NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings

Good morning to everyone but especially to...


For the first time since Super Bowl XLVI -- nearly 11 years ago, for those of you keeping track at home -- the New York Giants have won a playoff game. Led by Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, the Giants topped the Vikings, 31-24, to advance to the Divisional Round, where they'll meet the Eagles.

  • Jones threw for 301 yards and two scores, rushed for 78 yards and didn't turn the ball over once. He became the first player in playoff history to record that stat line.
  • Barkley had 53 rushing yards, 56 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He's the first Giant to have at least 50 rushing yards, at least 50 receiving yards and multiple touchdowns in a playoff game.
  • The Giants held Vikings star wideout Justin Jefferson to just 47 yards; he had 133 in their Week 16 matchup, which the Vikings won.

Jones' and the Giants' season has been a pleasant surprise, but the fourth-year quarterback truly made a statement in his postseason debut, writes our Cody Benjamin.

  • Benjamin: "One question that will not be asked inside the Giants organization -- either on the team bus, on the private plane or in the meeting rooms and practice fields that await, at least for this week -- is whether New York has a franchise QB. For now, all that matters in New York is Sunday night, and on Sunday night, with everything on the line, and a coaching staff finally behind him in word and action, Daniel Jones delivered."

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for...

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The Chargers have found seemingly every way to lose over the last decade: offensive letdowns, defensive collapses, special teams miscues, questionable coaching decisions and mental mistakes. Saturday night's 31-30 loss to Jacksonville -- in which they led 27-0 in the second quarter -- featured all five.

  • Jacksonville's comeback was the third-largest in playoff history.
  • The Jaguars are the first team to win a playoff game despite losing the turnover battle by at least five.
  • After four interceptions on his team's first six drives, Trevor Lawrence threw for four touchdowns and helped lead a game-winning drive that resulted in Riley Patterson's 36-yard field goal as time expired.

Before we go any further, let's give a ton of credit to Lawrence and the Jaguars. This young team kept its composure, a huge credit to the players and head coach Doug Pederson, whose past playoff magic in Philadelphia has carried over to Jacksonville.

But, really, this is inexplicable from the Chargers:

  • Offense: Though 27 first-half points seems impressive, it should have been more. The Chargers had to settle for field goals off turnovers multiple times, including on a drive they began at the Jacksonville 6-yard line after a muffed punt. Justin Herbert missed a wide open Keenan Allen on what could have been a dagger.
  • Defense: The Jaguars scored on each of their final five drives -- four touchdowns and a field goal.
  • Special teams: Cameron Dicker missed a 40-yard kick that would have put Los Angeles up 13 late.
  • Coaching: There are many moments Brandon Staley will want back. A big one was letting Dicker kick. Staley, generally one of the more analytically driven, aggressive coaches, turned to Dicker instead of going for it on 4th and 3. A first down could have put the game away. To make things worse, the Jaguars' ensuing touchdown-plus-two-point conversion by Pederson showed how coaching decisions played a huge role.
  • Mental errors: That decision to go for two was made easier after Joey Bosa got penalized for berating a referee. The penalty moved the ball to the 1-yard line, and Lawrence reached across to make it 30-28.

Here are all the details behind the historic meltdown, and here's what the Chargers said about it. Their words are harsh. Deservedly so.

Not so honorable mentions

NFL playoffs: Can Dallas finally beat Brady? Plus, Bengals, Bills, 49ers advance 🏈


Let's look forward for a second before we get back to recapping the NFL games from the weekend. Tom Brady is a perfect 7-0 against Dallas in his career. Tonight is the first time in his career that he's a home playoff underdog, and it comes against the Cowboys

We have reasons the Buccaneers will win here and reasons the Cowboys will win here. Ok, back the recaps:

When the Bengals needed a spark most, it came from the most unlikely of places. In one of the most stunning plays you'll ever see, Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson punched the ball out of Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley's hands as he lunged for the end zone. Cincy's Sam Hubbard rumbled 98 yards the other way for the game-winning score in Cincinnati's 24-17 triumph. It was the...

