25-21: Australia, Morocco, Germany, Nigeria, Peru

25. Australia

Australia were a lot better than many expected. Emergency coach Bert van Marwijk installed a framework and solidity to their play that made them competitive in every group game.

Their downfall was goalscoring; the only nike jerseys nfl cheap  two they managed were from the spot. The likes of Andrew Nabbout and Robbie Kruse worked hard in open play but fell short on the quality yardstick.

24. Morocco cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Morocco were an absolute delight to watch and probably deserved more than the solitary point they managed. They pressed, they passed well, they dribbled aggressively, and they entertained us all.

If only every major chance hadn’t fallen to centre-back Medhi Benatia.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

23. Germany

It’s getting very easy to believe there is in fact a curse at play in the World Cup finals. Germany became the third straight nation to follow up winning the tournament with exiting at the group stage next time around, with Spain and Italy having blazed the trail before them.

They looked an absolute mess strategically, heaping pressure on the centre-backs in a quite remorseless way, and were punished accordingly.

22. Nigeria

Nigeria’s opening performance was a real shocker, but a formation change for Game 2 brought about a much better performance and a victory.nfl cheap nike jerseys

They needed only a draw against Argentina in the third game to progress and couldn’t manage it, but it’s clear there’s plenty to build on and work with moving forward in this Super Eagles team.

21. Peru

Like Morocco, Peru picked up plenty of casual fans over the course of the group stage thanks to their exhilarating, attacking style.

They were unfortunate to lose their opening game against Denmark, a result that all but eliminated them, but they kept their heads high and their eyes focused, scoring in and winning Game 3 to the delight of a stadium packed full of White and Red supporters.cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

Ranking the NFL’s Most Unblockable Pass-Rushers

A generation ago, the primary challenge offenses faced from the game’s best pass-rushers was physical. At that time, both offensive and defensive players had more stationary roles and didn’t move from area to area nearly as much as they do now.kids nfl football jerseys cheap

In today’s NFL, pass-rushers come from everywhere on the field, regardless of the down or situation. Just as 260-pound edge-rushers move inside to use their speed and agility to overmatch guards and centers, defensive tackles move out to the edge to physically dominate offensive tackles. And on passing downs (which is every down), a defensive lineman may kick back to linebacker depth and come at the quarterback based on the gaps created by the rest of the defense, much as a running back would follow the openings created by his offensive line.cheap nfl jerseys for kids

A recent statistical study conducted by Pro Football Focus indicated edge pressure is generally more important than interior pressure when it comes to stopping an offense from scoring, but that kind of value is also situationally dependent. Elite interior defenders require more double-teams by offenses than edge-rushers, and therefore, interior defenders create openings on the outside that edge-rushers can exploit. So, this particular list pays more attention to unblockable interior defenders than others might.nfl kids jerseys cheap

Sacks are important to pass-rushers, but more important is the constant stream of quarterback disruption by a player who finds his way through the offensive line to not only take the quarterback down but also to hurry his throws or move him from his ideal position.

No matter where the pressure comes from, certain defenders stand above the rest when it comes to creating it. Here are 12 who do it better than anybody else.kids nfl jersey

Scared NFL Makes Epic Mistake with Anthem Policy

The NFL has gotten things wrong before, but in the recent history of this league, it has gotten fewer things more horribly, disgracefully, stupidly, terribly wrong than what it decided to do Wednesday in trying to half-heartedly stop players from protesting during the national anthem.

In a statement released by the league, team owners decided that starting this season, players can stay in the locker room during the anthem. If players take a knee to protest, say, unarmed black and brown people being unjustly shot by law enforcement, cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale commissioner Roger Goodell can potentially fine both teams and players.

Essentially, the league is trying to shove the protests out of sight by putting them in the locker room. And by fining players who want to publicly protest, it is also trying to make this a financial decision for players.

