Tom Brady and the New England Patriots rode a dominant third quarter to a 41-13 NFL victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, clinching a sixth straight division title.
On a day when Denver and Indianapolis also secured division crowns, Brady threw two touchdown passes in a 24-point third quarter.
LeGarrette Blount also ran for a score in the period as the Patriots turned a one-point lead into a rout.
Rob Gronkowski, held without a reception in the first half, caught three passes for 96 yards with a score for the Patriots, who dealt another blow to Miami’s dwindling playoff hopes.
The Patriots won the American Football Conference East Division title for the 12th time in the past 14 years.
The Patriots also control their destiny for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, needing only to win their final two games against the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills.
The Denver Broncos wrapped up their fourth straight American Football Conference West Division title with a 22-10 victory at the San Diego Chargers, even though quarterback Peyton Manning was slowed by illness and sidelined briefly in the first half by a thigh injury.
Manning produced a modest 233 yards with a touchdown, but Connor Barth booted five field goals as Denver improved to 11-3.
In Indianapolis, Indian, the Colts captured a second straight American Football Conference South Division title with a 17-10 win over the Houston Texans.
The Colts defense held the Texans to 289 total yards and forced two turnovers, including a late interception that halted Houston’s last comeback bid.
The Cowboys Dallas seized control in the National Football Conference East with a 38-27 victory over division rivals the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Cowboys jumped to a 21-0 lead, before the Eagles responded with 24 straight points to grab the advantage.
Dallas were not finished, though, winning 17 of the final 20 points as they took sole possession of the division lead.
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant caught all three of quarterback Tony Romo’s touchdown passes.
The outcome in Philadelphia assured the Arizona Cardinals of a playoff berth.
Super Bowl champions the Seattle Seahawks used stifling defense in a 17-7 victory over San Francisco that ended the 49ers’ playoff hopes.
The Cincinnati Bengals maintained a half-game lead in the tight American Football Conference North with a 30-0 shut-out of Cleveland — spoiling the starting debut of Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.
The Bengals kept a nose in front of division rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat the Falcons in Atlanta 27-20.
In Detroit, Michigan, Matt Prater hit a late field goal to give the Lions a 16-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in a tough National Football Conference North matchup, the win pulling the Lions level at the top of the division with the Green Bay Packers, who fell 21-13 at the Buffalo Bills.
Marcus Thigpen had a punt return for a touchdown and Dan Carpenter hit four field goals for the Bills, who are in the hunt for a wild-card spot.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had his worst game of the year, connecting on 17-of-42 passing attempts for 185 yards, with two interceptions and a fumble.
The Baltimore Ravens strengthened their playoff hopes with a 20-12 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, while the Carolina Panthers, with quarterback Cam Newton sidelined by injuries suffered in a car accident, maintained their place at the top of the weak National Football Conference South division with a 19-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Kansas City Chiefs ended a three-game skid with a 31-13 victory over the lowly Oakland Raiders, the New York Giants defeated the Washington Redskins 24-13 and the New York Jets beat the Tennessee Titans 16-11 in a game marred by a brawl.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017