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USATSI

Happy Friday sports fans, it's Chris Bengel leading the charge into the weekend. If last night's NFL game was any indication, we're in for a wild weekend of action on the gridiron.

I've felt inclined to cheer for the Arizona Cardinals at times this season since former Philadelphia Eagles star tight end Zach Ertz was traded there. However, the only thing I can really say about the ending of Thursday's game is ... wow. In the final seconds, the Cardinals were going for the win and some craziness went down.

We'll dive into that game more and so much more. Let's get into the news!


📰 What you need to know

1. Packers hand Cardinals first loss thanks to late interception 🏈

The deck was stacked against the Green Bay Packers heading into Thursday's game. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was without wide receivers Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling for this one. It still didn't matter, as the Packers came away with a thrilling 24-21 win over the Cardinals.

Now, the Cardinals had every chance to win this game or at least send it to overtime. In their final possession, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray drove Arizona down the field after starting at his own 1-yard line. In the final seconds, Murray was looking for veteran wideout A.J. Green in the end zone, but Green never looked for the ball. Since Green didn't turn around, cornerback Rasul Douglas was able to snag the easy interception to seal the win.

Here's a look at what led to the Cardinals turning the ball over in the final seconds:

  • On 3rd-and-10 on their own 1-yard line, Murray completed a 23-yard pass to Green
  • On 1st-and-10 at their own 24-yard line, Murray found Christian Kirk for a 29-yard gain
  • On 2nd-and-18 at the Packers 40-yard line, Murray dumped the ball off to Chase Edmonds for a 22-yard gain
  • On 2nd-and-goal at the Packers 5-yard line, Murray threw in the direction of Green, but Douglas intercepted the pass in the end zone

For more on Thursday's thrilling matchup, check out what our CBS Sports NFL scribes had to say about the action.

2. Joel Quenneville resigns as Panthers head coach 🏒

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On Tuesday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced the findings of an internal investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by a former video coach. Two days later, after meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville -- who was Chicago's head coach in 2010 -- resigned from his position with Florida.

The investigation found that a former Blackhawks player, Kyle Beach, was sexually assaulted in May 2010 and the team ignored the allegations after being made aware of what had occurred in a meeting among the front office. Quenneville was part of that front office meeting.

  • Panthers statement on Queeneville: "Following a meeting today with Commissioner Bettman at National Hockey League offices, which was part of the league's process to decide how to move forward, Joel made the decision to resign and the Florida Panthers accepted that resignation."
  • Panthers statement on the scandal:  "No one should ever have to endure what Kyle Beach experienced during, and long after, his time in Chicago. Quite simply, he was failed. We praise his bravery and courage in coming forward."

In addition to Quenneville, Bettman is slated to meet with Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who served as the Blackhawks assistant general manager back in 2010. That meeting will take place on Monday.

CBS Sports NHL scribe Wajih AlBaroudi provided a detailed timeline of the events involving the Blackhawks sexual abuse case. It's a complicated story, so I recommend you read the entire timeline, but here's a sense of how long it took for this entire saga to come to light:

  • May 8-9, 2010: "Former Blackhawks center Kyle Beach and video coach Brad Aldrich engaged in a sexual encounter during the team's Western Conference finals series against the San Jose Sharks. Aldrich told investigators the encounter was consensual, but Beach said it was 'entirely non-consensual.' According to the report, Aldrich told Beach he would never play in the NHL or walk again if he didn't 'act like he enjoyed the sexual encounter.' Aldrich then forced himself upon Beach."
  • May 12-19, 2010: "Beach told Blackhawks skill coach Paul Vincent about the incident with Aldrich. Vincent -- according to Beach, not the investigators -- reported Beach's claims to the Blackhawks' front office, but Aldrich kept his job through the team's Stanley Cup run."
  • Oct. 28, 2021: "Quenneville resigned after meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in New York to discuss his involvement in the Blackhawks' sexual assault case."

3. Is this finally Georgia's year? 🏈

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After Alabama shockingly lost to Texas A&M earlier this month, Georgia claimed the top spot in the polls and has been there ever since. The Bulldogs have been in this position many times before, but have had their hearts broken on several occasions.

