Giants’ Eli Manning, slayer of Patriots, has unique legacy

For the rest of the time professional football is played, America will look back at nearly two decades of dominance by the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and ask itself … “The Giants? Huh? Eli Manning? What?”

Those will be the questions about Manning’s NFL legacy, too.

How do you assess his career and where he stands among the quarterbacking greats? For that matter, does he stand among the quarterbacking greats?

It seems as if he should. Manning will always have that comeback to any naysayers or skeptics, were he the type to clap back at them: “2-0. And not just 2-0, 2-0 against Tom Brady. And not just that, 1-0 against the only 16-0 team ever.’’

Is there a perfect solution for football overtime? Absolutely not. Balancing length of game concerns with a fair format is impossible. There are major flaws in both the relatively new NFL system and the gimmicky, alternating, short field college setup.

The key is to find the sweet spot. With the Super Bowl, the NFL can go marathon. Heck, the game already is a lot longer with a halftime that lasts double the time of a normal one.

The Super Bowl always provides drama and excitement, and our first taste of OT in the big game was fantastic … but more so for the Patriots’ in achieving that result than how the final TD was scored. Extending the time likely would not have taken anything away.

The Falcons, with a long offseason ahead, can wonder what could have been. But the next team in their cleats at least needs to be able to touch the ball in overtime of the Super Bowl.

The Patriots have won four of their six previous trips

How many times you’ve been there can become irrelevant fast. The Patriots are the best example, as the team that rolled into New Orleans for Super Bowl 36 as overwhelming underdogs to the dominant recent champion Rams and took them down.

The Patriots have won four of their six previous trips. The Falcons lost the one previous trip. But the Falcons didn’t sneak in or get lucky. The numbers, especially from the presumptive MVP Matt Ryan, speak for themselves.

On Super Sunday, their time will come to speak for themselves against the NFL’s dynasty of the 21st century.
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Here are SN’s picks and predictions for Super Bowl 51.

“You know you’re going to be in positions where you’re up in a big game. You’ve got to do the little things right to find a way so this (opponent) won’t come back. You’ve got to find a guy who makes an extra play in the game.”

Seattle edged Atlanta at home in Week 6 of the regular season, well before a 36-20 playoff loss at the Georgia Dome. Matt Ryan’s 322 passing yards in the latter game was the highest total yielded all season by the Seahawks’ defense, which failed to neutralize Atlanta’s waves of skill-position personnel.

Koa Misi Mens Jersey “From the top down with the offensive coordinator (Kyle Shanahan) to all the different weapons they have, they just find a way to put (defensive) guys in bad positions,” Wright said.

Atlanta bars can stay open late after Falcons-Patriots

Bars within the Atlanta city limits normally have to stop serving alcohol once the clock ticks past 11:59 p.m. on Sunday nights.

Super Bowl 51 will be over by that time this Sunday, but Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed wants to make sure the populace has sufficient time to process all of its emotions after the Falcons-Patriots showdown in Houston.

Big Ben somewhat stunned the football world when he insinuated he might walk away from the NFL. His leaving the Steelers would completely change the dynamic of the team, but the likelihood of that should be slim.

Roethlisberger agreed a contract extension with the Steelers in 2015 that paid him a $31 million signing bonus. Per NFL rules, the Steelers would have the right if Roethlisberger retired to recover any portion of that bonus not yet accounted for on the salary cap. That number is $18.6 million, or about $850,000 more than Roethlisberger made last year.
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So while Roethlisberger maybe is about to embark on the Brett Favre phase of his career, during which he publicly talks retirement every season, there is no reason to think he will actually retire. The Steelers should be able to consider him a lock at starter for the next two years.
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Most recently, Sullivan had Jacksonville’s duo of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns.

Robinson was a second-round pick out of Penn State in 2014. After an underwhelming rookie season, Robinson had a breakout season in 2015 with 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns.

He was a big-time receiver, good size; he had a great vertical jump, Sullivan said of the 6-3, 209-pound Robinson who ran a 4.6-second 40 at the combine. He led the league in catches of 20 yards or more.

May 17, 1979: The day the Cubs scored 22 runs and lost to the Phillies

It’s usually safe to assume that when a major league team breaks the 20-run mark in a game, that team will win that game.

Unless that team was the Cubs in 1979.

On May 17, 1979 38 years ago today the Cubs put on an amazing offensive performance, scoring 22 runs on 26 hits, which would’ve been an amazing victory had the Phillies not put up 23 runs on 24 hits.

