Lions are a messand they know it

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Lions are a messand they know it

DETROIT -- The Bears held on to defeat the Lions 26-24 at Ford Field, but didnt get the help they needed from the Packers -- who lost to the Vikings -- and will not make the playoffs. While the city of Chicago searches for answers, the people of Detroit also are left wondering how the Lions went from a 10-6 playoff team in 2011 to a 4-12 mess just a year later.
Its tough, Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said. You feel like you were turning the corner as a franchise and for the people and for the city and the fans. Its frustrating to let down the guys in the locker room, but for me its more frustrating to let down the fans.
Lions guard Rob Sims couldnt wrap his head around his team's eight-game losing streak.
It does blow my mind, Sims told CSNChicago.com. Matthew Stafford was missing a lot of his weapons for a good part of that time. We couldnt fix it.
It seemed like the pile of Detroit losses was just starting to sink in for defensive end Cliff Avril.
Thats crazy, Avril said. To not have a won a game in two months is tough."
In Week 9, both the Lions and Bears had their biggest blowout wins of the year. Chicago crushed Tennessee by 31 to move to 7-1, while Detroit throttled Jacksonville by 17 , pushing their record to 4-4. The Bears would lose five of their next six games before getting things back on track with back-to-back wins to close out the regular season. The Lions, on the other hand, lost eight straight to finish a dismal 4-12.
In the end the Lions and the Bears just werent good enough this season. Whether a 10-win team that failed to make the playoffs or a four-win team that failed to make the playoffs, you are still on the outside looking in.
Is Schwartz the right fit in Detroit?
My opinion, Jim Schwartz is a real good mixture of being a smart coach and an emotional coach, Vanden Bosch said. I think he understands what players need and this year, for whatever reason, as a group we didnt respond the way we needed to.
There were conflicting job security reports on Schwartz prior to Sundays loss to the Bears, but afterwards his players seemed to still believe he was the right guy to lead them out of their recent slumber.
I think hes a great coach, Sims said. Hes an improving coach, I think well all band together. Once in a while you can hit a bump in the road.
Lions wide receiver Brian Robiskie, who had two catches for 30 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, summed everything up.
Last year we were in it, this year didnt go our way, he told CSNChicago.com. We know we have the pieces to make things work, we just have to get it turned around and get it going.
Melton is no clown to all Lions
Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team earlier in the week and took some criticism from Lions center Dominic Raiola. While Raiola did not speak on the record following Sundays loss, one of his teammates on the offensive line chimed in.
I wouldnt say Melton is spectacular, but hes an emerging player, Sims told CSNChicago.com. I think what he gets he deserves. In the beginning of the week he was running his mouth a little bit too much and we didnt like that.
Better luck next year
So what does Avril think about the Packers and Vikings being at the top of the division and in the playoff discussion, while Detroit is not?
I dont care about them, Avril said. I want to win. I want to get to be one of those teams. It sucks that we werent a part of it.
I think thats something all fans of non-playoff teams, in the Motor City or the Windy City, can agree on.

Spartans land UNLV grad transfer Ben Carter

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Spartans land UNLV grad transfer Ben Carter

Tom Izzo got some help for his diminished front court Wednesday.

UNLV graduate transfer Ben Carter announced on Twitter that he will be using his final season of NCAA eligibility at Michigan State.

Carter, a 6-foot-9 forward who will be immediately eligible, played his first two seasons of college basketball at Oregon before transferring to UNLV. He sat out the 2014-15 season before averaging 8.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in 22 games for the Runnin' Rebels last season. He made seven starts and averaged 24 minutes a game before a January ACL tear ended his season.

Carter wrote an open letter published on the RunRebs.com explaining his decision to transfer away from UNLV, citing the program's recent coaching change, replacing former head coach Dave Rice with Marvin Menzies.

From Carter's letter:

"I’ve dedicated my whole life to being a basketball player, and I only get one more season of college basketball to get it right. I needed a program that could give me an opportunity to achieve my dreams."

...

"When I really thought about it, I realized how I want my college career to end. I want it to end on a ladder. I want to stand on a ladder, cut down a piece of a net and look into the stands and see my father. I want to share that moment with him."

...

"This is not an easy decision, but I truly believe Michigan State is the right decision for me. During this process, I’ve gotten to know and respect Tom Izzo, and playing for one of the most legendary coaches in college basketball history will be one of the greatest experiences of my life. And with everything I’ve been through in my career, I couldn’t pass up the chance to play for a team with real national championship hopes."

Izzo and the Spartans could certainly use some help in the front court after the graduation of Matt Costello, who was an All-Big Ten selection last season, and Deyonta Davis, who is off to the NBA. While Izzo is welcoming in an eye-popping recruiting class, only one of the highly ranked foursome — 6-foot-9 Nick Ward — is a big man.

Report: Blackhawks sign Gustav Forsling to entry-level contract

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Report: Blackhawks sign Gustav Forsling to entry-level contract

The Blackhawks have reportedly signed defenseman Gustav Forsling to a three-year entry-level contract, according to Johan Svensson of Kvällsposten.

According to the report, Forsling's deal will include a loan clause that allows him to return to Europe for the 2016-17 season if he doesn't crack the Blackhawks' roster out of training camp.

The 19-year-old Swedish defenseman spent the last two seasons with Linkopings HC of the Swedish Hockey League, where he accumulated nine goals and 18 assists in 86 combined games.

He also played a significant role with Sweden in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, registering three goals and five assists in seven games. His eight points led all defensemen in the tournament, and was tied for fourth-most among all skaters.

Forsling was acquired by the Blackhawks in Jan. 2015 from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for defenseman Adam Clendening.

He was a fifth-round pick (No. 126 overall) by the Canucks in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Deja Vu: Jon Lester throws his glove to first base...again

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Deja Vu: Jon Lester throws his glove to first base...again

Jon Lester still hasn't gotten over his yips throwing to first base.

But he appears to have no issues throwing the ball to first when it's stuck in his glove.

For the second year in a row, Lester fielding a comebacker on the mound only to see the ball get stuck in the webbing of his glove.

For the second year in a row, Lester ran toward first base before eventually tossing his entire glove over to Anthony Rizzo.

And for the second year in a row, Rizzo dropped his own glove to catch Lester's glove and the ball, recording the out at first.

Check it:

And compare to last year's:

Might as well just make this an annual event, eh?