That next week at Philadelphia, on Monday Night Football, Rodgers was deadly accurate. He threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams in the tightest of windows, with a defender draped all over him in the back of the end zone. Adams, who was momentarily blinded by the stadium lights, told reporters afterward that he couldn’t see the ball until the last millisecond, and then it just landed in his lap.
Rodgers was 30-for-39 that night, and the Packers had their confidence boost. Somewhere on the West Coast, Brady Poppinga caught one of those games early in the streak and decided he couldn’t bet against the Packers the rest of the way.
Poppinga, an analyst/reporter for Fox Deportes, played with Rodgers for six seasons. He’s seen Rodgers in this kind of zone only one other time, in the 2010 season — the season Green Bay won Super Bowl XLV. In some ways, the teams are similar. Both dealt with a number of injuries, and both had to eke their way into the playoffs.
“A couple of passes he had early on at Dallas, right on top of the fingertips, millimeters from getting knocked down, threading the needle, reminded me of the Steelers [game in Super Bowl XLV],” Poppinga said. “His passes are precise, they’re on time, and they’re almost indefensible.
The task of making a full recovery from a complicated injury was arduous, but it kept Bell’s mind off the suspension, which he had heard would be coming. But outside Bommarito’s facility, the media was blasting Bell, who’s set to become a free agent in 2017 (and will likely get the franchise tag). Would his past deter the Steelers from making a deal? What would be his market elsewhere, after two suspensions in as many years?
Crawford made headlines back in the States in January 2016 by racking up 72 points and 16 rebounds in a game.
Authentic Kids Nolan Cromwell Jersey
Crawford said American stars are treated “like royalty” in China and that some teams offer perks unlikely to granted in the NBA. For example, he asked if younger brother Jalen, a rapper who performs under the name Willie Mac Jr., could perform at halftime of a Tianjin game. The team obliged.
“That was dope,” Crawford said. “It was cool. They liked it.”
Food, however, was another matter entirely.
Authentic Kids Matt Overton Jersey
“They just kind of throw you into the fire and expect you to eat live fish and go play!” Crawford said with a laugh. “You’re in the hotel, and basically they have like five or six plates of octopus — stuff you’re not going to eat. You can go a day or two without eating, and they expect you to play the game?”
Look for a new starter at defensive end. This is the one position the Saints will almost certainly look outside the building for. Cameron Jordan is entrenched on the left side, but the Saints badly need a more dynamic edge rusher on the right, where last season’s top two starters, Paul Kruger and Darryl Tapp, are both free agents. The good news is this year’s draft class is expected to be well-stocked with edge rushers. But the Saints might not wait that long. They have to at least explore the idea of making a big splash in free agency with expensive stars such as Jason Pierre-Paul or Chandler Jones. Or maybe they’ll look at guys like Jabaal Sheard and Mario Addison in the next tier down. — Mike Triplett
It’s been said before, but it’s blatantly obvious how much the Bucs lacked in their receiving corps by the end of the season. Mike Evans can’t be the only real threat. I expect Tampa to draft, at the very least, one new receiver, possibly two — especially if Vincent Jackson doesn’t return. The Bucs need some speed and a player who can stretch the field. A player with a big catch radius opposite Evans would bode well for their passing game too, helping Jameis Winston take things to the next level. — Jenna Laine
Gunter is the latest undrafted free-agent cornerback find by general manager Ted Thompson and his scouting department to be developed by coach Mike McCarthy, Capers and Whitt. Tramon Williams entered the league the same way (although he didn’t start his career in Green Bay) and so did Shields, who like Gunter played in college at Miami, which Thompson’s top personnel executive Alonzo Highsmith attended and still likes to scout.
Darren McFadden Authentic Jersey
“I think you have to give Joe Whitt a ton of credit for the work that he’s done in his room with these young players,” McCarthy said. “His starting line has been at the free-agent level, and obviously results speak for themselves. And with that, our personnel department has done a great job with identifying guys that have ‘it.'”
Then, last year, McCarthy was gifted one of the most exciting comebacks in football history when Rodgers completed two Hail Mary passes on one drive against the Cardinals to make the score 20-19 with no time remaining, pending the extra point. McCarthy had just shocked an entire stadium of fans and an opposing defense which had all but won the game. The Cardinals had no timeouts to try to catch their breath.
If you believe in momentum, the Packers had it in spades. They were also seven-point underdogs before the game, meaning that they were also comfortable underdogs over a longer stretch of play.
Hines Ward Authentic Jersey Their odds of converting a two-pointer to win were almost unquestionably higher than their chances of beating the Cardinals in a freshly restarted game. McCarthy, however, took his foot off the gas and kicked the extra point. The Cardinals promptly won the coin toss, completed a pass to Larry Fitzgerald for 75 yards on the opening play of overtime, and scored a touchdown to end the Packers’ season two plays later.
