Eagles’ Sirianni on Gardner-Johnson: ‘The first thing that comes into my mind is dangerous’

Philadelphia Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman has done it again. On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Eagles acquired S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and a 7th-round draft pick in 2025 from the Saints in exchange for a 5th-round pick in 2023 and the latter of the Eagles’ two 6th-round choices in 2024.

Gardner-Johnson and the Saints could not reportedly agree on a contract extension, and the Eagles swooped in and got a much-needed piece for their defense. Last season, Gardner-Johnson had three interceptions and two sacks. 

Roseman discussed how the team acquired the 24-year-old star.

“First of all, there are a lot of conversations, during the preseason, certainly in the last couple weeks, and you’re trying to find teams that have fits for what you’re looking for,” Roseman said.

“Not that we were unhappy with our defensive backfield or our safety position, but we were looking for opportunities to get better. When we looked at New Orleans and the depth that they had on their roster, we thought maybe it would be a fit, and the conversations kind of came together here in the last 48 hours—excited to add him.

“He’s a heck of a player. He loves football. [Jokingly] Obviously, he went to the right college. We’ll just get him in here as quickly as possible, and I know our coaches will do a great job of getting him up to speed.”

Gardner-Johnson has a reputation around the league for trash-talking and being a ball-hawk. Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni discussed what he had seen and heard about the fourth-year safety. 

“Dangerous. Dangerous,” Sirianni said. “You have to be careful with him, throwing the ball at him. He’s just been around the ball a ton in his career and making plays.

“That trash talking, I know he gets the rap for that, but that’s part of his competitiveness, and I’d lie if I said I don’t trash talk a little bit, and I didn’t when I played or whatever it is and like that and do it in practice to raise the level of competition, I think that’s just all a part of it. Guys trash talk all the time in here shooting baskets out on the field.

“But the first thing that comes into my mind is dangerous. I think he’s one of these guys, too, that when you have him on your team, I think it’s really — you might not like playing against him, but you’re really glad he’s on your team.”

Great move for Philadelphia; they needed a safety, which looked as if it was going to be a weak spot for the team, but now, with Gardner-Johnson, Philly fills another need. It may take some time to get acclimated to the defense; however, that’s not a bad problem to have.

NFL announces dates for the five international regular-season games in 2022

On Wednesday, the NFL announced the dates for its five 2022 international regular-season games – three in the UK, one in Germany and one in Mexico. 

The 2022 international games will feature four playoff participants, including the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers and NFC South champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and an NFC West showdown in Mexico.  

The 2022 international games:

Location

Matchup

Stadium

Date & Time

Network

United Kingdom (London)

Minnesota Vikings vs
New Orleans Saints

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

October 2, 9:30am ET

NFL Network

United Kingdom (London)

New York Giants vs
Green Bay Packers 

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

October 9, 9:30am ET

NFL Network

United Kingdom (London)

Denver Broncos vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Wembley Stadium

October 30, 9:30am ET

ESPN+

Germany

(Munich)

Seattle Seahawks vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Allianz Arena – Home of FC Bayern Munich

November 13, 9:30am ET

NFL Network

Mexico

(Mexico City)

San Francisco 49ers vs Arizona Cardinals

Estadio Azteca

November 21, 8:15pm ET

ESPN

Last year, as part of the League’s expansion of the regular season to 17 games, it was determined that, beginning with the 2022 season, up to four of the teams from the conference whose teams were eligible for a ninth regular-season home game would instead be designated to play a neutral-site international game each year.    

This year’s international series will kick off with games on back-to-back weekends at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.  

The New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings will each play in the UK for the third time.  Both teams have won on two previous occasions in the UK and will make their debut at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, October 2.     

The following Sunday, October 9, the Green Bay Packers, NFC North champions for the third consecutive year, will face the New York Giants in their first international trip, becoming the 32nd NFL team to play in London since 2007.  The Giants will play in the UK for the third time, having won both the inaugural London game at Wembley Stadium in 2007 and the first game played at Twickenham Stadium in 2016.  This will be their first game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.  

London action shifts to Wembley Stadium on Sunday, October 30, when the Jacksonville Jaguars, who played at Tottenham last season, return to Wembley for the first time since 2019, having played there for seven straight seasons.  They will face the Denver Broncos who are making their first trip to the UK since they last played at Wembley in 2010.  

In the first-ever NFL regular-season game in Germany, the two-time Super Bowl champion and current NFC South champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by quarterback Tom Brady, will face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, November 13.  As previously announced, Munich and Frankfurt were chosen to stage regular-season games in Germany over the next four years.  The first game will take place at Allianz Arena – Home of FC Bayern Munich.    

