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🏈Eagles Can't Complete Comeback

October 20, 2020

The GIST: The Eagles couldn’t complete the comeback yesterday against the Baltimore Ravens, losing 30–28 and dropping to 1-4-1. Womp.

Slow starts: The first half was a complete mess as the Eagles defense allowed the Ravens to jump to an early 17–0 lead. The Birds’ offensive line also seemed to open up on command for Baltimore’s defense, leaving QB Carson Wentz completely out to dry.

  • The Baltimore Ravens are very physical and have been known to be borderline bullies on the field — yesterday the Ravens had 12 penalties for 132 yards, and still managed to take home the win.

A tale of two halves: The undisciplined Ravens aside, Wentz and the offense stepped it up in the second half. The Iggles’ first points came in the third quarter, when Miles Sanders’ 75-yard run turned into a fumble five yards from the end zone, but was recovered by wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to snag the TD. Lucky! Unluckily, Sanders hurt his knee on the drive and didn’t return to the game.

  • From there, the Birds set the stage for an epic comeback, but after back-to-back TDs in the fourth quarter, they blew their chance when they failed to complete a two-point conversion that could’ve tied the game.

What’s next: Although we kind of expected this loss, it still hurts, especially as the Eagles have yet to snag a second win. Hopefully it comes this Thursday when they face the NY Giants at 8:20 p.m. ET.

🏈Bears are 5-1 for First Time Since 2012

October 20, 2020

The GIST: Though the weather may be worse than average, it’s still a beautiful Monday in Chicago because the Bears are 5-1 for the first time since 2012. Oh happy days!

In control: The Bears defense was the MVP in yesterday’s 23–16 win over the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers’ opening drive suffered a Chicago sack followed by an interception, creating the first opportunity the Bears were able to capitalize on to create their early lead.

  • The defense stayed strong and didn’t allow any of the Panthers’ 12 first-half red zone (between the 20-yard and goal line) plays to gain more than five yards, keeping Carolina out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. Pretty impressive.

Seize the day: QB Nick Foles is looking more comfortable with every snap (and every Meek Mill song), releasing the ball quickly and effectively yesterday. He came out firing, completing nine of his first 10 throws, and ended with one TD pass and one run in on a QB sneak.

  • This game shows how serious of a playoff contender the Bears are. While this team is nowhere near perfect, we’ve seen improvement every game, which is critical as Chicago faces tougher teams in the coming weeks.

No Sweeps in MLB's League Championship Series

October 15, 2020

The GIST: It might be spooky season, but the witches can hide their brooms for now, with no sweeps in the MLB’s league championship series.

What happened yesterday?: The Tampa Bay Rays were primed to sweep the AL Championship Series (ALCS), leading the Houston Astros 3-0 heading into Game 4. But the Astros proved to be too much for the regular season AL leaders, winning 4–3 and forcing today’s Game 5 at 5 p.m. ET.

  • Earlier in the day, the LA Dodgers put on a masterclass in the National League Championship Series (NLCS). Down 2-0 in the series to the Atlanta Braves, the Dodgers finally came to life in Game 3, winning 15–3 and showing why they led the NL in the regular season. Game 4 is set for 8 p.m. ET tonight.

Any other MLB news?: No more fake crowd noise, because the fans are back! For the first time since spring training in March, the MLB is allowing 11,500 fans to attend NLCS games, which are being played in a “neutral site” environment at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The World Series, which will also take place in Arlington, will allow fans as well. We’ll miss you, cardboard cutouts!

🏈Florida Gators' Head Coach Calls For Packed Stadium Despite Team's Numerous Positive COVID-19 Tests

October 15, 2020

The GIST: Last weekend, Florida head coach Dan Mullen pushed for a 100% capacity crowd at this Saturday’s game...the same game that was just postponed due to a spike in COVID-19 cases amongst the Gators. Life sure does come at you fast.

Damn. Tell me more: Mullen made the troubling “pack the Swamp” comments following a road loss to Texas A&M, a game played with over 24,000 fans in attendance. The Gators’ coach suggested crowd noise contributed to his team’s frustrating loss, leading to his v. shortsighted comments (and subsequent backtracking).

  • So far, 21 Florida players have tested positive. While there’s a possibility the outbreak is linked to their trip to Texas, some players later revealed they were experiencing symptoms prior to Saturday’s game. The audacity!

Have any other games been postponed?: Yup, Missouri vs. Vanderbilt. Fortunately, the SEC does have some scheduling flexibility, with both games being tentatively rescheduled for December 12th, a date the conference intentionally left open. But any additional postponements will make it near impossible to play the full schedule ahead of College Football Playoff Selection Day on December 20th.

I also heard a coach tested positive?: You heard right. As if the SEC wasn’t already dealing with enough, Alabama head coach Nick Saban (along with Alabama’s athletic director, Greg Byrne) tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

  • Saban’s No. 2 Crimson Tide are slated to take on No. 3 Georgia this Saturday, a marquee matchup for the SEC. Remarkably, the game is still on for now, pending players’ test results, so we’ll see how Alabama fares without their fiery leader on the sidelines.

🏈Positive COVID-19 Tests on the Rise in NFL

October 15, 2020

The GIST: The NFL is a hot mess. COVID-19 tests are coming back positive, facilities keep closing, the Pro Bowl is canceled, the New York Jets don’t know how to play football and now Thursday is Monday.

Sorry, what?: Tonight’s Thursday Night Football game, a cornerstone of the NFL weekly schedule, has been moved to Monday. This Week 6 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills was postponed after the Bills’ Week 5 game was pushed from last Sunday to this past Tuesday due to their opponent Tennessee Titans’ COVID-19 outbreak. Confused yet?

  • At least 10 games have now been affected by positive COVID-19 tests, at least 20 players have tested positive and over 90 have been placed on the COVID-19 special reserve list.
  • But despite having the highest total cases in the league, their facilities closed, their practices canceled and two weeks without a game, the Titans still managed a blowout 42–16 win against the previously undefeated Bills on Tuesday night. Also, Derrick Henry did this — beast mode!

So will the NFL try the bubble?: Doesn’t look like it. Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t think the league will need to implement the tried and true safety method successfully used by the NWSL, WNBA, NBA and others. Interesting.

  • While there’s still the possibility of a bubbled postseason, which is set to expand to 14 teams this year, the league’s chief medical officer suggested that it’s “not the safest course of action.” Whatever, dude. Tell that to the COVID-19-free Stanley Cup.
  • On the bright-ish side, the Pro Bowl (the NFL’s All-Star game) has been canceled for the first time since 1949 (we doubt anyone’s heartbroken by that), which could free up an extra week of play should any playoff games need to be moved. Let’s hope not!