“We want people to be respectful of the national anthem,” Goodell said in a press conference. “We want people to stand—that’s all personnel—and make sure they treat this moment in a respectful fashion. That’s something we think we owe. [But] we were also very sensitive to give players choices.”

But as protesters like Colin Kaepernick (who, along with Eric Reid, started the protests) have said, they are not protesting the anthem or the military; they are using the anthem to bring attention to racial injustice and the issue of police abuse of black and brown citizens.cheap nfl nike jersey

Now, because of the NFL’s ineptitude, the anthem controversy will be around a long time, and it will be messy, and ugly, and divisive. The union and the league will likely go to war, and swaths of America will fight over it.

Within hours of the league’s announcement, the NFLPA had fired back:cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Why is the NFL handling this so poorly, crafting a policy based on fear, not practicality? The answer remains clear, according to a variety of league sources: an intense fear of President Donald Trump.

This is a fact. This is the truth. This is the core basis for the NFL’s decision. This has been told to me before, and it was reiterated by several people Wednesday.

“Our league,” one team official said, “is f–king terrified of Trump. We’re scared of him.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

What does the NFL fear? It fears boycotts of games. It fears people not watching its product on television. It fears people not buying its products.

Vegas book looking at $2 million hit if Golden Knights win Stanley Cup

One-half of the Stanley Cup Final could be set today, with a team that one year ago nobody thought would sniff the playoffs. Covers checks in on the action for today’s lone NHL postseason game, along with tonight’s NBA playoff tilt, with insights from Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill US.

NHL
Vegas Golden Knights at Winnipeg Jets – Open: -145; Move: -140

Vegas opened as a 100/1 long shot at William Hill US to win the Western Conference title, yet now is just one victory away from that milestone, in its inaugural season no less. The Golden Knights (62-27-7) lost Game 1 of this series, then won the next three games, including a 3-2 Game 4 victory Friday as a -116 home favorite to take a 3-1 series lead.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Winnipeg opened the West finals as a -140 series favorite and looked the part with a 4-2 Game 1 win. But the Jets (61-27-10) haven’t put more than two pucks past Marc-Andre Fleury since then, seeing 35 of their 37 shots on goal stopped in the Game 4 loss.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“We’re definitely gonna need Winnipeg today, but road games are not as much of a decision with the Knights,” Bogdanovich said of this 3 p.m. ET puck drop. “Home games are where we tend to get slaughtered.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

William Hill US opened the Jets -145 early Saturday morning and dipped to -140 shortly thereafter, but there has been no movement in the price since then. The bigger issue today is conference futures liability, something William Hill is resigned to at this point.

“That ship sailed a long time ago,” Bogdanovich said, noting William Hill is a low-six-figure loser in the West futures book if Vegas closes out this series. “But the Western Conference we can fade. It’s the Stanley Cup where we get punished.”

Indeed, William Hill is looking at a nearly $2 million hit should Vegas win the Stanley Cup.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

NBA

No. 1 Houston Rockets at No. 2 Golden State Warriors – Open: -7; Move: -7.5

Golden State heads into Game 3 of the Western Conference finals with home-court advantage, thanks to a victory in the series opener. The Warriors (67-27 SU, 53-40-1 ATS) didn’t have as much in the tank for Game 2, however, losing 127-105 as a 2-point road underdog Wednesday.

Houston was in must-win mode for Game 2, not wanting to head to California in a 2-0 hole. The Rockets (74-20 SU, 48-45-1 ATS) built a 64-50 halftime advantage and led by double digits the entire second half to even up the series.

Bettors, however, are leaning on the Warriors for this 8 p.m. ET tipoff.nfl cheap jerseys nike

“We opened 7, it’s up to 7.5, all Golden State money,” Bogdanovich said. “It’s probably sharp and public. There are 8s out there now, so I’m assuming there’s some sharp play.”

