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Packers fire coach after third straight loss dims playoff hopes

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Monday, December 3, 2018 – Page B11

CARDINALS 20, PACKERS 17 GREEN BAY The Green Bay Packers have fired coach Mike McCarthy and made offensive co-ordinator Joe Philbin the interim head coach. The move announced by team president Mark Murphy came after a stunning 20-17 loss on Sunday to the Arizona Cardinals, dropping Green Bay to 4-7-1.

Murphy, in a statement, said the 2018 season "has not lived up to the expectations and standards of the Green Bay Packers. As a result, I made the difficult decision to relieve Mike McCarthy of his role as head coach, effective immediately." Murphy said the process of hiring the next head coach would begin immediately. McCarthy was in his 13th season as coach. The Packers won the Super Bowl under McCarthy in the 2010 season.

How did the Packers lose on Sunday? Zane Gonzalez kicked a 44-yard field goal with 1:41 left, then Green Bay's Mason Crosby missed a 49-yard attempt as time expired. Crosby pushed his kick wide right, with the flags atop Lambeau Field blowing in toward the field at the time of the kick.

The stunned Packers suffered a major blow to their fading playoff hopes. Green Bay has lost three straight and five of six. Cardinals rookie Josh Rosen struggled for much of the afternoon, but hit Larry Fitzgerald for a sliding 32yard completion on third-and-23 to help set up Gonzalez's winning kick. Arizona (3-9) won on the road for the first time since Oct. 7 at San Francisco.

PATS 24, VIKINGS 10 FOXBOROUGH, MASS. Tom Brady passed for 311 yards and a touchdown, Bill Belichick earned his 250th victory, including playoffs, as Patriots coach and New England won. Brady completed 24of-32 passes and now has 579 touchdown passes, including the playoffs, tying him with Peyton Manning for the most all time. He also has 508 regular-season TD passes, which ties him with Brett Favre on the career list. Manning is first with 539 and Drew Brees has 518. The Patriots (9-3) have won eight of nine since starting the season 1-2. The Patriots have clinched their 18th straight winning season. It is the second-longest streak in NFL history. The record is held by the Cowboys at 20 seasons from 1966-85. Minnesota (6-5-1) has lost two of its past three. Brady reached another milestone: 1,000 yards rushing in his career. Brady hit the mark on a five-yard scramble in the first quarter. He slid to a stop, popped to his knee and signalled for a first down. Never considered much of a mobile quarterback, it took Brady 19 years and 265 games to reach the 1,000-yard milestone - the most by a player since the merger. At 41, he is also the oldest player to reach 1,000 career rushing yards since 1970.

He has averaged 1.7 yards per carry and 3.8 yards a game, with his most "prolific" season in 2002 when he ran for a total of 110 yards.

TEXANS 29, BROWNS 13 HOUSTON Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown pass and Houston intercepted rookie Baker Mayfield three times, returning one for a score, to extend their franchise-record winning streak to nine games. The Texans (9-3), who opened the season 0-3, haven't lost since Sept. 23 to take a commanding lead atop the AFC South. Houston raced to a 23-0 halftime lead and added two second-half field goals by Ka'imi Fairbairn to give him five for the day. Mayfield, the top over all pick in this year's draft, had his worst game of the season, throwing three interceptions for the first time since he was a freshman at Texas Tech in 2013. He entered the game having thrown nine touchdown passes with just one interception in the past three games as the Browns (4-7-1) won consecutive games for the first time since 2014. He finished with 397 yards passing.

GIANTS 30, BEARS 27 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Aldrick Rosas kicked a 44-yard field goal in overtime and the Giants beat NFC North-leading Chicago, snapping the Bears' five-game winning streak. The Giants (4-8) blew a 10-point lead in the final 1:13 of regulation. They didn't nail down the win until Janoris Jenkins knocked away a deep fourthdown pass to Taylor Gabriel after quarterback Chase Daniel fumbled on consecutive plays on the rainy afternoon to set up a fourthand-8. Chicago (8-4) forced overtime by getting a 21-yard field goal by Cody Parkey and a one-yard touchdown pass from halfback Tarik Cohen to Anthony Miller as time expired in the fourth quarter. The trick-play touchdown was set up by a recovered onside kick by Daniel Brown on a play Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. did not dive for the loose ball. Then came a questionable pass interference call in the end zone against cornerback B.W.

Webb with three seconds to go.

JAGUARS 6, COLTS 0 JACKSONVILLE Jalen Ramsey and the Jaguars delivered one of the most dominant defensive performances in franchise history.

The Jaguars (4-8) needed that kind of effort to make up for a lacklustre offence and end a seven-game losing streak. They also snapped Indianapolis's fivegame winning streak. Ramsey was the best of the bunch, helping hold T.Y. Hilton to six catches for 56 yards.

