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Happy Tuesday and happy Halloween, everyone! While you were probably asleep, James Harden was (finally) traded to the Clippers. Here arewith the 76ers (and a third team), plus and how an "ecstatic" Harden against the Magic.
Let's get right to it.
⚾ Good morning to everyone but especially ...
THE TEXAS RANGERS
Dec. 1, 2021: Rangers sign Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Jon Gray in their first steps towards building a contender.
Oct. 30, 2023: Seager, Semien and Gray all deliver as the Rangers take another step towards their first World Series title.
Texas got huge contributions -- both expected and unexpected -- from that trio in a 3-1 Game 3 win over the Diamondbacks that tips the series in Texas' favor, 2-1.
- Semien had a two-out RBI single to open the scoring. It was his first RBI since Game 2 of the ALDS.
- One pitch later, Seager crushed a two-run home run. It was his 18th career postseason home run; only Derek Jeter (20) has more among shortstops.
- Then came the unsung hero: After Max Scherzer , Gray came to the rescue with three scoreless innings on no notice.
- Another injury-related downside for Texas was .
Both teams are going with a, making Gray's unexpected appearance even more crucial. If he had struggled, who knows what Texas' staff would look like tonight? Instead, the Rangers are two games away from a title, and , writes Matt Snyder.
👍 Honorable mentions
- Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or, becoming the first active MLS player to do so.
- Aaron Judge
- Rashan Gary and the Packers .
- The Bills Leonard Fournette to their practice squad.
- The expanded has arrived.
- Oregon from 2024 five-star EDGE Elijah Rushing.
😧 And not such a good morning for ...
THE LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
If anyone knows what the Raiders are doing -- short-term, long-term, any term -- please let me know. Las Vegas was listless, and frankly, overwhelmed in a 26-14 loss to the Lions to fall to 3-5 on the season. There are plenty of bad teams in the NFL. None makes as little sense as the Raiders.
- Jimmy Garoppolo -- a quarterback from whom the 49ers tried to move on twice only for the Raiders to welcome with open arms -- was awful: 10 of 21 passing for 126 yards, an interception and six sacks. He leads the league in interceptions with nine in six games.
- Davante Adams didn't have a catch until the third quarter. Overall, he caught just one of his seven targets, and Garoppolo missed him multiple times wide open downfield.
- Adams has 142 yards receiving over his last four games, his fewest in that long a stretch since 2015.
- The score makes the game seem much closer than it was in reality. The Lions outgained the Raiders 486-157, the sixth-worst yards margin in Raiders franchise history. Jahmyr Gibbs outgained the Raiders 189-157 by himself. Detroit had 29 first downs to just 12 for Las Vegas, which was 1 of 12 combined on third- and fourth-down.
- The Raiders remain the only team without a 20-point offensive performance this season.
What is this team trying to be? Seriously. Moves like trading for Adams (and making him the league's highest-paid wide receiver) and acquiring Garoppolo pointed towards a team looking to contend. That's delusional. This quarterback, this roster and this coaching staff are light years away from contending. The Raiders are directionless, and it starts in the draft.
- From 2019-21, they had six first-round picks. Only one -- Josh Jacobs -- is still on the roster, and his biggest storyline was his offseason holdout.
- They didn't have a first-round pick in 2022, sending it to Green Bay for Adams, who is being held back by an inept offense.
- This year's first-round pick, Tyree Wilson, was a project and has one sack this season. That's fine in a vacuum but not in the Raiders' ridiculous "win-now" mindset.
It's bad from the top down. Bad front office, bad coaching, bad roster. If the Raiders are smart, they'll start clean sooner than later ... but recent history shows they're not very smart.
👎 Not so honorable mentions
- from Colorado's locker room during its loss at UCLA.
- The Cardinals are Joshua Dobbs for Clayton Tune.
- Mitchell Evans ( ) is done for the season.
🏈 NFL trade deadline: Two deals Monday, more to come?
NFL trade deadline day is here. Teams have until 4 p.m. ET to make their deals, and there should be some significant action.
First, though, let's talk about what happened Monday. The headliner was the Giantsdefensive lineman Leonard Williams to the Seahawks in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick and 2024 fifth-round pick.
- Williams has just 1.5 sacks this season, but his pressure numbers indicate the sacks may be coming.
- The 5-2, NFC West-leading Seahawks certainly hope that's the case. Seattle ranks fifth in sacks this season and 11th in pressure rate but placed Uchenna Nwosu on IR with a .
- At 2-6, the Giants are in sell mode and were willing to eat some of Williams' contract to make this work. Williams will be a free agent after this season.
The Giants, and Jared Dubin called it "a nice bit of business."
Williams, and you can see all of the deals surrounding the deadline .
As for today, we assessed our live blog is up and running., and
🏈 Changes to college football rankings, plus a long-overdue move
Today's a big day for the NFL, followed by a big night for college football: The first College Football Playoff Rankings of the season are set to be released. Ahead of that reveal, we have-- with a new No. 1 and No. 2!
- Georgia (previous: 2) -- "Nine weeks in, Georgia looks fully capable of winning three in a row."
- Ohio State (4) -- "Fully armed and ready, the Buckeyes won a Big Ten classic at Wisconsin by bowing up and wearing down the Badgers."
- Michigan (1) -- "Will Jim Harbaugh make it until the end of the season?"
- Florida State (3) -- "This is the most complete FSU team since Jimbo Fisher days."
- Washington (6) -- "Are the Huskies slipping? Their last four wins have come by a combined 27 points."
We also have a new our full FBS rankings, falling from 35th to 44th after consecutive regular-season losses in the same season for the first time since 2011. In " Tom Fornelli sayswhere Michigan remains on top. Clemson tied for the biggest drop in
- Fornelli: "There isn't one thing you can point to as the fatal flaw here, nor does this seem like an outlier season. While I wouldn't anticipate Clemson fighting for its bowl life in years to come, its grip on the league has loosened, at a minimum, and may have been lost entirely. ... If Swinney wants a quick fix, he'll have to break character this offseason and utilize the transfer portal. It's something he's been allergic to doing until this point, but this approach has undoubtedly played a role in his team's struggles the last few years."
In more news on the coaching front, Brian Ferentzas Iowa's offensive coordinator next season; he will continue in his role through the end of this season. Yes, that kind of makes him a lame duck, but to be honest, his offense has been lame for a long time. The Hawkeyes are dead last in yards per game this year. It was 14% below pace of that goal after Iowa's to Minnesota.
Iowa ranks 131st in yards per game since Ferentz took over in 2017, but his status on staff was never really challenged because his father, Kirk, is the coach. This move away from Brian is long overdue.
📺 What we're watching Tuesday
🏀 Knicks at Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏒 Kings at Maple Leafs, 8 p.m. on ESPN
⚾ Rangers at Diamondbacks, 8:03 p.m. on Fox
🏀 Spurs at Suns, 10 p.m. on TNT