MAJOR LEAGUE ALL-STAR GAME

American League 4 National League 3

 

WNBA

Dallas 74 Los Angeles 62

 

NBA SUMMER LEAGUE

Oklahoma City 84 Croatia 76

Miami 96 Orlando 92

Atlanta 87 Indiana 67

Utah 97 Portland 93

Memphis 79 Phoenix 69

Boston 95 Denver 82

Toronto 85 New York 73

Houston 94 Sacramento 92

LA Clippers 90 Washington 72

 

TOP HEADLINES

RHS HIRES NEW AD

RICHMOND, July 9, 2019 – With the recent resignation of Greg Roach, Superintendent Dr. Todd Terrill has named Warren Cook as the district’s new director of athletics. Cook will begin his duties at RHS on July 16. Mr. Cook will oversee all athletic operations for the district’s 5,000+ students. For the past three years, Cook has served as the Dean of Students and the Middle School Athletic Director at New Castle Community Schools. He has been an educator at New Castle since 2001. From 1997 – 2001, Cook was an educator and assistant football coach for Richmond High School. “The best four years of my career were at Richmond High School,” Cook said. “Richmond is a special place and it is full of great people and wonderful leadership. I am excited to work with the student-athletes, coaches, staff, the community of Richmond and the incredible fan base to build on past success and create a shared vision for the future of Richmond Red Devil Athletics. I can’t wait to get back.”

 

AL strikes out 16, holds off NL for 4-3 win in All-Star Game

For one night, the pitchers took back the power.

Hours after an awesome Home Run Derby got everyone buzzing even louder about monster shots and juiced balls, only a couple flew out of Progressive Field on Tuesday.

Instead, Justin Verlander blazed 97 mph heat, Shane Bieber and Aroldis Chapman each struck out the side and the American League slowed a loaded NL lineup 4-3 for its seventh straight win in the All-Star Game.

“I know it’s the year of the home run, but pitching dominated today,” Colorado slugger Nolan Arenado said.

Sure did – at least until play resumes Thursday.

Facing Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger and a bunch of boppers, the AL staff combined to strike out 16.

“Baseball is a funny game,” said Bieber, a most unlikely MVP after being added late to the roster.

With fans hoping to see a replay of Monday’s jaw-dropping aerial show when 312 homers cleared the walls, this became the Arm-Star Game up until the late innings.

Derby champ Pete Alonso of the Mets grounded a two-out, two-run single past Gleyber Torres in the eighth to close the NL’s gap. After a double steal put runners at second and third against Cleveland reliever Brad Hand, White Sox catcher James McCann made a tumbling catch on Mike Moustakas’ twisting foul pop to end the inning.

Chapman closed to give the AL its 19th win in 22 games, with a tie stuck in there. He got a little encouragement with two outs – Yankees teammate CC Sabathia, honored this week for his contributions on and off the field, strolled to the mound to talk to the flamethrower.

Chapman then struck out Yasmani Grandal for a save , giving the AL an overall 45-43-2 lead in the Midsummer Classic.

No need, either, for the experimental rule that was set to go effect: If the game went into extras, each team would’ve started the 10th with an automatic runner on second base.

Major League Baseball is on a record-shattering pace for homers this season, but no one came close to clearing the walls until Charlie Blackmon connected in the NL sixth to make it 2-1. Texas’ Joey Gallo countered with a solo drive in a two-run seventh.

Still, it was a far cry from last year’s All-Star Game that featured a record 10 home runs.

“I kind of expected it, to be honest,” former NL MVP Kris Bryant said. “You only see them once, so they have the advantage.”

“There are a lot of hard throwers and great pitchers over there. Unless you’ve seen them before, it’s a difficult matchup,” he said.

Cleveland favorite Michael Brantley had an early RBI double off losing pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Jorge Polanco drove in a run with an infield single for a 2-0 edge in the fifth and another scored on a double-play grounder.

“I wanted to swing the bat early. I had some nervous jitters I wanted to get out,” Brantley said.

Winning pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, Lucas Giolito and Shane Greene did their parts to protect the lead with scoreless innings.

Bieber dazzled in front of a chanting home crowd, striking out Willson Contreras, Ketel Marte and Ronald Acuna Jr. in the fifth with a 1-0 lead.

“It was electric out there, the fans got in it and it was fun,” AL manager Alex Cora of the Red Sox said. “And I’m glad that he got the MVP. He plays at this level. He’s really good.”

The biggest misplay of the night might have been on the scoreboard. NL All-Stars David Dahl of Colorado and Willson Contreras of the Cubs had their names misspelled – “Davis Dahl” and “Wilson Contreras” – on the outfield videoboard. Jeff McNeil was spelled correctly, but the photo accompanying it was of Mets teammate Jacob deGrom.

“That was tough, to see deGrom’s picture up there,” McNeil said. “I didn’t really like that. I wanted to see my picture up there. I know my family did, too. What are you going to do, I guess, but I don’t think that should happen.”

Fittingly, the first batter of the game was the guy who leads the majors in home runs – Yelich, the NL MVP with 31 homers at the break, hit leadoff for the first time this year.

Yelich lined out and Verlander quickly fanned Javier Baez and Freddie Freeman to finish his work.

Those lively balls that Verlander is complaining about? Didn’t bother him a bit.

NL starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, deGrom and Luis Castillo threw scoreless innings to keep the NL close in the early going.

Pittsburgh dynamo Josh Bell was part of the youngest starting lineup in All-Star history, with the NL crew averaging under 26 years old.

Overall, there were 36 first-timers, a number boosted by the absence of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Jose Altuve and several past perennials. And consider this: Of the 16 AL pitchers on the 2017 All-Star roster, zero made the roster this year.

 

Manfred: Baseballs not juiced, but decreased drag puzzling

Faced with a record onslaught of home runs that has convinced many pitchers that baseballs are juiced, Commissioner Rob Manfred says the sport has been unable to find any changes in the manufacturing process.

A May 2018 report to Major League Baseball by professors specializing in physics, mechanical engineering, statistics and mathematics concluded there was less drag on the ball, causing more home runs. MLB still has not figured out why, and Manfred denied accusations by AL All-Star starter Justin Verlander and other pitchers that baseballs deliberately had been altered.

“Baseball has done nothing, given no direction for an alteration in the baseball,” Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday. “The biggest flaw in that logic is that baseball somehow wants more home runs. If you sat in an owner’s meeting and listened to people talk about the way our game is being played, that is not the sentiment among the owners for whom I work. There is no desire on the part of ownership to increase the number of home runs in the game. To the contrary, they’re concerned about how many we have.”

Batters have hit 3,691 homers in 1,345 games, on pace for 6,668 over the full season. That would be 19% above last year’s 5,558 and 9% over the record 6,105 hit in 2017 that topped the Steroids Era high mark of 5,693 in 2000.

“Pitchers have raised issues about particularly the tackiness and the seams on the baseball, and we do believe that those could be issues that are related to the performance of the ball and we’re trying to get our hands around,” Manfred said.

He firmly rejected claims that MLB changed the ball to spark offense.

“Manipulation of the baseball is a great conspiracy theory,” Manfred said. “How you manipulate a human-dominated handmade manufacturing process in any consistent way, it’s a smarter human being than I.”

Union head Tony Clark, a former All-Star first baseman, said some of his members have sent balls to the players’ association office.

“The ball suddenly changed and I don’t know why,” Clark said. “With something that seems to have changed as dramatically as it has, where does that put guys? How were those statistics represented? How did they manifest themselves in an overarching conversation so that you can compare yourself with somebody?”

Clark and Verlander have questioned whether MLB has more input into the ball since Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. Inc., its manufacturer, was purchased last year by Seidler Equity Partners. Peter Seidler, the San Diego Padres general partner, has chief oversight of all activities of Seidler Equity Partners. In addition, Manfred said MLB acquired a minority stake in Rawlings as part of the purchase.

“That dynamic changes the perception and it changes the direct input that can be offered with respect to that piece of equipment, and it just happens to be one of the most important,” Clark said.

Manfred said the optics were not an issue because MLB had been transparent in hiring outside scientists to investigate.

“I see that as a positive,” he said of the purchase. “If we didn’t have some control over the company that produces our baseballs and something happens to that company, we would be in a very difficult position.”

Rawlings manufactures major league baseballs in Costa Rica, then stores them in Washington, Missouri, at 70 degrees and 50 percent humidity. All teams store their balls at about 70 degrees, and Arizona and Colorado use humidors that maintain humidity at 50 percent.

MLB has commissioned laser tests to measure seam width and height. Manfred said that if causes of the decreased drag are found, it is possible the ball’s specifications could be changed to decrease homers.

“We just haven’t made a decision on that,” he said. “Changing the baseball is a mechanism by which you could manage the way the game is being played. We haven’t missed that idea. But if we were going to do it, we would do it in a way that was transparent to the media and the fans in advance.”

 

MLB trade rumors: Cubs interested in Diamondbacks’ David Peralta

The Cubs are looking to improve their outfield depth and they have their eye on one player in Arizona for help.

Chicago is one of several teams interested in Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta, according to The Athletic.

The only question is whether Arizona decides to move Peralta.

The Diamondbacks are currently second in the National League West at 46-45, but they are 1 1/2 games back of the second wild-card spot, and if the team goes on a losing streak after the All-Star break it very well could make some moves.

Peralta also has one year of arbitration remaining and, at 31 years old, he may not be in the team’s plans for the future. It may be time to sell him and get a pretty good package back, as he won’t be hitting the open market immediately after the season.

Peralta is a career .292 hitter with a .347 on-base percentage. More importantly, he has hit .311 against righties in 1,753 career at-bats and the Cubs want some added depth against right-handed pitching.

 

MLB trade rumors: Yankees, Red Sox looking to acquire Mets’ Zack Wheeler

The Mets seem like they’ll have plenty of options if they decide to move Zack Wheeler.

The Yankees and Red Sox are both hoping to acquire the 29-year-old starter, according to a report from SNY, which cites unidentified league sources. The Cubs and Braves could look to deal for him, as well, the report says.

The Mets have “begun trade talks” and “shifted into a more aggressive sell mode,” according to the report.

Wheeler holds a 6-6 record with a 4.69 ERA in 19 starts so far in 2019. He has spent his entire MLB career with the Mets.

 

MLB trade rumors: Dodgers interested in Brad Hand, Ken Giles, several others

The Dodgers really want help for their bullpen, apparently.

Los Angeles has already been linked to several relievers, including San Francisco closer Will Smith and Pirates lefty Felipe Vazquez.

But, according to one report, that’s only a small fraction of the Dodgers’ pursuits of a reliever in the trade market.

According to NBC Los Angeles, the Dodgers have reached out about at least 10 relievers in search of help for their bullpen.

The Dodgers have reportedly looked into Smith and Vazquez in addition to Brad Hand, Keone Kela, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, Scott Barlow, Sam Gaviglio, Seth Lugo, Nick Anderson and Hansel Robles.

Now, how far these discussions went is unclear. Most of these pitchers have been mentioned in some way in trade rumors and it makes sense the Dodgers would touch base about them.

 

MLB trade rumors: Todd Frazier would be ‘OK’ if Mets dealt him

Mets third baseman Todd Frazier isn’t concerned about a potential trade.

“If I get traded, OK,” Frazier said Wednesday before the Mets’ 5-1 loss to the Yankees (via The New York Post). “If not, I am glad to be here as a Met. I am doing something, so it’s always good to be wanted.”

Frazier’s name popped up in rumors earlier this week indicating New York may move some of its veteran players before the July 31 trade deadline. With his two-year, $17 million contract set to expire after the 2019 season, the Mets reportedly are looking for a return before he heads into free agency.

Pitchers Zack Wheeler and Jason Vargas are among the other Mets veterans expected to spark interest before the deadline who possibly could be moved.

 

With 19 aces, gutsy comeback, Serena reaches Wimbledon semis

Slowed by a balky ankle, trailing by a service break in the third set of her Wimbledon quarterfinal, Serena Williams appeared to be in trouble Tuesday against an opponent playing the tournament of her life.

Williams was down, yes. But out? No way. And now she is two victories from that 24th Grand Slam title that’s been barely eluding her.

Lifting her play a much-needed notch down the stretch to grab the last three games, capping the comeback with her 19th ace – at 121 mph, no less – Williams reached the semifinals at the All England Club by gutting out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over 55th-ranked Alison Riske.

“I had to just button up and play hard,” said Williams, who owns seven Wimbledon titles. “She was playing her heart out.”

That she was. Riske, a 29-year-old from Pittsburgh, was appearing in her first major quarterfinal. For Williams, this was No. 51.

That might have made all the difference. It’s Williams who possesses boundless muscle memory in these situations, who knows what it takes to come through in the tightest contests on the biggest stages.

“I definitely thought maybe I had a peek here and there at a couple openings, but Serena really upped her level, as only a champion would,” Riske said.

“It was really, actually, very interesting for me to be on the opposite end, because I felt her up her game and her intensity,” Riske said with a smile. “Yeah, I hope she takes the title now.”

Next for the 37-year-old Williams will be a match against 54th-ranked Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic, who reached her first Grand Slam semifinal at age 33 with a 7-6 (5), 6-1 victory over No. 19 Johanna Konta of Britain.

“A huge achievement for me,” said Strycova, who is playing in her 53rd major tournament.

The other semifinal Thursday will be No. 7 Simona Halep of Romania against No. 8 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

After edging Riske in singles, Williams cooled down by riding a stationary bike while holding her nearly 2-year-old daughter, Olympia, in one arm. Then Williams went out and joined Andy Murray to win their second-round match in mixed doubles 7-5, 6-3 against Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo.

Halep, a former No. 1 who won the 2018 French Open, followed up her elimination of 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff by defeating Zhang Shuai of China 7-6 (4), 6-1 to get to her second semifinal at Wimbledon. Svitolina will make her debut in that round at any major tournament thanks to beating Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-4.

These sorts of stakes, and this sort of setting, are unfamiliar for Riske, who mistakenly headed to her changeover chair thinking the match’s fifth game was over when the score was just 40-15.

Spectators chortled; she grinned and walked back to the baseline.

Even if Williams was hardly perfect, she got by, aided by her greatest-in-the-game serve and Riske’s miscues. Most glaringly, Riske double-faulted five times in the final set, at least somewhat a result of trying to do too much against William’s superb returns.

“It’s no secret that Serena has an amazing serve. But Serena has an equally-as-amazing return,” Riske said. “I’ve never played anyone that has a return like Serena. That put a lot of pressure on my serve.”

Still, Riske played tremendously well for most of the afternoon, just as she did while going 14-1 on grass in 2019 until Tuesday.

She won two of Williams’ first four service games and finished 5 for 5 on break points. Her deep and flat groundstrokes off both sides jarred Williams repeatedly. Until, that is, Riske wilted late – which was understandable, given that she became the first woman in Wimbledon history to play three-setters in five consecutive matches to open the tournament, according to the WTA.

Williams rolled her right ankle and her movement was hardly ideal. Late in the second set, she was visited by a trainer, who applied extra tape to the ankle. That was during a stretch when Riske, talking to herself between points, claimed four games in a row to take the second set and lead the third by a break at 1-0.

“I thought,” Riske said, “I was very close.”

Not close enough. Williams was not going to go quietly. She held at love to lead 4-3, and then came the key game. Riske saved a trio of break points and was a point from 4-all after claiming a point when Williams slipped along the well-worn baseline.

First Williams got back to deuce by using a drop shot to set up a volley winner. Then she earned yet another break point on a thrilling 10-stroke exchange, using a drop shot to bring Riske forward and delivering a volley winner. Williams lifted both arms and jutted her jaw. In the stands, her husband leaped from his seat, pointed his index fingers at her and screamed.

On the next point, Riske double-faulted, handing over the last break Williams needed.

After breaking Steffi Graf’s record for most Grand Slam trophies in the professional era by winning her 23rd at the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant, Williams took time off. Since returning to the tour last season, she came close to equaling Margaret Court’s Slam count of 24 – which was accumulated in part against amateurs – but lost in the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Williams dealt with injuries and illness this year, playing just 12 matches until last week.

“This is the first time since (January) that I actually felt, like, good,” she said at her news conference, while Olympia was held by Williams’ agent at the back of the room. “It’s been a really, really long year for me already, and hard year.”

That’s true. Also true: She’s Serena Williams.

And so here she is, back in Wimbledon’s semifinals for the 12th time.

“She’s something,” Riske said, “our sport has never seen before.”

 

Avalanche sign coach Jared Bednar to 2-year extension

The Colorado Avalanche agreed to a two-year contract extension with coach Jared Bednar after guiding the team to back-to-back playoff appearances.

His contract runs through the 2021-22 season, the team announced Tuesday.

Bednar is 103-116-27 in three seasons at the helm of the Avalanche. He earned his 100th NHL coaching victory on March 27 against Vegas.

After the team struggled in his first season in charge, Bednar got the Avalanche back on track. The team made a 47-point turnaround in 2017-18, which matched the fourth-highest year-to-year improvement in league history.

In 2018-19, the eighth-seeded Avalanche beat Calgary during the first round for the club’s first playoff series win since 2008. Colorado was eliminated in seven games by San Jose in the next round.

 

Ex-Lions, Texans safety Glover Quin retires after 10 seasons

Glover Quin has retired after 10 seasons in the NFL.

The former Detroit Lions and Houston Texans safety announced his plans Tuesday on Instagram .

Quin started every game for nine straight years after starting in 12 games as a rookie in 2009 with the Texans. He had an NFL-high seven interceptions in 2014 with the Lions and 24 interceptions during his career.

Houston drafted him in the fourth round out of New Mexico in 2009. Quin left the Texans to sign a five-year deal in 2013 with the Lions and was given a contract extension with them in 2017.

Detroit released the 33-year-old Quin in February with one year left on his deal.

 

Panthers owner David Tepper to meet with MLS about expansion

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and team president Tom Glick will travel to New York next week and meet with Major League Soccer officials in an effort to convince them to bring an expansion team to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tepper has been working to bring an MLS team to Charlotte since purchasing the Panthers last summer.

Glick believes “the region deserves it. We think the region will support it, and we are confident of that.”

He says the goal is to land an MLS team as soon as possible.

MLS will announce two expansion teams by July 31.

Glick spoke Tuesday at a news conference to announce Charlotte will host an International Champions Cup game for the next five years. Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium hosted two CONCACAF Gold Cup matches last month attracting more than 59,000 fans.

 

Chicago Fire to pay $65.5 million to leave suburban stadium

The Chicago Fire will pay $65.5 million to leave the suburban Chicago stadium that has been the team’s home for more than a decade.

On Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported the team has agreed to pay the community of Bridgeview to break its lease at SeatGeek Stadium, which is approximately 15 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.

The agreement calls for the Fire to pay $10 million upfront plus $5 million to upgrade existing soccer facilities near the stadium and the $50.5 million balance through 2036. With the agreement, the Fire won’t play their home matches at SeatGeek Stadium beginning next season but will still be allowed to train there and its youth academy will continue to be based in Bridgeview.

A new home for the team has not been announced. The Fire played at Soldier Field in Chicago from 1991 until 2001 and from 2003 through part of the 2006 season.

 

Russell Westbrook trade rumors: These five teams could target Thunder’s star guard

Russell Westbrook lost his Thunder buddy over the weekend, and now he may be on his way out of Oklahoma City.

Following the stunning trade that gave Paul George his wish to join the Clippers – and guaranteed Kawhi Leonard would sign with Los Angeles in free agency – the Thunder sent Jerami Grant to the Nuggets on Monday, an important move with OKC focused on avoiding the dreaded repeater tax. These transactions could be the setup to a Westbrook deal in the near future.

Westbrook has reportedly covered the possibility of a trade with Thunder general manager Sam Presti.

The triple-double machine simply doesn’t match up with the Thunder’s timeline, especially not with new point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the roster. As hard as it may be to trade a franchise icon, launching a rebuild is the right decision.

But which teams could pursue Westbrook? Finding the right fit isn’t easy.

Russell Westbrook to the Heat?

Taking your talents to South Beach isn’t the worst thing in the world. The Heat have “expressed interest” in acquiring Westbrook, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and Westbrook seems open to the idea of flying down to Florida.

Adding Westbrook would give the Heat another star next to Jimmy Butler, who was part of a four-way sign-and-trade when free agency began. It’s not a perfect duo because both players want to control the offense, but at least Butler wouldn’t have a problem with Westbrook’s work ethic.

The problem for any team chasing Westbrook? His gigantic contract.

 

LATEST NBA FA TRACKER

– Kawhi Leonard agrees to a four-year, $142 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Oklahoma City Thunder also trade Paul George to the Clippers in exchange for a record number of draft picks plus guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari.

– Kevin Durant agrees to a four-year, $164 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

– Kyrie Irving agrees to a four-year, $142 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

– Kemba Walker agrees to a four-year, $141 million contract as part of a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics. The Charlotte Hornets receive Terry Rozier from Celtics. The teams also swap second-round picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.

– Jimmy Butler agrees to a four-year, $142 million contract with the Miami Heat as part of a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Miami also receives Meyers Leonard from the Portland Trail Blazers and cash considerations from the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the four-team swap. The Philadelphia 76ers receive Josh Richardson and the Trail Blazers receive Hassan Whiteside from the Heat. The Clippers receive Maurice Harkless from the Trail Blazers, the draft rights to Mathias Lessort from the 76ers and a protected first-round pick from the Heat. The Clippers flip the pick to the Thunder in the Paul George trade.

– D’Angelo Russell agrees to a four-year, $117 million contract with the Golden State Warriors as part of a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets. Treveon Graham and Shabazz Napier are going to Golden State from Brooklyn. Golden State is sending Napier, Graham and cash to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Warriors are sending Andre Iguodala and a future first-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies.

– DeMarcus Cousins agrees to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

– Al Horford agrees to a four-year, $109 million contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.

– Klay Thompson agrees to a five-year, $190 million contract with the Golden State Warriors.

– Khris Middleton agrees to a five-year, $178 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.

– Danny Green agrees to a two-year, $30 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

– Kristaps Porzingis agrees to a five-year, $158 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

– Nikola Vucevic agrees to a four-year, $100 million contract with the Orlando Magic.

– Jamal Murray agrees to a five-year, $170 million contract extension with the Denver Nuggets.

– Harrison Barnes agrees to a four-year, $85 million contract with the Sacramento Kings.

– Marc Gasol exercises his $25.6 million player option with the Toronto Raptors.

– Paul Millsap has his $30 million team option exercised by the Denver Nuggets.

– Marvin Williams exercises his $15 million player option with the Charlotte Hornets.

– Bismack Biyombo exercises his $17 million player option with the Charlotte Hornets.

– Brook Lopez agrees to a four-year, $52 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.

– JJ Redick agrees to a two-year, $26.5 million contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.

– Patrick Beverley agrees to a three-year, $40 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.

– Marcus Morris agrees to a two-year, $20 million contract with the San Antonio Spurs.

– DeAndre Jordan agrees to a four-year, $40 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

– Nikola Mirotic agrees to a deal with Barcelona in the Euroleague.

– Derrick Rose agrees to a two-year, $15 million contract with the Detroit Pistons.

– Jonas Valanciunas agrees to a three-year, $45 million contract with the Memphis Grizzlies.

– Gerald Green agrees to a one-year deal to return to the Houston Rockets.

– Terrence Ross agrees to a four-year, $54 million contract to return to the Orlando Magic.

– Al-Farouq Aminu agrees to a three-year, $29 million contract with the Orlando Magic.

– Ricky Rubio agrees to a three-year, $51 million contract with the Phoenix Suns.

– Trevor Ariza agrees to a two-year, $25 million contract with the Sacramento Kings.

– Malcolm Brogdon agrees to a four-year, $85 million contract with the Indiana Pacers. Indiana will send a first-round pick and two future second-round picks to Milwaukee as part of the sign-and-trade for Brogdon.

– Bojan Bogdanovic agrees to a four-year, $73 million contract with the Utah Jazz.

– Thaddeus Young agrees to a three-year, $41 million contract with the Chicago Bulls.

– Rodney Hood agrees to a two-year, $16 million contract to return to the Portland Trail Blazers.

– Thomas Bryant agrees to a three-year, $35 million contract with the Washington Wizards.

– Tobias Harris agrees to a five-year, $180 million contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers.

– Mike Scott agrees to a two-year, $9.8 million contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers.

– Jeremy Lamb agrees to a three-year, $31.5 million contract with the Indiana Pacers.

– DeMarre Carroll agrees to a three-year, $21 million contract with the San Antonio Spurs.

– Nerlens Noel agrees to return to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

– Julius Randle agrees to a three-year, $63 million contract with the New York Knicks.

– George Hill agrees to a three-year, $29 million contract to return to the Milwaukee Bucks.

– Taj Gibson agrees to a two-year, $20 million contract with the New York Knicks.

– Ed Davis agrees to a two-year, $10 million contract with the Utah Jazz.

– Mike Muscala agrees to a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

– Mario Hezonja agrees to a one-year, league-minimum deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.

– Robin Lopez agrees to a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.

– Bobby Portis agrees to a two-year, $31 million contract with the New York Knicks.

– Reggie Bullock agrees to a two-year, $21 million contract with the New York Knicks.

– Cory Joseph agrees to a three-year, $37 million contract with the Sacramento Kings.

– Ish Smith agrees to a two-year, $12 million contract with the Washington Wizards.

– Tomas Satoransky agrees to a three-year, $30 million contract with the Chicago Bulls as part of a sign-and-trade with the Washington Wizards. The Wizards receive two future second-round picks and will have protections removed from the 2023 second-round pick they received from the Bulls in the Jabari Parker trade.

– Wayne Ellington agrees to a two-year, $16 million contract with the New York Knicks.

– Michael Carter-Williams agrees to a one-year deal with the Orlando Magic.

– Seth Curry agrees to a four-year, $32 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

– Austin Rivers agrees to a two-year deal with the Houston Rockets.

– Troy Daniels agrees to a one-year, $2.1 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

– Elfrid Payton agrees to a two-year, $16 million contract with the New York Knicks.

– Maxi Kleber agrees to a four-year, $35 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

– Enes Kanter agrees to a two-year, $10 million contract with the Boston Celtics.

– JJ Barea agrees to a one-year, $2.56 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

– Richaun Holmes agrees to a two-year, $10 million contract with the Sacramento Kings.

– Edmond Sumner agrees to a three-year deal with the Indiana Pacers.

– Wesley Mathews agrees to a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.

– Frank Kaminsky agrees to a two-year, $10 million contract with the Phoenix Suns.

– Matt Thomas agrees to a three-year, $4.2 million contract with the Toronto Raptors. He comes over from the Euroleague.

– Kevon Looney agrees to a three-year, $15 million contract to return to the Golden State Warriors.

– Isaiah Thomas agrees to a one-year deal with the Washington Wizards.

– Anthony Tolliver agrees to a one-year, $2.6 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers.

– Dorian Finney-Smith agrees to a three-year, $12 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

– Daniel Theis agrees to a two-year, $10 million contract with the Boston Celtics.

– James Ennis agrees to a two-year, $4.1 million contract with the Phildelphia 76ers.

– Willie Cauley-Stein agrees to a deal with the Golden State Warriors.

– Brad Wanamaker agrees to a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics.

– Ryan Arcidiacono agrees to a three-year, $9 million contract with the Chicago Bulls.

– Glenn Robinson III agrees to a two-year deal with the Golden State Warriors.

– Noah Vonleh agrees to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

– Jeff Green agrees to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Utah Jazz.

– Jared Dudley agrees to a one-year, $2.6 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

– Luke Kornet agrees to a two-year deal with the Chicago Bulls.

– Emmanuel Mudiay agrees to a one-year deal with the Utah Jazz.

– Wilson Chandler agrees to a one-year, $2.56 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

– Garrett Temple agrees to a two-year, $10 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

– Rodney McGruder agrees to a three-year, $15 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.

– Darius Miller agrees to a two-year, $14.25 million contract to return to the New Orleans Pelicans.

– Boban Marjanovic agrees to a two-year, $7 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

– Markieff Morris agrees to a two-year, $7.4 million contract with the Detroit Pistons.

– TJ McConnell agrees to a two-year, $7 million contract with the Indiana Pacers.

– Jake Layman agrees to a three-year, $11.5 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a sign-and-trade with the Portland Trail Blazers.

– Raul Neto agrees to a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

– Kentavious Caldwell-Pope agrees to a two-year, $16 million contract to return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

– JaVale McGee agrees to a two-year, $8.2 million contract to return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

– Quinn Cook agrees to a two-year, $6 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

– Ivica Zubac agrees to a four-year, $28 million contract to return to the Los Angeles Clippers.

– Rajon Rondo agrees to a two-year deal to return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

– Alex Caruso agrees to a two-year, $5.5 million contract to return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

– Stanley Johnson agrees to a two-year, $7.5 million contract with the Toronto Raptors.

– Dwight Powell agrees to a three-year, $33 million contract extension with the Dallas Mavericks.

– Tim Frazier agrees to a one-year deal with the Detroit Pistons.

– George Hill agrees to a three-year, $29 million contract to return to the Detroit Pistons.

– Kyle O’Quinn agrees to a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

– Danuel House agrees to a deal with the Houston Rockets.

– Jordan Bell receives a one-year offer sheet from the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Golden State Warriors are not expected to match the offer.

– Rudy Gay agrees to a two-year, $32 million contract to return to the San Antonio Spurs.

– Delon Wright agrees to a three-year, $29 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks as part of a sign-and-trade. The Memphis Grizzlies will receive two second-round picks.

– Rondae Hollis-Jefferson agrees to a one-year deal with the Toronto Raptors.

– Tyus Jones signs three-year, $24 million offer sheet with the Memphis Grizzlies.

– JaMychal Green agrees to a two-year, $10 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.

– Jabari Parker agrees to a two-year, $13 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks.

– Avery Bradley agrees to a two-year, $9.7 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

– Alec Burks agrees to a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors.

– Patrick McCaw agrees to a two-year, $8 million contract with the Toronto Raptors.

 

MLB: What ‘juiced’ baseballs mean for the Braves

Braves All-Star slugger Ronald Acuna made it to the semifinals of the Home Run Derby on Monday night while showing off his smooth swing and opposite-field power. I wanted to see Acuna win the $1 million prize to supplement his below-market salary. At least he had a good showing and appeared to enjoy himself.

The way baseballs jumped off bats in the contrived exhibition looked like what we’ve seen in the real games. Major league players are on pace to hit more home runs than ever this season. They hit 3,691 home runs before the All-Star break and are on pace to club 6,668 homers and sail pass the record of 6,105 dingers in 2017. Hours before the Home Run Derby, Astros All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander accused MLB of juicing baseballs at the direction of commissioner Rob Manfred. “Major League Baseball’s turning this game into a joke,” Verlander told ESPN. “They own Rawlings, and you’ve got Manfred up here saying it might be the way they center the (core). … Manfred the first time he came in, what’d he say? He said we want more offense. All of a sudden he comes in, the balls are juiced? It’s not coincidence. We’re not idiots.”I hope the balls are being juiced. Home runs are fun to see, and I’m OK with lots of strikeouts to that end. The Braves have done their part with 143 home runs this season, seventh-most in the majors and third-most in the NL. The Braves are drawing big at SunTrust Park lately because they are good. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a good chance of seeing lots of homers hit by the home team, including dramatic shots in later innings. Live balls are benefiting the Braves this season and could for years to come if the trend continues. Acuna is one of five core Braves hitters who can slug. Freddie Freeman has been doing it for a long time. Dansby Swanson has discovered a power stroke this season. Ozzie Albies has good pop, and Austin Riley has hit 16 homers in 49 games since being called up.

But the league-wide homer binge could be detrimental to the Braves in the bigger picture. They’ve built their organizational talent with pitchers. The Frank Wren/John Hart/John Coppolella regime selected 11 pitchers in the first round of drafts from 2008-17. Current general manager Alex Anthopoulos took a pitcher with his first pick in the 2018 draft before choosing a catcher and shortstop this year. Of course, good pitching can counter all those home run hitters. It needs to be the right kind of pitching, though. Batters are hitting the ball in the air more often and harder, so pitchers who induce a lot of swing and misses and ground balls tend to avoid home runs. The young Braves pitchers who made it to the majors and are still around are mixed on those measures. Among the starters, All-Star Mike Soroka induces ground balls at a rate well above the MLB average for all pitchers, but is a bit below par at getting swings and misses. Max Fried gets lots of ground balls with an above-average strikeout rate. Bryse Wilson has a low ground-ball rate, but an above-average swinging strike percentage. In the bullpen, A.J. Minter and Chad Sobotka are high-strikeout, low ground-ball guys. Sean Newcomb has been average at both, though his strikeout rate has declined this season. Touki Toussaint is above average at inducing ground balls and strikeouts.

Those pitchers are early in their MLB careers, but the rates for ground balls and strikeouts become meaningful with relatively small samples. It helps to limit walks so home runs aren’t so damaging, and that’s been a big issue for young Braves pitchers. Soroka’s walk percentage is excellent while every other pitcher has been below-average. Wright, Wilson, Toussaint, Sobotka and Newcomb all issue walks at rates that are at least one-third higher than the MLB average.

Those pitchers will have to figure out how to navigate MLB’s surge in home runs. Even if the ball isn’t juiced they’ll still have to contend with batters focused on hitting the ball hard in the air without regard to striking out. Verlander has been a good MLB pitcher for a long time and even he’s having a hard time adjusting. The context of Verlander’s quotes about juiced balls includes the majors-leading 26 home runs he’s allowed this season. He conceded to ESPN that he’s thinking about his legacy. But Verlander’s comments aren’t completely self-interested because he long has had high rates of swinging strikes and strikeouts, which make him less susceptible to allowing homers. And Verlander is right about the suspicious timing of MLB buying Rawlings. It happened right after a league-commissioned study concluded the homer spike was because of “reduced drag on the baseballs, leading to better carry.” That investigation found no changes in the baseball. It contradicted previous independent studies that showed bouncier baseballs with lower seams contributed to the homer spike since the 2015 All-Star break.The live ball is good for the 2019 Braves. They have young hitters who can bash baseballs over fences, including Acuna. It may not be so good for their pipeline of fresh pitchers.

 

Golden State Warriors double-dip on Villanova forwards with Spellman and Paschall

In a weird twist of fate, the Golden State Warriors are rapidly transforming into Villanova West, as they’ve added not one but two former Wildcats forwards so far this offseason.

And for a team looking to rebuild on the fly following a slew of injuries, trades and free agency departures, adding a pair of team-first National Champions seems like a more than solid idea.

First it was Paschall, Nova’s 6-foot-8 Fordham transfer who played his final three seasons of college ball on the Mainline – starting 74-74 games from 2017-19.

Though projections of where exactly he would go on draft night varied everywhere from squeaking into the late first round to being a fringe draftable player, the Warriors identified their man and selected him 41st overall, using a pick they purchased from Atlanta (more on that here).

With experience playing both on the wings and in the paint for Jay Wright‘s squad, the decision to draft Paschall paid almost immediate dividends after the team decided to trade their top-two small forwards, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala, to the Brooklyn Nets and the Memphis Grizzlies respectively.

But apparently, the team wasn’t done.

No, after news broke that the Oklahoma City Thunder would allow their two veteran free agent acquisitions, Mike Muscala, and Alec Burks, to reevaluate their commitments following the team’s blow-it-up trade to flip Paul George to the Clippers for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Warriors saw an opportunity to add a plus-shooting winger to their roster on the cheap and traded backup center Damian Jones and his $2.3 million cap hit to the Atlanta Hawks (and a second round pick) for the $1.9 million a year contract of 2018 first round pick Omari Spellman.

Now said trade doesn’t seem too exciting to the casual basketball fan, as none of the players involved will be more than a mid-level reserve for their new club moving forward, but for fans in the 215 who fondly recall Villanova’s 2017-18 National Championship, it spells a unique opportunity to see the team’s starting forward tandem share the court again at the NBA-level.

That should be fun to watch.

What should also be fun to watch is Spellman playing both with, and in reserve of Draymond Green, the player many compared the 6-foot-6 forward to coming out of college.

While Spellman has yet to unlock his game and become the 3 point shooting, five-position defending force Green has developed into as a pro, having his prototypical player as a teammate for at least the next season (Draymond is a free agent in 2020) could unlock his potential moving forward and give the Warriors a direct replacement at the four for the foreseeable future.

Ultimately, whether the reunited tandem of Eric Paschall and Omari Spellman will team up in a starting five remains to be seen, but it’s nice to know that even after leaving Villanova, these two former Wildcat forwards will continue to compete for championships for the foreseeable future with the Warriors.

 

OHIO STATE: 131 Buckeyes Named B1G Distinguished Scholars

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Big Ten Conference announced on Tuesday the 2018-19 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars and the Buckeyes were well represented. A total of 131 Ohio State student-athletes received the honor.

Big Ten Faculty Representatives established the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008 to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program. Distinguished Scholar Award recipients must have earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition in the previous academic year, must have been enrolled full time at the institution for the entire previous academic year (two semesters or three quarters) and earned a minimum GPA of 3.70 or better during the previous academic year, excluding any summer grades. The Academic All-Big Ten threshold is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for a student’s academic career.

Of the 131 Buckeyes honored, 16 of them achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA including Makayla Waterman (women’s basketball), Lainey Studebaker (women’s cross country), Ethan Edwards (fencing), Benjamin Marcus (fencing), Aleksandra Kolmykova (fencing), Joey Wilmot (men’s gymnastics), Nevin Adamski (women’s gymnastics), Lukas Buckley (men’s lacrosse), Emily Skrzypczak (women’s lacrosse), Anjali Fernandes (rowing), Michaela Nordhaus (rowing), Kat Duvall (softball), Reed McGraw (men’s swimming & diving), Lara Tarvit (women’s swimming & diving), Sarah Walsh (synchronized swimming), and Lauren Witte (women’s volleyball).

This year’s group of 131 student-athletes surpasses last year’s OSU record total of 129. This is also the fourth consecutive year in which Ohio State has led the Big Ten in total recipients.

 

BIG 10: 2020 Big Ten/ACC Softball Challenge Matchups Set

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten and Atlantic Coast conferences announced Tuesday the matchups for the 2020 Big Ten/ACC Softball Challenge. The fifth annual event will take place Feb. 14-16, 2020, and has been expanded to feature 10 schools from each conference, with each program playing four games each at five campus sites. 

In addition, two schools from each conference will compete in the second annual ESPN St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational in Clearwater, Fla., from Feb. 13-16, 2020. Minnesota, which advanced to the 2019 NCAA Women’s College World Series, will be joined by 2019 NCAA regional champion Northwestern in representing the Big Ten at this year’s ESPN St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational, while Florida State and Virginia Tech will take part on behalf of the ACC. The head-to-head results between Big Ten and ACC schools at that event will count towards the final Big Ten/ACC Softball Challenge standings. 

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Rutgers and Wisconsin will be the Big Ten softball programs competing in the Big Ten/ACC Softball Challenge. Five ACC schools will serve as the host sites for this year’s Challenge — Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and NC State — with the other ACC participants being Boston College, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse.
The Big Ten and ACC have each won twice during the first four years of the Challenge. The Big Ten came away victorious in both 2016 and 2019, earning last year’s crown by a 23-13 count. Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin all went 4-0 to lead the Big Ten effort in the 2019 Challenge.
The Big Ten and ACC offices collaborate to determine the schedule each season. In addition, the official title of the Challenge rotates each year. The 2020 event will be referred to as the Big Ten/ACC Softball Challenge and will continue to mirror the official title of the conferences’ Challenge agreements for men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball.
Exact game dates and times, as well as television and online coverage, will be announced at a later date. The 2020 Big Ten/ACC Softball Challenge participants and site assignments can be found below. 

2020 Big Ten/ACC Softball Challenge

(all games to be played Feb. 14-16, 2020 except where noted)

At Clearwater, Fla. (ESPN St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational – to be played Feb. 13-16, 2020)

(results between Big Ten and ACC schools will count towards Challenge standings)

Big Ten – Minnesota, Northwestern

ACC – Florida State, Virginia Tech

At Chapel Hill, N.C. (host – North Carolina)

Big Ten – Michigan, Wisconsin

ACC – Louisville, North Carolina

At Raleigh, N.C. (host – NC State)

Big Ten – Illinois, Ohio State

ACC – NC State, Notre Dame
At Durham, N.C. (host – Duke)

Big Ten – Indiana, Rutgers

ACC – Duke, Syracuse

At Atlanta, Ga. (host – Georgia Tech)

Big Ten – Iowa, Nebraska

ACC – Boston College, Georgia Tech
At Clemson, S.C. (host – Clemson)

Big Ten – Maryland, Michigan State

ACC – Clemson, Pitt

 

Matchups Announced for American Athletic Conference/SEC Alliance

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The American Athletic Conference and Southeastern Conference (SEC) revealed the matchups for their men’s basketball nonconference scheduling alliance set to begin in the 2019-20 season. 

Four teams from each league will square off in nonconference play in home-and-home series starting this season. Times for each matchup will be determined by the schools. 

Memphis takes on Georgia at FedExForum while Wichita State hosts Ole Miss at Koch Arena. Houston heads to South Carolina and SMU goes to Vanderbilt. Return matchups will take place in the 2020-21 season. 

2019 American/SEC Alliance Matchups

Georgia at Memphis – Jan. 4, 2020

Ole Miss at Wichita State – Jan. 4, 2020

Houston at South Carolina – Dec. 8, 2019

SMU at Vanderbilt – Jan. 4, 2020 

Memphis and Georgia are set to square off for the third time in history and first since the 1996-97 season. The 2019-20 matchup marks the first home game for either squad as both teams have won neutral site contests. The game pits two of the top recruiting classes against each other as the Tigers boast the No. 1 freshman and class while the Bulldogs are ranked fifth according to ESPN. 

Wichita State and Ole Miss will play for the sixth time ever and play on campus for the first time since 1997. Each team is 1-1 on its home court with the last matchup coming in 2001, a Rebels win in Fairbanks, Alaska. Ole Miss holds a 3-2 edge overall in the series. 

Houston and South Carolina have met five times before with the Gamecocks holding a 3-2 advantage. The two teams have not met in nearly 30 years with the last matchup coming in December of 1990. 

SMU and Vanderbilt have faced off 21 times in a series dating back to 1953, but the Mustangs and Commodores take to the hardwood for the first time 27 years. Vanderbilt holds a 15-6 all-time series lead. 

The American enjoyed one of the best seasons in league history in 2018-19 with seven teams reaching postseason play. That mark, along with seven 20-win teams last season, set new highs for the conference.

 

NFL Network to Carry 13 Live 2019 Preseason Games

NFL Network remains the only network to show the entire slate of 65 preseason games in 2019, highlighted by 13 live games.

NFL Network’s live preseason schedule kicks off Thursday, August 8 with a double-header starting at 7:00 PM ET when running back Le’Veon Bellmakes his New York Jets debut against running back Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants. At 10:00 PM ET, the number one overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft Kyler Murray makes his preseason debut when the Arizona Cardinals host Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Additional live Week 1 preseason games on NFL Network include the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday, August 9 at 7:30 PM ET, and the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, August 10 at 9:00 PM ET.

NFL Network airs four Week 2 preseason games live, beginning Friday, August 16 at 7:30 PM ET when the Chicago Bears travel to face the New York Giants. On Saturday, August 17, NFL Network carries a triple-header of live preseason games beginning at 4:00 PM ET when wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and the Cleveland Browns face the Indianapolis Colts. Saturday’s triple-header continues at 7:30 PM ET when reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs travel to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, followed by the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams game in Hawaii at 10:00 PM ET.

On Saturday, August 24, NFL Network carries a triple-header of Week 3 preseason games, beginning at 1:00 PM ET when the Minnesota Vikings host the Arizona Cardinals. At 4:00 PM ET, the Dallas Cowboys host the Houston Texans, followed by the Seattle Seahawks visiting the Los Angeles Chargers at 10:00 PM ET.

NFL Network’s live preseason schedule concludes with a Week 4 double-header on Thursday, August 29 with the New York Jets hosting the Philadelphia Eagles at 7:00 PM ET and the Los Angeles Chargers traveling to face the San Francisco 49ers at 10:00 PM ET.

Live preseason games on NFL Network are subject to blackouts in the local markets of the participating teams.

To view NFL Network’s 2019 preseason schedule of live and re-aired games, visit: http://www.nfl.com/network/preseason.

All NFL Network programming – including 13 LIVE preseason games and re-airs of all 65 preseason games – can be streamed live through the NFL and NFL Network apps on smartphones, tablets, PCs and connected TV devices. Access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to NFL.com/nflnetwork.

NFL Game Pass provides fans in the United States access to live out-of-market preseason games, as well as other exclusive content. Available for $99.99 for the 2019-20 season, NFL Game Pass offers NFL fans the following:

  • Live Preseason Games – Watch live out-of-market preseason games (blackout restrictions apply) 
  • Game Replays – Watch full broadcast replays of NFL games, available the same day the games are played. Additional features include condensed game replays in ~ 45 minutes and ‘All-22’ coaches film footage
  • Live Gameday Audio – Listen to the live home and away radio broadcast for every NFL game 
  • NFL Game Pass Film Session – Watch players and coaches from around the league break down film with Brian Baldinger and Ron Jaworski. Full episodes are available exclusively for subscribers
  • NFL Game & Show Archive – Full NFL game broadcasts from 2009-2018 are available through NFL Game Pass, as well as previous seasons of NFL shows such as Hard KnocksA Football Life, Mic’d Up and America’s Game

NFL Game Pass is available at NFL.com/GamePass, as well as on Smartphones, Tablets and Connected TVs via the NFL App.

NFL NETWORK’S 2019 LIVE PRESEASON SCHEDULE

(All Times are Eastern)

Week 1 

Thursday, August 8

7:00 PM – New York Jets vs. New York Giants

10:00 PM – Los Angeles Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals 

Friday, August 9

7:30 PM – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 

Saturday, August 10

9:00 PM – Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers 

Week 2 

Friday, August 16

7:30 PM – Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants 

Saturday, August 17

4:00 PM – Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts

7:30 PM – Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

10:00 PM – Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams (Game Played in Hawaii) 

Week 3 

Saturday, August 24

1:00 PM – Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings

7:00 PM – Houston Texans vs. Dallas Cowboys

10:00 PM – Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Chargers 

Week 4

Thursday, August 29

7:00 PM – Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets

10:00 PM – Los Angeles Chargers vs. San Francisco 49ers 

*Live games on NFL Network will be blacked out in the participating teams’ over-the-air station markets.

