What net neutrality’s end means for advertisers

first_imgIt sounds like the plot of an 80’s movie about the technology of the future… The End of Net Neutrality.You’ve undoubtedly heard about the controversial decision made by the FCC late last week. In a 3-2 decision, the commission voted to end the neutrality regulations that have been in place since 2015. I won’t get into all the ins and out of the net neutrality repeal, but you can read more about that here.In the simplest terms, the newly repealed regulation stated that all websites, large and small, should be treated equally and specifically prohibited:• Blocking: Broadband providers may not block access to lawful content, applications, services or non-harmful devices. continue reading » 30SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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CHRISTMAS JOY! BRAVE PAUL WALKS TO SEE SANTA FOR FIRST TIME!

first_imgA delighted Paul Doherty gets into the Christmas mood. (North West Newspix)A young boy who underwent life-changing surgery has fulfilled a lifelong Christmas wish by walking to see Santa.Little Paul Doherty, 6, has been in a wheelchair all of his life.The brave primary school lad, from Killygordan, was born with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy which left him unable to walk. However last March he traveled to Missouri in America to undergo an operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) which involves cutting some of the nerves in Paul’s spinal cord.His mum Anne-Marie and the rest of his family underwent a huge fundraising campaign to raise more than €60,000 for the pioneering Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery.Even singer Daniel O’Donnell lent a hand and hosted a fundraising concert for Paul.Since his operation earlier this year Paul’s condition has improved dramatically and he even occasionally uses just a ‘walker’ to get around himself. The battling school-kid recently visited Santa at McElhinney’s Department Store in Ballybofey – and insisted on using his walker to get to see Santa.Mum Anne Marie said she has already had her Christmas wish after her son insisted on walking to see Santa.And she apologised to those in the queue who allowed her son to skip past them!“It was just amazing to see Paul walk up to see Santa. It was so special for him and it’s another amazing milestone on his journey.“People were very good to allow Paul past them. “We were all so happy for him. He told Santa what he wanted and I have no doubt that Santa will deliver.“I just hope that he doesn’t want to wake up too early on Christmas morning to see if Santa has come yet,” laughed Anne Marie.And the loving and dedicated mum said she will not stop until Paul fulfils his full potential.“It’s impossible to explain how things have changed in our lives since Pauls operation. Every routine we knew has changed. Every day he proudly tells us something new he can do or something new he has learned. “He keeps wanting to be better and achieve even more. We still have a few battles left, but there is no way I’m going to lie down and not allow Paul to achieve his full potential. He has gone through too much and has fought so hard to be where he is already,” she said.She added that Paul is now counting down the days to Christmas and the arrival of Santa.“He’s hard counting the days down and Christmas day can’t come quick enough. This is going to be our most special Christmas ever,” she said.CHRISTMAS JOY! BRAVE PAUL WALKS TO SEE SANTA FOR FIRST TIME! was last modified: December 17th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CHristmasdonegalKILLYGORDANpaul dohertySANTAwheelchairlast_img read more

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Liverpool ready to discuss improved deal for Raheem Sterling – report

first_imgLiverpool are ready to open contract talks with Raheem Sterling, according to the Sun on Sunday.There has been speculation that Real Madrid are interested in the Harlesden teenager, who has made an impressive start to the season and has three years remaining on his current deal at Anfield.It is claimed that a new contract is likely to take Sterling’s wages beyond the £100,000-a-week mark.Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho wants to sign Seamus Coleman from Everton at the end of the season, again according to the Sun on Sunday.Mourinho is said to face competition from Manchester United, who have been linked with the 25-year-old right-back for some time.It is claimed that Chelsea see Coleman as the ideal for replacement for Branislav Ivanovic, would be willing to pay a fee of up to £20m, but that the player has told friends he would like to join United.Coleman signed a five-year contract at Goodison Park in June but there is speculation that he could look to move on if Everton do not reach the Champions League.There is also speculation that Mourinho could move to sign him because scout Mick Doherty, who was at Everton and involved in their signing of Coleman, is now employed by Chelsea and is seen as a key adviser to the manager.Ivanovic, who can play in the centre of defence, has been outstanding at right-back, where Mourinho currently also has the option of Cesar Azpilicueta.Chelsea have again been linked with a move for Everton’s England prospect Ross Barkley, this time by the Daily Star Sunday.It is claimed that Chelsea will look to sign him in the summer after Manchester City apparently backed off because the asking price is £50m.And Chelsea are considering playing at Twickenham for a season while Stamford Bridge is redeveloped, according to the Sunday Times.Meanwhile, Jermain Defoe has ‘opened the door’ to a loan move to QPR, the Sunday People say.Rangers discussed signing the former England striker from Toronto FC last month and expect to do so in January.But it is claimed that a loan move is on the cards after Defoe, who played under R’s boss Harry Redknapp at Tottenham and Portsmouth, apparently told his current club he wants to go.Meanwhile, Les Ferdinand has been tipped to take over as QPR’s academy boss following the resignation of Richard Allen. West London Sport revealed this week that Allen is leaving Rangers, who have been looking to give Loftus Road legend Ferdinand a role at the club for some time.The Mail on Sunday say Allen’s departure could pave the way for Ferdinand to return, as do the Daily Star Sunday, who say he is considering taking the role.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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How much do the Warriors view the Bucks as an Eastern Conference threat?

