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The Bills have entered win-now mode this offseason



Josh Allen has put the Bills in position to contend for years.

Josh Allen has put the Bills in position to contend for years.
Image: Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills were 13 seconds away from advancing to consecutive AFC championship games for the first time in 30 years. Then the Bills fell apart on defense, squandering the lead and eventually losing in overtime, 42-36, to the Kansas City Chiefs

Regardless of that outcome, Buffalo is in a position where they should be considered a serious Super Bowl contender for the next five years. Buffalo made deals that could pay quick dividends on the field next year., and have also taken steps that make it look like they’re in win-now mode, similar to the LA Rams.

OnWednesday, Buffalo locked up Stefon Diggs on a four-year, $96 million extension. Last summer, Buffalo signed franchise QB Josh Allen to a six-year extension worth $258 million. The Bills also poached two-time Super Bowl winner Von Miller from the Rams with a six-year $120 million deal. Then they made several smaller one and two-year deals with players like TE O.J. Howard, DT Jordan Phillips, DE Shaq Lawson, and WR Jamison Crowder, to name a few.

Already having their QB in place makes it so the Bills can go for broke attempting to win now, knowing their best players are on long-term deals. Andhey’ve surrounded Allen and Diggs with even more weapons in hopes of assuring their dominance heading into next season. Buffalo was third in scoring offense last season at 28.4ppg. They were fifth in total yards averaging about 382ypg.

Considering some of their free-agent signings, expect the Bills to continue to build on that trend in 2022-23. Adding Howard and Crowder should take some coverage pressure away from Diggs. The same goes for Howard, who will be matched up against linebackers and smaller defensive backs that can’t guard him in the open field. Crowder will see nothing but one-on-one opportunities and, if he can capitalize on them, it should be another high-scoring year in Buffalo.

The draft is also on the horizon for the Bills, giving them another chance to add to the wealth of talent they already have on the roster. A Sports Illustrated mock draft has Buffalo taking defensive players with their first three picks this year. And it’s not like the team lacks on the defensive side of the ball. Last season, Buffalo was the No. 1 scoring defense, giving up just 17ppg. And they picked up Von Miller to rush the passer, as mentioned above. Buffalo could use some depth on the defensive line, so some mock drafts have them selecting a defensive tackle and end with their first and second-round picks.

Winning the AFC East again shouldn’t be an issue for the Bills. Beating the Kansas City Chiefs in the postseason is their primary concern.. If this mock draft holds true, the Bills will draft six defensive players out of their nine picks. Buffalo isn’t doing that in preparation for New England, New York, or Miami. The Bills know they need depth defensively to deal with KC if they cross paths again next postseason. It’s all about beating the Chiefs.

Losing that divisional-round game, the way they lost it, allowing Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to scamper down the field in under 13 seconds, is going to stick with every Buffalo player for a long time. The only way to get that taste out of their mouth is to return next year and repay the favor. How do you do that? Restock, lock and load. The Bills are going all-in. Now they’ve got to execute the plan and get past the Chiefs and back to the Super Bowl. 

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Chelsea FC: Brilliant Badiashile leading way for new signings as Thiago Silva partnership blossoms




helsea have not conceded a goal in the first 270 minutes that Benoit Badiashile has been on the pitch since his £35million move from Monaco.

His promising early form at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea will hope, hint at better times to come through their new signings.

The arrival of French centre-back Badiashile at the start of last month kick-started a record January spending spree of more than £300m.

After Chelsea were sent spiralling into crisis with defeats by Manchester City and Fulham, Badiashile made his debut in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

After the Blues claimed a further two clean sheets in 0-0 draws away at Liverpool and at home to Fulham, he is building an impressive partnership with Thiago Silva.

Impressive start: Benoit Badiashile has formed a promising partnership with Thiago Silva

/ Getty Images

Badiashile was one of five new signings to feature in Friday’s 0-0 draw with Fulham. He started alongside £106.8m Enzo Fernandez, who started well but faded over 90 minutes, £89.5m Mykhailo Mudryk, who struggled over 45 minutes while carrying a cold, and £30m Noni Madueke, who was bright after being brought on at half-time.

“What a waste of money” was the regular chant from the Fulham fans in the away end.

That felt harsh in Badiashile’s case. With his size and speed, he looks like a perfect partner for 38-year-old veteran Silva.

In addition, he showed the ability to play brilliantly out of Fulham’s well-drilled press and he coped in his duels against Aleksandar Mitrovic.

There is still adaption to be done, as Graham Potter barked instructions about his positioning in relation to Silva.

However, using French to communicate with the former Paris Saint-Germain captain, Badiashile has helped steady the ship in the absence of the injured Wesley Fofana, and with Kalidou Koulibaly out of form.

While still only averaging just 1.05 goals per game in the Premier League, Chelsea will draw more than they win unless their new midfielders and forwards step up.

