Survivors of the second round will be drawn into five two legged knockout ties to be played in November 2021. Nigeria first appeared at the world cup in 1994 in USA finishing in the round of 16. Should the Eagles qualify for the 2022 World cup in Qatar, it would be the 7th time the most populous country in Africa will be showcasing her football skills at the World cup described as the zenith of football celebration. Read AlsoEagles goalie maintains clean sheet in South Africa Pot 2: Burkina Faso, South Africa, Guinea, Uganda, Cape Verde, Gabon, Benin, Zambia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire Pot 3: Madagascar, Mauritania, Libya, Mozambique, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Niger, Central African Republic, Namibia, Guinea-Bissau Pot 4: Malawi, Angola, Togo, Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Liberia,Djibouti FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Seventeen Months after crashing out in the first round of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and seven months after finishing third in the Nations cup in Egypt, Super Eagles are set to know opponents in the second phase of qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup to be hosted by Qatar. The draw of the second phase is billed for the Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo today. Nigeria has been placed in Pot 1 alongside Nations Cup Champions Algeria, finalists Senegal and fourth place finishers Tunisia. Others countries in Pot 1 are 2019 Nations cup hosts Egypt,2021 Nations Cup hosts Cameroon, Ghana, Mali and Congo DR. The 14 first-round winners will be joined in the draw by the 26 highest African nations in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World ranking (as of December 2019). The 40 teams will be drawn into ten groups of four, with only the section winners advancing to the third round. Second group phase begins in March 2020 and will end in October 2021. Super Eagles await opponents in 2nd round qualifiersAdvertisement Loading… Promoted ContentBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemTop 10 Historical Mysteries That Still Haven’t Been SolvedEveryone Was Stunned To See How Little Anakin Looks TodayMost Popular Movies With Sylvester Stallone10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right Now9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made
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Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is keeping his fingers crossed that Joe Kinnear delivers him new signings over the next week regardless of what happens with Yohan Cabaye. But ultimately, that particular decision will be made above his head and he was philosophical when asked about the possible consequences. He said: “The answer isn’t as simple as a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. The answer is here he is either going to be sold and we are going to have to replace him in the window that we have left, or he’s going to stay. “In both situations, I as the manager have to protect him and protect this football club more importantly, so the first thing on my agenda is the football club, trust me, and that will always come first while I am the manager here. “It’s an ongoing situation and like a lot of players in this transfer window, there are problems while it is open. “I understand players’ positions at times, and then there are other times I don’t understand it. But the bottom line is with a world-class player, if they move on, it has to be world-class money.” Press Association Kinnear insisted earlier this week that the management team at St James’ Park had agreed before the season started that the squad was big enough and strong enough to finish in the top half of the Barclays Premier League table, but Pardew is desperate to add to it. The manager said: “Even without the Cabaye situation, that’s something we know we have to try to do. I think we have done a good bit of business with Loic Remy, I really do. From that point forward, it’s a good start and we need to finish it off.” The Magpies have been trying to land a striker for much of the summer, but missed out on Darren Bent after stalling on a deal and have as yet been unable to push through a move for Lyon’s Bafetimbi Gomis. However, should Arsenal prise Cabaye from Pardew’s grasp, there would be another sizeable gap to plug, and Newcastle have been linked with Wigan’s Republic of Ireland international James McCarthy as a potential replacement. Pardew, however, was giving nothing away as he contemplated the now traditional frenzied approach to the transfer deadline on Tyneside. He said: “The transfer policy here is that we keep our news to ourselves if we are going to go and buy players, and we are going to try to stay on that course. “But it’s pretty obvious that we would like to get one or two over the line.” Pardew declined to confirm whether or not Cabaye had refused to play in the opening two games of the season in the wake of Arsenal’s approach, and was unwilling to elaborate on a situation which has left disgruntled fans fearing the worst. The France international midfielder will not be involved in Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup trip to Sky Bet League Two Morecambe as the Magpies await developments in Arsenal’s pursuit of a man for whom they have already had a £10million offer rejected. But whether or not the Gunners eventually come up with a figure to suit owner Mike Ashley – Newcastle’s valuation is around double the only bid to date – Pardew is hoping his director of football will finally make a much-anticipated breakthrough with loan signing Loic Remy the only new face to have arrived on Tyneside since his appointment.
