The Associated Press
Playoff ratings are soaring, the messy concussion lawsuit is all but over, and the only thing the NFL really has to worry about now is keeping a bunch of corporate bigwigs warm at the Super Bowl.
MIAMI (AP) - The first airborne banner calling for Jeff Ireland to be fired flew over the Miami Dolphins' stadium in 2011. Other similar signs followed, most recently in November, and on Tuesday those wanting him out finally got their wish.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady head-butted teammates before his first Super Bowl.
METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Ever since getting pounded by the Seahawks early last month, the New Orleans Saints have learned to love the idea of going back to Seattle.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) - As the newest starter in the Seattle Seahawks secondary, cornerback Byron Maxwell had plenty of time earlier in his career to be an observer.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Growing up, Andrew Luck kept trying to emulate the quarterbacks he watched on Sunday afternoons, guys like Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Memphis Grizzlies have acquired guard Courtney Lee and have sent guard Jerryd Bayless to the Boston Celtics as part of a three-team trade that also includes the Oklahoma City Thunder.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Bring on Carolina once more, and another cross-country playoff flight.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Before Pete Carroll turns his full attention to Seattle's playoff opponent, he'll make sure the Seahawks aren't expecting another easy win against New Orleans like in Week 13.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers coach Ron Rivera is expecting a few more big plays from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick this time around.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - A defense that allowed 44 points in a playoff game might boost the confidence of its next opponent.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Colts are getting some help from a former Patriot.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Forget the Ravens.
Say these things for Dennis Rodman: He likes going to North Korea, and likes bringing a bit of a side show with him.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The playoff-bound San Francisco Giants blew a six-run lead, and then rallied for a 9-8 victory over the San Diego Padres on Thursday night to stay within one game of Pittsburgh for the top spot in the NL wild-card standings.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Adrian Beltre hit a walk-off homer in the ninth inning, and the Texas Rangers kept Oakland from getting closer to clinching an AL wild-card spot with a 2-1 victory against the Athletics on Thursday night.
OAKLAND (AP) - Steve Kerr played golf with Stephen Curry, traveled to Australia to meet with Andrew Bogut and spoke with every other player on the Golden State Warriors in some form or fashion this summer.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The video of Ray Rice punching his fiancee inside a casino elevator was sent to NFL headquarters to the attention of league security chief Jeffrey Miller in April, a law enforcement official says.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - A wrist injury that limited San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis in practice will not prevent him from playing Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
GLENEAGLES, Scotland (AP) - The U.S. rookies are being thrown straight into the mix at the Ryder Cup.
NEW YORK (AP) - Derek Jeter didn't want the night to end.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Paul George is getting back on his feet.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Ishmael Adams returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and an interception 95 yards for another score, sparking No. 11 UCLA's 62-27 trouncing of No. 15 Arizona State on Thursday night.
MIAMI (AP) - The Miami Marlins still plan to make a multiyear contract offer to NL home run leader Giancarlo Stanton this offseason, despite his recent season-ending injury.
DETROIT (AP) - Minnesota Twins right-hander Phil Hughes turned down a chance to pitch again this weekend, even though one more out would have earned him a $500,000 bonus.
LOS ANGELES (AP) Clayton Kershaw tied a career high with his 21st victory, Yasiel Puig homered to highlight a four-run sixth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers won the NL West title with a 9-1 victory over the second-place San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.
NEW YORK (AP) - All that's left for Derek Jeter to do is say goodbye.
OAKLAND (AP) - More luggage than usual piled up outside the Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday as the playoff-hopeful Athletics prepared for an uncertain road trip with no set return date.
Nothing is worse than being hit by a slew of injuries in a Sunday game. Except, of course, having to then play on Thursday. Just ask the Washington Redskins.