Field Level Media
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — DeAndre Hopkins caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson with 2:15 remaining as the Houston Texans inched closer to clinching the AFC South Division title with a 29-22 victory over the New York Jets on Saturday, Dec. 15, at East Rutherford. On first down, Watson ran a play fake and connected with Hopkins along the left sideline. Hopkins turned around and made the catch while getting by New York cornerback Morris Claiborne.
ST. PAUL — Another strong third period for the Calgary Flames gave the visitors a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, Dec. 15, in a heated matchup between the two Western Conference rivals. With the game tied in the final period, James Neal took the puck toward the corner and then sent a pass that deflected off a Wild defenseman. The bounce went right to Matthew Tkachuk, who buried the partially screened shot for his 14th goal of the season with 11:15 remaining.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers fired a touchdown pass with four seconds remaining Thursday, Dec. 13, connecting with Mike Williams, then the same duo added a decisive two-point conversion as visiting Los Angeles beat the Kansas City Chiefs 29-28. Rivers engineered two touchdowns in the final four minutes to rally the Chargers from a 28-14 deficit. The result leaves the Chargers and Chiefs tied atop the AFC West with 11-3 records, though the Chiefs hold a tiebreaker with a better division mark.
ST. PAUL -- Red-hot Nino Niederreiter scored twice and added an assist to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 5-1 win over the visiting Florida Panthers on Thursday night, Dec. 13. Eric Staal, Zach Parise and Jonas Brodin scored Minnesota's other goals, and Ryan Suter added three assists, giving him a team-high 22 for the season.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Draymond Green returned from an 11-game absence with a solid all-around performance, and Stephen Curry led a barrage from 3-point range with a game-high 38 points Monday, lifting the Golden State Warriors to a 116-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Oakland on Monday, Dec. 10. Green, who had seen the Warriors go just 6-5 while he recovered from a bruised toe, contributed seven points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to Golden State's fourth straight win. Karl-Anthony Towns paced Minnesota with 31 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
SEATTLE — Adam Thielen is now in company with Randy Moss and Cris Carter. With a 10-yard reception in the fourth quarter Monday night at Seattle, the Vikings wide receiver joined Moss and Carter as the only players in team history to have 100 catches in a season. Moss and Carter each did it twice. Carter became the first Minnesota receiver to have 100 in a season since Moss had 111 grabs in 2003. Moss had 106 catches in 2002.
CHICAGO -- In a marquee matchup of flashy offense against tough defense, it was all defense. The Chicago Bears held the Los Angeles Rams to 214 total yards and kept them out of the end zone Sunday night, Dec. 9, logging a 15-6 win at Soldier Field that might play a major role in shaping the NFC playoffs when they start next month. Chicago (9-4) moved another step closer to the NFC North title. If Minnesota (6-5-1) loses on Monday night in Seattle, the Bears can wrap up the division crown next week at home against Green Bay.
PORTLAND -- Damian Lillard scored 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists as the Portland Trail Blazers downed the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 113-105 Saturday night, Dec. 8. Jusuf Nurkic contributed 22 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, four assists and three steals as the Trail Blazers, who scored the final 10 points after trailing 105-103, won their second straight game.
NEW YORK -- For the second consecutive season, an Oklahoma quarterback won the Heisman Trophy when Kyler Murray was announced as the winner Saturday night, Dec. 8, at the PlayStation Theater in New York City. Murray beat out two other quarterbacks -- Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins -- for the award. Murray finished with 2,167 voting points, ahead of Tagovailoa (1,871) and third-place Haskins (783 points). He received 517 first-place votes compared to 299 for Tagovailoa and 46 for Haskins.
MINNEAPOLIS — Daniel Oturu scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Minnesota defeated visiting Arkansas State 72-56 Saturday afternoon, Dec. 8, in a nonconference game. Dupree McBrayer added 14 points and Amir Coffey scored 12 for the Golden Gophers (8-2), who improved to 5-0 at home. They also improved to 13-1 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference.