Eagles open as underdogs, but they like it ruff

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA -- Football is a game of disguise.

In these parts, that means rubber dog masks.

The Philadelphia Eagles were home underdogs in their two playoff games this month, and oddsmakers are now favoring the New England Patriots by 5 1/2 points in Super Bowl LII.

"Everybody in the league sort of envies the success to some extent, and ...Read more

Browns hire Todd Haley as offensive coordinator

Sports / Football /

Coach Hue Jackson remains in charge of the Browns, but Todd Haley is the new authority on offense.

The Browns hired Haley as their offensive coordinator, a person familiar with the situation confirmed Monday. Haley is the first assistant to hold that title since the Browns hired Jackson on Jan. 13, 2016. The team has yet to announce the move.

...Read more

Rams quarterback Jared Goff named to Pro Bowl, replacing Eagles' Carson Wentz

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff on Monday was named to the Pro Bowl, replacing Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Goff, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NFL draft, was a first alternate for the all-star exhibition after balloting by fans, players and coaches.

Wentz, the second pick in the 2016 draft, suffered a season-...Read more

Eagles are once again underdogs, this time in Super Bowl

Sports / Football /

Bring on the big dogs.

Lane Johnson welcomed the challenge of facing the five-time-champion Patriots and their Hall of Fame-bound quarterback in Super Bowl LII.

"Tom Brady, pretty boy Tom Brady -- he's, hey, the best quarterback of all time," Johnson said after the Eagles pummeled the Vikings, 38-7, in the NFC championship game Sunday night. "...Read more

Doug Pederson, Jeffrey Lurie not surprised by Nick Foles

Sports / Football /

On the night of perhaps the most impressive performance of his NFL career, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles found coach Doug Pederson and reminded him about six years ago.

It was then, when Foles was a raw prospect who just finished his college career at Arizona, that Pederson put Foles through a private pre-draft workout. Pederson coached the ...Read more

Patriots' Eric Rowe recalls words of wisdom from Malcolm Jenkins

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Malcolm Jenkins is helping the New England Patriots get ready for their Super Bowl LII showdown with the Eagles in Minneapolis and he probably doesn't even know it.

Jenkins, the Eagles' Pro Bowl safety, had a profound impact on Eric Rowe during the third-year cornerback's brief time as a rookie in Philadelphia, and that ...Read more

Keenum, Bridgewater address 2018 Vikings quarterback conundrum

Sports / Football /

Several major questions related to the 2018 season have been staring at the Vikings for months, but always with the caveat that they would be dealt with when the team's surprisingly successful season finally ended.

Well, that happened Sunday. And now perhaps the most important of those questions -- who will be the starting quarterback in 2018 ...Read more

Vikings empty lockers, bemoan lost opportunity: 'This is going to hurt for a while'

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As Vikings players cleaned out their lockers on Monday, turning in their tablets with their electronic playbooks and tossing their personal belongings into silver plastic bags, they bid a brief farewell to a building that, only 24 hours earlier, seemed destined for a grander sendoff.

Had the Vikings beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC ...Read more

Cardinals hire Panthers DC Steve Wilks as head coach

Sports / Football /

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera's hunch about his defensive coordinator, Steve Wilks, was correct.

Wilks' time is now.

He was announced Monday as the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, a source told the Observer.

A team source told the Observer on Monday that seven-year Panthers defensive line coach Eric Washington will become ...Read more

Eagles, well prepared for Vikings and buyoed by rabid fanbase, didn't play like 'underdogs'

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles head coach Doug Pederson finally settled into sleep around 2 a.m. on Monday morning, while Philadelphia's fans ran, shrieked and climbed all over the city after the Eagles thoroughly dismantled the Vikings in the NFC title game.

Now those rabid fans are coming for Minneapolis, the famous dog masks in hand as 5.5-point ...Read more

Eagles blow out Vikings to earn franchise's third trip to Super Bowl

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles secured a Super Bowl rematch Sunday, and denied the Minnesota Vikings in their bid to make history.

Led by quarterback Nick Foles and a smothering defense, the Eagles posted a 38-7 victory over Minnesota before a towel-swirling crowd so raucous at Lincoln Financial Field that the vast majority of fans ...Read more

Vikings suffer shocking blowout loss to Eagles, 38-7, in NFC Championship Game

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PHILADELPHIA -- The fact the Vikings were here at all, a week after the miraculous finish that defied six decades of precedent, was enough to suggest that things might really be different this time, that the franchise's sixth NFC Championship Game after its fourth Super Bowl defeat would be something more than yet another exercise in heartbreak....Read more

Nick Foles leads Philadelphia to Super Bowl vs. Tom Brady's Patriots

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA -- Confetti filled the air, fireworks erupted overhead, and 69,596 fans sang "Fly, Eagles Fly!" No one dared head for the exits. There was too much to celebrate.

The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl.

The makeshift podium hasn't taken space on Philadelphia's turf in 13 years. That's how long it has been since the Eagles last held...Read more

Patriots headed to third Super Bowl in four years after late rally

Sports / Football /

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A year ago, he engineered the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.

What kind of challenge, then, would a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit be for Tom Brady?

The ageless New England Patriots quarterback did it again on Sunday in the AFC championship game.

Brady and receiver Danny Amendola connected for two fourth-quarter...Read more

Panthers' Greg Olsen repeats as NFL Man of the Year finalist, adds appealing proposal

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Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is a three-time Pro Bowler ... and now a two-time NFL Man of the Year finalist.

Olsen, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson on Sunday were announced as the finalists for the award named after NFL great Walter Payton that recognizes community service.

The ...Read more

Patriots punch Super Bowl LII ticket with 24-20 AFC Championship Game win over Jaguars

Sports / Football /

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady's hand was just fine. So was his Captain Comeback cape.

With the Patriots losing the AFC Championship Game by 10 points in the fourth quarter, Brady led them on two precision-filled drives, capped with touchdown passes to Danny Amendola.

The Jaguars were brilliant for three quarters but couldn't stop New England'...Read more

Ravens' Benjamin Watson among three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year

Sports / Football /

Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson is one of three finalists for the 2017 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

The announcement was made at halftime of Sunday's AFC conference championship game between the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars. Watson joins fellow finalists J.J. Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans' and tight ...Read more

Belichick continues to set the tone, even if it's usually a gruff one

Sports / Football /

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The greatest coach in the history of the modern NFL -- a league designed to disband dynasties and exhaust the men attempting to maintain them -- jostled a microphone into place and sighed.

"All right, well," Bill Belichick said from a podium late last Saturday, "I thought that was a real good effort by our team tonight."

A...Read more

NFC title showdown between Vikings and Eagles has a familiar feel to it

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA -- They have a backup quarterback at the helm, a defense that can steal all the oxygen from a stadium and an electrified fan base that can almost touch the Super Bowl yet is quietly convinced that, like always, something is about to go wrong.

The ring this franchise wears is a "0," as in zero Lombardi Trophies.

It's the ...Read more

Cut 6 times, Jaguars' Thompson now a win from Super Bowl

Sports / Football /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Peyton Thompson's apartment in Jacksonville is adorned with cards taped to the walls, each detailing formations and calls for all of the defensive back positions for the Jaguars -- right cornerback, left cornerback, free and strong safety.

Thompson is a student of the game, soaking in tendencies of blocking and tackling ...Read more