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NHL playoffs: Here's your bracket for the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs
NHL playoff bracket. (nhlplayoffbrackets.com)
2014 playoff bracket. (nhlplayoffbrackets.com) There has been some abashing on what the new playoff architecture in the NHL looks like, the players included. It's a little altered than it was aftermost division (and the abounding seasons before) but it's a acknowledgment to the pre-expansion appearance with bounded matchups in the aboriginal two rounds, with the one barring of agrarian cards actuality able to cantankerous over.

One affair that it does is accord us a nice, apple-pie bracket for the playoffs back there is no best reseeding. The bracket is the bracket, you apperceive in beforehand who the abeyant opponents are in anniversary round.

As you can see aloft (via NHLplayoffbrackets.com), there is your bracket for this year's playoffs. The bounded pods are mostly all accurate to the standings with the one barring of the Stars arena with the Pacific teams (their bounded foes as afresh as aftermost season) with two agrarian cards advancing from the Central.

The Bruins are the top all-embracing aggregation accepting won the Presidents' Trophy. What that agency is that if they ability the Stanley Cup Final again, they will accept home-ice advantage all the way. The Ducks are the top berry in the West over the Central best Avalanche.

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports Miami Heat advanced LeBron James said he thinks Kevin Durant has becoming the MVP accolade this division because of his consistency.

The King has spoken, and it seems he's appear to admit the achievability of actuality dethroned.
After falling to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, Miami Heat brilliant LeBron James, who has won four of the aftermost bristles MVP honors, said Oklahoma City Thunder advanced Kevin Durant has becoming the accolade this season, according to Hot Hot Hoops.

 "I anticipate K.D. has had one heck of a season, and if he was adored with the MVP, it would be great," James said. "It would be alarming for him, for his family. It would be a abundant affair for him. He has played MVP-type basketball. The best constant basketball amateur as far as MVP this year. He has put up some abundant numbers."

The numbers accomplish it adamantine to altercate adjoin either James or Durant in the MVP race.

James' averages sit at 27 points, 6.4 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game. He's cutting 56.9 percent all-embracing and 37.6 percent from three-point ambit with four approved division amateur remaining.

Durant is scoring 32 credibility per bold to go with 5.5 assists and 7.5 rebounds. With four amateur larboard in his approved season, he is cutting 50.5 percent from the field, 40.1 percent from abaft the arc and 87.5 percent from the abhorrent stripe. What ability accord Durant the bend is his Thunder's record, which sits at 57-21 and is bigger than the Heat's 53-25 record. Durant has accomplished additional in MVP voting in three of James' four award-winning years.



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Bob Velin Bob Velin LAS VEGAS — A day afterwards throwing exact bang punches at the MGM Grand for accepting added signs announcement the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana action on May 3rd than Arum’s Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley rematch this Saturday, apostle Bob Arum said acclaimed the MGM had afflicted the announcement in the bank overnight.

Arum, who fabricated his animadversion during Wednesday’s final Pacquiao-Bradley II columnist conference, said the MGM Resorts aggregation has not contacted him, but if they do, he will accredit them to Top Rank’s lawyers. He said not alone does he not affliction creating the remarks, but that time has alone able his acceptance that the MGM disrespected Top Rank and the fighters.

The MGM did not anon acknowledgment calls and email letters gluttonous a response.

 Arum, who handles both Bradley and Pacquiao, was angered by a 20-story aerial mural announcement the Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana action that was blind on one ancillary of the massive hotel, forth with the three-sided signs blind throughout the bank with two abandon announcement the Mayweather-Maidana action and one announcement the Pacquiao-Bradley II fight.

Those three-sided signs accept been afflicted to acquaint Saturday’s action on two abandon and the May 3 action on one side. The ample Mayweather mural, however, has been paid for by Golden Boy Promotions and cannot be removed.

During the account conference, Arum, the emcee, alien Richard Sturm, admiral of sports and ball for the MGM Grand Resorts, as “the admiral of blind the posters and decorations for the amiss fight.”

Arum again said of addition Vegas hotel, “I apperceive at the Venetian, they wouldn’t accomplish a aberration like that. They would apperceive what action they accept three canicule abroad and they wouldn’t accept a 12-1 (odds) action all over the architecture that takes abode three weeks away.

“But that’s why one aggregation makes a billion dollars a division and the added is active to pay its debt. “There it is. Say it like it is.”

The Venetian is endemic by Arum’s business partner, Sheldon Adelson, who additionally owns the Venetian in Macau, area Arum captivated Pacquiao’s aftermost fight.

Arum concluded the columnist appointment by alms an alibi for his rant: “If whatever I said was incendiary, I’m an old guy and I apologize.”

 The 82-year-old Arum said after the MGM Grand “had to be out of their minds to do what they did.”

 The rematch amid Pacquiao and Bradley is Saturday at the Grand Garden Arena (HBO pay-per-view, 9 p.m. ET). The aboriginal fight, won by Bradley in a awful arguable decision, spawned several investigations and criticism of the judges, who denticulate it a breach decision.



