NFL predictions for 2017: Final standings, playoff projections and Super Bowl pick

The NFL in 2017 might just might see the ratings increase it seems to crave following a down year. That’s what tends to happen when traditional powers like the Cowboys, Steelers and Packers are legitimate Cheap Football Jerseys From China contenders to challenge the Super Bowl favorites, the defending-champion Patriots. Not to mention positive outlooks for popular squads like the Raiders, Giants and Broncos.

NFL parity is questionable only in regard to New England and its embarrassment of personnel riches surrounding the game’s best quarterback. Behind the Patriots is a cluster of teams with real chances to reach Minneapolis and win Super Bowl LII.

Here are Sporting News’ predictions for the 2017 NFL season, including final division standings, playoff seeding, conference championships and our Super Bowl pick.

It’s the arrival of Sean McDermott with the Bills and possibly the beginning of the end for Todd Bowles with a Jets team in full tank mode. There also was a strong chance that Josh McCown would face Nathan Peterman at quarterback, which ain’t exactly Ken O’Brien vs. Jim Kelly. The Patriots should eliminate both from the divisional race by Thanksgiving. Bills, 13-3

This could’ve been a showdown between fairly recent No. 1 picks had the Colts and Andrew Luck not botched … whatever they were trying to do this offseason. So say hello to Scott Tolzien, who the new general manager (Chris Ballard) and holdover head coach (Chuck Pagano) are just fine with, apparently. As of midweek, it wasn’t Cheap Google Jerseys clear whether Tolzien would see Aaron Donald or not. It’s safe to say the preference is not. Rams, 22-16

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Bill Belichick says he still gets butterflies before opening game

Bill Belichick is known for being cold and calculated, but even after five Super Bowl championships in 22 years as an NFL head coach, he admitted Tuesday that season openers still make him nervous.

“Opening day is always a time where you have a lot of questions, butterflies,” Belichick Cheap Custom Hockey Jerseys said while discussing Thursday’s regular-season opener against the Chiefs. “I think that’s part of opening day — a lot of unknowns on our team, a lot of unknowns on their team, a lot of unknowns when the two collide. So, we’ll see how it goes.”

The Patriots will unveil their Super Bowl 51 championship banner before they take on the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

If you missed any of the action in Week 1 of the NFL season, ESPN Chalk gets you caught up on the winners and losers of every game from a gambling perspective.

New England Patriots and Oregon Ducks bettors were let down over the weekend. Rob Nelson of ESPN Stats & Info takes a look at the weekend’s worst football bad beats.
At Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology, 90 percent of all parlays that featured the Thursday night game had the Patriots. Plus, the book took a $23,000 money-line bet on New England -470. The Cheap Custom NFL Jerseys bet would have netted around $5,000, instead the customer is out $23,000.

“It was a really big number,” CG Technology vice president of risk Jason Simbal said of his book’s win on Thursday.

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Tight end Kyle Rudolph (leg) was back practicing for the first time Tuesday after being out for two weeks.

Amazing the difference a year makes. Unlike this time last season, Minnesota isn’t dealing with a devastating injury to Teddy Bridgewater and last-minute scramble at quarterback. Ahead of the opener Monday night against the Saints, the Vikings’ starters are healthy and ready to go. Minnesota was nearly at full strength during its first practice of the week with defensive end Brian Robison (leg) and guard Danny Isidora (undisclosed) as the only two players not participating. Robison told reporters last week that he anticipates playing after missing the preseason opener because of an unrevealed injury and the final two games of the preseason because of a leg injury sustained in practice. Tight end Kyle Rudolph (leg) was back practicing for the first time Tuesday after being out for two weeks.

I tried to give him it all, but he ducked. I was trying to hit his ribs, I’m not going to lie to you. I didn’t think he saw me. I swear I didn’t think he did. JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] was like “I’m not letting you get there before me.” It was a real race (to the QB) between us two.

