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Rams dominate matchup of tough defences to prevail over Bears – TSN

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. — The Rams could tell Leonard Floyd was playing with an uncommon fury against his old team, and the rest of the Los Angeles defence followed his lead.

By the time the Rams were done with the Chicago Bears on Monday night, Floyd had two sacks and the game ball — and Los Angeles had a decisive, energizing victory over a fellow NFC contender.

Josh Reynolds and Gerald Everett caught touchdown passes from Jared Goff, and the Rams won a matchup of dominant defences, beating the Bears 24-10.

“We proved that we were the better defence today,” Floyd said after a six-tackle performance in his first game against Chicago since the Bears released him last off-season.

After his first sack, Floyd jumped up and went toward the Bears sideline, shouting and gesticulating at the team that let him go. Floyd already knows he landed in a good spot with the Rams (5-2), who remained unbeaten at brand-new SoFi Stadium and reasserted themselves in the conference hierarchy with a rebound performance one week after a rough loss at San Francisco

“I thought our defence was outstanding from start to finish,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “They did such a great job. Some key stops, some key turnovers. Offensively, we did enough to get that lead and then really just run out the clock on that game.”

Goff passed for 219 yards and Malcolm Brown rushed for a score for the Rams, but their defence did the hardest work.

Taylor Rapp made an end-zone interception on a pass deflection by Troy Hill while the Rams held Chicago (5-2) to 182 yards in the first three quarters and built a 24-3 lead.

Eddie Jackson returned a fumble 8 yards for Chicago’s only touchdown with 7:30 to play, but Los Angeles’ defence stayed in control, yielding 279 total yards and three points. The Rams have won twice in three defence-dominated games between these longtime rivals over the past three seasons.

“Obviously, stating the obvious, the offence, we’ve got to get this stuff figured out,” Chicago coach Matt Nagy said. “It’s not good enough, and to be outscored by your defence, obviously, is unacceptable, too. So that part is frustrating.”

Nick Foles passed for 261 yards for the Bears, who dropped out of the NFC North lead and fell to 3-1 on the road with their latest discouraging offensive performance. Chicago managed just 49 yards rushing and has 175 yards on the ground in the past four games.

Jackson insisted the defence won’t get discouraged by the offence’s struggles.

“It’s a team sport, and we know the type of players we have on offence,” Jackson said. “We’ll put ’em against any defence any day. You’re going to come up short in some games … but we’re going to continue to rally around one another and do our best.”

The Rams’ defence, now co-ordinated by former Bears outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley, sacked Foles four times and picked off two of his passes, including Jalen Ramsey‘s first interception of the season near midfield to clinch the victory with 3:13 to play.

Staley also was awarded a game ball by McVay after the latest in a strong line of performances by his defence.

“The defence, we’re playing aggressive, we’re playing physical, and we’re making all the right plays,” said linebacker Justin Hollins, who had a huge fourth-down sack in the red zone after Aaron Donald flushed Foles from the pocket in the fourth quarter. “Everybody is on one page. We’re just one tight unit right now.”

The Rams led 10-3 at halftime after holding the Bears to 126 yards. Reynolds made his 4-yard TD reception in the first quarter, but the Bears stopped two additional drives just outside field goal range to keep the deficit manageable.

The Rams went up 17-3 midway through the third quarter on a TD drive capped by Brown’s 1-yard run.

Chicago mounted its best drive immediately thereafter, but its 71-yard march ended when Hill deflected a pass intended for Darnell Mooney in the end zone and Rapp snagged it for an interception.

The Rams followed with a crisp 80-yard drive capped by a 12-yard TD catch-and-run by Everett, their big-play tight end.

Chicago showed life when Jackson returned Robert Woods‘ fumble on a jet sweep for the sixth defensive touchdown of his four-year career, but the Bears couldn’t ride any momentum.

PRIMO PUNTING

Even Rams punter Johnny Hekker dominated the Bears, pinning them inside their 10 with all five of his punts in a superb performance by the four-time Pro Bowler.

“Johnny is the best punter in the league, and he showed it tonight,” Goff said. “He really was a weapon for us.”