In the eighth inning, Kole Calhoun led off with his 29th homer of the season, pulling the Angels within 4-3. Calhoun had been in a 2-for-29 slump.Keynan Middleton and Luís García each pitched scoreless innings. For Middleton, it was his fifth straight scoreless outing since returning from Tommy John surgery earlier this month. García has now allowed just two earned runs in his last 15 innings, improving from what had been a poor first half.Ty Buttrey, who has also endured a miserable second half, then worked a scoreless eighth.Hansel Robles pitched a perfect ninth, extending his streak to 25 consecutive batters retired. Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone “It’s given him trouble recently,” Manager Brad Ausmus said of Peters’ early innings. “It looked like he was kind of off from the get-go.”In between the two homers, Peters also balked twice.“The frustrating fact is I’m not doing what I’m asked to do and that’s to go deep into ballgames, turn the lineup over, and get to the next inning and get as deep into the game as I can and save the bullpen and keep the team in the game,” Peters said. “In the first two innings my last few outings, it hasn’t been easy to battle back the remainder of the game. This is all on me. There is nobody else to blame but myself. Just get to the next day, get to the next week and get better.”After the Lindor homer, Peters settled down to get the next six outs before Ausmus turned a 4-1 deficit over to the bullpen.Related Articles PreviousANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: A color guard stands for a moment of silence remembering 9/11 prior to a game between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 11, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim connects for a solo homerun as Kevin Plawecki #27 of the Cleveland Indians looks on during the fifth inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 11, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana follows through on his solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsCleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana watches his solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana points skyward as he reaches home plate after his solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dillon Peters throws to a Cleveland Indians batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Adam Plutko throws to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani follows through on a solo home run against the Cleveland Indians during the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs to first after hitting a solo homerun during the fifth inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 11, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs to first after hitting a solo homerun during the fifth inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 11, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Third base coach Mike Gallego #86 congratulates Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after his solo homerun during the fifth inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 11, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor follows through on his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor runs the bases after his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezCleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor (12) is hugged by Kevin Plawecki after Lindor’s two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana, center, is high-fived in the dugout after his solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Cleveland Indians’ Carlos Santana celebrates in the dugout after his solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Cleveland Indians right fielder Yasiel Puig makes a catch on a pop fly from Los Angeles Angels’ David Fletcher during the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Kevin Plawecki #27 of the Cleveland Indians is forced out on a double play turned by David Fletcher #6 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the eighth inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 11, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks on after hitting a solo homerun during the eighth inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 11, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: A color guard stands for a moment of silence remembering 9/11 prior to a game between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 11, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim connects for a solo homerun as Kevin Plawecki #27 of the Cleveland Indians looks on during the fifth inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 11, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)NextShow Caption1 of 19ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim connects for a solo homerun as Kevin Plawecki #27 of the Cleveland Indians looks on during the fifth inning of a game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 11, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)ExpandANAHEIM —Dillon Peters continues to have trouble settling into a game.Peters gave up four runs in the first two innings, sending the Angels to a 4-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night, their fifth straight game without Mike Trout.The Angels were swept in the three-game series, and they’ve lost eight of 10.Peters came into the game having allowed opponents to hit .390 on his first 25 pitches, and just .241 after that. This time it took Peters 37 pitches to give up four runs, including a solo homer to Carlos Santana in the first inning and a two-run homer to Francisco Lindor in the second. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Shohei Ohtani cut into the deficit with a solo homer in the fifth inning, his fourth homer since the All-Star break and 18th for the season. It was also the hardest-hit homer of his career, launched at 114.4 mph. Ohtani yanked the ball into the right field seats, the first homer that he’d pulled since May 18. Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield
BY NEIL BARRETT: If you have a child or teenager who has an unhealthy body composition or carrying too much excess body fat, it is not a phase, it is not puppy fat, they will not grow into/out of it, the likelihood is they will struggle with their weight for the majority of their lives, unless it is addressed now!The area of nutrition is a very contentious one, the information is extensive and readily available, but how do you decipher the good information from the bad?Well, I’m going to try and make this as simple as possible by exploring the different measures you can take to ensure adequate nutrition for your children. Part one of this article will look at what not to do when it comes to feeding your children, part two (next week’s article) will give insight into what you should be doing, along with some handy advice on striking nutritional balance without them being aware.Some facts to get us started….If your child consumes more calories than they use each day, the excess will be converted to fat and stored in/on the body (we will return to this later as not all calories are created equal).Variables that influence an adolescent’s body composition are gender, parental education, attitude, self-efficacy, goal orientation/motivation, physical education/school sports participation and family influences. I purposely underlined 5 of the 7 variables, these all start at home!Another likelihood is that this subject has already been broached, tension has mounted and at the risk of causing undue stress the parent has decided not to pursue it.This strategy will not have a positive outcome.So what to do as a parent? This is the million dollar question, and unfortunately I don’t have the answer.I am not a parent, I do not possess the skills (yet) to practically implement a healthy eating plan for a child/teenager, what I do possess however is all the necessary information on what is required. In a perfect world, calorie counting would only require simple arithmetic skills, consume less and your body fat goes down.This however couldn’t be further from the truth, counting calories is very difficult, time consuming and carries many confusing rules.For example if my body requires 2000Kcal per day and I consume 1900Kcal of pure sugar, my body fat percentage will more than likely increase.If however I consume 2500Kcal of nothing but high quality protein, my body fat percentage will drop dramatically. Confusing? Very!It is not my recommendation that you do this, I am only using a dramatic example to highlight my point. So if calorie counting is very difficult with a low compliance rate & you are not a nutritionist, biochemist or dietician, how do you ensure the perfect balanced intake?You can’t, perfection is rarely an option.Children & teenagers shouldn’t really be placed on restrictive eating plans, they are at risk of being under nourished for some nutrients when we focus too heavily on fat loss.What you can do however is significantly reduce their added sugar intake.This is not just simply eliminating sugar from cereal in the morning or switching to diet/free soft drinks.It should be a more holistic approach to reducing all the hidden sugars in the diet. Here is a list of everyday hidden sugars or alternatives found in most/all processed foods:Agave, Maltodextrin, Aspartame, Maltose, Barley Malt Syrup, Maple Syrup, Beet Sugar, Molasses, Brown Sugar, Muscovado, Cane Juice and Cane Syrup, Rice Syrup, Coconut Palm, Saccharin, Confectioners’ Sugar, Sorbitol, Corn Sweeteners and Corn Syrup, Stevia, Date Sugar, Sucanat, Demerara, Sucralose, Dextrose, Sucrose, Erythritol Sugar, Alcohols Fructose, Erythritol Fruit Juice Concentrate, Hydrogenated starch, hydrolysates Glucose, Isomalt Glucose Syrup, Lactitol, Granulated White Sugar, Maltitol High Fructose Corn Syrup Mannitol High Maltose Corn Syrup Sorbitol Honey Jaggery Invert Sugar LactoseExcess sugar intake has been linked with not only considerable fat gain in children & teens but there is also a strong link between elevated sugar consumption and behavioural disorders such as ADHD and hyperactivity.Attempting to decode food labels on a daily basis is a painstakingly long process and will drive you demented long before it helps reach any health goals.So instead, try these simple tips to reducing sugar levels.1. Eliminate all soft drinks from the diet, this includes all cordials (such as Robinsons or MiWadi). These are laced with sugar replacements such as Aspartame).Water with pieces of cut fruit or berries & some mint leaves is a much tastier, healthier & more refreshing option.2. Switch from low fat yoghurts to natural yoghurts & add berries or a small teaspoon of natural honey for sweetness.Low fat usually means high sugar. Fat gives texture and flavour to food, when you remove it you lose these therefore companies will increase the added sugar content to bolster flavour.3. Take chocolate biscuits & crisps out of the lunch box. Try replacing them with apple quarters and a thin spread of peanut/almond butter.4. Make sure they have breakfast! But more importantly, try and ensure it is a high protein breakfast (egg’s or porridge with berries).Protein takes much longer to digest than simple carbohydrates (contained in almost all breakfast cereals and toast) and with this comes a longer lasting feeling of fullness, as a result your child/teenager is much less likely to snack on sugary foods.(Whether your teen is looking for a stand-alone strength and conditioning program, or additional training to supplement their sport specific training, Fit-Hub Teens is committed to helping them achieve their goals in a fun, judgement free environment surrounded by their peers & supervised by trained professionals) For more information contact Ruairi on:086 1970 325Email [email protected] BARRETT’S TEEN FIT HUB: STRIKING A BALANCE AND THE WAR ON SUGAR (PART 1) was last modified: June 3rd, 2015 by John2Share 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:donegalletterkennyNeil Barrettsugarteen fit hubteen fitnesswar on sugar
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Taking advantage of the much welcomed warm and dry weather, Reggie Rose of Rose Dairy Farm has started planting corn in Mercer County in between morning and afternoon milking. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins met up with Rose for a few rounds to talk about the timing of this year’s planting and his outlook for the struggling dairy industry in the latest Cab Cam.
New Delhi: May 01, 2017 (PTI) EDITORS: Photos with Captions released today. To view thumbnails of these Photographs, visit PTI website at..http.//www.ptinews.com NATIONAL New Delhi: Turkish President Recep TayyipErdogan in Delhi (B+A) Navi Mumbai: Flamingo birds in Navi Mumbai (B) Ahmedabad: Arjun, Shraddha promotes Half Girlfriend (B) Jabalpur: Narmada Sewa Yatra (B+A) Guwahati: Confluence 2017 season 3 (B) Jabalpur: Shankaracharya Praktotsav in MP (B) Jabalpur: Unity Run in MP (B) Allahabad/Jammu/Guwahati/Bengaluru/Bhubaneswar/Patna/Kolkata/ Chandigarh: International Labour Day (B+A) Allahabad: People protest against corruption (B) Dhalai : Reang tribe plants paddy (B) Ahmedabad: Gujarat Foundation Day (B) Amritsar: Parliamentary Standing Committee delegation in Amritsar (A+B) Ranchi: Sendra and Jani Shikar festival (B) New Delhi: Gangwar in Delhi (B) Varanasi: Sur Ganga Music Festival (B) Bhopal : Birth anniversary celebrationprogramme of Aadi Shankaracharya (B) Surat: Bus catches fire in Surat (B) Bengaluru : S M Krishna garlanded (A) Bikaner : Hot day in Bikaner (B) Kolhapur: Maharashtra Day celebrations in Kolhapur (B) Bhopal: Peer Maulana Mohammed Saeed Mujjadidis funeral (B) New Delhi: Naqvi meets Saudi Arabia ambassador (B) Kolkata: 120th birth anniversary of Ramkrishna Math & Mission (B) Chandigarh: Mega Cancer Awareness Camp in Chandigarh (B) INTERNATIONAL St.Petersburg : Military show in St.Petersburg (B+A) Jerusalem : Service marking Memorial Day (B) Mosul : File- Residents carry the bodies ofseveral people (A) Pasadena : 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards (A) New York : Actresses attend a specialscreening of “3 Generations” (B) Pyongyang : Celebrate May Day (B) Los Angeles : Winners celebrate the new Guinnessadvertisement World Record (B) Tokyo : Men walk past an electronic stockindicator of a securities firm (A) Canton : Tornadoes hit the area (B) Chefchaouen : Tourists enjoy the waterfalls of Akchour (A) SPORTS El Condor/Carlos Paz: FIA World RallyChampionship (A+B) Barcelona : Barcelona Open Tennis Tournament (B) London : English Premier League soccer match (B+A) Detroit : Make the Future Detroit featuringShell Eco-marathon Americas 2017 (B) Madrid : File- Real Madrids CristianoRonaldo celebrates (B) Milan : Serie A soccer match (A) Los Angeles : NBA basketball first-roundplayoff series (A0 PTI PHOTO HS DL
Promoted5 decades agoNext Tech #1 Way to Stop Any Pet’s Bad Behaviours Fast Arsenal defender Mustafi wants social media restrictions: My children will see thisby Freddie Taylor17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi wants to see restrictions put on social media to stop trolling.The German has been outcast at the Gunners after a number of defensive mistakes last season.And after being constantly lambasted by supporters on social media, Mustafi fears for what his children will read about their father in the future.”Football has become more inhumane,” he said. “Social media has also contributed to this, because anyone can comment, without names. People can unload their frustrations directly on us.””It is no longer about the sport, but only to discredit someone to get as many likes as possible. I would like to see more restrictions in the future. “What’s on the internet will never disappear. And I’m worried that this will eventually affect my children.” RECOMMENDED FOR YOU Promoted10 hours agothis site Arsenal hero Van Persie: Ozil situation a shame About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the love Promoted10 hours agothis site Ajax hero Sjaak Swart on Chelsea defeat: Robbed! A capital blunder! Promoted5 decades agoU.S Green Card – Free Check Registration for the new Green Card Lottery is now open – Check your eligibility Promoted5 days agoGerman Bundesliga BVB coach Favre on axing Sancho: He still has much to learn Have your say Recommended by Promoted2 days agothis site Chelsea suffer double midfield blow ahead of Ajax clash Promoted5 decades agoBabbel Language expert shares the secret to learning a language in 15 mins a day Promoted5 decades ago8fit Skip the Gym, Do This 10-Minute Workout Instead Promoted10 hours agothis site Woodward’s suddenly talking: Why it’s good for Man Utd & fans Promoted10 hours agoSpanish Liga Sevilla thump Europa League opponents Dudelange Promoted5 decades ago8fit How to Burn 300+ Calories in 10 minutes? Try this workout Promoted5 decades agoNext Tech Hong Kong: New WiFi Booster Stops Expensive Internet
The NFL draft starts Thursday night, and during the coverage you’ll probably hear about safe and risky picks. In some cases, the risk is specific to the player. Perhaps Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is a risk for his history of alleged off-the-field misconduct, while his counterpart at Oregon, Marcus Mariota, comes with worries that his stock was inflated by the Ducks’ spread offense. But some of the risk is also considered intrinsic to certain positions, while other positions carry a reputation for being particularly low-risk.The trouble, though, is that there’s no way to prove which positions consistently offer good returns on draft investment — at least not with football data in its current state. And in large part, that’s because we can’t really evaluate on player performance as accurately for the so-called non-skill positions.For instance, taking a quarterback (like Winston and Mariota) might seem like a hazardous bet to make early in the draft. But it’s possible that QBs only appear risky relative to other positions because we can more readily measure a quarterback’s performance statistically. In other words, when Ryan Leaf posts a 39.0 quarterback rating as a rookie, he’s easy to identify as a bust, but his linebacking equivalent might be harder to recognize.Here’s another example. You could use Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value (AV) to estimate the odds that a player’s performance1We’re looking at the first five seasons of a player’s career. will live up to the expectations of where he was drafted, and break those numbers down by position:You’d find that the average offensive lineman2Weighted by the expected value of the pick, so that successful high picks are rewarded more — and highly-touted disappointments are more heavily penalized. meets or exceeds the median AV expected of his draft slot about 59 percent of the time — the NFL-wide average across all positions is, by definition, 50 percent — while the average receiver3Lumping together wide receivers and tight ends. provides positive value for his pick slot only 41 percent of the time. And quarterbacks wouldn’t be far behind receivers on the “risky” list, beating expectations at a rate of only 43 percent.But there’s another clear pattern in the AV data: The positions that seem like the riskiest picks are also the ones where we have the most data to differentiate between good and bad performances. Coincidence? Probably not.An offensive lineman’s AV is based solely on his team’s offensive performance, his own playing time and any accolades he receives (like Pro Bowl or All-Pro nods). So, short of being outright benched, there’s very little he could do to distinguish himself negatively under the structure of the study above (or those like it). A skill-position player struggling to meet expectations, on the other hand, can be identified via his inferior yardage, touchdowns, turnovers and the like. (To the extent that those metrics are even good descriptors of player performance.)It’s similar to the phenomenon that causes linemen to boast a far higher Pro Bowl “retention rate” than other offensive positions, particularly quarterbacks. The less information voters have to go on, the more they rely on a player’s priors (and perhaps rightly so). And the same can go for the draft, where certain positions can feel safer simply because we don’t have glaring, easily-quantifiable evidence to the contrary.The answer, of course, is more data. When Chase Stuart conducted a more granular (if anecdotal) look at offensive tackles using ProFootballFocus grades, for instance, he found what seems to be a healthy bust rate even for a position often tagged as one of the most reliable. Then again, PFF grades aren’t universally accepted as gospel, either; besides, they only go back to the 2007 season (as opposed to 1950 for AV).That’s why, for now at least, it may not be possible to truly say whether certain positions are more or less likely to live up to their draft-day expectations. It’s another unanswerable question to throw onto the pile of things about the NFL draft that we just don’t know.
