When Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore finished

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  1. zhangzk Active Member

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    New Orleans’ defense Jachai Polite Jersey, he came away unimpressed, but not discouraged.
    ”We didn’t get up for that game and that’s on us. We know we’ve got to step it up,” Lattimore said after practice Wednesday, as the Saints prepared for their postseason clash on Sunday with Carolina. ”It’s the playoffs, so that’s in the past. We’re going to get the job done. We didn’t lose our confidence at all. We’re good. We’re going to get up for this game for sure.”
    Lattimore and fellow Saints defenders not only have to address their recent back-sliding as a unit, but also for the presence of star Carolina tight end Greg Olsen, who didn’t play in either of these teams’ previous two meetings this season.
    ”You’re talking about one of the better tight ends in the game. Not having him is significant and having him is huge,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. ”He’s smart. He’s tough. He blocks for the run. He enjoys competing and quite honestly, he does so many little things well in regards to zone or man, that third down or red zone – pick a situation – it’s just significant.”
    Olsen missed nine games with a foot injury this season. He played in Carolina’s last four regular season games, with as many as nine receptions in one game.
    ”We do some things with Greg that we didn’t get a chance to do when he wasn’t with us,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. ”Gregg’s a pass-catching threat, a good route runner, got good hands.”
    He has just 17 catches for 191 yards and one touchdown this season, and had only one reception in Carolina’s loss to Atlanta last week.
    Still Chuma Edoga Jersey , Saints defenders expect Olsen to be a factor in a win-or-go-home playoff game.
    ”Him and Cam have timing together, chemistry,” Saints safety Vonn Bell said. ”He knows the offense. He’s a (former) Pro Bowler. He knows how to use his body” to keep defenders from getting to the ball in flight.
    ”We just know he’s a passing threat,” Bell added.
    The Saints improved from 27th defensively overall to 15th this season. They also enjoyed considerable increases in sacks, from 30 to 42, and interceptions, from 9 to 20.
    Yet a 31-24 loss at Tampa Bay in the regular season finale ”left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth,” Payton said.
    The Saints’ defense gave up 455 total yards in Tampa Bay. The Bucs converted 13 of 18 third downs and their lone fourth-down attempt. If not for three interceptions – one by linebacker Craig Robertson and two by rookie safety Marcus Williams, the Saints might have struggled just to keep it close.
    ”We’ve got a fire lit up under us to come out here and play the way we know we’re capable of playing,” defensive tackle Tyeler Davison said. ”Our details weren’t exactly on point like they need to be that last game.”
    The Bucs gained 110 yards rushing and had two receivers go over 100 yards, including Chris Godwin, who caught a go-ahead, 39-yard touchdown pass with 9 seconds left.
    ”Definitely sour to end it with not our best performance of the year by far,” Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said. ”But the beauty of this is we get another shot, and this time it really means something.”
    Notes: LT Terron Armstead (thigh) Trevon Wesco Jersey , DE Trey Hendrickson (ankle) and TE Michael Hoomanawanui (concussion) all practiced on a limited basis on Wednesday after not playing in Tampa Bay last Sunday. … Several other regulars practiced on a limited basis, including leading receiver Michael Thomas (hamstring), guard Senio Kelemete (knee), tight end Josh Hill (shoulder) and special teams regular Justin Hardee.


    NEW YORK — It took Jose Bautista 1,727 major league games to hit a walk-off home run. It only seems like it has been that long since the New York Mets won consecutive games at home.
    The Mets will hope Bautista’s long-awaited walk-off on Friday propels them to a rare winning streak on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field when they host the Tampa Bay Rays in the middle game of a three-game series.
    The Mets’ Steven Matz (4-5, 3.46 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Rays ace Blake Snell (11-4, 2.24) in a battle of left-handers.
    Bautista made his first walk-off homer a particularly memorable one when his grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning lifted the Mets to a 5-1 win in the series opener.
    “I guess sometimes it just takes awhile,” said Bautista, whose 336 homers without a walk-off before Friday were the most among active players.
    The 37-year-old Bautista has proved to be a rare bright spot for the struggling Mets (35-49) by hitting .255 with four homers, 18 RBIs and a .432 on-base percentage since signing with New York on May 22, hours after he was released by the Atlanta Braves. He hit just .143 with two homers and five RBIs in 12 games for Atlanta.
    “Top-tier production out of a guy that we got from Atlanta, who let him go, so that (performance is) surprising,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Friday night. “Now the guy himself, who has the body of a 25-year-old (and) stays in shape? Can never count those guys out. He’s been playing for a long time Shareef Miller Jersey , had a lot of success.”
    Success has been hard to come by for the Mets, especially at home, where they haven’t won consecutive games since a four-game winning streak from May 18 to May 21. New York is 3-15 in its last 18 games at Citi Field.
    The task won’t be easy Saturday when Snell looks to continue his breakout season for the Rays (43-44) and further bolster his case for drawing the start for the American League in the All-Star Game on July 17.
    Snell has limited opposing batters to a .179 average, the lowest in the AL. He is tied for second in the the league in wins and ranks third in ERA.
    Snell has been particularly dominant in winning his last three starts, a stretch in which he has allowed just two runs in 21 1/3 innings while striking out 26 and allowing 20 baserunners. He surrendered one run and struck out 10 in 7 1/3 innings in beating the Houston Astros on Sunday.
    Rays manager Kevin Cash said the success has emboldened Snell, who entered the seasons with just 11 wins and a 3.83 ERA in 43 career starts.
    “We all know how talented he is and the stuff that he features — there aren’t many guys in baseball, 6-foot-5 left-handers that throw that hard — but the consistency has been probably the most eye-popping of all of it,” Cash said. “And I’m sure there’s a lot of reasons that go into that. But once he got some confidence and realized how talented he is, I think it carries over from start to start.”
    Snell has never faced the Mets, though he did pitch at Citi Field as a member of the “home” team last Sept. 12. In that game, he allowed one run and two hits in five innings for the Rays against the New York Yankees in a game relocated to Citi Field because of Hurricane Irma’s impact on the Tampa Bay area.
    Matz also picked up the win in his most recent start Sunday when he gave up an unearned run in 5 1/3 innings as the Mets beat the Miami Marlins 5-2. He has never faced the Rays.

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