Field Level Media
CHICAGO -- In a marquee matchup of flashy offense against tough defense, it was all defense. The Chicago Bears held the Los Angeles Rams to 214 total yards and kept them out of the end zone Sunday night, Dec. 9, logging a 15-6 win at Soldier Field that might play a major role in shaping the NFC playoffs when they start next month. Chicago (9-4) moved another step closer to the NFC North title. If Minnesota (6-5-1) loses on Monday night in Seattle, the Bears can wrap up the division crown next week at home against Green Bay.
PORTLAND -- Damian Lillard scored 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists as the Portland Trail Blazers downed the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 113-105 Saturday night, Dec. 8. Jusuf Nurkic contributed 22 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, four assists and three steals as the Trail Blazers, who scored the final 10 points after trailing 105-103, won their second straight game.
ATLANTA -- Josef Martinez scored and had an assist to cap an incredible season and help Atlanta United win the 2018 MLS Cup with a 2-0 victory over the visiting Portland Timbers on Saturday night, Dec. 8. Martinez, who set an MLS record with 31 regular season goals while earning the league's Landon Donovan MVP award, added four more in the postseason to go with his one assist in the cup final. He was also selected as MVP of Saturday's match.
NEW YORK -- For the second consecutive season, an Oklahoma quarterback won the Heisman Trophy when Kyler Murray was announced as the winner Saturday night, Dec. 8, at the PlayStation Theater in New York City. Murray beat out two other quarterbacks -- Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins -- for the award. Murray finished with 2,167 voting points, ahead of Tagovailoa (1,871) and third-place Haskins (783 points). He received 517 first-place votes compared to 299 for Tagovailoa and 46 for Haskins.
MINNEAPOLIS — Daniel Oturu scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Minnesota defeated visiting Arkansas State 72-56 Saturday afternoon, Dec. 8, in a nonconference game. Dupree McBrayer added 14 points and Amir Coffey scored 12 for the Golden Gophers (8-2), who improved to 5-0 at home. They also improved to 13-1 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference.
EDMONTON, Alberta -- Leon Draisaitl had two goals and an assist and Connor McDavid added a goal and three assists as the Edmonton Oilers continued their resurgence under coach Ken Hitchcock with a 7-2 victory Friday night, Dec. 7, against the visiting Minnesota Wild. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zack Kassian, Alex Chiasson and Darnell Nurse also scored for the Oilers, who have won five of their past six games and are 6-2-1 since Hitchcock was hired Nov. 20 to replace Todd McLellan. Goaltender Cam Talbot made 31 saves.
CALGARY, Alberta -- Elias Lindholm scored both goals, and goalie Mike Smith made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season as the host Calgary Flames claimed a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night, Dec. 6. The Flames have won four straight and are riding an 8-1-1 run that's put them atop the Pacific Division.
NASHVILLE -- Derrick Henry tied an NFL record with a 99-yard touchdown run and rushed for a franchise-record 238 yards on 17 carries Thursday night, Dec. 6, as the Tennessee Titans kept their playoff hopes alive by pasting the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-9. Henry also matched a franchise record with four rushing touchdowns. Tennessee (7-6) won its second game in a row and moved within a half-game of the Baltimore Ravens for the second AFC wild-card spot. Jacksonville (4-9) lost for the eighth time in nine games and clinched its seventh losing season in eight years.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Mike McCarthy was back in front of the Green Bay Packers' players on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Three days after being fired, McCarthy was given the opportunity to address his now former players after making a request to do so. "He wanted an opportunity to speak with the team. I was 100 percent, fully supportive of, and he did a fantastic job talking to the team," interim coach Joe Philbin told reporters on Thursday. "Not just about football and winning football games, but his passion. His passion for the game, his love for the players was clearly evident.
MINNEAPOLIS --Amir Coffey scored a career-high 32 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished six assists, and host Minnesota rallied for an 85-78 win over No. 24 Nebraska on Wednesday night, Dec. 5. Jordan Murphy had 18 points and 13 rebounds for his 52nd career double-double, surpassing Jim Brewer (51) for the Golden Gophers' all-time record. Daniel Oturu added 10 points and nine rebounds for Minnesota (7-2, 1-1 Big Ten).