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.

Kai Forbath’s 45-yard field goal with four minutes to play put the Vikings up by three scores and presumably sealed the game.

Minnesota was able to milk 3:49 off the clock during its eight-play, 48-yard drive. 29-12, Vikings.

Four field goals of 25 yards or less generally is a good sign of red-zone woes. That was the case for Saints on Monday, as they failed to score a touchdown deep in Minnesota territory yet again. But they at least were able to cut the Vikings’ lead to 14 at the five-minute mark with Wil Lutz’s 20-yarder. 26-12, Vikings.

The Vikings took a commanding lead early in the fourth quarter when Sam Bradford found Kyle Rudolph on a corner route at the goal line for a The score capped another long drive for Minnesota — nine plays, 89 yards, including a 32-yard run by rookie Dalvin Cook. 26-9, Vikings.

The Panthers are just one season removed from a 15-1 finish and a Super Bowl bid. And sure, they’ll have to go through last year’s NFC champions to do it, but the Panthers are poised to make it happen.

Carolina finished 6-10 last year, which was a pretty severe drop in wins from the previous season, even for a team with an obvious Super Bowl hangover. Cam Newton’s MVP stats of 2015 were just a memory as he had what was his worst season as a pro statistically. He completed just 52.9 percent of his Cheap Liverpool Soccer Jerseys passes and threw for 16 fewer touchdowns last year compared to 2015.

We’re entering a season in which, for the first time in a Cheap Kids NBA Jerseys very long time (ever?) it feels as if players have shaped the league in their image more than owners have shaped it in theirs, even if only slightly.

Carson Wentz came out dealing, and Fletcher Cox came out stealing.

They say it takes a quarterback and a defense to win championships. Philly is starting to be in great hands.

What was that? As good as the Giants’ defensive line, run stopping, pass rush and coverage units are, it seems like they have the equal and opposite problems on offense. To overcome, they need a less injured Odell Beckham Jr. and a less shaky Eli Manning.

Sound the horn. Sam Bradford, Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen all came through as expected against that Saints D at home, indoors. Bltizburgh on a short week is a totally different story.

Sacksonville may be the best defensive team nickname since, well, Bltizburgh. Calais Campbell is already serving as mayor.

Marcus Mariota made a few plays, but what happened to the running game and finishing drives? The Titans also need their defensive upgrades to pay off a little.

It’s not the age of Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald we’re worried about, but more so the overall inconsistency of both the offense and defense.

Marcus Mariota, the offensive line and running game will keep this team humming, but even after some upgrades, the defense is a major liability.

Jameis Winston and “Hard Knocks” have given them worthy buzz as a rising team. They will score, but it’s all about their defensive talent meshing to complement that, which is a big question mark.

As solid a coach as Andy Reid is, his teams in both Philadelphia and Kansas City Cheap Jerseys World have built-in playoff ceilings despite what figures to be another solid regular Cheap Jordan Jerseys season.

The rookie showed no overt apprehension as he ended up with four tackles in the game for a defense that only allowed three points to the Giants.

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Awuzie said of Lee: “[He’s] taking care of the young guys, making sure that our heads up, making sure that we’re in our playbook, and he’s leading the defense at the same time, pulling you to the side as a rookie. He’s making you feel important too. He’s been that guy for me that’s really been a veteran leader.”

In Sunday’s game against the Giants, Awuzie saw himself on the field for a significant number of snaps, after veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick left in the first quarter with a broken hand and the Cowboys reshuffled the cornerback positional rotation.

But his own efforts were secondary: “All that matters is we got the W.

Los Angeles expected that to a degree. Goff’s college offense, a disciple of the Air Raid system that has produced exactly two successful NFL QBs (Sam Bradford and Robert Griffin), did not allow him a realistic development of timing, speed of progressions or pre-snap defensive alignments.

Goff will be the Rams’ starter in 2017, as he should be — he needs a chance to impress. But after Los Angeles saw Jacksonville wait too long to pull the plug on Blake Bortles, this could be a make-or-break season for Goff.

The advanced stat “adjusted net yards per passing attempt,” or “ANY/A,” encompasses passing yards, touchdowns, interceptions and sacks into one number. It has proven to be a strong indicator of QB success and has the highest correlation to wins.

Since 2000, 48 quarterbacks drafted in the top-100 picks have Cheap Jerseys Wholesale thrown over 100 Cheap Jerseys US passes in their rookie seasons. Of those 48, Goff is 46th in ANY/A.

Bears coach John Fox also was happy with what he got from the running back.

“When it comes to taking hits, we play the game of football,” Cohen said. “I feel like a durable enough back to take those kinds of hits.”

“We got a rookie out there that had a pretty good day both running and catching,” Fox said during his postgame press conference. “(Cohen) didn’t surprise anybody that’s in that locker room.”

“It doesn’t have to do with the protests — if it did, then teams would be cutting the players who are standing or kneeling during the anthem,” the GM said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “The league is filled with guys who are protesting the same exact way who are on rosters.

“I know our roster has players who have protested. That doesn’t affect if we sign them.”

The former 49ers quarterback’s kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before games last season is speculated as the paramount reason he has not been signed in 2017.

The anonymous NFL GM, however, claims the media circus created by Kaepernick’s actions and the way he has handled it are the reasons.

11:20 p.m.: Field goal. New England’s final drive of the third quarter stalled when Tom Brady was penalized for an illegal forward pass beyond the line of scrimmage, the first time he had been flagged for such a foul since 2006. Stephen Gostkowski made a 31-yard field goal to extend the Patriots’ lead. 27-21, Patriots.

11:03 p.m.: Touchdown. It’s time to name Mike Gillislee the fantasy football hero of the night. The Patriots running back scored his third touchdown of the game with a Cheap Ireland Soccer Jerseys 1-yard burst as the third quarter was coming to a close. The score capped a three-play, 54-yard Cheap Jerseys And Sunglasses drive that was aided by a pass interference penalty. 24-21, Patriots.

Rams coach Sean McVay still optimistic holdout Aaron Donald will play Sunday

The Rams have not seen Aaron Donald at all this summer. That does not mean the team has ruled him out for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Colts.

“He is not ruled out, but right now he’s not here,” Rams coach Sean McVay said Monday. “Guys are ready to go and we’re getting a plan in place and the preparation goes on. Fortunately, we’ve Cheap Germany Soccer Jerseys got a bunch of guys that we feel confident in that are ready to step up.

“Our message continues to remain the same, if he’s here, great, we’ll accept him back with open arms, but in the meantime we’ve got to get ready to play a football game and we know the Colts are getting ready as well.”

Player to watch: Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens — There aren’t many still questioning whether Flacco is among the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. The question now is whether he can stay healthy. A back injury has prevented him from participating in the preseason. This comes less than two years after a severe knee injury cost him the final six games of the 2015 season. If the preseason proved anything, it’s that the Ravens’ offense needs Flacco on the field.

Impact rookie: DeShone Kizer, QB, Browns — Kizer will be the opening-day starter after Brock Osweiler failed to win the job this summer. Kizer will go through some growing pains and his Cheap Hats And Jerseys development will be scrutinized all season.