SAM FARMER / ON THE NFL

Suddenly flawed Falcons part of an imperfection convection

L.A. and the Panthers

ESPN reported Sunday that high-powered California political officials have been courting Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson about moving the franchise to Los Angeles. The network cited a person familiar with the discussions.

The officials reportedly spoke to Richardson at last summer's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., where L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was convention chairman.

An L.A. official called the ESPN report "misleading at best, inaccurate at worst."

"The Mayor did meet with Mr. Richardson in Charlotte during the DNCC, but he has not been courting the Panthers to move to LA," Peter Sanders, deputy mayor for communications, wrote in an email Sunday. "They discussed the return of NFL football to LA in general terms, as the Mayor has done with a number of league owners and officials, including owners whose teams are on very solid ground and have no intention of relocating anywhere."

Richardson issued a statement Sunday saying he's dedicated to staying: "It has always been my desire that the Carolinas would be home of our Panthers. Nothing has changed. As someone who was born in North Carolina and lived much of my life in South Carolina, I hope that there would be no doubts about my personal devotion to the Carolinas."

Perhaps it's not a coincidence that the Panthers are about to unfurl plans for a stadium renovation, and politicians in North Carolina have indicated that they'd be willing to help pay for them. What better way to firm up those commitments then to raise the possibility of a relocation to L.A.? That worked for Indianapolis, Seattle, New Orleans and others.

Undeterred

Adrian Peterson continues to defy the odds and pile up the yards.

The Minnesota tailback, who blew out his left knee at the end of the 2011 regular season, ran for 171 yards in 27 carries to lead the Vikings to a 34-24 win over Detroit.

"I still can get stronger. I'm still not there, man. I'm pressing to get there," Peterson said. "I'm going to come back stronger and better after the bye."

The Vikings could use that. They play at Chicago after a week off. Peterson came into Week 10 with a league-leading 957 yards rushing.

Calling for backup

Concussions to Philadelphia's Michael Vick and San Francisco's Alex Smith had those teams turning to backup quarterbacks.

Eagles fans were clamoring to see rookie quarterback Nick Foles, considering all of Vick's turnover problems, and Foles showed flashes of promise. He completed 22 of 32 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown but also had two interceptions run back for scores (one was negated by a penalty).

The Cowboys put the finishing touches on their 38-23 victory by stripping Foles at the one-yard line and recovering the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.

In San Francisco, Colin Kaepernick played well in place of Smith, completing 11 of 17 passes for 117 yards, and running eight times for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Home-cooked

According to ESPN, Miami's 37-3 loss to Tennessee ranks as the Dolphins' second-worst home defeat, topped —topped? — by a 48-3 loss to Kansas City in 1968.

In Sunday's game, rookie Ryan Tannehill was picked off three times after going six weeks without an interception.

 

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