Chiefs OL Jeff Allen is doing something awesome for a homeless fan who helped him

Kansas City Chiefs guard Jeff Allen had an issue while trying to get to Saturday’s wild-card game in Kansas City – his car got stuck in the snow.
But then something awesome happened as a stranger jumped in to help, which led to a great story:

Thanks to the power of Twitter, Dave was found:

And it gets even more special:

Dave will now get to have a day he’ll never forget next Sunday, as he’ll be at Arrowhead cheering on his Chiefs as they take on the Patriots in the AFC title game.

It’s always great to be reminded that there are good people on this planet and Dave and Jeff Allen are certainly two of those people.

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By: Andy Nesbitt

Alshon Jeffery played through cracked ribs on Sunday

For the second consecutive year, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery put his body on the line and played through extensive pain in the playoffs.

While it didn’t have a fairy tale ending this time, as Jeffery’s drop turned into a game-sealing interception, the veteran showed how much he is willing to put on the line for his teammates.

Jeffery hung around immediately after the game to answer questions from reporters about his huge drop on the final drive. What he didn’t reveal was a diagnosis from earlier in the week that he has several cracked ribs.

It’s no wonder Jeffery’s teammates quickly went to bat for him after the game. He played a deciding role in Philadelphia’s Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots last season with a torn rotator cuff.

The 28-year-old is clearly one of the most respected and beloved players in Philadelphia’s locker room. Even after a crushing loss with a missed opportunity he’ll never forget, Jeffery should remain beloved by the team, city and fan base as a true representation of everything Philadelphia represents.

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By: Matt johnson

Winners and losers from the Divisional Round of the 2019 NFL playoffs

The Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs got underway Saturday night with the AFC’s top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs in action against the Indianapolis Colts. A week off did nothing to slow the Chiefs’ offensive momentum.

Led by Patrick Mahomes, who did not find his first career playoff start nearly as intimidating as the pundits thought he would, the Chiefs jumped out to a 24-7 lead in the first half, and never looked back. The Colts hardly looked ready to play, nothing like the team that rode a 10-1 streak into the weekend. The Chiefs went on to win by a final score of 31-13.

The Cowboys and Rams met in LA for the late game on Saturday night to decide the first of the NFC Championship entrants. The Rams’ running game had no troubles against a usually stout Cowboys defense, and the home team rolled on for a 30-22 win.

On Sunday, the Patriots had no problems running around and through the Chargers, winning 41-28 to lock down their eighth consecutive appearance in the AFC Championship game.

The Saints turned aside the Eagles, sinking their hope of a Super Bowl repeat with a 20-14 win in New Orleans. The Saints will host the Rams there next weekend.

Winner: Michael Thomas

The postseason hasn’t been filled with inspiring performances from offensive skill players. But the Saints wide receiver changed that. He and Drew Brees single-handedly got the Saints offense rolling again after a slow start. His best catch of the day — and there were A LOT of them — was on the Saints’ go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. Just watch it.

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1084599206159908864

He finished the game with 171 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches.

Loser: Nick Foles’ magic

You can’t impugn what the guy did prior to this game. The Eagles wouldn’t have been playing this weekend, or last, if Foles hadn’t stepped up as the team’s “closer” again this season with Carson Wentz hurt. But he turned into a pumpkin again, underthrowing his receivers and just unable to get the ball to his receivers when the Eagles needed it the most.

With free agency looming this spring, Foles may have cost himself some money with his performance this week, maybe not much, but enough to notice.

Winner: Time of possession

It feels like we haven’t had a good conversation about time of possession since the early days of the Chip Kelly experience in Philly. This time it was the Saints putting on the clock clinic.

It happened in the third quarter. Trailing 10-14, the Saints got the ball at their own 8-yard line. From there they put together a grinding 92-yard touchdown drive over 18 plays and 11:29 minutes, essentially monopolizing the entire third quarter.

Winner: The Patriots defense

Absent most of the season, the Patriots defense looked like one of the NFL’s most fearsome in the first half of the game. Philip Rivers never had a chance against a pass rush that was previously dormant.

Loser: Philip Rivers’ legacy

He’s got more yards, more touchdowns and fewer interceptions over the course of his career than either Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger, but unlike those other two first-round picks from the 2004 draft, he does not have a Super Bowl ring. Instead, he and J.P. Losman have something in common.

Winner: Patriots running backs

The Chargers defense put on a clinic for how to stop a creative running game in last week’s win against the Ravens. Apparently, Patriots OC Josh McDaniels was able to find some holes in their game plan.

