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Leinart hoping to get 1st start for Raiders

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Leinart hoping to get 1st start for Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Matt Leinart is hoping to get one more shot to show what he can do as an NFL starting quarterback.

With Carson Palmer sidelined for Oakland's season finale in San Diego with cracked ribs and a bruised lung, Leinart and third-stringer Terrelle Pryor have been sharing time at practice.

Raiders coach Dennis Allen says he won't pick a starter until after Friday's practice but it seems likely both quarterbacks will get a chance. Leinart has started only two games since 2007 and failed to live up the expectations of winning the Heisman Trophy at Southern California and being a first-round draft pick by Arizona in 2006.

``I still feel I have a lot to prove at this point of my career,'' Leinart said Thursday. ``No matter what the naysayers say, I do feel like I still can play. I do feel like that, and I think I'll play like that until the day I retire. But you're only given so many opportunities in this league. That's why this weekend would be awesome.''

Leinart started 16 games his first two seasons in Arizona before being sidelined by a broken left collarbone in 2007. He was beaten out the next season by Kurt Warner and started one game his final two seasons with the Cardinals.

Leinart then signed with Houston in 2010 and got another chance to start late last season when Matt Schaub went down with a foot injury. But Leinart got hurt in the first half of his first start, missing a chance to take the Texans to the playoffs.

He signed this past offseason with Oakland and had thrown only one pass before replacing Palmer in the first quarter of last week's 17-6 loss at Carolina. Leinart completed 16 of 32 passes for 115 yards, no touchdowns and one interception for a 45.7 passer rating.

``I felt a little rusty,'' Leinart said. ``I think my footwork, for me, wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, and what I work on. But I think again, that was just kind of getting in there, hadn't played in a while. But it is what it is, moved on and watched the film and been practicing well this week and just trying to correct those mistakes.''

Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp acknowledged the difficult situation Leinart went into but was disappointed in his play. Knapp was particularly upset by an interception late in the first half that led to a Panthers touchdown and a ball Leinart threw away on fourth down late in the game.

``He didn't play as well as I would have liked,'' Knapp said. ``I wished his footwork would have been better on a consistent basis. It's hard for any backup quarterback to come in on short notice without any reps, but that comes with the job. You got to know that going in. He struggled a little bit with the footwork and his consistency. He had it sometimes but not all the time.''

The Raiders have an interesting decision this week. Coach Dennis Allen said Pryor wasn't ready to be the backup last week but could start this week after getting more practice time than usual.

Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie have talked about wanting to get a better look at Pryor down the stretch, but whether that's as a part-time player or a starter remains to be seen.

``I think I deserve to play, I deserve to start, not sure what's going to happen, but that's all you can do -- just keep preparing, keep working hard, be here, be accountable and whatever happens, whatever decision is made, that's what's made,'' Leinart said. ``If they want to start Terrelle and evaluate him and see what he can do, then I'll support that and I'll help him this week and help him during the game. But if they make me the starter and stuff, I'm just going to go out there and try to capitalize on that opportunity.''

Palmer won't travel to the game because of the bruised lung but Leinart said he is doing better even though he is moving around slowly.

``He's one of the toughest guys I've ever been around,'' Leinart said. ``When he was laying on the ground I knew something was wrong because he's normally up, not matter what. He's the type of guy who will never tell you if something's wrong, and obviously, he took a big shot, but he'll be fine.''

NOTES: The Raiders placed DT Richard Seymour on IR with a hamstring injury. Seymour missed the final eight games of the season with the injury and is eligible for free agency in the offseason. ... G Mike Brisiel has passed the concussion protocol but is still sidelined by an ankle injury which could give rookie Tony Bergstrom a chance to start. ... DBs Tyvon Branch (neck, ankle) and Phillip Adams (groin) and RB Mike Goodson (illness) did not practice.

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Orioles avoid three-game sweep with 2-1 win over Blue Jays

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USA Today Sports Images

Orioles avoid three-game sweep with 2-1 win over Blue Jays

One night after setting a dubious record for losses, the Baltimore Orioles were ready to savor a rare win against a division rival.

Rookie DJ Stewart hit his first major league home run and Baltimore used five pitchers to avoid a three-game sweep by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Wednesday night.

The Orioles bounced back one night after taking their 108th loss of the season, the most since moving to Baltimore in 1954. They remained three away from the franchise mark set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns.

