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鈥?Quarterback Matt Ryan has another shot at a happy homecoming.A berth in the NFC championship game is at stake when Ryan leads the Atlanta Falcons (11-6) against the Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) in a divisional playoff Saturday. Ryan Mark Walton Jersey , who grew up rooting for the Eagles and went to Philadelphia’s William Penn Charter School, is 1-3 at the Linc.“I’m used to it now,” Ryan said about returning home. “Playing as long as I have, I understand regardless of where we play you have to be at your best every week. The one nice part is there will be a lot of familiar faces, friendly faces after the game, which is always nice.”Ryan had his worst game of his MVP season last year in Atlanta’s 24-15 loss in Philly on Nov. 13, 2016. He was 18 of 33 for 267 yards with one touchdown and one interception.“Obviously, there will be some scheme from that game that we’ll take, what went well and what didn’t go well and try to improve on that,” Ryan said. “We’re a different team than we were last year when we played them and they’re a different team. It will be some carry over, but it will be a little bit different.”Here’s some things to watch for when the teams meet in the playoffs for the first time since Philadelphia’s win over Michael Vick’s Falcons in the 2005 NFC championship game:NICK’S UP: Nick Foles makes his fourth start since replacing Carson Wentz after the MVP candidate tore his ACL in Week 14. Foles played well in his first five quarters and struggled in the next five. He’s certainly a drop-off from Wentz, but he’s also capable of spectacular performances. Foles once tossed seven TDs in a game in 2013. He had four TDs in his first start in Week 15.“There’s enough substance behind his career that merits having confidence Troy Aikman Jersey ,” Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said.‘NORTHEAST’ NOISE: There’s crowd noise, and then there’s the noise generated by Philadelphia fans known for their intensity.Falcons coach Dan Quinn seemed to search for a polite term to compare Eagles fans with the fans the team heard in last week’s wild-card win at the Los Angeles Rams.“I’m not going to say more passionate, but I would say more Northeast,” Quinn said with a smile.The Falcons have pumped in artificial noise in practice this week but will lean heavily on Ryan and center Alex Mack to use their experience with silent counts and hand signals.“That’s huge,” said tight end Levine Toilolo. “That’s where it all starts, coming off the ball, the cadence and stuff like that. We definitely work on that every week. Their fans, we’re expecting a loud crowd in a big playoff game.”Mack said he expects Philadelphia’s fans “to be really dedicated, really loud, really involved. So it’s going to be a challenge just in terms of crowd noise.”COMFORT ZONE: After leading the league in scoring in 2016, the Falcons finished the regular season 15th with first-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.Atlanta averaged 22.1 points per game, down from 33.8 last season.Ryan says he has become more comfortable with Sarkisian Jeremy Vujnovich Jersey , especially the last two weeks in wins over Carolina and the Rams.“I think Sark has done a great job of finding who we are week to week, specifically the last two weeks I think he’s done a great job,” Ryan said.STOPPING JULIO: The Eagles had some success against Julio Jones in their win last year, keeping him out of the end zone but allowing 10 catches for 135 yards. Jalen Mills held him to four catches for 48 yards when he was matched up against Jones. The second-year pro is confident he can contain Jones again. Ronald Darby will have to cover Jones when he’s on his side.“You have to think the ball is coming to him each and every play,” Mills said. “Whether they’re having a run or a pass play, you’ve just got to think the ball is coming to him.”MULTIPLE BACKS: Both teams have options in the backfield. The Falcons are led by Devonta Freeman, who had 865 yards rushing and seven TDs. Tevin Coleman had 628 yards rushing and five TDs. LeGarrette Blount led the Eagles with 766 yards rushing and scored two TDs. Jay Ajayi had 873 yards rushing and one TD combined with the Dolphins and Eagles. He ran for 130 yards against Atlanta in Miami’s win on Oct. 15.AP Sports Writer Charles Odum contributed to this report.AP NFL website: When the Golden State Warriors lost Game 5 of the Western Conference finals to the Rockets on Thursday night to send them to the brink of elimination they vowed to be back in Houston for Game 7.
After a resounding win in Game 6 that’s exactly where the defending champions are, preparing for a winner-take-all game Monday night for a spot in the NBA Finals.
”It’s going to be fun,” Stephen Curry said. ”It’s what you play for, to be in a situation where you’re one win away from going to the finals. Pressure both ways because of how big the moment is, and you’ve got to want it.”
The Warriors trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half Saturday night before using a splendid second half to roll to a 115-86 victory. Curry knows that if the Warriors hope to return to the finals for the fourth straight year they’ll have to get off to a better start in Game 7.
”I guarantee if we start the game out like we did (Saturday) and they jump out to the lead, it’s going to be 10 times harder to make it a game Karl Mecklenburg Jersey ,” Curry said. ”So for us that’s our challenge to have the same mentality we had for the last 36 minutes of (Game 6) and bring that from the jump in Game 7.”
Kevin Durant is excited about helping the Warriors return to the finals, but he got a little confused on when Game 7 was on Saturday night.
”I can’t wait `til Tuesday,” Durant said.
Curry quickly jumped in to correct his teammate.
”Monday,” he said. ”Please don’t miss a game.”
The Rockets aren’t dwelling on their missed opportunity to close out the series as they get ready for Monday’s game where they’ll try to punch their ticket to finals for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 1995-95.
They might have to do it without star Chris Paul, who is dealing with a strained right hamstring that kept him out of Game 6. Coach Mike D’Antoni said Sunday that he’s continuing to receive treatment and his status for Game 7 will likely be a game-time decision.
James Harden, who had 22 points in the first half on Saturday night but just 10 the rest of the way, insists that the Rockets remain confident despite the blowout loss and are up to Monday’s challenge.
”There’s no pressure. It’s an opportunity, an opportunity that we all are excited to be a part of,” he said. ”Game 7 at our house, that’s what we’ve worked the entire regular season for (is) to get home-court advantage. So we’re going to come out and be ready.”
The Rockets tied the Raptors for best home record in the NBA during the regular season by going 34-7. They’re 7-2 in Houston this postseason with one of their losses coming in Game 1 of this series.
After 10,000 people paid $10 each to watch Saturday night’s game at the Toyota Center in what was a fundraiser for victims of the Santa Fe school shooting, Harden has no doubt that the home fans will be ready to help them out in Game 7.
”They’re going to bring it Stephen Anderson Jersey ,” he said. ”We’ve got a whole city behind us, and they’re as loyal as they come.”
Golden State coach Steve Kerr is trying to figure out why his team has struggled to put together complete games in this series, but is proud that the Warriors have found ways to win despite their up and down play.
”Our guys have a ton of character and a ton of competitiveness, desire,” he said. ”They’re champions. So our guys compete. That’s the main thing. They may not always focus, but they compete.”
The Warriors are also dealing with injuries as Kerr said Andre Iguodala, who has missed the last two games with a bruised left leg, is doubtful for Monday’s game.
Kevon Looney has filled in for him the last two games but is also listed as questionable for Game 7 with sore toe on his left foot. However Kerr said Looney is fine and will play in Game 7.
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