Stick to the Game Plan

May 13, 2021

Good Morning,

It’s schedule day. The 2021 NFL slate was released yesterday, but not without the help of a few football legends like Peyton Manning. His commercial game doesn’t have the same spiral it used to. Grab the pens and circle the dates. The NFL game-planning starts now.

Letter Rip!

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NFL

Mark the Calendar, Football Fans

Image Credit: CBS Sports

The NFL’s First-Ever 17-Game Schedule Reveal Has Football Fans Buzzing for the 2021 Season

 

Feeling good about your team? From prime time games and rivalries to holiday matchups, the 2021 NFL schedule is here. The league revealed the first 17-game season in league history last night with an NFL Network special. Opening kick isn’t for another four months, but that’s no reason to delay the excitement. We breakdown the best of all 272 games, giving football fans everywhere insight into their team’s road to the Super Bowl. Let’s take a look at some of the notable matchups on the calendar, starting with Week 1.

 

Hint: If you only care about your team, you can find their team-specific schedule, here.

 

Notable Week 1 Games

 

Season Opener (Thurs. Sept. 9)

Cowboys at Bucs (8:20 pm ET)

 

Week 1 (Sun. Sept. 12)

Steelers at Bills (1:00 pm ET)

Seahawks at Colts (1:00 pm ET)

Dolphins at Patriots (4:25 pm ET)

Browns at Chiefs (4:25 pm ET)

Packers at Saints (4:25 pm ET)

Bears at Rams (8:20 pm ET)

 

Week 1 MNF (Mon. Sept. 13)

Ravens at Raiders (8:15 pm ET)

 

Other Games to Circle

 

Week 4: The Brady-Belichick Reunion (Oct. 3)

Bucs at Patriots (Sun. 8:20 pm ET)

 

Week 9: *The State Farm Bowl (Nov. 7)

Packers at Chiefs (Sun. 4:25 pm ET)

*Aaron Rodgers might not be a Packer

 

Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 25)

Bears at Lions (12:30 pm ET)

Raiders at Cowboys (4:30 pm ET)

Bills at Saints (8:20 pm ET)

 

Christmas Day Doubleheader (Dec. 25)

Browns at Packers (4:30 pm ET)

Colts at Cardinals (8:15 pm ET)

 

Strength of Schedules (Opponent’s 2020 Record)

Difficult: 1. Steelers (.574), 2. Ravens (.563), 3. Bears (.550)

Easiest: 32. Eagles (.430), 31. Cowboys (.452), 30. Falcons (.454)

 

Full Team-by-Team Schedule Breakdown

 

Additional Storylines

FOX Sports: 10 Games to Circle on the 2021 NFL Calendar

NFL: Expanded Season Strength of Schedule Rankings (Video)

USA Today: NFL Schedule 2021: Tom Brady vs. Patriots Highlights 13 Best Grudge Matches

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MONEY

The Highest-Paid Athletes in Sports 💰

Photo: Chris Unger / Getty Images

Conor McGregor Leads Forbes’ Annual List of Highest-Paid Athletes

 

Forbes’ annual list of highest-paid athletes hit circulation on Wednesday, sparking an always-fun debate amongst sports fans on social media. The 2020-21 Top-10 features a few surprises, including No. 4 — a 27-year-old quarterback whose massive $66 million signing bonus inflated his bank account in the last few months. The numbers below won’t match up with the athletes’ annual contracts in their respective sports. Instead, their off-the-field endeavors are what drive these figures through the roof. Conor McGregor — who fought just once in the last 12 months, and lost — garnered $150 million alone from the sale of his whiskey brand, Proper No. Twelve.

 

Here are the Top-10 highest-paid athletes on the planet:

 

Top-10 Highest-Paid Athletes

1. Connor McGregor (MMA) — $180 Million

2. Lionel Messi (Soccer) — $130 Million

3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Soccer) — $120 Million

4. Dak Prescott (NFL) — $107.5 Million

5. LeBron James (NBA) — $96.5 Million

6. Neymar (Soccer) — $95 Million

7. Roger Federer (Tennis) — $90 Million

8. Lewis Hamilton (F1) — $82 Million

9. Tom Brady (NFL) — $76 Million

10. Kevin Durant (NBA) — $75 Million

 

Read Full Article (Forbes)

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🎥 THE HIGHLIGHTS

NBA: Blazing Hot Portland Wins 5th Straight

The Blazers took down the league-leading Jazz on Wednesday (105-98) for their fifth straight win. Portland got 74 points combined from Damian Lillard (30), C.J. McCollum (26) and Carmelo Anthony (18). They’re the hottest team in the NBA with nine wins in their last 10, and they’re one win away from pushing the Lakers into the play-in.

 

NHL: Compher’s Goal-Scoring Avalanche

Pun intended. J.T. Compher tallied his first career hat trick on Wednesday, and it only took two periods to do it. Compher’s Avs buried the Kings (6-0), and Colorado (80 points) is just two back of Vegas (82 points) for the West Division crown. The Avalanche can steal it tonight in a rematch against Los Angeles.

 

MLB: Gerrit Cole Hits 1,500-Strikeout Milestone

Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole continues to rewrite the MLB record books. Cole fanned a dozen over eight innings Wednesday in a 1-0 shutout against the Rays. In the process, he surpassed 1,500 Ks in the second-fewest number of games in league history (Stephen Strasburg, 2019). The Yanks have won 11 of 14 and completely turned around their early-season struggles.

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THE STORYLINES 

🏀 The Final Texts Between MJ & Kobe

It will be incredibly emotional when Kobe Bryant is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. Not just for Bryant’s family, who will be celebrating without him, but for Michael Jordan. (Yahoo! Sports)

 

🏅 The First Olympics Protestor

An anti-Olympics protester posed as a reporter and interrupted a news conference hosted by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday. When given the floor to ask a question, the man appeared on camera holding a black banner or scarf that read “No Olympics in Tokyo 2020.” (USA Today)

 

⛳️ PGA Best Bets at AT&T Byron Nelson

Coming off last week’s Wells Fargo Championship (won by Rory McIlroy), the PGA Tour heads to McKinney, Texas, for the AT&T Byron Nelson for a tuneup before the PGA Championship. (ESPN+)

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The Sportsletter Team

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