The AFC North title belongs to the Baltimore Ravens, and the No. 1 seed in the conference playoffs isn't far behind. Lamar Jackson made his case for the MVP award by completing 15 of 23 passes for 212 yards and five touchdowns as the Ravens coasted to their 10th consecutive win, 42-21 over the Jets.
The 12-2 Ravens took control with touchdowns on their first three possessions before Jackson increased his NFL-leading total of touchdown passes to 33. Jackson also broke Michael Vick's single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Jackson has 1,108 yards after running for another 86 on eight carries. With a victory next week in Cleveland, the Ravens will be assured the top seed in the AFC and home-field advantage leading up to the Super Bowl. Sam Darnold threw for 212 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the 5-9 Jets.
In NFL news, Clinton Portis and Correll Buckhalter are among 10 former NFL players charged with defrauding the league's health care benefit program. Prosecutors allege that the players targeted the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan, which was established as part of a collective bargaining agreement in 2006. It provides tax-free reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical care expenses that were not covered by insurance and that were incurred by former players, their spouses and dependents.
Officials say former football star Michael Vick owes about $70,000 in unpaid taxes on luxury cars that he owned in Virginia, according to the Daily Press of Newport News. Hampton Treasurer Molly Ward told the newspaper that the city has failed to reach Vick or people who have handled his affairs. She said the city has so far filed warrants for $51,900 in unpaid taxes and plans to file more.
Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers have continued their hot streak by handing the Boston Celtics their first home loss of the season. The Sixers' center scored 16 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter and had 13 rebounds to lead a 115-109 victory over the Celtics. Embiid hit five of six free throws in the final 26 seconds and blocked a shot by Daniel Theis in the waning moments to help the 76ers secure their fourth straight win and eighth in nine games. Embiid was dominant after being chided on television by former NBA players Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley earlier this week for being too passive. Tobias Harris had 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to help Philadelphia take over first place in the NBA's Atlantic Division, one game ahead of Boston. Kemba Walker scored 29 points in the Celtics' second consecutive loss.
Luka Doncic recorded his eighth triple-double of the season by furnishing 41 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the Mavericks' 122-111 win against the Pistons in Mexico City. Backup Seth Curry added 18 of his season-high 30 points in the second quarter as Dallas improved to 17-7, its best 24-game start since the 2014-15 season.
Nikola Jokic and Jerami Grant scored 20 points apiece and the Nuggets overcame a career-high 33 by Hassan Whiteside to beat the Trail Blazers, 114-99 and end a three-game losing streak. Former Nugget Carmelo Anthony received a warm reception from the crowd during pregame introductions and furnished 20 points for Portland.
Kevin Love scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, including a tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation to help the Cavaliers knock off the Spurs, 117-109. Love finished with 30 points and 17 rebounds as Cleveland ended an eight-game losing streak.
In NBA news, the league says former Commissioner David Stern had emergency surgery Thursday after a sudden brain hemorrhage. The 77-year-old Stern served as commissioner for exactly 30 years, from February 1, 1984 until February 2014. He took over what was a struggling league and oversaw the NBA's growth as a world-wide sport. He also was an architect for league drug testing and the salary cap. Stern has remained affiliated with the league with the title of commissioner emeritus and continues to be active in his other interests, such as sports technology.
Dion Waiters has been suspended yet again without pay by the Miami Heat, his third banishment of the season. The team cites "his failure to adhere to team policies, violation of team rules and continued insubordination" as the reasons. He will not be allowed back until after Miami's game against Utah on Dec. 23, which amounts to a six-game suspension. Waiters already has lost about $920,000 in salary from two previous suspensions totaling 11 games.
Former NBA player Ronald Glen Davis has avoided jail time after pleading no contest to a charge he attacked a man outside a Los Angeles-area nightclub last year. Davis was accused of throwing the victim into a wall during an altercation in West Hollywood. He is required to complete 320 hours of community labor over the next year as part of a plea agreement. Known by the nickname "Big Baby," Davis played for the Boston Celtics, the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The United States was able to split its five matches during Day 2 of Presidents Cup, but that still leaves the International team with a three-point advantage after Friday's foursomes. The International team leads 6 1/2-3 1/2, its largest advantage since capturing the 1998 event at Royal Melbourne for its only Presidents Cup victory. The Americans take a little momentum into a double session of matches Saturday, winning two matches on the 18th hole and halving another. Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas teamed up to win for the second straight day, defeating Hideki Matsuyama and Byeong Hun An, 1 up. Rickie Fowler and Gary Woodland prevented the International squad from adding another point to their lead by rallying to halve their match with Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im.
Devon Toews and Mat Barzal delivered power-play goals in the first 4:40 of the second period to give the Islanders a 2-0 lead in a 3-1 victory at Florida. Anders Lee added an empty-netter and had an assist to back Thomas Greiss, who turned back 32 shots in helping New York complete a 2-1 road trip.
Mika Zibanejad scored the tying and go-ahead goals in less than five minutes apart in the third period as the Rangers rallied past the Sharks, 6-3, spoiling interim coach Bob Boughner's debut with San Jose. Artemi Panarin completed his first hat trick for New York by adding two insurance goals, including an empty-netter.
The Sabres picked up a 4-3 win over the Predators as Jack Eichel had two goals to extend his NHL-leading point streak to 15 games. Victor Oloffson snapped a 3-3 tie in the third period and Linus Ullmark made 36 saves in Buffalo's third straight win.
