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NFL News, Videos, Scores, Teams And More

LeBron was near his best to give a 1 lead the Eastern Conference finals

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LeBron was near his best to give a 1 lead the Eastern Conference finals. Photograph: C Cox Getty Images LeBron scored 31 points, while JR Smith made eight three-pointers and added 28 to lead the Cavaliers past the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks 97 Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night. Intent on bringing their first NBA title, sealed the victory with a soaring dunk the final minute. But Smith was the one who ignited the Cavaliers, going eight of 12 from three-point range. For the Hawks, it was the second straight series which they’ve lost the opening game at home. look to take command of the series Game 2 on Friday night. Teague led Atlanta with 27 points.

But the night really turned sour for the Hawks when DeMarre Carroll, their leading scorer the playoffs, went down with what appeared to be a left knee injury driving to the basket with 4 remaining. He was helped to the locker room, not putting any weight on his knee. The Cavaliers took control when Smith knocked down back-to-back threes the third quarter. outscored the Hawks 22 over the final five minutes of the third quarter and the first two minutes of the fourth. In fact, the Cavs scored the first 11 points of the final period for their biggest lead, 85.

Carroll’s injury left the crowd silence and could be a huge blow for the Hawks. Not only was he their main defender on, he has turned into offensive force the playoffs, averaging more than 17 points coming into the first Eastern Conference final Atlanta history. slowed the pace down the stretch, looking to milk the clock, and nearly squandered the big lead. Atlanta closed to 91 with about a minute remaining, but got loose from Paul Millsap out near the arc, took off down the lane uncontested and slammed Bobby Rainey Jersey home a dunk to finish off the Hawks. Smith has been a huge addition for the Cavaliers since he was acquired as part of a three-team trade with New and Oklahoma City, a player once known for his selfishness learning to work well with within the confines of a team led by. When the Cavaliers really needed Smith Game 1, he seemed to make every shot.

Looking to get off to a quick start front of their raucous home crowd, the Hawks jumped out to a nine-point lead the first quarter. Atlanta shot 61% and went to the bench with about three minutes remaining the period after picking up his second foul. The Cavs hit just 35% the opening quarter, but a dominating performance on the boards kept Atlanta from pulling away. outrebounded the Hawks 15 over the first 12 minutes, actually yanking down more offensive rebounds than Atlanta’s total output. returned the second quarter and began to take control of the offense. He scored 14 points the period on seven-of-nine shooting, taking advantage when the Hawks tried to bait him into a third foul by guarding him with smaller players. kept Brandon Myers Jersey driving to the basket but managed to avoid a lot of contact. was poised to take a lead into halftime when Tristan Thompson dunked off a slick pass from Matthew Dellavedova with four seconds remaining. But Schroder wisely let the inbounds pass roll to nearly midcourt without picking it up, which prevented the clock from starting. The second-year guard finally scooped it up, bolted into the lane, and rifled a pass to Kent Bazemore wide open the corner. He sank the jumper as the horn sounded, leaving the teams tied 51 at the break.

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The Patriots’ locker room was eerily calm after their thrilling Super Bowl victory.

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The Patriots’ locker room Bryce Brown Jersey was eerily calm after their thrilling Super Bowl victory. That’s because winning is now expectation receives third MVP award after Super Bowl victory. The New England Patriots’ locker room was eerily calm at the end of Super Bowl XLIX. At the end of a championship game you expect to find the victors a state of glorious chaos, hugging and hollering as music blares out from some unseen speaker.

Twelve months ago, screamed himself hoarse at the middle of a scrum MetLife Stadium. After the Giants beat the Pats the previous Arizona Super Bowl, Osi Umenyiora tore a picture of Ugg boots off the inside of his locker and bellowed with unrefined glee. There were no such scenes at University of Phoenix Stadium on evening. The stars of New England’s win over Seattle spoke quietly and showered quickly, while staff cleared up used equipment with startling efficiency.

The most boisterous moment arrived when walked Byron Maxwell Jersey and and shouted across a few short words of congratulation to Butler, whose interception had sealed the win. Perhaps the Patriots were still just shock at their victory stolen from the jaws of defeat. Maybe they simply did not feel like sharing their happiness with journalists after all the criticism their team had received off the back of the ball deflation scandal surrounding the AFC Championship Game.

Such calmness might also be the product of high expectations. The Patriots were not overwhelmed by their own success because they enter into every game with absolute conviction that they triumph. They have been right more often than not over the past 14 years. Since officially became the team’s starting quarterback week three of the 2001 season, New England’s record stands at a combined 191 . This was, of course, their fourth Super Bowl win with under center. He joins Montana and Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks ever to reach that number. Already on night there were people ready to voice the opinion that had now definitively confirmed his status as the greatest of all time at his position. reality we all know that the debate never truly be ended. Beauty is the eye of the beholder, and there never be objective ‘best’ as as watching football remains inherently subjective experience.

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Behind exciting rookie QB and new defense, the Eagles look fantastic

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Carson Wentz’s stat line didn’t look great, but if you watched Monday night’s game you had to be impressed.

It’s easy to be impressed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a whole, too.

Wentz went 21-of-34 for 190 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions as the Eagles dominated the Chicago Bears 29-14 to improve to 2-0.

Randall Liu, the NFL’s director of football communications, said Wentz is the first rookie quarterback since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970 to start and win his team’s first two games of the season without throwing an interception. Wentz isn’t making the mistakes we see out of a lot of rookie quarterbacks. And he can make a ton of plays, as well.

Wentz already understands some of the important details of playing quarterback. The Eagles give him a lot of freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage, which speaks to how well he already knows the offense. And he has impressive physical skills. He can make all the throws with a very strong arm. And he can run well too — though he needs to learn how to slide, before he gets hurt again (see video below … ouch).

Bradford’s first Vikings start was impressive, especially considering he was battered behind an offensive line that struggled to protect. Bradford kept taking hits but came back time after time to make big-time throws. And it can’t be understated that he had almost no time to learn the offense. He had no previous experience in coordinator Norv Turner’s scheme, either. That never seemed to be a factor, which is a compliment to Bradford.

Kaepernick said he knew there would be issues when he started his protest, so death threats are “not something I haven’t thought about.”

It’s sad that someone peacefully protesting, even during the national anthem, would even need to worry about death threats. But we were reminded why Kaepernick is protesting, when Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man, was shot with a stun gun by a male officer and then shot and killed by a female officer in Tulsa, Okla.

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Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.: Can’t control who likes, doesn’t like me

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t think he is well-liked “anywhere” around the NFL.

“I don’t know if I’m necessarily liked anywhere, really,” Beckham said Wednesday when asked if there was any lingering resentment among the Dallas Cowboys following his celebrated one-handed catch. “It just is what it is when we’re on the field; off the field, there’s no hard feelings for me anywhere. At the end of the day, it’s football.

“I can’t control who resents, likes, doesn’t like, in a sense. We just go out there, handle our business, play football and keep it moving from there.”

Beckham, 23, is set to start his third professional season with a matchup Sunday afternoon against the Cowboys and cornerback Brandon Carr, who was on the wrong end of Beckham’s famous, behind-the-ear grab two years ago.

Two of Beckham’s three least productive games last season actually came against Carr, with the Cowboys limiting the Pro Bowl receiver to nine catches for 79 yards in the two meetings.

“It just happened that way,” Beckham said. “First game last year was in Dallas’ stadium and, like I said, we really didn’t hit the ground running. It was kind of lackadaisical and we were going through the motions. Make sure this year we hit it and get it right.”

The names of Brown, wide receiver Anquan Boldin and running back Reggie Bush were mentioned during Beckham’s 15-minute news conference Wednesday; he worked out with all three this offseason.

Fangio stressed that he is not upset with Floyd, the ninth overall pick, but is concerned about the rookie’s development, or lack thereof.

“I’m disappointed that, yes, he got sick and missed a few days of practice,” Fangio said. “I’m disappointed he dinged his shoulder and missed a few days of practice and then tweaked a hamstring and missed four or five days of practice. Yeah, I’m disappointed that happened, but I’m not mad at him. He didn’t do it on purpose. But it has retarded his development a little bit.”

Floyd did not react much when informed of Fangio’s comments.

“I think I’m ready as I can be, when my number is called, to go out there and do whatever it takes and help us win,” Floyd said.

“I don’t feel much pressure at all. Because I know me, and I’ll go out there and give it the best I can, and that’s all I can do.”

Bears general manager Ryan Pace cited Floyd’s rare combination of height (6-foot-4), athleticism and speed as justification for trading up two spots to get him in the draft. Floyd, who had 17 sacks in 38 careers games in college, tested extremely well at the NFL scouting combine in February.

However, Floyd’s playing weight is an ongoing concern. The Bears put him on a special nutritional program to pack on pounds over the summer. Listed at 240 pounds in Chicago’s official Week 1 roster, Floyd played much lighter than that at Georgia. But Floyd, who refused to disclose his exact playing weight, said he is only “2 pounds” away from his target goal.

Fangio said the manner in which Floyd handles himself physically will determine the amount of playing time he receives.

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Eric Ebron taking recovery slowly, unsure for Week 1

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ALLEN PARK, Mich. — For the past three weeks, Eric Ebron has watched from the sidelines. The Detroit Lions tight end hasn’t practiced. He hasn’t played in games. He has been doing some mentoring of younger tight ends, and that’s about it.

All the while, he has had one thing in his head as he has watched the Lions play without him.

Harbaugh has talked with Kaepernick two or three times over the years and knows him through his brother Jim, who drafted Kaepernick in 2011 and coached him for four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He mentioned Kaepernick comes from a great family and was raised the right way, which “reflects in how successful he’s been.”

But Harbaugh said it’s a fine line between standing up for what you believe in and not becoming a distraction to the team. He tells his players that you have to make sure you believe what you say publicly because you have to own it.

“You respect our team, our organization and the other players,” Harbaugh said. “You respect the mission that we’re on and what we’re trying to accomplish. None of us ever want us to detract or disrespect the efforts of all the other players on the football team. That’s the balance that all of us have to strike when we speak out about something like that.”

What’s the best team this year’s salary cap can buy? This is my third year building a roster that answers that very question.

Martin Halloran, the San Francisco Police Officers Association president, sent a letter Monday to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and 49ers CEO Jed York denouncing Kaepernick’s “ill-advised” statements and a “naivete” and “total lack of sensitivity” toward police, along with an “incredible lack of knowledge” about officer-involved shootings.

The police union invited Kaepernick or anyone else from the league to visit the San Francisco police academy to build communication and understanding about the profession.

“I only wish Mr. Kaepernick could see the emotional and psychological challenges that our officers face following a fatal encounter,” Halloran wrote. “Some are so affected they never return to the streets. In short, Mr. Kaepernick has embarrassed himself, the 49er organization, and the NFL based on a false narrative and misinformation that lacks any factual basis.”

Kaepernick, who has sat through the anthem at all three 49ers preseason games so far, is prepared to keep fighting for what he believes in, even alone.

“The fact that it has blown up like this, I think it’s a good thing. It brings awareness,” Kaepernick said Sunday. “Now, I think people are really talking about it. Having conversations about how to make change. What’s really going on in this country. And we can move forward. …There is police brutality. People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher.”

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that he meets with his players every year to discuss the national anthem.

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Dolphins RB Arian Foster turns back clock against Falcons

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Former Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster turned 30 on Wednesday. That usually is an age when players at his position go downhill fast in the NFL.

However, Foster celebrated his birthday by turning back the clock Thursday night and showing the Miami Dolphins — his new team — that he still has more to offer. Foster looked impressive in limited snaps with 30 total yards (10 rushing, 20 receiving), which included a 2-yard touchdown run and a fourth-down reception to move the chains.

Who got hurt: Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had a monster first quarter with four tackles. But he suffered an ankle injury and didn’t return. Starting linebacker Jelani Jenkins also suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter, and running back Isaiah Pead injured his hamstring in the third quarter. Backup defensive ends Terrence Fede (knee) and Chris McCain (shoulder) also were injured.

“It’s just a journey,” Michael said. “Being drafted here so high and then going to Dallas and then Redskins and then back here, it’s just an opportunity. It’s just a blessing to even be back here. Most guys, you get rid of them, and they go out of the NFL. But they gave me an opportunity to come back, and I’m just trying to make the best of it. I’m trying not to let these guys down.”

Pete Carroll was asked if he’s ever seen a player show a more dramatic turnaround than Michael.

“This is a really dramatic one,” Carroll said. “He had to go somewhere else. He had to get cut. He had to get released from the practice squad. We were fortunate to get him back, and he comes back with all of the lessons at hand that you could learn, and he learned them.

“He’s turned it around, and it’s a beautiful turnaround for him and for us. I’m thrilled for the kid. He’s playing so confidently right now.”

The Ravens must get down to 53 players by Sept. 3. In terms of wide receiver, there are five players who have earned a spot: Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wallace, Kamar Aiken, Breshad Perriman, and Chris Moore.

This means Reynolds, Campanaro, Jeremy Butler, and Chris Matthews are fighting for one spot or possibly two openings. Reynolds has looked like a practice squad candidate (if he clears waivers) by his slow development as a receiver and return man. What Reynolds has working for him is his versatility.

“As I’ve described before, our returners need to be able to do something more than just be a returner, and he really demonstrated that the other night,” Rosburg said. “He’s improving in his catching skills. You know he can run the ball when he has it, so he continues to develop. Positive progress.”

And most of the time he ends up talking about Goff anyway.

“I’m still batting a thousand,” Keenum said. “Every interview has had Jared Goff come up. I don’t know if that will ever stop. That’s the situation. When I step on the football field, though, all of that goes away.”

Stepping onto the field has become the only time Keenum is actually treated like a starting quarterback. It’ll happen again in Denver on Saturday, when the Los Angeles Rams take on the reigning-champion Denver Broncos at 9 pm ET. Keenum will start and will probably play three or four series. Goff will take over thereafter, taking a handful of snaps with members of the first-team offense before the rest of the backups come in.

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Sean Payton’s fantasy advice on Michael Thomas: ‘Shoot, I’d try to have him’

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As I wrote last week in my Saints WR projections, fantasy owners still need to temper their expectations for Thomas, because he is a rookie and because New Orleans has so many options in the passing game (Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and Coby Fleener, among others).

But clearly Thomas has a ton of upside.

He took part in limited portions of Dallas’ final two practices in California and has done more the past two days since the team’s return to Texas. The Cowboys’ final practice before heading to Seattle will be Tuesday.

“Well, it’s important for all players to practice and get their work in,” coach Jason Garrett said. “That’s what we would like for everybody on our team, regardless if they’re a first-year player or have played for 15 years, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. Some guys get hurt or for different reasons are not able to practice, so what you do is try to focus on the task at hand and do what you need to do. He’s done a really good job with his rehab getting himself back, staying engaged with the team; he picked things up quickly. He’s had a good couple of days of practice.”

The lack of practice time might hurt in terms of cohesion with the offensive line. The Cowboys’ running game is built on angles and launch points. Elliott has specific reads he must make off the hip of a tight end, tackle or guard.

Perriman doesn’t know why he decided to clip off his signature dreadlocks, which hung below his shoulders. He just woke up one morning and got rid of them.

“I feel much lighter,” Perriman said. “Once I cut it, I weighed myself, and I lost three or four pounds. It was crazy.”

Perriman caused a buzz on Twitter late last month when he posted a picture that showed he had shaved his head and now sported a bald look.

The Ravens hope Perriman’s trim brings similar results to the last time one of their wide receivers said goodbye to his dreadlocks. Before the 2013 season, Torrey Smith went with a shorter hairstyle and produced career numbers. He caught 65 passes that season for 1,128 yards and four touchdowns.

