- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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BOXING—RAY (Boom Boom) MANCINI retained his WBA lightweight crown with a ninth-round KO of Orlando Romero in New York (page 48).
PRO FOOTBALL—NFL: When asked why his Rams, 2-7 last year, were 2-0 this year, rookie Coach John Robinson said, "We fight like heck the whole game and find a way to win." But on Sunday Los Angeles found a way to lose when an Eric Dickerson fumble was recovered on the Rams' 19-yard line with 29 seconds to play. That set up the Jan Stenerud 36-yard field goal that gave the Packers a 27-24 win, a 2-1 record and a share of the NFC Central lead (page 24). Green Bay would have had sole possession of first place had Minnesota not narrowly escaped with a 19-16 overtime defeat of Tampa Bay. The Rams' loss dropped them into a four-way tie with the rest of the NFC West teams, Atlanta, San Francisco and New Orleans, all of which were victors. The Falcons were paced by Quarterback Steve Bartkowski, who passed for 366 yards and three TDs in a 30-14 win over Detroit. The 49ers' Joe Montana also threw for three touchdowns, as San Francisco beat St. Louis 42-27. The Saints defeated Chicago 34-31 in OT when Kenny Stabler marched New Orleans from its own two-yard line to a game-winning 41-yard field goal by Morten Andersen. The Bears' defeat overshadowed an extraordinary performance by Running Back Walter Payton, who rushed for 161 yards and threw two TD passes to rookie Willie Gault. Another remarkable day was not wasted. The Patriots' Tony Collins broke both the Jets' defense and a 17-year New England record by rushing for 212 yards in the Pats' 23-13 win. Collins, who had three touchdowns, eclipsed the old mark of 208 yards set by Jim Nance. The Patriots and Jets are now tied at 1-2 in the AFC East, one game behind Buffalo, which beat the Colts 28-23. Philadelphia's Tony Franklin kicked a 43-yard field goal with 57 seconds left in the game to drop Denver from the unbeaten ranks and ruin the home debut of John Elway. Elway's first TD pass as a pro, a 33-yarder to Running Back Rick Parros, had tied the score at 10-10 with 1:54 remaining. The Broncos' loss dropped them half a game behind the Raiders in the AFC West. For the first time in nine years, Tom Landry sequestered his Dallas Cowboys in a local hotel the night before a game and established a midnight curfew. The result: a 28-13 victory over the Giants. It was the Cowboys' third straight win as they remained atop the NFC East. Washington rallied from a 12-0 deficit and beat Kansas City 27-12. The Chiefs scored all their points on Nick Lowery field goals, one of which was from 58 yards. It was the second defeat of the week for the Chiefs, who lost Monday night when San Diego's quarterback, Dan Fouts, completed a 12-yard TD pass to Wes Chandler with 1:45 to play. The Chargers could not come up with any last-minute heroics on Sunday, however, as they lost to Seattle, 34-31, for only the second time in the 10-game history of the two clubs. Pittsburgh and Cleveland shared the AFC Central lead after intradivisional victories over Houston and Cincinnati. The Steelers overcame a 97-yard kickoff return by Carl Roaches to win 40-28, and the Browns triumphed 17-7. Including preseason games, it was the eighth straight loss for the Bengals.
GOLF—Three-time Women's Amateur champion JULI INKSTER, who qualified for the LPGA Tour only one month ago, shot a five-under-par 283 to win a $ 175,000 event in Kent, Wash. She beat Kathy Whitworth, Jo Ann Washam and Cindy Lincoln by one stroke.
HORSE RACING—Laffit Pincay Jr. rode SUNNY'S HALO ($10.80) to a 10-length victory over Play Fellow in the $500,000 Louisiana Super Derby IV at Louisiana Downs. The 3-year-old colt covered the 1� miles in 2:01[3/5] (page 22).
MOTOR SPORTS—RICK MEARS set a record for Indy cars by averaging 182.325 mph for 100 laps around the two-mile Michigan International Speedway oval. Mears, driving a Penske-Cosworth PC 10, beat Bobby Rahal, in a March-Cosworth, by eight seconds in the CART event.
SAILING—The U.S. defender, LIBERTY, took a 2-1 lead over the challenger, Australia II, in the best-of-seven America's Cup series off Newport (page 30).
SOCCER—NASL: Neither the Cosmos nor the Vancouver Whitecaps are headed for the 1983 Soccer Bowl. In a week of stunning upsets, the two teams, which had finished first and second, respectively, in the regular season's point race, were eliminated in their best-of-three quarterfinal playoff series. The Cosmos, the 1982 NASL champions who had lost their postseason opener the week before, were knocked off 1-0 in the second game of their series with Le Manic de Montreal, a team that made the playoffs by gaining the last wild-card berth. Montreal completed its sweep on a controversial goal by Dragan Vujovic in the seventh round of a shootout. The Cosmos contended that the goal came after the five-second clock had expired, but their protest was denied by the NASL office. The Cosmos had qualified for five of the last six Soccer Bowls. Montreal went on to lose a 2-1 shootout to Tulsa, in one semifinal series, the Roughnecks having advanced on their 3-2 and 4-2 defeats of Fort Lauderdale. Vancouver suffered its upset not so much at the hands of the Toronto Blizzard, but at the feet of the Blizzard's Neill Roberts. Roberts scored late in the second game to give Toronto a 4-3 victory and was the lone scorer in the Blizzard's 1-0 win in the third game. Toronto then won the first game of its semifinals series 1-0 in a shootout against Golden Bay, which had eliminated Chicago 6-1, 0-1, 5-2.