Saturday, April 25, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Column: The NFL sets up a Sunday to remember

By
January 15, 2014 |

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady one more time with the Super Bowl on the line would have been good enough all by itself.

But in the embarrassment of riches that is the NFL this season, we get more. Much more.

Two young superstar quarterbacks in the making squaring off in Seattle. Wes Welker against the team that wanted him no longer, and Anquan Boldin taking his new team on another championship run. A sideshow with Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh that might be worth the price of admission by itself.

And a Super Bowl that will be a winner even if it’s played on a sheet of ice.

If this was the NBA, David Stern would have been accused of having the fix in. But it’s just more of the same for the NFL, where the story lines and matchups are so good that it’s almost a foregone conclusion next Sunday’s TV ratings will blow past anything seen before for conference title games that are always big.

About the only thing missing is a scrappy team of underdogs fighting for a berth in the Super Bowl, but there’s no reason to quibble. Not with the brawny quartet of teams that all went into the weekend as favorites and all survived to play another day.

The bookies in Vegas are laying odds — as they have all season long — that the Seattle Seahawks will play the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. But even they wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it was New England against the San Francisco 49ers or any combination in between.

“It’s a lot like playground basketball,” Harbaugh said. “Winners stay and play, losers go home. And we want to keep playing.”

That the 49ers are still playing is little surprise, even if they had to beat a team on the road they had lost to at home during the season. But beat the Carolina Panthers they did, winning their second straight playoff game away from home and seeming to take great delight in doing so.

If any team is a reflection of their coach it’s the 49ers, who will play a third straight NFC title game under Harbaugh. Colin Kaepernick even got into the act, mocking Cam Newton’s Superman pose after scoring a third-quarter touchdown, then adding his own signature bicep kiss to top things off.

“Just a little shoutout,” Kaepernick said.

Forget that the 49ers were outclassed their last two trips to Seattle, losing by a combined margin of 71-16. It’s doubtful they’ll be intimidated by the rain or a raucous crowd that sends tremors through the earth (Saturday’s foot stomping win over New Orleans was recorded as a small earthquake) in a game that figures to be both bruising and bitterly contested.

John Fox won’t be intimidated either, despite having to go up against Bill Belichick and memories of a tough November loss to the Patriots to get to the title game. Fox seems the odd man out against the outsized coaching personalities left in the playoffs, but don’t forget that he’s the only coach who has won a playoff game with Tim Tebow under center.

Now he’s got Manning, who made up for the Broncos’ early exit last postseason against Baltimore with a couple of clutch third-down throws late in the fourth quarter just as Denver seemed to be once again in full meltdown mode. Manning also had the quote of the game when asked if it was weighing on his mind that he is nearing the end of his career and may not have many playoff chances left.

“What weighed on my mind is how soon I can get a Bud Light in my mouth after this win. Priority No. 1,” a visibly relieved Manning said. “That was an intense game.”

The game was barely over when Manning was asked for the first of what will be at least 562 times this week about his matchup with Brady, who has won 10 of the 14 games they’ve played against each other. Manning gave his usual our team against theirs answer, but this time he wasn’t just blowing smoke. Not after the Patriots scored 42 points to whip Indianapolis without Brady throwing even one touchdown pass as the Patriots took their all too familiar place in the AFC title game, and not when the Broncos are doing some running of their own.

Still, it figures to be all Manning against Brady, even if the best story of the postseason may be the one no one outside of the Boston area wants to hear. If there was ever a coach you love to hate it’s Belichick, but the ever grumpy guy under the hoodie has done a remarkable job in a year most expected New England to struggle.

With Welker gone and no tight ends left for Brady to throw to, Belichick was forced to reinvent the team on the fly. He did so by turning them into a run first team behind big LeGarrette Blount, who scored four touchdowns against the Colts and could be the breakout star of these playoffs.

The Super Bowl that will be played in three weeks at the Meadowlands has been the talk of football all season, and with good reason. It’s the first cold weather game to be played outdoors, and it could either be a spectacle or a debacle.

Two teams will get there eventually. But not before the NFL gives us one final Sunday to enjoy a pair of games so good they could be the ones we really remember.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Transportation leaders point to need for funding changes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Together to remember children lost to violence

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
‘Cinderella’ carries on despite theater flood

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
3 letters to Vacaville may cost $100,000 to answer

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Church offers free Southern Gospel concert

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Summer Spare the Air season set to start

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Suisun City police log: April 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: April 23, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Commercial weight loss programs come under scrutiny

By Scott Anderson | From Page: B10

Food often a conduit to something more

By Murray Bass | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

San Francisco Catholics deeply divided over archbishop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Colleges starting to offer brewing courses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Hate crime charges for homeless beating suspect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Supreme Court ruling keeps sex offender registration in place

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

SFPD to pay for settlement of wrongful termination suit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
16 students injured when school stage collapses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Thousands march to mark anniversary of Armenian massacres

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Man ordered to stand trial for kidnap, rape charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Nuclear launch officers charged in drug case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Rubio looking to gain support in Iowa

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hep C, HIV cases spike throughout Indiana

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Obama uses hospital funds to help push for Medicaid expansion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Hawaii raises smoking age to 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Police: Gray should have received medical treatment

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

US completing review of hostage policy following drone strikes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Italy police arrest nine terror suspects in sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Yemen rebels ordered to pull back

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

Obama’s drone strikes language Orwellian in nature

By Stephen Carter | From Page: A8

 
Chaos in the primaries

By Thomas Sowell | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Joy of baseball back in my life

By Deon Price | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: April 25, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Daughters’ ex is determined to turn their children against her

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

.

Entertainment

Seriously silly, Monty Python reunites for a weekend tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

SCC baseball team wins to claim share of BVC title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1, 2 Comments

 
Ynoa, Butler send Rockies to 6-4 win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Vikings fall to Jaguars 4-3 in 8 innings

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1

 
After working OT in NBA playoffs, Curry, Rose can earn rest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Swafford, Weekley atop Zurich Classic leaderboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Logano wins pole at Richmond, his third of the season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Usain Bolt: Gay’s reduced doping ban sends wrong message

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Scott Dixon is chasing IndyCar wins leaders, not spotlight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ducking the spotlight, some stars decide to skip NFL draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Garber: MLS plan in 6 months to expand beyond 24 teams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dortmund, American Pharoah vie for favorite in 141st Derby

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Harden, Howard lead Rockets to 130-128 win, 3-0 lead on Mavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Olympic sailing events may be moved from Rio’s polluted bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Canadian Henderson shoots tournament record for LPGA lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bowyer and Stewart looking for good runs at Richmond

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Oregon wins distance medley relay at Penn Relays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Goodell: LA projects viable for bringing back team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Former Buckeyes teammates Cook, Sindelar top Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Signups for Saturday, April 25, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B3

.

Business

Winners and losers of the demise of the big Comcast deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
What could McDonald’s do to fix its business?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Durable goods orders up, but business investment falls again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Harley recalls nearly 46,000 motorcycles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comcast abandons Time Warner Cable bid after gov’t pushback

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Cheaper fuel has airlines soaring to record profits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Wynn Resorts shareholders: Elaine Wynn won’t return to board

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Ford recalls 390,000 cars to fix door latches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Kirk Noonan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sandra King

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Elizabeth Cepeda

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
.

Home Seller 4/25/2015

Ask a Designer: decorating with spring pastels

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1 | Gallery

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage slips to 3.65 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3

Real estate transactions for April 25, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3