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Where top free agents should sign and how well they'll do
We're now within a month of the official opening of spring training, and we're still waiting for http://authenticpenguinsjersey.com/rob-scuderi-jersey_c-436.html the mechanic to come fix the decidedly lukewarm hot stove. Of Keith Law's top 50 free agents coming into the winter, 30 remain unsigned, including eight of the top 10 players.

Rather than bemoan this year's winter inaction, let's start placing some of these free agents in their best possible locations. These don't have legal force -- at least not until commissioner Rob Manfred lifts the restraining order and allows me to present my proposal to be named baseball's first philosopher/king -- so consider these simply exuberant suggestions.

There was a brief moment when this looked like it was a done deal, until the pitcher himself shot down and then mocked on social media the reports that he had come to an agreement with the Cubs. Still, it's hard to see many better fits. The team has lost Jake Arrieta from 2018, and ZiPS currently projects the team to have only the 10th-best rotation in baseball based on the current roster. With two of the usual suspects in Large Contract Signings, the Yankees and Dodgers, focused on getting under the salary cap, the Cubs might have a clearer field than usual to sign Darvish for big money and avoid a brutal bidding war.
I'm looking forward to right field. That's one place people can't pick on me, saying my defensive metrics are so bad," McCutchen said during a conference call Tuesday. "I know there's a McCutchen, the 2013 NL MVP, said he thinks he will be more comfortable leaving Pittsburgh to join a clubhouse that has many franchise faces -- that's what he was for so long, [url=http://www.cowboysofficialauthentic.com/WOMENS-KYLE-WILBER-JERSEY.html" target="_blank">http://www.cowboysofficialauthentic.com/WOMENS-KYLE-WILBER-JERSEY.html after all -- such as Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey. He joins new third baseman Evan Longoria, acquired from Tampa Bay last month.
Still, this will be a big move for a player beloved in Pittsburgh. McCutchen took the opportunity again Tuesday to thank the organization that selected him in the first round of the 2005 amateur draft for "having faith in me that I could be the player that they felt that I could be.""There are a lot of emotions that, of course, come along with McCutchen has played at least 153 games in each of the past three seasons, batting .279 with 28 home runs and 88 RBIs in 156 games last year. But he has not been an All-Star since 2015, when he was selected for the fifth straight season.He will join a new-look lineup that includes Longoria, and Bochy is counting on both players to be steady run producers."It's nice to have these two names to pencil in there," Bochy said.
McCutchen, 31, is entering the final season of a $51.5 million, six-year contract he signed in March 2012, a deal that turned into a bargain as he became a star and powered Pittsburgh's turnaround.While McCutchen said he initially disliked the idea of moving from center to right, because he still felt he
Dale Hawerchuk Jersey could amply do the job, he is eager for a new challenge.
"Now that I'm going into the Giants organization, this is something that they want [url=http://www.ramsofficialsonline.com/Kayvon_Webster_Jersey_Cheap" target="_blank">http://www.ramsofficialsonline.com/Kayvon_Webster_Jersey_Cheap me to do, I'm all for it. This is where I want to be," he said. "San Francisco is a very huge field, bigger than PNC Park. You've got Triples Alley. It's called Triples Alley for a reason, because it's big. ... For me it's another center field, I'm just moving over a little bit. I think I'll be running a lot. But if it's saving my legs a little bit so I can get some more stolen bases, I'm all game and I'm all down for it."San Francisco sent right-hander Kyle Crick, minor league outfielder Bryan Reynolds and $500,000 in international signing bonus allocation to Pittsburgh. The Pirates also will pay $2.5 million to the Giants to cover part of McCutchen's $14.75 million salary.Giants general manager Bobby Evans said he wasn't sure the deal would get done.
"As you know by ongoing headlines, this player has been kind of the apple of our eye in the offseason," said Brian Sabean, Giants executive vice president of baseball operations. "It was a dogged pursuit by Bobby and the baseball ops staff with Pittsburgh reciprocating on their end to try to make this trade happen. Lo and behold we were able to make the transaction." an Francisco will continue to pursue a center fielder, and Evans said, "We feel the options are still pretty large."
McCutchen will prepare for spring training next month in Scottsdale, http://www.jetsfootballofficialshop.com/Authentic-Demario-Davis-Jersey Arizona, and the chance to start fresh with a franchise that won World Series titles in 2010, '12 and '14. I'm just Brandon Doughty Youth jersey very happy to be a part of this organization, an organization who knows what winning is all about," he said. "I've seen it over the years, played against it for many years, been eliminated by it." cheap nfl jerseys usa cheap jerseys from china nba jerseys for sale wholesale nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale mlb jerseys wholesale wholesale jerseys usa cheap jerseys for sale
Working quietly behind the scenes
Jokes aside, the relationship Marrone has with Coughlin is significant because there certainly were http://www.officialpadrestore.com/Jered_Weaver_Jersey general manager Dave Caldwell reporting to Coughlin -- would work.There also was concern, from outside the building among some who knew and had worked with him before, that Coughlin wouldn't be Kevin Durant Womens Jersey able to resist coaching. He was a coach at the college or NFL level from 1969 to 2015, and one year working in the NFL office wasn't long enough to get that out of his system.

Would he avoid meddling? Would he be OK not being on the sideline on game day? Could he avoid constantly second-guessing? answer, it turns out, was yes. He's a coach at heart, and there’s nothing more that he'd love to do is being on the grass and on the sidelines, but he knows that's not his job right now," Boselli said. "That doesn't mean he might not give input, guidance, suggestions, but I would not term it as ever meddling.

