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Raiders’ Desmond Bryant hospitalized with rapid heartbeat

Desmond Bryant AP

Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was taken to the hospital during Sunday’s game because of a rapid heartbeat, but he is expected to be OK.

The team confirmed that Bryant was taken to Eden Medical Center at the start of the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers after the team’s medical staff determined that he had an accelerated heartbeat.

The Raiders said Bryant is “resting comfortably” and that he was taken to the hospital strictly for precautionary reasons.

The 6-foot-6, 311-pound Bryant is in his fourth season in Oakland after signing with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of Harvard in 2009.

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Patriots, Seahawks, Steelers installed as early favorites for next season

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05:  The Vince Lombardi trophy sits in front of a gold "50"during the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell press conference prior to Super Bowl 50 at the Moscone Center West on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Broncos have been Super Bowl champions for less than 24 hours, but time waits for no man and no team.

Las Vegas has already started looking ahead to next season and they’ve installed three teams as favorites to follow the Broncos as the top team in the NFL. The Westgate SuperBook in Vegas has the Patriots, Seahawks and Steelers listed as 8-1 favorites to secure the Lombardi Trophy in Houston.

The Broncos are considered a 14-1 shot to repeat while the Panthers are given 10-1 odds to take the final step that eluded them this time around. The Cardinals and Packers join the Panthers at that number while the Bengals slot in next to the Broncos. The Cowboys are ninth at 16-1 while the Chiefs, Colts and Vikings are at 20-1.

On the other end of the spectrum are the Browns. Hue Jackson is considered a 200-1 shot to lift the trophy in his first year on the sideline in Cleveland, which is way below the 49ers — the book’s 31st choice at 60-1 — and everyone else in the league.

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Report: Eagles haven’t had discussions about Nick Foles return

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 6: Nick Foles #5 of the St. Louis Rams is sacked in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome on December 6, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images) Getty Images

On Sunday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the Eagles are interested in turning back the clock and bringing Nick Foles back to Philadelphia a year after trading him to the Rams for Sam Bradford.

That report also indicated that the Eagles are leaning against using the franchise tag to assure that Bradford, an impending free agent, remains with the team in 2016. Another report from Philadelphia indicates that thoughts of a reversal of course are premature at the moment.

Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Eagles have not had internal discussions about pursuing a Foles return. As of now, any Foles pursuit would require another trade as he is under Rams control. He’s due a $6 million bonus three days into the new league year, which starts on March 9, so that status could change in the coming weeks.

Berman also reports that the Eagles have made no decisions regarding Bradford. New coach Doug Pederson has spoken well of Bradford since getting hired last month, although there’s certainly a big difference between saying nice things and putting yourself on the hook for a salary around $20 million for a quarterback who hasn’t been consistent enough withe either the Rams or Eagles to justify that price.

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Monday morning one-liners

during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images

The first Bills season tickets went on sale on this date in 1960.

Former Dolphins QB Dan Marino was part of the Super Bowl commercial blitz.

Patriots QB Tom Brady didn’t hear many cheers at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday.

Video games occupied Jets DT Damon Harrison’s attention on Super Bowl Sunday.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco was walking well as part of the celebration of past Super Bowl MVPs.

The Bengals offensive line handled the Broncos defense well this season.

Browns coach Hue Jackson had a good meeting with Memphis QB Paxton Lynch.

A breakdown of the Steelers quarterback play in 2015.

Former Texans TE Owen Daniels and coach Gary Kubiak became Super Bowl champions with the Broncos.

Said Former Colts WR Marvin Harrison of making the Hall of Fame, “It’s always a blessing to have a compliment to the kind of work ethic you bring to the football field.”

Former Jaguars QB David Garrard credits Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula with aiding in his development.

Life on Broadway agrees with former Titans RB Eddie George.

Said Broncos PR Jordan Norwood of his 61-yard return in the Super Bowl, “It was a short punt, and a lot of times guys will just run past it. And they didn’t, but I just decided to roll with it.”

Winning comeback player of the year gave some closure to Chiefs S Eric Berry.

Raiders QB Derek Carr could commiserate with Cam Newton when it came to getting sacked by Von Miller.

A look back at when the Chargers drafted Ryan Leaf.

The best and worst running backs drafted by the Cowboys.

Peyton Manning now has as many Super Bowl wins as Giants QB Eli Manning.

Former Eagles defensive coordinators were on both sidelines in the Super Bowl.

Should the Redskins be in pursuit of a big wide receiver?

Gary Kubiak said he inherited a good Broncos team from Bears coach John Fox.

Lions General Manager Bob Quinn was praised by former boss Robert Kraft.

