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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — At the end of an ugly performance on a gloomy New Jersey afternoon, the Chicago Bears found themselves pulling together for one last eyes-closed, fingers-crossed, full-prayers miracle. Only 8 seconds remained Sunday and the Bears were 67 yards from MetLife Stadium’s north end zone, the landmark for a potential last-gasp touchdown that could have maybe, possibly, by ...

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Mike Tomlin got the spark he wanted and the crowd got the player they have so fervently wanted when the hometown hero, Kenny Pickett, was sent into the game after halftime to rescue the Steelers. And he didn’t disappoint either one. He ran for a pair of touchdowns, made quick decisions like a crafty veteran and repeatedly got the ball to his two favorite playmakers, receiver George Pickens and ...

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — As Brian Hoyer walked off the field Sunday, head down and carrying his team’s best hopes of an upset into the locker room, the Patriots turned to a fourth-round rookie. Bailey Zappe, their last remaining quarterback, had no choice but to replace Hoyer and take the field against Aaron Rodgers in his NFL debut. Waves of football history and the sounds of 81,441 strong crashed ...

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On Sunday, the unofficial theme of the day was — home. For a man from Puerto Rico and a man from the Dominican Republic, this city in the middle of America is also home. They are eternally welcomed here and forever revered here. Crouched behind home or stoically standing beside it, Molina and Pujols took up residence in St. Louis, where they called home for a combined 31 seasons. Thirty-one. So many home runs and runs crossing home.

LAS VEGAS — Three takeaways from the Raiders’ 32-23 win over the Broncos on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium: 1. Get the win The Raiders didn’t care about style points Sunday; they just needed a victory. They got a little bit of both. All three phases made big plays as part of their first victory this season. A team that has been unable to finish possessions or games in the first three weeks did ...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers aren’t just bad this season. They are boring. What’s going wrong is the reason the stands were only about two-thirds full — at best — at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday in Carolina’s 26-16 loss to Arizona, and will likely be less full one week from now for the next home game. The Panthers (1-3) are boring because they have a sludge-filled, ...

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There is an old saying in the music business: you spend your whole life preparing to make your first album, and six months preparing to make your second. Kevin O'Connell spent six months preparing for his first game as an NFL head coach. He spent a handful of days preparing for each of the next three. The results are telling. His debut was a tour de force, 23-7 victory over Green Bay. Since ...

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Who could have predicted the first week of October would have brought these things to pass? The Miami Dolphins are forcing the NFL to rewrite its concussion rules. Good ol’ boys are stuffing fish with leaden balls to cheat at fishing tournaments. Antonio Brown was shown flashing his backside and his frontside at a woman in a pool in Dubai. And the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles are the best ...

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Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel repeatedly said there is no timetable for Tua Tagovailoa’s return on Friday after his quarterback suffered a concussion in Thursday night’s loss at the Cincinnati Bengals. His thoughts are certainly more with Tagovailoa’s personal health than how quickly he can get game ready. But Dolphins fans — and Tagovailoa himself, as he noted in his statement released ...

PITTSBURGH — After a dreadful showing offensively against the Bengals last week, the Jets were hoping the return of their starting quarterback would ignite a spark. It wasn’t pretty, but the Jets found a way to come away with their second road victory of the season. The Jets (2-2) defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3) 24-20 on a cloudy, 60-degree day at Acrisure Stadium in front of over ...

Just how bad was the Oklahoma Sooners’ defense Saturday during their 55-24 humiliation at the hands of Texas Christian? The numbers spell it out clearly: 27 first quarter points. 668 total yards, including 361 on the ground. 8.8 yards per carry. When I visited Norman, Okla., early last December after USC hired Lincoln Riley away from the Sooners to succeed Clay Helton, the state was downright ...

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