On paper, 2017 seems like a very typical Tom Brady season. He is leading the NFL in passing yards and sporting a 102.8 passer rating that’s his second-best since 2011. The Patriots are once again the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and Brady is the leading candidate to be named the NFL’s most valuable player.But over the past five weeks, there has been some trouble brewing in Foxboro — at least by New England’s own ridiculous standards. After the Patriots traded away Brady’s heir apparent, Jimmy Garoppolo, an ESPN report of an internal power struggle between Brady, coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft has clouded the future of the five-time champions. But perhaps more worrisome than this report is that Brady himself has been quietly marred in a slump.Brady’s last five games of the 2017 regular season were uncharacteristically mediocre, despite New England going 4-1 in that span. Beginning in Week 13, Brady has posted a passer rating of 81.6, 17th best in the NFL,1Minimum of 80 pass attempts. and his yards per attempt in that span were 6.95, 15th best in the league. He’s also been far worse in touchdowns to interceptions, going from 26-to-3 in his first 11 games to an unusual-for-him 6-to-5.In the context of his career, Brady’s extended sample of poor play is surprising but not unprecedented. Dating back to 2007, when he turned 30, this is Brady’s sixth worst five-game stretch measured by expected points added2EPA is a measure of offensive productivity that accounts for the value of yards gained, field position and down/distance. based on the quality of his play. Brady accumulated 22.16 EPA in his last five games, for an average of 4.43 per game. His average in Games 1 through 11 was more than 2 points higher (6.76 EPA). Brady’s worst five-game stretchesTom Brady’s lowest cumulative expected points added (EPA) in any five-game window, 2007-2017 20149/7/1410/5/1420219.543-2 201510/29/1511/29/1522622.194-1 201512/6/151/3/1620418.592-3 SeasonFromToAction PlaysTotal EPAPatriots Record 200911/22/0912/20/0918419.813-2 201712/3/1712/31/1720722.164-1 201010/4/1011/7/1019518.144-1 Does not include overlapping periods or playoff games; single-season stretches only. Action plays include pass attempts, QB runs and sacks.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group Yes, Brady was without his best weapon, Rob Gronkowski, for the worst game in the stretch, a 27-20 loss to the Dolphins in Miami, when he managed only a 59.5 rating and 4.16 EPA. But he capped the regular season at home against the New York Jets with his lowest yards per attempt of the year (5.14), with an active Gronkowski being held catchless.This could all be random variance. Maybe Brady is still eluding Father Time better than any quarterback in history and will soon erase all doubts, as he has before. He’s certainly fired up about even faint whispers of his decline. And the Patriots last year reportedly were planning as if his commitment to diet and training would allow him to play at an elite level for at least another couple of seasons. Brady, of course, seems to think he can continue pushing defenses around even when he’s pushing 50.But if we were to look at the half-empty glass, we can draw comparisons to the career arc of Brady’s former longtime nemesis, Peyton Manning. No, not the Manning we last saw in 2015, who somehow won a Super Bowl with play so poor that his league-leading defense was forced to overcome it. Brady’s 2017 season is actually eerily similar to the 2014 Manning, who was his typical dominant self for the first 11 games of the year before falling off a cliff that can be seen now only in hindsight. At the time, the poor play was attributed to nagging injuries and not the inevitable end of one of the NFL’s greatest careers. 20139/29/1310/27/1321618.743-2 Neither quarterback gave any indication that anything was different if you look at the full-season statistics. But while we think a decline for a player happens neatly at the start of a season, Manning showed the circus can leave town at any time. For him, that time was his 12th game of the 2014 season. Previously, he was characteristically crushing the NFL with a third-best 109.5 passer rating and fourth-best 8.05 yards per attempt — that’s very similar to Brady’s first 11 games this year, with a 111.7 passer rating (first) and 8.27 yards per attempt (third).But then Manning instantly transformed into an old quarterback: a 78.7 rating (24th) in his final five games with a TD-to-interception rate of 5-to-6, compared with 34-to-9 in the first 11 games.Manning’s 2014 season ended with a home loss in the divisional round because of his poor play against an inexperienced playoff team with a third-year quarterback (Indianapolis’s Andrew Luck). Coincidently on Saturday, the Patriots will also take the field as a significant favorite at home against an inexperienced playoff team with a third-year quarterback (Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota).Premature obits have been written for Brady before. There’s little reason to doubt New England based on what they’ve accomplished this century. But if Belichick and Brady are to get that unprecedented sixth ring, they will need Brady to look more like what he’s been and less like what he is: a 40-year-old quarterback.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
