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Monday Sports in Brief

Monday Sports in Brief

SAN DIEGO (AP) Tiger Woods is a winner again at Torrey Pines, and the only question Monday was how long it would take him to finish.

Woods stretched his lead to eight shots in the Farmers Insurance Open before losing his focus and his patience during a painfully slow finish by the group ahead.

Despite dropping four shots over the last five holes, he still managed an even-par 72 for a four-shot victory on the course where he has won more than any other in his pro career. Defending champion Brandt Snedeker and Josh Teater finished tied for second after both shot 69..

He won the tournament for the seventh time, one behind the record held by Sam Snead, who won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times. It was the eighth time Woods won at Torrey Pines, which includes his playoff win in the 2008 U.S Open.

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed agrees with President Obama that football needs to be made safer, and he wants to help make that happen.

Reed, an 11-year veteran and one of the most respected players in the NFL, was in the minority among players at the Super Bowl on Monday when said that Obama's comments questioning the safety of the game are on target.

``I am with Obama,'' Reed said. ``I have a son. I am not forcing football on my son. If he wants to play it ... I can't make decisions for him. All I can do is say, `Son, I played it so you don't have to.' ``

While acknowledging he's a football fan, Obama told The New Republic in an interview that he's concerned about the violent nature of the sport - enough so that if he had a son, he'd think twice about allowing him to play.

``I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence,'' he said.

``In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much.''

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Former San Francisco 49er Kwame Harris was charged with felony domestic violence and assault charges from an August beating involving a former boyfriend, a prosecutor and defense lawyer said.

Following a pretrial hearing in the case, a San Mateo County judge set a late April trial date for Harris, an offensive tackle who played five seasons with the 49ers and one season with the Oakland Raiders, Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato said.

The charges stem from an altercation outside a Menlo Park restaurant between Harris, 30, and Dimitri Geier, who suffered several facial fractures that required surgery, Serrato said.

HONOLULU (AP) - At least one key NFL executive thinks play improved at the Pro Bowl this year: Commissioner Roger Goodell.

During a one-hour question and answer session on Reddit he said he thought the game improved from last year, when players were clearly not trying and were booed by fans in Hawaii.

The NFC dominated the AFC 62-35 on Sunday in a game that had some highlight-quality plays but that quickly became lopsided.

Goodell says he appreciates the commitment from players to make the game better.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Chastising the NFL Players Association for standing in the way of testing for human growth hormone, two members of Congress told union head DeMaurice Smith in a letter that they might ask players to testify before their committee.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland asked Smith to turn over documents connected to HGH negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans Saints spokesman Greg Bensel says general manager Mickey Loomis has a contract that runs through 2017.

Bensel says Loomis agreed to the deal last August but the team chose not to discuss it publicly until Monday, when the subject came up during media events connected to the Super Bowl.

PRO BASKETBALL

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama honored the Miami Heat for winning the 2012 NBA Championship title after falling short just a year before.

``Everybody doing their part, is what finally put the Heat over the top,'' Obama said, as he welcomed the team to the White House to celebrate their victory.

LeBron James, who presented Obama with an autographed basketball, said the team that included members that hail from Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Ohio and South Dakota was honored to be in the executive mansion.

``We're in the White House right now, which is like, like `mama I made it,''' James said, as the audience laughed and cheered.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Rick Adelman is back on the court and coaching basketball after three weeks away to help his wife through a health scare.

His Minnesota Timberwolves lost nine of 11 games without him to fall behind in the powerful Western Conference playoff race.

Adelman ran practice Monday and said he planned to coach against the Clippers on Wednesday night if all is satisfactory with Mary Kay Adelman, who is being treated for an undisclosed condition.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA says it is committed to ensuring the safety of all college athletes and plans to open a national sports science institute to make playing sports safer.

The comments came in a statement emailed to The Associated Press the day after President Barack Obama acknowledged that if he had a son, he would have to think about letting him play football. The NCAA did not specifically address Obama's comments, choosing instead to address the broader issue.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Two Pennsylvania congressmen want the NCAA to restore football scholarships taken away from Penn State, saying in a letter those sanctions unfairly punish innocent student-athletes for the child sex abuse scandal involving retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

In the letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert, U.S. Reps. Charlie Dent and Glenn Thompson wrote that taking away up to 40 scholarships harmed players who had nothing to do with the scandal that engulfed the university in 2011.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Michigan is No. 1 in The Associated Press' college basketball poll for the first time since its Fab Five days 20 years ago.

