The Seahawks lost their identity and they’re losing games because of it

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The Seattle locker room floor was full of scattered debris. Coach Pete Carroll stood in the middle of it, festooned in a swanky blue suit. He was saying he has to muck it up, dig deep, excavate why his team that has strode to the last two Super Bowls suddenly cannot finish and has fallen to 2-3.

This was after the Seahawks lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-24, in overtime on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. It was a game Seattle led 24-7 with a little more than 12 minutes left. In all three of its losses Seattle has blown second-half leads.

As the eight-year veteran will now spend most of the offseason rehabbing to get healthy heading into next season, the Chiefs, now sitting at a disappointing 1-4 on the season, will try to figure out how to piece together a productive offense without Charles.

“You’re not going to replace Jamaal Charles,” head coach Andy Reid said Monday. “He’s one of the best in the history of the game.”

They will certainly see a difference on the field, but just how big a difference is the question — and it’s one the Chiefs faced four years ago.

This isn’t the first time Charles has suffered a torn ACL in his NFL career. In his second game of the 2011 season, Charles sustained the injury in his left knee and only rushed for 83 yards that year. Thomas Jones was Charles’ primary backup, and the team also had Jackie Battle and Dexter McCluster getting carries.
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Brook Lopez and Marc Gasol tried 97 triples between them over 16 combined seasons before this one

Teams in the D-League that have experimented with extreme triple-happy offenses haven’t produced points per possession numbers any better than the best teams pump out now. Maybe there is a ceiling on scoring regardless of what types of shots you take.
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Mens Brandon Sutter Jersey Elite teams are also disproportionately skewing this season’s overall average. Can that last? Golden State and Toronto are threatening the all-time team scoring efficiency record. Houston is nipping at their heels. Cleveland looms, playing all-shooting lineups more in crunch time — even if it means going without Tristan Thompson, their anchor on defense.

The first three are outscoring the 2008-09 Suns, the best offensive team that season, when the league’s overall average surged to 105.4 points per 100 possessions — tied for the highest mark ever excluding one season (1994-95) in which the league moved the 3-point line in. (How quaint does that seem, by the way?)

“If your big guys don’t dominate, you have to go small,” Casey said. “I tell Jonas [Valanciunas]: ‘Oh, you want to play more? Then dominate. I don’t want to see fadeaways over 6-8 guys. Get to the rim. Get every offensive rebound. If not, you’re coming out.'”

Extinction seems farfetched, and the new big-man archetype is even more exciting to watch. We’re already seeing it with Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis, Kristaps Porzingis, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Myles Turner — the big man who can do literally everything. We love Embiid pump-and-driving from deep for the same reason we love big men in the silly Taco Bell Sprite Kia Poulan Weedeater Skills Challenge at the All-Star Game: It’s just cool.

Some low-post mastodons have already evolved to meet the moment. Brook Lopez and Marc Gasol tried 97 triples between them over 16 combined seasons before this one. They’ve fired almost 300 so far, and we’re barely into the New Year. DeMarcus Cousins was a year ahead of them.

NBA scores 2017: Kyle Lowry and the Raptors are as good as ever

The Toronto Raptors lost their last two games of 2016, and Kyle Lowry wasn¡¯t going to let 2017 start the same way. Up just two points to start the fourth quarter, Lowry dropped 20 just to put the feisty Lakers away for good in a 123-114 win in Los Angeles on New Year¡¯s Day.

It was peak Kyle Lowry Over Everything, with Lowry totaling 41 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the game. His 20-point fourth came on 5-of-6 shooting, knocking down all three treys as well as seven free throws without turning it over once. In the game as a whole, Lowry became the 10th player since at least 1983 to score at least 41 points on just 16 shots. The remarkable fourth quarter only accentuated the sparkling efficiency.
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Authentic Womens Kony Ealy Jersey That¡¯s rough news for the Sharks, particularly given how poorly the team played without their defensive leader against the Kings on New Year¡¯s Eve. The silver lining is that they get a bit of a break in the schedule before hosting the Kings on Tuesday, which should give Vlasic time to recover. The hope is that his injury isn¡¯t too serious, of course, and that he can recover quickly.

Mueller is unlikely to play and I expect we¡¯ll see a similar defensive look on Tuesday that we saw on Saturday. Brent Burns and Paul Martin will stick together while we see Brenden Dillon and David Schlemko together and Dylan DeMelo and Justin Braun paired off. This is where the Sharks¡¯ defensive depth comes very much in handy.

You can¡¯t replace Vlasic, but San Jose¡¯s depth will keep them afloat without Vlasic and Tomas Hertl for now. Hang in there!

Cam Newton and the Panthers are making it look easy

For the second time in franchise history, the Carolina Panthers have scored 30-plus points in four consecutive games as Cam Newton led the team on an offensive explosion to dominate the Atlanta Falcons, 38-0, on Sunday. The Panthers are the last remaining unbeaten team at 13-0, and haven’t lost a regular season game in over a year.

Carolina put up a total of 424 yards of offense and scored 28 points in the first half alone against their NFC South rivals. Newton finished the game having completed 15 of 21 passes for 265 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Ted Ginn Jr. had two catches for 120 yards and Greg Olsen had 52 yards on three catches before he left the game with an injury.

