Jamie McMurray and other title challengers not named Truex or Busch still feeling good

Jamie McMurray has no race wins and no stage wins this year.

And at the moment, he’s inside the cutoff to advance to the semifinal round of eight with two races remaining in the quarterfinal round.

That’s a little bit of an accomplishment. The NASCAR elimination playoff format and its new playoff points system this year has put an emphasis on being the leader — either at the end of a stage or the end of a race.

Because he had done neither of those this season, McMurray started the quarterfinal round of 12 last among them, but just five points out of eighth.

Among the Xfinity Series regulars vying for the championship, the big winner was Ryan Reed, whose 12th-place finish put him one point ahead of Brendan Gaughan to advance to the semifinal round of eight. After an off week, the semifinals start at Kansas on Oct. 21.

Reed has won two Daytona races but this might have been one of his biggest accomplishments as he had to hold off Brandon Jones late in the race to preserve his playoff spot.

The other drivers advancing had pretty much comfortable cushions going in — William Byron, Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer, Brennan Poole and Matt Tifft.

“With this high-pressure points system, … I just knew it was going to come Texans Cheap Jerseys down to it,” Reed said. “It was the hardest seven laps I’ve ever driven. Every time Wholesale NFL Jerseys Nike I turned that steering wheel, I had to be perfect.

“Man, I’m just worn out after that. It was a lot of work. It was a lot of drama and a lot of intensity.”

Brayden Schenn also scored in the shootout as the Blues managed to win after the Islanders tied it with two third-period goals.

“We have to find ways to keep those leads, but we got the win. It’s a big two points for us,” Allen said. “They pressed hard, they have a good offensive team. They have four lines that are skilled.”

Andrew Ladd and Anders Lee had scored for the Islanders in the third to send the game into overtime, Lee’s goal coming at the 19-minute mark.

“We know we have to be better. We want to get two points every night,” said Lee, who scored his first goal of the season after leading the Islanders with 34 goals last season. “I thought we played a decent game. We were able to battle back and get a point.”

Ovechkin jokingly credited the outburst to his Russian sister-in-law, who has been visiting the U.S. this week.

“Every time she’s in town like I score a hat trick,” Ovechkin said. “Back-to-back and she’s leaving Monday. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to talk to someone to keep her here.”

It was the fourth four-goal game of his career and second against the Canadiens.

Three players had hat tricks in the first two games of the 1917-18 season: Cy Denneny of Ottawa, Joe Malone of Montreal and Reg Noble of Toronto, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Ovechkin Toronto Maple Leafs Cheap Jerseys is the first since.

Braden Holtby stopped 38 shots and T.J. Oshie also scored for Wholesale Jerseys China Washington.

Ovechkin opened the scoring 20 seconds in, added his second goal at 2:51 and his third at 18:10. Evgeny Kuznetsov assisted on all four of Ovechkin’s goals.

Alex Smith blasts 49ers, says organization was ‘completely dysfunctional’

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has found a home in Kansas City, but his NFL career hasn’t been pretty.

Smith was selected by the 49ers with the first overall pick in the 2005 draft, and he went through some pretty rough seasons. Of course that had mostly to do with the fact he had seven offensive coordinators and three head coaches over his seven seasons with the team.

While discussing “American values,” Trump blasted the NFL’s television ratings and pinned it on players protesting the anthem. However, he did take some credit for the drop because he believes people would rather watch him.

Trump’s full comments are below:

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody NFL 21 Cheap Jerseys disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired!’ You know, some owner is gonna do that. He’s gonna say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.

The New Orleans Pelicans, in a joint statement Sunday with the New Orleans Saints, said in part, “Our organization takes great pride in equality and inclusion and find the comments by the President disappointing and inappropriate relative to our players on this issue. [Owner] Tom Benson served in the military and continues to this day to support all military branches and feels strongly that we honor those men and women who defend our freedoms and our freedom of speech. He also believes that the very players that represent the Saints and Pelicans organizations should be allowed to share or express NHL Cheap Jerseys their feelings.

Cowboys coveted Paxton Lynch, ‘settled’ for Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott will start at quarterback for the Cowboys when they play the Broncos on Sunday in Denver.

Denver backup QB Paxton Lynch (shoulder) will not be active for the game.

Things might not have turned out that way for the two QBs who roomed together at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, the Dallas Morning News reported.

First, the Cowboys didn’t meet the Seahawks’ trade demands to move up and get Lynch near the end of the first round in 2016, a disappointment, owner/GM Jerry Jones has said.

The Ravens and Jaguars kicked off at 9 a.m. ET in the U.S. But despite the early start, the game generated more handle than several of the first set of games at multiple sportsbooks. At William Hill’s Nevada sportsbook, only three games — Denver-Buffalo, Miami-New York Jets and Pittsburgh-Chicago — generated more betting action than Ravens-Jaguars. William Hill reported taking a $50,000 bet on the Jaguars +3.

Most Las Vegas books opened early for the start of the London game, which kicked off at 6 a.m. PT. The majority of the bets on the game were placed Friday at sportsbook operator CG Technology.

“The game is isolated and people know how early it started, so I think it sometimes makes people bet on something that they normally wouldn’t,” Ed Salmons, assistant Pittsburgh Steelers Cheap Jerseys manager at the Nike NFL Jerseys Size Chart Westgate SuperBook, said. “It might be a game that gets overlooked if it was placed among all the other early kicks.”

Ravens-Jaguars was the first of four regular-season games to be played in London this year. The New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins will play this Sunday. The Saints are currently 3-point favorites.

Andrew Luck expected to begin practicing this week

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is expected to begin practicing as early as this week, a major step toward his eventual return to the playing field, according to sources familiar with Luck’s rehabilitation from shoulder surgery in mid-January.

Sources say Luck will likely require a three-to-four weeks of preparation for his first start of 2017 and project his return by week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, barring any setbacks.

“I guess you could say it looked like that,” Elliott said, per Pro Football Talk, in his first public response on the matter. “I would say I was just very frustrated, but that’s no excuse for the lack of effort I showed on tape. I just can’t do that. Being one of the leaders on the team and being a guy that people count on, I can’t put that type of stuff on film.”

Tomlinson also didn’t like Elliott’s sulking body language on the Cowboys bench on Sunday, when the second-year back posted the worst game so far of his NFL career, rushing for only eight yards on nine carries.

“It’s definitely not me,” Elliott said of the performance and attitude he displayed in Denver. “It’s definitely not the type of player I am. It’s definitely not who I Wholesale Jerseys am for this team. I just can’t do that. I was frustrated, and I wasn’t myself.”

At least Elliott acknowledged where he went wrong and did his best to put Wholesale MLB Jerseys the issue to rest as the Cowboys prepare to visit the Cardinals on Monday night.