#1

Rockets: First round of playoffs vs. Minne

in F r e i s t i l 11.10.2018 09:14
von douhua2233 • 88 Beiträge

Gerald McCoy is puzzled when he hears people question the ability of fellow NFL players Patrick Omameh Color Rush Jersey , particularly backup quarterbacks such as Nick Foles and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

"It's the NFL," Tampa Bay's six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle said. "Everybody's good."

Foles' success filling in for the injured Carson Wentz is one of the biggest reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) were able to win the Super Bowl after losing their starting quarterback late last season.

Fitzpatrick has McCoy's Buccaneers (1-0) off to a promising start without suspended starter Jameis Winston after playing arguably the best game of a 14-year career that includes stints with seven teams.

"I don't get when a person, an analyst or fan or anybody says: 'Oh, he's not good.' ... "That's a horrible thing to say about an NFL player because there are people who would give anything to be in the NFL," McCoy said. "They just didn't have what it takes to be 'not good.'"

McCoy calls Foles "MVP" because the Eagles quarterback has been the most valuable player in a Pro Bowl, as well as last season's Super Bowl.

"He always laughs when I call him that," the ninth-year pro said, looking ahead to facing the defending NFL champions Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

"He's a great player. He doesn't do more than he's asked to do," McCoy added. "He's a great leader, and just a great guy overall."

Those are some of the same attributes McCoy sees in Fitzpatrick, who threw for a career-best 417 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions to help the Bucs surprise New Orleans 48-40 on the road last week.

The 35-year-old Fitzpatrick, who has 120 career starts and is one of just four players in NFL history to toss TD passes for seven different franchises, also rushed for a TD.

"Confidence is a huge thing, whether you're out there or not," Fitzpatrick said, addressing what it takes to be a successful backup.

After going 2-1 filling in for an injured Winston last season, Fitzpatrick is slated for a minimum three starts this year while the No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft serves a suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

"But also, more so than my confidence in myself ... is when you're in the huddle, whether you're the starter or you're the backup, you can feel from the playcaller, you can feel by the guys looking at you whether they have confidence in you," Fitzpatrick said.

"I think with all the different experiences I've had Womens Connor Hellebuyck Jersey , I just continue to become a better player," Fitzpatrick added. "Whether people think that or see that, I'm better right now than at any point in my career. A lot of that is mentally, and whatever else."

Foles, who threw for 117 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in Philadelphia's 18-12 season-opening victory over Atlanta, is 2-0 in career starts against the Bucs. He completed 66 percent of his passes for 677yards, five TDs and zero picks in leading the Eagles to road victories in 2012 and 2013.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson started 17 games during a playing career that spanned 10 seasons with four teams.

So, he has plenty of insight into what it takes to be an effective backup.

"I think in the case of both Nick and Ryan, they've studied the game for so long, they're veteran players, they've started and played in this league. ... You can't discount that," Pederson said. "When we lost our starter for the season (last year) ... the guys rallied around Nick, supported Nick and never once doubted what Nick was able to do. I think that's the same thing in Tampa Bay (with Winston's suspension)."

Some things to know when the Eagles visit the Bucs:

THE FIRST ONE

Foles earned his first career win his rookie season at Tampa Bay on Dec. 9, 2012. He threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns, including the winning score to Jeremy Maclin from the 1 with no time left on the clock. Foles also had a 15-yard TD run in the game. The Eagles finished 4-12 that year, Andy Reid's final one in Philadelphia. Foles was 1-6.

"I just remember sitting at my locker after the game thinking that wasn't easy to get that win. It was really special," Foles said. "At that point, I didn't know how it was going to be because I hadn't won and it was a tough year for us."

ON THE MEND

The status of Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson (shoulder/concussion) for Sunday is uncertain after the speedy 11th-year pro had five receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns in Tampa Bay's win over the Saints last week. It was the best game the former Eagles star has had since joining the Bucs in 2017. Jackson didn't practice Wednesday, but participated on a limited basis Thursday.

