup, particularly Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig. The club's one-two hitters went a mixed 6-for-9 with two doubles, two hit by pitches, three runs scored and three runs driven in. Yeah, Puig ran himself into two outs on the bases, however I'm keen to miss that since he was on base four times within the first place. Take the unhealthy with the great, I say. Gordon and Puig put stress on the Diamondbacks all recreation and set the tone for the remainder of the lineup. Nice sport for the duo.

Goat: The D-Backs' pitching employees as a whole. Seven runs on thirteen hits, eight walks and two hit batsmen while only hanging out seven? Yuck. Trevor Cahill labored by four innings, throwing 89 pitches to get a dozen outs. He walked 4, struck out one, and surrendered five runs on eight hits. The bullpen – supervisor Kirk Gibson used 5 completely different relievers – wasn't significantly better. Special shout-out goes to the Arizona defense, which compounded the pitching issues by committing three errors.

Turning level: There was no apparent turning point in this game; the Dodgers took the lead within the very first inning and continued to tack on runs. So I suppose that's the turning point: Andre Ethier's RBI single to open the scoring. The Dodgers led for 17 of the 18 innings in this two-sport collection.

It was over when: Pinch-hitter Tuffy Gosewisch flew out harmlessly with the bases loaded to finish the eighth inning. The D-Backs scored their first run earlier within the inning, and, in the event that they needed to have any likelihood of making a comeback, he had to come through and hold the rally alive someway. He did not and six-run deficit remained. Arizona tried their darndest in the ninth, but six runs was just too much to beat in the span of three outs.

Subsequent: The two-game opening series in Australia is complete, so the Dodgers and D-Backs will now return to the United States and.. resume spring coaching. Each golf equipment will play a handful of exhibition games next week earlier than restarting the common season the following week, when everyone else will just be getting began. Acquired it? Good.

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Aldridge nets 44, Blazers rally vs. Nuggets

 
PORTLAND, Ore. – LaMarcus Aldridge's 44-point outburst against the Denver Nuggets came the same day the particular All-Star starters were introduced.
 

"It was nothing about that, " the Trail Blazers' forward said. "We dropped two games and we required this win. "

Aldridge furthermore had 13 rebounds within Portland's 110-105 come-from-behind triumph over the Nuggets on thurs night. Wesley Matthews additional 24 points for the Blazers, who snapped a two-game losing streak coming away a 2-2 road trip. the particular Blazers have not lost 3 straight this season.

Aldridge scored the particular team's final 15 factors: After missing 3 associated with 4 free throws, this individual settled down to make 8 straight to close out the game.

It was their third career game along with 40 or more points.

"It will go without saying, LaMarcus simply keeps impressing everybody with what he's doing, " Blazers coach Terry Stotts stated, ticking off the contributions: "He was aggressive to the container, he made his jump photos, he made his free tosses, he rebounded, he arrived up big when we required him, he made passes out of the double teams when they bending, he got blocked photos. He was fantastic. "

The Blazers trailed by as many as fifteen points in the third one fourth, but chipped away in Denver's lead to pull in order to 91-90 on Matthews' transformation fadeaway before taking the guide on his 15-foot jumper.

The groups wrestled for control, yet Aldridge's jumper put Portland up a 102-99 along with 3: 08 left.

Wilson Chandler and Timofey Mozgov produced consecutive baskets to restore the lead for Denver, and it was back-and-forth until Aldridge made four consecutive totally free throws to shouts associated with "M-V-P, " from the Portland crowd, giving the Blazers a 108-105 lead.

Chandler skipped a jumper with eight seconds left and Aldridge made more free tosses for the final margin.

Chandler finished with 18 points for denver colorado, which has lost three directly and four of their past 5 games after a five-game successful streak.

"LaMarcus Aldridge, the and therefore that he made, I can live with that, " said denver colorado coach Brian Shaw. "But some of the fouls that we committed to send him to the collection without him having to really work for it, I thought is what harm us, especially in the fourth one fourth. "

Kenneth Faried got 2 quick fouls early in the game and had to sit, but the Nuggets still led 30-28 at the end of the first quarter, spaced by Anthony Randolph off the bench.

Nate Robinson's 3-pointer extended Denver's lead to 44-37, and the Nuggets went on to lead simply by as many as 12 points in the second quarter.

Portland went on a 9-0 run to close to 51-48, but denver colorado held on to 67-59 guide at the half.

Randy Foye strike a 3-pointer early in the third quarter to extend Denver's lead to 78-63. the particular Nuggets led 91-86 heading to the fourth.

Earlier in the day, Aldridge and teammate Damian Lillard were named to the 2014-16 U. S. men's nationwide team pool, the first step towards making the Olympic team. Faried was also invited.

The All-Star group starters were also announced prior to Thursday night's game. Aldridge finished fifth in lover voting among Western meeting frontcourt players, while Lillard finished seventh among protects. Both players will have a chance to make the team if they are chosen by the league's coaches.

