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.

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 Game-Changing Ace Trade That Could Win Yankees the World Series

The New York Yankees are hunting for an ace who can help them win their 28th World Series championship. Per numerous reports, they’ve stalked just about every big name in the wild.

Then there’s the not-so-big-name ace who’s also just the guy the Yankees need: Blake Snell.

The first thing to know about Snell is that he’s a 25-year-old left-hander who’s under the employ of the Tampa Bay Rays.

A second thing to know about him is that he’s in the midst of a breakout that, mainly by way of his American League-best 2.09 ERA, should have earned him his first All-Star nod Sunday.

A third thing is that Snell is indeed among the aces on the Yankees’ radar. This according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic, who wrote, “The Yankees have expressed interest in both Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard of the crosstown Mets as well as the Rays’ cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale best two starters in Blake Snell and Chris Archer, but the asking price for any of the four is exorbitant.”

Of these four, deGrom certainly looks like the best pitcher right now. Syndergaard (finger) and Archer (abdomen) are on the disabled list. And as amazing as Snell has been this season, deGrom is the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-Star who leads everyone with a 1.79 ERA.

Ah, but there’s this: Snell is five years younger than deGrom.cheap nfl nike jersey

And also this: Snell is under club control through 2022, whereas deGrom’s club control is up in 2020.

And lastly, this: The difference in quality between the two pitchers is not huge, if not altogether null.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The lefty was considered one of baseball’s best pitching prospects before he debuted with a solid 3.54 ERA in 19 starts as a rookie in 2016. However, he also walked 5.2 batters per nine innings. His control trouble continued with a 5.4 BB/9 through his first eight outings of 2017.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The Rays banished him back to the minors, yet it was more of the same for Snell (nine walks in 10 innings) in his first two starts back in the bigs on June 28 and July 5.

But in the fateful 33 starts he’s made since then, he’s averaged only 3.2 walks per nine innings. Throw in 9.6 strikeouts and 0.9 home runs per nine innings, and his dominance has been well-rounded.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

It feels like there should be some kind of elaborate story—e.g., he spent months working out in the Russian wilderness to the tune of “Hearts on Fire”—about how Snell got his groove back. In reality, he made a simple mechanical change and adhered to a strict offseason workout regimen.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“I would say everything got more consistent moving to the left [side of the rubber],” he told Michael Baumann of The Ringer. “The reason my stuff got better was probably just the way I approached the offseason. I stayed consistent with my running and working out—that’s what I’d attribute my velo staying up a couple ticks to.”

NFC West

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Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals may be the NFL’s worst team next season even though they still have Larry Fitzgerald, Chandler Jones, Patrick Peterson and David Johnson (when fully healthy). Between a new head coach in Steve Wilks, Sam Bradford’s ailing knee, an unsettled offensive front and Tyrann Mathieu’s departure, they have no shortage of concerns to address. This is a team in transition, and it’ll take some time to rebuild after losing former head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer to retirement. Unfortunately, the Cardinals also face schedule issues since they travel to San Francisco and Minnesota in Weeks 5 and 6 before returning home to play the Broncos on Thursday Night Football.

Prediction: 3-13

Los Angeles Rams

The rich got richer in Los Angeles with the Rams’ addition of Aqib Talib, Brandin Cooks,cheap nfl jerseys nike  Marcus Peters and Ndamukong Suh. General manager Les Snead realized championship windows are short-lived, and last year’s 11-5 campaign opened the Rams’ window of opportunity. cheap nike nfl jerseys china Los Angeles is arguably the NFL’s most talented team on paper, as it touts difference-makers at every position. The Rams now operate on a Super Bowl standard after so many years of substandard play. A Week 15 meeting with the Eagles could serve as the NFC’s changing of the guard.

Prediction: 13-3

San Francisco 49ers

A five-game winning streak to end the previous season nike nfl jerseys for cheap would have any team excited, but the 49ers must be especially exuberant this offseason since they now have their franchise quarterback signed to a long-term deal. While San Francisco’s roster still has holes, Jimmy Garoppolo’s presence in the lineup makes everything else better. Garoppolo vs. Goff to end the season will be a treat as long as the 49ers or Rams aren’t sitting the starters. San Francisco’s additions of Richard Sherman, Weston Richburg and Jerick McKinnon are just icing on the cake, as all three are talented and fit well in the team’s schemes.

Prediction: 9-7

Seattle Seahawks

Nothing lasts forever, and the Seahawks are finally feeling the effects of long-term success with an aging and nfl jerseys nike cheap  crumbling roster. Seattle doesn’t just need to replace stalwarts like Sherman—who returns to Seattle in Week 15 as a member of the 49ers—Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor; a philosophical change is necessary, too. The spotlight now shifts to Russell Wilson and the offense even though the unit still lacks a cohesive offensive line, a reliable lead back and a true outside-the-numbers threat at wide receiver.

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.

Cincinnati Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap

The Cincinnati Bengals got a big rookie season out of 2017 fourth-round defensive end Carl Lawson, and there’s still a good chance third-round pass-rusher Jordan Willis takes a big step forward in his sophomore campaign. Those two should play large roles in 2018, along with veterans Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson.

But that depth could also inspire Cincinnati to deal Dunlap prior to the final season cheap nfl jerseys china  of his five-year, $39.4 million deal. 2ac1ecb6572db5357969460052a8b9cd_crop_exact

It’s not as though the 29-year-old isn’t worth his $7 million salary after a 7.5-sack season, but a trade would save the thrifty Bengals some cash while allowing them to get something for a player who might leave next offseason.

If I were running a team in need of some pass-rushing experience, I’d be dialing up the Bengals and asking about Dunlap, or even Johnson.

The Los Angeles Chargers gave veteran cornerback Casey Hayward a authentic nfl jerseys three-year contract extension this weekend, and the Bolts got strong performances from young corners Desmond King and Trevor Williams in 2017.

General manager Tom Telesco could consider trading talented 2014 first-round pick Jason Verrett before his $8.52 million team option for 2018 becomes guaranteed.

Knee injuries have caused the 26-year-old to miss all but five games the last two years. wholesale nfl jerseys The Chargers probably won’t want to sell low, but any offer for that type of injury-prone player might work for a Bolts team with extreme deep at that position.

So if you’re a team with money and room to take a flier on a superb talent hoping to prove himself, you might want to consider making an offer to nfl jerseys wholesale Telesco.