Seahawks’ run game is rolling, but where’s first-rounder Rashaad Penny?

The Seattle Seahawks lead the NFL in rushing over the past three games with 473 yards, their most in any such span since 2016. They’ve had a runner hit triple digits in all three, something that hadn’t previously happened in their backfield since Marshawn Lynch did it at the end of the 2012 season.discount nfl jerseys china

The long-awaited rediscovery of their run game allowed the Seahawks (2-3) to win two straight after an 0-2 start. Then they nearly upset the unbeaten Los Angeles Rams last week with 190 yards on the ground, which led right guard D.J. Fluker to boast afterward that Seattle “literally kicked their ass up front.”

As coach Pete Carroll put it Wednesday, “This is what we’ve been seeking.”
And yet Rashaad Penny has hardly been involved.

That wouldn’t be all that notable if not for the fact that Penny is the Seahawks’ first-round pick, a player who was expected to at least split carries with running back Chris Carson even if he couldn’t beat him out for the starting job. Instead, he’s apparently the third option in their running back rotation.nike nfl jerseys cheap

The Seahawks went with Mike Davis as the starter two weeks ago in Arizona when Carson was a late scratch. Then Penny didn’t play a single offensive snap Sunday against the Rams and got only one on special teams. His rushing totals through five games: 29 carries for 92 yards compared to 64/293 for Carson and 36/172 for Davis.

“He’s just looking for his opportunity,” Carroll said of Penny. “He’s dying to get in there. He’s just scratching, clawing to get back out there and get more turns. There just wasn’t enough [opportunities], but this is a long season, there’s a lot of carries, there’s a lot of running to be done. I can’t wait to see him get in there and get going too.”

That Penny has been a nonfactor in Seattle’s offense has invited criticism over the team’s decision to make him the 27th overall pick in April. The move was questioned at the time by those who felt Seattle would have been better off taking care of a position of greater need — cornerback or defensive end, for instance — that early in the draft.


Josh Rosen a favorite among teammates, who say ‘he’s not weird’

A few minutes after Phil Dawson missed a potential game-winning field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen found Dawson and did his best to console the second-oldest player in the league.

“He had some very encouraging words,” Dawson said.

While the words were a nice gesture from Rosen, Dawson was more impressed that Rosen, a 21-year-old rookie, had the wherewithal to go out of his way to talk to the 43-year-old kicker.buy cheap authentic nfl jerseys

In 20 seasons, Dawson doesn’t remember another quarterback doing anything like that in a similar situation.

“That’s pretty significant,” Dawson said. “But especially when you consider that it’s a rookie quarterback making his first start with obviously a lot of issues on his plate, and for him to take time while processing his first game and a tough loss and all that kind of stuff, to go out of his way to encourage a teammate, especially one in my shoes, I think that speaks a lot for his leadership and just the character of the guy.”11

That’s just who Rosen is. The Cardinals knew what they were getting from Rosen, the quarterback. Throughout the past five months, since he was drafted by Arizona 10th overall, Rosen has shown the Cardinals what kind of person they got.

It hasn’t been the brash, outspoken, opinionated player who made a name for himself because of all those traits in college.

“He’s a delightful person to be around,” wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “Anybody that spends any time with him, he’s got a vast array of interests, and he’s a very, very interesting person. I’ve enjoyed my time getting to know him.”

“I think that’s the way to do it,” Pugh said. “If you want to be a leader, you have to lead by example first and work hard and show everyone you’re going to do it the right way. And then people start to follow you.

“And then the personality, you got to be who you are. You got to bring who you are to the table. That’s part of the reason why we drafted him. So I’m excited for him.discount nfl jerseys

“He’s getting a chance to showcase that a little bit more. Now you’re in the starting role, you have a little bit more pressure, but that also means you can be a little more out there, a little more open about how you feel and what you’re seeing or doing. So it’ll be fun for him.”


Why Jake DeBrusk is more vital to the Bruins than you might think

It wasn’t the swine flu. Although Jake DeBrusk admits it certainly made for a more compelling tale from the road after the Boston Bruins returned from China.

“I don’t think it was actually swine flu,” he said. “But it felt like swine flu. Very similar. Very awful.”

As the Bruins went through China during the preseason, with games in Shenzhen and Beijing, everything was going through their 21-year-old winger. “We went on a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride to the airport and then a flight for 12 hours after that. That was tough.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

He was impressive in stretches last season, with 16 goals and 27 assists in 70 games, playing big minutes with center David Krejci on the team’s second line. He managed 143 shots on goal, fifth among Bruins forwards, and picked up a few votes for the Calder Trophy. But he was a rookie, and with that inexperience came bumps in the road, such as his one assist in six games and five games without a point.12

The role DeBrusk is playing for the Bruins this season is a critical one. His performance as the second-line winger could influence everything from lineup decisions to whether GM Don Sweeney feels the need to go shopping for another winger, as he did in acquiring Rick Nash last season. As DeBrusk’s sophomore campaign gets rolling, it’s that dependability that coach Bruce Cassidy needs to see.

“What we’re looking for is a little more consistency on the nights when the offense isn’t there,” he told ESPN last week.

“Saying that young guys disappear is maybe a little unfair. But sometimes they’re not as dialed in as they need to be. Mentally, they’re not as strong as the older guys, who know there are going to be rainy days. Some rainy weeks and months. So you just have to find a way to contribute. That’s what happens with the younger guys. They have a level of success, and that’s what they want every night, but life doesn’t work that way.”china nike nfl jerseys cheap

DeBrusk knows this. That’s why he has sought council on how to handle what he has called “some ups and downs” in his first NHL season. “I listen to the veterans here. [Krejci] was helping me out, saying stuff that he went through. Obviously, he’s played for a while. He understands the game,” DeBrusk said.


Inside the Hurricanes’ wild new postgame celebration

Postgame celebrations in the NHL have become perfunctory. Players win a game. Players skate out to the logo at center ice. Players raise their sticks to salute the crowd, perhaps adding a glove clap or two, and then head to the dressing room to pump their victory song of choice from the speakers.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“Listen, they’re all good shows of respect to the people that come and watch. But sometimes they get a little bit stagnant, like you have to do it. It starts feeling less and less, when it should feel more and more,” said Carolina Hurricanes captain Justin Williams.
What the Hurricanes did was a far cry from the usual stick raise after their 8-5 win over the New York Rangers on Sunday, having rallied with four goals in the third period. All the players lined up on the blue line. The raised their arms in the air and did a slow clap, at times looking like they were transitioning from the “Y” to the “M” in the “YMCA” dance. Williams then broke from formation and skated down the ice, waving his glove for his teammates to join him. One by one, they followed, smiling broadly.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

After the game, Williams was keenly aware that the Hurricanes might have breached hockey culture protocol. It’s a culture that de-emphasizes that level of enthusiasm in an “act like you’ve been there” way, and one that can demonize emphatic celebrations. Witness last week’s incident when Brad Marchand reacted to Lars Eller’s postgoal merriment by repeatedly punching him in the face.

What Williams discovered, however, was an outpouring of love for the Hurricanes’ jubilation. “The response we got from everyone after the game — on Twitter, phone calls and text — about 98 percent of the people enjoyed it. But you can’t please everybody,” he said. “I just think that if we can have fun doing what we love, we’re going to be better for it. Hockey’s a tough game. There are good days and bad days. But if you can enjoy yourself by working hard, we’re going to be a lot more cohesive on the ice. Become not just guys on the ice, but brothers on the ice.”

And, in the process, help change the perceptions of the Carolina Hurricanes, a frequently maligned franchise that hasn’t made the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2009.

“We’re trying to rebrand the Carolina Hurricanes into being relevant, I guess,” said Williams. “This is one small thing. This is just a celebration after the game. But it means something to us because there hasn’t been a lot of success here, and we’re trying to show people that we won’t stand for it.”


Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola apologises to Gabriel Jesus after Riyad Mahrez penalty miss

The result leaves City top going into the international break, but only above rivals Liverpool and Chelsea on goal difference.

However, Guardiola was happy with the point after losing his last three games against Jurgen Klopp’s side, and having done it at a ground where City haven’t won in 15 years.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“It is a point. We were close, more than ever to winning here but it is better than last season when we lose and especially when we try to be ourselves all the time,” he added. “We compete really, really good. We had our chance. It’s what it is.12

“I am so comfortable with the performance we have done. They didn’t have one shot on target. In Anfield, that is so complicated.”

Guardiola admitted City played a much slower game than in his previous visits to Anfield to restrict Liverpool’s ability to punish any mistakes — describing Klopp’s side as the best in the world at it.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“Yeah, if you play so quick they are much better than us,” he said. “We want to create but when you make a mistake … If it is an open game at Anfield, you don’t even have one percent of a chance because they are so good, they play for that.

“We controlled it through Riyad, Bernardo [Silva], the guys to give the extra pass. Up and down they are maybe, no I’m pretty sure, the best team in the world in these transitions, offensive, defensive, it is built for that. In that situation, they are much better.”


Tottenham’s Harry Kane brushes off Neil Warnock accusations after Joe Ralls red card

Harry Kane has refuted Cardiff manager Neil Warnock’s suggestion that he put pressure on referee Mike Dean to send off Joe Ralls at Wembley on Saturday.

Kane rushed over to confront Ralls after the visiting midfielder’s cynical 58th-minute tackle on Lucas Moura, which was punished with a straight red card.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Warnock criticised Kane’s conduct after Spurs’ 1-0 victory, saying the striker was trying to “make an issue of it and get the referee to think it is worse than it is,” adding: “I don’t think you should try and get other pros sent off, just because he and Spurs are having a poor game.”

Kane, however, does not believe he had any influence on Dean’s decision.11

“He’s kicked one of our players knee-height and the ref said to me that the fourth official helped him out,” said the Tottenham forward.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“I guess managers are going to get angry, it’s part of the game. But at the end of the day their player has looked at our player and he’s kicked him higher than he ever should, so for me it was a red card and the right decision.”

Spurs have had a mixed campaign so far and lost three successive matches last month, while they are yet to pick up a point in their Champions League group.

Their fans would also have hoped for a more convincing home win over Cardiff, the Premier League’s bottom side, on Saturday — yet the north Londoners are only two points off the top of the table.

“We’re in a good spot,” said Kane. “We went through that spell where everyone thought it was the end of the world and we’ve come out the other side and we’ve done alright. We’re not far off the top.

“It’s like most seasons. We just stay calm and stay under the radar. Everyone talks about everyone else and we’ll just see if we can go on a good run between now and Christmas, and we’ll see where that puts us.

“Cardiff are a tough team, physical. It was a rainy day and the pitch wasn’t as good as it normally is so it was one of those games where we just had to get over the line and we did that. It was a great clean sheet.


Donaldson, Encarnacion look to take care of unfinished October business

One of them is flamboyant and boisterous; the other one is discreet and introverted. One hails from Alabama (via nearby Pensacola) and was a standout All-American with the Auburn Tigers. The other moved to Puerto Rico at age 14 from his childhood home in the Dominican Republic, which at the time did not have the impressive farm systems we know today, to pursue his dream of playing major league baseball.

Donaldson would go on to have a standout career that saw him dealt from the Oakland Athletics to the Toronto Blue Jays after the 2014 season, a year before he was crowned American League MVP. And much like his personality, Encarnación flew mostly under the radar with the Cincinnati Reds, right up until he was picked off waivers by the Blue Jays in 2010 and went on to establish himself as one of the best and most consistent power hitters in the game.

When Donaldson arrived in the Blue Jays’ clubhouse, he came armed with the Athletics way, reaching across the proverbial Latino players’ aisle in trying to establish a winning clubhouse culture that he believes in to this day. Encarnación was skeptical at first, but eventually grew to trust and believe in the good intentions of that brash, quirky kid.

