Well, we’re only three weeks into 2019, but it may be hard to find another weekend later on in the year as entertaining as this past weekend was. Despite there being only two NFL games, the two ended up playing with fans’ hearts. Interesting headlines were also made in boxing, college basketball, the NBA, the English Premier League and in cricket. But first and foremost, the Super Bowl teams have been decided.
Tom Brady and the Patriots not done with Atlanta yet
As if what the New England Patriots did to Atlanta two years back wasn’t bad enough, this year, Atlanta will have to see the Patriots in the Super Bowl in their own backyard. Despite both the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots being close in the AFC Championship, with the Patriots winning by one touchdown in overtime, 37-31, it was clear from the start who would win, as Tom Brady’s side was winning 14-0 at the half. Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs were struggling offensively, as he faced constant pressure from the Patriots’ defensive line. However, through the use of shotgun passes, the Chiefs came back and managed a 31-31 tie before falling in OT.
Favorites Saints knocked out in New Orleans
Despite beating them once this season already, Los Angeles found a win against the New Orleans Saints in overtime, 26-23. As expected, being at home in New Orleans, the Saints dominated early, ending the first quarter 0-13. However, a Los Angeles touchdown eased the pressure as the half-time score read 10-13. In the dire final moment, the Rams secured a field goal to tie 23-23 and then followed up with another monster 57-yard field goal to win 26-23.
However, it could be argued that Saints should’ve progressed to the Super Bowl before overtime. When the score was tied at 20 with just 1:45 left, Robey-Coleman of the Rams made helmet-to-helmet contact with a Saints receiver and should have been called for pass interference, but their was no penalty called. If a penalty was called, the Saints would’ve been in prime scoring position to put the Rams away.
At the age of 40, Manny Pacquiao did not just win against Adrien Broner, he out-classed him. Pacquiao won unanimously, but even statistically, the fight was his. Within the first three rounds, Broner faced 70 jabs from the Filipino, and in total, Pacquiao won 118-110 on points. Afterwards, Pacquiao claimed he’d be willing to fight Floyd Mayweather as well.
Cousins’ impressive debut
After injuring his Achilles while playing for the New Orleans Pelicans and signing with the Golden State Warriors, DeMarcus Cousins made his debut. It was as Stephen Curry describes, “Poetry in motion”. In the Warriors’ 112-94 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Cousins scored 14 points, along with six rebounds and three assists. He did fouled out after just 15 minutes, but if he played longer, we surely would’ve seen more from him.
Russell Westbrook, Joel Embiid rivalry renewed
When asked if Joel Embiid had fouled Russell Westbrook in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 115-113 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers, Westbrook simply responded with, “Go home bro.” This clearly frustrated Embiid, who defensively responded by saying Westbrook was the one who needed to “go home.” The conflict started on-court when it appeared that multiple times, both players fouled each other. Both sides play each other again on February 28th.
Losses by top 25 teams
2 Michigan to Wisconsin (64-54)
4 Virginia to 1 Duke (72-70)
7 Kansas to West Virginia (65-64)
8 Texas Tech to Baylor (73-62)
14 Auburn to 12 Kentucky (82-80)
20 Oklahoma to Texas (75-72)
25 Indiana to Purdue (70-55)
Arsenal stun Chelsea
When fifth-placed, defensively weak Arsenal took on organized, fourth-placed Chelsea, it only made sense for Chelsea to win, but The Emirates had other plans that night. Chelsea’s pacy attack failed to score any goals, as they fell to the Gunners 2-0, thanks to goals by Alexandre Lacazette and Captain/Defender Laurent Koscielny. Despite this, the teams’ positions in the Premier League table did not change.
Crystal Palace temporarily trouble Liverpool
Liverpool got themselves the three points against Crystal Palace on Saturday, but Crystal Palace left Anfield making a statement. Within the last six minutes, the score went from Liverpool 3-2 Crystal Palace to Liverpool 4-3 Crystal Palace, goals by Sadio Mané for Liverpool and Max Meyer for Crystal Palace. Liverpool managed to grab three points and retain their position at the top of the table on an entertaining night at Anfield. Crystal Palace currently sit 14th with 22 points.
US Women’s team gets off to losing start
The US Women’s team, ranked number one, lost in a friendly against hosts France. USA lost 3-1, with the US’ only goal being Mallory Pugh’s late in the 91st minute. The US play Spain next tomorrow at 20:30 (8:30 PM) GMT or 2:30 PM EST and will be live on ESPN2 in the United States.
India wins ODI series in Australia
Despite winning the first ODI is spectacular fashion, Australia was quick to succumb to the Indian batting line and Wicket-keeper MS Dhoni’s fine finishing abilities. India won the series 1-2 after beating Australia in the third ODI by seven wickets, with the Aussies setting the Indians a low total of 231. India’s bowling was dominated by spinner Yuzvenda Chahal, who upon being called up to the team for the third ODI, was gifted six wickets for 42 runs. In the second innings, captain Virat Kholi taught the Australians batting with his 46(62) and two half-centuries followed suit in MS Dhoni’s 87(114)* and Kedhar Jadhav’s quick 61(57)*. Chahal received Man of the Match while Dhoni got Man of the Series.
Pakistan turn things around against South Africa
Although Pakistan was tipped to find victory in the One-Day series against South Africa, at the innings break of the first ODI, it seemed that South Africa controlled the match. South Africa had finished their batting innings on 266-2, with Hashim Amla scoring a record-breaking 108(120)* and debutant Rassie van der Dussen scoring 93(101). However, it wasn’t enough as Pakistan chased the target in 49.1 overs with five wickets remaining. Imam Ul-Haq scored 86(101) and Man of the Match Mohammad Hafeez took Pakistan to victory with his 71(63)*.
David Warner’s unorthodox batting
David Warner, who normally bats left-handed, decided to switch to his right hand after facing three dots from Chris Gayle. What followed was incredible. On his “wrong” hand, Warner scored 14 off three, compared to the earlier zero off three. This occurred in a Bangladesh Premier League match between Dhaka Dynamites and Sylhet Sixers, in which Warner, who plays for Sylhet, scored a total of 63(43) in the Sixers’ 158-8. Dhaka ended up winning by six wickets.