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That the NFL doesn’t try to sneak in one last Thursday night game, now that the TNF schedule officially ended last week. That we go a week without an MVP candidate getting knocked out with injury, after two straight weeks of it happening. That there’s not a single appearance of an index card or the phrase did not survive the ground in any game. And that there’s no reason to discuss workplace leg-shaving at any time.

As for the games themselves, 13 of the 16 spread over three days this holiday weekend have playoff implications, including, amazingly, both games that will compete with the NBA on Christmas day.

Certainly, Thomas did his part. His game, especially given his diminutive size, revolves across sacrificing his body on repeated drives to the rim. He averaged more than eight free throws per game last season. Thomas was eventually shut down for the year with a hip injury in Game 2 during the Eastern Conference Finals, but he had played through that exact hip problem earlier in that postseason before it became unmanageable. He also lost his tooth during the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and didn’t even miss the second half.

Another weakness with the NCAA’s sexual assault guidelines is that there is a lack of institutional discipline for schools that lack Title IX coordinators. Each NCAA institution needs a Title IX coordinator something Baylor didn’t have until November 2014. That coordinator resigned in 2016, saying the school’s leadership wouldn’t allow her to fulfill her responsibilities.

One story came from former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, who spoke of being repeatedly molested by USA Gymnastics and Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar, who has since been sentenced to 60 years on child pornography charges. Alarmingly, in a lawsuit filed in December, Maroney alleges USA Gymnastics tried to silence her by making her sign an NDA as part of a financial settlement that she needed in order to pay for psychological treatment.

Sure, Green bites on pump fakes and half-heartedly gambles for steals he has no chance on. Sure, he’s prone to dumb heat checks. But Green, a 36.3 percent career three-point shooter, needs no rhyme or reason to rain down buckets upon unsuspecting opponents. For this Houston team, that’s all it’s asking of him.

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But from journeyman Chris Bourque, the son of a Hall of Famer, to forward Jordan Greenway, the first African-American to make the Olympic roster, Team USA offers several compelling storylines.

I was playing junior at the time in Erie, down the road, and I remember watching that. A lot of people I know went to it and talked about it. Now living in Buffalo, and being a Bills fan, I can’t believe there was a game at that stadium. And I can’t believe it was 10 years ago, said Ryan O’Reilly of the Sabres.

He just wanted a chance, his father, Steve Keenum, said this week in a phone interview. He’s got to have the knack. It’s just a God-given, innate thing that he’s maximized by working hard.

As the oldest of his three children, Case made clear at an early age to Steve that he had the makeup to be an NFL quarterback even if there was no way to predict how the skill set would unfold.

Well, there will never be another Winter Classic like this one, either. Now, if we can just get the Wings and Leafs to both wear their full-color uniforms in the same game more often …

It’s part of the general manager’s job to monitor the pulse of his locker room. And according to MacMullan, Griffin sensed both [Irving’s] unhappiness and his restlessness and was preparing for the possibility that Irving would request a trade.

Well, we won’t know, will we? Unlike Irving’s trade request, some things remain under wraps for the long haul. Since both the Cavaliers and James have openly refuted Irving’s claims, that probably won’t happen.

If you haven’t read MacMullen’s awesome feature, you should set 10 minutes aside and do so here. But the gist of the trade portion of her story is this: the Cavaliers are a well-oiled, championship machine, but its pieces weren’t a perfect fit all the time.

What do we do now that the Jaguars are good? he asked.

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It came after reports surfaced that Bengals coach Marvin Lewis would be leaving at the end of the season after a 15-year stint as head coach.

Let’s get this straight. Jackson, who is 1-29 over two seasons with the Browns and could go 0-16 in 2017, could take over for Lewis, his former mentor, weeks after trying to trade for the Bengals’ backup quarterback. If that happens, then Lewis would become a candidate for the Browns job.

When I’d spoken to Harris a couple years ago, he’d made a big jump from his rookie to sophomore seasons. I was asking him about another offseason in the gym, and he’d barely let the question finish when he reminded me about his place as a shooting guard in the league, I’m not the best yet.

