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‘NFL’ Articles

NFL Conference Championships up for grab today for ticket to Super Bowl LII

​FOUR TEAMS REMAIN AS NFL ENTERS CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND​

The final four teams are set and this Sunday will determine the two teams heading to Minnesota for Super Bowl LII.

  Visitor Home Time Network
AFC Championship Game Jacksonville Jaguars New England Patriots 3:05 PM ET CBS
NFC Championship Game Minnesota Vikings Philadelphia Eagles 6:40 PM ET FOX

Championship Sunday begins with the AFC title game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots. The Patriots defeated Tennessee 35-14 in the Divisional round and the Jaguars knocked off Pittsburgh 45-42. The NFC Championship Game will feature the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles. In the Divisional Playoffs, the Vikings knocked off New Orleans 29-24 and the Eagles defeated Atlanta 15-10.

Both Philadelphia and Jacksonville completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. The Eagles and Jaguars are the first “worst-to-first” teams since the 2009 New Orleans Saints to advance to the Championship Gam­­­e.

Three of the remaining four clubs – Philadelphia, Minnesota and Jacksonville – missed the postseason in 2016. This is the first time since 2008 in which three of the four teams in the Championship Games missed the playoffs in the previous season.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (12-6) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (14-3) (Sunday, CBS, 3:05 PM ET)

  • The Patriots and Jaguars meet in the postseason for the fifth time. New England has won three of the previous four meetings, including the 1996 AFC Championship Game which the Patriots won 20-6. In the team’s last postseason meeting, New England knocked off Jacksonville 31-20 in the 2007 AFC Divisional Playoffs (January 12, 2008).
  • New England has won 10 of the 11 all-time meetings between the clubs (including the postseason). The teams last played in Week 3, 2015 (September 27) with the Patriots winning 51-17.
  • The Jaguars have advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the third time in franchise history. Jacksonville previously played in the AFC Championship Game in 1999 (January 23, 2000 against Tennessee) and 1996 (January 12, 1997 against New England).
  • Jacksonville is the second team since the 1970 merger to advance to the Conference Championship Game after winning three or fewer games in the previous season (2006 New Orleans).
  • Jacksonville rookie running back LEONARD FOURNETTE rushed for 109 yards and three touchdowns in the Divisional Playoffs, becoming the youngest player (22 years, 361 days old) in the Super Bowl era to rush for at least 100 yards and three touchdowns in a playoff game.
  • The Jaguars led the NFL with seven defensive touchdowns during the regular season and scored on a 50-yard fumble-return touchdown by linebacker TELVIN SMITH in the Divisional Playoff.
  • Smith leads the NFL with three defensive touchdowns this season (including the playoffs).
  • Jacksonville quarterback BLAKE BORTLES has won his first two career playoff starts. In both postseason starts, Bortles has thrown a touchdown pass with no interceptions.
  • Jaguars defensive end CALAIS CAMPBELL had a franchise-record 14.5 sacks in the regular season and teammate YANNICK NGAKOUE added 12 sacks. In the Divisional Playoff, Ngakoue had a sack and forced fumble which led to Smith’s 50-yard fumble-return touchdown.
  • The Jaguars had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: cornerbacks A.J. BOUYE and JALEN RAMSEY, defensive end Campbell and defensive tackle MALIK JACKSON.
  • New England has advanced to its seventh consecutive AFC Championship Game and are the first team since the 1970 merger to play in seven Conference Championship Games in a row.
  • The Patriots have won nine AFC Championship Games, the most in NFL history. New England is 6-1 all-time in AFC Championship Games played at home.
  • The Patriots defeated Tennessee 35-14 last week in the Divisional Playoffs. Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK and quarterback TOM BRADYhave won 26 postseason games together, the most in NFL history by a head coach and starting quarterback combination.
  • Belichick has advanced to 12 Conference Championship Games, the most by a head coach since the 1970 merger.
  • Brady has 26 career playoff wins, the most by any starting quarterback in NFL history. Brady is also the NFL postseason leader in career completions (866), attempts (1,378), passing yards (9,431) and touchdown passes (66).
  • Last week against the Titans, Brady passed for 337 yards and three touchdowns. He has 13 playoff games with at least 300 passing yards, the most in NFL history. Brady recorded his 10th career postseason game with at least three touchdown passes and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE MONTANA (nine) for the most all-time.
  • Patriots running back JAMES WHITE scored two touchdowns – one rushing, one receiving – in last week’s win over Tennessee. In his past four playoff games, White has scored six touchdowns (three rushing, three receiving).
  • New England tight end ROB GRONKOWSKI had six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown in last week’s game. Gronkowski has 10 touchdown receptions in his postseason career and trails only Pro Football Hall of Famers JERRY RICE (22) and JOHN STALLWORTH (12) for the most in NFL playoff history.
  • New England won its ninth consecutive division title, the longest streak in NFL history. The Patriots are the only team to win 14 division titles in a 15-year span.
  • The Patriots had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: quarterback Brady, fullback JAMES DEVELIN, tight end Gronkowski and special teamer MATTHEW SLATER.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (14-3) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (14-3) (Sunday, FOX, 6:40 PM ET)