Aldridge, the two-time All-Star, has never been the very best a starter by the fans. Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin plus Kevin Love will make up the Western Conference's starting frontcourt this season in New Orleans.

Matthews thought Aldridge should have made it.

"What can you say? He's a good MVP candidate. Best energy forward in the game, " Matthews said. "I've been saying that for two years now. this individual put it one display once again tonight. "

Blazers owner john Allen addressed the press at halftime, talking on a wide range of topics including an agreement extension for Aldridge, which the team will consider "at the appropriate time. "

Game notes

 

The Blazers defeated the Nuggets 113-98 in Denver their 1st meeting of the season upon Nov. 1… Portland is the only team to have used the same starting lineup almost all season… The Nuggets introduced earlier this week that ahead

Danilo Gallinari

will miss the rest of the season after undergoing a second surgery on his left leg. Gallinari averaged 16. two points per game final season for Denver… acting professional Billy Dee Williams was at the game.

 

Pacers repel Warriors’ rally, win 5th straight

Pacers earn Fifth Straightvideo

 

OAKLAND, Calif. — When Paul George performed at Golden State final season, he missed almost all seven shots he required and finished scoreless within Indiana's loss. Instead of sulking, he went straight to the gym after the Pacers arrived back home in the wee hours of the morning.That work ethic has paid off.

George scored 23 points to go with four rebounds and 2 assists, and the NBA-leading Pacers built a big lead prior to holding off the Warriors 102-94 Monday night for their 5th straight win.

"That game transformed everything, for our franchise and for him, " Pacers trainer Frank Vogel said, remembering the 103-92 loss in Golden State on december. 1, 2012. "It pushed him to change his strategy. "George has emerged as an MVP candidate this season, and his Indiana teammates are enhancing just as rapidly.

The Pacers (33-7) went ahead by twenty in the third quarter, viewed the Warriors whittle the lead to two and then regrouped in the closing minutes to open the particular five-game West Coast journey with a victory.

Roy Hibbert experienced 14 points and thirteen rebounds, David West additional 17 points and puncture Stephenson finished with 14 factors, 10 rebounds and 7 assists to help the Pacers pull away for good."I felt great coming off screens, dribbling a basketball the ball and striking some shots, " stated George, who made nine of 20 from the ground. "It's just tough running around with those guys and still having legs to make photos at the end. That's really what the toughness was. "

Stephen Curry had 24 points plus nine assists, and jesse Lee had 20 factors and 12 rebounds for the streaky Warriors, who have dropped four of six given that winning 10 in a line.

indianapolis outshot the Warriors forty five. 1 to 40. seven percent and outrebounded all of them 52 to 45. each teams committed 15 renouvellement.

"We're right there as a team that has the potential to do some great things this year if we can figure that will last, little bit of consistency away, " Curry said. "We've shown in spots we have the talent to do it, all of us just have to find that last small piece of assertiveness against the greatest teams in the league. inch

fantastic State made the Pacers work for the win.

 

Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Paul George rebounded from a scoreless sport against the Warriors last year to a 23-point performance in Monday's win.

After going down by 20 in the 3rd quarter, Harrison Barnes strike a 3-pointer to cut Indiana's lead to 79-77 earlier in the fourth. The Pacers pulled away by 8 before the Warriors roared back again within three on Lee's free throws.

Stephenson answered with a 3-pointer to put the Pacers up 94-87. Klay Thompson followed with swish through long range, then George slope hit another from past the arc to keep indianapolis in control.

"It was like the movie `Rocky II. ' I'm not sure which guy was going to drop first. Both teams had been completely exhausted, " Vogel said.

The Warriors' final drive ended almost as quickly as this started.

Andre Iguodala made the fadeaway to trim Indiana's lead to 98-94 with less than a minute left. After Iguodala stole the ball through Hill, Curry missed the contested 3-pointer short, and the Pacers put the game aside on free throws.

"We're near, but we still have function to do, " said players center Andrew Bogut, who had 10 points and 13 springs back.

the particular Warriors entered the night getting played an NBA-high twenty five road games compared to seventeen at home. The game began the string of five straight plus nine of 11 in Oracle Arena, though fantastic State's home court offered little comfort against the NBA's best.

Sparked by its protection and work-to-get-a-good-shot approach, indianapolis opened a 35-21 guide at the end of the first quarter. fantastic State switched to a smaller sized lineup Paul Georgeto try and outrun the particular Pacers, who instead used their size inside.
After heading ahead by 16 factors late in the second quarter, Indiana let the Warriors creep closer thanks to a series of turnovers. The Pacers led 53-40 at the fifty percent.

 

indianapolis came out of the break just like it did to start the game, scoring the first seven of the third quarter to take the 60-40 lead that quietened most of the announced sellout masses of 19, 596.