"Knowing him, I believe he respects the coaching profession and the game of football too much to overstep any boundaries."Here's proof: Coughlin declined an http://www.carolinahurricanesofficialonline.com/Adidas-Jeff-Skinner-Jersey interview request from Jurkovic this week because the Jaguars are Marrone's team and Marrone should be the spokesman. Coughlin is content to work quietly behind the scenes Make no mistake, though, Coughlin's return is a big reason the Jaguars won their first division title since 1999 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2007. These guys have come together," former Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell said. "Everything's worked. In previous years, there were too many things that just didn't work. Leadership is critical. It starts at the top."
Tom Brady was limited in practice Wednesday because of a right hand injury, according to the team's participation report. He has been on and off the injury report this season -- for an Achilles and his left shoulder -- but this is the first time he has been on it for his throwing hand. According to a report from the Boston Herald, the injury occurred when one of Brady's teammates accidentally ran into him and jammed his hand. X-rays were taken but revealed no structural damage. Veteran backup Brian Hoyer is the Patriots' only other quarterback.
Meanwhile, right tackle LaAdrian Waddle, who started against the Titans in the divisional round, left because of a knee injury (sprain) in the second half and didn't return. That opened the door for Cameron Fleming to return to a starting role in a spot where the Patriots have been without No. 1 option Marcus Cannon since the middle of the season. In a week where protecting Brady will be critical against one of the NFL's best defenses, any changes along the offensive line bear watching. -- Mike Reiss
Wide receiver Adam Thielen missed practice Wednesday because of a low back injury he sustained in the divisional-round win over the Saints. There are rookies expected to have big first years, and there are surprises. There are first-round picks who seemed like sure things and the players who seemed to come out of nowhere. t started in Week 1 with Kareem Hunt fumbling his first carry for the Chiefs, then running all over the Patriots. It continued with the Pro Bowl-caliber play of New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore and the overall impressiveness of the Saints' [url=http://www.seahawkshopfootballofficial.com/WOMENS-BLAIR-WALSH-JERSEY.html" target="_blank">http://www.seahawkshopfootballofficial.com/WOMENS-BLAIR-WALSH-JERSEY.html rookie class. adden attempted to keep up with the changes as rookies emerged and excelled or struggled and stumbled. Now that the season is over, t
How he earned a top rating: Kamara emerged as a rushing/receiving threat for the Saints, one of the bright young stars of the NFL and a Pro Bowler. He finished sixth in the league in total scrimmage yards with 1,554 -- 728 rushing and 826 receiving -- and did so on http://www.official76ershop.com/authentic-8-jahlil-okafor-jersey.html at least 124 fewer carries than everyone above him. His http://aroofaboveus.org/blogs/post/67068
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Tom Coughlin put his stamp on Jaguars from moment he was hired
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jeff Lageman had no trouble identifying the exact moment the impact of Tom Coughlin's hiring was felt throughout the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise. t was just after word leaked in the facility that Coughlin had told owner Shad Khan that he would accept the offer to become the team's executive vice president of football operations. Lageman, a member of the Jaguars' broadcast team, remembers that there was an immediate and distinct change around EverBank Field.

"There were more puckered-up a--h---s in this building when he was hired than you could imagine," he said. "The moment he was hired, people were nervous, and rightly so. The sense of accountability that he brings is unbelievable. It's unparalleled because people know when he's in the building, the expectation and the accountability, it's maxed." hat, um, biological response to Coughlin's hiring aside, the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach has made a significant impact in the first year of his second tenure with the franchise. It might not be as obvious to those outside the organization, but it is to Coughlin's former players, several of whom are still around the franchise.

That includes Lageman. Before he became a broadcaster, he was a http://www.officialauthenticsteelershop.com/WOMENS-ROD-WOODSON-JERSEY.html player on Jacksonville's inaugural team in 1995, and he played three more seasons under the maniacally stern Coughlin, who demanded players not slouch or wear hats in meetings, instituted a strict dress code (even in the hotel lobby) and set the clocks in the facility ahead by five minutes (that's the case now).
Lageman noticed that people inside the Jaguars' facility began acting differently after Coughlin took over. Not just on the football side, either, but on the business side, such as the marketing and ticketing departments. Everybody. Everybody," Lageman said. "The way people dressed in the building changed. People weren't wearing that casual wear any more, wearing sweats and all that kind of stuff. All of a sudden, http://www.bruinsofficialauthenticshop.com/Ryan_Spooner_Jersey_Adidas or, if you prefer, the Godfather -- is watching, and he has a pair of Super Bowl rings.
Coughlin built the franchise from the beginning and took it to a pair of AFC Championship Games before he was fired after the 2002 season. That the Jaguars are in the conference title game in his first season back is no coincidence, said former Jaguars tackle Tony Boselli, the first draft pick in franchise history and now a member of the Jaguars' broadcast team. im coming back and his presence and what he means to the organization and then coming in, there's a weight with him," Boselli said. "There's a weight in a sense that when he's there, it changes everything. It intensifies the culture and brings more intensity to the organization in everything that is on the football side of the house."
That weight also creates an air of discomfort throughout the facility, which certainly is a change from the more laid-back atmosphere of the past decade. Coughlin believes that people should thrive in discomfort, said former Jaguars defensive lineman John Jurkovic, who played under Coughlin from 1996-98.
"The expectations are that you're going to find a way to produce, and if you're not willing to find a way to produce, you're going to have a problem," said Jurkovic, who cohosts an afternoon sports talk show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. "People being uncomfortable is a good thing. People having expectations put upon them is a healthy thing. Those people that don't look at that as a healthy thing, that's a problem. You have to root that out of there."
That's why Khan gave Coughlin final say over all football matters. Every football decision -- free agency, the draft, hiring, scouting, practices, player signings, trades -- falls at Coughlin's feet. That doesn't mean he's coming up with game plans or scheduling practices or deciding whether http://www.arizonacardinalsauthorizedstore.com/antoine-bethea-jersey-elite influence is everywhere in that organization," Boselli said. "There's no question who's in charge and who is responsible in putting their stamp on every decision that comes to football. I think everyone knows it -- players, coaches, the scouting department -- and I think that brings a higher sense of accountability.
"He might not be micromanaging every aspect of it, but if it's something he doesn't want to happen, it's not happening. Or if he wants it to happen, it's going to happen." oach Doug Marrone has embraced Coughlin's role as football czar. He views him as a mentor and an encyclopedia. Having someone who has won two Super Bowls and coached in the NFL for 20 years just one office away is an invaluable resource and has made him a better coach, Marrone said.
Coughlin's influence does, indirectly, reach what happens on the field. have learned a lot -- in practice, scheduling, dealing with players, dealing with issues. A to Z, really," Marrone said. "I wouldn't even have enough time to really talk about it. It didn't just start when he was here. It started back when Patrick Roy Womens Jersey I was at Syracuse and meeting with him. It has continually grown." e added that there isn't a day that goes by when he doesn't ask, "'Hey, Coach, can you take a look at this and tell me what you think of it?' Or, 'How do you feel about this?' Our communication level -- I talk to him more than I talk to my wife, right now, during the season. The offseason, I hope that doesn’t Nick Foles Authentic Jersey happen.” discount nfl jerseys jerseys from china nfl jerseys from china mlb authentic jerseys nfl jerseys cheap cheap jerseys free shipping cheap jerseys online
The Saints loaded up the strong side with
defenders on both second and third downs as the Vikings went with trips to the right side, and I'm not a defensive coordinator, but I can't Adrian Phillips Jersey understand why P.J. Williams is lurking in the flat three yards off the line of scrimmage on third-and-10. Williams serves no purpose on the play. If the Saints want him to prevent a quick out to set up an easier fourth-and-short, I don't get it; at that point of the game, they would happily take a fourth-and-5 with seven or eight seconds left on the clock.

