Bradley’s efforts were a reminder of why he earned All-Defense first team honors last season

Twice Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley tried to set a final sequence into motion, and twice Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley wouldn’t let him get within 30 feet of the hoop. Conley had no choice but to give up the ball in the final seconds of regulation in a tied game Tuesday, and Conley never got inside the 3-point arc while watching teammate Marc Gasol miss a chance at a game winner.
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But Thomas’ jersey number reflects his favorite quarter. After Tuesday’s win, Stevens said of Thomas, “He makes big [shots]. And he likes to take big ones.”

Despite his individual success this season, Thomas has been frustrated that it hasn’t translated to team victories. Boston has now won three straight to shuffle to 16-12 overall. The Celtics sit third in the East but have nine teams lingering within four games behind them. Boston had struggled to close out wins over quality opponents this season, dropping recent heartbreakers to the Rockets, Thunder and Spurs.

Authentic Kids Kevin Zeitler Jersey Tuesday’s win came over a Grizzlies team that started the year 12-0 in games in which the score was within one possession in the final minute.

“[The Grizzlies] were punking us in the first half,” Thomas said during his on-court interview with CSN. “This might turn the season around [for Boston], for real.”

Bradley’s efforts were a reminder of why he earned All-Defense first team honors last season and why he was the top vote-getting guard, finishing third in total votes behind only San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and Golden State’s Draymond Green.

Bradley, who said before the season that he believes he deserves Defensive Player of the Year consideration, hasn’t exactly had a dominant defensive season.

Vikings’ lopsided loss to Colts raises plenty of questions

Here are the most significant NFL players who got banged up in Week 15:

Tyrell Williams, WR, San Diego Chargers: Williams, who got hit hard on a third-down catch in the fourth quarter, was taken to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion.

The key play came with 11:35 left in the game. Oakland linebacker Perry Riley Jr. stripped running back Kenneth Farrow of the ball on first-and-10 from San Diego’s 16-yard line, with fellow linebacker Malcolm Smith recovering the loose ball.
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Youth Damon Severson Jersey San Diego’s defense held tough, forcing the Raiders to settle for a Sebastian Janikowski 20-yard field goal, tying the game at 16.

After forcing the Chargers to punt on the ensuing possession, the Raiders marched down the field and took the lead for good on a Janikowski 44-yard field goal.

The Chargers had one last shot late, but Philip Rivers threw his league-high 18th interception to Oakland safety Reggie Nelson attempting to get the ball to Dontrelle Inman on fourth down from his own territory.

Janikowski finished with four field goals.

San Diego has lost six games this season after leading in the fourth quarter, most in the NFL.

At 5-9 on the year, the Chargers are officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Oakland defeated the Chargers for the fourth straight time. The Chargers dropped to 1-12 in the AFC West since November 2014 and 7-16 in the division during Mike McCoy’s tenure as head coach.

Roughly 80 percent of the announced crowd of 68,352 — the largest crowd at Qualcomm this season — appeared to be clad in silver and black. The Chargers were enthusiastically booed when they took the field before kickoff.

The crowd was so tilted in Oakland’s favor that the Chargers did not announce the team’s starting lineup.

Mack should have more shots at Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers with San Diego’s banged-up offensive line

Limited Manti Te’o Jersey “He’s probably old enough to be a lot of our fathers, but he does an amazing job of being a big part of the fabric of our locker room. I don’t think I truly appreciate him enough. I don’t think any of us will truly appreciate how special he is until after he’s done playing.”

And the only NFL player ever to score at least 1,000 points for two franchises still has some work to do. To his records of 44 consecutive made field goals (ended last month against Tennessee) and 234 career postseason points, he wants to add the league’s all-time regular-season scoring record — he needs 188 points to pass Morten Andersen’s total of 2,544.

“If I’m fortunate enough to play two more years after this,” Vinatieri says, “and I could potentially get the record, I think I’ll bow out at that point. I don’t have any aspirations to play until I’m 50 years old.”

Mack should have more shots at Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers with San Diego’s banged-up offensive line and Rivers’ declaration earlier this season that he wanted to take deep shots against the Raiders.