first_imgOAKLAND – The Warriors (10-1) play the Milwaukee Bucks (8-2) on Thursday at Oracle Arena. Below are more takeaways from the Warriors practice on Wednesday.Do the Warriors fear the deer?The Warriors maintain feeling pretty confident about their championship chances for obvious reasons. They won three out of the past four NBA titles. The Warriors have added a fifth All-Star in DeMarcus Cousins, who will eventually heal his left Achilles tendon and join Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson …last_img

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Eastern Cape’s truck making boom

first_img10 June 2008Passenger cars may be the big brother of the Eastern Cape automotive manufacturing industry, but behind the scenes a bustling heavy-duty truck and bus sector is poised to take its first big strides.The growing economy and a construction boom are only two of the driving forces pulling the commercial vehicles section out of its infancy and onto its own legs – in fact, a wrap of South Africa’s vehicle sales figures for 2007 show that commercial vehicles sales have continued to grow, while passenger vehicle sales have slumped. This is good news for Port Elizabeth-based General Motors (GMSA) and Volkswagen (VWSA) and Mercedes-Benz (MBSA) in East London, where the province’s hard-working commercial vehicles are assembled.Four decades of truck-buildingThe Eastern Cape’s oldest truck maker, Mercedes-Benz, for instance, achieved a record year, with its commercial vehicle divisions selling 8 622 units in 2007, representing an overall market share of 23.3%.All the truck models built at the German car giant’s East London plant, including the Mercedes-Benz Axor, Freightliner and Mitsubishi FUSO ranges, are reserved for the South African market.Mercedes-Benz spokesperson Shirle Greig says they have been assembling trucks in East London since 1962, although the company’s name has changed over the years, from Car Distributors Assembly to United Car and Diesel Distributors to Mercedes-Benz SA, and most recently to DaimlerChrysler SA.In March 2002, Ikhwezi TruckTech took over the assembly of Mercedes-Benz’s trucks.The first Mercedes-Benz truck built in South Africa in 1962 was the LP911, the first model in the enormously popular L-series, with its rounded lines and distinctive snub-nose.“The LP911 had a nine-ton gross vehicle mass (GVM) with a 4.5 tonne payload, a 110 horse-power indirect injection diesel engine and at the time it was revolutionary,” says Greig. “In those days, the Mercedes-Benz truck had one of the smallest slices of the commercial vehicle market share pie, and was seen more in farmyards than in cities.”‘Hard-working’ light commercial vehiclesThe truck industry in Port Elizabeth is somewhat younger than the four decade-old Mercedes-Benz, but already General Motors SA’s hard-working light commercial vehicle lines, like the Isuzu KB and the Corsa Utility bakkies, make up most of its output.GMSA spokesperson Denise van Huyssteen says that 74.6% of the vehicles produced by GMSA last year were light commercial vehicles while only 25.4% were passenger vehicles.The company was indeed hard-working in 2007 and acquired a 23% share of the light commercial vehicle market in South Africa – this after they re-entered the market over the past five years.“We launched the new Isuzu KB towards the end of 2007, and expect that in 2008 our sales of this popular car line will increase,” says Van Huyssteen.Overall their medium and heavy commercial vehicles controlled 8.4% of the South African market share in 2007.“We will be looking to grow this share in 2008. The trucks which we supply to this segment of the market are through our 50/50 joint venture company with Isuzu, called Isuzu Truck South Africa,” she says. “We import limited numbers of light commercial vehicles and these include the Lumina Utility and the Opel Vivaro.”The coming year spells more hard work, and GMSA will be launching six new passenger vehicles in South Africa as well as four commercial vehicles.Mzantsi Truck and BusUitenhage-based Volkswagen South Africa’s Mzantsi Truck and Bus manufacturer started operating in January 2006 at the VWSA commercial vehicles plant.Mzantsi is responsible for vehicle assembly, maintenance and warehouse management, while Volkswagen is responsible for quality assurance, logistics and information systems, product and process engineering and overseeing that Mzantsi performs to VW’s international standards.Mzantsi has to date employed more than 20 new recruits, mainly from an automotive school of excellence, the Uitenhage-Despatch Development Initiative training centre, a school of excellence that is a public-private partnership promoting economic activity in the two Eastern Cape towns.Mzantsi director and full-time production manager Vusikaya Mancapa finds his job challenging and exciting, saying the first 20 months proved to be a “quantum learning curve”.“The name Mzantsi came up spontaneously and soon gained popularity within the group. It is an authentic Nguni name for the South, which has acquired a street-wise connotation that refers to South Africa,” Mancapa says. “Since it was the first time that Volkswagen was building trucks and buses in Southern Africa, we found the name most appropriate for this exciting venture.”Responding to a question about the lucrativeness of their business, Mancapa said, “The expected return on our investment in Mzantsi is not lucrative in the short-to-medium term. Our hopes – as well as our profit plans – are pinned on sustained business growth in the medium to long term.”Three bus and five truck model ranges are currently assembled at the Mzantsi plant. In its first year (2006), the company built 122 buses and no trucks, but by last year 213 new Constellation trucks were assembled and 46 buses were built.Mzantsi Truck and Bus spokesperson Banoyolo Hlalukana says that while the manufacturing facility has remained the same in 2008, more units will be produced – approximately 600 units in total – a clear indication that their hard work to date is being rewarded by growth.This article was first published in Eastern Cape Madiba Action, winter 2008 edition. Republished here with kind permission.last_img read more

