Paul G's Instant Replay: Bengals 34, Raiders 10

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Paul G's Instant Replay: Bengals 34, Raiders 10

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CINCINNATI -- The Raiders failed to show up in the first half, played outstanding in the third quarter and were involved in another strange progression of plays in the fourth, when the referees lost control. The end result, a 34-10 Cincinnati Bengals victory over Oakland before an announced 56,503 at Paul Brown Stadium.The Raiders' losing streak reached four games and they have been outscored by a combined 169-79 in that stretch.Midway through the fourth quarter, the Raiders appeared to have a fumble recovery on a strip by Joselio Hanson for a touchdown that would have made the score 27-17 on Mohamed Sanu when the referees huddled and announced an "inadvertent whistle" stopped the play, giving the Bengals the choice of accepting the play or playing it over. They played it over. And on a Bengals delay of game, Lamarr Houston took Andy Dalton down, creating a melee that ended with the refs kicking out Houston, Tommy Kelly and Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth, despite Bengals defensive players Manny Lawson, Carlos Dunlap and Taylor Mays coming on the field. Former Raiders coach-turned Bengals assistant Hue Jackson also came on the field to play the role of peacemaker, so to speak.East Coast Woes continue: The Raiders' woes in the Eastern Time Zone continued as they lost their ninth straight game in the east, getting outscored by a combined 315-155 in the process. The skid dates back to the Bruce Gradkowski comeback game in Pittsburgh on Dec. 6, 2009. In fact, the Raiders are now just 5-26 in games played in the Eastern Time Zone since Dec. 15, 2002.A less-than-welcoming homecoming: Carson Palmer was booed lustily early and often as the Raiders quarterback made his first appearance in Cincinnati since "retiring" and being traded over a year ago. He was greeted by the Bengals just as rudely, getting sacked four times, including twice in the Raiders' first possession, losing a fumble and getting picked off. Palmer finished with 146 yards on 19 of 34 passing with a touchdown pass. His franchise-record streak of 200-yard passing games ended at 16.Halftime adjustments?: After getting outscored by a cumulative 123-34 in the third quarter this season, the Raiders beat the Bengals 10-0 in the third on Sunday, Sebastian Janikowski drilling a 50-yard field goal and Carson Palmer hit Denarius Moore for a 20-yard touchdown pass.Automatic SeaBassstill: Sebastian Janikowski's 55-yard field goal in the third quarter, kicked into the more open end of the stadium with the Ohio River in the background, easily cleared the crossbar. It was his 23rd made field goal of the season in 24 attempts. His only miss was the 64-yarder he attempted at the end of regulation against Jacksonville.Turning on a dime: After outscoring the Bengals 10-0 in the third quarter, climbing within two touchdowns at 24-10 and sitting at midfield on 2nd and 4, Carson Palmer was strip-sacked by Manny Lawson and Rey Maualuga recovered. Two plays later, BenJarvus Green-Ellis broke off a 39-yard run to the 1-yard line. A 20-yard field goal by Mike Nugent put the Bengals up by 17. Ballgame.Checking in with Tom Flores: The former two-time Super Bowl winning coach of the Raiders spares no one on the radio broadcast when things go sideways. Such was the case early. "The Raiders don't have an answer for the blitzes they've shown."Up next: The Raiders (3-8) begin a three-game homestand, their final three home games of the season, by playing host to the Cleveland Browns (3-8), who upended the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Patriots pummel Pittsburgh, return to Super Bowl to face Falcons

Patriots pummel Pittsburgh, return to Super Bowl to face Falcons

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Tom Brady redemption tour is headed to the Super Bowl.

After beginning the 2016 season suspended for four games for his role in the "Deflategate" scandal, the New England quarterback relentlessly carried the Patriots to an unprecedented ninth appearance in the title game, and his seventh. Brady threw for a franchise playoff-best 384 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-17 rout of the helpless Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in New England's seventh consecutive AFC championship game.

The Patriots are early 3-point favorites heading to face Atlanta in two weeks in Houston, seeking their fifth NFL title with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach. Belichick's seventh appearance in a Super Bowl will be a record for a head coach.

