Chiefs’ Mahomes says ankle will be ready for Super Bowl
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes says he’s “definitely in a better spot” when it comes to his ailing right ankle than he was for the AFC championship game. The All-Pro quarterback also says he doesn’t expect to be limited by it when he leads the Kansas City Chiefs against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl. Mahomes spoke before Wednesday’s practice at Arizona State’s facility. He said he’ll probably continue to get treatment on the ankle he hurt against Jacksonville in the divisional round throughout the week and possibly right up until kickoff.
Super Bowl has rare matchup of top 2 regular-season teams
This year’s Super Bowl features a rare matchup of the NFL’s top two teams from the regular season. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs were the league’s only 14-game winners, marking just the sixth time since the 1970 merger that the squads with sole possession of the two best records in the regular season met for the championship. The last time it happened came after the 2013 season when Seattle beat Denver 43-8 in a matchup of 13-win teams.
Analysis: LeBron has defied odds, with no drop-off in sight
LeBron James is 38 years old. He is in Season 20 of his NBA career. He is, by conventional basketball-playing standards, ancient. History says his decline should have started already. Except it hasn’t. Not even close. And count that as just another example of what sets James apart from so many other greats, so many other superstars of their sport who were good enough for long enough to climb atop some lists in the record books.
Who has next for James’ scoring record: Luka? Tatum? Anyone?
James Harden averaged 36 points a few seasons ago. Devin Booker once scored 70 in one game. There are many more players doing much more scoring now than when LeBron James began his NBA career in 2003-04. A player scoring like Harden in his peak years could be flirting with 40,000 points in a mere 15 years, but even that might not reach where James will put the record. Perhaps young players such as Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum or Victor Wembanyama could have a chance. Or maybe the player hasn’t even been born.
Pro Picks: Eagles’ talent over Chiefs’ experience
PHOENIX (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles left their dog masks at home. Back in the Super Bowl five years after winning the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history, the Eagles took a different path to reach this one. They’re 1 1/2-point favorites against the Kansas City Chiefs, per FanDuel Sportsbook, after outscoring the Giants and 49ers 69-14 in the playoffs. Last time here, the Eagles became the first No. 1 seed to enter the playoffs as a home underdog. After sneaking past Atlanta in the divisional round, they were underdogs against Minnesota in the NFC championship game. They routed the Vikings and went on to beat Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the favored New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Chiefs’ Jones sets sack standard for Kansas City defense
PHOENIX (AP) — Any success that the Kansas City Chiefs have in slowing down Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl probably rests on the shoulders of Chris Jones. The All-Pro defensive tackle is having the finest season of his career, and his two sacks in the AFC title game against Cincinnati helped the Chiefs reach this stage. Jones emerged alongside Aaron Donald as the league’s most dominant interior lineman this season, and helping a Kansas City pass rush that was among the worst in the NFL last season suddenly become one of the best.
NFL Commissioner Goodell tackles diversity, concussions
PHOENIX (AP) — From diversity to concussions, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated the league is still looking for improvement. As for officiating, he says: “it’s never been better.” Goodell addressed those topics and more, including the Washington Commanders’ investigation, flex scheduling and international play in his annual Super Bowl news conference Wednesday. DeMeco Ryans became the NFL’s third Black head coach when Houston hired the former Pro Bowl linebacker and 49ers defensive coordinator. Ryans joined Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin and Tampa Bay’s Todd Bowles. There are three other minority coaches, including Miami’s Mike McDaniel, who has a Black father and identifies as biracial.
Hamlin appears during Super Bowl event to receive award
PHOENIX (AP) — Damar Hamlin has been named winner of the NFLPA’s Alan Page Community Award and made a brief appearance in Phoenix during Super Bowl week to receive the award. Hamlin read a brief statement with his parents on stage with him at the Phoenix Convention Center. The Buffalo Bills safety received the award a little over a month after he went into cardiac arrest and needed to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati. Hamlin’s toy drive fundraiser has raised more than $9 million since he collapsed.
Probe into US Olympic failings stunted by red tape in DC
DENVER (AP) — More than two years since it was greenlighted by Congress, the panel established to probe the inner workings of the U.S. Olympics has yet to conduct a formal interview because of bureaucratic red tape in Washington. The Commission on the State of U.S. Olympics and Paralympics is charged with looking how U.S. leaders handled sex-abuse cases that were mismanaged for decades. It took 19 months after it was established in October 2020 for the commission to receive the $2 million Congress budgeted for its use. Then, it took eight more months to identify and hire the panel’s executive director. Now that those issues are resolved, however, the commission has to decide how to spend the money by Sept. 30 or risk not being able to use it.
Brittney Griner absent from USA camp, but keeping in touch
Brittney Griner texted her good friend Diana Taurasi on Tuesday asking how the USA Basketball training camp was going. Griner was back in Arizona, choosing to skip the camp in Minnesota so she can be with her wife and recover from her time in a Russian jail. She was traded in a dramatic prisoner swap in December. Taurasi said the two talk regularly now that Griner is home in Phoenix. They work out together as well as chat and text each other often. Griner has said she’ll play for Phoenix again this season although she’s still an unsigned free agent. She hasn’t talked about her international future and potentially playing for the U.S. at the Olympics next year in Paris.