Yes, the wind was blowing out that day at Wrigley.
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Nearly four decades later, the game is regarded as one of the greatest in baseball history not only because of the high offensive output, but because of the dramatic, back-and-forth way in which it unfolded.
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It was a bit of a controversial decision to bat George Springer leadoff this season. The young outfielder had proven power, but had not quite reached the average and on-base percentage usually associated with a leadoff hitter.

Less than a week ago (May 25), Springer was batting .231 and had seemingly lost his power stroke. But in his last six games, Springer has racked up five multi-hit efforts, four home runs and seven RBIs. He went 4 for 4 with two solo home runs Wednesday, finally showcasing just how dangerous he can be at the plate.

It’s likely that opinion will look wrong in the short term. Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring), Asdrubal Cabrera (thumb), Steven Matz (shoulder) and Seth Lugo (elbow) will provide a boost when they return from the disabled list. But the Mets have 60 games from Thursday through the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. That’s a lot of time for more injuries and more bullpen failures. That will also be a period without ace Noah Syndergaard and closer Jeurys Familia.

She reads line by line then throws it on the coffee table.

We sit in her office on a warm day in April as she sneaks Coke from a mini-fridge behind a door. She swears she’s kicking the habit because “sweetener causes dementia.”

Schakowsky plops back on the couch in the middle of the decadent room and looks over a Super Bowl response letter the NFL sent her and three other House members after the reps inquired about a federal lawsuit which alleged that teams facilitated prescription painkiller abuse in locker rooms. The league stated that it had been compliant with federal drug law.

It’s apparent between sips that she’s getting more and more incensed.

“When you get a 15-page letter,” she scoffs. “You touched a nerve.”

She reads line by line then throws it on the coffee table.

“If they think that by writing a long letter with footnotes means we’re going away, that’s absolutely not true,” she said. “There’s a lot of room for us to continue to press and press.”

Schakowsky is a relatively short woman. If she said she’s over five feet tall, you’d probably debate her on it. Often seen in lime-green blazers or pink accoutrements on The Hill, she’s lively and energetic for a woman over 70-years old.

Jim Harbaugh finally admits fault in 2011 spat with Jim Schwartz

Jim Harbaugh is a colorful character, and that hasn’t always been a positive in his career.
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One of Harbaugh’s most notorious incidents came in 2011 when he was coaching the 49ers. San Francisco had just defeated the Lions, and then-coach Jim Schwartz took a huge issue with how Harbaugh greeted him on the field at the end of the game.

The team’s current backup, TCU product Trevone Boykin, is a former undrafted free agent who’s in hot water after being arrested in Texas on public intoxication and possession of marijuana charges. The second-year player performed well in limited action last fall, but is an untested and unfinished product who has yet to start a game in his career. With Wilson a veritable sponge for big hits, Carroll needs a reliable presence who can take over a game and inspire confidence should the team’s starter miss the first game of his career.

Enter Kaepernick, the best available player in a free agent market that has been whittled down to names like Griffin, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dan Orlovsky, and Charlie Whitehurst. He’s the best of a bad situation 鈥?and he’s still pretty damn good.

Dion Phaneuf Limited Jersey The aggressive handshake and excessive celebration led to the two coaches having to be separated as insults were hurled and players got involved. However, Harbaugh said the incident is now water under the bridge and he and Schwartz are on good terms.

Jordan Matthews led the Eagles receivers last year with an average of 11 yards per catch.

Charles’ status as a future Hall of Famer is about his only source of attraction in free agency. He has suffered injuries in each of the last three seasons, and his 2015 ACL tear was bad enough to affect his 2016 season, in which he played just three games.
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As for the Raiders, Charles isn’t the type of back they need. DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard are on the roster as capable options in the passing game out of the backfield, which at this point is the most (perhaps only) valuable aspect of Charles’ game.
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Wentz got off to a hot start to his rookie season before he fell back to Earth as the Eagles lacked a big-play receiver. They potentially signed two on Thursday in former 49ers and Ravens receiver Torrey Smith and former Bears wideout Alshon Jeffery.

Jordan Matthews led the Eagles receivers last year with an average of 11 yards per catch. Matthews caught 73 passes for 804 yards and just three touchdowns.

Smith led the NFL with 20.1 yards per reception in 2015 and had a 13.4 yards-per-catch average last season with the 49ers dysfunctional quarterback situation. Smith’s career average is 17 yards per catch.

Jeffery has missed time over the last two years because of injuries, but the 6-3, 218-pound receiver could be WR1 for the Eagles. He’s caught 304 passes for 4,549 yards and 26 scores in 63 career games with an average of 15 yards per catch. If Smith and Jeffery can both stay healthy, the Eagles could return to the postseason for the first time since 2013.

how does a guy who signed a monster contract qualify as under the radar?

