Field Level Media
The Chicago Bears on Monday named former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy as the 16th head coach in franchise history. Nagy, 39, will be introduced to at a press conference on Tuesday. He replaces John Fox, who was fired after posting a 14-34 record in three seasons, including 5-11 in 2017.
NEW ORLEANS—Drew Brees passed for 376 yards and two touchdowns as the New Orleans Saints defeated the Carolina Panthers 31-26 in an NFC Wild Card Playoff game Sunday, Jan. 7, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Saints beat the Panthers for the third time this season to advance to the divisional round. They will face the Vikings in Minnesota next Sunday, Jan. 14. Brees, who completed 23 of 32 passes, threw first-half touchdown passes of 80 yards to Ted Ginn Jr. and 9 yards to Josh Hill.
Even as the underdog, perhaps the Georgia Bulldogs can find some solace in friendly surroundings when the College Football Playoff national championship game tees off Monday, Jan. 8, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart will be able to glance in almost any direction from the Georgia sideline and see familiar faces. Not just because it is a virtual home game. The Bulldogs (13-1) bussed from campus a short 75 miles to arrive in Atlanta on Friday night, Jan. 5.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars broke a 10-year playoff drought because of their defense, so it wasn't surprising that the defense carried most of the load in Sunday's 10-3 AFC wild-card win over the Buffalo Bills at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. Jacksonville, which won the AFC South title and the No. 3 seed for the AFC playoffs, advances to a conference semifinal next Sunday at No. 2 Pittsburgh. The Jaguars intercepted Ben Roethlisberger five times in a 30-9 Week 5 victory.
LOS ANGELES—Matt Ryan threw a clinching touchdown pass to Julio Jones, and the Atlanta Falcons made big plays on special teams to spoil the Los Angeles Rams' return to the playoffs with a 26-13 win Saturday, Jan. 6, in an NFC wild-card game at Los Angeles Memorial Stadium. Matt Bryant kicked four field goals, and Atlanta's coverage units recovered two fumbles to help send the sixth-seeded Falcons to the divisional round, where they will face the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, Jan. 13.
DENVER — Carl Soderberg scored twice Saturday night, Jan. 6, for the Colorado Avalanche, who remained red-hot with a 7-2 win over the Minnesota Wild at Pepsi Center in Denver. Gabriel Bourque, Patrik Nemeth, Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Jost scored a goal apiece for the Avalanche, who matched their season-high scoring total. Colorado (22-16-3) has won five straight to move into a tie with the Wild and the Anaheim Ducks for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Avalanche goalie Jonathan Bernier made 34 saves.
MINNEAPOLIS — Karl-Anthony Towns scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves continued their dominance of the New Orleans Pelicans in a 116-98 victory Saturday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves (25-16) won the two previous meetings, both of which were played in New Orleans, by scores of 108-94 (Nov. 1) and 120-102 (Nov. 29). They host Cleveland on Monday. The Pelicans (19-19) had won their last three road games by a combined 39 points. They return home to face Detroit on Monday.
KAPALUA, Hawaii — Top-ranked Dustin Johnson charged into first place Saturday at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and he takes a two-shot lead into the final round. Johnson's 7-under-par 66 on Saturday at Kapalua Resort's Plantation Course on the island of Maui matched the best round of the tournament. Johnson sits at 16-under 203 through three rounds. "I felt like I really drove it well, which I have been all three days," Johnson said, according to GolfDigest.com. Second-round co-leader Brian Harman is in second place at 205 following a 69.
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Quarterback Marcus Mariota engineered a second-half comeback Saturday, Jan. 6, bringing the Tennessee Titans back from an 18-point halftime deficit to edge the Kansas City Chiefs, 22-21, in an AFC wild-card game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mariota fired a 22-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker with 6:06 remaining for the last of 19 consecutive points the Titans scored in the second half.
BOSTON—The future didn't look especially bright on Friday night when two of the NBA's contenders-in-waiting clashed in Boston. The Celtics and Timberwolves both hovered under 40 percent shooting for most of the night before Boston pulled away in the fourth quarter to capture a 91-84 victory over Minnesota at TD Garden. Marcus Smart had 18 points off the bench to pace the Celtics. Kyrie Irving finished with 16 points (on 6-of-16 shooting) and eight assists and Aron Baynes doubled up with 11 points and 10 rebounds.