Review Category : National Sports

Ravens Preparing for ‘Physical’ Game Against Texans

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — The Ravens enter Sunday’s game against the Texans holding onto the final spot in the AFC playoffs.

With the Chiefs and Chargers right behind them, Baltimore understands the importance of getting a win against Houston.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he expects it to be a tough game on the body. “Every time we play Houston, it’s always extremely physical,” he said Wednesday. “They’re always committed to running the football; they have one of the best backs in football [Arian Foster].”

Baltimore is 4-3 on the road this season and Houston is 3-3 at home.

“We’ve played down there a good amount,” Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. “It’s not going to be a new scene, we’ve played against most of those guys, how much that really matters, I don’t know.”

Houston Pro-Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt has recorded seven sacks in the last three games for a season total of 16 1/2, which is third in the league.

When asked what will happen if Watt gets to him on Sunday, Flacco said, “I’m going to pick myself up off the ground. I don’t know who hits me; I hope it’s not him. I hope it’s not any of them.”

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Ravens Preparing for ‘Physical’ Game Against Texans

Rob Carr/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — The Ravens enter Sunday’s game against the Texans holding onto the final spot in the AFC playoffs.

With the Chiefs and Chargers right behind them, Baltimore understands the importance of getting a win against Houston.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he expects it to be a tough game on the body. “Every time we play Houston, it’s always extremely physical,” he said Wednesday. “They’re always committed to running the football; they have one of the best backs in football [Arian Foster].”

Baltimore is 4-3 on the road this season and Houston is 3-3 at home.

“We’ve played down there a good amount,” Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. “It’s not going to be a new scene, we’ve played against most of those guys, how much that really matters, I don’t know.”

Houston Pro-Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt has recorded seven sacks in the last three games for a season total of 16 1/2, which is third in the league.

When asked what will happen if Watt gets to him on Sunday, Flacco said, “I’m going to pick myself up off the ground. I don’t know who hits me; I hope it’s not him. I hope it’s not any of them.”

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Padres Acquire Wil Myers in Three-Team Trade.

Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images(SAN DIEGO, Ca.) — The San Diego Padres have acquired outfielder Wil Myers in a three-team trade.

In a deal with the Nationals and Rays, the Padres also obtain young pitchers Jose Castillo and Gerardo Reyes, as well as veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan from Tampa Bay.

In return, the Rays receive Burch Smith, a right-hander who was drafted by the Padres in 2011, first baseman Rene Rivera, catcher Jake Bauers, a 2013 draft pick of the Padres and outfielder Steven Souza as well as left-hander Travis Ott from the Nationals.

The Nationals receive right hander Joe Ross and shortstop Trea Turner, who both come from San Diego in the deal.

Myers, 24, was acquired by Tampa Bay in 2012 as part of seven-player trade that saw Kansas City acquire James Shields.

The next season, Myers batted .293 and smacked 13 homeruns and 88 RBI on his way to the 2013 rookie of the year award.

After dealing for Matt Kemp, the Padres are expecting to improve on an offense that ranked last in baseball with 535 runs scored.

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Padres Acquire Wil Myers in Three-Team Trade.

Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images(SAN DIEGO, Ca.) — The San Diego Padres have acquired outfielder Wil Myers in a three-team trade.

In a deal with the Nationals and Rays, the Padres also obtain young pitchers Jose Castillo and Gerardo Reyes, as well as veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan from Tampa Bay.

In return, the Rays receive Burch Smith, a right-hander who was drafted by the Padres in 2011, first baseman Rene Rivera, catcher Jake Bauers, a 2013 draft pick of the Padres and outfielder Steven Souza as well as left-hander Travis Ott from the Nationals.

The Nationals receive right hander Joe Ross and shortstop Trea Turner, who both come from San Diego in the deal.

Myers, 24, was acquired by Tampa Bay in 2012 as part of seven-player trade that saw Kansas City acquire James Shields.

The next season, Myers batted .293 and smacked 13 homeruns and 88 RBI on his way to the 2013 rookie of the year award.

After dealing for Matt Kemp, the Padres are expecting to improve on an offense that ranked last in baseball with 535 runs scored.

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Report: Bears to Start Clausen Against Lions

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(CHICAGO, Ill) — The Bears will bench Jay Cutler in favor of Jimmy Clausen as Chicago prepares to face Detroit Sunday.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Chicago is making the switch after Cutler leads the NFL with 24 turnovers and has shown a clear regression in head coach Marc Trestmann’s offense.

“Our whole football team isn’t where it needs to be,” Trestmann said, during Wednesday’s press conference when talking about the offense.

“Quarterback’s always going to be the guy to get looked at, no doubt about it. We all can do better.”

Clausen, 27, a second round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2010. He was 1-9 in his rookie season before the Panthers drafted Cam Newton first overall the next season.

Cutler signed a seven-year, $126 million contract extension this offseason, that also saw the team allow back-up quarterback Josh McCown leave for Tampa Bay.

McCown signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Buccaneers after completing 66.5 percent of his passes for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception in eight games with the Bears last season.

