Panthers make jump in NFL Power Rankings, plus the best potential MLB Wild Card Game

Blissful Wednesday, e-newsletter mates! It’s Shanna McCarriston here to speak all issues sports activities with you all. 

Final time I wrote the e-newsletter, I requested to your Super Bowl picks and mentioned I might share probably the most attention-grabbing one. Somebody mentioned Raiders, which I believe is way fetched, however I really like the optimism from the Vegas fan. I do assume the Raiders will see extra success this yr than in years previous.

Subsequent up, let’s change gears to another sports activities. Let me know on Twitter what a few of your MLB postseason scorching takes are and I am going to share my favorites.

Immediately we’re going to focus on NFL Energy Rankings, take a look on the MLB Wild Card state of affairs and extra. Let’s get to it.

📰 What it’s worthwhile to know

1. NFL Energy Rankings: Rams transfer into high three 🏈

I do know there is not any video games tonight, however how can we not discuss in regards to the NFL? As at all times, after per week of thrilling video games we have to update the power rankings.

The Las Vegas Raiders, Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos are all 2-0. Simply as all of us suspected, proper?! In all probability not, and in the event you guessed this, cease what you are doing and go play the lottery as a result of your luck is unmatched.

It is solely two video games, however it’s nonetheless stunning. There may be some advantage to a 2-0 begin, with about 60% of groups with that file via the primary two weeks making the playoffs. This season has 17 common season video games and 14 playoff groups somewhat than 12, so this proportion is not good for predicting the longer term, nevertheless it does put issues in perspective. 

Final season, eight of the 11 groups that kicked off the yr 2-0 prolonged their season to the playoffs. In abstract: that is all excellent news in the event you’re a fan of any of these three groups I discussed.

Our NFL scribe Pete Prisco was variety sufficient to present us his Week 3 Energy Rankings so we may maintain observe of all of it. Listed below are the top 5 teams and how many spots they moved:

  • No. 1: Buccaneers, did not transfer
  • No. 2: 49ers, moved up one spot
  • No. 3: Rams, moved up one spot
  • No. 4: Cardinals, moved up one spot 
  • No. 5: Chiefs, moved down three spots

The crew that took the largest leap is the Panthers, who jumped 12 spots as much as No. 11 following their 26-7 win over the Saints. And talking of the Saints, they moved down probably the most, plummeting seven spots to No. 13.

The Packers lastly gained (I say “lastly” as if it wasn’t only one loss, although that one loss was jarring) to leap as much as No. 7, however I am nonetheless not as impressed by the crew as some are. I should be satisfied additional that they are precise contenders.

2. The very best potential MLB Wild Card Sport matchups ⚾

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There are lower than two weeks left of the 2021 MLB common season and if these two weeks go as quick as this season has felt, the postseason can be right here earlier than we all know it. As we head to the beginning of the postseason, there may be nonetheless so much that needs to be labored out, with shut races all through the league.

There’s even a very good probability we get a Sport 163 and a tiebreaker, which is at all times thrilling (and nerve-wracking for these fanbases). Let’s check out the present wild card standings to get some perception on attainable matchups down the street:

American League

  • No. 1: Purple Sox
  • No. 2: Blue Jays
  • No. 3: Yankees
  • No. 4: Athletics
  • No. 5: Mariners (tied with A’s)

Nationwide League

  • No. 1: Dodgers
  • No. 2: Cardinals
  • No. 3: Reds
  • No. 4: Phillies
  • No. 5: Padres

What’s crystal clear is that both the Dodgers or Giants would be the NL West division champs and the opposite will host a Wild Card sport. 

Apart from that, it is all up within the air, which I believe makes issues somewhat bit extra enjoyable. It means each sport for these groups is essential and issues can change quick. With such thriller surrounding the Wild Card video games, we wanted to take a look at what we want to see.

This is a look at the most interesting Wild Card Game matchups that would come out of those ultimate two weeks of the season:

  • No. 1: Dodgers vs. Padres: This California battle can be high-energy and filled with stars based mostly on what these two groups convey to the desk. Who would not need to see that kind of matchup in October?
  • No. 2: Purple Sox vs. Yankees: Want I say extra? One of many biggest rivalries in sports activities and two groups which have every had streaks of wonderful and poor play this season.
  • No. 3: Cardinals vs. Dodgers: One other Dodgers matchup, as a result of they’re an attention-grabbing crew. Add in the truth that these two groups have met 3 times within the postseason since 2009 and you’ve got some nice tv.

