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FILE- In this Feb. 2, 2014, file photo, Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Malcolm Smith (53) reacts as he returns an interception for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in East Rutherford, N.J. Slowed by injuries since the offseason, Smith is still an important part of Seattle’s special teams, but he rarely sees the field on defense.  (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

Brandon Browner tells Pats to hit Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas where it hurts

Monday, January 26, 2015

Brandon Browner is telling his New England teammates not to hold back against Seattle’s Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. In an interview with ESPN, Browner talked about the toughness both Sherman and Thomas showed in the NFC championship game playing with injuries. Sherman suffered a sprained elbow, while Thomas suffered a separated shoulder. But Browner said he would also target …

Patriots owner Robert Kraft makes strong defense of team

Monday, January 26, 2015

CHANDLER, Ariz. — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft demanded an apology from the league once the Patriots are found to be not guilty of breaking any rules regarding using under-inflated footballs in the AFC championship game. A conclusion Kraft is certain will occur. In an unscheduled statement, Kraft strongly defended his team’s …

Thousands cheer for Patriots at Super Bowl sendoff in Boston

Monday, January 26, 2015

BOSTON — Brushing aside the controversy over deflated footballs, jubilant New England fans gathered downtown Monday for a spirited send-off as the Patriots headed to Arizona for the Super Bowl. Several thousand fans packed City Hall Plaza in Boston, chanting “Brady! Brady!” and waving signs that read “Finish the Job,” “In Tom We …

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Josh McNary charged with rape

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS — Prosecutors have filed charges of rape, criminal confinement with bodily injury and battery resulting in bodily injury against Indianapolis Colts backup linebacker Josh McNary. Peg McLeish, a spokeswoman in the city prosecutor’s office, confirmed Wednesday that …

Aaron Hernandez jurors asked about attending Patriots games

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

FALL RIVER — Lawyers involved in the murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez want to know if there are any die-hard Patriots fans in the jury pool. They also have asked more than 1,000 …

The long and winding road to Super Bowl’s doorstep

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

There are the 2007 Patriots, a juggernaut, and the 2014 not-so-dominant version. There are the current Seahawks, not quite as fearsome as last year’s championship edition. Throw in a Packers team that doesn’t much resemble the Lombardi squads, …

Colts become surprise contestant on championship weekend

Monday, January 12, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS — Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois never bought the notion Indianapolis couldn’t contend for a Super Bowl this season. He had too much faith in his teammates and coaches to accept that perception. Now, one day after …

Brady vs. Luck replaces Brady vs. Manning in AFC title game

Monday, January 12, 2015

FOXBOROUGH — No Brady vs. Manning XVII this postseason. Now it’s Brady vs. Luck IV. Translation: After 16 matchups with Peyton Manning, Tom Brady will face Andrew Luck for the fourth time when the star quarterbacks lead the …

Patriots stay confident despite big deficits

Sunday, January 11, 2015

FOXBOROUGH — Skeptics pounced when a blowout loss left the New England Patriots with a 2-2 record. Quarterback Tom Brady was over the hill, they said. Maybe Bill Belichick wasn’t a coaching genius after all. But the Patriots …

State braces for Aaron Hernandez, marathon bombing trials

Sunday, January 11, 2015

BOSTON — Jury summonses have been flying, police have been deploying and the news media has been scrambling like seldom before as two highly anticipated criminal trials get underway almost simultaneously in Massachusetts: the federal death penalty trial …

Surprised Ravens confused by Patriots’ tricks, trick plays

Saturday, January 10, 2015

FOXBOROUGH — By the time John Harbaugh figured out what Bill Belichick had up his hoodie sleeves, New England was one play away from cutting a 14-point deficit in half. And by the time the Ravens realized what …

Tom Brady rallies Patriots to 35-31 win over Ravens

Saturday, January 10, 2015

FOXBOROUGH — One big comeback, then another. And now another game for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The quarterback who treats deficits as distractions dug the Patriots out of two 14-point holes — the first team …

Ravens hope for more playoff success at Patriots’ home

Friday, January 9, 2015

FOXBOROUGH — The temperature drops, friendly fans roar and the Patriots pile up victories. New England has the best home record in the NFL in Bill Belichick’s 15 seasons as coach, playoffs included. Watch out, though. Here come …