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The NFC dominated the AFC in interconference matchups this season in a fashion the conference hadn’t done since the first year of the merger. The NFC won 41 of the 64 head-to-head matchups against the AFC Brian Burns Jersey , with the .641 winning percentage being the best for the NFC since going 27-12-1 in 1970 against the upstart AFC for a .688 winning percentage. Since the NFL went to the eight-division format in 2002, this marked just the third time one conference won at least 60 percent of its games against the other conference, with the AFC going 40-24 in 2006 (.625) and 44-20 in 2004 (.688). The NFC won all four division matchups this season, led by the NFC West going 12-4 against the AFC South. The NFC North went 10-6 against the AFC North, the NFC South also took 10 of 16 games against the AFC East, and the NFC East held a 9-7 edge over the AFC West. Cleveland and the Jets were the only teams to go winless against the other conference, while the Rams, Carolina and even last-place Chicago all swept the four games. The discrepancy is easily noted in the playoff race, where three teams with 8-7 records are still in the hunt in the AFC, while Seattle is in danger of missing the playoffs with 10 wins in the NFC. — NO NIGHT GAME: There is not Sunday night game to end the NFL season this year. None of the matchups could guarantee that any night contest would have significance. For example, had Carolina at Atlanta – the best matchup of the 16 games – been switched to the evening and Seattle lost in the afternoon, the Falcons would already have qualified for the offseason. If New Orleans were to beat Tampa Bay in the afternoon, the Panthers would be stuck as the No. 5 seed. Plus, it’s New Year’s Eve, when the viewing audience might not be as big as previous Sundays, and flexing a game to night time on that day might not have made much sense. NBC likely will get some compensation from the league down the road Luke Kuechly Color Rush Jersey , probably an additional prime-time game next season. But competitively, it seems a wise move to not play Sunday night. ”This is a long-term partnership,” said NBC spokesman Greg Hughes, ”and this was the best decision for the parties concerned here: the NFL the fans and us.” — NUMB TO NUMBERS? Demaryius Thomas isn’t really into numbers, but he knows he’s 108 yards shy of reaching 1,000 receiving yards for the sixth straight season. ”Everybody telling me” is how he keeps track, he said. ”Last week I knew it was 160 because I found out in the meeting. Of course I’m going to remember. I was never a number guy, but hey, that’s a cool thing to know.” Thomas said he’d cherish the accomplishment, especially considering the Broncos this season have cycled through three quarterbacks:- Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch, who gets his second start Sunday against Kansas City. ”Being able to come out and do that with three different quarterbacks … it says a lot,” Thomas figured. Thomas turned 30 last week, but that’s one number he isn’t worried about. ”Not at all. I don’t even know how old I am,” Thomas said. ”I feel like I’m 20-something. I’m young. I still got the juice, baby. Can’t act like it didn’t happen Ryan Kalil Color Rush Jersey , but as long as you got the juice, 30 is the new 20 and 50 is the new 30.” — QB RUNS: Carolina’s Cam Newton and Seattle’s Russell Wilson have a chance to join the rare fraternity of quarterbacks to lead their team in rushing for a season. Newton is barely ahead of teammate Jonathan Stewart headed into the season finale, while there is no question that Wilson will end up leading the Seahawks in yards rushing. Newton has 695 yards this season to Stewart’s 680. Wilson has 550 yards rushing, which is 300 yards more than any of Seattle’s stable of running backs, a group that has done very little all season. Chris Carson, who hasn’t played since Week 4, still has the most yards rushing by a Seattle running back with 208. Newton has done this before, leading the Panthers in rushing in 2012. Others QBs who have led their team in rushing include Donovan McNabb with Philadelphia in 2000, and Randall Cunningham for the Eagles in three straight seasons (1988-90). — TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATIONS: Jay Cutler has lived in a hotel near the Miami Dolphins’ complex for the past five months, while his wife and children remained back home in Nashville. It’s a small price to pay for coming out of retirement to sign a $10 million, one-year deal as an emergency replacement for an injured Ryan Tannehill. Cutler’s contract made the long-term hotel stay affordable. ”It was cool at first,” he said. ”Maid service every day, that’s kind of nice. You get the on-demand movies, but they don’t change as often as you would like. It’s kind of a monthly thing. So after you watch them all in a month, you’ve got to wait a little while. ”But it was fine. I wasn’t there that much.” Cutler will start Sunday’s season finale against Buffalo, and it might be his career finale. At any rate Graham Gano Jersey , he’ll be ready to check out of the hotel. ”I did get the points,” he said. ”That’ll pay off somewhere down the line, right?” — THE LATER THE BETTER: Dan Quinn wants Falcons fans to party like it’s 2018 at Sunday’s game against Carolina. Quinn celebrated the league’s decision to push the kickoff back from 1 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. because that will give fans more time to get fired up for the game. Quinn says the game atmosphere is better for later starts, and he says that’s a trend he noticed in the Georgia Dome as well as the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He used the team’s 20-17 win over the Saints on Dec. 7, a Thursday night game, as an example. ”The later the better,” Quinn said. ”It gives our crowd a little more time to get warmed-up. The fact that it’s at 4:25, to me I think it’s awesome. You really felt their energy in the stadium a couple Thursdays ago when we played, so we’re calling on them again.” Added Quinn: ”We’re making an official declaration New Year’s starts at 4:25.” — WHO’S GOT TICKETS?: Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone is getting hounded for tickets – to a road game. And by people who don’t necessarily want to root for the AFC South champion Jaguars (10-5), who play at Tennessee (8-7) on Sunday. ”This game is a little bit different for me more so because of the family stuff,” said Marrone, whose wife, Helen, is a daughter of longtime Middle Tennessee State coach and College Football Hall of Famer Boots Donnelly. ”We are getting calls, `Can we get some tickets to watch Tennessee kick your (butt)?’ From people I know. I hear it.” Marrone and his wife still own a farm in Nashville. But most of their family members are Titans fans. ”It gives me an excuse to not have to go to a lot of family functions,” Marrone said. ”I am not the best family function guy. I am kind of in the corner. Now it is easy. Now it is like Julius Peppers Jersey , `No, they went to the game and they rooted for the Titans. I am not going to this function.’ There are a couple that are obviously rooting for us, because there are a couple that actually like me.” — AP Pro Football Writers Barry Wilner, Josh Dubow and Arnie Stapleton, and Sports Writers Steven Wine, Charles Odum, Mark Long and Tim Booth contributed. — Brian Burns has the athleticism to be something special if the Panthers use him correctly." />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesHorizontal - WhiteCat Scratch Readera Carolina Panthers communityLog In or Sign UpLog InSign UpFanpostsFanshotsSectionsAboutPanthersOddsShopStubHubMoreAll 322 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Keep Sounding PodcastPanthers 2019 NFL DraftCSR Film RoomFiled under:Panthers 2019 NFL DraftBrian Burns has the potential to be an impact player in his rookie year for the Carolina PanthersNew,15commentsBrian Burns has the athleticism to be something special if the Panthers use him correctly.EDTShareTweetShareShareBrian Burns has the potential to be an impact player in his rookie year for the Carolina PanthersBrian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsI admit that I set out to find some analysis that backed up my preconceived notions of Carolina Panthers rookie defensive end Brian Burns. I’m of the opinion that quick, light defensive ends are only third down specialists that are too much of a risk to ever play all three downs. After all, Burns played at around 235 pounds last season which is linebacker weight in the NFL. I’m happy to report that I found very little analysis that was as dire as my preconceived notions. In fact even those that acknowledged his weight is a concern felt that it was something that would be alleviated after a short time in the NFL. Athleticism and intangiblesWhat every pundit agrees on is that Burns is an elite prospect at getting around the edge. It starts with an above average first step followed by the flexibility to bend around the edge. In the tape I have watched his spin move is very refined, to the point he loses very little speed on the spin. Pass rushing skillTalk about technical know-how when it comes to rushing the passer, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a rookie provide this kind of detail on how to execute a spin move:Opposing offensive tackles might want to what out for that Burns liver chop! So as good as Burns is getting around the edge he has actually had more production rushing inside with the spin move, a perfect counter to the edge rush. Coverage skillsIf the Panthers play Burns in a 3-4 alignment he certainly will be expected to drop into coverage times. He appears to have the athleticism and smarts to play in coverage we really have little tape to draw from. Run stopping skillsThe consensus seems to be that Burns is very good in pursuit from the backside but can be washed up when directly run at. Burns has the quickness to counter with a quick move to set the edge provided he recognizes the play. He has shown some ability to do that. For this reason Burns will most likely rotate in a third downs as a rookie.SummaryI think this evaluation from NFL Draft Network is my favorite. While it addresses my concern regarding Burns weight it also doesn’t think it rises to the level of the proverbial ‘red flag’.So add another ‘best trait’ to Burns resume…football IQ. You have to think fast to be fast in the NFL.What we can expect as a rookieAgain from Sports Illustrated, Burns’ entry into the NFL could be very similar to his entry into the college ranks. He starts as a third down specialist until he can optimize his weight and strength. I will point out that in spite of being a back-up pass rushing specialist as a freshman at FSU he led all freshman in the nation in sacks with 9.5. I’d take that from him in 2019. They said it, not me!I also have heard the Floyd comparisons and therefore was not impressed. Now when you instead say Danielle Hunter that is a different story. That would be sweet. So color me as having changed my perception changed on Brian Burns rookie prospects if not maybe right out of the gate but certainly once the second half of the season rolls around. Ron Rivera tracks impact players as part of his player analysis throughout a season. I think he will be pointing to Brian Burns a good amount as a rookie.