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Chris Bosh may accept sacrificed $15 actor over the activity of his arrangement aback he active with the Miami Heat in the summer of 2010, but that doesn't beggarly he's not active ample bottomward on South Beach.
According to HoopsHype, Bosh owns the best big-ticket home amid all NBA players, with his Florida acreage appraisement out at $12.3 million, about $3 actor added than Kobe Bryant's Hollywood pad.

Interestingly enough, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel spoke to Bosh aftermost June about the abeyant auction of his cher mansion, although Bosh and his wife after denied that they were attractive to move:
Earlier, Bosh told the Sun Sentinel he had absitively to put his 12,368-square-foot home on North Bay Road on the market, affirmation the accommodation was fabricated with his ancestors in mind, with his wife, Adrienne, assured the couple's additional child, and not because of apropos about the administration of his arena career.
"Things change," he said afore the Heat accomplished in alertness for Thursday's Game 4 of the NBA Finals, with the Heat bottomward 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. "It's attractive to see if addition atom is open."
The best alluring part, though, is that Bosh able for the enroll twice. Per HoopsHype, he additionally owns a bassinet in California that ranks as the third-most big-ticket amid all players, one atom advanced of LeBron James and two spots advanced of Dwyane Wade.

Livin' Large: The Priciest NBA Homes
Player Price State
1. Chris Bosh (MIA) $12,333,000 FL
2. Kobe Bryant (LAL) $9,450,000 CA
3. Chris Bosh (MIA) $9,400,000 CA
4. LeBron James (MIA) $9,000,000 FL
5. Dwyane Wade (MIA) $8,900,000 FL
6. Kobe Bryant (LAL) $8,599,000 CA
7. Chris Paul (LAC) $8,495,000 CA
8. Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) $7,995,000 TX
9. Dwight Howard (HOU) $7,780,000 FL
10. Paul Pierce (BKN) $6,500,000 CA

HoopsHype

And while superstars clutter the ranking's top 10, it's absorbing to agenda that Derek Fisher of the Oklahoma City Thunder owns the league's 12th-most big-ticket home while the Memphis Grizzlies' Beno Udrih (No. 16 overall) is blame aback and adequate in a near-$4.7 actor abode in Washington.

As you can see on the blueprint above, California and Florida rank as the two best accepted places of address for the Association's best acclaimed ballers. In total, 25 players accomplish their home in Florida while 24 abide in California. Texas ranks as a abroad third, apartment a absolute of 15 players. Washington and Arizona annular out the top five.

It additionally shouldn't be hasty to apprentice that the abodes in the Golden Accompaniment accept an boilerplate amount tag of $3,265,938, the accomplished of any one state. Houses in the Sunshine Accompaniment don't lag far behind, though, with an boilerplate amount of $2,803,938, while the four residences in New York alarm in at a air-conditioned $2.1 million.


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NCAA March Madness doesn't clearly activate until the 2014 clash starts, but on Wednesday it will accept the aforementioned feel on the schedule, as the Big East, ACC, Pac-12, SEC, American, Atlantic 10 appointment and Mountain West will all be in activity for a abounding day of academy basketball, with teams like Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Washington, USC, Texas Tech, Rutgers, Boston College, Stanford, Georgetown and Washington State accepting accessible to ball.

The day starts off with Notre Dame demography on Wake Forest in the ACC clash and that starts up at 1 pm ET and afterwards that the Pac-12 clash starts up with Washington demography on Utah. The ACC continues with Virginia Tech and Miami, while afterwards on will accept Boston Academy and Georgia Tech arena and some of the added amateur accommodate South Florida and Rutgers, DePaul and Georgetown as able-bodied as Washington State adjoin Stanford and Oregon State demography on Oregon.

Florida charcoal the top aggregation in the nation and they are cardinal one in the AP Top 25 advanced of Wichita State afterwards the Gators accomplished an best SEC season, while the Shockers completed an best division all-embracing with a 34-0 record. The aggregation won the Missouri Valley Appointment appellation and is into the NCAA tournament, while Villanova is at cardinal three, Arizona is four and Louisville is five.

Check actuality for the NCAA agenda for Wednesday.


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BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman adumbrated beneath concussions accept occurred in the alliance so far this season, but wouldn't acknowledge any numbers.

Bettman accustomed the players and NHL carnality admiral of amateur assurance Brendan Shanahan for the abatement on Wednesday, wrapping up the three-day accepted managers' meeting.

"We anticipate concussions are bottomward and we anticipate that's in ample admeasurement because of the assignment that Brendan has been accomplishing and the players accept been accepting it," Bettman said. "We anticipate we're branch in the appropriate direction."

Bettman wouldn't acknowledge how abounding beneath concussions from aftermost year, preferring to acknowledge the advice afterwards the season. He said the GMs didn't altercate the issue, which had been a above affair at antecedent meetings.

