When Ben Roethlisberger hit the locker room in October after a 30-9 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, he sounded like a player contemplating retirement.
“Maybe I don’t have it anymore,” Roethlisberger told reporters. “I’m not playing well enough.”
It feels weird including the Saints here — especially after their Wild Card win over the Panthers relied heavily on a return to the team’s pass-heavy roots. While Case Keenum deserves a ton of respect for his MVP-campaign season in Minnesota, he’ll have to prove that newfound mastery can withstand the pressure of a postseason. The Jaguars are still quarterbacked by Blake Bortles, who had more rushing yards than passing yards last weekend. Their path to the Super Bowl is only lit by monster performances from defensive player of the year candidates Calais Campbell and Jalen Ramsey.
This is a compelling matchup of strength vs. strength, with both teams sporting top-tier pass defenses. Yards and points might be hard to come by here, so hopefully it doesn’t get labeled as “boring” by casual fans.
NFL Network’s Good Morning Football had some fun with the receiving corps behind Funchess, making Russell Shepard, Kaelin Clay, Brenton Bersin, and Mose Frazier sound like some guys you might want to call for legal advice.
Rivera also used his time at the podium to rock a T-shirt repping tight end Greg Olsen’s foundation, The HEARTest Yard, which supports families of children who have been diagnosed with congenital heart conditions.
Future Royals catcher Salvador Pérez, Altuve’s friend since they were seven years old, signed around the same time for $65,000. The Yankees gave another catcher, future big league bust Jesús Montero, $1.6 million.
Putting up with hecklers who rode him about his height, getting thick on American food, and insisting that he room with English-speaking teammates to learn the language, Altuve proved enough people wrong in the minors to reach the big leagues in 2011. He hit .276, .290 and .283 in those first three years, after which his father said, “I think you can hit .320.”