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19.07.2018 10:10
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Baltimore, MD ( - Joe Flacco threw for 221 yards with a touchdown and the Baltimore defense kept Jacksonville out of the end zone, as the Ravens strengthened their playoff hopes with a 20-12 victory over the Jaguars on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens (9-5) also scored on a blocked punt and picked up their second straight win to remain in contention for the AFC North title. Baltimore trails first-place Cincinnati by one-half game after the Bengals blanked the Browns on Sunday to reach 9-4-1. Pittsburgh also kept pace in the tight race and improved to 9-5 with a win over Atlanta on Sunday. We didnt play smart all the time. We had too many mistakes, too many errors that kept us off the field or put our defense back on the field, those kind of things, said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. But Jacksonville did a good job. Thats a good young football team, especially on defense. That defense is salty and they get after you. Josh Scobee kicked four field goals to account for the entire offensive output for Jacksonville (2-12), which has lost two in a row. Blake Bortles threw for 210 yards with an interception for the Jaguars. He was also sacked eight times by a swarming Baltimore defense that limited Jacksonville to 248 total yards. The Ravens trailed 12-10 at the intermission and took the lead for good with their second possession of the second half, marching 80 yards on six plays. Flacco completed each of his five passes during the quick set, finishing it with a 3-yard strike to a wide open Owen Daniels in the back of the end zone. Jacksonville resorted to some trickery on its next possession, as a fake punt was successful and set up a first down just across midfield, but the Ravens stiffened and this time forced the Jaguars to punt it away. Justin Tucker hit the left upright a 54-yard field goal try with 8 1/2 minutes left in the fourth and the Jaguars were unable to mount a threat with their next two possessions. After punting the ball away with 6 1/2 minutes to play, the Jaguars got the ball back at midfield a little more than a minute later following a Baltimore punt. The Jaguars picked up 12 yards on the first play, but could not go much farther as Bortles 4th-and-9 pass was caught by Cecil Shorts out of bounds. A 10-yard run by Flacco on 3rd-and-5 allowed the Ravens to keep possession and drain more time off the clock. A 28-yard burst by Bernard Pierce on the next play helped set up a 33-yard Tucker field goal to make it 20-12 with 1:11 remaining. Bortles was intercepted by Jeromy Miles on a fourth-down heave with 16 seconds remaining to seal the contest. Coming into this environment, (against) a playoff team, a team that plays as physical as they do, I thought our defense played extremely well, said Jaguars coach Gus Bradley. To come in their house and play like they did, hats off to our defense. The Ravens took 7-0 lead with a special teams touchdown, as Darian Stewart burst through the middle of the line and blocked Bryan Angers punt after Jacksonvilles first series. Kamar Aiken picked up the ball at the 11-yard line and trotted into the end zone. Jacksonville came right back and answered with a 53-yard Scobee field goal, then marched inside the Baltimore 10 with its next series. However, a pair of sacks pushed the Jaguars back to the 27 and forced a 45-yard Scobee kick to make it 7-6 late in the first quarter. The Ravens turned it over early in the second when Kyle Juszczyk fumbled after a short reception. Jacksonville took over at the Baltimore 33, but went backward from there and had to settle for another 53-yard Scobee field goal to grab a 9-7 lead. A surprise onside kick was recovered by the Jaguars, who managed to pick up one first down before Scobee missed from 42 yards to keep it a two-point game. Baltimore then regained the lead on the next offensive series when Tucker kicked a 22-yard field goal with 3:45 left in the first half. Tucker was short with a 54-yard kick with 40 seconds remaining and Bortles completed a pair of passes to move the Jaguars into position for a 45-yard boot from Scobee to take a 12-10 lead into the break. Game Notes The Ravens blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown for the first time since Ed Reed accomplished the feat in 2003 ... Baltimores Steve Smith Sr. finished with five catches and recorded his 900th career reception early in the second half ... Baltimores Elvis Dumervil notched one sack and tied his career high with 17 in a season ... Baltimore safety Terrence Brooks left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury and cornerback Asa Jackson was helped off the field in the third quarter with a knee injury. Clayton Stoner Jersey . Mitchell first announced on Twitter that he has signed with the Steelers and his agent Brian Hamilton confirmed the signing to The Associated Press. Financial terms were not released. The Steelers have not announced the addition of Mitchell. Vadim Shipachyov Jersey . The South Africa international, who rejoined the club last month on loan from Tottenham, opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a powerful shot into the roof of the net. Bibeau, Torontos sixth-round pick at No. 172 overall in last years draft, was named the outstanding goaltender of the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup. Luca Sbisa Jersey . "For the past several weeks, Logan has been dealing and playing with an upper body injury," said general manager Doug Wilson in a statement. "Despite his efforts to play through it, the injury has not responded as we had hoped and Logan has made the decision to undergo a surgical procedure to repair the problem. Cody Eakin Jersey . -- Ben Bishop had a milestone game against one of the NHLs greatest goalies. TORONTO -- Danny Koevermans has Dec. 14 circled on his calendar. Thats when the big forward takes his family back to the Netherlands. Koevermans doesnt want to go. In fact he desperately wants to stay at Toronto FC to take care of unfinished business. "I owe the franchise something. I owe the fans something," he said emotionally. "But it just didnt work out the way I wanted." The die has been cast. Let down by his left leg, the star striker is history here. After working 11 months to return from knee surgery, Koevermans has managed to play just 78 minutes this season. The knee has been fine. But he has been betrayed by a recurring calf injury. "Its not been what Ive expected," he said. The bottom line for No. 14 in two-and-a-half seasons in Toronto? Seventeen goals on 43 shots on goal. He played in just 30 MLS games (22 starts) at a cost of something north of US$4 million. The teams record when he played was 7-12-11. And no one feels worse about it than Koevermans, who has said little publicly in recent weeks. In an extensive interview this week with The Canadian Press, a classy Koevermans was alternately proud, sad, happy and full of regret in discussing his time with Toronto. He hopes to play one more year in the Netherlands, keeping his fingers crossed that his body doesnt break down again. He knows time is against him. While he looks lean and buff, he turns 35 on Nov. 1. The injuries have been tearing him up. After yet another injury breakdown, he turned off his phone and left the training ground. "I was a mess," he said. Despite being "abandoned" by his left calf muscle, he has since tried to find some inner peace. "What can I do. Ive done everything to come back -- here," he said. On the record, club officials say all the right things about Koevermans valiant efforts to return. But they have moved on. --- Koevermans, along with former German international Torsten Frings, was introduced June 29, 2011, by Toronto FC. "A massive step," Paul Mariner, then Torontos director of player development, said at the time. Due to red tape, the two new designated players had to wait until July 20 to make their debut in a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas at BMO Field. Twenty-seven months later, only Koevermans, defender Doneil Henry and goalie Stefan Frei remain from Torontos 18-man matchday squad that day. And Frei, whose contract is expiring like Koevermans, is also headed out the Toronto door. Frings, Danleigh Borman, Dan Gargan, Ty Harden, Andy Iro, Milos Kocic, Joao Plata, Ryan Johnson, Maicon Santos, Nick Soolsma, Matt Stinson, Nathan Sturgis, Eddy Viator, Mikael Yourassowsky and Gianluca Zavarise have all moved on. Koevermans initially said no when then-manager Aron Winter approached him in January 2011 about coming to MLS. A young Koevermans had played with Winter, then an aging star, a decade previously at Sparta Rotterdam. Winter called again in May, at the end of his season. Koevermans thought he had a deal with a club in Europe but it fell through. So he said yes to MLS. "Basically within nine days, it was done," he recalled. The contract was so lucrative even Koevermans was surprised when he finally saw it. It allowed him to hold onto the house he owned in the Netherlands, the home he is now returning to. Koevermans didnt even know what a designated player was until he heard he was one at the introductory news conference. While their relationship cooled in the wake of Winters firing in 2012, Koevermans remains grateful to his fellow Dutchman for bringing him to Toronto. The striker also makes a point of thanking former assistant coach Bob de Klerk, (then MLSE COO) Tom Anselmi and Mariner, who followed Winter as coach. And he is quick to thank Torontos training staff of Carmelo Lobue, Shawn Jeffers, Marcelo Casal and Nick Milonas for all the hours they invested in him. "We worked so many hours together. And in the end it just didnt work." --- Koevermans job description in Toronto was simple from Day 1. "Im here to score goals," he said. He potted eight in 10 games in his debut 2011 season, scoring goals from all angles and with every part of his body. Rather than a artist who ranked each goal by beauty, Koevermans was a production-line scorer. Having scored one, he looked for another. "I came here to prove something and to play soccer and to give this franchise something," he said. "And I started off great the first year. Awesome. "I saw the Wall of Honour (at BMO Field) and I wanted to be there, next to Jimmy (Brennan) and Danny Dichio, I wanted to be there, score so many goals for this team. But the ACL ruined everything. "And thats life. You dont know whats around the corner. Thats unlucky. But Im still healthy, Im still breathing ... Its been a great experience for me. "At least Ive proven to people here that I could do it, that I dont think it was a waste of money even though I havent played for a year and a half." On and of the pitch, Koevermans has always been a straight shooter. He made headlines during the disastrous start to the 2102 season after Toronto slipped to 0-9-0 following a loss to D.C. United. "Were setting a record for the worst team in the world, man, and its painful," Koevermans said at the time. "What can I say more? Its just the worst ever." Koevermans previous teams had been winners. Playing for a loser was taking a toll. The Dutchman took matters in his own hands when he came off the bench the next game. He beat Chris Konopka (now a teammate at Toronto FC) to score in the 88th minute and end the record slump with a 1-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union. Koevermans was troubled by minor injuries at the start of the 2012 campaign. When he regained his health, he went on a roll and had nine of the teams 19 goals when he went down. According to Opta, which tracks statistics, Toronto scored every 65.9 minutes during the 2012 season with the big Dutchman on the field. Over the same stretch of the season when he hadnt played, they scored every 130.8 minutes. His MLS career essentially lasted one calendar year, from July 2011 to July 2012 with 17 goals in 21 starts and 26 appearances. --- Koevermans has more than a few dattes etched in his mind.dddddddddddd Theres July 14, 2012, when he wrecked his knee on the artificial turf at New Englands Gillette Stadium. And June 29, 2013, when he played 55 minutes against