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Is defense as important as ever in winning NFL playoff football

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In a quarterback-driven world, does defense still win championships? The cliché says yes, of course. No coach is going to come out in favor of a soft defense. But is defense still as important as it was in the days of the Doomsday Defense and the No-Name Defense and the Steel Curtain? Is hounding the opposing quarterback as important today as it used to be? Often these days, it seems that winning a football game is a matter of holding…

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Drive to Super Bowl continues on Sunday

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Two teams took the first step toward the Super Bowl on Saturday. With Houston and Seattle moving on, two more games will set up the NFL’s Elite 8. Here are Sunday’s matchups. Miami (10-6) at Pittsburgh (11-5), Sunday at 1:05 p.m. (CBS) Miami is making its first playoff appearance since 2008 and is looking for its first postseason win since the wild-card round in 2000. Quarterback Matt Moore will make his first postseason start for the Dolphins with Ryan Tannehill…

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Can Packers right the ship against better Lions team?

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For half of the football season, the Green Bay Packers seemed in charge of the NFC Central Division. All was as it should be. The Packers started out 6-0, and it seemed as if they would sail through the regular season. No one could head them off, it seemed, let alone a Detroit team that started the season 1-7. Why, then, are the Packers going in different, unexpected directions. The Lions have won three in a row behind quarterback Matthew…

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Chicago’s Jay Cutler has had a hard time of it in Green Bay

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No one is quite sure where the legend of Jay Cutler, bad Bears’ quarterback, began. Probably, it was in Green Bay. Cutler’s nightmares must feature Green Bay. Cutler is 1-13 against the Packers over his career, and he’s 0-4 in Lambeau Field with three touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Now, on Thursday Night Football, Cutler will try it again. On the other hand, the Packers’ Aaron Rogers is 13-3 against the Bears and completed 74 percent of his passes in the last…

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NFL has some little-known rules and regulations

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Thanks to Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright and back judge Greg Wilson, football fans now know all about the obscure NFL rule known as the “illegal bat.” The Seahawks received a big break when a flag wasn’t thrown on Wright for batting Calvin Johnson‘s fumble out of the back of the end zone for a touchback after Kam Chancellor knocked it loose just shy of the goal line. The Lions (0-4) never got the ball at the 1 like they should…

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