Today's Names to Know:
MLB Playoff Races: We've got a one-game playoff!
Jake Peavy vs. Josh Fogg, and there's an intriguing side-show that Matt Holliday could lose the NL batting title if he goes 0-for-5, because the game counts as a regular-season game.
Pick: Rockies. Wow. Peavy is the best pitcher in the NL, if not all of baseball. The
Phillies win NL East/Mets choke away NL East: Philly coming back from 7 games down on September 12 matches the biggest standings comeback in MLB history. (This isn't very "Instant History," but I'd say this exorcises Philly's Ghosts of 1964.)
The Phillies are playing with a lot of mojo right now, but I'm waiting until seeing the results of the Wild Card playoff to make my World Series pick. (Stud: NL MVP contender Jimmy Rollins, for calling this back in February, then leading his team to back it up.)
Complete MLB playoff preview coming tomorrow: D-backs/Cubs, Phillies/Wild Card, Angels/Red Sox, Yankees/Indians. I won't make any picks right now...
...But I will say that the best-case scenario for MLB is that it's Cubs-Phillies in the NLCS and Red Sox-Yankees in the ALCS, with the Cubs ideally making the World Series against whoever survives the Boston-NY series.
NFL Weekend Wrap: The story of the year in the NFL has got to be the resurgence of the Green Bay Packers behind the ageless Brett Favre, who set the all-time TD record in a win over the Vikings that ran the Packers' record to 4-0. TD pass No. 421 came in the first quarter; he added No. 422 in the 4th.
Unbreakable record? (Unbreakable? Hardly. As Commenters pointed out: Ummm...PEYTON MANNING?!)
But the offensive story of the day had to be the Lions' 34 4th-quarter points, an NFL record, en route to beating the now-hapless Bears. Maybe there's something to that offseason Jon Kitna season-win-total guarantee.
Griese, Grossman: It just doesn't seem to matter. At this rate, the Bears (1-3) will have their choice of the particularly loaded 2008 QB Draft class.
Fantasy Stud 1: Giants D, which tied an NFL record with 12 sacks in holding last week's explosive Eagles offense to a measly 3 points. (Osi Umenyiora had six sacks by himself.) Apparently, it's harder for McNabb to throw for a gajillion yards and tons of TDs without Brian Westbrook there to balance the offense.
Fantasy Stud 2: Daunte Culpepper, who had 3 TDs -- rushing! -- and another 2 passing. Sure, he didn't throw for many yards, but with that many TDs, who cares?
Tony Romo ain't bad either: 339 yards, 3 TDs in another Cowboys romp. If you drafted Romo in the middle of your fantasy league, you're sitting so pretty right now.
Rams the NFL's worst: Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, yes, confirming Friday's speculation, the Rams are in fact the worst team in the NFL.
Things have hit rock-bottom for the Chargers. Not only are they 1-3, but they lost to the hapless Chiefs. I mean, yikes, the Chargers crowd was openly cheering for Marty Schottenheimer! It's a full-on revolt.
(Maybe if the Chargers fire Norv Turner – as they should today – he can return to San Francisco and save what's left of Alex Smith's battered young career.)
Fantasy Dud: Cadillac Williams, who could be done for the season.
Broken Colts top broken Denver: Wow,
OK, so given the grief that the Falcons have taken for letting Matt Schaub go, it must have been particularly sweet to beat him, especially because it was
Eliminator/Suicide Picks: Anyone have their season ruined by
This week's Adrian Peterson Memorial Rookie of the Week: Dwayne Bowe, who caught 8 passes for 164 yards and a TD, showing up every other skill-position player on the field, including Tomlinson.
(Honorable Mention: Trent Edwards. It's hard enough to be a rookie in the NFL, let alone a rookie QB, let alone starting for a winless team. Edwards got the win.)
MNF: Pats at Bengals. Here's another chance for the Pats to show how dominant they are. Not only will they slice up a Bengals D that allowed
CFB Saturday Recap: Cripes, has the dust settled yet? It was a multi-upset parlay that NO ONE could have predicted. Maybe one or two games, sure, but ALL those upset results? (Not to mention the close finishes for other top teams like USC and
In addition to South Florida, the weekend's big winner is
CFB Top 25 This Week: There was one thing to watch for this week: Where would voters rank the six previously unbeaten contenders who lost – and which team would have the inside track at climbing back up?
The other thing to note is that LSU vaulted USC for No. 1 in the AP poll. Why is this notable? Because usually the voters are slaves to their own inertia; they rarely displaced a No. 1 team if that team wins, even if it's a tough or sloppy game. In this case, they did the right thing: LSU has consistently looked better than USC, and apparently USC's near-miss at
Here's my BlogPoll ballot: Note that I rank
The other thing to note is that I have both
Notre Dame SuckWatch: QB controversy! Hey, if the team is 0-5, at least they can provide a little QB controversy to spice things up. It turns out that Golden Boy Jimmy Clausen ain't all that, and backup Evan Sharpley did more (and better) things in his fill-in time against Purdue than Clausen has done all season combined.
Michigan forfeiting Penn State win?! If last week's off-field CFB intrigue was Mike Gundy's freak-out, then this week's is the emerging news that
Boxing: I don't follow boxing, but Kelly Pavlik upsetting undisputed middleweight champ Jermain Taylor by KO appears to rank up there among the most incredible boxing results of the last two decades.
Women's World Cup:
NBA: If rookie PG Jared Jordan of Marist makes the Knicks, who just traded for him, he will be the most popular player on the team. Just a prediction. I think he'll end up in the D-League.
More: Will Leitch got an interview with Gilbert Arenas for Deadspin while Gil was in NYC. Needless to say, I'm so jealous. (But I don't think I would have gotten Gil to talk about his online surfing habits, which was the highlight of the interview.)
World Sports: It's worth noting that Haile Gebrselassie shattered the world record in the marathon by 29 seconds. That's insane.