Last year was a bit of a departure, with some teams accelerating the process by making their moves Sunday night.

Some of this season’s replay rulings have been criticized by Blandino and Mike Pereira, Blandino’s predecessor with the NFL who also is a Fox rules analyst. Some within the league believe that Riveron has, at times, attempted to re-officiate plays from New York rather than adhering to the intended role of replay and merely correcting obvious mistakes while otherwise allowing the calls made on the field to stand.

The competitive advantage is slight; it provides a head start of a half day or so in making plans and lining up candidates. But there’s probably no going back now, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see some coaching moves made official Sunday night.

The improbable score set off pandemonium at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, where purple-clad fans had appeared set for yet another of the franchise’s brutal postseason defeats. Instead, it was Drew Brees and his shocked teammates, particularly Williams, who will have the offseason and beyond to bemoan a near-certain victory that got away in the final moments.

Adding to the Saints’ misery was the fact that they had staged a terrific comeback just to position themselves for a gut punch. The Vikings had controlled the first half, taking a 17-0 lead, but Brees threw three second-half touchdown passes, two to wide receiver Michael Thomas to take a one-point lead with just over three minutes left in the game.

“I feel like, you know, that’s something that runs through our minds, my mind, especially when you feel like you lost something you should have had,” linebacker Vic Beasley said last week. “You get a chance to play these guys again; you want to give it your best shot.”

Giants receiver Odell Beckham is not expected to see the field on Saturday after suffering an ankle sprain Monday that could reportedly keep him out of action in Week 1 of the regular season. Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is also slated to miss Saturday’s game while recovering from a concussion. It’s unclear if the Texans plan to play DeAndre Hopkins after the receiver missed practice this week.

In between several moments of brilliance in the second overtime, Cousins’ body language suggested he could barely stand.

Without Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants struggled to push the ball downfield. Eli Manning managed a mere 198 net passing yards with no touchdowns and an interception and if not for a field goal in the third quarter, Big Blue would have had a big fat zero on the scoreboard.

It’s unknown whether Beckham will be ready to go Monday night, but the Lions finished Week 1 as the seventh-best pass-coverage unit in the league per Pro Football Focus. Plus, during last year’s Week 15 matchup, Lions cornerback Darius Slay and safety Glover Quinn limited Beckham to three catches for 31 yards and no touchdowns.

Strength (and Weakness?): This year’s Saints are a new creation. After eons of relying almost exclusively on Drew Brees and the air game, New Orleans shredded teams on the ground in 2017 with the spicy combination of Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara. By the numbers, they’re the first pair of teammate backs to each record 1,500-plus scrimmage yards. To the eyes, they’re a brilliant meshing of rare individual gifts.

That included a whopping six takedowns each against the Bucs and Vikings. The Panthers have a shot if they can rattle the likes of Brees, Keenum and Goff when it matters most. I’d also point to a ground game that, when it’s on, can pound away with Jonathan Stewart, a surging Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton doing Cam Newton-like things.

His feet hardly left the floor on a 3-pointer that rolled around the rim and in. He also managed to hit a turnaround jumper and calmly made two free throws to ice the game with 8 seconds left.

Davis, who fouled out in the first overtime, called Cousins’ performance “legendary,” adding that his fellow big man — more than anyone — earned the day off from practice the Pelicans were given on Tuesday.

Marquee teams have not played up to expectations. The New England Patriots, coming off their fifth Super Bowl title with Bill Belichick as their coach and Tom Brady as their quarterback, opened the season with a stunning loss to the Chiefs and have a record of 3-2. The Cowboys, who led a post-election partial recovery in TV viewership last season, are 2-3 following the last-second defeat Sunday to the Packers. The Chiefs remain the NFL’s only unbeaten team.

This year’s prospect rankings package begins with the first half of my ranking of the top 100 prospects in the minors.

Editor’s note: Age is the player’s age as of July 1, 2018. Players with experience in foreign major leagues like Japan’s NPB or Korea’s KBO, such as Shohei Ohtani, are ineligible for these rankings.

Washington doesn’t run the ball effectively and its Week 11 opponent, the Saints, have been stingy in recent weeks against other talented backs. Despite moving into a larger role, Perine is owned in just over 23 percent of ESPN leagues. He’s certainly worth stashing on one’s roster, but unless you’re in a bad place with RB depth, he’s not an appealing play this weekend.

