The four division leaders in the NFC stand at nine wins or better after Week 13. Each looks like a near <a href="http://www.canucksnhlproshop.com/daniel-sedin-jersey-c-1_5.html">Daniel Sedin Youth Jersey</a> lock to come away with their division in four weeks’ time, but home field advantage is still up for grabs. <a href="http://www.packersprostores.com/ha-ha-clintondix-jersey-c-1_8.html"><img src="http://www.packersprostores.com/images/nike_packers_453_Ha_Ha_Clinton-Dix_Jersey_fsnolnbr.jpg" alt="Men's Nike Green Bay Packers #21 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Elite Navy Blue Alternate NFL Jersey Pro" /></a> That leaves for a good deal of healthy debate over which of the four — the Eagles, Saints, Rams and Vikings — is actually the class of <a href="http://www.warmtaco.com/ha-ha-clintondix-jersey-c-1_43.html">http://www.warmtaco.com/ha-ha-clintondix-jersey-c-1_43.html</a> the NFC at the moment. Diving deep into the PFF grades and advanced stats for each, let’s go through the position groups to find a true favorite. <a href="http://www.authenticseahawksprosale.com/12th-fan-jersey-c-2_32.html"><img src="http://www.authenticseahawksprosale.com/images/Earl Thomas III Youth Limited Green 117.jpg" alt="Earl Thomas III Youth Limited Green Jersey: Nike NFL Seattle Seahawks Salute to Service #29 Official" /></a> If the hype surrounding Carson Wentz this season hadn’t gotten so out of hand as the Eagles sat atop <a href="http://www.extension-a6.com/jaylon-smith-c-1_81.html">Authentic Jaylon Smith Jersey</a> the NFC East, there would be little argument here. Drew Brees is still firmly in the elite class of NFL quarterbacks. He bests Wentz in almost every conceivable statistic, except <a href="http://www.officialblackhawkssale.com/corey-crawford-jersey-c-1_22.html">Corey Crawford Youth Jersey</a> touchdown passes. Sunday night’s game against <a href="http://www.authenticgiantsshops.com/landon-collins-jersey-c-1_20.html">Authentic Landon Collins Jersey</a> the <a href="http://www.flyersnhlproshop.com/steve-mason-jersey-c-1_21.html">http://www.flyersnhlproshop.com/steve-mason-jersey-c-1_21.html</a> Seahawks showed firmly that Wentz’s accuracy can still be a major issue. Brees leads the league in adjusted completion percentage at 80.2 while Wentz’s 70.4 figure is only good enough for 25th among starters. Brees also gets the nod in PFF’s grading system, albeit barely (85.8 vs. 85.7). While Case Keenum has been incredible at avoiding sacks – his 6.2 percent sack conversion rate is among the best we’ve ever seen – and Jared Goff has taken a massive step forward in Year 2, both are a comfortable notch below in PFF grading.
If this was purely wide receivers, the Vikings’ Adam Thielen (86.5 overall grade) and Stefon Diggs (83.0) would take the cake. If it were solely running backs, the Saints’ Alvin Kamara (90.1) and Mark Ingram (75.7) would run <a href="http://www.officialnhlflyersshop.com/wayne-simmonds-jersey-c-1_4.html">http://www.officialnhlflyersshop.com/wayne-simmonds-jersey-c-1_4.html</a> away with it. At tight end, Zach Ertz (80.5) has been easily the most dynamic of the four teams. When looking at all three positions in totality though, the Rams have the fewest holes, legitimately sending five dynamic weapons onto the field every single play.
The additions of Sammy Watkins (78.4), Cooper Kupp (78.1) and Robert Woods (80.3) give Los Angeles three receivers grading out among <a href="http://www.authenticgiantssale.com/landon-collins-jersey-c-1_23.html">http://www.authenticgiantssale.com/landon-collins-jersey-c-1_23.html</a> the top 32 – the only such team in the NFL that can <a href="http://www.authenticsteelerssale.com/shop-by-players-jerome-bettis-jersey-c-2_56.html">Jerome Bettis Authentic Jersey</a> boast that. Add to that the resurgent Todd Gurley out of the backfield and the Rams take this one.
Matt Ryan missed some throws. A couple passes went through hands of his receivers. The Falcons offense was penalized five times in the first half alone. Atlanta wasn’t firing on all cylinders Sunday, which keeps happening for dynamic offenses against the Vikings defense. <a href="http://www.officialcowboyssales.com/dak-prescott-jersey-c-1_5.html"><img src="http://www.officialcowboyssales.com/images/nike_cowboys_695_Jaylon_Smith_Jersey_vl8sy93.jpg" alt="Limited Men's Jaylon Smith Navy Blue Alternate Jersey: NFL Nike Dallas Cowboys #54 Throwback Vapor Untouchable Sale" /></a> Two other reasons weren’t always visible on the broadcast in safeties Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo.
“Both of them played very well,” head coach Mike Zimmer said. “Harrison made some outstanding plays. Sendejo as well. The back end played really well yesterday. I <a href="http://www.authenticpackerssale.com/shop-by-players-12-aaron-rodgers-jersey-c-1_3.html">http://www.authenticpackerssale.com/shop-by-players-12-aaron-rodgers-jersey-c-1_3.html</a> think that was a credit to them. I thought Trae Waynes played real good, obviously Xavier [Rhodes] played well. They understood the plan that we had to try to do.”
