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The rival Koreas moved toward easing their bitter animosity during rare talks Adidas Ryan Getzlaf Jersey , with North Korea agreeing to take part in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea. The countries also agreed to hold more discussions on reducing tension along their border and to reopen a military hotline.

The first meeting of its kind between the nations in about two years was arranged after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an abrupt push for improved ties with South Korea following a year of escalating tensions with the outside world over his expanding nuclear and missile programs. Critics say Kim may be trying to divide Seoul and Washington in a bid to weaken international pressure and sanctions on the North.

In comments that appeared to back up those critical views, chief North Korean delegate Ri Son Gwon said his country’s nuclear weapons are aimed at the United States, not South Korea. He made the comments while complaining about what he called inaccurate South Korean media reports that he said Tuesday’s talks dealt with North Korea’s nuclear disarmament.

TOKYO (AP) – It’s still unclear how many Russian athletes will compete next month in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, but a few things seem certain.

Athletes from winter powers like Germany and Norway could pick up unexpected medals with some top Russians absent because a massive doping scheme four years ago at the Sochi Games.

One medal forecast for Pyeongchang, compiled by Gracenote Sports, which refers to itself as a ”sports and entertainment provider,” shows the impact if Russian athletes are missing.

Gracenote released its medal-table projection on Wednesday, this time removing all Russians from the calculation. The U.S.-based company said it would release a final prediction just before the Olympics open on Feb. 9, this time including Russians who are known to be eligible and who will compete under the name ”Olympic Athlete from Russia” or OAR.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

ATLANTA (AP) – The national championship showdown between Alabama and Georgia drew 28.443 million viewers for ESPN, making it the second-most watched title game in the four years of the College Football Playoff format.

Alabama beat Georgia in overtime , rallying from 13 points down in the second half before winning with a game-ending touchdown pass . Viewership for the all-Southeastern Conference matchup on Monday night in Atlanta was up 13 percent from last season’s Clemson-Alabama rematch from the season before, ESPN said Tuesday.

ESPN said the audience peaked late in the first half at around 30 million viewers and more than 28.4 million were watching when the winning touchdown was scored.

SPORTS BETTING

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – A new report predicts 18 states will introduce bills to regulate sports betting this year Adidas Ryan Kesler Jersey , with 11 having a good chance of passing legislation.

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, which tracks gambling legislation nationwide, says that’s just the minimum; the firm predicts more than 30 states could introduce sports betting bills.

The U.S. Supreme Court this year will decide a case brought by New Jersey that seeks to overturn a ban on sports betting in all but four states: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. A favorable ruling in that case could open the floodgates in terms of states adopting a new form of gambling.

PRO FOOTBALL

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) – Jon Gruden finally decided the time was right to finish what he nearly achieved in his first stint in Oakland and deliver another Super Bowl title to the Raiders.

Nearly 16 years after he was traded to Tampa Bay following a crushing loss in the ”Tuck Rule” game in New England and after a six-year courtship by Raiders owner Mark Davis, Gruden is officially back in Oakland where he started his head coaching career 20 years ago.

Gruden was introduced in front of a large crowd that included nearly 50 former Raiders and nine Pro Football Hall of Famers as the coach Davis believes can carry Derek Carr and the Raiders back to the top.

The Raiders nearly got there in Gruden’s first stint from 1998-2001 but the team lost to Baltimore in the 2000 AFC title game and followed that with the memorable loss in the snow against the Patriots that still haunts the franchise.

Gruden was then traded to Tampa Bay the following month for four draft picks and $8 million. He beat Oakland in the Super Bowl the next season but always identified with the Raiders.

”For my career to end that night in New England, it still ticks me off,” Gruden said. ”I’m so thrilled to be back here. I hope people understand the emotion inside. I feel there’s unfinished business. I also feel a lot of loyalty and I feel a lot of responsibility to get the Raiders going again. It’s been a while since we consistently performed at a high level. That’s all I care about.”

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) – Bills general manager Brandon Beane said there may have been a misunderstanding during an on-field exchange that led to Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue accusing Buffalo guard Richie Incognito of using ”weak racist slurs.”

Beane said the Bills have spoken to Incognito and understand their player’s side of the story of the alleged exchange that occurred during Buffalo’s 10-3 loss to the Jaguars in an AFC wild-card playoff game on Sunday. Beane confirmed some type of exchange happened but declined to get into details.

He added during the team’s end-of-season news conference on Tuesday that the Bills take the allegation ”very seriously,” and are cooperating with the league’s investiga Atlanta’s high-flying offense had its way with every defense it faced in 2016 on the way to the Super Bowl except Jim Schwartz’s unit.

The Philadelphia Eagles shut down the Falcons in a 24-15 victory in Week 10 last season, holding them to a season low in points, first downs (11) and yards (303).

They’ll try to do it again with a berth in the NFC championship game at stake.

When the Falcons (11-6) visit the Eagles (13-3) in a divisional playoff game on Saturday Adidas Clayton Keller Jersey , Schwartz will turn to the blueprint he used last season. But he knows that doesn’t guarantee success again.

”They are a little bit different than last year,” Schwartz said. ”It’s a new season. Playoff games stand on their own.”

Julio Jones had 10 catches for 135 yards, but didn’t score a touchdown against the Eagles in that game. Matt Ryan completed only eight passes to other receivers for 132 yards, including a 76-yard TD to Taylor Gabriel.

Schwartz doesn’t care about allowing Jones to rack up fantasy points. Keeping him out of the end zone is more important.

”If Julio Jones has 350 yards receiving and we win the game, that’s what it took to win the game,” Schwartz said.

”If he has 10 yards receiving for the game-winning touchdown, then that wasn’t enough.

”So I think you have to look at it that way. How do you stop their offense, how do you minimize their scoring and not just concentrate on one player because they do have other players that are threats. It’s not just a one-man team.”

The Eagles blitzed Ryan more than usual and the 2016 NFL MVP had his worst game of the season. He was sacked twice, threw one interception, completed only 55 percent of his passes and had a 78.7 passer rating.

Schwartz has more talent on his defense now, including more depth on the defensive line and a revamped secondary.

The Eagles often generate a strong rush without relying on the blitz and they have cornerbacks who can handle receivers one-on-one if Schwartz wants to be aggressive.

”They are a very good offensive protection team as far as picking up blitzes,” Schwartz said.

”Blitz is not a whole lot different than pass rush. You can’t expect to have guys free. If you’re expecting to get guys free, you’re in the wrong business because the only way you can really get a guy free is to bring more than they can block and there’s some risk inherent to that.

”But blitz is really all about guys winning one-on-ones Adidas Patrice Bergeron Jersey , and when you do that, then your blitz game is going to be effective and I’m not just talking about one-on-ones in pass rush, but I’m talking about one-on-ones in coverage, too. Both of those go hand in hand.”

Under first-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who replaced Kyle Shanahan after he left to coach San Francisco, the Falcons had a big drop-off in production. They went from No. 1 in scoring at 33.8 points per game to 15th at 22.1. They fell from second in yards to eighth.

But they still have Ryan, Jones, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper.

”They look sharp and they’re playing at a high level,” defensive end Chris Long said. ”We’ll have to bring our `A’ game.”



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