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23 Aug 2018
The Minnesota Vikings put the two picks they had in the first 108 selections in the 2017 draft to productive use.

They moved up in both the second and third rounds for running back Dalvin Cook and center Pat Elflein to obtain a pair of players expected to be long-term cogs in their offense.

They'll be bargain-hunters again this time Colts Kemoko Turay Jersey , with the 30th pick in the first round and thereafter.

Just like last year, the offensive line will be the point of emphasis.

After reaching the NFC championship game and going all in on quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency, the Vikings could use some more protection for their new franchise player. So it's up to general manager Rick Spielman and his staff to, well, find another Elflein.

With the retirement of right guard Joe Berger, there's a vacancy for the Vikings to fill inside. Fortunately for them, the center-guard class is considered well-stocked. Will Hernandez (UTEP), Connor Williams (Texas) and Isaiah Wynn (Georgia) are viable options if they're still available at No. 30 on Thursday night.

There are tackles to consider, too, a scenario that allows Mike Remmers to move inside as he did in the playoffs. If they go with a guard, Remmers can return to right tackle.

"When you have guys on your roster that can play multiple positions like that, that's what gives you the flexibility to go with the best player," Spielman said.

Cornerback, tight end and linebacker are other spots to consider for depth and beyond 2018.

"I know everybody in the mock world and the experts out there are saying it's o-line, o-line Youth Michael Gallup Jersey , o-line, but when you look at your roster, you have to look at, 'OK, where are some other holes that you're going to have to fill?'"

Here are some other relevant angles to follow during the draft this weekend with the Vikings:

THIRTY, THAT'S SOMETHING

Standout players can be had with the 30th pick. Last year, Pittsburgh snagged Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt there.

The St. Louis Rams grabbed Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree in 2013. The New York Jets nabbed defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson from Temple in 2011. In 2001, the Indianapolis Colts selected wide receiver Reggie Wayne out of Miami.

ON THE OTHER HAND

The Vikings were part of a league-high seven trades during the draft last year, which not only allowed them to move up for Cook and Elflein but netted them three extra picks on the third day for a total of nine players.

Picking 30th in a draft that's deep at a position the Vikings could use puts Spielman in a prime situation to trade out of the first round and stockpile additional late selections while assumedly being no worse for the wear.

"If you can get that same player in the second round, but you have an additional pick, why wouldn't you do that?" Spielman said.

TECH TALK

The Vikings have been in their new headquarters for almost two months. One of the many state-of-the-art features of the new facility is the auditorium where Spielman and the scouts and the coaching staff will gather for the draft.

Instead of the standard white board with magnets for each player in the pool, they'll use an all-digital, time-saving touch screen made up of 40 different 55-inch TVs.

"I was very nervous," Spielman said. "It's the first time in I think 30 years that I have never gone without magnets. But this board has been incredible."

HITS AND MISSES

Most of Minnesota's best players were drafted on Spielman's watch, including seven starters on the defense last season that led the NFL with the fewest points and yards allowed and five starters on the most productive offense in four years under coach Mike Zimmer.

That group includes four straight first-round picks: safety Harrison Smith (2012) http://www.bearsauthorizedshops.com/authen...an-smith-jersey , cornerback Xavier Rhodes (2013), linebacker Anthony Barr (2014) and cornerback Trae Waynes (2015).

Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell is the glaring whiff, with only 21 catches and 215 yards to show for the 23rd overall selection in 2016. Four guards and one tackle were taken over the next 33 picks that year.

The coaching staff has lauded Treadwell's work ethic, but there's not much time left for the Mississippi product to establish himself as a viable piece of the offense with Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs and newcomer Kendall Wright in place.

Diggs came in the fifth round in 2015. Tight end David Morgan was a sixth-rounder in 2016. The Vikings need more third-day successes, though, with defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson (fourth round), linebacker Ben Gedeon (fourth round) and guard Danny Isidora (fifth round) presenting such potential from last year's draft.
Julio Jones insists his status for training camp was never in doubt.

Jones, the five-time Pro Bowl receiver, was back for the start of Falcons training camp Friday after missing a mandatory minicamp in June while asking that his contract be reworked.

Jones dismissed reports he wouldn't report without a new deal as "he said, she said" speculation.

"We knew all along we were going to get it handled," he said.

For coach Dan Quinn, the most important fact was seeing No. 11 catching passes from Matt Ryan.

