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Wentz leads Colts to rain soaked road win over 49ers – Sportsnet.ca

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Colts coach Frank Reich wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice.

After being burned by a conservative third-down run call late in a loss to Baltimore two weeks ago, Reich put the ball in Carson Wentz’s hands this time — and it paid off.

Wentz threw a 28-yard TD pass to Michael Pittman Jr. to finish off the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night in a rain-soaked 30-18 victory.

Instead of playing for a field goal the way he did late against the Ravens that contributed to an overtime loss, Reich stayed aggressive even in the treacherous conditions.

“I felt like something about learning the lesson from the Ravens game,” he said. “We had a third-and-8 and I called a run. I told the guys, `I’m not doing that again. I’m throwing a pass.’ I don’t care what anybody says. It really comes from trusting your quarterback and trusting your receivers.”

Wentz and Pittman earned that trust, delivering numerous big plays during a driving rain storm that could have made throwing deep difficult.

Pittman had four catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. He also drew two other pass interference calls as Wentz repeatedly looked his direction as the Colts (3-4) overcame the wet conditions and an early nine-point deficit to win for the third time in four games following an 0-3 start to the season.

“It seems like he just goes into a kind of a beast mode kind of deal,” running back Jonathan Taylor said of Pittman. “When the ball is in his hands, he’s like, `No one is stopping me.’ And if the ball is in the air, he’s like, ‘This ball is mine, or it’s a PI. This is my ball.'”

The 49ers (2-4) dropped their fourth straight game and remained winless at home for more than a year since beating the Rams on Oct. 18, 2020, as the return of starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo failed to provide any spark on a wet night.

Garoppolo threw for 181 yards, lost a fumble, threw two interceptions and struggled to push the ball downfield in his first game back after missing one game with a calf injury.

“The NFL is a crazy thing,” Garoppolo said. “One week, you’re on top. One week, you’re at the bottom of it. Every team has its ups and downs. We’re at the lower point right now. But we can fight back.”

Wentz and the Colts were able to do just enough on offense thanks to three pass interference penalties for 97 yards and a productive game on the ground from Taylor, who ran for 107 yards and a score.

Wentz threw an 11-yard TD pass to Mo Alie-Cox in the first quarter and then led two short TD drives following fumbles by San Francisco, leading to his 1-yard score late in the first half and Taylor’s 5-yard run that made it 20-12 late in the third.

Garoppolo led a TD drive early in the fourth, cutting the deficit to 20-18 on a 14-yard throw to Deebo Samuel. But his 2-point try was batted down at the line.

The Colts then put it away by driving for a field goal and getting the late TD pass from Wentz to Pittman on another short field after Xavier Rhodes intercepted Garoppolo.

“I’ve got to catch them,” Pittman said. “Carson can really throw it out there, so I just got to make sure that I’m the one who comes down with it.”

IN THE SLOP

The driving rain storm had a big impact on the game, especially during a stretch midway through the second quarter.

Colts running back Nyheim Hines got wide open downfield on a third-down pass that slipped right through his hands.

Indianapolis then punted and Brandon Aiyuk muffed the ball before kicking it back nearly 20 yards into the end zone. He recovered it and it was ruled a touchback because he never had possession.

Wentz and Garoppolo both fumbled snaps that they recovered later in the quarter before Samuel lost a fumble for San Francisco at his own 28 on a perfect punchout by Darius Leonard.

That set up a 1-yard run by Wentz that gave the Colts a 13-12 halftime lead.

TAKE IT AWAY

The Niners came in with a league-low two takeaways but doubled that total in the first half.

Taylor fumbled on Indianapolis first play from scrimmage and Fred Warner recovered to set up a field goal by Joey Slye that made it 9-0.

Wentz then made an inexplicable decision early in the second quarter. As he was trying to run away from Nick Bosa, Wentz appeared to flip the ball forward right into Azeez Al-Shaair’s hands. It was ruled a fumble.

INJURY REPORT

Colts: CB BoPete Keyes (hamstring) left in the first half and didn’t return.

49ers: LT Trent Williams was scratched after aggravating an ankle injury last week in practice. Rookie Jaylon Moore made his first career start in his place. … S Jaquiski Tartt (knee), DE Dee Ford (head injury) and CB Emmanuel Moseley (back) all left the game.

UP NEXT

Colts: Host Titans on Sunday.

49ers: Visit Chicago on Sunday.

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Canada joins U.S., U.K., in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics – National Post

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Said China’s foreign ministry of the Australian diplomatic boycott: ‘Whether they come or not, nobody cares’

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OTTAWA – Canada will not be sending diplomats to the Beijing Olympics in early February, effectively joining a diplomatic boycott with the United States, United Kingdom and Australia denouncing China’s alleged human rights violations.

