In the weeks and months leading into the 2017 NFL draft, New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton watched several running backs work out in person.

He separated them into tiers, ranking them in order of preference. He inspected a small, jitterbug-quick back from North Carolina A&T, Tarik Cohen, and came away wanting to draft him. Just above Cohen, though, was another back Payton studied in a private workout. When the draft came and rolled into the third round, Payton seized the chance to trade up, into the 67th overall pick, and draft Alvin Kamara.
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The Patriots’ passing game has scored better than two touchdowns per game more Rick Barry Jersey than expected based on the down, distance and field position at the time of the throw. That’s more than enough to overcome a Broncos defense that allows a 92.4 passer rating against.

The Cowboys aren’t getting the respect they deserve this week. According to Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, which measures a team’s efficiency by comparing success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent, Dallas is the eighth-best team in the NFL; the Atlanta Falcons rank 19th.

Said Goodell: We have about six or seven players that are involved in this protest at this point. This is something that what we’ve [sought] to do is deal with the underlying issue and understand what it is that they’re protesting and try to address that matter.
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View Photos Controversy swirls following former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem, citing protest against racial discrimination. Here’s a look at moments of political protest by athletes.

The success no doubt comes from drafting two franchise quarterbacks 锟斤拷 Peyton Manning in 1998 and Andrew Luck in 2012. Those two combined to produce 40 AV more than expected as the top overall picks in their respective drafts. But Indianapolis also had success with Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison (1996), running back Edgerrin James (1999), offensive lineman Ryan Diem (2001) and defensive end Dwight Freeney (2002).
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The Patriots punched their ticket to the NFL’s biggest game by pulling off an improbable 24-20 win over Jacksonville.

A year after we saw three general managers fired after the draft, and a week after we saw Mularkey fired despite a playoff win, would it really be all that crazy by current standards to see a 1-31 coach let go at some point prior to the start of the ensuing season? I suspect it won’t happen, but then again, in this league and with this franchise in particular, you never know.
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Of course, improbable is basically Tom Brady’s middle name at this point, so maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised by what he pulled off against the Jaguars.

With the season on the line last week against the Saints, quarterback Case Keenum looked Rudolph’s way eight times. Rudolph looked to be closer to his midseason form where he scored five touchdowns in a four-week span before injuries slowed him down later in the year.

He’s a top red-zone target, scoring eight touchdowns this year, so he has sizable upside on Sunday against a Philadelphia defense that is tough, Authentic Nate Thurmond Jersey but is ranked in the middle-of-the-pack in the NFL against the pass and gave up over 100 yards of receiving to Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce earlier this year.

They even had me do some Australian rules, end-over-end punts because that looks different from lefties, too. It’s just about getting them comfortable back there.
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For Miller, it’s essentially a token interview. Little chance of getting the job. The incumbent punters haven’t been injured, he’s never been signed. Except sometimes it works, as it did in 2016 when the 49ers signed him to a futures deal after working him out earlier in the season same thing happened to Giants punter Brad Wing, for instance.
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Hopefully someone pulls the trigger after the season wraps up, Miller said.

Miller hasn’t kicked in an NFL game. He still hopes to, says he’s improving and notes the phone is still ringing. What started when the Rams and special teams coach John Fassel brought him in for a workout several years ago to prepare for a left-handed punter is still going.

James Harrison key to containing ‘monster’ Leonard Fournette

There are two main things the Patriots have to worry about in Sunday’s AFC Championship game against the Jaguars. First, they have to deal with the Jaguars’ ability to generate a pass rush without blitzing, and second, they must contain the running game led by rookie Leonard Fournette.

This is where Harrison comes in. While he is valuable as a veteran presence in the locker room, he is more than just a mentor for younger players. Harrison is a valuable run-stuffer as he sets the edge well and gets stops by getting penetration from the outside.

Since coming over to New England, the former Steelers star has played in two games while participating on 57 of 126 snaps. In those two games the Patriots held the Jets to 40 rushing yards in Week 17 and the Titans to 65 in the divisional round.

Brady isn’t talking about it, Bill Belichick certainly isn’t talking about, so we’ll just have to wait until Sunday’s game to see how or if the injury plays a role in the AFC Championship.

