Larry Fitzgerald put the Cardinals on his back in overtime, sending his team to the NFC Championship.

The Green Bay Packers took the Arizona Cardinals into overtime with a series of unbelievable plays, but the Cardinals came out on top with the 26-20 win thanks to the superhuman efforts of Larry Fitzgerald.

With his season on the line, Aaron Rodgers converted a fourth-and-20 play with a 60-yard heave to Jeff Janis. An illegal motion put Green Bay at first-and-15 with 12 seconds left at the Cardinals’ 41-yard line, setting up one final Hail Mary throw. Rodgers nailed Janis on the final play of regulation with a 41-yard touchdown pass, sending the game to overtime.
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A big reason for the Packers’ win in Washington was the resurgence of the running game. With Eddie Lacy and James Starks working in an even committee (both players got 12 carries) and wide receiver Randall Cobb mixing in for a few backfield plays, Green Bay combined for 141 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries. The Packers controlled the clock and never allowed Washington time to mount a comeback.

The Packers defense also came up big, sacking Kirk Cousins six times and forcing two fumbles. Green Bay will need that kind of defensive effort again if it hopes to slow down the Cardinals’ high-octane offense. Arizona’s secondary is looking a lot more vulnerable ever since losing Tyrann Mathieu to a torn ACL, so if the Packers offense stays on the same page this game has a lot of shootout potential.

They ended up third in the NFL in pass plays of 20+ yards (66) and third in pass plays of 40+ yards (16). Palmer finished the year first in the NFL in yards per pass attempt (8.7) while throwing 35 touchdowns, tied for second most league-wide. To say that Palmer is having a renaissance in Arians’ scheme is an understatement.
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Patrick Peterson nearly made an incredible play in the second quarter, picking off Aaron Rodgers and running 100 yards for what appeared to be a pick-six to give the Cardinals a two-score lead over the Green Bay Packers.

Five possible landing spots for third baseman Justin Turner

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Justin Turner’s ascendancy from utility infielder to top-10 MVP finisher has been one of the most unexpected surprises in recent seasons. The New York Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, even though he produced at a league-average rate in just more than 200 plate appearances. Terry Collins liked him, but there were reports that the Mets were upset with a lack of hustle and were perhaps turned off when he described himself as a hitter not “looking to walk.” Maybe they were simply too cheap to give him the small raise he would have received in arbitration.

The Dodgers signed Turner as a free agent, and he has done nothing but hit since. He reaches free agency at age 32, after hitting .275/.339/.493 with 27 home runs in 152 games, numbers that look even more impressive when factoring in that he hit .235 with three home runs through May, after offseason microfracture surgery on his left knee. He placed ninth in the MVP voting, and with Yoenis Cespedes returning to the Mets, Turner, Dexter Fowler and maybe Jose Bautista are the impact bats who can play somewhere besides first base.

“You’ve got to battle every night like we ain’t won nothing. Last year is last year, and after ring night, it’s over with. Now it’s a new season and everybody is gunning for us every night, and we have to understand that.”
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Because of the way James’ contenders in Cleveland and, before that, Miami were built — plucking or luring complementary talent to surround himself with or without Wade — it’s easy to think of him evaluating possible future teammates as he makes his way through the league. Someone like Gibson — whose 23 points, 11 rebounds and five assists weren’t far off James’ own 27 points, five boards and 13 assists — would be a nice addition to stay atop the East and eventually clash for another ring in the Finals.

There’s little not to like about Gibson. He has started all 18 games for Chicago and — at 12.4 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, 29.1 mpg and 54.7 percent accuracy — is averaging career bests in rebounds, assists, minutes and field-goal percentage, while just a tick off his scoring high (13.0 in 2013-14). He has a team-friendly salary of $8.9 million at the end of a four-year, $33 million extension signed back in the league’s fiscal dark ages of October 2012.

the Yankees have already done that with Gary Sanchez

Derek Jeter Limited Jersey To replace Nova, the Yankees won¡¯t be signing Nova. At least, it is highly unlikely. The free-agent class is so thin that Nova is one of the better choices, just not for the Yankees. Lefty Rich Hill is a much better possibility. Hill, 36, posted a 2.05 ERA in 20 starts. There are concerns about his injury history and the fact that he has gained prominence so late in his career. However, the Yankees need starters, and Hill is the best one on the market.

