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Cheap Philadelphia Eagles Jersey From China For Free Shipping

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles are the first top seed in NFL history to enter its opening playoff game as an underdog.

According to standout defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, it’s just another example of this Eagles team not getting its proper respect.

“We’ve been disrespected all year,” he said. “Our record can speak for itself. We’re a team that’s been disrespected week in and week out, and we just come out and ring the bell every week.”

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook set the opening line at minus-2.5 in favor of the sixth-seeded Falcons, who upset the Los Angeles Rams in the wild-card round to advance.

Since 1975, when the NFL began basing home-field advantage on teams’ regular-season winning percentage, no No. 1 seed has ever been an underdog in its first playoff game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Until now.

“It just puts a bigger chip on our shoulder and just adds fuel to the fire, and that’s what this team, obviously, has been going off of all year,” Cox said, “people doubting us every week. So we just want to go out and shut those doubters up.”

Westgate Superbook oddsmaker Ed Salmons estimates the Eagles could have been as much as a 6.5-point favorite over the Falcons with a healthy Carson Wentz. The fact that Wentz is out with a torn ACL is clearly having a major impact on public perception. So, too, has the recent play of backup Nick Foles. He’s 23-of-49 (47 percent) for 202 yards with a TD over his past five quarters of work.

Following a Christmas night win over the Oakland Raiders, in which Foles and the offense struggled, right tackle Lane Johnson faced a string of questions about his unit’s down play despite the fact that the Eagles had just improved to 13-2. He later told reporters that he was done talking for the year, but he rescinded that a week later after he’d cooled off.

“Obviously I wasn’t happy with the way we performed, but then again, we are where we are and it’s kind of, nothing is ever good enough,” he said last week. “There’s kind of pros and cons to it. I think it’s a good motivator. It’ll piss you off and get a lot of guys fired up, and that’s what it did for me.”

Not everyone is using external forces as motivation. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz insists he has no idea in a given week whether his team is a favorite or underdog, and he’s not going to start paying attention to that now.

“The game’s going to be about preparing well, the game’s going to be about executing on Saturday,” he said, “and the teams that do that the best are going to win, not the team that got picked by the most number of analysts or experts or what the simulation games say or any of that stuff. That has zero bearing on the game for us.”

But it is serving as good bulletin-board material for some.

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Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers found themselves in a strange spot on Monday in the first practice after a bye week.

But punter Michael Palardy found a potential opportunity to brush the dust off a skill not many know he possesses.

The Panthers’ two backup quarterbacks, Derek Anderson and Garrett Gilbert, were sick and contagious and had to be sent home from the team’s facilities, coach Ron Rivera said.

That left starter Cam Newton alone as the only player who could get receivers their repetitions out of the bye – or so the team thought.

Instead, Rivera called over Palardy as the team was stretching, and told him they’d probably go with him as a backup arm in a period of drills that day, during which Palardy would take nine snaps at quarterback.

Palardy all but skipped delightfully back across the field to tell his fellow specialists, who immediately began hooting with glee. Long snapper J.J. Jansen also wondered aloud what this year’s franchise tag contract looks like for a quarterback, as opposed to a punter.

“I was so pumped,” said Palardy. “I was so, so excited. … I haven’t taken live snaps since I was 15. I was relishing the moment. I was like, ‘I’m excited. I’m pumped.’

The punter attended St. Thomas Aquinas High in Florida, a noted powerhouse in high school football, where he played quarterback his freshman and sophomore years. He also kicked and punted, so if he threw a touchdown pass, he’d just stay on the field to notch the extra point.

“I was always out there for first, second, third or fourth down,” he said. “If I had to punt, I punted. If I had to kick, I kicked. And then once we scored, if I threw the touchdown or whatever it was, I’d throw the extra point. And then I’d stay out for the ensuing kickoff and kick (the ball) off.”

Palardy was ultimately beaten out at quarterback by Jake Rudock, who is on the Detroit Lions roster after playing for Iowa and Michigan, and Ryan Becker, now the assistant director of football operations at Penn.

On Monday, he was also beaten out by quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey as the go-to backup in camp.

Dorsey was the winningest quarterback in school history at the University of Miami, where he played from 1999-2002 and won a national title in 2001.

His credentials at the position do outweigh Palardy’s, but the punter still said he was “crushed” when Rivera decided to go with Dorsey instead (a reaction that caused the head coach to laugh out loud in his press conference later in the day).

“Man, I was distraught. It was like somebody ripped my heart out and stepped on it,” Palardy said.

Kicker Graham Gano reacted by ripping off his beanie and animatedly throwing it to the ground when a dejected Palardy shared the news.

Dorsey was intercepted once in practice, by safety Jairus Byrd, but Palardy joked that he would have gone 9-for-9 in the drill.

Rivera said he just wanted to preserve the health of the punter, who ranks No. 5 in the NFL in net punting, with an average of 43.3 yards per punt.

“We figured it was safer than having Palardy do it,” Rivera grinned. “We figured Kenny’s expendable, and Palardy’s a little bit more valuable. We can’t have someone running into him.”

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Vance Joseph

Vance Joseph

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After sifting through the wreckage of Sunday’s 28-point loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos coach Vance Joseph has decided to give Brock Osweiler another start at quarterback.

Osweiler will be behind center when the 3-5 Broncos face the New England Patriots this Sunday. And while Joseph didn’t like much of what he saw in Denver’s 51-23 loss to the Eagles, he said Osweiler’s work in the days leading up to the game earned the sixth-year quarterback another start.

“I thought Brock had an excellent week of preparation,” Joseph said Monday. “It felt good to our team, it was a confident week, the energy was there, it was detailed. … Brock’s experience Brock’s personality really helped our team bounce back and gave us confidence going into this week. I think Brock’s earned it from that standpoint.”

The Broncos benched Trevor Siemian after seven games and put Osweiler in the lineup against the Eagles. Last week, Joseph said he would look at how things went in Philadelphia and then decide who the quarterback would be against the Patriots this Sunday night.

And once again Joseph would only commit to Osweiler starting against the Patriots and said that he would re-evaluate things a week from now. Osweiler finished 19-of-38 passing for 208 yards to go with a touchdown and two interceptions in the loss to the Eagles.

“In the football game … he had two interceptions, which he can’t have, he understands that,” Joseph said. “He had a couple ill-advised throws. Brock had some good things, the red-zone audible for the (Demaryius Thomas) touchdown, that was one of Brock’s audibles. I think Brock deserves one more week to prove he’s the guy for us.”

For his part, Osweiler expressed his hope, following the loss, that he would get another chance.

“Absolutely, I think every player in the National Football League plays this game to be the starter, to contribute to his team, to help their football team win games,” Osweiler said. “So, I would love to be the starter of this football team. I can promise you that this game is not going to discourage me. I’m going to work harder than ever to clean up these problems and get us back in the win column.”

The Broncos have scored 14 touchdowns on offense in eight games and are 22nd in the league in scoring (18.8 points per game), 17th in total offense (327.3 yards per game), 21st in yards per play (4.9) to go with 18th in third down conversions.

The biggest issue, however, and the one that was likely the biggest factor in Siemian’s benching, has been turnovers. The Broncos are 31st in the league in turnovers, with 19 — only the winless Cleveland Browns have more.

That total includes 12 interceptions, second-highest total in the league behind the Browns’ 17. At the moment the Patriots are last in the league in total defense (417 yards allowed per game), last in the league in pass defense (295.5 yards allowed per game) and 24th in the run defense (121.5 yards allowed per game).