A predictable Proteas top and middle order collapse ensured India continued their painful dominance in Tests on the sub-continent, winning the first Test in Visakhapatnam by 203 runs on Sunday.While a victory target of 395 was never going to be a realistic aim, South Africa’s frontline batsman need to take responsibility for not at least showing more fight.That call is wholly justified given how the ninth-wicket pair of debutant Senuran Muthusamy and Dane Piedt played with patience, guts and some skill to delay the home side’s drive towards a win.Piedt, who has copped a fair amount of criticism for what was rightly some toothless off-spin in both innings, made up for that embarrassment with a fine, maiden Test fifty.The Cobras stalwart chanced his arm and few times and showed some solid defence, hitting nine fours and a six in his 56.Interestingly, Piedt broke the record for the highest score in a fourth innings in India for any player batting at No 8 or lower.In contrast, Muthusamy (49 not out) wasn’t particularly fluent, but nonetheless showed the type of application that could make him a decent exponent should be become more comfortable at the highest level of the game.Together, the pair saved the Proteas from the horror of being 70/8.The canny Ravindra Jadeja once again bowled his left-arm spin effectively to be highlight the visitors’ continued weakness against a turning ball, finishing with figures of 4/87.Yet it was Mohammad Shami’s (5/35) seamers that broke the spine of South Africa’s batting.Temba Bavuma’s dismissal was fortunate as that delivery kept very low, but his gems to dislodge Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock were superb to witness.Du Plessis left one that jagged back sharply and hit the stumps, while De Kock pushed at a ball he thought was going to move across him, only to straighten and rattle the bails.It was he that also castled Piedt.Aiden Markram was the only specialist batsman to make any fist, scoring a punchy if somewhat iffy 39 before he was brilliantly caught by Jadeja off his own bowling.The tweaker then bamboozled both Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj with successive LBWs, effectively ending any hopes of survival.For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.
ST. LOUIS — For a few stark moments in the ninth inning Sunday evening, the noise level at Busch Stadium mirrored noise levels from the past three Octobers: The stadium was almost completely silent. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, it was silent because the Cardinals missed the playoffs. In the ninth inning Sunday, it went silent because Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson came up with the biggest hit of his professional career, a smoked first-pitch double off Cardinals closer Carlos Martinez with two outs in the ninth inning that tied the game 1-1. DANSBY. SWANSON.Ice in his veins to tie it! 😳pic.twitter.com/6DK6dmsJRN— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) October 6, 2019MORE: Cards’ Carlos Martinez may have pitch way out of closer roleAdam Duvall followed with a single that drove home two more, putting the Braves ahead 3-1, and when Mark Melancon shut out the Cardinals in the ninth, the Braves suddenly had a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. If Swanson had failed, they would have been down 2-1 in the series and facing possible elimination in Game 4 on Monday afternoon. But Swanson — who missed the 2018 postseason with a wrist injury — didn’t fail, and his hit helped put the Braves in control of their NLDS against the Cardinals. “It’s awesome he did it. He works hard,” Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies said. “I’m happy it was him that did it.” In many ways, Swanson represents the hopes and frustrations of the Braves over the past couple of years. He’s immensely talented — his Vanderbilt team won the College World Series in 2014 and in 2015, then the Diamondbacks made him the No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft — but injuries and inconsistencies have kept him from reaching his potential as a professional. Swanson opened up about that journey this spring, in a long conversation with Sporting News, about the setbacks and how he works constantly on keeping a positive approach. “I journal every night, and usually when I journal every night it’s almost like positive affirmations,” he told SN this spring. “I write things like, ‘I’m confident, and I know my work today is putting me in a position to succeed tomorrow.’ That kind of thing.”The 2019 season has had ups and downs, too. He had 17 homers and an .822 OPS in the first half of the season — the home runs were already a full-season career high, and that OPS was the best of his career, too. But a heel injury in late July caused him to miss almost all of August, and when he returned from the IL he struggled at the plate. He batted just .141 in his first 23 games back, though he had eight hits in his final four games of the regular season. In Game 1 of the NLDS, Swanson came to bat in the eighth inning, with a runner on second and two outs in a game that was tied 3-3. He struck out. In Game 3, the Cardinals made the decision to face Swanson again in a big situation. With a runner on third and two outs, they intentionally walked Brian McCann so Martinez could face Swanson.“I love Dansby in those situations,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “I always have. That kid lives for that moment.” And you know what happened. “I was ready for that move,” Swanson said. “I would have been, I personally would have been surprised if they would have pitched to Mac just because of his postseason experience and everything. So I was ready from the moment I started putting my batting gloves on in the dugout.”He was ready because, as he told SN this spring, the work he did yesterday put him in position to succeed today. And the Braves have two more chances to close out the Cardinals and move on to their first NLCS since 2001.
