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A berth in the NFC championship game is at stake when Ryan leads the Atlanta
Falcons (11-6) against the Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) in a divisional playoff
Saturday. Ryan Michael
Deiter Jersey , who grew up rooting for the Eagles and went to
Philadelphia’s William Penn Charter School, is 1-3 at the Linc.
”I’m used to it now,” Ryan said about returning home. ”Playing as long as I
have, I understand regardless of where we play you have to be at your best every
week. The one nice part is there will be a lot of familiar faces, friendly faces
after the game, which is always nice.”
Ryan had his worst game of his MVP season last year in Atlanta’s 24-15 loss
in Philly on Nov. 13, 2016. He was 18 of 33 for 267 yards with one touchdown and
”Obviously, there will be some scheme from that game that we’ll take, what
went well and what didn’t go well and try to improve on that,” Ryan said. ”We’re
a different team than we were last year when we played them and they’re a
different team. It will be some carry over, but it will be a little bit
Here’s some things to watch for when the teams meet in the playoffs for the
first time since Philadelphia’s win over Michael Vick’s Falcons in the 2005 NFC
NICK’S UP: Nick Foles makes his fourth start since replacing Carson Wentz
after the MVP candidate tore his ACL in Week 14. Foles played well in his first
five quarters and struggled in the next five. He’s certainly a drop-off from
Wentz, but he’s also capable of spectacular performances. Foles once tossed
seven TDs in a game in 2013. He had four TDs in his first start in Week 15.
”There’s enough substance behind his career that merits having confidence,”
Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said.
`NORTHEAST’ NOISE: There’s crowd noise Daniel
Jones Jersey , and then there’s the noise generated by Philadelphia
fans known for their intensity.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn seemed to search for a polite term to compare Eagles
fans with the fans the team heard in last week’s wild-card win at the Los
”I’m not going to say more passionate, but I would say more Northeast,” Quinn
said with a smile.
The Falcons have pumped in artificial noise in practice this week but will
lean heavily on Ryan and center Alex Mack to use their experience with silent
counts and hand signals.
”That’s huge,” said tight end Levine Toilolo. ”That’s where it all starts,
coming off the ball, the cadence and stuff like that. We definitely work on that
every week. Their fans, we’re expecting a loud crowd in a big playoff game.”
Mack said he expects Philadelphia’s fans ”to be really dedicated, really
loud, really involved. So it’s going to be a challenge just in terms of crowd
COMFORT ZONE: After leading the league in scoring in 2016, the Falcons
finished the regular season 15th with first-year offensive coordinator Steve
Atlanta averaged 22.1 points per game, down from 33.8 last season.
Ryan says he has become more comfortable with Sarkisian, especially the last
two weeks in wins over Carolina and the Rams.
”I think Sark has done a great job of finding who we are week to week,
specifically the last two weeks I think he’s done a great job Dexter
Lawrence Jersey ,” Ryan said.
STOPPING JULIO: The Eagles had some success against Julio Jones in their win
last year, keeping him out of the end zone but allowing 10 catches for 135
yards. Jalen Mills held him to four catches for 48 yards when he was matched up
against Jones. The second-year pro is confident he can contain Jones again.
Ronald Darby will have to cover Jones when he’s on his side.
”You have to think the ball is coming to him each and every play,” Mills
said. ”Whether they’re having a run or a pass play, you’ve just got to think the
ball is coming to him.”
MULTIPLE BACKS: Both teams have options in the backfield. The Falcons are led
by Devonta Freeman, who had 865 yards rushing and seven TDs. Tevin Coleman had
628 yards rushing and five TDs. LeGarrette Blount led the Eagles with 766 yards
rushing and scored two TDs. Jay Ajayi had 873 yards rushing and one TD combined
with the Dolphins and Eagles. He ran for 130 yards against Atlanta in Miami’s
win on Oct. 15.
AP Sports Writer Charles Odum contributed to this report.
