The Latest: Packers' Aaron Rodgers wins 3rd MVP Award
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers passes during the first half of the NFC championship NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Rodgers received 44 votes, followed by Buffalo’s Josh Allen with four, and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, the 2018 MVP, with two. ___9:52 p.m.For turning around a moribund Cleveland franchise, overcoming injuries and COVID-19 concerns, Kevin Stefanski is The Associated Press 2020 NFL Coach of the Year. Ad___9:20 p.m.Justin Herbert is the latest quarterback to win The Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award. ___8:08 p.m.Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has won The Associated Press NFL Assistant Coach of the Year award.
Big offenses, overlooked defenses in AFC title game
The Kansas City Chiefs won their first NFL title since 1970 when they beat San Francisco in last year's Super Bowl. What we get Sunday is a matchup of dynamic offenses and overlooked defenses, the top two teams in the conference. Kansas City (15-2) has the confidence of a reigning champion and a charisma few NFL teams can match. That could provide an edge over Bills rookie Tyler Bass — except that Bass has been very reliable all season. Buffalo punter Corey Bojorquez and Kansas City rookie Johnny Townsend were two of the most dependable in the AFC.
Chiefs' Reid, Bills' McDermott to match wits for AFC title
Funny thing: Even after firing him, Reid suspected deep down that McDermott was destined for big things. McDermott has the long-suffering Buffalo Bills playing in their first AFC championship game since beating Kansas City on Jan. 23, 1994, when they advanced to their fourth straight Super Bowl. They love football in Buffalo and he's really done a nice job with that whole program.”Not surprisingly, the job McDermott has done with the Bills neatly parallels the job Reid has done in Kansas City. Both have surrounded them with playmakers, such as the Bills' Stefon Diggs and the Chiefs' Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. McDermott never harbored any animosity toward Reid when he was fired from the Eagles on Jan. 15, 2011.
Super Host: Bucs become 1st to play Super Bowl at home
The Buccaneers defeated the Packers 31-26 to advance to the Super Bowl. Tampa Bay (14-5) is the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. The prize is much different this year, though, because the Super Bowl will be played in front of a far smaller crowd than usual. The first Super Bowl in 1967 was played in front of 61,946 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Eagles backup Nick Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, a sign of things to come in the Super Bowl against New England.
Ravens' season ends with Jackson in locker room, 17-3 loss
The Ravens and Lamar Jackson were stymied for the much of Saturday night by a hustling, relentless Buffalo defense. Then, the biggest miscue on a night of missteps for the Ravens effectively put an end to an otherwise memorable season. In the end, however, the Ravens got blown away on a windy night by a team that chased Jackson all over the field. 1-ranked rushing game generated 150 yards, but Jackson was limited to 34 yards on nine carries with a long of 15 yards. Throwing under duress for much of the game, Jackson went 14 of 24 for 162 yards with an interception and three sacks.
Allen, Jackson set for playoff showdown as Bills host Ravens
FILE - Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) talks with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) following a 24-17 Ravens win in an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y., in this Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, file photo. It happened in the 2018 season opener, when the then-raw rookie Bills quarterback was shoved into the Ravens' sideline. Much like Jackson, Allen prefers putting the past behind him and focusing on the next challenge. “We’ve had our backs against the wall since the Pittsburgh game,” Harbaugh said. The Bills limited the Ravens to only 118 yards rushing in last year’s meeting, a 24-17 Ravens win.
Bucs, Browns, Bills out to follow footsteps of champ Chiefs
Aside from winning the final Super Bowl before the merger in 1970, the Kansas City Chiefs’ biggest claim to fame for over half a century was team founder Lamar Hunt coining the phrase Super Bowl. Three long-downtrodden teams — the Browns, Bills and Buccaneers — have made it to the divisional round this weekend and are certain they have as good a chance as the Chiefs, Packers, Saints, Ravens or Rams of winning Super Bowl 55. That’s heady stuff for a franchise that has never made it to the Super Bowl. I think Bills fans, including myself, didn’t think he was going to be this good this good this early. And he has proved a lot of people wrong.”No, there’s no comparing this Bills team to those of his playing days, Thomas said.
