The solution to a complex problem was deceptively simple. The Eagles had two 5-foot-10 cornerbacks starting for the first time this season to match up against Minnesota's Randy Moss, who is a half-foot taller and perhaps the best receiver in the game. No problem. \nAt the start of last week, the Eagles' defensive coaches emphasized forcing quarterback Daunte Culpepper out of the pocket; that would give him little time to throw, and the deep passes Moss thrives on would not have a chance to develop. Give the Vikings all the yards they wanted, just not a big play. \nThe formula worked to perfection in the Eagles' 27-16 victory Monday night, and it laid out a blueprint for how the diminutive can take out the demonstrative. Moss, wearing a microphone for "Monday Night Football," was heard telling his coaches to throw him jump balls when the team was within 20 yards of the goal line because the Eagles defenders could not jump with him. \nHe was right, but the Vikings had that opportunity only once, late in the fourth quarter, and his 4-yard touchdown reception on the play was Moss' most significant of the game. Culpepper was sent racing all night -- he was sacked four times, but forced to hurry his throws many more -- and the Vikings never threw deep to Moss. \nCulpepper completed 37 of 47 pass attempts for 343 yards. But his longest pass of the night -- and Moss' longest reception -- was for 22 yards. \n"That's a big quarterback," Eagles defensive tackle Corey Simon said of the 6-4, 260-pound Culpepper. "It's hard to get a guy down that's 270 pounds. We forced him to make some quick decisions. We didn't give him a whole lot of time to look at the field and go for that big play they like so much. That's the scheme every week." \nThe Vikings had five possessions that went for 10 plays or more; those resulted in two field goals and a touchdown. Minnesota, which had the league's top offense last season, gave the Eagles plenty of help. Culpepper fumbled at the goal line; he has 70 fumbles in 60 NFL games. Moss was called for pass interference on another drive. \nCulpepper, who had five touchdown passes against the Cowboys in the first week of the season, had one against the Eagles. \n"It starts with the pressure up front," coach Andy Reid said at his news conference on Tuesday. "You give any quarterback time to sit back and throw, and they'll pick you apart." \nThe scheme used by the defensive coordinator Jim Johnson frequently put three speedy defensive ends on the field at the same time with Jevon Kearse, one of the Eagles' off-season acquisitions, who lined up occasionally as a linebacker. That forced the Vikings to find him on the field before they could try to block him. By the second series of the game, the Vikings double-teamed him. Kearse had two tackles and no sacks, but he excelled at silent harassment. \n"My job is to get to the quarterback," Kearse said. "Each time I come out here, it's a different setting and a different surrounding. I showed them I can get to the quarterback, but I have to turn it up another notch and get them down." \nThe Eagles did not blitz immediately, preferring to see if the Vikings would leave in extra players to protect Culpepper. The Vikings, anticipating the blitz, did just that. But the Eagles rotated eight defensive linemen throughout the night to keep them fresh. Their four sacks gave the Eagles nine in two games, tying them with Oakland for the league lead. \n"We were not able to get the ball deep on any type of single coverage on Moss," Minnesota coach Mike Tice said. "We had a couple of opportunities, but it seems like on the opportunities we had, the quarterback was running towards the line of scrimmage trying to save his life. When we got some single coverage, they were bringing some guys and we didn't hold up very well."
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions