The end of Johnny Manziel watch? If you’re a regular reader, you know that I love love love following Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel’s shenanigans. Unfortunately, it looks like one of my favorite pastimes may be coming to a close. Yesterday, the Browns decided to hire former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson as their head coach. This is the Browns' 9th head coach since re-joining the NFL in 1999. Jackson is known for working magic on offenses, including helping Bengals QB Andy Dalton to the best season of his career. But Jackson expressed that when he takes over as head coach, he will likely want to take a hard pass on unruly Manziel. Sources say the Browns didn't put up much of a fight. It looks like my boy Johnny may be looking for a new job next season.
A bad trip. New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones was hospitalized Sunday after he had a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana. Apparently, he wandered over to the Foxborough Police Department from his nearby home to seek help. Jones was released from the hospital later that day and attended Patriots practices all week. So far it seems like Jones will continue to play in the Divisional playoff game Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. But stay tuned to see if there are any repercussions, like mandated drug testing, for his bad trip.
Just a little stumbling block on the road to making history. Last night, the Golden State Warriors narrowly lost their third game of the season to the Denver Nuggets (112-110), putting them at 36 wins and 3 losses. Why did they lose? Warriors star Draymond Green sat out for the game, and Steph Curry had trouble getting open without him. That is, until the 4th quarter when Curry really turned it on and scored 20 points in that quarter alone. Don't fret about this 3rd loss though, the Warriors are still on pace to match the 1995-6 Chicago Bulls record season of 72-10.
Spotlight on the NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round
The NFL Playoffs will continue this weekend with the Divisional Round, where winners of last week’s Wild Card Round will play the top seeded teams in each conference. We will spotlight a different game each day, so you know what to look out for when you’re watching this weekend.
Today’s feature is the NFC matchup between the #6 Seattle Seahawks @ the #1 Carolina Panthers, airing on Sunday at 1:05pm ET.
Panthers on the prowl. The Panthers are coming into the Playoffs with the best record in the NFL this season. Last time the Panthers and Seahawks met, the Panthers came from behind to win. This time around, expected future-MVP QB Cam Newton will continue to do what he does best: run with the ball and pass to his favorite target TE Greg Olsen. Cam will also have two more weapons at his disposal, because RB Jonathan Stewart and WR Ted Ginn Jr will be returning to the field after recovering from injuries. One other thing Cam is known for? His excessively long and elaborate touchdown dances that really tick off the other team's players. “If you don’t want to watch me dance” Cam says, “do something about it.” The Seahawks will certainly try.
Out to even the score. The Seattle Seahawks squeaked out a victory in last week’s Wild Card game against the Minnesota Vikings. They didn’t look particularly dominant, but they are hoping that was due to the arctic -6 degree F weather. This week, they will count on QB Russell Wilson, who has had a fantastic second-half of the season. The Seahawks will also try and take away the Panther’s passing game with their monstrous defense. “Where’s Beast Mode?” you ask. It is still uncertain whether RB Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch will be able to play as he recovers from a sports hernia. Last week, he made the last minute decision to sit out. Here’s hoping he’s ready this week!
Don’t mess with Peyton. Yesterday, Al-Jazeera America announced that it will shut its doors in April. How is this a sports story? The network aired a documentary expose earlier this month, which linked Peyton Manning and other athletes to HGH. Peyton got all red-faced, called the report “garbage,” and threatened to sue. Now, it looks like he’s getting the last laugh.
There, there, it’s just a game. After Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh’s missed the game-losing 27-yard field goal during last week’s Wild Card game, he sobbed uncontrollably in the locker room for 15 minutes. Some Minnesota 1st graders decided to write letters to Walsh to tell him “it doesn’t matter if we win or lose, because it is just for fun.” Good reminder. Thanks, kids!