“I came home and typed in ‘Croc’ and ‘escalator,’ and all these stories came up,” said Jodi McDermott, of Vienna, Va. “If I had known, those would never have been worn.” According to reports appearing across the United States and as far away as Singapore and Japan, entrapments occur because of two of the biggest selling points of shoes like Crocs: their flexibility and grip. Some report the shoes get caught in the “teeth” at the bottom or top of the escalator, or in the crack between the steps and the side of the escalator. The reports of serious injuries have all involved young children. Crocs are commonly worn by children as young as 2. The company introduced shoes in its smallest size, 4/5, this past spring. Niwot, Colo.-based Crocs Inc. said it does not keep records of the reasons for customer-service calls. But the company said it is aware of “very few” problems relating to accidents involving the shoes, which are made of a soft, synthetic resin. “Thankfully, escalator accidents like the one in Virginia are rare,” the company said in a statement. In Japan, the government warned consumers last week that it has received 39 reports of sandals – mostly Crocs or similar products – getting stuck in escalators from late August through early September. Most of the reports appear to have involved small children, some as young as two years old. Kazuo Motoya of Japan’s National Institute of Technology and Evaluation said children may have more escalator accidents in part because they “bounce around when they stand on escalators, instead of watching where they place their feet.” In Singapore, a 2-year-old girl wearing rubber clogs – it’s unclear what brand – had her big toe completely ripped off in an escalator accident last year, according to local media reports. And at the Atlanta airport, a 3-year-old boy wearing Crocs suffered a deep gash across the top of his toes in June. That was one of seven shoe entrapments at the airport since May 1, and all but two of them involved Crocs, said Roy Springer, operations manager for the company that runs the airport terminal. One U.S. retailer that caters to children, Mattel subsidiary American Girl, has posted signs in three locations directing customers wearing Crocs or flip-flop sandals to use elevators instead of escalators. During the past two years, so-called “shoe entrapments” in the Washington subway have gone from being relatively rare to happening four or five times a week in the summer, though none has caused serious injuries, said Dave Lacosse, who oversees the subway’s 588 escalators, the most of any U.S. transit system. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said escalator accidents caused more than 10,000 injuries last year, but the agency has few records of specific shoe problems. Only two shoe entrapments have been reported by consumers since the beginning of 2006. One reported in May involved “rubber footwear.” Agency spokesman Ed Kang urged people who have had problems to report them on the commission’s Web site. Crocs officials said they were working with the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation on public education initiatives. But the group’s executive director, Barbara Allen, said that’s not true. Allen said a Crocs official called her in September 2006 about possible cooperation, even suggesting the company might put a tag in its shoes with the foundation’s Web address. But since that first contact, Crocs has not called, and nobody from the company will return Allen’s calls, she said. Washington Metro’s Lacosse and other escalator experts say the best way to prevent shoe entrapments is to face the direction the stairs are moving, keep feet away from the sides and step over the teeth at the end. Lacosse, of the Washington subway system, said he is personally skittish of Crocs and other soft-soled shoes. “Would I wear them? No,” he said. “And I tell my children not to wear them either.” .160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON _ At rail stations and shopping malls around the world, reports are popping up of people, particularly young children, getting their toes caught in escalators. The one common theme seems to be the clunky soft-soled clogs known by the name of the most popular brand, Crocs. One of the nation’s largest subway systems – the Washington Metro – has even posted ads warning riders about wearing such shoes on its moving stairways. The ads feature a photo of a crocodile, though they don’t mention Crocs by name. Four-year-old Rory McDermott got a Croc-clad foot caught in an escalator last month at a mall in northern Virginia. His mother managed to yank him free, but the nail on his big toe was almost completely ripped off, causing heavy bleeding. At first, Rory’s mother had no idea what caused the boy’s foot to get caught. It was only later, when someone at the hospital remarked on Rory’s shoes, that she began to suspect the Crocs and did an Internet search.
