Monday, January 7, 2013

1/7: Wild Card Wrap and more!

Greetings! It was certainly a busy weekend in the sports world, but as always, the NFL is king in this country so let's hit that first...
  • Green Bay 24, Minnesota 10 - Aaron Rodgers is better than you... and he's much better than Joe Webb. I was actually semi-excited about Joe Webb getting the start for an injured Ponder, but it wasn't enough, and not even Adrian Peterson could save them. Green Bay is just better and they showed it here.
  • Houston 19, Cincy 13 - I can't believe Cincy didn't win and/or cover this game. That said, Andy Dalton was awful and that's the key to the game despite Matt Schaub's mediocrity and Houston's coaching staff. Alas, the Texans move on.
  • Baltimore 24, Indianapolis 9 - Andrew Luck didn't play well... and that's that. A 27.2 QBR and a QB rating south of 60 wouldn't do it, and I picked Indy on the back of him. Baltimore got the Ray Lewis bump, but it was all about shutting down the Colts' passing game. Moving on.
  • Seattle 24, Washington 14 - Best game of the day, but it was marred by the RG3 injury. He was really limited, and they couldn't score a single point in the final 47 minutes of the game. The Washington offense simply hasn't been the same since the initial knee injury, and they had no shot once he couldn't move and there was a Kirk Cousins sighting. Also, Russ Wilson!
  • The NHL is... back!? Yes, it appears that way. As you may know, there's not a ton of hockey coverage in this space (and that's not changing, sorry), but it is certainly worth noting that the NHL and its players have agreed to terms. It seems as though they'll be a 48-50 game season to follow, and that'll be interesting. Welcome back, hockey.
  • Coaching news! Chip Kelly will reportedly stay at Oregon after turning down the Eagles job. This one kind of surprised me as it seemed like he was all but gone, but that's a huge coup for Oregon as he's one of the elite guys in the country. Doug Marrone, on the other hand, is leaving Syracuse for a close destination as the new head coach in Buffalo. Marrone took Syracuse out of the ashes, but doesn't have a huge track record, and the Bills are swinging for the fences here. Good luck. 
  • Minnesota T-Wolves all-star forward Kevin Love has re-injured his right hand. He'll be reevaluated by doctors as far as timetable is concerned, but this is a huge blow for the playoff-contending T-Wolves. Any loss of more than weeks or months would torpedo their hopes.
  • On Saturday night, the Atlanta Hawks turned in their worst half of basketball this season against the Celtics. In fairness, it really wasn't a "half" as the Hawks got absolutely slaughtered by a 33-9 margin in the 3rd quarter and that was good enough to give the game away. No analysis here other than hopefully it was an aberration, but it was brutal.
  • NBA Roundup (Sunday edition) - Miami and Oklahoma City cruised to easy wins over Washington and Toronto respectively. Again, no real analysis as both teams were led by their stars as Lebron had a typical 24 points and 7 assists, and Durant/Westbrook keyed the OKC win. Elsewhere, Memphis went into Phoenix and beat the Suns 92-81 behind 21 points from Z-Bo, and a balanced attack from the rest of their rotation. Finally, Denver beat LA in the Staples Center by 112-05 final tally. Ty Lawson led Denver with 21 points and 10 assists, but the key to the win for the Nuggets was winning the turnover battle (18 to 8) and grabbing 17 offensive boards to allow for a staggering 101 field goal attempts. Multiple chance mean buckets. On the LA side, Kobe had 29/7/5, but the story was Dwight Howard, who scored 14 points and grabbed a staggering 26 rebounds. Maybe he's getting healthy? Either way, a nice win for Denver away from home.
What to watch for on Monday (including a preview of the BCS title game)...
  • 8:30 - BCS Championship Game - #2 Alabama vs. #1 Notre Dame (ESPN) - Obviously, this is the headliner of the night on Monday. I'm taking Bama in the game because I think they have a) more talent, b) the better quarterback, and c) the better coach. That's not a shot at Brian Kelly, who I think is excellent, or at the Notre Dame defense, which is superb, but I trust Saban and Bama has the horses on both sides of the ball. 
Also, I will be live-blogging this game. Yes, you read that right, I'm bringing the live-blog back! It's been a long time, but tune in at 8:30 this evening for my every thought on the game as it unfolds... 
  • 6:30 - NCAAB - #21 Notre Dame @ #14 Cincinnati (ESPN2) - School officials moved this game to 6:30 so that the ND students could watch both games, and that's a great idea. At any rate, this is a quality basketball game, so if you need an appetizer to the gridiron action, here you go.
  • 7:00 - NCAAB - #5 Indiana @ Penn State (BTN) - A true road game for Indiana, and the former #1 has looked vulnerable in recent days.

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