Ravens win AFC North, Eagles, Colts get wild cards

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By BARRY WILNER

Week 13

The playoff chase went down to the final minutes of the season Sunday, when Baltimore squeezed in as AFC North winner, and defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia got some help to secure an NFC wild card.

Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt

That left Pittsburgh and Minnesota out.

Kansas City (12-4) grabbed the AFC’s top seed, followed by New England (11-5), Houston (11-5) and Baltimore (10-6). The Chargers (12-4) own the first wild card and will play at the Ravens next Sunday at 1 p.m. EST. The Colts (10-6) romped past the Titans 33-17 at Tennessee and have the other wild card. They travel to Houston on Saturday afternoon.

DeAndre Hopkins, Myles Jack


The Saints (13-3) have the top seed in the NFC, and the Rams (12-4) got the No. 2 spot when they beat San Francisco. Chicago (12-4), whose win at Minnesota knocked out the Vikings and put the Eagles into the postseason, is seeded third and gets Philadelphia (9-7) next Sunday at 4:40 p.m.

Dallas (10-6) is the fourth seed and will play Seattle (10-6) on Saturday night.

C.J. Mosley intercepted a fourth-down pass by Baker Mayfield to preserve the Ravens’ 26-24 win as Baltimore rushed for a season-best 296 yards. A year ago, Baltimore missed the playoffs by losing its finale at home to the Bengals, who rallied with a last-minute touchdown.

“If you want to write a book about this season, probably no one would believe it,” coach John Harbaugh said.

Steelers players remained on the field after they edged Cincinnati 16-13 and watched the drama from Baltimore on the videoboard. But their archrival Browns couldn’t help them against the equally hated Ravens, and Pittsburgh (9-6-1) is out.

“It just sucks,” Steelers guard David DeCastro said. “How hard we work, how much effort we put in. To go from 7-2-1 to where we are now is heartbreaking.”

Nick Foles, who led the Eagles to the Super Bowl title over the Patriots in Minneapolis last February, guided them to a resounding 24-0 victory at Washington. Then the Bears helped out at Minnesota with a 24-10 win even though they had nothing to play for, being set as the NFC’s third seed.

“We’re not sneaking in. We’re here to do some damage,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said.

Earlier, the Texans rallied from losing their first three games to win the AFC South and become the No 3 seed.

Houston easily handled Jacksonville 20-3 Sunday as Deshaun Watson threw for 234 yards and ran for a touchdown, and DeAndre Hopkins had 147 yards receiving.

The Texans finished last in the division in 2017. They and the Bears have done the worst-to-first turnaround this season, making it 15 of the past 16 seasons that has occurred in the league.

“It’s do or die now, so you’ve got to put everything on the line now,” Watson said. “Prepare harder than you did before and anything can happen at this point. The tournament is wide open and it’s my first playoff, so I’m just excited to get in and see how things go.”

New England, meanwhile, will get a week off in early January for the 13th time since 2001, most in the NFL during that span. The Patriots routed the Jets 38-3, and because they defeated Houston during the season, they get the bye.

“Eleven and five is nothing to be sad about,” Tom Brady said. “We fought pretty hard and put ourselves in good position.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Eagles leapfrog Vikings into NFL playoffs with help from Bears

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Defending Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles progressed to the NFL playoffs as the Minnesota Vikings bowed out. It was win or go home for the Eagles and the Vikings in week 17 on Sunday and Philadelphia came out on top at the expense of Minnesota.

Both teams had a chance to secure the NFC’s final playoff spot and the Eagles – who have won five of their last six games – captured it by blanking the Washington Redskins 24-0, while the Vikings lost 24-10 to the Chicago Bears.

