NFL null null
There is a light at the end of the tunnel for Drew Brees.
The Saints quarterback and coach Sean Payton told Fox broadcasters Sunday that the "goal" and "plan" is to have Brees suited up and ready to go for Week 8's game against the Cardinals.
"Sean Payton saying before the game the goal to get (Brees) back is against Arizona next week," sideline reporter Erin Andrews said during the first half of the Saints' game against the Bears, via The Times-Picayune. "He said if he's healthy you play him. And I said, 'So when does he start practicing?' He said he'll practice ... next week ... and we'll make the decision Wednesday or Thursday.
"I went up to Drew Brees, and I said, 'So this is what your coach said, what do you say?' And Brees said, 'Well, I already made my decision. I know when I want to come back.'"
Brees' return will mark seven weeks since he's taken the field ever since he injured his thumb against the Rams. Since then, Teddy Bridgewater has taken over under center, where he has reminded the NFL he is a top-notch quarterback.
Since Bridgewater has taken over, the Saints have gone on a five-game win streak.
For football fans, the annual unveiling of ESPN's Playoff Machine is as much of a holiday as Christmas or Thanksgiving.
The simulation allows users to select winners and losers of the regular season's remaining games and churns out a projected playoff bracket based on win-loss records and tiebreakers.
It's an incredibly useful tool for media and fans, but it's just as entertaining to toy with the system to see what kind of wacky results it can produce. So that's exactly what we did. The goal was simple: create the most statistically unlikely playoff bracket possible.
MORE NFL WEEK 12:
Picks against the spread | Power rankings
The first order of business is trying to find a way to squeeze as many 2020 No. 1 draft pick contenders into the playoffs. In the AFC, the Bengals sit at 0-10 and the Dolphins (2-8) and Jets (3-7) can do no better than tie the Patriots with nine wins on the season. Not a lot going on here.
For the NFC, however, the door is a bit more open. The Redskins, which own a conference-worst 1-9 record, still have a mathematical chance of reaching the playoffs this season. The same case also applies to the lowly Giants (2-8), Falcons (3-7), Buccaneers (3-7) and Cardinals (3-7-1).
We started by trying to place as many current non-playoff teams in the bracket and remove as many true playoff contenders as pos[......]
Now that the Cowboys and Dak Prescott have reopened negotiations on a long-term deal with the two sides apparently not far apart, it appears to be a question of when, not if, the biggest bargain in the NFL over the past four years becomes the league's highest-paid player — temporarily, that is, until Prescott is surpassed by Patrick Mahomes in the coming months.
Prescott bet on himself last season by playing for $2.025 million in the final year of his rookie deal as a former fourth-round pick. He turned down a reported $33 million per year extension offer with $105 million guaranteed last September. Now, his gamble should pay off, and the years of Dallas benefiting salary cap-wise from a less expensive QB are over.
FREE AGENCY GRADES: Best and worst moves of NFL offseason
Although the Cowboys missed the playoffs by one game, Prescott had his most productive season in 2019 with 4,902 passing yards and 8.2 yards per attempt. He threw 30 touchdown passes against 11 interceptions and had a passer rating of 99.7 to rank 10th in the league. It added to his NFL resume, one that includes two playoff appearances, a playoff win in 2018 over Seattle, two Pro Bowl selections and Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2016. His career record is an impressive 41-26 (including playoffs), and he has never missed a start.
In a no[......]
NFL Jets American Football
Same old Jets (fans).
Sam Darnold and the Jets turned in a sloppy effort (to say the least) in a 27-17 loss to Buffalo in Week 1, leaving fans with a bitter taste after endless optimism this offseason.
The third-year quarterback had a forgettable day, throwing for just 215 yards and a touchdown — and producing another career lowlight, a poor interception thrown into double coverage.
Sam Darnold is not having a good day. 22 total passing yards in the first half and this ugly interception.pic.twitter.com/3EFtVws16x
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 13, 2020
MORE: Le'Veon Bell leaves Bills game with hamstring injury
It's difficult to make excuses for a third-year quarterback in a league where qurterbacks thrive, but it's important to note a few things about the situation Darnold is facing:
- His offensive line has four new starters;He's without second-round wide receiver Denzel Mims;His supporting skill position cast is below average;Buffalo is a top-quality defensive unit;He's dealing with Adam Gase.
