DENVER (AP) Philip Rivers outplayed Peyton Manning and the San Diego Chargers sprung a 27-20 upset Thursday night over the Denver Broncos.
Rivers threw for 166 yards and two scores to Keenan Allen and kept the Chargers' offense on the field for nearly 39 minutes.
Stuck on the sideline most of the night, Manning ended up with 289 yards and only two touchdowns. The Broncos (11-3) fell at home in the regular season for the first time in 14 games.
The Chargers (7-7) snapped Denver's 10-game AFC West winning streak and stayed in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Denver's smooth road to the AFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs got bumpier. The Broncos now have as many losses as Kansas City and New England. They hold the tiebreaker against the Chiefs but not the Patriots.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) Jameis Winston walked away with another major award Thursday night, the latest national prize to put on his mantle.
He might want to save a spot for the Heisman Trophy.
The Florida State star headlined a big night for the Atlantic Coast Conference, winning the Davey O'Brien Award as the country's top quarterback at the annual College Football Awards Show at Disney.
Winston also won the Walter Camp player of the year award in a separate announcement.
The redshirt freshman, who led the top-ranked Seminoles to a 13-0 record and a berth in the BCS national championship game against Auburn next month, said he continues to be humbled by every accolade he's received in recent weeks.
"It feels good. It's an honor just to be here," Winston said. "I'm just glad to bring them back to Florida State."
Winston hopes to become the fourth O'Brien Award winner in a row to take home the Heisman in the same year. He would join current NFL quarterbacks Cam Newton (2010) and Robert Griffin III (2011), as well as Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel in 2012.
Now that a sexual assault complaint against him in Tallahassee, Fla., has been closed without charges being filed, Winston is the overwhelming favorite to win college football's highest honor Saturday night in New York.
Several players shared the hardware Thursday, though.
Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron won the Maxwell Award for player of the year, and Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald took home two big prizes: the Chuck Bednarik Award for defensive player of the year and the Outland Trophy as most outstanding interior lineman.
The ACC led all conferences with four winners out of the nine awards that were presented - two for Donald, one for Winston, and the Doak Walker Award that went to Andre Williams of Boston College as the nation's best running back.
Williams joins Winston, McCarron and Manziel among the six Heisman finalists.
Williams became the first Doak Walker winner from his school and from the ACC. He is also the sixth 2,000-yard rusher to claim the honor.
The Eagles' senior actually missed graduation night Thursday to be at the announcement. When he mentioned that on stage, he received an ovation from the audience.
"It's great. It feels like I was being honored as an athlete and a student at the same time," he said. "That's supposed to be the mission, so it felt great."
Though he said this week that he believed he had a season deserving of his Heisman nomination, McCarron, a fifth-year senior with three national championship rings at Alabama, looked visibly taken aback when his name was called for the Maxwell Award.
"Super surprised," McCarron said. "I don't think I'm the best player out of those other two guys that were mentioned. But I can't thank them enough. It's an honor to be here."
McCarron was sometimes overlooked despite leading Alabama to an 11-1 season that left the Crimson Tide just short of a chance to play for its third straight national championship. He threw for 2,676 yards and 26 touchdowns with five interceptions this season.
Now, he prepares to make his first trip to New York for the Heisman ceremony, and McCarron said his game plan is simple.
"I'm just going to enjoy the moment and live in the moment," he said.
Donald became the first defensive lineman to win the Bednarik Award since Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in 2009.
"Just to see all that hard work I put into football, it's paying off today," Donald said. "It's exciting to bring it back to the defensive side. But at the same time there's a lot of talented offensive linemen, so I'm just honored to be able to take a turn."
The two awards capped a big week for Donald, who also took home the Bronko Nagurski award this week as the best defensive player in the country, and the Lombardi Award given annually to the nation's top college lineman.
Other award winners Thursday were Michigan State senior cornerback Darqueze Dennard (Jim Thorpe Award for top defensive back), Oregon State junior receiver Brandin Cooks (Biletnikoff Award for best wide receiver), and Memphis senior Tom Hornsey (Ray Guy Award for top punter).
Winston wasn't the only Florida State player to be honored. Seminoles freshman Roberto Aguayo won the Lou Groza Award as the nation's best place kicker.
Winston stood and applauded as Aguayo walked up to accept the trophy. Winston said no matter what happens at the Heisman ceremony Saturday, moments like that are what he is savoring most right now.
"That's just how I am. I love my teammates," Winston said. "And I think they deserve that type of applause because they've had an excellent season. And it's not over yet."
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas coach Mack Brown declined to say Thursday whether the Alamo Bowl will be his final game, amid intense speculation following another disappointing season that began with the Longhorns talking about becoming national championship contenders again.
"My situation has not changed," Brown said.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since multiple published reports this week indicated that he might step down, Brown said he has yet to talk with new Texas athletic director Steve Patterson and university President Bill Powers about the job he has held since 1998.
Brown deflected several other questions about his future during a news conference in San Antonio about Texas' bowl game against Oregon on Dec. 30.
"I want to sit down with (Patterson) and Bill in the near future and talk about where we're going and where our program is going," Brown said.
In Austin, Powers reasserted his support for Brown and said they planned to speak in the coming days. Powers is among Brown's top supporters, and received a cautious endorsement later Thursday from his frustrated chancellor to temporarily quiet speculation about his own future.
Powers has been locked in a two-year power struggle over academics on one of the nation's biggest campuses. He called Brown one of the sport's greatest coaches but declined to address the coach's status after regents allowed Powers to continue the job he's held since 2006.
"I'm going to focus on this. We'll discuss football at the appropriate time," Powers said.
Brown acknowledged the Longhorns (8-4) didn't finish how they wanted after starting the season talking about competing for a national championship. The Longhorns last played for a BCS title in 2009, but fan frustration has mounted after a string of seasons that failed to meet expectations.
Notably attending Brown's news conference was influential Texas booster Red McCombs, who is a close friend of Brown's and one of the university's most generous donors. McCombs told reporters he hopes Brown comes back next year - but didn't blink about the caliber of coach Texas could get to replace him.
If the Longhorns job comes open, expect more speculation about Alabama coach Nick Saban replacing him. The AP reported last month that after last season Texas regents had spoken with Saban's agent about the possibility of replacing Brown and approached Brown about stepping down.
Saban has deflected those reports. But McCombs expressed confidence about Texas' ability to lure him to one of the wealthiest athletic programs in the nation.
"I don't think there is any question about `getting him,"' McCombs said. "When Mack came there, budgets were an issue; they are not an issue now. Hell, all the money that's not at the Vatican is up at UT."
Brown is 158-47 at Texas, including a national championship in 2005 and another BCS title game against Alabama four years later. But since 2009, the Longhorns are 30-20 and 18-17 in the Big 12.
Follow Paul J. Weber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/pauljweber
SEATTLE (AP) Robinson Cano seemed to be next in line as the player to wear pinstripes for his entire career, all set to follow the path laid before him by mentors named Jeter, Posada and Rivera.
And then the Seattle Mariners blew him away with an offer of financial and career security the New York Yankees never came close to matching.
"I was looking for a contract where I would just be able to play and focus on the game and wouldn't wonder when I'm 37, 38 would I have a job one day. Would I be able to play?" Cano said. "The one thing in Seattle is I get the chance. Am I going to keep working hard? Yes. Even harder? Yes. I'm going to do my best and play the same way I was playing in New York and go out there and do my business and win games."
Cano never stopped smiling on Thursday as he was introduced as the Mariners' new All-Star second baseman. He had $240 million reasons to grin after signing a deal that tied for the fourth largest in baseball history. He has security for the next 10 years knowing that at age 31, he'll likely never go through the process of needing to seek another contact.
With music mogul Jay Z watching from the side of the room, his first client with Roc Nation Sports inked the fifth deal in baseball history to top the $200 million mark.
"Today isn't about me. It's about him," Jay Z said as he declined interview requests.
Cano and his negotiating team spoke glowingly of working with the Mariners and Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik. But Cano felt the Yankees lacked in their efforts to keep him.
Asked if he ever thought he'd leave New York, Cano said, "Honestly, no." Later, Cano said he never felt the Yankees wanted him back.
"I didn't feel respect. I didn't get respect from them and I didn't see any effort," Cano said.
The Yankees' top offer was $175 million over seven years. Cano said he didn't want to go through the contract process in his mid-to-late 30s. Seattle's willingness to push the contract out to 10 years - and the whopping monetary commitment - sealed the agreement.
Cano's representative, Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Baseball, said an agreement was reached last Thursday night when the sides met for three hours after Cano, Jay Z and his negotiating team flew out to Seattle for the final meetings.
Seattle was one of three teams Cano was considering. Wagenen didn't identify them.
"It started early in the free agency period. We had multiple conversations, multiple meetings, lots of trips back and forth cross country, ultimately I think we had four trips in a span of 12 days before we finally reached an agreement," Van Wagenen said.
Cano had spent his entire career with the Yankees. The five-time All-Star played in 160 games last season and hit .314 with 27 homers and 107 RBIs. Cano posted a .899 on-base plus slugging percentage and finished fifth in American League MVP voting.
