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Dec 4, 2012 10:09pm
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BALTIMORE —Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson appeared in midseason form
against a Baltimore Ravens defence still in preseason mode. Dan Marino Jersey . Stafford threw two
touchdown passes, and Johnson had five catches for 111 yards to help the Lions
cruise to a 27-12 victory on Friday night. Stafford went 12 for 17 for 184 yards
in four possessions. He failed to produce a score in three drives last week
against Cleveland, then came up empty in his first two series against Baltimore
before guiding touchdown drives of 93 and 70 yards. “We got into a little bit of
a rhythm,” Stafford said. “When we kind of figured out what they were doing, we
went out and executed.” That 93-yard drive took only five plays, three of them
completions to Johnson for 83 yards. On the last one, Johnson made an excellent
catch over cornerback Jimmy Smith in the end zone on an 18-yard score. “We see
that same coverage out there, our mouths start to water, we get hungry,” Johnson
said. “They were blitzing a lot so we left their corners, their DBs, on an
island. Thats what we look for.” Covering Johnson is no easy task, as evidenced
by his numbers last year: 96 catches, 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns. “Youre
talking about a person who should probably be running track, but he chose
football,” Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said. “Hes a mismatch for a lot of
people. The bottom line is youve just got to make him earn his check. Today, he
earned his money.” Safety Bernard Pollard added, “The biggest thing with
Calvin Johnson is he understands and knows where everybody is at, and he has a
quarterback who doesnt care where anybody is at. He is a talent on the field,
and he has a special gift.” Stafford also connected with Titus Young for a
24-yard score to help Detroit (No. 11 tie in the AP Pro32) take a 17-9 halftime
lead. Operating under first-year co-ordinator Dean Pees, Baltimores defence gave
up 254 yards in the first half and a whopping 507 overall. The Ravens (No. 5)
are trying to rebound from an off-season injury to linebacker Terrell Suggs and
the loss of free agents Cory Redding and Jarret Johnson. “We have to complete
plays, not just be in position to make them,” Pees said at halftime.
“Communication still isnt where we want it to be. We need to get better, and we
will.” Baltimores points came on four field goals, two apiece by Billy Cundiff
and Justin Tucker. The Ravens had two kick returns for touchdowns called back
because of penalties. Deonte Thompson had a second-quarter kickoff return
nullified, and Asa Jacksons punt return in the third quarter was wiped out.
Replacement officials called 20 penalties for 177 yards, including 13
infractions for 123 yards before halftime. Joe Flacco went 7 for 12 for 79 yards
and led the Ravens to a pair of field goals before leaving early in the second
quarter. Ray Rice played only two series, gaining 12 yards on five carries and
catching two passes for 11 yards. “Youre not going to peak real early, its
August,” Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. “Were growing in some areas. Were
not doing everything were going to do.” After getting to midfield on their first
possession, the Ravens then moved 60 yards before Cundiff kicked a 32-yard field
goal for a 3-0 lead. Flacco went 4 for 7 for 43 yards on the drive, which was
aided by a roughing-the-passer call on Nick Fairley. On Baltimores third
possession, Jacoby Jones ran 35 yards on a reverse, and Detroits Justin Durant
was called for a facemask penalty to set up a 50-yard field goal by Tucker for a
6-0 lead. Stafford put the Lions ahead with his touchdown pass to Johnson, and
in his final series the quarterback completed passes to four receivers in a
march that ended with Young diving into the end zone on a third-and-4 play. The
Lions were without running backs Jahvid Best (concussion) and Mikel Leshoure
(hamstring). Kevin Smith started and ran for 11 yards on four carries, and
reserve Stephfon Green went 76 yards for a touchdown with 43 seconds left.
Backup Stefan Logan was carted off the field in the second quarter with an ankle
injury after colliding with Stafford on a handoff. X-rays were negative. Anthony Fasano Jersey . LOUIS —The St. Reggie Bush Womens Jersey .ca! Kerry, Can you
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. Joey Elliott will make his fifth straight start at quarterback when the Blue
Bombers visit the Calgary Stampeders on Friday night. Ryan Tannehill White Jersey . PETERSBURG,
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two seasons, Peter Mueller, Kyle Turris, Viktor Tikhonov and Mikkel Boedker have
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20th birthday. NEWARK, N.J. . (AP)—A day after making the Eastern Conference
finals for the first time since 2003, New Jersey Devils general manager Lou
Lamoriello was in a good mood. The long-time executive of a team that boasts 10
division titles and four conference championships was proud of his team and
staff Wednesday, very proud. After missing the playoffs a year ago for the first
time since 1996, New Jersey is back where many believe it belongs: Two rounds
away from a fourth Stanley Cup. It knocked off Florida in seven games in the
opening round and then totally outplayed Philadelphia in the second round in
five games, wrapping up the series with a 3-1 win Tuesday night. The Devils are
now awaiting the winner of the Capitals-Rangers series, which New York led, 3-2,
prior to Game 6 in Washington on Wednesday night. The players had the day off
Wednesday after the win. But the driven Lamoriello—surprise, surprise—was
working the day after New Jersey made hockeys Final Four for the first time
since “Finding Nemo” was in theatres. “We felt like we had a couple of teams in
between that had the ability to do that and didnt get it done,” Lamoriello said
in a telephone interview. “Thats the most important thing you always impress
upon everyone—how difficult it is today to get here. With the parity, there
are 30 teams competing to get here and this group today should feel real good
about themselves and what they have accomplished.” In some ways, the Devils
looked very much like their championships teams against the Flyers. They bottled
Philadelphia in their own end with an aggressive forecheck and showed why they
had the best regular-season penalty-killing unit in the league, giving up three
goals in 19 attempts. New Jersey also had goals from 11 players in the series,
all while goaltender Martin Brodeur came up big time and time again in a series
in which he turned 40. “There is no question this team has come together, but it
has been together all year long,” said Lamoriello, whose biggest off-season move
was hiring Peter DeBoer as coach in July. “There has been an incredible
chemistry.” The Devils have overcome problems in a season in which captain
Zach Parise returned after missing most of the 2010-11 campaign with a major
knee injury. Top centre Travis Zajac missed most of this season with an Achilles
tendon injury. And defenceman Henrik Tallinder has been sidelined since early
January because of a blood clot in his left leg. So, as expected, there were
some occasional slumps here and there. But New Jersey closed strong, and
finished with 102 points, seven behind the top-seeded Rangers. “There was
adversity at different timees and I dont want to get into particulars but they
stayed level at all times, were totally committed and worked as hard as any
group I have seen,” Lamoriello said. Ryan Tannehill Camo Jersey. “I think this
series epitomized that because of the commitment they made to each other.
Everybody was focused and nobody worried about anything but winning.” After a
shaky start to the post-season, in which it lost two of the first three games to
Florida, and blew a 3-0 lead in Game 3, New Jersey has won six of the last
seven, including three in overtime. And beating the Flyers is a good omen. This
is the third time the Devils have defeated Philadelphia in the playoffs, with
the first two coming in championship seasons (1995 and 2000). Another good sign?
The Devils are winning without home-ice advantage. In 1995—the franchises
first title season—New Jersey went 16-4, winning all four series as the lower
seed. Lamoriello, who has quarterbacked the Devils since 1987, isnt looking too
far ahead. He knows St. Louis and Nashville played very well in the opening
round, and didnt last long in the second. Combined in Round 2, the Blues and
Predators won one game. “Thats what playoffs are all about,” he said. “You cant
look left or right, you have to focus in. Every series is different. Every
series is like a season within a season. You have to focus in on it that way.
When one is done, you have to go to the next. You have to win 16 games, but you
also have to win four series.” For many of the Devils, this will be their first
trip to a conference final. Only Brodeur has played on all three of the
franchises Cup winners. Patrik Elias has played on two and Petr Sykora one,
although he also won a Cup with the Penguins. “It feels really good,” Parise
said. “Its a lot of fun, and even theres a few times throughout the series and
the playoffs that weve given up the first goal and theres no panic on our bench
and thats great to see. “Were playing with a lot of confidence, but most
importantly were having fun doing it.” David Clarkson, a 30-goal scorer in the
regular season, will also be playing in the third round for the first time. He
snared the series winner Tuesday, blocking a clearing pass by Flyers goaltender
Ilya Bryzgalov, and hacking it into the net. “We have a lot of leaders in this
group,” Clarkson said. “We never gave up and thats the type of style we have
tried to play all season. It was never give up and keep working hard. It is a
tribute to everyone in here and our coaching staff and the way they have coached
us all season. “It is definitely a big, big deal and we have to get ready for
next round.” ’ ’ ’ 

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