Dazzling February sets up Miami Heat for stretch run to playoffs – MiamiHerald.com

MiamiHerald.comA not-so-subtle trend has emerged recently for the Heat. The two-time defending champions are destroying every team they play. The Heat finished off its best month of the season Thursday…

Jacoby Ellsbury reaches 3 times in Yanks’ loss to Pirates – ESPN

Jacoby Ellsbury reaches 3 times in Yanks’ loss to PiratesESPNBRADENTON, Fla. — Jacoby Ellsbury reached base in all three plate appearances of his New York Yankees’ spring training debut, scoring…

With tensions rising, 2014 could be make-or-break for Jim Harbaugh – CNN

CNNApparently that theory no longer applies in San Francisco, which, including the playoffs, is tied for the most overall wins (41) in the league over the past three seasons —…

Oakland A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson already thinking about October – San Jose Mercury News

Oakland A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson already thinking about OctoberSan Jose Mercury NewsPHOENIX — Friday was the second day of full team workouts for the A’s, but third baseman Josh…

For Cleveland Cavaliers to make playoffs, Kyrie Irving has to build on recent … – The Plain Dealer

The Plain DealerCLEVELAND, Ohio — Kyrie Irving winning the MVP in the All-Star Game makes for a fun weekend for Cavaliers fans. But here’s what was more meaningful — how…

Knicks in the playoffs? Five second-half NBA questions – USA TODAY

USA TODAYWith the NBA’s second half tipping off Tuesday night, USA TODAY Sports’ Sean Highkin examines five questions that must be answered over the next two months. WILL THE KNICKS…

NHL Trade Rumors: Nashville Predators Interested In Sam Gagner? – FanSided

NHL Trade Rumors: Nashville Predators Interested In Sam Gagner?FanSidedThe Nashville Predators were a perennial playoff team for the majority of the last decade. That all stopped last year when they…

Who should Chargers pick in NFL draft? – U-T San Diego

U-T San DiegoFor the Chargers, making a smart choice with the 25th pick in May’s NFL Draft will go a long way in determining whether they return to the playoffs…

Goodell promotes playoff expansion… again – Cincy Jungle

Cincy JungleNFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke during Friday’s Super Bowl XLVIII news conference, highlighting the benefits of expanding the field in the playoffs by two teams (one per conference). Make…

Goodell floats idea of expanding NFL playoffs – Philly.com

Philly.comCommissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell speaks during the unveiling of the Super Bowl XLVIII Roman Numerals, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in New York. (Doug Benc/AP). Commissioner of the NFL…

San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets: Live Score and Analysis – Bleacher Report

Bleacher ReportIf the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets meet in the playoffs, hopefully it won’t be under these circumstances. The Rockets topped the Spurs, 97-90, rallying back from an…

Pau Gasol on state of Los Angeles Lakers: ‘We are who we are right now’ – FanSided

FanSidedThe Los Angeles Lakers are now 16-28 on the season. Pending something miraculous, they will miss the playoffs and any sense of relevance for the 2013-2014 season is far in…

Roger Goodell: NFL to consider playoff games on Friday, Monday with possible … – SI.com

SI.comRoger Goodell hinted that the league is moving toward playoff expansion. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images). NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier this month that the league was seriously considering expanding the…

NFL playoffs 2014: Success follows four masterful coaches toward Super Bowl – SportingNews.com

NFL playoffs 2014: Success follows four masterful coaches toward Super BowlSportingNews.comIt might be because there’s almost nothing left to say about exactly how stellar this quartet of coaches is —…

Rivalry Between Seattle and San Francisco Heats Up the West Coast – New York Times

Rivalry Between Seattle and San Francisco Heats Up the West CoastNew York TimesThe Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers act like the N.F.L.’s fiercest rivals, which might seem strange…

Aaron Hernandez not allowed to watch AFC Championship game – CBS sports.com (blog)

CBS sports.com (blog)Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez wasn’t allowed to watch his old team play against Indianapolis last week in the divisional round of the playoffs and things won’t…

NFC Championship Game preview: 49ers-Seahawks – NFL.com

NFL.comThe 49ers have the NFL’s longest active winning streak at eight games. They arguably are the NFL’s most complete team, with the most victories and the stingiest defense since Week…