"It was awesome to have him back," said Quinn, adding Jones' routes were "really sharp and clean."

Jones drew cheers from fans when he caught a pass on the sideline in front of cornerback Desmond Trufant late in the practice.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff said Thursday the team made an "adjustment" to Jones' five-year Taven Bryan Jaguars Jersey , $71.5 million contract. Jones is entering the third year of the deal.

Dimitroff said the tweak to Jones' deal wouldn't affect the team's hopes to negotiate contract extensions for left tackle Jake Matthews, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, and safety Ricardo Allen. On Friday, the team agreed to a five-year, $75 million extension for Matthews.

The biggest new deal of all came earlier in the offseason 鈥?a five-year, $150 million extension for Ryan, the most lucrative contract in NFL history.

Ryan's contract, and the team's talks with Matthews, Jarrett and Allen, were among the reasons Dimitroff said the Falcons couldn't renegotiate Jones' contract until after the season.

Jones confirmed he told Quinn this month he would report to training camp.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said at the NFL owners meeting in May he expected Jones to play his entire career with Atlanta.

"Our relationship has always been excellent so I had the confident in Thomas and the confidence in J.J. being a great Falcon for us not only on the field but off the field and a leader in the locker room," Blank said Friday.

Jones said he and Blank "reiterated what he had told us 鈥?that I'm going to be a Falcon forever."

Asked if it was difficult to be away from the team for the mandatory minicamp and other offseason work, Jones said he told Quinn "It was just me getting healthy as far as some stuff with me, getting back right and feeling 100 percent."

A healthy Jones is especially important to the Falcons' hopes of returning to their offensive form of their 2016 Super Bowl season, when they led the league in scoring.

One year ago, Jones was recovering from minor offseason surgery on his left foot and was limited in the first training camp with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkasian.

Jones didn't miss a game last season despite having two ankle injuries 鈥?plus back Bengals Mark Walton Jersey , ribs, thumb and knee injuries.

Jones, who also participated in an informal passing camp led by Ryan in California this month, has no injury concerns.

"For me and for the team it's better than I'm healthy and can do everything," he said.

Quinn said wide receiver Russell Gage used advice from Jones to fine-tune a route at the California camp.

"Those were the things that don't show up on the stat sheet that often speak to who he is as a teammate," said Quinn of Jones.

It's not unusual for Jones to be included on Atlanta's game-week injury reports, but he has missed only three games the last four seasons. He has broken his right foot twice, at the NFL combine in 2011 and in 2013 when he missed 11 games.

Jones has remained one of the NFL's most productive receivers. He had 88 catches for 1,444 yards and three touchdowns in 2017. Jones and Marvin Harrison are the only players in NFL history to have at least 80 catches for at least 1,400 yards in four straight seasons
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23 Aug 2018
The NHL is moving up its All-Star skills competition and game next season.

After years of holding the skills competition on Saturday night and the All-Star Game on Sunday A.J. Green Youth Jersey , the NHL is moving each event up a day for the 2019 weekend hosted by the San Jose Sharks. The skills competition will take place on Friday, Jan. 25 and the game on Saturday, Jan. 26 at SAP Center.

The league announced the change Monday.

It’s uncertain if the All-Star Game will still take the form of a 3-on-3 tournament as it has the past two years. The 3-on-3 tournament was negotiated beginning in 2017 for five-day bye weeks for each team.

San Jose is hosting NHL All-Star Weekend for the first time since 1997.



More NHL hockey: At heart, Ernie Barnes the professional football player was always Ernie Barnes the artist.

His teammates on the San Diego Chargers nicknamed him ”Big Rembrandt” because he was always scribbling on pieces of paper.

He ended up painting vivid and highly acclaimed images from the playing field and from African-American life. He’s most famous for ”Sugar Shack,” which shows African-Americans dancing at the Durham Armory. Marvin Gaye used a version of it for an album cover, and a print of it appeared in the closing credits of the sitcom ”Good Times.”

Now, an exhibit has opened in his home state titled “The North Carolina Roots of Artist Ernie Barnes.” The exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History includes 38 paintings by Barnes, many unseen by the public until now, along with several pieces of memorabilia.

It’s the first exhibit of Barnes’ artwork in 11 years, and the first since he died at age 70 in 2009 in Los Angeles. It continues through March 3.

Barnes never considered football his true calling. From his childhood Isaiah Oliver Youth Jersey , he was drawn to art. In his 1995 autobiography, ”From Pads to Palette,” he wrote, ”Throughout my five seasons in the arena of professional football, I remained at the deepest level of my being an artist.”

