Hall of Famer thinks LeBron could surpass MJ

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Hall of Famer thinks LeBron could surpass MJ

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Charles Barkley thinks LeBron James can be better than Michael Jordan.Jordan is considered by many the best player in NBA history, but Barkley believes his teammate with the Dream Team can be surpassed by James."I do think he can be better than Michael," Barkley said. "I thought I would never compare somebody to Michael Jordan. But this guy, LeBron James, he does everything well. Michael did everything well. LeBron James is just bigger, stronger, faster. That's the only difference."Barkley makes his comments on the first episode of NBA TV's "Open Court," to debut Tuesday at 11 p.m. EDT. The series features a round-table discussion of NBA TV and TNT commentators. They include Shaquille O'Neal, Reggie Miller, Kenny Smith, Steve Smith, Chris Webber, Steve Kerr and Ernie Johnson.James won his first NBA title and third MVP award last season, joining Jordan as the only players to win the NBA title, regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic gold medal in the same year.Jordan won six championships during his Hall of Fame career."Unfortunately for LeBron, now that the monkey is off his back, he is going to be compared to two people: Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan," O'Neal said. "So now the question is how many championships can he get? We all know he is a competitor."

Berry saves the day with conversion return, Chiefs move to 9-3

Berry saves the day with conversion return, Chiefs move to 9-3

BOX SCORE

ATLANTA — Eric Berry returned an interception for a touchdown, and then brought back another pick for a 2-point conversion that gave the Kansas City Chiefs an improbable 29-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

The Falcons, rallying from a 27-16 deficit, went ahead 28-27 on Matt Ryan's 5-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson with 4:32 remaining.

Atlanta decided to go for 2, looking to stretch the margin to a field goal. But Berry stepped in front of Ryan's pass and ran 99 yards the other way to give the Chiefs (9-3) their winning margin. It came after Denver won a game in similar fashion last month, returning a blocked PAT for the winning points at New Orleans.

Berry had another huge play with less than a minute to go in the first half, picking off Ryan's pass over the middle and bringing it back 37 yards for a touchdown. After reaching the end zone, the suburban Atlanta native handed the ball to his mother sitting in the stands at the Georgia Dome.

Those weren't the only big plays for the Chiefs. On fourth-and-2 from their own 45, Kansas City faked a punt and snapped the ball directly to Albert Wilson , who played his college ball in the same stadium for Georgia State. Wilson burst up the middle for a 55-yard touchdown that extended Kansas City's lead in the third quarter.

Alex Smith completed 21 of 25 passes for 270 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown to Spencer Ware. Travis Kelce was Kansas City's top receiver, hauling in eight passes for 140 yards.

Ryan was 22 of 34 for 297 yards, but his two huge mistakes cost the Falcons (7-5). Julio Jones hauled in seven passes for 113 yards, while Devonta Freeman had a couple of 1-yard touchdown runs.

LONG KICK:
Forty-one-year-old Matt Bryant closed out the first half with the second-longest field goal of his career for the Falcons.

Barely across midfield, Bryant booted a 59-yarder that easily clear the crossbar, cutting Kansas City's lead to 20-16 at the break. The only longer kick for Bryant was a 62-yarder with Tampa Bay in 2006.

He also tied Atlanta's franchise record for longest field goal. Morten Andersen made a 59-yarder in 1995.

INJURY REPORT:
The Falcons lost left tackle Jake Matthews to a left knee injury in the first half.

Trainers put a sleeve over the knee, and Matthews tested it out on the sideline with some runs and cuts. But he headed to the locker room just before halftime and didn't return. Tom Compton finished out the game protecting Ryan's blind side.

Kansas City was again missing Jeremy Maclin, its leading receiver. He returned to practice Wednesday and it was thought he'd be able to play after sitting out three straight games with a groin injury. But he didn't dress against the Falcons.

UP NEXT:
Chiefs: Return home for a huge Thursday night game against AFC West rival Oakland, the first of three straight games at Arrowhead Stadium before the season finale at San Diego.

Falcons: Travel to Los Angeles next Sunday to take on the Rams.

Instant Replay: 49ers plowed by Bears, skid reaches 11

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AP

Instant Replay: 49ers plowed by Bears, skid reaches 11

BOX SCORE

CHICAG0 – Just when the 49ers’ offense started to look as if it was warming up in Florida, things got cold in a hurry.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers’ passing game put together one of the most anemic showings in 49ers franchise history on Sunday in a 26-6 loss to the Chicago Bears on a snowy day at Soldier Field.

