SEATTLE (AP) - When they walked off the field in Atlanta last January after blowing their chance to play for the NFC championship in the final seconds, there were varying emotions brewing in the Seattle Seahawks' locker room.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - It doesn't surprise safety Mike Mitchell that the Carolina Panthers are only the third home underdog in the NFL divisional playoffs in the past 20 years.
BOSTON (AP) - Two players violated league concussion protocol during last weekend's wild-card games, according to a letter sent by the NFL's head, neck and spine committee chairmen to all team doctors and trainers.
DENVER (AP) - Philip Rivers likes to say the San Diego Chargers have been in playoff mode since last month, scrapping just to squeak into the postseason party.
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - The Oakland Raiders have re-signed offensive line coach Tony Sparano to a two-year contract.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 14 rebounds, Rudy Gay added 22 points and 10 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings beat the undersized Orlando Magic 103-83 Friday night.
SAN JOSE (AP) - Joe Pavelski scored two goals to extend his run of strong play and the San Jose Sharks beat Jimmy Howard for the ninth straight time in the regular season with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.
NEW YORK (AP) - Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points, Andrea Bargnani had 19, and the New York Knicks beat the Miami Heat 102-92 on Thursday night for their season-high third straight victory.
The long and winding road to the Meadowlands already has had some unexpected twists and turns.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Nobody could blame Perrish Cox for confusing his uniform, defensive schemes or even what state he's in these days. It's been a constant switcheroo.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith said Thursday his injured left knee isn't coming along quite as well as he'd hoped.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady has been leading successful comebacks for more than a decade. Andrew Luck is just getting started.
CINCINNATI (AP) - The Bengals didn't wait long or look far for their next offensive coordinator, promoting Hue Jackson on Thursday shortly after Jay Gruden was introduced as the next head coach in Washington.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Pete Carroll told Percy Harvin that the Seattle Seahawks were considering placing him on injured reserve to open up a roster spot ahead of the postseason. Harvin's response: "Coach I'm ready to play ball."
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - Dennis Rodman apologized Thursday for comments he made in North Korea about a detained American missionary, saying he had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized a game with former NBA players.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Giants are planning their offseason around efforts to re-sign Pablo Sandoval.
SHANGHAI (AP) - Graeme McDowell likes a tough golf course, and Sheshan International was perfect for him Thursday. He opened with seven birdies in 12 holes and then hung on for a 5-under 67 and a two-shot lead after the first round of the HSBC Champions.
CINCINNATI (AP) - Andy Dalton's harried look summed it up. Cleveland's defense was all over him all night long, turning an AFC North showdown into a shockingly one-sided matchup.
NEW YORK (AP) - Toronto Maple Leafs forward Carter Ashton was suspended for 20 games without pay by the NHL on Thursday after failing a drug test.
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) - Her right knee finally free of pain, Lindsey Vonn is actually considering moving up her return to racing.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Vladimir Tarasenko stretched his goal-scoring streak to four games and the St. Louis Blues extended their NHL-best winning streak to seven with a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
OAKLAND (AP) - David Lee will not travel with the Golden State Warriors when they play at Houston and Phoenix this weekend because of a left hamstring injury.
HOUSTON (AP) - Heading into a game with the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale had his eye on a few matchups. A specific one that caught his eye was getting Dwight Howard in the post.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Running back Marcus Lattimore never played an NFL snap because of two serious knee injuries while he was in college, and he has decided his knees might not hold up through the rigors of a 16-game season.
Too often, the so-called Battle of Ohio has been about as tasty as week-old Skyline Chili.
OAKLAND (AP) - Stephen Curry had 28 points and seven assists, Draymond Green scored a career-high 24 points and the Golden State Warriors remained unbeaten with their most impressive performance yet, crushing the Los Angeles Clippers 121-104 on Wednesday night.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Only three players drafted in 1998 are still in the NFL, and two of them - Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson - meet this weekend when the Denver Broncos visit the winless Oakland Raiders.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley insists his strong comments after Sunday's loss to the Rams were not intended to question the coaching staff but rather point out how poorly the offensive line performed.
ANAHEIM (AP) - John Tavares scored his second goal on a power play 2:18 into overtime, and the New York Islanders snapped their three-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the injury-depleted Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - DeMarcus Cousins had 30 points and 11 rebounds, Rudy Gay scored 29 and the Sacramento Kings beat the Denver Nuggets 131-109 Wednesday night to extend their best start in more than a decade.