Bills vs. Texans final score: 3 things we learned during Houston’s 23-17 win

The Houston Texans beat the Buffalo Bills, 23-17, in a game that was emblematic of the scrappy play by which both teams live. Big plays highlighted the day, but none was bigger, nor more impressive than J.J. Watt’s 80-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Through four games, Watt’s legend is approaching folk-lore status. He entered the game with two sacks, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick. He added five more tackles to his 10 tackles on the season entering the game. The most impressive play of the game was easily his pick-six. Watt somehow high-pointed a pass that was thrown a few yards in front of his faces, and, at 289 pounds, outran everyone to the end zone.

Watt also spearheaded a strong concerted effort by the Texans’ defense. The Bills managed 316 total yards on the day. EJ Manuel completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes, and C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson were held to 93 yards on 22 carries. The Texans redeemed themselves well after poor performance against the New York Giants last week.

Matt Elam, who is scheduled to become a free agent next month, was arrested on multiple drug charges, including one count of possession of cannabis with intent to sell or deliver.

“We are aware of the arrest of Matt Elam,” the Ravens said in a statement. “Matt is not in our plans for the 2017 Ravens.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league was looking into the incident.

This isn’t the first substance-related incident for Elam. In October 2015, he was suspended for one game for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He had self-reported the violation, team officials said at the time.
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Elam has been one of the most disappointing first-round picks in franchise history. He was benched from the starting lineup in the middle of the 2014 season after struggling to cover receivers deep and missing tackles. Elam played on special teams last season after being designated to return off injured reserve.
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Cyprien picked the perfect time to have a bounceback season.

The Jaguars are not picking up Beachum’s four-year, $35 million option, sending the 27-year-old tackle to free agency after just one season in Jacksonville.

Ryan Clady, offensive tackle, New York Jets

The Jets declined Clady’s $10 million option for 2017, as New York suddenly eyes a potential mass shedding of veterans in order to jumpstart a roster turnaround.

Victor Cruz, wide receiver, New York Giants

Cyprien picked the perfect time to have a bounceback season. His 2016 campaign with Jacksonville was easily among the top 10 for his position (Pro Football Focus rated him the seventh-best safety in football), and he enters the market without a ton of competition (presuming the Chiefs apply the franchise tag to Eric Berry).

An interesting contract comparison would be another former second-round pick, Broncos safety T.J. Ward, who inked a four-year, $22.5 million deal back in 2014. But with the raises in the cap ceiling over the past three years, one would imagine Cyprien will fetch more on the open market. Would that type of commitment be worth the risk? Cyprien undoubtedly has a high ceiling, but he will now be thrust into a different system without the same responsibilities.

The safety position is notoriously underpaid to begin with, which means that there can be some solid values for teams looking to avoid the long-term commitment.

Jackson’s home-run ability cannot be discounted. I’m convinced the extra dimension he added to an already punchy Redskins offense helped lift Kirk Cousins from good starter to top-of-market quarterback this offseason. But it’s going to be difficult to pinpoint the value of a 30-year-old speed wideout, because there aren’t a ton of accurate comparisons out there.

the Cowboys will need to restructure a few contracts to get under the cap by March 9 when the league year begins.

If the Cowboys trade Romo or release him, he will count $19.6 million against their cap in 2017. If they designate him a post-June 1 release, Romo will count $10.7 million against the cap in 2017 and $8.9 million against the 2018 cap. But the Cowboys would not gain the $14 million cap credit until June 2.

So is it better to have the $5.1 million in March or the $14 million in June?

At present, the Cowboys will need to restructure a few contracts to get under the cap by March 9 when the league year begins. We laid out all sorts of options here, but the Cowboys can get under the proposed cap simply by reworking the deals of Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, saving them roughly $17 million in cap space.

That will give the Cowboys some spending money going into free agency when the best players on the open market are available. Add in the $5.1 million from Romo¡¯s deal and the Cowboys will be in better shape.

Given the cap room available to most teams, those proposed moves would not put the Cowboys in position to be the highest bidders on a war daddy or any other player at a position of need in free agency.