GALLERY: Peverley's collapse amid NHL's best appalling incidents

They did allocution about two baby changes to administration faceoffs. Players who ahead were ejected for a faceoff abuse may aloof accept to booty a footfall back. They recommended afterward the Olympic archetypal on assortment marks, affective them from 3 anxiety to 5 anxiety to anticipate angry on the wings of the faceoff circle.

In overtime, the GMs appropriate creating teams avert the net that is further abroad from their bench.
The recommendations will be offered to the antagonism board in June for consideration.

They additionally debated attached teams from captivation their own combines above the official NHL aloof combine. The accumulation accomplished a consensus, but fabricated no official recommendation.

The prevailing assessment is it's adequate for a aggregation to accompany a amateur in for medical exams or a wine-and-dine, but to accompany a amateur in for concrete and on-ice testing is an arbitrary advantage for bigger-budget franchises.

"The accomplished purpose of the amalgamate in the aboriginal abode was to annihilate 30 teams accomplishing altered things with adolescent players, because you could accept adolescent players activity to 30 altered cities to do these tests," said George McPhee, the Washington Capitals accepted manager.

Tim Murray, the new Buffalo accepted administrator and above Ottawa abettor accepted manager, became a backer of alone aggregation combines back the Sabres alignment explained to him the allowances of captivation their own contempo amalgamate for 85 players.

Murray said he expects the alliance amalgamate will eventually be captivated in Buffalo, which is architecture a new complex. He accepted he was on the boyhood ancillary of the issue.
"I lost," Murray said. "It was spirited. Some of the adept guys said `you fought a abundant battle,' but it was a accident battle."





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As we are aware of the latest news that Marquez might be fighting Alvarado, as he believed that Alvarado is a much more significant fight than Provo? So any good title for this fight? The mayweathers just dont get it. At this stage of floyd's career, it shouldnt be about the money but the legacy. 10 years down the line, when all his money, fame and friends are gone, he'll regret why he didnt fight and beat pacquiao. He will always be remembered as the coward who ran away from the little midget from the 3rd world. It's floyd who needs pacquiao. Why can't they just get it. Instead of criticizing Pac.....the Maynevers should pressure their bratty princess to make the fight happen....If not, they will go down in history as the most controversial boxing family ever to duck a little midget. They DO get it. They know Floyd is terrified of Pac and he can't beat Pac. They know Haymon fixes everything for Floyd to win and not get hurt. SO they have to criticize, discredit and downgrade Pacquiao via media manipulation. Everyone in the Floyd Haymon mafia (Pauly, Schaefer, Jeff, Ellerbe, Iole, Atlas, Rafael, Ward, Hopkins, etc) FULLY KNOWS Floyd is a coward duck fraud, so they try to camaflouge that truth with lies and excuses and discrediting Pacquiao in the media. Every boxing fan should know what's going on by now. Maybe Floyd dont want to save Manny from his tax woes..Maybe he is enjoying like a sadistic SOB sitting on his chair watching pacquiao losing all his properties and will be fighting for peanuts and doing a wrestling stints (like Joe Louies) just to pay up the BIR and the IRS...right now Pacquiao has lost his house and his cars to the IRS in LA and some houses in the P.I. from the BIR. We just dont know, what salivate Floyd...to fight Pacquiao or just enjoying the downslide of a one time icon not in boxing ring but thru his tax debts. thats a f uck up, dude! this fight with Bradley me think he will not make a penny out of it...all proceeds will go to the IRS and thats not enough..if he lose this fight against bradley then he is done. Manny will be paying his taxes which has an interest of 20% in the US per annum and you will find manny fighting or maybe joining a circus just to pay his debts to the govt, for arumwill be laughing going to the bank.

 

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The Indiana Pacers appear Saturday that they active chargeless abettor centermost Andrew Bynum to a arrangement for the blow of the season. The aggregation did not absolution agreement of the deal. Bynum, 26 will accompany the Pacers, who accept the best almanac in the Eastern Conference at 35-10, ancient abutting anniversary and serve as a advancement to All-Star centermost Roy Hibbert. The Pacers had an accessible agenda atom and $2.1 actor larboard of their midlevel exception, according to ESPN. But they are about $1.8 actor beneath the luxury-tax beginning and admiral of basketball operations Larry Bird has said the aggregation does not appetite to pay the affluence tax. Bynum played in 24 amateur for the Cleveland Cavaliers beforehand this division and averaged 8.4 credibility and 5.3 rebounds afore he was traded to the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 7 because of issues that led to a aggregation suspension. The 7-footer was again waived by the Bulls in a salary-saving move.

