Their minds still racing with childlike exuberance over

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Their minds still racing with childlike exuberance over

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NFC championship game Iman Marshall Jersey , many of the Minnesota Vikings remained awake several hours past midnight. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes replayed the video clip of the winning touchdown ”about a thousand times” at home, searing the image of Stefon Diggs leaping to catch the pass from Case Keenum and sprinting for the end zone into his memory forever so the details of the sequence that beat New Orleans were no longer foggy. Ten seconds left. Trailing by one point. Sixty-one yards to go. The outcome that produced the 29-24 victory was so improbable that the Vikings were predictably continuing to process their status as the first team in NFL history to score a winning touchdown on the final play of regulation in a postseason game. ”The Minneapolis Miracle”, as it was dubbed in trending on social media, was as unfathomable as the name sounds. ”We still can’t believe it in the locker room,” wide receiver Adam Thielen said. ”I woke up this morning and made sure it wasn’t a dream.” The Vikings were about a field-goal favorite on the early betting lines to beat the Eagles on Sunday and become the first team to play a Super Bowl on home turf. ”I believe anything is possible at any moment, as you can see what happened yesterday,” Rhodes said. Such an emotional ending carries the potential to distract from preparation for and focus on the next game at Philadelphia, when the winner’s high will be worn off and the Vikings will be in an unfriendly stadium without the advantages and comforts of their own place. They wouldn’t have advanced this far without an unassuming attitude, though, so they were quick on Monday to dismiss the danger of savoring the moment too long. ”I think it took a little bit longer yesterday to probably get over it, but http://www.ravenscheapstores.com/trace-mcsorley-jersey-cheap , no, today I think guys are ready,” Thielen said. ”We know how tough this game’s going to be for us, and we know that we still have a long ways to go.” For those anxiously and impatiently long-waiting fans of one of the NFL’s most agonized franchises, the victory on Sunday was evidence that whatever curse existed in their minds might no longer be relevant. Sure, most of these players endured the missed 27-yard field-goal try by Blair Walsh in the closing seconds of the wild-card round defeat two years ago against Seattle. Defensive end Brian Robison, at least, was on the 2009 team that lost in overtime at New Orleans in the NFC championship game. Except for Thielen and the handful of Minnesota natives on the roster, though, those crushing losses of the past that helped shape Vikings lore have not been a part of this team’s experience, let alone the lives of most of the players. ”We’re not playing to make up for anything David Montgomery Jersey ,” Thielen said. ”We’re just playing to win football games.” To beat the Eagles, the Vikings have some more work to do. They won’t have the crowd noise or the fast surface, for one. They’ll have to face a defense just as strong if not stronger than the Saints. That’s why coach Mike Zimmer, who let his guard down during an uncharacteristically playful postgame news conference , was all business at the podium inside the team’s practice facility on Monday. ”We can’t make these mistakes in playoff games or we’ll be going home,” Zimmer said. ”There’s always good and always bad in some of the games, but we made some critical errors in that game that could have gotten us beat.” — NEW YORK — The Atlanta Braves have fared well against teams with winning records so far this season and this week will test their success. The first stop for the Braves will be a visit to Yankee Stadium for the opener of a three-game interleague series with the New York Yankees on Monday night. Atlanta (48-34) heads to New York after completing a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 6-5 victory on Sunday. Mike Foltynewicz pitched five one-hit innings and the Braves improved to 30-19 against teams with winning records, which is the best mark in the National League. Only the Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros are performing better against winning opponents. Atlanta begins a stretch of 16 of 18 games against teams with winning records. After visiting Yankee Stadium for the first time since June 2012, the Braves visit Milwaukee for four games next weekend and host the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 13-15. Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer Sunday. He is 9-for-52 (.173) in his last 12 games. “It’s coming,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker told reporters after Freeman hit his 16th homer of the season. “Somebody’s going to pay. It’s just one of those things that everybody goes through. “He’s working http://www.bearscheapstores.com/riley-ridley-jersey-cheap , and we still have unbelievable confidence in him and what he brings. You feel like he’s going to do something special every time he goes up there.” The Yankees also will get their first looks at rookie outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. and second baseman Ozzie Albies. Acuna went 4-for-13 in the weekend series after missing a month with a mild ACL sprain and contusion in his left knee and also a lower back contusion. The 20-year-old is batting .269 with six homers and 15 RBIs in his first 32 games. Albies enters with a .275 average and on an 11-game hitting streak. During the longest streak of his career, he is batting .431 (22-for-51). The Yankees own the best home record in the majors at 31-12 and are 26-7 in their last 33 home games. New York also has slugged 77 of its major league-leading 137 homers at home after setting a season high with six in Sunday’s 11-1 rout of the Boston Red Sox. Aaron Hicks hit three homers and Aaron Judge belted his 22nd, rookie Gleyber Torres hit his 15th and Kyle Higashioka delivered his first as the Yankees roughed up David Price. Anibal Sanchez, who is 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts), gets the ball for the Braves. He’s hoping to avoid his third straight loss after allowing six runs and 10 hits in 9 2/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cincinnati Reds. Sanchez exited his last start on Tuesday with right calf cramps after throwing a pitch to Cincinnati’s Joey Votto. Sanchez is making his 271st career start. The first start of his career occurred June 25, 2006, at old Yankee Stadium when he allowed seven hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the Miami Marlins against a lineup featuring Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano. Including his major league debut, Sanchez is 4-1 with a 3.79 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees. He last faced New York on Aug. 1 with the Detroit Tigers and held the Yankees to two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 4-3 win at Yankee Stadium. It also was his last win with the Tigers. If Sanchez gives the Braves a chance for a save opportunity in the ninth inning, Arodys Vizcaino could close it out. Vizcaino was placed on the disabled list June 24 with shoulder inflammation http://www.cowboyscheapauthenticstore.com/trysten-hill-jersey-cheap , took a rest day Sunday after throwing a side session Saturday and could be activated for the opener. Vizcaino last pitched June 17. Before going on the DL, he posted a 1.82 ERA, converted 15 of 17 save opportunities and struck out 33 in 29 2/3 innings in 30 appearances. Jonathan Loaisiga will make his fourth start since being inserted into the rotation for Masahiro Tanaka (hamstrings). Loaisiga is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his first three starts. Two of those starts were scoreless outings as he threw a combined 10 1/ 3 scoreless innings, allowed four hits and fanned 14 in wins over Tampa Bay on June 15 and at Philadelphia last Monday. His other start was June 20 when he allowed three runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 7-5 win over the Seattle Mariners decided on a walk-off homer by Stanton. “He was a lot more assertive, a lot more aggressive with his fastball and challenging the strike zone with it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We saw a number of really good breaking balls. We saw some good changeups. When he got in some putaway counts, I felt like he did a better job of making it look like a strike out of the hand, which is something you’ve got to be better at here in the big leagues.” Monday will be the 30th regular-season meeting between the teams, who met in the 1996 and 1999 World Series. The Yankees are 17-12 all-time against the Braves.