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    The Houston Texans have won the AFC South three times in coach Bill O'Brien's five seasons, and they have led or shared the divisional lead all but three weeks this season. Adding a fourth title to that list means going through the franchise the Texans replaced in Houston. The Tennessee Titans last won the AFC South back in 2008 and haven't swept the Houston Texans since 2007. But the Titans and second-year coach Mike Vrabel, who got his NFL coaching start in Houston working with linebackers for O'Brien in 2014, has won four straight and six of seven since quarterback Marcus Mariota was benched for Ryan Tannehill. That combination helped the Titans (8-5) climb from the bottom of the AFC South midway through the season into a tie with the Texans (8-5). Tennessee hosts Houston on Sunday in the first of two games between the rivals in the final three weeks of the schedule. 'The challenge is getting ready for them the first time,' Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. 'The second one is not going to mean a whole lot. We’ve got to get ready for the first one here.' Houston currently holds the No. 4 seed in the AFC thanks to a better record against conference teams than Tennessee. A sweep offers the Titans the safest bet to the division title and the franchise's first home playoff game since January 2009. With Tannehill at quarterback, Tennessee is scoring 31.4 points a game — second in the NFL in that time only to Baltimore. Week 15 started Thursday night with Baltimore’s 42-21 home victory over the New York Jets. Lamar Jackson threw five touchdown passes, scurried into the NFL record book and guided the Ravens to their second straight AFC North title and 10th consecutive victory. Baltimore (12-2) took control with touchdowns on its first three possessions and Jackson made it 28-7 in the third quarter with a 24-yard scoring pass to rookie Marquise Brown following a turnover by New York (5-9). Jackson ran for 86 yards (on eight carries) to break Michael Vick's single-season record for a quarterback. Jackson has 1,108 yards rushing. Vick had 1,039 for Atlanta in 2006. Jackson completed 15 of 23 passes for 212 yards and increased his NFL-leading total of touchdown passes to 33, tying the franchise season record set by Vinny Testaverde in 1996. BUFFALO (9-4) at PITTSBURGH (8-5) These teams currently hold the wild-card spots in the AFC, which helped this game move to prime time. Buffalo can clinch a playoff berth with a victory, while the Steelers are trying to stay ahead of the Titans. The Bills are 5-1 away from Buffalo this season, though it might be tougher for Bills Mafia to find their way into Heinz Field. A big chunk of the reason the Steelers are in the playoff chase is how good they are at home, going 5-2. Pittsburgh also has won the last six in this series. QB Devlin Hodges can make a bit of history by becoming the first undrafted rookie in the common draft era (since 1967) to win his first four starts. NEW ENGLAND (10-3) at CINCINNATI (1-12) The Patriots' two-game skid has delayed New England's annual clinching of its perfunctory playoff berth. Now the Pats go into Cincinnati as heavy favorites to both snap that rare losing string and secure that playoff berth with a victory. Tom Brady needs three touchdown passes to tie Peyton Manning (539) for most in NFL history, which will be watched much more closely than anything happening on the Bengals' sideline. We think. CHICAGO (7-6) at GREEN BAY (10-3) The Bears need a fourth straight win to keep their playoff hopes alive in the NFC, where the only teams without double-digit victories assured of reaching the postseason play in the NFC East. But this time, Chicago is playing Green Bay, which can clinch an NFC playoff berth with a victory or a tie and a loss by the Rams. Aaron Rodgers has thrown 17 TD passes with only one interception in his past five games at home against Chicago. SEATTLE (10-3) at CAROLINA (5-8) The Seahawks can bounce back from their loss to the Rams and possibly clinch a playoff berth with three different scenarios. They also need a victory to keep a game back of San Francisco in the NFC West if the Niners win. Cam Newton's recovering from foot surgery, and the Panthers have lost five straight. Christian McCaffrey has been very successful against the NFC West — not to mention the entire league — averaging 197.3 yards from scrimmage in his last four games against that division. DENVER (5-8) at KANSAS CITY (9-4) The Chiefs already have clinched their fourth straight AFC West title, and the biggest question for Kansas City is the health of Patrick Mahomes ' right hand. Kansas City has won eight straight in this series between the division rivals. Rookie Drew Lock won't catch the Chiefs by surprise after he threw for 309 yards and three TDs last week in Denver's rout of Houston. TAMPA BAY (6-7) at DETROIT (3-9-1-) The Buccaneers are trying to finish the season strong in coach Bruce Arians' first year, and Jameis Winston is trying to prove he deserves a contract from someone this offseason. Not even a fracture in the thumb of his right, throwing hand is keeping Winston out of the lineup after he threw for a career-high 456 yards and four TDs last week. Detroit rookie quarterback David Blough has to contend with Shaquil Barrett, the NFL's sacks leader with 15 this season. The Lions are trying to snap a six-game skid. MIAMI (3-10) at N.Y. GIANTS (2-11) The Dolphins have to return to the same stadium where a rare pass interference penalty was called during review and helped cost them a one-point loss to the Jets last week. This is a prime opportunity for the Giants to snap a nine-game losing streak after falling in overtime to Philadelphia on Monday night. Another loss would mark the first 10-game skid in franchise history. PHILADELPHIA (6-7) at WASHINGTON (3-10) The Eagles have a short week and need blinders to focus only on the Redskins and not next week's home game against Dallas, which could decide the struggling NFC East. Philadelphia only managed to hold off Washington 32-27 in September and can look at the Redskins' close loss at Lambeau Field to Green Bay last week as a reminder to stick to the task at hand. This will be Washington rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins' first