Sony Michel rolled up nearly 100 yards and scored three touchdowns … in the first half. He’s the first rookie running back in franchise history to rush for more than 100 yards in a playoff game. He finished the day with 129 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.

James White, who led the team in receptions during the regular season with 87, was Tom Brady’s favorite receiver on the day, catching 15 of 17 passes for 97 yards.

The Patriots chewed up the clock with their running backs, leaving little time for Rivers and Co. to put points on the board. It also helped keep the workload light for their defense, and teased out what their game plan might be next week against Kansas City.

Winner: C.J. Anderson

The Rams signed C.J. Anderson in mid-December, when Todd Gurley was dealing with a knee injury. Anderson had been released by both the Panthers and Raiders earlier in the season and was really just supposed to be a warm body while Gurley could heal up.

Instead, Anderson has bulldozed every defense he faced. In two games to end the season, he carried the ball 43 times for 299 yards and two touchdowns — that averaged out to 7 yards per carry. But that was against two of the worst teams in the NFL, the Cardinals and 49ers. Next up was the playoffs — and a Cowboys defense that ranked fifth in the league against the run during the regular season. Last week, they held the Seahawks’ top-ranked rushing offense to just 73 yards on the ground.

Anderson had more than that in the first half alone: 12 carries for 78 yards. Even with a healthy Gurley back in the lineup, Anderson was a force in the Rams’ first playoff win in 14 years. He used his, uh, rotund frame to help the Rams dominate the time of possession and scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown.

Anderson was the leading rusher with 123 yards and two touchdowns. Plus, he did this:

All the Winners and Losers here

 

 

Which top NFL playoff team is at biggest risk of divisional-round upset?

An upset alert shouldn’t be necessary to make the top-seeded teams in the NFL playoffs aware of the imminent threat facing them this weekend.

Three of the four outfits that advanced from last week’s wild-card round, after all, did so on the road. And only once this decade (in 2015) have the top two seeds on each side advanced to the conference championship games.

But while this weekend’s traveling teams collectively posted a 18-14 mark as visitors this season, the foursome of teams hosting after a first-round bye (the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams) combined for a 28-4 record at home.

In light of that, we asked our NFL experts: Which team coming off a first-round bye is at the biggest risk of falling in a divisional-round upset?

Nancy Armour

I love Patrick Mahomes and everything he’s done for the Chiefs this season, and would like to think he’s going to be the one to end Kansas City’s long, long, long history of playoff heartbreak. Especially against the Indianapolis Colts. But until it actually happens, I can’t ignore the karma. Kansas City has lost 10 of its last 11 playoff games – that one victory came against Brian Hoyer and the Houston Texans – and is 0-4 against Indianapolis in the postseason. That includes the most crushing loss of all, the 2013 wild-card game in which Kansas City blew a 28-point lead and lost 45-44. Mahomes and Andy Reid have said all the right things this week, but I’m going to have to see it to believe it.

Jarrett Bell

The Chiefs. After watching all three quarterbacks who made their playoff debuts last weekend lose, that’s not a good omen for projected MVP Patrick Mahomes. No, the NFL-record 6 consecutive playoff home losses by KC isn’t on Mahomes…who wasn’t even born the last time the home team won in the playoffs at Arrowhead. But there’s just something spooky about that. Add Capt. Andrew Luck maybe carving up a suspect Chiefs defense, and I think we might see this No. 1 seed bite the dust. Of course, Mr. 50 Touchdowns has spent an entire season proving doubters wrong. And on a personal note, Andy Reid has made me look foolish multiple times when picking against him. But to borrow phrasing from my former colleague, Gordon Forbes, I just can’t shake the feeling KC’s season is about to be BBQ’d.

Nate Davis

Maybe the question for the bye week playoff teams should be, “Who’s not at risk?” All of them feel fairly vulnerable to me with the exception of New Orleans. But maybe the Rams are in the most jeopardy. Their “home” game threatens to be overrun by Cowboys fans and a team that seems well-equipped to pull off the upset at the L.A. Coliseum, where the Rams lost their wild-card contest to the Falcons a year ago. Dallas just locked down Seattle’s top-ranked ground game and will next face Todd Gurley, who’s probably going to be less than 100% after a knee issue forced him to miss two games. More worrisome, as much talent as the Rams defense has, it surrendered a league-worst 5.1 yards per carry … and is now tasked with slowing league rushing champ Zeke Elliott and highly mobile QB Dak Prescott? Gulp.

