Weekend Sports In Brief
SEATTLE (AP) Plagued by turnovers and outplayed much of the game by Green Bay, the Seahawks staged an improbable comeback and beat the Packers 28-22 in overtime. Russell Wilson, who struggled until the final minutes, hit Jermaine Kearse for a 35-yard touchdown 3:19 into the extra period to end the game.
The Seahawks became the first defending champion to return to the Super Bowl in 10 years, and will play New England Pariots – the last team to win consecutive titles.
Seattle trailed 19-7 with about 4 minutes remaining and had been ineffective on offense all game. Wilson finally put a drive together with passes to Doug Baldwin and Marshawn Lynch – initially ruled a touchdown but called back because he stepped out of bounds. Wilson finished with a 1-yard scoring run to cut the lead to 19-14 with 2:09 left.
The onside kick went high to Packers tight end Brandon Bostick, but he couldn’t gather it, and Seattle’s Chris Matthews recovered at the 50. The crowd, which had been quiet since falling behind 16-0, came alive and Lynch sped and powered his way to a 24-yard TD run. On the 2-point conversion, Wilson – about to be sacked – threw a desperate pass hauled in by Luke Willson to make it 22-19 with 1:25 remaining.
Aaron Rodgers, limping on an injured calf, calmly led the Packers down the field to set up Mason Crosby’s fifth field goal, a 48-yarder with 14 seconds to go to force overtime.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are headed to a special place where no coach or player has gone more – the Super Bowl.
They earned their trip with the second most lopsided AFC championship victory ever. The New England Patriots’ dominant duo earned a sixth trip to the Super Bowl with a 45-7 wipeout of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game before a raucous, rain-soaked crowd Sunday night.
The Patriots tied Dallas and Pittsburgh for most appearances in the big game with eight.
Scoring touchdowns on their first four second-half possessions, the Patriots moved on to face defending champion Seattle for the NFL title on Feb. 1 in Glendale, Arizona. Belichick will face Pete Carroll, whom he replaced as Patriots coach 2000.
Brady threw three touchdown passes, LeGarrette Blount ran 30 times for 148 yards and three scores and the Patriots charged away after leading just 17-7 at halftime.
With his sixth Super Bowl berth, Brady surpassed John Elway for the most by a quarterback and tied defensive lineman Mike Lodish for most by any player. Belichick’s sixth visit tied him with Don Shula’s for most by a coach.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Gary Kubiak is John Elway’s No. 2 again.
The Denver Broncos general manager and executive vice president was hashing out a four-year contract with his former backup QB to become the team’s head coach, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.
Kubiak replaces John Fox, who was ousted last Monday following Denver’s stunning playoff loss to home to Indianapolis.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – As Peyton Manning ponders his football future, he’s concluded one thing: He won’t play in the Pro Bowl next weekend in Glendale, Arizona.
Manning said his right thigh injury hasn’t gotten much better in the week since the Denver Broncos were bounced from the playoffs by Indianapolis.
The five-time NFL MVP extended his QB record with his 14th Pro Bowl selection this season, tying center Bruce Matthews and tight end Tony Gonzalez for the most in NFL history.
The NFL was informed of Manning’s decision Sunday. Detroit’s Matthew Stafford was added to the Pro Bowl to replace him.
HONOLULU (AP) – At least Jimmy Walker is leaving Hawaii with one trophy.
Six days after losing a tournament on Maui he felt he should have won, Walker turned in a command performance Sunday on Oahu. He blew away the field with a 7-under 63 to win the Sony Open for the second straight year.
His fourth career victory was the most impressive of all. On a course that lends itself to a free-for-all, Walker shot 62-63 on the weekend and never gave anyone much of a chance, winning by a tournament-record nine shots. The previous record was seven shots, last set in 2000 by Paul Azinger.
Walker became the first repeat winner at the Sony Open since Ernie Els in 2004.
Scott Piercy closed with a 66 to finish alone in second. Matt Kuchar, who started the final round two shots out of the lead, didn’t make a birdie and shot 71 to tie for third with Harris English and Gary Woodland, who each had a 67. Kuchar ended his streak of 255 rounds on the PGA Tour with at least one birdie.
CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy (AP) – Lindsey Vonn battled through fog and soft snow conditions to win a demanding downhill Sunday to match Annemarie Moser-Proell’s 35-year-old record of 62 World Cup wins, capping a comeback from two serious knee surgeries.
The American clocked a time of 1 minute, 39.61 seconds down the Olympia delle Tofane course to finish 0.32 ahead of Elisabeth Goergl of Austria.
Daniela Merighetti of Italy was third, 0.54 back.
At the finish, Vonn collapsed to the snow in a scene of relief, then used her ski poles to pick herself back up, flashed a big smile and received a hug from overall World Cup leader Tina Maze, who finished fifth.
HOUSTON (AP) – Birhanu Gedefa came from behind in the last mile to win the Houston marathon in a personal record of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 3 seconds while fellow Ethiopian Yebrgual Arage also came from behind for a PR, winning the women’s race in 2:23:23.
Gebo Burka broke away from Debebe Tolossa at the 23-mile mark, extending his lead to 14 seconds by the 25-mile mark, but Gedefa closed the gap quickly, passing his countryman with a quarter-mile to go, beating his previous personal best set in Rome in 2012 at 2:11:30 and winning his first marathon.
Diego Estrada won the men’s U.S. Half Marathon Championships in 60:51, and Kim Conley won the women’s U.S. Half Marathon Championships in 69:44.
Burka finished second, nine seconds back of Gedefa. The top American was Aaron Braun with a time of 2:12:54, good for seventh.