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would address his contract concerns

Postby kaisy on Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:45 am

DENVER - The Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons, who tied for the leagues best record at 13-3, are well aware of one of the NFLs biggest truisms: more often than not, the regular season is for suckers. air jordan schuhe kaufen . Over the last decade, just two of the 13 teams that had the best regular season record - or tied for the best mark - went on to win the Super Bowl: the 02 Buccaneers and the 03 Patriots. The last eight teams to enter the playoffs with the best record bowed out before they could put their fingerprints on the Lombardi Trophy and revel in a rain of confetti. Both the Broncos and Falcons are promising to practice like champions this week and not allow rest and relaxation to turn into rust and ruin. In the last seven seasons, three No. 6 seeds and a No. 4 seed ended up winning it all, giving hope to the likes of the Ravens, Redskins, Bengals and Vikings in this years playoff pool. A year ago, the Green Bay Packers rested their regulars in the season finale and they lost their edge, becoming the first 15-1 team to lose its first playoff game - to a New York Giants team that was 7-7 in mid-December and went on to win it all. "Thats kind of what it was for us when I was in Indy," Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley said of the 05 Colts, who went 14-2 but lost to Pittsburgh in the divisional round. "We kind of rested the last week, then we had a bye. Its too much. So, I like just grinding every week, just playing football." Thats exactly what Peyton Mannings new team did, securing the AFCs top seed Sunday with its 11th straight win. Along with the Falcons, Patriots and 49ers, the Broncos get a break this week, one that can prove a pitfall as much as a profit. "Weve just got to practice like were playing this week," Denver receiver Eric Decker said. While the Broncos stormed into the playoffs, the Falcons, who already had the NFCs top seed secured, didnt gain any momentum Sunday, losing to Tampa Bay. "Before this game was played, we were the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, at the end of the game, nothing has changed," Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez reasoned. "Were a very good team; well just use this as a wake-up call." Says another Atlanta veteran, Asante Samuel: "Were going to practice like champs. And were going to play like champs from now on." So will the Broncos. Coach John Fox is using the bye week to stay sharp, calling for short, crisp practices on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and a mandatory weightlifting session Saturday, mainly to keep the team "focused, not concerned with flights to other states and those type of things, especially close states." Like Nevada, where oddsmakers have made the Broncos the favourite to win the Super Bowl. Of course, the Packers were in this position last year. Its not just the NFL where the seasons best team usually falters in the playoffs. In the last 10 seasons, only two teams in each of the other major pro sports leagues parlayed the best regular-season record into a championship, according to STATS, LLC. They were: the 2007 Red Sox and the 09 Yankees, the 2002-03 Spurs and the 07-08 Celtics and the Red Wings in 2001-02 and 07-08. Since the first Super Bowl, the team with the best regular-season record has won just 21 of 46 championships, or 46 per cent, which is more than in the NHL (42 per cent), NBA (41 per cent) and MLB (28 per cent), according to STATS. "Everyone wants to have the best record, win the division and play at home for the playoffs, but in my opinion, the team that is playing the best has the best opportunity," said NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner, a former MVP and Super Bowl champion. "This game is always about confidence and momentum. If you have it, youre tough to beat, nobody wants to play you and it gives you a distinct advantage. It starts in the regular season and you want to be playing well down the stretch." With that in mind, heres how the dozen playoff teams rank from hottest to coolest: 1. Broncos (13-3) - They havent lost since a 31-21 setback at New England on Oct. 7, before Manning got his bearings and found a comfort zone with his new teammates. 2. Redskins (10-6) - Theyve won seven straight games since coach Mike Shanahans comments about playing for next year (well, it is 2013 now!) after a loss to Carolina on Nov. 4 dropped them to 3-6. 3. Patriots (12-4) - Their only loss in their last 10 games was to San Francisco two weeks ago that snapped their 21-game home winning streak in December. Even in defeat, Tom Brady was spectacular as New England nearly became the first team since 1980 to win a game after trailing by 28. 4. Seahawks (11-5) - Forget the "Fail Mary" touchdown/touchback ending that gave Seattle a disputed win over the Packers in Week 3 and hastened the return of the regular officials. The real robbery was the selection of QB Russell Wilson in the third round of the draft. Hes guided them to five straight wins. 5. Bengals (10-6) - Cincinnati matched the best finish in club history, winning seven of its last eight games behind Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, who will now try to secure the Bengals first playoff win since 1990. 