M!KEDROP DAILY brings you hot takes on the biggest stories in sports and recaps the previous days’ news and memorable moments.
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What’s at Stake in the NFL Divisional Round
Other than the obvious – a spot in the Conference Championship – let’s look at the historical perspective of what a win for each team would mean
- Rams: Looking for first playoff win since 2004; that year was also their last NFC title game appearance
- Cowboys: Seeking first NFC title game appearance since 1995
- Eagles: 4-0 with Nick Foles as starting QB in playoffs last two years
- Saints: Seeking first NFC Championship game appearance since 2009 (Super Bowl year); Unbeaten with Drew Brees as QB in home playoff games
- Colts: Looking to remain unbeaten vs Chiefs all-time (4-0); first AFC title game since 2014
- Chiefs: Need to get off the schneid – 6 consecutive home playoff losses, last win was 1993 (last AFC title game appearance); Chiefs are 1-11 overall in the playoffs since 1993
- Chargers: Philip Rivers is 1-7 all-time vs Patriots and 0-2 in playoffs (0 TD, 3 INT in those two games); first AFC title game since 2007
- Patriots: Seeking 8th straight AFC Championship game appearance (4-3)
More on the Divisional Playoffs Round this weekend
NBA MVP Watch
Okay….obviously the NBA MVP won’t be Mavs superstar rookie Luka Doncic (whom the Suns, Kings, Hawks, Grizzlies passed on), but the 2019 Rookie of the Year is amazing. And this shot, to beat the Wolves, was cool, calm and collected. Well done, Doncic.
James Harden is also pretty amazing. In just three quarters, he scored 43 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. Harden is the first player in NBA history
to record a 40-point triple-double while playing fewer than 30 minutes in a game! He is averaging 40.5 ppg over the last 15 games and this is the third time in the last six games, he recorded a triple double with 40 points. Say what you will about flopping, defense, and his ridiculous outfits, the man is the best offensive player in the NBA right now.
Current MIKEDROP MVP Rankings:
- James Harden
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Lebron James
- Kawhi Leonard
- Nikola Jokic
Top 5 NBA Performers from Friday
Not including Harden, who was mentioned above..
- The Hawks stink and rookie Trae Young gets most of the headlines while second year forward John Collins is their best player. But rookie Kevin Huerter has quietly been rolling and last night scored a career-high 29 in a win over 76ers
- In the 76ers loss, Ben Simmons recorded a triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 15 assists
- Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points with 9 assists in a Jazz win over the Lakers
- Nets guard D’Angelo Russell scored 24 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds in an actually rare Nets loss
- John Wall-replacement Tomas Satoransky recorded his first career triple-double with 18 points, 10 assists, and 12 rebounds. Either Satoransky has become the best player you’ve never heard of, or triple doubles are as easy to come by as getting candy from a grocery store.
The last top performer is the Warriors, who in two wins over the Bulls this season, scored 149 and 146 points.
NFL Coaching Carousel Stops Spinning
8 NFL teams had head coaching vacancies to begin the off-season and now the final two seem to be all but officially filled. Bengals are expected to hire Rams QB coach Zac Taylor and Dolphins are expected to hire Patriots LB coach Brian Flores.
With the searches over, here are the 4 biggest names who did not get a head coaching job for the first time in 2019 and will be the top names to watch as candidates for 2020
Todd Monken – Formerly the Bucs OC, Monken becomes the top free agent coach available. He will want to be deliberate with his decision because he needs to put himself in the best possible position to get a head coach job in 2020
Eric Bieniemy – Disappointing news for him personally but good news for Andy Reid and the Chiefs that Bieniemy will remain on staff as the OC. As long as the Chiefs offense rolls next year, he will once again be considered.
Kris Richard – Huge coup for the Cowboys to keep Richard, who is their DBs coach. It’s expected that Rod Marinelli, the current Defensive Coordinator, will step aside and transition to an advisory role, that allows Richard to own the title of DC, as a reward for his work this year with the Dallas defense.
Dan Campbell – A favorite of mine, Campbell is the Saints TE Coach. He has a little experience as a head coach, previously serving as interim in Miami. But he is more than ready for the next step in 2020.
Top 5 free agent retread head coaches: Mike McCarthy, Chuck Pagano, Jack Del Rio, Jim Caldwell, Hue Jackson (just kidding…)
Top 5 college coaches to watch for NFL jobs in 2020: Jim Harbaugh (Michigan), Matt Rhule (Baylor), Matt Campbell (Iowa State), Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma), David Shaw (Stanford)
Bryce Love’s Injury
It was revealed yesterday that Stanford RB Bryce Love tore his ACL in the final regular season game (not the bowl). Disappointing news for a player who had a disappointing 2018 season. Love was the 2017 Heisman Trophy runner up and would have certainly been a first round pick had he declared for the 2018 draft. Now, we’ll see how where winds up this year. While I sympathize with Love, and from a fan standpoint am obviously disappointed, I feel Love made the right decision as a degree in Stanford will be way more valuable down the line than anything he can do playing football
Jalen Hurts Transfer Decision
Earlier this week Jalen Hurts entered the very exciting and mystical NCAA transfer portal. Much speculation has surrounded Maryland, due to his relationship with new head coach Mike Locksley. Locksley won 2 games over a three year span as head coach of New Mexico, but was also most recently Alabama’s Offensive Coordinator, working closely with Hurts. The two men were seen at the Maryland basketball game together Friday night. I mentioned this yesterday in the DAILY that I feel like Maryland is an odd fit. He’d basically be dropping a level, going from Alabama to Maryland and has to face the defenses of Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State. The better fit would be Miami. Yesterday, “The U” announced Dan Enos would be their new Offensive Coordinator. Enos was Alabama’s QB coach under Locksley. If you speculate about one relationship, you have to consider Miami a top option too. And given the prestige over Miami over Maryland, that’s where he should be leaning.
Burgers > Basketball
Knicks center Enes Kanter has missed the last two games, most recently on Friday due to an “illness”. I would guess his “illness” is related to the 7 hamburgers he ate earlier this week…
What to Watch For – Saturday 1/12
College basketball Top 25:
- Clemson may be football’s champs but can they be the first team to beat Virginia this season?
- Two ranked vs ranked games – 25 TCU vs 23 Oklahoma and 1 Duke vs 13 Florida State
- 8 Texas Tech goes to Texas. Longhorns have won 22 straight in Austin vs Texas Tech!
- “Egg Bowl” is traditionally a football rivalry term but the basketball version should be great – both teams are 12-2 and Rebels are 2-0 in SEC play after an upset over Auburn earlier in the week.
Los Angeles is the place to be today in the sports world (actually, it’s just a great place to be, period!). Clippers host the Pistons as one of the all-time Clippers greats (don’t laugh!) Blake Griffin returns to LA for the first time since being traded to Detroit. Later in the day, Staples Center hosts Penguins vs Kings. Even if the Kings are down this year, it’s always a big deal when Sidney Crosby comes to town. And of course, Saturday night the Rams host the Cowboys.
There’s also the NFL PLAYOFFS to watch!
Stat of the Day
Beginning January 14, M!KEDROPSPORTS will be offering the opportunity for fans to contribute to daily themes, Submit your answers and ideas today!
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