Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 77-year-old Port Jefferson Station woman was killed when she crashed her car in East Setauket early Saturday morning.Suffolk County police said the woman, whose identity wasn’t immediately released, was driving a Chrysler 300 westbound on Route 347 when her vehicle struck a guardrail and caught fire west of Old Town Road at 5 a.m.The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.Sixth Squad detectives impounded the vehicle, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on the crash to call them at 631-854-8652.
Photo: © FAI.ie Striker David Mc Goldrick was the only Irish player to sit out the Republic of Ireland session today ahead of their qualifier this weekend.The 29 year old Ipswich forward is being rested as a precautionary measure but is expected to be available for the weekend.Martin O’Neill is preparing his side to face Austria in a World cup qualifier this Sunday at the Aviva.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man City fullback Mendy: The similarities of Guardiola and Bielsaby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City fullback Benjamin Mendy has discussed comparisons between manager Pep Guardiola and Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa.Mendy played for Bielsa at Olympique Marseille.He said, “With Pep it’s going well, we have a good relationship. It’s great when there is a good relationship with the coach. Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola have a respect for football. “The most crazy? Bielsa wears his nickname, El Loco. In Marseille he made us do incredible things. His staff, his way of working … But he was good with advice. He advised me to know how to play in several positions, and today it serves me.” read more
Plano (Tex.) West five-star running back Soso Jamabo has his pick of the litter when it comes to playing college football. Jamabo has officially visited UCLA, Texas and Notre Dame, with the Bruins and Longhorns reportedly having the lead for his services, per 247.That didn’t stop Jamabo from having some fun when asked about his finalists. He named two schools, just not the ones people would expect:That’s right, Jamabo claims he’s down to the University of Phoenix and ITT Tech. Not sure if either school can compete with the tradition, weather or gameday atmosphere of UCLA or Texas, but neither program has lost in years and might lead the country in television advertisements. Jamabo even took things a step further on Twitter this afternoon, posting this hilarious edited photo playing up the whole mock situation:I just wanna thank God.. pic.twitter.com/cdnMiGzNQ4— SOMI JaMITCHELL (@Soso_Jamabo1) January 26, 2015If Jamabo’s budding football career doesn’t work out, comedy could be a decent backup plan. read more
CALGARY – When Kevin Sousa’s cable company botched his service repairs for a third time, he decided it was time to shop around for a better provider.But even before starting his search, he knew he had few companies to turn to, especially if he wanted to keep his services bundled in a single convenient package.“It’s terrible, we have so few options,” said Sousa. “For me to go somewhere else, I only have the option of Bell really, because if I go anywhere else I have to break it all up.”Canadians know the conundrum well, but industry watchers say that consumers can at least lower their bills by looking at the growing number of alternatives or pushing back on the big telecoms.“Look at your options, do your research, and try a smaller player like Distributel or TekSavvy, that don’t have as much of a market share, but are able to give you a better deal,” said Katy Anderson, a digital rights specialist at OpenMedia.She said smaller internet players are adding some competition to the industry, but that prices are still inflated and alternative providers are often not available in more rural parts of the country.The CRTC has been trying to foster more competition, including declaring 50 mbps internet a basic service, and requiring the major telecoms to sell space on even their fastest fibre optic lines, but Anderson said the federal government still needs to create its own broadband strategy for the country.Mohammed Halabi, director of MyBillsAreHigh, says part of the problem is too few people are pushing against the prices being offered by the big telecoms.“If you don’t ask, you don’t get,” said Halabi, whose company helps people get better telecoms rates.He said it’s unfortunate that there’s so little clarity on pricing and other issues in the telecoms industry, but consumers do have options.