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.