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College Football Playoff or not, Jimbo Fisher has built Texas A&M for success



Lors de sa première séance d’entraînement à Texas A&M, Jimbo Fisher a fait une déclaration sur les responsables et leurs attentes.

De dingen zijn niet meer wat ze vroeger waren. The fisherman barked. It won’t be the same.

At the end of Aggies’ third season, Fisher already proved his prediction on one point: The second part of the swooning that was a nightmare for A&M fans belongs to the past.

Led by Kevin Sumlin, A&M has been ranked in the top 10 by The Associated Press nine times in the game seven or later this season. The Aggies won 4-5 in the next games and lost five of their last six games before being deported at the end of the 2017 season.

That year, A&M beat No. 4 Florida in a 52-24 loss to Alabama to start a six-game winning streak. The holey defense that led to defeat tore the jaws of victory? This trend has also changed. The Aggies only allow 18.8 points per game in this period, which puts them second behind the Crimson Tide in the SEC.

The result: A&M is in unknown territory, on the 5th place in a regular season match and on the edge of a place in the university football play-offs.

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The Aggies did everything they could to be in that position. There won’t be much lobbying by Fisher, at least not until Saturday’s victory in Tennessee is assured.

When we are in a position to do so, we will make our own comments, Fisher said Monday. When we need an argument, we need an argument about how we play the game, not about what we say.

Still, Aggie’s in a better position. Four of the previous six teams that finished fifth in the conference championship were in the top four and made the play-offs.

Despite all these positive signals, Aggies fans have been known for years to feel uncomfortable. But this team has solved a lot of those nerves through physical transformation.

It’s a new kind of football, said Stephen McGee, a former Texas A&M quarterback who is now an analyst for We’re starting to see a lot of things that Jimbo brings to this program – the ability to lead football. They’re starting to see these recruitment classes coming together. And you can start by seeing the big picture.

These are things that a lot of Aggie fans think this team is really different.

Fault! The file name is not specified. Texas A&M defender Isaiah Spiller and the rest of the Aggies backfield have had a lot of help from the team’s offensive line this season. The team has an average of 5.5 yards per hour with only four bags on the line this season. John Reed/USA Sports

The main reason is that the bodies are on both lines. Fisher’s recruiting skills have paid off with stars like Kenyon Green, who immediately qualified for the Outland Trophy semifinals after being named best offensive player in the 2018 recruiting class by ESPN. DeMarvin Leal, the No. 8 guard in this class, has been a huge disrupter on the D-line this season. For the first time since A&M joined the SEC in 2012, the Aggies are ranked second in the league in terms of admissible playgrounds per game and running playgrounds per game.

Results : Although the Aggies don’t show impressive numbers, they absolutely dominate the front line and become the old school SEC team for which this competition was once known.

The sophomore guard Isaiah Spiller has an average of 112.1 yards per game and A&M leads the SEC in terms of yards per run (5.5) and possession time. The Aggies are also in fourth place in the country in terms of the number of bags per attempted passage. They have only allowed four bags the whole season and have played five games in a row without surrendering a single bag. Higher quarterback Kellen Mond’s ability to hit and defend the ball allowed Texas A&M to convert 55% of its third losses, earning it third place nationwide.

At the beginning of the season, the offensive line was considered a question mark. Instead, it’s become a team effort. A&M’s five starters – Carson Green, Kenyon Green, Jared Hawker, Ryan McCollum and Dan Moore Jr. – started all eight races. They played together for 523 of the team’s 547 offensive strikes. They ran the ball from the second quarter of the opening season against Vanderbilt until the LSU game on the 28th. The month of November has not disappeared, 24 quarters – or 201 attempts to continue.

Kenyon Green said that the confidence that the group has established has allowed the linesmen to continue with what they like to do: Pushing his opponents.

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We impose our will on every team we play, he said. So they feel it every time they play. Going out and dominating is the key. Dominate and make sure Monday is not affected. When you get to work and feel that you are doing what you want, ask [Fisher] if you can keep the ball rolling. I’ll shove it down their throats.

The Aggies’ 31-20 victory over Auburn is the latest example: 47 carries, 313 yards, an average of 6.7 yards per carry against a team that allowed 162.4 yards per match.

According to Mouth, in addition to Spiller, the presence of the versatile Einias Smith (223 meters in flight, 410 meters on landing) and the emergence of true newcomer Devon Achan (224 meters in six games, 99 meters against Auburn) allow the Aggies to play multiple combinations and shape any game, regardless of the player.

