Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Panthers need to show their bite after Lineman takes a mauling

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OUCH, the ol’Lineman took a pounding last time going 1-5 but Week Five is bounce back week.

As we race by the regular season quarter pole we are a tick above .500 but look for better in a week that features some big spreads.

Record: 13-11. Last week 1-5. Pick of the Week: 2-2

PICK OF THE WEEK

Washington Redskins (2-2) at Carolina Panthers (0-3) (Line Panthers minus 3 1/2)

The Panthers come off a bye week where they had plenty of time to digest a disappointing 0-3 start. Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme has been a turnover machine. Delhomme has plenty of weapons at his disposal in wide outs Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad and running back DeAngelo Williams but must make better use of them. While Delhomme has looked shaky, Washington QB Jason Campbell hasn’t exactly been tearing up the league.

Pittsburgh – the champion of Champion Cities?

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Penguins fans take to the streets on Pittsburgh's Southside to celebrate the team's Stanley Cup victory

Pittsburgh held a parade on Monday to celebrate the Penguins’ Stanley Cup triumph along the same route that the Super Bowl trophy was carried in triumph by the NFL’s Steelers in January.

It was the second time the city had claimed two of North America’s four top team sport prizes – the Superbowl, World Series, NBA championship and Stanley Cup — in the same calendar year after 1979, when the Steelers were NFL champions and the Pirates won Major League Baseball’s World Series.

Winners and losers of the 2009 NFL draft

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Top NFL prospects stand together on stage before the start of the 2009 NFL Draft

Most football experts will tell you that it takes three full years to evaluate an NFL draft class, but don’t tell that to the media, who are only too happy to provide the instant gratification of a thumbs up or down analysis after less than 72 hours.

Draft guru Mel Kiper of ESPN gave the Green Bay Packers his highest grade, an A, based primarily on their top two picks of defensive tackle B.J. Raji and outside linebacker Clay Matthews. While the Oakland Raiders, who selected the speedy, but unpolished wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bay with the seventh overall pick and the Dallas Cowboys, who didn’t have a pick until the third round after trading away earlier selections, both received the lowest mark of D.

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