Jags’ Lambo named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

Jaguars fifth-year K Josh Lambo has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his 13-point performance in Jacksonville’s Week 7 victory at Cincinnati. The recognition is Lambo’s second of the season as he also received the award in Week 4 after kicking the game-winning FG at Denver.

 In Week 7, Lambo made all four FG attempts and his only PAT, and, through Week 7, has made 18 of 18 FG attempts and 10 of 10 PATs. Lambo’s 18 made FGs are tied with Arizona K Zane Gonzalez for the most in the NFL this season, and he joins Baltimore K Justin Tucker as the only kickers in the NFL this season with at least 15 FG attempts and a 100 pct. FG conversion rate. Since signing with the Jaguars on Oct. 17, 2017, Lambo has made 56 of 59 FGs, and his 94.9 FG conversion rate is the highest in franchise history among kickers with at least 10 FG attempts. Lambo has also made all 33 FG attempts in home games since signing with the Jaguars in 2017.

 Lambo has converted 20 consecutive FGs dating back to 2018, the second-longest streak in franchise history and the longest active streak in the NFL. He already owns the Jaguars’ record for consecutive made FGs after converting 24 straight FG attempts during the 2017-18 seasons.

 Lambo is the first Jaguars kicker since Josh Scobee in 2005 (Weeks 1 & 5) to win multiple AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors in the same season.

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Zion Williamson out six to eight weeks with torn meniscus

New Orleans Pelicans F Zion Williamson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery today to address a torn right lateral meniscus, the team announced today.

The number one overall pick in this year’s draft played very well in the preseason. In four preseason games, Williamson averaged 23.2 PPG and 6.5 RPG. 

According to the team, the timetable for his full return to play is estimated at six to eight weeks.

Bengals’ Dalton: ‘To not have won a game at this point, the standard is higher than that’

What happened to the Cincinnati Bengals against the Jaguars on Sunday epitomized what 2019 has been like for this team. Going into the fourth quarter, Cincinnati was up 10-9, but QB Andy Dalton would throw three interceptions, one that was returned for a touchdown, as the Bengals would lose at home to the Jaguars 27-17. 

Dalton finished the game completing 22 of his 43 passes for 276 yards with one passing touchdown, and one rushing TD, and 3 INTs.

“They’re just tough plays. The turnovers … they hurt us,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said after the game. “We were driving there, and we had a fumble on the first drive of the second half that hurt us, (too). We had some guys go the wrong way in the run game — (that) hurt us, at about every position. So, you know, it was not the way we anticipated playing that game, and, really, it’s everybody. Every single player on that field, particularly on offense, has got to step up and do a better job.”

In reality, at 0-7. the 2019 season is essentially over for the Bengals.

“It’s very tough to be in the position we’re in right now,” Dalton said. “To not have won a game at this point, the standard is higher than that. All we can do is put our head down and go to work.”

In nine seasons, Dalton has done a lot of winning in the regular season, which led to four straight playoff appearances(2011-2014). But, he has struggled this season, and when asked if 2019 has been the worst stretch of his career, emotionally. Dalton had this to say. 

“It definitely has. This is what pulls at you,” he said. “When things aren’t going how you had them envisioned, it shows the true character of me and the guys on this team. It’s been good to see everybody sticking together. In tough times, your true character is going to show.”

While many did not expect the Bengals to be a formidable team in 2019, it is surprising that they have not won a game after seven weeks. At this point, all the Bengals can do is play out the season and let the chips fall where they may. 

 

Giants’ Jones: ‘I need to do a better job of getting rid of the ball’

The life of an NFL quarterback is never easy, and on Sunday against the Cardinals, Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones had a tough day. Jones threw one interception and lost two fumbles as New York fell to Arizona 27-21 at MetLife Stadium.

For most of the game, Jones(22/35, 223, 1 TD, 1 int) was under duress, and he was sacked eight times. But, according to Jones, he has to do a better job of getting the ball out of his hand quicker.

“Yeah, they did a good job upfront,” Jones said after the game. “They have some good pass rushers over there, and they did a good job. But I need to do a better job of getting rid of the ball, getting through my reads and getting the ball out. But yeah, they deserve some credit.”

While Jones did hold the ball a little longer than he should have at points in this game, New York’s offensive line needed to do a better job protecting the rookie, but no matter what happened today, Jones, who now has 12 turnovers in six games(five starts), knows he needs to continue to get better.

“I think I’m making progress in some areas, and still need to improve a lot in others,” Jones said. “Obviously, taking care of the ball is a big thing, and has been. To not do that today is disappointing. I have to get better there.”

At this point, the Giants are 2-5, and Sunday was an excellent opportunity for this football team to stay in striking distance of the top teams in the NFC East. However, Jones knows that the Giants have to move on.

“Yeah, we’re frustrated. Everyone is frustrated. But I don’t think we’re discouraged at all,” Jones said. “We’ll be back to work tomorrow. We’ll be looking forward to the opportunity against Detroit. We’re frustrated, but kind of rightfully so. We all know we can play better, and we’re determined to play better. So, back to work tomorrow.”

Undercard announced for Canelo-Kovalev

The Canelo vs. Kovalev undercard will be brimming with action as it features the returns of Ryan Garcia, Bakhram Murtazaliev, Seniesa Estrada, Marlen Esparza and many others. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively as one of the most anticipated events this fight season on DAZN.

“We have put a lot of thought into this long-awaited night, and we’re eager to deliver one of the best undercards of the year,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This event will feature some of our brightest talents taking on the toughest fights of their careers. With Ryan Garcia, we have a huge star in the making, but he’ll need to get past a tough, hard-hitting contender in Romero Duno to secure his path for a world title. We also have Seniesa Estrada and Marlen Esparza, who will look to final end their rivalry in a fight for the Interim WBA Flyweight Title. So, whether in person or live on DAZN, a new chapter in boxing’s history will unfold on November 2.”

As announced previously, rising superstar Ryan Garcia (18-0, 15 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. will look to unify the vacant WBC Silver Lightweight Championship with NABO Lightweight Champion “Ruthless” Romero Duno (21-1, 16 KOs) of Cotabato City, Philippines in the 12-round co-main event to Canelo vs. Kovalev. This will be a fight between two of the hardest-hitting lightweights in the Golden Boy stable.

“This is a big moment for me,” said Ryan Garcia. “These opportunities don’t come often. It’s my chance to show what I’m capable of on the biggest stage in boxing. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip. I’m fighting against Romero Duno, the opponent I wanted since the beginning, so I’m going show that I’ve reached another level on Nov. 2.”

“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for,” said Romero Duno. “I’m so excited to be part of a such a big night as the co-main event of Canelo vs. Kovalev. This fight has been building up for some time. I’ve had my eye on Ryan Garcia for a while now.  I promise to do everything it takes to beat him on Nov. 2 and take home a big victory for the Philippines!”

Undefeated Russian prospect Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0, 13 KOs) will face the biggest test of his young career in a 12-round elimination bout with Jorge Fortea (20-1-1, 6 KOs) of Valencia, Spain for the mandatory position in the IBF Junior Middleweight Division. Murtazaliev was originally supposed to fight Jeison Rosario on September 21 for the #1 position but Rosario pulled out due to an injury. This exciting bout will be co-promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Sampson Boxing.

“I have been waiting a long time for this opportunity. I am excited for my first fight with my new trainer, Virgil Hunter. We will be ready on November 2nd to face Fortea and become mandatory challenger. Thank you to my team Main Events, Krusher Promotions, Kathy Duva, Sergey Kovalev, my manager, Egis Klimas and Virgil Hunter for making my dream a reality.”

