Well, that weekend went by entirely too fast, didn't it? I feel like I blinked and somehow it was just... gone. Maybe it was all the sports that helped us cruise through the past few days -- we basically had non-stop, wire-to-wire sports all weekend and, boy, if that's not a beautiful thing.
In any case, we're here now and we've got a fresh start, so let's start this week off strong. I encourage you to live your life with the kind of urgency that comes with DK Metcalf angrily chasing you down in an open field.
📰 What you need to know
Here's an idea: Why don't we just let the Seahawks play every game in a primetime slot for the rest of the season? Seattle is fully incapable of playing a boring game, especially under the lights.
That was once again proven last night when the Seahawks and Cardinals played arguably the most entertaining game of the 2020 NFL season on Sunday Night Football. (And, as a reminder, that game was flexed to the primetime spot late last week to ensure a SNF broadcast after the Raiders were potentially exposed to COVID-19.) The Cardinals mounted an outstanding comeback late in the fourth quarter and eventually won in overtime, handing the Seahawks their first loss of the year.
- The Cardinals trailed by 10 points with just over 2:30 left to go in the game before scoring a touchdown, forcing a stop and then kicking a game-tying 44-yard field goal as time expired
- With a few minutes left in OT, Arizona decided to attempt a 41-yard field goal on 2nd down(?!) but missed the field goal
- On the ensuing Seahawks' possession, Seattle appeared to win the game with just over a minute left when DK Metcalf took a screen pass all the way to the house for a TD. However, the play was called back due to holding and Russell Wilson threw an interception (his third of the day) on the next play
- The Cardinals then drilled a 48-yard field goal to win it 37-34 -- the first lead they held all game
The Cards may have won the game (a huge dub for an emerging NFC threat) but it was Metcalf who had the best damn highlight of the day/night/month/year. After Russ was intercepted at the goal line (strange concept, I know) by Budda Baker, Metcalf went into full freakazoid mode and somehow ran down Baker despite the Arizona safety having a good 10-yard head start. It was one of the most absurd displays of athleticism you'll ever see, and it also saved the Seahawks at least six points on the scoreboard. Not that they took advantage of that anyway... DK deserved better.
2. Dodgers pitchers dominate in Game 5 ⚾
There have been very few times in life where I have actively wished that I was working on a weekend, but I got legitimately bummed out that we weren't going to chat after the incredible finish to Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday night. It's kind of old news at this point but I just want to say this: That ending was as chaotic a finish to a baseball game as I've ever seen and I loved every second of it.
Luckily for the Dodgers, there was a quick turnaround from that debacle and they were able to right the ship in Game 5 last night. Los Angeles beat the Rays, 4-2, on Sunday to take a 3-2 series lead; it was a relatively unspectacular game compared to Game 4 but here are a few notable takeaways:
- Clayton Kershaw got the start and was mostly good: He certainly wasn't as dominant as he was in Game 1 but Kershaw brought another solid outing (5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 6 K, 2 BB) and is in a good place to erase the narrative that he can't deliver in the postseason. Kershaw also passed Justin Verlander for most career postseason strikeouts (207 to Verlander's 205)
- Dodgers strike early: It seemed imperative that LA get off to a quick start to erase that bitter taste from their mouth. They did just that, scoring two runs in the first inning and then Joc Pederson homered in the second. Max Muncy added a HR later and became the ninth Dodgers player to homer in this World Series -- a new MLB record
- Rays squander opportunities: It was a tight scoreline and the Rays had missed opportunities that cost them dearly. The most glaring one came when Manuel Margot was caught trying to steal home to end the fourth inning -- the first runner caught stealing home in the World Series since 1991. Margot almost had it, too.
And now the Dodgers are just one win away from expelling their postseason demons and finally capturing that elusive ring they've been hunting. They're a great team and I like their chances but it's also important to remember this is the Dodgers and they always seem to make things a bit more dramatic than necessary. So, we should probably just expect a Game 7, right? I'd keep Wednesday night free if I were you.
3. Grading Week 3 performances 🏈
We were spoiled with plenty of football this weekend -- even more than we've been used to recently. College football saw the return of Big Ten and Mountain West play, and the NFL actually managed to get through a weekend schedule without having to postpone any games. Big stuff!
That being said, it wasn't necessarily the greatest weekend of football... especially if you happen to be a Patriots fan like yours truly. I know you don't have much sympathy to spare for a spoiled Boston fan like me so I won't bother asking for any. All I'll say is that I don't know how some of the fanbases out there can deal with the constant disappointment and misery week in and week out. It's only been a couple weeks of Bad Patriots and I feel like my spirit is crumbling.
I think I can probably guess New England's grade this week, but let's check in with our NFL crew for some of their assessments:
- Patriots (F) blown out 33-6 by 49ers (A): You don't often see the Patriots stink wire-to-wire in almost all aspects of a game but... surprise! Cam Newton threw three interceptions and was benched for Jarrett Stidham as New England failed to get anything going all day. Jimmy Garoppolo threw two interceptions as well but the 49ers' run game was dominant
- Steelers (B+) squeak past Titans (C) to stay unbeaten: In a battle of two undefeated teams, Pittsburgh survived but it wasn't all that pretty. Ben Roethlisberger threw three interceptions and Pitt's secondary had a tough time, but the Steelers were great on third down and on special teams. They also held Derrick Henry to 75 yards on 20 carries
- Cowboys (F) drop another dud against Washington (A+): Dallas embarrassed themselves for a second straight week and now they've got just 13 total points in their first two games without Dak Prescott. The Cowboys offensive line couldn't even slow down Washington's D, which racked up six sacks on the day. Andy Dalton was eventually knocked out of the game and Dallas had to turn to... Ben DiNucci?
You can check out all the rest of the week's grades right here.
Oh, and as some added salt in the wound for my Pats fans... how about Tom Brady throwing for 369 yards and four touchdowns against the Raiders yesterday? Pain. I'm all for my exes finding happiness but I'd rather not see them thriving while my world is falling apart.
4. Arizona faces nine charges of misconduct 🏀
Oh boy, yet another college basketball coaching scandal, you say? This week, we've got Sean Miller and Arizona at the center of misconduct allegations.
- Arizona finally received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA this week in relation to the 2017 FBI scandal. In total, the school is facing nine charges of misconduct, five of which are Level I allegations (the most serious in nature). It's the largest number of allegations faced by a single school in the FBI scandal to date
- Among the Level I charges: Lack of institutional control, failure by the school to monitor the program, lack of head coach control
- Miller was reportedly caught on an FBI wiretap discussing a payment to former five-star prospect and ex-Arizona star Deandre Ayton prior to his commitment
- Former Arizona assistant coach Book Richardson was one of 10 assistant coaches arrested as part of the scandal to steer recruits to financial advisers. Richardson pled guilty to accepting bribes and served a prison sentence last year
At this rate, I feel like I need a cheat sheet for all the cheating and misconducting going on in the world of college basketball.
📝 Odds & Ends
- Khabib Nurmagomedov dominated at UFC 254 and stayed undefeated before announcing his retirement from fighting
- Here's three QBs the Cowboys should consider trading for regardless of Andy Dalton's health status
- Patrick Cantlay was the surprise winner at the 2020 Zozo Championship
- Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 after the Badgers' season-opening win on Friday
📺 What to watch tonight
🏈 Bears vs. Rams, 8:15p.m. | LAR -6 | TV: ESPN
📝 Top scores from last night
Dustin May, Victor Gonzalez and Blake Treinen combined to shut the door on Tampa with three scoreless final innings
💵 Winning Wagers: LAD -164, Under (8)