Centering a third line and secondary power play, Johnson hasn’t scored a goal since Oct. 24 and has just two assists since then. While the Lightning aren’t missing much from their 27-year-old supporting actor while the top line of Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov average 4.4 points per game, Johnson’s personal fantasy managers can’t be too thrilled. If that’s you, check your waiver wire for other, more promising, options at center.
And as Durant comes back to town Wednesday, the past remains and the emotions will flood back, but the striking contrast of where the Thunder were then and are now has reshaped the feel of it all. Westbrook and Durant were the great duo that once was, and while George isn’t a replacement, he does represent something Russ and the Thunder worried they might not see again: hope.
The ESPN studio host sent out a Sunday morning tweet highlighting that only two teams in the Super Bowl era — the 1993 Cowboys and 2007 Giants — overcame 0-2 starts to win their next six games.
A few hours later, New Orleans became the third after a 30-10 waxing of Tampa Bay.
Wingo also pointed out that those Cowboys and Giants squads proceeded to win the Super Bowl.
Methodology: These rankings are based on which teams voters think would win head-to-head matchups. Higher-ranked teams would be favored against lower-ranked teams. Coming off a win doesn’t guarantee a jump, and a loss doesn’t guarantee a fall.
Triumph: The Eagles have had an OK season. They have the best record, have scored the most points, thrown the most passing touchdowns, have the best red zone efficiency, forced the third-most turnovers, allowed the second-lowest third-down conversion percentage … you get the point.
Cam Newton says Panthers just ‘scratching the surface’ after record night
Unless you’re one of his closest friends.
Newton said following Monday’s 45-21 win over the Dolphins at Bank of America Stadium he had a text from a friend waiting for him when he got back to his locker.
Woodyard, who registered a team-high seven tackles, said Tennessee’s defense accomplished three of its four pregame goals: Create turnovers (two), stop the run (53 yards on 14 carries), and harass quarterback Andy Dalton (a strip-sack by outside linebacker Brian Orakpo and two pressures).
The inability to complete the fourth one — not letting A.J. Green become a factor — almost proved disastrous. Green beat cornerback Logan Ryan on an inside slant and zipped through Tennessee’s secondary for a 70-yard score to give Cincinnati a 20-17 lead with 5:03 remaining.
Atlanta also forfeited its third-round selection in next June’s amateur draft as punishment for offering “impermissible benefits” to an unidentified draft pick in an effort to convince him to sign for a lower bonus.
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State — Rudolph was nearly perfect in Saturday’s shootout win at Iowa State. The 6-5, 230-pound senior was 25 of 31 for 376 yards and three touchdowns in Oklahoma State’s 49-42 victory.
Keenum completed 27 of 38 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown, leaving it tough for coach Mike Zimmer to even consider turning to Teddy Bridgewater. “It’s going to be hard to yank him out of there right now,” Zimmer said of Keenum. “He’s playing good. I still have really high hopes for Teddy, and a lot of things happen throughout the course of the season, so we’ll just see how it goes.”
John Collins, Atlanta Hawks (30.4): This rookie has done a lot with a little this season; he’s averaging just 23.3 minutes per game during his past eight appearances, but is sinking nearly 59 percent of his shots while slashing 11.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG and a block per game over this recent sample.
The slow pace of Milwaukee (third lowest) is something I’m avoiding when possible, especially given Booker’s spotty production in other categories (he has seven or fewer rebounds-plus-assists in seven of 11 November games).
With Eric Bledsoe likely in attack mode and the rest of this Bucks roster relying on penetration, the fact that Booker has committed at four fouls in the majority of games this month is just another red flag. Considering 28 teams are in action tonight, you can find a more stable option than Booker (heck, you can do better in this game, as I prefer Khris Middleton).
“It would be pretty tough not to panic, but I don’t think we are panicking,” said running back Alfred Morris, who had 91 yards filling in for Ezekiel Elliott. “It’s been two tough losses, ugly losses on top of that. But at the same time, I know the character of this team and the fight we have.”
Linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill is the emergency kicker for the Eagles. But he completely missed the safety net on a practice try on the sidelines, sending the ball into the stands. He did reach the goal line with his first kickoff, though.
The Dolphins began the second half of Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers with Matt Moore at quarterback.
Starter Jay Cutler was taken out to be evaluated for a concussion after he was hit by Buccaneers defensive end Ryan Russell on the penultimate play of the first half.
Cutler had been booed by Dolphins fans at Hard Rock Stadium after throwing three interceptions, one of which was in the end zone, as the Bucs (4-6) built a 20-7 lead.
Embiid sat out a win at Utah two weeks ago for what the Sixers called “load management” as they try to keep him healthy after a number of injuries. He made just 7 of 16 shots, but again proved the team’s emotional leader.
“I like our guys playing with an edge. I like them having some level of swagger and feeling good about themselves,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “That was a big play. It certainly got the crowd involved.”
With one time out, Smith drove the Chiefs 69 yards in nine plays, the big shot a 32-yard pass to tight end Travis Kelce. Harrison Butker tied the game with a 23-yard field goal — his third short one — with :01 left in regulation. The drive was kept alive when Jenkins’ interception was nullified by a pass interference penalty against him.
Regression looks like the Cardinals’ friend after a disappointing 2017 season. The upside of disappointment is that it can motivate you going forward. The Cardinals have been frequently mentioned as an aggressor in early hot stove activity, and an impact player tacked onto this baseline would put the Cardinals back near baseball’s elite tier.