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Friday, February 2, 2018

Sorry, Haters, but the New England Patriots Are Going to Win Super Bowl LII

Posted By on Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 3:28 PM

I've watched every Super Bowl for the past thirty years and I can't remember a single one I had a stranger feeling about beforehand. I've made predictions, I've been right, I've been wrong, but rarely have I been so confused. There's a lot of weird stuff happening around this game. It's weird, the Nick Foles of it all. Is Nick Foles good? If Nick Foles is good, why was he buried on the Rams’ depth chart two years ago? Why couldn't he find a starting job in the NFL after his breakout 2013 season, when he threw for a frankly...

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Why the Eagles Are Going to Win the Super Bowl

Posted By on Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 2:04 PM

In basketball, baseball, and hockey championships are determined via seven-game series. Those series are built, in theory, so that the better team will win. There are statistical arguments to the contrary, but at its core, that’s the idea. The one-and-done, on the other hand, is made for chaos, which is why many people regard the NCAA basketball tournament, the World Cup, and the NFL playoffs as the heights of sports excitement. After all, David only has to topple Goliath once. That both conferences’ top seeds advanced to Super Bowl LII is not extraordinary. What might be, however, is that this...

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Monday, January 29, 2018

The Panthers Have Lost Their Second Defensive Coordinator in Two Years. Will It Matter This Fall?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 9:41 AM

An offseason of transition for the Carolina Panthers continued last week as the Arizona Cardinals hired away defensive coordinator Steve Wilks to be their head coach. The Wilks hire wasn’t a complete surprise—the longtime assistant has been considered an ascendant star in league circles for the past few years—but it also marks the second time in two years that the Panthers will need to replace their defensive coordinator and confers upon the team the unique off-season challenge of remaking coaching staffs on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Wilks’s departure, following the hiring of Sean McDermott in...

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Friday, January 19, 2018

The NFL Is Wrapping Up Its Worst Season in Decades. We Should Blame Fantasy Football.

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 9:46 AM

Now that we have a full season of ratings to postulate on, you can prepare yourself for a slate of various think pieces on America’s interest (apparently waning) in professional football. While there are many reasons for the decline in overall interest or engagement—bad on-field product, games spread across three and sometimes four nights a week, the slow-and-getting-slower pace of play, the rising number of cord-cutting households—I have a theory that the NFL’s decline has its roots in the Faustian bargain it made roughly fifteen years ago with fantasy football. Tens of millions of Americans now play some sort of...

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Norv Turner Could Be Exactly the QB Whisperer Cam Newton Needs—Or Not

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Last Sunday, the Carolina Panthers season ended with a close playoff loss and a near-unanimous consensus that the team needs to find more help for their gifted, beleaguered superstar quarterback Cam Newton. That process began in earnest yesterday, as the team fired longtime offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterback coach Ken Dorsey and brought in the long-tenured NFL veteran Norv Turner to run the offensive show. Turner’s four-decade odyssey in the NFL has spanned multiple eras and sweeping changes within the sport. He has the unusual distinction of having been hired as a head coach three different times—in Washington, Oakland,...

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Panthers Recap: For the Love of God, Give Cam Newton Some Help

Posted By on Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 3:48 PM

With twelve seconds remaining in yesterday’s wild-card game, with Carolina trailing by five points and facing a 3rd-and-23 from the Saints’ 35-yard line, Cam Newton lofted a dangerous-looking pass into the New Orleans end zone. Devin Funchess, ostensibly the Panthers’ number one wide receiver, engaged in some hand fighting with Saints strong safety Vonn Bell and appeared for a second to be in position to snag the winning touchdown. Instead, he didn’t a play on the ball, and it fell uneventfully to the Superdome turf. This effectively concluded Newton’s and the Panthers’ near-miss attempt at an epic comeback in a...

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Twice This Year, New Orleans Has Dominated the Carolina Panthers. Can the Third Time Possibly Be the Charm? Our Playoff Preview.

