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Published: Monday, January 01, 2018 @ 7:51 AM
— The NFL playoff field has finally been determined. Over the next few weeks, 12 teams will vie for berths in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, which will be played Feb. 4.
The top seeds in the AFC and NFC are the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively. Both teams will receive a bye during the first week of the playoffs. The No. 2 seeds, Pittsburgh (AFC) and Minnesota (NFC) also receive a bye.
Rounding out the seeds in the AFC are No. 3 Jacksonville, followed by Kansas City, Tennessee and Buffalo. The Los Angeles Rams are the No. 3 seed in the NFC, followed by three teams from the NFC South -- New Orleans, Carolina and Atlanta.
Here is the playoff schedule for both leagues. All times listed are Eastern Standard Time.
The Wild Card round begins Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri, as Kansas City hosts Tennessee at 4:20 p.m. in a game televised by ESPN. The second game of the day pits Atlanta at Los Angeles in an 8:15 p.m. game at the Los Angeles Coliseum. That game will be televised by NBC.
On Sunday, Buffalo makes its first playoff appearance in 17 years as the Bills travel to Jacksonville for a 1:05 p.m. game that will be televised by CBS.
In the NFC that day, Carolina travels to New Orleans for a 4:40 p.m. game that will be aired on Fox.
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 12:33 PM
— The Minnesota Vikings are the owners of a remarkable victory in last weekend’s NFL divisional playoffs. Now, the team wants to own the nicknames that have been attached to it.
Stefon Diggs’ stunning 61-yard touchdown catch and run on the final play of the game gave the Vikings a 29-24 victory against New Orleans, giving birth to the nicknames “Minneapolis Miracle” or “Minnesota Miracle.” Monday, the Vikings filed for three trademarks for “Minneapolis Miracle” and one for “Minnesota Miracle,” according to filings published Friday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The Vikings want to own the rights to the nickname on more than 100 items, including cell phone straps, football helmets, charge cards, computer game software, DVDs, compact discs and videotapes, according to the filings.
Already, the team is selling a T-shirt with the slogan, “Minneapolis Miracle 1-14-18,” ESPN reported. Diggs began selling shirts licensed by the NFL Players Association with his image and the words “Minneapolis Miracle,” on Wednesday and already has sold more than 1,000 of them online, ESPN reported.
It’s not the first sports nickname that has had a trademark application. For example, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris trademarked the phrase “Franco’s Immaculate Reception,” after his last-second catch-and-run for a touchdown off a deflected pass that gave Pittsburgh a 13-7 victory against Oakland in the 1972 playoffs.
Riles & Co., the corporate entity of former NBA basketball coach Pat Riley, trademarked the phrase “Three-Peat” in 1989.
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 5:23 AM
— The Jacksonville Jaguars have complained this season about not receiving any respect. They reached the AFC playoffs but were written off as losers, but Jacksonville defeated Buffalo and then stunned Pittsburgh during the first two rounds of the postseason.
The Jaguars are decided underdogs against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in Sunday’s AFC Championship game, which is not surprising. But the Jaguars believe they have a chance to win, even if it appears like the NFL does not share that sentiment.
The NFL’s official Facebook page began touting Super Bowl LII, which will be held Feb. 4 in Minneapolis, with a teaser noting that “your team is headed to Super Bowl LII.” The promo was adorned with photos of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum, with no mention of the Jaguars or the Philadelphia Eagles, who are the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
Well, the NFL had to pick someone, and Brady, who has played in seven Super Bowls already, is a natural candidate.
It makes for great bulletin board material for the Jaguars and Eagles. Whether that translates into victories on Sunday remains to be seen.
Apparently Google can predict the future? pic.twitter.com/RBWELxhon0— 12up (@12upSport) January 19, 2018
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 3:58 AM
— New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady deflected questions about why he wore gloves to an indoor media conference Friday, but Under Armour answered a simple question about them.
An attempt to locate the gloves on the Under Armour website proved fruitless, and a query to the athletic apparel company revealed why.
The brand Brady wears is not available to the general public.
“Thank you for reaching out,” Under Armour said in an email. “The exact glove that Tom is wearing in the picture is a glove that is only offered to Under Armour's NFL players.”
The company explained a similar glove available for purchase contains “HeatGear back of hand for moisture management and a compression like feel.”
Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 2:26 AM
— New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke to the media Friday amid wild speculation about his status after a hand injury was listed earlier in the week.
“We'll see,” he said when asked about his status for Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Brady was spotted at practice Friday wearing red gloves on both of his hands, but it wasn't clear if he worked out with the team.
The issues began Wednesday when Brady was included on the Patriots injury report. He met with medical staff while his teammates and coach Bill Belichick spoke with the media.
When asked why he was wearing gloves, he responded, “I've worn them before.”
He declined to discuss his injury or anything about practice.
“Why are you wearing gloves inside?” one reporter asked.
“She (reporter) already asked that,” Brady said.
Brady’s teammates, including center David Andrews and backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, avoided the issue.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reported Brady jammed his hand during practice and X-rays showed no structural damage.
Brady was listed on the Patriots’ injury report as non-participant at practice Thursday and canceled a second media availability later that day.
Brady has missed practices this season due to various minor injuries, but has not missed any games due to injury since 2008.