The NFL notebook …
NEW YORK ó The AFC championship game earned its highest television rating in 14 years, while the NFC game also drew the best rating for the early conference championship game in the same span.
The Pittsburgh Steelersí 24-19 win over the New York Jets in the AFC title game Sunday on CBS had a 28.3 rating and 43 share.
The Green Bay Packersí 21-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on Fox earned a 28.1/50, the best since Panthers-Packers, also in ë97.
The AFC game was watched by an average of 54.85 million viewers, breaking the record set by San Diego-Cincinnati in 1982 when the population was smaller.
NEW YORK ó It’s unanimous. And Tom Brady has outdone even himself.
The record-setting Patriots quarterback is the leading vote-getter for The Associated Press 2010 NFL All-Pro Team, the seventh straight year at least one player has gotten every vote. Three years ago, when Brady set the league record for touchdown passes, he missed by a half-vote of being unanimous, sharing a ballot with Brett Favre.
As usual, Brady prefers to deflect praise to the rest of the Patriots, who went 14-2 this season before losing in the playoffs to the Jets.
“I’ve been here for a while, so I’ve seen our offense evolve,” Brady said. “We do some different things now than we’ve done in the past. Ultimately we’re still trying to do the same thing, which is be productive and win games.”
Brady won those 14 games as the league’s leading passer, and he went a record 335 attempts without an interception. Overall, he threw for 36 touchdowns and had just four picks.
GREEN BAY, Wis. ó Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ shoulder is sore after he was hit during Sunday’s NFC championship game victory over the Chicago Bears.
McCarthy didn’t seem overly concerned Monday, saying every player has bumps and bruises at this point in the season.
The Packers quarterback appeared to take a shot on his right shoulder from Bears defensive back Danieal Manning during his 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter of Sunday’s game.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. ó Now that was one wacky, made-for-TV season.
Big-name players. Trash talk. Scandals. Controversies. And, another run at the Super Bowl that fell just short.
Boy, Rex Ryan and the New York Jets have their work cut out to produce a compelling sequel to this one.
“I think that our best is still yet to come,” an ever-confident Ryan said Monday, a day after the Jets’ 24-19 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game.
Say this much about Ryan: At least he’s consistent.
He has been talking up his team since he took over as coach two years ago, so why stop now? The Jets (13-6) made it within a game of the Super Bowl in consecutive years for the first time in franchise history, although Ryan boldly scribbled “Soon To Be Champs” on an ESPN bus during training camp.
“Maybe when I said that,” Ryan said, “I just don’t know when that (will be), but I believe it. In my heart, I believe we’ll be champs.”
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