IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Vallejo wraps rookie year; Gruden returns to Raiders
January 12, 2018
BILLS PLAYOFF RETURN SHORT LIVED: The Buffalo Bills ended a 17-year postseason drought, but their stay in the playoffs was short lived after a 10-3 Wild Card round loss in Jacksonville to the Jaguars. Both teams struggle on offense, but it is the Jaguars who move on to a date with the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend. Bills should look for a new quarterback. However, most is positive, expect some great things next season.
VALLEJO WRAPS UP ROOKIE YEAR: Buffalo Bills rookie Tanner Vallejo heads home to Nevada County after a positive first season with a little extra change in his pocket after his playoff appearance. Buffalo is a tough winter place to live and play. Bigger role for the hometown star next season? Unquestionably yes! Time to rest up after an arduous, but successful, first NFL campaign.
JON GRUDEN BACK: The Raiders enter a new era. Can Jon Gruden work magic and get the team on track? It was a lovefest when he was introduced earlier in the week. Oakland, of course, is the only place he really wants to coach and he is the only candidate, naturally, that Mark Davis wants for the team. We shall see. The real proof arrives in September.
KC MELTDOWN: After amassing a 21-3 lead, the Kansas City Chiefs succumb to the Tennessee Titans 22-21. Titans QB Marcus Mariota completes a deflected pass to himself for a huge touchdown. First Tennessee playoff win since 2003. In the end, a whacky but entertaining contest. The Chiefs let it all slip away.
TUA BRINGS ALABAMA BACK FROM THE DEAD: Remember Tua Tagovailoa! In the national championship game, he engineers victory out of the jaws of defeat. He passes for 166 yards in the second half while rushing for 27. Down 13-0 and showing little life, he rolls the Crimson Tide to a 26-23 OT victory over Georgia. Exciting contest indeed!
OTTAWA FREEZE: The San Jose Sharks lose a tough one. In a back-to-back game, they go ahead 5-2 only to appear exhausted in the third period. The Ottawa Senators tie it and then win 7 seconds into overtime. Yes, the Sharks get a standings point for lasting into overtime. However, this was one that should never have gotten away.
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THE TROUBLE WITH LAVAR: The disruption otherwise known as LaVar Ball (father of struggling Laker Lonzo Ball) calls for Luke Walton's firing. ESPN is ignorant enough to publish his claim. Coaches and players rush to Walton's side. Lonzo says nothing. His play continues to be lackluster. Lakers mogul Magic Johnson would be well-served to put some teeth in his treatment of meddlesome LaVar. Is this ball-and-chain enough for the Lakers to consider a trade? Enough is enough.
KINGS FAIL AT STAPLES: The Los Angeles Lakers best the Sacramento Kings after a dismal performance by Sacramento in a 99-86 Tuesday loss. No Kings player scores 20 points and only three are in double figures. This comes one night after a loss to the San Antonio Spurs where the Kings lead throughout only to wilt at the end. A difficult season with tough results for Sacramento.
LOU WILLIAMS VICTIMIZES WARRIORS: The Los Angeles Clippers come to Oracle and emerge winners with a 125-106 victory over Golden State. It was supposed to be a big night for Kevin Durant as he poured in 40. However, the Clippers stole the show as Lou Williams pours in 50. Not too worry, the Warriors are still 33-9 and leading the league in most key categories.
VERY STRANGE: Some things are just hard to explain. The late TNT basketball broadcaster, Craig Sager, appears to have written his three offspring out of his will after his son, Craig Sager II, went through a terribly painful blood stem cell dialysis in an effort to save his father's life. Almost immediately after the procedure, Sager eliminated his three children from his will. There is still no explanation as to the cause.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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