Tags: KCCA FCMike Mutebimuhammad shabanraja casablanca Muhammad Shaban during a photo shoot after signing for Raja CasablancaUganda Cranes striker Muhammad Shaban finally sealed his awaited move to Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca.The striker has been on the edge after failing to impress while on trials in South Africa a week ago yet he had already fallen out with KCCA FC manager Mike Mutebi.Raja Casablanca offered him a move after coming back to Uganda but it failed to go through initially due to the difference in valuation between KCCA FC and the Moroccan side.KCCA FC for whom he has played for only one season wanted $180,000 yet Casablanca was offering $50,000 less than the Kasasiro Boys were asking.With the hick ups sorted, Shaban through his social media platforms posted pictures of himself in the ‘Green Eagles’ jersey after signing for them.He is believed to have put pen to paper on a three year deal that will see him in Morocco until at least 2021.Shaban scored 13 league goals in his first and only season at Lugogo after completing a controversial move from ‘Boy Hood’ club, Onduparaka FC.Comments
The strategic anti-Naxal operations command headquarters of the Central Reserve Police Force has been shifted from Kolkata to the heart of the Naxal violence-hit Chhattisgarh after 37 jawans of the paramilitary force were killed by Maoists in less than two months. In a May 4 order, the CRPF directed the “immediate” transfer of the central zone command headquarters, roughly seven years after it was shifted from Raipur to Kolkata because of “logistics and connectivity issues”.The new CRPF Director-General Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar has been asked to ensure that the command starts working from Raipur before the high-level meeting of Left Wing Extremism-hit States here on Monday.Kuldiep Singh, Additional Director-General of the CRPF central zone, was air-dashed to Raipur from Kolkata, and he took charge of the command on Friday, sources said.Raised on August 7, 2009, the central zone was tasked with overseeing troops deployment across the States affected by Left Wing Extremism such as West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. It was moved to Kolkata in July 2010 for want of better rail and air links for the command office, days after the Maoists killed 75 CRPF jawans and a Chhattisgarh policeman in Dantewada on April 6. Review meetTop sources in the security establishment said the Union Home Ministry, after reviewing the April 24 ambush in Sukma district that killed 25 jawans, ordered the CRPF to immediately shift the central zone command to Raipur, without even bothering about the logistics to be put in place. The sources said Mr. Bhatnagar himself oversaw the quick activation of the command in Raipur after attending a meeting of the Unified Command on LWE on May 5, chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh. He later went to Sukma to make an assessment of the ambush site near Burkapal and held a ‘sainik sammelan’ (a troops meeting) to boost the morale of the jawans at a camp in the forests in south Bastar, a few km from the State’s border with Odisha, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.“Over the past two days, the new DG has travelled to the interiors of Sukma and Dantewada, the worst-affected districts. He also visited the ambush site at Bheji in Sukma,” an officer said.
Dalit women of a village in Bulandshahr say they are not being allowed to enter a temple by people of “higher caste”, in an alleged case of caste discrimination. Police have promised to look into the case after members of the community protested and a video lending credence to the charge went viral on social media. Women in Rakehra village of Khurja belonging to the Valmiki community were stopped at the gates of Chamad Mandir and allegedly assaulted by “local hooligans” when they protested. In the video, the women are seen confronting a young man stopping them outside the temple. When he tells them the temple is a private property, the women remind him that they have been praying there every year. The man is heard saying they could very well go to the police or the local politicians and the women retort that they are not afraid of anybody and threaten to sit on a dharna.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (right) throws a punch at Conor McGregor during their super welterweight boxing match on Aug. 26, 2017, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFPThe fight of the century went down over the weekend, as boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. kept his record unblemished at 50-0, turning back a very game adversary in Conor McGregor.READ: 50-0: Floyd Mayweather stops Conor McGregor in 10th roundADVERTISEMENT Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LATEST STORIES WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Williams wins at US Open to stay in No. 1 hunt; Konta out Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next However, not every sports fan managed to watch the fight on pay per view (PPV) and resorted to illegal streams online.According to a report form Forbes, digital platform security company Irdeto estimated that 2,930,598 people illegally watched the fight on various social media platforms via 239 illegal streams.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPlenty of unwarranted videos were shared on Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and Twitch last Saturday (Sunday in Manila), while ads for the illegal streams were promoted on sites like Alibaba, eBay and Amazon.Other viewers, meanwhile, depended on “digital Robin Hoods”—or generous fans who purchased the fight and videotaped it live through their television or computers. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension On the other hand, Facebook did its part to stop videos from spreading by taking down live streams of the fight.However, the social platform still could not keep up with the number of users, as some videos managed to be streamed live up until the end of the fight.Despite the massive number of illegal streams, the Mayweather versus McGregor fight is still expected to break PPV sales. As of this writing, official PPV numbers have yet to be released. Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORY:Canelo-GGG to MayMac fans: We’ve got a real show for youADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:21‘Bato’ says Robredo has to toughen up: ‘This is war…hindi ka pwedeng pa-cute cute dito’00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games
ESPN PlayoffIf you’re constantly tuned in to ESPN during pigskin season, you’ll likely see the network’s college football promo commercials dozens, if not hundreds of times. The Worldwide Leader, much to the dismay of many, uses the same song for every bit. By the end of the year, you’ll know every word.So which song will you know every word to this year? According to Chris Fowler, who used to host College GameDay before giving up the job to Rece Davis last year, this year’s song will be “Collider” by the X Ambassadors and Tom Morello. The X Ambassadors are an alternative rock band from Ithaca, New York. Morello, of course, was the guitarist for Rage Against the Machine.Here’s the video for the song, if you’re so inclined. It was released on August 1st.As a huge Tom Morello/Rage Against the Machine fan, this makes me happy: new ESPN CFB anthem w/X Ambassadors https://t.co/0ipVtmRM4y— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) August 3, 2016Last year, the tune was “History” by Lauren Alaina. In 2014, it was “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy.The X Ambassadors were formed in 2009 and released their first full-length album in 2015. The band is comprised of four members – Sam Harris, Casey Harris, Noah Feldshuh and Adam Levin.ESPN will kick off its college football coverage in 2016 in Sydney, Australia. Hawaii and California are set to meet at ANZ Stadium on Friday, August 26. The Rainbow Warriors and Golden Bears will meet a week before all other teams.College football’s opening weekend will feature a number of important games, so expect to see a number of promos. In the first few days of the season, we’ll get to see Kansas State vs. Stanford, Oklahoma vs. Houston, UCLA vs. Texas A&M, LSU vs. Wisconsin, Alabama vs. USC, Florida State vs. Ole Miss, Texas vs. Notre Dame and Auburn vs. Clemson.
“I think we are lucky to have had the first shipment by the end of last year, and the end of February was (when we had) the second shipment of alumina. So far, the operation has already gone to a higher level, so we will have enough eventually to arrange at least one shipment per month,” he indicated. Story Highlights Chinese entity, Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO), which owns and operates the Alpart refinery in St. Elizabeth, is aiming to upgrade the plant and increase its capacity to facilitate the exportation of a minimum one shipment of alumina per month. Chinese entity, Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO), which owns and operates the Alpart refinery in St. Elizabeth, is aiming to upgrade the plant and increase its capacity to facilitate at least one shipment of alumina per month.Assistant Managing Director of JISCO Alpart Jamaica, Sun Jing, disclosed that the company has already spent US$150 million to overhaul the plant in order to commence production that will lead to them attaining the target this year. According to Mr. Sun, the company has already been able to export two shipments of alumina in just over six months.“I think we are lucky to have had the first shipment by the end of last year, and the end of February was (when we had) the second shipment of alumina. So far, the operation has already gone to a higher level, so we will have enough eventually to arrange at least one shipment per month,” he indicated.The JISCO executive noted, however, that the outdated facilities present some challenges with respect to getting the plant fully operational. “We have to engage more persons to help us to run this plant. So although it probably needs 600-700 persons to operate, we have employed almost 900 Jamaicans for maintenance, operations and other relevant activities,” he said.Mr. Sun emphasised that modification and upgrade of the plant are imperative in order to maintain the operation. “Until then, we just keep going… although some of the (input) costs are very high, like oil and caustic soda. So to survive for the long-term, we need to do the expansion as quickly as possible.” Mr. Sun noted, however, that full modification and upgrading will take time.“When you finish the design, then you will have to begin the procurement process to buy equipment and do the installation. For the new equipment to be commissioned takes about one year.” he explained.Mr. Sun assured, however, that JISCO is committed to keeping the facility’s operations going until the modification and upgrading project is completed, “then we will have a chance to finish the new learning curve to bring this Alpart plant to the two million-tonne capacity per year”.A framework agreement has been signed between the Government of Jamaica and JISCO to undertake major improvement works at the plant and at Port Kaiser. This includes expansion of the existing refinery and construction of a new alumina plant; construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant; and the creation of a Special Economic Zone.Sale of the Alpart plant to JISCO and its subsequent reopening have been credited for significantly contributing to a 15 per cent growth in Jamaica’s mining sector over the October to December quarter of 2017. Assistant Managing Director of JISCO Alpart Jamaica, Sun Jing, disclosed that the company has already spent US$150 million to overhaul the plant in order to commence production that will lead to them attaining the target this year. According to Mr. Sun, the company has already been able to export two shipments of alumina in just over six months.
