Hail Mary Saints: Winston has 4 TDs, Saints beat Washington
After Jameis Winston connected with Marquez Callaway on a Hail Mary touchdown on the final play of the first half, Sean Payton recalled a similar play in his first season as New Orleans Saints coach. Fifteen years ago, his team's Hail Mary in Atlanta overshadowed a halftime performance by country music duo Sugarland. Payton on Sunday thought to himself: “If there was any halftime entertainment, that’s a tough spot to be in.”news.yahoo.com
What's ahead? NFL owners to meet about upcoming season
They'll begin finding out this week when the 32 team owners hold virtual meetings Tuesday and Wednesday. Two items top the agenda: increasing the regular season to 17 games and decreasing preseason games to three per team. Both are nearly certain to be approved after a pandemic-stressed season that severely cut into the league's revenue stream. The media partners who just spent about $10 billion annually for NFL rights fees will get more content that counts, and fewer exhibition games. Ad“There will be automatic changes to the offseason and in-season workout schedules as a result,” said George Atallah, the NFL Players Association spokesman.
Saints' Brees sees playoff clash with Brady's Bucs as fate
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) reacts after a touchdown by Alvin Kamara in the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Chicago Bears in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)NEW ORLEANS – Drew Brees periodically discusses his long, extraordinary NFL journey in terms of fate and destiny. “Other than that, there’s not a lot of bad about” the Saints, Brady said. I think the quarterback-receiver relationship is really important.”Still, no defense has had more success against Brady this season than the Saints. The Saints gained 2,265 yards rushing during the regular season and added another 123 yards in their playoff opener against Chicago's formidable front.
Brees, Saints pull away late for 21-9 playoff win over Bears
Brees completed 28 of 39 passes for 265 yards, connecting with Michael Thomas and Latavius Murray for touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints defeated the Chicago Bears 21-9 in an NFC wild-card game Sunday. Brees' first touchdown pass in the opening quarter was 11-yards over the middle to Thomas, back from a three-game absence to help heal a nagging ankle injury. The 2019 Offensive Player of the Year missed nine games this season and had not caught a touchdown pass since December 2019. That marked the second time this season a Bears player was thrown out for action taken against Gardner-Johnson after the whistle. The Bears have reached the playoffs twice since Pace took over in 2015, both times under Nagy, who was hired in 2018.
The Latest: Browns open 28-0 lead over Steelers
The Browns have raced to a 28-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns’ 28 points are the most by any team in the first quarter of a playoff game since the 1970 merger. So, this will be the first NFL playoff game ever pitting two quadragenarian quarterbacks. Drew Brees is trying to join Brett Favre and Tom Brady as quarterbacks to win a playoff game after turning 40. That was his third career playoff game with 150 or more rushing yards, one game shy of Hall of Famer Terrell Davis’ record.
Brady and Bucs, plus Bills and Rams win wild-card games
The Bills won the game 27-24. The first tripleheader of NFL wild-card games Saturday saw Tom Brady extend his postseason record for victories to 31 with a 31-23 victory for Tampa Bay at Washington. After a quarter-century, the Bills got one of those triumphs that Brady collects — and they even figured out how to stop a Hail Mary. The previous playoff win was over Miami on Dec. 30, 1995. And it came in the Bills’ first home playoff game in 24 years, with a limited number of 6,700 fans in attendance for the first time this season.
Rodgers leads Pack to top of NFC after draft disappointment
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)The NFC playoff field features the usual cast of quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 45, 31-25 over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6, 2011, at Arlington, Texas. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 48, 43-8 over the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2, 2014, at East Rutherford, N.J. Last year: No. The Bears’ leading tackler left in the first quarter of the Green Bay game with an elbow injury. DBs Buster Skrine, rookie Jaylon Johnson and Deon Bush missed the loss to Green Bay.
Saints rout Panthers 33-7 to earn No. 2 seed in NFC playoffs
The Saints (12-4) will host the seventh-seeded Chicago Bears in the wild-card round next Sunday at 4:40 p.m. EST. He also ran for five TDs, but the Panthers struggled to make winning plays late in games all season with Bridgewater at the helm. That leaves questions about his future as the Panthers starting QB, especially with the team having a top 10 draft pick in 2021. UP NEXTSaints: The four-time defending NFC South champions host the Bears next Sunday in the playoffs. Panthers: After failing to make the playoffs for the third straight season, Carolina will look to the NFL draft to upgrade a number of pressing needs.
Kamara on COVID-19 list, could miss Saints' playoff opener
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Saints have placed running back Alvin Kamara, who leads the club in both yards rushing and receiving, on their COVID-19 reserve list. The move means Kamara is unavailable for Sunday's regular-season finale at Carolina and also could miss the Saints' first playoff game if New Orleans is unable to move up to the NFC's top seed. Kamara has 932 yards and 16 TDs rushing to go with 756 yards and five TDs receiving this season. His touchdowns rushing and 21 total touchdowns from scrimmage are Saints single-season records. Murray has 656 yards and four TDs rushing this season and in 2019 had 100-yard rushing performances in both games Kamara missed with leg injuries.
NFL races go down to the wire in AFC South and NFC East
“We win this game, find a way to win, win the division. He's assured of repeating as NFL rushing champ, the first since Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006-07. Henry has a career-high 1,777 yards rushing and ran for 212 yards in his most recent game against the Texans. Ezekiel Elliott, despite a mediocre performance in 2020, needs 63 yards rushing for 1,000 this season, his fourth such output in five seasons. Baltimore (10-5) at Cincinnati (4-10-1)During their four-game winning streak, the Ravens have averaged 37 points and 233.3 yards rushing per game.
Chiefs lead AP Pro32 poll; Packers up to No. 2, Bills No. 3
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay (50) reacts next to Atlanta Falcons' Luke Stocker (88) after Falcons place kicker Younghoe Koo missed a 39-yard field goal during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)NEW YORK – Despite winning 10 in a row, the Kansas City Chiefs have been just barely getting by in recent games. And the Chiefs' lead has also narrowed a bit atop the latest AP Pro32 poll. The Chiefs received 10 of 12 first-place votes for 381 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL. “But winning in Kansas City, with or without a full house, is going to be difficult.”The Green Bay Packers and the Buffalo Bills flipped spots again after routs in prime time.
Curious calls by Sean Payton, Jon Gruden highlight Week 16
Let’s start with:PAYTON’S PLANOn Christmas night, Saints running back Alvin Kamara tied a 91-year-old NFL record by rushing for six touchdowns in a 52-33 wipeout of the Minnesota Vikings. “I was thinking about our best play there,” Payton explained afterward. Payton wasn’t talking about Nevers’ record six TD runs. “A lot of these players — I’d say most of these players — have no idea how good Gale Sayers was,” said Payton. “It was a great moment.”Brees said Payton mentioned Sayers’ mark before the Saints’ last touchdown drive.
Kamara's 6 TDs tie NFL record; Saints beat Vikings 52-33
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) breaks free past Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27), outside linebacker Eric Wilson (50) and defensive end D.J. He finished with a career-high 155 yards rushing to help New Orleans beat the Minnesota Vikings 52-33 on Friday and clinch a fourth straight NFC South title. He has since set Saints records for rushing TDs in a season with 16 and total TDs with 21 (he has five receiving). It would be 8-yard gain, 7-yard gain.”The Saints (11-4) never punted, and set a record of yards gained in a game by a Vikings opponent with 583. New Orleans' 264 yards rushing were the most by a Vikings opponent in Zimmer's seven seasons.
A bonus for NFL fans in Week 16: 4 straight days of games
They do have a sack in an NFL-record 71 straight games and have sacked Philip Rivers 15 times during seven games while he played for the Chargers. Rivers has had two or more TD passes in five straight games. He had career bests of 10 catches for 163 yards last week, and Ridley's seven 100-yard games lead the NFL. The 19 straight seasons without losing both games to a divisional opponent is an NFL record. The Jaguars have allowed at least 24 points in each of those 13 games, an NFL record.
Mahomes' dramatic flair marks Chiefs' 32-29 win over Saints
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)NEW ORLEANS – Patrick Mahomes' repertoire of side-arm throws, basketball-style push passes, underhanded flips and renowned improvisation humbled yet another highly regarded defense. Mahomes passed for 254 yards and three touchdowns, and the Kansas City Chiefs extended their winning streak to nine games with a 32-29 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Bell's score came one play after Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan was flagged for a personal foul and ejected for punching offensive lineman Andrew Wylie. With two timeouts remaining, the Saints kicked deep, but could not prevent Mahomes and Co. from running out the clock.
