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Peyton Manning’s ‘Omaha’ calls raise $24,800 for charity

01.20.14 at 9:31 am ET
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A week after he said “Omaha” 44 times, Peyton Manning raised $24,800 for his charity when the Broncos faced the Patriots in the AFC championship game.

Eight Omaha-based businesses donated to Manning’€™s Peyback Foundation after it became clear that the quarterback’€™s call was free advertising for the city, according to The foundation’s mission is to promote success among disadvantaged youth.

“This has been terrific for us,” said Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce president and CEO David G. Brown. “Before Friday, we had calculated that news coverage of Omaha had generated the equivalent of about $10 million in advertising.”

The chamber made a video last week that combined the city’€™s attractions with Manning’€™s “Omaha” call in the background.

Omaha Steaks, Mutual of Omaha, FNB Omaha, CenturyLink, ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific, DJ’€™s Dugout and Cox Communications committed to donate a combined $800 every time the word was said at the line of scrimmage.

“This is really great for Omaha as a community and for the businesses that are embedded here,” said Omaha Steaks senior vice president Todd Simon. “Who knows whether any of this will translate to the bottom line, if ever, but it can’€™t hurt.”

Manning, who said “Omaha” 31 times during Sunday’€™s tilt with the Patriots, explained his use of the word Wednesday.

“I know a lot of people ask what Omaha means,” Manning said. “Omaha is a run play, but it could be a pass play or a play-action pass, depending on a couple of things: which way we’€™re going, the quarter, and the jerseys that we’€™re wearing. It varies, really, from play to play.”

According to Brown, the city assumed Manning and his foundation would accept the donation, but they did not have contact with the quarterback or his representatives. Front Row Analytics, a sponsorship evaluation firm, said the city made the equivalent of $150,000 in advertising for each verbal mention of the city.

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Poll: Which free agent should Patriots prioritize?

01.19.14 at 10:57 pm ET
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Which Patriots free agent should be the team's top priority to bring back?

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Richard Sherman celebrates Seahawks’ win over 49ers with flurry of crazy

01.19.14 at 10:05 pm ET
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After helping his team beat the 49ers in the NFC championship game, 23-17, Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman used his postgame interview with Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews to verbally attack San Francisco wideout Michael Crabtree.

For a complete recap of the game, click here.

Read More: NFC Championship Game, Richard Sherman, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks

Tom Brady: ‘Certainly, I wish I could’ve done more to help us out’

01.19.14 at 9:17 pm ET
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DENVER — This was not Tom Brady‘s finest hour.

He knows more than anyone that when you don’t put points up early on the road in a playoff game, you’re in big trouble.

Sunday it was the difference as the Patriots fell behind 10-0 and 13-3 at the half and could never recover as New England fell, 26-16.

Several times in the first half Brady missed open receivers, twice to Julian Edelman and once to Shane Vereen out of the backfield. Brady had Aaron Dobson deep over the middle in the third quarter but couldn’t connect for what would’ve been a momentum-changing touchdown. Instead, Brady lofted it out of the end zone from midfield.

Brady threw his first touchdown pass of the playoffs in the fourth quarter to Edelman and ran in another. But it wasn’t enough.

“Certainly, I wish I could’ve done more to help us out,” said Brady, who finished 24-of-38 for 277 yards and one touchdown pass.

“We executed a little bit better,” Brady said of the two fourth-quarter touchdowns. “I just found some spots and made some throws and catches. We found a little space in there. I just wish we could’ve done it for four quarters.”

In the first three quarters, Brady was just 13-of-22 for 142 yards. He was victimized by a drop by Danny Amendola and the Patriots had just 39 yards rushing on 13 attempts.

“I think when you play good teams, the margin of error is pretty slim all day,” Brady said. “We dug ourselves a pretty big hole there. We just couldn’t do enough. They have a good team and made a lot of plays. I give them a lot of credit.

“It’s the same it’s always been. Certainly, for the New England Patriots, we want to win every time we take the field. We did a decent job to get ourselves to this position. There are two teams that were playing and one gets to advance, and that is the team that played better today.

“They played good and have a lot of good players. I thought they made plays offensively and defensively that really helped them win.”

Read More: AFC Championship, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, nfl

Quick Hits: Mike Petraglia, Chris Price break down Patriots’ AFC championship loss to Denver Broncos

01.19.14 at 8:39 pm ET
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Read More: AFC Championship, Chris Price, Denver Broncos, Mike Petraglia

Wes Welker: I wasn’t trying to knock Aqib Talib out of game

01.19.14 at 8:32 pm ET
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DENVER — Wes Welker said he wasn’t trying to knock Aqib Talib out of the game when the two collided in the first half of Sunday’s AFC title game.

“It was one of those plays where it’s kind of a rough play, and I was trying to get him to go over the top, and I think he was thinking the same thing and wanted to come underneath and we just kind of collided,” Welker said after the game. “It wasn’t a deal where I was trying to hit him or anything like that.

“I hope he’s OK — he’s a great player and a big part of their defense.”

After the collision, Talib left the field, and then departed for the locker room. He came back out at the start of the second half, but was unable to go the rest of the way. Following the game, Talib said ‘€œif I could have been out there, I would have been out there.’€ The corner said he ‘€œ[couldn’t] remember how the play went,’€ but said that it was ‘€œvery difficult’€ to sit and watch the rest of the game.

Welker ended up with four catches for 38 yards in the win, and will advance to Super Bowl XLVIII with the rest of the Broncos.

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Aqib Talib: ‘If I could have been out there, I would have been out there’

01.19.14 at 7:56 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib wouldn’t comment on whether or not there was anything wrong with the hit he took from former teammate Wes Welker that knocked him out of Sunday’s AFC title game, only saying that it was “very difficult” to leave the contest, a 26-16 loss for New England.

Talib left midway through the second quarter after taking a shot from Welker to the right side of his upper body on an incomplete Peyton Manning pass over the middle intended for Demaryius Thomas. He was announced as questionable with a rib injury and then, after halftime, a knee injury was added to the prognosis.

Talib left the field, and then departed for the locker room. He came back out at the start of the second half, but was unable to go the rest of the way. Following the game, Talib said “if I could have been out there, I would have been out there.” The corner said he “[couldn’t] remember how the play went,” but said that it was “very difficult” to sit and watch the rest of the game.

Asked about the hit after the contest, Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged it was a “key play in the game” and added that Talib wanted back in.

“Of course,” Belichick said. “There’€™s not a more competitive guy in that locker room than Aqib Talib.”

“He is a very huge part of our success,” said running back LeGarrette Blount. “A huge part of it all the way to this point. I wish he would have been able to go back in and play, but unfortunately, he wasn’t able. It hurt us a little bit.”

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Read More: Aqib Talib, Bill Belichick, Demaryius Thomas, LeGarrette Blount



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