Picture Framers Chelvey

Yup, that’s the same Adrian Peterson we used to know.

Nov
20

Pretty basic question I had for Adrian Peterson: What’s the difference for you between New Orleans and Arizona? “Remember that first game with the Saints, opening night in Minnesota?” he said. “First snap of the game, I gain nine, and then a play later, I’m out of the game. Here, I got nine on my first carry [eight, actually], and I stayed in, and the opportunities came.”

Do you find it gratifying to receive recognition such as the national rankings?

“The only people who are really with us are us,” said linebacker Marcel Spears Jr., who snagged the game-clinching interception of Kenny Hill with 76 seconds to play on Saturday.

And what about the next challenge at West Virginia? Gustafson and Elliott no doubt were the biggest losers as far as the results. Elliott still seeks that elusive first win and now sits 26 points behind the cutoff with two races left in the semifinal round.

“What do you do?” Gustafson said. “You race as hard as you can. Things happen.”

This is what you do: Respond in-kind and see who blinks first: the competitors or NASCAR.

“Bent fenders, hurt feelings,” said fourth-place finisher Kevin Harvick. “I love it.” Peterson was as motivated for this game as he’d been for any in a while—even the opener as a Saint back in Minnesota. The results: 26 carries, 134 yards, two touchdowns. “Pretty much fun,” he said. “I go from playing maybe eight snaps a game to most of the game. I knew, I KNEW I would show up and show out.”

It’s a pretty instant fit too: Peterson’s good friends with Larry Fitzgerald, and he’ll be staying in the guest house behind Fitzgerald’s house for as long as he wants. flames_012

Ranking the NFL’s best, worst offensive lines

Oct
29

The impact that blocking has on offensive performance cannot be overstated. Over a decade of research I’ve done in measuring run blocking indicates that ball carriers are four to five times more productive on plays with good run blocking versus plays with bad run blocking. The passing game also displays a huge disparity, as quarterbacks are roughly three times as productive on a yards-per-dropback basis with a clean pass pocket as they are on dropbacks when pass-rush pressure is impacting the pocket.

Ben Roethlisberger’s third-and-2 pass at his own 49 yard line looked like a sure interception. Instead, it bounced through Phillip Gaines’ hands, off his facemask, and to Antonio Brown.

Adrian Peterson, RB, Cardinals: What a debut! Peterson’s 25.4 fantasy points were an extraordinarily rare feat for a player who switched teams in-season. They were the second-most by such a player in his debut for his new squad since Howard Hopalong Cassady managed 25.3 non-PPR and 33.3 PPR fantasy points in his Philadelphia Eagles debut in 1962 Week 6, and they represented only the second-best non-PPR and fourth-best PPR performance worth at least 20 among running backs in a debut for a new team after changing uniforms in-season. Peterson also received 26 rushing attempts, his most since 2015 Week 12 (29), as the Cardinals made it clear they regard him their featured back. His 22.8 percent start rate this week is sure to soar in Week 7, when he gets a much more cozy matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.
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For the game, Dallas won 58 percent of the faceoffs, led by Spezza going 13 for 16.

Oct
24

The Stars have totaled 119 shots in their first three games but managed only seven goals — including two each by Klingberg, Seguin and Janmark.

The Buccaneers’ offense, with all its pieces back, still looks like a work in progress. The Bucs will be very dangerous if they all get it together, but it’s anyone’s guess when that will be. This week is a good chance — it’s still mildly stunning how completely the Eagles picked the Cardinals apart last week. That’s not on the missing David Johnson or the hit-and-miss Carson Palmer. To be fair, though, if newly-arrived Adrian Peterson does a reasonable impression of his former self, the Cardinals’ defense will benefit as much as the offense.

The Bucs are inconsistent again, primarily based on the up-and-down play of Jameis Winston. Even on a long week, this is a difficult long trip to make to the desert. Adrian Peterson won’t outrush Doug Martin, but Arizona will hit a home run late to win a passing duel between Winston and Carson Palmer.

One of the revelations of the new season for the Devils has been left winger Jesper Bratt, a sixth-round pick (No. 162 overall) in the 2016 draft. He is the first player in franchise history to have five points in his first two games. The 19-year-old Swede has three goals and two assists in his first season playing in North America.

He has, at least for now, overshadowed 18-year-old Swiss center Nico Hischier, the first pick overall in this year’s draft, who picked up his first NHL point, an assist, in the game against the Sabres.

“We came into this year saying that the last couple of years wasn’t good enough,” Hynes said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, older guy, younger guy, high draft, low draft, free agent, tryout player, we’re going to play the best guys. We want guys who are going to come in and help turn this thing around.”
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He was originally declared questionable to return with a knee injury before being downgraded to out.

Oct
13

Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Cincinnati Bengals: Kirkpatrick left the field in the first quarter and was attended to by the Bengals’ training staff. The club originally indicated that he was questionable to return with a shoulder injury, but he was later downgraded to out.

Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills: Clay was helped to the medical tent on the sideline with help from two trainers under each arm late in the first quarter and was subsequently carted off to the locker room. Clay caught a 24-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor and then took a hit to his left leg from Bengals safety Shawn Williams, causing Clay to fall over on the sideline in pain. He was originally declared questionable to return with a knee injury before being downgraded to out.