  • The Eagles and Vikings meet in the postseason for the fourth time. Philadelphia has won the previous three meetings, including the last matchup in the 2008 Wild Card round (January 4, 2009) which the Eagles won 26-14.
  • The all-time series between the clubs is tied 13-13 (including the postseason). The teams last played in Week 7, 2016 (October 23) with the Eagles winning 21-10.
  • Minnesota will play in the team’s 10th NFL/NFC Championship Game. The Vikings are 4-5 in the club’s previous nine appearances. This marks the franchise’s first NFC Championship Game since 2009 (January 24, 2010 at New Orleans).
  • The Vikings are aiming to become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in the team’s home stadium.
  • Minnesota defeated New Orleans 29-24 in last week’s Divisional Playoffs as quarterback CASE KEENUM connected with wide receiver STEFON DIGGS on the game-winning 61-yard touchdown as time expired. It marked the first postseason game in NFL history to end with a game-winning score as time expired in the fourth quarter.
  • Diggs had six catches for 137 yards and a touchdown against the Saints.
  • Keenum, who set career-highs in attempts (481), completions (325), completion percentage (67.6), yards (3,547), touchdowns (22) and passer rating (98.3) in the regular season, passed for 318 yards in his first career postseason start.
  • Running backs LATAVIUS MURRAY and JERICK MC KINNON each rushed for a touchdown in last week’s victory.
  • The Vikings, who led the NFL in total defense (275.9 yards per game) in the regular season, recorded two sacks and two interceptions against the Saints. Safety HARRISON SMITH and defensive end EVERSON GRIFFEN each had a sack while linebacker ANTHONY BARR and safety ANDREW SENDEJO recorded the interceptions.
  • Minnesota captured the NFC North for the second time in the past three seasons and earned a first-round bye for the first time since 2009. The team’s 13 regular-season wins are the most since 1998 when the club went 15-1.
  • The Vikings had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: linebacker Barr, defensive end Griffen, cornerback XAVIER RHODES and wide receiver ADAM THIELEN.
  • Philadelphia has advanced to its 11th NFL/NFC Championship Game and the Eagles are 5-5 in the team’s previous 10 appearances. This is the franchise’s first NFC Championship Game since 2008 (January 18, 2009 at Arizona) and the first in Philadelphia since 2004 (January 23, 2005 vs. Atlanta) when the Eagles advanced to Super Bowl XXXIX.
  • The Eagles defeated Atlanta 15-10 last week in the Divisional Playoffs. Philadelphia’s defense stopped Atlanta on fourth-and-goal from the Eagles’ two-yard line with 58 seconds remaining, only the third postseason game in the past 50 years in which the winning team prevented a go-ahead TD in the game’s final two minutes with a fourth-and-goal stop.
  • Philadelphia quarterback NICK FOLES completed 23 of 30 passes (76.7 percent) against the Falcons and recorded a 100.1 passer rating. Foles has registered a 100+ passer rating in both career postseason starts (105 in Wild Card playoff against New Orleans on January 4, 2014) and joined DONOVANMC NABB (three) as the only Eagles to have multiple postseason games with a 100+ passer rating. Foles has a 102.7 career passer rating in the postseason.
  • Eagles running back LE GARRETTE BLOUNT rushed for a touchdown last week and has nine rushing touchdowns in his postseason career, tied for the most among active players (MARSHAWN LYNCH). Running back JAY AJAYI had 98 scrimmage yards (54 rushing, 44 receiving) against the Falcons.
  • The Eagles tied a franchise record with 13 regular-season wins (2004) and earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the fourth time since 2002.
  • Three Eagles had at least eight touchdown receptions this season: wide receivers ALSHON JEFFERY (nine) and NELSON AGHOLOR (eight) and tight end ZACH ERTZ (eight).
  • Philadelphia had six players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: guard BRANDON BROOKS, defensive tackle FLETCHER COX, tight end Ertz, safety MALCOLM JENKINS, tackle LANE JOHNSON and quarterback CARSON WENTZ.

