NFL SCOREBOARD

ATLANTA 20 DETROIT 16

TAMPA BAY 32 CAROLINA 6

CINCINNATI 41 BALTIMORE 21

HOUSTON 41 LA CHARGERS 29

LA RAMS 30 MINNESOTA 23

BUFFALO 33 NEW ENGLAND 21

NY JETS 26 JACKSONVILLE 21

PHILADELPHIA 34 NY GIANTS 10

CHICAGO 25 SEATTLE 24

KANSAS CITY 36 PITTSBURGH 10

LAS VEGAS 17 DENVER 13

DALLAS 56 WASHINGTON 14

WEEK 17 NFL SCHEDULE

SUNDAY, JAN. 2

ATLANTA FALCONS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (FOX)

NEW YORK GIANTS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1 PM (CBS)

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 1 PM (FOX)

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, 1 PM (CBS)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 1 PM (FOX)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (FOX)

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 PM (CBS)

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, 1 PM (FOX)

DENVER BRONCOS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

HOUSTON TEXANS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

LOS ANGELES RAMS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

DETROIT LIONS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 8:20 PM(NBC)

MONDAY, JAN. 3

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

WEEK 18 NFL SCHEDULE

SATURDAY, JAN. 8

TBD, 4:30 PM, ESPN, ABC

TBD, 8:15 PM, ESPN, ABC

SUNDAY, JAN. 9

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 PM (CBS)

NEW YORK JETS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (CBS)

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 PM (CBS)DA

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (FOX)

TENNESSEE TITANS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 PM(CBS)

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 PM (CBS)

CHICAGO BEARS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 PM (FOX)

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT NEW YORK GIANTS, 1 PM (FOX)

DALLAS COWBOYS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1 PM (FOX)

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 1 PM (FOX)

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)

TBD, 8:20 PM(NBC)

UPCOMING COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL SCHEDULE

MONDAY, DEC. 27

QUICK LANE BOWL

WESTERN MICHIGAN VS. NEVADA

11 A.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

MILITARY BOWL PRESENTED BY PERATON-CANCELLED

BOSTON COLLEGE VS. EAST CAROLINA

2:30 P.M., ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

TUESDAY, DEC. 28

TICKETSMARTER BIRMINGHAM BOWL

HOUSTON VS. AUBURN

NOON, ESPN AND THE ESPN APP

NBA SCOREBOARD

MIAMI 93 ORLANDO 83

CLEVELAND 144 TORONTO 99

MEMPHIS 127 SACRAMENTO 102

PHILADELPHIA 117 WASHINGTON 96

SAN ANTONIO 144 DETROIT 109

OKLAHOMA CITY 117 NEW ORLEANS 112

CHICAGO 113 INDIANA 105

DENVER 103 LA CLIPPERS 100

INDIANA SRN GIRLS BASKETBALL POLLS

4A

CROWN POINT

FRANKLIN

FISHERS

BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE

NOBLESVILLE

3A

SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON

SILVER CREEK

HAMILTON HEIGHTS

BENTON CENTRAL

MISHAWAKA MARIAN

2A

TRITON CENTRAL

WINCHESTER

SOUTH CENTRAL

EASTERN HANCOCK

FOREST PARK

1A

WALDRON

LANESVILLE

VINCENNES RIVET

LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC

NORTH WHITE

INDIANA SRN BOYS BASKETBALL POLLS

4A

ZIONSVILLE

LAWRENCE NORTH

FISHERS

HOMESTEAD

INDIANAPOLIS TECH

3A

MISHAWAKA MARIAN

BREBEUF

NORTHWOOD

CONNERSVILLE

CHATARD

2A

LINTON STOCKTON

SOUTH SPENCER

PARK TUDOR

EASTSIDE

PARKE HERITAGE

1A

BARR REEVE

LOOGOOTEE

INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN

EDINBURGH

BETHESDA

INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL MONDAY SCHEDULE

BOWMAN ACADEMYATPROVISO WEST (ILL.)TBA
HAMMOND CENTRALVS.TBATBA
SHAWE MEMORIALATCROTHERSVILLE7:30 PM
WAYNE TRACE (OHIO)ATWOODLAN7:30 PM
BISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.) TOURNAMENT
INDIANA MATH & SCIENCEVS.MILFORD (ILL.)12:30 PMPOOL A
INDIANA MATH & SCIENCEVS.VILLA GROVE (ILL.)7:30 PMPOOL A
LAPORTE COUNTY CLASSIC
WESTVILLEATMICHIGAN CITY8:00 PM
WABASH VALLEY TOURNAMENT
NORTHVIEWVS.TERRE HAUTE NORTH10:00 AMR1
PARKE HERITAGEVS.CASEY-WESTFIELD (ILL.)11:30 AMR1
SULLIVANATTERRE HAUTE SOUTH1:00 PMR1
WEST VIGOVS.SHAKAMAK2:30 PMR1
GREENCASTLEVS.CLOVERDALE4:00 PMR1
ROBINSON (ILL.)VS.EDGEWOOD5:30 PMR1
BLOOMFIELDVS.SOUTH VERMILLION7:00 PMR1
MARSHALL (ILL.)VS.LINTON-STOCKTON8:30 PMR1

INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE TUESDAY

ANDERSON PREP ACADEMYATTRI7:30 PM
BLUE RIVERATWAPAHANI7:30 PM
DALEVILLEATBLACKFORD7:30 PM
EASTERN HANCOCKATGREENFIELD-CENTRAL7:30 PM
EVANSVILLE DAYATEASTERN (PEKIN)1:30 PM
EVANSVILLE DAYATSALEM7:30 PM
HAMMOND SCIENCE & TECHATWEST CENTRAL6:30 PM
KNIGHTSTOWNATUNION CITY7:30 PM
LAKE STATIONVS.TBATBA
LAWRENCE NORTHATINDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY7:30 PM
MOUNT VERNON (POSEY)ATSALEM1:30 PM
MOUNT VERNON (POSEY)ATEASTERN (PEKIN)7:30 PM
MUNCIE CENTRALATFRANKLIN COUNTY6:30 PM
NORTH POSEYATHENDERSON COUNTY (KY.)9:00 PM
PIONEERATLACROSSE7:30 PM
PROVIDENCE CRISTO REYATINDIAN CREEK7:30 PM
SEYMOURATNEW ALBANY7:30 PM
TECUMSEHATEVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN8:00 PM
WALDRONATOLDENBURG ACADEMY7:30 PM
ZIONSVILLEATMOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE)7:30 PM
ALEXANDRIA TOURNAMENT
SHERIDANVS.SOUTH CENTRAL (UNION MILLS)10:00 AMR1
CASCADEATALEXANDRIA12:00 PMR1
LOSER GAME 1VS.LOSER GAME 26:00 PM3RD
WINNER GAME 1VS.WINNER GAME 28:00 PM1ST
BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE TOURNAMENT
OWEN VALLEYATBEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE10:00 AMR1
WHITELANDVS.BLOOMINGTON NORTH11:45 AMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 16:00 PM3RD
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 17:45 PM1ST
BISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.) TOURNAMENT
INDIANA MATH & SCIENCEVS.LEXINGTON (ILL.)12:30 PMPOOL A
INDIANA MATH & SCIENCEATBISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.)9:00 PMPOOL A
CLAY CITY TOURNAMENT
FORT WAYNE NORTHVS.BENTON CENTRAL3:00 PMR1
WEST WASHINGTONVS.TRADERS POINT CHRISTIAN4:30 PMR1
RIVERTON PARKEVS.MARTINSVILLE6:00 PMR1
NORTH VERMILLIONATCLAY CITY7:30 PMR1
CLINTON CENTRAL TOURNAMENT
CARROLL (FLORA)VS.EASTERN (GREENTOWN)6:30 PMR1
TRI-CENTRALATCLINTON CENTRAL8:00 PMR1
EAST NOBLE TOURNAMENT
PRAIRIE HEIGHTSATEAST NOBLE11:00 AMR1
JOHN GLENNVS.HERITAGE12:45 PMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 16:00 PM3RD
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 18:00 PM1ST
EDINBURGH TOURNAMENT
HAUSERVS.INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN10:00 AMR1
SOUTH PUTNAMVS.SOUTH DECATUR12:00 PMR1
LANESVILLEATEDINBURGH2:00 PMR1
NORTH WHITEVS.HAGERSTOWN4:00 PMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 16:00 PMCON
LOSER GAME 4VS.LOSER GAME 38:00 PMCON
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 16:00 PMSF
WINNER GAME 4VS.WINNER GAME 38:00 PMSF
GRANT 4 TOURNAMENT
MADISON-GRANTATEASTBROOK10:00 AMR1
OAK HILLVS.MISSISSINEWA12:00 PMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 16:30 PM3RD
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 18:30 PM1ST
HIGHLAND TOURNAMENT
HANOVER CENTRALVS.HAMMOND MORTON11:00 AMR1
WHITINGATHIGHLAND1:00 PMR1
LOSER GAME 1VS.LOSER GAME 26:30 PMCON
WINNER GAME 1VS.WINNER GAME 28:30 PMSF
LAKELAND CHRISTIAN TOURNAMENT
NORTH JUDSONATLAKELAND CHRISTIAN10:00 AMPOOL A
BETHANY CHRISTIANVS.GRANGER CHRISTIAN11:30 AMPOOL B
CLINTON CHRISTIANATLAKELAND CHRISTIAN1:00 PMPOOL A
GRANGER CHRISTIANVS.COVENANT CHRISTIAN (DEMOTTE)2:30 PMPOOL B
NORTH JUDSONVS.CLINTON CHRISTIAN4:00 PMPOOL A
COVENANT CHRISTIAN (DEMOTTE)VS.BETHANY CHRISTIAN5:30 PMPOOL B
LEBANON TOURNAMENT
GARY 21ST CENTURYVS.PERRY MERIDIAN11:00 AMR1
EVANSVILLE NORTHVS.MOORESVILLE1:00 PMR1
INDIANAPOLIS METROPOLITANVS.NEW PALESTINE7:00 PMR1
LOWELLATLEBANON8:30 PMR1
MIAMI COUNTY INVITATIONAL
MACONAQUAHVS.NORTH MIAMI6:00 PMR1
PERUVS.CASTON8:00 PMR1
LAPORTE COUNTY CLASSIC
NEW PRAIRIEVS.WESTVILLE5:00 PM
MONROVIA TOURNAMENT
TRI-WESTATMONROVIA9:00 AMR1
MITCHELLVS.SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBYVILLE)10:30 AMR1
DANVILLEVS.GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN12:00 PMR1
MILANVS.TIPTON1:30 PMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 13:00 PMCON
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 14:30 PMSF
LOSER GAME 4VS.LOSER GAME 36:00 PMCON
WINNER GAME 4VS.WINNER GAME 37:30 PMSF
NOBLESVILLE TOURNAMENT
LAWRENCE CENTRALVS.NORWELL11:00 AMR1
COLUMBUS NORTHVS.CROWN POINT12:45 PMR1
NORTHRIDGEVS.CHESTERTON2:30 PMR1
INDIANAPOLIS RONCALLIATNOBLESVILLE4:15 PMR1
LOSER GAME 1VS.LOSER GAME 26:00 PMCON
LOSER GAME 3VS.LOSER GAME 47:45 PMCON
NORTH CENTRAL (OHIO) TOURNAMENT
ONSTEAD (MICH.)VS.PARKWAY (OHIO)4:00 PMR1
FREMONTATNORTH CENTRAL (OHIO)7:30 PMR1
NORTH CENTRAL CLASSIC
PARK TUDORVS.AVON11:45 AM
FLOYD CENTRALVS.PIKE3:15 PM
TBAATNORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS)6:45 PM
NORTH DAVIESS TOURNAMENT
BARR-REEVEVS.SOUTH KNOX7:30 PMR1
FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWKATNORTH DAVIESS6:00 PMR1
PAOLIVS.LOOGOOTEE3:00 PMR1
BROWNSTOWN CENTRALVS.ROCK CREEK ACADEMY4:30 PMR1
PERRY-SPENCER TOURNAMENT
PERRY CENTRALVS.CORYDON CENTRAL11:00 AMR1
CRAWFORD COUNTYATTELL CITY12:45 PMR1
BOONVILLEVS.HERITAGE HILLS11:00 AMR1
VINCENNES LINCOLNATSOUTH SPENCER12:45 PMR1
LOSER GAME 1VS.LOSER GAME 26:30 PMCON
LOSER GAME 3VS.LOSER GAME 46:30 PMCON
WINNER GAME 1VS.WINNER GAME 28:15 PMSF
WINNER GAME 3VS.WINNER GAME 48:15 PMSF
PREBLE SHAWNEE (OHIO) TOURNAMENT
UNION COUNTYVS.TBATBA
RICHMOND TOURNAMENT
GREENSBURGVS.SETON CATHOLIC9:00 AMPOOL A
INDIANAPOLIS HOMESCHOOLVS.BLOOMINGTON SOUTH9:00 AMPOOL C
VICTORY COLLEGE PREPATRICHMOND11:00 AMPOOL B
LAWRENCEBURGVS.CENTRAL CHRISTIAN11:00 AMPOOL D
GREENSBURGVS.MIAMI VALLEY (OHIO)1:00 PMPOOL A
INDIANAPOLIS HOMESCHOOLVS.NORTHWOOD1:00 PMPOOL C
VICTORY COLLEGE PREPVS.PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD3:00 PMPOOL B
LAWRENCEBURGVS.FORT WAYNE NORTHROP3:00 PMPOOL D
SETON CATHOLICVS.MIAMI VALLEY (OHIO)5:00 PMPOOL A
BLOOMINGTON SOUTHVS.NORTHWOOD5:00 PMPOOL C
PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOODATRICHMOND7:00 PMPOOL B
CENTRAL CHRISTIANVS.FORT WAYNE NORTHROP7:00 PMPOOL D
SILVER CREEK TOURNAMENT
CHARLESTOWNVS.TBATBA
CLARKSVILLEVS.TBATBA
PROVIDENCEVS.TBATBA
TBAATSILVER CREEKTBA
SOUTHRIDGE TOURNAMENT
EASTERN GREENEVS.CHRISTIAN ACADEMY12:00 PMR1
ORLEANSVS.NORTHEAST DUBOIS1:45 PMR1
SOUTH CENTRAL (ELIZABETH)ATSOUTHRIDGE3:30 PMR1
NORTH KNOXVS.PRINCETON4:45 PMR1
WABASH VALLEY TOURNAMENT
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 110:00 AMCON
LOSER GAME 4VS.LOSER GAME 311:30 AMCON
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 11:00 PMQF
WINNER GAME 4VS.WINNER GAME 32:30 PMQF
LOSER GAME 6VS.LOSER GAME 54:00 PMCON
LOSER GAME 8VS.LOSER GAME 75:30 PMCON
WINNER GAME 6VS.WINNER GAME 57:00 PMQF
WINNER GAME 8VS.WINNER GAME 78:30 PMQF
WARSAW CLASSIC
PENDLETON HEIGHTSATWARSAW11:00 AM
FORT WAYNE DWENGERVS.SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON11:00 AM
PENDLETON HEIGHTSVS.FORT WAYNE DWENGER6:00 PM
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTONATWARSAW8:00 PM
WHEELER TOURNAMENT
NORTH NEWTONATWHEELER11:00 AMR1
HOBARTVS.LAKE STATION12:30 PMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 17:00 PM3RD
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 18:30 PM1ST

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE MONDAY

FORT WAYNE NORTHROPATNOBLESVILLE3:30 PM
PROVIDENCE CRISTO REYATINDIANAPOLIS HERRON6:00 PM
PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOODATINDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY6:00 PM
BISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.) TOURNAMENT
NORTH VERMILLIONVS.UNITY (ILL.)12:00 PMPOOL A
BENTON CENTRALVS.LEXINGTON (ILL.)12:30 PMPOOL B
NORTH VERMILLIONVS.SALT FORK (ILL.)5:00 PMPOOL A
BENTON CENTRALVS.VILLA GROVE (ILL.)3:20 PMPOOL B
CARL SANDBURG (ILL.) TOURNAMENT
HAMMOND CENTRALVS.TBATBA
HAMMOND NOLL TOURNAMENT
HAMMOND MORTONATHAMMOND NOLL2:00 PMPOOL A
DETROIT EDISON (MICH.)VS.GARY WEST4:00 PMPOOL B
LEBANON TOURNAMENT
GREENFIELD-CENTRALATLEBANON10:00 AMR1
LAFAYETTE JEFFVS.PERRY MERIDIAN12:00 PMR1
RICHMONDVS.LOWELL4:00 PMR1
INDIAN CREEKVS.MOORESVILLE6:00 PMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 14:00 PMCON
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 16:00 PMSF
MONROVIA TOURNAMENT
SOUTH PUTNAMVS.UNIVERSITY12:00 PMR1
SULLIVANATMONROVIA2:00 PMR1
LOSER GAME 1VS.LOSER GAME 25:00 PM3RD
WINNER GAME 1VS.WINNER GAME 27:00 PM1ST

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL SCHEDULE TUESDAY

AUSTINATBORDEN7:30 PM
CARMELATLAWRENCE CENTRAL1:30 PM
CHURUBUSCOVS.GARRETT2:00 PM
CLARKSVILLEATCANNELTON6:00 PM
CRAWFORD COUNTYATHENRYVILLE7:30 PM
EASTSIDEATBELLMONT7:30 PM
FRANKLIN CENTRALATSHELBYVILLE7:30 PM
HANCOCK COUNTY (KY.)ATSPRINGS VALLEY6:00 PM
HAUSERATCROTHERSVILLE6:00 PM
LAWRENCE NORTHATINDIANAPOLIS RONCALLI7:30 PM
PENNATVALPARAISO7:30 PM
SOUTHRIDGEATEVANSVILLE CENTRAL8:00 PM
WEST WASHINGTONATSHOALS7:30 PM
WHITELANDATANDERSON7:30 PM
WHITKOATPRAIRIE HEIGHTS7:00 PM
WOODLANATWAYNE TRACE (OHIO)7:30 PM
YORKTOWNATJAY COUNTY7:30 PM
BISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.) TOURNAMENT
NORTH VERMILLIONVS.OAKWOOD (ILL.)7:30 AMPOOL A
BENTON CENTRALVS.CISSA PARK (ILL.)11:00 AMPOOL B
NORTH VERMILLIONATBISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.)10:30 AMPOOL A
BENTON CENTRALVS.ARMSTRONG-POTOMAC (ILL.)9:00 PMPOOL B
BOWMAN ACADEMY TOURNAMENT
SILVER CREEKVS.TBATBA
EASTERN GREENE TOURNAMENT
BARR-REEVEATEASTERN GREENE9:30 AMPOOL A
BLOOMFIELDVS.EDGEWOOD9:30 AMPOOL B
LOOGOOTEEVS.BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL11:15 AMPOOL C
OWEN VALLEYVS.NORTH KNOX11:15 AMPOOL D
EDGEWOODVS.SOUTH KNOX1:00 PMPOOL B
BARR-REEVEVS.TRINITY LUTHERAN1:00 PMPOOL A
NORTH KNOXVS.PAOLI2:45 PMPOOL D
BROWNSTOWN CENTRALVS.SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)2:45 PMPOOL C
TRINITY LUTHERANATEASTERN GREENE4:30 PMPOOL A
SOUTH KNOXVS.BLOOMFIELD4:30 PMPOOL B
SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)VS.LOOGOOTEE6:15 PMPOOL C
PAOLIVS.OWEN VALLEY6:15 PMPOOL D
FRANKFORT TOURNAMENT
BETHESDA CHRISTIANATFRANKFORT10:00 AMR1
LAPELVS.SOUTH NEWTON11:45 AMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 14:00 PM3RD
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 16:00 PM1ST
FREMONT TOURNAMENT
STURGIS (MICH.)VS.JIMTOWN2:30 PMR1
FORT WAYNE NORTHATFREMONT5:30 PMR1
HAMMOND NOLL TOURNAMENT
HAMMOND MORTONVS.SILVER CREEK2:00 PMPOOL A
SALEMVS.DETROIT EDISON (MICH.)4:00 PMPOOL B
SILVER CREEKATHAMMOND NOLL6:00 PMPOOL A
SALEMVS.GARY WEST8:00 PMPOOL B
HANOVER CENTRAL TOURNAMENT
BOONE GROVEVS.TBATBA
ILLIANA CHRISTIANVS.TBATBA
RIVER FORESTVS.TBATBA
TBAATHANOVER CENTRALTBA
WHEELERVS.TBATBA
LAKELAND CHRISTIAN TOURNAMENT
HAMILTONVS.GRANGER CHRISTIAN10:00 AMPOOL B
CLINTON CHRISTIANATLAKELAND CHRISTIAN11:30 AMPOOL A
GRANGER CHRISTIANVS.COVENANT CHRISTIAN (DEMOTTE)1:00 PMPOOL B
PURDUE POLY SOUTH BENDATLAKELAND CHRISTIAN2:30 PMPOOL A
COVENANT CHRISTIAN (DEMOTTE)VS.HAMILTON4:00 PMPOOL B
CLINTON CHRISTIANVS.PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD5:30 PMPOOL A
LAPORTE COUNTY TOURNAMENT
HIGHLANDATLAPORTE10:00 AMR1
EAST CHICAGO CENTRALVS.SOUTH BEND RILEY12:00 PMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 13:00 PM3RD
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 15:00 PM1ST
LAPORTE COUNTY TOURNAMENT
NEW PRAIRIEVS.WESTVILLE6:30 PMR1
MARQUETTE CATHOLICATMICHIGAN CITY8:00 PMR1
LEBANON TOURNAMENT
LOSER GAME 4VS.LOSER GAME 39:00 AMCON
WINNER GAME 4VS.WINNER GAME 39:00 AMSF
LOSER GAME 5VS.LOSER GAME 73:00 PM7TH
WINNER GAME 5VS.WINNER GAME 73:00 PM5TH
LOSER GAME 6VS.LOSER GAME 85:00 PM3RD
WINNER GAME 6VS.WINNER GAME 85:00 PM1ST
MIAMI COUNTY INVITATIONAL
MACONAQUAHATNORTH MIAMI12:00 PMR1
PERUVS.CASTON2:00 PMR1
NORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG) TOURNAMENT
HUTSONVILLE-PALESTINE (ILL.)VS.WHITE RIVER VALLEY10:30 AMPOOL B
ROBINSON (ILL.)ATNORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG)12:00 PMPOOL A
MOUNT VERNNON (POSEY)VS.HUTSONVILLE-PALESTINE (ILL.)1:30 PMPOOL B
ROBINSON (ILL.)VS.ORLEANS3:00 PMPOOL A
WHITE RIVER VALLEYVS.MOUNT VERNNON (POSEY)4:30 PMPOOL B
ORLEANSATNORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG)6:00 PMPOOL A
NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS) CLASSIC
BLOOMINGTON NORTHVS.HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN10:00 AM
EVANSVILLE NORTHATNORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS)1:30 PM
SPRINGBORO (OHIO)VS.GIBSON SOUTHERN5:00 PM
PARK TUDOR TOURNAMENT
INDIANAPOLIS TECHATPARK TUDOR10:00 AMR1
GREENWOODVS.BREBEUF JESUIT11:30 AMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 14:00 PM3RD
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 15:30 PM1ST
PORTAGE TOURNAMENT
MUNSTERATPORTAGE10:00 AMPOOL A
MCCUTCHEONVS.SOUTH BEND ADAMS10:00 AMPOOL A
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRALVS.LAKE CENTRAL11:30 AMPOOL B
WINAMACVS.MISHAWAKA MARIAN11:30 AMPOOL B
MCCUTCHEONATPORTAGE2:30 PMPOOL A
SOUTH BEND ADAMSVS.MUNSTER2:30 PMPOOL A
LAKE CENTRALVS.WINAMAC4:00 PMPOOL B
MISHAWAKA MARIANVS.INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL4:00 PMPOOL B
SCOTTSBURG TOURNAMENT
CHARLESTOWNVS.INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD10:00 AMPOOL B
EAST CENTRALATSCOTTSBURG11:45 AMPOOL A
LAWRENCEBURGVS.CHARLESTOWN1:30 PMPOOL B
BLOOMINGTON SOUTHVS.EAST CENTRAL3:15 PMPOOL A
INDIANAPOLIS CHATARDVS.LAWRENCEBURG5:00 PMPOOL B
BLOOMINGTON SOUTHATSCOTTSBURG6:45 PMPOOL A
TRITON CENTRAL TOURNAMENT
FRANKLIN COUNTYATTRITON CENTRAL9:00 AMR1
NORTHEASTERNVS.SOUTHPORT10:30 AMR1
DANVILLEVS.ELKHART12:00 PMR1
HERITAGE CHRISTIANVS.JAC-CEN-DEL1:30 PMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 13:00 PMCON
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 14:30 PMSF
LOSER GAME 4VS.LOSER GAME 36:00 PMCON
WINNER GAME 4VS.WINNER GAME 37:30 PMSF
TWIN LAKES TOURNAMENT
LOGANSPORTVS.CLINTON PRAIRIE3:00 PMR1
PIONEERVS.MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE)4:30 PMR1
KANKAKEE VALLEYVS.NORTH WHITE6:00 PMR1
ROCHESTERATTWIN LAKES7:30 PMR1
VINCENNES RIVET TOURNAMENT
VINCENNES RIVETVS.LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC10:00 AMR1
EVANSVILLE MATER DEIVS.EASTERN (PEKIN)11:30 AMR1
EVANSVILLE MEMORIALVS.JASPER1:00 PMR1
TECUMSEHVS.CORYDON CENTRAL2:30 PMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 14:00 PMCON
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 15:30 PMSF
LOSER GAME 4VS.LOSER GAME 37:00 PMCON
WINNER GAME 4VS.WINNER GAME 38:30 PMSF
WALDRON TOURNAMENT
BATESVILLEATWALDRON9:00 AMR1
TRI-WESTVS.BLACKFORD11:00 AMR1
LOSER GAME 2VS.LOSER GAME 12:30 PM3RD
WINNER GAME 2VS.WINNER GAME 16:00 PM1ST
WARREN CENTRAL (KY.) TOURNAMENT
EVANSVILLE BOSSEVS.TBATBA
WESTERN CLASSIC
SHERIDANVS.TBATBA
WHITEFIELD (KY.) TOURNAMENT
CHRISTIAN ACADEMYVS.PRESTONSBURG (KY.)6:30 PM

NFL: SEVEN FROM SUNDAY

A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 26, the 16th week of the 2021 season.

  • With two games remaining in Week 16, 24 teams remain in contention for Super Bowl LVI. This would be the most in 15 years and tie the 2006 season (24 teams) for the third-most teams still in Super Bowl contention with two weeks to play, trailing only the 2004 season (26 teams) and 1982 season (25 teams).

    The KANSAS CITY CHIEFS defeated Pittsburgh, 36-10, and in combination with the Los Angeles Chargers’ Week 16 loss, clinched their sixth-consecutive AFC West division title.

    The TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS defeated Carolina, 32-6, and clinched the NFC South division title for the first time since 2007.

    The DALLAS COWBOYS, by way of securing the strength-of-victory tiebreaker over Philadelphia, clinched the NFC East for the first time since 2018.

    The ARIZONA CARDINALS, with losses by Minnesota and San Francisco in Week 16, clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2015.

    The LOS ANGELES RAMS defeated Minnesota, 30-23, and clinched a playoff berth for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

    The HOUSTON TEXANS, who entered today with a record of 3-11, earned a 41-29 win over the Los Angeles Chargers (8-6 entering Week 16). It marked the 12th game won by a team over an opponent with at least four more victories this season, tied for the fifth-most through Week 16 in league annals.

  • Cincinnati quarterback JOE BURROW passed for 525 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 143.2 rating, wide receivers JA’MARR CHASE (125 receiving yards) and TEE HIGGINS (194 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions) each surpassed 100 receiving yards and defensive end TREY HENDRICKSON recorded a sack in the Bengals’ 41-21 win over Baltimore.

    Burrow’s 525 passing yards are the fourth-most in a single game in NFL history, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers NORM VAN BROCKLIN (554 passing yards on September 28, 1951) and WARREN MOON (527 on December 16, 1990), as well as MATT SCHAUB (527 on November 18, 2012).

    Burrow has three career games with at least 400 passing yards and three touchdown passes, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO as the only quarterbacks with three such games in their first two career seasons all-time.

    Burrow registered his 10th career game with at least 300 passing yards since being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and is the fourth quarterback in NFL history to have 10-or-more games with at least 300 passing yards in his first two seasons, joining JUSTIN HERBERT (16 games with at least 300 passing yards), PATRICK MAHOMES (10) and Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (10).

    With Burrow (4,165 passing yards, 25 years old), running back JOE MIXON (1,159 rushing yards, 25 years old), Chase (1,163 receiving yards, 21 years old) and Higgins (1,029 receiving yards, 22 years old), the Bengals are the first team in NFL history with a 4,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers that are all under the age of 26 in the same season.

    With Chase (1,163 receiving yards at 21 years old) and Higgins (1,029 receiving yards at 22 years old), the Bengals are the first team ever with two players under the age of 23 to each record at least 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

    Hendrickson, who has a career-high 14 sacks this season, became the second player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to register at least half of a sack in 11 consecutive games within a single season, joining CHRIS JONES (11 consecutive games from October 7, 2018 to December 23, 2018).

  • Los Angeles Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP had 10 receptions for 109 yards in the team’s 30-23 win at Minnesota.

    Kupp has 132 receptions this season, the fifth-most receptions in a season in NFL history. Only MICHAEL THOMAS (149 receptions in 2019), Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (143 in 2002), ANTONIO BROWN (136 in 2015) and JULIO JONES (136 in 2015) had more.

    Kupp has at least 90 receiving yards in 14 games this season and surpassed ANTONIO BROWN (13 games in 2014) and Pro Football Hall of Famer MICHAEL IRVIN (13 in 1995) for the most such games in a season all-time.

  • Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN passed for 314 yards and three touchdowns with a 104.4 rating and added 64 rushing yards in the Bills’ 33-21 win at New England.

    Allen, who has 101 touchdown passes and 29 rushing touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2018, is the first player with at least 100 touchdown passes and 20 rushing touchdowns in his first four seasons in NFL history.

    Allen has five career games with at least 300 passing yards and 50 rushing yards, surpassing MICHAEL VICK (four games) and RUSSELL WILSON (four) for the second-most such games all-time. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer STEVE YOUNG (eight games) has more.

  • Houston rookie quarterback DAVIS MILLS completed 21 of 27 pass attempts (77.8 percent) for 254 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 130.6 rating in the Texans’ 41-29 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

    Mills, who passed for 312 yards with three touchdowns and a 141.7 rating in Week 5, is the third rookie quarterback all-time with at least 250 passing yards, two touchdown passes and a rating of 130-or-higher in multiple games, joining ROBERT GRIFFIN III (2012) and JUSTIN HERBERT (2020).

  • New York Jets rookie quarterback ZACH WILSON had one touchdown pass with zero interceptions for an 89.6 rating and registered a 52-yard rushing touchdown in the team’s 26-21 win over Jacksonville.