Jori Epstein

The Rams. The Cowboys’ top-5 run D is riding momentum after holding the Seahawks – 160 yards per game in the regular season – to 73 in a wildcard win. Rams all-pro running back Todd Gurley, on the other hand, is returning from nearly a month on the sideline with knee inflammation and soreness. Dallas will have its hand full containing an offense that’s averaged 37.1 points at their home Coliseum. Dak Prescott, too, must take care not to turn over the ball. But if the team follows the blueprint it used to hold the ball 9:40 more than the Seahawks last week, Ezekiel Elliott can capitalize on a Rams defense allowing a league-worst 5.1 yards per carry. Add in the star-studded Cowboys fans expected to line the Coliseum? Dallas upsets a young L.A. offense to reach its first NFC Championship Game in 23 years.

Full List

32 things we learned heading into divisional round of 2018 NFL playoffs

The 32 things we learned heading into the 2018 NFL playoff divisional round:

1. If it seemed the wild-card round was chock full of fresh faces and teams, well, it was. None of the eight clubs competing in the opening round was in action for last season’s wild-card games, and only the Eagles (a No. 1 seed with a bye in 2017) even reached the playoff field a year ago.

1a. But you’ll see largely familiar characters in the divisional round with Philadelphia returning along with the four teams on bye — the Chiefs, Patriots, Rams and Saints, all postseason entries last year, too.

1b. The last team to advance to the Super Bowl after playing on wild-card weekend was the 2012 Ravens, who won Super Bowl XLVII. The next 10 conference champs have all had first-round byes.

2. Gen X-er Philip Rivers, 37, has to be the sentimental favorite to win it all, right? No quarterback in league history has thrown for more yards (54,656) or more touchdowns (374) yet never played on Super Sunday.

2a. And how great (and entertaining) would it be to see Rivers’ Chargers take on the Saints … and former Bolts QB Drew Brees, who kept Philly Riv on the bench for two years?

3. But if you’re into unminted Millennial passers, Patrick Mahomes (23), Jared Goff (24), Dak Prescott (25) and, most certainly, Andrew Luck (29) could ride great story lines all the way to Atlanta, site of Super Bowl LIII.

4. Three quarterbacks made their playoff debuts during wild-card weekend. Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson and Mitchell Trubisky all lost.

5. Welp, Matt Nagy, guess you shoulda laid down for the Vikings in Week 17 rather than invite a matchup with the Iggles and your old buddy Doug Pederson.

6. Did anyone else want Eagles-Bears go into overtime (maybe double OT) just to see how NBC would handle its Golden Globes coverage, which began minutes after Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth wrapped?

7. Rough night for Chicago’s Cody Parkey, whose would-be, game-winning field goal attempt from 43 yards hit the upright then the crossbar before caroming into the end zone. No good. Parkey drilled the Soldier Field uprights four times Nov. 1. Uncanny.

8. But if I’ve learned anything this season, it’s that Parkey is about to get a flood of support from kickers throughout the league as he copes with this unfortunate bounce. Bounces.

9. Nick Foles was picked off twice in Sunday’s win over the Bears. The last time he threw multiple INTs in an Eagles uniform, Oct. 26, 2014, Chip Kelly was their coach and Foles had yet to play for the Rams or Chiefs.

9a. The last time Philadelphia played the Saints in postseason, the 2013 wild-card round, Foles was also the quarterback (in a losing effort) — Kelly’s only NFL playoff appearance.

10. Congrats to Eagles WR Golden Tate, who scored the game-winning TD at Chicago, instantly justifying the scrutinized trade deadline deal for him — which cost Philly a third-round pick that appeared awfully expensive given the struggles to integrate Tate into the offense.

10a. Congrats to Eagles LT Jason Peters, RB/KR Darren Sproles and LB Jordan Hicks, who all missed the 2017 Super Bowl run with injuries but tasted a playoff victory Sunday.

10b. Feel for you, Wentz.

11. Was wild-card weekend’s MVP Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley? His unit was on the short end of a 22-10 loss to Baltimore two weeks ago. Sunday, it showed the rest of the league how to contain Jackson — essentially deploying a defense comprised of linemen and defensive backs to shadow, flummox and confuse the rookie.

12. Jackson, who turns 22 on Monday, became the youngest quarterback to start a playoff game in NFL history. He looked like it. Make no mistake, the Ravens don’t win the AFC North without Jackson’s heroics in the second half of the season, when he went 6-1 as the starter. But Bradley and the Bolts provided a blueprint to stopping him and a fresh reminder that, though Jackson remains an elite athlete and highly effective with the ball in open space, he’s got a long, long way to go to be a fully-formed pro quarterback. He was sacked seven times, picked off once and fumbled thrice, losing the ball on his team’s final possession.

