Matchup for the ages: Saints, Drew Brees will host Buccaneers, Tom Brady

Matchup for the ages: Saints, Drew Brees will host Buccaneers, Tom Brady

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8:01 PM ETMike TriplettESPN Staff Writer CloseCovered Saints for eight years at New Orleans Times-Picayune
Previously covered LSU football, San Francisco 49ers
Iowa native and University of Iowa graduateNEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees vs. Tom Brady, Part III. Another one for the history books.
The second-seeded New Orleans Saints will host the fifth-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a playoff matchup for the ages next weekend after the Saints slogged through a 21-9 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunda..

‘What in the world?’ Browns pounce on Steelers from jump with 28 first-quarter points

‘What in the world?’ Browns pounce on Steelers from jump with 28 first-quarter points

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8:34 PM ETJake TrotterESPN Staff Writer CloseCovers the Big 12Joined ESPN.com in 2011Graduate of Washington & Lee UniversityThe start to the Cleveland Browns' first playoff game in 18 years couldn't have gone more perfectly on Sunday night.
On the contest's initial play, Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey snapped the ball over the head of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After a scramble for the ball, Cleveland's Karl Joseph recovered it in the end zone, giving the Br..

2020 NFL season in review: How the season finished, what’s next for eliminated playoff teams

2020 NFL season in review: How the season finished, what’s next for eliminated playoff teams

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7:51 PM ETNFL NationESPN The 2020 NFL playoffs continued Sunday, which means five teams have now said goodbye to the 2020 NFL season.
The Indianapolis Colts were the first to exit the stage during Saturday's wild-card round of games, followed later by the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Football Team. And on Sunday, the Tennessee Titans and Chicago Bears joined the list of teams that have lost during this super wild-card weekend.
The top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers w..

2021 NFL draft order: Top 24 picks set, with Jags, Jets, Dolphins at the top

2021 NFL draft order: Top 24 picks set, with Jags, Jets, Dolphins at the top

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11:40 PM ETESPN staffThe order for the top 24 picks in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft is set, with the Jacksonville Jaguars picking No. 1 and the New York Jets picking No. 2. Could both teams be thinking quarterback with their picks? NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.'s top-ranked quarterbacks — Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) and Justin Fields (Ohio State) — squared off in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Friday night, with Fields and the Buckeyes coming out on top.
Both the Jagu..

Rams optimistic about Donald, Kupp; QB unclear

Rams optimistic about Donald, Kupp; QB unclear

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10:30 PM ETLindsey ThiryESPN Close Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times
Previously covered the Falcons
Has covered the NBA and college football and basketballTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Uncertainty looms regarding the health of the Los Angeles Rams as they begin preparation for a divisional-round playoff game at the Green Bay Packers.
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald has a rib injury, wide receiver Cooper Kupp has bursitis in his knee, quarterback John Wolford has a stinger and quarterb..

Reports: Trump giving Belichick Medal of Freedom

Reports: Trump giving Belichick Medal of Freedom

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9:23 PM ETMike ReissESPN Staff Writer CloseCovered Patriots since 1997
Joined ESPN in 2009FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — President Donald Trump plans to award New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday, according to multiple reports.
A spokesperson for the Patriots did not respond to a request for comment.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom was established by John F. Kennedy in 1963, and it is awarded by the president to individuals who have made exceptional con..

No Bears conversion attempt costs some bettors

No Bears conversion attempt costs some bettors

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10:47 PM ETDavid PurdumESPN Staff Writer Close Joined ESPN in 2014
Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008Jimmy Graham capped a 99-yard drive with a one-handed touchdown catch as time expired in the Chicago Bears' 21-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints in an NFC wild-card game on Sunday.
Graham's touchdown did not affect the outcome of the game but did have bettors who took the Bears plus the points wondering why Chicago didn't attempt either an extra point or two-point con..

QB Trubisky has ‘unfinished business’ with Bears

QB Trubisky has ‘unfinished business’ with Bears

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10:04 PM ETJeff DickersonESPN Staff Writer CloseDickerson covers the Chicago Bears for ESPN's NFL Nation. He is the co-host of “Dickerson & Hood” on the ESPN Radio national network, and is heard in Chicago on ESPN 1000.Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky left open the possibly of returning to Chicago next season after the offense flopped in Sunday's 21-9 playoff loss at the New Orleans Saints.
“I think I can definitely see myself back here next year,” Trubisky said on a Zoom call. “Obv..

