Watch: Tom Brady shares special postgame moment with Drew Brees and his family

By Erin Walsh | Last updated 1/18/21

Long after Sunday’s playoff game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints, Tom Brady and Drew Brees were spotted sharing a special moment on the Superdome field for what could be the final time in their Hall of Fame careers.

Before exiting the field, Brady had a short conversation with Brees, embracing him and even throwing a touchdown pass to one of his children.

NFL Network’s James Palmer caught the special moment on video after the Bucs’ 30-20 win over the Saints. Tampa Bay is now set to take on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game. 

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Patrick Mahomes out for game with concussion

Originally posted on Pro Football Rumors By Andrew Ortenberg | Last updated 1/17/21

Bad news to pass along, as Patrick Mahomes has been ruled out for the rest of the Chiefs’ divisional round game against the Browns with a concussion.

Mahomes got hit hard on an option play late in the third quarter, and appeared to be woozy while getting up. He was quickly whisked back to the locker room, and now has been ruled out after not too long. That means Kansas City will be riding Chad Henne, who had never thrown a playoff pass entering today, for the rest of the game. It’s an incredibly unfortunate turn, as obviously Mahomes’ importance can’t be overstated.

It’s not like Henne will be able to cruise either, since as of this publishing the Browns had just scored a touchdown to cut the Chiefs’ lead to just five. If Kansas City is able to hold on, hopefully Mahomes will be able to get cleared in time for next Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

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Winners, losers from Buccaneers’ win over Saints

Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Vincent Frank | Last updated 1/17/21

It was billed as GOAT going up against an all-time great . The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were squaring off with the New Orleans Saints with a spot in the NFC Championship Game on the line.

Could Tom Brady and Drew Brees turn back the clock at a combined age of 85? Would youngsters step up in hopes of sending their teams to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers next week?

These questions were answered big-time as the Buccaneers went into the Bayou and handed New Orleans a 30-20 loss in what could very well be Brees’ final NFL game. Here, we take a look at the biggest winners and losers from the Buccaneers’ 10-point victory over New Orleans.

Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers running backs do their thing

After missing last week’s win over the Washington Football Team with a quad injury, Ronald Jones toughed it out Sunday against the Saints. He was obviously nowhere near 100%. That did not stop Jones from putting up 62 yards on 13 carries in the Buccaneers’ win. That was much needed with Brady struggling early in the game.

Meanwhile, embattled running back Leonard Fournette gained 107 total yards on 22 touches. That included a game-tying touchdown pass from Brady. All said, these two backs provided big-time balance by combining for 169 total yards on 35 touches.

Loser: Michael Thomas goes AWOL for the New Orleans Saints

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

One year after breaking multiple single-season reception marks, Thomas has dealt with myriad injuries and some major internal drama in New Orleans. Despite putting up five catches for 73 yards and a score in the Saints’ wild-card victory over the Chicago Bears, Thomas struggled against a youthful Buccaneers defense.

Primarily taking on Sean Murphy-Bunting, Thomas was held without a single catch on four targets. Drew Brees was also intercepted two times when throwing in his direction throughout the game. Sure Brees struggled a bunch (more on that later), but Thomas did not help his quarterback out at all. One now has to wonder what this might mean for Thomas’ future in New Orleans.

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Bills bounce Ravens, reach first AFC title game in 27 seasons

Originally posted on Sportsnaut | By Matt Fitzgerald | Last updated 1/16/21

The first leg of the 2021 AFC divisional round was a gritty, throwback game determined largely by the mettle of defenses, as the Buffalo Bills emerged with a 17-3 home victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday evening in Western New York.

Usually, in a high-scoring affair, winners and losers can be determined rather easily. However, In increasingly rare cases such as these when there were so few splash plays made in any of the three phases of the game, it’s more difficult to find the positives.

In any event, we’ll give you the winners and losers from this Bills-Ravens slugfest.

