BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
|SATURDAY’ S GAMES|
|Lafayette Jeff||81||Indianapolis Shortridge||54|
|Wabash Valley Tournament|
|Northview||67||Terre Haute South||62|
|Edgewood||53||Terre Haute North||51|
|West Vigo||60||South Vermillion||56|
|Parke Heritage||60||North Central (Farmersburg)||47|
GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
|SATURDAY’ S GAMES|
|Ben Davis||57||Indianapolis Cathedral||50|
|Indianapolis Scecina||52||Rising Sun||45|
Tampa Bay 47 Detroit 7
San Francisco 20 Arizona 12
Miami 26 Las Vegas 25
Georgia State 39 Western Kentucky 21
#19 Louisiana 31 Texas San Antonio 24
Liberty 37 #12 Coastal Carolina 34
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#1 Gonzaga 98 #16 Virginia 75
#6 Houston 63 Central Florida 54
#18 Illinois 69 Indiana 60
Northwestern 71 #23 Ohio State 70
Louisville 62 Kentucky 59
Cleveland State 87 Youngstown State 69
Wright State 67 Green Bay 53
Norfork State 68 George Mason 65
Robert Morris 102 Fort Wayne 88
Oakland 77 Detroit 75 OT
Atlanta 122 Memphis 112…. Desmond Bane 6 points.
Cleveland 148 Detroit 119 2OT
Orlando 130 Washington 120
Oklahoma City 109 Charlotte 107
Philadelphia 109 New York 89
Indiana 125 Chicago 106
San Antonio 119 Toronto 114
Minnesota 116 Utah 111
Portland 128 Houston 126 OT
Sacramento 106 Phoenix 103
COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
|Cheez-It Bowl||Miami||Oklahoma State||Dec. 29|
|Alamo Bowl||Texas||Colorado||Dec. 29|
|Duke’s Mayo Bowl||Wake Forest||Wisconsin||Dec. 30|
|Music City Bowl||Missouri||Iowa||Dec. 30|
|Cotton Bowl||Florida||Oklahoma||Dec. 30|
|Armed Forces Bowl||Mississippi State||Tulsa||Dec. 31|
|Liberty Bowl||West Virginia||Tennessee||Dec. 31|
|Arizona Bowl||San Jose State||Ball State||Dec. 31|
|Texas Bowl||Arkansas||TCU||Dec. 31|
|Peach Bowl||Cincinnati||Georgia||Jan. 1|
|Citrus Bowl||Northwestern||Auburn||Jan. 1|
|Rose Bowl (CFP semi)||Alabama||Notre Dame||Jan. 1|
|Sugar Bowl (CFP semi)||Clemson||Ohio State||Jan. 1|
|Gator Bowl||NC State||Kentucky||Jan. 2|
|Outback Bowl||Indiana||Ole Miss||Jan. 2|
|Fiesta Bowl||Iowa State||Oregon||Jan. 2|
|Orange Bowl||Texas A&M||North Carolina||Jan. 2|
Four bowl games were canceled late on Sunday: the Military Bowl, Guaranteed Rate Bowl, Independence Bowl, and Birmingham Bowl.
INDIANA DROPS BIG 10 GAME AT ILLINOIS
(IU PRESS RELEASE)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – For sophomore guard Armaan Franklin, the career highs keep coming.
Unfortunately for Indiana, it did not result in a victory as the Hoosiers (5-4) dropped a 69-60 Big Ten road game at No. 18 Illinois (7-3), but coach Archie Miller saw a potential game changer:
After having at least 16 turnovers in the last six games, IU had just eight.
“We played without turning it over, which was a huge step for us,” Miller said. “We showed we could compete the right way, which is a good thing.”
Another good thing was Franklin, who continues to play at an elite level. He scored 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including 5-for-6 from three-point range. It’s three more points than he’d ever scored before.
Forward Trayce Jackson-Davis added 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Guard Aljami Durham, who had struggled recently, was big in the second half and finished with nine points, three rebounds, three assists and no turnovers.
It wasn’t enough to overcome Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu’s 30 points and 7-foot center Kofi Cockburn’s 15 points and 15 rebounds.
“Their two studs really produced,” Miller said. “Ayo was the difference in the last 12 minutes. He’s a great player.”
Shooting 39.7 percent wasn’t good enough against that two-man onslaught.
“They challenged a lot of shots,” Franklin said, “but we have to make them.”
Added Durham: “We got great looks. They didn’t go down. That’s on us. We have to make a few of those. That’s the difference.”
Illinois’ defense had a big impact on Jackson-Davis, who was just 3-for-13 from the field.
“They are difficult to play against,” Miller said “Those finishes aren’t easy. Trayce won’t go 3-for-13 every game.
“We need a couple other guys to play with more confidence to help the cause.”
Miller wasn’t kidding about playing more guys.
Freshman guard Trey Galloway started over Rob Phinisee. Freshmen guards Anthony Leal and Khristian Lander got in within the first nine minutes. Freshman Jordan Geronimo also played.
Leal, Lander and Geronimo combined to play 15 minutes and total three points, all from Geronimo’s 3-pointer. Galloway played 32 minutes and had four points, four rebounds and two assists.
Still, down the stretch, IU was done in by a 14-0 run, just as it had been staggered by Northwestern’s late 12-0 run in a Wednesday night loss.
“This is a game of makes and misses,” Miller said. “They made theirs. We didn’t make ours, but I’m proud of our effort.”
Offense came grudgingly at the start.
The teams opened a combined 0-for-12 from the field.
Forward Race Thompson set up IU’s first basket — a Franklin layup — by getting a steal, driving the court and passing it off to Franklin. He scored on IU’s next possession. He also blocked a Cockburn shot.
Illinois needed five and a half minutes to make its first basket. The Hoosiers took advantage for a 9-3 lead before the Illini rallied for a tie.
A pair of Franklin three-pointers gave IU some separation. Jackson-Davis finally scored after an 0-for-6 start.
IU led 23-18 before an 8-0 run gave Illinois a three-point lead with three minutes left.
A pair of Jackson-Davis free throws and a Thompson hook shot pushed IU ahead 27-26 before an Illini three-pointer gave them a 29-27 halftime lead.
A technical foul on the Indiana bench resulted in two Illinois free throws and a 33-30 Illinois lead two minutes into the second half.
Durham and Phinisee, who also had struggled recently, began making offensive impact. IU pushed ahead 40-37.
Jackson-Davis went to the bench after picking up his third foul, but IU didn’t buckle. Geronimo’s second three-pointer of the season gave IU a 49-44 lead. Illinois responded with a 14-0 run to go ahead 58-49 before Jackson-Davis ended it with a three-point play as the clock ticked under six minutes.
Franklin followed with a 3-pointer. Durham scored on a jumper. The Hoosiers closed to 60-57, but never got any closer.
Next up is Wednesday’s home game against Penn State.
“We got to get those 50-50 balls,” Durham said. “That will change the game for us.”
KENTUCKY OFF TO WORSE START IN 109 YEARS
Kentucky hit a new program and conference low after a heartbreaking 62-59 loss to rival Louisville on Saturday.
The Wildcats’ latest defeat dropped the school to 1-6 for the first time since 1911. It also marked their first six-game skid since the 1988-89 campaign, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Ole Miss’ 1989-90 squad was the last SEC school to lose six of its first seven contests, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
“Losing stinks, it just stinks,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said postgame, according to Forbes’ Adam Zagoria. “We gotta right the ship at some point.”
Despite another demoralizing loss, Calipari believes his team can turn things around in conference play.
“I don’t believe it’s over. We haven’t played a league game yet,” Calipari said, according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello. “Let’s go do what we do … I’m not budging, I’m not cracking.”
Kentucky entered the contest as one of the nation’s worst 3-point shooting teams and made just 5-of-17 attempts from deep in Saturday’s narrow loss.
Many of Kentucky’s star players struggled against Louisville. Leading scorer B.J. Boston shot 3-of-11 from the field while big man Olivier Sarr followed up a dismal two-point performance with just a single point against the Cardinals.
The Wildcats are back in action next Saturday against Mississippi State.
NORTHWESTERN UPSETS #23 OHIO STATE
Miller Kopp scored 23 points, Boo Buie had 14 and Northwestern beat No. 23 Ohio State 71-70 on Saturday.
Pete Nance added 10 points for the Wildcats (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten), who won their fourth straight.
E.J. Liddell led Ohio State (7-2, 1-2) with 15 points. Kyle Young added 14 points and Seth Towns had 11 for the Buckeyes, who had won two straight and four of five.
Northwestern is 3-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since the 1967-68 season. The Wildcats were 3-17 in the league last season.
The Buckeyes opened the second half on a 13-7 run before Northwestern rallied with a 7-1 run. Ohio State led by seven after halftime, but Northwestern came back with an 11-2 run.
Kopp hit a jumper to pull Northwestern within 66-65 before Chase Audige’s 3 put the Wildcats ahead with 1:48 left. Young’s jumper tied it before Buie’s 3 gave Northwestern a 71-68 lead with 1:04 remaining. Young hit two free throws to bring Ohio State within one with 47 seconds left.
Duane Washington Jr. missed a layup for Ohio State with five seconds left. Buie missed a free throw before Liddell missed a long 3 before the final buzzer.
Northwestern shot 48% from the field to the Buckeyes’ 44%. Ohio State outrebounded the Wildcats 40-26 but made four 3s to Northwestern’s six.
Ohio State scored the first eight points of the game before Northwestern responded with 14-2 run. Kopp scored 12 of Northwestern’s first 14 points and had 14 at halftime. Nance hit two free throws with 0.4 seconds left before halftime to tie it 34-34.
DOLPHINS DOWN RAIDERS BEHIND FITZPATRICK
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a 41-yard pass to Mack Hollins while being dragged down by the facemask and the Miami Dolphins moved one step closer to a playoff berth when Jason Sanders’ 44-yard field goal with 1 second remaining gave them a 26-25 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday night.
The Raiders (7-8) chose to run down the clock for a go-ahead field goal instead of trying for a touchdown with Josh Jacobs going down on purpose at the 1-yard line and Derek Carr taking a knee to set up Daniel Carlson’s 22-yard field goal with 19 seconds left.
But the Dolphins had some late-game magic with Fitzpatrick launching the deep pass to Hollins while being dragged down by Arden Key. The penalty moved the ball down to the Las Vegas 26, setting up Sanders’ winning kick.