 

But Curry and Co. quickly experienced fans on their feet and to a fever pitch after a timeout. Curry hit the jumper, then tossed a good alley -oop to BogutThompson's 3-pointer started an operate that brought the players within eight heading to the particular frantic fourth quarter.

Game notes

Warriors trainer Mark Jackson said it was an honor to play on the holiday honoring the revolution. Martin Luther King junior. "I'm not sitting right here if he didn't have a dream and he didn't fight for that dream the right way, inch Jackson said… The players haven't won a series against the Pacers since the 2000-01 time of year… Indiana hosts Golden condition on March 4 in the teams' only other conference this season.

post

Pack rally from 23 down, top Romo, Cowboys

ARLINGTON, Texas – If this was Matt Flynn’s last begin in place of Aaron Rodgers, it was fairly a memorable one.

Flynn threw four landing passes within the second half, Eddie Lacy had the winning score on a 1-yard plunge after an interception by Tony Romo gave them one more probability, and the Green Bay Packers matched the most important comeback in franchise history in a 37-36 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Romo tossed two interceptions within the ultimate 3 minutes, the first one giving Inexperienced Bay an opportunity for the go-ahead rating with the Cowboys in position to expire the clock with a 36-31 lead.

Lacy scored with 1:31 to go for Green Bay’s first lead because the first quarter and after the Packers trailed 26-three at halftime.

“It took me every little thing to not cry,” stated Packers coach Mike McCarthy, whose group won its second straight without Rodgers after going winless in the first five, including the Chicago sport when the star QB obtained harm. “I am simply drained. Simply the sheer emotion. It was incredible.”

“Most guys would pack it in – ‘Guys, it’s not our season. Let’s go dwelling and get ready for subsequent 12 months,’ ” said Green Bay cornerback Tramon Williams, who had an interception overturned on evaluate earlier than a sport-clinching choose that was ruled incomplete and reversed on replay. “It’s not that vibe right here.”

Enjoying on the identical area the place Rodgers was the MVP once they gained the 2011 Super Bowl, the Packers matched the 1982 team in a September recreation against the Los Angeles Rams for the biggest rally.

The Packers (7-6-1) saved their playoff hopes alive with Rodgers probably returning next weekend. He was close to medical clearance, but missed his sixth straight recreation with a damaged collarbone. He was wearing a headset on Inexperienced Bay’s sideline. There will be no quarterback controversy.

“Yeah, it is most likely the largest win of my profession,” mentioned Flynn, who has won two straight starts after the Packers had been winless for five straight with out Rodgers, together with the Chicago recreation when he broke his left collarbone. The epic rally fueled by Flynn – and helped along by Romo – didn’t change something concerning the quarterback scenario with the Packers (7-6-1) still in playoff competition heading into a home recreation towards Pittsburgh.

“I don’t anticipate being the man going forward,” said Flynn, who was released twice this 12 months earlier than the Packers picked him up after Rodgers obtained damage. “We all anticipate Aaron getting wholesome.”

The vibe in Dallas may unfavourable for some time, with Dez Bryant strolling off the sphere before the game ended and refusing to talk to reporters in the locker room, merely shaking his head at them after finishing with 153 yards and a landing.

After the sport, Bryant took to Twitter to clarify his early exit.

“This is one of the hardest losses that I’ve skilled,” Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones mentioned. “That is a shame that we’ve misplaced that ballgame.”

The Cowboys (7-7) blew an excellent probability to drag even with Philadelphia in the NFC East however nonetheless management their playoff destiny. They end with Washington and the Eagles.

“We nonetheless control what we really feel like we can get performed,” Romo said. “It just would not feel prefer it proper now as a result of we let it slip away.”

With Dallas main 36-31, Bryant made a lunging first down after a catch simply before the 2-minute warning that seemed to Dallas assist hold off an enormous Green Bay rally. But Romo threw behind Miles Austin after escaping a sack and Sam Shields intercepted at midfield.

The Packers steadily moved downfield before the plunge by Lacy, who had 141 yards speeding.

Behind for the primary time since the first quarter, Romo threw a ball too far in entrance of Cole Beasley, and Williams made a diving grab that was initially known as incomplete. When the video overview overturned the call, Flynn ended the sport with kneel-downs.

“Right now, phrases really don’t have any effect,” Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr mentioned. “Full debacle the second half. We have simply acquired to get higher, man.”

Williams had an earlier interception overturned on overview with Dallas clinging to a 29-24 lead. He cradled a deflected pass in his arms and had a weaving return to inside the Dallas 10, however replayed confirmed the nostril of ball hitting the turf.

The Cowboys went on to attain when Bryant made a leaping seize over M.D. Jennings and obtained two toes down in the back of the end zone for a 36-24 lead.

Flynn answered together with his fourth straight scoring drive to get the Packers back within five. A Dallas defense that gave up eight straight scoring drives to Chicago in a loss last week let the Packers get touchdowns on five straight drives after halftime.

“What a feelin’!” mentioned Flynn, who threw for 299 yards with one interception. “As we were taking a knee, we have been considering ‘Is that this real? Is this occurring?’ ”

Romo threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns, but couldn’t avoid two extra critical mistakes in a career no less than partially defined by them.

Recreation notes

DeMarco Murray

had 134 yards speeding and a landing for Dallas…

Dan Bailey

had five discipline goals for Dallas.

Mason Crosby

hit a fifty seven-yarder for the Packers… Packers DE

Johnny Jolly

left the sport with a shoulder harm. TE

Brandon Bostick

got here out with a foot damage… The Cowboys ended up with out their prime 4 linebackers after

Justin Durant

(hamstring) and

Ernie Sims

(hip) were knocked out. They had been already enjoying without

Sean Lee

and

Bruce Carter

.

Data from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Packers rally from 23 down, stun Cowboys

cowboys_vs_packers

ARLINGTON, Texas – Matt Flynn and the Green Bay Packers matched the most important comeback in franchise history. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys have a loss which may sting for a very long time.

Flynn threw four touchdown passes within the second half, Eddie Lacy had the successful rating on a 1-yard plunge after an interception by Romo gave them another probability, and the Packers rallied from 23 factors down at halftime to beat the Cowboys 37-36 Sunday.

Romo tossed two interceptions in the final three minutes, the first one giving Green Bay a chance for the go-forward rating with the Cowboys in position to expire the clock with a 36-31 lead. Lacy scored with simply over 1½ minutes left.

Playing on the same discipline the place they gained the 2011 Super Bowl, the Packers matched the 1982 team, which rallied past the Los Angeles Rams after trailing by 23.

The Packers (7-6-1) kept their playoff hopes alive with Aaron Rodgers probably returning next week.

The Cowboys (7-7) blew an incredible chance to pull even with Philadelphia within the NFC East, remaining a sport behind with two to play.

Dez Bryant, who had 153 yards receiving, had picked up a first down simply earlier than the 2-minute warning that looked as if it would Dallas help hold off an enormous Green Bay rally. But Romo threw behind Miles Austin after escaping a sack and Sam Shields intercepted at midfield.

The Packers steadily moved downfield before the plunge by Lacy, who had 141 yards dashing

Behind for the primary time because the first quarter, Romo threw a ball too far in front of Cole Beasley, and Tramon Williams made a diving seize that was initially called incomplete. When the video review overturned the call, Flynn ended the sport with kneel-downs.

Bryant walked off the field and into the tunnel earlier than the sport ended.

Williams had an earlier interception overturned on evaluate with Dallas clinging to a 29-24 lead. He cradled a deflected pass in his arms, however officers reviewed that the nose of ball hit the turf.

The Cowboys went on to score when Bryant made a leaping grab over M.D. Jennings and acquired two ft down in the back of the end zone for a 36-24 lead.

Flynn answered with his fourth straight scoring drive to get again within five. He finished with 299 yards passing, including second-half scoring tosses of 13 yards to Jordy Nelson, 3 yards to Andrew Quarless, eleven yards to James Starks and three yards to James Jones.

Romo threw for 358 yards to interrupt a four-game streak where he did not have more than 250, however the late interceptions will only fuel the sensation his critical errors will maintain the Cowboys from going deep in playoffs for the primary time since their last Tremendous Bowl title through the 1995 season.

Rodgers was the MVP when the Packers beat Pittsburgh for the Super Bowl title on Dallas’ home field, but this time he needed to watch from the sideline with a headset after docs did not clear him to play, forcing to miss his sixth straight game since breaking his left collarbone.

DeMarco Murray had 134 yards speeding and a landing for Dallas.

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Murray’s 3 TDs rally Cowboys past Raiders

Cowboys Rally Past Raiders

Lions Earn Rare Thanksgiving Day Win

ARLINGTON, Texas – Tony Romo was sick, and it wasn’t because he had just watched the Oakland Raiders return a fumble for a touchdown on the opening kickoff.

After the Dallas quarterback caught a virus the night before Thanksgiving, his top two running backs were there to help out.

DeMarco Murray ran for three touchdowns, backup Lance Dunbar led Dallas with a career-high 82 yards rushing and the Cowboys overcame the shock of Oakland’s early score to beat the Raiders 31-24 on Thursday.

Romo still did his part. He was behind 7-0 before taking his first snap, and his offense didn’t have a yard in the second quarter when he took the field down 21-7 with less than two minutes remaining before halftime.

Five completions from Romo later, Murray scored on a 4-yard run 10 seconds before halftime and set the stage for a second-half rally that put the Cowboys (7-5) two games above500 for the first time since late last season.

Dallas is at least temporarily ahead of Philadelphia (6-5) atop the NFC East.

“To have the opening kickoff fumbled and returned for a touchdown and then be down a couple of scores in the first half, nobody blinked,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “The momentum kind of turned and I think guys started feeling pretty good and it just continued.”

