NFL and USAA Announce Finalists for the Salute to Service Award

The NFL and USAA, an Official NFL Salute to Service Partner, announced Atlanta Falcons CEO STEVE CANNON, Detroit Lions Head Coach MATT PATRICIA, and Los Angeles Chargers Legend DONNIE EDWARDS as finalists for the ninth annual Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.

Cannon, Patricia, and Edwards were selected for their exceptional efforts to honor and support members of the military community. The Salute to Service Award recipient will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 1, the eve of Super Bowl LIV, on FOX.

USAA will contribute $25,000 in the award recipient’s honor to the official aid societies representing all five military branches. The NFL will match USAA’s donation of $25,000, which will be donated to the award recipient’s military charity of choice. The award recipient will receive a specially designed military challenge coin, recognizing their commitment to the military. In what has become a long-standing tradition, challenge coins are presented to members of the military community to encourage excellence, boost morale or to recognize a fellow brother- or sister-in-arms.

“Each having different life experiences and connections to our military, all three finalists for the ‘Salute to Service Award presented by USAA’ are connected by a shared belief in honoring and showing appreciation to our nation’s service members and veterans,” said Vice Admiral (Ret.) JOHN BIRD, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. “Steve, Coach Patricia, and Donnie are all worthy finalists and we salute them for their continued commitment to America’s military community.”

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Vikings top Saints in NFL Wild Card upset!

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

I’m not gonna lie – this game completely shocked me! This year’s NFL Wild Card Weekend had some major upsets as well as THREE road teams being victorious!

I’ve been a huge fan of the New Orleans Saints all season long and wondered why they weren’t getting any love in the media when it came to talking about the playoffs and Super Bowl contenders. After their 26-20 loss in overtime to the Minnesota Vikings, I guess I can see why no one believed in them.

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NFL Wildcard Preview

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

This year’s NFC Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs will start on Sunday, January 5th.

The first matchup will feature the New Orleans Saints (13-3) hosting the Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at 1:05pm EST.

Then, we’ll have the Seattle Seahawks (11-5) heading to Philadelphia to face the Eagles (9-7) at 4:40pm EST. Frankly, I’m still not sure how the Eagles get home-field for this game but that’s how it worked out.

 

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Coaching Carousel 2020

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West / AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman //@DaynaOG

As we head into January 2020, teams that didn’t make the playoffs need to look inward to see what went wrong. Every season there are changes that have to be made, changes that probably should be made then aren’t, and changes that feel like they change a franchise. Often those changes start with the head coaches.

Being a head coach in the NFL is a very hard job. Something only a large handful has been able to execute well. Teams are constantly on the lookout for “the guy”. The one that will be there for years, bringing success to the franchise. This year, we have 4 teams, possibly 5, that are once again on the hunt for a new head coach. Let’s take a look at who they may hiring.

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The NFC South Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

This week, the nominees from each NFL team were announced for one of my favorite professional sports awards, the Walter Payton Man of the Year. This award recognizes players for their volunteer and charity work, not just their play on the field. These are men of character who give back to the communities that support their NFL careers.

It was originally called the NFL Man of the Year, but in 1999, after the death of Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, who won the award in 1977, it was renamed to honor his legacy as a humanitarian. There are currently six active layers who have won the award — Drew BreesJason WittenThomas DavisLarry FitzgeraldEli Manning and J.J. Watt.

Let’s take a look at the men who will be representing the NFC South teams as this year’s finalists…

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Panthers fire Rivera – Who’s next?

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

In news that shocked me this week, the Carolina Panthers have fired head coach Ron Rivera after nine seasons.If a guy can coach a team to 5-7 while their star quarterback (Cam Newton) has been out since week 2, is any coach safe in this league?

It seems as if once one team fires their head coach before the season ends, a couple of others decide to follow suit. Who else could be on the head coach chopping block before the end of the year?

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Reasons to be Thankful in the NFC South

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends. A time to count your blessings and acknowledge the many things you are thankful for this year.

Fans of the NFC South have many things to be thankful for this year.

From star running backs to head coaches, there are many players and personnel that make our Sundays better throughout the NFL season.

Here’s the list of things that I’m thankful for in the NFC South… Continue reading “Reasons to be Thankful in the NFC South”

Monday Night Football kicks off Thanksgiving week

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter
NFC West / AFC West

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

It’s the official beginning of the holidays, Thanksgiving week! It’s also the beginning of a fantastic week of football, and it all kicks off with Monday Night Football featuring the Los Angeles Rams and the Baltimore Ravens. Let’s take a look at everything coming up this week.

Tonight, the Rams (6-4) take on the red hot (purple hot?) Ravens (8-2)  at home in LA. Now, at the beginning of the season, this would have been touted as one of the best games of the season, but the Rams have struggled more than we thought they would this year, and the Ravens…well they have been killing it.

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NFC South division matchups turn into blowouts

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Week 11 saw two division matchups for the NFC South, and both games ended up being blowouts.

While that in itself may not sound surprising, the resurgence of the Atlanta Falcons and their decisive win over the Carolina Panthers most definitely was a surprise – at least to me! With their third win of the season, the Falcons are now 3-7, but at least they are not alone at the bottom of the division. After losing to the New Orleans Saints, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also 3-7.

The Saints extend their lead in the division with a record of 8-2 and with the loss, the Panthers drop to 5-5 and their playoff hopes have pretty much been decimated.

It seems the Defenses came to play this week with both winners garnering four interceptions in their respective games!

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Where does Cam Newton stand with the Carolina Panthers?

By Antwan Staley //@antwanstaley

About the Author: Antwan is a writer for AthlonSports.com.  He’s also a video gamer, hip hop historian, and a has a graduate degree in communications from the University of Florida.  

2019 is the 25th season that the Carolina Panthers have been in the NFL. The franchise has had their fair share of quarterbacks, but no of them has probably meant more the area as Cam Newton.

That’s likely why some fans are having a difficult time with the fact Newton’s future with the Panthers in serious doubt. There have been multiple reports that Carolina is planning to move on from the 2015 MVP before the start of the new league year, which is in March. Newton is the best quarterback in Panthers’ history, but it is time for both sides to move on.

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