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Ex-Nets assistant Ime Udoka facing suspension for relationship with Celtics staffer: reports

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Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is reportedly facing a significant suspension for having an inappropriate relationship with a team staffer.

ESPN first broke the news late Wednesday night that Udoka could be facing possible disciplinary action — “including a significant suspension” — for violating an unspecified team organizational guideline. Shortly after, The Athletic reported Udoka had “an improper and intimate consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff,” which violates the Celtics’ code of conduct.

An Udoka suspension appears imminent, with the only looming question being the length of his forthcoming absence. Udoka is not in danger of losing his job, but missing the entire 2022-23 season is on the table, according to ESPN.

Udoka took the Celtics job after spending one season as Steve Nash’s top assistant coach in Brooklyn. He quickly rose amongst the ranks as one of the NBA’s top tacticians and helped turn Boston into the NBA’s No. 1 defense in the second half of last season.

His Celtics swept the Nets out of the first round in the Eastern Conference playoffs and took a 2-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals before ultimately losing the series in six games.

Udoka replaced former Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who moved into a front office role after serving as head coach in Boston for eight seasons. He became the first rookie head coach to win multiple Game 7s in a playoff run — defeating both Milwaukee and Miami in win-or-go-home situations — and captained a 28-7 run in the second half of the season after the Celtics started .500.

BOJAN ON THE MOVE

Ex-Nets forward Bojan Bogdanovic is on the move once again.

The Bosnian forward finds himself in a trade that sends him from the Utah Jazz to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee.

Bogdanovic spent the first two-and-a-half seasons of his career playing for the Nets before Brooklyn traded him to the Washington Wizards for the 2017 first-round pick that became Jarrett Allen. The Pistons mark the fifth team in Boganovic’s career, and he is likely to play on a couple more squads before his career is over.

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JKSSB Paper Leak Scam: IRP cop, ex CRPF Jawan among 5 more arrested

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JKSSB Paper Leak Scam: IRP cop, ex CRPF Jawan among 5 more arrested

The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) have arrested five more persons including an Indian Reserve Police (IRP) constable and two touts of Haryana in connection with paper leakage scam even as it conducted searches at a hotel in the City in connection with the racket.

Three persons, who were arrested from Jammu, have been identified as Kewal Krishan, an IRP constable posted at Mattan in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, Ashwani Kumar son of Mela Ram of Kachryal in Khour, who had taken voluntary retirement from CRPF to run paper leak racket and Rakesh Kumar of Pel in Khour area of Akhnoor, who had collected Rs 1.25 crore from the beneficiaries.

Two scamsters arrested from Haryana were identified as Yatin Yadav alias Guru Ji of Rewari and Anil Kumar of Mahendergarh. Five arrests have taken total number of persons arrested by the CBI so far in connection with paper leakage scam to eight.

A Government teacher and a police constable were among three racketeers who were arrested earlier by the investigating agency. These three accused have been sent to judicial custody after completion of their 14-day police remand.

Meanwhile, the CBI sleuths conducted raids at Hotel New Krishna Palace at Chand Nagar in Jammu City, which is owned by Sanjay Kumar Dutta. His residence in the same area was also searched by the teams.

As per the officials, the CBI teams looked for certain evidences as there were reports that Dutta was also in touch with those engaged in leaking the paper in Haryana.

The question paper was also brought to his hotel where some teachers were reported to have written answers of the questions which were then provided to the beneficiaries in lieu of handsome amount.

Some documents were seized during the searches. Searches at some more places are in the offing. This was third round of raids by the CBI in connection with the paper leakage of Sub Inspectors in Jammu and Kashmir Police. Two rounds of raids were completed earlier.

The post JKSSB Paper Leak Scam: IRP cop, ex CRPF Jawan among 5 more arrested appeared first on JK Breaking News.

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ASK IRA: Are Heat looking at a case of here comes the Sun?

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Q: Would a Jae Crowder buyout work for all parties involved? – Nat.