With Brent Grimes still not practicing because of a sore groin and Vernon Hargreaves III on injured reserve after hurting his shoulder in the opener, the Bucs could be without their top two cornerbacks against the Eagles. That figures to mean bigger roles for rookies Carlton Davis III and M.J. Stewart.

BRADHAM'S BACK

Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham returns to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension in Week 1. Bradham was the team's leading tackler last year and took over playcalling in the huddle after Jordan Hicks was injured.

"He's an important part of our defense," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. "We were able to cover up some things in his absence. We've had to do that for a lot of different situations with different players. It'll be good to get him back for sure."

Hicks returned to the lineup last week after rupturing an Achilles tendon last October. He had 1 1/2 sacks.

The Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings were already looking to the future before their season finale even started.

For Houston, that comes this weekend with the start of the playoffs. For Sacramento Brock Boeser Jersey , it’s once again wait until next season.

Willie Cauley-Stein had 22 points and 11 rebounds to help the Kings finish the regular season with a 96-83 victory over the short-handed Rockets on Wednesday night.

”We have a positive direction that we’re going as a franchise,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. ”Our guys feel it. Our guys are going out and competing on a regular basis and showing our fans we’re coming. I don’t know how long it will be, but we’re going to go out there and compete and keep getting better.”

With Houston (65-17) already having wrapped up the best record in the NBA, coach Mike D’Antoni opted to rest most of his top players, including starters James Harden, Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza and Clint Capela. The top-seeded Rockets will open the playoffs at home this weekend against Minnesota.

”We have to get ready,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. ”They’re a good team and they fought their way into it. Good for them. We have to play our game and be ready.”

The Kings took advantage of Houston’s depleted lineup and ended another disappointing season off by snapping a seven-game skid against the Rockets. Sacramento finished with a 27-55 record in coach Dave Joerger’s second season, its worst mark since going 24-58 in 2010-11.

The Kings never trailed after the first quarter and coasted to the win.

Gerald Green scored 31 points and R.J. Hunter added 19 to lead the Rockets.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Harden won his first career scoring title, averaging 30.4 ppg, second in franchise history to Moses Malone’s 31.1 in 1981-82.

Kings: Sacramento now has the NBA’s longest current playoff drought after Minnesota earned the eighth seed in the West with a win Wednesday. The Kings have missed the playoffs for 12 straight years.

LATE ADDITION

Houston added a new player in Aaron Jackson, who spent the past seven seasons playing overseas. Jackson arrived just before game time and didn’t even have his name on the back of his No. 55 jersey, which had belonged to the recently released Tim Quarterman. Jackson scored eight points in 34 minutes.

”It was surreal. I was at a hotel with my girlfriend for her birthday, then my agent called and said, `How fast can you get to the airport? You’re playing with the Houston Rockets for the rest of the season,”’ he said. ”I packed my bags as fast as I could. Hopefully I can do whatever it takes to try to help them win a championship.”

SIDELINED

Houston forward Luc Mbah a Moute will likely miss at least the first round of the playoffs after dislocating his right shoulder Tuesday night against the Lakers. D’Antoni said Mbah a Moute will likely miss two to three weeks with the injury. Mbah a Moute missed 15 games in December and January after dislocating his right shoulder.

”It hurts,” D’Antoni said. ”That’s why we have depth. As the door closes for somebody, it opens for somebody else. That’s why we went and got Joe Johnson and we have Ryan (Anderson) coming back in here. You hate to lose Luc. I hate it for him personally. It’s not something that anyone would want. He’ll be back. We just have to hold on until he’s back.”

STEPPING AWAY

Longtime Kings television analyst Jerry Reynolds called his final game for the franchise. Reynolds, a former coach and general manager for the Kings, has decided to step down after 20 years in the booth at age 74. He got a lengthy ovation after a video tribute in the first half.

”I’ll still be involved with the team in a lesser role,” Reynolds said. ”I’m not totally retiring and I’m not dead. As far as I’m concerned, that’s pretty good.”

UP NEXT

Rockets: First round of playoffs vs. Minnesota.

Kings: Season ended.

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