The Falcons developed a talented roster with the intent of taking the South stranglehold away from Carolina.

Sure, no Thomas takes significan’t speed and quickness from the Seahawks’ secondary in the middle of the field. But they’re not used to seeing teams that work the middle of the field create such receiving mismatches. It’s fighting fire with fire, but also not getting burned by forcing it outside. It’s why Ryan got red-hot during the regular-season meeting, when Thomas did play.

The Falcons developed a talented roster with the intent of taking the South stranglehold away from Carolina. But with Quinn, Seattle’s former defensive coordinator, they were smart to think bigger, blending players with scheme that could take down the NFC’s reigning birds of prey.

It’s good to have all that balance and diversity in weaponry, but what allowed the Falcons to truly de-claw Seattle was their physicality. Quinn sure brought that to a revamped young defense that had a few breakout moments against Russell Wilson. But what makes Shanahan’s plan impressive is how much it’s still based in punching opponents in the mouth, line and run first.

Champions, North. Pittsburgh won the division title with a win over Baltimore on Sunday.

Champions, South. Houston won the division title with a nail-biting win over Cincinnati on Saturday night.

Wild card. Kansas City clinched at least a wild-card spot with Baltimore’s loss Sunday. It kept making Oakland sweat in the West race with a win over Denver on Sunday. The Chiefs would win the West with a win and a Raiders loss in Week 16.

Baltimore and Denver joined this group Sunday. Tennessee lost a game, along with Marcus Mariota, and that was it for it’s season. Buffalo and Indianapolis also joined this group on this Saturday. Cleveland got it’s first win.

Kurt Warner tweets his case for the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Voters seem to be on the fence about whether Kurt Warner belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

So the former quarterback who once led the Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf offense tweeted a not-so-subtle promotion for himself Monday afternoon.

And Warner may not have needed his self-promotion, because he has a very good chance of entering this year.

Warner is certainly one of the greatest rags-to-riches stories in sports history. He went from stocking grocery store shelves in his mid-20s to quarterbacking the Rams to a Super Bowl win over the Titans following the 1999 season.

Kubiak spent nine years as a backup quarterback to Broncos Hall of Famer and current general manager John Elway. He then spent 23 years coaching in the NFL, including eight seasons as the Texans coach and two years back in Denver. He led the Broncos to a Super Bowl championship last season, despite lackluster quarterback play from Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler.

Kubiak, a former quarterback, knows quarterbacks, Miller wrote. He knew he had to bench Peyton Manning for Brock Osweiler during the regular season a year ago in order to get Peyton fully healthy for the playoffs. And he knew when to insert Peyton back into the lineup. It all worked because Kubiak always has a plan. Hes not the sort of man who throws something against the wall and waits to see what the outcome will be. He always forecasted his moves and knew exactly what he wanted to happen.

Miller said Kubiak is a players’ coach who always treated his players with respect. But he understands Kubiak’s reasons for putting his health ahead of his career and will keep doing his work.
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Game Kids Dion Bailey Jersey Its understandable that he would walk away from the game the moment he felt he couldnt put 100% effort into preparation, Miller wrote. For him, coaching is an all-or-nothing deal, and hed rather walk away than offer less than his best.

NFL coaching rumors: Chip Kelly interviews with Jaguars, report says

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Chip Kelly could be coaching againin the NFL next season.

The Florida Times-Union reported Kelly interviewed with the Jaguars on Monday, presumably for the offensive coordinator position on Doug Marrone’s staff.

Nathaniel Hackett currently holds that position. Previous reports say new team boss Tom Coughlin plans to keep Hackett.

As for Kelly, the former Eagles and 49ers coach would almost certainly be hired to improve Jacksonville’s offense if Coughlin and Marrone see a fit.

The Patriots (14-2) cruised to a 35-14 win over the Dolphins (10-6) to get the top seed in the AFC. Miami is the 6 seed and will play at Pittsburgh next Sunday to face the third-seeded Steelers (11-5), who ensured the Browns (1-15) would have the top pick in the NFL Draft with a 27-24 overtime victory at Heinz Field.

The No. 2 seed in the AFC is Kansas City (12-4), which won the AFC West with a 37-27 win over the Chargers in what might have been the final NFL game in San Diego. The Raiders (12-4) could have won the division, but could not muster any offense in Denver without injured quarterback Derek Carr. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak stepped down following the 24-6 win because of health reasons.

‘They definitely have a good line. I don’t know if I would say they’re the best pass-blocking offensive line,’ Freeney said. ‘I think we have one pretty good one here in the Falcons. But I feel like (the Packers) do a good job complementing Aaron Rodgers in what he does.

Limited Mens Patrick Marleau Jersey ‘Aaron holds onto the ball sometimes for a long, long time. He does a tremendous job of moving in the pocket, finding ways to squeak out and make throws. Partially that is a credit to that offensive line being able to hold up that long. And partially it’s because of Aaron’s awareness and being able to be unpredictable making those types of moves and throws.’

Houston (42-16) became the first team with at least 42 wins in their first 58 games since the 2001 Mariners.

Not only are the Astros winning, they are doing so convincingly. After Monday night’s four-run win, Houston has an eye-popping plus-106 run differential this season.

