#SportsReport: Dolphins top Giants; Eagles defeat Jets
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski teamed up for more history.
Brady threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns — two of them to his longtime favorite target — as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Atlanta Falcons, 30-17. Brady and Gronkowski have now connected on 90 regular-season TD passes in their careers.
The Bucs improve to 9-3 moved to the brink of clinching the NFC South title. They have a four-game lead with five games remaining.
In other NFL action:
The Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Baltimore Ravens 20-19 after turning aside a 2-point try by Baltimore in the final seconds. The Ravens pulled within one with 12 seconds to go and opted for a 2-point conversion instead of forcing overtime with an extra point. Lamar Jackson’s flip to tight end Mark Andrews fell incomplete.
Justin Herbert passed for three touchdowns and Tevaughn Campbell returned a Joe Mixon fumble 61 yards for a score, helping the Los Angeles Chargers hold off the Cincinnati Bengals for a 41-22 victory. Herbert was 26 of 35 for 317 yards. Mike Williams had five receptions for 110 yards, and Keenan Allen caught two of Herbert’s TD passes.
A resurgent Kansas City defense shut down Teddy Bridgewater and the Broncos, as the Chiefs beat Denver 22-9. Daniel Sorenson returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown for Kansas City, while Patrick Mahomes had 184 yards passing with a touchdown run but also an interception. The Chiefs now lead the Chargers by a game in their race for a sixth straight AFC West championship.
Kyler Murray threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more in his return from an ankle injury and the Arizona Cardinals beat the struggling Chicago Bears 33-22. The Cardinals got Murray and three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins back after both players missed three games because of injuries. The NFC West leaders intercepted Andy Dalton four times.
The Los Angeles Rams snapped their three-game losing streak with a 37-7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. caught touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford. Stafford passed for 295 yards while Sony Michel rushed for 121 yards and a score.
Jonathan Taylor ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns and the Indianapolis Colts rolled to an easy 31-0 win over the hapless Houston Texans. The Texans turned the ball over twice in the first quarter and quarterback Tyrod Taylor was benched in the third quarter as Houston lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
The Lions are winless no more. Jared Goff threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown as time expired, lifting the previously winless Detroit Lions to a 29-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Goff led the Lions on a 75-yard decisive possession without a timeout after Kirk Cousins threw a go-ahead 3-yard touchdown pass to Justin Jefferson with 1:50 left.
Taylor Heinicke threw two touchdown passes and set up new kicker Brian Johnson’s game-winning 48-yard field goal with 37 seconds remaining to lead Washington to its fourth straight win with a 17-15 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. Heinicke threw a 7-yard TD pass to Logan Thomas on the opening drive and a 4-yarder to Antonio Gibson early in the fourth quarter.
The Seattle Seahawks made a late goal line stand to beat the San Francisco 49ers, 30-23. Russell Wilson played his best game since returning from finger surgery, throwing for 231 yards and two touchdowns as Seattle snapped a three-game losing streak.
Tua Tagovailoa threw a pair of short touchdown passes and the Miami Dolphins extended their winning streak to five games by topping the New York Giants 20-9. Isaiah Ford and Mack Hollins had the scoring grabs for Miami. Rookie Jaelan Phillips had two more sacks to give him five in his last two games.
Gardner Minshew started in place of an injured Jalen Hurts and led the clock-eating Philadelphia Eagles to scores on their first seven possessions in a 33-18 victory over the New York Jets. Minshew was 20 of 25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns.
Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points, Rudy Gobert had 20 rebounds and five blocks and the Utah Jazz beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-108.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 points and Rudy Gay had 15 for Utah, which made 20 3-pointers but gave away a 15-point lead in the fourth.
The Cavs had a chance to win in the final seconds, but Darius Garland missed a 28-footer with 2.9 seconds to go, and Jarrett Allen couldn’t get his tip to drop.
Elsewhere in the NBA:
A short-handed Charlotte team that leaned on its best 3-point shooting game of the season to beat Atlanta, 130-127. The Hornets made a season-high 17 3s, with Kelly Oubre Jr. making six 3s and scoring 28 points. Miles Bridges led Charlotte with 32 points.
Pascal Siakam scored 31 points, Precious Achiuwa had 10 points and 14 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Washington Wizards 102-90.
Eric Gordon and Christian Wood both scored 23 points, and Houston beat New Orleans, 118-108, for its sixth straight win. Brandon Ingram scored a season-high 40 points for the Pelicans.
Bennedict Mathurin scored a season-high 29 points and No. 11 Arizona beat Oregon State 90-65. Christian Koloko added 12 points for the Wildcats.
Marist had a 79-67 win against Rider, Hartford outscored St. Francis Brooklyn, 68-55, and Siena held off St. Peter’s, 60-58.
On the women’s side, Northeastern toppled Hartford, 73-53, UConn bested Notre Dame, 73-54, UMass held off UMass Lowell, 58-53, Vermont beat Loyola, 72-62, Columbia downed Marist, 78-49, UAlbany downed Colgate, 60-39 and Syracuse pummeled Central Connecticut, 116-65.
