MLB playoffs, Favre to battle former team tonight


It will take more than 162 games for the American League Central to be decided, as both the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins won today to finish tied atop the division at 86-76. The two will meet in a one-game playoff for the crown on Tuesday in Minnesota. The Twins are in a winner-take-all game for the second year in a row, having lost to the Chicago White Sox last year. Minnesota can thank Chicago this year, as the White Sox took two of three from the Tigers this weekend as the Twins were sweeping the Kansas City Royals.

Major League Baseball released the starting times for the first two National League Division Series games, but the New York Yankees have the choice which day they will start their first-round playoff set. The NLDS games will begin Wednesday with East champion Philadelphia, the defending World Series winners, hosting wild card participant Colorado at 2:37 p.m. (et). It'll be a rematch of the 2007 NLDS, which the Rockies won in a three-game sweep. Later, the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers will be at home against the Central Division winning St. Louis Cardinals at 9:37 p.m. (et). The second game of both NLDS will take place at similar times on Thursday.

The AL East champion Yankees, who finished with the best record in baseball at 103-59, have the choice as to when they want to begin the playoffs - Wednesday or Thursday. They have to choose no later than one hour following the conclusion of the Tigers-Twins game. Should the Yankees select a seven-day Division Series, they'll begin at home on Thursday at 6:07 p.m. (et). Otherwise, the game will be Wednesday at the same time. The AL West champion Angels will play wild card winner Boston in the first round for a third straight year, starting either Wednesday at 6:07 p.m. (et) or Thursday at 9:37 p.m. (et) in Anaheim.


Week 4 of the NFL season featured a battle between two of the AFC's best, as the New England Patriots defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 27-21. The Ravens entered the game as one of seven unbeaten teams in the NFL. Indianapolis remained undefeated with a 34-17 rout of Seattle, as Peyton Manning threw a pair of touchdown passes and tied Fran Tarkenton for third on the all-time list with 342 TD passes. The New York Giants, New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos also kept their records unblemished after wins Sunday. The Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans are still winless, as the Browns dropped a 23-20 overtime decision to Cincinnati and the Titans were thumped in Jacksonville, 37-17.

Rashard Mendenhall ran for 165 yards and a pair of scores and the Steelers beat San Diego, 38-28, despite nearly blowing a four-touchdown lead. Ben Roethlisberger completed 26-of-33 passes for 333 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Steelers (2-2), who lost their previous two games - on the road against Chicago and Cincinnati. With Willie Parker sidelined because of a toe injury, Mendenhall received 29 of the 36 carries on the night for the Steelers, who controlled the line of scrimmage. Prior to Sunday night's game, Mendenhall had a total of 103 rushing yards over seven previous games in his NFL career. It was the same old story for the Chargers in Pittsburgh. San Diego has lost six straight in the Steel City and is 2-15 all-time (including playoffs) in Western Pennsylvania. Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who missed the previous two games due to a right ankle injury, returned but was limited to 15 yards on seven carries.

The game Brett Favre has undoubtedly been waiting for is finally here. A little more than 20 months after taking his final snap in a storied 16-season run as the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, Favre will wear the uniform of their long-time rival - the Minnesota Vikings - when the Pack visits the Metrodome on Monday night. Last Sunday, the soon-to-be 40-year-old quarterback added another chapter to his voluminous NFL story by leading the Vikings to a dramatic 27-24 home win over the 49ers. A much-replayed 32-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Greg Lewis with two seconds to play helped move Minnesota to 3-0. The Packers didn't make nearly as many headlines in their Week 3 win, but went to St. Louis and handled the Rams, 36-17, to erase some of the residue of a disturbing home loss to the Bengals the week before.


Florida, Texas, Alabama and LSU remained the top four teams in the latest Associated Press college football poll, while Auburn and South Carolina became the latest SEC teams to join the rankings. The powerful Southeastern Conference holds three of the top four spots and now has six teams ranked, as Auburn moved into the poll at No. 17 and South Carolina is 25th. Ole Miss, at No. 20, is the sixth. The Big 12 also has six teams ranked this week. Virginia Tech, Boise State, Southern California, Cincinnati, Ohio State and TCU round out this week's top 10.


Tony Stewart put himself in the thick of the hunt for the "Chase for the Sprint Cup" championship by winning Sunday's Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway. Stewart held off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon in the closing laps for his fourth victory of the season. Gordon finished second, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya and Denny Hamlin. Nine Chase drivers finished in the top-10. Mark Martin's seventh-place run allowed him to take an 18-point lead over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, who finished ninth. Stewart moved up to fourth in points and trails Martin by 67.