13) Ravens 20, Titans 13:
— Tennessee led 10-0 after the first quarter.
— Lamar Jackson gets his first playoff win (1-2).
— Ravens held Derrick Henry to 40 yards on 18 carries.
— Baltimore outgained Tennessee, 401-209
— Titans’ last six series: 31 plays, 103 yards, 3 points.
— Ravens visit Buffalo Saturday night.
12) Saints 21, Bears 9:
— New Orleans outgained the Bears, 385-239
— 3rd down conversions: Saints 11-17, Bears 1-10
— Chicago’s only TD came on the last play of the game.
— Saints had 3 drives in 2nd half; they lasted 7:29, 8:51, 5:19 (38 plays)
— Chicago went 3/out on five of their ten drives.
— Saints host Tampa Bay Sunday.
11) Browns 48, Steelers 37:
— Browns were +5 in turnovers, always a good thing.
— Cleveland led 28-0 after the first quarter, 35-10 at halftime.
— Roethlisberger was 47-68/501 passing, most completions EVER in any NFL game.
— Steelers started season 11-0, then lost five of their last six games.
— New Browns started up in 1999; this is their first playoff win.
— Old Browns, who moved to Baltimore, last won a playoff game in 1994.
— Cleveland visits Kansas City Sunday afternoon.
10) Last three years, home teams went 4-10 SU in this round of the NFL playoffs.
9) Washington QB Tyler Heinicke threw for 306 yards in his 2nd NFL start; he made himself a lot of money, proving to all 32 teams that he is good enough to be productive in a playoff game.
Heinicke went to college at Old Dominion, while the Monarchs were transitioning from I-AA football to I-A; he once started a game ODU lost 80-20 to North Carolina. Monarchs went 35-15 in Heinicke’s four seasons- starting in college for four years is solid experience.
We’ll see if Saturday’s effort was enough to make the Washington roster next fall. Either way, he’ll be on someone’s roster in 2021.
8) Kyrie Irving has sat out the Brooklyn Nets’ last three games, apparently because he was upset by the attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington last Wednesday.
Here’s the thing: Irving’s salary works out to $405,452 per game, every game. Is he getting paid while he refuses to play? If not, then that’s on him. If he’s still getting paid, then what the bleep are we doing here? A guy gets $1.2M over five days for doing nothing, because he doesn’t feel like going to work? Nets aren’t saying much; they cannot be happy.
7) In 2013-14, Zach LaVine played his only season of college basketball, for UCLA; he scored 9.4 ppg in 24.4 mpg, nothing amazing, but the NBA is a developmental league now, and he was taken with the 13th pick by Minnesota in the 2014 draft. Great pick.
LaVine has worked very hard on his game; last three years, he’s averaged 23.7/25.5/26.0 ppg; he is a legit star, because he got good coaching and he obviously worked his butt off to become a great player, which he now is.
Problem for Minnesota is, on June 22, 2017, they traded him to Chicago; here’s the trade:
— Minnesota got: Jimmy Butler, Justin Patton
— Chicago got: LaVine, Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen
Wouldn’t have been a terrible trade for Minnesota, but Butler/Karl-Anthony Towns didn’t get along, and one of them had to go- they’re 57-98 last 2+ seasons, with Butler traded elsewhere.
6) Wichita State 82, Cincinnati 76— First seven fouls of the game were called on Cincinnati, which reminded me of a story.
March 2001, I was an assistant basketball coach at Schenectady High; we had great players, and won the public school state championship, our second title in four years.
We’re playing St Raymond’s from New York City in the Federation tournament- they had Julius Hodge, who went on to play at NC State, then in the NBA for a couple years. The game starts, and the first five or six fouls are called on our guys. No bueno.
There were lot of people at this game in Glens Falls; we were the local team and those people weren’t very pleased with the refs. Our coach says something to the ref, who has the onions to reply: “You should sit down. You don’t hear the other coach complaining!!!”
Well genius, you haven’t called a bleeping foul on his team yet!!! Go figure.
5) You know the State Farm commercial where the guys are all getting their hair cut like Patrick Mahomes? On a table behind one of the guys, there is an old fashioned dial-up phone- don’t see a lot of those anymore. It just looks out of place in the commercial.
4) Washington Nationals gave Kyle Schwarber a one-year, $10M contract; Schwarber hit only .188 in last year’s shortened season- he’s a career .230 hitter, but he’s also hit 105 homers the last four seasons. His career OPS is .816.
3) Was surprised to see that Victor Rojas has walked away from his job as TV voice of the Los Angeles Angels; the son of former big leaguer Cookie Rojas, Victor interviewed for the Angels’ vacant general manager job last fall, but they hired someone else. Rojas worked for the Angels for the last 11 years.
2) Week or so ago, MLB Network ran a replay of the Bronx-Boston playoff game from 1978, the Bucky Dent game. Seems like 1,000 years ago; I was still in college. A million things are different now than they were then, but these stood out:
— There were no ads on the Green Monster
— There were no graphics on the TV screen, except after each half-inning.
— The first baseman for Boston (George Scott) wore a batting helmet in the field.
— It was a day game; wouldn’t be today. TV would want the game at night.
— There were no (zero, none) mention of pitch counts.
— Bucky Dent only hit 40 homers in his MLB career; his homer in this game made him an iconic figure in New York sports.
— Bronx had acquired him for LaMarr Hoyt and Oscar Gamble. Hoyt won 43 games for Chicago in 1982-83.
1) If you’re on Twitter, and you want to follow someone who will make you smile nearly every day, follow former NBA player Rex Chapman. He posts all kinds of stuff, lot of unusual animal videos. Guaranteed he will make you smile at least once a day; these days, we can all use that.
Sunday, Chapman posted a video of a bear on a golf course, trying to get the flag out of a hole on one green, but instead the bear winds up dancing with the pole. Funny stuff.