Throwing Rhodes on Julio Jones was the obvious part of the Vikings’ plan. Jones’ two catches for 24 yards was the quietest day in his last 24 regular season games. There are some factors easily overlooked. His dropped slant pass on the first play of the game illustrated two: the Falcons’ inopportune sloppiness and Atlanta’s plan to not often test their protection against the Vikings’ pass rush.
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Quarterback Jared Goff had an up-and-down Sunday against the Cardinals, completing <a href="http://www.ochomesnloans.com/andy-lee-jersey-c-1_17.html">Andy Lee Jersey</a> 21 of his 31 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. <a href="http://www.rouzweb.com/jonny-brodzinski-jersey-c-1_17.html"><img src="http://www.rouzweb.com/images/kings_11342910_Jonny_Brodzinski_Jersey_mua6q.jpg" alt="Men's Jonny Brodzinski Premier Black Adidas Jersey: NHL Los Angeles Kings #17 1917-2017 100th Anniversary Official" /></a> But he was good enough <a href="http://www.authenticpenguinssale.com/brian-dumoulin-jersey-c-1_2.html">Brian Dumoulin Jersey</a> for Los Angeles to defeat Arizona 32-16. And the second-year quarterback also completed enough throws to reach 3,000 yards passing on the season.
When it comes to a quarterback’s yards passing, the number “3,000” may not represent all that it used to, <a href="http://www.k-malls.com/lael-collins-c-1_31.html">La'el Collins Womens Jersey</a> given the differences in the rules and style of play in 2017. But it’s still a significant accomplishment, particularly for a second-year quarterback who had a rocky rookie season. Plus, Goff reached — and exceeded — that number with four games left in the season.
“Yeah, that’s awesome. I think it’s a credit to everything we do, everything the receivers have done, the O-line,” Goff said after Sunday’s game. “Just kind of filling in, trying to do my job and I think you look at what Todd [Gurley] is able to do out of the backfield — that helps us on offense and in the pass game, especially on third-down stuff. It’s tremendous, his ability.”
Goff has completed 62.2 percent of his 2017 passes for 3,184 yards with <a href="http://www.guvenlik-kamera.com/brad-wing-jersey-c-2_24.html">http://www.guvenlik-kamera.com/brad-wing-jersey-c-2_24.html</a> 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. Sam Bradford was the last Rams’ quarterback to have at least 3,000 yards passing and 20 touchdowns in a season back in 2012. Goff is also second in the league with 49 completions of at least 20 yards, and tied for second with 10 completions of at least 40 yards.
With the Rams <a href="http://www.authenticcowboysprostores.com/andrew-gachkar-c-1_98.html">http://www.authenticcowboysprostores.com/andrew-gachkar-c-1_98.html</a> at 9-3, attention will now turn to next week’s marquee Rams-Eagles matchup, which will represent the first contest between the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks of the 2016 NFL Draft: Goff and Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz. The Eagles’ signal-caller is having a terrific sophomore campaign of his own, completing 60.7 percent of his passes for 3,005 yards, with 29 touchdowns and six interceptions.
“I mean, obviously it will be fun to play against him, but I’m more excited to play their team,” Goff said. He’s kept in contact with Wentz, saying he texted with the Eagles’ QB a few weeks ago. “I think coming off a win now, we’re going to enjoy this one with the 24-hour rule, and then get chance to look at them tomorrow. But they’re a great team and obviously one of the best in the league for a reason. It will be a fun one at home, hopefully it will be a good atmosphere and we’ll be excited to get after it.”
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“The natural instinct of most young guys is they’re going to force the ball to make a play, until they get burned and have some interceptions and make some dumb throws,” said Tollner, who worked with both Goff and Wentz to tune them up for the scouting combine and draft.
“These guys get it. Neither of them look like second-year quarterbacks. Even though they’re playing up-tempo a lot of the time, they don’t seem to get rattled. They have patience.”
Goff and Wentz, the top two picks in the 2016 draft, might have patience but they have turned around their losing franchises in a hurry. They will face each other for the first time <a href="http://www.seahawksprossales.com/88-jimmy-graham-jersey-c-1_15.html">http://www.seahawksprossales.com/88-jimmy-graham-jersey-c-1_15.html</a> when the <a href="http://www.hdyapim.com/pierre-pilote-jersey-c-1_44.html">Pierre Pilote Jersey Womens</a> 9-3 Rams play host to the <a href="http://www.seahawksprostores.com/15-jermaine-kearse-jersey-c-1_18.html">http://www.seahawksprostores.com/15-jermaine-kearse-jersey-c-1_18.html</a> 10-2 Eagles on Sunday in a pivotal NFC showdown.
Tollner, who worked with them as a consultant for the first four months of 2016, is loving their success but concedes he didn’t expect it to come this quickly.
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The Raiders’ reigning NFL <a href="http://www.guvenlik-kamera.com/landon-collins-jersey-c-2_52.html">http://www.guvenlik-kamera.com/landon-collins-jersey-c-2_52.html</a> Defensive Player of the Year had perhaps his best game of the season Sunday in Oakland’s 24-17 victory over the New York Giants. <a href="http://www.officialmapleleafssale.com/james-van-riemsdyk-jersey-c-1_33.html"><img src="http://www.officialmapleleafssale.com/images/leafs_660_James_Van_Riemsdyk_Jersey_arlzfy.jpg" alt="Men's Adidas Toronto Maple Leafs #25 James Van Riemsdyk Premier Red Alternate NHL Jersey Official Shop" /></a> In fact, it feels <a href="http://www.cqzxyw.com/brandin-cooks-jersey-c-1_14.html">http://www.cqzxyw.com/brandin-cooks-jersey-c-1_14.html</a> as if defensive end Khalil Mack is just now starting to get his season rolling into high gear over the past three games. <a href="http://www.ochomesnloans.com/cam-newton-jersey-c-1_3.html"><img src="http://www.ochomesnloans.com/images/nike_panthers_1333_Cam_Newton_Jersey_szd9bixz.jpg" alt="Men's Nike Carolina Panthers #1 Cam Newton Game Black Pro Line Gold Collection NFL Jersey Special Deal" /></a> In the win over the <a href="http://www.z-z-zip.com/joe-montana-jersey-c-1_24.html">Joe Montana Jersey</a> Giants, Mack had a sack of quarterback Geno Smith in which he pulled the ball away for a turnover in the red zone, a play that proved crucial in the victory. He also had sacks in the two previous games against the Broncos and Patriots.
Raiders linebacker NaVorro Bowman said Mack’s strip sack of Smith was an enormous play, with New York having marched to the Oakland 4 yard <a href="http://www.officialnhlcanucksshop.com/daniel-sedin-jersey-c-1_7.html">Daniel Sedin Jersey</a> line.
“That’s just the motor,” Bowman said of Mack, according to Curtis Pashelka of the Bay Area News Group. “If you go back to the beginning of that play and you see the get-off, that’s really <a href="http://www.giantsprosale.com/lawrence-taylor-jersey-c-1_16.html">Lawrence Taylor Authentic Jersey</a> what got him there so fast and Geno didn’t expect him to get there that fast. I saw the ball loose, and it was him being instinctual. ... Grabbing that ball was a huge play for us.”
Over the past two games, new defensive coordinator John Pagano has been using Mack a bit differently, moving him around the defensive front to create new matchups and <a href="http://www.mcfpdx.com/james-conner-jersey-c-1_57.html">http://www.mcfpdx.com/james-conner-jersey-c-1_57.html</a> pressures on blocking schemes. The analytic website Pro Football Focus noted that <a href="http://www.tswdj.com/reuben-foster-jersey-c-2_31.html">Authentic Reuben Foster Jersey</a> Mack’s performance Sunday was one of the most dominant defensive efforts in the entire league, calling him “unblockable.” PFF noted Mack had 11 pressures and a <a href="http://www.armacan.com/cam-newton-jersey-c-1_28.html">Cam Newton Jersey</a> sack in 30 pass-rush snaps. He had a hit and nine hurries among those pressures. He was the top-graded Raider by PFF. “Just another ultra-productive performance from Mack,” wrote PFF.
Mack doesn’t have gaudy sack stats <a href="http://www.packersprostores.com/ha-ha-clintondix-jersey-c-1_8.html">http://www.packersprostores.com/ha-ha-clintondix-jersey-c-1_8.html</a> this season. He has 7½ sacks, far behind NFL leader DeMarcus Lawrence of the Cowboys, who has 13½. But he’s a force in both the running and passing games and perhaps the NFL’s best edge defender.
As expected, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown will be active Monday night against the Bengals. <a href="http://www.officialsteelersprosale.com/antonio-brown-jerseys-c-1_24.html"><img src="http://www.officialsteelersprosale.com/images/nike_steelers_3710_Le'Veon_Bell_Jerseys_q7euugm.jpg" alt="Black Le'Veon Bell Men's Jersey - NFL Nike Pittsburgh Steelers #26 Limited Strobe Jerseys Outlet" /></a> As we said in a Sunday post, Brown should play and be effective. <a href="http://www.steelersprostore.com/leveon-bell-jerseys-c-2_12.html"><img src="http://www.steelersprostore.com/images/nike_steelers_228_1_Le'Veon_Bell_Jerseys_qds7y.jpg" alt="White Le'Veon Bell Men's Jersey - NFL Nike Pittsburgh Steelers #26 Elite Road Jerseys Hots Sale" /></a> A pregame report <a href="http://www.authenticbruinsprostore.com/david-backes-jersey-c-1_13.html">http://www.authenticbruinsprostore.com/david-backes-jersey-c-1_13.html</a> on ESPN <a href="http://www.teamdolphinsproshop.com/shop-by-players-jarvis-landry-jersey-c-1_22.html">Jarvis Landry Youth Jersey</a> said Brown sprained his toe. The exact nature of the injury was not identifiable by video. <a href="http://www.authenticoilersprosale.com/milan-lucic-jersey-c-1_27.html">http://www.authenticoilersprosale.com/milan-lucic-jersey-c-1_27.html</a> But the ESPN report joined with video and <a href="http://www.authenticcanadienssale.com/carey-price-jersey-c-2_9.html">Carey Price Womens Jersey</a> Browns’ <a href="http://www.authenticpenguinssale.com/phil-kessel-jersey-c-1_10.html">Phil Kessel Womens Jersey</a> Instagram post from last week, makes it apparent that it <a href="http://www.zelslon.com/reuben-foster-jersey-c-1_14.html">Reuben Foster Jersey Womens</a> his right big toe that is injured.
Because the sprain is in the opposite direction from a turf toe (plantarflexion injury vs. dorsiflexion), it <a href="http://www.giantsproshops.com/13-odell-beckham-jr-jersey-c-1_3.html">http://www.giantsproshops.com/13-odell-beckham-jr-jersey-c-1_3.html</a> can be taped/supported without restricting needed motion.
Medically, there is no reason Brown shouldn’t do well against the <a href="http://www.hl-sapporo.com/luke-kuechly-jersey-c-1_5.html">http://www.hl-sapporo.com/luke-kuechly-jersey-c-1_5.html</a> Bengals.
The Indianapolis Colts were handled pretty easily on Sunday by the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the 3-9 Colts did have one notable highlight. Running back Frank Gore rushed for 61 yards on 13 carries, and the 49ers legend made a big move up the all-time rushing leaderboard. He climbed ahead of both Jerome Bettis and Ladainian Tomlinson, into <a href="http://www.billsonlineofficial.com/shop-by-players-jim-kelly-jersey-c-1_26.html">Jim Kelly Authentic Jersey</a> fifth place all <a href="http://www.bonoaldea.com/56-lawrence-taylor-jersey-c-1_32.html">http://www.bonoaldea.com/56-lawrence-taylor-jersey-c-1_32.html</a> time. He is 304 yards back of Curtis Martin for No. 4. <a href="http://www.z-z-zip.com/joe-montana-jersey-c-1_24.html"><img src="http://www.z-z-zip.com/images/nike_49ers_3111_Matt_Barkley_Jersey_5042ij9.jpg" alt="Men's Nike San Francisco 49ers #7 Matt Barkley Limited Green Salute to Service NFL Jersey Outlet" /></a> As Gore has continued to chug along, there has been more discussion about his Hall of Fame case. <a href="http://www.cowboysprostore.com/emmitt-smith-jersey-c-1_10.html">Emmitt Smith Jersey</a> NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal put together a great read on him, with Tomlinson commenting on Gore’s greatness and obvious case for the Hall of Fame.
Last week, there was an article poo-poo’ing Gore’s Hall of Fame chances. It talked about how he was not one of the first names you thought of for the past 20 years, and <a href="http://www.z-z-zip.com/joe-montana-jersey-c-1_24.html">http://www.z-z-zip.com/joe-montana-jersey-c-1_24.html</a> then proceeded to list off various names. One of them was Jerome Bettis. The Hall of Fame running back was a huge personality, and put up huge numbers over the course of his career, but I made some comments about Gore being a clearly better running back and an obvious HOF candidate if Bettis was in.
That brought some Steelers fans out <a href="http://www.authenticsteelersprosale.com/jack-lambert-jersey-c-1_4.html">Jack Lambert Authentic Jersey</a> of the woodwork. One said Gore was very good, but not sufficiently great to be a Hall of Famer. He talked about how Bettis brought a new style and was All Pro this and Pro Bowl that. Bettis did some great things for Pittsburgh, but he also was a notable personality with the media and fans because of his oversized personality. There’s nothing wrong with that, but because Gore has engaged <a href="http://www.vikaos.com/howie-long-jersey-c-1_30.html">http://www.vikaos.com/howie-long-jersey-c-1_30.html</a> in virtually no self-promotion throughout his career, he should be penalized in Hall of Fame balloting?
We do not need to denigrate Bettis, but I can say that if he is in, Gore has to be in. Gore has more rushing yards, and has averaged 4.4 yards per carry throughout his career to Bettis’ 3.9 yards per carry. Gore has nearly 2,200 more total yards from scrimmage than Bettis, putting together 11 straight seasons with 1,200 or more yards from scrimmage to Bettis’ eight for his career.
The yards from scrimmage show Gore’s strong ability as a pass catcher, but we can’t forget about his ability as a pass blocker. He was as good as they come. He was a key leader on the 49ers, even when things were bad. And you could argue his lack of team success provides even more reason to vote for him. He did all this with a lot of shaky quarterbacks and at times questionable offensive lines.
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It might seem like an unlikely scenario, given Brees' proclaimed commitment to the Crescent City. He has repeatedly said he plans to finish his career in his New Orleans and will not worry about his immediate or long-term future until after the season ends.
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He reiterated his position to a San Diego radio station earlier this month.
"I feel like we've <a href="http://www.art-yoshie.com/adam-thielen-jersey-c-1_48.html">Adam Thielen Jersey Womens</a> got a great opportunity ahead of us and I don't plan on leaving New Orleans ever," Brees said on the Hardwick & Richards show in San Diego. "Hopefully, <a href="http://www.steelersprosales.com/alejandro-villanueva-jerseys-c-1_51.html">http://www.steelersprosales.com/alejandro-villanueva-jerseys-c-1_51.html</a> I know all of that stuff takes care of itself when it's supposed to. I have not approached them about any <a href="http://www.authenticdolphinsjerseys.com/shop-by-players-jay-ajayi-jersey-c-1_24.html">http://www.authenticdolphinsjerseys.com/shop-by-players-jay-ajayi-jersey-c-1_24.html</a> contract. We just have a great understanding here. Listen, we're going to go through this season, and we'll <a href="http://www.giantsprostores.com/odell-beckham-jr-jersey-c-1_17.html">Odell Beckham Jr Womens Jersey</a> revisit it in the offseason. For right now, I'm in the moment."
I fully expect Brees to finish his career in New Orleans. But things change quickly in the <a href="http://www.cowboysprosales.com/demarcus-lawrence-jersey-c-1_48.html">http://www.cowboysprosales.com/demarcus-lawrence-jersey-c-1_48.html</a> NFL, as New York Giants quarterback and New Orleans native Eli Manning learned the hard way this week. Eli's older brother, Peyton Manning, at one time thought he would retire an Indianapolis Colt, too.
Toward the end, you could clearly make out the "Cooop" chants for Cooper Kupp, the Los Angeles Rams' rookie slot receiver. University of Phoenix Stadium had emptied <a href="http://www.cmslamp.com/jack-lambert-jersey-c-2_18.html">Jack Lambert Authentic Jersey</a> itself of Arizona Cardinals fans by the final minutes of <a href="http://www.49ersprosales.com/jerry-rice-jersey-c-1_11.html">http://www.49ersprosales.com/jerry-rice-jersey-c-1_11.html</a> the Rams' <a href="http://www.officialoilersshop.com/wayne-gretzky-jersey-c-1_35.html">Wayne Gretzky Authentic Jersey</a> eventual 32-16 victory Sunday. Backed by a relentless pass rush, an efficient attack through the air and an elite special-teams unit, the Rams rolled over their division rivals for the second time this season, proving once again that they are among the NFL's elite. Below is a look at how it unfolded. <a href="http://www.officialmapleleafsshop.com/james-van-riemsdyk-jersey-c-1_42.html"><img src="http://www.officialmapleleafsshop.com/images/leafs_847_James_Van_Riemsdyk_Jersey_6q7scj.jpg" alt="Women's Reebok Toronto Maple Leafs #25 James Van Riemsdyk Authentic White Away NHL Jersey Pro" /></a> What it means: That the Rams have been able taking care of business, not fooling around against teams they should beat. They have blown out the Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants and Houston Texans, and they have outscored the Cardinals by a combined 49 points in two <a href="http://www.ccoocajastur.com/antonio-brown-jersey-c-1_49.html">http://www.ccoocajastur.com/antonio-brown-jersey-c-1_49.html</a> meetings this season. With the win, the Rams improved to 9-3, securing their first winning record since 2003. They also stayed one game behind the Minnesota Vikings for that all-important first-round bye heading into <a href="http://www.art-yoshie.com/dalvin-cook-jersey-c-1_27.html">http://www.art-yoshie.com/dalvin-cook-jersey-c-1_27.html</a> a tough three-game <a href="http://www.cowboysprostores.com/demarcus-lawrence-jersey-c-1_54.html">Demarcus Lawrence Jersey Womens</a> stretch. <a href="http://www.officialchargesshop.com/shop-by-players-melvin-ingram-jersey-c-1_43.html"><img src="http://www.officialchargesshop.com/images/chargers jersey/Matt Slauson Jersey WD7862054.jpg" alt="Nike Matt Slauson Youth White Elite Jersey: #68 NFL Road San Diego Chargers WD7862054" /></a> What I liked: The Rams' special teams unit is one <a href="http://www.authenticrangerssale.com/mats-zuccarello-jersey-c-1_43.html">http://www.authenticrangerssale.com/mats-zuccarello-jersey-c-1_43.html</a> of the best in the NFL, and it showed Sunday. Tyrunn Walker blocked an extra point and Michael Brockers blocked a 45-yard field-goal attempt. At one point, Johnny Hekker punted out of his own end zone and pinned the Cardinals at their own 21-yard line. After the defense forced a three-and-out, Pharoh Cooper returned a punt 30 yards, helping to set up the Rams' third touchdown. The Rams' opening drive ended in a 56-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein, who's 6 for 7 on 50-plus-yard field goals this season.
What I didn't like: It's hard to answer this without feeling like you're nitpicking. The Rams jumped to a 16-0 lead and let the Cardinals back in it with back-to-back touchdown drives, one a methodical type that absorbed more than six minutes and the other taking up less than two-and-a half minutes and resulting in a wide open Larry Fitzgerald. But the defense -- led by Aaron Donald, who notched two sacks and now has seven in his last seven games -- picked up six sacks and held the Cardinals to 149 scrimmage yards in the second half. The Rams' offense also had a hard time finishing drives with touchdowns, but Zuerlein easily leads the NFL with 143 points and is on pace for a record 191.
Fantasy fallout: Todd Gurley didn't get a whole lot of carries early, but he wound up carrying the load for the offense again. Gurley rushed for 74 yards on 19 carries and picked up another 84 yards on six catches, the screen game working wonders for him once again. Gurley entered ranked second in the NFL in scrimmage yards and now has a career-high 1,502 on the year. Sammy Watkins had only three catches on four targets for 38 yards, but he scored a touchdown. Kupp had five catches for 68 yards, and <a href="http://www.authenticeaglessale.com/20-brian-dawkins-jersey-c-1_5.html">Brian Dawkins Jersey</a> Jared Goff (21 of 31, 220 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) became the first Rams quarterback to top 3,000 yards since Sam Bradford in 2012.
Baker Mayfield’s impressive Saturday included breaking an Oklahoma great’s record. <a href="http://www.mccassy.com/ha-ha-clintondix-jersey-c-1_38.html"><img src="http://www.mccassy.com/images/nike_packers_2300_Ray_Nitschke_Jersey_9smsqh.jpg" alt="Elite Ray Nitschke Green Bay Packers Men's Jersey - #66 Rush Nike NFL Gold Newest" /></a> During the Sooners’ 41-17 victory over TCU in the Big 12 Championship Game, Mayfield passed Sam Bradford in career passing efficiency, taking the former Heisman winner’s place atop FBS record books. Mayfield’s passing efficiency <a href="http://www.yadeos.com/cam-newton-jersey-c-1_7.html">http://www.yadeos.com/cam-newton-jersey-c-1_7.html</a> of 176.03 is narrowly ahead <a href="http://www.rangersprosale.com/martin-st-louis-jersey-c-1_39.html">Martin St. Louis Jersey</a> of Bradford’s 175.62.