But he played professionally from 1960 to 1964, signing first with the Baltimore Colts and then with the Titans of New York, the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos. His sports connections led to his first exhibit through the support of New York Jets owner Sonny Werblin. And Barnes credited football with helping him develop the elongation technique for which he’s known.

An art instructor told him ”to pay attention to what my body felt like in movement,” Barnes once said. ”And when I did that, it was an elongated feeling. … I hate to think, had I not played sports Joe Montana Jersey Limited , what my work would look like.”

He also spoke of how the ”dehumanization” of professional football played out in his art. ”I painted until I exhausted the hate,” he said, according to comments provided by his estate.

Troy Vincent, the NFL’s vice president of operations, is probably the largest collector of Barnes’ art and someone in whom Barnes confided about his love-hate relationship with football. Vincent estimates that he owns just shy of 30 Barnes’ paintings, most of them commissioned and never seen by the public.

In a phone interview, Vincent said that he and his wife ”didn’t classify it as black art. He happens to be African-American, but it’s not black art. It’s art.”

At the time of Barnes’ death, Paul Von Blum, an art history and African American studies professor at the University of California Youth Los Angeles Chargers Jerseys , Los Angeles, called him one of the premier figurative artists of his era.

Barnes, who was born in 1938 in Durham during the Jim Crow era, graduated from what’s now North Carolina Central University. His painting, ”Homecoming,” shows a marching band in Durham with U.S. 15-501 signs in the background.

”Ernie said when he was growing up, the high school band used to come down from the segregated area and make the turn into the black community, and the band would kick it up right there,” Luz Rodriguez, his longtime assistant and estate trustee said last week in Raleigh before the exhibit opened. ”So that’s what he painted.”

”Sugar Shack” came from Barnes’ memories growing up in Durham Chukwuma Okorafor Color Rush Jersey , Rodriguez said. His mother had told the 13-year-old Barnes that ”they don’t do Christian things there” so of course he had to sneak in to find out what was happening, she said.

Actor and comedian Eddie Murphy owns the painting now, exhibit curator Katie Edwards said. A second version that Barnes painted is part of the North Carolina museum exhibit.

Barnes could bring to life ”the hopes and dreams of what could be – families together, strong men, strong women, the true representation of the godly family,” Vincent said. Barnes was able to ”share our dark past yet articulate in color what the future could be – the proudness of our history, the proudness of our future. Ernie encapsulated all of that.”



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23 Aug 2018
The Buffalo Sabres say Victor Antipin suffered a concussion and a broken nose when he was boarded during Saturday night’s game against the Nashville Predators.

The Sabres say Antipin also suffered cuts to his face and dental injuries when he was hit by Predators forward Scott Hartnell behind the Buffalo net. Antipin was strapped to a backboard and taken off the ice on a stretcher. He was hospitalized briefly. Hartnell was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for the hit.

The Sabres say Antipin will be out indefinitely. He was to fly with the team later Sunday to Toronto Cheap Daryl Worley Jersey , where the Sabres face the Maple Leafs on Monday.

Antipin was skating in his 47th NHL game after reaching the NHL this season.



The San Francisco 49ers have signed three of their draft picks to four-year contracts.

The team announced Saturday that third-round defensive back Tarvarius Moore and seventh-rounders Richie James Jr. and Jullian Taylor have all signed contracts.

Moore was drafted 95th overall out of Southern Mississippi. He played 26 games in college with 104 tackles, five interceptions Sam Hubbard Jersey Elite , one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and 12 passes defensed.

Taylor was taken 223rd overall as a defensive tackle out of Temple. He had 52 tackles Jeremy Kerley Jersey Bills , including 11 for loss, in 20 games in college.

James was taken 240th as a receiver out of Middle Tennessee State. He had 244 catches for 3 Patriots Game Jerseys ,261 yards and 23 TDs in 31 games.
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23 Aug 2018
Lawyers representing former NFL players estimated Wednesday that payouts from the concussion settlement with the league will top $1.4 billion Cheap Customized Seattle Seahawks Jerseys , a $400 million jump because of thousands more players filing claims.

The number of players who filed to be a part of the settlement is outpacing all previous estimates and could keep growing, the lawyers said in a federal court filing based on estimates from an actuary. The estimate accounts for players who have filed claims and those who have officially given notice that they intend to file claims.

The actuary said participation rates are 21 percent higher than estimated when the settlement was reached. As of July 16, 499 claims totaling more than $485 million had been approved, according to the filing.

The massive increase in estimated payout came the same day a judge denied a request from the league to appoint a special investigator to look into what the league said are extensive fraudulent claims against the settlement fund.

Judge Anita Brody wrote in her federal court ruling that the league's attorneys had demonstrated that there is "sufficient evidence of probable fraud to warrant serious concern." But Brody said a special master and a claims administrator have effectively ferreted out those claims for now.

"The audit process is working effectively," Brody wrote in her deferral ruling, saying if the claims administrator or special master notify the court an investigator is needed, "the Court will rule on the motion at that time."

The league requested an investigator and cited in its May argument an independent study it said found more than 400 claims recommended for denial based on evidence of fraud by attorneys, doctors and former players attempting to cheat the program. The league has said those attempts to scam the $1 billion settlement fund have slowed down the awarding of valid claims.

The settlement, which took effect January 2017, resolved thousands of lawsuits that accused the NFL of hiding what it knew about the risks of repeated concussions.

It covers retired players who develop Lou Gehrig's disease Broncos Bradley Chubb Jersey , dementia or other neurological problems believed to be caused by concussions suffered during their pro careers, with awards as high as $5 million for the most serious cases.

Attorneys for the league had cited practices such as doctors seeing players for evaluation not in clinical settings, but in hotel rooms, law offices or other places. They also cited a doctor who said she spent seven to 12 hours evaluating each patient, but approved sometimes as many as eight patients a day.

A lawyer for several plaintiffs said Wednesday that he and others representing the players supported Brody's decision.

"Since the NFL filed its motion more than three months ago, the claims process has continued to accelerate and the current audit process is working effectively," said Chris Seeger, co-lead counsel for the retired players. "We will not allow a small number of potentially fraudulent claims to be used as an excuse by the NFL to deny payment to legitimately injured former players."

In their May arguments, Seeger and other attorneys noted that the instances of fraudulent claims would be cut dramatically after the most recent rules for claims went into effect, including a list of approved physicians to determine eligibility.

Brody warned in her ruling that she expects the process to ensure valid claims are promptly paid.

The Texas Rangers have been one of the best teams in the major leagues during the past week and head home to attempt to continue that trend against the San Diego Padres in a three-game interleague series beginning Monday at Globe Life Park in Arlington Cheap John Franklin-Myers Jersey , Texas.

San Diego will send left-hander Joey Lucchesi (3-3, 3.86 ERA) to the mound for the series opener and the Rangers will counter with left-hander Cole Hamels (4-6, 3.41).

Texas had its season-high seven-game winning streak snapped Sunday in Minnesota with a 2-0 loss, but still went 5-1 on the six-game, seven-day road trip to Kansas City (3-0) and Minnesota (2-1).

Twins pitcher Jose Berrios held the Rangers to three hits in seven innings, struck out a career-high 12 batters and spoiled ageless Bartolo Colon’s attempt to tie Dennis Martinez’s record of 245 wins, the most ever by a pitcher from Latin America.

Colon allowed two runs and seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in seven innings in the loss.

“I will take those type of outings from Bartolo every time,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “You just have to tip your cap to a guy who had really good stuff. Bartolo was solid for us, great mix of fastball location, in the strike zone with all of his pitches. Just commanded the fastball all throughout Minkah Fitzpatrick Jersey Dolphins , hit all quadrants and managed the game well for us.

“Bartolo threw the ball extremely well. Berrios was just really good.”

The Padres head to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on the heels of a 3-2, 11-inning loss at San Francisco on Sunday. San Diego took the lead in the top of the inning on a two-out single by Cory Spangenberg but couldn’t hold it.

On Sunday, the Padres sent right-hander Jordan Lyles to the 10-day disabled list and announced that he will have his ailing right elbow evaluated by team doctors.

Lyles was scratched from his start on Saturday afternoon with right forearm tightness, prompting an unplanned bullpen day, according to mlb.com.

Immediately before the top of the first inning, pitching coach Darren Balsley noticed Lyles awkwardly stretching his forearm after his pregame bullpen session. Balsley and manager Andy Green inquired, and the Padres decided not to take any chances.