According to Fortea, “It’s a moment I have been waiting for whole my life, to be part of the undercard of Canelo vs Kovalev for my US debut is like a dream. I trained 15 years for this. I want to thank Sampson Lewkowicz for making it true, Main Events and Golden Boy for hosting the eliminator. Murtazaliev is indeed a strong and dangerous boxer but I will be ready for that and my skills will prevail. I won’t waste the opportunity to fight for a world title”

“Bakhram is a terrific fighter and we are so pleased to be able to give him this great opportunity on such an auspicious night,” said Main Events’ CEO Kathy Duva. “With any luck, Main Events and Krusher promotions will have another world champion soon.”

Two of the most exciting and popular female boxers in the sport today will finally settle their heated rivalry as Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (17-0, 7 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. and Marlen Esparza (7-0, 1 KOs) of Houston, Texas battle for the vacant Interim WBA Flyweight Title. This clash has been building up for over two years as both fighters have been exchanging words over social media and various interviews.

“Thank you to my promoter Golden Boy, especially Roberto Diaz for making this fight possible,” said Seniesa Estrada. “I’m happy to give the fans the fight they’ve been wanting to see. I’m looking forward to representing women’s boxing in a positive way. I’m going to put on a great show and demonstrate my skills, showing things that people have not yet seen from me. Thank you to all the people who continue to support me.”

“My team and I have been pushing for this fight,” said Marlen Esparza. “I know this is what the fans want. Now I’m forcing her to back up everything she has ever said. She knows it’s going to be a long night for her.”

Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (12-0-1, 8 KOs), a fan-favorite native of Philadelphia, will fight for the vacant NABF Welterweight Title against Carlos Ortiz (11-4, 11 KOs) of Torreon, Mexico. Cobbs is an exciting, unconventional fighter who has taken the undefeated records of Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan and most recently against Steve “Manos de Oro” Villalobos.

Rising 17-year-old prospect Tristan Kalkreuth (2-0, 2 KOs) of Duncanville, Texas will return in a four-round cruiserweight fight.

Meiirim Nursultanov (12-0, 8 KOs) of Merki, Kazakhstan will fight in a 10-roumd middleweight battle against Cristian Olivas (16-5, 13 KOs) of San Ysidro, California for the WBC – USNBC Middleweight Title. Nursultanov is a top prospect in the hot middleweight division and is current ranked #10 in the IBF. Olivas hits hard with power in both hands and has never been stopped. This should be an explosive match-up.

Evan Holyfield, the son of legendary Hall of Famer Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield, will make his much-anticipated professional debut in a four-round junior middleweight fight against Nick Winstead (0-1) of Abita Springs, La.

Zimmer on Cook: ‘There’s so many ‘wow’ plays when he has the ball in his hands’

After five weeks, Vikings RB Dalvin Cook is probably the team’s MVP. Cook is the second leading rusher(542 yards, five rushing touchdowns) in the NFL, and he has four one-hundred yard rushing games this season. 

On Sunday, the third-year back had a big performance against the Giants. Cook had 218 yards of total offense, which included 132 yards rushing. Cook has made a lot of big plays this season, including runs of 75 and 41 yards. With Kirk Cousins’ struggles this season, Cook has helped keep the Vikings’ offense going in 2019.

According to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, when Cook has the ball, great things can happen.

“When he has the ball in his hand, he’s very dangerous as you can see on that tape,” Zimmer said on Monday. “There’s so many ‘wow’ plays when he has the ball in his hands that he can do so much damage. When we get the passing game going like we did yesterday and him running, I think it’s a good mixture.”

On Sunday, Cousins, who threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings 28-10 victory over the Giants, played like the guy Minnesota signed to a three-year, $84 million deal in 2018. The Vikings have the running game to be successful with Cook and have the defense that can take this team very far, but if Cousins is not consistent, it won’t happen for the Vikings this season.

GGG: ‘I still want Canelo’

Gennadiy Golovkin is back in the World champion ranks after beating Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a thrilling contest for the IBF and IBO Middleweight titles at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Golovkin and Derevyanchenko shared 12 memorable rounds in a fight of the year contender in the mecca of boxing in the Big Apple, with Golovkin getting the nod 114-113 and 115-112 (twice) non-stop action from the opening bell.