Training camp always has its fair share of scuffles, but Geno Smith’s broken jaw and high-profile players like Cam Newton and Dez Bryant getting in scraps with teammates has cast fights on the practice field into the spotlight and the NFL wants players to chill out a bit.
In a memo sent to all 32 NFL teams on Friday, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent, warned players that fights aren’t a good idea.
“As professionals, no matter how emotional the game becomes, there is nothing that should resort to fighting,” Vincent wrote. “Coaches are encouraged to emphasize to players, coaches, and other club personnel who are on the sidelines, that fighting will not be tolerated.”
By the end of last year, he started figuring out the other shit.
I saw Floyd starting to use his hips to get past offensive lineman — an underrated skill that’s vital to most pass rushers — and his hands a lot better as the 2014 season progressed. Instead of hanging on to blocks, he started escaping off them and making plays after pushing the blocker or blockers into the backfield. The most telling thing I saw from Floyd as the season went on was that he started to celebrate after he made plays.
I know some of you lame jackasses have something against celebrating, but I can’t understand that mentality. We, as players, put so much into being able to go out and make plays for our teammates, coaches and fans every week. That shit is hard! There have literally been thousands of “good” college players who never got a shot in the NFL or got there and simply couldn’t make plays against that level of competition.
Revamping the Lions was always going to be a long process for GM Bob Quinn, who was hired on Jan. 11, 2016 — one year ago today.
Detroit plucked Quinn from the Patriots to bring a combination of successful philosophies from New England, and some of his own ideas, to a Lions franchise with no Super Bowl appearances and one playoff win since the AFL-NFL merger.
Game Mens Ty Lawson Jersey
As the Lions continue their search for a title or even an elusive playoff win, Quinn has made progress. He has overhauled the front office. He has changed the organization’s free-agency and draft strategies. He decided — twice — to retain head coach Jim Caldwell.
¡°We¡¯ve had a really good working relationship,¡± Caldwell said. ¡°It¡¯s well organized. They do things extremely well in the front office, and, you know, our relationship has been very good in that regard. So I would anticipate that we¡¯ll still be able to work well together and, you know, look forward to it.¡±
Suggs was adamant about returning in 2017 when asked last month if he ever considered retiring.
“If you haven’t caught on, I don’t like those types of questions,” Suggs said. “I know I’m not 26, but I’m not 40, either. I just like to play football.”
There’s not much incentive for the Ravens to part ways with Suggs. He is signed through the 2018 season and scheduled to make $4 million next season. It’s unlikely Baltimore will cut Suggs, because he would only give the Ravens $1 million in cap savings, while counting $5.9 million in dead money (or $2.95 million in dead money if cut after June 1).
What has continually impressed the Ravens is Suggs’ determination to play through pain. He appeared in 15 games this season despite battling a torn biceps and an elbow injury.
Game Mens Vincent Valentine Jersey “He was still out there giving 100 percent,” Newsome said. “He’s had some great discussions with [coach] John [Harbaugh] with what his plans are for this offseason. We expect him to be back.”
Paul Pierce Limited Jersey We’re required to remind you that these strong takes are SATIRE. Sorry, not sorry. All spelling errors are intentional, we think. — The editor.
Wellcome to the Monday Morning BM, just a word of warning your probably not prepared to handle the strong football takes and barrelfire NFL truths that you never knew your Mondays were missing. This column is written for and by a REAL fan of the NFL. Its designed to be read on your Monday Morning commode break after a long Sunday eating bad-for-you food and drinking beers. If you care more about SPELLING then you do about TELLING theres the door because this columns not for you.
Joe Vitale Game Jersey I mean we all knew it was going to come to this point right? Superstar young Wide Recever gets to big for his britches, scores an impressive touchdown, and injures himself doing a celebration dance. Beckham was apparently trying to pay homage to his injured buddy Victor Cruz, but maybe Beckham didn’t realize that Cruz celebrates by doing the salsa, not the Stupid Shuffle.
Finally, the Bengals mounted a 17-point comeback to beat the Seahawks at home in overtime. A clutch, fearless, dime-throwing Andy Dalton looks like a new man, ready to lead the Bengals deep into the playoffs.
Manning, obviously still hurting over losing the Heisman 18 years ago (jokingly) said after the game, “Took him 18 years (laughs). Probably offsets the two TDs I threw on him last year. Call it a wash.” Pretty good, Peyton.
As for the third player from that 1998 Draft class … this may have happened on Thursday, but the 187th overall pick that year, 40-year-old quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, helped lead his Colts to victory over the Texans. Not a bad little weekend for a trio of Ironmen.