If not Hill, the Yankees could go for someone like Jason Hammel. Or they could make a deal for a pitcher, but again, with the free-agent starting-pitching class so weak, the price to trade for a starter is high.

The Yankees’ starting staff currently consists of Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, Luis Severino, Luis Cessa, Bryan Mitchell, Chad Green and Warren. Even if they add Hill, that rotation doesn¡¯t feel like one that will ride a float down the Canyon of Heroes.

The offseason is still young, but at the moment, the Padres¡¯ payroll projection is at a little over $50 million, with about half of that to players currently on their roster. To put that number into perspective: As it stands, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke will each make more in salary than the Padres¡¯ active roster of players in 2017.

Adam Rubin: With Cespedes having re-signed for four years at $110 million, the Mets have a glut of outfielders. And that means either Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson likely will be traded — with a decent possibility it happens during the winter meetings. Both are in the final year of their contracts in 2017. Bruce is owed $13 million, and Granderson is owed $15 million. Currently, the Mets have Cespedes, Bruce, Granderson, Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo under control for next season.
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Mark Saxon: The Cardinals will make one major free-agent signing and one major trade within the next 10 days based on a conversation that starts at the winter meetings. The team will have a whole different feel by the holidays.

Of the big closers (Jansen, Chapman, Melancon), which will sign first (and where)?

Could Kenley Jansen be headed to the Dodgers’ biggest rival?

Daily fantasy football: Building blocks for Week 11

Our daily fantasy sports experts are here to provide you with the best player to build lineups around in Week 13. This week’s column features picks from ESPN’s Tristan H. Cockcroft, Field Yates, Eric Karabell, Matt Bowen, KC Joyner and Jim McCormick.

Joel Embiid Kids Jersey For more daily fantasy advice for this week, check out Scott Kacsmar’s best and worst DFS matchups using Football Outsiders’ metrics.

Field Yates — Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

No need to overthink this one, as Brees at home is almost always a great bet. He shredded the Rams for five total touchdowns in Week 12 and faces an equally enticing matchup in the Lions this week. Brees has not scored fewer than 20 points in a home game this season and has topped 30 points on two occasions. The Saints have innumerable options to distribute the football to and Brees shouldn¡¯t face significant pressure from a Lions defense that has just 20 sacks this season (only four teams have fewer). Don¡¯t be surprised if he pushes for another 30 points this week.
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“I know he’s frustrated with [his place in the offense], but I know he’s a professional and he works hard,” Snead said. “I expect him to have a great game this week and bounce back.”

The Saints’ offense has long been known for spreading the ball around to a variety of receivers in the Payton-Drew Brees era. Tight end Jimmy Graham is the only pass-catcher who has made the Pro Bowl in that 11-year span.

“We’ve had a lot of real good football players here. But I don’t think we’ve ever been in a position where, ‘Man, they’re doubling such-and-such,’ and it’s panic,” Payton said. “So guys are gonna get doubled. Or it’s not doubled so much, specifically, as you see a better corner travel [to match up against Cooks no matter where he lines up]. Sometimes Cooks is gonna draw some of those matchups, sometimes he’s not. It depends on the team.

“But I think it was more of just the way the game unfolded [versus the Rams]. Like I said, the first play of the game was actually a down-the-field-shot play intended for Brandin. We got man-to-man coverage, different than what we were hoping to get. Things happen during the game, a progression takes you off a read high, and you end up underneath. It happens. I wouldn’t have known [tight end] Josh Hill was gonna have [six] catches in that game, and yet that’s the way it unfolded.”

