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The Wolf Sports Newsletter: January 30, 2024

Super Bowl LVIII is set after two exciting conference title games.


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NFL Championship Sunday recap


The Chiefs are headed back to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in six seasons after knocking off the Ravens in Baltimore, 17-10. Kansas City got off to a fast start and did not score in the second half, but Steve Spagnuolo’s defense yet again stepped up and made key plays—including a massive forced fumble at the one-yard line by star cornerback L’Jarius Sneed on Zay Flowers. Baltimore’s performance offensively was highly disappointing after a dominant season all around, and—fair or not—the playoff questions will remain about quarterback Lamar Jackson.



Brock Purdy and the 49ers again proved to have ice in their veins, coming back from a 24-7 halftime deficit to beat the Lions in the NFC title game, 34-31. Jared Goff was lights out, but Detroit was plagued by drops in the loss, and they also didn’t convert a couple of fourth down attempts within field goal range. San Francisco gave up 442 yards and has some things to figure out defensively when taking on Kansas City, but we’ll see Chiefs-Niners in the Big Game for the second time in five seasons on February 11.



Jim Harbaugh returns to the NFL


⚡️ In a slow-moving hiring cycle, one huge move finally came to fruition last week: Jim Harbaugh was hired by the Chargers and returns to the NFL after leading Michigan to a national championship.



Harbaugh has proven to be one of the best coaches in football, and he’s paired up with a quarterback he loves in Justin Herbert. Harbaugh admitted on CBS before Sunday’s AFC title game that he was “a little starstruck meeting Justin.”


The 60-year-old was an exceptional 44-19-1 during four seasons with the 49ers from 2011-2014, and he was 49-22-1 including the postseason. Having him join Andy Reid (and Patrick Mahomes), Sean Payton, and new Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce in the AFC West should be a lot of fun.


Also, the Chargers are hiring Ravens executive Joe Horitz as their general manager.


Other head coach hirings

In an upset, the Falcons passed on legendary head coach Bill Belichick and went with former Atlanta assistant and interim head coach Raheem Morris.



The Panthers hired Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales as their head coach, pairing him with 2023 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young and new GM Dan Morgan.



The lone remaining head coach openings are the Commanders and the Seahawks. With both the Lions and Ravens eliminated last weekend, freeing up their assistant coaches to get hired, moves could happen quickly. Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald are two of the top candidates for both jobs, but Washington and Seattle have kept things close to the vest.




More NFL news


Headlining assistant hires, the Bills officially hired interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady on a full-time basis.


The revamped Eagles assistant staff under Nick Sirianni includes top defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who parted ways with Miami to take the Philly job, and former Cowboys and Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.


‍☠️ In a surprise move, the Raiders hired former Chargers general manager Ton Telesco to the same position.


The Packers fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry.


‍♂️ Patriots wide receiver Kayshon Boutte was arrested for making 8,900 illegal bets while at LSU, according to WAFB.


2023 NFL Award finalists are headlined by Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey among five MVP finalists.



Other sports updates

️ Michigan officially hired Sherrone Moore to replace Jim Harbaugh.


⚾️ The 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame Class is Adrián Beltré, Todd Helton, Joe Mauer, and Jim Leyland.



➡️ The Mariners have acquired All-Star infielder Jorge Polanco in exchange for four players including two prospects.


Jannik Sinner (men’s) and Sabalenka Aryna (women’s) won the 2024 Australian Open.


Que (Uga X) passed away. He served as the Georgia Bulldogs’ mascot from 2015-2022.



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