While the next 15 games will determine more about Darnold's long-term future than a bad Week 1 performance, it likely won't take that long for Jets front office folk to determine Gase's fate. That last point is pa[......]
Most see Cam Newton in a Patriots uniform and arrive at the same question: How did the rest of the NFL let the 2015 league MVP fall into the lap of the team that had just lost Tom Brady in free agency?
This is a fair question since New England signed its starting quarterback so late in free agency and on such a cheap deal. But the details of that contract help explain what Bill Belichick and Co. were thinking when they ended the 31-year-old's baffling unemployment.
MORE: List of NFL QBs making more than Newton
Almost 100 days passed from the day the Panthers released Newton on March 24 to the day the Patriots picked him up on July 8. The foot injury that ruined his final season in Carolina was a factor in his lengthy stay on the free agent market. But teams that could have upgraded their QB rooms were reluctant to sign him for reasons that were lazy at best and cowardly at worst.
So New England waited. It proceeded through the 2020 NFL Draft without selecting a quarterback and convinced the rest of the league it would enter the season with Jarrett Stidham and/or Brian Hoyer behind center.
What moved the Patriots to sign Newton is unclear even though at least one reason — that he's an obvious upgrade over their other options — seems obvious. Newton's contract is structured in a way that suggests New England was co[......]
NFL Patriots v 49ers 49ers Patriots American Football
New England attempts to return to .500 as it hosts the reigning NFC champion San Francisco 49ers for a game with potential wild card ramifications.
The Patriots (2-3) fell below .500 in the month of October for the first time since 2002 by losing in strange fashion to Denver. The Broncos defeated New England despite not scoring a touchdown. While the Patriots haven't had much success in the passing game, Cam Newton and his handful of running backs could be in for a big day facing a 49ers' defensive line down three of its four starters. Newton ranks third among quarterbacks in rushing yards behind Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson. He needs just 88 passing yards to become the first player in NFL history to pass for 30,000 yards and rush for 5,000 yards.
Not much has gone right for the 49ers (3-3) this season losing some of their most important pieces to injury, yet San Francisco just sits half of a game out of the NFC playoff picture. Sunday marks the first time Jimmy Garoppolo returns to Foxboro since the quarterback[......]
NFL Jets Rams Rams v Jets American Football
All that stood between Rams punt returner Nsimba Webster and the end zone was Jets punter Braden Mann. Mann might have been more than just a touchdown obstacle, though — he may wind up the difference between New York getting Trevor Lawrence or not.
The Jets (1-13) won, 23-20, against the Rams (9-5) on Sunday afternoon thanks in part to Mann's touchdown-saving tackle. The win pushed the Jets out of the driver's seat for the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, a selection widely viewed as the right to select Clemson's quarterback, Lawrence. With two regular season games remaining, the Jaguars are now in control of landing Lawrence, and while it's always about more than one play, Mann played a major part in that reality.
MORE: Jets' first win tips Trevor Lawrence tank in Jaguars' favor
Mann lined up to punt with 5:33 remaining and the Jets leading, 23-20. Webster burst past the initial line of New York pursuers, and once in space, it appeared Webster beating Mann might result in a clear path to the end zone.
NFL Texans American Football
David Culley is finally getting his opportunity to lead an NFL team after working for more than a quarter-century as a pro assistant. He is about to become the Texans' new head coach, replacing Bill O'Brien and interim coach Romeo Crennel, according to multiple reports Wednesday night.
Culley, 65, is joining Houston by way of Baltimore, where he worked the past two seasons as the Ravens' assistant head coach, passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. That means he's moving from Lamar Jackson to, for the moment, Deshaun Watson. Whether Watson will be behind center for the Texans in Week 1 remains to be seen.
MORE: The hunt to find Deshaun Watson jersey-swapped onto every NFL team
If Watson does stay, then he will be playing for a respected NFL coaching vet whose history is on the offensive side of the ball.
