One of the great trailblazers for Americans at the top level of the English game, perhaps his finest moment in a Fulham shirt came in April 2010 in the Europa League round of 16 second leg against Juventus. A pass from Dickson Etuhu to the edge of the box gave Dempsey time to turn and look up, spotting Antonio Chimenti off his line. A feather light chip and the ball was lofted into the net, Fulham coming back from 3-1 down in the first leg to eliminate one of Europe's superpowers in one of the most remarkable nights Craven Cottage has witnessed.
Baltimore's 2000 squad also featured the league's best returner in Jermaine Lewis, whose 84-yard kickoff return for a score in Super Bowl XXXV ended any hope of a Giants comeback. The Ravens' offense featured a punishing running game, led by Jamal Lewis and Priest Holmes. Baltimore's offense also included Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe, whose 96-yard score spearheaded the Ravens' 16-3 win over Oakland in the AFC Championship Game.
While their defense was historically dominant, the Bears' offense that season was a special unit, too. Spearheaded by Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, Chicago's offense -- a unit that also included quarterback Jim McMahon, Hall of Fame left tackle Jimbo Covert and perennial Pro Bowl center Jay Hilgenberg -- scored at least 20 points in all but two of their games. And while he mostly served as a decoy during Super Bowl XX, Payton was anything but that during the regular season, as he rushed for 1,551 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 4.8 yards per carry. He also caught 49 passes for 483 yards and two scores while helping the Bears become the second team in league history to win 15 regular season games.
Led by Joe Burrow, the Bengals went from a 4-11-1 outfit in 2020 to AFC champions in 2021. The NFL's Comeback Player of the Year, Burrow led the NFL in completion percentage during the regular season. He took full advantage of arguably the league's best receiving trio, led by Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase. Late in the regular season, the Bengals' offense put 41 and 34 points against the Ravens and Chiefs in consecutive games en route to clinching the AFC North division crown.
A year after winning the franchise's first Super Bowl, the '98 Broncos won their first 13 games and finished the regular season with a 14-2 record. Denver's regular season was highlighted by Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis, who won league MVP honors after rushing for 2,008 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns. Receivers Ed McCaffrey and Rod Smith each recorded 1,000-yard seasons, while Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe's 10 touchdown catches tied Smith for the league lead. Denver's underrated defense, led by Hall of Fame safety Steve Atwater, allowed just 13 total points in the Broncos' playoff wins over the Dolphins and Jets.
A year after winning the franchise's first playoff game, the 2012 Texans won a franchise record 12 regular season games before defeating the Bengals in the wild card round. Houston was led by J.J. Watt, who won Defensive Player of the Year that season after recording a league high 20.5 sacks. The Texans' roster featured seven other Pro Bowlers in receiver Andre Johnson (112 catches, 1,598 yards), running back Arian Foster (1,424 rushing yards, 15 touchdowns), quarterback Matt Schaub, tight end Owen Daniels, cornerback Johnathan Joseph, center Chris Myers, left guard Wade Smith, and left tackle Duane Brown. Johnson, a seven-time Pro Bowl, will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2022.
After a 7-4 start, the Chiefs won their final nine games that included a 31-20 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. Patrick Mahomes, the league's MVP the previous season, became the first player in league history to win a league and Super Bowl MVP before his 25th birthday. And while Mahomes was a major reason for their first championship in 50 years, the Chiefs were hardly a one-man show. Along with Mahomes, the Chiefs' 2019 roster featured five other Pro Bowlers in receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce (97 catches, 1,229 yards), defensive linemen Chris Jones and Frank Clark, and safety Tyrann Mathieu.
It came down to the Patriots' '04 and '16 squads as their best team. But the nod ultimately went to the group that overcame the largest deficit -- 28-3 -- in Super Bowl history. But the '16 Patriots should be remembered for more than just their epic comeback. This New England team finished third in the league in scoring and first in scoring defense. They went 3-1 without Tom Brady under center at the start of the season. And when Brady came back, New England lost just one more game while winning 11 games by double figures. They defeated the Texans and Steelers by a combined score of 70-33 before scoring 31 unanswered points against Atlanta in the Super Bowl.
The Eagles already had arguably the NFL's best roster before they traded a 2018 mid-round pick to acquire Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi midway through the '17 season. Ajayi was the perfect complement for fellow running backs LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement, as the Eagles boasted the league's third-best rushing attack during the regular season. Philadelphia's strong running game enabled it to overcome the loss of MVP candidate Carson Wentz, who suffered a season-ending injury 13 weeks into the season.
This was the hardest decision on the list. San Francisco has two all-time great teams in the '89 and '84 squads. The '84 49ers, the second of Bill Walsh's three Super Bowl championship teams, were the first team in league history to win 15 regular season games. In the playoffs, they defeated the next two Super Bowl champions (the Giants and Bears) before humbling Dan Marino and the Dolphins' prolific offense in Super Bowl XIX.
After a slow start, Tampa Bay won its final eight games. In the playoffs, they sent Drew Brees into retirement before defeating league MVP Aaron Rodgers in his own backyard. In Super Bowl LV, the Buccaneers' often overlooked defense -- led by linebackers Devin White, Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David, defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Jason Pierre-Paul, and defensive backs Antoine Winfield Jr., Jordan Whitehead and Carlton Davis -- held Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs' mighty offense to just nine points. Brady did his part, tossing three touchdown passes -- two to tight end Rob Gronkowski -- before halftime. Leonard Fournette, proving that a successful running game still matters in the NFL, essentially put the game on ice with his 27-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.
There's a very good chance that one or both of this weekend's games will one day crack the following list of the greatest conference championship games in NFL history. Several all-time classics made the list, including a few games that included two of the best quarterbacks in league annals in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
This was a changing-of-the-guard game, as the Cowboys dethroned the 49ers as the league's premier team. The Cowboys held a precarious 24-20 lead after Young and Rice connected on a five-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Instead of going conservative, the Cowboys went for the win as Harper took a slant pass 70 yards to set up Aikman's game-clinching touchdown pass to Kelvin Martin. The Cowboys offense was buoyed by Smith, who on a muddy track tallied 173 yards and two touchdowns. Dallas went on to rout the Bills, 52-17, to win the franchise's first championship since 1977.
High expectations were naturally placed upon Ya-Sin when he was traded straight up for star pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue in the offseason, but Ya-Sin has responded with a career year so far. Though the Raiders have lost all four games he's appeared in, it's been opposing receivers who have been losing the one-on-one matchups against Ya-Sin. The fourth-year corner has allowed a league-low 31.6 completion percentage in coverage this season (min. 15 targets). When the Raiders are in man coverage, Ya-Sin's numbers jump off the page even more, as he has allowed only one completion on 11 such targets for an 11-yard gain. Ya-Sin has been a bright spot in a secondary that has otherwise struggled for the NFL's 28th-ranked scoring defense.
CBS has in consecutive weeks televised the most-watched Wild Card game in seven years (49ers-Cowboys: 20.7, 41.5M) and the most-watched Divisional in five, with both topping the 40 million mark. Including Raiders-Cowboys on Thanksgiving (40.8M), CBS has aired the three most-watched games this season and the only three games to crack the 40 million mark.
Ozan Kabak is a player full of potential, but he is a young player and his last league game was in April for Liverpool and (he) just had a part of pre-season for Schalke, so his only competitive minutes were (for Turkey) against the Netherlands.
Sauiluma has been named on the wing for Queensland Residents after less than 10 games for Burleigh Bears in the Intrust Super Cup having been unable to crack the New South Wales Residents team despite being named NSW Cup Centre of the Year the past two seasons. 2b1af7f3a8