The 2018 NFL playoffs got off to a wild start when the Tennessee Titans upset the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday to kick off wild-card weekend. The Atlanta Falcons then upset the L.A. Rams at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, even though AccuScore predicted that to be the tightest game of wild-card weekend.
A pair of handoffs to Kamara had the Saints in the end zone as the Saints took a 31-19 lead with 5:08 remaining.
Even though his son Lonzo was still six weeks away from being drafted, LaVar Ball wasted no time staking his claim as the NBA’s biggest disruptor. The outspoken entrepreneur and trainer made headlines for outlandish comments all year long, including: the “Stay in Yo Lane” controversy with a female media member, his spat with the president over China, and his plans for his own minor league to compete with the NCAA. However, the biggest power move from the head of Big Baller Brand came during the playoffs, when Ball unveiled his son’s “ZO2 Prime” signature sneakers, an independently created and marketed shoe that was sold online for $495.
Predictably, the “ZO2 Prime” prompted a swift backlash, given that it cost more than the signature sneakers for LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry combined. Skeptics rushed to question whether Ball could turn a profit on the venture, and critics wondered whether Lonzo would have been better served by signing a seven-figure guaranteed contract with a sneaker powerhouse like Nike or Adidas. Was Ball helping, hurting or exploiting his son? Ball doubled down, of course, earning respect and praise from some athletes who admired his outside-the-box thinking and self-empowered focus.
Local Kansas City news affiliate KMBC 9 was not ready for that, however, and instead ran the following, which read, “CHIEFS KINGDOM CELEBRATES WIN”:
“It’s not arguing,” Minkah Sr. corrects her with a grin. “It’s intense fellowship.”
But first: that ring. If Fitzpatrick gets his second in three years, if he leads Alabama to another national title, if he helps Saban tie Bear Bryant as the most decorated college football coach in history, with a sixth? Harris laughs. “If we win,” he says, “Minkah will give everybody hugs, he’ll be smiling—but as soon as he gets out of that locker room, he’ll be watching film, trying to find out what he did wrong.”
The play would be reviewed, but it was a clear fumble that was recovered by the Falcons. It was a poor decision by the punt returner, who could have simply called for a fair catch and stepped up to the football.
On the following play, Mohamed Sanu was attempting to catch a pass in the end zone and took a hit to the head. The Eagles were penalized on the play, giving the Falcons a first-and-goal from the 9-yard line.
The rest of the drive wasn’t pretty, but the Falcons ended it with a flip/skyhook/dump touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Devonta Freeman:
The score gave the Falcons a 10-6 lead.