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Ben Roethlisberger


Who will be the NFL MVP in 2018?

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TOFN “5 Games” podcast: QB Ken Anderson revisits his 1982 shootout with HOFer Dan Fouts

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The 2018 NFL game of the year? Eagles at Rams

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The last running back to win NFL MVP honors was Adrian Peterson in 2012 when he rushed for 2,096 yards. That’s what it takes for an RB to get into the MVP discussion – a 2,000-yard season.

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Anderson completed 218 of his 309 passes in the strike-shortened 1982 season to set the record – a record that would stand for 27 years before Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints would complete 70.6 percent of his passes in 2009.

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The Eagles-Rams would be a rematch of the game between the two NFC division champions last December. The Eagles won, 43-35, setting the tone for a dash through the winter months for the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy.

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The Packers missed the playoffs last season with a 7-9 record in large part because their perennial MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers missed nine games with a fractured right collarbone. He’s healthy and back on the field in 2018.

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Tom Brady has won five Super Bowls and, at 40, was the NFL MVP in 2017 after leading the NFL in passing yards. Then he threw for an NFL record 505 yards in a losing cause in the Super Bowl. The only worry the Patriots have in 2018 is the aging process.

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Only two NFL teams are 3-0 on the road this season, the Panthers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Carolina won only two games on the road all of last season.

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Tom Brady has thrown 110 passes without an interception this season. He was the only quarterback to pass for 1,000 yards through the first three weeks (1,092) and also led the NFL with his 8 TD passes.

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The two key elements for any Super Bowl contender are quarterback and pass rush. The Raiders have both with Derek Carr taking the snaps and Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin pressuring the quarterback off the edge.

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Six of the NFL’s eight division champions in 2015 failed to return to the playoffs the following season, including all four of the teams that won the NFC titles.

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Other than teammate Ben Roethlisberger, there’s one quarterback Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison said he’d like on his club: “That damned Tom Brady.”

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The Jets upset of the Colts in 1969 holds the greatest historical significance in Super Bowl annals. Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a victory, then the Jets went out and became the first AFL champion to beat the NFL champ.

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The New England Patriots are the AFC East champions and AFC top seed with a 14-2 record. The coach (Bill Belichick) and quarterback (Tom Brady) have been to six Super Bowls and won four of them.

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Hall-of-Fame semifinalist Alan Faneca recalls the biggest play of the Steelers’ 2005 Super Bowl season and, predictably, it was made by Ben Roethlisberger. But there’s a catch: It wasn’t one of Big Ben’s passes or scrambles.

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The Denver Broncos captured the Lombardi Trophy last season but no team has repeated as NFL champion since the New England Patriots in 2003-04.

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The last defensive player to win the NFL MVP award was Lawrence Taylor in 1986. The Steelers haven’t had an MVP since Terry Bradshaw in 1978, and the Raiders haven’t had one since quarterback Rich Gannon in 2002.

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