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Jeff Schultz on Manning, Newton and Goodell
Cam Newton shows his frustration after being hit in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 50 against the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium on Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif.

Updated: 10:49 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016

1. Peyton Manning and his legacy are safe: Several of Manning’s former coaches, as well as family members, were in attendance for what almost certainly was Manning’s final game. As I wrote earlier in Super Bowl week — to read the column, click here — anybody who was going to ...
Denver’s defense gifts a title for Peyton Manning
Quarterback Cam Newton fumbles the ball in the first quarter of Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. The ball was recovered by Malik Jackson (97) of the Denver Broncos in the end zone for a touchdown.

Updated: 10:35 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016

This was the career makeup call for Peyton Manning, not that he necessarily had anything to prove. After all of those yards and all of those touchdown passes in all of those seasons for all of those teams, Manning was treated like royalty Sunday, surrounded by servants.Physically imposing, intimidating servants ...
After MVP season, Cam Newton has quiet exit
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton speaks to the media at a postgame news conference following a 24-10 loss against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Updated: 7:42 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016

  After an MVP season, Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was beat up on the field and quiet off of it Sunday night. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images) SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Cam Newton had an MVP season, leading the Carolina Panthers to a 15-1 regular season and ...

Short takes: Both quarterbacks struggle but it was a day for defenses

Updated: 6:09 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, shown here warming up before Sunday’s Super Bowl, will retire as one of the three greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, along with Joe Montana and Tom Brady. (AP photo) SANTA CLARA, Calif. — A dominating performance by the Denver Broncos’ defense (seven sacks, four turnovers) led ...

Cam Newton, Carolina on a winning path
Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers celebrated their NFC title win over Arizona to reach the Super Bowl, and they could be headed for more in the future. (AP photo)

4:42 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016

This is what you should want your team to be, Atlanta. A quarterback who, against all forms of adversity, hate and defensive schemes, finds ways to win games. A defense that led the NFL in taking the ball from you and then punching you in the face. A coach who ...
Torn ACLs, broken arm won’t stop Thomas Davis
Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera, right, talks with Thomas Davis during practice. (AP photo)

7:13 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, 2016

Some old sports stories are so fantastical that some believe they must be urban legend, until somebody actually produces film and X-rays to prove it actually happened. Jack Youngblood was one of those stories. The former Los Angeles Rams defensive end was seriously injured in a playoff game against the ...
Goodell on head injuries: ‘There’s risk in sitting on couch’ (Really?)

Updated: 12:04 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — Roger Goodell has officially gone bye-bye. The NFL commissioner fielded questions on the usual subjects in his annual Super Bowl week news conference Friday: player discipline, team relocation, marijuana legalization, quality of play and, of course, head injuries. Goodell’s answers were typically rambling and non-specific, and he ...

Dan Quinn is miracle man of Super Bowl week
Falcons coach Dan Quinn handed Carolina coach Ron Rivera and the Panthers their only loss this season — a 20-13 victory at the Georgia Dome on Dec. 27. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016

Move aside, people. Royalty has arrived.“Dan! No other team was able to find a way to beat the Carolina Panthers! You beat the Carolina Panthers! How did you beat the Carolina Panthers?!?”This is how it went Thursday for Dan Quinn. He hopped from one radio station to the other, not ...
Carolina has been dismissive of its lone loss to Falcons

Updated: 1:44 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016

Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, who was torched by Julio Jones in a late-season loss, wore a wrestling mask as he answered questions during Media Day earlier in Super Bowl week. (AP photo) SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Carolina Panthers have been generally dismissive of their one loss to the ...

Ex-Falcons coach Wade Phillips back on top at 68
Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has overseen a defense this season that led the NFL in fewest yards allowed and total sacks and ranked near the top of every signficant category. (AP photo)

6:22 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In the Atlanta stop of his 38-year NFL career, the vagabond Wade Phillips turned around one of the NFL’s worst defenses in his first season in 2002, rode the Michael Vick euphoria train to a playoff berth and stuffed Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers ...
Cam Newton might be at his press conference breaking point

Updated: 2:40 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton answers a question during a media interview session on Wednesday at the San Jose Convention Center. (David T. Foster III / Charlotte Observer) SAN JOSE, Calif. — On Tuesday I wrote a column mentioning how comfortable Cam Newton has always been in the spotlight, even ...

