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No offense to the Lions, but NFL picks and predictions for this today's Thanksgiving games are generally easier thanks to their annual appearance on the schedule.
Detroit, which has a 37-40-2 overall record in its 79 consecutive Thanksgiving game appearances, is a home underdog against Chicago with good reason. With Matthew Stafford out of the lineup with broken bones in his back the Lions have limped to a 3-7-1 record in a lost season. The Bears, though they've had their share of struggles, are still fighting for a playoff spot in the NFC.
FULL WEEK 13 NFL PICKS:
NFL Seahawks v Vikings Seahawks American Football Vikings
For much of their Week 5 "Sunday Night Football" game, things couldn't have gone much worse for the Seahawks, yet somehow they still managed to steal a 27-26 victory from the Vikings thanks to a late touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to D.K. Metcalf.
Wilson, who looked like the league MVP front-runner in the first four weeks, struggled mightily in the first half as Minnesota controlled the time of possession; it nearly doubling Seattle for the game, too (39:28 vs. 20:32). The Vikings' slow, steady approach seemed to do a great job of stifling Wilson and the Seahawks' offense.
At least until midway through the third quarter, when Seattle put up 21 points in less than two minutes. Wilson was finally able to get something going in the deep passing game, hitting tight end Will Dissly for a 19-yard TD over the top to cut Seattle's deficit to 13-7. On the ensuing Vikings possession, Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright recovered a fumble in Minnesota territory, setting up another quick touchdown strike from Wilson to Me[......]
NFL Dolphins American Football
The Dolphins will start Tua Tagoaviloa coming out of their Week 7 bye.
Tagovailoa made his NFL debut in Week 6 against the Jets in mop-up duty, completing both his late passes for nine total yards. After being selected No. 3 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, Tagovailoa has watched-and-learned from veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick while Tagovailoa finished his recovery from a 2019 dislocated hip. Now after a bye in Week 7 that'll give Tagovailoa extra time to prepare, he's slated to be the starting quarterback at home against the Rams on Sunday in Week 8.
Here's why the Dolphins made this move now.
MORE: Tua Tagovailoa sat on the field alone after his NFL debut
Dolphins' bye week moved
Tagovailoa has never started an NFL game. He's never gone through a game week planning to start an NFL game. So for the rookie, any extra time can only be beneficial.
Miami's bye week was originally scheduled for Week 11. But due to shifting in the schedule caused by COVID-19, the Dolphins had their bye week moved up to Week 7. If Miami wanted to give Tagovailoa extra time to prepare as the starter, this was going to be the week to do it.
There had been some speculation that Tagovailoa could be given the role after the Dolphins played on[......]
NFL Giants Eagles American Football Eagles v Washington Football Team Washington Football Team Giants v Cowboys Cowboys
Giants coach Joe Judge suggested the Eagles did not put forth full effort in their 20-14 loss to the Washington Football Team on Sunday night. The result kept New York out of the NFL playoffs.
The Eagles pulled starting quarterback Jalen Hurts after three quarters in favor of Nate Sudfeld, a 2016 sixth-round draft pick who hadn't appeared in an NFL game since 2018. Their late-game play-calling was also seen by many people as a tanking ploy to secure a higher draft pick.
MORE: Eagles' Pederson says he was 'coaching' to win in Week 17
Judge, speaking at a Monday news conference, said his team would never approach a contest like Philadelphia did.
“To disrespect the game by[......]
NFL Packers American Football
As the saying goes, it takes one to know one.
History has a tendency to repeat itself in the NFL, even for those who know it. Just look at the Packers-Aaron Rodgers situation as the prime example.
So it's no surprise that Brett Favre, who had something of an epic falling out with the Packers in the previous decade, knows exactly what's going on. Speaking on ESPN Wisconsin's "Wilde and Tausch," Favre shared some more insight on the rift (via USA Today):
I think I know Aaron fairly well, and honestly I just don't see him coming back and just saying, "All right, let's bury the hatchet. Whatever caused the rift, I'm just going to come back and play because I love the guys, I love the Green Bay fans." I assume that he does, but his rift isn't with the fans, nor the players. It's with the front office, you know. So would he just swallow his pride and come in? Maybe. But I don't see that happening.
If there's not a trade, my gut tells me that he'd rather sit out than play. That's just my gut. There's no reason for me to say that other than that's just what my gut is telling me.
TIMELINE: Where did the Rodgers-Packers relationship go wrong?
Favre adds that he's "not very optimistic" right now over Rodgers returning[......]
NFL Raiders American Football
The Raiders have failed to finish above .500 in the previous three seasons, tied to the return of coach Jon Gruden. For their second season in Las Vegas, they hope to stay on an upward tracjectory after going from 4-12 to 7-9 to 8-8.
Gruden and GM Mike Mayock are under pressure to deliver results in 2021 and make the Raiders at least true wild-card contenders. The team being settled into its new city will help, as will having hungry new fans finally attending games at Allegiant Stadium.
