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Top 10 Headlines to Know About Sports This Week

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This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly roundup of top headlines and current news events from the past seven days in the world of pro sports, plus a preview of what’s up next. Heading into the week of September 19, 2021, these are the top 10 headlines you need to know about to understand and join the conversation this week about sports, including football, baseball and tennis news.

this week in sports talk September 19, 2021

We begin this week with a call to live our best lives, despite our advancing age. Those who may be wondering whether they’re getting too old to do . . . whatever . . . should take their cues from Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (whose presence was missed on the red carpet at this week’s Met Gala in New York).

Tom Brady celebrates after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.

In a Buccaneers Q&A video with fans this week, a caller asked the 44 year old Brady whether he could play until he is 50 years old. Brady’s response? “Wow. Seems to be a really hot question lately. ‘Can Tom Brady play until 50? Like, 50 years old? Fifty.’ I don’t find it so difficult. Plus, in Florida, it’s kind of a retiree state, so I feel like I can play and then just glide into retirement. I think I can. I think it’s a yes.”

Yes!

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What else do you need to know this week? Here’s our take on the top 10.

top 10 headlines to know to join the talk about sports this week: September 19, 2021

1. Highlights (and lowlights) of Week 1 in the NFL

There was a lot of drama in Week 1 of the NFL season, with last-minute comebacks, upsets and overtime games galore. In other words, a football fan’s dream.

Our Sports Desk notes that while no one wants to overreact to the results of Week 1, people like to speculate about what might be predictive of a real problem. And where things are likely to look a lot better in Week 2.

overachievers in week 1

In the “too good to be true” category, you’ll find the Philadelphia Eagles. The consensus was that this would be a terrible season for them, but they played well in Week 1.

Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts. Courtesy Photo.

The Houston Texans surprised to the upside in Week 1 – but are they really that good? And should Tyrod Taylor become the official starting quarterback instead of Deshaun Watson (who continues to face 22 civil lawsuits from women alleging sexual misconduct or assault)?

The New Orleans Saints dazzled in a borrowed stadium since their home field was recovering from damage from Hurricane Ida. Quarterback Jameis Winston delivered 5 touchdowns, 148 yards of passing, and no interceptions.

Jameis Winston of the New Orleans Saints. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images.

The Cincinnati Bengals might also be on track have a better-than-expected season.

tough day week 1 teams

Those in the “rough start but likely to recover” include the Green Bay Packers. While they were embarrassed by the Saints, people haven’t given up on reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers.

The Buffalo Bills have a chance to get it right when they play the Miami Dolphins today. While the Indianapolis Colts‘ offense was awful in Week 1, they may still be able to right the ship. Carson Wentz started in Week 1 in the loss against the Seattle Seahawks. He’s not taking the field today when the Los Angeles Rams visit, though – he’s going to be out for surgery on his left foot, and his estimated return is 5-12 weeks out. Like it or not, the Colts will remain in the spotlight this season: the NFL announced that there will be an in-season run of ESPN’s behind-the-scenes show Hard Knocks that will focus on the Colts, premiering on November 17.

toss the towel now teams

And of course, there are always some teams where people have already thrown in the towel after just one game. For our Sports Desk, those chronic underachievers include the Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants (more on them in a minute).

2. Thursday Night in the NFL – WTF, Giants?

The New York Giants visited the Washington Football Team (WTF) in an NFC East matchup, and lost in a heartbreaker, 30-29. According to our Sports Desk, it was a game they should have won. And yet . . . it all came down to a field goal.

WFT kicker Dustin Hopkins was in position for a field goal and missed it. But the Giants were offsides on the play, so Hopkins got a second chance at a game-winning kick. The ball was moved up five yards due to the penalty. And Hopkins drilled the ball in from 43 yards for the win.

CBS Sports reports that it was clear during the game that the Giants’ first-round pick, Kadarius Toney, is unhappy with his role and his time on the field. To be fair to head coach Joe Judge, we note that Toney contracted COVID-19 early in training camp and didn’t play in the preseason due to a hamstring injury. It gets late early sometimes, and this could be another long and ugly season for the team. Stay tuned.

3. NFL Week 2 games of note today

who’s going to 0-2?

As always, the pressure is on in Week 2, as no team wants to end up 0-2 to start season (although the Giants already have). This is mostly because no team has made it to the Super Bowl after a 0-2 start – and no one wants to try to beat those odds.

Among the teams that seemed to have a real shot at playing in the Super Bowl but now see their prospects in jeopardy are the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills. It’s a psychological must-win for all of them in week 2.

