Monday, January 14, 2013

1/14: A Wild NFL Divisional Weekend, etc.

Greetings! A ton to get to so let's go, starting with the NFL...

  • Falcons 30, Seahawks 28 - This game gave the entire city a heart attack. The Falcons led 20-0 at the half after two botched red zone possessions by Seattle, and a great offensive half by the Falcons. Then, Russell Wilson took over. The rookie (who I love openly) threw for 385 yards and ran for 60, leading Seattle to 28 second-half points, and the Seahawks took the lead with under a minute to go. Then, Matt Ryan took the Falcons from their own 28-yard line with approx. 30 seconds to go, marched them down the field, and set-up a 49-yarder from Matt Bryant that he ice-colded after a botched "icing" of the kicker. It was an absolutely wild outcome.  Props to Michael Turner (14 for 98) and Jacquizz Rodgers (10 for 64) for giving the Atlanta offense a dimension that they lacked for most of the year, and Ryan was strong in this game despite 2 interceptions. On to the title game!
  • The other Sunday game was less exciting. New England controlled the game from the outset in defeating Houston 41-28. Brady threw for 344 yards and 3 TDs (zero INTs) and Shane Vereen came out of nowhere to score 3 touchdowns for the Pats. Houston put up a fight in the second half and actually gained 425 yards including 343 from Matt Schaub but the Pats offense was too much. All hail Brady and Belichick.
  • On Saturday, Baltimore and Denver played a classic, as well. The Ravens pulled the dramatic upset on the back of a last-second 70-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones to force OT, and then got a 47-yarder from Justin Tucker to win the game in double-OT. The touchdown to Jones was the story of the day for me, as it was inexplicable to let him get behind the Denver secondary, and that DB will see images of that forever. I thought Flacco was pretty good in this one, outplaying Manning due to the fact that he didn't turn the ball over, and Baltimore actually gave Ray Rice 30 touches. It's amazing what that does! It's funny to me that people are SHOCKED about Peyton Manning coming up small in a big spot... This is Peyton Manning! Of course he threw the game-ending pick! 
  • And finally, on Saturday night, Colin Kaepernick had his break-out game on the national stage. The 49ers QB ran for 181 yards on 16 carries, threw for 263 yards, and totaled 4 touchdowns to lead the Niners to a 45-31 win over Green Bay. He was utterly terrifying all day, and the speed he showed when he hit the corner on a 56-yard TD run in the second half was the stuff of legend. Not even Aaron Rodgers could match him, and if the SF offense plays like that, they aren't losing to anyone. It's going to be a fun one on Sunday.
  • #1 and #2 went down in a heap in College Hoops over the weekend. Duke lost an 84-76 road decision to NC State on Saturday for their first loss of the season. NC State had 6 guys in double-figures led by 25 points from All-American CJ Leslie. No shock here, as the Blue Devils were bound to lose a road game somewhere, but it came early. On Sunday, #2 Michigan fell at the hands of hated rival Ohio State. I don't really want to talk about it yet, but the 28-8 early deficit did in the Wolverines before they fought back to lose by only three. There was no chance they were going undefeated in the gauntlet of the Big 10, but I would've preferred a loss to someone else. 
  • One NBA note... Dwight Howard returned unexpectedly for LA last night, and scored 22 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and generally dominated against Cleveland. There's no recipe for playing without the best center alive, and LA needs him to win games. Big coup for LA to get him back this quickly.
What to watch for on Monday...
  • 7:00 - NCAAB - #3 Louisville @ UConn (ESPN) - This isn't the usual gauntlet UConn team, but playing at home, they'll give Louisville a competitive game here. 
  • 8:00 - NBA - Hawks @ Bulls (NBATV) - The local and national game tonight. Atlanta is in a tailspin all of the sudden, and Chicago's defense on the road probably won't be the cure.
  • 9:00 - NCAAB - Baylor @ #6 Kansas (ESPN) - Ben McLemore is worth watching. That's all I need to say.

No comments: