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🏈 Football Five
- Joshua Dobbs and the Vikings are the best story in football. Dobbs threw a touchdown and ran for another as the 27-19 win over the Saints. It's the Vikings' fifth straight win. Derek Carr left early with a . led Minnesota to a
- Riley Patterson's 41-yard field goal as time expired lifted the Lions to a 41-38 win over the Chargers. The Lions ran for 200 yards, and Jared Goff threw two touchdowns. Detroit got an "A" in , and Jeff Kerr says the Lions are the Eagles' .
- Kyler Murray is back, and that makes football more fun. He led a drive to set up Matt Prater's game-winning field goal in the Cardinals' 25-23 win over the Falcons.
- North Carolina beat Duke, , thanks to a controversial call.
- Jayden Daniels submitted his latest Heisman Trophy statement by making FBS history in a over Florida.
💪 Good morning to everyone but especially ...
THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AND HOUSTON TEXANS
Welcome back, 49ers! Temporarily sidetracked by a three-game losing streak, San Francisco is back in emphatic fashion. In a battle between division leaders who were trending in opposite directions, San Francisco thumped Jacksonville, 34-3, with the Niners' stars shining.
- Brock Purdy threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns, including a 66-yard score to George Kittle that broke the game open.
- Christian McCaffrey's touchdown streak , but he still had 142 yards from scrimmage.
- Deebo Samuel had a rushing touchdown with Trent Williams leading the way. Both were returning from injury.
- Nick Bosa and Javon Hargrave each had 1.5 sacks, Bosa recovered a fumble, Chase Young had a half-sack in his team debut, and Fred Warner and Talanoa Hufanga both picked off Trevor Lawrence.
Purdy, who had six turnovers over his previous three games, got back to his clean, efficient ways. Purdy is 10-0 (playoffs included) when he has no turnovers and just 3-4 when he coughs the ball up.
But the story was the defense getting back to dominating. San Francisco's defense had a 73.3% success rate, its best in a game since 2019. The Jaguars registered season lows in total yards (221) and yards rushing (59). Lawrence was under siege almost all game. This is the 49ers team we know and love ... and opponents hate.
If the 49ers are back, the Texans are arriving -- ahead of schedule. One week after being nearly perfect, C.J. Stroud showed he can overcome imperfections, too, leading Houston to a 30-27 win over Cincinnati.
- Up 27-17 late, Houston appeared to be on track for a straightforward win.
- Then Stroud threw an awful pick, Joe Mixon scored, the Texans went three and out, and Evan McPherson tied things up with 1:33 remaining.
- Stroud guided Houston 55 yards in 1:33 to set up Matt Ammendola's game-winning kick as time expired.
Every week, Stroud seems to show something new, but what never leaves is his pinpoint accuracy and poise (beyond his years). Will Brinson says.
- Brinson: "A rookie quarterback *likely* isn't going to win the award. We could see him hit a rookie wall or the Texans simply not win enough games to allow him to make a move that high up the board. But the Texans are not some frisky, feel-good story. They're a legit playoff contender. Drafting Stroud is the biggest reason why."
Oh yeah, and DeMeco Ryans should be Coach of the Year.
😃 Honorable mentions
- CeeDee Lamb walloped the Giants. as the Cowboys
- The Raiders are 2-0 under interim coach Antonio Pierce after a 16-12 win over the Jets. Robert Spillane had a crucial interception of Zach Wilson late.
- T.J. Watt passed his brother, JJ, for .
- Tyrese Maxey had his .
- The Rockets have .
- Shaquille O'Neal's daughter Me'Arah at Florida.
- NC State took down No. 2 UConn, , behind 33 points from Saniya Rivers.
- No. 6 South Carolina ... again.
- Max Homa , and Camilo Villegas taking the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.
😰 And not such a good morning for ...
THE BALTIMORE RAVENS
The Ravens couldn't have asked for a better start. They couldn't have produced a worse finish. Baltimore blew a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 33-31 loss to the Browns, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Kyle Hamilton had a pick six on the second play from scrimmage, and the Ravens were up 14 early in the fourth quarter after former Raven James Proche II fumbled a punt and Gus Edwards scored a touchdown. Then ...
