PSG Opens to Neymar Loan Deal to Suitors

first_imgParis Saint-Germain are open to the idea of a loan deal for Neymar, with a subsequent obligation to buy, as the Brazilian continues to seek a way out of Parc des Princes.Neymar has been at the centre of one of the transfer window’s longest-running sagas after he failed to return for pre-season training with the club and indicated a desire to leave.Having been signed for a world-record fee of €222 million (£200m/$263m) two years ago, the Selecao star has helped the club to domestic glory but limited European success. Suitors including former side Barcelona, along with La Liga heavyweights Real Madrid and Serie A champions Juventus, have looked to prise Neymar away from the French capital, but have found themselves stumbling over a hefty asking price as PSG look to recoup their costs.The Parisian outfit have also rebuffed any prospective cash-plus-players deal, refusing to swap Neymar for a financial sum along with opposition players.Now however, with the European transfer deadline looming and the prospect of an expensive player refusing to take to the field for the first half of the season, sporting director Leonardo Arajuo and coach Thomas Tuchel are expected to hold sit-down talks with the player over his future.PSG are receptive to the idea of loaning the 27-year-old out with a subsequent obligation to buy, which would carry a price tag roughly in the region of €220m (£201m/$244m) to €250m (£228m/$277m).Barca are widely considered to be the frontrunners to capture Neymar if he does depart Parc des Princes, with Ernesto Valverde’s side keen to bring their former player back to Camp Nou for a reunion with Lionel Messi.However, Madrid’s pursuit suggests that Los Blancos see the forward as key to dethroning their rivals’ stranglehold on the Liga title, while Juventus would be keen to pair him up with Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin.Since starting his career at Santos a decade ago, Neymar has won domestic crowns in three countries, gold at the Olympic Games and lifted both the Champions League and Club World Cup, though an ankle injury kept him out of Brazil’s Copa America success earlier this year.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Odemwingie arrives Wales for Cardiff medicals

first_imgOut of favor Super Eagles striker Peter Odemwingie has reportedly arrived in Wales to undergo a Cardiff City medical.The Nigeria international’s agent is believed to have struck personal terms with the Bluebirds this morning.SourcesSky Sports says Odemwingie is now in the city and currently taking a medical this afternoon.last_img

How to donate relief to Oklahoma tornado victims

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (6) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +1 Vote up Vote down John and Jayne Cook · 377 weeks ago Thank you for the opportunity to get this word out! John and I have family down in Moore and we are getting together a vehicle load of supplies to take this weekend. If you have any donations to make, please call. Please no donations of clothes, toys, or furniture. Our family didn’t lose their home this time. They did in the ’99 tornado, so they know first hand of how blessed they are today. For a list of needed supplies, go to or call us at 620-326-6499. Report Reply 0 replies · active 377 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down janejane · 377 weeks ago Farmers Insurance Group District 20 is working with B98FM 97.9 to gather items to take to the families in Moore and the surrounding areas. You can drop off any items that you have to my office at 118 E Harvey in Wellington, or the District Office in Wichita at 8428 w 13th St N Wichita, KS Several of our agents are planning to go down there and help where we are needed. Jane Cole Report Reply 1 reply · active 376 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down jennyrenea · 376 weeks ago Are you still taking donations? Report Reply +1 Vote up Vote down prairefox · 377 weeks ago Second Chance Animal Sanctuary We just received this update about an hour ago. The Moore Animal Shelter needs the following: they need crates, bowls, bleach, towels, paper towels, newspaper, cat litter, litter boxes. They have a truck load of Purina dog food being donated so they are good on food. All those items need to be delivered to the Cleveland County Fairgrounds at 615 E. Robinson in Norman. Thank you!!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 377 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down birdfan · 377 weeks ago Salvation army is great they are usually there first , the Mennonites and Methodists stay for the long haul . From what I saw the Red cross shows up gets their picture taken with the governor or other dignitaries orders people around, then leaves to be home to watch themselves on the news. then ups the salary of their “officials because of what a good job they did. There are many great organizations out there and even more people who just show up and help. Report Reply 0 replies · active 377 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down birdfan · 377 weeks ago Salvation army is great they are usually there first, Red Cross shows up to get their picture taken and then tries to get home in time to see themselves on tv. The Mennonites ( Mennonite disaster relief ) are top notch, the Methodists ( United methodist committee on relief UMCOR ) is also a great group. The Methodists and Mennonites will be there for years low key and you’ll seldom hear about them. Report Reply 0 replies · active 377 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — If you’re looking for ways to help residents of Oklahoma, ravaged by a monstrous tornado Monday, the USA Today website released this information. Also, if you are coordinating a relief effort locally, write something about it in the comment section below.Here are the following relief organizations are working in the area:American Red CrossThe American Red Cross has several shelters open in Oklahoma and Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles have begun delivering hot meals throughout the affected areas. The Red Cross is also working to link loved ones in Moore who are OK through a website called Safe and Well. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, donate online, or donate by phone at 1-800-RED CROSS.Salvation ArmyThe Salvation Army is activating disaster response teams and mobile feeding units to help residents and rescuers in Moore, as well as in other locations in the Plains and the Midwest that were impacted by tornadoes. Donate online or text STORM to 80888 to contribute $10 to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts or make a donation by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY. If you’re sending a check make sure you put the words “Oklahoma Tornado Relief” on the check, and mail it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK. 73157.Operation USALos Angeles-based international relief agency Operation USA announced it’s providing emergency aid where needed to community-based health organizations across Oklahoma. Donate online, by phone at 1-800-678-7255, or by check made out to Operation USA, 7421 Beverly Blvd., PH, Los Angeles, CA 90036. You can also donate $10 by texting AID to 50555. Corporate donations of bulk quantities of disaster-appropriate supplies are also being requested.Oklahoma Baptist Disaster ReliefOklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief says it has deployed at least 80 volunteers to respond to severe weather in Oklahoma. Those interested in helping can make a tax-deductible donation to the BGCO’s Disaster Relief ministry online or call (405) 942-3800. You may also send checks to: BGCO Attn: Disaster Relief 3800 N. May Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73112.last_img read more

