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Postprzez hongwei28 w 12 Sty 2019, 09:02

Saints coach Sean Payton takes a small measure of comfort in New Orleans’ regular-season sweep of Carolina.

It means the Saints (11-5) play the Panthers (11-5) in the Superdome Authentic Joel Iyiegbuniwe Jersey , where New Orleans hasn’t lost a playoff game since 1992 and is 4-0 in the postseason under Payton.

Beyond that, however, the Saints coach asserts that teams evolve over the course of a season as they develop chemistry and adjust to roster or positional changes brought on by injuries.

And on Sunday, there will be a different psychology to performing in the postseason, when losing brings the season to a sudden end.

”Each game’s different,” said Payton, whose team took its first NFC South crown since 2011 by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker over Carolina.

”From the midpoint of the season, when (Carolina) got on a roll, you can see the confidence grow with that team. And you’re also talking about a team that (two years ago) was in the Super Bowl,” Payton said. ”The prior two games don’t matter.”

Payton pointed out that the Panthers not only defeated two of the top teams in the NFL this season – New England and Minnesota – but beat the Patriots on the road.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera doesn’t downplay the significance of those victories.

”I don’t think that is overplayed. I think that is a reality. But at the same time, we are playing against a team that has beat us twice,” Rivera said. ”We have to figure out what went well and improve on that and what went wrong and correct that.”

When the Saints pounded the Panthers by 21 in Carolina in Week 3, it began an eight-game winning streak that vaulted New Orleans atop of the division for good.

When New Orleans topped Carolina by 10 in the dome in Week 13, it ended a Panthers four-game winning streak and was one of only two losses in Carolina’s past nine games.

Their third meeting – also the first playoff clash between them – is loaded with story lines. Here are some of the main ones:

CAM ON THE RUN: The Panthers have been better when quarterback Cam Newton runs the ball. But Newton, Carolina’s leading rusher this season, didn’t run much in two losses to New Orleans, gaining 67 yards on nine carries.

That could change with the season on the line. Newton has averaged 12.5 carries for 59.7 yards per game in Carolina’s past four games.

”That’s my edge,” Newton said. ”I’m comfortable running the football. I feel like I help the team when I’m running the football.”

While Saints All-Pro defensive end Cam Jordan has done well containing the 6-foot-5, 245-pound, fleet-footed Newton in previous meetings, he said he doesn’t exactly enjoy the prospect of having to do so again.

”Who likes facing Cam Newton? I mean Authentic Roquan Smith Jersey , come on,” Jordan said. ”He’s able to escape, spins. He reverse-spins. He pivot-spins. He gets out of the pocket as well as he climbs through the pocket and he’s got some weight to him. I mean, he’s not a frail guy.”

FAMILIAL INSPIRATION: Saints quarterback Drew Brees, whose 72 percent completion rate this season was an NFL record, enters his first playoff game in four years just days after traveling to Texas for the funeral of his 92-year-old grandfather, Ray Akins, a World War II veteran and long-time high school football coach.

Brees said his two days in Texas was ”obviously very sad” at times, but stressed that he ”really came back energized.”

”Being with my family, and with friends, and with guys that played for my grandfather, and just listening to their stories again, just reemphasizing to me what a great man he was, and what a wise man he was, and just a true American hero,” Brees said.

”He was my hero. I learned so much from him and it just reemphasizes all the important things in life, and the values and morals that I want to live by not only in the way I conduct myself as a family man and in the community, but also as a member of this team.”

DEFENDING THE RUN: The Panthers finished third in the league against the run, but struggled to stop the Saints.

The Pro Bowl running back tandem of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara helped the Saints rush for 149 and 148 yards in two games against Carolina, the two highest rushing totals allowed by Carolina this season.

”We take pride in being good at stopping the run,” Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis said. ”If you look at those two games Authentic Anthony Miller Jersey , we flat out didn’t get it done. … It’s uncharacteristic of this defense. This weekend should be a much better showing.”

GETTING HEALTHIER: The Panthers expect to get two key players back on offense – running back Jonathan Stewart and guard Trai Turner.

Stewart sat out last week’s 22-10 loss to Atlanta with back soreness. Turner has missed three games with a concussion.

New Orleans could get starting left tackle Terron Armstead back from a thigh injury that kept him out of last week’s 31-24 loss at Tampa Bay. He practiced on a limited basis this week and was listed as questionable.

Meanwhile, Panthers star tight end Greg Olsen and Saints Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore are slated to play after missing each of the previous two meetings.



Father’s Day was the crowning touch on rookie catcher Jose Trevino’s wild week.

Trevino blooped a two-run single to left-center field, capping a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning that sent the Texas Rangers over the Colorado Rockies 13-12 on Sunday.

He has been a father for only a week, and a major leaguer for three days.

”It has been one of the craziest weeks of my life,” a teary-eyed Trevino said in a television interview. ”I can’t wait to tell (my son) about it.”

Rockies closer Wade Davis (0-2) retired only one batter while walking four and allowing singles to Rougned Odor and Trevino. He entered his third major league game in the top of the ninth after starting catcher Robinson Chirinos was hit on a foot by a foul ball.

Trevino is 2 for 8 for Texas, including a game-tying single in Saturday’s 5-2 victory.

It was the fourth blown save in 24 opportunities for Davis, who threw 23 balls and 15 strikes while tying his season-high 38 pitches. As a result, Colorado lost for a National League-high 21st time after holding a lead.

”It looks as though his release point was way off,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”We’ll address that.”

Trevino took advantage.

”It’s everything a kid dreams about, except for there was one out instead of two,” he said.

Trevino has impressed manager Jeff Banister.

”Pretty incredible week for the young man. I think he’ll look back on these first few days in the big leagues and think about how special they really are.”

Colorado took a 5-1 lead in the fifth inning of the seesaw game. The Rangers scored five runs to take a 6-5 lead in the sixth, including Jurickson Profar’s three-run homer off starter Jon Gray.

The Rockies responded with a five-run seventh to go ahead 10-6. Colorado’s Gerardo Parra drove in four runs, three on a bases-clearing double in the seventh.

Texas pulled within 10-9 with three runs in the seventh. Trevor Story hit a two-run homer in the Colorado ninth against Jesse Chavez (3-1).

Yovani Gallardo, pitching for his hometown Rangers for the first time since 2015, allowed the Rockies’ first five runs in five-plus innings.

Nomar Mazara drove in three Texas runs with two singles and a groundout.

Story, the National League leader with 54 RBIs, drove in two runs with his 15th homer.

Gray retired the Rangers’ first 10 batters, striking out seven, before Delino DeShields singled, stole second base and scored on a single by Mazara.

Gray’s only walk of the game led to the five-run sixth.

”You’d like to have your starting pitcher be a good front-runner and attack,” Black said. ”That inning Authentic Justin Reid Jersey , Jon got behind guys, 2-0 to the first hitter, 2-0 to the second hitter.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: LHP Mike Dunn (rhomboid strain) and RHP Scott Oberg threw bullpen sessions before the game. ”Both successful,” Black said. ”No timetable on their returns. I suspect that they’ll throw another bullpen during the next couple days.”

Rangers: RF Mazara (sore left wrist) and C Robinson Chirinos (body soreness) returned to the lineup after missing two games. Chirinos now may miss more time with a foot injury. ”Pretty sore, pretty numb in the area where he got hit,” manager Jeff Banister said. … SS Elvis Andrus (fractured right elbow) moved his rehab assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, where he was 0 for 2 with two walks leading off as the DH. Banister said he expected Andrus to make the trip to Kansas City for a series beginning on Monday.

LEADING OFF

Rockies 2B DJ LeMahieu hit his second leadoff homer this season and of his career. The Rangers’ leadoff batter, DH Shin-Soo Choo, extended his on-base streak to 31 games with a sixth-inning single.

MAY JUNE BE WITH YOU

SS Jurickson Profar leads the Rangers with 33 RBIs since May 1. For the season, he has 41 RBIs after totaling only 53 in his first four injury-riddled seasons.

Profar has five of his career-high eight home runs in his last 11 games. He has four homers in four starts batting fourth in Texas’ lineup this season.

UP NEXT

Rockies: They return home, where they have lost seven in a row, to play the Mets on Monday. LHP Tyler Anderson (4-1, 4.48) will start for Colorado against New York RHP Jacob deGrom (4-2, 1.55).

Rangers: RHP Bartolo Colon (3-4, 4.94) will start the series opener on Monday at Kansas City against RHP Ian Kennedy (1-6, 5.13). … Trevino will be making his first major league road trip. He said, ”It should be some fun.”
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