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Brees sets NFL all-time TD mark as Saints crush Colts – Sportsnet.ca

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NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees became the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, throwing for four scores to lead the New Orleans Saints to a 34-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night.

The scoring strike that broke Peyton Manning’s record of 539 career touchdown passes came in the third quarter, when Brees hit tight end Josh Hill for a 5-yard score. Brees’ next pass in the game was the 541st scoring toss of his career, a 28-yard TD to reserve QB and utility player Taysom Hill that put the Saints up 34-0.

“It was special, everything about the night,” Brees said. “It just kind of makes your whole life and career flash before your eyes, because I never thought I’d have a chance to be part of something like this.”

The 40-year-old Brees came into the game already holding NFL records for completions with 6,792 and yards passing with 72,577 — and built on those numbers by also setting a record for completion percentage in a game. He completed 29 of 30 passes — 96.7 against Arizona last season.

“He had a hot hand, obviously,” Payton said. “Guys were making plays, but that’s awfully difficult to do.”

The victory kept the Saints (11-3), who’d already won the NFC South, in the running with San Francisco (11-3) and Green Bay (11-3) for one of the top two seeds in the NFC playoffs. The Colts (6-8) were eliminated from playoff contention after losing their fourth straight and sixth out of seven.

“There’s a lot at stake right now relative to these games when you look at the top of the NFC,” Payton said. “It’s about winning and winning and winning and trying to give yourself the best chance in the post-season.”

Jacoby Brissett struggled at times with accuracy and finished 18 of 34 for 165 yards against a Saints defence looking for redemption after allowing 48 points in a loss to the 49ers a week earlier.

Meanwhile, Colts defenders had no answer for Michael Thomas, who caught 12 passes for 128 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown. Thomas’ eighth game this season with at least 10 catches give him 133 for the season, which is also the fourth-highest single-season total in NFL history.

With four more catches, Thomas will pass Antonio Brown and Julio Jones for second most in a season and needs 11 to eclipse Marvin Harrison’s record of 143 from 2002.

Tre’Quan Smith caught a 21-yard touchdown pass for New Orleans.

Jordan Wilkins scored the Colts’ lone TD on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter.

FLUID RECORD

While Brees holds the career touchdown pass record for now, the Patriots’ Tom Brady is only three behind at 538.

“It’s a fluid record,” Payton said. “There’s still another quarterback in New England, so that will go back and forth as long as those two are playing.”

The next-closest active player is Rivers with 395.

INJURIES

Colts: Reserve safety Rolan Milligan left the game with a foot injury in the first half. Cornerback Quincy Wilson left with a shoulder injury.

Saints: Right guard Larry Warford needed help to the sideline with a left knee injury early in the third quarter. Defensive back C.J. Gardner Johnson left the game with a concussion in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

Colts: Host Carolina on Sunday.

Saints: Visit Tennessee on Sunday.

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Maple Leafs place veteran forward Jason Spezza on waivers – CBC.ca

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The Toronto Maple Leafs placed veteran forward Jason Spezza and goaltender Aaron Dell on waivers Sunday.

Spezza, 37, skated in all three games so far this season and registered one assist while averaging 7:44 of ice time.

He signed a one-year deal for the league minimum of $700,000  USin October, hoping for one more shot at winning his first Stanley Cup with his hometown team.

Spezza has scored 941 points (341 goals, 600 assists) in 1,126 career games with the Ottawa Senators (2002-14), Dallas Stars (2014-19) and Maple Leafs. He tallied 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 58 games in his first season with Toronto in 2019-20.

Spezza was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 NHL draft by Ottawa.

Dell, 31, has not played yet for the Maple Leafs. He signed a one-year, $800,000 contract in October following four seasons with the San Jose Sharks.

He compiled a 48-34-12 record with a 2.76 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in 107 games (89 starts) for the Sharks from 2016-20.

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Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes ruled out vs. Browns due to concussion – Sportsnet.ca

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was knocked out of the divisional-playoff game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday with a concussion in the third quarter.

Mahomes tucked the ball on a quarterback option with 7:27 left in the third quarter and tried to reach the first-down marker on third-and-1 near midfield. He was brought down hard by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson, who had managed to get ahold of him around his helmet. Mahomes was wobbly when he got up and had to be helped from the field, then was checked briefly in the blue tent on the sideline before jogging into the Kansas City locker room.

Chad Henne entered the game for Mahomes, who had been hobbling for much of the game after hurting his foot in the first quarter. Henne played the entirety of Kansas City’s loss to the Chargers in Week 17, when coach Andy Reid sat Mahomes and several other starts with the No. 1 seed and first-round playoff bye already secured.

Henne led the Chiefs to a field goal that made it 22-10 with 4:24 left in the third quarter. Henne went down the tunnel to check on Mahomes when the third quarter ended.

The Chiefs announced early in the fourth quarter that Mahomes will not return.

Meanwhile, the Browns lost left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. to an ankle injury and his backup, Kendall Lamm, to an elbow injury, forcing them to turn to Blake Hance. Hance was signed from the Jets practice squad on Jan. 2 to provide some depth to an offensive line that has been decimated by injuries and COVID-19 since the start of the new year.

Hance made his NFL debut in the fourth quarter of their wild-card win over Pittsburgh.

Wills remained down after Nick Chubb’s carry on the Browns’ first offensive play of the game before limping to the sideline with help from the training staff. He was listed as questionable to return before being ruled out at halftime.

Lamm was replaced at the start of the second half, helping the Browns drive 77 yards for a touchdown.

The injuries to the two left tackles made it even more important that Jack Conklin was active. The All-Pro right tackle had been questionable after hurting his hamstring in last week’s wild-card win in Pittsburgh.

The depth of the Browns offensive line has been decimated this season. Backups Chris Hubbard, Nick Harris and Michael Dunn are all out with season-ending injuries.

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Report: Bills Fans Donate More Than $150K to Lamar Jackson's Favorite Charity – Sports Illustrated

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Following the conclusion of the Buffalo Bills’ 17-3 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night, over 5,500 Bills fans have donated more than $150,000 to Lamar Jackson’s preferred charity, the Louisville, chapter of Blessings in a Backpack.

On Saturday night, a Bills fan on Reddit shared that he donated $25 to Jackson’s favorite charity, an organization that works to feed elementary school children who are in need on weekends.

The donations appeared to continue overnight and into Sunday where it has reportedly reached more than six-figures of money raised.

“It started around 11:30 last night and our donation box just started flooding with donations from Bills fans for Lamar. It’s just been overwhelming—in the best possible way,” Nikki Grizzle of “Blessings in a Backpack,” told ESPN.

This isn’t the first time that Bills fans have rallied behind a singular cause following a football game. In 2017, Bills Mafia performed a similar gesture to Andy Dalton’s foundation, raising more than $415,000. Earlier this season, Bills fans also donated thousands of dollars to Oishei Children’s Hospital after it was announced that quarterback Josh Allen’s grandmother had died.

Ravens offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman, the Ravens’ Walter Payton Man of the Year, also tweeted on Sunday that Bills fans had donated to his organization overnight. 

The Bills are set to take on the winner of Sunday’s Browns-Chiefs game in the AFC championship.

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