Authentic Youth Ronnie Lott Jersey The only small knock on the Astros thus far, and obviously it hasn’t really affected them, is a lack of rotational depth. Behind Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr., Houston has an inexperienced and underwhelming group of names that may need to be improved before the July 31 trade deadline.

Mike Fiers pitched Monday. He struck out four batters while allowing two runs in five innings to help Houston take a 14-game lead in the AL West, which is its largest divisional lead in club history.
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Steered by the exciting young core of Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman, with a mix of breakout performers and veterans, this Astros team is definitely for real and are one win shy of tying a club record with 12 straight wins.

Red Sox third base prospect Rafael Devers (No. 6) is the only other elite prospect who could see a near-term promotion. Although Pablo Sandoval (knee) could return soon from the disabled list, the likelihood of the Panda staying healthy and producing consistently is pretty low. With no other good options at third, the Sox could turn to the hot-hitting Devers (.300/.365/.514 with nine home runs at Double-A). Long-term, Devers has the bat speed and strength to hit 20-25 home runs while posting a solid batting average and on-base percentage.

There are a number of MLB clubs who could turn to rookies to fill the holes in their shaky rotations. Among the near-term beneficiaries could be the Rays Brent Honeywell (No. 16), Jose de Leon (23) and Jacob Faria (NR), the White Sox’s Reynaldo Lopez (19), the Brewers’ Brandon Woodruff (NR), and the Braves Lucas Sims (NR) and Sean Newcomb (NR).

Texas Rangers put on the case of Tom Brady’s missing jersey

Somebody call Chuck Norris. The Texas Rangers are on the case.

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has tasked the Rangers — no, not the baseball team — to find Tom Brady’s game-worn jersey, which went missing following Super Bowl 51.

Patrick said Monday the Rangers will assist the Houston Police Department in finding the jersey, which apparently was taken from the locker of the Patriots quarterback Sunday night after he led an improbable comeback to beat the Falcons at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

“I’ve talked to a lot of fans who would love to welcome Roger back to Gillette Stadium,” Kraft said. “If we are fortunate enough to win on Sunday, the kickoff of the (2017) NFL season would present the perfect opportunity.”

Goodell has not visited the Patriots’ stadium since handing down a four-game suspension to quarterback Tom Brady for his role in the Deflategate scandal. During Wednesday’s state of the league press conference, Goodell stood by the punishment issued to the Patriots, which also included a fine and loss of draft picks.

“Being injured for two years has kind of taken that away from me. My mistakes were shown on the field the first two years, and then me getting better has kind of been behind the scenes. The next time I step onto the field, it’ll be what they expect. People want to see you get better, they want to see you move past your mistakes. I’ve done that, just behind the scenes.”

There is a chance Smith has improved as a player. He’s played in just three games over the last two seasons, so fans haven’t really been able to see the progress he’s made. Teams in need of a quarterback will see it, and will determine if it’s good enough to sign him this offseason.texans_124

How a team president views the NFL Combine: tedious, expensive and overrated

Since taking over New England’s four-Super Bowl dynasty, coach Bill Belichick has owned pretty much everyone on the other sideline 鈥?except when Mike Shanahan was coaching the Broncos. Shanahan not only matched Belichick, but also outwitted him to the tune of a 5-3 head-to-head advantage, including playoffs.

To best Belichick defensively, it takes someone with the aptitude to think several steps ahead offensively. It also requires an attitude; a calculated, cool cockiness that, like Mike, Kyle has.
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“There’s a fine line 鈥?don’t think there’s much Bill and his staff haven’t seen before,” Kyle Shanahan said of trying to out-coach Belichick. “They’ve seen a lot of football and they do it as well as anyone.

“The main thing is giving your players confidence going into the game knowing that when we do see what they’re doing, you give our players the ability to adjust for us to go in a number of different directions.”

The most overrated event on the NFL calendar begins this week. It’s called the NFL Scouting Combine, and it takes place in Indianapolis.

When I consider that I spent about 20 weeks of my life at what’s not so affectionately called the Underwear Olympics, I cringe.
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During my time as an NFL team president, I also cringed when I saw the travel bills generated when we sent a contingent of 35 or so team employees to Indy. General manager, player personnel director, 10 scouts, 18 coaches, three trainers and three team doctors. Not to mention the league’s costs of bringing in more than 300 draft-eligible players for an average of four days each.

Bill Belichick looks happy, cracks jokes on ‘Tonight Show’ with Jimmy Fallon

Shanahan’s father Mike was a big proponent of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, and the 49ers might sense some upside in a quarterback like him under the right head coach.

Cutler has a great arm but hasn’t been on a winning team since 2012. He presents an injury risk and can wear on teammates, but he’s the kind of player, even at age 34, who a confident coach can work with to navigate a playoff run. Cutler would fall in the mid-tier price range, $8 million-$10 million with upside to earn more.

It’s just a simple scrambler that just avoids the social media element, Payton said. That will be in our locker room beginning in (2017). … It’s not a violation of your freedom of nothing, all right? But it’s the ability to, two hours prior to kickoff [shut things down] — because I want them listening to music.

