Bengals return to AFC championship with 27-10 rout of Bills
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Joe Burrow threw two touchdown passes, the Bengals swarmed Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen on a snow-slicked field and Cincinnati advanced to its second straight AFC championship game with a 27-10 win. Damar Hamlin’s inspirational presence while watching the game from an end-zone suite was not enough to spark the Bills in a rematch of a regular-season game that was canceled Jan. 2 when the Bills safety went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati. The Bengals advanced to consecutive AFC championship games for the first time in franchise history and will again travel to play the Kansas City Chiefs.
AP source: Chiefs’ Mahomes sustained high ankle sprain
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes sustained a right high ankle sprain in the Kansas City Chiefs’ divisional playoff win over the Jaguars, a person familiar with the nature of the injury told The Associated Press on Sunday. But the All-Pro quarterback is expected to play in next weekend’s AFC championship game. Mahomes was hurt late in the first quarter Saturday when a Jacksonville defender landed on him. X-rays taken during the game came back negative, and Mahomes returned after halftime to lead Kansas City to the 27-20 victory. He had an MRI on Sunday that showed no structural damage.
Bills’ Hamlin attends 1st game since collapse, waves to fans
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin made his first public appearance Sunday since going into cardiac arrest three weeks ago during a game. He waved to fans from a suite at the Bills’ Highmark Stadium during the first half of their AFC divisional playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The stadium erupted when an image of the recovering Hamlin filled the massive end zone screens and fans turned toward the glass-enclosed suite and cheered. The 24-year-old safety had not been seen in public since he needed to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati on Jan. 2, but he has been making regular visits to the stadium to see teammates.
Cowboys kicker extends postseason woes with 5th missed PAT
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Dallas kicker Brett Maher missed his fifth extra point of the postseason when his first attempt against San Francisco was blocked. The Cowboys stuck with Maher for the divisional-round game against the 49ers even after he set an NFL record with four misses last Monday night against Tampa Bay before making his final try. The move looked questionable after Maher’s first attempt against the 49ers was low and blocked by Samson Ebukam.
Chiefs’ Henne delivers with Mahomes hobbled in playoff win
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chad Henne has spent most of the season holding clipboards behind Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes. But when the All-Pro quarterback hurt his right ankle in Saturday night’s playoff game against Jacksonville, the 37-year-old journeyman entered the game and proceeded to lead Kansas City on a 98-yard touchdown drive. Mahomes eventually returned to finish off a 27-20 victory that ushered the Chiefs to their fifth consecutive AFC championship game. But the performance by his backup amid the intense pressure of the postseason may have been what kept Kansas City’s season alive.
Dunn scores 16, Temple defeats No. 1 Houston 56-55
HOUSTON (AP) — Damian Dunn scored 16 points and made the go-ahead free throw and Kur Jongkuch blocked Houston’s go-ahead attempt in the final seconds. Temple held on to defeat the top-ranked Cougars 56-55 on Sunday. Temple improved to 3-18 against No. 1 ranked teams. The Owls earned their first win over a No. 1 ranked team since Feb. 20, 2000. Tied at 55, Dunn made 1 of 2 free throws with 1:06 left to give Temple a one-point lead. Jamal Shead missed a 3-pointer with 37 seconds remaining and Nick Jourdain grabbed the rebound.
Boston sets record, No. 1 Gamecocks top Arkansas 92-46
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Aliyah Boston collected her record-setting 73rd double double with 13 points and 14 rebounds as No. 1 South Carolina moved to 20-0 with a dominating 92-46 victory over Arkansas on Sunday. Boston moved past Sheila Foster, who had double figure points and rebounds in 72 games with the Gamecocks from 1979-1982. Zia Cooke had 24 points off four 3-pointers as the Gamecocks won their 26th straight and seventh in a row over Arkansas. The Razorbacks were outscored 28-7 in the second quarter and could not recover.
Brooke Henderson goes wire-to-wire at LPGA season opener
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Brooke Henderson is off to a flying start in the new LPGA Tour season. The Canadian went wire-to-wire to win the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona. It’s her 13th career victory. Henderson wasn’t under too much stress in the final round of the season opener. She handled the par 5s and kept any challengers from having too much hope. Henderson won by four shots. Maja Stark started her second year on the LPGA by finishing second with Charley Hull of England. Nelly Korda wound up in fourth place. The LPGA Tour resumes in a month.
Canucks fire coach Boudreau, hire Tocchet as replacement
The Vancouver Canucks have fired coach Bruce Boudreau and hired Rick Tocchet as his replacement. The move comes midway through another underwhelming season in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the second consecutive season that the Canucks have fired their coach. Boudreau took over when previous coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning were fired in December 2021. The Canucks are on track to miss the playoffs for a third consecutive year. They have only qualified once in the past eight seasons.
Buffalo’s Pegula eyes 1st Slam semifinal at Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Jessica Pegula is headed to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the fifth time. It is her third consecutive trip to that stage of the Australian Open. The 28-year-old American has yet to make it to a semifinal. She will face 2012-13 Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka on Tuesday. All three of Pegula’s major quarterfinals in 2022 came against the No. 1 player at the time who went on to win the trophy: Ash Barty at the Australian Open, and Iga Swiatek at the French Open and U.S. Open. But with Swiatek and No. 2 Ons Jabeur out of the draw at Melbourne Park, No. 3 Pegula is the highest-seeded woman remaining.