He was New York's most feared hitter for the past several years, and the loss of a middle infielder who bats .300 and hits 30 homers stings. Cano posted a .899 on-base plus slugging percentage last season and finished fifth in American League MVP voting.
Only the two deals signed by Alex Rodriguez - first with Texas and then the Yankees - and Joey Votto's contract with Cincinnati were worth more. Albert Pujols also signed a $240 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Cano will make $24 million per season from 2014-23 and the contract includes bonuses for awards. It's the fifth deal to top $200 million in baseball history.
All parties agree the contract numbers could seem inflated on the backside of the contract. But the Mariners feel they are getting a bargain to start. They celebrated the signing with a highlight package from Cano's career set to Jay Z's "Show Me What You Got," and had a small gathering for fans where "Hello Cano" shirts were handed out.
"We think even at this number he going to perform and has performed over what the contract is going to pay him," Zduriencik said. "When you look at the length of the contract it's a tremendous investment by this organization and it's a huge step."
Cano's been one of the most durable players in baseball for the past seven seasons, missing only 14 out of 1,120 games since the start of the 2007 season. He's a career .309 hitter who has averaged 24 homers and 97 RBIs per season.
Cano will be the anchor for a lineup that's lacked consistency at the plate most of the past decade. Seattle made other additions at the winter meetings to support Cano, agreeing to a one-year deal with Corey Hart and acquiring Logan Morrison in a trade with the Miami Marlins. Those deals could be finalized as early as Friday.
It's the second straight offseason Seattle has made a massive financial commitment after giving a $175 million, seven-year deal to ace Felix Hernandez last winter. Seattle has the room to make significant cash commitments because the only major contracts on the books for 2014 are for Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, and only Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak are entering arbitration.
Hernandez and Cano talked by phone with the Mariners ace giving a strong recruiting pitch even if Seattle is far from the New York spotlight.
"If I am his teammate right now, I'm some kind of pumped," Zduriencik said.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points and a career-high 25 rebounds, prompting Portland fans to chant "MVP! MVP!" during the Trail Blazers' 111-104 victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
Robin Lopez added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who sit atop the Western Conference standings at 19-4.
Dwight Howard had 32 points and 17 rebounds for the Rockets, who beat the Blazers 116-101 on Nov. 5. That was one of just two losses at home this season for Portland.
The Trail Blazers led by 10 early in the fourth quarter, but Chandler Parsons hit a 3-pointer to narrow it to 93-88 with 7:07 left. Houston closed to 97-95 after James Harden made a layup and a free throw with 4:45 to go.
Nicolas Batum's 3-pointer pushed Portland's lead to 102-95 before Wesley Matthews' layup and free throw made it 108-96 with 2:04 left and all but put the game out of reach for the Rockets.
Portland was coming off a 105-94 victory in Utah on Monday. The Blazers have scored 100 or more points in 10 consecutive games.
Houston had won two straight, including a 98-88 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday.
The Rockets (15-7) were without Omer Asik, who missed his fourth straight game with a bruised right thigh. Houston did get back guard Jeremy Lin, who missed the previous six games with a sprained right knee.
Rockets coach Kevin McHale was not with the team because of the death of his mother. Her funeral is scheduled for Friday in Minnesota. Assistant coach Kelvin Sampson ran the club against the Blazers.
Neither side was able to get in front by more than five points in the first half. Portland held a 21-20 lead after the opening quarter. Aldridge was just 1 for 7 from the floor but he had nine rebounds.
Houston went ahead 32-28 on Parsons' layup and Howard's hook shot, and the Rockets led 44-43 at halftime. Neither team shot well, with Portland at 32 percent and Houston at 36 percent. The Rockets had just five first-half assists.
The Blazers opened the second half with an 11-3 run capped by Matthews' 3-pointer to take a 54-47 lead. Portland stretched the lead to 59-49 on Lopez's dunk and free throw. Aldridge got rolling with 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Rockets closed the gap to 70-68 late in the third quarter when Howard hit a pair of free throws and dunked. Omri Casspi tied it at 70 on free throws with 2 minutes left.
The game was tied going into the fourth quarter, but Portland scored 10 unanswered points to go up 86-76.
NOTES: Aldridge has four 20-20 games, making him the fourth Blazers player with that many. ... Houston's Terrence Jones went to Portland's Jefferson High School. ... It was the opener of a three-game road trip for the Rockets. ... The Blazers embark on a four-game trip starting at Philadelphia on Saturday. ... Former Oregon Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas threw mini footballs into the crowd to promote Portland's new Arena League team, which begins play next season.