Packers' Aaron Rodgers sees NFL mortality come into focus after NFC championship loss

  • NFL Packers 49ers American Football

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Aaron Rodgers stood three yards behind the line of scrimmage, hands on his hips, watching his Super Bowl ambitions turn to dust.

    The 36-year-old quarterback had driven the Packers inside the 49ers' 30-yard line, hoping to make their 17-0 second-quarter deficit more manageable. But Rodgers couldn't handle a snap from center Corey Lindsey. He watched the ensuing fray from afar, then slowly walked off the field once it became clear San Francisco lineman DeForest Buckner had jumped on the loose ball.

    Green Bay never got close after that moment, part of its 37-20 loss in the NFC championship game.

    MORE: 49ers defense has little fear

    The Packers want to believe they'll advance deep into the playoffs again next year. But Rodgers, once considered a lock for several Super Bowl appearances, is short on time. Preventable mistakes — a fumble and two interceptions — were particularly gutting for the signal-caller.

    "It definitely hurts a little more than earlier in the career just because you realize how difficult it is to get to this spot," Rodgers said. "I don't have the same number of years ahead of me[......]

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    Christian McCaffrey talks Panthers' future with Matt Rhule, Joe Brady and Cam Newton

  • NFL Panthers American Football 夜网论坛

    Christian McCaffrey is coming off the best season of his career, and he believes the changes in Carolina will lead to even more success in 2020 and beyond.  

    McCaffrey, who partnered with USAA and the Marine Corps Association and Foundation (MCA&F) to give an active military member two Super Bowl tickets on Jan. 22, will have a new coach in Matt Rhule and a new offensive coordinator in Joe Brady. McCaffrey is hoping that leads to improved results if quarterback Cam Newton returns in 2020.  

    McCaffrey led the NFL with 2,392 all-purpose yards in 2018, and he joined Roger Craig (1985) and Marshall Faulk (1999) as just the third player to total at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. The Panthers, however, are 23-25 in that stretch, and they replaced Ron Rivera, who was fired in early December, with Baylor coach Matt Rhule this offseason.  

    MORE: Super Bowl picks, p[......]

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    How Diontae Johnson, Terry McLaurin became third-round NFL Draft steals in 2019

  • NFL Steelers v Washington Football Team Washington Football Team Steelers American Football

    The pick that gets people up in arms when looking back on the 2019 NFL Draft is DK Metcalf going with the final selection of the second round. Eight wide receivers were taken before him, and it already looks like a big oversight. 

    What fewer people do is scroll down to spot two of the next 13 picks after Metcalf: Diontae Johnson at No. 66 overall and Terry McLaurin at No. 76 overall. Both have turned into exciting second-year receivers in their own right, and they'll face off on Monday night in Week 13 when the Steelers (11-0) host the Washington Football Team (4-7). Out of opposite ends of Ohio's Division I spectrum, Johnson and McLaurin both underproduced in college to leave doubt about their NFL futures, but they've already solidifed themselves as two of football's best young players.

    Here's a look back at the 2019 NFL Draft through the lenses of Johnson and McLaurin to see how they too were missed in favor of some potential busts. 

    MORE: Looking at the 8 WRs picked before D[......]

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    What channel is Chiefs vs. Dolphins on today? Time, TV schedule for NFL Week 14 game

  • NFL Dolphins v Chiefs Chiefs Dolphins American Football

    A possible playoff preview unfolds in Hard Rock Stadium when the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Miami for a matchup against the Dolphins.

    The Chiefs (11-1) are the only team in the AFC to have clinched a playoff berth, yet are still the two-seed in the conference. Kansas City did receive some great news, however, in the form of Pittsburgh losing to Washington on Monday. The Steelers still hold the one-seed because their loss was to an NFC team, while the Chiefs fell to the Raiders. Patrick Mahomes is in a dead heat with Aaron Rodgers to win this year's MVP. Mahomes has thrown for 420 more yards than Rodgers, but Rodgers has five more touchdowns.

    Miami (8-4) is currently a Wild Card team but only trails Buffalo by one game for the lead in the AFC East. The two teams play each other in Week 17. Tua Tagovailoa started for the first time last week since being benched in a Week 11 loss to Denver and missing Miami's game against the Jets with an injury. He passed for a career-high 296 yards against Cincinnati and has ye[......]

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    What channel is Dolphins vs. Raiders on today? Time, TV schedule for Saturday NFL game

  • NFL Raiders v Dolphins Dolphins Raiders American Football

    Tua Tagovailoa and the best Dolphins team since at least 2016 will get a prime-time opportunity in Week 16.

    Miami (9-5) travels to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders (7-7) on Saturday night at Allegiant Stadium. The Dolphins just locked up their first winning season since 2016, and a playoff spot is the next pursuit for the rookie quarterback and Brian Flores. Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs will pose a tough test, though.

    MORE: Watch today's NFL game live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

    This will be the nightcap of three Saturday games in the NFL in Week 16, following a Christmas Day game the day before which will ensur夜网论坛e the NFL is at the front of mind all weekend. 

    Below is everything you need to know about how to watch Saturday's game in Las Vegas, plus a look at the complete Week 16 NFL schedule.

    What channel is Dolphins vs. Raiders on today?

      Game: Dolphins at RaidersDate: Saturday, Dec. 26TV channel: NFL NetworkLive stream: fuboTV  | DAZN (in Canada)

      The late game Saturday will be broadcast exclusively on[......]