Dallas was without kick returner Dwayne Harris because of a hamstring injury, and rookie replacement Terrance Williams gave the Raiders a touchdown with a fumble on the opening kickoff.

Greg Jenkins picked up the ball at the 23 after it squirted away from the pile and outran everyone to the pylon. The play was upheld on review after replay showed Williams’ knee hitting the turf just as the ball was coming out.

Matt McGloin, an undrafted rookie quarterback making his third career start, had a strong first half for the Raiders.

But without much help from the league’s fifth-best rushing attack, his offense stalled in the second half as Oakland (4-8) clinched an 11th straight season without a winning record since going to the Super Bowl during the 2002 season.

Rashad Jennings rushed for 35 yards on 17 carries – a 2.1-yard average – and had both of Oakland’s offensive touchdowns. Darren McFadden carried just five times for 13 yards in his return after missing three games with a hamstring injury.

The Raiders finished with 50 yards rushing – 1 more than their season low – while the Cowboys went in with the league’s 29th-ranked rushing offense and had 144 yards on the ground, their second-best total of the year.

“The game boiled down to, in the second half we wore down,” said Raiders coach Dennis Allen, the league’s youngest head coach, who was making his first appearance near the Dallas suburb of Hurst, where he grew up. “They were able to run the ball, and we weren’t able to get off the field.”

Murray had just 25 yards after his third TD but ran for another 38 to help Dallas burn the clock with a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter. Most of the late damage came on a drive to Dan Bailey’s 19-yard field goal to put Dallas up by 10 with 1:56 left.

Murray, who tied the score at 7-all on a 2-yard run the first play after a fumble by McGloin late in the first quarter, also had 39 yards receiving.

“I was just playing like I always play,” Murray said. “I’m not worried about anything else. I’m just doing the best I can do and trying to help this team win.”

Dunbar, who went out with a left knee sprain in the fourth quarter, sparked the tying and go-ahead touchdown drives in the second half, highlighted by a 45-yard run that led to a 4-yard scoring pass from Romo to Dez Bryant, who had seven catches for 61 yards.

McGloin, who was 18-of-30 for 255 yards, converted five straight third downs with passes on a pair of touchdown drives in the second quarter.

He also had a throw to Andre Holmes that was ruled a touchdown on second-and-goal from the 16. After the call was overturned on replay, Jennings scored from the 1 to put Oakland ahead 14-7.

Holmes, who played seven games for Dallas last season before he was sent to the practice squad, had career highs with seven catches for 136 yards. His previous high was 33 yards.

After McGloin completed a 21-yard pass to Holmes on the first play of the second half, the Raiders didn’t get another first down until the fourth quarter.

“We did start slow but this team is getting to that point where there is no panic anymore,” said Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr, who was burned repeatedly by Holmes but had an interception to stop a potential tying drive by the Raiders in the fourth quarter.

Game notes

Raiders G guard

Mike Brisiel

injured a knee on Oakland’s first offensive play and didn’t return… CB

Mike Jenkins

, who spent his first five seasons with the Cowboys, had a tackle for loss, a pass breakup and a forced fumble before leaving with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Devils rally, win in OT with help from Ducks

Devils Sink Ducks In OT

Travis Zajac’s OT objective lifts the Devils to a four-3 win over the Ducks.

 

ANAHEIM, Calif. – No one had overwhelmed the Anaheim Ducks at residence all season, and so they had another late lead till Jaromir Jagr acquired the New Jersey Devils to overtime.

From there, the Ducks beat themselves.

Jagr scored the tying objective with 1:01 left in regulation, and the Devils ended Anaheim’s eight-sport house successful streak with a four-three victory Wednesday night.

Travis Zajac got credit score for the successful goal at 1:58 of additional time, however the Ducks put it in their very own internet – a fitting end to what coach Bruce Boudreau noticed as a tentative, reactionary effort. The Devils felt they bought the reward they deserved for a gritty end within the opener of a 3-game California journey.

“We knew we needed to play higher to offer ourselves a chance, so we had to come out strong within the third interval,” Zajac mentioned. “We started to win some forecheck battles and stuck with it right to the top. We obtained rewarded late in the recreation on Jagr’s objective. It was kind of a lucky one there.”

After Jagr transformed Patrik Elias’ cross from behind the net, with Martin Brodeur pulled for an extra attacker, New Jersey acquired much more luck on the winner.

Ben Lovejoy hit teammate Corey Perry with the puck whereas attempting to clear the crease, and it caromed previous Jonas Hiller to end the longest season-opening residence winning streak in Anaheim historical past.

“That’s clearly an extremely unfortunate ending,” Lovejoy stated. “That is a sport we want. We’re an incredibly determined workforce, although we’re nonetheless all proper within the standings.”

With four wins in 5 games capped by this spectacular comeback, the Devils are starting to really feel higher about their eight-eight-5 spot within the standings.

Moments after Brodeur made an distinctive save on Mathieu Perreault’s try at an extra time aim, the Devils were rewarded with a present from Lovejoy and Perry.

“It was good to drag it off as a result of we labored very onerous and we battled,” mentioned Brodeur, who stopped 22 shots. “Once you win, you always have a look at these kinds of saves. Typically the video games are ugly, and in case you make one save like that, it makes the distinction.”

Elias had three assists, and Marek Zidlicky and Eric Gelinas scored energy-play goals in the first period after an incorrect high-sticking double minor name against Teemu Selanne.

“I feel the schedule worked to our benefit tonight,” said Jagr, who scored his 689th NHL goal. “They had to travel last night, and we had one further day of rest here. Perhaps in the third interval it showed. However they’re the most effective teams within the league – possibly the very best team – in order that’s a huge two factors for us.”

Ryan Getzlaf scored the tiebreaking energy-play goal, and Nick Bonino had a goal and an help for the NHL-leading Ducks, who’ve lost five straight. Anaheim was the league’s only remaining unbeaten home team, however the Geese are in a skid after taking part in a league-excessive 24 games this season.

Matt Beleskey also scored for the Ducks, nonetheless on high of the overall NHL standings despite going zero-three-2 in their previous 5. Hiller made 21 saves in simply his second start in seven video games.

Boudreau bemoaned his membership’s tender third-period effort, a creeping drawback in latest days.

“That’s all I talked about (in) the previous two games,” Boudreau said. “We played to not lose within the third period. You may’t play the sport in your own zone and count on to win… I don’t even name it a mistake (on the ultimate purpose). It was an accident. That is the way in which the game was going. We missed two open nets. You knew something bad was going to happen.”

Dustin Penner had two assists for the Geese, who stumbled house to pleasant Honda Middle after a winless four-recreation East Coast highway journey. Anaheim additionally lost defenseman Francois Beauchemin in the second period to an higher-body harm.

“We need to reply to this,” Lovejoy said. “We’re not enjoying great hockey right now. We need to be an elite team in this league, and we’re not taking part in prefer it.”

Until the big finish, New Jersey acquired all of its offense on a break from a blown call.

Devils defenseman Andy Greene was left with a bloody mouth after a excessive-keep on with the face, and Selanne was whistled for a double minor – however a video replay clearly confirmed Zidlicky hit his teammate within the face while tussling with Perreault. Selanne’s stick was on the ice.

Bonino tied it together with his career-greatest sixth aim, and Getzlaf put the Geese ahead with a vicious slap shot for the twelfth goal of his stellar season.

Sport notes

After the sport, Anaheim hired former Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini as a part-time professional scout… The NHL’s competitors committee advisable video review of all excessive-sticking double minor penalties last spring, however the league rejected the idea in September… The clubs met for the first time since February 2012.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Colts erase early deficit, rally past Titans

Colts Escape With A Win

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Indianapolis Colts maintain digging themselves into early holes – and proving they know easy methods to come back and win.

Donald Brown ran for two touchdowns, Andrew Luck added another and the Colts rallied yet again, this time beating the Tennessee Titans 30-27 on Thursday evening.

The Colts (7-three) trailed 14-zero in the first quarter and have been outscored 35-zero in the first quarter in their previous three games – two of them victories. Additionally they have trailed in six games after the first quarter this season.

“At the finish of the day, successful is what matters,” Luck stated. “We were fortunate in this sport to outlive our errors and have a chance to win… But we all know that is acquired to be mounted.”

Adam Vinatieri kicked three discipline objectives, together with a 50-yarder, and Coby Fleener had a career-excessive eight catches for 107 yards to assist the Colts bounce back fairly properly from a 38-eight dwelling loss to St. Louis. They have yet to lose again-to-again video games underneath coach Chuck Pagano and are eight-zero coming off a loss.

“Clearly, beginning out like that’s one thing we’re all too conversant in,” Fleener mentioned. “That’s something we now have to work (on) and get corrected.”

The Colts are again in command of the AFC South, too, now having crushed all three divisional opponents on the road.

“We’re not nervous about that yet,” Luck said. “We’re fearful about this next sport.”

The Titans (4-6) misplaced their second straight and fifth in six video games, blowing the large lead. Chris Johnson ran for 2 touchdowns and 70 yards in the first quarter however had solely 16 yards after that.

“We have got to seek out that successful formula, no matter it’s,” Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick stated. “We have to find a approach to pull these games out at the finish. It’s a powerful locker room in there right now. That’s two in a row that type of slipped away from us. Two massive ones, two expensive ones for us.”

Fitzpatrick drove the Titans eighty yards in four performs, capping the drive with a 19-yard TD pass to Delanie Walker with 1:54 left. But the Titans, identical to they did in becoming the primary group to lose to Jacksonville this season on Sunday, couldn’t execute an onside kick with the ball protecting not even 10 yards earlier than Colts linebacker Pat Angerer lined it up.

