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Falcons, Matt Ryan run away from Green Bay to reach Super Bowl

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It was billed as a potential shootout. In the end, however, the Atlanta Falcons had most of the weapons. The Falcons, 6-4 at one point this season, blew out the streaking Green Bay Packers Sunday night, winning a runaway 44-21 game. The Falcons, who have never won a Super Bowl (and who have played in only one), will play in two weeks against either New England or Pittsburgh. Quarterback Matt Ryan, an MVP candidate, was excellent in the victory. He…

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Quarterbacks try to lead teams to Super Bowls in NFL playoffs

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If the name of the game was not called “football,” it would be called “quarterback.” And so it is that this weekend’s conference championship games revolve around the man taking the snap, the man throwing the passes, the man calling the audibles. This weekend is mainly about Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers, and Matt Ryan, and Ben Roethlisberger. They are the players in the spotlights and the headlines. And if their teams are going to the Super Bowl, they will…

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Falcons follow quarterback Matt Ryan to big win over Seattle

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If your vote isn’t in for Matt Ryan as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, it might be time to buy a stamp. Ryan, the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons who threw 38 touchdowns in the regular season, was stellar Saturday night as the Falcons beat Seattle 36-20 to advance to the NFC Championship Game. The Falcons will play against either Dallas or Green Bay next week. Ryan threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns against the vaunted Seattle secondary. In…

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Tampa Bay Bucs’ defense riddled in lopsided loss to Atlanta

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Last year, it was Lovie. This year, it is Mike. And for the Tampa Bay Bucs, the result has been the same old Smith. Once again, the Bucs’ defense let them down Thursday night in a 43-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons that really wasn’t that close. In a matter of days, the Bucs have given up 1,087 yards, 58 first downs and 73 points in back-to-back losses to the Raiders and Falcons. Tampa Bay beat Atlanta, 31-24, in the…

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Buffalo’s Rex Ryan gets another shot at Pats on Monday night

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Rex Ryan says he isn’t obsessed with the New England Patriots. Not a bit. But Ryan, coach of the Buffalo Bills, constantly talks about the Patriots, about Bill Belichick, about Tom Brady, about his failures concerning the Patriots. But as he goes into a Monday night game, Ryan isn’t obsessed. He says. “I know all you guys say that I’m obsessed with them and all that,” Ryan said. “You guys are obsessed with them, not me. I want to beat…

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Look who’s back in New York: It’s cocky Rex Ryan

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Long before fans see him, New York will hear him coming. He is Rex Ryan, blusterous and boisterous, and he leads NFL coaches in volume. No one does swagger quite the way that Ryan does. For years, that was perfect fit in New York when he coached the Jets. Tonight, he returns to New York. And for the first time in a long time, New Yorkers would love to muzzle him. Ryan, now the head coach of the Buffalo Bills,…

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Gary Shelton: Bucs’ schedule hints the team has a chance to be better

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If it is indeed Jameis Winston whom the Bucs covet, he’ll come into the league with a lot to measure up against. More than anything else, that struck you at first glance of next year’s Tampa Bay Bucs schedule. Boy, does Winston (or whichever quarterback the Bucs draft) need to be good. And fast. It’s no surprise, of course, that the schedule seems to focus on the Bucs’ passer. It’s a quarterback’s league. And, throughout its history, the Bucs have…

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