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.
NEW YORK (AP) - While 15-year-old American CiCi Bellis was in the process of stunning a Grand Slam finalist to become the youngest player to win a U.S. Open match since 1996, her father did his best to conceal his emotions courtside.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Linebacker Aldon Smith still has no indication from the NFL about a possible suspension for his off-field legal issues.
LAS PALMAS, Canary Islands (AP) - Mike Krzyzewski's big men had barely finished pushing around Slovenia when he was asked how they would match up with Spain's imposing frontcourt.
HOUSTON (AP) - Chris Carter has hit his fair share of no-doubt home runs this season and has never taken more than a second to watch as one began to sail out of the park.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Madison Bumgarner pitched a one-hitter and the San Francisco Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 3-0 on Tuesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Right-hander Tim Lincecum has been moved to the San Francisco Giants' bullpen as he tries to work through his latest struggles.
NEW YORK (AP) - Spinning in 70 mph second serves, grabbing at his hamstring during points, Andy Murray gritted his way through head-to-toe cramps to win at the U.S. Open.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub missed his second straight day of practice Monday with a sore throwing elbow that has lingered throughout the preseason.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - San Francisco 49ers rookie center Marcus Martin suffered a left knee injury that isn't considered season-ending, yet still a blow to the depth of a struggling offensive line.
HOUSTON (AP) - Jeff Samardzija was determined to get back on track Monday night after a couple of bad starts, so he was thrilled to see Josh Donaldson back in the Oakland lineup.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - For years, the Colorado Rockies would lose the close ones in San Francisco.
SEATTLE (AP) - Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is scheduled for surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow and will miss the rest of the season.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis homered in succession during a six-run fifth inning, and the Baltimore Orioles cruised past the Tampa Bay Rays 9-1 Monday night to end a three-game losing streak.