Up until there were nine minutes left in Baltimore on Sunday, it looked like the Chargers had it. Up 23-3 over the Ravens in what had been a slugfest in which they had mustered five fields goals and a sole touchdown, it all looked to be over. Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson was struggling, as was Philip Rivers on the opposite side to be fair, but the game wasn’t over just yet. Somehow, the Ravens made a comeback to scare the Chargers. First, Jackson hooked up with Michael Crabtree on a 31 yarder to make it 23-10 with six and a half minutes to go. Then, one they got the ball back, the Ravens made it 23-17 as Jackson found Crabtree again on a fourth down to score. The Ravens’ vaunted defense got the stop they needed, thanks in large part to a crucial holding call that negated a first down for L.A., and they would get the ball with a chance to win it very late on. As Jackson dropped back to pass, he was stripped of the ball, and the Chargers managed to finally fall upon it to preserve their lead and hang on. With the win, they have set up a trip to New England to face the Patriots next weekend. The Ravens, meanwhile, will be left answering questions like whether Joe Flacco should have played.
In the night cap, the Philadelphia Eagles found a way, yet again, in the playoffs to win in Chicago 16-15 over the Bears and will move on to face the New Orleans Saints next Sunday. It wasn’t a particularly pretty game, to say the least, and that was what were expecting as the Chicago defense had been great all season long. The teams went into half time having traded field goals, and the Bears were up 6-3. Nick Foles, who did have two interceptions, got the first of his touchdown passes in the middle of the third quarter to give his Eagles a 10-6 lead. A Cody Parker field goal and an Allen Robinson scamper on the ground made it 15-10 to the Bears in the fourth quarter, and it set up huge drama. With under a minute left, Foles and co. completed a 60 yard drive with a TD throw to Golden Tate. They now led 16-15, but the story wasn’t over yet. They failed to make the two point conversion, giving the Bears a chance to win the game. Parker would have his chance with ten seconds left, and craziness ensued. Parker’s attempt hit the left upright and then came down and hit the bottom of the goalpost before hitting the ground. There was minimal time left, and the Eagles had done it again to shock the world.
Elsewhere, news has come out in the NBA that Tom Thibodeau has been let go as coach and general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves. This comes shortly after a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, which moved them into 11th place in the West with a 19-21 record. According to sources, the team is looking into making the job back into two parts, thus taking away the power of one man to make all of the basketball decisions.