RAVENS 16, FALCONS 16 ATLANTA Rookie Lamar Jackson ran for a touchdown and Baltimore's defence turned in a dominant performance. Justin Tucker kicked four field goals, Tavon Young scored after scooping up a fumble by Matt Ryan and Baltimore held the Falcons to 131 total yards in its third straight win. The Ravens (7-5) have bolstered their AFC wild-card position since Jackson took over at quarterback for the injured Joe Flacco. After two straight starts at home, Jackson got the nod for the first time on the road in the NFL. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner had some shaky moments - and left for one series to be checked for a possible concussion - but he provided enough to send the Falcons (4-8) to their fourth straight loss.

BUCCANEERS 24, PANTHERS 17 TAMPA Jameis Winston threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns as the Bucs (5-7) won for the second straight time since Winston regained his starting job with the team mired in a four-game losing streak. The fourth-year pro completed 20-of-30 passes. And, for the second week in a row, the 24year-old quarterback did not turn over the ball. Meanwhile, Andrew Adams had three of Tampa Bay's four interceptions off Cam Newton, who came into the game saying he was playing the best football of his career. The Panthers (6-6) have lost four straight following a 6-2 start. Winston moved ahead of Josh Freeman as Tampa Bay's career touchdown pass leader with 81.

BRONCOS 24, BENGALS 10 CINCINNATI Rookie Phillip Lindsay ran for a career-high 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Broncos adapted to a windy afternoon and got their third straight victory. The Broncos (6-6) have emerged from their bye week and knocked off the Chargers, Steelers and Bengals to stay in contention in December. Denver handled an unseasonably warm day: 66 degrees at kickoff with wind gusts up to 40 mph that redirected kicks and throws. Case Keenum completed 12-of-21 passes for 151 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Courtland Sutton. Lindsay ran for TDs of six yards and 65 yards, which was the longest of his career. The Bengals (5-7), lost for the sixth time in seven games. Lindsay's two touchdowns matched his career high. Lindsay also became the first undrafted rookie in Broncos history to top 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in a season.

DOLPHINS 21, BILLS 17 MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. Jordan Phillips drew a costly penalty for taunting his former team, setting up a touchdown with nine minutes left that helped the Dolphins rally. Miami turned away two Bills drives down the stretch, and Charles Clay almost caught Josh Allen's desperation fourth-down pass with a diving attempt at the goal line in the final minute. Allen threw for 231 yards and ran for 135 to set a franchise record for rushing yards by a quarterback for the second week in a row. Buffalo lost despite out-gaining Miami 415175. The Dolphins (6-6) snapped a two-game losing streak and won for only the third time since Week 3, helping their slim playoff chances. The Bills (4-8) will play their customary role of spoilers in the final weeks, assured of finishing at .500 or worse for the 16th time in the past 19 years.

CHIEFS 40, RAIDERS 33 OAKLAND Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdown passes Sunday to join Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the only QBs to reach the 40 TD mark through 12 games. Kansas City won its first game since releasing star running back Kareem Hunt. The Chiefs (10-2) cut ties with Hunt after a months-old video surfaced on TMZ on Friday, showing him shoving and kicking a woman. No charges have been filed in the case from February, but the Chiefs let Hunt go because he misled them about the incident.

Spencer Ware replaced Hunt as starter and scored on a direct snap on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the third quarter. Mahomes did most of the rest of the damage against the Raiders (2-10) with his arm. Mahomes finished 23-for-38 for 295 yards and engineered a late TD drive capped by a 2-yard pass to Chris Conley after Oakland cut the deficit to three.

Mahomes has 41 TD passes on the season, joining Manning (44 in 2004, 41 in '13) and Brady (41 in 2007) as the only QBs with at least 40 in the first 12 games of a season.

TITANS 26, JETS 22 NASHVILLE Marcus Mariota threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis with 36 seconds left, and Tennessee rallied from a 16point deficit. The Titans (6-6) snapped a two-game skid to keep themselves on the fringes of the AFC playoff chase. The Jets (3-9) had one last chance to snap their own losing streak, but Malcolm Butler intercepted Josh McCown's pass with 21 seconds left to seal Tennessee's victory and the Jets' collapse. New York now has lost six straight.

SEAHAWKS 43, 49ERS 16 SEATTLE Russell Wilson threw three first-half touchdowns on just four completions and finished with four TD passes. Bobby Wagner capped a blowout with a 98-yard interception return touchdown, and Seattle won its third straight. Seattle (7-5) stayed in the middle of the NFC playoff race by jumping to a 20-0 lead and cruising to its ninth straight victory over its NFC West foe. But it won't win the division because the Rams clinched it earlier in the day with a win at Detroit.

414 Passing yards by San Francisco QB Nick Mullens on 30 completions of 48 attempts and two touchdowns in the 49ers loss to the Seahawks

157 Rushing yards for Denver RB Phillip Lindsay on 19 carries and two touchdowns in the Broncos win over the Bengals

168 Receiving yards for Kansas City TE Travis Kelce on 12 receptions and two touchdowns in the Chiefs win over the Raiders

Associated Graphic

Zach Cunningham of the Texans intercepts Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns for a touchdown in the second quarter at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday.


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