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Monday, January 25, 2021
What a weekend of NFL Playoff Football with the the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs headed to the Super Bowl crowned in their respective conferences. While the quarterbacks stole the headlines for good reason, with 3 of the 4 being former MVPs, it was a defensive player who may have been the reason his team won. Buccaneers LB Devin White was a force that could not be contained for the second week in a row. He was a tackle machine with 15 total tackles, including 9 solo, which was double the other players on the field for either team. But perhaps his most opportunistic game changes was when he scooped up a fumble on the Green Bay Packers initial possession of the second half and returned it 21 yards to the Green Bay 8 yard line. One play later, the Bucs were up 28-10, a lead they would never relinquish on their way to a narrow 31-26 win. Defensive players usually relinquish the accolades to the offensive weapons but not this week. Devin White is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, January 18, 2021
What a performance on what may go down as the greatest college football team of all time. Alabama completed their perfect season with a thrashing of third ranked Ohio State Buckeyes 52-24 in a game that was pretty much over by halftime. Two players stood out statistically and I'm giving the Sportsman of the Week nod to the one that played the entire game. Alabama QB Mac Jones was near perfect in a technical dismantling of the Buckeyes defense. He finished the evening only missing on 9 passes on a 36-45 virtuoso performance, tallying 464 yards (including 353 in the first half) and 5 TD. His favorite target was Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith who caught almost half the yards at 215 on 12 catches for 3 TD. But after Smith left with an injury at halftime, Jones kept the pressure on with a back-breaking TD pass at the end of the 3rd quarter to put the Crimson Tide up by 20 or more points permanently. It was close choosing between the two, but surrounded by superstars, Jones was the leader and a deserving Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, January 11, 2021
For the first time in National Football League (NFL) history, a playoff weekend featured six (6) games of action and all but two of the playoff teams. And it was spectacular. The games featured several veteran quarterbacks presumably in their final couple of years (Brady, Brees, Roethlisberger, Rivers) but it was breakthroughs by younger players that stole the show. Maybe none more than Buffalo Bills phenom Josh Allen. Playing in his first home playoff game, his efforts gave Buffalo their first playoff victory in 25 years with a thrilling victory over the Indianapolis Colts 27-24. Their last victory was shortly after their four consecutive American Football Conference championships and even before the "Music City Miracle" heartbreaking defeat two decades ago. Allen threw with pinpoint accuracy completing 26/35 passes for 324 yards and 2 TD. But it may have been his legs that were more important. With a rushing game stuck in neutral, Allen ran for 54 yards on 11 carries and another TD to lead his team in rushing as well. All in all he accounted for 355 of the Bills 397 yards (taking away the sacks) and all three touchdowns. Allen looks all the bit of a bargain at number 7 overall draft pick in 2018 and has he and the Bills poised for many more playoff victories. Perhaps this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Josh Allen is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, January 4, 2021
Amazing we enter our 10th year of Sportsmen and Sportswomen of the week, we continue where we started. College Football Bowl Games. One of the highlights of the sports calendar. Admittedly 2020-21 was a tough year for Bowl Games, but they ended in a surprising star in the College Football Playoff (something that didn't exist 9 years ago). The Sugar Bowl was dominated by Ohio State and led by who may have given the most clutch performance in 2020-21. Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields shredded the favored Clemson Tigers defense and made victory look easy. After a completely lackluster, even poor performance in the Big 10 title game, Fields came to life. And played the game of his life. Fields completed 22/28 passes for 385 yards and six touchdowns. Six. He also ran for 42 yards just to keep the chains moving. Time and time again he dropped back and made key passes to guys in coverage to break the will of the Tigers. All this after suffering what appeared to be a game ending rub injury on what was ruled a controversial targeting on Clemson's James Skalski who (according to referee and replay ruling) "targeted" Fields in the ribs with his helmet leaving him wincing upon walking or throwing and Skalski sidelined for the rest of the game. But Fields persevered in an heroic effort. They'll need a repeat performance to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Championship game, but Fields was definitely the man of the match and the Sportsman of the Week.