Happy Monday newsletter readers, it's Shanna McCarriston. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick faced each other last night and I am more than thrilled to have that game behind us. Ultimately, I wanted the Patriots to come away with the win, but they played well and it was nice to see Brady talking about how much his time in New England meant to him.
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We will discuss that game -- and take a look at action from the rest of the league as well -- BUT FIRST we need to go over what was a wild final day of MLB's regular season and what it all means for the playoffs.
Let's get to it.
📰 What you need to know
First off, a congratulations to the MLB teams (and their fans) who are headed to the postseason. And for the rest, you know what they say ... there's always next year.
Yesterday every team played their 162nd game of the season and it was needed to determine who was going to extend their season. Things went down to the wire -- specifically in the AL Wild Card race -- which made it all a bit more interesting.
- The Red Sox advanced to the postseason with a win over the Nationals. They were carried by Rafael Devers, who hit a clutch home run in the eighth inning to give Boston the lead
- Boston will host the Yankees, who clinched a playoff spot with a walk-off win against the Rays, in the Wild Card Game tomorrow night
- With the Red Sox and Yankees taking up the two AL Wild Card spots, it means the Blue Jays (91 wins) and Mariners (90 wins) will miss the playoffs despite having strong seasons
- The Giants won their 107th game and clinched the NL West
The playoffs formally begin with that Yankees vs. Red Sox Wild Card Game on Tuesday night. We will have much more on that matchup in tomorrow's newsletter, but for now I'll leave you with this.
- No. 1: Rays, East
- No. 2: Astros, West
- No. 3: White Sox, Central
- No. 4 (Wild Card): Red Sox, East
- No. 5 (Wild Card): Yankees, East
- No. 1: Giants, West
- No. 2: Brewers, Central
- No. 3: Braves, East
- No. 4 (Wild Card): Dodgers, West
- No. 5 (Wild Card): Cardinals, Central
Here is how the postseason will work:
- Wild Card Game: winner advances
- Division Series (two per league): best-of-five series
- Championship Series: best-of-seven series
- World Series: best-of-seven series
Not everyone had a day worth celebrating, but sometimes even the worst of the worst get something in return. The Orioles didn't have the best season, in fact they had the worst record in the league, but I suppose at least next season they do get the No. 1 pick.
2. Tom Brady wins first game against Patriots, Bill Belichick 🏈
The game that caused New Englanders to go on an emotional rollercoaster has come and gone, and it was Tom Brady and the Buccaneers who came out victorious -- but not by much. The Bucs won 19-17, with the game ending in a long field goal doink from the Patriots that was inches from going in.
Had the Patriots made that field goal, they likely would've ended the night with a W.
With the win, Brady has now defeated all 32 NFL teams. As if it was scripted, he also passed Drew Brees for most passing yards all-time to add to his already insane resume and Brees was on the sideline when it happened.
Here's a deeper look at what happened in the game:
- The Pats missed opportunities. Tampa totaled just six points on five first-half drives, but New England could manage only a 7-6 lead at the break
- Brady finished with more rushing yards than the Patriots
- Multiple Patriots trick plays and double-passes kept the Bucs defense on their toes
- With a minute remaining in the game, Nick Folk's 56-yard field goal attempt for New England was no good
- Turnovers and penalties hurt the Patriots in the end
Despite the loss, Patriots QB Mac Jones looked solid. He went 31 of 40 passing for 275 yards with two touchdowns and an interception -- and at one point completed 19 straight passes. I don't love giving out "moral victories," but if there ever was one for the Pats, this was it.
3. NFL Week 4 recap: Jets and Giants finally win; previewing Chargers vs. Raiders 🏈
There were games on Sunday that did not involve Tom Brady and we had some surprises, like the Jets actually winning! I was most impressed by the Cardinals, who handed the Rams their first loss of the season and continue to prove themselves as serious contenders.
The Bills beating the Texans was not surprising, but Josh Allen and company blowing out Houston 40-0 proves just how dangerous that offense can be.
Here are some other top stories from around the league:
- The Jets and Giants BOTH got their first win of the season on Sunday
- Ben Roethlisberger became the eighth quarterback with 400 touchdown passes, but took another loss, this time to the Packers
- Sam Darnold became the first quarterback to rush for five touchdowns during the first four games of a season
- The Washington Football Team won in dramatic fashion: a scramble turned into a game-winning touchdown
- Andy Reid became the first coach to win 100 games as a head coach for two teams
The Raiders, who play the Chargers tonight, are now the only undefeated team left.
The spread is currently at Chargers -3 and the over-under is at 51.5 points. CBS Sports' Pete Prisco, who gives us his weekly picks, predicts the Chargers will win 36-30. I'm going to go the other way and give this one to the Raiders.
4. College football winners and losers: Michigan aces big test 🏈
You know what time it is: it's college football winners and losers time! This is becoming a lovely newsletter tradition and, just like always, there is a lot to discuss.
- Michigan: The Wolverines aced their biggest test of the season, defeating Wisconsin 38-17
- Kentucky: The streak of not beating Florida in Lexington since 1986 is over, with a 20-13 victory
- Pitt QB Kenny Pickett: He completed 23 of 36 passes for 389 yards and four touchdowns in the team's 52-21 win against Georgia Tech
- Oregon: The Ducks gave away too many points against Stanford and didn't exactly look like a playoff team
- Texas A&M: The team was out-played by Mississippi State and lost the game on a safety
For full commentary on winners and losers, plus overreactions, click here.
📝 Odds & Ends
- The Phillies fired multiple coaches after the team missed the postseason for the 10th consecutive year
- Celtics star Enes Kanter called out LeBron James for declining to be a public advocate for the COVID-19 vaccine
- Ryan Zimmerman received an emotional ovation from Nationals fans in what was possibly his final game with the franchise
📺 What to watch tonight
🏈 Raiders vs. Chargers, 8:15 p.m. | LAC -3 | TV: ESPN
🏅 Best thing I saw on the internet
Auburn's Bo Nix put together one of the most incredible plays I've seen this season. To say the quarterback was pressured by the LSU defense on this play would be the understatement of the year. He should've been sacked about 20 times, but somehow dodged the Tigers rushing at him and made a miracle happen, completing a touchdown pass.
2021 Tom Brady jerseys now available
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