AP NFL website: The NFL wants Congress to enact a framework for legalized
sports betting in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that clears the way for
more states to allow sports gambling.Supreme Court justices voted 6-3 on Monday
to strike down a 1992 law that barred most state-authorized sports gambling.
Before the Supreme Court ruling, Nevada was the only state that allowed people
to bet on the results of a single game.“Congress has long-recognized the
potential harms posed by sports betting to the integrity of sporting contests
and the public confidence in these events,” the NFL said in a statement. “Given
that history, we intend to call on Congress again, this time to enact a core
regulatory framework for legalized sports betting.”All the major leagues
responded to a ruling that figures to have far-reaching implications throughout
the sports world. The NHL noted that “today paves the way to an entirely
different landscape – one in which we have not previously operated.”NBA
Commissioner Adam Silver, a supporter of legalizing sports gambling, said his
league would “remain active in ongoing discussions with state legislatures”
about expanding wagering options.Silver also said the league would like to see a
federal framework instead of a state-by-state system. The NBA once opposed
expanded sports betting but has long said it supports robust regulation.The NBA
and Major League Baseball have argued in recent months for a 1 percent cut of
proceeds if legalized sports betting expands across the country, saying part of
that money would be needed for additional compliance and enforcement efforts
within the game.“As each state considers whether to allow sports betting, we
will continue to seek the proper protections for our sport Deandre
Baker Jersey , in partnership with other professional sports,”
Major League Baseball said in a statement.Keith Whyte, the National Council on
Problem Gambling’s executive director, believes any governmental body and sports
league that receives a direct percentage or portion of sports betting revenue
must also dedicate funds to prevent and treat gambling problems.“Some of that 1
percent of betting fees is going to come from people with uncontrollable
gambling problems,” Whyte said. “We believe by taking a cut of this money, (the
leagues would be) put themselves in the position of having to do something to
reduce those costs. Great profits come with great responsibility.”MLB said it
would “continue to support legislation that creates air-tight coordination and
partnerships between the state, the casino operators and the governing bodies in
sports” toward protecting the integrity of the game.Plenty of leagues already
have taken steps to make sure its players are educated on the issue.For example,
last year the PGA Tour hired Genesis Sports to help with its new “Integrity
Program” that began at the start of the year. The program requires players on
all six circuits the PGA Tour manages to take part in an online tutorial that,
among other things, illustrates some of the far-reaching effects of gambling.“We
believe that regulation is the most effective way of ensuring integrity in
competition, protecting consumers, engaging fans and generating revenue for
government, operators and leagues Oshane
Ximines Jersey ,” the PGA Tour said in a statement.The Supreme
Court ruling will impact college sports as well as the pro leagues. Donald Remy,
the NCAA’s chief legal officer, said the organization is reviewing the Supreme
Court’s decision and that “we will adjust sports wagering and championship
policies to align with the direction from the court.”The NCAA currently doesn’t
hold NCAA Tournament games or any other NCAA-run events in Nevada because
gambling’s legal in that state. Las Vegas is home to the annual Las Vegas Bowl
as well as the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament and other tournaments, which
aren’t run by the NCAA itself.The NCAA said that 24 percent of NCAA male
student-athletes and about 5 percent of female student-athletes in 2016 reported
that they had wagered on sports for money within the previous year , which would
violate NCAA bylaws. Just below 2 percent of the men participating in the 2016
survey met what the NCAA termed as standard diagnostic criteria for problem
gambling.Reactions to the Supreme Court ruling across the sports world weren’t
limited to the league offices. The athletes themselves also were wondering about
the possible implications of increased legal sports gambling.NASCAR driver Brad
Keselowki tweeted that he was “torn” on the Supreme Court’s decision. Keselowski
said that it “should be great for our sport, but I’ve also seen gambling ruin
lives.”“If you choose to gamble on me or anyone else, please be responsible, and
if you need help, get help,” Keselowski added.——AP golf writer Doug Ferguson, AP
basketball writer Tim Reynolds and AP college football writer Ralph D. Russo
contributed to this report.