NFL playoffs: Saturday night thriller gets action started
The rest of the NFL playoffs have a lot to live up to after Saturday’s display. Rookie Brock Purdy nailed his postseason debut with the San Francisco 49ers with a 41-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars pulled off a jaw-dropping 27-point comeback in a 31-30 stunner against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night. The games continue with three more Sunday including Miami at Buffalo, Baltimore at Cincinnati and the New York Giants at Minnesota. The opening weekend wraps up Monday night with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting the Dallas Cowboys.
Lawrence rallies Jaguars from 27 down to beat Chargers 31-30
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Trevor Lawrence followed four interceptions with four touchdown passes — one of the most improbable turnarounds in NFL postseason history — and rallied the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 31-30 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. Lawrence engineered the winning drive, highlighted by Travis Etienne’s 25-yard run on a fourth-and-1 play, and put the Jaguars in position for Riley Patterson’s 36-yard field goal on the final play. It capped a 27-point comeback, the third largest in playoff history. Patterson’s kick barely stayed inside the right upright and set off a raucous celebration for a franchise that had won just four games the previous two years.
Herbert, Staley ponder what went wrong in collapse at Jags
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Justin Herbert sat in silence at his locker for roughly 15 minutes and stared into the distance. He had taken off his cleats but was still wearing most of his grass-stained uniform. It was a defining scene for a team devastated by a collapse no one could have seen coming. And it made this much clear: Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers won’t get over this loss anytime soon. The Chargers did little in the second half, allowing Trevor Lawrence to follow four interceptions with four touchdown passes and rally Jacksonville from a 27-0 deficit. LA lost 31-30 on Riley Patterson’s 36-yard field goal on the final play.
Purdy’s 4 TDs lead 49ers past Seahawks 41-23 in playoffs
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Brock Purdy threw three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth score in his playoff debut, leading the San Francisco 49ers to a 41-23 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in a wild-card game. Purdy picked up where he left off in the regular season for the 49ers and showed few signs of playoff jitters by winning his sixth straight start since replacing an injured Jimmy Garoppolo early in a Week 13 win over Miami. The Niners advanced to the divisional round where they will host either Minnesota, Tampa Bay or Dallas next weekend. The Seahawks kept it close before a strip sack by Charles Omenihu late in the third quarter spoiled a red zone drive.
AP source: Hamlin visits teammates for 1st time since injury
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Damar Hamlin visited with teammates at the Bills’ facility on Saturday for the first time since being discharged from a Buffalo hospital. The visit came 12 days after the Bills safety went into cardiac arrest and needed to be resuscitated on the field during a game in Cincinnati. Bills linebacker Matt Milano posted a photo on his Instagram account of a smiling Hamlin shaking hands with a teammate. A person with direct knowledge of Hamlin’s schedule confirmed to The Associated Press the player’s visit. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because Hamlin has kept his schedule and recovery private.
Morant says sensational slam in Indy was his best one yet
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — To Ja Morant, the answer was a slam dunk. His ferocious jam Saturday night was his best one yet. Morant’s dunk came in the third quarter of the Memphis Grizzlies’ 130-112 victory over the Indiana Pacers. He drove left into the middle of the lane, put the ball in his right hand and pulled his arm far back to easily throw it down over leaping Pacers big man Jalen Smith. He says it topped his collection of sensational slams because of the difficulty. Teammates leaped off the bench in excitement and reaction followed quickly on social media. Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell urged Morant to do the slam dunk contest.
Buckley makes a pair of eagles and leads the Sony Open
HONOLULU (AP) — Hayden Buckley has a two-shot lead in the Sony Open as he goes after his first PGA Tour victory and a spot in the Masters. It took a lot to get there. Buckley holed out from 133 yards for eagle on No. 10. And then he finished with an eagle on the par-5 18th. That gives him a two-shot lead over Chris Kirk, Ben Taylor and David Lipsky. He also has a little separation. That didn’t look possible at one point Saturday because eight players were tied for the lead. Andrew Putnam had a 62 and was three shot back.
Detroit Mercy’s Davis sets NCAA career 3-point record
DETROIT (AP) — Antoine Davis of Detroit Mercy set the NCAA record for career 3-pointers on Saturday, hitting a career-best 11 3s and scoring a season-high 41 points in an 87-75 win over Robert Morris. Davis shot 11 for 18 from long distance and was 15 for 26 overall. His 11 3-pointers increased his career total to 513, eclipsing the previous record of 509 by Fletcher Magee of Wofford from 2014-19. Davis entered the game chasing Magee and Oakland’s Travis Bader (504 3s from 2010-14). The 24-year-old Davis has 3,232 career points, good for third in NCAA history. He is 17 points away from second place and 435 points behind Pete Maravich’s NCAA record of 3,667.
Calipari, Kentucky silence doubters, beat No. 5 Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Antonio Reeves scored 18 points and Oscar Tshiebwe had 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead Kentucky to a 63-56 victory over No. 5 Tennessee on Saturday. Kentucky led 58-50 with 3:28 left in the game. Two free throws by Santiago Vescovi and two buckets by Uros Plavsic closed the gap to two with less than a minute to play. A Wildcat turnover gave Tennessee a shot to tie or take the lead, but Zakai Zeigler and Plavsic missed down low. The Wildcats showed a physical presence and dominated the Volunteers on the boards. Plavsic scored 19 points for Tennessee.
Adams scores late, No. 2 Kansas edges No. 14 Iowa St 62-60
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — KJ Adams scored in the paint, breaking a tie with under 12 seconds left and No. 2 Kansas held off No. 14 Iowa State 62-60. Iowa State had a last shot to win, but Caleb Grill’s 3-point attempt caromed off the rim at the buzzer. Kansas improved to 16-1. Gradey Dick had 21 points and Adams added 15 for the Jayhawks. Gabe Kalscheur scored 23 points for the Cyclones, who are 13-3. The game commemorated 125 years of Kansas basketball, with more than 160 former players, coaches and staff at Allen Fieldhouse.