AP Sportlight

December 23, 2021 GMT

Dec. 24

1950 — Cleveland’s Otto Graham throws four touchdown passes, despite icy footing in Municipal Stadium, and Lou Groza kicks a 16-yard field goal with 28 seconds left to give the Browns a 30-28 victory over the Los Angeles Rams and the NFL title in their first year in the league.

1961 — George Blanda’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Billy Cannon gives the Houston Oilers a 10-3 victory over the San Diego Chargers for their second AFL title.

1967 — New York’s Joe Namath becomes the first player to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. Namath passes for 343 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Jets to a 42-31 win at San Diego. Namath finishes the year with 4,007 yards.

1997 — In one of the biggest upsets in college basketball, Division II American-Puerto defeats the No. 12 Arkansas Razorbacks 64-59 in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic.

2000 — Marshall Faulk breaks Emmitt Smith’s NFL record for touchdowns, scoring three times to give him 26 for the St. Louis Rams. Faulk’s three touchdowns and 220 yards fuels a 26-21 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

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2003 — Steven Jackson ties a bowl game record with five touchdowns, and Oregon State’s defense overwhelms mistake-plagued New Mexico in a 55-14 win at the Las Vegas Bowl.

2006 — Colt Brennan sets the NCAA single-season record for touchdown passes at 58, throwing five in the second half to lead Hawaii to a 41-24 victory over Arizona State in the Hawaii Bowl. Brennan, 33-of-42 for 559 yards, breaks the previous mark of 54 set by Houston’s David Klingler in 1990.

2011 — David Akers kicks his way into the NFL record book and the San Francisco 49ers hold off Seattle for a 19-17 win. Akers makes four field goals to give him 42 this season, breaking the NFL mark of 40 set by Neil Rackers in 2005 with Arizona.

2014 — Western Kentucky holds on to defeat Central Michigan 49-48 in a wild inaugural Bahamas Bowl. Central Michigan trails 49-14 entering the fourth quarter before Cooper Rush engineers a comeback. He throws four touchdown passes in the final minutes, and the Chippewas get the ball back at their own 25 with one second remaining. Rush completes a pass to Jesse Kroll, and the ball is lateraled three times before Titus Davis dove into the pylon for a touchdown with no time remaining. CMU elects to go for two, only to have the pass drop incomplete.

2016 — With a 41-3 rout of the New York Jets, Bill Belichick earns his 200th regular-season victory in New England, making him the fifth coach in NFL history to reach the milestone with one team.

2016 — Cleveland survives a last-second field-goal attempt and gets its first victory after 14 losses by beating the San Diego Chargers 20-17. When San Diego’s Josh Lambo misses a 45-yard field-goal attempt as time expires, the Browns (1-14) win for the first time in 377 days.