NFL playoffs

San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Reuben Foster (56) (left) celebrates with San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Brock Coyle (50) after making a defensive stop against the New York Giants at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on November 12, 2017. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Weekend wrap: Making sense of Reuben Foster’s arrest, the unfocused Warriors and inactive Giants

Quick hits with Kolsky In the local football world, 49ers LB Reuben…

 

Antonio Brown made the AFC Championship extra interesting by streaming his head coach’s speech after they beat the Kansas City Chiefs last week. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS)

NFL playoffs lines/picks: Give me Green Bay and New England in the Super Bowl

MATCHUP SPREAD MONEYLINE OVER/UNDER Green Bay at Atlanta ATL -5 GB +175,…

 

Joe Montana is still as cool as ever, which is valuable to the NFL, a league with identity issues. (Jay Mariotti/S.F. Examiner)

Montana still reigns over a city, a sport

His hair is silver now, the color of four Vince Lombardi Trophies,…

 

New England quarterback Tom Brady shouts during the Patriots’ divisional playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. The NFL wants Brady to return to the Super Bowl because it’s what will make the league the most money. (Elise Amendola/AP)

Brady, Patriots trigger scorn — and buzz

DENVER — The new conspiracy theory is Son Of Deflategate, a bastard son…

New England quarterback Tom Brady shouts during the Patriots’ divisional playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. The NFL wants Brady to return to the Super Bowl because it’s what will make the league the most money. (Elise Amendola/AP)
Former Heisman trophy winners Carson Palmer and Cam Newton will face off in the NFC Championship game on Sunday. (File AP photo)

Newton, Palmer will decide NFC title

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton and Carson Palmer have a few things in…

Former Heisman trophy winners Carson Palmer and Cam Newton will face off in the NFC Championship game on Sunday. (File AP photo)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton celebrates with fans after their divisional playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. The Panthers won 31-24.  (Bob Leverone/AP)

Cam Newton’s Law: ‘I don’t get nervous’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the waning moments of a strange 35-35 game…

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton celebrates with fans after their divisional playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. The Panthers won 31-24.  (Bob Leverone/AP)
Denver Broncos general manager John Elway, right, took a chance when he hired his friend Gary Kubiak. (David Zalubowski/AP)

Hiring ‘friend’ pays off for Elway

DENVER — John Elway is adamant that Gary Kubiak was never his…

Denver Broncos general manager John Elway, right, took a chance when he hired his friend Gary Kubiak. (David Zalubowski/AP)
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski faces reporters before practice on Thursday. The Patriots play the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship on Sunday. (Steven Senne/AP)

Mind games between Patriots-Broncos before big game Sunday

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Gronk pushes off. Brady whines. If it's AFC championship…

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski faces reporters before practice on Thursday. The Patriots play the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship on Sunday. (Steven Senne/AP)
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett catches a touchdown pass against Carolina Panthers free safety Kurt Coleman (20) late in their divisional playoff  game. (Chuck Burton/AP)

Why do the Panthers give up big leads?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Seattle's comeback against the Panthers -- the fourth against…

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett catches a touchdown pass against Carolina Panthers free safety Kurt Coleman (20) late in their divisional playoff  game. (Chuck Burton/AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers' Martavis Bryant (10) makes a 10-yard touchdown reception against Cincinnati Bengals' Dre Kirkpatrick (27) during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game last Saturday in Cincinnati. Bryant will have to be productive with Antonio Brown expected to miss the team's game against the Denver Broncos. (Gary Landers/AP)

Broncos vow not to make same mistake and overlook Steelers

DENVER — The Pittsburgh Steelers stagger into Denver with an ailing Ben…

Pittsburgh Steelers' Martavis Bryant (10) makes a 10-yard touchdown reception against Cincinnati Bengals' Dre Kirkpatrick (27) during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game last Saturday in Cincinnati. Bryant will have to be productive with Antonio Brown expected to miss the team's game against the Denver Broncos. (Gary Landers/AP)
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald scores the game winning touchdown in overtime as Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Daniels defends. The Cardinals won 26-20 in overtime. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Fitzgerald gives Arizona playoff win over Packers

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Larry Fitzgerald's brief but brilliant overtime heroics trumped another…

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald scores the game winning touchdown in overtime as Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Daniels defends. The Cardinals won 26-20 in overtime. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton scrambles against the Seattle Seahawks the last time the teams met in the regular season. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Panthers look for redemption in playoff rematch vs. Seahawks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says the Seattle Seahawks…

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton scrambles against the Seattle Seahawks the last time the teams met in the regular season. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) smiles as he runs down the bench area in the second half  against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

Carolina and Denver wrap up No. 1 seeds for playoffs

Carolina closed out its remarkable season by wrapping up home-field advantage in…

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) smiles as he runs down the bench area in the second half  against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Jack Dempsey/APColts linebacker Jonathan Newsome

Luck helps Colts upset Manning, Broncos to reach AFC Championship Game

DENVER -- Andrew Luck has his signature NFL win, and it came…

Jack Dempsey/APColts linebacker Jonathan Newsome
Matt Ludtke/APPackers receiver Davonte Adams

Packers rally to knock off Cowboys, reach NFC title game

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- No need for ice and wind and record…

Matt Ludtke/APPackers receiver Davonte Adams
Charlie Riedel/APPhilip Rivers and the Chargers had a chance to earn a playoff berth

Chiefs beat Chargers, but both teams miss playoffs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs and Chargers entered Sunday optimistically harboring…

Charlie Riedel/APPhilip Rivers and the Chargers had a chance to earn a playoff berth
David Goldman/APNFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is in favor of adding two wild-card teams

Goodell says expanded playoffs in 2014 possible

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said it’s possible the playoffs could expand next…

David Goldman/APNFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is in favor of adding two wild-card teams
AP file photoNiners running back Frank Gore could be a key figure in trying to keep the pressure off QB Colin Kaepernick.

Frank Gore poised for his time to shine

The big question after 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh made the change from…

AP file photoNiners running back Frank Gore could be a key figure in trying to keep the pressure off QB Colin Kaepernick.
Tony Avelar/APNiners QB Colin Kaepernick has taken a “college offense” to the big leagues.

49ers Colin Kaepernick shows no need to holster pistol offense

Despite all those gaudy statistics and impressive physical skills, Colin Kaepernick faced…

Tony Avelar/APNiners QB Colin Kaepernick has taken a “college offense” to the big leagues.
Getty Images File Photo49er's QB Colin Kaepernick can't let last week go to his head when he faces the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday.

Colin Kaepernick can’t afford to get overconfident as 49ers-Falcons game approaches

Colin Kaepernick could revolutionize the quarterback position in pro football. His speed…

Getty Images File Photo49er's QB Colin Kaepernick can't let last week go to his head when he faces the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday.