NFL

Patriots insist there is no controversy

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — On the field, the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are right where they want to be heading into the postseason. As the AFC’s top seed and the owners of a first-round bye, the 13-3 Patriots will get to rest up during the opening weekend of the playoffs. But as they prepare to begin their ...

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Jaguars WR Marqise Lee questionable against Bills

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee practiced for the first time in three weeks Friday, increasing his chances of playing in a wild-card game against Buffalo. Lee missed the final two regular-season games after spraining his right ankle. He was limited in his practice Friday, but did enough to please coach Doug Marrone. Marrone says Lee ”looked better ...

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Distractions? What distractions? Steelers rise above fray

PITTSBURGH (AP) If Cam Heyward’s being honest, he’s lost count of distractions the Pittsburgh Steelers have dealt with this season, be they self-created, overblown or otherwise. The weeks would pass and something that had nothing to do with Pittsburgh’s relatively easy push to a second straight AFC North title and third in four years would pop up. There was running ...

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McCoy, Brown big questions heading into postseason

Much of the NFL season seemed like a Hollywood sequel without the leading actors from the original as injuries claimed so many superstars, leaving the playoff field awash in postseason party crashers . Among them are the Buffalo Bills, who just might have to go into their first playoff game in 17 seasons with a running back who had never ...

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Rams OC LaFleur sees similarities in Rams and Falcons

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Matt LaFleur knows the Falcons well after spending the previous two seasons as quarterbacks coach in Atlanta before joining the Los Angeles Rams. But the first-year offensive coordinator can only do so much to help the Rams’ defensive staff ahead of their playoff game against the Falcons on Saturday night. LaFleur has been available to ...

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Father of Steelers star Shazier says injured LB is improving

PITTSBURGH (AP) The father of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier says his son has made significant progress since suffering a spinal injury in Cincinnati last month. Vernon Shazier told WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh that his is ”a long ways from where he was on that Monday night when he was lying on the field.” Ryan Shazier left the first quarter of ...

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Bills, Jags, Titans, LA spectators no more as playoffs begin

Welcome back, Buffalo. You, too, Jacksonville and Tennessee. It’s been a while, Los Angeles. The NFL playoffs open this weekend with a few teams – and cities – that have been merely spectators in January for years. The Bills (9-7) are, of course, the poster boys of postseason dreaming, earning their first playoff appearance since 1999 and ending a 17-year ...

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Wycheck on Bills bandwagon 18 years after Music City Miracle

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Of all the people glued to their TVs rooting for the Buffalo Bills to finally – and mercifully – end their 17-season playoff drought last weekend, one curiously stood out: former Tennessee Titans tight end Frank Wycheck. Wycheck is forever remembered in Buffalo for throwing a lateral on a kickoff return to give Tennessee a 22-16 ...

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Missing playoffs could equal personnel changes for Seahawks

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Pete Carroll knows after eight seasons in charge of the Seattle Seahawks that his message always needs to evolve. Much like Carroll’s messaging, the Seahawks’ roster could see some major changes going into next season after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011. ”We all have to keep changing and growing together. That’s why I ...

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