The Dolphins (10-5) moved a half-game ahead of Baltimore in the AFC playoff race and can clinch a wild-card berth with a win next week at Buffalo.
The Raiders (7-8) were eliminated with their fifth loss in six games and will be out of the postseason for the 17th time in 18 seasons.
The back-and-forth final few minutes from Fitzpatrick and Carr made up for a game that lacked offensive fireworks for most of the night. After the Dolphins tied the game at 16 with 4:01 to play, the Raiders took little time to answer.
A holding penalty on first down put them in a hole, but Carr got them right out of it when he scrambled away from pressure despite an injured groin and launched a deep pass to Nelson Agholor, who outjumped Byron Jones for the catch.
Agholor then juked safety Bobby McCain and raced to the end zone for the 85-yard score that put the Raiders up 22-16 after Carlson missed the extra point.
That looked as if it could be costly when Fitzpatrick answered with a short pass to Myles Gaskin that turned unto a huge gain. Gaskin broke a tackle from Raekwon McMillan and then got sprung from some downfield blocks on the way to a 59-yard touchdown. Jason Sanders’ extra point gave the Dolphins the 23-22 lead.
That proved short-lived when Jones was called for the penalty on a deep throw to Agholor that gave the Raiders the ball at the 22. Las Vegas then ran out most of the clock but not enough.
ARIZONA’S PLAYOFF CHANCES TAKE A HIT WITH LOSS
Third-string quarterback C.J. Beathard threw three touchdown passes, Jeff Wilson ran for 183 yards, and the San Francisco 49ers dealt a brutal blow to the Arizona Cardinals’ playoff hopes by defeating them 20-12 on Saturday.
Beathard was making his first start since 2018 and was 1-9 as a starting quarterback before he was pressed into action against the Cardinals because of injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo and Nick Mullens.
The 27-year-old wasn’t amazing but avoided big mistakes. He completed 13 of 22 passes for 182 yards, Wilson earned hard yards on the ground and the 49ers came up with two big defensive stops late in the fourth quarter, including Ahkello Witherspoon’s interception of Kyler Murray’s pass in the end zone.
The Cardinals (8-7) no longer control their own destiny in the playoff race. If the Chicago Bears win their final two games, they will reach the playoffs because of a tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
Arizona started the day positioned as the No. 7 and final team in the NFC playoff field, but the game was a struggle from the outset. The 49ers (6-9) pulled ahead 14-6 in the third quarter on Beathard’s 9-yard touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
Arizona scored its first and only touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Kenyan Drake jumped on top of a pile and stretched his arm just far enough for a 1-yard touchdown. Murray couldn’t connect with DeAndre Hopkins on the 2-point conversion and the 49ers still led 14-12.
The Cardinals’ next offensive drive stalled at their 35 when they went for it on fourth-and-2. Another Murray-to-Hopkins attempt couldn’t connect and the 49ers took over on downs.
A couple of plays later, Juszczyk caught his second touchdown of the day, this one on a 1-yard toss from Beathard with 8:36 left in the fourth.
Following the touchdown, San Francisco’s Robbie Gould missed a crucial extra point that kept it a one-possession game at 20-12. He also missed a 37-yard field-goal attempt with 1:05 left. But the 49ers overcame those mistakes and held on for the win.
The 49ers were already eliminated from the playoff race one year after playing in the Super Bowl, but they appeared plenty motivated. They had several big hits on defense and pushed the pile on several Wilson runs.
The Cardinals had a promising opening drive that bogged down in the red zone and ended up settling for a 3-0 lead after a 27-yard field goal by Mike Nugent. It was a common theme for Arizona, which moved the ball at times, but couldn’t hit on enough big plays downfield.
San Francisco took a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter on a 21-yard pass from Beathard to Wilson and the 49ers took a 7-6 advantage into halftime.
Murray completed 31 of 50 passes for 247 yards, no touchdowns and the late interception. Hopkins, the NFL’s leading receiver coming into the game, had eight catches for 48 yards.
BUCS MAKE PLAYOFFS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2007
Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes in the only half he needed to play and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went on to rout the Detroit Lions 47-7 Saturday, sealing a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
The Bucs (10-5) set a franchise record with 588 yards and snapped the NFL’s second-longest postseason drought behind Cleveland’s 18-year run that can end Sunday.
Tampa Bay rested Brady ahead 34-0, its largest halftime lead in franchise history. Blaine Gabbert threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski on his first snap, one play after Detroit running back D’Andre Swift fumbled, and a 22-yard pass to Mike Evans later in the third quarter.
Brady was 22 of 27 for 348 yards with a mix of passes deep down the field and darts in traffic. The six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback threw touchdown passes to Gronkowski, Evans, Chris Godwin, who made a one-handed catch, and Antonio Brown from 33, 27, 7 and 12 yards.
The 43-year-old Brady, who split time with Drew Henson in college at Michigan, started his 298th game to tie Brett Favre’s record for an NFL quarterback and played in his 300th game.
The Lions (5-10) started the game without interim coach Darrell Bevell along with assistants on the defensive staff because of COVID-19 contact tracing.
And they played much of the game without Matthew Stafford. He was questionable to play with hip and thumb injuries and then hurt his right ankle on the opening drive and did not return.
Chase Daniel struggled to move the ball much for the Lions, who avoided getting shut out for the second time this season in the third quarter when Jamal Agnew returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown. Daniel was replaced in the fourth quarter by David Blough, an undrafted rookie last year.
NFL PREVIEW: NEW YORK GIANTS (5-9) AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-5)
WEEK 16 // SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // M&T BANK STADIUM // REFEREE: JOHN HUSSEY
LEADER: Ravens lead all-time series, 3-2
STREAKS: Giants have won 2 of past 3
LAST GAME: 10/16/16: Ravens 23 at Giants 27
LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/23/12: Ravens 33, Giants 14
QB DANIEL JONES has 23 TDs (21 pass, 2 rush) vs. 6 INTs for 93.4 rating in 12 career road starts. QB COLT MCCOY passed for 221 yards & had 82.9 rating in Week 15. • RB WAYNE GALLMAN has 70+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4. Has rush TD in 3 of his past 4 on road. Aims for his 4th in row on road with 75+ scrimmage yards. Has career highs in rushing yards (590) & rush TDs (6) this season. • WR DARIUS SLAYTON had 4 receptions for team-high 74 rec. yards last week. Has 70+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. AFC. WR STERLING SHEPARD had 51 rec. yards in Week 15. Has 6+ receptions in 3 of his past 4 on road. Has 4+ receptions in 6 of his 7 career games vs. AFC North. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC North with 50+ rec. yards. WR GOLDEN TATE has 4+ receptions in 6 of his past 7 on road. TE EVAN ENGRAM had 46 rec. yards last week. Aims for his 5th in row on road with 4+ receptions. Is 1 of 4 NFC TEs (T.J. HOCKENSON, DALTON SCHULTZ & LOGAN THOMAS) with 50+ catches (54) & 500+ rec. yards (572) this season. • LB BLAKE MARTINEZ led team with 10 tackles & had 2 TFL last week. Ranks tied-4th in NFL with 128 tackles, his 4thconsecutive 100+ tackle season. DB LOGAN RYAN has FF in 2 of his past 3 on road. Had 13 tackles in his last game vs. Bal. (1/11/20 w/ Ten. – AFC-D). Has 7 PD, 2 INTs & FF in 6 career games vs. Bal, incl. postseason. DL LEONARD WILLIAMS has 4.5 sacks in his past 3 on road & aims for his 4th in row on road with sack. Had sack in his only career game vs. Bal. (10/23/16 w/ NYJ). CB JAMES BRADBERRY aims for his 5th in row with PD.
QB LAMAR JACKSON completed 17 of 22 passes (77.3 pct.) for 243 yards & 3 TDs vs INT for 133.1 rating & rushed for TD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 100+ rating & rush TD. Aims for 4th in row vs. NFC East with rush TD. Has 8 TDs (5 pass, 3 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 99.9 rating in 3 career games vs. NFC East. Leads QBs with 828 rush yards & joins MICHAEL VICK as only QBs in NFL history with 800+ riush yards in 2 seasons. • RB J.K. DOBBINS (rookie) rushed for 64 yards & TD last week. Aims for 5th in row with 50+ rush yards & rush TD. Aims for 4th in row at home with 70+ scrimmage yards. Is 1 of 3 rookies with 550+ rush yards (568) & 5+ rush TDs (6). RB GUS EDWARDS had 78 scrimmage yards (42 rush, 36 rec.) last week. Aims for 4th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. • TE MARK ANDREWS had 5 catches for 66 yards & TD in Week 15. Aims for 5th in row with 5+ catches & 60+ rec. yards. Aims for 3rd in row at home with rec. TD. Has 17 rec. TDs since 2019, most among TEs. WR MARQUISE BROWN led team with 6 catches for 98 yards last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 3 of past 4. WR DEZ BRYANT had 1st TD catch of season last week. Had 73 rec. yards & TD catch in his last game vs. NYG (12/10/17 with Dal.). • DE YANNICK NGAKOUE had 2 sacks & FF in Week 15. Has TFL in 3 of his past 4 vs. NFC East. Has sack & FF in 2 of his past 3 at home. DE DEREK WOLFE had 1st sack of season last week. Has TFL in 4 of past 5. LB MATTHEW JUDON had sack last week & has sack in 3 of past 4. Aims for 3rd in row at home with sack. Rookie LB PATRICK QUEEN had 3 TFL & sack in Week 15.
NFL PREVIEW: CINCINNATI BENGALS (3-10-1) AT HOUSTON TEXANS (4-10)
WEEK 16 // SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // NRG STADIUM // REFEREE: BRAD ROGERS
LEADER: Texans lead all-time series, 6-4
STREAKS: Texans have won past 3
LAST GAME: 9/14/17: Texans 13 at Bengals 9
LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/24/16: Texans 12, Bengals 10
QB RYAN FINLEY passed for 89 yards with TD vs. 0 INTs for career-high 101.1 rating & rushed for 47 yards & TD in 1stcareer win as starter last week. • RB GIOVANI BERNARD had season-high 97 scrimmage yards (83 rush, 14 rec.) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) last week, his 2nd game with 2 TDs this season. Has 65+ scrimmage yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. Hou. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC South with rush TD. Has 633 scrimmage yards this season (275 rec., 261 rush) & is 1 of 2 RBs (FRANK GORE) with 400+ scrimmage yards in each of past 8 seasons. • WR TYLER BOYD aims for his 5th in row vs. AFC South with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. Aims for 3rd in row on road with 70+ rec. yards. WR A.J. GREEN aims for 3rd in row with 40 rec. yards. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Hou. with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. Had 12 catches for 121 yards in his last game at Hou (11/23/14). Aims for his 4th in row on road vs. AFC South with 90+ rec. yards. Rookie WR TEE HIGGINS aims for his 4th in row vs. AFC South with 75+ rec. yards. Has 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 on road. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 61 catches & 809 rec. yards. • S JESSIE BATES had 5 tackles & PD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with PD. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC South with INT. S VONN BELL had 7 tackles, TFL & FF in Week 15. Aims for 6th in row with 5+ tackles. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC South with PD. CB MACKENSIE ALEXANDER had 6 tackles, 2 PD & 1st INT of season last week. LB JOSH BYNES had season-high 9 tackles & had FR last week. DE CARL LAWSON had sack & FF in Week 15.
QB DESHAUN WATSON set season highs in completions (33), comp. pct. (80.5) & pass yards (373) & had 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 120.8 rating last week, his 10th game with 100+ rating this season, tied 2nd-most in NFL. Passed for 125 yards & rushed for 67 yards & TD in last meeting. Has 300+ pass yards, 2+ TD passes & 105+ rating in 4 of past 5 at home. • RB DAVID JOHNSON set career highs in catches (11) & rec. yards (106) last week. Had 156 scrimmage yards (91 rush, 65 rec.) in his last game vs. Cin. (10/6/19 with Az.). Aims for his 3rd in row at home with TD. RB DUKE JOHNSON has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3. Had 6 catches for 54 yards in his last game vs. Cin. (12/23/18 with Cle.). • WR BRANDIN COOKS aims for 4th in row with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. Has 5+ catches in 2 of his past 3 vs. AFC North. Aims for his 5th in row at home with 60+ rec. yards. WR KEKE COUTEE had 5 catches for 53 yards & TD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with rec. TD. Has 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. WR CHAD HANSEN had 1st-career TD catch in Week 15. Aims for 4th in row with 50+ rec. yards. TE JORDAN AKINS had 5 catches for 50 yards last week. • DE J.J. WATT had TFL last week. Has 7 TFL in his past 3 at home. Has TFL in 3 of 4 career games vs. Cin. DE CHARLES OMENIHU had sack in Week 15. Aims for 3rd in row vs. AFC North with sack. LB ZACH CUNNINGHAM had 10 tackles & TFL last week. Aims for 7th in row with 8+ tackles & 3rd in row with TFL. Leads NFL with 136 tackles. LB TYRELL ADAMS led team with 11 tackles & had TFL last week. Has 11+ tackles in 3 of past 4.
NFL PREVIEW: CHICAGO BEARS (7-7) AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-13)
WEEK 16 // SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // TIAA BANK FIELD // REFEREE: JEROME BOGER
LEADER: Bears lead all-time series, 4-3
STREAKS: Bears have won 2 of past 3
LAST GAME: 10/16/16: Jaguars 17 at Bears 16
LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/7/12: Bears 41, Jaguars 3
QB MITCHELL TRUBISKY passed for 202 yards & TD vs. INT for 97.7 rating & had 34 rush yards last week. Aims for his 4th start in row with 95+ rating. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY had career-high 162 scrimmage yards (career-high 146 rush, 16 rec.) & 2 rush TDs in Week 15, his 3rdcareer game with 2+ rush TDs. Aims for his 5th in row with 110+ scrimmage yards & TD. Has career-highs in scrimmage yards (1,255) & total TDs (8) this season, his 2nd-consecutive season with 1,000+ scrimmage yards. • WR ALLEN ROBINSON had 4 receptions for team-high 83 yards last week. Aims for his 5th in row on road with 70+ rec. yards. Leads team with 90 receptions & 1,110 rec. yards & is 1 of 3 (DEANDRE HOPKINS & TRAVIS KELCE) with 90+ catches & 1,100+ rec. yards in each of past 2 seasons. Has 202 receptions for 2,848 yards & 22 TDs in 4 seasons (2014-17) with Jax. Rookie WR DARNELL MOONEY had 4th rec. TD of season last week & aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. • LB KHALIL MACK is 1 of 2 (AARON DONALD) with 8+ sacks in each of past 6 seasons. Had sack & 2 TFL in only career game vs. Jax. (10/23/16 w/ Raiders). Since 2014, ties-1st in NFL with 23 FFs. LB ROQUAN SMITH leads NFC with career-high 17 TFL. Aims for his 20th in row on road with 5+ tackles. Ranks tied-4th in NFL with career-high 128 tackles this season. LB DANNY TREVATHAN led team with 11 tackles last week. Has 4th-career 100+ tackle (100) season in 2020. LB ROBERT QUINN had sack & FF last week. Is only player with 2+ FFs in each of past 8 seasons. DT AKIEM HICKS had FR in last meeting.
QB GARDNER MINSHEW completed 22 of 29 passes (75.9 pct.) for 226 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 120.8 rating last week. Aims for his 3rd start in row with 2+ TD passes & 95+ rating. Has 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating in 4 of his past 5 starts. • RB JAMES ROBINSON (rookie) had TD catch last week, his 10th TD of season (7 rush, 3 rec.), tied with PHILLIP LINDSAY (10 in 2018) & DOMINIC RHODES (10 in 2001) for most by undrafted rookie in common-draft era. Has TD in 3 of past 4. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NFC with 100+ scrimmage yards. Has 707 scrimmage yards (101 per game) & 5 TDs (4 rush, 1 rec.) in 7 home games this season. Leads rookies with 1,414 scrimmage yards, most by undrafted rookie in common-draft era. • WR DJ CHARK had team-high 53 rec. yards last week. Has 4+ catches in 3 of his past 4 at home. Rookie LAVISKA SHENAULT aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches. Has 47 catches this season, 3rd-most among AFC rookie WRs. WR KEELAN COLE has 5+ catches in 2 of 3 career games vs. NFC North. WR CHRIS CONLEY had 2nd TD catch of season in Week 15. TE TYLER EIFERT had season-high 51 rec. yards last week. Had 5 catches for 47 yards in only career game vs. Chi. (9/8/13 with Cin.). • LB MYLES JACK had 10 tackles & PD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 10+ tackles. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NFC North with FR. Aims for his 6th in row at home with TFL. LB JOE SCHOBERT led team with 12 tackles & had TFL in Week 15. Aims for 4th in row with TFL. S JOSH JONES had 1st INT of season last week DE DAWUANE SMOOT had sack & FF in Week 15. Aims for 3rd in row with FF. Has sack in 3 of past 4.
NFL PREVIEW: ATLANTA FALCONS (4-10) AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (13-1)
WEEK 16 // SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // ARROWHEAD STADIUM // REFEREE: CRAIG WROLSTAD
LEADER: Chiefs lead all-time series, 6-3
STREAKS: Falcons have won 2 of past 3
LAST GAME: 12/4/16: Chiefs 29 at Falcons 28
LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/9/12: Falcons 40, Chiefs 24
QB MATT RYAN passed for 356 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 110.6 rating last week. Has 4th-most games with 300+ pass yards (68) since entering NFL in 2008. Ranks 3rd in NFL with 4,016 pass yards & became 5th QB in NFL history with 10 seasons of 4,000+ pass yards. Passed for 299 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 136.4 rating & had rush TD in last road meeting. Has 55,202 career pass yards, most by QB in 1st 13 seasons in NFL history. • RB TODD GURLEY had 94 scrimmage yards (55 rush, 39 rec.) in only career game vs. KC (11/19/18 with LAR). Since 2015, leads NFL in total TDs (79) & ranks 2nd in scrimmage yards (8,251). • WR JULIO JONES had 108 rec. yards & 2 TDs in last road meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. KC with 100+ rec. yards. WR CALVIN RIDLEY set career highs in receptions (10) & rec. yards (163) & had TD catch in Week 15. Is 1 of 2 WRs (DEANDRE HOPKINS) with 7 games of 100+ rec. yards this season. Aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch & 4th in row with 100+ rec. yards. Ranks 6th in NFL with career-high 1,192 rec. yards. WR RUSSELL GAGE had 5 receptions for 68 yards & rec. TD last week. Has career highs in receptions (59), rec. yards (672) & TD catches (3) this season. TE HAYDEN HURST had 4th rec. TD of season last week. • LB DEION JONES led team with 10 tackles & had sack last week. Is 1 of 3 LBs (KYLE VAN NOY & T.J. WATT) with 4+ sacks (4.5) & 6+ PD (6) this season. Needs 6 tackles for 4th-career 100+ tackle season. Since 2016, leads all LBs in INTs (11) & ranks 2nd in PD (38). DT GRADY JARRETT had 4th sack of season last week. Had FR in last meeting. Rookie CB A.J. TERRELL aims for his 3rd in row on road with FF & 4th in row overall with 5+ tackles.
CHIEFS clinched AFC West division title for 5th-consecutive season, longest streak in franchise history. • QB PATRICK MAHOMES passed for 254 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 92 rating last week, his 21st-career game with 3+ TD passes, tied 2nd-most by player in 1st 4 seasons in NFL history. Has 2+ TD passes in 6 of past 7. Aims for 10th in row with 90+ rating. Has 10 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 112.8 rating in 3 career games vs. NFC South. Has 10 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 121 rating in his past 3 at home. Leads NFL with 4,462 pass yards. • RB LE’VEON BELL rushed for 62 yards & TD last week. Had 119 scrimmage yards (72 rec., 47 rush) & 2 rush TDs in only career game vs. Atl. (12/14/14 with Pit.). • WR TYREEK HILL had 6 catches for 53 yards & TD last week. Aims for 9th in row with 50+ rec. yards & 3rd in row with TD catch. Had 5 catches for 53 yards in last meeting. Has 100+ rec. yards & 2+ rec. TDs in 2 of his past 3 vs. NFC South. Has 2 rec. TDs in 2 of his past 3 at home. Leads NFL with career-high 15 rec. TDs. WR MECOLE HARDMAN had TD catch last week. TE TRAVIS KELCE aims for 8th in row with 8+ catches & 4th in row with TD catch. Had 8 catches for 140 yards in last meeting. Aims for 5th in row at home with 100+ rec. yards. Leads TEs with 98 catches, 1,318 rec. yards & ties for lead with 10 rec. TDs. • S TYRANN MATHIEU had TFL last week. Has INT in 3 of past 4. Had sack & PD in his last game vs. Atl. (11/27/16 with Az.). Rookie CB L’JARIUS SNEED had 3 PD, INT & 1st-career sack in Week 15. Aims for 3rd in row with PD. CB BASHAUD BREELAND aims for 3rd in row with 2+ PD. DT CHRIS JONES has PD in 2 of past 3.
