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CHICAGO — It’s clear TCU was not remotely in the same area code as Georgia in the Horned Frogs’ 65-7 loss Monday in the College Football Playoff national championship game at SoFi Stadium. The matchup between the SEC champion and Big 12 runner-up turned out to be even grislier than most experts predicted. Cinderella stories in sports are cool. But when the biggest game of the year is decided ...

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These are strange times in the NFC playoffs. Aaron Rodgers isn’t here. The defending champs aren’t, either. The Seahawks are, but Russell Wilson isn’t. Win or lose, Seattle will emerge from the playoffs with the fifth overall pick in the draft. Tom Brady is a home underdog to a team coached by Mike McCarthy. Matthew Stafford would have had a better shot at the postseason if he’d stayed in ...

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TAMPA, Fla. — Linebacker Lavonte David quoted the message written on the grease board in the Bucs locker room this week. “It’s a new season,” he said. Who wrote it? “I did,” David said, smiling. The handwriting may not be on the wall, per se, there is certainly an expectation that the 8-9 Bucs may not be as good as the 12-5 Cowboys team they beat in Week 1 of the regular season in Dallas. Even ...

After trading away franchise quarterback Russell Wilson over the summer, the Seattle Seahawks had few people giving them any hope of making the NFL playoffs this season. Yet, thanks to some help Sunday night from the Detroit Lions, the Seahawks earned the NFC's seventh and final playoff berth. 

Fortune favored the ethical on Sunday. Instead of listening to this columnist and treating Week 18 like a bye week, deliberately falling to the No. 3 seed as to avoid a possible matchup with Aaron Rodgers, the 49ers played Sunday’s regular-season finale with the clear intention of winning. They did, easily, earning the NFC’s No. 2 seed in the process. Their reward: home-field advantage in the ...

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — About a blink of an eye ago, Patrick Mahomes was the fledgling face of the NFL’s future. Four years back, the 23-year-old in his first season as QB1 hoisted the Chiefs to the brink of their first Super Bowl appearance in two generations before they fell in overtime to the New England Patriots … and then-41-year-old Tom Brady. Even if there was no baton passed that day, and ...

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Max Duggan sat facing reporters late Monday at SoFi Stadium trying to explain the unexplainable. The TCU senior quarterback and his teammates had just been shellacked by Georgia in the College Football Playoff championship game, 65-7, and Duggan was searching for a positive takeaway. Even though his time at the school is done, Duggan remains convinced that TCU will return ...

The human body is a fragile thing and football wants to destroy it. Let’s start there. Happy NFL playoffs, everybody! The 14-team Super Bowl tournament begins next weekend and the most intriguing — and representative — first-round matchup is Miami at Buffalo because it involves a career-threatening scare on each team to verify how dangerous this sport is but also to underline how much plain ...

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – “You’ve got nine days to become legendary.” That was Georgia coach Kirby Smart’s message to his team in the postgame locker room following the Bulldogs’ narrow 42-41 escape of Ohio State in the College Football Playoff semifinals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Nine days and three time zones later, the Bulldogs officially are legends. They’ll be remembered as one of the greatest ...

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In Florida this week, Brandon Staley will try to match Mike McCoy and Anthony Lynn by winning a wild-card game on the road. Where in their playoff debuts McCoy and Lynn led Chargers teams that were six- and three-point underdogs at Cincinnati and Baltimore, respectively, Staley's team has opened as a 2 1/2-point favorite at Jacksonville. A key ingredient to all three games: the Chargers had ...

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BALTIMORE — Just two years ago, the roles were reversed. The Ravens met the Cincinnati Bengals on the last Sunday of the 2020 regular season and made mincemeat of their divisional foe, bashing out 404 rushing yards to clinch a playoff berth for the third year in a row. At that point, they had won their last three games against the Bengals by a combined score of 114-19. Little did we know the ...

BALTIMORE — Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley compared it to a scene from “Friday Night Lights.” If the Ravens defeat the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and earn an immediate rematch in the wild-card round of the playoffs, the host would be determined by a coin flip, according to a plan approved Friday by NFL owners. The plan represented the league’s attempt at a fair resolution after it declared ...

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