Patriots, Falcons set for Super Bowl spectacle

first_img Mental toughness “This team showed a lot of mental toughness over the course of the year,” Brady said. The Falcons have never won the Super Bowl. This will be Atlanta’s second trip to the big game; they lost to Denver in 1999. The club’s never had a quarterback quite as good as Ryan, though. The guy nicknamed “Matty Ice” went 27 for 38 for 392 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, while adding a rushing TD, to boot, leading Atlanta past Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers 44-21 in the NFC championship game. Brady tied Hall of Famer Joe Montana’s record with a ninth three-TD postseason game, helping the Patriots beat Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers 36-17 for the AFC championship. New England opened the season with a 3-1 record despite using two backup quarterbacks while playing those games without Brady after he went through a lengthy court battle in an unsuccessful bid to have his ban overturned for what became known as “Deflategate.” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Brady because the league said it determined the Patriots intentionally underinflated footballs used in an AFC championship game victory two years ago. A season that began with Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension will end with him in the Super Bowl, where his New England Patriots will take on Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. While much of the attention has been focused on Brady vs. Ryan, the truly key matchup could be Atlanta’s score-at-will offence, which produced the most points during the regular season, against the unheralded defence of New England, which allowed the fewest. And these two teams are playing their best football at the most important time. AFC champions New England (16-2) have won nine consecutive games – and haven’t even trailed since Nov. 27. NFC champions Atlanta (13-5) have won their past six in a row, scoring at least 33 points in each. “We’ll enjoy this,” Ryan said. “But we’ve got some work to do.” Brady and coach Bill Belichick will be seeking their – and the Patriots’ – fifth Lombardi Trophy, and second in three years. This will be the franchise’s league-record ninth appearance in the Super Bowl, including titles in the 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2015 editions.last_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires My rankings are specifically for the Cardinals — so if you are worried why I have Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert ranked lower than most, it’s simply because his position doesn’t lend itself to the Cardinals’ needs as much as maybe FIU safety Jonathan Cyprien.Tier One1. Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama2. Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU3. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia4. Eric Fisher, LT, Central Michigan5. Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&M6. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah7. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia8. Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon9. Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina10. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYUThese are the ten players I would be comfortable with the Cardinals taking with the seventh pick in the draft. I know, no Lane Johnson, that’s unfortunately how I feel about Johnson.Tier Two11. Lane Johnson, LT, Oklahoma12. Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State13. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia14. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee15. Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State16. Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International17. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State18. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame19. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas20. Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise StateThe above are ten players I’d be in favor of the Cardinals selecting if they were to move down in the first round. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories The week of the draft, I will add an additional 50 names, to give Cardinals fans 150 names to watch for on draft day. With the draft a mere 17 days away, I get asked frequently on Twitter about what players I like, what players I don’t like and who I would want the Cardinals to draft if scenario x, y, or z unfolds. Well I’m going to try and make it easy for all of us.Here is my Arizona Cardinals Big Board, with a hat tip to Eric Stoner of and Josh Norris of for the tiers idea. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Even if the Cardinals took any of these players at the top of round two, I wouldn’t be able to find much fault.Tier Five52. Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist53. Cornelius Washington, OLB, Georgia54. Quanterus Smith, OLB, Western Kentucky55. D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston56. Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia57. Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State58. Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse59. Duke Williams, S, Nevada60. Travis Frederick , OG/C, Wisconsin61. Robert Woods, WR, USC62. Chris Faulk, OT, LSU63. Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers64. Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia65. Kwame Geathers, DT, Georgia66. Michael Buchanan, OLB, Illinois67. Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern MississippiThese are guys I don’t know how they may fit with Arizona or where they’ll be drafted, but I like them as football players.They make plays, help their teams win games and most of them have a reason for why they are in this tier of players.These would be third or fourth round targets if I was running Cardinals draft.Tier Six68. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee69. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State70. Marquise Goodwin, WR, Texas71. Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame72. B.W. Webb, CB, William and Mary73. Josh Evans, S, Florida74. Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse75. Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse76. Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State77. Kiko Alonso, LB, Oregon78. Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State79. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State80. Matt Elam, S, Florida81. Dennis Johnson, RB, Arkansas82. Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M83. Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State84. Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida85. Jon Bostic, LB, Florida86. Brian Schwenke, C, California87. Earl Wolff, S, North Carolina State88. David Amerson, S, North Carolina State89. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State90. William Gholston, DE, Michigan State91. Trevardo Williams, OLB, Conneticut92. Jelani Jenkins, LB, Florida93. Kevin Reddick, LB, North Carolina94. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU95. Sanders Commings, CB, Georgia96. Mychal Rivera, TE, Tennessee97. Alvin Bailey, OG, Arkansas98. David Quessenberry, OG, San Jose State99. Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina100. Spencer Ware, RB, LSUEnding my list is a group of players I like throughout the draft. Maybe they go early, maybe they go later, but this is the top 100 players I have my eye on for the Cardinals right now. Tier Three21. Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky22. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri23. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas24. Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (Ohio)25. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama26. D.J. Fluker, OG, Alabama27. Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina28. Kevin Minter, LB, LSU29. Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State30. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson31. Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama32. Dallas Thomas, OG, Tennessee33. Justin Pugh, OG, SyracuseTrade down a little further than the mid-teens, move into the back end of round one, or take advantage of players that will inevitably fall to their second round pick, this is how I would prioritize them.Tier Four34. Corey Lemonier, OLB, Auburn35. Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama36. Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas Pine-Bluff37. Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati38. Damontre Moore, OLB, Texas A&M39. Bjoern Werner, OLB, Florida State40. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA41. Sio Moore, LB, Connecticut42. D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina43. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State44. Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington45. Menelik Watson, LT, Florida State46. Vance McDonald, TE, Rice47. Eric Reid, S, LSU48. David Bakhtiari, OL, Colorado49. Robert Alford, CB, Southeast Louisiana50. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin51. Justin Hunter, WR, TennesseeIf the Cardinals add another second round pick or these players somehow fall to round three, they are all guys I would target.last_img read more