He was the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft and his development has been typical of several young quarterbacks, especially those from smaller colleges (Central Florida). He is 25. In his fourth season he has helped lead the Jaguars to a 10-6 record and to the AFC South crown. He’s in the playoffs, at home against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
The second and third floors have been converted into meeting rooms, training rooms and coaches’ offices. While the players and coaches head to their rooms, the equipment staff has gone straight to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, where the team will practice all week, to begin their load-in. The Angels crew is amused to see the heavy parkas the Philly staffers had brought down from Seattle—there would be no use for those in the 70-degree Southern California weather.
Pederson stands bleary-eyed behind a hotel podium adorned with a makeshift Eagles sign printed on computer paper. As is typical for coaches in the NFL, he clearly hasn’t gotten much sleep since the game. A Sunday night game, a body clock still set to East Coast time and a loss make for a tough combination.
Pederson answers seven straight questions about the non-challenge of Wilson’s lateral; slightly miffed, he defends his decision. With the same resolve, he declares this will be a “normal” week—as normal as possible some 2,700 miles from the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia. He does, however, say he’ll change his messaging to the team in light of the self-inflicted mistakes he believes began in practice and lurked under the surface during the win streak.
Since scorching through a good chunk of their schedule with an 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS run, the Saints have gone 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS over their last six games. All three of those losses came on the road however as New Orleans has won each of its last seven games at home.
New Orleans is 5-0-1 ATS in its last six games against the Panthers per the OddsShark NFL Database. That includes two wins and covers as 5.5-point favorites over Carolina in 2017.
Tom Verducci: He’ll have to wait until Ohtani signs, because his best landing spots are all on Ohtani’s final list: Mariners, Angels, Cubs and Rangers. Don’t rule out a return the Rangers, but the Angels, with the clock ticking before Mike Trout’s free agency, are the surprise winner.
With such a young core—five players making at least $8 million next year and two of them, Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier, come off the books after 2018—the team has significant financial flexibility.