Kaepernick completed just one of five pass attempts for 4 yards. He was also sacked five times for minus-25 yards to give the 49ers minus-21 net yards passing in his three quarters of action.

With more than 12 minutes remaining and the 49ers trailing by 18 points, coach Chip Kelly benched Kaepernick and inserted Blaine Gabbert.

On Gabbert’s first play, he completed an 18-yard pass to receiver Jeremy Kerley. Gabbert, who started the 49ers first five games of the season, ended up with four completions in 10 attempts for 35 yards.

The 49ers entered the game with their franchise-worst game in passing at minus-10 yards, when Bob Waters and Lamar McHan combined for 63 yards passing against the Detroit Lions in 1963. The 49ers gave up 73 yards in sacks to account for the negative yardage.

The 49ers (1-11) extended their franchise-worst losing streak to 11 games against a Bears team that improves to 3-9 despite 15 players being on injured reserve. That list does not include quarterback Jay Cutler, who remains on the roster despite a season-ending shoulder injury.

The 49ers’ utter futility in the passing game was reminiscent of a 2005 trip the 49ers made to Soldier Field. Unlike Sunday, that game was howling wind that featured gusts up to 47 mph. On that day, Cody Pickett completed just one of his 13 pass attempts for 28 yards.

Neither Kaepernick nor Bears quarterback Matt Barkley completed a pass in the first quarter. Barkley was 0 for 2, while Kaepernick was 0 for 1. Kaepernick was also sacked two times for minus-18 yards.

It was the first NFL game since a New York Jets-New England game in 1988 that did not have a completed pass in the first quarter, according to Elias Sports.

The 49ers concluded the first quarter with 11 consecutive run plays. When Kaepernick finally completed a pass – a shovel pass to Shaun Draughn for 15 yards – it was nullified by right guard Joshua Garnett’s holding penalty. He later found tight end Vance McDonald on a 4-yard pass.

The fact that both teams did not even try to throw was a bit perplexing consider there was absolutely no wind and the snow did not pick up until halftime.

Kaepernick threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns in the 49ers’ 31-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins last week. The team practiced in mid-80s temperatures in Orlando, Fla., before traveling north to near freezing conditions in Chicago.

The Bears finally began to open up their offense after the 49ers took a 6-0 lead late in the first half. Barkley completed three of four attempts for 64 yards and benefitted from a questionable pass-interference penalty on Tramaine Brock in the end zone.

Bears rookie running back Jordan Howard punched it in from 1-yard out with 35 seconds remaining in the half to give Chicago a 7-6 lead after 30 minutes.

While the 49ers continued to stumble around, the Bears figured out that the conditions did not prevent them from incorporating the pass into their offense. Chicago scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half. They capped drives of 75 and 59 yards with Howard’s touchdown runs of 2 and 5 yards to take a 21-6 lead.

After his rough start, Barkley ended up having a fair amount of success against the 49ers. He ended up completing 11 passes for 192 yards. Barkley, who spent his first two NFL seasons as a reserve on Kelly’s team with the Philadelphia Eagles, made his second career start.

Premature celebration
Rookie Rashard Robinson celebrated Dontae Johnson’s blocked field-goal return for a touchdown with a snow angel (after Johnson did one first). There was only one problem: Johnson did not score a touchdown.

Johnson picked up the ball after Shaun Draughn broke through to block Pat O’Donnell’s punt. Johnson returned the ball 25 yards but was pushed out at the 4-yard line. Robinson thought Johnson scored and celebrated.

Robinson’s 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct pushed the 49ers’ offense back to the 19-yard line. After going nowhere in three plays, kicker Phil Dawson booted a 31-yard field goal to give the 49ers a 3-0 lead in the middle of the second quarter.

This ‘n’ that
--The 49ers’ field goals in the first half were set up by special teams. After Draughn’s blocked punt and Johnson’s return, it was Jimmie Ward who stepped up with a big play. Ward stripped Chicago kickoff return man Deonte Thompson and recovered at the Bears’ 37.

Dawson, who earlier hit a 31-yard field goal, made a 28-yard kick to give the 49ers a short-lived 6-0 lead with 1:56 remaining in the first half.

--Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch misseed his fifth consecutive game with a high-ankle sprain. Lynch has appeared in just three games this season. He served a four-game suspension to begin the season for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse. He was injured late in the 49ers’ Oct. 23 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The next week was the 49ers’ bye week. Eli Harold will start in place of Lynch for the ninth time this season.

--Wide receiver Quinton Patton was cleared to return to action after sustaining a concussion last week. The 49ers had six wide receivers active for the game: Patton, Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kerley, Rod Streater, Aaron Burbridge, and Chris Harper.