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Roethlisberger expects to face Patriots

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

PITTSBURGH (AP) Ben Roethlisberger's ribs are bruised but not broken.

The Pittsburgh Steelers believe the same could be said about their wildly uneven season.

Roethlisberger believes he'll play on Sunday when New England visits Heinz Field, one of the few certainties for a team in search of answers thanks to a three-game losing streak, the latest setback a baffling 24-21 defeat in Oakland that included Roethlisberger missing most of the second half after taking a shot to the ribs, another late meltdown by the defense and the latest botched kick by Chris Boswell.

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Vikes fire OC after another poor showing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Vikings have fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, whose first season on the job ended after just 13 games amid a sharp decline in production by the offense over the past six weeks.

Quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski was made interim offensive coordinator on Tuesday morning, following a 21-7 loss at Seattle on Monday night .

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Seahawks stop Vikes, move in on playoffs

SEATTLE (AP) Bobby Wagner leaped over the line of scrimmage, swatted Dan Bailey's field goal attempt and sparked the Seattle Seahawks to two late touchdowns.

Whether or not what Wagner did was entirely legal, he frankly didn't care.

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Raiders fire GM McKenzie after 7 seasons

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) From the moment Jon Gruden was brought back for a second stint as coach of the Oakland Raiders with a 10-year contract, general manager Reggie McKenzie's longevity in the position was in serious doubt.

That only eroded more with each departure of one of McKenzie's prized former draft picks and ended when he was fired Monday, less than two years after he was named the NFL's executive of the year.

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RB Fournette yelled at fan who used slur

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone says running back Leonard Fournette was responding to racial slurs while yelling at a fan in Nashville, Tennessee last Thursday night.

Fournette declined to address the accusation in the locker room Monday on the advice of his agent.

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Ekeler joins Gordon as hurt Chargers RB

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers didn't have much time to celebrate reaching double-digit wins for the first time in nine seasons.

While most teams get 24 hours to savor a victory, the Chargers spent about 24 minutes to revel in their 26-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals before preparations began for Thursday's pivotal AFC West matchup at Kansas City.

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Hurt toe may end 'Skins TE Reed's season

WASHINGTON (AP) Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed could be done for the season because of a strained toe muscle.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Monday that he thinks Reed was hurt on Mark Sanchez's high throw on his first pass of a 40-16 loss to the New York Giants a day earlier.

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Cooper trade paying off big for Cowboys

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Jerry Jones is getting praised for a football move.

There might not be a better way to explain the impact of the oft-criticized owner and general manager's bold trade for Dallas, sending a 2019 first-round pick to Oakland for receiver Amari Cooper with the Cowboys fading fast in the NFC East race.

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Patriots moving on from stunning loss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) More times than not, the sight of Rob Gronkowski approaching the end zone has signaled good things happening for the New England Patriots.

Yet there was the image of Gronkowski awkwardly crashing to the ground in a desperate attempt to prevent Kenyan Drake from crossing the goal line during Sunday's last-second 34-33 loss to the Dolphins .

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O'Brien defends Clowney's late penalty

HOUSTON (AP) Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien on Monday defended Jadeveon Clowney and his late offside penalty that factored into Houston's 24-21 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, which ended a nine-game winning streak.

"He's an aggressive player and you never want to take away that aggressiveness," O'Brien said. "In that situation, he made a mistake, and I'm sure he'd be the first to tell you that. Andrew (Luck) did a good job on that play, and (Colts coach) Frank (Reich) did a good job of getting their guys coached up on it."

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