Michael Hooper will become the Wallabies' most-capped captain when he leads Australia out against world champions South Africa.

The Wallabies announced their side for Saturday's clash with the Springboks as Hooper prepares to make history in the Rugby Championship showdown at Suncorp Stadium.

Hooper – who debuted in 2012 – will captain Australia for the 60th time in Brisbane, surpassing George Gregan after equalling the record in last week's dramatic victory over South Africa.

"It's an incredible milestone for Hoops on Saturday evening in Brisbane and it's a testament to him as a person and a player," Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie said on Thursday.

"I've been so impressed with his leadership both on and off the field and his drive to be better every day.

"We were really proud of the effort from our men last Sunday and we're well aware of the ferocity that a wounded Springboks outfit will bring to Suncorp Stadium."

Rennie has elevated Nic White and Taniela Tupou to the starting side for the second Test against the Springboks.

White replaces Tate McDermott and Tupou comes in for Allan Alaalatoa, while James Slipper returns to the starting line-up, though James O'Connor remains on the sidelines.

Australia will be looking to claim consecutive Test wins in men's international rugby for the first time since October 2019 after a two-point win over South Africa – that was also the last time the Wallabies won a Test by more than three points.

The Wallabies are undefeated in their last six men's Tests against South Africa on home soil (W5, D1); although, none of their five wins in that span have come by a margin of seven points or more on the day.

 

Australia: Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Quade Cooper, Nic White; James Slipper, Folau Fainga'a, Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodda, Matt Philip, Lachlan Swinton, Michael Hooper, Rob Valetini.
Replacements: Feleti Kaitu'u, Angus Bell, Tom Robertson, Darcy Swain, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan insisted the team's Super Bowl LI meltdown has "no bearing" on Sunday's NFL clash with Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brady was part of the New England Patriots team that completed the largest comeback in Super Bowl history after rallying past the Falcons in 2017.

Ryan's Falcons surrendered a 28-3 lead as the Patriots sensationally prevailed 34-28 in overtime.

Falcons veteran Ryan will do battle against Brady, who now wears a Buccaneers jersey after leading Tampa Bay to the Super Bowl last season.

But that Super Bowl collapse is not in Ryan's head, with the 36-year-old – who is 0-5 against Brady in his career – discussing the infamous defeat on Wednesday.

"I haven't," Ryan said when he heard a reference to the Super Bowl LI loss. "I never heard of it."

The Falcons lost 32-6 to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 after Ryan (21-of-35 passing for 164 yards) did not throw a touchdown.

Ryan threw for 164 yards, his fewest in a game since Week 7 of 2019 (159) and his second fewest to open a season in his career, behind only the 161 yards in his first career game in 2008, per Stats Perform.

It was Atlanta's worst loss to open a season since losing by 38 in their opening game in 1987. The Falcons made field goals on each of their first two drives and then either punted or had a turnover on downs in each drive after that.

"Of course we want to win. It's not going to make up for that," Ryan said, discussing the Super Bowl defeat to the Patriots. "You know, it's one of those things. It's part of your past, it's part of what happened.

"But it's got no bearing on this week."

Odell Beckham Jr. has been ruled out of the Cleveland Browns' Week 2 clash with the Houston Texans.

The star wide receiver is continuing to work his way back from a left knee injury but, after he was a game-time decision ahead of the Browns' Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, head coach Kevin Stefanski opted to rule him out early this week for the sake of the clarity of their gameplan.

Beckham will continue practicing on a limited basis as he attempts to recover in time for the Browns' Week 3 meeting with the Chicago Bears.

"He was pushing to get there, just didn't feel like he could play a significant number of snaps," Stefanski said of Beckham's absence against the Texans.

"I just felt like this for this week, the prudent thing to do was let those other [receivers] get all those reps and let's game plan accordingly.

"With Odell, we're just going to make sure that we continue to be smart about it and listen to him – he knows his body better than anybody.

"And then we'll make the decision that's right for him and the team."