Asked whether the new measure was a Saints thing or an NFL thing, he replied, It’s gonna be a Sean Payton Saints thing.
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The 53-year-old coach revealed his plan in the midst of a discussion about Antonio Brown airing Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s fiery postgame speech on Facebook Live last month. He acknowledged that he would have been pissed if one of his own players had done the same.
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So we’ll see if the scrambler is employed postgame as well as pregame in New Orleans.

Twins ace Ervin Santana joined Lester with a complete game Tuesday

The veteran Blue Jays slugger was hit in the hip with a 96 mph fastball from Julio Teheran, the second of two pitches thrown inside out of retaliation for an unnecessary home run bat flip Wednesday with Toronto trailing by five runs late in a loss to the Braves. Benches cleared after Bautista flipped his bat high in the air and stared down pitcher Eric O’Flaherty.

Thursday, however, there was no incident. Bautista simply turned his hip into the pitch and jogged to first without exchanging words. Both dugouts were warned by plate umpire Paul Emmel, but the Blue Jays were the only ones doing damage after the HBP.
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Washington’s Anthony Rendon (five RBIs), Mets outfielder Michael Conforto (four), the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon (four) and Cleveland’s Edwin Encarnacion (three) each homered twice in their respective club’s win.

Twins ace Ervin Santana joined Lester with a complete game Tuesday. Santana, who is the only pitcher in MLB with multiple shutouts this season, recorded six strikeouts against the Orioles to lower his ERA to an MLB-best 1.80.

Mariners starter Christian Bergman racked up the lowest MLB game score since 1957 with a minus-22 in a 10-1 loss to the Nationals. He allowed all of Washington’s runs and 14 of their 15 hits without recording a strikeout. Rendon drove in five runs for the 27-win Nationals while Bryce Harper went back-to-back with Jayson Werth in the club’s eight-run fourth inning.

Kevin Greene Game Jersey Rangers (24-21) at Red Sox (22-21), 7:10 p.m. ET 鈥?A pair of southpaws square off Wednesday Martin Perez (2-5, 3.71 ERA) and the Rangers play Game 2 of a three-game set with Chris Sale (4-2, 2.19 ERA) and the Red Sox. Sale is seeking to become the first pitcher since 1913 to record at least 10 strikeouts in nine straight games.

The qualifications to be a GM might not be as strict as you’d imagine.

Being a general manager in the NFL isn’t easy. They’re usually responsible for evaluating talent, managing free agency, the salary cap, and they catch a lot of heat when things go poorly. It’s not a job that just any person off the street can handle — or is it?

The qualifications to be a GM might not be as strict as you’d imagine. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported in March that Washington was considering NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock as its next general manager. ESPN’s Louis Riddick was a candidate for the 49ers’ job before former NFL player John Lynch ultimately got the reins. In the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers recently hired Kobe Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, as theirs.

So we decided to come up with a variety of people — some real, some fictional, some not even human — who could be the newest GMs in the NFL. Here are our picks for all 32 teams:

Meanwhile, NFL fans outside of New England, most of whom hate the Patriots, are like, “Please, for the love of God, let this curse be a real thing.” And with Brady, Madden has set itself up to deliver on that better than it could with any other player.

I say this because, at 39, Brady is no spring chicken; the odds of injury or declining levels of play do increase with age, no matter how pliable he keeps his muscles.

There are also the far-off rumblings of a potentially thunderous trade: Tom Curran over at CSNNE put together a coherent argument for the possibility of Brady being shipped off to another team on a funeral pyre sometime in the near future. (In fact, Curran’s exact words were: “the pyre has been built.”)yankees_1093_abde32b67baa971d-180x180

The Rams finished the year on an 0-7 run with Goff in the lineup.

The Rams traded up to draft Goff with the No. 1 pick in 2016, but he started the season on the bench. It wasn’t until Week 11 when former coach Jeff Fisher finally handed over the starting job to Goff.

The Rams finished the year on an 0-7 run with Goff in the lineup. The rookie signal-caller completed just 54.6 percent of his passes for 1,089 yards and a staggering 5.3 yards per attempt. Not only did the California product have problems with accuracy, but turnovers plagued him too. He threw seven interceptions to just five touchdowns and also fumbled five times.

3LAU played On My Mindfor me a couple days before the Super Bowl in Houston and asked if I wanted to be in the music video,said Gronk. It ended up being a lot of fun to shoot and what makes it even better is that the money from the song is being donated. It’s great when you can give back while still trying something new and having an unbelievable time.
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The song’s proceeds will benefit the American Civil Liberties Union, according to DJ Justin Blau.

Authentic Womens Rodney Gunter Jersey This song is out on my label BLUME, which means all of the proceeds from streams & sales will go to charity, Blau wrote on YouTube. Last year we raised $200,000 for Pencils of Promise, and seven new schools will be built in South America from that fundraising by September 2017. Our next goal is to raise $30,000 for the ACLU, and this song will help contribute to that goal :) Once we’ve raised that, I wanna let you guys decide what charity we give to next! Much Love & Thanks for always supporting!

The Summer of Gronk never disappoints.