#SportsReport: Giants Best Bengals; Bills Top Chargers
Graham Gano hit four field goals and the Giants took over first place in the NFC East at 4-7 with a 19-17 win over the Bengals. Leonard Williams clinched it by recovering a fumble with 57 seconds left following a sack of quarterback Brandon Allen. Wayne Gallman Jr. ran for a 2-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal in the first quarter of New York's third straight win. But the Giants finished without quarterback Daniel Jones because of a hamstring injury.
Elsewhere on the Week 12 schedule:
Buffalo blew most of an 18-point lead before Tre'Davious White's fourth-quarter interception set up Tyler Bass' 43-yard field goal, securing the Bills' 27-17 win over the Chargers. Josh Allen threw for a touchdown and ran for another score as the Bills moved to 8-3. Receiver Cole Beasley also completed a touchdown pass as Buffalo kept its one-game lead over Miami atop the AFC East. Buffalo turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions, but its defense limited Los Angeles to Michael Badgley's 27-yard field goal during the key stretch.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was 24 of 39 for 257 yards and two touchdowns as the Dolphins downed the winless Jets, 20-3. Tight ends Mike Gesicki and Adam Shaheen grabbed the scoring passes to help the 7-4 Dolphins win for the sixth time in seven games. Miami allowed just 10 first downs and intercepted Sam Darnold twice. The Dolphins also blanked the Jets following New York's first possession.
The Patriots pulled out a 20-17 victory over the Cardinals on Nick Folk's 50-yard field goal as time expired. James White had a pair of rushing TDs in helping New England improve to 5-6. Cam Newton finished just 9 of 18 for 84 yards and two interceptions, but he drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the game-winning drive as the Pats handed the 6-5 Cardinals their second straight loss. Kyler Murray was held without a touchdown pass for the first time this season, completing 23 of 34 throws for 170 yards and an interception.
Aaron Rodgers was 21 of 29 for 211 yards and four touchdown passes as the Packers beat the slumping Bears, 41-25. The 8-3 Packers scored TDs on each of their first three possessions and grabbed a three-game division edge over Chicago and Minnesota. Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw two of his three touchdown passes to Allen Robinson, but also committed three turnovers that led to Green Bay touchdowns. Trubisky went 26 of 46 for 242 yards in Chicago's fifth consecutive loss.
Patrick Mahomes had an outstanding performance while the Kansas City Chiefs beat Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mahomes threw for 462 yards and three touchdowns as the Chiefs downed the Bucs, 27-24 to improve to 10-1. Tyreek Hill scored on receptions of 75, 44 and 20 yards, backflipping into the end zone on his second TD. He finished with 13 catches for 269 yards, the last an 8-yard catch on third-and-7 to give Mahomes an opportunity to run out the clock. The Chiefs won their sixth straight and clinched their seventh 10-win season in eight years under coach Andy Reid. Brady was 27 of 41 for 345 yards, three touchdowns and a pair of second-half interceptions in falling to 2-2 in four career meetings against Mahomes. The Bucs are two games behind first-place New Orleans in the NFC South.
Taysom Hill's two touchdown runs led the Saints to a 31-3 thumping of the Broncos. The Saints gained 229 yards on the ground, with Latavius Murray rushing 19 times for 124 yards and a pair of second-half scores. Denver was forced to play without its top four quarterbacks due to the pandemic and pressed rookie wide receiver Kendall Hilton into services under center. Hilton completed just one of his nine passes for 13 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions as the Broncos allowed New Orleans to improve to 9-2.
Derrick Henry has kept the Titans atop the AFC South by rushing for 140 yards and three touchdowns in the first half of a 45-26 rout of the second-place Colts. He shredded the depleted Indianapolis defense while the Titans built a 35-14 halftime lead. Henry finished with 178 yards on the ground in leading Tennessee to its eighth win. The Colts were without Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, starting linebacker Bobby Okereke and defensive end Denico Autry.
Baker Mayfield had gone three games without a touchdown pass before connecting with Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper for scores in the Browns' 27-25 victory over the Jaguars. Mayfield completed 19 of 29 passes for 258 yards in his first good-weather game in a month, helping Cleveland improve to 8-3 for the first time since the old Browns did it in 1994. The Jaguars had a chance to tie it following James Robinson's 4-yard run with 2:14 left, but Mike Glennon sailed a pass out of the end zone on the conversion try. Nick Chubb ran for 144 yards and a touchdown as the Browns stayed in second place in the AFC North while handing Jacksonville its 10th consecutive loss.
Robbie Gould drilled a 42-yard field goal as time expired to lift the 49ers past the Rams, 23-20. Nick Mullens passed for 253 yards and led two late scoring drives as San Francisco ended a three-game skid and swept the season series for the second straight year. Rookie defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown as San Francisco forced four turnovers, including two interceptions and a fumble by Jared Goff. Rookie Cam Akers scored the Rams' go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but Los Angeles managed just 34 yards on its final two drives.
Matt Ryan threw a pair of short scoring passes and the Falcons thoroughly dominated Derek Carr in a 43-6 thumping of the Raiders. Carr had a miserable day, fumbling the ball away three times and throwing a pick that linebacker Deion Jones returned 67 yards for a TD. The 6-5 Raiders lost their second in a row with a season-worst five turnovers and 11 penalties for 141 yards. Ryan was 22 of 39 for 185 yards in helping Atlanta move to 4-7.
