Karlos Dansby caught Aaron Rodgers' fumble out of the air and returned it 17 yards to put a stunning end to the game, giving the Cardinals a wild 51-45 overtime win against the Packers in the highest scoring postseason game in NFL history. Michael Adams knocked the ball away from Rodgers, who then actually kicked the ball in the air with his right foot. Dansby was in perfect position to grab it and run unimpeded into the end zone, sending the NFC West-champion Cardinals into next weekend's divisional round. Arizona will play the top-seeded Saints in New Orleans on Saturday. The loss was crushing for the Packers, who had made up a 21-point deficit thanks to Rodgers, who threw for 422 yards and four touchdowns. Rodgers' counterpart, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, was even better, completing 29-of-33 passes for five touchdowns, as the teams combined for an NFL playoff record in total yards.
Ray Rice set the tone on the first play from scrimmage, sprinting for an 83-yard touchdown run, as the Baltimore Ravens took advantage of four Tom Brady turnovers and used a dominant first quarter to post a 33-14 win over the New England Patriots in an AFC wild card game at Gillette Stadium. The second-year running back out of Rutgers finished with 159 yards and two scores on 22 carries for the sixth-seeded Ravens, who will play top-seeded Indianapolis next Saturday. Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain also had touchdown runs as Baltimore dealt the Patriots their first home playoff loss since December 31, 1978 against Houston. New England had won 11 straight, with Brady going 8-0. Baltimore's victory means San Diego will host the New York Jets in the other divisional playoff game. It was not a game to remember for the two-time Super Bowl MVP. Brady was picked off three times and lost a fumble, finishing with 154 yards and two touchdown passes to rookie Julian Edelman on 23-of-42 efficiency.
Tom Heckert is reportedly leaving his post as general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles to take a similar position with the Cleveland Browns. A Cleveland newspaper reports the 42-year-old Heckert could be named GM as early as Monday. Heckert didn't travel with the Eagles to Arlington for the team's 34-14 playoff loss to the Cowboys, reportedly because he was set to take the job with the Browns. It would be the first big hiring for Browns new president Mike Holmgren, who announced Thursday that he has decided to keep head coach Eric Mangini on board for the 2010 season. Cleveland won its last four games to finish 5-11 in Mangini's first year as the team's head coach. The Browns started 1-7 before then-general manager George Kokinis, a friend of Mangini, was fired in early November.
Pete Carroll has reportedly resigned as head coach at Southern California and will become the next coach of the Seattle Seahawks. A source told the a Los Angeles newspaper of Carroll's resignation, but USC didn't comment on the report. Later, a report indicated Carroll would accept the job with the Seahawks. Trojans players and coaches reportedly learned of Carroll's intentions via text message from an assistant coach. Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke was reportedly in Los Angeles Sunday to finalize a contract for Carroll. An earlier report from the Daily News said the deal was for five years and worth between $6.5 million and $7 million per season. The courtship of the 58-year- old former head coach in New England and with the New York Jets began in earnest after the sudden firing of Jim Mora after one season on Friday.
Oregon State and head football coach Mike Riley have agreed on a three-year contract extension through the 2019 season. The agreement, announced Sunday night, ends speculation Riley would be a candidate for the job at Southern California, assuming Pete Carroll leaves to coach the Seattle Seahawks. The 56-year-old Riley is Oregon State's winningest coach with 64 victories (64-48). He was the 2008 Pac-10 Coach of the Year. He has held the position of head coach from 1997-98 and from 2003 to present. Oregon State has played in six bowl games during his tenure, most recently losing to BYU at this season's Las Vegas Bowl. The Beavers have finished tied for second in the Pac-10 the last two seasons. They went 8-5 this season.
Texas Tech formally introduced Tommy Tuberville as its next head football coach Sunday, and the former Auburn coach indicated he will make some changes but won't fundamentally alter the program developed under Mike Leach. Tuberville did not coach this past season after resigning from Auburn following the 2008 campaign, when the Tigers went 5-7. He takes over the position previously held by Leach, who was fired December 30 in the wake of allegations regarding the treatment of receiver Adam James. Tuberville brings to the team a vast amount of experience. Starting out as a defensive coach, he eventually became head coach at Ole Miss before moving on to Auburn. In 10 seasons with the Tigers, his teams went 85-40. Arguably his most successful season came in 2004, when Auburn went 13-0 and finished with a No. 2 national ranking.
Geoff Ogilvy fired a six-under 67 on Sunday, making key back-to-back birdies to repeat as champion of the season-opening SBS Championship. Ogilvy held off a hard-charging Rory Sabbatini with birdies at the 14th and 15th holes to earn a one-shot victory at 22-under 270. It was the seventh career PGA Tour win for the 32-year-old Australian, who earned $1.12 million. Matt Kuchar (67) took third place at 19-under 273, while Sean O'Hair (68) and Martin Laird (70) tied for fourth at 18-under 274. O'Hair made a double-bogey on the 18th hole.
DePaul University has called a news conference for noon (et) on Monday, when it's expected the school will announce the firing of Jerry Wainwright as men's basketball coach. The school issued a press release Sunday night of the news conference, but no other details were provided, except to say athletics director Jean Lenti Ponsetto and Wainwright were to be in attendance. A Chicago newspaper reported the firing Sunday night and earlier reported that Wainwright has been hobbled by a leg injury that he suffered during a sideline collision Wednesday at Villanova. That's when Wainwright suffered an MCL tear and a fractured tibia. Assistant coach Tracy Webster could be named the new head coach. The Blue Demons have lost their last four games, including the 99-72 loss to Villanova. DePaul is 7-8 this season, including an 0-3 mark in the Big East. This follows a disastrous 0-18 league record last season.