Redskins

Penn State voted AP sports story of year again

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Penn State voted AP sports story of year again

NEW YORK (AP) The Penn State child sex abuse scandal was selected as the sports story of the year by U.S. editors and news directors in an annual vote conducted by The Associated Press.

The news broke in November 2011, with a grand jury report outlining charges against Jerry Sandusky, and the outrage that followed led to the firing of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno. But the aftershocks were felt long into 2012: Sandusky was convicted in June of assaulting 10 boys, and the NCAA handed down brutal sanctions in July.

In both years, the scandal was picked as the top sports story, the first time since the AP began conducting its annual vote in 1990 that the same story was selected twice in a row. The results of this year's tally were announced Wednesday.

Even before the Sandusky trial, the State College community had absorbed another huge blow as Paterno died Jan. 22 at age 85 of lung cancer.

The year ended with a small step to normalcy - joy on the football field. Under new coach Bill O'Brien, the Nittany Lions won eight of their last 10 games to finish 8-4, capped by an overtime victory at home over Wisconsin.

There were 157 ballots submitted from U.S. news organizations. The voters were asked to rank the top 10 sports stories of the year, with the first-place story getting 10 points, the second-place story receiving nine points, and so on.

The Penn State saga received 1,420 points and 109 first-place votes. The No. 2 sports story, Lance Armstrong stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, had 10 first-place votes and 1,008 points.

Football's popularity, college and pro, was unmistakable with seven of the top 10 stories. But only two of them involved the action on the field.

Here are 2012's top 10 stories:

1. PENN STATE: Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator whose crimes led to such devastation for his victims and for his former employer, was found guilty on 45 of 48 counts. In October, the 68-year-old was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. His conviction provided some closure, but a messy aftermath remained. Former FBI Director Louis Freeh released the results of his investigation July 12, saying Paterno and other top school officials covered up allegations against Sandusky. The NCAA used that report as a basis for its sanctions announced later that month, which included a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban and scholarship reductions.

2. LANCE ARMSTRONG: In February, federal prosecutors closed an investigation into whether the star cyclist doped. That turned out to be only a temporary reprieve for a once-revered figure. In June, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs, and in August, when he dropped his fight against the charges, USADA ordered his record seven Tour titles wiped out. A report released in October laid out vivid details of the evidence. The year ends with Armstrong dropped by many of the companies he endorsed and no longer formally involved with the cancer charity he founded, Livestrong.

3. NFL BOUNTIES: This much is clear: Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire season and New Orleans started 0-4 to quickly fall out of playoff contention. Much else about the bounty scandal remains in dispute. Players deny the NFL's assertions of a pay-for-injury program. On Dec. 11, former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue overturned his successor's suspensions of four players but endorsed the findings of the investigation under Roger Goodell.

4. FOOTBALL CONCUSSIONS: The deaths of NFL greats Alex Karras - who suffered from dementia - and Junior Seau - who committed suicide - were grim reminders of the angst over head injuries in the sport and their possible consequences. Thousands of retired players have sued the league, alleging the NFL failed to protect them from the dangers of concussions.

5. LONDON OLYMPICS: Michael Phelps retired from swimming after setting an Olympic record with his 22nd medal at a Summer Games bursting with memorable performances. Usain Bolt became the first man to successfully defend both the 100- and 200-meter dash titles. And the host country racked up 65 medals in an Olympics so successful for Britain that it barely even rained.

6. COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: Instead of complaining about the BCS, soon we can moan about the selection committee. After years of carping, fans finally got a playoff system, which will debut after the 2014 season. The four-team bracket will feature semifinals and a title game to determine a national champion.

7. REPLACEMENT OFFICIALS: Fans and pundits predicted a blown call would decide a critical game when the NFL started the season with replacement officials. Sure enough, in Week 3, on the national stage of ``Monday Night Football,'' a missed offensive pass interference penalty and a questionable touchdown catch handed the Seattle Seahawks a win over the Green Bay Packers. Two days later, the league resolved its labor dispute with the regular refs.

8. SUPER GIANTS: A team that had been 7-7 upset the top-seeded Green Bay Packers on the road in the playoffs, needed overtime to beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game, then came from behind to defeat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, 21-17, an outcome strangely similar to their matchup four years earlier. Eli Manning won his second Super Bowl MVP award.

