Field Level Media
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The New Orleans Saints scored a fourth-quarter touchdown, and that was enough for a 12-9 victory against the Carolina Panthers on Monday night in Charlotte. Drew Brees completed 23 of 35 passes for 203 yards and an interception for the NFC South champion Saints (12-2), who overcame glitches on offense throughout the game. New Orleans would wrap up home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs by registering one win in the last two weeks of the season. Carolina (6-8) has lost six straight games and clings to slim playoff hopes.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Karl-Anthony Towns scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and eight other Minnesota players produced double-figure point totals as the Timberwolves soundly defeated the visiting Sacramento Kings 132-105 on Monday night. Andrew Wiggins led the Timberwolves with 17 points, and Derrick Rose, starting for the injured Jeff Teague, had 13 points and 11 assists. Minnesota led by as much as 36 in the first half and then had to weather a Sacramento comeback attempt in the third period when Justin Jackson's 3-pointer cut a 30-point halftime deficit to 77-65.
LOS ANGELES — Nick Foles knows all about taking over as Philadelphia Eagles quarterback at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and guiding his team to a victory. Starting in place of injured Carson Wentz on Sunday night, Dec. 16, Foles threw for 270 yards and a touchdown as the visiting Eagles (7-7) improved their playoff chances with a 30-23 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, who have lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
DENVER — Baker Mayfield passed for 188 yards and two touchdowns, and the Cleveland Browns rallied to beat the host Denver Broncos 17-16 on Saturday night. Nick Chubb rushed for 100 yards, 53 of them on the last drive, for the Browns (6-7-1) but was stopped for a 2-yard loss on fourth down deep in Denver territory with 1:49 remaining in the fourth quarter. Denver drove to midfield, but quarterback Case Keenum was sacked on fourth down to end its chances.
PHOENIX -- Deandre Ayton scored five straight points during an 11-0 fourth-quarter run to spark the Phoenix Suns to a 107-99 win over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night, Dec. 15. Derrick Rose scored five straight to end the Minnesota drought and cut the Suns' lead to 96-89, but the Phoenix defense clamped down.
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.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has a fractured vertebra in his back that may keep him out of Sunday's game, multiple outlets are reporting. Wentz underwent an MRI exam and other tests on Thursday to discover the source of his discomfort and soreness. A CT scan on Wednesday had come back inconclusive, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The Eagles are in the process of determining the risk of Wentz continuing to play this season. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Wentz will not require surgery.