With another week in the books, it’s time to take a look at the winners and losers in the wide world of sports.
Winner: Matt Ryan
Ryan expanded on his tremendous season with a strong performance against the streaking Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship. Ryan went 27-of-38 for 392 yards in the game, as he led the Atlanta Falcons to their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, and first since 1999. Ryan will have the opportunity to bring Atlanta its first title when he takes on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Sunday, Feb. 5.
The Falcons’ quarterback is one of the frontrunners to win the MVP award this season, meaning a championship would signify a year of complete dominance for him.
Winner: Tom Brady
Yet again, Brady storms into the Super Bowl poised to capture the Lombardi Trophy. The future Hall of Famer put up another MVP-caliber season, followed by expected reliability through the first two games of the playoffs. With little difficulty, Brady carried the Patriots to a 36-17 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Brady is especially a winner heading into Super Bowl LI as he does not face any controversy. In past year, scandals such as Deflategate have become normal for him to endure. This year, he can focus on the important game without any distractions.
The Patriots’ quarterback also does not have to worry about the New York Giants in the season finale. Both of Brady’s two Super Bowl defeats came against the Giants.
Winner: Katie Lou Samuelson
Samuelson has seemingly been knocking down every shot of late, most recently scoring 32 points against Tulane despite not playing in the fourth quarter. She tallied 34 points in UConn’s game prior to that against Tulsa. With 94 points in her last three games, Samuelson equaled Maya Moore’s school record for points over a such a span.
The sophomore has helped the Huskies toward an incredible 94-game winning streak.
Loser: Boston Bruins
Losses in five of their last six games dropped the Bruins outside of a playoff spot coming into Tuesday. Boston’s most recent 5-1 defeat against the Pittsburgh Penguins highlighted the deep roots of the team’s recent struggles. They are having difficulties creating offense, which is leaving their subpar defense exposed. In one of the few games they were able to rack up goals, they blew three leads in what became a 6-5 shootout loss against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Bruins’ struggles have allowed the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators to pass them in the standings. This has left the team spiraling downward, hoping to avoid a complete collapse. The head coach, Claude Julien, remains on the hot seat with the team faltering.
Loser: Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers have lost five of their last seven games, bringing the Toronto Raptors within 2.5 games of them in the Eastern Conference. While they remain atop the conference, they are still inferior to the Golden State Warriors, the expected winner of the Western Conference. The Warriors’ addition of Kevin Durant in the offseason makes them the clear championship favorites.
LeBron James called out the team, expressing that they have little depth beyond their top stars that include himself, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. He fears that they will not be able to compete with the Warriors if they face them in NBA Finals once again in June.
Dylan Barrett is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org