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Washington’s performance against weak opposition is a little more complex.

By this measure, the Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks show the least tendency to play up or down to their level of competition, so adjusting for it makes them appear much more consistent. By contrast, four teams actually become less consistent when we adjust for context, which suggests they are playing to the level of their competition.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are perhaps the ultimate example of good (though probably still frustrating) playing to competition. They’re 17-5 against below-.500 teams but haven’t beaten a team with a sub-.350 winning percentage by double figures all season. Cleveland is truly doing just enough to win. It’s probably no coincidence the Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors rank near the top of this list. I found something similar with the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers when I looked at this measure during the 2008-09 season.

The Wizards don’t score as more consistent without considering context because they have tended to blow out bad teams at times. However, their poor games against weak opposition have frequently resulted in bad losses.

Typically, fans tend to think of the better performance against good teams as the true ability of the team, where the bad performance against weaker opponents is a fluke. As you hint, I think the truth lies somewhere in between. The Wizards are much better than their play against sub-.500 teams but not likely as good as they’ve looked against above-.500 teams thus far.

Brady had two touchdown passes in that game, but was also sacked twice.

The one thing you got to try to do is not let him read you like a book, which he’s very adept at, LeBeau said. Whether you’re pressuring or whether you’re going coverage, if he knows where you’re going, he’s probably going to be pretty effective.

Brady isn’t taking anything for granted.

These are fun games to play in, he said. You’re out there, you’re in the position to succeed. Your coaches have put a lot on you. The team’s really relying on you. You’ve got to go out there and make the plays.

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the rumor that’s circulated since mid-November has Gruden leaving the ESPN broadcast booth to return to coach the Bucs.

Gruden has openly expressed his admiration for quarterback Jameis Winston, and has reportedly told friends if he returns to the NFL, he’d prefer to return with Tampa Bay.

NFL Network reported Sunday Gruden was reaching out to assistant coaches and friends around the league he might consider if he needs to assemble a coaching staff.

With rumors swirling, Koetter must stay focused on the task at hand, the Bucs’ season finale against the Saints on Sunday. He says he has not talked with the Glazer family about his status for 2018.

I do not have discussions with them about that, no, Koetter said.

The highest-scoring player in fantasy football managed to find his way onto the greatest percentage of ESPN championship rosters in 2017.

How about that!

In a development that surely came as no surprise, Todd Gurley II, whose 383.3 PPR fantasy points this season was 35.38 more than any other player, and whose 319.3 non-PPR points trailed only Russell Wilson’s 347.92 (remember that quarterbacks have a significant scoring advantage in that format), carried his teams to championship glory in a whopping 34.4 percent of ESPN leagues. You read that right: More than one-third of ESPN champions had Gurley on their rosters. That’s a higher percentage than 2016 leader David Johnson (23.6), 2015 leader Tim Hightower (33.6) or 2014 leader Odell Beckham Jr. (31.0) had.

A quick glance at the list of most common players on championship rosters reveals that it’s the waiver wire, not your draft-day moves, that are largely responsible for your team’s ultimate fate. Ten of the 15 players most commonly found on championship teams went undrafted in ESPN standard leagues, meaning they were selected beyond the 160th pick on average.

That said, Gurley’s presence — as well as Johnson’s and Beckham’s in 2016 and 2014, respectively — shows that it’s every bit as important to hit on a key draft-day move. Twelve of the 31 players who resided on at least 12.5 percent of ESPN champions’ rosters — you can see the full list in the chart below — were selected within the first six rounds of preseason drafts. Two of them, Le’Veon Bell (14.8 percent, ADP 2.1) and LeSean McCoy (12.6 percent, ADP 7.5), were first-round selections on average.

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Jacksonville’s loss secured a first-round bye for the Patriots.

Since being traded by New England in October, the 26-year-old has led San Francisco to four consecutive wins, including a 44-33 victory over the Jaguars on Sunday.

While Garoppolo has credited the Patriots for helping with his accomplishments, Brady thinks the quarterback and the 49ers deserve a majority of the credit.

I think it is great for any player and anyone who has been in the Patriots system to watch how the coaches prepare the players, said Brady. There is obviously a high standard and high expectations for us every time we take the field. Anytime you’re in a winning environment, that definitely helps and I think guys really enjoy that. You take what you can and use that in other places if that is where you go. Like I said, what they are doing is a credit to them. I don’t think anyone should take credit for what those guys have accomplished.

Chuck Pagano provided Colts fans with many exciting wins and memories as head coach of the Colts, Colts owner Jim Irsay said in a statement. Throughout his tenure in Indianapolis, he impacted the lives of the players he coached, those who he worked with in the organization and Colts fans across the globe. … We are thankful for Chuck’s contributions to our franchise and community and we wish him, Tina and the entire Pagano family nothing but the best moving forward.

In a nearly empty locker room, a few Colts players offered their thoughts on Pagano on Monday.

