(SportsNetwork. Pat Burrell Jersey .com) - The Indianapolis Colts could be the first NFL team to clinch a division title in 2014 but they wont be doing it at the expense of Johnny Football. Many thought the Colts, who can wrap up the AFC South win a win in Cleveland on Sunday coupled with a Houston loss at Jacksonville, would be facing a Browns team with first-round pick Johnny Manziel under center for his first start. Instead, Cleveland coach Mike Pettine backtracked Wednesday after a few days of contemplation and is sticking with the embattled Brian Hoyer, at least for the time being. After thorough evaluation and talking to the staff, we feel Brian gives us the best opportunity to win on Sunday, said Pettine. This is a football decision and those are always going to be based on what we think is best for our team. Hoyer was benched early in the fourth quarter of last Sundays 26-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills and Manziel stepped in to engineer an 8-play, 80-yard drive that he capped with a 10-yard touchdown scramble. Manziel ended the game 5-of-8 for 63 yards, forcing the Browns into a critical decision about the teams future of the quarterback position. Hoyer completed just 18-of-30 passes for 192 yards and two interceptions before being benched. In the past three games, he has thrown only one touchdown pass and six interceptions. The Browns are 7-5 heading into Sundays contest with the Colts and are tied with six other teams for the final AFC wild card spot. Brian has led our team to a 7-5 record, Pettine added. Im confident that we can get the entire offense playing at the level needed to accomplish the goals we set at the beginning of the season. Those goals are still very much attainable. Hoyer, who is 10-5 as Clevelands starting quarterback dating back to last season, has throw for 3,056 yards with 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 12 games this year. It wasnt perfect and hes made his share of mistakes, but (Hoyers) gotten the lions share of reps in practice and virtually all of them in games and has us in the thick of a playoff hunt, Pettine said. That, to me, was probably the biggest determining factor. There is, of course, no such controversy with the Colts as Andrew Luck is piloting one of the best offenses in all of football. In fact, Indianapolis scored six touchdowns of at least 30 yards in a 49-27 win over Washington in Week 13, becoming the first team to register at least six 30-plus touchdowns in a game since 1966 when the Redskins did it in a 72-41 drubbing of the New York Giants. We have incredibly explosive players all over the field, said Luck, who leads the league with 4,011 passing yards and joined Peyton Manning and Dan Marino as the only players in NFL history with at least 4,000 passing yards in two of their first three seasons. Luck completed 19-of-27 throws against the Redskins for 370 yards and two of TDs went for more than 70 yards. Coby Fleener hauled in TD passes of 30 and 73 yards, while Donte Moncrief had scoring receptions of 48 and 79 yards in what was supposed to be a matchup of the top two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. Robert Griffin III, the second overall choice in 2012, was benched earlier in the week by Redskins coach Jay Gruden after three straight losing efforts, however. Colt McCoy, the winning quarterback in Washingtons last two victories, threw for 392 yards with three touchdowns, but the Redskins defense could not stop Luck. The Colts racked up 487 yards on just 49 plays, an average of 9.9 yards per play. Dan Herron added to the outburst with 88 yards on just eight carries, including a 49-yard touchdown run, as Indianapolis notched its second straight win. Cleveland holds a slim 14-13 advantage in its all-time series with Indy but the Colts have won six of the past seven. The two teams havent locked up in the Forest City since 2008, a 10-6 Indianapolis win. WHAT TO WATCH FOR Manziel did provide a spark in a game that was long over last weekend but that was fools gold against a Bills D which took its foot off the gas. Rallying around the new guy is great but emotion like that cant be sustained for an entire football game, never mind a complete playoff push in the month of December. A move away from Hoyer would have signaled that the Browns were succeeding despite Hoyer and fans would have been expecting Manziel to traverse troubled waters that not only include Luck and the Colts but also division games against AFC North frontrunner Cincinnati and 7-5 Baltimore over the final month. With Hoyer Cleveland probably has a slim chance to make the postseason. Without him, slim is hopping a cab and is on his way to Hopkins International. Hoyers record as the starter in Cleveland is a number panned only by those who dont understand the organization was 20-57 in its previous 77 games without him. Moving away from the guy who has won at a .667 clip and moving toward Manziel, who completed his first NFL pass last week, would have been setting up the rookie to fail, especially in a matchup against the pure throwing Luck. Obviously, thats a decision thats made by coach Pettine, Manziel said. And this week his answer was, No so moving forward whatever transpires, maybe next time the answer will be, Yes. Luck not only leads the NFL in passing yards, he is second with 34 TD passes and also second in the AFC at passer rating with a 103.0 mark. He captains an offense that is tops in all of football, piling up 438.3 yards per game with his favorite target being the explosive T.Y. Hilton, who leads the Colts with a career-high 1,145 receiving yards. The Indy offense is also No. 1 the NFL with 6.2 yards per play and tops in explosive plays with 69 garnering over 20 yards. Once you