On a positive note, however, the Cowboys will also be free and clear from Romo¡¯s contract in 2018.
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Limited Womens Nomar Mazara Jersey Cakes are much better. Cakes can refer to a well-figured butt. It also refers to a wealth of other great things. When you¡¯re ¡°caked up,¡± that can either refer to being engaged in romantic endeavors with someone or having a lot of money. ¡°Can¡¯t have your cake and eat it, too,¡± is a deep philosophical idiom. When things ¡°go out like hotcakes¡± it means that it¡¯s successful. Something being the ¡°frosting on the cake¡± implies that a good situation just became better. When you tell someone ¡°If I knew you were coming, I’d have baked a cake,¡± it signifies delight at their arrival.

It¡¯s no coincidence that everything associated with cakes seems to be good, and the ones with pies bad, it¡¯s just representative of the nature of the foods. If you can even call pie a food.

Super Bowl 2016 National Anthem: Idina Menzel of “Let It Go” fame to belt “The Star-Spangled Banner”

First off: If you need your young children to shush for the national anthem of Super Bowl XLIX, the one Idina Menzel will sing, so just tell them that Elsa is singing.

Second: No, joking that Menzel is closer to the Super Bowl ¡ª because she’s singing the anthem ¡ª than Johnny Manziel is not funny. Step up your pun game, fool.

Youth D’Angelo Russell Jersey Third: The statute of limitations for Adele Dazeem jokes was up a long time ago, but you can bet that someone’s going with ADELE DAZE ‘EM on Twitter during the anthem.

Menzel is a long-time Broadway star: She originated one of the roles in Rent, which is 20 years old this year, and won a Tony for playing the role of Elphaba in Wicked, which debuted in 2004.

Recording artists Dierks Bentley and Gavin DeGraw will perform during the pregame show at the NFL Tailgate Party, with part of the performances being shown live on the pregame show.

During the 4 p.m. hour, President Barack Obama will sit down with Savannah Guthrie for an interview, something politicos should enjoy. There will also be several sit-downs with players and coaches in Sunday’s game, including Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Pete Carroll, Rob Gronkowski, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Tom Brady.

Bob Costas will have a chat with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach. If you don’t know, NBC owns the rights to the Olympics.

Rodney Harrison, Tony Dungy, John Harbaugh and host Dan Patrick will work the “Coach’s Clicker” segment, providing real football analysis. The spot has worked well throughout the season for NBC and promises to be even better with Harbaugh involved.
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The Bengals’ decision-making process this offseason will be difficult

Kevin Zeitler, Cincinnati Bengals offensive guard

Zeitler might just be the most desirable offensive lineman on the market, which speaks to the weakness of this year’s free agent crop. That’s not a shot at Zeitler — he’s done a great job in his five-year Bengals career. Rather, it’s an indictment of the 2013 NFL Draft class.

The Bengals’ decision-making process this offseason will be difficult, given the team is one of the league’s most hesitant when it comes to spending money in free agency. Locking up the best member of the Bengals’ interior line will be imperative if they plan on keeping Andy Dalton upright, something the team couldn’t do last year.

However, the price tag that comes with being a franchise offensive lineman probably isn’t justified for a guard — even one of Zeitler’s pedigree.

Cook racked up major rushing yards as co-coordinator at Cal Poly from 2009-12. He passes the option litmus test. We’ll see if he can salvage Summers’ tenure. (Summers also brought in a new line coach and new receivers coach.)

Cook has quite a bit of rebuilding to do. Ellison, Upshaw, and Breida are gone. Through Southern’s first three FBS seasons, this trio accounted for 7,520 rushing yards and 3,585 passing yards. Breida rushed for 3,093 yards in 2014-15, and Ellison rushed for 118 yards and two scores in the Eagles’ momentous 2013 upset of Florida.

This was the collective face of Southern’s offense for a long time. Their departure hurts, despite dramatic underachievement in 2016.

Also gone: three of the four wideouts who caught more than two balls last season. The reboot is significant, especially when you include two lost starters on the line (including all-conference center Andy Kwon).

Jim made a surprising promise at a meeting with his five siblings

WHETHER THEIR ACCOMMODATING attitudes represent a lasting peace or a temporary cease-fire, Jim Buss, in particular, has plenty of incentive to make the relationship work: his own self-imposed deadline.

Game Carl Soderberg Jersey During the chaotic 2013-14 season, Jim made a surprising promise at a meeting with his five siblings. It had been a year since their father’s death. Kobe Bryant had suffered two consecutive season-ending injuries. Coach Mike D’Antoni was still trying to coax as much as he could out of the talent the Lakers had left after Howard’s free-agent defection and Pau Gasol’s disillusionment. There was tremendous external pressure on Jim and Jeanie to bring back former coach Phil Jackson, who was on the verge of leaving the franchise for good to join the New York Knicks.

But it was just one year into a plan the Buss kids knew their father had badly wanted to work. It was too soon to even judge how it was working. So Jim asked for more time to get the franchise headed back in the right direction.

“Visualizing is so huge,” Scott Brooks says. “My high school coach taught me that a long time ago.”

Still, he could shoot with the best of ’em. By his senior year at UC-Irvine, Brooks shot 42 percent from beyond the arc and 85 percent from the charity stripe. Brooks owes much of his shooting success to a homework assignment given to him by Bill Stricker, his high school coach.
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The task? Train his brain every night before bed. Don’t count sheep. Count swishes.

“Visualizing is so huge,” Brooks says. “My high school coach taught me that a long time ago. I used to visualize making free throws every night.”

At first, young Scott was skeptical of the concept of mental imagery. Really, this was going to be the trick? But then the coach told him a story, a tale that Brooks loves to retell to this day.

Grades, draft needs, offseason questions for every eliminated NFL team

The mayor of Boston has ordered the city to “fire up the duck boats” for the New England Patriots’ victory parade following the team’s come-from-behind 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh took to Twitter late Sunday night to offer his congratulations “to the greatest team, the greatest coach and the greatest quarterback of all time.”
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A. J. Cann Authentic Jersey Walsh said a parade celebrating the championship will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday. He said the Pats “have made Boston and New England proud.”

The Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins have all celebrated championships in recent years by climbing aboard duck boats, amphibious vehicles normally used to show tourists around town.

This is the Patriots’ fifth Super Bowl win. McVay also made an excellent first hire in defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who will have a fair bit of talent to work with, including the NFL’s best defensive tackle in Aaron Donald.

But he was also one of the most cantankerous characters in the game, one who routinely, and publicly, clashed with his biggest stars. If ever there was a coach who had the potential to exacerbate Cousins’ trust issues, it was Karl. To compound problems, sources say, Cousins was assured by management that Karl wouldn’t be hired, despite rumors to the contrary.

The Hall of Fame inductees from 2015 were running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver/returner Tim Brown, defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, contributor Bill Polian, linebacker Junior Seau, guard Will Shields, center Mick Tingelhoff and contributor Ron Wolf.

The Washington Nationals’ closers carousel continues

We’re just a few short weeks away from the start of spring training, and for all the activity this winter, there are teams that still have major questions that need answers. Who has the biggest problems left to solve before pitchers and catchers report, and what are their potential fixes?

Possible solutions: Signing free agent Greg Holland; trading for Dave Robertson (White Sox), Alex Colome (Rays), Ryan Madson (Athletics) or Trevor Rosenthal (Cardinals).

The Washington Nationals’ closers carousel continues. They’ve gone from Chad Cordero to Rafael Soriano to Tyler Clippard to Drew Storen to Jonathan Papelbon to Mark Melancon. So it’s no surprise that the Nationals opened this offseason with finding yet another closer as their biggest need.

They quickly jumped into the sweepstakes for the best relief aces on the free agent market, including Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Melancon. They bid on all three, including an $85 million offer to Jansen. But all three pitchers turned them down, and the Nationals find themselves still looking for a closer in late January.