Limited Bill Bates Jersey Much ado was — and is — made about Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and the Cubbies capturing their first World Series championship in 108 seasons. Everyone is so focused on their young, talented core, that some forgot their everyday center fielder landed with a division rival.

Even so, how does a guy who signed a monster contract qualify as under the radar? Fowler was the heart and soul of the Cubs in 2016. You go, we go and all that.

Fowler gambled on himself before the 2016 season, signing a one-year deal to stay with the Cubs. He subsequently helped the team capture a World Series title, parlaying a solid 2016 season into a five-year, $82.5 million pact with the Cardinals.

Fowler helps round out a diverse St. Louis lineup that features both youth and experience. It’s still difficult to see how the Cardinals can compete with the Cubs in the National League Central, but Fowler definitely helps solidify a lineup that already had solid numbers coming from the lead-off position in the lineup in 2016.
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More opportunity for players: Adding 15 DH positions in the majors would allow more players to have full-time big-league jobs and, in theory, longer and more successful careers. One-tool offensive players would no longer have to pin hopes solely on the American League, with half the teams in the sport not interested because of limited defensive abilities.

Likewise, National League teams would have more comfort and flexibility in drafting and/or trading. Just as some pitchers are groomed as closers from the start — Craig Kimbrel, for example — players could be groomed as hitting specialists from Day One. If we can have specialized pitchers across the sport, we can have specialized hitters. Which means …

49ers LB Reuben Foster’s shoulder surgery ‘didn’t take,’ made him bigger NFL Draft risk

Reuben Foster’s shoulder injury appears to be more severe than initially reported, which further explains the former Alabama linebacker’s slide in the 2017 NFL Draft.

According to a source with knowledge of Foster’s injury (via, Foster’s surgery on his right rotator cuff in early February “didn’t take.” Another source told ESPN they felt Foster likely wouldn’t make it through his rookie season in San Francisco because his shoulder could give out on any hit.

Foster, considered a top 10 talent heading into the draft, also faced off-field issues after getting sent home from the NFL Combine and providing a diluted urine sample at the Combine’s drug testing.

ESPN reported that, because Foster was sent home from the Combine, the NFL did not have its own medical chart for him until a few days before the draft, which likely scared several teams interested in drafting him.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan on Thursday said team doctors felt that Foster was recovering well from his shoulder injury, but did not acknowledge a potential worst-case scenario.

“The worst-case scenario is that the shoulder doesn’t heal correctly and you’ve got to do it again,” Shanahan told San Francisco radio station KNBR. “And then you have to do it again, you have to get another surgery. It would be tough to play this year, and you end up having him the next year.

“But it’s not something that would hurt him long-term,” Shanahan said. “So the worst-case scenario, he wouldn’t end up being able to play for us right away. But I still don’t think that would have changed how I personally felt about taking a guy with the 31st pick with the caliber of player that we took.”

The 49ers ended up trading with the Seahawks to get Foster with the No. 31 overall pick, its second first-round pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Seattle got the 34th pick and the 49ers’ fourth-round pick (111th overall) in return.

This plea could be extended to the Hall’s veteran voting process in general.

There’s a catch. Negro Leaguers are eligible again, but they and all others from baseball history who made their most significant contribution before 1950 can be considered just once every 10 years. The door to Cooperstown is open again for Negro Leaguers, but just barely.
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With Black History Month wrapping up Tuesday, here’s a plea to the Hall of Fame: Reconsider the policy toward Negro Leaguers. Negro Leaguers have not been honored in Cooperstown at anywhere close to the same level as white players and anyone who’s played in the majors since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier 1947. A number of outstanding Negro League players and executives remain outside Cooperstown. They deserve more than one or two inductions — at best — per decade.

This plea could be extended to the Hall’s veteran voting process in general. Veterans groups don’t vote on any era of players annually. Candidates from 1988 to present and 1970 to 1987 each get voted on twice every five years. Candidates from 1950 to 1969 get voted on once every five years. But only Negro Leaguers and pre-1950 candidates get voted on once every decade.

Vincent Jackson Womens Jersey Romo, though, is worth the risk as well – especially because there isn’t a better option out there.In a worst-case scenario, the 36-year-old Romo gets hurt again. The Broncos are still covered by having Siemian and Lynch in the wings.The best-case scenario? A rejuvenated Romo plays like he did in 2013 and 2014 when throwing 65 touchdown passes and just 19 interceptions.

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