Does a berth in this game jive with the team’s preseason goals?

What about the team’s goals in November? If the preseason No. 1 team stumbles to an 8-4 record and winds up in some chilly bowl outpost playing some newly established game with a silly corporate name, chances are the team isn’t that fired up about it. Florida State, for example, is certainly proud to keep its record 36-year bowl streak alive, but the Seminoles are accustomed to more prestigious bowl assignments than Shreveport against a Conference USA also-ran.

Arians said having all referees as full-time employees is essential to improvement. Only four referees (Brad Allen, Walt Anderson, Jerome Boger and Pete Morelli) currently have such status, with some of the others opting to continue in full-time jobs outside NFL auspices, including those that pay far more than what the league is offering. (Time magazine reported last year that the average referee salary for non-NFL employees was $173,000 in 2013 with growth to $201,000 by the 2019 season.)

“They had no idea,” Spencer said. “They would have never done something like that. They didn’t explain it that way. That’s the problem.”

Canning the Marlins’ TV broadcast team didn’t help, either. Play-by-play commentator Rich Waltz and analysts Conine and Preston Wilson were dismissed. The year before, Fox Sports Florida let go of analyst Tommy Hutton. Thus, it might’ve been bad timing for Jeter, but Jeter never seemed to have bad timing before he got to South Florida.

Matthew Stafford is hurting and just trying to survive in order to put the Lions in position to steal another wild-card berth. With the defense leaking to join the running game sputtering, he’ll need to be at his best. Luckily, the Buccaneers’ pass defense is awful, and they also can’t put much pressure on the QB. In a battle of big-armed QBs, it’s easier to trust Stafford on the road than Jameis Winston at home, especially in the fourth quarter.chargers_014-150x150

Much of the Strip remains the same as it ever was.

There are the glitzy signs, even for outfits like CVS and Denny’s. There are Ninja Turtles and Elvis impersonators posing for pictures. There are slot machines, blackjack tables and buffets around every corner. This was the happy, carefree tourist attraction Vegas that was given a pro team.

But for so many members of this community, life will never be the same.

Physical reminders of last Sunday’s shooting are abundant around town—often packaged as uplifting messages of the city’s strength, but still present enough that the grief and gloom is rarely far from mind.

A day after being no-hit by Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood for 5? innings, the Astros scored 13 runs on 14 hits against Kershaw and a parade of relievers. Since the start of the 2012 season — including the playoffs — the Dodgers were 49-1 when Kershaw pitched with at least a four-run lead. Now they’re 49-2.

Vladimir Brodziansky (58.2 percent inside the arc, 30th overall in block rate, per is a dynamic 6-11 forward who anchors the sleeper of this conference.

It seems like we’ve been waiting for Hertl to break out since a hot start during his rookie year, but this season could be the one where he finally gets rolling. Hertl is averaging 2.5 shots per game, which is back at the level of his 21-goal season in 2014-15 and up from 2.0 last season. Hertl is also fourth on the Sharks in power-play ice time.

After failing to get a shot with the Calgary Flames, Baertschi has found a home in Vancouver. He has made progress over the past two seasons, increasing his goal totals from 15 in 2015-16 to 18 last year. Now he’s playing a career-high 16:38 per game and playing alongside budding young center Bo Horvat.

Matthew Stafford finishes Detroit’s loss despite a leg injury

Matthew Stafford walked gingerly out of the Detroit Lions’ locker room late Sunday afternoon, clearly favoring his right leg — walking with it almost peg-legged straight after Detroit’s 27-24 loss to Carolina on Sunday.

He spent a night in the hospital after a vicious hit from Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, who was suspended without pay for this week’s game. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson described it as “incredible” when he saw that Adams was not seriously injured.

“He can recover from those rapidly, apparently, because last year he came back and played a Thursday night game,” Nelson said. “But it’s good to have him back out there. Like we said [after the hit], his health was the most important thing. Once that’s squared away, we love to have him back. He’s back and seems to be his normal stuff, running around and talking in meetings and stuff like that.”

Said wide receiver Randall Cobb: “It was great. I’m just glad to see him walking again, more importantly. When I went to the hospital and saw him the other night, he was back to his normal self, joking around, trying to break out of the hospital. I’m just glad to see him in good health.”

There was no change in the status of running back Ty Montgomery, who remains doubtful with broken ribs, or any other players on the injury report. Starting tackles David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and Bryan Bulaga (ankle) remained questionable.
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