For the total high 10 matchups listing, click here.

It is no shock that I might like to see a Purple Sox vs. Yankees matchup and, if Boston wins, I might have the additional bonus of with the ability to trash discuss my boss. Who would not need that?

3. What we realized in Week 2 of the NFL 🏈

Every week within the NFL is not only entertaining, or an opportunity to cheer on our favourite crew. It is also a time for us all to learn a little something. We get to guage how every crew’s protection, offense and particular groups are doing, we see how sure groups matchup towards opponents and we see who’s breaking out as a star and who’s fading into the mediocre crowd.

There’s so much to absorb every week.

We’re presently within the section of the season the place we’re all nonetheless determining how every crew will fare down the stretch of the season. We do not have future-telling talents, however we are able to break down what we realized. Our NFL scribe Cody Benjamin was variety sufficient to do exactly that. Here are his key points from Week 2, followed by some tidbits by yours truly:

  • Kyler Murray is an early MVP candidate: Not a lot so as to add right here. I am having a blast watching the Cardinals quarterback and I am hoping it continues all through the season
  • Sam Darnold has potential: The Panthers quarterback can inform the Jets, “it isn’t me, it is you,” after profitable his first two video games in Carolina. That is as many video games because the Jets gained in the event you mix this season thus far with final season.
  • Baker Mayfield is the true deal: Browns followers (and I) have been telling you for ages, however the Cleveland quarterback is placing up numbers which are going to take this crew far.
  • We could have overreacted to Jameis Winston‘s first sport: OK, so he is not going to throw 5 touchdowns each sport, however going off after which having a foul sport has been the Jameis Winston Expertise for some time.
  • The Giants are set to implode: We did not assume the Giants would precisely be taking the league by storm this yr, however their points are worse than we could have thought and I am unable to see it ending nicely.

My greatest takeaway thus far? Whereas the Patriots may not have an computerized ticket to the playoffs like they did with Tom Brady, head coach Invoice Belichick nonetheless is aware of tips on how to construct a well-rounded protection and startle opponents, which may take them decently far.

4. Ben Simmons is reportedly carried out with the Sixers 🏀

Cease me in the event you’ve heard this one earlier than: Ben Simmons isn’t pleased with the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s persevering with to make that reality identified. However now, it is critical, as he will reportedly hold out on training camp and is adamant that he will not play for Philly ever again. He has additionally mentioned he would sit in the course of the season if it involves that.

The Sixers would doubtless like to ship him packing, however the crew simply has no leverage within the state of affairs. 

This is a have a look at Simmons’ resume:

  • Three-time All-Star
  • Drafted in 2016 as the primary total choose
  • NBA Rookie of the 12 months in 2018
  • Two-time NBA All-Defensive First Crew

The Sixers’ dream situation can be to get an All-Star kind participant in return for Simmons, however typically goals are simply that. Giving him away for affordable can be irritating, as Simmons is proficient and buying and selling him for youthful gamers and drafts picks would not assist their possibilities of profitable now.

That is what we name a troublesome state of affairs throughout, and it is only going to turn worse, as our NBA scribe Michael Kaskey-Blomain explained.

📝 Odds & Ends

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📺 What to look at tonight


⚾ Rangers vs. Yankees, 7:05 p.m. | NYY -260 | TV: MLB.TV

Cardinals vs. Brewers, 7:40 p.m. | MIL -116 | TV. MLB.TV

⚾ Mariners vs. Athletics, 9:40 p.m. | OAK -135 | TV: MLB.TV

🏅 Neatest thing I noticed on the web

We’re as soon as once more altering smartest thing I noticed on the web, to one thing barely totally different. That is now funniest/saddest/most unlucky factor I noticed on the web, not less than within the sports activities world.

Conor McGregor threw out the primary pitch on the Chicago Cubs dwelling sport towards the Minnesota Twins final night time and, nicely, let’s just say baseball is not in his future. At least not pitching. You’d assume being an athlete he can be not less than first rate at throwing a ball, but the result was similar to when 50 Cent threw out a first pitch. Only a bit exterior, Conor!

McGregor would not lose usually, however he appeared defeated after that catastrophe of a throw. | Panthers make bounce in NFL Energy Rankings, plus the very best potential MLB Wild Card Sport


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