 

 

GAME PREVIEWS WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

NHL Department of Player Safety suspends Ducks’ Cogliano 2 games

 

Andrew Cogliano with stick 2012 photo By Michael Miller - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

NEW YORK (Jan. 14, 2018) – Anaheim Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano has been suspended for two games, without pay, for interference against Los Angeles Kings forward Adrian Kempe during NHL Game No. 677 in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 13, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced.

 

The incident occurred at 3:37 of the first period. Cogliano was assessed a minor penalty for interference.

 

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Cogliano will forfeit $32,258.06. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

 

For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, please click on the following link: https://www.nhl.com/video/t-277440360/c-56673903.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

NFL Conference Championship Games: Expectations and What To Look For

 

FROM “WORST TO FIRST”: The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES and JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS both advanced to the Conference Championship Games after completing “worst-to-first” turnarounds this season. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons.

The last two teams that went from “worst-to-first” in their divisions to earn a Super Bowl berth were the 2003 Carolina Panthers (Super Bowl XXXVIII) and the 2009 New Orleans Saints, who won Super Bowl XLIV.

The teams to go from “worst-to-first” in their divisions and advance to the Super Bowl since 2003:

SEASON TEAM RECORD PRIOR SEASON RECORD ADVANCED TO
2003 Carolina 11-5 7-9 Super Bowl XXXVIII
2009 New Orleans 13-3 8-8 Won Super Bowl XLIV
         
2017 Jacksonville 10-6 3-13 ???
2017 Philadelphia 13-3 7-9 ???

 

Three of the remaining four clubs – the Eagles and MINNESOTA VIKINGS in the NFC and the Jaguars in the AFC – missed the postseason in 2016, marking the fifth time since 1990 – and the first since 2008 – that three teams advanced to the Championship Game after missing the postseason in the previous year.​

The seasons which had three teams advance to the Conference Championship Game after missing the postseason in the previous season since 1990:

SEASON TEAMS TO ADVANCE TO CONFERENCE CHAMPIOHSHIP GAME WHO MISSED PLAYOFFS IN PREVIOUS SEASON
1996 3 (Carolina, Jacksonville, New England)
1999 3 (St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Tennessee)
2000 3 (Baltimore, New York Giants, Oakland)
2008 3 (Arizona, Baltimore, Philadelphia)
2017 3 (Jacksonville, Minnesota, Philadelphia)

– CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES –​

OVER 100: Philadelphia quarterback NICK FOLES completed 23 of 30 passes (76.7 percent) for 246 yards and a 100.1 passer rating in the Eagles’ 15-10 win over Atlanta in the Divisional Playoffs.

Foles, who faces Minnesota on Sunday night, can become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to record a passer rating of at least 100 in each of his first three postseason starts.

The quarterbacks with the most starts with a passer rating of at least 100 to begin postseason career:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON(S) GAMES WITH 100+ PASSER RATING
Troy Aikman^ Dallas 1992-93 5
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay 2009-10 3
Tony Eason New England 1985 3
Joe Theismann Washington 1982 3
       
Nick Foles Philadelphia 2013, 2017 2*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES –

DANGEROUS JAGUARS: The JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS defeated Pittsburgh, the No. 2 seed in the AFC, 45-42 in the Divisional Playoffs to advance to their third AFC Championship game in franchise history.

Jacksonville, who plays at No. 1 seed New England on Sunday, can become the 11th team to defeat the top two seeds from their own conference in the same postseason since 1990 when the current playoff format was adopted.

The teams to defeat the top two seeds from their own conference in the same postseason since 1990:

YEAR TEAM CONFERENCE
1992 Buffalo AFC
1997 Denver AFC
1999 Tennessee AFC
2000 Baltimore AFC
2003 Carolina NFC
2005 Pittsburgh AFC
2007 New York Giants NFC
2010 Green Bay NFC
2011 New York Giants NFC
2012 Baltimore AFC
     
2017 Jacksonville* AFC
*Play at No. 1 seed New England on Sunday

– CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES –

RUMBLING ROOKIE: Jacksonville rookie running back LEONARD FOURNETTE rushed for 109 yards and three touchdowns in the Jaguars’ 45-42 victory over Pittsburgh in the Divisional Playoffs.

With one rushing touchdown on Sunday against New England, Fournette can tie the postseason record for the most rushing touchdowns by a rookie.

The rookies with the most rushing touchdowns in a single postseason:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RUSH TDS  
Jamal Lewis Baltimore 2000 4  
William Floyd San Francisco 1994 4  
Tony Dorsett^ Dallas 1977 4  
Norm Standlee Chicago 1941 4  
         
Leonard Fournette Jacksonville 2017 3*  
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES –

PROLIFIC PASSER: New England quarterback TOM BRADY completed 35 of 53 passes (66 percent) for 337 yards and three touchdowns for a 102.5 passer rating in the Patriots’ 35-14 win against Tennessee in the Divisional Playoffs.

Brady, who faces Jacksonville on Sunday, can become the first quarterback in postseason history to record four consecutive games with at least 300 yards and multiple touchdown passes.

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive postseason games with 300+ yards and 2+ touchdown passes:

PLAYER TEAM SEASONS CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF GAMES WITH 300+ YARDS & 2+ TDs
Tom Brady New England 2016-17 3*
Matt Ryan Atlanta 2013, 2016 3
Drew Brees New Orleans 2010-11 3
Jim Kelly^ Buffalo 1989-90 3
Dan Fouts^ San Diego 1980-81 3
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES –

TOUCHDOWN MACHINE: New England running back JAMES WHITE recorded two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Patriots’ win against Tennessee in the Divisional Playoffs.

White, who had three touchdowns in SB LI, needs two touchdowns to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer EMMITT SMITH (seven) and LARRY FITZGERALD (seven) for the most combined rushing and receiving touchdowns over a three-game span in postseason history.

The players with the most combined rushing and receiving touchdowns in a three-game span in postseason history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) SEASONS MOST RUSH & REC. TDS IN 3-GAME SPAN IN PLAYOFF HISTORY
Larry Fitzgerald Arizona 2008-09 7
Emmitt Smith^ Dallas 1995-96 7
Many tied     6
       
James White New England 2016-17 5*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES –

BRING IT HOME: The MINNESOTA VIKINGS defeated New Orleans 29-24 to advance to their 10th NFL/NFC Championship game in franchise history.

With a win against Philadelphia on Sunday, the Vikings will become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in the team’s home stadium and the fifth team to play in a Super Bowl that was hosted in their home state.

The teams to play in a Super Bowl hosted in their home state:

SUPER BOWL DATE WINNER LOSER SITE
XXXVII January 26, 2003 Tampa Bay Oakland San Diego, CA
XIX January 20, 1985 San Francisco Miami Stanford, CA
XIV January 20, 1980 Pittsburgh LA Rams Pasadena, CA
XI January 9, 1977 Oakland Minnesota Pasadena, CA

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

And then there were Four in the NFL Playoffs! Eagles-Vikings in NFC; Jaguars-Patriots in AFC

 

​FOUR TEAMS REMAIN AS NFL ENTERS CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND​

The final four teams are set and this Sunday will determine the two teams heading to Minnesota for Super Bowl LII.