For the second straight week the No. 1 team lost. This time it was Duke, which was routed 90-63 by Miami in the third-worst defeat by a top-ranked team.

Michigan received 51 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel, 38 more than Kansas, which moved up one spot. They are the only one-loss teams in the poll. Indiana, Florida, which drew the other first-place vote, and Duke complete the top five

In the women's poll, Baylor remained No. 1 for a fourth straight week.

Notre Dame and UConn stayed second and third, Stanford moved up to fourth and Duke fell one spot to fifth after losing by 30 points to the Huskies last Monday.

CYCLING

LONDON (AP) - The International Cycling Union disbanded an independent panel put together to review any involvement the cycling governing body had in the Lance Armstrong scandal, saying it will go ahead with a ``truth and reconciliation commission'' instead.

The UCI said its independent panel did not have the support of the American and global anti-doping bodies, and that a truth and reconciliation process favored by those groups offered the best way ``to clear the air'' and get to the bottom with the rampant doping culture during the Armstrong era.

MADRID (AP) - Spain's Operation Puerto finally went to trial after a delay of seven years, raising the prospect over the coming weeks of new revelations about doping in cycling following the confession of Lance Armstrong.

Cyclists themselves will not be on trial because of the legal limitations of the case. But there is great interest in the event other sports - particularly soccer and tennis - are mentioned in evidence.

Thirty-five witnesses are expected to testify in a trial due to last until March 22.

BASEBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers formally announced a deal with Time Warner Cable to create a new TV channel that people familiar with the situation say assures the team more than $7 billion over 25 years. That is double what Major League Baseball thought the local TV rights were worth when the team was sold out of bankruptcy just last year.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Derek Jeter worked out on a baseball field for the first time since breaking his left ankle last October.

The 38-year-old New York Yankees captain fielded 55 grounders on the grass in front of the infield dirt at shortstop at the team's minor league complex. He also hit in a batting cage.

``Everything went well,'' Jeter said as he drove out of the complex.

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Carl Pavano's spleen was removed last week after the pitcher was injured when he fell in the snow.

The 37-year-old right-hander was hurt in mid-January at his home in Vermont and has been in a Connecticut hospital for nearly two weeks.

``He lost a lot of blood. It was very, very serious,'' agent David Pepe said Monday.

PRO HOCKEY

MONTREAL (AP) - Defenseman P.K. Subban signed a two-year, $5.75 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens.

WINTER SPORTS

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - Snowmobile rider Caleb Moore remained in critical condition after a crash at the Winter X Games in Aspen and is being closely monitored.

His family thanked Moore's fans for their support and asked for their prayers.

The 25-year-old was performing a flip Thursday when he clipped the top of a jump and went over the handlebars. The snowmobile rolled over him, but he walked off the course with help and went to a hospital with a concussion.

While there, he developed bleeding around his heart and was flown to Grand Junction for surgery Friday. His family said Sunday that Moore then had a secondary complication involving his brain.

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Peter King awards two Ravens with weekly honors for defensive performance vs.Titans

Peter King awards two Ravens with weekly honors for defensive performance vs.Titans

The Baltimore Ravens' Week 6 dominate performance over the Tennessee Titans is gaining national attention. 

A historic game that displayed the offense and defense firing on all cylinders, it's hard to pinpoint who had the biggest impact. 

So in his latest edition of Football Morning in America, NBC Sports' Peter King awarded not one, but two Ravens with weekly honors.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Za'Darius Smith

Against the Titans, Smith led the Ravens defense with three sacks and five tackles in their historic 11-sack game. On of three Defensive Players of the Week, King explained why Smith's performance stood out.

In the most dominant defensive performance of this ultra-offensive season, the Ravens shut out Tennessee 21-0 and had 11 sacks. Another one of GM Ozzie Newsome’s draft gifts that keeps on giving, Smith (2015, round four, Kentucky) contributed three sacks of Marcus Mariota and five tackles in a virtuoso game. Net passing yards for Mariota: 51.

Smith, who's entering the final year of his rookie NFL contract, has shown over six games he deserves to get paid in the offseason. So far this season the 26-year-old has 20 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks and one forced fumble. 