13. Who figured on Chargers rookie K Mike Badgley outperforming Ravens all-pro Justin Tucker? Badgley set a Bolts’ postseason record with five made field goals, while Tucker was 1-for-2 on three-point tries. Tucker missed five FGs this season, three against L.A.

14. Who figured on Chargers FB Derek Watt making a longer playoff run this season than brothers J.J. and T.J.?

15. The Chargers haven’t beaten Tom Brady since 2005. Rivers is 0-7 head-to-head against TB12, including two losses in postseason.

15a. But Sunday, the Chargers became the only team in the league to win eight times on the road this season. A visit to Foxborough, daunting as it is, won’t phase them.

16. The last time Rivers appeared in a playoff game at Gillette Stadium, the 2007 AFC Championship Game, he played on a torn ACL.

17. Baltimore’s second-ranked run game, which had averaged nearly 230 yards in Jackson’s seven regular-season starts, was limited to 90.

Full List Here

By: Nate Davis

 

Bing Predicts: NFL Wild Card

Joe Montana Believes in the Healing Power of Marijuana

Another former elite level professional athlete has come out in support of medical marijuana as a therapeutic treatment for pain. Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, who played most of his career in California for the San Francisco 49ers, has joined a growing community of retired athletes speaking out about their cannabis-aided healing regimen.

Montana told Playboy Magazine, “Legalization is picking up steam on a global level and I feel like now is the time to spread information about the curing capabilities of this plant. As with any medicine, increased accessibility comes with the need for education.”

Increased focus on pain relief methodology among the NFL and other professional sports leagues comes after much scrutiny of the way these businesses prioritize profits over healthcare — physical and mental. The NFL, which has been inundated with criticism in recent years for their mishandling of the league’s concussion crisis and the resulting long-term damage it can cause to players, has been notoriously behind in their acceptance of marijuana research.

The league caved somewhat and offered to help fund a study being conducted by the NFL Players Association, the union that represents current and former players in the league, but their assistance was declined.

Playboy spoke to eight different former NFL player about their thoughts on cannabis, including some who were trailblazers on the medical marijuana front, like Ricky Williams and Eugene Monroe, as well as other players like Montana who hadn’t spoken publicly about their use of the plant before.

In a 2016 interview with USA Today, the four-time Super Bowl champion, who retired in 1994, ran down the laundry list of physical ailments he suffers from on a daily basis. From arthritis in his hands to nerve damage in his eye, Montana feels the effects of football everywhere in his body.

“Unfortunately,” Montana said, “most of us leave this game with things that linger.” Montana was sacked over 350 times in his professional career, brutal hits that leave their mark long after his playing days were over. “My hands have been, oh my gosh, in the middle of the night they hurt like crazy. They kept saying I’ll need a knee replacement when I can’t walk. I can’t really run or do much with it.”

“After my first back surgery, what kind of compounds things, is my sciatic nerve has been damaged,” Montana added. “So the muscles along my sciatic nerve into my left foot have been numb since ’86.”

Players of Montana’s stature speaking out about their use of medical marijuana as an alternative to prescribed painkillers is a huge step in ending the opioid epidemic among athletes. A 2012 study estimated that over 52 percent of former NFL players used opioids while they played professional football, and 71 percent of them reported misusing the drugs. Many of them continue misusing once their playing days are over, as the rate of former NFL players that use opioids is three times greater than the general population.

By Duke London

Original Article

NFL Black Monday 2019: What Coaches Are Being Fired?

Why is the Monday directly following the last game of the NFL season each year so important in the NFL?

It is typically the day that most NFL teams fire their head coach, and/or coordinators,  and/or general managers after a season of unfulfilled expectations.

Some teams don’t even wait till this “official day” any more like the Cleveland Browns (who are always firing coaches) and the Green Bay Packers, who made a rare change.

The mid-season causalities were former Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson and former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

Now, we’re awaiting the reports of the next wave of firings. So, follow along as the announcements come after the NFL Week 17 games.