Shakayla Thomas and Florida State took down previously unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Louisville on Sunday on the road. AP Photo/Michael Thomas
Thomas got her 103rd victory as a Seminole on Sunday, and this one was unexpected. The Cardinals came in 20-0 and were at home, where 10 days earlier they clobbered Notre Dame 100-67.

And Louisville opened well, leading Florida State 22-9 after the first quarter. But after that, it was all defense, and the Seminoles got the better of the Cardinals. Thomas finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds as Florida State won the board battle 52-42.

Newton said he has been treated unfairly and hit illegally too often, even if leaked reports from the NFL show numbers that indicate otherwise.

In terms of cap hits, Bortles’ $19.1 million is exactly 15th among all quarterbacks, just behind Ryan Tannehill and a head of Tyrod Taylor and Andy Dalton. Worth noting: Tannehill led the Dolphins to the playoffs in 2016 (before he suffered a season-ending injury in December), and Taylor did the same with the Bills this season. And Dalton took the Bengals to five straight playoff appearances in his first five seasons, though in the spirit of mediocrity never won in the postseason.
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It is pretty awesome, the quarterback said. To spend two years or whatever as a quarterback coach and then for him to take over as the offensive coordinator, that relationship only continues to grow each and every day. He has been awesome to me. I love coming into work each and every day. Me and him, along with some other guys, kind of collaborate on different things. It is a lot of fun working with him.

Limited Jersey Just as important: Bortles has the full support of his teammates, which has to be a consideration when discussing his future.

The suspension is Adrian Phillips Jersey for a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.

The NFL is clearly worried about the former first-round pick and said as much earlier this week. The public display of not giving a single care in the world has been pretty blatant — Manziel traveled to Cabo in a Josh Gordon Browns jersey and is claiming to go completely sober on Friday, July 1 before beginning a comeback to the NFL.

Needless to say, the suspension creates another major roadblock for Manziel.

Even if a team was willing to take a chance on him — and it’s really unlikely any franchise would do so for the 2016 season — Manziel would be unavailable for the first four games. Again: no team was signing him for 2016 and certainly not starting him for 2016, but a four-game suspension is another major red flag in an offseason stuffed full of them.
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Since Doug Marrone took over as head coach in Week 16 last season, the Jaguars are 6-2 ATS with five outright wins as an underdog.

The Atlanta defense just took care of the top-scoring offense in the league in 2017. The Falcons held the Authentic Mike Richter Jersey Rams to just one touchdown in a 26-13 win in the Wild Card Round. Next up are the Eagles, who finished the 2017 season ranked No. 3 with 28.6 points per game. But this Eagles team doesn’t look quite the same with Nick Foles under center instead of Carson Wentz.
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Womens Dennis Maruk Jersey Wentz was the probable MVP before he went down with a torn ACL against the Rams in Week 14. Although the Eagles went 2-1 with Foles as the starter in the regular season, they beat the Giants and the Raiders 锟斤拷 two teams that surrendered a lot of points this season. Meanwhile, the Falcons finished the season ranked No. 8 with just 19.7 points allowed per game.

The last time the Eagles played, they were shut out in a hideous 6-0 loss to the Cowboys, a game in which third-stringer Nate Sudfeld took the majority of the snaps.

The Eagles still have one of the best backfields in the league with LeGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi. And the defense, which was ranked No. 4 in the league in points allowed this season, could make Saturday a long day for Matt Ryan and Co. But that won’t matter if Foles can’t get the Philly offense into the end zone.

Panic index: The Eagles are playing at home and are coming off a bye week, but there’s a reason they’re the first No. 1 seed to start the postseason as an underdog.

New England will have its chance at ring No. 6 against Philadelphia, which will be playing for its first Lombardi Trophy. Here’s an initial look at their matchup with expert picks.

Get-in ticket prices on resale sites hovered above $4,500 all week with the Vikings having a chance to play on Feb. 4 in U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. But when the Vikings went up on the Eagles 7-0 in Sunday’s game, asking prices soared to more than $5,400.

Womens Marcus Cooper Jersey The Eagles went on to score 38 unanswered points and prices came down. By the time the game ended, the lowest ticket price Vivid Seats displayed was $4,525, while StubHub had a ticket for $4,776, both before fees.

That one wasn’t a quote from Gruden. But team owner Mark Davis summed up Gruden’s return perfectly.

Once a Raider, always a Raider. Never been more appropriate than today, Davis said to open the presser.
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Gruden, 54, compiled a 38-26 record in four seasons with the Raiders between 1998 and 2001, earning back-to-back AFC West titles in his last two seasons. After the 2001 season, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a blockbuster deal involving multiple first- and second-round draft picks.

He led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win over the Raiders in his first season in Tampa Bay. But the team made the playoffs just twice in the next six seasons and Gruden was fired after the 2008 season with a 57-55 record.

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Things went a little better for Newton the second time around, as he completed 17 of 27 passes for 183 yards and a pair of touchdowns while rushing for an additional 51 yards. Brees only threw for one touchdown and 269 yards in that outing, but was assisted by 148 yards of rushing from Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.

The Panthers rank 11th in the NFL in points allowed per game, while the Saints are right above them at No. 10. New Orleans allows significantly more yards, but they are stingy when it comes to the red zone. The Saints are not typically considered a strong defensive team, but that side of the ball has been very consistent this season.
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Ingram is averaging 8 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assists per game, but those numbers have crept upward when he’s started.On 8, McGwire hit a pitch by the Cubs’Trachsel over the left field wall for his record-breaking 62nd home run, setting off massive celebrations at Busch Stadium.his sophomore and seasons he proved to be offenses worst nightmare.Friday’s exhibition finale Southern California against the Lakers could the Suns have their starting Nolan Arenado Womens Jersey lineup on the floor together for the first time since the preseason opener versus the Spurs.There’s never a time where it’s, ‘Ahh, we’ve got too much depth.’You’ll never hear that come out of mouth on the pitching.

The Saints would give it one last shot after losing the lead.

wings_1024Looking to get into field goal range, Case Keenum threw one up to Thielen, who was draped by Marshon Lattimore (he was called for BOTH defensive holding and pass interference!):

Faced with a fourth down, Drew Brees found Willie Snead on the left side of the field to keep the game alive and put them on the Vikings’ 33-yard line.

“We’d looked at different things that were going on in the league and schemes and different philosophies and ideas—that’s the one we kept drawing back to, get the ball into somebody else’s hands quickly.” For the most part, the aforementioned Steelers plan, which was put in motion by coordinator Todd Haley in 2012, has worked to make Roethlisberger less of a power forward, making throws with guys draped all over him, and more of a point guard, facilitating for others. It makes sense as a blueprint since the Steelers QB played a style like Newton’s, willing to hold the ball and take hits early in his career.

But before carrying it out, the Panthers had to get Newton healthy, and that didn’t happen overnight. The idea of the shoulder surgery he underwent was to make him right not for the next year, but for the next decade—they knew going in they might need to be patient. While Carolina brought Newton back for the start of camp, he did have a setback and at one point was shut down for almost a week. His throwing schedule, and the fact that he threw just two passes in preseason games, made it so the coaches had no idea what he’d look like when he had to let it rip—since doctor’s orders prevented him from really letting it rip in practice—in the opener in San Francisco.

Yes, most of these tweets are very old and a lot of other very intelligent football analysts also believed some of these things to be true, but anytime someone this high profile gets a new job, drudging up the painful, embarrassing tweets of their past is just par for the course.

Good luck in Oakland, coach. We’ll miss you on Monday Night Football.

Arthur Blank, Falcons: “They view the owners as individuals that have the deepest roots, the deepest foundation. Coaches, sadly, come and go. General managers, sadly, come and go.

Shad Khan, Jaguars: “There’s always benefit to having that line of communication open. There are times—like, for example, when the union contract comes up—when lines have to be crossed and it can be counterproductive.

I think my first reaction to Rob Gronkowski’s dirty hit was that he didn’t deserve a suspension.

The NFC championship matchup, Vikings at Eagles on Jan. 21, is much closer in Vegas’ eyes, and once again, the conference’s top seed is an underdog. Philadelphia is getting 3 1/2 points from Minnesota after beating Atlanta outright as a 2 1/2-point ‘dog Saturday. The Vikings advanced to next weekend’s title game with a miracle 29-24 win over the Saints on Sunday. Minnesota was favored by between 3.5 and 5.5 points leading up to the game.
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Even though the weather in Philadelphia is expected to be excellent for the game (partly cloudy, high of 53 degrees, temps in the 40s during the game), the over-under is low Billy Winn Jersey at 38. The Falcons and Eagles combined for 25 points in their game, while the Saints and Vikings combined for 53 in Minnesota’s domed stadium.