On that note, the Dallas Cowboys are at the Chargers this week – but it may still feel like home, as Cowboy fans are expected to tally over 55% of the attendees for the Chargers’ “home” game.

clash of the rookie QBs

In an East Coast matchup today, Mac Jones takes on Zach Wilson when the New England Patriots play the New York Jets in a divisional game. Two rookie quarterbacks are both looking for their first win of the season.

other buzzed-about matchups

Tonight, the Kansas City Chiefs visit the Baltimore Ravens. The Chiefs nearly lost last week and the Ravens almost won, so this AFC matchup promises to be a good one. Even though Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson has a .739 winning percentage, he is 0-3 against the Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Our Sports Desk predicts that it’ll be 0-4 after this game.

Fans will be watching to see if the Eagles’ success continues against the San Francisco 49ers. And how much trash talk there will be from Tom Brady as the Bucs play the Atlanta Falcons (he’s already made some 28-3 references).

Sadly, COVID-19 is still a menace in the NFL. This week, the New Orleans Saints have 7 coaches out due to COVID protocols as they face the Panthers.

4. Coaching change in Jacksonville?

After only one week, rumors are already circulating amid speculation that head coach Urban Meyer will leave the Jacksonville Jaguars (and number one draft pick Trevor Lawrence) after only 1 game. This comes amid persistent questioning about his ability to handle the transition from college football to the pros.

The rumor got additional juice when USC fired their head coach Clay Helton earlier this week. Meyer has issued a statement declaring that he’s staying with Jags, but there’s a fair amount of skepticism about that. After all, Nick Saban said he was staying with the Miami Dolphins, then left after only 2 seasons and created a college football dynasty at Alabama.

5. close win for Alabama in college football this week

The “game of the week” was yesterday’s #1 Alabama at #11 Florida. While some thought there might be an upset, the Crimson Tide squeaked by with a 31-29 win over the Gators. Close doesn’t count, so their dominance continues.

In other games, unranked Purdue was defeated on the road by #12 Notre Dame, 27-13. #8 Cincinnati beat unranked Indiana, 38-24. And No. 22 Auburn fell to No. 10 Penn State, 20-28.

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6. MLB National League standings

There are only two weeks left in the MLB regular season, and things aren’t looking good for Mets fans. With their recent slide, the perpetual underdog New York Mets will probably be on the outside looking in during the post-season. Currently, the team is below .500 for the season, and 5.5 games back in the wildcard race.

The LA Dodgers,  San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies are fighting for wildcard slots. The Phillies advanced their cause with a win over their NL East division rivals the Mets last night, 5-3.

7. MLB American League standings

As of this posting, both of the American League Wild Card spots are still up for grabs, with the New York Yankees in a battle with the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays in the East, and the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners in the West. The consensus is that Toronto will almost certainly claim one of those slots, given their current record.

At this point in the season, every game has implications for the post season, and the stakes are high. On Friday, the Yanks thumped Cleveland 8-0 in a game where Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo all hit homers. But yesterday they lost to the Indians, 11-3, in large part because of an error by Gary Sanchez that seemed to reverse the momentum of the game in a way that the Pinstripes couldn’t recover.

8. Who will win MLB MVP in 2021?

As the season draws to a close, attention turns to individual player performance and the MVP awards.

The NL MVP race looks to come down to the final stretch, based on who makes the playoffs. The Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr and the Phillies’ Bryce Harper are close in almost every category, with Tatis having a slight lead going into last couple weeks of the regular season.

Meanwhile, the American League MVP Award race is shaping up to be one for the ages. One candidate, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., may win the AL Triple Crown and still come in second place. Others argue that pitcher-slugger Shohei “Nany Ruth” Ohtani is the clear-cut choice for MVP.

9. NHL’s Zdeno Chara returns home

The New York Islanders have drafted 44-year old Zdeno Chara, more than 20 years after trading him in the Alexei Yashin deal. He’ll return in a new one-year deal with the team.

10. sports x fashion on the Met Gala red carpet

We conclude this week with proof that sports and fashion can collide and combine in mysterious ways. Sometimes the result is pretty. Sometimes, not so much. You be the judge of Met Gala co-host Naomi Osaka’s red carpet look. The theme of this year’s event was American Fashion.

Naomi Osaka on the red carpet at the Met Gala 2021. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Discuss amongst yourselves . . .

This Week in Sports Talk September 19, 2021

That’s our take on the news headlines today and the previews of the week ahead that you need to know to understand and join the talk about sports – including football, baseball, golf, tennis and basketball. Stay safe and strong out there, dear reader. See you next week.

Join our Community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.

see luxury in a new light

Join our community! For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. 

WAIT! see luxury in a new light

Join our community! For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. 

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