Our event of the day is the NFL Wild Card game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Los Angeles Chargers at the MT&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. This exciting game sees two teams who have snapped lengthy playoff absences face off in a rematch of a tense week 16 battle. The game sees rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson take on the veteran Philip Rivers. Be sure you don’t miss what is set to be a game to remember. An interception by C.J. Mosley with 1:06 left in the 4th quarter of the final game of the season secured a place in the playoffs for the Ravens. Mosley picked off Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield as he marched his team down the field in an attempt to record Cleveland’s first winning season since 2007. The play capped off a remarkable end to the season for the Ravens. Going into their bye week in week 10, they were 4-5. When they took the field in week 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals, 1st round draft pick Lamar Jackson lined up under centre, replacing Joe Flacco, who had been Baltimore’s starting quarterback since his rookie season in 2008. Jackson, who had won the Heisman Trophy in 2016, proceeded to go 6-1 as a starter, lifting Baltimore to a 10-6 record and their first postseason appearance since 2014. With Jackson taking the snaps, the Ravens’ offense adapted to suit Jackson’s strengths, becoming much more about rushing than passing. Jackson only passed for over 200 yards in a single game as a starter while the Ravens failed to run for over 200 yards in only two games. This is a dangerous Ravens team that no team in the postseason should underestimate.
Meanwhile, the Chargers booked a place in the playoffs in week 15 with a win over the Chiefs. They snapped a four-year postseason drought and recorded their best season record since 2009. Philip Rivers passed for 4308 yards, best for 8th in the league. Los Angeles rebuilt their defence in the 2018 draft to supplement stars like Joey Bosa. The plan paid off and they were able to keep pace with teams like the Chiefs. This matchup between two teams returning to the playoffs after extended absences is made all the more interesting given that they faced off in the regular season. In week 16, the Ravens travelled to the StubHub Center to face the Chargers, needing a win to remain in playoff contention. The Ravens came back from a slim 10-6 deficit to run away with the game in the second half. The Ravens scored 16 unanswered points, including a 62-yard fumble return by Tavon Young, to secure a 22-10 win. These are two teams at the end of lengthy rebuilding processes, eager to flex their might in the postseason, so expect a game to remember tonight.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to Premiership Rugby, where Wasps host the Northampton Saints at the Ricoh Arena. Wasps find themselves in a significant rut, having won one of their last thirteen matches. This slump has led to Wasps dropping to 9th in the table, one place behind their opponents today. Northampton have climbed up the table recently on the back of consecutive wins against Worcester and league leaders Exeter. Wasps had been as high as fourth and will look to get their season back on track in their first game of 2019. Expect an exciting game in Coventry today. Elsewhere, in the FA Cup, Manchester City host Rotherham. In the NBA, the Minnesota Timberwolves host the LA Lakers at the Target Center. In the NHL, the Arizona Coyotes face the New York Islanders at Gila River Arena. In college basketball, 2nd ranked Michigan host 21st ranked Indiana at the Crisler Center.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NFL
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