Hamlin in mind, Bills return to action with first-play TD
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills scored a touchdown on their very first play since safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during a game in Cincinnati on Monday. Return man Nyheim Hines ran the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown against the New England Patriots on Sunday. The uplifting score was an early highlight to a cathartic day in Buffalo. A weeklong outpouring of support continued as the Bills returned to the field for the first time since Hamlin had to be resuscitated after making a tackle during the first quarter at Cincinnati. Hamlin has since made what doctors call a remarkable recovery.
Bucs’ Brady breaks own NFL mark for completions in a season
ATLANTA (AP) — Tom Brady has broken his own NFL record for most completions in a season. Brady quickly gained the needed nine connections in the first half of Tampa Bay’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. Brady had a record 485 completions with the Buccaneers in 2021. The 45-year-old Brady entered the game against the Falcons with 477 completions, leaving him only nine away from a new record. Brady set the mark on a 5-yard completion to Russell Gage early in the second quarter. Brady had 13 completions, giving him 490 for the season. He left the game late in the first half.
Bengals’ Mixon celebrates TD with coin flip
CINCINNATI (AP) — Joe Mixon and the Cincinnati Bengals are still flipping out over the NFL’s plan to determine home-field advantage in the playoffs. Mixon referenced the NFL’s decision to use a coin flip as a tiebreaker Sunday by celebrating a 1-yard touchdown run against the Baltimore Ravens by taking a coin out of his glove and flicking it. He and several teammates then kicked it on the ground. The league decided to add a coin flip to settle some potential playoff scenarios after Monday night’s game between the Bengals and Buffalo Bills was declared a no-contest after Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field.
Steelers beat Browns 28-14 but miss out on playoffs
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Najee Harris ran for 84 yards and a touchdown and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns 28-14 but were eliminated from the playoffs when Miami edged the New York Jets. The Steelers will have to settle for a 16th straight non-losing season under coach Mike Tomlin, fueled by a 7-2 finish. Pittsburgh’s ugly 2-6 start included an injury to star linebacker T.J. Watt and rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett’s ascension to the starting job. The Browns finished 7-10, including 3-3 with quarterback Deshaun Watson. This is the 17th time since Cleveland re-joined the NFL in 1999 that the Browns have lost at least 10 games.
No. 1 Georgia tries to launch dynasty against emboldened TCU
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — No. 1 Georgia could become the first school to repeat as major college football champions since Alabama a decade ago, and the first to go back-to-back in the nine-year history of the four-team playoff. Coach Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs are back in the College Football Playoff championship game Monday night against No. 3 TCU. Heisman Trophy finalist Stetson Bennett and the Bulldogs have been the No. 1 team in the country in 21 of the last 23 AP Top 25 college football polls, dating back to Oct. 10, 2021. Heisman runner-up Max Duggan and the Horned Frogs are the biggest underdog to make the CFP championship game.
Shiffrin shows her emotions after matching Vonn’s record
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin has matched Lindsey Vonn’s women’s World Cup skiing record with her 82nd win. Shiffrin led from start to finish to win a giant slalom and can now break Vonn’s mark in a night slalom scheduled for Flachau, Austria, on Tuesday. Already with eight wins this season, Shiffrin is also quickly approaching Ingemar Stenmark’s overall record between men and women of 86 victories. Vonn retired four years ago when injuries ended her pursuit of Stenmark.
Shiffrin vs Vonn: Different strengths but similar approach
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin is the perfect technical skier. Lindsey Vonn was the ultimate speed demon. Shiffrin is rarely slowed by physical ailments. Vonn was constantly hurtling herself into the safety nets and breaking bones. Shiffrin is introverted and sometimes doesn’t even display a fist pump when she wins. Vonn is outgoing and relished celebrating her many victories. The Americans who now share the record of 82 World Cup wins couldn’t be more different in many ways. But they are remarkably similar in others. Both excelled in every discipline of Alpine skiing over various points of their careers and both spent parts of their childhoods in Colorado.
Lindsey Vonn: Shiffrin’s record-breaking is sign of progress
Lindsey Vonn was keeping track from afar when Mikaela Shiffrin matched her women’s World Cup record with 82 wins. Shiffrin drew even with Vonn by winning a giant slalom on Sunday in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. While Vonn retired four years ago when injuries cut her career short, the 27-year-old Shiffrin is still going strong. Vonn says in an AP diary that “if anyone is to break my record, I’m really happy that it’s an American.” She adds that “I knew from the very beginning that she would be the one to break all the records. But to be able to do it at such a young age is really impressive.”
Surging Northwestern upends No. 15 Indiana, 84-83
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Boo Buie scored 26 points and Northwestern beat No. 15 Indiana 84-83 for its second road victory against a ranked opponent this season. The Wildcats knocked off then-No. 20 Michigan State 70-63 on Dec. 4 and have won seven of eight games. The Hoosiers have lost four of six. Chase Audige had 19 points and eight assists for the Wildcats and Robbie Beran and Ty Berry each added 13 points. Freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino led the Hoosiers with a career-best 33 points, including five 3s. Trayce Jackson-Davis had 18 points, a career-high 24 rebounds and eight assists.