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Peyton Manning, Peterson make Pro Bowl

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Peyton Manning, Peterson make Pro Bowl

NEW YORK (AP) Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson want to cap their sensational comebacks with Super Bowl appearances. For now, they can be proud of Pro Bowl spots.

So can Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, one of two rookies chosen Wednesday for the Jan. 27 NFL all-star game.

Manning missed all of the 2011 season with neck and back problems that required several operations. He then signed with Denver as a free agent and has led the Broncos on a 10-game winning streak to take the AFC West.

``I know there's great players out there in the NFL, but there's some great players on this team this year that deserve to go,'' said Manning, whose 12th Pro Bowl is a record for quarterbacks. He ranks fourth in league passing this year, has thrown 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Four other Broncos made the AFC roster: DE Elvis Dumervil, linebacker Von Miller, CB Champ Bailey and tackle Ryan Clady. Bailey's 12th appearance is a record for defensive backs.

``My goal has always been to go out and help the team win and play at a high level,'' Manning added. ``Anything that comes along with that, like being honored as a Pro Bowl selection, is very humbling.''

Minnesota's Peterson tore up his left knee on Christmas Eve last year, underwent major surgery, then was back for the season opener. He's gone from uncertain to unstoppable, running away with the rushing title with a career-high 1,898 yards and lifting the Vikings toward an NFC wild card.

``Coming into the season after going through the rehab process, I just told myself that I wanted to lead my team to a championship and make sure that I contribute and do my part,'' Peterson said. ``I've been doing it.''

Griffin is one of three rookie QBs who had superb debut seasons, along with Andrew Luck of Indianapolis and Russell Wilson of Seattle. Luck and Wilson weren't voted to the Pro Bowl by players, coaches and fans, although their teams are in the playoffs; Griffin can get to the postseason if Washington beats Dallas on Sunday.

``You can't play down those kind of things,'' Griffin said. ``I've always said my whole football career that you don't play for awards. They just come. You don't say you're going to win the Heisman. You don't say you're going to win MVP. You go out and you prove it on the field, and if everyone feels that way then they'll give you that award.''

San Francisco had the most players selected, nine, including six from its second-ranked defense. Houston was next with eight, six on offense.

Kansas City, despite its 2-13 record that is tied with Jacksonville for worst in the league, had five Pro Bowlers, including RB Jamaal Charles, who like Peterson is coming back from a torn ACL.

One other rookie, Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh, was chosen. Walsh has nine field goals of at least 50 yards, an NFL mark.

The AFC kicker is at the other end of the spectrum: Cleveland's Phil Dawson earned his first selection in his 14th NFL season.

``I deliberately tried not to know,'' Dawson said. ``We wanted to watch the show with my kids. I had a really good idea what was going on, but it was a pretty priceless moment when we saw the name flash up on the screen. My kids went nuts `cause my wife went nuts. That makes these 15 years of waiting worth it.''

Another record setter will be heading to Honolulu: Detroit WR Calvin Johnson.

Johnson broke Jerry Rice's single-season yards receiving record and has 1,892 yards with a game left.

Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez set the record for Pro Bowls at his position by being chosen for the 13th time.

The league's top two sackmasters, DEs Aldon Smith of San Francisco and J.J. Watt of Houston, were first-time selections. Watt has 20 1-2 sacks, one ahead of Smith; the NFL record is 22 1-2.

Other newcomers, along with Griffin, Walsh and Dawson, were AFC players tackle Duane Brown and guard Wade Smith of Houston; safety LaRon Landry of the Jets; kick returner Jacoby Jones of Baltimore; and punter Dustin Colquitt of Kansas City.

For the NFC, first-timers were Giants WR Victor Cruz; Atlanta WR Julio Jones; Seattle tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger; San Francisco guard Mike Iupati, linebacker NaVorro Bowman and safety Donte Whitner; Chicago cornerback Tim Jennings and defensive tackle Henry Melton; Washington tackle Trent Williams and special teamer Lorenzo Alexander; Minnesota fullback Jerome Felton; Tampa Bay DT Gerald McCoy; and New Orleans punter Thomas Morstead.

Eight teams had no Pro Bowl players: Carolina, Philadelphia and St. Louis in the NFC, Tennessee, Buffalo, Jacksonville, San Diego and Oakland in the AFC.

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Impossibly, the Orioles have lost a game more recently than the Ravens

Impossibly, the Orioles have lost a game more recently than the Ravens

Hard to believe, right?

Somehow, some way, the Baltimore Orioles have lost a game more recently than their football neighbors.

As a reminder, the Orioles season ended on *September 29*. They lost their regular season finale to the Red Sox that afternoon.

The Ravens’ last loss also came on September 29, though it came earlier in the afternoon.

It’s hard to fathom an NFL team winning for two-and-a-half straight months. 10 consecutive wins in that span is in the top-60 longest winnings streaks in NFL history, a sign of just how rare and impressive this Ravens stretch has been. 

It won’t be easy for Baltimore to maintain their play all the way through to the Super Bowl. If they do, however, they’ll have a chance to go almost an entire calendar year until their next loss.

Unfortunately, there will probably be a whole lot more Orioles losses in that span.

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Why a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore makes sense and what could prevent it from happening

Why a Terrell Suggs return to Baltimore makes sense and what could prevent it from happening

The Cardinals made a splash on Friday by waiving outside linebacker Terrell Suggs after just 13 games played in his Arizona career. 

The 37-year-old is now on waivers until Monday, where he’ll wait to see if he was claimed by one of the 31 other teams. Should he go unclaimed, he’ll be a free agent. 

Naturally, the immediate inclination was to assume a reunion was destined to happen between Suggs and the Ravens. Suggs is the all-time franchise leader in sacks (132.5) and games played (229), too.

But a reunion is more complicated than it might seem on the surface. 

This year, Suggs has 5.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits and 23 tackles. On the Ravens, those numbers would rank second, tied for third and 15th. But Suggs hasn’t registered a full sack since Oct. 20 and didn’t register a statistic in the team’s last game against the Steelers. 

Even still, with the need for proven pass-rushers across the league, Suggs is a desirable addition to any team looking to make a run.

Baltimore ranks 15th in sacks with 34, even with having played one more game than 30 other teams. The need is there for Suggs, who has already returned to the Ravens as a member of a different organization.

“It wasn’t circled, but when the schedule came out, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to downplay it as just another game,’” Suggs said in September. “But we all know that’d be (expletive). It’s kind of a unique situation, isn’t it?”

Suggs has shown the ability this season to be, at the very least, a situational pass-rusher and one that can contribute through the end of the season. Which, as the season winds down, makes his services valuable to teams looking to make a playoff push. 

He’ll be cheap too, as he wouldn’t cost a ton of money against the cap — and would fit into the Ravens plans moving forward. 

The problem, however, is where the Ravens are in the waiver wire order — dead last.

Teams like the Seahawks and Texans, whose pass rush ranks worse than the Ravens at the moment, and the 49ers, who just lost Dee Ford for a month, all could use pass-rushers to bolster their front seven.

That doesn’t include the possibility of a team in the AFC adding Suggs for two reasons: To add to their pass rush, while keeping Suggs away from Baltimore. 

Preventing the AFC’s top team from acquiring a late-season pass-rusher, one that would provide a significant boost to the organization, might be tempting as well. 

But for storylines, need on the field and fit with the organization, Suggs is a match to return to Baltimore.

It seems clear that Suggs and the Ravens would’ve preferred to be married to one another for the duration of Suggs’ career, and now there’s a chance to bring him back on board for another run at a title. 

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