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|Bears beat Cowboys 45-28 on Ditka Day (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 9:57 pm]
Neither the brutal cold nor one of the league's worst defenses could stop Josh McCown and the Chicago Bears. McCown threw for a career-high four touchdowns, and the Bears scored on their first eight possessions to grab a share of the NFC North lead with a 45-28 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on a frigid Monday night. The Bears (7-6) retired Hall of Famer Mike Ditka's number at halftime and pulled even with Detroit in the division race on a night when the wind chill factor was below zero. The conditions didn't stop McCown from throwing for 348 yards or keep the Bears from running away with a lopsided victory after consecutive losses.
Bears lead Cowboys 35-14 after 3 quarters (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 9:10 pm]
Josh McCown threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Chicago Bears took a 35-14 lead over the Dallas Cowboys through three quarters of a Monday night game between NFC teams trying to tie for the lead in their divisions. The frigid conditions didn't stop the halftime ceremony where the Bears retired the No. 89 of Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, who won a championship with Chicago as a player and head coach. McCown flipped a 4-yard touchdown pass to running back Matt Forte for a 33-14 lead, and then completed a 2-point conversion pass to Brandon Marshall with 2:20 left in the third quarter to culminate a 14-play, 90-yard drive. Robbie Gould kicked a 34-yard field goal on Chicago's first possession of the third quarter for a 27-14 lead.
Cowboys, Bears tied at 7 after 1st quarter (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 7:33 pm]
Wind chill temperatures below zero and two struggling defenses did little to slow the offenses of the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys who were tied 7-7 after one quarter Monday night at Soldier Field. Dallas running back DeMarco Murray rushed for 66 yards on eight carries against the league's worst run defense and Bears quarterback Josh McCown was 5-of-6 passing for 51 yards against the league's worst pass defense. The Cowboys went 75 yards on the game's opening drive with Tony Romo completing a 2-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant on second-and-goal to end the 12-play march. The first 37 yards of the drive came on the ground against Chicago's 32nd-ranked run defense, including a drive-opening 19-yard run off right tackle by Murray.
Lee back for Cowboys after missing 2 games (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 6:12 pm]
CHICAGO (AP) -- Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is in the lineup Monday night against the Chicago Bears after sitting out the previous two games with a hamstring injury.
Steam from Manning's nostrils not just from cold (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 5:27 pm]
Even after coming in from the cold, Peyton Manning was hot. Following one of the best cold-weather performances by a quarterback in the past decade, Manning issued an icy retort for all his critics who say he crumbles in the cold. He had a salty response to his critics during a postgame interview with Broncos' flagship radio station KOA in Denver following the Broncos' 51-28 dismantling of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. This after lecturing his receivers when they dropped passes and getting into some heated discussions with offensive coordinator Adam Gase on the bench after the Broncos had trouble finishing off drives.
Patriots put TE Gronkowski on IR with knee injury (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 3:36 pm]
The New England Patriots placed tight end Rob Gronkowski on injured reserve Monday with a damaged right knee. Gronkowski was hurt midway through the third quarter of the Patriots' 27-26 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday when he was hit on the knee by safety T.J. Ward after a 21-yard reception. Gronkowski missed the first six games this season after forearm and back surgeries and the Patriots went 5-1. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday that experience without Gronkowski could help.
Jets CB Cromartie has concussion, status uncertain (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 3:29 pm]
New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie has a concussion and his status for the team's game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday is uncertain. Coach Rex Ryan says Monday that Cromartie, while showing improvement, is going through the NFL's mandated protocol for head injuries after the cornerback was injured in the Jets' 37-27 win over the Oakland Raiders. It was uncertain exactly when Cromartie was hurt, but he and teammate Ed Reed smacked into each other while trying to defend a pass to Rod Streater in the third quarter.
Redskins' Shanahan might sit RG3 for rest of year (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 2:14 pm]
Mike Shanahan is still the coach of the Washington Redskins, but Robert Griffin III might not be the starting quarterback this week. Shanahan said Monday that he was thinking about sitting Griffin for the rest of the season because of concern that the quarterback could be injured. Shanahan points out Griffin has been sacked 24 times in five games, and that two of the Redskins' three remaining games will be played on artificial turf, including Sunday at Atlanta. It's a change of pace of Shanahan's previous stance that Griffin needed as many game snaps as possible to improve.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart has torn MCL (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 2:14 pm]
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- An MRI shows Panthers' backup running back Jonathan Stewart tore the MCL in his right knee in Sunday night's 31-13 loss to New Orleans.
Peterson injury tops list in painful Vikings loss (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 2:12 pm]
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Vikings are back from a painful road trip.
Welker unlikely to play against Chargers (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 2:04 pm]
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- Wes Welker is unlikely to suit up for Denver's game Thursday against San Diego after leaving Sunday's win over Tennessee with his second concussion in four games.
