By The Nelson Daily SportsThe biggest prize of the High School Girl’s Roundball season is up for grabs Friday in the Silver City as four schools compete for a berth at the B.C. High School AA Soccer Championship.Defending zone champion, L.V. Rogers Bombers, enters the final four as the second seed in the Kootenay Zone Tourney.Unfortunately, due a quirk in the regular season schedule — a quirk that saw two of the teams entering the zones not want to play the Bombers — LVR’s West Kootenay schedule consisted of two matches against two Single-A teams, Mount Sentinel Wildcats and J.V. Humphries Eagles of Kaslo.J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks, one of those teams refusing to play the Bombers, is the top seed and meets the winner of David Thompson Lakers of Invermere and Prince Charles Comets of Creston. The other team refusing to meet LVR is Stanley Humphries of Castlegar.The game goes at 10:30 a.m. at J. Lloyd Crowe Pitch.David Thompson and Prince Charles played Thursday with the winner advancing into the final four as the fourth-place team.LVR, led by the dynamic midfield of Andrea Stinson and Taylor Stewart — the two were mainstays on the Kootenay Thunder Regional Team — meet Stanley Humphries Rockers of Castlegar at 10:30 a.m. at Haley Park in Warfield.The Rockers won’t be an easy mark for the Bombers, especially with the team nursing a few nagging injuries from too much action.Many of the Bomber players are part of the Nelson Selects U17 squad that won the gold medal last weekend at the Terry Walgren Girl’s Soccer tournament in Nelson.The teams slugged it out through four games, with the final against Newport being decided in shootout.The winners advance to the final at 2 p.m. at the Crowe Pitch.The zone champ represents the Kootenays at the B.C. High School AA Girl’s Soccer Championships June 2-4 in Port [email protected]
For 26-year-old Jyotirmoy Mukherjee, an ideal winter afternoon means playing a good game of cricket. And even though he bats well, bowling is his passion. So what makes this Howrah boy different from the average young man who loves to toss around a ball? For the last seven years, Jyotirmoy,For 26-year-old Jyotirmoy Mukherjee, an ideal winter afternoon means playing a good game of cricket. And even though he bats well, bowling is his passion. So what makes this Howrah boy different from the average young man who loves to toss around a ball? For the last seven years, Jyotirmoy has been an inmate at Presidency Jail, or “correctional home” as they are called in West Bengal-serving a life sentence for murder. He suffers from bouts of depression due to the social ostracism. “There is a huge stigma attached to being imprisoned and we find a staggering number of inmates suffering from mental illnesses,” says B.D. Sharma, ADGP, Correctional Services.To alleviate this sense of dejection, the Rotary Club of Central Kolkata and Satyam Seva Kendra are conducting “a social experiment”. The Rotarians recently played a cricket match against inmates of three prisons and are planning to host an inter-jail cricket tournament soon.They also plan to introduce employment opportunities for inmates, which will continue even after they are released from prison. “We are working on a programme whereby the inmates can take up tailoring of hosiery goods,” says Mudar Patherya, member, Rotary Club. “It’s a win-win situation. The inmates will be able to earn 10-fold more than their current wages while decreasing the cost of production for companies which will outsource the work.””Competitive sports and other activities help us feel normal. It doesn’t feel like a jail,” smiles 29-year-old Dhirendra Kumar Jha, who is under trial for kidnapping and murder and has already spent seven years in prison.advertisement
Daxx2Sheperd is apparently a thing.Here’s the throw and catch that put OSU up 21-3 against UTSA.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
What’s bad and mean and now a little bit green? The ACT Raiders of course!The Touch Football ACT representative teams at the 2015 Harvey Norman National Youth Championships have launched their new team name as well as new uniforms for the event at Sunshine Coast Stadium this week. Formerly the ACT Pirates, the Raiders have a new-look uniform that includes the Canberra Raiders logo as well as a green stripe in the uniform. The transition comes as the Canberra Raiders/Touch Football ACT relationship continues to grow, just over two years on from the NRL/TFA Strategic Alliance announcement. It is common to see Touch Football exhibition matches at Raiders home games, while there have been numerous Raiders players making appearances at Touch Football ACT events and functions over the past two years.Even Victor the Viking is making an appearance at the event, the first mascot to make the trip to the Sunshine Coast!Touch Football ACT Business Development Manager, Rod Wise said that the organisation is excited about the change.“It is good timing as we were required to change the branding/logos on our refreshed playing uniforms for national teams,” Wise said. “We decided on a name change and with the strategic alliance objective of forming close relationships with NRL Clubs we changed our name to the ACT Raiders. “The new uniforms feature the Raiders secondary logo and a fusion of both entities colours. The new uniforms will be worn for the first time at the NYC.”Canberra Raiders CEO, Don Furner said it’s great to see the relationship achieving so many outcomes. “The relationship between the Raiders and Touch Football ACT has been going from strength to strength and we’re now even closer with the naming of the ACT Raiders Touch Football representative teams,” Furner said. “We look forward to a continued working relationship and growing participation numbers in both Rugby League and Touch Football across the region.” TFA CEO, Colm Maguire said ‘the assignment of the Raiders brand is significant and further embeds the outstanding collaboration occurring between Touch Football and Rugby League in the nation’s capital’. “It is outstanding to see that the pathway links to the elite level in both sports now share the same brand,” Maguire said. “We’ve said for a long time that the relationship with the Raiders has been the benchmark, in every club we are talking to, the Raiders are the shining example of what can be achieved in partnership with a NRL club. “Everyone has been absolutely fantastic and then if you look at what Ricky and the team have done in terms of being able to support any of the game development activities that are happening around Canberra, it’s just been an amazing outcome for us and certainly one that the organisation has been really appreciative of.”Keep up-to-date with all of the latest from the 2015 Harvey Norman National Youth Championships in the following ways:Website – www.nyc.mytouchfooty.comFacebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyausInstagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustraliaYouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausDownload ‘Team App’ and search for ‘National Youth Championships’ to keep up-to-date with all of the latest National Youth Championships related information.Related LinksRaiders at NYC!
zoom Azerbaijan’s Baku International Sea Trade Port (Port of Baku) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company (BPI Co.) at the fourth meeting of Bulgarian – Azerbaijani Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation held in Baku on September 29, 2016.The duo agreed on enhanced cooperation and exchange of experience between the Port of Baku and ports of Varna and Burgas.Port of Baku is said to be an important participant of both East-West and North-South corridors which are in the interest of Bulgaria in terms of having an access to Central Asia.In 2015, the Joint Committee of Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor was established between the Port of Baku, the Port of Aktau in Kazakhstan, and the Sea Port Poti in Georgia. The three parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim to attract extra cargo carried via the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor. In January 2016, Ukraine also joined to the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor.In addition, the Port of Baku inked Memoranda of Understanding with Antwerp, Panama, Aktau and Poti ports in the past years.
