49ers beat Cowboys 19-12 to advance to NFC title game
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Christian McCaffrey scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter and San Francisco’s defense did the rest, sending the 49ers to their second straight NFC title game with a 19-12 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. San Francisco advanced to play the Eagles in the NFC title game next Sunday in Philadelphia after losing in that round to the Rams a year ago. The Cowboys lost for the record seventh straight time in the divisional round and have failed to make it to the NFC title game since winning their fifth Super Bowl title following the 1995 season.
NFL playoffs: Bengals win streak hits 10, 49ers also advance
The Kansas City Chiefs learned they’ll get to host the AFC championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals instead of playing at a neutral site. They have to play the Bengals and Cincinnati is now on a 10-game winning streak after an impressive 27-10 road victory over the Buffalo Bills on a snow-covered field in Sunday’s NFL divisional round. Joe Burrow threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns while Joe Mixon ran for 105 yards and a TD. The 49ers beat the Cowboys 19-12 in the NFC. The 49ers will travel to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC title game.
Florida’s Shelton in quarterfinals in Australian Open debut
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The next stop on Ben Shelton’s impressive debut run at the Australian Open will be the quarterfinals. The 20-year-old NCAA champion from the University of Florida pulled out a five-set victory over J.J. Wolf in an all-American matchup at Melbourne Park. Shelton is playing in only his second Grand Slam tournament. He joins Sebastian Korda to give the U.S. two men in the quarterfinals in Australia for the first time since 2007. Yet another American could join them because Tommy Paul is also in fourth-round action. Also reaching the men’s quarterfinals is Andrey Rublev. Magda Linette made it to the quarterfinals of a major for the first time and will meet Karolina Pliskova next. Aryna Sabalenka will play Donna Vekic in another women’s quarterfinal.
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.
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.
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.
Jones frustrated as Cowboys fall short in playoffs again
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Dak Prescott threw two interceptions and led only one touchdown drive and the Dallas Cowboys fell short of the NFC title game for the 12th straight postseason trip, losing 19-12 to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round. A franchise that won three Super Bowl titles in a four-year span early in owner Jerry Jones’ tenure is now known mostly for playoff flops. The Cowboys haven’t made it even as far as the conference championship game since winning the Super Bowl following the 1995 season, losing seven times in the divisional round and five times in the wild-card round.
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.