March Madness in April? These NBA Playoff Teams Could Be Cinderellas

In a seven-game NBA series, hot shooting or some other unforeseen anomaly has far less impact than in a single-elimination tournament. That’s largely why we’ve only seen four No. 7 or No. 8 seeds advance since the league went to a seven-game first-round format in 2003.nike nfl jerseys from china

But that’s a coward’s way to think. Who needs to hedge at this time of year?c8f3eed25385e4a51aafc3528d9d23f0_crop_exact

The search for an NBA Cinderella has to start with the possibility of a first-round upset. That’s the threshold requirement for such a team. There’s also got to be an underdog element that extends beyond the seeding disadvantage. Any true Cinderella best price nfl jerseys has to overcome a serious talent discrepancy, creating the storybook feel we associate with success against long odds.

If a team is missing a star (or never had one in the first place), that’s a good start. If there’s reason to believe regular-season success, such as it was, came via smoke and mirrors, even better. These teams have to seem overmatched. But they also need to have a narrow avenue—favorable matchups, experience advantages or strategic edges—that could lead to an upset.

We’re supposed to doubt them…until they stun us into belief. nfl jerseys women

The second half of the season hasn’t been kind to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A defense that ranked first in mid-January is tied for 14th since then, and OKC’s offense has been suspect all year. With field-goal accuracy rates that rank 19th at the rim, 30th from mid-range and 23rd from deep, the Thunder enter the postseason as one of the most vulnerable teams in the league.official nfl nike jerseys

They’re slated to draw the untested Denver Nuggets in the first round. And that, folks, raises the possibility of an upset.the authentic nfl jerseys

Please appreciate how ridiculous that statement should look in light of OKC’s 0-4 record against the Nuggets this year. Those four losses came by an average of nine points per game, and both Paul George and Russell Westbrook played in every meeting. There’s no mistaking the Nuggets’ regular-season ownership of the Thunder.where to get nfl jerseys

Will the New York Giants Finally Draft Eli Manning’s Successor?

Find someone who loves you as much as New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman apparently loves quarterback Eli Manning. best cheap nfl jerseys

“I really believe there has been a false narrative out there that Eli is finished, he’s done,” Gettleman said, per the New York Post’s Peter Botte. “He had a heck of a year. We scored a lot of points late. But, at the end of the day, jerseys nfl cheap Eli can still make all of the NFL throws. He can still play.”179c90c7af8e61c54f2a43e8072931ff_crop_exact

No statistical evidence can be provided to back up the general manager’s claims. Manning finished bottom half of the league in completion percentage, touchdowns and quarterback rating.

The veteran signal-caller did rank fifth in turnover-worthy plays last season, according to Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo. Manning didn’t even play well down the stretch as Gettleman stated. He graded as the NFL’s 32nd-best quarterback from Week 8 on, per PFF’s Pat Thorman. Obviously, former Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t agree with the idea the aging quarterback can still “make all of the NFL throws.” nfl jersey nike

Fortunately, Gettleman does realize Manning’s age (38) is a negative and the organization must find an eventual successor. cheap nfl jerseys for sale

“Anyhow, the bottom line is, yes, we have to address it,” the general manager said, per Botte. “It’s reality. So when the time is right we will.”

Timing is everything here.women nfl jerseys cheap  The Giants own a pair of first-round picks this year thanks to the Beckham trade. New York must invest one of those selections in the game’s most important position. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins is the logical option with the sixth overall pick, while Duke’s Daniel Jones may be in play with the 17th.

Manning can be the starter for now as long as a contingency plan is in place. nfl nike jerseys china

Biggest NFL Offseason Questions That Will Be Answered in the Draft

The draft is the cause of and solution to all of the NFL’s problems.

The offseason is filled with trigger events that change the league’s overall complexion. The draft is the most important, ahead of free agency and the start of the new league year even though all three precipitate plenty of player movement. nfl china jerseys

Free agency and the draft form a symbiotic relationship. The first is considered a way to supplement a team’s roster, while the latter is how a team builds its foundation and talent core.

Franchises can spend frivolously in free agency my cheap nfl jerseys to address areas of need, but those players often serve as placeholders, not stars. Stars are found in the draft.

Organizations make draft mistakes all the time in hopes high-level potential turns into professional production. The mere possibility of development is alluring.

Whereas a disciplined approach to nfl womens jerseys  evaluation brings an understanding of individual assessment, team needs and overall fit.nfl jerseys authentic cheap

That’s the goal: The draft solves a team’s biggest problem and turns a weakness into a strength. Multiple franchises still have significant questions that won’t be answered until they reveal their approach to the draft April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee.  nfl jerseys authenticf9a91397a3abdbce1dc06d019cd11372_crop_exact

There’s no better place to start than the very first pick of the draft, where the Arizona Cardinals have a franchise-defining decision to make. nike nfl jerseys for sale

Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray?nfl jerseys cheap collection

The organization must decide which of these two young quarterbacks best fits its long-term vision with Kliff Kingsbury as its new head coach.