The Raiders didn't have the greatest offseason, but they still hope to be improved. Here is a complete breakdown of the Raiders' 2021 schedule, including dates, start times and analysis.
NFL OFFSEASON 2021:
Team-by-team draft grades | Latest power rankings
Las Vegas Raiders schedule 2021
The Raiders open the 2021 season in primetime — on Monday night, Sept. 13, against the Ravens. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN/ABC. It's a home opening for the fans, as attendance wasn't allowed last season because of COVID-19 during the inaugural season for Allegiant Stadium. Here's the complete 2021 schedule:
WeekDateOpponentKickoff time TV1Sept. 13vs. Ravens8:15 p.m. ETESPN/ABC2Sept. 19at Steelers1 p.m ETCBS3Sept. 26vs. Dolphi[......]
NFL Browns American Football
Browns chief of staff Callie Brownson on Tuesday was convicted of operating a vehicle while impaired, according to court records.
According to Brunswick Mayor's Court records, Brownson, 31, was stopped on May 27 at 12:27 a.m. in Brunswick, Ohio, after driving 55 mph in a 35 mph zone. She had a reported blood-alcohol level of .215 — more than two-and-a-half times the legal limit of .08.
According to a report by Browns reporter Daryl Ruiter of Cleveland radio station WKRK-FM, Brownson on Tuesday pleaded no contest to the charge, a misdemeanor in the state of Ohio. She had her OVI and speeding charges removed, paying $780 in court fees and fines.
MORE: Browns schedule 2021: Dates & times for all 17 games, final record prediction
“We are aware of the incident and are extremely disappointed that a member of our organization put themselves in this situation,” the Browns said in a Wednesday statement. “We take this matter very seriously and will take the appropriate disciplinary actions.”
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski also addressed Brownson's conviction in a Zoom news conference after the team's OTAs, which she did not attend. He said he was "disappointed," but that she will not lose her job. She could await fu[......]
NFL American Football
Those longing to see Alex Smith near a football field again may not have to wait much longer.
The New York Post's Andrew Marchand reports that Smith was recently given an audition for an open analyst spot for CBS, which would be his next foray in football after his retirement from the game.
Smith, who made a miraculous return to the field after a life-threatening leg injury sidelined him for two years, also received auditions from NFL Network and Fox. Fox is also searching for a replacement analyst after Chris Spielman took a job with the Lions this offseason.
MORE: Aaron Rodgers' holdout: Key dates, fines to know
Smith, though, isn't alone in the running: Marchand also reports that former QB Mark Sanchez also was offered an audition as an analyst with CBS. Marchand reports that a source says that Sanchez has a bit more personality than Smith. Sanchez has worked as a studio analyst in recent years for ESPN.
Former wideout Joey Galloway and recently retired Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee also auditioned for the role.
CBS chose not to renew Rich Gannon's contract after the 2020 season, ending a 16-year run behind the microphone as an analyst for the network. James Lofton and Adam Archuleta were two internal options considered for Gannon's spot, while the network has several game analysts who could slide into[......]
NFL American Football Chiefs Ravens v Chiefs Ravens
There's just something exciting about watching a player with incredible speed fly down the field.
Whether it's using that speed to break away down the sideline, cut through the middle of the defense and score or dice up a coverage unit on special teams, those big plays with breakaway speed always add another level of excitement to the game.
And there are several players in the league capable of carving up defenses with their speed. Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, nicknamed Cheetah, is often viewed as the fastest, but he certainly hasn't run away with the title as other talents like 49ers running back Raheem Mostert, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III have shown they too can race past just about anybody.
Is there a way to find out who the actual fastest player in the league is? Sporting News is taking a look to see which players have posted the strongest cases.
MORE: Highest-paid players in the NFL in 2021
Who is the fastest player in the NFL?
There are always severa[......]
MIAMI — For the first time in more than six years, Dwyane Wade is a Miami Heat reserve.
Wade checked into Sunday's game against the San Antonio Spurs with 4:41 left in the first quarter, after missing the previous four Miami contests to rest his oft-ailing knees.
The last time Wade — who was voted into the All-Star Game as a starter again this season — was a reserve was Jan. 6, 2008 against Memphis. His next 483 appearances with the Heat, including playoffs, had been as a starter.
Ray Allen started in Wade's place.
Wade came off the bench five times as a rookie in 2003-04, once in 2006-07 and twice in 2007-08. He's started 687 times for Miami, plus all 132 of his playoff appearances.
When Rajon Rondo returned last month from an ACL tear that ended his season early a year ago, the Boston Celtics weren’t expecting the same Rondo who was selected to the All-Star team the past four seasons.
His first six games showed rust — plenty of it. He shot just 27.9 percent from the field, scoring just 6.7 points in 24 minutes per game. He assist-to-turnover ratio (34 assists, 20 turnovers) wasn’t what Rondo was accustomed to producing.
