What Tomlin said makes perfect sense in terms of the importance of gaining home field advantage in the AFC playoffs.

Eli Manning’s reward for starting 222 consecutive games for the Giants, including two Super Bowl victories, was a trip to the bench in favor of … Geno Smith?

Although Manning took the shocking news like the unflappable pro he is, expressing he’ll remain ready to play for the Giants “when needed,” it’s clear they don’t want the veteran QB anymore.

Everyone knows how difficult it is to beat Belichick and Tom Brady at Gillette Stadium in the postseason, as their 17-3 record proves.

But I think Tomlin believes this year will be different. The Patriots don’t have Julian Edelman to pick up clutch first downs; they don’t have Dont’a Hightower on defense to wreck havoc.

“I had no idea. I’m guessing that the clock started right before [Beal] caught the ball, but I’m not sure,” Gallinari said. “I wasn’t on the table listening to what the referees were saying, so I have no idea.”

Dak Prescott made it three straight games without a passing touchdown in the Cowboys’ third consecutive blowout loss, a 28-6 defeat to the Chargers on Thanksgiving.

Prescott (20-of-27 passing, 179 yards, two INTs, two sacks, 60.6 passer rating) also threw his third pick-six of the season, a 90-yard TD return by Los Angeles’ Desmond King that sealed Dallas’ fate in Week 12 — and for the 2017 season.

With a 5-6 record, the Cowboys need a ton of help to even get back to sniffing true wild-card contention. They’ve lost three straight games without the services of suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott, and he’ll miss three more.chargers_045-180x180

The time off between the end of the regular season and the bowl date allows teams to heal up.

New contributors also emerge in bowl practice. We want to know which teams benefited from the time off the most and are likely to be fresh. Some rosters will be in the best shape they’ve been all year, while other teams will be missing key players who played a huge role in the team’s success.

Don’t forget about Detroit in that desperate NFC playoff mix, given it is currently ahead of both Green Bay and Dallas in the pecking order at No. 8. The Lions will get a fight from the Bears early thanks to Jordan Howard’s continued strong running. Eventually, though, Matthew Stafford will get the ball in the fourth quarter with a chance to put it away, back in the confines of his home dome.

The Steelers will be questioned about doing it against their primary foe in the AFC, a Patriots team that will try to match their 11-2 record on Monday night in Miami. The Steelers host them in Heinz Field next Sunday, and they’re on pace to meet again somewhere in the AFC title game.

The Steelers will have the emotional motivation of playing for the still-hospitalized Ryan Shazier, as they did against Baltimore … but they’ll also be playing without his very crucial presence, which was clearly missed Sunday.

Clearly, quarterback was the sore point. The Browns notoriously passed on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson, so there was DeShone Kizer Sunday … playing very well, the best he has all season. Until, of course, he wasn’t. The wild alley-oop heave for the overtime interception that cost the Browns the game was his season in a nutshell.
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Until then, know that Los Angeles’ second scoring line is still contributing on a regular basis.

Capital One Bowl Mania is back, with the first of 41 games to be placed in confidence order set to kick off on Dec. 16. If you’ve played College Pick ’em then you know the drill, but while the contest is fundamentally the same, the strategy is different.

Bowls present unfamiliar challenges for coaches and players in terms of the timing, the stakes, the matchups, the venue and more. To help you sort it all out, we’ll be providing a Bowl Mania Cheat Sheet, updated with risers and fallers throughout the bowl season. But to start, here’s a look at some of the basic principles of Bowl Mania strategy that we’ll be drawing on to make our picks.

Q: You guys take a ‘one-week-at-a-time’ approach, but is this the type of game you guys have been looking forward to?

The 28-year-old was a healthy scratch just the other night against the visiting Arizona Coyotes, but he is back in the lineup on a forward unit with Brandon Dubinsky and Boone Jenner. That trio has enjoyed its fair share of success. Sometimes it’s just a matter of hitting the reset button. With only six goals and three assists in 25 contests, Atkinson was due such a reboot. Consider targeting the dynamic winger as a trade candidate before he breaks out. After all, 35 goals and 27 helpers came only a year ago.

Sean Allen dissects the barren score sheets of last season’s top-three defensemen and provides his latest top-250 rest-of-the-season rankings for fantasy hockey leagues.

After a rather ho-hum October, Pearson has collected 15 points in 19 games, including seven in his past six. He’s earned one measly assist with the extra skater, but anticipate an improvement in the 25-year-old’s power-play numbers once Jeff Carter eventually returns between Pearson and Tyler Toffoli.lakers_006

The Chargers selected Manning with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 draft.

“With our without the NFL’s platform, I will continue to work for the people because my platform is the people.”

Beyonce made a distinction about the message Kaepernick hoped to send when he began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016: It was to draw attention to the work that remains to be done in America in terms of race relations, not to protest against those who serve selflessly to defend the nation.

Vitt, meanwhile, testified that Cerullo lied about family emergencies while taking two personal leaves of absences during that 2009 season and referenced a time when Payton needed to ask for police protection for his family when he was out of town because he considered Cerullo a threat. Vilma’s attorneys made similar accusations about Cerullo’s work performance.

The Giants then grabbed Rivers with the fourth overall pick. Because Manning said he did not want to play in San Diego, the Chargers and Giants struck a deal and swapped quarterbacks.

The two have been among the NFL’s most reliable players since, but Manning’s consecutive-starts streak of 210 games will come to an end Sunday after he was benched in favor of Geno Smith when the Giants play the Raiders.

“I honestly thought it was pathetic,” Rivers said Wednesday when asked of Manning’s demotion by Giants coach Ben McAdoo. “He’s been out there 210 straight games — with no telling how many bumps and bruises and injuries — for his team. He won two Super Bowl MVPs. And with the respect he’s had in the locker room over the years, and really the respect he’s gained throughout the league, you feel like the guy has earned the opportunity — if they are in fact deciding to go another direction — he’s earned the opportunity to finish it off these last five weeks.”panthers_099

Alvin Kamara’s Saints teammate compares him to Bruce Lee

When Detroit beat the Celtics last month, Drummond scored 26 points and Jackson had 20. In the rematch, Drummond didn’t make a shot until late in the game and finished with just six points on 1-of-5 shooting while Jackson was 0 for 9 with two points.

“We were locked in,” said Boston center Aron Baynes said. “Our offense wasn’t as crisp as we wanted it to be, but defensively we had a game plan and we stuck with it. We were trying to pack the paint and make them make plays from the outside. Last time, they really had whatever they wanted inside the paint.”

Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is slated to make his return from a concussion Tuesday night when surging Vegas hosts the slumping Carolina Hurricanes at the T-Mobile Arena.

Fleury, a 14-year NHL veteran, has missed 25 games since Oct. 13, when Detroit Red Wings winger Anthony Mantha crashed into him. Mantha’s knee collided with Fleury’s head, resulting in the third concussion of the goaltender’s career.

Golden State returned from a dominant road trip that might help shape its season and showed once more how important depth is to its success.

Kevin Durant had 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots, leading the short-handed Warriors past the sluggish Portland Trail Blazers 111-104 on Monday night.

The incident stemmed from McDowell contending that he paid $600 for bottles of alcohol and VIP seating at the SL Lounge, despite a friend telling him he hadn’t paid, according to the incident report that was first obtained by TMZ. McDowell caused a disturbance by pouring bottles of liquor into an ice bucket inside the club. After he was removed, he got into a shouting match with police officers, according to TMZ.
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Browns’ Josh Gordon set to be activated this week, report says

Josh Gordon is set to return to the football field for the first time in nearly three years.

“I guess it was just my turn at that time,” Holiday said. “Obviously, we were down and I was having a rough game passing the ball.”

Rajon Rondo, who sat out the Pelicans’ collapse against Sacramento on Friday night, returned with 13 points and 18 assists.

Holiday said Rondo fueled New Orleans’ 44-point fourth quarter with his ability to push the pace and “get everybody a good shot.”

“My points are (thanks) to him,” Holiday asserted. “Right when he came back in, everything changed for me.”

Anthony Davis added 29 points and DeMarcus Cousins 23 for New Orleans, which looked out-of-synch in the third quarter and in danger of dropping a second straight at home.

The proposed initiative came about as the result of talks between league officials and the Players Coalition, a group consisting of about 40 players meeting with officials about social justice concerns.

However, not all players are happy with the negotiations led by Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas and 49ers safety Eric Reid both said Wednesday they have withdrawn from the group.

“The Players Coalition was supposed to be formed as a group that represents NFL Athletes who have been silently protesting social injustices and racism,” Reid and Thomas said in a joint statement released on their Twitter accounts. “However, Malcolm and Anquan can no longer speak on our behalf as we don’t believe the coalition’s beliefs are in our best interests as a whole.”

Accordng to ESPN, the NFL submitted its proposal to players Monday. Players will discuss the offer Wednesday night. Owners would also still have to vote on the proposal at the league meetings in March.panthers_013

Cutler throws an incomplete pass on third down near midfield and the Dolphins punt with three seconds remaining in the quarter.

Thy name is the Cleveland Browns. The NFL’s only winless franchise this season couldn’t even execute a trade-deadline deal to obtain a quarterback (Cincinnati’s A.J. McCarron) let alone squeeze lemon juice from DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan.

— Colin Kaepernick: Whether he could have provided better QB play than his peers is debatable. But we’ll never know for sure since Kaepernick’s political stance has made him persona non grata around the league and has led to a collusion complaint.