The company also revealed that it is in negotiations with potential South African lenders for a refinancing of up to US$20-million (about R148-million) of its own inter-company funding of the Newcastle plant. The loan facility was secured from the Sterling Trust Limited, a UK-based private investment company, and is repayable within 90 days of drawdown. According to Ipsa, the loan will be repaid out of the revenues received at the Newcastle plant. “The last year was a period of continued difficulty in the South African power industry as Eskom struggled to re-arrange its finances and to meet its obligation to sign contracts with independent power producers for the provision of privately generated electricity,” said Ipsa chairman Richard Linnell. According to the company, the plant is expected to generate electricity for nine days toward the end of the month, subject to obtaining the necessary approvals for the loan. In the meantime, the plant has continued to incur both direct costs of employing staff as well as rent, rates, rates and gas supply liabilities of a normal, fully constructed power plant. “I am pleased that our Newcastle plant can be brought into operation so quickly in order to make a small contribution towards relieving the strain on the South African electricity system at this critical time,” Ipsa CEO Peter Earle said in a statement last week. The company’s Newcastle plant is the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) plant to be built in South Africa, but has been lying idle as Eskom had yet to finalise power purchase agreements with any independent producers. Local refinancing Ipsa, which is listed on London’s AIM and the JSE’s AltX markets, also announced the arrangement of a short-term loan facility of £300 000 (about R3.3-million) to restart generation at its gas-fired power plant in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal. Integrated energy policy SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material “Now at last we seem to be sensing the first signs of an integrated energy policy for South Africa which includes IPPs at its heart.” In addition, the Sterling Trust will also receive warrants to subscribe for 300 000 new ordinary shares at a price of 15 pence per share, exercisable within 24 months. London-listed power producer Ipsa has concluded a short-term agreement to sell electricity – generated at its plant in KwaZulu-Natal – to South African state company Eskom for the remainder of the month of June. 21 June 2010
Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch00:50Trending 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 PH fighters bag 2 golds “Alaska is not a team you can relax against,” said RoS coach Caloy Garcia referring to the Aces. “We have to come out with the mentality of wanting to win rather than just playing the game.” Read Next The Beermen take on Phoenix Fuel at 7 p.m., right after the 4:15 p.m. duel between the Painters and the Alaska Aces.San Miguel coach Leo Austria got first-hand experience how it is paying against a team with nothing to lose when the Beermen needed a big finish and a huge game from June Mar Fajardo to subdue KIA Picanto, 118-112, in what he aptly described as “an ugly win.”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“It is a wake-up call for us,” said Austria who is hoping to bring to the illustrious franchise its second Grand Slam.Rain or Shine will also guard against complacency when it battles Alaska. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine will shoot for wins on Wednesday that would push them closer to a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup.And it’s not much of an advantage that the Beermen and the Elasto Painters will be facing teams that have scraped the bottom of the barrel. In fact, it could work against the two squads in the doubleheader at Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC 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 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Paul Lee ‘day-to-day’ after knee injury resurfaces BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Game 3 is on Thursday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/PBA IMAGESSTA. ROSA — Ranidel de Ocampo had his best game yet as a member of the Meralco Bolts on Tuesday night.De Ocampo, who was acquired by the Bolts in a three-team trade three weeks ago, has been showing why his new team benefitted the most from the deal since his departure from TNT and Game 2 of their semifinals series against the Star Hotshots was no different.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC The veteran forward scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, including three 3-pointers in 26 minutes off the bench.But de Ocampo feels he and the rest of the Bolts, who dominated the Hotshots right from the opening tip to win, 98-74, will have to replicate their “near perfect” game to close out the series as early as Thursday.