NFL: Bears miss game-winner, Chargers, Colts, Cowboys, Eagles advance
The Chicago Bears battled it out with the reigning Super Bowl champions—the Philadelphia Eagles—Sunday night. In a defensive battle, Nick Foles of the Eagles, who has taken over for the injured Carson Wentz, drove down the field while trailing 15-10. With a minute remaining, the Eagles converted a fourth and goal on a Foles pass to Golden Tate. They failed the two-point conversion following the score, leaving the game at 16-15 and giving rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky a shot at late-game heroics.
Trubisky effectively drove down the field, setting his team up for a last-second field goal opportunity. Bears kicker Cody Parkey set up for a 43-yard attempt but pulled it slightly left, nailing the goal post, losing the game and sending the Eagles to the divisional round. After review, the kick is noted to be tipped, defending Parker’s miss and validating his post-game interviews. The Eagles will play the No.1 seed New Orleans Saints in Louisiana this upcoming Sunday.
In other wild-card matchups, the Indianapolis Colts bested the Houston Texans Saturday afternoon winning 21-7 and demonstrating Andrew Luck’s precision through the air. The Colts will face Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs Saturday at 4:35 p.m.
Philip Rivers’ Los Angeles Chargers defeated the Baltimore Ravens Sunday 23-17. Rivers looks to lead his pack to a Super Bowl in hopes of redefining his legacy, but will have to beat Tom Brady’s New England Patriots next Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
In the NFC, along with the Eagles and Saints matchup, the Dallas Cowboys will look to limit the production of the high-octane offense of the Los Angeles Rams Saturday at 8:15 p.m.
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CFB: CFP National Championship, Bowl summary
In the College Football National Championship game, the University of Clemson delivered a dominating performance over the No. 1-ranked University of Alabama winning 44-16.
Led by freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the Tigers were able to complete their perfect 15-0 season. Lawrence threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns in the contest. His ability to advance the ball downfield and the defensive prowess proved to be too much for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns but gave Clemson two takeaways. He was replaced by Jalen Hurts in the fourth quarter of play but the switch would not alter the outcome.
In other bowl news, the University of Texas upset the University of Georgia 28-21 last Tuesday. Longhorn quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for 169 yards, rushed for 64 yards and scored three touchdowns on the ground.
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns, but that was not enough to stop the physicality of Texas.
The University of Central Florida’s winning-streak finally snapped last Tuesday against Louisiana State University as they lost 40-32 despite the Tigers missing eight starters on defense. UCF lost their starting quarterback to injury earlier in the season, begging the question: do each team’s losses affect the team similarly enough to not alter the result?
For a more in-depth recap of the remaining bowl games, click the following link.
NBA: Power rankings, Harden’s scoring spree, Thunder recap
The Houston Rockets, despite a slow start, have climbed back into contention through the production of James Harden. The Rockets’ shooting guard has scored over 35 points in his last eight games. Harden had a 40-point triple-double in his buzzer-beating win over the Golden State Warriors, which is the first since Chris Webber’s in 1995. Harden is also just the third player in NBA history to score over 400 points in a 10-game stretch, the others being Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Despite this noteworthy run, the Rockets jump only two spots to No. 6 in ESPN’s power ratings.
Atop this list, the 27-11 Milwaukee Bucks, led by early MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, look to continue their push as they match up against the Houston Rockets this Wednesday.
In Oklahoma City news, the Thunder (currently 7th in power ranking) are coming off a loss against the Washington Wizards 116-98. Russell Westbrook was the leading scorer for the Thunder, dropping 22 points and picking up another triple-double with 13 assists and 15 rebounds. Oklahoma City looks to bounce back against the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at 7:00 p.m.