That’s a nice move by JPP. And it’s against [Jason] Peters. I played with Peters back in Buffalo my last year in the league. He’s athletic. With that size? Dude. He can play. And look at JPP take the edge on him.

He almost got there before me, I’ll tell you that much. Crazy part about that, my blitzing? I have to really disguise it. Quarterbacks see me Cheap Authentic NBA Jerseys down there, they think I’m coming. Most of Cheap Basketball Jerseys the time we are in man, or it turns into some form of man. My disguise of blitzes is very, very key. I try not to get the running back to come block me. If they do, I’m not really worried about it.

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Gordon Hayward’s visit with Celtics included Fenway Park video featuring David Ortiz

Gordon Hayward met with the Boston Celtics for their scheduled free agency pitch on Sunday, and it was elaborate as hell.

Hayward already met with the Miami Heat on Saturday, and Cheap Jerseys And Hats he’ll travel to San Diego to meet Utah Jazz management. There’s also an emoji war happening for his allegiance on Twitter. But the Celtics are presumably the only team of the three that brought an iconic baseball stadium into the mix. That’s right — Hayward’s meeting with the Celtics started at Fenway Park.

Hayward is probably at least a day away from making any decision, so don’t hold your breath on something coming before the Fourth of July. But the Celtics certainly didn’t waste any measures when pursuing the most sought-after free agent left on the market.

The 3-Headed Monsters (4-1) beat 3’s Company (1-4), 51-32, in the second game of the week. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf led the 3-Headed Monsters’ offensive barrage with 19 points. Rashard Lewis added an extra 16 points, and Kwame Brown amassed 12 points and 11 rebounds. 3’s Company couldn’t rack up a lot of points, as Andre Owens led the team with 12 points. No one else on 3’s company scored more than 10 points.

Trilogy (5-0) defeated Tri State (1-4), 51-34. Trilogy’s Rashad McCants scored a game-high 27 points, while connecting on Cheap Jerseys Basketball more than half of his shot attempts. He also drained 42.8 percent of his three-point shots. James White added an extra 16 points and didn’t miss any of his shot attempts. Trilogy made 50 percent of its shots in this game. Tri State’s Mike Jones scored a team-high 22 points, but none of his teammates scored more than six points. The team shot an abysmal 28.6 percent from the field.

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Conversely, the Celtics monumentally improved by signing Hayward without giving anything in return.

Most of those sales early in the decade came at relatively low prices, with two exceptions. The Warriors sold in 2010 for a then-record $450 million — at the time a quite hopeful valuation that has since become an incredible bargain. The Kings sold in 2013 for a then-record $535 million amid a minor bidding war between Seattle interlocutors and Northern California buyers.

The other seven purchases were at non-notable or outright discount prices. Robert Pera, for example, bought the Grizzlies for $350 million, which isn’t much more than the Bobcats’ expansion fee a decade prior. Michael Jordan bought the Bobcats themselves — now the Hornets, of course — for a reported valuation of $275 million, including apparently just $25 million in cash. That’s just $1.5 million in cash more than what the Hornets will pay Dwight Howard this season, by the way.

They can throw different looks at James defensively, with both Crowder and Hayward as capable of defending LeBron as anyone else. Offensively, Hayward becomes an additional ball handler, capable of initiating the offense to create for himself or any one of his competent teammates.

Brad Stevens knows how to use Hayward on both ends of the floor: he did it at Butler when Hayward led the Bulldogs to their first-ever NCAA tournament championship game in 2010.

Hayward or not, the Celtics still need work before they can Cheap Indiana Pacers Jerseys assume power as Eastern Conference champs. That’s why there was a working assumption Boston would look to pull the trigger on a Paul George trade. Acquiring George and signing Hayward in free agency would immediately shift the Cheap Islanders Jerseys balance of power.

