Baltimore Ravens v New Orleans Saints
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Good morning to everyone but especially to...


The Ravens have had no problem taking leads this season. Now that they're turning those leads into wins, look out. Behind a dominant run game and an impressive defense, Baltimore beat New Orleans 27-13, for its third straight win.

  • The Ravens ran for 188 yards -- their league-high eighth game with at least 150 this season -- and Kenyan Drake scored a pair of touchdowns.
  • Lamar Jackson did a little bit of everything, throwing for 133 yards and a touchdown to Isaiah Likely and running for 82 yards.
  • On defense, Justin Houston had 2.5 sacks and became the first player in Ravens history with at least two sacks in three straight games.

The Ravens are just 6-3, and I say "just" because they're also one of only two teams to have a double-digit lead in every game. The other is the undefeated Eagles. Turnovers have been a major issue in the three blown leads, but Baltimore has now gone a season-high three straight games with one or zero turnovers.

And on a week when the Bills lost and the Chiefs struggled, the Ravens won with ease heading into their bye week. After the bye week, the schedule is...

The Ravens will be favored -- perhaps heavily -- in all four of those. With the running game dominating and the defense improving, Baltimore is looking very strong.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for...

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Reich ends his tenure as head coach in Indianapolis 40-33-1He had a different starting quarterback in each of his five Week 1 games and, overall, had seven different starting quarterbacks. His firing comes less than two weeks after owner Jim Irsay said he had no thoughts of, well, firing Reich. However, the Colts got shellacked, 26-3, at New England on Sunday and went 0 for 14 on 3rd down in the process.

Then, in a move far more surprising than Reich's firing, the team named Jeff Saturday interim head coach. Saturday, a six-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl XLI champion with the Colts, has never coached at any level above high school and has spent much of his post-playing days as a TV analyst. Combine the firings of Reich and Brady and the hiring of Saturday, and the Colts' coaching staff does not have anyone with NFL offensive play-calling experience.

The Colts have talent -- think Jonathan Taylor, Shaquille Leonard, Kenny Moore and Quenton Nelson -- but must take a big step back and re-evaluate how they go about not only looking for a quarterback but also now a head coach. For the latter, Jeff Kerr has seven potential replacements, including...

  • Kerr: "Shane Steichen -- The Eagles offensive coordinator is getting serious consideration for head coaching jobs this year thanks to the development of Jalen Hurts and the high-powered Eagles offense. ... An innovative play caller who gets the most out of his personnel, Steichen... has received rave reviews from Hurts and Justin Herbert back when he was the offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers."

Irsay addressed the coaching change in a press conference Monday night.

Not so honorable mentions

College basketball opening night: Top-ranked teams impress 🏀

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College basketball made its return Monday, and that means Gary Parrish's Top 25 And 1 made its return as well. His No. 1 team? Unlike the AP Poll, Gary has Gonzaga on top.

  • Parrish: "The Zags are returning six of the top eight scorers from a team that secured the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament - among them two-time All-American Drew Timme and fellow double-digit scorers Julian Strawther and Rasir Bolton."

The Zags had no problem backing up that ranking, dominating North Florida, 104-63. While most top-25 teams cruised past overmatched opponents, that doesn't mean we didn't learn anything. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Kentucky -- without reigning national player of the year Oscar Tshiebwe -- beat Howard95-63, and may have found another gem of a big man, writes college basketball guru Kyle Boone.

  • Boone: "When Ugonna Onyenso committed to Kentucky on Aug. 1 as a late addition to the Wildcats' 2022 recruiting class, it was easy to shrug off his addition as merely a long-term investment. ... But after his strong debut on Monday, it looks like Onyenso could help UK this season, if needed. ... The 6-11 Nigeria native blocked four shots and altered a few more while making 3 of 4 shots from the floor."

As for the upsets...

Here's our live blog from the women's side of things as well.

Bonds, Clemens, Schilling among notable names on HOF 'Contemporary Era' ballot ⚾

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Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling are among the eight players on the Contemporary Baseball Era Players ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame. This list is made up of players who were previously considered by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) for election but failed to reach the requisite 75 percent threshold.

Here are the others:

  • Rafael Palmeiro
  • Albert Belle
  • Dale Murphy
  • Don Mattingly
  • Fred McGriff

In January, Bonds was selected on 66 percent of BBWAA ballots, while Clemens (65.2 percent) and Schilling (58.6 percent) also fell well short. Now, their respective Hall of Fame fates lie in the hands of the 16-member Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee, composed of members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, executives and veteran media members. Players still must receive 75 percent of this vote (12 of 16) to be inducted.

Voting will take place Dec. 4. Should any of the candidates receive 75 percent of the vote, he would be in the 2023 Hall of Fame class.

UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw, Power Rankings ⚽

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The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw was Monday, and we have some absolutely awesome matchups. Here are all of them: 

  • RB Leipzig vs. Manchester City
  • Club Brugge vs. Benfica
  • Liverpool vs. Real Madrid
  • AC Milan vs. Tottenham Hotspur
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs. SSC Napoli
  • Borussia Dortmund vs. Chelsea
  • Inter Milan vs. Porto
  • PSG vs. Bayern Munich

Obviously, the one that will draw the most headlines is Liverpool-Real Madrid in a rematch of last year's final, which Real Madrid won 1-0. I'm also excited for Borussia Dortmund-Chelsea, which will feature Americans Gio Reyna and Christian Pulisic.

Neither of the reigning finalists are atop James Benge's latest UEFA Champions League Power Rankings, though. That honor belongs to...

  • Benge: "1. Manchester City -- All the focus has been on Erling Haaland, and rightly so, but City are quietly building a defense on a par with the one that took them to the final in 2021. No side has given up fewer expected goals (xG) in both the Premier League and Champions League than Pep Guardiola's, something that is enough to convince you that they will be immune to the sort of kamikaze showings at the back that have cost them in years gone by."

What we're watching Tuesday 📺

Napoli vs. Empoli, 12:15 p.m. on Paramount+
Cremonese vs. AC Milan, 2:30 p.m. on Paramount+
🏈 Ohio at Miami (OH), 7:30 p.m. on ESPN 2
🏒 Oilers at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏈 Ball State at Toledo, 8 p.m. on ESPN
🏒 Predators at Kraken, 10 p.m. on TNT