The point for him wasn’t at all to be pointed, and he was calm and clear. Harris has a goal, and he knew that was the answer to the question. He was still working, and is still working. Whether he achieves his goal or not, he intends to keep pressing himself until he’s the best. Or at least, at his best.

Touchdown Chiefs. Smith finds a wide open Tyreek Hill, who had run straight by his defender, for a 64-yard score to increase Kansas City’s lead to 10-0. The catch was Hill’s seventh touchdown of the season.

The Chargers move the chains three times and advance near midfield. But Rivers is sacked for a 9-yard loss on first down and Los Angeles fails to recover. It punts and the Chiefs will take over at their 20.

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Titans coach Mike Mularkey said following the game the injury doesn’t look good for Murray, who will undergo an MRI on Monday.

Saints left tackle Terron Armstead injured his thigh and did not return to the win over the Falcons.

The Celtics took this pick outright from the Nets as part of the Pierce/Garnett trade. The Nets finished 21-61 in 2015-16 and finished in the No. 3 slot, which the Celtics used to pick Brown. Brown represents the best the Celtics currently have from the Brooklyn trade, but there’s a lot more to come.

This pick arrived from Dallas as part of the Rajon Rondo trade in 2014. The pick was protected 1-3 and 15-30 in 2015, so it did not convey until the next year. Yabusele spent last year dominating in China and could play for the Celtics next year.

The 20-year-old Croatian 7-footer just completed an excellent season for Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul and is expected to join the Celtics next year. He finished second to top 2018 prospect Luka Doncic for the Euroleague Rising Star award.

December was made for Todd Gurley putting the offense on his back and the defense starting to make more impact plays for Wade Phillips. Their strong special teams, however, took a big dent in losing Greg Zuerlein.

The Saints haven’t deviated much from their formula — run the ball, control the clock and have the defense make one or two game-changing plays. They still need to avoid going on the road to start the playoffs, however.

I really don’t care how many points I average, Butler said after the Wolves’ 98-97 loss to the Nets on Wednesday. I just wanna win. That’s that. I don’t care about how many points I average per month, I don’t care about any of that. If we don’t do our job as a whole here and win games, it really doesn’t matter.

Truth be told, it was Butler’s scoring that mattered when Minnesota rattled off 10 wins in 15 December games. After averaging 16 points in October and 18 points in November, Jimmy Buckets ran amok for 27 points per game in December. It was the 12th-highest scoring output in the league for the month.

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I don’t think the NFL did us any favors by moving it back, Harbaugh said Tuesday, per ESPN. But they don’t care about us. So, we just have to care about ourselves. We have to take care of our own business. That goes for our team, for our fans and for our city. Let’s go win the football game.

Harbaugh, missing or ignoring the point about competitive integrity, added, I don’t know what their considerations are at the league office, and why they do what they do. I really don’t care, other than the fact that I hope our fans are OK with it. I hope they’re into it. I hope people get there. The people who have plans, I hope they give their tickets to someone else so they get there. I want the place to be packed and loud.

… I am not a perfect man, but the claims by my former assistant are simply not true and her demands for a financial settlement are outrageous. I am saddened that these accusations and investigation have caused my family additional stress.

As of Tuesday, with the firing of Rodriguez, the Pac-12 will have five new football coaches when the 2018 season begins. Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA have also made moves this offseason.

Let me address that right now: I don’t care what position it is, you can never have too many great players at one position, Gettleman said.

Gettleman was hired Thursday to replace Jerry Reese, and when pressed about his plan and where he intends to take the franchise, he had a fairly simple response.

My plan is to come in here every day and kick a��. That’s my plan and I’m going to keep doing it until they take my key card or the good Lord calls me home.

He comes to the Giants as a familiar face after spending 15 years as a personnel executive with New York prior to his time in Charlotte.