6. Colts (11-5) - Indy won nine of its last 11 despite a soft defence, rallying around assistant coach Bruce Arians, who took over while coach Chuck Pagano was treated for leukemia. Pagano is back and the Colts have gotten over their breakup with Manning and moved on with rookie Andrew Luck. 7. Packers (11-5) - Green Bay won nine of its last 11 but couldnt close out the season with a win at Minnesota that would have ensured them a first-round bye. Maybe thats a good thing for a team that won it all as a wild card two years ago. 8. Vikings (10-6) - Although Adrian Peterson came up just short of breaking Eric Dickersons single season rushing record, he carried the Vikings into the playoffs with wins in their last four games. 9. 49ers (11-4-1) - San Francisco lost to division rivals St. Louis and Seattle in December, but Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree put the 49ers into the playoffs with some much-needed momentum with dazzling performances in a win over Arizona on Sunday. 10. Falcons (13-3) - Atlanta lost two of its last four, but they didnt rest their regulars Sunday, when they lost to the Buccaneers and also lost two key defensive players to injuries in pass-rusher John Abraham and cornerback Dunta Robinson. 11. Ravens (10-6) - Baltimore lost four of its last five and changed offensive co-ordinators in December. The Ravens used their regular-season finale at Cincy to rest their regulars, sitting banged-up playmakers Anquan Boldin, Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs while pulling Joe Flacco and Ray Rice after only two series. 12. Texans (12-4) - For much of the year, they were the NFLs darlings behind J.J. Watt, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster, but they caved in December, losing three of their last four and falling from the top seed in the AFC to the third. Instead of a bye week to rest up, they get a short week to play Cincinnati. All of this isnt to say the hottest team will be crowed champion or the coolest one has no shot. "I think there are a lot of formulas," Fox said. "If you look at history, there are plenty of different scenarios. At the end of the day, you want to be playing your best football in January so you can get to February. Thats really the only formula I know thats 100 per cent." air jordan 6 schuhe schwarz .J. -- The New York Giants will be without their leading rusher, receiver and their starting centre Sunday against the New England Patriots. air jordan 6 retro schwarz . -- Dont write the obituary just yet for the Dallas Mavericks. . The International Olympic Committees co-ordination commission began a three-day visit Wednesday -- its penultimate trip to London before the games start on July 27, 2012. air jordan basketballschuhe schwarz . Pronger will see doctors in Pittsburgh on Wednesday for further evaluation. Pronger has been out since late November with a knee injury but Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said the recuperation from that injury was going well. air jordan retro schwarz . -- Kenny Cooper scored twice, and Thierry Henry added a goal to lift the New York Red Bulls over the Philadelphia Union 3-0 on Saturday. FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft wanted to keep Logan Mankins with the team for a long time. It looks as if he got his wish. The three-time Pro Bowl left guard who missed the first seven games last season because of a 4 1/2-month contract holdout has agreed to a six-year deal with the team, according to ESPN. The Patriots had no comment on the report. Mankins agent, Frank Bauer, didnt respond to a request for comment. Earlier Wednesday, Kraft indicated that a long-term deal with Mankins, entering his seventh season, was imminent. "Probably youll see our good friend Logan Mankins will be signed up soon, hopefully to be a Patriot for life," he said. "That couldnt have happened if we didnt do our planning before we went into the lockout." Mankins, a restricted free agent going into last season, played the last nine regular-season games and the teams only playoff game and was chosen for the Pro Bowl. The Patriots made him their franchise player in February, but both sides kept working on a long-term contract. A player given the franchise tag must be paid the average of the top five salaries at his position. He signed his franchise tender offer of about $10.1 million last month. The value of the six-year deal was not known. air jordan 6 retro schuhe. "Its our desire and has always been our desire" to sign Mankins, a first-round draft choice in 2005, to a long-term contract, Kraft said Wednesday. "We very much think that Logan is among the best there is at his position. We drafted him and we want him here." Mankins had criticized the Patriots organization just before starting his holdout on June 14, 2010, the day before the teams minicamp began. He said the club asked him to play in 2009, the final year of his original five-year contract, and they would address his contract concerns after that season. He also said he wanted to be traded. "Growing up, I was taught a mans word is his bond," he said in June 2010. "Obviously, this isnt the case with the Patriots." He later apologized. "All I know is," Kraft said Wednesday, "any face-to-face discussions Ive had (with Mankins) or any private discussions have all been positive." Mankins started all 80 regular-season games and nine playoff games in his first five seasons and all 10 games he played last season. He was one of 10 players who were plaintiffs in an antitrust lawsuit filed against the NFL a few hours before the lockout began. ' ' '
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