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2020 NFL season predictions: Picking the Super Bowl, playoff teams and final standings for all 32 teams – CBS Sports


2src2src NFL season predictions: Picking the Super Bowl, playoff teams and final standings for all 32 teams

The NFL writers here at CBS Sports have made their predictions for the 2020 season

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Earlier this year, no one was even sure if there would be an NFL season, but guess what, not only is it going to happen, but it’s kicking off Thursday night. After going roughly seven months without NFL football, we’re now just hours away from the Texans and Chiefs kickstarting the NFL’s 101st season with a showdown in Kansas City. 

Of course, we can’t start an NFL season here at CBSSports.com without making some predictions for the year, so that’s exactly what we’re going to do below.  

We rounded up seven of our experts and asked them to make some predictions on how each team is going to finish in 2020. Not only will they they be predicting how each division is going to play out this year, but they’ll also be predicting the playoff field along with their Super Bowl winner. 

Our experts must have spent a lot of time locked up in quarantine, because they made a few crazy predictions below, but you know what, that actually seems kind of fitting since it’s been a crazy year.

Here are a few notes before we get to the predictions:

  • Our panel didn’t agree on much this year, but there were a few things they were in a unanimous agreement on. For one, all seven experts are picking the Chiefs to win the AFC West (That’s the only division where everyone picked the same winner). On the other end of the spectrum, all seven experts picked the Jaguars and Bears to finish in last place in their respective divisions. As for the playoffs, our panelists unanimously agreed that the following five teams would get into the postseason: Chiefs, Bills, Ravens, Saints, Cowboys. 
  • There were three divisions where our panelists couldn’t agree on anything: Three of the four teams In the NFC North, NFC West and AFC South got at least one first place vote. Our panelists also definitely didn’t see eye-to-eye on the Seahawks as they were the only team that received at least one vote for first place, one vote for second place, one vote for third place and one vote for fourth place. 
  • The Texans aren’t getting any respect. Despite winning the AFC South last season, only one expert picked the Texans to go to the playoffs this year. To put that in perspective, the Lions, Cardinals and Broncos were all picked to go the playoffs by at least two experts.    
  • Tom Brady’s decision to leave New England isn’t going to work out so well for the Patriots, at least according to our experts. After winning the division for 10 straight years, five of our experts don’t think the Patriots streak will be continuing. As for Brady, six of of our seven experts are predicting that the 43-year-old will lead Tampa Bay to the playoffs. The Buccaneers haven’t been to the postseason since 2007, which is the longest playoff drought in the NFC. 

  • There were eight teams that received exactly zero votes for the playoffs, and those teams were: The Jets, Dolphins, Jaguars, Raiders, Giants, Washington, Bears and Panthers. Even the Bengals received at least one playoff vote. 
  • Our seven experts combined to have a total of eight different teams playing in the Super Bowl, and although four teams received multiple votes to make it to the Super Bowl, only one team received multiple votes to win the Super Bowl. 

For more expert predictions, be sure to click here to see our picks for who will win all the major awards in 2020, including regular season MVP, Super Bowl MVP and rookie of the year.

Alright, let’s get to these predictions.

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Microsoft teams

Microsoft Teams adds new Lists app to help you stay on top of everything – TechRepublic

Microsoft Lists aims to make it easier than ever to track and prioritize work within Teams.

Microsoft calls Lists “simple, smart, and flexible”.

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has added the Lists app to Teams for business and government customers. Lists is a
Microsoft 365

app announced by Microsoft during Build 2020. As the name implies, the app allows teams to create lists for tracking information across various projects and workloads, offering a combination of ready-made templates as well as custom lists that can be built from scratch, either from Excel tables or other sources, such as SharePoint. Lists data is stored in the SharePoint Online team site.

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Not to be confused with
Microsoft To Do or Tasks,

Microsoft Lists is accessed in Teams via the tabs bar. It includes eight standard templates and three industry-specific ones targeting healthcare (Patients), government agencies (Incidents) and financial institutions (Loans).

