Month: December 2018

Pelicans lose AD, Still win the game

In a game where the New Orleans Pelicans were without their superstar Anthony Davis, they found a way to win. In a New Year’s Eve game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Pelicans dominated the 4th quarter and defeated their opponent 123-114.

Anthony Davis was a late scratch due to an illness, but that didn’t stop New Orleans from winning a crucial game against a Western Conference rival.

Julius Randle was a scoring machine, dropping 33 points including going 50% from behind the three-point line. He also had 11 rebounds, making for his 18th double-double on the season.

Jrue Holiday also put up high numbers, with 26 points and eight assists. Elfrid Payton returned from injury and had a decent game with 9 points and six assists.

The biggest surprise of the night was Darius Miller, who scored 21 points, including five three-pointers.

The Pelicans have had three straight impressive games, beating the Dallas Mavericks, losing to the Houston Rockets by only 4 points, and then tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Their next game will be January 2nd against the Brooklyn Nets, where they hope to start the new year with a win.

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Elfrid Payton to return Monday vs. Timberwolves

The New Orleans Pelicans are finally catching a break. Point guard Elfrid Payton is finally making his way back from injury after missing 30 out of the last 31 games. Payton has suffered two injuries this year, first a sprained ankle then a broken finger, that has forced him to miss all but six games this season.

This year with Payton in the rotation, the Pelicans are 5-1. The only game they lost with Payton in the lineup was a game that Anthony Davis had to sit due to an injured elbow. Payton gives the Pelicans a solid pure point guard, as Jrue Holiday, who plays much better at shooting guard, has been starting at the point.

Elfrid Payton averaged 9.7 points, 5.3 assists, and 5.2 rebounds over the six games he was able to play. In the first game of the season, Payton had a 10 point, ten assists, and ten rebound triple-double against the Houston Rockets. He also brings some three-point shooting to the lineup, with a 43% three-point percentage.

It is exciting to see Elfrid Payton return to the rotation for a Pelicans team that really needs him. If Payton can return to early-season form, the Pelicans can find themselves back into playoff contention.

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Saints Extend Josh Hill

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On Monday morning, the New Orleans Saints announced that they re-signed tight end Josh Hill to a 3-year contract extension. The deal is worth $8.85 million and will keep Hill in New Orleans through 2021.

After being signed by the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2013, Hill just finished his sixth season with the team. This season Hill tied his career high for receptions with 16 while he set a new career high for receiving yards, amassing 185 yards through the air. Although his receiving statistics are not necessarily jaw-dropping, the Saints still value Hill tremendously high as he is a phenomenal blocker at the tight end position.

The Saints will likely be looking for another tight end during the offseason to pair with Hill in their offense as fellow tight end Benjamin Watson announced last week that he will be retiring from football at the end of the season.

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Possible Landing Spots If Fournette Is Released

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The Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Houston Texans 20-3 this past Sunday, which was not a very exciting game if you are a Jaguars fan, but something more interesting happened after the game. It appears that there may be some problems behind the scene in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars voided guarantees in Leonard Fournette’s contract. With this news coming out it made us wonder would the Jaguars release former LSU star running back? If they did release him where would he go, who would take a flier on him?

Fournette has only played in 21 games so far in his career. In 2017 which was his rookie year Fournette rushed for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns. In 2018 Fournette has been plagued with injuries and has not been able to stay on the field for the most part in 2018 and only played in eight games while rushing for five touchdowns and only 439 rushing yards. So what now for the Jags and Fournette? We decided to take a look at some teams that could have interest in the former 4th overall pick in 2017.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts started the season at 1-5, but quarterback Andrew Luck returned to form after missing all of the 2017 season with a shoulder injury. Now the Colts are 10-6 and will be playing the Houston Texans in a wild-card game this Saturday. There have been mentions of the Colts possibly landing Le’Veon Bell. Bell wants a substantially large contract and although the Colts do have the cap space which stands at $123,838,366 according to they could decide to offer Fournette a reasonable deal which should be much cheaper than what Bell is asking for. If the Colts do land Fournette, he and Marlon Mack could make an exciting backfield combination for the Colts.

Houston Texans

Let’s stay in the AFC South with the Texans. Houston has now won its fifth AFC South division in eight years, and the Texans actually have a quarterback that can play the position. Do they have holes, yes, but they have to upgrade the offensive line and they most likely will in this year’s draft. The Texans will have $73,357,828 available in cap space per space this offseason. Considering what new GM Brian Gaine has done with trading for Demaryius Thomas and signing Tyrann Mathieu, it would be no surprise if the Texans went after the 23-year-old running back. Fournette would be a massive upgrade over current running back Lamar Miller who has been underwhelming for the most part. Miller who only has two years left on his current deal and could be cut this offseason. Fournette, Foreman, and a rookie running back could be what the Texans do if Fournette is available this offseason.

Baltimore Ravens

Imagine a backfield with Lamar Jackson at quarterback and Leonard Fournette at running back. It could happen if the Jaguars do release Fournette. The Ravens current running back on the roster are Alex Collins, Kenneth Dixon, and Ty Mongomery. Gus Edwards was the one who shined when he had the opportunities to do so, but there is little doubt that adding Fournette would significantly improve this running back group. The Ravens will have approximately $32,955,536 in cap space per this offseason and should look into acquiring Fournette. They should have money left over as well to either sign a free agent wide receiver or draft one in this upcoming draft. If the Ravens do get Jackson some help like adding a Fournette, and a solid wideout the Ravens would be a scary team on offense to go along with their already frightening defense.

New York Jets

The Jets have fired their head coach Todd Bowles. They have their quarterback in Sam Darnold, and they do possess some wide receivers in Robbie Anderson and Quincy Enunwa, but their running back group includes Isaiah Crowell who is still young at 27 but has shown very little promise going forward. Adding a player like Fournette could help improve that backfield and help Darnold with a solid ground game. The Jets will have enough cap space to go after Fournette with around $106,035,475 per More importantly, thought the Jets need to find a head coach first and foremost.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay fired head coach Dirk Koetter Sunday and have already said that quarterback Jamies Winston will be back under center in 2019. WIth Winston back the Bucs will need to add more weapons for him on offense, Mike Evans is the main threat next is OJ Howard. Adding a player like Fournette would significantly improve the Bucs, but much like the Jets, they don’t have a head coach. One possibility would be to hire Nathaniel Hackett, the former offensive coordinator for the Jaguars who help lead them to a 10-6 record and a trip to playoffs in 2017. Hiring Hackett and getting Fournette makes sense for the Bucs but seems like it could be a long shot. The Bucs will have only $17,857,759 per that they will need to use to fill some holes.



Saints Playoff Date and Time is Set

As we near the end of week 17 of the NFL regular season, playoff information is becoming more and more evident.

Due to the team earning the number one seed in the NFC, the New Orleans Saints are scheduled to play on January 13, 2019, at 4:40 PM ET.

While the specific opponent is not yet determined, fans should be in for a great game as the Saints are set to either face a new opponent in the Seattle Seahawks, or compete in a rematch against the Philadelphia Eagles or the Dallas Cowboys.

Fans can catch the game on FOX. Be sure to wear all your black and gold apparel while you cheer on the Saints as they march towards Super Bowl 53.

Be sure to follow me on twitter: @a_forsythe1020