“When I came in to Toronto you had Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista, Navi [Dioner Navarro] and Edwin, a pretty big Latin culture. I always want to talk to everybody, so I made it a point that I was trying to communicate with everybody, so I let them know,” said Donaldson, laughing.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“I played in the Dominican and I know what it feels like to be part of a smaller group,” he said. “So I made it a point to let them know I was interested in them and wanted to show that I am here to help you guys win. So we started building a relationship. And yes, some people wonder how, but some of my best friends have been more of the quiet type.”

“When I first met him in Toronto, you could tell right away what kind of guy he is. Yes, we are completely different. But that doesn’t matter; everyone has their own way. He does things his way and I do things my way, but that didn’t stop us from becoming good friends,” Encarnación said. “It’s all based on respect towards each other. That’s the main thing between us. The respect and trust we have developed in each other. He trusts and believes in me and I trust and believe in him. We have a close relationship on and off the field.”12

Alongside José Bautista, they became not only good friends, but one of the best power-hitting trios in baseball, combining for 221 home runs between them in 2015 and 2016. That Blue Jays team would go on to make back-to-back American League Championship Series in those two seasons, winning the AL East the first year and earning a wild card in the second while making the playoffs for the first time since winning the World Series in 1992 and 1993.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

That means both Donaldson and Encarnación have some unfinished business in October, having gotten to the ALCS but no further than that. And while neither would openly admit it, there is a chip on both of their shoulders to show the Blue Jays what they could have accomplished with some more time together.

Encarnación has always taken the high road in his comments following his departure as a free agent from Toronto, but it is unclear how hard the Blue Jays tried to re-sign him before he decided to head to Cleveland in the winter of 2015.

Donaldson’s departure from Toronto was messy, with plenty of reports about the mishandling of his most recent calf injury and contract negotiations. The 32-year-old had been limited to just 36 games for Toronto, and no one knew when or if he’d play again in 2018.


Welcome to the postseason, Giancarlo Stanton, now comes the hard part

Successful pressure-packed postseason moments can really provide that life. After spending eight postseason-less years with a Marlins franchise that had trouble even getting to .500 regularly, Stanton — a key cog in the Bronx Bomber machine — can finally say he’s truly chasing a championship.

But in order for a title to come, with the Yankees already trailing the Boston Red Sox 0-1 in the American League Division Series following Friday’s 5-4 loss, and with Stanton coming up short in two clutch spots in the game, he still has work to do for his postseason impact to be felt.

“I wasn’t able to get it done,” Stanton said, just after he struck out in two late-game situations in which he represented the tying run. “I should’ve put the ball in play.”cheap official nike nfl jerseys

These moments of failure were tangible examples of something Stanton intimated earlier this week ahead of his playoff debut. He knew then that this postseason run, regardless how long it ultimately lasts, won’t be easy.11

“You know, it’s been a long road so far, and we’ve got work to do,” Stanton said. “But it’s going to be fun.”

Take one look at his body language coming into October and it’s plainly evident just how much of a blast he had been having.

Perhaps no moment better exemplified his enthusiasm for finally playing on the postseason stage than when he tagged a hanging inside slider in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 7-2 win over the Oakland Athletics in the American League wild-card game. Extra insurance, the 443-foot home run Stanton crushed came off a mistake pitch from A’s reliever Blake Treinen. Stanton sent it, seemingly, into outer space.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“What a moonshot. I was looking for that thing to go out the stadium he hit it so far,” Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge said.

It was how Stanton reacted to the homer, though, that best let the Yankees know how at ease he was entering his first career playoff series.

As soon as the ball left his bat, going on a towering fly, Stanton paused for a moment, admiring its arc before slowly jogging up the first-base line.

“It’s kind of what happens in the postseason when you’re feeling hot and you’re feeling great about what’s going on in that game,” New York center fielder Aaron Hicks said of Stanton’s stare-down.