A: Not as long as the Suns consider Jae Crowder an asset. This is not a case of having to get something in return immediately. Phoenix can play the long game, allow Jae to remain away from the team, and then act when a team comes up with something tangible in return. Jae still has enough to offer to make a contender better, including the Heat. The issue is that he seemingly wants a starting role and a major minutes role. The Heat are positioned to offer that. What they are not positioned with is matching salary-cap components. But, yes, after that long-winded explanation, if Jae Crowder were to get a Suns buyout, the Heat would be at the front of the list among those interested, with the interest mutual from Jae.

Q: So little value is placed on continuity, but it is the secret sauce of most championship teams. – David.

A: And there is something to be said for that from a Heat perspective. But the Heat also are not exactly in a place of continuity, considering they lost their starting power forward, without a clear replacement for P.J. Tucker. Also, with 40 percent of the Heat’s starting lineup still uncertain (the starting power forward, the third wing), this is not exactly a case of picking up where leaving off.

Q: Hello, Ira. In your opinion, does a starting lineup featuring Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin, and Bam Adebayo offer the right mix of offense and defense to compete for a top seed in the East? – Carlos, West Park.

A: Of those components, yes. What I’m not sure about is whether it offers enough floor spacing and 3-point shooting. That is why I could see Max Strus remaining in the opening mix. But I would say that the quintet you offered stands with the best odds, at the moment, of potential Heat opening-night starting fives.

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Pamela Paul: When diversity isn’t the right kind of diversity

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The death of Queen Elizabeth II has dominated headlines this month, homages to her reign and dissections of the Harry and Meghan situation unsurprisingly pushing other news aside, especially other stories from Britain.

But even amid all the pomp, one news item out of Britain has attracted curiously little attention. Liz Truss, the new Conservative prime minister, announced her Cabinet, and for the first time ever, not a single member of the inner circle — what’s referred to as the Great Offices of State — is a white man.

Britain’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman leaves after British Prime Minister Liz Truss’ first cabinet meeting, at 10 Downing Street in London, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The home secretary, Suella Braverman, is the daughter of Kenyan and Mauritian immigrants. The mother of the foreign minister, James Cleverly, emigrated from Sierra Leone. The new chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, was born to Ghanaian parents.

Did the left break into applause? Were there hosannas throughout progressive Twitter heralding this racial, ethnic and gender diversity as a step forward for society?

Not exactly.

Instead, the change was dutifully relayed, often with caveats. “Liz Truss’s cabinet: diverse but dogmatic,” noted The Guardian. The new team was criticized as elite, the product of schools like Eton, Cambridge and the Sorbonne. These people aren’t working class, others pointed out. They don’t sufficiently support the rights of those seeking asylum in Britain or policies that address climate change.

“It’s a meritocratic advance for people who have done well in education, law and business,” Sunder Katwala, director of British Future, a think tank that focuses on issues of immigration, integration and national identity, told CNN. “It’s not an advance on social class terms.”

This is an interesting criticism. “Meritocratic,” used here in a pejorative sense, means based on ability and achievement, earned through a combination of talent and hard work. Traditionally, merit served as the primary consideration in hiring, but some people today see the very systems that confer merit as rigged, especially against minorities. In an effort to rectify that imbalance and to diversify the workforce, particularly for leadership positions, it has become common practice in hiring — in the business and nonprofit worlds, as in government — to make racial or ethnic diversity a more significant factor.

The trouble is that for many of the same people, ethnic and racial diversity count only when combined with a particular point of view. Even before Truss’ Cabinet was finalized, one member of the Labour opposition tweeted, “Her cabinet is expected to be diverse, but it will be the most right-wing in living memory, embracing a political agenda that will attack the rights of working people, especially minorities.”

Another Labour representative wrote: “It’s not enough to be a Black or ethnic minority politician in this country or a cabinet member. That’s not what representation is about. That’s actually tokenism.”

The implication is that there’s only one way to authentically represent one’s race, ethnicity or sex — otherwise you’re a phony or a pawn. Is that fair?

