NFL wrap: Steelers top Pats while Bears make playoffs for first time in eight years

Jaylen Samuels hurts New England on the groundChicago Bears last made playoffs in 2010 seasonCowboys miss chance to seal NFC East title Rookie running back Jaylen Samuels, making his second start in place of injured James Conner, ran for a career-high 142 yards and made a critical third-down reception in the fourth quarter as Pittsburgh snapped a three-game losing streak by holding off the New England 17-10 on Sunday.Ben Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards with two first-half touchdowns and two interceptions as the Steelers (8-5-1) remained in front of Baltimore in the AFC North with two weeks to go in the season. Chris Boswell, who has struggled so badly this season the team held open tryouts during the week, atoned for a 32-yard miss in the third quarter by drilling a 48-yarder with 2:30 remaining. Pittsburgh’s defense, which let fourth-quarter leads slip away each of the last two games, made it stand. The Patriots (9-5) missed a chance to clinch their 10th straight AFC East title when Brady’s pass into the end zone for Julian Edelman was knocked down by Pittsburgh’s Morgan Burnett. Continue reading...



Jamie Lawrence: ‘One minute I’m in jail, the next on TV with Sunderland’

The former Premier League winger is stepping back into jails to help prisoners and working with young players ‘to change their whole outlook on life’For a man whose slogan is “Prison to Premiership” it was a tense moment for Jamie Lawrence to find himself outside Brixton prison on a crisp winter’s morning, preparing to go back inside. He was here as a teenager, PN 2991LAWRENCE. He trots out his prison number, thinks about the boy he was then, the circumstances that allowed crime to seem like the easier option. Now 48, he braced himself to step back into his former life hoping he might strike some kind of chord with the prisoners of today. Whatever talks and workshops are on offer to them, not many can look them in the eye and level with them in the way he can.He half smiles as he explains that these days he gets cleared by security. “Normally I was going in the sweat box before I was going in,” he says wryly. “It was nice to go through the gate. I got introduced to the boys. I was nervous as hell. There were 12 prisoners in a little room. I started sharing my story, from being in prison to getting out and turning my life around and playing in the Premiership and for my country. Continue reading...



Australia v India: second Test, day four – live!

Tourists require 175 to win at stumps on day fourAny thoughts? Email or tweet @sjjperry 9.56am GMT 40th over: India 112-5 (Vihari 24, Pant 9) Starc it is; he bowls to Pant. The first strays down leg. A waste. The second is short, wide and left. Another waste! That means he’s due an unplayable one. Pant plays and misses! He hung the bat out there, tempted fate for an edge, but the ball took clean air. Three to go. Pant’s forward, it hits high on the bat - and hard on the bat, it splayed in his hands - but rolls safely to cover. Two more. Another skewed drive rolls harmlessly to mid-off. Will there be anything memorable to finish with? The field moves. Short leg comes in (why now? Why not before?) A bit of chat to Pant. “Good circuit on a Monday night in Perth” says one of the Aussie plays. It’s an excellent yorker, but Pant digs it out. That’s all she wrote for the day. That’s stumps. A few thoughts to follow. 9.50am GMT 39th over: India 112-5 (Vihari 24, Pant 9) Pant gets two after an inside edge behind square, and then rashly, wildly tries to slog Lyon over midwicket and it falls just short of the man in the ring. Wow. The last ball to Vihari rears at Tim Paine and hits him on the shoulder, but Vihari survives. There’ll be one more in the day. I’m guessing it’ll be Starc. Continue reading...



Pete Shelley's Tour de force, Miami's Miracle and Premier Passions | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features Paul Sherwen, NHL deflections and Dean Jones’s very bad idea1) It wasn’t always widely known, but Buzzcocks’ brilliant Pete Shelley, who died this past week, wrote the music for the iconic Channel 4 Tour de France theme, itself taken from within 1984 track Give It To Me. Another sad passing this week was Paul Sherwen. It’s well worth a listen to the Cycling Podcast’s tribute, while Sherwen recalls how he met his broadcasting partner Phil Liggett.2) The Miami Miracle! Obviously there’s already a Tecmo Super Bowl version out there. Gronk’s still stumbling. More laterals: here’s the Music City Miracle, which always features highly among some of the NFL’s most famous. There are more in college football, including … Miami (!) v Duke, Trinity v Millsaps and the classic: Cal v Stanford. Watch out for that band! More on The Play. Continue reading...



Sports Personality of the Year 2018: Tyson Fury's message on mental health

Tyson Fury speaks at Sports Personality of the Year about his recovery from mental health problems and his return to the boxing ring.



The 100 best footballers in the world 2017

Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.• Messi edges Ronaldo to No1 | The data behind our 100 | Watch: our top 10• Meet our panel of judges for 2017 | 2016 edition | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 Continue reading...



Sports Personality of the Year 2018: Billy Monger wins Helen Rollason Award

Watch as Lewis Hamilton presents Billy Monger with the Helen Rollason Award at Sports Personality of the Year 2018 at the Genting Arena in Birmingham.



