Steelers’ Mike Mitchell goes on rant against Roger Goodell in wake of suspensions

Steelers safety Mike Mitchell has had enough of fines and suspensions for illegal hits. He went on a rant about it during Pittsburgh’s media availability Wednesday.

“We’ve got to do better as players when we sign the next CBA, we’ve got to get better leadership as who’s running the league because obviously everybody from fans, owners, players are all disappointed in Roger Goodell,” Mitchell said. “We’ve just got to do better, we can’t have a guy where you just hand out discipline on how you see fit, there needs to be a set guideline of how we do what we do.”

My real complaint isn’t with the @nfl it’s with my fellow players. How did we agree to this cba? There is no consistency in the way we are disciplined. One week you can commit a foul and be fined the next be suspended. One week a fight is an ejection the next it’s a suspension.

Jerry Jones will defend his team and players to the bitter end no matter what, but even he is calling the Cowboys’ recent three-game losing streak and run of abysmal second halves “indefensible.”

That is inexcusable in Jones’ mind, and it’s hard to argue with him. Eagles running back Jay Ajayi said the team quit in the second half of their loss last week, and while no one has called them out for such a thing from Thursday’s game yet, it’s hard to ignore how bad Dallas has been in the second halves of their last three games.

What’s worse, after throwing a mere four interceptions in the regular season last year, quarterback Dak Prescott has thrown five interceptions and no touchdowns in Dallas’ three games since losing Ezekiel Elliott to a six-game suspension. That is also indefensible after he won Rookie of the Year just one season ago.canadiens_1249_fdd7b0e0360a26f3-140x140

Ryan Shazier injury update: Steelers LB showing ‘gradual improvement,’ report says

Four days after undergoing spinal surgery, Ryan Shazier is showing “gradual improvement,” according to a report Sunday by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

“I’m not worried about him playing for us again,” Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler said. “I’m more worried about him. … The thing that we’re hopeful for and prayerful for is he comes back and is going to be OK. The football stuff is secondary. His life is a lot more important than being a football player.”

Fellow Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats told the Tribune-Review, “After seeing him on the field like that, I just want to see him walking. That was scary to see happen.”

Overshadowed by the top two NHL points leaders Steven Stamkos (42) and Nikita Kucherov (41), Point has 12 goals and 26 points.

Point eluded a Winnipeg defender and put back a backhander past Connor Hellebuyck for the win. It was his third OT goal this season.

“It’s luck and it’s opportunity,” Point said.

Yanni Gourde, Mikhail Sergachev and Kucherov also scored for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 17 saves. The Lightning top the NHL with 13 home wins (13-2-1).

Andrew Copp, Kyle Connors and Nikolaj Ehlers scored for Winnipeg, which has lost three straight for the first time this season. Hellebuyck stopped 24 shots.

“I think don’t we were as sharp and quick as we’re capable of being,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “But pretty good fight.”

Jets were winless on a three-game trip, getting outscored 11-5 in the first two games.

“This is a big effort at the end of a road trip,” Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey said. “I thought we played well enough to win.”canadiens_474_f1c4edf6cfee904b-140x140

The Canucks have lost three straight in regulation for the first time this season.

Stastny scored his first goal in seven games to make it 2-0 with 3:43 left in the second period. Stastny put home a rebound off a shot by Tarasenko that went wide but caromed off the end boards right to his stick.

Markstrom also let in a surprising goal 88 seconds into the first period, squeezing his pads on Kulikov’s point shot, but the puck slid into the net behind him.

This is the kind of planning my wife and I put into a Saturday excursion to a French bakery to get macarons (my three-year-old daughter has a fascination with Paris). We put my son in the foldable stroller for the short stroller ride, and counted on our daughter to walk most of the 10 blocks from subway to fancy cookies.

It went swimmingly! The kids were overjoyed to be in a new neighborhood, our scheduling was stellar, the macarons were light but rich in flavor and then the wheels fell off. Or, more accurately, a nut fell off a screw holding the stroller together, and half the frame collapsed.

The Trojans hold an 8-2 edge in their series against North Texas, last played in 2012, the Mean Green’s final year in the Sun Belt.

Troy (10-2) shared this year’s Sun Belt championship with Appalachian State. North Texas (7-4) won Conference USA’s Western Division title but fell 41-17 to East Division champion Florida Atlantic in the championship game on Dec. 2.

After a dreadful start to the season, the New York Rangers have finally caught up to the pack thanks to their strong play at home.

Mats Zuccarello scored twice, Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 shots and the Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 Saturday night for New York’s 10th win in its last 11 on home ice.

