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Scandal-hit Richardson to sell Panthers

(AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Facing a growing investigation that accuses him of sexual misconduct and using racist language at work, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced Sunday that he will sell the NFL team after the season.

The team announced on Twitter that Richardson is selling the team, linking to a five-paragraph letter by the franchise's only owner.

"I believe it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership," Richardson wrote, saying he wouldn't begin discussions until after the season. The Panthers, who lost in the Super Bowl two seasons ago, are in playoff position again.


Pats hold off Steelers after TD reversed

PITTSBURGH (AP) The New England Patriots have built a dynasty on second chances. Miss an opportunity to bury the Super Bowl champions and they will find a way to find a way, usually behind a mix of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, and defensive playmaking at just the right time.

It's a lesson the Pittsburgh Steelers have learned through the years, one they were determined to finally learn from this time around. Instead, more of the same.


Newton, Panthers spoil Rodgers' return

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Cam Newton proved the Carolina Panthers can win in multiple ways.

After dominating opposing teams on the ground with three straight 200-yard rushing games at home, the Panthers turned to their 28th-ranked passing game on Sunday and took a big step toward reaching the postseason.


Rams rip Seahawks, on cusp of West title

SEATTLE (AP) Todd Gurley caught the pass from Jared Goff, turned up field and once again found no resistance in his sprint to the end zone.

After 2 1/2 quarters and four touchdowns scored, Gurley was no longer needed. The Los Angeles Rams had made their statement.


Jaguars cruise to first berth since 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan waited until the final few minutes to start celebrating.

Had he uncorked the champagne when the game was essentially over, Khan would have been drinking by halftime.


Vikings rip Bengals to clinch NFC North

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Vikings and their loud crowd overwhelmed the Cincinnati Bengals from start to finish, when they put on NFC North champions hats to celebrate the first major milestone of this season with the hope of several more to come.

From coaches to players to fans, everyone in purple was able to enjoy a postseason tuneup.


Cowboys hold on after Carr's late fumble

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Dallas kept its playoff hopes alive by the slimmest of margins.

Dak Prescott converted a fourth-down sneak by the width of an index card to set up Dan Bailey's go-ahead 19-yard field goal, and Derek Carr fumbled the ball inches from the goal line with 31 seconds left to give the Cowboys a 20-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night.


Lewis: No decision made on Cincy future

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is not ready to concede the end of his second-longest tenure in the league.

ESPN reported Sunday before the game at Minnesota, citing unnamed league sources, that the 59-year-old Lewis does not want to return to Cincinnati after his contract expires following a 15th season with the Bengals. Lewis steadfastly denied that in his postgame news conference after a 34-7 defeat by the Vikings , dismissing the story as recycled from the summer and irrelevant to the team's second straight lackluster performance.


Foles' 4 TDs get Eagles 1st-round bye

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Nick Foles replaced the injured Carson Wentz, and nothing really changed for the Philadelphia Eagles.

They got four touchdown passes from their quarterback, like they did a week ago, and won again to secure a first-round playoff bye.


Ravens stay in hunt, drop Browns to 0-14

CLEVELAND (AP) When he looked up and saw hundreds of purple-and-black clad Baltimore fans ringing the tunnel entrance, coach John Harbaugh was moved to return the love.

He tossed his baseball cap into the stands and peeled off two sweat shirts that he handed out as souvenirs.

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