In addition to winning a Big 12 title in each of his three seasons as a Sooners player, Mayfield also has posted passing efficiencies above 170 every year. He set a single-season record for passing efficiency in 2016; he is on pace to break his own record this season. His 203.76 mark in 2017 would make him the first FBS quarterback with a pass efficiency above 200.
Pass efficiency is the collegiate version of passer rating, measuring a quarterback based on his yardage, completion percentage, touchdowns and interceptions. Mayfield leads the FBS in completion percentage (71.0) and is second in passing yardage (4,340) and touchdown passes (41). <a href="http://www.canadiensproshop.com/shea-weber-jersey-c-1_47.html">Shea Weber Jersey</a> He was intercepted 5 times.
The passing efficiency mark wasn’t Mayfield’s only impressive statistical accomplishment Saturday. Mayfield became the sixth Big 12 quarterback to <a href="http://www.officialbuccaneersshop.com/shop-by-players-mike-alstott-jersey-c-1_36.html">http://www.officialbuccaneersshop.com/shop-by-players-mike-alstott-jersey-c-1_36.html</a> have 1,000 career completions. He broke off a career-long 59-yard run. He earned Big 12 Championship Game Most Outstanding Player honors with his 4-touchdown performance.
Perhaps most important, Mayfield’s touchdown passes also gave him a career-high 41, surpassing the mark NBC Sports’ Dan Patrick gave Mayfield to introduce him to Justin Timberlake. Not only is Mayfield an FBS record holder but he also could end as a backup dancer for Timberlake.
With about a minute to go on <a href="http://www.authenticnhlmapleleafsshop.com/brooks-laich-jersey-c-1_4.html">http://www.authenticnhlmapleleafsshop.com/brooks-laich-jersey-c-1_4.html</a> Thursday, the Maple Leafs were in a state of high anxiety for blowing a couple of leads against Edmonton and facing the prospect of dealing with the Oilers track stars in 3-on-3 overtime. Kris Russell’s own goal ended the threat of having Connor McDavid come out with 200 feet of ice to work with. Edmonton has three overtime wins. “I was thinking about that a little bit on the bench,” said Patrick Marleau, who has almost 20 years on McDavid. “That would have been challenging. “It’s amazing the way he <a href="http://www.authenticnhlrangersshop.com/adam-graves-jersey-c-1_38.html">http://www.authenticnhlrangersshop.com/adam-graves-jersey-c-1_38.html</a> moves out there. He’s got another gear and kind of looks like The Matrix the way he weaves in and out of guys.”
WINNIPEG — Captain Blake Wheeler predicted <a href="http://www.eraneta.com/jonathan-marchessault-c-1_15.html">http://www.eraneta.com/jonathan-marchessault-c-1_15.html</a> the best is yet to come for the Winnipeg Jets, but he wasn't sizing up championship rings. With a 7-4 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights Friday, the Jets moved into first place in the NHL's Western Conference with 36 points (16-6-4). "Nothing, it's the first of December," Wheeler said when asked what the conference lead meant. But he was happy with the direction the team is headed. "I don't think we've peaked," said Wheeler, who had three assists. "We have a ways to go. We're learning how to play fast, kind of on the fly. I think we can play faster. With the way the league's going, that's an exciting thing. "There's no back-slapping. I think we're enjoying winning, which is new to our group, but we're not fitting ourselves for rings, yet." Kyle Connor scored a pair of goals while Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine each had a goal and two assists as the Jets scored five goals in the third period. Tyler Myers, Matt Hendricks and Nikolaj Ehlers rounded out the attack for Winnipeg, which won its fifth straight at home. Winnipeg-born forward Cody Eakin, William Karlsson, Erik Haula and Colin Miller scored for the Golden Knights (15-9-1). Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves for the Jets, who are now 8-0-1 in their last nine games at home. Maxime Lagace stopped 31-of-37 shots for the Golden Knights, who lost a third straight game for only the second time this season. Miller had a power-play goal wiped out midway through the second after Jets coach Paul Maurice was successful in challenging offside by Vegas forward Alex Tuch. Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant said it was the correct call, but disappointing. "We would have loved to have that 3-1 lead, obviously, but you've got to keep playing, you've got to keep battling back," Gallant said. The teams were tied 2-2 heading into the third when power-play goals by Connor at 33 seconds and Laine two minutes 15 seconds later started the offensive attack. Gallant said those were killers. "The big one was that early third-period <a href="http://www.goldenknightsproshops.com/oscar-dansk-c-1_17.html">http://www.goldenknightsproshops.com/oscar-dansk-c-1_17.html</a> goal to make them go up 3-2 and then we took a penalty right after that and they scored again, so that was the turning point in the game for me," Gallant said. Winnipeg was 3-for-5 on the power play and Vegas was scoreless on five attempts. "We just need to stay out of the box a little more, that was it," Vegas forward James Neal said. "Power plays can win you the game. They thrive on theirs." Laine, who snapped a three-game pointless skid, had said at the morning skate his confidence was down. "I'm only doing that because I know I wasn't playing really well," Laine said of his self-assessment. "I'm not lying to you guys when you're asking about it. That was a good game so I'm happy." Both teams play on Sunday with Winnipeg hosting Ottawa and the Knights going home to meet Arizona.
