Their road is much tougher this time around
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Dołączył: 02-08-2017
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Their road is much tougher this time around
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The defending Super Bowl champions traded in the dog masks for ski masks http://www.packerscheapshoponline.com/ch...ger-jersey , but they’re still playoff underdogs for the second straight year. however.The Eagles (9-7) are trying to become only the third No. 6 seed to win it all, joining the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers and 2010 Green Bay Packers. Philadelphia starts its quest Sunday against the Chicago Bears (12-4).Last year, the Eagles had the luxury of a first-round bye and two home games but few expected them to do much with backup quarterback Nick Foles.They were the first No. 1 seed to be an underdog in their opening playoff game, a 15-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Lane Johnson and Chris Long donned dog masks after that game to symbolize the team’s underdog status and it spread throughout the city and continued gaining momentum with each win.The Eagles were 3-point underdogs against the Vikings in the NFC championship game and won 38-7. They were 4½-point underdogs against the Patriots in the Super Bowl when Foles earned MVP honors in a 41-33 victory.On wild-card weekend, the combined total of the spread of the other three games is 5½ points while the Bears are 6-point favorites against the Eagles.“To be an underdog and get back to that, we had to go through a lot as a team because we didn’t start out that way this year; it was actually the opposite,” Foles said Wednesday. “Then we went through some growing pains. We had to fight through it. It’s brought us closer together what’s happened, the ups and downs, it’s made us strong mentally.”Foles began the season under center because Carson Wentz wasn’t ready following knee surgery that forced him out of the lineup in December 2017. The Eagles were 1-1 when Wentz returned in Week 3 and played inconsistent for most of the season. Following a 29-23 overtime loss at Dallas in Week 14, the Eagles were 6-7 and their playoff chances were slim. Then Wentz was sidelined by a back injury.But Foles stepped in and led Philadelphia, a 13½-point underdog, to a 30-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 16. Foles set a franchise record with 471 yards passing in a 32-30 comeback win over Houston the following game and the Eagles secured a playoff berth with a 24-0 rout over Washington coupled with Chicago’s win at Minnesota.“I know how our team has really fought this last month of the season, last six weeks Dexter Williams Jersey ,” coach Doug Pederson said. “And it does give you a little comfort knowing that we’ve kind of went through this grind and we’re here now and we have to continue to grind and continue to work. But I don’t think it’s any easier. It’s a different team again. Different set of circumstances. We have to travel; if we’re fortunate to win, we have to be on the road again. It feels different. But the excitement is the same.”The ski masks came out in Dallas when players on defense decided to wear them after a turnover. The team had nine takeaways in the first 12 games and nine after using the ski masks as motivation.“The ski mask thing is more fun for the guys,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. “Anything that can promote some camaraderie and things like that are all good. But the turnovers come when you do your job and make the plays that come to you.”The Eagles and Foles have been at their best the past two seasons when few people expect them to have success. They aren’t concerned with low expectations.“People have doubted us, but the only thing that matters is the people in this building, the people in the locker room, what we think, because that’s who is stepping on the playing field,” Foles said. “It’s special to be a part of a group of people that can come together when everyone doubts you and play at a high level.” GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Having signed four potential starters in free agency, the Green Bay Packers enter this week’s draft looking to add the missing ingredients to a team that has missed the playoffs the last two seasons.“With some of the things that we’ve done, I think where our team sits today, I’m not super concerned about, ‘Hey, we absolutely have to do this or absolutely have to do that Nick Bosa Jersey ,'” general manager Brian Gutekunst said at a news conference Monday.“We can sit back, see where the draft board is strong, try to get there and then take the best players available. … I think it’s a really good draft overall and I think we have a chance to help our team.”The Packers hold the 12th selection in Thursday’s first round. They haven’t had such an early pick since drafting defensive tackle B.J. Raji at No. 9 in 2009. Gutekunst’s maneuvering in the first round of last year’s draft bagged the 30th selection of the first round for this year. Including those picks, Green Bay has six selections in the first four rounds.Leading to the draft, Gutekunst added outside linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, safety Adrian Amos and offensive lineman Billy Turner. Those signings bolstered three of the Packers’ biggest areas of need. In turn, that eases the pressure on Gutekunst.“I do like our flexibility to be able to move around and not feel like we’re pigeon-holed to have to take a certain position or a certain player,” he said.One position where there is not an immediate need is quarterback, with 35-year-old Aaron Rodgers returning for his 15th season. Still, Gutekunst used one of his predraft visits on Missouri quarterback Drew Lock, who is considered a likely first-round pick. Gutekunst said there’s a measure of “subterfuge” in his use of the 30 predraft invitations. Then again, Brett Favre was 35 when then-general manager Ted Thompson drafted Rodgers in the first round in 2005.“Every year, we spend a lot of time on the quarterbacks and trying to figure out what kinds of players those guys are going to be in the NFL,” Gutekunst said. “And it’s really L.J. Collier Jersey , really important to us because, if you don’t have one, it’s really tough to win in this league. For us, it’s about trying to decide which are the guys that could potentially be starters in this league.”This will be Gutekunst’s second year running the draft but his first with new coach Matt LaFleur. While LaFleur is installing a new offense — that process will continue at the three-day minicamp that starts Tuesday — Gutekunst said has had “minimal” impact on the kind of players he’s been scouting.“You do this for as long as a lot of us have in that room, this is what you work all year for. It’s really exciting to have the ability to try to help your football team and add to that mix”In addition to the first round, the Packers have the 12th selection in each round. Plus, they have an additional picks in the fourth round (last year’s trade of safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to Washington) and the sixth round (last year’s trade of quarterback Brett Hundley to Seattle).For Gutekunst and his staff, it’s almost show time. In the draft room, the board is locked behind curtains to prevent overanalysis. He allowed his scouts to spend Easter weekend with family.“You do get to this point where it’s a little dangerous to react too much,” he said. “And I wouldn’t imagine there would be a whole lot of tweaks between now and Thursday.”
29-07-2019 7:59
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