Jalen Hurts helps Eagles beat Saints 24-21
Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts scrambles during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)PHILADELPHIA – Jalen Hurts gave the Philadelphia Eagles more than just a spark. He had a 74-yard TD run against Pittsburgh and a 74-yard run against Baltimore. Hill connected with Jared Cook on a 20-yard TD pass to get the Saints within 24-21 with 1:29 left. Hurts tossed a 15-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery on fourth-and-2 to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Saints overcome Brees injury, beat 49ers 27-13
“When I came out in the second half and started throwing the ball (to warm up), it became really apparent that I wasn't going to be effective,” Brees said. Brees said he didn't expect the injury to be “a long-term thing," but added, ”it's just a matter of how long it's going to be. “We couldn’t get anything going in the second half and didn’t get much out of our running game," coach Kyle Shannahan said. Tight end Josh Hill also left the game with a concussion in the second half. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore left with an oblique injury, but could be seen standing on the sideline without his helmet in the second half, urging on teammates and even dancing at times.
Brees throws 4 TD passes, Saints rout Brady, Buccaneers 38-3
Brees threw for 222 yards and four touchdowns, regaining the NFL career TD pass lead and lifting the New Orleans Saints into first place with a 38-3 rout of Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night. The Saints intercepted Brady twice in a 34-23 season-opening win, with Janoris Jenkins returning one for a TD. “We didn't play well in any phase of the game,” Brady said. But with Tampa Bay’s offense sputtering and one of the league’s stingiest defenses unable to slow down Brees, New Orleans pressed on. Buccaneers: WR Chris Godwin (three catches, 41 yards) returned after missing one game with a broken right index finger.
Will Lutz makes field goal in OT, Saints beat Bears 26-23
The Bears’ Cairo Santos made a 51-yard field goal at the end of regulation to force the extra period. He came through with his fourth field goal on a windy day, sending the Bears (5-3) to their second straight loss. “My gut, we’re on the field and I feel like we can kick a field goal at that distance without risking any ball-security issues,” Payton said. Marshon Lattimore then intercepted Nick Foles, leading to a tiebreaking field goal by Lutz. After the Saints went three-and-out, Chicago tied it with 13 seconds left on Santos’ field goal into the wind.
Rodgers, Packers unbeaten with 37-30 victory over Saints
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass under pressure from New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Malcom Roach in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)NEW ORLEANS – Aaron Rodgers passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns, and the Green Bay Packers remained unbeaten with a 37-30 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night. With Packers top receiver Davante Adams unable to play because of a hamstring injury, Rodgers nonetheless found ways to attack New Orleans (1-2) with a variety of passes, short and long. Drew obviously knows how to deal” the ball, Rodgers said, crediting the scheme designed and called by second-year head coach Matt Lafleur. Emmanuel Sanders caught a 10-yard scoring pass at the end of the first half that gave the Saints a 17-13 lead.
Raiders open Las Vegas stadium with 34-24 win vs Saints
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Darren Waller (83) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)LAS VEGAS – Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders delivered a performance worthy of their fancy new home. Carr threw three touchdown passes and the Raiders gave their new fans in Las Vegas plenty to celebrate even if they weren’t allowed in the stadium by beating the New Orleans Saints 34-24 on Monday night. Las Vegas converted 10 of 17 third downs and also went for it successfully twice on fourth down. Alec Ingold recovered for Las Vegas and Carr threw a 1-yard TD to Waller on fourth down to give the Raiders their first lead of the game at 24-17.
Saints intercept Brady twice in 34-23 win over Bucs
(AP Photo/Brett Duke)NEW ORLEANS – Tom Brady was intercepted twice in his Tampa Bay debut, Alvin Kamara scored touchdowns running and receiving, and the New Orleans Saints beat the Buccaneers 34-23 on Sunday. Neither quarterback was statistically exceptional in this first-ever NFL game featuring two quarterbacks in their 40s. One exception was Saints safety and Players Coalition co-founder Malcolm Jenkins, who trotted to the Saints bench area after the anthem had finished. The Saints were flagged four times for 101 yards, with all of those calls occurring during the Bucs' first three scoring drives. Saints: Take part in the first NFL game played in Las Vegas, the Raiders' home opener on Monday night, Sept. 21.