The Colts had the ball for less than six minutes in the first quarter and wound up holding the ball greater than 32:23. Additionally they outgained the Titans 366-340 after Tennessee opened with a 148-4 edge in total offense with its fast begin.

Indianapolis sealed the victory with an 11-play drive capped by Brown with an eleven-yard TD with 3:01 left, and the Colts ran on 10 of the eleven performs for 60 yards. That was the Colts’ fourth drive of 11 plays or more, and Brown praised the maligned offensive line for a phenomenal job. So did Pagano, who mentioned the linemen took it personally.

“They’d a degree to prove,” Pagano mentioned.

Luck completed 23-of-36 for 232 yards passing.

The Titans got here out with the start they only want they’d Sunday, once they lost to Jacksonville 29-27. Fitzpatrick didn’t flip the ball over as soon as in changing Jake Locker, who is out for the rest of the season with a Lisfrac injury to his proper foot.

The Titans were up 17-6 at halftime and appeared to be in control because the Colts had a mini-meltdown with three personal fouls, together with linebacker Erik Walden head-butting Walker after ripping the helmet off the Titans tight end.

The Colts gained their fourth straight and for the ninth time in 10 video games over their divisional rival, with Vinatieri’s 30-yard subject objective as the primary half expired helping settle the Colts down. That was the first of 20 straight points, as they dominated within the third quarter, holding the ball for greater than 11 minutes in taking a 23-17 lead.

They opened the third quarter with an 11-play drive throughout which Luck accomplished all 5 of his passes for forty two yards, together with two on third down. Brown capped the drive with a 7-yard TD.

Then Devon Wylie, signed to the roster Tuesday for an injured Damian Williams at returner, bumped into teammate Craig Stevens and fumbled on the kickoff for Tennessee. Daniel Herron recovered for the Colts on the Titans’ 20, and Luck scrambled for an 11-yard TD two plays later.

It was yet another particular teams gaffe this season by the Titans.

“For whatever motive, we just can’t maintain on to the soccer,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “One other seven-level play really.”

The Colts pressured Tennessee to a three-and-out, and the Titans lastly held in forcing Indianapolis to a subject goal. Vinatieri kicked his third of the night, a 50-yarder that went just over the crossbar. That capped 17 unanswered points within the third quarter as Luck related on his first eight passes and was 9-of-11 for seventy one yards in the quarter.

Game notes

Vinatieri tied his career finest along with his fourth subject aim from a minimum of 50 yards this season. He is 4-of-6 this season in that vary… The Colts are eight-0 underneath Pagano when not turning over the ball… The Colts improved to four-1 on the highway this season… Walker caught a profession-high 10 passes for 91 yards… Titans WR

Justin Hunter

was being evaluated for a head injury.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Related Press

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Mega comeback: Johnson, Stafford rally Lions

Johnson’s Monster Day Sparks Lions

DETROIT – Calvin Johnson thought Matthew Stafford was going to spike the ball for at the very least another snap.

The Dallas Cowboys did, too.

Stafford’s 1-yard lunge over a pile of linemen with 12 seconds left and Johnson’s 329 yards receiving lifted the Detroit Lions to a 31-30 win over Dallas on Sunday.

“I was yelling that I used to be going to spike the ball,” Stafford recalled. “But their linebackers had been simply standing there.”

The Cowboys weren’t simply standing around letting Johnson make catch after catch, but he made them look helpless.

Johnson almost broke an NFL record, and could rejoice the feat because of a comeback from a ten-point, fourth-quarter deficit that some individuals who entered Ford Subject did not see as a result of that they had left.

“Even our fans didn’t assume we might pull this one out,” he said. “They have been leaving, however we knew we may do it.”

Johnson’s total trails only the 336 yards receiving Flipper Anderson had for the Los Angeles Rams against New Orleans on Nov. 26, 1989, in a recreation that went into extra time.

The Cowboys dared Detroit to throw to Johnson with a number of one-on-one coverage. They often asked cornerback Brandon Carr to do the improbable by defending him by himself, and sometimes tried to slow him down with a zone.

“He had his manner,” Carr stated. “And, we could not discover a technique to keep him from rolling.”

Johnson observed.

“It was crazy,” he mentioned. “We had a number of one-on-one coverage at this time, and we have been able to take advantage and hit some deep balls. Matt made some nice throws to me.”

Tweeted Lions teammate Reggie Bush after the sport:

The Lions (5-3) overcame four turnovers with out forcing a turnover, turning into the first team to do that and win since New England did towards Miami in 2007, in accordance with STATS.

On their final drive, Stafford threw a 22-yard move to Johnson to arrange the profitable rating. The quarterback caught at the least some Cowboys abruptly, including linebacker Sean Lee, who appeared to count on him to spike the ball to cease the clock.