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Ohio’s Crop Progress — July 25th, 2016

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Spotty statewide brought relief to some, but left many others to contend with the effects of continued hot and dry weather, according to Cheryl Turner, Ohio State Statistician of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 6.3 days available for fieldwork for the week ending July 24th . The only crop benefitting from conditions was oats, where lack of rainfall kept disease at bay and sped harvest well ahead of the five year average. Conditions favored cutting and baling of dry hay, but did little for regrowth and yields. Many livestock producers have been feeding hay as well, creating concerns for a potential hay shortage during the upcoming winter. Wheat harvest concluded for all but a few fields. The harsh conditions were reflected in condition ratings. Corn rated good to excellent fell to 60 percent from 64 percent last week. Leaf rolling was a common sight, and early firing of stalks was observed in some areas, possibly due to the nitrogen loss experienced during the wet spring. Soybean condition registered less of an effect dropping to 64 percent from 66 percent last week. Worse declines were seen in pasture and hay. Harvest and marketing of fresh market vegetables was underway.Read the full report herelast_img read more

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Pingris grateful for coach, teammates’ support as he gets 5k points

first_imgCONTRIBUTED PHOTO/PBA IMAGESMarc Pingris eclipsed the 5,000-point mark in his career on Friday but he could’ve easily waited for another game to reach the milestone.The fun-loving Star forward became the 81st local in the PBA to reach the scoring landmark when he finished with 12 points in Star’s 128-81 beating of Kia in the Governors’ Cup.ADVERTISEMENT View comments BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LATEST STORIES MVP remains in full support of Gilas despite Chooks backing Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasacenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Pingris, though, wasn’t exactly chasing for the record, believing it’s just one of the many things he could still achieve in his career the PBA.“I told my teammates to not always look for me in the offensive end. The important thing is that we get the win because I still have a long career ahead of me in the PBA,” said Pingris in Filipino as he finished the night with 5,001 career points.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Just pass the ball to whosever open, but if given a chance I’ll take it.”Pingris got the opportunity with 7.7 seconds left in the game, flushing home a smooth one-hander on an open dunk. MOST READ LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games And Pingris wouldn’t even have reached 5,000 points if not for Star head coach Chito Victolero’s insistence that he come into the game despite the Hotshots holding a massive lead.Pingris was five points shy of 5,000 when he sat at the bench before Victolero made an effort to put the forward back in the game and have the other four players on the court orchestrate the offense through their big man.“Coach realized that I needed only five points and he asked me if I still want to play,” said Pingris. “I told coach that the decision is up to him so he just said ‘okay, you’re coming back in.’”“He put that trust in me so I really thank him for that.”ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong Citylast_img read more