The Rams celebrated his big kicks as a team, and Hekker even got a chest bump from Donald, LA’s All-Pro defensive tackle.

“It’s just great to know that Aaron Donald knows my name sometimes,” Hekker said with a laugh.

INJURY REPORT

Bears: WR Allen Robinson was evaluated for a concussion after he left the game late in the fourth quarter. He led the Bears with 70 yards receiving. … C Cody Whitehair injured his calf in the second half.

Rams: Rookie S Terrell Burgess was taken off the field on a cart in the fourth quarter with an air cast around his left leg. He has an ankle injury. … TE Tyler Higbee was inactive with a hand injury, missing his second game since 2016. Johnny Mundt had a career-high 47 yards receiving in his absence, including a career-best 34-yard catch in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

Bears: Host New Orleans on Sunday.

Rams: Visit Miami on Sunday as the opponent in Tua Tagovailoa‘s debut start.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Lewis Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19; will miss Sakhir Grand Prix – Sportsnet.ca

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World champion Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend, his Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team said Tuesday.

The team issued a statement saying Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit where he won the Grand Prix.

“But he up woke Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive,” the team said. “Lewis, therefore, took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.”

Hamilton is in isolation in accordance with the health protocols in Bahrain.

“Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery,” the team statement said.

The 35-year-old Hamilton appeared to be drained at the end of the race in Bahrain.

“`It’s physical, this track has always been physical. We’ve got lots of high-speed corners so I was definitely feeling it,” he said soon after the GP. “I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t really quite sure how it would play out at the end.”

There is another race in Bahrain on Sunday — on Sakhir’s shorter outer circuit — before the 17-race season concludes in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton has a big lead in the F1 drivers’ champion with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on 201 points and Max Verstappen on 189.

The Mercedes team said it would announce a replacement driver later in the week.

Hamilton joins Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll as the third Formula One driver to test positive for the coronavirus this season.

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Mahomes, Hill have huge day, Chiefs hold off Buccaneers – TSN

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TAMPA, Fla. — When Tyreek Hill draws single coverage, Patrick Mahomes is going to find a way to get the ball to the Kansas City Chiefs’ most explosive receiver.

Mahomes threw for 462 yards, including touchdowns of 75, 44 and 20 yards to Hill, who finished with 13 catches for 269 yards in the reigning Super Bowl champions’ 27-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

“It feels good, you know, but I feel like there’s still a lot of work for me to do,” Hill said after going over 1,000 yards for the season.

“I’m always trying to get better, got to be consistent with what you do,” Hill added. “Those same people showing you love this week, you make a bad play next week, they’re going to hate you.”

Mahomes outplayed Tom Brady to win the fourth career matchup between the MVPs, completing 37 of 49 passes and holding the ball for more than 10 minutes without scoring on Kansas City’s last two possessions to put the game away.

Hill benefited from Sammy Watkins‘ return to the Chiefs lineup after being sidelined since Week 5 with a hamstring injury and got the best of a matchup with Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis, who often had no help trying to contain the speedy receiver.

“We don’t get that a lot, especially with that guy and his ability,” Mahomes said. “So when we do, we try to take advantage of it.”

Hill had seven catches for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter alone, joining Qadry Ismail (210 in the third quarter on Dec. 12, 1999) and Lee Evans (205 in the first quarter on Nov. 19, 2006) as the only NFL receivers since 1980 to have 200 yards worth of receptions in a single quarter.

The fifth-year pro’s last catch — an 8-yarder on third-and-7 in the final minute — gave Mahomes an opportunity to run out the clock.

“The last one, I learned a long time ago, you don’t give Tom Brady another shot,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “That’s why he’s the G.O.A.T. So, don’t give them the ball back. That was the mindset there.”

The Chiefs (10-1) won their sixth straight game and clinched their seventh 10-win season in eight years under Reid.

The defending champs improved to 6-0 on the road and have won nine straight away from home going back to last year.

“Very very few guys that I’ve seen in this league or any league that can backpedal eight, nine, 10, 11 yards in the pocket and throw a dime 25 yards down the field,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said of Mahomes. “And he can read the defence as he does it. That makes him more explosive.”