The successful field goal was so unbelievable that even Chiefs players didn’t believe Santos made it.

If the Broncos had chosen to punt and play for the tie, instead of attempt the 62-yard field goal, they would have stayed level with the Chiefs at 7-3-1. It’s impossible to say how that might have altered the rest of the season for each team, but it would have put the Broncos in a more favorable position than the loss did. Denver was never able to recover.

For the Chiefs, the opposite happened. They’ve only lost one game since the doink-off win, and thumped the Broncos at home last week to completely dash any playoff hopes they had left.

The Chiefs also have more momentum than any other team in the division heading into the final week of the season. With a win over the Chargers, and if the Broncos can beat a Raiders team that is now without quarterback Derek Carr, Kansas City can take the AFC West crown.

And it all goes back to that doinked field goal.

the Browns were in a few games early in the season

This “Fitz-magic” might have turned into a dark magic. In three of the games Ryan Fitzpatrick has not started this season, he has still ended up throwing 10 or more passes. He could get the starting nod one last time in the Jets’ finale against the Bills.

The 49ers are 2-0 against the Rams this season and 0-13 against everyone else. Are 49ers fans going to remember QB Colin Kaepernick’s two-point conversion play as a great moment in a down season, or as a play that cost the team the top pick in the 2017 draft?

Jared Goff is 0-6 as a starter this season. Johnny Manziel (2014) is the only first-round rookie QB to go winless with multiple starts since 1995. Goff looks to avoid that dubious distinction against the Cardinals in Week 17.

Limited Youth Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey But the Browns also had to play as if it mattered. And this time of year, the plain fact is that not every team does. Just look at what the New York Jets did at New England for an example of what it looks like when a team has no reason to get up for a game and therefore doesn’t. It’s ugly to say and uglier to watch, but it does happen.

Limited Youth Phil Esposito Jersey So don’t overlook the significance of Cleveland’s first — and potentially only — win of the season. It says something about Browns coach Hue Jackson that he found a way to motivate his players when very little about this season had shown them they were capable of winning or that it would matter if they did.

Yeah, the Browns were in a few games early in the season, but prior to Saturday, they had lost their past six games by an average of 18 points. They still have no idea who their quarterback is, nor do they appear to have many building-block players on their roster. This is a team built on draft picks it hasn’t made yet, and most of the players on the roster won’t be there by the time the team is any good. If ever there was a group that had reason to fold up the tent, this was it.

Green Bay is technically the NFC North leader at the moment

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Huston Street Authentic Jersey ¡°Obviously it¡¯s not what everyone wants to see or what our goals were, but that¡¯s showing that we have a young team that¡¯s showing improvement right there. So definitely, any time we go out there, we definitely want to win.¡±

Saints coach Sean Payton wasn¡¯t quite as enthusiastic about the idea of finishing at least .500 for the first time since 2013. But he said winning is always a worthy goal.

¡°I look more closely at just the game itself, and winning is significant always,¡± Payton said. ¡°So the final record still represents something that¡¯s not good enough and hasn¡¯t gotten us into the postseason, and yet it¡¯s an opportunity to win another game.¡±

Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1). They came all the way back and somehow still lost a home game to the Arizona Cardinals because of a missed extra point. Seattle is the NFC West champion, but it might have cost itself a chance at a first-round bye. As of now, the Seahawks would have to play three games (with at least one on the road) just to reach the Super Bowl.

Green Bay Packers (9-6). Green Bay is technically the NFC North leader at the moment. The Packers are tied with the Lions for first place but beat them head-to-head. The teams face off again in Week 17 at Detroit, and the winner will be division champ. The loser can still get in but would need help. Specifically, if the Packers lose, they would still be a wild-card team if Washington and the Buccaneers both lose. The Packers also could sneak in as a wild card if Washington loses and Green Bay clinches the strength-of-victory tiebreaker over Tampa. To do that, the Packers need any one of the following four teams to lose in Week 17: San Francisco, Tennessee, Indianapolis or Dallas. But the main point here is: win and the Packers are in as a division champ.

Chargers go from points to more points to no points and we still don’t know what a catch is

A holding call on the Raiders after a made 53-yard field goal gave the Chargers a new set of downs to try to get in the end zone. This throw to Ladarius Green appeared to have done it.

Unfortunately, because he didn’t take the ball home to meet his parents before handing it back to the official, Green’s catch was ruled an incomplete pass. Fortunately for the Chargers, they were surely still able to at least kick a field goal again, right? Well, they tried and failed, and went from getting three points to getting seven points to getting no points from this drive.
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But the best way to shake your fear is to get back on that horse, and all the trends say that the Panthers are the smart bet here. Carolina is 8-3 ATS in their last 11, and Atlanta is 1-9 in their last 10.

For all the jokes being made at the Bears expense, they have been a respectable 4-1 against the spread in their last five road games, while the Buccaneers have only managed to go 5-11 ATS in their last 16 at Raymond James.
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From the standpoint of a lazy fan such as myself, it typically takes a couple years to wash the stink off any team that finishes 3-13 or worse, so I’m going to choose to ignore the fact that Tampa Bay has 6 wins and bet on the Bears. But I’m a Big Moron so I changed my pick at the last second to the Buccaneers -3.