    Wilson is the fourth rookie quarterback since 1950 to record a rushing touchdown of at least 50 yards, joining MARCUS MARIOTA (87-yard touchdown run on December 6, 2015), ROBERT GRIFFIN III (76-yard touchdown run on October 14, 2012) and Pro Football Hall of Famer FRAN TARKENTON (52-yard touchdown run on November 5, 1961).

  • Atlanta rookie tight end KYLE PITTS registered six receptions for 102 yards in the Falcons’ 20-16 win over Detroit.

    Pitts has 949 receiving yards this season and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (1,076 receiving yards in 1961) as the only rookie tight ends in NFL history with at least 900 receiving yards.

    Pitts has 64 receptions in 2021 and is the fourth rookie tight end all-time with at least 60 receptions, joining KEITH JACKSON (81 receptions in 1988), JEREMY SHOCKEY (74 in 2002) and EVAN ENGRAM (64 in 2017).

    Pitts, who recorded 119 receiving yards in Week 5 and 163 receiving yards in Week 7, is the third rookie tight end in league history with 100 receiving yards in at least three games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (five games in 1961) and CHARLE YOUNG (four games in 1973).

  • Other notable performances from Sunday include:

    • Making his 30th career start, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT passed for 336 yards on Sunday.

      Herbert has 8,730 career passing yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (8,467 passing yards) for the third-most passing yards by a player in his first 30 career starts in NFL history. Only PATRICK MAHOMES (9,238 passing yards) and Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (8,739) had more.

    • Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON had eight receptions for 116 yards on Sunday.

      Jefferson has 2,851 receiving yards since entering the NFL in 2020 and surpassed ODELL BECKHAM JR. (2,755 receiving yards) for the most receiving yards by a player in his first two seasons in NFL history.

    • Baltimore tight end MARK ANDREWS recorded eight receptions for 125 yards and one touchdown on Sunday.

      Andrews, who had 115 receiving yards with one touchdown in Week 14 and 136 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Week 15, is the second tight end in NFL history to record at least 100 receiving yards and one touchdown reception in three consecutive games, joining JIMMY GRAHAM (Weeks 2-4, 2013).
       
    • Tampa Bay wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN registered 10 receptions for 101 yards in the Buccaneers’ Week 16 win.

      Brown has 23 career games with at least 10 receptions, surpassing ANDRE JOHNSON (22 games) for the most games with at least 10 receptions in NFL history.
       
    • Detroit rookie wide receiver AMON-RA ST. BROWN had nine receptions for 91 yards and one touchdown on Sunday.

      St. Brown is the third rookie all-time with at least eight receptions and a touchdown catch in three-or-more games, joining ODELL BECKHAM JR. (five games in 2014) and ANQUAN BOLDIN (four games in 2003).

      St. Brown has at least eight receptions in four consecutive games and joined ODELL BECKHAM JR. (four consecutive games in 2014) as the only rookies with at least eight receptions in four consecutive games all-time.

    • Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver KEENAN ALLEN has 96 receptions this season and became the second player all-time with at least 95 receptions in five consecutive seasons, joining ANTONIO BROWN (six consecutive seasons from 2013-18).

Oluokun’s last-minute pick saves Falcons’ win over Lions

ATLANTA (AP) Matt Ryan threw a tie-breaking, 12-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Hurst early in the fourth quarter and the Atlanta Falcons held on late to beat the Detroit Lions 20-16 on Sunday to preserve their slim playoff hopes.

Foye Oluokun’s interception of Lions fill-in quarterback Tim Boyle’s pass at the Atlanta 1 with 33 seconds remaining preserved the win. It was the first interception of the game for Boyle, who made his second career start as Jared Goff remained on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Atlanta wide receiver Russell Gage’s lost fumble with 2:18 remaining set up the Lions’ last possession at the Atlanta 37. The fumble was forced by Jalen Reeves-Maybin and recovered by Dean Marlowe.

The Falcons (7-8) began the day knowing they had to win their final three regular-season games to protect hopes of making the playoffs.

Ryan’s 19-yard pass to rookie Kyle Pitts set up the go-ahead touchdown. Hurst beat linebacker Charles Harris, who spent the 2020 season with the Falcons, to snap a 13-13 tie.

The Lions answered with a 17-play drive that consumed 10 minutes, 26 seconds but stalled at the 5. Riley Patterson made a 26-yard field goal.

Without Goff, Detroit (2-12-1) couldn’t maintain momentum gained by last week’s surprising 30-12 win over Arizona. The Lions were called for six offside penalties.

Boyle completed 24 of 34 passes for 187 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

The Lions also were without running back D’Andre Swift, who missed his fourth consecutive game with a sprained right shoulder. Swift was inactive despite returning to practice this week.

Detroit cornerback Amani Oruwariye was placed on injured reserve before the game with a thumb injury, ending his season.

Ryan completed 18 of 24 passes for 215 yards with one touchdown.

The Falcons finally earned their first true home win after five losses at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. They were the designated home team for a win in London over the New York Jets.

FAKE PUNT

Lions punter Jack Fox completed a 21-yard pass to KhaDarel Hodge on a fake punt in the second quarter, moving Detroit to the Atlanta 24. Three plays later, Boyle completed the 20-yard scoring pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Fox has passed for 38 yards this season, the most for a Lions punter since Tom Skladany’s 38 yards in 1980.

SHOES SAY IT ALL

Atlanta’s do-it-all running back Cordarrelle Patterson didn’t make the Pro Bowl despite excelling as a runner, receiver and return specialist. His 1,421 combined yards entering the game ranked fifth in the NFL.

Patterson made a comment about the Pro Bowl snub with a message written on a red cleat: “No Pro Bowl? No Problem!” A green Grinch was painted on his other shoe.

INJURY REPORT

Lions: RB Jason Cabinda did not return after leaving with a right knee injury in the first quarter. … TE Shane Zylstra was carted off the field with an apparent left knee injury in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Lions: play at Seattle next Sunday in their final road game of the season.

Falcons: visit Buffalo next Sunday.

Brady, Bucs rout Panthers 32-6 to clinch NFC South title

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their first NFC South title since 2007 on Sunday when Tom Brady threw for 232 yards and a touchdown and Antonio Brown made a grand return to the NFL in a 32-6 rout of the Carolina Panthers.

In his first game since Oct. 13 after missing eight games, Brown saw a prominent role on offense with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin sidelined by injuries, catching 10 passes for 101 yards while being targeted 15 times by Brady. Brown has been plagued by an ankle injury and was suspended three games for breaking COVID-19 protocols prior.

Ronald Jones carried 20 times for 65 yards and a touchdown filling in for the injured Leonard Fournette. Tampa Bay also got big offensive contributions from unheralded players Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Cyril Grayson. Vaughn broke two tackles and rambled for a 55-yard first quarter touchdown. Grayson, a COVID-19 replacement player elevated to the active roster this week, hauled in a 62-yard reception to set up Brady’s only TD pass, a 4-yarder to Cameron Brate.

The Bucs (11-4) put up 391 yards on offense after being shut out 9-0 by the New Orleans Saints last week.

The Bucs’ defense had no problems shutting down Carolina’s dual-quarterback approach, even after Pro Bowl linebacker Shaquil Barrett left with a knee injury in the second quarter. Tampa Bay had seven sacks and limited the Panthers (5-10) to two field goals.

Cam Newton started the game but was replaced by Sam Darnold after throwing an interception on Carolina’s second offensive series. The two QBs split reps for the remainder of the game, as coach Matt Rhule had planned last week.

Neither produced.

Newton was 7 of 13 for 61 yards and ran for 42 yards en route to losing his 13th straight game as a Carolina starter, a streak dating back to the 2018 season. Darnold, who was greeted by boos as he entered the game for the first time, finished 15 of 33 for 190 yards.

INJURIES

Buccaneers: Barrett injured his knee in the first half while trying to get to Darnold in the pocket and did not return.

Panthers: Stephon Gilmore became the latest Carolina cornerback to get hit by the injury bug, leaving in the second half with a groin injury. … WR Brandon Zylstra was placed on the COVID-19 list before the game.

UP NEXT

Buccaneers: at the New York Jets next Sunday.

Panthers: at New Orleans next Sunday.

Burrow’s 525 yards, 4 TDs power Bengals past Ravens 41-21

CINCINNATI (AP) Joe Burrow threw for a franchise-record 525 yards and four touchdowns, and the Cincinnati Bengals took sole possession of first place in the AFC North with a 41-21 win over the depleted Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Burrow, the second-year QB who broke Boomer Esiason’s team record of 522 yards, was 37 of 46 and threw two touchdown passes to Tee Higgins and one each to Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon as the Bengals (9-6) swept the Ravens for the first time since 2015. Cincinnati won 41-17 at Baltimore on Oct. 24.

Tee Higgins had 12 receptions for a career-high 194 yards. Ja’Marr Chase caught seven for 125 yards, and Boyd had three catches for 85 yards.

With Lamar Jackson out with an ankle injury and backup Tyler Huntley on the COVID-19 list, Josh Johnson – signed as a free agent 10 days ago – started at quarterback for the Ravens (8-7). His 4-yard pass to Rashod Bateman put Baltimore up 10-7 in the first quarter, but the Ravens – especially their injury-ravaged secondary – couldn’t keep up with Burrow and the Bengals.

Johnson was 28 for 40 for 304 yards with two touchdown passes and an interception. Tight end Mark Andrews had eight catches for 125 yards and a TD. The Ravens were ineffective running the ball, with Devonta Freeman leading the team with 17 yards.

Baltimore dropped out of playoff position in the AFC and will hope to get some key players back from injuries and the COVID-19 list for its final two games, both at home, against the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Late in the rivalry game with the outcome decided, Burrow kept throwing the ball in a bid for the record, which he shattered on a 52-yard bomb to Mixon after the 2-minute warning. Mixon finished with 135 yards from scrimmage – six catches for 70 yards and 18 carries for 65 yards and a 1-yard, first-quarter touchdown on fourth-and-goal.

The Bengals are having their best season since 2015, when they last reached the playoffs and were eliminated by the Steelers in a wild-card game.

INJURIES

Ravens: CB Anthony Averett suffered a chest injury making a first-quarter tackle and did not return.

Bengals: DE Cam Sample suffered a left hamstring injury in the first quarter that ended his day.

UP NEXT

Ravens: Host the NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams next Sunday.

Bengals: Host AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday.

Texans run past Chargers 41-29, ding LA’s playoff hopes

HOUSTON (AP) Rex Burkhead ran for a career-high 149 yards and two touchdowns, and the Houston Texans took advantage of three turnovers to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 41-29 on Sunday with both teams missing more than a dozen players because COVID-19 protocols.

The Chargers’ playoff chances took a serious blow with the loss to the lowly, if recently improved, Texans. Outside linebacker Joey Bosa, running back Austin Ekeler, receiver Mike Williams and center Corey Linsley were among the major contributors on the COVID-19 list for LA (8-7), which entered in second place in the AFC West.

Houston (4-11) had 16 players miss the game on the COVID-19 list – including top receiver Brandin Cooks, center Justin Britt, defensive end Jonathan Greenard and kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn – but managed to win consecutive games for the first time this season. The Texans beat Jacksonville last week.

Burkhead had TD runs of 25 yards and 1 yard as the Texans, who entered the game ranked last in the NFL in yards rushing, ran for a season-high 189 yards. Rookie Davis Mills threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns.

The Chargers’ Justin Herbert threw for 336 yards with garbage-time touchdown and two interceptions. Justin Jackson ran for 64 yards and two touchdowns and had 98 yards receiving filling in for Ekeler, but his fourth-quarter fumble led to a Houston field goal that hurt LA’s comeback bid.

On the Chargers’ next possession, Jackson scored on a 9-yard run and Herbert connected with Jared Cook on the 2-point conversion to get the Chargers within 27-23.

But Mills hit Nico Collins for a 13-yard touchdown with less than three minutes left to extend Houston’s lead to 34-23. Tavierre Thomas effectively ended it when he intercepted Herbert and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown with just under two minutes to go.

Burkhead’s second TD, a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter, made it 24-15.

Three plays later, DeMarcus Walker stripped the ball from Jackson and the ball was recovered by Jonathan Owens, who also created another turnover late in the second quarter that helped Houston take the lead for good.

Owens picked off Herbert at the goal line with about four minutes left in the first half. Owens’ girlfriend, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles, attended the game was seen on the in-stadium video board clapping and cheering after the interception.

The Texans cashed in on the miscue with a 94-yard drive capped by Mills’ 41-yard touchdown pass to Chris Conley, giving them a 17-12 lead at halftime.

Dominik Eberle, who was signed this week with Fairbairn on the COVID-19 list, made his first NFL field goal on the first attempt of his career – a 51-yarder that cut LA’s lead to 12-10 in the second quarter. He finished 2 for 3 on field-goal attempts.

Dustin Hopkins connected on field goals of 50, 46 and 35 yards for the Chargers.

INJURIES

Los Angeles LB Drue Tranquill left in the third quarter with a leg injury. … Houston WR Phillip Dorsett injured his foot in the fourth quarter and didn’t return.

UP NEXT

Chargers: Host Denver next Sunday.

Texans: Visit San Francisco next Sunday.

Punt return TD lifts Rams past Vikings to get playoff spot

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Brandon Powell returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to lift Los Angeles into the playoffs as the Rams pulled out a 30-23 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The victory also sent the Rams’ NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals into the postseason.

Sony Michel rushed for a season-high 131 yards and a score, Matt Gay made three field goals, and the Aaron Donald-led defense did its part, keeping the Vikings out of the end zone on two first-half trips inside the 10-yard line.

Matthew Stafford had his first three-interception game since Sept. 10, 2018, when he was picked off four times for Detroit against the New York Jets. But the Rams (11-4) still had more than enough to win their fourth straight game and pass Arizona (10-5) for first place in the NFC West.

Kirk Cousins had 315 yards on 27-for-38 passing with a touchdown to K.J. Osborn with 8:21 remaining that cut the lead to 27-20. But his interception in the end zone in the first quarter loomed large all afternoon.

Alexander Mattison filled in for COVID-19-absent Dalvin Cook and had 70 total yards and a score for the Vikings (7-8), who failed for the fourth time this season to push their record above .500. They lost control of the third and final NFC wild-card spot.

Anthony Barr picked off Stafford twice, both deep in Rams territory, and the Vikings turned them into 10 points. Stafford went 21 for 37 for 197 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr., but he was out of sync for most of the game with several other throws that could’ve been intercepted.

Cousins was the sharper quarterback, coming off a couple of rough games, but he still couldn’t get the Vikings a win. Only one of their first nine possessions went longer than 15 yards – that ended with Travin Howard picking off Cousins in the end zone after a pass intended for Osborn was deflected in tight coverage by Darious Williams.

That was the fourth interception in the last three games for Cousins. He was picked off only three times in the first 12 games.

GIFT RETURN

Powell gave the Rams their first non-offensive touchdown of the season, their first special teams return score since Pharoh Cooper in 2017, and their first punt return touchdown since Tavon Austin in 2015 when they still played in St. Louis.

RECEIVER RECORDS

Jalen Ramsey kept Justin Jefferson on lockdown much of the game, but he still had eight catches for 116 yards. He passed fellow LSU alum and pal Beckham for most receiving yards in a player’s first two seasons (2,851). Beckham had 2,755.

Cooper Kupp had a 37-yard reception on third down in the fourth quarter to help put the game away. He had 10 catches for 109 yards to become the first player with at least 90 receiving yards in 14 games of a single season. Antonio Brown (2014) and Michael Irvin (1995) did so in 13 games.

