Monthly Archives: February 2017


Lions vs. Jets 2014 picks and predictions: Detroit aims for road win

The Detroit Lions (2-1) are hitting this road this Sunday, taking on the New York Jets (1-2) at MetLife Stadium in a contest many believe they will win. Detroit is 2-1 and coming off an impressive 19-7 beating of the Green Bay Packers, while New York is 1-2 after consecutive defeats to the Packers and Chicago Bears.

The matchup to watch will be the Jets’ young secondary against the experience of Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. Johnson is in the midst of another monster campaign, already with 329 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Stafford has thrown for 883 yards, the fourth-best total in football. Stafford will be challenged by Rex Ryan’s defense, which ranks ninth against the pass.

Over at CBS Sports, the eight experts are split evenly on this contest with Jason La Canfora, Will Brinson, John Breech and Ryan Wilson all picking the Jets. USA Today’s people see things a tad differently, with five of the seven analysts siding with the Lions. Only Tom Pelissero and Lorenzo Reyes believe in New York to get the victory.

Undaunted in Week 3, patriots of Scotland, starving and outnumbered, charged the fields of Bannockburn, fought like warrior poets, fought like Scotsmen, and won their freedom, Arizona, injury depleted and underdogs, mounted a spirited comeback, outscoring the Niners 17-0 after the half, and walked away atop the mighty NFC West all by their lonesome.

Cutler is more than a gambler as a 6’3, 220-pound quarterback with possibly the NFL’s strongest arm. He knows his teammates’ personalities, and, in studying them and in acting accordingly, he has set an atmosphere where they readily accept his own. He also knows their specific skills.

“I recognized early that Jay is very intelligent. Very observant and perceptive. He loves football and is stimulated by the game. It is a developing relationship. It is still an early relationship. Every day is an exchange of knowledge.

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Dee Gordon, Marlins unswayed over Jose Fernandez toxicology report

Dee Gordon pulled his left arm out of his hooded sweatshirt here Friday afternoon to show the tattoo he added during the offseason to honor late teammate Jose Fernandez.

It’s an image of Gordon hitting the emotional home run in the first game after Fernandez’s death: Gordon is in the follow-through of his swing, with the pitcher’s No. 16 and initials inked to the side. The first round of work on the tattoo took place right after last season, and the finishing touches were completed a few weeks ago.

In the interim, in late October, the results of a toxicology report on Fernandez were released: At the time the pitcher died in the boating accident that also took the lives of friends Emilio Jesus Macias and Eduardo Rivero, Fernandez had a blood alcohol content of .147, nearly twice the legal limit, and cocaine and other substances were found in Fernandez’s system.

The Raptors can hope that the trade they made on Tuesday will breathe some life into a struggling team. The Raptors sent Terrence Ross and a first-round pick in exchange for Serge Ibaka. It was clear on Tuesday a power forward is needed for this team and Ibaka fills that role. It’s now or never for the Raptors to try and keep pace in the Eastern Conference.

Jimmy Butler returned from injury Tuesday night for the Bulls. Defensively, he limited DeRozan all night long. On offense, he couldn’t get much going, shooting just 2-of-10 from the field but made up for it other areas. He went 15-of-19 from the free-throw line and also handed out 12 assists.

He always seems to play well against the team that drafted him. He also had a nice buzzer beater at the end of the third quarter. The Cavaliers pulled away at the end but it was a nice effort from the Timberwolves.

Greg Hardy to seek reinstatement following Adrian Peterson decision, per report

Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement from the NFL after a judge overturned Adrian Peterson’s indefinite suspension Thursday, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. Hardy is currently sitting on the commissioner’s permission/exempt list after being convicted on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in July 2014.

Hardy appealed and had his case dismissed earlier this February. He was never technically under suspension — the exempt list amounts to a paid leave of absence — but he may still face punishment by the NFL for the 2015 season. Hardy is currently the subject of an independent investigation by the league into whether he violated the league’s personal conduct policy.

If found guilty, the question becomes whether Hardy will be subject to the guidelines of the old personal conduct policy, or the new policy that was enacted in December in response to a rash of high profile cases of domestic violence. Judge David Doty ruled Thursday that the NFL overstepped its boundaries by punishing Peterson under the new guidelines for a violation committed when the old policy was in place. If Hardy’s appeal receives a similar decision, he would face a two-game suspension rather than the new policy’s automatic six-game suspension for first-time offenders.

Like the Falcons, the Broncos will be switching to the zone blocking scheme, and both are descended from the Mike Shanahan system that he and Kubiak perfected in Denver while winning two Super Bowls (with John Elway at quarterback, of course).

That said, Quinn comes from Seattle, where the philosophy has been to amass running backs of 215-plus pounds and look to physically beat down opponents. Will a big back be in the cards early on for Atlanta?

Similarly, will zone-style offensive linemen — smaller, more athletic — be a big emphasis? With style and scheme changes comes the need to turnover a good amount of established players on your roster.