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September 5, 2001 | Roy Jurgens
ATLANTA FALCONS Last season: 4-12 (Fifth in NFC West). Coach: Dan Reeves (32-35-0 with Atlanta). Key losses: WR Tim Dwight (San Diego), LB Jesse Tuggle (retired). Key acquisitions: WR Tony Martin (Miami), RB Rodney Thomas (Tennessee). Offense: The writing is on the wall for 35-year-old quarterback Chris Chandler. Should the Falcons stumble out of the gate, look for the debut of budding superstar Michael Vick.
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SPORTS
September 4, 2013
Writers from around Tribune Co. predict which teams will reach and advance in the playoffs this NFL season. Feel free to join the conversation with a comment of your own.  Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times In the AFC, I like New England, Cincinnati, Houston and Denver winning their divisions, with Pittsburgh and San Diego emerging as wild-card teams. The AFC championship game I see is Cincinnati at Denver, and I can see the Broncos winning that to go on to the Super Bowl. With the first legitimate off-season he's had in four years -- one in which he hasn't been recovering from an injury or searching for a new team -- Peyton Manning is well positioned to make a run at his fifth MVP award.
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SPORTS
September 29, 2012 | Sam Farmer
Two years ago, the NFC West was a joke. Four teams, four losing records. The Seattle Seahawks became the first team in history to win a division and reach the postseason at 7-9. Fast forward to today, and the NFC West is, top to bottom, the best division in football. Undefeated Arizona won at New England and stomped Philadelphia. Before losing to Minnesota last Sunday, San Francisco had convincing wins at Green Bay and over Detroit. Seattle crushed Dallas, then edged Green Bay - with an asterisk for that Hail Mary, yes, but the Seahawks had eight sacks in the first half, plus their share of calls and noncalls go against them.
SPORTS
June 14, 2013 | By Sam Farmer
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin was handed a four-game suspension last month for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He was the sixth Seahawks player to test positive since 2011, with only cornerback Richard Sherman having his suspension overturned. San Francisco Coach Jim Harbaugh was asked about that rash of suspensions this week, and didn't miss an opportunity to jab his NFC West rival, beginning another chapter in the barely-civil relationship he has with Seattle Coach Pete Carroll.
SPORTS
December 15, 2009
The Arizona Cardinals threw away a chance to clinch a second straight NFC West crown. Alex Smith threw touchdown passes after two of Arizona's seven turnovers, Frank Gore ran for 167 yards and another score and the San Francisco 49ers kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a dominant 24-9 victory Monday night. With a relentless defensive attack, San Francisco forced the sloppy Cardinals into five first-half turnovers and kept Kurt Warner from finding a groove. Warner had two passes intercepted in the opening half after going 130 passes without a pick.
SPORTS
April 24, 2013 | By Sam Farmer
The draft will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday in New York. Times NFL writer Sam Farmer examines team needs by division. Today, the West divisions: AFC West Now that they have their quarterback in Alex Smith, the Kansas City Chiefs need someone to protect his blind side. They're looking to trade left tackle Branden Albert, and with the No. 1 overall pick, they have their pick of two excellent prospects: Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel and Central Michigan's Eric Fisher. The Chiefs also are looking for help at both inside and outside linebacker, and for depth at running back.
SPORTS
November 17, 1997 | From Associated Press
Hold the talk about Carolina being a budding dynasty in the NFC West. The old one is back. Treating Carolina as a one-year wonder, the San Francisco 49ers reclaimed the division title from the team that took it from them, defeating the Panthers, 27-19, on Sunday.
SPORTS
December 14, 2009
Johnny U, meet Johnny U-turn. Arizona's Kurt Warner, the quarterback who has turned around two foundering franchises, is tied with the great Johnny Unitas for the most consecutive games with a passer rating of 120 or more (four) and can pass the late Hall of Famer tonight against San Francisco. That record would be nice, Warner says, but pales in comparison to the chance to clinch a second consecutive NFC West title and take the next step toward another Super Bowl run. The Cardinals (8-4)
SPORTS
December 25, 2006 | MIKE PENNER
And in the 2006 NFC West race, with 100% of the precincts reporting to be bored out of their skulls when they're not laughing to keep from crying, a champion has finally been declared. And the winner is . . . (Cue sound clip of football being punctured and deflating.). . . a loser!
SPORTS
September 24, 1999
The Super Bowl will be played in Atlanta this season, but doesn't figure to include the Falcons, now that Jamal Anderson is lost for the season because of a knee injury. Anderson accounted for 39% of the Falcons' total yardage last season, and his loss leaves only quarterback Chris Chandler. Wave the white flag. "I'm sick of hearing that when one player goes out, the Falcons can't win without him," linebacker Keith Brooking said.
SPORTS
April 24, 2013 | By Sam Farmer
The draft will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday in New York. Times NFL writer Sam Farmer examines team needs by division. Today, the West divisions: AFC West Now that they have their quarterback in Alex Smith, the Kansas City Chiefs need someone to protect his blind side. They're looking to trade left tackle Branden Albert, and with the No. 1 overall pick, they have their pick of two excellent prospects: Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel and Central Michigan's Eric Fisher. The Chiefs also are looking for help at both inside and outside linebacker, and for depth at running back.
SPORTS
December 22, 2012 | By Lance Pugmire
Story line: San Francisco can clinch a second consecutive NFC West title, but its defense needs to calm a Seattle group that has romped over Arizona and Buffalo in back-to-back weeks (108 combined points). The 49ers are riding their own high after quarterback Colin Kaepernick stood up to Tom Brady, throwing for four scores in New England last Sunday night. Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson ran for three scores and threw for one against the Bills. Since losing at Candlestick on Oct. 18, he has 13 touchdown passes and just two interceptions.
SPORTS
October 15, 2012 | By Lance Pugmire
Denver (2-3) at San Diego (3-2) Time: 5:30. TV: ESPN. Story line: San Diego would like to take a two-game AFC West lead (and 3-0 division record) into its bye next week while the Broncos will work to claim a share of the lead through a grueling opening schedule. Chargers QB Philip Rivers is 9-3 against Denver. The Chargers have been tough on Peyton Manning, twice eliminating him from the playoffs as a Colt, ending an unbeaten season another time, and recording six- and four-interception games.
SPORTS
September 29, 2012 | Sam Farmer
Two years ago, the NFC West was a joke. Four teams, four losing records. The Seattle Seahawks became the first team in history to win a division and reach the postseason at 7-9. Fast forward to today, and the NFC West is, top to bottom, the best division in football. Undefeated Arizona won at New England and stomped Philadelphia. Before losing to Minnesota last Sunday, San Francisco had convincing wins at Green Bay and over Detroit. Seattle crushed Dallas, then edged Green Bay - with an asterisk for that Hail Mary, yes, but the Seahawks had eight sacks in the first half, plus their share of calls and noncalls go against them.
SPORTS
April 26, 2012 | By Sam Farmer
No. 14 St. Louis Rams: DT Michael Brockers, LSU - - Brockers made 54 tackles, including 9.5 for loss, with two sacks, four quarterback hits and an interception in 2011. He left school after playing just two seasons, and some critics point to the fact that he was surrounded by outstanding talent and therefore say he looked better than he'll be as a pro. Comment: The Rams are getting old inside, and in a running division like the NFC West, they needed to get a stout run stopper who also can collapse the pocket.
HEALTH
March 8, 2012 | By Houston Mitchell
Times NFL reporter Sam Farmer gave a list of 10 teams Peyton Manning might end up playing for next season. Which one do you think will land the future Hall of Famer? A quick recap of Farmer's choices, with his comments: Miami: The Dolphins need to sell tickets and owner Stephen Ross is star-struck. Seattle: Their owner has the deepest pockets in the league, and Pete Carroll would let Manning mold that up-and-coming roster to his liking. Arizona: Domed stadium, warm climate, Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald, NFC West - what's not to like?
SPORTS
November 15, 1999 | From Associated Press
Back at home, the St. Louis Rams were back in playoff form. Kurt Warner threw two touchdown passes, increasing his NFL-leading total to 26, and the Rams got defensive touchdowns from Todd Lyght and Mike Jones in a 35-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Rams (7-2) recovered convincingly from successive excruciating losses at Tennessee and Detroit. "Our defense basically won the game for us," said tight end Roland Williams, who caught a touchdown pass.
SPORTS
March 7, 2012 | By Sam Farmer
Potential suitors for free-agent quarterback Peyton Manning in order of likeliest destinations: Miami: The Dolphins need to sell tickets and owner Stephen Ross is star-struck. The team has the money, and a star receiver in Brandon Marshall. That's a tough division, though, with three cold-weather teams. Seattle: The Seahawks need a quarterback, and blew it last year by passing on Andy Dalton. Their owner has the deepest pockets in the league, and Pete Carroll would let Manning mold that up-and-coming roster to his liking.
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