Advertisement A sign bearing the Toronto International Film Festival logo sits on a fork lift as preparations are made for the festival’s opening night on Thursday. As the Toronto International Film Festival prepares to kick off Thursday, it’s doing so in a changed landscape — one organizers have responded to with a few powerful additions to the usual mix of glitz and glam. With initiatives including the Share Her Journey women’s rally, a newly created hotline and an emphasis on its code of conduct, TIFF is making it clear it’s an inclusive and safe space after the tide of sexual misconduct allegations stemming from the Harvey Weinstein scandal last fall. (CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANADIAN PRESS) As the Toronto International Film Festival prepares to kick off Thursday, it’s doing so in a changed landscape — one organizers have responded to with a few powerful additions to the usual mix of glitz and glam.With initiatives including the Share Her Journey women’s rally, a newly created hotline and an emphasis on its code of conduct, TIFF is making it clear it’s an inclusive and safe space after the tide of sexual misconduct allegations stemming from the Harvey Weinstein scandal last fall.“We’re making sure that everyone who’s taking part in the festival understands that there’s a standard of behaviour, that harassment and abuse won’t be tolerated and that there are repercussions for that,” says Cameron Bailey, artistic director of TIFF. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “You’re on our ground and there’s zero tolerance,” adds Piers Handling, director and CEO of TIFF. “You will not be welcomed back if you violate any of these rules.”This is the first TIFF since the Weinstein scandal last October led to a steady stream of allegations involving many others in the industry, and the establishment of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements to end abuse. Facebook Weinstein has been a fixture at TIFF in the past, using it for the world premiere of films that went on to Oscar glory, including The King’s Speech, The Imitation Game and Lion.Two misconduct accusations against him, from actresses Mira Sorvino and Montreal’s Erika Rosenbaum, allegedly took place in Toronto hotel rooms during past TIFFs.TIFF has always had a zero-tolerance harassment policy and a code of conduct, but this year those elements will be more visible through signage around the festival, says Handling. All delegates must also agree to the code of conduct in their accreditation forms and the press package includes a reminder of it.“For the first time we actually have a hotline, so if anybody feels that they’ve been harassed and they don’t feel they can approach us, they can go to a third party,” he adds. Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: The hotline — 1-833-265-9835 — allows callers to confidentially report wrongdoing or unethical conduct.Handling notes they’ve taken badges away from delegates in the past but that was “more for bad behaviour.”Perhaps the biggest symbol of solidarity at this year’s festival will be seen on Saturday with the rally by TIFF’s Share Her Journey, a five-year commitment to support women in the industry.Speakers at the event will include Dr. Stacy L. Smith, founder and director of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis and Canadian star Mia Kirshner, who co-founded the #AfterMeToo movement.Meanwhile, at a pre-rally breakfast, Bailey will pledge TIFF’s commitment to the 5050×2020 initiative that supports gender parity and inclusion in film festivals.Such initiatives can have a big impact, say those in the industry.This year TIFF has also increased the diversity of its press corps by about 20 per cent, adding up to 200 new journalists from under-represented groups. Inclusion and diversity will also be among the topics on panels at the TIFF Industry Conference.Handling notes TIFF has embraced diversity and supported women’s cinema from the very beginning, through programming, seminars, panels and various programs.This year’s overall TIFF lineup has 34 per cent films by women, up from 33 per cent last year.“We’d like it to get to 50 per cent, but I think the industry has to actually itself step to the plate,” says Handling.“We can only go so far. More women have to be behind the camera directing films and then we’ll show them.”By VICTORIA AHEARN | The Canadian Press Twitter