I’m not politically aligned with Truss on most issues. This is not the team I’d choose to lead a country reeling from COVID, an energy crisis and the twin disasters of Boris and Brexit. But it’s Truss’ prerogative to hire people with whom she is ideologically aligned and who support her policies.

And one has to assume those new hires joined her willingly and with conviction. Surely they, like all racial and ethnic minorities, are capable of the same independence of mind and diversity of thought as white people — some people Trumpy, other people Bernie.

Nor are they the first conservative minorities to hold top positions of power in Britain. It was the Conservative Party that, despite widespread antisemitism, first appointed a Jewish-born prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli, in 1868. The three women who have served as prime ministers — Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May and now Truss — have all been Conservatives. Former Prime Minister David Cameron was no lefty, yet he made a point of emphasizing ethnic and racial diversity among his leadership appointments.

Black and other ethnic minority voters in Britain aren’t uniformly lefty, either. They cast 20% of their votes for Conservatives in 2019.

A similar diversity of political opinion among minorities exists in the United States, and it bewilders the left. An increasing number of Latinos are running as and voting for Republican candidates. Donald Trump got more votes from ethnic minorities in 2020 than he did in 2016. Black men’s support for Trump increased by 6 percentage points the second time around. And that was after the murder of George Floyd.

In his prescient 1991 book, “Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby,” law professor Stephen Carter decried many of the assumptions around diversity nascent at that time, including the notion that racial or ethnic minorities are expected to think as a group, not as individuals. He bemoaned “the idea that Black people who gain positions of authority or influence are vested with a special responsibility to articulate the presumed views of other people who are Black — in effect, to think and act and speak in a particular way, the Black way — and that there is something peculiar about Black people who insist on doing anything else.”

It’s been three decades since Carter’s book was published, and that lamentable assumption has only gained purchase. As he pointed out then: “In an earlier era, such sentiments might have been marked down as frankly racist. Now, however, they are almost a gospel for people who want to show their commitment to equality.”

It seems odd to have to point out in 2022 that “diverse” hires can be every bit as diverse on the inside as they are on the outside. For every Ketanji Brown Jackson, you’re liable to get a Clarence Thomas. Apparently, we need constant reminders that there’s more to people than meets the eye and that in multicultural societies, an acceptance of diversity must be more than skin deep.

 

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The Golden Age of Globalization is Over: Singapore’s Lawrence Wong

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“The golden age of globalization that we have known for the past 30 years since the end of the Cold War is clearly over and we are entering a new era, a new era that will be marked by greater geopolitical contestation. “said the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore. and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.

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The golden age of globalization is over and a fundamental change in the way the world works is underway, said the representative of Singapore. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Lawrence Wang.

Although countries have not fully retreated into protectionism, businesses are increasingly influenced by geopolitical tensions, Wong said during a dialogue at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore on Monday evening, referring specifically to the strained relations between the United States and China.

Wong, however, said that Singapore and the rest of ASEAN wanted a balanced relationship with the United States and China and preferred the two countries to engage in the region “on their own merits” rather than through the lens. of a US-China relationship.

“Where the logic used to be, countries don’t need to be friends to do business with each other. In fact, the hope was that the more we trade and invest in each other, we will mitigate geopolitical rivalry,” Wong said.

“Remember the McDonald’s theory that where we have McDonald’s everywhere, there won’t be a war? Well, that was the story and the end of the story.”

“So now a different logic is at play…the golden age of globalization that we have known for the past 30 years since the end of the cold war is clearly over and we are entering a new era, a new era that will be marked by greater geopolitical contestation.”

If these developments are normalized, the world will become more dangerous and fractured, he said.

Tensions and affairs between the United States and China

Singapore will continue to work with the United States and China without taking sides, Wong said, adding that a likely meeting between the leaders of the two nations is encouraging.

“With this ability to come together to meet in person, it will be possible to establish a new modus operandi between the two countries, recognizing that in reality the world is big enough for China and the United States and that the two countries don’t have to define their relationship in contradictory terms,” Wong said.