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 3:27 PM

As the 11–5 Carolina Panthers embark on their playoff campaign this coming Sunday, much about the team will look familiar from previous postseason runs. The offense still functions almost entirely on the boom-or-bust proposition of Cam Newton’s bulldozer scrambling and scattershot arm, and the defense remains a disciplined and formidable unit with mainstay linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis thriving in a Swiss Army Knife capacity while ends Mario Addison and Julius Peppers chase down and torment quarterbacks. On its face, there is not a great deal of difference between this version of the Panthers and the 2015 squad that...

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

It's a shocker as Wolfpack just demolishes Tar Heels

Posted By on Sat, Nov 29, 2014 at 5:06 PM

KENAN STADIUM/CHAPEL HILL Even for the losers, it was probably going to be a decent season. Everybody was already going to a bowl game and both teams were heading in the right direction when 6-5 UNC hosted 6-5 N.C. State in their 140th meeting on a sunny but chilly Saturday afternoon. And bowl scouts from the preferred Belk Bowl as well as the Military and Independence were in the house. Each team was coming in off a convincing win over its other ancient natural rival, the Wolfpack a 42-13 rout over Wake Forest two weeks ago and the Tar...

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Season-ending rivalry day will set up three bowl games

Posted By on Sat, Nov 29, 2014 at 1:08 AM

It's Rivalry Week, Part II. All across the country, about half of the biggest college football teams are playing their most despised rivals. And with cooperation from the SEC, the ACC is right in on the act today. It was always the day for those big cross-conference rivalry games like South Carolina at Clemson and Georgia Tech at Georgia and Florida at Florida State. And now there's Kentucky at Louisville. And in the conference there was Virginia at Virginia Tech last night. It's the same deal in the Triangle, where N.C. State (6-5, 2-5 ACC) will visit UNC (6-5, 4.3)...

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Humongous rivalry games highlight grid weekend

Posted By on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 1:26 PM

It's Triangle Rivalry Week! Or at least it's Part One. And this time it's going to start a little bit early. There are only two games, as N.C. State gets a week off, coincidentally to celebrate its bowl eligibility, but they're both monsters. Tonight at 7:30, UNC (5-5, 3-3 ACC) will visit No. 25 Duke 8-2, 4-2) in a game to be shown on ESPN. Of course they don't like each other too much, and there's plenty at stake. If UNC beats either Duke tonight or the visiting Wolfpack on Nov. 29, the Tar Heels will be bowl eligible....

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Winning seasons still possible with victories today

Posted By on Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 12:04 AM

The magic number remains six. That's the number of wins an FBS football team needs to play in a bowl game, and for any college football team to assure it won't have a losing regular-season record. So far only one Triangle team has made it, as Duke (8-1, 4-1 ACC) is assured a winning season and a bowl game and is still in the race for the ACC's Coastal Division championship. That race means every game is a "must" win for the Blue Devils, and actually every game left on the schedule is a must win for every Triangle...

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bowl spots, championships and winning seasons at stake

Posted By on Sat, Nov 8, 2014 at 1:29 AM

Today is a very big day for N.C. State football. And it's very important for Duke, while it's still meaningful for N.C. Central. UNC has the day off before its uphill stretch run. The Wolfpack (5-4, 1-4 ACC) picked up its first conference win for second-year coach Dave Doeren last week in a squeaker over Syracuse. And if State can become the third Triangle team to beat No. 24 Georgia Tech (7-2, 4-2) today at 12:30 (WRAL) at Carter-Finley Stadium, the Wolfpack is going bowling! NCCU (4-5, 3-2 MEAC), which is still looking for a winning season, plays...

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Triangle grid squads all road warriors this afternoon

Posted By on Sat, Nov 1, 2014 at 12:01 AM

It's a rare fall Saturday when there's no Division I football game in the Triangle, but today is one of those days. And of the area's four teams, still no one can say how the seasons of three will be perceived at the end. And all four are underdogs. No. 24 Duke (6-1, 2-1 ACC) is going to have another happy finish barring a monumental collapse. But UNC (4-4, 2-2), N.C. State (4-4, 0-4) and N.C. Central (4-4, 3-1 MEAC) can all still go in either direction. The Blue Devils will travel to Pittsburgh (4-4, 2-2) in a key...

