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Taylor Heinicke puts up a fight, but Tom Brady’s Buccaneers advance with wild-card win – Yahoo Canada Sports

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The Canadian Press

NFL Today, Wild-Card Weekend

SCOREBOARDSunday, Jan. 10Baltimore at Tennessee, 1:05 p.m., ESPN and ABC. The road team has won each of the previous four playoff meetings between the franchises. The Ravens (11-5) are making their third straight playoff trip and ninth in 13 years under coach John Harbaugh. Lamar Jackson threw 11 touchdown passes and ran for four scores during Baltimore’s five-game winning streak to end the regular season. The Titans (11-5) are making their third playoff appearance in four seasons and second straight under third-year coach Mike Vrabel. Derrick Henry had 2,027 yards rushing to become the eighth player in NFL history to reach 2,000. He also led the NFL with 17 TD runs.Chicago at New Orleans, 4:40 p.m. CBS and Nickelodeon. The Bears (8-8) recovered from a six-game losing streak earlier in the season to reach the playoffs for the second time in three years. Chicago went 1-6 against teams that had winning records in the regular season, the lone victory coming against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers at Soldier Field on Oct. 8. Drew Brees and the Saints (12-4) enter the playoffs with two of their top offensive stars back as running back Alvin Kamara was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list and wide receiver Michael Thomas from injured reserve. Brees missed half of one game and all of four others with rib and lung injuries, but has played three games since returning to the active roster.Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 8:15 p.m. NBC. The teams split their two regular-season meetings this season, each winning at home. The Browns (11-5) are making their first playoff appearance since the 2002 season. But they’ll be without first-year coach Kevin Stefanski, who’ll miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19. Special teams co-ordinator Mike Priefer will handle sideline duties. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 13-8 in the playoffs, but just 5-6 since Pittsburgh’s last Super Bowl title in 2008. He’s the only player on the roster with a Super Bowl ring and is one of just nine Steelers who have a playoff win in Pittsburgh on their resume.__STARSPassing— Josh Allen, Bills, was 26 of 35 for 324 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score while leading Buffalo to its first playoff victory in 25 years, 27-24 over Indianapolis.— Tom Brady, Buccaneers, threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns to lead Tampa Bay past Washington 31-23 in their NFC wild-card game for the franchise’s first playoff victory since 2002.— Jared Goff, Rams, stepped in for injured starter John Wolford less than two weeks since he had three pins surgically inserted into his broken right thumb and went 9 of 19 for 155 yards and a touchdown in Los Angeles’ 30-20 victory at Seattle.___Rushing— Cam Akers, Rams, ran for 131 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries in Los Angeles’ 30-20 win at Seattle.— Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers, had 93 yards and a score on 19 carries to help Tampa Bay top Washington 31-23.___Receiving— Stefon Diggs, Bills, caught six passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in Buffalo’s 27-24 win over Indianapolis.— DK Metcalf, Seahawks, had two touchdown catches in a losing cause as Seattle fell to the Los Angeles Rams 30-20.___Special Teams— Tyler Bass, Bills, accounted for the decisive points as the rookie kicker hit a 54-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 27-16 with 8:08 remaining en route to a 27-24 win.— Ryan Succop, Buccaneers, kicked four field goals in Tampa Bay’s 31-23 victory over Washington.___Defence— Darious Williams, Rams, returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown in Los Angeles’ 30-20 win at Seattle.— Micah Hyde, Bills, batted down Philip Rivers’ desperation pass to seal Buffalo’s 27-24 win over Indianapolis.___MILESTONESAt 43 years and 159 days, Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady passed George Blanda as the oldest player to throw a TD pass in a playoff game. Brady had three touchdown tosses in the Buccaneers’ 31-23 win over Washington. … With his 5-yard TD run and two TD passes in Buffalo’s 27-24 win over Indianapolis, Josh Allen became the fifth player since at least 1940 to score a touchdown rushing, passing and receiving in his playoff career. Allen scored on a 16-yard catch from John Brown in a 22-19 OT loss at Houston a year ago. Allen joined Nick Foles, Kordell Stewart, Freeman McNeil and Julian Edelman to accomplish the feat.STREAKS & STATSBuffalo snapped an 0-6 post-season skid by winning its first playoff game since 1995 by defeating Indianapolis 27-24. The Bills’ last playoff victory came against Miami on Dec. 30, 1995. This one came in the Bills’ first home playoff game in 24 years. … Buffalo has won seven straight games. … The Los Angeles Rams ended Seattle’s 10-game home winning streak in the playoffs with a 30-20 victory. The Seahawks’ last home playoff loss came in January 2005 to the St. Louis Rams. … Los Angeles’ Cam Akers ran for 131 yards against Seattle, the best rushing day by a Rams running back since Marshall Faulk went for 159 against Philadelphia in January 2002. Akers’ 176 yards from scrimmage were the second most by a rookie in a playoff game in the Super Bowl era, surpassed only by Timmy Smith’s 213 for Washington in the 1988 Super Bowl.RAM TOUGHThe Los Angeles Rams’ top-ranked defence carried its dominance into the playoffs with a 30-20 victory at Seattle. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were held to just 278 yards and 11 first downs against a unit missing injured unanimous All-Pro tackle Aaron Donald for much of the second half. Donald and Leonard Floyd each had two of the Rams’ five sacks of Wilson.OLDIES BUT GOODIESTampa Bay’s Tom Brady and Indianapolis’ Philip Rivers joined Pro Football Hall of Famer George Blanda as the only players 39 or older to throw at least two TD passes in a road playoff game since 1950. At 43 years, 159 days, Brady also passed Blanda as the oldest player to throw a TD pass in a playoff game. Brady had two touchdown tosses in the Buccaneers’ 31-23 win over Washington. The 39-year-old Rivers tossed two scoring passes in the Colts’ 27-24 loss at Buffalo. Blanda also had two TD throws with the Raiders against the Baltimore Colts in the 1970 AFC championship at 43 years old.STEPPING INWith Alex Smith out because of a strained right calf, Taylor Heinicke started for Washington and threw for 306 yards and a score, and added 46 yards rushing and a TD in a 31-23 loss to Tampa Bay. Heinicke had only appeared in eight games and started one in the NFL before Saturday and was taking online math classes at Old Dominion when coach Ron Rivera called him to be Washington’s “quarantine quarterback.” He set Washington’s single-game franchise rushing record for quarterbacks and raised the question of whether he should be considered the team’s QB of the future.SIDELINEDRams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald left in the third quarter of Los Angeles’ 30-20 win at Seattle with a rib injury. … Los Angeles wide receiver Cooper Kupp limped off grabbing at his right knee in the closing minutes. … Rams starting QB John Wolford was 3 of 6 passing for 29 yards and had one run for 2 yards before injuring his neck. … Tampa Bay right guard Alex Cappa left late in the second quarter of the Buccaneers’ 31-23 win over Washington with an ankle injury and did not return.SPEAKING— “We come up here, and all week we were told how good they are and how we snuck into the playoffs. Two weeks ago you saw them smoking cigars and getting all excited about beating us, and winning the division, and we were able to come up here and beat them.” — Rams quarterback Jared Goff after Los Angeles defeated the Seahawks in Seattle 30-20.— “I haven’t had time to celebrate and take it in, but this is awesome for the Bills organization, the city, to be able to play a home game and get a victory. Since 2017, we’ve been working at this, but a day like today, to come out on top, we worked so hard.” — Bills safety Jordan Poyer after Buffalo beat Indianapolis 27-24 for the franchise’s first playoff win in 25 years.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLThe Associated Press

