Jared Goff downplays age factor ahead of NFC title game
History has not been kind to quarterbacks under age 25 appearing in the NFL conference championship games, but Los Angeles Rams signal-caller Jared Goff, 24, is not about to allow such things impact how he approaches Sunday’s showdown with the New Orleans Saints.
Since the NFL began playing conference championships in 1970, all eight quarterbacks under 25 years of age who have appeared in the NFC Championship Game have lost.
Goff, however, believes his age and relative inexperience — especially when compared to the resume of 40-year-old Drew Brees — isn’t a big deal, at least to him.
“Just going to approach it like any other game,” Goff said this week, via The Orange County Register. “Obviously, there’s a lot on the line going to the Super Bowl and everything like that, but I’ve got to approach it the same way. I think I rely on a lot of the successes I’ve had and understand that I didn’t do that on accident. It’s part of my process.”
Both conference championship games feature matchups between quarterbacks on the extreme opposite ends of the age spectrum. On the AFC side, the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady is 41, while the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is only 23.
Goff clearly believes age is nothing but a number, and he prefers to highlight how the Rams are presented with an opportunity to reach the Super Bowl, not what happened to quarterbacks his age in the past.
“Even playing in the NFC Championship is a dream come true,” Goff said. “We’re excited for it. It’s an opportunity you work for and I think we see it as something that we’ve earned. We’ve been through a long season here and just like the Saints, we’ve earned this spot. We have a chance to go play for a world title.”
Manny Pacquiao Vs. Adrien Broner Preview And Odds; Joshua Vs. Wilder Negotiations: Boxing Biz
Manny Pacquiao probably wouldn’t have many problems if he were facing Adrien Broner in the prime of Pacquiao’s career. Yes, Broner is tough, and yes, Broner has power. But Broner has never beaten an elite fighter, and he’s not been great when he fights above the 140-pound junior welterweight division. If Pacquiao was at his best, he’d likely overwhelm Broner and probably stop him. But when people tune in Saturday to watch Pacquiao vs. Broner on Showtime PPV, they won’t be watching the best version of Pacquiao.
But is any version of Pacquiao—who reportedly will make a $10 million guarantee along with a percentage of the PPV profit—a version that Broner can beat, especially at 147 pounds? Most of the boxer predictions say no—though, to be fair, a few have said they believe in Broner—and he is a +250 underdog, meaning you’d win $250 on a $100 bet. Pacquiao, meanwhile, is a -325 favorite, which means you’d have bet $325 to win $100.
Broner, who will make a $2.5 million guarantee and a percentage on the backend, has a chance, but it doesn’t seem like a great chance.
“No way Broner wins,” welterweight titlist Shawn Porter told Philstar.com. “I’ve fought Broner and I’ve sparred with Manny. I think Manny’s too quick, too strong. In all aspects, Manny is better than Broner.”
Yet you should still tune in to the Showtime PPV telecast, and there are plenty of reasons why. Here are three of them.
1) Pacquiao might be too old: He’s 40 years old, and his skills certainly aren’t getting sharper at this point in his life. Yes, he knocked out Matthysse last year, but Matthysse was a shell of his former self. It’s unclear if we should take anything away from that bout. At some point, considering some of the hellacious battles he’s fought in the ring, Pacquiao is going to get old in the ring overnight. So far, it hasn’t happened. Perhaps Broner could be more aggressive than usual to see if the old, fiery Pacquiao is still there. “Pacquiao’s a legend,” Broner said. “He’ll always go down as one of the best in the boxing business. But I just feel like it’s my time to take over this sport, and I’m coming to take the throne from Pacquiao.”
2) Is Broner really focused this time?: The problem with Broner throughout his career is that he’s so obviously talented but has underperformed every time he’s fought an elite opponent. His training camps aren’t always great, and he’s had a myriad of legal distractions throughout his career. This time, though, is different, he said (which, frankly, is what he’s said in the past, as well). But this might be his last chance at a massive payday. So, perhaps he does have a different mindset. “I know what’s at stake,” Broner said. “A win over Pacquiao could take my career somewhere that I can only dream of. So I’ve got to take it seriously.”