NFL PREVIEW: CLEVELAND BROWNS (10-4) AT NEW YORK JETS (1-13)
WEEK 16 // SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // METLIFE STADIUM // REFEREE: LAND CLARK
LEADER: Browns lead all-time series, 14-12
STREAKS: Browns have won past 2
LAST GAME: 9/16/19: Browns 23 at Jets 3
LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/16/19
QB BAKER MAYFIELD completed 27 of 32 passes (season-high 84.4 pct.) for 297 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 126.2 rating last week. Aims for 5th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has 0 INTs & 115+ rating in 3 of past 4. Passed for 325 yards with TD vs. INT in last meeting. Has passed for 1,186 yards (296.5 per game) & 13 TDs vs. INT for 138.2 rating in his past 4 on road. • RB NICK CHUBB rushed for 50 yards & career-high 10th TD of season last week. Aims for 5th in row with rush TD. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 5 of his past 6. Had 98 scrimmage yards (62 rush, 36 rec.) & rush TD in last meeting. Has 521 scrimmage yards (130.3 per game) & 2 rush TDs in his past 4 vs. AFC East. RB KAREEM HUNT had 63 scrimmage yards (40 rush, 23 rec.) in only career game vs. NYJ (12/3/17 with KC). Has TD in 3 of his past 4 vs. AFC East. Hunt (1,052) & Chubb (1,043) are only pair of RB teammates each with 1,000+ scrimmage yards this season. • WR JARVIS LANDRY had 7 catches for 61 yards & TD last week. Aims for 5th in row with 5+ catches. Aims for his 4th in row on road with TD catch. Has 90+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. NYJ. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC East with rec. TD. WR RASHARD HIGGINS had 76 rec. yards in Week 15. Has TD catch in 2 of past 3. TE AUSTIN HOOPER had 5 catches & rec. TD last week. Had TD catch in only career game vs. NYJ (10/29/17 with Atl.). • DE MYLES GARRETT has TFL in 3 of past 4. Has 7 sacks in 3 career games vs. NYJ & aims for his 4th in row vs. NYJ with 2+ sacks. Has sack in 4 of 5 career games vs. AFC East. DE OLIVIER VERNON aims for 3rd in row with TFL. S KARL JOSEPH tied career highs with 10 tackles & 2 PD last week.
QB SAM DARNOLD completed 22 of 31 passes (71 pct.) for 207 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for season-high 99.8 rating last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 0 INTs. Has 95+ rating in 2 of past 3. Passed for 169 yards in last meeting. • RB FRANK GORE rushed for 59 yards & TD last week, his 240th career game, surpassing LORENZO NEAL (239) for most games played by RB/FB in NFL history. Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. Cle. Has 606 rush yards this season, his 16th season with 500+ rush yards, most in NFL history. Ranks 3rd in NFL history with 15,952 rush yards & 4th with 19,932 scrimmage yards. RB TY JOHNSON had 55 scrimmage yards (39 rec., 16 rush) & 1stcareer TD catch last week. Has 50+ scrimmage yards & TD in 2 of his past 3. • WR JAMISON CROWDER had 6 catches for team-high 66 yards last week. Has 5+ catches in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC North with 60+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 3 of his past 4 at home. WR BRESHAD PERRIMAN has 75+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. Rookie WR DENZEL MIMS has 60+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. TE CHRIS HERNDON had season-high 48 rec. yards in Week 15. • DL QUINNEN WILLIAMS had sack last week & has sack in 3 of his past 4. Aims for his 4th in row at home with sack & 3rd in row vs. AFC North with TFL. DL JOHN FRANKLIN-MYERS had sack in Week 15. DL NATHAN SHEPHERD had season-high 2 TFL & sack last week. LB NEVILLE HEWITT led team with 10 tackles last week. Aims for 4th in row with 9+ tackles. Had sack & PD in last meeting. Rookie CB BRYCE HALL had 1st-career INT last week.
NFL PREVIEW: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (10-4) AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-3)
WEEK 16 // SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // HEINZ FIELD // REFEREE: ALEX KEMP
LEADER: Steelers lead all-time series, 19-6
STREAKS: Steelers have won past 6
LAST GAME: 11/3/19: Colts 24 at Steelers 26
LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/3/19
QB PHILIP RIVERS completed 22 of 28 passes (78.6 pct.) for 228 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 124.4 rating. Has 6 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 121 rating in his past 3. Has 75+ comp. pct. in 2 of past 3. Aims for 6th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has 100+ rating in 5 of past 6. Has 8 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 103.6 rating in his past 3 at Pit. Aims for his 5th in row on road with 0 INTs & 105+ rating. • RB JONATHAN TAYLOR (rookie) rushed for 83 yards & TD last week. Aims for 5th in row with 95+ scrimmage yards & 4th in row with TD. Has rush TD in 2 of 3 career games vs. AFC North. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 125+ scrimmage yards & TD. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 842 rush yards & tied-2nd with 7 rush TDs. RB NYHEIM HINES aims for 3rd in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Has rush TD in 3 of his past 4 on road. • WR T.Y. HILTON aims for 4th in row with 70+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 3 of past 4. Has 5+ catches in 3 of his past 4 vs. AFC North. Aims for 3rd in row on road with 85+ rec. yards & rec. TD. WR ZACH PASCAL had 5 catches for season-high 79 yards & 2 TDs last week. Had 5 catches for 76 yards & TD in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC North with 50+ rec. yards. TE JACK DOYLE had TD catch in last meeting. • LB DARIUS LEONARD led team with 12 tackles & had FF last week. Has 11+ tackles in 3 of past 4. Had 9 tackles in last meeting. Has FR in 2 of 3 career games vs. AFC North. DE JUSTIN HOUSTON had FR last week. Had sack, FF & FR in last meeting. Has 3 sacks in his past 2 on road. DT DEFOREST BUCKNER had career-high 3 sacks & FF in Week 15. Has 2+ sacks in 2 of past 3. Had sack, FF & FR in only career game vs. Pit. (9/22/19 with SF).
STEELERS clinched postseason berth for 1st time since 2017. • QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER passed for 170 yards & TD vs. INT last week. Has 2+ TD passes in 2 of past 3. Has passed for 1,343 yards (335.8 per game) & 15 TDs vs. INT for 133.5 rating in his past 4 vs. Ind. Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. Ind. with 350+ pass yards, 4+ TD passes, 0 INTs & 125+ rating. Aims for his 8th in row vs. AFC South with 2+ TD passes. • RB JAMES CONNER aims for his 4th in row vs. AFC South with 95+ scrimmage yards. Has TD in 9 of his past 10 at home. RB BENNY SNELL led team with 107 scrimmage yards (84 rush, 23 rec.) & rush TD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC South with rush TD. • WR JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER has 6+ catches in 3 of his past 4. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 7+ catches. Has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 at home. WR DIONTAE JOHNSON led team with 8 catches for 59 yards & TD last week. Has 8+ catches, 50+ rec. yards & rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. AFC South with 8+ catches & 80+ rec. yards. Rookie WR CHASE CLAYPOOL had 54 rec. yards in Week 15. Has 50+ rec. yards in 4 of past 5 at home. Leads rookies with 8 rec. TDs in 2020. • LB T.J. WATT had 3 TFL & sack last week & has 2+ TFL & sack in 3 of past 4. Had 1.5 sacks in last meeting. Has sack in 4 of his past 5 vs. AFC South. Has 7 TFL & 5 sacks in his past 3 at home. Leads NFL with 13 sacks. DE STEPHON TUITT had sack in Week 15 & has sack in 3 of past 4. Had 3 TFL & sack in his last game vs. Ind. (11/12/17). Has sack in 5 of his past 6 vs. AFC South. S MINKAH FITZPATRICK had 96-yard INT-TD in last meeting.
NFL PREVIEW: DENVER BRONCOS (5-9) AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (5-9)
WEEK 16 // SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2020 // 4:05 PM ET // SOFI STADIUM // REFEREE: SHAWN HOCHULI
LEADER: Broncos lead all-time series, 68-52-1
STREAKS: Broncos have won 4 of past 5
LAST GAME: 11/1/20: Chargers 30 at Broncos 31
LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/6/19: Broncos 20, Chargers 13
QB DREW LOCK completed 20 of 32 passes (62.5 pct.) for 132 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs & rushed for 37 yards last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 0 INTs. Has 2+ TD passes in 2 of past 3. Passed for 248 yards & 3 TDs vs. INT for 94.4 rating in Week 8 meeting. Has 250+ pass yards in 3 of his past 4 on road. • RB MELVIN GORDON led team with 81 scrimmage yards (61 rush, 20 rec.) & had 2 rush TDs last week. Aims for 4th in row with 80+ scrimmage yards. Had 6 catches in Week 8 meeting. Has 955 scrimmage yards & is only RB with 800+ scrimmage yards in each of past 6 seasons. Had 6,113 scrimmage yards & 47 TDs (36 rush, 11 rec.) in 5 seasons with Chargers (2015-19). RB PHILLIP LINDSAY rushed for 83 yards & TD in Week 8 meeting. Has 75+ rush yards & rush TD in 3 of 4 career games vs. LAC. • TE NOAH FANT had 68 rec. yards on career-high 8 catches with rec. TD last week. Has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Had 7 catches for 47 yards in Week 8 meeting. WR TIM PATRICK has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3. Aims for 3rd in row on road with TD catch. Rookie WR JERRY JEUDY had 4 catches for 73 yards in Week 8 meeting. Has 65+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. Ranks 3rd among AFC rookies with 655 rec. yards. • LB BRADLEY CHUBB had sack in Week 8 meeting & has sack in 2 of 3 career games vs. LAC. LB JEREMIAH ATTAOCHU had sack & 1st FF of season last week. Aims for 4th in row with sack. LB MALIK REED had sack in Week 8 meeting. S JUSTIN SIMMONS aims for 4th in row with 6+ tackles. Had 5 tackles & INT in Week 8 meeting. S KAREEM JACKSON led team with 9 tackles in Week 15. Had career-high 12 tackles in Week 8 meeting.