career start against an NFC East opponent, and the Eagles have won the last five in this series. CLEVELAND (6-7) at ARIZONA (3-9-1) A pair of rookie head coaches face off when Freddie Kitchens takes his Browns to visit Kliff Kingsbury in the desert. The Browns have won four of their last five to keep faint playoff hopes alive. Unfortunately, top overall draft choice QB Kyler Murray doesn't play defense, and Browns running back Nick Chubb is the NFL's rushing leader with 1,281 yards. Arizona ranks 24th in the league giving up 120.5 yards rushing a game. JACKSONVILLE (4-9) at OAKLAND (6-7) The final game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, at least for the Raiders, who move to Las Vegas next season. The Raiders may have lost three straight, routed in each loss, but in the last game at the Black Hole, the Raiders will be determined to say goodbye in true Al Davis style by trying to just win. The Jaguars have lost five straight, and not even the sequel of Minshew Mania has helped Jacksonville stop the struggles. MINNESOTA (9-4) at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (5-8) The Vikings are trying to hold off Los Angeles' other team, the Rams, for one of the NFC's wild-card berths. It should help that Kirk Cousins is at his best against teams from the AFC West, having thrown for 16 TDs and only two interceptions in his last seven against this division. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers needs 252 yards to give him seven straight seasons with 4,000 yards passing or more, the NFL's longest active streak. He threw for 314 last week in posting a career-high 154.4 passer rating. ATLANTA (4-7) at SAN FRANCISCO (11-2) The 49ers need a win to clinch a playoff berth after that big victory in New Orleans pushed them back atop the NFC in the chase for the No. 1 seed. They still can clinch if the Rams or both Minnesota and Green Bay lose. The Falcons have won three of their last five, and Matt Ryan topped 50,000 yards passing for his career last week. LOS ANGELES RAMS (8-5) at DALLAS (6-7) The Cowboys have lost three straight to turn their chase of the NFC East title into a game of survivor trying to stay ahead of Philadelphia. Being back home in Dallas couldn't hurt, but they're only 3-3 there this season. The Rams are playing catch-up, trying to chase down Minnesota for the NFC's last wild-card spot after playing in the Super Bowl in February. It doesn't help that they visit San Francisco next week. But the Rams have won two straight with Todd Gurley managing 110 yards or more from scrimmage in each win. INDIANAPOLIS (6-7) at NEW ORLEANS (10-3), Monday night The Colts are trying to keep their slim playoff hopes alive after three straight losses. Not only are the Saints still chasing a bye week in the playoffs, Drew Brees needs only three TD passes to pass Manning (539) for the most in NFL history — or Brady if the Patriots quarterback has already reached that mark by Monday night. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • Falcons running back Devonta Freeman and cornerback Isaiah Oliver have returned to practice as limited participants. Freeman (knee) and Oliver (shoulder) were back on the field Thursday for the first time this week. Linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (calf), left guard Wes Schweitzer (shoulder) and defensive end Adrian Clayborn (back) also returned and were limited. Atlanta (4-9) is out of playoff contention as it visits San Francisco (11-2) this weekend. The team announced that guard James Carpenter (concussion) and defensive end Allen Bailey (personal matter) would not make the trip. Freeman ran 17 times for 84 yards and scored his first rushing touchdown of the season in last week's 40-20 win over Carolina. It was his second game back after being sidelined for two weeks with a foot injury. The Falcons need Oliver, the right-side starter, as healthy as possible. They lost left cornerback Desmond Trufant to a season-ending broken forearm against the Panthers. Kendall Sheffield will start in Trufant's spot. Receiver Julio Jones (shoulder) was limited in practice both days this week but is expected to start. Russell Gage could start at the other receiver spot after Calvin Ridley went down with a season-ending abdomen injury. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • When Kyle Shanahan looks back on the two years he spent as offensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons, it's the positives he remembers much more than the disappointing ending. After a couple of tough stops in Washington and Cleveland, Shanahan's coaching career took off after joining the Falcons when he helped Matt Ryan and Atlanta reach record heights on the way to a Super Bowl appearance. That performance helped land him a head coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers even if he fell short of a Super Bowl title when the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead before losing in overtime to New England. 'Not at all,' Shanahan said when asked if the Super Bowl collapse lessened his memories of his tenure with the Falcons. 'I loved my time in Atlanta, loved the people I was there with. I went there at a tough time in my career and just the two previous places I had been. ... It was good to be in a good place like that, and really enjoyed the players, too.' Shanahan gets a chance to face his old team, including Ryan and head coach Dan Quinn, when the 49ers (11-2) host the Falcons (4-9) on Sunday. Atlanta set a franchise record by scoring 540 points in 2016 with Shanahan calling plays. Ryan had career bests in yards passing (4,944), TD passes (38) and passer rating (117.1) on the way to winning the league MVP. 'Kyle had a huge impact on my career,' Ryan said. 'He challenged me to get better, improve in certain areas and taught me a lot about offensive football. Just seeing things from a different perspective, I feel like I made big jumps in the two years we were together and I'm happy for him that he's having great success. ... It's no surprise that he has their offense playing well because he's excellent at knowing what to do.' While Shanahan is thriving in his third year in San Francisco with the Niners alone atop the NFC standings and in line for home-field advantage in the playoffs, the Falcons have struggled. Atlanta started the year 1-7 and has little left to play for other than pride heading into a matchup with a coach the Falcons know well and respect greatly. 'Kyle makes it extremely difficult. He's a fantastic play caller,' Falcons linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich said. 'When the season has not gone as well as you'd like it, you covet these opportunities to show people what you could've been, what you should've been.' FAMILY AFFAIR The ties between the two franchises run deeper than Shanahan's relationships in Atlanta. Ryan and 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey are first cousins. McGlinchey's mother, Janet, and Ryan's mom, Bernice, who are sisters, are leading a contingent of about 50-60 people coming out from Pennsylvania for the game. For McGlinchey, it's an opportunity to play against someone he looked up to growing up. 'When I was a kid, all I ever did was try to be like Matt in every way I could,' he said. 'I would watch his interviews. I would watch everything about Matt. Maybe I just adopted the way he did things because he always did them the right way. It's pretty easy to learn from a guy like him, how well he has done.' PROTECTING RYAN The 49ers rank third in the NFL with 45 sacks. The Falcons will have to keep Ryan upright to have any chance of pulling off a major upset. Atlanta, with two rookies starting on the offensive line, has surrendered 41 sacks. But, after giving up a total of 15 in the two previous games, the unit showed major improvement last week against a Carolina team that ranked second in the league. Ryan was sacked only one time by the Panthers, while the Falcons had five sacks. RUN RAHEEM, RUN Raheem Mostert spent most of his first four season in the NFL as a special-teams standout. The past two weeks, he's shown the ability to be a featured back. Mostert has gotten the bulk of the work for San Francisco the past two games and delivered. He ran for 69 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and also caught two passes for 40 yards and a TD in last week's win at New Orleans. Mostert has 263 yards from scrimmage and three TDs the past two weeks and figures to keep getting a heavy load as he has averaged 6.0 yards per carry for the season. 'What Raheem has done these last few weeks and has continued to do, we need to give him more opportunities,' Shanahan said. 'He's given us no choice. I'm happy for him and it's been great. He's been extremely impressive.' KOO EMERGES Kicker Younghoe Koo has become a big weapon for the Falcons since replacing Matt Bryant. Koo was selected as NFC special teams player of the week for the second time after making four field goals, four extra points and recovering a fumble on a kickoff in last Sunday's 40-20 victory over Carolina. The 25-year-old Korean has connected on 16 of 18 field goals and 9 of 10 extra points. 'He's gaining confidence as he's going,' Quinn said. 'We're pleased where he's at.' CENTER OF ATTENTION The 49ers suffered a major loss last week when starting center Weston Richburg went down with a season-ending knee injury. Richburg anchored a line that excelled in both run blocking and protection, and will be replaced by untested Ben Garland. Garland has spent most of his career since entering the NFL as a reserve and his only seven starts came at guard for Atlanta in 2017 and '18. REPLACING RIDLEY The Falcons will be looking at some new receivers over the final three games after losing Calvin Ridley to a season-ending abdominal injury. Ridley, a first-round draft pick in 2018, had become a major weapon alongside Julio Jones — especially after the trade of Mohamed Sanu to the New England Patriots. Now, some other young receivers will get a chance, most notably Christian Blake (11 catches, 91 yards) and Olamide Zaccheaus, whose first career catch was a 93-yard touchdown against the Panthers. 'We have a number of playmakers,' Quinn said. ___ AP Sports Writer Paul Newberry contributed to this report ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • In the last two weeks, online petitions calling for Michael Vick to be barred from the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl for his dogfighting past have received more than 1.2 million signatures. Despite those pleas, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he has no plans to remove him from the roster. At a news conference held at the end of the league’s quarterly ownership meetings, Goodell talked about the petitions, which have now garnered more than 1 million John Hancocks on three petitions on Change.org and AnimalVictory.org. »MORE: More than 630,000 sign petitions to keep Michael Vick from Pro Bowl honors Goodell, according to Pro Football Talk, told the media Wednesday that the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback has paid his debts to society during the last nine years to reconcile his past of abusing dogs. He’s paid a heavy price for that. He has been accountable for it. He’s worked aggressively with the Humane Society and other institutions to deal with animal rights and to make sure people don’t make the same mistake he made. And I admire that.” — Roger Goodell He goes on to say he doesn’t “anticipate” any change in Vick serving as captain of the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl, which will feature other former players including Terrell Davis, Darrell Green and Bruce Smith. “I know that there are people out there who will never forgive him. He knows that. But I think this is a young man that has really taken his life in a positive direction, and we support that,” Goodell said. »MORE: Virginia city says Michael Vick owes $70,000 in unpaid taxes Vick served 23 months in a federal prison for running a dogfighting ring at his home. Petitioners say the time served is not enough to clear the slate.  “When is the NFL going to take any responsibility for the behavior of it's current and former players?,” the petition reads. “To honor a man who had zero regard for animals is unacceptable and I would like your help to make sure he is NOT honored at the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl,” petitioner Joanna Lind wrote. The 2020 NFL Pro Bowl is scheduled Jan. 26 in Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET.
