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26/03/2018

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. Tre Boston Jersey . - With the Miami Dolphins at 7-7 and all but eliminated from the playoffs, defensive tackle Jared Odrick talked about playing out the season.Were on a team thats .500, he said. If you dont believe that youre a .500 team, you have to go out there and prove it. Weve got two more games to do that.So a winning record would be a significant achievement?Nah.Finishing 9-7? Odrick said. Finishing 9-7 and not going to the playoffs doesnt mean a thing.If more Dolphins could reverse direction so quickly, they might be Super Bowl-bound.Its tough to blame Odrick for having trouble convincing himself that Sundays game matters. Motivation can be difficult for teams out of the playoff chase, and thats the challenge both teams face when the Dolphins play the Minnesota Vikings (6-8).Here are things to know about the matchup between also-rans:THE STAKES: The game means a lot to Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, whose job is in jeopardy after lopsided losses the past two weeks likely ensured a third consecutive season out of the playoffs.Players have been vocal in defending Philbin and his staff.I dont think its the coaches fault, receiver Mike Wallace said. I think its our fault. I dont think weve played up to our potential throughout our games. I dont think weve played a full 60 minutes, except maybe two or three times. Were selling ourselves short — the players, not the coaches.Another loss might seal Philbins fate, while a sweep of the final two games would give Miami its first winning season since 2008, a sign of progress that could influence owner Stephen Ross.In the absence of Adrian Peterson, the Vikings have been out of the race since Thanksgiving. But theyve won two of their past three games to give them a shot at a .500 finish under first-year coach Mike Zimmer.Were moving in the right direction, defensive end Brian Robison said. Thats what you want to see out of a club thats under a new regime.QB HOMECOMING: There likely will be lots of empty seats Sunday, but dont blame Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Miami native will have plenty of family and friends in attendance, although he couldnt provide an exact count because his mother handles ticket requests.Im pretty loved back home in Miami, and a lot of people tell me that Im a role model in my community, Bridgewater said. So itll be amazing to see how many turn out there and get to see me play in person for the first time.Bridgewater grew up a Dolphins fan and attended a couple of their games before heading off to Louisville. He said he envisioned himself playing in the stadium someday.As a child I had high dreams and aspirations, he said. Making it to the National Football League and to be able to play there my first year in the NFL, its pretty amazing.Bridgewater will make his 11th start, passing Fran Tarkenton and Christian Ponder for the most by Vikings rookie quarterback.GOING LONG: Miamis Ryan Tannehill is finally showing progress with his accuracy on long passes.In last weeks loss at New England, Tannehill threw deep to Wallace for 50 yards on the first play, and went long to Wallace for a 32-yard score at the end of the first half. Another deep throw into the end zone was dropped.He had a number of deep balls that were as good as any we have seen him throw in games, offensive co-ordinator Bill Lazor said. We have seen improvement in practice, and we kind of felt like that it should be showing up in the game.For the season, Tannehill is 8 for 36 (22 per cent) on throws of more than 20 yards.COACHING PALS: Zimmer said his friendship with Dolphins defensive co-ordinator Kevin Coyle could be a factor in the game. They worked together with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008-11, when Zimmer was defensive co-ordinator and Coyle coached the secondary.Ive played against guys that have been with me before, and theyll run a play and you will say, Ah, I told them about that, Zimmer said. Its one play here or there.WINTER IN MIAMI: The Vikings practice in their field house with the doors open to simulate colder conditions for late-season games, but this week the doors were closed and the heat turned up to prep for Miami.It will be 80 degrees, Zimmer said before one workout. Not sunny, but it will be 80 degrees.___AP Sports Writers Dave Campbell and Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL___Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve_Wine Melvin Ingram Jersey . -- Zach Johnson is like most players at the World Challenge, not sure whether hes still playing in 2013 or if hes in the middle of the new wraparound season that officially started in October. Dontrelle Inman Jersey .B. -- Canadian pairs skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford went from elated to frustrated in the span of a few minutes.TORONTO -- In the immediate moments after the Raptors 101-87 victory over Detroit on Wednesday, Toronto coach Dwane Casey sat down to watch the dying minutes of the Miami-Brooklyn game. Amir Johnson checked the result on his phone. With 20 games left on a thrilling season that sees Toronto poised for a playoff position for the first time in six years, the Raptors are excited, and thinking