Not long after the Eagles lost to the Cardinals, linebacker Mychal Kendricks had some choice words for the Washington team. This matchup is always a fierce rivalry, and with playoff implications on the line, it’s sure to be a hard-hitting game.

Arizona probably had a worse season than you’d have expected from their talent

Having a good team is the sexiest way to kick off baseball’s winter season. Your team and your fans have visions of pennants dancing in your heads, and the free-agent market looks like a buffet of awesomeness as you think about what big-name signings and acquisitions would make your good team into a great one.

But when you’re an also-ran, the options are less exhilarating. A big signing may just make your non-contending team more expensive. A rebuild job may be a smart decision, but the moment you decide to start tearing up your team can be heart-rending and won’t sell tickets for next season.

Authentic Mens La’el Collins Jersey The Mission: Rebuild the front office.

Arizona probably had a worse season than you’d have expected from their talent, but even if the team had gone 82-80 and missed the playoffs by a less nauseating margin, the same fundamental problem would have remained.
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One of the most athletic pitchers in baseball, Buchholz can show an above-average to plus cutter and has long had a plus or better changeup, but his command wavers from adequate to awful, especially of his fastball, which was the pitch behind 70 percent of the homers he gave up in 2016.

Front offices are smarter now. They focus less on home runs and power and more on OBP and defense. Trumbo had a .316 OBP. He should play first base but always finds himself on a team that wants to put him in right field. That’s not his fault, and it’s nice that he can play right field, but he doesn’t play it very well.

Other big-market teams that could have made a run — the Cardinals, Red Sox (after trading Yoan Moncada), Giants and Yankees — weren’t so desperate for a third baseman that they couldn’t wait for the Machado plunge.

Ben Roethlisberger gets customized suits for Steelers’ offensive linemen

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive linemen keep Ben Roethlisberger clean on the field, so Big Ben¡¯s keeping them clean off the field.

Leodis McKelvin Kids Jersey Roethlisberger, who¡¯s known to splurge on his line around Christmas time, got his personalized tailor to dress his blockers with customized suits, shoes, shirts, the whole deal.

Asked if he was “disturbed” that a player would behave that way before a game, Bowles replied, “It was disturbing that it was said at all.”

Bowles said he had no problem with Richardson’s effort in the game. He played 45 of 48 defensive snaps — more than any defensive lineman — but managed only two tackles and one quarterback hit.

Prescott, a fourth-round pick, was the 135th player selected in the draft. There’s a learning curve involved in his development, but the coaching staff and front office love Prescott because he’s unflappable.

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¡°Things happen for a reason and obviously that was a very unfortunate, freak injury that happened to [Romo] in Seattle,¡± Stephen Jones said. ¡°It’s fortunate, but misfortune in terms of Tony, that obviously in Dak we’ve found a very special player at quarterback.¡±

Outside of The Star in Frisco, the Cowboys¡¯ state-of-the-art training faciltiy, a daily debate wages all over Dallas-Fort Worth concerning whether Romo should replace Prescott if the Cowboys¡¯ offense struggles Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Inside the complex, the topic doesn¡¯t come up.

Along with Belichick and Carroll, all are Super Bowl-winning head coaches

It might seem like there’s as much separation as ever between good and bad NFL teams. As I write this, Dallas and New England have a chance to go 14-2, while Cleveland could finish 0-16.

Elite Kids Mathew Barzal Jersey But as the NFL regular season draws to a close, a deeper look at the numbers reveals the opposite: Teams are bunched in talent much more closely than they appear. The league is at a crossroads, and the next few years will determine which contending franchises will rise to new dominance — or whether that’s even possible anymore.

Along with Carroll, other NFL head coaches under contract could be asked the same question by the media during the next month, and they will likely have the same response as Carroll.

The Saints’ Sean Payton? The Steelers’ Tomlin? The Packers’ Mike McCarthy? The Ravens’ John Harbaugh? Along with Belichick and Carroll, all are Super Bowl-winning head coaches.

Oh, Andy Reid of the Chiefs? He’s an L.A. guy.

Stan Kroenke (right) and the Los Angeles Rams parted ways with head coach Jeff Fisher (left) on Monday.

The Rams, however, paid a big cost to acquire the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft to select quarterback Jared Goff. They still owe the Tennessee Titans their first- and third-round choices in 2017. The franchise arguably cannot afford to bankrupt its future with more draft picks to land its next coach.

Do the Rams instead go after a Super Bowl-winning executive like Denver Broncos general manager John Elway, and let him figure it out?

Asked why he called a fake punt up 24-3 with 5:22 left in the game, Carroll said, “Going into the game, I was hoping we would get the chance, because I thought we were going to need the rushing yards, to tell you the truth.”
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Around 6:30 a.m., a woman named Renada Gibson walked into a gas station near the highway in New Orleans East. She bought two coffees, four doughnuts, a pack of cigarettes and a fruit bar.