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Archive for December, 2017

Top Seven statistical highlights from week 13 in the NFL

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY – WEEK 13

A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 3, the 13th week of the 2017 season.

  • The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS defeated Buffalo 23-3 and improved to 10-2. The Patriots have won at least 10 games in 15 consecutive seasons, the second-longest streak in NFL history (16, San Francisco, 1983-1998).

New England quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 258 yards in today’s win and became the fourth player in NFL history to reach 65,000 career passing yards (65,214), joining PEYTON MANNING (71,940), Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (71,838) and DREW BREES (69,409).

In his career, Brady has won 55 games in December, the most by a starting quarterback in any calendar month in NFL history.

  • New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES completed 25 of 34 passes (73.5 percent) for 269 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for a 106.1 passer rating in the Saints’ 31-21 win over Carolina. Brees has6,127 career completions and surpassed PEYTON MANNING (6,125) for the second-most completions in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (6,300) has more career completions.

Saints rookie running back ALVIN KAMARA had 126 scrimmage yards – 66 receiving and 60 rushing – in today’s win. This season, Kamara has 614 receiving yards and 606 rushing yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer CHARLEY TAYLOR (1964) and BILLY SIMS (1980) as the only rookies in NFL history to have at least 600 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards.

New Orleans running backs Kamara (126 scrimmage yards with two touchdowns) and MARK INGRAM (122 scrimmage yards with a touchdown) combined for 248 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns. It marked thefifth consecutive game in which Kamara and Ingram combined for 200+ scrimmage yards.

  • Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver KEENAN ALLEN had 10 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown in the team’s 19-10 win over Cleveland. Allen is the first player in NFL history to have at least 10 catches, 100 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in three consecutive games.
  • Arizona wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD had 10 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals’ loss against the Los Angeles Rams. Fitzgerald has 1,207 career catches and became the third player in NFL history to reach 1,200 receptions, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (1,549) and TONY GONZALEZ (1,325). Fitzgerald, who played in his 214th career game, is the fastest player in NFL history to reach the milestone (Rice, 221 games and Gonzalez, 247).

Fitzgerald has 82 receptions this season, his 10th career season with at least 75 catches. Only Rice (13) has more such seasons in NFL history.

Fitzgerald has 15,267 career receiving yards and surpassed ISAAC BRUCE (15,208) to move into fourth place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list.

Indianapolis running back FRANK GORE rushed for 61 yards in the Colts’ loss at Jacksonville. Gore, who has 13,697 career rushing yards, moved into fifth place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famers LA DAINIAN TOMLINSON (13,684) and JEROME BETTIS (13,662). The only players with more career rushing yards are Hall of Famers EMMITT SMITH (18,355), WALTER PAYTON(16,726), BARRY SANDERS (15,269) and CURTIS MARTIN (14,101).​

  • Minnesota quarterback CASE KEENUM completed 25 of 30 passes (83.3 percent) for 227 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 120.4 passer rating in the Vikings’ 14-9 win at Atlanta.

Keenum, who had a 114 passer rating in three November games and was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month, has posted a passer rating of at least 100 in four consecutive games, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (2009) and DAUNTE CULPEPPER (2000 and 2004) for the longest streak in franchise history.

  • New York Jets wide receivers JERMAINE KEARSE (157 yards) and ROBBY ANDERSON (107) each had at least 100 receiving yards in the team’s 38-31 win over Kansas City.

Last week against Carolina, Anderson (146 yards) and Kearse (105) also had 100-yard receiving games. The duo is the first set of Jets teammates to each have at least 100 receiving yards in consecutive games since 1967 (Weeks 16-17) when Pro Football Hall of Famer DON MAYNARD and GEORGE SAUER accomplished the feat for New York.

  • Green Bay rookie running back AARON JONES rushed for the game-winning 20-yard touchdown with 5:59 remaining in overtime of the Packers’ 26-20 win over Tampa Bay. Green Bay has played 41 overtime games in franchise history (including the postseason) and Jones is only the second Packers player all-time to score a rushing touchdown in overtime (JIM HARGROVE, October 18, 1987).

