M!KEDROP DAILY brings you hot takes on the biggest stories in sports and recaps the previous days’ news and memorable moments.
You can register to have these articles delivered straight to your inbox every morning. Register here.
NFL Playoffs Recap
Four playoff games this weekend are now in the books and three road teams picked up the wins. In the NFC, Cowboys beat Seahawks 24-22 and Eagles won 16-15. In the AFC, Colts beat the Texans 21-7 and Chargers beat Ravens 23-17.
Cowboys – Ezekiel Elliot led the way offensively, with 137 yards rushing and 32 yards receiving and a touchdown run. Dak Prescott, despite an ill-advised interception in the third quarter and a slow start overall, played well enough to help lead the Cowboys to victory. Prescott had this huge near-TD run on their final possession to help put the game away and the Cowboys won their first playoff win since 2014.
Colts – The 21-7 score was closer than this game would indicate. Colts dominated from the opening possession. Good for Andrew Luck, returning with vengeance from the injury that cost him the 2017 season. Good for Marlon Mack, who ran for 148 and scored a TD, after being written off as an afterthought coming into the season. Good for the dominant defense, led by rookie All-Pro LB Darius Leonard and CB Pierre Desir, who helped lock down Texans WR Deandre Hopkins. Good for Eric Ebron, who had just 11 TDs in four years in Detroit, who yesterday caught his 14th TD of the season.
Chargers – Chargers offense struggled against the dominant Ravens defense, but the win is franchise’s first in the playoffs since 2013 and fifth of the Philip Rivers era. Rivers was the oldest starting QB during Wild Card weekend and is the third oldest in the playoffs. Their only field goal was scored by Melvin Gordon, ensuring future Uber drivers know who he is.
Eagles – What a game this was. Nick Foles magical run in the postseason continues. He threw 40 passes and 2 touchdowns, including the game winner to Golden Tate with one minute to go. Foles and the Eagles have now won four straight playoff games, dating back to last year’s Super Bowl run. They got just 41 yards from their running backs, Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood and the defend, despite being depleted by injuries, especially in the secondary, was able to hold it’s own and did a good job of slowing down Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears running attack.
Seahawks – Seattle ran the ball 75 times and only threw it 10 times, or at least that’s how it felt from watching the game. The Cowboys have an excellent run defense, yet for some odd reason on first and second down, basically every possession, Seattle chose to run the ball right into the defense to no avail. Russell Wilson completed 18 passes, averaging 13 yards per pass, an amazing number), yet three Seattle running backs combined for 21 carries and 59 yards, an average of 2.8 yards per play. Completely inexcusable decision making by head coach Pete Carroll and OC Brian Schottenheimer and just a terrible job of pre-game planning and in-game adjustments.
Texans – They took their rightful spot in their annual 4:30 Saturday playoff spot and go beat by their division rivals. Houston looked overwhelmed at times and after the game coach Bill O’Brien noted that the coach did not have his team ready to play. Well…isn’t that the coaches #1 job? They’ve known for weeks that they are probably going into the playoffs so…what? Part of the problem is likely that O’Brien double dips as head coach and offensive coordinator. It’s not weird for head coaches to call their own plays as many do, including Sean McVay and Sean Payton, for example. However, those coaches also have Offensive Coordinators who are involved with game plan and running the weekly meetings. O’Brien has struggled at both jobs, which lends me to believe he should give up at least one and maybe both.
Ravens – A defense that has dominated all year and helped carry the Ravens into the playoffs, was let down by their offense. Lamar Jackson was wildly ineffective. Through 3 quarters, Jackson completed 3-9 passes with just 25 yards and an interception and a fumble. He finished the game strong but it was too little, too late for the Ravens.
The announcers and folks on twitter were hotly debating whether or not Joe Flacco should have come into the game for Jackson. I agree with John Harbaugh’s decision to stick with the QB of the present/future over the QB of the past. Here’s the truth – In 2018, Flacco went 4-5 as a starter and looked average all year. He’s looked “average” for a few years now. He hasn’t played a playoff game since 2014. The argument “he was a Super Bowl MVP” is a joke, considering that was during the 2012 season. What evidence is there that this score would have been any different if Flacco played? Chargers defense was dominant. Ravens Offensive Line was beat all day and Jackson’s mobility likely helped the Ravens or it could have been so much worse. If Jackson is your future and Flacco is going to be released (as reported), there was no way you could make the switch and there was no way it was going to impact the final score.
Bears – Gary Parrish of CBS is able to summarize this loss perfectly
Poor Cody Parkey – sure, he missed the game-winning field goal. But he’s not the only one to blame. Blame the Bears defense for allowing 16 points, including 6 in the final minute. Blame the offense for only scoring 7 points. Tarik Cohen had just 4 carries. Jordan Howard had 35 yards. Mitchell Trubisky threw 17 incompletions.
Unfortunately for the Bears, it came down to a kicker who was tied with the second most missed kicks in the NFL (10) and his final, would-be game winner went off the post and crossbar and bounced back onto the field. But that doesn’t mean he’s to blame.
College Basketball Undefeated Club
Coming into the weekend, there were four unbeaten teams in men’s college basketball. After Sunday, it is now down to three.
Nevada was throttled by New Mexico, 85-58 in Albuquerque, an exciting win the Lobos, who were pegged by many as the second best team in the Mountain West entering this season.
Virginia beat 9th ranked Florida State, Houston beat Memphis, and Michigan knocked off 21st ranked Indiana.
In other college basketball news, Zion Williamson happened…
Worst Take of the Weekend
Worst take of the weekend comes from Booger McFarland, of the famous Monday Night Football Booger Mobile (RIP Booger Mobile, he was in the booth with Joe Testitore and Jason Witten on Saturday afternoon.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but a batted down pass, means the offense did not complete the pass, therefore did not gain any yards right? Because to me that seems like a decent play from a defensive lineman in that case. Also, JJ Watt has made a career out of batting down passes.
NBA: Changes in Minnesota
Following the Wolves 108-86 win over the Lakers on Sunday, it was announced that President Tom Thibodeau had been fired. Thibs went 96-107 in two plus seasons, that were a mixed bag. Wolves snapped their 14 year playoff drought in 2018 (yay). He signed Andrew Wiggins to a max contract (boo). And he acquired Jimmy Butler (yay?) but traded him a year later for much worse assets (ugh).
If you are a fan of the TimberBULLS concept though, there is good news – Fred Hoiberg, who was fired by the Bulls earlier this year, is considered to be a top candidate to replace him. Hoiberg is a former Wolves player and has previously worked in their front office.
What to Watch for – Clemson vs Alabama
Read more on what to watch for tonight in the College Football National Championship Game.
Beginning January 14, M!KEDROPSPORTS will be offering the opportunity for fans to contribute to daily themes, beginning with “Motivation Monday”. Is there someone you’d like to acknowledge in the sports world as someone that motivates you or someone that serves as motivation? Fill this out and let us know who!
Subscribe to receive these daily emails in your inbox every morning