The most jam-packed sports weekend in months left us with little room to mess around in today’s newsletter. The NFL had record-setting performances. The MLB Playoff bracket is locked. The Ryder Cup was downright insane. And we’ve got a lightning round to try and recap everything else, from boxing to WNBA and MLS.
Your time is precious. Let’s recap close to 100 events in about 4-5 minutes.
Pick-6: A Sunday of Records
From Khalil Mack’s 6 Sacks to Belichick’s Biggest Loss, We’re Picking 6 Storylines From a Wild Sunday in the NFL
Just when we think we have the NFL figured out, a Sunday like Week 4 brings head-scratchers and upside-down score lines. The Texans trashed the Steelers? The Titans tortured the Bengals? And the Dolphins got embarrassed? We’re still trying to figure out what’s happening, and that’s the beauty of the NFL. From Khalil Mack’s six-sack performance to Bill Belichick’s biggest loss ever, here are our six picks for the top storylines of Week 4.
Pick-Six (6 Storylines)
Return of the Mack Sack: Chargers DE Khalil Mack recorded six sacks against the Raiders in a win (24-17). He was one short of Derrick Thomas’ single-game record (7).
Belichick’s Big Loss: The Cowboys hammered the Patriots to hand Bill Belichick his worst loss as a head coach (38-3). Dallas forced three turnovers and scored two defensive touchdowns before Patriots QB Mac Jones was benched for Bailey Zappe.
Bears Blow 21-Point Lead: Chicago looked spectacular for the first time all season after QB Justin Fields threw for 335 yards and 4 TDs against the Broncos, but they blew a 28-7 lead against all odds (31-28). Denver gets their first win (1-3), and the Bears are still winless (0-4).
Bills Smash Dolphins: One game after Miami’s 70-point outburst, the Bills thrashed the Dolphins (48-20) with QB Josh Allen (320 yards 4 TDs) and WR Stefon Diggs (6 catches, 120 yards, 3 TDs). It was Miami’s first loss. Buffalo is the first team in NFL history to win three straight games by 28+ points.
Eagles & 49ers Stay Perfect: It took overtime for the Eagles to pull out a comeback against the Commanders (34-31, OT), and the 49ers handled the Cardinals (35-16) behind RB Christian McCaffrey’s 4 TDs to be the NFL’s last two unbeaten teams.
Chiefs Hold Off Jets: The Jets made a furious comeback on Sunday Night Football to tie things up with the Chiefs after QB Zach Wilson (245 yards, 2 TDs) played a solid game, but Kansas City iced it with a field goal in the 4th (23-20).
Week 4 Scoreboard & Highlights
Tonight (Monday Night Football)
Seahawks at Giants (8:15 pm ET)
MLB Playoff Bracket Set
Astros Clinch AL West on Final Day; Cubs & Mariners Last Teams Out on Final Weekend
The MLB Playoffs are set! After a wild weekend on the diamonds, baseball’s final 12 have been found. A frenetic finish to the MLB season saw the Astros clinch the AL West on the final day of the season while the Rangers, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks and Marlins all secured Wild Card bids. After a 162-game marathon, four teams finished within two games of the playoffs, but they’ll be heading empty-handed into the offseason.
1 Game Back: Cubs & Mariners (Out)
Both Chicago and Seattle were the biggest losers of MLB’s final weekend. Chicago fell to the Brewers in two out of three games, including a 4-0 shutout on Sunday. The Cubs lost five of their last six games to close the season and miss the last NL Wild Card spot by just one game. Seattle’s last 10 games of the season featured series against the Rangers and Astros, and they finished 4-6 to miss the playoffs by just one game.
2 Games Back: Reds & Padres (Out)
Cincinnati faltered down the stretch and won just three of their last 10 games. And with the Cubs collapsing, the Reds squandered a golden opportunity that the Marlins took advantage of. Then, there were the Padres who finished on an epic tear — winning five straight games and eight of their last 10 to come within two games of doing the unthinkable. Nonetheless, it’s straight to the offseason for two of the most exciting young teams in baseball.
MLB Playoff Bracket
#3 Twins vs. #6 Blue Jays
#4 Rays vs. #5 Rangers
#2 Astros (Bye)
#1 Orioles (Bye)
#3 Brewers vs. #6 Diamondbacks
#4 Phillies vs. #5 Marlins
#2 Dodgers (Bye)
#1 Braves (Bye)
The MLB postseason begins Tuesday. We’ll have more coverage and playoff previews tomorrow.
