Football’s greatest quarterback of all time returns to the homeland this weekend for one of the most storied matchups of the 2021 NFL season. Reunions are sometimes bittersweet, but this one has a little extra bite.
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The Reunion: Brady vs. Belichick
Tom Brady & The Bucs Head to New England for the G.O.A.T. Reunion Game
Week 4 in the NFL is fast approaching. It’s Jaguars vs. Bengals tonight on Thursday Night Football, but Sunday’s feature piece is a can’t-miss showdown between the quarterback and coach who formed the greatest dynasty in NFL history. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers travel to Foxborough to take on Bill Belichick and the Patriots for a game that’s been circled since Brady left New England in March of 2020. Together, Brady and Belichick won six Super Bowls. Now, they’re enemies.
The Brady—Belichick Breakup
ESPN’s Seth Wickersham teased the release of his new book this week, “It’s Better to be Feared”, where he details the breakup of Brady and Belichick. In the book, Wickersham claims that Belichick didn’t meet with Brady face to face on his way out of New England, and Brady said he “didn’t want to play for Bill anymore” as early as 2017.
The Matchup: Bucs at Patriots (Sun. 8:20 pm ET)
The two teams enter Sunday coming off losses in Week 3, but the Bucs are the clear-cut favorite (-7). Tampa Bay is averaging 34.3 ppg while New England is averaging just 18 ppg. Brady has thrived since the departure, obviously, after winning Super Bowl LV. But his heir apparent, rookie QB Mac Jones, has something to prove in TB12’s return to Gillette Stadium.
QB Comparison (2021 Stats)
T. Brady (TB): 68.8% Comp. 1,087 Yards, 10 TDs, 2 INTs
M. Jones (NE): 67.5% Comp. 737 Yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs
It’s Brady vs. Bill in what could be the G.O.A.T.’s final game in Foxborough.
Rays Clinch Home-Field in AL
The Road to the World Series Goes Through Tampa Bay
Here we go again. Champa Bay paves the way to the World Series in yet another season of success on Florida’s gulf coast. The Rays clinched the top seed in the American League on Wednesday with a 7-0 blowout against the Astros. The Bucs (NFL) and Lightning (NHL) have claimed three titles in the last year, and the Rays — the defending AL champions — will look to get back to the World Series after reaching a franchise-record 98 wins this season. They’ll hold the home-field advantage throughout the American League playoffs.
Brewers End Cards Streak at 17: After 19 days of winning baseball games, the Cardinals’ streak has finally ended. The Brewers blanked St. Louis on Wednesday (4-0). Both NL Central clubs have clinched playoff bids as they cruise through the final week of seeding games.
Braves on the Brink: The marquee series of the week (Braves-Phillies) took another swing in Atlanta’s direction on Wednesday with a 7-2 Braves win. That puts the Braves one win away — or one Phillies loss away — from clinching the NL East with five games to play.
Ohtani Makes AL History: Shohei Ohtani made history in Wednesday’s 7-2 win over the Rangers by stealing his 25th and 26th bases of the year. He’s the second player in AL history with at least 45 homers and 25 stolen bags (Jose Canseco, 1998).
Notable Scores (Playoff Race)
Dodgers def. Padres (11-9)
Mariners def. Athletics (4-2)
Red Sox def. Orioles (6-0)
Blue Jays def. Yankees (6-5)
Giants def. Diamondbacks (1-0)
Champions League Upsets Keep Coming
Benfica Upsets Barcelona (3-0); Juventus Blanks Chelsea (1-0); Bayern Continues Blazing Opponents (5-0)
Day 2 of Matchday 2 in the Champions League brought more storylines across the pond. Among the highlights were another upset against a La Liga giant. Barcelona was shutout by Benfica in a 3-0 thrashing. Meanwhile, Juventus survived UCL defending champion Chelsea (1-0) despite being outplayed for most of the game. And Bayern Munich continued its Champions League dominance by blowing out Dynamo Kyiv (5-0) thanks to two early goals from Robert Lewandowski. Bayern is now 2-0 with an 8-0 goal differential. You can catch all the scores and highlights from Matchday 2 below.
Matchday 2 Scores & Highlights
Matchday 3: Tuesday & Wednesday (Oct. 19 & 20)
Wild cards. Divisional crowns. Clinching. Elimination. Home-field advantage. The last week of the MLB regular season brings about a lot of drama. Not to be forgotten in all of that is the conclusion of the sport’s major awards races. (FOX Sports)
World Cup qualifying resumes on Oct. 7, and the U.S. will be without two of its top stars for matches against Jamaica, Panama and Costa Rica, though one of its midfield leaders returns after being kicked off the team in the opening window. (SI)
National Labor Relations Board general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memo Wednesday outlining why she believes that college players are employees of their schools and afforded protections under the National Labor Relations Act. (Yahoo! Sports)
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