  • Longest fumble return touchdown in playoff history
  • Longest go-ahead fourth-quarter/OT score in playoff history

Earlier Sunday, if the Tua Tagovailoa-less Dolphins were supposed to be a pushover for the Bills, someone forgot to tell Miami. The Dolphins put a major scare into the AFC's No. 2 seed but ultimately came up short, and Buffalo emerged with a 34-31 win. Buffalo will play Cincinnati in the Divisional Round -- the same matchup that was canceled in Week 17 after Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field.

  • The Bills jumped out to a 17-point lead, but the Dolphins trailed just 20-17 by halftime, thanks in large part to two Josh Allen interceptions. Then, on Buffalo's first offensive play of the second half, Eric Rowe sacked Allen and forced a fumble, and Zach Sieler scooped it up and scored. The Dolphins led, 24-20.
  • Allen responded with consecutive touchdown drives, and -- critically -- Miami's inexperience at head coach (Mike McDaniel) and quarterback (Skylar Thompsonshowed as its comeback came up short.

On Saturday, a different seventh-round rookie quarterback, Brock Purdy, shined as the 49ers dominated the Seahawks, 41-23. Purdy threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns -- one each to Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell -- and also ran for a score. San Francisco will take on the winner of tonight's Cowboys-Buccaneers game.

Here's the updated playoff schedule.

CBB recap: Upsets galore; Kentucky back on track? 🏀


Kentucky and Arkansas were the two highest-ranked SEC teams entering this season. Their weekends couldn't have gone more differently.

The Tennessee and Arkansas losses were two of 11 losses by AP top-25 teams Saturday -- tied for most ever on a single day. Here were other big results over the weekend:

Alabama basketball player Darius Miles charged with capital murder

NCAA Basketball: Longwood at Alabama

Alabama forward Darius Miles was arrested and charged with capital murder on Sunday following an early-morning shooting in Tuscaloosa. Miles is one of two suspects charged, along with 20-year-old Michael Lynn Davis.

The victim -- 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris -- was pronounced dead at the scene.

  • Miles was taken into custody without bond. He has been removed from Alabama's campus and is no longer on the basketball team, per a statement from the school.
  • The shooting came shortly after Miles was ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury. He had not played since Dec. 20.
  • According to Tuscaloosa Police Capt. Jack Kennedy, the shooting resulted from a "minor argument." The capital murder charge comes from the death resulting from shots fired into a vehicle. One of the suspects was shot as well.

Georgia football player, staffer killed in car crash; two others injured

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Texas Christian at Georgia

Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock, 20, and football staffer Chandler LeCroy, 24, died in a single-car crash early Sunday morning. Offensive lineman Warren McLendon and recruiting staffer Tory Bowles are in stable condition after also being injured in the crash, which occurred hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their second consecutive national championship with a parade and ceremony at Sanford Stadium 

The Athens-Clarke County Police report says "the vehicle left the roadway, striking two power poles and several trees."

  • Per the report, Willock died at the scene due to injuries sustained, and LeCroy was transported to a local hospital, where she died due to her injuries. McClendon suffered minor injuries, and Bowles' were more serious.
  • As part of a statement, head coach Kirby Smart said, "Devin was an outstanding young man in every way. He was always smiling, was a great teammate and a joy to coach. Chandler was a valuable member of our football staff and brought an incredible attitude and energy every single day."

What we're watching Monday 📺

🏀 Celtics at Hornets, 1 p.m. on NBA TV
🏀 No. 3 Purdue at Michigan State, 2:30 p.m. on FOX
🏀 Heat at Hawks, 3:30 p.m. on TNT
🏀 Suns at Grizzlies, 6 p.m. on TNT
🏈 Cowboys at Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m. on ABC/ESPN