Weekly Top 10 Sports News Headlines and Major Events: September 18, 2022
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This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly report on the big sports news headlines and major events, plus a preview of what’s up next. For September 18, 2022, here are the weekly top 10 sports news headlines to know: the big stories and major events in sports news this week in the NFL, MLB and more.
weekly top 10 big sports news headlines and major events: September 18, 2022
Here are 10 top headlines from the world of sports to know this last summer Sunday of 2022.
1. Iga Swiatek and Carlos Alcaraz win US Open titles.
In the men’s singles final, 19-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz beat Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 last Sunday to clinch his first career Grand Slam title. He’s the second-youngest men’s US Open winner ever, behind only Pete Sampras. Alcaraz is the youngest man ever to become ATP No. 1.
As we reported last week, on the women’s side Poland’s Iga Swiatek claimed her third career Grand Slam and her first US Open title with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) win over Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur. The 21-year-old Swiatek is the No. 1 woman in the world. She’s already broken one WTA record: she’s the first woman to win multiple Grand Slams in a year since Angelique Kerber in 2016. And she won 37 straight matches at one point this year, the longest streak in the WTA this century.
Tennis fans are ecstatic about the rise of two young, personable and wildly talented new stars. It bodes well for the sport – and there are some fantastic players right behind these two (looking at you, Francis Tiafoe and Coco Gauff).
2. Roger Federer announces his retirement.
On a related note about generational change in tennis, there’s more news from the tennis world. Just weeks after Serena Williams played what is believed to be her final professional tournament, Roger Federer announced Thursday that he is retiring. Over the course of his career, Federer won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, just behind Rafael Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21).
In a statement on his Twitter account, Federer wrote that the Laver Cup in London, which will be played this coming weekend, will be his last professional tournament. The 41-year-old cited injuries as one of the main reasons he will stop playing.
He will leave the pro tennis world with an incredible record of accomplishments. As CBS Sports notes, “Federer was ranked world No. 1 for 310 weeks in his career, and that includes at one point for a record 237 consecutive weeks. He was only 21 when he won his first major singles Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2003 – he went on to win a total of 8 times at Wimbledon, the most by any male player, ever. Federer won the US Open five times in a row from 2004 to 2008, plus six Australian Opens and one French Open.”
Serena Williams sent a charming communication to Federer after the announcement, saying in part: “I have always looked up to you and admired you. Our paths were always so similar, so much the same. You inspired countless millions and millions of people – including me – and we will never forget.
I applaud you and look forward to all that you do in the future. Welcome to the retirement club. And thank you for being you.”
Having had the joy of meeting Roger Federer once over a cup of tea in Zurich quite some years ago, I can only say “hear, hear!” He was charming, kind and genuine – which was especially notable as I was absolutely tongue-tied and babbling incoherently for most of our brief chat. Well done, well played, and thank you for showing the world how it’s done, Mr. Federer.
3. NFL Week 1 proves to be a thriller.
The start of a new season is always exciting – until the first games are played, anything could happen. Sure, it’s crazy and quixotic to hope. But in Week 1, any team could surprise us to the upside. Even the Detroit Lions (at least in theory).
Well, Week 1 is in the record books, and for fans of many teams, the harsh light of reality has dimmed any flickering pre-season hopes. Of course there were some upsets and close finishes – that’s why we watch, right?
Here are the big headlines from the NFL’s Week 1, in case you missed them:
- Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to a blowout win over the Arizona Cardinals, 44-21. And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers laid waste to the Dallas Cowboys, 19-3. Adding salt to the wound, the Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott injured his throwing hand in the fourth quarter, and will be out until at least Week 8.
- In a closely-watched game that didn’t turn out to be a close one at all, the Minnesota Vikings dominated the Green Bay Packers with a 23-7 win.
- But there were a LOT of close ones: The New York Giants beat the Tennessee Titans by 1 point. Ditto for the New Orleans Saints over the Atlanta Falcons. And the Indianapolis Colts-Houston Texans game ended in a tie.
- Two AFC rivals met head to head, and the LA Chargers beat the Las Vegas Raiders again in a rematch of last season’s playoff elimination game, 24-19.
- On Monday night, Russell Wilson – in his debut as quarterback of the Denver Broncos – lost to his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, 17-16.
4. Thursday night football – week 2 – Chiefs rally to beat Chargers
Thursday night saw another great game with a reasonably close final score between two AFC West rivals. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) rallied from a 17-7 deficit to beat the Chargers (1-1), 27-24.
As CBS Sports explains, the biggest play of the night came with the game tied 17-17 early in the fourth quarter. when a rookie cornerback intercepted a pass from Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Mahomes is becoming The Comeback Kid – he trumps all other current quarterbacks since 2018 in wins after being down 10 points or more.
