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Happy Monday newsletter readers, it's Shanna McCarriston! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. As is customary this time of year, it was a busy weekend in sports, highlighted by the Braves winning the pennant on Saturday night. Congrats, Atlanta fans. For the first time since 1999, you'll get to see your team in the World Series.

Today we will discuss more than just the Braves, as we'll also get into yesterday's NFL games, hand out college football grades and more.

Let's get started.

📰 What you need to know

1. NFL weekend recap: Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase shine in huge win over Ravens 🏈

Well, it was another wild week in the NFL. Many of the better teams struggled, headlined by the Ravens losing to the Bengals 41-17. It's safe to say Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow and wide out Ja'Marr Chase are a duo to be afraid of. Chase finished the game with 201 receiving yards, the ninth-highest total in franchise history.

Elsewhere, the Chiefs haven't looked like themselves this year and the struggles continued yesterday. They could not even pretend to keep up with the Titans and lost 27-3

A lot happened, so let's get to some more stories from Week 7:

I was impressed by the Cardinals, but when you're the only unbeaten team, that kind of goes without saying. Despite a slow start against the Texans, they had no problem snapping out of it for a blowout win

Tonight, the Saints will take on the Seahawks and we all know that when Seattle plays a primetime game, things tend to get crazy. I expect nothing less from this Monday Night Football matchup. The Saints enter the game 3-2, while the Seahawks are struggling at 2-4. The odds are currently at Seattle +4 with the over/under for total points set at 42.5. I expect the Saints to come away with the W.

2. How the Braves built a pennant-winning team ⚾

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Finally, the World Series is set. The Atlanta Braves will face the Houston Astros in this year's Fall Classic. Since the series starts Tuesday night, we'll go much deeper in tomorrow's newsletter, but don't worry, let's get ready for it all starting right now.

The Braves defeated the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday in the NLCS to punch their ticket to the series, while the Astros beat the Boston Red Sox one night earlier to win the AL.

  • This is the first time since 1999 the Braves are in the World Series
  • For the Astros, it is their third trip to the Fall Classic in five tries
  • Houston has home field advantage because they had a better winning percentage in the regular season

The Braves are underdogs (+125) to win it all, but just how did they build their National League Championship roster? With trades, free agency and though the draft. Atlanta was not supposed to be here. Before the season, they weren't even a consensus pick to win their own division. They struggled mightily in the first half of the season.

Then came the trade deadline.

They got to their 26-man roster by making a bunch of moves, some of which came in the middle of the season. Here is a look at their major trades and what they gave up:

  • July 15: Acquired Joc Pederson for Bryce Ball
  • July 30: Acquired Jorge Soler for Kasey Kalich
  • July 30: Acquired Adam Duvall for Alex Jackson
  • July 30: Acquired Eddie Rosario for Pablo Sandoval

For a deeper look at how the Braves built their team, click here.

3. Grading Week 8 of college football 🏈


Week 8 of the college football season has come and gone and we are that much closer to the College Football Playoff.

With another week in the books, we now know even more about who seems to be the real deal and which teams are going to have to wait until next season to make a splash. No. 3 Oklahoma narrowly escaped Kansas and No. 2 Cincinnati just barely defeated Navy. Meanwhile, Penn State and Clemson both took tough losses.

Here are some grades for the top teams in the country from Week 8:

  • Alabama: B-
  • Ohio State: A+
  • Oklahoma: D+
  • Cincinnati: D,
  • Michigan: B+
  • Oregon: B-
  • Notre Dame: B+

For the full list of grades, along with commentary on each team, click here.

4. Anti-vaccine protestors burst through barricades at Barclays Center 🏀

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Kyrie Irving has not played for the Brooklyn Nets this season due to a mandate in New York City that does not allow unvaccinated individuals into indoor arenas. Irving is not vaccinated, so he cannot participate in team activities that take place in arenas in the city and cannot play in home games. The team decided he would not play on the road until he can be a full participant.

Some are not happy with the fact that he can't play and were protesting outside the Barclays Center on Sunday ahead of the Nets' home opener against the Hornets. Protestors chanted "let Kyrie play" and held up signs that read "Stand with Kyrie." The scene eventually escalated and protestors broke through barricades the security had put out

While this was going on, one protestor got more violent and threw a barricade at a security officer. For the safety of all, security eventually prevented anyone from entering the arena. Once things were under control, ticketed fans were let in, but due to delays not everyone made it to their seats by tip off.

Our NBA scribe Sam Quinn summed up where we are at with the Irving situation well:

  • Quinn: "There has been no indication yet that New York City plans to lift its mandate. Irving has not suggested that he is planning to get the vaccine, nor have the Nets backed off their decision not to play Irving until he can participate in all of their games, not just the ones on the road. Until one of those things changes, Irving will remain out of Brooklyn's lineup."

📝 Odds & Ends

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📺 What to watch tonight

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🏒 Coyotes vs. Panthers, 7 p.m. | FLA -340

🏈 Saints vs. Seahawks, 8:15 p.m. | SEA +4 | TV: ESPN

🏀 Trail Blazers vs. Clippers, 9 p.m. | LAC -3 | TV: NBA.TV 

🏅 Best thing I saw on the internet

A young fan in the stands at the Buccaneers game against the Bears yesterday held up a sign that read, "Tom Brady helped me beat brain cancer." He ended up getting the attention of the quarterback. Brady ran up to the fan just before the game ended and handed the kid his hat from the game. The fan was overcome with joy and got emotional in the stands.

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