The NFL has to show it’s serious about policing hits that result in concussions, particularly those that can be avoided. This is the perfect example of a hit that had nothing to do with football, and it could potentially plague White in the future. If the NFL lets this hit be adjudicated simply by a fine to a player making $6.75 million this season, what’s the lesson?
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A suspension hurts Gronkowski, and hurts the Patriots. To deter Gronkowski from ever doing it again, regardless of his frustration over officiating (he said that’s what made him boil over on Sunday in Buffalo), the league has to come down hard 鈥?and show Gronkowski that a simple apology isn’t enough, and show the rest of the NFL that there will be no tolerance for bush-league fouls like this.

We still managed to have the NFL’s best record at 15-1 before we were beaten in a heartbreaking, overtime NFC title game, and that loss had nothing to do with off-field happenings. We lost to a good Falcons team that day and had plenty of chances to put the game away.

Story of the Week, by John Woodrow Cox of the Washington Post, The wounds they carry, about six Las Vegas-area high school students who went to the Route 91 Harvest music festival 鈥?and the scars they carry with them from the mass shooting two months ago. Cox follows the students to their Homecoming weekend, and the effects of the shooting. Harrowing.

Youth Trevor Williams Jersey b. Is it time yet to discuss anything pertaining to gun control or limiting the type of weapons or accessories use to perpetrate mass murder by shootingOr are we still in thoughts-and-prayers modeDo something, Washington. Have some guts.

The Ravens ‘t have too many positions still completely up for grabs

When Peyton Manning was drafted by the Colts in 1998, Mike Pence锟斤拷born in Indiana, raised in Indiana, college-educated in Indiana锟斤拷was a conservative talk-show host and avowed Colts fan. When Pence was elected to Congress in 2000, he moved away from Indiana for the first time but continued to root hard for the Colts in the Manning glory years. When Pence was elected governor in 2012 and Manning left for the Broncos, Pence continued to root for Manning when he played the Patriots, presumably because of the rivalry between the Colts and Patriots; Pence even tweeted his best wishes to Manning before a Denver-New England game several years ago.
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Deal pending a physical.There were more cost-effective moves the Broncos made, but the Welker signing was important.Pairing Gronkowski with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers would be flat out scary.

Tyler Kroft Authentic Jersey It also listed states where the introduction, much less adoption, of a sports betting Sam Mills Authentic Jersey bill is considered unlikely: Tennessee; Alabama; Arkansas; Texas; Kansas; Nebraska; North and South Dakota; Wyoming; Utah; Idaho; Alaska and Hawaii.

States across the nation are looking for new sources of revenue, and adding or expanding gambling is seen as an attractive option for many. While not vouching for the political likelihood of any particular state adopting gambling legislation, David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, said the predictions are definitely in line with the historical trend of states turning more to gambling.

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The Panthers (10-4) also benefited from a questionable replay review that gave Damiere Byrd a touchdown in the back of the end zone.

Newton’s favorite target was tight end Greg Olsen, who caught nine passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. Olsen appears to be fully healed from a broken foot that forced him to miss eight weeks.
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After initially ruling the pass incomplete, a replay review determined Byrd’s butt cheeks touched down in bounds before his back landed out of bounds. Byrd had bobbled the pass, which could have been intercepted had Packers safety HaHa Clinton-Dix simply turned to look for the ball.

The Panthers put up 287 yards of offense on the Packers, whose injury-plagued defense entered as the third-worst on third downs. The Panthers were 6 of 12 on third-down conversions on Sunday.

Christian McCaffrey has flown under the radar 锟斤拷 McCaffrey was the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and is rarely mentioned in the Rookie of the Year conversation. But the rookie running back from Stanford has quietly put together a wonderful maiden season.

After rushing for 63 yards on 12 carries on Sunday, McCaffrey now has 382 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the season. McCaffrey has also caught six passes for 73 yards and could break Reggie Bush’s rookie record for receptions by a running back. Bush caught The record for a rookie running back is 88, set by Reggie Bush in 2006. Bush caught 88 passes for 742 yards and two touchdowns for the Saints in 2006. McCaffrey now has 73 receptions for 592 yards and five touchdowns, including a 7-yard scoring strike to open the scoring in Sunday’s game.
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