Manny Pacquiao Vs. Adrien Broner: 10 Things You Should Know About Saturday's Fight
Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien "The Problem" Broner is the first high-profile boxing matchup of 2019. At 40 years old, Pacquiao still has a massive audience, and Broner is perhaps the most polarizing fighter in the sport. Together, they're one of the most intriguing fights we'll see in 2019.
Here are the 10 things you should know about the bout.
Date and Time
The fight takes place on Saturday, January 19. The card begins at 9 pm ET. It takes place on the same day as the UFC's debut on ESPN. That event should provide some viewership competition for the Pacquiao-Broner fight.
The bout takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This fight will be Pacquiao's first bout in the United States since November 2016 when the future Hall of Famer took a unanimous decision away from Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Arena, also in Vegas.
How to Watch
Showtime will broadcast and stream the bout as an exclusive pay-per-view. Fans can order it from their local cable or satellite provider, or watch it via live stream on the Showtime app.
What's at Stake?
Pacquiao is the WBA "regular" welterweight champion. His title will be on the line, but perhaps more important is a potential rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. It's not confirmed, but there are rumors Pacquiao could get Mayweather out of retirement for another massive payday.
A win for Broner would be a career-saver. He needs a win over a big name, and few have more weight than Pacquiao.
Both fighters made weight. Pacquiao came in just half-a-pound lighter than Broner.
Per Sportsbook, Pacquiao is a minus-300 favorite (h/tproboxingodds). Broner is a plus-235 underdog.
- Badou Jack vs. Marcus Browne
- Nordine Oubaali vs. Rau'shee Warren for WBC bantamweight title
- Jhack Tepora vs. Hugo Ruiz for interim WBA featherweight title
Last Time Out
In Pacquiao's last bout, he captured the WBA regular title with a dominant performance against Lucas Matthysse in July 2018. Pacquiao scored the seventh-round TKO. Matthysse looked as if he had one foot out the door in the fight. He looked like a shell of the fighter who was once one of the most feared in his weight region.
In any case, the win set Pacquiao up to sign with Premier Boxing Champions and Al Haymon, and it created another path to a potential fight with Mayweather.
In Broner's last bout, he walked away with a controversial draw against Vargas in April 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. I thought Vargas deserved the decision, and Broner was fortunate to escape with a draw.
Best Bet Per Peter Kahn
According to Forbes' boxing odds expert Peter Kahn, the best bet to make on Saturday's fight is Pacquiao by decision. Kahn wrote:
"Although I feel Broner will be more competitive than many people have expressed, I don't see Broner winning this fight, so even though there's value at +258 (wager $100 to win $258) for Broner as an underdog, I simply don't see him winning the fight, therefore, the $100 isn't a wise bet."
I concur with Kahn. I give Broner a chance to win if he can be aggressive on the inside with Pacquiao, and look to effectively counterpunch. However, in the end, Pacquiao will be too quick and busy, and he'll win a decision.
Spencer Ware (hamstring) not on Chiefs' injury report for Championship Round
Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware was not listed on the team's injury report ahead of the team's Championship Round game against the New England Patriots.
Our models project Ware for 24.5 rushing yards, 11.4 receiving yards, 0.3 total touchdowns and 5.7 FanDuel points.
Mourinho Dismisses Claims Of Poor Salah Relationship At Chelsea
It has often been claimed that Jose Mourinho had a poor relationship with Mohamed Salah at Chelsea, but the Portuguese coach has now insisted it was not his fault the African was sold by the Stamford Bridge club in 2016.
Salah joined the Blues in January 2014, during Mourinho's second spell at the London club, but the then 22-year-old never got a regular run in the starting XI.
Following loan stints with Fiorentina and AS Roma, during which he scored a combined 28 goals, he joined the latter on a permanent deal before eventually moving to Liverpool in 2017.