“Customers have been put in that position, so you have to go in there and ask, and don’t hesitate to switch your services if you’re not getting a good deal from your provider.”He said it’s important not to be outrageous in what you’re asking though, and to keep in mind that loyalty — and politeness — does help as you negotiate through escalating levels of customer service staff.“Tenure does go a long way in negotiations, 100 per cent. One of the most important factors actually.”He said telecoms providers are, however, also eager for new customers, so it’s a good idea to push for the best deal possible when signing up. He said you can often extend promotion pricing from six months to a year, and get better than the advertised rates.Halabi also said that unless you really need the trio of cable, phone line, and internet, you can generally get a better deal by splitting up the services and pushing for the best rate individually on each.As to knowing how far you can push, Halabi said the cheaper upstart options provide a good reference point on pricing.“Usually you can get something close to that price point with the big three, after some negotiating. After all, they’re selling the service to that company.”He pointed to a current Rogers promotion for a 150 mbps speed hookup at $80 a month, down from $100, but said he’s been able to get it for new clients at $60, which is about the same rate that TekSavvy’s pricing for that speed starts.With more than 500 internet service providers in Canada, the variance on pricing can go even further though. The CRTC says that for a basic five mbps download internet connection, some providers charge as much as $73 a month for the service in Vancouver and Winnipeg and $85 in St. John’s, while competitors offer the same speed for as low as $25 a month in those cities.Sousa said that he’s been able to get his bill down close to the competition, but it takes work.“You have to do the footwork. I call it a dance,” said Sousa.“You can eventually get it down to about the same price as those other services, but you’ve got to fight for that kind of stuff.” read more
TORONTO – A study by a Toronto-based firm says the rate of insolvent borrowers using payday loans in Ontario has grown for the sixth consecutive year.Insolvency trustee firm Hoyes Michalos & Associates says 31 per cent of insolvent borrowers used the loans in 2017, up from 27 per cent the year before.The study suggests payday loans are a growing factor in personal insolvencies in Ontario, with struggling debtors are taking out fewer but larger loans despite recent changes to lower borrowing rates.As of Jan. 1, 2017, the provincial government reduced the maximum amount lenders can charge for a payday loan to $18 for every $100 borrowed, down from $21 for each $100. Earlier this year, the rate was further reduced to $15.Hoyes Michalos & Associates says they looked at 3,500 insolvency cases and found the average number of payday loans outstanding at the time of insolvency declined to 3.2 in 2017, but the average payday loan size was $1,095, an increase of 12.4 per cent from the year before.In total, insolvent borrowers owed an average of $3,464 from all their payday loans, the study says, or $1.34 for every dollar of their monthly take-home pay.“Insolvent borrowers are now 2.6 times more likely to have at least one payday loan outstanding when they file a bankruptcy or consumer proposal than in 2011,” said Ted Michalos, co-founder of Hoyes Michalos & Associates. “This is a cycle that is just not sustainable.”Although the average monthly income for a payday loan borrower is $2,589, the study also found that payday loans are more likely to be used by debtors with a monthly income of more than $4,000 than they are to be used by those with an income between $1,001 and $2,000. read more
MONTREAL – For sale: hockey great Mario Lemieux’s massive 50-room Quebec summer home.The price of the six-year-old chateau-style Mont-Tremblant residence: $21,999,066, the last few dollars an ode to Lemieux’s famous No. 66 jersey.Realtor Michel Naud said the asking price was strategic as the former Pittsburgh Penguins superstar knew putting the property on the market would garner heavy interest.“He agreed to put the $66 at the end of his asking price,” Naud said in an interview.The 1,579 square-metre castle known as the Chateau Fleur de Lys has eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms and “offers a majestic panoramic view” of Tremblant Lake.Naud, a personal friend of Lemieux and a longtime realtor who works in the Tremblant region about 130 kilometres north of Montreal, says the hockey legend decided to test the waters with no obligation to sell.