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“As many partners around the world, we are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Wednesday, flanked by Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly and Minister of Sport Pascale St-Onge, as well as MP and former Olympian Adam Van Koeverden.

As the boycott only involves diplomatic staff and government officials, Canadian athletes will still compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympic games beginning next February. The foreign minister argued that Canada’s decision sends a “strong signal” to China without unfairly affecting athletes working to compete in Beijing.

  1. A card calling the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

    John Robson: There is value in a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics

  2. A snowboarder stands in front of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics logo in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, China, on Nov. 20, 2021. Canada should join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the Games, writes Tasha Kheiriddin.

    Tasha Kheiriddin: A diplomatic boycott of Beijing is a no-brainer, except in Ottawa

  3. In this file photo taken on December 01, 2021, people walk past the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics logo at the Shougang Park in Beijing. - Canada will not send officials to the Beijing Olympics in February, Trudeau announced on December 8, 2021, joining the US and other allies' diplomatic boycott of the Games.

    Matt Gurney: Trudeau’s diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics the absolute least he could do

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Joly and St-Onge said their top priority for the country’s athletes competing in China was their safety, and that the RCMP would be working with the Canadian Olympic Committee to ensure they are properly protected during the games.

But neither minister was able to provide details of what that meant.

“There are already agents that have been hired to ensure the security of the athletes and we’re still in discussion with the RCMP with (Public Safety Minister) Marco Mendicino. Everything will be in place to make sure that the athletes are safe,” St-Onge said.

China is facing strong and increasing international criticism over what many countries, including Canada, have called the “genocide” of its Uyghur minority, as well as its recent strongarm tactics to increase its control over Hong King by cracking down on democracy and civil liberties via a security law enacted during the pandemic.

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China also recently released two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were detained for over three years due to what Canada described as “hostage diplomacy.”

Federal opposition parties criticized the Trudeau government for taking so much time to decide to boycott the Games and not acting sooner to push for them to either be postponed for one year or even relocated to another country.

According to former Canadian ambassador to China Guy St-Jacques, delaying the games for one year to allow an international investigation into human rights abuse allegations in China would have been the clearest and most effective message Canada could have sent.

But a widespread diplomatic boycott is the second-best option at this point and will still send a strong message to Chinese President Xi Jinping without requiring Canadian athletes to suffer the consequences of a full boycott, he said.

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“It will have an impact because this will result in a loss of face for President Xi Jinping. We know that he wanted to use the Olympics to showcase that China’s a modern country, a superpower that knows how to organize things,” said the former ambassador.

It will have an impact because this will result in a loss of face for President Xi Jinping

“He was hoping that having foreign leaders there would confirm that, in fact, China has become so powerful that nobody would dare to criticize it,” he continued, adding he expects many more if not all members of the European Union to join the boycott.

The U.S. was the first country to formally announce that they would send no diplomatic envoys or staff with their athletes to the upcoming winter games during a press conference on Monday, citing China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang” against the Uyghur people.

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“U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these games as business as usual in the face of the [People’s Republic of China]’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang, and we simply can’t do that,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing.

Two other Canadian allies, Australia and then the U.K., followed suit on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, each denouncing China’s repressive actions and human rights violations against its own people.

Joly said that she has used every opportunity possible to discuss the Olympics with Canada’s allies in the G7 and NATO, likely to exhort them to follow suit in the diplomatic boycott.

“There are still many countries studying the question but clearly, I want to make sure as I’m heading to the G7 … that I raise this issue and I want to make sure that more countries in the world send a strong signal,” Joly said.

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The decision is likely to aggravate Canada’s already strained relationship with Beijing, notably as the Trudeau government is also expected to announce a formal decision on whether Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei will be allowed to participate in Canada’s 5G network.

In an interview with National Post last week, China’s ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu warned that such boycotts are not in line with the values of the Olympic Games.

“It is for the people. It is for humanity. It is not for politicians,” Cong said. “It is against the spirit of the Olympic Games to politicize these issues.”

China has denied any wrongdoing in Xinjiang and said abuse allegations are fabricated.

Its foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a daily briefing in Beijing that Australian politicians were engaged in “political posturing.”

“Whether they come or not, nobody cares,” he added.

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Soccer-Chelsea lose top spot after 3-3 draw at Zenit

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Champions League holders Chelsea finished as Group H runners-up after conceding a stoppage-time equaliser in a pulsating 3-3 draw at Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday.

