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 October 24, 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 basketball news.
top 10 headlines to know to join the talk about sports this week: October 24, 2021
Thursday was a true harmonic convergence in the sports world: the MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL all had games that day. There’s a lot to cover with all four major pro sports leagues in action, so let’s go!
1. Highlights (and lowlights) of Week 6 in the NFL
Cards remain undefeated
As the dust settled at the end of Week 6 in the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals (6-0), led by Adorable Kyler Murray, maintained their perfect record for the season with a 37-14 win over the Cleveland Browns (4-3). And they did it without their head coach, who was out due to the coronavirus protocols. It’s the best start for the franchise in 47 years!
Through six games, Murray has completed 73.8% of his passes for 1,741 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions. He has also rushed for 116 yards and three rushing scores.
Jags finally win in London; Lions 0-6
The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) scored their first win in 20 games. Taking on the Miami Dolphins (1-5) in London, a 53-yard game-winning field goal from Matthew Wright sealed the deal.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions (0-6) remain winless after losing to Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals, 34-11. As CBS Sports noted, the Lions were the NFL’s first 0-16 team in 2008. And they are well on their way to becoming the NFL’s first 0-17 team. As natives of the Motor City, we have no words . . .
Cowboys make history against Bill Belichick
The Dallas Cowboys (5-1) gained 567 yards of total offense in their game against head coach Bill Belichick and his New England Patriots (2-4) last Sunday. That’s the most any team has ever gotten against a Belichick defense. Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott’s 445 yards were also the most the Patriots have given up to a quarterback since Belichick became head coach.
Sigh. Remember when it used to be fun to be a Pats fan?
other items of note from Week 6
Other highlights (and lowlights) from last week? Fun fact: 25% of Sunday’s games went into overtime. On a cost-per-minute basis, the ticket holders are getting their money’s worth!
The Baltimore Ravens (5-1) and Lamar Jackson are becoming a force in the AFC with a convincing win over the LA Chargers (4-2), 34-6. The Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) had a bad first half, but ultimately beat the Washington Football Team (2-4), 31-13. And even though the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) won their game, the sports pros are calling for the head of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has played poorly this season.
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Aaron Rodgers owns the Bears . . .
Also in week 6, Green Bay Packers (5-1) quarterback Aaron Rodgers skirted the NFL’s “no taunting” rule during the game against the Chicago Bears (3-3) by yelling toward opposing fans rather than opposing players. Celebrating a touchdown, Rodgers screamed to the Chicago Bears crowd: “I own you . . . I still own you!” An F-bomb was also included in his remarks. The Packers went on to win the game, 24-14.
Of course Rodgers’ unsportsmanlike comment launched a thousand memes. Even Tom Brady got in on the fun in an interview this week, noting: “I wanted to say congrats to Aaron Rodgers . . . I guess he’s now a shareholder of the Bears . . . I saw a clip of him really enthusiastically telling the crowd how happy he is to own Soldier Field.”
For the record, Rodgers holds a 22-5 career record against the Bears.
2. Week 7 Thursday Night NFL Game
The Cleveland Browns hosted the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. Both teams were 3-3 heading into the game. Case Keenum started in place of Baker Mayfield, who’s out with a shoulder injury and who will reportedly need surgery when the season ends. Running back Nick Chubb was also out with an injury. But the Browns were still able to come away with a 17-14 win.
3. NFL Week 7 – notable games still to come
Vegas has gone a little crazy this weekend. As of this posting, three teams are favored in the odds by double digits in week 7: the LA Rams over the Detroit Lions by 16 points. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ odds of winning against the Chicago Bears (who are owned, as you know, by one Aaron Rodgers) are at 13 points. And the Arizona Cardinals are favored at home over the Houston Texans by 17.5 points.
The three “big games” today are between teams that are more evenly matched – at least in the Vegas spread.
Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) at Baltimore Ravens (5-1)
The Bengals’ first round pick, rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, has been on fire this season. This game is another chance to see him in action. But can the Bengals actually upset the Ravens? Stay tuned.
Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) at Tennessee Titans (4-2)
The pressing question in this game is similar: can the Titans upset the Chiefs, with Derrick Henry against a weak Chiefs defense?
Indianapolis Colts (2-4) at San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
San Francisco is coming off a bye week and hoping to snap a three-game losing streak. They’re also hoping that the return today of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will help reverse their slide. The Colts started the season badly but have won their last 2 games. We’ll see how much momentum really matters . . .
4. In other NFL news . . .
According to NFL.com, the Las Vegas Raiders still owe Jon Gruden $40 million on his multi-year contract. But after a series of leaked emails full of racist, misogynistic and homophobic comments led to his resignation, it’s highly unlikely he’s going to receive the full amount. Negotiations are ongoing.
And there are rumors of a possible big trade in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins seem to be considering trading their first round draft pick, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Word is that they are considering trading him for the “legally challenged” Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans.