  Visitor Home Time Network
AFC Championship Game Jacksonville Jaguars New England Patriots 3:05 PM ET CBS
NFC Championship Game Minnesota Vikings Philadelphia Eagles 6:40 PM ET FOX

Championship Sunday begins with the AFC title game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots. The Patriots defeated Tennessee 35-14 in the Divisional round and the Jaguars knocked off Pittsburgh 45-42. The NFC Championship Game will feature the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles. In the Divisional Playoffs, the Vikings knocked off New Orleans 29-24 and the Eagles defeated Atlanta 15-10.

Both Philadelphia and Jacksonville completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. The Eagles and Jaguars are the first “worst-to-first” teams since the 2009 New Orleans Saints to advance to the Championship Gam­­­e.

Three of the remaining four clubs – Philadelphia, Minnesota and Jacksonville – missed the postseason in 2016. This is the first time since 2008 in which three of the four teams in the Championship Games missed the playoffs in the previous season.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (12-6) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (14-3) (Sunday, CBS, 3:05 PM ET)

  • The Patriots and Jaguars meet in the postseason for the fifth time. New England has won three of the previous four meetings, including the 1996 AFC Championship Game which the Patriots won 20-6. In the team’s last postseason meeting, New England knocked off Jacksonville 31-20 in the 2007 AFC Divisional Playoffs (January 12, 2008).
  • New England has won 10 of the 11 all-time meetings between the clubs (including the postseason). The teams last played in Week 3, 2015 (September 27) with the Patriots winning 51-17.
  • The Jaguars have advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the third time in franchise history. Jacksonville previously played in the AFC Championship Game in 1999 (January 23, 2000 against Tennessee) and 1996 (January 12, 1997 against New England).
  • Jacksonville is the second team since the 1970 merger to advance to the Conference Championship Game after winning three or fewer games in the previous season (2006 New Orleans).
  • Jacksonville rookie running back LEONARD FOURNETTE rushed for 109 yards and three touchdowns in the Divisional Playoffs, becoming the youngest player (22 years, 361 days old) in the Super Bowl era to rush for at least 100 yards and three touchdowns in a playoff game.
  • The Jaguars led the NFL with seven defensive touchdowns during the regular season and scored on a 50-yard fumble-return touchdown by linebacker TELVIN SMITH in the Divisional Playoff.
  • Smith leads the NFL with three defensive touchdowns this season (including the playoffs).
  • Jacksonville quarterback BLAKE BORTLES has won his first two career playoff starts. In both postseason starts, Bortles has thrown a touchdown pass with no interceptions.
  • Jaguars defensive end CALAIS CAMPBELL had a franchise-record 14.5 sacks in the regular season and teammate YANNICK NGAKOUE added 12 sacks. In the Divisional Playoff, Ngakoue had a sack and forced fumble which led to Smith’s 50-yard fumble-return touchdown.
  • The Jaguars had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: cornerbacks A.J. BOUYE and JALEN RAMSEY, defensive end Campbell and defensive tackle MALIK JACKSON.
  • New England has advanced to its seventh consecutive AFC Championship Game and are the first team since the 1970 merger to play in seven Conference Championship Games in a row.
  • The Patriots have won nine AFC Championship Games, the most in NFL history. New England is 6-1 all-time in AFC Championship Games played at home.
  • The Patriots defeated Tennessee 35-14 last week in the Divisional Playoffs. Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK and quarterback TOM BRADYhave won 26 postseason games together, the most in NFL history by a head coach and starting quarterback combination.
  • Belichick has advanced to 12 Conference Championship Games, the most by a head coach since the 1970 merger.
  • Brady has 26 career playoff wins, the most by any starting quarterback in NFL history. Brady is also the NFL postseason leader in career completions (866), attempts (1,378), passing yards (9,431) and touchdown passes (66).
  • Last week against the Titans, Brady passed for 337 yards and three touchdowns. He has 13 playoff games with at least 300 passing yards, the most in NFL history. Brady recorded his 10th career postseason game with at least three touchdown passes and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE MONTANA (nine) for the most all-time.
  • Patriots running back JAMES WHITE scored two touchdowns – one rushing, one receiving – in last week’s win over Tennessee. In his past four playoff games, White has scored six touchdowns (three rushing, three receiving).
  • New England tight end ROB GRONKOWSKI had six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown in last week’s game. Gronkowski has 10 touchdown receptions in his postseason career and trails only Pro Football Hall of Famers JERRY RICE (22) and JOHN STALLWORTH (12) for the most in NFL playoff history.
  • New England won its ninth consecutive division title, the longest streak in NFL history. The Patriots are the only team to win 14 division titles in a 15-year span.
  • The Patriots had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: quarterback Brady, fullback JAMES DEVELIN, tight end Gronkowski and special teamer MATTHEW SLATER.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (14-3) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (14-3) (Sunday, FOX, 6:40 PM ET)

