eight seasons.

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eight seasons.
10 agosto, 2018 [04:43]
Matchups for the AFC championship game Sunday between the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots:



When the Jaguars (12-6) have the ball:

That impressive performance in Pittsburgh very likely will be needed for the Jaguars to have a chance. That means QB Blake Bortles (5) must get time from his blockers http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-lorenzo-carter-jersey , led by C Brandon Linder (65) and rookie LT Cam Robinson (74), who is big and nasty and plays with an edge, against a spotty pass rush. New England doesn’t have any studs in the front seven, but everyone is effective. Last week, Geneo Grissom (92) and Deatrich Wise (91) each had two sacks. Who? Exactly the Patriots’ way.

Jacksonville will look to run with stud rookie Leonard Fournette (27) and valuable backup T.J. Yeldon (24). The Patriots held Tennessee, a decent run team, to 65 yards. The Jags, though, led the league in rushing yardage, and Bortles is a threat to run.

Jaguars receivers Marqise Lee (11) and Allen Hurns (88) can be a dangerous pair – Lee is vastly improved – and with the Patriots likely to try to take Fournette out of the game, how those two manage against an inconsistent secondary will be a key. In the playoffs http://www.texansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-keke-coutee-jersey , however, New England’s DBs, particularly S Devin McCourty (32) and CB Malcolm Butler (21) tend to step up big time.

The Jags hurt the Steelers with big plays, and the Patriots have been vulnerable to those at times. Jacksonville will require a bunch of them to stay close.



When the Patriots (14-3) have the ball

Start with Tom Brady (12). We could almost end there, too.

At 40, the four-time Super Bowl MVP plays as if he’s 30. He might have slowed down in December, but does anyone think the All-Pro quarterback won’t be on-target to fellow All-Pro TE Rob Gronkowski (87) or WRs Brandon Cooks (14), Danny Amendola (80), Chris Hogan (15) and RBs James White (28) and Dion Lewis (33)?

The caveat comes from Jacksonville’s pass rush. Sacksonville had 55 in 2017, then four more in the playoffs. The biggest threat, All-Pro DL Calais Campbell (93) had 14+ during the regular season and has none in January. He must be itching to get a QB down on the ground.

Fellow pass rushers Yannick Ngakoue (91) Gleyber Torres New York Yankees Jersey , a strip-sack artist, Dante Fowler Jr. (56), Marcell Dareus (99) and Malik Jackson (97) could add to Brady’s discomfort; Brady’s biggest dislike is not being able to set himself to throw.

Trying to keep that pass rush honest will be the most underrated O-line in the game, paced by LT Nate Solder (77) and C David Andrews (60).

White has been super reliable in past postseasons, but Lewis has become the primary running back.

Jacksonville’s cocky secondary features All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey (20) and solid A.J. Bouye (21), and two castoff safeties who have been solid, Barry Church (42) and Tashaun Gipson (39). They will unquestionably be challenged by Brady’s receiving group.



Special Teams

After struggling by his standards in 2016, Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski (3) is back to being close to automatic: 37 out of 40 in 2017, 4 for 4 on kicks of 50 or more yards. Gostkowski’s 165 postseason points trail only Adam Vinatieri (234) and David Akers (175).

Lewis is the only player on the four remaining teams in the playoffs to have returned a kickoff for a touchdown this season. He ranked fourth in the NFL with a 24.8 yards per return.

Amendola is also a threat on punt returns. He averaged 8.6 yards per return during the regular season, including a long of 40 yards.

Jacksonville’s penchant for trick plays on special teams is something to watch. The Jaguars turned three fake punts into touchdowns during the regular season.

Josh Lambo, signed in mid-October to replace errant Jason Myers http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-thomas-rawls-jersey , is a former Major League Soccer goalkeeper who has made 21 of 22 field goals, including both in the postseason, and 29 of 31 extra points.

Brad Nortman ranked 31st in the league in net average (44.1) and had two punts blocked, including one last week at Pittsburgh.

Returners Corey Grant and Jaydon Mickens have the speed and agility to break long returns.



Coaching

Give Doug Marrone tons of credit for changing the culture in Jacksonville. No more Lax Jax. This is a tough, relentless bunch on defense, and one that while up and down has become more threatening with the ball. Marrone has the Jags believing, and when was the last time folks in North Florida could say that?

Defensive coordinator Todd Wash should be getting looks for a top job. Yes, the roster was vastly improved on D over the past two years and Wash has molded it well.

OC Nathaniel Hackett isn’t nearly as accomplished, but he outcoached his Steelers counterparts last week.

What else needs to be said about the Patriots’ leadership, which gets them this far all the time? Suffice to point out that OC Josh McDaniels and DC Matt Patricia both have been front-runners for head coaching jobs this offseason.



Intangibles

The Jaguars are one of four teams never to make a Super Bowl. Their win in Pittsburgh has them stoked, and their youthful exuberance that some might describe as over the top actually has served them well so far. Then again Lamar Jackson Color Rush Jersey , riling up Brady’s bunch rarely is a good strategy.

Somehow, the Patriots have convinced themselves they are either disrespected, distrusted or dismissed outside of New England. Not a bad motivational tool, even if it seems to ring hollow for a five-time champion.



AP Sports Writers Mark Long and Kyle Hightower contributed.



A person with knowledge of the situation said interim coach Jay Triano is not among ”handful” of remaining candidates for the Phoenix Suns coaching job.

The person, who asked to remain anonymous because the search is ongoing, said the Suns are in the midst of second interviews ”with a handful of candidates still in the mix.”

Triano served as interim coach for all but the first three games of last season after Earl Watson was abruptly fired. Triano guided an exceedingly young and injury-plagued team to a 21-61 record, worst in the NBA and second-worst in franchise history.

Phoenix has the most ping pong balls and therefore the best chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in next months’ draft lottery.

The Suns conducted initial interviews with a wide range of candidates, including Triano.

Among those publicly linked to the job are former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, ex-Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt and ex-Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd. Former Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer removed his name from consideration.

Azcentral (The Arizona Republic) reported that Clifford and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach James Borrego were in Phoenix for interviews last week and that team officials also spoke with Toronto Raptors assistant coach Nick Nurse and New Orleans Pelicans assistant head coach Chris Finch.

General manager Ryan McDonough has said the team is prepared to make a strong move to improve the level of talent, particularly experienced talent Jason McCourty Color Rush Jersey , to build around the young talented trio of Devin Booker, Josh Jackson and T.J. Warren. Phoenix, once one of the league’s most vibrant franchises, has not made the playoffs in eight seasons.

Triano took over and kept the team’s effort high despite the lack of victories, working to improve the youngsters, a project that was most evident in the development of the rookie Jackson.

Born in Canada, Triano became an assistant coach with the Raptors in 2002 and was named Toronto’s interim coach after Sam Williams was fired in 2008 and eventually signed a three-year deal as coach there. He went 87-142 with the Raptors. Triano was assistant coach of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2012 to 2016 before joining Watson in Phoenix.

Arizona Sports 98.7 talk radio host John Gambadoro first reported that Triano was no longer under consideration.

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