Great news to kick off the NFL’s championship Sunday. Despite the U.S. government shutdown, American military members stationed overseas will be able to watch Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship games.
But that mutually beneficial partnership between the military and the nation’s most popular sport has been tested since Colin Kaepernick and other players began taking a knee during the U.S. national anthem to protest racial injustice.
To try to head off protests before Veterans Day, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell personally met with leaders of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 30.
Both veterans groups left it up to individual members and posts to decide whether they wanted to protest the NFL on Veterans Day weekend. While some individual posts boycotted games that weekend, there was no mass uprising by national veterans groups.
Now they’re in the same spot against second-seeded Vikings (14-3) and the NFL’s top defense in Sunday’s 6:40 p.m. ET game (Fox).
1. Will Nick Foles take care of the ball? Eagles coach Doug Pederson had a perfect game plan for Foles in the win over the Falcons. The balanced offensive attack relied on a series of short passes Foles completed just one pass thrown more than 15 yards while going 23 of 30 for 246 yards and 28 called runs.
While the Eagles can’t use that exact plan against the Vikings, they can do something similar to help Foles protect the ball. After throwing an interception in each of the final two games of the regular season, Foles did not turn the ball over against the Falcons. While Minnesota ranked No. 1 in total defense, the Vikings did not force many turnovers ranking 23rd with 19 takeaways.
2. Who will make the first mistake? All 10 of Atlanta’s points against the Eagles came off turnovers: A Jay Ajayi fumble led to a Falcons field goal and a muffed punt resulted in a Falcons touchdown. The Vikings allowed the Saints to get back in the game when Case Keenum was intercepted early in the third quarter.
Tom Brady will play Sunday, though it remains to be seen how much his hand injury will affect his performance.
The Patriots quarterback arrived at Gillette Stadium early Sunday with his right hand strategically placed in his pocket and out of view.
Some additional context/information: On Tom Brady, he required more than 10 stitches after sustaining a cut on the inside part of his right throwing hand near the thumb Wednesday, per source. Those at practice described a bloody scene.
I think we’re practicing harder than we did before the game (Louisville) we don’t want to talk about, McGraw said. I was a little worried about our focus at the shoot-around today, but we came out ready and a little bit looser.
Ogunbowale hit 9 of 14 shots and had five assists. Jessica Shepard added 17 points on 8-for-9 shooting and Kathryn Westbeld had 14 points for Notre Dame (18-2, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
I prepare every week like I’m going to play. Whether I do or I don’t, that’s not really up to me, Hoyer told reporters Thursday after practice. So whether I’m getting the reps or not, I’m always preparing to play, because the truth of reality is you never know when your name is going to be called. бн If I don’t play, it’s good for our team. If I do, then I’m ready to go.
Brady didn’t participate in practice Thursday as he nursed his right hand, which was hidden under a red glove. He did not speak to reporters.
I’ve played a lot of football, he said. So I’ve been the starter on [four] different teams. I know how to prepare as the starter.
Hoyer’s last playoff game was in 2016 as the starter for the Texans and is one he’d rather forget. In a 30-0 loss to the Chiefs, Hoyer completed 15 of 34 passes for 136 yards and threw four interceptions.
Things got a little crazy in Philadelphia after the Eagles clinched a trip to Super Bowl LII with a 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.
I’ve never seen an event that more forcefully pulled together and united a group in defense of the game, he said.
Lockhart, formerly the White House press secretary under President Clinton, also made a reference to the campaign incident in which The Washington Post obtained video of Trump talking in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation.
Everyone should know, including the president, this is what real locker room talk is, Lockhart said.
Lockhart called Trump’s remarks regarding the sport’s player-safety rules out of touch. Trump said penalties for illegal hits were ruining the game.
Can’t get any worse than that, right? Watching the chief division rivals of the Jets and Giants, respectively, advance to the Super Bowl while you’re busy sulking is the bottom of the barrel, right?
It’s bad enough that New Yorkers have to deal with the bad football, the MTA and tourists, but now they have this shining through their bedroom windows at night, reminding them of how abysmal the New York football scene really was in 2017.
At 6-8, 282 pounds, Campbell got his chance to play regular defensive end in a 4-3 scheme in Jacksonville while still sliding inside on passing downs. The result was a career high-shattering 14.5 sacks, tied for second in the league with DeMarcus Lawrence and only behind his former Cardinals teammate, Chandler Jones.