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#1 Skrevet : 27. september 2019 07:44:50(UTC)
zhangzk

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Coliseum late last season on their path to the Super Bowl Ben Powers Jersey , and they easily racked up a blowout victory over the woebegone Los Angeles Rams.When they return on Saturday night for their NFC wild-card playoff opener, they might hardly recognize the guys in the horned helmets on the other sideline.That 42-14 loss to the Falcons was a catalyst in the Rams’ transformation from LA laughingstocks into NFC West champions, because coach Jeff Fisher was fired the next day. One month later, Sean McVay was hired to lead the most incredible one-year turnaround in recent NFL history.”People are excited, and that was our goal when we came back here,” McVay said. ”We wanted to be able to provide a good football product that our fans can be proud of, and they want to come out and support.”Led by the 31-year-old McVay, who grew up near Atlanta, and a roster of playmakers including Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald, the Rams (11-5) are in the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. The NFC’s third seed drew a tough matchup with 2016 league MVP Ryan and the Falcons (10-6) http://www.ravensfootballauthentics.com/iman-marshall-jersey-authentic , who appear capable of making another conference run.But the Rams expect to feed off the excitement of a city hosting its first playoff game since the LA Raiders’ last postseason trip 24 years ago.”It’s definitely a cool thing,” Goff said. ”After football has been gone from here for so long, and we come back in Year 2 and are able to bring a playoff game to the Coliseum, that’s very cool.”Goff, the second-year pro coming off a transformative 3,804-yard season , is eager to face off with Ryan, who is in the playoffs for the sixth time in 10 years. Both teams have a wealth of offensive playmakers, from Rams MVP candidate Gurley to star Falcons receiver Julio Jones.The Falcons are back for their first postseason game since that memorable Super Bowl collapse against New England. That loss could have broken weaker teams, but coach Dan Quinn kept this bunch together – and now they’re the only group in the six-team NFC field that also made the playoffs last season.”I love the resiliency and the toughness of this team,” Quinn said. ”When you’ve been through some of the fire together and you come out the other side stronger as a brotherhood Trace McSorley Jersey , we’re certainly improved.”Here are more things to watch when the Rams host their first playoff game in Southern California since January 1986:BIG NUMBERS: Although both defenses are statistically solid, this game could turn into a shootout. The Falcons led the NFL in scoring last season, but the Rams took over the top spot this year in McVay’s worst-to-first revitalization of the LA offense. Ryan and Jones have the skills to pick at the Rams’ secondary if Donald can’t be disruptive, while Goff and the versatile Gurley are eager to make their first mark on postseason football.NEW GUYS: While the Falcons know everything about playoff pressure, the Rams seriously lack experience: Just six of their players have been in postseason games – including star left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who went 0-6 in Cincinnati. McVay also is the youngest head coach in a playoff game in NFL history. ”That’s really not an excuse for us,” said Whitworth, who cited the Rams’ series of games against playoff-bound teams down the regular-season stretch as good experience under pressure. ”I think we just need to go out there and execute.”CONNECTIONS: The teams’ coaching staffs have multiple ties and similarities. Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur was Ryan’s quarterbacks coach last year, although LaFleur claimed he doesn’t have much insight to offer on the star passer or the Falcons’ offense. That offense is run by Steve Sarkisian, who knows the Coliseum extremely well: He coached at USC as an assistant and a head coach until getting fired midway through the 2015 season. Rams GM Les Snead and assistant Brian Xanders are products of the Falcons’ front office, too.TIME OFF: The Rams didn’t earn a first-round bye Kyler Murray Jersey , but McVay essentially took one anyway by resting his biggest playmakers for last week’s regular-season finale. The decision likely cost Gurley the NFL rushing title, but should pay off with rested skill-position players. In the ultracompetitive NFC South, the Falcons had to grind into the final week to secure a wild-card spot with a 22-10 win over Carolina.FOOT QUESTION: The Rams’ three top special-teams talents all earned Pro Bowl recognition, but kicker Greg Zuerlein is out for the season with a back injury. Zuerlein’s reliability was an enormous asset, and Los Angeles’ new kicker is Sam Ficken, who was working at a brokerage firm in Connecticut recently. If the game comes down to a kick, the pressure will be big. The Houston Astros relied on their powerful offense to win 12 straight games.