“We’ve taken something in this pass interference rule and we’ve adopted a second standard,” Pereira told McAfee. “You have one standard, and that’s the way the officials look at it in real time, and you have a second standard, which is how replay looks at it. And they say, ‘Well, yeah, it’s pass interference, but it doesn’t rise to the level of what we’re looking for in replay.’ So this stretch of subjectivity has pretty much every coach flummoxed.”MORE: Join DAZN to watch The Pat McAfee Show and more this fallPereira noted the NFL, in its replay review of pass interference, is looking for egregious fouls that resemble the interference officials missed in last season’s NFC championship game, a blunder that sent the wrong team to the Super Bowl and prompted change in the rule book. Which, of course, is an absurd standard.This is exactly the concern Dan Quinn raised in March, when Sporting News asked the Falcons coach whether reviewing PI was a good or bad idea.”Let’s make sure we all know the standard of what that is,” Quinn told SN. “So, think back to last year; we really nailed down what a catch is. And so I would anticipate that if we’re going to have something that’s reviewable, it better be clear to everybody who’s watching — if you’re at home or at the bar. ‘OK, that’s pass interference.’ And then we can challenge what that would be.”Let’s make sure the standard of what OPI or DPI is, if we go down that road, let’s make sure that everybody’s working from the same standard.”To Pereira’s point, NFL vice president of officiating Al Riveron in New York is not “working from the same standard” as the officials on the field.MORE: Lions-Packers fiasco illustrates NFL’s officiating issue To Pereira, though, the solution is simple. The NFL competition committee is holding its annual fall meeting in Florida this week. There, Pereira says, the committee should consider pushing its officiating department back to a singular standard.”To me it’s just a question of not if, but when they change it,” Pereira told McAfee. “You get rid of this clear and obvious and egregious, and you look at it in replay just as you would look at it as an official. It either is, or it isn’t. Every coach would understand that.”Pereira on Wednesday also brought up some interesting points on the state of NFL officiating as a whole. Those can be heard in the clip below.FOX rules analyst and former NFL VP of Officiating @MikePereira has a few suggestions on how to fix the referee issue.#ThePatMcAfeeShowLIVE on @DAZN_USA pic.twitter.com/W4Ha9Zmblv— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 16, 2019 When the NFL added a subjective call like pass interference to its replay review system in the spring, unintended consequences were predictable. Mike Pereira, who now serves as NFL rules analyst for Fox Sports after 14 years of pro football officiating, believes one repercussion in particular is a “real problem.”Pereira appeared Wednesday on The Pat McAfee Show, a daily (10 a.m.-noon ET) program on DAZN, and diagnosed the source of the issue that has catalyzed a weekly crescendo of officiating-related complaints from the NFL’s players, coaches and observers in 2019.