Mariota was sacked eight times on 45 dropbacks over the course of the game. His QBR over the final three quarters was a miserable 19.7, while the Titans offense netted just 3.53 yards per play.In the AFC Championship Game, the Jacksonville Jaguars got off to an even stronger start. With a mix of power running and downfield throwing, they jumped out to a 14-3 second-quarter lead. Quarterback Blake Bortles was devastating on play-action passes in the first half, going 8-for-8 for 114 yards and a perfect 158.3 passer rating on throws with run fakes.After halftime, the Patriots took it away. New England did this, to some extent, by doing the opposite of what they did to Tennessee: sending extra defenders, stuffing the power run and forcing Bortles to make quick decisions.Here’s an example in the third quarter, where the Jaguars were facing 2nd-and-10. At that down and distance, either a run or a pass would make sense. So the play-action pass could be an effective option, as it had been throughout the first half: While the NFL universe has been breathlessly gushing over the New England Patriots offense for nearly two decades, the Pats defense is usually described with an old chestnut of coachspeak: “Bend but don’t break.” For years, Patriot defenses have allowed heaps of yards but denied points by tightening in the red zone,1The Patriots finished in the bottom third of the NFL in yardage defense five of the last eight seasons yet ranked in the top 10 in scoring defense seven times. and this season’s iteration is no different. But on a game-by-game level, this Patriots defense has taken on a new quality: They bend early, then straighten themselves out at halftime.There’s a huge difference between the Pats defense that takes the field at the beginning of the game and the one that walks off the field (usually) victorious. Including both playoff games, the Patriots’ first-half averages of 5.85 yards per play (30th) and 10.06 points allowed (11th) dropped to 5.43 yards per play (22nd) and 8.28 points allowed (2nd) in the second half. This suggests that even if Nick Foles and the Eagles move the ball early and put up points on Sunday, there’s reason to believe Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will draw up a way to stop them before Justin Timberlake is finished bringing sexy back. Just what kind of midgame adjustments are the Patriots making? Let’s examine the last two games.Against the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round, New England seemed to come in with a concrete game plan: Counter Tennessee’s running-back-and-tight-end heavy offense by stacking the box with defenders and playing tight man coverage. They also used a spy on quarterback Marcus Mariota to contain his running ability.Per ESPN’s Sports & Information Group, the Patriots had at least eight defenders in the box on five of 16 first-quarter Tennessee snaps. But the Titans pass-catchers were able to get open quick enough to give Mariota options. Backpedaling Pats linebackers failed to get enough depth to cover intermediate seam and out routes. Mariota posted a 99.3 first-quarter Raw Quarterback Rating, and the Titans averaged 6.75 yards per play.After the Titans found the end zone on their second drive, the Patriots stacked eight in the box on only two snaps out of the remaining 45. With more defenders dropping into coverage, the pass rush was significantly more effective. Watch on this key third-quarter 3rd-and-7, arguably the Titans’ last best chance to get into the game, as Mariota has no place to throw or run: The Patriots decide to risk the Jaguars pass-catchers getting open deep and here press both wideouts with their outside corners. Two linebackers drop into coverage, and behind them is a single-high safety.Everyone else blitzes, including slot corner Malcolm Butler. Bortles play-fakes to the fullback, then sets up to pass. But tight end Marcedes Lewis fails to recognize the blitz from Butler until it’s too late. Tailback Leonard Fournette, intending to pick up Butler, realizes too late that Lewis let defensive end Trey Flowers through. Soon Bortles is swamped and sacked.The Jaguars called six other play-action passes in the second half, per ESPN Sports & Info, and Bortles completed just three of them. His second-half passer rating was 69.1, and his QBR was 42.7. The Jags offense averaged 4.34 yards per play in the second half, down from 6.81 in the first. They added just two field goals to their first-half scoring, turning a 14-3 lead to a 24-20 loss.So what will the Patriots try to take away from the Philadelphia Eagles?The easy answer would be “whatever the Eagles manage to do well.” In their upset of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game, the Eagles did practically everything well — but above all, quarterback Nick Foles stayed calm in the face of pressure and attacked the Vikings secondary deep.If the Patriots try to attack Foles the way they attacked Bortles in the second half, it might go badly. Instead, Belichick and Patricia will likely drop into safe zones and wait for the Eagles to reveal their plan — perhaps using red-hot receiver Alshon Jeffery to attack a Patriots secondary that finished 26th against No. 1 wideouts in Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average.2Football Outsiders says the DVOA metric “measures a team’s efficiency by comparing success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent.” Whatever Eagles head coach Doug Pederson’s plan is, he’d better have a Plan B.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