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Broncos DE Vance Walker has torn ACL, likely to miss season

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Jared Crick, a free-agent acquisition from Houston, and rookie Adam Gotsis, the Broncos’ second-round pick out of Georgia Tech, both figure to see increased time at defensive end in the absence of Walker.

Gotsis, the highest-drafted Australian-born player, had his senior season at Georgia Tech cut short by a knee injury but has been having a solid camp.

“He’s getting in better physical condition,” Kubiak said. “I think it took a while, coming off his knee. So you see him improving his physical conditioning and practice. He’s still got a long ways to go. He’s a young player, but obviously we are counting on him big time.”

OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott is looking at a possible return to practice as soon as Tuesday as he works his way through a sore hamstring.

Coach Jason Garrett said Elliott could do some individual work in the early portion of Monday’s practice but when the team drills start he would continue to do rehab. In Monday’s walk-through Elliott took the first-team snaps for the first time since getting hurt.

“Just taking his situation day by day,” Garrett said. “He’s closer and closer and we do anticipate him practicing here fairly soon.”

By not practicing Monday, Elliott will miss eight padded practices. The Cowboys are scheduled to practice Tuesday and Wednesday and hold a walk-through Thursday before returning home to take on the Miami Dolphins on Friday at AT&T Stadium.

The French entered Sunday’s play as the second-rated defensive team in the tournament. They certainly haven’t been flowing at the other end like Australia or Serbia, yet managed to make a run at triple digits despite the fact that Parker was forced to watch the whole game from the bench in a white team hoody, held out as a precaution after a toe bruise he suffered Friday night against Venezuela.

Kyrie Irving (12 assists, zero turnovers) was clearly more intent on getting teammates involved Sunday — especially after Durant mustered just four field-goal attempts Friday night against Serbia — while Klay Thompson busted out of his hard-to-believe shooting slump in a vintage Klay way. But we’ve seen precious little progress from the Americans over these past three games, starting with the Australia scare.

That’s the worry.

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Jay Cutler calls the Bears ‘a dumb team’ after repeated training camp fights

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That’s probably the last thing Cutler and his coaches wanted to see. The Bears are already down center Hroniss Grasu, who tore his ACL last week, so they can’t really afford to lose any more offensive linemen — much less, their best one — before the season starts.

“He’s got to be smarter than that,” Cutler said of Long. “We’ve talked to him. He’s better than that. He’s smarter than that. He has come a long way in his years here. I know he’s protecting his teammates and doing everything possible, but some things we just can’t do.”

The banged-up Buffalo Bills can hardly afford to lose another player. Especially at the most important position in sports.

Coach Rex Ryan was nonplussed to see starting passer Tyrod Taylor sacrifice his body on Monday for a practice-session touchdown. Scurrying on a quarterback draw inside the 10-yard line, Taylor “hurdled” two defenders and flipped in midair for the score, per ESPN’s Mike Rodak.

“Are you kidding me?” Ryan later told reporters, according to Rodak. “Please don’t do that. … He’s got to take care of himself.”

Ryan acknowledged that he “literally” held his breath watching Taylor soar through the air. He wasn’t alone:

One teammate yelled, “Ty! What are you doing?!” #Bills

Cleveland Browns

The Browns have made it clear that Robert Griffin III being named the starting quarterback is a beginning, not an end. “I think he gets it,” coach Hue Jackson said. “It’s not a big moment to celebrate. It’s a moment to buckle down and understand the demands of the position.” — Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers come off a rest day and straight into joint practices with the Lions, and Pittsburgh’s last two first-round picks could use a productive week. Linebacker Bud Dupree and cornerback Artie Burns spent most of last week in street clothes. Dupree has been dealing with a minor groin injury, and Burns has an undisclosed minor injury. Going up against Lions receivers Marvin Jones and Golden Tate in the open field would help Burns bridge the learning curve. He has had a few rough moments covering Antonio Brown, though that’s to be expected. Dupree is eyeing a double-digit sack season and is eager to hit the field. — Jeremy Fowler

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