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.
OAKLAND (AP) - J.J. Watt has spent his NFL career disrupting offenses, batting down passes and piling up sacks.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly entered the eighth inning planning to take out Clayton Kershaw after the first batter. The left-hander retired Joe Panik on one pitch, and as Mattingly walked to the mound, he noticed Kershaw shaking his head and waving him back to the dugout.
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - Robert Griffin III dislocated his left ankle and DeSean Jackson sprained his left shoulder in the first quarter, then Kirk Cousins stepped in. He completed 22 of 33 passes for 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns Sunday in Washington's 41-10 romp past Jacksonville.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) - John Isner and Sam Querrey won their singles matches Sunday as the U.S. completed a 5-0 sweep of Slovakia in the Davis Cup World Group playoff.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Chris Wondolowski's goal in the 66th minute drew the San Jose Earthquakes even with the Los Angeles Galaxy for a 1-1 tie in the final California Clasico of the season on Sunday.
ATLANTA (AP) - Just three weeks ago, Billy Horschel had every reason to start looking ahead to next season.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson's booking on a child abuse charge Saturday has created another crisis for the embattled NFL, already derided for not responding strongly enough to acts of domestic violence by its players.
SEATTLE (AP) - Robinson Cano, Kendrys Morales and Logan Morrison homered, and the Seattle Mariners beat Oakland 4-2 on Friday night to pull within a half-game of the Athletics for the top spot in the AL wild-card chase.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Madison Bumgarner struck out eight and took a share of the major league lead with 18 wins, and the San Francisco Giants moved within one game of NL West-leading Los Angeles by beating the Dodgers 9-0 on Friday night.
NEW YORK (AP) - Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been fined $8,268 by the NFL for his kick to the face of Cleveland Browns punter Spencer Lanning last Sunday.
OAKLAND (AP) - Derek Carr has followed the Houston Texans closely since their start as an NFL franchise.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - If somewhat unknown before as a backup, Colin Kaepernick's breakout performance against the Chicago Bears two years ago helped make him a star.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Madrid awaits. Spain doesn't.
CHICAGO (AP) - It's been 11 weeks since Jimmie Johnson's last victory and he suffered through one of his typical summer swoons.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - As a fourth-round pick with nothing more than a fill-in performance on his NFL resume, San Francisco 49ers rookie Dontae Johnson knows what to expect when Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears see him matched up against a wide receiver Sunday night.