“He’s here with the family every summer,” said Naud, who works with Engel & Volkers. “It’s important to share that he’s not leaving Mont-Tremblant, just looking at other opportunities.”The Penguins owner bought the land in 2007 and spent five years building the chateau to his specifications in the picturesque location.The meticulously built home is inspired by the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City but has touches from elsewhere — including antique columns from the 1800s imported from an old castle in India.There’s also a two-bedroom guest house, large deck and 17 fireplaces among the numerous luxurious features.“It really is a property that reflects who Mario was as a player,” said Naud. “It’s very grand and very elegant.”Lemieux and his wife have four children and they along with extended family from Montreal spend their summer months in the Laurentians, Naud said. They primarily live in Pennsylvania and also have property in Florida.Lemieux, dubbed “Super Mario” during his playing days, played parts of 17 seasons for the Penguins between 1984 and 2006, racking up 1,723 points and consecutive Stanley Cups as a player in 1991 and 1992.The Penguins subsequently won three more Stanley Cups with Lemieux as owner, in 2009, 2016 and 2017.Naud said he’s already received two calls expressing serious interest in the property since the listing went live earlier this week.There are a lot of major projects ongoing in Tremblant and several homes of the same magnitude in terms of price and budget.“But it’s the most expensive listing for sure in Tremblant,” Naud said, adding the property “is a destination in itself.”A spokesman for the Penguins said Lemieux would not comment further. read more
TOKYO — Kyodo News agency says a Japanese court has approved extending the detention of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn for 10 more days.The Japanese news agency said Friday that the Tokyo District Court has approved prosecutors’ request to keep Ghosn until Dec. 10.Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19 by Tokyo prosecutors on suspicion he falsified his financial reports. His first 10 days in custody expires at the end of Friday.Kyodo said the court also approved a 10-day detention extension for another former Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, also arrested on suspicion of collaborating in the alleged underreporting of Ghosn’s renumerations.Brazilian-born Ghosn, sent in by alliance partner Renault SA of France, has led a dramatic turnaround at Nissan over the last two decades, rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy.The Associated Press read more
Fez – Three people were killed in accident on Friday at Ain Kansara, 20 km away from Fez, local authorities said, according to MAP. The victims, all teachers from the province of Taounat, perished when their car collided with a truck. The fourth passenger, also a teacher, was badly wounded and rushed to the Fez Hassan II hospital center, the same source added.The latest provisional statistics released by the Ministry of Equipment, Transportation and Logistics last February, show that 3,705 people were killed in road accidents in 2013. The number of road accidents increased by 1.4% in 2013 compared to 2012. With MAP
gfoster: (Geoff Foster, sports editor): NFL Week 14 was very odd in many respects (and the week isn’t over) with the Raiders, Niners and Giants winning and the Rams, Texans, Steelers and Patriots all losing. It all went a long way to making the playoff picture even murkier. What was your biggest takeaway from the week?Salfino (Michael Salfino, contributor): How much should we be worried about the Rams? Is every offense entitled to one hiccup like this, or is it part of a pattern that began with the Lions, who did not care about play-action at all and just covered the receivers. The Bears also did not bite. Does Los Angeles have a Plan B?neil (Neil Paine, senior sports writer): It was definitely startling to see the Rams’ offense be held in check so thoroughly. Jared Goff was terrible. Todd Gurley did next to nothing. The Rams’ offensive expected points added in the game was -23.5. That was 29.6 points worse than their second-worst offensive game of the season … which was Week 13 vs. Detroit. And it was 33.8 points of EPA worse than their low before the Detroit game.sara.ziegler (Sara Ziegler, assistant sports editor): I know people talk a lot about playing in the cold as a problem, and I usually roll my eyes. But was that a factor here?neil: The Rams have only played four games where temp was under 50 degrees in the Sean McVay era.Salfino: I know, that temperature stuff. I just can’t believe these guys from all different parts of the country are suddenly able to only play in warm weather. But that’s going to be the theory of the case now almost certainly.gfoster: The Rams game at Detroit was definitely curious. They came out of the bye completely flat, Goff played poorly, and most people kinda wrote it off to rust. But