Weekend ratings predictions: NFL Wild Card Weekend and more

NFL wild card game: Giants-Packers (4:30 p.m. Sunday, FOX). The Giants and Packers have a history of drawing big playoff numbers. Their 2012 meeting still ranks as the highest rated Divisional Cheap Gaelic Jerseys Round matchup since 1997 (25.3). Four years earlier, their NFC Championship thriller scored the highest rating for any non-Super Bowl game since 1997 (29.0), though that mark has since been surpassed. Do not expect any multi-year highs this time around, only because recent matchups like Lions-Cowboys in 2015 (23.6) and 49ers-Packers in 2014 (25.8) set a very high bar. Still, Sundays game should comfortably surpass last years 21.8 for Green Bay against Washington. Prediction: 23.0.

Splitting the difference is SN contributor Jeff Diamond, former president of the Titans and general manager of the Vikings. This Packers team reminds him a lot of his 1999 Titans, who advanced all the way to the Super Bowl after ending the season on a lengthy winning streak. Diamond thinks the Packers might go all the way, too.

These teams most recently played each other in Week 5, a 23-16 Packers win in Green Bay and a game in which Aaron Rodgers posted his worst passer rating of the season (65.0).

But Rodgers over the last seven games has thrown 18 touchdowns Cheap Golden State Warriors Jerseys and zero interceptions while maintaining a 120.0 passer rating. New York’s defense, meanwhile, allowed NFL-best 4.2 opponent fourth-quarter points per game this season, plus an NFL second-best 17.8 overall opponent points per game. This is strength on strength now.

That doesn’t get you fired up This hype video will.

Green Bay and New York kick off at 4:40 p.m. ET on Sunday. The winner will head to Dallas for an NFC divisional playoff showdown with the conferences’s No. 1 seed.

John Elway getting Broncos’ QB right will make Vance Joseph hiring work

Among the many things John Elway habitually gets right while running the Broncos, is hiring head coaches. Thats a good omen: He started with John Fox, he replaced Fox with Gary Kubiak, between them they went 1 for 2 in Super Bowl trips and Vance Joseph now steps into their shoes.

For Joseph to fully continue in their footsteps, though, Elway has to jumpstart his success with quarterbacks. Joseph inherits the quest to replace Peyton Manning. Theres no other honest way to put it. Thats going to be the biggest factor determining Josephs success: filling the huge gap at the one position thats seriously lacking.

Thats really what kept the Broncos from even getting a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champs in 2016. That defense was still that defense. Whatever Joseph does in his new gig whether he expands on his previous defensive coordinator position and puts his own coaches in place, or lets Wade Phillips keep the reins theyre almost failure-proof.
But they need Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch to raise their games. Or they need to add a quarterback who will.

Scott Linehan, offensive coordinator, Cowboys: The Broncos’ Tony Romo Cheap Embroidered NFL Jerseys trade rumors already are in progress. But while it would take a lot of financial creativity to make that happen, getting Romo’s OC wouldn’t be a mere consolation. Linehan’s delivery of an elite, run-heavy offense and rapid development of Dak Prescott are very attractive for the potential of working with either Siemian or Lynch.

Anthony Lynn, offensive coordinator/interim head coach, Bills: The Cheap Football Jerseys Broncos are much better built to win with ground and pound than Buffalo was. That’s exactly why Lynn needs to be in the mix.

NFL picks, wild-card playoffs: Steelers use Dolphins as postseason springboard

Wild-card weekend serves up three rematches out of the four games. Unfortunately, two of them have almost no relevance to their regular-season meetings. Thank the Great Quarterback Drought for that.

What can anyone take from the Raiderswin over the Texans with Derek Carr out and the third quarterback in three weeks, Connor Cook, on deck How do you evaluate the Dolphins-Steelers game when Matt Moore is starting Sunday, and when Ben Roethlisberger got hurt when they met before?

Theres more to comb through for the Giants-Packers game in Green Bay on Sunday, while Cheap Discount Jerseys the Lions-Seahawks game is a pretty clean slate while full of plenty of intriguing storylines itself.

For the record, the Raiders won that November game in Mexico City, but the Texans defense tops in the NFL in yardage for the season did hold the Derek Carr-led offense in check until the fourth quarter. Nobody should trust either offense, not Cooks nor Brock Osweilers. But if you had to trust one defense over the other, you have to trust the Texans, and not even think twice. Theyve won like this before.

The level of competition for the Lions jumped up fast at the end including this game, they got the Giants, Cowboys and now Seahawks on the road, and last week the Packers at home. The defense buckled in the last two, and thats going to be a big problem against Russell Wilson and Co. The Seahawksdefense is going to get tested by Matthew Stafford in his third playoff trip (second under Jim Caldwell) and coming off his best season overall. Shaking off the Seahawkshome-field advantage will be his biggest challenge.

