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Thanks to the Edge Department, Vikings defense off to solid start after two subpar seasons

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Thanks To The Edge Department, Vikings Defense Off To Solid Start After Two Subpar Seasons
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The Vikings have had the Purple People Eaters and the Rushmen. Now, they have the Edge Department.

Sack specialist Danielle Hunter revealed after Sunday’s resounding 23-7 victory over Green Bay in the opener at U.S. Bank Stadium the nickname that has been bestowed upon Minnesota’s edge rushers.

“The Edge Department did their job,” he said after the game.

Yes, it did. The Vikings sacked Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers four times and harassed him throughout the game. Three of the sacks were by edge rushers Hunter, Za’Darius Smith and D.J. Wonnum, and the fourth by inside linebacker Jordan Hicks, who had a team-high 14 tackles.

But it seems as if membership in the Edge Department might also include those on Minnesota’s defense who aren’t edge rushers. Nose tackle Harrison Phillips let that be known Monday.

“I think if you earn the right, it is,” Phillips said. “There’s a couple of packages where we might be outside or maybe a corner will come down and set the edge and stuff, but it’s just good to know in our base calls and in our stuff, we have an Edge Department.”

It seems as if defensive backs should be candidates for membership, too, even when they’re not used on the edge. After all, cornerback Patrick Peterson spoke after Sunday’s game about some of the Vikings’ sacks.

“We had a bunch of coverage sacks,” he said. “You know, just being really dialed in, in the back end.”

Regardless of who is in the Edge Department, one thing is for sure: The defense was back on Sunday after two lackluster seasons in which the Vikings finished with losing records.

In 2020, the Vikings were ranked No. 29 in the NFL in scoring defense and No. 27 in total defense. In 2021, they were No. 24 and No. 30 in those two categories, respectively. Injuries were a factor in the collapse of the defense. And it cost Mike Zimmer his job as head coach not that long after his defense was ranked No. 1 in the league in 2017 in both scoring and total defense.

Kevin O’Connell, the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator, took over for Zimmer and hired Ed Donatell as his defensive coordinator. Donatell switched the scheme from a 4-3 alignment to a 3-4, and the results sure were good in the opener.

After one game, the Vikings are No. 2 in the NFL in scoring defense and No. 13 in total defense. They held the Packers to nearly 20 points below their 2021 scoring average of 26.5 per game. The Vikings gave up 25.1 points per game last season.

“I think you see kind of how it all comes together when it’s working together like that,” O’Connell said Monday of the defense. “I thought Ed and that group, coaching-wise, and then those players out on the field got off to a great start.”

O’Connell made note of how newcomers have helped the defense. Among the starters, four were signed during the offseason as free agents: Smith, Phillips, Hicks and defensive end Jonathan Bullard. Smith and nickel back Chandon Sullivan arrived after playing the past three seasons with Green Bay.

“I think it’s a confirmation from (general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah) and his staff and the collaboration we have in the building,” O’Connell said. “It’s one thing to acquire talented players, but I think the secret in all of that is making sure we’re in lock step on the role.”

One thing several Vikings players haven’t wanted to do is compare this season’s defense to the units of the past two years. Safety Harrison Smith, in his 12th Vikings season, said they “don’t really look back.” Hunter, in his eighth Minnesota season, echoed that.

“We’re in the present,” said Hunter, who sat out all of 2020 with a neck injury and missed the final 10 games last season with a torn pectoral muscle. “We don’t look at the past. … So, we’re happy about where we are right now. We’re going to continue to build with what we have and continue to thrive on what we have right now.”

For now, Phillips said the Vikings “have an Edge Department … that we pride ourselves on.” He then was asked if the team might start putting out T-shirts with “Edge Department” on them.

“I think so, for sure,” Phillips said.

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The Ravens — yes, the Ravens — have become a pass-first team. And it’s working.

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To appreciate what the Ravens’ offense has become under quarterback Lamar Jackson, consider where it started.

In Week 11 of the 2018 season, Jackson, then a 21-year-old rookie backing up a banged-up Joe Flacco, made his first career start. The Ravens were facing the Bengals, who in their Week 2 meeting in Cincinnati had allowed just 66 rushing yards. That was not an effective deterrent. To inaugurate his first drive as a starter, Jackson handed the ball off. Then he ran it himself. Then another handoff. Then another keeper. By the time running back Alex Collins reached the end zone, the Ravens had covered 66 yards in 11 plays, not one of them a pass.

As Jackson rose to stardom over the next three years, his success became inextricable from the offense’s identity: He was a dual-threat quarterback in a run-heavy offense in a pass-happy league. Jackson’s arm talent was abundant — he led the NFL in passing touchdowns in 2019 and set franchise and NFL single-game records for passing yards and accuracy, respectively, last year — but his rushing ability supercharged one of the sport’s best-ever running attacks. More often than not, Jackson made the math work for offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

Entering Sunday’s showdown with the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills, the Ravens’ offensive efficiency has become as remarkable as their inverted approach. A run-first team has become a pass-first team, turning early downs into big-play opportunities and showcasing Jackson’s improvements as one of the NFL’s most well-rounded quarterbacks.

“It’s not the Ravens of the past no more,” Jackson said after a Week 2 loss to the Miami Dolphins, a game in which the Ravens averaged 8.8 yards per play — one of their highest-ever rates — despite paltry contributions from their running backs. “This is the NFL; it’s a new era. We’ve got to play ball. We’ve got to know that if the passing is working, we’ve got to keep passing it if we’re doing it.”

They haven’t stopped yet. According to analytics website RBSDM.com, the Ravens’ early-down pass rate — which measures how often a team passes on first or second down, except during garbage time — through three games is 63.6%, sixth highest in the NFL. Their matchup against Buffalo now profiles less as an old-school-versus-new-school battle and more as a modern NFL air show; the Bills, led by star quarterback Josh Allen, rank second in early-down pass rate (68.1%), behind only the Kansas City Chiefs (69.5%).

The Ravens’ philosophical shift, until this season’s opening month, was gradual. In 2019, when Jackson won NFL Most Valuable Player honors after overseeing the league’s most efficient rushing and passing offense, the Ravens were last in the NFL in early-down run rate (43.4%). One year later, they were 30th (44.6%).

Last year, with injuries hurting the Ravens’ run game and a leaky defense forcing the offense to play catch-up, they ranked 12th in early-down pass rate (54.3%) — and fared well, ranking in the top 11 in both first- and second-down efficiency, according to Football Outsiders. It was a new look for quarterback and play-caller alike. Never before in Greg Roman’s four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2011 to 2014) and one full year with the Bills (2015) had an offense he coordinated finished above even 52% in early-down pass rate.

After an offseason and training camp in which Jackson passed as well as he ever has, if not better, the Ravens did not wait long to test out their proof of concept. They threw the ball on nearly three-quarters of their early downs in Week 1 against the New York Jets, then on over 60% of their early downs against the Dolphins. Even Sunday, when their rushing attack finally broke out in a win against the New England Patriots, the Ravens were among the NFL’s more pass-inclined teams.

“I try to mix it up,” Roman said last Thursday. “This time of year, we’re still kind of figuring out who we are, so I think I’ll get a better feel for that. It will change week to week; sometimes we’ll throw it more, sometimes we’ll run it more, but it’s going to be a week-to-week thing. I definitely think that the passing game is improving, but this is a whole new week, and we just have to keep getting better.”

Jackson said Wednesday that opponents this season have sometimes lined up on early downs as if they’re expecting the Ravens to turn back the clock. But defensive resources are finite. Teams committing to stopping Roman’s run game have opened up throwing lanes for a much-improved passing attack. According to the play index site nflfastR, the Ravens are averaging 10 yards on first-down pass plays (including scrambles) and 7.1 yards on second-down pass plays. Buffalo is averaging 6.5 yards and 7.1 yards, respectively, in those situations.

The Ravens’ early-down success has kept their offense on schedule and Jackson in command. Already an MVP front-runner, he’s first in the NFL in passer rating and fifth in rushing yards. Entering Week 4, the Ravens lead the NFL in points per game (33.0), yards per play (6.9) and offensive DVOA, a measure of efficiency.

“It’s Greg Roman and the offensive staff realizing people are going to play them a certain way,” CBS NFL analyst Charles Davis, who’ll call Sunday’s game in Baltimore, said in an interview. “I mean, they’re the Baltimore Ravens; you run the football, and you run it quite effectively. So when you throw the ball in the early downs, that’s countering what they planned for. … So I just think it’s Greg Roman and this staff saying, ‘Hey, we know how you’re going to play us,’ because we’ve earned that by how we run the ball. So we’re going to go counter to that and see if you’re going to adjust.”

Coach John Harbaugh, who lauded the Ravens’ “revolutionary” offense ahead of their record-breaking 2019 season, said Monday that “evolution kind of happens as it goes.” Amid departures from their passing game (wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown) and injuries to their running game (running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards) over the past year, the Ravens have tinkered and tweaked. Their offense is still unique, just in new ways.

“If you ask any defensive coordinator or head coach in this league, they’ll tell you that this offense is hard to defend,” Harbaugh said. “So that’s a pretty good measuring stick, right there. Now, executing and then keeping it going and coming up with ways to keep people off balance, that’s what coaches do, that’s what coordinators do. I really believe Greg is one of the very best in the business at that.”

The Bills won’t make anything easy Sunday. Despite a slew of injuries to key contributors, Buffalo has the NFL’s second-best pass defense and fifth-best rushing defense, according to Football Outsiders. If Roman and Jackson want to test an injury-ridden secondary, he’ll have to trust his protection against a fearsome pass rush. If they want to establish the run, they’ll have to overcome a defense that tackles the ball carrier at or behind the line of scrimmage nearly 30% of the time, one of the NFL’s best rates.

So: run or pass? Doesn’t matter to Ravens guard Kevin Zeitler. Inside the locker room Wednesday, he couldn’t even hazard a guess about how much the run-first offense he’d joined before the 2021 season had changed.

“You know, I honestly haven’t really thought about it too much,” Zeitler said. He added: “Teams like to do what they’re good at. If it’s passing, great. If it’s running, great. And I think if it works, it’s going to work.”

Week 4

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Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV: Chs. 13, 9

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

Line: Bills by 3

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S&P 500 Analysis – Strong Reversal at Monthly Support 3633?

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S&Amp;P 500 Analysis - Strong Reversal At Monthly Support 3633?
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Join senior market strategist and trading mentor Duncan Cooper as he monitors price levels on the monthly and daily charts of the S&P 500.

The price reversed sharply at the monthly support level of 3633 yesterday.

The break in price above yesterday’s high at 3735 would begin to confirm a short-term reversal targeting the daily resistance level of 3882.

Disclaimer: Trading involves risk. In times of heightened volatility, traders should apply strict risk management rules.

S&P 500 monthly chart on ACY MT4

S&P 500 daily chart on ACY MT4

This content may have been written by a third party. ACY makes no representations or warranties and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided, or any loss resulting from any investment based on any recommendation, forecast or other information provided by any third party. . This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment or other advice on which you may rely.

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Soros-linked group wins $41m from Biden to help illegals escape deportation

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Soros-Linked Group Wins $41M From Biden To Help Illegals Escape Deportation
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A non-governmental organization (NGO), with financial ties to billionaire George Soros, has won a $41 million federal contract from President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) to help illegal aliens escape deportation from the United States.

The Acacia Center for Justice, an NGO with financial ties to the Soros-linked Vera Institute of Justice, signed a contract with Biden’s DOJ to provide “legal services” to cross-border commuters and illegal aliens after they were released from prison. inside the United States hoping to stay permanently.

Fox News’ Joe Schoffstall reports:

The Biden administration awarded $41 million in taxpayer-backed government contracts to a new liberal nonprofit working to help illegal immigrants fight deportation amid an escalating border crisis, Fox News Digital found. [Emphasis added]

The Acacia Center for Justice, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., was born out of a partnership between the Vera Institute of Justice and Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR), received six “legal services” contracts from the Justice Department that began Sept. 1, records show. [Emphasis added]

The multimillion-dollar contracts began just months after the secrecy nonprofit received a July 29 determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service, which indicated that the effective date for the group’s tax exemption was December 29, 2021. [Emphasis added]

The Soros-linked Vera Institute of Justice, as Breitbart News previously reported, recently secured a $172 million DOJ contract from Biden to do the same job — helping illegal aliens evade deportation from states. -United

In 2018, the Vera Institute of Justice had already received $310 million from the Obama administration to help unaccompanied alien children (UACs) avoid deportation.

The latest estimates reveal that the Biden administration, from February 2021 to August 2022, released at least 1.35 million cross-border commuters and illegal aliens into American communities — a larger foreign population than the resident populations of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island and Montana.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter here.

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Daily horoscope for September 29, 2022

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Daily Horoscope For September 23, 2022
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Lunar Alert: Avoid major purchases or decisions after 5 p.m. EDT today (2 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. PDT). The Moon is in Scorpio.

Happy Birthday Thursday, September 29, 2022:

You’re talented, smart, and a bit of a maverick because you make your own decisions and do your own thing. You are caring, compassionate and a defender of justice. This year you will receive recognition, awards or perhaps a promotion to recognize your past work and efforts. Cheer!

RAM

(March 21-April 19)
★★★
It’s a good day to review paperwork related to shared ownership, debt, taxes, and everything else we like to avoid. Roll up your sleeves and check it out, because you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve come up with. Stay realistic. No pie-in-the-sky stuff. Tonight: Explore!

BULL

(April 20-May 20)
★★★
Pick today for a one-on-one chat with a partner or close friend, perhaps about an ongoing situation with your kids or something to do with travel or college. You may not fix things, but you can make great progress if you start. Tonight: Check your finances.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)
★★★
It’s a good day to bring up old business related to your work, especially if it’s related to your family, job, or workplace. Resources and help from others might be the assistance you need. Think positive! Tonight: listen, cooperate.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)
★★★★
This is a creative day for those who work in the arts or those who play sports or work with children. In particular, you may want to experiment with old ideas or previous methods that you were interested in before. A partner or close friend could help you. Tonight: work. Get organized.

LEO

(July 23-August 22)
★★★
A discussion with a relative of the family (perhaps mom) could be effective today. It could be related to old money issues or something you own. You might be able to fix something or find a better way to do a job. Most likely you want to help someone. Tonight: play!

VIRGIN

(August 23-September 22)
★★★
Communications with others today will be meaningful. You have something to say and someone wants to hear what you have to offer. Perhaps it concerns an old friend or an ex-partner. It can also be related to a different approach to managing children, sporting or social events. Tonight: Cocoon.

BALANCE

(Sep 23-Oct 22)
★★★
Be open to a new approach to financial matters today and perhaps how you earn your money. Or it could be how you handle something you already own. Someone could help you reuse an item you own. Do some research to expand your options. Tonight: Study.

SCORPIO

(23 Oct-21 Nov)
★★★★
Today you might be having a conversation with an old friend or a group – someone from your past – and that discussion is quite intense. Someone wants to get to the bottom of something. “What is really going on here? You see the subtext of things. Tonight: Focus on your finances.

SAGITTARIUS

(22 Nov-21 Dec)
★★★
It’s a popular time for you; nevertheless, today you might want to hide behind the scenes. Discussions about money, possessions, or your relationship with a parent or boss may require some sensitivity or privacy. Do not rush. Tonight: You win!

CAPRICORN

(22 Dec-19 Jan)
★★★
People look up to you now, especially bosses, parents, and people in authority. Of course, you can do this work for yourself. During this time, a friend might bring up old issues, perhaps related to travel, foreign countries, or a makeover project that might have interested you. Tonight: Loneliness.

AQUARIUS

(20 Jan-18 Feb)
★★★
Be aware that you are high visibility today. People notice you more than usual. Maybe someone will help you close old deals related to shared finances or shared ownership. Some research on your part might help you find useful information. Tonight: be friendly.

PISCES

(February 19-March 20)
★★★★
Because you need a change of scenery and want to be stimulated, you are open to ideas for possible travel plans, especially with an old friend or someone you haven’t seen in a while . Also, someone might give you money or help you get there. Tonight: You are noticed.

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Leicester v Nottingham Forest LIVE commentary: Under fire, Brendan Rodgers must avoid a seventh consecutive defeat in the East Midlands derby

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Leicester V Nottingham Forest Live Commentary: Under Fire, Brendan Rodgers Must Avoid A Seventh Consecutive Defeat In The East Midlands Derby
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Leicester host Nottingham Forest in the East Midlands derby on Monday night, with both clubs desperate for a win.

The Foxes have lost six Premier League games in a row and the pressure is really mounting on Brendan Rodgers.

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Things don’t look good for Rodgers

Leicester have decided not to sack the former Liverpool boss but you’d think time is running out unless he can turn things around quickly.

Meanwhile, Forest are yet to win an away league game since returning to the top flight.

Steve Cooper is always trying to incorporate all new players into his squad, which has been shown in recent performances.

But Forest beat Leicester 4-1 the last time these two met in the FA Cup earlier this year.

Leicester v Nottingham Forest: talkSPORT coverage

This Premier League clash is set to take place on monday october 3.

Kick-off at King Power Stadium is scheduled for 8 p.m.

talkSPORT coverage will begin at 7 p.m. with Adrian Durham.

Comments will come from Sam Matterface and former Liverpool man Danny Murphy.

To tune into talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 via the website, click HERE for the live stream. You can also listen through the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

Cooper's Team Have Suffered Poor Results This Year

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Cooper’s team have suffered poor results this year

Leicester v Nottingham Forest: Team news

The hosts are without Ryan Bertrand and Ricardo Pereira as they recover from long-term injuries.

Caglar Soyuncu is also a doubt after picking up a slight knee problem.

Wilfried Ndidi is also a major doubt after suffering a minor hamstring tear while with Nigeria.

Rodgers must also decide who will play in goal with Danny Ward in less than impressive form.

Visitors will be deprived of Moussa Niakhate and Orel Mangala.

Emmanuel Dennis hasn’t played any role in Nigeria’s latest round of games due to an unconfirmed issue.

Scott McKenna has suffered a sprained knee, while Morgan Gibbs-White has not played in England Under-21 fixtures and is being assessed.

Ndidi Could Face Another Spell On The Sidelines

Ndidi could face another spell on the sidelines

Leicester v Nottingham Forest: Match facts

  • Leicester have won just one of their last seven league meetings with Nottingham Forest (D4 L2), it’s the first time the sides have faced each other in the league since a 2-2 draw at the City Ground in February 2014.
  • Nottingham Forest have lost just one of their six Premier League meetings with Leicester (W3 D2), winning the last such match between the sides 1-0 in May 1999. It turned out to be Forest’s last top-flight game before they return this season. .
  • Although they haven’t met in the league for over eight years, Nottingham Forest beat Leicester in their last meeting in all competitions, winning a 4-1 FA Cup draw at the City Ground last season. Forest last won consecutive games against the Foxes in March 1995 (a series of three).
  • Leicester remain the only winless side in the Premier League this season (D1 L6), despite failing to win any of their first four home games in a league campaign in 2001-02 (D2 L2), finishing bottom of the Premier League that year.
  • Nottingham Forest have lost their last four league matches, conceding at least two goals in all four games. They suffered five straight league defeats in a single season in January 2004.
  • After losing his last two Premier League home games with Leicester (0-1 to Manchester United and 1-2 to Southampton), Brendan Rodgers could lose three league home games in a row for the first time as a coach.
  • Nottingham Forest have allowed the most turnovers in the Premier League so far this season (15), conceding four goals from such turnovers, twice as many as any other side.
  • No team have conceded more goals from set pieces (excluding pens) than Leicester and Nottingham Forest (both 5) in the Premier League this season, while all five conceded by Forest have been via corners, a league peak in 2022-23.
  • Leicester’s James Maddison has been directly involved in 11 goals (seven goals, four assists) in his last 10 Premier League games, while at the King Power Stadium he has registered seven goals and six assists in his 14 last matches of the competition.
  • Neco Williams has taken the most shots (15) and created chances (9) in the Premier League for Nottingham Forest this season. His 24 shot appearances are the most of any player without scoring a goal or assisting in the competition in 2022-23.

Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT

Leicester V Nottingham Forest Live Commentary: Under Fire, Brendan Rodgers Must Avoid A Seventh Consecutive Defeat In The East Midlands Derby

At talkSPORT we are powered by fans, so come join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – at the talkSPORT fan zone.

In a huge covered room under the arches of Waterloo in London, we will bring you live screenings of every World Cup match.

There will be Q&A with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live shows and plenty of food and drink will be on offer too.

Come and have the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a free pint – with tickets for the England and Wales group stage matches on sale now HERE!

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Chinese electric vehicle maker Leapmotor Leapmotor debuts in Hong Kong market

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Chinese Electric Vehicle Maker Leapmotor Leapmotor Debuts In Hong Kong Market
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Two new listings stumbled on their trading debut in Hong Kong after raising a total of $1.5 billion amid turbulent market conditions, casting a cloud over a growing pipeline of companies preparing to go public in the Asian financial center.

Shares of Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology Co., a Chinese electric vehicle maker, fell as much as 42% below their initial public offering price in their first hours of trading on Thursday. The seven-year-old company raised $800 million in its IPO, significantly less than the $1.5 billion it previously targeted, after pricing its shares at the bottom of a guided range .

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