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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The New England Patriots unveiled their Super Bowl banner before Tom Brady through for four touchdowns in a 28-21 triumph over Pittsburgh. Brady completed 19 consecutive passes and finished 25 of 32 for 288 yards, including three scoring strikes to Rob Gronkowski. Scott Chandler had a TD reception that put the Pats ahead 21-3 early in the second half.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Luke Kuechly (KEEK'-lee) has agreed to a five-year, $62 million contract extension with the Carolina Panthers, making him the highest-paid middle linebacker in the NFL. Kuechly has an NFL-best 473 tackles since coming into the league as a first-round draft pick in 2012. He's one of only three players to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors within his first two years.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ruben Amaro Jr. has been fired as general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. They have the worst record in the majors at 54-86 and are about to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season since winning five consecutive National League East titles. They are on course to lose 100 games for the first time since 1961.
NEW YORK (AP) — The women's semifinals at the U.S. Open were rained out yesterday and will be part of Friday's schedule at the National Tennis Center. Top seed and No. 1-ranked Serena Williams will take on Roberta Vinci (VIN'-chee) before second seed Simona Halep (HAL'-ehp) goes against 26th seed Flavia (FLAH'-vee-ah) Pannetta. The men's semifinals are also on tap with No. 1 Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) playing ninth seed Marin Cilic (CHIHL'-ihch) and second seed Roger Federer going against No. 5 Stan Wawrinka (vah-VRINK'-ah).
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Sam Mitchell will replace Flip Saunders as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves while Saunders continues treatment for cancer. That's according to a person with knowledge of the situation who told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because official word had not yet come from the Wolves. Saunders has Hodgkins lymphoma and has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments since June.
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