Yeah, I know the Lions were in the 2016 playoffs, but not long enough that you didn’t have to think about it to be sure, right? And the Panthers took last season off from the playoffs, after reaching the Super Bowl the year before. Both teams are trying to muscle their way into NFC title contention in 2017. It was Carolina that took another step in that direction on Sunday.

The Rams jumped out and all over Seattle early, but the Seahawks hung around and soon began to take control — and the ball — away from L.A.
“We’ve got to find ways to keep maximizing our opportunities,” said winning quarterback Cam Newton, who was a dazzling 26-for-33 for 355 yards and three touchdowns in Carolina’s 27-24 victory.x (8)

I have been to StubHub Center to see the L.A. Galaxy and the stadium has an intimate feel

Sep
27

Once again, I reached out to Inside The Pylon’s kicking expert, Chuck Zodda, for the scoop, and he told me a topic of discussion this week was Cowboys’ kicker Dan Bailey, who nailed a 56-yard field goal in the team’s ugly loss to the Broncos. Zodda made the argument this week that Bailey is just about as good as anyone in the business, and with the possible exception of the Ravens’ Justin Tucker, probably the most clutch kicker in football.

Bailey has one of the simplest motions in the league, Zodda told me. He is compact in his backswing and has a very vertical swing that controls his torque effectively while still maintaining power.

(The Chargers’ first preseason game on Aug. 13 drew only 21,000, but no-shows in preseason are pretty much the norm at NFL stadiums.)

Even a game between two bad NFL teams late in the season easily gets more than 27,000 fans. Last Christmas Eve’s dog between the 5-9 Chargers and 0-14 Browns drew 57,000 in Cleveland. There’s no doubt that the Chargers will play to sellouts each week, even if a good portion of the fans are rooting for the other team.

On StubHub.com, the cheapest Philadelphia Eagles at Chargers ticket right now is $231. For the Oakland Raiders game on New Year’s Eve, it’s $280. In comparison, a December visit from the Browns is a steal — $92 for the cheapest seats.

I have been to StubHub Center to see the L.A. Galaxy and the stadium has an intimate feel, bringing you close to the action. There will be some seats erected in an upgrade done for the Chargers, but otherwise the configuration will stay the same as for soccer. Some seats will make a fan feel they can listen in to the huddle.
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Cleveland police union pulls out of Browns ceremony because of players’ national anthem protests

Sep
16

The Cleveland police union is declining to participate in a pregame ceremony before the Steelers-Browns game next Sunday in response to Browns players kneeling during the national anthem at their preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 21.

Police men and women were supposed to hold the American flag during the anthem before the Week 1 game against the Steelers.

While the Browns players are following Colin Kaepernick’s lead in refusing to stand for the anthem in protest, in part, of what’s perceived as unjust treatment of black people by police, the union’s position is that the reasoning behind the protest is unsound.

Bridgewater was a Pro Bowler in 2015 when he threw for 3,231 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Following his injury last year, the Vikings acquired Bradford from the Eagles. Bradford then set an NFL record for completion percentage by completing 71.6 percent of his passes for a career-high 3,877 yards with 20 touchdowns and five interceptions in 15 games.

All the undrafted rookie out of Wyoming has done is catch just about everything thrown his way this summer. His 45-yard touchdown catch against Tennessee last week was just the icing on the cake. Altogether, Gentry has caught four of the six passes thrown his way for 77 yards and is averaging roughly 19 yards per catch.

Cameron Meredith is out for the year, and Markus Wheaton’s availability is in doubt because of both an appendectomy and a broken finger. Then there’s the constant question marks with Kevin White and the ineffectiveness of guys such as Victor Cruz, Alton Howard, Titus Davis, Daniel Braverman and Josh Bellamy. Putting Gentry on the active roster is a no-brainer.
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Who is Marlon Mack, besides Frank Gore’s prospective replacement in Indianapolis?

Sep
15

Two of Sunday’s biggest rookie performances didn’t come from blue chip recruits or Day 1 draft choices. Instead, they belonged to fourth-round picks from overlooked college programs.

Hours after the Bears’ Tarik Cohen lit up the Falcons for 113 total yards, Colts tailback Marlon Mack took his turn in the spotlight, taking his first touch as a pro 21 yards to the Rams’ one-yard line. Though he’d be stonewalled in his next two attempts to reach the end zone, the explosive playmaker made sure the Los Angeles defense wouldn’t lose track of him again.

He finally found the end zone three quarters later, plunging in from three yards out to score his team’s first touchdown of the season. He’d add a breakaway 24-yard run as well.

Burfict is entering the final season of a four-year, $19 million deal. He missed the first three games of the 2016 season after being suspended for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers receiver Antonio Brown during the 2015 playoffs. His latest suspension is tied to what was deemed an illegal hit on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman during a preseason game this summer.

The 26-year-old linebacker, undrafted out of Arizona State in 2012, was a Pro Bowl selection in 2013 when he posted a career-high 171 tackles and three sacks. He had 101 tackles last season in just 11 games. Over his career, Burfict has 502 tackles with seven sacks, 23 pass breakups and five interceptions.

In addition to his suspension last season, he was also fined twice for unsportsmanlike conduct. Burfict has a total of eight fines and two suspensions over his five-year career, costing him over $1.4 million.
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