Saints, running back Alvin Kamara agree on 5-year extension
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) runs through drills during NFL football practice in New Orleans, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, Pool)NEW ORLEANS – Saints running back Alvin Kamara agreed to a five-year extension, the club announced Saturday. The $50 million for four years puts the deal on par with the contract running back Derrick Henry signed with Tennessee in July. Kamara was due to become a restricted free agent after this season and had sat out several training camp practices while the club acknowledged they were trying to negotiate an extension. Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey, who like Kamara is a threat as a runner or receiver, signed a four-year contract extension worth $64 million last April after gaining 2,392 yards and scoring 19 TDs from scrimmage.
NASCAR reopens gates at Bristol with more tracks to follow
Tennessee officials permitted Bristol to sell up to 30,000 tickets less than 20% of its capacity of 140,000-plus as NASCAR slowly begins to reopen the gates. The All-Star race debuted at Charlotte in 1985 and this year marked just the second time it was not held at that track. "NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway showed the future of safe, live sporting events with an electric night.The event was not without glitches. Both NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports are private companies and do not release attendance figures, but Bristol appeared to have at least 20,000 spectators. Texas Motor Speedway may not have that many Sunday, but Speedway Motorsports can adjust protocols if needed.
Meet the local fitness trainer to the stars
DAVIE, Fla. How do NFL stars like Alvin Kamara build up the balance to perform incredible feats on the field? And then, they meet Sharif Tabbah, who has a doctorate in physical therapy. Tabbah has been training professional athletes for a long time, but he gained worldwide attention when a video showing him training Kamara went viral. The training pushes physical and mental boundaries because both bodies and minds are tested while athletes are playing. If youre interested in working out with Tabbah, you can check out his website http://athletixrehab.com, or follow him on Instagram at @athletixrehab and @doctor_reef.
Vikings, Cook present NFL's latest RB contract standoff
FILE - In this Oct. 24 2019, file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook walks on the field before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Minneapolis. The Vikings have centered their offense around running back Dalvin Cook and praised him at every turn, but now the bill has come due. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn, FIle)MINNEAPOLIS Dalvin Cook logged off last week from virtual team activities with the Minnesota Vikings, no longer willing to participate until he has secured a new contract. The three-year, $39 million contract Arizona gave David Johnson, who's now with Houston, might be the most realistic model. Gordon took a two-year, $8 million contract with Denver.
Kamara lauds Wallace's courage after NASCAR's trying week
Among those fans: New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, who was wearing a T-shirt and cap with Wallaces name on them. But I know days like today are going to be talked about for a long time.Kamara thinks the same way. Sunday was his first time at a NASCAR race, but not his first time at a NASCAR track he caught a touchdown pass in Tennessees 45-24 win over Virginia Tech at Bristol in 2016. Not only did he laud Wallaces courage for speaking out, he also had high praise for the white drivers standing with Wallace. Let me say the right thing now, Kamara said.
Truex ends 2020 winless skid with victory at Martinsville
MARTINSVILLE, Va. Martin Truex Jr. cruised down the stretch and won his first NASCAR Cup race of the season on Wednesday night in the first race under the lights at Martinsville Speedway. Truex won the Martinsville grandfather clock on the paperclip-shaped track at just 0.526 miles. Already outspoken on social causes in NASCAR, Wallace denounced the flag and his message spread throughout sports. Boston tweeted questions about the race and seemed to enjoy the action at Martinsville: Do yall be pinned to the TV. Martinsville capped a stretch of seven straight Cup races since it resumed without fans at the track.
Flag ban fallout: Now comes the tricky part for NASCAR
Well try to do that the right way, NASCAR executive vice president Steve ODonnell told SiriusXM on Thursday. It was really cool to see what Bubba was able to do, 2018 NASCAR champion Joey Logano said. And now comes the publicity surrounding the flag ban. As far as the optics, NASCAR didnt have a choice, NASCAR historian Dan Pierce said. But the cynical person in me, especially when youre dealing with NASCAR, is, did they get the OK from their sponsors ahead of time or from NASCAR?