Photo Credit: John Peterson

Drake’s Takes: Women’s Basketball’s Strong Return and an Incredible NFL Divisional Round

January 28, 2022

This week’s Drake’s Takes covers the most recent round of the NFL playoffs, along with Nebraska’s women’s basketball team returning strong.

Football is on another level

As a sports fan, every once in a while you run into a game or individual performance that simply feels too perfect because of how good it is. 

For me, there’s been a lot of notable examples in the past year – Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 50-point showing to close out the NBA Finals, Nebraska volleyball’s national championship match just over a month ago and the college football championship all come to mind. All of these games or matches felt like a completely different level of sport. 

I’d also add the divisional round of this year’s NFL playoffs into that mix. All four games were decided on the final play, capped with an insane quarterback duel between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. 

I will say that the weekend wasn’t without flaws. Pretty much the entire first half of Green Bay and San Francisco’s game was unwatchable. There are games with great defense and games with terrible offense, and the first half of that matchup leaned toward the latter. 

However, the fourth quarter made up for it. As a side note, when the Packers’ punt was blocked, I saw a lot of people tweet at once comparing their special teams play to Nebraska’s. Perhaps it was too many, although it was an apt comparison.

Anyway, I truly enjoyed watching Green Bay lose on a last-second field goal, and loved watching Cincinnati win earlier in the day via the same method. 

Sunday’s games were even better. Between Matthew Stafford somehow stopping a 24-point comeback from Tom Brady and Mahomes and Allen lighting earth ablaze, it doesn’t get much better than that. 

When football is at its best, there’s truly nothing like it. We can only hope for more of the same this next weekend. 

Women’s basketball returns with a dominant win

Nebraska women’s basketball probably couldn’t have asked for a better return to action than the one it had last night. 

After going a week-and-a-half without playing due to COVID issues, the Huskers broke their recent slump with a 33-point win over Wisconsin. Even though the Badgers are one of the worst teams in the Big Ten so far this year, getting this victory was important given Nebraska had lost three of its last four games. 

This win also starts a stretch where Nebraska will play four games over the span of eight days. The Huskers benefit from the fact that all of these games are at home, and the competition is relatively weak.

The Huskers shouldn’t underestimate Penn State (3-6 in Big Ten play) or Rutgers (0-9), but the toughest matchup should be the next one against Purdue (4-5). The Boilermakers beat a then-ranked Florida State team earlier this season, along with winning against Michigan State and going to overtime with No. 6 Indiana. A win for Nebraska also would get them back to .500 in conference play. 

Purdue isn’t all that different from Nebraska, despite playing a bit worse overall. Both teams’ leading scorer is around 13 points per game, with five players averaging at least nine points. Both are top 50 in the country in assists per game. They’re tied for the conference lead in opposing 3-point field goal percentage, and their own shooting numbers from deep aren’t too far off. 

Jeanae Terry should be a fun player to watch as well. She doesn’t put up huge scoring numbers, but is coming off her second triple-double of the year. 

A win to close January would be important for Nebraska as it looks to go into the final stretch of the season strong.

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