Bengals Bites (1/20): Going to the Super Bowl edition

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Taking a look at several stories heading into the Super Bowl after a wild championship week.

Doc: Tell Hue Jackson it's a passing league
Hue Jackson wants to knock defenses around and bring them to their knees, and you don't do that with the passing game. There's one problem. Passing wins. Passing dominates. The statistics suggest it. The winning proves it, the rules encourage it.

2013 NFL playoffs -- Richard Sherman takes shots at Michael Crabtree
After the game, Sherman, known for his bold statements, took a shot at Crabtree. "I'm the best corner[back] in the game," Sherman said on the field immediately after the game. "When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you going to get."

Could postgame rant by Seahawks' Richard Sherman become Super distraction?
It wasn't enough for him to make a choke sign after his dazzling play that led to Seattle's game-clinching interception, an immature move that parents and coaches all over the country will gladly use as an example of "What not to do – or else." No, Sherman had to go and diss San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree in a postgame interview with Fox's Erin Andrews, then give a similar, though slightly more restrained version, of his rant about an hour later.

Will Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman shoot off his mouth before Super Bowl?
This will be a Super Bowl week unlike any other, at least from a media standpoint. Sherman and his teammates will have every opportunity to inflate their profiles in front of what will surely be the biggest press corps in American sports history.

Super matchup: Conference big dogs head to Big Apple
The storylines for Super Bowl XLVIII are taking shape: Denver's top-ranked offense versus Seattle's top-ranked defense, Manning's golden arm versus Wilson's active legs — and what might Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman say next.

How on earth was that 49ers fumble recovery not reviewable?
With less than nine minutes remaining in the NFC championship and the Seattle Seahawks on the verge of scoring a game-opening touchdown, Jermaine Kearse caught a Russell Wilson pass and stretched out to try and sneak the ball over the goal line to give his team a 10-point lead. As he did that, the ball was stripped by San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman. After taking possession, Bowman fell to the ground with control of the ball. It was a clear fumble, 49ers recovery and a major swing in the game.

NaVorro Bowman, 49ers LB, suffers horrific knee injury
While the San Francisco 49ers turn their focus to putting Sunday's 23-17 loss in the NFC championship game behind them and looking ahead to next season, one of their best players will do so having to also overcome a potentially devastating knee injury.

Broncos' Wes Welker: 'I feel bad' for Patriots ... but not too bad
Given that, isn't this victory a bit more significant? "Maybe a little bit," Welker told USA TODAY Sports. "But I've got a lot of love for a lot of guys over there, and the organization and the team, a lot of respect. I feel bad for 'em. Because I've been in that situation that they're in right now."

2014 Super Bowl Odds and Line: Broncos -3 vs. Seahawks
The early 2014 Super Bowl line and odds were released Sunday night and the Broncos are -3 against the NFC champion Seahawks.

Monday Musings: Is Tom Brady now a big-game loser?
Is it time to say that Tom Brady has become a big-game loser? Or is that too harsh? Yes, he has three Super Bowl rings, which is cache for sure, but since winning his last Super Bowl after the 2004 season, Brady has lost two Super Bowls and three AFC Championship Games, including two in a row after losing 26-16 to the Broncos on Sunday in Denver.

Manning raises $24,800 for charity for 31 'Omaha' calls against New England Patriots
Not only is Peyton Manning heading to his third Super Bowl, he made $24,800 for his charity during the AFC Championship Game.

Josh McCown of Chicago Bears does not plan to retire
Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown, who will be a free agent this offseason, has no intention to retire, a source close to the 34-year-old veteran told ESPN.

Darren Sharper, former NFL safety, arrested on felony charge
Former NFL star defensive back Darren Sharper has been arrested on suspicion of rape and is being investigated in connection with three separate sexual assaults.

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