The NFL will return to Mexico City on November 21 with Monday Night Football.  Estadio Azteca will host a matchup between NFC West rivals San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals in a rematch of the NFL’s first regular-season game played outside the United States.  In 2005, the teams played at Estadio Azteca with 103,467 fans in attendance, the eight largest crowd in NFL history.  

The full 2022 NFL Schedule next Thursday.

Eagles’ Srianni: ‘I think [QB] Jalen [Hurts] is a special player that forces defenses to play different’

For the second straight game, and the third time in four games, the Philadelphia Eagles(5-6) ran for over 200 yards, and for the second straight game, they got a defensive touchdown as they defeated the Saints(5-5) 40-29 to get their first win of the season at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Philadelphia rushed for a season-high 242 yards against the NFL’s No. 1-ranked rushing defense. The Eagles’ 242 rushing yards are the club’s most in a game since posting 246 yards against the Saints’ defense last season.

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, who threw for 147 yards and rushed for 69 yards and a franchise-record-tying three touchdowns, including a game-clinching 24-yard touchdown run, gave his thoughts on the team’s identity on offense.

“We’re going to continue to attack, continue to play our game. I’ve always been asked about the identity of this football team,” Hurts said. “Early on in the season, everybody is asking me the question. Whether I answered it or I didn’t answer it, I think identity is not being able to run the ball or ‘we’re a running team,’ ‘we’re a passing team,’ or ‘we’re a team that doesn’t give up big explosive plays.’ That’s not what identity is. Identity is a mentality. It’s a mentality; it’s an approach; it’s the detail you put in day in and day out throughout the week. It’s being physical; it’s wanting it, it’s effort. It’s all of those things…

“We just want to continue to control the controllables. Continue to connect with one another and know that everybody has each other’s backs out there in the field, and continue to move forward with that mentality of ‘rent is due every day.’ That’s the identity of this football team.”

According to Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, Hurts’ running ability impacts how defenses play them.

“I think [QB] Jalen [Hurts] is a special player that forces defenses to play different,” he said. “You look at the tape, and again I think I told you guys early in the week, you look at the stat sheet, you look at where they are, you look at their defense, but you also want to do what you do well. We know we have been running the ball well, and it’s a little different when Jalen is in there.”

Eagles rookie WR DeVonta Smith, who caught four passes for 61 yards, added on the running game: “When the run game is working the way it was working today, you’re going to stick to it.”

Defensively, Philadelphia produced three takeaways, two by LB T.J. Edwards(interception,  fumble recovery), and Darius Slay had a huge pick-6 before halftime to give the Eagles a 27-7 lead going into the break. 

With the win, the Eagles move up in the standings. Philadelphia is currently 1/2 game behind the 7th(Saints) and 6th(Vikings) seeded teams, so they are in a playoff race at this point, which, no matter how it ends, will be a great experience for many of the young players on this team.

Best of the Rest:

-Sunday’s game marked the first time Philadelphia has rushed for 200+ yards in consecutive games since the 1978 season, when the team did so in three straight games (9/17/78-10/1/78). The Eagles’ three 200+ yard games are their most in a season since 2013 (five games).

-Philadelphia’s 242 rushing yards are the club’s most in a game since posting 246 yards against the Saints’ defense last season on 12/13/20 at Lincoln Financial Field.

-The Eagles’ 50 rushing attempts were their most in a game since 10/5/97 vs. Washington, when they produced 203 yards and three touchdowns on 50 carries in a 24-10 victory. The last NFL team to record 50+ attempts in a game was Baltimore on 1/3/21 at Cincinnati (54).

Brady: ‘There’s only four teams left – we’re one of them’

Coming into Sunday’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans, the talk was about the quarterback battle between two all-time greats in Tom Brady and Drew Brees, but when it was over, the conversation was about the Buccaneers’ defense and running game. 

The Buccaneers’ defense came up with four takeaways, including three interceptions, that led to 21 points, as the Buccaneers defeated the Saints(13-5) on the road 30-20 in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. With the victory, Tampa Bay(13-5) advances to the NFC Championship Game and will travel to Green Bay to face the Packers next Sunday.

The Buccaneers were outscored 72-26 in their two losses to the Saints this season, including a 38-3 beatdown in November. However, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is not surprised by what happened on Sunday. He thought Tampa was a much better team than they were in November.