OTTAWA – Canada’s pace of economic growth slowed in the first quarter to its lowest rate in nearly two years, but the weaker-than-expected data did little to tamp down economists’ predictions of an interest rate hike later this year.Statistics Canada said Thursday the economy grew at an annualized pace of 1.3 per cent for the first three months of the year, slower than the annual pace of 1.7 per cent in the final three months of 2017. Economists had expected growth to come in at an annualized rate of 1.8 per cent for the first quarter of 2018, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.The slow start to the year was largely attributed to a pull back in the real estate market amid new mortgage stress test rules and a cooling housing market. The 1.9 per cent drop in housing investment was the largest decline since the first quarter of 2009.However, economists pointed to the strong growth in March to end the quarter and suggested the report did little to change expectations for an interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada as early as July.“While the headline quarterly GDP result was a bit disappointing, even to those of us who were on the low side of consensus, the recent robust monthly readings and the strength in business investment provide a nice counterweight,” Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter wrote in a report.“The main point is that growth for the full year still looks on track to come in around two per cent, which is very much in line with what the Bank of Canada has been expecting.”Porter noted that the economy posted growth of 0.3 per cent in March, the final month of the quarter, helped by the mining and oil and gas sector and gains in both wholesale and retail trade.“The sturdy March result provides a nice hand-off for Q2,” he said.The growth rate of 1.3 per cent for the first quarter matched the Bank of Canada’s forecast in its April monetary policy report.The central bank elected to keep its key interest rate on hold Wednesday, but raised expectations that rate hikes are coming when it dropped a reference to remaining “cautious.”Economists interpreted the change as a signal that the next rate increase would be sooner rather than later.Their rate-hike expectations largely remained in tact even as Thursday’s report showed the rate of growth for real gross domestic product in the first quarter was the slowest since the economy contracted in the second quarter of 2016.Growth in that quarter was affected by forest fires that destroyed parts of Fort McMurray, Alta., and forced the shutdown of several oilsands operations in the region.The most recent GDP report showed household spending increased 0.3 per cent, the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2015, while household spending on services increased 0.5 per cent and spending on goods was unchanged.Growth in export volumes slowed to 0.4 per cent compared with one per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017. The gains were mainly contributed by crude oil and bitumen and the export of services. Imports rose 1.2 per cent in the quarter.Business investment in machinery and equipment rose 4.2 per cent, while intellectual property products rose 3.3 per cent.Beneath the weaker-than-expected first-quarter growth figures, the report included “some relatively encouraging details,” said TD Bank senior economist Brian DePratto.“Business investment continued to climb, partially offsetting the more modest pace of consumer spending. Income gains also remained solid,” DePratto wrote in a report.“Plus, March’s solid monthly performance indicates that momentum continued to build through the quarter, setting the Canadian economy up for an acceleration in output in Q2.”DePratto said the Canadian economy “clearly still has some gas left in the tank” and that he expected conditions will stay supportive of a Bank of Canada hike at its next meeting.Looking back at 2017, Statistics Canada revised its real GDP numbers upward for the second and third quarters.For the second quarter of 2017, the estimate for the annualized growth rate was increased to 4.6 per cent compared with a March estimate of 4.4 per cent, while the estimate for the third quarter was increased to 1.7 per cent from 1.5 per cent.
New Delhi: The central zone of South Delhi Municipal Corporation on Sunday undertook massive clean-up operations near Nizamuddin Dargah and Humayun Tomb area in an attempt to remove illegal encroachments that were causing major traffic congestion problems in the area. This action from the municipality comes after the Delhi High Court demanded that substantive measures be taken to this effect based on a plea filed by the Jamia Arabia Nizamia Welfare Educational Society (JANWES). Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderDuring the clearing operation, SDMC stated that they demolished 42 temporary sheds and ‘tripals’ and removed several petty articles including iron grills, benches, and refrigerators. Officers from the Licensing and Health and Veterinary departments along with Delhi Police staffers carried out the clearance operations in what SDMC said was an attempt to ease traffic congestion in the streets leading towards the Dargah. The SDMC said that they also issued notices to two kiosks in the area, asking occupiers to remove them, failing which central zone officials will take necessary steps. However, this comes on the back of repeated orders from the High Court regarding clearing up the area, according to an observation made by a bench last week. While hearing the JANWES plea, the court had noted that SDMC and police officials were busy blaming each other and thus delaying clearance operations. It had asked SDMC Commissioner and DCP Traffic to appear before it on April 16.
PLAYERWAR Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is widely acknowledged to be the best player in baseball and has been for quite some time. But for all his gifts, awards recognition has been hard for Trout to come by. Although Trout has led the American League in wins above replacement (WAR) for each of the past five seasons,1Ever since he first became a full-time player in 2012. he had only won MVP honors once going into Thursday night’s award announcement — and victory there was far from assured.Unlike in the past, though, when Trout’s horrid teammates were held against him in favor of some lesser player on a winning team, the voters broke with tradition and went for the player with stellar individual numbers. In winning the MVP, Trout became just the sixth player from a losing team to take home the hardware. It was a victory for the new ways of player evaluation and a more modern take on what the “valuable” part of MVP really means.But even if Trout hadn’t won the award, he could have taken the same solace he could last year: MVP or not, but he’s still tracking to be the G.O.A.T.Through every single age in which he played a full season,2Not including his age-19 season in 2011, when he logged only 40 games after a July call-up. Trout has been the all-time career leader in Baseball-Reference.com’s WAR for position players. It was true through age 20, age 21, age 22, age 23 and — after posting 10.6 WAR in 2016, a performance that basically matched his previous single-season peak — age 24. No player has ever started his career on this kind of tear — not Ruth, not Cobb, not Mantle, nobody. PLAYERWAR 5Ken Griffey Jr.37.0 Most career WAR through each age since 1901, among position players.Source: Baseball-Reference.com 2Mel Ott11.42Mel Ott17.9 5Al Kaline8.95Al Kaline15.4 WAR Through Age 24 Mike Trout is (still!) the G.O.A.T. at any age 2Ty Cobb25.52Ty Cobb36.0 As a result — and in concert with MLB labor mechanisms that force young stars to either play for peanuts through their arbitration years or lock themselves into long, below-market extensions (as Trout did in 2014, re-signing with the Angels through 2020) — Trout has produced a ton of surplus value for the Angels, relative to what he’s been paid. According to FanGraphs.com, Trout’s production would have been worth about $357 million on the open market since his MLB debut, a span over which he was paid only about $24 million.That’s why speculation that the Yankees are loading up for a Trout trade breaks down upon examination. At a glance, why not ship Trout away from a rebuilding team where his WAR is being wasted (aside, of course, from Angels fans who like to watch him play) to a huge market that has the prospects for a blockbuster deal? The answer: It would take a monster package of young talent to justify trading away a player who so outperforms his contract and probably will continue to do so for the next several years.If we apply Tom Tango’s simple WAR projection system with an average future value of $8.6 million per win,3Starting with a rough cost-estimate of $8 million per WAR next season, with 5 percent annual growth until 2020. the final four seasons of Trout’s contract figure to see him generate 32.5 WAR, for a market value of $282 million,4Including the yearly minimum salary of about $500,000. and be paid $122 million. So it probably won’t be until Trout’s next contract that the cost-benefit tradeoff of having him around begins to make a trade realistic for either the Angels or the team they’re negotiating with.At that point, the math gets a little silly. Even in the first year of his next deal, Trout’s WAR projects to be worth so much on the open market (roughly $75 million) that he’d need a truly paradigm-shifting contract — one that would basically double the highest annual salary of anybody in the game right now — to not be underpaid. With superstar free-agent deals, the question often isn’t whether they’ll be paid more than they’re worth, but by how much. Trout, however, is so good that it might be hard for him to earn fair market value even in his big post-prime payday.For now, that means Trout is probably stuck carrying the Angels. In the past, that would have also meant his chances of contending for the MVP were slim, despite his incredible individual numbers. But perhaps Trout’s win Thursday also signals a change in the way voting will be conducted going forward. The MVP electorate has been skewing more progressive for a while, in terms of its willingness to use sabermetric tools, and there’s nothing more open-minded than giving the MVP to the leader of a 74-88 team.But maybe it was also about Trout’s own particular greatness. No player has ever been so good at such a young age; it was likely that future generations would have looked at his repeated MVP snubs and wondered what the hell the voters were thinking to deny him the AL’s top individual award, over and over. 4Mel Ott23.54Mel Ott31.4 1Mike Trout48.5 WAR Through Age 20WAR Through Age 21 a 3Ty Cobb9.53Ty Cobb15.7 1Mike Trout28.61Mike Trout37.9 5Alex Rodriguez22.95Ken Griffey Jr.30.1 3Mickey Mantle40.9 2Ty Cobb46.7 1Mike Trout11.41Mike Trout20.7 WAR Through Age 22WAR Through Age 23 3Ted Williams23.63Ted Williams34.2 a 4Bryce Harper8.94Ken Griffey Jr.15.5 4Alex Rodriguez38.0
The more things change in the NFL, the more they stay the same. Fresh off of their sixth Super Bowl win with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at the helm, the defending champion New England Patriots open the 2019 season as our favorite to win again. The rest of the top contenders are similar to last season’s as well: the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles round out the top five in Super Bowl odds, according to our predictions.But our NFL Elo model has changed in a somewhat significant way. You can read more about how it all works here, but in a nutshell, we have added a number of wrinkles to make our football picks more accurate:Quarterback adjustments. We hinted at this over the summer, but we now track rolling performance ratings1Based on a regression between Total QBR yards above replacement and basic box score numbers (including rushing stats) from a given game, adjusted for the quality of opposing defenses. for each QB in the league, which can then be compared with a team’s own rolling QB rating to adjust its Elo in games with a different quarterback starting.2This is very similar to the way we handle starting-pitcher adjustments in our MLB Elo model. (Related to this, we have a new interactive page that shows the relative quality of every quarterback in the league.)3Initial ratings for rookies are based on draft position, ranging from a 0 for an undrafted free agent to a +113 for a No. 1 overall pick like Arizona’s Kyler Murray. JacksonvilleN. Foles+914987.835242 ClevelandB. Mayfield+915168.441252 How we’re predicting the AFC North race Chance To… TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl Chance To… MinnesotaK. Cousins+1215408.543273 N.Y. JetsS. Darnold-4814527.124111 TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl Last year, the defending champion Eagles suffered a historic hangover to start their 2018 season, but eventually righted the ship to make the playoffs and even win a first-round game. Armed with Elo’s eighth-ranked QB (Carson Wentz), a talented supporting cast and one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, our model thinks Philadelphia should be division favorites in 2019 — particularly if the Eagles have better injury luck. The defending East champ Cowboys might have something to say about the Eagles being favorites, however, regardless of the holdout of RB Ezekiel Elliott. We rank QB Dak Prescott ninth in Elo, right behind Wentz. Once again trailing in the division are the Giants and Redskins; Washington has the better Elo rating but is slightly less likely to make the playoffs because of a tougher schedule than that of New York. Fittingly, both teams have mediocre veteran QBs (Eli Manning and Case Keenum) trying to fend off highly drafted rookies (Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins). PhiladelphiaC. Wentz+2015869.863%49%7% The playoffs are different. We found that differences in talent between opposing teams tend to be amplified in the NFL postseason, so now Elo differentials are multiplied by 1.2 before computing the expected win probabilities and point spreads for playoff games.Altogether, these changes improved our historical predictions by quite a bit in backtesting, so we’re feeling confident that our 2019 picks will be better than ever before.6You might notice that we don’t have a dedicated factor for defense included in the model. For one thing, defense would implicitly be part of a team’s non-quarterback Elo rating; for another thing, it was difficult to find specific defensive variables (such as coordinators) which improved predictive accuracy — perhaps because defense is notoriously difficult to predict between seasons. For cases below where we do need to refer to a team’s projected defensive quality, we used ESPN’s Football Power Index projections for the upcoming season.And what are those picks, exactly? Let’s run down what our Elo model thinks of each division in the NFL, starting with… AtlantaM. Ryan+6715338.339233 The AFC South experienced a dramatic shakeup when Andrew Luck retired two weeks ago, giving the division a whole new favorite: the Texans. Now, Houston is in somewhat tenuous possession of that distinction, with No. 6-ranked QB Deshaun Watson leading the way — despite last weekend’s bombshell trade that shipped star pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle. The Titans aren’t far behind Houston, although QB Marcus Mariota has regressed over the past few years: In Week 12 of the 2016 season, his Elo adjustment would have been 61 points higher than an average quarterback; now it’s 34 points below average. The Jaguars are right in the mix as well, thanks in part to the acquisition of former Eagles backup Nick Foles; Foles adds 14 points of Elo compared with the team’s long-term historical QB rating (i.e., Blake Bortles). Finally, the Colts went from first to last in Elo’s division prediction — literally overnight — after Luck retired. Backup Jacoby Brissett is worth about 90 fewer Elo points by himself than Luck would have been — a huge blow to Indy’s chances of making a return trip to the playoffs. Even so, this is the most uncertain division race in the league. How we’re predicting the NFC East race L.A. RamsJ. Goff-915889.660%46%7% How we’re predicting the AFC East race How we’re predicting the NFC West race Chance To… L.A. ChargersP. Rivers+415809.659366 Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN N.Y. GiantsE. Manning-2714246.4179<1 What would Vegas do? In the past, our preseason ratings would simply be each team’s final rating from the previous season, reverted to the league’s average Elo rating by one-third. But our new system also incorporates ratings derived from a team’s over/under win total according to the Las Vegas sportsbooks, giving those twice the weight of mean-reverted Elo when setting a team’s preseason rating. HoustonD. Watson+2915338.443%32%3% TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl The Chiefs are the second-most-likely team to win the Super Bowl, trailing only the Patriots. One of the biggest reasons: Elo ranks Patrick Mahomes as the fourth-most-valuable QB in the league behind Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. Although K.C. will probably regress some after last year’s breakout (we think the Chiefs’ point differential will fall from +144 to +79), and the defense is no better than average (it ranks 16th in ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index), we think this is the team most likely to dethrone New England. The Chargers aren’t running very far behind, either, ranking sixth in overall Elo. L.A. didn’t do much over the offseason — and its trademark injury problems are already cropping up — but this remains one of the most talented rosters in the game. The gap between this division’s top two and bottom two is vast. The Broncos upgraded under center with former Ravens QB Joe Flacco, but he’s still mediocre at best. Late summer for the Raiders has been a circus even by the standards of a “Hard Knocks” team; maybe Brown will improve QB Derek Carr’s numbers, but the team has plenty of other question marks. Oakland and Denver won’t be helped by playing the two toughest schedules in the league, either. BaltimoreL. Jackson-4015278.441263 Chance To… DetroitM. Stafford-2214586.922121 ChicagoM. Trubisky+1215669.152%37%5% BuffaloJ. Allen-1214757.630151 Kansas CityP. Mahomes+59161510.369%50%9% Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN MiamiR. Fitzpatrick-213895.5104<1 Green BayA. Rodgers+2815228.238243 How we’re predicting the NFC South race TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 29, 2019.Source: ESPN At the top of the NFC South, we have Drew Brees and the Saints coming in as favorites to win the division for a third straight year. Elo rates Brees as the league’s third-best QB, even though he sputtered down the stretch of last season and will turn 41 in January. Fortunately for New Orleans, its supporting cast appears to be good enough to help ease Brees into old age, ranking eighth in QB-independent Elo.9I.e., the team’s adjusted Elo rating if Brees were to be replaced with an average starter at quarterback. As for the Falcons, Matt Ryan is No. 2 in our QB rankings, but the rest of the team ranks 25th in QB-independent Elo. That’s more an indictment of a defense that ranks 23rd in preseason projected FPI than an offense that still includes hyper-productive WR Julio Jones, but Atlanta is hoping that a coaching staff of all new coordinators can help Ryan. The Panthers are still only three seasons removed from a Super Bowl appearance, but they’ve gone exactly 24-24 since then. Elo calls for more of the same this season, with an 8-8 projected record, although Carolina does have the No. 10 QB in our rankings (Cam Newton) and a respectable 38 percent chance of getting back to the playoffs. Finally, the Buccaneers are hoping to end the franchise’s postseason drought at 11 seasons — but they need to improve on last year’s horrid defensive performance and