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鈥?The Atlanta Falcons’ claim to fame is the crushing way they lost a Super Bowl.They’re hardly alone in these playoffs.Seven of the 12 teams still alive have never celebrated in the big game Billy Price Bengals Jersey , matching the largest group of playoff-bound squads with not-so-Super pedigrees since the 1999 season.Will that lack of championship-winning experience prove costly?If you’re on a team that hasn’t won a ring, it’s only natural to just shrug it off as a meaningless anomaly.“It’s right here, right now,” Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn said Thursday. “What’s in the past doesn’t matter.”But there’s no denying that six-time champion Pittsburgh and five-time winner New England 鈥?the defending champ, as well 鈥?are the only true blue bloods in this field.The Falcons have lost both of their Super Bowl appearances, including last season’s 34-28 overtime defeat in which Tom Brady and the Patriots stunningly rallied from a 25-point deficit in the second half . The NFC’s top seed, the Philadelphia Eagles, is also 0-2 in the Super Bowl, as are the Carolina Panthers.Buffalo and Minnesota are the only franchises to lose four times in the big game without a title, and the Bills, of course, are the lone team to suffer that fate in four straight years. The Tennessee Titans (who began their existence as the Houston Oilers) came up short in their lone Super Bowl try. Jacksonville has never been to the title game at all .Jaguars owner Shad Khan said it’s good to have a bunch of teams chasing their first crown.He noted the huge demand for tickets in attendance-challenged Jacksonville, where the Jags are hosting the Bills in a matchup of teams that broke long playoff droughts this season.“Could you imagine the hottest ticket in football is right here, selling for five, six times face value?” Khan said. “Our cheapest ticket is 300 bucks, standing room. Could you believe that happening in freaking Jacksonville?”Kansas City, New Orleans and the Los Angeles Rams have only one title apiece, though the latter’s came during their two-decade-long stint in St. Louis. The Chiefs reached two of the first four Super Bowls, winning it all in 1970, but they haven’t been back since. The Saints won their lone Super Bowl appearance during the 2009 season.“Once you get in Davante Adams Jersey , it’s wide open for anybody,” insisted Tennessee linebacker Brian Orakpo, a nine-year veteran who will play his first playoff game Saturday against the Chiefs. “Yeah, the Patriots and Steelers have a lot of pedigree, a lot of tradition, and you’ve got some young up-and-comers like ourselves that are hungry.”Since the NFL went to a 12-team postseason format in 1990, the largest group of playoff teams without a Super Bowl title on their resume came 18 seasons ago. Kurt Warner and the high-flying Rams were among eight squads that had never won the championship until they held off Tennessee in the title game, memorably stopping the Titans’ final play at the 1-yard line.The only other times that the current playoff structure included as many as seven non-Super Bowl-winning teams were 2008 and 1996.When it comes to postseason neophytes, the Bills are drawing much of the attention after reaching the playoffs for the first time since 1999 , snapping the longest dry spell in any of the four major professional sports. But Buffalo it still known for that unprecedented four-year run of futility in the Super Bowl, which began in 1991 with Scott Norwood missing a potential game-winning field goal in the final seconds and was followed by three straight double-digit blowouts.“It’s time to create some other memories of the Bills,” Thurman Thomas, the Hall of Fame running back on those Super Bowl-losing teams, told The Associated Press. “It’s not the squad that went to the four straight Super Bowls. It’s somebody else.”The Vikings were the first franchise to lose four Super Bowls, accomplishing that ignominious feat in an eight-year span that ended in 1976. They haven’t gotten that far again, losing five times in the NFC championship game, most recently during the 2000 season.Coach Mike Zimmer said it’s important to take advantage of a season such as this, when the Vikings defied expectations by claiming a first-round bye behind a dominant defense journeyman quarterback Case Keenum .“A lot of young guys come in and they expect it’s going to happen every single year,” Zimmer said. “Really, you never know. The last time I won the Super Bowl was 1995 (as a Dallas assistant coach) Cheap Fred Warner Jersey , so it’s been awhile.”Receiver Adam Thielen isn’t fretting over all those Super Bowls the Vikings lost so many years ago.He’s only concerned with the next one, which will be held at Minnesota’s home stadium.“We’re not really focusing on what’s happened in the past,” Thielen said. “Every year is a totally different situation: different team, different types of players. Honestly, for us, we just know that we have a lot of confidence in the way that we’re playing football.”AP Sports Writers Teresa Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, Mark Long in Jacksonville, Florida, John Wawrow in Buffalo, New York, and Dave Campbell in Minneapolis contributed to this report. Sam Darnold huddled up with his Pad to keep on top of the New York Jets‘ offense during his brief contract holdout.

