SPORTS NEWS 2/11/2K20 – What you need to know
1. It’s time for the Patriots to sell 🏈
Remember last week when Pete Prisco and I agreed that this weekend was going to be make-or-break for the Patriots? Well, yeah, about that.. They dropped to 2-5 (their worst start in 20 years) after losing to the Bills on Sunday, and it sure was painful. The Pats’ offense had a pretty miserable showing but still had a chance to win late in the fourth quarter. They were driving down the field and seemingly primed to at least tie the game with a field goal when Cam Newton coughed up a fumble to seal the win for Buffalo.
Now, there’s no way around it: The Patriots are broken and this season is pretty much a lost cause. It’s time to sell, says our Jonathan Jones.
Jones: “The Patriots could be sellers in the next 48 hours, but they’re not just going to give players away. The NFL trade deadline has inspired more fireworks in recent years, but this is not the NBA or MLB. Players have value, draft picks are currency and no one has a good idea of what the salary cap will be in 2021. The Patriots likely won’t have on the roster in 2021 because they won’t pay him, but they believe someone will be willing to both part with a first-round pick (or something equivalent) and pay him later.”
There’s probably not a single untouchable piece on the New England roster, but here’s the big question: If the Pats decide to essentially give up on this season by selling at the deadline this week, do they move on from Cam too? Newton hasn’t been effective for a few weeks now and it became evidently clear on Sunday that Bill Belichick no longer trusts him to make plays through the air.
So, if the Pats are giving up on the season and they don’t really trust their QB, it could be time to just see what Jarrett Stidham has. What’s the worst that can happen? He stinks and you find out he stinks while improving your draft position? That probably gets you farther than riding an ineffective Cam. Anyway, is everyone worried that Trevor Lawrence might end up in New England yet?
2. NFL Week 8 Grades: Joe Burrow’s Bengals get an A+ 🏈
Another weekend of football is in the books and — you guessed it! — that means it’s time to hand out some grades. Our NFL crew dished out letter marks and analysis for each game on the slate yesterday, including that painful Sunday Night Football debacle we had to endure. I mean, our expectations for any NFC East game are very low at this point… but Cowboys-Eagles may have been even worse than anticipated (the Eagles earned a C- in a winning effort).
But there were actually some great games and significant storylines yesterday, so let’s go over a few notable results:
Joe Burrow and the Bengals (A+) upset Titans (C-): Despite playing behind a depleted offensive line, Burrow threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns while getting sacked zero times in the 31-20 win. The QB’s is starting to look like a veteran already. On the other side, the Bengals’ defense played surprisingly well and the Titans just made too many big mistakes
Dolphins (A+) win Tua’s debut vs. Rams (F): Tua Tagovailoa didn’t have a great debut on the scoresheet (12-of-22 for 93 yards passing and a touchdown) but Miami played great defensively in a 28-17 win. The Dolphins got a defensive touchdown and a special teams touchdown while Jared Goff was atrocious in the Rams loss
Steelers (A) stay undefeated against Ravens (C): Baltimore outgained Pittsburgh, 457 yards-221, but lost the turnover battle 4-1 and that proved to be costly in a 28-24 loss. Pittsburgh scored 14 points off of two picks of Lamar Jackson. The Steelers also got their passing game going in the second half while limiting Baltimore’s damage on the ground and getting big stops late
You know who else gets an “F” this weekend? Bears receiver Javon Wims, who provided the most perplexing moment of Week 8 when he randomly decided to attack a Saints player during their game yesterday. It’s always a dumb idea to jump an unsuspecting opponent but it’s especially dumb when your attack involves throwing punches straight into a helmet. Nice one, genius!
Luckily for all of us, we’re not quite through with the slate yet. We’re blessed with another NFC East team in primetime tonight. You may want to browse Netflix before halftime.
3. Gervonta Davis delivers KO of the year 🥊
Boxing doesn’t often get a ton of shine during our morning chats but this weekend brought a big fight that delivered on the hype. Gervonta “Tank” Davis made his PPV headlining debut against Leo Santa Cruz and promptly served up what might have been boxing’s best knockout of 2020.
Davis knocked Santa Cruz unconscious with a violent uppercut in Round 6 to immediately end the fight
The 25-year-old Davis improves to 24-0 with 23 knockouts to his credit
All three judges had the fight 48-47 for Davis at the time of the stoppage
Davis: “First, I want to say, I’m a pay-per-view star. Second, I ain’t dodging nobody. I’m going to continue to show the world that I am No. 1. I don’t have to call nobody out. I’m the top dog and everyone knows that. Just set them up and I’ll knock them down, one by one.”
Davis is one of boxing’s fastest rising stars and is something of a Floyd Mayweather protege, as he fights under the Mayweather Promotions umbrella. I’m not the biggest boxing fan in the world myself but Saturday’s showcase of pure power and entertainment put this dude on my radar. Davis wasn’t the only one who had a big-time knockout on Saturday night, though. Mario Barrios managed to defend his WBA junior welterweight title with a thrilling KO of Ryan Karl in the co-main event.
4. Qualifying offers handed out to MLB free agents ⚾
If the words “Qualifying Offer” don’t mean a whole lot to you, there’s a good chance you didn’t even realize that yesterday was a pretty important day for MLB free agency. (Don’t feel bad…I’m with you.) Luckily, our Dayn Perry and Mike Axisa not only caught us up on yesterday’s news but they also did a great job spelling out the Qualifying Offers thing for anyone in the dark.
The QO is a one-year offer that comes with a salary that matches the average of the top 125 MLB salaries each year ($18.9 million). It can only be used on a pending free agent who spent the entire previous year with that team and has never received a QO before. If a player chooses to leave a team in free agency instead of accepting the QO, then that team can receive compensatory draft picks.
Six players received a QO ahead of yesterday’s deadline:
Trevor Bauer (Reds)
Kevin Gausman (Giants)
DJ LeMahieu (Yankees)
J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)
George Springer (Astros)
Marcus Stroman (Mets)
They’ll have 10 days to accept or reject the QO. I feel infinitely smarter with that all laid out nicely for me, so hopefully it provides a little more clarity for you as well. Perry and Axisa go into a little more depth here while also breaking down some of the individual situations for the players who ended up receiving a QO this year.
📝 Odds & Ends
Uriah Hall spoiled the final fight of Anderson Silva’s UFC career with a vicious knockout
New college football Top 25 rankings? New college football Top 25 rankings
Chase Elliott won at Martinsville this weekend while Kevin Harvick missed out on the Championship 4
📺 What to watch tonight
🏈 Buccaneers vs. Giants, 8:15 p.m. | NYG +13 | TV: ESPN
📝 Top scores from last night
🏈 Steelers 28, Ravens 24
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 182 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions in the rivalry matchup
💵 Winning wagers: PIT +174, Over (44.5)
🏈 Eagles 23, Cowboys 9
Carson Wentz threw for 123 yards and two touchdowns but also had two interceptions in the win
💵 Winning wagers: PHI -10, Under (43.5)