Josh McCown is … uh, holy crap … really good?
The Giants return to the playoffs for the first time in five years, and it seems only appropriate their road goes through Green Bay. Two of their past three playoff appearances have included victories at Lambeau Field on their way to Super Bowl triumphs.
Game Mens Tug McGraw Jersey
Aside from quarterback Eli Manning, there aren’t many players left from those teams (two from 2007 and six from 2011). This is a much different group of Giants, led by a stingy defense that allowed the second-fewest points in the league this season.
The Giants are going to rely on that defense and hope Playoff Eli returns — after a bumpy regular season — for an extended postseason run. “Having a guy like Eli is exactly what you want,” wide receiver Victor Cruz said. “And exactly what you look for in a team that wants to make a deep run.”
“It just doesn’t happen,” one NFL personnel executive said of going 3-for-3 on top-of-the-line free agents. “It’s rare. The odds are strongly against it.”
They hit the trifecta and more. Linebackers Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard have also proved solid under-the-radar signings. Sheppard starts at middle linebacker and provides veteran leadership, and Robinson has remained healthy — his shoulder was a question heading into the year — and is an asset in pass coverage as the nickel linebacker.
All five moves can be considered successes, which shouldn’t be understated. Free agency is almost always a crapshoot.
The Giants came out of this one all right, and only one team gave up fewer points this season as a result.
“We had a lot of players and a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball. You have to give the personnel department, Jerry [Reese], a ton of credit for that,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “What we did, we hit the lottery in character and integrity. The guys fit together well and they enjoy seeing each other be successful. That’s a big reason why we’re playing great defense with them.”
Elite Youth Michael Bennett Jersey Harrison’s presence off the field can’t be understated. He was voted the Most Important Voice in the Locker Room by teammates in a recent ESPN poll.
Reifman, who teaches statistics at Texas Tech, has maintained a blog dedicated to sports streakiness called The Hot Hand since 2002. His book, also called The Hot Hand, examines the statistical and psychological aspects behind some of the most famous streaks in sports history. The book tries to “bridge the gap,” in his words, between the idea that streaks are based purely on ability and the idea that streaks are purely based on chance.
And as far as chance is concerned, the Blue Jackets’ streak seems pretty chancy.
That’s elite company, and KD’s shot-swatting prowess De’Vondre Campbell Authentic Jersey was on full display in early November when he recorded six blocks in a win over the Timberwolves.
KD has come a long way since he was tabbed the lanky, frail Joe Vitale Game Jersey kid out of Texas who could fill it up in a hurry. He’s gained 30 pounds since his rookie year, as the San Jose Mercury-News’ Anthony Slater pointed out, and has become much stronger, especially when it comes to post defense.
And now he’s gone. It’s the first day of a new year, and he is officially not in the organization (albeit still on the payroll). The DH spot is open in your projected lineups and you can fill it with any prospect or platoon masher or breakout waiver target you want. The roster has its 25th spot back, and now you can include an extra infielder or a third catcher instead of sinking a spot on a dedicated DH. The world is your oyster, as long as you’re OK with canned tuna instead of actual oysters. Still better than BBQ gristle, which is what we were eating before.
Several of Bill Belichick proteges have attempted to emulate his authoritative style elsewhere and failed. But Bill O’Brien is taking it a step further: He’s not merely trying to mimic Belichick; he’s trying to recreate the Patriots all together.
O’Brien will face off against Belichick for the first time Sunday night when New England visits Houston, but he’s not the only ex-Patriot who’s manning the Texans’ sideline. In total, five of the Texans’ coaches have direct ties to Belichick.
“We ran some passes from under center, which we hadn’t done in a while,” Rodgers said. “All of that kind of starts with the run game.”
The Packers are starting to pick up momentum after a rough middle of their season. They have won two straight after losing four of their previous five games, and now they are back in control of the NFC North. If the players can continue to execute and McCarthy can keep them on the right track, the Packers are one of the most dangerous playoff-bound teams.
The Dolphins are not technically out of the race for the postseason, but with four games to play, it’s not looking likely. They would need to win every game and benefit from a whole lot of unexpected losses from other teams in the final four weeks of the season.
Their remaining schedule isn’t the toughest, at least. The Giants are not considered top competition, and neither are the San Diego Chargers or Indianapolis Colts. But if winning out is the goal, Miami will certainly have its hands full with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Week 17. The Patriots dominated the Dolphins when they played in Week 8, winning 36-7.
But the Dolphins gave their support to Ryan Tannehill this offseason and he’ll be playing his hardest to try and play spoiler for the Giants and give Miami something to be excited about at the end of the season.