Derevyanchenko entered the ring in his second ever World title fight and like in his first at MSG against Daniel Jacobs, as a right hook to the top of the head put him on the canvas. A bad cut over the right eye of Derevyanchenko in the second round was further cause concern for the Russian – but the blood only spurred him on and he started the third round at a ferocious speed, sparking a round of fireworks where both men had their moments.

Derevyanchenko began to invest in the body and appeared to hurt Golovkin on more than one occasion in the middle rounds, and the crowd were on their feet at the end of the seventh round as the pair traded heavy blows up and downstairs, with the intense pace, workrate and ferocity of shots from both continuing into the business end of the fight.

Derevyanchenko started the tenth round with an all-out assault on GGG in what will surely be one of the rounds of the year, and as they entered the championship rounds, Golovkin’s iron chin was being tested by Derevyanchenko, who continued to bely the effects of his severe cut with skill and grit in equal measure.

The final round began with an electrified crowd on their feet and World titles in the balance, both men poured every last ounce of themselves into the remaining three minutes, ending the battle throwing big shots.

“I want to say thank you so much to my opponent,” said Golovkin. “This was a great job. I respect his team. I told you, he’s a very tough guy. This is huge experience for me. Right now, I understand I need more. Focus is boxing. This was a tough fight. I need a little bit more. I need to still get stronger in my camp. Just more serious. I need to work hard. I need a little bit more focus.

“Right now it’s bad day for me, it’s a huge day for Sergiy, his team. This is huge experience for me. Right now I know what I need exactly. I lost a little bit of focus. Sergiy was ready, I really respect him. He showed me such a big heart. I told him, Sergiy, this is best fight for me. It’s a huge experience. It’s maximum destroy. I just respect his team.”

“Rematch? Absolutely. Big fight for DAZN, for the people, of course I’m ready. I’m a boxer, I’m ready for anything.

“Absolutely, I still want Canelo, I’m just open to anybody. There are so many great champions here. Sergiy, a lot of guys. Everything is ready, just call Canelo. If he says yes, let’s do it.”

“I feel great. Thank you so much to all my fans, everybody who came to MSG. Thank you to my team. I want to thank everybody,. It was a great night of boxing.”

The cut really changed the fight. I couldn’t see at times. And he was targeting the eye. But no excuses, it is what it is, I was trying my best.”

“When I started moving, I felt like I was giving him room and I was getting hit with those shots that he threw and that’s why I started taking the fight to him and getting closer and not giving him room to maneuver.”

“He hit me in the back of the head. He hit me behind the ear. I didn’t really see the punch but it didn’t really affect me that much. I got up and I wasn’t really hurt so I continued to fight, so it was nothing, nothing too bad.”

“I would like the rematch if it’s possible, I’m ready.”

Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Vikings’ Zimmer on Jones: ‘I think he’s going to be a great player’

New York Giants QB Daniel Jones has done it again, and while Jones did throw two interceptions on Sunday against the Redskins, he was able to lead the Giants to a 24-3 victory over Washington. After two games as a starter, Jones is 2-0, and he has shown the ability to make plays with his arm and legs, which is much different than what Giants fans have seen the past 16 years with Eli Manning.

According to the New York Giants, Jones became the first Giants quarterback to win his first two starts since Danny Kanell in 1997, and the first rookie to do so since Phil Simms in 1979.

Jones and the Giants have a tough test on Sunday as they host the Minnesota Vikings, and according to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, Jones has the ability to be a great player.

“Daniel Jones obviously is a very, very talented kid,” Zimmer said on Wednesday. “I think he’s a really good player, and I think he’s going to be a great player. He’s got an outstanding arm; he’s got good feet in the pocket, he moves well, he scrambles. Right now it looks like he’s playing pretty free and nothing really affects him. He’s turned the ball over a couple of times, but it hasn’t affected him. Fourth and five to win the ball game against Tampa Bay he scrambled in for the touchdown when they were playing a double-double coverage, so I think you have to kind of do both.”

