From Ian Rapoport:
#Vikings WR Adam Thielen did not participate in practice today because of a low back injury. He was present watching.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 17, 2018
Hmm, probably not much there, but we’ll see what happens. Julio Jones was also limited in practice leading up to last weekend’s game and he snagged 9 balls for 109 yards. Thielen is Minnesota’s leading receiver, with more than 1,200 yards in 2017.
There’s also this:
#Patriots QB Tom Brady was limited during practice today with a right-hand injury. Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee were limited.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 17, 2018
Brady’s press conference was cancelled as he met with his medical staff.
Let’s hope he doesn’t have a bum hand when the Patriots play Jacksonville this weekend.
Actually, no, let’s hope he does.
Don’t expect a ton of great quotes to come out of the NovaCare Complex this week. The Eagles are gonna “go about their business” and treat the NFC Championship like “any other game” while not worrying about “the doubters.”
Doug Pederson was asked today if he found any personal gratification in taking his team to the brink of the Super Bowl.
“Listen, I don’t pay really any attention to that, quite honestly,” the head ball coach said. “I drive home at night knowing I put in a full day’s work. I get up in the morning to come in here, and however I can serve this organization and serve these players [that’s what I do]. That’s all I know. I love football. I love coaching football. I love teaching it. I love being around these guys, and I’m going to pour my life into these players. If it’s good enough, great, because that’s all I know I can do and I’ve given it my best effort. So I don’t care about what’s written. It’s kind of like the underdog thing. Our players don’t pay much attention to that. And I’m kind of the same way.”
They say they don’t pay attention to it, but they do. Lane Johnson couldn’t wait to put on his Amazon.com underdog mask after the Eagles’ 15-10 divisional round win. Chris Long joined him on the field. Jalen Mills wouldn’t tolerate the disrespect. Brandom Graham chided Derrick Gunn after the game.
And Fletcher Cox is still hearing the music:
When will it stop tho ??? 🤣🤣🤣… all music to my ears I done had enough!!!!
— fletcher cox (@fcoxx_91) January 17, 2018
He spoke about the “continuing disrespect” on Wednesday:
Fletcher Cox on underdogs again
“The disrespect just continues. For us to be the #1 seed, to have this championship run thru the Linc, I mean, what more disrespect do you want”
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 17, 2018
This is part two of our Minnesota Vikings breakdown as we approach Sunday night’s NFC Championship game.
I took a look at the Viking offense Tuesday, which you can read here:
Sean Cottrell will dig into the Viking defense later this week, but I’ll continue the series with a look at Minnesota’s special teams, a unit that has emerged from the shadow of historic blunders committed by the likes of Blair Walsh and Gary Anderson.
Let’s start there, with the kicking game. Continue Reading
Ok, I know Case Keenum doesn’t have a big arm like a Stafford or a Rodgers but we saw him whip a couple of bullet passes in to the receiver last week when the situation demanded it. He can rear back and throw it a bit but we haven’t often seen him throw the high-velocity passes that too often deflect off the reciever’s fingertips and become up for grabs. He throws a nice catchable ball. Often referred to as a pass with “touch”, such a pass is often a key element in a receiver’s ability to run after the catch. We’ve seen that quite a bit this year with well-thrown balls that the receiver can handle in stride and turn upfield for additional yardage. So far, it seems to be working out real well for us.
If that doesn’t remind you of what we were saying about Nick Foles circa 2013-2014, I don’t know what will. Vikings fans are deliriously talking themselves into Case Keenum being a good quarterback on the strength of his shit arm. That should be worth a three-point dip in the line itself.
Keenum has had a terrific, Pro Bowl caliber season replacing the injured Sam Bradford – heretofore know as Sam Bradford – and leading the Vikings to the brink of… well, Minnesota. He should be lauded and applauded, commended and recommended, PRAISED AND RAISED for his performance, Mr. A. Smith. But now, on the cusp of a Super Bowl berth, it is time to shit all over him. Continue Reading
I usually don’t have an agenda when writing about the Flyers.
It is my intention to always provide an informed opinion or analysis based on data or conversation with people in the know – even if the opinion is unpopular.
But heading into last night’s game in New York – I will admit – I had it in my head that I was going to write a story with a specific, predetermined angle.
I was going to sit down at the keyboard and tell you how impressed I have been of late with the Flyers. After coming back from a bye and playing a very strong game against New Jersey Saturday. I was going to talk about Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek being overlooked as All-Stars in the NHL this year. I was going to talk about the improved play of young guys like Travis Konecny, Jordan Weal, and Nolan Patrick.
I had the whole thing planned in advance. It was going to be the perfect catapult into the lovefest that will be the Eric Lindros number retirement ceremony tomorrow night.
Then the game happened.
The Flyers were completely outworked and buried by a divisional opponent – in a matchup that is critical to the playoff race, no less – for the second time in six games.
And my plan was blown to smithereens.
It’s no wonder I tend to skew toward skepticism with this team.
In a rant that went viral last week, Kyle Brandt of the NFL Network spent three minutes and fourteen seconds railing against the disrespect being shown towards the underdog Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL’s divisional playoff round.
With the Birds once again playing as a home dog Sunday, this time against the Vikings, Brandt went for it again on Wednesday’s “Good Morning Football,” touching on everything from Allen Iverson, to Hall and Oates, and the American Revolution:
— GMFB (@gmfb) January 17, 2018
“People even think that the football Gods are on the Vikings side, which is ridiculous. The Vikings survived after a rookie safety made a mental mistake. Philly survived three end zone shots to Julio Jones inside the 10 yard line, which sounds like an act of God to you. The Eagles, amen. This is now bigger than the Eagles. This is about the city. Find me a winner in Philly, and I’ll find you someone predicting that they were going to be a loser.”
I took a quick look to see if Brandt has any sort of Philadelphia connection, but couldn’t find any. He’s 38-years-old, grew up in Illinois, and I guess is just calling it how he sees it.
It’s just before 10 p.m. on Sunday night. Brandon Graham drills Case Keenum from behind, knocking loose the football. Chris Long is there to dive on it as he seals a dramatic 20-13 win. The play simultaneously propels the Eagles into Super Bowl LII and thousands of drunken assholes clad in German Shepperd masks and various shades of green into the intersection of Frankford and Cottman Avenues. By night’s end, the joyous throng will be so blitzed and so immersed in the underdog narrative that many will ultimately come to believe they are the protagonist of an Animorphs novel in which they have transformed into actual dogs.
It’s going to get weird, and it’s going to be glorious. Captain Anthony Luca, a Commanding Officer of the 15th Police District, knows this—and that’s why he wrote a letter earlier this week to local businesses as a heads-up.
Well, it started good for the Flyers. And then it went completely downhill.
After a Jordan Weal goal, the Flyers gave up five unanswered to the New York Rangers, two to a vintage looking Rick Nash, for a 5-1 loss at Madison Square Garden. That snaps a four-game win streak for a team that’s currently three points out of a wild card spot. A win would’ve put the team in a playoff spot for the time with 38 games left in the season.
Brian Elliott returned to the net, but gave up all five goals in two periods of play. Michal Neuvirth took over in the third. Could he stay in net for Thursday’s game against Toronto?
As for now, there’s no time for panicking yet, but as we’ve seen for the majority of this season, the Flyers have been a roller coaster of a team, and we probably can’t predict how they’ll be for the rest of the year.
They might have to make a move at the trade deadline as well if they want to make the playoffs.
The Flyers return home Thursday night when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs. Eric Lindros’ No. 88 will also be raised to the rafters.
The Roundup: Continue Reading