Heat get big win over Pacers
In what was as close to a must-win as one will see in an NBA December, the Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 97-94 on Wednesday night in South Florida. And it was no back-and-forth affair; Indiana opened up a big first-half margin, led by as many as 15 in the third quarter, then watched as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade -- and clutch shot hitters Chris Bosh and Ray Allen -- rallied back.
In the end, a Paul George miss -- or was he fouled? -- gave Miami a one-all tie in the head-to-head series this year. The Heat also moved to within one game of the Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings. The two rivals play each other again on March 26, April 11 and -- barring a big surprise -- in the East finals. What does the future hold?
December 18, 2013Dec18George Bridges/Getty Images
J.J. Watt's 2012 season was one for the ages -- he had 20.5 sacks and an astounding 16 passes defended as opposing quarterbacks quailed at the site of him across the line of scrimmage. His stats this season aren't quite as good, but they still place him in the running for the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. Has he had a better season than the likes of Robert Mathis or Richard Sherman? Submit your rankings!
Defensive Player of the Year
151 tackles, 8 passes defensed, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble
126 tackles, 9 pass defenses, 6 sacks, 5 INTs, 2 forced fumbles
122 tackles, 3 INTs, 2 sacks
49 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles
46 tackles, 15 sacks, 7 forced fumbles
34 tackles, 6 INTs
93 tackles, 5 INTs, 2 forced fumbles
69 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 6 pass defenses, 3 forced fumbles
8.AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File
Peyton Manning is still on top in Dan Graziano's weekly MVP watch list despite a loss to the Chargers on Thursday night (that just happened to place Philip Rivers on the list as well). Manning is still on pace to break Tom Brady's record of 50 touchdowns in a single season, but is he still worthy of the top spot? Submit your rankings!
2013 NFL MVP Watch
4,049 yards, 23 TDs, 10 INTs, 60.9 CMP%
4,500 yards, 34 TDs, 10 INTs, 68.2 CMP%
246 carries, 1,181 yards, 11 TDs
105 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 3 INTs
81 rec., 1,449 yards, 12 TDs
4,811 yards, 47 TDs, 10 INTs, 67.8 CMP%
269 carries, 1,343 yards, 7 TDs
3,049 yards, 21 TDs, 11 INTs, 62.3 CMP%
4,048 yards, 28 TDs, 9 INTs, 69.9 CMP%
3,077 yards, 24 TDs, 8 INTs, 64.7 CMP%
Every year as the weather gets colder, the seats of many NFL head coaches get hotter. It started this season with Texans coach Gary Kubiak being let go after a 2-11 start despite his team being No. 7 in ESPN.com's preseason power rankings. Numerous other coaches could be playing for their jobs in the final two weeks of the regular season, including Jason Garrett in Dallas and Jim Schwartz in Detroit. Which coaches most deserve to be on the hot seat? Submit your rankings by clicking on the images below.
Hottest NFL coaching seats?
9.December 18, 2013Dec18
Barry Hinson's epic rant
Odds are you weren't aware of who Barry Hinson was before Tuesday night, but his rant after losing to Murray State probably changed that right quick. Hinson called out his players in a lengthy tirade, calling them ''mama's boys'' and criticizing one by name. SIU athletic director Mario Moccia is backing Hinson, but at least one of his players didn't take the rant all that well -- senior forward Davante Drinkard posted (and then deleted) a tweet that said, "I can't believe the little man had the nerve to call us mama's boys. Smh. I guess this is where Our team learns to point the finger."
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THIS WEEK'S CHATSFriday, December 13Tuesday, December 17Wednesday, December 18Thursday, December 19
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