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Tom Brady Expecting a Tough Game Against Raiders


Jim Rogash/Getty Images(FOXBORO) -- The New England Patriots (1-1) will host the Oakland Raiders (0-2) on Sunday and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn't looking past their poor start to the season. 

The Raiders have struggled on the East Coast, but Brady still is aware of what their defense will bring to the table with the team hungry for a win.

"I think we’re going to get their best shot. It’s a very good defense," Brady said. "They’re hungry for the ball. They’re always trying to strip at it. They’ve got some playmakers in the secondary – very experienced secondary. [They have] a really good front, active front that gets into the pocket. So, we’ve got to do a good job all around. It’s got to be a great execution."

Brady understands that the Raiders have a lot of veteran players scattered throughout the defense.

"They’ve got great coverage guys – one of the most experienced secondaries in the league with Tarell Brown, [Chimdi] Chekwa, Carlos Rogers as the three primary [defensive backs] and then Charles Woodson and [Tyvon] Branch as the safeties," Brady said. "Those guys have a lot of experience. Teams have done a good job running the ball against their defense, but we’re going to need to do both. We’ve got to be able to stay balanced. "

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Brad Keselowski Wins Pole at New Hampshire


Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(LOUDON, N.H.) -- Brad Keselowski took home the pole on Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and will start up front after winning last weekend at Chicagoland.

Keselowski set a track-record lap of 140.598 mph and is hoping to win the second race in the first round, even though he's already advanced.

"This kind of track is kind of right in my wheelhouse, right in our team's wheelhouse," Keselowski said. "We had this race circled before the Chase started and we felt decent about Chicago, but really felt like this was a race of emphasis for us to get a win and get out of the first bracket."

Keselowski swept the Cup and Nationwide races at Loudon in July.

"It's positive momentum," he said, "but when it resets it resets and nothing that you've done in the past really matters as long as you're eligible for the bracket. I'm a long, long ways from using the word favorite or feeling overly confident."

Jamie McMurray, who is a non-chase driver finished second and was followed by Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson.

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Cardinals Place LB Abraham on Season-Ending Reserve


Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Arizona Cardinals placed outside linebacker John Abraham on season-ending injured reserve because of a concussion on Friday.

Abraham suffered a concussion in week 1 against the San Diego Chargers and left the team for a week.

Abraham was entered into the NFL's concussion protocol due to league rules with any concussion related injury, but was unable to pass the final stages of the test on Tuesday.

Following another unsuccessful attempt on Thursday, the team placed him on injured reserve after doctors decided it would be best for him to not play for a year.

"We're going to miss his leadership," Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said. "He was like an extra coach. He had so much knowledge, and he shared it with all the young guys every single day not just outside 'backers. Everybody. And was fun-loving, and I'll miss him in the locker room."

Abraham is the NFL's active leader in sacks with 133.5.

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Wanderlei Silva Retires from MMA


Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Veteran mixed martial artist Wanderlei Silva retired abruptly on Friday, announcing his decision in a surprise 13-minute YouTube video. Silva cited "disillusionment" with the UFC, his current employer, as the main reason for his decision to walk away from the sport.

The 38-year-old claimed that the UFC repeatedly attempted to get him to fight when he was not healthy and accused the sports top promotion of paying their athletes with "crumbs." Silva was supposed to fight Chael Sonnen, his opposing coach on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil in May before the bout was rescheduled July. 

"They told me I had to fight on that date and offered me a bunch of money," Silva said. "I asked myself, 'If they have the money, why didn't they offer it to me before?' They always hold on to the money so they underpay athletes."

Silva (35-12-1) made his professional debut in 1996 and eventually won the Pride middleweight championship. The Brazilian has fought exclusively for the UFC since 2007. Currently, he is involved in an issue with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) regarding Silva's dodging of a random drug test.

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Timberwolves Offer Max Deal to Bledsoe


Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have reportedly offered a maximum contract to restricted free-agent Eric Bledsoe in hopes of a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Suns, Bledsoe's current team. 

The deal is for a reported four years and $63 million, exceeding the Suns offer of four years and $48 million. Bledsoe has told the Suns, as well as other teams, that he would only consider a max contract but would be willing to sign a qualifying offer worth one year and $3.7 million. By signing that deal, Bledsoe would make himself an unrestricted free agent following the 2014-15 season.

Minnesota had inquired about Bledsoe while shopping all-star forward Kevin Love, but trade talks never reached a serious point. The Timberwolves are hoping to pair Bledsoe with Andrew Wiggins, whom they acquired from Cleveland for Love.

Phoenix has already started making possible arrangements for life after Bledsoe. The Suns signed free-agent Isaiah Thomas and drafted Tyler Ennis in the first-year player draft in June. Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points per game for Phoenix last season.

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Jameis Winston's Suspension Increased


Grant Halverson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Citing new findings in their investigation to his sexual and profane outburst at a student union meeting, Florida State announced late Friday they were suspending quarterback Jameis Winston for the full game against No. 22 Clemson on Saturday. Winston had originally been suspended for only the first half.