  • The Eagles and Vikings meet in the postseason for the fourth time. Philadelphia has won the previous three meetings, including the last matchup in the 2008 Wild Card round (January 4, 2009) which the Eagles won 26-14.
  • The all-time series between the clubs is tied 13-13 (including the postseason). The teams last played in Week 7, 2016 (October 23) with the Eagles winning 21-10.
  • Minnesota will play in the team’s 10th NFL/NFC Championship Game. The Vikings are 4-5 in the club’s previous nine appearances. This marks the franchise’s first NFC Championship Game since 2009 (January 24, 2010 at New Orleans).
  • The Vikings are aiming to become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in the team’s home stadium.
  • Minnesota defeated New Orleans 29-24 in last week’s Divisional Playoffs as quarterback CASE KEENUM connected with wide receiver STEFON DIGGS on the game-winning 61-yard touchdown as time expired. It marked the first postseason game in NFL history to end with a game-winning score as time expired in the fourth quarter.
  • Diggs had six catches for 137 yards and a touchdown against the Saints.
  • Keenum, who set career-highs in attempts (481), completions (325), completion percentage (67.6), yards (3,547), touchdowns (22) and passer rating (98.3) in the regular season, passed for 318 yards in his first career postseason start.
  • Running backs LATAVIUS MURRAY and JERICK MC KINNON each rushed for a touchdown in last week’s victory.
  • The Vikings, who led the NFL in total defense (275.9 yards per game) in the regular season, recorded two sacks and two interceptions against the Saints. Safety HARRISON SMITH and defensive end EVERSON GRIFFEN each had a sack while linebacker ANTHONY BARR and safety ANDREW SENDEJO recorded the interceptions.
  • Minnesota captured the NFC North for the second time in the past three seasons and earned a first-round bye for the first time since 2009. The team’s 13 regular-season wins are the most since 1998 when the club went 15-1.
  • The Vikings had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: linebacker Barr, defensive end Griffen, cornerback XAVIER RHODES and wide receiver ADAM THIELEN.
  • Philadelphia has advanced to its 11th NFL/NFC Championship Game and the Eagles are 5-5 in the team’s previous 10 appearances. This is the franchise’s first NFC Championship Game since 2008 (January 18, 2009 at Arizona) and the first in Philadelphia since 2004 (January 23, 2005 vs. Atlanta) when the Eagles advanced to Super Bowl XXXIX.
  • The Eagles defeated Atlanta 15-10 last week in the Divisional Playoffs. Philadelphia’s defense stopped Atlanta on fourth-and-goal from the Eagles’ two-yard line with 58 seconds remaining, only the third postseason game in the past 50 years in which the winning team prevented a go-ahead TD in the game’s final two minutes with a fourth-and-goal stop.
  • Philadelphia quarterback NICK FOLES completed 23 of 30 passes (76.7 percent) against the Falcons and recorded a 100.1 passer rating. Foles has registered a 100+ passer rating in both career postseason starts (105 in Wild Card playoff against New Orleans on January 4, 2014) and joined DONOVAN MC NABB (three) as the only Eagles to have multiple postseason games with a 100+ passer rating. Foles has a 102.7 career passer rating in the postseason.
  • Eagles running back LE GARRETTE BLOUNT rushed for a touchdown last week and has nine rushing touchdowns in his postseason career, tied for the most among active players (MARSHAWN LYNCH). Running back JAY AJAYI had 98 scrimmage yards (54 rushing, 44 receiving) against the Falcons.
  • The Eagles tied a franchise record with 13 regular-season wins (2004) and earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the fourth time since 2002.
  • Three Eagles had at least eight touchdown receptions this season: wide receivers ALSHON JEFFERY (nine) and NELSON AGHOLOR (eight) and tight end ZACH ERTZ (eight).
  • Philadelphia had six players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: guard BRANDON BROOKS, defensive tackle FLETCHER COX, tight end Ertz, safety MALCOLM JENKINS, tackle LANE JOHNSON and quarterback CARSON WENTZ.