Bills beat Colts 27-24 for 1st playoff win in 25 years
In a season in which the Bills busted numerous slumps, Allen became Buffalo's first starter in a quarter century to win a playoff game. Made enough plays to win,” Allen said. The Colts responded with a seven-play, 75-play drive capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass to Pascal. Rivers’ pass for Michael Pittman glanced off the diving receiver’s fingertips on fourth down. Facing fourth-and-3 from the Colts 26, Allen drew defensive end Kemoko Turay offside with a second left on the play clock.
The Latest: Rams surge to 30-13 lead over Seahawks in fourth
The Los Angeles Rams are leading the Seattle Seahawks 23-13 early in the fourth quarter. The Los Angeles Rams have taken a 20-10 halftime lead over the Seahawks in their wild card game at Seattle. Metcalf to cut the Los Angles Rams' lead to 13-10 in the second quarter of their wild card game. The Buffalo Bills are taking a 17-10 lead over Indianapolis into the fourth quarter at Buffalo. Washington won the middling NFC East despite a 7-9 record to earn a home wild card game.
Aaron Donald, Travis Kelce unanimous AP All-Pro Team choices
Donald was selected Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, to The Associated Press All-Pro Team. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File)Dynamic defensive star Aaron Donald and unstoppable tight end Travis Kelce are unanimous choices Friday for The Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team. It is the sixth All-Pro selection for Donald, who has helped the Los Angeles Rams to the top-ranked defense in the NFL, and the third for Kansas City's record-setting Kelce. Rounding out the offense are Cleveland right tackle Jack Conklin (second selection), and Washington right guard Brandon Scherff (first). The long snapper position is new to the All-Pro Team in 2020, and Baltimore's Morgan Cox is the choice.
Mahomes leads champion Chiefs to 14-2 mark in stacked AFC
While the Chiefs get another week’s rest, the six other AFC playoff teams get going this weekend. For just the second time since the 1970 league merger, every team in the AFC playoffs has at least 11 wins. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 54, 31-20 over the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 2, 2020, at Miami. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 43, 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Feb. 1, 2009, at Tampa, Florida. Their pass rush is nearly nonexistent with 19 sacks, the fewest by a playoff team since Denver had 19 in 1979.
No preseason, no problem: NFL rookies shine in strange year
Young and Jefferson made the Pro Bowl, and surely more rookies would have joined them as alternates at the league’s now-canceled all-star game. “It’s crazy unusual for a rookie, I think, to have the type of leadership that Chase has, genuine leadership,” Washington quarterback Alex Smith said. “I think a lot of young guys, especially high picks, I think you feel pressure to do it some way or somehow. “Talk about a rookie coming in, starting every game and just being focused,” Browns Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio said of Wills. “We’re growing and we’re starting to get a hang of the game,” said Dolphins right tackle Robert Hunt, a second-round pick and one of six Miami rookies starting on offense.
Bills beat Broncos 48-19 for first AFC East crown since 1995
DENVER – Donning gray caps that declared them AFC East champions for the first time since 1995, the Buffalo Bills acted like this was old hat. “To be the team and to be the quarterback on the team that does it, obviously feels really good. “But there’s still a lot on the table.”Buffalo coach Sean McDermott said he received a congratulatory email from Marv Levy, the last Bills coach to win the AFC East. He also missed the 51-yard field goal attempt way to the right on Denver’s opening drive. Broncos: visit the Los Angeles Chargers, who they rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat on Nov. 1 with a touchdown as time ran out.
A winner: Chiefs vs Saints, with Brees back to face Mahomes
1 conference seed is tight, with the Packers one game ahead of the Saints, the Rams and Seahawks one game behind. Drew Brees will be active after missing four games with fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, making for an intriguing matchup with Patrick Mahomes. The Bills (11-3) scored twice in a 17-second span in the third quarter to ice their fourth straight victory that officially ended the New England Patriots’ 11-year reign atop the division. The Ravens have run for at least 100 yards in 36 straight games, seven short of the NFL record set by Pittsburgh from 1974-77. Baltimore is averaging 173.8 yards on the ground and topped 200 yards in each of the past two games.
Bills improve to 10-3 with 26-15 win over sloppy Steelers
His 28 TDs passing rank second most on the team list, and five behind the single-season record set by Kelly in ’91. Acquired in a trade with Minnesota in March, Diggs now has 100 catches to match the Bills’ single-season record set by Eric Moulds in 2002. The Steelers continue to resemble nothing of the team that set a franchise record by winning its first 11 games. The game was decided midway through the fourth quarter after Buffalo’s Tyler Bass hit a 23-yard field goal to put the Bills up 26-15. SACK STREAKThe Steelers extended their sack streak to a 70th consecutive game to break the NFL record set by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1999 to 2003.
Chiefs, Seahawks, Packers, Bills keep top 4 spots in Pro32
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton (27) celebrates with teammate Daniel Sorensen (49) after intercepting a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)NEW YORK – With nearly all NFL teams already a quarter of the way through the regular season, there are four teams off to a 4-0 start: the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, the Seattle Seahawks, the Green Bay Packers and the Buffalo Bills. And those teams maintained the top four spots in the latest AP Pro32 poll. “Still good enough to beat the Patriots to keep Kansas City unbeaten, and still good enough to complement a very, very good defense.”The Seahawks followed at No. “You could not have overestimated the leap Josh Allen would make in his third NFL season,” said Jenny Vrentas of The Monday Morning Quarterback.
Bills remain undefeated, top Raiders in Las Vegas, 30-23
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson (90) celebrates after recovering a fumble by the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Las Vegas. Shaking off a second-quarter stinger, Allen threw two touchdowns and rushed for another to lead the Buffalo Bills to a 30-23 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Las Vegas (2-2) lost its second straight game and first inside the shiny new $2 billion Allegiant Stadium. Las Vegas gave the ball back to the Bills by way of punt, fumble, downs and another fumble before scoring on its final possession. Las Vegas had allowed scores on nine straight non-kneeldown drives.
The Latest: Wilson rallies Seahawks past Cowboys 38-31
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, looks to pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)The Latest on Week 3 in the NFL (all times EDT):__8 p.m.Russell Wilson threw for 315 yards and five touchdowns without an interception as the Seattle Seahawks edged the Dallas Cowboys 38-31. -Tim Booth reporting from Seattle__6:15 p.m.Russell Wilson has thrown three touchdown passes to Tyler Lockett and the Seattle Seahawks have a 23-15 halftime lead over the Dallas Cowboys. Wilson capped his big first half with a 1-yard toss to Lockett with 7 seconds left in the half. Out of 48 NFL games so far in 2020, 10 have included paying customers.
The Latest: Seahawks' Diggs ejected for helmet-to-helmet hit
(AP Photo/John Froschauer)The Latest on Week 2 in the NFL (all times EDT):___8:55 p.m.Seattle safety Quandre Diggs was ejected late in the first quarter Sunday night for a helmet-to-helmet hit on New England’s N’Keal Harry. Multiple flags were thrown and after a few minutes of deliberation, referee Craig Wrolstad announced Diggs had been ejected. Watkins made an 11-yard catch to convert a third down when Desmond King started to bring him down and Denzel Perryman landed a helmet-to-helmet hit. San Francisco lost both defensive end Nick Bosa and defensive tackle Solomon Thomas to left knee injuries earlier in the game. Brady struggled in an 11-point loss to New Orleans in his first NFL game not in a New England Patriots uniform.
Allen tops 300 yards passing in Bills' 27-17 win over Jets
(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Josh Allen led three consecutive first-half touchdown drives, and the Buffalo Bills overcame their own sloppiness and injuries to two starting linebackers in a 27-17 season-opening win over the New York Jets on Sunday. Allen finished 33 of 46 for 312 yards in becoming Buffalo's first player to top 300 yards since Tyrod Taylor had 329 in a 34-31 overtime loss to Miami on Dec. 24, 2016. Allen also scored on a 2-yard run, though his fumbles proved costly with both coming inside Jets territory. After driving the Bills on three consecutive scoring drives, Allen closed the first half by fumbling at the Jets 12. The Jets finished the game without starting running back Le’Veon Bell, who was ruled out in the second half due to a hamstring injury.
QB Bridgewater 'thankful' for injury, eager for 2nd chance
FILE - Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater watches during an NFL football camp practice Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers invested $63 million over three years in Bridgewater, and the QB has proclaimed, “this definitely feels like my team." I remember everybody was hurting in practice," Diggs said. Offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who worked with Bridgewater while with the Saints, is confident Bridgewater can be thrive in Carolina. “Knowing what I know now, I would just go back and tell myself the moment I was on the ground screaming in pain, ‘life is just a race,’” Bridgewater said.