QB JUSTIN HERBERT (rookie) completed 22 of 32 passes (68.8 pct.) for 314 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 121.1 rating & rushed for TD last week, his 7th game with 300+ pass yards, most by rookie in NFL history. Aims for 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes & 95+ rating. Passed for 278 yards & 3 TDs vs. 2 INTs in Week 8 meeting. Aims for 3rd in row vs. division with 300+ pass yards. Has 27 TD passes, tied-most by rookie in NFL history. • RB AUSTIN EKELER had 79 scrimmage yards (60 rush, 19 rec.) last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 75+ scrimmage yards. Has TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. Den. Has 140+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 at home. RB KALEN BALLAGE rushed for TD in Week 15. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with rush TD. • WR KEENAN ALLEN had 9 catches for 67 yards & TD in Week 8 meeting. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Den. with TD catch. Has rec. TD in 3 of his past 4 at home. Ranks 3rd in NFL with 100 catches, 3rd-career season with 100+ catches. WR JALEN GUYTON had career-high 91 rec. yards last week. WR TYRON JOHNSON aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards & TD catch. TE HUNTER HENRY had 5 catches for 65 yards & TD in Week 15. • DE JOEY BOSA had TFL in Week 8 meeting. Has TFL in 3 of his past 4 vs. Den. DT JERRY TILLERY had sack in Week 8 meeting. LB NICK VIGIL had 9 tackles & 1st sack of season last week. Aims for 4th in row with TFL. CB CHRIS HARRIS had 1st INT of season in Week 15. Aims for 3rd in row vs. division with 5+ tackles & PD. Had 86 PD, 20 INTs & 6 FFs in 9 seasons with Den. (2011-19). S RAYSHAWN JENKINS had 7 tackles, season-high 2 PD & INT in Week 8 meeting. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 at home.
NFL PREVIEW: CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-10) AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-8)
WEEK 16 // SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2020 // 4:05 PM ET // FEDEXFIELD // REFEREE: CARL CHEFFERS
LEADER: Washington leads all-time series, 9-6
STREAKS: Washington has won past 2
LAST GAME: 12/1/19: Washington 29 at Panthers 21
LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/14/18: Washington 23, Panthers 17
QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER passed for 258 yards & had rush TD last week. Has career-high 3,360 pass yards in 2020, his 2ndcareer 3,000-yard season. Has 10 TDs (8 pass, 2 rush) vs. 3 INTs for 99.9 rating in 7 road starts this season. • RB CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY had 102 scrimmage yards (58 rec., 44 rush) in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with 7+ receptions. RB MIKE DAVIS rushed for 59 yards last week. Ranks 3rd among RBs with career-high 59 receptions this season. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 60+ scrimmage yards. Has 987 scrimmage yards (614 rush, 373 rec.) & careerhigh 7 TDs (5 rush, 2 rec.) & needs 13 scrimmage yards for 1stcareer 1,000-yard season. • WR D.J. MOORE had 6 receptions for team-high 131 yards last week, his 3rd game with 120+ rec. yards in 2020. Has 1,055 rec. yards in 2020, his 2nd-consecutive 1,000-yard season. Had 6 catches for 75 yards & rec. TD in last meeting. WR ROBBY ANDERSON had TD catch in his only career game vs. Was. (11/17/19 w/ NYJ). Has career highs in catches (85) & rec. yards (1,017) this season, his 1st-career 1,000-yard season. Moore & Anderson are only pair of WR teammates each with 1,000+ rec. yards in 2020. WR CURTIS SAMUEL had TD catch in last meeting. • DE BRIAN BURNS had 2 sacks in Week 15, his 2nd-career 2 sack game. Has 6 sacks & 3 FFs in his past 6 on road. Rookie DT DERRICK BROWN had 1st 2 career sacks last week. Is 1 of 3 rookies (PATRICK QUEEN & CHASE YOUNG) with 8 TFL this season. S JEREMY CHINN leads all rookies with 100 tackles this season. Aims for his 7th in row on road with 6+ tackles.
QB ALEX SMITH passed for 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 88.1 rating in his last game vs. Car. (10/14/18). QB DWAYNE HASKINS passed for 295 yards & TD vs. 2 INTs last week. Aims for his 3rd start in row at home with 295+ pass yards. • RB J.D. MCKISSIC had 9 receptions, career-high 107 scrimmage yards (56 rec., 51 rush) & TD catch last week, his 1st-career 100- yard game. Is 1 of 3 RBs (AUSTIN EKELER & ALVIN KAMARA) with 3 games of 9+ receptions this season. Ranks 2nd among RBs in receptions (career-high 67) & rec. yards (career-high 482). Aims for his 5th in row at home with 50+ scrimmage yards. RB ANTONIO GIBSON leads all rookies with 11 rush TDs this season. • TE LOGAN THOMAS had career-high 13 receptions for 101 yards last week, his 1st-career 100-yard game. Is 1 of 3 TEs (GEORGE KITTLE & DARREN WALLER) with 13+ catches in single game this season. Ranks 3rd among TEs with career-high 62 receptions. WR TERRY MCLAURIN had 7 catches for 77 yards last week. Is 1 of 3 NFC WRs (DAVANTE ADAMS & DEANDRE HOPKINS) with 8+ games (8) of 7+ receptions this season. Has 5+ receptions in 9 of his past 10 at home. Has career-high 80 receptions for career-high 1,078 yards this season. • DE CHASE YOUNG leads all rookies with 5.5 sacks & ties for lead with 8 TFL. DE MONTEZ SWEAT has 5 PD in his past 4. Ranks tied-2nd among DL with 6 PD this season. Has 4 sacks & 2 FFs in his past 5 at home. DT DARON PAYNE had 1st-career INT last week. Aims for his 4th in row with PD. Rookie S KAMREN CURL led team with 8 tackles in Week 15. Aims for his 8th in row with 7+ tackles.
NFL PREVIEW: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-9-1) AT DALLAS COWBOYS (5-9)
WEEK 16 // SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2020 // 4:25 PM ET // AT&T STADIUM // REFEREE: SHAWN SMITH
LEADER: Cowboys lead all-time series, 66-53
STREAKS: Eagles have won past 2
LAST GAME: 11/1/20: Cowboys 9 at Eagles 23
LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/20/19: Cowboys 37, Eagles 10
QB JALEN HURTS (rookie) passed for 338 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 102.3 rating & had 63 rush yards & rush TD in Week 15. Became 1st rookie QB in SB era with 3+ TD passes & rush TD in 1st career road start. Became 3rd rookie (JOE BURROW & JUSTIN HERBERT) with 300+ pass yards, 3+ pass TDs & rush TD in single game since 1970. Became 3rd QB (RANDALL CUNNINGHAM & LAMAR JACKSON) with 50+ rush yards in each of 1st 2 starts in SB Era. • RB MILES SANDERS had 90 scrimmage yards (64 rush, 26 rec.) in Week 15. Had 156 scrimmage yards (79 rush, 77 rec.) & rush TD in his last game vs. Dal. (12/22/19). Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 5 of his 6 road games this season. • TE ZACH ERTZ led team with 69 rec. yards in Week 15. Has 4 rec. TDs in his past 4 vs. NFC East & aims for his 3rd in row on road vs. NFC East with TD catch. WR ALSHON JEFFERY had season-high 63 rec. yards last week. Has 50+ rec. yards & TD catch in 2 of his past 3 at Dal. WR GREG WARD had 1st-career game with 2 TD catches in Week 15. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with rec. TD. TE DALLAS GOEDERT has 3 rec. TDs in his past 4 vs. Dal. & aims for his 3rd in row at Dal. with TD catch. • DT FLETCHER COX has 3.5 sacks & 2 FFs in his past 4 vs. Dal. Aims for his 3rd in row at Dal. with sack. DE BRANDON GRAHAM had sack, FF & FR in Week 8 meeting. Has 5.5 sacks & 7 TFL in 9 career games at Dal. LB ALEX SINGLETON led team with 11 tackles last week. Aims for his 4th in row overall & 5th in row on road with 11+ tackles. CB NICKELL ROBEY-COLEMAN had career high 10 tackles & FF & FR in Week 15.
QB ANDY DALTON passed for 209 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 96.7 rating last week. Has 2+ TD passes in 4 of his past 5 starts. Passed for 332 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 130 rating in his last start vs. Phi. (12/4/16 w/ Cin.). • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT has 972 scrimmage yards (138.9 per game) & 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.) in 7 career games vs. Phi. Aims for his 4th in row at home vs. Phi. with 145+ scrimmage yards. Since 2016, leads NFL in rush yards (6,237) & ranks 3rd in rush TDs (45). RB TONY POLLARD had career-high 6 receptions, season-high 132 scrimmage yards (69 rush, 63 rec.) & 2 rush TDs in Week 15, his 1st-career game with 2 TDs. • WR AMARI COOPER has 15 receptions for 323 yards (161.5 per game) & 3 rec. TDs in 2 home games vs. Phi. Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. Phi with 100+ rec. yards. Has 5+ receptions & 60+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 at home. Rookie WR CEEDEE LAMB had 5 receptions for team-high 85 rec. yards & 47-yard KR-TD in Week 15. Has 5+ receptions in 6 of his 7 home games this season. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 66 receptions. WR MICHAEL GALLUP had rec. TD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Phi. with 5+ catches. TE DALTON SCHULTZ had 4th rec. TD of 2020 last week. Had 6 receptions for 53 yards in last meeting. • LB JAYLON SMITH led team with 10 tackles last week. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 133 tackles. Aims for his 4th in row with 10+ tackles. DE DEMARCUS LAWRENCE had sack & FF last week. Had sack, 3 TFL & FF in Week 8 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row with FF & 3rd in row at home with sack. CB JOURDAN LEWIS had 5thcareer sack last week.