  • Former football star Michael Vick owes tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes on luxury cars that he owned in Virginia, officials said. Officials said Vick owes the city of Hampton about $70,000, the Daily Press of Newport News reported Thursday. Vick lived in Virginia after serving time in prison for running a dog-fighting operation. Hampton Treasurer Molly Ward told the newspaper that the city has failed to reach Vick or people who have handled his affairs. She said the city has so far filed warrants for $51,900 in unpaid taxes and plans to file more. The Daily Press said that Vick could not be reached immediately for comment. Vick, 39, was the top overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft by Atlanta and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection during his time as the Falcons' quarterback. His stay ended in disgrace. Vick served 18 months in prison following his guilty plea for a dog-fighting operation in his native Virginia. He returned to play five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, followed by short stints with the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers. Vick was recently named honorary co-captain for the NFL Pro Bowl, a decision that has prompted more than 700,000 people to sign a petition in protest.
  • Former quarterback Michael Vick will be honored at the upcoming Pro Bowl, despite more than 566,000 signatures on a Change.org petition. That is the word from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, WPVI reported. Many animal lovers are demanding that Vick be removed as an honorary captain at January’s Pro Bowl, The Washington Post reported. >> Read more trending news  Vick, who played for the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers over 15 seasons, served a prison sentence on federal charges related to dogfighting and gambling, NBC Sports reported. The NFL suspended him for his role in dogfighting but reinstated him in 2009 with the Eagles. He retired from the NFL and the Falcons in 2017. He had a role with the Kansas City Chiefs before becoming an analyst with Fox Sports, the Post reported. He has also become an animal rights activist and works with the Humane Society, the Post reported. Vick will join Terrell Davis, Darrell Green and Bruce Smith as honorary captains at the game on Jan. 26 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, the NFL announced last month.
  • ATLANTA (4-9) at SAN FRANCISCO (11-2) Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox OPENING LINE - 49ers by 11 1/2 RECORD VS. SPREAD - Falcons 5-8, 49ers 8-4-1 SERIES RECORD - 49ers lead 47-31-1 LAST MEETING - Falcons beat 49ers 49-13, Dec. 18, 2016 LAST WEEK - Falcons beat Panthers 40-20; 49ers beat Saints 48-46 AP PRO32 RANKING - Falcons No. 25, 49ers No. 2 FALCONS OFFENSE - OVERALL (7), RUSH (30), PASS (3). FALCONS DEFENSE - OVERALL (21), RUSH (15), PASS (24). 49ERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (4), RUSH (2), PASS (13). 49ERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (2), RUSH (22), PASS (1). STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan spent two seasons as offensive coordinator in Atlanta, helping team score franchise record 540 points on way to Super Bowl appearance in 2016 season. ... Falcons QB Matt Ryan threw for 313 yards last week to top 50,000 for career in 186th career game, second fastest in history to Drew Brees' 183 games. ... Atlanta WR Olamide Zaccheaus scored 93-yard TD on first career catch for longest first reception in NFL history, according to Elias Sports Bureau. ... Falcons WR Julio Jones topped 1,000 yards receiving last week for sixth straight season. Only Tampa Bay's Mike Evans also has reached 1,000 yards past six years. ... Atlanta third in NFL with 205 offensive plays of at least 10 yards. ...Falcons passed on league-high 67.4% of offensive plays; 49ers one of two teams to run on more than half of its plays. ... Niners clinch first playoff berth since 2013 with win, or loss by Rams, or losses by both Packers, Vikings. ... Niners scored 48 points last week at New Orleans, their most in road game since 55-17 win at Detroit in 1993. ... San Francisco became second road team since 1940 to win game when allowing at least 46 points. Denver won 51-48 at Dallas on Oct. 6, 2013. ... Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo has passer rating of at least 110 in four straight games. Only San Francisco QB to do that previously was Steve Young with six-game streak in 1994. ... San Francisco gained 516 yards last week for second 500-yard game of season. Last time 49ers did that was 1999. ... Niners' five TD passes last week were most in game since six Oct. 14, 1990 vs. Falcons. ... San Francisco WR Kendrick Bourne had two TD catches last week to give him five on season. ... Fantasy tip: RB Raheem Mostert has become No. 1 back over past two weeks. He ran for 69 yards and TD on 10 carries and also caught two passes for 40 yards and TD vs. Saints. Mostert has 263 yards from scrimmage, three TDs past two weeks. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • Veteran defensive backs and team leaders Richard Sherman of San Francisco and Malcolm Jenkins of Philadelphia are among 32 nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The award, now in its 50th year — it was named after the late Hall of Fame running back in 1999 — will be handed out in Miami on Feb. 1, the night before the Super Bowl at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press reveals its individual NFL award winners. The award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. “Every day, in cities and towns across America, NFL players give of themselves to make our communities better,'NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says. “This year, as we celebrate our 100th season and the 50th year of the Walter Payton NFL Man of Year Award, NFL players have continued to raise the bar on community engagement and impact.' All 32 nominees will receive a donation of up to $50,000 in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. Current players to win the award are Drew Brees, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Jason Witten, Eli Manning and J.J. Watt. The nominees, in alphabetical order of teams: Arizona Cardinals, David Johnson Atlanta Falcons, Ricardo Allen Baltimore Ravens, Brandon Carr Buffalo Bills, Lorenzo Alexander Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton Chicago Bears, Allen Robinson II Cincinnati Bengals, Giovani Bernard Cleveland Browns, Jarvis Landry Dallas Cowboys, Travis Frederick Denver Broncos, Justin Simmons Detroit Lions, Devon Kennard Green Bay Packers, Blake Martinez Houston Texans, D.J. Reader Indianapolis Colts, Pierre Desir Jacksonville Jaguars, Calais Campbell Kansas City Chiefs, Dustin Colquitt Los Angeles Chargers, Uchenna Nwosu Los Angeles Rams, Andrew Whitworth Miami Dolphins, Davon Godchaux Minnesota Vikings, Kyle Rudolph New England Patriots, Kyle Van Noy New Orleans Saints, Terron Armstead New York