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“Hopefully, we’ll be able to play the same way. But we know that it’s not going to be easy in Game 3,” he said. “At the same time, finishing a series is the hardest one.”“This is the only time that I had a good game. I’m hoping that I can have more good games to help my teammates and I give the credit to them especially to Durham.” LATEST STORIES View comments Star got off to a fast start in the semis opener on Sunday and Meralco returned the favor in Game 2. De Ocampo said that was exactly the Bolts’ plan heading into the duel.“That was really our game plan, to have a good start and it happened,” he said. “We sustained our good defense and we connected on our outside shots.”Meralco led, 30-11, after the first quarter and by as much as 30 points, 78-48, entering the final period.The Bolts also shot 53% from the field and held the Hotshots to just 32%. They hit 14-of-33 from deep and had 28 assists.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City 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 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ
SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (9) hangs from the rim and bumps Atlanta Hawks guard Jeremy Lin (7) at the end of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)TORONTO — Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry shared the court for the first time in almost a month for Toronto, yet it was Serge Ibaka who scored the biggest basket of the game for the RaptorsIbaka scored the winning points on a dunk with 17 seconds remaining and the Raptors won their sixth straight home game, 104-101 over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Following a timeout, Young drove against Leonard but missed his shot. Ibaka grabbed the rebound that led to a fast break dunk for Anunoby with less than a second to go.“You had a rookie going up against probably the best defensive player in the league,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “He just kind of fell for the bait.”Carter, a former star with the Raptors, launched a long 3-point try at the buzzer but came up empty.“Tip your hats to the Hawks,” Lowry said. “Those guys, they’re playing extremely hard.”The banged-up Hawks were without guard Kevin Huerter (back). Guard Kent Bazemore missed his fifth straight game because of a sprained right ankle, while center Miles Plumlee sat for the third straight game because of a sore left ankle. Forward Taurean Prince has not played since Dec. 3 because of a sprained left ankle.“I’m personally not a big fan of the moral victories, but with a lot of guys down, guys stepped up and played hard,” Carter said.A former slam dunk champion whose career began in Toronto, Carter received a brief standing ovation when he checked in for the first time at 5:13 of the first quarter. He scored six points in 13 minutes.“The joy of stepping into this arena each and every year is something I always look forward to,” Carter said.Making his first start of the season in place of Huerter, Lin made all four of his shots and scored 10 points in the first as Atlanta led 31-28 after one.After shooting 0 for 6 from 3-point range in the first, the Raptors shot 6 for 10 from long range in the second. Atlanta led 57-56 at halftime. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LATEST STORIES Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Toronto is 16-6 when Lowry and Leonard both play.John Collins had 21 points and 14 rebounds, Jeremy Lin scored 20 points and Trae Young added 19 for the Hawks, who have lost four of five. Atlanta made a season-worst 27 turnovers, leading to 34 Toronto points.“If we keep it under 20, the result is a little different,” Atlanta’s Vince Carter said.Neither team led by more than five in a tight fourth quarter. Atlanta’s Dewayne Dedmon made a pair of foul shots at 2:15 to put the Hawks up 101-98, but Toronto finished the game with a 6-0 run.Anonuboy’s layup with 1:57 remaining cut the gap to one and, after a steal by Leonard, Ibaka’s dunk with 17 seconds to go put Toronto up 102-101.ADVERTISEMENT Raptors: Host Brooklyn on Friday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion “We pulled one out,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “We were trying to get away from them and never really could.”Leonard scored 31 points, Pascal Siakam had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Lowry scored 16 points as the Raptors earned their sixth consecutive win over the Hawks.