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WAMC Sports Report 10/23/23: Patriots beat Bills 29-25; Belichick is 3rd coach with 300 wins

New England Patriots tight end Mike Gesicki, center, celebrates with teammates after his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/AP
New England Patriots tight end Mike Gesicki, center, celebrates with teammates after his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)


Mac Jones threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Mike Gesicki with 12 seconds left to lift the New England Patriots to a 29-25 win over the Buffalo Bills. The victory was the 300th in the regular season for Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who becomes the third man to reach that milestone after Don Shula and George Halas. Jones completed 25 of 30 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots snapped a three-game skid. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for a score and rookie Chad Ryland added three field goals to help the Patriots beat back a second-half rally by Buffalo.

Tyrod Taylor threw two second-quarter touchdown passes and the Dexter Lawrence-led Giants defense had six sacks and made a last-minute stand to help New York snap a four-game skid with a 14-7 victory over the Washington Commanders. Taylor, starting for the second straight week with Daniel Jones sidelined with a neck injury, hit Darren Waller on a 15-yarder and added a 32-yard pass play to Saquon Barkley as New York scored its first offensive first-half touchdowns of the season. He finished 18 of 29 for 279 yards. 

Jalen Hurts threw for 279 yards, threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a 31-17 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night. The Super Bowl teams from last season, the champion Kansas City Chiefs and Eagles are the only two 6-1 teams in the NFL. Eagles receiver A.J. Brown had 10 catches for 132 yards. Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa was 23 of 32 for 216 yards in his first head-to-head matchup against Hurts in the NFL. Hurts and Tagovailoa were teammates at Alabama under coach Nick Saban.

Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris rushed for touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and the Pittsburgh Steelers awoke from a quiet offensive day just in time for a 24-17 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Kenny Pickett passed for 230 yards and ran for another score for the Steelers, who had just 110 yards in the first three quarters at SoFi Stadium. Matthew Stafford passed for 231 yards and hit Tutu Atwell for a 31-yard touchdown right before halftime for Los Angeles. Brett Maher missed two long field goal attempts and an extra point for the Rams.

Patrick Mahomes threw for 424 yards and four touchdowns, Travis Kelce caught 12 passes for 179 yards and a score, and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Los Angeles Chargers 31-17. The Chiefs won their sixth straight to take a three-game lead in the loss column in the AFC West. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Rashee Rice and Isiah Pacheco also had touchdown catches for Kansas City. Justin Herbert threw for 259 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for Los Angeles, but he also was under constant pressure from the league’s No. 2 scoring defense. The Chargers' Joshua Kelley ran for 75 yards and a score.

In Monday Night Football, San Francisco is at Minnesota at 8:15 tonight.      


Nathan Eovaldi remained perfect this postseason, and Mitch Garver and Jonah Heim homered early before a ninth-inning grand slam by Adolis García helped the Texas Rangers avoid elimination with a 9-2 win over the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. The road team has won every game in this series going into the decisive Game 7 on Monday night in Houston. Cristian Javier is scheduled to pitch for the Astros against three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer. Javier beat Scherzer in Game 3 at Texas. Eovaldi, who also won Game 2, yielded two runs in 6 1/3 innings to improve to 4-0 with a 2.42 ERA in the playoffs this year.

The Philadelphia Phillies will try to clinch their second straight trip to the World Series when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at 5:07 tonight in Philadelphia. The Phillies send Aaron Nola to the mound. Nola is 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA this postseason. Merrill Kelly starts for the Diamondbacks in a matchup of right-handers. Kelly lost Game 2 of the NLCS in Philadelphia. The Phillies lost last year's World Series to Houston in six games.

Max Scherzer is set to pitch another Game 7 in Houston with visiting teams undefeated in the series. This time, Mad Max will be trying to win a pennant for the Texas Rangers. Scherzer will start the deciding game of the AL Championship Series on Monday night. It comes four years after the three-time Cy Young Award winner started Game 7 of the World Series for Washington as the Nationals beat the Astros at Minute Maid Park in the only best-of-seven postseason series that went the distance without the home team winning a single game. Cristian Javier starts for defending World Series champion Houston. Javier beat Scherzer and the Rangers in Game 3 at Texas.


Matthew Poitras scored his first two NHL goals in the third period and the Boston Bruins beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 for their season-opening fifth straight win. The 19-year-old Poitras, playing in his fifth career game, scored at 6:29 of the third to erase the Ducks' lead and then got the go-ahead goal nearly 4 minutes later when he stuffed home the rebound of Jake DeBrusk's shot. Brad Marchand added an empty-net goal and Linus Ullmark made 32 saves as the Bruins remained one of three undefeated teams. Mason McTavish scored the lone goal for the Ducks


Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller said he has suspended an employee involved in allowing Adolf Hitler’s image to be shown on videoboards before playing No. 2 Michigan. The employee was not named Sunday will be paid pending an investigation that will help to determine potential action in the future. The creator and producer of The Quiz Channel on YouTube that includes Hitler’s image as part of a quiz said the school didn’t ask for permission to use his content or pay him for it and defended his decision to include the question on his platform.

Georgia extended its streak of No. 1 rankings in The Associated Press college football poll to 19 straight weeks, the third best in the history of the rankings. No. 9 Alabama moved back into the top 10 after being out for five weeks. The Bulldogs received 38 of 63 first-place votes, their second-lowest total of the season, after an off week but still bested No. 2 Michigan. Georgia’s No. 1 streak, which started last October, is behind only Miami’s streak of 21 weeks from 2001-02 and Southern California’s 33 in a row from 2003-05. North Carolina dropped seven spots to No. 17 after losing to unranked Virginia.

No. 9 Alabama hasn’t been making anything look easy this season. The Crimson Tide eked out a win over Arkansas, sputtered at South Florida, survived the Mississippi game and needed a huge second-half surge to defeat Tennessee. All that’s mostly OK with coach Nick Saban. Or at least it was in the afterglow of a 34-20 victory over the Volunteers on Saturday. The Tide's sixth straight win vaulted Saban's team back into the top 10. Alabama remains the only SEC West team without a league loss.


The varsity and junior varsity football teams in Lahaina played their first home games since the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century destroyed the town. It was homecoming, and for many of the fans, coaches and the players themselves, being back at the stadium was the closest thing to feeling at home in the months since the Aug. 8 fire. Classes resumed last week at Lahainaluna High and at the two other public schools that survived the Aug. 8 fire, and on Saturday night, both Lahainaluna’s varsity and junior varsity football teams won their games. The return of football helped give the community a glimmer of hope amid the tragedy.

© 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A 2022 Siena College graduate, Alexander began his journalism career as a sports writer for Siena College's student paper The Promethean, and as a host for Siena's school radio station, WVCR-FM "The Saint." A Cubs fan, Alexander hosts the morning Sports Report in addition to producing Morning Edition. You can hear the sports reports over-the-air at 6:19 and 7:19 AM, and online on WAMC.org. He also speaks Spanish as a second language. To reach him, email ababbie@wamc.org, or call (518)-465-5233 x 190. You can also find him on Twitter/X: @ABabbieWAMC.