Colorado State, Marshall match wits in New Mexico Bowl

Yurachek should play a key role. He closed out his all-conference regular season with three touchdown receptions against Southern Miss on Nov. 25.

“We’ve been a little mentally soft the last few games and tonight we could have easily folded,” said Carolina’s Jordan Staal. “The third period was huge for us.”

The Kings were playing their 15th game in 28 days, and coach John Stevens sensed it was affecting their play.

He also needs to play with confidence in the pocket, which he’s lost. The first month of the season, the Chiefs trotted out their starting five offensive linemen. Smith was comfortable going through his reads.

There are far worse offensive pass-protecting units. Entering this weekend, Football Outsiders ranked the Eagles, Redskins, Seahawks, Lions, and Packers below the Chiefs in pass protection.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said New England coach Bill Belichick was not amused after receiver Brandin Cooks hopped on Gronkowski’s back to celebrate a fourth-quarter touchdown.

“That was not planned or anything. We got yelled at. We’re not allowed to talk about celebrations,” Gronkowski said following the 35-17 victory over the Dolphins. “That’s what we got told. But, I kind of want to talk about it, but I kind of don’t because I’ll get in trouble, so I don’t know what to do. So, it just happened on the spot. It wasn’t planned. We’ll just keep it there.”

Cooks finished with six catches for 83 yards while Gronkowski caught five passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns of his own. After joking Friday that he was upset with Brady for not giving him any Thanksgiving biscuits, Gronkowski said the two touchdowns made up for it. Sort of.mariners_758

Suns visit Kings in battle of struggling clubs

With Booker sidelined, Chriss has played his best basketball this season. Chriss has scored 26 points and tallied 10 rebounds in 49 combined minutes during the two games Booker has missed. His 15-point effort against the Spurs was his second-highest scoring effort of the season.

Fultz’s shooting woes have been underscored by an altered shooting motion that has made some wonder whether the shooting tweak led to the shoulder injury or the shoulder injury forced him to change his shot. Brown said the Sixers have been cautious in allowing Fultz to do too much physical activity too soon.

Other honorees Tuesday: Carlos Beltran received the Hope Award for his work to help his native Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. WNBA star Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx was named the Performer of the Year, and 76ers youngster Joel Embiid was given the Rising Star award.

The night’s ceremonies — including Kaepernick’s full speech — will be televised at 8 p.m. ET Friday on NBC Sports Network and at 8 p.m. Saturday on Univision Deportes.

The Pistons’ offense disintegrated against the Celtics, as they recorded season lows in points and field-goal percentage. Detroit went scoreless the first five minutes of the third quarter and played catch-up the rest of the game.

“A dangerous team,” St. Louis forward Paul Stastny said of the Lightning. “For us it’s about what we do to be successful. We worry about our own game.”

One of the Blues’ strengths has been an ability to overcome injuries to several key players.

“When one guy does get hurt I think the other lines seem to step up a little more,” Stastny said. “It happens to every team. It’s a long season, you’re going to have injuries, and you can’t use it as an excuse. Whoever is in the lineup just focuses on what they have to do.”royals_040

Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence: ‘F— them refs’

Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence likely faces a fine after blasting the officiating in recent games, including the team’s 30-10 victory over the Giants Sunday.

“S—, f— them refs. That’s all I got to say,” Lawrence told reporters Sunday after he criticized officials for not calling more holding penalties on Cowboys’ opponents in recent games.

“I feel like it’s unfair. I feel like I got a family to come home to, so if you’re trying to protect quarterbacks, you’ve got to protect me, too,” Lawrence said. “If you’re going to do it, you’ve got to do it on both sides. If you’re going to sit here and call some B.S. on my O-line, you’ve got to call it on their O-line, too.”

Whether he has a point or not, Lawrence’s comments will likely draw a fine from the NFL later this week.

“We respected them too much,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. “That’s a good hockey team. That’s a very good hockey team, but until we got settled in and got back into the game, I thought our third period was really strong. We’ve just got to start the game that way.”

The Blues recalled C Ivan Barbashev from Chicago (AHL) to take Schwartz’s spot. … Sabres C Ryan O’Reilly played in his 600th career game. … The Blues scratched Pietraneglo, R Chris Thorburn and L Sammy Blais. … The Sabres scratched C Jordan Nolan, D Nathan Beaulieu and D Victor Antipin.

“The injury situation we have is pretty dire right now,” said associate head coach Stephen Silas, who is filling in for coach Steve Clifford while he deals with a health issue. “I mean, that’s four of your top eight guys that are out there. So yeah, it was a tough one.”

The Broncos’ offense has been one of the worst in the NFL this season.

