Good morning sports fans, it's Chris Bengel with you once again after another sensational week of football. I honestly don't even know where to begin because there was so much insanity around the league.
I'm still trying figure out how Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker got the perfect bounce on his NFL record, game-winning 66-yard field goal. And then there's Arizona Cardinals kicker Matt Prater, who previously held the NFL record for the longest field goal and attempted a 68-yard field goal at the end of the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jamal Agnew caught the short field goal and took it all the way back for a 109-yard touchdown.
CBS Sports HQ Newsletter
Your Ultimate Guide to Every Day in Sports
We bring sports news that matters to your inbox, to help you stay informed and get a winning edge.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Some of Week 3 I'd certainly like to forget, though. I wished I would've skipped tuning into the Monday night contest as my Philadelphia Eagles were dominated by their NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys. Dak Prescott absolutely picked apart the Eagles defense and Ezekiel Elliott produced in the ground game. This was certainly one to forget for the Eagles and I'll be trying to pretend this game never happened.
But enough about my complaints, let's dive into the news.
📰 What you need to know
1. Cowboys dominate Eagles, look like team to beat in NFC East 🏈
The Dallas Cowboys made a statement on Monday night with a 41-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys offense proved to be the story throughout the night as they racked up 380 yards of total offense and were extremely balanced. Quarterback Dak Prescott led the way as he completed 21-of-26 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cowboys also received a strong boost from their ground attack in Monday's win. Coming into Week 3, there was a lot of talk centered around Ezekiel Elliott not looking like his dominant self through the team's first two games. Elliott truly put his stamp on this game with 95 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns to pace the Dallas rushing attack.
Here are a few alarming stats that swayed the game in the Cowboys' favor:
- The Cowboys picked up 27 first downs
- Eight different pass catchers recorded at least one reception
- Elliott averaged 5.5 yards-per-carry
With this win, the Cowboys proved that they are the team to beat in the NFC East. The New York Giants are winless while the Washington Football Team sits at 1-2 without starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Washington's defense has a host of question marks much like Philadelphia's. Dallas looked extremely strong on both sides of the ball and Micah Parsons was in the Philadelphia backfield all night long.
2. Latest college football power rankings 🏈
The college football season is a quarter of the way in the books and we're starting to learn what the landscape could look like come bowl season. There's no doubt that Alabama remains the top team in the nation despite getting all they could handle from Florida earlier this month. Are we really surprised that Nick Saban has his team looking unstoppable once again?
But it hasn't been great for every powerhouse program:
- Clemson, who has qualified for six of the seven College Football Playoffs, already has two losses on their resume, including this past weekend to NC State
- Ohio State also already has an early season loss as they fell to Oregon earlier this month
- Oklahoma may be undefeated, but quarterback Spencer Rattler hasn't exactly looked like the Heisman Trophy frontrunner that many expected prior to the season
As a Maryland Terrapins fan, it's great to see Maryland receiving some love at the national level. Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa has been one of the most impressive signal callers in the country with a 75.5 percent completion percentage, 10 touchdown passes and just one interception. It also doesn't hurt that Tagovailoa has two of the more talented receivers in the Big Ten in Dontay Demus Jr. and Rakim Jarrett to throw the ball to.
CBS Sports college football scribe Dennis Dodd forecasted his top 25 teams with his power rankings of the college football world. Let's take a look at what he has to say about a few of the nation's top teams:
- No. 1 Alabama: "The nation's longest winning streak goes to 18 with an easy win over Southern Miss. Young finally threw an interception. Bama has now scored at least 30 points in 30 straight games, one short of UCF's all-time record. Brian Robinson sat out the game with bruised ribs. Nick vs. Lane this week in T-Town."
- No. 3 Oregon: "It's on you, Ducks. Those are -- or should be -- the words from the rest of the Pac-12. Oregon is the lone undefeated team in the league a quarter of the way through. The Ducks stayed in playoff contention with an (eventually) easy win over Arizona, but there are more injury concerns. Kayvon Thibodeaux didn't play in the second half after it appeared he reaggravated his sprained ankle."
- No. 7 Notre Dame: "The Irish continue to own Chicago, particularly Soldier Field. They are 11-0-2 there all-time after a fourth-quarter explosion against Wisconsin. Graham Mertz lost a fumble and was intercepted four times; two were taken to the house in the fourth quarter. Believe it or not, this week's Cincinnati game might be the biggest of the season. Really. Check the remaining schedule. Jack Coan left with an apparent leg injury."
3. MLB managers that are on the hot seat ⚾
Major League Baseball's regular season wraps up this week. For many teams that will miss the playoffs, their focus will shift to the offseason. There have definitely been a fair share of teams that have underachieved throughout the 2021 season. One of the most egregious has to be the San Diego Padres in my book. The Padres already had a talented lineup in place that consisted of the likes of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, but chose to address their pitching staff last offseason.
San Diego acquired Blake Snell from the Tampa Bay Rays and Yu Darvish from the Chicago Cubs in separate trades that appeared to put the team over the top. Combine that with a rotation that already included Mike Clevinger and Chris Paddack and you figured that the Padres would be one of the best teams in baseball.
Instead, the Padres struggled during the second half of the season and have a 78-78 record entering Tuesday, which will cause them to miss the playoffs. CBS Sports baseball scribe Matt Snyder took a closer look at what teams -- including the Padres -- may make managerial changes this offseason.
- Luis Rojas (Mets): "Given all that has gone down with this organization since new owner Steve Cohen took over, it really feels like a house cleaning is in order this offseason. They need a new president of baseball operations and probably general manager. Once those positions are filled, surely the new blood will want to hand pick a manager. As far as Rojas goes, I'm not sure we could absolutely pin the disappointing season on him, but at some point, the buck stops with the manager. That's just part of the business. I'd be shocked if he's the Mets' manager on Opening Day 2022."
- Jayce Tingler (Padres): "Again, I'm not sure you can pin the Padres' disappointing final two months solely on Tingler, but he's the on-field boss. His team has completely fallen apart. If we went back to early August, it would have seemed outrageous to suggest the Padres might miss the playoffs. Not only is that going to happen, but they might even finish with a sub-.500 record. They were 67-49 on Aug. 10 with a five-game lead for the second NL wild card. It's possible ownership decides to move on from president of baseball operations A.J. Preller. If that happens, the new person will want a new manager. If it doesn't, Preller probably shows Tingler the door himself."
- Rocco Baldelli (Twins): "I think he's probably OK. Baldelli's first season was 2019, and the Twins won 101 games. In the shortened 2020 season, they won their second consecutive AL Central title. The line of thinking here is that Baldelli was obviously a good manager in his first two years, so how do we blame him for all the problems the team had in 2021? Sometimes the manager does get the blame and take the fall in cases like this, I just get the feeling that it won't be the case here."
4. Is it time for the Steelers to bench Big Ben? 🏈
Three weeks of NFL action are officially complete and there have been some pretty glaring storylines in the early going. It's hard to say that many people expected the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos to be leading the NFC West. On top of that, I guarantee you that almost no one believed that the Kansas City Chiefs would be in last place after three weeks.
One of the most surprising results of Week 1 was the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Buffalo Bills on the road. However, the Steelers offense has left a lot to be desired over the last two games. Pittsburgh fell to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2 and were dominated in a Week 3 loss at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger definitely isn't what he used to be and he's to blame for some of the offense's struggles. It is worth noting that the Steelers offense was without Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster for the majority of Sunday's game. On top of that, Pittsburgh's offensive line just isn't good enough. The group has two rookies starting and Roethlisberger just hasn't had much time to throw. At times, Roethlisberger's decision-making has been extremely questionable. Still, it's hard to imagine head coach Mike Tomlin pulling the plug on Roethlisberger as the starter after all he's given to the franchise.
Here are a few notes from CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora from around the league, one of which focuses on Big Ben:
- Steelers need to consider benching Ben Roethlisberger: "The Steelers need to think about sitting Big Ben, sooner rather than later. It may be the only way to salvage something on that side of the ball, as so many position groups continue to languish and struggle. Having a QB at the end get hit this much and being this constricted in your attack – they have amassed four touchdowns on offense all season; they averaged 4.4 yards per pass attempt until garbage time of Sunday's lopsided loss to the Bengals – behind a line that is suffering, makes no sense."
- Marquise Brown's drops have been an issue for Ravens: "Hollywood Brown's breakout season was derailed Sunday by a flurry of drops in which he repeatedly took his eyes off the ball. He dropped two balls for huge gains on the same drive, dropped a sure TD in the back of the end zone and seemed lost. His mistakes kept the Lions in the game and undermined the superior play of his best buddy, quarterback Lamar Jackson, who continued to shine within the pocket, often under duress."
📝 Odds & Ends
- During the team's Media Day, New Orleans Pelicans vice president David Griffin announced that star forward Zion Williamson underwent surgery to repair a fractured foot earlier this offseason. Griffin added that he hopes that Williamson will be ready for the start of the regular season next month
- David Letterman crashed Nets media day and asked Kevin Durant questions
- Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. agreed to a five-year, $172 million contract extension with the franchise. Porter's new deal could reach the $207 million max status if he makes an All-NBA team this season
- Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy revealed that Andy Dalton, Justin Fields, and Nick Foles are all being considered as options to start next week's game against the Detroit Lions
📺 What to watch tonight
⚾ Yankees vs. Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. I TOR -121 I TV: MLB.TV
⚾. Phillies vs. Braves, 7:20 p.m. | ATL -115 | TV: FS1
⚾ Athletics vs. Mariners, 10:10 p.m. I SEA +110 I TV: MLB.TV
🏅 Best thing I saw on the internet
Sibling rivalry was on full display in Major League Baseball on Monday. Cleveland Indians center fielder Bradley Zimmer hit a home run off of his brother, Kyle Zimmer, of the Kansas City Royals. It marked just the fourth time in MLB history that a brother hit a home run off his brother and the first time that it's happened since 1975. It's rare enough that we see siblings playing in a given sports league at the same time, but seeing a player hit a long ball off his brother is absolutely awesome. Bradley Zimmer will definitely have the bragging rights over the holidays.