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Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 10:13 AM
— The only question about the Cincinnati Bengals collapse against Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football was if the Steelers would check back into the game soon enough to take advantage.
Of course, they did.
Why was this predictable? Well there is of course the fact we’ve seen it happen with these teams before but also Cincinnati has been a bad second half team.
The Bengals came out with a great plan keeping Steelers D off balance. As has happened multiple times this season, it only lasted so long.
The Steelers are a good comeback team.
Joe Mixon getting hurt obviously didn’t help.
There’s only so much good Andy Dalton can do in one game against a good team before the magic dust runs out.
The similarities to the playoff loss were uncanny, but plenty of people have already pointed that out.
Some thought Marvin Lewis should be fired after that game. I did not, though I might have moved on from Adam Jones and Vontaze Burfict to set a precedent about the consequences of actions.
Of course, that didn’t happen, but now it’s more certain than ever Lewis’ time has run out.
Whether it happens this week or early next month, the Lewis era can’t continue in Cincinnati.
It’s had some great times. Overall, it’s a success, but last night was another reminder those days aren’t coming back — let alone be exceeded.
Not everything is on the coach.
Some of the penalties were bad calls.
Individual players are responsible for their actions.
But there’s no indication Lewis has any idea how to make any of this better.
There’s obviously a lack of leadership and mental toughness on this team, and that falls on the coach.
The Ryan Shazier hit was a reminder the NFL too often punishes the wrong type of hits.
I guess it’s a good thing I can’t really think of anyone who hits like he does, but spearing like that is dangerous for both players involved and it’s never flagged.
This makes me sick. Prayers up for Ryan Shazier 🙏 pic.twitter.com/Bpz31uDXwG— Football Players 🏈 (@FootballPIayers) December 5, 2017
I’m glad to hear positive reports coming out about his health, but I hope this is a wake-up call for him because those types of hits are way too common from him.
Shazier’s coaches have let him down letting him continue to tackle that way. That starts at the youth level and includes Ohio State and Pittsburgh.
I don’t really think the hit JuJu Smith-Schuster put on Burfict should be illegal.
Burfict is a big scary linebacker. He knows he needs to protect himself when he’s out on the field and getting cracked like that by someone you don’t see is a possibility.
That said, if he aimed for the head I’d probably consider it excessive.
Beyond that, there’s no room for the taunting. You got the bully. Good for you. Move along now. You look petty and small when you stand over a guy like that, and he’s lucky no one came along and cleaned him out, too.
The amount of people defending JuJu because it’s against Burfict. Guess what? Two wrongs don’t make a right. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/WOaXKrMDSY— Paige Dimakos (@The_SportsPaige) December 5, 2017
I thought the hit by George Iloka on Antonio Brown in the end zone was probably accidental, though of course by rule it is a penalty.
That was a weird play because of the way Brown contorted to get the ball. He was almost parallel to the ground trying to snatch the ball then his head ended up there as he was straightening out.
Iloka appeared to be aiming for the ball and basically Brown’s head replaced it in that space as the Bengals safety arrived.
AB earned this touchdown. Gets Kirkpatrick with a slick release, then holds on despite the high hit from Iloka. pic.twitter.com/3UpUP8s6lE— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) December 5, 2017
I saw a lot of media folks tweeting about this level of violence is not what the NFL wants people to see, and they’re right. But it is probably what a majority of fans want to see.
The violence is part of the appeal of football for fans and players -- hence Ben Roethlisberger just calling it, “AFC North football,” after the game.
That doesn’t mean anything goes, but there are hits that are illegal that probably no fan or player thinks should be (unless it happens against them and they can get free yardage).
The league has gotten rid of some unnecessarily dangerous head shots, and that’s good. But it has also basically waged a PR campaign against itself that could backfire.
Trying to redefine what’s appropriate is just as likely to turn some people away.
That includes both groups who think the game is too violent (even though it’s less so than it used to be) and those who think it’s not violent enough anymore (I don’t think they’re right either, although having to wonder if there is going to be a flag after every big hit takes away something).