“We pride ourselves on that, not letting guys throw the ball over the top,” Mack said. “We’ve given up a few here and there, but it’s all about getting better. Learning from your mistakes and learning from the week before, the game before.”

Elite Bobby Portis Jersey Indeed, Oakland’s defense has improved as well, moving from the 32nd and last-ranked total defense in the league to No. 30. Not a huge leap by any stretch, but the unit is getting stops late in games.

“We’re making strides, man,” Mack said. “We’re making strides. I wouldn’t say ‘proud.’ But we’re making strides. Just looking forward to this next challenge.”

As in, win and they’re in.

If the Raiders (10-3) beat the Chargers (5-8) at Qualcomm Stadium, they will clinch their first playoff spot since 2002, which ended with a Super Bowl loss at … Qualcomm Stadium.

“It’s always in your mind, because that’s the goal — you want to definitely be in the playoffs,” Mack said. “But at the same time, it’s not easy to do. It’s no easy task, and the challenge is to go out and try to clinch that, by any means.”

Bosa surely would agree with that sentiment.

The Browns have finally broken Joe Thomas

The Cleveland Browns have been a complete and utter mess for the last several years, and through it all one of the best players in the NFL has kept his head down and done his job as well as anybody else in the league.

But offensive tackle Joe Thomas may have finally had enough. After the Browns’ season-ending loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, the nine-year veteran did not rule out asking for a trade depending on what happens with the front office and coaching staff next, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

“I was always wanting to Art Monk Jersey be here and be part of the turnaround, but when there’s changes in the front office, changes in the coaching staff, they may not want me,” he said. “They [may] want to go younger. It may be a situation where I don’t want to be here. I don’t know. There’s too many unknowns to really say one way or the other.”

It’s unclear why Gilbert would have told coaches he wouldn’t go back in, but he did get some playing time in the game. He has had a stunning lack of playing time this season and didn’t factor much into the picture even with the injuries at cornerback. Starting corners Joe Haden and Tramon Williams both missed Sunday’s game with concussions, while rookie Charles Gaines was inactive while expecting his child to be born.

That left Pierre Desir, K’Waun Williams, Johnson Bademosi and Gilbert as the only healthy cornerbacks, but safety Tashaun Gipson was moved to cornerback to play ahead of Gilbert.

Gilbert played just 51 snaps this season going into Sunday’s game. Earlier in the season, there were questions about Gilbert’s desire to improve as a player and his commitment to the NFL, though head coach Mike Pettine gave few reasons for his lack of playing time when asked.

In two seasons, Gilbert Mens Eugene Sims Jersey has played in 22 games and has 39 tackles, an interception, eight passes defensed and a defensive touchdown.

The reason the Cardinals felt compelled to go that high was their need for speed

“You get a taste of winning a World Series and you want to do that again,” Fowler said at his introductory news conference. “You’re excited and you want to get back and Lance Kendricks Kids Jersey win the World Series. With the Cardinals, they’re always in the hunt. That was a big part of my decision.”

Fowler said Cubs president Theo Epstein called him shortly before Chicago acquired Jon Jay to inform Fowler the team would not be making him an offer to return.

“That shows you his personality, that he can still provide light in a situation like that, where he’s being obviously crushed on social media,” said Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman, Price’s friend and former teammate. “But he really is just focused on the positive, and he’s able to just take everything and kind of spin it to a good way.”

And that’s where Price Johnathan Joseph Kids Jersey and his new Red Sox co-ace diverge. The only spin Chris Sale cares about is the rotation of his slider.

In a conference call Wednesday, Sale claimed he isn’t one to Google articles about himself or read coverage in the newspaper. Several journalists who have covered Sale said Wednesday that friends and family will often make the lefty aware of things written or said about him, but he will rarely seek it out. Twitter? Sale doesn’t have an account and — sorry, Red Sox fans — isn’t planning to start one.

“I’m really more focused on the between-the-lines stuff,” said Sale, who got his share of negative attention in July when he petulantly cut up Chicago White Sox throwback jerseys because he didn’t want to wear one. “That’s what I signed up for. That’s what I look forward to. That’s what I live for, playing the game of baseball. Everything else, it’ll take care of itself. It’ll shake out.”