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The ZO2 was available for purchase then like it is now

Lavar Ball said the Ball brothers could wear whatever brand they choose in an interview with Complex’s Joe La Puma. We’ll see Lonzo Ball wearing another brand throughout certain points of the season, depending on what mood he’s in.

Ball didn’t wear the ZO2 at his first pre-draft workout with the Lakers, either. Instead, he suited up in the Harden Vol. 1 by Adidas — a shoe he wore all season at UCLA.

The ZO2 was available for purchase then like it is now, and we saw him wearing a pair in his first promotional photoshoot of the shoe with SLAM Magazine. But he still hadn’t played in them.

But now, he’s worn them twice on the court already in Cheap Hockey Jerseys For Sale summer league Cheap Green Bay Packers Jerseys and Big Baller Brand has also made four new colorways available for preorder since releasing the original. The brand is growing with Ball officially becoming a Laker.

Ball wearing another brand could mean a number of things. Maybe the shoe just isn’t that comfortable on him yet. Maybe wearing the Kobe’s helped alleviate the groin issue he had earlier in the week. Maybe he really did just want to switch it up.

The Knicks have mild interest in Rose because they’re thin at the point guard position, but they aren’t going to outbid themselves. To get the best deal he can, Rose needed another suitor. Enter the Bucks.

The Bucks are at $117 million in payroll when we include Tony Snell’s new four-year, $46 million deal. That puts them way above the salary cap and pushing the luxury tax. Acquiring the former MVP would require them to make moves to shed some of that salary through trade. A sign-and-trade deal is also an option here if there is mutual interest in getting a deal done and the Knicks don’t want to lose Rose for nothing.

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Carmelo Anthony, Thunder are ‘circling each other,’ per report

Carmelo Anthony is halfway out the door and ready to move on from the Knicks. The only question left to answer is where will it be. A dark horse destination for Anthony appears to be the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to a report from Bill Simmons.

Now Simmons doesn’t normally throw things out, but there’s a reason for that. As good as he is at what he does, he isn’t a reporter. So things like this have to be taken with a grain of salt.

But clearly, there’s some source out there that has led Simmons to believe this. And if true, Anthony could make a great addition to a Thunder team in need of scoring and versatility on the wing.

If he decamps for L.A. or San Antonio in a year, that is proved to be B.S. I don’t think it was B.S. I don’t think things in Cleveland are so bad that he’s willing to say goodbye to northeast Ohio again. In a way, and perhaps even more so after the championship, basketball is James’ job. His work is much more important.

This is why I greet every new rumor with skepticism. Has James’ real mission changed? Until it has, or until we find out he was full of it, he’s not leaving.

This Tim Cato deep dive is part two-way contract Cheap Football Practice Jerseys explainer and part argument against the best non-NBA players signing two-way contracts.

James Jones is done playing in the NBA, which means his streak of Cheap Giants Jerseys NBA Finals appearances will end at seven. But Jones isn’t going far: He’s the new vice president of basketball operations in Phoenix. In the same stroke, Suns GM Ryan McDonough had his contract extended through 2019-2020, which is a bit surprising given the way things have gone for the Suns lately.

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Wizards’ owner predicts that John Wall will sign $170-million designated player extension

John Wall has a massive $170 million designated player extension offer on the table from the Wizards, but has yet to commit to signing it. However, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis told reporters that despite Wall’s hesitation, he will ultimately choose to sign the offer.

The Wizards offered Wall the extension as soon as they were eligible to do so, but Wall said he would take his time to make a decision on any extension should it be offered.

Because Wall made third-team All-NBA this season, he is eligible to sign the extension. He averaged 23.1 points, 10.7 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game this season while leading Washington to its third playoff berth in four seasons.

For Portland, you have almost an unlimited mix-and-match of players who could be included in this deal. It could be Evan Turner and Vonleh; or Crabbe and Al-Farouq Aminu; or Mo Harkless, Ed Davis, and Vonleh; or Meyers Leonard, Aminu, and Harkless; or virtually any other combination you could think of that doesn’t include Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, and newly drafted Zach Collins.

