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NFL Roundup: Steelers remain unbeaten, Tagovailoa wins NFL debut – Sportsnet.ca

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BALTIMORE — The Pittsburgh Steelers rallied behind Ben Roethlisberger to remain the lone unbeaten team in the NFL, beating error-prone Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens 28-24 Sunday in a duel for first place in the AFC North.

Roethlisberger threw a pair of second-half touchdown passes to bring Pittsburgh (7-0) back from a 10-point halftime deficit. After completing only four passes for 24 yards in the first half, the 38-year-old finished 21 for 32 for 182 yards.

Jackson threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles, turnovers that helped Pittsburgh stay within striking distance until its offence finally got on track.

The Steelers led 28-24 when the Ravens (5-2) faced a fourth-and-3 at the Pittsburgh 8 with 2 minutes left. Jackson ran a quarterback draw and lost the ball while being stopped short.

Baltimore got the ball back and moved to the Pittsburgh 23 before Jackson’s pass in the end zone was broken up on the final play.

Earlier, Robert Spillane took an interception back for a score to end Baltimore’s first possession; Jackson lost a fumble inside the Pittsburgh 5; and Alex Hightower set up a Steelers touchdown by picking off a pass on Baltimore’s initial offensive play of the second half.

The Steelers stretched their streak of games with at least one sack to 64, and Baltimore’s run of games with a takeaway reached 20 when Peters forced a fumble by Claypool in the first quarter.

BILLS 24, PATRIOTS 21

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Backup defensive lineman Justin Zimmer punched the ball out of Cam Newton’s arms and the fumble was recovered by safety Dean Marlowe at the Buffalo 13 with 31 seconds remaining to secure the win.

Zack Moss scored two touchdowns rushing and the AFC East-leading Bills are off to consecutive 6-2 starts for the first time since a six-year run from 1988 to 1993. Buffalo snapped a seven-game skid against the division-rival Patriots, and beat a Bill Belichick-coaches New England team for just the sixth time in 41 meetings, going back to 2000.

New England dropped to 2-5 and has lost four in a row, matching its worst skid since 2002.

The game was decided just as the Patriots were threatening to at least force overtime. Facing second-and-10 at the Buffalo 19, Newton took the snap and followed a line of blockers to his left. Zimmer came diving in from behind and punched out the ball, which rolled directly into Marlowe’s arms.

DOLPHINS 28, RAMS 17

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Tua Tagovailoa threw his first career touchdown pass and then let his teammates take over with a succession of big plays.

The Dolphins stamped themselves as playoff contenders by earning their third consecutive win. They struck for scores 75 seconds apart on Andrew Van Ginkel’s 78-yard fumble return and Jakeem Grant’s team-record 88-yard punt return. They came up with four takeaways in the first half and at halftime led 28-10 despite being outgained 224-54.

The big plays helped Tagovailoa overcome a costly early turnover in his first NFL start. The No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft finished 12 of 22 for 93 yards.

The Rams (5-3) ran 92 plays to the Dolphins’ 48, and Miami won while totalling eight first downs and 145 yards. The Dolphins (4-3) have outscored opponents by a combined 95-34 in the past three games, and they’re above .500 for the first time in their 23 games under second-year coach Brian Flores.

SAINTS 26, BEARS 23, OT

CHICAGO — Drew Brees threw FOR two touchdowns to regain the NFL’s all-time lead from Tom Brady, and Wil Lutz nailed a 35-yard field goal in overtime.

The Bears’ Cairo Santos booted a 51-yard field goal at the end of regulation to force the extra period.

The Saints (5-2) led 23-13 early in the fourth quarter after scoring 20 consecutive points, only to have Chicago rally in the closing minutes of regulation. But the three-time defending NFC South champions pulled out their fourth straight win when Lutz connected on their second possession of OT.

The Saints had a first down at the 16 when coach Sean Payton called on him. And Lutz delivered, sending the Bears (5-3) to their second straight loss. New Orleans tied Tampa Bay for the division lead, with Brady and the Buccaneers meeting the struggling New York Giants on Monday night.