9. SUMMITT RETIRES: Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, retired from the Tennessee bench in April at age 59, less than eight months after revealing she had early-onset dementia. Longtime assistant Holly Warlick took over the Lady Vols. Summitt was 1,098-208 with eight national titles in 38 seasons.

10. MANNING'S RESURGENCE: Peyton Manning was released from the Indianapolis Colts in March after missing last season because of neck surgery, the future uncertain for the four-time MVP. John Elway and the Broncos gambled that he still had some championship play left in that right arm, and so far it's looking like a brilliant move as Denver won the AFC West.

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AP Projects Editor Brooke Lansdale contributed to this report.

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Fantasy Football QB Rankings 2019 2.1

Fantasy Football QB Rankings 2019 2.1

With the preseason off and running it is finally time for fantasy football leagues to do the same. Andrew Luck's sudden retirement shook up the sports world and will absolutely alter fantasy football drafting strategies.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback
Running Back
Wide Receiver
Tight End

Quarterback always seems to be the murkiest position during fantasy drafts. There is always that one person that selects Aaron Rodgers, and now this year Patrick Mahomes, WAY too early and throws the remainder of the draft selections out of proportions. The best methodology is to select your quarterback as far back in the draft as possible. The dangers of selecting too early vary, and it's not worth it to blow that high of a pick on a player who puts up comparable stats to someone you can grab much later

TIER 1: Showtime

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
2018 Stats: 5,097 Passing YDs, 50 Passing TD, 12 INT, 272 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB1
Previous Ranking: 1

TIER 2: Elite Starters

2. DeShaun Watson, Houston Texans
2018 Stats: 4,165 Passing YDS, 26 Passing TD, 9 INT, 551 Rushing YDS, 5 Rush TD, 2018 QB4
Previous Ranking: 2

3. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
2017 Stats: 3,296 Passing YDS, 33 Passing TD, 7 INT, 299 Rushing YDS, 2017 QB5
Previous Ranking: 4

4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2018 Stats: 4,442 Passing YDS, 25 Passing TD, 2 INT, 269 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB6
Previous Ranking: 5

TIER 3: Near Elite

5. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
2018 Stats: 3,725 Passing YDS, 26 Passing TD, 14 INT, 131 Rushing YDS, 2018 QB16
Previous Ranking: 6

6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
2018 Stats: 4,924 Passing YDS, 35 Passing TD, 7 INT, 3 Rushing TD, 2018 QB2
Previous Ranking: 7

7. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
​​​​​​2018 Stats: 3,395 Passing YDS, 24 Passing TD, 13 INT, 488 Rushing YDS, 4 Rushing TD, 2018 QB13
Previous Ranking: 8

8. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2018 Stats: 3,992 Passing YDS, 32 Passing TD, 5 INT, 22 Rushing YDS, 4 Rushing TD, 2018 QB8
Previous Ranking: 9

TIER 4: Late-round options

9. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
2018 Stats: 3,448 Passing YDS, 35 Passing TD, 7 INT, 376 Rushing YDS, 2018 QB9
Previous Ranking: 10

10. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
​​​​​​2018 Stats: 4,308 Passing YDS, 32 Passing TD, 12 INT, 2018 QB11
Previous Ranking: 11

11. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Previous Ranking:
 12

12. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2018 Stats: 2,992 Passing YDS, 19 Passing TD, 14 INT, 2018 QB21
Previous Ranking: 13

TIER 5: Potential is there

13. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
2018 Stats: 4,688 Passing YDS, 32 Passing TD, 12 INT, 108 Rushing YDS, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB7
Previous Ranking: 14

14. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
2018 Stats: 5,129 Passing YDS, 34 Passing TD, 15 INT, 98 Rushing YDS, 3 Rushing TD, 2018 QB3
Previous Ranking: 15

TIER 6: Backup Options

15. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears

2018 Stats: 3,223 Passing YDS, 24 Passing TD, 12 INT, 421 Rushing YDS, 3 Rushing TD, 2018 QB15
Previous Ranking: 16

16. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
2018 Stats: 4,298 Passing YDS, 30 Passing TD, 10 INT, 123 Rushing YDS, 1 Rushing TD, 2018 QB12
Previous Ranking: 17

17. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
2018 Stats: 2,074 Passing YDS, 10 Passing TD, 12 INT, 639 Rushing YDS, 8 Rushing TD, 2018 QB21
Previous Ranking: 18

18. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
2018 Stats: 3,885 Passing YDS, 22 Passing TD, 8 INT, 305 Rushing YDS, 6 Rushing TD, 2018 QB10
Previous Ranking: 19

19. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
2018 Stats: 1,201 Passing YDS, 6 Passing TD, 3 INT, 695 Rushing YDS, 5 Rushing TD, 2018 QB28
Previous Ranking: 20

20. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
2018: Tore ACL in Game 3
Previous Ranking: 21

21. Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars
2018 Stats: 1,413 Passing YDS, 7 Passing TD, 4 INT, 2018 QB35
Previous Ranking: 22

22. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
2018 Stats: 4,049 Passing YDS, 19 Passing TD, 10 INT, 2018 QB17
Previous Ranking: 23

23. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2018 Stats: 4,355 Passing YDS, 29 Passing TD, 11 INT, 2 Rushing TD, 2018 QB14
Previous Ranking: 24

24. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
2018 Stats: 3,777 Passing YDS, 21 Passing TD, 11 INT, 2018 QB19
Previous Ranking: 25

25. Sam Darnold, New York Jets
2018 Stats:
2,865 Passing YDS, 17 Passing TD, 15 INT, QB26
Previous Ranking: NR

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‘We’re not robots’: Redskins react to Luck's retirement

‘We’re not robots’: Redskins react to Luck's retirement

The news came like a thunderbolt on a Saturday night across the NFL: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was retiring at age 29. 

Just like that, one of the game’s great players, again dealing with a series of injuries he never seemed able to escape, is gone. Even his opponents empathized, including several Redskins players. 

“I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to think,” running back Adrian Peterson said. “Just goes to show the type of pain and what he was dealing with and mentally where he was, to retire at such a young age and with so much  to look forward top in his future.”

Luck, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, one spot before the Redskins selected Robert Griffin III, left $64 million on the table by retiring. But he missed nine games in 2015 with a lacerated kidney and torn abdominal muscles and the entire 2017 season because of a shoulder injury. The last straw was an ankle injury that just wasn’t healing. On and off a constant cycle of rehabilitation for years, Luck had enough. The news leaked on social media during Indianapolis’ preseason home game Saturday night and Colts fans booed Luck as he left the field in street clothes. 

“We’re human beings. We’re not robots,” Redskins cornerback Josh Norman said. “You can’t turn us on, turn us off when you want….Yeah, they may see the numbers and how much we get paid. But you’ve also got to understand that’s it’s a livelihood where if something happens you can’t do something for the rest of your life. That is much bigger than the numbers and whatever else that they look at it. It’s the gift that we’ve been given and it’s also the curse.” 

Luck made a similar point in an emotional press conference after Saturday’s game while stunned Colts coaches, players and executives looked on. He cried. The sport he played with joy his entire life wasn’t fun anymore. Articulating that was difficult, especially on the eve of a season with such high hopes for the Colts and the fans’ boos still ringing in his ears. 

“I remember my teacher being like, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I want to play quarterback in the NFL,” Redskins quarterback Case Keenum said. “They don’t tell you about a lot of the other things. Like fans booing you when you’re walking off the field for the last time. The injuries, the mental, the physical, the emotional toll it takes on you and your family….We get paid a lot of money and people have their opinions about us, but his family was probably at that game, too. It’s tough and I feel for him.”

Luck made 86 career starts, had a 53-33 record and led the Colts to the playoffs four times and the AFC title game in 2014. That same year he threw five touchdown passes in a Nov. 30 game against Washington. He made the Pro Bowl four times despite the years lost to injury. 

His final NFL season showed his greatness one last time for a Colts team coming off a 4-12 season. With Luck back, they went 10-6, finished second in the AFC South and won an AFC wild-card game. Luck might have had his greatest season. He had 4,593 passing yards with 39 touchdowns and set career highs in completions (430), completion percentage and passer rating (98.7). But back on the injury cycle again this summer, it was time to go.

“If you can’t go out there and put your heart and soul into this game then you probably shouldn’t be out there,” Redskins tight end Vernon Davis said. “I would be the same way if I was Andrew Luck. Kudos to him for being honest with himself, being honest with the organization, with the NFL and doing what was right.” 

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