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hongwei28  
#1 Posted : Friday, November 09, 2018 5:50:08 AM(UTC)
hongwei28

Rank: Advanced Member

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Joined: 6/15/2018(UTC)
Posts: 366

Nick Foles used the bye week to go back to basics.

The Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) are the first No. 1 seed to open the playoffs as an underdog mainly because Foles is the starting quarterback instead of Carson Wentz.

But Foles hasn’t lost confidence despite public perception that he can’t lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl Frank Ragnow Color Rush Jersey , or even a victory over the Atlanta Falcons (11-6) on Saturday in the divisional round.

”It’s just going out there and playing and staying in the zone and trusting my instincts,” Foles said.

”I’ve played this game a long time. There’s a reason I’ve been able to do what I’ve been able to do. When I play my best and I’m most comfortable, I just go out there and play.”

Foles has had success against defenses similar to Atlanta’s. The Falcons employ a Cover-3 scheme as their base defense. The three deep zones are covered by two cornerbacks and the free safety. The Seahawks have excelled at it for several years. Of course, they have a world-class secondary.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn was Seattle’s defensive coordinator when they won the Super Bowl four years ago.

Foles has never faced Quinn, but he beat the Jaguars in 2014 with the Eagles and in 2016 with the Chiefs. He beat the Seahawks in 2015 with St. Louis. Gus Bradley, who preceded Quinn as Seattle’s defensive coordinator, was Jacksonville’s coach in both games against Foles.

Foles is 65 of 105 (61.9 percent) for 842 yards with five touchdowns passes and one interceptions in those three games against Cover-3 defenses.

”You know where they are going to be. That’s the thing with this defense,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. ”They play with a lot of confidence. It’s an aggressive style. It’s fast flow and they are not going to pull any punches.

”They are not going to try to trick you or do anything to get in your head or anything like that. It’s just line up and try to beat us.”

The Falcons don’t blitz much but still get pressure on quarterbacks. They tied for 13th in the league with 39 sacks. Adrian Clayborn led the way with 9+ sacks, including six in one game against the Cowboys.

Atlanta allowed 17.5 points per game over the final six games and then shut down the league’s highest-scoring offense in a 26-13 win at the Los Angeles Rams in the wild-card game.

”This defense is much improved over the course of the season Oren Burks Jersey ,” Pederson said. ”You saw it against the Rams. They are fast. They are flying to the football.

”Secondary is aggressive. Guys know how to cover. A lot of single-high. They are going to challenge our receivers and that’s what you’re seeing on tape. It’s a quality defense, but that’s what we expect this time of year.”

Foles played well immediately after Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14. He was 20 of 48 for 279 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in his first five quarters versus 23 of 49 for 202 yards with one TD and two picks in the last five quarters.

”I haven’t executed as well as I wanted to the past couple of weeks, but I go out there and play and having this time to self-scout, go through practice, you realize just go out there and play,” Foles said.

”Maybe I wasn’t doing that as much those last couple of games. It’s as simple as that. Sometimes, the hardest things are the simplest things. Basically, get out of your own head and go play the game you know how to play.”



AP NFL website:

The Detroit Tigers will aim for a three-game sweep when they square off against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Detroit (35-37) has equaled a season high with a four-game winning streak and will look to climb within one game of .500 for the first time since April 25. The Tigers have outscored opponents 19-11 during their streak.

Meanwhile, Chicago (24-45) has dropped three in a row but remains at .500 in June.

The head-to-head matchup between the American League Central rivals has been wildly lopsided this season. Detroit has won seven of eight games against Chicago Josh Jones Jersey , including five straight meetings in the White Sox’s park.

Tigers left-hander Blaine Hardy (2-1, 3.55 ERA) will try to keep the winning streak alive. The 31-year-old has walked nine and struck out 27 in 38 innings this season. This will be his 11th game and seventh start.

In 19 games (one start) against the White Sox, Hardy is 2-0 with a 3.91 ERA. He is coming off a quality start against the Minnesota Twins in which he allowed two runs and three hits in six innings.

Hardy credited his cutter-slider hybrid pitch for much of his recent success.

“I always go off feel,” Hardy told the Detroit News. “I don’t want to say that pitch kept them off balance, but every time I threw it, even if they were looking for it, it wasn’t a good swing. I don’t have a power fastball, so I might as well use my cutter as my fastball.”

White Sox right-hander James Shields (2-7, 4.63) once possessed a power fastball Bart Starr Jersey , but at age 36 he has transformed into a more strategic pitcher. He has enjoyed more success — if not more victories — this season as his WHIP has dropped from 1.44 to 1.23 from 2017 to 2018.

Shields is 9-9 with a 4.44 ERA in 27 career starts against the Tigers. A victory on Sunday would give the veteran double-digit wins against four teams. He has 12 wins against the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays to go along with 11 wins against the Baltimore Orioles.

One hitter Shields will have to be careful around is Nicholas Castellanos, who slugged two home runs for the Tigers in Saturday’s 7-5 win. Castellanos drove in five runs and is hitting .310 with eight homers and 39 RBIs this season.

The White Sox are led at the plate by Jose Abreu, who is hitting .284 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs. He is a strong candidate to land his second All-Star Game appearance this summer.

Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson said he and his teammates were not discouraged despite their record.

“The confidence is always going to be high, the mood is always going to be great whether we win, lose or draw,” Anderson said. “We try not to get down on ourselves, but we try to stay within ourselves and not do too much. We approach the game every day in the same way.”

The White Sox are 12-23 at home this season. The Tigers are 12-20 on the road.

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