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Wild Bengals rally sends Lewis out (maybe) a winner

Published: Sunday, December 31, 2017 @ 6:04 PM
Updated: Sunday, December 31, 2017 @ 8:03 PM


            BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 31: Wide Receiver Tyler Boyd #83 of the Cincinnati Bengals scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 31: Wide Receiver Tyler Boyd #83 of the Cincinnati Bengals scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 31, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Andy Dalton hit Tyler Boyd for a 49-yard touchdown on fourth and 12 with 44 seconds remaining as the Cincinnati Bengals rallied to send Marvin Lewis out a winner in what is likely his final game as head coach.

The improbable score lifted the Bengals to a 31-27 victory at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium and knocked the Ravens out of the playoff race.

If it was Lewis’ final game as Bengals head coach, he will end his tenure with a record of 125-112-3 in the regular season and 0-7 in the playoffs.

“I don’t know if it’s my last game. There are decisions to be made,” he told reporters after the game, adding that it’s more complicated than just team owner and president Mike Brown offering him a contract extension.

Cincinnati (7-9) led by 14 twice in the game in the game, the second of which came when cornerback Darqueze Dennard returned a Joe Flacco interception 89 yards for a touchdown on the opening possession of the third quarter.

But Flacco directed three consecutive scoring drives, moving the Ravens (9-7) in front 27-24 on a 6-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace with 8:48 left in the game.

The Bengals had just one first down and 17 yards in the second half before taking over at their own 10 with 2:43 to go. But Dalton (23 of 44 for 222 yards and three touchdowns) directed the game-winning drive and ran to the sideline to give Lewis a huge hug after Boyd’s touchdown.

In addition to knocking the Ravens out of the playoffs one week after eliminating the Detroit Lions, the Bengals victory put Buffalo into the postseason as the No. 6 seed, ending the longest playoff drought in all four of the major sports.

The game-winning drive was extended by a defensive holding penalty that negated a game-sealing interception by Baltimore safety Eric Weddle with 1:20 remaining.

Four plays later, Dalton hit Boyd for a touchdown that Bengals fans will remember for years to come.

Dalton hit Boyd at the 23, and the wide receiver got around Ravens cornerback Maurice Canady and out-ran cornerback Brandon Carr to the end zone.

Boyd finished with five catches for a career-high 91 yards.

Dalton threw a pair of touchdown passes to tight end Tyler Kroft in the first half and Randy Bullock kicked a 32-yard field goal with 23 seconds left before the break to put the Bengals up 17-3.

But Baltimore’s Chris Moore returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards to the Cincinnati 6 with eight seconds to go, and Flacco went back to Moore for a touchdown pass on the next to play.

The only other points the Ravens had at that point were on a 46-yard field goal by Justin Tucker, which came three plays after Bengals running back Joe Mixon lost a fumble at the Cincinnati 34.

The Cincinnati defense held Baltimore to seven consecutive three-and-outs in the first half as the Bengals outgained the Ravens 268 to 61 through two quarters.

After Dennard’s pick six bumped the lead to 24-10 with 10:17 left in the third quarter, Flacco (25 of 47 for 203 yards with two touchdowns and an interception) direct scoring drives of 61, 62 and 45 yards.

Alex Collins’ 17-yard run on fourth and 3 got Baltimore within 24-17 with 6:16 left in the third, and a Tucker 34-yard field goal early in the fourth made it 24-20.

The Bengals followed with a three and out, and Flacco drove the Ravens for the go ahead score on the touchdown pass to Wallace.

There was another three andn out for the Cincinnati offense, but the defense held the Ravens on third and 7 to give Dalton and Co. one more crack at it. And they converted with an 11-play, 90-yard march to victory, capped by Boyd’s touchdown that sent Dalton charging to the sideline to embrace Lewis in a hug.

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Reds top prospect will miss rest of season

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 11:05 AM

2018 Cincinnati Reds: 10 things to know

Cincinnati Reds top prospect Nick Senzel will miss the rest of the season after tearing a tendon in his right index finger Friday, the Reds announced Saturday.

Senzel, who will undergo surgery Tuesday, addressed the injury in a message posted to Twitter and Instagram.

» PROSPECT WATCH: How the top Reds minor leaguers are doing

“I would like to start by thanking my family, friends and teammates and fans for the support over the last 24 hours,” Senzel wrote. “It had been a challenging season from the start, but it has made me grow. The news this morning was very unfortunate, but I was prepared mentally on how to handle it whether good or bad. I had a goal this season, and it was to make it to the big leagues and help the Cincinnati Reds win ballgames. Although I did not fulfill this goal, it will not stop my drive to continue to fulfill my dream. The support that has been shown is what makes me blessed and thankful for everything in my life, inside and outside of baseball. It’s what makes me keep going, and make no mistake, I will be back stronger than ever. Love u all Reds nation.”

» RELATED: Reds win fifth straight

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Senzel was hitting .310 with six home runs and 25 RBIs with Triple-A Louisville.

Senzel’s 2017 season was also cut short as he battled vertigo late last season while playing for Double-A Pensacola. The same condition cost him time this spring.

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Dayton draft drought ends as Antetokounmpo chosen with last pick

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 12:04 AM

Who is Kostas Antetokounmpo? Facts about the former Dayton forward

A 28-year drought ended for the Dayton Flyers on Thursday as the Dallas Mavericks selected Kostas Antetokounmpo, a 6-foot-10 forward, with the 30th and last pick of the second round in the NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was the 60th player chosen overall.

» FIVE THINGS TO KNOW: Who is Kostas Antetokounmpo?

Antetokounmpo, 20, is the first Dayton player drafted since Negele Knight in 1990. The Phoenix Suns drafted Knight in the second round.

Dayton had 38 players drafted between 1952 and 1990. Twenty Flyers have played in the NBA, including four undrafted players (Chris Wright, Chris Johnson, Brian Roberts and Charles Cooke) since Knight was drafted.

Antetokounmpo seeks to become the third member of his family to play in the NBA. His brother Giannis Antetokounmpo, 23, was the 15th pick of the first round in 2013 and now is one of the top players in the league. He averaged 26.9 points per game last season for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Thanasis Antetokounmpo, 25, played in two games in 2016 for the New York Knicks. He was a second-round pick in 2014.

» KOSTAS STORIES: High ceilingTrying to live up to his name | A star in victory over Saint Louis

The 6-foot-10 Antetokounmpo committed to Dayton in June 2016 but sat out his freshman season as a NCAA partial qualifier.

Antetokounmpo debuted in the 2017-18 season and averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game. He led the team with 31 blocks. He appeared in 29 of 32 games and started six games.

» RELATED: Grant talks about Dayton’s offseason | Knight last Dayton player to be drafted

In late March, weeks after the end of a 14-17 season, Antetokounmpo left the program and the university.

“His mindset was he wants to test the waters to see what his prospects are for being in the NBA,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “And he felt it was in his best interest to leave school to do it. I’m not trying to judge his decision in terms of basketball, but the timing of his leaving did surprise me with just six weeks of school left.”

     

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Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna suspended 75 games 

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 5:11 AM

Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games.
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Toronto Blue Jays reliever Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games.(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was suspended for 75 games without pay, retroactive to May 8, for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy, the New York Daily News reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Osuna, 23, an All-Star in 2017, was charged with one count of assault in Toronto and was put on administrative leave, the Daily News reported. The right-hander has not pitched since May 6. 

Osuna has nine saves and a 2.93 ERA in 15 games.

The suspension will cost Osuna $2.54 million of his annual $5.3 million salary, the Daily News reported. He will participate in an evaluation and treatment program, which is confidential and supervised by the joint policy board of Major League Baseball and the players’ association, the newspaper reported.

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Sorting through some 2026 World Cup questions

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 2:41 AM

Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland shoots past Dusko Tosic of Serbia during the Friday's match at the World Cup in Russia.
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland shoots past Dusko Tosic of Serbia during the Friday's match at the World Cup in Russia.(Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Soccer’s international governing body, FIFA, voted last week to play the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

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And while the announcement raised much excitement in North American soccer circles, it left questions that won’t be fully answered for years. Here are some of them.

WHICH CITIES WILL HOST MATCHES? 

Sixteen North American cities -- at least 10 in the United States -- will be chosen by FIFA in 2020 or 2021 to host matches. Those 16 choices will come from 23 “candidate cities.” FIFA will have negotiating leverage in whittling the number.

The U.S. host cities will be chosen from among these candidates: Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium), Boston (Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts), Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium), Dallas (AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas), Denver (Broncos Stadium at Mile High), Houston (NRG Stadium), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, or the new NFL stadium under construction), Miami (Hard Rock Stadium), Nashville (Nissan Stadium), New York (MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey), Orlando, Florida (Camping World Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), San Francisco (Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California), Seattle (CenturyLink Field) and Washington (FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.) 

In addition, current plans call for matches to be played in up to three cities in Canada (Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto) and up to three in Mexico (Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey). 

"We are blessed with 23 really world-class stadiums -- some iconic, some brand-new cutting-edge and everything in between," U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said. "I think it will be a very difficult decision to make … when we have to determine the final 16 cities. But it’s a high-class problem.”

Under current plans, 60 matches will be played in the U.S., 10 in Canada and 10 in Mexico. 

WHAT IS THE COST OF HOSTING? 

It helps that no new stadiums will have to be built in North America for the event, but the costs of security, transportation and other requirements will be considerable in any host city. 

“We’ve been told during the bid process it is on the level of (hosting) a Super Bowl,” said Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council and chairman of Atlanta’s World Cup committee. “We have not gotten into too much detail on that yet, but we will during this next phase of the process.” 

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