Giants vs. Washington odds: New York a touchdown road underdog on Sunday

Washington is just 5-16 straight up and 8-12-1 against the spread in their last 21 games against the New York Giants. With a win over the Giants at home on Sunday and no tie in the Green Bay at Detroit game on Sunday night, Washington would advance into the playoffs.

Washington is a 7-point favorite at FedExField at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Since going 0-5 SU and ATS in their previous five games against the Giants, Washington is 2-0 SU and ATS in the last two games in this head-to-head series.

Washington took care of business last Saturday on the road against the Chicago Bears and got the help they needed from around the league to re-take control of their own destiny. The 41-21 win brought Washington’s record to 8-4-1 SU and 10-3 ATS over the team’s last 13 games. Washington’s defense has been suspect all season, but it came up big with five interceptions in last week’s blowout win.

The Bengals saw it, felt it. Pittsburgh took full advantage of Dalton’s loss. They added pressure with their offense (8 of 14 in third-down efficiency) and turned their defensive pressure loose on McCarron.

People in Cincinnati are going to chat now about taking the pressure off McCarron and how everyone else has to do more. About just letting him grow and be comfortable and be himself. Maybe manage things.

But the truth is the Bengals need McCarron to step forward and play a big-time version of quarterback in the season’s most critical stretch. There is no pixie dust that can obscure that.

McCarron knows it.

“If you don’t, you’re doomed,” McCarron said of quarterbacks believing in themselves. “I believe you need to carry that confidence as a quarterback when you step inside those white lines. It’s a nasty and dirty game. If you lose confidence, it can go bad for you real quick. We made some mistakes today and I’ll learn from them. I’ll be up here early in the morning learning from them and I will do whatever I have to do to lead this team and get the job done. Like I said, I promise to God, I will work my tail off and be ready to go.”

He said he told his Bengals teammates that. Promised them that.

No matter how spicy, chippy, grimy, nasty and dirty it gets.

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles: Players didn’t do enough to keep Gus Bradley around

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said he and the rest of his teammates blew it when it came to keeping Gus Bradley around.

They had a coach they liked and a culture they loved. They didn’t do enough to keep either.

“We’ve talked about it and we were given an opportunity to play for a guy that was unbelievable [who] brought in an unbelievable culture kind of unlike anywhere else and it was awesome,” Bortles said. “We took advantage of it and didn’t do the things we needed to do in order to keep that. Now we’ll have to figure out what’s next.”
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Those are the only eight teams covering at better than a 60 percent clip as the next 16 teams — half of the league — are between 8-6 ATS and 6-8 ATS.

Kevon Looney Youth Jersey The winless Cleveland Browns continue to be the worst bet at 2-12 ATS as they’ve failed to cover their last eight games. The San Francisco 49ers are barely ahead of them at 2-11-1 ATS with another 1.5 games back to the Arizona Cardinals at 4-10 ATS as the Cards have failed to cover five in a row.

In totals wagering, the Atlanta Falcons went over for the fourth straight week and have the best over record at 12-2 to pull ahead of the Washington Redskins, who fell to 11-3 with the over after staying under a 51-point total in their 26-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football. The Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills are 10-4 with the over (note: Miami visits Buffalo this Saturday).

The best under record of 11-3 by the New York Giants, who have gone under in their last six games, including Week’s 15’s 16-7 win over the Detroit Lions, who are 10-4 with the under (including their last eight in a row) along with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs.

The road to the Super Bowl in Houston goes through Dallas

Sean Payton: CBS Sports reported Dec. 18 that the New Orleans Saints would “consider moving” Payton and would “not require hefty trade compensation” to do so. Like Coughlin, Payton would bring winning experience to Buffalo, but there are enough variables involved to call it a long shot. Payton interviewed for the Bills’ head-coaching vacancy in 2006, but former owner Ralph Wilson and general manager Marv Levy opted to hire Dick Jauron instead.

“It’s a significant thing and a really cool experience.”
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It would be much “cooler” for the Falcons to wrap up the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a win against New Orleans this Sunday, the last regular-season game at the Georgia Dome. Quinn has no intention of resting his players despite clinching a playoff spot. There’s still much at stake. Earning the No. 2 seed ahead of the Seahawks could make a world of difference, particularly when you’re talking about the possibility of taking a long trip out West in the second round against a team with quite the home-field advantage.

