Check out SBNation.com’s live stream of tonight’s Thursday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings The Dallas Cowboys (10-1) are the team to beat in 2016 after ripping of a current ten-game winning streak. The Minnesota Vikings (6-5) looked the part early in the season, but a four game skid has them on the bubble of playoff contention with five games to go.
To me, this game has all the makings of a trap game for the Cowboys. They are confident. They are beating everyone. The Vikings knows this and will bring everything they have defensively and should catch the young Cowboys team off guard.
The big question will be how Dak Prescott responds to being in a dogfight. The Vikings defense has struggled at times, but they can play at an elite level at other times. If they are one, we could be in for quite the upset today.
I’ve talked myself into this one: Vikings 23, Cowboys 20.
Cowboys vs Vikings Live Blog
Live Stream: Thursday Night Football on SB Nation
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Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley wants fans to know that he shares their frustration during a season that has gone from disappointment to disaster. Desperate for a win of their own, the Minnesota Vikings can give Bradley and a home crowd another reason to groan this week. Fresh after not playing in 10 days following a loss on Thursday Night Football, the Vikings can send the Jaguars to their worst losing streak since Bradley's first season with the franchise while keeping the playoffs within view with a victory in a battle of two sputtering offenses Sunday at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. [...]
Tennessee left tackle Taylor Lewan has made no secret of his desire to be considered the NFL's best at his position, the kind of reputation built by playing well against the top pass rushers. Not only has Jack Conklin been one of the league's most impressive rookies, he's already considered one of the league's top right tackles. Lewan and Conklin, along with the rest of the Titans, have allowed just 18 sacks, fifth fewest in the NFL, after allowing Tennessee quarterbacks to be sacked a league-worst 54 times in 2015. [...]
... end of June when Howard joined the club. Froschauer saw no game time for the Rapids but was on the bench. Here is how they did. Zac MacMath - MacMath settled in ... [...]
... (18-2-3) seeks its second national championship, the first of which featured Rapids player Sam Cronin and University of Denver head coach Jamie Franks. In the o ... [...]
NEW YORK (AP) Brook Lopez scored 24 points, Sean Kilpatrick had 22 and the Brooklyn Nets held off the Denver Nuggets for a 116-111 victor [...]
Titans head coach Mike Mularkey and quarterback Marcus Mariota talk to the Denver media about the dangerous Broncos defense and powerful Titans' running game. [...]
Forsett will play, and will likely take the work that Kapri Bibbs got last week. But Siemian's status is less certain, although he is expected to practice Thursday. [...]
By Janie McCauley, The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO — A thoughtful meeting in the Bay Area with the San Francisco brass and Mark Melancon didn’t need much convincing. Not to mention he is already looking forward to talking nutrition and sport science with Hunter Pence, his former Houston teammate and yoga pal.
“I think we get a kick out of one another,” Melancon said Tuesday, a day after reaching a $62 million, four-year contract with the Giants, the richest contract so far for a closer.
San Francisco felt right to Melancon — and the Giants needed him to stabilize the ninth inning.
“It was obvious that this organization knows how to win, and that’s their top priority,” Melancon said. “They’re set up with the Gold Glovers up the middle, Buster Posey, (Brandon) Crawford, (Joe) Panik. Being a groundball guy, that’s a huge priority. Just the character, being on the other side, you could tell how much character there is in that other clubhouse, so be able to join it and join a group of guys that are veterans in winning, it was the total package in my opinion.”
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He also gets to finish games following ace starters such as 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. With a better bullpen this year, the Giants might have added another even-numbered year championship following titles in 2010, ’12 and ’14.
San Francisco blew 32 saves, including nine in September. Five relievers combined to squander Game 4 of the NL Division Series against the eventual champion Cubs, who scored four runs in the ninth inning to win 6-5.
The Giants were willing to keep their payroll above the luxury-tax threshold for a third straight year to land Melancon. After paying $1.3 million for 2015 and about $3 million more for this year, their 2017 tax payroll already projects to $196 million, with plenty of moves left to make.
“One of the prices of getting Mark was paying the tax, as well,” said CEO Larry Baer, who will have an overall payroll of more than $200 million for the first time. “That was a pretty easy decision because of the value we believe Mark brings to the Giants.”
Melancon has saved at least 30 games in each of the past three seasons, recording a majors-best 51 in 2015. He went 47 for 51 in save opportunities in 75 relief appearances last season with Pittsburgh and Washington, tied for second-most saves with Baltimore’s Zach Britton and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen.
“The man gets big outs!” Clint Hurdle, Melancon’s former manager with the Pirates, wrote in an email.
Patrick Smith, Getty ImagesMark Melancon of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the ninth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on Oct. 13, 2016 in Washington, DC.
Melancon’s three young children — Brooklyn, 5; Jack, 2 ½; and 1-year-old Ella — are already learning about the iconic, bright orange Golden Gate Bridge and their soon-to-be new home. For Melancon, having some job security for four years means so much for his family to feel settled in a city and community.