Chad Beebe caught a 10-yard touchdown pass with 46 seconds left in the Vikings' 28-27 comeback win over the Panthers. Kirk Cousins went 34 for 45 for 307 yards and three scores for the 5-6 Vikings. He hit Justin Jefferson with 5:38 to go and found Beebe to punctuate a seven-play, 75-yard drive that took 65 seconds. Joey Slye missed a 54-yard field goal try with 1 second remaining, dropping Carolina to 4-8.
In NFL news:
The NFL has fined the New Orleans Saints $500,000 and stripped them of a 2021 seventh-round draft pick for violating league COVID-19 protocols. That's according to a person with direct knowledge of the discipline who also tells The Associated Press that the Patriots have been fined $350,000 for similar violations. The person says New Orleans was fined as a repeat offender. The Saints are expected to appeal the discipline, which ESPN first reported Sunday morning.
The Ravens have 20 players on the COVID-19 list, the worst outbreak on any team this season. They now have three defensive linemen and one quarterback available for Tuesday night's rescheduled game at Pittsburgh.
The 49ers might need to find a temporary new home after Santa Clara County banned all games and practices in contact sports for the next three weeks. The rules take effect Monday and will last until Dec 21. The Niners practice and play their home games in the county.
The Jaguars have fired general manager Dave Caldwell after the team's 10th consecutive loss. The move sent a clear message that the small-market franchise is headed in a new direction. Jacksonville reached the playoffs just once in Caldwell's seven-plus seasons at the post.
There's no change among the top eight in The Associated Press football poll, with Alabama remaining the unanimous No. 1 team again. The Crimson Tide are spending a fourth straight week atop the poll and have been ranked for 209 consecutive weeks, tying the third-longest streak in AP poll history. Notre Dame is second, followed by Ohio State, and Texas A&M. Florida, Cincinnati, BYU, Miami and Indiana round out the top 10.
In other college football news:
The Atlantic Coast Conference has shuffled its football schedule, calling off Florida State's game at Duke on Saturday and sending Miami to play the Blue Devils instead. The Hurricanes were scheduled to come back from a two-week pause because of COVID-19 issues at Wake Forest. But that game was postponed because of virus problems within the Demon Deacons' program. This will be the Seminoles' third consecutive game to be called off. FSU's previous two games against Clemson and Virginia were postponed on game-day morning.
Vanderbilt has fired head coach Derek Mason after losing the first eight games of his seventh season. Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch will serve as the interim coach. Mason became the first Vanderbilt coach since the 1920s to beat in-state rival Tennessee three straight seasons. But with the Southeastern Conference playing only league games this season, Vanderbilt is 0-8 and on the verge of the first winless season in school history. Mason leaves as the sixth-winningest coach in program history at 27-55.
In women’s college basketball Sunday, Syracuse topped Stony Brook 50-39, Army took down Iona 67-52, and Boston College overcame UMass in overtime 90-82.
In top-20 men’s basketball:
Richmond has pulled off perhaps its most unexpected victory since knocking off Indiana in the 1988 NCAA men's basketball tournament. Blake Francis and Nathan Cayo each scored 18 points as the Spiders surprised No. 10 Kentucky, 74-64 in Lexington. Richmond trailed by six at halftime and went ahead with a 9-0 burst in the second half. The Spiders later scored seven straight to go up 58-46 with 7:43 remaining. It's the Spiders' first road victory over an Associated Press top-10 team.
Jared Butler scored 20 points and No. 2 Baylor shot 56.3% in routing Washington, 86-52. Adam Flagler added 17 points for the Bears, who played their second straight game without coach Scott Drew due to a positive test for COVID-19.
Christian Bishop provided 13 of his 16 points in the second half to help 11th-rated Creighton come away with a 69-58 victory against North Dakota State. Antwann Jones scored nine of his 11 points in succession as the Bluejays turned an early deficit into a lead.
Marcus Sasser contributed 17 points, Quentin Grimes added 15 and No. 17 Houston never trailed in a 64-53 victory over 14th-ranked Texas Tech. Sasser put the Cougars up 53-33 with a 3 before the Red Raiders went an 11-0 run midway through the second half.
Marcus Bagley furnished 21 points and fellow freshman Josh Christopher added 17 in 18th-ranked Arizona State's 100-77 dumping of Houston Baptist. The Sun Devils dished out 21 assists on 36 field goals and put the game out of reach with a 33-3 first-half run.
Duane Washington Jr. scored 21 points, including a key 3-pointer late in No. 23 Ohio State's 74-64 win against UMass-Lowell. Justice Sueing had 15 points and six rebounds for the Buckeyes, who trailed by five three times early in the second half.
No. 24 Rutgers was a 70-56 winner over Hofstra behind Ron Harper Jr.'s 15 points and nine boards. Jacob Young had 17 points for the Scarlet Knights, who have opened a season with three straight double-digit victories for the first time since 1980-81.
Oakland stayed close with Michigan before the 25th-rated Wolverines finally prevailed, 81-71 in overtime. Isaiah Livers finished with 22 points and Hunter Dickinson chipped in 19 for the winners.
The Boston Celtics have completed a sign-and-trade deal that sends forward Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets. The Celtics also shipped unprotected 2023 and 2024 second-round draft picks to Charlotte for a heavily-protected 2022 second-round selection. The Celtics will only get Charlotte's draft pick if the Hornets finish in the top five in the league next season. Hayward previously agreed to a four-year, $120 million deal to join the Hornets.
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