Are Packers fans too critical of the team’s season?

Weighing the chances that the Vikings draft a wide receiver in the first round.

Can the Falcons make the jump to the Super Bowl next season?

WR Jerricho Cotchery’s drops hurt the Panthers against the Broncos.

Saints QB Drew Brees was part of the pregame festivities in Santa Clara.

WR Mike Evans has heard from Buccaneers teammate Vincent Jackson about being more mature in the future.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was rooting for Peyton Manning on Sunday.

Will the Rams be a more attractive destination for free agents?

49ers RB Jarryd Hayne’s hometown in Australia was tuned in to the Super Bowl.

Some reaction to Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch’s retirement announcement.

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Cam’s failure to fall on fumble defines his Super Bowl

during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images

Cam Newton had a special season in 2015, winning the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award and emerging as a run-pass threat the likes of which we’ve never seen in the history of football. And yet quarterbacks are remembered for what they do in the Super Bowl, and Newton’s Super Bowl is going to be remembered for one terrible play above all.

When Newton fumbled in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, he oddly appeared to pull back, rather than fall on the football into the middle of a scrum.

Why didn’t he fight harder for the ball? He didn’t answer that question after the game, hastily rushing out of his post-game press conference without saying much of anything.

Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware joined PFT Live this morning and suggested that Newton might simply not have known where the ball was.

“I tried to dive on it, I seen his feet in front of me but I don’t know why he didn’t dive on it. Maybe he didn’t see it,” Ware said.

The reaction from fans toward Newton’s play has been brutal, with many saying he just isn’t tough enough. But that seems hard to believe: Newton is the most physical runner of any quarterback in the NFL, and he has played through injuries many times. He’s been a tough player throughout his career. Why would he lose that toughness in the Super Bowl?

Newton is a great player who had a rough game against a great defense, and neither his season nor his Super Bowl should be defined by that one play. But in a quarterback’s career, we remember a few big moments above all others. And that was a very bad moment for Newton.

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Join us at 6:00 a.m. ET for the new PFT Live

pft-live_podcast_600x600

The midnight oil will soon yield to 10 cups of coffee. In fewer than five hours, the first 6:00 a.m. ET edition of PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio will launch.

The last hour of the program will be televised on NBCSN, leading in to The Dan Patrick Show.

For our friends on the West Coast, the entire show re-airs from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. ET, and producer Rob “Stats” Guerrera promptly will carve up a “best of” podcast for downloading.

Monday’s guests include Peter King of TheMMQB.com and PFT’s Darin Gantt. We’re also hoping to get Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller in hour three, our debut hour on NBCSN.

I picked the original 2011 web show logo for the post because I really haven’t been this excited since we launched the program more than five years ago at 12:00 p.m. ET. Hopefully, we’ll be in the new time slot for another five years, and longer.

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DeMarcus Ware feels like he’s arrived

during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images

Peyton Manning has been the veteran focus of attention around the Broncos throughout their postseason run, but he wasn’t the only member of the team with a chance to burnish his legacy with a win in Super Bowl 50.

Linebacker DeMarcus Ware accomplished plenty over the course of his 11 NFL seasons, including sacking quarterbacks 134.5 times, but he had never played in a Super Bowl before Sunday. He made his first appearance a memorable one by sacking Cam Newton twice as the Broncos rolled to a 24-10 victory that left the veteran pass rusher feeling he’d finally made it.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a sense of relief. I would just say that there’s a sense of ‘I have arrived,’ just being a champion. It was a hard-fought battle for so many years for me. It just feels great to [enjoy] this moment right now.”

On Sunday night, linebacker Brandon Marshall said that General Manager John Elway “built for this moment” after losing to the Seahawks two years by bolstering the defense with players like Ware. Ware made Elway look very smart for making that move with his play against the Panthers and he made his own career accomplishments sparkle a bit more brightly in the process as well.

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Thomas Davis shows how much it meant to him to play

during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images

Thomas Davis wasn’t going to let three torn ACLs hold him back, nor was a broken arm going to keep him off the field in the Super Bowl.

And he was willing to show what it meant to him after the game.

Davis tweeted out a photo of the stitched-up surgical incision on his right arm, which was broken two weeks ago in the NFC Championship Game. It’s a little graphic, but not overtly. If you’re squeamish about incisions and stitches and swelling, maybe don’t look.

“This post is not about me, or how tough I am,” he wrote. “It’s not to shine any light on me or my injuries. Our team doctors and trainers did an amazing job giving me an opportunity to get back on the field. This post is strictly to show how much love I have for my brothers and #PantherNation. Thank you all for your support and we will #KeepPounding.-TD”

Knowing he broke his arm two weeks ago and had surgery to put a plate and 12 screws in so he could play is one thing.