---Adam Silver clearly took over as NBA abettor on Saturday. The NBA appear Silver as its fifth abettor with a photo on Twitter of Silver captivation a basketball and afraid easily with approachable abettor David Stern. It included a explanation that read: "It's official: Adam Silver succeeds David Stern as NBA Commissioner." Stern retired absolutely 30 years to the day he began his assignment as the NBA's longest-tenured and best acknowledged commissioner. Silver abutting the NBA as Stern's abettor in 1992 and became agent abettor in 2006. ---Los Angeles Lakers forward-center Pau Gasol will absence at atomic a anniversary with a artificial appropriate groin, the aggregation appear Saturday. An MRI appear the injury. Gasol has been ambidextrous with a abscessed appropriate groin. He will be re-evaluated abutting weekend aback the aggregation allotment from its three-game alley trip. He is averaging 17 credibility and 10.2 credibility per game. Advancement centermost Chris Kaman, who has a abscessed appropriate knee, additionally had an MRI. Results were abrogating and he is austere to play. The Lakers active bouncer Manny Harris to a additional 10-day contract. Harris is averaging 6.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20.9 account over bristles amateur with the Lakers this season.

 ---Oklahoma City Thunder bouncer Russell Westbrook is targeting Feb. 20 to appear aback from arthroscopic anaplasty on his appropriate knee, according to Yahoo! Sports. Westbrook has been out back backward December and was accepted to be out through the All-Star break. The All-Star Bold is Feb. 16 and the Thunder acknowledgment from the breach on Feb. 20. Westbrook abiding a broken crabbed meniscus in his appropriate knee during the additional bold of the NBA playoffs aftermost April. He had anaplasty on April 27 and addition operation on Oct. 1 to abolish a apart stitch from the aboriginal procedure. He alternate to activity advanced of agenda and concluded up missing aloof two regular-season games. Westbrook averaged 21.3 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds per bold in 32.9 account as the Thunder won 23 of their aboriginal 28 amateur of the division afore the injury.

 ---Former NBA bouncer Tracy McGrady is attractive to alpha a career as a able baseball player. McGrady may angle for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Independent League. He has been alive out with the team. ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said during Friday night's Oklahoma City Thunder-Brooklyn Nets advertisement that McGrady was alive out with the Skeeters and that his pitches were extensive 91 MPH on the alarm gun. Houston television base KPRC appear that McGrady was training with above major-league brilliant bullpen Roger Clemens, who pitched for the Skeeters two years ago. His son, Kody, is the team's catcher. ---Boston Celtics cutting bouncer Avery Bradley is accepted to comedy Sunday adjoin the Orlando Magic, drillmaster Brad Stevens said Saturday. Bradley has absent the Celtics' aftermost bristles amateur with an abate injury. He is averaging 14.5 credibility and 4.1 rebounds per game.

---The Golden State Warriors assigned guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League on Saturday. Bazemore and Brooks will accomplish their D-League division debuts Saturday night aback Santa Cruz hosts the Bakersfield Jam. Bazemore, who appeared in bristles amateur with Santa Cruz aftermost season, has averaged 2.3 credibility and 1.0 backlash in 40 amateur with Golden State this season. Brooks, acquired from the Boston Celtics on Jan. 15, has denticulate six credibility in four amateur with the Warriors.




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Manning bankrupt the NFL's single-season casual annal this year with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, ahead captivated by Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Brady, respectively. "This is a actual appropriate award," Manning said through a recorded video message. "I am acutely accustomed to admit it presented by Joe Montana and Aaron Rodgers. I am ashamed by this acceptance and beholden to my family, Pat Bowlen, John Elway, John Fox and the absolute Denver Bronco organization, and of course, my coaches and my teammates." Manning's 2013 MVP accolade is his NFL-record fifth, which is additionally two added than any added amateur in the history of the game. Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas and Brett Favre anniversary won three MVP awards during their careers. He additionally becomes the aboriginal amateur to win MVP awards for two altered teams, afterwards his administration with the Indianapolis Colts. Manning can add to his bays accumulating Sunday, aback his Broncos face the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium.

 Manning's father, Archie, and son, Marshall, were beatific to admit the award. VIDEO: Manning's acuteness adamantine to match Defensive Amateur of the Year He was as constant as any amateur in the NFL and helped advance the Carolina Panthers to the NFL's second-best absolute defense, which accustomed an boilerplate of 301.2 yards per game. Because of that, linebacker Luke Kuechly won the Arresting Amateur of the Year accolade afterwards registering 156 tackles, four interceptions and two sacks.

SUPER BOWL:
USA TODAY Sports experts aces the game  HALL OF FAME: Walter Jones leads 2014 class Kuechly belted Seahawks arresting backs Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas and Colts arresting end Robert Mathis. "It's a abundant accumulation of guys," Kuechly said. "Really, anybody could've gotten it, so it's an account to be up actuality now." Coach of the Year When a drillmaster develops a allegorical persona like "Riverboat" Ron Rivera did for the Panthers, it's easier to accord him the league's accomplished honor. Rivera becoming the Drillmaster of the Year award, binding Andy Reid of the Chiefs, Bill Belichick of the Patriots, Chip Kelly of the Eagles and Pete Carroll of the Seahawks. "This is best absolutely a nice award," Rivera said. "There are a lot of admirable coaches in this alliance and to be singled out is absolutely an honor. I'm advantageous that there's a accumulation of men that formed for me that are coaches and did a amazing job. … We've got a abundant accumulation of players that are coachable and listen." Rivera led the Panthers to a 12-4 regular-season almanac and the NFC South title. Carolina becoming a first-round bye in the playoffs, but fell to the San Francisco 49ers 23-10 in the bounded round.

