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Fleur-de-Links, December 21: With the MVP race heating up, where does Saints QB Drew Brees stand?

Does Brees still have a chance to win the MVP award?

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NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Saints News:

If a QB is to win the MVP award, who’s your pick: Brees or Mahomes? – The Athletic
Two of our film experts point out just how dominant these two quarterbacks have been this season.

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan says he wouldn't rank Ben Roethlisberger in top five of his era
Saints DE Cam Jordan argued against Ben Roethlisberger's case as a future Hall of Famer on Wednesday, saying he wouldn't rank the Steelers QB among the top five of his generation.

Saints Film Room: How Cameron Tom and Will Clapp performed when their numbers were called? – The Athletic
As the Saints continue to deal with injuries, their young linemen are gaining valuable experience.

First-and-10: Saints stand alone with NFL's best record for just second time in team history |
How the Saints deal with prosperity, as opposed to adversity, will determine how far they go in the postseason.

5 must watch matchups when the Steelers play the Saints
I go in depth to the five matchups that will most likely determine the outcome to the Steelers vs. Saints game.

Steelers more suited than ever to match up with Saints’ offense. Alvin Kamara might be the exception – The Athletic
What options do the Steelers have when it comes to trying to cover talented Saints running back Alvin Kamara?

Tim Benz: Saints vs. Steelers goes beyond Roethlisberger vs. Brees | TribLIVE
Most of the lead up to the Steelers game in New Orleans has focused on two topics. • Ben Roethlisberger vs. Drew Brees. • How the Steelers defense can possibly control the Saints offensive skill position players, who have racked up the second-highest point total in football. Those should be ...

Steelers vs. Saints: Betting odds, top spread pick |
The Saints are the only team in the NFL allowing fewer than 80 rushing yards per game this season.

How Marcus Williams has helped settle the Saints' secondary and made it soar | Saints |
One of the easiest things to do against the Saints has become one of the harder things to do against the Saints.

NFL News:

NFL MVP: Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack deserve to be front-runners
Yes, being an offensive player is nearly a prerequisite for NFL MVP consideration. But it’s time to give two defenders their due.

Eagles News: Two Philadelphia players have the most QB hits of any NFL duo - Bleeding Green Nation
Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/21/18.

2019 NFL draft: 49ers address top 3 needs in Draft Wire mock
The latest Draft Wire 2019 NFL mock draft is a three-round projection where the 49ers address all of their top needs, but miss on one pick.

What to watch for in Ravens-Chargers, Redskins-Titans -
Saturday’s tandem of games are chock-full of playoff implications. Here’s what to watch for in Washington Redskins at Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers.

Dez Bryant wants to play in 2019: ‘I can’t end like this’ -
Dez Bryant never saw the playing field in 2018, but that isn’t frustrating his aspirations to return to football next year. “I can’t end like this. I have to throw the X up.”

Where Bears team, players rank in the NFL after Week 15
Take a look at where the Bears stack up both as a team and individually in the NFL rankings heading into their 15th game of the regular season against the 49ers on Sunday.

Joe Flacco landing spots: Jaguars, Redskins among fits for QB -
With the Ravens set to say goodbye to their longtime quarterback, Gil Brandt spotlights five potential new homes for Joe Flacco -- including one that would spice up the AFC North.

Top 10 NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidates -
Can anyone prevent Aaron Donald from winning his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award? Chris Wesseling spotlights the top 10 candidates of this season, a list that also includes Khalil Mack and J.J. Watt.

The NFL (and Vikings) might be in the midst of an analytics revolution -
Welcome to the Thursday edition of The Cooler, where the revolution is televised. Let’s get to it:

NFL hopes to ditch marijuana ban via collective bargaining – ProFootballTalk
Regardless of whether Josh Gordon’s latest suspension arises from marijuana or other recreational drugs that don’t enhance performance, his indefinite banishment brings back into focus a question that gnaws at power brokers like Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: Why does the NFL test players for marijuana ...

Patriots’ Josh Gordon suspended indefinitely by NFL -
New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon was suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Thursday for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the league’s substance abuse policy.

Josh Gordon Stepping Away from NFL to Focus on Mental Health, Thanks Patriots | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon announced Thursday that he is “stepping away from the football field” to focus on his mental health...

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