DETROIT -- Darius Slay smiled, ear to ear, and his eyes lit up while he sat on the stool in front of his stall.Detroits standout cornerback cant wait to play on Thanksgiving with a lot at stake for a change.The Lions will have a featured game on the holiday as usual, continuing a tradition that dates to 1934, but it will be very significant to them in the standings unlike many matchups over the past two-plus decades.Detroit (6-4) hosts the Minnesota Vikings (6-4) in a matchup of first-place teams in the NFC North. It will be the first time the Lions are in first place on the holiday since 1993, which is also the most recent year the franchise won a division title.I love it, Slay said. We know the risks, and the stakes.If the Lions beat Minnesota for the second time this month and sweep the season series, they would win the head-to-head tiebreaker if both teams are tied at the end of the regular season.You cant help but think about that, said Detroit receiver Golden Tate, who flipped into the end zone for a game-winning touchdown in overtime at Minnesota in Week 9.The winner of the game will definitely have an advantage in the division and will be in the drivers seat down the stretch.If the Vikings win, they will move into first place with a favorable schedule that includes only one team that currently has a winning record.I dont necessarily think this is necessarily for the division championship, Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said. Its not like its the last game of the season.Here are some things to watch when Detroit and Minnesota kick off the NFLs holiday tripleheader:DIGGING IT: The Lions limited receiver Stefon Diggs to a season-low 6.15 yards per catch in the previous meeting, but he set a career high with 13 receptions.You let him catch too many and at some point in time hes going to burn you because hes explosive, Lions coach Jim Caldwell said.Thats an area where weve just got to continue to get better. Theres not a point in time where you say, `Hey, well let that guy catch as many balls as hed like.ROLLING ROBERTS: When the Lions signed Andre Roberts in June, a month after Washington cut him, they were hoping he would compete to be their returner and possibly provide depth at receiver.Roberts has surpassed expectations, becoming the first Detroit player to return two punts for a touchdown in a season since 2005. He has also made some clutch catches, including a 27-yard reception that set up Matt Praters game-tying kick as time expired at Minnesota.BERGER THE BULWARK: One bright spot on Minnesotas depleted offensive line has been veteran center Joe Berger, who will make his 36th straight start.The native of Newaygo, Michigan, played at NCAA Division II Michigan Tech and went undrafted before stints with the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys.Hes a really smart guy, quarterback Sam Bradford said. Hes really helped me with protections. I think thats one of the first things when you learn a new offense as a quarterback. You want to know, `How am I being protected? What are the calls? And hes been awesome.MAKING HISTORY: Detroit, which has trailed in the fourth quarter of every game, is the first NFL team to have the first 10 games decided by seven points or fewer.SPECIAL SPECIALISTS: Detroits Sam Martin and Minnesotas Jeff Locke are two of the top punters in the NFL. Martin leads the league with a net average of 45.8 yards. Locke ranks second in the NFL with 25 punts pinned inside the 20.Last week when Minnesota was clinging to a six-point lead over Arizona late in the fourth quarter, Locke had a 72-yard punt with a friendly roll to push the Cardinals deep into their territory.What Locke has learned to do, perhaps unlike former Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh and some of his struggling peers, is forget about mistakes.In the past, I mightve been sitting on a bad punt and letting it affect the next punts, he said. But now Ive learned especially this year just to clear it.Soon after Walsh missed an extra point and had a field goal blocked in the loss to Detroit, the Vikings released the former All-Pro kicker and signed Kai Forbath to replace him.Forbath and Prater both had an extra point blocked last week. They contributed to the total of 12 extra points missed , the most in one week since the NFL merger in 1970.Prater has been an asset for the Lions. He made a season-long, 58-yard field goal at Minnesota before the Lions won 22-16. He has also made three game-winning field goals this season with 1:29, 1:28 and 4 seconds remaining in games.---For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org
Larry Lage on Twitter at www.twitter.com/larrylage Paul Molitor Jersey
. "We have always prided ourselves on the way we play defence. Having two big pieces back is going to be a key for us moving forward for years to come," said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. Ervin Santana Jersey
. If ever they start actually putting pictures beside words in the dictionary, the Blue Jays left-handers mug will appear beside “Consistency. http://www.baseballtwinsprostore.com/twins-joe-mauer-jersey/
.35 million, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration. Plouffe batted .254 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs in 477 at-bats last season, his second as a regular in the lineup. Kent Hrbek Jersey
. Robinson finished with 17 points, all but two in the second half, and Lawson had 14 after halftime and finished with a game-high 11 assists as the Nuggets handed Dallas its first home loss in eight games this season. J.J. Hickson led Denver with 22, and Kenneth Faried added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jose Berrios Jersey
