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Jermaine Kearse

Look for an unknown player or 2 to star wild-card weekend

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Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Ben Roethlisberger, J.J. Watt and the other star players got their teams to the playoffs. With the season on the line, a lesser-known player often makes the difference. Remember Malcolm Butler? The Green Bay Packers won three road games as a sixth-seed in 2010 before they beat Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl. They wouldn’t have advanced if it weren’t for a surprise performance in the wild-card round, when rookie James Starks had 123 yards rushing in…

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Plenty to prove in 2015 for many of NFL’s key figures

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Nice job, Tom Brady. Peyton Manning, you’re up next. The 39-year-old quarterback is under pressure to prove his decline at the end of last season was because of  a torn thigh and not time catching up to him like a linebacker firing through the line unblocked. His boss, John Elway, is trying to take some load off his shoulders just like the Broncos did during Elway’s own Super Bowl runs in the late 1990s when a good ground game and…

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