Around the League

News of Interest from around the NFL

Kansas City Chiefs early favorites to win Super Bowl LIV next season

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By Ben Fawkes | ESPN Staff Writer

The New England Patriots are champions for the second time in three seasons after defeating the Los Angeles Rams, but Las Vegas doesn't believe they are the favorites to win the Super Bowl again next season.

Instead, the Kansas City Chiefs and NFL MVP QB Patrick Mahomes are getting oddmakers' respect.

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened odds to win Super Bowl LIV in early January. The Chiefs had the second-best odds at 7-1, with the Rams as the favorite at 6-1. However, in the weeks since, Kansas City has shifted to the 6-1 favorite there and at multiple other Las Vegas sportsbooks.

New England, Los Angeles and the New Orleans Saints have the second-best odds at 8-1 at Westgate. No other team has odds in the single digits.

The teams with the next-best odds are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears at 14-1 at the SuperBook. The Cleveland Browns are among six teams with 20-1 odds. ...

Full Story - ESPN.com

Boycott Bowl helps Who Dats forget all about the other thing in Atlanta

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(Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

By Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | Times-Picayune

It was a good-natured example of anger management on a grand scale. By 5 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 3), the intersection of Fulton and Lafayette streets had become the center of a black and gold sea as more than 3,000 New Orleans Saints fans flowed to Boycott Bowl, the much-anticipated protest concert that would take place opposite the corporate-sports extravaganza in Atlanta.

On the small stage, Fred LeBlanc, the beyond-extroverted frontman of Cowboy Mouth, led a sort of Who Dat revival in which he debunked the superiority of the Super Bowl, offered a splintery assessment of NFL officiating and ethics, paid Tom Brady a colorful backhanded compliment, all while asserting the self-evident virtue of, well, anything and everything having to do with the Crescent City.

LeBlanc was the perfect cheerleader for Saints fans who were like wall flowers who hadn’t been invited to join the big dance and needed a good friend’s bearhug to make it through the night. LeBlanc was just the start of the pro-Saints love fest. ...

Full Story - NOLA.com

Patriots win 6th Lombardi Award, topping Rams 13-3 in lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever

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(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

By Frank Miles | Fox News

The New England Patriots broke one record and tied another by beating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3, to win the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history, and match the Pittsburgh Steelers as the NFL's only six-time Lombardi Award winners.

The matchup shattered the record of lowest-scoring Super Bowl to date: Super Bowl VII, when Miami Dolphins beat Washington Redskins by a score of 14–7 in January 1973.

New England rookie running back Sony Michel scored on a 2-yard run with roughly 7 minutes remaining to give the Patriots a 10-3 lead over the Rams. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski later added a field goal late in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.

The first Super Bowl without a touchdown through three quarters was in dire need of a boost when quarterback Tom Brady completed four consecutive passes to set up Michel's touchdown plunge. The drive opened with an 18-yard catch by Rob Gronkowski, who added a 29-yard diving catch at the 2.

The Rams answered the Patriots with a long field goal near the end of the third quarter to tie at 3-3. ...

Full Story - Fox News

Super Bowl LIII: Patriots defeat Rams for sixth title

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(Staff Photo By Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

By Kevin Duffy, Boston Herald

After a dizzying display of defense from both teams in the first three quarters, the Patriots again saved their best for the fourth quarter on Sunday.

Tom Brady led a 5-play, 69-yard drive early in the fourth quarter culminating in a Sony Michel 2-yard dive for the game’s lone touchdown, and Stephen Gostkowski sealed the win with a 42-yard field goal with 1:16 to play, lifting the Pats to a 13-3 win and their sixth Super Bowl title in 17 years.

Stephon Gilmore set up the final Pats drive to the field goal with an interception of Jared Goff inside the Patriots’ 5-yard line with less than five minutes to play.

See below for the play-by-play.

This story will be updated. ...

Full Story - Boston Herald

New Orleans stages anti-Super Bowl protests, complete with parades, voodoo dolls

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By Steve Gardner, USA TODAY

New Orleans Saints fans are still bitter the Los Angeles Rams are playing in Super Bowl LIII while their team sits at home.

Two weeks after a controversial no-call likely cost their team an opportunity to face the New England Patriots in Atlanta, black and gold-clad fans lined the streets of New Orleans on Sunday in protest.

From funeral parades to outdoor parties to bars refusing to show the big game on their TVs, Saints supporters aren't letting go of their outrage anytime soon.

“We throw a party for every event,” lifelong Saints fan Lauren Braden told NBC News. “We throw parties in the streets for funerals, so we have a different mentality than most people.” ...


...

Full Story - USA Today

Saints fans had a big, angry parade before the Super Bowl

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A protest-acular.

By Christian D'Andrea | SBNation

Two weeks ago, the New Orleans Saints had their Super Bowl 53 hopes dashed thanks to, in no small part, a horrible botched call from the officials. On Sunday, with the big game looming, fans in Louisiana banded together to let the world know two weeks wasn’t enough time to get over the uncalled pass interference penalty that allowed the Rams to escape the state with the conference championship in tow.

Thousands of Louisianans decked in black and gold took to the streets to express their displeasure with a league that rewarded the Rams’ “if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying” approach with a spot in Super Bowl 53. Parades and second line jazz funerals rang through the streets of New Orleans in a display intended to give disgruntled football fans “something better to do” than watch the team that broke their hearts play for an NFL title. ...

Full Story - SBNation

Saints fans stage huge Super Bowl protest in New Orleans

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By Des Bieler | Washington Post

February 3 at 7:13 PM

Saints fans outraged by their team’s loss in the NFC championship game were hardly about to let go of that frustration on the day of the Super Bowl. Ahead of the matchup Sunday between the Rams and Patriots, thousands of Saints supporters swarmed New Orleans streets in a demonstration that, in the spirit of the Big Easy, was as much of a party as a protest.

Dubbed the “Blackout and Gold Second-Line Parade,” referring to the Saints' colors, the demonstration included plenty of fans wearing team paraphernalia, as well as some with shirts bearing messages that decried an officiating no-call that helped Los Angeles win the NFC championship game.

Fans gathered Sunday near Jackson Square, a popular destination in the city’s French Quarter, to let their feelings be known, or just to join in the kind of raucous but generally joyous celebration for which New Orleans is famous. Referring to the location of the Super Bowl, one Saints fan told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “I don’t think any losing team is going to have a party like we’re going to have here. It’s going to be better than what’s going on in Atlanta today.”

Full Story -...

Video: Thousands of Saints Fans Protest in New Orleans After Blown Call vs. Rams

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By Paul Kasabian | Bleacher Report


New Orleans Saints fans may get over a blown call in their team's 2018 NFC Championship Game loss some day, but it's not today.

Michael DeMocker of NOLA.com provided video of thousands of Saints fans marching on Super Bowl Sunday in New Orleans, while Atlanta is home of this year's championship game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams: ...

The Saints had the ball on the Rams' 13-yard line with 1:48 left and the score tied at 20 in the NFC Championship. On 3rd-and-10, quarterback Drew Brees looked for Tommylee Lewis, but Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell-Robey Coleman interfered with the pass-catcher to prevent a completion.

No call was made, and the Saints eventually lost 26-23. If the refs blew the whistle, the Saints would have been in position to run down the clock close to zero seconds before a game-winning field-goal attempt.

Full Story - Bleacher Report

Drew Brees finishes second in MVP voting for 4th time

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Photo - Sportswire

By John Sigler | Saintswire

Here’s a tough pill to swallow: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was not selected for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player Award, as decided by a 50-voter panel assembled by the Associated Press. The distinction was given to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Per David Ely of NFL.com, that selection was a landslide in favor of Mahomes. He reports that the Chiefs QB received 41 of the 50 votes, with just nine coming in for Brees.

It should not be surprising, given how productive Mahomes was in 2018. The first-year starter tore up the league, assembling a stat line that included 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns. Brees and Mahomes were widely seen as evenly matched for MVP honors throughout the regular season, until Brees strung together a series of poor performances late in December. ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

Sports betting going strong, but Saints absence may keep the party attendance low

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By Mike Lacy | WLOX

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The IP Casino Resort and Spa’s new Sports Book opened Thursday, just in time for Super Bowl Sunday.

“Yeah, that was our goal from day one to be open for the big game and kind of introduce the community to the new sports book,” said IP Race and Sports Book Director George Cole.

Missing in the excitement, of course, will be the Saints, and because of that, it may not be as good as it could have been.

“Throughout the football season, the days the Saints played and the money that was bet was always more on the Saints,” said IP General Manager Duncan McKenzie. “So, I’m certain it’s going to impact the Super Bowl attendance and the attendance at the property as well.”

Despite that, McKenzie said Super Bowl betting has been going strong.

“We’ve been getting sports bets for teams that are going to make it into the Super Bowl since the day we opened. You know there’s been odds about the different teams,” he said. “In a few months, I’m sure we’ll be setting the odds about next year’s Super Bowl. So, it’s almost a year-round betting event.” ...

Full Story - WLOX

Report: Bengals considering Saints DC Dennis Allen for opening

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Photo - Saintswire

By John Sigler | Saintswire

New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen was not hired after interviewing for the vacant Miami Dolphins head coach position, but another team is taking interest in him. Per Alex Marvez of SIRIUS XM NFL Radio, the Cincinnati Bengals are considering Allen for their open defensive coordinator spot.


Allen’s contract with the Saints ended following their 2018 season, so while this would be a lateral move for him, they could not block the Bengals from interviewing him. It’s a question of whether Allen wants to return to New Orleans and try again to reach the Super Bowl, or if he would rather leave to get in on the Bengals rebuilding process with first-year head coach Zac Taylor. ...

Full Story - Saintswire - USA Today

New surreal photo captures Saints fans' misery after blown call

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By Mark Fischer | New York Daily News

If you have a pulse, you’ll never forget the moment the Saints’ Super Bowl dreams began to die.

This recently revealed harrowing image following Nickell Robey-Coleman’s foul obliteration of Tommylee Lewis maybe just as cringe-worthy as the egregious non-pass interference call itself.

A photograph of Saints fans mimicking the “surrender cobra” — A.K.A. placing their heads above their heads in utter disbelief of what just happened — while one Rams player raises his arm in jubilation, was shared to Twitter on the eve of the Super Bowl by The Times-Picayune photographer Michael DeMocker.


“Just found this shot in my raw NFC Championship take of Saints fans watching No Call replay,” DeMocker wrote accompanying the agonizing photo. ...

Full Story - New York Daily News

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