January 2017

WOODBURY, N.Y. (AP) -- Weeks after next month's Super Bowl, Peyton and Eli Manning will be talking about the game before a New York business group.
Bill Belichick has done something neither Chuck Noll, Tom Landry nor Bill Walsh ever managed. Same for Tom Brady, besting the likes of Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach and Joe Montana.
Well, he’s pretty much out of Belichick Central Casting. Behold: Chris Hogan. On Sunday night, Hogan introduced himself to the NFL-watching world with his nine-reception, 180-yard, two-touchdown performance in the AFC Championship, a big part of the reason the Patriots are headed to an NFL-record ninth Super Bowl.
Chris Hogan came to New England this offseason unsure of what to expect after spending four mostly quiet seasons in Buffalo. After putting on one of the most memorable performances by a receiver in Patriots playoff history, he'll end the first season in his new home with a trip to the Super Bowl. Hogan set a franchise playoff record with nine receptions for 180 yards in the Patriots 36-17 rout over the Steelers in Sunday's AFC championship game, breaking the mark Deion Branch set against Denver 11 years ago.
Tom Brady is going for his fifth Super Bowl victory with the New England Patriots. The Atlanta Falcons are playing in their second Super Bowl in franchise history, 18 years ago in the XXXIII loss to the Denver Broncos.
The Atlanta Falcons are playing in their second Super Bowl in franchise history, 18 years ago in the XXXIII loss to the Denver Broncos. The Patriots will be appearing in their ninth Super Bowl as a franchise and going for their fifth victory.
The Washington Redskins decided to stay in-house for their new defensive coordinator by promoting outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky to the position, according to multiple reports Sunday. Redskins coach Jay Gruden fired Joe Barry on Jan. 6 after his second year as defensive coordinator in Washington (8-7-1), which saw its 28th-ranked defense in yards allowed taken to task in late-season losses to the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers and New York Giants.
Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and Greg Olsen have been chosen as finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award that recognizes an athlete's contribution to the sport and to society. The winner among the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, New York Giants quarterback and Carolina Panthers tight end will be announced on Feb. 4, the night before the Super Bowl, at NFL Honors in Houston. The Associated Press individual NFL awards also will be handed out then, on the eve of the Super Bowl.
We've all heard the adage: defense wins championships. In the NFL, that doesn't necessarily apply. The Packers allowed an average of 24.2 points (21st out of 32 teams) and 363.9 yards (22nd) during the regular season.
Sunday marks just the third time in the Super Bowl era that all four players taking the snap will be closer to their 40s than their teens. In a sport where the concept of longevity in its marquee position is fickle at best (see Cleveland Browns), the durability of the men that serve as the centerpieces for their team's title hopes is remarkable. The 31-year-old Ryan has missed just two starts in his nine seasons, the 33-year-old Rodgers nine since taking over for Brett Favre in 2008.

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