Eagles

Vikings' win means Eagles must wait for home-field advantage

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USA Today Images

Vikings' win means Eagles must wait for home-field advantage

MINNEAPOLIS -- Eric Kendricks had an interception return for a touchdown, Case Keenum passed for 236 yards and two scores, and the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North title with a 34-7 victory over the depleted and disinterested Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon combined for 37 touches and 242 yards from scrimmage for the Vikings (11-3), who were given quite the reprieve on the schedule a week after their eight-game winning streak ended at Carolina in the last of three consecutive road trips. They were never challenged by a Bengals team missing more than half of its starting defense to injuries and met with a morning report by ESPN that head coach Marvin Lewis will not return next season.

The game went so smoothly that Teddy Bridgewater even made his grand entrance, his first live action in 16 months since a massive knee injury. Bridgewater's first pass was intercepted, a high throw that bounced off McKinnon's hands and into the arms of strong safety Shawn Williams deep in Vikings territory. That set up a short touchdown run by Giovani Bernard to keep the Bengals from being shut out for a second time this year.

Terence Newman also picked off former teammate Andy Dalton, who went just 11 for 22 for 113 yards and three first downs before the Bengals (5-9) turned to backup quarterback A.J. McCarron midway through the fourth quarter after the interception by Williams (see full recap).

Brady, Patriots do it again to Steelers
PITTSBURGH -- Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski did it to the Pittsburgh Steelers again.

One questionable decision by Ben Roethlisberger helped.

Brady fed Gronkowski repeatedly to set up Dion Lewis' go-ahead 8-yard touchdown with 56 seconds remaining and Roethlisberger was intercepted in the end zone with 5 seconds left as the New England Patriots rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 on Sunday.

The Patriots (11-3) gained the inside track for home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs by ending Pittsburgh's eight-game winning streak. Brady threw for 298 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Gronkowski, fresh off a one-game suspension, finished with nine receptions for 168 yards, including four on the game-winning drive.

It briefly looked like it wouldn't be enough.

The Steelers (11-3), who played most of the game without injured wide receiver Antonio Brown, appeared to take the lead when Roethlisberger connected with tight end Jesse James for a 10-yard touchdown with 28 seconds to left. The play was overturned on review, with official Tony Corrente saying the ball did not "survive" the completion of the catch (see full recap).

Rams rout Seattle for control of division
SEATTLE -- Todd Gurley rushed for 152 yards and scored four total touchdowns in just 2 quarters, and the Los Angeles Rams moved to the cusp of their first division title since 2003 with a 42-7 thumping of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

The matchup to determine first place in the NFC West was completely one-sided.

Los Angeles (10-4) was dominant, embarrassing Seattle into the worst loss during Pete Carroll's eight seasons in charge.

Taking advantage of field position, the Rams scored on six of seven first-half drives, including a 21-point scoring blitz in the second quarter capped by a 57-yard TD run by Gurley on third-and-20 with less than a minute remaining in the first half to take a 34-0 lead at the break.

Gurley had 144 yards rushing in the first half, twice scoring from the 1. He added a 14-yard TD reception midway through the third quarter for a 40-0 Rams lead and spent the rest of his day watching. The 152 yards rushing were the second-best of his career.

The Rams don't have the division wrapped up, but have a two-game lead with two weeks to play. A win against either Tennessee or San Francisco is enough for their first division title in 14 years (see full recap).

Saints beat Jets for 10th win
NEW ORLEANS -- Mark Ingram ran for two touchdowns and gained 151 yards from scrimmage, including a late 50-yard TD run, and the New Orleans Saints overcame three turnovers to defeat the struggling New York Jets, 31-19 on Sunday.

Michael Thomas became the second NFL player with at least 90 receptions in his first two seasons. He caught nine passes for 93 yards, including a pivotal fourth-quarter touchdown on a short slant for New Orleans (10-4), which retained its tenuous hold on first place in the NFC South heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

Alvin Kamara turned a short catch into a 10-yard TD in his return from a concussion that knocked him out of the Saints' loss at Atlanta a week earlier.

Bryce Petty made his first start at quarterback this season for the Jets (5-9), who were eliminated from playoff contentions. Petty completed 19 of 39 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice -- once on a tipped pass and once on a long, inconsequential throw as the game ended.

His 2-yard touchdown pass to former Louisiana-Lafayette running back Elijah McGuire cut New Orleans' lead to 24-19 with 1:51 left. But the Jets' onside kick failed and Ingram broke loose for his long score while the Saints were really just trying to run down the clock (see full recap).

Eagles catch break with Jameis Winston's reported suspension

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USA Today Images

Eagles catch break with Jameis Winston's reported suspension

This is bad news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but good news for the Eagles. 

The NFL is planning on suspending Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston for the first three games of the 2018 season for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy, according to a report Thursday by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

That means the Eagles’ Week 2 game in Tampa Bay might be a whole lot easier. After opening the season at home against the Falcons, the Eagles play their first road contest of the year against the Bucs.

Winston has played the Eagles just once in his career and was great. He led the Bucs to a 45-17 win over the Eagles at the Linc during his rookie season in 2015. In that game, he completed 65 percent of his passes for 246 yards and a career-high five touchdown passes with zero interceptions.

Winston is one of just seven quarterbacks to ever throw five touchdown passes against the Eagles in a single game; no one has ever thrown more against them in a game. The others are Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning, Joe Montana, Craig Morton, Don Meredith (twice) and Sonny Jergensen.

Winston, 24, has thrown for at least 3,500 yards and 19 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons. He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2015. To put his early success into perspective, Winston has two 4,000-yard seasons in his first three seasons, the Eagles’ franchise has never had one. 

The Bucs’ backup quarterback is veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, who actually went 2-1 in his three starts in place of Winston last season. 

But don’t let those three games fool you, the Bucs are obviously much better with Winston behind center than Fitzpatrick, who has played for five different teams over the past six years. 

According to NFL Research, the Bucs’ first three games of this season are the toughest first three games for any team in the Super  Bowl era based on last year’s records. 

Winston’s suspension stems from an alleged incident with an Uber driver in 2016. 

Roob Knows: A Billboard's chart-topper and a huge Eagles fan

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Reuben Frank

Roob Knows: A Billboard's chart-topper and a huge Eagles fan

On the latest edition of Roob Knows, Reuben Frank discusses Carson Wentz's character through his injury rehab. He takes a look at the Eagles' running back depth. Also, Roob chats with Mondo Cozmo's lead man Josh Ostrander. His single "Shine" hit number one on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs chart in January 2017. Ostrander, a Philly native and big Eagles fan, shares his journey and experiencing an Eagles Super Bowl championship.

"He's going to play opening day. I'll go as far as saying I'll be surprised right now if Carson Wentz is not the Eagles starting quarterback on opening day."

1:00 - Carson Wentz's character is unique.
5:00 - Doug Pederson has handled this offseason perfectly.
10:00 - Eagles' running back situation
15:00 - Roob Knows unbelievable stats.
17:00 - Roob's interview with Josh Ostrander of Mondo Cozmo.
19:00 - Josh's memories of the Super Bowl run.
22:00 - Josh's crazy path in music.
31:00 - Josh's Philly roots are still important to him.

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