2Tom Brady20113471.694010.271510 5Phil Simms19842966.059410.270477 CLE1.91.4NYJ22.48.09.41378 NYJ61NYJ61MIA 20, NYJ 12-1.2– HOU7.63.6NYG188.8.131.52386 Team ACurrentAvg. Chg*Team BCurrentAvg. Chg*Total ChangeGame Quality The best two-game QB starts to a season since 1970Most yards above backup quarterback (YABQ) for passers in the first two games of an NFL season, 1970-2018 KC85.05.1SF184.108.40.20642 DAL41.912.3SEA25.810.222.51523 LAR74LAR82LAR 34, ARI 0+1.9– PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET PTS MIN60MIN56GB 29, MIN 29+0.0 QuarterbackYEARAgeComp%Pass YDSNet Y/ATDIntYABQ IND17.44.7PHI75.05.810.41522 Age is as of Dec. 31 of the season in question.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com GB30.411.5WSH20.78.620.21473 ARI8.44.5CHI23.810.014.51445 CIN50BAL55CIN 34, BAL 23-7.7– DEN63DEN63DEN 20, OAK 19-2.2– OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION And unlike the names above him on the list, each of whom were seasoned veterans, Mahomes is just 23 this season1And his first two games came before he actually turned 23 on Sept. 17. — and he had just one game started under his belt before this season. Although he probably won’t stay on this record-breaking pace all season, Mahomes’s early career performance doesn’t look like a fluke. Since 1970, only two QBs (Hall of Famer Kurt Warner and Pro Bowler Jeff Blake) had more YABQ through their first three NFL games as a primary passer2Meaning he led the team in dropbacks — i.e., pass attempts plus sacks — in a game. than Mahomes. Of course, not every hot three-game start presaged a path to Canton; for every Warner or Dan Marino near the top of the list, there’s also Eric Hipple, Scott Mitchell and Ty Detmer. But even if Mahomes’s career develops more like that of, say, Daunte Culpepper — whose stats at the same age are strikingly similar to Mahomes’s 16-game pace over his career to date — it would surely validate the Chiefs’ decision to jettison successful longtime starter Alex Smith in favor of his rifle-armed young successor.We can already see how the Chiefs’ offense has changed with Mahomes at the helm. According to ESPN’s Stats & Info Group, his air yards per pass — which measures the distance the ball traveled downfield before being caught (or hitting the ground) — is 11.5 this season, which ranks first among all qualified passers. Smith’s number last season was 7.4, which ranked 23rd. Mahomes has faced more blitzes (and more pressure in general) than Smith, but he’s handled the heat much more capably — his Raw Total Quarterback Rating against pressure has been 74.0 (the league average is about 50 on all passes and 20 versus pressure), compared with Smith’s 31.3 mark last year. And for a team that went an entire season without a TD pass to a wide receiver a few years ago, Kansas City now ranks third in touchdown passes to receivers and eighth in passing yards to wideouts, with Tyreek Hill on track to surpass his 1,183 receiving yards from a year ago.Kansas City is hoping this newfound offensive attack can prevent another midseason letdown like the one the team suffered last year. The 2017 Chiefs also got off to a blazing start, winning their first five games behind a dominating offense. Then they promptly lost six of seven at midseason to bring their record to 6-6, requiring a four-game end-of-season winning streak just to make the playoffs. That wasn’t exactly rare for K.C. under Andy Reid: The Chiefs finished the 2014 season on a 2-4 stretch after starting 7-3, and they went 2-5 down the stretch in 2013 after a 9-0 start. So Chiefs fans would be forgiven for tempering their optimism at the moment. But the versatility of this year’s attack — made possible in part by Mahomes’s unique arm strength and comfort level in a spread system — might be the missing ingredient that makes this hot start more sustainable than the ones that fizzled in years past.In light of all this Mahomes mania, the 49ers are an especially interesting foil for the Chiefs this weekend. Niners starter Jimmy Garoppolo captured the NFL’s attention late last season with a five-game run that rivaled what Mahomes has done thus far. (Jimmy G. averaged 131.4 YABQ per game in his best two starts of that stretch, compared with Mahomes’s 243.9 per game this season.) But Garoppolo’s 2018 also illustrates the reversion that is sure to come for Mahomes sooner or later: San Francisco’s highly paid QB has seen his QBR drop from 82.7 in 2017 to 22.7 this season. He’ll almost certainly improve on that in the near future — perhaps substantially so against a K.C. defense that currently ranks a distant last in the NFL in defensive expected points added. But Mahomes can learn from his counterpart how quickly a QB can go from acclaim to adversity once opposing defenses study enough of his tape.Until then, though, Mahomes and the Chiefs are riding high, with the league’s best projected record and playoff chances according to our model, plus a status as co-Super Bowl favorites (with the Eagles). It’s hard to imagine a better way for a young QB to begin his career as an NFL starter.FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersIn addition to our NFL Elo prediction interactive, which updates after every game to help you keep tabs on how your