"I was thinking about it tonight how many times I walked down that long hall to get here after a great win, trying to temper the enthusiasm," manager Buck Showalter said. "I still feel elated after we win a game and then I think about all the good things that went on, especially defensively tonight."

Jimmy Yacabonis started for Baltimore and threw four scoreless innings, followed by Mike Wright (4-2), who blanked the Blue Jays over two innings. Miguel Castro allowed a solo homer to Billy McKinney in the eighth that cut the lead to 2-1 before Tanner Scott managed the final out of the inning.

Mychal Givens picked up his eighth save for Baltimore.

Stewart, who was promoted Sept. 11 from Triple-A Norfolk, gave the Orioles the lead when he led off the third with a towering shot off Estrada that caromed off the right-field foul pole. He also had a double in the seventh and scored an insurance run on a single by Cedric Mullins off Tim Mayza.

"I've felt comfortable every at-bat pretty much," Stewart said. "I think there was one at bat I kind of went up there chasing a little bit, just trying to get that hit. I felt comfortable for the most part, but whenever you see one fall for the first time, it's a little bit of a relief that not only are you feeling well but you're seeing the results also. It was definitely big for me."

Toronto won the season series 14-5.

"Any chance you have to try and sweep a team is a big one," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "We have had a pretty tough year ourselves so you try to build and win as many games as you can."

The Blue Jays' Marco Estrada (7-13) bounced back from his previous outing when he tied a career-high by allowing eight runs against the Yankees. He was charged with one run and four hits with five strikeouts and one walk over six innings.

"It was a good outing. I made a lot of good pitches," Estrada said. "One got away from me and the kid hit it out, Congrats to him. Weren't too many hard hit balls."

The Blue Jays loaded the bases in the fourth against Yacabonis, who was making his fifth career start. However, he escaped the jam when Kendrys Morales hit a fly ball to Adam Jones, who threw out McKinney trying to score from third. It was Jones' 99th career assist and first in right field.

YOUTH MOVEMENT

Blue Jays C Russell Martin has not played since Sept. 3. Manager John Gibbons wants to give Luke Maile and rookie Danny Jansen an extended look behind the plate.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Rookie C Chance Sisco will not travel with the team to New York. He took a foul ball off his mask Sunday against the White Sox and is still waiting to be cleared from concussion protocol.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: Sam Gaviglio will start the opener Thursday in Tampa Bay. He has gone 1-8 since July 20 and lost both games against the Rays this season.

Orioles: Rookie Yefry Ramirez (1-6, 5.50 ERA) will make his 11th start Friday in New York. He tied a career high with seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings Saturday against the White Sox.

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Six acts that could have performed at Super Bowl LIII

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USA Today

Six acts that could have performed at Super Bowl LIII

Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that the Adam Levine-led Maroon 5 will be the halftime show for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta

Football fans, music fans and citizens of Atlanta are having mixed feelings about the decision.

Many people are expressing that it could be worse, while others are wondering if the NFL did any research at all.

With Atlanta being one of the greatest music cities in the world, many people assumed that they would choose an artist who got their start there.


1. Outkast

'Alright, alright, alright, alright...' This was the obvious choice. Hip-hop fans have been dying for an Outkast reunion since their split in 2006.

Although they did reunite for festivals like Coachella and Bestival in 2014, fans have been begging for something on a worldwide scale. 

2.  Future

The born and raised Atlanta star has had four consecutive number one albums on Billboard's 200 chart; the first two making him the only musician in Billboard's history to debut back-to-back number one.

3. Migos

Quavo, Offset, Takeoff. Many of you are just finding out that this group is made up of three people; two brothers and their uncle.

Their unison in songs makes it hard to believe, but they each have a distinct style. Also: Quavo set Georgia state high school passing records at Berkmar High School.

4. Ludacris

The first to be signed to Def Jam South label. Three Grammys. Nine BET Awards. Ludacris was tabbed to make the Falcons' hype song for 2018. He is synonymous with southern rap and is as mainstream as it gets.

5. T.I. 

Began rapping at the age of eight, founded his own record label in 2003 and is a respected actor among the stars. 

6. Usher

He started making music at 15 and was a teen heartthrob, he is a household name... he's Usher? Enough said. 

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