NFL PREVIEW: LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-5) AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (10-4)
WEEK 16 // SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2020 // 4:25 PM ET // LUMEN FIELD // REFEREE: BILL VINOVICH
LEADER: Seahawks lead all-time series, 24-20
STREAKS: Rams have won 5 of past 6
LAST GAME: 11/15/20: Seahawks 16 at Rams 23
LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/3/19: Seahawks 30, Rams 29
QB JARED GOFF passed for 2 TDs vs. INT last week. Had 302 pass yards & 96.9 rating in Week 10 meeting. Has 1,629 pass yards (325.8 per game) in his past 5 vs. Sea. Aims for his 3rd in row at Sea. with 300+ pass yards. Needs 282 pass yards for 3rd-consecutive 4,000+ pass yard season. • RB MALCOLM BROWN had 2 rush TDs in Week 10 meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Sea. with rush TD. RB DARRELL HENDERSON had rush TD in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row on road vs. NFC West with 70+ scrimmage yards. • WR ROBERT WOODS had 6 receptions, 106 scrimmage yards (56 rec., 40 rush) & TD catch last week. Has 5+ receptions in 7 of his 8 career games vs. Sea. Has 7 TDs (5 rec., 2 rush) in 7 road games this season. Aims for his 4th in row on road with 7+ receptions & 85+ rec. yards. WR COOPER KUPP needs 92 rec. yards for 2nd-consecutive 1,000-yard season. Aims for his 4th in row on road with 8+ receptions. Had 9 receptions for 117 yards & TD in last road meeting. WR JOSH REYNOLDS had 8 receptions for 94 yards in Week 10 meeting. TE TYLER HIGBEE had 5th rec. TD of season last week. • DL AARON DONALD ranks tied-2nd in NFL with 12.5 sacks. Has 8 sacks & 3 FFs in his past 6 on road. Has 12 sacks & 19 TFL in 13 career games vs. Sea. Aims for his 5th in row with TFL. LB TROY REEDER led team with 11 tackles & had PD last week. Has 10+ tackles in 3 of his past 4. LB LEONARD FLOYD had 3 sacks & FR in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs .Sea. with FR. CB DARIOUS WILLIAMS had 2 INTs & 3 PD in Week 10 meeting. Has PD in 4 of his past 5 on road.
QB RUSSELL WILSON has 16 TDs (15 pass, 1 rush) vs. 3 INTs for 110 rating in 8 career home starts vs. Rams. Had 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 151.8 rating in last home meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. LAR with 3+ TDs & 130+ rating. Ranks 2nd in NFL in pass TDs (37). Has 3,806 pass yards & needs 194 for 4th-career 4,000-yard season. • RB CHRIS CARSON has 341 scrimmage yards (113.7 per game) & rec. TD in 3 career games vs. LAR. Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. LAR with 120+ scrimmage yards. Aims for his 4th in row at home with TD. Is 1 of 5 RBs with 9+ TDs in each of past 3 seasons. RB CARLOS HYDE had 50-yard rush TD in Week 15. Has 2+ rush TDs in 3 of his past 4 vs. LAR. Aims for his 5th in row vs. LAR with TD. • WR DK METCALF had rec. TD in last home meeting. Has 8 rec. TDs in 7 home games this season. Ranks 4th in NFL with 1,223 rec. yards & tied-5th with 10 rec. TDs. WR TYLER LOCKETT has rec. TD in 3 of his past 4 at home vs. LAR & aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. LAR with TD catch. Needs 80 rec. yards for 2nd-consecutive 1,000-yard season. Is 1 of 2 WRs (MIKE EVANS) with 8+ rec. TDs in each of past 3 seasons. • S JAMAL ADAMS had sack last week & is 1st DB with sack in 4 consecutive games since 1982. Has 9.5 sacks, most by DB in single season since 1982. Had 2 sacks & FF in Week 10 meeting. LB BOBBY WAGNER led team with 13 tackles last week. Ranks 6th in NFL with 126 tackles, his 9th-consecutive 100+ tackle season. DE CARLOS DUNLAP had sack last week. Has 5 sacks & 6 TFL in 6 games with Sea. in 2020
NFL PREVIEW: TENNESSEE TITANS (10-4) AT GREEN BAY PACKERS (11-3)
WEEK 16 // SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2020 // 8:20PM ET // LAMBEAU FIELD // REFEREE: BRAD ALLEN
LEADER: Titans lead all-time series, 7-5
STREAKS: Titans have won 4 of past 5
LAST GAME: 11/13/16: Packers 25 at Titans 47
LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/23/12: Packers 55, Titans 7
QB RYAN TANNEHILL completed 21 of 27 passes (77.8 pct.) for 273 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for season-high 145.8 rating & rushed for 2 TDs last week, becoming the 3rd player with 145+ rating, 3+ TD passes & 2+ rush TDs in single game in NFL history. Aims for 6th in row with 100+ rating, 4th in row with 2+ TD passes & 3rd in row with 0 INTs & 75+ comp. pct. Passed for 244 yards & 2 TDs in only career game vs. GB (10/12/14 w/ Mia.). • RB DERRICK HENRY aims for 3rd in row with 145+ rush yards & rush TD. Has 115+ rush yards & rush TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. NFC North. Has 100+ rush yards in 9 straight road games, 2nd-longest streak in NFL history (HOFer BARRY SANDERS – 10 games). Leads NFL with 1,679 rush yards & ties for lead with 15 rush TDs & is 4th player in NFL history with 1,500+ rush yards & 15+ rush TDs in consecutive seasons. Rookie RB DARRYNTON EVANS had 1st-career TD catch last week. • WR A.J. BROWN aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches & rec. TD. Aims for 5th in row on road & 3rd in row vs. NFC North with TD catch. WR COREY DAVIS led team with 110 rec. yards & had TD catch last week. Has 110+ rec. yards & TD catch in 2 of past 3. TE JONNU SMITH had 5 catches for 52 yards in Week 15. • S KEVIN BYARD had 10 tackles, 2 PD, TFL & 1st INT of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 10+ tackles. Had 7 tackles & sack in last meeting. Has PD in 3 of his past 4 vs. NFC North. CB MALCOLM BUTLER had 9 tackles in Week 15. Has 2 PD in 3 of his past 4 vs. NFC North. LB DAVID LONG had career-high 12 tackles & PD last week. DE JEFFERY SIMMONS had 2nd FR.
QB AARON RODGERS leads NFL with 40 TD passes & 118 rating & became 1st QB in NFL history with 3 seasons of 40+ TD passes. Has 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating in 6 of 7 home games this season. Passed for 342 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 125.1 rating & had rush TD in last home meeting. Has 17 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 110.4 rating in his past 7 starts on SNF. Needs 172 pass yards for 9th-career 4,000-yard season. • RB AARON JONES rushed for 145 yards & TD last week. Is 1 of 3 RBs (DALVIN COOK & DERRICK HENRY) with 3+ games (3) of 125+ rush yards this season. Has 25 TDs (22 rush, 3 rec.) in 25 career home games. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 145+ scrimmage yards & TD. Needs 32 rush yards for 2ndconsecutive season with 1,000+ rush yards. • WR DAVANTE ADAMS led team with 7 receptions last week. Has 6+ receptions in 11 of his 12 games this season. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 14 rec. TDs. Has 7 rec. TDs in his past 5 at home. Had 6 catches for 156 yards in last meeting. Has 10 rec. TDs in his past 10 on SNF & aims for his 9th in row on SNF with TD catch. TE ROBERT TONYAN had career-high 10th rec. TD of season last week, 1st GB TE with 10+ rec. TDs in single season since KEITH JACKSON (1996). Aims for his 3rd in row on SNF & 6th in row overall with TD catch. • LB ZA’DARIUS SMITH had sack in Week 15. Has 8.5 sacks in 7 home games this season & aims for his 5th in row at home with sack. Ranks 4th in NFL with 11.5 sacks. LB PRESTON SMITH has 3.5 sacks & FR-TD in his past 4 at home. S ADRIAN AMOS had 5th-career sack & tied his career high with 3 PD last week.
NFL PREVIEW: BUFFALO BILLS (11-3) AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-8)
WEEK 16 // MONDAY, DEC. 28, 2020 // 8:15 PM ET // GILLETTE STADIUM // REFEREE: RONALD TORBERT
LEADER: Patriots lead all-time series, 75-44-1
STREAKS: Patriots have won 7 of past 8
LAST GAME: 11/1/20: Patriots 21 at Bills 24
LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/21/19: Patriots 24, Bills 17
BILLS clinched AFC East division title for 1st time since 1995. • QB JOSH ALLEN completed 28 of 40 passes (70 pct.) for 359 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 114.5 rating & rushed for season high 2 TDs last week. Aims for 4th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has 350+ pass yards & 110+ rating in 2 of past 3. Rushed for TD in Week 8 meeting. Is 1st QB in Buf. history with 4,000+ pass yards & 30+ TD passes in season. Has 8 rush TDs in 2020 & is 1st QB in NFL history with 8+ rush TDs in each of 1st 3 seasons. • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY had 84 scrimmage yards (68 rush, 16 rec.) & rush TD last week. Has 80+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. Rushed for 86 yards in Week 8 meeting. Rookie RB ZACK MOSS tied career-high with 81 rush yards in Week 15. Rushed for 81 yards & career-high 2 TDs in Week 8 meeting. • WR STEFON DIGGS had 147 rec. yards on season-high 11 catches last week. Has 10+ catches in 3 straight games, tied 2nd-longest streak since 1970. Aims for 3rd in row with 125+ rec. yards. Had 6 catches for 92 yards in Week 8 meeting. Leads NFL with career-high 111 receptions. WR COLE BEASLEY had 8 catches for 112 yards in Week 15. Has 8+ catches & 110+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Had 7 catches for 108 yards in last road meeting. Aims for his 5th in row on road with 100+ rec. yards. • CB TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE had 2 PD, sack & FF last week. Aims for 5th in row with PD. S JORDAN POYER aims for 5th in row with 7+ tackles. Aims for 3rd in row vs. NE with 11+ tackles. Has sack in 2 of past 3 vs. division. Leads safeties with career-high 112 tackles. DE MARIO ADDISON had 5th sack of season last week. Had TFL in Week 8 meeting. DT ED OLIVER had sack last week.
