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December 29, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos needed only 18 points on Sunday to break the NFL single-season points record. They got it done in the first half against an Oakland Raiders defense that had been giving up only 20.5 points a game. The New England Patriots held the record with 589 points in 2007. When Manning connected with Demaryius Thomas on a 63-yard touchdown play in the second quarter, the Broncos had eclipsed the mark by four points in extending their lead to 21-0 over Oakland.
December 16, 2013 | Sam Farmer
OK, Panthers, once more with feeling. For the second time in three weeks, the Carolina Panthers will face the New Orleans Saints in a high-stakes NFC South showdown that will go a long way toward bringing the playoff picture into focus. Hanging in the balance is sole possession of first place in the division, and a possible first-round bye in the postseason. The Panthers, who have won nine of 10 games, suffered a 31-13 defeat at New Orleans in Week 14 but got new life Sunday when the Saints lost at St. Louis, 27-16.
December 5, 2013 | Sam Farmer
The Carolina Panthers have won eight in a row, and Sunday are headed to New Orleans for their most daunting challenge of the season. For the 9-3 Panthers, the objective is to thrive in the chaos and noise of the Superdome against a seasoned 9-3 Saints team that's 6-0 in that building. It's in these times that the Panthers lean on All-Pro receiver Steve Smith, who is at his best under pressure, as he was last month when he repeatedly upstaged New England corner Aqib Talib in a 24-20 victory over the Patriots.
November 7, 2013 | Sam Farmer
The last time Cam Cleeland had two good eyes, a pillowcase was being pulled over his head. It was 15 years ago in a University of Wisconsin La Crosse dormitory that housed New Orleans Saints players for training camp. Cleeland and his fellow rookies were herded at one end of a long, narrow hallway. Their veteran teammates, most of them drunk, lined either side of the hall, leaving about a one-foot gap to get through. This was the gantlet, a well-worn Saints tradition of hazing and a rite of passage for the rookies.
October 11, 2013 | Sam Farmer
Sometimes, our expectations zig and the NFL zags. Like a LeSean McCoy cutback, the league has taken some surprising turns in the first five weeks, with San Francisco stumbling (then regaining its footing), Atlanta doing a face plant, and Andrew Luck-led Indianapolis seamlessly transitioning from Chuckstrong - last season's mantra in honor of ill Coach Chuck Pagano - to Luckstrong. Because it's Week 6, here are six eyebrow-raising developments so far: Hello, Cleveland When they traded running back Trent Richardson and gave the starting quarterback job to Brian Hoyer, the Browns looked like they were waving the white flag.
July 4, 2013 | David Wharton
Sean Payton might not want to quit his day job. The New Orleans Saints coach is moonlighting this week as a PGA Tour caddie, working the bag for his friend Ryan Palmer at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia. Payton had originally planned to vacation at the resort, but then Palmer gave his regular caddie the week off and the coach offered to step in. "I certainly have a great appreciation for the job that these caddies have," Payton said after a practice round earlier this week. "All of a sudden it starts raining a little bit, you're one hand short, you've got umbrellas going, towels going everywhere.
May 14, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Chuck Muncie made three Pro Bowls as an NFL running back. He likely would have made several more if his career hadn't been derailed by drug use. He has died of a heart attack at age 60, the New Orleans Saints confirmed Tuesday. He had turned his life around after his problems with drugs. A star running back at Cal who was second in Heisman Trophy voting in 1975, Muncie was drafted third overall by the Saints the next year. After rushing for a career-high 1,198 yards and making his first Pro Bowl in 1979, Muncie requested a trade and was dealt to the San Diego Chargers during the following season.
May 14, 2013 | Jim Peltz, Los Angeles Times
Chuck Muncie, a star running back with the New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers who overcame a cocaine habit that ended his career and then devoted his later life to helping others avoid drug abuse, has died. He was 60. Muncie died Monday of a heart attack at his Los Angeles-area home, his family announced. After a stellar career at UC Berkeley, Muncie played in the National Football League from 1976 to 1984 and was selected to play in three Pro Bowls. He spent more than four years with the Saints before joining the Chargers in the middle of the 1980 season.
February 9, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
Rob Ryan's five minutes of unemployment lasted four weeks, but he's now the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints. When Ryan became one of the fall guys for the Dallas Cowboys' failed season, he said he wasn't worried about losing his job because "I'll be out of work for like five minutes. " That was Jan. 8, when the Cowboys announced they were changing directions with their defensive unit and fired him. Now Ryan, brother of Jets Coach Rex Ryan and son of former Bears defensive coordinator and Eagles coach Buddy Ryan, will try to help Coach Sean Payton rebuild the Saints into a Super Bowl contender again.
February 4, 2013 | By Sam Farmer
NEW ORLEANS -- Officials from the NFL, Superdome and Entergy, the company that provides power to the stadium, still were working Monday to unravel the mystery of why the lights went out for 34 minutes of Super Bowl XLVII the previous night, although the league emphasized it would not affect New Orleans' chances to host future Super Bowls. "We know that they have an interest in future Super Bowls, and we look forward to evaluating that," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "I do not think this will have any effect at all. What I think will be remembered is that it was one of the great Super Bowl weeks, and we thank the people of New Orleans for that.
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