They owed ’em one: Julian Edelman collects on crazy catch for Patriots

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HOUSTON (AP) You could say the Super Bowl owed `em one. Julian Edelman was the man to collect.

The Patriots receiver made a catch for both the highlight reels and the history books Sunday – a once-in-a-lifetime grab that pushed New England’s record-setting Super Bowl comeback into overdrive, and one every bit as amazing as what David Tyree of the Giants did nine years earlier to break all those Patriots’ hearts.

Edelman’s catch was the highlight of New England’s 91-yard drive that tied the game near the end of regulation on the way to a 34-28 overtime win over Atlanta.

Edelman somehow got his red-gloved hands pinned up against, and then underneath, a Tom Brady pass that bounced off Atlanta cornerback Robert Alford’s hands, hit off his knee, his shin. It almost fell to the turf.

Only it didn’t.

“I knew I caught it,” Edelman said. “I felt like I had it. I didn’t know if maybe a piece of the ball was touching. I don’t know what the dang rule is. Nobody knows what the rule is for a catch. I was like, `I’m pretty sure I caught it.'”

Review upheld the 23-yard reception, the video clearly showing Edelman first pinning the ball against Alford’s foot, then getting his hands underneath the pigskin as it bounced off the defender.

It gave New England the ball at the Atlanta 41 with 2:03 left in regulation. The rest of this game almost felt academic.

“Quite a competitor,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said of his do-everything receiver, who catches, runs, returns punts and, on this day, even threw one (incomplete) pass. “I think to win a game like that after falling behind by so much, you need a few plays like that.”

The Patriots, who trailed 28-3 in the third quarter, scored the last five times they had the ball, including on James White’s game-winning 2-yard run to cap an easy 75-yard drive on the first possession of overtime.

All that transformed Alford from a possible Super Bowl MVP into possibly the most unlucky guy on the Falcons. Late in the first half, he had a pick-6 on Brady that went 82 yards and gave Atlanta a 21-0 lead.

Then this.

“At the end of the day, all you can control is what you can control,” Alford said. “I saw he made the play. I saw him come down with it. I saw my foot and the ball when he got his hands underneath it. Sometimes, there’s nothing more you can do.”

The catch helped Brady the Patriots capture title No. 5 – a number that would’ve been bigger had it not been for what the Giants did to them nine seasons ago.

Back then, it was Eli Manning somehow breaking away from a sack and heaving the ball downfield to Tyree, the near-forgotten receiver who somehow pinned the ball against his helmet and came down for the catch for a 32-yard gain that moved the ball to the New England 24. It was the highlight play of the game-winning drive that ended New England’s quest for an undefeated season and kept the Patriots stuck on three titles.

Four years after that, Mario Manningham made a tiptoe-on-the-sideline catch to start another game-winning drive for the Giants.

Then, two years ago, a falling Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse caught a ball that ricocheted off his thigh to give Seattle the ball at the 6-yard line within easy range of the late go-ahead touchdown. Malcolm Butler saved the game with an interception and New England held on for title No. 4.

No. 5 came courtesy of Edelman, who joined the Patriots two years after the first disappointment against the Giants.

He finished with five catches for 87 yards, including one nobody will ever forget.

“One of the greatest catches I’ve ever seen,” Brady said. “We’ve been on the other side of that a few times before, and Julian came up huge on the other end of it. He had a helluva game.”

Sunday Night Football: Raiders road favorites vs. Redskins

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Perhaps fittingly for a franchise headed for a new home, the Oakland Raiders and quarterback Derek Carr have been an outstanding road team recently.

While West Coast teams playing three time zones from home can make bettors uneasy, the Raiders are listed as three-point road favorites against the host Washington Redskins with a 54.5 total in their Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Raiders are 10-3 against the spread in their 13 most recent road games. They are also 3-0 straight-up and ATS in their last three games as a favorite on the road. Washington, led by Kirk Cousins, has been a poor prime-time performer lately, going 3-11 SU and ATS in their last 14 games at night.

The Raiders, who are 2-0 SU and ATS for the first time in 15 seasons, expect to have a full contingent of offensive threats complementing Carr. Running back Marshawn Lynch has a good matchup against a Washington defense that has allowed the 11th-most rushing yards in the NFL since the start of last season.