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4 coaches, Adidas executive charged in college bribe scheme

first_imgNonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Federal prosecutors said at least three top high school recruits were promised payments of as much as$150,000, using money supplied by Adidas, to attend two universities sponsored by the athletic shoe company. Court papers didn’t name the schools but contained enough details to identify them as Louisville and Miami.“The picture of college basketball painted by the charges is not a pretty one,” said acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim, adding that the defendants were “circling blue-chip prospects like coyotes” and exploited them to enrich themselves.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutProsecutors said that while some of the bribe money went to athletes and their families, some went to coaches, to get them to use their influence over their potentially NBA-bound players.The coaches charged are Chuck Person of Auburn, Emanuel Richardson of Arizona, Tony Bland of Southern California and Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State. Person and Evans were suspended, and Bland was placed on administrative leave. NBA: Several Hawks players ‘screamed in jubilation’ after Howard trade—report Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Read Next Bland appeared in court in Tampa, Florida, wearing handcuffs and ankle chains. He said little during a brief hearing other than to answer the judge’s questions and did not enter a plea.Richardson appeared in court in Tucson, Arizona, where he was set for release on $50,000 bond. His lawyer declined to comment.Those charged also include James Gatto, director of global sports marketing for basketball at Adidas; Rashan Michel, a maker of custom suits for some of the NBA’s biggest stars; and various financial advisers and managers.NCAA President Mark Emmert condemned the alleged misconduct, saying, “Coaches hold a unique position of trust with student-athletes and their families, and these bribery allegations, if true, suggest anextraordinary and despicable breach of that trust.”Since 2015, the FBI has been investigating the influence of money on coaches and players in the NCAA. Kim noted a special FBI hotline was set up and asked anyone aware of additional corruption to come forward.Prosecutors said the coaches took bribes to use their “enormous influence” to steer players toward certain financial advisers and agents.Most if not all of the 10 defendants were under arrest. Lawyers for Gatto and two of the coaches did not immediately respond to requests for comment. It was unclear whether Evans had an attorney.ADVERTISEMENT Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes01:22Manila police chief: Cops tolerating illegal street vendors to get ax02:04Senate OKs release of executive session on ‘ninja cops’01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fightcenter_img Adidas said it was unaware of any misconduct by an employee and vowed to fully cooperate with authorities.Gatto and others are accused of funneling $100,000 to the family of a high school athlete to gain his commitment to play at Louisville and to sign with Adidas once he became a professional. Louisville and Adidas announced a 10-year, $160 million extension of their sponsorship deal over the summer.The player’s name was not released, but details in the criminal complaint make it clear investigators were referring to Brian Bowen, who did not return messages seeking comment.Louisville coach Rick Pitino said the allegations “come as a complete shock to me.”The development comes as Louisville is appealing a four-year NCAA probation over a scandal involvingescorts hired for players and recruits. The scandal could cost the school its 2013 national championship.In court papers Tuesday, the FBI said it recorded a July meeting at which an assistant coach at Louisville was briefed on a plan to funnel thousands of dollars to a potential high school recruit. The participants in the meeting noted they had to be careful because Louisville was on probation.“We gotta be very low key,” said the coach, according to the FBI.Investigators said agents wiretapped a call in which Gatto and another defendant discussed an unidentified coach at Miami requesting that Adidas pay as much as $150,000 to another recruit, in part to prevent him from accepting a similar offer from a rival apparel company.Louisville interim President Gregory Postel confirmed the university has been informed it is part of the investigation and said, “Any violations will not be tolerated.”Miami said it will cooperate with authorities, while USC said it appointed former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh to conduct an internal investigation.The investigation began after Martin Blazer, a Pittsburgh-based financial adviser to pro athletes, began cooperating with authorities in 2014. Blazer, accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of taking money from clients without permission, pleaded guilty this month to fraud and other crimes. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City View comments MOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC He admitted making payments and loans to NCAA athletes as far back as 2000 to get them to hire him.Person, associate head coach at Auburn, was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 1986 and played for five NBA teams over 13 seasons.Prosecutors said Person accepted about $91,500 in bribes from Blazer last year to steer clients to him when they reached the NBA. Some payments were alleged to have been arranged by Michel, a former NBA referee turned high-end clothier.Person was quoted by prosecutors as telling one player: “The most important part is that you … don’t say nothing to anybody … don’t share with your sisters, don’t share with any of the teammates, that’s very important ’cause this is a violation … of rules. But this is how the NBA players get it done.”Prosecutors said Evans solicited at least $22,000 over the past two years, while Richardson in February was paid $20,000 in bribes, some of which he kept for himself and some of which he gave to at least one high school athlete to get him to play for Arizona. These file photos show, assistant basketball coaches Tony Bland, left, Chuck Person, center, and Lamont Richardson. The three, along with assistant coach Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State, were identified in court papers and are among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. (AP Photo/File)NEW YORK — In one of the biggest crackdowns on the corrupting role of money in college basketball, 10 men — including a top Adidas executive and four assistant coaches — were charged Tuesday with using hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to influence star athletes’ choice of schools, shoe sponsors, agents, even tailors.Some of the most explosive allegations appeared to involve Louisville, one of college basketball’s biggest powerhouses, which is already on NCAA probation over a sex scandal.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

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22 days ago​Liverpool claim comeback win over RB Salzburg in UYL

first_img​Liverpool claim comeback win over RB Salzburg in UYLby Ansser Sadiq22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool were successful in the UEFA Youth League against RB Salzburg.Much like the senior side, the Reds’ youngsters took on the Austrian club in a tight contest.But Liverpool’s superior offensive capabilities allowed them to emerge with a 4-2 win in the game.Rhian Brewster was among the youngsters who was involved, and it was his penalty in injury time that put the icing on the cake for the Reds.They did experience some scares in the game, as they were 2-1 down with 12 minutes remaining.But they rallied and scored three late goals to seal the contest. About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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Why The NFL Cant Rely On Defense

Philadelphia led the league in QB hits but not sacksTotal quarterback hits, sacks and expected sacks for teams’ defensive lines in the regular season, 2018 Chicago954941.3+7.7– Green Bay714330.9+12.1– Defensive performance is unpredictableShare of performance across various team-level metrics predicted by the previous season’s performance in the regular season, 2009-2018 Total defensive DVOA9.7 Source: Football Outsiders High-impact plays on defense turn out to be the least predictable. And while we’re by no means great at identifying which teams will succeed on offense, offensive DVOA is about twice as good at forecasting future performance as defensive DVOA.4Based on data from 2009 to 2018.For teams like the Chicago Bears, who won 12 games despite fielding the 20th best offense in the NFL, this has major ramifications. The Bears were third in the league in turnover margin and third in sacks — feats we shouldn’t expect to repeat based solely on this season’s results. (Just ask the Jags.) Casting even more doubt on their ability to field an elite defense in back-to-back years, Chicago also lost its defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, who left to become the head coach in Denver, further destabilizing the strength of the team.Still there is some hope for lovers of the three-and-out. While rare, there are plays a defense makes that do tend to carry over from year to year. One of the most stable defensive stats is hits on the quarterback, which has a relatively impressive year-to-year r-squared of 0.21 — better even than total offensive DVOA, which is the gold standard for stability in team metrics. Quarterback hits include sacks — 43.5 percent of QB hits end in a sack, and those by themselves tend to not be predictive — but also plays in which the passer is contacted after the pass is thrown, and that contact is incredibly disruptive to a passing offense. Baltimore964341.8+1.2– Jacksonville903739.1-2.1– Tennessee803934.8+4.2– Cincinnati803434.8-0.8– Washington914639.6+6.4– New Orleans954941.3+7.7– Miami733131.8-0.8– Offensive rushing DVOA9.7 Atlanta733731.8+5.2– N.Y. Jets1093947.4-8.4– Indianapolis743832.2+5.8– Carolina683529.6+5.4– Tampa Bay883838.3-0.3– Pittsburgh1105247.9+4.1– L.A. Rams994143.1-2.1– Philadelphia1234453.5-9.5– Defensive passing DVOA10.0 When a quarterback is hit, his completion percentage is affected on a throw to any part of the field.5When the hit isn’t a sack, obviously. Teams that can generate pressure that ends with contact on the opposing QB greatly improve their chances of causing incompletions and getting off the field. And best of all, teams that are good at generating hits on the quarterback tend to stay good at it. We shouldn’t be surprised that great offensive teams have made it this far. Teams are more reliably good — and bad — from game to game and year to year on offense than on defense. Individual defenders often have wild swings in performance from season to season, and defensive units forecast to be dominant often end up being merely average. The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense took them as far as the AFC championship a year ago, but that same defense led them to five wins this season. Meanwhile, performance on offense is generally easier to forecast, making investments on that side of the ball more reliable.Even then, football is largely unpredictable. When an otherwise sure-handed Alshon Jeffery2According to Pro Football Focus, Jeffery had just five drops for the season on 70 catchable targets. lets a well-thrown Nick Foles pass sail through his fingers for