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Road to Super Bowl Goes Through Seattle (AP)
Seattle Seahawks Grant Wistrom (98) and Rocky Bernard celebrate Wistrom's sack of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jim Sorgi in the third quarter in an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005, in Seattle. The Seahawks won, 28-13. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)AP - A matchup of the two best teams in the NFL became a coronation of Seattle as the top team in NFC. Now, after the Seahawks' 28-13 win over a depleted Indianapolis squad Saturday, the road to Detroit goes through the damp and cool Pacific Northwest. Pack the umbrellas for a wet January in the Emerald City.


Broncos Gain Bye With Rout of Raiders (AP)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Ashley Lelie (85) heads up field after slipping by Oakland Raiders defender Stanford Routt in the first quarter of Saturday's NFL football game in Denver, Dec. 24, 2005.  (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)AP - They won the AFC West, earned a week off and routed the Raiders. All in all, the Denver Broncos couldn't have asked for a more satisfying day.


Seahawks Too Much for Depleted Colts (AP)
Seattle Seahawks' running back Shaun Alexander, right, runs for a 6-yard gain with Indianapolis Colts' defensive tackle Josh Williams (96) in pursuit during the first quarter of NFL football action Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jim Bryant)AP - A team in mourning was no match for one with so much to gain.


Moss' 3 TDs Spark Redskins Past Giants (AP)
New York Giants cornerback Will Allen, left, is beat by Washington Redskins wide reciever Santana Moss, right, for a 59-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of NFL football on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005 in Landover, Md.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)AP - The Washington Redskins looked like a team of confusion when Patrick Ramsey replaced Mark Brunell. After four plays, Ramsey had already used two timeouts.


Jaguars Clinch Spot; Denver Gets Bye (AP)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard (9) smiles on the sidelines during the closing minutes of the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans in their NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005 in Houston. The Jaguars beat the Texans, 38-20, to clinch an AFC wild card playoff berth.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)AP - Jacksonville clinched its first playoff berth since 1999 on Saturday, rallying for three touchdowns in the final quarter to beat Houston 38-20 for an AFC wild-card spot.


McGee's Two TDs Help Bills Upset Bengals (AP)
Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Johnson reaches into a Santa bag to pull out footballs and shirts to throw into the stands after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills in the first half, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)AP - Chad Johnson set a merry mood, pulling championship T-shirts, caps and footballs out of his Santa bag and flinging them into the stands after his first-half touchdown.


Story Lines Abound in Lakers-Heat Matchup (AP)
Miami Heats' Shaquille O'Neal blocks a shot at the net by New Jersey Nets Nenad Krstic (12), of Serbia-Montenegro, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 23, 2005, in Miami. (AP Photo/Steve Mitchell)AP - There are two games on the NBA's Christmas lineup. One's a rematch of Detroit and San Antonio, league finalists a season ago who have the two best records this year.


Lefty Mike Stanton Returns to Nationals (AP)
AP - Mike Stanton returned to the Washington Nationals on Saturday night, agreeing to a $1 million, one-year contract.

Former Hungary Soccer Coach Baroti Dies (AP)
AP - Lajos Baroti, who coached Hungary to a bronze medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics, has died, the country's soccer federation said. He was 91.

Hockey Today (AP)
AP - No games scheduled. Games resume Monday, Dec. 26.

Return of the Redskins
LANDOVER, Md. – The rejuvenation of Clinton Portis has made Santana Moss and the Redskins a dangerous team again.

Seahawks beat Colts, win NFC home-field (AP)
Tony Dungy got three hours of comfort. Seattle got home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Seahawks' NFL rushing leader Shaun Alexander ran for 139 yards and three touchdowns -- including a rare TD receiving -- to tie Priest Holmes' NFL record of 27 touchdowns in a season. That helped the Seahawks clinch NFC home-field advantage Saturday with a 28-13 victory over the injured, resting and...

