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Roethlisberger vs. Brady a rematch 12 years in the making

Sports / Football /

Ben Roethlisberger asked for and received Tom Brady's jersey when the Patriots played at Heinz Field in October. It's now hanging in his office alongside jerseys of Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Marino and Jim Kelly. Roethlisberger is in his 13th season and is carving out a Hall of Fame career in his own right. He doesn't make a habit of asking ...Read more

Rookie class played major role in Cowboys' success, sets foundation

Sports / Football /

FRISCO, Texas -- The future is bright for the Dallas Cowboys and 2016 has the chance to go down as one of the franchise's best draft classes.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott put themselves in the MVP conversation as rookies, and those two have a chance to become superstars if they continue to put the team in Super Bowl...Read more

Packers coach McCarthy not ruling out Nelson, others

Sports / Football /

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy is not ruling out receiver Jordy Nelson and plans to give him, receivers Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison, and safety Morgan Burnett until game time to prove they're healthy enough to play.

The Packers do not practice Friday but there are meetings, rehab and training activities going on...Read more

Brady, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Ryan form a high-quality quarterback quartet in NFL playoffs

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LOS ANGELES--Were there a Mount Rushmore for NFL quarterbacks this season, the four playing this weekend would be reasonable picks for those hallowed spots.

Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, Atlanta's Matt Ryan, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and New England's Tom Brady are all elite passers who have been around for years in the same systems. They ...Read more

Former 49ers coach Jim Tomsula eying return to NFL

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula appears to have more than one opportunity to re-enter the NFL after a year away from the game.

The Sporting News reported Friday that Tomsula, 48, interviewed earlier this week for the New Orleans Saints' vacancy at defensive line coach. He also is a candidate for the same post in ...Read more

Football writers vote Falcons' Beasley NFL's most improved

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The Pro Football Writers of America voted Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley as the NFL's most improved player for the 2016 season, the organization announced Friday.

Beasley led the NFL this season with 151/2 sacks and tied for the most forced fumbles with six. During his rookie season of 2015, Beasley had four sacks and two forced fumbles.

The ...Read more

Ravens' Zachary Orr announces retirement because of neck injury

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In one revelatory season, Zachary Orr morphed from an unheralded special-teams player to a starting weak-side linebacker and the Ravens' top tackler. Given little chance to make the team in 2014 as an undrafted free agent from North Texas, Orr became one of the defense's most impactful players and put himself in position to earn a lucrative ...Read more

McCarthy: Injured WRs would sit if this were regular season

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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If there were any reason to doubt that the Green Bay Packers will be severely short-handed on offense against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, coach Mike McCarthy erased it Thursday morning.

McCarthy didn't rule out receivers Jordy Nelson (ribs), Davante Adams (ankle) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring), but he indicated they ...Read more

Oakland Raiders file application with NFL to relocate to Las Vegas

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LOS ANGELES--The Oakland Raiders have pushed their chips to the middle of the table, intending to relocate to Las Vegas.

The club formally alerted the NFL on Thursday, submitting a relocation application and officially taking the first step toward a market the league has long avoided, the city being synonymous with gambling.

Nevada Gov. Brian ...Read more

Antonio Brown has 'a lot of respect' for Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler

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Malcolm Butler was a no-name rookie when he intercepted Russell Wilson at the goal line in Super Bowl XLIX to secure the fourth Super Bowl title for the Patriots. Two years later, the Patriots cornerback has gone from unknown to one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He made the Pro Bowl last season and was named second-team All-Pro this year. ...Read more

Greg Cote's NFL championship Sunday picks

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If people still used the word "boffo" -- an old-timey designation for something very successful, as in, "The movie did boffo box-office" -- then I might say I had a boffo week in the divisional round. Went a perfect 4-0 against the spread, including Patriots and Falcons covering, an outright upset call on Steelers winning and also underdog ...Read more

Explaining the Steelers' turnaround

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Few locker rooms at midseason were as morose as the home team's in Heinz Field on Nov. 13. Players in that room had just seen a magnificent comeback victory crumbled in the final 42 seconds by the Dallas Cowboys and they seemed broken by it.

The 35-30 loss was the Steelers' fourth in a row, dropped them to 4-5 and the murmurs of discontent from...Read more

Vegas ready to throw its Raiders parade; Oakland proponents still hopeful

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Clark County commissioner Steve Sisolak received dozens of calls Thursday morning after tweeting that the Raiders had filed for relocation to move to Las Vegas, the latest step in southern Nevada's campaign to gain an NFL team.

Many of the callers wanted to know where they could buy season tickets.

"One guy wanted to have a parade," Sisolak ...Read more

Adrian Peterson admits he has eyes on hometown Texans, other teams

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Adrian Peterson suggested Thursday that he believes he still deserves to earn $18 million this upcoming season and named three teams he would have interest in playing for in 2017 if the Vikings aren't willing to pay him.

In an appearance on ESPN's "First Take" Thursday morning, Peterson was asked what he would look for in his next team if the ...Read more

Cowboys' Jason Garrett named Coach of Year by Pro Football Writers

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FRISCO, Texas -- Could this be the precursor to the big prize?

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was named the NFL Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association after leading his team to 13-3 record, including a club-record 11-game winning streak.

Now with that award in his pocket, Garrett should be the favorite for AP NFL Coach ...Read more

Falcons' Shanahan plans to meet again with 49ers about head coach job

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said he looks forward to talking to the 49ers again about their vacant head coach position, but that he doesn't have an offer yet.

Shanahan met with the 49ers when the Falcons had a bye week before opening postseason play and he reportedly is the top candidate for the job. By ...Read more

Falcons WR Jones says he's 'ready to go' for Sunday

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Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday because of a foot injury. The plan is for Jones to participate in Friday's light practice in preparation for Sunday's NFC championship game against the Packers at the Georgia Dome.

"It's fine," Jones said. "I will be ready to go."

Jones has dealt with ...Read more

A look at this year's Super Bowl shuffle

Sports / Football /

With one more Sunday of games left before Super Bowl LI, here are the four potential matchups for that Feb. 5 showcase game in Houston.

Unlike last weekend's divisional round, when all four games were rematches from the regular season, these potential Super Bowl pairings did not face each other this fall.

A look at what might be:

Atlanta-New ...Read more

Matt Ryan can add to his legacy by besting Aaron Rodgers

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- If Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan thinks much about his legacy, there's little chance he would ever say so publicly. It's not his style. Ryan's persona is nondescript, his public utterances non-revealing.

But there was a moment when Ryan showed that it matters.

The Falcons had just beaten the Seahawks in a 2012 NFC ...Read more

Falcons have same loose vibe Panthers had a season ago

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- On a day when temperatures touched the upper 60s in this suburban Atlanta outpost, Falcons players bounced around with a little extra pep in their step.

It had less to do with Wednesday's spring-like weather than the fact that the Falcons sit one victory away from the franchise's second Super Bowl appearance.

This is a ...Read more