Brady-Ryan matchup highlights Super Bowl

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP) -- A season that began with Tom Brady serving a four-game suspension will end with him in the Super Bowl, where his New England Patriots will take on Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.

While much of the attention between now and the NFL championship game on Feb. 5 in Houston will be focused on Brady vs. Ryan, the truly key matchup could be Atlanta's score-at-will offense, which produced the most points during the regular season, against the unheralded defense of New England, which allowed the fewest.

And these two teams are playing their best football at the most important time.

Clippers' Griffin likely to play Tuesday

ATLANTA (AP) Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been ruled out for their game against the Atlanta Hawks as part of his recovery from right knee surgery.

Coach Doc Rivers says Griffin "most likely" will return Tuesday night when Los Angeles visits Philadelphia. Griffin, who is with the team in Atlanta, had an arthroscopic procedure on Dec. 20 to remove loose bodies from the knee. (MORE)

Gonzaga behind 'Nova, Kansas in AP poll

Villanova and Kansas remain the top two teams in The Associated Press college basketball poll while Gonzaga moved up to third.

The Wildcats (19-1) beat Seton Hall and Providence last week and received 35 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel on Monday. This is the seventh week on top this season for Villanova. (MORE)

Redskins name Cavanaugh OC, Manusky DC

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) The Washington Redskins turned to internal candidates to fill two critical vacancies, promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator and Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator.

Cavanaugh was the team's quarterbacks coach and Manusky its outside linebackers coach last season. The Redskins announced the promotions Monday along with the hires of Kevin O'Connell as quarterbacks coach and Jim Tomsula as defensive line coach. (MORE)

Family, fans mourn for Royals' Ventura

LAS TERRENAS, Dominican Republic (AP) Dozens of children wearing blue T-shirts with the name "Ventura" emblazoned on the back gathered around a coastal home on Monday to pay their respects to their idol: Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura.

He died Sunday in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic, where he was known for practicing with his former youth baseball team every time he visited the Caribbean country, said Silvano Santos, who coached Ventura from age 7 to 14. (MORE)

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