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www.bengalscheapshop.com - _FriAMCETECET0NovE The Minnesota Vikings are working through a quarterback quandary this offseason Nick Vigil Jersey , with three pending free agents.

They have ample space under the salary cap, around $50 million, and an unfulfilled desire to produce a long-term answer at the position after years of questions.

Coach Mike Zimmer expressed caution about the strategy of spending their way out of the uncertainty.

”I think it’s really, really important that we understand that we’ve won 40 games in the last four years and we’ve done this by being pretty good on defense for the most part,” Zimmer said Thursday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. ”This year the offense was much better. Part of the reason we’ve been winning games is because we’ve been staying in games on defense, we’ve been a smart team, all those things.”

About half of the quarterbacks in the league are making an annual average of $20 million, and the standard prices will only increase this month with Kirk Cousins leading the list of soon-to-be free agents. Zimmer, for his part, pumped the brakes on the notion of trying to win such a bidding contest.

”I want to be really careful about taking away from our strength … because of financial reasons,” Zimmer said.

Staying in step with what general manager Rick Spielman said Wednesday, Zimmer told reporters the Vikings are still assessing the pros and cons of Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater with the market set to open on March 14. Zimmer said all three quarterbacks are ”definitely” under consideration.

Breaking with the guarded style of his boss, Zimmer pushed the candor button at the podium. He acknowledged the realities and reservations of each of the three players he’s had as the primary starter over the past three years.

”It’s important for myself and Rick and the organization to pick the right guy that is going to help us continue to move forward,” Zimmer said. ”If we don’t do that, then I’ll probably be fired.”

Keenum took over after Bradford hurt his knee following the season opener and enjoyed a career-best performance, helping the Vikings reach the NFC championship game. Before 2017, he’d just been a backup. Several times during the year, Zimmer hinted at mild skepticism about Keenum’s ability to keep up such success.

”Is he the guy when he was at Houston or the Rams Clint Boling Jersey , or is he the guy who played for us?” Zimmer said, repeating a similar line of questioning for Bradford, who didn’t experience much success early in his career with St. Louis.

Bradford’s biggest issue is the knee, which Zimmer described as a ”degenerative” problem. There’s clearly no perfect answer for the Vikings in this complicated situation.

”At the end of the day, it’s a guess and a hunch,” Zimmer said.

Bridgewater presents the least-expensive option but also the least-known, considering he last started a meaningful game more than two years ago. The amount of time he missed while rehabilitating his knee injury has made it difficult to evaluate his ability to lead the team for the next decade, as the Vikings originally intended when they drafted him in the first round in 2014.

”It’s really hard to evaluate just in practice. We have to go back a lot with Teddy on what he’s done in the past, him as a person, his work ethic, all those things. Him not playing for two years and not being able to see him play in live situations, that’s concerning a little bit,” Zimmer said. ”But I love the guy. He’s a great kid, great competitor, a winner.”



When Carson Wentz went down for the Philadelphia Eagles, the pressure fell on backup Nick Foles and everyone else to step up.

The defense rose to the challenge in the first playoff game.

They harassed Matt Ryan, contained Julio Jones and made a goal-line stand at the end in a 15-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

”We know defense wins championships. You say it all the time. You hear it. It’s clich锟?but it’s true, especially where we are now at home,” Pro Bowl safety Malcolm Jenkins said.

The strong defensive effort helped the underdog Eagles (14-3) advance to the NFC championship game for the sixth time since 2001. They’ll host the Vikings (14-3) next Sunday. Minnesota advanced with a thrilling 29-24 win over New Orleans.

”We don’t even care Anthony Munoz Jersey ,” linebacker Nigel Bradham said about a preferred opponent. ”Obviously, we’ll see a good game and get ready to prepare for whoever we’re going to play next.”

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s unit was No. 1 against the run, 17th against the pass and fourth in points allowed.

They held the Falcons to 281 yards, no points in the second half and Atlanta’s only touchdown drive came after a fumbled punt at the Eagles 18.

”We don’t point fingers,” defensive end Brandon Graham said. ”Just stay the task and keep playing your technique. Keep playing with effort. The second half, we went out there and did that. Nobody gave us a shot. We have another 60 minutes next week. I’m happy with this team because we are a great team. We stay together even through adversity.”

Eagles coach Doug Pederson showed his confidence in the defense when he chose to have Jake Elliott kick a 21-yard field goal instead of going for fourth-and-1 at the Falcons 3 with a 12-10 lead and 6:05 remaining.

The defense had forced two three-and-outs and held Atlanta to only 49 yards in the second half. But Ryan led the Falcons on a long drive, converting a fourth-and-6 along the way. Atlanta had a first down at the Eagles 9 with 1:19 left.

Ryan threw incomplete to Jones and T.J. Ward. After a 7-yard pass to Jones to the 2, the season came down to one play.

Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian inexplicably called a rollout, taking half the field away for Ryan.

The defense read the play when they saw the formation, pressured Ryan and forced him to throw it up to Jones in the corner of the end zone. Jalen Mills had tight coverage and the ball sailed over Jones’ hands.

”We probably had three guys calling out the play on that one just based on our preparation, our study,” Jenkins said.

Jones had nine catches for 101 yards, but Mills and Ronald Darby kept him out of the end zone.

”The whole motto and the slogan was just `do your job,”’ Mills said. ”Nobody has to go out there and be superman. Know what you have to do for one, then go out there and execute.”

The defense did its part. The defense will have to do it again next week because the offense isn’t going to win a shootout.

”It was on us and we wouldn’t want it any other way,” Bradham said. ”That’s how you feel when you’re on (defense) and you feel like we lead this team. We set the tone for this team and we set the pace for this team. That’s how we feel. We feel like all the energy and everything comes through us and everybody feeds off of it.”



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