Create new lists, or select from preset templates.

Image: Microsoft

In practice, healthcare organizations can use the Patients template to track patient progress and keep in touch with their peers, while government users can use the Lists app in Teams to do things like track incidents and for coordinated incident response.

Loan officers, meanwhile, can use the Lists app to track and approve loans in Teams in collaboration with colleagues, Microsoft said.

Users can start a conversation on individual list items in Teams, making it easier to collaborate, address and feed back on individual items. Since the conversation is a channel message in Teams, it supports all of the platform’s rich messaging capabilities such as ‘@’ mentions, GIFs, stickers, emojis, and attachments.

“Lists are simple, smart, and flexible, so you can stay on top of what matters most to your team,” Microsoft said. Lists is also available through the Teams mobile app for Android and iOS devices, with a dedicated Lists mobile app expected to be released by the end of 2020.

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Microsoft teams

Microsoft Teams opens its doors to third-party apps during meetings – The Verge

Microsoft is allowing third-party app developers to integrate into the Microsoft Teams meeting experience for the first time. The new developer-focused features will let apps integrate into Teams meetings during video calls, and even before and after meetings. Third-party apps will be able to display content during Microsoft Teams calls, and even display notifications during calls. It’s a big expansion of what third-party apps are able to do in Microsoft Teams right now.

“Applications can span across chat and collaboration and easily have a workflow that expands into meetings now,” explains Michal Lesiczka, a group product manager of Microsoft Teams, in an interview with The Verge.

Applications will be able to add a tab to meeting invites where Teams users can interact with the app before a meeting begins. Once a meeting begins, Teams participants will be able to pull apps into the live call. This could include bots that trigger live notifications about events while a Teams meeting is taking place or an app that shows information to participants in the sidebar. The integration also includes the ability for apps to appear as a button in the meeting controls bar.

App integration into the Microsoft Teams meeting sidebar.
Image: Microsoft

Previously, if you wanted to share an app or something more than a webcam in Microsoft Teams, the only option available was screen sharing, which isn’t always ideal if you just want to demonstrate one app or avoid notifications or privacy headaches. These new features will allow developers to extend the meetings experience beyond the basics.

Developers have wanted this type of Teams integration for a long time. “One of the key pieces of feedback is, ‘Okay, we can integrate and enable scenarios in these other areas, but in meetings, we want to be playing there as well,’” explains Archana Saseetharan, a group product manager of Microsoft Teams, in an interview with The Verge. “We are enabling new APIs and SDK capabilities for developers to integrate and target these new areas. It is the same development process, the same publishing process, the same validation process. Everything is the same, but you have these three new capabilities to go target.”

Microsoft Teams meetings also offer a history of chat, files, meeting notes, a whiteboard, and the ability to record and transcribe meetings. The addition of third-party apps means these will also be permanently linked to individual Teams meetings.

“We’ve really seen a ton of excitement about this,” says Lesiczka. “Partners have been asking us about plugging into meetings, so there’s a lot of excitement about this.” Developers will be able to start testing these new app integrations later this month, and Microsoft is already seeing interest from Polly, Open Agora, iCIMS, Miro, and HireVue for apps that will integrate into meetings.

Apps also integrate into a tab in the Teams meeting details.
Image: Microsoft

Like the flurry of other Microsoft Teams features that have been announced in recent weeks, third-party app integration has also been driven by the ongoing pandemic. “The whole focus on remote work has accelerated our delivery on this,” admits Saseetharan. Microsoft is also rolling out a new “Together Mode” that attempts to turn co-workers into virtual avatars to improve meetings.

This Together Mode combined with third-party apps in meetings could lead to an interesting future for Microsoft Teams in the era of remote working. “Every single feature that you see us announcing is to amplify meetings … we’re thinking about extensibility of all of them,” explains Saseetharan. “Everything that Teams is doing has an extensibility play to it, and how we amplify the possibilities for developers to plug more and more deeply into the product.”