Seeing a graphic image of what it looks like underscores his commitment to the team, and to playing in the final game of the year.

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Mike Shula: Broncos D came in as best we’ve seen and proved it

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers is tackled by  DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Panthers scored 580 points in their first 18 games this season, an average of 32.2 points per game that they didn’t come close to hitting against the Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula said after the game that he’s “not sure” exactly why the team was off on Sunday, but that the Broncos defense had a lot to do with knocking his unit off its game.

“Well, we tried a lot of different things. We knew those guys coming in were the best we’ve seen and they proved it. They’re fast to the ball, they can rush the passer, they do a good job against the run game. A lot of contested catches. They were contesting our receivers. You throw in the fact that we were just off on some things — had a couple turnovers early, just a little bit off on some other things. It can add up, and unfortunately it looked like that.”

When things have gone right for the Panthers this season, they’ve jumped out to early leads and then poured pressure on opponents who had to take risks in order to catch up. They found themselves on the other side of the fence this Sunday and their offense couldn’t handle the pressure that Denver threw their way. You can break things down more minutely than that if you like, but sometimes the simplest answers work best.

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John Elway: Previous Super Bowl loss made this win sweeter

during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images

Cam Newton may not have handled a bad night at the office particularly well.

But John Elway knows exactly how it feels, having gone through it two years ago.

The Broncos executive vice president said after Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 win, that the memories of their Super Bowl XLVIII thrashing at the hands of the Seahawks made it that much sweeter.

“There is nothing worse,” Elway said of that 43-8 loss. “Everyone crash lands unless you are this team, unless you are the team that wins it. It is always a crash landing for the other 31 teams. Watching [the Seahawks celebrate] and realizing and having looked at that and having been through all that — how special is it to be able to go through that.

“For us to be able to get back here two years from then and get back and have the orange tape flying is much better.”

In some respects, the crash landing for the Broncos was harder because of the different in score. Theirs was never particularly close, and they had to deal with humiliation in addition to a physical beating.

And if Newton and the Panthers want to put the pain of such a loss behind them, the Broncos have laid out the roadmap.

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Chris Harris Jr. says Broncos dared Cam Newton, Panthers to throw against them

Denver Broncos’ Chris Harris Jr. (25) reacts after the Broncos recovered a fumble by the Carolina Panthers during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) AP

The Denver Broncos didn’t respect Cam Newton and the Panthers passing attack.

Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said after Denver’s 24-10 victory over Carolina that their game plan was to make Newton beat them. They didn’t believe he was capable of accomplishing the task.

“We dared him to throw,” Harris said. “The game plan was can you throw on us? Me, (Aqib) Talib and (Bradley) Roby. We knew he couldn’t throw on us.”

Newton completed just 18-of-41 passes for 265 yards with an interception and was sacked six times by the ferocious Denver defense.

“We were too aggressive, man. He was tired of getting hit,” Harris said. “I watched the film all week, man. They did not play nobody on defense that plays like us. They had an easy schedule. We went through the gauntlet. We went (Tom) Brady twice. Big Ben (Roethlisberger) twice. Cam Newton… We knew if we got the lead it’s over. Our defense it too good.”

Panthers receivers Ted Ginn Jr., Devin Funchess and Corey Brown had difficulty getting open against the Broncos secondary, and even dropped several passes when they were open.

“After the first quarter, we got the sack/fumble for the score. He was nervous after that,” Harris said. “(How could you tell that?) His body language. Did y’all see him dance today? He didn’t dance.”

The Broncos heard all the people picking the Panthers to win this game. Instead, it just strengthened Denver’s resolve.

“You could feel it all week at practice that we were going to do something special. We knew it,” Harris said. “When 96 percent of the world said we were going to lose, we knew it was over. We knew we were going to win.”

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Seahawks confirm Marshawn’s retirement message

Marshawn Getty Images

A year ago, the post-Super Bowl chatter was dominated by talk regarding the decision of the Seahawks to throw the ball and not give it to Marshawn Lynch with the game on the line. This year, Lynch is still relevant, for different reasons.

He posted a tweet in the fourth quarter suggesting strongly that he’s retiring. To help remove doubt, cornerback Richard Sherman added this on Twitter: “Salute to my guy @MoneyLynch . . . It was an honor sharing the field with you.”

The folks at Skittles also chimed in with this: “Three words. Lifetime. Skittles. Pension.”

Lynch technically owes the Seahawks $5 million if he retires — unless the Seahawks agreed last year when signing him to a new deal or since then that he gets to keep the money if he walks away after one season.