He warned of the effects such a relationship could have on the perceptions of younger generations in the United States and China.

“And if there’s no capacity for interpersonal connection and communication to happen, it’s very easy to paint the other side as the bad guy, we’re the good guys. And both sides do it.”

“And you have a whole generation of people growing up thinking that way, so what’s going to happen in 50 years, in 30 years? I think that’s something we should be concerned about.”

There Is A

Business leaders participating in conference discussions agree that the growing rift between the United States and China is not good for business.

“Look at it through the looking glass. China just had an American shock,” Cheah Cheng Hye, co-chairman of Value Partners Group, a Hong Kong-listed fund management firm, told a panel. during the conference.

“The generation of Chinese born perhaps in the last generations, many of them have idealized America and the American way of life. It is such a shock to the Chinese people of that time to be rejected by the America and being subjected to racial profiling, there’s a lot of disappointment, there’s a lot of ‘what do we do next’.”

While positive engagement doesn’t mean there won’t be “rigorous competition” between the two nations, working together will be beneficial, especially when it comes to issues such as climate change and the responses to the pandemic, Wong said.

The United States and China have benefited from their financial interdependence, Ng Kok Song, founding chairman of Avanda Investment Management, former chief investment officer of Singapore’s GIC, told a panel at the conference.

The Quad Goes Beyond Military Exercises – And China Is Watching

Ng said studies have shown that many U.S. S&P 500 companies have benefited from China’s growth in revenue and size.

Likewise, the Chinese have welcomed international capital and financial institutions into their market, John Studzinski, vice president and managing director of U.S. investment management firm Pimco, told the same panel.

When asked about a timeline for his succession as Singapore’s new prime minister, Wong did not give a specific answer, warning that there were more pressing issues, such as the high cost of living, a possible economic downturn next year and the threat of further mutations from the Covid pandemic.

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Megan Thee Stallion Confirms Sleeping With DaBaby Before Getting Shot By Tory Lanez

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Megan Thee Stallion Confirms Sleeping With Dababy Before Getting Shot By Tory Lanez
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DaBaby just released a new song that practically details his s*xual encounter with Megan Thee Stallion. The two minutes song is all about how he slept with the American rapper Megan before she was shot by Tory Lanez. And also how he can easily get other b**ches into his bed. DaBaby didn’t mince words, he mentioned Megan The Stallion in the song.

DaBaby in one of his lines in the song said; “Had her pretty boyfriend tweeting me, ready to die bout the b**ch likes a coward”. We are confident this has everything to do with another man supposedly rapper Pardison, Meghan Thee’s boyfriend. Yes, Dababy is pulling a “Kanye West” on Meghan. And so we have a full song talking about a s** encounter between two grown adults. The surprises from celebrities these days never cease.

However, the 27-year-old “Sweetie pie” rapper has not denied or confirmed DabBaby’s wild claims but during her performance at the IHeart Radio Festival, she made a statement that she owns her body and chooses what to do with it. And that’s a confirmation that DaBaby banged her!

“So look, I don’t know about y’all but I love my body. I do what I want to with my body when I want to with my body, with who I want to with my body. she further added ‘Cause it’s who? My body.”

Well, not that we care soo much about what anyone does with their body, but once when you let it out, we sure will talk about it!

Here are the lyrics of “Boogeyman” Dababy’s new song detailing his affair with the Maghan Thee Stallion.