You’ve seen it in the Florida game and other big games where we got left behind and weren’t afraid to run the ball seven times in a row, he said Monday. It’s a mentality. It’s not easy. It’s definitely something you have to work and train for.

Fault! The file name is not specified. Texas A&M has also shown perseverance in defense. With attacking lineman DeMarvin Leal in the group, the Aggies dropped 100.8 meters per game; and they held SEC opponents such as the LSU, South Carolina and Mississippi State to 50 meters or less on the ground. Rogelio V. Solis/AP picture

Training is something A&M players have called since the arrival of Fisher, indicating the exhausting summer training and intensive training. The fisherman said it was intentional because SEC West has the best football league and the best players.

Mr. Fischer said we’d do our best. Our players always say that training is harder than playing, and that’s what we want. We’ll crush them.

Those stars Fisher landed when he was recruiting make each other better.

We train every day as if it’s a game, says Leal, who says the first-team players compete against each other. If we’re okay, it’s like a complete game.

Lil and Kenyon Green say that competing against the best gives them a healthy respect for what their opponents encounter.

Kenyon Green, man… Shit, Leal said Monday. This man is hard to miss. It’s very destructive.

The beast, the green echo of Leal. He can play anything. He can play on the D-End, on the inside. It’s so fast to be so big, it’s crazy. He wants to be in the back field every game. If you want to know more about it, ask yourself what you need to know about the future.

The eagerness and a deep and talented line of defense cut the teeth of a sloppy defense that only allows 100.8 yards per game and places it in the top 10 of the country. A&M held three teams – South Carolina, Mississippi State and LSU – within 50 meters of the race. Against the passing, the Aggies generated pressure on 33.4% of their drops (third in the SEC), although they used five or more special teams on just 12% of those matches (second in the conference).

The results gave those who helped A&M’s engineers reason to believe in a similar future under Fisher’s plan.

What’s more important to A&M now than last year is the strength of the football team, said former coach Jackie Sherrill, who has won three consecutive congressional titles since his fourth season at the University Post. You have to be an adult to win, because the older players control the dressing rooms. Take, for example, Isaiah Spiller, who is much better today than last year. It’s maturity, it’s hardness.

A former Sherrill quarterback who helped the Aggies finish in the top 10 in the freshman year 1987 agrees.

That’s what Jimbo wants to do, Bucky Richardson said. He likes to record your will. They have the ability to run the ball if necessary. And Kellen Mouth plays the best football of his career. He plays clean, doesn’t pass the ball. Dude, if you have that combination, you’re hard to beat.

Fault! The file name is not specified. Kellen Mond, quarterback for TeamTexas A&M, explains that it’s the versatility of the Aggies’ game that makes it so effective. Even though Texas A&M is behind, we’re not afraid to run the ball seven times in a row, he said. Butch Dill/AP Photo

With a victory over Tennessee, A&M is in a position to secure one of the four finalist places. But it is certain that the season is already historic.

The victory over Florida ended a ninth game, beating the top five AP teams in a row. This is the first time since 2002 that the Aggies win at home against a top five team. From 2011 to 2016 A&M finished six times in the top 10 during the regular season. He didn’t score any points in four of those seasons and finished once in 18th place. In Johnny Manziel’s 2012 season the Aggies finished 5th, which is only their fourth top 10 in the last 30 years.

No Heisman candidate or generational talent is in charge of the team this year. That’s why it’s so different this season when you look at A&M from a historical perspective.

What does this football team good is so repetitive, McGee said. They do not require exceptional performance by one or two players.

In public, Fisher’s not ready to give a campaign speech for a playoff spot. He thinks the committee has its own method, and he doesn’t shake it much.

Every lobby becomes a good social network, Fisher said. I don’t know how it really works if you start working on it right away.

But Sherrill, never short of words, remembered one of Aggie’s favorite mantras of his time.

It’s better to lick now while we can, Sherrill said after a 47-9 loss to SMU in 1982, “because we’re going to be great.

Now, like Fisher, he thinks things won’t be the same for the A&M program after this season.

I think they’re leaking, Mr. Sherrill said, and they’re giving them back.