There’s very little patience at the moment for rookies, especially quarterbacks. And that scream of anguish you just heard, by the way, was from Gardner Minshew – who was replaced abruptly as the starting quarterback by one Tua Tagovailoa just months ago.
5. college football week 8 results
Heading into week 8, the top 4 teams in the AP rankings were Georgia, Oklahoma, Cincinnati and Alabama.
So where are we at the end of week 8? Georgia had a bye week, so their status is unchanged. Oklahoma beat Kansas yesterday and remain undefeated this season. Cincinnati also remains undefeated with a win over Navy this week. And Alabama rolled over Tennessee.
Unranked LSU fell to #12 Ole Miss in the SEC game of the week. That ties Ole Miss with Alabama and Auburn atop the SEC West. LSU’s coach, who won the national championship there a few years ago, is leaving at the end of the year. Sadly, the team didn’t give him the upset he hoped for. Finally, in a touching ceremony, Ole Miss retired the number of their alum, legendary quarterback Eli Manning.
In another consequential game yesterday, starting quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was benched as Clemson fell 27-17 to Pitt. The Tigers’ coach Dabo Swinney said “every job” on the team would be up for grabs in practice this week. This is Clemson’s third loss of the season, and there are murmurs about the possible end of what appeared to be a budding football dynasty.
AAC announces new teams
The American Athletic Conference (AAC) announced that six new schools would be joining the league, which would expand it to 15 members. Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB, and UTSA will be joining the AAC.
the storylines and potential stars to know about for the NCAA college football 2021 season
6. Braves win MLB National League championship series
To the surprise of almost everyone, the Atlanta Braves led the NLCS by a 3-2 margin over the reigning World Series champion LA Dodgers heading into last night’s Game 6 in Atlanta. And they got the job done, defeating LA and advancing to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1999.
The Braves’ Eddie Rosario was named MVP of the series. This is a major upset by a team that didn’t even get to a break-even win record until early August.
The Dodgers won 106 games this season – but sadly lost the one that really mattered. LA was plagued by injuries to a number of key players, including Max Muncy, Justin Turner, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw.
7. Astros win MLB American League championship series
In a heartbreaker for those of us who root for the Boston Red Sox, on Friday night the Houston Astros closed out the ALCS 4-2 over the Sox. The Astros advance to their third World Series in five years.
While there are many fans still angry over the cheating scandal that engulfed the Astros after the 2017 season, you have to feel good about the story of Astros manager Dusty Baker. With this title, he becomes only the 9th manager in history to win a pennant in both the NL and AL. In NL he won it coaching the Giants, and now in the AL with the Astros. Now everyone is watching to see if he can finally win the elusive World Series as a manager. He’s already won a World Series ring as a player – with the Dodgers in 1981.
In another interesting storyline, Braves’ manager Brian Snitker will be competing against his son Troy, who is the Astros’ hitting coach.
Yankees re-sign Boone
In other AL news, the New York Yankees have signed manager Aaron Boone to a new multi-year contract, signaling their confidence that he’s the skipper the team needs despite a disappointing post-season performance again this year.
The 2021-22 NBA season is underway. Tuesday was the opening night, with two big games: in the East, the Brooklyn Nets took on the Milwaukee Bucks. In the West, it was the Golden State Warriors at the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Bucks beat the Kyrie Irving-free Nets, 127-104. Reigning Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 32 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. And the Warriors beat the Lakers, 121-114. This is LeBron James’ 19th season in the NBA and it’ll be interesting to see how the Lakers show up this season. So far, not so good, though – as of this posting the Lakers are 0-2. But hey – the season is just getting started.
For those of us who live in Gotham, sports has been, well . . . soul-crushing lately. The Yanks fell early in the post-season. The Jets and the Giants? Let’s not even go there. So we hold out great hopes for the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. And guess what? As of this posting, the Knicks are 2 – 0! For the first time since 2012. It’s not only Spike Lee who finds this exhilarating.
Meanwhile, the NBA is embarking on its 75th season and the league has put together a list of the greatest players in history. There were 76 players included in the end, as a result of a tie.
9. NHL’s Kracken debut at home
New York hockey fans actually have a lot to be excited about given the recent performance of the New York Rangers, who have won 4 in a row in this young NHL season.
Meanwhile, last night was the inaugural home game for the NHL’s 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken. While the crowd was wildly enthusiastic, the Kracken lost to the Vancouver Canucks, 2-4. Of note, the new Climate Pledge Arena represents the cutting edge in terms of sustainability. The ice is formed by collected rainwater, and a “living wall” in one concourse features more than 80,000 plants.
10. Chicago Sky are WNBA Champs
The Chicago Sky won the title of WNBA Champion for the first time in league history. They defeated the Phoenix Mercury, 80-74, in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals. Kahleah Copper was named Finals MVP.
This Week in Sports Talk October 24, 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, basketball and hockey. Stay safe and strong out there, dear reader. See you next week.
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