Winner: Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The winning signal-caller lands here almost by default, and Bills wideout Stefon Diggs deserves an honorable mention thanks to his knack for getting open.

It’s an unavoidable narrative, however: Allen was the third QB selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, going seventh overall to Buffalo, while Jackson had to wait until the final pick of the first round (No. 32) to hear his name called after Baltimore traded up to get him. Talk about a sick walk-off move for Ozzie Newsome, netting an eventual second-year league MVP with his final first-round selection.

Anyway, Allen and Jackson have emerged as the most promising field generals from that class, along with top pick Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns. All of them were alive entering the AFC divisional round — how exciting!

But only one man could win Saturday in Buffalo, and it was Allen. There was clearly more trust in the Bills’ rising superstar, who isn’t quite the dual threat as a runner that Jackson is — who is? — but is the superior passer.

For better or worse, the Bills put the ball in Allen’s hands and told him to will them to the AFC Championship Game against a defense that boasts a pressure-heavy front and excellent back end headlined by cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey. Allen came through, finding Diggs for eight catches, 106 yards and a score. Allen ultimately delivered, finishing with 23 completions on 37 attempts for 206 yards and the touchdown to Diggs amid blustery conditions.

Loser: Justin Tucker, kicker, Baltimore Ravens

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Two bricked field goals off the uprights. It was truly shocking to see Tucker do such a thing, considering he’s quite literally the most accurate kicker in league history at better than 90%.

NHL awards preview for 2020-21 NHL season

Posted 18 hours ago | By Adam Gretz

With the 2020-21 NHL season getting underway it is time to preview some of the top contenders for some of the league’s major awards, including the MVP, Vezina, Norris, and Jack Adams.1 of 25

Hart Trophy (MVP): Nathan MacKinnonColorado Avalanche

Hart Trophy (MVP): Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

He has been close, finishing as the runner-up on two different occasions and sixth one other time, but has yet to actually win the MVP award. Could this be the year it happens? The Avalanche are going to be contenders and MacKinnon is a leading candidate to finish as the top scorer in the league, something that always puts a player at the top of the MVP discussion. 

Hart Trophy (MVP) Connor McDavidEdmonton Oilers

Hart Trophy (MVP) Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

As long as he stays healthy McDavid is going to be a contender for the scoring title and the MVP. He has finished in the top-five of the MVP race in each of the past four years and in the top-two of the scoring race in each of those years. He already has one MVP award and is looking to join an exclusive club of players to win it again. Only 18 players have won it more than one time, and only two active players (Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin). The Oilers could be good enough to put him back in that discussion. 

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NFL divisional round: Picks and preview

By Chris Mueller | Last updated 1/14/21

Four out of six favorites won on wild card weekend, but the two upsets were seismic; the Rams humiliated the Seahawks for the majority of their matchup, stifling Russell Wilson so badly that Seattle fired Brian Schottenheimer, and will now have to find a new offensive coordinator to try and fix an offense that was progressively more broken as the season went on. That upset paled in comparison to Cleveland’s demolition of the Steelers, however. The Browns, barely able to practice, and down five coaches and six players, demolished Pittsburgh, and in the process, may have kick-started an offseason of changes for the Steelers. The Rams’ reward for their win? A date with Green Bay, possibly in the snow, at Lambeau Field. And the Browns? They get a crack at the defending champs at Arrowhead Stadium, this time with a much healthier team; Kevin Stefanski will be back on the sideline; Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson will all be back in the lineup, and Bill Callahan will be in his normal post as offensive line coordinator. Only Joel Bitonio, as of this writing, is still in limbo. The other two games? They aren’t shabby, either. The Ravens and Bills meet in what might be snowy conditions in Buffalo, and the Saints try to beat the Buccaneers for the third time this season. The divisional round, as it almost always does, features compelling, interesting matchups, so let’s get to the games.

Point spreads are from and are current as of 1 p.m. ET Thursday.