Day 3 recap: Blansett case now in the hands of a Sumner County jury

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The future of Lindsey Nicole Blansett, a 33-year-old mother from Wellington accused of killing her 10-year-old son, is now in the hands of 12 jurors.The jury started the deliberation process late this afternoon. The jurors have picked themselves a foreman and will start discussing the case amongst themselves tomorrow morning.They will be asked to decide one of three options for Blansett.1) Guilty of first degree murder.2) Guilty of second degree murder.3) Not guilty.The court has also asked them two special questions concerning the “intent” of the defendant if they choose option 2 and 3.The difference between a first degree and second degree murder conviction will determine the number of years Blansett will serve in prison if convicted.The defense rested its case this morning. After a lengthy discussion on what to place on the jury instructional form that included a couple of recesses, both Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer and Defense Attorney Mike Brown made their closing arguments.The judge then revealed the two alternates and asked them to stay behind while the other 12 would go into deliberation. Because the day was coming to the close, the jurors decided they will start discussing the case tomorrow morning.Basically, this case hinges not on whether Blansett allegedly murdered Caleb on Dec. 14, but what was her mental state at the time of the killing. The jury must decide whether she deliberately planned the act or if this was caused by mental illness in which she was not of sound mind at the time of the alleged attack.•••••The state had rested on Thursday and it was now the turn of the defense.Dr. Jarrod Steffan, a clinical and forensic psychologist, was called to the stand for a one hour and 12 minute testimony. Stefan had conducted a series of psychological tests on Blansett in Aug. 10, 2015. Stefan said that results had found Blansett with elevated levels of  suspicion, paranoid, and apprehension which appeared to start forming one month before the incident.He said that Blansett speculated to him that she was sexually abused as a kid, but due to hypnosis during a counseling session during her parents’ divorce, she does not remember this happening. But he said she suspected that Caleb may have been sexually abused by his father and her ex-husband Clint Blansett. She then said to Steffan that during a church service at Aviator Church, she heard a message about God’s wrath and salvation, and started relating it to the 911 attack of the World Trade Center.Steffan said she was convinced after reading the 9th chapter and 11th verse of various books of the Bible, that it was God’s intention to take people out before bad things would happen. Everywhere she went she saw a message about 911.“She became convinced that this was a message from God, that in order to spare Caleb the torture, she must send him to heaven first,” Steffan said.Steffan said she had written Bible verses on the walls of her home and had visions of Caleb being tortured. It was during this time she never slept nor ate properly.Steffan said that Blansett suffered from bipolar behavior in which her mental state had become delusional and overwhelmed her with fear and paranoia. She did not hear voices but had come to the conclusion that this was the only way to save Caleb from future calamities.During cross examination, Spencer asked if she intended to kill Caleb that evening. Steffan said he did not know or could determine her mental state at the time of the alleged murder. He said she told him during the testing that she could not remember hitting him with a rock or stabbing him thereafter.•••••Dr. Roy Daum, a Larned State Hospital Psychologist, then came to the witness stand, on behalf of Spencer during the rebuttal portion of the court testimony.  Daum said Blansett suffered from “Brief psychotic disorder” which is defined as erratic behavior that could last one day and up to 30 days but not longer. The clinical definition is “a brief psychotic disorder in which a period of psychosis whose duration is generally shorter, non-recurring, and not caused by another condition.”During a brief period of time, Blansett may have had trouble distinguishing reality from her world and that led to paranoia and perhaps schizophrenic behavior, Daum said. During the evening in question, she locked the door of the house and had laid out the knives on the counter to protect the family from outside elements.When a toy gun fell off a counter, she became startled and thought people were coming to get her. Daum said it was there that she decided to save Caleb by using a rock and knife to kill him. However, Daum said reality set in not too much later as indicated on the 911 tape and that she was aware what was happening. He said he did not know the degree for which she was dealing in reality.By the time she had going to Larned for psychological testing in April, Blansett had no longer displayed this kind of behavior which led him to believe this was a brief psychotic episode, Daum said.•••••After several recesses in which the attorneys had haggled over the wording of the jury instructions, both Spencer and Brown made their closing arguments.Spencer told the jury that the fact she had to get a rock from the bathroom and then get a knife from the kitchen which required at least two trips to the bedroom proved she knew what she was doing.“When she hit Caleb with a rock, she had the wherewithal to think, ‘hey this isn’t working, so I need to stab him,’” Spencer said. “She would not stab him once or twice but seven times. Sometimes she used both hands to stab him. You’ve seen the pictures where the stab wounds went all the way through his body. She did this despite the pleas of ‘mom, stop.’”Brown then addressed the jury explaining how Blansett was having a tough Christmas without the support of her ex-husband, and how she wanted to give her children up to Aviator Church Reverend Mark Cress but was unable to do so. He told of her paranoia while staying with Ivan Scott in Belle Plaine.Brown also reiterated of the diagnosis of Steffan and her being bipolar. He questioned why one interview was shown to the jury and the other was not which showed that her mental state was much different after the initial killing.“I ask you the jury to be careful with ‘reasonable doubt’ and not take it lightly,” he said.•••••In other news, the judge asked Blansett if she wished to testify. For the first time in the trial, she spoke, saying “she did not want to.”Follow us on Twitter.last_img read more

10 months agoAngel Gomes thrilled to see action in Man Utd win

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Angel Gomes thrilled to see action in Man Utd winby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAngel Gomes was delighted with his cameo for Manchester United in their 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town.Gomes, who was handed his Premier League debut by Jose Mourinho in 2017, came on as a second half substitute to replace Juan Mata with United 3-0 up.And the 18-year-old was asked by MUTV what advice his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave to him before he came on.”He told me enjoy myself get on the pitch,” Gomes explained. “He said to come inside and get on the ball and get as many touches as you can and enjoy the atmosphere and I tried to do that coming on and it was a great experience.”The academy graduate is hopeful of more opportunities under United’s interim manager as he has promised to give more youth team players a chance.”Of course it’s just the start. It was good me and Jimmy travelled last game too, so to travel again and to get some minutes was an added bonus,” Gomes said. “I think United is about bringing youth through and I think with the new manager and how things are going it’s there for the taking really.”He’s a legend at the club and the fans will get behind him because of the things he won at the club and how great of a player he was. For me to learn from a manager like Solskjaer is great for me and the other younger lads because growing up we were watching him. It’s a great feeling.” last_img read more

Video: Porn Star Mia Khalifa Outlines The Reasons That Braxton Miller Should Transfer To Florida State

first_imgCardale Jones throwing a pass at an Ohio State football practice.COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 18: Quarterbacks J.T. Barrett #16 of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes watch alongside Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes as Cardale Jones #12 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs the offense for the Ohio State Buckeyes Gray team against the Scarlet team at Ohio Stadium on April 18, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)Noted Florida State fan Mia Khalifa, who is also one of the world’s most famous adult film stars, has been trying to recruit Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller to play for her Seminoles for weeks now. Last Friday, Khalifa tweeted at Miller in an attempt to persuade him to finish his college career in Tallahassee. Apparently she needed more than 140 characters to outline the reasons that the Buckeye star should make the move to FSU, so she put together a video for her full pitch. Among her pitches are Florida’s beaches and vacation spots, which he can’t find in Ohio, Jimbo Fisher’s coaching acumen, the ability to beat Clemson, and, of course, the girls of Florida State. She also makes sure to play it safe when it comes to NCAA. We’re not sure if this will help sway Miller at all, but it certainly can’t hurt.last_img read more

College GameDay Announces That It Will Head To Philadelphia For Temple vs. Notre Dame

first_imgCollege GameDay graphic for Temple vs. Notre Dame.Instagram/American_confComing into the season, Temple looked to be one of the easiest games on Notre Dame’s schedule. Two months later, Temple is 7-0 and a favorite in a very solid AAC conference, and Saturday’s game in Philadelphia is one of the best on the schedule. Now, College GameDay is officially heading to the City of Brotherly Love, making this potentially one of the biggest weekends in Temple football history.We’re coming to Philly! See you Saturday, @Temple_FB and @NDFootball.— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 26, 2015Temple is very [email protected] @Temple_FB @NDFootball— Temple Owls (@TempleOwls) October 26, 2015While we love seeing GameDay at places with a ton of history and classic college football Saturday atmospheres, it is always cool when the show heads somewhere new and unique. Temple certainly fits that bill. The Owls and Fighting Irish kick off at 8 p.m. on Saturday night. Notre Dame opens as a 10.5 point favorite in the game.last_img read more

Official Funeral for Former Mayor Cecil Charlton

first_img Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller will pay tribute to former Mayor of Mandeville, Cecil Charlton, CD, JP at the official funeral accorded him by the Government, and which will take place at the Northern Caribbean University Gymnatorium in Mandeville on Sunday, October 6, starting at 10 a.m.The Prime Minister said the former Mayor of Mandeville was “an outstanding Jamaican who dedicated his life to public service and served with distinction,” adding that Mr Charlton has left a rich legacy which includes 38 years of service to the Manchester Parish Council, 15 years as Mayor of Mandeville and years of Chairmanship of the National Water Commission, Hargreaves Memorial Hospital, Manchester High School and the Manchester Parish Library.“Mr. Charlton used his love of country and love for his parish to advance the town of Mandeville and the parish of Manchester. He was highly regarded throughout the parish and was appropriately honoured with the naming of the Cecil Charlton Hall and the Cecil Charlton Park. He was awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander for distinguished service in the field of Local Government in 1976, and has represented Jamaica on several overseas missions relating to water supply and local government administration.”In offering condolences to his widow, Veronica and four children and the host of relatives and friends, the Prime Minister said: “I pray that the beautiful memories you shared will comfort you in this difficult time of loss and grief.”Mr Charlton died on September 12 at the age of 88.Contact: Communications Unit-OPMTel: 926-0244Fax: 920-4684Email: [email protected] The Prime Minister said the former Mayor of Mandeville was The official funeral will take place at the Northern Caribbean University Gymnatorium in Mandeville on Sunday, October 6, starting at 10 a.m. Story Highlights Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller will pay tribute to former Mayor of Mandeville, Cecil Charlton, CD, JP.last_img read more

Pandeys fifty Rashids late cameo lifts Sunrisers to 1608 against Rajasthan

first_imgJaipur: Manish Pandey hit a quick half-century before Sunrisers Hyderebad witnessed a middle-order collapse to be restricted to 160 for eight against Rajasthan Royals here Saturday. Sent into bat, Sunrisers got off too a good start even after the early dismissal of skipper Kane Williamson (13) with David Warner and Manish Pandey sharing 75 runs off just 50 balls for the second wicket before losing the plot after the halfway stage. Nicely placed 103 for one after 12 overs, Sunrisers lost their next seven wickets for just 44 runs before Rashid Khan (17 not out off 8) played a short cameo towards the end to take the visitors to the 160-run mark. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuSunrisers lost Williamson early, cleaned up by Shreyas Gopal (2/30) with a googly in the fourth over. Warner and Pandey then joined hands and played aggressively to stabilise the Sunrisers innings. While Pandey was the aggressor of the two, Warner played the second fiddle. Pandey reached his fifty in 27 balls with the help of eight fours but just when the partnership was looking threatening, a brilliant catch by Rajasthan skipper Steve Smith sent Warner packing. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersWarner backed away a long way and tried to slap an Oshane Thomas (2/28) short delivery over extra cover but didn’t time the shot perfectly and Smith ran back and dived full length to his right to hold on to a beautiful catch. Warner’s innings was a struggle as he scored 37 off 32 balls but failed to hit a single boundary. Pandey continued his aggressive instinct and lofted Gopal over extra cover for an exquisite boundary. But the leg-spinner hand the last laugh as he dismissed Pandey in the very next ball, brilliantly caught by Sanju Samson as Sunrsiers slumped to 121 for three after 15 overs. Pandey made a fine 61 off 36 balls with the help of nine boundaries. Vijay Shankar (8) too perished cheaply, caught by Jaydev Unadkat off Varun Aaron (2/36) in the next over as the batsman went for a big shot. Wickets kept on tumbling for Sunrisers after a fine first wicket stand between Warner and Pandey. The next to depart was Deepak Hooda for a duck caught one-handed off his own bowling by Unadkat (2/26) in the next over. But Rashid took the onus on himself and garnered 18 runs off Aaron’s final over to take Sunrisers to a respectable total.last_img read more

2015 NFL Preview The Texans Jaguars And Titans Will Try To Rein

In preparation for the 2015 NFL season, FiveThirtyEight is running a series of eight division previews, each highlighting the numbers that may influence a team’s performance (including projections and rankings based on ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index). Today we turn to the AFC South — perhaps the most imbalanced division in football. Andrew Luck’s Colts are potentially the league’s best team; the Texans, Jaguars and Titans are just hoping to keep things competitive. Bruce Gradkowski20.14-934.42-5 FIRST 13 STARTSREST OF STARTING CAREER Indianapolis Colts2014 Record: 11-5 | 2015 Projected Wins: 10.5 | Playoff Odds: 84.0%Offensive Rank: 2nd | Defensive Rank: 20th | Special Teams Rank: 17thSteadily, the Indianapolis Colts are climbing toward the Super Bowl. In Andrew Luck’s first two seasons under center, the team went from out of the playoffs to the wild card game in 2012 and then to the divisional round in 2013. And in 2014, a third straight 11-win season yielded a trip to the AFC Championship game. Now, the Colts enter 2015 with the AFC’s best chance (25.6 percent) of making Super Bowl 50, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI).But as much as that probability attests to Indy’s progress as a team, it’s also an indictment of the rest of the AFC South. Luck is the division’s only top-tier quarterback, the Colts are its only top-15 preseason FPI team, and Indianapolis is projected to play one of the easiest schedules in the AFC. So while the Colts have the NFL’s best odds to win their division (73.4 percent) and make the playoffs (84 percent), merely getting to the postseason out of a weak division is no longer enough.And in order for the team to reach the next stage in its ascent, Luck needs help. Last season, he was asked to do more than any other quarterback in the NFL, as the Indianapolis offense passed on 67 percent of its snaps. Saddled with that workload, Luck ranked first in touchdown passes but also 32nd (out of 33 qualified quarterbacks) in turnovers, with many of those miscues resulting from Luck trying to do too much.To take the pressure off of Luck, the Colts need to improve their running game. Last season, Indianapolis ranked seventh1According to TruMedia’s proprietary data, which I accessed as an employee of ESPN. in passing expected points added (EPA) per game but 29th in rushing EPA per game — the biggest such rankings disparity of any team in the NFL. The addition of running back Frank Gore is an upgrade over Trent Richardson,2Really, just about any running back would have been an upgrade over Richardson. but the offensive line, patchy at best (with 11 starting combinations) a year ago, needs to open more holes after ranking 22nd in yards before contact per rush.3A stat that quantifies both O-line run-blocking effectiveness and RB vision by measuring how far, on average, the ball carriers behind them make it before making first contact with a defender.As long as the Colts have a quarterback and the rest of the AFC South does not, they’ll have a successful season. In fact, with 10 games against what FPI considers the two weakest divisions in football (the NFC South and the rest of the AFC South), don’t be surprised if Indy earns the AFC’s No. 1 overall playoff seed.4A feat that FPI gives them an NFL-best 29 percent chance of achieving. But if the Colts want to keep rising ever closer to the league’s summit, they can’t rely on Luck alone. Kellen Clemens24.24-943.14-4 FiveThirtyEight is previewing the 2015 NFL season ahead of the first game of the year. Check out our coverage of every division » QUARTERBACKTOTAL QBRW-LTOTAL QBRW-L Tennessee Titans2014 Record: 2-14 | 2015 Proj. W: 5.7 | Playoff Odds: 5.3%Off. Rank: 29th | Def. Rank: 32nd | S.T. Rank: 5thGood luck finding a 2015 Tennessee Titans preview that doesn’t focus on the No. 2 overall pick in this past spring’s draft, quarterback Marcus Mariota. After a disappointing 2-14 season in which the Titans started three different QBs,18Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst and Zach Mettenberger — all of whom posted a below-average Total QBR. the Titans and their fans are counting on Mariota to step in and revive the offense.At least one projection system (full disclosure: it’s the one developed by my colleagues in ESPN’s Stats & Information Group) expects Mariota to be the top quarterback in his class by 2018, but there are bound to be growing pains as he adapts to the NFL. And even if we pretend Mariota has no trouble transitioning from the spread offense he operated with Heisman-winning efficiency at Oregon to Ken Whisenhunt’s more vertical, pro-style scheme, who is he going to throw to? And how will Tennessee’s rushers help take pressure off Mariota and the passing game?Fantasy rankings have their flaws (for instance, a team might have two good players at the same position), but they can serve as a decent proxy for evaluating individual offensive talent. And they build a pretty convincing case that the Titans possess the least-talented group of non-quarterback skill-position players in the NFL.For starters, Tennessee’s top-rated fantasy player — running back Bishop Sankey — ranks 95th in ESPN’s Fantasy Rankings,19All rankings are as of Sept. 3. 27 spots lower than any other team’s highest-ranked player. The rankings also assign a dollar value to each player (with replacement-level players20In fantasy football terms. receiving no value), and Tennessee’s entire roster of fantasy-eligible players21Including defenses, kickers and offensive skill-position players. is worth a whopping nine bucks. That’s the lowest of any team in the league — and $46 less than the value of Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell, the most expensive player in ESPN’s rankings.After ranking 30th in offensive EPA per play22Again, including an adjustment that reduces the effects of blowouts. (and 29th defensively) last season, the Titans would truly need a “Super Mariota” performance to elevate this group into playoff contention. So though Mariota is getting all the headlines, the true determinant of Tennessee’s success may be whether any other player can step up to take some pressure off of its rookie QB. John Skelton28.98-511.00-4 There’s also no doubt that Bortles needs help. Last season, Jacksonville’s top pass catcher (Allen Hurns) ranked 67th in receiving yards, its top rusher (former quarterback Denard Robinson) ranked 30th in rushing yards and its offensive line ranked 29th in pass protection.16ESPN’s pass protection metric measures the percentage of pass plays in which the offensive line controls the line of scrimmage.Maybe the aforementioned Jaguars defense can come to Bortles’s aid. It ranked 17th in the NFL in EPA per play17This includes a weighting adjustment that downplays the effects of blowouts. and held opponents to the league’s 14th-lowest Total QBR last season. But even if the defense ascends into the NFL’s top 10, the offense will still likely be too much to overcome. That’s why FPI predicts that Jacksonville’s cycle of high draft picks will go unbroken, assigning the Jags a nearly 50 percent chance of picking in the top five for a fifth consecutive season. Jacksonville Jaguars2014 Record: 3-13 | 2015 Proj. W: 5.5 | Playoff Odds: 4.2%Off. Rank: 32nd | Def. Rank: 18th | S.T. Rank: 9thIt’s been four painful seasons since the Jacksonville Jaguars finished with a .500 record (they went 8-8 in 2010).10In fact, they haven’t had a .500 record at any point in a season since Week 2 of the 2011 season. During that span, the team has the worst record in the NFL (14-50) and hasn’t won more than five games in any season.Unfortunately for the Jaguars, that record cannot be attributed to bad luck — they also produced an NFL-low 15 pythagorean wins11A better measure of how many wins a team “deserves” after stripping away the luck of winning close games. — or a lack of draft picks. Despite Jacksonville picking in the top five of a record four consecutive NFL drafts, and having had at least one top-10 pick for eight years running, the talent gap between the Jaguars and the rest of the league continues to grow. And it isn’t likely to decrease in 2015: first-round pick Dante Fowler Jr. has already gone down with an ACL tear, while prized free-agent tight end Julius Thomas may be out until Week 4.Jacksonville’s defense isn’t awful (more on this later), which might offer hope. But as any football fan knows, today’s NFL is all about the quarterback, and in order for the Jaguars to take steps toward respectability, they need Blake Bortles to improve on the NFL-worst 25.2 Total QBR he put up in 2014.Based on an admittedly small sample, quarterbacks who start their careers as badly as Bortles has rarely get better. Going back to 2006,12The first year in which Total QBR can be calculated. there have been eight passers13Among the names on the list is Jacksonville’s previous first-round quarterback, Blaine Gabbert. (other than Bortles) who produced a Total QBR of 30.0 or worse through their first 13 starts.14Using data from only games in which the quarterback was his team’s starter. After such rough debuts, the octet combined for a winning percentage of 38.1 and an average Total QBR of 29.7 in their subsequent starts; only Mark Sanchez started more than 16 additional games.15In fairness, these guys’ careers aren’t uniformly over, so they may start again someday. But only Geno Smith and Bortles were projected to be starters going into training camp, and Smith’s status as starter was short-lived. Houston Texans2014 Record: 9-7 | 2015 Proj. W: 8.5 | Playoff Odds: 43.2%Off. Rank: 23rd | Def. Rank: 4th | S.T. Rank: 21stThe Houston Texans are so defined by their best player that the latest edition of “Hard Knocks” should have been renamed “The J.J. Watt Show.” Last season Watt, the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, became the first player since 19825The season the NFL began to officially tally sacks. to post multiple 20-sack seasons in a career, and his impact goes beyond just pressuring the quarterback.Watt led the league in batted passes,6Based on ESPN’s video tracking. fumbles recovered and tackles for loss. Add in five total touchdowns (the most by a defensive lineman in a season since 1944), and it’s not surprising that Watt led the entire league in Approximate Value (AV),’s cross-positional player value metric. He’s also produced more AV through his first four seasons combined than any other defender since the common draft era began in 1967.In other words, Watt might be the best player in football today. And with the Texans adding Vince Wilfork and a healthy Jadeveon Clowney to line up alongside him, Houston’s defense could be even more dominant than it was last season, when it ranked second in defensive EPA.But will any of that matter if Houston’s quarterbacks can’t pass the ball?While developing FPI for the NFL, ESPN’s Stats & Information Group needed a way to estimate each team’s quarterback quality for the upcoming season in order to account for QB injuries when making predictions. The solution: for each starting quarterback (and his backup), FPI generates a per-game EPA projection based on his past performance.7Adjusted for age. In Houston’s case, starting quarterback Brian Hoyer ranks 27th out of 32 expected starters in projected EPA.8Only Josh McCown, Derek Carr, Blake Bortles and rookies Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are lower. Compared with an average starter, Hoyer is expected to cost the Texans about 2.9 points per game. To put that in perspective, if he were an average QB instead, the Texans would rise from 16th overall in preseason FPI to seventh (and fourth in the AFC).There is good news for Houston, though: FPI projects its schedule to be the AFC’s easiest, with interconference games against the historically awful NFC South. Last season, the AFC North drew that division and ended up placing three teams in the playoffs.9It went 12-3-1 versus the NFC South and 26-22 against other divisions. With that schedule and Watt spearheading the fourth-best projected defense in football (according to FPI), Houston might get back to the playoffs in spite of its poor quarterbacking. Mark Sanchez27.46-736.831-26 Read more: 2015 NFL Previews Blaine Gabbert21.03-1024.02-12 JaMarcus Russell23.33-1017.64-8 Blake Bortles24.73-10—— Brandon Weeden29.75-818.90-8 Geno Smith27.76-751.95-11 read more