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NFL Week 12 matchups: An insiders' guide

Yardbarkers Sam Robinson and Michael Nania go deep inside NFL games each week, focusing on key numbers and roster issues. GLOSSARY: DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average):A method of evaluating teams, units or players in a comparative fashion. It takes every play during the NFL season and compares each to a league-average baseline based on situation. EPA (Estimated Points Added):The measure of a plays impact on the score of the game. It represents the difference between a teams expected poin...

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The missing piece: Why the NFL suddenly reached out to Colin Kaepernick's camp with workout offer

The prevailing theory for why the NFL invited Colin Kaepernick for a unique workout last week is that the league was trying to mitigate against a second collusion lawsuit from the free agent quarterback. The league springing the offer on Kaepernick only four days ahead of time and giving him just two hours to accept the offer, while not coordinating his team ahead of time, signals that their intentions were less than pure, as discussed in Larry Brown Sports lengthy analysis on the topic. But why...

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Carmelo Anthony unlikely to save Portland, but let's enjoy the thrill ride

The Carmelo Anthony-Portland Trail Blazers era began in New Orleans on Tuesday night, and like most Melo things the past five years, it was occasionally great, often bad, and very watchable. Portlands injury-plagued front court and Melos year of joblessness brought the two together, a fit that makes sense culturally if not basketball-wise. What other city besides Portland loves hats and strip clubs as much as Melo, after all And while its unlikely that this move is going to save Portlands season...

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Why 2017 NFL running back class holds key to position's future

The running back positions prestige peak occurred decades ago in the NFL. Most teams have steadily devoted fewer resources to acquiring starters at the position, leading to the jobs plummeting value, but major recent investments have thrust running backs into a strange place. From July 2018-September 2019, contracts given to Todd Gurley (Rams), David Johnson (Cardinals), LeVeon Bell (Jets) and Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys) transformed a stagnant running back market. Those deals, for the most part, h...

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Week 12 NFL mismatches: Why Steelers, Bears, Saints could roll

Yardbarkers Michael Nania analyzes the biggest positional mismatches each week during the NFL season. Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt vs. Bengals RT Bobby Hart Why Hart is overmatched:Among tackles, he is tied for sixth in penalties (nine) and has allowed the eighth-most pressures (30). Hart ranks a more respectable 33rd of 61 qualified tackles in pass blocking efficiency, as he has played the fifth-most pass-block snaps among tackles (438). But his struggles are a major reason why the Bengals of...

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Colin Kaepernick's workout doesn't settle anything

If theres one mantra the NFL seems to believe when it comes to scandal, its that all things shall pass. Beset by many major controversies over the past decade, from a cover-up of the consequences of head trauma to rampant abuse of painkillers and leniency on domestic violence, the league has largely been right that things can be smoothed over in time. One major exception is the blackballing of former San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick, who started a massive controversy when he kneeled during the ...

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James Harden's absurd season represented in five stats

Houstons James Harden is going to average 40 points this season. Read that sentence again. 40 POINTS. EVERY GAME. FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON. Absolutely absurd. Here we thought that last season, when Harden averaged 36.1 points (the most since Michael Jordans 37.1 in 1986-87), was a historical anomaly made possible by injuries and the Rockets extreme reliance on advanced analytics. Well, it looks like we were dead wrong. Last season wasnt an anomaly, it was just the beginning. This season, despite Hou...

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