>There is little doubt the QB any NFL coach or player would want leading the way to win a big game right now is Tom Brady.So it makes sense he was a nearly unanimous choice as the No. 1 quarterback in the league by an Associated Press panel.Brady received nine of 11 first-place votes and was second on the other ballots for a total of 108 out of a possible 110 points in the rankings released Friday.“Brady isn’t just No. 1 on this list of active players. He’s probably No. 1 on a list of all-time QBs that you’d want to start a game that you needed to win Authentic Josh Norman Jersey ,” said the AP’s Dennis Waszak Jr., based in New York. “The likes of Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and John Elway might have something to say about that, but it’s tough to argue against Brady.”Still going strong at age 40, the New England Patriots superstar won by an even greater margin than he did back in September, when he was overwhelmingly voted No. 1 in the first of the weekly AP position rankings for this season.QB is the only position being surveyed twice.This time, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints was the runner-up with 81 points in the voting done by Pro Football Hall of Fame member James Lofton and 10 AP football writers on a 10-points-to-1-point system.Showing zero signs of slipping, Brady heads into Week 16 with his Patriots at 11-3 and already having clinched a record ninth consecutive AFC East title.“Nobody is better when the game is on the line,” said the AP’s Teresa M. Walker, based in Nashville, Tennessee.Brady leads the NFL with 4,163 yards passing, is tied for second with a 104.0 rating, and has an impressive margin of 28 touchdown throws to only seven interceptions.Brees is tied with Brady in passer rating; the only QB ahead of them is Alex Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs, who was named on only one ballot http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/allen-hurns-jersey , collecting an eighth-place vote.Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers finished third with 75 points and one No. 1 vote, followed by Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers with 73 points and the other first-place nod. Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks was No. 5 with 61 points.Each of those top five has won at least one Super Bowl trophy. Brady, of course, leads the group with five, along with four Super Bowl MVP awards, including last season.The rest of the top 10, in order: Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams, Philip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers, and Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, who was the NFL MVP last season.This season’s initial QB ranking by the AP was much tighter at the top: Brady had eight first-place votes and 107 points, while Rodgers took the other three No. 1s and was second overall at 94 points, with Brees at No. 3.Rodgers’ slip was due to his health issues: He went back on injured reserve this week after returning for one game following a two-month absence with a broken collarbone.“Rodgers may be the most talented quarterback in the league,” said San Francisco-based AP writer Josh Dubow.Other players whose standing might have been affected by season-ending injuries were Wentz and Houston Texans rookie Deshaun Watson, who appeared on only two ballots.This time Dan Hampton Jersey , a total of 19 quarterbacks received at least one vote, including Colin Kaepernick, who was 10th on the ballot of Rob Maaddi, who is based in Philadelphia. Kaepernick played in a Super Bowl for the San Francisco 49ers, but is not in the league this season after initiating the national anthem kneeling and sitting during last preseason.“Matthew Stafford has 26 fourth-quarter comebacks but no playoff wins. Matt Ryan is Matty Ice but couldn’t protect a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl. Andrew Luck’s health is too iffy to trust him to win the annual family Turkey Bowl,” Maaddi said. “I take Kaepernick because he’s won big games and he can do it with his arm or legs.”EDITOR’S NOTE: The Associated Press is ranking the top 10 players at a different position every week of the NFL season, based on the votes and insights of Pro Football Hall of Famer James Lofton and AP football writers Simmi Buttar, Dave Campbell, Schuyler Dixon, Josh Dubow, Howard Fendrich, Rob Maaddi, Arnie Stapleton, Teresa M. Walker, Dennis Waszak Jr., and Barry Wilner. This feature will move on Fridays. The St. Louis Cardinals left Arizona feeling a little bit better about themselves Womens Tyler Eifert Jersey , thanks to a late-inning surge by the offense and another strong outing from Miles Mikolas.
The Cardinals scored seven times in the seventh and eighth innings to beat Arizona 8-4 on Wednesday night. After coming to town on a four-game losing streak and off a three-game sweep at the hands of Atlanta, St. Louis took two of three from the first-place Diamondbacks.
Yadier Molina’s three-run homer on the first pitch from reliever Fernando Salas highlighted a five-run Cardinals seventh inning after Arizona had nursed a 2-1 lead through six in front of a sellout crowd of 44,072.
”Had some big hits today,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. ”It allows those big five-run innings to happen. Wear the pitcher down, wear the defense down. Then you have Yadi come in and do something special on the back end.”
Tommy Pham drove in three Cardinals runs with a double and two singles. Matt Carpenter doubled twice and singled with one RBI.
”Carp kind of set the tone. He got on base a lot,” Pham said. ”I think we had good at-bats. Even when the results weren’t there, we made guys throw pitches. That’s key. If a guy is taking four or five plus pitches to get outs, that means you are grinding as a hitter. When you put that together as a team, it wears out pitching staffs.”
The Diamondbacks dropped to 1-5 on their homestand and lead the surging Los Angeles Dodgers by just a half-game in the NL West.
Mikolas (9-3) gave up two runs and seven hits, walked four and struck out three.
Arizona reliever Yoshihisa Hirano (2-1) had his franchise-record streak of 26 games without allowing a run end when Yairo Munoz homered to lead off the seventh. Hirano gave up four runs, one earned, on three hits in two-thirds of an inning for his first loss since coming to the major leagues from Japan this season.
”Yoshi’s human,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. ”That’s what it means, right? And he’s absolutely spoiled us. He’s been a slam-dunk reliever and he made a really tough game look easy for a long time.”
After Munoz’s homer, shortstop Ketel Marte booted pinch-hitter Tyler O’Neill’s grounder for an error. With one out and O’Neill on second, Pham singled to center to put the Cardinals up 3-2. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson left the game with discomfort in his right groin area Tony Dorsett Jersey , Lovullo said.
Salas relieved Hirano and gave up the big hit to Molina, who homered twice in the series.
”It was like two totally different games,” Lovullo said. ”The first six innings were exactly the way you’d like to see guys go out and execute and do their job, and then the final three innings unfortunately we couldn’t execute in a lot of key areas.”
Arizona starter Patrick Corbin allowed one run and six hits in six innings, his third straight strong outing without a decision. He’s given up two runs in 19 innings during those three starts.
Cardinals: Paul DeJong (broken left hand) homered and doubled and played shortstop all nine innings Tuesday night in his fourth rehab game for Triple-A Memphis. Matheny said DeJong would not be activated Thursday in San Francisco but could be at some time during the four-game series.
Diamondbacks: Right-handed reliever Randall Delgado (left oblique strain) was scheduled to make another rehab appearance for Triple-A Reno and is expected to be activated Thursday, the end of his rehab assignment. … OF Steven Souza Jr. (strained right pectoral) had Wednesday off in his rehab assignment with Reno after homering twice for the Aces on Tuesday night. Souza has three homers in his last two rehab games.
Cardinals: Head to San Francisco for four games against the Giants. RHP Luke Weaver (4-7, 5.16 ERA) starts for St. Louis in Thursday night’s opener. Johnny Cueto (3-0, 0.84) comes off the disabled list to pitch for the Giants.
Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (0-2, 11.42), following two rough starts in his return from Tommy John surgery, takes the mound Thursday night in the opener of a four-game home series against San Diego. LHP Eric Lauer (3-5, 5.08) goes for the Padres.
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