Then Newton hit Christian McCaffrey for a 56-yard touchdown in under a minute, giving the Panthers some life. The Saints had a fourth down late at the two-minute warning, and they went for it. They didn’t get it, with a Carolina player picking it off instead of simply hitting the ball away, so the Panthers lost a good chunk of yardage when they took over with no timeouts remaining.
Carolina marched all the way downfield, into the red zone, but an intentional grounding call and a sack had the team well out of range, and the Saints held on to win.
On Saturday, the Tennessee Titans just edged out the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Atlanta Falcons handled the Los Angeles Rams. The Titans will play the New England Patriots and the Falcons will play the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round.
Again, no one is claiming that fights with the White House’s social media wing and players kneeling during the anthem are even close to the only reasons for the professional football model being shaken up a bit. But the fact is, that model has been shaken up a bit, and the league doesn’t sit on its hands waiting for situations like this to steady themselves.
But as Jones, and others see it, it certainly wouldn’t hurt.
They’ve been looking for their franchise quarterback since the end of the Colin Kaepernick era in San Francisco. After trading a second-round pick for a quarterback who went 5-0 with 1,560 yards, seven touchdowns, and five interceptions, it makes sense that he’s going to receive a nice payday.
And they have to. After Kaepernick’s departure, the 49ers let Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard take over the reins, and it was genuinely ugly. They were nearing Browns levels of bad. In their 31 games before his starts, the 49ers went 4-27.
“He’s as confident as he appears to be, but he’s never comfortable,” Hinch said. “What I mean by that is, the drive and the right amount of awareness of what he has to do to be successful never wavers. Most of us would probably bask in the glory of having his bat-to-ball skills or his success rate. This guy is as hungry as he is respectful of what it takes.”
The Astros followed their leader through one more round, finishing a trifecta of knocking off the teams with the biggest payrolls in ascending order: the Red Sox, Yankees and Dodgers, icing on the cake for an underdog like Altuve.