Chicago rookie running back TARIK COHEN had a 61-yard punt-return touchdown in the Bears’ loss against San Francisco. Cohen is the firstplayer since TERRY METCALF (1975) and the first rookie since Pro Football Hall of Famer GALE SAYERS (1965) to have a punt-return touchdown, rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and passing touchdown in a single season.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

For second straight week, Eagles QB Carson Wentz leads 2018 Pro Bowl voting

 

Carson Wentz throwing on the run 2017 photo by Keith Allison via wikipedia commons

​​LEADS PRO BOWL VOTING BY FANS

– Rosters to be announced Live on NFL Network’s

Pro Bowl Special on Tuesday, December 19 at 8:00 PM ET –

For the second consecutive week, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback CARSON WENTZ, with 422,491 total votes, leads all players in balloting for the 2018 Pro Bowl.

New England quarterback TOM BRADY (370,379 votes) ranks second overall, while Pittsburgh running back LE’VEON BELL(360,129 votes), Pittsburgh wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN (349,199 votes) and New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES(323,231 votes) round out the top five.

Fan voting for the 2018 Pro Bowl will continue online and on web-enabled mobile phones at www.NFL.com/probowlvote until Thursday, December 14. Fans may also vote for who they want to see on the 2018 Pro Bowl roster via Twitter through a Direct Message (DM) Voting Experience, which has never been done for an All-Star game before. Fans may participate via entry cards tweeted from all 32 team accounts or by directly visiting the @NFL profile page at Twitter.com/NFL. The entry cards will initiate a private “Direct Message” and enable fans to select a position group or search for a player or team to begin the voting process.

During the final week of 2018 Pro Bowl voting – December 7-14 – fans will be able to vote directly on Twitter. To cast such a vote, fans should tweet the first and last name of the player, or the player’s official Twitter handle, along with the hashtag: #ProBowlVote. This method is in addition to the online ballot at NFL.com/ProBowlVote and the DM Voting Experience, which will both be available throughout the voting period.
The 2018 Pro Bowl, which kicks off at a new start time of 3:00 PM ET on Sunday, January 28, will be televised live from Camping World Stadium on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC. Players for the game are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players who will be selected to the Pro Bowl. NFL players and coaches will cast their votes on Friday, December 15.

Pro Bowl rosters will be announced on Tuesday, December 19 live on NFL Network’s Pro Bowl special “NFL Total Access: Pro Bowl Players Revealed” at 8:00 PM ET. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its All-Star teams. It was also the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995.

Tickets to the game start at $45 and are on sale now at NFL.com/ProBowlOnSale. Last year’s sold-out event – the Pro Bowl’s first time in Orlando – featured a capacity crowd of more than 60,000. Fans may visit ProBowl.com for additional information on Pro Bowl Week, which features a variety of free, family-friendly events in Orlando.

The Pro Bowl is an all-inclusive event for fans on gameday. Working with KultureCity, Camping World Stadium’s sensory-inclusive partner, the NFL will offer families who attend the 2018 Pro Bowl support, including sensory accessibility resources and two dedicated sensory rooms located in the stadium on gameday to enable them to enjoy the game with more confidence and comfort.​

NFL PRO BOWL TOP-10 VOTE-GETTERS

POS.

NAME

TEAM

VOTES

QB

Carson Wentz Philadelphia 422,491

QB

Tom Brady New England 370,379

RB

Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh 360,129

WR

Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 349,199

QB

Drew Brees New Orleans 323,231

RB

Todd Gurley Los Angeles Rams 321,388

RB

Kareem Hunt Kansas City 291,786

QB

Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams 279,700

QB

Russell Wilson Seattle 276,373

TE

Rob Gronkowski New England 252,734


AFC & NFC LEADING VOTE-GETTERS BY POSITION
*

AFC

NFC

POS.

NAME

TEAM

VOTES

POS.

NAME

TEAM

VOTES

QB

Tom Brady New England 370,379

QB

Carson Wentz Philadelphia 422,491

RB

Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh 360,129

RB

Todd Gurley LA Rams 321,388

FB

Tommy Bohanon Jacksonville 66,145

FB

Kyle Juszczyk San Francisco 170,987

WR

Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 349,199

WR

Adam Thielen Minnesota 199,431

TE

Rob Gronkowski New England 252,734

TE

Zach Ertz Philadelphia 238,809

T

Alejandro Villanueva Pittsburgh 88,128

T

Lane Johnson Philadelphia 106,181

G

David DeCastro Pittsburgh 108,724

G

Zack Martin Dallas 103,363

C

Maurkice Pouncey Pittsburgh 99,575

C

Jason Kelce Philadelphia 121,871

DE

Joey Bosa LA Chargers 183,721

DE

Everson Griffen Minnesota 142,144

DT

Geno Atkins Cincinnati 133,580

DT

Aaron Donald LA Rams 151,635

OLB

Von Miller Denver 118,877

OLB

Chandler Jones Arizona 77,461

ILB

Ryan Shazier Pittsburgh 106,834

ILB

Luke Kuechly Carolina 140,388

CB

A.J. Bouye Jacksonville 143,102

CB

Darius Slay Detroit 108,249

SS

Micah Hyde Buffalo 61,548

SS

Kam Chancellor Seattle 79,238

FS

Kevin Byard Tennessee 76,052

FS

Harrison Smith Minnesota 67,485

K

Stephen Gostkowski New England 66,472

K

Greg Zuerlein LA Rams 84,008

P

Marquette King Oakland 79,200

P

Johnny Hekker LA Rams 42,271

RS

Tyreek Hill Kansas City 76,770

RS

Pharoh Cooper LA Rams 56,779

ST

Tyler Matakevich Pittsburgh 38,228

ST

Kamu Grugier-Hill Philadelphia 47,346
  *Totals reflect players currently on active rosters through Tuesday, November 28

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

MLB commissioner suspends five minor leaguers for violations of drug policies

 

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that five Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Houston Astros Minor League right-handed pitcher Carlos Pimentel has received a 56-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Program. The suspension of Pimentel, who is currently on the roster of the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Astros, will be effective at the start of the 2018 GCL season.

Free agent Minor League right-handed pitcher Angel Nesbitt has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Heptaminol, a stimulant in violation of the Program. The suspension of Nesbitt will be effective immediately upon his signing with another Major League organization.

Three Toronto Blue Jays Minor Leaguers – shortstop Hugo Cardona, infielder Yhon Perez and catcher Leonicio Ventura – have each received a 72-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Program. The suspensions of all three players, who are currently on the roster of the rookie-level Dominican Summer League Blue Jays, will be effective at the start of the 2018 DSL season.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

World champion Astros receives 2017 Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence

Bud Selig 2014 photo By Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https commons wikimedia.org

Club recognized for its “Community Leaders Program,” which has benefited more than 30,000 children throughout the greater Houston area

Press Release

Major League Baseball  announced recently that the World Series Champion Houston Astros have received the 2017 Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence. The Club is being recognized for its “Houston Astros Community Leaders Program,” which since 2013 has positively affected more than 30,000 children throughout the Greater Houston area through baseball & softball programming, education-based initiatives and volunteer opportunities.

In 2013, the Astros established the Community Leaders Program as a dedicated initiative to making baseball and softball accessible to children of all ages. Since its inception, the program has improved conditions at 23 ballfields and provided tens of thousands of young people with free uniforms, equipment, tickets to Astros games and professional instruction. Through these initiatives, the Club has engaged over 30,000 children in Community Leaders-related programming. While promoting youth baseball and softball is a major area of focus, the Club has also committed to improving the quality of youth sports experiences. The program provides guidance for parents, coaches and league participants with a series of clinics on a variety of topics, including coaching, grounds keeping, nutrition, education and more.

The reach of “The Houston Astros Community Leaders Program” extends well beyond city-owned parks and fields, reaching schools throughout the Houston Independent School District (HISD). The District has been an integral partner and beneficiary of the Community Leaders Program, helping support its educational programming. In partnership with HISD, the Houston Public Library and the Astros Foundation, Phillips 66, sponsors the Astros Foundation Literacy Bus – an interactive, mobile library that provides age-appropriate books to children K-5. The bus travels to parks and neighborhoods in the Community Leaders network, providing books and reading opportunities at no cost. Since March 2017, the Literacy Bus has provided over 5,000 books to children in the Houston area.

Every holiday season, Community Leaders leagues partner with the Astros Foundation to select a family from their communities in need of support. Through the “Adopt-A-Family for Christmas Program,” families receive gifts based on their specific needs. Additionally, the Astros organize volunteer opportunities with their staff and players to help local organizations, such as the Houston Food Bank, make a difference in the lives of those who are most in need.

As part of their recognition, the Astros Foundation will receive a $10,000 grant from Major League Baseball Charities to continue their efforts through the Community Leaders Program.

“Major League Baseball congratulates the Astros on this recognition, capping a championship year that will never be forgotten by the fans of Houston,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “Under Jim Crane’s leadership, the Astros have developed a strong record of impacting its city, recently demonstrated with Houston’s ongoing time of need after Hurricane Harvey. The Astros’ Community Leaders Program is a great example of the difference that all of our Clubs are making in their communities.”

“We are honored to receive the prestigious Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence,” said Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane. “We are proud of the progress we’ve made with our Foundation’s Community Leaders Program. Thanks to the support of our many outstanding sponsors, we are making a significant impact in our city. While rebuilding fields, we are rebuilding communities. We’ve made good progress, but we have a lot of work left to do.”

In addition to their Community Leaders Program, the Astros have rallied support for the Houston community following the devastation from Hurricane Harvey. Astros Owner & Chairman Jim Crane, Astros Ownership and the Astros Foundation pledged $4 million to relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts. An additional $237,000 was raised via fan donations at the Astros crowdfunding page (YouCaring.org/AstrosHarvey), while the Astros donated a portion of the proceeds from the Club’s “Share2Care” 50/50 raffle, which was held every Astros home game, to the American Red Cross. The Astros organization has also supported several initiatives to help families in need, including partnering with Aramark to provide the Salvation Army with 50,000 hot meals for hurricane relief workers from Sept. 5-14. From Sept. 7 – 14, the Astros, alongside corporate partners, provided and served food to 500 North Texas National Guard members who were positioned at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The Astros Foundation purchased over 22,000 school supply kits and over 11,000 backpacks to assist students impacted by the hurricane. Astros Foundation volunteers joined Astros players’ wives and families to collect much-needed school supplies at all ballpark gates during the final weeks of the regular season to benefit children affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Astros continue to assess youth baseball and softball leagues who were affected by Hurricane Harvey and will be supporting through infrastructure and field refurbishment, equipment, apparel and other donations. In addition to supporting disaster relief and recovery efforts in their market, the Astros Foundation, with Crane Worldwide, FedEx and the Houston Mayor’s Office, helped to transport hundreds of thousands of pounds of supplies to Puerto Rico after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

MLB announces Dodgers, Padres to play 3-game series in Mexico May 4-6, 2018

 

Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey 2007 photo By Pzurita at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Games mark third time MLB regular season games will be played in Monterrey

Press Release

The National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers and their NL West Division-rival San Diego Padres will meet in a three-game series at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey from May 4-6, 2018, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced today.

The games, which will serve as Padres home games, will represent the third regular season series ever to be played in Monterrey, and the first since the Padres and the Colorado Rockies played in MLB’s first-ever international Opening Day on April 4, 1999. The Padres have been a part of all three MLB visits to Monterrey, as they also played a three-game series against the New York Mets at the ballpark on August 16-18, 1996.

Major League teams most recently visited Mexico in March 2016, when the Padres and Houston Astros met for two exhibition games at Fray Nano in Mexico City. In addition, a Qualifier round for the 2017 World Baseball Classic was staged in Mexicali, Mexico in March 2016, while Jalisco, Mexico hosted Pool D of the WBC earlier this March. The Dodgers last participated in an international event in the 2014 Opening Series in Sydney, Australia, where they played two games against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“As a team with a bi-national fan base and reach that extends into Baja California and throughout Mexico, we are excited to once again play regular season games in Monterrey and help grow the popularity of our great game,” said Padres COO Erik Greupner. “Baseball fans in Mexico are passionate about the game and we look forward to deepening our connection with them.”

“The Dodgers are excited and extremely proud to be returning to Mexico as a team for the fourth time in our history,” Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten said. “These games will also mark the first time that the Dodgers are playing regular season contests in Mexico, something long overdue, given our rich player history and strong community ties to the country. The Dodgers have always been at the forefront of growing the game of baseball internationally and this trip reinforces this commitment, while at the same time giving our many fans in Mexico a chance to see us compete.”

“I’m extremely excited about returning home to Mexico to play a series against my former team, the Padres,” said Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Born in the U.S. and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, Adrian added, “This series will be memorable for all involved, as we visit Monterrey to repay the baseball fans in Mexico for their never-ending support of the game we all love.”

“We look forward to playing in Mexico in front of some of the most passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans in the world. Both teams have a strong following south of the border and we anticipate a very warm and spirited reception when we visit Monterrey,” said Padres first baseman Wil Myers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

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