“A 10-day break will do him well,” Green said. “He’ll rest the elbow and then hopefully come back ready to start in 10 days. He’s never had any arm issues, whatsoever, in his entire career. He doesn’t know how to gauge it off past experience. We’re very Connor Williams Jersey Elite , very hopeful it’s nothing very serious.”

Lucchesi returned from the disabled list on Wednesday and allowed four runs in just 1 1/3 innings in a loss to Oakland. He said he felt no ill effects from a right hip strain that placed him on the shelf.

It is Lucchesi’s first career start against Texas.

Hamels will make his 16th start of the season. He leads all Texas starters in ERA (3.41), starts (15), innings (92 1/3), and strikeouts (92) and has gone 3-3 with a 2.81 ERA (20 ER/64.0 IP) in his last 10 starts to lower ERA from 4.76 to 3.41

Hamels has gone six-plus innings in his past eight starts, his second-longest streak with the Rangers, and has allowed just one earned run in 13 innings in his last two starts. He will be working on extended five days’ rest after picking up a win in the Rangers’ 4-1 victory on Tuesday in Kansas City.

Hamels has gone 9-2 with a 2.25 in 17 career starts against the Padres.
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23 Aug 2018
Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley has no problem discussing the gut-wrenching way his season ended.

He’s talked about it with family and friends for nearly a month and openly shared his thoughts with fellow Pro Bowl players this week.

At breakfast. In the locker room. On the practice field.

He’s also gotten plenty of sympathetic support.

After all Titans Elite Jerseys , the New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars know exactly how Mosley feels.

Players from all those teams are still trying to deal with the way they exited the postseason.

”You talk about it because that’s the life of the NFL,” Mosley said Thursday. ”You fight and fight, and it always comes down to the last two minutes or the last play of the game.”

The Pro Bowl has become a gathering spot for the brokenhearted, a place to laugh, smile and joke through lingering disappointment.

”When it’s the last game of the season, it definitely sticks with you a lot longer,” Mosley said. ”It was tough, but you’ve got to live and learn from it. It just builds calluses, as Coach (John) Harbaugh says, and you try to redeem yourself next season.”

The Ravens looked as if they were headed to the playoffs in the final minute of the final game of the regular season. But Baltimore gave up a crushing, 49-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds remaining and lost 31-27 loss to Cincinnati. The outcome put Buffalo in the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season.

”I know they helped us out, but to have pretty much a home playoff game and lose to a team that’s not having a good year, that’s difficult DJ Chark Jersey Elite ,” Bills guard Richie Incognito said.

Incognito and other Pro Bowlers felt as if Baltimore’s stunning setback took a backseat to others in the playoffs.

New Orleans was poised to beat Minnesota in an NFC divisional game until Case Keenum completed a last-ditch heave to Stefon Diggs, who turned it into a 61-yard touchdown reception that gave the Vikings a 29-24 victory. Rookie safety Marcus Williams whiffed trying to tackle Diggs near the sideline.

”That’s tough to go and do that,” Incognito said. ”You’re in and out of it in a game like New Orleans-Minnesota and then you lose it on the last play. That’s just demoralizing. That’s going to be in that kid’s head forever.”

It dominated conversation in Minnesota for a week – until the Vikings got thumped at Philadelphia while trying to become the first team in NFL history to make the Super Bowl in its home stadium.

”That’s why you keep doing things like this, try to enjoy the moment, live in the moment and actually try to get that game off your mind,” Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes said.

”I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take, but it’ll take very long if people keep asking me questions about the game. But eventually it’ll pass.

”We’ve got to look forward to next year and hopefully we’ll go to the Super Bowl.”

Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said Minnesota’s loss was the toughest to watch in the postseason.

”You have that miracle catch and that happens in the NFC title game,” McCoy said. ”That hurts. I think they just couldn’t get over the fact of how they won and it just didn’t carry over to the next game.”

Jacksonville will carry its collapse into next season, too.

The Jaguars had a 10-point lead at New England in the fourth quarter in the AFC title game. Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs were so desperate to get back in the game that they turned to trick plays.

”You’ve got the champs on the ropes, everything’s flowing, you feel like you’re going to win the game, you’re out-physically them and then Tom Brady takes over,” Incognito said.

Incognito and several Jaguars defenders talked about the loss during breakfast this week, with Incognito identifying the session as ”telling war stories about Tommy.”

All of them – the Jaguars http://www.chiefsauthorizedshops.com/authe...t-golden-jersey , the Vikings, the Saints and the Ravens – could take solace in knowing it could be worse. The Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead to the Patriots in the Super Bowl last February.