Earl Thomas’ season is over thanks to a broken leg

Earl Thomas’ 2016 season is over.

On Monday, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll confirmed his All-Pro safety will miss the rest of the year due to a left leg fracture suffered in a 40-7 victory against the Carolina Panthers.

The next day, Thomas was placed on injured reserve. The Seahawks signed Jeron Johnson to help fill the void at safety. Johnson played for Seattle from 2011-14 and appeared in 46 games.

Giants linebacker Kelvin Sheppard looked to be the one to reach under Bell’s facemask, pulling backward and twisting his neck. Upon seeing this, Foster grabbed Sheppard, and threw him out of the pile.

This was the toss that got Foster fined:

The Steelers were up 14 when the incident happened. Bell was appreciative of his offensive linemen having his back.

Bell said, “I’m glad I got my guys. I call them my goons up front. They are down to ride with me whenever.”

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, a few teammates — specifically the offensive line — have offered to help pay the fine if Foster isn’t able to win on appeal.

That’s some great teamwork right there. Not only did they protect Bell, but they’ll help Foster pay for that protection if they need to.

The Raiders started the second half strong, though, forcing two turnovers in the first two minutes of play in the third quarter. Cornerback T.J. Carrie picked off Smith, and Khalil Mack sacked Smith on the next series, forcing a fumble.

Cam Newton on 2016 season: ‘It’s demoralizing’

Cam Newton was reflective and somewhat philosophical about many topics on Thursday, but on what this season has been like for him and the Carolina Panthers he went straight to the point.

“It’s demoralizing,’’ the reigning NFL MVP said.

Whether or not you believe Newton when he says being suspended for the first series of Sunday’s loss was because he didn’t wear the required tie on the flight to Seattle, you should believe him here.

“I watched back the tape and I shake my head sometimes at the things I did or the throws I didn’t make because I wasn’t trusting it,” Prescott said. “But I’ve definitely grown a ton since then, just being able to see the defenses faster, recognize what’s going on, knowing and making confident decisions and letting the ball go.”

Since then, Prescott has completed better than 66 percent of his passes in the last 11 games. He has 19 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. He has run for five touchdowns. He has two 300-yard games and three three-touchdown games.

In the opener, he failed to connect on his five passes thrown 20 yards or more. Since then, he has completed 44 percent of his passes thrown 20 yards or more. In the fourth quarter he completed just six of 17 passes but had the Cowboys on the brink of a comeback. Since, he has complete 76 percent of his fourth-quarter passes.

Elliott called himself “average” after the first game. He had just seven carries in the preseason so he was not comfortable in the system.

“It was definitely frustrating because it was not how I imagined it,” Elliott said. “But I think it definitely helped shape me into the player I am today and put a chip on my shoulder early this season to go out there and get things right.”

the Seahawks lined up outside linebacker Bruce Irvin and inside linebacker Bobby Wagner in both A gaps

McKinnon looked to be in good position to pick up the first down with a nice throw and that catch may have given the Vikings some momentum as they were heading toward the red zone. Hell, maybe they could’ve punched it in for once and scored a touchdown instead of all those field goals. Imagine if the Vikings went into the fourth quarter leading the defending NFC Champion Seahawks 13-0 instead of 9-0.

How much did they lose by again?

But alas, none of that shit happened either.

What happened was that the Seahawks used their other starting defensive end, Cliff Avril, as a spy of sorts on that play. Avril was lined up at his normal left defensive end spot before the snap with Bennett at left defensive tackle right beside him in a super wide three technique.

On Carolina’s Cam Newton: “I see that Cam is more poised, there is a calmness. It’s what playing football is all about. There is speed in your mind but the game itself becomes slow. Muscle memory takes over. When the game seems slow for you, you just use your God-given ability. Cam is trusting himself.”

On Wilson: “When I watch Russell I can tell he uses his imagination out there. Our practice tempo cannot be exactly as fast as the games. But Russell in practices actually over-exaggerates everything. That makes him prepared for the game. When they come, he’s ready. Of course, with Russell, you can tell – people who love the game, who want to be great, the most special players have that. And that’s Russell Wilson. He has greatness all around him; we have great players. Our coaches have greatness, too.”

That’s Thomas, cognizant and convicted of who he is and who and what surrounds him.