The last time Georgia had a shot at winning a National Championship was against Alabama in 2018. In the title game, the Bulldogs had a lead but Tua Tagovailoa led the Crimson Tide to a comeback 26-23 overtime win.

Now Georgia finds themselves in another big matchup -- arguably their biggest since that game -- this weekend against Florida. Throughout college football history, neither Georgia nor Florida has ever won a national title without defeating the other in the regular season.

CBS Sports college football scribe Dennis Dodd took a look at the many times Georgia was close to winning a national championship only to have it slip away. You should read the entire story for in-depth details, but I'll leave you with this line from Dodd about the Bulldogs:

  • Dodd: "It's almost hard to consider for these long-suffering Dawg fans. Since 1980, Georgia has won at least a share of five SEC titles and 13 times finished in the top 10 of the AP Top 25. That's not exactly the definition of suffering. Still, throughout most of those four decades, Georgia has largely been a spectator to true greatness."

4. State of Astros, Braves pitching staffs entering crucial weekend ⚾

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Two games of the 2021 World Series are in the books and the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros are tied at one game apiece. The Braves were able to steal home-field advantage and win Game 1 of the series while the Astros bounced back with a convincing victory in Game 2.

As the series shifts to Atlanta, it's going to be very interesting to see how the pitching staffs are managed for both teams. As of this writing, the Astros plan to start Luis Garcia in Game 3 tonight. However, he is battling a knee injury that forced him from an American League Championship Series start.

As CBS Sports baseball scribe R.J. Anderson speculates, it's possible that Houston could elect to start Jake Odorizzi in Game 4, but that's assuming that he isn't forced into a relief appearance in Game 3. Framber Valdez also could start Game 4 on short rest if necessary. Meanwhile, the Braves have just as many question marks regarding their pitching staff. Atlanta is slated to start Ian Anderson in Game 3, but it's unknown what the plan is after that. Dreew Smyly and Kyle Wright, who could've started Games 4 and 5, were used in relief in Game 1. It's likely that Smyly and Wright wouldn't be able to throw extended innings if they were to start.

  • Braves manager Brian Snitker: "The bullpen's going to play a big part obviously in what we've got going on because we lost a huge starter. So, we're going to have probably two games in a row that we're going to have to -- we're going to pitch 18 innings out of that bullpen."

While the next three games are going to basically decide who wins the series, it is going to be interesting to see how the pitching pans out for both sides. Game 3 starts tonight at 8: 09 p.m.


📝 Odds & Ends

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📺 What to watch this weekend

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Friday

⚾ Astros vs. Braves, 8:09 p.m. | ATL -111 | TV: FOX

🏈 UNLV vs. Nevada, 10 p.m. | NEV -20.5 | TV: CBS Sports Network

🏀 Clippers vs. Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. | POR -3 | TV: NBA League Pass

Saturday

🏈 No. 6 Michigan vs. No. 8 Michigan State, 12 p.m. | MICH -4 | TV: FOX

🏈 No. 10 Ole Miss vs. No. 18 Auburn, 7 p.m. | AUB -2.5 | TV: ESPN

🏈 No. 20 Penn State vs. No. 5 Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. | OSU -18.5 | TV: ABC

Sunday

🏈 Steelers vs. Browns, 1 p.m. | CLE -3.5 | TV: CBS

🏈 Titans vs. Colts, 1 p.m. | IND -1.5 | TV: CBS

🏈 Buccaneers vs. Saints, 4:25 p.m. | TB -4.5 | TV: FOX


🏅 Best thing I saw on the internet

The Seattle Kraken may be the newest NHL franchise, but that hasn't stopped them from coming up with their own traditions. Following home games at Climate Pledge Arena, Kraken players and team employees participate in a "salmon toss." Similar to a t-shirt toss that occurs at many NHL arenas, Kraken players toss fake salmon into the crowd.

This may seem a tad strange, but for those that don't know, Seattle has a very rich tradition when it comes to seafood. This is one of the greatest things I've ever seen.