DENVER (AP) – Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes and the Indianapolis Colts upset Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 24-13 Sunday in the AFC playoffs. The Colts advanced to the AFC conference championship next weekend in New England. The Patriots rallied past Baltimore 35-31 Saturday in the other AFC divisional playoff.
DENVER (AP) – Peyton Manning is hedging on returning next year to play for the Denver Broncos. Following a 24-13 loss to Indianapolis in the AFC divisional playoffs on Sunday, the 38-year-old, five-time MVP couldn’t say if he planned to return for the 2015 season. As recently as Christmas Eve, Manning said he planned on being back next season if the Broncos wanted him.
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) – Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will have a second interview with the Oakland Raiders for their head coaching job. A person with knowledge of the plans said Monday that Del Rio will interview with Oakland on Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is not releasing details on interviews. Del Rio met with Raiders owner Mark Davis during the Broncos’ bye week. With Denver being eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday, Del Rio is available for a second interview and will be able to sit down with general manager Reggie McKenzie as well. Del Rio was head coach in Jacksonville for nine seasons before spending the past three as defensive coordinator in Denver.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) – The Buffalo Bills have officially announced they’ve hired Rex Ryan to take over as coach. The announcement was made in a release issued by the team Monday, a day after the former New York Jets coach accepted the Bills contract offer. Ryan replaces Doug Marrone, who stepped down abruptly on Dec. 31. Bills owner Terry Pegula credited Ryan for bringing “a well of experience and enthusiasm,” in a statement released by the team. And a person familiar with talks told The Associated Press the Bills are finalizing contract discussions to hire Greg Roman as their offensive coordinator. Ryan had a 50-52 record, including 4-2 in the playoffs, in six seasons coaching Buffalo’s AFC East rival. He was fired along with general manager John Idzik following a 4-12 finish last season.
UNDATED (AP) – The scene is set for the NFL conference championship games next Sunday. The AFC title tilt will feature New England against Indianapolis as the Colts beat the Broncos yesterday. The NFC championship game has Green Bay playing Seattle as the Packers eliminated the Cowboys yesterday.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – And then there were two – Ohio State and Oregon. Tonight in Arlington, Texas, at the playing home of the Dallas Cowboys, the Buckeyes and Ducks will square off in the first-ever major college football playoff championship game. Each school has a record of 13-1 on the season.