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NFL Mock Draft 2022: Packers, Buccaneers, Dolphins go WR late; Titans surprise with QB




NFL Mock Draft 2022: Packers, Buccaneers, Dolphins go WR late; Titans surprise with QB

The divisional round of the 2022 NFL playoffs is complete, meaning four more teams are locked into their first-round positions in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Titans, Packers and Buccaneers are all picking a little earlier than expected after losing as favorites over the weekend. The Bills joined them on schedule as the only road team to lose.

The draft order now being set through No. 28 changes what teams will consider what prospects at what spots. Knowing that, here are the latest early projections for what will happen on the night of April 28:

BIG BOARD: Ranking the top 100 prospects for 2022 NFL Draft

NFL Mock Draft 2022

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-14)

  • Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan (6-6, 265 pounds)

The Jaguars should think about offensive line, especially if left tackle Cam Robinson leaves as a free agent, but with wholesale changes looming, it’s hard to pass on a cornerstone defensive disruptor. Hutchinson plays with great energy and power and is still developing his already-strong pass-rush moves. He’s ideal for a 4-3 end, so his availability might push Jacksonville toward that kind of scheme with a new coach.

2. Detroit Lions (3-13-1)

  • Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon (6-5, 258 pounds)

The Lions might be tempted should Hutchinson be available, given the local angle, but they should also be thrilled to get Thibodeaux at No, 2. On top of the being the more athletic and disruptive pass rusher, Thibodeaux is more versatile. He could thrive in Aaron Glenn’s front seven.

3. Houston Texans (4-13)

  • Evan Neal, OT, Alabama (6-7, 350 pounds)

The Texans should be thinking about Davis Mills as a potential franchise QB to replace Deshaun Watson after he showed steady development down the stretch with his strong arm and accuracy. Mills’ improvement should prompt Houston to try to move a fading and now-injured left tackle Laremy Tunsil to create major salary cap space for their rebuild. Neal would be a young upgrade who could dominate as a pass protector and run blocker for a decade.

MORE:  Each team’s worst NFL Draft regret

4. New York Jets (4-13)

  • Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU (6-1, 195 pounds)

The Jets got good cornerback play in the first year of Robert Saleh’s defense, but in a zone scheme that connects to Seattle’s “Legion of Boom,” they need more effective playmaking. Stingley is a do-everything impact defensive back who can cover a lot of ground and different types of receivers. 

5. New York Giants (4-13)

  • Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa (6-3, 290 pounds)

The Giants would be smart to target the offensive line in the first round, perhaps multiple times, to help out Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. Linderbaum, an intelligent rock of an interior blocker and a perfect long-term line leader, would be a great fit as a major upgrade from Billy Price.

6. Carolina Panthers

  • Malik Willis, QB, Liberty (6-1, 215 pounds)

The Panthers once made Cam Newton, a former Auburn star under offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, their franchise QB. Willis, who started his career at Auburn under Malzahn before transferring, has a cannon for an arm and great speed. He has the potential to make scouting jaws drop in the predraft process and make teams less concerned about his small-school status given his career-ending awesome play.

7. New York Giants (from Chicago Bears)

  • Ikem Ekwonu, T/G, N.C. State (6-4, 320 pounds)

The Giants get another strong O-lineman with their second top-10 pick. Ekwonu is a powerful run blocker with the type of nasty streak that’s needed to dominate. He can play inside or outside in the NFL, but with Linderbaum bolstering the middle, it would be nice to have Ekwonu flank left tackle Andrew Thomas on the right side.

8. Atlanta Falcons (7-10)

  • Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame (6-4, 220 pounds)

When he was the Titans’ offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith got to see Kevin Byard make a big-time impact as a playmaking safety. Smith needs that kind of player in Atlanta to support top-flight young corner A.J. Terrell. The Falcons had some of the worst play at the position in the league in 2021.

9. Denver Broncos (7-10)

  • Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss (6-0, 200 pounds)

The Broncos have a quarterback decision to make, and they can’t afford to ignore the position in the first round. Remember former coach Vic Fangio’s final lamentation about not having a reliable passer. Denver’s shrewd GM, George Paton, must target a franchise QB to clean up the Teddy Bridgewater-Drew Lock mess. Corral is a dynamic athlete and confident runner who also shows aggressiveness with a big arm. He quickly refined his raw skills under Lane Kiffin.

MORE:  The biggest busts in NFL Draft history

10. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks)

  • George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue (6-4, 275 pounds)

The Jets shouldn’t mind loading up on pass defense for Saleh after getting Stingley to upgrade the back end in a big way. They need to target an ideal 4-3 end who can remind Saleh a little of Nick Bosa (6-4, 266 pounds). Karlaftis possesses elite athleticism for his size and is still tapping into his immense pass-rush potential.

11. Washington Football Team (7-10)

  • Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh (6-3, 220 pounds)

Washington saw some flashes from Taylor Heinicke in place of Ryan Fitzpatrick, whose bridge season was a total injury washout, but it cannot expect to tap fully into the promise of its passing game without having a confident franchise QB who’s made for a big market. Pickett has surged into first-round consideration while other big-name QBs have faded, thanks to outstanding play that helped to make the Panthers ACC champions. He has natural deep-ball accuracy and football intelligence. He also has that underrated Joe Burrow-like swagger.

12. Minnesota Vikings (8-9)

  • Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah (6-3, 235 pounds)

The Vikings will need to address the second level with aging, oft-injured, Anthony Barr heading into free agency along with Nick Vigil. Lloyd is a strong, rangy athlete who stands out making plays. He has the smarts and instincts for their zone scheme.

13. Cleveland Browns (8-9)

  • Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State (6-1, 189 pounds)

The Browns need to upgrade their receiving corps big time with a true go-to outside threat. Luckily for Cleveland, there’s a good answer in Columbus. Olave has great speed, quickness and burst. He can emerge as their new No. 1 for Baker Mayfield or whoever’s the quarterback in 2022.

14. Baltimore Ravens (8-9)

  • Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida (6-2, 196 pounds)

The Ravens ended the season with an injury-riddled mess at cornerback. They need to rejuvenate their coverage to boost their blitzing scheme. Elam’s strength and length stand out. He is very efficient in coverage because of his athleticism.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins)

  • DeMarvin Leal, DT, Texas A&M (6-4, 290 pounds)

Leal is a versatile disruptor who can thrive inside or outside in Jonathan Gannon’s four-man front. Tackle Fletcher Cox is fading with age and end Derek Barnett will be a free agent. Leal has shown his interior pass-rushing skills with 8.5 sacks, but he also is a stout run stopper. He will need to answer questions about his recent arrest on marijuana possession charges, but in the end, it shouldn’t affect his stock that much given that weed doesn’t carry the same stigma it once did for a prospect.

MORE:  The biggest steals in NFL Draft history

16. Philadelphia Eagles (from Indianapolis Colts)

  • David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan (6-5, 250 pounds)

The Eagles, beyond Barnett’s pending free agency, also know Josh Sweat was so-so filling in for Brandon Graham, who is entering his Age 34 season and coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon. They need reinforcements for the tone-setting strength of their defense. Ojabo would give them a flashy, freakish edge player who can contribute initially in a situational role. His speed, explosiveness and energy fueled a big rise behind end-mate Hutchinson.

17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-8)

  • Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia (6-6, 340 pounds)

The Chargers need to upgrade their run defense big time. Their entire front three struggled in that capacity. Coach Brandon Staley was used to having Aaron Donald as his 3-4 linchpin with the other Los Angeles team. Davis is a massive player who disrupts plays with great quickness for his size.

18. New Orleans Saints (9-8)

  • Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama (6-2, 189 pounds)

The Saints need to address wideout with Michael Thomas’ future clouded by injury and discontent. Williams profiles like many of the recent top Crimson Tide picks at the position, and he rose fast up boards after getting more showcase opportunities with John Metchie III on the shelf. Williams proved while playing with Heisman-winning QB Bryce Young that he can be a lot more than a route-running technician; he can flat-out make big plays. The big question now is: How will he recover from the ACL tear he suffered in the College Football Playoff title game in early January?

19. Philadelphia Eagles (9-8)

  •  Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson (6-0, 200 pounds)

The Eagles are getting nice late-career play from Darius “Big Play” Slay and Avonte Maddox has been good, too, but they could use a further boost in the secondary from Booth. He is a strong, active corner who has the speed and ball skills to become a worthy successor to Slay as their top cover man.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1)

  • Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State (6-5, 310 pounds)

The Steelers should think about how best to address quarterback with Ben Roethlisberger set to retire; picking one here, trading up to land Pickett or swinging a blockbuster deal (Russell Wilson? Aaron Rodgers?). Whoever the QB is, they need to upgrade the pass protection for him, given the poor tackle play this past season. Cross is a strong, powerful edge blocker who can develop the footwork to handle the left side for the long term.

21. New England Patriots (10-7)

  • Nakobe Dean, ILB, Georgia (6-0, 225 pounds)

The Patriots need to replace middle man Dont’a Hightower, who will become a free agent ahead of his Age 32 season. Bill Belichick should love a player who can play anywhere and do anything on the second level and quickly emerge as a leader, which is what he was for a dominant Bulldogs defense. Dean can flat-out fly and can make plays from sideline to sideline wherever he’s lined up.

BIGGEST NFL DRAFT STEALS:  Round 4  |  Round 5  |  Round 6  |  Round 7

22. Las Vegas Raiders (10-7)

  • Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State (6-0, 188 pounds)

The Raiders need a reliable all-around receiver for Derek Carr instead of additional limited deep threats. Wilson is a natural technician with his smarts, quickness, route-running and hands. He also is dangerous in making big plays after the catch.

23. Arizona Cardinals (11-6)

  • Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati (6-3, 200 pounds)

The Cardinals have gotten flashes at corner with Byron Murphy making plays on the ball and veteran Robert Alford overachieving, but they need more a reliable player. Gardner has great agility with his length and can move around to handle vertical or horizontal coverage.

24. Dallas Cowboys (12-5)

  • Travon Walker, DE/DT, Georgia (6-5, 275 pounds)

The Cowboys had issues at defensive tackle this season and starter Carlos Watkins is a pending free agent. End Randy Gregory also is unsigned for 2022. Walker joins Davis and Dean in having momentum from the Dawgs’ defense-dominated CFP championship run. He is an explosive, versatile playmaker who can line up at multiple spots up front and can win with athleticism and power.

25. Buffalo Bills (11-6)

  • Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington (5-11, 195 pounds)

The Bills have a good No. 2 corner to Tre’Davious White in Levi Wallace, but Wallace will be a free agent and White will be coming off a torn ACL for his Age 27 season. With limited weaknesses as Super Bowl contenders, they should look for a direct replacement for Wallace outside. McDuffie can offer great explosiveness and quickness for Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier.

26. Tennessee Titans (12-5)

  • Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati (6-4, 215 pounds)

The Titans need to push for a higher ceiling at QB beyond Ryan Tannehill, who’s 33 and has only one “locked-in” year left on his contract. This may be surprise some, but this concept will gain steam should an option this appealing be available. Ridder was a great leader for the Bearcats, and he showed that he’s natural dual-threat NFL prospect with his strong arm and running skills.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4)

Antonio Brown quit and Chris Godwin is a pending free agent. Although the Bucs have young depth at receiver, if they’re taking one more shot at a Super Bowl with Tom Brady, they need to upgrade their downfield element to play off Mike Evans outside. Dotson is a speedy vertical threat with the quickness to make big plays after making strong catches in the open field.

28. Green Bay Packers (13-4)

  • Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas (6-3, 225 pounds)

The Packers should use this pick to upgrade their wide receiver corps, either to better complement Davante Adams outside and please Aaron Rodgers or to protect themselves in case they can’t re-sign Adams, a pending free agent, to a long-term deal after franchise-tagging him. Burks is a huge target with big hands to match. He can dominate smaller, less physical corners and has deceptive speed.

29. Cincinnati Bengals (10-7)

  • Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State (6-5, 315 pounds)

The Bengals’ pass protection in front of Joe Burrow may keep them from reaching the Super Bowl. They need to upgrade the right side opposite left tackle Jonah Williams. They can find a good answer in-state. Petit-Frere is a well-rounded blocker with a nice blend of strength, agility and footwork, He stood out while playing both sides.

30. Miami Dolphins (from San Francisco 49ers)

  • Drake London, WR, USC (6-5, 210 pounds)

The Dolphins should be pleased with first-rounder Jaylen Waddle as a potential next Tyreek Hill with his speed and quickness, but they could use an upgrade over DeVante Parker, who has durability issues going into his Age 29 season. London matches a nice catch radius with great hands and quickness, which makes him a big-play and red-zone threat in the Mike Evans mold.

31. Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams)

  •  Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina (6-1, 220 pounds)

After getting Thibodeaux as the cornerstone for their defense early in the first round, it’s time for the Lions to address franchise QB. They can wait and still get a potential long-term starter here. Howell is a smart, seasoned and accurate pocket passer. Looking for Howell or Ridder late would be a much smarter play than passing on Thibodeaux for Corral, Willis or Pickett.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (12-5)

  •  Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn (6-0, 190 pounds)

With Charvarius Ward and Mike Hughes heading into free agency, the Chiefs should think about corner should there be a worthy talent available. If McCreary slips, he would be a no-brainer. He has the size, physicality, fluidity and ability to play well in any downfield coverage scheme.

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What’s next for Tom Brady, Buccaneers? Playoff loss to Rams may not signal end to Super run, retirement




What's next for Tom Brady, Buccaneers? Playoff loss to Rams may not signal end to Super run, retirement

Did Tom Brady Play His Last Game With The Buccaneers? With retirement rumors swirling around the 44-year-old quarterback ahead of the NFC 30-27 divisional playoff loss to Los Angeles, that’s one of many big questions to answer in 2022 in Tampa.

The runner-up and host Bucs came up short in a Brady-led epic comeback attempt, which also meant they were two wins short of repeating as Super Bowl champions. That pushes the Bucs early into a tricky outdoor season with a wide range of results. They can either remain elite champion candidates or, at worst, fall into rebuilding mode.

First, Brady must decide if he wants to return to his second team before age 45. He is under contract for $25.4 million through 2022. The Bucs still have plenty of promising pieces, offensively and defensively, that might lead him to believe he can get another run on an eighth ring. On the other hand, he could be content to win a ring away from the Patriots and Bill Belichick to stamp his career as the undisputed GOAT QB.

MORE: Brady Free After Loss

Brady was still playing at a high level, but it will take a year to stay in shape and keep fighting Father Time. He could go either way by wanting a lot more of the grind in pursuit of a little more glory. What Brady decides will affect his favorite tight end, Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski is out of a contract at the start of his 33-year season and, just like after winning Super Bowl 53 vs. the Rams, choose to retire, this time for real. Without Brady, the Bucs would suddenly have to find a QB fix, probably another experienced bridge as they still pick late in the first round of the draft.

Should Brady return, there are also concerns. Below is the list of the main pending unlimited free agents, along with Gronkowski, some of whom have also been around over the years:

  • RB Leonard Fournette
  • RB Ronald Jones
  • RB Giovani Bernard
  • WR Chris Godwin
  • TE OJ Howard
  • C Ryan Jensen
  • DT Ndamukong Suho
  • DE William Gholston
  • OLB Jason Pierre-Paul
  • CB Carlton Davis
  • S Jordan Whitehead

According to The Buccaneers, looking at less than $20 million in salary cap room. Even with some creative contract work, they won’t be able to keep their startup workforce intact. Brady has to weigh it up to play on a lesser team that is aging in some areas than being further rejuvenated by playing with right tackle Tristan Wirfs, nose tackle Vita Vea, inside linebacker Devin White, safety Antoine Winfield Jr. and other core youth.

MORE: What Went Wrong for Bucs vs. Rams?

Another key pro for Brady’s stay is the fact that the Panthers and Falcons remain weak in NFC South and the post-Drew Brees Saints may face a QB and/or coaching transition. With him, the Bucs will be in a good position to take big wins as a division powerhouse, even with a few player losses.

Looking at the bigger picture in the NFC, it’s not certain that Aaron Rodgers will return to the Packers and the Rams are an “all-in” playoff team with an impending blur. The 49ers are on the cusp of bringing in another QB, the Cardinals have their fair share of free-agent and age issues. The Cowboys, well, the Cowboys. The Bucs with Brady would have shot as fair as any of those teams to get to the Super Bowl next year.

Had the Buccaneers seen their deficit turn into a total loss of the Rams in the second half of 27-3, there would have been much less confidence that the team had another Super Bowl run. But in the end, despite significant injuries led by Wirfs and Godwin, the Bucs held out against a fraught Rams team with a worthy QB counterpart to Brady in Matthew Stafford.

MORE: Is Bruce Arians Retiring?

It’s hard to keep a championship team together in the modern NFL unless a team does it with a first-class QB on its rookie contract. Parity and roster turnover are part of the territory. Brady, along with defying his age, was at the center of countering that trend, first with great help from Belichick in New England and second by hand-picking the ideal complementary team in Tampa.

There’s no question Brady has at least one more great season in him and the Bucs’ championship window isn’t suddenly slammed shut as they’ve risen from NFC wildcard risers to mighty No. 2 seed. But it’s mostly up to him if it’s kept wide open.

