Philadelphia looked in midseason form against Pittsburgh, trouncing its interstate rival.
McCoy was dynamite in the first quarter, going for 50 total yards on a pair of receptions and four rushes including a 22-yard touchdown on a perfectly-designed screen pass. However, McCoy would leave the game after that play to have X-rays taken on his thumb which came back negative. McCoy did sustain a sprained thumb and did not return.
Foles was solid throughout the first half, throwing for 179 yards along with a touchdown and interception on 19-of-29 attempts.
For Pittsburgh, the defense struggled to gain any traction. The starters were left in through three quarters and never established themselves, ultimately allowing over 450 yards of total offense. Mark Sanchez also led a touchdown drive against the Pittsburgh starters.
The Steelers finally got on the board in the third quarter when Ben Roethlisberger hit tight end Heath Miller on a beautiful 27-yard touchdown. Roethlisberger was pedestrian, completing 15-of-24 for 157 yards and a pick to go with the aforementioned score.
Jeremy Maclin was Foles’ main target, catching six balls for 43 yards. Maclin put a major scare into Eagles fans in the second quarter when he went down awkwardly while running a route without contact.
Maclin — coming off a torn ACL that kept him out of the 2013 season — grabbed his right knee in obvious pain but was able to walk off the field and subsequently return on the next series.
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Japan and Illinois joined South Korea and Nevada in the final group of four teams remaining in the championship hunt at the Little League World Series.
The United States and International Championship Games at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., have been set.
Illinois advanced to the U.S. final by winning the nightcap on Thursday, 6-5, over Pennsylvania, knocking phenom Mo’ne Davis and her Philadelphia-based team out of championship contention. Marquis Jackson struck out six batters in three innings and Joshua Houston knocked in a couple of runs for the Chicago squad. Illinois will take on Nevada, which has yet to lose in three LLWS contests.
In the early game, Japan routed Mexico, 12-1, to advance to the International final. Suguru Kanamori was the star of that game, hitting a pair of home runs to help his team force a rematch against South Korea. The Asia-Pacific representative knocked off Japan, 4-2, on Wednesday in a battle of previously undefeated teams.
The International Championship will take place at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, with the U.S. Championship to follow at 3:30 p.m.
The updated bracket can be found here, courtesy of LittleLeague.org.
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After a one week hiatus Jeff Gordon returns to the top of the NASCAR power rankings.
An all too familiar theme continues this week as a driver representing Hendrick Motorsports is atop the NASCAR power rankings. But unlike a week ago Dale Earnhardt Jr. is no longer No. 1, overtaken by Michigan winner Jeff Gordon, who also snatched the points lead from his teammate.
1. Jeff Gordon (Last week: 2)
As if further proof was needed regarding Gordon’s viability as a championship contender, he goes out and wins at Michigan, a track which shares many characteristics with those in the Chase. Whether this rejuvenation culminates with a fifth title is still to be determined, but it’s apparent how much Gordon is relishing the experience.
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (LW: 1)
Earnhardt Jr. keeps knocking out top-fives consistently, as his fifth-place run Sunday was his series-best 11th of the season. Which if you’re a member of Junior Nation, has to make you excited about the playoffs and the potential possibilities.
3. Kevin Harvick (LW: 3)
Sunday marked the fourth consecutive runner-up finish for Harvick at Michigan. More importantly, it was one of the few times this year he and the No. 4 experienced a mistake-free, drama-free race.
4. Joey Logano (LW: 4)
While Gordon, Earnhardt, Johnson and others get the bulk of the headlines Logano continues to quietly turn in a fantastic season. He led the most laps and placed third at Michigan, the fourth straight race Logano has finished sixth or better. If you’re looking for a sleeper championship contender look no further than the No. 22 team.
5. Brad Keselowski (LW: 5)
A native of Michigan Keselowski is very open about how much he yearns to win on his home track. And it looked like he had the car to do so Sunday, until a flat tire sent him into the wall. That he rallied to finish eighth demonstrated nice resolve, but in the big picture it left Keselowski feeling empty.
6. Jimmie Johnson (LW: 8)
After a five-week dry spell Johnson was back in the top-10 (ninth). And all it took was a pair of vise-grips and some efficient multi-tasking by the defending series champ to fix a broken shifter.
7. Matt Kenseth (LW: 6)
When Danica Patrick broke loose and spun in front of the field Kenseth got tagged from behind and sent into the wall, essentially ending his afternoon. Although he’s fifth in points and a virtual lock to make the Chase, it’s bizarre that a driver who had seven victories a year ago is on the verge of entering the Chase winless.
8. Kurt Busch (LW: 10)
Busch slapped the wall trying to complete a bold pass for the lead late. He would later acknowledge that because points are of little consequence (Busch is already in the Chase), he was playing with house money and had nothing to lose racing hard for the win.
9. Denny Hamlin (LW: 12)
Between angering NASCAR’s most popular driver, who’s usually mild-mannered, and lamenting about the lack of horsepower in his Toyota engines, Hamlin had a fairly routine eighth-place finish. Theatrics aside, Michigan represented his fifth top-10 in the past six races.
10. Ryan Newman (LW: 13)
Newman had a nice rebound to finish 11th a week after bouncing off the guardrail — and Michael McDowell — at Watkins Glen. But that’s not what had people taking post-race, as it was Newman’s confrontation with Johnson that will be most remembered. It was an exchange that never turned physical, though it certainly looked on the cusp of over-boiling.
11. Greg Biffle (LW: Unranked)
Considering his past success at Michigan, Biffle was thinking win Sunday. He had to settle for 10th, a result good enough to move him inside the Chase cutoff. There is no margin for error as one bad finish or a new winner in the next three weeks and Biffle will slide out.
12. Kyle Busch (LW: 7)
Oh, how quickly a team’s fortunes can change. Since recording three runner-ups in four races, Busch has finished 39th, 40th and 42nd in consecutive weeks. If that stretch of poor performances continues at Bristol a meltdown might not be just expected, but likely inevitable.
13. Clint Bowyer (LW: 14)
A solid sixth moves the winless Bowyer slightly off the Chase bubble. The reality, however, is even if he makes the Chase, Bowyer simply doesn’t have the speed to be much of a playoff factor.
14. Kyle Larson (LW: 9)
When the weekend began Larson was in solid position to become only the second rookie to get into the Chase. That foothold vanished thanks to a run-in on pit road and then later a crash, which saw Larson’s car catch fire.
15. Kasey Kahne (LW: 11)
If Kahne is feeling like a bit of a Hendrick Motorsports outcast, it’s justifiable. Each of his teammates has three victories thanks to Gordon winning at Michigan. All the while Kahne is winless, might not qualify for the Chase, and will enter the offseason with a contract set to expire after next year.
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“Coach Tomlin, this is Snoop Dogg.”
Snoop Dogg is evidently fed up with his favorite team’s offense this preseason. He posted this delightfully profane anti-Todd-Haley video (addressed directly to Mike Tomlin) on Instagram during the Steelers’ exhibition loss to the Eagles Thursday night:
He’s even got an alternative in the caption. Get Bruce Arians on the line, Coach Tomlin. Snoop said so.
Previously in Snoop Dogg Is Instagram’s Greatest Sports Analyst:
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Big Ben was looking good in the third quarter on this deep throw downfield.
Poetry in motion.
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Very nice moment between Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania’s Kai Cummings hit a pretty big solo homer to cut Illinois’ lead to just one run in the fifth inning of their Little League World Series meeting. Even with that threat on the board, Cummings still got a high five from Illinois first baseman Trey Hondras:
And we’ve actually seen that before in this Little League World Series. Very nice.
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