This march to Carolina, to another Super Bowl, could correct plenty for Thomas and all of the Seahawks. There is a familiar feeling among them.

“Every game is a championship game,” Thomas said. “Every game should get that kind of effort. That is Pete’s philosophy. That’s mine. This is a great game to get the chance to show who we are.”

Doug Martin is still expected to shoulder most of the workload for the Buccaneers

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills, groin: Taylor having a groin injury could normally be a concern for fantasy owners, as he provides so much value through his ground game. The good news is that he was a full participant in practice each day despite the ailment and was removed entirely from the game status injury report. It does not appear he will enter the game with any limitations; hopefully it won’t be something he will aggravate in-game.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets, knee: Fitzpatrick remains on the practice injury report, but he is expected to start again, as usual.

Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints, toe, (Q): Last week we were monitoring Ingram’s status as he was moving through the concussion protocol; now we just want to know how he’s moving. Ingram appeared on the injury report with a toe ailment and did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday. He did return to a limited practice status on Friday. There was little information on Ingram’s injury, but it’s notable that he was not seen in a walking boot at all this week, and there was no report of injury immediately after last week’s game. Still, toe injuries in a running back can be cause for concern, depending on severity.’s Mike Triplett reports this toe injury is not as severe as previous episodes, according to Ingram. It sounds, however, as if a decision on his status will come down to how he feels at game time. The Saints haven’t been afraid to utilize Tim Hightower, and they could lean on him even more heavily if Ingram is limited.

For those who might be new to this feature, injury reports provide some insight into a player’s status. The NFL requires teams to submit practice injury reports several times a week, identifying the body part that is involved in the injury. This year, there has been a change in the language of injury reporting, per the league office. The most notable change is the removal of the “probable” designation. For more detailed information on the changes and what they mean, click here.

Early in the week, the practice injury reports indicate whether a player did not practice, was limited in practice or was a full participant in practice. On Fridays, all teams file a game status injury report assigning one of the following designations: questionable, doubtful or out. The designations listed here reflect the injury reports filed with the league office Friday evening. Teams playing Monday night do not have to issue their designations until Saturday. The explanation for each designation is as follows:

Out: This is the easy one: The guy is not playing this week.

Somebody rearranged the Super Bowl 50 statues to say ‘OOPS’ and ‘UP R BOWEL’

When we last checked in with the Super Bowl 50 statue in San Francisco’s Alamo Square, the letters had been rearranged to say “SUPERB OWL.” Overnight, it appears things escalated, with the Painted Ladies looking on.

Meanwhile, via Hoodline, the sign at Twin Peaks has been changed to “UP R BOWEL.”

This is just the latest in a string of vandalism against the giant “50” statues that have been popping up across San Francisco. This week, City Hall’s statue was changed to say “SUP BRO.” Alamo Square’s was vandalized the night it went up, cleaned up and then tagged again with the words “F*** ED LEE” shortly afterwards.

The people of San Francisco do not appear to be happy to have these statues going up, and with the Super Bowl more than a week away, expect more to come.

North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz was the headline player of this year’s Senior Bowl. Physically, Wentz has all the tools you want in a franchise quarterback. The week for Wentz began with an impressive weigh-in where he came in at just under 6’5 1/4 and 233 pounds. Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage said Wentz could be a top-10 pick this year.

“Physically I’ve got a lot to offer with being able to make all of the throws and then some athleticism that people probably wouldn’t expect from a big 6’5 kid like me,” Wentz said. “Then, obviously the system we ran at North Dakota State was very pro-style, multiple, so I’m looking forward to that transitioning and helping me going forward.”

The system helps Wentz. The size and athleticism helps Wentz. He’s worth discussing as a high first-round pick because of those things. But Wentz didn’t exactly dazzle with his accuracy during the week. He missed several easy passes on Tuesday and looked best throwing short over the middle and on slants the rest of the week. Did Wentz have some good red zone completions? He did, particularly on one red zone pass placed on the back shoulder of Michigan State wide receiver Aaron Burbridge.

The week for Wentz was good. It was not great. From a player who some in the NFL expect to be the first quarterback taken in the draft, it’s not unreasonable to expect much more.