If developers do plug into Microsoft Teams more deeply, we could see some innovative new ways to collaborate in future meetings. Microsoft isn’t alone in experimenting with how remote working and meetings will work in post-pandemic scenarios. Facebook also recently teased its own vision of remote work using augmented and virtual reality, and Google is rapidly integrating its disparate Chat, Rooms, and Meet communications platforms into Gmail in an effort to compete with Microsoft Teams and Slack. Even Slack is trying to reinvent the future of business communications with Slack Connect, a more powerful way for businesses to communicate and collaborate with each other.

Microsoft Teams’ new Together Mode.
GIF: Microsoft

Microsoft is moving incredibly fast to keep pace with the competition, and in many areas, combine lots of different functionality into a single app (or “hub” as Microsoft likes to call it). Saseetharan even hints that Microsoft is looking at developer interest in plugging into background effects and filters for Teams video calls.

The pandemic has been the driving force behind Microsoft Teams features in recent months, pushing the service up to 75 million daily active users. Microsoft’s main Teams video calling competitor, Zoom, has also seen huge growth, but it’s had to spend recent months rectifying controversial privacy and security issues rather than rolling out new features.

It’s clear Microsoft has taken its opportunity to push aggressively with Teams, and there’s bound to be a whole lot more Teams features before 2020 is over.

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Microsoft teams

Microsoft Teams’ new Together Mode is designed for pandemic-era meetings – The Verge

Microsoft is introducing some big updates to Microsoft Teams today. The software giant has been working on a new “Together Mode” for Teams ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and it’s designed to create a virtual live avatar of yourself that’s supposed to help you better engage with meetings. Microsoft is using AI to segment your face and shoulders and place you and your co-workers together in a virtual space.

That space could be a meeting room-like environment, a coffee shop, or other places you’d normally have face-to-face meetings. I got a chance to experience this new mode earlier this week. It felt a little gimmicky at first, especially as you can wave at co-workers, tap them on the shoulder, or do virtual high fives. Once you get over the fun or gimmicky parts of it, it actually feels like a far better way to remove visual distractions that you normally see in large gallery views in meetings.

New Together Mode.

I could easily see who was actually talking properly as well as the types of body language from other people in the meeting that can be difficult to pick up on when people are in their home environments or using custom backgrounds.

Microsoft is rolling out this new Together Mode to Microsoft Teams now, and it will be generally available to all users in August. It will debut initially with an auditorium view, but Microsoft is working on more views that will arrive in the future.

Alongside Together Mode, Microsoft is also launching a dynamic view for Teams. It’s designed to allow people to dynamically share content side by side with participants. It sounds like a mode that’s really useful if you’re presenting with a group of co-workers and you want your slidedeck on one side and specific team members’ video to show alongside to all meeting participants.

New dynamic view.

Microsoft is also adding in video filters and live reactions to Microsoft Teams. You can use the filters to adjust lighting levels or soften the focus of the camera to improve your webcam in Teams. Live reactions will allow participants to react with emoji during meetings that will appear for everyone.

Teams meetings will also soon grow to support up to 1,000 participants and even up to 20,000 if people are joining to watch a presentation or discussion. It’s a big jump that will allow a number of companies to handle all-hands calls through Teams. Microsoft is also adding live transcripts to Teams later this year alongside the ability to translate live captions into subtitles so anyone can follow a meeting that’s being held in another language.

If you’re used to using suggested replies in emails, this same feature is coming to Microsoft Teams. The short automated replies will be based on the context of previous messages in channels, allowing Teams users to quickly respond to questions and more. Microsoft is also adding in chat bubbles support later this year so that chats sent during Teams meetings will appear on top of the call so everyone can see them more clearly.