INJURY REPORT

Rams: LB Ernest Jones (ankle) was hurt in the first quarter and didn’t return. … C Brian Allen (knee) limped off in the second quarter, forcing a further shuffle of the offensive line. Coleman Shelton, who started at LG with David Edwards shifted to LT, took over for Allen. When Edwards moved back to LG, Alaric Jackson entered at LT. Starting LT Rob Havenstein and backup Joe Noteboom were both out with COVID-19. … NT Greg Gaines (hand) departed in the third quarter. … RB Darrell Henderson Jr. hurt his knee in the fourth quarter on his only carry, a 17-yard gain. … TE Tyler Higbee left with an apparent leg injury.

Vikings: WR Adam Thielen (ankle) returned from a two-game absence with three catches for 40 yards, but he aggravated the injury twice and barely played in the second half. … Cook was joined on the COVID-19 reserve list by backup QB Sean Mannion and backup OT Rashod Hill. … With Mason Cole (elbow) on injured reserve, Oli Udoh returned to his original starting RG spot.

UP NEXT

The Rams play at Baltimore (8-7) next Sunday.

The Vikings play at Green Bay (12-3) next Sunday night.

Allen’s 3 TDs, McKenzie’s big day push Bills past Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Josh Allen threw for three touchdowns and the Buffalo Bills hung on to beat the New England Patriots 33-21 on Sunday to vault themselves back into first place in the AFC East title race.

With the victory, Buffalo (9-6) now holds tiebreakers over the Patriots and Dolphins, and is in the driver’s seat to win its second straight division title.

Allen finished 30 of 47 passes for 314 yards, and he also rushed 12 times for 64 yards.

Isaiah McKenzie stepped up in place of Bills receivers Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis, who were both on the reserve/COVID-19 list, notching a career-high 11 catches, 125 yards and a touchdown. McKenzie’s big day came after the Bills shied away from using him even to field kickoffs during blustery conditions in Buffalo during their Week 13 loss to the Patriots.

The Bills were aggressive, going for it on fourth down three times in the first half, including a fourth-and-2 that helped set up a 12-yard pass from Allen to Stefon Diggs for a 17-7 lead. That grew to 26-14 early in the fourth quarter after running back Devin Singletary’s 2-yard touchdown run; Buffalo was denied on its 2-point conversion attempt.

The Patriots (9-6) got it to 26-21 with 7:37 to play on Damien Harris’ 8-yard TD run, his second of the game, but rookie quarterback Mac Jones struggled to find openings against the Bills’ top-ranked defense, ending his day making 14 of 32 passes for 145 yards and two interceptions.

Buffalo quickly faced third down on its next series before Allen hooked up with McKenzie for 15 yards along the sideline. The Patriots forced a fourth-and-1 on their own 34, but Allen was able to get outside for 8 yards.

The Bills were staring at third-and-10 with under four minutes to play when Allen came through again, this time creating space before flicking a pass to Diggs for 19 yards. Two plays later, Allen tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dawson Knox.

In Week 13, the Patriots dominated on the ground, grinding out 200-plus yards in their 14-10 win on a cold and wet night. Jones attempted only three passes in that first meeting, but got there in just two drives Sunday.

The Pats’ changed strategy allowed Buffalo’s top ranked defense more cracks at Jones, and the Bills took advantage, tipping and intercepting a second-quarter pass by Jones in Buffalo territory.

Buffalo nearly squandered an opportunity to pad their lead on their opening drive of the third quarter when Allen overthrew a wide-open Jake Kumerow in the end zone. After a pair of penalties, the Bills settled for a 34-yard Tyler Bass field goal that made it 20-7. New England trimmed the gap to 20-14 on its ensuing possession when Harris scored on a 1-yard run to cap a 14-play, 75-yard drive.

Harris finished with 103 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

INJURIES

Bills: Left guard Ike Boettger was carted off the field at the 10:05 mark of the second quarter with a ruptured Achilles tendon. … RB Devin Singletary suffered an ankle injury on the Bills’ first drive the third quarter but was able to return. . Starting right guard Jon Feliciano wasn’t cleared from COVID-19 list in time to play Sunday.

Patriots: DL Daniel Ekuale left just before halftime with an undisclosed issue but returned in the second half.

UP NEXT

Bills: Host Atlanta on Sunday.

Patriots: Host Jacksonville on Sunday.

Wilson, Jets hold on to edge Lawrence, Jaguars 26-21

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Zach Wilson threw a touchdown pass and ran for another to outduel Trevor Lawrence, and the short-handed New York Jets used a goal-line stand at the end of the game to hold on and beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-21 on Sunday.

It was the fourth matchup of rookie quarterbacks taken with the first two picks in the draft – and the No. 2 selection came out on top.

Barely.

After Eddy Pineiro’s 20-yard field goal gave the Jets (4-11) a five-point lead with 1:47 remaining, Lawrence and the Jaguars (2-13) got the ball back – and had a chance to win.

A 26-yard run by the No. 1 pick got the ball to the 5, and he followed with a 4-yard pass to Marvin Jones. Lawrence spiked the ball to stop the clock to make it fourth-and-the-game.

But Lawrence’s pass to Jones fell incomplete – and the Jaguars were called for an illegal shift that the Jets declined, turning the ball over on downs. The Jets had 20 players on the COVID-19 list and played without coach Robert Saleh because he didn’t clear protocols after testing positive earlier in the week.

Wilson set a Jets record for a quarterback with 91 yards rushing, highlighted by a 52-yard score – the longest run by a QB in franchise history. He was 14 of 22 for 102 yards passing, including a TD pass to offensive lineman Conor McDermott.

Braxton Berrios returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown, and Michael Carter ran for 118 yards on 16 carries for New York, which was led by tight ends coach Ron Middleton in Saleh’s absence.

The silver lining for the Jaguars in defeat: They created some space between themselves and the Jets for next year’s No. 1 draft pick.

Lawrence, the top selection in April, was 26 of 39 for 280 yards for the Jaguars, who lost top running back James Robinson to a torn Achilles tendon early in the game.

The Jaguars and Jets each lost key defensive players a few hours before kickoff, with Jacksonville linebacker Myles Jack and New York defensive lineman Quinnen Williams placed on the COVID-19 list.

With the Jets leading 16-15 in the fourth quarter, Wilson marched New York down the field with a run-heavy drive to get to the 1 after a 2-yard catch by Carter.

On fourth down, New York went for it – and Wilson found McDermott, who was a tackle eligible on the play, for a touchdown to put the Jets up 23-15 with 9:16 left. McDermott reached up and leaped – looking very much like a tight end – to come down with the ball. His teammates jumped on top of him in the end zone in celebration.

Dare Ogunbowale, in for the injured Robinson, answered with a 1-yard touchdown run with 5:25 remaining. But Lawrence’s throw on a tying 2-point try fell incomplete.

After Matthew Wright’s 21-yard field goal put Jacksonville up 3-0, Wilson put the Jets ahead with his record-setting run late in the first quarter. He rolled to his right to escape a sack, zipped down the right sideline, and stayed inbounds while doing a tightrope walk around the Jaguars 25 before finishing with a dive into the end zone.

Pineiro, in his third game with the Jets after two other kickers struggled, had his extra-point try blocked by Adam Gotsis.

Lawrence marched the Jaguars right back down the field, finding Laqon Treadwell for 20 yards on fourth-and-1 from the Jets 39. Four plays later, Lawrence ran a keeper from the 3, but had the ball knocked out of his hands by Jason Pinnock. Offensive lineman Will Richardson recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, putting Jacksonville back ahead.

The Jaguars went for 2 after a penalty by the Jets on the extra point, but Ogubowale’s run was stopped, making it 9-6.

The drive was costly for the Jaguars, though, as Robinson left with a non-contact injury on Lawrence’s handoff to Tavon Austin. After being examined in the medical tent, Robinson had a towel draped over his head as he was carted to the locker room and ruled out for the rest of the game. Robinson finished with 10 yards on three carries.

Berrios fielded the ensuing kickoff in the end zone and ran it all the way back, giving the Jets the lead again at 13-9. It was New York’s first kickoff return for a touchdown since Andre Roberts against Green Bay in 2018.

INJURIES

Jaguars: Other than Robinson, LB Dakota Allen left with a shoulder injury in the second quarter. … DE/OLB K’Lavon Chaisson injured an ankle in the fourth quarter.

Jets: C Connor McGovern and TE Trevon Wesco left with knee injuries in the fourth quarter and didn’t return.

UP NEXT

Jaguars: Travel to New England, where they are 0-8, to face the Patriots next Sunday.

Jets: Host Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Sunday.

Hurts keeps Eagles in playoff race in 34-10 win over Giants

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Jalen Hurts threw a touchdown to lineman Lane Johnson, linebacker Alex Singleton returned an interception for a score and the Philadelphia Eagles continued their late-season playoff push with a 34-10 win over the New York Giants on Sunday.

The Eagles (8-7) have won six of eight after opening the season losing five of seven and moved into the seventh playoff spot in the NFC. They could clinch a playoff berth with a win and some help next week.

The Eagles can only hope they don’t have to play the final two games without running back Miles Sanders after he left the game with an unspecified hand injury.

Hurts shook off a dismal first half and threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns to push the Eagles over .500 for the first time since they won the season opener.

The Eagles scored 31 points in the second half, none quite as cool as the 4-yard pass from Hurts to Johnson early in the fourth that made it 27-3. Johnson, the standout right tackle, reported as eligible and was left all alone when Hurts hit him for the easy score. Johnson, who had missed three games this season to address depression and anxiety, became the first Eagles lineman to score a TD since 2010.

Mike Glennon, playing after Jake Fromm was benched in his first NFL start, had a pass picked off by Singleton and returned 29 yards for the score. The rout was on in Philly.

Fromm’s first pass of the second half was intercepted by safety Rodney McLeod and Boston Scott punched in a 3-yard touchdown for a 10-3 lead. Hurts also hit Devonta Smith for a 4-yard touchdown in the second half in an odd sequence that saw replay overturn the call, only for another call for replay that restored the score.

Fromm got the start with the Giants (4-11) left with little options after Daniel Jones was shut down for the season because of a sprained neck. Fromm went 6 of 17 for 25 yards and one interception before he was pulled for Glennon late in the third. Fromm’s passer rating was just 19.5.

The first half was played by both teams with the importance of a meaningless preseason finale. Easy drops. Fumbles. A missed field goal. Hurts and Fromm combined for a 5 for 17 first quarter – each with an identical 39.6 QB rating.

Maybe the short rest affected Hurts and the Eagles early. The Eagles beat Washington just five days earlier on Tuesday because of a postponement necessitated by COVID-19 issues. Hurts is still recovering from a sprained left ankle, and the QB who had already rushed for more than 700 yards this season ran for only 1 yard in the half.

Fromm only threw for 18 yards in the half. Glennon tossed a touchdown late in the game.

The usually steady Jake Elliott snapped a streak of 17 straight field goals when he missed a 41-yarder. Graham Gano kicked a 54-yarder – only 22 yards shy of New York’s total first-half offensive output – and Elliott kicked a 22-yarder to send the game into halftime tied 3-all.

Elliott later added a 37-yard field goal for a 13-3 lead.

SANDERS OUT

Sanders entered with 709 yards rushing and added another 45 in the first half before he left with an unspecified hand injury.

Sanders has yet to rush for a touchdown this season, but was coming off easily his best two outings of the season. He ran for 120 yards in a win over the Jets and followed up with a career-high 131 yards against Washington.

SIRIANNI IN

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni was cleared in time after he tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Giants: Sunday at Chicago.

Eagles: Sunday at Washington.

Bears get late magic from Nick Foles to top Seahawks 25-24

SEATTLE (AP) Nearly a year after he last took a snap in a game, Nick Foles showed he still has some of that Super Bowl MVP talent in his right arm.

Jimmy Graham caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Foles with 1:01 remaining, Damiere Byrd made an acrobatic reception for the 2-point conversion, and the Chicago Bears beat the Seattle Seahawks 25-24 on Sunday.

“The last couple years haven’t been the easiest, but at the end of the day you can still find joy in little things each and every day,” Foles said. “So going to work and being in a locker room with the guys that care for one another, that’s what I look at and that’s what I’m grateful for.”

Making his first start since last season, Foles led the Bears 80 yards in the closing minutes, capping the drive with his TD toss to Graham, who spent three seasons with the Seahawks. Graham posted up a pair of smaller defensive backs to make the catch in the corner of the end zone, his third TD of the season.

On the 2-point attempt, Foles threw late, but Byrd got his knee down in the end zone with multiple Seattle defenders trying to push him over the back line.

Foles started seven games for Chicago last season before a hip injury suffered in Week 10. His only other action came in a Week 16 blowout win over Jacksonville on Dec. 27, when he was in for a handful of snaps and threw one pass.

Foles started against the Seahawks after rookie Justin Fields was ruled with an ankle injury.

“I’m happy for Nick that he got an opportunity today,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “Not happy for how it happened with Justin and Andy (Dalton), but Nick’s always going to be prepared and for him to be able to come into this moment, he’s been there, done that a lot of different ways.”

Foles finished 24 of 35 for 250 yards, and David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert each had rushing touchdowns. Montgomery had 21 carries for 45 yards and seven receptions for 61 yards. The Bears (5-10) had lost three straight and seven of their previous eight.

“I don’t really care what the record looks like. It is what it is. But to get a win with the guys in there knowing the kind of character they’ve got feels amazing,” Montgomery said.

It was a stunning conclusion to rare snow game in Seattle that eliminated the Seahawks (5-10) from the NFC playoff picture. Seattle was already assured of a losing season, and coach Pete Carroll reached double-digit losses for the first time in his tenure.

Russell Wilson was 16 of 27 for 181 yards and two touchdowns, including the first TD for DK Metcalf since Oct. 31, a 41-yarder in the first quarter. Gerald Everett caught a 24-yard TD late in the third quarter that gave Seattle a 24-14 lead.

Rashaad Penny rushed for 135 yards and a score for the Seahawks, who lost for the second time in five days. Last Tuesday’s game at the Rams was pushed back two days because of Los Angeles’ COVID-19 issues.

“That was about as disappointing a loss as we’ve had,” Carroll said. “We were in control in so many ways in that game to go win it and put it away and we just never did, and let them stay alive. They found a way to make their plays.”

Seattle entered with a mathematical shot at reaching the playoffs but couldn’t hold onto a 17-7 halftime lead. Jason Myers missed a 39-yard field-goal try midway through the fourth quarter that would have given Seattle a 10-point lead. That came after Wilson was sacked by Robert Quinn with Seattle inside the Chicago 10 on third down.

Given the chance to rally, Foles came through. The Bears took over at their own 20 with 2:56 left. Foles hit Darnell Mooney for 30 yards, and a roughing-the-passer penalty moved Chicago to the Seattle 35 in one play. Foles connected with Montgomery on consecutive plays and Chicago was at the Seattle 11 with 2 minutes remaining.

After a strip-sack by Carlos Dunlap that Chicago recovered, Foles hit Graham on third-and-14 and Nagy didn’t hesitate to go for 2.

“We locked eyes and he ended up throwing it and I just knew I had to go up and get it,” Byrd said.

SNOW BOWL

Seattle played its third home game with snow since Lumen Field opened in 2002. The storm hit the Seattle metro area in the early hours of Sunday morning and dropped a few inches of snow throughout the Puget Sound region. Roads were difficult to traverse and the stadium was as empty as it’s been in recent memory for a Seahawks game.

Most of the snow stopped falling by halftime, but a small layer covered most of the field throughout. Seattle also played snow games in December 2008 and November 2006.

WAGNER’S RECORD

Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner set a franchise record when he recorded his 168th tackle of the season late in the third quarter. Wagner entered the week leading the NFL in tackles and had 12, giving him 170 for the season.

SACK ATTACK

Quinn has 17 sacks, tied for the second most in Bears history behind Richard Dent’s 17 1/2 in 1984. Quinn has 15 career sacks against Seattle.