. The Americans, skipped by John Shuster, seized the advantage in the eighth end by scoring five points for a 7-3 lead. The Czechs pulled two back in the ninth, but Shusters team of third Jeff Isaacson, second Jared Zezel and lead John Landsteiner ended with another point to secure the last Olympic berth on offer.OAKLAND, Calif. -- Slow at the start of the series and strong at the end, the San Antonio Spurs wore out the Golden State Warriors the way they have so many other opponents. Tim Duncan had 19 points and six rebounds, Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and 10 rebounds and the Spurs held off a furious final rally to beat the Warriors 94-82 in Game 6 on Thursday night and advance to the Western Conference finals. "Theyve got great character. Theyre competitive. They know theres not a million chances to do this sort of thing. They wanted it," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. Tony Parker shook off a poor start to score 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and Tiago Splitter added a career-playoff high 14 points for San Antonio, which had a 13-point lead in the third quarter dissolve to two in the final minutes. Stephen Curry shot 10 of 25 from the floor to score 22 points on a nagging left ankle, and Jarrett Jack had 15 points as the injury-saddled Warriors finally tired. The Spurs outshot Golden State 45 per cent to 39 per cent and outrebounded them 46 to 40. Second-seeded San Antonio will open the conference finals at home against Memphis on Sunday. The fifth-seeded Grizzlies eliminated Oklahoma City in five games. The Spurs lost to the Thunder in the conference finals in six games last season after going ahead 2-0. They havent been to the NBA Finals since 2007, when they won their fourth title with a sweep of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Spurs became the first team to win consecutive games in the series and hand the Warriors consecutive losses in the playoffs -- and they did it at just the right time. The Spurs quieted a standing-room-only crowd late in the third quarter and seemingly seized control for good. Instead, the Warriors roared back. Klay Thompson, who had 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting, made a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter that sliced San Antonios lead to three. Then Currys pull-up jumper brought the Warriors within 77-75 with 4:52 to play. Parker was 1 for 13 before hitting a corner 3-pointer before Leonard followed with two free throws to put the Spurs up seven. Jack made a jumper and two free throws to bring the Warriors back again. Then Leonard hit another corner 3-pointer for the Spurs to go ahead 85-79. Curry and Thompson each had consecutive 3s rim out on the same possession that couldve kept Golden State close. But Parker hit anotheer 3-pointer to put San Antonio up 88-79 with 1:15 remaining and send some of the yellow-shirted crowd of 19,596 heading to the exits.dddddddddddd In the end, most still stuck around. Fans serenaded the home team with chants of "Warr-i-ors!" in the final seconds. Curry also grabbed the microphone after the game and thanked fans at half court, breaking the huddle with the crowd, "Just us!" The Warriors had only made the playoffs once since 1994 before this season and hadnt won two games after the first round since 1977. "Its inspiring to think of what we were able to accomplish this year and the foundation that has been laid," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. The Spurs showed incredible ball movement and had the Warriors playing from behind most of the way. San Antonios first 10 field goals came on an assist, going ahead by 10 points in the second quarter and maintaining that cushion until late. Golden State stayed close despite more injury setbacks in a season full of them. Andrew Bogut walked gingerly to the locker room with 8:31 remaining in the second quarter to get his troublesome left ankle re-tapped. Upstart rookie Harrison Barnes fell awkwardly while leaping to contest a layup in the second quarter from Boris Diaw. Barnes hit the court hard and his teammates immediately called for the training staff to attend to him as the arena fell silent. He received six stitches above his right eye at halftime and ran on the court late to start the third quarter, bringing fans to their feet roaring once more. At least for a moment. Barnes left the game in the fourth quarter because of a headache, the team said. He finished with nine points and four rebounds in 31 minutes. The steady Spurs kept making the Warriors work for every shot and grinding out points on the other end. San Antonio took a 61-48 lead late in the third quarter before Golden State started its final surge. The Spurs made sure it wasnt enough. NOTES: NBA Commissioner David Stern, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and prospective Kings owner Vivek Ranadive attended the game. ... The Spurs are 10-1 in closeout games since the start of the 2007 playoffs. ... Parkers worst shooting performance in the playoffs with more than five shot attempts came when he was 1 of 12 against New Jersey in the 2003 NBA Finals won by the Spurs. ... The Warriors fell to 4-1 after a loss in the playoffs. NFL Jerseys From China Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys Store Cheap Jerseys China Cheap Authentic Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys Store
' ' '