Here are the top stories from Wednesday:
From Scott Kacsmar's article on why Peyton Manning's playoff career is worthy of more respect: "What if I told you the main difference between Manning and [Tom] Brady in the postseason was the outcome of four field goals and two plays by defenders with the last name of Moore? Manning and Brady each have had more than 1,000 dropbacks in the playoffs, but six game-changing plays in which neither quarterback was on the field have shaped their playoff records as much as anything."
New England Patriots reserve linebacker Darius Fleming played in Saturday's divisional-round win over the Kansas City Chiefs with 22 stitches in his right leg, saying it was a result of rescuing a woman from a smoking car a mile away from Gillette Stadium two days earlier. (More from Mike Reiss)
From Bill Barnwell's article on what an average quarterback looks like in 2015: "This season, we saw the league set records for completions, attempts, completion percentage, passing yards and passing touchdowns while simultaneously posting the lowest interception rate in league history; 61.5 percent of plays from scrimmage were of the passing variety in 2015, and that doesn't even include scrambles on would-be passes. That, too, is a league record.
Why the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants Chargers to stay put in San Diego.
From Kevin Seifert's article on everything you need to know about this weekend's referees: "Patriots fans worried about offensive pass interference calls should note that [Ed] Hochuli's regular-season crew called nine, slightly more than the average across all crews."
From Matt Bowen's piece on the challenges of covering Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman: "Defenses can bracket or cut or combo Edelman, but that means they have to win against Gronkowski in straight one-on-one matchups with Brady throwing the ball. That's the problem: The defense has to pick one guy to eliminate based on a down-and-distance or game situation. And you can bet Brady is going to find that other matchup to go after."
From ESPN Stats & Information research: This is the seventh time under the current playoff format (since 1990) that both top seeds advanced to the championship round and the first time since 2004. That year, the 2-seed Patriots beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh to advance to Super Bowl XXXIX, where they knocked off the NFC's top-seeded Eagles. Those 2004 Patriots were the last repeat Super Bowl champions.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 20, 2016