UP NEXT

Bears: Host the New York Giants next Sunday.

Seahawks: Home vs. Detroit next Sunday.

Chiefs rout stumbling Steelers 36-10 to clinch AFC West

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The chances that the Kansas City Chiefs would spend Sunday night celebrating their record sixth straight AFC West title seemed slim last week when Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce headlined an outbreak of COVID-19 within the team.

Turns out the NFL’s hottest team was just fine.

Patrick Mahomes was masterful in throwing for 258 yards and three touchdowns, Byron Pringle and a cast of fill-ins rose to the occasion, and the defense dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 36-10 drubbing at Arrowhead Stadium.

“This is the type of week where it’s so great to have an experienced coach like Andy Reid, somebody who is so steady – somebody who has seen virtually everything that the NFL can throw at them,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said. “This was a different challenge, but his preparation is so thorough that they were able to get the guys who were able ready to play.”

More like ready to dominate.

The Chiefs (11-4) remained a game ahead of Tennessee for first place overall in the AFC with their eighth straight win. That would give them the conference’s lone first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a touchdown run for Kansas City before leaving early in the second half with a collarbone injury. Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore carried the load the rest of the way, Williams running for 55 yards and Gore adding 43 yards on the ground and three catches for 61 yards.

“The guys all played together, which I don’t think you can avoid talking about,” Reid said. “The way they supported each other when there was a problem, when something didn’t work – everybody just hung together.”

Meanwhile, the Steelers (7-7-1) continued to fall apart down the stretch. They became the first team in NFL history to trail by at least 23 points at halftime in three straight road games. They have failed to score a touchdown in the first half of five straight games for the first time since 1940.

Already on the playoff bubble, Pittsburgh dropped further behind the Bengals (9-6) in the AFC North.

“We didn’t do enough in any phase to give ourselves a chance,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “This is a collective, players and coaches, man. We own this. Now we have to get singularly focused on our two remaining division games.”

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 159 yards with a late fourth-quarter touchdown for Pittsburgh, along with throwing an interception and losing a fumble. Najee Harris added 93 yards rushing, but most of that came with the game out of reach.

The Chiefs were crushed by a COVID-19 outbreak early in the week – at one point they had 13 players on the active roster and three on the practice squad test positive. They managed to get Hill and several others cleared in time for kickoff, but Kelce was among three starters unable to test out of protocols Sunday morning.

It didn’t matter.

After watching the Chargers improbably lose to the Texans earlier Sunday, the Chiefs – who began the season 3-4 – knew they merely had to beat inconsistent and offensively challenged Pittsburgh to wrap up another division title. They made it look easy on both sides of the ball.

The Chiefs went 73 yards on their opening possession with Edwards-Helaire bouncing off Robert Spillane for a score. Pringle scored his first TD after Roethlisberger was picked off on a flea-flicker. Mecole Hardman hauled in a touchdown throw from Mahomes, and fill-in kicker Elliott Fry hit a 44-yard field goal for a 23-0 halftime lead.

“It was us just filling those voids and those places and those spots on the field,” Hardman said, “and doing the best we can.”

The Steelers at that point? Two punts, a pick, a turnover on downs, a missed field goal at the end of the half.

They started the second half watching Diontae Johnson fumble the ball away, too. The Chiefs tacked on another TD when Mahomes found Pringle in the back of the end zone, putting the game away by midway through the third quarter.

“I mean, nobody likes losing. Nobody likes losing. But it happens. You can be frustrated, but you have to just focus on what we need to improve,” Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said. “It’s about channeling your energy into the right places, and about channeling your frustration into the right places.”

INJURIES

Steelers: RG Trai Turner (knee) and C Kendrick Green (calf) were banged up during the game.

Chiefs: Edwards-Helaire left after two carries to start the second half. … FS Tyrann Mathieu left in the fourth quarter with a quad injury. He had been hobbled while in coverage earlier in the third quarter.

COVID-19 CASES

Chiefs LB Nick Bolton and RT Lucas Niang were activated from the COVID-19 list along with Kelce on Saturday in hopes they would test out of protocol by kickoff; none did. Fry handled kicking duties with Harrison Butker in the protocol, and Johnny Townsend handled punting duties for his brother, Tommy, who also tested positive.

The Steelers were missing LB Devin Bush and four other backups to positive COVID-19 tests.

UP NEXT

The Steelers return home to face Cleveland on Jan. 3.

The Chiefs visit Cincinnati on Sunday.

Raiders cling to playoff hopes with 17-13 win over Denver

LAS VEGAS (AP) With the Raiders trailing by six points at halftime Sunday, Josh Jacobs told the coaches to give him a chance to get into a rhythm, to make up for a lost fumble, and to put their trust in his running abilities.

They obliged.

Jacobs ran for 57 yards on seven attempts on the Raiders’ opening drive of the second half, which went for 75 yards over nine plays. It ended with Peyton Barber’s 5-yard TD run that gave Las Vegas the lead for good in a 17-13 victory over Denver.

Jacobs finished for 129 yards as the Raiders rallied to defeat the Broncos and stay relevant in the AFC playoff picture.

“Just give me a chance to play the style of ball that I want to play; the offensive line, we all came to an agreement and went out there and did it and executed,” said Jacobs, whose performance on the ground marked his first 100-yard rushing game of the season.

With the win, the Raiders (8-7) severely damaged the postseason chances for AFC West rival Denver (7-8), which dropped its third game in the last four. Dallas, meanwhile, clinched the NFC East through tiebreakers thanks to the Las Vegas victory.

The Raiders have responded after a 2-5 stretch by winning two in a row, previously beating the Browns 16-14 in Cleveland on Monday. Las Vegas has held three of its last four opponents to 17 or fewer points.

“We’re seeing a team that has responded well to adversity, whether it’s before the game or whether it’s during the game,” Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia said.

Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr completed 20 of 25 passes for 201 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Carr completed at least one pass to all seven of his targets, led by Zay Jones, who had six receptions for 50 yards. Hunter Renfrow had three catches for 40 yards and one touchdown, while Foster Moreau and DeSean Jackson each had four receptions.

After controlling much of the first half, the Raiders turned over the ball on consecutive drives spanning just three plays, allowing the Broncos to take a 13-7 lead at the half. But Las Vegas’ defense never wavered, stopping the Broncos on six of their nine drives, and keeping them out of Raiders territory on five of those drives.

“We have guys running to the ball like crazy,” said recently named Pro Bowl defensive end Maxx Crosby, who finished with a sack, one quarterback hit, and two tackles for loss. “You don’t see D-lines running like us. And that’s a credit to (defensive line coach Rod) Marinelli and all the guys in our room.”

The Raiders were 9 for 10 in stopping Denver on third downs and limited the Broncos to 158 net yards on offense. Las Vegas held the Broncos to a mere 18 yards on the ground.

After the Raiders moved ahead 17-13 on Daniel Carlson’s 41-yard field goal with 7:38 left, the Las Vegas defense stifled Denver. Quinton Jefferson sacked Denver’s Drew Lock and forced the Broncos to punt.

Lock, starting for injured Teddy Bridgewater, finished with 15 completions on 22 attempts for 153 yards. Bridgewater suffered a concussion in last week’s 15-10 loss to the Bengals.

“They did a good job up front on us,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said. “We could never seem to get our backs through the first wave of the defensive line and we had a hard time finding any room there. You get 158 yards of offense and eight first downs, it’s hard to say anything good about the offense.”

CLUB 90

Renfrow became the third wide receiver in franchise history with 90 catches in a season, joining Hall of Famers Tim Brown (four times) and Jerry Rice. His 92 receptions are tied with Rice for second-most by a receiver in one season. Renfrow is one of six Raiders to haul in 90 passes. TEs Darren Waller (twice) and Todd Christensen (twice) and RB Charlie Garner also had 90 in a season. Waller holds the franchise record with 107 receptions last season.

TURNOVER TROUBLE

Las Vegas turned over the ball three times, and for the 10th time in its last three games. The Raiders had a plus-4 turnover margin through their 5-2 start to the season and into their bye. Since Week 9, they have a minus-13 margin during a 3-5 record.

COVID-19 ROLL CALL

Receiver Bryan Edwards and backup quarterback Marcus Mariota were put on the COVID-19 list earlier Sunday. Las Vegas had three total players on the list.

The Broncos were missing starting center Lloyd Cushenberry III, who went on the list Thursday.

INJURIES

Denver CB Ronald Darby left in the third quarter, was evaluated for a possible concussion, but returned shortly afterward.

Carr went into the medical tent after being sacked by Shelby Harris in the third quarter with what Bisaccia said was a chest injury, but returned for the next possession.

UP NEXT

Broncos: travel to the Chargers on Jan. 2.

Raiders: travel to the Colts on Jan. 2.

Prescott, Cowboys celebrate with 56-14 rout of Washington

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys didn’t have to worry about the NFC East title anymore once they kicked off against Washington.

So they took care of the star quarterback’s slump instead.

Prescott threw four touchdown passes, DeMarcus Lawrence returned an interception for a score and the Cowboys celebrated their clinching of the division crown with a 56-14 rout of Washington on Sunday night.

The Cowboys (11-4) tied the franchise record for points in a first half while taking a 42-7 lead and frustrating Washington to the point that defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne scuffled on the sideline.

Dallas didn’t need to win to add the division title to the playoff berth that was sealed with San Francisco’s loss to Tennessee three nights earlier. Las Vegas’ 17-13 victory over Denver took care of that about an hour before kickoff, giving the Cowboys a tiebreaker over Philadelphia.

Prescott and company didn’t seem to care, and now the Eagles can’t tie them for the division title after Dallas scored its most points, playoffs included, since a 59-14 victory over San Francisco in 1980.

“I don’t know if many people knew that we’d clinched before the game. I didn’t,” Prescott said. “I don’t know if we’re in the world or in the business of trying to send messages more than we’re just trying to get better.”

Washington (6-9) allowed its most points since 2010 in the most-lopsided loss for either team in a storied rivalry played 124 times. Washington’s playoff hopes are faint, but not gone.

“I told them you play this game long enough, you’re going to get beat like this,” coach Ron Rivera said. “How you respond to it, how you bounce back, how you play, that tells more about you than anything else.”

Prescott tied the club record for passing TDs in a half with four before halftime – one each to a running back (Ezekiel Elliott), a tight end (Dalton Schultz), a receiver (Amari Cooper) and a backup tackle (Terence Steele, who was lined up as a tight end when Prescott faked the handoff for an easy 1-yard score ).

Taylor Heinicke, making a second consecutive start against Dallas after missing the game in between because of COVID-19, gave up Trevon Diggs’ NFL-leading 11th interception on the first offensive play for Washington, which was playing five days after a coronavirus-delayed loss to Philadelphia.

The Dallas offense took it from there, recording 389 yards before halftime as Prescott ended a run of mediocre showings by completing 22 of his first 25 passes and finishing with the most yards in a first half in his career with 321. He was 28 of 39 for 330 yards when he left for good in the third quarter.

“I thought he was in total control,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “His numbers in the first half reflect that. Had some shot opportunities, was patient with the checkdowns. I really like the way he played tonight.”

The Cowboys were already up 14-0 late in the first quarter when Lawrence, a defensive end, deflected Heinicke’s pass with his right hand, corralled the ball and rumbled down the left sideline 40 yards for a TD.

“Nothing was more impressive than D’Law’s pick-6,” said Elliott, who scored once each on a run and a catch. “I was impressed with the stiff arm, the high knees, making the last guy miss on the sideline. I think he said he was an all-state tight end on the sideline. You saw that today.”

Lawrence was mobbed by other members of his defensive line, just as Steele was by fellow Dallas blockers on his score. It was a different scene for the guys in the trenches for Washington.

The defensive linemen were on the Washington bench when Allen and Payne appeared to exchange words before both got up and Allen, a team captain, threw a punch at his former Alabama teammate.

COPYCAT LEAGUE

The Washington scuffle happened on benches the club brought in, adorned with its “W” logo, after the Cowboys did the same thing when visiting its NFC East rival two weeks ago.

The difference is, the rematch was in climate-controlled AT&T Stadium. The retractable roof was closed. Regardless, temperatures were in the 70s.

The Cowboys pulled the stunt because temperatures were in the 40s and they had been told the warmers on the benches were unreliable.

SACK TIME

While Dallas’ three-game streak of forcing four turnovers ended with just the two first-quarter takeaways, but the Cowboys recorded five sacks. Micah Parsons had his 13th, and is 1 1/2 from Jevon Kearse’s NFL rookie record for Tennessee in 1999.

INJURIES/COVID-19

Washington rookie linebacker Jamin Davis was after reporting to team doctors with possible COVID-19 symptoms before the game. The club said there wasn’t enough time to process a COVID-19 test before reporting the inactive players so Davis was held out as a precaution. … Dallas LT Tyron Smith (ankle) missed his second consecutive game and fifth overall. … Dallas DBs Malik Hooker and Jourdan Lewis went on the COVID-19 reserve list during the week.

UP NEXT

Washington: The home finale is against Philadelphia next Sunday. It’s the fourth of five consecutive division games to finish the regular season. A loss will eliminate Washington from the playoffs.

Cowboys: The No. 1 seed in the NFC is still in play for Arizona’s visit next Sunday. Dallas and the other teams trailing Green Bay (12-3) need the Packers to lose.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: MIAMI DOLPHINS (7-7) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-7)

MONDAY, DEC. 27, 2021 // 8:15 PM ET // CAESARS SUPERDOME // REFEREE: ADRIAN HILL

LEADER: All-time series tied, 6-6

STREAKS: Saints have won past 3

LAST GAME: 10/1/17: Saints 20 at Dolphins 0

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/30/13: Saints 38, Dolphins 17

QB TUA TAGOVAILOA passed for 196 yards & 2 TDs last week. Has 100+ rating in 4 of his past 5 starts & 70+ comp. pct. in 3 of past 4. Has 275+ pass yards & 95+ rating in 2 of past 3 on road. Has 83.1 comp. pct. & 5 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 109 rating in 2 career starts vs. NFC South. Leads NFL with 69.9 comp. pct this season. • RB DUKE JOHNSON had career-high 127 scrimmage yards (107 rush, 20 rec.) & 2 rush TDs last week. Had 90 scrimmage yards (57 rush, 33 rec.) in his last game vs. NO (9/9/19 w/ Hou.). Aims for his 3rd in row on MNF with 50+ scrimmage yards. RB MYLES GASKIN rushed for 54 yards in Week 15 & has 50+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. Has 5 TDs (3 rec., 2 rush) in 3 games vs. NFC South this season. Has 309 scrimmage yards (103 per game) & 2 rec. TDs in 3 career primetime games. • WR JAYLEN WADDLE (rookie) aims for his 4th in row with 8+ catches & 6th in row with 60+ rec. yards. Leads rookies with 86 catches & needs 7 catches for 2nd-most ever by rookie. WR DEVANTE PARKER had 4 catches for 68 yards & TD last week. Aims for his 5th in row with 60+ rec. yards. Had 6 catches for 69 yards in last meeting. WR ISAIAH FORD had 51 rec. yards last week. TE MIKE GESICKI aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches. • CB XAVIEN HOWARD has PD in 3 of past 4. Aims for 5th in row on road with PD. Aims for 3rd in row vs. NFC South with INT. Has 3 INTs in his past 2 on MNF. LB JEROME BAKER had 7 tackles & had season-high 2 sacks last week. Aims for 4th in row with TFL. DE EMMANUEL OGBAH had sack & PD last week.