The New York Islanders' misery continues.
Patrick Kane scored the only goal in the shootout and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Islanders 3-2 Sunday night, sending New York to its 11th straight loss, and its sixth in its new arena.
The Islanders tied the game at 2-all with four seconds left in the third period, but Blackhawks netminder Marc-Andre Fleury denied all three Islanders chances once it got to the shootout.
In other NHL action:
Blake Wheeler had two assists in his 1,000th NHL game and Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves, leading the Winnipeg Jets to a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Los Angeles Kings snapped a two-game skid with a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Adrian Kempe scored a pair of goals. Drew Doughty also scored for the Kings and added two assists.
The Tampa Bay Lightning crushed the slumping Philadelphia Flyers, 7-1. Corey Perry had two goals and an assist and Ryan McDonagh scored and had a pair of assists for the Lightning. The Flyers have lost eight in a row.
The Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the San Jose Sharks.
The Vancouver Canucks cleaned house late Sunday night, dumping three executives and head coach Travis Green and replacing him with veteran Bruce Boudreau.
The Canucks say general manager Jim Benning, assistant manager Jim Weisbrod, Green and assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner were all fired.
The changes follow a dismal performance Saturday in which the Pittsburgh Penguins routed the Canucks 4-1, and the home crowd booed and chanted of “fire Benning!”
The College Football Playoff is set: Cincinnati will play Alabama in the Cotton Bowl and Michigan will face Georgia in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
Fourth-seeded Cincinnati becomes the first team to break through the CFP’s glass ceiling and make college football’s final four from a non-Power Five conference. The Bearcats won the American Athletic Conference and head into the postseason as the only unbeaten team in the country. Their reward will be a matchup with the defending national champions.
The Crimson Tide is in the playoff for the seventh time in its eight-year history.
Michigan is making its first appearance in the playoff. Georgia is in for the second time, and first since the 2017 season.
BOWL SELECTION DAY:
Fifth-ranked Notre Dame will face No. 9 Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl in a matchup of two teams that just missed the College Football Playoff.
The Fighting Irish finished fifth in the final CFP rankings after coach Brian Kelly left for LSU last week. Defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman was promoted to head coach on Friday.
The Cowboys came up inches short of a possible CFP berth when Dezmon Jackson was stopped just short of the end zone pylon in the final seconds of a 21-16 loss to Baylor in the Big 12 championship game.
Among the other bowl matchups:
No. 6 Baylor and No. 8 Mississippi will match up in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Utah will face Ohio State in the 108th edition of the Rose Bowl.
Pittsburgh’s reward for its first ACC championship is a date with Michigan State in the Peach Bowl.
No. 12 BYU draws upstart UAB as Independence Bowl opponent.
Mountain West Conference champion Utah State will face Oregon State of the Pac-12 Conference in the inaugural LA Bowl at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
Alabama will head into the postseason the same way it started the regular season — as No. 1 in the nation.
The Crimson Tide reclaimed the top spot in The Associated Press college football poll after beating previously top-ranked Georgia. Defending national champion Alabama, which was No. 1 for the first six weeks of this season, jumped three spots after dominating the Southeastern Conference title game. The Bulldogs fell to No. 3.
In between, Michigan was No. 2 for a second straight week after winning the Big Ten Conference championship for the first time since 2004. Cincinnati slipped a spot to No. 4. The Bearcats are the only remaining unbeaten FBS team in the country.
Oklahoma has hired Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as its head coach to replace Lincoln Riley. Venables was on Oklahoma’s staff under Bob Stoops as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2011. At Clemson, he won the Broyles Award in 2016 as the nation’s top assistant.
In other college football news:
No. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette has promoted co-offensive coordinator and former Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback Michael Desormeaux to head coach. The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Billy Napier won his final game as Cajuns coach in the Sun Belt Conference championship game against Appalachian State.
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME:
Buck O’Neil, a champion of Black ballplayers during a monumental, eight-decade career on and off the field, has joined Gil Hodges, Minnie Miñoso and three others in being elected to the baseball Hall of Fame.
Former Minnesota Twins teammates Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat also were chosen along with Bud Fowler by a pair of veterans committees.
Longtime slugger Dick Allen, who died last December, fell one vote shy of election.
The six newcomers will be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York, next July along with any new members elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. David Ortiz, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez are on that ballot.
Viktor Hovland is the winner of the Hero World Challenge and even he couldn’t believe it. Hovland started six shots behind and made up ground with consecutive eagles and a surprising collapse by Collin Morikawa. Hovland shot a 66 with bogeys on his last two holes to win by one shot over Sam Burns.
SAUDI ARABIAN GP:
Lewis Hamilton has won his third consecutive grand prix to pull even on points with Max Verstappen. That means Formula One’s championship race will now be decided at the season finale.
Russia’s 15-year wait for a Davis Cup title has ended after another clutch performance by Daniil Medvedev. He beat Marin Cilic 7-6, 6-2 in the second singles match to give Russia an insurmountable 2-0 lead over Croatia in the final on Sunday. It is Russia’s third Davis Cup title, and first since 2006.
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