an interception to end the Eagles season, or when Cody Parkey double-doinks a partially blocked field goal to end the Bears’ playoff hopes, we are essentially cheering, or bemoaning, randomness. Most vexing for forecasters and league observers trying to make sense of things is that the plays that matter the most in football are often the most unpredictable. But again, this is particularly true on the defensive side of the ball.Turnover margin is the canonical example. Teams that win the turnover battle go on to win their games at a very high rate. Home teams win about 73 percent of their games when they are plus-1 in turnover differential, according to data from ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, and the home team win rate climbs to more than 86 percent when it’s plus-2 or better. metricShare predicted Oakland481320.9-7.9– Sacks3.6 L.A. Chargers773833.5+4.5– Buffalo833636.1-0.1– Houston864337.4+5.6– Cleveland833736.1+0.9– Teamqb hitsSacksexpected sacksDifference Offensive passing DVOA18.8 The Eagles, Jets and the Seahawks all appear to have better days ahead of them on defense. Each team racked up more than 100 QB hits in 2018. But they also experienced bad fortune, converting their hits into sacks at a rate below what we’d expect. If these teams generate similar pressure next season, we shouldn’t be surprised to see their sack totals rise just based on reversion to the mean. Meanwhile, Chicago, New Orleans and Kansas City experienced good fortune in 2018, converting their QB hits at a rate higher than we’d expect. Assuming the defensive lines return largely intact, we probably shouldn’t be surprised to see their sack totals dip next season.Stats like QB hits are rare to find on defense. And because of the high variance in defensive performance, teams built with a defense-first mindset end up controlling their own destinies less than we might expect. When it comes to team-building, this suggests that investments on offense are better long-term bets for stability. The results this year are particularly encouraging. Lighting up scoreboards by focusing on scoring points instead of preventing them has proved to be both successful and incredibly entertaining to watch. For this season at least, defense isn’t winning anyone a championship.Check out our latest NFL predictions. San Francisco853737.0+0.0 Arizona834936.1+12.9– Denver864437.4+6.6– Dallas923940.0-1.0– New England933040.5-10.5– Defensive rushing DVOA8.3 Show more rowsSources: NFL, Elias Sports Bureau Yet despite their clear importance, the number of turnovers a team creates in one season has no bearing on how many turnovers the team will create in the next. Both interceptions and fumbles are completely unpredictable from season to season at the team level. And this pattern holds true for defense in general. If we measure the stability of defensive stats from one year to the next,3Stability measures tell us how well a stat predicts itself over a period of time. Year-over-year r-squared of a metric tells us what percentage future performance, or variance, can be explained by past performance. we find that compared with offensive performance, most defensive stats are highly variable from year to year. Interceptions2.4 N.Y. Giants813035.2-5.2– In an NFL season marked by historic offensive production and a championship round that was conspicuously absent a top-10 defense,1According to Football Outsiders’ defensive Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. aficionados of low-scoring rock fights, filled with punts and field goals, have been left disappointed. The best defensive teams to make the playoffs were eliminated early in the tournament, with the Bears, Ravens and Texans all losing in the wild-card round. A week later, Joey Bosa and the emerging Chargers defense were dismantled by the Patriots, and the Cowboys — perhaps the best defensive team left in the divisional round based on their end-of-season play — lost to the Rams. Extracting the strong defensive teams with relatively weak offenses led to historically exciting playoff football, producing two overtime games in the championship round for the first time in NFL history. Now we have a Patriots and Rams Super Bowl pitting perhaps the greatest QB of all time in Tom Brady against the hottest young offensive mind in the league in Sean McVay. Kansas City1015243.9+8.1– Seattle1054345.7-2.7– Total offensive DVOA18.9% Fumbles1.6 Detroit744332.2+10.8– Minnesota864937.4+11.6– read more

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