Feb 02

No tears streamed down his face, nor was there a “That’s my quarterback!” proclamation a la Terrell Owens.

But the emotion in Philadelphia Eagles left guard Stefen Wisniewski’s voice was strong when speaking up for his franchise and its beleaguered quarterback, just like it was when Owens did the same for then-Dallas Cowboys teammate Tony Romo a decade ago.

Despite finishing the regular season atop the NFC, Philadelphia enters its second straight playoff game Sunday with underdog status. This time, it’s second-seeded Minnesota that heads to Lincoln Financial Field as a betting favorite — 3.5 points for the conference title game.

Still, Foles has to win over disbelievers because his final two regular-season appearances against Oakland and Dallas were shaky. Plus, backup quarterbacks thrust into starting roles around playoff time traditionally haven’t fared well in the postseason.

And Albright College quarterback Gyree Durante was dismissed for kneeling during the national anthem saying “at some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand.”

Nearly half — 49 percent — of Americans surveyed by CNN said that the athletes were taking the wrong action, but most people believe that Trump’s response, which includes suggesting that athletes be fired for their actions, was inappropriate, according to a HuffPost poll.

Playing outdoors with a hostile crowd shouldn’t bother the Vikings, who shut out the Packers 16-0 at Lambeau in Week 16. I’m admittedly Vikings-biased based on my Minnesota roots, but looking at this game as objectively as I can, I see the Vikings winning a relatively low scoring game, 20-17 on a late Kai Forbath field goal.

That would set up an interesting Super Bowl matchup of New England with the league’s top offense against Minnesota’s No. 1 defense. Plus a productive Vikings offense vs. an improved Patriots defense. And a home game to boot for the Vikings in Minneapolis.

The case for: Andrew Luck hasn’t played all season. Is it fair to judge a coach without his franchise quarterback on the field for a single play? The Colts didn’t even have a viable Plan B, failing to add a capable backup until trading for Jacoby Brissett just before the season and starting Scott Tolzien in the opener. Brissett has had his moments. The issue here is getting Luck’s still-ailing shoulder right and getting him back on the field. It’s not the coach.cowboys_014

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