Falcons' offense is missing in second half of loss
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Roddy White says the Falcons' 10th loss was especially painful.
Atlanta's offense disappeared after taking a 21-10 lead at Green Bay on Sunday. The Falcons were shut out in the second half of their 22-21 loss to the Packers.
The Falcons were hurt by two fourth-quarter turnovers - a fumble and interception by quarterback Matt Ryan. Late dropped passes by Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez were costly. Coach Mike Smith says the frozen turf at Lambeau Field hardened after halftime, making traction more difficult.
Ultimately, White and Smith agree the Falcons had to accept responsibility for the team's missing offense.
The Falcons had no first downs on their first two possessions of the second half. Green Bay's comeback dropped Atlanta to 3-10. The Falcons host Washington on Sunday.
FALCONS' KOETTER-BOISE STATE
Falcons' Koetter interviews with Boise State
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Falcons coach Mike Smith says offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has interviewed for the Boise State head coach position.
Koetter, a native of Pocatello, Idaho, was Boise State's coach from 1998-2000. He posted a 26-10 record with the Broncos with back-to-back Humanitarian Bowl wins before six seasons as Arizona State's coach.
Koetter is in his second season with the Falcons, who have fallen to 3-10 following a 13-3 record in 2012.
The Idaho Statesman first reported Koetter would interview with Boise State, which is looking for a new coach after Chris Petersen was hired by Washington.
Smith offered no details Monday on Koetter's interview, saying, "I am aware they have had conversations."
HALL OF FAME
Torre, La Russa, Cox elected to baseball Hall
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Retired managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox have been unanimously elected to the baseball Hall of Fame by the expansion era committee.
Each of the inductees won more than 2,000 games in managerial careers that spanned more than four decades. Torre became the fifth manager to win at least four World Series titles. La Russa won championships with Oakland and St. Louis. Cox led Atlanta to one championship and 14 straight division titles.
The announcement was made Monday at the winter meetings. They will be inducted July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with any players chosen by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, 300-game winners, are among the newcomers to the writers' ballot, with results announced Jan. 8.
Louisiana-Monroe tops Thomas University 84-61
MONROE, La. (AP) - Tylor Ongwae scored a career-high 22 points, leading four Warhawks in double figures, as Louisiana-Monroe beat Thomas University 84-61 Monday night.
Justin Watkins hit a jumper with 9:09 left in the first half to pull the Night Hawks within two, but ULM (3-1) closed out the half with a 27-5 run and went into the break with a 46-22 advantage.
Louisiana-Monroe out-rebounded Thomas 41-23 and hit 28 of 47 (59.6 percent) field goals to overcome 20 turnovers. The Warhawks, which came into the game ranked 4th in the nation in 3-point field goal defense (24 percent), limited Thomas to 3-of-20 3-point shooting.
Marvin Williams scored 12 points, DeMondre Harvey added 11 and Jayon James had 10 in the win. Ongwae also had game-highs with seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Justyn Watkins led TU (7-3) with 29 points.
The game served as an exhibition for the Night Hawks.
Rivera: Panthers might have got full of themselves
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Coach Ron Rivera says Carolina's 31-13 loss to the Saints Sunday night was a "humbling experience" and could help his team to refocus as it makes a playoff push.
Rivera said Monday, "Maybe we got a little full of ourselves and thought we were capable of just showing up."
It was Carolina's most lopsided loss of the season.
But while Carolina players were already talking about rematch with the Saints at home on Dec. 22, Rivera said it's vital they focus on preparing for Sunday's game against the New York Jets, a team with playoff aspirations of their own.
Carolina and San Francisco lead all NFC wild card contenders at 9-4, but Arizona (8-5) and Dallas (7-5) remain in the hunt with three games left in the regular season.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart has torn MCL
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - An MRI shows Panthers' backup running back Jonathan Stewart tore the MCL in his right knee in Sunday night's 31-13 loss to New Orleans.
Carolina spokesman Charlie Dayton announced the injury Monday.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera says Stewart will be out a minimum of 10 days, but remains optimistic he could return at some point this season.
Stewart will not play Sunday against the New York Jets. The Panthers (9-4) are positioned for a postseason berth with three games left.
Stewart was injured when tackled in the lower right leg by Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis in the third quarter at the Superdome.
It's been a rough season for Stewart, who missed the first seven games of the year on the physically unable to perform list with an ankle injury.
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