Weekend Sports In Brief - NBC Sports

Weekend Sports In Brief
January 20, 2014, 4:30 am

PRO FOOTBALL

SEATTLE (AP) The Seattle Seahawks are bringing their game-changing defense - and the 12th Man - to the Big Apple for the Super Bowl.

Seattle's top-ranked defense forced three fourth-quarter turnovers, and Russell Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass on fourth down for the winning points in a 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC title.

Seattle will meet Denver for the NFL title in two weeks in the New Jersey Meadowlands. It's the first trip to the big game for the Seahawks (15-3) since they lost to Pittsburgh after the 2005 season.

Moments after Richard Sherman tipped Colin Kaepernick's pass to teammate Malcolm Smith for the clinching interception, the All-Pro cornerback jumped into the stands behind the end zone, saluting the Seahawks' raucous fans. With 12th Man flags waving everywhere, and "New York, New York" blaring over the loudspeakers, CenturyLink Field rocked like never before.

DENVER (AP) Peyton Manning had an answer for everyone. What's new?

For Tom Brady. For the New England defense. For anyone who thought he couldn't win the big one.

Manning is taking the Denver Broncos on a trip to New York for the Super Bowl after another of his impeccably crafted victories - this time, a 26-16 win over the Patriots in the AFC title game.

Less than three years after being unable to throw a football because of his surgically ravaged neck and nerve endings, Manning will get a chance for his second ring. He'll try to become the first quarterback to win one with two different teams, at the Meadowlands on Feb. 2 against Seattle.

SEATTLE (AP) - All four of the NFL's network partners have bid on the Thursday night television package, a person with knowledge of the bidding process told The Associated Press.

The league has used its NFL Network to televise the games, but recently put up the 13-game series for bids and received them from NBC, Fox, CBS and ESPN.

Turner Sports has also bid, and there's a strong possibility ESPN would put the games on ABC should it be chosen by the league.

The NFL also has expressed a desire to simulcast the games on NFL Network.

OLYMPICS

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) - Shaun White, the two-time Olympic gold medalist in the halfpipe, will get a chance at a rare three-peat - and then some - when the Winter Games begin next month in Russia.

White was named to the U.S. Olympic team in his signature event, earning one of the three automatic spots on the men's team by winning the final qualifier. White posted a score of 96.6 to edge a resurgent Danny Davis for his second victory in three days to cap a busy week.

The 27-year-old overcame an ugly crash during a slopestyle event Thursday to bounce back and clinch a spot on the inaugural slopestyle team. He was nearly flawless during the last two halfpipe events.

IGLS, Austria (AP) - Lolo Jones talked Lauryn Williams into trying bobsledding, dangling the potential of another Olympic trip as her bait. Little did they know they were talking about history.

Jones and Williams - both Summer Olympic veterans - were among the selections for the U.S. Olympic bobsled team, putting them in position to become the ninth and 10th Americans to compete in both the summer and winter versions of the Games when they compete at the Sochi Olympics next month.

Jones, Williams and Aja Evans were the three women chosen for the push athlete spots. Jones and Williams will join Evans, another Winter Olympic first-timer, and drivers Jamie Greubel, Elana Meyers and Jazmine Fenlator on the women's team.

The U.S. qualified three men's two-man sleds and two four-man sleds for Sochi. Reigning Olympic four-man champion Steven Holcomb will drive USA-1 and Nick Cunningham will be at the control of USA-2 in four-man. Cory Butner will drive the other two-man entry.

GOLF

LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) - Patrick Reed found his putting touch right when things started to getting interesting in the final round of the Humana Challenge.

After shooting three straight 9-under 63s to open a seven-stroke lead, Reed had a 1-under 71 to beat Ryan Palmer by two strokes.

Finally resembling the guy who talked Saturday about being in a "putting coma," Reed ran in an 18-footer for birdie on the par-3 15th to push his lead to three strokes. He did par the last three to finish at 28-under 260 in the three-course event that he opened and closed on the Arnold Palmer Private Course.

The 23-year-old Reed has two victories in his first 46 PGA Tour starts, winning the Wyndham Championship in August. He jumped from 69th to 41st in the world ranking, enough to lock up a spot in the 64-man Match Play Championship.

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - Bernhard Langer birdied five of the last six holes to pull away from Fred Couples and Jeff Sluman and win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship by three strokes.

The 56-year-old German shot his second straight 64 in the final round of the winners-only event that opened the 35th season of the Champions Tour. He finished with a 54-hole total of 22-under 194 at Hualalai.

Langer, who is 41 under in his last seven rounds at Hualalai, earned his 19th senior victory, but first since April despite a string of top-10 finishes the last half of 2013.

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