QB CAM NEWTON completed 17 of 27 passes (63 pct.) for 209 yards & rushed for 38 yards last week. Passed for 174 yards & rushed for 54 yards & TD in Week 8 meeting. Has 95+ rating in 3 of his past 4 on MNF. Ties for lead among QBs with 11 rush TDs. Has 489 rush yards & can reach 500+ rush yards for 7th season, most all-time by QB. • RB SONY MICHEL rushed for 74 yards last week. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. Buf. Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 at home. Had career-high 3 rush TDs in only career game on MNF (10/21/19 vs. NYJ). RB DAMIEN HARRIS rushed for 102 yards & TD in Week 8 meeting. Has 70+ rush yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. RB JAMES WHITE had 4 catches for 52 yards in Week 15. Since 2015, leads RBs in catches (357), rec. yards (3,107) & rec. TDs (24). • WR JAKOBI MEYERS had 7 catches for 111 yards last week. Had 6 catches for 58 yards in Week 8 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with 7+ catches & 110+ rec. yards. WR DAMIERE BYRD had 39 rec. yards in Week 8 meeting. • DB J.C. JACKSON had career-high 8th INT of season last week. Has INT in 2 of past 3. Had INT in Week 8 meeting & has INT in 3 of his past 4 vs. Buf. Aims for 5th in row vs. division with INT. DB DEVIN MCCOURTY had TFL in Week 8 meeting. DB ADRIAN PHILLIPS had 1st-career sack last week. Aims for 3rd in row with TFL. LB TEREZ HALL led team with career-high 13 tackles last week. Aims for 3rd in row at home with 8+ tackles. LB JA’WHAUN BENTLEY had sack in Week 8 meeting. DL ADAM BUTLER had sack in Week 15 & has sack in 3 of his past 4.
ELLIOTT TO PLAY AGAINST EAGLES
The Dallas Cowboys are getting Ezekiel Elliott back for Sunday’s NFC East clash.
Elliott will play against the Philadelphia Eagles, a source told Todd Archer of ESPN.
The running back missed last week’s win versus the San Francisco 49ers due to a calf injury. Dallas listed Elliott as questionable after he was limited at practice this past week.
The 25-year-old has rushed for 832 yards and five touchdowns through 13 games this season.
Tony Pollard racked up 132 scrimmage yards and two scores as Elliott’s replacement in Week 15.
In order to claim the NFC East title, the 5-9 Cowboys need to win their final two games while the Washington Football Team must lose both of its final matchups.
CLEVELAND WILL BE SHORTHANDED AGAINST JETS
The Cleveland Browns reportedly won’t have any of their top pass-catchers against the New York Jets on Sunday.
Wide receivers Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and KhaDarel Hodge were placed on the COVID-19/reserve list Saturday, the team announced. The four were reportedly deemed high-risk close contacts of linebacker B.J. Goodson, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, and they won’t be available for Week 16, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
The Browns also put linebacker Jacob Phillips on the COVID-19 list.
Landry, who has yet to miss a game since entering the NFL in 2014, expressed his disappointment on social media. He leads the club with 67 receptions and 789 yards this season.
Cleveland closed its practice facility Saturday and the team’s flight to New Jersey was delayed because of the positive test.
Additionally, the Browns activated wide receivers Ja’Marcus Bradley and Derrick Willies and linebacker Montrel Meander from the practice squad.
Cleveland’s depth chart at wideout also features veteran Marvin Hall, who was claimed by the Browns three weeks ago but has yet to play for them.
The 10-4 Browns can clinch their first playoff berth since 2002 with a win Sunday plus a loss from either the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, or Indianapolis Colts.
INDIANA WINS AT CHICAGO, NOW 2-0
Domantas Sobonis had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers used big scoring runs in the second and third quarters to cruise to a 125-106 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
T.J. Warren scored 23 points and Victor Oladipo added 22 as Indiana beat its Central Division rivals for a 10th straight time, including five straight at the United Center.
Sabonis, who had a career-high 32 points in the season-opening win against New York, finished 8 for 11 from the field before fouling out with just over five minutes remaining.
“My teammates really helped me,” Sabonis said. “All game long they were reminding me where to be and helping me keep my energy up. In these games, with no fans out there, that’s really important.”
Zach LaVine scored 17 points and Lauri Markkanen had 16 points and nine rebounds for Chicago, which dropped its second straight to start the season.
After getting off to a horrid start in the season-opening loss to Atlanta, the Bulls started fairly well on Saturday, building a 40-34 advantage early in the second quarter.
But the game quickly turned as Indiana ran off 21 straight points to grab a 55-40 lead. Chicago went scoreless for five minutes and fell apart at both ends.
The Bulls went 0-for-8 from the field with six turnovers during the drought — with three of the turnovers coming in the backcourt against Indiana’s full-court trap. Defensively, they broke down repeatedly and allowed easy baskets.
“Whatever the run was in the second quarter, we have to be able to stop it sooner than that,” Chicago coach Billy Donovan said. “They don’t handle it — they don’t handle it at all. They internalize it and try to do it themselves. They have to do it together.
“The bottom line is this is pro basketball and you have to be able to handle it.”
LaVine agreed with his coach’s assessment. “We have to fight,” he said. “We can’t let those lapses go that long.”
The Pacers had a 66-56 halftime lead and started the third quarter with 18 straight points for an 84-56 edge to essentially put the game away. Chicago missed its first seven shots of the quarter and didn’t score until a Markkanen layup with 7:12 left.
“In the third quarter, we knew we had to come out and change things,” Sabonis said.
The Bulls rallied, trimming the deficit to 114-103 with just under four minutes to play, but Warren converted a layup and Oladipo added a 3-pointer to build the lead up to 119-103.
DOC RIVERS NOW 10TH ON ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
Joel Embiid had 27 points and 10 rebounds while remaining unbeaten at Madison Square Garden, and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the New York Knicks 109-89 on Saturday night.
Ben Simmons had 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists while also leading the defensive effort that forced New York’s RJ Barrett into a miserable shooting performance. Embiid and Simmons have never dropped a game at MSG and the Sixers have won the last 13 meetings overall.
Tobias Harris and Seth Curry each scored 17 points as Philadelphia improved to 2-0 and got off to a good start in turning around its road woes after finishing with a 12-26 road record last season.
New coach Doc Rivers earned his 945th victory, moving ahead of Bill Fitch into sole possession of 10th place on the career list.
Julius Randle scored 25 points and Alec Burks added 22 for the Knicks, who fell to 0-2 under Tom Thibodeau. Barrett, after a 26-point season opener, shot 2 for 15 and had 10 points.
The Knicks were without both their first-round rookies. Obi Toppin is sidelined by a strained right calf and Immanuel Quickley was still sore after sustaining a hip pointer in their season opener.
The Sixers’ lead was just three a minute and a half into the third quarter before six straight points made it 68-59 on Curry’s 3-pointer. Randle made a free throw, but two baskets by Embiid and 3-pointers by Curry and Danny Green made it a 16-3 run and extended the lead to 78-62 midway through the period.
The Knicks cut it to nine midway through the fourth, but Embiid nailed a 3-pointer before a nice flurry by Simmons pushed it to 104-85.
ONLY IN NEW YORK
The New York Knicks make plenty of mistakes. Whether it’s their front office, coaching staff or roster, this is an organization known for its mishaps, yet to this point, those mishaps had largely been either basketball- or business-related. Rarely have they ever crossed into the sartorial realm… until Saturday.
The Knicks are debuting their new City Edition uniforms Saturday in their home opener against the Philadelphia 76ers. That is what seemingly led to the evening’s uniform malfunction. Eagle-eyed fans noticed early on that both Mitchell Robinson and Reggie Bullock had the same No. 23 on the back of their jerseys.
This is unusual on a number of levels. Obviously, only one player per team can wear any given uniform number. Those numbers exist to identify the players, after all. Robinson is the Knick typically assigned No. 23. Bullock wears No. 25, and this is where things get more complicated: he still was on Saturday. Bullock’s jersey had No. 23 on the back and No. 25 on the front. Eventually, the officials realized what was going on and made Bullock leave the game to change jerseys.
The Knicks have generally acted as a competent NBA organization since hiring Leon Rose as president of basketball operations. Their young players have looked good so far this season, and the future is brighter in New York than it’s been in quite some time. But apparently, no matter how good things look for the team, the Knicks are always going to find a way to Knick.
LIBERTY ENDS SEASON WITH WIN OVER #12 COASTAL CAROLINA
Elijah James blocked Massimo Biscardi’s 42-yard field goal attempt in overtime to give No. 23 Liberty a 37-34 victory over No. 9 Coastal Carolina on Saturday night in a wild finish in the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl.
Liberty (10-1) took the lead on Alex Barbir’s 44-yard field goal on the first extra possession.
Coastal Carolina (11-1) got a huge break in regulation when Liberty’s Joshua Mack fumbled inside the 1 with 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Safety Alex Spillum recovered the fumble to end the long drive.
Malik Willis ran for 137 yards and four touchdowns for Liberty. The Flames’ only loss came to North Carolina State on a blocked field goal.
Coastal Carolina overcame an early 14-0 deficit, and drove 72 yards to tie it in the fourth quarter. Grayson McCall ran in a 2-point conversion to make it 34-34 after throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Greg Latushko with 3:01 remaining
Coastal Carolina had won 12 straight.
It was the first time any ranked team had played in the six-year-old bowl, which was moved to prime time after being scheduled in the early afternoon. The teams were scheduled to meet Dec. 5, but that game was canceled because of COVID-19.
Willis led touchdown drives of 64 and 66 yards on the Flames’ first two possessions, running 7 yards for the first touchdown and 6 yards to make it 14-0 late in the first quarter.
Braden Matts’ interception turned the game in Coastal Carolina’s direction early in the second quarter. Biscardi’s 21-yard field goal got the Chanticleers on the board, and McCall connected with tight end Isaiah Likely on a 25-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-10 with 2:02 left in the half.
Biscardi added a 33-yard field goal on the final play of the half after Barbir kicked a 37-yarder for Liberty.
Javon Scruggs’ 59-yard interception return set up the Flames at the Costal Carolina 10 early in the second half, and Willis’ third TD run made it 24-13. Coastal Carolina answered quickly on McCall’s 43-yard scoring pass to Latushko.
UL-LAFAYETTE TOPS USTA
Trey Ragas scored on a 1-yard plunge with 7:16 left and No. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette beat UTSA 31-24 in the First Responder Bowl on Saturday at SMU’s Ford Stadium.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (10-1) drove 72 yards in 12 plays for the winning score after UTSA (7-5) overcame a 24-7 second-half deficit to tie it.
UTSA associate head coach/offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. directed the Roadrunners after first-year coach Jeff Traylor twice tested positive for COVID-19 this week and didn’t accompany the team.
Levi Lewis had first-half touchdown passes of 15 and 10 yards for Louisiana-Lafayette. Elijah Mitchell added a 3-yard touchdown run, and Kenneth Almendares kicked a 31-yard field goal, The Ragin’ Cajuns won their seventh straight game following a loss to Coastal Carolina in mid-October.