Ten things that intrigue me from NFL Championship Game Weekend – CBSSports.com

CBSSports.comPatriots QB Tom Brady vs. Broncos QB Peyton Manning — Does it get any better than seeing these two matched up for a shot at the Super Bowl? They’ve met…

Broncos’ John Elway expects Peyton Manning back in 2014 – USA TODAY

USA TODAYENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As a quarterback, John Elway enjoyed nothing more than the NFL playoffs. But now that he’s running the Denver Broncos, postseason has become a miserable experience.…

Rex Ryan agrees to multi-year contract extension with NY Jets: report – New York Daily News

New York Daily NewsIt looks like Rex Ryan could be sticking around for awhile. The coach, who was thought to be on the hot seat after the Jets missed the…

Patriots and Broncos to play for AFC Title – Patriots.com

Patriots.comDownload Game Release >> The New England Patriots advanced to their 10th AFC Championship Game, and third straight AFC title game, after defeating the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 in an AFC…

NFL playoffs: 10 burning questions about AFC, NFC championship games – CBSSports.com

NFL playoffs: 10 burning questions about AFC, NFC championship gamesCBSSports.comThe NFL playoffs reach the AFC and NFC title games with the best four teams standing. By answering 10 basic questions,…

Dealing with Harbaugh and Carroll – ESPN

ESPNIn the Fabulous Feud of Pete Carroll v. Jim Harbaugh, you can’t take v. You’ve got to be on one side of it or the other. And you have to…

49ers ready for road to Seattle, NFC Championship game – San Jose Mercury News

San Jose Mercury NewsNearly 10,000 miles more will be soared through these NFC playoffs, with victorious stops in Green Bay and Carolina en route to Sunday’s connection in Seattle for…

Madden: In the cold, ‘you better be able to run it’ – USA TODAY

USA TODAYThe running game wins championships, right? Maybe so. Expect the smash-mouth football trend of these NFL playoffs to continue come Sunday’s championship game showdowns between the power running New…

Brady-Manning, 49ers-Seahawks spice up title games – Boston.com

Boston.comDenver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning warms up before playing against the San Diego Chargers in an The Associated Press Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning warms up before playing against the…

Report cards: 49ers pounce on Panthers’ mental lapses – USA TODAY

USA TODAYThe San Francisco 49ers are headed to their third straight NFC Championship Game after a hard-fought 23-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Saturday. Below are grades for each…

Report cards: Colts can’t answer reinvented Patriots – USA TODAY

USA TODAYThe New England Patriots used a vicious ground game to defeat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 on Saturday in the AFC divisional playoffs. Below are grades for each team. THE…

Bell Tolls: Big litmus test for Colts on Patriots’ turf – USA TODAY

USA TODAYConsider the path the Indianapolis Colts have taken to advance to the AFC divisional playoffs, and there is no denying the statements they made along the way with victories…

No lead safe with comeback kings – Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne Journal GazetteFOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Tom Brady has been leading successful comebacks for more than a decade. Andrew Luck is just getting started. One of them should have a…

NFL playoffs capsule preview: Saints at Seahawks – San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco ChronicleNew Orleans (12-5) at Seattle (13-3). When: 1:35 p.m. Saturday TV/Radio: Channel: 2 Channel: 40 / (680). Line: Seahawks by 8. Series record: Seahawks lead 7-6. Last meeting:…

Cincinnati is too good to let Andy Dalton blow another season – USA TODAY

USA TODAYCincinnati has reached the playoffs in three consecutive years. And in three consecutive years they’ve lost, and Dalton has been just abysmal. What else would you call seven turnovers…

Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman fired – Washington Post

Washington PostMIAMI — Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman has been fired, marking the first offseason change for a team that missed the playoffs because of a late-season collapse. Owner…

Alex Smith proved he was the right man for the job – FOXSports.com

FOXSports.comKANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Smith did something Saturday no other quarterback in NFL playoff history has managed — throw four touchdowns with no interceptions, and still come away with…

No Chris Paul, no playoffs? – ESPN

ESPNThe mildly disappointing season of the Los Angeles Clippers hit another road bump Friday when MVP candidate Chris Paul went down with a separated right shoulder. The timetable for Paul’s…