get more consistency from both Jameis Winston and a passing attack that had the third-highest game-to-game QB Elo variance10Trailing only the Rams and the Nathan Peterman-led Bills. of any team in 2018. CincinnatiA. Dalton-4014146.2158<1 This is the tightest division race in the NFC. The Bears are favored to win again, though Mitchell Trubisky is Elo’s second-lowest rated QB in the North. (He’s 13th overall, so it mainly speaks to the quality of passers in this division.) On the other side of the ball, the amount of talent on Chicago’s defense is impressive, a necessary component as the Bears are hoping to repeat as last year’s stingiest defense in terms of points allowed. The Vikings come in slightly lower but are still 13th overall by the Elo rankings. So should we blame QB Kirk Cousins for Minnesota’s disappointing 2018 season? Probably not. Although his Elo rating wasn’t as high as during his 2016 or 2017 campaigns, Cousins was good for most of last year, and he enters 2019 as our 12th-ranked quarterback. But the best QB Elo in the division belongs to Aaron Rodgers of the Packers. Even if former coach Mike McCarthy didn’t always put him in the best position to succeed, Rodgers still had solid numbers last season and is currently ranked seventh in QB Elo. (It’s the rest of the roster that’s holding Green Bay back from a division probability better than that 24 percent.) Last, we have the Lions. They project to finish fourth, with QB Matthew Stafford coming off his worst season in years and a second-year coach already on the hot seat. But we do call for Detroit to return to its rightful place in the NFL standings, with roughly a 7-9 record, after last season’s 6-10 hiatus. DenverJ. Flacco-1614626.82091 DallasD. Prescott+1815478.949334 TennesseeM. Mariota-3415027.836252 WashingtonC. Keenum-2414276.31691 San FranciscoJ. Garoppolo-2114807.428171 Travel distance and rest matter. We used to give a blanket home-field advantage of 65 Elo points for every game that wasn’t at a neutral site. Now, we modify our home-field effect4Which is worth a flat adjustment of 55 Elo points. using the distance the visiting team needed to travel to get to the game, docking a team by 4 points of Elo for every 1,000 miles traveled.5This effect is not applied to international games, though it is used for the Super Bowl. Teams also perform better after a bye week (including teams that don’t play during the opening week of the playoffs), so we now give a bonus of 25 Elo points whenever a team is coming into a game fresh and extra-rested. PittsburghB. Roethlisberger+8715699.558%41%5% OaklandD. Carr-2614135.8125<1 Chance To… New EnglandT. Brady+52164011.180%69%14% IndianapolisJ. Brissett-5514797.328191 TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl As we said above, the Patriots are not only the division favorites (for what feels like the millionth consecutive season) but are also the model’s top Super Bowl pick. Their fate is tied to Tom Brady continuing to play well at an age when basically no other QB has done that, of course, and he’ll have to do it without favorite security blanket Rob Gronkowski, who retired in March. But Brady hasn’t shown many signs of slowing down yet, and he’ll get to face the NFL’s easiest schedule7According to the average Elo ratings of New England’s regular-season opponents, adjusted for expected starting QBs and home-field advantage. in 2019. Perhaps surprisingly, Elo gives the Bills a slight edge over the Jets for second place in the East. Both teams’ sophomore QBs (Josh Allen and Sam Darnold) played well down the stretch last season, though our model likes Allen a bit more. New York had the more eventful offseason, signing Le’Veon Bell and abruptly firing GM Mike Maccagnan, but the Bills might have made steadier progress. And the Dolphins bring up the rear, though they have the division’s second-highest rated Elo QB in newcomer Ryan Fitzpatrick. (Amid questions of Miami tanking, Vegas gives the Phins 500-to-1 Super Bowl odds, the worst in football.) Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl New OrleansD. Brees+61160410.063%46%8% How we’re predicting the AFC West race CarolinaC. Newton+1415158.338223 Chance To… Tampa BayJ. Winston+714466.61791 Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN SeattleR. Wilson+1415458.746314 Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN Chance To… TeamStarting QBvs. avgElo RatingProj. WinsMake PlayoffsWin DivisionWin Super Bowl Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN How we’re predicting the NFC North race Quarterback ratings are relative to the average NFL team’s long-term rolling QB performance and are included in the listed Elo ratings. Simulations are updated as of Sept. 3, 2019.Source: ESPN Chance To… Rumors of the