The New England Patriots will meet the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LII after razor-thin victories in Saturday's Conference Championship games, decided in part by a coin toss and hugely controversial refereeing decision. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton says his team will "probably never get over" the controversial call which may have cost them a place in next month's Super Bowl in Atlanta. Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein nailed a 57-yard attempt to clinch a 26-23 win in overtime, though the manner in which they got the opportunity to take the kick was dubious as the referees appeared to miss a clear pass interference call on Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis towards the end of regulation time. Had the call been made, the Saints would have allowed them to run down to clock to around 10 seconds left in the game and given them field position to score a game-winning field goal. "It was as obvious a call (as could be) and how two guys can look at that and … [Read more...] about ‘Worst no-call of the 2018 season’: Rams & Patriots advance to Super Bowl LII after overtime drama
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NFL playoff contenders have two chances to keep their hopes of reaching the Super Bowl alive as the season approaches the end. The AFC still boasts a range of teams with a real shot at qualifying for the wildcard and divisional rounds. Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans both won in their early games yesterday, putting big pressure on the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers to secure results today. If the Colts win and Steelers lose – to top-ranked side New Orleans Saints – this evening, the Steelers will be all-but eliminated. The Colts and Titans would then enter an all-or-nothing showdown next weekend to clinch a playoff spot. There are numerous permutations going into today’s games with many sides still able to be eliminated or pushed into the driving seat. The NFC is a tamer affair, with three division titles already clinched and no teams with winning records ‘in the hunt’. Express Sport has rounded up the rules for NFL playoff … [Read more...] about NFL Playoff Picture: Which teams will qualify? Who will play in Super Bowl 53?
Mike Jones USA TODAY Published 2:09 AM EDT Sep 28, 2018 LOS ANGELES — Jared Goff threw the perfect pass, hitting wide receiver Cooper Kupp in stride for a 70-yard second-quarter touchdown that gave his Los Angeles Rams their first lead of Thursday night’s 38-31 shootout victory over the Minnesota Vikings. The usually stoic young quarterback couldn’t contain himself. All week long, he had prepared for that throw. He and his coaches anticipated the Vikings defense giving them the look they wanted, and the Rams planned to exploit the mismatch. Sure enough, it happened. Linebacker Anthony Barr lined up opposite Kupp, so Goff and his wideout burned Barr badly. As the quarterback jogged back to the side line, a wide grin on his fresh face, he spotted his head coach and play-caller, Sean McVay, who also erupted in jubilation. Goff kept running to his coach. He pointed to the sky. McVay knew what that signal meant, took a few quick steps toward his quarterback and the … [Read more...] about LA Rams: Jared Goff, Sean McVay leading legit Super Bowl contender
Jim Reineking USA TODAY Published 1:17 p.m. UTC Aug 16, 2018 The second week of the NFL preseason is here, and once again rookie quarterbacks will be under the microscope. THURSDAY (All times Eastern.) Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. This will have to suffice for a Super Bowl LII rematch, as Philadelphia and New England won't meet in the regular season. After missing last week's preseason opener, Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is expected to play Thursday. Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers, 8 p.m. Aaron Rodgers likely will see his only snaps of the preseason when the Steelers visit Lambeau Field. Pittsburgh, however, will sit Ben Roethlisberger. New York Jets at Washington Redskins, 8 p.m. (ESPN) Rookie QB Sam Darnold looked impressive in his preseason debut and has been rolling with the first string this week. A huge opportunity awaits for Darnold to stake his claim on the Week 1 starting spot. More: Jalen Ramsey: Josh Allen is 'trash' … [Read more...] about NFL preseason Week 2 viewer’s guide: Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen square off in Cleveland
Nate Davis USA TODAY Published 12:12 p.m. UTC Jul 19, 2018 It's time to dig into those playbooks and hit the ice baths. NFL training camps begin opening this week as veterans for the Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears officially report for duty. Summer vacation ends for the league's other 30 teams next week. It won't be long after that until injuries begin to mount, holdouts potentially simmer and flare and other manners of controversy surface. But based on what I know (or think I know) as we embark on the NFL's 99th season, here's my annual prediction of how the season will unfold with record projections for each team based on picking all 256 games, plus a playoff forecast. NFC EAST Philadelphia Eagles (11-5): Underdogs no longer, the champs may be in for a rocky start based on a rough early schedule (particularly October, which includes a Thursday night road game and trip to London) that coincides with Carson Wentz's presumed re-entry from December's ACL tear. Dallas … [Read more...] about 2018 NFL record projections: Will Patriots falter on road to Super Bowl LIII?