Good Week/Bad Week
Seattle Seahawks made Super Bowl history and England's cricketing nightmare in Australia is finally over. We pick out this week's winners and losers...
Last Updated: 16/01/15 8:44am
Another action-packed week of sport has come and gone and it was an excitable group of American Footballers from Seattle who grabbed the headlines with their Super Bowl heroics.
The Six Nations also took centre stage this weekend with wins for Wales, France and Ireland, while England and Scotland combined for Great Britain in their Davis Cup win over USA.
England's cricketers have returned home after a dismal winter in Australia and Red Bull head into the opening weekend of the Formula One season with more questions than answers after a difficult week of testing in Jerez.
We review the week below...
'Good' probably doesn't do it justice for the men from Seattle, who produced one of the most dominant displays in Super Bowl history to win the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy for the first time.
The Seahawks took the lead after just 12 seconds and never looked back, romping to a 43-8 win, scoring five touchdowns and having little difficulty dealing with Denver's record-breaking offence.
It was a night to forget for Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning, who has now lost 12 NFL play-off matches, more than anyone else.
Manning was overshadowed by second-year rookie Russell Wilson. The Seahawks QB threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns, with Marshawn Lynch, Malcolm Smith, Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse all reaching the house.
Great Britain tennis
Great Britain's Davis Cup team were also celebrating in America after booking their place in the quarter-finals for the first time since 1986.
Andy Murray once again led from the front with singles victories over Donald Young and Sam Querrey, but it was world No 175 James Ward's epic five-set win over Querrey which set GB up on the opening day.
The 3-1 win was GB's first over USA since 1935 and continues a remarkable rise under Leon Smith's tutelage.
Smith took over the captaincy in 2010 after Britain had been humiliated by Lithuania to drop to the verge of relegation to Europe/Africa Zone Group III, and awaiting them next is a last-eight date in Italy in April.
The 2014 Six Nations got under way this weekend and it's Ireland who are sitting atop of the standings after the most emphatic win, cruising past Scotland 28-6 on Sunday.
Ireland overcame the absence of captain Paul O'Connell to sweep aside the Scots in Dublin courtesy of tries from Andrew Trimble, Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney.
Two-time reigning champions Wales started their campaign with a 23-15 victory over Italy in the opening match of the weekend, first-half tries from Alex Cuthbert and Scott Williams helping see off the plucky Azzurri.
'Le Crunch' was the game of the weekend, England's young guns snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as France prevailed 26-24 thanks to Gael Fickou's converted try three minutes from time.
They say lightning doesn't strike twice, especially in Dubai, but it did on Sunday as Stephen Gallacher became the first man to retain the Omega Dubai Desert Classic title.
In amongst a high-profile field which included the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, Gallacher showed shrewd course knowledge for the second time in succession to claim a one-shot victory.
The 39-year-old Scotsman joins a highly exclusive list of men who have won the prestigious title more than once- Ernie Els and Woods are the only other multiple winners.
Remarkably, it is just Gallacher's third victory in 18 years and 431 events on the European Tour.
One of the first things drummed into young defenders by the wannabe Jose Mourinhos who stalk the Sunday morning touchlines is not to pass the ball across your own back-line; and definitely don't do it without having a good look first.
Step forward Liverpool's veteran Ivorian Kolo Toure to provide the perfect example of why this is sound advice.
Some blame should perhaps also be attached to goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for putting Toure under pressure by rolling the ball out to him when he was in a tight spot covered by two West Brom players during Saturday's Premier League fixture at The Hawthorns.
But Toure's inexplicable decision to send a gentle pass across his 18-yard line played in West Brom striker Victor Anichibe for the equaliser in a 1-1 draw. "I made a very bad pass," said Toure. "I don't know why I passed the ball into the middle of the pitch, it was crazy."
England's cricketers (again)
England's seemingly endless tour of Australia finally came to an end on Sunday in fitting fashion: an 84-run hammering in the third T20 international.
The result at Sydney's Stadium Australia completed a 3-0 T20 whitewash for the home side and followed on from their 5-0 Ashes win and 4-1 success in the ODIs.
England have been in freefall for the last three months and the fallout has already begun with team director Andy Flower's decision to step down.
Special mention should be reserved for Surrey seamer Jade Dernbach this week. England's supposed 'death' bowling specialist conceded 141 runs and claimed one wicket in his 11 overs - economy rate 12.81 - during the three T20 internationals.
Red Bull have been the dominant force in Formula One during the last few years but 2014 has not started well for them.
The new RB10 car has been plagued by development problems that were so bad they decided to pack up and go home at lunchtime on the final day of the opening test of the season in Jerez.
World champion Sebastian Vettel managed just 11 laps in two days before handing over to his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was restricted to 10 laps.
Team principal Christian Horner said: "It's been a very difficult test. We have had numerous Renault issues as well as chassis cooling issues, which have affected our progress. However, despite the lack of mileage, what we have managed to learn shows that the problems should be solvable for the next test in Bahrain (starting on February 19)."
Newcastle suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby for the second year in a row.
Fabio Borini's 19th-minute penalty set Sunderland on their way and Adam Johnson soon added a second to stun St James' Park.
Johnson hit the post before Jack Colback found the top corner to complete the scoring in the second half.
The result moves Sunderland up to 14th, although still only two points above the relegation zone.