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Monday, January 22, 2018

Football

Lane Johnson calls out ‘pretty boy’ Tom Brady

Lane Johnson dog mask

With his team punching their ticket to Super Bowl LII, Lane Johnson is now trying to talk that mess on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

After a blowout 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Sunday’s NFC title game, the Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle had a message for Brady.

“Pretty boy Tom Brady,” said Johnson, per Tim McManus of ESPN. “Greatest QB of all time. I’d like nothing more than to dethrone that guy.”

For what it’s worth, Johnson would go on to provide a bit more, err, context to his remarks during an interview with a local Philadelphia news station:

Of course, many have tried to dethrone Brady and the Pats over the years, and many have failed. True, Johnson and the Eagles have been heavily fueled by their “underdog” mentality throughout the postseason. But let’s just say that the last guy that attempted to lay the smack talk on Brady didn’t fare so well.

Myles Jack ‘likes’ tweet hinting that Tom Brady paid off referees

Myles Jack may have given away how he was feeling about Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots with some of his social media activity afterwards.

Following the 24-20 defeat in the AFC title game, the Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker “liked” a tweet by Oakland Raiders counterpart Bruce Irvin jokingly hinting that Tom Brady paid off the referees working the contest.

The tweet, which is still prominently displayed under the “likes” section of the former UCLA star’s Twitter page, summed up how many seemed to feel about Sunday’s game, as the officiating drew a significant amount of criticism.

As for Jack, he did all he could for his team (including this big defensive play), and you can sense his frustration at so narrowly missing a Super Bowl berth.

Nick Foles reportedly undergoes X-rays on ribs after win

Nick Foles

Nick Foles played great in Sunday’s NFC championship game, but he apparently did not escape unscathed.

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio reports that Foles underwent X-rays on his ribs after the Philadelphia Eagles’ 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

It’s unclear at what point Foles got hurt or took a shot to his ribs, but he was able to play well in the game. Foles was 26 of 33 for 352 yards and three touchdowns.

Between Tom Brady’s thumb/hand injury and Foles’ ribs, we’ll have no shortage of QB injury storylines entering the Super Bowl. The good news is the teams will have a week off before the big game.

Pat Shurmur was not surprised by Nick Foles’ excellence

Nick Foles

Nick Foles became a starting quarterback in the NFL for the first time under the guidance of Pat Shurmur, and the pair’s paths crossed again on Sunday.

Shurmur was the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2013, when Foles, then an unheralded second-year quarterback, set the league alight by going 8-2 in ten starts with 27 touchdowns to just two interceptions.

Foles’s career has taken twists and turns since then, but on Sunday he dominated the Minnesota Vikings to lead Philadelphia to the Super Bowl, throwing for 352 yards and three touchdowns.

Shurmur, now the Vikings’ offensive coordinator, admitted that he wasn’t shocked to see Foles perform as well as he did.

Many people doubted Foles’s ability after Carson Wentz went down for the year with an ACL injury, to the point that his coach had to affirm that he was the starter heading into the playoffs. It’s safe to say the quarterback has proven the doubters wrong. Shurmur, who certainly played a role in guiding him to where he is today, was never one of them.

Karl-Anthony Towns catches heat for supporting Eagles

Karl Anthony Towns

A 38-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC title game certainly was not easy for Minnesota fans, and Karl-Anthony Towns did not exactly help any.

The Timberwolves star caused quite a stir by showing support for the Eagles on his Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat accounts during Sunday’s game.

Granted, the 22-year-old big man is a native of Edison, New Jersey, just about 60 miles south of Philadelphia. But regardless, Towns was still dragged on social media for such an outward show of support against the city he plays for.

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Julie Ertz has great reaction upon learning husband Zach won NFC title (Video)

Julie Ertz is probably one of the few Eagles significant others who wasn’t on hand to see the NFC championship in Philadelphia, but she had a pretty good reason for being absent.

Ertz, wife of Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz, was playing for the U.S. women’s soccer team in a friendly match against Denmark on Sunday night. The U.S. women won 5-1, with Ertz scoring one of the goals. Even better news came after the game, when ESPN cameras caught the moment she learned that her husband was going to the Super Bowl.

“I tried not to look at halftime, but people gave me the smile as if they knew something,” Julie Ertz told ESPN after the game. “I just couldn’t wait for the whistle to blow, and then they told me, and I had to make sure from like ten people that they’re going. I’m so excited for them.”

It’s safe to say this couple is going to have two very exciting weeks. So will another athletic friend of the family, too.

Mike Zimmer declines postgame interview with Fox

Mike Zimmer

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer opened himself up to controversy on Sunday when he declined his postgame interview with Fox after his team’s 38-7 loss in the NFC championship.

Though it is customary for the losing coach to speak with the broadcast network even after a game like this, Fox said Zimmer declined the opportunity.

There’s some precedent for this sort of thing. Cam Newton infamously walked out of his post-Super Bowl news conference two years ago, but Newton was a player. Zimmer, as coach, is tasked with speaking on behalf of his team. You can understand why he wouldn’t really want to deal with the media after a beating like that, and it’s hardly the end of the world. He did speak with the congregated media in a postgame news conference. Still, turning down FOX is definitely poor form.

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