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsOG Anunoby scored 14 points and Ibaka had 13.Lowry and Leonard played together for the first time since a Dec. 9 home loss to Milwaukee. Toronto has not lost at home since. Lowry had missed 10 of the past 14 games because of hip and back injuries, returning Sunday against Indiana. Leonard missed that game to rest. View comments Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Leonard and Lowry each scored eight points in the third and Toronto took an 80-77 lead into the fourth.TIP-INSHawks: Atlanta scored 12 points off six Toronto turnovers in the first quarter. … Carter’s mother attended the game.Raptors: G Danny Green (rest) did not play. Fred VanVleet started in his place. It was Toronto’s 14th different starting lineup of the season. Twelve different players have started at least once. … F C.J. Miles (right hip) was active, but did not play. … C Jonas Valanciunas has had the splint removed from his dislocated left thumb. Valanciunas was injured Dec. 12 at Golden State. … Toronto waived G Lorenzo Brown on Monday. G Jordan Loyd was active. Loyd played a G-League game at Philadelphia earlier in the day.ON A ROLLLeonard scored at least 20 points for the 17th consecutive game, extending his career-best streak.STEALING THE SCENELeonard’s six steals were a season-high, while Lowry matched his season-high with four. In doing so, Lowry became the first player to top 700 with Toronto.UP NEXTHawks: Visit Brooklyn on Wednesday night. Stephen Curry’s PGA Tour event scrapped Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss
The new event, that has replaced the Victorian State Team Titles, showcased local talent and attracted some of the biggest names in the game who travelled to Sale for the Inaugural tournament that proved to be a massive hit with the Victorian Touch Football community.New Zealand’s “Mr. Touch” Peter Walters made the trek from across the ditch to conduct a skills clinic for junior players and to play in the event along with 2007 Australian World Cup Open Mixed star Matthew Tope and Australian Mixed 30s lynchpin Manu Wakely. A host of National Touch League, State representatives, and local legends took to the fields to test themselves against the best the State had to offer and vie for the crown of Sale Knockout champions for 2007.Touch Football Australia’s Victorian Branch Manager Mr. David Brady was impressed by the standard of game play, sportsmanship and spirit on display from all participants, and all aspects of the organisation of the tournament.“Sale & District Touch Association put on a great tournament, and did a marvellous job as they have always done when hosting events. The participants repaid them with hours and hours of exciting touch played in true spirit. Players, referees, and officials were fantastic and we can look to 2008 with great anticipation of it being an even bigger and better tournament for Touch Football in Victoria.” Mr. Brady said.David Regenspurger was awarded the Inaugural “Laurie Smyth Mixed Trophy”, recognising a participant in the event who embodies the positive qualities of participation in the game.The award is named in honour of Laurie Smyth, a hard working and long serving member of the Sale & District Touch Association who has been the backbone of his association for over twenty years.Laurie was a founding member of the association and was awarded life membership of the Sale & District Touch Association in 1998.Next year’s event will be conducted again at the East Gippsland Fields on the weekend 5-6 April 2008, for more information please contact the TFA-Victoria office on 03 9206 6755.Results for the Sale Knckout are listed below and a comprehensive wrap of the tournament has been provided by Peter Shefford.Please click on the attachment for Peter’s full report.SALE KNOCKOUT 2007 – ResultsA Women’s FinalSynergy 4 defeated Screaming Yellow Zonkers 3B Women’s FinalHands Off 1 defeated Bra Town 0 with drop off.Women’s Most Valuable PlayerStacey Avery (Hot Ice)A Men’s FinalMaori Saiyans 4 defeated Vipers 3 with a drop off.B Men’s FinalTMR 3 defeated Tornadoes 2 with a drop off.Men’s Most Valuable Player Tim Booth (Ballarat)Mixed Social Plate FinalNagle jets 3 defeated SBFDTC 2 in a drop offMixed Social FinalKnapsack straps 8 defeated Three Free Throws 2Mixed Open FinalGremlins 5 defeated Sydney Rebels 4Most valuable players:Mixed Social Male: Lano Fonua (Knapsack Strap)Mixed Social Female: Samantha Spiers (Knapsack Straps)Mixed Open Male: Manu Wakely (Sydney Rebels)Mixed Open Female: Toni Breeze (Vipers)Related Files2007_sale_knockout_tournament_report-doc Touch Football Australia’s Victorian branch and the Sale & District Touch Association recently hosted the Inaugural Sale Knockout tournament which attracted 35 teams across seven divisions on the weekend of 14-15 April 2007.
