Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sunday 01/04 (Very) Quickie

Umm, so much for the whole "road teams as favorites" in the NFL Wild Card round.

Darren Sproles! 2 TDs, including the game-winning TD in OT. 105 yards rushing. 45 yards receiving. 178 return yards. Who needs LaDainian Tomlinson?

Although the Chargers won the OT coin toss and the Colts offense never had a chance, the Colts really did it to themselves on defense with those penalties.

Meanwhile, Peyton Manning is back to leading the Colts to postseason chokery -- the day after he was anointed as NFL MVP, making the irony even more delicious.

Cards! High-flying offense may have gotten the Cards into the playoffs, but the story of the game was Arizona's inspired defense:

The Cards D held the vaunted Falcons run game to 60 yards total (42 for Turner on 2.8 ypc), picked off Matt Ryan twice and sacked him 3 times.

One of these "road team lock to win" predictions HAS to be right, right? Ravens-Dolphins still feels too much like a toss-up, so I'm going with the Eagles over the Vikings.

But the lesson of yesterday is that the so-called "experts" who called for the road teams to win -- or were seduced by the Colts' winning streak and Peyton's "MVP" season -- are full of bunk.

College Hoops: So much for Georgetown's momentum this week. Either they were tapped out by beating UConn in Storrs or Pitt really is that awesome -- DeJuan Blair: 20 and 17. He's awesome.

More Big East madness: St. John's over Notre Dame? Wow. It's going to be that kind of season in the league.

Don't underestimate Wake Forest's win on the road at BYU: BYU hadn't lost at home in forever. (53 games) Wake is for real.

Meanwhile, I don't know if any of you watched this, but Tennessee's women were held to their lowest first-half point total EVER at Rutgers, then came back to win. It was a hell of an effort.

NBA: Danny Granger is one of the NBA's up-and-coming absolute studs, having a breakout year. He had 35 outdueling Kevin Martin's 45 in a Pacers shootout win over the Kings.

CFB Bowlings: Donald Brown! We talk a lot about Shonn Greene, Knowshon Moreno and Javon Ringer. How about UConn's Donald Brown? He became only the 14th player ever to have a 2,000-yard rushing season, going for a career-best 261 in an International Bowl win over Buffalo before declaring for the NFL Draft. He may not be a first-rounder, but he'll have a good pro career. The rookie RB class in '09 has a lot to live up to to match '08, but the talent is heading in.

Bob Stoops would like you to know he isn't interested in the Broncos head-coaching job. Sort of. "I don't know anything about it." Which isn't exactly a strong denial. More a protest of ignorance. (What if Oklahoma wins? Or, say, if they get blown out?)

Jets interview Steve Spagnuolo: From the New York ties to the on-field success, this seems like the best match for the Jets. The only thing that would hold them back is the fear of hiring another highly rated assistant with no actual NFL head-coaching experience. But I think Spagnuolo and Mangini are different enough for this to be an easy choice.

More later. Get ready for the afternoon's NFL games.

-- D.S.

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