Every Monday morning we will be reviewing the top sports news from the weekend. Read on and let us know what you think.
Brady leads the Patriots past the Jets in the NFL’s Game of the Week: Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady, was dominant in the 4th quarter and led the Patriots (6-0) back from a 20-16 deficit to defeat the New York Jets (4-2), 30-23, in Foxborough. Brady and the offense overcame some uncharacteristic drops to remain among the ranks of the undefeated. However, their victory didn’t come without some late game drama. The Jets were able to recover an onside kick to make things interesting in the final 23 seconds. However, they saw their comeback attempt end at the Patriots’ 37 yard line after a false start penalty allowed time to expire. Brandon Marshall was late to lineup at the line of scrimmage, which resulted in the penalty. Marshall took the blame, and expressed his disappointment through Twitter. Marshall tweeted, “My A** should be walking back to New York. How you bounce back after moments like this produce CHAMPIONS or CHUMPS… #jets.” Aside from those miscues, the quarterback play in this game was stellar. Fitzpatrick was solid in a losing effort. He threw for nearly 300 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, while Brady threw for 345 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions as well. The biggest stat line from this game? Tom Brady was the leading rusher for the Patriots. They only ran the ball nine times, but Brady was still able to outgain the running back tandem of White and Blount with 15 yards and a score. While the Jets feel like they gave this game away, there are some bright spots for this team moving forward. Not a lot of people expected them to be 4-2 at this point in the season.
Mets and Royals punch their tickets to the Fall Classic: The New York Mets made it a clean sweep of the still-cursed Chicago Cubs, and the Kansas City Royals ended the Toronto Blue Jays’ dream season to advance to their second consecutive World Series. We knew the Royals had all of the weapons needed from last year’s squad to make it back to the Fall Classic, but did anyone expect the Mets to be in this position on opening day? It has been nearly 30 years since either team had the right to call themselves champions, so this year’s World Series is sure to be one hell of a matchup.
The Mets are riding on the momentum of their deep pitching rotation led by aces Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey. They are a combined 5-0 in the postseason with an ERA of 2.32. Harvey has been able to defy all odds by battling back from Tommy Johns Surgery and performing well beyond his innings pitched limit. Second baseman Daniel Murphy is on an absolute tear right now with 7 HR and a postseason batting average of .421. The Mets have won 5 in a row and have had a few extra days to sit back and relax, but can they continue that success against the hungry Royals?
The Royals have the hot bats and will rely heavily on them to combat the Mets’ excellence on the mound. They have batted in 58 runs during this postseason which is 16 more than the Mets. However, while they have a formidable batting lineup, you cannot sleep on their pitching. They have struggled to find consistency this postseason, but if Yordanno Ventura and Edinson Volquez can get hot, watch out. These guys combined for 26 wins and over 300 strikeouts during the regular season. The Royals were arguably one of the best teams in the majors this past season, and they want to avenge last year’s World Series heartbreaking game 7 loss to the Giants more than anything.
The first pitch of the World Series will take place tomorrow, October 27th at 8pm on FOX inside of Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Let us know who you think will be getting a World Series ring in our comments section.
Five Takeaways from Week 8 in College Football
The American is Rising: Did anyone see this coming? The American Conference has three teams in college football’s top 25: Memphis, Houston, and Temple. While the College Football Playoff might be out of reach, these teams are all vying for that coveted slot in one of the New Year’s Day bowls. Memphis, who has already beaten SEC powerhouse Ole Miss, is led by Heisman hopeful, Paxton Lynch. Lynch, who is now ranked in the top 10 of Mel Kiper’s draft big board, has completed nearly 72% of his passes to go along with 17 touchdowns and only 1 interception. While Houston has yet to get that marquee win, they do have a date with Memphis in a couple of weeks. Temple, on the other hand, is coming off a come from behind victory on the road at East Carolina. That has set them up for a huge matchup with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This will arguably be Temple’s biggest game in school history, and an opportunity for the Owls to make a statement on their home turf.