“He type of caught us off-guard,” defensive deal with Jason Hatcher acknowledged.

Dallas (four-four) appeared to set itself as much as win three straight for the first time this yr to construct an even bigger lead atop the NFC East when Tony Romo threw his second landing – and third of the sport – to Dez Bryant with 6:45 left to take 27-17 lead.

The Cowboys, although, allowed Bush to cap an eighty-yard drive with a 1-yard TD with three:33 left. They also had to settle for Dan Bailey’s third subject goal with 1:02 left after Tyron Smith was flagged for holding on third down, a mistake that stopped the clock despite the fact that Detroit declined the penalty.

“If we do not get referred to as for a penalty, I feel they probably had 20 seconds or so left,” Romo said.

With no timeouts, the Lions went from their 20 to the Cowboys finish zone thanks in large part to a 17-yard cross to Johnson, a forty-yard reference to Kris Durham and Johnson’s 14th reception that gave them the ball on the Dallas 1.

Instead of spiking the ball, Stafford took the snap and leaped with his arms prolonged to beat the crew he rooted for growing up in Highland Park, Texas.

“I was simply as fooled as the defense was,” Lions offensive guard Larry Warford mentioned.

Stafford was 33 of forty eight for 488 yards – his second-highest total – with a 2-yard TD move to Johnson in the first quarter and two interceptions. Bush had ninety two yards rushing and a score.

Romo was 14 of 30, failing to finish half his passes for the primary time since 2009, for 206 yards with no turnover.

Dallas started the game without two starters on each side of the ball: DeMarco Murray and Miles Austin on offense and DeMarcus Ware and J.J. Wilcox on protection.

Late within the first half, Romo threw two straight passes to Bryant – after not making him the meant receiver as soon as – and he caught the second along with his left hand, pinning it against his shoulder pad for a go-forward, 5-yard TD with 46 seconds left within the first half.

Regardless of leading by six in the third quarter, Bryant did not look completely happy. He flapped his arms and screamed at Romo on the sideline. After the loss, Bryant insisted his demonstrative actions were a result of his constructive passion.

“People who have a problem with me are the folks that don’t understand what is going on,” he stated.

Sport notes

Lions DE

Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah

(left ankle), WR

Ryan Broyles

(Achilles tendon) and CB

Invoice Bentley

(knee) and Cowboys RG

Brian Waters

(triceps) were hurt throughout the recreation… The Lions have a bye subsequent week whereas Dallas plays on the street against the

New York Giants

.
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The Tim Tebow-Jaguars rally gets out of control as handfuls upon handfuls of people show up

(@LewTurner)

OK, Jacksonville, we hear you. You do NOT want Tim Tebow.

Some Jaguars followers held a rally to let the group know they needed it to sign the out-of-work quarterback. And no one confirmed up.

Well, technically the gang was bigger than nobody, but the Jacksonville police did not should disperse the gang with riot gear and tear gas, judging by varied pictures on Twitter.

Whoa, whoa, not everybody without delay!

So there you’ve got it. If a rally near Tebow’s hometown can’t drum up more help than you’d discover at the local high school’s JV soccer sport, his profession may be in some actual trouble. Cue the unhappy trombone for this “rally.”

It’s pretty clear there’s simply no motion to sign Tim Tebow in Jacksonville. The fans appear content to attend for Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, or whoever the first choose of the 2014 draft will probably be.

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Better than a walk-off: Rangers stop A’s rally on dramatic ninth-inning relay to home plate

Very often, we highlight walk-offs — the game-winning homer or the well-placed single that brings home a go-ahead run. What happened in Thursday’s Texas Rangers-Oakland Athletics game was the anti-walk-off. And, in fact, it was far more exciting.

The Rangers led 4-3 with two outs in the top of the ninth. Josh Donaldson stood on first for the A’s, and darted away when closer Joe Nathan released a 3-2 pitch. Oakland’s Seth Smith singled into centerfield, which would easily move the tying run to third base. But, wait — Texas’ Craig Gentry misplayed the ball and Donaldson sensed opportunity. He decided he was going home, even though third-base coach Mike Gallegos signaled for him to stop.

For a moment, it looked Gentry’s miscue was going to blow the lead for the Rangers, but a perfect relay, through Elvis Andrus, to catcher A.J. Pierzynski beat Donaldson to the plate by a split second. The throw had to be perfect and Pierzynski’s tag had to be right on — both were. Donaldson was out and the Rangers won.

(Getty Images) It was a great play just for the range of emotions it elicited. For Donaldson, the postgame emotion was frustration.

”As soon as I saw it hit his chest, I was gone,” Donaldson said. ”It took a perfect throw to get me. It sucks to lose a game that way, but you take that chance. It was frustrating because it was the worst outcome we could have had.”

So yeah, this wasn’t a walk-off. It wasn’t one of those games that ended with a slow trot around the bases. It was better.

Baseball season’s in full swing. Don’t miss a thing.
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