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Former Argos star, TSN broadcaster Chris Schultz dies at 61 – Yahoo Canada Sports

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Chris Schultz was 61.

Former Toronto Argonauts and Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Chris Schultz has died at the age of 61, the CFL team announced on Friday. 

According to TSN’s Rod Smith, Schultz died of a heart attack.

Schultz, born in Burlington, Ont., was selected in the seventh round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Cowboys after attending and playing football at the University of Arizona. Schultz played 21 career NFL games from 1983-1985, starting in eight contests. The Canadian football player then took his talents to the CFL where he played for Toronto from 1986-1994. Schultz was twice named to the All-CFL team. In 2007, the tackle was listed as a member of the all-time Argos team.

After his playing career, Schultz transitioned to the broadcast booth where he was a member of TSN’s CFL broadcasting team. Schultz was also a member of TSN 1050 Toronto’s radio team. In 2016, he was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

Since his death was announced, many have taken to social media to pay tribute to the football and broadcasting star.

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GILBERTSON: With Sutter’s return, pressure is on Flames’ core players – Calgary Sun

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Those guys were hard-hatted.

These guys might be hard-headed.

Darryl Sutter, who led the Calgary Flames to within a whisker — or perhaps a pixel — of a Stanley Cup parade in 2004, is now back behind the bench at the Saddledome, tasked with squeezing more out of a talented core that has already churned through several coaches.

Under their new boss, there will be no excuse for falling short of expectations.

The Flames made this surprise move late Thursday, announcing about 75 minutes after a 7-3 rout of the Ottawa Senators that Geoff Ward had been fired and that Sutter is returning to his old stomping grounds.

They are, indeed, going full retro.

Sutter was a staple at the Saddledome for an eight-year span from Dec. 28, 2002, until that exact same date in 2010, serving as skipper and then general manager.

MAY 27, 2004 – Coach Darryl Sutter and the boys are not too happy during the third period of Stanley Cup final game 2 action in Tampa Bay, between Calgary Flames and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
MAY 27, 2004 – Coach Darryl Sutter and the boys are not too happy during the third period of Stanley Cup final game 2 action in Tampa Bay, between Calgary Flames and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Photo by Dean Bicknell /Postmedia file

In his first full season at the helm, he guided two superstars — right-winger Jarome Iginla and netminder Miikka Kiprusoff — and a bunch of relative unknowns on a fairytale run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.

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The Red Mile was born that spring, the city rallying around a band of overachievers that was being spurred along by the no-nonsense farm-boy from a few hours to the northeast in Viking, Alta.

Since that stint in Calgary, Sutter has twice had his name engraved on hockey’s ultimate prize. He coached the Los Angeles Kings to the NHL title in 2012 and again in 2014.

The Flames’ current core — now taking their orders from a 62-year-old Sutter, most recently an advisor for the Anaheim Ducks — has barely advanced through a playoff round, let alone stuck around long enough for bushy beards and banner-raisings.

Maybe ‘The Jolly Rancher’ can change that.

That’s what Calgary’s general manager, Brad Treliving, is banking on.

Treliving and Sutter will address the media on Friday at 11 a.m. MT video call. When the team takes the ice for an early-afternoon practice, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk & Co. better be ready to bust their butts.

JANUARY 31, 2010 — Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter spoke on January 31, 2010 about the trade involving Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjostrom and prospect Keith Aulie to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday morning. In return the Flames are getting four players including Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers and Ian White.
JANUARY 31, 2010 — Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter spoke on January 31, 2010 about the trade involving Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjostrom and prospect Keith Aulie to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday morning. In return the Flames are getting four players including Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers and Ian White. Photo by Colleen De Neve /Postmedia file

Sutter, even if he’s softened a wee bit since his initial stop in Calgary, will demand as much.

Thursday’s late-night coaching switch should squash any talk of a tear-down or rebuild. You don’t bring in a guy with Sutter’s resume — he is No. 17 on the NHL’s all-time wins list with a career mark of 634-467-101-83 — or reputation unless you consider yourselves a contender.

While the new/old boss has reportedly signed a three-year contract, he’s not here to preach patience. He’s back to change the culture, to insist on the same sort of relentless effort that helped him and five of his brothers go from spirited scrimmages in the hayloft to squaring off at the highest level.

