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Weekly Top 10 Sports News Headlines and Major Events: Jan 22, 2023

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This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly report on the big sports news headlines and major events, plus a preview of what’s up next. For January 22, 2023, here are the weekly top 10 sports news headlines to know – the big stories and major events in sports news this week in the NFL, NBA and more.

weekly top 10 big sports news headlines and major events: January 22, 2023

1. NFL Wild Card Weekend highlights.

Courtesy of CBS Sports and our Sports Desk, here are the highlights from last week’s Wild Card Weekend, in case you missed any of it.

  • For the first time since Super Bowl XLVI – nearly 11 years ago – the New York Giants won a playoff game last weekend. Led by Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, the underdog Giants beat the Minnesota Vikings, 31-24, to advance to the Divisional Round.
  • The Miami Dolphins put a scare into the Buffalo Bills, the AFC’s No. 2 seed. But without Tua Tagovailoa, the Fins ultimately came up short. Buffalo squeaked out a 34-31 win.
  • Trevor Lawrence threw four straight touchdowns after throwing four straight interceptions to complete the third-largest comeback in NFL history after being down 27-0 to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Jacksonville Jaguars advanced to the divisional round with a 31-30 win.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals won a close game with the Baltimore Ravens, 24-17.
  • Out West, the former “Mr. Irrelevant” lit up the stadium. Last draft pick and starting quarterback Brock Purdy won kudos as he led the San Francisco 49ers to a decisive victory over Geno Smith and the Seattle Seahawks, 41-23.
  • There’s no joy in Tampa Bay, as all of the historic records and streaks were broken when Tom Brady met the Dallas Cowboys in the final Wild Card Weekend game. Brady came into the game a perfect 7-0 against Dallas in his career. For the first time in his career, that he was playing a playoff game at home and considered to be the underdog. Our own Sports Desk had at least 12 reasons why he would surely lead the Bucs to victory. But it didn’t happen. Brady and Tampa Bay fell to the Dallas Cowboys, 31-14, and their season is done. The Cowboys finally snapped their eight-game playoff road losing streak. And quarterback Dak Prescott had one of the best games of his career, throwing for four touchdowns and running for another.

2. NFL Divisional Round weekend – Saturday results

Lots of fans consider this the best NFL weekend of the year, and here’s why. Games on both Saturday and Sunday between the best teams in the league, all being played with the highest possible stakes. The eight teams all started the weekend just three games away from becoming Super Bowl champions. So, you know. No pressure.

No. 4 Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs.

When these teams last met in November, the Chiefs defeated the Jaguars, 27-17. We were struck by learning this fun fact before today’s game. Heading into this matchup, Trevor Lawrence had a perfect Saturday record. He had never lost a football game played on a Saturday – not in high school, college or in the NFL.

Of course, Lawrence never had to play Patrick Mahomes on a Saturday. The Chiefs quarterback suffered a right ankle injury in the first quarter, and he later left for the locker room before returning to action in the third quarter. In the meantime, Chad Henne stepped in to cover for him and did an excellent job keeping the Chiefs in the hunt. Despite the injury, Mahomes engineered two scoring drives in the second half and led Kansas City to a 27-20 victory.

The Chiefs will face the winner of today’s Cincinnati Bengals-Buffalo Bills matchup in the AFC Championship Game next week.

No. 6 New York Giants at No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles.

Time for a Turnpike Tussle! The Giants came into this game having lost to the Eagles in every matchup this season (the Giants were outscored 70-38). Daniel Jones dazzled fans with an upset win over Minnesota last week. But this time he was facing the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts. Hurts came off the injured list to make his second career playoff start. Three-peats (beating the same team three times in one season) are hard. But the Eagles did it, seemingly effortlessly, winning 38-7.

3. Today’s NFL games

No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals at No. 2  Buffalo Bills.

As CBS Sports notes, this is the game of the weekend if you love quarterback drama. It’s Joe Burrow versus Josh Allen for the first time. The two teams were supposed to play the Week 17 Monday Night Football game. But that came to a dramatic halt when the Bills’ Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field. Thankfully, he’s on the road to recovery. And the rematch is on. Neither team played up to expectations on Wild Card Weekend. But they made it to this round, and a win’s a win. Expectations are high for a good game.

No. 5 Dallas Cowboys at No. 2 San Francisco 49ers.

This will be the ninth postseason meeting between these two historic franchises, which ties for the most of any matchup. The Cowboys are hoping to carry the momentum from their blowout victory over Tampa Bay to California. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott will have to take on the team with arguably the best defense in the NFL. And then there’s Brock Purdy, who’s got plenty of momentum on his side, too. CBS Sports notes that since Week 7, these have been the two highest scoring teams in the NFL. Will it be an offensive shootout? Or a defensive slog? We’ll see.

4. Whither (or is it wither) Tom Brady?

Even though he’s not playing this weekend, our Sports Desk is still focused on Tom Brady. Currently of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But will that be the case next season? Our experts predict that he won’t retire, and that the most likely landing spots for him if he leaves Tampa Bay are either Miami or San Francisco (watch your back, Brock).

Our Sports Desk also says that the word on the street is that Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski  will probably un-retire and come back to play with Brady wherever he goes. One thing we know for sure: Gronk is going to be kicking a field goal at half time of the Super Bowl as part of a promotion for his sponsor, FanDuel. So at least we know that part of the halftime show is gonna be fun.

It’s also worth noting that another former MVP quarterback has a cloudy future: speculation is already underway about whether or not Lamar Jackson will stay with the Baltimore Ravens.

And we haven’t even begun the sure-to-be-endless speculation about what Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers will do. So, so much to look forward to!

5. NFL Coaching staff changes post Wild Card Weekend

As the LA Chargers deal with the disappointment of blowing a 27-point lead on Wild Card Weekend, heads are rolling. On Tuesday, the team fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterbacks coach Shane Day. Both had been with the team for two seasons.

The Chargers weren’t the only LA NFL team cleaning house this week. The Los Angeles Rams, coming off a miserable season, are keeping their head coach Sean McVay. But this week, many of his assistants were fired, including special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis; defensive backs coach Jonathan Cooley; and offensive line coach Kevin Carberry.

Also this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich as a part of a more significant shakeup of the coaching staff. The Baltimore Ravens are parting ways with longtime offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

There is surely more news like this to come as teams are eliminated from the playoffs.

6. NBA season halfway point

With roughly half of the season in the books, there are some clear storylines in the NBA.

eastern conference

In the East, the Boston Celtics (35-12) are garnering universal praise for their performance this season. Notable in part because they unexpectedly lost their head coach, Ime Udoka, due to a sexual harassment scandal that saw him suspended for the season. His replacement, Joe Mazzulla, was considered too inexperienced to have much impact. But the doubters have been proven wrong.

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is having a great season so far, backed up by teammates Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams III and Malcolm Brogdon. As of this posting, the Celts are at the top of the Eastern Conference, 4.5 and 5.5 games ahead of the 76ers and the Bucks, respectively.

western conference

In the West, the Denver Nuggets (33-13) are at the top of the standings, followed closely by the Memphis Grizzlies (31-14). The Grizzlies tied their franchise record with their 11th straight win earlier this week.

7. 

8. Australian Open plagued by bad Weather

Extreme heat and rain have wreaked havoc on the Australian Open’s first week. Weather-related issues caused the tournament organizers to reschedule 22 matches on Day 2 alone.

Three hours into the day sessions, temperatures reached 97 degrees Fahrenheit. The tournament’s Heat Stress Scale reached its maximum threshold of five. That meant suspending play on the outdoor courts. Three hours after play resumed, monsoon rains caused another halt to outdoor play for the day

Happily, all matches at Rod Laver Arena continued on schedule.

9. Australian Open upsets and headlines

Mens

Andy Murray’s fairytale run at the Open came to an end yesterday after he was beaten by Roberto Bautista Agut. Murray was clearly in pain throughout the match, and received a standing ovation from the crowd as he limped off the court.

World No. 5 Novak Djokovic had to overcome a hamstring injury to reach the Open’s round of 16. He defeated Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets, but was visibly struggling for most of the match. Djokovic is the favorite to win the competition after Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud were knocked out earlier this week.

The American men have had a great singles showing at this tournament so far. Sebastian Korda, Ben Shelton, J.J. Wolf and Tommy Paul all made it through to the fourth round. Not since 2004 have four men from the United States gone this far in Melbourne. Korda won his third-round match against the former world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. Unfortunately, the two highest-ranked American men – Taylor Fritz, the No. 8 seed, and Frances Tiafoe, the No. 16 seed – were both eliminated earlier in the week.

women’s

On the women’s side, fan favorite American Coco Gauff, 18, secured her 100th WTA tour win with a headline making 6-3, 7-6 victory over 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu. She’s in the round of 16 for the second time in her career. No. 3 seed Jessica Pegula is also a contender to help the American women end their Grand Slam title drought.

However, the news of the day is that top seed Iga Swiatek of Poland, once highly favored to win, was eliminated earlier today by No. 22 seed Elena Rybakina. The field is wide open from here. No. 2 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, the Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up, was eliminated in the second round. Go, Coco!!!

10. Michigan head football coach Harbaugh is staying

Harbaugh announced this week that he’ll be staying for a ninth season in Ann Arbor as Michigan’s head football coach. The Wolverines have won the Big Ten for the past two years. Perhaps even better for those of us who grew up in Michigan, in both of the past two years, the Wolverines have beat Ohio State in the regular-season finale. Oh, and they made the College Football Playoff both years, as well. No time for resting on laurels, though. The talk is already that Harbaugh has got to usher his team to a win a College Playoff game. M Go Blue!!!

In related news, Ohio State’s starting quarterback C.J. Stroud officially declared for the NFL Draft this week (on the final day that he could do so). Stroud was a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist.

Weekly Top sports news headlines and major events to know: January 22, 2023

That’s our take on the big sports news headlines and major events, and a preview of the week ahead, including what to know about football, basketball and more. Have a great week, dear reader. See you next Sunday.

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