Malik Hooker Is Back on the Practice Field

In April, Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker told reporters he was doing everything in his power to accelerate his rehab from a torn ACL suffered last October.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Right now, it’s just crucial for me to get in there and just try to work as hard as I can to get healthy for the team,” Hooker said. “So, I just pretty much just do whatever’s asked of me and try to do a little extra so that if I can, try to move the process up.”cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The 22-year-old safety has continued to progress.

As Andrew Walker of the team’s official website noted, Hooker posted a video Tuesday of himself working out and cutting on the turf at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. It’s the first time we’ve seen the 15th overall pick in the 2017 draft in cleats since that fateful Week 7 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.nfl nike jersey cheap

At the time of his injury, Hooker had been playing as advertised. The ball-hawking safety had snagged three interceptions in his first seven games and was an early front-runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

There is not a definitive timetable for Hooker’s return to game action, and one video snippet of the youngster doesn’t change that.

Seeing Hooker backpedaling and making cuts on the field with ease, however, is good news for a defense that badly needs its best playmaker in the secondary if Indy is going to improve on its 30th-ranked defense from last season. cheap nike nfl jersey

Keyon Dooling Talks Sexual Abuse, Paranoia, Mental Health in Players’ Tribune

Former NBA player Keyon Dooling wrote about being sexually assaulted as a child, checking into a mental institution after suffering from paranoia in 2012 and other mental-health issues in a revealing article for The Players’ Tribune.

In the article, Dooling describes being seven years old and playing basketball with a friend when a 14-year-old friend of his brother invited him up to an apartment to escape the rain and hang out. But things took a disturbing turn when the nike nfl cheap jerseys older boy turned on a pornographic video and forced the two boys to perform oral sex on him.

Dooling wrote that the sexual abuse forever changed him: “I told myself, at seven years old: You have to be tough. You have to be so tough that nobody can ever hurt you.

“After that day, I had a huge chip on my shoulder, and huge secret in my heart. My childhood was effectively over.”

Dooling said he took his anger and hurt over the incident and putting it into sports. Eventually, he became an NBA player and didn’t tell anybody about his childhood trauma, but in September 2012, a drunk man in a steakhouse bathroom came up behind Dooling while he was urinating and grabbed him on the rear-end.

The moment caused the repressed feelings from Dooling’s childhood to rise to the surface once again:nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“All these images started flooding my mind, and I couldn’t tune them out. I had this horrible, crushing anxiety wash over me.

“I called my mom. I called my wife. We prayed together over the phone. But the feeling wouldn’t go away. Even when I got back home to Boston, I was a complete mess. I became paranoid. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. It felt like there was some kind of danger right around the corner, and it was making me sick.”nike jerseys nfl cheap

Everything came to a head after the 2011-12 season, when Dooling visited with Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge to tell him he planned to retire:

“My two-year-old son K.J. was with me. I took him along, because he loved coming to the gym with me. I remember holding him in my arms and telling Danny that I was done. I was telling Danny a whole lot of other things, too. Really paranoid, off-the-wall things. I was ranting about God and about the darkness all around us.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china  Eventually, Danny made a phone call. A couple minutes later, two of my best friends on the team appeared in the doorway.

Roquan Smith, Linebacker

Roquan Smith fits the mold of the modern quick twitch NFL linebacker who can flow side-to-sideline with the play.

At 6’1″ and 236 pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds, which ranked fourth among linebackers at the combine. That speed is the foundation of his effectiveness against the run and as a pass-rusher. It’s how he recorded 137 tackles and 6.5 sacks during his final season at Georgia.best nfl jerseys

His speed is also what makes Smith a likely top-10 pick widely mocked to the Oakland Raiders. Unfortunately, he experienced some hamstring tightness while showing off his quickness at the combine.

Concern about Smith’s injury grew slightly in early March when Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline reported he was flagged medically by several teams. But that turned out to be only a passing scare, as later NFLDraftScout’s Dane Brugler reported Smith has been cleared and wasn’t scheduled for a combine medical recheck.
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Smith should be just fine going forward, and he is racing Tremaine Edmunds to be the first linebacker selected.
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Evaluating Harold Landry requires a good memory.