Via Genius:

[Intro]
You play with me, oh, God damn
Shut the lights off, Boogeyman
(Oh lord, Jetson made another one)

[Verse 1]
You play with me that shit was childish
The day before she said that Tory Lanez shot her, I was fuckin’ on Megan Thee Stallion
Waited to say that shit on my next album
Hit it the day before too
But I kept it player, I ain’t say nothing ’bout it
Had her pretty boy, boyfriend tweeting me, ready to die ’bout the bitch like a coward
I told you niggas don’t play, now, you gon’ have to handle me
I poked the motherfucking bear, I’m a animal
Rock out on you, make you dance like Diana
I’m having hoes that’s gone do what I say, thеy are not gonna argue with me, thеy got manners
They not coming in with that phone, don’t do cameras
I ain’t in the mood to be taking no pictures
I’m way too smooth, having my way with the bitches
You don’t wanna be on my shitlist
I’m havin’ bitches on bitches
I’m havin’ bitches who blood, uh-huh
Yeah, I’m having bitches who crippin’
I ain’t tripping nigga, baby, don’t bang, uh-huh
Uh-huh, big .40 and a crazy ass chain
Nigga don’t walk up on me with that mask on your face, get your shit blown off nigga, baby don’t play (Baow, baow)
Walk on my shit, this that baby on baby, I think I’m the shit you can blame it on bae
I’m ready to blow every time I pull out, you can come and find out, bitch, I stay where I stay (Yeah, yeah)
Whip cold and it came with the skates
Project baby, bitch, I step out the lake
Bitch made nigga, know a hater gon’ hate
They ain’t fucking with Jonathan mama

2rare “Q-Pid” (Live Performance) | Open Mic

[Chorus]
You play with me (Play with me), oh, God damn (Oh, god damn)
Shut the lights off (Lights off), Boogeyman (Boogeyman)
You play with me (Play with me), oh, God damn (Oh, god damn)
Cut the lights off (Lights off), Boogeyman

[Verse 2]
I know these rappin’ ass niggas be hatin’ (Uh-huh)
But they can’t do shit with me mama
I pulled up two chains and six bracelets (Yeah, yeah)
Play, I’m gone bring the bitch right up out ’em
Yeah, I’m in the whip getting top
I like my bitch from the bottom
You think you could like me, lil’ nigga you’re not
This lil’ bitch that I’m with is a model
The first one, you fuck niggas play
I’m gonna give four or six to your next show
And come blow one of you fuck niggas down on the stage
The day you call my bluff, that’s the day you gon’ lay
I was at Rolling Loud, shuttin’ down a whole damn show, tried to make me have a problem with gays
Mixed up my words, made a nigga lose a whole thirty million, now, I’m back and I’ma say what I say
Bitch nigga, you done

[Chorus]
You play with me (Play with me), oh, God damn (Oh, god damn)
Shut the lights off (Lights off), Boogeyman (Boogeyman)
You play with me (Play with me), oh, God damn (Oh, god damn)
Cut the lights off (Lights off), Boogeyman (Boogeyman)

[Outro]
You play with me (Yeah, yeah), oh, God damn (Oh, god damn)
Shut the lights off (Lights off), Boogeyman (Boogeyman)
You play with me (Play with me), oh, God damn (Oh, god damn)
Cut the lights off, Boogeyman (Baby)

Here is Megan Thee Stallion subtly confirming he slept with DaBaby before she got shot by Tory Lanez:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by DJ Akademiks (@akademiks)

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NFL power rankings, Week 4: Ravens return to unsettled group of Super Bowl contenders

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Nfl Power Rankings, Week 4: Ravens Return To Unsettled Group Of Super Bowl Contenders
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Each week of the NFL season, The Baltimore Sun will rank all 32 NFL teams. The rankings will take into account not just weekly performance, injuries and roster depth, but how well each team measures up as Super Bowl contenders.

Here are the rankings heading into Week 4:

Super Bowl contenders

1. Buffalo Bills (2-1, No. 1 last week)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (2-1, No. 2)

3. Miami Dolphins (3-0, No. 4)

4. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0, No. 5)

5. Baltimore Ravens (2-1, No. 9)

6. Green Bay Packers (2-1, No. 7)

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1, No. 3)

8. Los Angeles Rams (2-1, No. 8)

If there’s one lesson to be learned from a weekend of surprising results, it’s that there isn’t a clear Super Bowl favorite.

