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Favre, Dungy headline Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2016

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Favre, Dungy headline Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Brett Favre and the late Ken Stabler, a pair of kindred-spirit QBs who each won a Super Bowl, were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Also voted in for the class of 2016 a day before the Super Bowl were modern-day players Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison and Orlando Pace, coach Tony Dungy, contributor Ed DeBartolo Jr., and senior selection Dick Stanfel.

The freewheeling Favre, as expected, was a first-ballot entry, a reward for a long and distinguished career, mostly with the Green Bay Packers, that included three consecutive NFL MVP awards from 1995-97 and a championship in the 1997 Super Bowl.

Stabler, a left-hander nicknamed "Snake" for his ability to slither past defenders, goes into the Hall as a senior selection about six months after dying of colon cancer at age 69 -- and just days after researchers said his brain showed widespread signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

CTE is a disease linked to repeated brain trauma and associated with symptoms such as memory loss, depression and progressive dementia. It has been found in the brains of dozens of former football players, including one of last year's Hall inductees, Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012 at 43.

Stabler was the 1974 league MVP and helped the Oakland Raiders win the 1977 Super Bowl. He was represented at Saturday's announcement by two of his grandsons.

Favre played for 20 seasons, eventually retiring -- after famously vacillating about whether to walk away from the game -- as the NFL's career leader with 6,300 completions, 10,169 attempts, 71,838 yards and 508 TDs. He never met a pass he was afraid to throw, no matter how ill-advised it might have seemed, and wound up with a record 336 interceptions, the trade-off for his high-risk, high-reward, entertaining style.

Before Green Bay, he briefly was a member of the Atlanta Falcons. Afterward, he had short stints with the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.

Five nominees were eliminated in the final vote: coach Don Coryell, running back Terrell Davis, offensive lineman Joe Jacoby, safety John Lynch, and quarterback Kurt Warner.

Earlier Saturday, the selection committee reduced the list of 15 modern-day finalists by cutting wide receiver Terrell Owens, running back Edgerrin James, safety Steve Atwater, guard Alan Faneca and kicker Morten Anderson.

A candidate needs 80 percent of the vote to get in.

The induction ceremony is in August in Canton, Ohio.

Greene was a linebacker and defensive end who accumulated 160 sacks while harassing quarterbacks for four teams across 15 seasons. A three-time All-Pro selection, he broke in with the Rams in 1985 and closed his career with the Panthers in 1999.

Harrison, Peyton Manning's top receiver while with the Indianapolis Colts from 1996-08, holds the record for most catches in a season: a hard-to-fathom 143 in 2002. At the time of his retirement, Harrison ranked second only to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice in NFL history with 1,102 catches and most consecutive games with a catch (190).

Harrison was a six-time All-Pro pick, combining with Manning on 953 completions for 12,766 yards and 112 TDs, all league records for a quarterback-receiver duo.

Pace, like Favre in his first year of Hall eligibility, was an imposing left tackle who blocked for the winners of three consecutive NFL MVP awards during his 13-year career, the first dozen with the Rams. He started all 16 games in seven seasons and was an All-Pro five times.

Dungy coached Manning, Harrison and the rest of the Colts to victory in the 2006 Super Bowl, becoming the first black head coach to win the championship. Indianapolis reached the playoffs during every season he was its coach, from 2002-08. In his previous job, he turned around a woebegone Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise, taking it to four postseason trips in six years.

DeBartolo was elected, fittingly, in the city where he owned the 49ers for nearly a quarter-century. In 1979, two years after buying the team, DeBartolo hired Bill Walsh as coach and drafted quarterback Joe Montana, leading to an unprecedented run of success that included five Super Bowl titles.

DeBartolo became embroiled in the corruption case against former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards and was suspended for the 1999 season by the NFL after being found guilty of failing to report a bribe. After the suspension, DeBartolo gave control of the team to his sister.

Stanfel, who died last year, was a guard for the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins for a total of seven seasons, earning first-team All-Pro honors five times. While still at top of his game, he retired at age 31 to pursue a coaching career.

MORE NFL: Report: Joe Jacoby falls short in Hall of Fame vote

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The Kapri Bibbs touchdown vs. the Cowboys was the very definition of team football

The Kapri Bibbs touchdown vs. the Cowboys was the very definition of team football

The obsession over how football is a team game, and how all 11 guys on the field matter on every single play, can be nauseating at times.

Plenty of things in an NFL contest happen because of one player beating another player. In other instances, it's about a single dude just absolutely screwing everything up all on his own (most often that dude is Blake Bortles).

But on Kapri Bibbs' 23-yard opening-drive touchdown catch vs. the Cowboys in Week 7, a ton of non-ball-carrying Redskins did in fact chip in to help get Bibbs into the end zone. It was one of those plays that just makes you want to scream FOOTBALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!

The first two 'Skins who deserve recognition on the score are Shawn Lauvao and Brandon Scherff.

Lauvao, who was returning from injury, leaked out with Scherff and Chase Roullier to serve as Bibbs' personal, giant escorts to the goal line. He then showed excellent awareness to peel back and seal off Dallas D-linemen Antwaun Woods, which ended any hopes of a Cowboy catching Bibbs from behind.

The true hero, though, was Scherff. The human wood chipper got pieces of two opposing linemen before breaking out to the next level, diving and knocking Kavon Frazier out of Bibbs' path. Without Scherff's insane effort, the screen pass doesn't even result in positive yardage, let alone six points.

Here's a still image of the first two, key blocks:

Large Redskins weren't the only ones getting the job done in hand-to-hand combat, however. For a screen to elevate itself from solid play to major chunk play, you need receivers doing work well past the line of scrimmage, too.

Well, this screenshot of Josh Doctson and Brian Quick holding blocks at the sticks definitely qualifies as doing work:

And, lastly, there's the center, Roullier. The man who started the entire sequence with a snap from the 23-yard line eventually found himself at the 12, displacing Byron Jones to ensure that the home team's tailback would finish things dancing instead of getting up from the ground:

To enjoy the full FOOTBALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!-ness of the six-pointer, head to the 23-second mark of this video. Then, take a moment to reflect on all those poor Cowboys who thought they were going to tackle Kapri Bibbs throughout the course of that highlight, because they never really had a chance and that's just so sad for them.

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What exactly was Alex Smith thinking when he went out of bounds on the last drive?

What exactly was Alex Smith thinking when he went out of bounds on the last drive?

FEDEX FIELD -- Late in the Redskins win over the Cowboys, when the contest was still very much in question, Alex Smith made an incredibly poor decision. 

It was situational football at its peak. The Redskins had the ball with under 90 seconds left and a three point lead while Dallas had just one timeout left. A first down would end the game, but beyond getting a new set of downs, forcing Cowboys coach Jason Garrett to use his final timeout was the next highest priority. 

Somehow, Smith achieved neither. 

On third-and-9 from his own 36-yard-line, Smith took the snap and worked left on a play-action bootleg. There was room to run for a modest gain, but it seemed obvious Smith would not pick up the first down. 

Only Smith didn't see it that way. 

"I knew a first down would end the game and I did have glimpses of myself getting the first down whatever it took," the quarterback said. 

Instead of getting the first down, Smith got dragged out of bounds by Dallas LB Sean Lee. That stopped the clock for the Cowboys, and allowed Garrett to save his final timeout. 

Barring a turnover, it was the worst possible outcome on the play. 

What makes the situation so strange is that Smith is a very smart player. A 14-year veteran, Smith is known as a guy that won't make mistakes to hurt his team and gives his squad a chance for a win every week. Only late in the game, Smith tried to make the play to go for the win, and made a huge mistake instead. 

"I all of a sudden found myself pretty awkward on the sidelines there and can’t have it," Smith said. "[I] could have obviously cost us the game in hindsight at that point, I think kinda abandon ship and go down there on the sideline.”

The good news for Smith, and for the 4-2 Redskins, is that Cowboys kicker Brett Maher plunked the upright on his game-tying field goal attempt. An attempt that might not have happened if Smith stayed in bounds. 

In the end, it didn't cost the Redskins. 

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