Why did the Broncos fire McCoy? The team boasts the third best total defense in the NFL, but has failed to score more than 23 points in the past seven weeks, six of which have been losses.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, John Elway had been frustrated with the team’s offensive scheme and the team not being competitive in recent losses.

All of his offensive numbers stand as Tulane records for a freshman quarterback.I can tell he’s motivated and ready to come back and help the team.The more likely scenario: offering a first-rounder and a prospect such as Dante Fabbro.Now, at the beginning of a new age, the Reapers are betrayed and slaughtered.

By the end of the game, there were 991 total yards between the two offenses — the most for any game so far during the 2017 season. It was a surprising amount given up by a Saints defense that was dominant over the last month.

Cousins isn’t fazed by that.

“I’m gonna do my best,” he said. “It isn’t the first time. I’ve been told, ‘Hey. Go prove it. Go show us what you’ve got.’ That’s kind of been the theme, so, in that sense, it’s welcome territory and we look forward to these five games and seeing what we can do as a team.”

What’s still unclear is why Washington hasn’t already signed Cousins to a long-term deal. He’s started every single game for Washington over the past three seasons, and he’s finished each year with a quarterback rating in the top 10.

Became instant team leader.But since the Ravens signed to a one-year deal with a $1 million base salary and a $100 signing bonus Monday, Rosburg has developed a greater appreciation for the NFL’s all-time leader return touchdowns.We played him clips from both and told him basically the scouting report of how we guarded Steph and Klay — our game plan, basically.The defendant answered and up on the officer.The highest bidder would then have 24 hours to reach a contract agreement.The question is, how much more he lose from here, and how fast?orioles_016

the Phillies probably keep Hoskins at first rather than left field.

Believe it or not, there are only six weeks left in the power struggle that is the 2017 NFL regular season. With each week, every team’s body of work is helping define how good or bad it is in relation to others.

This is about the time when teams separate as true contenders for the Super Bowl. With more unpredictability, however, that group is expanded conveniently, for now, to this week’s top 10 teams in Sporting News’ latest power rankings.

Has a free-agent decision ever made two teams as happy? While the terms weren’t disclosed, the Vikings made a run at signing the former Bears wideout to a long-term deal this offseason, only for Jeffery to decline his shot at staying in the NFC North.

The Packers promptly made overtures to Brian Hoyer, and McCarthy hasn’t been able to squeeze any life out of Hundley.

The notable lopsided game was Baltimore’s 23-0 victory at Lambeau Field, which marked Green Bay’s first shutout home loss in 11 years. Packers quarterback Brett Hundley tossed three interceptions as Green Bay fell to 1-4 since starting QB Aaron Rodgers was lost for the season with a broken collarbone.

Field goal, Steelers. The Steelers are called for a facemask penalty on third down, backing them up to the Tennessee 23. Following an incomplete pass, Chris Boswell enters and kicks a 41-yard field goal to put Pittsburgh ahead 10-0.

Turnover, Titans. Marcus Mariota overthrows his intended receiver on a third-down play and Pittsburgh cornerback Mike Hilton picks off the pass. He returns it to the Titans’ 13, where the Steelers will take over.steelers_016

Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen should be back for Sunday’s game against the Jets, a boost for the Panthers offense.

The surprising Rams have hit the most difficult stretch of their schedule. After losing in Minnesota, they play host to the Saints on Sunday.

The Jaguars took over the AFC South lead, but three of their final six games are against division opponents.

“I was pretty close with Terry,” Belichick said. “His rookie season was my first year here in ’96, so I had a lot of interaction with him and other people that were involved in his life and his upbringing separate from the Patriots.

If the Cavs approach the 114 points that the Nets are allowing per game (they have a Vegas implied total of 120 points), Smith and his consistent role have far more upside than downside at this price point, making him a great player for GPP’s.

The Packers were coming off a bye week and McCarthy said he wanted to open up the playbook for Hundley. It didn’t happen as the Packers offense lacked creativity and aggressiveness.

McCarthy did not give Hundley control with a no-huddle offense until the fourth quarter when the Packers already trailed 20-3. The best play of the first half was rushing to get the field goal unit on the field to get off a kick just before halftime. The Packers were only in that position because Hundley threw a pass over the middle to Davante Adams, who finished with seven receptions for 53 yards.

But, I’m choosing George as my building block because his price is still reasonable, even though he has had four monster games in his past five outings. And, importantly, he showed last game that he could put up huge numbers even in a game in which Westbrook put up an explosive triple-double himself.

Lions are not a playoff team — Despite winning Monday, the Lions (4-4) are still two games back of the Vikings (6-2) in the NFC North. The Lions did beat the Vikings earlier this season, but Minnesota is playing extremely well and should run away with the division.