Let’s start with the Dolphins’ 21-19 win over the Bills, which ended Buffalo’s seven-game winning streak against its AFC East rival. It wasn’t an impressive performance by Miami, which was outgained 497-212, only ran 39 plays on offense and allowed Bills quarterback Josh Allen to complete a career-high 42 passes for 400 yards. According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins became just the ninth team since 1940 to win a regular-season game running 39 or fewer plays.

While Miami deserves credit for making the most of its limited opportunities, Buffalo squandered several chances to score, with three trips inside the red zone in the second half resulting in just three points. That overshadowed an otherwise outstanding day for the offense, which went a combined 13-for-21 on third and fourth down, had a team-record 11 players catch passes and averaged 5 yards per carry.

While teams that start 3-0 can expect to make the playoffs 76% of the time and win the division 51% of the time, according to the NFL, Miami looked far from unbeatable Sunday. Now the Dolphins have to worry about the health of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is dealing with what coach Mike McDaniel said are back and ankle injuries heading into a short week of practice before Thursday night’s game against the Bengals.

Elsewhere in the AFC, the Ravens bounced back from a shocking fourth-quarter collapse against Miami to beat the Patriots, 37-26, and reestablish themselves as serious contenders. While there are still concerns about Baltimore’s defense after it allowed 7.1 yards per play and 321 passing yards Sunday, timely turnovers helped right the ship in the second half when the game appeared to be slipping away. Even more notable is the continued excellence of quarterback Lamar Jackson, who became the first player in NFL history to record back-to-back games with at least three touchdown passes and 100 rushing yards, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Ravens might not be the complete team they were during their dominant 2019 season, but Jackson looks more in command of the offense than ever before and might have his most talented group of playmakers now that running back J.K. Dobbins is back and wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay have emerged. That’s a scary thought for the rest of the AFC, which looks more wide-open than originally thought.

That brings us to Kansas City, which suffered a head-scratching 20-17 loss to the Colts as quarterback Patrick Mahomes looked out of sorts against a Gus Bradley-led defense he usually dominates. Mahomes was seen arguing with offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy on the sideline during the game, a sign of his frustration with a unit that punted on three of its first four drives and went 3-for-10 on third down. The Chiefs were also extremely unlucky, as rookie Skyy Moore muffed a punt that led directly to a Colts touchdown, backup kicker Matt Ammendola missed a 34-yard field-goal and extra-point attempt, and defensive tackle Chris Jones received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that gave Indianapolis a first down on its game-winning touchdown drive instead of what would have been a fourth-and-14. The loss is certainly disappointing, but not a sign of a downward spiral.

In the NFC, the hierarchy remains just as unclear. The Eagles look like the best of the bunch, having outscored the Lions and Commanders, 48-15, over the past two weeks behind the dazzling play of quarterback Jalen Hurts, who is completing 67.3% of his passes and ranks sixth in Total QBR, ESPN’s all-encompassing quarterback metric. The defense has been just as scary, sacking Carson Wentz nine times in Sunday’s 24-8 win and forcing five turnovers in three games.

Defense is also what’s carrying the Packers and Buccaneers, not their future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. In Sunday’s 14-12 win, Green Bay sacked Tom Brady three times, forced two fumbles and held Tampa Bay to just 2-for-11 on third down. Aaron Rodgers did enough to keep the Packers’ offense afloat with touchdown passes to Allen Lazard and rookie Romeo Doubs, but Green Bay needs more consistency from its running back duo of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, who combined for less than 3 yards per carry Sunday after averaging nearly 6 the week before against the Bears.

The Bucs should be concerned about Brady, who looks out of sync with his receivers, but coach Todd Bowles has to be happy with how his defense is playing. Tampa Bay entered Week 3 at No. 1 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA efficiency rankings and should keep the top spot after holding Green Bay scoreless in the second half. The secondary is among the league’s best with cornerback Jamel Dean playing at an All-Pro level, and linebacker Lavonte David is still a force at age 32. If wide receivers Chris Godwin and Julio Jones can return soon to join Mike Evans after his one-game suspension, the Bucs’ offense should get back to being one of the league’s best.