now I’m starting to wonder if teams, as Mike alluded to, are starting to figure out this McVay offense.Salfino: This kind of thing has happened before. The 1994 49ers team that won the Super Bowl and was electrifying on offense laid an egg against the Eagles that year, losing 40-8. They had 189 yards that game.And on defense, the 1985 Bears famously flubbed a primetime game against the Dolphins late in the year for their only loss that season.gfoster: That Detroit game was in a dome, Sara.Salfino: This can’t be Cooper Kupp, can it? My theory of playing the Rams was to just ignore the running game. I figured a team that gave them fits would basically concede Gurley. What really surprised me about the Chicago performance was that Gurley didn’t even get going. They had nothing. The Bears didn’t even accept the slow death of Gurley running.sara.ziegler: But why didn’t the Rams even try to run Gurley? Only 11 carries?neil: Good question, Sara. They had been almost exactly balanced (49.7 percent pass/50.3 percent run) on first down, but last night they passed on 73 percent of first downs. Despite averaging 4.6 yards per carry on the first downs where they did run.Salfino: My feeling watching the game with Gurley is that the Rams wanted to get wide open passes by faking to Gurley like they usually do, and then when that didn’t work, they were behind the down and distance and had to straight-up pass, with typically disastrous results.neil: Right — Goff had a 23.0 passer rating on 1st down.Salfino: What happens to a play-action offense when no one buys into the deception? When the defense just ignores it?sara.ziegler: I guess I would argue that you should just run the ball.Especially with a guy like Gurley.Salfino: Exactly right. That’s when they should run. This is probably why McVay was so hard on himself in the post-game.sara.ziegler: And for good reason! LOLgfoster: Let’s talk about the ending of the Dolphins-Patriots game, which was probably the highlight of the year. Although, I may be partial to the Chris Carson front flip a couple weeks ago.neil: Incredible. Just look at the diagram: Longest game-winning scoring play in NFL history, I believe.Salfino: Kenyan Drake made the best nonlateral decision ever on a lateral play. Or maybe the worst since anyone other than Gronk easily tackles him.gfoster: The funniest sequence of that was when Drake was looking to lateral more and then you could see him to say to himself, “Oh wait, I can just run this in from here.”sara.ziegler: Gronk definitely failing his defensive audition.Salfino: Why was Gronk even on the field? It was not a Hail Mary situation 69 yards from pay dirt.neil: Right, clearly Ryan Tannehill doesn’t have the arm for that throw in the air. He’s not Patrick Mahomes.gfoster: Tannehill can throw 80 yards. You didn’t know that?sara.ziegler: gfoster: I’m saying Saints over Chargers. Cardinals with the first pick (they have at Seattle and Rams still).And if the Chargers get drilled by the Chiefs on Thursday, I will sneak into WordPress and delete all of this.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Salfino: Did Drake just laugh at the idea of Gronk tackling him?Gronk looked like I imagine Brady would trying to make that tackle. And ironically, he finally looked like Gronk on offense.neil: And Bill Belichick left Devin McCourty off the field for that play in favor of Gronkowski. Shades of Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl. Too cute for his own good.gfoster: I mean, come on.Salfino: The Ravens did everything right on defense. Tyreek Hill takes standing eight counts with three different injuries. And you look up at the end of the game and Mahomes has nearly four bills and the Hill has 139 receiving yards. Spencer Ware looked very dangerous. How can anyone stop the Chiefs?neil: The diagram on that one is amazing, too: TeamCurrentProjected remainingTotal 29Jets40.94.9 3149ers30.73.7 Salfino: The Ravens blitzed the hell out of Mahomes, and it really seemed to give him fits, but then again you look at the stat sheet and are like, “??????”gfoster: I would normally say here that the Chargers could hang with the Chiefs and look like the AFC’s Super Bowl-bound team. But that was a somewhat lifeless effort by them Sunday. Against Jeff Driskel and probably the worst defense in the NFL.sara.ziegler: I guess we’ll find that out on Thursday, when the Chiefs and Chargers play.Salfino: I thought it was going to be typical Chargers. But maybe typical Chargers is having easily the second-best team in the conference and somehow being the fifth seed. As for the Bengals performance, it fits the “letdown game” theory between Pittsburgh and Kansas City.gfoster: Although, it should be noted that Mike Badgley hit four of four field goals, including