Sacrificing some fandom to provide more safety for players — even when that means protecting them from themselves at times — is worth it in the grand scheme of things, but there is a limit there somewhere. I don’t know if we’ll reach it or not.
Meanwhile, the Bengals are left to play out the string.
Last night would have been more disappointing if it weren’t so predictable.
I wasn’t buying into them being playoff contenders — or to have the chance to win if they got there — so today doesn’t feel much different than yesterday where I’m sitting.
Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 2:30 AM
NFL Draft 2018 is close, especially with the NFL Playoffs set with its conference championship games next. Find a 2018 NFL mock draft below.
Much of the narrative around the 2018 NFL Draft is focused at quarterback. Mock drafts from Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports both have quarterbacks littering the top 10.
Here is a collection of 2018 NFL mock drafts from around the internet, plus Land of 10’s own projection.
|1||Cleveland Browns||Sam Darnold||USC||QB|
|2||New York Giants||Connor Williams||Texas||OT|
|3||Indianapolis Colts||Saquon Barkley||Penn State||RB|
|4||Cleveland Browns||Mike McGlinchey||Notre Dame||G|
|5||Denver Broncos||Baker Mayfield||Oklahoma||QB|
|6||New York Jets||Josh Rosen||UCLA||QB|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Quenton Nelson||Notre Dame||G|
|8||Chicago Bears||Bradley Chubb||NC State||DL|
|9||San Francisco 49ers||Derwin James||Florida State||DB|
|10||Oakland Raiders||Minkah Fitzpatrick||Alabama||DB|
|11||Miami Dolphins||Roquan Smith||Georgia||LB|
|12||Cincinnati Bengals||Orlando Brown||Oklahoma||OL|
|13||Washington Redskins||Courtland Sutton||SMU||WR|
|14||Green Bay Packers||Joshua Jackson||Iowa||DB|
|15||Arizona Cardinals||Mason Rudolph||Oklahoma State||QB|
|16||Baltimore Ravens||Denzel Ward||Ohio State||DB|
|17||Los Angeles Chargers||Calvin Ridley||Alabama||WR|
|18||Seattle Seahawks||James Washington||Oklahoma State||WR|
|19||Dallas Cowboys||Christian Kirk||Texas A&M||WR|
|20||Detroit Lions||Ogbonnia Okoronkwo||Oklahoma||LB|
|21||Buffalo Bills||Josh Allen||Wyoming||QB|
|22||Buffalo Bills||Arden Key||LSU||DL|
|23||Los Angeles Rams||Rashaan Evans||Alabama||LB|
|24||Carolina Panthers||Maurice Hurst||Michigan||DL|
|25||Tennessee Titans||Sam Hubbard||Ohio State||DL|
|26||Jacksonville Jaguars||Marcus Davenport||UTSA||DL|
|27||Atlanta Falcons||Vita Vea||Washington||DL|
|28||New Orleans Saints||Harold Landry||Boston College||LB|
|29||Pittsburgh Steelers||Malik Jefferson||Texas||LB|
|30||Philadelphia Eagles||Tremaine Edwards||Virginia Tech||LB|
|31||Minnesota Vikings||Billy Price||Ohio State||OL|
|32||New England Patriots||Derrius Guice||LSU||RB|
|1||Cleveland Browns||Sam Darnold||USC||QB|
|2||New York Giants||Josh Rosen||UCLA||QB|
|3||Indianapolis Colts||Minkah Fitzpatrick||Alabama||DB|
|4||Cleveland Browns (from Texans)||Saquon Barkley||Penn State||RB|
|5||Denver Broncos||Baker Mayfield||Oklahoma||QB|
|6||New York Jets||Connor Williams||Texas||OT|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Bradley Chubb||NC State||DE|
|8||Chicago Bears||Courtland Sutton||SMU||WR|
|9||San Francisco 49ers||Quenton Nelson||Notre Dame||G|
|10||Oakland Raiders||Roquan Smith||Georgia||LB|
|11||Miami Dolphins||Derwin James||Florida State||S|
|12||Cincinnati Bengals||Orlando Brown||Oklahoma||OT|
|13||Washington Redskins||Josh Allen||Wyoming||QB|
|14||Green Bay Packers||Calvin Ridley||Alabama||WR|
|15||Arizona Cardinals||Lamar Jackson||Louisville||QB|
|16||Baltimore Ravens||Derrius Guice||LSU||RB|
|17||Los Angeles Chargers||Vita Vea||Washington||DT|
|18||Seattle Seahawks||Marcus Davenport||UTSA||DL|
|19||Dallas Cowboys||James Washington||Oklahoma State||WR|
|20||Detroit Lions||Maurice Hurst||Michigan||DT|
|21||Buffalo Bills||Mason Rudolph||Oklahoma State||QB|
|22||Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs)||Harrison Phillips||Stanford||DL|
|23||Los Angeles Rams||Joshua Jackson||Iowa||CB|
|24||Carolina Panthers||Anthony Miller||Memphis||WR|
|25||Tennessee Titans||Taven Bryan||Florida||DT|
|26||Atlanta Falcons||Da’Ron Payne||Alabama||DT|
|27||New Orleans Saints||Tremaine Edwards||Virginia Tech||LB|
|28||Pittsburgh Steelers||Malik Jefferson||Texas||LB|
|29||Jacksonville Jaguars||Mark Andrews||Oklahoma||TE|
|30||Philadelphia Eagles||Denzel Ward||Ohio State||CB|
|31||New England Patriots||Ogbonnia Okoronkwo||Oklahoma||LB|
|32||Minnesota Vikings||Chukwuma Okorafor||Western Michigan||OT|
|2||Saquon Barkley||Penn State||RB|
|4||Bradley Chubb||NC State||DE|
|6||Quenton Nelson||Notre Dame||G|
|7||Mike McGlinchey||Notre Dame||OT|
|9||Denzel Ward||Ohio State||CB|
|11||Derwin James||Florida State||S|
|14||Harold Landry||Boston College||DE|
|18||Tarvarus McFadden||Florida State||CB|
|22||Christian Kirk||Texas A&M||WR|
|23||Sam Hubbard||Ohio State||DE/LB|
|25||Chukwuma Okorafor||Western Michigan||OT|
|26||Dre’Mont Jones||Ohio State||DT|
|32||James Washington||Oklahoma State||WR|
Pick Nos. 1 through 20 are set now that the regular season is finished.
1. Cleveland Browns
2. New York Giants
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. Cleveland Browns
5. Denver Broncos
6. New York Jets
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Chicago Bears
9. San Francisco 49ers OR Oakland Raiders (coin flip)
11. Miami Dolphins
12. Cincinnati Bengals
13. Washington Redskins
14. Green Bay Packers
15. Arizona Cardinals
16. Baltimore Ravens
17. Los Angeles Chargers
18. Seattle Seahawks
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Detroit Lions
21. Buffalo Bills
22. Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs)
23. Los Angeles Rams
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Tennessee Titans
26. Atlanta Falcons
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 6:41 PM
No. 10 Kansas secured one of its most valuable wins of the season to date on Monday night, beating No. 6 West Virginia on the road 71-66.
The Jayhawks were paced in scoring by Svi Mykailiuk’s 17 points, while Devonte Graham added 16 and Udoka Azubuike dropped 10 despite playing in foul trouble for most of the night.
Here’s what Kansas head coach Bill Self had to say after the 16-point comeback win:
“It’s one of the toughest wins we’ve ever had since we’ve been here. We didn’t play well early, we were on our heels.”
“I thought we got some great looks in the second half. We’ll have to make some shots to be good offensively. We didn’t shoot a lot of free throws early, but we got there in the second half.”