Brady was banned by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell when New England (16-2) went 3-1 to open the schedule.

Since his return in Week 5, the only defeat came at home to Seattle, and Brady, 39, had one of the best seasons of a Hall of Fame-caliber career. He punctuated that in dreary weather similar to the 2014 conference title game that precipitated the deflated footballs investigation by flattening Pittsburgh's secondary.

Chris Hogan was his main weapon. The previously unheralded receiver found open spaces everywhere on the field against a leaky secondary. Hogan caught nine balls for 180 yards and two scores.

Top wideout Julian Edelman added eight receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown as Brady tied Joe Montana's playoff record with nine three-TD passing performances. Brady also had his 11th 300-yard postseason game, extending his NFL record, completing 32 of 42 throws.

Pittsburgh (13-6) lost star running back Le'Veon Bell late in the first quarter to a groin injury. It didn't seem to matter much in a record 16th conference title match for the Steelers, who made mistakes in every facet of the game. The franchise that has won the most Super Bowls, six, and the most postseason games, 36, never seemed likely to challenge in the misty rain.

Hogan's second touchdown came on a flea-flicker and he easily beat safety Mike Mitchell to the corner of the end zone. At that point, Hogan had seven catches for 117 yards and the first multi-touchdown game of his four-year career.

His first score made it 10-0 and came after Brady could have taken a nap before throwing, a common occurrence against a nonexistent pass rush. Hogan was all alone in the back of the end zone for the 16-yard score.

Pittsburgh had drawn to 10-6 on DeAngelo Williams' 5-yard run to cap an 84-yard drive. Veteran Williams is a nice security blanket in the backfield, though he's no Bell these days.

Still, he contributed on a 70-yard drive toward the end of the second quarter that appeared to be capped by Jesse James' TD reception. But video review showed James down at the 1, and the Steelers couldn't get into the end zone, Chris Boswell connecting for a 23-yard field goal.

The Steelers never threatened to get back into it.LeGarrette Blount punctuated the romp with a bruising 18-yard run on which he carried nearly the entire Pittsburgh defense with him. He then scored from the 1.

By the end, the crowd was chanting "Where is Roger?" and celebrating yet another Super Bowl trip for the Patriots.

BIG LEG:

Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal to open the scoring set a franchise record with 27, surpassing Adam Vinatieri's 26. Gostkowski is fourth all-time. He made a 47-yarder in the third quarter, a 26-yarder in the fourth, but he missed an extra point.

Boswell, who set an NFL mark with six field goals in the Steelers' 18-16 win at Kansas City last week, missed an extra point wide left and made a 23-yard kick.

INJURIES:

Steelers: Bell's early departure left him with 20 yards on six carries and no receptions.

Patriots: DB Nate Ebner left with a head injury.

UP NEXT:

After winning the AFC East with the conference's top record, New England defeated the Texans 34-16 and the Steelers to reach the Super Bowl. They will take on Atlanta, which beat Green Bay 44-21 for the NFC crown. Super Bowl 51 will be in Houston on Feb. 5; New England won the 2002 and 2005 Super Bowls after beating Pittsburgh for the AFC championship.

Reports: Former Raiders QB expected to join Cal's coaching staff

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AP

Reports: Former Raiders QB expected to join Cal's coaching staff

It looks as though Marques Tuiasosopo is heading back to the Pac-12, again. The former Rose Bowl MVP and Washington quarterback has reportedly been added to the coaching staff at Cal under new head coach Justin Wilcox.

The news was first reported by Bruin Sports Online and later followed up by Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports, via Twitter.

Tuiasosopo is no stranger to coaching in the Pac-12. After spending 12 seasons in the NFL, Tuiasosopo returned to his alma mater to take on a role as assistant strength coach for the Washington Huskies in 2009.

After two years in that role, he joined the UCLA coaching staff as a graduate assistant in 2011 and took on a role as tight ends coach in 2012 under Jim Mora. The following year, in 2013, Tuiasosopo returned to Washington to be the quarterback coach to work for Steve Sarkisian. 

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