team stacks up, we’re also running a prediction game in which you make picks against our model (and your fellow readers). After the dust settles each week, we like to look at where Elo made its best — and worst — picks against the field. Here’s how it did in Week 2: The Chiefs have certainly seen a boost in our ratings with this hot start. Before the season, they ranked seventh in the league, and it wasn’t clear that K.C. was even the best team in its own division. But since the start of the season, Kansas City has risen to third in Elo, adding the third-most rating points of any team in the league (behind only the Buccaneers and Bengals).Mahomes has been leading the Chiefs’ charge. Going into the season, we noted that he would have a ton of weapons to work with in the Chief offense, and that his starting career could get off the ground quickly if he reined in his occasional “gunslinger” tendencies. Two weeks in, it’s worked out almost perfectly. Mahomes is making great decisions with the ball and has thrown plenty of absolute darts downfield. Since the 1970 AFL merger, only three QBs — Peyton Manning in 2013, Tom Brady in 2011 and, yes, Ryan Fitzpatrick this season — have produced more yards above backup QB (YABQ) through the first two games of a season than Mahomes has so far this year: BUF11.54.5MIN73.77.311.91525 3Peyton Manning20133767.17698.590501 Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are officially the toast of the 2018 NFL season so far, after K.C.’s young quarterback threw an incredible six touchdown passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, bringing his season tally to 10 — and the Chiefs’ record to 2-0.It’s only been two weeks, but the reviews for Mahomes have been nothing short of breathless. The latest opponent that will have to weather the Kansas City onslaught will be the San Francisco 49ers, who travel to Arrowhead on Sunday afternoon. Although the game doesn’t figure to alter the playoff odds too much — according to our NFL Elo predictions — it’s an intriguing showdown that ranks fourth-best of Week 3 in terms of our measure of matchup quality (which uses the harmonic mean of the two teams’ Elo ratings): 10Dan Fouts19813074.064612.541414 DAL76DAL58DAL 20, NYG 13-15.1– PIT58PIT51KC 42, PIT 37+4.9– ATL62ATL58ATL 31, CAR 24-5.2– LAC47.010.6LAR220.127.116.11561 9Steve Young19983760.36667.961415 PHI63PHI67TB 27, PHI 21-7.6– MIA48.411.3OAK8.05.216.51463 JAX75.311.6TEN30.512.323.91529 CAR42.610.9CIN56.610.721.61538 1Ryan Fitzpatrick20183678.7%81912.981585 SF58SF62SF 30, DET 27+1.2– DET12.35.7NE72.09.415.01539 BUF53%LAC69%LAC 31, BUF 20+15.7– 8Lynn Dickey19833480.462310.681423 4Patrick Mahomes20182369.158210.1100488 WSH75WSH68IND 21, WSH 9+8.4– The best matchups of Week 3Week 3 games with the highest average Elo rating, using the harmonic mean, plus the total potential swing for the two teams’ playoff chances, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions 6Joe Namath19722947.660913.472466 ATL62.6%+/-13.8NO29.8%+/-12.526.31578 Playoff %Playoff % NE56NE58JAX 31, NE 20-5.1– 7Drew Bledsoe19972564.16079.280428 NO85NO81NO 21, CLE 18-4.0– PIT39.911.7TB52.011.823.51548 BAL44.111.7DEN32.410.722.41503 Home teams are in bold.The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. SEA54CHI52CHI 24, SEA 17+3.9– Game quality is the harmonic mean of the Elo ratings for the two teams in a given matchup.*Average change is weighted by the likelihood of a win or loss. (Ties are excluded.)Source: ESPN.com TEN70HOU51TEN 20, HOU 17-20.1– Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 2Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 2 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game After a successful Week 1 performance against FiveThirtyEight readers, I expected Elo to tail off a bit in Week 2. But instead, it did even better! On average, Elo beat the typical reader by 32.2 total points in our game this past week, bringing its overall lead up to 60.5 points on the season. The readers cleaned up in the Bills-Chargers game, taking advantage of Elo’s reluctance to acknowledge that Buffalo is a pit of despair this season. But that was offset by Elo’s confidence in the Cowboys at home against the Giants, and the fact that its seemingly misguided faith in the Titans — who were starting Blaine Gabbert, one of the worst QBs in NFL history, instead of the injured Marcus Mariota — paid off.We’ll see if Elo’s run of luck continues next week. Either way, congrats to reader Alexandre Augusto da Rocha, who led all (identified) users in points for Week 2 — and as a result leads for the season as well. And thanks to everyone who played last week. If you didn’t play, remember that it’s not too late to get in on the game, even if you missed the first couple weeks of the season. Make your picks now!Check out our latest NFL predictions.
