After shutting out New Orleans in the first half of last week’s Minneapolis Miracle classic, the Vikings finished the season allowing 62 points over their final six quarters — after allowing just 17 points over their previous 14 periods of play. Sunday’s 38 points, 456 total yards and 346 passing yards allowed all marked season-highs for a Vikings defense that seemed magical just a fortnight ago.
While Malcolm Jenkins and the Eagles put on a clinic in open-field tackling, the Vikings were a seething mess in pass protection. After allowing a third-down conversion rate of only 25.2 percent this season — tops in the NFL and the lowest third-down conversion rate allowed since at least 1991 — the Vikings gave way as Minnesota converted an outrageous 10-of-14 third-down snaps.
It has been 18 years since Brady first arrived in New England, and there is an end of days feel to this season. Brady is 40, and the Patriots are going to have to replace two coordinators and perhaps more of their staff in the coming weeks. They have churned through players and coaches before — Lawyer Milloy, Richard Seymour, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis — and survived, but in 2016, when the Patriots and Brady overcame his four-game suspension, there was a hard edge of vengeance about the season. On Sunday, Brady was more relaxed and reflective, unburdened by controversy and understandably relieved. His physical and mental toughness is unquestioned, but as much as Brady is currently winning the battle against time, it eventually comes for all athletes.
Among the vast records maintained by Sports Reference are the birthplaces of virtually every athlete ever to play in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association (and, pre-merger, the American Basketball Association). A Fix review of the data shows that the overwhelming majority, 84.5 percent, of hockey players who have appeared in NHL games were foreign-born. Additionally, 1 in 9 MLB players was foreign-born, and the rate in pro basketball is 1 in 10.
And while there are rumblings that the reason Miami soured on him involve his personality, as a player I really like him: he’s a big man who can cut and run over people. This will wind up a strong move for his fantasy value.