Buccaneers on the verge of an NFC South title
NO DATE (AP) – Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski teamed up for more story on Sunday.
Brady threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns – including two at his longtime favorite target – and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to clinch the NFC South title with a 30-17 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
The Bucs improved to 9-3 with their third straight win. They have a four-game lead over Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans with five games to go.
In other NFL actions:
–Justin Herbert had three touchdowns and Tevaughn Campbell returned a Joe Mixon fumble for 61 yards, helping the Los Angeles Chargers fend off the Cincinnati Bengals for a 41-22 victory. Herbert finished 26 of 35 for 317 yards. Mike Williams had five receptions for 110 yards and Keenan Allen caught two TD passes from Herbert.
– The Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Baltimore Ravens 20-19 after pushing back a 2-point try from Baltimore in the dying seconds. The Ravens moved closer to one with 12 seconds left and opted for a 2-point conversion instead of forcing overtime with an extra point. Lamar Jackson’s flip to tight end Mark Andrews was incomplete.
–Kyler Murray pitched for two touchdowns and ran for two more on his return from an ankle injury and the Arizona Cardinals beat the struggling Chicago Bears 33-22. The Cardinals recovered Murray and three-time All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins after both players missed three games with injuries. NFC West officials have intercepted Andy Dalton four times.
– The Los Angeles Rams ended 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 had 295 yards while Sony Michel rushed for 121 yards and one score.
– Jonathan Taylor ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns and the Indianapolis Colts took an easy 31-0 victory over the hapless Houston Texans. The Texans returned the ball 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 no longer winless. Jared Goff threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown when time ran out, taking the previously winless Detroit Lions to a 29-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Goff led the Lions on a decisive 75-yard possession with no downtime after Kirk Cousins threw a 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 48-yard field-winning field goal with 37 seconds left to lead Washington to its fourth straight win with a 17-15 victory over the Las Raiders Vegas. Heinicke threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Logan Thomas in the first practice and a 4-yard pass to Antonio Gibson early in the fourth quarter.
–The Seattle Seahawks were able 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 ended a three-game losing streak.
–Tua Tagovailoa (tag-oh-vay-LOH’-ah) threw up a pair of short touchdown passes and the Miami Dolphins extended their winning streak to five games by passing the New York Giants 20-9. Isaiah Ford and Mack Hollins scored for Miami. Rookie Jaelan Phillips had two more sacks to give him five in his last two games.
–Gardner Minshew started in place of injured Jalen Hurts and led the Philadelphia Eagles against the clock on their first seven possessions in a 33-18 victory over the New York Jets. Minshew scored 20 of 25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns.
Mitchell scores 35 points, Jazz pushes back Cavaliers 109-108
CLEVELAND (AP) – Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points, Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR ‘) had 20 rebounds and five blocks and the Utah Jazz beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-108. Bojan (BOY’-ahn) Bogdanovic added 16 points and Rudy Gay had 15 for Utah, who made 20 to 3 points and gave up 15 points in fourth.
The Cavs had a shot at winning in the dying seconds, but Darius Garland missed a 28-footer with 2.9 seconds left, and Jarrett Allen couldn’t drop his tip. Cleveland saw their winning streak stopped at four.
Garland scored 31 points, Allen added 17 points and 11 rebounds and rookie Evan Mobley had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavs.
college football playoffs
Playoffs: Alabama v Cincinnati, Michigan v Georgia
IRVING, TX (AP) – College football playoffs are set and it’s historic: Cincinnati will face Alabama in the Cotton Bowl and Michigan will face Georgia in the Orange Bowl on New Years Eve.
Fourth-seeded Cincinnati become the first team to break the glass ceiling of the CFP and place in the bottom four in college football at a non-Power Five conference. The Bearcats have won the American Athletic Conference and are heading to the playoffs as the only undefeated team in the country. Their reward will be a clash with the reigning national champions.
The Crimson Tide is in the playoffs for the seventh time in its eight-year history.
Michigan is making its first playoff appearance. Georgia is for the second time, and the first since the 2017 season.
BOWL SELECTION DAY
Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma at the Fiesta Bowl
NO DATE (AP) – Notre Dame, fifth overall, will face the Oklahoma State No.9 at the Fiesta Bowl in a clash between two teams that narrowly missed the college football playoffs.
The Fighting Irish finished fifth in the final CFP standings after coach Brian Kelly left for LSU last week. Defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman was promoted to head coach on Friday.
The Cowboys found themselves inches from a possible CFP spot when Dezmon Jackson was stopped just before the end zone pylon in the dying seconds of a 21-16 loss to Baylor in the game. Big 12 Championship.
Among other bowl matches:
– No.6 Baylor and No.8 Mississippi will face off in the Sugar Bowl on New Years Day.
– Utah will face Ohio State at the 108th Rose Bowl. The Utes will make their first appearance in All’s Grandpa on Jan. 1 after their 38-10 victory over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game.
– Pittsburgh’s reward for its first ACC Championship is a date with Michigan State at the Peach Bowl. Pitt defeated Wake Forest 45-21 in the ACC Championship game on Saturday night. The December 30 Peach Bowl will be the Panthers’ first New Years bowl since 2004.
– No.12 BYU attracts the new UAB as the Independence Bowl opponent.
– Mountain West Conference champion Utah State will face the Oregon State of the Pac-12 Conference in the inaugural LA Bowl on December 18 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Chargers.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL SURVEY
Alabama reclaims first place in the polls
NO DATE (AP) – Alabama will head to the playoffs the same way they started the regular season – as the nation’s No.1.
The Crimson Tide reclaimed the top spot in the Associated Press’s college football poll after beating previously top-ranked Georgia. The reigning national champion Alabama, who 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.
Meanwhile, 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 berth to No.4. The Bearcats are the only unbeaten FBS team. in the country.
AP source: Oklahoma targets Clemson’s Venables as coach
NO DATE (AP) – Someone with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that Oklahoma is targeting Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as their new head coach. Venables would replace Lincoln Riley, who left last week to take over at USC.
In other college football news:
– No. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette has promoted offensive coordinator and former Ragin ‘Cajuns quarterback Michael Desormeaux to head coach. The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Billy Napier won his last game as Cajun coach in the Sun Belt Conference championship game against Appalachian State.
WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
Hovland rallies to win from 6 and deny Morikawa # 1
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) – Viktor Hovland is the winner of the Hero World Challenge and even he was amazed. Hovland started six strokes behind and regained some ground with back-to-back Eagles and a surprising collin Morikawa collapse. Hovland shot a 66 with bogeys on his last two holes to win by one stroke over Sam Burns.
RACIN-F1-GP OF SAUDI ARABIA
Hamilton’s victory leads to thrilling F1 season in final showdown
DJEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – Lewis Hamilton won his third consecutive Grand Prix to even score the points with Max Verstappen. This means that the race for the Formula 1 championship will now be decided in the season finale.
TENNIS-DAVIS CUB FINALS
Russia led by Medvedev wins Davis Cup after 15 years of waiting
MADRID (AP) – Russia’s 15-year wait for a Davis Cup title has come to an end after another clutch performance from 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. This is Russia’s third Davis Cup title, and the first since 2006.