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tar Heels stop slide with thriller against Georgia Tech

Posted By on Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 12:29 AM

KENAN STADIUM/CHAPEL HILL UNC had its collective back to the wall when the game with Georgia Tech kicked off Saturday night. And the Tar Heels' backs were to the wall again with just three minutes to play. But Marquise Williams proved to be too much for the Yellow Jackets. Williams completed a UNC record 38 of 47 passes for 390 yards and four TDs with one interception, adding a rushing TD while carrying for 75 yards on 16 totes as the Tar Heels beat the Yellow Jackets 48-43 to break a five-game losing streak in the series. UNC improved...

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday a pivotal day for area college football teams

Posted By on Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 2:05 AM

The Triangle's college football season is passing its halfway point, and exactly how the season is unfolding for the local Division I squads is coming into focus. Duke is having a second straight very good season and could play in some really interesting December games if it keeps winning. And N.C. Central, which has yet to lose to an historically black college this season, still has a shot at the MEAC championship. But N.C. State coach Dave Doeren is still looking for his first ACC win, and UNC's Larry Fedora needs to get things turned around quickly if the...

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Everyone's an underdog for the second straight week

Posted By on Sat, Oct 4, 2014 at 2:03 AM

College football has been played in some form for the last 146 seasons, and no team from the Triangle has ever really played for a national championship. After last week's results this won't be the year. It's not that anyone can't still have a great season, but there are only about 20 schools than could have a loss and make the new FBS Final Four and none of them are in North Carolina. Three of the four local Division I teams are in action today, and two of them are at home. Duke (4-1, 0-1 ACC), coming off a...

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Brissett, Pack give favored 'Noles a scare before late rally

Posted By on Sat, Sep 27, 2014 at 11:16 PM

CARTER-FINLEY STADIUM/RALEIGH N.C. State isn't undefeated any more and isn't going to vault into the Top 20, but the Wolfpack - and especially quarterback Jacoby Brissett - proved it was ready for prime time on Saturday. Brissett completed 32 of 48 passes for 359 yards and three TDs and rushed for 38 yards on 13 carries, leading a gallant effort as the Wolfpack fell 56-41 to top-ranked Florida State. It was the first time a No. 1 team in the nation had ever visited the Wolfpack's home stadium. NCSU came in with victories over the Seminoles in five of...

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Upset opportunities abound for local football teams today

Posted By on Sat, Sep 27, 2014 at 1:34 AM

It's been a while since all three ACC football teams in the Triangle were underdogs on the same day. But that will be the case today when one team plays at home and two on the road. The highest-profile contest of the three is at N.C. State (4-0), where the Wolfpack will host No. 1-ranked Florida State (3-0) at 3:30 p.m. (WTVD) at Carter-Finley Stadium in the ACC opener for both teams. UNC (2-1) opens its ACC schedule at 7 p.m. (ESPNU) at Clemson (1-2, 0-1 ACC), while Duke (4-0) does the same at Miami (2-2, 0-1) at 8...

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Triangle FBS teams all try to stay perfect today

Posted By on Sat, Sep 20, 2014 at 1:42 AM

Here we go into Week 4 of the area college football season, and all three of the local FBS teams are still unbeaten. If that continues all day today, one of them will have to beat one of the best teams in the country on the road. The show starts today at 12:30 (FOX Sports Carolinas) at Wallace Wade Stadium, where Duke (3-0) will try to complete a perfect non-conference portion of the season against Tulane (1-2). The other home game is at 6 p.m., as N.C. State (3-0) tries to complete its non-conference schedule unbeaten with a victory...

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Blue Devils run wild in 41-3 rout of hapless Jayhawks

Posted By on Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 9:29 PM

WALLACE WADE STADIUM/DURHAM For the first time this season, Duke plays against another team from a big-time conference. And folks have been saying all week it's a little too bad this isn't basketball. The 2-0 Blue Devils will entertain 1-0 Kansas in front of about a half-full Wallace Wade Stadium. An interesting sidebar to this one is that Jayhawk coach Charlie Weis hired current Duke coach David Cutcliffe to be his assistant at Notre Dame before Cutcliffe resigned at the beginning of his long rehab following a 2005 heart attack. The two teams played their only previous meeting in...