Culpepper2000MINSmith • Kleinsasser • Moss • Carter • Davis226 Cassel2008NEFaulk • Morris • Welker • Moss • Gaffney220 Stabler1973OAKHubbard • Smith • Siani • Biletnikoff • Moore209 New QBYrTmSkill PlayersWtd. A.V. Hogeboom1984DALDorsett • Springs • Hill • Cosbie • Renfro240 Sanchez2009NYJJones • Greene • Cotchery • Keller • Edwards188 *Weighted Approximate Value equals a player’s AV from the previous season multiplied by three, plus his AV from two seasons ago multiplied by two, plus his AV from three seasons ago. A team’s total above is the sum of the weighted AV numbers for all of its primary non-QB skill players.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com With seconds left in the first half of the Kansas City Chiefs’ preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons last Friday, new starting QB Patrick Mahomes showed once again why KC felt comfortable dropping longtime starter Alex Smith in favor of the talented 22-year-old they took 10th overall in 2017. White1980DALDorsett • Newhouse • Hill • Pearson • DuPree264 Rivers2006SDTomlinson • Turner • Gates • Parker • McCardell291 Mahomes2018KCHunt • Ware • Kelce • Watkins • Hill221 King2000TAMDunn • Alstott • Johnson • Green • Moore234 Rypien1989WASByner • Riggs • Monk • Sanders • Clark235 Woodley1980MIANathan • Williams • Moore • Harris • Cefalo208 Phipps1972CLEKelly • Scott • Pitts • Morin • Hooker226 Manning2005NYGBarber • Finn • Burress • Shockey • Toomer210 Roethlisberger2004PITStaley • Bettis • Ward • Burress • Randle El235 Fitzpatrick2008CINBenson • Perry • H’mandzadeh • Johnson • Kelly202 Staubach1971DALGarrison • Thomas • Hayes • Alworth • Ditka211 Just how impressive was that bomb from Mahomes to Tyreek Hill? As Yahoo’s Michael David Smith noted, Mahomes’s pass traveled further through the air — 68.6 yards, according to the NFL’s NextGen Stats — than any touchdown pass did during the entire 2017 NFL season.1That’s impressive even though the 2017 stats include very little of Aaron Rodgers, king of the deep TD strike. So there’s no questioning Mahomes’s arm. And perhaps more importantly, he’ll be surrounded by plenty of supporting talent that will help him ease into his new role — maybe more of this talent than any other quarterback this decade. But does this ideal situation mean Mahomes is destined to make KC fans forget about Smith — and cure the Chiefs’ chronic postseason problems?Certainly, Mahomes will demonstrate a very different style of play than Smith did. During Smith’s seasons at the helm in Kansas City (2013-17), only Tom Brady had a lower interception percentage,2Among the 39 NFL passers with at least 800 attempts over that span. and nobody topped Smith on the percentage of passes he threw that ended up at or behind the line of scrimmage. Although Smith did begin to stretch the field more as a deep passer over his time in KC, he was mostly defined as an extremely accurate short-range passer who kept the Chiefs’ offense on schedule and didn’t make mistakes. Mahomes, by contrast, carries the “gunslinger” label for a reason: In the his one full start last season, 40 percent of his passes traveled at least 10 yards downfield, which would have ranked fourth in the league if he’d played enough to qualify. Mahomes also throws plenty of interceptions: In addition to the one he tossed during his lone NFL start (thereby increasing KC’s total picks thrown by quarterbacks by 20 percent), he also threw 25 in his final two seasons at Texas Tech,3Where, it should be mentioned, he also averaged a ridiculous 4,853 passing yards and 39 touchdowns over those two seasons. and struggled with turnovers during training camp as well.Fortunately, Mahomes will have an incredible arsenal of weapons to choose from when he’s running Andy Reid’s offense this year. At running back, KC boasts a pair of prolific rushers from the past few seasons in Kareem Hunt — who ran for 1,327 yards as a rookie in 2017 — and Spencer Ware, who missed all of 2017 with injury but notched 921 yards on the ground in 2016. Mahomes will also be throwing to wideouts Hill (1,183 receiving yards in 2017) and newcomer Sammy Watkins, who battled injuries in recent years but had 1,047 yards through the air in 2015. Finally, Mahomes can also go to Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce, who has racked up at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons — and is widely considered one of the best two TEs in the league, along with Rob Gronkowski.In other words, there’s a reason ESPN’s Bill Barnwell ranked Kansas City’s non-QB skill players as the best offensive arsenal in the league heading into the season. And in