Turmoil has taken over the Bears organization as player outbursts and anonymous criticisms have been the focus of the 2014 season. After a loss to the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 19, wide receiver Brandon Marshall could be heard from the team locker room calling out teammates for a lack of effort. Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer was discovered to have been an anonymous source in a story that criticized Cutler and his poor performance.

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Report: Bears to Start Clausen Against Lions

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(CHICAGO, Ill) — The Bears will bench Jay Cutler in favor of Jimmy Clausen as Chicago prepares to face Detroit Sunday.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Chicago is making the switch after Cutler leads the NFL with 24 turnovers and has shown a clear regression in head coach Marc Trestmann’s offense.

“Our whole football team isn’t where it needs to be,” Trestmann said, during Wednesday’s press conference when talking about the offense.

“Quarterback’s always going to be the guy to get looked at, no doubt about it. We all can do better.”

Clausen, 27, a second round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2010. He was 1-9 in his rookie season before the Panthers drafted Cam Newton first overall the next season.

Cutler signed a seven-year, $126 million contract extension this offseason, that also saw the team allow back-up quarterback Josh McCown leave for Tampa Bay.

McCown signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Buccaneers after completing 66.5 percent of his passes for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception in eight games with the Bears last season.

Turmoil has taken over the Bears organization as player outbursts and anonymous criticisms have been the focus of the 2014 season. After a loss to the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 19, wide receiver Brandon Marshall could be heard from the team locker room calling out teammates for a lack of effort. Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer was discovered to have been an anonymous source in a story that criticized Cutler and his poor performance.

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Reports: Royals to Sign SP Edinson Volquez

Major League Baseball(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — The American League pennant winners are adding to their rotation.

Starting pitcher Edinson Volquez will join the Kansas City Royals rotation on a two-year, $20 million deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

The right-handed pitcher spent 2014 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a bounce back season as he posted a 3.04 ERA, 140 strikeouts and a 3.3 BB/ 9 over 192.2 innings pitched.

Volquez, 31, had struggled after Tommy John Surgery in 2009. He was suspended for 50 games in 2010 after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. He was then traded to the Padres and had a brief stint with the the Dodgers. In that span, he never posted an ERA better than 4.14.

He will likely replace James Sheilds in the Royals rotation as he is expected to leave via free agency.

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Reports: Royals to Sign SP Edinson Volquez

Major League Baseball(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — The American League pennant winners are adding to their rotation.

Starting pitcher Edinson Volquez will join the Kansas City Royals rotation on a two-year, $20 million deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

The right-handed pitcher spent 2014 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a bounce back season as he posted a 3.04 ERA, 140 strikeouts and a 3.3 BB/ 9 over 192.2 innings pitched.

Volquez, 31, had struggled after Tommy John Surgery in 2009. He was suspended for 50 games in 2010 after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. He was then traded to the Padres and had a brief stint with the the Dodgers. In that span, he never posted an ERA better than 4.14.

He will likely replace James Sheilds in the Royals rotation as he is expected to leave via free agency.

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Wisconsin Badgers Name Chryst Head Coach

David Stluka/Get​ty Images(MADISON, Wi.) — The Wisconsin Badgers have found their replacement for the surprising departure of Gary Andersen.

The Badgers football team will have a new head coach in Paul Chryst, who leaves the University of Pittsburgh to return to the University of Wisconsin. Chryst was formerly the offensive coordinator of the Badgers from 2005 to 2011.

Chryst is also a Wisconsin native who graduated from the University in 1988.

“To be able to do this and come back home, to Wisconsin, it truly is special,” Chryst said.

Athletic director and former head coach Barry Alvarez said that finding a candidate with Wisconsin ties wasn’t a requirement, but it did help.

“To continue to grow and learn, and then leave and be able to come back … Coach, I appreciate that, more than you know,” said Chryst, while turning toward Alvarez.

During his three-year tenure at Pittsburgh, Chryst was 19-19. His best record was 7-6 in 2013, where the Panthers capped their season with a 30-27 win over the Bowling Green Falcons in the Little Ceasar’s Pizza Bowl.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 12/17/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NBA: Phoenix Suns 111 (13-14) – Charlotte Hornets 106 (6-19)

Atlanta Hawks 127 (18-7) – Cleveland Cavaliers 98 (14-10)

Boston Celtics 109 (9-14) – Orlando Magic 92 (10-18)

Dallas Mavericks 117 (19-8) – Detroit Pistons 106 (5-21)

Utah Jazz 105 (7-19) – Miami Heat 87 (12-14)

Toronto Raptors 105 (20-6) – Brooklyn Nets 89 (10-14)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (12) Ohio State 97 (9-1) – North Carolina A&T 55 (1-11)

NHL: Ottawa Senators 2 (13-12-6; 32pts) – New Jersey Devils 0 (11-16-6; 28pts)

Boston Bruins 3 (16-13-3; 35pts) – Minnesota Wild 2 (16-12-2; 34pts) OT

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