“It’s a different football team than that week,” Arians said. “I try to tell everybody that – nobody wants to believe me. This is what we’re capable of playing. Defensively, we’ve had some rough spots at times, but we’ve had some really, really good times. This was one of the best times.”

The running game was huge for Tampa Bay on Sunday. Leonard Fournette(107 total yards, one touchdown, including 63 yards on the ground) and Ronald Jones(63 yards rushing) combined for 126 yards rushing, which is more than they had in two games combined against the Saints in the regular season. Jones was bothered by quad and hand injuries all week, but according to Fournette, he encouraged Jones to fight through the pain.

“I’m telling Ro, excuse my language, but ‘[bleep] the injury,” Fournette said. “We need you, I’m not going to lie to you – we need you.’ I’ve been in these types of games. It’s funny – we have four good running backs – Ro came in fresh; I came in fresh. I said, ‘Man, understand this – you don’t get many chances to make it to the playoffs [and] to have the run that we’re on right now.’ I’m a living example. We (the Jacksonville Jaguars) went from the AFC Championship to the next two years not even making it to the playoffs. So big congrats to Ro for fighting through the injury – a hand and a quad.”

Brady, who went 18-of-33 for 199 yards and three total touchdowns on Sunday and recorded his 32nd postseason victory, which are the most playoff wins by any player in league history, is happy to be one of the final four teams.

“The defense was incredible all game,” Brady said. “The turnovers were huge. Last time we played them, we lost the turnover [margin], minus three. Today was plus four – you’re not going to lose many games when you’re plus four. Just a great effort – they came up huge. Offensively, made some plays when we needed to. The running game was great, the line protected great up front – just a great week of prep. Really proud of our team and everything we put in to get to this point. There’s only four teams left – we’re one of them. It’s tough to get to this point, so we need a big week [and] a great week of practice. We’ve got one of the best teams in the league, obviously, in Green Bay. [They are] the top seed, Aaron [Rodgers] is playing incredible [and] they’ve got a great defense, so it’s going to be a great matchup.”

Tampa Bay did what they needed to do on Sunday, and if they can put together one more big effort next Sunday against the Packers, Brady will have a chance to play for his seventh Super Bowl title, but defeating the Pack, who Tampa Bay beat in the regular season, will be a tougher challenge for this team. Let’s see if they are up for it!

NFL announces schedule for Divisional Round next weekend

With the wild card round almost done, the NFL has announced tonight the schedule of sites, dates, and times for the Divisional Playoffs on January 16-17.

Saturday, January 16:

NFC:    4:35 PM (ET)  Los Angeles Rams (11-6) at Green Bay Packers (13-3) (FOX, FOX Deportes)

AFC:    8:15 PM (ET)  Baltimore Ravens or Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (14-3) (NBC, Universo)

Sunday, January 17:

AFC:    3:05 PM (ET)  Cleveland Browns or Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) (CBS, CBS All Access, ESPN Deportes)

NFC:    6:40 PM (ET)  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-5) at New Orleans Saints (13-4) (FOX, FOX Deportes)

Week 16 playoff scenarios in NFL

Two weeks left in the NFL, and at times with COVID-19 out there, many thought the NFL would not get to this point, but they have, and the playoffs are around the corner.

At this point, six out of the 14 playoff spots have been secured. In the AFC, Bills, Steelers, and Chiefs have clinched spots, while in the NFC, the Packers, Saints, and Seahawks have clinched spots. 

Who will join them?

See below the teams that can clinch playoff spots in Week 16:

AFC

CLINCHED:

Buffalo Bills – AFC East division title

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division title

Pittsburgh Steelers – playoff berth

CLEVELAND BROWNS (10-4) (at New York Jets (1-13), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)​

Cleveland clinches playoff berth with:

  1. CLE win + BAL loss or tie OR

  2. CLE win + MIA loss or tie OR

  3. CLE win + IND loss OR

  4. CLE tie + BAL loss OR

  5. CLE tie + MIA loss

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (10-4(at Pittsburgh (11-3), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Indianapolis clinches playoff berth with:

  1. IND win + BAL loss or tie OR

  2. IND win + MIA loss or tie OR

  3. IND tie + BAL loss OR

  4. IND tie + MIA loss

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (13-1) (vs. Atlanta (4-10), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Kansas City clinches the first-round bye with:

  1. KC win or tie OR

  2. PIT loss or tie OR

  3. BUF loss or tie OR

  4. KC clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over PIT or BUF AND clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over the other club

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-3) (vs. Indianapolis (10-4), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

  1. PIT win OR

  2. CLE loss OR

  3. PIT tie + CLE tie

TENNESSEE TITANS (10-4) (at Green Bay (11-3), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title with:

  1. TEN win + IND loss​

Tennessee clinches playoff berth with:

  1. TEN win OR

  2. MIA loss OR

  3. BAL loss OR

  4. TEN tie + BAL tie

NFC

CLINCHED:

Green Bay Packers – NFC North division title

New Orleans Saints – playoff berth

Seattle Seahawks – playoff berth

ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-6) (vs. San Francisco (5-9), Saturday, 4:30 PM ET, Amazon)

Arizona clinches playoff berth with:

  1. ARI win + CHI loss or tie OR

  2. ARI tie + CHI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (11-3) (vs. Tennessee (10-4), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Green Bay clinches the first-round bye with:​

  1. GB win + SEA loss or tie OR

  2. GB tie + NO loss or tie + SEA loss or tie, as long as both NO and SEA don’t tie

LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-5) (at Seattle (10-4), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Los Angeles clinches playoff berth with:

  1. LAR win or tie OR

  2. CHI loss or tie OR

  3. ARI win or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-4) (vs. Minnesota (6-8), Friday, 4:30 PM ET, FOX/NFLN/Amazon)

New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

  1. NO win OR

  2. TB loss OR

  3. NO tie + TB tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (10-4) (vs. Los Angeles Rams (9-5), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Seattle clinches NFC West division title with:

  1. SEA win

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-5) (at Detroit (5-9), Saturday, 1:00 PM ET, NFLN)​

Tampa Bay clinches playoff berth with:

  1. TB win or tie OR

  2. CHI loss or tie

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-8) (vs. Carolina (4-10), Sunday, 4:05 PM ET, CBS)

Washington clinches NFC East division title with:

  1. WAS win + NYG loss or tie OR

  2. WAS tie + NYG loss + PHI-DAL tie

Week 13: Playoff scenarios for Chiefs, Steelers, Saints

As we enter the finals weeks of the 2020 NFL season, teams are jockeying for playoff spots in both conferences. The Chiefs and Steelers could clinch their respective divisions in Week 13, while the Saints could clinch a playoff spot.

Here are the playoff scenarios for the Steelers, Chiefs, and Saints:

AFC

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (10-1) (vs. Denver (4-7), Sunday, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:

  1. KC win + LV loss or tie OR

  2. KC tie + LV loss

Kansas City clinches playoff berth with:

  1. KC win OR

  2. KC tie + BAL loss or tie + IND loss OR

  3. KC tie + LV tie + BAL loss or tie + IND tie OR

  4. KC tie + LV tie + MIA loss + IND loss or tie OR

  5. KC tie + LV tie + MIA loss + BAL loss or tie OR

  6. KC tie + MIA loss + BAL loss or tie + IND tie OR

  7. LV loss + BAL loss + IND loss

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-0) (vs. Washington (4-7), Monday, 5:00 PM ET, FOX)

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

  1. PIT win + CLE loss + PIT clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over CLE​

Pittsburgh clinches playoff berth with:

  1. PIT win or tie OR

  2. LV loss or tie OR

  3. MIA loss or tie OR

  4. IND loss or tie

NFC

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (9-2) (at Atlanta (4-7), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

New Orleans clinches playoff berth with:

  1. NO win + CHI loss or tie OR

  2. NO tie + CHI loss + MIN loss + SF loss or tie OR

  3. NO tie + CHI loss + MIN loss + ARI loss or tie

NFL Wild Card, Divisional playoff schedule announced

The NFL announced tonight the schedule of sites, dates and times for the National Football League Wild Card Playoffs on January 4-5 and Divisional Playoffs on January 11-12.

NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFFS

Saturday, January 4

AFC:    4:35 PM (ET)  Buffalo at Houston (ESPN, with simulcast on ABC)

AFC:    8:15 PM (ET)  Tennessee at New England (CBS)

Sunday, January 5

NFC:    1:05 PM (ET)  Minnesota at New Orleans (FOX)

NFC:    4:40 PM (ET)  Seattle at Philadelphia (NBC)

NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS

Saturday, January 11

NFC:    4:35 PM (ET)  Philadelphia/Seattle/Minnesota at San Francisco (NBC)

AFC:    8:15 PM (ET)  Houston/Buffalo/Tennessee at Baltimore (CBS)

Sunday, January 12

AFC:    3:05 PM (ET)  New England/Houston/Buffalo at Kansas City (CBS)

NFC:    6:40 PM (ET)  New Orleans/Philadelphia/Seattle at Green Bay (FOX)

In the Divisional Playoffs, the division champion with the best record in each conference will host the lowest-seeded Wild Card survivor. Once teams are seeded for the playoffs, positions do not change:

American Football Conference

National Football Conference

1.

Baltimore (14-2), AFC North champion

1.

San Francisco (13-3), NFC West champion

2.

Kansas City (12-4), AFC West champion

2.

Green Bay (13-3), NFC North champion

3.

New England (12-4), AFC East champion

3.

New Orleans (13-3), NFC South champion

4.

Houston (10-6), AFC South champion

4.

Philadelphia (9-7), NFC East champion

5.

Buffalo (10-6)

5.

Seattle (11-5)

6.

Tennessee (9-7)

6.

Minnesota (10-6)

The AFC (CBS, 3:05 PM ET) and NFC (FOX, 6:40 PM ET) Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 19.

The 2020 Pro Bowl (ESPN, with simulcast on ABC, 3:00 PM ET) will be played on Sunday, January 26, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, and Super Bowl LIV will take place on Sunday, February 2 (FOX, 6:30 PM ET), at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

Bridgewater: ‘I’m definitely getting comfortable just with all the guys’

When Saints QB Drew Brees injured his thumb in Week 2 against the Rams, many thought New Orleans would struggle without their 12-time Pro Bowler. But, fortunately for the Saints, the defense has stepped up, special teams have stepped up, and so has their backup QB, Teddy Bridgewater.

Bridgewater, 26, is 4-0 as a starter since replacing Brees, and each week he keeps getting better. In Week 5, Bridgewater threw four touchdowns passes against Tampa Bay. On Sunday, Bridgewater was solid as the Saints were able to go on the road to defeat the Jaguars 13-6.

Against Jacksonville, the six-year veteran completed 24 of 36 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown, and more importantly, the Saints are 5-1.

“We had a couple struggles early in the game, but great teams always try to find a way to win each football game, and that’s what we were able to do today,” Bridgewater said on Sunday. “Specialists did a great job with changing the field position, defense did a great job of, you know, keeping those guys from crossing the 50, and we came home with the win.

“Like I said, great teams find a way to win football games. We knew that there was going to be a fight coming out this way, with different elements and things like that, but it feels to get back on the plane and heading back to New Orleans with a win.”

Bridgewater, who signed a one-year, $7.25 million deal with New Orleans in the offseason, is the highest-paid backup QB in football, and as the weeks go by, Bridgewater feels he is getting more and more comfortable with his teammates.

“Yeah, I’m definitely getting comfortable just with all the guys,” Bridgewater said. “Of course, we scored a little today, mainly me with some accuracy things. But overall man, these guys, we work extremely hard throughout the week just trying to continue to build that chemistry. Today, Jared(Cook) had a solid day for us, and Mike(Thomas), even Mike, had some catches. It’s good to just continue to get those guys involved, and they help this team win football games.”

In five games this season, Bridgewater has thrown for 1,089 yards with seven touchdowns and only two interceptions. Bridgewater is doing his job, and hopefully, for Saints fans, he can continue to hold down the fort until Brees returns.

 

NFL: Pass interference is now reviewable

After what we saw in last season’s NFC Championship Game, you knew what happened today was inevitable. The NFL has now made pass interference a reviewable play.

According to the NFL, any pass interference (offensive or defensive), called or not called, can be reviewed by replay. Coaches will still be allowed two challenges, and just like in previous years, if both challenges are successful, teams will get a third challenge.

Last season, in the NFC Championship Game, the Saints’ Drew Brees tried to connect with Tommylee Lewis, but before Lewis could make the reception, he was hit by the Rams’ Nickell Robey-Coleman, which appeared to be a blatant pass interference call, but no flags were thrown. This no-call caused a huge uproar and is the main reason pass interference is now a reviewable play.

Here are the following plays that can be reviewed:

ARTICLE 5. REVIEWABLE PLAYS. The Replay System will cover the following play situations:

      (a) Plays involving possession.

      (b) Plays involving touching of either the ball or the ground.

      (c) Plays governed by the goal line.

      (d) Plays governed by the boundary lines.

      (e) Plays governed by the line of scrimmage.

      (f) Plays governed by the line to gain.

      (g) Number of players on the field at the snap, even when a foul is not called.

      (h) Game administration:

            (1) Penalty enforcement.

            (2) Proper down.

            (3) Spot of a foul.

            (4) Status of the game clock.

      (i) Disqualification of a player.

      (j) Pass interference, called or not called (offensive or defensive) (See Rule 8, Section 5, Articles 1-4).