You might think about the play in which Alabama won the College Football Playoff National Championship last week, where Georgia was in Cover 6 with a lone safety covering one half of the field on what ended up as the season-ending touchdown. That defensive call had an underneath cornerback who was supposed to disrupt and reroute receivers at the line of scrimmage before presumably staying responsible for the flat, but that was on second-and-26 in an untimed situation. Williams also wasn't near any receivers at the snap and didn't impact the play whatsoever. Ken Crawley was playing in an intermediate zone behind him and got caught ball-watching as Williams went for the football and subsequently took him out with his diving attempt. The Saints also had two linebackers waiting in the middle of the field at Authentic Jose Altuve Jersey the 50-yard line, another place where they should have happily allowed a completion.

It would have been nice for the Saints to have had a chance before the play to call timeout, rest their pass-rushers and establish what they wanted to do on defense heading into the most important defensive snap of the game up to that point. They were able to call a timeout before the previous play but couldn't repeat the move because Payton burned their first two timeouts with desperate challenge attempts in the fourth quarter. The Vikings kept all of their timeouts and were able to use them on defense to get the ball back after the Saints failed on third-and-1, which set up Wil Lutz's field goal and the subsequent drive from the Vikings.
The fourth quarter gave Vikings fans a moment they'll never forget while simultaneously taking years off their lives. It's also a place they don't want to go while trailing and needing Keenum to throw them back into the game. Keenum had one fourth-quarter comeback this season, and that came when http://www.cardinalsnflofficialonlineshop.com/Aq-Shipley-Jersey after a Mitchell Trubisky interception on which Keenum threw one pass before a game-winning field goal.
Just 9.4 percent of Keenum's passes this season came with the Vikings trailing in the fourth quarter, the second-lowest rate in the league and just narrowly ahead of Jared Goff, who also struggled while trying to lead the Rams back last week. Keenum posted the league's second-best Total QBR this season, but on his 45 dropbacks when trailing in http://www.authenticpittsburghpenguins.com/authentic-brian-dumoulin-jersey than four seasons -- and came up with a pair of fourth-and-short http://www.miamidolphinsauthorizedstore.com/kenny-stills-jersey-elite stops, but the Steelers came up with big play after big play to stay in the game. They converted fourth-and-11 for a touchdown before halftime. Later, Le'Veon Bell scored on a third-and-9 TD toss. Antonio Brown hauled in a 43-yard score on fourth-and-5. Three third-down conversions, including two third-and-10s, set up a Roethlisberger lateral to Bell for another score. Those weren't enough because the Jaguars' offense kept answering the bell.
Of course, Bortles has been surprising us all season. It looked like Bortles was on his way out after the Jags benched him during the preseason, only to hand the ball back after Chad Henne failed to impress. He alternated great games with abysmal performances the next week at times, throwing four touchdowns against a great Ravens pass defense in London before producing 140 passing yards in a loss to the Jets. Bortles followed the best three-game stretch of his career with one of his worst stretches as a pro. He wasn't even consistent from quarter to quarter on Sunday and still came up with big plays when Jacksonville needed them most.
How he earned a top rating: Foster fell in the draft because of questions about his character and injury history. As a rookie, none of that mattered. He finished as the No. 4 linebacker in the league, according to PFF, and had 72 tackles despite missing six games. Most of his jump came in http://www.officialraysshop.com/authentic-53-alex-cobb-jersey.html the last half of the season, as he had a 78 rating in Week 9 and finished at 86. His block-shedding was a big jump, as he started the year as a 77 and finished at an 87. His play recognition also improved from 71 to 84.
How he earned a top rating: When healthy, Garrett was as advertised coming into the league. It’s why his rating didn’t take that big of a jump -- he was in a good spot at launch. He missed five games because of injury and finished with a respectable 31 tackles, seven sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, and he saw his biggest gains in the last three weeks, when his real-life play began to pick up too. His play recognition improved from 70 to 76, which helped the overall rating bump. He didn't have the big leap others did in part because of his start and in part because of his play, for which PFF rated him the No. 12 edge rusher. hockey jerseys cheap mlb jerseys china nhl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys nike discount jerseys basketball jerseys for sale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale
Sarkisian's playcalls on the final series also
came in for plenty of criticism. A first-down fade to Julio Jones failed. On second down, he called for a shovel pass to Terron Ward, who didn't seem ready for the ball. Third down was a slant to http://www.raidersfootballprostore.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_WILLIE_BROWN_JERSEY.html Jones short of the end zone, before fourth down saw the Falcons Womens Zach Fulton Jersey motion fullback Derrick Coleman out as a wide receiver before running a sprint-out for Jones, who slipped and never got open on a play the Eagles saw coming as the Falcons broke the huddle.

The playcalls certainly didn't work, but http://www.authenticnewyorkmetsshop.com/Michael-Conforto-Jersey of what they considered to be an antiquated Kubiak offense when he was pushed out in Houston. And after Kubiak ranked ninth in offensive DVOA during his lone season in Baltimore, his offenses ranked 25th and 28th in two seasons with the Broncos. Darrell Bevell was just fired so the Seahawks could hire Schottenheimer. Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo was 27th in DVOA during his lone season as an offensive coordinator with the Browns in 2015. This just isn't a great market for offensive minds.
Consider the Eagles, who were one of seven teams to hire a head coach during the 2016 offseason. Each of those seven teams hired an offense-minded coach. Two of those other six -- Chip Kelly and Ben McAdoo -- are already out of their jobs. Dirk Koetter and Mike Mularkey nearly lost their jobs this year. Adam Gase saw his team fall apart in what was supposed to be a big year. Hue Jackson has gone 1-31. Pederson pretty clearly has been the most successful hire of the bunch, and now, both he and his backup quarterback are one game from the Super Bowl.
When the Vikings desperately needed a big play on offense, it didn't seem like they had it in them. Both Keenum and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur have had breakout seasons in 2017, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see them both making a lot more money in bigger roles together somewhere else next season.
After the Saints went up 21-20 in the fourth quarter and Keenum needed to march the Vikings downfield, though, he and his offensive coordinator had few answers. On their first drive, Keenum looked frazzled and came up with one big play, a 24-yard duck to Adam Thielen that saw the star receiver draw two flags on Michael Strahan Youth jersey star corner Marshon Lattimore and still come up with a circus catch. The Vikings gained 5 more yards before Kai Forbath kicked a 53-yard field goal to take the lead. wholesale nfl jerseys nike baseball jerseys for sale cheap jerseys free shipping cheap nfl jerseys nike nfl jerseys from china
Nowhere was that clearer than the second
quarter, when the Patriots appeared to go three-and-out deep in their own territory after http://www.officialislandershop.com/authentic-2-nick-leddy-jersey.html a strong third-down bull rush from Derrick Morgan got in Brady's face and forced an early throw to a covered James White. The Titans' defense marched off the field, only to be brought back on after a neutral zone infraction on the ensuing punt attempt gave the Patriots a first down. Tennessee pressured Brady only once more on the ensuing 14 plays of the drive, with Brian Orakpo forcing a red zone incompletion before Brady threw a touchdown pass on the next play. Chris Hogan scored to put the Patriots up 21-7, and the Titans never seriously threatened the rest of the way.

This is not a new story. Look through New England's playoff losses and the pressure trend is clear. The Giants' front four ate the Patriots up in 2007 and 2011. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware dominated as part of a 17-knockdown day in 2015. The Jets sacked Brady five times in 2010. An early Terrell Suggs strip-sack gave the Ravens a 14-point lead in 2009. Even in their Super Bowl wins, pressure has defined the game. The Pats launched their comeback against Seattle after Cliff Avril left with a concussion. Last Derek Roy Authentic Jersey year, Grady Jarrett and the Falcons' pass rush shut down the Patriots before Authentic A.J. Klein Jersey they collapsed under a near-record 93 snaps and failed to bother Brady in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Quite frankly, if you're an AFC team, your first priority after finding a quarterback needs to be developing a deep, effective pass rush, because you're going to have to go through the Patriots if you want to make the Super Bowl. You can't afford to settle for a decent unit and even just one superstar, because we saw Khalil Mack and Von Miller talk about wanting to produce 30-sack seasons before the year, only to combine for 20.5 sacks on defenses that each took a step backward.
ll of this makes New England's opponents on Sunday even more fascinating. The Jaguars finished the season second in pressure rate (33.3 percent) despite blitzing just 17.8 percent of the time, the lowest rate in football. Getting pressure with their front four is how the Giants beat the Patriots twice, and the Jaguars have the horses to ruin Brady's day without needing to send a fifth man after the opposing quarterback. With A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, the Jags also have a pair of cornerbacks who can line up anywhere on defense and hold their own in man coverage.
Naturally, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels will adapt their game plan, something they do as well as anyone in football. They won't have as many of the unexpected wrinkles as they did Saturday, when they fooled the Titans by playing off their own season-long tendencies and threw a shovel pass to White for a touchdown and blocked up Tennessee's cross-dog blitz near the goal http://www.authenticoilersshoponline.com/authentic-7-paul-coffey-jersey.html Lewis, trusting that they're better than Myles Jack, Telvin Smith and Jacksonville's safeties. Maybe they'll go back to the no-huddle that flummoxed Tennessee and try to tucker out Jacksonville's front four. We know Belichick will have a plan, and we know Brady is capable of executing it. What matters is whether the opposing defense manages to disrupt the league's longest-running symphony.
As we evaluate Bortles and other quarterbacks, we have to remember that developing passers don't have the same growth curve and don't have static levels of talent. It's so tempting and simple to put signal-callers on the pass/fail system, where they're either no-doubt franchise quarterbacks or passers who don't have a prayer of ever winning a Super Bowl. There are a few guys who are going to be the best player on the field every week and a whole bunch of quarterbacks who should inspire no hope, but the vast majority of them are somewhere in the middle, and the combination of context and sheer variance changes how they look from week to week or season to season.
A bunch of those guys -- Joe Flacco, Eli Manning and end-of-career Peyton Manning come to mind -- have won Super Bowls in recent years. In many cases, they just got hot at the right time. Flacco threw 11 touchdowns without an interception over a four-game stretch during the 2012 postseason and hasn't posted a single four-game run with 11 touchdowns or zero interceptions in 71 ensuing tries. Eli went 8-0 during his two Super Bowl runs and hasn't won a playoff game otherwise. The phrase "This quarterback is good enough to win a Super Bowl" should be launched into outer space like a bad pass. Three or four great games might be enough, and you might not see them coming.
It's easy to look at Bortles and http://www.officialjazzshoponline.com/Jonas_Jerebko_Jersey had more success with a better quarterback, given that the bomb Pederson dialed up on the very first play from scrimmage would have gone for a touchdown with a quarterback who either had a better arm or didn't lose his footing. Foles' duck resulted in a long pass interference call that the Eagles wasted on a subsequent Jay Ajayi fumble, but the right idea was there from a schematic perspective.
As teams with a bye should, the Eagles also mixed in things the Falcons hadn't seen before -- or, at the very least, since high school. After getting the speedy, young Falcons to flow to the play side, Pederson dialed up something out of the single-wing to get Nelson Agholor free on a counter http://www.chiefsofficialsauthentic.com/CHIEFS-LAURENT-DUVERNAYTARDIF-JERSEY for a crucial 23-yard run on third-and-3. As underdogs, they played like a team that needed to take risks, going for it on fourth-and-1 at the end of the same drive and scoring their only touchdown on a LeGarrette Blount plunge.

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Consider the Eagles, who were one of seven teams
to hire a head coach during the 2016 offseason. Each of those seven teams hired an offense-minded coach. Two of those other six -- Chip Kelly and Ben McAdoo -- are already out of their jobs. Dirk Koetter and Mike Mularkey nearly lost their jobs this year. Adam Gase saw his team fall apart in what was supposed to be a big year. Hue Jackson has gone 1-31. Pederson pretty clearly has been the most successful hire of the bunch, and now, both he and his backup quarterback are one game from http://www.officialmagicstoreonline.com/Terrence_Ross_Jersey the Super Bowl.