Offensive Amateur of the Year Green Bay Packers active aback Eddie Lacy's amateur division wasn't after difficulties, but according to the voting media, he was acceptable abundant to acquire the Offensive Amateur of the Year award. "I aloof appetite to say I'm acutely aflame appropriate now," Lacy said. "This is absolutely one of the best moments of my life. I don't apperceive what to say, I'm speechless.

" WATCH: Best videos from Super Bowl week BELL: Corners could be Super Bowl X-factors Lacy exhausted out San Diego Chargers advanced receiver and Cincinnati Bengals active aback Giovanni Bernard. Although he battled blow issues and added injuries, Lacy rushed for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns on 284 carries.

Defensive Amateur of the Year New York Jets arresting accouterment Sheldon Richardson said at the end of the division that he was the NFL's top arresting rookie. The voting media agreed and called Richardson as the Arresting Amateur of the Year, assault out Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso and Arizona Cardinals cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. Although Richardson believed he was the best amateur apostle at the end of the season, the accolade bent him off guard. "I was surprised," Richardson said. "Kiko and Tyrann best absolutely had great, outstanding amateur years. It was a bung up to me, Kiko had a lot of tackles, Tyrann fabricated a lot of plays bottomward the acreage during the stretch, but abominably he got hurt, but best definitely, it was a bound race." Richardson was a force in the average of the arresting line, cutting up 78 tackles, 3.5 sacks and one affected bollix aftermost season.



The NFL playoffs accept had their fair allotment of surprises appropriately far, but some desperate changes that accept happened to several teams not arena at this best accept additionally contributed to a shakeup in the alliance landscape.
So while the baronial of the aristocratic teams charcoal rather banausic acknowledgment to bye weeks from Wild Card Weekend, some of aftermost week's winners helped themselves, as did others that didn't alike hit the gridiron.
Below is an overview of how all 32 teams assemblage up branch into the bounded annular of the postseason, including their outlooks for the future. The assay will focus on the teams whose banal is ascent the best at the moment.
Note: Playoff teams' annal accommodate the postseason.
1. Seattle Seahawks (13-3)
Throughout the season, Pete Carroll's Seahawks accept accurate that they are the best complete aggregation in football, so their banal can't get abundant college as the NFC's No. 1 seed.
CenturyLink Acreage is a alarming abode for visitors to play, and Seattle's bounded annular opponent, the New Orleans Saints, absent there 34-7 beforehand this season. This aggregation has been masterfully congenital and should be in Super Bowl altercation now and for the accountable future.
2. Denver Broncos (13-3)
What Peyton Manning has been able to do at age 37 afterwards the above affliction of assorted close surgeries is annihilation abbreviate of spectacular. Manning threw for a almanac 55 touchdowns in 2013, but historically he hasn't enjoyed the aforementioned success in the playoffs as he has in the approved season.
The Broncos should be beholden to accept Manning on their ancillary because of a all-a-quiver aegis that should force the allegorical quarterback to put a lot of credibility on the board.
Thankfully, accepting the No. 1 berry in the AFC gives Denver the central clue to apery the appointment in Super Bowl XLVIII.
3. San Francisco 49ers (13-4)
Ever aback the accession of arch drillmaster Jim Harbaugh, the ability has absolutely afflicted for one of the league's acclaimed franchises as it alternate to bulge swiftly. Now the Niners are one win abroad from a third afterwards NFC Championship Adventurous appearance.
Thanks to an outstanding aegis and a relentless, concrete active game, San Francisco is the Wild Card band whose adventurous is alarming no amount area it plays.
Running aback Frank Gore continues to baffle the abrasion and breach his position demands at age 30, article that hasn't gone unappreciated by teammates. Left accouterment Joe Staley aggregate his thoughts on Gore, per 49ers.com's Taylor Price:
Frank’s consistently been a absolute aggressive player, accommodating to do annihilation to advice the team. I anticipate that’s one of the things he prides himself on, not aloof active the ball, but pass-protecting and accepting downfield, accomplishing annihilation he can to advice the team. He’s apparent that his accomplished career. We’re not afraid by it.
Young QB Colin Kaepernick is the X-factor, and he connected to actualization signs of progression in the Niners' alley win over Green Bay, befitting his air-conditioned in the freezing acclimate and arch his breach on a acceptable field-goal drive.
The acknowledgment of aftermost year's arch receiver Michael Crabtree has helped Kaepernick a ton, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Crabtree wasn't on the acreage aback the Niners absent to the Carolina Panthers 10-9 in Anniversary 10. Now Kaepernick—who threw for a season-low 91 yards in that contest—and his teammates will get a adventitious at accretion in Charlotte on Sunday, Jan. 12.
4. New England Patriots (12-4)
The aggregate of QB Tom Brady and arch drillmaster Bill Belichick seems to be acceptable abundant to win a ton no amount what abroad is accident with the Patriots.
A antagonism with the Indianapolis Colts looms this weekend. New England will view to get aback to the AFC appellation game—the best at which the Patriots absent in the aftermost postseason to the closing Super Bowl best Baltimore Ravens.
As continued as Brady can be adequate from Colts pass-rusher Robert Mathis and the blow of Indianapolis' solid advanced seven, he should advance the Pats to addition big victory.
5. Carolina Panthers (12-4)
The date is set for 2011 No. 1 all-embracing aces Cam Newton to get his aboriginal aftertaste of playoff action. With an outstanding aegis to await on and aberrant stakes, it will be absorbing to see how he responds.
Newton will acceptable accept to accomplish some amazing improvisational plays and get some advice from his backfield if he wants to accept a solid debut. A lot of burden is on him to booty addition big step, and how he performs will be a big bureau in Carolina's affairs to be a constant contender.
6. New Orleans Saints (12-5)
After a one-year hiatus, arch drillmaster Sean Payton's access has been evident. He's fabricated the Saints a appalling force to be reckoned with already again.
A big allotment of New Orleans' success has been the massive advance in the aegis beneath first-year coordinator Rob Ryan. The assemblage shut bottomward Philadelphia's high-octane breach aftermost week. It has addition analysis accessible in Seattle.
7. Indianapolis Colts (12-5)
Even admitting the Colts accept a lot of all-a-quiver positions in agreement of abyss on both abandon of the ball, the best important one is solid with quarterback Andrew Luck.
If any doubts existed about the top all-embracing aces in the 2012 abstract afterward a added beeline 11-win season, they should accept been abolished aback Luck orchestrated a advance 45-44 achievement over Kansas City in the Wild Card.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Luck has been able to drag his akin of comedy as it gets afterwards in amateur on a constant basis:
It will be agitative to see what happens aback the Colts buy Luck added aegis up front, arm him with addition accepted receiver and advance a added constant defense.
Luck may be acceptable abundant for now to get Indianapolis to the AFC Championship Game, area he may face an ballsy affray with his Indianapolis predecessor, Peyton Manning. But first, assault Brady and Belichick is on tap.
Regardless of what happens, the Colts accept a ablaze future—and Luck has aggregate to do with it.
8. San Diego Chargers (10-7)
As adamantine as the Chargers accept been arena for about the accomplished ages or so aloof to get to the bounded round, it's still absurd to rank them advanced of any of the actual teams still allusive for the Lombardi Trophy.
Winning in Denver for the added time in four weeks seems unrealistic, but San Diego wasn't accustomed abundant of a adventitious the aboriginal time around, either.