On Tuesday night that offense went cold, and their streak ended with a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Astros went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position to come up one victory shy of setting the franchise record for longest winning streak in franchise history. After averaging more than seven runs in their last 12 games, Houston managed just five singles to end a stretch of 34 straight games with at least one extra-base hit.

C.J. Cron homered early and Wilson Ramos hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning to lift the Rays to the victory.

Blake Snell (9-4) allowed just three hits and one run in seven innings, but had to pitch around a career-high seven walks for his fifth straight win. Sergio Romo pitched for the third straight game, taking over with one out in the ninth and allowing one hit for his third save a night after blowing the save in Houston’s 5-4 win.

”We didn’t hit enough and we were shut down by a pretty good pitcher http://www.cardinalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-byron-murphy-jersey ,” manager A.J. Hinch said. ”We kept putting up pretty decent at-bats, but that big hit just eluded us again. We kept fighting until the end but just didn’t have enough offense.”

Matt Duffy doubled to start the eighth and advanced to third on a groundout by Jake Bauers. The Rays took a 2-1 lead when the single by Ramos sailed just over the head of a leaping Yuli Gurriel and into left field to allow Duffy to score.

Cron snapped a career-long 0 for 23 slump with a solo homer with one out in the second inning to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead. It was the first hit since June 12 for Cron, who struck out 18 times during his hitless streak.

The Rays have struggled to win close games this season and had lost seven of their last eight games decided by one run before Tuesday’s win.

”Things kind of went our way,” manager Kevin Cash said. ”It’s amazing how those pop up in all those games but it’s nice to pull one out where there wasn’t any mistakes. The walks are the only thing that you’d like to have back but you’ll take the performance.”

Justin Verlander yielded six hits and one run while fanning 10 in 6 2/3 innings.

”It was a pretty good day for me, but it was a pretty good day for the other guy, too,” Verlander said. ”Classic pitchers’ duel. I wish we could’ve come out on top, but … it happens.”

Hector Rondon (1-2) took the loss by allowing two hits and one run in one inning.

The Astros had plenty of opportunities to score, but came up short again and again. They loaded the bases with one out in the first inning, but Carlos Gomez caught a fly ball hit by Evan Gattis and his throw home was in time to leave George Springer out at home to end the inning.

Springer was on second base with one out in the third inning when Bregman singled to send him home and tie it at 1-1. Bregman tried to stretch the hit into a double, but Gomez made a perfect throw from right field to leave him out at second.

Snell struck out the side in the fourth Andy Isabella Jersey , capped by a three-pitch strikeout of Marwin Gonzalez that led to his ejection. Gonzalez argued with home plate umpire Pat Hoberg before throwing his bat and helmet and being tossed. He kept barking at Hoberg after the ejection and continued yelling at him until third base coach Gary Pettis pulled him away and pushed him toward the dugout.

Snell walked Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa with no outs in the sixth. But Gurriel grounded into a double play and Snell retired Tony Kemp after intentionally walking Gattis to leave Houston empty-handed.

Adeiny Hechavarria doubled with two outs in the seventh inning to chase Verlander. Hector Rondon took over and retired Kevin Kiermaier to end the inning. Kiermaier went 0 for 5 in his return after sitting out since April 15 after tearing a ligament in his right thumb which required surgery.

The Astros had a runner on first base with two outs in the seventh when Springer hit a long fly ball to right-center that Kiermaier nabbed as he leapt on the warning track before crashing into the wall of the bullpen.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Joe Smith (right elbow inflammation) felt good after playing catch on Tuesday but likely won’t return from the disabled list until Houston’s next homestand, which begins on July 5.

TOP OF THE HEAP

Houston second baseman Jose Altuve led all players in fan voting for the All-Star game with 1,572,101 votes in the second update on voting released on Tuesday. The 2017 AL MVP leads the majors in hits (102) and average (.342) and was the first player to reach 100 hits this season.

”I think it’s well-deserved for someone who represents our game in exceptional fashion,” Hinch said. ”The voters are getting it right. He’s every bit what’s right about baseball. I’m happy he’s getting the recognition he deserves … he’s as perfect of a player as there is.”

UP NEXT

Tampa Bay’s Nathan Eovaldi (8-4, 2.58 ERA) opposes Houston’s Charlie Morton (8-1, 2.94) in the series finale on Wednesday night. Eovaldi, who grew up in suburban Houston, is 1-0 with a 2.52 ERA in four career starts against the Astros. Morton struck out nine in six innings of a win over Kansas City in his last start.




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