The Dolphins are hanging by a thread in the AFC wild-card race, while the Chiefs have their groove back in the West.

Kansas City win its division in style here by keeping it simple with Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill, and the defense will have another strong game against the pass vs. Jay Cutler.

Even though the Raptors stumbled into the Eastern Conference finals in 2016, there’s a sense that they’ve disappointed in the postseason. DeRozan and his costar Kyle Lowry have certainly both struggled to be themselves. After last season’s loss, even Toronto acknowledged it.

After that performance, we need a culture reset here, Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri said in his season ending media interview. The style of play is something we need to change. I’ve made it clear. [Head coach Dwane Casey] has acknowledged it.

You know what, though? DeRozan reliably hitting three-pointers might be exactly what he needs to change that. (You can also see Toronto’s improved spacing in the gif at the top — DeRozan initiates that pick and roll from about 30 feet and has plenty of room to step into a clean three-pointer.)

Dallas will start its drive at its 24 with 6:30 to play.

Dallas is called for holding and never recovers as it goes three-and-out. The Cowboys punt and the Raiders will take over with 8:15 to play and the score tied.

Touchdown, Raiders. Oakland puts together a 10-play, 53-yard drive that ends with a 2-yard touchdown catch by Michael Crabtree to tie the score, 17-17. Crabtree has seven receptions and two scores in the game.

Field goal, Raiders. Oakland fails to punch it in after the Cowboys’ turnover as Carr throws two incompletions and Marshawn Lynch registers a short run. Giorgio Tavecchio hits a 39-yard field goal to tie the score 10-10 with 6:14 left in the third quarter.

Turnover, Cowboys. Prescott is hit as he throws and the pass is picked off by Sean Smith, who runs it into the end zone. After review, Smith is ruled down by contact and the Raiders will take over at their 22.

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The L.A. Lakers knew what they were signing up for when they drafted Lonzo Ball No. 2 overall in the 2017 NBA draft.

As Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, Rodgers and Green Bay’s doctors/training staff deserve credit for his aggressive rehab and quick return from a broken right collarbone sustained in Week 6. The speculation at the time was that Rodgers’ season was over; it would take extensive rehab lasting through the entire season because it was the collarbone on his throwing side. Instead, the QB is back within the minimum eight weeks allowed after being placed on designated to return injured reserve.

On Sunday, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman published quotes from LaVar claiming that Luke Walton has lost his Lakers’ ears and that the team no longer wants to play for him. This isn’t the first time an NBA dad has criticized his son’s coach. This isn’t the first time that’s happened this season. But because the sports media (including SB Nation) covers the Ball family rather closely — ESPN sent a reporter to Lithuania to follow the younger Ball sons — LaVar’s quotes were blared from chyrons and Twitter accounts.

Should the Titans, however, also finish 9-7 with one more conference win, they would maintain a conference-record tiebreaker over the Bills. There’s also a fair chance of the Titans losing out and the Chargers winning out to get to 9-7. Buffalo loses the head-to-head tiebreaker there thanks to the debacle of starting Nathan Peterman in a 54-24 loss at Los Angeles in Week 11.

The Ravens would be in as either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed if they win out with a favorable home schedule against two bad teams. The Titans hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over them, but the Ravens would have the common games tiebreaker over the Bills after going 5-0 against the Colts, Bengals, Raiders and Dolphins.

Also, given the degree of difficulty of the Titans’ and Bills’ remaining slates in relation to that of the Ravens, it’s difficult to see all three teams finishing with the same 10-6 record. Baltimore’s playoff chances are the equivalent of a chip-shot field-goal attempt by Justin Tucker.

At age 40, Brady is the oldest remaining quarterback in the playoffs. The Titans have the youngest in 24-year-old Marcus Mariota. The 16-year age gap between them is the largest between starting quarterbacks in a playoff game in NFL history.

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Melo’s potty mouth isn’t anything new.

In 1944, Joe Nuxhall pitched in the majors when he was 15. Of course, he pitched in the majors not because he was the most incredible pitching prospect in history, but because all the good players had to go fight in the war, and so for two seasons baseball was basically profoundly weird. This happens sometimes, for reasons less dramatic than wars: The 1968 season was the year of the pitcher, the 1993 season was when the offensive environment of the steroids era really began (along with baseball in Colorado), and the 1987 season was a very brief juiced-ball moment. These are seasons we remember mostly as years when baseball broke, and when everything that happened has to be taken with a little bit of skepticism; you might even think of them as the year the stats don’t count. You might actually put 1998 here, the year Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa homered so many danged times.

Anthony has never been known as a master rebounder, but he’s no scrub on the glass, either. Since he entered the league in 2003, only 24 players have recorded 6,000 or more rebounds, according to Basketball-Reference. Melo ranks 19th on that list at 6,656 boards, ahead of Andrew Bogut, Paul Millsap, David West, Lamar Odom and Josh Smith.

And so 1922 is the year baseball got its antitrust exemption, and 1929 is the year Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig first got uniform numbers, and 1935 is when night baseball began, and 1946 is when Jackie Robinson desegregated the minors, and 1950 is when Vin Scully started broadcasting games — unless that one belongs under category 2b …

We can debate what’s modern, but there are various points where the weird old-timey baseball they used to play became the cool and normal baseball we all love now. Which is why 1952 is the year Topps launched the modern baseball card, why 1965 is the year of the draft, and why 1976 is the year of free agency. This is probably the category for 2002’s Moneyball A’s — a great team, but more historically memorable as the first modern team.

He wasn’t at his best.

I was a little timid to catch just because of the pain, Jones recalled. It was messing with me mentally.