There were a lot of points where the <a href="http://www.crtside.com/nick-holden-jersey-c-1_33.html">http://www.crtside.com/nick-holden-jersey-c-1_33.html</a> whole thing could have fallen apart, of course, starting with Iron Man,” Kevin Feige said while sitting down to reflect on a decade of filmmaking from Marvel Studios for Vanity Fair’s Holiday issue. Nine years and 16 movies since that first Marvel Studios effort, Feige and the rest of the team behind the first Iron Man—director Jon Favreau, star Robert Downey Jr., and the studio’s original head, Avi Arad—couldn’t help but think back on the film that started it all. It wasn’t necessarily easy to go back that far; as Downey put it: “That’s the dumb thing about history, if you’re talking about something that has its origins more than 12 minutes ago, you’re already coloring it with your ego and your story.” But, as best they could, the team laid out the humble beginnings of Iron Man, and its impact on everything that came after. For even more from Vanity Fair’s exclusive Marvel cover story and shoot, click here. THE BEGINNING OF MARVEL STUDIOS Arad: When we got involved with Marvel, Marvel had a very low self-esteem. It seemed like something that is old. Comics were very niche. No one saw the value of it. No one wanted Spider-Man. It took a while to unite the rights, and in those days, those rights were, I would say, they were sloppily put together, and Marvel, at the time, tended to sell the properties for anything they can get. We licensed studios, we participated in revenues [on films like X-Men, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Hulk, 2005’s Fantastic Four]. At the time, I was running a company plus getting the movies made, and in all fairness, on the job learning of the live-action business. Kevin was working for Lauren Shuler Donner [on X-Men], and he became basically the guy that will tell me really what’s going on and when. Feige: I had been in touch with Avi Arad for two or three years during the course of the production on X-Men. So I would keep him in the loop of what was going on on set and give him my opinions on things. By that point I was an expert in all things X-Men, in all things Marvel. Arad: I kept calling him from New York and say, “Kevin, what’s happening today?” I realized not only that he’s brilliant, but that was his life, too. Comics. He’s incredibly pleasant and loyal, and we became as close as people can get <a href="http://www.e666e.com/tanner-glass-jersey-c-1_4.html">http://www.e666e.com/tanner-glass-jersey-c-1_4.html</a> close, and one of the things [that] was important for me is to make Kevin executive producer of our movies. It’s almost like in my mind, I needed an heir apparent, and there was no one else that could come to my mind. During this period, the team of Arad and Feige could observe and offer notes on various Marvel-licensed films, such as Elektra, X-Men: The Last Stand, Spider-Man 3, and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, but, ultimately, had no control over those films made by 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, and other studios.
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Rob Blake, Chris Chelios, Daniel Alfredsson <a href="http://www.iceboxsf.com/oscar-dansk-c-1_11.html">http://www.iceboxsf.com/oscar-dansk-c-1_11.html</a> and Jere Lehtinen are among eight people voted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame for 2018. The induction ceremony will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, during the final weekend of the 2018 IIHF World Championship, which is scheduled for May 4-20. Blake, the general manager of the LA Kings, played 20 seasons in the NHL with the Kings, Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks. He helped the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup in 2001, won the Norris Trophy in 1998 and was a finalist for the award four times. Blake was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014. Internationally, he helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, which earned him membership in the Triple Gold Club. He had won the gold medal with Canada at the 1994 IIHF World Championship. Chelios is sixth all-time in NHL games played with 1,651, in 26 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers. He won the Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1986, and with the Red Wings in 2002 and 2008, and won the Norris Trophy three times (1989, 1993, 1996). Chelios played for the United States in the Winter Olympics four times, and was the captain in 1998, 2002 and 2006. He helped the U.S. win the silver medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and was the tournament's best defenseman. Chelios also won a gold medal with the U.S. at the 1996 World Cup Alfredsson played 17 of his 18 NHL seasons with the Ottawa Senators. His 444 goals and 1,157 points are second among Sweden-born NHL players to Mats Sundin (564 goals, 1,349 points). He helped the Senators reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2007, played in the All-Star Game six times, and won the King Clancy Trophy in 2012 and the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2013. Internationally, Alfredsson played in the Olympics for Sweden five times, winning a gold medal in 2006 and a silver medal in 2014. He also helped Sweden win the silver medal at the World Championship in 1995 and 2004, and the bronze medal in 1999 and 2001. Lehtinen spent his 14-season NHL career with the Dallas Stars, finishing with 514 points (243 goals, 271 assists) in 875 games. He helped the Stars win the Stanley Cup in 1999 and return to the Final in 2000. Lehtinen also won the Selke Trophy as the NHL's best defensive forward three times, and was a finalist six times. He's <a href="http://www.idesi9n.com/jon-merrill-c-1_16.html">http://www.idesi9n.com/jon-merrill-c-1_16.html</a> one of five players (Patrice Bergeron, Bob Gainey, Guy Carbonneau, Pavel Datsyuk) to win the Selke at least three times. The Stars retired his No. 26 on Nov. 24. He won a silver medal with Finland at the 2006 Torino Olympics, as well as a bronze medal in 1994, 1998 and 2010. Lehtinen also helped Finland win the gold medal at the 1995 World Championship, and the silver medal in 1992, 1994 and 2007. He was inducted into the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012. Also entering the IIHF Hall of Fame are France national team member and executive Philippe Lacarriere; former referee Bob Nadin; Jesper Damgaard, who played in 17 consecutive World Championships with Denmark and is the winner of the Torriani Award, given to players outside the top hockey nations; and Kirovs Lipmans of Latvia, the winner of the Paul Loicq Award for outstanding service to hockey.