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The results, starting with Saturday’s Battle of Alberta against the Edmonton Oilers (8 p.m., CBC/Sportsnet 960 The Fan), will be fascinating.

Ward was ultimately scapegoated for an inconsistent, unpredictable start to this 56-game sprint. The Flames have been a mixed bag so far, with an 11-11-2 record that has featured a few dominant victories and a few too many demoralizing losses.

Thursday’s 7-3 thumping of the last-place Senators was too little too late, to save his job.

“I think the mental readiness of our team was good, I thought the work ethic was good, and I thought our details were a lot better,” Ward praised.

While he was axed shortly after that post-game presser, those same traits — engagement, accountability and a willingness to work — will be priorities under Sutter. He won’t accept anything less.

And if the message doesn’t stick, if wins don’t follow, you can bet the next move will be a farewell to one of the skating stars. Or several of them.

Prior to Ward’s ouster, there seemed to be two trains of thought for a frustrated fan-base — either blame the coach or blame the general manager for not hiring a proven winner.

Ward, as likeable a guy as you’ll ever meet, lasted less than six months after his ‘interim’ tag was removed. Previously, he’d only worked as an assistant or associate at the NHL level.

His predecessor, Bill Peters, never made the Stanley Cup playoffs as a head coach before he arrived in Calgary. (Peters was forced to resign after startling allegations of past misconduct, including a racial slur.)

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Treliving’s first coaching hire, Glen Gulutzan, was also short on experience and profile.

Sutter brings both.

Darryl Sutter instructs players during a practice of the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.
Darryl Sutter instructs players during a practice of the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome. Photo by Tim Fraser /Calgary Herald

The moment he walks through the door, he will be the most accomplished guy in the locker room.

His demanding can style work. He has two Stanley Cup rings as proof of it. If video-review technology was further along in 2004, it might be three.

Which means that the pressure is on the Flames’ players now, especially those core pieces.

You could argue, up until Thursday at 10:50 p.m. MT, that Treliving had assembled all of the ingredients except for an established top-of-his-craft coach.

The Flames have a talented forward cast, although their go-to guys have yet to silence their critics in the spring.

While they don’t necessarily have a premier defenceman, a description that Mark Giordano no longer fits at age 37, they are certainly solid on the blue-line. Giordano has been around so long that he had Sutter as his GM when he was first cutting his teeth at the Saddledome.

They just signed one of the NHL’s elite puck-stoppers, Jacob Markstrom, to a six-year deal.

Can Sutter get this group to play to their capabilities? Or, better yet, beyond?

When they arrive at the rink Friday, Gaudreau and Monahan will be meet-and-greeting with their fifth head coach. That’s a lot of bosses for two guys in their mid-20s. (Treliving has now hired four of them since he inherited Bob Hartley.)

Sutter, however, won’t require a tour of the rink.

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He knows the organization and ownership.

He knows the city.

He knows what buttons to push, and we’ve all seen the evidence of it.

Back in 2004, the Flames were rarely, if ever, outworked. For that reason, the hard hat was a fitting prize for their in-house player-of-the-game nod.

This current cast has worked when they want to. It’s never lasted long-term, and it’s never been more obvious than this season, when they have oh-so-often followed a strong showing with a total stinker.

Can Sutter buck that trend? Can he be the difference?

We’re about to find out.

wgilbertson@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/WesGilbertson

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Former Argonauts offensive lineman Chris Schultz dies at age 61 – CBC.ca

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Longtime CFL and NFL offensive lineman Chris Schultz has died after suffering a heart attack.

The native of Burlington, Ont., was 61.

The Toronto Argonauts confirmed the death today.

Picked by Dallas in the seventh round of the 1983 NFL draft after a college career at Arizona, the six-foot-eight Schultz was with the Cowboys from 1983 to 1986 before returning home to play for the Argonauts.

Schultz was twice a CFL all-star during a nine-year playing career with the Argos.

Schultz was named to the Argos’ all-time team in 2007.

After his playing career, Schultz did broadcasting work with TSN and the Argos’ radio team.

Schultz was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

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