Seahawks Escape Lions, 13-10

first_imgSEATTLE — With one big punch, Kam Chancellor showed his importance to the Seattle Seahawks.With one little touch, K.J. Wright provided another Monday night controversy in the same end zone where the infamous “Fail Mary” took place.“Now that you look at it, we were fortunate,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.Chancellor knocked the ball free from Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson at the 1-yard line when it appeared the Lions were going to take the lead, and Seattle held on for a 13-10 win.With Detroit on the verge of capping a 91-yard drive with the go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes remaining, Chancellor came from the side and punched the ball from Johnson’s arm as he was being tackled by Earl Thomas. It bounded into the end zone where it was guided over the back line by K.J. Wright for a touchback and Seattle’s ball at the 20.But Wright should have been called for an illegal bat for hitting the ball out of the end zone, NFL VP of Officiating Dean Blandino told NFL Network. The penalty would have given the ball back to Detroit at the Seattle 1.No flags were thrown and on the ensuing possession, Russell Wilson found Jermaine Kearse for 50 yards on third down. With Detroit out of timeouts, the Seahawks (2-2) ran off the final seconds of their second straight win.“The back judge was on the play and in his judgment he didn’t feel it was an overt act so he didn’t throw the flag,” Blandino said. “In looking at the replays it looked like a bat so the enforcement would be basically we would go back to the spot of the fumble and Detroit would keep the football.”Wright said he did not know the rule and was purposely guiding the ball over the end line. “That was definitely the thought process just to get the ball out of bounds and not try to catch it and fumble it and hit my foot and the Lions recover it,” Wright said.The non-call provided another memorable Monday night moment in Seattle. It was three years ago when replacement officials credited Golden Tate with a disputed touchdown reception on the final play in nearly the same spot as Seattle beat Green Bay.Now it was Tate, playing for Detroit, on the opposite side of a strange play in the Emerald City. Detroit (0-4) is off to its worst start since it also started 0-4 in 2010.“What can you do? You’re not going to cry about it that’s for sure,” Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said.It was an ugly performance by the home team, filled with offensive mistakes and two fourth-quarter fumbles by Wilson, the second returned 27 yards for a touchdown by Caraun Reid to pull Detroit to 13-10.But in the end, Seattle’s defense came through.Starting on their 9 with 6:23 remaining, the Lions converted a big third down on Tate’s 22-yard catch-and-run and reached the Seattle 46 with 3 minutes left on Ameer Abdullah’s 9-yard run. Matthew Stafford then zipped a pass to No. 3 tight end Tim Wright down the seam for 26 yards to the Seattle 20 with 2:30 remaining, placing it in-between Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Chancellor.The Lions reached the Seattle 11 and on third-and-1, Stafford passed to an open Johnson. As he stretched for the goal line, Chancellor came across and knocked the ball free.“I (saw) a lot of brown ball so I attacked it, punched it and made a big play at the end,” Chancellor said. “When I punched it I (saw) it fly out and roll. It took forever. The ball was rolling for a long time.”Seattle has not allowed an offensive touchdown in the two games since Chancellor ended his holdout. It has forced 18 punts during that stretch.“Give us an inch and we protected it,” Thomas said. “It just feels so good. I think we just need games like this for us to come together.”Wilson was forced to be an escape artist as Seattle’s offensive line continued to struggle with protection. Wilson threw for 287 yards and rushed for another 40 yards, but was sacked six times. Wilson’s most memorable play was spinning free of two near sacks and finding Kearse for 34 yards in the second quarter, and then hitting Doug Baldwin on a 24-yard TD on the next play.“A win is a win but at the same time we tried to give it to them,” Baldwin said. “We can’t be doing that.”(TIM BOOTH, AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Paul Pogba doesn’t need José Mourinho, he needs N’Golo Kanté

first_imgSometimes it’s not easy being a World Cup winner. That might not be how Kylian Mbappé feels as he cruises along with Paris Saint-Germain, already eight points ahead of the pack after eight games. But for two men whose contributions were just as fundamental to France’s victory in July, the new season has turned out very differently.N’Golo Kanté, the finest player in the world in one of the most demanding roles in any football team, has been displaced from his position in the Chelsea side by a new manager’s tactical rejig. In no time at all Maurizio Sarri has brought a sense of joy and adventure back to Stamford Bridge, but at the cost of depriving football lovers of the pleasure of watching Kanté do what he does with such unassuming brilliance. Paul Pogba Topics José Mourinho v Paul Pogba et al: the manager’s biggest player bust-ups – video The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. 1:48 Football rumours: Zidane to take over from Mourinho at Manchester United? Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn comment N’Golo Kanté Share on Messengercenter_img In order to accommodate the arrival of Jorginho, the favoured deep-lying playmaker Sarri brought with him from Napoli, Kanté has been moved to a kind of inside-right position, sometimes switching with Willian, the player outside him. His skills of anticipation and interception are now redundant, along with his Makelele-like gift for starting moves with passes of perfect weight and angle. Now he spends his time waiting, with his back to goal, for the pass he once would have given, looking a little bit lost and probably hoping that those special skills will not be blunted by disuse.It is not a complete waste of a footballer. In the second half against Liverpool on Saturday he played two wonderful passes, a diagonal crossfield ball to Eden Hazard on the left and a through ball for Willian, either of which might have produced a goal. There was also a quickly taken free-kick to Hazard, bringing a terrific save from Alisson. So perhaps he can become a kind of Paul Scholes, opening up defences from a position just behind the forwards. But there must be a chance that Sarri will conclude, sooner or later, that he needs a specialist there. The thought of Kanté on the bench is surely too much for any right-thinking football fan to bear.What we know is that the very best place for him is alongside a man for whom the Premier League has also become a less friendly environment. Paul Pogba’s qualities – established not just by a World Cup winner’s medal but by four consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus – flourish best with someone like Kanté alongside him. And maybe, given the tactical shifts at Chelsea, that opportunity will present itself.In terms of dynamic influence on the team, Pogba ought to be United’s new Bryan Robson or Roy Keane. That seemed to be his destiny during his first spell at Old Trafford, and the way he flourished in Italy earned him a vastly expensive recall. Over the past two years there have been occasions when his performance justified the size of the fee, but others when his commitment seemed to fluctuate.That is not the real Pogba. As Didier Deschamps, his international manager, observed in an interview at the weekend, he offers a positive presence in the dressing room and is fully capable of dedicating himself to an objective. “There is an image of Pogba that doesn’t correspond to who he is,” Deschamps said. Share on Facebook Read more Chelsea Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter In recent weeks United’s performances have been as insipid as the washed-out pink away shirts that provide all too accurate a metaphor for their current state. The dressing room is full of players performing well below their highest standards, some of them feeling humiliated and disgruntled, perhaps almost to the point of mutiny. Individual and collective progress is at a standstill. Mourinho’s two predecessors were sacked with the team standing seventh and fifth in the table. They are currently 10th, and looking as if they can expect no better.Manchester United need what Chelsea required when Mourinho’s second spell in London was brought to an unhappy end: someone to apply balm, to bring optimism, to restore a sense of logical evolution. And to spend whatever it takes to get N’Golo Kanté alongside Paul Pogba, both of them freed to do what comes naturally once more. Manchester United Play Video Does Mourinho know who Pogba really is? Has he taken the trouble to find out? When he made him vice-captain, was it with the intention of bestowing real authority or just a gesture aimed at demonstrating to others that he was giving this troublesome Frenchman every chance? And did he recognise the effect that removing the vice-captaincy might have?Pogba can still be central to a revived United in a way that might deflect his agent’s interest in another massive pay-day, this time from Barcelona. But he needs the right conditions in order to give his best. What better way of convincing him of the club’s confidence in him than recreating the professional and personal relationship that, despite the obvious contrasts of temperament, so clearly flourished between him and Kanté during the summer?This is the kind of transfer that could be attempted above the head of the manager, who must surely be on his way out. Some of us were foolish enough to imagine that the responsibility of living up to Ferguson’s legacy would force Mourinho to abandon his more tiresome and destructive tendencies. But virtually from day one in Manchester he showed that his ego had achieved critical mass. In his third season, the level of sulking, scowling, simmering and sneering has become intolerable.From Pogba and Alexis Sánchez to Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw, he seems to have lost an ability that was once central to his achievements, that of getting the players to take the pitch ready to fight for each other and to die for him. Gradually corroded by the acid of unchecked self-regard, it is unlikely to return. Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Would be unwise for US to turn to Pakistan as strategic partner

first_imgWashington DC: Amid the Indo-Pak tension on Kashmir and the ongoing Afghan peace talks, a top American foreign policy expert has cautioned the Trump administration against any strategic tilt towards Pakistan and moving away from India. “The US would be unwise to turn to Pakistan as a strategic partner,” Richard N Hass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in an op-ed last week. Pakistan sees a friendly government in Kabul as vital to its security and competition with arch-rival India, he wrote in his op-ed that was first published by Project Syndicate and thereafter, on the CFR website. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”There is little reason to believe that the military and intelligence services, which continue to run Pakistan, will rein in the Taliban or rule out terrorism,” Hass said. “Equally, the US would be unwise to alienate India. Yes, India has a tradition of protectionist trade policies and often frustrates US policymakers with its reluctance to cooperate fully on strategic issues,” he wrote. But democratic India, which will soon surpass China as the world’s most populous country and will boast the world’s fifth-largest economy, is a good long-term bet, he added. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”It is a natural partner to help balance China. India has rejected participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, whereas Pakistan, struggling economically, has embraced it,” Hass said. According to the top American scholar, the US would also be unwise to race for the exits from Afghanistan. Peace talks with the Taliban mostly look like a means to extract US forces from the country, he claimed, adding that the process is reminiscent of Vietnam, where a 1973 agreement between the US and North Vietnam provided a pretext for American withdrawal from the South but not a basis for peace. The notion of a coalition government, with power shared by the current government and the Taliban, is optimistic at best, fanciful at worst, Hass observed. “Instead of embracing fantasy, the US should continue to keep a modest number of troops in Afghanistan to ensure the government survives and the country does not again become a terrorist haven.last_img read more