“I saw the reason that they are such a good organization and why they want to win so much and the effort they will put in to winning,” Melancon said. “I’m a huge proponent
He was traded from Pittsburgh to Washington midway through last season.
“A true professional in all aspects of the game and a class act off the field,” Hurdle said. “Always hunting for an edge or a way to improve his craft.”
Also Tuesday, general manager Bobby Evans said the Giants were finalizing a minor league deal with right-hander Bryan Morris that includes an invitation to big league spring training. Morris was 0-0 with a 3.06 ERA in 24 appearances for the Marlins in 2016 over 17 2/3 innings. [...]
OXON HILL, Md. — Free agent outfielder Matt Holliday and the New York Yankees have finalized a $13 million, one-year contract.
Holliday, who turns 37 next month, fits into the Yankees strategy of signing veterans to short-term deals while pivoting toward a youth movement.
A seven-time All-Star with a .303 career average, Holliday was drafted by Colorado in 1998, traded to Oakland after the 2008 season and then dealt to St. Louis the following July. He hit .246 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs in 110 games this year, missing substantial time after his left thumb was broken when he was hit by a pitch on Aug. 11.
Holliday became a free agent when St. Louis declined his $17 million option.
He figures to be primarily a designated hitter in a lineup where the projected outfield has Jacoby Ellsbury in center, Brett Gardner in left and 24-year-old Aaron Judge in right. Aaron Hicks and Tyler Austin are the backups. [...]
Colorado high school girls stood out at the Nike Cross Country national championships Saturday in Portland, Ore.
Grandview’s Brie Oakley, who spent most of the season ranked No. 1 in the nation and won the state’s Class 5A cross country title, won the 5-kilometer girls race at nationals in 17 minutes, 10 seconds, nearly half a minute ahead of Ember Stratton of Portland. Three-time Colorado 5A champion Lauren Gregory of Fort Collins High School finished third in 17:40.
“This was my main goal all season, after state,” Oakley said. “I wanted to end my season on a really good note. It was a dream of mine to win nationals. Being able to do it was like the icing on the cake.”
Oakley was a soccer player until fall 2015, when she tried out for cross country and discovered she had exceptional talent for running. She finished second at the state cross country meet in 2015 and won two state titles on the track last spring. She will run for the University of California next year.
Despite her dominating season in 2016, Oakley acknowledged she felt pressure going into the meet ranked No. 1.
“I thought the race would be a lot closer than it was,” Oakley said. “I was a little shocked by that. I just tried to keep my lead and do whatever it took to come out on top. I knew it was my last race (as a high school cross country runner) and, no matter what, I was going to be happy, just working hard.” [...]
In the second full week of the 2016-17 CHSAA basketball season, here’s five things to know:
The top 5A teams are already beating up on each other. Look for that to continue all season. No. 5 George Washington defeated No. 6 Rock Canyon in the title game of the Rock Canyon/Mountain Vista Tournament, and this week No. 1 Eaglecrest fell to Rock Canyon on the road. Expect more of the same throughout non-conference play and during the array of prestigious December tournaments as teams navigate through difficult schedules designed to help them look good in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
Lakewood’s Kolton Peterson continues to make it rain at a historic pace. The Tigers’ senior entered the season with 227 career three-pointers and has already surpassed the 5A career three-point record just four games into the season. If Peterson keeps draining from downtown—and if other key Lakewood seniors such as Dallas Bailey, Jacob Storey and Brandt Christy continue to elevate their game—the Tigers (4-0) will be a tough out come state tournament time.
Class 4A is laden with Division I guard talent. Pueblo West’s David Simental, Sierra’s CJ Jennings, Valor Christian’s Jalen Sanders and Sand Creek’s D’Shawn Schwartz prove this isn’t your father’s 4A field. All four of those guys are some of the top players in the state regardless of classification, and all four are a big reason why each of their respective teams are early-season championship favorites.
Overland, which graduated all five starters from last season’s title run, has reloaded once again. The team’s opening victory over Regis Jesuit proved coach Danny Fisher’s cupboard is far from bare. A few siblings of stars from last season’s team—Goy Wang, younger brother of Padiet Wang, and Daijon Smith, younger brother of Alijah Halliburton—lead the scoring charge, while the likes of Tucson Redding, Stephen Hayes and Laolu Oke also give Overland the athleticism to contend in the Centennial League.
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Fossil Ridge senior Braxton Bertolette is back with a bucket-getting vengeance. After averaging 23.6 points and leading the Sabercats to the second round of the playoffs last season, the unassuming Bertolette is averaging 29.8 points through four games for Fossil Ridge. If he continues to score at that rate—and if fellow seniors Cam DeHart and Mike Schilling step up their play—the Sabercats are equipped to compete for the Front Range League title once again. [...]