Steelers vs. Chiefs: Picks, predictions, odds for divisional playoff game in Kansas City

Sunday’s Steelers vs. Chiefs matchup presents another rematch from the regular season, and another one that the loser would much, much rather forget.

The Chiefs didnt look like a future division champ and first-round bye that Cheap Barcelona Jerseys night in Week 4, when the Steelers humiliated them on national TV, 43-14. Their recovery since then didnt exactly mirror the previous years 10-game win streak, but under the circumstances, it was still impressive.

Their postseason reward, understandably, is a Steelers team with plenty of momentum of its own (eight straight wins, including the wild-card round over Miami), and the bonus of fairly good health (depending on whether Ben Roethlisbergers ankle is a problem). The Chiefs, to their credit, have lost just twice since the Steelers debacle. Both, though, were complete head scratchers the Buccaneers and Titans at home.

I’m certainly struggling with it, just because I’m a competitor, Freeman said. I just want to be around the ball as much as I can, to help the team win. Now we’re in the Super Bowl, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Hill also was a unanimous All-Pro selection at punt returner after averaging 15.2 yards and scoring twice on 39 returns.

‘We use him a lot on special teams obviously,’ said Reid, whose team made Hill a 2016 fifth-round draft choice. ‘When he came to us, that’s what we originally thought we had. He then said, ‘Listen I can do this offensive thing.’ He’s innately a smart kid. We kept adding to it and he got it.

It just depends what you are looking at heading into the draft.

He’s a freak who could make an instant impact, but he’s a long way from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The team that selects Fournette is taking a risk given that it’s a running back, but this could be the high-reward pick that defines the first round. The NFL Combine won’t change when you see the whole performance.

It just depends what you are looking at heading into the draft.

As we head into the pinnacle of the NFL Draft process at the NFL Combine, what’s it like to be compared to Cam Newton or Aaron Rodgers? For you, you were a fan of these guys just a few short years ago. Now you’re being compared to them.

(Laughs) It’s definitely humbling, especially when you’re talking about the MVP of the league two years ago and Aaron Rodgers. But it’s weird, because you look up to these guys as what you want to become one day, and see how they play the game. And to even get mentioned with these guys is an honor and a blessing, and I appreciate it.

Guys don’t get mentioned like that all the time, so I’ll take it for now and I definitely like it, and it’s an honor and a privilege.

“We know how we are judged and it’s by wins and losses — 8-8 the past two years is not good enough,” Pagano told reporters Thursday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. “The standard is the standard; the expectations are what they are. We are never going to be satisfied until we get back to where we need to be. We have a lot of work to do, but the objective always is to win.

ESPN.com reported the Jets expressed interest in bringing Marshall back for a third season Cheap Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys in New York, but at a cheaper cost. The team allowed input from Marshall’s camp, the report Cheap Laker Jerseys Sale said, which ultimately decided against remaining a part of the Jets’ rebuilding efforts.

Marshall shared a heartfelt farewell on his Instagram account.

Patriots DC Matt Patricia sports Roger Goodell clown shirt for Boston arrival

Just because Tom Brady and Bill Belichick didn’t take a shot at Roger Goodell after their historic Super Bowl win doesn’t mean Matt Patricia can’t.

The Patriots defensive coordinator was spotted wearing a T-shirt that showed Cheap Jerseys Hot the NFL commissioner’s face with a clown nose as the team exited its plane at Logan Airport in Boston on Monday afternoon.

Jerry Jones didn’t win many friends when he bought the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 and fired Tom Landry rather unceremoniously in favor of his old college teammate, Jimmy Johnson. But soon the former Razorbacks were winning big with the Cowboys behind a trio of brilliant offensive talents: running back Emmitt Smith, quarterback Troy Aikman and receiver Michael Irvin. They were called The Triplets, a Cheap Kids NFL Jerseys curious nickname in that each brought something different to the attack. But they were inseparable on the field.

Tony Dorsett was a rookie fresh off winning a national championship at Pitt and barged into the NFL as part of an overwhelming running attack that also featured veterans Robert Newhouse and Preston Pearson. That unstoppable trio — and nimble QB Roger Staubach — averaged a combined 182 rushing yards in three postseason games, including 233 in the Division round game against Chicago. Dallas did not feature one of its greatest defenses, but the offense did its job in keeping that unit off the field.

Falcons player warned teammate of possible Tom Brady comeback during Super Bowl

Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel knew a 21-0 lead over Tom Brady’s Patriots was not enough.

After Atlanta took the large lead in the first half of Sunday’s Super Bowl 51 against New England, Gabriel warned wide receiver Mohamed Sanu that the lead needed to be even greater.

Bill Walsh’s retirement following the 1988 season put George Seifert Cheap Jerseys USA Soccer in a curious position. He was taking over a Super Bowl team, so there really wasn’t much room for improvement. Or was there? The ’88 squad had to rally to win the title and needed a late winning streak to make the playoffs. The 49ers were gun-to-wire dominant in Seifert’s rookie year and weren’t even challenged in the postseason, winning three games by a combined 100 points. The combined margin of the team’s two defeats? Five points.

The Greatest Show on Turf was an offense unlike any the NFL had seen, but even the Rams didn’t see it coming. Well, not totally. They planned for a great passing attack by drafting Tory Holt to go with star wideout Isaac Bruce, but they expected Trent Green to run it. Instead, Green was badly injured in a preseason game and former Arena League QB Kurt Warner took over. Would it have been the Greatest Show with Green at the controls? Warner threw for 41 touchdowns that season. No one else did that.

2017 NFL Draft rumors: Joe Mixon ‘undraftable’ to many teams

Joe Mixon will be a controversial selection in the 2017 NFL Draft — if a team takes him.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, there are “many teams” that view the former Oklahoma back as “undraftable.” Mixon has drawn headlines in recently months mostly thanks to the release of the video that showed him punching a woman in the face in 2014.

“I think it was one of the greatest games I have ever played in, but when I think of an interception return for a touchdown, some other missed opportunities in the first 37, 38 minutes of the game, I don’t really consider playing a good quarter-and-a-half plus overtime as one of the ‘best games ever.’ But it was certainly one of the most thrilling for me, just because so much was on the line, and it ended up being an incredible game. There are so many things that played into that game — a high-scoring offense, a top-ranked defense, the long Super Bowl, four-and-a-half-hour game, the way that the game unfolded in the first half versus what happened in the second half … so it was just a great game.”

Most may disagree with Brady and say he’s nitpicking at his stats, but he does have a point. While the setting of the Super Bowl does make his comeback more important, he’s certainly had better individual games than this.

Take his 2007 regular-season game against the Dolphins for example. He had just four Cheap Jerseys Sites incompletions while throwing for six touchdowns with no interceptions. Or his 2007 playoff game against the Jaguars in which he had just two incompletions (26 for 28) with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

While there’s certainly a case to be made for Brady’s record-setting 466 yards in Super Bowl 51 being his best game ever, it’s also easy to understand why he feels like there are better performances on his resume.

John Lynch: Daughter cried about ‘horrible’ 49ers when he accepted GM job

Many NFL observers were surprised — OK, shocked might be a better word — when the 49ers announced John Lynch as their new general manager.

Lynch’s 9-year-old daughter was pretty surprised, too — and not in a good way.

Hernandez, serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin L. Lloyd, is set to stand trial in the 2012 fatal drive-by shootings of two men outside a Boston nightclub.

Prosecutors allege Hernandez shot and killed Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu on July 16, 2012, over a fight that started when one of the men spilled a drink on Hernandez inside the nightclub. Alexander Bradley, a former friend who was with Hernandez in the vehicle, is scheduled to testify in the trial.

Hernandez is facing a separate charge of witness intimidation for allegedly shooting Bradley in Florida in 2013.

The 27-year-old former NFL tight end has pleaded not guilty to the homicide charges.

“‘Lion’ and ‘The Secondary’ are against-all-odds stories of struggle and inspiration,” Levin said, via THR. “Derek would not stop until Malcolm got a chance.”

Butler was an undrafted free agent working the fryolator at a Popeyes three years ago while Simpson scoured the NFL scene for an opportunity for his client. Once Simpson got Butler an in with the Patriots, the corner worked hard to make the 53-man roster in 2014.

That same year the Patriots went to the Super Bowl, where Butler’s Cheap Ireland Football Jerseys interception of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at the Seattle goal line essentially gave the Patriots the championship.

Butler has gone on to become a Pro Bowl selection and win another Super Bowl title. The rest, as they say, is history.

Tom Brady finally finds humor in oversized sideline jacket

Don’t blame Tom Brady for being behind the times. He’s been busy the last few weeks.

A fifth Super Bowl championship in tow, the Patriots quarterback Cheap Gaelic Jerseys finally appears to be taking some time to unwind and bring himself up to speed on the important things he missed. Namely, the internet making fun of Brady’s absurd, oversized sideline jacket in the AFC championship game Jan. 22.

The combination of Sean Payton and Drew Brees knocked on the door a few times, but this was the year New Orleans broke that down. The always-prolific offense led the league in scoring, and they used home-field advantage to take out Kurt Warner-led Arizona and Brett Favre-led Minnesota in the NFC Playoffs. The Super Bowl win against Indianapolis was defined by two game-changing plays. The first came on Payton’s decision to open the second half with an onside kick. The second sealed New Orleans’ first championship when Tracy Porter intercepted Peyton Manning and took it to the house.

Doug Williams only started two regular-season games for the Skins and wasn’t even the quarterback of record for a single regular-season victory. But he did lead the team to an overtime win in its season-ender against Minnesota, and he became famous as the first African-American to start a Super Bowl -— and more famous for a four-touchdown performance that earned him the game’s MVP award.