The result left Chelsea second on 13 points from six games, two behind group winners Juventus who leapt into pole position thanks to a 1-0 home win over Sweden’s Malmo.

Both sides had already booked their last-16 berths while third-placed Zenit will go into the second-tier Europa League after the winter break.

Chelsea made a perfect start as Timo Werner fired them ahead in the second minute with a tap-in after a Ross Barkley corner was nodded into his path.

Mason Mount squandered a sitter to double the lead after Zenit twice came close to an equaliser and the England midfielder’s miss turned out to be costly as the home side turned the game round with two quickfire goals.

Brazilian forward Claudinho levelled in the 38th with a glancing header into the far corner after his compatriot Douglas Santos swung in a cross past a static visiting defence.

Rattled by the equaliser, Chelsea fell behind three minutes later when Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun beat the offside trap from Malcom’s fine through ball and slotted home after rounding goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Romelu Lukaku hit back in the 62nd minute as he stroked the ball into an empty net after a flowing move and Chelsea seemed to have forced the final twist after Werner struck again in the 85th thanks to more crisp-one touch passing.

The move left Zenit’s defence bedazzled with Christian Pulisic delivering the final pass to Werner, who fired in a snap shot from 10 metres after side-stepping his marker.

The Premier League side were undone, however, by a spectacular equaliser at the death as they failed to clear a cross and Magomed Ozdoev unleashed an unstoppable volley into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.

(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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U.S. ambassador to Canada expects countries to be ‘aligned’ over Beijing Olympics boycott – Global News

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The United States’ newly-confirmed ambassador to Canada says he expects both countries to be “aligned” in its policy towards China, including a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics spearheaded by Washington.

David Cohen made the comments after presenting his letters of credence Tuesday to Gov. Gen. Mary Simon in a ceremony at Rideau Hall, officially beginning his role as liaison between the two allies.

The White House on Monday announced it will not send any political representatives to next year’s Winter Games due to China’s human rights “atrocities,” though U.S. athletes will still be allowed to travel to Beijing to compete.

Read more:

Canada should join diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics: O’Toole

Cohen told reporters the U.S. announcement was “virtually identical” to comments Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made in November regarding Canada’s participation in the Games, and said he anticipates Ottawa will follow Washington’s lead.

“I have a high level of confidence that Canada and the United States will be aligned on our China policy, including our policy with respect to the Olympics,” he said.

Trudeau told reporters on Nov. 18 that while Canada has had “frustrations” with China’s recent actions — including the detention of two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, for nearly two years — he recognizes that athletes have been training for the Games and wants to ensure they aren’t caught in the middle of the diplomatic dispute.

“We’re looking for a way to both be able to see (athletes) show their capacities and fulfill all the hard work that they’ve done for many years, while continuing to demonstrate our real concerns with the way the Chinese government has behaved,” he said.


Click to play video: 'Government engaged in conversations surrounding 2022 Beijing Olympics'



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Government engaged in conversations surrounding 2022 Beijing Olympics


Government engaged in conversations surrounding 2022 Beijing Olympics – Nov 18, 2021

On Monday, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole urged the federal government to join in the diplomatic boycott, a position supported by the NDP.

A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said on Monday that the question of whether to implement a diplomatic boycott is something Canada is still discussing with the U.S.

“Canada remains deeply disturbed by the troubling reports of human rights violations in China,” said press secretary Syrine Khoury in an email.

“We will continue to discuss this matter with our closest partner.”

Pascale St-Onge, the minister of sport, told journalists ahead of question period on Monday that no decision has yet been made on whether to join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott.


Click to play video: 'China’s ambassador to Canada says Olympics ‘should not be politicized’ after U.S. announces diplomatic boycott'



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China’s ambassador to Canada says Olympics ‘should not be politicized’ after U.S. announces diplomatic boycott


China’s ambassador to Canada says Olympics ‘should not be politicized’ after U.S. announces diplomatic boycott

China is facing growing global pressure over its persecution of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, its crushing of internal dissent — including in Hong Kong — and the arbitrary detentions of Kovrig and Spavor, who have since been released, in what was widely viewed as a hostage-taking related to Canada’s detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Cohen, a lawyer, lobbyist and former U.S. tech executive, is the first full-time U.S. ambassador in Ottawa since Donald Trump’s choice, Kelly Craft, decamped in August 2019 to serve the U.S. envoy to the United Nations.

During his confirmation hearings in Washington, Cohen suggested the Biden administration was growing impatient waiting for the release of Ottawa’s long-term China policy.

He also said he would be involved in discussions to “make sure that Canada’s policies reflect its words in terms of the treatment of China.”

— with files from Global’s Amanda Connolly and David Akin, and the Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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