Happy Friday sports fans, it's Chris Bengel leading you into another weekend of football hysteria. The weekend just means a little bit more during football season.
It's great having football season back, but I find this time of year so awesome because you have so many different sports going on. The MLB regular season is winding down and there's few things better than playoff baseball. In addition, the NBA and NHL seasons are just around the corner and it'll be great to see those leagues operating with a normal season schedule for the first time in a few years.
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📰 What you need to know
1. Panthers top Texans to improve to 3-0, but lose Christian McCaffrey to injury 🏈
The Carolina Panthers are the NFL's first 3-0 team as they defeated the Houston Texans 24-9 last night. Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold led the way for Carolina.
- He completed 23-of-34 passes for 304 yards
- He also ran for a pair of touchdowns
- Carolina scored all three of their touchdowns on the ground with tight end Tommy Tremble also rushing for a touchdown
While the Panthers are flying high at 3-0, it's not all positive. Star running back Christian McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury in the second quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest. McCaffrey's last play was a two-yard run to the Houston 14-yard line and the running back could be seen pulling up lame towards the end of the run.
This comes one season after McCaffrey was limited to just three games as a result of ankle and shoulder injuries. The 2020 season was the first that McCaffrey was really held back due to injuries. He had racked up 324 scrimmage yards on 59 touches to go along with a touchdown in his first three games of the 2021 campaign. In McCaffrey's absence, rookie Chuba Hubbard and former Denver Broncos running back Royce Freeman split carries in the backfield.
For more on the Panthers' big win -- and what the McCaffrey injury can mean looking forward -- check out what our CBS Sports NFL scribes had to say about all of the action.
2. Previewing this weekend's Yankees vs. Red Sox series ⚾
With the MLB regular season winding down, there's still plenty to decide when it comes to the postseason race. Both of the Wild Card spots in the American League are still up for grabs with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees currently occupying those spots.
And wouldn't you know it, the Red Sox and Yankees face off in a three-game set, which starts tonight at Fenway Park. This series could go a long way towards deciding the Wild Card race with the Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics all within 3.5 games of the Yankees for the second Wild Card spot. Considering that the Blue Jays have been one of the hottest teams in baseball as of late, victories will be extremely important in this weekend's series. The team that is able to win at least two games, if not earn a sweep, will be in a great position as the regular season comes to a close.
CBS Sports baseball scribe Mike Axisa detailed some of the biggest storylines for this weekend's series.
- Red Sox have already won the season series: "No matter what happens this weekend, the Red Sox have already clinched the season series over their historic rivals. They're 10-6 against the Yankees with three games remaining, meaning Boston holds the home-field advantage tiebreaker. Should these two teams finish with identical records and meet in a Game 163 tiebreaker or the Wild Card Game, it would be played at Fenway Park."
- Luis Severino returns: "With shoulder trouble sidelining Jonathan Loáisiga and Chad Green dealing with some home run problems, there's a clear path for Severino to assume high leverage innings these final nine games. That might be a big ask so soon after elbow reconstruction, but the Yankees may not have another choice. Severino is healthy and can be dominant, and will get a chance to impact the race."
- Red Sox have the easier remaining schedule: "On paper, the Red Sox have a much easier remaining schedule than the Yankees. Following this weekend's series with New York, the Red Sox go out on the road to finish their season with three games against the Orioles and three games against the Nationals, two teams already eliminated from postseason contention and looking ahead to their October vacations."
3. Pete Prisco's picks for this weekend's NFL slate 💸
Week 2 of the NFL provided a fair share of fireworks and some surprising results, to say the least. Will Week 3? We have to wait and see, but it will feature some very intriguing games across the league. As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, nothing gets my blood boiling like Dallas Week. Eagles vs. Cowboys always provides a little bit of extra juice. The Eagles will certainly be looking to get back on track after putting up just 11 points in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.
Tom Brady has looked nearly unstoppable through two games with nine touchdown passes and four of those have gone to Rob Gronkowski. On the other hand, the Rams have looked just as impressive in Matthew Stafford's first season in Los Angeles. Star wide receiver Cooper Kupp has been tremendous with 271 receiving yards and three touchdowns and has clearly been Stafford's favorite target. This is going to be a fun game to watch as the defenses are no slouches either.
To get ready for Week 3 -- and for some betting info for those interested -- check out CBS Sports NFL scribe Pete Prisco's picks for all of the action. Here are a few that I like:
- Bills 24, Washington Football Team 20: "Washington is supposed to have a dominant defense, but it hasn't been that way yet. The front has to be better. Buffalo rebounded against the Dolphins to even the record. Josh Allen looked much better. But this will be a tough game against the Washington front. I think the Bills win a close one."
- Chiefs 30, Chargers 27: "The Chargers and Chiefs both lost tough games last week, so they are tied in the division behind Denver and Las Vegas. That makes this an early big game. The Chiefs defense looked bad against the Ravens. The Chargers have played Patrick Mahomes well in recent years and I think that plays out in this one. The Chargers will keep it close, but Kansas City wins it late."
- Buccaneers 33, Rams 30: "This is the game of the week featuring two 2-0 teams that have legitimate Super Bowl expectations. The Bucs offense has been explosive so far, as Tom Brady is off to a great start. Tampa Bay's defense has issues, which Matthew Stafford can exploit. This will be an offensive treat, with Brady getting the best of it."
4. The Ryder Cup is here ⛳
The Ryder Cup is often one of the most exciting weekends on the golf calendar. The 43rd installment of the event got underway this morning at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin and features a team of United States golfers taking on a team of European golfers.
The two teams possess some of the most talented golfers that the sport has to offer. Team USA features likes of 2021 Open Championship winner Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Jordan Speith. On the other side, Team Europe is comprised of golf stars such as 2021 U.S. Open winner Jon Rahm, Rory McIlory, Sergio Garcia and Viktor Hovland.
Europe has had the upper hand lately with seven victories in the last nine editions of the Ryder Cup. The European group won the 2018 Ryder Cup with a 17 1/2 to 10 1/2 win over the Americans.
Check out the Ryder Cup foursome pairings for Day 1 of the action:
- Match 1 (8:05 a.m.): Jordan Speith and Justin Thomas (Team USA) vs. Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia (Team Europe)
- Match 2 (8:21 a.m.): Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa (Team USA) vs. Viktor Hovland and Paul Casey (Team Europe)
- Match 3 (8:37 a.m.): Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka (Team USA) vs. Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood (Team Europe)
- Match 4 (8:53 a.m.): Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay (Team USA) vs. Rory McIlory and Ian Poulter (Team Europe)
📝 Odds & Ends
- The Buffalo Sabres announced that star forward Jack Eichel is no longer the team's captain after he failed a recent physical
- Aaron Rodgers has revealed why he now has long hair
- Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin will miss the first two months of the 2021-22 season. Malkin is rehabbing from offseason knee surgery
📺 What to watch this weekend
⚾ Yankees vs. Red Sox, 7:30 p.m. | NYY -115 | TV: ESPN
🏈 Liberty vs. Syracuse, 8 p.m. | LIB -6.5 | TV: ACC Network
🏈 UNLV vs. No. 22 Fresno State, 10 p.m. | FRE -30 | TV: CBS Sports Network
🏈 No. 12 Notre Dame vs. No. 18 Wisconsin, 12 p.m. | WIS -6.5 | TV: FOX
🏈 No. 9 Clemson vs. NC State, 3:30 p.m. | CLEM -10 | TV: ESPN
⚾ Braves vs. Padres, 7:15 p.m. | TV: FOX
🏈 Chargers vs. Chiefs, 1 p.m. | KC -6.5 | TV: CBS
🏈 Buccaneers vs. Rams, 4:25 p.m. | TB -1 | TV: FOX
🏈 Packers vs. 49ers, 8:20 p.m. | SF -3 | TV: NBC
🏅 Best thing I saw on the internet
Following the 2020-21 season, Philadelphia 76ers play-by-play announcer Marc Zumoff announced his retirement from broadcasting. On Thursday, the Sixers announced that former Pac 12 Network broadcaster Kate Scott has been hired as the team's new play-by-play announcer. In doing so, Scott becomes the first female play-by-play announcer in team history. Scott certainly is well-deserving of her new gig after calling action for the Golden State Warriors, 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Pac 12 football.