Then-sophomore defender Austin Bergstrom (25) kicks the ball during a game against Michigan in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 9 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 1-0.Credit: Lantern File PhotoComing off a three-week road swing, the Ohio State men’s soccer team will prepare to host its first conference game this weekend.After playing to a 3-3 double-overtime draw against in-state rival No.11 Akron on Wednesday, the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on another ranked opponent in No. 13 Penn State at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.Before its game against Akron, OSU was on a four-game losing streak, trying to find its momentum. Despite the team’s disappointing start to the season, it did not let it affect its mindset going into Wednesday’s game as the Buckeyes came from behind to tie the game against Akron.“We would have liked to get the win,” senior midfielder and co-captain Zach Mason said. “But I think it showed a lot about the heart this team has and the character to bounce back from a tough stretch and play a ranked opponent toe-to-toe; so I think we’re headed in the right direction.”OSU proved to be able to keep up with a ranked competitor, but the Buckeyes will face another heavy challenge as they prepare to face No.13 Penn State.“They are very solid and organized all over the pitch, and they have a few attacking plays where they can unlock the door and score a goal,” senior defender and co-captain Liam Doyle said. “So as hard as they are to beat, they’re also dangerous at getting a goal or two, so we have to be on our game against them.”Mason said that the team would really have to take its chances this weekend because it is going to be a 90-minute battle.Despite the challenge OSU will likely face, Doyle said the team would like the fans to come out and support the team on Sunday.“I think Ohio State and Penn State have a rivalry in a lot of sports and what else is there to do on Sunday afternoon a 3 p.m.?” Doyle said. “Might as well come out in the nice weather and enjoy the game.”About the Nittany LionsPenn State comes into Sunday’s game after defeating 10th-ranked Indiana 1-0 on Sunday in University Park, Pennsylvania. Penn State stands at 4-1-1 overall and 1-0-0 in Big Ten play. Freshman forward Marc Curran leads the team with six goals, while senior midfielder Brian James has three goals and one assist. Senior goalkeeper Matt Bersano is 4-1-1 overall with a 0.48 goals against average and .880 save percentage and has played a total of 470 minutes.What’s next?Following Sunday’s action, the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on Dayton at 7 p.m. on Friday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Celtic Football Club manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed he wasn’t too despondent at his team’s inability to record a win against Livingston in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.The first draw in six league games for the champions was still enough for them to reclaim top spot in the Premiership for the first time this season.“I thought it was a good game and credit to both teams.” Rodgers said, according to Daily Mail.“We did the basics very, very well. Livingston test you with how they play with throw-ins, deep free-kicks and I thought we stood up that really well.”Generous in his praise for the performance of Livingston keeper Liam Kelly, the former Liverpool manager continued:“We had chances and their goalkeeper was man of the match.”Match Preview: Manchester United vs Leicester City Boro Tanchev – September 13, 2019 Old Trafford is the venue for the Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Leicester City, which kicks off at 16:00 (CET) on Saturday.“He made three fantastic saves and I have no complaints. My team has given everything over the last seven weeks and we have to give credit to Livingston. They are a tough team to break down and they have been up at the top.”“The season started slowly for us. But I’ve been so pleased with the last seven weeks or so – the performance level.”“We were never going to reach top level today in terms of goals and creativity as the surface is really difficult for that.”“You add to that a team which defends really well and it was always going to be difficult for us. It’s a good point here on the back of all the games we’ve had.”“So we’ll take the positive from it of which there were a lot.”“Our form and our rhythm has been really positive. We hope they all come back from international duty fresh and fit and we’ll look forward to a busy but exciting period between now and the mid-season break. So it’s looking really good for us.”