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    Back where it all began, Lin continues to embrace his new reality

  • NBA

    NEW YORK — Eventually, Rockets guard Jeremy Lin will be able to return to New York as just another player, a guy in a road uniform who faces the usual disdain from the Madison Square Garden crowd. He would like it that way, in fact — before playing against his old team, the Knicks, on Thursday, Lin said he would prefer to be a “subplot.”

    Lin might no longer be in the starring role he once filled in New York, but in Thursday’s 109-106 Rockets victory, he was hardly a subplot. He came up huge for Houston in the fourth quarter when he was most needed. James Harden led the team with 36 points, and Chandler Parsons had 22, but it was Lin’s 12 points in the final period that kept the Knicks at bay and pushed the Rockets to the win.

    MORE: Asik, now a backup, wants out of Houston | Melo rips refs

    “I am just trying to play really free, I am trying to play really, really free,” Lin said. “I am trying to be myself on the court and not worry about anything, any distractions. I am just trying to play as hard as I can.”

    Of course, when it happens here on this court, it is all the more reminiscent of Lin’s glory days just a little more than one year ago. Lin captivated the sports world in the winter of 2012 with an out-of-nowhere run that propelled him to global prominence and onto the cover of Time magazine. He became the first player in more than 40 years to put up 20 points and seven assists in his first five starts. His[......]

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    Pacers resting all 5 starters at Bucks

  • NBA

    MILWAUKEE — The slumping Indiana Pacers will rest all five starters W夜网论坛ednesday night against Milwaukee, even as they chase the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

    Coach Frank Vogel told reporters at the Pacers' shootaround that none of his top five had worked out and they would all sit out the game. He says it's a chance for Paul George, David West, Roy Hibbert, George Hill and Lance Stephenson to get some minor injuries healed, and for the bench players to get back on track by playing extended minutes.

    MORE: Seeding to be determined in final weeks

    Indiana is stumbling to the finish after leading the East most of the season. The Pacers have lost five of their last six games.

    Still, the Pacers were just a half-game behind Miami. They visit the Heat on Friday.

    [......]

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    NBA Finals: For Spurs' Green, a strong finish and hope for Game 2

  • NBA

    SAN ANTONIO – For Spurs guard Danny Green, things had not been going well. Not just in Game 1 of the Finals, but in general — dating back to the third game of the Western Conference finals. In that game, Green knocked down seven of the nine 3-pointers he attempted, prompting coach Gregg Popovich to utter what has become a mantra in how Green should approach the game: “If he is open, I want him to shoot.”

    Shooting has not come easily to Green since the early stage of the West finals, however. He closed out the series against the Thunder almost an afterthought, shooting 12-for-37, then starting the opener of the Finals against the Heat in an 0-for-5 rut through the first three quarters.

    MORE: LeBron went sleepless following Game 1 | Saunders says 16 teams have called about Love

    “When I am open, my job is to make shots,” Green said. “No added pressure, I know sometimes I am going to be open, sometimes not. Sometimes, it is going to fall, sometimes it is not. Throughout the years, I have learned, as a shooter, you can’t think about it too much, just shoot. Shooters shoot.”

    Looking at how things started, you had to wonder whether Green would ever find his footing as a shooter in this series, though. His first shot was a 3-pointer from the right wing he took under duress, with the game clock down to one second. His second shot was a 3 in a similar situation — second quarter, left wing, just one second remaining on t[......]

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    LeBron James found some comments from Miami Heat 'surprising'

  • NBA

    Miami Heat players have faced an endless barrage of questions about their former teammate, LeBron James.

    Their responses, particularly those from Chris Bosh, have not always been flattering. James is aware of the answers. He told Cleveland.com that he heard "a lot of words " and "some of it was surprising."

    MORE: Bosh to Love: Playing with LeBron 'extremely frustrating' | LeBron selling $17 million home | Coach contracts

    Of course, the list of things said is a long one.

    First, Bosh said he had not spoken to James since he decided to leave for Cleveland, then remembered they had spoken. The kicker was that Bosh warned Kevin Love it will be "extremely frustrating" to play alongside James in Cleveland.

    Still, when asked if he had seen Heat players at the Global Games夜网论坛, James said, "I haven't seen them, (but) I talked to D Wade. Obviously, I haven't talked to Chris, but I talk to D Wade."

    There was drama when James left Cleveland in 2010. And while this situation is far less volatile, there are still some awkward elements. The fact that James' first game against the Heat will come on a neutral court in Rio probably helps take away from that.

    "It will be good to get this out of the way in the preseason," Wade said Thursday. "The weirdness of seeing Mike Miller, J.J., those guys over there with LeBron..."

    [......]

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    Kevin Durant concerned ankle injury might not be just mild sprain

  • NBA Basketball

    After missing his fourth consecutive game on Christmas, Kevin Durant has serious concerns about whether his injured ankle will mend.

    Durant was injured Dec. 18 against the Golden State Warriors, and his ankle has not improved much.

    "I can't play basketball. I can't run. I can't cut. I can't jump. I'm not just sitting out just because. If I could play, I would play. But I can't play," Durant told The Oklahoman .

    Coach Scott Brooks said before Thursday's game against the San Antonio Spurs that Durant couldn't play even if he wanted to.

    For now, Brooks said Durant is "day-to-day." Durant's injury involves the foot on which he had surgery to repair a broken bone in October.

    Despite not having Durant, the Thunder beat the Spurs 114-106 .

    Durant is 夜网论坛disappointed that he can't be out on the court with his team, but understands injuries are the nature of the game.

    "I would love to play, but at the end of the day, man, I want to make sure everything is healthy. That's my concern. Missing so many games so far this year, I just want to be as healthy as I can. If I've got to compromise a Christmas game, so be it."

    [......]

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