Connect with us

Sports

Tannehill leads Titans to 27-17 victory over Packers

Source image: https://apnews.com/article/tennessee-titans-green-bay-packers-nfl-sports-d5788c7ee2c762f98a1e82029eb752f0

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Ryan Tannehill and the Tennessee Titans showed they don’t have to rely exclusively on their bruising ground attack.

With Green Bay focusing on trying to slow down Derrick Henry, Tannehill threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns to outduel Aaron Rodgers as the Titans beat the Packers 27-17 on Thursday night.

Since dropping their first two games, the AFC South-leading Titans (7-3) have won seven of eight. The Titans continued their surge by posting season highs in points and yards (408).

“We want to be a balanced attack,” said Tannehill, who went 22 of 27 with one interception. “We’re going to run the football. We’re going to be physical, and then try to take advantage of some opportunities that arise from that in passing. I don’t think the formula’s any different than it’s been for the past four years. Be physical, establish the run and have our opportunities in the passing game off that.”

Tannehill looked much sharper in his second game back after missing two games with an injured right ankle. His performance helped the Titans improve to 10-2 when playing on short rest under coach Mike Vrabel.

“It’s tough mentally, it’s tough physically to turn the page on the last one and then get yourself ready to go on a quick turnaround,” Tannehill said. “Like I said, on Monday we came in. We set our mind to it that there’s going to be no excuses. We’re going to find a way to get yourself mentally and physically ready to go and come out and win.”

Green Bay (4-7) has lost six of seven.

“Extremely disappointed right now to put on a performance like that,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “I don’t even know what to say. It was nothing like a few days ago, and that’s why you’re only as good as your last game and every time you step out on that field, you’ve got to go out and do it.”

Rodgers went 24 of 39 for 227 yards with two touchdown passes to rookie Christian Watson, a 14-yarder to close the first quarter and an 8-yarder in the third quarter. That followed Watson’s three-touchdown performance in a 31-28 overtime victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Watson became the first Packers rookie since Max McGee in 1954 to have multiple touchdown catches in consecutive games.

The Packers limited Henry to 87 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries — a 3.1-yard average — but the Titans still did what they wanted on offense.

Henry even got into the act by throwing a 3-yard jump pass to Austin Hooper for a touchdown. Treylon Burks, the Titans’ rookie first-round pick, had the best game of his young career with seven catches for 111 yards.

Tannehill’s TD passes were a 14-yarder to Dontrell Hilliard and a 16-yarder to Hooper. The latter was the Titans’ first fourth-quarter touchdown of the season.

“Now it’s on tape,” said Hooper, who scored his first two TDs of the year. “Other people have got to respect it. I’m happy we were able to execute and get a team win, but especially to get it done in the air a little bit to show the rest of the league we can do this.”

Tennessee led 7-6 at the end of the first quarter and then dominated the second, running 27 plays to the Packers’ six and outgaining Green Bay 91 yards to 17.

Tennessee started the quarter with a drive that lasted over 10 minutes but didn’t result in any points because Quay Walker stuffed Henry for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-1 from the 4. Tennessee had the ball for 18 plays, the Titans’ longest scoreless drive since at least 2000.

But the Titans forced a punt, got the ball back on Green Bay’s 41 and extended their lead to 14-6 on Henry’s 4-yard touchdown run with 32 seconds left in the half. That was the first of three straight touchdown drives for the Titans.

Henry’s rushing TD was his 10th of the season, the fifth straight season he’s reached that mark. The other players to have at least 10 touchdown runs in five straight seasons are LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson, Shaun Alexander and Michael Turner.

Watson’s second touchdown of the night helped Green Bay narrow Tennessee’s advantage to 20-17 late in the third quarter, but the Packers’ offense did nothing the rest of the game. Green Bay has at best a narrow path back into playoff contention.

“We’ve got to play up to our potential,” Rodgers said. “If we play up to our potential, we can win our last six games. I’m confident in that. Obviously I’ve got to play up to my potential. Tonight wasn’t it.”

INJURIES

Titans DL Denico Autry (knee), Titans CB Kristian Fulton (hamstring) and Walker (shoulder) left the game.

The Titans were missing C Ben Jones (concussion), K Randy Bullock (right calf), OLB Bud Dupree (hip), S Amani Hooker (shoulder) and CB Elijah Molden (groin). The Packers didn’t have LB De’Vondre Campbell (knee) or WR Romeo Doubs (ankle).

HONORING BUTLER

The Packers saluted 2022 Hall of Fame inductee Leroy Butler during a halftime ceremony that included the unveiling of his name on the Lambeau Field facade. Butler was a four-time All-Pro who played for the Packers from 1990-2001 and spent his entire career in Green Bay.

UP NEXT

Titans: Host Cincinnati on Nov. 27.

