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.

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 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.”

New York Mets

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Record: 27-26, 4th in NL East women nfl jerseys

The New York Mets are worth watching when it’s Jacob deGrom’s turn to pitch.

The formerly long-haired righty has been one of the better pitchers in baseball for several years, but nothing he’s done in the past compares to what he’s doing right now. He’s put up a 0.45 ERA over his last seven starts, with 55 strikeouts in 40.1 innings.

Otherwise, the Mets are a sinking ship.

They’re 16-25 since getting out to an 11-1 start. The injury bug has sidelined many of their stars, including Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes. Beyond that, their pitchers have managed just a 4.65 ERA during this stretch despite all the deGrominance. The club’s characteristically inefficient defense hasn’t helped.official nike nfl jerseys

At this point, the Mets’ best hope of salvaging something from 2018 involves a sale at the trade deadline.

Grade: C

Record: 35-17, 2nd in AL East

It still feels like the New York Yankees are waiting for things to click.

Although Aaron Judge is living up to his rookie year and Gleyber Torres is having a star-making rookie campaign of his own, the Yankees need Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez to settle into grooves and for Didi Gregorius to hit more like he did in April. jersey nfl cheap

The Yankees also have issues on the mound. Luis Severino has been an ace, but the rest of the rotation has struggled to maintain consistency. And outside of Aroldis Chapman and Chad Green, nobody in the team’s vaunted bullpen is meeting expectations.

And yet, the team is enjoying MLB’s highest OPS and a perfectly respectable 3.83 ERA. It’s also beat up on winning teams like no other, with a 20-7 record.

Makes you wonder what the Yankees will do when things finally click.

Grade: B+

Record: 28-28, 4th in AL West

There have been times when the Oakland Athletics have looked on the verge of breaking out, but their journey to .500 has mostly been a two steps forward, two steps back affair.

The bright spots are there. Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden and Blake Treinen are having breakout years on the mound. Lineup-wise, Jed Lowrie continues to be an underrated hitter, and Matt Chapman is arguably the best defensive player in baseball today.cheap authentic nfl jerseys china

The biggest problem the A’s have, however, is that their supposedly dangerous offense has lost its way. Its ugly .308 on-base percentage is a gateway to inconsistency, so it’s no wonder it slumped to a .640 OPS in May.

Despite their surprises, nfl official jerseys the A’s don’t have enough pitching depth to carry them. And everything has gotten magnified opposite winning teams, against whom they’re just 13-24.

Grade: C

2018 NBA Draft Odds: Latest Lines for Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic at No. 1

Arizona Wildcats center Deandre Ayton remains the betting favorite to be selected No. 1 overall by the Phoenix Suns, according to OddsShark.com, holding odds at -285 (bet $285 to win $100).

Real Madrid point guard Luka Doncic isn’t far nfl jerseys nike cheap behind at +175 odds, while the field—including players like Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson Jr. and Duke’s Marvin Bagley III—sits at +850.

The Suns certainly have a fascinating choice at No. 1. They could always shop the pick, hoping to pick up a superstar or a collection of draft picks for their ongoing rebuild. But it’s unlikely they’ll pass on the chance to take the top player on their board, who they’ll ostensibly be able to keep under team control for the next eight seasons.

In Ayton, the Suns could add a young, physically imposing center with a polished offensive game and the ability to dominate on the boards. His athleticism and his ability to potentially become a solid perimeter shooter could make him  cheap nike nfl jerseys china an ideal modern center on the offensive end.

The defensive end is where the questions begin, however. Ayton did not dominate as a rim-protector in college, and there are questions about whether he has the instincts on that end to ever be great defensively. In an NBA that has prioritized rim-protection as the most important skill for the center position, Ayton could be a liability in the long term.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

Doncic, at just 19, has already been a Euroleague champion, Euroleague MVP and Euroleague Final Four MVP in his young career. Facing far superior competition than Ayton or any other college basketball player faced this season, Doncic was the headliner for Real Madrid, showing off an assortment of skills that should translate at the NBA level.

He’s a talented facilitator who shows a craftiness beyond his years. He finishes well at the basket, creates space with a strong step-back jumper and has the size at 6’8″ and 220 pounds to play 1-3 at the NBA level. Watch Doncic’s tape and buy nike nfl jerseys cheap  you’ll see a player who looks like a savvy veteran, creating offense in a number of ways.

But like Ayton, there are questions about Doncic’s defensive upside, and unlike Ayton, there are also questions about his athleticism, which threatens to temper his long-term upside. Still, Doncic is already so good—and will have plenty of time to work on his body and chisel his frame—it would be surprising if he drops far in the draft if he isn’t the top pick overall. cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Christopher Johnson: Sam Darnold Pick Will Be Seen as Moment Jets Became Great

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Sam Darnold has yet to play a snap for the New York Jets, but that didn’t stop team CEO Christopher Johnson from hyping up what the quarterback’s arrival could mean for the franchise.

“I honestly think [people] are going to look cheap customized nfl jerseys back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new gear, that they became a great team,” Johnson told reporters Tuesday at a charity event.

The Jets selected Darnold with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, addressing a longstanding need. Since 2000, eight different players have finished as New York’s leading passer. Of that group, only Brett Favre reached a Pro Bowl.cheap nfl custom jerseys

The Jets traded up to get a quarterback, swapping first-rounders with the Indianapolis Colts and sending three second-round picks to Indianapolis. It was a big price to pay to move up three picks, but the deal should be worth it down the line.

Darnold threw for 7,229 yards and 57 touchdowns in two years with USC. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller ranked the former Trojans star as the No. 1 quarterback in this year’s draft class, comparing him to Tony Romo.nike nfl jerseys cheap

Johnson may not have done Darnold a favor by putting such high expectations on him, but the presence of Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown should ensure the Jets don’t start Darnold before he’s ready.nfl jerseys cheap nike

If Darnold fulfills his potential, then his selection in the draft could certainly be a turning point for the Jets, who have struggled for more than two decades to find a franchise quarterback.

Carolina Panthers: Sign S Tre Boston

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The Carolina Panthers selected Tre Boston out of North Carolina in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, and for the next three seasons, he was a decent pass defender at linebacker depth and proved he could prevent the occasional deep pass.nfl authentic jerseys wholesale

But when he signed with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017, Boston became a revelation in coordinator Gus Bradley’s defense. Bradley, who prefers Cover 1 and Cover 3 base schemes, used Boston as his center fielder, patrolling the deep third of the field and occasionally crashing down to help stop the run.china cheap nfl jerseys

It was a different role for Boston, but he proved very adept, grabbing a career-high five interceptions and showing estimable speed on vertical routes and to each sideline. Given the need for credible deep safeties, it’s a bit of a mystery as to why Boston remains unsigned, but the Panthers have a need in that department.

Though they took Tennessee free safety Rashaan Gaulden cheap nfl womens jerseys  in the third round, it may be better to have Gaulden move around the defense as he did in college and set Boston up in a role he really defined in 2017.

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

There isn’t a more dangerous player in the NFL with a football in his hands than Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs. Whether it’s on a go route or a punt return, if Hill finds a seam and gets past the defense, it’s all over.
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Hill is arguably the fastest player in the NFL. But as ‘s Adam Teicher opined, Hill is much more than just a receiver who can run really fast in a straight line. Head coach Andy Reid believes the same:

“It’s more than just running fast. We have a lot of fast players in the National Football League, but it’s more than that. It’s his ability to track the ball, set things up when the ball is in the air, to maintain your speed. Other guys, when the ball is in the air, that inside arm drops. It cuts their speed down three-quarters, and defensive backs can catch back up and roll.”
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This isn’t to say that the 24-year-old is a finished product after catching 75 passes for 1,183 yards and seven scores in 2017 and adding his fourth career return touchdown. Far from it.

Hill’s potential is almost limitless.

He can do things with a football you just can’t coach. As the old saying goes, you can’t teach speed.nfl cheap jerseys nike

The New York Giants just suffered through an awful 2017 season. Safety Landon Collins wasn’t spared. While Collins topped the 100-tackle mark for a third straight season, his 104 stops were a career low, and he battled injuries much of the season.

There’s a new staff in New York in 2018—including a new defensive coordinator in James Bettcher. As Tom Rock reported for Newsday, the 24-year-old Collins is enjoying Bettcher’s defensive scheme.

“It’s perfect,” Collins said. “While [Bettcher] was going over it, it was like I was in college again. It was back to what I knew like the back of my hand, and it’s going to play fast because it’s very stern.”nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“It’s very plain,” Collins said. “It’s this way or no other way. There is no second-guessing it, and you can play faster that way without having the thought in your mind about second-guessing yourself about playing on the field.”

Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Guice at No. 28

The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the league’s top running backs in cheap nfl nike jersey Le’Veon Bell, though he has yet to sign his franchise-tag tender. While this wouldn’t preclude the Steelers from drafting a running back, they surely wouldn’t spend a first-round pick on one, would they?565e5c4f8b3af4757685bf0a9cb6ae5c_crop_exact
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Considering Bell has already logged 1,229 regular-season carries, wants a long-term contract Pittsburgh apparently isn’t wanting to offer and could fetch quite a bit via trade—assuming he agrees to sign his tender—they just might. LSU’s Derrius Guice would likely be his replacement.

Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller has touted Guice as the best back in this draft class not named Saquon Barkley. Pittsburgh has also shown interest.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

According to Jon Ledyard of NDT Scouting, the Steelers have had a formal interview with Guice and will have a private dinner with him before his pro day. A few draft analysts have mocked Guice to Pittsburgh, including  Charles Davis.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

To be fair, Davis’ mock came out before the Steelers gave Bell the franchise tag, but even if Bell is in Pittsburgh this year, drafting Guice makes sense. By the time Bell hits the open market next year, the Steelers will have had him for six seasons—possibly the best seasons of his career.
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Guice would give the Steelers a reliable backup in 2017 and a top-tier starter beyond.