throw the ball up for a big play, you want to be that guy, said veteran receiver Reggie Wayne, who has 54 catches for 636 yards of his own. We had a lot of guys that were able to capitalize on that (Sunday). We got a lot of guys. We are pretty loaded. Things could get even more loaded for Luck with the potential return of tight end Dwayne Allen, who has missed two games with a balky right ankle. The best-case scenario for the Browns is to play ball control and keep it out of Lucks hands as much as possible and that means getting the running game going. With Ben Tate now in Minnesota that means rookies Terrance West (502 yards, three touchdowns) and Isaiah Crowell (475 yards, seven touchdowns) need to have an impactful afternoon. Crowell, however, is dealing with a hip injury. The game will also mark the return of Trent Richardson to Cleveland for the first time since being traded to the Colts on Sept. 18, 2013. Richardson, who struggled with the Browns after being the No. 3 overall pick in 2012, hasnt done much better with the Colts, amassing only 445 rushing yards at 3.3 yards per carry this season. OVERALL ANALYSIS Credit Pettine for coming to his senses and doing his best to alleviate the rookie coaching mistake he made in Buffalo last weekend. Cleveland has won four of its past six games and three of its past four at home but this looks like an untenable matchup because to beat Luck and the Colts, it almost has to be in a shootout. The Browns are ill-equipped to win in that fashion just yet. So why not let the veteran Hoyer take the heat? I always have a fire lit, Hoyer said. Anytime someone questions you, you want to prove them wrong. Im sure there are people questioning me all along, not just this week, throughout the entire season. Sports Network predicted outcome: Colts 33, Browns 17 J. C. Romero Jersey . "Thank you for the warm welcome," Beckham said on an 80-degree February morning. In this case, it was soccer weather. The sport moved a step closer to returning to South Florida on Wednesday, when Beckham confirmed he has exercised his option to purchase a Major League Soccer expansion franchise in Miami. Maikel Franco Jersey .The Toronto Raptors guard, who will represent the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Game in New Orleans on Sunday, says he doesnt complain in the face of adversity "because I know this little girl is just happy for anything.With the series even at 2-2, Game 5 between the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday should be quite the event. TSNs Jack Armstrong offers his thoughts on the series so far. 1. Improved Offence: Though the Raptors struggled mightily in the second and third quarters, they were impressive in the first and fourth and overall took much better care of the ball and exhibited better shot discipline. That must continue against an outstanding defensive opponent. Got the ball swung to the weakside and made the defence shift enough to get quality looks and just seemed less rattled and a little more sure of what they wanted to accomplish per trip. Still room for lots of improvement and theyll need it; will take the Nets best punch so far in this series on Wednesday. 2. Defensive Details: Much better job guarding the ball straight up and limiting straight-line drives and easy paths to the paint. Have to stay sound and stop closing out on perimeter guys out of control and going for pump fakes that lead to drives. Better job here. Really worked hard to contest shots. Help was very good in the fourth quarter and the rotations and communication were sound. 3. Red Alert: Game 5 and youre all even. Needless to say the pressure and excitement will be there for both sides. It comes down to this the next 48+ hours: which team stays focused better on the task at hand? Which team really locks in better on the game prep and the subtle adjustments you have to make perr game? Do you stay true to your fundamental habits and execute them? At this point, youve played each other eight times already so theres no secrets. Enyel De Los Santos Jersey. Whos going to be better and can sustain the edge? Lastly, with all the hype/hoopla surrounding you, are you able to maintain your poise/composure and get at the task at hand. Not easy for either side yet this is what makes the games so much fun. 4. Joe Johnson: Raptors did a nice job getting the ball out of his hands and making him work for his shots. No Landry Fields and in spite of John Salmons not scoring, his effort was outstanding in this matchup. He fronted him at times in the mid/low post and whomever was guarding Johnson stood their ground better and the help/double came quicker and harder. An absolute must in Game 5. Hell be looking to make a statement early and often to re-establish himself. 5. Raptors Square: What a scene! Believe me. NBA folks along with players and agents take notice of whats going on outside the ACC and compare it to the level of passion/interest they see in the other 29 NBA markets. Were in the recruitment and retention business; every little bit helps gain the upper hand on your opponent. The level of passion and love for the sport that people see from fans all across Canada right now will help Raptors ownership and management in so many ways continue to improve the organization on many fronts. You the fans are making your own statement. Keep it up. Thanks! ' ' '
9 déc. 2019