Pick with spread is in bold.

Last week: 3-3

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LA RAMS (11-6) AT GREEN BAY (13-3) (Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET)

TV: FOX        LINE: Green Bay -6.5

What you need to know: Aaron Donald looks like he’s going to go for the Rams despite a rib injury, and if he’s able to play anything like he normally does, that’s trouble for the Packers. Donald and Los Angeles’ defensive front completely disrupted everything Seattle wanted to do offensively, and their greatness, coupled with Jalen Ramsey’s shut-down abilities in the secondary, frustrated the Seahawks and left them mostly out of answers. The Rams will go with Jared Goff at quarterback in this one, as John Wolford is out. That hurts Los Angeles, as Wolford’s mobility gives defenses more to think about, and Goff was underwhelming, to put it mildly, against Seattle. We know that Aaron Rodgers can play in the snow, and we know that he’s been great this year – great enough that he’s a likely bet to win his third MVP award – but he hasn’t seen a defense like Los Angeles’ this season. The closest thing was New Orleans in Week 3, and Rodgers did strafe them for three touchdowns in a 37-30 road win. Green Bay’s offense runs through Rodgers and Adams; will they be able to operate well if Ramsey is able to win his individual matchup with Adams? Green Bay’s ability to implement a “plan B” might determine the outcome of this game.

On the spot: Rams CB Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey might be the best in the business, but Rodgers and Adams are as close to unstoppable as any duo in the league. If Los Angeles wins, it will be because of defense, but they can only thrive if Ramsey plays one of his greatest games.

Packers TE Robert Tonyan: If there is anything resembling a weak group on Los Angeles’ defense, it is their linebackers, but even they have been very good. That said, Tonyan, second on the Packers with 11 touchdown catches, needs to take full advantage of all the attention Adams will command.

The Pick: Packers 24 Rams 23

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BALTIMORE (12-5) AT BUFFALO (14-3) (Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

TV: NBC        LINE: Buffalo -2.5

What you need to know: Lamar Jackson has no experience playing in the snow, which is not altogether surprising for a guy who went to high school in Florida and played his college ball in the ACC. He might have to figure things out on the fly because forecasted conditions suggest that fresh powder could be a distinct possibility. If the conditions aren’t great, however, it might work to Baltimore’s advantage; the Ravens’ running game got going against the Titans, and while Jackson is at his most lethal when he’s able to hit shots downfield to complement his running, he’s still plenty dangerous when utilizing the short passing game and running the ball. Playing at Wyoming, Josh Allen absolutely has more experience with inclement weather than Jackson, and his raw arm strength could be a major factor if conditions include swirling winds. Buffalo won’t have Zack Moss for the rest of the playoffs, robbing them of their most straight-ahead running back, which is going to make Cole Beasley, who himself isn’t close to 100 percent, that much more important on possession downs. The Bills’ defense hasn’t been great this season, and couldn’t get regular stops on Philip Rivers in the wild card round, but they’ll have to be disciplined and tackle better against Jackson and the Ravens.

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Yadier Molina mentions possibility of retirement as free agency lingers

Originally posted on MLB Trade Rumors | By Steve Adams | Last updated 1/14/21

Cardinals icon Yadier Molina remains in a stare-down of sorts with the only team he’s ever known, seeking a two-year deal while the Cards idle amid budgetary uncertainty. Molina noted earlier in the winter that he’s heard from as many as five other clubs, but his preference has clearly been to return to the Cardinals.

Now, in an interview with La Vida Baseball’s Polo Ascencio (hat tip: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Molina suggests that if he doesn’t receive the right offer, he feels he could retire with his head held high after a terrific 17-year career. Molina made clear that he’s still working out, getting ready as if he’ll play in 2021.

It’s hard to imagine Molina walking away when he’s previously been so adamant about continuing his career, but the Cardinals haven’t been aggressive in their efforts to retain Molina or longtime teammates Adam Wainwright and Kolten Wong — both free agents themselves (Wong after having his 2021 club option declined).

