Last weekend, the Divisional Playoffs were held to determine who moved on to the AFC and NFC Championships and who edged one step closer to Super Bowl XLIII.
On Saturday, the Arizona Cardinals convincingly defeated the Carolina Panthers 33-13, while the Baltimore Ravens edged out the Tennessee Titans 13-10.
Sunday, the reigning champion New York Giants were sent home after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles 23-11. The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the San Diego Chargers, 35-24. Injured Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson did not play.
Arizona will host the Eagles in NFC Conference Championship Sunday January 18 and the Ravens will travel to Pittsburgh to see who will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl on February 1.
In other NFL news, Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy announced his retirement on Monday. Dungy was the Colts head coach for seven seasons and was Tampa Bay’s head coach from 1996-2001. He led the Colts to a win in Super Bowl XLI and retires with 148 career wins as a head coach. Jim Caldwell, quarterbacks coach under Dungy at Indianapolis and Tampa Bay, has been named as the new head coach of the Colts.
Is Plaxico Burress heading back to the New York Giants next season? If several members of the Giants have anything to say about it, the answer is yes. Burress has expressed his interest in returning to the team that put him on indefinite suspension following his arrest for illegal firearms possession after accidentally shooting himself at a nightclub late last year. If criminal charges do not lead Burress to prison, he has hopes to make his NFL comeback and return to the Giants organization. Teammates including quarterback Eli Manning have expressed support for Burress to rejoin the team.
Cornerback Adam ‘PacMan’ Jones has been released by the Dallas Cowboys following an ESPN Outside the Lines report that Jones was allegedly involved in paying a hitman for a shooting in Atlanta in June 2007. No injuries occurred during the shooting, and Jones has not been charged. In a recent interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Jones denied any involvement and stated that he is currently in recovery for alcohol abuse and hopes to play in the NFL next season. Jones has a long history of legal troubles and various league and team suspensions.
Fired Detroit Lions head coach Rod Marinelli agreed to a position as assistant coach and defensive line coach for the Chicago Bears along side friend and Bears head coach Lovie Smith. Marinelli and Smith coached together for several years in Tampa Bay during Tony Dungy’s reign as head coach.