 

The rookie quarterback missed the first three practices of training camp while his representatives ironed out details of his four-year, $30.5 million fully guaranteed deal. But Darnold wasn’t very far from the field – literally.

Staying at a hotel just a few deep passes down the road from the Jets’ practice facility, the No. 3 overall pick was able to view film of the team’s camp sessions on his own while staying patient as his contract negotiations played out.

”It sucked watching them,” Darnold said Wednesday, speaking to reporters for the first time since rejoining the team Monday. ”But at the same time, I knew what needed to be done. It was tough watching them, but at the same time, I knew that it was necessary.”

The hang-up appeared to be over contract language – namely offsets and possibly defaults – and Pro Football Talk first reported that the deal includes offset language on future guarantees – if he gets cut. But the Jets also agreed to pay the quarterback’s full $20 million signing bonus within 15 days after Darnold signed Monday and removed language in the deal voiding guarantees based on fines by the NFL.

”I thought it played out great,” Darnold said. ”But honestly Authentic Justin Upton Jersey , you know, I think with the way that everything worked out, that’s why I have great agents because they’re able to figure that stuff out. And then whenever I get back on the field, that’s my job and my job is to play football to the best of my ability.”

While sitting out camp, Darnold said he worked out at the hotel gym and also was able to throw passes at a nearby high school with fellow clients of his agents’ group – CAA – serving as his receivers.

Darnold is competing with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater for the Jets’ starting job, but has to make up for a little bit of lost time because of his early camp absences.

”That’s a coach’s decision,” Darnold said when asked if his goal is to be the starter in Week 1. ”The competitor in me, yeah, I want to start. But at the same time, it’s about the team and what’s best for the team.”

Darnold has appeared comfortable running the offense, hardly looking like a lost 21-year-old who’s simply trying to tread water. He has made his share of mistakes, too, but his ability to immediately bounce back from them has been impressive.

”It was the second day for him,” coach Todd Bowles said. ”He’s learning, progressing. He’ll watch the film, learn and get better.”

After having his arm hit as he was throwing a pass that was intercepted by Morris Claiborne, Darnold completed a long pass to Chad Hansen for a big gain.

”We always talk about it in the quarterbacks room, but we also talk about it as a team: You want to limit your mistakes,” Darnold said. ”At the same time, if you do make a mistake Jets Elite Jerseys , you don’t want to keep your head down. You want to hold your head up high and go after the next play with all you’ve got. So that’s kind of our mentality here, but that’s also been my mentality throughout playing football.”

That cool-headed, veteran-like approach has impressed his teammates.

”Just his decision-making with the football,” running back Bilal Powell said. ”Just taking what the defense gives him and not just trying to force it in there. He’s a smart guy and I think he’s going to do well in this league.”

Added Bridgewater: ”I’m a huge fan of Sam Darnold. I’m glad to be in the quarterback room with him.”

While a rookie holding out might rub some teammates the wrong way, many insisted they understand the business side of the game and didn’t resent Darnold for not being there with them when camp opened.

That didn’t make the young QB immune from some good-natured razzing, of course.

He received a slow-clap as he jogged onto the field for the first time Monday, causing him to break into a sheepish smile just before practice.

”That was awesome,” Darnold said with a laugh. ”To be able to just be a part of that, not really expecting anything and them doing that, it kind of pushed everything – me not showing up to camp on time and me being late – it kind of pushed all that aside. It made me feel comfortable and made me feel like a part of the team.”

Darnold was the main attraction during and after practice Wednesday, with a couple dozen reporters and cameras surrounding him as he spoke.

Even the other two quarterbacks knew who everyone wanted to hear from.

Bridgewater went first and cracked about how he was part of the undercard to the main event. McCown then compared himself to a warmup act at a concert.

”I’ve only got three songs,” the 39-year-old quarterback joked, ”and one of `em is a cover.”

Then, the headliner made his way to the podium.

”Personally, because I have really high expectations for myself, I’ve got a ways to go in terms of growth,” Darnold said. ”But I feel comfortable with the offense at a rudimentary level.”

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