Europe Wins Ryder Cup Riot
From ‘HatGate’ to Caddy Drama & A Late USA Rally, the 2023 Ryder Cup Had a Life of Its Own
Thirty years and counting. Team Europe once again defended home soil and took the 2023 Ryder Cup (16.5 — 11.5), and this year’s event was anything but ordinary. Europe stormed out to a monster advantage after a hot start in Round 1. Then, the drama caught up. Reporters and fans speculated for over a day about why Patrick Cantlay wasn’t wearing his Team USA hat. He claimed it didn’t fit, but there were reports he was frustrated that Team USA golfers didn’t get paid for the event. Then, Cantlay’s caddy — and former Tiger Woods caddy — Joe LaCava made his mark with some gamesmanship that made Rory McIlroy unhappy. McIlroy was caught on camera confronting LaCava in the parking lot. By Day 3, Team USA came storming back to make things interesting, but it was too little too late. Team USA needed to win eight of the 12 singles matchups on Sunday, but two pushes resulted in a 5-5 split.
Final Round Singles Matches
Jon Rahm tied Scottie Scheffler
Jordan Spieth tied Shane Lowry
Viktor Hovland def. Collin Morikawa (4&3)
Patrick Cantlay def. Justin Rose (2&1)
Rory McIlroy def. Sam Burns (3&1)
Max Homa def. Matt Fitzpatrick (1-Up)
Tyrrell Hatton def. Brian Harman (3&2)
Brooks Koepka def. Ludvig Aberg (3&2)
Justin Thomas def. Sepp Straka (2-Up)
Xander Schauffele def. Nicolai Hojgaard (3&2)
Tommy Fleetwood def. Rickie Fowler (3&1)
Robert MacIntyre def. Wyndham Clark (2&1)
Team USA’s drought in Europe will continue until the next event in 2027 (34 years).
Boxing: Canelo Beats Charlo for 60th Win
Canelo Alvarez beat Jermell Charlo by unanimous decision in Saturday’s boxing match to decide the super middleweight title. Alvarez couldn’t find the knockout punch, but he floored Charlo twice, including a clinching overhand in the 7th round that put the match out of reach (118-109, 118-109, 119-108).
WNBA Playoffs: Aces & Liberty to Meet in Finals
The WNBA Finals are set. The Las Vegas Aces swept the Dallas Wings (3-0) and the New York Liberty rallied to win three straight against the Connecticut Sun (3-1). It’ll be the Aces’ second straight trip to the Finals after winning it all last season. Liberty vs. Aces, coming up!
Soccer: FC Cincinnati Wins MLS Shield
The regular-season champs of the MLS have been crowned! FC Cincinnati clinched the MLS Supporters’ Shield for the league’s best record with a 3-2 win against Toronto FC on Saturday. They have 65 points in 31 matches with three to go before playoffs.
Ryan Blaney was the winner of the YellaWood 400 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday for the next phase of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. William Byron finished second, and he leads the playoff standings. Both drivers (Byron and Blaney) have clinched their spots in the Round of 8.
NBA Trade: Celtics Acquire Jrue Holiday
The Boston Celtics swung a deal for former Bucks guard Jrue Holiday over the weekend. The deal comes just days after Milwaukee sent Holiday to the Blazers in a package for Damian Lillard. Holiday wasn’t expected to suit up for Portland, and he’ll now join Boston in a deal that saw the Celtics give away Robert Williams and Malcolm Brogdon.
College Football AP Poll
Top Teams Survive, Hold Down Top-10 in Exciting Week 5 in College Football
A few stunners in college football led us… well, right back to where we started. There was no movement among the top-7 teams following Saturday’s games. No. 1 Georgia survive a scare against Auburn (27-20) while No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 Texas made their case for No. 1 overall with monster wins. It’s still Georgia’s hold on the top spot, but the gap is closing. Elsewhere, Colorado nearly mounted a furious comeback against No. 8 USC while Notre Dame, Alabama, and Ole Miss are among the one-loss teams moving up. The Irish found themselves victorious in another game with late drama. Here’s the Week 5 recap:
Notable Week 5 Highlights
AP Poll (Top-10)
1. Georgia (5-0) | —
2. Michigan (5-0) | —
3. Texas (5-0) | —
4. Ohio State (4-0) | —
5. Florida State (4-0) | —
6. Penn State (5-0) | —
7. Washington (5-0) | —
8. Oregon (5-0) | ↑1
9. USC (5-0) | ↑1
10. Notre Dame (5-1) | ↑1
Rest of Top-25: 11. Alabama (4-1) | 12. Oklahoma (5-0) | 13. Washington State (4-0) | 14. North Carolina (4-0) | 15. Oregon State (4-1) | 16. Ole Miss (4-1) | 17. Miami (4-0) | 18. Utah (4-1) | 19. Duke (4-1) | 20. Kentucky (5-0) | 21. Missouri (5-0) | 22. Tennessee (4-1) | 23. LSU (3-2) | 24. Fresno State (5-0) | 25. Louisville (5-0)