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Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.The Kansas City Chiefs earned t

 
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MensajePublicado: Mie Abr 24, 2019 3:58 am    Asunto: Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.The Kansas City Chiefs earned t Responder citando

For the first time in a decade Steven Nelson Jersey , the top seed in the AFC playoffs goes to a team not led by 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 ). que.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, 34-28, OT Carlos Hyde Jersey , 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, 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 Tyrann Mathieu Jersey , 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, 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. This is part three of a three-part weekly film analysis on the performance of Patrick Mahomes. Part one: something good and something bad here, part two: something smart and something special here.I’m a terrible golfer. My handicap is my birth year. I can never direct the ball where I want it to go, and getting the ball up in the air is a coin flip. I still enjoy playing from time to time Damien Williams Jersey , but if you’re trying to win a scramble, I’m dead weight.The world’s best golfers can’t rely just on the ability to drive or be a good putter. You’ve got to play a well-rounded game. You have to be able to place the ball where you want it, sometimes with distance, keep yourself out of as many bad situations as you can, get out of them when you do, and oh yeah...have enough touch to putt. If Patrick Mahomes was a golfer, he could drive a golf ball farther than anyone. But the subtleties to his game he reveals every week are what will eventually have him at the top of the leaderboard. This week wasn’t requiring him to pull out the 1-wood as much as other weeks, but he got a chance to show how well rounded the rest of his game is starting to become.Something improvedIt felt like the game slowed down a little for him this week. Quickly finding the right play is an ability. Mahomes showed comfort in the pocket, good navigation of the pocket and quick decision-making in the face of pressure when required. Where Mahomes has been having to manage the juice at the start of games, he settled in quickly this week. He looked like he was playing with supreme confidence and poise all game. It’s revealed in the three plays above.Play one: Mahomes is working through the front-side concept. He feels pressure both to his front and back, steps up in the pocket and has the awareness to know the drag route by Kareem Hunt is working into his line of sight. It was such a quick response to pressure and to find the outlet. He couldn’t have responded just by seeing. He was processing the play as it was happening.Play two: Feeling pressure on the drop, knowing he needs to bail backward and delivering a ball quick to his outlet who finishes for a touchdown. It’s an athletic throw to deliver that ball and a smart, poised decision with a rusher at his feet. Play three: Not having anyone open on the vertical routes and getting the ball down to Hunt in the flat quickly and decisively. He’s early to the flat route by Hunt, but in a good way. He wastes no time seeing the depth of the defense to get the ball to the running back with space to run. Check-downs and shorter throws got a bad rap when we see them too much. In proper context, they go a long way in winning football games. A good short game when properly utilized wins. Mahomes is picking the right clubs with consistency.These weren’t the rarest of plays he’s made, and none of these will be on the highlight reel at the end of the year. They’re just indicators of comfort, control, command and an understanding of all facets of the game happening in front of him. He looked as prepared and quick to process as he has. The timing to get the ball to his outlets was perfect and it yielded great results.It was the most veteran-like performance for the young quarterback, and the subtleties should leave you encouraged. There was no urge to make everything happen at all at once. He was fantastic in allowing the game to happen and leaning on his preparation. He continues to develop right before our eyes Jordan Lucas Jersey , and it’s happening week to week.Needs improvementThere’s been one kind of throw that we’ve yet to see Mahomes hit yet, and it’s kind of amazing he hasn’t.This is a cut of plays where the receiver is streaking down the middle of the field and there’s no defender between the receiver and the end zone. These plays resulted in four incompletions and an interception. I can’t recall one being hit in the first seven games.These are not the easiest throws and this is admittedly a narrow scenario that’s happening about once a game, but we’re starting to get enough of a sample size to notice it. For some reason, Mahomes has shown inconsistencies on middle-field throws that are thrown over the entire defense. Plays in which the receiver (almost always Tyreek Hill) are in position to or already have run away from everyone on the defense, we’ve yet to see Mahomes connect.Now don’t get me wrong, he’s hit his fair share of deep passes, but if you notice, they’ve hit in front of a defender. This play I wrote about yesterday might’ve ended up being the first one Mahomes lets Sammy Watkins run underneath, but Carlos Dunlap has other plans and forces the ball short.When there’s a middle-field throw, typically a post route, and Mahomes has a chance to let his receiver run under it, we haven’t seen the connection work nearly halfway through the season. It’s interesting. Mahomes provided a quote after the game on what was his only interception against the Bengals.It sounds like he may just trying to understand still how far he can stretch the arm out on these kinds of alerts or shot plays. There are a few instances in the above cut-up of vertical shots where Mahomes has under-thrown the receiver and diminished the separation the receiver was creating. It’s kind of confusing. We KNOW he’s capable of throws similar to this......he just hasn’t hit them in a real game. Whether he’s struggling to gauge how far to leave it out for (specifically) Hill, or the timing is just off, it’s surprisingly not something that he’s executed to count for his yardage totals. He’ll hit one of these assuredly soon, but it’s worth mentioning there are at least five plays where he hasn’t.He’s been good on throws to receivers open down the sidelines, but middle-field shots haven’t been part of the regular-season highlight real yet. You would’ve expected him to have hit on a couple by now.Hopefully, this week is when we finally get a play of this nature.Miss this week’s episode of the AP Laboratory? If you can’t see the player, click here.Links: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Art 19Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss videos like this from Kent!
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