Tom Brady of the New England Patriots throws a touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski (not pictured) during the AFC Championship Game  against the Indianapolis Colts  in Foxboro, Massachusetts on Sunday. Photograph: Jim Rogash/Getty Images

One man on my flight to the AFC championship game on Sunday was wearing a Tom Brady jersey that, like the player, had been through quite a bit. The(...)

Aaron Rodgers will face a ferocious Seattle defence that led the NFL in fewest points allowed per game. Photograph:  Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Four months after the Seattle Seahawks routed the Green Bay Packers in the NFL’s season opener, the NFC powerhouses will go at it again, this time wit(...)

 Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos walks off the field after losing 24-13 to the Indianapolis Colts in a the AFC Divisional Playoff game   in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty

Peyton Manning slumped off the field towards an uncertain future following Denver’s divisional playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, with (...)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady: completed 21 of 35 passes throwing for 287 yards  as the Patriots gained revenge for the opening game loss at Miami. Photograph: Matt Campbell/EPA

The New England Patriots, the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos clinched divisional titles and playoff berths with wins on Sunday while the Green (...)

Seattle Seahawks  running back Marshawn Lynch dives into the end zone for a touchdown against as  the New York Giants  during the fourth quarter of the game at CenturyLink Field  in Seattle, Washington. Photograph: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

NFL round-up: The San Francisco 49ers prevailed in an overtime thriller with New Orleans after Saints quarterback Drew Brees fumbled and the league-le(...)

 Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata  dives past Washington Redskins outside linebacker Adam Hayward to score a touchdown on a one yard run in the second half in Minneapolis. Photograph:  Craig Lassig/EPA

NFL round-up: Tom Brady continued his success against Peyton Manning by throwing four touchdowns to lead New England to a 43-21 win over the Denver Br(...)

 Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning  is surrounded by the media after a game against the San Francisco 49ers in which he broke the all-time NFL record with 509 career touchdowns. Photograph:  t Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Peyton Manning paid tribute to team-mates past and present after breaking Brett Favre’s NFL record for most career touchdown passes.Denver Broncos qu(...)

Marshawn Lynch dives over the line  to score  Seattle Seahawks’  winning touchdown in overtime against the Denver Broncos at CenturyLink Field  in Seattle, Washington. Photograph: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks survived an inspired fightback by the Denver Broncos to claim a thrilling 26-20 overtime win on Sunday (...)

Denver Broncos  quarterback Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts at Sports Authority Field  on the opening day of the NFL season.  Photograph: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Peyton Manning gained revenge against his former team and put his recent Super Bowl nightmare behind him by leading the Denver Broncos to a season-ope(...)

Joe Schmidt’s arrival as Ireland coach has coincided with Andrew  Trimble’s most impressive period in the green jersey, but the player’s character has also played its part. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

How to build success? As the dust settles on the Heineken Cup exits this question remains on my mind. We’ve also been asking this of my local club Old(...)