Chicago receiver Javon Wims got ejected for punching New Orleans safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson in the third quarter. Marshon Lattimore then intercepted Nick Foles, leading to a tiebreaking field goal by Lutz.

Brees added a 20-yard touchdown to Taysom Hill to make it 23-13 early in the fourth period. The Bears (5-3) pulled within three with 3:32 remaining on Foles’ 3-yard pass to Darnell Mooney.

After the Saints went three-and-out, Chicago tied it with 13 seconds left on Santos’ field goal into the wind.

SEAHAWKS 37, 49ERS 27

SEATTLE — Russell Wilson threw four more touchdown passes, two to DK Metcalf. Wilson and Metcalf tormented San Francisco and its banged-up secondary as the top-scoring offence in the league continued to pile up points. The Seahawks (6-1) have scored at least 30 points in six of seven games.

Wilson hit Metcalf on a pair of first-half touchdown passes, but it was a 2 1/2-minute sequence midway through the third quarter when Seattle blew the game open.

Wilson found rookie DeeJay Dallas on a 2-yard TD pass after San Francisco went three-and-out to open the second half for a 20-7 lead. Dante Pettis fumbled the ensuing kickoff on a big hit from Cody Barton. Six plays later, Wilson evaded pressure in the pocket and zipped a 6-yard TD pass to David Moore for a 27-7 lead.

Seattle added one more score on a 1-yard TD run by Dallas with 3:33 left after the 49ers (4-4) pulled within 10.

Wilson finished 27 of 37 for 261 yards and has 26 TD passes on the season, one behind Tom Brady for the most in the first seven games of a season.

BRONCOS 31, CHARGERS 30

DENVER — Drew Lock hit rookie KJ Hamler from 1 yard with no time on the clock and Brandon McManus nailed the extra point to win it. The Broncos (3-4) overcame a 24-3 deficit and rallied after being held to 60 first-half yards, including 2 on the ground.

The Chargers (2-5) appeared primed to end their seven-game AFC West losing streak behind another great performance by rookie Justin Herbert, who joined Deshaun Watson as the only QBs in NFL history with four straight games with three TD passes. But the Chargers became the first team to lose three games they led by 17 or more points in the same season since the Atlanta Falcons did it in 2003.

The Broncos got the ball at their 19 with 2:24 remaining and Lock drove them 81 yards in 14 plays, helped by two defensive flags.

On fourth-and-4 from the 18 with 7 seconds left, Lock’s pass to rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was incomplete, but defensive back Brandon Facyson was whistled for pass interference, giving the Broncos the ball at the 1 with 1 second remaining.

Lock took the snap, rolled right and found Hamler in the back of the end zone. He got down before going out of bounds with no time left.

VIKINGS 28, PACKERS 22

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Dalvin Cook gained 226 yards from scrimmage and became the first Viking in over four decades to score four touchdowns in a single game.

The Vikings withstood a three-touchdown performance from receiver Davante Adams, who had seven catches for 53 yards.

Green Bay had the ball at Minnesota’s 41-yard line with 12 seconds and no timeouts left, but D.J. Wonnum sacked Aaron Rodgers and knocked the ball loose. Eric Wilson recovered at the 24 as time expired.

Cook missed Minnesota’s last game with a groin injury that had him listed as questionable, but he looked just fine while dicing up Green Bay’s defence all day. Each of the Vikings’ first four possessions ended with Cook touchdowns. He ran for 163 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries. Cook also had two catches for 63 yards, including a 50-yard score.

The only other Vikings to score four touchdowns in a game are Ahmad Rashad in 1979 and Chuck Foreman in 1975.

RAIDERS 16, BROWNS 6

CLEVELAND — Derek Carr threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow early in the fourth quarter and Daniel Carlson kicked three field goals in windy, wintry conditions along Lake Erie.

Carr’s strike to Renfrow with 14:53 to go was the game’s only TD and helped the Raiders (4-3) bounce back after they fell apart late in last week’s 45-20 loss to Tampa Bay.

