NFL

Packers thrash Vikings, Niners win thriller in Las Vegas

By Sports Desk January 01, 2023

The Green Bay Packers are a win away from what once looked an unlikely Wild Card berth after they crushed the Minnesota Vikings 41-17 at Lambeau Field.

A playoff place looked a faint possibility when the Packers lost seven of eight games after a 3-1 start to drop to 4-8.

They responded by reeling off three straight wins prior to the visit of division rivals and NFC North champions the Vikings, but still faced the prospect of being eliminated with a loss.

That prospect looked all the more likely when, after a blocked punt, the Vikings got the ball at Green Bay's one-yard line.

However, the Packers held the Vikings to a field goal from there, setting the tone for a nightmare game for Minnesota.

Keisean Nixon returned the subsequent kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown to give Green Bay the lead, which was extended when Darnell Savage returned an interception on a deflected Kirk Cousins pass 75 yards.

Cousins turnovers were a theme of the day, with an interception by Adrian Amos setting up a 21-yard touchdown throw from Rodgers to Robert Tonyan, and a lost fumble in the redzone allowed the Packers to regain possession and drive down the field for A.J. Dillon to make it 34-3.

Another Cousins interception, this time picked off by Rudy Ford, put the Packers in position to pile on further misery with a two-yard run from Rodgers, who now can lead the 8-8 Packers into the postseason with victory over the Detroit Lions next Sunday.

Defeat for the 12-4 Vikings sees them fall out of the second seed, meaning the chance to potentially host two home playoff games is out of their hands heading into Week 18.

NINERS SURVIVE HUGE SCARE

The San Francisco 49ers now occupy the two seed, having held off the Las Vegas Raiders in a remarkable game at Allegiant Stadium.

A San Francisco blowout was anticipated but did not materialise, with Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham leading them to 500 yards of offense in his first start after Derek Carr was benched.

Brock Purdy and the 49ers put up 454 yards of their own and, after a Robbie Gould missed field goal sent the game to overtime, Tashaun Gipson's interception of Stidham set up the San Francisco kicker to redeem himself and clinch a wild 37-34 win.

San Francisco's division rivals the Seattle Seahawks cruised to a 23-6 win over the New York Jets, whose playoff hopes look to be all but over. Seattle will qualify for the postseason with a win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 18 and a Packers loss to the Lions.

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  • One dead and more than 20 injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade One dead and more than 20 injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade

    One person has died and more than 20 others have been injured after shots were fired near the scene of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade.

    A video on social media showed armed officers rush into Union Station on a day supporters gathered near the building at the end of the parade route to celebrate Sunday’s victory with the team’s players and staff.

    The Kansas City Police Department said at least 22 people suffered gunshot wounds, including the fatally injured victim, and confirmed three people had been taken into custody.

    Radio Station KKFI said on social media that one of their presenters, DJ Lisa Lopez, was killed in the shooting.

    KKFI said in a statement: “Our hearts and prayers are with her family. This senseless act has taken a beautiful person from her family and this KC Community.”

    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.”

    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

    “Right now, we’re still working on the total number of victims. This is still an active investigation.

    “We do have three persons detained and under investigation for today’s incident.

    “Our investigators are working with all of the surviving victims to connect them with loved ones. We are also working to identify our deceased victim so we can notify their family as soon as possible.”

    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

    “At this time, we have confirmed that all of our players, coaches, staff and their families are safe and accounted for.

    “We thank the local law enforcement officers and first responders who were on-scene to assist.”

    Kansas City players and staff were celebrating beating the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas on Sunday to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in 19 years.

    Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to social media, saying: “Praying for Kansas City.”

    Travis Kelce wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: “I am heartbroken over the tragedy that took place today. My heart is with all who came out to celebrate with us and have been affected. KC, you mean the world to me.”

    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

    “We are grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement and emergency personnel.”

    Earlier, the city had been in party mode as Super Bowl MVP Mahomes and team-mate Travis Kelce took centre stage on a platform near Union Station.

    Mahomes had told a cheering crowd the Chiefs were going for a “three-peat” next season while Kelce led the supporters in some chanting.

  • One person dead and over 20 injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade One person dead and over 20 injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade

    One person has died and more than 20 others have been injured after shots were fired near the scene of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade.

    A video on social media showed armed officers rush into Union Station on a day supporters gathered near the building at the end of the parade route to celebrate Sunday’s victory with the team’s players and staff.

    The Kansas City Police Department said at least 22 people suffered gunshot wounds, including the fatally injured victim, and confirmed three people had been taken into custody.

    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.”

    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

    “Right now, we’re still working on the total number of victims. This is still an active investigation.

    “We do have three persons detained and under investigation for today’s incident.

    “Our investigators are working with all of the surviving victims to connect them with loved ones. We are also working to identify our deceased victim so we can notify their family as soon as possible.”

    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

    “At this time, we have confirmed that all of our players, coaches, staff and their families are safe and accounted for.

    “We thank the local law enforcement officers and first responders who were on-scene to assist.”

    Kansas City players and staff were celebrating beating the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas on Sunday to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions in 19 years.

    Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes took to social media, saying: “Praying for Kansas City.”

    Linebacker Drue Tranquill posted: “Please join me in prayer for all the victims in this heinous act. Pray that doctors & first responders would have steady hands & that all would experience full healing.”

    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

    “We are grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement and emergency personnel.”

    Earlier, the city had been in party mode as Super Bowl MVP Mahomes and team-mate Travis Kelce took centre stage on a platform near Union Station.

    Mahomes had told a cheering crowd the Chiefs were going for a “three-peat” next season while Kelce led the supporters in some chanting.

  • One person dead and multiple injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade One person dead and multiple injured in shooting near Kansas City Chiefs parade

    One person has died and there are multiple injuries after shots were fired near the scene of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade.

    A video on social media showed armed officers rush into Union Station on a day supporters gathered near the building at the end of the NFL side’s parade route.

    The Kansas City Police Department confirmed that one person had died and two armed people had been taken into custody following the incident.

    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.

    “We’re still gathering information on the number and the status of victims. We know that one of the victims is deceased.

    “Right now, we have up to 10 to 15 injured. We do not have an exact number of people who were victims of a gunshot wound.

    During the press conference, it was announced that the Kansas City Chiefs had confirmed all their players, coaches and staff were safe and accounted for.

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