a 59 yarder. That actually ties the total of made Chargers field goals for the last two seasons.sara.ziegler: LOLSalfino: How is Hill going to play that game on Thursday? He was like Rocky on the stool at the end of that Ravens game.The thing about the Chargers that’s weird is their pace of play. They were 29th in plays before last week and then put up another relatively low play count.Could Mike Tomlin get fired if the Steelers miss the playoffs? Should he?sara.ziegler: Not in light of the Le’Veon Bell mess, I’m guessing.The Steelers’ running game was nonexistent, with no James Conner even.Salfino: Has Bell’s absence even hurt the team? Sunday was the first game you could say they lost because of it, arguably. But the defense could not stop Derek Carr. Think about that sentence in the context of this year.gfoster: I don’t think this Steelers team is very good. They now have the Patriots and then AT the Saints. They could easily be 7-7-1 going into final week.sara.ziegler: I’ve been amazed all season at how high the Steelers’ Elo was. But they just kept winning — until the past three games.neil: Looking at our Elo, though, the Steelers usually pick up steam late in seasons. They haven’t had a swoon like this since 2012. Wins sara.ziegler: I just need to take a second to thank Drake for giving me 12.2 fantasy points on that play.🙌Salfino: Fantasy scoring on that play is hilarious. It goes as a Tannehill touchdown pass. There were no screams about that because who’s playing Tannehill?sara.ziegler: LOL, good point.Salfino: How dumb are the Dolphins though for not getting a guy as electric as Drake the ball more on offense? But they’re 7-6. Have to be one of the worst winning teams at this juncture of the season in memory, but they do own wins against the Bears and Patriots.gfoster: Salfino is not a Frank Gore fan.Salfino: OMG, Frank Gore. The dude is a survivor, I’ll give him that. He’s going to end up in the Hall of Fame, too. But he’s been just a guy for so long now.gfoster: Neil wrote about this recently. Is this Patriots team just not intimidating?Gronk’s “defense” is getting the headlines, but he had a big game offensively Sunday. There’s no doubt the offense is world’s different when he’s healthy — and it’s hard to remember a playoffs when he was remotely healthy.Salfino: The Patriots’ problem is that they lacked offensive upside. But then Tom Brady really looked like the Brady of old vs. Old Brady. Gronk got rolling. Gordon was hyper-efficient. The running game was trash, but that’s sort of old-school Patriots too. Even the defense struggling seemed normal. But losing that game was not normal at all. If you told me New England was going to lose, I’d figure it was their offense flagging the game.neil: Although it’s worth noting they forced zero turnovers against a Tannehill Phins offense.sara.ziegler: That’s sort of the beauty of those lateral plays actually working: It’s a fluke, not a systemic problem for them.neil: But this is definitely the type of toss-up game they usually find a way to win, not lose.sara.ziegler: For sure. Which is what made it so fun!neil: At least for 31 fanbases searching for Patriots schadenfreude.Salfino: I really thought one of the Patriots and Steelers would emerge in the AFC, and now maybe both of those teams are going to be playing wild-card weekend.gfoster: There are four AFC teams at 7-6: Ravens, Colts, Dolphins, Titans. Which one of those is going to make the playoffs in your eyes? Or will it be the Browns, Neil?neil: They’re “in the hunt”!For the first time in approximately 30 years.Salfino: I think the sixth team in the AFC will be the Colts. Andrew Luck is totally out of his shoulder issue and throwing the ball downfield. T.Y. Hilton has nearly 600 receiving yards in the past four games. Luck-to-Hilton is maybe the most lethal combination in football right now.gfoster: Not Luck-to-Ebron?neil: For what it’s worth, our model thinks the Ravens still have the best chance at 55 percent.sara.ziegler: I like the Ravens. They were super unlucky to lose to the Chiefs. gfoster: He seems like he’s looking to run. You watch a QB like Watson, Rodgers, Mahomes — they are so reluctant to do it. Always have eyes down the field until they physically cross the line of scrimmage.Salfino: My theory with Allen is that his running is so effective and reliable that it’s hurting his development as a passer.gfoster: He also has the worst supporting cast of possibly any QB ever.Salfino: Darnold escapes to throw and not run, too. Especially on his touchdown pass Sunday, which was an incredible play.sara.ziegler: Allen is like Bizarro Mahomes.Salfino: Sara mentioned the Eagles. Is their window closing? They’re going to have to rebuild their defense, which is bereft of impact players. Their