- Deshaun Watson found Elijah Moore for a 10-yard touchdown to get within seven. Under a minute later, Greg Newsome II returned a deflected Lamar Jackson pass for a pick six.
- The Ravens did nothing with their next possession, and Cleveland marched 58 yards in 12 plays with Dustin Hopkins nailing the game-winning 40-yard field goal as time expired.
- If those last few words are familiar, they should be: League-wide, there were five game-winning field goals with no time left in the fourth quarter, most ever in a single week.
- The Browns outgained the Ravens 119-40 in the final quarter.
The Ravens have led in the final 2 minutes of regulation in all three losses this season. The reasons are all too familiar: turnovers, penalties, mistakes, missed chances. The, writes Cody Benjamin.
😕 Not so honorable mentions
- Stephen Curry .
- on the Giants sideline.
- Mac Jones got 10-6 loss to the Colts.
- Kelly Oubre Jr. will miss significant time after .
- Texas' leading rusher, Jonathan Brooks ( ), is done for the season.
- Taylor Jenkins went on an and got fined $25,000.
- The Clippers are with James Harden.
- Boise State Andy Avalos.
🏈 College football round up: Michigan wins without Jim Harbaugh
The college football world was rocked Friday when the Big Ten grinding out a 24-15 win at Penn State to remain undefeated.. One day later, the Wolverines made sure the College Football Playoff picture wasn't rocked by
It wasn't pretty -- Michigan called 32 straight running plays to end the game -- but it was emotional: Interim coach Sherrone Moore. On the other side, Penn State after another dud.
Harbaugh's legal action against the Big Ten, meanwhile,.
Michigan's win was, more or less, emblematic of the weekend as top teams took care of business against tough competition.
- Georgia pulverized Ole Miss in the second half in a 52-17 win.
- Florida State held on against Miami, 27-20.
- Washington rallied to top Utah, 35-28, despite by Alphonzo Tuputala dropping the ball short of the goal line.
- Oregon keeps impressing by beating USC, 36-27. The Ducks are eagerly awaiting for a team ahead of them to open a door to the CFP, but for now, they're taking care of business in impressive fashion.
- Alabama rolled Kentucky, , and Will Backus for Jalen Milroe after a six-touchdown performance. The win also guaranteed .
To wrap up ...
😳 Texas A&M fires Jimbo Fisher; check these candidates
The Jimbo FIsher-Texas A&M marriage started out with so much promise: a title-winning coach joining a title-aspiring program with nearly unlimited resources.The Aggies are moving on, and the new direction is anyone's guess.
- Texas A&M destroyed Mississippi State, 51-10, on Saturday, one day before the firing was announced. University regents, however, reportedly reached the decision on Thursday. Elijah Robinson is the interim coach.
- Fisher finishes 45-25 with the Aggies, a worse record than his predecessor, Kevin Sumlin. The Aggies failed to win 10 games in any season under Fisher, though they did go 9-1 in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season.
- The Aggies went 3-16 as underdogs under Fisher, the perfect summation of the idea that they never reached (or came close to) the heights Fisher's arrival indicated.
- thanks to a contract extension. That includes $19.3 million due by Jan. 11, 2024, and monies coming his way through 2031 -- eight years from now.
Texas A&M infamously gave Fisher a blank "national championship" plaque when it hired him.
Historically great recruiting went to waste. Over the last three seasons, the Aggies rank in the bottom half of the SEC in most major offensive categories, including last in red zone efficiency. Dean Straka has.
Dennis Dodd haswith several big names up for a big job.
📺 What we're watching Monday
🏀 Michigan at St. John's, 6:30 p.m. on FS1
🏈 Broncos at Bills, 8:15 p.m. on ABC, ESPN
🏀 Xavier at No. 3 Purdue, 8:30 p.m. on FS1
🏀 Cavaliers at Kings, 10 p.m. on NBA TV