Assuming Washington shutdown CB Josh Norman (shoulder) plays, it should be a great matchup in the passing phase with the Raiders’ Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree going against Norman and CB Bashuad Breeland.

Oakland’s offensive line has allowed only two sacks through two weeks and it looks like TE Jared Cook is good to go after getting in a full practice on Friday.

With the Redskins, who are 1-1 SU and ATS, there are some concerns with the offense, which was a top-5 unit in 2016. Cousins and his receivers, including newcomer Terrelle Pryor, have yet to connect on a deep ball – something Oakland doesn’t defense particularly well. Bettors should keep on eye on whether TE Jordan Reed (ribs/sternum), who is key in the short- and intermediate-range game, suits up. Even if he’s good to go, Reed might play limited snaps.

Washington’s offensive line will have to contain Oakland OLB Khalil Mack, one of the game’s best pass rushers. However, it has been run-blocking very well and that should continue whether Rob Kelley (ribs), Samaje Perrine or Chris Thompson is in the backfield.

The total has gone over in 18 of the Raiders’ last 23 games after a win. The total has gone under in 10 of the Redskins’ last 11 games when hosting a West Coast team.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Best fantasy football waiver wire pick-ups for Week 3

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By Rotoworld.com

Welcome to the 3rd edition of Waiver Wired for the 2017 season. Luckily we did not see the big injuries of last week, but the sheer volume of departures made it almost as painful. Five of the top six tight ends in average ADP will enter the week at least questionable, and Greg Olsen is set to miss at least six weeks because of a broken foot. At receiver, both Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are questionable for Week 3 while Corey Coleman is set to miss at least a month and a half with another broken hand. Running back did not escape the carnage, either, with Rob Kelley and Jordan Howard questionable with a rib and shoulder injury respectively, while Sam Bradford sat out Week 2 and may have to miss more time with a knee injury, although the Vikings are hopeful he will be good to go this week. All of that means the competition on the wire and in FAAB bidding might be a bit more competitive this week, especially at tight end.

As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-owns, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players who are worthy of a roster spot if possible, and deep cuts are players owned in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

The Drop List
QB: Eli Manning
RB:
Bilal Powell, LeGarrette Blount
WR:
Corey Coleman, Mike Wallace
TE:
Greg Olsen

Manning is not getting any help from his offensive line or pass catchers, but he also deserves blame for the Giants’ slow start. Unfortunately for Manning, things do not get any easier, with the Eagles, Bucs, Chargers, Broncos, and Seahawks next up on the schedule before the bye. Unless something changes, he will not be usable in any of those matchups. The running back cuts are risky, but it does not look like either of these guys is going to be worthy of a start in the near future. Powell is in what now looks like a three-way timeshare for the worst offense in the league while Blount played behind Wendell Smallwood in Week 2. Perhaps the Jets come to their senses or Blount starts routinely falling into the end zone, but neither is a must-hold if something enticing is sitting out on the wire. Coleman would have been Kenny Britt before the injury, but Britt has to be held to see if he can do anything with the young receiver out – the safe bet is on no. Teams with an open IR spot should hold onto Coleman, but he was at best a WR3 when healthy and could miss multiple months. Olsen is a tougher case because he has been a high-end option at a thin and getting thinner position, but he struggled down the stretch last year, did not open this season strong, and is now going to miss at least six weeks.

Quarterbacks
Carson Palmer owned in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 QB if available
1. Jay Cutler
2. Joe Flacco

Running Backs
Buck Allen owned in 56 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 RB if available
1. Chris Carson
2. Darren Sproles
3. Chris Johnson
4. Chris Thompson
5. Samaje Perine
6. Wendell Smallwood
7. Alvin Kamara
8. Alex Collins
9. D’Onta Foreman

Wide Receivers
1. Danny Amendola
2. J.J. Nelson
3. Rashard Higgins
4. Jermaine Kearse
5. Kendall Wright
6. Marqise Lee
7. Allen Hurns
8. Mohamed Sanu
9. Jaron Brown
10. Devin Funchess

Tight Ends
1. Cameron Brate
2. Ben Watson
3. Jared Cook
4. Ed Dickson
5. Evan Engram
6. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
7. Zach Miller

Defense/Special Teams
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Philadelphia Eagles
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Looking Ahead: Atlanta Falcons

Kickers
1. Graham Gano
2. Dustin Hopkins
3. Blair Walsh
Looking Ahead: Phil Dawson