SF0.20.1NYG0.10.10.21377 BAL54PIT52PIT 23, BAL 16+4.3– Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 9Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 9 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game 201311531125 WSH43.014.5TB18.104.22.168470 MIN68MIN69MIN 24, DET 9-0.9– 21976ColtsJones22Mitchell23Carr1820.8 The best matchups of Week 10Week 10 games by the highest average Elo rating (using the harmonic mean) plus the total potential swing for the two teams’ playoff chances, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions 82000VikingsCulpepper21Smith18Moss1718.5 PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET PTS YearTeamPasserRusherReceiverTriplet Score 191995CowboysAikman15Smith20Irvin1917.7 DEN54HOU54HOU 19, DEN 17+6.0– 91982ChargersFouts22Muncie14Chandler2218.5 51961OilersBlanda22Cannon16Hennigan2119.3 KC84KC87KC 37, CLE 21-0.5– CHI54.715.4DET8.97.723.11507 14199349ersYoung23Watters14Rice2018.2 Game quality is the harmonic mean of the Elo ratings for the two teams in a given matchup.*Average change is weighted by the likelihood of a win or loss. (Ties are excluded.)Source: ESPN.com 31999ColtsManning18James21Harrison2019.6 122000RamsWarner15Faulk22Holt1918.2 152006ChargersRivers18Tomlinson26Gates1418.1 DAL66DAL64TEN 28, DAL 14+0.7– 162014PackersRodgers21Lacy16Nelson1818.1 20200049ersGarcia20Garner17Owens1617.5 The New Orleans Saints already looked like Super Bowl contenders at various times in the first half of this season. But after their 45-35 victory over the previously undefeated Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, the Saints have landed themselves squarely in the conversation of potential championship favorites. Certainly, no team is hotter as we survey the NFL at midseason: New Orleans has won seven straight, including triumphs over the Vikings, Falcons and Ravens. And for better or for worse, they’re doing it in classic Saints style — piling up a ton of points (and taking the occasional end-zone phone call) while simply hoping for the best on defense. Although this method might not ultimately result in the franchise’s second-ever Super Bowl title, it’s going to be damn entertaining to watch New Orleans try to score its way to the top of the NFL heap once again.Leading the way in the Saints’ offensive showcase is, of course, quarterback Drew Brees. Much has been said about how well Patriots QB Tom Brady has continued to play into his 40s, but Brees is only 17 months younger than Brady and has been just as good as ol’ Touchdown Tom was at the same age. Brees currently leads the NFL in passer rating and ranks fourth in Yards Above Backup QB (trailing only Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, the Rams’ Jared Goff and Philip Rivers of the Chargers). All this without the benefit of drinking up to 38 glasses of water a day and sleeping in his own brand of recovery pajamas.Some of the pinpoint throws Brees made Sunday against L.A. demonstrated once again how little touch he has lost — if any — since ESPN’s “Sport Science” scrutinized the mechanical perfection behind his superhuman passing accuracy nearly 10 years ago. Led by that star-powered triumvirate, the Saints’ offense currently ranks seventh in the league in yards per game, second in points per game and second in offensive expected points added (EPA) per contest. (And it’s anybody’s guess how much higher it will soar with new WR pickup Dez Bryant on board.) But the Saints’ undoing might be their backslide on defense, where they’ve fallen from a surprising 16th in defensive EPA last season to 29th this year. In that regard, the 2018 Saints are like too many versions that had come before last season — great on offense but prone to making opposing offenses look great, too. MIA21.210.3GB22.214.171.124457 For Brees’s excellence this season, my ESPN colleague Bill Barnwell made the case that New Orleans’s QB — not Kansas City’s — should be the MVP front-runner at the midpoint of the schedule. But Brees isn’t doing it all alone. In fact, the Saints’ resurgence in recent seasons has been as much about quickly re-assembling elite talent around Brees as it has been about Brees defying Father Time.New Orleans rolled out one of the league’s all-time great rookie classes last year, headlined by running back Alvin Kamara. Sharing touches with veteran ball carrier Mark Ingram in a historic RB