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liny195
21.09.2018, 09:21
The Jacksonville Jaguars won’t shock anyone next season.

A day after a disappointing loss to New England in the AFC championship game http://www.chicagobearsteamonline.com/anthony-miller-jersey , players packed up their belongings and headed into the offseason. They carried with them more hope than heartache.

The Jaguars were one of the NFL’s biggest surprises in 2017. They ended a six-year run with double-digit losses by winning the AFC South for the first time in franchise history.

They hosted a playoff game for the first time in 18 years, stunned Pittsburgh in the divisional round and had a 10-point lead on Tom Brady and the Patriots in the fourth quarter.

It was far from a fluke. With young and still-emerging talent on both sides of the ball, the Jaguars look poised to be a postseason participant for at least the next few years.

”Going forward, we know that this team is going to be a true contender and we’re going to go out there and earn it,” All-Pro defensive end Calais Campbell said Monday.

Campbell was quick to point out that meeting higher expectations will only happen if they take the same approach to next season.

”You don’t get nowhere off of what you did last year,” he said. ”It’s only what have you done for me lately. I’ve been a part of a team that went to the NFC championship and the next year we missed the playoffs. It happens quite a bit. This team is definitely, I feel like, we should be able to go out there and be a great team next year, but we’re going to have to put the work in.”

Before the next phase begins, the Jaguars will have to get over a stinging loss at New England.

They surely will be haunted by four plays that were as much a part of the outcome as Brady:

-The league’s best pass defense gave up a 21-gain on a third-and-18 play early in the fourth quarter. The Patriots went on to score a touchdown that cut the lead to 20-17.

-Linebacker Myles Jack stripped the ball from Dion Lewis at the end of a 20-yard gain in the third quarter. Jack picked up the fumble and started running the other way, but officials whistled the play dead. The Jaguars felt like it should have been a touchdown. Instead John Miller Jersey (http://www.buffalobillsteamonline.com/john-miller-jersey) , the offense went three-and-out.

-With 55 seconds to play remaining in the first half and two timeouts, Jacksonville took a knee on consecutive plays instead of trying to make something happen.

”Let’s get ourselves going and let’s take this lead into halftime,” coach Doug Marrone said. ”That is exactly how I thought, right or wrong.”

-Blake Bortles was flagged for delay of game – following a timeout, no less – and negated a 12-yard completion to Marcedes Lewis on a third-and-7 play in the second quarter. Instead of moving the chains and milking the clock, the Patriots got the ball back and scored a momentum-turning touchdown heading into the locker room.

”It was just a lapse on our part,” Marrone said.

All of those contributed to Jacksonville’s collapse.

By Monday, players and coaches had started to recover. Soon, they will turn the page.

”Getting there and showing the world that we can play good ball and be consistent against a good team like that and not fold under pressure was big,” Pro Bowl defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. ”We answered a lot of critics now. People want to give us our respect; they don’t have to. We proved a lot to ourselves, and I think we’re going to continue to build from there.”

Here are some other things to know about Jacksonville heading into the offseason:

QB DECISION: The biggest question centers on Bortles and his future . Jacksonville picked up the fifth-year option in his rookie contract Daryl Johnston Jersey (http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/daryl-johnston-jersey) , meaning he has one year remaining at $19.053 million. Bortles showed progress in 2017 and played well at times in the playoffs, but the Jaguars could decide they want to try to lure a free agent with fewer flaws to complement a dominant defense.

”I would love to be able to play here for as long as they would let me,” Bortles said. ”What they do and all the decisions that are made are kind of out of my control. I’d be thrilled to be able to stay here and play here, and hopefully that can happen.”

MOVING ON: Jacksonville is likely to part ways with receiver Allen Hurns ($7 million) and running back Chris Ivory ($6.97 million), and they could lose cornerback Aaron Colvin and linebacker Paul Posluszny to free agency.

NEW LOOK: The Jaguars are expected to unveil new uniforms in April, making the two-tone helmets a collector’s edition. The black-and-gold helmets were mostly mocked the last five years.