Aaron Rodgers is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time,1By career quarterback passer rating, he is. so it’s hard to imagine that there could ever be too much Rodgers in a game plan. Yet this seemed to be the problem for Mike McCarthy and Green Bay through the first nine weeks of the season. On Sunday, though, the Packers flipped the script for a 31-12 victory against the Miami Dolphins, a win keyed by one of the best rushing performances in the Rodgers era.The Packers entered Week 10 last in the NFL in share of running plays on first down (39.6 percent) despite being second in the league in play success on those runs (48.5 percent).2A successful first-down play is defined as getting a first down or touchdown or gaining at least 40 percent of the yardage needed to convert a first down. But on Sunday, they ran on more than half of their first downs (51.85 percent) and gained 142 yards on their 14 carries, including 117 yards on nine carries by Aaron Jones.Even with their Week 10 performance, the Packers still stand out when we juxtapose how often they run on first down with how well they run: On Sunday, the Packers weren’t just taking advantage of a soft run defense to make this kind of structural change: Miami entered the game in the middle of the pack in play success allowed to opponents running on first down. Instead, a renewed focus on the run has been in the works in Green Bay for several weeks.Just giving the ball to Jones was a massive step in the right direction for Green Bay. He only recently became the Packers’ primary running back. After serving a suspension the first two games of the year for a substance abuse violation, Jones split snaps with Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams largely because of the Packers’ passing emphasis. McCarthy saw him as an incomplete running back because of his shortcomings as a blocker and as a receiving threat.“There’s more to playing the position than just running the football,” McCarthy said in early October. And that’s especially true if running the football is not remotely a point of emphasis for a team.But that’s changing now. And why shouldn’t it? Let’s compare the first 19 games of Aaron Jones’s career to the first 19 games of another back with a Hall of Fame quarterback who ended up changing his team’s scheme:Jones: 154 carries for 942 yards (6.12 yards per rush), 8 rushing TDsAlvin Kamara: 157 carries for 869 yards (5.54 yards per rush), 10 rushing TDsWhile NFL teams generally run too much — especially on first down — it’s a problem specifically when defenses are geared to stop the run. But that’s not the case for teams facing Green Bay. Like Kamara and the Saints last year, Jones has a quarterback whom defenses fear so much that they don’t dare put an extra defender in the box to stuff the running back.This season, the Packers have faced eight or more defenders in the box on first down just eight times in 272 snaps, a league-low rate of 2.94 percent (8.75 percent is average). Defenses are pretty much willing to concede the run — similar to how teams defend the Los Angeles Rams, who face stacked boxes almost as infrequently (3.8 percent). But the Rams, who are the only team better than the Packers in rushing success rate (51.1 percent), run the ball on first down 56.3 percent of the time, including 49.4 percent in the first half, when the score of the game is less likely to influence these play calls.Can the Packers, at 4-4-1, maintain this newfound offensive balance and ride their running ways to the postseason? Their first test will be Thursday at Seattle before they travel to Minnesota in Week 12 in a game that could determine an NFC wild-card spot. The promos and advertisements for that Sunday Night Football contest will spotlight Aaron Rodgers, but the Packers featuring less of him may be the key to getting that victory.Check out our latest NFL predictions.