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This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ AM Newsletter, the ultimate guide to every day in sports. You can sign up to get it in your inbox every weekday morning here.

🏆 Good morning to everyone but especially ...

MLB: New York Yankees at Cleveland Guardians


For all the strikeouts, the dominance, the headlines and the accolades, Gerrit Cole had never won a Cy Young award ... until now. The Yankees righty took home pitching's most coveted award in the AL, and he did it in unanimous fashion.

  • Cole is the sixth Yankees player -- but first since Roger Clemens in 2001 -- to win the award. Cole went 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA this season. His 0.98 WHIP led MLB.
  • Cole joins Ron Guidry (1978) as the Yankees' unanimous Cy Young winners.
  • Cole is also the oldest player in MLB history to win his first Cy Young unanimously.
  • Cole had finished top-10 in Cy Young voting six times -- including runner-up twice -- previously.

Over in the NL, Blake Snell joined some exclusive company with his own Cy Young award. Also a Cy Young winner in 2018 with the Rays, Snell is just the seventh player to win the award in both leagues.

MVP awards will be announced tonight.

👍 Honorable mentions

😖 And not such a good morning for ...

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The Browns have a historically good defense and are coming off a game in which their $230-million quarterback finally delivered. Times were good in Cleveland. And then times stopped being good. Deshaun Watson will miss the rest of the season due to a shoulder fracture that requires surgery.

  • The news came just three days after Watson played a magnificent second half to rally his team to a 33-31 victory over the Ravens, improving the Browns to 6-3.
  • Watson suffered the injury in the second quarter, making his second half all the more remarkable: 14 of 14 passing for 134 yards and one touchdown as well as 18 yards rushing. By expected points added per dropback, it was his best half of the season, and that it came against the Ravens' outstanding defense made it all the better.
  • Watson's campaign ends after just six games. Across two seasons in Cleveland -- due to suspension and injury -- he will have played in 12 of a potential 34 games.

The Browns will move forward with rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson as their starter. Thompson-Robinson, who you can get to know here, has one career start: He threw three interceptions and took four sacks in a 28-3 loss to Baltimore. The Browns have also used P.J. Walker at quarterback, though he ranks last in completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception ratio and passer rating among 38 quarterbacks with at least 75 pass attempts.

This makes me think of Tom Moore, who, when asked why he didn't give more reps to Peyton Manning's backups in Indianapolis, responded,"Fellas, if '18' goes down, we're f---ed. And we don't practice f---ed." The Browns have an elite defense that might help them survive. But Thompson-Robinson and Walker don't exactly inspire confidence, and neither do potential outside options, especially after the trade deadline has passed, notes John Breech.

Watson's arrival was supposed to halt Cleveland's decades-long revolving door at quarterback. So far, though, he has failed to do so, and a Browns season with real promise just days ago has lost all momentum.

👎 Not so honorable mentions

🏀 Draymond Green suspended five games after headlock

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The first huge fight of the NBA season, somewhat unsurprisingly, involved Draymond Green. Now, he and the Warriors are paying for it. Green was suspended five games for "escalating an on-court altercation and forcefully grabbing Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert around the neck in an unsportsmanlike and dangerous manner." If you somehow missed it, here's every angle of the incident.

  • Green, Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels were all ejected from the game. Green will also lose nearly $770,000 as a result of the suspension, while Thompson, McDaniels and Gobert all received $25,000 fines.
  • Gobert called Green's actions "clown behavior," suggesting Green got ejected on purpose because he has a tendency to get ejected when Stephen Curry (who is out with a sprained knee) isn't playing. As it turns out, that last part, historically, is true.
  • Shortly after the fight, Brad Botkin opined Green had to be suspended, and the NBA wasted little time in its action.

Green will miss games against the Thunder (twice), Rockets, Suns and Spurs. Golden State, loser of four straight, is 6-6 on the season.

🏈 New No. 1s in weekly QB Power Rankings

Houston Texans v Cincinnati Bengals
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If you haven't picked up on it over the last few newsletters, I could not be more impressed with C.J. Stroud. I know I'm far from alone, though, and Cody Benjamin's latest NFL QB Power Rankings is the latest example. He has Stroud No. 1:

  • Benjamin: "Yes, he's a rookie, but is anyone playing smarter, more composed, more clutch football right now? Stroud can push the ball anywhere he pleases, and that's reason No. 1 the Texans are relevant. Only Brock Purdy and Tua Tagovailoa are averaging more yards per throw, and those guys are surrounded by all-star weapons."

Power Rankings, as Cody mentions, are "focused more on current standing than the bigger picture," and my goodness has Stroud been good lately: 826 yards passing and six touchdowns over his last two games. No other rookie has done that in a two-game span since the merger. Yeah, pretty good. Here's the top five:

  1. C.J. Stroud (previous: 4)
  2. Jalen Hurts (2)
  3. Patrick Mahomes (5)
  4. Lamar Jackson (1)
  5. Josh Allen (3)

There's also a new top dog -- err, Tiger -- in Tom Fornelli's College Football QB Power Rankings.

  1. Jayden Daniels (previous: Detention) -- "He's been the best player in the country this year."
  2. Carson Beck (4) -- "He's comfortable, he's confident and he's ripping secondaries to shreds."
  3. Jalen Milroe (5) -- "I have this vision of Alabama winning another national title this year and all of us asking one another, 'Remember when Alabama benched Jalen Milroe against South Florida and started Tyler Buchner instead?'"
  4. Michael Penix Jr. (1) -- "I love the guy and all (I mean, how many weeks has he been No. 1 here?), but he's been too up and down this season."
  5. Bo Nix (2) -- "Yawn, just another 417-yard, four-touchdown performance from Bo Nix as Oregon cruised to a relatively easy win over USC."

You know you're doing something right when you go for 417 yards and four touchdowns and move down. The Daniels vs. Nix (and maybe someone else?) Heisman Trophy race is going to be fascinating.

📺 What we're watching Thursday

🏀 No. 20 Maryland at No. 8 UConn, 6:30 p.m. on FS1
🏈 Boston College at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Nets at Heat, 7:30 p.m. on NBA TV
🏈 Bengals at Ravens, 8:15 p.m. Prime Video
USMNT vs. Trinidad and Tobago, 9 p.m. on TNT
🏀 Thunder at Warriors, 10 p.m. on NBA TV