This week’s NFL slate serves up plenty of interesting matchups, including Sunday’s anticipated showdown between the Packers and Chiefs.Here is a look at Week 8’s Bullet Points from Omnisport’s data-driven Stats Perform colleagues. (If you like what’s served up see here, check out @StatsbySTATS each Sunday on Twitter.) Veteran Matt Moore will start at quarterback for Kansas City after Patrick Mahomes was injured in last week’s 30-6 win at Denver. At 35 years old, Moore will be the oldest Chiefs player to start at QB since Damon Huard (also 35) in 2008.Kansas City’s defense recorded nine sacks and held the Broncos to 1 of 13 on third-down conversions last week. It’s the fourth time since 1991 a team has had nine or more sacks while limiting an opponent to less than 10 percent on third downs, and the first time since Oct. 3, 2010 (Giants vs. Bears).In last week’s 42-24 win over Oakland, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers joined Norm Van Brocklin (1951) and Mark Rypien (1991) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 400 passing yards, five passing touchdowns and a rushing TD in a game. Rodgers also threw his 350th career TD pass and reached the milestone in fewer games (172) than anyone in NFL history (Drew Brees, 180).MONDAYDolphins (0-6) at Steelers (2-4), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)Miami and Pittsburgh are the only two teams without a 100-yard rusher or receiver this season. It’s the first time the Steelers have gone six straight games without a player rushing for 100 or more yards to begin a season since 2013 (14 straight).Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick will face the Dolphins for the first time since being traded from Miami to Pittsburgh on Sept. 14. Since inserting the 2018 first-round pick in the lineup in Week 3, Pittsburgh has limited opposing quarterbacks to a 68.0 passer rating — third-best in the NFL over that span.Miami has lost nine straight games dating back to last season, the third-longest streak in franchise history and longest since a 10-game skid from Dec. 19, 2010-Oct. 30, 2011. The Dolphins also have nine consecutive losses on the road, their longest in away games since dropping a franchise-record 11 straight from Dec. 17, 2006-Sept. 14, 2008. NFL Week 8: Games, players, teams to watch The Redskins are allowing 134.4 rush yards per game, second most in the NFC behind only the Lions (148.9). The Vikings are running the ball on 52.8 percent of plays, second in the NFL behind only the 49ers (57.1 percent), and are tied with the Cowboys for the most rushing touchdowns in the NFC with 11.Case Keenum went 9 for 12 in the loss to the 49ers. No other Washington player threw a pass in the game — the 12 attempts were the fewest in a game by the Redskins since Mark Rypien threw 11 passes in Week 15 of 1990 in a 25-10 win against the Patriots.Kirk Cousins has thrown for 300+ yards with multiple passing touchdowns in three straight games, tying the franchise single-season record jointly held by Daunte Culpepper (2004), Randall Cunningham (1998) and Warren Moon (1995).SUNDAYSeahawks (5-2) at Falcons (1-6), 1 p.m. (Fox)Bobby Wagner is third in the NFL with 69 total tackles this season and ranks second in the league with 983 since the start of the 2012 season (Luke Kuechly – 1,010). In five career games — including playoffs — against the Falcons, Wagner has 47 total tackles and an interception.Russell Wilson completed 48.8 percent (20 of 41) of his passes Sunday for his lowest percentage since hitting on 46.7 against the Raiders on December 17, 2017. He also threw his first interception of the season, ending his streak of 202 attempts without one. Only Patrick Mahomes (212) had a longer streak this season.Julio Jones is on pace for his sixth consecutive season with 1,000 receiving yards. Among active players, only Antonio Brown (six) has more. Jerry Rice (11) is the all-time leader. Jones leads all active players with 8,554 receiving yards since the 2014 season and is second to Brown (580) with 564 catches during that span.Chargers (2-5) at Bears (3-3), 1 p.m. (Fox)Philip Rivers has six consecutive 4,000-yard passing seasons and is on pace for his seventh with 2,114 yards so far in 2019. He ranks second among active players (Matt Ryan — eight) in that category. Rivers’ 2,114 yards this season through seven games is the fourth-highest total of his career.Melvin Gordon is averaging just 2.3 yards per carry this season after he averaged a career-best 5.1 last season. That 2.81 decrease is the largest of any running back (minimum three games played). Gordon’s 81 rushing yards through three games is the lowest total of his career, with the next-closest 146 in 2017.Mitchell Trubisky has a career 55.7 completion percentage in October, his lowest in any month and the second lowest of any quarterback with a minimum of 150 attempts (Sam Darnold — 52.9). Trubisky has