It’s only been two games, but Jones seems to have all the tools to be an outstanding quarterback in the NFL, and If he continues to play well, the 2-2 Giants could possibly have a shot at the playoffs this season, but this is the NFL, and at some point, rookie quarterbacks have struggles. However, for now, Jones has New York very excited about the possibilities.

 

 

Ortiz on fight with Wilder: ‘There was no reason for me not winning the first fight’

Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz(31-1, 26 KOs) has been avoided by many in the heavyweight division. However, one guy who stepped up to fight Ortiz was WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder(41-0-1, 40 KOs), who stopped Ortiz in 2018. Now, the two will get it on again on November 23 in Las Vegas. 

Since fighting Wilder, Ortiz is on a three-fight win streak, and now he gets another shot to defeat “The Bronze Bomber.”

“I’m very happy to have this opportunity at the rematch,” Ortiz said on Saturday. “Wilder had the courage to take the rematch, and that’s a big part of why this is happening. I’m excited for this fight, and I’m going to make the most of it.”

In the first fight, Ortiz had Wilder in serious trouble in round 7, but Wilder was able to survive. However, in the rematch, Ortiz plans on not letting that happen again.

“I won’t make the same mistake this time like I made in the last fight,” Ortiz said. “I’m going to be more prepared, more aggressive, and have more of everything. I’m taking it all up a level.

“There was no reason for me not winning the first fight; it’s just is what it is. We knew that one of us was going to get knocked out. I have that same sentiment for the rematch. This fight is not going 12 rounds.”

This fight will probably be the last chance for the 40-year-old Ortiz to win a belt, and he expects that to happen on November 23.

“I want November 23 to get here sooner than later,” Ortiz  said. “I’m ready to step into the ring and do the job and become heavyweight world champion.”

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions

Porter: ‘I think that knockdown was the difference’

Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) unified the IBF and WBC Welterweight World Titles Saturday night against two-time champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter (30-3-1,17 KOs) in an action packed main event of a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

“It feels good to win,” said Spence. “This is a lifetime dream. It shows hard work pays off. Thanks Shawn Porter, my whole team and all my Texas people for coming out.”

The back and forth brawl immediately garnered well-deserved Fight of the Year conversation as the two welterweight champions traded power punches from the opening bell to the end. Porter showed his trademark aggressive style throughout the action, smothering Spence while throwing his own power punches.

“Shawn Porter is a rough and awkward fighter,” said Spence. “I didn’t get off what I wanted to. He’s a true champion. He made it tough.”

That left it up to Spence to weather the oncoming storm and find spots to land power punches of his own. According to CompuBox, Spence landed 44% of his power punches, to 25% from Porter.

“He’s a strong kid,” said Porter. “We both came in to do the job. I think I had a little more than what he expected, but he handled it. Congratulations to him and his team. We’re proud of what we did.”

In round four, Porter had Spence in some trouble, as his power shots to the head and body put Spence on the defensive. The strategy from Porter stayed the same throughout, as Spence began to adjust and find a home for his offense, especially the sweeping left hook.

Round eight saw the action taken up to yet another level as Spence initially got the worst of one of the numerous exchanges, before settling in and responding enough to keep Porter at bay. The high-octane fight continued to entertain heading into the championship rounds with the fight up in the balance.

Spence landed one of the decisive blows of the bout in round 11, connecting flush with that sweeping left hook and scoring a knockdown when Porter’s knee and glove hit the canvas. As expected, Porter rebounded strong, going at Spence and putting him on the back foot for most of the remainder of the round.

After 12 rounds the close nature of the fight yielded a split decision from the judges. One judge saw the fight 115-112 for Porter, overruled by two judges who saw it 116-111 for Spence. In the ring after the fight, Spence was confronted and called out by former two-division champion Danny Garcia for a potential showdown next.

 “I think that knockdown was the difference,” said Porter. “I couldn’t come back to the corner with my head down after that.”

 Porter fought a great fight, and his style had Spence a little uncomfortable at times. While it seems Danny Garcia is next, who called out Spence after the fight. I believe Spence-Porter 2 would be better.