Aaron Rodgers Getty Green Bay Packers
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Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend full of family, friends, good food and, of course, sports.

Let's get right to it.

Good morning to everyone but especially to...


Don't look now, but here come the Packers. Green Bay picked up its third straight win -- this one the best of the bunch -- with a 26-20 victory over the Dolphins.

The Green Bay defense wreaking havoc has been a big change: After forcing just 12 turnovers through their first 12 games, the Packers have forced eight during the three-game winning streak. They also have been much better against the run and are sacking opponents at a much higher rate.

Thanks to the defense forcing turnovers, the Packers' offense is scoring 26 points per game over the past three compared to 18.8 previously.

In the big picture, this weekend could not have gone much better for the Packers. Looking at the other teams in the race for the final two NFC Wild Card spots...

That means the Packers are just a half-game behind the 7-seed Commanders in an increasingly tight NFC playoff picture, and while Green Bay still needs help, Aaron Rodgers and Co. are playing the best football of any NFC team chasing a playoff spot. It's coming at a very good time.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for...

Tua Tagovailoa Getty Miami Dolphins
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For much of this season, we were wondering, "What's gotten into Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins?" ... in a good way.

Now, we're once again wondering, "What's gotten into Tua Tagovailoa?" ... in a bad way.

The Dolphins' losing streak is up to four, and the once-unstoppable offense now even can't get started. Let's look at some numbers this season:

  • Tagovailoa TD-Int -- First 11 games: 19-3 | Last four games: 6-5
  • Tagovailoa completion percentage -- First 11 games: 70 percent | Last four games: 53 percent
  • Tagovailoa passer rating -- First 11 games: 115.7 | Last four games: 80.5

Or, to put it this way: Tagovailoa was top-two in the NFL in all three categories over his first 11 games. Since then he ranks in the bottom 10 in all three, including last in completion percentage.

A major issue is the quick passing game. Over the first 12 games, Tagovailoa diced up opposing defenses on throws released in 2.5 seconds or less with a 71 percent completion percentage, eight touchdowns and no interceptions. Since? A 57 percent completion percentage, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

But enough on Tagovailoa, because it's not all on him. The Dolphins have fallen to the 7 seed in the AFC. If they lose to the Patriots next week, they'll fall out of the playoff field with one week left.

It's a sudden, shocking fall for a team we once considered a Super Bowl contender. If the Dolphins don't find answers soon, they won't even make the playoffs.

Not so honorable mentions

The Football Five 🏈

Tom Brady Getty Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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NBA on Christmas recap: Celtics win battle of top two teams in East 🏀

Jayson Tatum Getty Boston Celtics
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Giannis Antetokounmpo is a two-time MVP, former Defensive Player of the Year and maybe -- just maybe -- the best player in the world.

Jayson Tatum does not care.

Tatum scored 41 points -- including two on a must-see monster dunk over Antetokounmpo -- as the Celtics beat the Bucks, 139-118, in a battle of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. He was one of the true standouts on a star-studded Christmas Day in the NBA, writes Brad Botkin.

  • Botkin: "When there's a primetime matchup, you can pretty much count on Tatum going off these days... Tatum was lethal from all three levels on Sunday, hitting 3-of-7 from deep, 3-of-4 from the midrange and 8-of-11 in the paint. He went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line, where he's posting a career high 8.5 attempts per game this season."

Elsewhere across The Association...

  • Joel Embiid and James Harden led the way in the 76ers' comeback 119-112 win over the Knicks. Shake Milton's amazing 50-foot heave certainly didn't hurt, either.
  • Luka Doncic nearly had a triple-double, and the Mavericks beat the Lakers, 124-115.
  • Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson helped get the Warriors back on track with a 123-109 win over the Grizzlies.
  • The Nuggets won an overtime thriller over the Suns and Devin Booker left the game with a groin injury.

Carlos Correa saga continues: Mets have issues with medicals ⚾


Not all holiday surprises are created equal, and the Mets got theirs on Christmas Eve: They have issues with Carlos Correa's physical. But perhaps we -- and they -- shouldn't have been surprised.

  • Correa agreed to a 13-year, $350-million deal with the Giants in mid-December, but the Giants' delayed his official introduction due to their own issues with his physical.
  • The Mets swooped in and agreed to a 12-year, $315-million contract with him. We thought that was that. We were wrong.
  • The issue concerns Correa's right lower leg, which he had surgically repaired in 2014 as a 19-year-old minor-leaguer in the Astros' system.
  • Correa has dealt with other injuries, but this particular one hadn't been an issue in Correa's previous stops with Houston and Minnesota. Of course, as Dayn Perry writes, "Correa before this offseason had never before agreed to contracts of such length."

As with the Giants, the Mets have some different options -- restructure, renegotiate, back out of the deal, etc. -- though it may not be super straightforward for either party: Mets owner Steve Cohen has gone on record talking about Correa even though the deal wasn't formally signed, and Correa now has a medical issue two teams have flagged. Plus, Correa's agent, Scott Boras, notoriously isn't a fan of renegotiating.

Long story short, this saga -- which has already gone on far longer than anyone expected -- could still have a long way to go.

What we're watching Monday 📺

🏀 Nets at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. on NBA TV
🏈 Chargers at Colts, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Hornets at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. on NBA TV