The rest of the market for Molina’s services, meanwhile, may have changed a bit since receiving that early interest. The Mets signed James McCann, taking them out of the market for another catcher. Molina previously mentioned interest from the Padres, but they picked up Victor Caratini from the Cubs. The Yankees are still in a staring contest of their own with DJ LeMahieu and don’t appear willing to spend elsewhere until there’s resolution on that front. The Angels, another club mentioned by Molina himself, could still be a fit but are surely looking at the pitching market and perhaps at J.T. Realmuto, who also remains unsigned. The Phillies would make another on-paper fit, but they, too, are intently waiting to see where Realmuto’s market goes. Goold notes that the Nationals have also been in touch with Molina, but they’ve been focused on adding more thump to their lineup to this point.

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Lions to hire Rams exec Brad Holmes as general manager

Originally posted on Pro Football Rumors | By Zach Links | Last updated 1/14/21

The Lions have agreed to hire Rams’ director of college scouting Brad Holmes as their new GM, (Twitter link via’s Adam Schefter). Holmes will receive a five-year deal, tying him to the club through the 2025 season.

Holmes worked his way up as talent evaluator in the Rams organization, the only franchise he’s ever known as an exec. He began as a public relations intern in St. Louis. Today, he’s the leader of the Lions’ front office.

Holmes, 41, pushed the Rams to select Aaron Donald No. 13 overall in 2014. The Lions had their chance to get the most dominant defensive lineman since Ndamukong Suh — they chose tight end Eric Ebron instead. Holmes is also credited with choosing Jared Goff over Carson Wentz in 2016.

“I think he would do an excellent job (as GM),” said Holmes’ former North Carolina A&T coach Bill Hayes (via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press). “I know he’s going to put in the work. That’s the first thing about it, he’s going to put in the work, he’s going to make the effort and he’s a team guy all the way. He’s not one of those egotistical maniacs. He’s going to be a team guy. He can be trusted. He’s extremely trustworthy, so I feel strongly that he would do a super job.”

Saints assistant GM Terry Fontenot was also a leading candidate for the job, but he appears to be on the cusp of landing with the Falcons. With Holmes in place, the Lions will zero in on their head-coaching search.

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Rockets trade James Harden to Nets in blockbuster four-team deal

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 1/13/21

Houston Rockets superstar guard and one-time regular-season MVP James Harden has been granted his trade request. 

On Wednesday afternoon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported that the Rockets are sending Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a deal that also involves the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers: 

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2021 first-round NFL mock draft: Four QBs go in Round 1

Posted 1 minute ago | By Seth Trachtman

The NFL regular season is finished, so most of the 2021 draft order is set. Here’s a look at our 2021 NFL mock draft, as of January 11, 2021.1 of 32

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Bob Donnan / USA Today Sports Images

Lawrence might already be getting fitted for his new uniform by the Jaguars. The Clemson star could be the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, with every physical quality scouts like and the track record to back up the pure talent. He finished 2020 completing more than 69% of his passes for 3,153 yards and 24 touchdowns in 10 games, and he also contributed eight rushing scores.

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2. New York Jets: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

New York Jets: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Derick E. Hingle / USA Today Sports Images

Fields helped himself vs. Clemson in the CFP Semifinal, rebounding from a mediocre game. He’s not quite the pure passer that Trevor Lawerence is, but Fields is a well-rounded, proven winner with huge upside. The Jets’ decision whether to move on from Sam Darnold could be determined by their head coaching hire.

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3. Miami Dolphins (via Texans): Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

Miami Dolphins (via Texans): Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Troy Wayrynen / USA Today Sports Images

Sewell is a generational tackle prospect who should be plug-and-play at left tackle. While the Dolphins revamped their offensive line in 2020 and spent a first-round pick on Austin Jackson, the opportunity to add Sewell could be too good to pass up.

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