fact, if we zoom out beyond 2018 and look at NFL history, few first-time starters have ever been surrounded by a better group of skill-position talent than Mahomes will have at his disposal this season.To measure this, I went back to the 1970 NFL-AFL merger and tracked each team’s top two running backs and top three receivers (whether wide receivers or tight ends) for each season using Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value metric, which assigns each player a numerical value roughly corresponding to his statistical productivity that year.4It’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison with this season’s Chiefs, since I used end-of-season numbers for past seasons, and we obviously don’t yet know for sure who the Chiefs’ leading skill-position players will be this season. But using the players who are atop the depth chart heading into the season gives us a reasonable best guess. For those core groups of primary offensive skill players, I added up a weighted sum of their AV over the previous three seasons,5Where — somewhat arbitrarily — AV from the season before gets a multiplier of three, AV the season before that gets a multiplier of two and AV from three years ago gets a multiplier of one. to get a sense for how productive the group had been in the handful of seasons leading up to the one in question. Finally, I filtered for teams whose quarterback was in his first season as an NFL primary QB,6Meaning he led the team in attempts and started at least 10 games that season. to look for situations comparable to the one Mahomes currently finds himself in.After tallying up all the skill-position AV, here are the top supporting casts a new starter has gotten to play with since the merger: Gannon1990MINWalker • Fenney • Carter • Jones • Jordan220 Batch1998DETSanders • Vardell • Morton • Moore • Crowell258 Leinart2006ARIJames • Arrington • Boldin • Fitzgerald • Johnson235 Ponder2011MINPeterson • Gerhart • Harvin • Shiancoe • Jenkins204 George1990INDBentley • Dickerson • Hester • Brooks • Morgan203 Hipple1981DETSims • Bussey • Scott • Thompson • Hill185 Campbell2007WASPortis • Betts • Cooley • Moss • Randle El231 Leftwich2003JAXTaylor • Edwards • Smith • Edwards • Brady204 Evans1980CHIPayton • Harper • Scott • Watts • Baschnagel197 The Chiefs have set Mahomes up for successAmong quarterbacks in their first season as a primary QB, those whose primary supporting cast (2 RBs and 3 WRs or TEs) produced the most weighted Approximate Value* in the previous three seasons, 1970-2018 Although Kansas City’s talented group isn’t quite the most gifted core that a young QB has ever had to work with, it is close — ranking 12th-best since 1970 and the best this decade. In terms of what it might mean for the Chiefs, the rest of the teams on this list ended up posting an average of 8.9 wins per 16 games — just a tick below the average of 9.0 wins posted under their old QB — with the new QB generating exactly the same value (10.5 AV) as his predecessor had done in the role the year before. So if history is any indicator, Chiefs fans may not feel much of a drop-off from Smith to Mahomes, despite the latter’s inexperience.The only real concern around KC’s offense (which scored the sixth-most points of any team last year) might be the state of the team’s offensive line, which ranked among the middle of the pack in pass protection last year and has been up-and-down during the preseason thus far. But even there, Mahomes is in comparatively good hands. If we run the same exercise as above, but for Kansas City’s O-line instead of its skill players, Mahomes’s blocking support ranks 15th among first-time primary QBs since 1970. It’s not exactly the road-grading machine that Dak Prescott had in front of him when he broke in as Cowboys starter in 2016, but the KC line isn’t without talent — including 2017 second-team All-Pro Mitchell Schwartz at right tackle and former No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher on the left side.All told, you’d have to go back to Tampa Bay Bucs QB Shaun King in 2000 to find a first-time primary signal-caller who got more support from both his skill-position teammates and his offensive line than Mahomes figures to get this season. And while King was little more than a stopgap starter for Tampa, Mahomes is lined up to be the Chiefs’ answer under center for the long haul. With ample talent around Mahomes to help smooth away any rough patches, don’t be surprised if his career as KC’s quarterback gets off to a fast start. And it had better — because if it doesn’t, neither Reid nor his young starter will have many places to lay the blame.
