World Cup 2018: Final Power Rankings

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So that was the 2018 World Cup.

One of the very best in recent history, crowned by an epic final between France and Croatia. A period of introspection surely now follows, with millions of football fans the world over working out what to do with themselves now that it’s over.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

For one last time, we’ve ranked the 32 competing nations on strength, their challenge for the trophy and how heavily they impressed. There are natural segmentations to the order—for example, those who went out in the groups are all ranked between 17th and 32nd, and those who lost in the round of 16 can be found between ninth and 16th.

32. Panama nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Panama’s aims heading into the World Cup will have been extremely modest: Hear their national anthem finally played at the finals, score a goal, make a nation proud. They may have lost every game, but they did achieve all three of those goals.

31. Egypt

Even with Mohamed Salah at half-speed, few—if any—expected Egypt to lay an egg in Group A. Losing to Saudi Arabia in the final minute of their last game summed up the mess their tournament turned out to be. nike cheap nfl jerseys

30. Costa Rica

Costa Rica defended bravely and extracted good form from goalkeeper Keylor Navas, but with a complete lack of cutting edge present at the other end, they were never going to be able to go blow-for-blow with Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

29. Saudi Arabia

Little was expected of Saudi Arabia at these finals—nike nfl cheap jerseys particularly after their harrowing opening display against Russia—but things improved notably from that point on. They played well in defeat to Uruguay and squeezed a last-gasp, deserved win out of Egypt.

28. Tunisia

Tunisia were an interesting watch because they did things differently. Most sides facing the talent gap they did shrink into their shells and play it safe, yet the Eagles of Carthage played full-throttle, attacking football and left gaps for opponents to take advantage of.

They were deservedly beaten by England and Belgium but did scoop a victory against Panama in Game 3.

27. Iceland

Iceland’s campaign felt similar to Costa Rica’s. They defended manfully and put their bodies on the line, but a lack of striking talent places a natural handbrake on how far they can go. With opponents wised up to what they could do (thanks to Euro 2016), their limits were shown clearly.

Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic

Age: 23

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 17.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks, 43.4 percent shooting, 33.6 percent three-point shooting

Advanced Stats: 16.5 PER, 0.00 TPA, 0.72 RPM

Contract Details: 4 years, $84 million

Aaron Gordon’s contract wouldn’t jump off the page if it came under different circumstances. Even in scrimpy times, he was looked at as the one restricted free agent who could garner an over-the-top offer sheet from rival admirers. So it would have been one thing if the Orlando Magic matched an $84 million overture.

They didn’t. where to find nfl jerseys

News of Gordon’s contract broke on July 1, which makes for a curious timeline. The agreement itself coming on Day 1 doesn’t matter. Players and agents typically do their due diligence. They understand the field before entering it.

Striking a deal right away with Orlando, though, suggests Gordon didn’t need to set his own market. That’s bizarre.where to find cheap nfl jerseys

Players are getting squeezed left and right. Fellow restricted free agent and big man Julius Randle inked a two-year, $18 million deal with the Pelicans. Clint Capela and Jabari Parker remain unsigned. Acting so quickly on Gordon, in this bare-bones climate, probably cost the Magic money they didn’t need to spend.authentic nfl cheap jerseys

Sure, their closest thing to an established cornerstone is locked up for less than the max. That matters. And a quick negotiation process lays the foundation for good juju between player and team. Was it really worth letting Gordon set his own price just to save, say, a couple of million dollars per year? Debatable.cheap nfl jerseys from usa

On the flip side: Welcome to the business of basketball and, more specifically, restricted free agency! Orlando surrendered exclusivity when it didn’t sign Gordon to an extension last fall. Neither he nor the organization should be penalized for permitting the process of restricted free agency to play out.

It would be different if Gordon were a sure thing. He’s not. The Rockets are opening themselves up to long-term ramifications by playing hardball with Capela. He will consider signing his qualifying offer ($4.7 million) and hitting the unrestricted pool next summer if the two sides cannot find a happy medium, according to Rockets Wire’s Kelly Iko.purchase nfl jerseys

Gordon didn’t have the incumbent value to take such a stark risk. He doesn’t have a niche on offense, and only so much of his stunted development can be attributed to Orlando experimenting with him at small forward. He logged more time at the 4 last year and still sought to carry himself like a wing. Almost one-third of his attempts came as pull-up jumpers, on which he shot under 30 percent.authentic nfl jersey wholesale

Wagering $84 million on Gordon’s future could pan out in the end. His physical tools remain tantalizing. But when your highest paid player is not a seamless fit beside your two other most important building blocks, Mo Bamba and Jonathan Isaac, you’re seldom in good shape. And after giving Gordon so much, so soon, the Magic are far from an exception.

Dante Exum, Utah Jazz

Age: 23

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 8.1 points, 1.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 48.3 percent shooting, 27.8 percent three-point shooting

Advanced Stats: 16.7 PER, minus-5.62 TPA, minus-1.57 RPM

Contract Details: 3 years, $33 million nfl jersey online

Talking yourself into Dante Exum’s contract isn’t especially hard.

Injury concerns work against him. He’s missed more than half of the Utah Jazz’ regular-season matchups since entering the NBA, and his health bill includes a torn left ACL that cost him his entire sophomore campaign.

That scant availability ever so slightly works in his favor as well. He is not a known commodity. Nor is he a straight-out bust. He is still young enough, still inexperienced enough, to turn into anything. nike nfl womens jerseys

Utah has the leeway to hedges its bets on Exum’s mystery arc. Both Alec Burks and Ricky Rubio come off the books after next season. This team could end up needing an extra facilitator alongside Donovan Mitchell.buy nfl jerseys in bulk

At the very least, without Burks or Rubio on the ledger, Exum’s cap hit doesn’t torpedo next summer’s flexibility. The Jazz are still set up to eke out max money if they renounce all their own free agents and ditch Derrick Favors’ non-guarantee. best deals on nfl jerseys

Besides which, Utah isn’t exactly working off a blank slate. Exum’s defensive chops warrant a lion’s share of this gamble. He can competently switch across three positions and isn’t automatically overmatched when pitted against offensive superhumans. He did serious work while pestering James Harden in the second round of the playoffs. The Houston Rockets averaged under 1.04 points per possession on plays that ended with Exum guarding the reigning MVP.womens nike nfl jerseys

Still, the Jazz are not immunized against risk. Exum is a wild card on offense. Defenses will go under screens without remotely fearing the consequences unless Exum hones a semi-reliable jumper. And he has a ways to go there; he’s shooting 30.6 percent from three and under 23 percent on long twos for his career. As Cleaning The Glass’ Nick Sciria  wrote:cheap real nfl jerseys

“Exum has committed 19.1 turnovers per 100 plays, and over the past two seasons, 42 percent of those turnovers have come as a pick-and-roll ball handler. That suggests a player who is in over his head when trying to create. Exum’s poor shooting compounds his problem of running pick-and-rolls. He shot only 43 total pull-up jumpers nike nfl jersey differences over that same time period, while posting a paltry 23 effective field-goal percentage on those shots. His midrange shot doesn’t look comfortable at all. He tends to falls backwards when shooting off the dribble, leaving his trajectory inconsistent.”

Take baby steps on offense, and Exum will validate Utah’s faith in him. But even then we’ll have to wonder what we’re left asking now: Which other team was going to offer Exum the mini mid-level exception ($5.3 million), let alone more than the non-taxpayer’s MLE ($8.6 million)?

Power Ranking Every Coaching Staff Heading into the 2018 NFL Season

All 32 NFL teams have mostly assembled their rosters for the 2018 season, but each of those rosters will go through various changes before the regular season gets underway.

Meanwhile, all 32 coaching staffs look the way they will come Week 1, barring shocking developments. nike nfl cheap jerseys

So, how do they stack up against one another?

We’ll mainly compare head coaches, but we’ll also consider key assistant coaches. That’ll help break ties or give extra boosts to staffs that have notable coaches running the offense and/or defense.

How do we determine the strength of each coaching staff? We’ll mainly look at track records—win-loss records and playoff successes or failures for head coaches, offensive or defensive rankings for coordinators— but career trajectory and potential is also worth something, as is experience. In other words, we won’t hold it against a coach for not having won a Super Bowl in his first five years, but we will if he hasn’t won a playoff game in 15 (looking at you, Marvin Lewis).

Can any coaching staff measure up to Bill Belichick and the vaunted New England Patriots? Have a look.

Head coach: Todd Bowles (22-29)cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Key assistants: Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers, offensive line coach Rick Dennison

Bowles’ defenses performed well during his two seasons with the Cardinals, and he got off to a good start with a 10-6 maiden campaign with the Jets, but Gang Green has lost 11 games in each of the last two years and ranked in the bottom 12 defensively in both of those seasons.

Rodgers is merely a right-hand man, while Bates will be an offensive coordinator for the first time since 2010. Neither helps this staff gain much credibility, although it does get credit for bringing in the well-reputed Dennison to oversee the running game and offensive line.

But that’s not enough to get this coaching staff out of the basement.

Head coach: Pat Shurmur (10-23)nfl cheap jerseys nike

Key assistants: Offensive coordinator Mike Shula, defensive coordinator James Bettcher nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Ben McAdoo wasn’t the answer, but Shurmur is a bland hire. The 53-year-old did a good job with the Vikings offense in 2017, but he struggled to help the Rams and Browns earlier in his career.

His 9-23 record as a head coach in Cleveland hardly inspires much confidence, and he isn’t particularly well-supported by his new primary coordinators. nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

In 2015, Bettcher took over a Cardinals defense that ranked fifth in points allowed during the previous season. With him at the helm, the Cardinals ranked seventh, 14th and 19th, respectively, in terms of points allowed over the past three seasons. Bettcher is only 40 and has room to grow, but that decline in Arizona isn’t promising.nike cheap nfl jerseys

Meanwhile, Shula’s offenses disappointed in four of his five seasons as Carolina’s coordinator despite the presence of Cam Newton. While the Panthers led the NFL in scoring and ranked 11th in total yards during their Super Bowl run in 2015, they failed to field a top-10 offense during Shula’s other four years in charge.

The Biggest Risk Every NFL Team Is Taking in 2018

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There are only so many quality football players to go around. The difference between a starting-caliber player and a backup in the NFL is considerable, which is why some veterans are paid 15 times more than others.

Even after free agency and the draft, some teams have holes in their starting lineups. We’ll look at one risk each team is taking that opponents may exploit in 2018.

As we sift through all 32 NFL teams,cheap nfl nike jerseys china  keep in mind that the new trade-heavy NFL can lead to more player movement this summer. Maybe teams will make more moves during preseason, but at the moment, these are the positions and units of exposure for every franchise.

The Arizona Cardinals have lost a lot of defensive assets over the last few years, including defensive coordinator James Bettcher. This year, their secondary will miss hybrid defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who played 1,053 snaps on defense in 2017, and cornerback Tramon Williams, who had a bounce-back season.

Budda Baker, a second-year player who played just 48.4 percent of defensive snaps last year, will likely be on the field for every snap that he’s healthy for. At cornerback, Williams’ replacement is still a question mark.nfl nike jersey cheap

2016 third-round pick Brandon Williams or the recently traded for Jamar Taylor have to be the clubhouse leaders to fill in for Williams, but there is no must-start cornerback on the roster other than Patrick Peterson. Either way, the loss of a starting cornerback, an every-down safety-slot cheap nfl nike jersey hybrid and a defensive coordinator, with no proven replacements, is a recipe for disaster.

Up until the draft, the Atlanta Falcons had no functional body that they could plug in at nose tackle to replace Dontari Poe. Poe, a 2017 signing, spent one year with the Falcons before signing a long-term deal with the Carolina Panthers to replace Star Lotulelei.cheap nike nfl jersey

While it’s a stretch to assume that third-round picks will start immediately, Atlanta first drafted Deadrin Senat of South Florida on Day 2 to attempt to solve its problem. If nothing else, it had a body it could play at the position. Post-draft, the team signed Terrell McClain, who is now on his third team in three years.

Come September, it would be an upset if those two were not the top nose tackles on the team’s depth chart. McClain, who was released by Washington just one year into a four-year contract, may even be the team’s starter.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

There wasn’t much the Falcons could have done, considering the fact that they were pressed up against the cap before free agency began and were drafting late in the first round. It’s likely that neither will be as effective as Poe.

The Latest on the Saga of the Wandering Dez

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Despite the fact that wide receiver Dez Bryant has been without a team since the Dallas Cowboys released him in mid-April, he said online that he doesn’t regret turning down a multiyear contract offer from the Ravens.custom nfl jerseys

“Nope not one bit and very appreciative for the offer,” Bryant tweeted. “What’s crazy is how reports like this will try to tarnish someone’s character.. the slight jab saying it’s not easy to get along with. I thought the media would give up by now with betraying me as something that I’m not.”

Bryant didn’t specify the jab, but there have been rumbles that his reputation and attitude may have cooled some teams’ interest.

He has at least one person trying to find him work who isn’t his agent. Newly minted Monday Night Football analyst (and former teammate) Jason Witten told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on a podcast that the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints would be a good fits.customized nfl jerseys

“I think Dez is certainly going to have some great opportunities,” Witten said. “He’s motivated, and I think he’s going to end up going to the Green Bay Packers. I think that’s a great spot for him.”

However, after Witten’s comments surfaced, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com said that while the Packers have considered Bryant, “nothing is imminent.” The Saints’ level of interest in unknown, although at this point, it’s worth pointing out the team didn’t refute Witten’s speculation.

Both would be good landing spots. nfl custom jerseys cheap Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are veteran quarterbacks who are capable of putting the ball in a spot where Bryant could use his physicality to go and get it.

Someone’s going to eventually take a flier on the wide receiver. There are too many teams in need at the position, and even if Bryant’s not the player he once was, an incentive-laden contract carries little risk.cheap custom nfl jerseys

But this saga doesn’t appear close to over yet.

San Francisco 49ers: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

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Having hoisted the Lombardi Trophy last year, the 49ers…oh wait, that didn’t happen.

Having won 11 games and established themselves as…buy nike nfl jerseys cheap hmm, that didn’t happen either.

Wait, the 49ers still kinda stink? Wow. It turns out winning a trade with the Patriots isn’t the same as winning a Super Bowl. The Jimmy Garoppolo hype last season overshadowed just how weak the roster around him still was and how much work the Niners must do in this draft. It starts with making sure Garoppolo has the protection he needs to achieve his preternatural potential.

Now, this year’s tackle class is…unspectacular. nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal To help you get a sense of what you are in for, Bleacher Report proudly presents a Good, Bad and Terrifying breakdown of this year’s tackles.

Good: Mike McGlinchey is Matt Ryan’s cousin. He has a winning, likable personality, like Jason Kelce without the “unhinged Batman villain” vibe. He’s also a punishing run-blocker with fine technique who did a swell job cleaning up the devastation left in teammate Quenton Nelson’s wake. And unlike tackles who played in wide-open offenses, he can line up in a three-point stance without looking like a middle-aged fat guy at his first yoga class.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Bad: McGlinchey doesn’t fit the left tackle prototype. Top edge-rushers are going to win against him.

Terrifying: There is nothing terrifying about McGlinchey, which may make him the best tackle prospect in this class. He won’t make unexpected mistakes, and coaches know he’ll need help against Von Miller types.

So the 49ers get a sturdy pass protector. It’s not a bad pick. But there is still a ton of work to be done.nfl nike jersey cheap

Grade: B-plus

Raiders Rumors: Amari Cooper’s 5th-Year Contract Option to Be Picked Up

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The Oakland Raiders reportedly will pick up wide receiver Amari Cooper’s fifth-year contract option for 2019, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.

That option will pay him $13.9 million for the 2019 season, china nfl jersey wholesale

A 2015 first-round pick, Cooper looked the part of a true No. 1 wide receiver over his first two seasons. As a rookie, the Alabama product registered 72 receptions for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns.

He followed up that Pro Bowl-caliber performance by logging a career-high 83 catches for 1,153 yards and five scores in Year 2.
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However, Cooper regressed in 2017 despite finding paydirt seven times.

With the offense out of sync seemingly all season long, Cooper stumbled his way to 48 receptions for 680 yards. All told, he topped 100 yards in a game twice and managed more than five receptions in a single outing.

As it turns out, Cooper may have been playing hurt despite missing just two games. nfl jersey wholesale china

“He would never say it to you, but I’ll say it to you to have his back,” quarterback Derek Carr said, according to SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Eddie Borsilli. “That man was out there giving anything he could and honestly, a lot of guys probably wouldn’t have played with what he had.”

Now in the fold through at least 2019, Cooper figures to be a prominent piece of the Raiders’ new scheme. authentic nfl jerseys china wholesale

“He’ll be the focal point of our offense,” head coach Jon Gruden told reporters in February, according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Scott Bair. “… He has tremendous quickness. He’s smart, versatile and he’s a gamer. He likes the bright lights, and he’ll be the headliner in our offense.”

The Houston Astros Need to Upgrade at the Catcher Position

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The Logic

The Houston Astros reportedly showed interest in Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto during the offseason, with Craig Mish of SiriusXM  nfl authentic jerseys reporting that the team had engaged in trade talks centered around top prospect Kyle Tucker.

No deal came to fruition, but it’s easy to see the logic.

Brian McCann posted a 109 OPS+ with 18 home runs and 62 RBI during the 2017 season, but he’s 34 years old and in the final guaranteed year of his contract.

Meanwhile, slugger Evan Gattis is better served as a regular DH, and backup Max Stassi had shown little in 44 games of MLB action over the past five seasons.

The Reality nfl wholesale jerseys

Catcher is still a long-term need for the Astros.

It doesn’t look like an issue at all here in 2018, though. The tandem of McCann and Stassi has performed well splitting starting duties:

McCann: 41 PA, .333/.463/.424
Stassi: 30 PA, .269/.367/.462

Further, flipping Tucker could have been a mistake the team would wind up seriously regretting. nfl jerseys from china The 21-year-old looks like a star in the making and one who could make a major impact soon.

Swinging a deal for Realmuto seemed like a good move on the surface when that rumor first broke, but a few months later, it looks like the front office made the right decision going with the official nfl jerseys cheap  status quo behind the dish.

Andrew Cashner Is Not the Answer to the Baltimore Orioles’ Pitching Woes

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The Logic

The Baltimore Orioles had the worst rotation in baseball last season with an unsightly nfl wholesale jerseys  5.70 ERA from the starting staff.

After kicking the tires on a number of mid-level options, the front office settled on signing Andrew Cashner to a two-year, $16 million deal that includes a $10 million team option for 2020 as the first major move to address that issue.

While his 3.40 ERA in 2017 looked strong on the surface, it came with a 4.61 FIP and a 4.6 K/9 rate that ranked 57th among 58 qualified starters.

The regression candidate was simply not the answer for a team that needed a massive rotation overhaul.nfl jerseys from china

The Reality

The Orioles starting rotation is still far from a strength, and late-offseason signing Alex Cobb was shelled in his first start of the season official nfl jerseys cheap.

Cashner is off to a great start, though.

After giving up four earned runs in five innings in his Orioles debut, he’s turned in three straight quality starts.

@ NYY: W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
vs. TOR: ND, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
@ DET: L, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

The Cashner signing looked like a Band-Aid on a bullet hole at the time, but so far, he’s been one of the better offseason additions nfl authentic jerseys  leaguewide on the starting pitching side of things.