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56mBill Barnwell

Zeke for MVP? Better take a closer look

For a running back to win an MVP in 2016, he should at least be tops at his position. And Ezekiel Elliott hasn't been any better in 2016 than David Johnson. The evidence is clear.

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34mMichael C. Wright

Popovich rips Spurs for 'going through motions'

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was critical of his players after Thursday's 95-91 loss to the Bulls, saying, "We played 24 minutes again, as we have for about the last 10 games."

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9hMike Triplett

Witness says Will Smith brought 'his own demise'

A witness in the trial of Cardell Hayes said that former Saints player Will Smith brought about 'his own demise' by acting as an aggressor on the night that Smith was shot and killed.

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2hMatt Bowen

The Uncoverables: Best NFL WRs in every category

Who's the best deep threat? Which WR is most dangerous after the catch? What about the toughest player to cover in the red zone? Here's your ultimate breakdown of the league's top wide receivers.

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Howard thinks Applewhite is great hire for Houston (0:43)
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SVP moved by Holly Rowe, James Conner speeches (1:51)
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Hill turns on the jets for 78-yard punt return TD (0:35)
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Price takes out anger on Palmieri (0:29)
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Hayes scores Rangers' winner with 1:09 left (0:28)
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LeBron tries the water-bottle challenge ... during a game (0:27)
Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images
2hPaul Lukas

Uni Watch: The NFL's shell game

Friday Flashback: With the NFL's helmet rule, there are now 16 throwback looks that are off-limits.

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Mike Rodak ESPN Staff Writer 

WR Sammy Watkins on the field for Friday's Bills practice. DT Kyle Williams is not.

NFL 

Rob Demovsky ESPN Staff Writer 

Sunday's ever-changing forecast now calls for snow during Packers-Seahawks. "We watch the weather – whether it's going to snow, how much snow, rain, wind," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "You look at the elements and you adjust accordingly. I don't really talk about the weather until the team meeting tomorrow because it can change. [Administrative assistant] Matt Klein is our weather man and he's kind of like your weather man. It changes every day."

Sam Khan Jr. ESPN Staff Writer 

New Houston coach Major Applewhite will receive a five-year contract, a source told ESPN.com. No word yet on salary or other parameters.

Sam Khan Jr. ESPN Staff Writer 

New Houston coach Major Applewhite assumes his position immediately, meaning he'll lead the Cougars in the Las Vegas Bowl vs. San Diego State. Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, who was the interim head coach during the search, will assume his usual duties.

NCAAF 

Brett Okamoto ESPN Staff Writer 

UFC's Anthony Pettis has missed weight for his interim featherweight title fight tomorrow at UFC 206 in Toronto. 148 pounds, three over the limit. His opponent, Max Holloway, made weight at 145.

MMA 

Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

The Rockets pulled the $31 million offer sheet to power forward Donatas Motiejunas on Friday and are working on a new contract according to a source. Motiejunas returns to restricted free agency status. Motiejunas had signed a $37 million offer sheet with Brooklyn last week but after the Rockets matched the sheet, which was without $6 million in incentive clauses, he declined to report for a physical.

NBA 

Adam Rittenberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek on the hiring of Major Applewhite as coach: "We wanted a coach with great integrity who believed in our mission and truly believed in our student-athlete experience. We had our sights set on a focused competitor who has demonstrated success and possesses a deep connection to college and high school football in the great state of Texas. As this process was completed, it was clearly evident the only individual to offer our position to was Major Applewhite and he was indeed the right man to lead our program."

NCAAF 

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

Yesterday was a day of contrasts at One Jets Drive. Nick Mangold, a heart-and-soul player for a decade, was placed on IR, perhaps ending his Jets career. Two players who should be stepping into prominent leadership roles by virtue of their talent and experience -- Mo Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson -- came off as grumpy. Wilkerson was critical of the secondary and Richardson was surly when asked about his lack of production this season and role reduction in the last game.

NFL 

Andrea Adelson ESPN Staff Writer 

Next up for the top two quarterbacks in the ACC: the Heisman Trophy ceremony on Saturday. Each comes in with awards already. Deshaun Watson has the Davey O'Brien and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm awards; Lamar Jackson has the Maxwell, Walter Camp and ACC player of the year.