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The Cavaliers looked like they just couldn’t keep up and that isn’t the norm for a James-led team.

Tommy Suggs, longtime South Carolina color analyst and former Gamecocks QB: It’s just like a running back. You can stop a great running back four times, and the fifth time, he breaks it for 60 yards. And Clowney was the same way.

Jeffery: He didn’t even run straight. The quickest way to the ball is always a straight path. His path was actually about two or three yards to his left. Then he got back up and still hit the running back as he was getting the ball. You have to understand how fast you have to be to do that.

They’re not quite at full health yet with Thomas still being out and Tristan Thompson still recovering, but those two aren’t going to completely solve these issues.

Does this mean the Celtics are far and above the Cavaliers? Definitely not. We should still give the benefit of the doubt to James and company because, quite simply, they have one of the best players in the world and maybe this season’s MVP.

But this game shows us the gap isn’t as far apart as we may have thought it was and it’s closing with every game the Celtics play. Watch out, Cleveland.

Opponent winning percentage: .504; 15th-hardest. The Rams finished first in scoring after finishing last in 2016, becoming just the second team to complete that turnaround according to the Elias Sports Bureau (the first was the 1965 49ers). What makes that even more impressive is the Rams played a group of opponents who finished the season above .500.

Opponent winning percentage: .461; sixth-easiest. The Eagles matched a franchise record with 13 wins and finished fourth in FPI. Playing the sixth-easiest schedule might have helped. The Eagles went 9-0 against teams who finished .500 or worse.

Next season, they’ll likely be terrible again and the Celtics will be rewarded with their unprotected first-round pick.

As part of the trade with the 76ers, the Celtics received the rights to the Lakers’ 2018 first-round pick, so long as it falls between picks No. 2-5. Otherwise, the 76ers keep it.

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The Ravens can clinch a playoff spot with a win and will need to keep Bengals running back Giovani Bernard in check to clinch a playoff spot.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh wasn’t happy to hear the NFL pushed the game back from a 1 p.m. start, but they will host the Ravens at the same time as the other three AFC games with playoff implications. The Ravens have to be careful against a Bengals team that played spoiler last week by knocking the Lions from postseason contention and will look to do the same in Baltimore.

The Titans are the other AFC team that can get in by simply winning. It won’t be easy with a struggling offense against a motivated Jaguars defense that was embarrassed in last week’s 44-33 loss to the 49ers. Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone said he will not rest his starters despite the fact that the Jaguars are locked into the No. 3 seed in the AFC.

The Bills need the Titans to lose and then win at Miami in order to reach the postseason for the first time since 1999. In what is likely the final game for Jay Cutler as Dolphins quarterback, the Bills will surely come after him in their quest to end the NFL’s longest playoff drought.

Because it was so cold, it was more about the way the puck was bouncing, he said. It was so cold, the puck bounced right in front of me and it was hard to tell how high it was going to bounce. I had to get behind it and get the glove behind it.

The hard ice also meant the game moved more quickly than it would, say, on the spongier surface at Madison Square Garden.

It was a fast ice. That was the toughest part for me, Lundqvist said. To not slide out of the situation, because there was so much speed coming at you in every situation. Much faster than you’re used to, normally.

As he has in the past, Lundqvist capably handled the adverse conditions, making 31 saves. One of them was this tie-preserving beauty against Zemgus Girgensons, who fired the puck at Lundqvist after a Jack Eichel pass.

The victory ended a five-game losing streak in bowls, dating back to 2011. It also might have been Jackson’s final game for the Hawkeyes. The 6-1, 192-pound junior cornerback is a potential first-round pick and led FBS with eight interceptions this season. That total also tied a school record and Jackson, who was a Jim Thorpe Award finalist this year, returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns and also forced a fumble. He’s a long, aggressive and athletic cornerback with a nose for the ball. The knock on him, though, is that he’s really only had one season of good production at Iowa.

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Josh Jackson didn’t see many balls thrown his way Wednesday.

But when Boston College quarterback Darius Wade threw toward Jackson late in the Pinstripe Bowl, Jackson picked it off to seal Iowa’s 27-20 victory at Yankee Stadium.

Since late November, Irving’s defensive rating has climbed to 106.7. That’s not all on him; the Celtics as a team have slogged through a game-heavy December schedule. But as Irving continues to dazzle on the offensive end, he must recommit on the defensive end as well.

Boston’s defensive rating this season is a team-best 97.5 when Irving is off the court, an improvement of 5.1 points per 100 possession versus when he’s on the floor. Irving had been holding his opponents to league-average shooting during Boston’s winning streak, but the NBA’s tracking data has opponents shooting 50 percent against him over the past 20 games.

The Celtics have played their best basketball when they are defensively engaged, and Irving has repeatedly noted how much easier the game comes when Boston is not taking the ball out of the basket each trip down. Irving must set the tone, defensively, with his effort level, and his defensive-minded teammates will feed off that energy. — Chris Forsberg

After their original allotment of wild-card playoff tickets sold out in just a few hours, the team announced Thursday that it was opening up additional seating by removing sponsored tarps at EverBank Field.

The removal of the tarps gave Jaguars fans 3,501 more seats, which have been covered up for years. The additional tickets went on sale Friday and sold out in only five minutes.

Avril has one more year left on his contract, and Chancellor’s extension runs through the 2020 season.

Whatever those guys decide will be the right thing, whatever direction they go, Carroll said. They got such great brains and character and all that stuff that they’ll make great choices and we’ll support them whatever that is.

Carroll said nothing has changed with the status of defensive lineman Malik McDowell, whose football future is uncertain as well. McDowell didn’t play a snap as a rookie after suffering what the team described as a severe concussion during a summer ATV accident.

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