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.
NAPA (AP) - The new PGA Tour season felt like an old one to a trio of Ryder Cup players Thursday at the Frys.com Open.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said Thursday that he has been fined $10,000 by the NFL for the pink "Beats by Dre" brand name headphones he wore around his neck after Sunday's game.
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Landon Donovan set U.S. national team and Major League Soccer records for goals and assists, scored in a signature stoppage-time moment that lifted America to a first-place finish in a World Cup group for the first time in 80 years and won five MLS titles - with a sixth still possible.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - As Bruce Miller swung away and trash-talked linebacker Dan Skuta from across the locker room pingpong table, Jim Harbaugh emerged to officiate.
ALAMEDA (AP) - As a coaching disciple of Bill Parcells, Oakland Raiders interim coach Tony Sparano has long believed that a powerful offense starts with a strong running game.
HOUSTON (AP) - Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson should be arrested anew after admitting during his court appearance on a child abuse charge that he had "smoked a little weed" while out on bond, Texas prosecutors said Thursday.
ALAMEDA (AP) - The Oakland Raiders placed starting middle linebacker Nick Roach on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday after he was unable to recover from a concussion in the preseason.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Even in his late 30s and a year removed from a devastating ankle injury that cut short his 2013 season in Atlanta, Tim Hudson pictured himself pitching at a high level again.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett, facing surgery for a torn labrum in his left hip that caused him to miss most of the last three months of the season, has retired at 34, ending a 14-year career that included two World Series championships.
The AFC South pretty much has been the province of the Colts and Texans in recent years. Even though Houston fell apart last season, it's not a big surprise it has emerged as the only challenger to Indianapolis in the division this year.
SANTA CLARA (AP) - The San Francisco 49ers have found the offensive balance that helped the team reach the NFC championship game in each of the past three seasons.
NEW YORK (AP) - NFL owners spent five hours discussing the league's personal conduct policy, domestic violence and discipline for misbehavior during their fall meetings Wednesday.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Diego Valeri scored twice and Donovan Ricketts had his fifth shutout of the season to help the Portland Timbers beat San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on Wednesday night.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Changing cast, same old hit show for the St. Louis Cardinals.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Matt Adams could barely contain his enthusiasm - and he didn't really try, either. He thrust both arms in the air while still in the batter's box and added a couple of big hops to his home run trot as he approached first base.