Using running back Josh Jacobs and a short passing game, Carr controlled the clock in the second half and kept the ball away from the Browns (5-3).

On the Raiders’ first two drives after halftime, the first leading to their go-ahead TD and the other to Carlson’s 24-yard field goal with 4:24 left, they ate up 17:41. Jacobs finished with a career-high 128 yards _ 80 in the second half _ on 31 carries. Last week, he had just 17 yards on 10 attempts.

The Raiders had allowed 10-plus points in an NFL-record 116 straight games.

BENGALS 31, TITANS 20

CINCINNATI — After watching Giovani Bernard and Samaje Perine run for early scores, Joe Burrow threw two fourth-quarter TD passes and closed it out with a time-consuming drive.

The Bengals (2-5-1) blew leads each of the previous two weeks, but Burrow would not allow it to happen again. Instead, he threw for 249 yards and the crucial late scores to snap a three-game losing streak. Cincinnati has matched its victory total from last season. And it was the first time second-year head coach Zac Taylor has defeated a team with a winning record.

Tennessee (5-2) has lost two straight and had a five-game road winning streak end. The Titans are now tied with the Indianapolis Colts atop the AFC South.

Cincinnati’s reversal of fortune came on a day that began with five offensive starters on the inactive list and despite A.J. Green again struggling to become a major contributor. Somehow, though, Burrow found a winning combination.

Derrick Henry rushed for 188 yards but it was the first time Tennessee has lost when Henry topped the 100-yard mark.

CHIEFS 35, JETS 9

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes threw for 416 yards and five touchdowns, the Kansas City defence shut down Sam Darnold and the inept Jets offence.

Tyreek Hill had 98 yards receiving and two touchdowns, Travis Kelce finished with 109 yards and another score, and Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson also reached the end zone. The Chiefs (7-1) gave Andy Reid his 229th win to move into a tie with Hall of Fame coach Curly Lambeau for fifth most in NFL history.

Le’Veon Bell, getting a crack at the Jets just a few weeks after they released him, was held to 7 yards rushing with three catches for another 31 yards _ though it wasn’t as if Kansas City needed him.

Darnold, who was without top receivers Jamison Crowder and Breshad Perriman because of injuries, was 18 of 30 for 133 yards as the Jets fell to 0-8 for the first time since the 1996 team of Rich Kotite that went 1-15.

COLTS 41, LIONS 21

DETROIT — Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter to give Indianapolis a double-digit lead.

Rivers picked apart Detroit’s defence while completing 23 of 33 attempts, mostly short passes to the outside or over the middle. The 38-year-old quarterback also showed he still has some arm strength to go along with his savvy touch, perfectly throwing a 29-yard pass to Nyheim Hines late in the first half.

The Colts (5-2) were healthy and looked rested and ready to roll after being idle last week and improved to 3-0 after a bye under coach Frank Reich.

The Lions (3-4) lost a seventh straight home game, dating to last season, and missed an opportunity to win three in a row for the first time with coach Matt Patricia.

Matthew Stafford was 24 of 42 for 336 yards with three touchdowns, two to Marvin Jones, and two costly turnovers.

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Best moments from Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley's win at The Match – Golf Channel

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Score one for the underdogs!

Phil Mickelson and Charles Barkley entered the latest iteration of The Match, The Match III, as betting underdogs to favorites Stephen Curry and Peyton Manning. However, Mickelson and the 25-handicap Barkley got the job done in convincing fashion, winning 4 and 3 on Friday at Stone Canyon Club in Oro Valley, Arizona.

“Two people thought this was going to happen: you and me,” Mickelson told Barkley as they walked off the 15th green.

After dropping the first hole, Mickelson and Barkley won four straight holes to take command. As Curry struggled with his game and Manning couldn’t do much to pick up the slack, the two went 4 down after 10 holes. In total, they won just three holes.