MIAMI DOLPHINS (FIRED)

he Miami Dolphins made the playoffs in the 2016 with a 10-6 record, which was head coach Adam Gase’s first season with the team. But since then, Gase has gone 6-10 in 2017 and 7-9 in 2018. His job reportedly was on the line coming into this season and with another losing season completed…it was just a matter of time before he was let go, according to multiple NFL sources. The guessing game with Gase’s status is over and he’s been fired, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. In addition to the Gase firing, Schefter reported that the Dolphins made some front office changes concerning former Executive Vice-President Mike Tannenbaum.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (FIRED)

The Cincinnati Bengals were guided by Marvin Lewis for 16 seasons and in that time he compiled a 131-122-3 record. But the glaring “black eye” on his resume was an 0-7 record in the playoffs and that’s what finally cost Lewis his job. Lewis was officially fired by the Bengals, according to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Many people thought the team was going to fire Lewis last season but owner Mike Brown brought him back for one more year and the Bengals went 6-10, which was the team’s third straight losing season.

DENVER BRONCOS (FIRED)

As of Sunday night, there was no official word on the status of the Denver Broncos head coaching job, but John Elway, the Denver Broncos president of football operations/general manager, flirted with the idea of canning head coach Vance Joseph last season in what would have been a “one-and-done” situation in the mile high city. But it appears that Joseph will not survive this year’s NFL Black Monday situation. Fox NFL Insider Jay Glazer said on Fox NFL Sunday that he believes Vance Joseph will be one of the coaches fired for the NFL’s Black Monday. Joseph didn’t have to wait long on Monday morning to find out his fate as Elway fired him, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Joseph didn’t have a great quarterback in his two seasons in the mile high city as he went 5-11 last season and 6-10 this season. He left the Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator position to take the Broncos head coaching job and according to NFL sources, he might land as a team’s defensive coordinator for the 2019 season.

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Jim Caldwell interviews for Packers head coaching job

Just before Christmas, it was reported that former Lions and Colts head coach Jim Caldwell would be a head coaching candidate in 2019. Just a few days later, he has apparently already interviewed for the vacancy in Green Bay, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports (Twitter link).

The vacancy, of course, is the helm left after the team fired longtime head coach Mike McCarthy earlier in the season. A longtime quarterbacks coach, Caldwell would seemingly be a solid addition to work with Aaron Rodgers. In his career, Caldwell has worked with franchise quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford.

However, Rodgers seemingly put his support behind interim head coach Joe Philbin after this past week’s win, according to Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal.

During his run as a head coach, Caldwell has amassed a 62-50 record and delivered three winning seasons in four campaigns with Detroit after the team logged just two such seasons in the previous 16 years before his arrival.

Before that, Caldwell was a longtime assistant with the Colts who became Indianapolis’ head coach in 2009 after Tony Dungy retired. He guided his club to an AFC championship in his first season at the helm and the Colts lost the Super Bowl that year. They returned to the playoffs in 2010, but finished 2011 with a 2-14 record after the season-long injury to Manning and Caldwell was fired at the end of the season.

Caldwell is a Wisconsin native who was born and raised in Beloit, just across the border from Illinois.

By Micah Powell

Original Article

 

Josh Norman: Taylor Lewan’s ‘ultimate disrespect’ sparked confrontation

Josh Norman is still fuming several days after his incident with Taylor Lewan.

The Redskins cornerback was involved in a confrontation with the Titans offensive lineman following Tennessee’s 25-16 victory over Washington on Saturday. Lewan went up to the Redskins’ sideline after the game went final and mocked Norman’s famous bow-and-arrow celebration, leading to Norman getting up in his face.

Addressing reporters Wednesday, Norman elaborated further on the skirmish.
“Maximum disrespect,” said Norman of Lewan’s actions, per Les Carpenter of the Washington Post. “Ultimate disrespect.
“I don’t care how big you are. You can be a giant; it’s kill or be killed,” the former All-Pro continued. “That’s how I look at it, how I see it. The guy had a whole foot and 135 pounds on me; what does that matter?”
As for what started the bad blood between the two players, Lewan claimed that Norman had tried to injure Titans running back Derrick Henry late in the game, something that Norman also responded to on Wednesday.
“How can [you] someone hurt someone who is 265 pounds?” said Norman, exaggerating Henry’s listed weight of 247. “He’s a running back. But what [Lewan] should have been worrying about… is his quarterback because our whole line ran through him like water on rocks. I mean, gosh, you would think he’d have been doing a better job worrying about protecting him than worrying about a running back who is [247] pounds.”
Norman is a player who has thrived off feuding with opponents in the past, and while his profile isn’t as high as it was a few years ago, it’s safe to say that his brand still hasn’t changed.

By: Daryn Albert

Original Article