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Seahawks survive Wild Card game when Vikings miss field goal

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Blair Walsh was a gimme putt away. A layup. A bunt. And he missed. Walsh hooked a last-second, 27-yard field goal, leaving the Minnesota Vikings one point shy of the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday’s NFC Wild Card game. It would have been Walsh’s fourth field goal of the game. It allowed Seattle to win with a 10-point fourth quarter, which led Seattle to advance to Carolina next week. Sunday’s game was the third-coldest game in NFL playoff history, with temperatures…

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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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A good year to be a wild card in NFL playoffs

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It looks like it’s a good year to be a wild card in the NFL playoffs. The oddsmakers certainly think so, making Kansas City (3 points), Pittsburgh (2 1-2), and Seattle (5 1-2) favorites on the road in the opening round of the postseason. The only wild card that is an underdog is slumping Green Bay, and by only a point at Washington. Those wise guys also have made the sixth-seeded Seahawks the third choice to win the NFC at…

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Bucs’ Jameis Winston looks like he has a long way to go to be a QB

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Rats. Reality. For all of you who wanted to believe this NFL thing was going to be an easy thing for Bucs’ rookie Jameis Winston, for all of you who thought he would show up and be great, well, it’s going to be as difficult for him as it is for most rookies who do not enter with pre-made football teams. Winston hit only nine of 19 passes for 131 yards and an interception in his preseason debut Saturday night…

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Bucs look for rookie Jameis Winston to get off to a good start in preseason

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Keep this in mind. Once, another quarterback took the field for the first time, and once, his team thought he was going to be lights-out. Once, he looked smart and poised, and everyone would have thought he was a coming star. He was Ryan Leaf, and his career went downhill from there. Perhaps that is why it is not wise to rely too heavily on whatever good or whatever bad you might see from rookie Jameis Winston of the Tampa…

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Bucs get a look at Jameis Winston vs. the other guys in preseason game

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It isn’t the regular season, but for the Tampa Bay Bucs, the first preseason game will be a lot closer to a game than a practice. The Bucs play Saturday night against the Minnesota Vikings at 8 p.m. “We haven’t been able to really finish a lot of plays,” coach Lovie Smith said. “So we see our guys tackle, really, for the first time; for our quarterbacks to throw the ball knowing they can get hit on the other side;…

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