Falcons' Koetter interviews with Boise State (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 1:54 pm]
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- Falcons coach Mike Smith says offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has interviewed for the Boise State head coach position.
Cardinals' Mathieu to have season-ending surgery (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 12:25 pm]
Tyrann Mathieu's terrific rookie NFL season has come to a premature end. Arizona coach Bruce Arians has confirmed that Mathieu tore an ACL and sustained further damage in his left knee and will undergo surgery. Mathieu, who earned the nickname ''Honey Badger'' in his days at LSU, was Arizona's starting safety and had been in on almost every defensive play for the Cardinals. He was injured returning a free kick after John Abraham had tackled Kellen Clemens in the end zone in the third quarter of Arizona's 30-10 victory over St. Louis on Sunday.
AP Source: Gronkowski has torn ACL, damage to MCL (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 9, 2013, 10:31 am]
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- A person familiar with the injury tells The Associated Press that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has a torn ACL and damaged MCL.
Brees sharp, Saints beat Panthers 31-13 (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 8, 2013, 9:51 pm]
It only took six days - and a return to the Superdome - for Drew Brees and the Saints to shake off their worst performance this season and look like legitimate contenders again. Brees passed for 313 yards and four touchdowns and New Orleans beat Carolina 31-13 on Sunday night to regain sole possession of first place in the NFC South and snap the Panthers' winning streak at eight games. Love what Sean Payton's put together,'' Brees said. ''I love the group of guys that I get a chance to play with.'' The Panthers' defense had not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game this season until the Saints scored three in the second quarter alone, when Brees completed 14 of 16 passes for 159 yards.
Saints lead Panthers 24-6 after 3 quarters (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 8, 2013, 8:59 pm]
Drew Brees passed for 252 yards and three touchdowns and the New Orleans Saints led the Carolina Panthers 24-6 through three quarters Sunday night. The Panthers' defense had not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game through the first 12 games of the season. The Saints scored three TDs in the second quarter, when Brees completed 14 of 16 passes for 159 yards. The Saints also became only the second team this season - Buffalo being the other - to score 24 points against Carolina, which entered the game No. 1 in scoring defense, allowing 13.1 points per game.
Saints take 21-6 halftime lead over Panthers (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 8, 2013, 8:05 pm]
Drew Brees passed for 183 yards and three touchdowns and the New Orleans Saints led the Carolina Panthers 21-6 at halftime Sunday night. New Orleans started slow and trailed 6-0, but seemed ignited by Darren Sproles' 38-yard run late in the first quarter. That set up Marques Colston's first of two touchdowns on a 6-yard catch early in the second quarter. On their next possession, the Saints drove 86 yards in 11 plays, highlighted by veteran tight end Ben Watson's 20-yard catch and capped by Colston's second TD on a 15-yard pass over the middle New Orleans defensive end Cameron Jordan surpassed the 10-sack plateau with a little more than 2 minutes remaining in the second quarter, and in the process forced the Panthers to punt deep in their own territory.
Saints take early 7-6 lead over Panthers (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 8, 2013, 7:25 pm]
Drew Brees hit Marques Colston with a 6-yard touchdown pass, and the New Orleans Saints led the Carolina Panthers 7-6 early in the second quarter Sunday night. Graham Gano kicked field goals of 45 and 24 yards as the Panthers took a 6-0 lead through one quarter, which ended with the Saints threatening to score their first points The Panthers had the ball for 11:30 putting, showing an ability to run their offense in the face of an energized and loud Superdome crowd, revved up for a game that will decide sole possession of first place in the NFC South with three games left. Carolina drove 53 yards for their first score and 26 for the second after Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt 32 yards. A 15-yard penalty was added to the return because of a horse-collar tackle by punter Thomas Morstead along the sideline.
Cardinals beat Rams 30-10 to end NFC West skid (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 8, 2013, 6:18 pm]
The Arizona quarterback completed 27 of 32 passes, 12 of them to Larry Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals ended an eight-game losing streak against NFC West foes by beating the St. Louis Rams 30-10 on Sunday. Palmer, questionable for the game after being limited in practice last week, threw for 269 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinals (8-5) won for the fifth time in six games. Arizona's Karlos Dansby returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown and John Abraham tackled Kellen Clemens for a safety.
Dawson go-ahead field goal lifts 49ers by Seattle (Yahoo Sports) [Yahoo! Sports: December 8, 2013, 6:08 pm]
The San Francisco 49ers aren't handing over their two-year division reign just yet. And certainly not on their home field where they rarely lose against the NFC West. Phil Dawson kicked a 22-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining and the Niners held off the nemesis Seahawks 19-17 on Sunday, denying Seattle a chance to clinch the division at Candlestick Park. Frank Gore broke a 51-yard gain with just more than four minutes left to set up the go-ahead 11-play, 76-yard drive as the 49ers (9-4) kept the playoff-bound Seahawks (11-2) from grabbing away the West in San Francisco.