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Super Bowl rematch: Panthers-Broncos opens season

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Super Bowl rematch. Minus Peyton Manning, of course. The NFL season will begin the way the last one ended, with the Denver Broncos playing the Carolina Panthers. Denver beat Carolina 24-10 in February in the Super Bowl, Manning’s final game. The rematch will be on Thursday night, Sept. 8 in Denver. “We’re glad that it’s out,” Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway said. “We knew who we were going to play and now we know when we’re…

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Patriots on way to yet another AFC Championship game

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The New England Patriots, the closest thing to a dynasty the league has seen in a long time, are within two games of another championship. The Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-20, in the AFC Divisional Playoffs Saturday afternoon. Kansas City’s final touchdown came with 73 seconds to play, making the final score seem closer than the game was. The Patriots led by 21-6 at one point. This will be New England’s fifth straight trip to the AFC title…

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Chiefs, Patriots still alive thanks to interchangeable parts

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The offensive line of the Kansas City Chiefs looks a lot like a grade-school game of musical chairs, only with 300-pound behemoths jumping around from spot to spot. Take second-year pro Zach Fulton. He’s been forced to play three different spots along the line due to a litany of injuries this season. And he wasn’t even supposed to be a starter. It’s not just along the offensive line, either. The Chiefs have used fullback Spencer Ware as a change-of-pace running…

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Chuck Pagano’s fake punt vs. Patriots heads list of worst calls

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With Andrew Luck watching from the sideline, special-teams ace Colt Anderson lined up under center and took the snap at a critical point during the much-anticipated rematch between the Colts and Patriots. It was easily the worst play of the 2015 season. Indianapolis trailed New England 27-21 late in the third quarter and faced a fourth-and-3 at its own 37. Obviously, it was a punting situation. But Colts coach Chuck Pagano had other ideas. Wide receiver Griff Whalen played center.…

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Panthers seek 2nd 15-0 start in NFL history

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Only one NFL team has gone 15-0 in the regular season, the 2007 Patriots. With a victory at Atlanta on Sunday, the Carolina Panthers can match that feat. What they don’t want to do is completely replicate what New England did that season. Yes, the Panthers want their second trip to the Super Bowl. They simply want a different outcome than what New England met, losing to the Giants in the big game. For now, though, there’s little to know…

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Scout teams served as feeder system for NFL

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In his locker room speech following his successful debut as Miami’s interim head coach, Dan Campbell credited his practice squad players for helping propel the Dolphins to their big win at Tennessee. “Don’t forget those guys,” he implored his team. Those guys getting the props were the same ones quarterback Ryan Tannehill had mocked two weeks earlier, when he criticized them for being overly aggressive during a usually low-key workout and told them to enjoy their “scout team trophy” after…

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Bucs must develop culture of winning, but not the Patriots’ model

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Why should Bucs fans or general sports fans from the ‘Burg and the Bay care about Tom Brady and underinflated footballs? It’s not like any of this will affect their everyday lives. Why do readers of this publication, whether or not they are sports fans, pay attention to a national story like this? Because it goes beyond sports. It’s the intrigue; it’s knowing what you don’t know and looking to fill that void. Everyone following the story has an opinion.…

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