These Wildcats are averaging 75.1 possessions per game, 11th-highest nationally, up seven per game over last season (68.2), when they ranked 220th. The latter is far more in line with Calipari’s typical style at UK; the former has unlocked a truly frightening offensive machine that generates points at a pace most teams simply can’t match. South Carolina, though? The Gamecocks — who boast the nation’s most efficient defense in their own right, and usually force opponents to grind out lengthy, hard-fought half-court possessions — might have a chance.

As such, the Bruins, and Ball and Leaf specifically, have hoovered up most of the 2016-17 Pac-12’s available oxygen. Only lately, as Dillon Brooks and the preseason favorite Oregon Ducks have reasserted themselves with a strong start to conference play (including an 89-87 win over UCLA in Eugene), has any league foe challenged Alford’s team for sheer mindshare.

Players on the team echo the same philosophy that Bradley has sold since his first days with the team

“The fact that Shad Khan, Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley have been able to buy this much patience has been a massive testament to their vision,” Caputo said. “There’s really no reason why anybody would have to have patience or understanding, from this fan base’s perspective.”

“They had a vision, they had a plan. I think Jaguars fans were just starving for a plan and a message that they could believe in and they could put their finger on.”
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Players on the team echo the same philosophy that Bradley has sold since his first days with the team: Get better.

“He’s concerned about getting the best possible ability from the individual player,” Scobee said. “In turn, that individual player makes the team better. He’s always preaching about getting better. That’s his whole thing. ¡®Get better, get better’ and if you give your personal best then the team does get better and that will translate into wins.”

Karl Joseph Kids Jersey Tony Romo Cowboys: Romo will have to fend off an eager Brandon Weeden in one of the toughest quarterback competitions in recent memory.

Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings: His impressive 2015 season aside, I’m with Mayock, I just don’t think we can trust a guy with hands that small.

Cam Newton, Panthers: In his seminal quarterback rankings for 2015, the MMQB’s Andy Benoit said this about Newton:

A rare physical specimen who can make the “Wow!” throw. Unfortunately, it’s not always a good “Wow!”
Forget what he did in 2015. That’s what pundits have been saying about Newton since he got to the league, so why change the narrative now?

Logan Thomas/Drew Stanton/Carson Palmer/???, Cardinals: Just give the Cardinals any old slob with a heartbeat and all his limbs, Bruce Arians will do the rest.

Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton are back with their series on NBA prospects

Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton are back with their series on NBA prospects, rookies and sophomores — this time ranking their top 10 NBA sophomores by future potential.

Authentic Mens Karl Klug Jersey San Antonio committed 16 turnovers, leading to 24 points from the Suns. But the Suns, as Popovich said, feasted heartily on second-chance points, outscoring San Antonio 28-10 in that department.

“Definitely,” Leonard said. “I’m never trying to break a career high out there. I’m always trying to come down with a win. That’s what matters to me and my squad. It was definitely disappointing to come out with a loss.”

As for Booker, Watson believes he’s just scratching the surface in terms of his ability. Watson mentioned after Phoenix’s loss on Thursday to the Dallas Mavericks that Booker is “on the verge of becoming a superstar.” In that contest, Booker scored 28 points in the fourth quarter, which ranked as the most scored in any quarter in Suns franchise history.

Authentic Mens Luke Bowanko Jersey “I’m excited for Devin Booker. He’s only 20 years old. He doesn’t turn 21 until October,” Watson said. “So we’re excited about his progression.”

Over six weeks in the offseason, House and Dedeaux gave Ryan his own specialized improvement plan, cleaning up everything from his release to his diet. For most of House’s career as a guru, he was careful to refer to himself as a “throwing coach,” not a “quarterback coach.” He worked on mechanics, not minds. But as his practice has expanded in demand, it has also expanded in scope.

House puts quarterbacks through psychological testing, similar to therapy, to measure how they handle failure and how they view themselves. Now, only Ryan knows how he views himself in confession. Only he knows how hard the past few years have been, as he has grown accustomed to early vacations, not playoff appearances, the past three seasons. He has always looked young, precocious — but now he’s 31 and in his ninth year, his face a little more weathered, his psyche a little more hardened. It’s reasonable to guess that he viewed — and views — himself as a work in progress, having achieved a lot, but he knows there’s still so far to go.