Moss' 3 TDs lift Redskins over Giants (AP)
Kicker John Hall walked into the Washington Redskins locker room in a complete outfit of red and white, including the full beard and tall black boots. Santa Claus? No. "Santana Claus," Hall said. Want a better Santana Moss story? Clinton Portis said Moss became a good receiver by playing Frisbee with a dog at the University of Miami.

Johnson hits 100 again, Chiefs top Bolts (AP)
Drawing dirty looks in the San Diego locker room was easy after Larry Johnson and the Kansas City Chiefs snuffed out the Chargers' playoff hopes with a 20-7 victory Saturday. Just asking the mistake-prone visitors if they were flat in the wake of their huge victory at Indianapolis did the trick. "We weren't," coach Marty Schottenheimer said in a level voice.

Bucs' FG late in OT eliminates Falcons (AP)
For Matt Bryant, it wasn't difficult to shrug off missing a potential game-winning field goal in overtime. He figured the rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would give him a chance to redeem himself. Or so he said. "We're not going to give up. It doesn't matter. We'll take on the world. We've been doing it from the beginning," the jubilant kicker said Saturday after redeeming himself by booting a 41-yard...

Glenn's late TD gets Cowboys by Panthers (AP)
Ken Lucas and Julius Peppers pushed through the line, grasping at air in an effort to block Billy Cundiff's field goal. Lucas was positive his left middle finger touched the ball right before he and Peppers crashed into the kicker. The deflection changed the trajectory, caused Cundiff's attempt to miss and locked up a postseason berth for the Carolina Panthers.

Cards win finale at Sun Devil Stadium (AP)
Even the Arizona players got a kick out of the sign in the stands that read "Thanks for the memories, both of them." Maybe Saturday's game will rank as a third. The Cardinals ended 18 years of mostly unremarkable football at Sun Devil Stadium by beating the depleted Philadelphia Eagles 27-21. Josh McCown, probably in his last home game in a Cardinals' uniform, threw touchdown passes to Larry...

Bills surprise Bengals in Cincy (AP)
Chad Johnson set a merry mood, pulling championship T-shirts, caps and footballs out of his Santa bag and flinging them into the stands after his first-half touchdown. Then, the Bengals got really generous. Playing as a division champion for the first time in 15 years, the Bengals let a game and a first-round playoff bye get away Saturday.

Broncos unbeaten at home, beat Raiders (AP)
Win the AFC West, earn a well-deserved week off, embarrass the Raiders. It was the kind of day they dream about in Broncoland, the likes of which they haven't celebrated in the seven long seasons since Denver's last Super Bowl title. Jake Plummer threw for 268 yards, Mike Anderson surpassed the 1,000-yard mark on the season and the Broncos closed out an undefeated season at home Saturday with a...

Jaguars top Texans, clinch playoff berth (AP)
The Jacksonville Jaguars remembered what the Houston Texans did to them last year. They were determined not to let it happen again. Jacksonville clinched its first playoff berth since 1999 by scoring three fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 38-20 comeback victory over Houston on Saturday. With it, the Jaguars erased the ugly memory of a 21-0 loss to Houston last year on Dec.

Christmas day preview
NBA fans will receive a juicy holiday gift with a Christmas doubleheader of Heat vs. Lakers and Pistons vs. Spurs.

Carter scores 51 as Nets beat Heat (AP)
The last time he played in Miami, Vince Carter insisted he was fouled when his potentially game-winning layup was swatted away at the buzzer. So on Friday, he ensured the game was decided long before the final second. Carter tied a career high with 51 points, getting 37 in the second half, and the New Jersey Nets extended their season-high winning streak to five games with a 95-88 victory over the...

Iverson scores 53, Sixers lose to Hawks (AP)
No matter how many shots he took, Allen Iverson couldn't beat the Atlanta Hawks by himself. Iverson scored 53 points, the fifth-highest total of his career, but Joe Johnson had 24 to lead the Hawks over the Philadelphia 76ers 111-108 on Friday night. "I'm as disappointed as everybody else on my team," Iverson said.

