NFL’s remaining 4 are about to face harder assessments

This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ every day electronic mail e-newsletter. Stay up to speed on what’s happening in sports by subscribing here.

Here’s what it’s essential know proper now from the world of sports activities:

The NFL’s remaining 4 is ready

A pair of fantastic matchups are on faucet for Sunday as Tampa Bay faces Green Bay within the NFC championship recreation and Buffalo takes on Kansas City for the AFC title. The winners meet within the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 in Tampa.

Here’s a fast have a look at how the ultimate 4 groups superior this previous weekend and what it says about their probabilities on Sunday, when they will every face a harder opponent:


How they gained: The Bills smothered Baltimore 17-3 on a gusty Saturday evening in Orchard Park, N.Y., to attain their first AFC title recreation in 27 years. The play of the sport — and doubtless the weekend — got here late within the third quarter. With Baltimore trying poised to tie the sport at 10-10, Bills cornerback Taron Johnson intercepted a Lamar Jackson cross in the long run zone and returned it 101 yards for a pick-6 (pick-12?). The Ravens’ destiny was sealed a number of performs later when Jackson suffered a concussion that knocked him out of the sport.

What it means: Buffalo’s defence appeared able to slowing Kansas City’s unstoppable offence. But the wind performed an enormous function. It made scoring so difficult that Baltimore’s near-automatic kicker Justin Tucker missed his first two field-goal tries. He’s had two full seasons where he did not miss two.

Kansas City

How they gained: Like Baltimore, Kansas City misplaced a recent-MVP quarterback to a concussion when Patrick Mahomes was knocked woozy by a deal with within the third quarter. But Ok.C. held on to beat Cleveland 22-17 on Sunday with massive performs on the ultimate two significant snaps. Facing Third-and-14 with two minutes left, backup QB Chad Henne scrambled for 13 yards. Then, slightly than punt on 4th-and-1 with about 75 seconds left, Ok.C. coach Andy Reid referred to as a gutsy cross to Tyreek Hill for the game-clinching first down.

What it means: Mahomes’ standing is every little thing proper now. If he is in a position to play Sunday, Kansas City stays the favorite to repeat as Super Bowl champs. If he cannot, Ok.C. will not even be favoured to beat the Bills. Reid mentioned right this moment that Mahomes is within the concussion protocol and “we’ll see how he does the next couple days.” Oddsmakers appear bullish on Mahomes enjoying: the road for Sunday’s recreation is Kansas City -3.

Green Bay

How they gained: The L.A. Rams’ red-hot defence gave them hope for an upset Saturday at Lambeau Field. But, amongst his many abilities, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers focuses on not turning the ball over while additionally making massive performs. The MVP frontrunner wasn’t excellent, however he threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns and ran in one other because the Packers overwhelmed L.A. 32-18.

What it means: In right this moment’s NFL, it is arduous for even the very best defences to cease an ideal offence. The Packers re-taught that lesson and likewise confirmed why they have the top-rated assault in soccer. Rodgers seems like the very best quarterback within the league proper now, Davante Adams might be the very best receiver and Aaron Jones is without doubt one of the higher working backs. As lengthy because the defence stays first rate, Green Bay may be very robust to maintain up with.

Tampa Bay

How they gained: For mass-consumption functions, the story of Sunday evening’s divisional-round finale was 43-year-old Tom Brady beating 42-year-old Drew Brees in a battle of working-legend QBs, seemingly ending Brees’ profession. Hats off to Brady, who threw two TD passes and snuck in for one more within the Bucs’ 30-20 win at New Orleans. But he had solely 199 yards passing. Tampa Bay’s defence was the actual star, intercepting Brees 3 times and forcing an enormous fumble late within the recreation.

What it means: The Buccaneers confirmed why they’re probably the most balanced workforce left within the playoffs. Having each a very good offence and a very good defence provides them a number of methods to upset the Packers, they usually’ve already proved they will trouble Rodgers. Tampa Bay picked him off twice and sacked him 4 instances in a 38-10 rout in November. We’ll see if it interprets to the chilly at Lambeau. The Bucs are 3.5-point underdogs.

43-year-old Tom Brady contributed three touchdowns in Tampa Bay’s Divisional spherical win over New Orleans. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


More than 70 tennis gamers are below strict quarantine earlier than the Australian Open — and nobody appears completely satisfied about it. After a number of people arriving on constitution flights for the Feb. 8-21 occasion examined positive for the coronavirus, everybody on these planes was ordered to serve a tough 14-day quarantine of their lodge rooms. The group contains Canadian participant Vasek Pospisil and Bianca Andreescu’s coach, Sylvain Bruneau. Some gamers are already complaining concerning the quarantine circumstances. Top-ranked males’s participant Novak Djokovic reportedly requested event organizers to let gamers serve their time at homes with tennis courts to allow them to prepare correctly and have entry to raised meals. Meanwhile, some people in Australia are calling for the event to be cancelled as a result of they consider it is too dangerous for the nation. Read extra concerning the controversy right here.

The males’s hockey world championship was pulled from Belarus. International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel needed to maintain the nation as a co-host (with Latvia) of this 12 months’s occasion. But then three sponsors threatened to bail due to the mass arrests at largely peaceable demonstrations in opposition to authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko’s disputed re-election final 12 months. Today, the IIHF mentioned it was pulling the event from Belarus attributable to security issues. A call on where to carry it hasn’t been made. Latvia may nonetheless co-host with one other nation, or the occasion might be moved to a single location — in all probability in Europe. The event is scheduled for late May. Read extra concerning the transfer out of Belarus right here.

And in case you missed it…

A few Olympic-sports outcomes from the weekend that are price figuring out about:

Canada’s Justin Kripps and Cam Stones gained two bobsleigh bronze medals. They completed third in Saturday’s two-man World Cup race in St. Moritz, then did it once more with their four-man sled on Sunday. Also, Kripps & Stones: what a implausible workforce identify. (They’ll break your bones!) Read extra about their podium finishes and watch highlights right here.

Canadian Lewis Irving took bronze in aerials. The 25-year-old’s efficiency in Russia gave him his fourth profession podium spot and his first since final March. Read extra about it right here.

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