Eugene Robinson counsels Carolina on Super Bowl week
Former Falcons safety Eugene Robinson found himself the center of attention after being arrested the night before the Super Bowl in 1998. (AJC file photo)

Updated: 9:26 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016

It’s Super Bowl week and Eugene Robinson is back in the news. But this time, he wasn’t wearing handcuffs. This time, he didn’t look weary from having cried all night while being consoled by Falcons’ teammates. This time, he wasn’t a national punchline. “I thought, ‘How did I get from ...
Cam Newton’s gift: winning amid storm
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton addresses the media Tuesday at the San Jose Convention Center. Newton and the Panthers face Denver in the Super Bowl on Sunday. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

8:33 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016

He answered the black quarterback question. He answered the, “Why does everybody hate you” question. He answered the question about dragging himself to an obscure community college four states away after the excommunication from Florida, and the unhappy soccer moms, and the touchdown celebrations, and any other subject that came ...
Carolina gets tip on Super Bowl week — from Eugene Robinson (updated)

Updated: 12:35 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016

Former Falcons safety Eugene Robinson found himself surrounded by photographers and was in the national spotlight after being arrested the night before the Super Bowl during the 1998 season. (AJC file photo) (UPDATED WITH EUGENE ROBINSON COMMENTS) SAN JOSE, Calif. — It’s Super Bowl week and Eugene Robinson is back ...

Carolina gets a tip on Super Bowl week — from Eugene Robinson

Updated: 11:07 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016

Former Falcons safety Eugene Robinson found himself surrounded by photographers and was in the national spotlight after being arrested the night before the Super Bowl during the 1998 season. (AJC file photo) SAN JOSE, Calif. — Eugene Robinson is back in the news Super Bowl week news. No, it’s not ...

No reason for Manning to worry about legacy

10:31 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, 2016

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Super Bowl “Media Day,” that annual mutant event where a would-be news conference crashes head-first into the dark corners of Lewis Carroll’s cranium, was moved up to Monday night this year. Actually, it was a brilliant decision by the NFL. It gets the cartoonish element of ...
NFL Media Day: It’s Manning, Newton and Man vs. Puppet

Updated: 9:27 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, 2016

SAN JOSE, Calif. — See that punk above, standing between me and Peyton Manning? I came very close to coming to blows with him/her/it Monday night. A Hispanic television crew roamed the floor of San Jose’s SAP Arena for Super Bowl Media Day with two guys holding puppets, speaking in ...

Here are sports standings that really matter
Don’t look so unhappy, Mike Budenholzer. Your Hawks top all major sports teams in the area in the “How They Really Stand” standings. (AP photo)

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016

Several years ago, I began this exercise called, “How They Really Stand.” It’s a completely subjective and occasionally even accurate ranking of Atlanta (and Athens) sports teams, factoring in not merely won-loss records but perceived foundation, direction and possibly the quality of the media buffet. (Not really. Usually.)I would normally ...
Dimitroff jumps on grenade — smart guy
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimtroff (left) was retained by owner Arthur Blank, at least in part because coach Dan Quinn enjoys working with him. (AP photo)

6:37 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016

Thomas Dimitroff has absorbed his share of criticism for picking the wrong players in recent years, but he seemed to have the room well-scouted. Truth is, if Falcons offensive linemen anticipated blitzes even half as well as Dimitroff did in a news conference Thursday, Matt Ryan never would be touched.On ...
3 teams, 3 questions: Quinn could be on hook as much as Dimitroff in ’16

Updated: 4:37 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016

Falcons coach Dan Quinn (right) could be on the hook next season as much as general manager Thomas Dimitroff. (AP photo) Three teams, three questions. FALCONS: Is next season make or break for general manager Thomas Dimitroff? Answer: Yes. To read my column on Thursday’s Dimitroff-Dan Quinn news conference, click ...

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