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SPORTS
December 11, 2009 | Sam Farmer
One game into the 2009 season -- a disheartening home loss to San Francisco -- and the Arizona Cardinals were finished, history, kaput. Or so most of us thought. After all, eight of the previous 10 Super Bowl losers had missed the playoffs the following season -- and why would the Cardinals be any different? Besides, the last time they made the postseason, in 1998, they promptly tumbled off the table the next fall. So nobody could really argue with Fox's Jimmy Johnson when, during the Week 2 pregame show, he said the Cardinals were toast.
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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 16, 2009 | By Sam Farmer, On The NFL
Perfection or peace of mind? That's the question confronting the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints. Should they keep pursuing 16-0 seasons full tilt, or ease up on the accelerator to rest players for the postseason? The Saints haven't checked everything off their list -- they have yet to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs -- but the Colts are where they need to be. Indianapolis plays Thursday at Jacksonville, a team the Colts defeated by just two points in their opener at home.
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 6, 2009
Al Michaels serves as the play-by-play announcer and Cris Collinsworth provides the color commentary for tonight's Minnesota at Arizona game (5:15, Channel 4): Michaels says ... If Kurt Warner can't go, I think Matt Leinart is progressing to the point where he's ready to make a big step up. When you can throw the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston, you're always going to have a chance to have a big day. The Arizona run game is still not elite but is improving.
SPORTS
December 14, 2009 | Sam Farmer
Denver's Brandon Marshall caught just about everything Sunday. Except the Indianapolis Colts. On a day when Marshall set the NFL's single-game receptions record with 21, his performance wasn't enough to upend the undefeated Colts, whose 28-16 victory inched them to within three wins of a perfect regular season. Indianapolis also clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs and set an NFL record by collecting its 22nd consecutive regular-season victory. The New Orleans Saints, too, careened into the teens by matching the Colts' 13-0 record with a victory at Atlanta.
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 26, 2010 | Sam Farmer
Terry Bradshaw won four Super Bowls as quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. But, like legions of NFL fans from the Gulf Coast region, he has a special place in his heart for the New Orleans Saints. A native of Shreveport, La., he has closely followed the rare ups and frequent downs of a franchise that Sunday secured its first Super Bowl bid in the club's 43-year history. The Saints will play the Indianapolis Colts on Feb. 7 in South Florida (3:15 p.m. PST; TV: Channel 2). "You get the feeling if the Saints win and go to the Super Bowl, it rights the ship," said Bradshaw, a Fox analyst in attendance for New Orleans' 31-28 overtime victory Sunday over Minnesota.
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