Wallace tragedy can't distract Pistons (AP)
The Detroit Pistons had plenty of reasons to be distracted. Rasheed Wallace was playing less than 24 hours after his cousin was killed in a shootout with Philadelphia police, Richard Hamilton had a bad back and the whole team is looking forward to an NBA Finals rematch with San Antonio on Sunday. All that wasn't enough for the Golden State Warriors.

LeBron held to 14, but Cavs edge Pacers (AP)
Even though his shot wouldn't fall, LeBron James made sure the Cavaliers didn't drop, too. James scored a season-low 14 points, but added nine assists and eight rebounds in 44 minutes as Cleveland won its fifth straight game, holding off the Indiana Pacers 94-89 on Friday night. "I missed shots. I'm going to have off nights," James said.

Nuggets shut down McGrady, beat Rockets (AP)
Flat and unfocused, the Houston Rockets had bigger problems Friday night than their expansive injury list and Tracy McGrady's poor shooting. Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and Denver held McGrady to a single basket over the first three quarters to snap a four-game losing streak with a 108-86 victory over the hobbled and disinterested Rockets.

Brand, Kaman dominate as Clippers win (AP)
When Elton Brand saw most of Charlotte's big men in street clothes, he knew he was in for a big night. Brand took advantage of the Bobcats' depleted roster with 38 points and 20 rebounds Friday night to help the Los Angeles Clippers pound their way to a 97-88 victory over Charlotte. "They were missing some legs and we took it to them, just worked them over inside and out," Brand said.

Terry hits big 3s as Mavs beat Sonics (AP)
Since joining the Dallas Mavericks, Jason Terry has really enjoyed coming home. Terry made a critical shot in the closing moments back in Seattle for the second straight season. This time, he swished a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left as the Mavericks rallied from a 12-point deficit for a 101-98 win over the SuperSonics on Friday night.

Arenas scores 41 as Wizards edge Suns (AP)
Gilbert Arenas gave the Washington Wizards a huge effort, and it was just enough. Arenas scored 41 points Friday night, and the Wizards beat the Phoenix Suns 112-111 despite his poor foul shooting down the stretch. Arenas made what proved to be the decisive free throw with 44 seconds to go, giving Washington a 112-109 lead on his first attempt.

Crawford helps Knicks end 7-game skid (AP)
The New York Knicks got the strong all-around effort they needed to end their longest losing streak of the season. Jamal Crawford scored 28 points and Stephon Marbury had 22 points and seven assists as New York snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 98-90 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

Power rankings
Dallas takes over the top spot as even Buffalo threatens to overtake the struggling Senators.

Crosby nets two in Pens' loss to Flyers (AP)
Sidney Crosby couldn't make a stronger argument that he belongs on Team Canada. Still, no matter how well the star teenager is playing, his Pittsburgh Penguins still aren't ready to consistently beat a good team like the Philadelphia Flyers. Crosby scored twice 44 seconds apart early in the third period in his first game since being left off Canada's Olympic team, but Mike Knuble and Peter Forsberg...

Wings win with one second left in OT (AP)
Two late goals and another in overtime gave the Detroit Red Wings the unlikeliest of victories. Pavel Datsyuk scored a power-play goal with one second left in overtime to give Detroit a 3-2 win over the Blackhawks on Friday night. That was after Nicklas Lidstrom and Kris Draper netted goals in the final 39 seconds of regulation to erase a 2-0 Chicago lead and force the extra period.

Canes win despite 1-for-15 power play (AP)
Peter Laviolette had plenty of reason to feel frustrated about the Carolina Hurricanes' inability to score on the power play. But, instead, the coach looked at the man-advantage goal they managed to score. "It won the game for us," he said. "Take the positive from it." Rod Brind'Amour scored in the third period for the team's only power-play goal in 15 chances, helping the Hurricanes beat the...

Reinprecht lifts Calgary to SO victory (AP)
The Calgary Flames weren't happy about allowing five goals for a third straight game. The fact that it happened in a win softened the blow. Steven Reinprecht scored two goals in regulation and another in the shootout to lift the normally stingy Flames to a wild, back-and-forth 6-5 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.

Emery stops 25 shots, Senators top Isles (AP)
Beating the New York Islanders has become quite common for the Ottawa Senators. Backup Ray Emery stopped 25 shots, and four Ottawa players scored against Rick DiPietro to give the Senators a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday night. "Give the Islanders credit. They played hard," Senators coach Bryan Murray said.

Ovechkin scores 20th, Caps beat Habs 4-2 (AP)
Rookie sensation Alexander Ovechkin felt confident about scoring 20 goals during his first three months in the NHL. "For sure," said Ovechkin, who capitalized on Jeff Halpern's third assist of the third period for an insurance goal in the Capitals' 4-2 victory Friday night over the Montreal Canadiens.

Thrashers rookie Garnett blanks Devils (AP)
As a Canadian youngster, Michael Garnett wanted to be a goalie like his idol, Martin Brodeur. He never expected that his first NHL shutout would come at the expense of Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils. The 23-year-old Garnett made 29 saves, and the Atlanta Thrashers earned a 1-0 victory Friday night.

Kariya's three assists lift Predators (AP)
The Nashville Predators are winning even when they aren't at the top of their game. Paul Kariya had assists on three of four first-period goals and Nashville hung on to beat Columbus 5-4 Friday night. "It's a win and they're not always going to be perfect games," said goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who made 35 saves.

Cajanek lifts Blues in shootout (AP)
Jason Bacashihua came within one shot of his first NHL shutout. He'll have to settle for his second win. Petr Cajanek scored the winning goal in the first extra round of the shootout to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Friday night. "I just tried to be calm," Cajanek said.

Offseason caps: Hamlin, Sorenson, Bowyer, Menard
Yahoo! Sports breaks down the '06 Cup field, starting with the rookie class.

Auto Racing 2005: Stewart grows up amid youth movement (SportsTicker)
MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (Ticker) - In a season where youth was not only served it was showcased, Tony Stewart topped the auto racing headlines by simply growing up.

Legge completes Champ Car test (AP)
Katherine Legge spent two days this week testing a Champ Car to see if she's ready to become the first female driver in the open-wheel series. The 25-year-old Legge ran a total of 238 laps for PKV Racing on the road course in Sebring, Fla. It was just the second time in a Champ car for the British racer, who ran 70 laps at Sebring in a test for Rocketsports Racing on Dec.

Kyle Busch to run full season in NASCAR Busch Series in 2006 (SportsTicker)
CONCORD, North Carolina (Ticker) - Despite making a splash in his first season on NASCAR's premier series, Kyle Busch has some unfinished business in the Busch Series.

Judge: Speedway lawsuit against NASCAR will stay in Kentucky (AP)
A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky Speedway's $400 million antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR will be heard in Kentucky and not moved to a Florida court.

Talladega Superspeedway to get first repaving since 1979 (AP)
Talladega Superspeedway will be repaved next year, the first time since 1979, and several drivers say they're looking forward to a smoother ride.

NASCAR champ to drive midget races under his own name (AP)
Tony Stewart will drive a midget car again, and won't try to fool anybody. The two-time NASCAR champion will drive in a pair of U.S. Auto Club indoor midget car races at Fort Wayne, where he won a 60-lap feature a year ago under an assumed name in an old junker he bought during a poker game the night before.

Iowa Speedway project gets more financing (AP)
NEWTON, Iowa - An Iowa-based construction company said it has obtained the financing to complete construction of...

Price of returning racing to North Wilkesboro is $12 million (AP)
A grass-roots group is lobbying to return racing to North Wilkesboro Speedway, but a $12 million price tag might be too steep for Wilkes County. That's the asking price of Bruton Smith and Bob Bahre, who own the former NASCAR track. A group calling itself Save the Speedway, which wants to bring racing back to the .625-mile oval, retired an online petition last week after gathering 4,582 signatures.

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