Connect with us

Sports

Kamara records six touchdowns as Saints beat Vikings to clinch NFC South – Sportsnet.ca

Published

 on


NEW ORLEANS — Alvin Kamara tied an NFL record by running for six touchdowns in a game and 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.

Wearing different colored shoes — one red and one green on Christmas Day — Kamara sprinted for a 40-yard touchdown on the game’s opening drive. He added scoring runs of 1, 5, 6, 7 and 3 yards against a Minnesota defensive front hit hard by injuries.

Kamara equaled a record set by Hall of Fame fullback Ernie Nevers in 1929 for the Chicago Cardinals.

“The offensive line gets the game ball for sure, kudos to them,” Kamara said. “Sean (Payton, the Saints coach) dialed it up, I did the small part.

“Today was a great day, we got out first goal, division title. Gonna take it from there.”

Minnesota (6-9) was eliminated from playoff contention while allowing the most points by any Vikings team since 1963.

The Saints (11-4) never punted, and set a record of yards gained in a game by a Vikings opponent with 583. They might have won by a greater margin if not for a pair interceptions of Drew Brees, one of them on a pass that deflected off receiver Emmanuel Sanders’ hands.

Brees completed 19 of 26 throws for 311 yards in his second game back from rib and lung injuries that had sidelined him for four games.

Sanders had four catches for 83 yards, while tight end Jared Cook caught three passes for 82 yards. New Orleans’ 264 yards rushing were the most by a Vikings opponent in head coach Mike Zimmer’s seven seasons.

New Orleans native Irv Smith Jr. caught a pair of touchdown passes in the third quarter for the Vikings, the second pulling Minnesota to 31-27. But the Saints responded with two short touchdown runs by Kamara and one by reserve QB Taysom Hill in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

Kirk Cousins passed for 283 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings, who never led and trailed for good after Kamara’s second TD in the first quarter.

In a game that saw both defenses struggle, Saints receiver Marquez Callaway made a play that any defensive back would appreciate when he prevented Eric Wilson from intercepting a pass Brees thrown right at the linebacker. Brees took advantage of the second chance, hitting Callaway for 11 yards on the next play and then finding Cook for a 19-yard gain to the Vikings 6. That set up Kamara’s third TD run of the half to put New Orleans up 24-14.

INJURIES

Vikings: Minnesota did not report any injuries.

Saints: LB Kwan Alexander injured his right ankle late in the third quarter. He was initially helped off the field but later took a cart from the sideline to the locker room.

UP NEXT

Vikings: visit Detroit on Jan. 3, the final Sunday of the regular season.

Saints: visit Carolina on Jan. 3.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Sinclair to lead Canadian women’s team in her fourth Olympics

Published

 on

Christine Sinclair, the all-time international goal-scoring record holder, was named to her fourth Olympic squad on Wednesday and will headline a Canadian roster at the Tokyo Games that features a mix of veterans and youth.

Led by Sinclair, whose 186 goals for her country are the most by a female or male soccer player worldwide, Canada won medals at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and was the only nation to make the podium in both competitions.

“I am looking forward to doing whatever I can to help take this team back to the podium and make history again,” said Canadian captain Sinclair. “Our team is in a good spot, we are excited, we are hungry and we are ready to go.”

The 18-player roster features 12 members of the squad that competed at the 2016 Rio Games while a quintet including Vanessa Gilles, Jayde Riviere, Julia Grosso, Adriana Leon, and Evelyne Viens will be making their Olympic debuts.

Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan travelled to Rio in 2016 as an alternate.

Canada will kick off their Tokyo 2020 journey when they face Japan on July 21 and continue Group E play against Chile on July 24 and Britain on July 27.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

Continue Reading

Sports

Which of the Canadians Picked in the 2021 NFL Draft Will Thrive This Season?

Published

 on

It was a good NFL Draft for Canadian players in 2021.

Some four stars from north of the border were selected by NFL franchises in the free agency pick ‘em, and that is tied as the highest number of Canadians drafted in the 85-year history of the event.