Giants, Nate Solder New York Jets, Jonotthan Harrison Oakland Raiders, Tahir Whitehead Philadelphia Eagles, Malcolm Jenkins Pittsburgh Steelers, Maurkice Pouncey San Francisco 49ers, Richard Sherman Seattle Seahawks, Bobby Wagner Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mike Evans Tennessee Titans, Ben Jones Washington Redskins, Nick Sundberg ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • To Matt Ryan, that's still his little cousin. Never mind that Mike McGlinchey is a 6-foot-8, 310-pound offensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers. “He's a kid to me,” Ryan quipped, “but he's out there playing like a grown man.” The first cousins will be on opposite sides Sunday when the the NFC-leading 49ers (11-2) host Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons (4-9). McGlinchey, a second-year player who starts at right tackle, grew up idolizing Ryan. The Falcons quarterback is almost 9 years older, so his younger cousin watched him develop into a high school star in Philadelphia, attended games after he went off to Boston College, and set a goal of following him into the NFL after the Falcons drafted Ryan third overall in 2008. “All I ever did was try to be like Matt in every way I could,” said McGlinchey, whose mother is a sister of Ryan's mom. “I would watch his interviews. I would watch everything about Matt. Maybe I just adopted the way he did things because he always did them the right way. It’s pretty easy to learn from a guy like him.” San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan, who spent two years as Ryan's offensive coordinator in Atlanta, noticed the similarities right away when he met McGlinchey for the first time at the combine in Indianapolis. “I knew Matt Ryan had a cousin in the draft,” Shanahan recalled. “McGlinchey came in and I didn’t know it was him. Just the way he came in and introduced himself to everyone in the room, the way he sat down and talked, right then I was like, ‘Man, this guy reminds me of Matt Ryan.’ Then I looked down at my notes that we get on everyone and it says it’s his cousin.” Even though they play much different positions, Shanahan said they are “almost like the same guy.' “They're both CEOs,” the coach said. “Right when they walk in a room they know everyone’s name, they know how to handle themselves. They are very similar to me. They come from good families, they’ve been raised the right way and they both love football.” McGlinchey still remembers when Ryan became the starting quarterback at Boston College. “I was a third or fourth-grade kid,” McGlinchey said. 'We would go all the time to watch his games up there, and I just remember being a kid just wishing I could be a part of it. “And now,” he added, 'here we are.” McGlinchey played collegiately at Notre Dame before the 49ers drafted him No. 9 overall in 2018 — six spots lower than his older cousin, it must be noted. In the tale of the tape, McGlinchey outweighs Ryan by nearly 100 pounds. “He was always a monster,' Ryan said with a smile. “I remember as a baby, you were just like, ‘Gosh, this kid is big.'” But, like his older cousin, he was always quite an athlete, too. “He was a great basketball player,” Ryan said. “He throws the ball really well. You’d be surprised, man. He can spin it. They used to have him at tight end, to catch balls and stuff like that in high school. He was always just a freak.” McGlinchey started all 16 games for the 49ers as a rookie, and he's back in the lineup after a knee injury knocked him out for four games this season. He's helped transform San Francisco into a potential Super Bowl contender after four straight losing campaigns. Ryan kept tabs on his cousin while he was recovering from his injury. “I’m proud of him, man,” the 12th-year quarterback said. 'He’s having a great start to his career and obviously enjoying this run that they’re on right now.” The Falcons have endured a miserable season, though Ryan did become just the 10th quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 yards passing in his career. There will be dozens of family members on hand at Levi's Stadium to watch them face each other for the first time in the NFL. Ryan is glad that he won't be on the field at the same time as his little cousin. “He’s pretty physical,” Ryan said. “That wouldn’t be fun to get hit by him.” ___ AP Sports Writer Josh Dubow in San Francisco contributed to this report. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 His work can be found at https://apnews.com ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • The best running teams are winning far more often this season and the most prolific passing teams are losing much more. Baltimore (11-2), San Francisco (11-2), Seattle (10-3), Minnesota (9-4) and Buffalo (9-4) are ranked Nos. 1-5 in average yards rushing per game. Their combined record is 50-15. Here's the combined record and winning percentage for the five top rushing teams since 2015: 2019: 50-15, .769 2018: 51-29, .638 2017: 54-26, .675 2016: 42-38, .525 2015: 50-30, .625 Dallas (6-7), Tampa Bay (6-7), Atlanta (4-9), Kansas City (9-4) and the Los Angeles Chargers (5-8) are ranked Nos. 1-5 in average yards passing per game. They are 30-35. Here's the combined record and winning percentage for the five top passing teams since 2015: 2019: 30-35, .462 2018: 46-33-1, .581 2017: 51-29, .638 2016: 51-28-1, .644 2015: 46-34, .575 ACTION JACKSON Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is 23 yards away from breaking Michael Vick's single-season record for quarterbacks. Vick had 1,039 in 2006. LOCKED IN Broncos quarterback Drew Lock became the first rookie in the Super Bowl era to pass for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in his first road start in Denver's 38-24 win at Houston. OVERLOOKED Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay is the third undrafted player with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first two seasons since 1967. OVERLOOKED II Chargers Austin Ekeler had 101 yards rushing and 112 yards receiving in a 45-10 win over Jacksonville. He joins Arian Foster, Priest Holmes and Pierre Thomas as the only undrafted running backs to have 100 yards rushing and 100 receiving in a single game since 1967. Ekeler's eight TD receptions already are the most by an undrafted running back. DUAL THREAT 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had seven receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown and threw a 35-yard touchdown pass in San Francisco's 48-46 win at New Orleans. Sanders joined Walter Payton, LaDainian Tomlinson and Odell Beckham Jr. as the only non-quarterbacks since 1970 to have a TD catch and TD pass in multiple games in their career. CHASING PEYTON Drew Brees and Tom Brady are closing in on Peyton Manning's career record for TD passes. Manning had 539. Brees has 537. Brady has 536. Brees last week threw five TD passes for the 11th time in his career. R-TANN Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 21 of 27 passes (77.8%) for 391 yards and three touchdowns