Brady was 27 of 41 for 345 yards, three touchdowns and a pair of second-half interceptions in falling to 2-2 against Mahomes, who built an early 17-0 lead and also had the Chiefs up by 17 entering the fourth quarter.

The Bucs (7-5) made it close, with Brady throwing TD passes of 31 and 7 yards to Mike Evans, the latter trimming his team’s deficit deficit to 27-24 with 4:10 remaining.

Tampa Bay, which has lost three straight home games, never got the ball back.

“We battled back but we left ourselves a big deficit,” Brady said. “When you play a good offence we’ve got to do our job offensively and keep them off the field.”

The Chiefs led 20-7 at halftime. The Bucs were fortunate they weren’t in a bigger hole.

Kansas City ran 42 plays to Tampa Bay’s 22 in the first two quarters, outgaining the Bucs 377 yards to 131 with Mahomes throwing for 359 yards and Brady 117.

Three drives inside the Bucs 20, however, only netted a pair of short field goals. Shaquil Barrett sacked Mahomes, forcing a fumble that William Gholston recovered at the 14 with the Chiefs looking to build on a 17-0 lead.

Bashaud Breeland and Tyrann Mathieu picked off Brady. The Chiefs hurt themselves with a pair of roughing the passer penalties on the 10-play, 73-yard drive the six-time Super Bowl champion put together to close the gap to three points.

The loss comes on the heels of home defeats to New Orleans and the Los Angeles Rams, games in which Brady played poorly and left his new team searching for answers about the offence’s inconsistency.

Brady isn’t listening to critics, who feel the Bucs aren’t tailoring their scheme to what he’s done best during his career.

“Just external noise. When you’re losing that’s what you deal with,” Brady said. “I love playing with the guys, and the whole organization is unbelievable. I’ve just got to do a better job in the final four games.”

LONG DROUGHT

The Chiefs beat Tampa Bay for the first time since Sept. 5, 1993, when Joe Montana led Kansas City to a 27-3 victory. The Bucs had won five straight in a series the Chiefs lead 8-5.

INJURIES

Chiefs: LB Dorian O’Daniel suffered a right ankle injury in the first quarter and did not return.

Buccaneers: LG Ali Marpet returned to the lineup after missing three games because of a concussion. LT Donovan Smith was active after not practicing all week and being listed as questionable with an ankle injury suffered last week against the Los Angeles Rams.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: Host Denver next Sunday night, the lone home game during a stretch that’ll see Kansas City play four of five on the road.

Buccaneers: Bye week.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Ravens-Steelers postponed for 3rd time, set for Wednesday – theScore

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The Baltimore RavensPittsburgh Steelers game on Tuesday has been postponed for a third time due to COVID-19 concerns and is now set for Wednesday at 3:40 p.m. ET, the NFL announced.

The AFC North showdown was originally scheduled for Thanksgiving but was pushed to Sunday before being moved to Tuesday.

The Steelers’ game against the Washington Football Team, which was scheduled for Sunday as part of the Week 13 slate, will now be postponed to Monday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m. ET as a result. The San Francisco 49ers will also play the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.

The league also postponed the Ravens’ game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Week 13 matchup, which was initially set for Thursday night before being moved to Monday, has now been pushed to Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Game Week Original date New date Time (ET)
Steelers-Ravens 12 Nov. 26 Dec. 2 3:40 p.m.
Steelers-Washington 13 Dec. 6 Dec. 7 5 p.m.
Ravens-Cowboys 13 Dec. 3 Dec. 8 8:05 p.m.

The postponements initially stemmed from a virus outbreak on the Ravens. The team placed 20 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins, two of Baltimore’s players on the reserve group, will now be eligible to play Wednesday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

The Steelers faced their own COVID-19 concerns. Running back James Conner and special teams coach Danny Smith tested positive, and multiple team members were isolated after being deemed high-risk close contacts.

The Ravens brought players in for a walkthrough Monday night after the NFL reportedly canceled their morning practice.

Some Ravens players are still concerned about playing the delayed game, a source told Mark Maske of The Washington Post.

If the game takes place on Wednesday, it’ll be just the sixth game in NFL history to be played on that day, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. It last happened in the 2012 season opener between the New York Giants and Cowboys.

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