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.
ISTANBUL (AP) - Maya Moore and her U.S. teammates know what's at stake now. A loss and their world championship run would be over.
ANAHEIM (AP) - Mike Moustakas homered leading off the 11th inning, and the Kansas City Royals kept rolling in their first postseason in 29 years with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in the AL Division Series opener Thursday night.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Stephen Strasburg grew up in San Diego, admiring then-Padres star Jake Peavy. They've become friends, working out together in the offseason, chatting, trading texts.
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.