He’s meant so much, great guy, great coach, quarterback Jacoby Brissett said. Been an excellent example as a man to look at. Can’t thank him enough

The thing about Chuck was that he was authentic, safety Darius Butler said. He was himself from the day I met him. I met him in 2009 when I was coming out for the combine. He’s been that same guy up until I saw him today. I’m sure he’ll remain the same. Things didn’t fall our way. We didn’t live up to expectations, what the standards are for this organization. That falls on all of us, definitely doesn’t just fall on Chuck. Falls on the players, falls on everybody involved. Everybody has to look in the mirror and see what can be done better.

Pagano went out with a 22-13 win over the Houston Texans, and after the game, Irsay presented him with the game ball.

It would have been real easy for these guys to throw in the towel, but they never quit, an emotional Pagano said after the game, before the firing had been announced. That’s my football family in there. It’s always been about relationships. It’s always been about love with me. It’s always been about connection. The price of love is sometimes you have to say goodbye.

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So far, stout defense has helped the Ravens overcome two major obstacles �� a roster battered by injuries and an offense still trying to find its footing after quarterback Joe Flacco missed almost the entire preseason recovering from a herniated disc in his back. The Ravens already have 13 players on injured reserve and will be adding another with Marshal Yanda, one of the NFL’s best guards, fracturing his ankle against the Browns. Backup linebacker and special-teams contributor Bam Bradley also was lost to a torn ACL.

The name of the game is complementary football �� offense, defense and special teams, Carr said. We knew the offense was going to start a little slower than the defense at the start of the season.

We have a lot of offensive firepower. It’s just a matter of time before they start clicking, getting the ball downfield and stretching the defense. As long as we keep playing our level of defense, we’ll be fine.

It’s a quick homecoming for Buffalo’s new coach and GM duo, Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane. They will put some of their knowledge of Cam Newton and the Panthers’ personnel to work to their advantage, but they still have offensive and defensive limitations vs. a deeper, more versatile opponent. It’s a real wake-up call after facing the Jets, as the Panthers ground and pound out a close victory in the fourth quarter. Panthers win 24-20 but fail to cover the spread.

The Bucs had to wait out Hurricane Irma before they could build on their momentum from Hard Knocks, and they will be eager to knock around somebody at home and put on a show for a community that needs it. Jameis Winston is a good man for finishing the job, while his former backup, Mike Glennon, will see the best from Mike Smith’s rested and ready defense. Buccaneers win 27-17 and cover the spread.

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Green Bay’s defense generated a little more pressure on Dalton in the second half, and rookie safety Josh Jones gave the injury-laden defense a boost with two sacks and 12 tackles.

Rodgers shook off his early struggles to guide the Packers to another win. He was sacked six times, mostly against just the Bengals’ four-man rush, though the protection shored up after halftime.

Rodgers threw just his second career pick-six — and his first at home — when William Jackson returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown for a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Oh, we took a step as a football team, McCarthy said. This always pays forward when you go through adversity and you have success.

I thought Aaron played one of his best games, coach Mike McCarthy said. I thought he was tremendous today.

The Packers flipped the script after the Bengals controlled the first half.

A.J. Green caught a 10-yard scoring pass on the game’s opening drive for Cincinnati’s first touchdown after two frustrating weeks for the offense. Bill Lazor made his debut as offensive coordinator for the fired Ken Zampese.

Andy Dalton was 21 of 27 for 212 yards and two scores. The Bengals were desperate to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2008. But they couldn’t finish the Packers off in the second half.

A disappointment is not finishing a football game now, Lewis said.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins: Ajayi left the game early in the first quarter favoring his left arm or wrist, per ESPN’s James Walker. He returned for the start of the Dolphins’ second drive.

Tony Jefferson, S, Baltimore Ravens: Jefferson was injured while tackling Jaguars TE James O’Shaughnessy late in the second quarter. He walked off the field under his own power and returned in the second half.

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In Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, we send more juveniles to life without parole than anybody in the world. I don’t think that’s something to be proud of as Philadelphians, as Pennsylvanians, he said. But it’s something that can be fixed. So I want to use my platform to point to those issues, to point to the voices of the people that do this work every day, because that’s not what I do. I go to practice every day. I don’t go to these community groups. But I can bring them to the table and hear their voices, and that’s what I’m responsible for.

Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive end Chris Long stand for the anthem prior to Sunday’s game against the Giants. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
That’s the big picture. But Sunday’s demonstration was personal.

And because the Saints have mismanaged their salary cap and contracts so badly, this is not exactly an attractive landing spot for an executive. Many new GMs walk into a situation in which they can rip a team apart, create huge amounts of cap space by cutting players, add draft picks and be praised for it. In New Orleans, a new GM immediately would face the decision of either paying a ransom for Brees or letting the face of the franchise walk for nothing but a compensatory draft pick in 2019.

If a new GM opts to go with Brees, there will be little flexibility with the cap for at least one and probably two years. The Saints project to have around $30 million in cap space next year, but that figure doesn’t include a new contract for Brees, an extension for safety Kenny Vaccaro or a tender for receiver Willie Snead. A traditional contract for Brees likely would eat up an additional $14 million-$17 million of the cap in 2018 and $25 million in 2019.

