Super Bowl will pit Brady's Patriots against Ryan's Falcons (Yahoo Sports)
A season that began with Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension will end with him in the Super Bowl, where his New England Patriots will take on Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. While much of the attention between now and the NFL championship game on Feb. 5 in Houston will be focused on Brady vs. Ryan, the truly key matchup could be Atlanta's score-at-will offense, which produced the most points during the regular season, against the unheralded defense of New England, which allowed the fewest.
Redskins promote Cavanaugh, Manusky to coordinator positions (Yahoo Sports)
The Washington Redskins turned to internal candidates to fill two critical vacancies, promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator and Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator. Cavanaugh was the team's quarterbacks coach and Manusky its outside linebackers coach last season. The Redskins announced the promotions Monday along with the hires of Kevin O'Connell as quarterbacks coach and Jim Tomsula as defensive line coach.
Patriots' defense ignored critics on the way to Super Bowl (Yahoo Sports)
There's a mantra that players quickly come to learn when they play for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Perhaps no other unit for the Patriots has embodied Belichick's go-to phrase more than his defense this season. Defensive back Duron Harmon, who had a huge touchdown-saving tackle in the second quarter of the Patriots' 36-17 AFC championship game win over Pittsburgh on Sunday, said that even in their tightknit world they couldn't help but notice the criticism that surrounded the defense earlier this season.
Falcons get back to work after earning trip to Super Bowl (Yahoo Sports)
Dan Quinn certainly knows who the Atlanta Falcons are playing in the Super Bowl. It seems as if Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are there every year. One day after reaching the big game for only the second time in franchise history, Quinn and his players were back at their training complex in Atlanta's northern suburbs, rehashing the blowout of Green Bay before turning their attention to the team they'll play next.
Browns, LB Jamie Collins agree to 4-year, $50 million deal (Yahoo Sports)
Other than the incessant losing, Jamie Collins enjoyed his half season with the Cleveland Browns. Collins agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract on Monday with the Browns, who made signing the 27-year-old one of their offseason priorities and locked him up before he could hit the free-agent market. A Pro Bowler for New England, Collins made a major impression during the eight games he started after arriving on Oct. 31 in a trade with the Patriots.
Packers look for next step after another NFC title game loss (Yahoo Sports)
With Aaron Rodgers in his prime, the Green Bay Packers should always be a contender to get to the Super Bowl. Players packed duffel bags and cleaned out lockers a day after the 44-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. By no means is Rodgers showing signs of decline after turning 33 in December.
Steelers head into offseason with promise, questions (Yahoo Sports)
The roll that carried the Pittsburgh Steelers from adrift at midseason to the cusp of the Super Bowl came to a sudden and emphatic stop in New England. The pain of the one-sided 36-17 loss to Tom Brady and the Patriots will linger. If the Steelers want to find a way to take the next step in what has become a methodical march back to prominence, it needs to.
Bengals apologize for Pacman Jones' behavior after arrest (Yahoo Sports)
The Bengals took the unusual step of apologizing on Monday night for the conduct of cornerback Adam ''Pacman'' Jones that was recorded in a police video released to the media. Jones was arrested after an altercation at a downtown hotel the day after Cincinnati's season ended with a 6-9-1 record. Jones has said he'll be exonerated of the charges.
Raiders hire John Pagano as defensive assistant (Yahoo Sports)
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- The Oakland Raiders have hired former San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano as an assistant head coach for defense.
Eagles say Mike Groh will coach wide receivers (Yahoo Sports)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Eagles have agreed to terms with Mike Groh to be their wide receivers coach.