Frank Harris had touchdown passes of 29 yards and 10 yards and an 11-yard scoring run for the Roadrunners. Hunter Duplessis kicked a 20-yard field goal that tied with 13:32 left.
UTAH FRESHMAN TY JORDAN DIES IN SHOOTING ACCIDENT
Utah freshman running back Ty Jordan died early Saturday morning at the age of 19, the school confirmed.
Jordan was one of the biggest breakout stars in college football this season, capturing Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year on Thursday.
“Words cannot express the devastation and heartache that our team is feeling right now upon learning of the tragic death of our teammate and brother, Ty Jordan,” Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. “Ty’s personality and smile were infectious and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us.
“He leaves an indelible mark on each of us and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. From the bottom of our hearts, all of us in the Utah football family want to say we love you Ty and may you rest in peace.”
The cause of death has yet to be released or confirmed.
Jordan joined Utah as a four-star recruit last cycle from Mesquite, Texas. The freshman led his team in carries (83), rushing yards (597), rushing touchdowns (6), and all-purpose yards (723) this season.
TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY
PITTSBURGH – After a 45-month hiatus, the puck still danced on his blade, the stick still shook down magic, the goal-light still glowed red around him and the atmosphere still crackled. It almost did not seem to matter that, for so long, he had traded hockey immortality for retiree golf and then for the boardroom, playing with a puck on ice only twice in nearly three and a half years. Mario Lemieux made a historic return to hockey tonight, descending from the Mellon Arena’s owner’s box to score a goal and add two assists in a 5-0 Penguins victory over Toronto.
Perhaps hockey watchers should expect nothing less from a player who scored a goal on his first National Hockey League shift and first N.H.L. shot, scored the first time he skated on Penguins home ice, scored in his first game upon his return from cancer radiation therapy. Perhaps it was only fitting that the only player in pro hockey annals to average 2- plus points a game made this triumphant return with 3 points. And perhaps the fairy tale was supposed to read this way: First shift, first point.
It took only 1,340 days for Lemieux to register assist No. 882 of a career in which the Hall of Fame waiting period was waived for his post-retirement induction in late 1997. It only took 33 seconds of this comeback – unofficially the fourth in his 13-year, fits-and-spurts career – for Lemieux to notch that assist. He skated behind the Maple Leafs’ Curtis Joseph and feathered a pass directly in front of the sprawling goaltender. Linemate Jan Hrdina missed the setup, but Jaromir Jagr did not. Jagr scored a nanosecond before Toronto’s Dmitry Yuskevich shoved Jagr into the goal, dislodging it from its moorings. The standing room- only crowd of 17,148 rejoiced louder than it had when Lemieux entered the Arena for warm-ups and pregame introductions, louder than it had when his retired No. 66 was lowered from the rafters.
Lemieux logged nearly nine minutes of ice time in that first period, about half of what he intended to play over all to jump-start a comeback that he considered far easier than his returns from back surgery (three months off in 1991), Hodgkin’s radiation treatments (one month off in 1993) and a year’s rest (1995). Then, in the second period, he scored his first goal since Game 5 of the 1997 playoffs against Philadelphia. No. 614 of his career came at 10 minutes 33 seconds as Jagr made a splendid, swooping play around the right circle, then passed to a new linemate who yelled simply “Yags!” Lemieux swatted the resulting pass between Joseph’s legs for a 3-0 Pittsburgh lead.
“It was a great experience,” said Lemieux, who holds the titles of owner, chairman, president, chief executive officer and center. “It was a moment I will cherish.”
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1874 At Palmar de Junco, a Havanan team plays Matanzas in the first documented baseball game to take place in Cuba. The contest, called after seven innings due to darkness, ends with Havana leading, 51-9.
1941 Levi Walker, the third person to play Chief Noc-A-Homa, a role he will perform from 1969 through 1985, is born. Dressed in Native American costume, the Georgia native will come out of his tepee, located in the bleachers, to set off smoke signals and do a celebration dance whenever a Braves player homers at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
1943 Former Yankee infielder Roy White is born in Los Angeles. The two-time All-Star will play 15 years in the majors, compiling a lifetime .271 batting average for the Bronx Bombers.
1967 Johnny Murphy becomes the Mets’ third general manager in franchise history when he replaces Bing Devine. During his tenure, the team benefits from a talented farm system, especially its young pitching prospects, which include Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, and Gary Gentry, all who will play a major role in the club’s World Championship in 1969.
1984 Ed Whitson, 14-8 with the NL champion Padres, signs a five-year $4.4 million contract with the Yankees. The free-agent deal becomes a nightmare for both the pitcher and the team when the right-hander lasts only a season and a half, compiling a 15-10 record along with an ERA of 5.38 in 44 games with the Bronx Bombers.
2001 After 21 years on WABC, the Yankees will broadcast its spring training, regular-season, and postseason games on all-news station WCBS-AM, which is owned by Infinity Broadcasting. The five-year deal with the Yankees’ YES Network, created earlier this year, is worth approximately $50 million.
2001 The Mets continue to stay busy this offseason, acquiring first baseman Mo Vaughn for 13-year veteran right-hander Kevin Appier (11-10, 3.57) and cash. The 1995 American League MVP will join Roberto Alomar, Roger Cedeno, and Shawn Estes as the newest members of the Shea Squad.
2003 In his hometown of Loza, Puerto Rico, former major league All-Star outfielder Ivan Calderon is shot and killed at a bar in which several murders have already reported to occur in the past year. During his ten-year major league career, the 41 year-old played with the Mariners (1984-1986), White Sox (1986-1990), Expos (1991-1992), Red Sox (1993), and the White Sox (1993).
2004 After the Cubs decline Moises Alou’s (.293, 39, 106) contract option, the Giants ink the free-agent outfielder to a one-year contract with an option for a second year. The signing marks the second time the All-Star will be managed by his dad Felipe, as he did playing with the Expos from 1992-96.
2007 Hoping he will continue to be a hot hitter at Kauffman Stadium (.415), the Royals sign free-agent Miguel Olivo (.237, 16, 60) to a one-year contract with a mutual option for the following season. The Marlins did not tender a contract to the 29 year-old backstop, the team’s starting catcher for the past two seasons, after they acquired catching prospect Mike Rabelo in the blockbuster trade with the Tigers during the Winter Meetings.
2008 Adding speed at the top of their order and a superior glove in centerfield, the Reds sign Willy Taveras (.251, 1, 26) to a two-year contract. The 27 year-old speedster, who led the major leagues with 68 stolen bases last season, became a free agent earlier in the month when the Rockies declined to offer him a contract after the oft-injured outfielder spent two seasons with the team.
2013 The Rangers come to terms on a seven-year, $130 million deal with free-agent Shin-Soo Choo, who will join the recently acquired power-hitting first baseman Prince Fielder, to provide more offense for the club. The 31 year-old outfielder, who compiled a .423 on-base percentage, hit .285 with 21 home runs and drove in 54 runs for the Reds last season.
WORLD SERIES HISTORY-1903
Boston Americans (5) vs Pittsburgh Pirates (3)
In an effort to end a bitter two year rivalry and promote unity in baseball, the veteran National League and newly established American League decided to bury the hatchet and come together for a new kind of season finale.
Nine years earlier, the two top teams in the National League competed in an experimental post-season championship in which Boston beat Pittsburgh five games to three. In 1903, both teams (now in separate leagues) found themselves competing against one another in the first official “World Series”. Echoing the 1894 proposal of owner William C. Temple, Pittsburgh’s Barney Dreyfuss and Boston’s Henry Killilea agreed that their ballclubs, who were both pennant winners, should meet in a best-of-nine playoff series for the “World Championship.”
The spectacle would represent the first step towards a mutual reconciliation for years of open hostilities and blatant player raids. The Pirates, who had just won their third consecutive pennant, were the perfect representatives for the veteran Nationals. Their rivals, the Americans, had won their flag by 14½ games and represented the fledgling Americans who were still trying to establish themselves as a worthy competitor.
Game 1 of the series proved to be a complete success as fans were treated to the best baseball that both leagues had to offer. The Pirates played exceptionally well on both sides of the ball as Deacon Phillippe pitched a six hitter and right fielder Jimmy Sebring hit the first home run in World Series history. He alone drove in four runs for a 7-3 victory. Game 2 did not disappoint either as Boston mirrored Pittsburgh’s previous performance. They evened the series when Bill Dinneen threw a three-hitter and Patsy Dougherty walloped two homers in a 3-0 triumph.
Pittsburgh’s pitching staff, ravaged by illness and injuries, forced the Pirates to start Phillippe again in Game 3 after only one day of rest. The veteran workhorse, a twenty-five game winner during the regular season, rose to the challenge allowing only four hits in a 4-2 win. Three days later, Pittsburgh went to their dependable ace for a third time and backed him up with reinforcements who came out swinging. Third basemen, Tommy Leach, knocked in three runs while Honus Wagner and Ginger Beaumont each collected three hits. Boston was unable to answer and Pittsburgh led the series three games to one.
Boston was down, but far from out. Cy Young, a veteran, twenty-eight game winner was called upon to cool off the Pirates in Game 5 and that’s exactly what he did. Pittsburgh never knew what hit them. Young yielded only six hits and drove in three runs in an 11-2 runaway. The following day, Game 2 winner Bill Dinneen maintained Boston’s momentum with a 6-3 victory in a contest that featured four hits, two RBIs and two stolen bases by the losing Pirates. The series was now tied at three games each.
Deacon Phillippe, who was undefeated in the series, took the mound for the Pirates in Game 7. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, all good things must come to an end. The Americans’ playing manager Jimmy Collins and Chick Stahl knocked him for first inning triples and Boston bolted to an early 2-0 lead en route to a 7-3 triumph. For the first time, the Americans had seized the Series lead. Ahead four games to three, Boston would attempt to nail down the championship on its own Huntington Avenue Grounds.
Game 8 looked to be a pitcher’s duel as Dinneen and Phillippe went head to head to a scoreless tie through the first three innings. Boston managed to get on the board twice in the fourth and again in the sixth. Phillippe battled on and would end up pitching his fifth complete game in the Series, which lasted thirteen days, but Dinneen bested him in the climactic finale, tossing his second shutout of the Series and notching his third victory.
The 3-0 decision was the Americans fourth straight triumph and made the upstart Boston team champions of the First American League vs. National League World Series. With great pitching dominating the play, hitters obviously had a rough time at the plate. Boston batted .252 while Pittsburgh, despite the presence of National League batting champion Honus Wagner, hit .237.