tandem, Kamara was tabbed for the Pro Bowl while racking up 1,554 yards from scrimmage and 13 total touchdowns. And with Ingram suspended for the Saints’ first four games this season, Kamara has been even better in an expanded role. His touches per game are up 61 percent, and he’s on track to generate more than 1,800 scrimmage yards with 24 total TDs. Not bad for a player in his first real season as an NFL feature back.1Upon returning, Ingram initially ate a bit into Kamara’s workload, but over the past three weeks, Kamara is averaging 20.7 touches per game. That’s actually higher than his seasonlong average (which includes a 31-touch outing against the Falcons in Week 3).Kamara has provided the kind of monster performance New Orleans needed to build on last season’s explosive offensive output. But Brees also has a mega-productive target at wide receiver who keeps getting better every year: Michael Thomas. Thomas cracked 1,100 yards through the air in each of his first two NFL seasons, scoring 14 total touchdowns — and this year he has reached an entirely new level of statistical achievement. Averaging an astounding 110.0 receiving yards per game, Thomas would rank 15th all-time in the category if he somehow kept it up over the season’s second half.(We should also mention that Thomas’s outrageous catch rate of 88.6 percent is currently the best ever in a season2Since 1992, the first year for the statistic in Pro-Football-Reference.com’s data. among players with at least 750 receiving yards, more than 11 percentage points higher than the next-best season. It’s a friendly reminder that Thomas is having one of the most impressive WR seasons ever.)If we crunch the numbers for the Saints’ Big Three in terms of Approximate Value (Pro-Football-Reference.com’s cross-position measure of single-season player value), we find that Brees is on pace for 20 AV, with Thomas also at 20 and Kamara at 18. Together, the harmonic mean3A special kind of average designed to amplify combinations in which all individual values are high — and penalize ones in which they aren’t. of those AV numbers — a metric I’ll call the “Triplet Score” — is 19.3, which would rank New Orleans’s group fourth-best among QB/RB/WR trios since 1960: SeasonWinsLossesOffenseDefensespecial Teams SF62SF55SF 34, OAK 3-7.3– WSH55WSH52ATL 38, WSH 14+1.5– 172000ColtsManning18James21Harrison1618.1 NYJ1.00.6BUF0.20.20.91388 Even though New Orleans has that shiny 7-1 record, its defensive deficiency is probably something coordinator Dennis Allen will have to iron out if the Saints are truly going to vie for the Super Bowl. Although several other contenders — most notably Kansas City — are in a similar all-offense/no-defense spot at midseason, it’s rare to see such a poor defensive squad hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Since 2006, only one champion (the 2006 Indianapolis Colts) ranked 29th or worse in defensive EPA per game.4The 2011 New York Giants were close: They ranked 24th in defensive EPA. Aside from those two, no other champ since 2006 ranked worse than 13th on defense. But with an average of 62.1 total points being scored in their games thus far, the Saints have certainly been involved in their share of popcorn-worthy shootouts.They’ll take that brand of high-scoring football to Cincinnati on Sunday to face the Bengals. And although the Saints have all but locked up their postseason fortunes, this still counts as one of the best games of the week by our combination of matchup quality (i.e., the harmonic mean of the teams’ Elo ratings in each game) and game importance (how likely it is to swing either team’s odds of making the playoffs). That’s mainly because the Bengals, sitting on the precipice of the postseason picture with a 54 percent chance of getting in, have more than a dozen points of probability to lose or gain, depending on the game’s outcome. 