It may be long overdue, but it appears that the NFL has finally learned to stop worrying and love the two-point conversion. Or at least that’s the leaguewide trend through four weeks in 2018.Three full seasons have passed since the league moved its extra-point distance to the 15-yard-line, making kickers boot the ball 33 yards for a PAT instead of the old, nearly automatic 20-yard distance. But head coaches seem to be embracing the trade-off between kicking and going for two more than ever this season. After they eschewed the extra point 14 times on Sunday, coaches have now gone for it after 11.8 percent of their touchdowns so far,1Through Sunday’s games. which (according to Pro-Football-Reference.com) is the highest rate for the first four weeks of any NFL season since the 1970 AFL merger.That continues a trend that has been generally building since that 2015 rule change, and it reverses a slight downturn from 2017: Perhaps this is partly a knee-jerk reaction to the special-teams carnage on display in Week 2, when NFL kickers missed 19 total kicks between field goals and extra points. (Although it should be noted that, on the whole, kickers have made 95.3 percent of their extra-point tries this season, which is right in line with the past couple years — and an improvement over their 94.4 percent mark from 2015, the first year at the new distance.)But maybe a better explanation is the fact that two-point conversions are working really, really well so far this year. When teams go for two, they’ve gotten into the end zone 63.2 percent of the time, which easily tops the success rates from any other season since 2006.2The first season of ESPN’s detailed play-by-play data. Remember that if the baseline accuracy rate for a regular extra-point is roughly 95 percent, a two-point conversion needs to succeed only 47.5 percent of the time to break even. So at 63 percent, the decision to go for two practically becomes a no-brainer!Of course, sustaining that 63 percent conversion rate will be pretty much impossible going forward. Prior to 2018, the league hadn’t even cracked 50 percent in any season since 2012. But the way in which teams are finding the end zone on conversions might offer some path toward sustainability. Two-point passes are being converted at a rate of 56 percent, up from their post-2005 average of 45 percent. And an even bigger leap has happened on runs, albeit in a small sample of 11 plays: 82 percent of two-point rushing attempts have found paydirt this year, way up from the historical average of 54 percent.Statheads have been saying for years that running in short-yardage situations is more effective than passing, and teams across the league have been proving that decisively this season, whether lined up on the 2-yard line after a touchdown or just in the course of regular play. In what Football Outsiders defines as “power” situations — third or fourth down, with 2 or fewer yards to go — runners are picking up the first down (or touchdown) 75 percent of the time this year, 6 percentage points more than their previous high going back to 2006. And although they haven’t figured into many two-point conversions yet in 2018,3Dallas’s Dak Prescott is the only QB to try a two-point run this year. quarterbacks are driving much of that short-yardage success, picking up the first down more than 96 percent of the time when rushing in power situations this season. (Some teams, like the Saints with Taysom Hill, are employing certain QBs as rushing specialists, which could add intrigue to conversion tries down the line.)Throw in gadget plays like Cleveland’s co-opted “Philly Special” during the Browns’ Week 3 win over the Jets, and teams may be only scratching the surface of their potential on two-point conversions early this season. After a few years of tinkering under the new rules — and perhaps a newfound willingness to accept perceived risks, following the influence of aggressive play-callers such as the Eagles’ Doug Pederson — coaches are finally starting to see the benefits that a second point after a TD can bring. Who knows? Maybe it won’t be long before we have to retrain ourselves to count in increments of eight, not seven, while doing the mental math of football.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