with one interception for a 140.4 passer rating in the Tennessee's 42-21 win at Oakland. Tannehill joined Aaron Rodgers as the only players to complete at least 75% of their passes with a passer rating of 130 or higher in three consecutive games in a single season in league history. JAMEIS JAMS Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston became the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for 450 yards and four TDs and run for a score in the same game. Norm Van Brocklin did it in 1951 and Billy Volek did so in 2004. MATTY ICE Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan reached 50,000 yards passing in his 186th career game. Only Drew Brees did it faster, in 183 games. AP'S CHASE Redskins running back Adrian Peterson joined Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith as the only players with 14,000 yards rushing and 100 rushing TDs. HUNTING QBS Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter became the youngest player, at 25 years and 40 days old, to reach 50 career sacks. The stat became official in 1982. ___ More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

News

  • Workers at an Indianapolis Dairy Queen have had enough with people doing illict things in the shop’s parking lot, so they’re sending a message in lights -- “Parking lot - not for drug sales.” WISH stopped by and saw the sign but reporters there don’t know when the message was first displayed and how long it will stay posted.
  • Update 8:14 a.m. ET Dec. 13, 2019: After more than 14 hours of debate on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler, abruptly adjourned the hearing, saying the historic vote would be taken on Friday morning. The decision to adjourn before voting to send the articles of impeachment to the full House for a vote next week came just shy of midnight. Republican committee members were shocked and angered at Nadler’s actions, with Rep. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, the committee’s ranking member, shouting as the gavel fell. 'Words cannot describe how inappropriate this was,' Collins said. He and other Republicans said the move was a complete surprise. The committee adjourned after five amendments to the articles of impeachment were introduced. Each amendment was debated and all were voted down. The committee is scheduled to reconvene at 10 a.m. for the votes on the articles. Each article will be voted on separately. Democrats have 24 members on the committee and Republicans have 17. Update 11:15 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Nadler stunned Republican members of the committee late Thursday by calling a recess to let members take time to make a “sober decision” on the matter of impeachment. Throughout the day it had seemed that the committee was headed toward a late-night vote on both articles. Ranking Member Collins strongly objected to the recess saying Nadler had not consulted with minority leadership about recessing Thursday night. Collins asked Nadler why he was ok with “blowing up everyone’s schedule.” One Republican committee member said the move smacked of “Stalinism.” Nadler said the hearing would reconvene Friday morning at 10 a.m. ET to cast the votes on the two separate articles of impeachment against Trump. Live updates will continue Friday morning to cover the votes. Update 10:35 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told Fox’s Sean Hannity, that there is no way that Trump will be removed from office if he is impeached by the House next week. “We all know how it’s going to end. There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office,” McConnell told Hannity Thursday night. Update 9:48 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The debate has resumed. Rep. Sensenbrenner is speaking. He commends Nadler for the way he ran the hearing, then says he and the other Democrats are “dead wrong.” Update 8:59 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The amendment to remove the words “impeachment of Donald J. Trump” from the articles of impeachment is defeated 23-17 vote on party lines. Chairman Nadler has called for a 30-minute recess. Update 8:57 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: From Jamie Dupree: Update 8:52 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Ranking Member Collins and Rep. Eric Swalwell get testy after nearly 12 hours of debate. Update 7:48 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Trump is hosting a congressional holiday ball at the White House tonight. He said it was a “very exciting month in Washington, DC,” and that 'We’re going to have a fantastic year. Update 7:12 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Reschenthaler’s amendment to strike the second article of impeachment fails. The vote was 23-17 along party lines. A fifth amendment is offered by Rep. Jordan. The amendment takes the words “Donald Trump should be impeached” out of both of the articles. Update 7:06 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: CNN is reporting that the Justice Department has published on its website internal legal opinions that could help Trump block congressional requests. According to CNN, the Justice Department said the release of the opinions was connected to a recent opinion by the Office of Legal concerning former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn. Some of the opinions date back to the 1970s. Update 6:54 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The debate over the articles of impeachment has been going on for around 10 hours now. Soon, there should be a vote on the fourth suggested amendment to the articles of impeachment. Update 6:01 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Lisa Desjardins, a correspondent with PBS Newshour, is reporting that the vote whether or not to impeach Trump will likely be held on Wednesday. Update 5:58 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pennsylvania, breaks it down for you. Update 5:20 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Biggs’ amendment about an OMB report that explained the withholding of military aid to Ukraine is defeated along party lines. Another amendment has been proposed. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pennsylvania, is moving to strike (kill) the second of the two articles of impeachment. The second article alleges Trump obstructed Congress. Update 5 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, says the timing of the vote on articles of impeachment in the full House will be announced tonight. 