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Padres stun Mets in Wild Card finale, plus Lamar Jackson, Ravens finally win a close game

Padres stun Mets in Wild Card finale, plus Lamar Jackson, Ravens finally win a close game

The Mets mustered only one hit on Sunday night en route to being eliminated from the playoffs

National League Wild Card Series: San Diego Padres v. New York Mets
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Happy Monday, everyone. It’s Wajih AlBaroudi filling in for Zachary Pereles. We’re coming off a jam-packed sports weekend, so let’s get started. 

The Football Five 🏈

  • The Packers looked well on their way to an easy victory over the Giants in London, leading 20-10 at halftime over a team with a hobbled quarterback (Daniel Jones sprained his ankle last week against the Bears) and a wide receiver corp and secondary depleted by injuries. But Brian Daboll’s G-Men scored 17 points in the second half while holding Green Bay scoreless (aside from an intentional safety with seconds remaining) to win 27-22. The Giants and Jets are now above .500 at the same time for the first time since 2015 (more on the latter in a second).
  • Competitive football was no where to be found in the AFC East on Sunday. The Bills spoiled Kenny Pickett’s first start with a 38-3 drubbing over the Steelers, the Patriots brought Jared Goff and the Lions’ offense back to Earth in a 29-0 shutout and the Jets beat the injury-riddled Dolphins 40-17 after exploding for 21 fourth-quarter points.
  • The Buccaneers snapped their two-game losing streak with a 21-15 win over their division rival Falcons, thanks largely to Leonard Fournette going off for 139 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. But the Bucs’ win was far from the biggest talking point from this game. Atlanta’s Grady Jarrett took down Tom Brady in what looked to be a clean, crucial sack on third down late in the fourth quarter, but referee Jerome Boger called a roughing-the-passer penalty. Tampa Bay would eventually hold the ball and its six-point lead until time expired. 
  • The Rams’ Super Bowl hangover is still alive and well. Los Angeles (now 2-3) allowed five sacks and ran for only 2.5 yards per carry against a stout Cowboys defense, an output that led to a 22-10 loss in SoFi Stadium for the home team. DeMarcus Lawrence set the tone for Dallas with a 19-yard fumble-return touchdown on the Rams’ opening drive. Backup QB Cooper Rush didn’t do much (10-of-16 for a scoreless 102 yards) in Dallas’ win, making the looming return of two-time Pro Bowler Dak Prescott even more intimidating to the rest of the NFC. 
  • Speaking of NFC East teams who’ve looked dominant this season, the Eagles kept their undefeated start alive with a 20-17 road win over the Cardinals. It wasn’t pretty, as Jalen Hurts failed to throw a touchdown (he ran for two, though) while Arizona missed a would-be game-tying field goal from 43 yards out with 22 seconds remaining. But good teams find a way to close games like these out. Next up for the Birds: you guessed it, a “Sunday Night Football” matchup at home against the Cowboys — a game with massive implications on the division title race. 

Good morning to everyone but especially to…

THE SAN DIEGO PADRES

Padres starter Joe Musgrove was historically brilliant against the Mets when it mattered most. He allowed only one hit over seven scoreless innings to help his team win 6-0 in Sunday’s decisive Wild Card Series elimination game. The 29-year-old hurler is the first pitcher to allow two or less hits over at least seven innings in a win-or-go-home playoff game.

He was so brilliant, in fact, that Mets manager Buck Showalter requested the umpires check him for foreign substances in the sixth inning. Musgrove remained in the game after the substance check, and with the Padres’ triumph they remain in the World Series hunt. 

  • San Diego will now travel to Los Angeles to start the National League Division Series against the Dodgers on Tuesday. The Padres went 5-14 against the Dodgers this season, and they’ve been the little brother in the rivalry long before 2022, having lost every season series since 2011. 

  • The Padres have reason to believe they can turn things around, though, as they scored a whopping 16 runs in the Wild Card round. Jurickson Profar and Trent Grisham have spearheaded the offensive effort, going a combined 8-for-20 with seven RBI in San Diego’s first three playoff games.

Musgrove, a 2017 World Series champion with the Astros, was brutally honest about his feelings towards the Houston title last week, saying he “doesn’t feel great” wearing his championship ring because of the 2017 cheating scandal. Musgrove stated he wants to win a “true championship” with the Padres, and he got one step closer with a dominant performance Sunday. 

And also a good morning to… 

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens

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THE BALTIMORE RAVENS

The proverbial monkey is off the Ravens’ back. After falling to the Dolphins and Bills in the final seconds in each of their two losses this season, the Ravens — and specifically coach John Harbaugh — faced significant questions of whether they can close out tight games.

But they did exactly that Sunday night against the Bengals, pulling ahead with no time left on the clock thanks to a game-winning 43-yard field goal from Justin Tucker

Here’s how the old school AFC North slugfest finished: 

  • Leading 13-10 with 9:42 to go in the fourth quarter, the Ravens had a fourth-and-one at the Cincinnati three-yard line, but they opted to take a delay-of-game penalty and kick a 25-yard field goal instead.
  • The Bengals then managed an impressive 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Joe Burrow sneaking for a one-yard touchdown to make it 17-16 Cincinnati. 
  • Baltimore got the ball back with less than two minutes to go, giving Jackson all the time he needed to flash his MVP-level abilities. Jackson went 2-of-2 for 15 yards (both completions to Mark Andrews) on the drive, and he darted past the defense for a critical 19-yard run to put the Ravens in field-goal range and effectively end the game.  

The Ravens’ win snapped a five-game home losing streak and, more importantly, gave them the lead in the AFC North with a 3-2 record. They’ll meet a team that pulled off a similarly impressive Week 5 win in the Giants next Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

College football roundup: Alabama survived an injury to its star QB. Kentucky did not 🏈

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While relatively chalky, this college football weekend brought no shortage of excitement. SEC powers Alabama and Kentucky both entered Saturday without their star quarterbacks, but only the former came away with a victory. Here’s a roundup of the entire weekend:

  • No. 1 Alabama, playing without starting QB Bryce Young, survived a late rally from Texas A&M to win 24-20.
  • UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson powered his 18th-ranked squad to a 42-32 win over No. 11 Utah with four passing touchdowns.
  • No. 13 Kentucky fell to South Carolina, 24-14, for its second straight loss, this one with star QB Will Levis on the sidelines.
  • No. 17 TCU spoiled No. 19 Kansas’ surprising undefeated start with a 38-31 win in Lawrence.
  • Notre Dame defeated No. 16 BYU, 28-20, in Las Vegas, giving coach Marcus Freeman his third straight win after an 0-2 start.
  • Pitt running back Israel Abanikanda exploded for six touchdowns and a program-record rushing 320 yards in a 45-29 win over Virginia Tech
  • Three weeks after losing to Eastern Michigan at home and firing coach Herm Edwards, Arizona State stunned No. 21 Washington, 45-38.

Lastly, fresh off a 42-10 win over Auburn, Georgia sits first in the newest AP Poll. Alabama is No. 1 in the latest Coaches Poll

Tom Kim edges past Patrick Cantlay for second PGA Tour win 🏌

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Another month, another PGA Tour victory for 20-year-old rising star Tom Kim. Kim followed up his 2022 President’s Cup win with a first-place finish in the 2022 Shriners Children’s Open.

  • Kim finished with a 5-under 67 and didn’t have a single bogey during the tournament. His mistake-free play allowed him to pull past world No. 4 Patrick Cantlay after they were tied at the 17th. 
  • With this result, Kim has now won twice in his last four starts
  • The South Korea native became the first to win two PGA Tour events before age 21 since Tiger Woods in 1996

Kim’s transcendent performance had many reminiscing about Tiger Woods’ ascension many years ago, and even CBS Sports’ Patrick McDonald believes the comparison is warranted — to a small extent. 

  • McDonald: “While comparisons to Tiger Woods are far-fetched, it did almost feel Tiger-esque. Slowly draining the life out of the rest of the field, Kim never blinked in the face of adversity. When punched, he punched back. When faced with sticky situations, he played conservatively aggressive. And when given a chance to step on the neck, he took one giant step in more ways than one.”

What we’re watching Monday 📺

🏀 76ers at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. 

🏈 Raiders at Chiefs, 8:15 p.m. 

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