“We know there’s an opportunity for us there, and we’re going to go for it in the biggest way that we can,” Quinn said of going all-in to beat the Saints and earn the No. 2 seed.

Limited Youth Philadelphia 76ers Jersey The road to the Super Bowl in Houston goes through Dallas, and the NFC’s top seed showed how dominant it could be at home in a 42-21 win against Detroit on Monday night. The Cowboys are now 13-2.

“We played Dallas last year (39-28 Falcons’ win), but I’ll go back to my point: Teams are different from year to year,” Quinn said. “They’re quite a bit different. They’re a perfect example of that.”

Browns vs. Chiefs 2015 live stream: Time, TV schedule and how to watch online

There isn’t a single team in the AFC that’s hotter than the Kanas City Chiefs, and a single club that’s colder than the Cleveland Browns. Naturally, they are poised to meet up in a Week 16 matchup that could carry broad implications for both teams.

For the Chiefs, winners of eight straight games, a victory over Cleveland may put them in position to clinch a playoff spot before the regular season even wraps up. A Chiefs win coupled with a Pittsburgh Steelers or New York Jets loss would ensure Kansas City will play in the postseason. The Chiefs are also only one game behind the Denver Broncos in the AFC West, meaning their chances of capturing their first division title since 2010 are alive and well.

Limited Youth Aroldis Chapman Jersey This is a remarkable turnaround for the Chiefs, who started the season 1-5 and lost star running back Jamaal Charles for the rest of the year with an ACL injury he suffered in Week 5. Since their five-game losing skid, the Chiefs have averaged 29.8 points per game and only surrendered 12.3.

Mallett has said he “acted immaturely” during his time with the Texans, and reports indicate that Mallett has worked through the personal issues that led to the Texans’ decision to part ways with him.

This will be Mallett’s first action in Baltimore. In six games with the Texans this season, Mallett completed 78 of 147 passes for 770 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions.
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The team wants to see what Mallett has to offer as a backup quarterback candidate for 2016, and this is a good time to give him the opportunity. The Steelers are 9-5 on the season and currently hold the last wild card spot in the AFC, while the 4-10 Ravens are out of the playoff race and should be looking forward to the offseason.

Dombrowski poured even more cash into Florida’s roster

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Don’t count the Colorado Rockies out on free-agent sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Mark Trumbo.

Rumor CentralAsked whether the team was in on the duo, GM Jeff Bridich told MLB Network Radio on Tuesday, “We’re certainly keeping track … It would be stupid of us not to keep track.”

The Phillies gave up almost nothing in prospect value in return for Buchholz, and if he pitches effectively in the first three months of the 2017 season, for a salary of $13.5 million, they can swap him in June or July to some contending team desperate for a starting pitcher, and get in return more than they paid for the right-hander.

Authentic Kids Lac Edwards Jersey As they build toward their expected surge in 2019, the Phillies have the money to spend: They were 26th in payroll last season.

Philadelphia’s deal with Odubel Herrera last week represents their only contractual obligation beyond 2017, and with the new collective bargaining agreement locked in and the Phillies taking in a river of revenue, the money is there for the Phillies to deploy. Not putting it to work in the market is the baseball equivalent of stuffing dollars under a mattress.

The Cubs did this as they reconstructed their franchise from 2012 through 2015, signing the likes of Scott Feldman and Jason Hammel and then subsequently including them in deals for Jake Arrieta and Addison Russell.

Coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that Green is in the concussion protocol

Ladarius Green, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers: Green took a big shot on the Steelers’ final drive of the game and did not return. Coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that Green is in the concussion protocol.

Jimmie Ward, CB, San Francisco 49ers: Ward left the game in the second quarter with a shoulder injury, and was eventually ruled out. The 49ers also lost WR Quinton Patton (foot) and TE Blake Bell (shoulder) for the game.

Sources say Michael Floyd’s discipline will depend on the level of his intoxication from blood tests last week, when the ex-Cardinals receiver was arrested.

Between Monday and early Wednesday afternoon, when Floyd was cut, Bidwill said Floyd changed his story and didn’t show any remorse.

Elite Youth Leonard Williams Jersey “I was disappointed with how he handled it,” Bidwill said. “We asked him to be proactive in terms of his approach to this. He was unapologetic. There were a number of things. I was just not satisfied with how he handled it.”

Bidwill said the team offered Floyd an opportunity to “proactively” address his issues during conversations with both the 27-year-old receiver and his agent. Floyd could have “played it a lot different,” Bidwill said.
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“We just determined, you know what? He’s just not going to play for us again,” Bidwill said. “Release him, it’s better to move on. I hope he gets healthy. I like him personally. He’s a great kid.

“I was really disappointed with how he handled this and, you know, how he was handling his approach to the game, his approach to conditioning and approach to things, and I think it was affecting him — some of his issues were affecting him on the field.”

Floyd, who was claimed off waivers by the Patriots following his release, was inactive on Sunday.

Pete Carroll signed an extension earlier this year as coach of the Seahawks

There has been only one other head-coach transaction since the Gruden blockbuster.

Herm Edwards went from the Jets to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2006 for a fourth-round draft pick (which Edwards occasionally uses as a punch line). Could it happen again?

Pete Carroll signed an extension earlier this year as coach of the Seahawks, but he already has had to answer a question about the Rams job after Fisher was fired. Carroll was succinct about his ambition.

“No,” he said about potential Rams interest.

Limited Mens Rasmus Andersson Jersey The technical way to express how the gap between teams has shrunk is by standard deviation of team point differentials. That’s down 16.3 percent this season (through Week 14) to its lowest point in at least five years — which is to say that even the best teams aren’t great and even the worst aren’t historically awful. The Patriots, for instance, are on track to outscore opponents by 146 points, which would be the biggest margin in the NFL but the third smallest to lead the league in a 16-game schedule. Behind them, the Chiefs, Giants and Lions have won more than two-thirds of their games while beating their foes by fewer than 100 points combined. Meanwhile, the Browns, prorated, will be outscored by 207 points — surely hideous, but not in the all-time bottom 40 since 1940 and nowhere close to the winless 2008 Lions (minus-249) or 1976 Buccaneers (minus-287).
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It’s mostly chance that teams look less squished together than they actually are. For one thing, the league’s bottom-feeders have been pretty awful but also awfully unlucky. Through Week 14, Cleveland, San Francisco, Jacksonville and Chicago were a combined 3-19 in games decided by a touchdown or less. And at the other end of the standings, a handful of winning clubs have played severely over their heads. Dallas and Oakland might be popular favorites to meet in the Super Bowl, but both teams are on pace to outperform their underlying statistics by more than two wins this season. The Cowboys and Raiders are worthy contenders, but they’re more similar to 10- or 11-win teams of the past than to 14- or 15-win juggernauts.

Rams, Raiders and Chargers file for relocation to Los Angeles

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The St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers all filed for relocation Monday, the first possible date teams were able to do so. NFL ownership will vote Jan. 12-13 to determine which team or teams, if any, will be relocating to Los Angeles beginning with the 2016 season.

News broke Tuesday evening beginning with the Chargers, who released a statement saying they were “sad to have reached this point,” but had no solution to their “stadium problem” and would file for relocation. The Raiders and Rams followed suit. The Rams released only a brief statement confirming the news, as did the Raiders.

The NFL released a statement about all three franchises:

Three teams – the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, and San Diego Chargers – each submitted applications to our office today to relocate their franchises to the Los Angeles area beginning with the 2016 season. Each team submitted the appropriate documentation in support of its application as required by the NFL Policy and Procedures for Proposed Franchise Relocations.
1. Trump single-handedly destroyed the USFL

That’s right. Trump owned the New Jersey Generals in 1983 and successfully lobbied to have his fellow owners move the USFL season from Spring to Fall in 1986. It was a move that took a small, secondary league out of its niche and put it head-to-head with a juggernaut. It folded in 1987.

