ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Lance Briggs plucked the ball out of the air and started rumbling down the field. As the Chicago linebacker approached the end zone, he fully extended his right arm over his head with the ball in his hand.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - San Francisco's defense has a little inside game of its own going on in practice each week: "Takeaway Thursday."
ALAMEDA (AP) - For the Oakland Raiders, the bye is coming at just the right time.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Keith Smart believes changing the attitude of the Sacramento Kings starts with taking the team out of Northern California.
ATLANTA (AP) - Matt Bryant kicked a 40-yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining and the Atlanta Falcons remained unbeaten, rallying past the Carolina Panthers 30-28 on Sunday.
BALTIMORE (AP) - The Baltimore Orioles clinched their first playoff berth since 1997, extending their winning streak to four by beating the Boston Red Sox 6-3 Sunday as Nate McLouth, J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis hit solo homers.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Carlos Beltran homered from both sides of the plate for the ninth time in his career and drove in five runs, and the St. Louis Cardinals closed in on the NL's second wild-card berth by beating the Washington Nationals 10-4 Sunday.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The New York Jets were a delicious treat for the San Francisco 49ers.
DENVER (AP) - Instead of coming from behind, Peyton Manning spent the second half piling it on.
OAKLAND (AP) - Yoenis Cespedes hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning to move Oakland a win closer to the club's first playoff berth in six years, and the Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 5-2 on Sunday to stay right on the heels of Texas in the AL West race.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Pinch hitter Xavier Nady homered off Huston Street to tie the game with one out in the ninth and Hunter Spence hit a go-ahead, two-run shot as the San Francisco Giants rallied to beat the San Diego Padres 7-5 Sunday.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Referee Jeff Triplette struck a triumphant tone before Sunday's Saints-Packers game at Lambeau Field, announcing during the pregame coin toss that "it's great to be back, gentlemen!"
MEDINAH, Ill. (AP) - Erasing some of their worst Ryder Cup memories, the Europeans wore the image of Seve Ballesteros on their sleeves and played their hearts out Sunday at Medinah to match the greatest comeback in history and head home with that precious gold trophy.
DOVER, Del. (AP) - Brad Keselowski had fuel to spare for a couple of victory burnouts.
LECCO, Italy (AP) - Joaquin Rodriguez won the Giro di Lombardia with a late solo breakaway in the rain Saturday to end the season at the top of the UCI rankings.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - John Lackey stepped to the podium, minus the obvious status symbols: his two World Series rings. No reason to brag.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady rebounded from the second worst loss of his career by throwing for two touchdowns and becoming the sixth quarterback to pass for 50,000 yards as the New England Patriots routed the NFL's last unbeaten team with a 43-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - So many drivers studied NASCAR's new championship Chase format and singled out the second round as the one they feared the most.
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) - Oliver Wilson held off Rory McIlroy to capture his first European Tour title with a one-shot victory in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 99-94 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night in their preseason opener, as the NBA returned to Vancouver for a day.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Never much of a postseason performer, Jake Peavy sure outpitched Stephen Strasburg in the former No. 1 pick's playoff debut.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - Alex Smith was booed so many times on his home field at Candlestick Park, he has no idea how he might be received by the old fans when he runs out with the Chiefs to face the 49ers on Sunday.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - San Francisco's once-dominant defense is beginning to rediscover the swagger that has defined this unit in recent years.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals both missed the postseason last year. That's pretty much where the similarities end heading into Friday's NL Division Series opener.
SAN JOSE (AP) - As much as the San Jose Sharks may try to put last season's playoff collapse behind them, there will be constant reminders all season long.
BALTIMORE (AP) - The way Nelson Cruz and the Baltimore Orioles are hitting this season, it may not matter much who pitches for the other guys.
ALAMEDA (AP) - The Oakland Raiders' Rod Streater will miss at least the next eight weeks after being placed on the injured reserve list with a designation to return.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs, Clayton Kershaw had a terrible outing and the Dodgers were bounced out of the postseason.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers kept scoring on a rainy Thursday night.
OAKLAND (AP) - Andrew Bogut saw Marreese Speights driving to the rim during a pickup game at the Golden State Warriors' practice facility a couple weeks ago and never second-guessed what to do next.