gone 10 straight games without a 300-yard performance after achieving that in four of his previous six contests.Giants (2-5) at Lions (2-3-1), 1 p.m. (Fox)Matthew Stafford is completing 62.4 percent of his passes, which would be his lowest mark since 2014, but his 8.0 yards per attempt is on pace for a career high and his 6.0 touchdown percentage would be his highest since 2011 (6.3), when he ranked third in the NFL with 41 touchdown passes.Daniel Jones was sacked eight times last week and since taking over as the starter in Week 3, he has taken 18 sacks, tied with Joe Flacco for second most in the NFL (Jameis Winston, 19). His seven interceptions since Week 3 are tied for the most in the NFL.Saquon Barkley has accumulated 2,419 scrimmage yards through 20 career games. Among players to begin their careers in 2000 or later, only two had more yards from scrimmage through 20 games: Ezekiel Elliott (2,521) and Clinton Portis (2,422).Jets (1-5) at Jaguars (3-4), 1 p.m. (CBS)The Jets have accumulated 1,254 net yards this season, the fewest by any team through six games in a year since the 2005 Texans. The Jets have been held to 175 net yards or fewer three times this season, more than the rest of the NFL combined.Le’Veon Bell and Leonard Fournette are accounting for 54.7 percent and 50.9 percent of their team’s total touches this season, two of the four players currently over 50.0 percent (Christian McCaffrey, 56.4; Nick Chubb, 53.8).The Jaguars are the first team to rush for at least 900 yards through seven games while rushing for just one touchdown since the 1977 Bills. No team has ranked top 3 in yards per rush (Jags are third) and bottom 3 in rushing touchdowns (Jags are worst) for a full season since the 1996 Raiders.Bengals (0-7) at Rams (4-3), 1 p.m. (CBS)The Bengals have allowed at least 200 rushing yards and 200 net passing yards in each of their last three games, the first team to do that in three straight games since the New York Yanks in 1950.Andy Dalton won his first eight starts of the 2015 season, but this year he is 0-7 as a starter. With a loss on Sunday, he would be the first QB in NFL history to both start a season 8-0 and 0-8 at some point in his career.Among players to play in at least 75 percent of their team’s games in both seasons, Joe Mixon (-47.1) and Todd Gurley II (-37.6) have had the two largest decreases in rushing yards per game in the NFL from last year to this year.Buccaneers (2-4) at Titans (3-4), 1 p.m. (Fox)Tennessee has tied a franchise record by holding its first seven opponents in a season to 20 points or fewer, tying the 2000 Titans. Before the Titans and Patriots both accomplished this feat in 2019, the last team with as long a streak to start a season was the 2013 Chiefs.Last week was Ryan Tannehill’s first 300-yard passing game since Week 3, 2016. In the last two games, Tannehill has completed 80.0 percent of his passes — the only other player to complete 80.0+ percent of his passes in a two-game span this season (min. 40 attempts) was Dak Prescott (Week 1 and 2).Jameis Winston became the first player to throw for 400+ yards and at least five interceptions in a game since Mark Brunell in 1996. Since entering the league in 2015, he has had four games of at least four interceptions, as many as the next two players combined (Andy Dalton, Sam Darnold — two apiece).Eagles (2-3-1) at Bills (2-4), 1 p.m. (Fox)Carson Wentz has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 10 consecutive games, tied with Seattle’s Russell Wilson for the longest active run in the league. Wentz has thrown 21 interceptions in 24 career road games while throwing 11 in 23 at home.Frank Gore has rushed for more than 100 yards in four of his last five games against the Eagles, averaging 101.2. With 15,136 rushing yards, Gore is 134 away from surpassing Barry Sanders for fourth on the all-time list.John Brown has at least four receptions in all six games this season, tied for the third-longest single-season streak by a Bills player since 2005. Brown, Andre Reed (1989) and Eric Moulds (2002) are the only players in Bills’ history to start a season with six consecutive games with at least four catches and 50 yards.Broncos (2-5) at Colts (4-2), 1 p.m. (CBS)The Colts’ six games have all been decided by seven points or fewer, tying the longest such streak to start a season in franchise history (1983, 1995). Indianapolis is the only team in the NFL with at least 20 first downs in every game this season.Jacoby Brissett already has more touchdown passes in six games this season (14) than he had in 23 games from 2016-18 (13). Last week, Brissett had his first game with 300+ passing yards, 4+ TD passes and zero interceptions, joining Andrew Luck (five), Peyton Manning (four) and Johnny Unitas (three) as the only Colts to do so in a game.Joe Flacco is 107 passing yards shy of becoming the 22nd player all-time with 40,000 passing yards. He would be the seventh player with 40,000 passing yards and a Super Bowl win before turning 35, joining Brett Favre, Peyton and Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers.Cardinals (2-4) at Saints (2-4), 1 p.m. (CBS)Arizona has won three straight games, all by six points or fewer and all against teams that are currently a combined 3-18. The Cardinals have not turned the ball over in 15 consecutive quarters. The Cardinals have allowed 21+ points in 10 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL.The Saints have won five straight and are 6-1 for the second consecutive season. In the first 51 seasons of the franchise, the Saints started 6-1 (or better) five times, and have now done so in back-to-back seasons.Michael Thomas has had at least four receptions in 34 consecutive games, tied for the third-longest such streak in NFL history. The only streaks longer are Julio Jones’ 38-game streak from 2013-16 with Atlanta and Antonio Brown’s 36-game streak from 2013-15 with Pittsburgh.Panthers (4-2) at 49ers (6-0), 4:05 p.m. (Fox)Carolina’s Kyle Allen and San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo are two of four active quarterbacks to have won their first five career starts (Patrick Mahomes, Ben Roethlisberger). Allen is the only QB during the Super Bowl era to win his first five starts without throwing an interception, while Garoppolo is the first to win 14 of his first 16 starts since Philip Rivers in 2006.The 49ers have allowed 10 points over their last three wins, the fewest by any team in a three-game span since 2010 (Packers, 10, Oct. 31-Nov. 21, 2010). They’re also the fourth team since 1992, and first since the Patriots from Dec. 4-17, 2005, to hold opponents to seven or less points and less than 200 total yards in three straight games.In their Week 6 win at Tampa Bay, the Panthers became the first team since Nov. 9, 2003 (Rams vs. Ravens) to have seven sacks and seven takeaways in a game. Carolina leads the NFL with 27 sacks, the most by any team over its first six games since the Chiefs had 30 in 2013.Raiders (3-3) at Texans (4-3), 4:25 p.m. (CBS)The Raiders are allowing the second-most pass yards per game this season at 289.8 behind the Buccaneers (320.7). The Texans are just behind, allowing the fourth-most pass yards per game at 294.6.Derek Carr leads the NFL in completion percentage at 74.1 percent, on pace to be the second-highest completion rate in NFL history among qualifiers. However, Carr is averaging just 10.07 yards per completion, the fourth-lowest mark this season (minimum 100 attempts).Deshaun Watson has accounted for at least one touchdown in all 30 of his games, the longest streak ever to start a player’s career. Watson has the highest passer rating (103.3) and completion percentage (67.2) by a player through 30 career games in the Super Bowl era (minimum 450 pass attempts).Browns (2-4) at Patriots (7-0), 4:25 p.m. (CBS)Former Browns head coach Bill Belichick is in his 20th season as the Pats’ head man and Sunday seeks his 300th career win, combining regular season and playoffs. Belichick has led NE to 30 postseason wins, including six Super Bowl titles, in his 20 seasons in Foxborough. Over that same period, the Browns have reached the postseason once, failing to win a game. Tom Brady has been intercepted in four straight games. An interception Sunday would tie the longest streak of Brady’s career (five in 2002 and again in 2017). Baker Mayfield has thrown an NFL-high 11 interceptions in 2019 and has struggled mightily in the fourth quarter with six interceptions and no touchdown passes. After throwing multiple TD passes in nine of 13 starts in 2018, Mayfield has not thrown for more than a single touchdown in any game in 2018.Packers (6-1) at Chiefs (5-2), 8:20 p.m. (NBC) THURSDAY(All Times Eastern)Redskins (1-6) at Vikings (5-2), 8:20 p.m. (NFL) Related News
Adrian Peterson injury update: Redskins running back says he’s ‘ready to go’ He is in his second season with Washington. Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins still isn’t ready, Bill Callahan says He has the sixth-most rushing yards in league history after a breakout run against his old defense.And with this run @AdrianPeterson is now 6th on the All-time career rushing yards list! Congrats, AP!@Redskins | #HTTR📺: #WASvsMIN on @NFLNetwork | @NFLonFOX | @PrimeVideoHow to watch: https://t.co/I6INVckndX pic.twitter.com/JO9c7YMxjz— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2019Peterson’s efforts moved him passed LaDainian Tomlinson and Jerome Bettis. Related News Case Keenum injury update: Redskins QB ruled out after sustaining concussion vs. Vikings It was only Adrian Peterson’s second time facing the team he spent a decade with, but the Redskins running back made sure he made a statement.The veteran rusher, who the Vikings selected as the seventh-overall pick in the 2007 draft, moved up the all-time rushing list.