about little else. "Hell, yeah. Without a doubt, man," DeMar DeRozan said. "Thats why I work so hard, and it always bugged me going home early, and just sitting there doing nothing. It used to make me so hungry just watching." DeRozan poured in 25 points, while Johnson scored 20 and grabbed nine rebounds in a game that was no thriller but served its purpose -- one step closer to the teams second Atlantic Division title and its first playoff berth since 2008. The Nets, who edged Miami 96-95 on Wednesday, are three games behind Toronto for the division title. "Ive got a lot of friends that play in the playoffs and I had to hear all summer them talking about their experience in the playoffs. It always pushed me even further," DeRozan said. "You just want to get there. Not even for myself, just for this organization as well. It definitely feels good that were moving in the right direction now." Kyle Lowry had 19 points and six assists, while Jonas Valanciunas had 13 rebounds to go with eight points for the Raptors (36-27), whove won 10 of their last 13 games. The affair wasnt pretty. The Raptors coughed up double-digit leads a couple of times -- including an 18-point third-quarter advantage that the Pistons whittled down to just five -- in a game they could have put out of reach far earlier. The Raptors went into the fourth quarter with a narrow 74-69 lead in front of the 18,247 fans at the Air Canada Centre that braved the rare March snowstorm. They scored the first nine points of the fourth to go up by 14. A wide-open three by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with 8:23 to go cut the Raptors lead to nine points, but that was as close as the struggling Pistons would come. Brandon Jennings topped Detroit (25-40) with 24 points, while Andre Drummond had 16 points and nine rebounds and Greg Monroe had 13 points to go with 10 boards. Ugly or not, the Raptors were happy to tick off another win. "Absolutely. Im ready," Johnson said, when asked if hes thinking post-season. "Were going to win as many games as we possibly can going down the home stretch, collect these wins." Casey said hes happy his players are enjoying their success, but warns that theyve got to focus on themselves down the stretch. "It is fun. But weve got to take care of our business. We can watch (what other teams are doing), but if we dont take care of our business, its not worth crap," the coach said. Custom Los Angeles Chargers Jerseys. "Im more concerned with what we do, and how were playing, . . .and losing leads, moreso than anything else. "I hope (the Raptors) are enjoying it but still understand how hard it is, getting there first, and then after you get there, its even harder." DeRozan, whos in his fifth season in Toronto thus has never stepped on the court for a playoff game, said he has always forced himself to watch the post-season, regardless of how frustrating it was. "I had to, just to understand and see how it was," he said. "Youre playing the same team possibly seven times in a row. Seeing the different schemes. Just trying to get a knowledge of how its played every single day." He said hes particularly thrilled to be sharing this seasons success with Johnson, who last made the playoffs with Detroit in 2009. "Thats my dog, man. Its definitely cool," DeRozan said. "I knew Amir, and Amir knew me when I was running around with the same pair of dirty shoes on, playing basketball. Amir is a helluva dude, how hard he works, and how good of a person he is." Johnson was key Wednesday night in containing Detroits frontcourt -- what Casey had predicted would be a "huge test" for Toronto. The Pistons lead the league in points in the paint and offensive rebounds, thanks largely to Drummond. The Raptors were effective inside, outrebounding Detroit 54-39 and outscoring their visitors in the paint 44-38. Casey wasnt thrilled with the second unit, saying it was "playing in mud a little bit." "We needed to keep the pace going, I thought the pace slowed down," he said. "For whatever reason we got stagnant and lost a couple of leads and thats something we have to work on." The Raptors raced out to a nine-point lead four minutes into the game, stretching it to 14 on a pullup jumper by John Salmons before ending the first quarter up 29-21. The Raptors went almost five minutes without a point to open the second, and Bynum drained a three with 8:37 left in the half to tie the game 29-29. The Raptors managed to cobble together another 10-point lead and took a 52-45 advantage into the dressing room at halftime. A three-pointer by Lowry stretched Torontos lead to 18 points just four-and-a-half minutes into the third but the Raptors couldnt maintain it. The Pistons ended the quarter on a 14-2 run to send the game into the fourth with Toronto leading 74-69. NOTES: Patrick Patterson missed his third straight game with an elbow injury. . . The game was the first of three straight at home. The Raptors host the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday and the Phoenix Suns on Sunday before playing a pair on the road at Atlanta and New Orleans. . . The Raptors have won four of their last five against the Pistons. Cheap Jerseys Online Discount NFL Jerseys Jerseys NFL CheapCheap Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping China Jerseys Cheap Cheap Jerseys 2018 ' ' '