5. Notable upcoming games – week 2
The rest of week 2 features a few other important games of note, and a number of scrambles to avoid a disastrous start to the season. As of this posting, 15 teams are 0–1 (and the Texans and Colts are 0-0-1). They’re all trying to avoid the dreaded 0–2 mark. Trey Lance is facing particular pressure in this regard: if the San Francisco 49ers lose to the Seahawks, fans will begin clamoring for Jimmy Garoppolo to return as the 49ers starting quarterback.
Here’s the rundown on the top 5 games to watch, courtesy of Sports Illustrated:
- Patriots at Steelers. After a loss to the Dolphins last week, the Pats’ Bill Belichick is likely considering this one a “must-win.”
- Buccaneers at Saints. The Saints have won seven of the last eight against their NFC South rivals, the Bucs. New Orleans rallied late in the game for a win over the Falcons last week. So this is a chance to see whether Tom Brady and the Bucs, who demolished the Cowboys last week, are still the Super Bowl contenders they used to be. And whether Brady can finally beat the Saints in the regular season (he’s 0-4 since joining Tampa Bay) without Sean Payton as head coach.
- Cardinals at Raiders. In Week 1, the Cardinals fell to the Chiefs, and the Raiders won in a very close game against the Chargers. This is another chance to get a read on where each of these teams really stand this season.
- Bengals at Cowboys. This one is mostly interesting because if the Cowboys lose again this week, it will be “absolute bedlam in Dallas.” If Dallas falls to 0–2 today, you’ll be able to hear the rending of garments from miles away.
- Texans at Broncos. The Denver Broncos pretty much have to win this one after their startling loss to the Seahawks on Monday Night Football in week 1. Otherwise, that huge deal for Russell Wilson is going to come under some harsh second-guessing.
6. MLB Standings: LA Dodgers on top
On Monday, the LA Dodgers (100-44) clinched their playoff berth with an NL West division title. And the Houston Astros (95-51) have secured a wild card spot in the AL post-season. In the NL Central, the Cardinals are 8 ahead of the Brewers.
Everything else is still up for grabs. In the AL East, the New York Yankees (87-58) are 4.5 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays. And in the AL Central, the Guardians (79-66) are 4.5 ahead of the White Sox. The New York Mets (92-55) and the Atlanta Braves m(90-55) continue their fierce competition in the NL East, with the Mets one game ahead as of this posting.
7. Aaron Judge makes it 57.
This week, Aaron Judge increased his home run tally for the season by 2, to 57. Roger Maris holds the AL record: he hit 61 home runs in 1961. If the Yankees’ slugger hits just five more home runs in the 18 games left in the regular season, he will reach 62.
That’s a magic number, because its the all-time MLB single season home run record. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa all hit more than 62 homers in a season, but all have been proven to have used performance-enhancing drugs. So their records come with a huge asterisk.
The chatter now is about whether Judge will be the “real” home run record holder if he makes it to 62 (or more) this season.
8. Albert Pujols makes it 698.
Albert Pujols hit two more home runs this week. Those were number 697 and 698 in the tally of homers hit over the course of his career, making him the MLB’s current highest among all active players, and the fourth all-time highest (behind Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds).
9. College football week 3 wrap.
Last Sunday, Nebraska head coach Scott Frost was fired after 4 unimpressive seasons, thanks to a second unexpected and brutal loss. The day before, Nebraska lost to Georgia Southern, 45-42. Frost was a star quarterback for Nebraska 25 years ago, making this a particularly tough outcome. But the $15 million buyout of the remainder of his contract will surely help ease the sting.
In week 3 games, there were no major upsets. The top 10 teams all performed as expected. But there was a play for ages in North Carolina. Yesterday, Appalachian State’s Hail Mary was what they needed to beat Troy on the last play of the game. This is the same team that upset Texas A&M las week. Shades of Gonzaga in NCAA basketball – you may never have heard of Appalachian State – but you might hear a lot about them if their season stays on this course.
In other news, the ACC’s Syracuse achieved a last-minute win over Purdue, 32-29.
10. Bubba Wallace wins his second Cup series race.
Last Sunday, Bubba Wallace earned his second career Cup Series win at the Kansas Speedway. The win was particularly meaningful, as many drivers with one Cup win fear being dismissed as a “one hit wonder.”
NBC Sports notes that Wallace has now won a Cup series in two consecutive seasons. His first career Cup win was last year at Talladega, and he also has three runner-up finishes at Daytona.
Weekly Top sports news headlines and major events to know: September 18, 2022
That’s our take on the big sports news headlines and major events, and a preview of the week ahead, including what to know about football, baseball and more.
After Week 1, we’re holding our own in our friendly NFL pool. As occasional/novice NFL fans, we’re continually amazed at how people can have deeply-held beliefs and real conviction about what will happen that frequently end up being totally wrong. And yet the following week, they’re right back at it with the same level of enthusiasm and conviction. If you flipped a coin, you’d probably achieve the same (or better) results most weeks. But where’s the fun in that, right?
Have a great week, dear reader. See you next Sunday.