Packers: At Philadelphia in a night game on Nov. 27.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Source: https://apnews.com/article/tennessee-titans-green-bay-packers-nfl-sports-d5788c7ee2c762f98a1e82029eb752f0

Continue Reading

Sports

LeBron’s off-court legacy complements his basketball success

Mya Smiley is a student at the University of Akron thanks to an assist from LeBron James, and she is determined upon graduation to become a social worker that helps foster kids.

Her education and career path would not have been possible, the sophomore says, were it not for a scholarship and counseling that she received from the LeBron James Family Foundation. “He’s life-changing,” Smiley said.

For all his accomplishments on the basketball court — four championships, 19 All-Star Game nominations and an imminent coronation as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer — it is James’ ambitious pursuits off-the-court that may ultimately distinguish his legacy from other superstar athletes’.

James co-founded a successful media and entertainment company, bought stakes in storied professional baseball and soccer franchises and, with a big assist from product endorsements, his net worth is estimated to have grown above $1 billion. The off-court achievement that James is most proud of, he says, is working to uplift the lives of people like Smiley in his hometown of Akron.

Many athletes have excelled in one or more of these areas. But few have done all of them as well as James, who is closing in on passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the NBA’s career scoring record.

“His goal, I believe, is to have 10% of his wealth go to causes and support communities, which is an amazing goal,” said Lisa Delpy Neirotti, a professor of sports management at George Washington University. “I would say he’s maybe above and beyond others, just on that aspiration alone.”

James is, by any measure, an overwhelming success. And he makes Smiley — one of the many people in Akron who have received financial support from his foundation — believe that she can be a success as well.

“If I did not have the LeBron program, I probably wouldn’t have ever gone to college. I would be living in a not-so-positive environment,” said the 19-year-old Smiley.

“His ability to help people’s futures,” she added, “is what makes LeBron a great person.”

James, who entered the NBA straight after high school in 2003, planned early on to use his talents, fame — and, yes, his growing financial resources — to have on impact on the world beyond basketball.

“Even before I got into the NBA, I knew I wanted to find a way to give back to my community,” said James. Although James bounced from home to home during his childhood, and experienced financial insecurity for many of those years, he also was given enormous support from friends, neighbors and educators.

The LeBron James Family Foundation, founded in 2004, at first gained local attention by giving away bikes and backpacks. Then it began looking at after-school programs, with students scattered across several dozen schools, and eventually created a public school currently serving about 575 third through eighth graders. Today the school includes a family resource center that provides a wide-range of services to parents, including mental health, financial literacy, legal aid and GED courses.

Just down the street from the school, the foundation provides rent-free housing to as many as 16 different families — when needed — and it has plans to build 50 units of affordable housing.

“I couldn’t have guessed how much it would grow,” James said in late January. “But we got here by listening and responding to our community and what they need.”

James has made over $400 million in NBA salary during his time with Cleveland, Miami and the Los Angeles Lakers. Another $100 million is on the way in the next 2-1/2 years or so.

James is a pitchman for Nike, GMC, AT&T and many more multinational companies. He owns a piece of the Boston Red Sox and Britain’s Liverpool football club. His entertainment company, SpringHill — named after the modest apartment complex he grew up in — is valued at $725 million and has produced movies for HBO and Netflix.

“He’s been a brilliant example for millions of kids, especially kids with lesser opportunity and haven’t had the same advantages as others,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said in 2018, a sentiment he’s repeated many times since. “They see in this guy somebody who has consistently exhibited excellence in the workplace and gives them a voice and lets them know that you can speak about anything.”

James puts so much focus on giving back to Akron because of the help people there gave to him and his family. “He’s never lost sight of that,” said Michele Campbell, the executive director of James’ foundation. “I think that keeps him grounded.”

Just how down to earth “King James” really was got called into question in 2010. That’s when he went on television to announce that he was leaving Cleveland to play in Miami. Billed as “The Decision” — and broadcast on ESPN — the live event was widely ripped as egotistical. But from James’ perspective, the broadcast raised around $4 million for charity, a fact was largely overlooked.

Just a couple of years later, James would use his star power to help draw attention to a cause bigger than himself.

In the aftermath of the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin — a Black Florida teen who was wearing a hoodie when he was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer — James tweeted a photo of Heat players wearing hoodies and bowing their heads that included the hashtag “WeWantJustice.”

In 2020, James helped lead the “More Than A Vote” movement, which included registration and early-vote drives and stressed the need for people — particularly Black voters — to get to the polls to fight disenfranchisement.

Also in 2020, in the aftermath of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, James was one of the players calling for an end to racial inequality and police brutality.

“Everything I do,” James said late last year, “has to have a purpose.”

James has all the money and all the fame that he ever wanted or needed. His NBA records, including the scoring title, are going to last for a very long time.

As will his off-court endeavors.

“His ability to help others and put others first is what makes him a great person,” Smiley said. “Not the baskets he shot.”

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Continue Reading

Sports

Kyrgios pleads guilty to assault, has no conviction recorded

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Nick Kyrgios had suffered severe depression, suicidal ideation and insomnia in the past, a psychologist told a court on Friday when the Australian tennis star pleaded guilty to pushing a former girlfriend to the ground two years ago.

The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up pleaded guilty in the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court to assaulting Chiara Passari during an argument in his hometown of Canberra in January 2021.

Magistrate Jane Campbell didn’t record a conviction against Kyrgios for reasons including that the offense was at the low end of seriousness for a common assault, and was not premeditated.

Campbell described it as an act of “stupidity” and “frustration.”

Kyrgios, who was using crutches following recent surgery on his left knee, didn’t speak to reporters as he left court but issued a statement through a management company.

“I respect today’s ruling and am grateful to the court for dismissing the charges without conviction,” Kyrgios said. “I was not in a good place when this took place and I reacted to a difficult situation in a way I deeply regret. I know it wasn’t OK and I’m sincerely sorry for the hurt I caused.

“Mental health is tough. Life can seem overwhelming. But I’ve found that getting help and working on myself has helped me to feel better and to be better.”

Kyrgios’ psychologist, Sam Borenstein, said in a written report and testimony by phone that Kyrgios had suffered major depressive episodes in the past and had used alcohol and drugs to cope. Kyrgios’ mental health led to impulsive and reckless behavior.

His recent knee injury had resulted in mild to moderate symptoms of depression, but his mental health was improving, Borenstein said.

“He’s doing very well,” Borenstein said. “His mental health has improved significantly.”

Lawyers for Kyrgios had sought to have an assault charge stemming from events two years ago dismissed on mental health grounds but the application was unsuccessful.

Kyrgios had been attempting to leave Passari during an argument at 10 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2021, outside her apartment in the inner-Canberra suburb of Kingston. He called an Uber but Passari stood in the way of him closing the front passenger side door. The driver wouldn’t leave with the door open.

Kyrgios eventually pushed Passari’s shoulders backward with open palms, causing her to fall to the pavement and graze her knee, according to agreed facts read to the court.

Passari signed a police statement alleging the assault 11 months later, after her relationship with Kyrgios had ended.

His current partner, Costeen Hatzi, wrote in a character reference that she had no concerns of violence in her relationship. Hatzi was among Kyrgios’ supporters who sat behind him in court.

Kyrgios, wearing a dark suit and using the crutches for support, first spoke in court when the magistrate asked him if he could stand to enter a plea.

Kyrgios replied: “Yep, no worries, Your Honor,” as he rose to plead guilty.

In February last year, Kyrgios opened up about his performance at the 2019 Australian Open, saying what appeared to be a positive time in his life had been “one of my darkest periods.”

“I was lonely, depressed, negative, abusing alcohol, drugs, pushed away family and friends,” he wrote on Instagram. “I felt as if I couldn’t talk or trust anyone. This was a result of not opening up and refusing to lean on my loved ones and simply just push myself little by little to be positive.”

Kyrgios made further references to his mental health struggles during his runs last year to the final at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open.

After ending Daniil Medvedev’s U.S. Open title defense last September to reach the quarterfinals, Kyrgios expressed pride at lifting himself out of “some really tough situations, mentally” and “some really scary places” off the court.

The 27-year-old Kyrgios had a career setback last month when he withdrew from the Australian Open because the knee injury which later required arthroscopic surgery.

___

AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Continue Reading

Sports

Bengals’ Joe Mixon charged with pointing gun at woman

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon has been charged in a warrant with pointing a gun at a woman and threatening her, according to court documents.

Mixon faces a misdemeanor charge of aggravated menacing, according to the documents, which were filed Thursday in Hamilton County Municipal Court and obtained by The Associated Press. No attorney is listed for him in court records.

According to the warrant, Mixon pointed the gun at the woman and told her, “You should be popped in the face. I should shoot you, the police (can’t) get me.”

The incident occurred on Jan. 21, the day before the Bengals beat the Buffalo Bills in a divisional-round playoff game.

The 26-year-old Mixon rushed for 814 yards and seven touchdowns this season, his sixth. He also had 60 receptions for 441 yards, both career highs, and two touchdowns.

A second-round draft pick out of Oklahoma in 2017, Mixon has spent his entire career with Cincinnati and rushed for career highs of 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2021.

In 2014, when he was 18, Mixon punched a female Oklahoma student in the face, an attack captured on surveillance video. He was suspended from the football team for a year and entered an Alford plea, in which a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is sufficient evidence for a conviction. He received a deferred sentence and was ordered to perform community service and undergo counseling.

The incident hurt his standing in the draft, with several teams saying they passed on him because of concerns about his character.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Continue Reading

Trending