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For the second straight Sunday Hakeem Butler Jersey , the Saints face a team they defeated by double digits during the regular season, in the same place where the regular-season game was played.Along the way to a 45-35 win over the Rams, the Saints at one point led by 21, before seeing the Rams knot it up at 35. So the last game ultimately could have gone either way, which means that this one could go either way, too. e of the factors that could push the final score one way or the other.These keys to the NFC title game are largely culled from conversations had throughout the week on and the #PFTPM podcast. If you’re among the many (okay, some . . . okay, few) who listened, you’re ahead of the curve. If you didn’t, five potentially relevant factors are set forth below, in no particular order.1. Rams running game vs. Saints front seven.In November, the Rams gained 92 yards on the ground, on 19 attempts. Last Saturday, the Rams racked up 273 rushing yards against the Cowboys, on a whopping 48 carries.Last Sunday, the Saints lost defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins to a torn Achilles tendon, which will make it harder for the Saints to slow down a ground game that quietly has been great this year. So what better way to keep a potent New Orleans offense off the field and neuter an ultra-loud home crowd than to methodically run the ball with 2017 offensive player of the year Todd Gurley and late-season surprise C.J. Anderson?The Saints surely know this is coming, which means they could be selling out early to bottle up the run, daring quarterback Jared Goff to beat them over the top. If he can.2. Good Jared Goff vs. Bad Jared Goff.At times this year, the third-year quarterback looked like at MVP candidate. At others, not. And he knows it, because he still gets asked about a late-season slump that has caused many to wonder whether he truly belongs in the quartet of quarterbacks playing this weekend.“It was a bad game or two,” Goff said Friday when speaking to reporters. “I hate having to keep talking about it, but if you guys keep asking about it — you can call it three games if you want. If you’re going to take three out of 16, I’m OK with that.”Looking back at his 2018 performances, Goff had four bad games: at Denver, at Detroit, at Chicago, and vs. Philadelphia. In those four games, Goff completed 86 of 158 passes (54.4 percent) for 927 yards (5.86 yards per attempt), one touchdown, and seven interceptions. That equates to a far-from-MVP-caliber passer rating of 55.4.Thus, 25 percent of the time this year, Goff didn’t play well. The good news is that he played well in New Orleans. The question is whether he can do it again, with the season riding on his ability to deliver in the clutch. Which http://www.bengalscheapstore.com/jonah-williams-jersey-cheap , at some point, he’ll surely have to do.3. Aqib Talib vs. Michael Thomas.The last time the Rams and Saints got together, cornerback Aqib Talib didn’t play. Receiver Michael Thomas did, and he did it incredibly well. Thomas had a career day, catching 12 passes for 211 yards.This time, Talib is healthy. But will it matter? This week, Saints coach Sean Payton dubbed the presence of Talib as “significant.” But can a guy who turns 33 in less than a month make a real difference against Thomas, a large and strong and skilled receiver who took his game back to the proverbial next level against the Eagles last week?Watch Thomas during Drew Brees‘ pre-game pep talk from last Sunday. Thomas looked like a man possessed, a man with only one objective. A man who will do whatever he has to do to achieve it.If that guy shows up today, good luck keeping him from having another 211 yards.4. Andrus Peat vs. Aaron Donald.Peat struggled last week, playing with a broken hand — and as a result not playing as well as he has in the past. He’ll need to play much better this week, with Aaron Donald ready to wreak havoc again.The question becomes whether the Saints believe that Peat can handle Donald alone, or whether they’ll need to devote extra resources. If they do, that will open the door for Ndamukong Suh, who has plenty of reasons to show up today, to justify the 14 million other reasons for the Rams to sign him in the first place. Sleep-walking through much of the regular season, a chance to get to the Super Bowl for the first time in his career has flipped a switch for Suh. If Donald can be kept in check, Suh can become the difference.5. The Two Seans.During Friday’s, a tongue-in-cheek-but-ultimately-dead-serious theory emerged regarding the battle of wits, egos, and balls that will play out between the two Seans who’ll be on opposing sidelines. Sean McVay, who sprouted a coaching tree even before he racked up a playoff win, vs. Sean Payton, who doesn’t quite get the credit he deserves for being one of the very best coaches of the past generation. Long before being overly aggressive became more socially acceptable than draping oneself in velvet, Payton was dialing up a surprise onside kick in the Super Bowl — and cashing in.So the question becomes whether one Sean, in an effort to outdo the other Sean, will out-Sean himself. In Round One, McVay called a fake field goal in a 14-14 tie. It failed, opening the floodgates for 21 straight New Orleans points.But McVay doesn’t sound like a guy who plans to reel it in for the rematch.“We are an aggressive team by nature,” McVay recently said. “That’s our mindset, that’s our mentality, but you don’t want to be reckless. So there’s an element of making sure that that communication is amongst your coaches where you’re utilizing those resources around you.“But, then there’s also a feel where, man, we feel real confident in our players’ ability to execute and we’re going to play not fearing failure Drew Sample Jersey , but to go attack an opportunity to go win a conference championship.”The other Sean surely feels the same way. And the game ultimately may come down to which Sean tries too hard to be the better Sean, opting to be too aggressive and in turn inadvertently passing the George Halas Trophy to his nemesis. It’s been a few months, but Derrick Tindal still isn’t sure why he wasn’t in an NFL camp this spring or summer.The former Wisconsin cornerback felt a tinge of sadness after going unwanted, but that feeling was quickly replaced by another emotion.More Badgers coverageTop Tweets: Former Badger TJ Watt has impressive four-year transformationTop Tweets: Former Badgers QB Wilson plans to play for … a long timeBadgers RB Taylor named to preseason all-Big Ten teamEx-Badgers TE Traylor training, waiting for next NFL opportunityEx-Badgers star Hayes having fun during latest NBA audition“I felt more relief,” Tindal said, “like I didn’t have to do it no more. All the hitting, all the everything, it was some weight lifted off my shoulders.”Tindal was definitely eyeing the NFL after four years at Wisconsin. He participated in pro day, and although he wasn’t overly happy with his showing there, Tindal’s agent had him convinced he would be a late-round draft choice. And if he happened to go undrafted, then certainly he’d be signed as a free agent.When that didn’t happen, and as he realized he wasn’t even going to get a chance to try out for a team at a rookie minicamp, Tindal wondered if his injury history was holding him back. While he missed only three games in his four years at Wisconsin — and started 38 of his 52 games — he broke a wrist as a junior and fought through an ankle injury as a senior.But with his body of work — six interceptions, 26 passes broken up, making All-Big Ten teams his last two years — Tindal thought he had at least earned a chance“When all the free agents were getting picked up I was like, yeah man, I did all this, all this through the injuries … I didn’t do nothing at all?,” Tindal remembered thinking. “I didn’t do nothing to deserve a chance to walk it up to rookie camp? I was like, I ain’t going to keep beating myself up about this, I have to do something I really want to anyway.“I did ask why at first, but then it was then almost sad, then it wasn’t like I was missing anything. Yeah, the money probably, but I’ll find another way to make that.”While his agent mentioned the possibility of the Canadian Football League or one of the arena leagues, those had no appeal to Tindal. He was done with football, period. Besides, Tindal has greater plans.It all begins for Tindal with a book. Or should we say books.A noted superhero and comic book enthusiast, Tindal has written a graphic novel (although, he notes it is not, as one might expect, about a superhero) and has grandiose plans beyond that.The book, entitled “Taletrius Johnson: The beginning of the end” — the main character is named after Tindal’s cousin, Taletrius Bradley http://www.bengalscheapstore.com/germaine-pratt-jersey-cheap , who was killed in a car accident last year — is written, but Tindal, who admits he’s no artist, is waiting on the drawings to be completed by others.That hasn’t stopped Tindal from starting to write his second book. And he has plans for more. A lot more.“I have other book ideas. I’m probably not going to be able to write all these books myself, you feel me? I have other ideas, other pitches, to feed off my book,” Tindal said. “I have two more other characters that have their own solo books that can mix with my book. I’d like to sign someone to write those books for me and take over that character. But basically I have to get (the initial one) published first and do good with that book.”But Tindal isn’t just focusing on books (although everything eventually ties back to them). He still has two semesters to complete at Wisconsin — he’s majoring in human development and family studies — in order to get his degree, which he plans on applying in the real world right away.Tindal has worked with kids in the Madison area while in school. He envisions himself founding an organization to help underprivileged children, whether it’s helping them obtain scholarships to college, teaching them football with a camp (it will be free, but promotionally tied in with his brand) or showing them aspects of life they might not have known existed — such as reading and writing comic books.Tindal aims to start his mentoring in Wisconsin but wants to get to South Florida “as quick as I can.”Tindal grew up in the Boulevard Gardens neighborhood of Ft. Lauderdale, an area that, per Tindal’s previous comments, doesn’t present kids with many opportunities outside of sports or the street life.His goal: give kids from that neck of the woods the opportunities he never had.“That’s what I want to do (get kids out of his neighborhood). Teach kids, manage their life,” Tindal said. “I never wanted to be just DT the football player, you feel me. I always read comic books, I always loved comic books. And I never thought it was cool when I was young to read comic books. And who knows, if I was to have started to write when I was younger I probably wouldn’t even been playing football. I would have found other interests.“But I definitely want to show kids, especially from rough neighborhoods, that it ain’t just football, it ain’t just music or the streets. We got different ways. I feel kids follow whatever is cool. A lot of kids look up to me, a lot of kids see me as cool, (he can) show them ‘He made a book, why can’t I? Why can’t I be a doctor now?’ Anything.”To his point, Tindal’s books should relate to his audience. After all, that’s who he’s written them for. Some of the plots Tindal uses are taken from his life, his friends or people he’s known.“I’m trying to get a different view, a view from our side of things when it comes to superheroes and gods and stuff. It’s a twist to a different kind of superhero,” he explained. “I write it like me and my friends talk to each other. I use the slang we talk to each other. Not like curse words, but like the slang words we say to each other, the different meanings. I want to put a dictionary in the book so people know what I mean when the words are being used.”For now, though, Tindal waits. And goes to class. And relaxes Ryan Finley Jersey , something he didn’t get to do much of when he was playing football, what with the early morning workouts, practices, traveling and games.“Basically (he’s) learning how to be a normal student at stuff, just sitting back chilling,” Tindal said.Like many people, Tindal spends his Saturdays and Sundays watching football instead of playing it. He enjoys watching his former teammates play all weekend, but especially likes listening to announcers call Badgers games.“On the field you always kind of wonder, ‘I wonder what the commentator said about (a particular play)’,” Tindal said with a laugh. “It’s just fun watching it, sometimes the commentator talks crap and I talk crap to them even though they can’t hear me through the TV set.”Tindal still maintains relationships with his former teammates, including Nick Nelson (“I talk to Nick all the time,” he said) and Natrell Jamerson, both of whom were drafted this past year and landed on 53-man rosters. Both Nelson and Jamerson have told Tindal that from what they’ve seen, he should be in the league, too.But Tindal harbors no bitterness.“I’m really just happy to see them (in the NFL),” he said. “A lot people don’t believe me when I say this, but I’m really, like, OK without playing. I’m perfectly fine. I honestly haven’t felt this good in 23 years and I’m 23 now. I’m great.”Besides, a relationship with the league is all part of his master plan.“Hopefully I can get the NFL to run some of my commercials if I drop a movie in the future,” Tindal said in a half-joking, half-serious tone. “I don’t have no beef with them.”First things first, though: Tindal has to get the book into people’s hands, which not only includes having it completed with the drawings — it’s hard to have a graphic novel without them, after all — but also getting it published.Tindal doesn’t talk about his plan being an “if” but rather a “when.” If there’s two things he doesn’t lack, though, its confidence and optimism. Everything is set in motion, and it begins with his book.“It’s going to be fun for people to read,” Tindal said before adding, “I just hope people give it a chance.”He’s earned it.
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