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Andy Dalton or Nick Foles? Depends on the month

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 5:05 PM

Bills Fans Make Over $104K In Donations To Andy Dalton's Foundation

On the heels of our wildly successful discussion about whether or not Andy Dalton is better than Blake Bortles (anymore), there is only one logical next step. 

Who is better: Andy Dalton or Tom Brady? 

Just kidding…

But seriously, have you seen the guy who is quarterbacking the team that will oppose Brady’s Patriots in the Super Bowl? 

Let’s talk about whether or not Nick Foles would be better to have running your NFL team than Dalton. 

The answer to that question will probably be determined by how much you believe in clutch — but we’ll come back to that. 

From a physical standpoint, they are similar. 

Foles is bigger, but Dalton was rated a better prospect coming out of college (at least by NFL.com) and as such drafted a round earlier. Neither has a cannon arm, but each can get the job done, and both are pocket passers. 

Dalton has played far more games and posted a slightly higher career quarterback rating (88.7 compared to 87.4). 

Foles’ best season (119.2 in 2013) was actually better than Dalton’s (106.2 in 2015), although that is one of only two years in which Foles started more than eight games, and he was pretty bad in the other one (69.0 in ’15). 

Foles did not become the Eagles’ starter this season until Carson Wentz went down in Week 14, and then he posted one good game, one bad one and another generally judged “incomplete.” 

So to this point it’s still obviously Dalton, right? 

As much as he can be a whipping boy for his shortcomings, he’s still done more in the league to this point. 

At least in the regular season. 

Just like Bortles’ winning a playoff game (he went on to beat the Steelers a week later before pushing the Pats to the brink Sunday) made us wonder which stock might be more valuable, Foles has made the narrative pretty interesting this month. 

He was nothing short of spectacular the past two weeks, completing 49 of 63 passes for 598 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He followed up a 100.1 quarterback rating in the divisional round against the Falcons with an astronomical 141.4 mark against a very good Vikings defense on Sunday. 

Foles also played well in his only other playoff game, posting a 105 rating with two TDs and no picks as the Eagles were edged 26-24 by the Saints in 2013. 

Meanwhile, Dalton’s career postseason quarterback rating is 57.8. That’s less than half of Foles’ mark. 

Yes, it’s a small sample size, but... that’s a pretty big difference. 

Also it’s only fair to point out the deck was stacked against Dalton in some of those postseason games. He also had to sit out the one in 2015 when he would have had his best team around him. 

RELATED: Who were the best Bengals this season?

But at this point it’s still hard to get past that Jan. 5, 2014, game against the Chargers when playing at home Dalton was flat-out awful and the Bengals were embarrassingly drummed out of the playoffs. 

Dalton is 0-4 with one touchdown pass and six interceptions in the playoffs. 

Foles is 2-1 with a 5-to-1 ratio. 

The statistically sound decision is still Dalton because the larger body of work favors him… but it’s tempting to go the other way. 

Given the opportunity to do something special, Dalton didn’t. Foles did — and he might not be done. 

But, hey, Dalton could be just 11 or so months away from beginning to rewrite his own narrative. 

Think he will? 

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Sports Today: The surprisingly dramatic NBA playoffs

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 10:13 AM

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 24:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors reacts late in the fourth quarter of Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on May 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 24: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors reacts late in the fourth quarter of Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on May 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

While I was at the latest edition of The Hunter Greene Show on Thursday night at Fifth Third Field, the Houston Rockets pushed the unbeatable* Golden State Warriors to the brink of elimination in the NBA Western Conference Finals. 

Judging from the box score, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were good while Steph Curry and Kevin Durant played below their admittedly high expectations. 

With Andre Iguodala out, there’s not much need to check anyone else in the box score. (Dayton fans might like to know Xavier legend David West did pretty much nothing in his 11 minutes, though.)

*The obvious irony about Durant throwing away his chance to challenge LeBron James as the second-greatest player of all time to chase rings with the Warriors is the way it changed the dynamic of Golden State. 

That move necessitated GSW going from a team that beat you with depth to one that had virtually none and instead has to overwhelm teams with star power. 

That’s cool if everyone is healthy, but it is also a great risk. 

Given that I liked the first incarnation of the Warriors and can’t stand the super teams phenomenon, I guess I don’t mind seeing the experiment blow up — if it does. 

The defending champs still have a heartbeat, and it will take some guts to get it together and rally from a 3-games-to-2 deficit… 

Speaking of LeBron, he and his merry band of Cleveland Cavaliers could be done after facing off against the Boston Celtics in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight. 

The Silver Medal Series has been all home teams so far, but I am leaning toward the Cs in this one. 

James’ gang has played much better at home than on the road, but Boston was respectable for about three quarters despite losing the last game in Cleveland. 

If the Celtics can avoid getting rocked early — a big if — they should have a shot to close things out. 

Then again, LeBron might be due for another unstoppable performance. 

Regardless, this NBA playoffs that at one time looked like it would be pretty boring has the potential for a lot of drama over the next few days…

Plus if you really want to add some juice to your viewing experience, how about taking bets on who will be healthy after the game? 

While injuries became a dominant part of the narrative in the NFL last season, they’ve arguably had an even greater impact on the NBA postseason. 

The Warriors were missing Iguodala while Klay Thompson was apparently playing hurt and the Rockets’ Chris Paul came out of the game with a bad hamstring. 

Meanwhile, the other series likely wouldn’t be much of one if Boston weren’t missing its two best players...  

As for the aforementioned Hunter Greene, he was impressive in four-plus innings against the Lake County Captains

His eighth start for the Dayton Dragons was one of his best as he continued to show dazzling stuff and some intestinal fortitude. 

The 18-year-old pitched out of trouble — not all of his doing — twice before yielding a home run in the fifth inning. 

»ARCHDEACON: Greene has all the tools, and plenty of heart, too

Turns out the secrets to his recent upturn are establishing a consistent pregame routine and doing a better job with the pregame scouting report. 

Greene is young and raw, but he and the Dragons coaching staff seem to be attacking his development on multiple fronts. 

He has the type of fastball that can blow many hitters away, but he doesn’t seem to have any hesitation to go to his changeup or slider. 

Greene is already working hard on the mental side, too, which is noteworthy considering how many stories there are today of young prospects in the upper minors and even the majors who have a lot of arm talent but don’t know what to do when they can’t just dominate with their stuff… 

Cincinnati Reds prospect Hunter Greene overcame some adversity to turn in one of his best starts yet in Dayton.

And how about the big club? 

The Cincinnati Reds beat the Pirates 5-4 on getaway day to win their three-game series. 

Eugenio Suarez hit a grand slam, but Jesse Winker’s solo home run in the fifth ended up being the winning run for the Reds, who survived without closer Raisel Iglesias and got a strong start from Luis Castillo. 

Via Hal McCoy: 

Of his pitching, with his record leveled at 4-and-4, Castillo said, “Like last year, I’m just going out there to do my job and that’s all I’m feeling right now. My four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball and slider all were working today.”

Castillo said Suarez giving him a 4-0 lead was appreciatred, but it didn’t change his approach and he tried to pitch as if it was still 0-0.

“I wasn’t thinking about that 4-0 lead, but it is always good to have a four-run lead so I can more easily go out there and do my job,” he said.

Next up is a trial-by-fire for the pitching staff in Colorado, where Cincinnati’s terrible defense could also be a problem given the bigger outfield and tendency for their to be longer innings…

 

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Milton-Union senior makes a final push to state track

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 9:42 AM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 9:47 AM

Milton-Union senior Beyonce Bobbitt won the shot put in the D-II regional track and field meet at Piqua on Thu., May 24, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

It was a given Milton-Union senior Beyonce Bobbitt would punch another ticket to the state track and field meet. Qualifying a combined seven times in the shot put and discus the previous three seasons makes her an annual favorite in those events.

“It’s rewarding to see all the hard work I’ve put into this to finally pay off,” said Bobbitt, who won the girls Division II regional shot put at Alexander Stadium on Thursday. “It’s a big confidence statement for next week.”

»NO JOKE: Northwestern teammates are a 1-3 punch

»REGIONAL TRACK: “It’s all about moving on”

The top four in each event advance to the season-ending high school state track and field meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus next week. The 4x800 relay was Thursday’s only running final, along with half the field events. All the other racing was to qualify for Saturday’s finals.

Miami East junior Blaine Brokschmidt won the pole vault during the first day of the D-II regional track and field meet at Piqua on Thursday, May 24, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Bobbitt launched a winning heave of 39 feet, two inches. “I knew that I could do it,” she said. She’ll be a favorite to double in the discus on Saturday because she’s the defending regional champion in that event.

»IT’S A RECORD: Lakota East flash passes mark that stood since 1990

»PHOTO GALLERY: D-I district track at Wayne

• As they have all season, Northwestern junior Adam Riedinger and sophomore teammate Korbin Spencer nearly dominated in their specialty. Riedinger led from his opening discus throw and won with a final heave (164-11). Spencer (159-4) was overtaken by runner-up Chase Smith of Eaton (164-6) and placed third.

Those 16 points were enough to vault Northwestern to the top of the boys first-day team scoring, 16-15 over runner-up Versailles.

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

»RELATED: Butler making surprise D-I baseball run

Riedinger will attempt to add a regional shot put title on Saturday. He was third at state in the discus last season and is looking to better that.

Northwestern discus throwers Adam Riedinger and Korbin Spencer went 1-3 in the D-II regional at Piqua on Thu., May 24, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

“That would mean the world to me (to win state),” he said. “That’s when it really counts.”

• Other area winners were Fenwick senior long jumper Jonathon Hoerlein (22-5.75) and Miami East junior pole vaulter Blaine Brokschmidt (15-0).

Hoerlein fouled his first two attempts, then launched what stood as the winner with his only remaining jump in flight competition.

»RELATED: Elks’ vaulters push each other to the limit

»OHSAA: No more stacking teams

• Boosted by senior sprinter Jalani Allen, defending D-II boys state champ Dunbar is in great qualifying position to contend for the regional boys title.

Allen is attempting a tough meet-opening double, qualifying second in the 110 high hurdles (14.58) and first in the 100 (11.24). Those events are back to back. He also was third in 200 qualifying (22.32).

Tippecanoe (right) placed second in the girls 4x800 relay during the first day of the D-II regional track and field meet at Piqua on Thursday, May 24, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Dunbar fared the best of any area team by placing fifth in the 4x800 relay, but the Wolverines are in contention to win the three remaining relays. Dunbar placed first in the 4x200 (1:29.18) and 4x100 (43.32) qualifying and second to Thurgood Marshall in the 4x400 relay (3:20.95). Dunbar senior Nigel Beal also was second in 300 hurdles qualifying (39.24).

»RELATED: D-I baseball sectional photo gallery

»RELATED: Senior basketball standout a one-season wonder

• Springfield Shawnee sophomore Robie Glass posted the top qualifying time in the 200 (22.14). Glass will play a big part in Shawnee’s bid to push Dunbar for a team title. He’s cleared 6-8 four times and is the defending D-II state high jump champ. That event will go on Saturday. He also ran on Shawnee’s finals-qualifying 4x200 (1:30.05) and 4x400 (3:21.11) relays.

Shawnee also advanced in the 4x100 relay (43.72) and senior Jack McCrory in the 100 (11.35).

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

• Saturday’s field events start at 11 a.m. and running finals at 12:30 p.m.

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No joke: Northwestern goes 1-3 in D-II regional discus

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 11:46 PM


            Northwestern junior Adam Riedinger won the discus. The first day of the D-II regional track and field meet was at Piqua on Thu., May 24, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
            MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Northwestern junior Adam Riedinger won the discus. The first day of the D-II regional track and field meet was at Piqua on Thu., May 24, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

Korbin Spencer wasn’t himself. Things like that happen to unsuspecting sophomores in track and field meets the magnitude of a regional.

And as always, Northwestern High School junior teammate Adam Riedinger was there to offer comforting words. How did that go?

“He said, don’t be nervous and he started telling me jokes,” Spencer admitted after they went first and third in the discus. “I was nervous at the beginning. I just worked on my nerves.”

»ONE FOR THE RECORD: Butler senior matches regional best set in 1971

»REGIONAL TRACK: “It’s all about moving on”

The top four in each Division II regional event at Piqua advance to the season-ending state track and field meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus next week.