If all of this wasn’t enough for Teams, Cortana integration is even arriving to the mobile version of the app soon. You’ll be able to ask Cortana to make a call, join meetings, share files with colleagues, or even send chat messages.

Microsoft Teams Displays.

Most of these new Microsoft Teams features will arrive in the app later this year, and they’re a clear indication of just how fast Microsoft is responding to competition and an ongoing pandemic that’s shaping how we live and learn.

Microsoft is even recruiting Lenovo and Yealink to create special new Microsoft Teams displays. These dedicated Teams devices will include a touchscreen and hands-free experience through Cortana. Lenovo’s ThinkSmart View will be one of the first Microsoft Teams displays, and it looks similar to the company’s existing Google-powered Smart Displays.

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including teams

MLB teams, including Yankees and Mets, shifting spring workouts to home ballparks after COVID-19 outbreaks – CBS Sports

Although MLB and the MLBPA have not yet reached a return to play agreement, the 30 clubs have decided to shift their spring training camps to their major league ballparks in their home cities, reports USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Clubs have the option to hold training camp in their home city or at their spring training site.

“We’re all hopeful that Major League Baseball will start their season, or part of a season. They’re in conversation now and we’re expecting updates this week,” New York governor Andrew Cuomo said during is Saturday press briefing. “(The Mets and Yankees) are planning to have their spring training camp in New York.”

The Yankees later confirmed they will indeed hold spring training at Yankee Stadium. The team released the following statement Saturday afternoon:

“As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this afternoon, the New York Yankees will hold a potential spring training resumption at Yankee Stadium.  We will continue to follow Major League Baseball’s guidelines and protocols, and we will vigilantly work with Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and their health authorities, as well as with federal officials and Major League Baseball’s own medical and infectious disease experts, to ensure our facility maintains the best possible safety standards.

The health and safety of our players, staff and employees, and of their respectively families, will always be our top priority.”

Cuomo later added New York will review the Yankees’ and Mets’ health and safety plans to ensure spring training is safe. Other states have not yet confirmed any plans to host spring training at major league ballparks.

The collective decision to shift spring training comes one day after the Angels, Astros, Phillies, and Blue Jays announced several players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19. MLB ordered all spring training sites closed and disinfected Friday night, and personnel must test negative for COVID-9 before being allowed to return.

Spring training complexes have multiple fields and multiple clubhouses, allowing for easy social distancing. That is not the case at major league stadiums. All players must share one field — teams are expected to have 30-man active rosters and a 20-man taxi squad in 2020 — and clubhouse space is more limited. Even with staggered workouts, space can be an issue.

It’s unclear how the Diamondbacks, Marlins and Rays will handle spring training. They could remain in Arizona and Florida, their home states, or train at a neutral site somewhere. Also, Canada has a 14-day mandatory quarantine for international travelers, which figures to shape the Blue Jays’ spring training plans.

All 30 teams hold spring training in Arizona and Florida, two states that have experienced significant spikes in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Arizona reported a record 3,246 new cases Friday and Florida reported 4,049 new cases Saturday, a new record. COVID-19 cases are on the rise generally in the south and southwest.  

MLB and the MLBPA are currently negotiating a return to play agreement, with number of games the big obstacle. The two sides must still hammer out health and safety protocols as well.

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report teams

Report: 31 teams have permission for coaches to return to work, 49ers still don’t – NBC Sports – NFL

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The NFL is allowing coaches to return to team facilities as long as their state and local authorities OK it. And 31 of 32 teams have the permission from those authorities.

The exception is the 49ers. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the league anticipates only the 49ers not being able to get back to work at their facilities.

The local authorities in Santa Clara have sounded a cautious note, with Santa Clara County officials saying in April that they weren’t expecting sports to return locally until Thanksgiving. The 49ers have been weighing their options about alternative training camp sites. According to the report, the 49ers are supportive of the local authorities’ caution.

The NFL distributed a memo today informing all teams that coaches may begin working in team facilities tomorrow.

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