Bengals reportedly give Marvin Lewis a one-year extension

Despite failing to make it out of the first round of the playoffs for the seventh-straight season, the Bengals extended Marvin Lewis, according to a report.

Of course, this is the Internet though, where nothing can ever be deleted.

The Bengals are a consistently talented team in the NFL throughout the regular season. They don’t play well in the playoffs, and it stings, but there have been extenuating circumstances at different points for those games.

Lewis shouldn’t get a free pass for the playoff games, which is precisely why he’s only getting a one-year deal, but the Bengals could do much, much worse than Lewis.

As we wait for the start of Eagles camp, it is time to start grabbing a jersey or two to wear this season. The Eagles have a lot of new players to choose from to replace a jersey you might own of a player that has departed.

One jersey that is flying off the shelves for Birds fans, is the Tim Tebow jersey. That’s right…Tebow.

Lewis is still the second-longest tenured coach in the NFL behind the Patriots’ Bill Belichick — the willingness of the Bengals to be patient with his franchise development is a reason Cincinnati is consistent in a difficult era to be a quality NFL team year in and year out.

You would think at a certain point the whole “Johnny Manziel to the Broncos” train would stop moving. Like, before it got out of the station.

Apparently it won’t stop though. Not too long after Gary Kubiak and Denver talked to Manziel, we got Von Miller, Super Bowl 50 MVP and another former player at Texas A&M,talking about his buddy again.

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Blackhawks Lose Second Straight in 4-2 Defeat vs. Devils

The Chicago Blackhawks had won five straight games against the New Jersey Devils, but that streak came to a whimpering end as they fell by a score of 4-2 on Friday night.

Tanner Kero scored his first career NHL goal, and Patrick Kane extended his points streak to nine games, but it wasn’t enough as the Hawks lost for the second night in a row.

The Blackhawks’ offensive struggles continued even after Joel Quenneville attempted to shake things up by pulling Crawford in favor of Scott Darling. The Hawks got an early power play in the second period, but they couldn’t generate any good chances as the New Jersey defense continued to smother them.

Later in the frame, the Devils took advantage as they scored again to extend their lead. Damon Severson made a great play as the got the puck near the top of the face-off circle, and after waiting for a beat he found Michael Cammalleri for the goal to make it a 4-0 game.

The Devils nearly made it a 5-0 game a few moments later, but the goal was waved off after Sergey Kalinin was ruled to have interfered with Darling, negating Cammalleri’s attempt at a second goal in the period.

The Blackhawks finally managed to get on the board late in the period thanks to a good possession by their second line. With Quenneville shuffling up lines, Andrew Shaw made his way to the front of the net, and new linemate Patrick Kane took advantage as the winger fired home a shot to not only cut the Devils’ lead to 4-1, but it also extended his personal scoring streak to nine games.

The Blackhawks pulled their goaltender with about six and a half minutes to go in the game, but it took them nearly five minutes to score without Darling in the cage. Finally, Artemi Panarin made the play happen as he fired a quick pass to the front of the cage, and Tanner Kero backhanded a shot past Schneider to make it a 4-2 game with a minute and a half to go.

The Hawks had a few more opportunities to get back into the game, but that wasn’t enough as the team lost for the second game in a row.

On Sunday the Blackhawks will return to the United Center where they will take on the Edmonton Oilers. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.

The Blackhawks got off to a sluggish start against the Devils, and some carelessness with the puck ended up costing them. After Niklas Hjalmarsson received a pass in the defensive zone from Teuvo Teravainen, he turned the puck over, and Lee Stempniak took advantage as the winger fired a shot past Corey Crawford to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.

The Devils were unable to convert on a power play about halfway through the period, but as the frame came to an end they were able to score to extend their lead. After a tie-up in the face-off circle, Kyle Palmieri pounced on the puck and quickly ripped a wrist shot that evaded Crawford, putting the Devils ahead by two goals.

Just 26 seconds later, the Devils scored again. Travis Zajac came in hard on the rush, and even though Hjalmarsson blocked his initial shot, the talented forward got his own rebound and slid home the shot to put New Jersey up by a 3-0 margin after 20 minutes of play.

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Blackhawks Wallop Coyotes, Keep Home Ice Hopes Alive

The Chicago Blackhawks have seemingly found their offensive spark, beating the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 6-2 on Tuesday night.

Andrew Ladd scored two power play goals on the night, and Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each scored goals as the Blackhawks won their third straight game and kept alive their slim hopes of gaining home-ice advantage in the first round of the postseason.

Needless to say, it will not be another 15 years before another Blackhawks player hits the 250-goal mark. Patrick Kane currently is sitting at 248 goals, and with two games left in the regular season, he could conceivably catch and pass his teammate on the scoring list before the year is out.

So far, the audience for NFL streams has been significantly smaller than that for traditional television. The Yahoo broadcast of the Bills-Jaguars game from London in October averaged a worldwide audience of about 2.4 million. A Jets-Dolphins matchup from London earlier that month, which started at the same time, averaged more than quadruple that in the U.S. alone with 9.9 million viewers on CBS.

Not to be outdone, Kane scored a beautiful goal of his own on a power play later in the game. On an outlet pass, Artemi Panarin sprinted up the ice and fed a gorgeous saucer pass across the zone to Kane. Kane quickly shifted to his backhand and lifted a shot over Domingue to make it a 3-0 game.

