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Raiders’ Carr hands Mahomes first loss since Nov.

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Derek Carr outplayed Patrick Mahomes to exorcise his Arrowhead Stadium demons, and the Las Vegas Raiders ended a seven-game losing streak in Kansas City with a 40-32 upset win over the Chiefs.

The Raiders improved to 3-2 as they enter their bye week, while the defending Super Bowl champions, who were 11-point favorites, fell to 4-1 with their first loss since Nov. 10, 2019.

Carr, who entered the game having lost all six of his games at Kansas City by an average score of 17 points, engineered an efficient ball-control offense that showed just enough explosiveness to keep the Chiefs honest. Carr completed 22 of 31 passes for 347 yards with three touchdown passes and an interception for a passer rating of 126.7. Carr, who also had two key QB sneaks to convert first downs, became the first Raiders quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards at Arrowhead Stadium since Rich Gannon passed for 334 there in a 20-10 loss on Oct. 27, 2002.

The Raiders offense was buoyed by the return of speedy rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III, who missed the previous two games with hamstring and knee issues, and right tackle Trent Brown, who had only played in the first series of the season opener due to a right calf injury.

Carr had first-half touchdown passes of 59 and 72 yards to Nelson Agholor and Ruggs, respectively. He also hit Ruggs for a 46-yard pickup as Ruggs finished with two catches for 118 yards.

Running back Josh Jacobs had two touchdown runs and the Raiders led the time of possession battle by more than nine minutes with 6:34 to play.

A rested Las Vegas defense, criticized mightily of late, was able to keep Patrick Mahomes in check. With more than six minutes to play, the Chiefs quarterback had taken 21 pressures, the second-most of his career. Mahomes finished with 340 yards passing in completing 22 of 43 attempts for two touchdowns and his first interception of the season.

This was the first time Carr was at Arrowhead Stadium in a game not played in December or January.

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Bucs adding Antonio Brown all about maximizing Tom Brady’s window

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TAMPA, Fla. — Nearly seven months to the day after Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said “it’s not gonna happen” with Antonio Brown, the Bucs have agreed to a deal with the controversial, but highly talented wide receiver who last played for Arians in 2011 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It wasn’t coach-speak, Arians is a straight-shooter. He called Brown “too much of a diva” and said he wasn’t a fit for the Bucs’ locker room, even with quarterback Tom Brady campaigning for him behind closed doors. But that was before injuries began to mount in the Bucs’ receiving corps.

Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans has been hobbled by an ankle injury since Week 4 and has barely been able to practice. Their other Pro Bowl receiver, Chris Godwin, has missed three games because of concussion and a hamstring strain. Their speedy deep threat Scotty Miller has been hampered by a hip/groin injury. And tight end O.J. Howard — who had become a big part of the screen game — went to injured reserve with a ruptured Achilles.

The result? Brady’s top receiver against the Chicago Bears was rookie Tyler Johnson, who he’d never completed a pass to prior to Week 5. And if the Bucs want to not only make the postseason but make a run at a Super Bowl with Brady, they realize that their window is tight and, they need reinforcements at a position that’s been hit hard by injuries.

It’s the same reason they signed A.Q. Shipley as a backup center, so that if something happened to Ryan Jensen, Brady could take snaps from an experienced center. It’s the same reason they signed running backs Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy — to ensure Brady had experienced running backs to pair with Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughn — who could help in the passing game.

So how will Arians handle Brown, whom he’s publicly traded barbs with, had a tryout with the New Orleans Saints that included a camera crew entourage that infuriated members of the Saints coaching staff, once cursed out former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and arrived to Oakland Raiders camp in a hot air balloon.

The feeling inside the organization is Arians personality is strong enough to handle him. Arians has never had a problem giving anyone a piece of his mind — as seen by his expletive-filled tirades in practice — and he coached Brown with the Steelers. Brown also has ties to several members of Arians’ coaching staff, like offensive assistant Antwaan Randle-El, who was his teammate in 2010.

But the person who can make the biggest impact in all, and who can hold Brown in check, is Brady, whom Brown developed an immediate connection with in New England. In their one and only game together with the Patriots, Brown had four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown in a 43-0 win over the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots released Brown less than two weeks after signing him.

Brady has had success keeping troubled teammates in check when others have failed, examples include including LeGarrette Blount, Martellus Bennett, Corey Dillon, Randy Moss and Aqib Talib. But Brown’s off-the-field issues are serious — two cases where he was accused of sexual misconduct and a felony charge of battery and burglary. He will need to be held in check at all times.

This move signifies just how much influence Brady has on this organization. Brown’s personality is in contrast to Evans, Godwin, Miller, Johnson, Justin Watson, Jaydon Mickens and Cyril Grayson — players who don’t complain when the ball doesn’t get thrown their way.

Brown won’t be eligible to play until Week 9, but it’s an important rematch against the Saints, whom they have a half-game lead on in the NFC South but lost to in Week 1.

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Will A Runoff In Georgia Decide Control Of The Senate? And Other Listener Questions.

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In this installment of Model Talk on the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, editor-in-chief Nate Silver talks to Galen Druke about why state-level and national polls are showing different degrees of competitiveness. They also answer more listener questions.

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Riley ready to run it back with similar Heat team

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MIAMI — Pat Riley is always looking for ways for the Miami Heat to improve. This offseason has him wondering if that might come from within.

The Heat president on Friday said that the top offseason priority for the Eastern Conference champions “is to take care of the players that we have” — such as free-agent-to-be Goran Dragic — while maintaining salary cap flexibility to add an impact player in a 2021 offseason that could see many stars on the move.

“We have a good idea of what we want to do,” Riley said in his annual end-of-season media availability.

No plan can be considered completely firm yet; the NBA’s board of governors were meeting Friday, simultaneous to Riley speaking, to discuss ideas about when it might be feasible to start next season. And the financial details for next season remain unclear as well, such as salary-cap changes and luxury-tax numbers. All that will have an obvious impact on every team’s plans, Miami’s included.

But Miami is already clear on some matters: The Heat have no intention on letting extension-eligible All-Star center Bam Adebayo leave, and Riley said keeping this past season’s team as close to intact as possible has crossed his mind.

Kelly Olynyk has a player option for about $12 million, while Meyers Leonard, Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill and Derrick Jones Jr. are among the Heat’s free agents.

“We know what our priorities are,” Riley said. “It is to take care of the players that we have, that we have to make decisions on almost immediately. We know Bam has a decision to make and we do with him. We know the guys that have sacrificed for us that we really like, our free agents, especially Goran.”

The Heat might have ended up as the surprise of the league this season, with All-NBA player Jimmy Butler‘s arrival leading a turnaround that saw Miami go from missing the 2019 NBA playoffs to winding up in this season’s finals as a No. 5 seed. Riley raved about what Butler has brought to the Heat, and also lauded coach Erik Spoelstra for doing what he called a masterful job this season.

“Spo was the coach of the year, for me,” Riley said.

The Heat have long been expected to be a major player in the 2021 free-agent season, when names like two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and many others could potentially choose to hit the market.

What they do in this offseason will obviously affect their spending power next year.

“I just think we need to remain fluid,” Riley said. “Once we get all the numbers and we get everything down, we get the schedule, we know when the dates are, and what the rules are in everything, once we get all of that, we’re going to remain fluid. And whatever presents itself to us, we’ll look at it.”

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