PHOTO: Carl Lawson shows off his new smile

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 9:34 AM

Cincinnati Bengals fourth-round pick Carl Lawson works during rookie camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Jay Morrison/Staff
Staff Writer
Cincinnati Bengals fourth-round pick Carl Lawson works during rookie camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Jay Morrison/Staff(Staff Writer)

Carl Lawson has been all smiles since losing two teeth in Sunday’s win.

Lawson lost his teeth while pressuring Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer. And apparently, he’s replaced them quite well.

Lawson and the Bengals square off with the 3-1 Bills this Sunday.

Brock Osweiler happy to return to field for Denver Broncos

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 1:10 AM

Lost in the shuffle of the disappointment in the Denver Broncos’ 23-10 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday night was the fact that embattled quarterback Brock Osweiler made his first regular season appearance in orange and blue since rejoining the team in early September.

Osweiler stepped in when starting quarterback Trevor Siemian suffered a minor injury to his left (non-throwing) shoulder while trying to make a tackle after throwing an interception. The former Arizona State standout complete 2-of-4 passes for 18 yards in what amounted to 48 seconds worth of action.

His appearance was brief, but Osweiler relished it nonetheless.

“It was short-lived, but [I] tried to step in there and do my job,’’ Osweiler said on Monday (via Mike Klis of 9News Denver). “To run out on the field in a Denver Broncos uniform and get back out there with my teammates that I love so much, that I can’t tell you how much I missed last year [with the Houston Texans]. To be in that huddle and look them in the eye and go out there and play a couple plays was very special.’’

Siemian’s shoulder injury has since been diagnosed as a sprained AC joint, and the former Northwestern signal caller should be on the field when the Broncos take on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 7. If he suffers a setback or re-aggrivates the injury against the Chargers, Osweiler will be ready to go.

With the way the Broncos have performed on the offensive side of the ball during their last three games, it’s possible that Osweiler will get another shot at being Denver’s starting quarterback. If Siemian doesn’t improve over the next couple of weeks, it it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Vance Joseph replace him in favor of Osweiler in an attempt to spark the team’s offense.

Dodgers dominate, Cubs on the brink

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 1:03 AM

When the Chicago Cubs win a game at home in Wrigley Field, fans leave the park singing a catchy tune called, “Go Cubs Go.”

They weren’t singing that song Tuesday night. Maybe they should have been singing one of the two tunes sung by huge Cubs fan Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam — “Long Nights” and/or “End of the Road.”

The Cubs, trying to defend last year’s World Series championship, lost Tuesday night to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-1.

That’s three long nights for the Cubs and they are near the end of the road. That’s three straight losses to the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series, one loss away from elimination. Or, in this case, obliteration.

Down three games to none, the Cubs have to win four straight or go home while the Dodgers have four tries to win just one more game to qualify for the World Series.

This one mostly belonged to LA pitcher Yu Darvish, obtained mid-season from the Texas Rangers. Darvish gave up a home run to the second batter he faced, Middletown’s Kyle Schwarber, and that was it. Nothing more. Close the book and stick it on a shelf.

Darvish gave up no more runs, only five more hits and a walk and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings. Just to rub it in, he drew a bases loaded walk against Carl Edwards Jr., to drive in the Dodgers’ fourth run.

After Schwarber’s home run, the Cubs also received singles from Kris Bryant and Willson Contrera, but Darvish struck out Jon Jay on three pitches.

So three of the six hits off Darvish came in the first inning and the Cubs never threatened again. Darvish faced one hitter in the sevent, struck him out, and left the game after only 81 pitches.

The Cubs 1-0 lead only lasted until the Dodgers came to bat in the top of the second and Andre Ethier, making his first start of the post-season, lined a home run deep into the right field bleachers to tie it, 1-1.

And the tie only lasted until the top of the third when Chris Taylor homered over the center field wall against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks to make it 2-1.

Another Dodger making his first post-season start, Joc Pederson, led the fifth with a double and scored on Chris Taylor’s triple into the left field corner for a 3-1 LA lead.

Relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. was on the mound in the sixth and the first batter, Yasiel Puig reached on third baseman Kris Bryant’s error. Ethier singled and with one out Barnes walked to fill the bases.

But with two outs Edwards was facing pitcher Yu Darvish, who never in his career had batted with the bases loaded and as mostly an American Leaguer had not batted much at all.

Amazingly, with Darvish standing at the plate like a cigar star Native American statue, Edwards threw four straight balls for the walk that forced in the fourth run.

The Cubs bullpen has been nothing but a walk around the park so far in the postseason, issuing 23 walks in eight postseason games.

The Dodgers put salt on this one in the eighth by scoring two runs, the first on a strikeout/passed ball on catcher Willson Contreras and a sacrifice fly.

After Darvish left, the potent and practically peerless bullpen did its thing — no runs the rest of the way. In 11 innings of work in the three games against the Cubs, the LA bullpen has given up no runs and two hits (both in the ninth inning Tuesday) while striking out 12 and walking just one. And the Cubs are 2 for 33 against the Dodgers bullpen.

Meanwhile, over in the American League the New York Yankees, who play in Yankee Stadium like the old Bronx Bombers of the 1960s, won their second straight game at home against the Houston Astros Monday afternoon, to even the ALCS at two games apiece.

The Astros led, 4-0, and the Yankees had no runs and only one hit off starter Lance McCullers Jr. after six innings. But when Aaron Judge homered to open the seventh Houston manager A.J. Hinch removed McCullers.

And the Astros bullpen suffered a meltdown, mostly by closer Ken Giles who came into the game in the eighth when it was 4-4 and gave up two runs three hits and a walk.

Former coach Les Miles calls TCU’s defense ‘special’

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 12:36 AM

Les Miles knows a thing or two about defense, and the former head coach at LSU likes what he sees from TCU’s defense this season.

Miles will be in Fort Worth, Texas, to see the Horned Frogs’ defense firsthand on Saturday, which he called ‘special’ in a tweet on Tuesday night.

Miles won’t be coaching in the game. Rather, he’ll be in the booth for the FOX telecast of TCU’s 8 p.m. ET clash with Kansas at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Miles has dabbled in sports media since he was let go from his head-coaching role at LSU a year ago. It’ll be interesting to hear what Miles has to say about a game that could easily be a snooze fest if both team’s records are any indication. Although, TCU and Kansas have played some tight games over the past five seasons.

Regardless, it should make for an interesting broadcast and his comment on Twitter was nice praise for coach Gary Patterson’s defense, which has consistently been one of the better units in the conference and country.

This season has been no different with the defense stepping up huge against the likes of Oklahoma State and West Virginia, who both boast potent offenses and some of the best quarterbacks in the country.

TCU will get a solid quarterback test in Peyton Bender of Kansas on Saturday. The Frogs will also get to go up against former Frogs offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, who now runs the Jayhawks’ offense.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley congratulates young cancer patient who finally gets to go home

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 10:06 PM

lincoln riley-oklahoma sooners-oklahoma football-children's
            hospital-cancer patient-danielle robinson

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has more to be happy about this week than just his team’s come-from-behind victory against Texas on Saturday.

Riley and Sooners linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo recently visited 17-year-old Danielle Robinson at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital in Oklahoma City. Robinson was diagnosed with cancer in February but has maintained a positive spirit — and a blog — during her stay in the hospital. Though Robinson blogged that she is also an Oklahoma State fan, she wrote in a blog post last week how thrilled she was to meet the Sooners head coach and the team’s star linebacker, even writing “#31 and OU Sooners are the BEST!”.

One of the biggest goals for Robinson was to return home from the hospital. On Tuesday, The Children’s Center posted some amazing news about that goal.

Robinson went home Tuesday.

Riley, who’s seen some big victories in his first year as Oklahoma’s head coach, congratulated Robinson on her big win in a tweet to The Children’s Center.

Okoronkwo was also pretty ecstatic about the news.

The post Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley congratulates young cancer patient who finally gets to go home appeared first on Diehards.