Week 3 wrapped up with a blowout in Dallas that made the Cowboys look like true contenders. The rest of the week features the sprint to October in the MLB playoff race. It’s do-or-die season on the diamond.
How ‘Bout Them Cowboys
Dallas Crushes Philly in Monday Night Smackdown (41-21)
The ‘Boys are back in 2021, and they look scary good. After going 1-1 in the first two weeks, the Cowboys put the beatdown on the Eagles on Monday Night Football to improve to 2-1 and take the early outright lead in the NFC East. The Dallas defense smother Philly early and held the Eagles offense to zero points in the first half. A steady dose of the run game let Dallas coast with a significant lead throughout the final three quarters. QB Dak Prescott was nearly perfect before handing the ball off 41 times to ice the blowout in Dallas.
Fun Fact: The Cowboys defense leads the NFL in takeaways through three weeks (8).
Dak Prescott (DAL): 21/26, 238 yards, 3 TDs
Jalen Hurts (PHI): 25/39, 326 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Other Top Performers
RB Ezekiel Elliot (DAL): 20 touches, 116 yards, 2 TDs
TE Dalton Schultz (DAL): 6 catches, 80 yards, 2 TDs
NFC East Standings
FOX Sports: MNF Top Moments: Cowboys Dominate Eagles
Washington Post: Cowboys Stake Early Claim in NFC East by Trouncing Eagles
Wild Card Watch Week
The Series of the Week to Decide October
Monday’s MLB slate was one of little to remember. Only six games hit the diamond with four total playoff contenders in action. The Mariners topped the Athletics last night (13-4) to push Oakland to the brink of elimination from the Wild Card race. With just four more days until October, a number of key series will take center stage this week as the playoff before the playoff grabs the spotlight. The ten teams still in contention for the final five playoff slots are dueling, including three series between teams fighting for their postseason lives. Here’s what we’re watching today, and each game matters.
Series to Watch (Today)
Yankees at Blue Jays (7:07 pm ET)
Phillies at Braves (7:20 pm ET)
Athletics at Mariners (10:10 pm ET)
Other Series Involving Wild Cards
Red Sox at Orioles (7:05 pm ET)
Brewers at Cardinals (7:45 pm ET)
Indians at Royals (8:10 pm ET)
Reds at White Sox (8:10 pm ET)
Additional Highlights & Storylines
The NBA Vax Conundrum
NBA Media Day Dominated by Vaccine Conversations Among Players & Staffers
The 2021-22 NBA Media Day brought basketball back into the headlines on Monday as players returned to their teams with three weeks until opening night, but the focus wasn’t on basketball. The bulk of media questions that drew headlines were stir-up shots at players who remain adamant that their decision to get the COVID-19 vaccine is a “personal decision.” Roughly 40 NBA players remain unvaccinated before the season begins, but league staff are still required to have the vaccine before play begins.
Why It Matters
The NBA mandated that all players get vaccinated before the season begins, but multiple players are standing firm. Those big names include Andrew Wiggins (Warriors), Bradley Beal (Wizards) and likely Kyrie Irving (Nets). Wiggins was recently denied a religious exemption, and Irving remained silent on questions asked Monday. The New York City ordinance means Irving may have to skip Brooklyn’s home games. Most importantly, there’s a growing protest among those roughly 40 players while many of the league officials have concerns about close contact with un-vaccinated players.
This storyline is only just beginning…
ESPN’s pursuit of Peyton Manning to be its primary Monday Night Football analystafter Jon Gruden returned to coaching has been well-documented. With brother Eli joining him on the alternate MNF broadcast, things have been interesting through three weeks. (USA Today)
With the 2021 season getting set to wrap up, one of the things worth monitoring is the security of the 30 managerial jobs. Most are safe, but disappointing seasons in Queens, San Diego and elsewhere have 4-5 managers on the hot seat this offseason. (CBS Sports)
New England and Seattle continue their reign atop the order, but second-year side Nashville SC has slipped from its ascent. Meanwhile, Gonzalo Pineda’s Atlanta United is quickly becoming a team to be feared as the MLS postseason looms. (ESPN)
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