peyton Manning

Peyton Manning answers questions during Opening Night for Super Bowl 50 on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in San Jose. (David J. Phillip/AP)

For Manning, Sunday no laughing matter

When a bug-eyed purple puppet was mocking him a few feet away,…

Peyton Manning answers questions during Opening Night for Super Bowl 50 on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in San Jose. (David J. Phillip/AP)
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,…

Joe Montana is still as cool as ever, which is valuable to the NFL, a league with identity issues. (Jay Mariotti/S.F. Examiner)
Former 49ers quarterback Steve Young may not be playing in Super Bowl 50, but he’s center stage when it comes to his involvement in the Big Game. (Billy Hurst/AP)

Young living good life as Super Bowl host

He’s never been shy with an opinion, which is to be expected…

Former 49ers quarterback Steve Young may not be playing in Super Bowl 50, but he’s center stage when it comes to his involvement in the Big Game. (Billy Hurst/AP)
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning watches the AFC championship trophy presentation following the NFL football AFC Championship game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. (Joe Mahoney/AP)

Peytongate places Manning under seige

A year ago it was Deflategate. This time it’s what, Peytongate? The…

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning watches the AFC championship trophy presentation following the NFL football AFC Championship game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. (Joe Mahoney/AP)
Gary Kubiak. (Jack Dempsey/AP)

Kubiak cools down Denver hot seat

Two seasons ago, Gary Kubiak collapsed while walking off a field at…

Gary Kubiak. (Jack Dempsey/AP)
Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton leaps in the end zone for a touchdown run during the second half the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Newton gets Denver ‘D’ after crushing Cards

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Superman is headed for the Super Bowl. He’s taking…

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton leaps in the end zone for a touchdown run during the second half the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Not until Peyton Manning, left, was reduced to a game manager by John Elway did Broncos become a defense-dependent Super Bowl team.

The Elway plan — defense — saves Manning

DENVER — They didn’t lift the old man onto their shoulders, instead…

Not until Peyton Manning, left, was reduced to a game manager by John Elway did Broncos become a defense-dependent Super Bowl team.
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)
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)
Despite Tom Brady’s gutsy run and dive for the endzone against the Chiefs on Saturday, Broncos defensive lineman Antonio Smith criticized the Patriots quarterback for constantly whining about hard hits. (Steven Senne/AP)

Brady a crybaby, says Broncos defender

DENVER — Antonio Smith says nobody can get into Tom Brady’s head.…

Despite Tom Brady’s gutsy run and dive for the endzone against the Chiefs on Saturday, Broncos defensive lineman Antonio Smith criticized the Patriots quarterback for constantly whining about hard hits. (Steven Senne/AP)
Struggling to survive at age 39, Peyton Manning got by with two big pass plays late in Sunday’s victory over Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Manning a bit player in Brady’s mission

DENVER — Wobbling, knuckling and fluttering in the devilish winter crosswinds, Peyton…

Struggling to survive at age 39, Peyton Manning got by with two big pass plays late in Sunday’s victory over Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

Kubiak has 2 QBs, 1 tough call to make now

DENVER — Tom Brady handing off like he was Tim Tebow. The…

Denver Broncos quarterback Peton Manning was named in an Al Jazeera report that alleges he obtained and used performance-enhancing drugs. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Peyton Manning vs. shoddy media

In the time it takes to write this sentence, a well-known athlete…

Denver Broncos quarterback Peton Manning was named in an Al Jazeera report that alleges he obtained and used performance-enhancing drugs. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is left to walk away as Denver’s Chris Harris Jr. celebrates his 74-yard interception return for a touchdown Sunday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Woodson leads, Raiders can’t follow

They call him “First Ballot,” for obvious reasons, because whenever Charles Woodson…

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is left to walk away as Denver’s Chris Harris Jr. celebrates his 74-yard interception return for a touchdown Sunday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr smiles as he talks to his teammates on the sideline during a game against the Chicago Bears on Oct. 4, 2015. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

Carr can make statement … to Manning

To describe Sunday as a monumental event or some passing of a…

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr smiles as he talks to his teammates on the sideline during a game against the Chicago Bears on Oct. 4, 2015. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery on Wednesday. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Time for 49ers to stop the madness

So where does the madness end for the Phony-Niners, anyway? Certainly not…

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery on Wednesday. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
Jack Dempsey/APBroncos running back C.J. Anderson

Raiders blown out as Broncos clinch first-round playoff bye

DENVER -- Charles Woodson is 38 and beat up from a long…

Jack Dempsey/APBroncos running back C.J. Anderson
Marcio Jose Sanchez/APRaiders receiver Brice Butler (12) stretches to haul in a touchdown pass as Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby defends during the second quarter.

Raiders routed by Broncos, fall to 0-9

OAKLAND -- All the good work the Oakland Raiders did on defense…

Marcio Jose Sanchez/APRaiders receiver Brice Butler (12) stretches to haul in a touchdown pass as Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby defends during the second quarter.
AP Photo/Stephen Brashear

Raiders’ Carr looks to follow in Manning’s path

As trying as the first half of Derek Carr's first NFL season…

AP Photo/Stephen Brashear
Jack Dempsey/APNiners quarterback Colin Kaepernick

49ers carved up as Broncos' Manning breaks career TD record

DENVER -- Colin Kaepernick had a front-row seat for history. Only, the…

Jack Dempsey/APNiners quarterback Colin Kaepernick