Maybe the decision is already made. nfl cheap jerseys china

Fox Sports draft analyst Joel Klatt stated during an appearance on Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed that Rosen is “gonna get moved,” with the Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots and New York Giants showing the most interest. Klatt went a step further and said a firm second-round offer is already on the table.

If that’s the case, the trade isn’t an indictment of the 22-year-old Rosen. He’s simply not the right quarterback for the situation. He can go elsewhere and still blossom into a franchise-caliber signal-caller. cheap official nfl jerseys

But that point has yet to be reached because the Cardinals want a first-round pick in return, according to Klatt. Rosen may be the team’s quarterback right now, but the love for Murray is apparent.

“It’s more what don’t you like,” Kingsbury said at the nfl jerseys for sale cheap  owners meetings, per Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams. “When you watch him play, he can run it; he can throw it; he’s a competitor. …cheap nfl jerseys cheap shipping  He is one of the better dual-threat players to ever play.”

The key word for Lions GM Bob Quinn during free agency: Versatility

It’s a word you should be used to by now if you’ve been following the NFL for any length of time, or at least the Detroit Lions since Bob Quinn took over as general manager in early 2016: versatility.

Or, put another way, position flexibility.nfl jerseys for sale

When Quinn looked at some of the bigger signings the Lions made during free agency earlier this month, those two descriptors kept coming up. They popped up with Justin Coleman and Trey Flowers. And while it wasn’t mentioned specifically, the fact that players such as Zach Zenner, Tommylee Lewis and Danny Amendola could be versatile enough to have special-teams and offensive roles only increased their value.

So the more you can do, the more it makes sense for you to be in Detroit. Take Flowers, whom the Lions gave $90 million — $56 million guaranteed — to serve as a replacement for Ezekiel Ansah as an edge rusher.authentic nfl jerseyi

“Feel he’s going to be able to be a three-down player for us,” Quinn told reporters Monday at the owners meetings in Phoenix. “And really increase that level of play across the defensive line and obviously play multiple positions personalized nfl jerseys cheap , so that was a guy we targeted, obviously.” free nfl jerseys

Flowers can play all over the defensive line, and the Lions are hoping his production at least matches, if not surpasses, the 7.5 sacks he had in New England last season — and eventually, the 21 sacks he’s registered since the Patriots drafted him in 2015. Quinn then talked about Coleman, who played some on the outside in New England and was an inside corner for two years in Seattle.

The same description came up: “Position versatility,” because that’s something that’s always been important to Quinn.nike nfl jersey

“Position versatility, for sure, is key,” Quinn said. “Going forward he’s more inside than outside but we’re going to kind of go through the process and see how he fits within our group.”

Based on Detroit’s moves thus far, the outside corner spot opposite Darius Slay is loaded with questions as Rashaan Melvin, Mike Ford and Teez Tabor compete for the role. But if the Lions feel good with, say, Jamal Agnew in the slot, Coleman could end up playing both outside and inside in Detroit.nfl jerseys sale

It was clear how much Detroit valued the onetime Patriots. The Lions targeted Flowers and Coleman early in free agency and got both deals done fast, giving the two nearly $74 million in guaranteed money.wholesale nfl jersey

“There’s certain years you can be more aggressive than others, and I think with the money that we paid those guys, the contracts speak to what we think of ’em,” Quinn said. “And that they can help us win games, and that’s the bottom

Lions will accept consequences of ‘Hard Knocks’ if chosen

The Detroit Lions – as closed off as the franchise might want to be – has been pretty open and transparent about one thing: There is little to no interest in being on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” For months now, general manager Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia have been campaigning against it.

They even suggested at the team’s season ticket holder summit how good of a candidate the Oakland Raiders and Jon Gruden would be – and that was before the franchise traded for Antonio Brown. At the end of all of it, though,nfl jerseys for cheap authentic  the Lions also know they have little actual say in the matter.

If HBO wants the Lions, the Lions will have to comply.

“It’s an interesting thing because obviously we’re one of the teams, as you all know, that could be forced to be on it,” Lions team president Rod Wood told reporters at the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday. “I’d much rather end up in a  nfl jersey supply position of not being forced to be on it.i

“Since we’re in that position I guess cheapest nfl jerseys we’ll have to live with the consequences of what they decide.”official nfl jerseys

Wood said there haven’t been any “direct conversation” about whether the Lions would be the team the popular television show chooses for the year. And he also wasn’t sure about the timetable for a decision, although in past years the decision has usually come down in April or May.wholesale authentic nfl jerseys

He also didn’t know if the Lions were still under consideration or had been eliminated from those talks. Detroit is one of five teams that would have to do the show if asked. The others are the Raiders, Giants, Redskins and 49ers.buy nfl jerseys

There is a thought, of course, that doing the show could help the marketing side of a team, but Wood said they would prefer not to be in this position.