Paul gave Houston its first lead since the second quarter with a 3-pointer that made it 127-125 with 2:40 remaining in the first overtime.

The Lakers got two free throws from Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart added a basket on a goaltending call to make it 131-129 with about a minute to go in the first OT.

Black tied it up before Hart missed a 3-pointer to give Houston the ball back. Paul put Houston on top with a short jumper with four seconds remaining, but P.J. Tucker fouled Ingram and he made both free throws with 0.8 seconds left in the first overtime to tie it at 133-133.

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USC’s Sam Darnold has proven capable of ultimately becoming a star NFL quarterback, but Ohio State exposed the biggest issue for the Trojans’ QB all season long he simply needs more reps against good defenses.

Even though the Buckeyes lost their best cornerback, and one of the best cover men in all of college football in Denzel Ward before the game, Greg Schiano runs a sophisticated defense that exposes mistakes.

Darnold still commits too many turnovers, something he will have to cut down at the next level. The Buckeyes are good at forcing good QB’s to make a lot of poor decisions, and they lived up to expectations Friday.

The redshirt sophomore made a lot of impressive passes in the Trojans’ loss to the Buckeyes, but he turned the ball over twice in the first quarter including one on what looked to be a horrible interception which turned into a pick-six for Ohio State.

McNeil, 38, lives in Granville, outside Columbus, and works in purchasing for a family business. He grew up in Bath (where LeBron James resides) and attended Miami (Ohio) University. He retains fond memories of going to Browns games with his Dad, and has three children younger than 10.

McNeil has learned the logistics of this kind of event are complex. He has a GoFundMe account set up to help pay for the expenses, which include insurance, bathrooms and security. The company that makes Excedrin has donated about $8,000, saying Browns fans have had a lot of headaches. Single digit temperatures bring a whole new level of safety concern.

Critics have spoken to McNeil, mainly via social media, telling him they feel the parade is just one more embarrassing event for the city of Cleveland.

The Browns have one win in the last two years, he said. That’s embarrassing enough to me as a fan.

He also points out that the day will not be a lot of fun for him.

I’ll be the guy picking up trash, making sure security is there, McNeil said. These are not glamour jobs I’m left with. For those giving me a hard time about being a publicity grabber, I’m the the guy checking people in and making sure they are safe.

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Antonio Brown wasn’t Ben Roethlisberger’s target on a third down play during Sunday’s Week 4 win over the Ravens. Brown was visibly angry about it on the sideline, and Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t pleased with his top receiver’s reaction.

I just think that this is causing a distraction that none of us really needs, Roethlisberger said Tuesday on his radio show on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 the Fan.

Cousins, playing his future suitors from Santa Clara, throws an interception, which is overturned on replay. He then throws ANOTHER pick by air-mailing a deep ball into double coverage.

That judge had issued an injunction that blocked the suspension, agreeing with NFL players’ union attorneys who argued that the investigation of the allegations in Ohio and subsequent appeal were unfair to Elliott.

The NFLPA said after last Thursday’s ruling that it will request an en banc hearing — a hearing of the full panel of judges within the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans — on behalf of Elliott.

The Monday filing by the NFLPA seeking a restraining order asserts that the decision by the appeals court was made based on a matter of jurisdiction while not analyzing the merits. The filing goes on to say that the Eastern District of Texas has already held [twice] that Elliott will suffer irreparable harm from a suspension, and adds that the NFL’s rejoinder that Elliott will not suffer severe and irreparable harm to his season, career, and reputation as a result of his six-game suspension — nearly half of an NFL season — defies reason in this industry, where players’ careers are precarious and short.

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The 49ers released veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman on Friday. It was a surprising move, because teams don’t often release three-time All-Pro players on the right side of 30 very often, but the move was actually exceedingly nice to Bowman, and something we don’t see often in the NFL.

Jameis Winston is doubtful to return with a shoulder injury. RYAN FITZPATRICK CLAIMS ANOTHER SCALP. Fitzmagic takes his first snap down 24-0 on the road in a game where he’s not even the best Fitz. My expectations are sufficiently tempered.