A quick SN sketch of Culley, who inherits a 4-12 team that may be in transition in the offseason:
Culley is the newest branch on the Andy Reid coaching tree
Culley was a part of Reid's staff in Philadelphia and Kansas City for a combined 18 seasons (1999-2016) before moving to the Bills (and ex-Reid assistant Sean McDermott) in 2017 and then the Ravens (and ex-Reid assistant John Harbaugh) in 2019.[......]
American Football NFL Packers
Green Bay might know the opponents on its schedule, but there is one big question to address before breaking down how the Packers will fare in 2021: Will Aaron Rodgers still be the quarterback?
The three-time MVP reportedly wants out of Green Bay, and that storyline engulfed the 2021 NFL Draft weekend. Rodgers has not been traded yet, but if he is out then general manager Brian Gutekunst could turn to 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love.
MORE: Strength of schedule for all 32 teams in 2021
That changes the dynamics of the NFC North, which the Packers have won the past two seasons under coach Matt LaFleur with identical 13-3 records. Green Bay remains the favorite, but the schedule is tough with opponents from the NFC West and AFC North. What happens with Rodgers between now and then will determine how those win-loss projections could change.
In the meantime, here is a complete breakdown of the Green Bay Packers' 2021 schedule, including dates and start times for all 17 games and our early prediction.
Green Bay Packers schedule 2021
The Packers open the season on the road against the Saints on Sept. 12, a 4:25 p.m. ET game on Fox.
Green Bay takes on a first-place schedule for the second straight season, and this[......]
The Orlando Magic have fined forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis an "undisclosed amount" of money for a Saturday night incident at an Orlando Travelodge during which he became enraged and threw a computer keyboard (via SI.com).
“We will not tolerate or condone this type of behavior,” Magic GM Rob Hennigan. “As we have stated repeatedly, when a player puts on an Orlando Magic uniform, he is representing something much greater than himself. We expect our players to uphold a certain standard of conduct and character at all times.”
Sensing that his actions were inappropriate, Davis took to his personal Twitter account to apologize.
Davis has had other incidents since joining the Magic. He was previously fined $35,000 after flipping his middle finger at Toronto Raptors fans and was suspended two games for an outburst at shootaround.
This latest incident, which occurred the same night of a 91-89 Magic loss to the Celtics, was the first most had heard from Davis this season.
After averaging 15.1 points and 7.2 rebounds over 34 games last season, Davis suffered a broken foot and has yet to recover.
Just to go over a few fun facts pointed out by Sports Illustrated, Davis will make $6.4 million this season and has career earnings in excess of $20 million. A room at the Orlando Travelodge starts at $59 for the night.
Celtics president Danny Ainge continues revamping the roster with two more transactions in the offing.
The Celts reportedly are close to acquiring point guard Nate Robinson from the Nuggets for point guard Jameer Nelson. Robinson, who played for Boston in 2010 and 2011, isn't expected to spend much time on the court, however, as he will apparently get a buyout from the Celtics, with the Clippers a potential final destination. Robinson is averaging 5.8 points, 1.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists this season.
MORE: Love doesn't plan to opt out of Cavs deal | Lakers called Pistons about Monroe, Jennings
The Celtics also are reportedly close to executing a buyout of forward Tayshaun Prince, who was acquired Monday in a trade that sent Jeff Green to the Grizzlies. A source close to the situation, however, told Sporting News' Sean Deveney on Tuesday that no substantive buyout talks have taken place.
Prince averaged 7.3 points and made 45.5 percent of his 3-point field-goal tries in 24.2 minutes per game for the Grizzlies this season. The Clippers, Mavericks and Thunder are rumored to be interested in Prince.
With the two moves, the Celtics will soon have two open roster spots. Could another trade be coming? Mad scientist Ainge isn't messing around; he already has traded Rajon Rondo, Austin Rivers, Brandan Wright and Green[......]
Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins may have anger management issues. He has ranked in the top two in the NBA in technical fouls each of the past three seasons. While he has worked on controlling his temper, it once again flared up Wednesday night against the Grizzlies.
Luckily for Cousins, his opponent was not a real person, so a technical foul was avoided. That being said, he roughed up a folding chair pretty badly.
The reaction from the lady is really what makes the video.
We do understand Cousins' frustration. He was getting abused by Zach Randolph for much of the game.
After missing a game with a nasty facial fracture , Russell Westbrook is set to return to the Thunder's lineup on Wednesday against the 76ers.
With the dynamic point guard being a fashionable fellow, the world has been on the edge of its seat waiting to see what protective mask he will sport. A few hours before the game, we caught a glimpse.
MORE: NBA masks have changed for the better | Westbrook suffers gruesome injury | Green can dunk just as well without shoes
BE AFRAID. BE VERY AFRAID. (via @thacover2 ) pic.twitter.com/YSf6J2qEvw
— Complex Sports (@Complex_Sports) March 4, 2015
This could've been a lot more exciting had the NBA not introduced strict face mask rules.
The Bucks' new jerseys were revealed on Saturday and they are crisp, clean and maybe a bit boring upon first glance. But take a second look.
The uniforms feature Milwaukee's logo introduced in April and includes a lot of new details. The "Cream City Rainbow" on the sides of the jerseys feature a pale blue stripe, along with the collar. A collar which also includes a "Championship Tab" to commemorate the franchise's 1971 title. Seriously, no part of the jersey went unnoticed. Even the white space on the sides of the shorts create an "M" design.
MORE: LeBron James selling his Miami house | What happened to Kyrie's knee?
The team definitely approves of the new look. John Henson is fan of the intricate details and Giannis Antetokounmpo picked out the "Fear the Deer" addition. Even coach Jason Kidd likes the unis, but he's still more worried about getting those Ws.
Introducing the Milwaukee Bucks 2015-16 Jerseys!! See them in detail at http://t.co/2ki7LvItCa https://t.co/yeHWDfH2Dm
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 6, 2015
New @Bucks home & away uniforms revealed pic.twitter.com/ZQ3iPrv2Jo
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 6, 2015
The 2015-16 Road Jersey. Learn about it at http://t.co/2ki7LvItCa pic.twitter.com/9ZisWc58AG
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 6, 2015
The 2015-16 Home Jersey. Learn about it at http://t.co/2ki7LvItCa pic.twitter.com/EPrMlpbYq9
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) June 6, 2015
Less is definitely more in[......]
NBA Basketball null
Right before Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night in Cleveland, LeBron James turned toward Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown, put his hands together and bowed to the NFL Hall of Famer.
The showing of respect from one Cleveland icon to another made for a powerful moment for Cleveland sports fans, and especially Brown.
MORE: 1964 Browns 'pulling so hard' for Cavs | Game 4 time, TV channel
“It was one of my greatest sports moments,” Brown told the Browns official website. “It really was. I’m not a basketball player. I had one of the greatest seats on earth. I had no concept that LeBron even knew I was at the game. And when he made his gesture, it was just a great thing for an old guy.
“I’m 79 years old. One of the great things about age is about the young people behind you and the way they give you respect. It’s so important. When a superstar like LeBron in this day and age can take a moment to recognize you; that’s about as good as it gets. And what he did on the court – LeBron is magnificent.”
Brown was a member of the last professional team to bring a championship to Cleveland, the 1964 Browns, so he can sense the hunger for a winner in Northeast Ohio. And he thinks this scrappy Cavaliers team, led by arguably t[......]
One of the complaints that developed about Kevin Durant during his last few years in Oklahoma City was that he’d become oddly confrontational with unsuspecting reporters. Going to Golden State, where players are typically media-friendly, there was some question about how Durant would adjust.
Answer: He’s been very good, a willing and even pleasant interview. Maybe a little too good, given the events of the last three months.
MORE: Eight players with the most to prove this year
The more Durant opens the curtain on his arrival in Golden State and his excitement to be with the Warriors, the more he douses rubbing alcohol on the scar borne by Thunder fans who watched him walk away in free agency this summer. Those fans were ardent Durant-ians, the icon of the city’s first permanent major league sports franchise. Thunder general manager Sam Presti called Durant the “founding father” of the franchise.
He’s gone from founding father to exasperating ex-pat for Thunder fans. It got worse this week.
Turns out, Durant was watching this year’s Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals not just as a star player who had been very close to leading his Thunder (who had a 3-1 lead against the Warriors in the West finals) to face Cleveland for the championship, but as a free agent making a calculation about his next team.
Durant said recently that, as he was watching Game 7 of the Finals with his agent, he was not sold on packing up and mo[......]