Danny Cipriani: ‘It’s been the same story for six years, hasn’t it?’

Fly-half remains philosophical about his England exile and is enjoying his new leadership role at GloucesterIf Danny Cipriani feels messed around by England he hides it well. You might expect confusion, resentment, even betrayal at how he again finds himself on the outside looking in after the briefest of comebacks over the summer but on a chilly afternoon in Gloucestershire there is nothing but positivity from the exiled fly-half.To recap, Cipriani made his first England start in 10 years in their first win in six matches in June but was discarded again for the autumn campaign. It followed his arrest in Jersey but Eddie Jones insisted his latest omission was based on form, all while Cipriani was tearing up trees with his new club, Gloucester. Continue reading...



Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald win madison gold at Track Cycling World Cup

Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald won gold in the women's madison at the Track Cycling World Cup.



Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.



José Mourinho: We were unable to cope with Liverpool’s physicality

• United manager says he has too many injury-prone players• ‘Liverpool are fast, intense, aggressive, physical, objective’José Mourinho confessed Manchester United could not cope with the intensity or physicality of Liverpool as Jürgen Klopp’s team returned to the Premier League summit with a convincing victory at Anfield.Mourinho claimed his squad contains too many injury-prone players and was therefore no match for the impressive qualities of Liverpool, a remarkable admission from a United manager, as two deflected strikes from Xherdan Shaqiri sealed a merited 3-1 win for the unbeaten league leaders. Continue reading...



'I just stood there': Fielding admits tactical error after TKO loss to Canelo – video

Saul 'Canelo' Álvarez won the WBA Super Middleweight title on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York after his third round TKO victory over Rocky Fielding. Speaking after the match, Fielding admitted 'the better man won'Canelo Álvarez pours it on in three-round destruction of Rocky Fielding Continue reading...



'Rugby's like a chessboard with 120kg pieces' - how virtual reality could transform training

Painstaking research, virtual reality and holding the tackle bags in training... an insight into how a top rugby analyst operates.



New-look Spoty hits the right note with Baddiel, Skinner and Three Lions | Barry Glendenning

The organisers tweaked the format and a lively evening of music and razzmatazz ensued, with a little space left for sportWho knew netball was so popular? Is sliding downhill really a sport? And how unloved must Chris Froome feel at being the best British Team Sky rider never to have won this public vote? These and other questions were asked, but not necessarily answered, as the Tour de France-winning cyclist Geraint Thomas accepted the famous silver four-turret lens camera trophy that is presented annually to the winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Having beaten Lewis Hamilton and Harry Kane into the minor placings at Birmingham’s Genting Arena, the visibly stunned Welshman accepted his award from Billie Jean King, who was also honoured for her own lifetime achievements. She had earlier delivered a rousing speech espousing the virtues of tolerance and inclusion at an event fabled for dividing public opinion to a degree that is quite frankly weird.When he was not upsetting colleagues (Aggers, do stop it!) by defending his right to air understandable views on the folly of Brexit on Twitter last week, Gary Lineker, who co-hosted alongside Clare Balding and Gabby Logan, took one journalist to task for airing similarly forthright views on the folly of the often maligned annual orgy of self-congratulatory backslapping that is Spoty. “Why do you get angry?” he asked. “Seriously? It’s a television awards show. Granted, an award that is revered by those in contention and watched and largely enjoyed by a huge audience, but it is still just a TV show. Find your annual angst as bewildering as it is amusing.” Continue reading...



Eden Hazard ensures Chelsea stay in touch at top with win at Brighton

Eden Hazard departed this contest with a grimace seven minutes from time, his right ankle still smarting from the damage inflicted moments earlier by Dale Stephens’ unpunished challenge. The Belgian has grown used to taping on the ice packs in the dugout, and would rip the joint free once the final whistle had blown, but at least he could be warmed by the knowledge he had inflicted wounds of his own on the opposition.This had been Hazard at his mesmeric best, one of those displays where defenders seem hypnotised by his skill and shrink at his every involvement, the ball seemingly glued to his instep as he scuttles at pace through massed ranks of markers. The first tackle tends to leave him hobbling these days but, like a footballing Gordon Greenidge, he is at his most dangerous when the limp is established and the adrenaline is flowing. For an hour Brighton & Hove Albion had no answer. It was to their credit that they rallied late-on to make the closing stages so uncomfortable for Chelsea after what had initially threatened to be a saunter. Continue reading...



Jose Mourinho: 'Man Utd boss looks like discontented captain of very unhappy ship'

Jose Mourinho's job might not be in imminent danger but it's hard to see him at Manchester United past this season, says Phil McNulty.



'Solari the stopgap with bigger name to come' - what is going on at Real Madrid?

The relatively unknown Santiago Solari has been placed in charge of Real Madrid - but he is not likely to be in the role for long, writes Andy West.