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Tonight's "Sunday Night Football" game is about as big as they come in terms of regular-season NFL matchups. The 49ers, hosting the Packers in a game scheduled to kick off at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC, are three-point home favorites. That means the game that will give one team the inside track to the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs is essentially a toss-up.
The 49ers, entering Week 12 with the NFC's best record at 9-1, are facing the 8-2 Packers. According to the NFL, it marks just the fifth time since 2007 that teams with two or fewer losses have played each other this late in a season. The winners of the last two such games — the Broncos in 2015 and the Seahawks in 2013 — went on to win Super Bowls at the end of those seasons.
MORE: Full betting preview for 49ers vs. Packers
In every season since the NFL expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions in 2002, at least one team has won its division the season after missing the playoffs. After both missed the playoffs in 2018, the 49ers and Packers currently stand as the top two seeds in the NFC, lead their respective divisions through 10 games and are positioned to continue that trend.[......]
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Earlier this year, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn took an eight-day trip to rural Tanzania in East Africa to help open a school for 300 children of the Masai Tribe, in kindergarten through third grade.
ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown produced a powerful segment on Lynn's trip — and Rex Ryan got emotional talking about how proud he is of his friend and former assistant coach.
Rex Ryan got emotional talking about how proud he is of his friend and former assistant coach, Anthony Lynn. pic.twitter.com/MtJv4dxyrN
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 1, 2019
2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT:
Dolphins put trust in Tua Tagovailoa; Saints find new QB; Chiefs, Colts go RB
“That’s who he is,” the former Jets and Bills coach said with tears in his eyes. “He’s a difference-maker. … I was with him for eight years. I’m so proud of him.”
Ryan hired Lynn as running backs coach of the Jets in 2012. Lynn was promoted to assistant head coach in 2013. When Ryan left the Jets for the Bills in 2015, Lynn followed him to Buffalo. Lynn was promoted to interim head coach after Ryan was fired in 2016.
Lynn was hired as head coach of the Chargers in 2017. He led the Chargers to a 9-7 record in his first season, just missing the playoffs. The team improved to 12-4 in 2018, los[......]
NFL Cowboys American Football
Dak Prescott posted on his Instagram story Thursday morning to thank his teammates and fans for all the support he's received since the compound fracture to his ankle Sunday.
"Forever thankful for the love & support I've received," Prescott wrote. "I'll be back stronger and better. Thank you all (raised fist)."
From Dak Prescott on Instagram: thankful for all the support received since Sunday. pic.twitter.com/mFYle67rHd
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 15, 2020
MORE: How long is Dak Prescott out?
Prescott's post was in response to a Cowboys official post of a video of players sending their well wishes to Prescott. Offensive stars Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper were both prominently featured in Dallas' video. It was the first social media activity on one of Prescott's accounts since the injury.
In Week 5 against the Giants, Prescott scrambled before being tackled in a way that bent his right leg at an unnatural angle. It was diagnosed as a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle. Reports indicated that Prescott had surgery Sunday night, and the injury is expected to keep Prescott out at least four to six months.
Dallas owner Jerry Jones spoke Tuesday about Prescott's injury. Jones has[......]
NFL American Football Rams Lions
A wild NFL offseason of potential quarterback movement started out with a bang when the Rams and Lions agreed to trade their starting passers in 2021.
Matthew Stafford is headed west to play for Sean McVay in Los Angeles, while Jared Goff ships out to Detroit to operate under new head coach Dan Campbell. The deal won't go into effect until the new NFL year starts on March 17, but it sets an early tone for sweeping QB change across the league.
MORE: NFL QB carousel — Expect new QBs for over a dozen teams this offseason
Lions new general manager Brad Holmes, who came from the Rams' organization, reunites with Goff. For McVay and Rams' general manager Les Snead, they get a little older and better at QB with the 32-year-old Stafford.
The only difference is, the Lions racked up other assets in the swap, while it cost the Rams much more than Goff. Here's how the trade graded out both sides:
Matthew Stafford-Jared Goff trade grades
- QB Matthew Stafford
- QB Jared Goff2021 third-round draft pick2022 first-round draft pick2023 first-round draft pick
The Rams were thinking about having Goff, the[......]
NFL American Football Cowboys v Panthers Cowboys Panthers
Carolina and Dallas were perhaps two of the NFC teams with the most questions surrounding them coming into 2021.
For Dallas, the questions were: How will star quarterback Dak Prescott respond from season-ending surgery five games into last year? How will new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn revamp that unit? What changes will Mike McCarthy make after going 6-10 his first year?
For Carolina, the questions were: Was Sam Darnold's lackluster career up until now a product of Adam Gase or something else? Will star running back Christian McCaffrey be at 100 percent? Can Carolina capitalize on a division without Drew Brees and an aging Matt Ryan?
NFL MOCK DRAFT: Malik Willis, Matt Corral top over as top QBs
There's a small sample size, but so far, at least some of those questions have been answered, and in fairly assertive fashion.
Both Dallas (2-1) and Carolina (3-0) lead their respective divisions behind strong play from both Prescott and Darnold. The two teams have also gotten strong defensive showings as[......]
NFL Cardinals v 49ers 49ers Cardinals American Football
The 49ers (2-2) will face the Cardinals (4-0) on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game will be televised by FOX.
San Francisco, which is in its fifth season under coach Mike Shanahan, is coming off a 28-21 loss to the Seahawks, the team’s first NFC opponent this season. The 49ers trailed by as many as 14 points in the third quarter and were unable to make a comeback, as they could not build on a late touchdown score in the final two minutes.
MORE: Why did the Patriots release Stephon Gilmore?
49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a calf contusion in the first half of that game, forcing backup Trey Lance into the game. Lance completed 9-of-18 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns and also had seven rushes for 41 yards.
According to Mike Jones of USA TODAY, Lance could start for the 49ers on Sunday, as Garoppolo said previously he could miss multiple weeks of action.
Arizona is arguably the best team in the NFL to this point, defeating the Rams — which beat[......]
Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams is vehemently against the concept of tanking, like most every player whose livelihood is based on how his individual performance equates to wins and losses.
Given his disdain for the actual idea of tanking, it makes sense that he is not keen on discussing the subject. But even though he is averse to the topic, Carter-Williams makes some solid points on the subject.
MORE: Blake Griffin transformation | Commissioner, NBPA head at odds | Top 10 in missed shots
In his first article for The Players' Tribune, Carter-Williams explained why NBA players would never feed into the tanking process. Truth is, tanking is not a personal decision to win or lose, it's a systematic approach. So while it is easy to believe no player in the Sixers locker room has embraced losing, it's hard to say the same for those making front-office decisions in Philadelphia.
Still, it was gripping ro read Carter-Williams' take on last season. We simply made fun of the Sixers' 26-game losing streak, he lived in it.
"Losing sucks," Carter-Williams wrote. "I don’t care how much money you make or what stats you put up. If you’re competitive enough to make it to the NBA, losing is absolutely brutal."
Carter-Williams experienced more losing last season than he had his entire life, which applies to most first-year players chosen with early first-round picks. Few have experienced a run such as the S[......]
NEW YORK — The Lakers will be shopping this summer for a big swingman to replace Kobe Bryant, and that’s the start of why Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan keeps getting linked to his hometown team.
Some NBA coaches and GM’s think it’s already a done-deal, pointing to DeRozan’s Compton roots, his year at Southern California and, perhaps above all else, that the Lakers desperately need a veteran star to help accelerate their rebuilding process.
MORE: 23 best NBA free agents who are actually available
But DeRozan, who in his seventh NBA season is now viewed as a bona fide No. 2-type star, isn’t going along with all of the Los Angeles talk.
“That ain’t me saying it,” he told Sporting News. “So I really don’t care. Honestly. It’s not me saying it. That’s coming from everywhere else. Everybody else is talking about that. I’m worried about one thing: putting on this Toronto Raptors jersey.”
The Raptors are justified if they’re a bit nervous about the prospect of DeRozan taking that jersey off, whenever their season ends, and slipping into the Lakers’ gold and purple. Why wouldn’t they be? The NBA is pushing Canada as a potential premier destination for free agents. But during the Raptors’ first 20 years, the franchise has seen its top three players bolt for the United States, resulting in only seven playoff appearances and just one trip out of the first round.
When you’ve seen Tracy McGrady and Chris Bosh leave via free[......]
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Avery Bradley's hamstring injury will likely keep him sidelined for the rest of the Celtics' first-round playoff series against the Hawks.
Coach Brad Stevens told reporters Sunday that an MRI revealed Bradley has a significant strain, and is "very unlikely" for the rest of the series.
MORE: NBA playoff predictions | Warriors need to back Stephen Curry
The 6-2 guard suffered the injury while playing defense in the fourth quarter of the Celtics' 102-101 loss to Atlanta on Friday night.
Stevens told reporters Bradley heard his hamstring pop. After going down on the court, medical staff helped him to the locker room.
Bradley's absence will mean more playing time for Marcus Smart and Evan Turner.
Spencer Haywood wants to help Draymond Green, not so much because Haywood thinks the same demons he succumbed to as an NBA superstar are now making Green take lewd pictures of his privates and get arrested for sparring with hecklers. But as a former Team USA gold medal winner in 1968, Haywood wants to counsel Green before he does anything else that could result in him getting into bigger trouble.
“I'm going to keep an eye on him,’’ Haywood told Sirius XM NBA Radio on Monday. “I think it could be some trouble in the future. Someone has to cut that off. Hopefully, I’ll be the one to be able to do that.''
MORE: Ranking Team USA's biggest threats in Rio
As Haywood knows, Green has plenty of good people in his ear already as Team USA heads off to Rio de Janeiro to pick up its gold medal. Managing Director Jerry Colangelo, coach Mike Krzyzewski and some veteran players, starting with Carmelo Anthony, are strong personalities who will try to keep Green in check. But he also knows that Green’s been lectured before, by Steve Kerr and others, and there comes a point where someone might be better suited to talk some sense into him. For Haywood that person is himself, someone who came up from abject poverty, had it all and then destroyed his own basketball career, snorting up a storm back in the drug-riddled NBA of the 1970s.
Haywood played one season with the Lakers, when he was 30, and his cocaine problem worsened to th[......]
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When LeBron James sends a message on social media, the NBA world pays attention. That's how it works when the league's biggest star has more than 39 million followers on Twitter and 33.5 million on Instagram — plus a habit of targeting opponents and teammates with subtle digs, as a certain former Cavs point guard can certainly tell you.
The four-time MVP caused a stir online again when he posted a popular meme with the one-word caption "Mood..." on Monday night. For those unaware of what the cartoon fist below means, it's an image from the children's television show "Arthur" typically used to express anger or frustration. (Those cool teens and their memes, am I right?)
MORE: LeBron, Cavs can't ignore major defensive issues
This post came right after the Celtics defeated the Hawks, a team that had just beaten the Cavs in Cleveland the day before. Some surmised James was frustrated Kyrie Irving and the rest of the gang in green got the best of the Hawks while the Cavs fell short. Others suggested it was simply early-season irritation with Cleveland's slow start and lackluster defense. It had to mean something, right?
Then Draymond Green se[......]
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Thursday night on NBA Twitter got a little crazy when an argument over Sam Dekker's tweet turned into Meet Me In Temecula Pt. II.
To fully understand what happened, we need to to start at the beginning. Pistons G-League player and Dekker's former Wisconsin teammate Bronson Koenig tweeted this:
🧐😕Sad but true https://t.co/XHYXl4doeU
— Bronson Koenig (@BronsonK_24) June 12, 2018
Dekker then responded with this tweet, which he later deleted:
Dekker's tweet attracted a lot of commentary from Twitter users, including @sreekyshooter.
(Before we advance further, we should provide a warning that there will be explicit language in the tweets below. So... here's that warning.)
@sreekyshooter screenshotted tweets sent from @mattbilinsky defending Dekker's initial comment.
White culture does exist, it just involves getting big mad over jokes about white fragility pic.twitter.com/BWsJh2G3G1
— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) June 14, 2018
That was the start of a feud that would get very crazy.
The two went back-and-forth for a little bit, but things took a tu[......]
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The Warriors are going to have to come back in a playoff series for the first time in a while.
Toronto took control in the third quarter against a depleted Warriors team and came away with a 123-109 win in Game 3 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena on Wednesday. It now leads the series, 2-1.
Golden State was playing without Klay Thompson, who missed the game with a strained hamstring. Kevin Durant has also been out since straining his calf in the Warriors’ second round series while an injured Kevon Looney will be sidelined for the rest of the Finals after suffering an injury in Game 2 against Toronto.
Here are three takeaways from the Raptors' win
Raptors starters deliver
The Raptors received significant contributions from all of their starters Wednesday.
Star Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points to lead his team to the win while Kyle Lowry bounced back with 23 points.
Kawhi finishes strong in #PhantomCam!#WeTheNorth #NBAFinals
🇺🇸: ABC 🇨🇦: Sportsnet pic.twitter.com/vnUxNMQJ33
— NBA (@NBA) June 6, 2019
Danny Green (18 points) gave Toronto a[......]
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Houston made a trade that assembled arguably the best backcourt in basketball when it acquired Russell Westbrook this offseason, and now its improving wing depth.
The Rockets are signing forward Thabo Sefolosha to a one-year deal for the league minimum, according to ESPN.
The 13-year veteran was among the players who attended Houston's voluntary minicamp in Las Vegas this week and could fill an important role in 2019-20.
The Rockets have been known to utilize several quality 3-and-D wings over the years but seem to be lacking in that department this season. They parted with Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute following the 2017-18 season and contract negotiations didn't work out with Iman Shumpert this summer.
Sefolosha, 35, has a reputation for being a reliable defender. He made the NBA's All-Defensive second team in 2010.
He has career averages of 5.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game and shot 43.6 percent from beyond the arc while playing for the Jazz last year.
NBA Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles Clippers Basketball
Anthony Davis is confident he will be fit to play when the Lakers face the Clippers in their NBA restart opener Thursday outside Orlando, Fla.
Davis returned to practice Wednesday after being sidelined because of a poke in the eye during the Lakers' scrimmage game against the Orlando Magic.
"The eye is getting better, way better than when I initially got this," Davis told reporters. "I'm moving in the right direction. That's the plan, for me to play."
NBA PLAYOFF BRACKET: Standings, seeds and Round 1 projections
The seven-time All Star practiced in protective goggles but is hopeful he can resume competitive action without the eyewear.
"It was definitely different in practice," he said. "It felt different. I won't necessarily have to wear them (Thursday), it's just a precautionary thing.
"If I need them, they're there. I didn't want the first time of me wearing them to be in a game. I wanted to test them in practice. As practice went on, I got more and more used[......]