skill players are mediocre. Alshon Jeffery is not a No. 1 receiver, remotely. Suddenly their team-building seems suspect.sara.ziegler: They had seemed to be playing better since that walloping by the Saints. But maybe not so much.neil: Will we look back at 2017 as a weird, one-off year in general?Eagles take advantage of a strange hiccup in the general arc of the game?Salfino: Especially winning with Foles.gfoster: One more NFC East thought: The Amari Cooper trade was probably the most derided front office move of the year. I myself openly laughed at it. Now…sara.ziegler: Salfino: The Cooper trade is going to go down in history as the best in-season deal. He was the missing piece. Everyone else is now in the role that they are suited to be in. Dak Prescott was explosive Sunday. I can’t believe I’m saying it.The bug for the Cowboys was supposed to be their decision-making by Jerry Jones and his family, and that’s turned out to be their strength. Seriously, name the team that’s drafted better recently than the Cowboys. Now add Cooper to this. God, I hate myself for saying this.gfoster: The issue with that trade was more relative to the wide receiver market. Golden Tate, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas were all traded for a far smaller return. The difference is that prior to the deal, I would have lumped Cooper in with that tier of receiver, but it’s possible that his problem was even more Derek Carr than I thought.Salfino: My view is that Cooper is an explosive player who can take the top off the defense. Those other guys, including Gordon now, cannot.gfoster: OK, before we go, I want to get in one college football question off the big news of the weekend: Did Heisman voters get this one right?Salfino: Oklahoma somehow pulled a Favre to Rodgers in college football.sara.ziegler: I’m still kinda shocked that Kyler Murray won.It really came down to performances in the conference championships.neil: It’s funny because the Tua-is-unstoppable narrative had been in place for like two months (or more). Yet the signs were there that Kyler was a legitimate threat to him. He had a better NCAA passing efficiency, better QBR. Betting odds even favored Kyler on Saturday AM.Salfino: My take is that Alabama would be great/No. 1 in the country with pretty much a typical college QB, but Oklahoma absolutely must have Murray to rank where they are. So Murray is the MVP of college football for sure.gfoster: Here’s the flip side of that: Tagovailoa barely played in the fourth quarter most of the season, while Murray was needing to score 40 to 50 points every week to beat any team.Salfino: I’ve heard the draft people concede the Murray would be a first-round pick. Now the question I guess is how high? There are no rules anymore after Baker.sara.ziegler: Unless he’s an Oakland A by that point…gfoster: And, likewise, Mahomes coming out of the same Big 12 nonsense football that looks like two 11-year-olds playing Madden.Salfino: If Murray is a top-five pick, the financial calculus changes dramatically. He may never get another MLB contract. Look at ninth-overall picks in history, for example.neil: Yes it does change the formula we looked at here.gfoster: All right, last question:Quickly give me the Week 14 Super Bowl prediction and No. 1 overall pick prediction, since we have a legitimate race this year.neil: I guess I shouldn’t stick with my October pick of the Vikings…sara.ziegler: LOLThey’re not out of it…neil: Although who knows! We’ll see tonight.sara.ziegler: I still think it will be the Chiefs out of the AFC, but who knows from the NFC.Even after last night, I just can’t get behind the Bears.gfoster: Sara, just pick the Vikings, it’s fine. We will forget about it.sara.ziegler: I can’t. The moment I do, it’s over for them.Salfino: I think the Raiders are the favorite for the No. 1 pick because San Francisco is going to face backups against the Rams in Week 17. I picked Saints-Steelers in the preseason. I will stick with the Saints — figuring that Payton figures it out. AFC has to be the Chiefs now. They do have a pass rush. They absolutely cannot lose Hill or Kelce though. (And obviously Mahomes.)Betting on Andy Reid in January though and the Chiefs in January at home, yikes.sara.ziegler: I’ll take a long shot for the No. 1 pick with the Jaguars. That’s a team that looks like it does not care.neil: I will speak for the model and pick the Saints coming out of the NFC. We have them at 26 percent to win it all. AFC favorite is Chiefs, though I share Mike’s concerns there, despite my crush on Mahomes.And I’ll go with the Cardinals at No. 1, our model’s pick for the worst record. 