Given the fact that an unexpected NFC South team has made a deep playoff run the past two seasons, New Orleans is in good position to do it again in 2017 with some Superdome advantages in-hand.

“With Nike, I felt like it was an easy choice for me,” Fox said. “I’ve been wearing them for a long time, and they have my favorite shoes.”

While at Kentucky, it was his 25 year-old older brother Quentin Fox who let the younger Fox borrow from his extensive stash of size 12 and 12.5 sneakers.

Sam Darnold, QB, USC — Darnold may return to college, but the 6-4, 220-pound redshirt sophomore had himself a day. Darnold threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-34 passing. He also ran for 31 yards and a score in USC’s 38-24 win over Colorado.

Touchdown, Carolina. Newton finds Christian McCaffrey along the right sideline for a 2-yard score as the Panthers’ advantage grows to 38-14.
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It wasn’t pretty, but the Lions avoided the trap against the Browns.

Brett Hundley played the best game of his career in Chicago and returns home to face the Ravens.

The Cowboys may be without suspended Ezekiel Elliott for six weeks, but they miss left tackle Tyron Smith (groin) more.

‘Flying Hawaiian’ comes through for Philly: After kicker Jake Elliott suffered a concussion in the Eagles’ win, linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill had to take over kickoff duties while Philadelphia opted to pass up extra points and go for two after each score. It worked perfectly, and Grugier-Hill proved a more than capable kickoff man. “I knew he could kick,” cornerback Jalen Mills said. “We call him ‘the Flying Hawaiian.’ Hedo it all.”

Everything gets more difficult from here on out with so much more on the line. Mid-November pro football tends to make many a contender and reveal many a pretender.

Here are this week’s predictions and prognostications, both against the spread and straight up. Thanks again to Bovada for the Week 11 betting lines.

Carson Wentz was the MVP favorite going into his bye week, and he’ll build on that case in this game. He’ll be well-rested, and his talented supporting cast gets an extra boost with Jay Ajayi ready to step into a full feature ole. The Cowboys will get better play from Dak Prescott without Ezekiel Elliott, assuming Tyron Smith is back. But the loss of Sean Lee will open things up for the Eagles to go to town more consistently in the running and short-to-intermediate passing games.nike_steelers_719

The Rams are for real and it’s time everyone takes them seriously, especially opponents.

The NFC North is Minnesota’s to lose, and the Vikings are on a quest to be the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their home stadium.

With general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy, the Packers have built a strong reputation as a class organization that successfully rebuilds with drafted, homegrown players. It’s well deserved given Green Bay’s consistency over the years, with a Super Bowl XLV ring to show for it.

But other than left tackle David Bakhtiari and defensive tackles Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels, the successes have not fallen in line for the current roster. Either the Packers have been complacent in stockpiling the right talent by being too reliant on Rodgers, or that talent isn’t being maximized by the coaching staff.

Now here comes rookie Dede Westbrook ready to provide another threat in the passing game, just in time with fading No. 2 Allen Hurns on the shelf. When needed, tight end Marcedes Lewis can be a big factor as a short-to-intermediate “safe” target.

The offers were strong from the start, with each brand pitching north of a million dollars per year, along with additional incentives. Fox met with Under Armour founder Kevin Plank at the company’s Baltimore headquarters on May 15, impressing executives with engaged product questions and marketing conversations throughout their meeting. Fox had worn Under Armour during his early AAU days with the Houston Defenders.nike_bills-080

Heat top Celtics 104-98, snap Boston’s 16-game win streak

Goran Dragic scored 27 points, Dion Waiters had 26 with a pair of big 3-pointers in the final minutes and the Miami Heat held on to beat Boston 104-98 on Wednesday night, snapping the Celtics’ 16-game winning streak.

Perine carried 23 times for 117 yards, including his 1-yard TD.

Saints: Lattimore tried to return for the first defensive series of the second half, but came off the field soon after and went to the locker room. Defensive end Alex Okafor needed help off the field, favoring his left leg, in the fourth quarter.

I could feel him next to me and I could hear him saying, like, ‘Let me take it, let me take it.’ The minute I got it, I could feel him there and I just handed it to him, both of us recognizing that he’ll take the hit for both of us. That’s why you love Rob. He’s a teammate in every sense of the word and wants to win and is willing to put it on the line for the group.”

“Whoever was anonymous, whoever said it is a coward, flat out,” defensive tackle Damon Harrison told SNY.tv. “I mean, if you’re not man enough to put your name behind something that you feel because that hasn’t been echoed to anybody in this locker room бн I mean, we could have talked it out if you feel that way. It could have went differently.

“For a guy to go through that, to have those emotions, to go the whole night before not sleeping very much and then to come out there and have some very pivotal plays in that game and make a huge difference, it says a lot about the guy,” Shanahan said. “And regardless of whether he played good or bad, the fact that he was out there and tried his hardest and tried to help us was the most important (thing).”
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