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Professional

  • US women blank Mexico for Cup berth
    Carli Lloyd scored a pair of goals in a 3-0 semifinal victory over Mexico on Friday night, securing the United States a trip to next year’s World Cup and a spot in the CONCACAF Woman’s Championship match on Sunday. The U.S.
  • Lloyd leads US women past Mexico
    CHESTER, Pa. — After the United States' path to the World Cup hit a snag four years ago, Carli Lloyd was happy to help send the team through smoothly this time.
  • Wings rally in 3rd, beat Penguins in OT
    Justin Abdelkader’s goal 4:16 into overtime capped a dramatic Detroit rally, giving the Red Wings a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. The Red Wings scored twice with their goalie pulled in the final 2:
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ASSOCIATED PRESS
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) and Brooks Reed sack New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

Watt swats defensive player foes

NEW ORLEANS — Houston end J.J. Watt has won The Associated Press 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, missing a perfect ballot by one vote.

The NFL's sacks leader with 20 1-2 and a pass-blocking fiend, Watt earned 49 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Denver linebacker Von Miller received the other vote.

Watt, a versatile second-year player with a tremendous burst off the line, also forced four fumbles and recovered two in helping the Texans to their second straight AFC South title. With his long wingspan, he blocked a stunning 16 passes.

Watt is the first Texans player to win the award. Last year, Miller ran away with the top defensive rookie award while Watt was not in contention.

He accepted his award Saturday night at the "2nd Annual NFL Honors" awards show on CBS saluting the NFL's best players, performances and plays from the 2012 season.

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