18199249ersYoung22Watters16Rice1718.0 OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION PIT81.2%+/-10.5CAR75.2%+/-10.120.51618 CAR76CAR73CAR 42, TB 28-3.4– 20167953022 Team ACurrentAvg. Chg*Team BCurrentAvg. Chg*Total ChangeGame Quality KC99.80.2ARI0.20.10.41520 PHI60.013.3DAL10.59.322.61548 MIA62MIA59MIA 13, NYJ 6-4.2– NO59LAR52NO 45, LAR 35-12.4– Home teams are in bold.The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. JAX9.16.6IND10.56.212.81456 201711521615 Playoff %Playoff % Saints’ NFL Rank in … 42018SaintsBrees20Kamara18Thomas2019.3 ATL43.78.9CLE0.10.19.01434 LAC86.86.9OAK0.00.07.01454 2018712293 The Saints’ defense is reverting to (poor) formYearly record and NFL rank in expected points added (EPA) for the New Orleans Saints since 2013 131964BrownsRyan17Brown23Warfield1618.2 As for the Saints, we’ll keep a close eye on how far their high-octane offensive attack can take them in the season’s second half. Our model gives them a 16 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, which is tied with New England for second-best in the NFL (behind K.C. at 18 percent). And with Brees, Kamara and Thomas lighting up opposing defenses, New Orleans might lead the league in excitement either way, win or lose.FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersBe sure to check out FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings using our NFL prediction interactive, which simulates the rest of the season 100,000 times and tracks how often each team should make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. And did you know you can also pick against the Elo algorithm in our prediction game? Maybe you can also climb up our giant leaderboard (or, if you’re like me, fall down it with each passing week).Here are the games in which Elo made its best — and worst — predictions against the reader picks last week: 20147953223 The Saints’ 2018 trio is on a historic paceTop QB/RB/WR trios ranked by their “Triplet Score” — the harmonic mean of each player’s Approximate Value (AV) — 1960-2018 20157923223 CHI54%CHI69%CHI 41, BUF 9+9.7– SEA61SEA51LAC 25, SEA 17+9.0– 101999RamsWarner19Faulk25Bruce1418.3 1199449ersYoung23Watters19Rice2120.9 2018 AV is pro-rated to a 16-game schedule.Source: pro-Football-reference.com Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group SEA33.713.4LAR126.96.36.199592 111992CowboysAikman17Smith20Irvin1818.3 72004ColtsManning21James21Wayne1518.5 62001RamsWarner20Faulk22Holt1619.0 CIN54.013.0NO94.14.017.01583 NE81NE71NE 31, GB 17-7.6– TEN40.513.7NE97.82.015.71590 Team Leaders and their Approx. value Readers kept it relatively close against Elo this week, losing by an average of just 5.1 points across all of Week 9’s games — their second-best showing of the season, behind Week 7. Of course, that tells you what kind of year it’s been picking against the algorithm: Elo has beaten the average reader in eight of nine weeks in 2018 so far. This time around, the readers’ bet against Nathan Peterman paid off (big surprise…) and they also picked up points with the Chargers’ victory at Elo’s longtime team-crush, the Seattle Seahawks. But the Saints’ win over the Rams hurt readers’ average score — perhaps they didn’t read that L.A. is good but not necessarily historically great.Anyway, congrats to the mysteriously named _ACN_, who led identified users in Week 9 with 204.0 points, and to Brian Hake, who pulled into the No. 1 slot for the entire season with 764.5 points. Thanks to everyone who has been playing — and if you haven’t, be sure to get in on the action! You can make picks now and still try your luck against Elo, even if you haven’t played yet.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
AS Roma president James Pallotta, who became famous for his fountain dive after the beat Barcelona in the previous round, has shared he has a good feeling for the second leg of the semi-final clash with Liverpool.Despite the fact that the Italian side suffered a huge 5-2 upset away in the first leg, Pallotta doesn’t seem bothered by troublesome past but seems to believe in the bright future.Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in next week’s UCL Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 With the Champions League about to start, we need to start talking about the Top 5 Atletico Madrid players to watch in the competition.Atletico…However, this is not out of nowhere – Roma already overcame a 4-1 deficit in the quarter-final clash with Barcelona in order to proceed to the semi-finals – they won 3-0 at home, which was the main reason why Pallotta was seen celebrating in Rome’s fountains.I have good feelings for tonight , we’ll see, another bathroom in the fountain? No, tonight the have kept the fountain closesd, perhaps they also close the Colosseum …” Pallotta shared, according to Calcio Mercato, just hours before the decisive game starts.