1953 — The Detroit Lions edge the Cleveland Browns 17-16 for the NFL championship, winning on a 33-yeard scoring pass and Doak Walker’s extra point.
1959 — The Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants 31-16 in the NFL title game. Three field goals by Pat Summerall give the Giants a 9-7 lead after three periods, but Baltimore makes three interceptions resulting in scores.
1964 — The Cleveland Browns break out after a scoreless first half with 17 points in the third quarter and defeat the Baltimore Colts 27-0 for the NFL title.
1974 — Ohio State junior running back Archie Griffin wins the Heisman Trophy.
1987 — Steve Largent of Seattle becomes the NFL’s all-time receptions leader in the Seahawks’ 41-20 loss to Kansas City. Largent’s six catches give him 752, surpassing the 750 by San Diego’s Charlie Joiner. Gayle Sierens announcing the game for NBC becomes the NFL’s first female play-by-play announcer.
1999 — Joe Sakic scores his 1,000th career point on a second-period assist, helping the Colorado Avalanche down the St. Louis Blues 5-1.
2000 — Mario Lemieux makes a remarkable comeback after 3½ years of retirement. He scores a goal and assists on two others — one on his first pass on his first shift — and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-0.
2005 — Rudy Carpenter passes for 467 yards and four touchdowns, and Arizona State holds off Rutgers for a 45-40 victory in the Insight Bowl. Both teams combine for 1,210 yards, a record for any bowl.
2008 — Pat White, the most prolific running quarterback in college football history, has the best passing game of his career to lead West Virginia to a 31-30 victory over North Carolina in the Meineke Bowl. The senior is voted MVP of a bowl for the third straight year and finishes 4-0 in postseason games, the first quarterback to do so.
2009 — Brad Smith returns the second-half kickoff 106 yards in the New York Jets’ 29-15 win over Indianapolis. The Jets end the Colts’ pursuit of perfection and their NFL-record 23-game winning streak. Peyton Manning was 14 of 21 for 192 yards for the Colts, playing long enough to join Brett Favre, Dan Marino and John Elway as the only members of the 50,000-yard club.
2010 — Niklas Kronwall scores with 1:18 remaining in overtime, and Chris Osgood stops a season-high 46 shots in the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche to become the 10th NHL goalie to reach 400 wins.
2015 — Carolina’s bid for an undefeated season ends when Julio Jones’ 70-yard touchdown reception powers the Atlanta Falcons to a 20-13 victory over Cam Newton and the Panthers, who drop to 14-1.
2015 — Kansas City beat Cleveland 17-13 for its ninth consecutive victory and clinches a playoff spot when Pittsburgh loses to Baltimore. The Chiefs and 1986 Jets are the only NFL teams with a nine-game win streak and five-game losing streak in the same season.
2018 — Jonathan Taylor rushes for 205 yards and a touchdown and tops the 2,000-yard season mark to help Wisconsin rout Miami 35-3 in the Pinstripe Bowl. The sophomore has runs of 39 and 41 yards and combines with a defense that forces five turnovers to help Wisconsin to its fifth straight bowl victory.
1944 — Maurice Richard has five goals and three assists to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 9-1 rout of the Detroit Red Wings.
1947 — The Chicago Cardinals, behind Elmer Angsman’s two 70-yard scores and Charlie Trippi’s 44-yard TD run and 75-yard punt return, beat the Philadelphia Eagles 28-21 for the NFL title on a frozen Comiskey Park field.
1952 — Doak Walker’s 67-yard third-quarter touchdown run leads the Detroit Lions to a 17-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns for the NFL championship.
1958 — The Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants 23-17 in overtime to win the NFL championship at Yankee Stadium. Quarterback Johnny Unitas takes the Colts 80 yards in 13 plays, the last a 1-yard carry by Alan Ameche at 8:15 of sudden-death overtime. Regulation ends 17-17 when Baltimore’s Steve Myhra kicks a 20-yard field goal with 20 seconds left. Played before a national television audience, this game is believed to have made the NFL a challenger to baseball as the national pastime.
1968 — Arthur Ashe leads the U.S. to its first Davis Cup title since 1963 with a 4-1 victory over Australia.
1975 — The Dallas Cowboys beat the Minnesota Viking 17-14 on Roger Staubach’s desperate 50-yard pass to Drew Pearson in the final minute of an NFC divisional playoff game. Staubach connects with Pearson down the right sideline with 24 seconds remaining after the Cowboys had second-and-10 with no timeouts left. Staubach later says he got knocked down on the play, closed his eyes and said a Hail Mary. The term “Hail Mary” is born.
1988 — Division II Alaska-Anchorage, behind Michael Johnson’s 20 points, pulls the biggest surprise of the college basketball season by stunning No. 2 Michigan 70-66 in the opening round of the Utah Classic.
2000 — Robby Portalatin becomes the fourth bowler to roll a 900 series, according to the American Bowling Congress. Portalatin, a 28-year-old worker for an auto parts company, accomplishes the feat at Airport Lanes in Jackson, Mich.
2003 — Jamal Lewis becomes the fifth player in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards in a season. He gains 114 yards on 27 carries in Baltimore’s 13-10 overtime victory against Pittsburgh, finishing the year with 2,066 yards for the second most in NFL history.
2003 — San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson rushes for a career-high 243 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-14 win over Oakland.
2003 — Kansas City’s Priest Holmes sets an NFL record with his 27th touchdown of the season when he scores twice in a 31-3 victory over Chicago.
2008 — The Detroit Lions lose to the Green Bay Packers 31-21, making them the first team to go winless through a 16-game season. Green Bay’s Donald Driver (111) and Greg Jennings (101) total 100 yards receiving. Combined with Ryan Grant and DeShawn Wynn’s 106-yard rushing days, it is the first time a team has a pair of 100-yard rushers and 100-yard receivers in a single game.
2008 — The New England Patriots become the NFL’s first team with an 11-5 record to miss the playoffs since Denver in 1985 and the first since the NFL expanded to six playoff teams per conference in 1990.
2008 — The Cleveland Browns lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-0, setting an NFL record by failing to score a touchdown for six straight games.
2014 — Roman Harper and Tre Boston return interceptions for touchdowns, leading the Carolina Panthers to a 34-3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons to win the NFC South. Carolina (7-8-1) won four straight to become the first team to enter the playoffs with a losing record since 2010, when Seattle was 7-9.
2017 — Al Horford makes a hook shot with 3.7 seconds left to give Boston its only lead of the game, and the Celtics rally from a 26-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 99-98. Houston opened the game on a 12-0 run and led 62-38 at halftime.
1926 — Merlyn Phillips of the Montreal Maroons scores five seconds into the game, setting the NHL record for the fastest goal from the start of a game. The Chicago Black Hawks win 5-4 in overtime at home.
1934 — The first college basketball doubleheader is played at New York’s Madison Square Garden. NYU beats Notre Dame 25-18 and Westminster defeats St. John’s 37-33.
1957 — Tobin Rote passes for four touchdowns and scores another to give the Detroit Lions a 59-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns in the NFL championship game.
1963 — The Chicago Bears defeat the New York Giants 14-10 for the NFL title at Wrigley Field.
1968 — The Baltimore Colts shut out the Cleveland Browns 34-0 to win the NFL championship at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The Colts (15-1) avenge their only loss of the season holding the Browns scoreless for only the second time in their history.
1968 — The New York Jets beat the Oakland Raiders 27-23 in the AFL championship game. Joe Namath leads the Jets 68 yards in 55 seconds to score a go-ahead touchdown pass to Don Maynard with 7:24 left.
1979 — Safety Vernon Perry sets an NFL playoff record with four interceptions to lead the Houston Oilers to a 17-14 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
1982 — Alabama’s Jeremiah Castille intercepts three passes to help beat Illinois 21-15 in the Liberty Bowl and send coach Paul “Bear” Bryant out as a winner. Bryant finishes his coaching career with a record of 323-85-17.
2002 — Marvin Harrison catches six passes for a season-low 28 yards in a 20-13 win over Jacksonville, finishing his record-breaking year with 143 receptions and 1,722 yards — the fourth most in league history.
2006 — Texas Tech spots Minnesota a 31-point, third-quarter lead, then rallies for a 44-41 overtime victory in the Insight Bowl, the largest comeback in Division I-A bowl history. The previous record was 30 points, set by Marshall against East Carolina in the 2001 GMAC Bowl.
2007 — In Joe Paterno’s 500th game as Penn State coach, the Nittany Lions erase an early 14-point deficit to beat Texas A&M 24-17 at the Alamo Bowl. Paterno, 372-125-3, is the college football leader in bowl appearances (34) and bowl wins (23).
2007 — The New England Patriots complete a perfect regular season, finishing 16-0 following a 38-35 comeback victory over the New York Giants. New England is the first NFL team since the 1972 Dolphins went 14-0 to win every game on the schedule.
2011 — In the highest-scoring regulation bowl game in history, Baylor tops Washington 67-56 in a wild Alamo Bowl shootout.
2012 — The No. 2 UConn women end No. 1 Stanford’s nation-leading 82-game home unbeaten run with a 61-35 rout. Stanford loses at Maples Pavilion for the first time since March 2007.
2016 — Jerod Evans throws for 243 yards and two touchdowns and runs for two scores and No. 18 Virginia Tech pulls off the largest comeback in its 124-year history. The Hokies erase a 24-0 halftime deficit to beat Arkansas 35-24 in the Belk Bowl.
2018 — Mikaela Shiffrin becomes the most successful female slalom skier in the 52-year history of the World Cup. In the last race of 2018, the American adds her 36th victory. Shiffrin previously shared the record with Austria’s Marlies Raich, who competed as Marlies Schild.
1956 — The New York Giants win the NFL title with a 47-7 rout of the Chicago Bears.
1962 — The Green Bay Packers beat the New York Giants 16-7 to win the NFL title for the second straight year.
1973 — The Minnesota Vikings beat the Dallas Cowboys 27-10 to win the NFC championship.
1973 — The Miami Dolphins, behind 266 yards rushing, beat the Oakland Raiders 27-10 for an unprecedented third straight AFC title.
1981 — In the 39th game of the season, Edmonton’s Wayne Gretzky scores five goals, including his 50th into an empty net, to lead the Oilers to a 7-5 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Gretzy betters the mark of of 50 goals in 50 games held by Maurice Richard and Mike Bossy.
1990 — Orlando point guard Scott Skiles dishes out an NBA-record 30 assists in a 155-116 victory against the Denver Nuggets. Skiles breaks the record of 29 assists set by the Nets’ Kevin Porter in 1978.
2002 — TCU sets an NCAA record for fewest points allowed when the Lady Frogs beat Texas Southern 76-16. The 16 points allowed breaks the Division I record for fewest points. Prairie View scored 19 points against Jackson State in 1983.
2010 — Top-ranked Connecticut’s record 90-game winning streak in women’s basketball ends when No. 9 Stanford outplays the Huskies from the start in a 71-59 victory at Maples Pavilion — where the Cardinal has their own streak going. Stanford hasn’t lost in 52 games at home. The Cardinal took an early 13-point lead, never trailed and didn’t let the mighty Huskies back in it.
2016 — Isaiah Thomas scores 29 of his career-high 52 points in the fourth quarter, setting a club record for points in a period and leading Boston to a 117-114 victory over the Miami Heat.
2018 — New England clinches its ninth straight first-round bye in the playoffs with a 38-3 victory over the New York Jets. The ninth straight playoff bye also extends a record; Dallas and San Francisco (1992-95) and Denver (2012-15) went four straight. They score more than 400 points (436) for the 12th straight season, extending their record. The ninth straight 11-win season is also a record; Indianapolis had seven from 2003-09. Coach Bill Belichick’s 16th 11-win season is the most in history (Don Shula had 13).