When the Vikings desperately needed a big play on offense, it didn't seem like they had it in them. Both Keenum and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur have had breakout seasons in 2017, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see them both making a lot more money in bigger roles together somewhere else next season.
After the Saints went up 21-20 in the fourth quarter and Keenum needed to march the Vikings downfield, though, he and his offensive coordinator had few answers. On their first drive, Keenum looked frazzled and came up with one big play, a 24-yard duck to Adam Thielen that saw the star receiver draw two flags on star corner Marshon Lattimore and still come up with a circus catch. The Vikings gained 5 more yards before Kai Forbath kicked a 53-yard field goal to take the lead.
The Saints subsequently drove and took the lead, and you know what happened next. Keenum hit Stefon Diggs on a dig route for 19 yards, which the Saints were likely happy to give away given that it kept the Vikings inbounds and forced them to use their last timeout. Keenum's next two passes were incomplete, and you already know what happened on third down. The former Houston star made a good throw to the sideline, only for Diggs to elude a bizarrely bad tackle attempt from Marcus Williams and turn upfield for one of the most incredible plays in playoff history.
Let's talk about what happened, although I wouldn't fault Saints fans for looking away. Obviously, Williams deserves some of the blame, although it's not incomprehensible. His tackle attempt was designed to get underneath Diggs and flip him over, which would have brought the Vikings receiver down inbounds with five seconds left and no timeouts, ending the game. If Williams played it more conservatively and allowed Diggs to catch the ball before pushing him out of bounds, Diggs would likely have gone out of bounds around the 33-yard http://www.buccaneersofficialauthentics.com/Authentic-Ryan-Smith-Jersey but how Allen employed the rest of his defense is befuddling.
The Saints loaded up the strong side with defenders on both second and third downs as the Vikings went with trips to the right side, and I'm not a defensive coordinator, but I can't understand why P.J. Williams is lurking in the flat three yards off the line of scrimmage on third-and-10. Williams serves no purpose on the play. If the Saints want him to prevent a quick out to set up an easier fourth-and-short, I don't get it; at that point of the game, they would happily take a fourth-and-5 with seven or eight seconds left on the clock.
You might think about the play in which Alabama won the College Football Playoff National Championship last week, where Georgia was in Cover 6 with a lone safety covering one half of the field on what ended up as the season-ending touchdown. That defensive call had an underneath cornerback who was supposed to disrupt and reroute receivers at the line of scrimmage before presumably staying responsible for the flat, but that was on second-and-26 in an untimed situation. Williams also wasn't near any receivers at the snap and didn't impact the play whatsoever. Ken Crawley was playing in an intermediate zone behind him and got caught ball-watching as Williams went for the football and subsequently took him out with his diving attempt. The Saints also had two linebackers waiting in the middle of the field at the 50-yard line, another place where they should have happily allowed a completion.
It would have been nice for the Saints to have had a chance before the play to call timeout, rest their pass-rushers and establish what they wanted to do on defense heading into the most important defensive snap of the game up to that point. They were able to call a timeout before the previous play but couldn't repeat the move because Payton burned their first two timeouts with desperate challenge attempts in the fourth quarter. The Vikings kept all of their timeouts and were able to use them on defense to get the ball back after the Saints failed on third-and-1, which set up Wil Lutz's field goal and the subsequent drive from the Vikings.
The fourth quarter gave Vikings fans a moment they'll never forget while simultaneously taking years off their lives. It's also a place they don't want to go while trailing and needing Keenum to throw them back into the game. Keenum had one fourth-quarter comeback this season, and that came when he threw a touchdown pass on the opening play of the fourth quarter to put the Vikings up 14-9 on the Falcons. His three game-winning drives included that Falcons drive and a short field after a Mitchell Trubisky interception on which Keenum threw one pass before a game-winning field goal.
Just 9.4 percent of Keenum's passes this season came with the Vikings trailing in the fourth quarter, the second-lowest rate in the league and just narrowly ahead of Jared Goff, who also struggled while trying to lead the Rams back last week. Keenum posted the league's second-best Total QBR http://brooklynne.net/forum/topics/tigers-solid-now-bullpen-remain-the-cracks-in-foundation
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Instead, they might totally transform the playbook
The Patriots could follow their philosophy against the Andrew Luck-led Colts teams and go bigger while leaning heavily on the run against a Jacksonville run defense that ranked 26th by DVOA. Maybe they'll avoid the cornerbacks and focus on Gronk, White and Dion Lewis, trusting that they're better than Myles Jack, Telvin Smith and Jacksonville's safeties. Maybe they'll go back to the no-huddle that flummoxed Tennessee and try to tucker out Jacksonville's front four. We know Belichick will have a plan, and we know Brady is capable of executing it. What matters is whether the opposing defense manages to disrupt the league's longest-running symphony.