QB TAYSOM HILL totaled 187 yards (154 pass, 33 rush) last week. Is 5-2 as starting QB in career & has 2+ TDs (pass & rush combined) in 6 of his 7 starts at QB. • RB ALVIN KAMARA has 1,331 scrimmage yards (110.9 per game) & 18 TDs (12 rush, 6 rec.) in his past 12 at home. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with rush TD & 7th in row at home with 75+ scrimmage yards. Has 1,016 scrimmage yards (668 rush, 348 rec.) & is 1 of 2 RBs (EZEKIEL ELLIOTT) with 1,000+ scrimmage yards in each of past 5 seasons. Had 10 catches & 96 scrimmage yards (71 rec., 25 rush) with rec. TD in last meeting. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 5 of his past 6 on Monday. RB MARK INGRAM rushed for 107 yards & 2 TDs in his last game vs. Mia. (9/8/19 w/ Bal.). Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his 3 home games with NO this season. • WR MARQUEZ CALLAWAY led team with 6 receptions & career high 112 rec. yards last week, his 1st-career 100-yard game. • DE CAMERON JORDAN had 2 sacks & FF last week & became 5th active player with 100+ career sacks (100.5). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Mia. with sack. CB MARSHON LATTIMORE had 2 PD & 5th-career FR last week. Leads all DBs with 73 PD since 2017. Had FF in last meeting. LB DEMARIO DAVIS needs 5 tackles for 5th-straight 100-tackle season. Has 5 TFL in his past 4 vs. Mia. is 1 of 3 (AARON DONALD & T.J. WATT) with 10+ TFL in each of past 5 seasons. DE MARCUS DAVENPORT has career-high 6.5 sacks & 9 TFL in 2021.

No. 1 Alabama arrives for CFP semifinal without OC, OL coach

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Top-ranked Alabama arrived Sunday in North Texas without offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien or offensive line coach Doug Marrone, but coach Nick Saban expected both assistants to make it for the playoff semifinal game at the Cotton Bowl. He said there were no known COVID-19 issues among players.

The Crimson Tide said last Wednesday that O’Brien and Marrone had tested positive for the coronavirus and were isolating with mild symptoms.

Saban said Sunday that both coaches were doing well back in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and would participate in meetings and practice via Zoom until they could join the team before Friday’s game against Cincinnati.

“They will do all their work and coaching virtually with players, very similarly to the way I did it when I tested positive before the Auburn game a year ago,” Saban said. “They’ll be here for the game. … No one is, you know, really that bad sick that they can’t function and do things that they need to do with our players.”

The Bearcats (13-0), the first team from outside a Power Five conference to make the College Football Playoff, were scheduled to arrive in North Texas later Sunday.

Saban said Alabama’s entire team is vaccinated and that more than 90% of the players also have had booster shots. The coach said players are wearing masks and social distancing in meetings.

“We have encouraged them to use the same practices that we had to use a year ago, whether it’s wearing a mask in meetings, wearing a mask when you’re not in the building, social distancing when we’re in meetings,” Saban said. “So, if there were some new protocols that would help us be safer, we would certainly implement them. But I think we tried to implement all that we know that has worked in the past.”

This is the second year in a row that the Crimson Tide are set for a playoff semifinal game at AT&T Stadium. The Rose Bowl was moved from California to the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys last New Year’s Day because of the pandemic, and Alabama beat Notre Dame 31-14.

COVID outbreaks at UVa, BC scuttle Fenway, Military bowls

BOSTON (AP) The Fenway Bowl and Military Bowl were both canceled due to the pandemic on Sunday as coronavirus outbreaks at Virginia and Boston College forced them to call off their postseason plans.

The game scheduled for Wednesday at Fenway Park was to pit the Cavaliers against SMU. The Military Bowl scheduled for Monday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, between Boston College and East Carolina was canceled because of positive COVID-19 tests at BC.

Also Sunday, Miami said it would not play in the Sun Bowl, which was scheduled for Friday against Washington State. The Hurricanes have been dealing with a virus outbreak for several days.

“This is not the way we wanted to see this season come to an end,” Eagles coach Jeff Hafley said. “We just do not have enough players to safely play a game. My heart goes out to our seniors who will not have one final opportunity to wear a BC jersey and I can’t thank them enough for all the contributions they made to our program.”

The Fenway Bowl was supposed to bring a college football postseason game to the century-old home of the Boston Red Sox, but those plans have been stymied twice by the pandemic. It was to be the last game for Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall, who announced his resignation after the Cavaliers concluded a 6-6 regular season.

But leading up to the team’s planned departure on Christmas Day, players began showing symptoms of COVID-19 and tested positive. The full team was tested in the morning, and additional positive results came back on Sunday.

“Playing this game was something our team very much looked forward to and it is unfortunate Coach Mendenhall will not have one last opportunity to coach this group,” Virginia athletic director Carla Williams said. “We appreciate all of the hard work by our team and coaching staff. They earned this bowl invitation, and it is unfortunate they will not be able to compete in the game to complete the season.”

It’s the second year in a row that the pandemic has spoiled bowl bids for Boston College and SMU.

“I’m disappointed for our fans, and even more disappointed for our players, that we will be unable to play in a bowl game for the second straight season,” Mustangs AD Rick Hart said. “We are, however, sympathetic to Virginia’s situation, having had to withdraw from our bowl last season due to COVID. We hope those impacted get well soon.”

The BC players voted not to go to a postseason game last year because of the emotional toll the pandemic season had taken. This year’s team went 6-6 (2-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) to gain bowl eligibility and had already traveled to the Washington, D.C., area for Monday’s game.

But athletic director Pat Kraft said more than 40 players were unavailable due to COVID-19, injuries, opt-outs and transfers.

“We just do not have enough players to field a team,” he said. “We are disappointed not to be able to finish the season together as a team, but the health and safety of our program is our highest priority.”

Washington State arrived in El Paso, Texas on Sunday for the Sun Bowl. Miami was hoping to try to get there later this week.

“But due to the number of COVID-19 cases impacting our roster we do not have enough student-athletes to safely compete, and the health and safety of our student-athletes will always be our top priority,” Miami deputy athletic director Jennifer Strawley said.

The Hawaii Bowl was canceled earlier after Hawaii withdrew from its game against Memphis on the eve of Thursday’s contest because of COVID-19, season-ending injuries and transfers.

And Rutgers will replace Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest on New Year’s Eve after the Aggies pulled out because of a lack of available players.

The UConn women’s basketball game against Marquette on Dec. 29 was also canceled on Sunday because of coronavirus issues within the Marquette program. Maryland’s men announced that they will face Lehigh on Tuesday night after a previously scheduled game against in-state opponent Loyola was called off because of COVID-19 protocols within the Loyola program.

Love, Garland score 22 as Cavs rout depleted Raptors 144-99

CLEVELAND (AP) Kevin Love and Darius Garland scored 22 points apiece, and the Cleveland Cavaliers tied their franchise record with 46 points in the third quarter of a 144-99 rout over the COVID-19 depleted Toronto Raptors on Sunday night.

Lauri Markkanen added 20 points and Garland had eight assists for Cleveland, which led by 47 points twice late in the fourth. The Cavaliers won their fifth in a row at home and made 22 3-pointers in a team-record 52 attempts.

It was Cleveland’s largest victory margin of the season and the first time Toronto has lost by more than 17 points in 2021-22. The Cavaliers had 39 assists, two shy of the most in the NBA this season.

“We’re lucky to be in this position where we’ve got such a good thing going on,” Markkanen said. “We play hard and we play unselfish basketball. Once we brought the energy we needed, the floodgates just kind of opened up after that.”

Yuta Watanabe posted career highs of 26 points and 13 rebounds for Toronto, and Chris Boucher scored 21 points. The Raptors have 10 players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, including top scorer Fred VanVleet, rookie Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam.

“We had to take a pretty good loss tonight, but we’ll bounce back,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “It was a good game for Yuta, and that’s about it.”

Toronto’s eight-man active roster – featuring four hardship signees – had never been together until holding a brief practice on the main court at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse before the game. D.J. Wilson had 15 points and eight rebounds in his team debut.

“We met those guys on the bus on the way to the arena,” Watanabe said. “Because we weren’t permitted to do anything together the last few days, I spent a lot of time in the gym by myself putting up shots. That’s all you could do.”

The Raptors’ previous two games were postponed when they could not suit up the required eight players. Boucher, Watanabe, Svi Mykhailiuk and Dalano Banton were the only holdovers from their pre-outbreak squad.

Denzel Valentine had 17 points and nine rebounds, Dean Wade scored 17 points, and Ricky Rubio had 16 points and six assists for Cleveland. Love grabbed nine boards and Tacko Fall had three points and seven rebounds in 11 minutes off the bench.

“We’ve got a good thing going and I’m having a lot of fun,” Love said. “It’s going to be great watching this young team develop. We know we’re going to get everyone’s best shot at us going forward, so I hope 2022 is a year of growth.”

Rookie Evan Mobley and center Jarrett Allen were among seven Cavaliers sidelined because of the safety protocols. Cleveland has the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference at 20-13.

“The Raptors came out and played hard, but as the game went on, we were more physical and that obviously took a toll on them,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.

TIP-INS

Raptors: G Gary Trent Jr., F Precious Achiuwa, F OG Anunoby, C Khem Birch, F Isaac Bonga, F Justin Champagnie and G Malachi Flynn also are in the health and safety protocols. . G Goran Dragic (personal reasons) and G David Johnson (left calf strain) were officially active, but unavailable. . F D.J. Wilson, F Juwan Morgan, C Daniel Oturu and G Tremont Waters are on 10-day contracts via roster exceptions.

Cavaliers: G Isaac Okoro missed his third straight game as he works on his conditioning after being cleared from the safety protocols. . F Cedi Osman was added to the protocols earlier in the day, joining C Ed Davis, G RJ Nembhard, G Lamar Stevens and F Dylan Windler. . Cleveland leads the East and ranks third in the NBA with 15 double-digit victories. The Cavaliers’ last 11 wins have been by at least 10 points.

CHRISTMAS GIFT

Bickerstaff, who was promoted to the job on Feb. 19, 2020, signed a multi-year contract extension on Saturday morning. The son of longtime NBA coach and current Cleveland senior advisor Bernie Bickerstaff took over a team in disarray following the resignation of John Beilein. “If you look at our roster, we’ve got guys locked in here for a long time,” said Bickerstaff, who is 47-69 with the Cavaliers. “Now, with this coaching staff, we’re locked in for a long time, too.”

UP NEXT

Raptors: Host Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Cavaliers: Visit New Orleans on Tuesday night.

Spurs set season high, blitz short-handed Pistons, 144-109

SAN ANTONIO (AP) Keldon Johnson scored 27 points and the San Antonio Spurs had their highest-scoring game of the season, beating short-handed Detroit 144-109 on Sunday to extend the Pistons’ road skid to 10.

San Antonio has won three straight and four of five to move into 10th in the Western Conference.

“They came out aggressively and kept it for most of the 48 minutes. That was nice to see,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “A lot of guys got to participate, but, obviously, it wasn’t a fair fight. The Pistons are in tough shape right now with all the guys they are missing.”

Detroit had five players out in the league’s health and safety protocols, including top draft pick Cade Cunningham. Jerami Grant and Kelly Olynyk are also out with injuries. Additionally, Pistons coach Dwane Casey was absent due to personal reasons unrelated to the virus.

Hamidou Diallo scored 28 points for Detroit. Saddiq Bey added 23, Luka Garza had 20 and Frank Jackson 17. The Pistons’ four-man bench was outscored 73-21.

“We had limited subs to go to, so we were trying to just move pieces around and trying to get to maybe a combination that would work for us,” Pistons acting coach Rex Kalamian said.

Detroit has lost three straight since snapping a 14-game skid with a victory over Miami on Dec. 19.

The Spurs were among the few teams not impacted by COVID-19 this season, but that changed Sunday morning when Dejounte Murray was ruled out.

San Antonio overcame the loss of its starting point guard by sharing the workload. The Spurs had a season-high 39 assists, with Tre Jones having a career-high 11 and Derrick White adding 10.

“We knew it was going to be a weird game. They had guys testing positive today even,” Jones said. “We have to continue to prepare the same way, like we always do. It’s going to be a weird season, there are a lot of things going on right now.”

Spurs reserve center Jock Landale had 18 points, starting center Jakob Poeltl added 14 and Doug McDermott scored 13. San Antonio sat its primary starters in the fourth quarter ahead of playing five games in seven days.

Detroit started Derrick Walton Jr., signed Saturday on a hardship contract, as the Pistons had their 12th different starting lineup. The lack of familiarity was evident quickly, as Poeltl strolled for an uncontested layup off a simple screen as the Pistons stared at each other following a missed assignment on the game’s opening possession.

San Antonio would score a season-high 38 points in the opening quarter and 78 in the first half. San Antonio led by as many as 30 points in the first half, building a 25-point lead for the third straight game.

“We have a lot of guys touching the floor for some NBA minutes for the first time in a long time,” Kalamian said. “I think we played hard. We didn’t play necessarily smart so much. That was kind of our problem. We didn’t share the ball enough in the first half.”

The Spurs shot 56% from the field in winning their seventh straight at home over the Pistons.

The Pistons committed 14 turnovers and were 8 for 32 on 3-pointers.

TIP-INS

Pistons: Isaiah Stewart, Saben Lee, Killian Hayes and Rodney McGruder are also out due to the league’s health and safety protocols. . Grant missed his eighth straight game after tearing ligaments in his right thumb. . Olynyk remains out after suffering a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee. He has not played since Nov. 10 against Houston. . The Pistons’ last road win was Nov. 13 in Toronto. They are 2-14 on the road.

Spurs: San Antonio’s previous highs were 37 points in the first quarter and 74 points in the first half, both against Denver on Dec. 9. . The Spurs have led by 25 points or more in six games this season, including their previous two. They are undefeated in those games. . White had nine assists in the first half, the fifth most in franchise history. Tony Parker holds the record with 12 assists in the first half, followed by Manu Ginobili, George Hill and Murray with 10 each. . San Antonio, which hosts Utah on Monday, is 3-6 in back-to-back games and 2-2 in the second game.

LOST COUNT

Garza had 20 points and six rebounds in his third start before fouling out with 8 1/2 minutes remaining.

The sixth foul confused Garza and the Pistons.

“They had him for six fouls, and we had him for five, so I’m not quite sure,” Kalamian said. “We’ll go back and find out where that sixth foul came in, but we wish he could have gotten a few more minutes. We love Luka’s effort and energy and spirit.”

UP NEXT

Pistons: Host New York on Wednesday.

Spurs: Host Utah on Monday.

Bane, Grizzlies rout Sacramento 127-102, end 3-game skid

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Desmond Bane scored 28 points and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated Sacramento for the second time in 10 days, beating the Kings 127-102 on Sunday night.

Ja Morant had 18 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to help the Grizzlies end a three-game losing streak. Jaren Jackson scored 21 points and John Konchar had his first career double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.

“We were driving the ball in the first half, but shots weren’t falling,” Bane said. “We stuck with it and eventually our defense turned into offense and busted the game open.”

The Grizzlies beat the Kings 124-105 on Dec. 17 at Golden 1 Center, and won handily again to extend their winning streak against Sacramento to six.

After Fox stood and glared following his one-handed dunk early in the third, the Grizzlies took control with a 24-5 run in just under four minutes. Morant had eight points during the outburst and ended it sprinting through the lane for an emphatic dunk, similar to Fox.

Sacramento got within 91-79 early in the fourth, but Memphis went on another big run and pulled away. Anderson converted a three-point play, Bane made a deep jumper and Morant added another dunk to make it 116-89.

“It was a collection of cycles, defense to offense, defense to offense,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “Shots started falling. We got to our pace a little bit more in the full court, but especially in the half court. In that third quarter, we were getting to second-side drives, third-side drives (and) we were relentless on the boards. When we got those second-chance opportunities we capitalized.”

Tyrese Haliburton had 18 points and seven assists for Sacramento, ending his run of four consecutive games with at least 20 points and 10 assists. De’Aaron Fox scored 12 points in his return for the Kings after missing nearly two weeks while in the NBA’s health and safety protocol.

Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry, who had also been in the protocol, lashed out at his team after what he called an embarrassing performance.

“It’s the most disappointed I’ve been in 34 years in the NBA, I can honestly say that,” Gentry said. “That performance was absolutely ridiculous. We didn’t play hard, we didn’t compete. We didn’t guard the ball, we didn’t guard screen and rolls. We didn’t follow the game plan. No competitiveness whatsoever. They basically toyed with us. I’m totally disappointed and everybody in this building should be disappointed.”

Fox, Marvin Bagley III and Terence Davis were cleared to return from the protocols before the game

Even with the added bodies, the Kings had a hard time keeping up.

Fox made a pair of free throws and a layup to put Sacramento ahead by one at halftime, but the Kings were outscored 40-27 in the third quarter.

Sacramento fell to 7-10 at home.

“I feel like teams come in here licking their chops for sure,” Davis said. “It’s up to us to protect our home court. We have to fix the little things. No excuses whatsoever. Once we get on the same page, all aboard, this team is very talented. It’ll come along.”

TIP-INS

Grizzlies: Before the game Dillon Brooks, De’Anthony Melton and Yves Pons entered health and safety protocol. . Santi Aldama remains out with right ankle soreness.

Kings: Fox was whistled for a technical foul after missing a shot midway through the second quarter. Chimezie Metu picked up one in the third. Both calls were made by referee Cheryl Flores. . Davion Mitchell, Alex Len and Neemias Queta remain in the health and safety protocol.

UP NEXT

Grizzlies: Travel to Phoenix to play the Suns on Monday. The Suns won by 25 points when the teams played in Memphis in November.

Kings: Face the Thunder at Golden 1 Center on Tuesday. Sacramento swept all three games last season, but lost in Oklahoma City earlier this season in November.

Jokic has 26 points, 22 rebounds, leads Denver past Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AP) Nikola Jokic kept the Denver Nuggets from blowing another game with a history-making performance.

He had 26 points and 22 rebounds, rallying Denver past the Los Angeles Clippers 103-100 on Sunday night after the Nuggets wasted a 17-point lead.

Jokic also had eight assists, becoming the first player to record 25-plus points, 20-plus rebounds and five-plus assists in consecutive games since Charles Barkley in 1988.

The Nuggets led by 19 points against Charlotte in their previous game at home and lost just before Christmas. It made for a tough holiday at coach Michael Malone’s house.

“I wasn’t very much fun to be around. I was kind of a scrooge,” he said. “I apologized to my wife, my daughters and my dogs.”

Jokic had 29 points, 21 rebounds and five assists in the Charlotte defeat. For a while Sunday, it looked as if the Nuggets would give away another one, this time on the road.

Luke Kennard almost made it happen. He came off the bench from foul trouble and hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 19 seconds remaining that got the Clippers to 101-100.

“It was a little bit of an adventure there at the end,” Malone said.

Jokic was trying to catch an inbounds pass when he got fouled by Eric Bledsoe, sending them both crashing into the Clippers bench. Jokic made both free throws to extend the Nuggets’ lead to three.

Brandon Boston Jr. took the Clippers’ final shot under heavy pressure from Davon Reed, but his potential tying 3-pointer was off the mark at the buzzer. Reed just signed a second 10-day contract with Denver.

Boston and Bledsoe led the Clippers with 18 points apiece. Bledsoe had 10 assists. Ivica Zubac had 17 points and 11 rebounds.

The Clippers were playing without Paul George, who is sidelined for up to a month with an ulnar collateral ligament tear in his right elbow. They lost for the fourth time in five games.

“We’re missing our best closer,” Terance Mann said. “We got to a close game and nearly stole it.”

After scoring just five points in the third, Jokic scored nine in the fourth in addition to pulling down seven rebounds.

Will Barton added 17 points for Denver, which snapped a two-game skid.

“We needed this one,” Malone said. “We responded the way we needed to, getting stops, sharing the ball.”

Jokic helped the Nuggets tie the game at 93-all in the fourth. He fed Barton for the tying jumper after scoring on a hook shot and hitting a pair of free throws. Jokic’s 3-pointer gave Denver its first lead of the fourth, 96-94.

The Clippers erased a 17-point deficit in the third. They got outscored 10-2 to open the quarter, then closed on a 26-5 run to lead 83-79 going into the fourth.

Four reserves helped key the spurt, with Boston and Serge Ibaka hitting 3-pointers and Amir Coffey scoring on a drive. Bledsoe added seven points.

“Our guys did a good job and we were in position to win the game,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “I was happy and pleased with the way our young guys played.”

Monte Morris scored all five Denver points. The Clippers’ defense denied Jokic around the rim, leading to transition baskets for them on the offensive end.

“We built a 17-point lead and then all of a sudden everything changed,” Malone said. “The Clippers became very aggressive, they got out and ran and had us on our heels. To weather that storm and stay together was great to see.”

A total of four players were out because of health and safety protocols, including Clippers starter Reggie Jackson. Fellow starter Marcus Morris exited protocols before the game, but remains out while he goes through reconditioning. Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. and Bol Bol were in protocols.

HE SAID IT

“It’s almost become normal and it’s scary because you don’t really want this to be what normal is.” – Malone on the COVID-19 absences plaguing the league.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Jokic now has six games of 20-plus points and 20-plus rebounds, the most in team history since Denver joined the NBA in 1976-77. The previous record of five was held by Marcus Camby. … They got back to .500 at 16-16. … They traveled without six players.

Clippers: George complained of soreness in his elbow after Wednesday’s win at Sacramento and had an MRI, which revealed the ligament tear. … Backup big man Isaiah Hartenstein missed his second straight game with a left ankle sprain. … Signed Xavier Moon to a 10-day contract under the league’s COVID-related hardship allowance.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: At Golden State on Tuesday.

Clippers: Host Brooklyn on Monday to complete a back-to-back.

Report: Draymond enters health and safety protocols

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

He joins forward Andrew Wiggins, starter Jordan Poole, guard Damion Lee, and rookie Moses Moody in protocols.

The former Defensive Player of the Year played 34 minutes in the club’s Christmas Day win over the Phoenix Suns.

Green is averaging 8.4 points, 7.9 boards, 7.5 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.2 blocks over 31 appearances this season.

Report: Collins, Johnson among 10 Hawks players in protocols

John Collins and Jalen Johnson are among 10 Atlanta Hawks players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Both players participated in Saturday’s Christmas Day matchup against the New York Knicks.

Collins is averaging 17.6 points, 7.9 boards, 2.1 assists, and 1.2 blocks across 32 appearances this season. He ranks 13th in the Association in both 3-point field-goal percentage (42.7%) and overall field-goal percentage (54.9%). Atlanta signed the former Wake Forest star to a five-year, $125-million contract during the offseason.

Johnson, a first-year player out of Duke, has played sparingly during the 2021-22 campaign. He had four points and seven boards in 15 minutes of action against the Knicks.

The Hawks plan to sign Chaundee Brown to a 10-day hardship deal, Wojnarowski reports. The undrafted wing began the season with the Los Angeles Lakers but was recently waived after two appearances for the club.

Report: Lonzo Ball enters health and safety protocols

Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball is the latest member of the club to enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Forward Alfonzo McKinnie and big man Tony Bradley joined head coach Billy Donovan in protocols earlier Sunday.

The Bulls recently overcame a COVID-19 outbreak that saw 11 players placed in protocols.

Chicago acquired Ball from the New Orleans Pelicans in a sign-and-trade deal during the offseason. The UCLA product has been a nice addition on both ends of the floor, averaging 13.2 points, 5.4 boards, 5 assists, and 1.8 steals over 29 appearances during the 2021-22 campaign.

Ball also ranks 19th in the Association in defensive win shares (1.4) and 20th in 3-point field-goal percentage (41.9%).

Third-year guard Coby White could take over starting duties during Ball’s absence.

Report: NHL, NHLPA agree to roster exemptions for COVID-19 relief

The NHL and NHLPA have formalized a number of CBA exemptions to give teams battling COVID-19 cases some roster relief, reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Teams that would dress fewer than two goalies, six defensemen, or 12 forwards for a game will now be permitted to make emergency recalls as long as the cap hit of the player does not exceed $1 million.

If a team’s two regular goaltenders are not available, the club will be allowed to add an additional netminder.

Teams will also have the option to use taxi squads until the All-Star break, which is slated for Feb. 5. The taxi squad can have a maximum of six players on it at once and players can only be on it for 20 days or less.

Players can’t be on the taxi squad if they’re on an NHL roster as of Dec. 22; are waiver-exempt; were on an NHL roster for at least 75% of the regular-season days or have played in 16 of a team’s last 20 games through Dec. 22.

The NHL began its holiday break early by pausing all games on Dec. 22 amid an outbreak of COVID-19 cases across the league. Games are expected to resume on Tuesday.

TOP SPORTS NEWS INDIANA

Bulls win 3rd straight game, defeat Pacers 113-105

CHICAGO (AP) Zach LaVine scored 32 points in his return from the NBA’s health and safety protocols, DeMar DeRozan added 24 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers 113-105 on Sunday night.

Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 15 rebounds as the Bulls (20-10) won their third straight.

Caris LeVert scored 27 points and Domantas Sabonis had 14 points and 16 rebounds after missing a game with a right calf injury as the Pacers dropped their third straight game.

Chicago had a comfortable lead throughout most of the game before Indiana pulled within 108-100 on a 3-pointer by LeVert with 3:19 to play. LaVine answered with a 20-footer and, after a miss by the Pacers, added another basket to essentially put the game away.

It was LaVine’s first game since Dec. 11. However, he missed just two games because the Bulls had three games postponed during his absence. He also missed time last season because of COVID-19.

“I’m tired of getting COVID,” LaVine said. “I feel like I just had it. … But that’s the world we’re living in right now. We’ve got to play with it. Everybody in the league and the world is dealing with it right now, so I’m not doing a poor-me mentality.”

Rookie Ayo Dosunmu, who also returned from the health and safety protocols, came off the bench to score six points in 24 minutes.

Chicago was without starter Lonzo Ball and reserves Alfonzo McKinnie and Tony Bradley, who entered health and safety protocols on Sunday. Ball was the only player to appear in all 29 games before Sunday.

The Bulls were also without coach Billy Donovan, who entered the protocols on Friday. Assistant Chris Fleming filled in.

The Pacers were without leading scorer Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles) and Jeremy Lamb (wrist).

Indiana won 109-77 in the first meeting between the teams, on Nov. 22 at the United Center.

Chicago got off to a hot shooting start in the opening periods and led 63-48 at the half. The Bulls were 26 for 41 from the field (63.4 percent), including 6 for 12 on 3-pointers.

“I thought we had a poor first half and a very good second half,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “That’s not gonna cut it against a team like Chicago with two stars. They got rolling and we just didn’t do enough in the first half to keep them from getting going.

“I like our third quarter and I thought we did a lot of good things in the second half, but we’re gonna have to put 48 minutes together instead of 24.”

Indiana turned up the defensive pressure at the start of the second half and pulled within 83-75 with just under two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Coby White hit a pair of free throws and DeRozan added a 14-footer to build the lead back to 87-75, but the Pacers scored the final four points of the quarter to make it 87-79 entering the fourth.

Tyler Cook opened the scoring in the final quarter with a dunk and DeRozan added a pair of free throws on the next possession to stretch the lead to 91-79. A short time later, DeRozan hit back-to-back mid-range jumpers to make it 95-81 with nine minutes to go.

The Bulls found a way to win, just as they have throughout the virus outbreak.

“Everybody’s been like, `Next man up,'” LaVine said. “Everybody’s been staying ready, and when their name is called, there’s no hesitation and they know what to do. We’ve been good with guys out, and that’s saying a lot.”

TIP INS

Pacers: Have dropped four straight on the road, falling to 3-13 away from home this season. … C Myles Turner had 19 points on 9-for-18 shooting, but was 0 for 4 from 3-point range.

Bulls: G/F Alex Caruso (left foot sprain) sat out after being injured early in the last game against Houston. Caruso is expected to be re-evaluated in about a week. … F Derrick Jones Jr. missed his second straight game with a left hamstring strain.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

Bulls: At the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

2021 PURDUE BOILERMAKERS FOOTBALL GAME NOTES

BOILERMAKERS BACK BOWLING • With its best season in 15 years, Purdue Football (8-4, 6-3 B1G) closes out the 2021 campaign with a trip to the TransPerfect Music City Bowl. The Boilermakers will battle the Tennessee Volunteers (7-5, 4-4 SEC), Dec. 30, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET on ESPN. • The bowl bid marks the 20th bowl game in Purdue history, including the third in five seasons under head coach Jeff Brohm. • Purdue has an all-time record of 10-9 in bowl games. • The Boilermakers are making their second appearance in the Music City Bowl, having played in the 2018 version against Auburn. A HISTORIC SEASON • Purdue has won eight games for the first time since 2007 and has eight regular-season victories for the first time since 2006. • Two of those victories were over previously unbeaten No. 2 Iowa (Oct. 16) and No. 3 Michigan State (Nov. 6), giving the Boilermakers two wins over Top 5 teams for the first time since 1960. • Purdue has won four games away from home this season. To find a Purdue squad with more road wins, one must search back to 1943, when Elmer Burnham’s band of Boilermakers went 9-0 on the season with a 5-0 away record. • The Boilermakers now have five eight-win seasons since 2000, with the previous four, in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2007, all coming under coach Joe Tiller. • Purdue finished with a record of 6-3 in Big Ten play, the most conference wins in a season since the 2003 team went 6-2. • The Boilermakers tied for second in the Big Ten West, finishing in the division’s top three for the third time in five seasons under head coach Jeff Brohm (2017, 2018, 2021). • Purdue quarterbacks have completed a school-record 381 passes this season, surpassing the previous program mark of 377 set in 1998 led by Drew Brees (361). • The Boilermakers have held four opponents to fewer than 10 points this season, the first time it has achieved the feat since 1978, when six opponents were held to single-digit point totals.

WHAT A WIN WOULD DO • Purdue would end the season with a 9-4 record, the most wins in a season since 2003. • The 2021 Boilermakers would tie for the second-most wins in program history, while becoming the 12th team in the program’s 134-year history to record nine wins in a season. • Purdue would win its fifth game away from home, accomplishing the feat for the first time since 1943. • A victory would be Purdue’s first in a bowl since a 38-35 win over Arizona in the 2017 Foster Farms Bowl, Jeff Brohm’s first season guiding the Boilermakers.

ONE PREVIOUS MATCHUP • The Boilermakers and Volunteers have only met once on the gridiron, and it occurred in a bowl game (1979 Bluebonnet Bowl). • A 17-yard touchdown pass from Mark Herrmann to tight end Dave Young, a pair of consensus All-Americans, with less than a minute to play lifted Purdue to a 27-22 win over Tennessee in the final college football game of the decade • Herrmann, who currently serves as the director of leadership and alumni engagement for the John Purdue Club, threw for 303 yards and was named the game’s MVP. • The win gave Purdue its 10th victory of the year (10-2), which still remains the most wins in a single season in program history.

BOWL HISTORY 24 YEARS AGO • On this date 24 years ago (Dec. 30, 1997), No. 16 Purdue used a 20-point third quarter to capture a 33-20 victory over No. 24 Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl. • Purdue quarterback Billy Dicken threw for 325 yards, an Alamo Bowl record at the time, and rushed for a team-high 43 yards to earn offensive MVP honors. • Backup quarterback Drew Brees, who would be named Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP one season later as part of a memorable Purdue career, attempted one pass in the game.

NUMBERS TO KNOW • The Boilermakers have made their presence known all across the college football landscape this season. • The following numbers are the most important to remember: 1: QB Aidan O’Connell is No. 1 in Big Ten in comp. pct. at 73.5. 2: Purdue has two Top-5 wins for the first time since 1960. 3: Bowl-eligible for third time under head coach Jeff Brohm. 4: Purdue has four wins away from home, the most in a season since 1943. 7: O’Connell with 74.0+ pct. comp. in seven straight games. 10: S Cam Allen, #10, tied for third in Big Ten for INTs (4). 14: Past 7 games: 14 takeaways. Two total in first 5 games. 21: WR David Bell became the 21st consensus All-American in Purdue history. 48: Bell and DE George Karlaftis earned All-America accolades, giving Purdue 48 All-Americans all-time. 381: Purdue quarterbacks have completed a school-record 381 passes this season, surpassing the 1998 mark of 377. 1,286: Bell had 1,286 rec. yards in 2021, 2nd in Purdue history and just 21 yards away from the program record.

TENNESSEE NOTES:

MUSIC CITY BOUND: Tennessee closes its first season under head coach Josh Heupel in its home state as the Volunteers take on Purdue in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 30 in Nashville. Kickoff from Nissan Stadium is 2 p.m. CT live on ESPN. Tennessee won three of its last four games and finished with seven regular season wins — four more than last year — while posting a 4-4 mark in SEC play. The Vols were picked to finish fifth in the SEC East at SEC Media Days, but they took sole possession of third place in the final standings. Purdue finished in a three-way tie for second place in the Big Ten West at 6-3.

• BOWL FACTS: Tennessee is going bowling for the 54th time in program history. That ranks fifth all-time behind Alabama, Georgia, Texas and Oklahoma. The Vols are 29-24 in bowl games, and those 29 victories rank seventh nationally. UT is making its third Music City Bowl appearance. The Vols topped No. 24 Nebraska, 38-24, in the 2016 game. UT dropped a 30-27 double overtime contest to North Carolina in the 2010 Music City Bowl. Josh Heupel is the fifth UT coach in the last 70 years to lead the Vols to a bowl berth in his debut season, joining Bill Battle (1970), Phillip Fulmer (1993), Lane Kiffin (2009) and Derek Dooley (2010). Of those previous four only Battle (def. Air Force in 1971 Sugar Bowl) won a bowl game in his first full debut season. Heupel has guided teams to a bowl berth in all four seasons as a head coach (three at UCF), and he is 1-2 in those previous games (lost to No. 11 LSU, 40-32, in 2019 Fiesta Bowl; def. Marshall, 48-25, in 2019 Gasparilla Bowl; lost to No. 16 BYU, 49-23, in 2020 Boca Raton Bowl).

• HEUPEL ERA: Josh Heupel is in his debut season at Tennessee and ranks 11th in win percentage (.729) among active FBS head coaches (min. two seasons, all wins as FBS HC). The 27th head coach in Vol history, Heupel owns the most wins this season among the eight Power Five coaches in their first year with new programs. Heupel was just the fourth first-year UT head coach to lead his team to a .500 record or better in SEC play since 1970, joining Lane Kiffin (4-4 in 2009), Phillip Fulmer (7-1 in 1993) and Bill Battle (4-1 in 1970). Heupel also joined Kiffin (7 in 2009), Fulmer (10 in 1993), Battle (10 in 1970) and John Barnhill (8 in 1941) as the only UT coaches in the last 80 years (since 1941) to win seven or more regular season games in his first season. Heupel is attempting to become the sixth UT coach all-time to win eight or more games in his first season, joining Fulmer, Battle, Barnhill, General Neyland (8 in 1926) and John Bender (8 in 1916).

• PLAY FAST: A Josh Heupel specialty, Tennessee leads the nation in offensive plays per minute at 2.94. Ole Miss is second at 2.87. By comparison, the Vols averaged 2.36 a year ago, which was 58th in the FBS. UT averages 1.61 points per minute, which also leads the FBS. From 2018-20, Heupel’s UCF teams averaged a nation-high 3.04 plays per minute.

• HEUPEL EFFECT: Tennessee’s offense has enjoyed a remarkable turnaround in its first season under Josh Heupel. The Vols are ranked in the top 25 nationally offensively in seven different categories: scoring offense (38.8 – 9th), total offense (459.0 – 16th), rushing offense (212.0 – 19th), yards per play (6.50 – 20th), passing efficiency (165.37 – 7th), third down offense (46.20% – 11th) and first down offense (23.8 – 19th). Currently, UT’s 38.8 points per game ranks second in modern program history, trailing only the 1993 team (42.8). The Vols put up at least 45 points in six games this season, tying for the most 45-point games in a season in program history (1993). UT enters the TransPerfect Music City Bowl having scored 466 points this season, which is third in school history and 18 points shy of tying the school record of 484 set in 1993.

NOTING THE TENNESSEE-PURDUE SERIES • Tennessee and Purdue are meeting for only the second time. The first and only meeting occurred in the 1979 Bluebonnet Bowl on Dec. 21, 1979 in Johnny Majors’ third season. The Boilermakers won the contest 27-22 in Houston, Texas. • Purdue is one of 48 schools UT has faced only once. Only 23 of these opponents still reside in the FBS. • This will be the first time Josh Heupel has faced a Big Ten opponent as a head coach. The last time he played a Big Ten opponent was ironically Purdue on Sept. 16, 2017, when he was the offensive coordinator at Missouri. Purdue won that contest 35-3. • Tennessee and Purdue combined for nine contests against ranked teams this season (UT 5, Purdue 4; at time of meeting). Five of those matchups came against top five teams (Purdue 3, UT 2). • The two schools are separated by 349 miles, closer than Tennessee is to five SEC schools (Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Missouri, Texas A&M). • This is the first time Tennessee has faced a Big Ten opponent since defeating Indiana, 23-22, in the 2020 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. This will be the 17th Big Ten team the Vols have faced in a bowl game and UT is 11-5 in those previous contests. (note: previous meetings include conference at time of meeting) • This is the fifth straight Big Ten team that the Vols have faced in a bowl game. Tennessee has won four straight bowl games – all vs. Big Ten teams. • The last time Tennessee played a Big Ten opponent during the regular season was the first-ever night game at Neyland Stadium, Sept. 16, 1972, against Penn State.

THE LAST MEETING

Late Score Lifts Purdue over Tennessee in 1979 Bluebonnet Bowl HOUSTON — Tennessee, making its first bowl appearance in five years, saw a gutty second half comeback fall short in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. Trailing 21-0 in the third quarter, the Vols rallied to take the lead, 22-21, late in the fourth quarter. Purdue quarterback Mark Herrmann threw the game-winner, a 17-yard toss to Charley Young, with just 1:30 remaining. The Vols’ comeback was triggered by an 8-yard Jimmy Streater pass to halfback Glenn Ford. The second Vol touchdown came on a pass from wingback Phil Ingram to tailback James Berry. When Hubert Simpson scored the two-pointer, the Vols were back in the game. The Vols took the lead as Simpson scored catching the two-point conversion. All-America defensive back Roland James was the Defensive Player of the Game, with eight unassisted tackles and a 19-yard punt return to his credit. Streater finished with 270 yards rushing and passing.

NFL STANDINGS DIVISION | CONFERENCE
AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-KANSAS CITY CHIEFS1140.7330.04213067 – 2 – 04 – 2 – 06 – 4 – 04 – 1 – 08 W
TENNESSEE TITANS1050.6670.03573266 – 2 – 04 – 3 – 06 – 4 – 04 – 1 – 01 W
CINCINNATI BENGALS960.6000.04103244 – 4 – 05 – 2 – 07 – 3 – 04 – 1 – 02 W
BUFFALO BILLS960.6000.04272644 – 3 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 5 – 04 – 1 – 02 W
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS960.6000.04203164 – 4 – 05 – 2 – 07 – 3 – 03 – 2 – 03 W
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS960.6000.03882603 – 5 – 06 – 1 – 07 – 3 – 03 – 2 – 02 L
BALTIMORE RAVENS870.5331.03553565 – 2 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 6 – 01 – 4 – 04 L
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS870.5331.04084114 – 4 – 04 – 3 – 05 – 5 – 02 – 2 – 02 L
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS870.5331.03163874 – 4 – 04 – 3 – 06 – 4 – 02 – 3 – 02 W
PITTSBURGH STEELERS771.5001.53013715 – 2 – 12 – 5 – 05 – 5 – 02 – 2 – 01 L
MIAMI DOLPHINS770.5001.52853125 – 3 – 02 – 4 – 05 – 5 – 03 – 2 – 06 W
CLEVELAND BROWNS780.4672.03143295 – 3 – 02 – 5 – 04 – 6 – 02 – 2 – 02 L
DENVER BRONCOS780.4672.02982604 – 4 – 03 – 4 – 03 – 7 – 01 – 3 – 02 L
NEW YORK JETS4110.2675.02764493 – 5 – 01 – 6 – 04 – 7 – 00 – 5 – 01 W
HOUSTON TEXANS4110.2675.02484012 – 6 – 02 – 5 – 04 – 7 – 03 – 2 – 02 W
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS2130.1337.02173962 – 6 – 00 – 7 – 02 – 8 – 00 – 5 – 07 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-GREEN BAY PACKERS1230.8000.03833247 – 0 – 05 – 3 – 08 – 2 – 03 – 1 – 04 W
XY-DALLAS COWBOYS1140.7330.04573075 – 2 – 06 – 2 – 09 – 1 – 05 – 0 – 04 W
X-LOS ANGELES RAMS1140.7330.04163265 – 2 – 06 – 2 – 08 – 3 – 03 – 2 – 04 W
XY-TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS1140.7330.04423126 – 1 – 05 – 3 – 07 – 4 – 03 – 2 – 01 W
X-ARIZONA CARDINALS1050.6670.03943063 – 4 – 07 – 1 – 06 – 4 – 04 – 1 – 03 L
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS870.5330.03773343 – 4 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 5 – 01 – 4 – 01 L
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES870.5330.03983183 – 4 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 4 – 02 – 2 – 03 W
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS770.5000.53132852 – 4 – 05 – 3 – 05 – 5 – 02 – 2 – 02 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS780.4671.03843724 – 3 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 5 – 03 – 1 – 01 L
ATLANTA FALCONS780.4671.02784002 – 5 – 05 – 3 – 04 – 7 – 02 – 3 – 01 W
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM690.4002.02974073 – 4 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 5 – 01 – 3 – 03 L
CAROLINA PANTHERS5100.3333.02773452 – 6 – 03 – 4 – 03 – 7 – 02 – 2 – 05 L
CHICAGO BEARS5100.3333.02653732 – 5 – 03 – 5 – 03 – 7 – 02 – 3 – 01 W
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS5100.3333.03063072 – 5 – 03 – 5 – 02 – 8 – 02 – 3 – 02 L
NEW YORK GIANTS4110.2674.02483653 – 4 – 01 – 7 – 03 – 7 – 01 – 4 – 04 L
DETROIT LIONS2121.1675.52593862 – 5 – 00 – 7 – 12 – 8 – 01 – 4 – 01 L
 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE

NBA CONFERENCE STANDINGS DIVISION STANDINGS | CONFERENCE STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
BROOKLYN229.71010-612-36-017-67-31 W
CHICAGO2010.6671.511-49-63-211-77-33 W
MILWAUKEE2213.6292.012-510-86-115-96-43 W
MIAMI2113.6182.511-410-95-115-77-33 W
CLEVELAND2013.6063.010-710-63-113-77-31 W
PHILADELPHIA1716.5156.06-811-81-611-105-51 W
WASHINGTON1716.5156.08-59-113-411-103-71 L
CHARLOTTE1717.5006.58-49-135-210-84-61 W
BOSTON1617.4857.09-67-114-411-104-61 L
10 ATLANTA1517.4697.58-87-94-39-103-71 L
11 TORONTO1416.4677.57-97-74-410-105-51 L
12 NEW YORK1518.4558.07-118-73-410-154-61 W
13 INDIANA1420.4129.511-73-132-58-155-51 L
14 ORLANDO727.20616.52-115-161-84-192-82 L
15 DETROIT527.15617.53-122-151-64-161-93 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
GOLDEN STATE276.81816-211-47-115-38-23 W
PHOENIX266.8130.515-311-34-417-67-31 L
UTAH239.7193.513-610-36-013-38-23 W
MEMPHIS2014.5887.511-89-63-216-96-41 W
LA CLIPPERS1716.51510.012-95-73-412-145-51 L
DENVER1616.50010.58-68-102-49-95-51 W
LA LAKERS1618.47111.510-106-81-58-124-65 L
DALLAS1517.46911.58-87-97-212-94-62 L
MINNESOTA1517.46911.59-96-82-311-114-62 L
10 SAN ANTONIO1418.43812.57-97-91-38-136-43 W
11 PORTLAND1319.40613.511-72-121-37-152-81 L
12 SACRAMENTO1321.38214.57-116-104-59-153-73 L
13 OKLAHOMA CITY1220.37514.57-105-101-210-136-41 W
14 NEW ORLEANS1222.35315.56-96-132-48-146-41 L
15 HOUSTON1023.30317.07-73-161-34-133-73 L
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE PLAYOFFS. 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE

NHL CONFERENCE STANDINGS DIVISION | CONFERENCE | WILDCARD
EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING3020644418988010-3-210-3-28-1-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES292171432195629-3-012-4-16-4-0
WASHINGTON CAPITALS3118674316108819-3-49-3-35-3-2
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS3020824220987612-4-18-4-17-2-1
NEW YORK RANGERS301974421886778-3-211-4-26-3-1
FLORIDA PANTHERS29187440171048714-3-04-4-44-5-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS301785391691768-5-29-3-37-2-1
DETROIT RED WINGS311513333148810411-3-24-10-16-4-0
BOSTON BRUINS2614102301371697-5-17-5-14-4-2
10 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS2814131291291959-3-15-10-02-7-1
11 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS2912125291277956-6-26-6-34-5-1
12 NEW JERSEY DEVILS3010155259821057-7-33-8-21-8-1
13 BUFFALO SABRES3010155258821046-8-24-7-32-5-3
14 NEW YORK ISLANDERS26812622857772-5-36-7-33-3-4
15 OTTAWA SENATORS289172208791015-9-04-8-25-4-1
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS317213176671095-10-12-11-22-7-1
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
MINNESOTA WILD30199240161129210-2-19-7-16-3-1
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS322012040171149810-7-010-5-08-2-0
ANAHEIM DUCKS32179640151038910-4-37-5-36-1-3
NASHVILLE PREDATORS3019101391889799-5-010-5-18-2-0
ST. LOUIS BLUES31179539151068511-3-26-6-36-2-2
CALGARY FLAMES281576361387624-3-411-4-25-4-1
COLORADO AVALANCHE27178236161159110-2-17-6-17-2-1
EDMONTON OILERS291811036161019010-6-08-5-04-6-0
WINNIPEG JETS30141153313908710-6-14-5-45-4-1
10 LOS ANGELES KINGS3014115331380798-6-26-5-35-3-2
11 DALLAS STARS29151223214828511-3-14-9-15-5-0
12 SAN JOSE SHARKS3015141311578857-7-18-7-05-5-0
13 VANCOUVER CANUCKS3114152301181908-7-16-8-18-2-0
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS301115426872976-6-25-9-24-4-2
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN30101732310841086-9-14-8-24-4-2
16 ARIZONA COYOTES296212146561092-10-14-11-12-8-0
 

LAST UPDATED DEC. 27, 1:20 ET

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FORMAT.  THE TOP THREE TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISION MAKE UP THE FIRST SIX SPOTS.   THE TWO REMAINING TEAMS WITH THE HIGHEST POINTS, REGARDLESS OF DIVISION, QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL TWO WILD CARD SPOTS.  

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE