In the NFL, the Carolina Panthers defeated the Cleveland Browns 17-13.
Quarterback Cam Newton returned to the gridiron 12 days after a car accident fractures parts of his lower back.
Newton threw for one touchdown and ran for another.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) December 21, 2014
“Well, I was just trying to take what the defense gave me and tried to get down as much as possible,” Newton said. “But I didn't take any hits today and that was good for me.”
Jonathan Stewart ran for 122 yards and caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Newton.
The victory sets up a winner-take-all showdown next Sunday in Atlanta. Coach Ron Rivera will lead the Panthers against the Falcons for the division title.
“You win, you're in. But understand this, guys. Don't look at the end of the race, run the race,” Rivera shouted in the locker room. “We're still running the race. We're relevant, guys. We're relevant.”
Next week's winner will join the 2010 Seattle Seahawks as the only teams in NFL history to reach the postseason in a non-strike-shortened season with a losing record.