Greetings sports fans, it's Chris Bengel back with you on this Tuesday morning. I hope everybody consumed as much football as humanly possible then some more on Monday night.
It was one of the more chaotic weeks that we've seen so far, especially when it comes to those who play fantasy football. Prior to the draft for my home league, I had the fourth overall pick and went back-and-forth on what to do with it. Do I draft Derrick Henry or go away from the norm with someone like Austin Ekeler or a Davante Adams or Travis Kelce? Luckily, I came to my senses and selected Henry. Boy am I glad I did! Henry has been one of the best players in fantasy football this season and turned in another spectacular performance (we'll have more on that) on Monday night.
With a huge Monday Night Football contest and Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Monday, let's not waste any more time!
📰 What you need to know
1. Titans defense stops Josh Allen on fourth down to preserve win 🏈
We've seen some wild NFL games on Monday Night Football throughout this season, including last week's thrilling comeback victory by the Baltimore Ravens over the Indianapolis Colts. Well, we were treated to another instant classic this week. In comeback fashion, the Tennessee Titans were able to defeat the Buffalo Bills 34-31.
The game was decided in the final seconds when the Bills had a huge decision to make. Buffalo could've elected to kick a game-tying field goal and send the game to overtime or go for it on 4th-and-1 inside the five yard line. Bills head coach Sean McDermott decided to call a quarterback sneak for Josh Allen, but Allen got stuffed on the play, which clinched the victory for the Titans.
Derrick Henry put together another sensational performance as he rushed 20 times for 143 yards and three touchdowns. It also marked the fifth consecutive game in which he topped the century mark in rushing yards. Henry punched in a 13-yard touchdown with 3:05 remaining to give the Titans the lead.
For more on the Titans' heart-pounding win, check out what our CBS Sports NFL scribes had to say about the action.
2. Red Sox dominate Astros in Game 3 win ⚾
After dropping Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros, the Boston Red Sox have turned on the jets offensively. The Red Sox came away with a 12-3 win over the Astros in Game 3 on Monday to take a 2-1 series lead.
The Red Sox have scored 21 runs over the last two games, including three grand slams during that stretch. In Monday's win, Boston was able to gain an early advantage once again thanks to a grand slam from slugger Kyle Schwarber. While Schwarber only has three hits throughout the ALCS, his third inning grand slam in Game 3 proved to be one of the biggest in the series.
Here's how the Red Sox raced out to a huge 9-0 advantage in the first three innings:
- 2nd inning: Christian Vasquez singled to right field to score Alex Verdugo (1-0 Red Sox)
- 2nd inning: Christian Arroyo grounded into a fielder's choice to score J.D. Martinez (2-0 Red Sox)
- 2nd inning: Kyle Schwarber hit a grand slam (6-0 Red Sox)
- 3rd inning: Christian Vasquez singled to left field to score Hunter Renfroe (7-0 Red Sox)
- 3rd inning: Christian Arroyo hit a two-run home run (9-0 Red Sox)
It also didn't hurt that Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez put together a solid outing in which he surrendered just three runs on five hits in six innings of work. Obviously, Boston's early lead helped matters, but the team's pitching was able to keep the distance between the two teams and move Boston to within two games of the World Series.
3. What Dodgers need to do to come back in NLCS ⚾
After defeating the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers found themselves facing off with the Atlanta Braves for the right to advance to the World Series. However, things haven't exactly gone to plan thus far. Through the first two games of the National League Championship Series, the Braves hold a surprising 2-0 series lead.
While being in an 2-0 hole isn't exactly ideal, it's not like the Dodgers have been getting blown out in the first two games of the NLCS. Atlanta won both games by one run on walk-offs and the Dodgers even held a 4-2 lead in the late innings of Game 2 before Eddie Rosario's RBI single won it. One of the biggest storylines in Game 2 was Dodgers manager Dave Roberts' decision to go with Julio Urias out of the bullpen in the eighth inning and Urias surrendered the two runs that tied the game.
A 2-0 deficit certainly isn't a death sentence for the Dodgers, but winning Game 3 is of paramount importance. If Los Angeles is able to take the next two games, it's a whole new series.
CBS Sports baseball scribe Mike Axisa laid out what the Dodgers need to do in order to climb back into the series:
- Walker Buehler dominates in Game 3: "Buehler will start Game 3 with two extra days of rest after starting Game 4 of the NLDS on short rest last Tuesday. He was very good in that start, though the Dodgers limited him to 71 pitches. Buehler should be good for a full start in Game 3, and he's proven himself to be a big-game pitcher (2.50 ERA in 13 career postseason starts). The Dodgers need another gem Tuesday."
- Justin and Trea Turner have to be better: "At this point though, the Dodgers need more than signs Trea is coming out of it and potential injury excuses for Justin. It is a results-based business and a results-based time of year, and neither Turner is providing results. I wouldn't say it's impossible for the Dodgers to win the World Series with the Turners playing like this, though it is improbable."
- Get a little lucky: "The Dodgers are good enough to beat the Braves four times in the next five games on talent alone. It wouldn't hurt to get a little luck along the way though. The Dodgers could use a few bounces going their way, a few calls going their way, and things to break their way in general. The best teams are good and lucky, and the Dodgers haven't had any good luck two games into the NLCS. One fortunate hop can tip the scale in their favor."
4. 2021-22 NBA season predictions 🏀
The 2021-22 NBA season is set to get underway on Tuesday with two very intriguing matchups. The campaign begins with the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Brooklyn Nets followed by the Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Golden State Warriors.
The Bucks are coming off their first NBA title since 1971. Milwaukee was able to take down the Phoenix Suns in six games behind a performance for the ages by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was named NBA Finals MVP. Entering the 2021-22 season, the Bucks have a chance to repeat as NBA champions considering that basically the same roster is returning.
With the season about to begin, our CBS Sports NBA team made their preseason predictions for how the entire season is going to shake out. In the spirit of predictions, I figured I would put mine out there. In the Eastern Conference, I think it's going to come down to a battle between the Bucks and Nets much like everybody else. It's unclear what's going to happen with the Kyrie Irving situation with the Nets, so I'll say the Bucks come out of the East.
In the West, I think it's a lot more wide open. After being eliminated in the opening round of last season's playoffs, the Lakers made several changes to their roster with the biggest being trading for Russell Westbrook. On top of the Westbrook acquisition, the Lakers also added several veterans such as Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard, and Rajon Rondo. Can Westbrook and LeBron James coexist and divvy up ball-handling duties? I'll believe it when I see it. I think the Utah Jazz ultimately come out of the West. I like the additions of Rudy Gay and Hassan Whiteside to the team's bench. Whiteside could take some of the pressure off of Rudy Gobert down low and if he's motivated, the veteran center could be a defensive weapon.
Here are the most popular picks for the big categories of our CBS Sports NBA team's predictions:
- Most popular NBA champion - Brooklyn Nets
- Most popular Eastern Conference top seed - Milwaukee Bucks
- Most popular Western Conference top seed - Utah Jazz
📝 Odds & Ends
- The Washington State football program fired head coach Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches after they refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt will miss several weeks after he suffered a calf injury against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
- The NHL suspended San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane 21 games without pay for using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
📺 What to watch tonight
⚾Braves vs. Dodgers, 5:08 p.m. I LAD -172 I TV: TBS
🏀Nets vs. Bucks, 7:30 p.m. I BKN -1.5 I TV: TNT
⚾Astros vs. Red Sox, 8:08 p.m. I TV: FS1
🏀Warriors vs. Lakers, 10 p.m. I LAL -3.5 I TV: TNT
🏅 Best thing I saw on the internet
There's great catches in the NFL every week, but we saw one for the ages on Monday night. During the second quarter of Monday's game, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a free play after the Bills had jumped offsides, so he decided to chuck the ball downfield in the direction of Julio Jones. When the ball arrived, it actually went off of the helmet of Bills defender Micah Hyde and popped up into the air. Jones never took his eye off of the ball and ended up hauling in the catch in bounds in one of the craziest catches you'll ever see.