🏈NFL Week 13
Oh when the saints: The Saints clinched this season’s first playoff spot yesterday with a 21–16 win over the Atlanta Falcons (4-8). Even more remarkable is that they did it with backup QB Taysom Hill at the helm. Hill threw his first two NFL touchdowns (TDs) yesterday, and has led the team to three straight wins. Amazing.
No Ruggrets: The NY Jets were seconds away from their first win of the year when Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr spoiled it all with this incredible pass to wide receiver (WR) Henry Ruggs III. The now 7-5 Raiders took it 31–28.
Rodger that: Green Bay Packers (9-3) QB Aaron Rodgers threw his 35th TD of the season yesterday, making him the only QB in NFL history to record at least 35 passing TDs in five different seasons. As the cherry on top, Rodgers then became the seventh (and fastest) QB in NFL history to throw 400 career TDs.
Sunday Night Fever: The Denver Broncos (4-8) may have lost their primetime matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs (11-1), but rookie WR Jerry Jeudy has (possibly) secured a spot on Dancing with the Stars with these pre-game moves.
What’s next: It’s a rare Monday Night Football doubleheader. The Steelers are going for win #12 against the Washington Football Team (4-7) at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the Buffalo Bills (8-3) and San Francisco 49ers (5-6) at 8:15 p.m. ET.
- Then, in an even rarer Tuesday night game, the Dallas Cowboys (3-8) and the still-recuperating Baltimore Ravens (6-5) — who dealt with at least four unique strains of COVID-19 during their recent outbreak — face off at 8:05 p.m. ET.
New Mom Alex Morgan Scores First FA WSL Goal
⚽️Soccer: U.S. women’s national team striker Alex Morgan is back in superstar form. Morgan scored her first FA WSL goal yesterday on a penalty, helping her Tottenham Hotspur notch their first win of the season 3–1. That’s what you call #momgoals.
- On this side of the pond, the MLS Cup is almost set. The Columbus Crew SC ended the New England Revolution’s underdog journey with a 1–0 win yesterday to take the Eastern Conference Final. The Seattle Sounders FC and Minnesota United FC face off tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET for the Western Conference spot.
🏒Hockey: The NBA will have to fill our winter-sports void for a little bit longer, because the NHL is still dragging their skates. The original New Year’s Day start to the season has been pushed to a more realistic January 15th, with the league now aiming for a 52 or 56-game season instead of the regular 82. Just get it in writing and start the Zambonis already!
📖Sports Illustrated: As we near the end of 2020 (finally!), Sports Illustrated has shaken up their annual “Sportsperson of the Year” by naming five athletes instead of just one. This year’s edition, called “The Activist Athlete,” announced tennis star Naomi Osaka, basketball players Breanna Stewart and LeBron James (for a record third time) and the NFL’s Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Patrick Mahomes as recipients.
- While we love the theme, winners and overall sentiment, we can’t help but question a major misstep in overlooking the many incredible Black women in the WNBA.
- Not to take anything away from Stewart, but the decision to limit the award to champions and pick a white athlete in a year powered by strong Black leaders like Natasha Cloud and Maya Moore (who opted out of their seasons to fight for justice), seems a bit tone-deaf to us.
🏈Chargers, Rams on Different Paths
Back on top: Looks like QB Jared Goff took head coach Sean McVay’s criticism to heart. After a bit of a shaky start, Goff led the Rams to a 38–28 bounceback win over their divisional foe, the Arizona Cardinals. The Rams pulled away in the fourth quarter, with running back Darrell Henderson’s 38-yard rushing TD and cornerback Troy Hill’s pick-six.
- And with the NY Giants upsetting the Seattle Seahawks, the Rams are now first in the NFC West. Thank you, next!
At rock bottom: As for the Chargers, is it bad that we kind of miss losing in close heartbreakers? Yesterday, the Bolts were shut out in an ugly 45–0 loss — the worst in franchise history — to the New England Patriots. Everything was dreadful.
🏈Monday Night Football: Washington Football Team vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The matchup: Although the WFT are heavy underdogs, the Burgundy and Gold are returning from a long layoff, while Pittsburgh is coming off a ho-hum showing in their thrice-rescheduled game against the shorthanded Baltimore Ravens. Could that extra R&R help the WFT?
- We certainly hope so. Rookie running back Antonio Gibson looks to continue his hot streak and build upon last game’s three TD performance. On the other side of the ball, rookie defensive end Chase Young and the Washington pass rush will aim to pressure Steeler veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger. That said, with his quick release, Big Ben won’t make it easy.
The division: With an unlikely win, the WFT would remain tied record-wise with the NFC East’s No. 1 NY Giants, but would lose the tiebreaker. If the Giants’ major upset win over the Seattle Seahawks yesterday taught us anything, it’s that you should never count your eggs before they hatch.
⚽USWNT Settles Part of Ongoing Equal Pay Lawsuit
Remind me about the lawsuit?: Sure thing. In March 2019, the USWNT filed a gender discrimination suit against the USSF, seeking two things: equal pay and equal working conditions. On Tuesday, the two sides settled on the working conditions.
- The USSF will now “implement revised policies on four working conditions: charter flights, venue selection, professional support and hotel accommodations” to equalize the treatment of the men’s and women’s teams. Seems like a major win to us.
Awesome! Now what?: Now the harder part. A judge already ruled against the equal pay part of the suit earlier this year, on the reasoning that the USWNT actually earned more than the men’s team overall, which is true.