Of course, the hope is that these young talents are more than just filler and roster depth, but can any of the quartet make the breakthrough into the big time?

Here’s a look at which of the NFL’s newest Canadian additions can shine in 2021/22.

Jevon Holland

The defensive back was the number 36 pick in the Draft by the Miami Dolphins, who beat off a number of rivals in the hunt for the Coquitlam native.

A versatile defender, Holland is a former Jim Thorpe Award semi-finalist thanks to his exploits in the NCAA back in 2019 with the University of Oregon.

He sat out the 2020 campaign, but representatives from dozens of NFL teams were in town to watch Holland go through his paces at the Oregon Pro Day.

The 21-year-old is following in the footsteps of his father Robert, who turned out for the Detroit Lions, and he is expected to force his way into the starting line-up at the Dolphins. And, who knows, maybe Holland could go all the way in his first season, with Miami priced at +2500 in the Super Bowl 2022 American football odds.

Benjamin St-Juste

When you’re six foot three, 205 pounds and still able to run 40 yards in 4.51 seconds, it goes without saying that you have the physical credentials to succeed in the NFL.

Benjamin St-Juste is the man that can, and he will bolster the roster at a Washington Football Team that will be looking to improve upon their playoff showing in 2020.

The 23-year-old may only have been a third-round pick, but he comes with a burgeoning reputation thanks to a successful time at the University of Minnesota. An All-Big Ten special mention in 2019, more than 50 NFL recruitment personnel attended the college’s pro day – largely to catch a glimpse of St-Juste going through his paces.

Both Brian Gutekunst and Jon Robinson made the trip but, in the end, it was Washington who snapped up the powerhouse from the Draft.

Chuba Hubbard

The third Canadian to be drafted in 2021 was Chuba Hubbard, who became the first Canadian running back to be selected from the Draft in 25 years.

It’s the Carolina Panthers who have taken a chance on the 22-year-old and with his credentials, you can see why. Hubbard finished eighth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 2019 after a stellar campaign – he served up 2,094 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns, an NCAA best. He was named the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

While running backs are not the hottest of properties in the Draft, Hubbard provably has the talent to cross into the end zone with regularity – the Panthers might just have got their hands on an unheralded gem here.

With these three Canadians taking the step up to the NFL, the future of the sport north of the border looks in safe hands.

Continue Reading

Sports

Berrettini ends Murray’s comeback at Queen’s

Published

 on

Andy Murray‘s grasscourt return was cut short in brutal fashion at Queen’s Club as Italian top seed Matteo Berrettini dished out a 6-3 6-3 defeat to the former world number one on Thursday.

The 34-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion, playing in his first singles tournament on grass for three years, could not handle the ferocious pace of Berrettini as he slid to defeat.

Murray eased past Benoit Paire in his opening match on Tuesday but world number nine Berrettini was too big a step up.

Berrettini’s huge first serve and forehand did most of the damage but the Italian also showed plenty of silky touch on the slick lawns to register his first career win over Murray.

Berrettini, 25, finished the match off with a powerful hold of serve, banging down four massive first serves before sealing victory with a clubbing forehand winner.

He faces British number one Dan Evans in the quarter-final after Evans beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

Murray, a five-time winner of the traditional warm-up event but now ranked 124 after long battles with hip injuries including resurfacing surgery in 2019, has been handed a wildcard for the Wimbledon championships.

Apart from a slight groin niggle, Murray said he was reasonably happy with his condition, considering this was only his third Tour-level tournament of the year.

“I think obviously I need to improve,” Murray told reporters. “I actually felt my movement was actually quite good for both of the matches. My tennis today was not very good today. That’s the thing that I’ll need to improve the most.

“I felt like today that that sort of showed my lack of matches.”

Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez, who won the singles title in 2019 and the doubles alongside Murray, was beaten 6-2 6-3 by Canada‘s Denis Shapovalov.

(Reporting by Martyn HermanEditing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar)

Continue Reading

Trending