By August 2016, after the Republican convention, a Post-ABC poll found that 60 percent of Americans thought Trump was biased against women and minorities — including 20 percent of people who planned to vote for him. In August of this year, Fox News asked a similar question, with more than half of the country and 15 percent of Republicans saying he doesn’t respect racial minorities.

“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem,” Goodell wrote to NFL club presidents and chief executives. “It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”

He will play on as long as he is able, and the Patriots will have him as long as they can. But so much of the structure around him is about to change, and it is impossible to know how those adjustments will impact him. For a rare moment Sunday, Brady departed from the Patriots’ ruthless focus on what is in front of them and looked back to marvel at the chance to duplicate that first early brick of a dynasty with a second one as he nears the end of the rainbow.

The AFC Championship matchup is now set following Sunday’s showdown between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Jaguars’ 45-42 win sends them to New England, where they will face the Patriots next week with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

It looked like the Jaguars were going to run away with this one early on. They struck early, going up 14-0 with two Leonard Fournette touchdowns in the first quarter. The Steelers trailed 28-14 going into halftime, but they had plenty of ground to make up, and questionable play calling wasn’t helping them get it done.

Be sure to give Ramsey a mic if there’s a next time, please.

Nine of the defense’s 11 starters were homegrown, and six of those nine have come aboard since Dan Quinn came on in 2015. He and Dimitroff began to push Plan D to the point where it’s become a big part of everything the Falcons do. And those numbers are counting the contributions of 2017 rookies Takk McKinley and Duke Riley, who played key roles as reserves.

Chicago’s biggest need is finding a head coach who can help mold Trubisky. The Rams and Eagles have served as excellent examples of what an offensively-minded coach (Sean McVay and Doug Pederson, respectively) can do for a blossoming second-year quarterback. The Bears need to find someone who can nurture Trubisky’s development while surrounding him with the talent he needs to succeed.

There will be several hot names on the coaching market associated with the Bears’ vacancy. Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur may not have been successful in his one stint as an NFL head coach — albeit with the black hole of failure known as the Browns — but he’s done wonders developing schemes in which both Sam Bradford and Case Keenum could have the best seasons of their careers. Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ stint as the Broncos head coach was most notable for his feud with a young quarterback Bears fans are plenty familiar with: Jay Cutler. While he didn’t win much in the Rocky Mountains, he’s built his profile back up under Bill Belichick and will be a commodity this offseason.

Bengals fans are livid after learning about Marvin Lewis’ extension

New year, new Bengals — just kidding.

The Bengals’ last game in the 2017 season was a win against the Ravens, and it propelled the Bills into the playoffs. Not only that, but the victory was tentatively a warm conclusion to the Marvin Lewis era. There were rumors that it would be his last game as Bengals head coach.

1. Colorado: How about the BuffaloesAfter being swept on a two-game trip to Oregon the week before, Colorado defended its home court by sweeping Arizona State and Arizona, the two Pac-12 frontrunners. Junior wing Namon Wright (16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds last week) should stick back in the starting lineup.

2. Ohio State: What a debut season for Chris Holtmann so far. Sunday’s decisive win over Michigan State moved the Buckeyes to 4-0 in the Big Ten a year after they finished 7-11 in the league. With zero bad losses so far, this is looking every bit like a tournament team.

3. Texas Tech: In keeping with Beard’s point about how easily things can turn in the Big 12, the Red Raiders have to travel to Oklahoma and then host West Virginia this week. Even splitting those dates with top-10 teams would be impressive. If they go 2-0 again, the rest of the league will be put on notice.

So as y’all know, this video mostly centers on NFL players. It does include skill-position players. The goal of the weekly video is showing the disrespect and savageness of blocks. I love seeing the finishes and, more importantly, the effort to finish and be nasty. I’m not sure any block better showed the ethos of this weekly video more than a college block.

Notre Dame might have the two best linemen in the country. They for sure have the best lineman to enter the draft in left guard Quenton Nelson. He has a legit chance to be a NFL All-Pro for years. So I started the video this week with his block. It’s just savage. He choke slams this defender and then … well, watch the video.

Next, it’s the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons beat the Panthers on Sunday to get themselves into the playoffs. If the Falcons can play to their ability, they can be unstoppable. Here is Ty Sambrailo entering the game as the sixth offensive lineman, and he just crushes this defender. He times up the hips and hands and blasts this guy. Then he comes back for more and finishes the block.