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y Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.The Kansas City C

in Quasselecke 23.05.2019 05:42
von panxing18 • 393 Beiträge

For the first time in a decade Womens Sammy Watkins Jersey , the top seed in the AFC playoffs goes to a team not led bhiefs earned the No. 1 seed for the first time since 1997 after switching from Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes , the sensational second-year star who reminds so many of Brett Favre.The New England Patriots lost five times on the road but still managed to win their customary first-round bye, slipping past the Houston Texans to earn a week off to rest for the 10th consecutive year.They’re the only teams back in the AFC playoffs following a year of comebacks.The Texans return from a year’s absence thanks to the remarkable rebounds of J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson . The Chargers rode a refined Philip Rivers to their first playoff berth in five years, and the Colts crashed the playoff party for the first time since 2014 behind Andrew Luck’s rousing return .The Colts visit the Texans on Saturday in the wild-card round, and on Sunday the Chargers play at Baltimore, where the Ravens ended a four-year drought by rallying behind Lamar Jackson , the last of the “Big Five” rookie QBs drafted in the first round, but the first to make it to the playoffs.Strength and weakness of each of the six AFC playoff teams:1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-4). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 4. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 4, 23-7 over Minnesota on Jan. 11, 1970.SHOOTOUT: The Chiefs haven’t had a true franchise QB since Len Dawson led them to their only Super Bowl title. But after letting him learn the ropes under Alex Smith, Mahomes broke out with one of the best seasons in NFL history for a first-year starter (5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns ). K.C. scored at least 26 points in every game, the only team ever to do so.STRIKEOUT: The defense is a dud. Their four losses this season came when they put forth as much resistance as tissue paper: shootout losses to the Rams, Patriots and Seahawks and a fourth-quarter meltdown against the Chargers. Of course, those are all playoff-bound teams. Don’t forget on offense the ouster of RB Kareem Hunt , who had 14 TDs. The Chiefs have gone 3-2 since cutting last year’s rushing champ.SHOUTOUT: “I always feel like there is a bull’s-eye every week, and that’s OK. That’s the way you want it. We’ve earned the right to be in this position.” — Coach Andy Reid.2. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-4). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 5 (tie). Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 51 Jordan Lucas Jersey , 34-28, OT, over Atlanta on Feb. 5, 2017.FAR OUT: At 41, he finally showed signs of age this season. But having Tom Brady on their roster makes the Patriots a title contender. Coming off an MVP season, Brady fell off — by his lofty standards — with 4,355 yards, 29 TDs and 11 interceptions. Getting a week off to rest is important because the Patriots have not been a wild-card team since 2009, when they were blown out by Baltimore.FLAME OUT: Every time Brady has won a Super Bowl ring, he had a star-studded defense helping him. The Patriots have given up 30 or more points five times this season, going 2-3. They haven’t been able to get to the quarterback like last year, when they were tied for seventh in the league with 42 sacks. This season, they tied for 30th with just 30 sacks.SHOUTOUT: “11-5 is nothing to be sad about. I mean, we fought pretty hard and put ourselves in a decent position here, and now we’ve got to go try to take advantage of it.” — Brady.3. HOUSTON TEXANS (11-5). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 7. No Lombardis.ROUT: QB Deshaun Watson is healthy again as evidenced by his eight TD throws and no interceptions in the last six games while running for 276 yards and four TDs. DeAndre Hopkins was second in the NFL with a career-high 1,572 yards receiving. J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney combined for 25 sacks and 34 tackles for loss. Watt also forced seven fumbles after playing just eight games over two injury-shortened seasons.POUT: The Texans enter the playoffs thin at receiver behind Hopkins after losing Will Fuller (knee) midseason and Demaryius Thomas , a trade deadline pickup from Denver Jordan Lucas Jersey , to a torn Achilles tendon last month. There is also concern about the porous O-line after Watson was sacked an NFL-leading 62 times this season. That kind of duress can negate any franchise QB. Adding to the pressure is a less-than-impressive ground game.SHOUTOUT: “This team is one of the few teams to come back from 0-3 and to qualify for the playoffs and win the division. We have a tough football team.” — Coach Bill O’Brien.4. BALTIMORE RAVENS (10-6). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 9. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 47, 34-31 over San Francisco on Feb. 1, 2013.BREAKOUT: The Ravens are dangerous if rookie QB Lamar Jackson shows the same poise he displayed in leading Baltimore on a 6-1 streak after taking over from an injured Joe Flacco. With Jackson efficiently operating the run-pass option , Baltimore controlled the clock and the rested defense manhandled opponents. John Harbaugh’s Ravens boast the NFL’s second-ranked rushing attack and No. 1 defense.DROPOUT: Baltimore beat the Chargers in L.A. on Dec. 22, but QB Philip Rivers should be ready for the rematch against a defense that last week was burned by Baker Mayfield for 376 yards and three TDs. Jackson ran for nearly 700 yards, but with only one career game of 200 yards passing, there’s still some question whether he can bring Baltimore back from a deficit with his arm.SHOUTOUT: “This is what a real team looks like. They block out all the outside, turn to each other for strength and are there for one another. … This is the best team I’ve been around.” — Harbaugh.5. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (12-4). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 5 (tie). No Lombardis. Lost Super Bowl 28 to San Francisco 49-26 in 1995.CLOUT: Philip Rivers had a 105.5 passer rating in 2018, equaling his career best. Melvin Gordon had 1,309 yards from scrimmage and 14 TDs and Austin Ekeler emerged as a change-of-pace back. Keenan Allen led the team in catches again but Mike Williams developed into another big-play receiver. The Chargers also aren’t fazed by hitting the road , where they were 7-1 with wins at Seattle, Pittsburgh and Kansas City.DOUBT: The Chargers head into the playoffs with only one healthy starter at linebacker. Denzel Perryman and Jatavis Brown are out with season-ending injuries and their replacements are undersized, something opponents will certainly scheme to exploit. They’ve been outscored 43-14 in the first quarter of the past six games as Rivers has thrown an interception on the first drive in each of the last three games.SHOUTOUT: “We just had to be in the playoffs. Our goal is to try to make a run and try to get to the Super Bowl.” — CB Casey Hayward Jr.6. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (10-6). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 8. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 41, 29-17 over Chicago on Feb. 4, 2007.BLOWOUT: The Comeback Colts got into the playoffs with a three-pronged combo they’ve rarely had: balanced offense, stout defense and championship-caliber QB. Andrew Luck came back from a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder with the best overall season of his career. The revamped O-line allowed a league-low 18 sacks and the Colts have allowed 16.4 points over last eight games.BURNOUT: The Colts will spend the playoffs on the road with a roster that lacks much postseason experience. Only four players from Indy’s last playoff team in 2014 will be active Sunday: Luck, T.Y. Hilton Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Jersey , Anthony Castonzo and Adam Vinatieri. Take out three players who own Super Bowl rings — Vinatieri, Jabaal Sheard and Najee Goode — and the other 46 players on the roster have a total of six playoff wins.SHOUTOUT: “That’s every team’s goal at the beginning of the season, to get into the dance, and we have climbed the mountain far enough to get into the playoffs. But our ultimate goals are still out there.” — Vinatieri. The Kansas City Chiefs are placing the franchise tag on outside linebacker Dee Ford after the best season of his career, though that could be just the first step in their dealings with him.The decision was made Saturday, a person familiar with it told The Associated Press, three days before the league’s deadline for franchising players. But the Chiefs have discussed signing Ford to a long-term deal, and they are open to trade possibilities as they switch their base defenses.The person spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the move was not finalized as the paperwork awaited filing. ESPN.com was first to report the Chiefs had made the decision.The franchise tag for an outside linebacker next season is just over $15.4 million, a number the Chiefs could easily fit under the salary cap. But general manager Brett Veach has made it clear since taking over last year that he is open to making any moves that help the overall club.That could mean a long-term contract — the deadline for doing that with a franchise player is July 15 — or trading away one of the league’s top pass rushers.“He had an outstanding season. He was at the top of his game,” Veach said during his year-end discussion with reporters. “When we drafted Dee a few years ago, all those things that we envisioned for him, he kind of showed that he was that player.”But that also came in former defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s scheme, which is built around a 3-4 base. The Chiefs fired Sutton after an AFC West-winning season culminated in an overtime loss to the Patriots in the AFC championship game, and hired Steve Spagnuolo to implement a 4-3 scheme.“The one thing he can do, and we all know this, he is an explosive football player that makes a lot of plays,” Spagnuolo said recently. “He’s had some production and if he is here with us Terrance Smith Jersey , I’ll be excited to have him and be excited to work with him.”Ford was the Chiefs’ first-round pick in 2014 out of Auburn, but he struggled with injuries and the adjustment to the NFL his first couple of seasons. He played in only six games with two sacks in 2017 but had a career-best 13 sacks and forced seven fumbles in 2018.That performance made the franchise tag a palatable option.“Obviously, Dee is a player that has done so much for us, in particular last year,” Veach said. “We have a special thing brewing here, and I think everyone wants to keep this thing rolling.”The Chiefs also have a decision to make with fellow outside linebacker Justin Houston, who had nine sacks in 12 games last season. He carries a salary cap hit of $21.1 million, a number the Chiefs would like to drive down either by restructuring his deal or potentially releasing him.“I would say that he’s under contract for this year and next year,” Veach said at the NFL’s scouting combine. “Again, our plan is to play with him and we look forward to having him on our roster. There’s a lot of dialogue and I think everything is fluid for the next few weeks until we get into the start of the league year. We’ll kind of handle that — the information we get, what’s real, what’s not real — and it’s a good problem to have because he’s a great player.”100<button class="view-gallery">View Gallery</button> Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj Mehta

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