COACH OF THE WEEK: Don "Wink" Martindale

In his first season as defensive coordinator, Don "Wink" Martindale has seamlessly made the transition from linebackers coach to leading the NFL's No. 1 scoring defense (12.8). But what impressed King the most from the 21-0 shutout was how Martindale's squad got to Mariota from every direction. 

When a unit records more sacks (11) than completions allowed (10), the leader gets an award. Those are the rules. Martindale’s pass rushers got to Marcus Mariota every possible way—up the middle, around the edges, in the pocket, on bootlegs, you name it. The total set a new franchise record and was one short of the single-game NFL mark of 12. And it came with a familiar face watching: Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees used to hold the same position in Baltimore. Shout out to the Ravens social media team for renaming the account RavenSSSSSSSSSSS, one ‘S’ for each sack.

This Ravens defense, who has always been known for its dominance, is ranked first in points allowed (12.8), first in yards allowed (270.8), second in passing yards allowed (188.0) and third in rushing yards allowed (82.8) heading into Week 7. In addition, they have yet to surrender a second half touchdown all season. Trusting of the talent this roster holds, the respect "Wink" has for his players is equally reciprocated. 

"It was really emotional when they told us we had 11 sacks," linebacker Patrick Onwuasor said postgame. "We just went out there and we were like, ‘We have to get Coach Wink . We have to put the Gatorade on him.’ So, we tried to turn him around so he couldn’t see it coming, and we had to get him real good."

Martindale will now face the No. 1 scoring offense in the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. 

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Baltimore Ravens Week 6 awards after shutout win over Titans

Baltimore Ravens Week 6 awards after shutout win over Titans

The Baltimore Ravens went into the Tennessee Titans' home and completely robbed them in a 21-0 shutout win.

Here are the players and plays that stood out from the afternoon.

PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME: Ravens Defense

The Ravens defense had a historic afternoon recording a franchise-record 11 sacks. Yup, you read that right. 11 sacks.

Za'Darius Smith led the way with three, followed by Patrick Onwuasor with two and Matthew Judon, Terrell Suggs, Tony Jefferson, Kenny Young, Anthony Levine Sr. and Chris Wormley with one apiece. The 11 sacks tied for the second most by a team in league history and the most in a game since 2012.  It was so historic, the Ravens changed their Twitter name to included 11 S's. 

But that wasn't the only impressive part of the Ravens' afternoon. Marcus Mariota was limited to 10 completions and the defense allowed just 51 passing yards  —  the fewest in franchise history  — and 55 rushing yards. The Titans finished the afternoon 1-for-10 on third down as well.

With the shutout, the Ravens defense cemented its place as one of the NFL's most elite units in 2018. A win that must have been extra sweet after a 12-9 overtime loss to the Browns the week prior and with former defensive coordinator Dean Pees staring back from the opposite sideline. The Ravens remain the only NFL team to not allow a second-half touchdown this season. 

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE GAME: Michael Crabtree

After dropping what would have been the game-winning touchdown Week 5 against the Browns, Michael Crabtree said his priority this week was to get back into the lab and correct his mistakes. Out the gate, the veteran receiver stayed true to his word finishing the Ravens' first drive catching three passes for 52 yards and one touchdown. Earlier in the week, Joe Flacco had faith his receiver would get over the hump of six drops in five games and was willing to stand by him until it happened.

"Besides just trying to give him the confidence that, you know, I'm still going his way when he calls for it and I still believe that it's going to be the difference...it's something that he'll definitely get over," Flacco said.

The patience worked as Crabtree finished the day with six receptions for 93 yards and one touchdown leading all Ravens receivers.

But more importantly, the relationship between Crabtree and Flacco continues to grow.

"That’s trust. That’s what you need in football, you know," Crabtree said postgame. "Quarterback, receiver relationship. It’s only going to get better. It’s all about how much time you put in, how much work you put in. I’m new; this is my first year here so I got to do what I got to do."

STAT OF THE GAME: Flacco makes his way into the history books

With 25 completions Sunday against the Titans, Flacco became the third different quarterback in NFL history to complete 25 or more passes in nine consecutive games, per the NFL's communication department. Drew Brees sits atop the list with 11 and 10 consecutive games followed by Peyton Manning with nine. Flacco finished the 21-0 win 25-for-37 with 238 yards, one touchdown and one interception. 

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