The wild cards

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1, No. 24)

10. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2, No. 20)

11. Denver Broncos (2-1, No. 13)

12. Minnesota Vikings (2-1, No. 11)

13. Cleveland Browns (2-1, No. 16)

14. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2, No. 6)

15. Dallas Cowboys (2-1, No. 17)

16. San Francisco 49ers (1-2, No. 10)

17. Arizona Cardinals (1-2, No. 14)

18. Tennessee Titans (1-2, No. 27)

19. Indianapolis Colts (1-1-1, No. 30)

20. Detroit Lions (1-2, No. 15)

With the Jaguars off to a winning start, Doug Pederson has built an early case to be Coach of the Year. Jacksonville’s free-agent spending spree was criticized for its big commitment to players of seemingly little consequence, but wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, linebacker Foyesade Oluokun and cornerback Darious Williams have been an important part of the Jaguars’ 2-1 start. Leading the way is second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who is living up to his billing as one of the top prospects of the last decade. He ranks fifth in expected points added per play — a measure of relative efficiency that accounts for situational factors — behind Mahomes, Tagovailoa, Allen and Jackson, according to RBSDM.com, making Jacksonville a serious threat to not only go from worst to first in the AFC South, but win a playoff game.

Speaking of outstanding quarterbacks, don’t forget about Joe Burrow. The Bengals star got back on track in a 27-12 win over the Jets, throwing for 275 yards and three touchdowns. Losses to the Steelers and Cowboys raised alarm bells, but the defending AFC champions have an opportunity to prove they’re still the class of the conference in games against the Dolphins and Ravens. The Bengals need more from running back Joe Mixon and the offensive line, but the defense has been excellent against the pass, allowing a 56.2% completion rate and 72.1 passer rating, both top-five marks in the league.

There isn’t much to learn from the Broncos’ 11-10 win over the 49ers on Sunday night other than the fact that Denver and San Francisco might have two of the best defenses in the league. The Broncos sealed the victory by forcing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to step out of the end zone for a safety and recording three turnovers, including an interception and a fumble in the final two minutes. The Niners, meanwhile, held Russell Wilson in check for most of the night until he led a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. Both teams might have to win ugly to stay in the playoff race.

Crabs in a bucket

21. New York Giants (2-1, No. 22)

22. New Orleans Saints (1-2, No. 12)

23. Las Vegas Raiders (0-3, No. 21)

24. Washington Commanders (1-2, No. 23)

25. Atlanta Falcons (1-2, No. 29)

26. Chicago Bears (2-1, No. 28)

27. New England Patriots (1-2, No. 18)

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2, No. 19)

29. New York Jets (1-2, No. 25)

30. Carolina Panthers (1-2, No. 31)

31. Seattle Seahawks (1-2, No. 26)

32. Houston Texans (0-2-1, No. 32)

There isn’t much separating these teams, who are liable to beat each other any given week.

The most confusing 0-3 team thus far has to be the Raiders, who made a big splash this offseason by acquiring star wide receiver Davante Adams from the Packers and hiring longtime Patriots offensive assistant Josh McDaniels as coach. Those additions were expected to elevate quarterback Derek Carr and the offense, but through three games, the results have been disappointing. In Sunday’s 24-22 loss to the Titans, Adams had just five catches on 10 targets for 36 yards and a touchdown. While it seems too early to write the Raiders off, history suggests it might not be. Since 2000, the 2018 Texans are the only team to start 0-3 and make the playoffs.

McDaniels’ old team might be just as disappointing. Getting beat by the Ravens and Dolphins is understandable given how well those teams have played, but the Patriots lost by a combined 24 points. The defense has ranked no worse than seventh in points allowed in the previous six seasons under coach Bill Belichick, but it sits 22nd this year (23.7 per game). The offense has also struggled behind second-year quarterback Mac Jones, who has thrown five interceptions and could be out for several weeks with a high ankle sprain. After being a perennial Super Bowl contender for nearly two decades, New England is in danger of missing the postseason for the second time in three years.

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