For all of the pre-game scrutiny over the daunting prospect of containing the unguardable Rob Gronkowski, the All-Pro tight end hauled in just one pass for 21 yards before safety Barry Church’s helmet-to-helmet blow sent him to the locker room late in the second quarter. Although Church’s penalty helped the Patriots find the end zone in the halftime two-minute drill, Gronkowski was lost for the remainder of the game with a head injury. As valuable as any non-quarterback in football, his status will be one to monitor leading up to Super Bowl LII.
After converting six first downs in a season-best performance versus the Titans last week, Amendola took his game to an even higher level in Sunday’s fourth quarter. Following a 9-yard touchdown, Amendola broke free for a 20-yard punt return, hauled in a diving red-zone catch and capped off the comeback with a toe-tapping score in the back of the end zone. All Amendola does is take pay cuts and make big plays in the postseason.
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While Bill Belichick bathes in the deserving glory of his 11th Super Bowl appearance, the Jaguars’ triad of coach Doug Marrone, general manager Dave Caldwell and executive vice president Tom Coughlin merit a tip of the cap for building a bully that bulldozed its way out of the AFC’s basement and onto the doorstep of the Super Bowl. After drafting difference-making All-Pro Jalen Ramsey in 2016, the organization’s braintrust imported a coterie of tone-setters in Calais Campbell, Leonard Fournette, Cam Robinson, A.J. Bouye and Barry Church to instigate this year’s dramatic transformation. Provided Bortles continues to show improvement under Hackett’s guiding hand, Jacksonville is here to stay as an AFC contender.
This season, Washington’s passing attack has scored 5.7 points per game more than expected and, according to ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating, Cousins is responsible for a vast majority of that (4.9), signifying his high value to the Redskins. Ryan Miller Youth jersey Seeing a quarterback account for so much of a team’s offense might be shocking to some, but not only is the quarterback widely considered to be the most important position on the team, Cousins has had to deal with a slew of injuries this season that only made his task tougher: Chris Thompson, Terrelle Pryor, Shaun Lauvao, T.J. Clemmings and Robert Kelley are all on injured reserve, in addition to Trent Williams and Jordan Reed missing significant time.
In fact, Washington had to play at the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9 without Williams, Reed and Lauvao in addition to right guard Brandon Scherff, receiver Jamison Crowder, defensive linemen Jonathan Allen and Matt Ioannidis and linebacker Mason Foster 鈥?and the Redskins still managed to walk away with a win.