The driver’s services include movie times and tickets from Atom Tickets, in-dash gas purchases at Chevron and Phillips 66 stations, food and drink orders at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf or via Grubhub, and location sharing via Glympse, all paid for with a stored Visa, MasterCard or Paypal authorization. The depiction of an older driver in Honda’s Dream Drive press materials is prescient: It’s less likely that younger drivers will embrace a set of services and merchants that a carmaker thinks make sense. Honda The passenger services are a little more inventive, including some form of mixed reality gameplay related to the vehicle’s journey, original comics with Honda-exclusive story lines from DC Comics, media from Lego and recommendations from AAA of interesting or useful things along your route. And, of course, there will be merchants whose stuff you can buy in a sort of virtual mall with points earned by driving your Honda. That takes a page from the credit card loyalty playbook with its catalogs of partner merchandise, the value of which is always hard to determine thanks to obscure points-to-dollar translations.Custom content from the likes of DC Comics is an interesting wrinkle in the in-car services game, which mostly consists of warmed-over offerings that already saturate the phone. Honda Sounds like a lot of distraction? Well, that happens when you introduce commerce and rich media to the car, but Dream Drive’s admittedly clean interface and the use of voice should keep distraction to a manageable level. Interestingly, the voice command will not be Amazon, Google or Apple but Honda’s own in-car platform. That feels like a page from the year 2010 to me, but I’m open to be wowed by a voice platform that can really excel when limited to a narrow universe. Route enrichment services in Honda Dream Drive will include some level of mixed-reality entertainment, as well as recommendations from AAA. The former is cutting edge, the latter a bit staid. Honda Dream Drive is currently in beta testing and I think the better part of valor would be spending time to hone near-perfect voice support, elegantly integrated merchants that feel top-tier, and services that get me all the way there, not just part of the way. That goes for any carmaker embarking on in-vehicle commerce, not just Honda and GM. Roadshow We aren’t even close to having fully autonomous cars yet, but the march toward in-car commerce has already begun, with Honda’s Dream Drive platform as the latest evidence.Dream Drive is a set of cloud services in the car divided into relevant groups for drivers or passengers. It’s similar to GM’s Marketplace but broader and more ambitious. Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: More From Roadshow Post a comment 2019 Honda Ridgeline review: Light duty, heavy punch See how Honda is putting stores in its cars 2019 Honda Passport review: All the SUV you really need 2019 Honda CR-V review: Still one of the best small SUVs around 5:32 0 Cooley On Cars Tags Honda
0 Meet Blake Crouch. Sarah Tew/CNET Blake Crouch likes messing with your mind. Whether in the Wayward Pines trilogy (recently adapted as a TV series), Good Behavior (also a TV series), or the critical gem Dark Matter (in the works as a film), his characters encounter moral dilemmas, often with a sci-fi twist. Recursion, his latest novel, takes things deeper, mixing elements of a police procedural with time travel, alternative universes and just a bit of mad scientist menace. Naturally, it’s already being developed by Shona Rhimes for Netflix.My colleague David Carnoy, author of several mystery novels, joins in for this episode of Book Club, while Scott was out of town. Subscribe: CNET RSS | iTunes | FeedBurner | Google Play | TuneIn | Stitcher See Recursion at Amazon Random House About CNET Book ClubThe Book Club is hosted by a pair of self-proclaimed book experts: Dan Ackerman (author of the nonfiction video game history book The Tetris Effect), and Scott Stein, a playwright and screenwriter. We’ll be announcing our next Book Club selection soon, so send us your suggestions and keep an eye out for updates on Twitter at @danackerman and @jetscott. Previous episodesBorne by Jeff VanderMeerWalkaway by Cory DoctorowArtemis by Andy WeirDown the River Unto the Sea by Walter MosleyTen Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron LanierCNET Book Club: Holiday 2018 gift guide specialTeam Human by Douglas RushkoffJosh Frank on bringing the Marx Brothers and Salvador Dalí togetherTim Maughan asks, what if the internet dies?Subscribe to CNET Book Club: CNET RSS | iTunes | FeedBurner | Google Play | TuneIn | Stitcher Tags Share your voice CNET Book Club Culture Post a comment
IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Close Telcos in India created panic among mobile users when they decided to disconnect incoming calls with low balance. With that, users started looking for the best prepaid plans with incoming and outgoing calling facility to avoid disruption. For subscribers with two SIM cards, one mainly for data purposes, finding affordable calling plans can be a challenging task.Reliance Jio offers the best data plans, and most users use Jio SIM card as a secondary one in addition to Airtel or Vodafone. So finding just voice call plans that even extend the validity of incoming calls on the primary number makes sense for many.Most telcos offer exciting plans that fulfil various needs of subscribers, including daily high-speed data, unlimited calls and texts. Below you can find the best long-term prepaid calling plans from all major carriers in India, so you do not have to lose your primary number to temporary suspension.AirtelShortly after suspending incoming calls for not maintaining a minimum balance, Airtel introduced Rs 100 and Rs 500 plans that offer lifetime incoming validity alongside 28 days outgoing validity. With the recharge Rs 100, subscribers get Rs 81.75 talk time and with Rs 500, Airtel offers Rs 420 worth talk time. Both these plans do not offer any data benefits, for which users can look at the wide range of prepaid plans at easy disposal. Airtel prepaid plansDIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty ImagesVodafone IdeaLike Airtel, Vodafone has plenty of prepaid plans to suit different needs of subscribers. For those who are more focused on calling than data, there’s a new Rs 999 tariff, which gives subscribers unlimited voice calling, 100 SMS per day and 12GB data for a period of one year. This plan is valid only in Punjab circle, but it’s only a matter of time before Vodafone rolls out to other regions.Separately, Vodafone has Rs 597 plan that gives users 10GB data, 100 SMS per day and unlimited calling for a period of 112 days and the same plan for feature phones extends the validity to 168 days. Vodafone prepaid plansReuters/file photoFor a wide range of prepaid plans with unlimited calls, data and more, visit Vodafone’s official website.BSNLSeeing the competition up to the game, BSNL also rolled out a new prepaid plan focused on voice calls. The state-run telco is offering unlimited local, STD and roaming call for a period of six months with the recharge of Rs 599.Reliance JioReliance Jio doesn’t have a prepaid plan that focuses solely on calls. But the cheap tariffs bundle calls and data and still manages to compete with rivals. There are several long-term prepaid plans under Jio, but the best ones are for Rs 399 with 84 days validity, 1.5GB data per day and Rs 1,699 with one-year validity and 1.5GB data per day. Subscribers can look for various offers with 2GB data per day and up to 5GB data per day. Airtel vs Reliance Jio: Which network is faster in India?
NTERPOL president Meng Hongwei poses during a visit to the headquarters of International Police Organisation in Lyon, France, on 8 May 2018. Reuters File PhotoChina will expel former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei from a high profile though largely ceremonial advisory body to parliament, state media reported, after the Chinese government put him under investigation for bribery and other violations.Under president Xi Jinping, China has been engaged in a sweeping crackdown on official corruption.Earlier this month, Interpol, the France-based global police coordination body, said that Meng had resigned as its president, after French authorities said the Chinese official had been reported missing by his wife after travelling to his home country.It is unclear where Meng is being held and it has not been possible to reach him for comment. It is also unclear if he has been allowed to retain legal representation.In the latest move by the Chinese government against Meng, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which advises parliament though has no legislative powers, has decided to dismiss him from the body, state media said late on Friday.The decision still needs formal approval from the body’s standing committee, the official Xinhua news agency said, though this will only be a formality.Meng had been a member of the body’s foreign affairs committee.Members of the advisory body do not enjoy immunity from prosecution, unlike members of China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament.Meng, 64 and a deputy minister of public security, became president of the global police cooperation agency in late 2016 amid a broader effort by China to secure leadership posts in international organisations.His appointment prompted concern at the time from rights groups that Beijing might try to leverage his position to pursue dissidents abroad.
As part of the AFRO’s 125th anniversary celebrations and Morgan State University 150th celebration, there will be a journalism symposium on how the AFRO has covered presidents throughout history from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 8 at the School of Global Journalism and Communication’s Ruth T. Sheffey Auditorium Communication Center at Morgan State University. Dr. Frances “Toni” Draper, AFRO board member, will moderate a panel made up of Dr. Jason Johnson, Lauren Victoria Burke and Tony Harris. John Jake Oliver, publisher and CEO of the AFRO, will also offer his perspective. This is a free event and all are welcome. Call 443-885-3330 for more information.
Spending too much time online can damage your immune function, warns a new study. People with greater levels of internet addiction problems are 30