Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

Good morning to everyone but especially to…


If the Cleveland Browns want to stay in the AFC playoff picture until Deshaun Watson returns, they’re going to have to use the same formula they used in their 29-17 win over the Steelers on Thursday: a dominant ground game, a solid quarterback performance and a terrific defensive effort.

  • Nick Chubb had 23 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown. It was his 24th 100-yard rushing game since the start of 2018, most in the NFL, and Cleveland finished with 171 rushing yards as a team.
  • Amari Cooper and David Njoku combined for 16 receptions, 190 yards and two touchdowns. Jacoby Brissett went to them quite often as part of a 220-yard, two-touchdown, zero-interception passing performance.
  • In Chubb and Cooper, the Browns had a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver in the same game for the first time since 1986.
  • The Browns’ defense scored more points in the second half (six on a fumble recovered by Denzel Ward in the end zone on the final play of the game) than it allowed (three).
  • Despite his offense’s struggles, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he is sticking with Mitchell Trubisky over Kenny Pickett.

Chubb is one of the NFL’s most understated, under-recognized stars, but his game did plenty of talking. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry overall and an absurd 5.0 yards after first contact. When you have a less-than-ideal quarterback situation, the ability to turn would-be negative plays into short gains and would-be short gains into medium or long ones is a huge boost.

Brissett didn’t have to force a ton of things downfield, and he was very accurate on the short and intermediate game. Add in that defense, and Cleveland is riding high coming off a key division win.

Honorable mentions

Not so honorable mention

Celtics suspend Ime Udoka for season; more details emerge regarding relationship with staffer

The Boston Celtics have suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season and will make a decision regarding his future with the team at a later date. Udoka reportedly violated organizational guidelines by having an improper relationship with a staff member.

  • According to reports, the Celtics originally believed the relationship was consensual. However, the woman recently accused Udoka of “making unwanted comments toward her,” which prompted the organization’s investigation.
  • Udoka led the Celtics to an NBA Finals appearance last season, his first as an NBA head coach. 
  • The Celtics (+550) are currently the favorite to win the NBA title, just ahead of the Warriors (+600), who beat Boston in the Finals.
  • Joe Mazzulla will be elevated to interim head coach. Mazzulla joined the Celtics in 2019; prior to that, he was the head coach at Division II Fairmont State. He interviewed for the Jazz head coach opening — which eventually went to Will Hardy, another Boston assistant — over the offseason.

Udoka issued the following statement:

  • Udoka: “I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down. I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”

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The Pistons are well into their rebuild. The Jazz are tearing things down. That difference was on display Thursday, when Utah sent Bojan Bogdanovic to Detroit for Kelly Olynyk and guard Saben Lee.

Notably, there are no draft picks changing hands, making this a huge win for the Pistons, writes NBA guru James Herbert.

  • Herbert:Pistons trade grade: A+ — He’ll give Cade Cunningham more space to operate when they’re on the court together and help the team remain functional when Cunningham is on the bench. The veteran could serve as a model of sorts for Saddiq Bey, and the two forwards will complement each other. It’s unclear if Jaden Ivey will start right away, but a Cunningham-Ivey-Bey-Bogdanovic foursome would give Dwane Casey‘s coaching staff an interesting look: dynamic on offense, switchable on defense.”

James gave a significantly less-impressive grade to Utah, which has the fifth-shortest odds to have the NBA’s worst record at Caesars Sportsbook.

United States leads Presidents Cup 4-1 after first day 🏌

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The United States made their on-paper advantage felt on the course early and often on the first day of the Presidents Cup, emerging with a 4-1 lead following the foursomes session.

  • Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele set the tone with an utterly dominant 6&5 win over Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama in the first match.
  • Collin Morikawa and Cameron Young, as well as Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, also won to make the lead 3-0.
  • Si Woo Kim and Cam Davis rescued a point for the International team with a dramatic late comeback over Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns. Two down with four to go, Kim and Davis won each of the last four holes.
  • Any momentum for the International team evaporated when Tony Finau and Max Homa won the 18th hole over Taylor Pendrith and Mito Pereira to win 1-up.

It’s essentially what we expected, writes golf scribe Kyle Porter.

  • Porter: “The verbiage between the two captains after the matches was telling. Trevor Immelman, chin up but eyes belying his confidence, saying that the International team was going to keep fighting because that’s all they know how to do. Davis Love III saying he was agonizing over who in the world he should sit out over the next few days. A tale of two captains and the teams at their disposal.”

Here are the pairings and tee times for today’s four ball session, and here’s how you can watch the action.

Who can overcome their 0-2 start? Here’s what history says 🏈


Starting 0-2 isn’t necessarily a death knell, but it’s certainly not ideal. Since 1990, only 30 of the 265 teams (11.3 percent) to start 0-2 have made the playoffs, and only four have made the Super Bowl:

  • 1993 Cowboys (won)
  • 1996 Patriots (lost)
  • 2001 Patriots (won)
  • 2007 Giants (won)

Our NFL expert Bryan DeArdo did a fascinating deep dive on all four of those teams, and Jeff Kerr took a look at which of the five teams currently 0-2 — the Bengals, Titans, Raiders, Panthers and Falconsstill have a chance to turn things around.

  • Kerr: “Titans — Last year’s No. 1 seed in the AFC looks like a shell of themselves. Derrick Henry has gone five straight games without 100 rushing yards (longest streak since 2019) and five straight games below four yards per carry (longest streak since 2017-2018)… Tennessee only has a chance because they are in the AFC South, the worst division in football. The Titans have a must-win game against the Raiders before facing the Colts in two of their next three games.”

Aaron Judge watch: Slugger just barely misses No. 61 ⚾


For a moment, it seemed like Aaron Judge had done it. Home run No. 61 was going to be against the Red Sox, tying Roger Maris‘ AL record, and against the same franchise Maris had done it, no less. But his drive in the bottom of the ninth inning came up just short, and No. 61 will have to wait.

  • Judge went 0 for 2 with three walks. The ninth-inning fly out went 404 feet and would have been a home run in 13 of 30 MLB stadiumsThe camera angle had everyone fooled.
  • The Yankees still went home happy after Josh Donaldson‘s walk-off single in the 10th inning scored Marwin Gonzalez for a 5-4 win.

Apple TV+ will be the only streaming option for tonight’s game, so be sure you know how to watch.

What we’re watching this weekend 📺

We’re watching the NWSL on Paramount+ all weekend long. We’re also watching the Presidents Cup. Here’s how.


Japan vs. United States, 8:25 a.m. on ESPN 2
🏈 Virginia at Syracuse, 7 p.m. on ESPN


🏈 Maryland at No. 4 Michigan, Noon on FOX
🏈 No. 5 Clemson at No. 21 Wake Forest, Noon on ABC
🏈 No. 20 Florida at No. 11 Tennessee, 3:30 p.m. on CBS
🏈 No. 10 Arkansas at No. 23 Texas A&M, 7 p.m. on ESPN


🏈 Here’s the NFL schedule.
⚾ Red Sox at Yankees
, 7 p.m. on ESPN

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