Crossing Broadcast: Eagles’ Draft Recap with Lefkoe, Sixers/Celtics Schedule Mess — iPhillySports

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In the first segment, Russ is joined by Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe to recap: The Eagles’ draft picks (2:00) Lefkoe’s views on the Sixers/Celtics series (14:00) In the second segment, Kyle and Russ discuss: Kyle’s inability to complete household tasks (20:00) The disgraceful schedule for Sixers/Celtics (27:00) Toronto/Cleveland getting priority for primetime (30:00) Home court […]

In the first segment, Russ is joined by Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe to recap:

 

  • The Eagles’ draft picks (2:00)
  • Lefkoe’s views on the Sixers/Celtics series (14:00)

 

In the second segment, Kyle and Russ discuss:

 

  • Kyle’s inability to complete household tasks (20:00)
  • The disgraceful schedule for Sixers/Celtics (27:00)
  • Toronto/Cleveland getting priority for primetime (30:00)
  • Home court advantage (36:00)
  • Kyle’s obsession with the Kentucky Derby (40:00)
  • Boston’s defense (49:00)

 

Audio after the jump:

 

 

https://art19.com/shows/crossing-broadcast/episodes/9737b948-380a-440a-bda3-bbad2d155cbb/embed#?secret=fapAJJFWTW

 

Please subscribe to the show, leave a 5 star review, and follow us on Twitter: @CrossingBroad @JoyOnBroad

 

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via Crossing Broadcast: Eagles’ Draft Recap with Lefkoe, Sixers/Celtics Schedule Mess — iPhillySports

Ex-Super Eagles defender is now a professional hunter in Abia State

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Uche Okechukwu retired from football to become a professional hunter

Gabriel OkechukwuplayUche Okechukwu has been hailed as a remarkable hunter. (Sporting heroes)
Ex-Super Eagles defender Uche Okechukwu is now a professional hunter.

This was revealed by a journalist Enyinnay Apollos, who described the former Super Eagles defender as an expert hunter. He posted this on his Instagram page where he hailed him as a wonderful footballer who also has good hunting skills.

Enyinnaya’s message on the post reads “With Uche, the great Footballer and Hunter”

He then went on to describe Okechukwu as a great footballer who is also a Turkish Citizen,

On my way back to Aba this morning from Isiko, with my brothers, Bright Eze and Livinus Nwabughogu, we saw him…one of the greatest Ngwa sons, one of the greatest Blacks and Africans, one of the greatest Nigerian citizens, one of the greatest world footballers, the Gentle Giant, a Turkish citizen, Uche Okechukwu (Deniz Uygar) at his country home in Umuoria village, in Obingwa LGA…

The journalist then went on to explain how Okechukwu hunts with a long gun and has been successful in catching his prey.

Uche, former captain of the Nigerian Super Eagles and one of the ever best of Fenerbahçe SK if Turkey, is not only a great footballer, he is also a great hunter, yes he is a hunter…he goes into the bush with his long gun (egbe ntu) to hunt and kill animals.”

The former Super Eagles captain was also described as someone who likes to hut and does so in the next village, “hunting is my hobby, even in Europe, I go hunting. I love doing that. We are hunting in the next village (Itu) on Tuesday…” that is Uche for you.”

The African Cup of Nations winner was also described as an indigene of Abia State who resides in Aba and despite being a Turkish Citizen and eligible to live in Europe, he chose to stay in Aba.

“Uche is an Aba boy…in spite of the fact that he is a Turkish citizen, where he can choose to live for life, he is always at home with us in Aba and Umuoria…you will never notice him, always quiet.”

His wealth and fame will never push him for anything…a successful footballer of all times…He is a great man…

Okechukwu played for Iwuanyawu Nationale (Now Heartland FC)BrøndbyFenerbahçeIstanbulsporOcean Boys before he retired at Bayelsa United.

The gentle giant as he’s fondly called made 47 appearances for the Super Eagles between 1990 and 1998 and contributed 3 goals. He was part of the 1994 African Cup of Nations winning team and 1996 Olympic Games Gold winning team. He also made two FIFA World Cupappearances in 1994 and 1998.

FIFA ranking: Nigeria moves up

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eaglesNigeria has moved five places up from 52nd  with 609 points to 47th in the world and sixth in Africa with 635 points in the April FIFA/Coca-Cola rankings released on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Tunisia is the highest ranked African team on 14th place with Senegal and DR Congo on 28 and 38 positions respectively.

Germany still retains first place with Brazil following closely while Belgium who was fifth in the March rankings is now third.

The next rankings will be published on May 17, 2018.Super-Eagles-1