Soon enough, Fitzpatrick leads the Bucs on a respectable drive. On second-and-goal, he does one of his trademark moves: giving up on a play too early, running for it, and diving headfirst into defenders. On third-and-goal, well, let’s just call this unorthodox and leave it at that.

The Bucs are scoring a bunch of points, but it’s too little, far too late. I’m not going to legitimize this alleged comeback with details.

The Raiders run a hook-and-lateral in their own territory on third-and-12 up two points. It doesn’t go horrifically, but it DOES fall short of the first down. The Raiders punt, back the Chargers up, then allow a game-winning field goal drive.

As the games wrap up, my wife asks, Why are we watching the NFL if Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt, and Odell Beckham aren’t in it? It’s a great point, but also: WATCH IT, LADY. THIS COLUMN FEEDS OUR FAMILY.

With the amount of talent he had at his disposal, Zampese managed to make this offense look like the worst in football, it was so bad that it made the Bengals arguably the worst team in the division.

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Regardless of who lines up under center for Green Bay over the next two months, there will be meaningful concerns about their ability to stay on the field, specifically because the Packers’ offensive line is a mess. The 2013 Packers were hit by injuries to several of their big stars, but their line mostly stuck together. Bryan Bulaga missed the entire season after going down with a torn ACL in camp, but once the season started, Green Bay’s line made it to 78 of 80 starts. That was a far stronger unit, too, with a pair of Pro Bowl-caliber guards in T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton in the prime of their respective careers.

Eagles vs. Cardinals is a sleeper Game of the Week pick, based on the talent alone. The Cardinals’ offense has been adrift without David Johnson, but they still boast plenty of star power and no team should take them lightly. On the Eagles’ side, this is a chance for Carson Wentz to really grab the horns and assert himself as one of the league’s top young quarterbacks. It feels like the Eagles still have a lot to prove despite being 3-1 and leading the NFC East.

New York finished their last game, against the Los Angeles Chargers, with Roger Lewis as the only healthy receiver on the entire roster.

The Broncos, meanwhile, are coming off an early-season bye week sitting at 3-1 on the season. Their last game was a win over the tough Oakland Raiders, and they are looking at a tougher schedule on the horizon. They will play the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots in a three-game stretch from Weeks 8 through 10.

That means they can’t stumble against poor teams, which means the Giants. The Broncos lost to the Buffalo Bills in Week 3, but own wins over the Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys. They can’t afford to lose to a team like the Giants, especially with the AFC West being so competitive this year.

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The Titans got Marcus Mariota back, and despite a slow start, they a rhythm in the second half. Their 36-22 win broke an 11-game losing streak over the Colts. The Titans are now tied atop Cheap Custom NFL Jerseys the AFC South with the Texans and Jaguars. The Colts are in last place, at 2-4.

“Sometimes people, as you all know, tweet some ignorant things out at some moments, and that was an ignorant thing I tweeted out at that given moment. I take full responsibility. That’s why it went down [was deleted], but somebody caught me with a screen shot,” Matthews said via Kuharsky.

Green Bay knows what it’s getting with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, but Cheap Donegal Gaa Jerseys the big question is whether Davante Adams’ breakout will continue. The fourth-year wideout has developed into one of the NFC’s most explosive players since 2016, but that was with an all-world quarterback slinging him the ball.

Except that few people bought it. Thinking Jones (who donated $1 million to Trump’s campaign) suddenly wanted to join this protest in earnest would be like painting spots on a zebra and letting yourself believe doing so negated the stripes underneath. It would be like painting the white roses red and then convincing yourself they grew that way.

Oddsmakers expected both teams to finish the 2017 season under .500, and that’s still really possible. Los Angeles hasn’t been great on defense, got shut down offensively by the Seahawks last week, and picked up easy wins over the Colts and 49ers early in the year. And the Jaguars have been laughably inconsistent with a pair of terrible losses.

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