The Boston Bruins have followed a season-best, eight-game winning streak with a season-worst, five-game winless skid. Steven Stamkos scored twice and Brayden Point provided the go-ahead goal early in the third period as the Lightning downed the Bruins, 3-2. Stamkos and Point each scored power-play goals before the Tampa Bay captain notched the eventual game-winner with 4:47 left. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 shots and Nikita Kucherov had two assists to help the Bolts win the opener of a four-game homestand. Patrice Bergeron and John Moore scored for the Bruins, who remain five points behind Washington for the best record in the NHL's Eastern Conference.
The Penguins won for the fourth time in five games by downing the Blue Jackets, 1-0 on Bryan Rust's power-play goal 3:02 into overtime. Tristan Jarry needed to make just 17 saves to post the third shutout in his last four games and fifth of his career.
Oskar Sundqvist returned from an injury absence and provided a goal and an assist as the Blues doubled up the Golden Knights, 4-2. Jaden Schwartz and Robert Thomas tallied 39 seconds apart in the second period to help St. Louis stop a three-game slide.
Elias Pettersson scored 40 seconds into overtime for his 100th NHL point to complete the Canucks' 1-0 win over the Hurricanes. Jacob Markstrom made 22 of his 43 saves in the second period of his first shutout of the season and fourth of his career.
Clayton Keller scored twice and a three-goal first period led the Pacific Division-leading Coyotes to a 5-2 verdict over the Blackhawks. Former Blackhawk Vinnie Hinostroza assisted on all three first-period goals to tie his career high for points in a game.
Minnesota has points in 13 of its past 14 games after Eric Staal scored the go-ahead goal with 4:47 remaining in the Wild's 6-5 decision over the Oilers. Ryan Donato scored for the third straight game and rookie goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen handled 28 shots as the Wild dropped Edmonton to 2-5-1 in its last eight contests.
Johnny Gaudreau scored twice while the Flames were netting three goals in the first three minutes of the third period to pull out a 4-2 victory against the Maple Leafs. Gaudreau tied it 19 seconds into the final period and Michael Frolik put Calgary ahead 100 seconds later with his third goal in as many games.
Robby Fabbri scored twice and the Red Wings snapped a 12-game winless streak with a 5-2 victory over the Jets. Both off Fabbri's goals went in off the body of Winnipeg defenseman Neal Pionk.
Jeff Carter and Matt Luff scored to support Jonathan Quick's 36-save performance as the Kings tripped the Ducks, 2-1 to end an 11-game road winless skid. Tyler Toffoli had two assists for the last-place Kings, who had been 0-10-1 away from Staples Center since their last road win Oct. 22 in Winnipeg.
The New York Yankees have retained the services of Brett Gardner. A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press the outfielder has accepted a one-year package that guarantees $12.5 million. The deal includes a $2 million signing bonus and an $8 million salary for next season. Gardner would also receive a $2.5 million buyout if the Yankees decline to pick up his $10 million option for 2021. Gardner earned $7.5 million while hitting .251 with career highs of 28 home runs and 74 RBIs.
Former AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and the Mets have agreed to a $10 million, one-year contract, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations. Porcello turns 31 this month after going 14-12 with a hefty 5.52 ERA for Boston last season.
The Brewers agreed to a one-year contract for $5,125,000 with pitcher Corey Knebel, who is returning from Tommy John surgery. Knebel had 39 saves in 2017, when he was an All-Star, and 16 the following season.
A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press the Tigers and catcher Austin Romine have agreed to a one-year, $4.15 million contract. The 31-year-old has backed up Gary Sánchez for the New York Yankees the past four seasons.
Major League Baseball will start testing for opioids and cocaine, but only players who do not cooperate with their treatment plans will be subject to discipline. Marijuana will be removed from the list of drugs of abuse and will be treated the same as alcohol as part of changes announced to the joint drug agreement between MLB and the players' association.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow has just picked up postseason awards as easily as he picked apart opposing defenses this year. Burrow is The Associated Press college football player of the year after completing 78% of his passes for 4,715 yards, 48 touchdowns and six interceptions for the top-ranked Tigers. Burrow was a runaway winner of the award, receiving 51 of 54 first-place votes and a total of 159 points from AP Top 25 poll voters. Ohio State defensive end Chase Young was second with three first-place votes and 69 points, while Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields was third with 43 points. Burrow also has captured the Walter Camp Award as the top college football player of the year, the Davey O'Brien Award for the nation's best quarterback and the Maxwell Award for the outstanding collegiate player. Young hasn't come away empty-handed. He was given the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation's top defensive player. Young has recorded 16 ½ sacks, 21 tackles for loss and seven forced fumbles in 11 games for OSU this year.
Jonathan Taylor took home the Doak Walker Award for the outstanding college running back.
LSU's Ja'Marr Chase was the recipient of the Fred Biletnikoff Award for the outstanding collegiate receiver.
Purdue's Tim Stratton was voted the top tight end in balloting for the John Mackey Award.
Oregon's Penei Sewell has come away with the Outland Trophy for the outstanding collegiate interior lineman.
The top linebacker was Clemson's Isaiah Simmons, who was given the Butkus Award.
LSU standout Grant Delpit has received the Jim Thorpe Trophy for the nation's best defensive back.
The Lou Groza Award went to Georgia's Rodrigo Blankenship as the nation's No. 1 kicker.
Kentucky's Max Duffy picked up the Ray Guy Award as the top punter.
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