Here’s a look at some of the big sports stories making headlines today, Monday, Oct. 12.
UNBEATENS STAY THAT WAY
New England, Green Bay, Denver, Cincinnati and Atlanta all remain unbeaten through Week 5 of the NFL season.
Tom Brady threw for two touchdowns and the Patriots improved to 4-0 with a 30-6 rout of the Cowboys. Brady also provided his first rushing touchdown since 2012, a one-yard plunge in the second quarter to put the Pats ahead to stay. The Cowboys managed just 59 total yards by halftime and settled for a pair of Dan Bailey field goals in dropping their third straight since Tony Romo broke his left collarbone.
The Packers improve to 5-0 with a 24-10 win over the Rams behind a pair of touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers. However, the Packers quarterback had a couple of streaks snapped with a pair of interceptions. They were his first of the year, and his first at Lambeau Field since Dec. 2012. The Rams wasted a 159 yard rushing performance from Todd Gurley.
Chris Harris Jr. returned a fourth-quarter interception 74 yards for a touchdown and the Broncos overcame a shaky day from Peyton Manning to beat the Oakland Raiders 16-10. Manning finished 22 for 35 for 266 yards but was sacked twice and had two interceptions. Denver improved to 5-0 despite running for only 43 yards and posting its second-lowest scoring regular season game with Manning as quarterback.
Andy Dalton rallied Cincinnati from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to a 27-24 overtime win over Seattle. Dalton threw for a touchdown and ran for another in the comeback. He finished with 331 passing yards and two scores to lead the Bengals to their first 5-0 start since 1988, when they last went to the Super Bowl.
Atlanta’s Robert Alford returned an interception 59 yards in overtime to give Atlanta a 25-19 win over Washington. The Falcons improved to 5-0 with the help of 159 yards rushing from Devonta Freeman, who also provided his eighth rushing touchdown of the season.
Also in the NFL:
TEXAS IS CENTER OF BASEBALL
The Houston Astros own a 2-1 lead in the AL division series, and the Toronto Blue Jays are still alive in their ALDS after avoiding a sweep by the Rangers in Texas.
Dallas Keuchel allowed a run and five hits in seven innings to pitch the Astros past Kansas City 4-2. The Houston ace worked out of several jams before improving to 15-0 at home this season.
Jason Castro put the Astros ahead to stay with a two-run single in the fifth. Carlos Gomez added an RBI single in his first start of the series, and Chris Carter smacked a solo shot that put the Astros ahead 4-1.
Luke Gregerson gave up Alex Gordon’s leadoff homer in the ninth before finishing off the Astros’ first home playoff game in 10 years with a four-out save.
Kansas City starter Edinson Volquez fell to 0-3 in his postseason career by allowing five hits and three runs in 5 2-3 innings.
The Astros could wrap up the best-of-five series with a win over the defending AL champions in Game 4 on Monday.
Toronto will be playing a Game 4 on Monday after Troy Tulowitzki and Marco Estrada led them to a 5-1 victory over the Rangers.
Tulowitzki finished with four RBIs, including a three-run homer that put the Jays ahead 5-0 in the sixth. Tulowitzki went 2-for-3 after going hitless in 10 at-bats during the first two games.
Estrada was reached for just one run and four hits with no walks over 6 ½ innings. He carried a three-hit shutout into the seventh but was lifted after allowing back-to-back singles with one out.
Losing pitcher Martin Perez was reached for four runs and six hits in five-plus innings.
Derek Holland will start Game 4 for the Rangers against R.A. Dickey.
SARKISIAN ASKED TO TAKE LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Southern California’s Steve Sarkisian is taking an indefinite leave of absence after athletic director Pat Haden determined that the troubled football coach is “not healthy.”
Haden announced the decision after Sarkisian didn’t show up for Sunday’s practice, saying he asked Sarkasian to take a leave during a phone conversation. Haden wasn’t specific about the reasons for Sarkisian’s absence, only saying that “it was very clear to me” that the second-year USC coach was unwell.
Offensive coordinator Clay Helton will take charge of the Trojans, who have lost two of their last three games.
NCAA: TERPS FIRE EDSALL
Randy Edsall has been fired as Maryland’s football coach following the team’s third straight lopsided defeat, 49-28 against top-ranked Ohio State Saturday. Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley will take over on an interim basis.
Maryland is 2-4 and mired in a three-game skid in which the Terps have been outscored by a combined 122-34.
Edsall went 22-34 after taking over before the 2011 season.
LOGANO WINS AT CHARLOTTE
Joey Logano won at Charlotte Motor Speedway to automatically advance to the third round of NASCAR’s playoffs.
His fourth victory of the season and his first career win at Charlotte came in the opening race of the second round of the Chase.
Logano beat reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick to the finish line by 0.704 seconds in a race originally schedule for Saturday night, but postponed by rain. Martin Truex, Jr. finished third.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch suffered through problems that led both of them to fall to the back of the championship standings. Same with Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was one of three Hendrick Motorsports drivers to have a rough day. Busch finished 20th, Earnhardt 28th and Kenseth 42nd.
HAMILTON CLOSES IN ON TITLE
Lewis Hamilton took a huge step toward retaining his Formula One title by winning the Russian Grand Prix as his main rival Nico Rosberg failed to finish.
Hamilton started second behind Rosberg, but took over the lead when his Mercedes teammate had mechanical problems that forced him out of the race.
Hamilton then cruised to victory by 5.9 seconds over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton can now win his third career title at the next race in Texas.
HABS TOP SENS
The Montreal Canadiens spoiled Ottawa’s home opener and won the only game on Sunday’s NHL schedule.
Tomas Plekanec scored a pair of first-period goals and new backup netminder Mike Condon faced just 21 shots in a 3-1 win over the Senators. Plekanec allowed the Habs to carry a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Condon blanked the Senators after Jean-Gabriel Pageau notched a short-handed goal midway through the second period.
Torrey Mitchell added an insurance goal in the third period to help the Canadiens improve to 3-0 on their season-opening four game road trip.
Ottawa had been 2-0.
LPGA: KORDA PULLS AWAY
Jessica Korda shot a final-round 6-under 65 to score a four-shot win at LPGA Malaysia. It’s the fourth tour title for the 22-year old American, who previously only had one top ten finish all year.
Second-ranked Lydia Ko, No. 3 Stacy Lewis and 2014 winner Shanshan Feng tied for second.