Claude Giroux capped the best season of his career in spectacular fashion.

Giroux earned his first career hat trick in the regular season and the Philadelphia Flyers clinched a playoff berth in their final regular-season game with a 5-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday.

Giroux finished with 34 goals and 102 points. He extended his career highs in points and goals while becoming the sixth player in franchise history to reach 100 points in a season.

”He was dialed in,” coach Dave Hakstol said.

Giroux said a key to his performance in such a crucial game was keeping his emotions in check.

”When you wake up, you try to be not jacked up,” he said. ”You learn while you go through seasons. You don’t want to try to do too much.”

Michael Raffl and Ivan Provorov also scored for the Flyers, who needed at least one point to make the playoffs and eliminate the Florida Panthers from postseason contention.

”We had a lot of good performances tonight and that’s what it takes,” Hakstol said.

The Flyers (42-26-14) are returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 Josh Jones Jersey (http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/josh-jones-jersey) , and will be vying for their third Stanley Cup. The club won back-to-back titles in 1973-74 and 1974-75.

”We have to turn the page and get excited again,” Giroux said.

The Flyers’ captain scored his first two goals during Philadelphia’s dominating second period in which it outscored the Rangers 3-0 thanks in part to an 18-5 shots advantage.

Giroux put the Flyers ahead 2-0 with 7:36 left in the second when his shot from the left circle got through Henrik Lundqvist’s legs after a screen by Nolan Patrick.

Raffl made it a three-goal lead when he took the rebound of Radko Gudas‘ shot from the point with a turnaround shot that got past Lundqvist’s right pad with 2:07 left in the period.

And Philadelphia set a club record for the quickest two goals when Giroux fired past Lundqvist’s glove side with a wrist shot from the slot just 6 seconds after Raffl’s tally to make it 4-0. Raffl set up the play by intercepting a Rangers pass at the blue line and dropping a pass to Giroux.

The fans unleashed a thunderous ”M-V-P!” `’M-V-P!” chant for Giroux when he was shown on the video board after his second tally.

And Giroux had the sold-out crowd of 20,028 in a frenzy when he scored his third on a breakaway with 9:49 left in the third period. Hundreds of hats littered the ice, causing a seven-minute delay, and Giroux smiled on the video board and waved to the crowd, which gave him a standing ovation.

”(Giroux) has worked hard,” Hakstol said. ”He earned that and he’s very deserving of that moment.”

The Rangers (34-39-9), who are out of the postseason for the first time since 2009-10, ended their regular season with their ninth loss in the last 11.

Lundqvist said New York needs to hit the reset button this offseason.

”It’s about winning games and getting back to the playoffs,” he said. ”We need to set that goal right away. If you’re here, you’re here to make a difference. I think we can turn this around real quick.”

Brian Elliott made 17 saves in his second game in goal after returning in Thursday’s 4-3 win over Carolina following a 25-game absence because of core muscle surgery on Feb. 13.

Elliott was shaky in the win over the Hurricanes http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/sean-lee-jersey , allowing a pair of soft goals while making 19 saves. He didn’t have much action against the Rangers.

Provorov got the Flyers on the board 6 1/2 minutes into the game when he scored on a 6-on-5 advantage as a result of a delayed penalty. Sean Couturier sent the puck toward the crease from the left of the goal, and the puck caromed off Provorov’s right shoulder and past Lundqvist. The goal stood after an officials’ review.

NOTES: D Brady Skjei is the only Rangers player to appear in every game this season. Four Flyers: Couturier, Provorov, Giroux and Jakub Voracek, accomplished the feat for Philadelphia. … Eric Lindros was the previous Flyers player to reach 100 points, with 115 in the 1995-96 season. Giroux’s other hat trick came in Game 2 of the first round of the 2012 playoffs against the Penguins. … LW Matt Beleskey, acquired in the trade that sent Rick Nash to the Bruins on Feb. 25, made his Rangers debut and C Steven Fogarty made his NHL debut for New York.

UP NEXT

Rangers: End of regular season

Flyers: First-round playoff series.



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