NEWARK, N.J. | When Peyton Manning returned to the NFL after a series of neck operations that sidelined him for the entire 2011 season, there was plenty of talk about when — and even whether — he would return to the level of play that earned four MVP awards and two Super Bowl appearances.
The Super Bowl needs a ratings boost like a racecar could use more horsepower.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, above, will play against New England QB Tom Brady for the 15th time today. Brady has won 10 of the matchups.
The Seahawks' Michael Bennett yells at a practice Thursday in Renton, Wash. Seattle plays the 49ers in Sunday's NFC championship.
RENTON, Wash. | Packers-Bears. Steelers-Browns. Cowboys vs. anybody in the NFC East.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. | Stephen Gostkowski sings on the sideline when he prepares to kick. Then he tries a field goal that could win a big game for the New England Patriots.
New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski sings on the sideline when he's getting ready to kick. Tonight he could be in full voice and in position to beat the Colts.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady listens to a reporter's question Tuesday at the team's facility in Foxborough, Mass.
INDIANAPOLIS | Antoine Bethea enjoys a good chess match as much as the next guy — especially when the opponent is Tom Brady.
INDIANAPOLIS | Jamaal Charles spent this week dissecting the Chiefs' first game against the Colts.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. | Peyton Manning's spectacular season was every bit the record-breaking sensation it appeared. The NFL said Tuesday that Manning's single-season mark of 5,477 yards passing will stand.
INDIANAPOLIS | Region football fans still hankering for the playoff game that won't be played at Soldier Field this weekend need only head two hours south on Interstate 65 on Saturday to catch some postseason NFL action, in person and indoors.
LAKE FOREST | There will be no shortage of eyes on Jay Cutler this week, even with Aaron Rodgers returning to the field.
Philip Rivers came through when the San Diego Chargers needed him most.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. | Quarterback Jay Cutler is out again and cornerback Charles Tillman won't be back unless the Bears make the playoffs. The way this season's going, that's no sure thing.
Terence Newman returned a fumble 58 yards for a touchdown with 3:47 left, rallying the Bengals past the Packers 34-30 Sunday in a game of wild momentum swings set up by nonstop turnovers.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick passes as tight end Delanie Walker waits to run a route during practice Wednesday in New Orleans.
Projected starters and key players for the Super Bowl:
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. | Joe Flacco outdueled Tom Brady, throwing three touchdown passes in the second half and leading the Baltimore Ravens to their first Super Bowl in 12 years with a 28-13 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday for the AFC championship.
ATLANTA | Make way Joe Montana and Steve Young. Colin Kaepernick is leading a brash new group of 49ers to the Super Bowl.
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