 

2019 TRAINING CAMP REPORTING DATES, LOCATIONS

TEAM SITE LOCATION ROOKIES VETERANS
Arizona State Farm Stadium Glendale, AZ 7/17 7/24
Atlanta Atlanta Falcons Training Facility Flowery Branch, GA 7/18 7/21
Baltimore Under Armour Performance Center Owings Mills, MD 7/17 7/24
Buffalo St. John Fisher College Rochester, NY 7/22 7/24
Carolina Wofford College Spartanburg, SC 7/24 7/24
Chicago Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL 7/22 7/25
Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, OH 7/24 7/26
Cleveland Cleveland Browns Training Complex Berea, OH 7/24 7/24
Dallas Marriott Residence Inn Oxnard, CA 7/26 7/26
Denver UCHealth Training Center Englewood, CO 7/17 7/17
Detroit Detroit Lions Training Facility Allen Park, MI 7/18 7/24
Green Bay St. Norbert College De Pere, WI 7/22 7/24
Houston Houston Methodist Training Center Houston, TX 7/21 7/24
Indianapolis Grand Park Westfield, IN 7/21 7/24
Jacksonville TIAA Bank Field Jacksonville, FL 7/22 7/24
Kansas City Missouri Western State University St. Joseph, MO 7/23 7/26
L.A. Chargers Jack Hammett Sports Complex Costa Mesa, CA 7/24 7/24
L.A. Rams University of California, Irvine Irvine, CA 7/24 7/26
Miami Baptist Health Training Facility Davie, FL 7/21 7/24
Minnesota TCO Performance Center Eagan, MN 7/22 7/25
N.Y. Giants Quest Diagnostics Training Facility East Rutherford, NJ 7/22 7/24
N.Y. Jets Atlantic Health Jets Training Center Florham Park, NJ 7/19 7/24
New England Gillette Stadium Foxborough, MA 7/21 7/24
New Orleans New Orleans Saints Training Facility Metairie, LA 7/18 7/25
Oakland Napa Valley Marriott Napa, CA 7/23 7/26
Philadelphia NovaCare Complex Philadelphia, PA 7/24 7/24
Pittsburgh Saint Vincent College Latrobe, PA 7/24 7/25
San Francisco SAP Performance Facility Santa Clara, CA 7/26 7/26
Seattle Virginia Mason Athletic Center Renton, WA 7/17 7/24
Tampa Bay AdventHealth Training Center Tampa, FL 7/21 7/25
Tennessee Saint Thomas Sports Park Nashville, TN 7/22 7/25
Washington Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center Richmond, VA 7/24 7/24

 

NFL PREVIEW: 2019 MIAMI DOLPHINS FOOTBALL CAPSULES

2019 MIAMI DOLPHINS CAPSULE

HEAD COACH: Brian Flores

RECORD WITH DOLPHINS: 0-0

CAREER RECORD: 0-0

 

FIVE-YEAR WINNING TREND

2014: 8

2015: 6

2016: 10*

2017: 6

2018: 6

*PLAYOFFS

 

2019 SCHEDULE

September 8 Baltimore

September 15 New England

September 22 Dallas

September 29 LA Chargers

October 7 BYE

October 13 Washington

October 20 at Buffalo

October 28 at Pittsburgh

November 3 NY Jets

November 10 at Indianapolis

November 17 Buffalo

November 24 at Cleveland

December 1 Philadelphia

December 8 at NY Jets

December 15 at NY Giants

December 22 Cincinnati

December 29 at New England

 

2018 RESULTS

Tennessee 27 – 20

At NY Jets 20 – 12

Oakland 28 – 20

At New England 7 – 38

At Cincinnati 17 – 27

Chicago 31 – 28 OT

Detroit 21 – 32

At Houston 23 – 42

NY Jets 13 – 6

At Green Bay 12 – 31

At Indianapolis 24 – 27

Buffalo 21 – 17

New England 34 – 33

At Minnesota 17 – 41

Jacksonville 7 – 17

At Buffalo 17 – 42

 

2018 TEAM STATS

OFFENSE

TOTAL: 289.9

RUSHING: 108.6

PASSING: 181.3

SCORING: 19.9

THIRD DOWN PERCENTAGE: 30.1

PUNT RETURNS: 10.5

KICK RETURNS: 24.1

DEFENSE

TOTAL: 391.1

RUSHING: 145.3

PASSING: 245.8

SCORING: 27.1

INTERCEPTIONS: 21

SACKS: 31

TURNOVER MARGIN: +5

 

2018 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

PASSING: Ryan Tannehill, 176 – 274 – 1,979 – 17TD – 9INT

RUSHING: Frank Gore, 156 – 722 – 4.6 – 0TD

RECEIVING: Danny Amendola, 59 – 575 – 9.7 – 1TD

TACKLES: Kiko Alonzo, 125

SACKS: Robert Quinn 6.5

INTERCEPTIONS: Xavien Howard 7

 

NUMBERS TO KNOW

30.8…. Miami’s opponents were forced to punt on only 30.8% of drives, the lowest rate in the league

30.08…. Miami had the second – slowest offense in the NFL averaging a play every 30.08 seconds

1.9….. Miami over performed expected Pythagorean wins by 1.9, the highest in the league

 

KEY PLAYER MOVEMENT

ADDITIONS

TE Dwayne Allen, New England

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay

QB Josh Rosen, Arizona

CB Eric Rowe, New England

 

SUBTRACTIONS

WR Danny Amendola, Detroit

RB Frank Gore, Buffalo

RT Ja’Wuan James, Denver

G Ted Larsen, Chicago

DE Robert Quinn, Dallas

G Josh Sitton, retired

QB Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee

LB Cam Wake, Tennessee

 

2019 DRAFT

Round 1 (13th overall) — Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson

A star on the field and off at Clemson, Wilkins was a three-year starter who helped the Tigers win the national title in 2016 and 2018. Wilkins lined up just about everywhere on the Clemson defensive line and earned first-team All-American honors in 2018 as well as the prestigious William V. Campbell Trophy for his work on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

Round 3 (78th overall) — Michael Deiter, OL, Wisconsin

A four-year starter at Wisconsin after redshirting as a freshman, Deiter lined up at left tackle, left guard and center in college. He was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and earned second-team All-American honors in 2018.

Round 5 (151st overall) — Andrew Van Ginkel, LB, Wisconsin

After starting his collegiate career at the University of South Dakota and Iowa Western Community College, Van Ginkel became a playmaker for the Badgers defense. He had 17 tackles for loss and 11 sacks over the past two seasons, while also seeing a lot of action on special teams.

Round 6 (202nd overall) — Isaiah Prince, T, Ohio State

After originally committing to play at the University of Alabama, Prince reversed course and ended up at Ohio State, where he started all 41 games the past three seasons after playing as a reserve as a true freshman in 2015. Prince was a team captain and first-team All-Big Ten selection as a senior.

Round 7 (233rd overall) — Chandler Cox, RB, Auburn

After playing at Apopka High, near Orlando, Cox was a fullback, tailback, wildcat at Auburn for four years. He played 52 games with 41 starts at Auburn, caught 26 passes and scored four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving).

Round 7 (234th overall) — Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington

After becoming the first true freshman in University of Washington history to reach 1,000 rushing yards, Gaskin just kept going. By the time his college career was done, he had joined former Wisconsin star Ron Dayne as the only players in FBS history with four 1,200-yard rushing seasons. Gaskin also averaged more than 15 touchdowns a season for his four years at Washington.

 MIAMI DOLPHINS CAMP NEWS: AC In The AM: New Coaching Staff Sending Clear Messages

Impressions of this new coaching staff, of the culture they are trying to create and of some of the young players who have already gotten our attention as three weeks of OTAs are about to end with only next week’s minicamp remaining in the offseason program.

I have carefully watched first-year Head Coach Brian Flores during his press conferences and on the practice field and what I have seen is a man comfortable in his new role, a man who wisely measures each word before speaking and who has clearly instilled a sense of discipline and commitment in his players. No, don’t expect many long-winded quotes or flashy one-liners. Flores comes from the Bill Belichick school of disclosure. In other words: Keep it in house. Keep it close to the vest. I can deal with this if the trade off is a highly efficient, well-organized plan and that certainly seems to be the case.

Some examples of the commitment and discipline I spoke about above: The players don’t jog from drill to drill; they flat out sprint. Make a poor play and push-ups may just be on your to-do list. They even run gassers at the end of practice.

“They want us to be the most well-conditioned team in the league,” said wide receiver Jakeem Grant.

Then there’s that TNT sign on the side of the end zone at the practice field. The letters mean Takes No Talent and when a player makes a mental gaffe, a pre-snap penalty, maybe a botched exchange between the center and quarterback, he runs to that sign and touches it. It’s all about not beating yourself, about focusing on the little things, and about doing away with all the senseless penalties we have witnessed far too often in recent seasons.

There is a wide-open feeling on this team. Wide open in that very few starting jobs are secure and wide open because there are so many opportunities for young players, drafted or undrafted, to crack the 53-man roster. Last season means little to these new coaches. It’s all about today and tomorrow and, in some respects, projecting long term. Sure, we know deep down that, for instance, Xavien Howard is going to start at cornerback and Laremy Tunsil at left tackle. Those, though, are among the few exceptions. Go up and down the roster. As I have said before, this has become an equal opportunity football team. All of this adds up to a very interesting summer.

You don’t form conclusions in late May. You certainly don’t when you’re practicing in shorts and helmets. But you can identify athleticism to some degree, just as you can begin gauging things like work ethic and football smarts. Having said that, here are five of the (excluding draft picks) newcomers to this team who, in no specific order, I want to see more of:

CB Jomal Wiltz: He spent two seasons on New England’s practice squad and never got into a game. But he was impressive enough in workouts to convince Flores he was worth bringing to the Dolphins. It’s early, but it already looks like a smart move with Wiltz even spending some time on the first team defense during OTAs. He isn’t big (5-10, 190) but he is fast and had a productive career at Iowa State.

CB Eric Rowe: Yes, another cornerback and that’s positive news for a position of such importance. Like Wiltz, Rowe also played for the Patriots, but he saw significant playing time, getting in 21 games over three seasons and starting 12. A groin injury shelved him for much of the 2018 season, but now he is healthy and comes with a built-in advantage because he knows this defense better than any other player here. “Like second nature to me,” he says. It has shown in OTAs with some excellent play. At 6-1, 210 pounds, he definitely has the size you’re looking for.

WR Preston Williams: This is another one of those wide-open positions and Williams is an intriguing option. Maybe I’ve noticed him because he is the tallest of the receivers at 6-foot-4 or maybe it’s because of the numbers he put up last season at Colorado State, catching 96 passes for 1,345 yards and 14 touchdowns. We have already seen that ability in OTAs, Williams coming up with a nice scoring catch in Wednesday’s practice. How he builds on that will have everything to do with his long-term possibilities.

Shaq Calhoun: The toughest positions to judge during OTAs are on both lines because there’s no hitting and it’s hard to gauge a bunch of big men running around in shorts, even if they seem like they know what they’re doing. But Calhoun is an undrafted rookie coming in with excellent credentials from Mississippi State and happens to play a position lacking proven depth. A stat worth noting: In four seasons, Calhoun gave up just three sacks in 1,135 pass blocking attempts. That’ pretty good consistency, don’t you think? “All I want is a chance,” he said Wednesday, “and the rest is up to me.”

LB Terrill Hanks: The Dolphins have a recent history of unearthing some promising undrafted rookie linebackers and Hanks comes with a resume impressive enough to justify a long look. Decent size at 6-2, 235-pounds, Hanks had 43 career starts at New Mexico State and some projected that the Miami native could be drafted as high as the fourth round. But a disappointing 40-time at the combine made him available to the Dolphins in the hours following the draft. Hanks has also played some safety and can cover both running backs and tight ends, the type of versatility this coaching staff covets.

And finally, I’m amused these days when I hear coaches today talk about the importance of players asking “why” instead of merely accepting what they’re told as fact. “I want my players to know the why,” said Flores. “I want my players to believe in what they’re doing.” I’m amused because it led me to pull out an old Don Shula quote from the early 1980’s when he was asked about his players asking why. “What the (bleep) difference does it make?,” Shula bellowed. “Just do your job or someone else will.” My, how times have changed haven’t they?

 DeVante Parker Knows What He Can Do When Healthy

Wide receiver DeVante Parker was perhaps the star of minicamp practice Wednesday when he made several catches, including two long balls from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

For Parker, it was no big deal.

The 2015 first-round pick out of Louisville has shown flashes of brilliance before and he has plenty of confidence in his ability if he can stay healthy.

“I know my ability, what I can do when I’m healthy, what I bring to the table,” Parker said. “My confidence level has always been the same. I know what I can do, what I bring to the table.”

Parker had 24 catches in 11 games in 2018 after catching 56 and 57 the previous two seasons.

He says the key for him is very simple.

“Staying healthy,” Parker said. “That’s it. I can play.”

Parker said his game plan for being able to maximize his potential this year and beyond is very simple.

“Just keep doing what I’ve been doing,” he said. “Staying on top of my body, eating right, doing the little things.”

Deep thoughts

One of the long touchdown passes from Fitzpatrick to Parker came on the first play of a two-minute drill when Parker got behind the defense.

Fitzpatrick said he told Parker when he first saw the wide receiver at the Dolphins practice facility Thursday that the two would hook up on a long ball.

The veteran quarterback later talked about his deep passing.

“Personally, I’ve made a lot of progress in that area in the last few years,” Fitzpatrick said. “It has really started to show up for me. Some of it is mentality, a lot of it is the guys I’m throwing to and some unbelievable playmakers and a lot of it is just communication, expectation before the ball even gets thrown of what we want from those guys and how they expect the ball. There’s a lot of things that go into it, but certainly something that I’ve really improved on as my career has gone on.”

Of Fitzpatrick’s 18 career touchdown passes of 50 yards or longer, five of them came last season when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Call to the hall

The College Football Hall of Fame announced this week its candidates for the Class of 2020, and the list includes several players with ties to the Dolphins.

Among the candidates are former Dolphins running back Keith Byars (Ohio State), DE Kevin Carter (Florida), LB Marco Coleman (Georgia Tech), LB E.J. Junior (Alabama), QB Cade McNown (UCLA), CB Troy Vincent (Wisconsin) and Boomer Grigsby, who was a linebacker at Illinois State but briefly played fullback for the Dolphins in 2005. Also among the candidates is former Oklahoma quarterback Josh Heupel, who never played for the Dolphins but was a sixth-round pick of the team in 2001.

The Class of 2020 will be announced next January before the BCS national championship game.

The Class of 2019, which will be inducted in December, includes former Dolphins cornerback Terrell Buckley, who starred at Florida State.

School spirit

The Dolphins continued their tradition of hosting high school teams at practice, with the visitors Wednesday coming from St. Andrews School and Barbara Goleman High School.

As usual, the visitors got to watch practice and get autographs afterward from Dolphins players, including Laremy Tunsil, DeVante Parker and rookie Christian Wilkins.

Last word

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on the progress the Dolphins have made throughout the offseason program:

“We’re headed in the right direction, but I think everybody also understands the work that’s in front of us and the fact that we’re not even close to being where we need to be.” 

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING ABOUT MIAMI

Miami has no apparent philosophical thread on this roster. The quarterback position was upgraded by trading for Josh Rosen and veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. The offensive line took a hit when Ja’Wuan James left for Denver in free agency. Laremy Tunsil has been just okay in his first two seasons. They will need more from their tight ends in this offense. WR DeVante Parker will get another shot at being the teams #1 one receiver. Kenny Stills is a nice vertical threat. RB Kenyan Drake will now be the top running back.

Miami doesn’t have a name – brand defender in the front seven, so they picked Christian Wilkins out of Clemson in the first round. Former top draft choice Charles Harris must improve after a one – sack season. The linebackers are ranked below average and it appears they will stay that way. S Reshad Jones is one of the most under – valued defensive backs in the division. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Xavien Howard gives Miami solid DB’s.

New head coach Brian Flores has a huge job in defining the team’s direction and personnel. There will be growing pains this season as the try to establish a foundation.

 

Washington Redskins early 2019 week-by-week schedule prediction

They say record predictions don’t matter, this far out. And they’re right. But we’re going to make one anyway.

The good thing about record predictions in July? You can’t be wrong. You can’t be right, either. But you can’t be totally, wholly, unequivocally wrong. The possibilities are still great in number, as long as the season hasn’t started yet. And for a team like the Washington Redskins, the field of possibilities has no bounds.

With that said, let’s take a way-too-early look at the Redskins 2019 schedule, going game by game, to see what kind of record the Redskins might come away with in 2019. It’s a team with undeniable potential. But only so much of that upside can be projected. If there’s anything we know about Washington, it’s that the pieces always have to come together. And they haven’t in quite some time.

Keep in mind that these predictions are made with the assumption that no miracles will happen. Kevin O’Connell could become the next great Redskins offensive mind, and catalyze a spectacular resurgence. Dwayne Haskins could have a Mayfield-esque rookie season. And the Redskins defense could reach its full potential, and smother its opponents into submission. But right now, none of those possibilities have come to pass. Right now, we just don’t know, and so we must defer to the franchise’s most recent on-field state, while considering additions and subtractions.

Week 1 – Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

To kick off the season, the Redskins travel to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Eagles. I’ll keep this brief. The Eagles are still very good, and still one of the best teams in the NFL. At home, against a Redskins roster with its fair share of immediate uncertainty, and either Case Keenum or rookie Dwayne Haskins under center, the Eagles should be able to handle business.

Prediction: Eagles win, 30-17 (Record: 0-1)

Week 2 – Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

A trip home should help the Redskins be more competitive, but against an elite Cowboys defense and an offense which features some enticing triplets in Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper, the Redskins young roster will likely fall for a second straight week. Philadelphia and Dallas embody a very tough draw early on. To come from this stretch at .500 would be a pleasant surprise. And the tough stretch isn’t over yet.

Prediction: Cowboys win, 34-20 (Redskins record: 0-2)

Week 3 – Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins

The Redskins could come out on top in this one. The Bears defense lost a lot of quality assets over the offseason, including Bryce Callahan, Adrian Amos, and Vic Fangio. On top of that, while the offense as a whole is put together well, there are looming questions surrounding Mitchell Trubisky’s continued development. That said, Matt Nagy is, at this point, at an advantage over Jay Gruden, from a coaching standpoint. While the two rosters aren’t as far apart as one would assume, the vote is weighed in Chicago’s favor by the coaching staff. If the Redskins offense exceeds expectations by this point, that could change.

Prediction: Bears win, 19-17 (Redskins record: 0-3)

Week 4 – Washington Redskins at New York Giants

This game is a much needed divider for the Redskins, before their bout with the New England Patriots. The Redskins roster easily surpasses the Giants’ in terms of talent, and while Washington has plenty of offensive uncertainty on their own, the Giants are in quarterback purgatory with Eli Manning and Daniel Jones, and their defense doesn’t have nearly enough to compensate for their offensive questions. The Giants have home field advantage, but that’s about where it ends.

Prediction: Redskins win, 27-17 (Redskins record: 1-3)

Week 5 – New England Patriots at Washington Redskins

Come on, guys. It’s the Evil Empire. Need I say more? Okay, I’ll say more because I feel guilty if I don’t provide some analysis. In expressive terms:

Patriots coaching on an off day >>>>>>>>> Redskins coaching

Patriots roster >> Redskins roster

Prediction: Patriots win, 38-15 (Redskins record: 1-4)

Week 6 – Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins

Don’t sleep on Miami, guys. They have some legitimate talent on the defensive side of the ball with players like Chrisitan Wilkins, Davon Godchaux, Raequon McMillan, Xavien Howard, and Minkah Fitzpatrick. And Josh Rosen is a talented quarterback who should find success with Brian Flores and Chad O’Shea. That success, however, won’t come in Week 6. The Redskins defensive line should have their way against Miami’s bottom-feeder offensive line. Expect less offense than usual, although both young quarterbacks should flash.

Prediction: Redskins win, 16-14 (Redskins record: 2-4)

Week 7 – San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins

This should be a close one. Kyle Shanahan is an offensive guru who’ll hopefully have his unit finally up to full strength. Additionally, the 49ers have amassed quite a bit of talent on their roster. If the 49ers offense is one-hundred percent, they could win this with ease. The home proximity, as well as the talent on defense, will keep the Redskins close, but this is an unexpected loss right now, that could become reality in the fall.

Prediction: 49ers win, 33-28 (Redskins record: 2-5)

Week 8 – Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings

It’s a short week for both teams, but there’ll still be plenty of time for the anticipation to build for the matchup between Kirk Cousins and his alienated former team. It’s a primetime matchup, which means many in Washington will expect a dud from Cousins. But Cousins wasn’t completely inept in primetime with the Vikings in his first year. He went toe-to-toe with Sean McVay’s Rams, and now, with an improved offensive line, his chances of victory go up, especially at home. The Vikings defense is still solid as well, so Washington might not match up well in this one.

Prediction: Vikings win, 37-24 (Redskins record: 2-6)

Week 9 – Washington Redskins at Buffalo Bills

I’m actually pretty high on the Buffalo Bills. Their defense is borderline elite, and Josh Allen has otherworldly upside. But right now, he’s still a bit off the rails, and against pressure, he’s prone to back-breaking mistakes. The Redskins have the antidote to Allen’s explosiveness with their menacing defensive front, and in a must-win game, they’ll pull through. They’re usually good for at least one clutch win, but no more than two.

Prediction: Redskins win, 20-10 (Redskins record: 3-6)

Week 11 – New York Jets at Washington Redskins

The Jets are one of the NFL’s boom-or-bust teams in 2019. For our purposes here, I’m going with somewhere in the middle. And at this stage, Dwayne Haskins and the Redskins should be able to take advantage of a team without an identity. At home, the Redskins get the job done. Adam Gase’s offense sputters, and the Redskins defense shines coming off a bye week.

Prediction: Redskins win, 27-16 (Redskins record: 4-6)

Week 12 – Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins

The Redskins opportunity to get back into the playoff race is the middle of the season, where they play a number of beatable teams. Detroit is one of those; with subpar coaching from Matt Patricia and concerns over whether or not Matthew Stafford has taken a step back, the Redskins can capitalize on a multi-week home stand and carry on their winning streak.

Prediction: Redskins win, 34-18 (Redskins record: 5-6)

Week 13 – Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers

Washington can compete in this matchup, as the Panthers lack depth in some areas. But Carolina’s offense has some exciting pieces, behind an imposing offensive line, and their defense added a good amount of talent over the course of the offseason, with no addition greater than explosive, elastic pass rusher Brian Burns. The Panthers get the edge over Washington at the start of December, placing the Redskins playoff hopes into jeopardy.

Prediction: Panthers win, 27-10 (Redskins record: 5-7)

Week 14 – Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers

Last time the Redskins played the Packers, they won. But last time, the Packers didn’t have the defense they have now, and they didn’t have home field advantage. By this point in 2019, we’ll know what kind of effect Matt LaFleur has, from a head coaching perspective, but for now, all we can do is rely on what we know. Aaron Rodgers is still a very good quarterback, with plenty of weapons, and the Packers defense is stocked to the brim with enticing talent. Count this as another double-digit loss by Washington, although it could be closer.

Prediction: Packers win, 25-13 (Redskins record: 5-8)

Week 15 – Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

Redskins out of the playoffs, while the Eagles are still battling the Cowboys for the NFC East crown? Expect a repeat of last year’s Week 17 debacle in this one. For the Redskins, the main objective of the season is now to see out the development of young players. Any flash is a win. The “W” isn’t so important.

Prediction: Eagles win, 31-12 (Redskins record: 5-9)

Week 16 – New York Giants at Washington Redskins

The Redskins could get a much-needed confidence booster in Week 16. At home, against the depleted and talent-devoid Giants, this is an opportunity for the Redskins young players to show out.

Prediction: Redskins win, 37-25 (Redskins record: 6-9)

Week 17 – Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys

With nothing left to play for, except maybe spoiling Dallas’ season, and with their coach most likely out the door by now, the Redskins can’t match up against the talent of the Cowboys in their current state. They fall in the final game of the season, leaving the winning to 2020, at the earliest.

Prediction: Cowboys win, 23-9 (Redskins record: 6-10)

Final Record: 6-10

Home Record: 3-5

Away Record: 3-5

Average points per game: 20.375

Coaches fired: Several

Parting Words

If we’re going week to week, then the best-case scenario is always 16-0, and the worst-case scenario is always 0-16. If this predictions confirmed your expectations, don’t take a victory lap. And if these predictions left you disappointed, don’t fret. The 2019 season has yet to arrive. And for now, nothing is truly impossible.

 

Rob Gronkowski reportedly works out with Tom Brady at UCLA, sparking rumors that he will come out of retirement

Let the comeback rumors begin. Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski joined Tom Brady for a workout session at UCLA on Monday, and fans are speculating this could mean the NFL return of the three-time Super Bowl champion.

At the $50K Charity Challenge Basketball Game at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, the future Hall of Famer confirmed the workout to TMZ.

In true Gronk fashion, he joked about the throwing session, saying, “It was great working out, Tom needs someone to throw to so, you know, he calls Mr. Reliable Robbie G the one and only!”

“Mr. Reliable” announced his retirement in March after nine seasons with New England, and since then there has been speculation about whether he will stick with his choice to leave football.

Gronkowski has dropped weight, not looking as ready to take an NFL snap as he was in February, and has told the media he is happy with his retirement decision. But that could change come the regular season.

No. 87 told Rich Eisen on “The Rich Eisen Show” that he “can’t really say how I’m going to feel about it when the games start rolling around and everything.”

He added that right now it just feels good to relax and have the stress of football behind him.

“You know, I just felt like it was time,” Gronk said.

Patriots training camp is not set to kick off for another two weeks, but Brady has been holding private workout sessions with players including Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon, and it is not unusual for him to bring former and current players to his training during the offseason. Usual or not, the sight of Brady and Gronk together again has Patriots fans hoping for an on-field reunion this season.

 

Carson Wentz’s teammate says Eagles quarterback is in ‘different mental state’

The past couple of NFL seasons didn’t go how Carson Wentz planned.

The Eagles quarterback suffered back-to-back season ending injuries and hasn’t been able to play a full year since his rookie campaign. But now, on the heels of agreeing to a four-year contract extension reportedly worth $128 million, Wentz seems to be in an improved mindset.

Eagles tackle Lane Johnson, who has spent his entire six-year career in Philadelphia, talked up the young signal-caller Tuesday during an appearance on NFL Network.

“I love it, every day when I go in the building, all I see is him in there before everybody else, rehabbing, doing whatever it takes.” Johnson said. “I just think he’s really on a different mental state than he’s ever been as far as training and ignoring distractions and really trying to be the best player he is. So, I just see that worker and a guy who is about to do some big things this season.”

Wentz, who was selected by the Eagles as the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 draft, tore his ACL in December 2017 and missed the rest of that year as his backup, Nick Foles, led the team to the Super Bowl.

Wentz then suffered a stress fracture in his back last season.

But he seems to be on the right track this offseason. Wentz participated in OTAs and received high praise from coach Doug Pederson.

“Gosh, he’s strong. His lower body is strong. His arm is strong,” Pederson said at the beginning of June. “You are seeing the things that we saw a couple of years ago when he was healthy, obviously. He’s leading the offense, leading the team, and really doing a nice job out there.”

 

NFL 2019: What will Giants’ passing game look like post-Odell Beckham? Here’s what to expect

The New York Giants are positioned to take the phrase “dink and dunk” to a never-before-seen level in 2019.

Gone is Odell Beckham Jr., as you may have seen on Twitter, and while Saquon Barkley is bound to become the true heartbeat of the offense as a whole, the passing game is going to be heavily based on short passing. Then more short passing. And more short passing.

Last year, of the 47 receivers to get 75 or more targets, Beckham finished 14th in the NFL with an average depth of target (aDOT) figure of 12.3 yards, per AirYards.com. His 1,515 total air yards on completed passes and off-target throws, drops, and pass breakups was the 10th-highest among wideouts.

And 2018 wasn’t an aberration for Beckham in terms of his ability to get downfield and have the football thrown his way. His average aDOT from 2014 to 2017 was 11.8 yards.

In short, for as electric as Beckham is creating after the catch and making ridiculous grabs outside his frame, he’s consistently been able to taken the top off defenses.

And now that proven vertical commodity plays for the Cleveland Browns.

Replacing Beckham

In a roundabout way, Golden Tate will be Beckham’s replacement. While they’re similarly dynamic with the football in their hands, there’s a sizable age disparity (31 vs. 26), and Tate simply can’t stretch the field like Beckham.

On 69 targets in Detroit last year, Tate’s aDOT was 6.5 yards. On 42 targets after being traded to Philadelphia, his aDOT was 7.9.

That 6.5 number would’ve been last among qualifying receivers. The aDOT of 7.9 would’ve tied Danny Amendola for 43rd out of 47 qualifiers at the position.

But having a low average depth of target doesn’t automatically mean Tate’s a pedestrian pass catcher. In fact, he’s long been the premier yards-after-the-catch wideout in football. Per Pro Football Focus, Tate has forced an astronomical 114 missed tackles since 2014, the most among all receivers. Jarvis Landry is in second in that category with 83. Beckham’s third with 81. Tate had 414 yards after the catch last season, the 13th-most among receivers, per AirYards.com.

In the end though, Tate’s has a clearly defined niche role. He’s an ultra-slippery underneath wideout.

Across from him will be Sterling Shepard, who’s been more vertically capable early in his NFL career. Then again, his average depth of target in 2018 was 10.4 yards, putting him in 26th place among those qualifying receivers. His aDOT was 9.3 yards in each of his first two seasons. He accumulated 302 yards after the catch last year, the 27th-most among wideouts.

As you probably can guess by now, tight end Evan Engram didn’t have a high aDOT in 2018 either. It was 5.3 yards, the lowest of the 18 tight ends to see 50 or more targets. His 398 yards after the catch placed third among all tight ends.

The Giants picked Auburn wideout Darius Slayton in the fifth round of the 2019 Draft. Slayton’s a 6-foot-1 receiver with 4.39 speed and a 40.5-inch vertical who averaged 20.3 yards per grab in his three seasons with the Tigers. On paper, he’s exactly the type of vertical element New York desperately needs, but it’s a stretch to expect him to make a major impact right away.

The Barkley Effect

Barkley won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018, an award that capped a marvelous debut season that met all the hype. Despite the Giants’ clear dedication to him — Barkley finished second in the NFL with 352 touches — only 22.9 percent of his runs featured eight or more men in the box according to NFL’s Next Gen Stats.

Is 22.9 percent high? Not really. There were 23 running backs who saw eight-plus defenders in the box on a higher percentage of their runs in 2018.

And despite the general consensus that Eli Manning was completely washed in 2018, he did finish with a rather hefty 7.5 yards-per-attempt average, his highest since 2009, and completed 66% of his passes, a career best.

Without having the defensive game plans for each opponent the Giants faced last year to confirm, it’s not a reach to surmise that Beckham’s presence helped keep an extra defender or two out of the box for Barkley and played a significant role in Manning’s underrated efficiency as a passer.

But now, without Beckham’s downfield prowess and New York’s receiving personnel consisting of Tate, Shepard, and Engram, teams know the threat of the deep ball will be minimal against the Giants. Defenses can play them much differently in 2019.

Everyone’s keenly aware of Barkley being the real deal and the Giants’ emphasis on getting him the football. Therefore, pushing that safety into the box to help against Barkley runs won’t be nearly as dangerous against the Beckham-less G-Men as it was with him on the roster.

Don’t be surprised when Barkley sees a much higher percentage of runs with eight or more defenders in the box in his second NFL season, not only because of his vast success as a rookie but because the Giants simply are very unlikely to have a viable downfield option anywhere close to Beckham’s caliber.

And then there’s Daniel Jones

In good faith, I couldn’t write about the Giants’ passing game in 2019 without including Jones. A large contingent of people believe there’s absolutely no chance Jones plays at all as a rookie. Some believe if Manning is bad enough, New York will essentially have no choice but to play him for a portion of the season.

But even if Jones does see the field this year, he’s not going to be the savior of the deep passing game for the Giants. That’s just not the type of quarterback he was in college, so it’d be foolish to expect him to incorporate that style in his debut NFL campaign.

According to the Sports Info Solutions Rookie Handbook, Jones’ aDOT in 2018 was 8.1 yards, the second-lowest among the first six quarterbacks selected in the 2019 Draft. While he did flash some downfield accuracy, Jones was mostly a quick-passing signal caller at Duke.

What the Giants must do to be successful

New York is unlikely to have a true field-stretcher in its passing offense in 2019, which can create a host of problems for the offense as a whole.

For the Giants to be successful through the air, they’ll need to lean on and get outstanding contributions in the YAC department from Tate, Shepard, Engram and of course, Barkley, who had 752 yards after the catch as a rookie, the second-highest total among all ball carriers.

In general, the loss of Beckham’s tremendous ability on the vertical route tree will have a seismic impact on New York’s aerial attack, almost assuredly rendering it as one of the league’s least aggressive in 2019. 

 

NFL 2019: Why DeSean Jackson could be Eagles’ biggest X-factor in his Philadelphia homecoming

Five years ago, DeSean Jackson was preparing for his first NFL season outside of Philadelphia, and after conflicting reports about his relationships in and outside of the city, it seemed obvious he’d never play for the Eagles again.

But here we are, five years later, and DeSean Jackson is an Eagle again.

Philly traded for its former Pro Bowler in March, but until fall rolls around and Lincoln Financial Field plays host to Jackson’s familiar No. 10, even pictures of the veteran wide receiver in midnight green still evoke nostalgia more than reality. Jackson went from fan-favorite hotshot to banished division rival so quickly back in 2014 that many Eagles fans had hardly a moment to appreciate their deep threat’s six seasons of big-play action before lumping him into the same loathsome crop of countless other NFC East foes.