The defensive end erupted for Boston College in 2016, leading the nation in sacks with 16.5 while also recording 22 tackles for a loss. He was a constant menace in the backfield because of his burst to accelerate around blockers.

However, Landry couldn’t repeat that high-end production in 2017 because an ankle injury limited him to just eight games played.nfl jerseys cheap authentic

However, he still notched five sacks despite the shortened senior season. Then Landry went on to tear apart the combine, most notably posting a three-cone drill time of 6.88 seconds. Only six other defensive linemen who weighed 250-plus pounds and were selected in the first round have recorded a sub-6.9 time, per PFF.
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So it feels pretty safe to say Landry’s ankle has healed nicely, and he’s worthy of first-round buzz.customized nfl jerseys cheap

Vita Vea, Defensive Tackle

We’ve reached the point in the calendar where even the tiniest nuggets of information regarding a possible first-round pick are worth dissecting.
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That applies to defensive tackle Vita Vea, who’s a constant disruptive force up the middle and should be a top-20 selection. He might even come off the board in the top 10.

Vea shined during his brief appearance at the combine, showing off his strength at 6’4″ and 347 pounds. He recorded 41 bench-press reps, but then his afternoon abruptly came to an end when the giant lineman suffered a hamstring injury while lumbering through the 40-yard dash.hi-res-e9a5c19d490a68e8b37a1f8bc5f80bb8_crop_exactnfl jersey for cheap

But even at his size, and even during a run in which Vea injured himself, he still posted a time of 5.10 seconds. He has rare light, nimble feet for such a massive defender in the trenches, which is what makes him a threatening and versatile presence up front. He finished 2017 with 30 tackles (5.5 for a loss) and 3.5 sacks.nfl jerseys cheap authentic

The hamstring injury kept Vea out for drills and testing during the Washington Huskies’ pro day but only because it was shortly after the combine. Any general manager who cares about the injury going forward shouldn’t be a general manager much longer.
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Vea recorded 39 pressures in 2017, per PFF, and his power as an interior pass-rusher is why Miller  projects him as a future member of the Washington Redskins after being selected 13th overall.

Muhammad Wilkerson, Packers Agree to Contract After 7 Seasons with Jets

The deal is for one year, $5 million plus an additional $3 million in incentives, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.

Working out a contract with Wilkerson continued a busy day for the Packers, official nfl jerseys cheap who also agreed to a deal with tight end Jimmy Graham and released wide receiver Jordy Nelson, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

New York officially released Wilkerson on Feb. 28. The Jets had placed the franchise tag on Wilkerson in 2016 to prevent him from hitting free agency, but his future with the team remained in doubt. reebok nfl jerseys

Wilkerson fell off even more in 2017 to the tune of 46 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 13 games. 0b6269137e4ec39bf4d068f12c9e5ed3_crop_exact

Head coach Todd Bowles made Wilkerson a healthy scratch in each of the final three games of the 2017 campaign.

That represented a huge fall from grace for Wilkerson.

The 2011 first-round pick made the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2015 after registering 64 tackles and a career-high 12 sacks.nfl authentic jerseys

He also posted double-digit sacks in 2013 with 10.5, and he has 44.5 sacks in 105 career games despite largely playing in a 3-4 defensive front.

In addition to that, the Temple alum has missed just seven games in seven NFL seasons, although he did break his leg in the Jets’ final regular-season game in 2015.

Wilkerson has proved to be a disruptive force against both the pass and the run when healthy and motivated, which could make him a steal of a signing.

Although there are some concerns regarding Wilkerson’s willingness to give 100 percent game in nfl authentic jerseys cheap and game out, the Packers could have a bargain on their hands if he lives up to his potential.

Offense has been Green Bay’s biggest key to success in recent years, but the signing of Wilkerson could go a long way toward improving its defense.