There were plenty of winners on Wednesday night, but tonight’s biggest winner is you. The reason? The NFL is back, and that means six months of weekly drama for football fans until Super Bowl 56. It all kicks off tonight with the Cowboys and Bucs in Tampa Bay.
The NFL Kickoff Primer
NFL Season-Opener: Cowboys at Buccaneers (8:20 pm ET, NBC)
It’s football time, America! The 2021 NFL season kicks off tonight from Raymond James Stadium, the home of the defending Super Bowl champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s the Cowboys vs. Bucs in prime time. Dak Prescott is slated to make his return to the field following an ankle injury that sidelined him in 2020. But Tom Brady the Bucs return to the place where they captured the Lombardi Trophy just seven months ago. Here’s everything you need to know for tonight’s season kickoff:
NFL Season Kickoff Primer
Tampa Bay | Moneyline: -440 | Spread: -8.5
Dallas | Moneyline: +340 | Spread: +8.5
What to Watch For
Brady and Prescott obviously take the spotlight under center, but the defenses could tell the story. Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl-winning roster returns in tact, but Dallas has a revamped defense under new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Seeing how they play against Brady in Bruce Arians’ offense could be an indicator of how the season plays out for the Cowboys.
Top Fantasy Projections
QB Tom Brady (TB): 21.55 points
QB Dak Prescott (DAL): 20.86 points
RB Ezekiel Elliot (DAL): 14.55 points
RB Leonard Fournette (TB): 9.47 points
WR Mike Evans (TB): 14.99 points
WR CeeDee Lamb (DAL): 14.92 points
WR Amari Cooper (DAL): 14.95 points
WR: Chris Godwin (TB): 13.85 points
The wait is over. NFL season is finally here. Enjoy a long list of additional NFL kickoff storylines below. Let’s enjoy some football!
CBS Sports: Picks for Every Week 1 NFL Game
Jeter Enters the Hall
Derek Jeter Among 2020 Hall of Fame Class Inducted on Wednesday
A longer wait due to COVID-19 delayed a special night for one of baseball’s greatest stars. Derek Jeter, among others, entered Cooperstown forever on Wednesday night. The second-highest vote-getter was elected to the Hall of Fame with 99.7 percent of the votes from the BBWAA. Only one voter failed to recognize his achievements, but that didn’t stop the 20-year Yankees icon from a one-of-a-kind ceremony.
“Thank you to all the baseball writers, all but one of you, who voted for me.” — Derek Jeter
Alongside Jeter were baseball legends Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller, but the night was all about DJ. The five-time World Series champ is officially enshrined for eternity.
Crucial Points Claimed for USMNT
U.S. Men’s National Team Buries Honduras (4-1) in FIFA World Cup Qualifier
Wednesday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier was a crucial match for the USMNT after back-to-back draws, but this story was different. Honduras struck first in the first half, but it was all United States after the break. The red, white and blue fired four goals in the second half, including scores from Antonee Robinson (48’), Ricardo Pepi (75’), Brenden Aaronson (86’), Sebastian Lletget (90+3’). The USMNT was without multiple star players, including Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie, but they still got the job done.
Watch: USMNT Crushes Honduras (4-1)
Concacaf World Cup Qualifying
1. Mexico (7 Points)
2. Canada (5 Points)
3. USA (5 Points)
4. Panama (5 Points)
5. Costa Rica (2 Points)
6. Honduras (2 Points)
7. El Salvador (2 Points)
8. Jamaica (1 Point)
*The top three teams qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The USMNT will play three more matches before qualifiers end.
Djokovic Inches Closer to History
Novak Djokovic Survives Another 1st Set Loss to Reach U.S. Open Semifinals
Another early test, another fantastic rally from Novak Djokovic. The World No. 1 inched even closer to the historic calendar slam with a win over (6) Matteo Berrettini on Wednesday. Djokovic dropped the first set (7-5) before dominating the next three sets en route to the semis. Only two matches now separate the Serbian from tennis history and the fourth and final slam title of 2021. He’ll face (4) Alexander Zverev on Friday for a spot in the finals, and a spot in the record books.
Men’s Singles (Quarterfinals)
Women’s Singles (Quarterfinals)
Today’s Schedule (Women’s Semifinals)
(2) A. Sabalenka vs. L. Fernandez (7:00 pm ET)
(17) M. Sakkari vs. E. Raducanu (8:15 pm ET)
United States captain Steve Stricker made six selections Wednesday to round out his Ryder Cup team, and there were few surprises. Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele joined the final list of 12 participants which includes six Ryder Cup rookies. (CBS Sports)
Limiting roster expansion to 28 players, not 40, in the service of a faster pace of play, has delayed the arrival of some of the sport’s better young talents. But some prospects hoping to prove themselves are in the major leagues right now. (FOX Sports)
Playoff spots are filling up fast. The Lynx, Sky and Mercury wrapped up three more playoff bids this week, and the final six teams are vying for the last two spots before the regular season ends next Tuesday. (ESPN)
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