Beckham had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in Week 7 last season. The three-time Pro Bowler caught 23 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns in his seven games.

Week 1 can be strange. Not everything goes to plan and, for NFL coaches and fantasy owners alike, it's best not to overreact to the weekend just gone.

However, avoiding falling 0-2 is just as important as keeping your cool. In the high-pressure world of the NFL and amid the considerably lower stakes of fantasy football, nobody wants to fall into a hole early in the season.

And, in both cases, identifying the players who can be relied on to produce a big performance is the key to victory.

In this week's edition of Fantasy Picks, Stats Perform looks at the players who should be considered sure things to deliver the goods.

QB: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Tennessee Titans

Wilson could hardly have been more impressive as the Seahawks swept aside the Indianapolis Colts on the road in Week 1.

Continuing his remarkable rapport with Tyler Lockett, who had two receiving scores, Wilson threw for 254 yards and four touchdowns as his marriage with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron got off to a spectacular start.

Second in air yards per attempt (10.43) among quarterbacks with at least 10 attempts, Wilson carries substantial upside as one of the best deep-ball throwers in the NFL and should receive ample opportunity to demonstrate that prowess against an extremely vulnerable Titans defense shredded by the Arizona Cardinals for 280 net yards passing and four touchdowns through the air in their opener.

RB: Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions

Nothing went right for the Packers in their 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints, with Jones held to nine yards on five carries on a miserable day for the entire offense.

Yet a Week 2 clash with the Detroit Lions should prove the perfect tonic. Detroit gave up 131 yards on the ground to the San Francisco 49ers in the opener, with sixth-round rookie Elijah Mitchell gashing the Lions for 104 yards and a touchdown at a rate of 5.5 yards per carry.

The Packers operate a zone running game akin to that of the Niners, so Jones should be confident of finding room to rack up similar numbers. Jones has topped 100 yards in two of his past three games against the Lions, including a 168-yard, two-touchdown effort at Lambeau Field last year.

WR: Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Justin Herbert's rapport with a receiver who has a case for being the premier route runner in the NFL continues to blossom, with the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year going to Allen time and again as the Chargers edged out the Washington Football Team in their opener.

Allen was targeted 13 times and caught nine passes for 100 yards in a 20-16 victory. He registered a burn, which is when a player wins his matchup with a defender on plays where he is targeted, on 12 of those 13 targets.

He did that against a Washington defense that allowed the second-fewest yards per pass play (5.33) in the NFL last season. Now he gets to face a Cowboys defense that ranked 21st in that same metric with 6.69 yards and gave up 7.58 per play in their opening loss to the Buccaneers. Book in Allen for another big day.

TE: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles

Deebo Samuel overshadowed Kittle in the Niners' win in Detroit, but the top all-round tight end in football still produced with four catches for 78 yards and should be salivating at the prospect of facing the Eagles.

Last season, in a home loss to the Eagles, Kittle hauled in all 15 of his targets from Nick Mullens for 183 yards and a touchdown.

He might not see the same level of targets at Lincoln Financial Field this year but, with a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo under center, he should see enough of the ball to excel in a matchup with an Eagles defense that has consistently struggled to defend tight ends.

Defense: New England Patriots @ New York Jets

The Patriots may have come up short against the Miami Dolphins, but there was much to admire about their performance on defense.

With the likes of Matthew Judon and Josh Uche excelling at getting pressure on Tua Tagovailoa, New England's front is likely to have great success against the Jets' offensive line, which will be without left tackle Mekhi Becton.

Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson was sacked six times in their loss to the Carolina Panthers, which saw him throw an interceptable pass on 5.56 per cent of his attempts, according to Stats Perform data.

Expect New England's defense to create more interception opportunities and make it another long afternoon for Wilson and the Jets.

There was a sense of deja vu as Clara Tauson upset fourth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova at the Luxembourg Open.

The 18-year-old defeated the same opponent en route to claiming a maiden WTA Tour title in Lyon in March and repeated the feat here, again on an indoor court.

On this occasion, Tauson needed to come back from a break down in the deciding set to clinch a 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-1) triumph and book her spot in the quarter-finals.

Fifth seed Marketa Vondrousova had no such trouble, the Czech a comfortable 6-2 6-4 victor over Jana Fett. Alize Cornet (8) also made the last eight with a 6-3 6-3 win over Mandy Minella, while Ludmilla Samsonova (7) needed a pair of tie-breaks to overcome Oceane Dodin.

In the first round, Zhang Shuai (6) lost in three sets to Marie Bouzkova.

At the Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz in Slovenia, second seed Yulia Putintseva was a 6-3 6-1 winner over Katie Boulter. Alison Riske, Kristina Mladenovic and Lucia Bronzetti also made it through.

Urban Meyer has no intention of quitting his NFL coaching career after just one game with the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Meyer has been a hugely successful long-time college coach, winning national championships with Florida in 2006 and 2008 and Ohio State in 2014. 

But the 57-year-old is taking his first steps in the NFL with the Jaguars, who finished 2020 with a miserable 1-15 record. 

Meyer's Jacksonville bow did not go according to plan, though, as his new team went down 37-21 to a poor Houston Texans side on Sunday. 

When USC fired coach Clay Helton the following day, meaning an attractive college opening became available, there was some talk Meyer could already be tempted back to the FBS. 

The coach was not entertaining such speculation on Wednesday, however, as he told the media: "No chance. I'm here, committed to try to build an organisation." 

That build represents a significant challenge. The Texans appeared to be one of the Jags' few winnable match-ups in 2021, but they have now lost a franchise record 16 consecutive games – there have only been 11 previous streaks of 17 defeats or more in the NFL. 

Meyer will hope to make first overall pick Trevor Lawrence a cornerstone of his team, but the rookie quarterback contributed to that difficult opener. 

Trusted to throw the ball, with only the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushing less often than the Jags (23.5 per cent), Lawrence tossed a league-high three interceptions. 

Although there were also three touchdown passes, only Aaron Rodgers (36.8) had a worse passer rating than Lawrence (70.1), whose pass completion of 54.9 per cent the third worst. 

Meyer has already lost Travis Etienne, who starred alongside Lawrence at Clemson, to a season-ending injury. 

Emma Raducanu still has the hunger to continue improving following her record-breaking US Open triumph and is targeting a possible return to action at Indian Wells.

The 18-year-old became the first qualifier in history to win a grand slam when defeating Leylah Fernandez ​in straight sets in Saturday's final at Flushing Meadows.

Raducanu, ranked 150 by the WTA before beginning her three-week long tournament, did not drop a single set across her 10 matches.

That victory in New York capped a life-changing couple of months for Raducanu, who also reached the last 16 of Wimbledon in her only other grand slam appearance before withdrawing due to medical reasons.

After spending a few days away from the court and taking in some of the sights the Big Apple has to offer, the Briton is ready to start preparing for her next tournament.

"I have a few days' rest and recovery," Raducanu, who became the first British female to win a major tournament since Virginia Wade on home soil at Wimbledon 44 years ago, told CNBC's Closing Bell programme.

"I think it was needed after the last seven weeks but then I am straight back to training and hungry to get better and come back out and play some more tournaments."

 

Raducanu was originally due to take part in qualifying for the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic later this month, but she may instead wait for next month's delayed Paribas Open in Indian Wells, where a wildcard entry is likely.

"After the US Open I wanted to give myself this week to completely switch off from tennis because it's been an extremely intense but rewarding seven weeks," she told the WTA's official website. 

"But I've worked very hard to finish on such a high with the US Open, a whole week off was needed.

"I know I'll get back to work probably Monday or early next week to get back to training again. Schedule-wise, I'm not sure. Maybe Indian Wells, I don't know. I'm going back to London before my next tournament for sure."

Henrik Stenson has been named as Europe's fifth and final vice-captain for the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

Padraig Harrington has turned to the vast experience of Swede Stenson to complete his backroom team for a showdown with the United States that starts in Wisconsin next Friday.

The 2016 Open champion has played in the prestigious biennial competition five times, lifting the famous trophy on three occasions.

Stenson, 45, has won 11 points from 19 Ryder Cup matches and came out on top in all three in the last edition at Le Golf National in 2018.

 

"It's a great honour to get the call and to be involved with Team Europe. I've been part of five Ryder Cup teams in the past and to be given the opportunity as a vice-captain to help Europe's quest to retain the Ryder Cup is exciting," said Stenson.

"Padraig called me on Monday morning and it was not a long conversation. I accepted straight away and I assured him that myself, along with the other vice-captains, are there to help and assist him and the team in any way we can.

"We have a very strong team. It's a mix of huge experience along with three guys who will take on their first Ryder Cup – and that's a great combination. We have strength in depth so I'm looking forward to getting out there and seeing the boys perform.

"It's no secret that winning on away soil is always a little bit harder, but the boys are ready for that challenge. It's all going to come down to how well we play during the week, but I have every faith in our team."

Robert Karlsson, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell are Harrington's other vice-captains.

Aaron Smith will play no further part in the Rugby Championship as the New Zealand scrum-half awaits the birth of his second child.

Smith started both victories over Australia at Eden Park last month but did not travel to face them in Perth at the start of September and was absent for last weekend's 39-0 win over Argentina.

The playmaker will also miss the upcoming clash with the Pumas and back-to-back showdowns with world champions South Africa, as he did not want to risk missing the arrival of his second child, which is due in November.

Smith will stay at home, with no guarantees he would secure a managed isolation space if he had to fly home earlier than expected.

The 32-year-old will instead play for Manawatu in the Bunnings Cup.

Smith could also miss the All Blacks' tour of the United States and Europe.

He said: "The door isn't completely closed to me joining the team for the Northern Tour if our baby comes early. 

"In this environment anything can happen, so I've got an open mind. At the moment though, I just want to focus on being here with my family and enjoying that time and playing for Manawatu. I can't wait to get the boots on again."

TJ Perenara and Brad Weber will battle it out for New Zealand's number nine shirt in the absence of Smith.

 

Buster Posey's 18th home run of the season helped the San Francisco Giants to their ninth consecutive win in MLB, a 6-1 rout of the San Diego Padres.

Posey starred for the Giants after homering in the opening inning before scoring the go-ahead run in the third on Tuesday.

Anthony DeSclafani tossed 6.2 innings of one-run ball for the Giants in San Francisco.

The National League (NL) West-leading Giants are enjoying their longest winning streak since a 10-game run in 2004, while they have scored at least six runs in each game over the nine-game stretch – a San Francisco-era record.

Opponents have not scored six runs once amid the winning streak. The Giants are the first team to score six-plus runs while allowing fewer than six in nine straight games since the New York Yankees in 1939, per Stats Perform.

 

Dodgers playoff-bound again

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched a postseason berth for the ninth successive year – their longest streak in franchise history – after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4.

The Tampa Bay Rays became the first American League (AL) team to reach 90 victories by trumping the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays 2-0. Brandon Lowe and Ji-Man Choi homered to stop the Blue Jays, who had won 15 of their previous 17 games while scoring 128 runs during that stretch.

The Detroit Tigers were 1-0 walk-off winners against the Milwaukee Brewers. Detroit also walked off against the Rays in their last game. According to Stats Perform, the Tigers are the first team in MLB history to have back-to-back walk-off victories against two different teams 30-plus games over .500.

Aaron Judge fuelled a five-homer onslaught as the Yankees crushed the Baltimore Orioles 7-2. Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Joey Gallo and DJ LeMahieu also hit home runs.

 

Greinke's return doesn't go according to plan

Zack Greinke was roughed up in his return from COVID-19. The Houston Astros ace allowed eight runs on five hits and three walks in five innings as the AL West leaders were swept aside 8-1 by the Texas Rangers.

The Cincinnati Reds lost for the sixth time in eight games with a 6-5 defeat against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

Perez adds to homer tally

Salvador Perez tied Javy Lopez for the second-most home runs (43) by a catcher in a season. Perez led the Kansas City Royals past the Oakland Athletics 10-7.

 

Tuesday's results 

San Francisco Giants 6-1 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Boston Red Sox 8-4 Seattle Mariners
Cleveland Indians 3-1 Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Indians 6-3 Minnesota Twins
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 Cincinnati Reds
Detroit Tigers 1-0 Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs 6-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals 8-2 Miami Marlins
New York Yankees 7-2 Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 Toronto Blue Jays
St Louis Cardinals 7-6 New York Mets
Colorado Rockies 5-4 Atlanta Braves
Texas Rangers 8-1 Houston Astros
Chicago White Sox 9-3 Los Angeles Angels
Kansas City Royals 10-7 Oakland Athletics

 

Padres at Giants

The Giants (95-50) will put their winning streak on the line when they look to clinch their series with the Padres (74-70) on Wednesday.

The Milwaukee Brewers' all-time home-run leader Ryan Braun has called time on his MLB career.

Braun announced his retirement from baseball on Tuesday – the 37-year-old left fielder had not played since becoming a free agent when the Brewers declined a mutual option in his contract at the end of last season.

The six-time All-Star and the 2011 National League (ML) MVP, who spent his entire career in Milwaukee, holds the Brewers record for most home runs with 352.

Braun is fourth in franchise history with 1,766 games played and second to Robin Yount in doubles (408) and RBIs (1,154).

Among players who have logged at least 2,500 Brewers plate appearances, Braun is second to Prince Fielder with a .532 slugging percentage and an .891 OPS.

"I have decided to officially retire as an active player," Braun said in a video released by the Brewers.

"I have weighed this decision for many months. While I still love this game very much, the time is right for me to retire from my playing days.

"It's difficult to describe my emotions today, but it starts with overwhelming gratitude to those who have shared this experience with me while offering their unconditional support at every turn. ... I will forever appreciate the best fans in the game and the countless people who came out to the ballpark night after night, making Milwaukee the greatest city to play the game."

Braun made his MLB debut with the Brewers in 2007 and he was part of the Milwaukee teams that won the NL Central division titles in 2011 and 2018.

The NL home run leader in 2012, Braun – Rookie of the Year in 2007 – also earned five Silver Slugger Awards.

"Ryan brought us many unforgettable moments on the field; from playoff-clinching dramatic home runs to nearly 2,000 career hits, he is unquestionably one of the greatest players in Brewers history," Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio said.

"Moreover, Ryan has become a good friend to our family, and his commitment of countless service hours and more than $1million to community causes over the years has impacted many lives.

"Ryan was the first player drafted after I took ownership of the Brewers, and I remember that day very well. Today, we reflect on the impact that Ryan had during his 14 seasons wearing the Brewers uniform. Ryan is our all-time franchise home run leader and one of the great clutch hitters in the game.

"We were fortunate to have a front-row seat for many of these moments that defined some of the organisation's greatest achievements to date. We wish Ryan, his wife, Larisa, and their family the very best, and look forward to continuing our friendship as they move into the next chapter of their lives."

LeBron James and the possibility of the Los Angeles Lakers superstar becoming the NBA's all-time scoring leader excites current recordholder Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Abdul-Jabbar sits atop the throne for most points in the NBA with 38,387 following a Hall of Fame career that featured six championships, six MVP awards and 19 All-Star selections among other honours during his time with the Milwaukee Bucks and Lakers.

James (35,367) is third on the all-time list entering his 19th season, behind Karl Malone (36,928) and Abdul-Jabbar – the four-time champion and four-time MVP still needs 3,020 points to break the record.

Abdul-Jabbar, who spent 14 years with the Lakers from 1975 to 1989 before returning as an assistant coach between 2005 and 2011, was asked about James' pursuit of history.

"I'm excited to see it happen," Abdul-Jabbar, 74, told Marc Stein in his substack newsletter. "I don't see records as personal accomplishments, but more as human achievements.

"If one person can do something that's never been done, that means we all have a shot at doing it. It's a source of hope and inspiration.

"Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile back in 1954. Since then, not only have 1,400 runners beaten that time, but the new record is 17 seconds less.

"We all win when a record is broken and if LeBron breaks mine, I will be right there to cheer him on."

James and the Lakers were unable to defend their NBA title in 2020-21 as they crashed out in the first round of the playoffs.

The 36-year-old James averaged 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game last season.

James' field-goal (51.3) and three-point (36.5) percentages were his best since 2017-18.

Denver Nuggets star Aaron Gordon has agreed a four-year, $92million contract extension with the NBA franchise.

Gordon's agent Calvin Andrews confirmed the lucrative new deal to the Undefeated on Tuesday.

The contract reportedly includes a player option for the fourth year in 2025-26, with the Nuggets already locking up MVP Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray to new contracts.

Gordon arrived in Denver in March after being dealt to the Nuggets from the struggling Orlando Magic.

The 25-year-old forward averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists overall last season, spread across 25 games with the Nuggets and 25 for the Magic.

Gordon's 46.3 field-goal percentage was his best since the 2015-16 campaign.

In the playoffs, Gordon averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds as the Nuggets were eventually swept by the Phoenix Suns in the second round.

Defending champion Jelena Ostapenko booked her place in the last 16 of the Luxembourg Open with a comfortable straight-sets win over Jule Niemeier.

The world number 30 came out on top 6-2 6-2 in a little under an hour to set up a meeting with Arianne Hartono, who earlier beat Anna-Lena Friedsam 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6 (7-4).

Fifth seed Marketa Vondrousova also shuffled through to the next round thanks to a 6-2 6-3 triumph against Alison Van Uytvanck, while Zarina Diyas will face tournament favourite and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic next after beating Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in three sets.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich was made to work harder for her 7-5 7-6 (8-6) win against Lesia Tsurenko, with that the longest straight-sets match of 2021 so far at two hours and 30 minutes, according to the WTA.

Greet Minnen and Mandy Minella were also victorious on Tuesday, overcoming Nuria Parrizas-Diaz and Varvara Gracheva respectively.

At Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz in Slovenia, meanwhile, home favourite Kaja Juvan eliminated top seed Petra Martic with a 6-3 6-4 win. Sweden's Rebecca Peterson was another seed to fall, going down in straight sets to Lucia Bronzetti.

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert will miss the rest of the 2021 campaign after electing to undergo season-ending knee surgery.

Mostert was injured in the first half of the 49ers' season-opening 41-33 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan had indicated Mostert would be out for eight weeks with chipped knee cartilage.

However, Mostert has elected to go down the route of protecting the long-term health of his knee by having an operation to repair the cartilage.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Mostert wrote: "After consulting with multiple doctors and weighing my options, I will be having season-ending surgery on my knee.

"This gives me, without a doubt in my mind, the best possibility at coming back 110 per cent.

"I have always come back stronger and I will this time too! I have faith in myself, my doctors, my support system, my team and God. He makes no mistakes!!

"I'm gutted. This sucks! This is obviously not what I worked so hard for. I wish more than anything I could be out there on the field with my brothers!!"

Mostert was the starting running back for a 49ers team looking to get back to the postseason after seeing their 2020 season ruined by injuries. The last time they made the playoffs in the 2019 campaign, Mostert propelled them to Super Bowl LIV by rushing for 248 yards and four touchdowns in an NFC Championship Game rout of the Green Bay Packers.

He became the first player to rush for at least 200 yards and four touchdowns in a playoff game, while his 248 yards represented a record for a conference title game.

Yet the 49ers have sufficient if inexperienced running back depth to survive Mostert's absence, as evidenced by the performance of sixth-round rookie Elijah Mitchell, who rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Lions.

Mitchell, JaMycal Hasty and rookie third-round pick Trey Sermon will now share the load in the backfield. The Niners, who also lost cornerback Jason Verrett to a torn anterior cruciate ligament against Detroit, signed former Lions tailback Kerryon Johnson to their practice squad.

The Las Vegas Raiders sounded like a team that got away with something Monday night. 

From quarterback Derek Carr to head coach Jon Gruden, they acknowledged there were any number of flaws in their season-opening performance against the Baltimore Ravens. 

But all that mattered in the end was that they found a path to victory, prevailing 33-27 in overtime before a raucous home crowd. 

"All I keep saying is I just want to win, so who cares if it's ugly or pretty?" Carr told reporters after the game. "I do not care, we won the game. I'm celebrating, that's the only thing that matters."

Carr completed 34 of 56 passes for 435 yards, saving the biggest completion for the final play of the game – a looping 31-yard touchdown pass to Zay Jones when everyone in the stadium figured the Raiders would run the ball to set up a field goal try. 

Gruden indicated that was exactly what he had planned but kicker Daniel Carlson was not immediately available on the sidelines, forcing a delay of game penalty that prompted him to send Carr and the offence back out on the field. 

"But things worked out," Gruden said with a wry smile. 

They did indeed, as the Raiders stunned a favoured Ravens team that felt in control for much of the game before falling apart late. 

"I'm glad coach trusted us and put it in our hands at the end," said Carr, "because it always feels good to win that way – especially when you almost gave it away."

After rallying to level the game in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, the Raiders thought they had the game won on the opening possession of overtime as Carr hit Bryan Edwards for an apparent 33-yard touchdown. 

But video replay determined Edwards was down just before the goal line, and after a run for no gain by Carr, a critical false start penalty and an incompletion, Anthony Averett intercepted Carr in the end zone following a deflection on a pass intended for Willie Snead. 

The Raiders were granted a reprieve, though, as Carl Nassib forced a fumble on a sack of Lamar Jackson with 4:31 to play in overtime to set up Carr's game-winning pass. 

"Our defence made a signature play at the end of that game and I thought Derek Carr was awesome playing under some really tough circumstances today against a very good defence," Gruden said.

He added: "I'm really proud of the character they showed. We were down 14-0 to the Ravens and it didn't look pretty, it didn't look good. But when you can come back and find a way to win against a team like that, that's saying something. 

"That's an impressive, impressive victory and like they say here, just win baby."

The New York Yankees produced their biggest comeback of the season fueled by Aaron Judge's three-run homer as they eclipsed the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in extra innings in MLB on Monday.

The Yankees trailed 5-0 in the sixth before a rally capped by Judge crushing a game-tying home run, which was his 33rd homer of the season.

The win came with an ounce of luck in the eighth inning with Brett Gardner fortunate to be walked on a close call with two strikes, two outs and the Yankees 5-2 down before Judge stepped up to the plate.

In the 10th inning, Gary Sanchez ripped a single down the line to get Gleyber Torres home for the walk-off win.

Earlier, Miguel Sano hit a two-run homer for the Twins, who led 4-0 after the first inning, while Max Kepler made a super catch on DJ LeMahieu in the sixth.

The win improves the Yankees to 80-64 and they are hanging on for the second Wild Card spot in the American League (AL) despite having lost eight of their last 10 games.

 

Giants book playoff spot, Guerrero tops charts

The San Francisco Giants locked in their first playoff spot since 2016 with an impressive 9-1 win over the San Diego Padres, set up after a five-run opening inning.

Home runs by Evan Longoria, Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt highlighted the Giants win as Yu Darvish struggled again on the mound for the Padres, conceding eight earned runs, three walks and six hits in four innings.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr leapfrogged Shohei Ohtani into top spot on the MLB home run charts as the in-form Toronto Blue Jays won 8-1 over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Guerrero laced his 45th homer of the season with a liner into the left-field corner as the Jays won their 12th game from their past 13 in their battle for a Wild Card spot in the American League.

Clayton Kershaw returned to the hill for the first time since July 3 due to forearm tightness, tossing down five strikeouts in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 5-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Mitch Haniger hit a home run for the third consecutive game to help the Seattle Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 and keep alive their Wild Card aspirations.

 

Rangers hammered as Siri makes history

It has been a tough season for the Texas Rangers and a 15-1 hammering from the Houston Astros added to that as Jose Siri made history in his first start with five RBIs and two homers. The Rangers allowed 16 hits, trailing 9-0 after three innings. Spencer Howard surrendered six hits and six runs early, while AJ Alexy conceded four walks, four hits and six earned runs.

 

Wainwright proves age no barrier

Adam Wainwright may be 40 years old but the St Louis Cardinals right-hander is not slowing up, pitching six shutout innings in their 7-0 win over the New York Mets. The veteran only allowed four hits while recording four strikeouts, helping the Cardinals stay firmly in the National League Wild Card race. Wainwright improved to 16-7 and lowered his ERA to 2.88.

 

Monday's results 

New York Yankees 6-5 Minnesota Twins
Miami Marlins 3-0 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 8-1 Tampa Bay Rays
St Louis Cardinals 7-0 New York Mets
Houston Astros 15-1 Texas Rangers
San Francisco Giants 9-1 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 5-4 Boston Red Sox

 

Rays at Blue Jays

The in-form Blue Jays (81-63) have piled on 42 runs in their past four games and take on the Rays (89-55) for the second time in their three-game series in a crunch AL East clash.

The Las Vegas Raiders welcomed fans to their new home a year later than expected, but it was worth the wait. 

Derek Carr's 31-yard touchdown pass to Zay Jones in overtime gave the Raiders a stunning season-opening 33-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday. 

It was a thrilling conclusion to the opening weekend of the NFL season after Lamar Jackson and the Ravens appeared in control for most of the game. 

Injury-wracked Baltimore took a 14-0 lead on a 35-yard touchdown run from Ty'Son Williams and a signature 10-yard Jackson TD pass to Marquise Brown.

Las Vegas ultimately would level the game at 17-17 on Josh Jacobs' second touchdown run of the game with 9:18 to play in the fourth quarter, a drive set up by Jackson fumbling after a scramble for the first turnover of the night. 

That set up a wild finish in the first regular-season game at $1.9billion Allegiant Stadium, as newly signed Ravens running back Latavius Murray gave the visitors a 24-17 lead with 6:04 to play before Carr equalised just over two minutes later with a 10-yard scoring pass to Darren Waller. 

Jackson got loose again on the ensuing possession to set up a 47-yard Justin Tucker field goal that gave the Ravens a lead with 37 seconds remaining, but the Raiders were not done. 

Carr zipped a pair of completions to get Las Vegas down the field and set Daneil Carlson up for a 55-yard field goal with two seconds remaining that sent the game to overtime. 

The Raiders thought they had the game won on the opening possession of the extra session, as Carr hit Bryan Edwards for an apparent 33-yard touchdown. 

But video replay determined Edwards was down just before the goal line, and after a run for no gain by Carr, a critical false start penalty an an incompletion, Anthony Averett ntercepted Carr in the end zone after a deflection on a pass intended for Willie Snead. 

The Las Vegas defence would bail out the home side once again, though, as Carl Nassib forced a fumble on a sack of Jackson with 4:31 to play in overtime. 

After a Raiders penalty moved the ball back five yards, the Ravens assumed the next play would be a run to set up a winning field-goal try, but Carr saw Jones get free in the secondary and looped a pass over everyone's head for an uncontested touchdown to win the game.

Carr completed 34 of 56 passes for 435 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while Jackson was 19 of 30 for 235 yards and a TD. The Ravens quarterback also rushed for a game-high 86 yards. 

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