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SPORTS
December 7, 2009 | By Sam Farmer
The Baltimore Ravens want to be where the Green Bay Packers already are -- and not just near the top of the NFL's defensive rankings. Whereas the Packers (7-4) have the edge for a wild-card spot, things aren't as clear for Baltimore (6-5), which began the weekend tied with Jacksonville, Denver and Pittsburgh for one of the AFC's two berths. A lot can change with five games to play, of course, but the urgency of the moment is not lost on the Ravens, who haven't recorded consecutive wins since Week 3. "Our goal right now is just to win the game, no matter what it looks like, or what goes on in between, the first quarter, the fourth quarter," Baltimore receiver Mark Clayton told reporters last week.
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SPORTS
December 14, 2009
at Houston 34, Seattle 7: Seahawks blame poor play on catching "Winter Olympics fever" from nearby Vancouver. New Orleans 26, at Atlanta 23: You heard it here first: Saints will lose in the playoffs and not reach the Super Bowl. at Baltimore 48, Detroit 3: Paying attention, Mark Ingram? Backup quarterback Troy Smith came into the game with Ravens leading, 41-3. Green Bay 21, at Chicago 14: All of those vocal Jay Cutler fans have become mysteriously quiet in recent weeks.
SPORTS
December 29, 2009
A common postgame response to questions after NFL games is, "I have to wait to see the film." Times NFL writer Sam Farmer sorts through the best of Monday's film review: :: Reggie Wayne , Indianapolis receiver: "Doesn't everybody want to be a part of history? Not a season goes by that you don't hear about the '72 Dolphins. I guess there's a bigger picture." :: Raheem Brock , Colts defensive end, via Twitter: "At the airport in ind headn to philly and everyones lookn at me like I'm the one that put peyton on the bench!
SPORTS
November 28, 2009
Say this for Joe Flacco: You might knock him down, but you're not going to bring him down -- as in, snap his spirit. Even after the longest dry spell of his NFL career, three consecutive games without a touchdown pass, the Baltimore quarterback is still supremely confident heading into tonight's game against Pittsburgh, a team that beat the Ravens three times last season. "We feel good, and what better game to do it than against these guys?" Flacco said. "We feel confident that we're going to go out there and score touchdowns, and when you don't, it's disappointing.
SPORTS
December 9, 2009 | Sam Farmer
It's December, and time for NFL teams to break out their tiebreaker calculators. The playoff picture is coming into focus. The league's two undefeated teams, Indianapolis and New Orleans, have won their divisions and can clinch first-round byes with victories Sunday. The Saints play at Atlanta and the Colts play host to Denver. Cincinnati can claim the AFC North title . . . but has to win at Minnesota. Arizona, which is coming off a victory over Minnesota, can lock up the NFC North with a victory Monday at San Francisco.
SPORTS
January 14, 2010 | By Sam Farmer, On The NFL
Breaking down the Arizona-New Orleans matchup in the NFC divisional playoffs: Rest or rust Whereas the Cardinals will be six days removed from a dramatic overtime victory over Green Bay, the Saints will not have won in five weeks. New Orleans was far from its best down the stretch, and also rested players in the season finale. Saints Coach Sean Payton believes there are no clear statistical data about what's best to do, rest starters or play them all the way across the regular-season finish line.
SPORTS
January 19, 2010 | Sam Farmer
The other three NFL teams in this weekend's conference championship games have the Canton-bound quarterbacks, gaudy passing numbers, and seedings that secured them first-round byes. But the New York Jets have the clear edge in one category. Disrespect. They are the slighted, the snubbed, the underdog team so forgotten that, a few weeks ago, even their coach thought they had been mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture. All that doesn't matter now; it only serves as more motivation, because the Jets -- with their rookie coach, quarterback and running back -- are headed to the AFC championship game for the first time since 1998.
SPORTS
January 14, 2010 | By Sam Farmer, On The NFL
Breaking down the Dallas-Minnesota matchup in the NFC divisional playoffs: Who's seeded higher? Brett Favre participated in a conference call with Dallas reporters Wednesday, and his theme was clear: The Cowboys are the most dangerous team in the NFL this postseason. Although it's not uncommon for someone to butter up his opponent, reporters who took part in the call say Favre was very convincing. And he should be; the Cowboys have been scorching. "For the outside looking in, if you had to look at both teams, us and the Cowboys, you'd go, OK, aside from the fact the Cowboys are playing at the Vikings, who is the hottest team right now?
SPORTS
December 20, 2009 | Sam Farmer
What seemed written in the stars was rewritten by the guys wearing them. The perfect-season bid of the New Orleans Saints was derailed Saturday by the Dallas Cowboys, a franchise that wasn't supposed to be able to win in December and certainly not against the team-of-destiny Saints and their No. 1-ranked offense. But the Cowboys did win, picking up a huge 24-17 victory at the Superdome that tightened their grip on a playoff berth and might have been the best performance by Dallas quarterback Tony Romo.
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