Cowboys leaning offensive lineman in draft, Giants release Mathias Kiwanuka & other NFL news

One of the keys to the surprising success of the Dallas Cowboys’ 2014 season was a balanced offense fueled by the NFL’s second-ranked ground game. The Cowboys consistently won the battle at the line of scrimmage thanks to a massive offensive line that paved the way for DeMarco Murray’s historic rushing season and kept the pocket clean for quarterback Tony Romo, who led the league in passer rating and Total QBR.

However, with Doug Free and Jermey Parnell set to hit free agency next Omar Gonzalez Authentic Womens Jersey month, Dallas has no player under contract at right tackle for next season. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told’s Todd Archer that “it certainly is” a strong possibility that the team will select an offensive lineman with their first-round pick, even though there is an obvious need to upgrade a defense that ranked 22nd in Football Outsiders’ efficiency ratings.

The ESPN draft guru also talked about an obvious trend over the past few years. With many college teams going to spread offenses which feature three- and four-wide sets regularly, there are more receivers developing NFL abilities. After the famed class of 2014 which included Odell Beckham Jr., Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins, Kiper expects a similar crop again.

The 30-year-old started 12 games in two seasons as a nickelback. He missed the final eight games of the 2014 season with a fracture in his finger.

Veteran tight end Anthony Fasano is the Kansas City Chiefs’ latest salary cap casualty after Tim Howard Authentic Womens Jersey the team released him on Thursday. He appeared in 24 games that included 22 starts over the course of two seasons with Kansas City in 2013 and 2014. The emergence of Travis Kelce made the move possible. For his career, he has totaled 253 catches for 2,799 yards and 31 touchdowns.

The Oakland Raiders have released safety Tyvon Branch, according to Jason LaCanfora of Branch Timothy Chandler Authentic Womens Jersey dealt with injuries the past two seasons and only played in five games during that span. With his release, the Raiders free up $3 million in cap space.

Bulls to re-evaluate Michael Carter-Williams in two weeks

Chicago Bulls point guard Michael Carter-Williams has a bone chip in his left wrist and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Carter-Williams visited with team doctors Wednesday, and a CT scan revealed the small bone chip.

Carter-Williams, who Branden Albert Authentic Womens Jersey has been out since injuring his left knee (bone bruise) and wrist in a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 31, is wearing a cast on his left arm, instead of the brace he had been wearing since the injury occurred. On Friday, the team estimated he will miss four to six weeks from the date he suffered the injury.

On Friday, Westbrook’s triple-double brought back statistical memories of one by Robertson (whose record of 181 career triple-doubles is safe … for now). Saturday’s could be hooked to Magic Johnson. Westbrook and Johnson are the only players in NBA history to have a 15-assist triple-double on consecutive days.

Westbrook has 15 career 30-point triple-doubles, passing Michael Jordan Brandon Doughty Authentic Womens Jersey for the second-most such games over the past 30 seasons. LeBron James has the most with 20.

It’s Westbrook’s fourth game this season with at least 30 points, 15 rounds and 10 assists. The only player with more in a season, per research by the Elias Sports Bureau, is Oscar Robertson, who had 10 in the 1961-1962 season.

More via Elias research: Westbrook is the first player to have at least 36 points, 18 assists and 12 rebounds since Robertson had 42, 18 and 15 in a 152-132 win against the Philadelphia Warriors. Also notable from that game: Wilt Chamberlain scored 65 points in a losing effort.

Asked to assess where his team is after Friday’s game against the Spurs, Stevens said, “We are playing better. I don’t know exactly where to put [the Spurs] on the spectrum of where we ultimately need to be, but we’re getting better.”

His players clearly yearn to play with the coolness and confidence the Spurs displayed late in a hostile environment.

Teams not seeking longer relief in ’17 (but they’re thinking about it)

In Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, the Indians led 4-3 in the top of the fifth inning.

