ALAMEDA (AP) - For most of the past decade, December has meant only one thing to Oakland Raiders punter Shane Lechler - searching for motivation as he plays out the string of another lost season.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Running against the San Francisco 49ers is tough. Passing isn't any easier. And scoring is a huge challenge.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - As Aldon Smith chases down the NFL record for sacks, his specialty becomes of particular significance this week when the San Francisco 49ers face New England and the NFL's top-ranked offense.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch practiced for the first time this week, an encouraging turn for a struggling secondary sorely lacking depth.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Poor starts have often been the cause of Orlando's worst outings this season.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - There was no coasting to a 10-game winning streak for Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Randy Moss joined the New England Patriots five years ago thinking he knew a lot about football.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Andres Torres is returning to the San Francisco Giants, who gave the outfielder his first chance as a regular two years ago.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court will hear Barry Bonds' appeal of his obstruction of justice conviction early next year.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers are looking forward to matching up with Tom Brady and the prolific offense of the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain met with coach Dennis Allen before returning to practice Wednesday after serving a two-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.
MIAMI (AP) - The Golden State Warriors used a savvy play by a rookie and took advantage of a defensive breakdown to surprise the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Milwaukee Bucks won 'ugly' in a matchup of short-handed teams - and that's just fine with Brandon Jennings.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - San Francisco cornerback Tarell Brown turned off the Monday Night Football game as soon as Tom Brady and the Patriots jumped out to a big lead.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Oakland Raiders interim coach Tony Sparano met with his players for the first time since replacing the fired Dennis Allen, then sent them off for a four-day weekend.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Alex Smith arrived in San Francisco with the pressure of being the No. 1 overall draft pick. He got called a draft bust, then turned the tide to win back those same fans who had booed him out of Candlestick Park.
You might say the Minnesota Vikings are pondering a quarterbacking dilemma.
ATLANTA (AP) - Extra innings boosted viewership for the American League wild-card game.
OAKLAND (AP) - Support his big moves or not, Billy Beane made one thing perfectly clear: The Oakland Athletics' season probably would have ended sooner without Jon Lester a part of it.
ANAHEIM (AP) - Mike Trout asked Albert Pujols for advice on his playoff debut before the Los Angeles Angels stepped into the October spotlight, and the veteran slugger with two World Series rings had some simple guidance for baseball's best young player.
BALTIMORE (AP) - The Detroit Tigers' starting pitchers in the first three games of the AL Division Series have a combined 329 wins, three Cy Young Awards and 35 games of postseason experience.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Matt Williams was in his 18th game as a major league manager, still learning on the job, when he went with his gut.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Kansas City Royals had waited 29 years to reach the postseason. They weren't going down without a fight.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Edinson Volquez's renaissance began with a simple game of catch.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Reggie McKenzie believes he put together a roster capable of competing for a playoff spot. When that roster got off to an 0-4 start and wasn't even competitive in two games, the Oakland Raiders general manager decided he needed to fire coach Dennis Allen.
OAKLAND (AP) - Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers made an impromptu visit to Steve Kerr's office last week and couldn't stop staring at the walls.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Michael Wilhoite knows he had important shoes to fill whenever he takes the field.
ANAHEIM (AP) Los Angeles Angels slugger Josh Hamilton says he's feeling better and is ready for the playoffs later this week.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The NFL said Tuesday that Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct when he dropped to his knees in prayer after an interception.