Schwartz shares take on Bears' success, praises Stafford

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Schwartz shares take on Bears' success, praises Stafford

The Lions are coming off a huge overtime win against the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend and according to their head coach Jim Schwartz, that victory gives his team a chance this week to get back to .500. Former NFL executive Pat Kirwin and I caught up with Jim Schwartz on SiriusXM NFL Radio to discuss the (2-3) Detroit Lions Monday Night match-up against the (4-1) Chicago Bears.

During the interview, Schwartz discussed some of the reasons why the Bears are having early success in 2012.

"They are a big play defense," Schwartz said when asked about Chicago's 17 turnovers defensively along with their 18 sacks. "They have a lot of guys who can make plays."

Schwartz was quick to list the Bears playmakers like Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher and the front four defensive linemen for Chicago. But for Schwartz, there is one reason why the Bears are winning.

I think the biggest difference in their start this year, in their 4 wins, is theyve gotten leads, Schwartz said."Theyve also been able to hold that lead and thats the formula for their defense to create turnovers. Schwartz explained further saying, Playing with a lead has forced teams to throw to catch up where they (Bears) have let their pass rushers go.

Schwartz clearly believes his team cannot afford to fall behind Monday Night against Chicago.

I think its important not to play from behind because it plays into their hands. If we can get the lead we can take away that advantage of them pinning their ears back.

It will be interesting to follow tonight, especially because the Lions played from behind last week against Philadelphia. The Lions passed the ball 48 times while not giving up a single sack. Schwartz credited his quarterback, saying, A lot of that is Matt Stafford getting rid of the ball quick and moving around. Matt was being smart and throwing it away.

Something has to give tonight from a protection stand point if the Lions do play from behind. The Bears' front four is much more accomplished with their 18 sacks than Philadelphias seven sacks for the year. By the Eagles not sacking Stafford once, it now has been 4 weeks in a row they have not registered a sack.

Sky beat Atlanta to advance to WNBA semis

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Sky beat Atlanta to advance to WNBA semis

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Courtney Vandersloot scored 21 points with 13 assists, Jessica Breland had 20 points and 16 rebounds, and the Chicago Sky beat the Atlanta Dream 108-98 on Sunday to advance to the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs.

The Sky broke it open in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Tamera Young made fast-break layups on consecutive possessions during Chicago's 10-2 run to start the quarter for a 66-52 lead. Atlanta was outscored 31-20 in the quarter.

Chicago cruised in the fourth — setting a season-high for points — and will face Los Angeles in a best-of-five series beginning Wednesday in LA.

Reigning MVP Elena Delle Donne missed her sixth straight game for Chicago with a thumb injury but it didn't seem to faze the Sky on the offensive end. Chicago had 26 assists, made 55 percent of its shots, and Young and Cappie Pondexter each scored 16 points.

Chicago set a WNBA record for the most points in the first quarter of a playoff game when the Sky built a 37-25 lead. But Angel McCoughtry kept the Dream within 56-50 at halftime after scoring 21 points, including 10 of Atlanta's first 14 points.

Tiffany Hayes, who didn't play in the first round due to a one-game suspension for accrued technicals in the regular season, scored 30 points for Atlanta. McCoughtry finished with 27 points, six rebounds and nine assists.

Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler was in attendance wearing a Cubs jersey.

Rory McIlroy wins Tour Championship, FedEx Cup in dramatic fashion

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Rory McIlroy wins Tour Championship, FedEx Cup in dramatic fashion

ATLANTA (AP) -- Rory McIlroy finally won the FedEx Cup when he least expected it.

McIlroy was three shots behind with three holes to play Sunday in the Tour Championship. Nearly two hours later, he holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the fourth extra hole to win at East Lake in a playoff and claim the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus.

In its 10th year, the FedEx Cup never had a finish like this.

McIlroy won on the 16th hole, where his stunning rally began in regulation when he holed out from 137 yards for eagle and then made birdie on the final hole for a 64 to join a three-man playoff with Ryan Moore (64) and Kevin Chappell (66).

Chappell was eliminated with a par on the first extra hole.