Artem Anisimov was forced to leave the game late in the second period after a big hit from Antoine Vermette, and the Blackhawks scored twice to make the major penalty hurt even more. Ladd scored both goals for the Blackhawks, deflecting a Trevor van Riemsdyk shot in to make it 4-0 and then collecting a pass from Kane near the blue paint and shoving a shot through the goaltender’s pads to extend Chicago’s lead to five goals.

The Coyotes finally got on the board in the third period of the game thanks to a Connor Murphy goal, but the Blackhawks responded quickly. Michal Rozsival made a key play to keep the puck in the offensive zone, and after he cycled it behind the net, Marcus Kruger fed a quick pass to Andrew Desjardins for the one-timer goal and a 6-1 edge for the Hawks.

A late goal from Brad Richardson did nothing to change the outcome, and the Blackhawks cruised to victory.

The Blackhawks will look to keep those home-ice hopes alive on Thursday night when they welcome the St. Louis Blues to the United Center for the team’s home finale.

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NFL Season Opener: Patriots Defeat Steelers

Not much new in the NFL season opener.

Tom Brady was unstoppable, and so was Rob Gronkowski.

Some unheralded players put on New England jerseys and looked like stars.

The opposing coach, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, raised suspicions about something untoward going on at Gillette Stadium.

A 28-21 victory for the Patriots wasn’t nearly that close, and the sellout crowd of 66,829, braving a persistent rain Thursday night, got just about everything it wanted. The pregame ceremony celebrated New England’s four Super Bowl crowns; Brady was behind center after his four-game suspension from the NFL in the deflated balls saga was vacated by a federal judge; and the home team unveiled some new weapons.

“I was pretty excited,” said Brady, who has 161 wins as a starting quarterback, most in NFL history. “I think the regulars around here always can be pretty excited, especially running out there in pregame.

“You have one week and you put everything you can into it for that one three-hour performance.”

Brady certainly put in everything the Patriots could hope for, which does not bode well for the rest of the NFL. Nor do some of the other things we saw against the undermanned and generally ineffective Steelers.

GRONK: Gronkowski was dynamic with five catches for 94 yards and touchdowns of 16, 6 and 1 yard. He broke a tackle after catching a short pass in the flat on the first score; beat two defenders into the back of the end zone for the 6-yarder; and recovered a fumble by running back Dion Lewis at the Steelers 1 before his final score.

The All-Pro tight end had not played in the preseason

“It was the first game of the year and I’m not going to say I was in top-notch shape,” he said. “It’s different when you go out there and play for real versus other opponents that are very good. I’m definitely a little rusty in some spots.”

Sounds ominous. So does having another dangerous tight end, Scott Chandler, to complement him. Chandler had a 1-yard TD catch.

WHO’S THAT?: Not an unusual question around the Patriots, who’ve gotten contributions from obscure players throughout their successful run. Remember Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl; the Seahawks surely do. Or running back Jonas Gray from his one-hit wonder last season?

Thursday night it was Dion Lewis, a fourth-year running back out of Pitt signed away from the Eagles as a free agent, and rookie center David Andrews, who was not drafted. Andrews stepped in for regular snapper Bryan Stork, who is injured, and did a very solid job. Lewis followed Andrews and several other young blockers up front to gain 69 yards rushing and 51 receiving.

“We had eight rookies play and they all contributed,” coach Bill Belichick said. “Hopefully they’ll get better.”

SAY WHAT?: Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin isn’t saying the Patriots messed around with Steelers coaches’ headsets in the first half. He’s just saying it does seem to happen a lot when he plays in New England.

“We were listening to the Patriots radio broadcast for the majority of the first half on our headsets,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin told reporters that Pittsburgh coaches “always” have trouble with their communication systems in New England.

A league spokesman said the interference was “caused by a stadium power infrastructure issue, which was exacerbated by the inclement weather.

And the Patriots said they had problems with their headsets, too.

“We deal with that, it seems like, weekly,” Belichick said.

Other teams in the league have been suspicious of the Patriots at least since 2007, when the league caught coach Bill Belichick illegally taping opposing coaches’ signals. The team’s reputation took another hit last season when the Indianapolis Colts questioned whether the footballs New England used in the AFC title game were properly inflated.

TORN CURTAIN: Pittsburgh’s defense never looked formidable. At times, it was more of a Steel Sieve than a Steel Curtain.

Brady had wide-open receivers nearly all night, going 25 of 32 for 288 yards. Lewis had his big production.

“I thought we got a little frazzled at times,” Tomlin said. Some of the young people have got to get better in a hurry.”Patriots fans are reveling in a 28-14, fourth-quarter lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers and taking the opportunity to mock NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The Gillette Stadium crowd broke into a chant of “Where is Roger?” — taking shots at the league’s leader for the botched investigation in the scandal that came to be known as “Deflategate.”

Goodell suspended Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games after a league investigation found the team supplied improperly inflated footballs for the AFC title game in January. But last week a federal judge vacated the suspension.

It’s made Goodell an unpopular figure in New England. He said he would skip th NFL opener for the first time as commissioner to avoid being a distraction.
The “Where is Roger?” chant was a reprise. In the 1999 AL baseball playoffs, Boston fans mocked former Red Sox ace Roger Clemens — who had moved to the Yankees — with the same chant for his early exit in a much-hyped matchup with Pedro Martinez.

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