Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Happy Halloween and happy Monday, everyone!

Let’s get right to it.

The Football Five 🏈

Good morning to everyone but especially to…


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CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY AND THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

When the 49ers traded for Christian McCaffrey, the biggest question was, “How much can a running back really elevate San Francisco’s title hopes?” Now the question is, “What can’t CMC do?”

McCaffrey threw for a touchdown, caught a touchdown and ran for a touchdown as the 49ers continued their domination of the Rams in a 31-14 win. That puts him in some rare company:

Here’s what else happened:

  • Jimmy Garoppolo played one of his best and most efficient games, completing 21 of 25 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns. His second — to George Kittle in the back of the end zone — was absolutely perfect.
  • The Rams only produced 223 yards, and 49ers stars Fred Warner and Nick Bosa both got sacks on Matthew Stafford.
  • The 49ers have won eight of the last nine meetings between these teams. The only loss, of course, was in last season’s NFC Championship game.

McCaffrey and the 49ers earned an A+ in our weekly grades, writes NFL reporter Bryan DeArdo.

  • DeArdo: “Despite sharing a field with the reigning Super Bowl MVP, Christian McCaffrey was the difference-maker in this game. He ran for 94 yards on 18 carries and a score, caught eight passes for 55 yards and a touchdown while also throwing his second career touchdown pass. McCaffrey is helping 49ers general manager John Lynch’s case as this year’s NFL Executive of the Year. McCaffrey’s presence undoubtedly made things easier for Jimmy Garoppolo.”

Making matters worse for Los Angeles, Cooper Kupp injured his ankle late in the contest. Kupp says it’s not serious.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for…


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THE GREEN BAY PACKERS

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on this type of losing streak. It’s been even longer since we saw their offense look the way it did… if we’ve ever seen it look this way.

Green Bay lost, 27-17, in Buffalo on Sunday. It’s their fourth loss in a row, tying Rodgers’ second-longest as a starter. Losing to the Bills — the Super Bowl favorite — is nothing to be ashamed about. It’s how the Packers looked that was eye-opening.

  • With a 3-5 record, Rodgers is off to the worst eight-game start to a season in his career.
  • Despite playing catch-up nearly the whole night, Rodgers finished the night with just 19 completions.
  • Only eight of those went to wide receivers — his fewest in a loss in which he played the whole game since 2015.
  • Through three quarters, the Packers had 11 completions and 27 rushes. That’s the largest difference ever in a game started by Rodgers.

To see a team with the two-time reigning MVP quarterback become so run-heavy is pretty wild, and it tells us that Green Bay simply doesn’t trust its passing game. The Packers’ goal, seemingly, was to try to grind out enough first downs at a deliberate pace to keep Josh Allen and company on the sideline. And it worked, to an extent: Green Bay ran for over 200 yards and had over seven more minutes of possession.

It’s not a bad strategy if you’re truly outmatched at most positions and simply trying to keep the game within reach and hope for some lucky breaks. Last night showed the Packers viewed themselves as that — a team clearly not close to the Bills’ level.

World Series: Phillies, Astros tied heading into Game 3 ⚾


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A Phillies-Astros World Series matchup promised to give us plenty of entertainment, and through two games, neither side has let us down. Philadelphia and Houston split the first two games in Houston, and the series shifts to Philly tonight.

Game 3 is tonight, with Lance McCullers Jr. and Noah Syndergaard as the starters. Philadelphia is 5-0 at home this postseason.

College football recap: Ohio State, Tennessee pass tough tests 🏈


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Two undefeated teams — Ohio State and Tennessee — took on ranked teams this weekend, and both emerged with their perfect record intact. They did it in very different ways, though.

In Happy Valley, Ohio State trailed with under nine minutes remaining before coming back and then some, beating Penn State, 44-31.

  • Trailing 21-16 with 8:51 left, TreVeyon Henderson scored a 41-yard touchdown run to give the Buckeyes the lead. Then J.T. Tuimoloau sacked Sean Clifford and forced and recovered a fumble. C.J. Stroud found Cade Stover for a 24-yard touchdown on the very next play, and the Buckeyes never looked back.
  • Stroud (354 passing yards, one touchdown), Henderson (78 rushing yards, two touchdowns) and Marvin Harrison Jr. (10 receptions, 185 yards) all put up huge numbers, but…
  • Tuimoloau was the undisputed star: two sacks, two interceptions, one fumble forced, one fumble recovered.
  • Tuimoloau is the only player this century to register that stat line in a game. His pick-six late in the fourth put the game away.

It was a less stressful day in Knoxville, where Tennessee took it to Kentucky, 44-6. Hendon Hooker threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Volunteers posted their biggest win in the rivalry since 2000.

That combination of results means we have a rare tie for No. 2 in the newest AP Poll: Ohio State and Tennessee are tied behind No. 1 Georgia, and that means this coming weekend’s Georgia-Tennessee game will be the 25th regular-season game ever between AP No. 1 and No. 2Here’s the entire AP Top 25.

As for everything else…

Jake Paul defeats Anderson Silva by unanimous decision, moves to 6-0 🥊


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Jake Paul, the social media star turned boxer, improved his career record to 6-0 with a unanimous decision victory over former UFC standout Anderson Silva. Paul, 25, knocked down Silva, 47, in the eighth and final round to help secure the win.

While Paul has had trouble getting people to take him seriously in the ring due to the nature of his opponents, Silva was his best competition yet and showed just how much Paul has improved, writes our boxing expert Brent Brookhouse.

  • Brookhouse: “What resulted from that test was Paul’s best performance yet. No, there was no highlight-reel knockout like the one that sent former NBA player Nate Robinson into hiding or that left Tyron Woodley lying face down in the center of the ring. But Silva’s unique style, size and pace forced Paul to constantly make adjustments and survive some dangerous situations.”

For all of the results — including Le’Veon Bell losing — click here.

What we’re watching Monday 📺

🏀 Pacers at Nets, 7:30 p.m. on NBA TV
Astros at Phillies, 8:03 p.m. on FOX
🏈 Bengals at Browns, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN





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