Winning is an easy sell.
The Philadelphia Eagles are the first team since the 1990 New York Giants to reach a Super Bowl without a player totaling 1 Jesper Bratt Jersey Kids
,000 scrimmage yards though running backs Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount and wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith have done so in the past.
That group plus Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz, wide receiver Nelson Agholor and others have bought into a team-first, unselfish concept. They’re not checking their stats after games. The only number they cared about all season was the win column.
One more against New England in the Super Bowl brings home the team’s first NFL title since 1960.
”I think this group of guys is as good as you could ask to be around,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. ”Really, the character and the work ethic, the camaraderie, just the commitment to the process that Coach (Doug Pederson) and our staff is always talking about. There’s a complete buy-in.
”It really helps that we’ve had the success and the execution. It’s always easier to buy in when you’re having the success that we’ve had.”
Blount didn’t even get a carry in a loss at Kansas City in Week 2. Then he ran for a season-high 136 yards two weeks later at the Chargers. It was the only 100-yard rushing performance by Philadelphia this season.
Blount, who led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns with New England last year, led the Eagles with 766 yards rushing but his touches decreased after Ajayi was acquired from Miami.
”You can’t be selfish when everybody has one common goal,” Blount said. ”You have to make sacrifices for the betterment of the team. We’ve done that and it’s gotten us this far.”
Ajayi came to Philadelphia with a reputation for selfishness, but it hasn’t been an issue. He kneeled on the turf and sobbed after the Eagles beat Minnesota in the NFC championship game.
”It’s a special feeling to not be done and to still have our goal of winning a Super Bowl right there in front of us,” he said.
Jeffery was the go-to man in Chicago before joining the Eagles. He didn’t have one 100-yard game, but led the team with nine TD catches.
”We’re not looking at numbers Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jersey
, just going out there and playing,” Jeffery said. ”No matter who’s out there having a great game, or whoever the ball’s going to, as long as we’re doing our job and just catching and working and getting those wins, that’s all that matters.”
There were no ”throw me the damn ball” moments in Philadelphia’s locker room.
”I didn’t have to sell it too much,” Pederson said. ”These guys are unselfish players. They are team players. I think any time that you factor in the wins, and they’re contributing to the wins, it sort of minimizes or sort of takes away the (idea) that, `I’ve got to have 1,000 yards; I got to have 10 touchdowns; I’ve got to rush for this many yards and have this many touchdowns.’ I think it minimizes that a little bit, because the team is doing well and the success of the offense.”
AP NFL website: Trevor Williams has been pitching in the majors for less than two full seasons. Still, he’s come to understand the ups and downs that come with the sport.
”Baseball kicks your (behind),” Williams said. ”The highs are so high Kyle Turris Jersey
, and the lows are so low. You have to stay even-keeled.”
Williams bounced back from recent struggles by pitching one-hit ball over seven innings and two Pittsburgh Pirates relievers closed out a two-hitter in a 1-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.
Williams (6-4) struck out seven and walked two for his first victory in a month and after he had allowed a combined 12 runs in six innings in his previous two starts. Jordy Mercer drove in the lone run with a seventh-inning double, and the Pirates won for the fourth time in five games.
The Brewers entered the day leading the NL Central but suffered their third straight loss.
The only hit off Williams was a single by Jonathan Villar with two outs in the fourth. The hit followed a walk to Hernan Perez, and the duo executed a double steal before Erik Kratz struck out to end the inning.
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle thought fastball command made the difference for Williams.
”Up, down, in, out. It was just an outstanding performance,” Hurdle said.
Williams had gone 0-2 in five starts since beating the Chicago White Sox on May 15.
”He hit his spots,” Milwaukee right fielder Christian Yelich said. ”He was throwing everything for strikes. When a guy is doing that and he’s not really missing over the plate much, it’s a tough night.”
Kyle Crick pitched a perfect eighth inning for Pittsburgh. Yelich singled off closer Felipe Vazquez to open the ninth, ending a string of 13 straight Brewers retired. Vazquez retired the next three hitters for his 14th save in 18 opportunities.
Francisco Cervelli drew a one-out walk in the Pirates’ seventh and advanced to third on Josh Bell’s single. Josh Hader relieved Jhoulys Chacin and struck out Gregory Polanco, but Mercer followed by doubling down the left-field line to score Cervelli.
”The way both guys were pitching, I think everyone started to think that one or maybe two runs and that was going to be the ballgame,” Mercer said.
The run was charged to Chacin (6-2) Authentic Mike McGlinchey Jersey
, who had won his previous six decisions and not lost in 13 starts since April 4 against St. Louis. Chacin allowed six hits, struck out two and walked two.
Cervelli had two hits to snap a 0-for-13 skid.
”I feel like I was throwing the ball well,” Chacin said. ”I was making pitches when I had to. In the last inning, I gave up the hit, but I was more frustrated that I walked Cervelli. That was the guy I couldn’t get out.”
TRIBUTE TO UECKER
As a surprise tribute to Bob Uecker, the Brewers traveling party dressed in loud sportscoats – popularized by the Hall of Fame broadcaster during his frequent guest appearances on The Tonight Show – for the flight from Milwaukee to Pittsburgh on Sunday night.
Manager Craig Counsell said he had hoped to replicate an outfit Uecker once wore that included a turtleneck sweater with a belt and a pair of bellbottom slacks. Alas, Counsell came up empty in his search for such garb.
The Pirates activated right-handed reliever Richard Rodriguez from the 10-day disabled list, recalled infielder/outfielder Jose Osuna from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned right-handed reliever Dovydas Neverauskas and catcher Jacob Stallings to Indianapolis.
Brewers: 3B Travis Shaw (sore right wrist) was given the night off after being injured Sunday during a swing in a loss to Philadelphia.
Pirates: Rodriguez had been out since June 7 with right shoulder inflammation.
Brewers: RHP Freddy Peralta (1-0, 3.72 ERA) is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs to start Tuesday night. The rookie made two starts with the Brewers earlier this season, including striking out 13 in 5 2/3 innings at Colorado on May 13 in his major league debut, and is 6-1 with a 2.75 ERA in 12 starts with Colorado Springs.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (4-5, 3.94) is 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA in his last four starts and 1-3 with a 3.47 ERA in seven career starts against Milwaukee.