“That was a huge play. If I’m not mistaken, that was Jevon Carter’s fourth foul. He’s terrific. For him not to be in the game was huge for us. For him having to go to bench for 3 or 4 minutes, we went up 3 or 4.”
“We didn’t look smart taking it at Konate early in the game. But over the course of time, our mindset is what won us the game.”
“Silvio gave us some good minutes in the first half. He’s just not ready to have that poise late.”
“You have to have some fun coaching. I told him if he brought me something, I’d wear it and sure enough…” – Coach Self on his non-traditional game day attire tonight #KUbball pic.twitter.com/PEsvBKfI0c
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) January 16, 2018
“We’re happier than when we walk out of here with an L but it’ll be just as hard to win against them at our place.” – @CoachBillSelf on being pleased with the win but also aware of how hard every league game is #KUbball
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) January 16, 2018
Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 6:39 PM
Nebraska hoops got a 64-63 win in a wild one with Illinois on Monday night thanks to a last-second 3-pointer from James Palmer Jr.
Trailing 63-61 after a four-point play on a three and a free throw from the Fighting Illini’s Michael Finke, Palmer took a pass from Glynn Watson Jr. and lofted up a contested three that fell with .03 seconds left in the game.
Watch it and some reactions here:
JPJ BUZZER BEATER!!! pic.twitter.com/QAO9VA4CYg
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 16, 2018
Here’s the radio call for it:
— Husker Sports (@HuskerSports) January 16, 2018
And some fan/media videos:
— Dana Czerwinski (@danacz) January 16, 2018
— Hail Varsity (@HailVarsity) January 16, 2018
And here are final stats between the two teams. Palmer Jr. Finished with a team and game-high 24, but none were as important as the last bucket.
— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) January 16, 2018
The post Nebraska basketball tops Illinois on last-second 3-pointer appeared first on Land of 10.
Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 6:21 PM
A furious effort from Devonte Graham and Co. pushed No. 10 Kansas back from a 16-point deficit to beat No. 6 West Virginia 71-66 on Big Monday.
The win moves the Jayhawks to 15-3 overall and 5-1 in Big 12 play, while West Virginia fell to 15-3 and 4-2 respectively.
Svi Mykhailiuk led the Jayhawks with 17 points, 9 coming from behind the arc. Graham added 16 pints on an efficient 5-of-9 shooting, while Udoka Azubuike dropped in 10 points and 9 rebounds.
Here’s 3 things we learned from the Jayhawks’ biggest win of the year, as well as their first win in Morgantown in their last 5 tries:
Kansas had looked shaky against Iowa State and Kansas State at home last week, leading many to believe the Jayhawks were due for a loss in Morgantown. Through the game’s first 30 minutes, that looked to be true.
It was a steal, followed by an old-school 3-point play from Graham in the second half with 8:02 to play that cut a 10-point deficit down to 7. That was the spark Kansas needed, and it was only going to come from their leader.
Graham is one of the nation’s best point guards. His ability to overcome a hostile environment and deliver a signature moment was the biggest reason Kansas earned its most significant win of the year.
For the second-straight game, Udoka Azubuike was an unsung hero for the Jayhawks. He finished the game a perfect 5-of-5 form the field while seemingly being the only player capable of handling Sagaba Konate in the paint.
Over the last 2 games, Azubuike is 13-of-14 from the field for 28 points. That efficiency alone hedges the struggles Kansas’ halfcourt offense experiences at times.
The big man fouled out of the game late, but played a long stretch of Jayhawks’ comeback with 4 fouls. Kansas needs him to stay on the floor without having his hands tied in big games.
On paper, West Virginia is more talented than Kansas. So is Texas Tech, and so is Oklahoma.
But none of those teams has 13 consecutive Big 12 titles to its name.
Kansas has won each of its last 3 games by a combined 10 points while remaining atop the conference standings. No matter how well Trae Young plays, or how complete a roster Texas Tech has, or how furious the Mountaineers’ defense is, the road to a Big 12 title still runs through Lawrence.