Adam Dunn Jersey 2. He helped spearhead a $1.76 billion lawsuit against the NFL that got the USFL $3.76

Yes, that’s three dollars and seventy-six cents. That’s not missing a million or a billion. The league contested that the NFL was a monopoly and that’s why the USFL couldn’t thrive. The judge awarded the USFL a lot less than they wanted. By the tune of many, many decimal places.

3. Donald Trump couldn’t buy the Bills, then he pitched a fit

Trump was hoping to buy the Bills in 2014 when they went on the market, but was eventually outbid by Terry Pegula. The team sold for $1.4 billion. Trump called the price “ridiculous,” while the value of the Bills has increased 50 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to Forbes.

They’re still working to trade either Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson

You won’t be shocked to learn that the Dodgers already are on the hook for more guaranteed 2017 payroll dollars ($187.4 million, according to Baseball-Reference.com) than any team in this sport. You might be shocked to learn that, at the moment, none of those dollars have been allotted toward finding a third baseman, second baseman, closer or primary setup reliever.

But this is where we remind you that this front office thinks differently, and approaches roster-building differently, than any team in baseball. So the Dodgers have lined up layers and layers of options, contingency plans and trade/signing choices at every one of those spots. Translation: We have no shot at trying to predict whether they’ll fill those holes with, say, a Justin Turner/Kinsler/ Kenley Jansen/Greg Holland quartet or a Todd Frazier/Brian Dozier/David Robertson/Santiago Casilla foursome. Or even none of the above.
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Los Angeles Dodgers re-sign Kenley Jansen. This happened, with the two sides agreeing to a deal Monday afternoon! Yes, paying a closer $80 million certainly chafes the sabermetric bent of the front office, but Jansen is no ordinary closer, and the 2016 postseason showed the value of a closer who can get more than three outs. Considering top setup man Joe Blanton is also a free agent, the Dodgers would have been taking a big risk heading into 2017 without their top two relievers.

One positive about Jansen staying healthy and effective throughout the life of the contract: He was a former minor league catcher, so his arm doesn’t necessarily have the wear and tear of somebody who has been pitching since he was 12 years old.
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Houston Astros trade for RHP Jake Odorizzi. After bolstering the lineup with the additions of Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick, the Astros should add one more starting pitcher. Deals for Jose Quintana or Chris Archer would gut the farm system, but Odorizzi — 10-6 with a 3.69 ERA with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016 – would be a little less expensive and still be under team control for three more seasons. He might still cost top pitching prospect Frances Martes and a couple of others, but the Astros need to improve a starting rotation that ranked eighth in the AL in ERA in 2016.

NFL evaluators predict Week 14’s best games

ESPN senior writer Mike Sando asks league insiders to pick winners in selected games each week. Three evaluators took the challenge in Week 14. The games on the docket: Raiders-Chiefs, Seahawks-Packers, Broncos-Titans, Cowboys-Giants and Ravens-Patriots.

All three insiders are taking Kansas City to win at home as Oakland travels two time zones on a short week to face a team it has beaten just once during the Derek Carr era — in a 2014 Thursday night game in Oakland, when the Raiders had the big logistical edge.

Eight teams have faced both the Raiders and Chiefs. An insider from one of those eight teams said he thought the Raiders were better overall.

Authentic Kids Mark Stuart Jersey “Kansas City does everything to not beat themselves and then they have those opportune plays to win the game,” this evaluator said. “It’s just tough picking the road team at Kansas City in a Thursday night game.”

Authentic Kids Keith Magnuson Jersey KC Joyner, NFL writer: San Francisco, if for no other reason than where else are they going to go for a quarterback. ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay says the 2017 quarterback draft class, “is as bad a quarterback class as I can remember,” and there is an incredibly thin 2017 free-agent quarterback roster. Kaepernick might be more valuable to the 49ers than he would be to any other team.

The first obvious indication of Bennett’s ability to play through pain came Oct. 9 against Cleveland when he had his right ankle rolled up on during a goal-line running play in the first half. Bennett writhed in pain and required medical attention, but ultimately returned to the game and scored three touchdowns.

So it was the first close one to me and it was hard. But it’s what you have to do, and I think that’s how you honor them is to move on. You can think about the good times and gain strength from it, to be honest with you.”

From an overall perspective, expect the Patriots to play their safeties deep to help corners eliminate the big play.