ST. Hoyt Wilhelm Jersey . JOHNS, N.L. -- Jason Jaffray scored 52 seconds into the game, and Eddie Pasquale made 36 saves to lead the St. Johns IceCaps over the Manchester Monarchs 4-1 in American Hockey League action on Friday. "We got off to a good start and scored that early goal," IceCaps forward Adam Lowry said. "Then we got back on our heels a bit in the third period. We did a good job keeping their shots to the outside in the third." Despite being outshot 18-7 in the third period, partially due to having to kill three penalties, Pasquale kept the IceCaps in the game. Head coach Keith McCambridge was happy with the teams penalty kill. "In the third period especially, our penalty kill was tested," McCambridge said. "The foundation for all penalty kills is making sure your goaltender is the best guy (out there). I thought Eddie (Pasquale) made some huge saves for us to be able to keep momentum." One player who is making the most of his penalty kill opportunities, according to McCambridge, is Adam Lowry. "Hes really good and hes been good all season," he said. "He possesses long range and takes up a lot of ice, and he is able to read well on the forecheck. Lowry is a player that has a lot of intelligence on where to be on the ice and hes been key for us." Lowry is happy to have an expanded role with the IceCaps, which allows him to be killing penalties and learning from veterans. "Its good any time your role is increased with the team, you want to make the most of it," Lowry said. "(Patrice) Cormier and Jaffray have helped me out a lot on the penalty kill and knowing where to be." Jerome Samson scored two goals, and John Albert had one for the IceCaps (20-15-3), who won their second in a row. Nick Deslauriers replied for the Monarchs (25-11-6). Jaffray opened the scoring when he tapped in a rebound off an Andrew Gordon slapshot. Albert made it 2-0 with a short-handed goal when he cut across the net and beat Jean-Francois Berube with a backhand shot at 7:56of the second period. Samson got his first goal of the game on the power play at 11:20 of the second, to make it 3-0. The Monarchs got on the board at 14:17 of the second period when Jordan Weal tipped a pass across the crease to Deslauriers, who scored into a practically empty net. Samson added an empty netter for the IceCaps with 14 seconds left. Berube made 27 saves for Manchester. St. Johns was 1 for 4 with the man advantage, and the Monarchs were 0 for 5. Frank Robinson Jersey . -- Jonathan Vilmas season is over and his future on the football field is in doubt. Tippy Martinez Jersey . -- The Washington Redskins coaching staff distanced itself from other coaches Thursday by siding with ownership -- and not the players -- in the NFLs labour dispute.OKLAHOMA CITY - Tony Parker is dinged up again, and his status is unclear heading into the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. The San Antonio Spurs All-Star point guard did not play in the second half or overtime of the Western Conference finals-clinching win over Oklahoma City on Saturday because of a sore left ankle. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich doesnt know what shape Parker will be in for Game 1 on Thursday in San Antonio. "I have no idea," Popovich said Saturday night. "I dont know what the deal is." Popovich said Parker sprained the ankle in Game 4 and aggravated it in Game 5. Popovich considered starting Manu Ginobili at point guard in Game 6 against the Thunder because Parker was having trouble during pregame. At halftime, Popovich made the decision to hold him out. "He came to me about eight minutes on the clock (before the second half) and said he couldnt go," Popovich said. "He couldnt cut. He was limping on it. He couldnt cut sideways or forward really." Popovich said he thought playing Parker in the second half would have hurt the team in the long term. "I didnt want him to be a hero because he was 50 per cent or less, we thought," Popovich said. "Thats probably bad for the team if you think about it. It was a tough decision to try to figure out whether to play him, and if you lose the game and it affects him for Monday night, then youre going to feel like you made an unwise choice." Parker has been plagued by injuries this year. He averaged 16.7 points and 5.7 assists while shooting 50 per cent from the field during the regular season, but he missed 22 games. He strained his left hamstring in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals aagainst Portland and did not return. Anthony Santander Jersey . The Spurs won that game easily to clinch the series. Once again, his teammates bought him some rest. Had the Spurs lost Game 6, they would have faced an elimination game at home Monday against the Thunder. "We didnt know how much Tony was hurt in his ankle," forward Boris Diaw said. "But we didnt want to go to Game 7, and we didnt know if he would be ready to play if we did or if he would be 100 per cent, so we tried to get it over with tonight." Still, the Spurs have proven all season they can win without key players, posting the NBAs best record despite a series of injuries. "We have to continue to play basketball regardless of who is on the floor and our reserves did a great job - Cory (Joseph), Patty (Mills) - they stepped in and continued to run the offence and push the pace and playing good defence on their guards as well," guard Danny Green said. Joseph started the second half of Game 6 against Oklahoma City and helped engineer a 37-point third quarter. "Cory was very good," Ginobili said. "I mean, its hard to play when you dont have many opportunities to play in close games and stuff. But he did very well in Game 3 and 4 here. He always brings the juice, aggressiveness, competitiveness. He attacks the rim well. I think he made a few key plays." The Spurs said they excel without their stars because they are about a system, rather than individuals. "We have been doing what we did the whole year, which is passing the ball to each other, getting some movement, getting pace and getting into a good rhythm," Diaw said. "Always trying to set up a good shot for a teammate." ' ' '