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Israel fumbles goodwill visit of NFL players

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It was supposed to be a feel-good visit by a group of professional football players to give a boost to image-conscious Israel. But in an embarrassing fumble by the Israeli government, only five of 11 NFL players in the delegation showed up after being blitzed by Palestinian activists opposed to the visit. Israel’s ministry for strategic affairs and public diplomacy issued a press release after the Super Bowl boasting that the visit would bring “influencers” who would serve as “goodwill…

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Dolphins survive Arizona comeback bid; Ryan Tannehill injured

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On a rainy Sunday afternoon in south Florida, the Miami Dolphins were cruising to a victory over the Arizona Cardinals. In the end, Miami would need a last second field goal from Andrew Franks to escape with a 26-23 victory. The Dolphins bottled up Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson in the first half. Palmer had his worst half as a Cardinal, throwing for only 50 yards. Miami would take a 21-9 lead and appeared headed for an easy…

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Panthers to meet Cardinals in NFC championship game

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Cam Newton. Larry Fitzgerald. Two of the biggest stars playing for the two highest scoring teams with a Super Bowl berth on the line. Welcome to the NFC championship game — the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers next Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers held on to beat the Seattle Seahawks 31-24 on Sunday, knocking the two-time defending NFC champs out of the postseason with their 12th straight home win. Now they’ll host the NFC championship game for the…

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Broncos a rare home underdog; Cardinals could pull upset in Carolina

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Odds makers have installed the New England Patriots as a 3-point favorite on the road against the Denver Broncos in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers are favored by the same spread against the Arizona Cardinals in Charlotte. All four contestants in Sunday’s games have overcome the odds to win as underdogs in the recent past. Can it happen again? Over the last decade, only two underdogs have won the AFC Championship. In 2006 the Pittsburgh…

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Carolina’s success makes people forget Kelvin Benjamin

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When Sunday rolls around, Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium may be better known for banks of snow along the sidelines and parking lots. The area is under a winter storm watch until Saturday night, forcing team and local officials to be in cleanup mode for three days. Some unforgettable weather may be part of the weekend, but hopefully the NFC Championship Game will prove itself worthy of remembrance. The Carolina Panthers host the Arizona Cardinals for the right to advance…

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Cardinals top Packers in classic NFC playoff game

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The Arizona Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers played a memorable Divisional Playoff game on Saturday. Arizona won the game, 26-20 in overtime, but that does not begin to tell the entire story. Two receivers, one for each team, were front and center with the key plays of the game. Few have heard of Jeff Janis, but he had 145 yards receiving and two touchdowns for the Packers. Most football fans have heard of all-pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald. All he…

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NFL teams can collapse after losing QB; ask 2014 Cardinals

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Peyton Manning is out. So is Andrew Luck. Tony Romo is finally ready to come back, after the Cowboys went 0-7 without him. Losing an elite quarterback can be devastating to a team. No one knows that better than the Arizona Cardinals. They are the poster child for how things can head south in a hurry when the main man goes down. Since the midpoint of the 2013 season, the Cardinals are 20-4 when Carson Palmer starts, 5-6 without him.…

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