The 4x800 relay was Thursday’s only running final, along with half the field events. All the other racing was to qualify for Saturday’s finals.

»IT’S A RECORD: Lakota East flash passes mark that stood since 1990

»PHOTO GALLERY: D-I district track at Wayne

As they have all season, Riedinger and Spencer nearly dominated in their specialty. Riedinger led from his opening throw and won with a final heave of 164 feet, 11 inches.

Spencer (159-4) was overtaken by Eaton’s Chase Smith (164-6). Those 16 points were enough to vault Northwestern to the top of the boys team scoring, 16-15 over runner-up Versailles.

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

»RELATED: Butler making surprise D-I baseball run

Riedinger will attempt to add a regional shot put title on Saturday. He was third at state in the discus last season and is looking to better that.

“That would mean the world to me (to win state),” he said. “That’s when it really counts.”

»RELATED: Elks’ vaulters push each other to the limit

• Greenon sophomore Delaney Benedict and Shawnee sophomore Robie Glass each posted top qualifying times. Benedict was first in the 400 finals qualifying (57.75) and Glass did likewise in the 200 (22.14).

»OHSAA: No more stacking teams

Glass will have a big part in Shawnee’s bid for a team title. He’s the defending D-II state high jump champ and will go in that event on Saturday. He also ran on Shawnee’s finals-qualifying 4x200 (1:30.05) and 4x400 (3:21.11) relays.

Shawnee also advanced in the 4x100 relay (43.72) and senior Jack McCrory in the 100 (11.35).

»RELATED: D-I baseball sectional photo gallery

• Kenton Ridge advanced in the boys 4x100 relay (43.77) but will have to overcome Dunbar (43.32) in that event. The Wolverines won a D-II boys state team title last season without winning an event, but are loaded in sprints, hurdles and relays.

»RELATED: Senior basketball standout a one-season wonder

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

• Saturday’s field events start at 11 a.m. and running finals at 12:30 p.m. The Divisions I (Wayne) and III (Troy) regionals were scheduled to conclude on Friday.

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Hunter Greene reaches another milestone in latest Dayton Dragons start

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 8:44 PM

Highlights of Dragons 2-1 win Thursday night

Mark Thursday night as another step forward in Hunter Greene’s development. 

Many, many steps remain, but the talent is tantalizing for the 2017 first-round pick of the Cincinnati Reds. 

In his eighth start for the Dayton Dragons, the righty struck out six and walked two. He allowed four hits, including a home run with one out in the top of the fifth inning by Lake County’s Tyler Friis. 

RELATED: What should the Reds do with Scooter Gennett and Matt Harvey? 

After Oscar Gonzalez singled to right, Greene’s night was done. 

He threw a career-high 73 pitches, 50 for strikes. 

He pitched into the fifth inning for the first time in his professional career but is still looking for his first win. He left trailing 1-0. 

Greene hit triple digits with his fastball multiple times, and the Captains rarely made hard contact. 

Aside from Friis’ home run, a high fly that hit off the top of the wall, Will Benson got the best swing on Greene, socking one to centerfielder Stuart Fairchild to start the second inning. 

Jose Vicente followed Benson’s laser by slapping a single through the hole on the left side, and Greene found himself in trouble when Dragons second baseman Jeter Downs threw away a potential double-play ball off the bat of Jose Medina. 

With runners on the corners and one out, Greene bore down, striking out Jonathan Laureano looking before blowing away Miguel Eladio with three straight fastballs, the last of which was measured at 101 miles per hour on the stadium radar gun. 

Greene also stranded two in the third inning when JJ Berardi singled and Nolan Jones walked ahead of Benson, the first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians two years ago. 

He got the heater three times in a row, taking it for a strike before back-to-back swings and misses to end the inning. 

After three straight poor outings, Greene has been strong in two of his last three, and he credited making better use of scouting reports and a more consistent routine. 

Cincinnati Reds prospect Hunter Greene overcame some adversity to turn in one of his best starts yet in Dayton.

On May 12, Green shut out Peoria over four innings, walking none and striking out five while giving up just two hits. 

A week later, Greene gave up four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and no walks in 3.1 innings against Great Lakes. 

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