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lightning strikes twice as Tar Heels foil San Diego State

Posted By on Sun, Sep 7, 2014 at 1:21 AM

KENAN STADIUM/CHAPEL HILL UNC plays its first game against an FBS team this season as the Tar Heels entertain San Diego State on national TV. It's "Stripe Out" night in the Southern Part of Heaven, as the No. 21 Tar Heels are wearing black jerseys over Carolina Blue breeches and black socks. The "Tar Pit" student section is dressed in black shirts, while the rest of the stadium has sections alternating in black and light blue. The Aztecs are a pretty good team from the Mountain West Conference, but they don't get out this way much. This is their...

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Three home games in area college football today

Posted By on Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 12:20 AM

It's Week 2 of the college football season, and so far there haven't been any major surprises for any of the local teams. Things went pretty much according to form last Saturday, except that N.C. State had plenty of trouble from Georgia Southern in a 24-23 nailbiter. UNC finally escaped Liberty in a 56-29 result, while Duke walloped Elon 52-13 and East Carolina crushed N.C. Central 52-7 in Jerry Mack's debut with the Eagles. This time all four local teams are favored, and three of them are at home. The Eagles host old CIAA rival Elizabeth City State at...

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Duke blows Elon away with solid opening-game effort

Posted By on Sat, Aug 30, 2014 at 10:58 PM

WALLACE WADE STADIUM/DURHAM Duke will open its football season with a rare opportunity tonight. Coming off the ACC's Coastal Division championship and a 10-4 season that was the best in school history, the Blue Devils will look for back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1988 and 1989. Tonight's game with Elon, which went 2-9 last season, is Employee Appreciation Day. It's also a 25th anniversary celebration for the 1989 team, with coach Steve Spurrier - who now runs the show at South Carolina - in the house. And Duke passes the easy first test, rolling the Phoenix...

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Big fourth quarter gives Wolfpack must-win result over Ga. Southern

Posted By on Sat, Aug 30, 2014 at 7:55 PM

CARTER-FINLEY STADIUM/RALEIGH Hopes are high for a better season at N.C. State, where Dave Doeren is in his second year at the helm after a 3-9 first campaign. Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett is the junior starting quarterback, hoping to bring back the signal-calling glory days in West Raleigh. The season-opening opponent is Georgia Southern, a traditional 1-AA power now in its first season as a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision Sun Belt Conference. The Eagles, who won an upset at Florida last season, have a new coach in Willie Fritz. It's going to be a hot and sunny...

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Triangle college football opens with a bang today

Posted By on Sat, Aug 30, 2014 at 1:35 AM

There won't be "great football weather" - that's a few weeks away. And if you want to see a really big game that could go either way, you may need to watch an out-of-state game on TV. But college football in the Triangle does open today, with a collection of the kinds of games in which the home team is a heavy if not prohibitive favorite. The three local ACC teams will write hefty checks and hope to win big, while N.C. Central will get its money on the road. N.C. State starts today's show at 12:30 p.m. (WRAL),...

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The Week in Duke Hoops will come later this week.

by Jeffrey Billman on Down Go the Blue Devils! And the Pack! A Good Week in UNC Hoops. (Sports)

Yo- Indy Week- I thought you remained neutral on Carolina sports. This sounds like some Crony Tar Heel shilling to …

by Kyle Reece on Down Go the Blue Devils! And the Pack! A Good Week in UNC Hoops. (Sports)

Three years behind CB at Duke, I remember him well as a real pioneer. I would challenge his memory on …

by Gordon Jackson on C.B. Claiborne on being Duke's first black basketball player (Sports)

I will take Kyle Busch over the narcissistic, attention-seeking Ryan Blaney any day of the week and twice on race …

by Sophie Kopsar on Kyle Busch Might Be a Jerk, But He’s Also One of NASCAR’s Best Drivers (Sports)

Comments

The Week in Duke Hoops will come later this week.

by Jeffrey Billman on Down Go the Blue Devils! And the Pack! A Good Week in UNC Hoops. (Sports)

Yo- Indy Week- I thought you remained neutral on Carolina sports. This sounds like some Crony Tar Heel shilling to …

by Kyle Reece on Down Go the Blue Devils! And the Pack! A Good Week in UNC Hoops. (Sports)

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