Is Baylor in Trouble? Baylor looked like a #2 team in the first half against the Iowa State Cyclones, but the second half wasn’t too pretty for the Bears. Baylor jumped out to a 35-0 lead in the second quarter, but allowed Iowa State to make it a game from then on. Baylor’s streak of 60+ points came to an end, but they were able to put the Cyclones away, 45-27. So, why is Baylor in trouble? Quarterback Seth Russell suffered a broken bone in his neck after being hit in the second half. Russell is currently the FBS leader in touchdowns with 29 this season. The timetable for his return is uncertain as of now, and this could be a cause for concern among the Baylor faithful with games against Oklahoma and TCU on the horizon.
It Was an Ugly Day for Miami: The Hurricanes and Clemson had some pre-game jawing, but it was Clemson who landed the knockout punch. Miami was shut out and embarrassed on their home turf, 58-0. It was so difficult to endure that former players, Warren Sapp and Bryant McKinnie, took to Twitter to vent their frustration with the program and head coach, Al Golden. They were outplayed and outcoached in every aspect of the game. It was Miami’s worst loss in the history of the program, and many fans were heard chanting, “Fire Golden”. The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Hurricanes. Miami travels to Durham, NC next week to take on #22 Duke. UPDATE: Al Golden was fired Sunday afternoon after the most lopsided loss in Miami’s history. Golden was 32-25 in 5 seasons with the Hurricanes.
Plenty of Drama at the Coliseum and Bobby Dodd Stadium: Utah arrived in LA as the undefeated, #3 team in the nation, but they won’t be returning home with those credentials. It was a convincing loss for the Utes, 42-24, and now their playoff hopes have taken a big hit. Southern Cal has endured a tumultuous couple of weeks since the abrupt firing of former head coach Steve Sarkisian, but this was a game that can be seen as a silver lining for the Trojan’s season. Trojan defender Cameron Smith had a career day by grabbing 3 interceptions and returning one for a score in Clay Smith’s first victory as interim head coach.
The Rambling Wreck has been quite the wreck this season. Georgia Tech started the year as a top 15 team with high hopes of competing for the ACC Championship and a spot in the playoff. Those hopes were quickly crushed after losing 5 in a row, but they were able to put all of that on the backburner by stunning the #9 Florida State Seminoles, 22-16. How they did it was unbelievable. Florida State was able to set up a game-winning 56 yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds, but it was blocked and returned for a TD by Tech’s Lance Austin as time expired. If not for last week’s Michigan-MSU miracle, this would be the play of the year.
Tragedy at Oklahoma State: It was supposed to be a day of celebration for the undefeated #14 Cowboys. It was homecoming in Stillwater and the pre-game festivities were underway. Celebration quickly turned to sorrow and sadness when a drunk driver careened into a crowd of parade onlookers. The crash left 4 dead and many others injured. Oklahoma State head coach, Mike Gundy, stated, “Football is something that’s not very important. When you hear of an incident like that, football is a nonfactor. You start calling to find out where your family is.” Our hearts and thoughts are with those affected by this senseless tragedy.
Joey Logano Wins Controversial Race at Talladega, Dale Jr. Eliminated from Chase: Going into the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Talladega was the race that everyone feared. After yesterday’s race, we now know why. Talladega is known as the biggest wild card in NASCAR’s playoff, and it can eat you alive in the blink of an eye. Joey Logano was able to avoid the “big one” and stave off Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win his third consecutive race and seal a clean sweep of the Contender Round. Dale Jr. had the car to beat. He led 61 laps, and was able to will his car to the lead at any time. But, it just wasn’t meant to be for the 88. After the second attempt at a green-white checkered finish, NASCAR had to determine who was ahead when the caution was thrown. Logano was declared the winner by a nose. Earnhardt Jr, along with Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, and Ryan Newman all saw their seasons come to an end. Also, the late crash that ended the race has been quite the topic of discussion. Kevin Harvick had radioed to his team that his engine was blowing up several laps prior to the crash. Some drivers believe that Harvick may have intentionally spun Trevor Bayne to trigger the crash in hopes that he would keep his championship hopes alive. While there has been no evidence to support this claim other than replays, NASCAR will be sure to investigate. Next week, the final 8 drivers will head to Martinsville for the first race of the Eliminator Round.
Check back with us every Monday for a recap of the weekend’s biggest action in sports.
Image credit: Steven Senne/AP