Here is the latest Illinois sports news from The Associated Press:
UNDATED (AP) — Defense takes the spotlight in the playoffs, even in this era of explosive offenses. Half of the wild-card games came down to the kickers. Sebastian Janikowski’s pulled hamstring left the Seahawks in a bind and Cody Parkey’s last-second miss was tipped at the line.
CHICAGO (AP) — Johnny Gaudreau scored two more goals, David Rittich made 32 saves and the Calgary Flames beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist as Western Conference-leading Calgary closed out a 3-1 trip with its second straight win. Garnet Hathaway scored an empty-net goal with 50 seconds left, and Elias Lindholm finished with two assists.
UNDATED (AP) — Clemson finished the season ranked in the top 10 in three of the four major defensive categories and in two of the four on offense. The Tigers beat Alabama 44-16 in the College Football Playoff championship game Monday night. They held the Crimson Tide to their fewest points since a 26-14 loss to Auburn in November 2017 and allowed an average of 13.1 points per game to lead the nation. Clemson was fifth in rushing defense and sixth in total defense.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears were still trying to make sense of it all after a breakthrough season ended on a cruel note. Cody Parkey hit an upright and crossbar in the final seconds of a 16-15 wild-card loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. And on Monday, receiver Allen Robinson had a hard time coming to grips with the fact that there was no game this week. “Pretty crazy,” he said.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cody Parkey’s missed 43-yard field goal in the final seconds that gave the Philadelphia Eagles a 16-15 upset win over the Chicago Bears in Sunday’s wild-card playoff game was officially ruled a block by the NFL. Video showed Philadelphia’s Treyvon Hester tipped the ball, which bounced off the upright and hit the crossbar.
CHICAGO (AP) — Nick Foles came through just in time for the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. Foles threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on fourth down in the final minute, and the Eagles hung on for a 16-15 wild-card victory over the Chicago Bears after Cody Parkey’s missed field goal hit the upright and crossbar. After squeezing past the NFC North champions, the Eagles will visit top-seeded New Orleans next Sunday.