'Today, the House Judiciary Committee is continuing its mark up of two articles of impeachment. Following Committee action on these articles, the Judiciary Committee will make a recommendation to the full House of Representatives. A path forward on the Floor will be announced following the Committee’s mark up. Update 4:16 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-Louisiana, compared the Republicans to Judas for their support of Trump. “Today I’m reminded of Judas — because Judas for 30 pieces of silver betrayed Jesus; for 30 positive tweets for easy reelection, the other side is willing to betray the American people … the future of our great country,” Richmond said. Update 4:12 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Gaetz suggests that Democrats who represent Republican majority districts in their states will not be coming back to serve in the House. “Rent, don’t buy, here in Washington,” Gaetz said. Update 3:39 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The committee has voted down Gaetz’s amendment to remove Joe Biden’s name from the articles of impeachment and insert Hunter Biden’s in its place. The vote was along party lines. Another Republican amendment has been proposed. The amendment from Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Arizona calls for the inclusion of a statement from the Office of Management and Budget explaining why the military aid to Ukraine was held up. Update 3:26 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: According to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday, 45% of Americans surveyed said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 50% said he should not be impeached and removed. Update 3:16 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: White House counsel Pat Cipollone is meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, ahead of the expected impeachment of Trump next week, according to the Washington Post. Should Trump be impeached in the House, a trial will be held in the Senate to determine if he is guilty of wrongdoing and if he will be removed from office. White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland accompanied Cipollone to the meeting. Update: 2:51 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: President Trump has tweeted again. Update 2:40 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The hearing has resumed. Update 1 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The hearing is in recess for members to take votes on the House floor. Update 12:12 p.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Matt Gaetz puts forth an amendment to drop former Vice President Joe Biden’s name in the articles of impeachment, leaving only Biden’s son Hunter in the document. Gaetz introduces the amendment then describes Hunter Biden’s struggle with drug addiction by reading from a New Yorker Magazine story that described a car wreck Hunter Biden was in and a description of how he allegedly asked a homeless man where he could buy crack cocaine. Update 11:58 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: A vote is called on Jordan’s amendment to strike the first article of impeachment. All the Democrats present, 23, vote no, all the Republicans present, 17, vote yes. The amendment fails. Update 11:46 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, has come up several times during the hearing. Republicans have slammed him as unreliable as a witness because he revised his original testimony. Jordan said that Sondland had repeatedly said during his deposition that he did not recall key facts. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colorado, chided Democrats saying, “Ambassador Sondland is your star witness? Really? You’re basing an impeachment on Ambassador Sondland’s testimony?” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, answered Buck saying, “They don’t like him now because he clarified his testimony to say that yes, there was definitely a quid pro quo at the heart of this whole thing,” Raskin said. Update 11:30 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, indicated in her weekly press conference Thursday morning that the House will wrap up the impeachment inquiry next week. “Next week we’ll take up something” in the full House, Pelosi said, after being asked about the timetable for the impeachment inquiry. Update 11:20 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: The committee has now spent two hours debating the amendment by Jim Jordan to delete the first article of impeachment. Update 11 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: President Trump weighs-in. Update 10:20 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, accuses the Republicans of hypocrisy. She references former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, asking, why “lying about a sexual affair is an abuse of presidential power but the misuse of presidential power to get a benefit doesn’t matter? “If it’s lying about sex, we could put Stormy Daniels’ case ahead of us,” she said. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, answers Lofgren, saying Clinton was impeached because he lied to a grand jury. That, Sensenbrenner says, is something Trump has never done. Update 10 a.m. ET Dec. 12, 2019: Democrats introduced an amendment to spell out Trump's middle name. The articles of impeachment reference Donald J. Trump. Nadler introduces an amendment to change the article to read Donald John Trump, the president’s full name. Rep. Collins responds to the amendment saying it shows the “absurdity” of the whole process. The debate takes off from there with several members arguing about the articles and what has been testified to. Rep. Joe Neguse, D, Colorado, wants Republicans to “dispense with these process arguments” and 'stay true to the facts.” “I understand that we’re going to have a robust debate about the legal standards that govern the inquiry that is before us, the decision we make on these articles,” Rep. Neguse said, “but let’s stay true to the facts, and let’s dispense with these process arguments and get to the substance of why we’re here today.” Update 9:33 a.m. ET Dec. 12: Rep. Jim Jordan introduces an amendment to the articles of impeachment. The amendment is to strike the first article. He is explaining why Article One “ignores the facts.” Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, speaks in opposition to Jordan’s amendment. He lays out why the article was drafted saying, “There is direct evidence” of Trump being involved in a 'scheme to corrupt the American elections and withhold military aid” from Ukraine. Update 9:05 a.m. ET Dec. 12: The hearing has resumed and been called to order. The clerk of the Judiciary Committee is now reading the two articles of impeachment. Original story: The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote Thursday on two articles of impeachment charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. >> Read more trending news  The vote will mark only the third time in the country’s 243-year history that Congress will consider impeachment charges against a sitting president. The charges allege Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s connections with a Ukrainian energy company in exchange for military aid and a White House meeting for the newly-elected president. In a second charge, House Democrats say Trump obstructed Congress by blocking testimony from witnesses and refusing requests for documents during the impeachment inquiry that was launched in September. The decision to open the inquiry came after a whistleblower filed a complaint alleging that a phone call made by Trump to Zelensky on July 25 tied military aid and a White House meeting to personal political favors. On Tuesday, House Democratic leaders introduced the two articles of impeachment saying Trump presented a “clear and present” danger to not only the 2020 presidential election but to the nation’s security. In an unusual evening session on Wednesday, the committee began debate on the articles. The session saw the two parties argue over the charges against Trump, the Constitution’s meaning when it comes to impeachment and why the inquiry was undertaken instead of leaving Trump’s fate to the voters in next year’s election. What happens next? The committee is expected to reconvene at 9 a.m. ET Thursday. If the committee passes the resolution Thursday to send the articles of impeachment to the full House, a vote to impeach Trump will likely take place next week. It takes a simple majority vote of members of the Judiciary Committee to move the articles to the House floor for a full vote. The Democrats have a 24-17 majority in the committee. The vote is expected to fall along party lines. Follow us here for live updates on Thursday as the committee debates the articles of impeachment and moves to a vote. [Summary]
  • One person was shot inside a Conyers manufacturing facility Friday morning. A gunman entered the Dart Container Corp. facility on Ga. 138 about 7 a.m. and shot an employee, according to a spokesman for the company, a food service manufacturer.  “We evacuated the building and management staff (is) assisting law enforcement, who are securing the site,” the spokesman said in a statement to AJC.com. “At this time, we have no further information on the victim or the shooter.” The victim has been taken to a hospital, and their condition is not known. Authorities are still searching for the shooter, the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office told Channel 2 Action News.  Conyers police and the Georgia State Patrol are assisting in the search. Multiple police and emergency vehicles have responded to the plant and are staging in the parking lot.  A school bus was brought in at 8:15 a.m. to transport personnel off the property. Approximately 300 employees work at the Conyers plant, which makes food and beverage packaging products.  “We are working alongside emergency responders to address the situation and ensure the safety of our employees,” the Dart spokesman said. Three schools in the area have been placed on lockdown as a precaution, according to Rockdale County Public Schools. Rockdale County High School, Rockdale Magnet School, C.J. Hicks Elementary and the Rockdale County Public Schools transportation office are impacted, the school district said in a tweet. “All of our students and staff are safe,” the district said. “No visitors are allowed on campus at this time. We will keep you updated.”  An Atlanta Journal-Constitution photographer on the scene is working to learn more.  — Please return to AJC.com for updates. In other news: 
  • The remains of six victims of a deadly volcano eruption in New Zealand have been recovered. Sixteen people were killed on White Island when a volcano there unexpectedly erupted Monday, The Associated Press reported. Eight military specialists recovered six of the eight victims believed to be on the island, and the bodies will be taken to Auckland for identification, CNN reported. Due to toxic gases still being released from the volcano, the team had to wear protective suits and breathing gear to be on the island, the AP reported. The search had to end as air supplies ran low, the New York Times reported. An additional recovery mission is planned to find a tour guide and boat captain who had taken tourists to the island. At least one of them is expected to be in the water, but the other person’s location is unknown, the AP reported. Forty-seven tourists, many from a Royal Caribbean cruise, and guides were on the island when the volcano exploded. Many of the people who survived were burned. Fifteen tourists not from Australia are in burn units across the country with 11 listed as very critical. Thirteen Australians who were part of the tour have all returned to their home country, the AP reported. Skin banks are sending tissues to hospitals to help treat the burns, as medical teams from Australia, Britain and the U.S. travel to New Zealand to help treat patients, the AP reported.
  • A Minnesota man was sentenced Wednesday to more than 24 years in prison in the death of his 13-day-old son. Michael Herkal, 33, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, nearly 16 months to the day after Apple Valley police responded to an Aug. 12, 2018, medical call for an infant not breathing, WCCO reported. The child died two days later, after doctors determined he had suffered a skull fracture and bleeding in his brain. Herkal was charged initially with felony assault and malicious punishment of a child, but three additional charges of murder were filed after authorities received the autopsy report, KARE11 reported. According to WCCO, Herkal initially told authorities his toddler pulled the newborn off the couch twice but later claimed the baby slipped from his hands and fell onto a coffee table during a diaper change. During his plea hearing, however, Herkal admitted he also shook the infant violently and slapped him, the TV station reported.
  • Major League Baseball announced substantial changes Thursday to its drug use and testing policy, multiple news outlets reported. In addition to removing marijuana from its “drugs of abuse” category – making it the first major US sports league to do so – the organization announced mandatory testing for the presence of opioids, cocaine, synthetic THC, LSD and fentanyl, ABC News reported. Per the policy revisions, players will still be tested for “natural cannabinoids” such as THC, CBD, and marijuana, but punishment for violations will now be treated similarly to those of the alcohol and violence policies, ABC News reported. 'Going forward, marijuana-related conduct will be treated the same as alcohol-related conduct under the Parties’ Joint Treatment Program for Alcohol-Related and Off-Field Violent Conduct, which provides mandatory evaluation, voluntary treatment and the possibility of discipline by a Player’s Club or the Commissioner’s Office in response to certain conduct involving Natural Cannabinoids,” the league, in association with its players union, stated. According to NPR, the policy changes will take effect during 2020 spring training.  “The opioid epidemic in our country is an issue of significant concern to Major League Baseball,” MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said in a prepared statement, adding, “It is our hope that this agreement - which is based on principles of prevention, treatment, awareness and education - will help protect the health and safety of our Players.” Read more here and here.