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) - Buster Posey went 5 for 5 and drove in three runs in just six innings, then was pulled early as the San Francisco Giants routed the Milwaukee Brewers 13-2 on Friday night for their fourth straight win.
ANAHEIM (AP) - Jered Weaver outpitched Jon Lester, Albert Pujols hit his 516th career homer and the Los Angeles Angels beat Oakland 4-0 Friday night, extend their AL West lead over the A's to three games.
NEW YORK (AP) - A day before facing Venus Williams - and a partisan crowd - at the U.S. Open, Italy's Sara Errani came across a video posted on Twitter that gave her a little extra motivation.
HOUSTON (AP) - Chris Borland made one final case to get into the mix of 49ers linebackers needed to replace injured NaVorro Bowman.
OAKLAND (AP) - With a fabulous finish to the preseason, rookie Derek Carr created a big question for the Oakland Raiders heading into the regular season.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Kenny Hill broke Johnny Manziel's single-game passing record with 511 yards and No. 21 Texas A&M beat No. 9 South Carolina 52-28 on Thursday night, ending the Gamecocks' 18-game home win streak.
ANAHEIM (AP) - Howie Kendrick drove in Albert Pujols with a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, and the Los Angeles Angels opened a two-game lead atop the major league standings with a 4-3 victory Thursday night over the Oakland Athletics, who finished the game under protest over a ninth-inning obstruction call.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - One strike shy from a perfect game last September, Yusmeiro Petit refused to let another chance at baseball history slip away.
NEW YORK (AP) - Good as she is, even Serena Williams can find it tough to deal with swirling wind, so much so that she double-faulted three times in her first service game Thursday at the U.S. Open.
NEW YORK (AP) - A year ago at this time, Maria Sharapova was sitting out the U.S. Open, getting checked by doctors and having tests on the surgically repaired right shoulder that has troubled her off and on.
HOUSTON (AP) - The Oakland Athletics have rallied to win game after game this season after trailing late.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Buster Posey hit a game-ending two-run homer for his third clout in two nights, sending the San Francisco Giants past the Colorado Rockies 4-2 on Wednesday night for Bruce Bochy's 1,600th managerial victory.
HOUSTON (AP) - Rookie Tom Savage looked like a polished pro leading the Texans to the winning touchdown and 2-point conversion against Denver last week.
OAKLAND (AP) - Oakland Raiders fans will get a close look at their past and future at quarterback in Thursday night's exhibition finale against the Seattle Seahawks.
STANFORD (AP) - David Shaw remembers Stanford's first few games without Andrew Luck two years ago as a stressful time for his coaching staff and his players.