There were two outs and nobody on base, Brock Holt at the plate, with Mookie Betts on deck and David Ortiz in the hole. Instead of letting Trevor Bauer finish the inning, Terry Francona made a decision that many believe will change the way managers operate in the future: He summoned Andrew Miller, his best relief pitcher, who proceeded to throw 40 pitches over two scoreless Graham Gano Authentic Jersey innings as the Indians held on for a 5-4 victory.

The Indians would sweep that series, win the American League Championship Series and reach Game 7 of the World Series, as Francona stuck to his plan of using Miller as the leverage dictated, instead of letting the inning dictate Miller’s usage. Miller made 10 postseason appearances and entered in the fifth inning three times and twice in the sixth. He recorded at least four outs in each outing and pitched at least two innings six times. Analysts who had been advocating for years for exactly this type of bullpen usage were ecstatic.

It wasn’t just Francona and Miller. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts brought in closer Kenley Jansen in the seventh inning of Game 5 of the NL Division Series and let him throw 51 pitches (although Clayton Kershaw had to finish it off). Jansen had a two-inning save in the National League Championship Series and then pitched three innings in a 5-0 loss in Game 6. Aroldis Chapman, who had appeared before the ninth inning just six times in the regular season — three of those in mop-up situations just to get some work — entered before the ninth inning in seven of his 13 postseason appearances for the Cubs, including twice in the seventh inning.

Jeff Sullivan of ESPN Insider went back to 1996 and counted all the postseason relief appearances of more than one inning: 2016 ranked first. The average innings pitched for starters dropped to 5 1/3, an all-time low in the postseason. Cubs manager Joe Maddon pulled Kyle Hendricks, the league’s ERA leader, in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the World Series when he was throwing a shutout and again in the fifth inning of Game 7 even though there were two outs, just one runner on and the Cubs up 5-1.

“So you’re going to see starters pitch less and less. Relievers will go more, and it’s Greg Olsen Authentic Jersey likely that the best relievers will go even more than that. Bullpens will become ever more top-heavy, as managers worry less about overuse in a playoff schedule riddled with off days,” Jeff Sullivan wrote.

Colts quarterback Scott Tolzien doesn’t come across as a fiery person

Colts quarterback Scott Tolzien doesn’t come across as a fiery person. He didn’t stand in front of the media Tuesday and talk about what he plans to do if he ends up starting against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, which at this point appears to be the case with Andrew Luck still in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Tolzien, in fact, came across as a rather bland person who prefers to keep his conversation simple. He repeatedly talked about simply doing his job in some form countless times during a six-plus minute interview session.

“I don’t know if that’s who I am or who I’m not, but Jadeveon Clowney Authentic Womens Jersey I think it’s really about the preparation and always remembering it’s a kid’s game,” Tolzien said about his mild demeanor. “I’ve played this game since I was 7 years old when I started. You have to remember that always you still have to prepare but when game day comes, play like a kid and play it loose.”

Tolzien didn’t seem too concerned that he’ll likely be the starting quarterback for a team that’s on a two-game winning streak and trying to remain in playoff contention while facing a Pittsburgh team that’s thoroughly handled them the past two seasons.

Coach Chuck Pagano said Tolzien was still at the team’s facility at 10:30 p.m. Monday watching film in preparation for his first start since Nov. 24, 2013, when he was with the Green Bay Packers.

Tolzien is 56-of-91 for (61.5 percent) for 721 yards in his career. The alarming stat is that he’s only thrown for one touchdown and he has five interceptions.

“He appears to be a quick decision maker,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “He has good arm strength, he gets the ball out and makes good and quick decisions. I just watched a couple videos from Green Bay when he played significantly.”

There’s no replacing Andrew Luck in the Colts’ offense. The Colts don’t expect Tolzien Jaelen Strong Authentic Womens Jersey to be Andrew Luck, either. They just want him to play football.

“Just play, you can’t press,” Pagano said his message was to Tolzien. “Prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare. It’s better to sweat in times of peace than times of war. So get prepared and when Thursday comes, go play. Get the call, get them out of the huddle, get to the line of scrimmage, go play. Go execute. He doesn’t have to put the whole thing on his back. Andrew never does.”

Joe had a helluva a career, and he did well after the NFL

It’s just one of those things that happened. I knew he was hurt when I heard him under the pile yelling and I understood. That’s why I tried to get everybody off him and get some help for him. I knew when you’re sitting on the bottom of the pile — I don’t care if it’s a toe sprain, or an ankle sprain, I don’t care what it is — it seems like forever, like the people on top of you are never going to figure it out. All you want is the people to get off of you and to get some help. And to breathe again.

“I think that’s very troublesome to many of us,” Popovich said. “It would be great if he [Trump] made some statements to all of the groups he disparaged, to bring us all together, and to allay fears, because there are a lot of fearful people, and for good reason. But rather than doing that, he inflamed it even more with that appointment.”

Popovich also answered a question about whether Latrell Sprewell Authentic Womens Jersey the Holt family, who owns the San Antonio Spurs and was one of Texas’ biggest Trump donors, gave him the “freedom” to express his distaste for Trump.

“No, (the Holts) haven’t given me that freedom,” Popovich said. “I live in America. That’s what has given me that freedom.”

You can read the full transcript here.

I knew this would happen. I was driving home during the latter stages of the game and I had the feeling Westbrook was going to do something nefarious. I didn’t know what exactly, but my gut was telling me that he was up to no good as usual.

I felt like a parent who grows suspicious when their child is unusually quiet. All Marreese Speights Authentic Womens Jersey you can do is squint at them and point to your eyes with your index and middle finger to let them know that you got your eyes on them. And then they smile at you in a knowing and unnerving way, showing all of their teeth. They know that you know they’re going to do something terrible, but you’re not prepared for it.

I turned on the game and there were some odd things going on. James Harden was struggling to score. The Rockets, a Mike D’Antoni team, only scored 13 points in the fourth quarter. My cat was rotating its head around 360 degrees like it was possessed. Andre Roberson was trying to do stuff. Victor Oladipo had almost 30 points and 10 rebounds. Things were just out of whack.

Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre leads coaches on the rise this season

Stand up if you predicted in August that Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre and West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen would be hosting arguably the two most marquee games of Week 12.

Sit down, sir. You, too, ma’am. No one actually saw this coming.

MacIntyre entered the season at No. 2 in ESPN’s hot seat rankings, while Holgorsen checked in at No. 5. Both seemed unlikely to turn around their programs, but Colorado and West Virginia are a combined 16-3 and ranked 10th and 14th, respectively, in the CFP rankings.

The season that began with the fear of being defined by the “Super Bowl hangover” all of a sudden is being defined by head injuries.

Kuechly, who is in the concussion protocol, could be the sixth Carolina player to suffer a concussion this season. Left tackle Michael Oher Josh Wilson Authentic Womens Jersey has missed seven games with one and there is no sign of when he will return.

Quarterback Cam Newton missed a Week 5 game against Tampa Bay. Backup safety and special teams ace Colin Jones has missed the past two games. Outside linebacker A.J. Klein missed Thursday’s game.

In that scenario, the committee could possibly be comparing the résumés of two-loss conference champions from three leagues: the Big Ten (Penn State or Wisconsin), the ACC (Louisville) and the Big 12 (Oklahoma). The best-case scenario for the ACC would be for Clemson to beat Wake Forest and South Carolina, then win the conference title, leaving no doubt it’s a top-four conference champion.

One thing we know for sure: Clemson and Louisville aren’t getting in now.

The Big Ten is the only conference with any legitimate hope of two playoff teams, but that’s assuming that Ohio State wins out but doesn’t win its division. Fans have to remember that winning a conference title is one of the tiebreakers the committee uses Kevin Ogletree Authentic Womens Jersey to rank teams with comparable résumés. If it comes down to Ohio State or Penn State, and the Nittany Lions win the Big Ten title, the Buckeyes would have two strikes against them in the committee’s protocol.