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Malcolm Butler

Cam Newton is the 5.0 version of Steve McNair

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When the late Steve McNair came into the NFL, he carried the nickname of “Air McNair.” The moniker was well-earned. His college career at Alcorn State saw him set the FCS division record with nearly 14,500 passing yards. The Houston Oilers saw McNair’s ability to put the ball in the air as well as push the ball downfield with his legs. Houston drafted him with the third overall pick in 1995. As the 20th century came to a close, National…

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Malcom Butler, Von Miller, Luke Kuechly, Patrick Peterson lead star-studded defenses

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Some of the biggest difference-makers playing Championship Sunday are on defense. The Patriots won last year’s Super Bowl because Malcolm Butler intercepted a pass at the end. The Broncos earned the No. 1 seed because of their top-ranked defense. Arizona had six defensive touchdowns and Carolina has the league’s best linebacker duo. The offensive stars may get most of the attention, but strong defenses helped the final four teams get here. Each team finished in the top-10 in yards and…

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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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