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Josh Anderson <a href="http://www.canucksnhlproshop.com/jacob-markstrom-jersey-c-1_23.html">http://www.canucksnhlproshop.com/jacob-markstrom-jersey-c-1_23.html</a> scored late in the third period to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on Friday night. Anderson got his team-high 10th goal with just under five minutes left to make it 3-2. He fired the puck in off the left shoulder of goalie John Gibson. Anderson also had two assists. Joonas Korpisalo had 25 saves, Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists, and Brandon Dubinsky had a goal and an assist for the Metropolitan Division-leading Blue Jackets, who have won eight of nine. Nick Foligno added an empty net-goal with 29 seconds left. Cam Fowler and Kevin Roy scored, and Gibson had 27 saves for the Ducks, who have dropped five of six. KINGS 4, BLUES 1 ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tyler Toffoli scored twice, backup goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 39 saves and Los Angeles beat St. Louis. Los Angeles won its fourth straight, including three in a row on the road. The Kings tied the Blues for the second-best record in the Western Conference with 35 points. Toffoli has three goals in the past two games and three two-goal games this year. He has 13 goals total this season. Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe also scored for the Kings. Patrik Berglund scored for St. Louis. Carter Hutton allowed three goals on 21 shots before being lifted. PENGUINS 4, SABRES 0 BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Tristan Jarry made <a href="http://www.corsexe.com/jon-merrill-c-1_13.html">http://www.corsexe.com/jon-merrill-c-1_13.html</a> 34 saves for his first career shutout, Sidney Crosby extended his point streak to five games and Pittsburgh beat Buffalo for its third straight victory. Crosby had a goal and an assist, and Tom Kuhnhackl, Jake Guentzel and Patric Hornqvist also scored in the first game of a home-and-home set.
It’s not often you’ll hear an NHL player <a href="http://www.babewest.com/brooks-laich-jersey-c-1_32.html">http://www.babewest.com/brooks-laich-jersey-c-1_32.html</a> speak candidly about upcoming contract negotiations and his thought process behind them, but that’s exactly what Drew Doughty is doing. “I’ve thought about it actually lately, I don’t know why,” the Los Angeles Kings star blueliner told Craig Custance of The Athletic. “I kind of just thought about my options and stuff like that. I never know what’s going to happen.” Doughty is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 season once the eight-year, $56-million deal he signed in 2011 expires. The 27-year-old is eligible to sign an extension with L.A. on July 1, 2018 and the Kings would be the only team he could ink an eight-year deal with. If he were to hit the open market, the longest contract he could sign with a new team would be for seven years. Before making a decision on his future the 2016 Norris Trophy winner and two-time Stanley Cup champion plans on reaching out to one of his elite contemporaries, Erik Karlsson, for counsel. The Ottawa Senators captain’s contract expires when Doughty’s does. “I know I’m going to talk to Karlsson back and forth, kind of see what money he’s looking for,” Doughty explained. “I’ll kind of look at what money I’m looking for. I don’t know if he’s going to re-sign with Ottawa. I don’t know if I’ll re-sign with L.A. You just never know what’s going to happen.” In addition to Doughty and Karlsson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Ryan Ellis, Tyler Myers, Ryan McDonagh and Nate Schmidt are all eligible to potentially join what could be a defence-rich free agent class in the summer of 2019. It’s safe to assume both Doughty and Karlsson will remain amongst the highest-paid defencemen in the league whenever and wherever they sign their next contracts and, based on credentials, they may just rank one-two when all the ink is dry. Doughty’s current cap hit of $7 million is tied for the sixth-highest in the league among defencemen, while Karlsson’s $6.5 million is tied for 11th. P.K. Subban, a one-time Norris winner like Doughty, is the NHL’s top-paid defenceman in terms of cap hit at the moment. Subban’s average annual value of $9 million could potentially be a starting point for Doughty’s and Karlsson’s respective negotiations and Doughty admits as much. “Right now, I guess we’d be gauging off what P.K. makes. I think both of us deserve quite a bit more than that,” Doughty said. The closer Doughty gets to UFA status, the more you’ll hear Toronto Maple Leafs rumoured as a potential landing spot for the London, Ont., native. “Growing up, watching them every single <a href="http://www.blackhawksnhlproshop.com/erik-gustafsson-jersey-c-1_47.html">http://www.blackhawksnhlproshop.com/erik-gustafsson-jersey-c-1_47.html</a> time, it’s hard to say you’d never want to play for the Leafs,” Doughty said. As a two-time Olympic gold medallist, Doughty has become quite familiar with Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock over the years thanks to their frequent success as members of Team Canada. “Oh f—, yeah. Babs. I like Babs, too,” Doughty added. “He’s put full trust in me since I was 19 years old at the Olympics. I remember, I’ll never forget. I showed up at the Olympics, he said, ‘Douts, you’re going to start off as the seventh D. The better you play, the more you’re going to play.’ I ended up playing third- or fourth-most minutes. He trusted me from day one. He still has full trust in me.”