Tom Brady shines in victory over Washington

Tom Brady delivered a vintage performance in his first playoff game as a Buccaneer.

The former Patriots quarterback threw a pair of touchdown passes as Tampa Bay cruised past Washington, 31-23. Brady went 22-of-40 for 381 yards, and that stat line would have been even better if not for three or four drops from Chris Godwin. Washington came into the game with the league’s second-best passing defense, allowing an average of 191.8 yards per game.

At 43, Brady became the oldest player in league history to throw a playoff touchdown pass, extending his all-time record to 75. Joe Montana is next closest with 45.

Rob Gronkowski didn’t record a catch but turned in a strong evening as a blocker. The tight end was given Chase Young one-on-one at times and didn’t look over his head, and he paved the way on Leonard Fournette’s fourth quarter touchdown run.

Though Brady was terrific, it was actually another ex- Patriots quarterback that stole the show for much of the evening. Washington’s Taylor Heinicke turned in a heck of a performance, running for a touchdown and keeping his team in the game all night. A brief member of the New England practice squad in 2017, Heinicke was out of the league last year, playing instead for the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks.

Dee Rowe, beloved UConn coach, dies at 91

Donald “Dee” Rowe, who coached UConn men’s basketball into the national spotlight and spent more than 50 years spreading good will for the university, died early Sunday in Storrs. He was 91.

Rowe was hired to coach the UConn men in 1969, after a 5-19 season, and quickly turned the program around, going 14-9 and tying for the Yankee Conference title. UConn was 103-78 during his time, peaking in 1975-76 with a run to the NCAA’s Round of 16. After advancing that far in the tournament, UConn was positioned to receive an invitation to join the Big East three years later.

After retiring as coach in 1977, Rowe remained as an advisor and fundraiser, participated on the search committees that brought Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma to UConn and helping raise the funds to build Gampel Pavilion.

In 1980, Rowe was an assistant on the U.S.A basketball team, but did not make it to the Olympics in Moscow, because of the U.S. boycott. At Auriemma’s invitation, Rowe attended the 2012 Olympic Games in London with the U.S. women’s team.

Even as he passed the age of 90, Rowe was a regular at UConn sporting events. His former players remained loyal and in contact, ever offering encouragement to players and coaches.

Trump awarding Belichick Medal of Freedom

President Donald Trump is planning to award Patriots coach Bill Belichick the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday, according to a report from Politico.

A spokesperson for the Patriots did not immediately respond to The Boston Herald for comment. The Politico report cites a White House official.

Trump has previously called Belichick a “very good friend.” He has twice appointed Belichick to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition. Prior to the 2016 presidential election, Belichick wrote Trump a letter of support, which the president then read during a rally in New Hampshire.

Last week, the president awarded the Medal of Freedom to pro golfers Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam. In December, former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz, another Trump supporter and College Football Hall of Famer, received the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Trump’s club will not host golf championship

The organizers of the PGA Championship canceled plans to hold the event at President Donald Trump’s Bedminster, N.J., golf club in 2022 in the wake of last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In a statement that did not directly address the unrest in Washington, Jim Richerson, PGA of America’s president, said the group’s board had voted Sunday night to “exercise the right to terminate the agreement” with Trump’s course.

The PGA Championship is one of the four majors in men’s golf, scheduled to be the most prestigious event ever held at a Trump property. His New Jersey course hosted the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open, and his course in Loudoun County, Va., hosted the Senior PGA Championship that summer.

— Compiled from wire services