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 misses 5th playoff PAT, makes 2 FGs
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 before making two field-goal tries. 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. Maher fared much better on field goals, making a 25-yarder in the third quarter and a 43-yarder in the fourth.
Cowboys RB Tony Pollard injures ankle vs. SF; ruled out
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard was carted off the field late in the first half of Sunday’s divisional-round game against San Francisco after injuring his left ankle and was ruled out for the rest of the game. Pollard got hurt when San Francisco’s Jimmie Ward fell on his ankle on a tackle following a reception late in the first half. Pollard was helped off the field to the injury tent and then taken off the field with a towel draped over his head. The team announced Pollard would not return. Pollard led the Cowboys with 1,007 yards rushing during the regular season.
Depleted Bills produce a dud in playoff loss to Bengals
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills ended a season in which they overcame much adversity by producing a dud in a 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and the divisional round of the playoffs. The Bills were unable to draw upon the motivational inspiration Von Miller attempted to send by bringing in his Super Bowl trophy into the locker room last week. And safety Damar Hamlin’s surprise appearance at the stadium was unable to provide a spark coming some three weeks after he needed to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati.
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.
Rahm outlasts rookie Thompson to win AmEx by 1 stroke
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Jon Rahm took advantage of mistakes by rookie Davis Thompson over the adventuresome final three holes to win The American Express by one stroke. It was second victory in as many starts. The Spanish star will move up one spot in the world rankings to No. 3. He pumped his right fist and flashed a look of relief after tapping in for a two-putt par on No. 18 at the PGA West Stadium Course to finish at 27-under 261. He avoided trouble down the stretch while Thompson found just enough to miss his first victory in 20 starts. Thompson led through 36 holes and shared the lead with Rahm going into the final round.