Arriving in the weeks after Badiashile, the likes of Fernandez, Joao Felix, Mudryk and Madueke have not had as much time to adapt to their surroundings.

With Chelsea still in 10th place and increasingly falling behind in the race to qualify for Europe, they must follow Badiashile’s lead and hit the ground running before time runs out.

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Reporter’s notebook: Jesse Marsch’s Leeds side showed encouraging signs at times but lack of points cost him his job | Football News



Jesse Marsch was approaching his one-year anniversary as Leeds United head coach before the decision was taken on Monday to relieve him of his duties.

The defeat to Nottingham Forest a day earlier had been the final straw for the Leeds board, who were all aligned in the view that a change was necessary after almost three months without a Premier League win.

The recent statistics paint a grim picture for Leeds. Seven Premier League games without a win and just two wins in the last 17 league games. And against Forest, although they dominated in the first half and created the better chances, a worrying pattern had started to develop which had become a huge concern for fans. Leeds were producing performances with lots of positives, but not enough points.

There is little doubt that a large proportion of the fan base had lost patience with Marsch, and they made their frustrations clear at the full-time whistle on Sunday with calls for a change of head coach.

What is very evident is that Leeds have not kicked on this season. At times there have been really promising signs, but the fans and the board at Leeds wanted more. Marsch will feel that with time he could have delivered more, but he was also realistic enough to know that he was walking a tightrope.

I got to know Jesse well during his 12 months at Elland Road and it was abundantly clear he cared passionately about the club. He understood what it meant to be head coach of Leeds United and what the club meant to the city and the fans. And he has to be given great credit for keeping Leeds in the Premier League last season.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Leeds.

Although it hasn’t worked out for Marsch this season, there is a strong argument to suggest that the next Leeds boss will be in a great position to move the club forward.

Patrick Bamford and Luis Sinisterra are now fit, and the January additions should make the starting line-up stronger. The club has also invested heavily in young players and one of those, Willy Gnonto, has emerged as one of the shining lights of the season.

Those factors have created an expectation that Leeds are better than their current league position, and that means a reluctance to accept another season fighting to avoid the drop. It also means that there are reasons to be optimistic about the future.

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Former Leeds United goalkeeper Paul Robinson believes sacking Jesse Marsch was the right decision as he was given enough time at the club.

The process of finding a replacement for Marsch is already underway and Leeds hope to make a swift appointment. A move for Marcelo Bielsa is highly unlikely, but West Brom boss Carlos Corberan, who worked under Bielsa, is a candidate, while Ange Postecoglou at Celtic has also been linked.

It is also worth noting Leeds have a track record of leftfield appointments, so as they work through their list of targets, there is a good chance that a candidate emerges that could surprise everybody.

In the meantime, Michael Skubala, Paco Gallardo and Chris Armas will take training at Thorp Arch, and will be in the dugout for Wednesday’s Premier League fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Leeds’ next Premier League fixtures

February 8: Manchester United (A) – kick-off 8pm

February 12: Manchester United (H) – kick-off 2pm, live on Sky Sports

February 18: Everton (A) – kick-off 3pm

February 25: Southampton (H) – kick-off 3pm

March 4: Chelsea (A) – kick-off 3pm

March 11: Brighton (H) – kick-off 3pm

March 18: Wolves (A) – kick-off 3pm

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Tom Brady in his underwear is taking over Twitter



Um .. oh.

Um .. oh.
Screenshot: Twitter: Tom Brady

It’s Super Bowl week, and if you thought Tom Brady was going to let this week go by without being all up in your timeline…well. Just a week after announcing he’s retiring from football (you’ll never convince me he didn’t play an extra year just to stick it to Adam Schefter), Tom Brady has dropped his first thirst trap on Twitter. Or, attempted thirst trap. Actually, IS this a thirst trap?

As will many things Tom Brady, the attempt to be cool and edgy just winds up being sterile, boring, and kinda sad. A beige man in a beige room in beige underwear with a “pleass clap” look on his face.

And because OF COURSE:

Yes, Tom. We all knew the plug as coming. I’m not sure what color “heather crimson” is supposed to be, but I believe this is what we used to call “puce,” which… meh. The fact that there is something called the “Brady Boxer Brief” is enough to make me want to stick my head in the oven, because you know there are guys in New England burning up the internet right now to wear the same undies as their hero. And even more so because no amount of refusing to mask during COVID, vouching for Antonio Brown, stumping for Donald Trump, or getting a PPP loan during a nationwide pandemic is enough to get people to stop buying what this guy is selling. He’s even gotten to Jane Fonda, for crying out loud.

Of course, this entire thing was set up by Brady’s own brand:

So…whatever. It’s Super Bowl week and everyone is talking about Tom Brady, which is exactly how he wants it to be.

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