Why would the Blazers make this trade? For exactly the reasons above. They have several really bad contracts, enough that they’re basically interchangeable, and some other decent players Cheap NFL Jerseys China who are expendable. It’s not an ideal spot.

Still, while Love would probably make the Trail Blazers a little bit Cheap Authentic Jerseys From China better, he doesn’t solve their defensive issues at all. Can he make their offense better than he hurts their defense, considering their offense was already 11th-best in the league?

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The Nationals finally traded for bullpen help

David Robertson coming to the rescue of the Nationals bullpen has felt inevitable for months now. You knew that Mike Rizzo wouldn’t (read: couldn’t) leave the Nats pen as is, as it was an invitation to an(other) NLDS exit no matter how good the lineup or rotation were. They didn’t end up getting Robertson despite rumor after rumor suggesting that was the end point of all this. But that’s also fine because the Nats decided to get two relievers in one deal instead.

Should we cut Heyward some slack because the Cubs did manage to win a World Series with him around? Maybe a little, but again, they won in spite of him, and on Thursday they traded their top prospect (an outfielder) for Jose Quintana because the team as a whole just isn’t doing enough to keep up in the NL Central. To contradict the contradiction before concluding this paragraph, it’s still one more World Series than the Twins or Mariners or Cheap Custom Hockey Jerseys Angels have won with the players who got them on this list, sooooo… yeah. There’s room for debate.

Jason Heyward’s deal should have been good. It actually seemed relatively reasonable at the time, with Heyward supposedly not even taking the highest offer because he believed in playing with and for the Cubs in their quest for a World Series. He was right on that last part, but Chicago won in spite of Heyward, not because of him: the Cubs actually did their best to keep him from contributing in the World Series at all by not playing him, as Heyward Wholesale Jerseys Cheap batted .230/.306/.325 in the regular season, “good” for an OPS+ of 70.

There was a lot of talk this spring about Heyward having a new swing that should heal what ailed him, and it did, sort of: now he has just an 84 OPS+ instead of being even worse, but that’s still a below-replacement bat that even his defense can’t save, especially not at $28 million.

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The 2017 MLB postseason race is the most crowded in history

Baseball is about to be swirling with chaos. Dripping with it. There will be confusion and rage, tears and disbelief, disappointment and desolation. Nothing will make sense, no matter how long you stare.

Look, too, at what the players who have done this during the more modern era of MLB have gone on to do in their careers. Miguel Cabrera is just 34, but he’d be a Hall of Famer if he retired today given his 15 years of dominance. Alex Rodriguez might irk you, but he’s also an inner-circle talent who stuck around for 22 years and finished just shy of being only the fourth player ever with at least 700 homers. Ken Griffey Jr., Roberto Alomar, and Robin Yount are all Hall of Famers.

Edgar Renteria is the only oddity in this time frame, but he also started when he was 19 and reached 1,000 hits about the same time he was any good — no one was confusing him for the rest of this bunch even as he neared 1,000 hits.

This is probably also a good time to point out that while Trout’s achievement has been more of a rarity in modern baseball — the ‘50s alone had five guys debut who would manage 1,000 hits before their age-25 season ended — Bryce Harper is right there nearing the same threshold. Given Harper’s missed time in 2014 and a down 2016, he’ll be hard-pressed to get there, as he sits at 779 hits. A strong finish to 2017, though, and a 2018 a lot Cheap Blackhawks Jerseys like it, and we might be looking at 24 players on this exclusive list.

Gio Gonzalez has been eerily effective. Stephen Strasburg has been fine. They’ve Cheap Bruins Jerseys had injuries and inconsistency at the back end, but the starting pitching has been an overall strength.

Is Daniel Murphy still doing a Rod Carew impersonation?

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