While there were still plenty of Classic Chuck shots to make things entertaining, Mickelson performed well as a player, coach and caddie to headline a strong team performance.

Oh, and the banter wasn’t “turrible,” either.

Here are some of the most memorable moments from the day:


To: Chuck, From: Tiger

Barkley’s golf ability and knack for self deprecation make him an easy target, so it’s no surprise that Tiger Woods’ needle found him.

Woods sent some gifts Barkley’s way before the match, including a reflective vest and airhorn.

The joke, though, was mostly on Tiger. Barkley didn’t need any of his presents early. He hit a nice baby draw off the first tee and didn’t miss a fairway until the fifth hole. And while Barkley did hit some foul balls later, the match was well in hand by then.


Early over-club

Mickelson put on his caddie hat right away after bombing a drive into the left rough at the opening hole. As Barkley sized up a wedge shot, Mickelson shot the flag with his rangefinder.

“70 yards,” Mickelson said.

Barkley clipped it a little thin, sending the ball well over the flag and rolling it onto the back fringe, some 80 feet away from the flag.

Mickelson then conceded that he over-clubbed Barkley on purpose.

“It was actually 55,” he said to Barkley. “I didn’t want to tell you that because I wanted you to be aggressive. … I’ve underestimated your ability.”


Pray for the zebras?

Steph Curry was easily the best dressed player on the course, and Phil Mickelson agreed: “I think he looks amazing.”

But Andre Iguodala, one of Curry’s former Warriors teammates who was part of the broadcast team, disagreed.

“How many zebras had to die for you to look fly?” Iguodala quipped.

Ouch.


Barkley’s Gary Player story

Speaking of outfits, Barkley’s all-black attire prompted a tweet from Gary Player.

“Glad to see that Chuck has channeled his inner Black Knight with his all black attire today,” Player said. “Let’s go Chuck & Phil.”

Barkley then mentioned that he and Player teed it up recently.

“One of the highlights of my life was getting to meet Gary Player about six weeks ago,” Barkley said. “I always wanted to meet him, we played a great round of golf and it was an honor and a privilege.”

Unsurprisingly, Player made some comments about Barkley’s weight during their round together.

“I’ll tell you what, he made me feel bad about being fat, though,” Barkley said. “He told me I need to get in the gym.”


Barkley’s hecklers

Tiger and Gary weren’t the only ones making fun at Barkley’s expense. Barkley’s “NBA on TNT” colleagues – Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal – joined the telecast from their homes.

“I’ve got $100,000 on Steph Curry,” O’Neal said to Barkley, who chunked his tee ball at the sixth hole amid the trash talk.

Finally, Mickelson had enough.

“I’m tired of your colleagues disrespecting you,” he said before handing a dozen Callaway golf balls with Shaq’s face logoed on them to Barkley. 

Barkley’s next shot from the drop zone missed the green, as well.

“200,000 on Steph Curry,” O’Neal added.

“Where’s the hitch?” Kenny Smith asked Barkley as he walked toward the green.

O’Neal then had the best zinger of them all as Barkley lined up a birdie putt off of Mickelson’s tee shot.

“Chuck, if you can’t read words how you gonna read greens?” O’Neal asked.

Mickelson’s advice – “Quiet your mind, my friend” – paid off, though, as Barkley nestled one close to clinch the halve after Manning lipped out a short birdie try.


‘Strong, cocky move’

With Barkley facing a long birdie putt from the fringe at the fifth hole, Curry had a chance to chip he and Manning’s fourth shot close and put some pressure on.

However, he duffed it.

With the ball still in the rough, Mickelson decided to conceded the bogey to his opponents.

“That’s a strong, cocky move right there,” he said to Barkley, who ended up lagging one 4 feet past and setting up a Mickelson par make for the hole.


‘I bought it’

Who said the Super Bowl had the best commercials?


Chuckopotamus

Here’s the ball flight we’re used to out of Chuck. Warning: It’s not for the shank of heart.