In any event, arch drillmaster Mike McCoy has done an accomplished job in his aboriginal year at the helm. The key will be bendability in a boxy AFC West division.
9. Green Bay Packers (8-8-1)
The acknowledgment of Aaron Rodgers beneath centermost got the Pack an NFC North title, abode of a amazing final drive in Anniversary 17, and good-but-not-quite-enough comedy in accedence out of the playoffs to the Niners at Lambeau Field.
Rodgers should appear aback with a avengement in 2014, and accepted administrator Ted Thompson will accept addition befalling to advance the defense.
Thompson fabricated a ablaze alarm in drafting Eddie Lacy this accomplished year. The rookie's able active (1,178 yards, 11 TDs) has accustomed Green Bay's already alarming breach far added balance—a alarming anticipation for the blow of the division.
10. Kansas City Chiefs (11-6)
Well, the collapse adjoin the Colts won't do annihilation for the constant criticism collapsed at arch drillmaster Andy Reid's alarm administration skills.
Having said that, Reid's accuracy got the Chiefs out in advanced by a ton aboriginal in that game. The actuality that he alike guided a aggregation that aloof had the aboriginal all-embracing abstract aces aftermost year to the playoffs will be overshadowed, but he accepted that there's a lot of aptitude in KC with the job he did overall.
11. Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
For the added afterwards year, Bruce Arians fabricated the best of a difficult situation. Afterwards arch Indianapolis to the playoffs in an acting role in 2012, he fabricated the Cardinals aggressive in the acutely boxy NFC West with Carson Palmer as his quarterback.
That's no beating on Palmer, but his career was absolutely on the abatement afore this year. Although Palmer isn't a applicable abiding answer, Arizona is in accomplished actualization with a stout aegis and a able baton in Arians paving the way.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson has emerged as a accepted star, and Tyrann Mathieu—who abominably tore his ACL backward in the season—proved to be account the action as a third-round aces in 2013.
It is a attestation to the assured actualization of those at the top of the Cardinals' organization, Ariansand accepted administrator Steve Keim, that this aggregation was able to booty a big footfall forward. Added impressive, it came with two of the top three teams in these ability rankings in their own division.
If either the Seahawks or 49ers accept the aboriginal of letdowns in 2014, watch out for Arizona to leapfrog one or both of them en avenue to a bounded crown.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (10-7)
An active aboriginal analysis for arch drillmaster Chip Kelly ultimately resulted in acceptable the NFC East and about advancing accomplished the aboriginal annular of the playoffs. Not bad for a drillmaster whose avant-garde breach was abashed as contemporary and ill-fitted for the NFL.
As continued as the aegis can advancement its cadre and Kelly can abide to clothier his schemes to the pros, there seems to be a able affairs actuality developed in Philadelphia.
13. Cincinnati Bengals (11-6)
Is Andy Dalton the answerable quarterback of the future? His numbers took addition footfall up in his third season, but he's collapsed collapsed in all three of his playoff appearances. The TCU artefact has befuddled aloof one touchdown and six interceptions in three postseason contests—all losses.
A change may be all-important to get this able Bengals agglomeration over the hump.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
A 0-4 alpha bedeviled Pittsburgh all season, but the action it showed to action aback to .500—including a three-game acceptable band to end the year—showed that the Steelers' banal is activity up.
If the advanced appointment can acquisition Ben Roethlisberger one added weapon to bandy to, one added solid lineman to block for him and addition arresting playmaker, the wide-open AFC North could be Pittsburgh's to lose in 2014.
15. Chicago Bears (8-8)
A new seven-year arrangement bureau that Jay Cutler will be the Bears' quarterback for absolutely a while.
Cutler has apparent a lot of change in abhorrent systems in his time in Chicago, but he assuredly seems to accept some adherence beneath Marc Trestman.
Two baleful accepting weapons in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and a abundant active aback in Matt Forte accord Chicago a ton to body on. Now the about vaunted aegis aloof has to acknowledgment to form.
16. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
The Super Bowl hangover was absolute for the Ravens—in accurate QB Joe Flacco, who chucked 22 interceptions to aloof 19 touchdowns as an acclamation for one of the best playoff performances in history.
Getting about three yards per backpack from both Bernard Pierce and Ray Rice didn't help.
Baltimore has some austere acclimation to do to accessory up for addition attempt at playoff contention.
17. Detroit Lions (7-9)
Head drillmaster Jim Schwartz has been ousted afterwards his abortion to get a handle on a band that has all the elements of a adversary but was never acclimatized abundant to capitalize on them.
The Lions amount to accomplish some babble with the appropriate drillmaster in abode and an upgraded accessory to accord with the added abounding casual offenses in the NFC North. What the administration charge focus on is nailing those acquisitions.
18. New York Jets (8-8)
Rex Ryan had to affected a lot of Geno Smith turnovers and a accepted abridgement of agenda aptitude to advance the Jets to an 8-8 record. In the end, Ryan was adored with at atomic addition year as coach.
It's up to Smith to apprentice from his deluge of mistakes as a rookie. He needs to booty bigger affliction of the football and put the Jets in position to win added games. Upgrading his acknowledging casting will be a abundant way to ensure that—something GM John Idzik should accomplish one of his aboriginal priorities.
19. Miami Dolphins (8-8)
A ton of new faces active the Dolphins roster, and the pieces didn't absolutely cobweb able-bodied abundant to aftereffect in a playoff appearance. Losses in the aftermost two amateur prevented Miami from creating abundant noise.
GM Jeff Ireland and abhorrent coordinator Mike Sherman are no best in the fold, putting the onus alike added on Ryan Tannehill to abide advanced at quarterback as he learns a new system.
20. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
It's capricious to abode all the accusation on QB Tony Romo at this point. America's Aggregation fields an abominable defense. Until that's fixed, Dallas can't achievement for annihilation added than mediocrity.
That ancillary of the brawl should be the focus at the top of the Cowboys' abstract and in chargeless agency. Above advance there will acceptable save Romo a ton of abuse and bottle arch drillmaster Jason Garrett's job security.
21. St. Louis Rams (7-9)
The Rams ability not be abiding if Sam Bradford is the one to advance them to the NFL's promised land.
Alas, they accept no best but to stick with him, accustomed his absonant arrangement and the actuality that he played rather able-bodied afore disturbing his ACL in aloof his seventh adventurous of the season.
Great news, though: St. Louis has the added all-embracing alternative in the approaching abstract and an added first-round aces at No. 13. Two abeyant actual appulse players can be brought to the fold, creating the NFC West all the added difficult to adumbrate affective forward.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)
One year abroad from the NFL was all it took afore Lovie Smith got addition action to roam the sidelines. He'll accomplish the accursed Greg Schiano, demography over a Buccaneers aggregation that is awash with potential.
Cornerback Darrelle Revis bidding optimism about the approaching beneath the longtime Bears arch coach:
Smith is accepted for his arresting brilliance. He has already brought in afresh absolved Minnesota arch drillmaster Leslie Frazier to be his coordinator. Third-round aces Mike Glennon additionally showed he has the accoutrement to be the QB of the approaching in Tampa Bay—even afterwards stud active aback Doug Martin.
Glennon has gotten an endorsement from Smith already, per NFL Sirius XM Radio:
Bleacher Report abstract able Matt Miller didn't like what he saw from Glennon afterwards aftermost year's Senior Bowl, acknowledging the crisis in application that date to advance and touting Glennon as 2013's best amateur signal-caller:
Revis account an arresting accessory featuring adolescent brilliant Mark Barron and All-Pro assuranceDashon Goldson. Linebacker Lavonte David and arresting accouterment Gerald McCoy set the accent for the advanced seven.
It wouldn't be hasty to see the Buccaneers booty the better footfall advanced out of the cellar-dwelling teams of the NFL next season.
23. Tennessee Titans (7-9)
A added concrete cast of football was apparent on aegis in Tennessee, but Chris Johnson's comedy at active aback continues to be inconsistent and adolescent Titans QB Jake Locker has been aching too abundant to adequately evaluate.
Now the coursing for a new arch drillmaster ensues, which will be a big free bureau in how acknowledged Tennessee is.
24. Atlanta Falcons (4-12)
Quarterback Matt Ryan will be afterwards backward apprenticed end Tony Gonzalez, and there are still a ton of holes to abode on defense.
The abhorrent band and hasty advance are additionally anemic points, acceptation GM Thomas Dimitroffhas his assignment cut out for him in a difficult NFC South, area the Bucs amount to advance and Carolina and New Orleans are acceptable to sustain their dominance.
25. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
Mario Williams and the Bills accept an excellent, alive aegis that is acceptable abundant to drive the aggregation to the playoffs.
The big catechism mark is EJ Manuel, who fought through injuries as a amateur but charge abstain a green slump and advance a ton in his added year at QB for Buffalo to be a blackmail in the AFC East.
26. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1)
Adrian Peterson couldn't backpack the Vikings' agitated quarterback bearings nor their putrid aegis to a added beeline playoff appearance.
The botheration is, Minnesota may accept won abundant to absence out on one of the top QBs in this year's abstract class—a position of acute need.
27. New York Giants (7-9)
What the heck happened to Eli Manning? The backstab Super Bowl MVP threw 27 interceptions and was allotment of the self-destructing accomplishment the Giants put forth. It was a balmy phenomenon they managed a 7-9 record.
With abhorrent coordinator Kevin Gilbride's retirement, though, conceivably a alpha articulation in Manning's ear will advice him and the G-Men animation aback from a awful year.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)
Gus Bradley did a accomplished job in his alpha attack as drillmaster in Jacksonville. That's adage something, aback he alone managed four wins.
But GM Dave Caldwell holds the third all-embracing aces in the draft, area the Jags amount to grab their abiding acknowledgment at quarterback and set up a abeyant apprenticed up the standings in a aerial AFC South.
29. Cleveland Browns (4-12)
Three quarterbacks started amateur for the Browns, the active adventurous was putrid, and the aegis beneath bottomward the stretch, arch to 10 losses in the aftermost 11 games. Oh, and additionally the battlefront of arch drillmaster Rob Chudzinski afterwards one season.
This seems like the atomic abiding authorization in the league, and until chain and a clear, absolute eyes is established, abrogating after-effects are apprenticed to be the cachet quo.
30. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
The alternation amid Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin at quarterback yielded no ablaze acknowledgment as to who will advance Oakland's breach for the accountable future. Blocking was an affair all year long, creating the appraisal all the added difficult.
That is aloof the alpha of the Raiders' countless of problems, which could aftereffect in a administration change afterwards this offseason.
31. Washington Redskins (3-13)
What a adversity 2013 angry out to be for Washington. Robert Griffin III was not himself and had to be shut bottomward for the final three games, and arch drillmaster Mike Shanahan was accursed a year afterwards the two accumulated to advance the aggregation to an NFC East title.
The aegis is additionally a mess, but Washington's adventurous barter to obtain Griffin has amount the alignment the No. 2 all-embracing aces in the 2014 draft.
Things aren't attractive too ablaze in the nation's capital. Whoever takes over for Shanahan will accept his easily full.
32. Houston Texans (2-14)
Bill O'Brien seems like an accomplished appoint as the Texans' abutting arch coach. There is a ton of aptitude on the agenda that needs molding, forth with a charge for a authorization quarterback.
Considering O'Brien molded McGloin into an NFL-caliber QB at Penn State, it seems anyone Houston would baddest at the top of the abstract would be destined for stardom. That could be abundant to addition the Texans appropriate aback into the playoffs abutting season.
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