From Weeks 13-15, as I Kevin Klein Youth jersey his three subsequent games, Bortles was 30th in passer rating (62.3) and 18th in QBR (44.9), with most of the latter owing to his work as a scrambler in the wild-card win over the Bills. The Jaguars narrowly beat Buffalo, but Bortles looked bereft of confidence, and they looked badly overmatched on offense for their game to come with the Steelers.<br>And then, on Sunday, Bortles was a genuine threat again. He got off to a hot start, completing his first three passes for 53 yards with touch on a drive that ended with Jacksonville's second fourth-and-goal touchdown in two weeks. Bortles struggled for most of the two subsequent quarters, but he came alive again in the fourth quarter. The former third overall pick hit Keelan Cole on a 45-yard bomb to set up one touchdown before a well-designed play-fake set up fullback Tommy Bohanon for a second score. On Jacksonville's final two drives, Bortles went 5-of-6 for 118 yards with two game-sealing touchdown passes, going drive-for-drive with a future Hall of Famer in Ben Roethlisberger.<br>As much as Bortles has been in positive situations this year by virtue of his defense, the Jaguars needed the 35 points their offense scored to win on Sunday. Jacksonville forced another defensive touchdown -- something it has done three times in two games against the Steelers this season when no other team has scored one in more than four seasons -- and came up with a pair of fourth-and-short stops, but the Steelers came up with big play after big play to stay in the game. They converted fourth-and-11 for a touchdown before halftime. Later, Le'Veon Bell scored on a third-and-9 TD toss. Antonio Brown hauled in a 43-yard score on fourth-and-5. Three third-down conversions, including two third-and-10s, set up a Roethlisberger lateral to Bell for another score. Those weren't enough because the Jaguars' offense [url=http://www.patriotsofficialsprostore.com/Shea-Mcclellin-Jersey" target="_blank">http://www.patriotsofficialsprostore.com/Shea-Mcclellin-Jersey kept answering the bell.
Of course, Bortles has been surprising us all season. It looked like Bortles was on his way out after the Jags benched him during the preseason, only to hand the ball back after Chad Henne failed to impress. He alternated great games with abysmal performances the next week at times, throwing four touchdowns against a great Ravens pass defense in London before producing 140 passing yards in a loss to the Jets. Bortles followed the best three-game stretch of his career with one of his worst stretches as a pro. He wasn't even consistent from quarter to quarter on Sunday and still came up with big plays when Jacksonville needed them most.
As we evaluate Bortles and other quarterbacks, we have to remember that developing passers don't have the same growth curve and don't have static levels of talent. It's so tempting and simple to put signal-callers on the pass/fail system, where they're either no-doubt franchise quarterbacks or passers who don't have a prayer of ever winning a Super Bowl. There are a few guys who are going to be the best player on the field every week and a whole bunch of quarterbacks who should inspire no hope, but the vast majority of them are somewhere in the middle, and the combination of context and sheer variance changes how they look from week to week or season to season.
A bunch of those guys -- Joe Flacco, Eli Manning and end-of-career Peyton Manning come to mind -- have won Super Bowls in recent years. In many cases, they just got hot at the right time. Flacco threw 11 touchdowns without an interception over a four-game stretch during the 2012 postseason and hasn't posted a single four-game run with 11 touchdowns or zero interceptions in 71 ensuing tries. Eli went 8-0 during his two Super Bowl runs and hasn't won a playoff game otherwise. The phrase "This quarterback is good enough to win a Super Bowl" should be launched into outer space like a bad pass. Three or four great games might be enough, and you might not see them coming.
It's easy to look at Bortles and assume he'll turn into a pumpkin against the Patriots in Foxborough on Sunday, and indeed, he very well might. It's also fair to remember that Flacco has twice won in the postseason in Foxborough, and might have four wins with slightly better luck. Mark Sanchez won a playoff game in New England. Their respective defenses deserved a huge amount of credit for those wins, but what do you think http://www.brownsfootballofficialprostore.com/gary-barnidge-jersey_c-406.html Bortles is bringing with him to town next weekend?
Suggesting that coaching plays a big role in winning football games isn't exactly some newfangled secret, but we often underestimate just how much it really matters in thinking about matchups before a game. Foles wasn't very good on Saturday night, especially during a rough start for the Eagles' offense. It's a small miracle that Foles didn't throw an interception to Keanu Neal, who had the ball bounce off him and to Torrey Smith, which became the biggest play on what ended up becoming a critical field goal just before halftime.
Thanks to a smart game plan and a coaching staff that adapted as the game went along, though, Doug Pederson & Co. moved on. Faced with a speedy, undersized defense capable of giving his struggling quarterback fits, Pederson leaned heavily on a power running game that relied more http://facebookhitlist.com/forum/topics/why-colin-kaepernick-makes-sense-for-the-seahawks
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Lessons of an impossible QB final four in 2017 NFL playoffs
Brady. Bortles. Foles. Keenum. If you had those guys in your quarterback final four before the season, congratulations on successfully traveling back in time to this entertainingly weird season of football. This was the weekend when a quarterback crop with four former league MVPs and/or future Hall of Famers could have knocked four neophytes out of the water, but the passers with the combined career playoff record of 49-27 lost three of four to the quarterbacks who came into the divisional round with one playoff start before this year.

It's too simplistic to use those three wins as the basis for a trend piece on how the league has changed. Two of those wins came down to the final play. If Julio Jones doesn't slip and Marcus Williams doesn't duck, the story might be about how veteran quarterbacks and experience are what wins close games in the postseason.
Instead, the reality is that we ended up with three games that were each close enough to be decided or put out of reach by one play. That in itself is the story of 2017, even if it won't be the story of 2018 and beyond. There are lessons to be learned from each of the quarterbacks who have made it to the final four, even if we couldn't possibly have predicted their rise before this season started. et's run through those lessons and talk about what happened during the divisional round, starting with the story you already knew:
The story is true for everyone, but it holds especially true for teams facing one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL: If you don't get pass pressure on Brady, you simply aren't going to win. The Titans weren't able to sack Brady once on 53 pass attempts Saturday night, and they were quickly dispatched by the Super Bowl favorites. Since the 2007 season, when the Giants handed Brady his most notable playoff loss with a five-sack performance in Super Bowl XLII, teams that haven't been able to manufacture a pass rush against Brady have withered:
Nowhere was that clearer than the second quarter, when the Patriots appeared to go three-and-out deep in their own territory after a strong third-down bull rush from Derrick Morgan http://www.officialflyersteamonline.com/Claude_Giroux_Jersey to man up against New England's bevy of running backs and tight ends. Dick LeBeau started the game with All-Pro safety Kevin Byard on Rob Gronkowski, and when that didn't work, he moved Byard back into center field and swapped in Johnathan http://www.authenticpittsburghpenguins.com/authentic-evgeni-malkin-jersey Cyprien and a series of inside linebackers. That also didn't work, which led to Byard returning, only for Gronk to beat him for a first down and then a subsequent touchdown. Imagine what teams without a first-team All-Pro at safety are supposed to do.
All of this makes New England's opponents on Sunday even more fascinating. The Jaguars finished the season second in pressure rate (33.3 percent) despite blitzing just 17.8 percent of the time, the lowest rate in football. Getting pressure with their front four is how the Giants beat the Patriots twice, and the Jaguars have the horses to ruin Brady's day without needing to send a Joel Embiid Youth jersey fifth man after the opposing quarterback. With A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, the Jags also have a pair of cornerbacks who can line up anywhere on defense and hold their own in man coverage.
Naturally, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels will adapt their game plan, something they do as well as anyone in football. They won't have as many of the unexpected wrinkles as they did Saturday, when they fooled the Titans by playing off their own season-long tendencies and threw a shovel pass to White for a touchdown and blocked up Tennessee's cross-dog blitz near the goal line for another easy score. cheap nfl jerseys paypal nba basketball jerseys nba basketball jerseys wholesale nba jerseys
How do teams value leadership on the free-agent market
Jason Heyward knows first-hand that teams are much more likely to pay for defense than they would http://www.raidersnflofficialproshop.com/YOUTH+RONNIE+LOTT+JERSEY in pitchers, for spin rate.

