Saturday, March 2, 2024

Trevor Lawrence looks like he might be the real deal… and so does Jake Paul?

Hey sports fans, it’s Shanna McCarriston here. You might be sad about it being Monday, but at least we have lots of great sports news to talk about to distract you from the start of the work week.

Let’s talk about what we’re gonna talk about, shall we?

It’s the end of the NFL preseason, so we will recap all of the final action that took place over the weekend. And how could we forget YouTuber boxer Jake Paul, who took on Tyron Woodley last night.

To wrap up the main items, we’ll talk NASCAR and a possible season-ending injury to a key player on the Ravens‘ offense.

Let’s get to it.

📰 What you need to know

1. Trevor Lawrence shines as NFL preseason comes to a close 🏈

Can you guys believe it? We’ve made it to the end of the NFL preseason. The training is almost over and soon … it counts. Preseason games concluded yesterday and the regular season begins next Thursday on Sept. 9.

Sure, some NFL teams have had some troubling injuries (we will get into that a little bit later today) that could impact their year, while some teams have seen young stars emerge.

Speaking of, let’s start with Trevor Lawrence. He did well against the Cowboys‘ backups. Really well.

  • Lawrence went 11-for-12, with 139 passing yards and two touchdowns
  • That’s good for a 154.5 passer rating
  • Does this mean there’s hope for the Jags? It was just against the Dallas backups, but you never know

That performance from Lawrence was good enough to top our NFL scribe Tyler Sullivan’s preseason QB rankings from the weekend. You can read all about those rankings right here.

The Jags and Cowboys were not the only teams to play over the weekend. Here are your scores from around the league:

Now, just one more week of this until the real action starts!

2. Jake Paul earns split decision win against Tyron Woodley 🥊


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Whether you like it or not, there was another Jake Paul fight last night. This time, the YouTuber faced former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley. And we have to give credit where credit is due.

The 24-year-old Paul improved to 4-0 as a professional boxer in what was clearly his toughest test to date with a split decision victory.

  • Paul (4-0, 3 KOs) took home judges’ scores of 77-75 and 78-74
  • The third judge scored it for Woodley (0-1), 77-75
  • CBS Sports scored it 78-74 for Paul

Let’s remember that, while he was a UFC champ, this was Woodley’s boxing debut. Still, Paul outlanded Woodley by a margin of 71 punches to 52. Most of the fireworks came in a wild Round 4 in which Paul ate a huge right cross and might have needed the ropes to hold him up even though referee George Nichols decided against ruling it a knockdown. But from there, Woodley, 39, who lost his final four MMA bouts to close out his UFC deal, simply didn’t throw enough punches to make Paul pay.

  • Paul: “I don’t know what to say but he’s a tough opponent. He has been boxing, fighting and striking for 20-something years. I have been doing this for three years. This was a tougher fight than I expected. My legs felt weird from the locker room. I don’t know what to say. He put up a good fight and came in shape. I have nothing but respect for him.”

So where does Paul go from here? “I may need to take some time off and figure out who I am. I’m only 24 years old. We will see,” he said after the fight. For a more in-depth recap of the fight, check out what our combat expert Brian Campbell wrote about it all.

3. Ravens’ J.K. Dobbins likely out for entire season with torn ACL 🏈


The preseason can be a struggle because coaches want players to get back into the groove of competing against a team while trying not to push them too much. Sadly for the Baltimore Ravens, a meaningless game against the Washington Football Team on Saturday turned into the worst-case scenario.

Running back J.K. Dobbins suffered a knee injury and had to be carried off the field after he was hit low on a screen pass. According to reports, it’s a torn ACL for Dobbins — a season-ending injury.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • Dobbins did not put much weight on his left leg when he was carried off the field
  • He was ruled out for the remainder of the game after being carted off
  • He is expected to miss the majority of the season, if not the whole season

Dobbins was a third-round pick in fantasy football in most draft ahead of the injury on, but it’s obviously not wise to take him there. Our fantasy football expert Chris Towers advises anyone drafting not to take him inside the first 140. Gus Edwards, Dobbins’ backup, is now expected to go well ahead of Dobbins in drafts. 

But for forget fantasy for a minute, because this could have a serious impact on the Ravens offense. And this is already a team without rookie wide receiver Rashod Bateman due to a groin injury. Former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson will likely need a lot of help from Edwards and fellow RB Justice Hill.

4. Ryan Blaney wins Coke Zero Sugar 400, Tyler Reddick clinches final playoff spot 🏁


We haven’t talked NASCAR for a while, but today that is changing. I lived in Charlotte for a while and got into the sport when I was there. I even got to drive my own car on the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I’ve now been to a bunch of speedways to just visit/see a race. But this main item isn’t about me, so let’s talk about the upcoming NASCAR Cups Series Playoffs. 

On Saturday, Ryan Blaney recorded his third 2021 win in the regular-season finale. Blaney survived overtime at Daytona for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 NASCAR Cup Series to take the victory. The race had 45 lead changes, a 14-minute red-flag period and Blaney won with a big crash behind him in the corners of the track on the final lap. 

  • Blaney: “How about that? That was a lot of fun. Gosh, we just barely missed that wreck. Got to line up on the front row and got a good push by the 7 [Corey LaJoie]. You never know how the end of these things is going to play out. Down the back you don’t know what lane is getting a bigger run. I guess someone got tangled up over there, hopefully everyone is OK.”

The 27-year-old’s No. 12 Team Penske Ford only lead for seven laps of the 145. Bubba Wallace and Ryan Newman rounded out the top three, with Ryan Preece and Tyler Reddick following behind them.

That fifth-place finish for Reddick is massive. With it, he clinched the final Cup Series Playoffs spot (on points). For the full standings and a look ahead the playoff schedule, click here.

📝 Odds & Ends


📺 What to watch tonight


⚾ Cardinals vs. Reds, 6:40 p.m. | CIN -180 | TV: MLB.TV

⚾ Red Sox vs. Rays, 7:10 p.m. | TB -135 | TV: ESPN

⚾ Yankees vs. Angels, 9:38 p.m | LAA +125 | TV: MLB.TV

Best things I saw on the internet 🏅

  • Texans safety Justin Reid lived out his dream of punting in the NFL. He tweeted a video of the moment, saying “No lie, this is the most fun I’ve ever had in a preseason game. Will remember this forever. Dreams do come true. I’m ready for FGs next time.” I love to see players so obviously having fun on the field and this is clearly something he’s wanted to do for a while. Now let him kick some field goals!
  • There seems to be a theme with New England Patriots quarterbacks. When Tom Brady was on the team he struggled. Seriously struggled. Not on the field, but he was always struggling to get a high-five. Now it’s happening to Cam Newton. Newton was trying to give Mac Jones five, but the rookie first round pick wasn’t paying attention. Newton was persistent and eventually got it. The Patriots went on to beat the Giants 22-20 in the preseason finale. High fives all around in New England.

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