28Bills41.25.2 30Raiders30.83.8 32Cardinals30.63.6 And that year they could pin it on Charlie Batch starting some games.Salfino: Explain to me how Roethlisberger goes 25-for-29, the Steelers defense is still near the top of the league in yards allowed per play, and they lose to the Raiders. Tomlin totally blows the end of the game by not calling a timeout, he gets his own lateral play to work, and then the kicker falls down.sara.ziegler: Field goal kicking has been about average this year, at 84.2 percent made. But this week was a bad one for kickers, who made only 42 field goals out of 56 attempts.Salfino: Steelers vs. Patriots is the game of the week, but not for the reasons we thought going into the season. These are two desperate teams now. The Steelers are teetering on elimination, and New England can’t win the conference without a bye, IMO.Do you know how hard it is to pass like Roethlisberger has this year and have a top defense in yards per play and still struggle to win?gfoster: They haven’t beaten a truly good team this season. Especially now that we can safely call the Panthers a bad team.And the Jags.And the Falcons.The Steelers’ best win was arguably over the Browns!Salfino: They really should have beaten the Chargers, though. But you’re right.sara.ziegler: And they would have beaten Oakland, if not for their kicker falling down.neil: … another really bad team.Salfino: Are we worried about the Saints? They did not really bounce back at all offensively from last week’s loss to the Cowboys. You have had the feeling all year that Sean Payton was worried about the depth of his receiving corps, and they had nothing other than Michael Thomas on Sunday — and Thomas really had to grind it out. Nothing in that game against a terrible Tampa defense was easy, which is shocking.gfoster: But on Thanksgiving, we were singing the praises of Brees’s ability to throw TD passes to four different guys who walked in off the street and put on Saints jerseys.Salfino: I think the Saints defense is underrated now and the Saints offense is overrated.gfoster: Where are Austin Carr, Keith Kirkwood, Tommylee Lewis and Dan Arnold?Salfino: Arnold was inactive on Sunday. Crippling loss.That quartet sounds like a country rock band lineup.neil: Are we rattling off Saints WRs or members of the 1973-74 Cavaliers?Salfino: Nice pull, Neil!gfoster: Brees and the Saints are always bad in Tampa, it seems. Kinda like how Brady always seems to struggle in Miami. What is it about Florida?(Brady was good Sunday, though.)Salfino: The Saints really pulled that game out of the fire and it was huge. Could give them the No. 1 seed, and I think they really need it.gfoster: Here’s a question: If we could switch the results of one of the narrow losses in the first eight weeks, are we talking about the Giants as a sleeper playoff team?neil: People are talking about the Giants as a sleeper playoff team NOW.(At least on WFAN.)gfoster: They have two wins more impressive than Pittsburgh: at Texans, Bears.Salfino: Eli Manning is going to resign the Giants into giving him a lifetime contract. He is sucking all hope out of their prospective QB search.Eli is the Frank Gore of QBs.neil: Sara and I theorized that Eli paid Kyle Lauletta to keep screwing up.“Here’s $50, go commit a traffic violation in New Jersey.”Salfino: Eli’s last four wins were against opposing QBs Mullen, Fitzpatrick, Daniel, Sanchez.sara.ziegler: My favorite thing in football this season is how bad the Giants are at tanking.Salfino: Exactly! It’s not that hard.sara.ziegler: Remember when the Giants basically didn’t play Saquon Barkley in the second half against Philly?And handed the Eagles that game?Salfino: Although the Jets would have the No. 1 pick right now if Sam Darnold didn’t mess it all up by winning.neil: Broadway Sam can’t help himself.gfoster: A lot of teams are struggling to tank. These guys need to watch more NBA. The Niners won’t quit.Salfino: What about Josh Allen’s insane running. This is not a sustainable QB model, or am I wrong?neil: Did I read that Allen broke a Mike Vick rushing record Sunday?😳Salfino: No QB ever had two consecutive games of 99+ yards rushing (in the modern era anyway), and now he has three.neil: (In case you can’t tell, I am addicted to these things.)Salfino: Only one player could make that throw, and only one receiver could race to make that catch. The probability for Mahomes-to-Hill should have been, like, 50 percent 🙂neil: Maybe Aaron Rodgers could. But certainly only one QB on a playoff-bound team.Salfino: Yes, maybe Rodgers.sara.ziegler: (And he probably doesn’t have a receiver this year who could catch it.)neil: That might not have even been Mahomes’ most jaw dropping pass of the day! Simulated ties included as half-wins. Forecasting the race to the bottomFewest projected 2018 wins according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL Elo model read more