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

NFL announces Jordan Fisher to perform at 2018 Pro Bowl

 

Jordan Fisher 2016 photo By Jathan Wilson - From the photographer, Jathan Wilson, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Actor, recording artist, and “Dancing with the Stars” winner JORDAN FISHER will sing the National Anthem and perform as part of halftime festivities at the 2018 Pro Bowl at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium on Sunday, January 28, the NFL announced today.

Fisher’s career has spanned television, music, film, and Broadway. In 2017, he took home the Mirrorball trophy, alongside partner Lindsay Arnold, on the 25th season of Dancing with the Stars. His first single with Hollywood Records – “All About Us” – became the second most-added song on pop radio, and his self-titled EP debuted at #18 on the Billboard Heatseeker album chart. In addition to his recent roles on “Grease Live” and “Moana,” Fisher joined the cast of the Tony Award-winning musical “Hamilton.”

The Pro Bowl will be televised live at 3:00 PM ET on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ABC. Tickets to the game are now available at ProBowl.com. Fans are encouraged to follow and join the Pro Bowl conversation on social media by using the hashtag #ProBowl.

Leading up to the game, the NFL will host PRO BOWL WEEK festivities at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort and across the Orlando area, including free experiences for fans and an extraordinary number of events focused on commemorating all levels of football – from youth to high school to the NFL’s best. Some of the many Pro Bowl Week activities will include:

  • PRO BOWL KIDS STADIUM TAKEOVER: For the first time, after the Pro Bowl postgame ceremony, all kids ages 14 and under accompanied by their parents at Camping World Stadium will be invited to run around on the very same field as the NFL’s biggest stars.
  • PRO BOWL EXPERIENCE: A free admission family-friendly football fan festival will bring fans closer to the NFL through a variety of activities including interactive games, a virtual reality experience, photo opportunities with the Pro Bowl Trophy, and more.
  • PRO BOWL PRACTICES: AFC and NFC team practices – which are free and open to the public – will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, allowing fans to watch their favorite players as they get ready for the game.
  • PRO BOWL SKILLS SHOWDOWN: For the second straight year, the athletic prowess of the NFL’s best players will be tested in unique competitions, including Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball presented by Pepsi, Precision Passing presented by EA SPORTS Madden 18, and the new Kick Tac Toe challenge.

The Pro Bowl is an all-inclusive event for fans on gameday. The 2017 Pro Bowl marked the first autism-friendly game hosted by a professional sports league. Working with KultureCity, Camping World Stadium’s sensory-inclusive partner, the NFL will offer support to families who attend the 2018 Pro Bowl, including sensory accessibility resources and two dedicated sensory rooms located in the stadium to enable them to enjoy the game with more confidence and comfort.

Additional information on the game and Pro Bowl Week festivities is available at ProBowl.com.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Kamran Mumtaz, NFL.com; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

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