Real Salt Lake in the first start of his comeback after two short appearances as a substitute. An ankle knock signalled the start of a string of niggling injuries. He played just five minutes as a substitute the next week, July 3, against Montreal. The Monday after, he pulled his calf in training. He has made it back to training twice with the team but each time his calf has flared up. He initially returned to action in a four-minute appearance as a substitute on June 1 against Philadelphia. "I will always remember that feeling -- the standing ovation of the crowd," he said. "But thats basically my highlight of the season, because anything else has just been disastrous." And that moment was spoiled when Jack McInerney scored in stoppage time to give the Union a 1-1 tie. He made his comeback in a reserve game on May 16 and said he felt great for six weeks until the Real Salt Lake game. "Those were my finest hours," he said of the season. Adding to his pain this season was the fact that his best friend on the team, Canadian midfielder Terry Dunfield, was dumped for salary cap reasons. --- Koevermans plan is to return home to his home near Eindhoven. "Hopefully I will remain fit,. And then hopefully a team picks me up in Holland. And Ill sign until the end of the season. And then well see from there. If I still feel OK, maybe another year. Otherwise Im going to retire." "I cant finish like this," he added. "No chance." A native of Schiedam, he began his pro career in 2000 with Sparta Rotterdam for whom he scored 71 goals in 110 appearances. He moved to AZ Alkmaar after the 2005 season, scoring 31 goals in 52 appearances. He played from PSV Eindhoven from 2007 to 2011. Koevermans won four caps for the Dutch national team. He is trying to staying positive about his calf. "Because if I think its not going to work, then it wont work." --- Toronto will always have a special place in his heart. Initially Koevermans and his family were put up in a condo but he quickly moved to the Beaches where he rented a house -- a move he says was like "a winning lottery ticket." "For me the way in life in Toronto has been awesome for me, great. And I love it. Honestly I want to love here forever. Because where I live, the Beaches, its such a great place for the kids, for myself, for my wife. "But sometimes decisions are made for you. And my calf made a decision for me the moment I pulled it again. After I did that, I just got home and said "Listen its over. Were going back." He had hoped to get one more year in Toronto. Koevermans loves the fact that if leaves his house and turns south, he hits Lake Ontario, the beach and the boardwalks. If he goes north and east, he has his choice of the coffee shops, restaurants and stores on Queen Street. And he loves Toronto, "because theres always something going on downtown, somewhere in the city." At US$1,663,323.33 this season, Koevermans was one of eight MLS players making more than a million dollars. He admits the size of his paycheques has bothered him given the return on the dollar. He even went to team management to ask to return next season, understanding he would no longer be a DP and would have to play for a vastly reduced salary. But a fully guaranteed contract can be hard to come by in the league. Given his injury status, a semi-guaranteed deal was too uncertain for him. "I honestly hope that my wife (Marijke) will say in the future I miss it, lets go back. She says that. Were coming back." His daughters, seven-year-old Esmee and five-year-old Isa also love Toronto. "When I see the kids saying goodbye at school and stuff, its going to be devastating," he said. Neither girl spoke English prior to arriving -- "only the colours, because I taught them, and the numbers one to 10," he said. Today their English is "better than mine," said Koevermans, whose English is excellent. The Dutchman will leave a fan of the Maple Leafs and Blue Jays and is already regretting the time difference between Europe and Toronto since it will make following such teams that much more difficult. --- Koevermans says he could write a book about his time at Toronto. In his 2 1/2 years, Koevermans says he has seen 54 players come and go. "Thats an insane number. I think that says it all," he said. "And again, at the start of next season, probably what will happen is they will bring in maybe 12, 13 new players, maybe more. "Just hoping they are the right ones. And if it is not right again, it will just keep on going." Koevermans retains a soft spot for Frings and fellow forward Ryan Johnson, later shipped to Portland. "Ryan Johnson made my life easier on the pitch. Absolutely, I think we had a good partnership." Mariner, a former striker himself, also has a special place in Koevermans heart. Koevermans will leave a fan of MLS, a league he says whose players are underestimated. "This is a good league with good players," he said. His wish list, however, would include getting rid of the salary cap or, at the least, increasing the minimum salary. Watching a player like Toronto fullback Ryan Richter put in the same hours and effort as him for $35,125 just isnt fair, he says. And while some bitch about travel in MLS, Koevermans gleefully recounts all the North American cities he has been able to visit. He has seen every MLS city with the exception of Salt lake City. --- While Koevermans isnt pointing any fingers, he says hopes Toronto FC can finally turn it around. "I remember in the pre-season, the gaffer said to a player How can you (only) win five games in a season? Thats unbelievable. How can you win so few games. Now we are one season later and again its only five wins -- with a last game coming, so hopefully it will be six." "Im not here to blame it on everyone," he said . "The record shows we didnt do it right (this year). I just hope one year they do it right." White NFL Jerseys Cheap Youth NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Stitched NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Autographed Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Discount Jerseys ' ' '

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