Celebrating Sports On The Last Day Of 2018
The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Tennessee Titans 33-17 on Sunday night to claim the final playoff spot as the NFL’s regular-season concluded.
The Colts (10-6) became only the third team to overcome a 1-5 start to reach the postseason, which begins Saturday.
The Baltimore Ravens (10-6) grabbed the AFC North title with a 26-24 victory at home over the Cleveland Browns. The Houston Texans (10-6) clinched the AFC South crown by topping the moribund Jacksonville Jaguars 30-3.
In the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) won their third straight game, drubbing the Washington Redskins 24-0 on the road. The Eagles got the final wild card slot, which escaped the Minnesota Vikings (8-7-1) because of their 24-10 home loss to the Chicago Bears.
As of Monday morning, six head coaches had already been fired:
Dirk Koetter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Todd Bowles of the New York Jets and Steve Wilks of the Arizona Cardinals. Wilks had only been on the job for one season and the Cardinals finished 3-13. They’ll have the first pick in the NFL draft. The Miami Dolphins announcing the dismissal of their coach Adam Gase. The Cincinnati Bengals fired Marvin Lewis due to disgruntled fans and dropped stadium attendance rates. The Denver Broncos also fired their coach Vance Joseph.
Alabama and Clemson will meet in the College Football Playoffs for the fourth time on Jan. 7. Both won their semifinal games on Saturday.
Clemson, in the early game, flattened Notre Dame 30-3. The Fighting Irish could never generate any offense against the Tigers. Alabama followed by jumping out to a 28-0 lead over Oklahoma and beating the Sooners 45-34. The general lack of excitement led to criticism of the CFP committee that ranked the four teams and included Notre Dame over Georgia and Ohio State.
This will mark the first time two undefeated teams play for the national title in the CFP era. Alabama has won two of the last three championships, Clemson the other. Alabama opened as a 6 1/2-point favorite.
University of Miami coach Mark Richt announced his retirement after three seasons at his Alma mater. He will be replaced by Manny Diaz, who had recently left to take the head coaching position at Temple.
In men’s college basketball, unranked Princeton defeated No. 17 Arizona State 67-66 on the road and unranked Western Kentucky won at home, 83-76, over No. 15 Wisconsin.
In the NBA, the Washington Wizards will apparently lose guard John Wall (heel surgery) for the rest of what already appears to be a lost season.
The NHL’s Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks play in the outdoors Winter Classic on Tuesday at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
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