NCAAF 

Mike Rodak ESPN Staff Writer 

Bills GM Doug Whaley to WGR 550 on Tyrod Taylor: "He's got 4 more games to write this chapter. Then after this season, like everybody on the team, we're going to do an evaluation and then we'll go from there."

NFL 

Jamison Hensley ESPN Staff Writer 

On Tuesday, the NFL will announce the teams who will play in London next season. Ravens are a candidate to face the Jaguars there in 2017.

NFL 

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

The Grizzlies have outscored opponents by 19 points in 32 clutch minutes during their 5-game winning streak, despite the absences of Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons and others. Memphis has overcome fourth-quarter deficits of 14 to the Magic, 13 to the Trail Blazers and 10 to the Pelicans during the streak. How? "Staying poised, never putting our heads down and feel sorry for ourselves," Tony Allen told the Memphis media. "I hate to say the same thing, but grit ‘n grind."

NBA 

Chiefs' Hill Races Through Raiders for TD
NFL 

Tyreek Hill fields a punt and maneuvers his way for a 78-yard touchdown in the second quarter -- one of his two TDs in Kansas City's 21-13 win over Oakland.

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NFL 

ESPN Stats and Information  

Raiders QB Derek Carr was 0-of-7 on passes at least 15 yards downfield in a loss to the Chiefs on Thursday. His 41.5% completion percentage overall was 2nd-lowest of his career.

NFL 

ESPN Stats and Information  

Raiders QB Derek Carr had the worst game of his career from a statistical perspective on Thursday night. His 2 worst Total QBRs this season have both come against the Chiefs.

NFL 

Leonard dunks on Butler and Lopez
NBA 

Kawhi Leonard posts up against Jimmy Butler and spins by him to hit the rim with a one-handed slam over Butler and Robin Lopez.

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NBA 

Towns show Valanciunas no mercy
NBA 

Karl-Anthony Towns drives to the basket, rises up and throws down a huge one-handed slam dunk over Jonas Valanciunas.

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NBA 

Adam Teicher ESPN Staff Writer 

Tyreek Hill delivered a 78-yard punt return for the Chiefs after fans were chanting his name in anticipation of a big play. "I don't think I've ever seen anything like what happened tonight, that one scene," quarterback Alex Smith said "I've never seen a stadium chant a name like that and then he houses it. It gave me chills."

NFL 

Paul Gutierrez ESPN Staff Writer 

Michael Crabtree told reporters he needed to get an X-ray on his left ring finger after injuring it again. He dislocated it on Sunday.

NFL 

Bob Holtzman ESPN 

Derek Carr says "it was just a bad night", that his finger wasn't an issue, and that "he's sick to his stomach" to play like that.

NFL 

Adam Teicher ESPN Staff Writer 

Andy Reid confirmed a ruptured Achilles' tendon for linebacker Derrick Johnson.

NFL 

Scott T. Miller ESPN.com 

Since 2001, teams with a minus-3 turnover differential have a .094 winning percentage. The Chiefs won tonight with a minus-3 differential, thanks to a defense that allowed just six points off turnovers.

NFL 

ESPN Stats and Information  

Raiders QB Derek Carr threw for 117 yards, the 2nd-fewest in a game by a QB with at least 40 attempts. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the record of 110 was set by Jesse Palmer for the Giants against the Panthers in 2003. It was the last game of Palmer's career.

NFL 

Tristan H. Cockcroft ESPN Senior Writer 

Derek Carr's four fantasy points tonight are his third-fewest in a game in his career (2, 2014 Week 13 and 2015 Week 1). Five of his 15 worst single-game point totals have now come against the Chiefs.

NFL 

Matt Bowen ESPN Staff Writer 

Raiders missed multiple opportunities tonight to put points on the board, but give credit to the Chiefs and that defensive game plan, too. The Kansas City secondary was aggressive. A lot of press-man. Technique and physicality. Challenge the release. Derek Carr finished with only 117 yards on 17-of-41 passing. Chiefs get the 21-13 win at Arrowhead.

NFL