#SportsReport: Hurts, Eagles clinch playoffs with 48-22 win over Giants
Paul Silas, 3-time NBA champion, longtime coach, dies at 79
Paul Silas, a member of three NBA championship teams and LeBron James’ first coach in the league, has died at the age of 79. Silas' family announced his death on Sunday. The family revealed the death through the Houston Rockets, for whom Silas’ son, Stephen, is a second-generation head coach. Silas’ daughter, Paula Silas-Guy, told The New York Times that her father died Saturday night of cardiac arrest. Paul Silas won exactly 400 games as a coach, including playoffs. He played for two championship teams in Boston and another in Seattle. He was a head coach in San Diego, Charlotte, New Orleans and Cleveland.
Herbert, short-handed defense lead Chargers past Fins 23-17
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Justin Herbert threw for 367 yards and a touchdown and a short-handed Chargers defense got the best of the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa as Los Angeles beat Miami 23-17. The Chargers moved into position for the final AFC playoff berth, ahead of the New York Jets. Herbert completed a career-high 39 passes on 51 attempts for his 21st 300-yard game. He became the first NFL quarterback to throw for 13,000 yards in his first three seasons. Tyreek Hill scored two touchdowns for the Dolphins, one of them on an improbable fumble recovery. But Tagovailoa had his worst game as an NFL starter, completing 10 of 28 passes for 145 yards.
Wilson's concussion latest setback in Broncos' awful year
DENVER (AP) — Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson left the Broncos’ 34-28 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after suffering a concussion at the end of a 14-yard scramble early in the fourth quarter. Wilson had rallied the Broncos from a 27-0 deficit with a trio of touchdown drives. His backup, Brett Rypien, threw a touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy after replacing Wilson, but the Broncos came up short again. They’ve now lost seven one-score games this season and have dropped 14 straight to the Chiefs. This scrambling, using-his-feet version of Wilson was the one the Broncos traded for and signed to an extension.
Steelers' Pickett exits, returns, then placed in protocol
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he didn’t know “the details regarding the sequence” that led to rookie quarterback Kenny Picket initially being cleared to play before being put into concussion protocol during a 16-14 loss to Baltimore. Pickett was shaken up after getting sacked by Baltimore linebacker Roquan Smith at the end of Pittsburgh’s first drive. He was evaluated by medical personnel and cleared to return, playing one more series before being ruled out for the remainder of the game and replaced by Mitch Trubisky. Tomlin said Pickett was pulled after he became symptomatic.
Hurts, Eagles clinch playoffs with 48-22 win over Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles are going to the playoffs for the second straight year and the fifth time in six seasons. The league's best team improved to 12-1 on Sunday with a 48-22 thrashing of the New York Giants. MVP candidate Jalen Hurts threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Eagles opened a 21-0 lead and never looked back. Miles Sanders ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles finished with seven sacks, including three by Brandon Graham. The Giants have one win in their past six games, going 1-4-1 in that span. This was New York's worst loss under first-year coach Brian Daboll.
Purdy outshines Brady in 1st start as 49ers beat Bucs 35-7
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Brock Purdy threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score in his first career start and San Francisco’s vaunted defense spoiled Tom Brady’s Bay Area homecoming with a 35-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Purdy outplaying the NFL’s most accomplished quarterback ever was partially overshadowed an ankle injury to star receiver Deebo Samuel that forced him to be taken off the field in tears on a cart. Brady was intercepted twice and didn’t lead the Bucs to a score until a deflected TD pass to Russell Gage late in the third quarter.
'I want to talk': Griner opened up during her long trip home
WASHINGTON (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner didn’t want quiet time as soon as she boarded a U.S. government plane that would bring her home. “I’ve been in prison for 10 months, listening to the Russians. I want to talk,” Griner said. That's according to Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, who helped secure the basketball star’s release and bring her back to the U.S. last week. Carstens told CNN's “State of the Union” on Sunday that Griner walked throughout the plane, introducing herself to every member of the flight crew, shaking their hands, and “making a personal connection with them."
Mississippi State coach Mike Leach hospitalized in Jackson
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach was hospitalized after “a personal health issue” that happened at his home in Starkville. The 61-year-old Leach was airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, which is about 125 miles away from Mississippi State. The university said in a statement it would have no further comment on Leach’s condition. Defensive coordinator Zach Arnett has been placed in charge of the team as it prepares for an appearance in the ReliaQuest Bowl on Jan. 2 in Tampa, Florida. Leach is in his third season at Mississippi State, with a 19-17 record.
49ers lose star WR Deebo Samuel to left ankle injury
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel was taken off the field on a cart after injuring his left ankle on a running play. Samuel’s leg buckled as he fumbled the ball on a carry late in the second quarter of San Francisco’s game against Tampa Bay. Samuel stayed down for a few minutes as he was tended to by the training staff before trying stand up. Coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game that Samuel didn’t break any bones but likely sustained a high ankle injury that could sideline him for several weeks.
Heisman 2023: Maye? Harrison Jr.? Who challenges Williams?
NEW YORK (AP) — Barring some unusual circumstances, Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams will become the eighth Heisman Trophy winner since 2000 to play college football the following season. None of them has come close to winning another. Maybe Williams is the one to break the trend and become just the second two-time Heisman winner, joining Ohio State’s Archie Griffin (1974-75). Who will challenge Williams in next year's Heisman race?