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timore Ravens safety Eric Weddle likened
Bal Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to a "fast dinosaur" this week."Muscular and big ," Weddle said. "He's a very unique quarterback in the league, the only one really like him."The Ravens' defense ranks first in the league overall, but they've not faced a dual-threat quarterback such as Newton, which adds some intrigue to what should be a physical game Sunday between two teams that pride themselves on playing great defense and ball-control offense.Weddle said when Newton gets loose, bringing him down calls for a player to proceed at his own risk. He chose the Triceratops as the kind of dinosaur that best represents Newton."The big one with horns," Weddle said.Newton is the NFL's all-time leader in touchdowns rushing by a quarterback and is third all-time in yards rushing with 4,577. He needs 352 yards to pass Randall Cunningham for second place. Mike Vick is No. 1 with 6,109 yards."Amazing player, extremely difficult in the open field," Weddle said of Newton.Newton laughed at Weddell's compliment, saying it's not the first time someone has called him that. The 2015 league MVP said Trooper Taylor, a former assistant at Auburn, used to call him that when he was playing for the Tigers."I always asked him Womens Rodney McLeod Jersey , 'Why do you call me a dinosaur?'" Newton said. "He said, 'Your talent is extinct. They don't make them like you no more.'"I always laughed, but if you look around this league — and I've tried to warn a lot of people prior, too — it not cocky, it's not confidence, it's just self-belief in yourself knowing that the talents that you possess, a lot of people can't say that they have."Newton has run for 252 yards and a team-high three touchdowns this season while averaging 4.9 yards per carry for Carolina (4-2). He's also thrown for 11 TDs.Things to watch in Sunday's game between the Ravens and Panthers:RUNNING ROOKIENewton won't be the only quarterback on the field to be a threat to run.Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson has proven effective as an occasional replacement for Joe Flacco in short-yardage situations for the Ravens (4-3). The former Heisman Trophy winner and first-round draft pick scored his first NFL touchdown last week and ranks second on the team with 103 yards rushing.Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly said Jackson "is a playmaker who creates problems because of his speed and athleticism" and that "it's important to know where he is on the field."Harbaugh often wrestles with finding the right time to use Jackson because Flacco is having such a good season with 11 touchdown passes and four interceptions."It's more an art than science," Harbaugh said. "Joe is playing at a very high level. We don't want to lose sight of that. We try to do the best we can to put both those guys in there in ways that help us score points and move the ball."COVERING TIGHT ENDSThe Ravens drafted Hayden Hurst in the first round figuring he would play a major role on the offense, but a foot injury has limited him to one catch for 7 yards. Now rounding back into good health, he may have an opportunity to break out this week against a Carolina defense that has struggled covering tight ends.Carolina has allowed the sixth-most passing yards to tight ends in the NFL at 79.6 per game. Last week, Philadelphia's Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert combined for eight receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown.Coach Ron Rivera said he was unconcerned with those numbers, adding that he feels as if the Panthers have done a good job against opposing wide receivers this year, which has been their focus. Rivera added that "I don't think for the most part you're going to get killed by tight ends."STELLAR PASS RUSHERSSunday's matchup features two stellar pass rushers with Carolina's Julius Peppers and Baltimore's Terrell Suggs. Peppers has 156陆 sacks Alshon Jeffery Jersey , which is fourth all-time and the most among active players. Suggs is 15th all-time with 131 sacks."Those kinds of guys are just on a different level athletically," Harbaugh said. "There aren't very many of those types of human beings walking around on the planet."CLOSE CALLSTwo of the Ravens' losses this season have come by a combined four points. Cleveland won with a field goal in overtime, and the Saints prevailed when Justin Tucker misfired on a conversion with 24 seconds last week.So what's it take to win those kinds of games?"You have to make a closing play somewhere along the way," Harbaugh said.The Panthers seem to have that skill. Their past two wins were 33-31 over the Giants and 21-17 last week.EXTRA POINTSTucker's extra point miss last week was big for the Ravens, but he's not the only one struggling with the point after.Carolina's Graham Gano has missed extra points in back-to-back weeks. Strangely enough, Gano is 8 of 8 on field-goal attempts, including a game-winner from 63 yards against the Giants.AP Sports Writer Dave Ginsburg in Baltimore, Maryland, contributed to this report. PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nick Foles understands his Super Bowl MVP trophy isn’t going to help when J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney are chasing after him.No matter the pressure, he usually stays calm and plays with poise.The Philadelphia Eagles are again counting on Foles to win high-stakes games. Foles, who was 3-0 in the playoffs last season, led the 14-point underdog Eagles to a victory on the road against the Rams last week to keep them in the playoff race.Article continues below ...He has to do it again Sunday when the Eagles (7-7) host the Houston Texans (10-4).“Because I’ve done those things doesn’t guarantee me anything when I step on the field next time,” Foles said about his recent success. “Every time you step on the field , it’s a new game.”Foles is starting because Carson Wentz has a stress fracture in his back. He replaced Wentz last December after a knee injury ended his season. The Eagles already were the No. 1 seed in the NFC at that time. Now they’re desperate to stay in the mix.“We’re fighting for our lives right now. It’s a little different for us, different feel,” coach Doug Pederson said.Having Foles around is a confidence-booster for the team.“Obviously, he’s been a starter in this league before, so that’s something that he’s comfortable with, and he just understands the plan and goes and executes,” Pederson said. “He just wants to win. He doesn’t care about credit and all that. He wants to win, and he’s helped us do that.”The Texans are closing in on an AFC South title and looking to secure a first-round bye. It’ll be a tough challenge on the road and they know Foles is no ordinary backup.“He’s a good player, he’s smart, he knows what he’s doing,” said Watt, who has 14½ sacks after playing only eight games the previous two seasons because of injuries. “He does great things. He can move around a little bit, he knows the system Womens Nelson Agholor Jersey , he knows the guys, knows how to find the open guy and get it to him. He does a great job.”Unlike the Eagles, the Texans fell apart after losing their star quarterback last season. They were 1-8 without Deshaun Watson, who tore a knee ligament in the seventh game. Watson has been outstanding since his return and has Houston on the verge of a playoff berth.“Everything he’s put himself through to be in a position to where he’s at today, I can really appreciate that,” Pederson said.Here’s some things to look for when the Texans seek their first win over the Eagles in five tries:SIMPLE AND BALANCEDThe Eagles cut back on their pre-snap movement on offense and committed to running the ball in their 30-23 win over the Rams. All three touchdowns were on running plays, two by Wendell Smallwood and one for rookie Josh Adams.GETTING DEFENSIVEAlready missing three-fourths of their starting secondary and starting nickel cornerback Sidney Jones, the Eagles got a big boost when rookie Avonte Maddox returned to play outside cornerback against the Rams. Maddox and second-year pro Rasul Douglas had strong performances to help limit a high-powered offense. They’ll face another difficult challenge going against DeAndre Hopkins and Demaryius Thomas.KICKING EDGETexans kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn leads the NFL with 34 field goals and has made 12 in a row, including all five tries in a win over the Jets on the road last week.“His ability to be able to make all of the different types of kicks that you need to make, especially in outdoor games on the East Coast, it’s very important,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “He’s a very talented kicker.”DOUBLE TROUBLEThe Eagles are going with more formations featuring tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert on the field together and using two wide receivers and one running back. It helps to create matchup advantages and also improves blocking in the run game.“That personnel for them with (Goedert) and Ertz on the field at the same time is very challenging. No doubt,” O’Brien said.LEADING THE WAYHopkins leads the AFC and is third in the NFL with 1 Zach Ertz Jersey ,321 yards receiving and he ranks third in the AFC with 11 TD catches. He has 507 career receptions, the second-youngest player (26 years, 6 months, 9 days) to reach 500 behind Larry Fitzgerald (26 years, 2 months, 29 days).“There’s a lot of people that I look up to in those categories that are wearing the yellow jacket right now that I’ve passed,” Hopkins said. “So, of course that means a lot to me.”___ AP Sports Writer Kristie Rieken in Houston contributed to this report.
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