Kenyan Drake didn’t even make the trip to Pittsburgh, so Walton should be looking at at least three-quarters of the Miami RB snaps. Efficiency will always be a worry in this offense, but there should be 15 carries and five catches in the works for Walton.FLEX: TE Nick Vannett, Steelers ($1,200)Vannett sees the field a decent amount for Pittsburgh as its second tight end, so we’ll take a shot at a red-zone touchdown from our cheapest play. DraftKings Showdown Picks: Steelers vs. DolphinsCAPTAIN (1.5x points, 1.5x price): WR Diontae Johnson, Steelers ($11,700)Johnson fits the mold of our usual captain choices of late. He provides a deep threat as a secondary receiver who really only needs one big play to pay off his value. Against the Dolphins, we like the odds of that happening.FLEX: RB James Conner, Steelers ($13,400)This is a chalky play. Nearly everyone will own Conner as he makes his return from a quad injury against such a vulnerable defense. We just can’t fade him. He’s got too good a chance of rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns.FLEX: QB Mason Rudolph, Steelers ($10,800)We should have a piece in every Pittsburgh touchdown by pairing Conner and Rudolph. It’s obvious that they’re good plays against Miami, but we don’t need to get too cute here.FLEX: WR Preston Williams, Dolphins ($6,200)I’ve been all over Williams all season, and it seems like DeVante Parker has gotten a little more love of late. Williams provides just as much chance at a solid outing as Parker, as he often gets more targets, and he’s the one who fits our lineup here against a Steelers defense that isn’t overly impressive.FLEX: RB Mark Walton, Dolphins ($6,000) Steelers vs. Dolphins would have only had so much Monday Night Football appeal if everyone was healthy. As is, the Steelers’ Mason Rudolph-led offense is what we have to look forward to on MNF. That makes putting together a DraftKings Showdown lineup a bit of a challenge, since neither QB is great but there is such a wide gap in talent around them. Pittsburgh should roll, but it’s not usually that simple. We’ve spent a decent amount of our budget on two Dolphins, including Mark Walton, but we want to follow the Steelers path that most people will take. Hopefully our captain choice of Diontae Johnson sets us apart, as he’s a sleeper compared to some of the studs.The biggest hole in this lineup is the exclusion of JuJu Smith-Schuster. He’s been quiet, so maybe he’s due, and a big game from him would hurt our chances. It just wasn’t worth playing him instead of the much safer James Conner, so we’ll take that chance. At least we have Rudolph, so if JuJu catches any scores, our QB will be involved.
ESPN reported shortly after the Herald’s reporte was published that the Dolphins sent Drake to the Cardinals for a 2020 sixth-round draft pick that possibly could become a fifth-round pick.Trade: Arizona has reached agreement in principle to trade a conditional 2020 draft pick to Miami for RB Kenyan Drake, league sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 28, 2019Compensation update: Arizona is trading a 2020 6th-round pick that could become a 5th-round pick to Miami in exchange for RB Kenyan Drake, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 28, 2019Per the Miami Herald, the Dolphins had been looking for a fourth-round pick for Drake, and ESPN noted that the Cardinals jumped at the chance to get Drake since running backs David Johnson and Chase Edmonds are injured. Kenyan Drake won’t be with the Dolphins for much longer.The running back has been traded, according to the Miami Herald, which cited unidentified sources. The agreement was reached Saturday night, which would explain why Drake didn’t travel with the team to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on Monday night. J.J. Watt injury update: Texans defensive star out for season with torn pec Related News NFL Week 8 Sunday Huddle: Saints breeze to win in Drew Brees’ return; Patriots blow past Browns Three takeaways from Packers’ win over Chiefs While Drake said he never asked for a trade, he and his representatives didn’t sign a contract extension the Dolphins offered last month. Drake, 25, was drafted by the Dolphins out of Alabama in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He currently leads the Dolphins in rushing yards (174) and carries (47), but is second in the depth chart behind Mark Walton and hasn’t scored a touchdown.Drake will be the fourth player the Dolphins have traded since early September, following left tackle Laremy Tunsil, receiver Kenny Stills and defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.
SALT LAKE CITY — BYU’s Jimmer Fredette is getting plenty of love in the national press right now and is being talked about, not only as a first-team All-American, but as a possible National Player of the Year.But is it possible that Fredette could be a top candidate for National Player of the Year, but not even be named Player of the Year in his own conference?It’s hard to fathom, but that’s what could happen if San Diego State ends up winning the MWC title over BYU, a decent possibility considering that the Aztecs are ranked No. 6 with the nation’s longest winning streak.For the past seven years, the winner of the MWC player of the year has come from a team that won the league title or tied for it. It happened last year when Fredette was passed over as the MWC POY by New Mexico’s Darington Hobson, despite enjoying superior numbers.You have to go back to 2002-03 to find a player from a non-champion team that earned POY honors. That’s when Utah and BYU tied for the MWC title, but Ruben Douglas of 4-10 New Mexico won the award after averaging 32 points per game in league play.The year before, Utah’s Britton Johnsen won the award over Wyoming’s Marcus Bailey, despite the fact that Wyoming won the league title. That was the year, when Utah coach Rick Majerus famously said that Bailey deserved the award over his own player because he had played on the championship team.Actually, I don’t agree with the Majerus philosophy and think the best player should get the POY award regardless of his team’s standing.This year Fredette’s main competition is San Diego State sophomore Kawhi Leonard, who leads the MWC in rebounding at 10.3 rpg and his third in scoring at 15.7 ppg.There’s still a long ways to go and Fredette can get a leg up on Leonard with a victory over the Aztecs Wednesday night at the Marriott Center.CHOW TIME: Depending on your viewpoint, Utah’s new offensive coordinator Norm Chow might be seen as an innovative offensive genius or a washed-up, over-the-hill has-been.Utah fans are taking the former stance, while BYU fans probably believe in the latter. And they might both be right.Chow has been an offensive coordinator for most of the past 30 years at four different places, where he has helped groom several quarterbacks including the likes of current NFL QBs Phillip Rivers and Carson Palmer.On the other hand, he is 64-years-old and it’s possible today’s college game has passed him by a bit.However, Chow’s hiring seems to be a smart move by the Utes, who have a very young staff with inexperienced offensive coordinators the past couple of years in Dave Schramm and Aaron Roderick.Not only does Chow bring more than 30 years of experience to his alma mater, but he should be valuable in helping the Utes make the transition into the Pac-12.SIMMERING DOWN: The Fire-Jim Boylen talk has simmered after three straight double-digit wins by the Utah basketball team, which appears to be rounding into shape after a late-December slump.Utah is still just 10-10, but if the Utes keep improving as they have since the start of 2011, Boylen and the Utes should be just fine and could even finish in the top half of the MWC after being picked sixth.It just goes to show that you can’t judge a team or program on a few games, but rather over the course of a season. Fans, in general, need to be more patient.EVENING OUT: The same thing goes for the Utah Jazz, who are mired in a four-game losing slump.But look at it this way. The Jazz won those four road games back in November that no one thought they’d win, so losing four straight road games last week, including a couple everyone thought they’d win, sort of evens things out.In sports, you always remember the games you should have won, but forget the ones you probably shouldn’t have won.e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
UtahJazz.com: Pre-Draft workout videos Related SALT LAKE CITY — Shane Larkin is a great athlete. He proved that at the recent NBA combine when he posted a vertical leap of 44 inches, the second-best mark in the history of the annual pre-draft showcase. So why didn’t he follow in the footsteps of his Hall of Fame father, Barry, and try to become a Major League Baseball player?Turns out that when he was 8 years old and trying to emulate former Cincinnati Reds players, such as Tony Perez and Pete Rose, his little league coach told him his batting form was all wrong. He followed his coach’s instructions, but wasn’t successful — so he quit baseball.“That was my last year of organized baseball — ever,’’ he said.As a result, Larkin turned to basketball, where he has excelled enough that he is projected as a likely first-round pick in this month’s NBA draft after a stellar career for the University of Miami.Larkin showed off his talents Wednesday to Utah Jazz coaches as one of six players brought to work out along with Lorenzo Brown, a 6-5 guard from North Carolina State; Reggie Bullock, a 6-7 forward from North Carolina; Amath M’Baye, a 6-9 forward from Oklahoma; Tony Mitchell, a 6-8 forward from North Texas; and Malik Story, a 6-5 guard from Nevada.Larkin apparently impressed the Jazz with his play on the floor and really impressed the media with his engaging personality in a seven-minute interview after his session.“I love being out in front of people, love talking with people, so it’s good,’’ he said.When asked to sell himself to the Jazz, Larkin said, “I’m a good guy on and off the court. I’d be great in the community, a friendly face. If anybody ever sees me in the community and he can come up to me, I’m never going to be stuck up.’’And his game? “I did well in college and was second-team AP All-American.’’Larkin also talked about his ability to play the pick-and-roll, his outstanding jumping talent and his ability to run an offense.His more than two-hour workout with five other players was closed to the media and Jazz coaches didn’t comment on how he fared against two 6-foot-5 guards and three forwards. However, Jazz head scout Walt Perrin was complimentary of Larkin.“Shane’s 44 vertical is unbelievable for a point guard,’’ he said. “It was eye-popping seeing those kind of numbers from Shane.’’The one concern about Larkin is his height at 5 foot, 11 inches. Only a handful of players in the NBA are under 6 feet tall.Larkin said his workout was useful because he was able to go up against bigger players and prove he can guard them.“It was good that I had to go out and play with bigger players,’’ he said. “I think I proved that I can do it. I’ve seen people say that, ‘His height, he can’t play defense, da-da-da,’ so I went out today to prove that. Today was big for me and I think I did a pretty good job.’’While his height may hurt his NBA prospects, Perrin downplayed it.“Does it matter? There’s a couple of other players in the league (that size) still playing. If a guy can play, it doesn’t matter what his size is,’’ Perrin said. “We think he can play. How well he plays on this level is something we have to evaluate.’’Perrin acknowledged that not every player brought in is a prospect to be drafted. But the one other player who may be a possibility to be a Jazz draft pick is Brown, a lanky guard who was recruited by current Jazz assistant Sidney Lowe to N.C. State. Most draft boards list him among the top six or seven point guards this year.Six more players will work out for the Jazz Thursday — Marquette guard Vander Blue, Baylor guard Pierre Jackson, Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley, Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe, Arizona forward Solomon Hill and Georgia Tech guard Glen Rice Jr. Former Ute Jason Washburn participates in Jazz pre-draft workout Jazz: Miami’s Larkin, projected first-rounder, to work out with Utah Jazz’s pre-draft workout participants
DENVER — Perhaps it was not surprising that the Utah Jazz would struggle Sunday night at the Pepsi Center where they were playing their third game in four nights after playing the day before in Houston.But the Jazz were never really in what should have been a winnable game against a Denver team three games behind them in the division standings that hadn’t beaten the Jazz in their last five tries.The Jazz were out of this one from the start and never challenged the Nuggets in a 105-91 loss before 12,565 fans.Coming off a nine-point loss the day before, the Jazz looked listless from the opening tip when they failed to score on six of their first seven possessions and faced an uphill battle the rest of the night. They trailed by 10 points after one quarter and by as many as 20 points in the second half as the Nuggets cruised to their fifth victory in 13 games, while the Jazz lost their fourth straight to fall to 7-8 on the season.As bad as the Jazz were offensively, coach Quin Snyder blamed the poor play on defense.“It’s not playing defense, ironically,” Snyder said. “The group needs to defend. Finding a rhythm or getting going or having a feel … all of those things are important. To be a really good team you have to have all those things. Foundationally we’ve always been about playing defense. When all those other things aren’t going well, that’s what you fall back on.”The Jazz seemed to lack spark all night with no one leading a team that’s in need of leadership right now with George Hill and Derrick Favors out with injuries.Gordon Hayward had a better outing after struggling the last three games as he led the Jazz with 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting from the field and 5 of 6 from the line.Otherwise, the Jazz got very little offensively.Dante Exum was a bright spot for the Jazz early with several strong drives to the basket, but he wasn’t as good when he settled for outside jumpers, finishing 0 for 5 from 3-point range. Exum finished with 10 points as did Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson.“We started off sluggish, it’s been a long two weeks,” said Hood. “But it’s no excuse. We need to hit a couple of shots, and if we’re not hitting shots we need to get stops. They played a really good pace tonight and had us on our heels.”The Nuggets were determined to push the pace against the Jazz who rank last in the league in pace of play. As it turned out, the Jazz actually had more fast-break points (13-6), but the Nuggets played better in the halfcourt, making 48.8 percent of their shots, compared to 38.8 percent for the Jazz.The Nuggets had balanced scoring with Jamal Murray and Wilson Chandler scoring 18 and 17 points, respectively, off the bench, and Jusuf Nurkic scoring 16, Danilo Gallinnari 13, Nikola Jokic 12 and Emmanuel Mudiay 10.Denver would have won by 20 or 25 points if not for its abysmal free-throw shooting as it finished with 13 of 30 from the line, with Nurkic going 0 for 6.The Jazz sloshed through a first quarter in which they shot just 5 for 22 from the field and 0 for 6 from 3-point range and trailed 24-14. The Denver lead got as high as 19 points in the second quarter at 47-28 before a late Jazz spurt cut the lead to 12 at the half at 53-41.The Jazz cut a 15-point lead in the third quarter to nine at 71-62 after a throw-down dunk by Rudy Gobert, but the Nuggets pushed the lead back to 76-63 by quarter’s end. In the fourth quarter, the lead reached 20 at 101-81 on a Murray jump shot.The Jazz and Nuggets will play again Wednesday night at Vivint Arena, with the Nuggets having to play Chicago Tuesday night at home.