MORE: Box score | SN midseason awards | David Stern through the years
Since Rondo's first game back on Jan. 17, the Celtics were 0-6 with him in the lineup.
Rondo had his best outing of the season against Orlando at home in Boston. He scored a season-best 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting, handed out 10 assists (with four turnovers), had six rebounds and three steals in a 96-89 victory. That’s the stat line of a pre-ACL injury Rondo.
And it was the type of performance the Celtics needed from Rondo, who was 8 of 27 from the field in his past two games with 13 assists and 10 turnovers.
"It was really good. You just feel like you’re really under control, the way that he was playing late," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after the game.
Rondo he was sharp down the stretch. In the fourth quarter, he scored four points, but dished out six assists.
His running hook shot gave the Celtics a 79-76 lead with less than six minutes to play after the Magic had pulled to within one[......]
Dirk Nowitzki has agreed to the framework of a deal with the Mavericks, as was expected prior to the open of free agency.
Dallas' cornerstone player will receive a three-year deal in the $30 million range, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
Dirk always likely to be first major free agent to decide. Sources say sides agreed today to three-year pact believed to be in $30M ballpark
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2014
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While Nowitzki will be the first major name to agree to a deal, there was never any question about his status with the Mavericks. Nowitzki has been vocal in his efforts to lure star players to Dallas, with Carmelo Anthony being the primary target. The Mavericks also welcomed back Anthony's former Knicks teammates Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton as a possible sweetener to lure him.
After 16 years in the NBA, Nowitzki is in the twilight of his career but remains effective. He averaged 21.7 points and 6.2 rebounds in an All-Star season last year, leading an underrated Mavericks team to a near victory over the Spurs in the Western Conference playoffs.
That performance and his staunch loyalty to the Mavericks franchise make this deal worth it. With this contract, Nowitzki, who won a title in 2011, should be set up to end his career with Dallas.
Derrick Rose got out to a fast start in his first preseason game with the Chicago Bulls.
Rose had nine points in the first five minutes of the game and shot 4 of 5, making an explosive fast-break layup where he weaved through two defenders on his way to the basket. He finished the night with 11 points and four rebounds in 14 minutes.
The point guard had struggled with his shot during the Basketball World Cup last month in Spain, making just 15 of 59 field goals (25 percent), including 1 for 19 from 3-point range. Rose finished through contact at the rim and hit an open 3-pointer, but only knocked down one of three outside shots.
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony came into the NBA linked at the hip, and now they are linked by sore knees.
James is listed as questionable heading into Cleveland’s matchup against the Pelicans on Friday night, according to Cleveland.com. Anthony is “questionable to doubtful” for the Knicks game against the Celtics, according The Boston Globe.
MORE: LeBron on social issues | Lakers get trade calls for Jordan Hill | NBA Quarter Poll
Knee injuries forced James to miss Thursday night’s game against the Thunder, robbing the fans of the chance to see him go against Kevin Durant. The Thunder won the game, 103-94.
"I really don't believe we have any kind of serious situation on our hands, just some soreness," Cavaliers coach David Blatt said.
James, the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, averages team-highs of 24.8 points and 7.7 assists per game in his second tour of duty with the Cavaliers.
Anthony, the third pick in the same draft, sat out Wednesday night’s 109-92 loss to the Spurs. Reports that Anthony may need surgery at some point this season emerged earlier this week. He is averaging just under 23 points per game for the Knicks.
Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday aggravated the stress reaction in his lower right leg Monday and will be re-evaluated in three weeks, the team announced Wednesday.
Holiday has already missed the previous 16 games with the injury and missed the last 48 games of the 2013-14 season due to a stress fracture in his right tibia.
MORE: Durant a d— to opponents | Melo shut down for season | Dragic wants out of Phoenix
A key running mate for Pelicans star Anthony Davis, Holiday is averaging 7.1 assists in 33.7 minutes per game to go along with 15.2 points and 3.5 rebounds.
Tyreke Evans will continue to run the point for the Pelicans while Eric Gordon will handle the shooting guard position.
Warriors forward Draymond Green received the most first-place votes for Defensive Player of the Year, but the award instead went to the Spurs' Kawhi Leonard.
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Green received 45 first-place votes compared to Leonard's 37, but finished with 16 fewer total points on the ballot. He was asked about the closeness of the race and made a funny comparison.
Draymond: "Al Gore won the popular vote and didn't get elected president so I'm not gonna beat myself up over not winning DPOY"
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 23, 2015
That's certainly a nice perspective for Green to have. His coach Steve Kerr was a little more vocal on the issue. He said the amount of people who left Green off the ballot was "a little tough to swallow." Green was left off 42 of the 129 ballots.
In the same media session, Green said he was disappointed on not winning the award, but not angry. He also gave the Spurs forward props on his play.
"That man's a champion," Green said about Leonard. "We all strive to be that."