When the Astros invested a two-year deal in Charlie Morton last winter after his sluggish performance in 2016, one of his first questions to them was: Why? He gave the answer himself with the closing performance in Game 7 of the World Series, when he overpowered the Dodgers. But there is an increasingly long list of once-valued statistics and perceived skills that front offices don’t pay for anymore. Jason Heyward knows first-hand that teams are much more likely to pay for defense than they would have been 15 or 20 years ago, having pulled an eight-year, $184 million deal from the Cubs mainly because of how he covers outfield. Teams will pay for on-base percentage, for swing-and-miss stuff in pitchers, for spin rate.
When the Astros invested a two-year deal in Charlie Morton last winter after his sluggish performance in 2016, one of his first questions to them was: Why? He gave the answer himself with the closing performance in Game 7 of the World Series, when he overpowered the Dodgers. But there is an increasingly long list of once-valued statistics and perceived skills that front offices don’t pay for anymore.
But as one evaluator said, timing means everything in a situation like that. If the Cubs added a David Ross-type player now, 15 months after winning the World Series, that type of voice might be heard differently. Contreras is established http://www.officialauthenticredskinsstore.com/womens_sua_cravens_jersey as an everyday catcher; Rizzo is 28, Bryant has two full years in the big leagues. Ross’s impact as a leader was tempered or shaped entirely by the players around him.
The Indians loved Mike Napoli’s clubhouse influence during the 2016 season and credited him for changing their baserunning awareness and aggressiveness, and he hit 34 homers. But when he wanted a two-year deal and the Indians only wanted to give him one in a market flush with first basemen, Cleveland moved on and gave Edwin Encarnacion a three-year, $60 million contract -- and had the American League’s best record.
Last winter, the Astros added Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann to their clubhouse partly because they wanted their experience to help guide a team. They wanted McCann’s input and preparation with the pitchers, and they wanted Beltran to help hitters prepare and observe tendencies. By all accounts, Beltran and McCann could not have been more generous in the Astros’ journey to the championship. The wisdom they shared will be carried forward by Carlos Correa, George Springer and others.
But Beltran struggled in what would turn out to be his final season, batting .231 and losing the role of everyday DH during the postseason. As great as his leadership was in 2017, if Beltran had continued his career, the Astros probably would not have been clamoring to retain him, and certainly not at the $16 million salary for which he played last year.
Major League Baseball and the Players Association met Thursday to discuss details of the forthcoming pace-of-play rule changes -- and it’s a good sign that the two sides are talking. MLB has not set a hard deadline for an agreement on pace of play rules, but the simple fact is that at some point within the next month, the situation needs to be settled -- not only with the Players Association, but also with the umpires’ union -- and the new guidelines need to be written, presented to team officials and to the players, prepared for use in exhibition http://www.panthersfootballprostore.com/jj-jansen-jersey-for-sale-c-24.html ultimate negotiating hammer in these conversations: Through a four decades-old clause written into the collective bargaining agreement, it can unilaterally impose whatever rules it wants. And if there is no progress in talks, that is what will happen, with the implementation of a 20-second clock and a limit on mound meetings, at the very least.
But MLB’s leverage also means that the union leadership has absolutely nothing to lose in aggressively trading ideas, in spitballing concepts, in attempting some horse-trading. Because the leverage that the union does have in this situation is in the public relations of the implementation. MLB doesn’t want spring training filled with daily stories of players complaining about the pitch clock and MLB suits affecting their ability to play the game, and if the players’ union reached an agreement, the path through the change would be smoother with less griping. And MLB would probably be willing to offer some concessions for that universal peace. The union could ask for a 26th man for rosters, which would mean 30 more jobs for their union, and 5,580 additional days of service time. Maybe MLB would agree to this or some other proposal; maybe not. But nobody will know for sure without talking, and the meetings last week were the first substantive discussions on the issue since last August. Having the conversations costs the union nothing; having the conversations could lead to something.
• The San Francisco Giants' farm system has been in a state of disrepair in recent years and Womens Robbie Ray Jersey it has often left them at a competitive disadvantage in trade talks, with an inability to counter offers made by rivals. So the logic behind their new prospect religion is reasonable: They have made it clear that they would prefer to pass on any free agent who is attached to draft pick compensation because they’d like to retain their selections in the 2018 draft -- most notably their second-round pick, No. 42 overall, which would be included in the cost if they signed center fielder Lorenzo Cain or third baseman Mike Moustakas, free agents who seemingly would have fit needs at the outset of this offseason. cheap nba jerseys cheap jerseys free shipping cheap mlb jerseys cheap jerseys paypal cheap jerseys online mlb jerseys wholesale
As he passed by Keenum's locker in the far corner
Eller was asked if this magical finish helped compensate for some of the lingering heartbreak. "It's all their own thing," Eller said as he pointed to the current players. "These guys worked really hard for it. It's all for them."

It's all for Mike Zimmer, too. Zimmer had an extended run of postseason misery as an NFL assistant, and in 2015, he watched Blair Walsh miss a chip-shot field goal against Seattle to ruin his first playoff game as the Vikings' head coach. In other words, Zimmer needed this one. He needed someone to keep alive the Vikings' They can talk about this Sunday evening stunner at the expense of Brees and the Saints instead. Keenum admitted afterward that he was "looking for people to hug" on the field, and if the Valvano comparison was a little lost on him, there was a good reason for it: He was born five years after Jimmy V's North Carolina State Wolfpack upset the heavily favored Houston Cougars to win the 1983 national title and to send Valvano scrambling around the court.
Kimberly said she has seen
Authentic Coby Fleener Jersey the Valvano clip more than once and thought the comparison was appropriate. "I've never seen Case that excited ever, and it was special to watch," she said. "He was beside himself." As soon as Keenum came up for air, he called his wife's cell. They laughed some and cried some and tried to make sense of this childhood dream that had just hit Case like two tons of bricks.
"I think we were both still in shock when we talked," Kimberly said. "But it was pure joy too. Football and sports [url=http://www.authenticpittsburghpiratesshop.com/Gerrit-Cole-Jersey" target="_blank">http://www.authenticpittsburghpiratesshop.com/Gerrit-Cole-Jersey and competing are everything to him, and he loves the moment. This will just continue to fuel the fire in him to become a better quarterback." Keenum just beat an all-timer and reminded everyone watching that the Vikings have a hell of a quarterback to complement their fierce defense. Maybe Minnesota is the only team left in the field with a real shot at beating the New England Patriots. Maybe this remarkable finish will help carry the Vikings past Philadelphia in the NFC Championship Game and give them a home-field advantage that will be too much for even Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to overcome.
But Sunday night wasn't the time to http://www.officialsfootballseahawks.com/Authentic-Germain-Ifedi-Jersey weigh future matchups in football's final four. It was a time to savor the unpredictable beauty of sports, and the wing and a prayer that just made Vikings-Saints an event no witness will ever forget. Mitchell was in the locker room, sitting in full uniform, head in his hands, weeping openly. He sat there for a full 30 minutes, shoulders shuddering as teammates and coaches worked to console him. Around him, Steeler players dressed, gave interviews and headed out into uncertain future that had come far sooner than any of them could have imagined.“Really disheartening,” said star wideout Antonio Brown, a powerful wizard who caught seven passes for 132 yards and two incredible touchdowns on a bad calf but still couldn’t will his team to victory. “It was right there. We had all our goals in front of us, everything we desired to do. No http://www.authenticbaltimoreoriolesshop.com/Kevin-Gausman-Jersey Joshua Dobbs develops. Roethlisberger seems to talk about retirement every year (except, apparently, this one), but he’ll only be 36 when next season starts, and he just threw for 469 yards and five touchdowns in a playoff game against a historically great pass defense. Woeful Week 5 assertions to the contrary, he’s still got it. nhl jerseys cheap cheap jerseys usa nfl jerseys cheap nhl hockey jerseys baseball jerseys wholesale jerseys nfl
Case Keenum, Vikings get the magic moment they've waited for
MINNEAPOLIS -- Case Keenum locked eyes with his wife, Kimberly -- his high school sweetheart from Abilene, Texas -- in the crowd, and neither could process what had just happened. Nobody could process what had just happened. Keenum waved at Kimberly with both arms, and she waved back, and then the quarterback who had just made one of the more stunning plays in NFL history lost himself again in the madness unfolding around him.

Keenum had grabbed his helmet with both hands and mouthed the words, "Oh my god." He had flipped off his helmet while doing a jig, scrambled like Jimmy Valvano for someone to hug and then searched the U.S. Bank Stadium stands for his wife. He wanted to share a fleeting moment with the one person who had lived every step of this near-impossible journey with him. Laurie Boschman Youth jersey After Keenum completed a 61-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs on the final play of the Minnesota Vikings' epic 29-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints, Kimberly's two brothers and a friend, who were sitting with her, turned to her with looks on their faces she'd never before seen. "Their jaws were on the floor," she said outside the Vikings' locker room as she waited to see her husband.

America's jaw was on the floor. You can follow football and talk about it and write about it for a long, long time before you'll see another ending quite like the one in Minneapolis. An undrafted quarterback took the snap with 10 seconds left and heaved the ball to a fifth-round receiver who managed to Her husband, lucky No. 7, made the state of Minnesota whole on this night, her husband and Stefon Diggs. Kimberly thought the Vikings might've had an outside shot at attempting a long-distance field goal with one more completion, but she knew the deal. Things looked grim. The Vikings held a 17-0 lead Womens Chuck Foreman Jersey deep into the third quarter, and sure enough, they were going to [url=http://www.winnipegjetsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Dale-Hawerchuk-Jersey" target="_blank">http://www.winnipegjetsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Dale-Hawerchuk-Jersey blow another season. With Keenum scheduled to become a free agent, this shotgun snap from his own 39-yard line could have signaled the end of his charmed one-year run.
Kimberly was thinking some dark football thoughts before she caught herself in the seconds before that final play. "I believe in Case, always," she said. "And I actually did think that. I stopped and said, 'If the ball is in his hands, I know he can do something great with it.'" Keenum did something with the ball they'll remember forever in these parts, whether he's the Vikings' quarterback next fall or not. In the huddle, he called the play known as "Seven Heaven," and then he told his receivers: "I'm going to give somebody a chance."
It's all Keenum ever wanted as a Texas high school star with just one Division I scholarship offer, from the University of Houston. It's all he ever wanted as major college football's most prolific all-time passer, and as an undrafted signee of the Houston Texans. It's all he ever wanted when he bounced between the Texans and the Rams before landing in Minnesota on a one-year deal for $2 million plus incentives. Someone to give him a chance.
Keenum had thrown a brutal interception late in the third quarter to put the Saints right back in the ballgame, and he immediately answered it with a beautiful, statement-making pass to Jarius Wright for 27 yards on a drive that ended with a field goal. Drew Brees then seized an opportunity after a blocked Minnesota punt to throw his third touchdown pass, leaving the Vikings trailing by a point with just over three minutes to play.
"Well, Case Keenum," three-time Super Bowl champ Troy Aikman said on the Fox broadcast, "this is what you've been living for." Keenum drove his team down the field for the go-ahead field goal, then was right back in the same situation after Brees did the same. The Vikings had http://www.ravenshopfootballofficial.com/JIMMY-SMITH-JERSEY-CHEAP.html 25 seconds and one timeout to play with from their own 25, and Keenum followed up a false-start penalty with a 19-yard pass that at least gave Minnesota a shot at a miracle.
The rest was pure lunacy. Diggs had to rise high to make the catch, and the Saints' rookie safety Marcus Williams had to lower his head and make a rookie mistake. A season-killing mistake. Williams needed to allow Diggs to gather the ball, then wrap him up, keep him in bounds and let the clock expire before Minnesota could attempt a field goal. But these things are always easier explained from a living room couch, while eating chips and dip, than they are executed in real time in an NFL game moving at warp speed. The poor kid will have to live with his http://www.officialoriolestore.com/Darren_Oday_Jersey whiff on the tackle just like Bill Buckner has had to live with his whiff on Mookie Wilson's grounder in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series that set up the New York Mets' eventual championship win.
The scene afterward was worthy of the indelible play. Diggs fired his helmet into the air and ended up under a pile of extra-large bodies that crushed him and nearly left him passed out. Keenum hopped around like he'd lost his mind because, you know, he surely had. "I couldn't believe what was happening," he said. "I really couldn't."In the locker room, 75-year-old Hall of Famer Carl Eller made his way from locker to locker, congratulating players and all but shouting with glee. Eller was wearing what looked like a varsity jacket graced by the words "Purple People Eaters" -- the name of the famed defensive front that helped carry the Vikings to four Super Bowls. Four Super Bowls they would lose.

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