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NFL playoff schedule 2022: Updated bracket & TV channels for AFC, NFC championship games




NFL playoff schedule 2022: Updated bracket & TV channels for AFC, NFC championship games

The championship round of the AFC and NFC playoffs looks a little different this year.

For the first time since 2010, both No. 1 seeds were eliminated, with the Titans losing to the Bengals and the Packers to the 49ers on Saturday, both on walk-off field goals. The next day, the No. 2 Buccaneers out on a field goal by the Rams, despite making an unlikely comeback from a 27-3 deficit to tie the game. The only game of the weekend not to end in a field goal was the overtime thriller between the Chiefs and Bills with 25 combined points in the final two minutes of regulation. It ended when the Chiefs scored a touchdown on OT’s opening drive.

Cincinnati now heads to Kansas City to decide the AFC’s representative in Super Bowl 56, as it will be an in-state battle that pits San Francisco against Los Angeles in the NFC title matchup.

LAKE: Watch NFL playoff games live with fuboTV (free trial)

Here’s everything you need to know about the AFC and NFC championship games.

NFL Playoff Round 2022

The complete NFL playoff bracket for 2022:


2. Kansas City Chiefs vs. 4. Cincinnati Bengals

1. Tennessee Titans vs. 4. Cincinnati Bengals

2. Kansas City Chiefs vs. 3. Buffalo Bills

1. Tennessee Titans (Goodbye)

2. Kansas City Chiefs vs. 7. Pittsburgh Steelers

3. Buffalo Bills vs. 6. New England Patriots

4. Cincinnati Bengals vs. 5. Las Vegas Raiders


4. Los Angeles Rams vs. 6. San Francisco 49ers

1. Green Bay Packers vs. 6. San Francisco 49ers

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. 4. Los Angeles Rams

1. Green Bay Packers (Goodbye)

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. 7. Philadelphia Eagles

3. Dallas Cowboys vs. 6. San Francisco 49ers

4. Los Angeles Rams vs. 5. Arizona Cardinals

NFL Playoff Schedule

Championship round

sunday January 30

matchup Start time TV channel live stream
Bengal at Chiefs 15:05 ET CBS Paramount+, fuboTV
49ers at Rams 6:40 PM ET Fox Fox Sports app, fuboTV

Matching AFC, NFC Championships


  • no. 2 chiefs vs. no. 4 Bengals

Patrick Mahomes outlasted Josh Allen and the Bills in the division round. Now he’s up against Joe Burrow and the Bengals to get to the Super Bowl for the third year in a row.

These teams met on January 2 in Cincinnati, with the Bengals beating the Chiefs 17-3 in the second half to win 34-31 to take the AFC North title. Mahomes threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns while Burrow passed for 446 yards and four touchdowns. Rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had a record afternoon with 11 catches for 266 yards and three touchdowns.

How Cincy Survived Nine Sacks vs. Titans | Fortune turns in favor of Mahomes

It’s no surprise that these regular-season offenses were among the best in passing in the NFL. The Chiefs finished the 2021 season in fourth with 4,791 passing yards, while the Bengals were seventh with 4,403. Neither team was particularly good at defending the pass, however; the Chiefs allowed the sixth most passing yards (4,273) and Cincinnati allowed the seventh most (4,222). This has the potential to become a back-and-forth offensive showdown.


  • No. 4 Rams vs. No. 6 49ers

The NFC West sent three of its four teams to the playoffs in the 2021 season, so it seems appropriate that the conference be represented by one of them in the Super Bowl.

The 49ers won their NFC Championship ticket — their second trip in three years — by beating the Packers 13-10 at a snowy Lambeau Field on Saturday. The Rams will play in their second conference title game in four years after avoiding a complete collapse against the Buccaneers on Sunday in a 30-27 win. San Francisco has owned Los Angeles for the past several years, winning every one of the past six match-ups, including the final week of the 2021 campaign to knock its ticket to the playoffs.

Jimmy G’s Curse Filled Celebration | Stafford moment surpasses Brady, Bucs

While Matthew Stafford and the Rams finished the season in eighth overall (6,325) and tied for seventh most points (460), they will face a red-hot defense that has choked the Cowboys and Packers in the first two. rounds of the playoffs. San Francisco finished the season with the third fewest total yards (5,270) and tied for ninth fewest points allowed (365).

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