‘Sorry’

After Barkley declared the match basically over with he and Mickelson leading 3 up at the turn, the pair went 4 up after 10 holes. But Curry and Manning managed to get one back at the par-4 11th hole as Mickelson and Barkley spent some quality time in the desert.

Nice out by Mickelson, even if Barkley would later miss a putt for double bogey.

As for Barkley’s club toss? In Chuck’s words: Turrible!


Great – but meaningless – shot!

Not much went right for Curry and Manning on Friday.

Even this beauty of a bunker shot by Steph, at No. 12,  resulted in a lost hole.

Great shot, but Curry still might not want to check his Twitter for a while. Better to let the plus-1 handicap skepticism die down first.


Block or charge?

Well…?


And the winning putt…

Mickelson sealed the deal with this birdie make, but man, wouldn’t it have been great if Barkley had drained the game-winner instead?

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Alejandro Pozuelo reveals injury as Toronto FC focus on contending again in 2021 – MLSsoccer.com

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Even in a condensed season, with rotation aplenty as travel and fixture congestion forced MLS clubs to rely on the depth of their squads, Toronto FC talisman Alejandro Pozuelo started all 25 of his club’s matches in 2020. 

Pozuelo started the year on fire but didn’t quite live up to his lofty standards at the end of the season and failed to make an impact as Toronto lost to Nashville SC in Round One of the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. 

The finalist and favorite for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award revealed he was carrying an injury towards the end of the season. 

“Physically, I feel good but in the last games I had some problem in my leg,” Pozuelo told media on a virtual press conference. “The last two or three weeks I played through an injury but nobody knew because we tried to force through the last month. This is not an excuse. I play a lot of games because I want to play, I felt good enough to play. When I don’t feel good, I say no. But I felt good (enough to play).”

Pozuelo had just one goal and no assists in his final six games, including the playoff loss, after eight goals and 10 assists in the first 19 games of the season.

“The MVP (award) is not important for me,” Pozuelo said. “We lost in the first round, we don’t feel good. We know we could have done more, we have more expectations in this team. The MVP is not important, I feel no good when we lose in the first round.”

Toronto persevered a difficult season, most spent away from home. With difficulties between the United States-Canada border with quarantine guidelines brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto spent the second half of their season playing “at home” in Connecticut. A number of players noted how difficult it was to be away from families but didn’t want to blame that on their disappointment in the playoffs. 

“This season was tough for everybody, but we tried to do our job,” defender Chris Mavinga said. “It wasn’t easy but I think we did well. We didn’t do it in the playoffs, but we have to be proud what we did in the regular season, then learn from it so we can do better next season.”

Toronto are now focused on the offseason and returning strong in 2021. 

“I want to play on a good team, I want us to have as many good players as possible,” midfielder Michael Bradley said. “As many competitors as possible, a team that steps on the field and goes for it every single weekend. That’s all I want. When you look at the club’s track record in the types of players and personalities they’ve brought in, by and large, it’s been quite good.”



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Ravens-Steelers game moved again from Sunday to Tuesday – Sportsnet.ca

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NEW YORK — The Baltimore Ravens’ bout with a COVID-19 outbreak has forced the NFL to postpone the team’s trip to Pittsburgh for a second time.

The league announced Friday the Ravens (6-4) against the unbeaten Steelers (10-0) will now take place on Tuesday night. The game was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving, then moved to Sunday afternoon after an initial wave of players on the Ravens tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Additional positive tests, a group that reportedly includes Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson, have forced the Ravens (6-4) to prepare virtually all week.

The postponement forced the NFL to move Dallas’ visit to Baltimore next week from Thursday to Monday, Dec. 7. The unbeaten Steelers (10-0) will now have a short week to prepare for a visit from the Washington Football Team (4-7) on Dec. 6.

The game — if it happens — will be the second Tuesday game played in the NFL this season. Tennessee played at Buffalo on Tuesday, Oct. 13 following the Titans’ bout with COVID-19 in early October forced a reshuffling of the schedule that included moving Pittsburgh’s visit to Tennessee from Oct. 4 to Oct. 25.

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