If truly done, Lynch finishes at No. 36 on the all-time rushing list, with 9,112 career yards.

UPDATE 12:29 a.m. ET 2/8/16: Russell Wilson has confirmed it, too. And the Seahawks retweeted Wilson’s message.

UPDATE 12:48 a.m. ET 2/8/16: And now owner Paul Allen has confirmed it.

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Broncos gain fewest yards of any Super Bowl winner

during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images

For a long stretch of Sunday’s Super Bowl 50, it looked like the Broncos would become the first team to win a championship without scoring an offensive touchdown.

Running back C.J. Anderson’s late touchdown run squashed that possibility, but the Broncos offense still made some history on Sunday night. The 194 total yards of offense that the Broncos generated against the Panthers are the fewest by any team that won the Super Bowl.

That was one of five records set during the game. At 39, Peyton Manning became the oldest quarterback to start and win the Super Bowl while Jordan Norwood’s 61-yard punt return in the first half of the game is the longest in history. The 12 combined sacks by the two teams also set a new Super Bowl mark.

In addition to the new records, the NFL announced that several records were tied during the game. Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy’s three sacks match Reggie White and Darnell Dockett for the most in Super Bowl history while Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan’s two fumble recoveries also equal the all-time high. No one has ever had more than one fumble recovery for a touchdown or two-point conversion in a game, leaving Broncos Malik Jackson and Bennie Fowler with a piece of history.

The Broncos also tied a record before the game even started by reaching the Super Bowl for the eighth time in franchise history.

 

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Archie Manning thinks Peyton is “done in Denver”

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It’s unclear whether Peyton Manning will play in 2016. To his father, it’s very clear that Peyton won’t play for the Broncos in 2016.

“I think Peyton’s done in Denver,” Archie Manning told Jeff Darlington of NFL Media. “I think Peyton’s done in Denver. He may be done everywhere. So that’s my — you know what? I don’t stick my nose in it, so I don’t know that. I don’t know that. But that’s my guess.”

Archie Manning is in a much better position to guess about Peyton’s future than most other people on the planet. And Archie’s guess suggests that, regardless of whether the Broncos want to bring Peyton back, Peyton isn’t willing to continue to run an offense that doesn’t fit his skills.

The question becomes whether there’s another team with a team in position to contend that would give Peyton the keys to the offense for 2016. The Rams reportedly are interested in him, and they’d surely let him run the offense however he wants.

We’ll find out Peyton’s plans soon enough. For now, there’s a clear piece of evidence to support the idea that, even if Peyton plays again, he’ll never play another game as a member of the Broncos.

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Emmanuel Sanders: Hopefully we’re not sending Peyton out

during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images

The big question for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning after Sunday’s victory over the Panthers was whether he’ll be retiring from the NFL in the wake of his second Super Bowl title.

Manning’s play on Sunday was in line with what we’ve seen most of the season. The arm strength and command of the passing game was down from what we’ve grown accustomed to seeing, which would seem to make getting a ring and walking away a likely outcome.

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders hopes that’s not the case, though.

“Hopefully we’re not sending him out,” Sanders said. “If we are, it’s amazing. It’s a lot of exclamation points to a great career and even crazier season — just dealing with the ups and downs with that one incident coming out, losing the starting spot so to speak — he handled his business and stayed true to his character, stayed true to the person that he is, and it all paid off and now he’s a Super Bowl champ.”

Demaryius Thomas echoed his fellow wideout’s sentiments about hoping Manning is back in Denver for another season and said the win was a good answer to the “naysayers.” With an overwhelming defense and big plays from special teams, the Broncos could win without big performances from Manning. Pulling it off again in 2016 would likely be even more difficult, which makes leaving on a high note look all the more appealing.

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Peyton’s performance reminiscent of Elway’s first Super Bowl win

during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images

If Peyton Manning’s performance in Super Bowl 50 looked familiar to Broncos fans, that’s because they’ve seen a quarterback play like that in a Super Bowl win before.

Manning’s numbers were virtually identical to those of John Elway when the Broncos won their first Super Bowl, beating the Packers 18 years ago.

Peyton Manning, Super Bowl 50: 13-for-23, 141 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, 56.6 passer rating.

John Elway, Super Bowl XXXII: 12-for-22, 123 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, 51.9 passer rating.

Elway did not play well in that Super Bowl, but his teammates played well enough to win, and it’s now been largely forgotten by football fans that the Broncos won that game despite Elway, not because of him.

Manning did not play well today, but his teammates played well enough to win. Some day we may remember this game as the day when Manning earned his second Super Bowl ring, not the day when he was bailed out by a great defense.

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