Senior center Ashley Adams (33) takes a shot during a game against Michigan State Jan. 26 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 82-68.Credit: Kaily Cunningham / Multimedia editorAlthough the Ohio State women’s basketball team lost its last game, the Buckeyes are still standing tall.The roller coaster ride that has been the team’s 2013-14 season is set to make its next stop in West Lafayette, Ind., to take on the No. 25 Purdue Boilermakers (15-7, 5-5) Thursday.The Buckeyes (14-11, 4-5) are coming off of a loss against Wisconsin Sunday, a game from which coach Kevin McGuff said he would like to move forward.“We just have to get back to practice,” McGuff said Wednesday. “That is our formula. We practice well, prepare well, we will play well. Hopefully, we can do that.”Despite the poor performance against the Badgers, OSU is still projected to be one of the “last four in” to the NCAA women’s college basketball tournament according to ESPN’s Bracketology.With a road game against a ranked team looming, McGuff said he does not like to put too much emphasis on projections or a particular game.“I do not ever look at that stuff until we are done playing,” McGuff said concerning the ESPN projections. “What happens when you start saying ‘This is a huge game because…’ then you get to the next game and it is not as big.”OSU redshirt-junior guard Amy Scullion said the win against the Boilermakers in their first meeting was a result of consistent offense and inspired defense.“We played well, we played hard, we made shots,” Scullion said. “That is a big thing for us. When our offense is clicking, it seems like our defense is a lot better.”Fellow Buckeye, junior guard Raven Ferguson, who has led the Buckeyes in scoring three out of the last four games, said the problem for OSU has been a lack of focus.“We need to focus on the finish and finish plays,” Ferguson said. “We just need to play harder as a team.”The Boilermakers will likely be without their leading scorer, redshirt-senior guard KK Houser, who tore her ACL in a loss at Michigan State Sunday. Houser scored a game-high 26 points on 9-20 shooting in Purdue’s loss to OSU Jan. 2.“(Purdue is) going to try and win for her,” McGuff said about Houser’s injury. “I think you will see an incredibly inspired effort (from Purdue) Thursday night.”The Boilermakers rely heavily on their three point shooting ability, as they shoot 38.7 percent from beyond the arc, good for second in the Big Ten. McGuff said he will stress the importance of defending the arc to his team.“They shoot it great,” McGuff said. “They can really light people up from the three point line. We are going to have our hands full defensively. We will need a great effort on that end of the floor.”Although the Boilermakers shoot well from deep, they are not a very big team, and roster lists their tallest player as redshirt-junior center Camille Redmon who stands at 6 feet 4 inches.The Buckeyes seem to excel against smaller teams as they blew out an Illinois team, 90-64, Jan. 30 whose tallest player stands at 6 feet 3 inches.OSU senior center Ashley Adams and redshirt-freshman center Lisa Blair both stand taller than 6 feet 5 inches.“I think that when we play smaller teams, we get our post players involved early and that kind of builds confidence for the team,” Scullion said. “Those are easy buckets for us and I think we build off of that.”The Buckeyes are set to tip off with the Boilermakers Thursday at 7 p.m.
Ohio State football redshirt junior defensive end Darius Slade has transferred from the program, and defensive tackle Dylan Thompson is no longer on scholarship, coach Urban Meyer announced Monday.Rated as high as the No. 30 strong-side defensive end by 247Sports as a senior in high school, Slade missed all of the 2016 season after suffering a lower leg injury in camp last fall. Thompson, a four-star high school prospect, has battled injuries during his college career. He redshirted the 2014 season after a knee injury in fall camp, and had a quiet 2015 campaign due to his rehabilitation.“He’s not on scholarship right now,” Meyer said. “He was ineligible last year so he’s to be determined.”Ohio State is now under the NCAA’s 85-scholarship limit for the 2017 season.