”It’s takes a while,” Falcons safety Keanu Neal said. ”You’ve got to forget, just get right. It takes a second. It’s going to hurt because the opportunity was there, but time heals everything.”



鈥?Whether it was the weirdest interception of Marshon Lattimore’s football life or a ball-dislodging hit by Tyeler Davison near the goal line, the Saints’ defense poetically tipped the scales in a long-awaited playoff-clinching victory.Shoddy defense was widely seen as the reason the Saints missed the playoffs the last three seasons. Those days are over.Lattimore corralled a momentum turning interception off his backside, New Orleans made two defensive stands from inside its 2-yard line, and the Saints clinched their first postseason berth since 2013 with a 23-13 victory over the rival Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.“We want the team to win because of the defense, not in spite of the defense, and I feel like we’ve all kind of hung our hat on that,” Davison said. “We saw it in our mind and we turned it into real life, man, and it feels amazing. It feels just as you thought it would when you pictured it 100 times.”Ted Ginn caught a 54-yard pass for a touchdown, which came a few plays after Lattimore’s interception and shortly before halftime. Mark Ingram used a sharp cutback to break loose for a 26-yard touchdown for New Orleans ( 11-4) Authentic Pernell McPhee Jersey , which kept its tenuous hold on first place in the NFC South heading into the final week of the season.While the loss eliminated the Falcons (9-6) from the NFC South race, Atlanta can clinch a wild-card berth by beating Carolina in the final regular-season game.The Falcons entered the game with a second straight division crown within reach, but they needed to beat the Saints. They squandered chances spectacularly, much to the delight of a deafening Superdome crowd 鈥?and certainly to the chagrin of scattered fans wearing Falcons red. The Falcons were taunted on their way to the game by a plane towing a banner that read “28-3 Merry Xmas,” a reference to Atlanta’s Super Bowl collapse.Atlanta trailed 6-0 when Lattimore’s interception of Matt Ryan set the Saints up to double their lead.Early in the third quarter, Atlanta linebacker Deion Jones intercepted a pass that deflected off Ginn’s hands and returned it 41 yards to the New Orleans 2. But Devonta Freeman fumbled on a hit by Davison two plays later and linebacker Manti Teo recovered.“That was my fault,” Freeman said. “No matter what play is called, you’ve got to get in the end zone and score, and I’ve got to protect the ball. I’ve got to do better at that. I’m going to do whatever it takes to fix it.”Early in the fourth quarter, Freeman was stopped on fourth-and-goal from the 1, preserving a 20-3 Saints lead. One play earlier, Julio Jones caught a third-down pass with his feet in the end zone, but he was unable to pull the ball across the goal line after reaching back to make the catch. Atlanta challenged the spot, but the call on the field was upheld.“That’s kind of the tale of the day Adidas Derick Brassard Jersey ,” Ryan said. “We can’t do that in these type of games and we missed too many opportunities.”FORTUITOUS PICKLattimore, drafted 11th overall last spring out of Ohio State, said he’d never had a more unusual interception at any level of football. Lattimore had been beaten on the play and launched into a desperate dive as Ryan’s high pass deflected off the hands of receiver Marvin Hall and fell on Lattimore as he lay face down.He curled his leg up on the ball to try to prevent it from touching the ground, reached back with his right hand to swipe it from players from both teams who grasped at it.“I felt the ball on the back of my leg. I knew it didn’t touch the ground because everybody was trying to fight for it,” Lattimore said . “I just went back and reached for it and got it.”FINAL NUMBERSDrew Brees completed 21 of 28 passes for 239 yards. Ginn finished with 76 yards receiving and Michael Thomas 鈥?who’d been listed as questionable with a hamstring injury 鈥?caught four passes for 66 yards. Brees became the third quarterback in NFL history to eclipse 70,000 career yards passing, joining Peyton Manning and Brett Favre.Ryan was 22 of 36 for 288 yards. He was sacked five times, twice by Cameron Jordan.Jones had seven catches for 149 yards, but the Falcons’ running game struggled.Freeman was held to 36 yards on 11 carries.INJURY REPORTFalcons: Tight end Levine Toilolo was sidelined by a knee injury in the second half.Saints: Left tackle Terron Armstead left the game in the second half with a thigh injury.UP NEXTFalcons: Finish regular season at home against the Panthers.Saints: Try to wrap up the division title at Tampa Bay on New Year’s Eve..
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