And yet, surreal as his return may be, there might not be a bigger X-factor on the 2019 Eagles than the wideout himself.

The big question ahead of Jackson’s homecoming isn’t whether he fits in with a familiar, albeit remodeled, franchise. It is this: How high can he extend its ceiling?

Up front, we must acknowledge the inevitable, understandable concerns: Jackson is no spring chicken at age 32, and even more pertinent, he has not played a full 16-game season since he last suited up for the Eagles six years ago. He’s had three or fewer catches in 21 of his last 41 games (51%) and has carried the “one-trick pony” reputation since his original days in Philly. He’s scored no more than four touchdowns in four consecutive seasons.

How in the world is that guy the biggest X-factor on a team with aspirations of a second Super Bowl in three years?

For one, that guy has long been — and remains — among the most elite deep-ball threats in the game. Riding a quasi-effective Torrey Smith is one thing (see: Eagles’ Super Bowl season). Investing in the NFL’s active leader in yards-per-catch average (17.4) is another.

As for the “one-trick pony” label, Jackson can — and should — happily embrace it, not only because he’s proven to be one of the best at his particular trick (he posted an NFL-leading 18.9 YPC average at age 31) but because, in Philly’s current setup, he shouldn’t ever have to be anything more than the field-stretcher he is.

When Jackson last played for the Eagles, he lined up opposite Riley Cooper and Jason Avant. In 2019, he will play in an offense that includes Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, Dallas Goedert, Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders and maybe the NFL’s top offensive line. Consider this side-by-side look at the biggest members of Jackson’s supporting cast from both his last Philly run and his 2018 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

QB Michael Vick

QB Jameis Winston

QB Carson Wentz

RB LeSean McCoy

RB Peyton Barber

RB Jordan Howard

WR Riley Cooper

WR Mike Evans

WR Alshon Jeffery

WR Jason Avant

WR Adam Humphries

WR Nelson Agholor

TE Brent Celek

WR Chris Godwin

TE Zach Ertz

TE O.J. Howard

TE Dallas Goedert

The 2013 Eagles don’t have much relevance to the 2019 Eagles except as an example of Philadelphia’s obvious superiority today — McCoy is an easy pick at running back over Howard, but you wouldn’t hesitate to ride with the rest of the Eagles’ current weapons over what the team had six years ago. Jackson’s most recent Tampa running mates paint the same picture: Never before has D-Jax had less pressure to deliver the game-changing plays in which he’s already specialized. If he can give the 2019 Eagles what he’s given every team every year, when healthy, and nothing more, he will go a long way in restoring the Birds’ title hopes.

Why? Because if there was one thing missing from the Eagles’ offense in 2018, it was juice. Explosion. Big plays. All the things Jackson and his “one-trick pony” self are famous for.

Nick Foles’ historic playoff run the year prior proved that clutch pocket poise and top-level Doug Pederson scheming can make up for other flaws against the best of them, but Jeffery, Smith and Agholor all had their fair share of long-ball moments along the way. Any hopes the Eagles had of replicating, let alone one-upping, that flair in 2018 died when Mike Wallace, Smith’s replacement, went down with a season-ending injury in the second game of the year.

That’s not to suggest Wallace alone would’ve cured the passing-game woes, which were overblown at times but might now be undersold because of Wentz and Foles’ admirable 2018 statistics. Mortgaging a third-round draft pick for a proven target in Golden Tate didn’t do much to help, after all, although that gaffe can mostly be attributed to the fact Tate is almost exactly what Jackson is not — a compact slot possession receiver rather than an outside burner.

Jackson is still feared league-wide. His name alone ensures he’ll be a better decoy out of the gate than Smith. He is an X-factor not because he’ll be asked to be the “No. 1” but because he’s the piece that can put the Eagles over the top — both literally, in the field-stretching manner, and in the offense’s quest to regain its terrorizing 2017 form.

Barring a production drop-off that would defy both the way Jackson has aged and the early reports of his offseason domination, durability truly is the only thing that could prevent No. 10 from galloping straight back into the hearts of Eagles faithful and, more importantly, helping the team back to the promised land.

Freshly paid, Wentz has almost no excuses for 2019. Demanding MVP-level production might be a tall order for a quarterback coming off back-to-back season-ending injuries, including a longstanding back issue. But finding weaknesses throughout the starting lineup, not to mention the team’s reserves, is an even taller order. Eagles players have said it themselves: They are deeper and more talented now — seriously — than when they won the Lombardi.

Jackson is one of the biggest, flashiest reasons for that. If he’s on the field in 2019, you can count on the Eagles calling his name.

 

PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS: NFL offensive line rankings: All 32 teams’ units entering 2019

At PFF, we’ve put out our NFL preseason offensive line rankings for a handful of years now and they are never controversial and everyone always nods in agreement while reading. Well, things aren’t changing anytime soon, as we’ve once again come to the time where we use a combination of grades, college evaluations and age projections to come to the following starting-five rankings.

This time last year, the Philadelphia Eagles earned the top spot heading into the preseason, but can they retain the crown for what would be the third straight year? Or will an emerging unit swoop in to take first place?

Without further ado, here are the definitive offensive line rankings for the 2019 season.

  1. MIAMI DOLPHINS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Laremy Tunsil

Left Guard: Michael Deiter

Center: Daniel Kilgore

Right Guard: Jesse Davis

Right Tackle: Jordan Mills

The offensive guard curse lives on in Miami. Just one year after a 2017 season that saw the team’s guards combine to give up 69 total pressures, the side lost Josh Sitton to injury, and Jesse Davis, Ted Larsen, and Travis Swanson combined to allow 98 pressures on the interior in 2018. Wisconsin product Michael Deiter will come in and try and steady the ship as a rookie having finished the 2018 college season ranked third in overall grade (82.2) and third in run-blocking grade (82.8) among guards with at least 400 offensive snaps played. Former Bills right tackle Jordan Mills is set to take over the right guard position vacated by Ja’Wuan James, but Mills’ three-year grade at right tackle (60.1) pales in comparison to James’ (75.4).

 

  1. HOUSTON TEXANS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Julie’n Davenport

Left Guard: Senio Kelemete

Center: Nick Martin

Right Guard: Zach Fulton

Right Tackle: Tytus Howard

All things considered, the Houston Texans offensive line didn’t get much better on paper this offseason. Moves were made — including taking Howard (78.9) and Max Scharping (82.4) in the first two rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft and signing veteran Matt Kalil, who missed all of 2018 with an injury — but until those players live up to expectations, the Texans remain the bottom of the barrel.

 

  1. ARIZONA CARDINALS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: D.J. Humphries

Left Guard: J.R. Sweezy

Center: Mason Cole

Right Guard: Justin Pugh

Right Tackle: Marcus Gilbert

The Cardinals’ offensive line was a shambles last year. They allowed the league’s second-most total pressures (218), the fourth-most hurries (142), the second-most hits (42) and the second-most sacks (34), all while they ranked dead last among teams in snaps played per pressure (2.6). And even though they added J.R. Sweezy and Marcus Gilbert over the offseason, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that they’re still pretty thin upfront. Center Mason Cole allowed the second-most pressures among centers as a rookie, while J.R. Sweezy has allowed pressure on 5.7% of his snaps since 2016, which is tied for 60th among the 98 guards who have played at least 500 pass-blocking snaps in that three-year period.

 

  1. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Russell Okung

Left Guard: Forest Lamp

Center: Mike Pouncey

Right Guard: Michael Schofield III

Right Tackle: Sam Tevi

The Chargers possess one of the most promising rosters in the league, especially following the 2019 NFL Draft, but the offensive line continues to be a headache. The group surrendered a quarterback pressure on 30.8% of dropbacks which ranked 25th in the league in 2018. For an offensive line that saw four players earn sub-62.0 grades, it has to finally be the time to give Forrest Lamp, 2017 second-round pick, the chance he deserves.

 

  1. NEW YORK JETS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Kelvin Beachum

Left Guard: Kelechi Osemele

Center: Jonotthan Harrison

Right Guard: Brian Winters

Right Tackle: Brandon Shell

With an 84.9 overall grade in 2016, Osemele was PFF’s fourth-highest graded guard, and it was the third straight season he eclipsed an 84.0 mark. But in 2018, he allowed the most sacks since his rookie campaign and struggled as a  run-blocker en route to a 53.7 grade. He joins the Jets as one of their most prized free-agent signings, but he’ll need to return to form if the offensive line plans on keeping quarterback Sam Darnold out of harm’s way.

 

  1. CINCINNATI BENGALS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Cordy Glenn

Left Guard: John Jerry

Center: Billy Price

Right Guard: John Miller

Right Tackle: Bobby Hart

One step forward, two steps back. The Bengals looked set at the left tackle spot after they selected Jonah Williams with the 11th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, but a torn labrum for the Alabama product means that it’s right back to the drawing board for a Bengals side that ranked 24th among teams in pass-blocking efficiency last year. Cordy Glenn is now set to return to left tackle after he earned a 60.9 overall grade there last year, while center Billy Price will hope to move swiftly on from a rookie season that consisted of only 558 snaps and zero single-game grades above 64.0. After all the offseason shuffling, the team remains steadfast in their support of Bobby Hart at right tackle, a player who hasn’t graded above 60.0 since 2015.

 

  1. OAKLAND RAIDERS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Kolton Miller

Left Guard: Richie Incognito

Center: Rodney Hudson

Right Guard: Gabe Jackson

Right Tackle: Trent Brown

This was an offensive line that was a top-five unit as recently as two years ago, yet, here we are. Kolton Miller returns at left tackle after one of the worst seasons we’ve ever seen from a rookie offensive lineman, but the right side stands to see at least some improvement after the Raiders made Trent Brown the highest-paid tackle in the league. The one bright spot for this offensive line shines from center Rodney Hudson, who has finished first among centers in pass-blocking grade in each of the last four seasons and hasn’t allowed a sack since Week 17 of the 2017 season.

 

  1. MINNESOTA VIKINGS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Riley Reiff

Left Guard: Pat Elflein

Center: Garrett Bradbury

Right Guard: Josh Kline

Right Tackle: Brian O’Neill

Taking Bradbury in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft opened a lot of doors for the Minnesota Vikings, including pushing Pat Elflein out to guard — where he earned his highest season grade at Ohio State. Returning tackles Riley Reiff and Brian O’Neill will need to step it up, though, with the NFC North edge defender group getting even stronger this offseason.

 

  1. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Donovan Smith

Left Guard: Ali Marpet

Center: Ryan Jensen

Right Guard: Earl Watford

Right Tackle: Damar Dotson

Ryan Jensen’s first season in Tampa didn’t particularly go as planned last year, as the former Raven recorded a career-low overall grade (54.9), allowed a career-high 25 pressures and committed a career-high 11 penalties. The issue here is still left tackle Donovan Smith, he’s allowed at least 40 pressures in each of his last four seasons and more than 49 pressures in three of those four. Heading into Year 5 of his career, Smith is still yet to record an overall grade above 70.0.

 

  1. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Duane Brown

Left Guard: Mike Iupati

Center: Justin Britt

Right Guard: D.J. Fluker

Right Tackle: Germain Ifedi

Aside from veteran tackle Duane Brown’s Brown’s impressive 82.3 overall grade, each of the Seahawks’ projected starters failed to top a 65.0 grade in 2018. This is a line that returns almost all of its pieces from a year ago, with guard Mike Iupati as the primary newcomer, and that doesn’t quite bode well for running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny or quarterback Russell Wilson. Center Justin Britt owned the team’s best pass-blocking efficiency among qualifying offensive linemen in 2018 but still ranked just 24th among 39 centers.

 

  1. ATLANTA FALCONS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Jake Matthews

Left Guard: James Carpenter

Center: Alex Mack

Right Guard: Chris Lindstrom

Right Tackle: Kaleb McGary

Jake Matthews and Alex Mack turned in solid performances in 2018 as they both finished top-10 in overall grading at their respective positions. The two veterans will be leaned on heavily again, but the Falcons also made offensive line their primary focus in the draft by spending two first-round picks on guard Chris Lindstrom and tackle Kaleb McGary, rookies who could step in and make an impact during the season.

 

  1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Cam Robinson

Left Guard: Andrew Norwell

Center: Brandon Linder

Right Guard: A.J. Cann

Right Tackle: Jawaan Taylor

After left tackle Cam Robinson suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2 of the 2018 season, we still don’t really know what the Jags will be getting from the former Alabama big man in 2019. Heading into Year 3 of his career, Robinson has recorded just two single-game grades north of 70.0, while he’s recorded 13 single-game grades of less than 60.0. Andrew Norwell took a slight step back in his first year in Jacksonville, seeing his overall grade dip from 76.3 in 2017 to just 66.7 in 2018. At the right guard spot, A.J. Cann is 4,136 snaps into his professional career, but he’s only graded above 70.0 in one of his four seasons.

 

  1. CLEVELAND BROWNS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Greg Robinson

Left Guard: Joel Bitonio

Center: JC Tretter

Right Guard: Austin Corbett

Right Tackle: Chris Hubbard

Cleveland’s interior offensive line was the major reason why the line was widely touted as one of the league’s best in 2018, but the front now looks much different after shipping Kevin Zeitler to New York in exchange for Odell Beckham and Olivier Vernon. Second-year guard Austin Corbett, who has logged just 14 NFL snaps, will step in alongside right tackle Chris Hubbard. The Browns’ offense is now lightyears better following an exciting offseason, but it will be intriguing to see how the offensive line fares given their losses.

 

  1. BUFFALO BILLS

Left Tackle: Dion Dawkins

Left Guard: Quinton Spain

Center: Mitch Morse

Right Guard: Ty Nsekhe

Right Tackle: Cody Ford

Few offensive lines have as high of a ceiling and as low of a floor as the Buffalo Bills’. Rookie Cody Ford is the biggest question mark, as the Bills hope he can channel his college success into NFL dominance from the onset. The other pieces were up-and-down in 2018: Dawkins was called for a staggering 13 penalties, and Long was the second-lowest graded center in 2018, while Morse and Spain allowed just one sack combined for the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans, respectively.

 

  1. NEW YORK GIANTS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Nate Solder

Left Guard: Will Hernandez

Center: Jon Halapio

Right Guard: Kevin Zeitler

Right Tackle: Mike Remmers

It wasn’t necessarily cheap, but the Giants acquired the best pass-protecting guard in the NFL from a season ago. Kevin Zeitler allowed all of 11 pressures in 2018 and will pair nicely with second-year guard Will Hernandez, who finished his rookie year with a very respectable pass-blocking grade of 73.1. Left tackle Nate Solder is coming off an above-average year as a pass-blocker, while center Jon Halapio could be a surprise candidate for a breakout season in 2019 — he began last year as the Giants’ starter before going down with an injury, but in his 116 snaps, he didn’t allow a single pressure, despite playing almost 50 pass-blocking snaps against the Jaguars and their array of pass-rushing weapons in Week 1.

 

  1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Eric Fisher

Left Guard: Cameron Erving

Center: Austin Reiter

Right Guard: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Right Tackle: Mitchell Schwartz

The Chiefs are still the definition of a solid, if unspectacular, unit. Mitchell Schwartz remains as arguably the league’s best right tackle — he earned a career-high 83.6 overall grade last year — while left tackle Eric Fisher finally seemed to hit his stride down the back end of the 2018 season, grading out as the league’s best tackle from Week 11 to the Super Bowl. The return of guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from injury is a big one for this unit too; he allowed fewer than 20 total quarterback pressures in both 2016 and 2017 despite blocking 400-plus pass-blocking snaps in each.

 

  1. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Joe Staley

Left Guard: Laken Tomlinson

Center: Weston Richburg

Right Guard: Mike Person

Right Tackle: Mike McGlinchey

There are no two ways about it, Joe Staley is as good as they come at the left tackle spot. He’s earned an overall grade above 80.0 in each of the past seven years, and he’s the only left tackle in the NFL who has earned pass-blocking and run-blocking grades above 70.0 in each of the past three. On the other side of the line, Mike McGlinchey didn’t wow in pass protection a season ago — he allowed 39 pressures from 632 snaps, and his 64.2 pass-blocking grade ranked 65th among 82 qualifying tackles — but he was exceptional in the run game. The Notre Dame product paved the way for Matt Breida & Co. all season long, earning the league’s third-best run-blocking grade (78.2) in the process.

If Laken Tomlinson can take the step from good — he’s earned pass-blocking grades of 70.0 or higher in three of his four professional seasons — to great in 2019, and if center Weston Richburg can recapture the kind of form that earned an 89.3 overall grade back in 2015, this unit has the potential to way outperform its ranking here.

 

  1. DETROIT LIONS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Taylor Decker

Left Guard: Kenny Wiggins

Center: Frank Ragnow

Right Guard: Graham Glasgow

Right Tackle: Rick Wagner

A season ago, this offensive line ad all the makings to be the best unit that Matthew Stafford ever played behind. Unfortunately, the perennially excellent T.J. Lang was forced onto IR — and subsequently into retirement — after Week 9, and Frank Ragnow got off to an underwhelming start at guard. Fast forward to the 2019 season; Ragnow’s move back to center has the potential to be a great one for the Lions moving forward — Ragnow was our highest-graded college center in 2017 — while Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner ended the 2018 season ranked 14th and 31st, respectively, among 82 qualifying tackles last year, making one of the more underrated tackle duos in the NFL.

 

  1. WASHINGTON REDSKINS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Trent Williams

Left Guard: Ereck Flowers

Center: Chase Roullier

Right Guard: Brandon Scherff

Right Tackle: Morgan Moses

When everyone is healthy (and happy, as the case may be), this line has all the potential to be a top-10, even a top-five, unit. The problem is that nobody can seem to stay healthy, and the star offensive tackle is still, very publicly, unhappy. Be that as it may, Williams has allowed just one sack over the last two seasons. He’s earned 80.0-plus pass-blocking grades for six consecutive years, and he ranked 14th in pass-blocking grade (80.7) among offensive tackles with at least 300 snaps in 2018.

Morgan Moses, on the other hand, has allowed fewer than 40 pressures in each of his last four seasons but took a step back a season ago in terms of overall grade no thanks to a career-high 15 penalties. At the center position, Chase Roullier is a name to watch in 2019. One of our favorite sleepers in the 2017 NFL Draft, Roullier has earned pass-blocking grades of 70.0 in each of the past two years, and his 2018 mark of 76.4 was good enough to rank 14th among 38 qualifying centers.

 

  1. LOS ANGELES RAMS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Andrew Whitworth

Left Guard: Bobby Evans

Center: Brian Allen

Right Guard: Austin Blythe

Right Tackle: Rob Havenstein

Either rookie Bobby Evans or 2018 third-rounder Joseph Noteboom will step in for Rodger Saffold at guard, and 2018 fourth-rounder Brian Allen is expected to replace longtime veteran John Sullivan at center. None of the three youngsters have played significant snaps in the NFL, but all of them earned high marks at the collegiate level. Noteboom earned a 77.0 overall grade and a 91.6 pass-blocking grade in his last year with TCU, and Allen earned 81.0-plus overall grades in each of his last three seasons at Michigan State. Evans, a third-round pick in this year’s draft, earned a 72.3 overall grade at left tackle in 2018 and an 86.2 overall grade at right tackle in 2017.

There’s much less to worry about with the Rams’ returning starters. Tackles Rob Havenstein and Andrew Whitworth are two of the best in the game right now, and guard Austin Blythe earned a career-high 71.0 overall grade this past season that he should build off in 2019.

 

  1. DENVER BRONCOS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Garrett Bolles

Left Guard: Ronald Leary

Center: Connor McGovern

Right Guard: Dalton Risner

Right Tackle: Ja’Wuan James

Chock full of potential, Denver’s front-five needs to answer a lot of questions to stay within reach of a top-10 spot on this list.

Veteran guard Ron Leary limped to a sub-65.0 overall grade before finishing the season on the Injured Reserve with a torn Achilles. Third-year interior offensive lineman Connor McGovern thrived at guard early in 2018 but looked like a fish out of water when kicked into center to replace the injured Matt Paradis in Week 9. He earned a dismal 38.7 pass-blocking grade on the year and will need to improve significantly in that regard to keep his starting spot at center in 2019.

Signing veteran Ja’Wuan James this offseason to play right tackle was a strong move. The former Miami Dolphin has been good, not great for a while now, and that level of consistency is coveted in today’s NFL. Former first-rounder Garrett Bolles, on the other hand, took a step back in Year 2 of his career and very much needs to flip the script on his career to get on track as the team’s starting left tackle.

The most intriguing prospect along the Broncos’ offensive line, and likely the one with the highest ceiling, is former Kansas State offensive tackle Dalton Risner. Brought in as a second-round pick in this year’s draft, Risner is expected to start at guard for Denver, a position change that should play out well for the former Wildcats road-grader. Risner earned 87.0-plus overall in all four years he started at Kansas State and pushed above 90.0 in overall grade and pass-blocking grade in his last year on campus.

 

  1. BALTIMORE RAVENS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Ronnie Stanley

Left Guard: Alex Lewis

Center: Matt Skura

Right Guard: Marshal Yanda

Right Tackle: Orlando Brown

Rookie offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. didn’t blow the doors off the NFL in his debut season, but he did turn in plus play in pass protection (75.1 pass-blocking grade) and showed signs of improvement in all areas down the stretch of last season. Opposite Brown, former first-rounder Ronnie Stanley has developed into one of the league’s best young offensive tackles in the game, earning a 75.8 overall grade and an 87.0 pass-blocking grade a year ago.

Alex Lewis and Matt Skura are nothing to write home about, but longtime standout guard Marshal Yanda is more than capable of picking up the slack. Success comes easy for 34-year-old veteran even as his career starts to wind down, as he is hasn’t earned an overall grade under 75.0 or a pass-blocking grade under 80.0 in the last eight years.

 

  1. CAROLINA PANTHERS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Greg Little

Left Guard: Daryl Williams

Center: Matt Paradis

Right Guard: Trai Turner

Right Tackle: Taylor Moton

Carolina’s front five very well could finish a lot higher on this list when the 2019 season comes to a close. Signing veteran center Matt Paradis this offseason was a slam dunk for the Panthers’ brass, as he was one of the NFL’s top pass-blocking and run-blocking centers before he went down with injury last season. Returning starters Trai Turner and Taylor Moton both earned 79.0-plus pass-blocking grades and shouldn’t waver in that regard in 2019.

Keeping the Panthers at No. 10 on this preseason list are the question marks tied to Daryl Williams and rookie offensive tackle Greg Little. Williams played just one game before going on the Injured Reserve with a severe knee injury last season, but the 26-year-old big man could have a bit of a resurgence if kicked into guard and able to stay healthy. What Little lacked in the run game at Ole Miss, he made up for in pass protection. He was one of the better pass-protecting offensive tackles in the 2019 class and tagged as one of Mike Renner’s most underrated players heading into the draft. The rookie learning curve is steep for tackles, but if Little can exceed expectations and Williams can learn to thrive at guard, Carolina will be on their way up in PFF’s offensive line rankings in coming months.

 

  1. CHICAGO BEARS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Charles Leno Jr.

Left Guard: Cody Whitehair

Center: James Daniels

Right Guard: Kyle Long

Right Tackle: Bobbie Massie

Charles Leno Jr. has been a pleasant surprise for Chicago. The 2014 seventh-rounder finished the 2018 season as the team’s highest-graded offensive linemen while playing over 1,000 snaps at left tackle. He earned an impressive 75.2 overall grade and a 79.2 pass-blocking grade on the year, and he’s now earned 70.0-plus overall grades in four consecutive seasons. Opposite of Leno, veteran tackle Bobby Massie also played far above expectations, earning career-high marks in overall grade (71.2) and a pass-blocking grade (78.9).

Along the interior, youngsters Cody Whitehair and James Daniels have both shown they have the potential to be long-term solutions at center and guard, respectively. And veteran Kyle Long, though coming off a yet another injury-plagues season, still earned an 81.0 pass-blocking grade for his efforts in 2018.

 

  1. GREEN BAY PACKERS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari

Left Guard: Lane Taylor

Center: Corey Linsley

Right Guard: Billy Turner

Right Tackle: Bryan Bulaga

No offensive linemen with 300 or more offensive snaps played earned a higher overall grade than Packers’ David Bakhtiari (88.3). The stalwart left tackle turned in a league-high 93.6 pass-blocking grade along with his above-average 68.1 run-blocking grade. He alone takes this Packers offensive line up the ranks quite a lot.

Overshadowed by Bakhtiari, Green Bay right tackle Bryan Bulaga earned an impressive 75.0 overall grade across 781 offensive snaps, scoring an even better 84.1 pass-blocking grade in the process. Center Corey Linsley finished sixth at his position in overall grade (73.7) and fourth in pass-blocking grade (85.0). Returning Bulaga and Linsley as starters alongside Bakhtiari makes for quite the core in the trenches. Guards Lane Taylor and Billy Turner are less exciting, as both players earned sub-65.0 overall grades a year ago. But if the duo can fight to stay above average, Green Bay’s offensive line should be among the best in 2019.

 

  1. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Terron Armstead

Left Guard: Andrus Peat

Center: Erik McCoy

Right Guard: Larry Warford

Right Tackle: Ryan Ramczyk

The Saints have one of the best tackle combinations in the league between Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk, who both finished with overall grades above 80.0 in 2018. However, all attention will be on the interior line to improve, especially with former center Max Unger retiring. Improved play from Andrus Peat and contributions from rookie Erik McCoy could see this unit rise to the top of this list by seasons end.

 

  1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Isaiah Wynn

Left Guard: Joe Thuney

Center: David Andrews

Right Guard: Shaq Mason

Right Tackle: Marcus Cannon

For an organization that values consistency, the offensive line does not fall short of expectations. Shaq Mason found himself on PFF’s top 50 players heading into 2019 following a season where he earned career-high marks in a plethora of metrics including overall grade(85.0). We also ranked the Patriots’ duo as of Mason and Joe Thuney as the most-talented offensive guard tandem in the NFL. The Dante Scarnecchia-led unit will float among the top-ten offensive lines once again.

 

  1. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Anthony Castonzo

Left Guard: Quenton Nelson

Center: Ryan Kelly

Right Guard: Mark Glowinski

Right Tackle: Braden Smith

Indy invested two top-40 picks in the trenches in 2018, including No. 6 overall pick Quenton Nelson and No. 37 Braden Smith. And the big-time investment paid off. Nelson finished the year ranked second in run-blocking grade (77.9) behind New England Patriots’ Shaq Mason among the 58 at his position with at least 150 run-blocking snaps played after Week 5 last year. Smith, a former guard at Auburn, hit the ground running when asked to suit up at right tackle, earning 72.0-plus single-game run-blocking grades in two of his last three starts.

Four-year veteran Mark Glowinski and 2016 first-rounder Ryan Kelly also turned in strong 2018 campaigns and are expected to start for the Colts at guard and center, respectively. Kelly earned an impressive 68.1 run-blocking grade from Week 6 through the Super Bowl, ranking fourth among the 33 NFL centers with at least 150 run-blocking snaps played in said span. Glowinski ranked fifth in run-blocking grade (66.5) among his peers after Week 5, as well.

 

  1. TENNESSEE TITANS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Taylor Lewan

Left Guard: Rodger Saffold

Center: Ben Jones

Right Guard: Nate Davis

Right Tackle: Jack Conklin

The Titans were a well balanced offensive line in 2018 and look to carry that success into the upcoming year. Taylor Lewan continues to be the anchor at left tackle, and the addition of guard Rodger Saffold should only improve this unit as he finished last season with the fifth-highest run-blocking grade at his position.

 

  1. PITTSBURGH STEELERS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Alejandro Villanueva

Left Guard: Ramon Foster

Center: Maurkice Pouncey

Right Guard: David DeCastro

Right Tackle: Matt Feiler

It will be tough for the Steelers to replicate the efficiency that their offensive line maintained in 2018, but then again, it will be challenging for any team in the league. Le’Veon Bell now finds himself with the Jets, and Antonio Brown with the Raiders, but their offensive line remains the one consistent in the Steelers’ ever-changing offense.

 

  1. DALLAS COWBOYS

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Tyron Smith

Left Guard: Connor Williams

Center: Travis Frederick

Right Guard: Zack Martin

Right Tackle: La’el Collins

Zack Martin and Tyron Smith have been long-time members of the league’s club of elite offensive linemen, but have had to pick up slack along the offensive line on account of recent struggles. Dallas was top-10 in interior pressure allowed from 2014 to 2017 until Travis Frederick’s injury. His return, paired with hopeful improvement from rookie-turned-sophomore Connor Williams, should aid in the unit’s recovery to its former glory.

 

  1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:

Left Tackle: Jason Peters

Left Guard: Isaac Seumalo

Center: Jason Kelce

Right Guard: Brandon Brooks

Right Tackle: Lane Johnson

The Eagles spent their first-round pick on Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard to act as insurance should the ailing Jason Peters fail to play a complete season in 2019. However, Philadelphia has earned top-ten team pass- and run-blocking grades in each of the last three seasons and PFF data suggests that they will accomplish this feat again as they enter the 2019 season with the top-ranked offensive line in the NFL.

 

THIS DAY IN SPORTS HISTORY

JULY 10, 1999

PASADENA, Calif.-They played to near collapse, through 120 minutes of soccer, 90 minutes of regulation melting into 30 minutes of overtime under a brutal sun, and still no one had put the ball into the net in the final of the Women’s World Cup. And so the United States won soccer’s world championship over China by the sport’s most tense and capricious arbiter-penalty kicks.
Five players from each team set the ball up 12 yards from goal in the penalty kick phase, leaving the shooters and goalkeepers alone, one on one, to decide the match as much by chance as by skill. All a goalie can do is guess, act on instinct. If she guesses correctly, she is a hero. If not, there is no resistance to be offered, only a futile leap or a dive one way, while the ball flies unimpeded in the opposite direction.
When this breathless game was over, the Americans had put five penalty kicks into the net, while China could manage only four. After curling her decisive, left-footed kick inside the right post, the defender Brandi Chastain whipped off her jersey, twirling it like a lariat over her head as 90,185 fans erupted in celebration and confetti cannons dusted the field at the Rose Bowl.
It was the largest crowd to watch a women’s sporting event in the United States-in the world, organizers believe. Chastain’s kick consummated three weeks of unprecedented interest in a sport that filled huge arenas with soccer moms and dads and their daughters, who painted their faces red, white and blue in star-spangled admiration of the American players. Grownups finally began recognizing the sporting heroes their kids had discovered long ago. Even President Clinton was in attendance today, having been drawn into the swirl of popularity surrounding the United States team.
Perhaps gone forever is the myth that women’s sports cannot attract crowds and that the games that women play are somehow lesser than the games men play. The Women’s World Cup will undoubtedly be remembered as an epochal moment in women’s sports, along with the Billie Jean King‚ Bobby Riggs tennis match in 1973, and the passage of Title IX in 1972, which essentially forbid discrimination on the basis of gender.
Although many find penalty kicks an unsatisfying way to decide a match-the 1994 men’s World Cup was decided here the same way- the victorious American women still made a forceful case for a professional league of their own that would start after the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. This was the second world championship for the United States, which won the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991, before taking a bronze in 1995. The Americans also won the 1996 Summer Olympics, but they had lost twice to China this year. And until Chastain’s rescuing penalty kick, today’s result was in doubt.
America’s most confident and accurate taker of penalty kicks, midfielder Michelle Akers, left woozily at the end of regulation and spent the rest of the game in the American locker room with heat exhaustion. Despite a career threatened by chronic fatigue syndrome, Akers dominated today’s game in defensive midfield, sliding ferociously, sledgehammering teammates and opponents in her path and using her head to catapult away one Chinese kick after another. She was the first great star of this team, and Coach Tony DiCicco calls her the greatest woman ever to play the game.

 

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY-JULY 10

1911      After being ejected for disputing a called third strike, Sherry Magee KOs home plate umpire Bill Finneran with just one punch. The National League suspends the star Phillies fly-chaser for the rest of the season, but due to an appeal, he misses only 36 games.

1911      When umpire Bill Klem stops the Phillies-Cardinals contest to have an unruly fan banned from the Baker Bowl, the removal marks the first expulsion of a patron from a game. The standard practice at the time was to use bodyguards after the contest to protect the arbitrators, rather than risk the crowd’s ire by ousting one of their own.

1914      Although limited to one hit, the Yankees beat the Indians at the Polo Grounds, 1-0, when darkness postpones the second game of a twin bill after five and a half innings. The next time the team wins a game while being one-hit will occur again in 102 years with a 1-0 nine-inning victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

1917      Thanks to Ray Caldwell’s nine and two-thirds innings of five-hit relief, the Yankees beat the Browns in St. Louis, 7-5 in a 17 inning game. Later in the day, the St. Louis police arrest the hard-living right-hander, charging him with grand larceny for allegedly stealing a diamond ring from a woman.

1920      Tris Speaker, who has collected 11 consecutive hits, is finally thwarted by Washington hurler Tom Zachary. The “Grey Eagle’s” effort establishes a record, which will not be broken until 1938 when Red Sox third baseman Pinky Higgins hits 12 knocks in a row.

1928      Although the Indians bang out 14 hits, the Tribe fails to score a run in a 9-0 nightcap loss to the Senators in a Griffith Stadium twin bill. It is only the second time a team has been shut out after collecting that many hits.

1932      Indians’ fly-chaser Johnny Burnett in 11 at-bats collects a record nine hits in an 18-inning game in which the A’s outscore the Tribe, 18-17. After replacing A’s starter Lew Krausse in the second inning, Ed Rommel, who gives up a record 29 hits, is forced to hurl 17 innings in relief to get the victory, his 171st and final major league win, when manager/owner Connie Mack, trying to save train fare, brings only two pitchers.

1934      At the All-Star Game played in New York’s Polo Grounds, Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell faces a starting lineup comprised of nine eventual Hall of Famers. ‘King Carl’ is up to the unique occurrence in baseball history when he fans the first five batters he faces, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin.

1935      In the fourth evening game ever played in major league history, Babe Herman becomes the first player to hit a home run during a night game. The Reds’ cleanup hitter’s seventh-inning round-tripper off Dutch Leonard contributes to the 15-2 rout over the Brooklyn at Crosley Field.

1935      Galveston Buccaneers right-hander Ed Cole throws the first perfect game in Texas League history, beating the Tulsa Oilers at Moody Park, 1-0. Bill McGhee’s inside-the-park home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning accounts for the contest’s only run.

1936      At Forbes Field, Chuck Klein becomes the first National League player to hit four home runs in one game in this century. The Phillies’ 36 year-old outfielder’s offensive outburst, which includes his final round-tripper on the first pitch in the tenth inning, powers Philadelphia’s 9-6 victory over Pittsburgh.

1943      Some of the Dodgers, led by infielder Arky Vaughan, threaten not to play in today’s game to protest the suspension of their teammate Bobo Newsome by manager Leo Durocher. The Ebbets Field contest begins ten-minutes late with Brooklyn plummeting the Pirates, 23-6, and in a few days, Newsome, who had argued with his skipper over a pitch selection in a previous game, is traded to the Browns for Archie McKain and Fritz Ostermueller.

1947      During the first game of a twin bill in front of 47,871 Tribe fans, Don Black retires the final ten A’s batters he faces to record the first no-hitter in the history of Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. The crowd, the largest ever to witness a no-hitter, endures the rain and six walks as the Indians right-hander completes the 3-0 victory, the eighth no-no in franchise history.

1951      In the second All-Star Game played in Detroit, the National League beat their AL rivals at Briggs Stadium, 8-3. Although their team’s circuit loses, the 52,075 Motor City fans witness home runs hit by hometown favorites George Kell and Vic Wertz.

1953      With Roy Campanella’s home run off Giants hurler Sal Maglie, the Dodgers establish a National League record, homering in their 24th consecutive game. Campy’s homer is the only run Brooklyn scores as the Giants extend their winning streak to seven with the 6-1 victory.

1962      John F. Kennedy returns to D.C. Stadium and becomes the first president to throw the ceremonial first pitch at an All-Star Game, a 3-1 National League victory. In April, JFK, who will stay for the entire contest, threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Senators’ home opener, the first game played in Washington’s new $24-million ballpark.

1968      The American League and National League agree on next year’s expansion and playoff format. Each league will divide their twelve teams into two six-team divisions, playing a best-of-five game league championship series to determine the pennant winner.

1972      At a press conference, Phillies owner Bob Carpenter announces Paul Owens, who was named the GM five weeks ago, will take on the additional task of managing the club on the field, replacing a visibly upset Frank Lucchesi, who guided the team this season to the worst record in baseball, winning only 26 of 76 contests. The new skipper, known as the Pope, will use the opportunity to get a better look at his last-place team, before returning to the front office next year, where he will build Philadelphia into pennant contenders within three seasons.

1979      With his team trailing the Padres 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs at Veterans Stadium, Phillies pinch-hitter Del Unser hits a three-run walk-off home run, giving the team a 6-5 comeback victory. The dramatic dinger makes Del Unser only the second player in major league history to hit a homer in three consecutive at-bats as a pinch hitter, a feat also accomplished by Lee Lacy of the Dodgers last season.

1984      At San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, Dodger southpaw Fernando Valenzuela and Mets rookie Dwight Gooden combine to strike out six consecutive American League All-Stars on the 50th anniversary of Carl Hubbell’s memorable 1934 Midsummer Classic performance of setting down five future Hall of Famers on strikes. Dwight Gooden, at the age of 19, becomes the youngest player ever to participate in an All-Star Game.

1984      The National League beats the Junior Circuit at Candlestick Park, 3-1. Home runs hit by Expos’ catcher Gary Carter, the game’s MVP, and Braves’ outfielder Dale Murphy prove to be the difference in the 55th Midsummer Classic.

1986      A very disappointed Oil Can Boyd (11-6, 3.71) begins shouting and throwing clothes in the Red Sox clubhouse after learning he had not been selected by KC manager Dick Howser to be one of the eight pitchers for the American League All-Star team. The inconsolable right-hander, who will storm out of Fenway Park before the team’s scheduled game against California, will be suspended without pay for three days for his tirade.

1986      After allowing three runs in the top of the twelfth, the Red Sox score four times in the bottom of the inning, with the final tally coming on a walk-off bases-loaded balk. The winning run in Boston’s 8-7 improbable victory over the Angels when home plate ump Joe Brinkman rules Todd Fischer moved his hands after coming to a set position before throwing the first pitch of his outing, ending the Fenway contest without a ball being thrown.

1999      At Leland’s ‘Hero’s Auction’ of sports memorabilia held in New York, the ball batted by Carlton Fisk in the 12th inning, which hit the Fenway foul pole ending one of the most dramatic games in World Series history, is sold for $113,273. George Foster, the Reds’ left fielder, who retrieved and kept the 1975 historic home run ball, decided to sell the souvenir after realizing its potential value after Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball sold for almost $3 million.

2001      In his final All-Star appearance, Cal Ripken is named the MVP of the game. His home run, along with consecutive dingers from Derek Jeter and Magglio Ordonez, power the AL to its fifth victory in a row, beating the National League at Seattle’s Safeco Field, 4-1.

2001      Derek Jeter becomes the first Yankee to homer in an All-Star Game in 42 years when he goes deep leading off the sixth inning off Jon Lieber at Safeco Field. Yogi Berra was the last Bronx Bomber to accomplish the feat, homering off Don Drysdale in 1959.

2009      Beating the Padres 8-0 at AT&T Park, Giants’ southpaw Jonathan Sanchez throws the first no-hitter in franchise history since John “The Count” Montefusco accomplished the feat in 1976. The 22 year-old, a replacement for an injured Randy Johnson, sees his bid for a perfect game end when third baseman Juan Uribe makes an error in the eighth inning.

2010      In his 19th season, Arthur Rhodes, becomes the longest-tenured major leaguer to go to an All-Star Game for the first time. The 40 year-old Reds southpaw reliever, who does not play in the Midsummer Classic, surpasses the 1988 selection of 18-year veteran Doyle Alexander for the dubious distinction.

2013      David Ortiz establishes a new record for career hits by a designated hitter when he doubles in the second inning of the Red Sox’ 11-4 victory over Seattle at Safeco Field. ‘Big Papi’ surpasses Harold Baines with his 1,689th hit as a DH.

2017      Overcoming 22 first-round round-trippers from Justin Bour and a dozen blasts from Cody Bellinger in the second, Aaron Judge slams 11 homers in the finals to defeat Miguel Sano, becoming the first rookie win the All-Star Home Run Derby outright (Wally Joyner of the Angels was a co-champion in 1986). The Yankees outfielder hit 47 long balls that traveled a combined 3.9 miles, including back-to-back dingers of 507 and 513 feet.

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STANDINGS

American League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
NY Yankees 57 31 .648 31 – 14 26 – 17 29 – 9 12 – 11 9 – 6 7 – 3 L 2
Tampa Bay 52 39 .571 6.5 26 – 22 26 – 17 19 – 17 14 – 10 10 – 8 6 – 4 W 2
Boston 49 41 .544 9 20 – 22 29 – 19 19 – 19 16 – 7 12 – 12 6 – 4 W 4
Toronto 34 57 .374 24.5 18 – 30 16 – 27 12 – 21 11 – 15 9 – 10 5 – 5 W 1
Baltimore 27 62 .303 30.5 11 – 31 16 – 31 13 – 26 7 – 15 5 – 15 5 – 5 L 1
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Minnesota 56 33 .629 28 – 15 28 – 18 17 – 9 19 – 11 17 – 9 4 – 6 L 1
Cleveland 50 38 .568 5.5 25 – 18 25 – 20 13 – 8 21 – 15 10 – 10 7 – 3 W 6
Chi White Sox 42 44 .488 12.5 25 – 20 17 – 24 13 – 17 22 – 16 4 – 6 6 – 4 W 1
Kansas City 30 61 .330 27 16 – 28 14 – 33 6 – 15 14 – 25 7 – 16 2 – 8 L 2
Detroit 28 57 .329 26 12 – 32 16 – 25 9 – 11 13 – 22 1 – 11 2 – 8 L 3
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Houston 57 33 .633 33 – 14 24 – 19 13 – 10 12 – 9 26 – 7 7 – 3 W 2
Oakland 50 41 .549 7.5 26 – 20 24 – 21 13 – 14 10 – 2 22 – 22 7 – 3 W 1
Texas 48 42 .533 9 29 – 17 19 – 25 7 – 6 13 – 7 20 – 22 4 – 6 W 1
LA Angels 45 46 .495 12.5 22 – 21 23 – 25 11 – 7 7 – 8 18 – 27 4 – 6 L 2
Seattle 39 55 .415 20 19 – 29 20 – 26 7 – 8 10 – 13 19 – 27 2 – 8 L 1

 

National League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Atlanta 54 37 .593 28 – 19 26 – 18 22 – 14 17 – 9 11 – 12 6 – 4 W 1
Washington 47 42 .528 6 26 – 20 21 – 22 25 – 17 5 – 11 10 – 11 8 – 2 W 2
Philadelphia 47 43 .522 6.5 27 – 17 20 – 26 24 – 22 11 – 9 7 – 9 5 – 5 W 1
NY Mets 40 50 .444 13.5 23 – 19 17 – 31 21 – 23 7 – 14 7 – 9 3 – 7 L 1
Miami 33 55 .375 19.5 15 – 29 18 – 26 15 – 31 7 – 16 6 – 4 3 – 7 L 1
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Chi Cubs 47 43 .522 29 – 16 18 – 27 14 – 11 15 – 16 10 – 9 4 – 6 L 1
Milwaukee 47 44 .516 0.5 27 – 18 20 – 26 14 – 8 24 – 18 6 – 11 4 – 6 L 2
St. Louis 44 44 .500 2 24 – 18 20 – 26 16 – 14 15 – 17 7 – 6 4 – 6 L 2
Pittsburgh 44 45 .494 2.5 22 – 21 22 – 24 6 – 7 18 – 18 10 – 16 6 – 4 W 2
Cincinnati 41 46 .471 4.5 24 – 21 17 – 25 9 – 7 18 – 21 8 – 9 5 – 5 L 2
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
LA Dodgers 60 32 .652 37 – 12 23 – 20 11 – 3 19 – 11 29 – 15 5 – 5 L 3
Arizona 46 45 .505 13.5 20 – 22 26 – 23 10 – 7 8 – 5 19 – 29 6 – 4 W 3
San Diego 45 45 .500 14 23 – 24 22 – 21 10 – 10 9 – 11 19 – 21 5 – 5 W 3
Colorado 44 45 .494 14.5 24 – 19 20 – 26 10 – 12 7 – 6 20 – 21 3 – 7 L 6
San Francisco 41 48 .461 17.5 20 – 26 21 – 22 4 – 9 8 – 8 23 – 24 7 – 3 W 2

 

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER STANDINGS

Eastern
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Philadelphia 21 10 6 5 39 28 11 6-3-2 4-3-3 36
D.C. 20 8 7 5 25 21 4 5-4-2 3-3-3 31
Atlanta 19 9 3 7 27 23 4 6-3-1 3-0-6 30
Montreal 21 9 3 9 26 34 -8 5-1-3 4-2-6 30
New York City FC 17 7 8 2 30 20 10 4-4-1 3-4-1 29
New York 19 8 4 7 33 27 6 6-1-3 2-3-4 28
Toronto FC 19 6 5 8 30 33 -3 4-3-3 2-2-5 23
New England 19 6 5 8 22 36 -14 4-2-4 2-3-4 23
Orlando City SC 19 6 4 9 27 27 0 3-1-5 3-3-4 22
Chicago 20 5 7 8 31 29 2 5-4-1 0-3-7 22
Columbus 20 5 2 13 17 30 -13 4-2-6 1-0-7 17
FC Cincinnati 19 4 2 13 18 44 -26 3-1-4 1-1-9 14
Western
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Los Angeles FC 19 13 4 2 50 16 34 8-1-0 5-3-2 43
Los Angeles 19 11 1 7 26 22 4 7-0-3 4-1-4 34
Seattle 19 9 5 5 29 25 4 7-2-0 2-3-5 32
Minnesota 19 9 3 7 36 29 7 5-3-1 4-0-6 30
FC Dallas 20 8 5 7 29 25 4 6-4-1 2-1-6 29
San Jose 19 8 4 7 30 30 0 7-1-3 1-3-4 28
Houston 18 8 3 7 28 25 3 7-3-0 1-0-7 27
Real Salt Lake 19 8 2 9 25 29 -4 6-0-2 2-2-7 26
Portland 17 7 2 8 26 28 -2 2-0-1 5-2-7 23
Sporting KC 19 5 7 7 29 34 -5 4-3-3 1-4-4 22
Vancouver 20 4 8 8 22 31 -9 3-4-3 1-4-5 20
Colorado 19 5 4 10 29 38 -9 4-2-5 1-2-5 19

 

WNBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
W L Pct GB Home Road Conf Last 10 Streak
Washington Mystics 9 4 .692 4-1 5-3 6-2 7-3 1 L
Connecticut Sun 9 5 .643 0.5 6-1 3-4 5-2 6-4 4 L
Chicago Sky 7 7 .500 2.5 5-2 2-5 3-3 5-5 1 W
New York Liberty 7 8 .467 3.0 3-5 4-3 1-4 6-4 1 L
Indiana Fever 6 9 .400 4.0 2-4 4-5 3-3 3-7 1 W
Atlanta Dream 3 10 .231 6.0 2-5 1-5 1-5 2-8 1 L
Western Conference
W L Pct GB Home Road Conf Last 10 Streak
Las Vegas Aces 9 5 .643 6-2 3-3 4-2 7-3 3 W
Minnesota Lynx 8 6 .571 1.0 5-3 3-3 3-4 5-5 2 W
Seattle Storm 8 8 .500 2.0 5-3 3-5 3-3 5-5 3 L
Phoenix Mercury 6 6 .500 2.0 4-2 2-4 3-4 5-5 1 W
Los Angeles Sparks 7 7 .500 2.0 4-2 3-5 3-4 5-5 1 L
Dallas Wings 5 9 .357 4.0 5-3 0-6 3-2 5-5 1 W