Mourinho, though, has now insisted it was not him but rather Chelsea who decided to sell the Egyptian to Roma in 2016.
"When the club decided to sell him, it was not me. I bought him, I didn't sell him, and my relationship with him was good, is good," he told beIN SPORTS.
"I think that he doesn't regret that move because everything went well. Everything went well for him and the progression went well for him but, at that moment, he was just a kid with a huge desire to play every week, every minute and we couldn't give him it.
"He was just a lost kid in London. He was a lost kid in a new world and we wanted to work him to become better and better and better but he was more in the idea that he wanted to play and not to wait.
"So we decided to put him on loan. To put him on loan in a culture that I knew well – Italy, tactical football, physical football, good place to play. Fiorentina is a good team, without being a team with huge pressure playing for the title and we decided that move there."
The Portuguese coach also claimed people should remember him as the coach who bought Salah rather than the one who sold him.
"Lots of things have been told that are not true. People try to identify me with the coach that sold Salah; I am the coach that bought Salah. It's completely the wrong idea," he added.
"I played against Basel in the Champions League. Salah was a kid in Basel. When I play against a certain team, I analyse the team and the players for quite a long time and I fell in love with that kid. I bought the kid.
"I pushed the club to buy him and, at the time, we already had fantastic attacking players – (Eden) Hazard, Willian – we had top talent there. But I told (Chelsea) to buy that kid.
"He was more a winger coming inside more than a striker like he is now."
Salah has been a revelation since joining Liverpool, scoring 61 goals and assisting another 24 strikes in just 82 appearances.
Jose Mourinho has defended his management of Mohamed Salah during the forward’s time at Chelsea.
The Portuguese went as far as to say the decision to sell the Egypt international was made by the hierarchy at Stamford Bridge – not by the Portuguese.
Salah joined Chelsea as a fresh-faced winger from Basel in January 2014 for £11million, but was restricted to just 19 appearances.
Despite impressing in the Champions League for the Swiss side, Salah went on loan to Fiorentina and then Roma and never returned to SW6.
In June 2017, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp decided to part with £34million to bring the Egyptian back to the Premier League and the investment has paid off.
Salah has scored 46 Premier League goals for the Reds and led them to the Champions League Final last season.
“When the club decided to sell him, it was not me. I bought him, I didn’t sell him, and my relationship with him was good, is good,” Mourinho told beIN SPORTS.
“I think that he doesn’t regret that move because everything went well. Everything went well for him and the progression went well for him but, at that moment, he was just a kid with a huge desire to play every week, every minute and we couldn’t give him it.”
Despite the 26-year-old’s incredible resurgence, Mourinho does not believe he failed to get the best out of the player while he was managing him.
He added: “Lots of things have been told that are not true. People try to identify me with the coach that sold Salah; I am the coach that bought Salah. It’s completely the wrong idea.
“I played against Basel in the Champions League. Salah was a kid in Basel. When I play against a certain team, I analyse the team and the players for quite a long time and I fell in love with that kid. I bought the kid.
“I pushed the club to buy him and, at the time, we already had fantastic attacking players – [Eden] Hazard, Willian – we had top talent there. But I told [Chelsea] to buy that kid.
“He was more a winger coming inside more than a striker like he is now.”
With World Cup winner Andre Schurrle and Diego Costa also in the Blues’ front line, Mourinho admitted he was forced to agree to send Salah out on loan.
Every Premier League club's most famous fan from Mia Khalifa to Prince Charles
“He was just a lost kid in London,” Mourinho continued. “He was a lost kid in a new world and we wanted to work him to become better and better and better but he was more in the idea that he wanted to play and not to wait.
“So we decided to put him on loan. To put him on loan in a culture that I knew well – Italy, tactical football, physical football, good place to play. Fiorentina is a good team, without being a team with huge pressure playing for the title and we decided that move there.”
They call it “we want Bama’ syndrome during the college football season. Well one of the stars of the undefeated Michigan Wolverines basketball team wants Duke in a big way. Michigan leading scorer Ignas Brazdeikis called out the Blue Devils Friday afternoon, according to 97.1 The Ticket. Duke may not be No. 1 come Monday when the new polls arrive, but the Blue Devils are the only team ahead of the Wolverines right now. He wants a shot at Duke, and specifically Zion Williamson.
“They got that No. 1 team and that No. 1 hype, and we feel like we're definitely better than them,” Brazdeikis said. “ ... I'm not scared about no competition. I'll guard anyone."
The freshman has a team-high 15.6 points per game to go along with 5.4 rebounds. Williamson, a freshman sensation at Duke, has 21.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Williamson’s season has the nation’s attention while Brazdeikis is quietly becoming a star for undefeated Michigan.
Michigan is 17-0 and No. 2 in the country heading into a Saturday game at Wisconsin. Should Michigan win, combined with Duke’s recent loss to unranked Syracuse, the Wolverines are expected to rise to No. 1 status in the Associated Press voting.
“That's kind of why they're 17-0. Seventeen teams have tried, 17 have failed,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said after this week’s game. “I think only two teams have come within 10 points of them. When you play 17 games and 15 of them are double-figure games, you've got a real good thing going. It's probably the most well-rounded team (I have seen from Michigan). It’s a really good mix of guys who know their roles.”
Meanwhile, Duke can get back on track in a big way with a win over Virginia. Virginia is undefeated heading into a battle with Duke Saturday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium, but checks in as a 3.5-point dog so far.
ANN ARBOR -- Michigan and Duke are currently battling in the polls. Ignas Brazdeikis would like to see the teams meet on the court.
"I would love to play Duke, along with a bunch of (my teammates)," the Michigan freshman said Friday when asked if he ever thinks about how the Wolverines would match up with the No. 1 team in the country.
"They've got that No. 1 team, that No. 1 hype, and we feel like we're definitely better than them. We're just looking forward to playing every single team, and we're not scared of no competition. We want to play them all."
Michigan, No. 2 in the AP poll, could be in line to replace Duke in Monday's rankings. The Blue Devils lost earlier this week. Michigan plays at Wisconsin on Saturday.
Brazdeikis, who leads Michigan with 15.6 points per game, is as confident and outspoken as they come. He said he felt Michigan was worth of a No. 1 ranking as soon as preseason practices began. "That's the kind of competitor I am," he said.
Duke has three players who could be selected among the top-five picks in the next NBA draft: Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish. Brazdeikis has played with and against Barrett growing up in Canada, and has played against the other two as well.
If the two programs did meet in the NCAA Tournament? “I would love to guard Zion,” Brazdeikis said. “I’ll guard anyone.”
Boo, 'world's cutest dog,' dies aged 12
The fluffy, cheerful Pomeranian, whose charm and good looks captured the hearts of the internet, has died.
Boo, 12, died in his sleep early Friday morning, according to an announcement on social media signed “Boo’s humans.”
“With deepest sadness I wanted to share that Boo passed away in his sleep early this morning and has left us to join his best friend, Buddy,” the post read. “Our family is heartbroken, but we find comfort knowing that he is no longer in any pain or discomfort. We know that Buddy was the first to greet him on the other side of that rainbow bridge, and this is likely the most excited either of them have been in a long time.”
It went on to say that Boo had started to develop heart issues last year after the death of Buddy ― his close companion and fellow Pomeranian.
“We think his heart literally broke when Buddy left us,” the post read. His owners noted that “it was a most joyous moment for them when the saw each other in heaven.”
Boo rose to prominence on social media in 2009. In 2011, his owner published the book Boo: The Life of the World’s Cutest Dog under a pseudonym. For years, countless articles on Boo would refer to him as the “world’s cutest dog.” At his death, Boo had more than 16 million Facebook followers and 550,000 Instagram followers. Many of his fans were expressing their grief with tributes to the adorable dog.
Rest in peace, Boo.