"Based upon the results of our continuing investigation of Tuesday's incident involving Jameis Winston, we have decided to not play him for the entire game against Clemson on Saturday night," interim Florida State president Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox said in a joint statement.

Winston, the reigning Heisman trophy winner, was seen shouting an obscene sexual phrase on campus earlier in the week. The top ranked Seminoles will start sophomore Sean Maguire against the Tigers. Maguire has completed 12 of 26 career passes while at Florida State.

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Kershaw Wins 20th Game, Dodgers Clinch Playoff Spot


Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Despite only throwing five innings, Clayton Kershaw picked up his league-leading 20th win of the season as Los Angeles defeated the Chicago Cubs (68-86) 14-5 on Friday. It was the shortest outing in nearly four months for Kershaw (20-3), who was aided by his offense.

"Obviously, you want to go eight or nine every time and be the reason why your team won," Kershaw said. "But sometimes your team does it for you and you just have to be out there. So that was the way it happened today and I'll take it."

The Dodgers hit four home runs as a team, including two from catcher A.J. Ellis. In total, Los Angeles (88-66) racked up 13 hits against Edwin Jackson (6-15) who was making his first start since coming off the disabled list. 

Los Angeles also clinched a playoff spot with Pittsburgh's 4-2 win over Milwaukee. It's the second straight season the Dodgers will be in the playoffs as they hold a 3 1/2 game lead over San Francisco in the NL West.

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ABC Scoreboard Roundup 9/19/14


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers 14 (88-66) - Chicago Cubs 5 (66-88)

Pittsburgh Pirates 4 (83-70) - Milwaukee Brewers 2 (79-75)

Washington Nationals 3 (89-64) - Miami Marlins 2 (74-79)

New York Mets 5 (74-80) - Atlanta Braves 0 (76-77)

Colorado Rockies 15 (63-91) - Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (62-92)

Boston Red Sox 5 (67-77) - Baltimore Orioles 3 (92-61) in 10 Innings

St. Louis Cardinals 2 (86-68) - Cincinnati Reds 1 (71-83)

New York Yankees 5 (79-74) - Toronto Blue Jays 3 (77-76)

Chicago White Sox 4 (70-83) - Tampa Bay Rays 3 (74-80)

Detroit Tigers 10 (85-68) - Kansas City Royals 1 (83-69)

Seattle Mariners 10 (83-70) - Houston Astros 5 (67-87)

Minnesota Twins 5 (66-87) - Cleveland Indians 4 (79-74)

Oakland Athletics 3 (84-69) - Philadelphia Phillies 1 (70-84)

San Diego Padres 5 (72-81) - San Francisco Giants 0 (84-69)

Texas Rangers 10 (61-92) - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3 (95-59)

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Li Na Retires Due to Knee Injuries


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- Two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na announced that she is retiring due to reoccurring knee injuries on Friday.

Na was the first player from Asia to take home a major title.

"Most people in the tennis world know that my career has been marked by my troubled right knee," Li said in an open letter. "After four knee surgeries and hundreds of shots injected into my knee weekly to alleviate swelling and pain, my body is begging me to stop the pounding."

"After a few weeks of post-surgery recovery, I tried to go through all the necessary steps to get back on the court," the letter continued. "While I've come back from surgery in the past, this time it felt different.

"One of my goals was to recover as fast as I could in order to be ready for the first WTA tournament in my hometown. As hard as I tried to get back to being 100 percent, my body kept telling me that, at 32, I will not be able to compete at the top level ever again. The sport is just too competitive, too good, to not be 100 percent."

"I've succeeded on the global stage in a sport that a few years ago was in its infancy in China," Li concluded. "What I've accomplished for myself is beyond my wildest dreams. What I accomplished for my country is one of my most proud achievements."

Na hasn't played since losing in the third round at Wimbledon and withdrew from the U.S. Open due to a knee injury. Na won the 2011 French Open title and this year's Australian Open.

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Roger Goodell Addresses the Media


Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For the first time since the release of the second Ray Rice video, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the media regarding the recent controversy's swirling around the league.

Goodell shouldered most of the blame for how the NFL handled the Ray Rice suspension as well as the cases of Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, and others.

The Commissioner has received a heap of criticism from fans, media, and players. Some have called for him to even resign from his position.

“I have not,” Goodell responded when asked if he had considered resigning. “I am focused on doing my job. I understand when people are critical of my performance, but we have work to do. I am proud of the opportunity we have to make a difference and do the right thing. We’ve acknowledged that we need to make changes and now we have to get those changes going.”

Goodell did reveal that there could be changes coming to his role and how these types of situations will get handled in the future.

“Everything is on the table. We’re going to make sure that we look at every aspect of how we gather information to make a decision, how make that decision, and then the appeals process. And all of that is on the table, and all of that is important information that we want outside experts to give us perspective on, and see if there’s a better way to do it. We believe there is and we believe we need it. We can’t continue to operate like this.”

Goodell has been the commissioner since 2006.


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