“There’s the episodic viewing of it on HBO and does that help the brand somewhat depends on how well it goes, I think,” Wood said. “As I said, I’d much rather not be qualified for it. Let’s be in the playoffs, not be one of the teams that are eligible.”womens nfl jerseys

While the Raiders seem like the obvious option, here’s something to consider. nfl nike jerseys That franchise might be more intriguing in 2020 – if you work with the thought that Oakland isn’t going to fire Gruden and on paper seem like a non-favorite to make the playoffs – when the club is expected to start play in Las Vegas.

Bucs Hire Lori Locust, Maral Javadifar as Team’s 1st Full-Time Female Coaches

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made history before the 2019 NFL season has even begun.

Tampa Bay announced that it has hired Lori Locust  new nike jerseys nfl and Maral Javadifar in full-time coaching roles—the first female full-time coaches in franchise history.

Locust previously served as a defensive line coach for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football. Javadifar most recently worked as a physical therapist at Avant Physical Therapy in Seattle.

The Bucs are the first team in NFL history with two women on its coaching staff.hi-res-bed5deb09217518b4c4ecb6d35036763_crop_north

Locust’s title is assistant defensive line coach new nfl jerseys for 2019 , and Javadifar will serve as assistant strength and conditioning coach.

“I know how hard it can be to get that first opportunity to coach at the highest level of professional football,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said, per the team’s website. “Sometimes, all you need is the right organization to offer up the opportunity. …nfl football jerseys  I know Maral and Lori will be great additions to my coaching staff.”

Arians added that the Glazer family, the franchise’s owners, and general manager Jason Licht “were extremely supportive” of his decision to hire Locust and Javadifar. Arians has known Locust since he coached at Temple University, where Locust attended school.

“I’ve seen firsthand just how knowledgeable and passionate [Locust] is about this game,” Arians said.nfl football jerseys cheap

Locust will serve as assistant to defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers, who also joined the team in 2019. Rodgers followed new nfl football jersey defensive coordinator Todd Bowles from the New York Jets.

Overall, the Buccaneers have almost entirely rebuilt their coaching staff—including the hiring of Arians, who previously retired from the NFL in 2017 after coaching in various capacities since 2001. Locust and Javadifar will be part of a fresh regime tasked with turning around a franchise that has not made the playoffs since 2007. wholesale nfl football jerseys

Giants Lead, but Multiple NFL Teams in Dwayne Haskins Sweepstakes After Pro Day

Only the most aggressive NFL organization will be fortunate enough to land Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The idea an elite prospect at the game’s most important position will slide beyond this year’s top 10 draft selections is folly. 2019 new nfl jerseyshi-res-6c8e227005276eb2cddfe8b81ac3cd50_crop_north

“It’s a massive decision,” New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, per NorthJersey.com’s Art Stapleton. “I mean this is the face of your franchise. He’s got to do all the right stuff for all the right reasons. You can’t go to bed at night worrying if he’s gonna come in on time. You can’t do that, no matter how talented they are.”

Haskins is a traditional pocket passer with the production, pedigree and skill set worthy of franchise consideration. He crushed two throwing sessions, first at the combine and then at Wednesday’s pro day in Columbus, Ohio. While working under the assumption the Arizona Cardinals will select Kyler Murray with the first overall pick, the free-for-all to land the other elite signal-caller should be wild. cheap new nfl jerseys

Three teams are prime candidates to make a move for Haskins. The Giants, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins own top-15 selections. One will almost certainly be forced to trade into the top five for a chance to select the Big Ten Conference’s new nfl football jerseys 2019  all-time single-season leader in passing yards and touchdown tosses.

How teams will go about making such a significant decision varies, though. the new nfl jerseys

Two different strategies are often utilized weeks before the actual draft: Either a smokescreen is laid by disinterested teams, or the simpler “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” option portends heavy interest in a prospect. nfl jerseys new The difficulty arises when attempting to decipher which tactic individual teams are using because every franchise is trying to throw the 31 other organizations off its scent.are the new nfl jerseys stitched new nfl nike jersey

The upcoming draft class isn’t like last year’s. Five different quarterbacks held first-round grades. Each became a rookie starter and flashed.

Right now, Murray and Haskins lead the group, and a significant drop-off occurs in their wake. If Murray is already off the board with the initial pick, multiple teams must vie for Haskins’ services or be left at the altar. No team wants to be in a position in which a long-term quarterback plan isn’t in place.

Ex-Raiders TE Jared Cook Nearing Contract with New Orleans

The New Orleans Saints are “nearing” a deal with free-agent tight end Jared Cook, according to Pro Football Talk on Wednesday.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero new nfl jerseys reported Thursday morning that “the Saints are expected” to sign Cook.

The 31-year-old veteran is coming off the first Pro Bowl selection of his career.new nfl jerseys nikehi-res-f3485266d4b0fbea0cb2e897b5737622_crop_north

Cook recorded career highs in receptions (68), yards (896) and touchdowns (six) with the Oakland Raiders in 2018. He led the team in all three categories, although running back Jalen Richard tied him in 68 catches.new nfl jerseys 2019

Per Pro Football Focus, Cook recorded the fifth-highest receiving grade (81.5) among tight ends a season ago.

Last season wasn’t a fluke, though. new nike nfl jerseys He has been a productive pass-catcher throughout his career.

The South Carolina Gamecock has averaged 48 receptions for 629 yards and three scores since establishing himself in 2011 with Tennessee. The Georgia native has put those numbers up even while moving from team to team nike new nfl jerseys , as he has also suited up for St. Louis and Green Bay.new nfl jersey

New Orleans, meanwhile, needed to address the tight end position following the retirement of Benjamin Watson. Earlier this offseason, the Saints signed Garrett Griffin from the practice squad and Nate Wozniak to a reserve/futures contract.new nike nfl jersey  That provided the team with options at the position, but neither has Cook’s track record.new nfl nike jerseys

The addition of Cook should help a passing attack that ranked 12th last year. More importantly, it gives the team another playmaker to utilize as it looks to avenge last season’s controversial NFC new nike nfl jerseys wholesale  title game loss.

Winner: Quarterback Sam Darnold, New York Jets

Sam Darnold had a fascinating rookie season with the New York Jets. In his first nine starts, Darnold had a passer rating of just 68.3 as he threw only 11 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. However, he got hot in the final month of the season, throwing six touchdowns to just one interception. As the Jets entered the offseason, one thing was clear: They had to surround Darnold with more weapons.cheap nfl jerseys with free shipping13113a2b937b7c58bd07a30609178983_crop_exact

That’s precisely what they did. The Jets signed receiver Jamison Crowder to be their new slot receiver. In four years in Washington, Crowder caught 221 passes for 2,628 yards and 14 touchdowns. When he is healthy, he is one of the more dynamic slot receivers in the league, getting open with ease and making plays after the catch. He figures to be the team’s No. 3 receiver behind Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa.cheap stitched nfl jerseys free shipping

The team also signed former Bears receiver Josh Bellamy to be its No.4 receiver. Additionally, the Jets traded for more interior line help, acquiring former Pro Bowl guard Kelechi Osemele from Oakland. While he had a down year in 2018, he might already be the team’s best offensive linemen.

And last, but not least is Le’Veon Bell. While his contract has been discussed ad nauseam, his fit in New York is perfect. Bell is arguably the best receiving running back in the game, with a career average of five receptions for 43 yards per game.nfl cheap jerseys free shipping

If nothing else, Bell gives Darnold another reliable receiver who can take some of the load off of his shoulders. Entering Year 2, Darnold is now equipped with enough weapons to be successful in the passing game and should be able to build on his cheap stitched nfl jerseys  strong finish to 2018.

Loser: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

One of the biggest individual losers of the offseason is Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. From an on-field perspective, the Steelers lost a lot of talent this season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Roethlisberger will miss his cheap authentic nfl jerseys free shipping top target in wide receiver Antonio Brown, a reliable starter in tight end Jesse James and an All-Pro running back in Le’Veon Bell.f8971604f096a58a9ce10db4666cf915_crop_exact

To make matters worse, the Steelers also lost offensive line coach Mike Munchak to the Denver Broncos. Under Munchak, Roethlisberger has been sacked a total of 115 times in his five years in Pittsburgh, according to 360.sportradar.com. No quarterback who has started at least 70 games in that period has been sacked fewer times than Roethlisberger. All in all, that is a lot for the 37-year old quarterback to overcome this season.nfl jersey cheap free shipping

And this doesn’t even account for Roethlisberger’s character issues, which might have led to the departure of Brown. Roethlisberger has been called out by former teammates and players across the league, including being accused of fumbling cheap nfl jersey free shipping a ball on purpose because he didn’t like a play call.

With likely the biggest workload of his career now upon his shoulders, it’s up to Roethlisberger to carry the Steelers to the playoffs. Without Brown or Bell, that could be a tough task.cheap nfl jerseys free shipping paypal