Rob Gronkowski-Julian Edelman combo has been elusive for Patriots

The last time the New England Patriots had tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Julian Edelman on the field together for a regular-season game was Nov. 27, 2016. That’s a stretch of 31 games — almost two full football seasons, when including the playoffs.nfl cheap jerseys nike

The hope was that quarterback Tom Brady’s two go-to-guys would be teaming up again Thursday night at home against the Indianapolis Colts, with Edelman’s return from a four-game NFL suspension.

But those plans might be on hold.12

Gronkowski was held out of the team’s walk-through on Tuesday, as the club determined that staying off his injured ankle was a better course of action than having him go through a light practice session that features more mental-based effort than physical work. Edelman, meanwhile, looked like he had a little extra hop in his step in his first official practice since returning to the club on Monday.

“Obviously, it’s amazing. Great to have him back, because it’s another body for us, and it’s a great one — he’s Julian Edelman. He’s the leader of our room. We needed him back,” Patriots receiver Phillip Dorsett said. “Not having Gronk out there sometimes … when Gronk does come back, we’re going to be hard to deal with because that’s a lot of bodies thrown at you.”

Because Edelman missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL and Gronkowski’s 2016 season ended after he tweaked his back early in a late-November victory over the New York Jets, Brady and the Patriots have grown used to not having them both in action at the same time. Not that Brady likes it.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Also, receiver Chris Hogan’s production has been down through the first quarter of the season, as he has been thrust into a leading role at receiver without Edelman. Similar to Allen, that’s asking a lot of a player in Hogan who has previously been more of a secondary option.

So when Gronkowski and Edelman are on the field together, it’s almost like the pieces of a puzzle nicely fitting together.

It has been a long time since that happened, and with Gronkowski sidelined from practice, it could be even a little bit longer.


Eagles facing early crossroad in title defense

Coach Doug Pederson warned as much, even pushing the mantra “Embrace the Target” beginning early this offseason to drill home that they are going to get their opponent’s best shot week after week.

That theory has largely held up through four games. The Eagles haven’t always been ready for it, or maybe equipped to handle it, and sit at 2-2 as a result. Next up is a desperate Minnesota Vikings team with revenge on their mind following the 38-7 pummeling in Philly in the NFC Championship Game.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“First of all, we have to understand that we are champions, and you have to play, you’re expected to play a certain way,” Pederson said. “When you don’t live up to that expectation, we need to just zero down on it and figure out why. The sense of urgency from players and coaches needs to heighten just a little bit. It’s not a panic mode, but it’s a heightened awareness of who we are as a football team, where we want to get to.”11

Right now, the Eagles are a .500 football team with an offense that ranks 26th in points per game (20.5) and third in penalty yards (343). The offensive line, touted as one of the best in the sport, has been leaky at times and was partly responsible for the 11 hits and four sacks Carson Wentz absorbed last week in an overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans. The defense has been unreliable on the road and is coming off a performance in which it allowed three fourth-down conversions on a single drive in overtime.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Injuries are piling up. The loss of safety Rodney McLeod (knee surgery) arguably cost them the Titans game (his replacement, Corey Graham, was out of position on the defining fourth-and-15 conversion) and leaves them vulnerable on the back end. He is the fourth Eagles player to hit injured reserve this season, joining wide receivers Mike Wallace and Mack Hollins and tight end Richard Rodgers. Jay Ajayi has a fracture in his back, and his running mates, Darren Sproles and Corey Clement, haven’t been able to stay on the field consistently.

Add the fact that Wentz (ACL/LC), defensive end Brandon Graham (ankle) and receiver Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) are just getting back onto the field/rounding into form, and you can see where some of the issues are stemming from.

On the bright side, some of those key players such as Wentz and Jeffery are now back in the fold, and with the arrow pointing up. That’s the way right tackle Lane Johnson chose to look at it while discussing the state of the team on Tuesday.

“We’re starting to get everybody back,” he said. “It was only Carson’s second game. We’re getting Jordan Matthews back, getting Alshon Jeffery back, so it takes time for a cohesive group to get back into a rhythm. Sometimes it’s not pretty, and that’s the way it is.