Greg Cote

NFL playoffs, sad Heat, awakening Cats, Serena and the ROC make this week’s Hot Button

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs during the second half of an AFC Wild Card NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger's ankle appears to be fine. Considering the way Le'Veon Bell is running, it might not matter. The Steelers have taken a smashmouth approach during the eight-game winning streak that's carried them to the divisional round for a second straight year.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs during the second half of an AFC Wild Card NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger's ankle appears to be fine. Considering the way Le'Veon Bell is running, it might not matter. The Steelers have taken a smashmouth approach during the eight-game winning streak that's carried them to the divisional round for a second straight year. AP

1. NFL

Dolphins out, but hunt for Super Bowl continues: Dolphins were quickly eliminated from the playoffs in the first round in Pittsburgh last week, but the NFL decided to go on with its postseason anyway, and the weekend will pare eight surviving teams down to a final four.

2. HEAT

Homestand awaits for reeling, miserable Heat: Miami was 11-29 entering the weekend with nine losses in its past 10 games and now begins a four-game homestand on Tuesday. And now here is your official Heat midseason report in one word: Depressing!

3. PANTHERS

Finally, Cats showing signs of life at midseason: Florida had won three of its past four games entering the weekend and moved to within two points of eighth place in the Eastern Conference — playoff pace. Stanley Cup dream still far off but progress being seen.

4. TENNIS

Serena seeks history in Australian Open: The year’s first tennis major, the Australian Open, begins on Sunday in Melbourne with Palm Beach’s Serena Williams chasing her women’s-record 23rd major title. It’s becoming less a question than a statement: She’s the G.O.A.T.

5. MOTORSPORTS

Marlins Park readies for Race of Champions: Can you picture a major auto race inside a baseball stadium? Me, neither. But top drivers from NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One and other circuits will compete against each other here next weekend. Vroom!

  Comments