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 Post subject: Michael Thomas Color Rush Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:54 pm 

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METAIRIE Michael Thomas Color Rush Jersey , La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins has become increasingly known for two moves this season: his spin and his shimmy.The spin, executed with a nimble quickness not entirely typical of 305-pound linemen, has helped Rankins disrupt quarterbacks the way the Saints hoped he would when they made him their first-round draft choice in 2016. Rankins shoulder-shaking shimmy is his trademark celebration after a sack, of which he’s had a career-high eight this season.Moreover, his considerable improvement is seen as one of the reasons the Saints have already clinched the No. 1 playoff seed in the NFC with one regular season game left on Sunday.“It’s been significant,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “He’s a guy that you can just see his impact plays go up. The confidence level he’s playing with now (is apparent) and he’s having fun playing. When you watch him, I think he’s in real good shape. And I think overall, he’s a great example of a guy who’s improved not necessarily just from year one to year two, but later in the process and he’s a fantastic worker.”Rankins isn’t bashful about highlighting what he thinks separates him from others at his position — namely, a quickness and all-around athleticism that he traces back to his days as a high school running back and basketball player, before he was transformed into a defensive tackle during college at Louisville.“I move about as well as anybody at my position,” Rankins said.Few in the NFL seem inclined to argue.Rankins sealed New Orleans most recent triumph — a 31-28 victory over Pittsburgh — by dropping back off the line of scrimmage when he anticipated a quick passing play over the middle, wrangled receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster after the catch and punched the ball loose as he pulled the receiver down on top of him. Linebacker Demario Davis recovered, ending the Steelers’ threat in the final minute.“You can tell” Rankins played running back when he was younger, Davis said. “He doesn’t move like a defensive lineman. He’s just like a skill player playing defensive lineman with a big frame.”Davis, who joined the Saints this season, said playing behind Rankins for the first time gave him an appreciation of the lineman’s relentless hustle.“It’s not just plays where he can be stopping the run or in the backfield and get a sack,” Davis said. “He’s trying to make plays on every play, whether it’s a reverse or a screen, a pass down the field https://www.thesaintsfanshop.com/Benjamin-Watson-Jersey , he’s just running to the ball.”Rankins missed nearly half of his rookie season because of a fibula fracture during training camp. He was healthy last season and had a solid campaign as a full-time starter. He had an interception and forced fumble, but didn’t get to quarterbacks as often as he would have liked, finishing with two sacks.Rankins said he “went back to the drawing board” last offseason, trying to build on moves that had worked for him — and get quicker.“Last year, I don’t think I used enough power. This year I’ve done a great job of using my power to kind of set up everything else about the way I rush, about the way I play,” Rankins said. “If I can get guys thinking power, getting ready to brace for that impact, and I can get around them with spins and different things like that, it just plays right into my hand.“I’ve always prided myself on being athletic and being able to be light on my feet and being able to do things that most people my size can’t do,” Rankins continued, adding that he still plays pick-up basketball as part of his offseason training. “It’s something that comes natural but also something you’ve got to work on.”The Panthers, who visit New Orleans on Sunday, had to contend with Rankins just two weeks ago and sounded impressed by the challenge he presented during a 12-9 Saints win that was largely a defensive struggle.“He’s a high-effort guy; he’s got great energy,” Carolina guard Greg Van Roten said. “He’s really dynamic off the ball. He’s quick. He’s not a guy that you know what you’re getting every time. He mixes it up. So you need to make sure you don’t get too comfortable because he’ll flash and make a play on you if you don’t take him seriously every play.” Before Drew Brees could blow kisses to the adoring Superdome crowd, before he could embrace his wife and children on the sideline, the Saints‘ 39-year-old quarterback had to shred one of the NFL’s top pass defenses with ruthless efficiency.And so he did.Brees passed Peyton Manning to become the NFL’s all-time leader in yards passing with a 62-yard touchdown to rookie Tre’Quan Smith on Monday night that sent New Orleans on its way to a lopsided 43-19 victory over the mistake-prone Washington Redskins.“It’s hard for me to reflect too much right now just because my career’s not done. There are still goals to be accomplished. There are still challenges to be met. And so I’m still very focused on that,” Brees said. “And yet, when something like this happens, there are so many people who are responsible for that Marshon Lattimore Jersey , that are a part of that, that makes me happy. It makes me proud and it makes me extremely grateful 鈥?extremely grateful for the opportunity to play this game, to play it as long as I’ve played it, to have wound up here in New Orleans.“It’s just been an unbelievable journey.”Brees entered the game needing 201 yards to eclipse Peyton Manning’s previous mark of 71,940 yards. He had 250 yards and two touchdowns by halftime and finished 26 of 29 for 363 yards and three touchdowns. He has yet to throw an interception this season. He did, however, make his eighth career reception on his own deflected pass, and pushed across the line of scrimmage to add an extra yard to his career total.“He throws for 5,000 yards just like he’s sleeping at night, and it’s crazy to see that,” Redskins cornerback Josh Norman said. “He’s at the top of them all right now 鈥?and he’s not done yet.”The Saints’ Smith, a third-round draft choice last spring, caught two touchdown passes from the 18th-year pro. Brees also hit Smith for a 35-yard score down the right sideline early in the third quarter.Any hope Washington had of coming back was all but snuffed out when Justin Hardee, a special teams regular who was in the game because of Marshon Lattimore‘s concussion symptoms, snagged Alex Smith’s underthrown pass at the Saints’ 19-yard line and returned his first career interception to the Washington 4.That set up change-of-pace QB Taysom Hill‘s 1-yard touchdown run that put the Saints (4-1) up 40-13.Smith completed 23 of 39 passes for 275 yards for the Redskins (2-2). He ran for a short touchdown late in the first half that pulled Washington within 26-13.MAKING MEMORIESWhen Saints began one of their last first-half possessions on their own 38, Brees needed just 35 yards to break the record. On the first play of the drive, Brees launched a pass toward the right sideline to the speedy Smith, who was wide open and easily sprinted away from Nicholson’s tackle attempt en route to the end zone.“I knew we were within striking distance” of the record, Brees said. “I didn’t know it was going to happen on the first play to Tre’Quan. But I don’t think it could have happened in any better fashion than it did. To have then that moment with my teammates on the field, the offensive line Alvin Kamara Color Rush Jersey , it played out even greater than I ever could have imagined.”Brees’ teammates ran toward their quarterback as he jogged behind the play, and a group of them formed a jumping, celebrating mass of black and gold next to the Saints’ fleur-de-lis emblem on the 50-yard line.Brees then removed his helmet, saluted fans and exchanged hugs on the sideline with his wife, Brittany, their four kids and Saints coach Sean Payton. The ball was handed over to Pro Football Hall of Fame officials.With the game well in hand after the two-minute warning, Payton subbed Brees out of the game. As Teddy Bridgwater ran onto the field and Brees trotted to the sideline, Brees got one last ovation before fans began chanting: “Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints.”INGRAM’S RETURNRunning back Mark Ingram, playing in his first game this season after serving a four-game suspension, scored two touchdowns on 2- and 1-yard runs in the first half.He finished with 53 yards rushing and 20 receiving.“It’s great to have him back,” Payton said, stressing the Ingram’s presence reduces the physical toll on fellow running back Alvin Kamara. “That combination 鈥?those are two real good running backs.”PAINFUL PENALTIESThe Redskins came in allowing fewer than 190 yards passing per game and spoke of doing what they could to prevent Brees from making history. Instead, they helped Brees pile up first-half yards with third-down penalties that extended two touchdown drives.Norman’s defensive holding penalty during Brees’ incomplete pass sustained the Saints’ first scoring drive, capped by Ingram’s short touchdown run.In the second quarter, Montae Nicholson‘s unnecessary roughness penalty for leveling Ingram on Ryan Kerrigan‘s third-down sack extended a drive that ended with Brees’ short TD pass to tight end Josh Hill.INJURIESRedskins: Chris Thompson took a heavy hit from Saints linebacker Craig Robertson and received treatment on the field before getting up and walking to the sideline holding his helmet. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he had a rib injury. Gruden also said running back Adrian Peterson has a shoulder strain and will have an MRI. Receiver Paul Richardson Jr. stained his knee and tight end Vernon Davis had a hamstring injury.Saints: In addition to Lattimore, reserve defensive lineman Taylor Stallworth limped off the field, favoring his right leg.UP NEXTRedskins: Host Carolina on Sunday.Saints: Enter their bye week before returning to action at Baltimore on Oct. 21.

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