Steelers’ demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated. Despite a tumultuous offseason that involved officially losing Bell8The running back sat out all of last season as part of a contractual dispute. and also shipping receiver Antonio Brown to the Raiders, Pittsburgh remains the top-ranked team in the North. Part of that is thanks to Ben Roethlisberger, who checks in as Elo’s No. 1 overall QB, and part of it is because the Steelers have one of the league’s easiest schedules. The Ravens and Browns are neck-and-neck behind them; Elo is skeptical about Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson after he posted not-so-great numbers as a rookie, but it thinks his supporting cast is superior to Baker Mayfield’s in Cleveland — despite the Browns’ big offseason (hi, Odell) and general hype level heading into 2019. Meanwhile, the Bengals are a distant No. 4, as QB Andy Dalton has seen better days, and the team is breaking in a first-time head coach (Zac Taylor). ArizonaK. Murray-5013895.5106<1 The Rams are coming off a Super Bowl run, and there were times last season when they looked unbeatable, not least because of a GOAT-level performance by defensive lineman Aaron Donald. But with questions remaining about QB Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley — to say that neither were major factors in the playoffs would be an understatement — L.A. might be due for a regression, even if Elo does still consider the Rams division favorites. A number of signs point to a decline, from L.A.’s 6-1 record in close games last year and favorable bounces in recovering fumbles, to a more difficult schedule and even the possibility of adverse effects due to more injuries. Elo thinks the Rams’ point differential will drop from +143 to +58 this season. Behind them, the Seahawks have the division’s best (slash only above-average) Elo QB in Russell Wilson, and they did some offseason shuffling — Clowney and Ziggy Ansah will replace Frank Clark on the pass rush, for example. But Seattle mostly looks like the same good-but-not-great team it was last season. The 49ers will get a do-over with Jimmy Garoppolo after the QB was injured three games into the 2018 season. But is Jimmy G. any good? Elo’s still not sure. It ranks Garoppolo 22nd among starters heading into 2019, despite his hefty price tag. All three of those teams could potentially contend for the division, though. For the Cardinals, that looks like a long shot at best with the tandem of rookie QB Kyler Murray and first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Elo gives Arizona the worst rating and tied for the lowest playoff odds of any team in the NFL this season. How we’re predicting the AFC South race
Guillem Balague has revealed that Arsenal had interviewed 10 different candidates for their managerial vacancy, before opting for Unai EmeryThe Gunners have been actively pursuing candidates to succeed Arsene Wenger at the Emirates with likes of former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri having been strongly linked with the post.However, recently these two candidates have since been ruled out and, as of last week, Mikel Arteta was believed to be the favourite for the vacancy after holding talks with the board.But now Emery has shockingly emerged as the leading candidate for the role, despite not being able to speak English.Balague confirmed that Arteta had indeed come close to receiving an offer, before Arsenal eventually decided in favour of Emery.“Arsenal have been speaking to ten different managers, ten different candidates, and it got to a point where they had to make a decision,” he told Sky Sports.Merson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“Some of the candidates did not have much similar to each other. They were looking for a series of things which eventually led them to make Emery the number one candidate.“Arteta was one of those ten and came closest but at the end maybe the lack of experience worked against him. I’m sure from minute one he would have said he lacks experience himself. He had other things which Arsenal were impressed about.“Emery has the experience, has won trophies and done it with director’s of football wherever he has been. Valencia, Sevilla and PSG as well.“I’m not sure about this thing about embodying the shadow of Arsene Wenger – that is dangerous. He is his own man. He will work within the structure, he will make the team flexible. He will sharpen everybody up and will make sure the players come out onto the pitch knowing their obligations and responsibilities.“There has been a lot of [emphasis] in training and you will see that in the way Arsenal shape up in the future.”Emery won seven trophies in his two seasons at PSG, before being replaced by Thomas Tuchel.