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He slung it around all the time on us (at Rice), Sendejo said. I’ve seen him do that for a while.

He’s just a baller. Of course, the more practice reps he gets with the starters can help but he can go out and play this game doing what he does like today.

It’s unknown whether there will be such a large league-wide national anthem brouhaha before the Week 4 games. The Vikings, though, know for certain that a victory at Detroit (2-1) could prove pivotal down the road in the NFC North race.

We’ve just got to continue doing a good job stopping the run, getting turnovers, not letting big plays get us and just playing smart football, Sendejo said. If we do those things we’re supposed to, we should be successful.

They set out to bring together a widespread group of supporters to speak up on Bennett’s behalf. As of late Wednesday, 31 people, including authors, musicians, actors and college professors, had attached their names to the statement.

We condemn this act of racial profiling and excessive force perpetrated by the Vegas police against Mr. Bennett, the statement reads, in part.

This story is awful enough. The response by the Las Vegas police union has been even worse �� Michael Bennett has been sitting during the anthem precisely to raise these issues of racist injustice that are now an intimate part of his life. Now we stand with him.

A show of support from athletes, from the NFL and other sports, was important, Zirin told Sporting News, but it was really specifically designed to be athletes, academics and activists. We wanted the best representation of people who can bring others together.

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Caldwell also declined to say why the Lions chose to run a play theoretically designed to have the first read be short of the end zone. Tate, the receiver on the play, appeared to be impeded on what seemed to be a timing route. Caldwell declined to say whether Tate was supposed to be in the end zone if the play had been completely clean.

Yeah, you know, there’s a number of different things, reasons, why you could look back and say why and why you did not, Caldwell said. I think that’s what makes our sport interesting. What we did is what we did. It didn’t work, and that’s it.

The officials initially ruled the play a Tate touchdown; upon review, it was overturned when Tate’s left knee was shown to have hit the ground and Atlanta defensive back Brian Poole had been shown to touch him, marking him down. The overturned play, combined with the Lions having no timeouts, resulted in the 10-second runoff, ending the game and giving Atlanta a 30-26 win.

Not this Sunday. This show of solidarity was a blowout victory for Kaepernick, absent in body but so present in spirit. Trump’s attack was countered by criticism from an unlikely group, NFL owners (They’re friends of mine, the president said), including one of the seven who contributed $1 million to his inauguration committee (and the only one to gift him a Super Bowl ring), New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. At a political rally Friday night in Hunstville, Alabama, Trump didn’t just call your average peaceful protestor a son of a bitch who deserved to be terminated; he claimed highly compensated NFL players had forfeited the right to disrespect the flag.

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There’s nothing like bad offensive line play to ruin the potential of talented offensive skill players on an NFL team. That’s been happening for five playoff contenders that were expected to move the ball much better in 2017.

But in every case, personnel changes or scheme adjustments can be made to try to find better blocking or play results.

That last five minutes was very stressful, Rams running back Todd Gurley told NFL Network. It was out of our control, but we knew the defense would come through.

The way the game started, it looked like the Rams were going to cruise to another blowout victory, capitalizing on turnovers as they did in a 46-9 win over the Colts to open the season.

Hoyer threw an interception on the first play from scrimmage, with Nickell Robey-Coleman easily jumping an out-route and taking it to the 49ers 5-yard line. Gurley punched it in from there a play later to give the Rams a 7-0 lead just 12 seconds into the game.

The 49ers tied it up on Hoyer’s 9-yard scramble into the end zone to cap a 14-play, 81-yard drive that was kept alive by a defensive holding penalty on fourth-and-2. The Rams answered with a touchdown of their own and made it 17-7 on Greg Zuerlein’s 48-yard field goal. That score was off Raheem Mostert’s fumble at the Rams 39-yard line.

But a crazy sequence of events that included a pair of San Francisco touchdowns in less than a three-minute span, thanks to a fumbled kickoff return in between, cut the Rams lead down to 41-39. The 49ers would get the ball right back after recovering an onside kick, but turned it over on downs.

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The NFL was a topic of focus as President Donald Trump spoke at a Republican rally Friday night in Alabama.

In particular, while discussing American values, the president started off on a tangent about social activism in the NFL and how players’ demonstrations during the national anthem before games are affecting television ratings and ruining the game.

Aaron Rodgers burned another defense deep with a free play. The Cincinnati Bengals found their offense and a new way to lose.

Mason Crosby kicked a 27-yard field goal with 6:26 left in overtime set up by Rodgers’ 72-yard pass to Geronimo Allison, and the Green Bay Packers rallied to beat Cincinnati 27-24 on Sunday.

Crosby’s kick completed the Packers’ comeback from a 21-7 halftime deficit.

On third-and-10 from his 21, Rodgers took advantage of yet another free play after defensive end Michael Johnson was whistled for offside. Officials let the play continue and the two-time NFL MVP found Allison on about a 40-yard pass before the receiver beat a couple defenders for more yards.

Luckily I put it in a good spot and G-Mo did the rest, Rodgers said.

Crosby, a veteran kicker, finished it off for the Packers (2-1).

It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedications and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.

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