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Of all the people glued to their TVs rooting

 
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Anmeldedatum: 18.04.2019
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BeitragVerfasst am: 10.08.2019, 03:59    Titel: Of all the people glued to their TVs rooting

ORCHARD PARK http://www.pantherscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-greg-little-jersey , N.Y. (AP) for the Buffalo Bills to finally – and mercifully – end their 17-season playoff drought last weekend, one curiously stood out: former Tennessee Titans tight end Frank Wycheck. Wycheck is forever remembered in Buffalo for throwing a lateral on a kickoff return to give Tennessee a 22-16 playoff win over the Bills in a play dubbed the “Music City Miracle,” one of the wildest finishes ever to an NFL postseason game. The much-debated play in the January 2000 wild-card playoff propelled the Titans to the Super Bowl. It’s a memory that still stings in Buffalo 18 years later, enveloped in the lingering pain from what grew into the longest playoff drought in North America’s four major professional sports. ”People were kind of bringing it up that that’s the reason why they haven’t made the playoffs because of that play,” Wycheck told The Associated Press by phone from Nashville, Tennessee. ”I don’t want to put the responsibility on me,” said Wycheck, who now serves as a radio host and Titans broadcast analyst. ”But it was so long ago, too. I’m just glad they made it and I was happy for them.” He doesn’t feel directly responsible for the Bills’ woes in the bungling years that followed. Still, Wycheck said if there was some kind of curse on the Bills sparked by the ”Music City Miracle,” it’s time it was lifted. Add another member to the Bills bandwagon as Buffalo travels to play AFC South champion Jacksonville in a wild-card playoff on Sunday. The sentiments surprised key players from Buffalo’s storied past, and even some fans didn’t quite know how to react when Wycheck tweeted his congrats to the Bills for making the playoffs. ”Are you kidding?” said Rob Johnson, the Bills quarterback at the time who started the game over Doug Flutie. ”Does he feel bad?” ”Wow. Really?” said Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas. ”Oh, that’s freaking awesome, man. That you could still in a way, even though it hurt us, that you could root for us, that’s great.” Wycheck’s name has been dragged through the mud – and worse – across western New York long enough for a play most refer to as ”The Home Run Throwback .” Everywhere that is, except Buffalo – where it’s always been called ”The Home Run Throw Forward,” and ”The Immaculate Deception.” Johnson, minus a shoe no less, completed a 9-yard pass to Peerless Price to set up Steve Christie hitting a 41-yard field goal to put Buffalo ahead 16-15 with 16 seconds remaining. What followed was pure and utter disappointment for the Bills. Tennessee’s Lorenzo Neal caught the ensuing kickoff and handed the ball to Wycheck, who ran to his right. He then spun around at his own 25 and threw the ball across the field to Kevin Dyson, who sprinted up the left sideline to score with 3 seconds left. The 75-yard touchdown stood up after a lengthy video review, and the stunning loss spawned what became a playoff drought that tied for fifth-longest in NFL history. Just like its start Will Grier Jersey , the Bills’ drought ended in dramatic fashion last weekend. Buffalo did its part with a 22-16 win at Miami . The Bills then clinched the AFC’s sixth and final playoff berth when Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton converted a fourth-and-12 in the final minute to hit Tyler Boyd for a touchdown, beating Baltimore 31-27. Thomas noted that Buffalo’s win over the Dolphins matched the same score as the 2000 loss to Tennessee – the running back’s last game in a Bills uniform. ”It’s been a long, long time,” said Thomas, who wept in joy after the Bills clinched their playoff berth. After spending many of these last 17 years answering questions about the drought, and wondering if the Bills might in fact be cursed, Thomas is relieved everyone can finally put it behind them. ”The fans are living it now. Enjoy,” said Thomas, who was on the Bills teams that reached and lost four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990s. ”It’s time to create some other memories.” Even former Bills players who never earned a chance to enjoy a playoff appearance in Buffalo celebrated. ”I’m trying to live vicariously through them because I didn’t get to live it,” said punter Brian Moorman, who played for the Bills from 2001-13. ”I always said that place would go nuts if we got in the playoffs. I would’ve loved to have experienced that.” Johnson, who eventually won a Super Bowl as a backup in Tampa Bay in 2003, was excited for the Bills and yet still carries some lingering resentment for what happened against Tennessee. ”They do all that scientific stuff now, I wonder if they ever proved that was a lateral,” he wondered. (Don’t try to convince some Bills fans, but it was studied thoroughly, including with rendered animations that showed the pass was almost perfectly horizontal but going ever so slightly backward.) When reminded that it was ultimately the officials who made the call on Wycheck’s throw being legal, Johnson snorted. ”It wasn’t his fault, heh, it wasn’t his fault,” he said. Wycheck insists his toss didn’t go forward and said the most disappointing development was learning of the Bills decision to fire special teams coach Bruce DeHaven following the season. He called it unfair to lay the blame on one person. That didn’t stop Wycheck from extending an olive branch to Buffalo fans on Sunday. ”Congrats to (at)buffalobills !! Well played today,” Wycheck wrote , before noting the Titans are also in the playoffs. ”Hope to see you in Nashville in a couple of weeks.” — AP Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville and AP sports writer Greg Beacham in Los Angeles contributed to this report. — MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kirk Cousins delivered for the Minnesota Vikings the type of performance expected from, and demanded by, his big contract.Passing for 219 yards and three touchdowns over the fourth quarter and overtime at Green Bay http://www.pantherscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-christian-miller-jersey , Cousins guided the Vikings back from a 13-point deficit to forge a tie with the Packers despite an interception and many other mistakes by the rest of the team.Given this was his first NFC North game and first on the road against Minnesota’s primary rival, there was a statement made that afternoon at Lambeau Field.“I’ve seen Kirk do those things before, so it just solidified what type of leader he is,” offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said. “You’re never out of the game.”The Vikings (1-0-1) are fifth in the NFL in total yards, entering Sunday against winless Buffalo. Cousins, however, was quick to point out the Vikings had only seven points through three quarters at Green Bay.“We’d love to be more explosive throughout the game as opposed to more concentrated to late in the game,” Cousins said. “We want to be an offense that can strike at any time, but also be a threat from the first quarter all the way through the last.”The Bills have a long way to go to get there, having handed their quarterback job to rookie Josh Allen during their blowout loss at Baltimore in the opener. The seventh overall pick in the draft showed some progress last week, but with an unsettled offensive line and a lack of game-breaking receivers, this season figures to be a steep learning curve for Allen.“All these trials and tribulations that I’m going to go through my rookie year,” he said, “are only going to help in the long run.”Here are some other key angles to follow for the Bills-Vikings game:MAKING THE CALLThe Bills were outscored 75-9 over their first six quarters until making modest improvement in the second half last week. What changed? Well, coach Sean McDermott took over the play-calling duty from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, his long-time friend and mentor. They will collaborate now.“We’re going to do what we feel we need to do in games, and improve,” McDermott said, “and we look in every corner to improve.”The Chargers had 284 yards, 17 first downs and 28 points in the first half, then just 65 yards, four first downs and three points in the second half.“That’s something that we can build on this week going in, just having the confidence of knowing we can stop teams from scoring,” said Tre’Davious White, one of only three healthy cornerbacks on the roster following the retirement of Vontae Davis and injuries to Phillip Gaines and Taron Johnson.FAMILIAR FACEFrazier took the adjustment in stride. He first began coaching with McDermott in 1999 with the Philadelphia Eagles.“We owe it to our players to give us the best chance to win Jordan Scarlett Jersey , whatever it may be,” Frazier said, “and so that’s how I looked at it.”Frazier, of course, was the head coach for the Vikings for three-plus seasons after serving as defensive coordinator prior to that. This will be his first return to Minnesota for a regular-season game since his firing after the 2013 season.“Just a lot of good relationships back in Minnesota, a lot of fond memories,” Frazier said.BAILEY’S DEBUTIf and when Dan Bailey makes his first field goal on Sunday, the crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium will undoubtedly roar with an undertone of sarcasm after those three wide rights by now-discarded rookie Daniel Carlson against the Packers.Kicking trouble has hounded the Vikings throughout Mike Zimmer’s reign as head coach since 2014, so they were relieved that a player with Bailey’s accomplishment and experience was available this week .The Bills have had more stability lately with Stephen Hauschka, who ranks fourth on the NFL’s all-time field goal accuracy list . Bailey is second. Hauschka, who was in training camp with the Vikings as a rookie in 2008, is 33 for 38 on field goal tries in 19 games with the Bills and has converted all 31 extra point attempts.“We are fortunate. Hauschka is very steady and a veteran who has kicked in big games,” McDermott said. “That was part of the reason why we picked him up.”MCCOY HURTINGThe Bills ranked sixth in the league last year in rushing yards, on the strength of a second straight 1,000-yard season by LeSean McCoy, but Bills running backs have only 108 yards on 31 attempts through two games. This has been a rough season so far for McCoy. He’s been working through a rib cartilage injury this week, when he was also named in a second case of alleged abuse brought forth by a former girlfriend .Minnesota’s defense is not an ideal opponent against which to get on track.“They’re a good team. It’s a challenge. If I’m good enough, I’ll go out there and compete,” McCoy said.NOT SO SPECIALVikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer has been under pressure for more than just the place-kicking problems. The Packers blocked Matt Wile’s punt and turned it into a touchdown last week, the most glaring mistake that wasn’t a missed field goal.“We’re going to have to clean it up,” Zimmer said.
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