BC-AP Sports Preview Digest

Some of the sports stories The Associated Press is covering Friday. A full Sports Digest will be sent by about 3 p.m. All times EST:

- Not all that long ago the shotgun was something of a novelty in the NFL. This season, more than half of all offensive snaps season came with the quarterback away from the line.

- ATLANTA - After an MVP-worthy season, Matt Ryan wants to show he's just as clutch in the playoffs. To do that, the Atlanta quarterback will have to beat the defensively formidable Seahawks on Saturday.

More from FoxSports

- FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Tom Brady and the Patriots are favored by 15 1/2 points in Saturday's divisional playoff against the Houston Texans, the NFL's top-ranked defense.

- GREEN BAY, Wis. - Receiver Jordy Nelson will miss the Green Bay Packers' divisional round playoff game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys because of injured ribs.

- PITTSBURGH - Steelers assistant Joey Porter is back with the team in time for Sunday's playoff game in Kansas City after several charges were dropped following his confrontation with a Miami bouncer.

- NEW YORK - Bryce Harper, Jake Arrieta, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Manny Machado are among 146 major leaguers eligible to exchange salary arbitration figures with their teams.

- MELBOURNE, Australia - Six-time champion Novak Djokovic draws a tough first-round opponent in Fernando Verdasco in the Australian Open, which starts Monday.

- HONOLULU - Justin Thomas, coming off a 59 that he made look almost easy, takes a three-shot lead into the second round of the Sony Open.

- MOSCOW - Still mired in a massive doping scandal and its track team banned from international competition, Russia might bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics.

- DURHAM, N.C. - No. 7 Duke and Grayson Allen face No. 14 Louisville on Saturday. They will be playing before fans with a long memory of how the lightning-rod guard tripped one of their players.

- Former UConn great Maya Moore, instrumental in the Huskies' previous 90-game winning streak, hopes this team can shatter the mark her group set a few years ago.

- TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Several Alabama juniors could be leaving school for the NFL draft: left tackle Cam Robinson, wide receiver ArDarius Stewart and cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Tony Brown.

- ALTENMARKT-ZAUCHENSEE, Austria - Returning to World Cup skiing after 22 months, Julia Mancuso talks with the AP about her better frame of mind, recovery from hip surgery and recent marriage.

- WENGEN, Switzerland - Switzerland's Niels Hintermann wins a World Cup combined. Until this race, he had no top-20 finishes in his World Cup career.

- WASHINGTON - Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals go for their eighth consecutive victory when they host the Chicago Blackhawks. Game starts 7 p.m.

- LOS ANGELES - Jurgen Klinsmann is expected to make his first public comments since his dismissal as U.S. coach. He is to speak at a soccer convention not far from where new coach Bruce Arena has begun camp.