Lamar: ‘Feels great’ to get first playoff victory

Lamar: ‘Feels great’ to get first playoff victory

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3:54 PM ETJamison HensleyESPN Staff Writer CloseUniversity of Maryland graduate
Lives in the Baltimore area with his wife and sonIn between delivering a rare talk to the team and receiving his most gratifying game ball, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson exacted postseason revenge and silenced those who doubted he could win when it matters most.
In the Ravens' 20-13 wild-card triumph on Sunday in Tennessee, Jackson won the first playoff game of his career and delivered payback for l..

Brees: Playoff matchup with Brady was ‘inevitable’

Brees: Playoff matchup with Brady was ‘inevitable’

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10:48 PM ETMike TriplettESPN Staff Writer CloseCovered Saints for eight years at New Orleans Times-Picayune
Previously covered LSU football, San Francisco 49ers
Iowa native and University of Iowa graduateNEW ORLEANS — Tom Brady and Drew Brees will actually do something next week that they have never accomplished in their storied NFL careers: face each other in a playoff game.
The second-seeded New Orleans Saints will host the fifth-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the grand finale of next weekend..

The Nickelodeon game was goofy — and the most fun NFL broadcast of the year

The Nickelodeon game was goofy — and the most fun NFL broadcast of the year

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10:13 PM ETTim KeownESPN Senior Writer CloseSenior Writer for ESPN The Magazine
Columnist for ESPN.com
Author of five books (3 NYT best-sellers)I am decades removed from Nickelodeon's target demographic, and watching the network's first NFL playoff game Sunday afternoon necessitated a suspension of all snark and sarcasm, but you are about to read words that I never imagined typing: The Nick broadcast was a hell of a lot of fun, maybe the best experience I've had watching a game th..

Heinicke’s playoff efficiency earns respect from NFL friends, sports activities world

Heinicke’s playoff efficiency earns respect from NFL friends, sports activities world

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Jan 10, 2021ESPN.comWhen the 7-9 Washington Football Team had to take on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the National Football League playoffs, little did it know that its best shot at pulling off an upset would rely upon journeyman quarterback Taylor Heinicke, making just his second career start in the NFL and his first in the postseason.
And while Washington came up short, losing 31-23 at home, Heinicke's performance Saturday turned heads. He threw for 306 yar..

Heinicke’s playoff efficiency earns respect from NFL friends, sports activities world

Heinicke’s playoff efficiency earns respect from NFL friends, sports activities world

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12:26 AM ETESPN.comWhen the 7-9 Washington Football Team had to take on Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the National Football League playoffs, little did it know that its best shot at pulling off an upset would rely upon journeyman quarterback Taylor Heinicke, making just his second career start in the NFL and his first in the postseason.
And while Washington came up short, losing 31-23 at home, Heinicke's performance Saturday turned heads. He threw for 306 yard..

NFL playoff officiating choices: Why was OPI referred to as on Willie Snead however not A.J. Brown?

NFL playoff officiating choices: Why was OPI referred to as on Willie Snead however not A.J. Brown?

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1:47 PM ETKevin SeifertESPN Staff Writer CloseESPN.com national NFL writer
ESPN.com NFC North reporter, 2008-2013
Covered Vikings for Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1999-2008A historic drop in penalty flags helped lessen the spotlight on NFL officiating in 2020. So did the abolition of replay review for pass interference. But the arrival of postseason football has raised scrutiny on every questionable call, rule interpretation and review.
No worries. We're here for you. What follows is a real-ti..

Curtis Samuel, Hunter Henry could be excellent Patriots’ free-agent targets

Curtis Samuel, Hunter Henry could be excellent Patriots’ free-agent targets

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6:00 AM ETMike ReissESPN Staff Writer CloseCovered Patriots since 1997
Joined ESPN in 2009FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Quick-hit thoughts and notes around the New England Patriots and NFL:
1. Free-agent WRs, TEs: In recent years, coach Bill Belichick has sometimes described the end of Patriots seasons as a “crash landing” because of its suddenness in the playoffs, which makes this one a bit different. Call it a slow descent, and the result is it allows more time to focus on two positions high on the tea..