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) - San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said Tuesday that he will let "due process take its course" before deciding whether to discipline Ray McDonald after the defensive tackle was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
The Seattle Seahawks didn't need a "Fail Mary" to beat the Green Bay Packers in Week 1.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Wide receiver Kassim Osgood was out of work over the weekend and that's just fine with him. He's been around long enough to understand the business side of football.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - James Harden and Stephen Curry went into halftime with no points and no panic.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - As questions arose about how the NFL investigated domestic violence allegations against Ray Rice, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday the league asked for, but was not given, video showing the ex-Ravens running back punching his then-fiancee on an elevator.
PHOENIX (AP) - Brittney Griner shook off two blows to the face to finish with 19 points, Diana Taurasi added 18 and the Phoenix Mercury made it two straight routs in the WNBA Finals with a 97-68 win over the Chicago Sky on Tuesday night.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Yusmeiro Petit pitched a four-hitter for his second career complete game, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 on Tuesday night.
CHICAGO (AP) - Josh Donaldson checked out the video and figured out the problem. The quick fix led to a big night.
NEW YORK (AP) - Major League Baseball sent a memo to teams and umpires clarifying this year's experimental rule intended to limit collisions at home plate, saying runners should not be called safe if the ball clearly beats them.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - So much for all that talk of distractions, letdowns and doubts surrounding San Francisco's longtime dominant defense. One impressive first-half sequence handled all of that.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Running back LaMichael James was released by the San Francisco 49ers on Monday.
ALAMEDA (AP) - The offseason plans to beef up both lines are still a work in progress for the Oakland Raiders.
Ray Rice cut after release of video: BALTIMORE (AP) - Ray Rice was let go by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video was released showing the running back striking his then-fiancee in February.
DETROIT (AP) - Matthew Stafford improvised brilliantly on two early touchdown passes to Calvin Johnson, and Detroit beat the New York Giants 35-14 on Monday night in Jim Caldwell's first game as Lions coach.
CHICAGO (AP) - Eric O'Flaherty wasn't able to help the Oakland Athletics' ailing bullpen.